Jewish American Heritage

Unique Unites

Milwaukee’s Jewish community dates back even before the city’s genesis, with the first Jews arriving in the area between 1842 and 1849 according to Jewish Museum Milwaukee. Today the community is vibrant and diverse providing a wealth of contributions to the city’s culture.

Dive deeper into the historic and creative contributions of Jewish Americans in Milwaukee and Wisconsin at these cultural institutions.

Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamind
As Milwaukee’s only conservative congregation affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Masorti Movement, Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamind on Milwaukee’s north side offers services twice daily.
Congregation Beth Jehudah
To passersby Congregation Beth Jehudah, just west of downtown, is a modest building. But inside, this orthodox Jewish temple is a community learning center that offers services three times per day. 
Golda Meir School
Golda Meir School was built in 1890 as Fourth Street Grade School before being renamed and rededicated on May 4, 1979 in honor of Golda Meir, a grade school attendee there from 1906 to 1912. Meir would go to become prime minister of Israel, but not before attending high school and college in the city.
Golda Meir Library
Located on the campus of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Golda Meir Library is named for the former prime minister of Israel. After graduating from Milwaukee’s North Division High School, Meir attended Milwaukee State Normal School, which would later become UW-Milwaukee.
Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center
The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center is a non-profit, social services agency founded in 1894 as the Jewish Mission. Its founder, Lizzie Black Kander, compiled “The Settlement Cookbook” for Jewish immigrants.
Jewish Museum Milwaukee
Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Jewish people in southeastern Wisconsin as well as celebrating the continuum of Jewish heritage and culture.
Lake Park Synagogue
Located on Milwaukee’s East Side, Lake Park Synagogue provides religious, educational, and social programming that brings Jewish teachings into everyday life. It is located inside a former residential home built in 1909 and designed by famed Milwaukee architects George Ferry and Alfred Clas.
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation seeks to nurture and sustain the city’s vibrant Jewish community through financial resource development, outreach and engagement, and community planning. The federation also publishes the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle community newspaper.
Rabbi Ronald and Judy Shapiro Museum of Juaica
Housed in four areas throughout the Congregation Shalom synagogue, the Rabbi Ronald and Judy Shapiro Museum of Judaica displays arts and artifacts important to Jewish culture.

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Celebrate Powered by the People


Powered by the People

There are so many ways to support Milwaukee's Jewish community every day. Here are a few ideas:

  • The Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear displays late Jewish community member Avrum Chudnow’s extensive and eclectic collection of early 20th Century Americana focused on the time period between the two World Wars. 

  • In addition to visiting Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s permanent exhibits, be sure to stop by its special exhibition, “To Paint is to Live: The Artwork of Erich Lichtblau-Leskly.” The exhibition tells the story and features the works of a Jewish painter who was trying to survive the Holocaust. 

  • A Guide to Jewish Wisconsin” is the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s annual publication offering connection to Jewish culture statewide.

  • The Marcus family has made a significant impact not only in the Jewish community, but the Milwaukee community as a whole. Enjoy a show at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Stay at a Marcus hotel. Watch a film at a Marcus theatre

  • Another Marcus family contribution to the city of Milwaukee has been the annual Sculpture Milwaukee public art gallery adorning Wisconsin Avenue.

  • Did you know many Milwaukee businesses have kosher offerings and/or are under local kosher supervision? We’re looking at you Blooming Lotus Bakery, Colectivo Coffee, Lakefront Brewery, and Rishi Tea