Wisconsin Democrats on Jewish Heritage Month

May 01, 2024

Wisconsin Democrats on Jewish Heritage Month

MADISON, Wis. — In honor of the beginning of Jewish Heritage Month, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Jewish Caucus Chair Linda Frank and Chair Ben Wikler issued the following statements:

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Jewish Caucus Chair Linda Frank:

“Last September, after years of discussion and months of preparation, a group of Jewish Democratic leaders proposed the formation of an official Jewish Caucus at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and the party’s governing body voted unanimously in approval. The next month, the horrific attack on Israel began a period of conflict and heartbreak for Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, and people throughout the world, and a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. This makes this year’s Jewish American Heritage Month an especially important moment to celebrate the many ways that Wisconsin’s Jewish community has helped shape our state since before our founding to the present day. From leaders throughout our history to legislators like Lisa Subeck and Daniel Reimer today, Jewish Wisconsinites have contributed to our civic life and made Wisconsin stronger.” 

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler:

“Jewish American Heritage Month celebrates the unique contributions of Jews and the Jewish community to American life—a heritage that, in Wisconsin, dates back to the arrival of Gabriel Shoyer to Milwaukee in the first half of the 19th Century. Our first Jewish Governor, Edward Salomon, assumed office in 1862. 

“In the year of my Bar Mitzvah, in 1994, at Gates of Heaven Synagogue—one of the oldest synagogues in the United States—Wisconsin was represented by two great Jewish Senators, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. Two years later, Shirley Abrahamson, also Jewish, became Wisconsin’s first female Supreme Court Chief Justice. In politics, law, the arts, academia, sports, the professions, and so many other fields of endeavor, Jewish leaders have made indelible contributions that shaped the state we love. 

“This is the first Jewish American Heritage Month since the formation of the Jewish Caucus of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin last September. In a moment of heartbreaking violence in the Holy Land and rising anti-Semitism and other ancient hatreds here in the United States, it’s doubly important to recognize Jewish American Heritage Month as we reaffirm that Jews, and all the peoples that make up our pluralistic country, are fully at home here, and as we recommit to the long, hard, and sacred work of tikkun olam—repairing the world.”