In recent years the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has been hijacked by extreme left-wing ideologues interested in advancing the (indefensible) positions of President Obama and the Democratic Party.
Bowing to political correctness rather than diversity of thought, the leadership of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation — which oversees every Jewish established organization in the city other than the independent synagogues — has made life difficult for independent-minded Jews in Wisconsin.
It started when Hannah Rosenthal, an Obama Administration official, was tapped to lead the Milwaukee Jewish Federation in 2012. The far-left, anti-Israel Jewish Daily Forward bragged, "Rosenthal is a former board member of the dovish Americans for Peace Now and was an adviser to the similarly dovish J Street." These groups are not just "doveish" — they are staunchly anti-Israel. Milwaukee Federation officials would not disclose Rosenthal's salary, but her predecessor was paid $262,000 by the federation and related organizations. The Forward noted at the time, "The Rosenthal pick could prove to be an edgy one for Milwaukee's Jewish Federation, which serves a small community of 30,000."
Indeed. The politically correct, group-think mentality of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's leadership has not paved a path for those interested in diversity of thought or asking tough questions to the left-wing leadership of President Obama over the last seven years. In 2014, a letter to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle criticized Rosenthal's leadership style:
"When I consider the actual policies and positions (e.g., on abortion, collective bargaining, illegal immigration, the threat from Islamism, 'social and economic justice') advocated by the council (Jewish Community Relations Council, an arm of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation), I see little difference between these and the positions of the Democratic Party and leftist ideology. I have a serious problem with the JCRC representing positions that are anathema to me as being the position of the Jewish community. That's because I like to think of myself as a member of the community."Perfectly stated. Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, Blue Dog Democrats, and Independents can be Jewish, too. But not according to the Jewish Federation of Milwaukee, which replied to that letter as follows:
"Taking communal positions on social and political issues is key to working effectively in the community-at-large. It also is an essential expression of Judaism's prophetic charge. We take policy positions because our community has a charge to 'extend the boundaries of righteousness and justice in the world' (Genesis 18:19). The Jewish community cannot risk removing itself from essential, policy-making conversations. We must be active in coalitions and efforts to shape our world."The letter states that the Jewish Community Relations Council (an arm of the Federation) is not tasked with representing all Jews. If not, then whom does it represent? And if a great many Jews feel alienated from the very organizations that are supposed to be representing us, isn't there a massive problem?
Conservative and Orthodox Jews are not appropriately represented by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Our views on Israel are not represented. Our views on domestic policy are not represented. Our views on President Obama and the Democratic Party are not represented.
We have no representation in the Milwaukee Jewish community, and that's exactly as Hannah Rosenthal wants it to remain.
Please write to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation Board of Directors to request that far-left ideologues Hannah Rosenthal and Elana Kahn Oren be removed from their positions of power in the Milwaukee Jewish community Click here to e-mail the Federation board.
- Action: Misapplication of Tikkun Olam Is Harming Jewish Communities
- Statement on Social Justice by Milwaukee Jewish Federation and JCRC
- Milwaukee Jewish Federation Bans Concealed Weapons from Wisconsin Jewish Facilities. Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 2011.
- Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council Supports Brookfield Mosque. JCRC, 2012.
Note: There is not a single synagogue in Brookfield!
- Justice is Not Social Justice by Jim Beer. Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 2013.
- Wisconsin Jewish Conservatives Won't Conform. Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 2013.
- Milwaukee Jewish Federation Opposes Photo IDs for Voting. JCRC, 2014.
- Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council Supports Less Restrictive Immigration. JCRC, 2014.
- "JCRC needs to take positions on political issues". Jewish Federation opinion, 2014.
- Should the JCRC take "political" stands? Responses from community members, 2014.
- Milwaukee Jewish Federation Opposes Jewish Sukkah, Supports Muslim Mosque. FrontPage Magazine, 2014.
- Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council Issues Statement in Support of Unions. JCRC, 2014.
- Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council Supports Refugee Relocation to U.S. Urban Milwaukee, 2015. See also: HERE.