Milwaukee Jewish Federation Opposes Jewish Sukkah, Supports Muslim Mosque

Jihad Yes, Judaism No


The Milwaukee Jewish Federation, like every one of the Federations, is constantly fundraising to "nurture and sustain a vibrant Jewish community".

It's all about the "Tikkun Olam" and interfaith social justice. Anything so long as it's not Judaism.

The MJW's Jewish Community Relations Council, one of whose constituent orgs is Peace Now, claims that it engages in "advocacy for the Jewish community." Apparently that means preventing Jewish students from building a Sukkah.

Jewish students from Nicolet High School gathered Sunday at a nearby home to build a sukkah, the temporary structure — a kind of booth — erected for the annual harvest festival of Sukkot.

The Ironwood Road site wasn't their first choice. They had hoped to return to Nicolet's courtyard, where they built it last year. But Nicolet had received complaints about the appropriateness of the religious symbol on public school grounds.

It wasn't a Christian group that objected. Or the litigious Freedom From Religion folks in Madison. In an unexpected twist on a familiar religious liberty narrative, it was fellow Jewish students who raised concerns, uneasy about what they saw as a breach of the separation of church and state.

"The prevailing view in the Jewish community is for a strong line between religion and government," said Elana Kahn-Oren, a Nicolet parent and executive director of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relation's Council, who approached Nicolet Principal Greg Kabara on behalf of the group.

Kahn-Oren doesn't speak for the Jewish community. She speaks for one arm of an organization that no Jewish community can get rid of.

A "Jewish" group that vacuums up obscene amounts of money forced the eviction of a Jewish Sukkah. And the whole obscene display is funded by Jewish donors who have yet to learn that donating to a Jewish "Federation" is at best a waste of money and at worst subsidizes Jewish anti-Semitism.

Sophomore Leigh Bojan, one of the organizers of the Sukkot celebration who proposed the alternate location, said she was disappointed by the move.

"Jewish, not Jewish, it really doesn't matter (who complained)," she said. "It's just sad."

What's sad is that the Jewish Federations go on sucking up money that could have been used to actually advocate for Jews. Instead of against them.

While the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's Jewish Community Relation's Council is firmly anti-Sukkah, it is equally firmly pro-Mosque.

The Milwaukee Jewish community expresses unwavering support for the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s right to build a mosque in Brookfield. Throughout our history, the American Jewish community has too often faced opposition as we have sought to build or expand Jewish properties

And sometimes they have opposition from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Elana Kahn-Oren is a product of Bend the Arc's Selah Leadership program. Bend the Arc, also known as Jewish Funds for Justice, is a rather left-wing anti-Jewish group funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the usual hive of Soros fronts.

Kahn-Oren doesn't appear to be quite up there with the kind of anti-Jewish monsters that Selah often turns out. She even seems to be somewhat pro-Israel which is unusual for Bend the Arc people.  Or is she? Articles like this certainly raise some questions...

Our community also includes Jews who are not Zionists, either because of ideology or lack of engagement. For those of us who care deeply about Zionism and modern Israel, this is deeply unsettling and painful.

But so what? As a Jewish community, we must figure out how to transcend our discomfort and include those Jews and their opinions in our discourse — or we risk alienating them from any connection to community or Israel.

Mindful that Israel is an expression of the deepest Jewish aspirations and that we cannot separate the Jewish story from the national project, I believe that we are strong enough to allow the range of voices within our community conversation. We must be. Or we risk pushing out of our tent those whose lot is with the Jewish people.

Right now, we don’t know how to include those challenging opinions in our community discourse. Instead, we get caught on code language and infighting, with Jews attacking other Jews. Israel is so deeply intertwined with our identity that their disagreement feels like an existential threat.

By "discourse" she isn't talking about people who are critical of Israel. Most liberals are. For that matter so are most Jewish conservatives. It would appear that she's talking about providing entry to voices who are purely anti-Israel or focused on its destruction.

But so long as they don't do anything crazy like building a sukkah.

The MJW appears to pay out 3 million a year in salaries and benefits. Its cash grants include one made out to the virulently anti-Israel J Street Education Fund.

A sukkah built by students costs a fraction of that. It's simple common sense which one does more for Jewish continuity.