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Upcoming Special Exhibits

Exhibits at Jewish Museum Milwaukee explore the breadth of the Jewish experience and offer visitors to connect through history, culture and the arts.

The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat
September 13 – December 31, 2017
Opening Preview: Tuesday, September 12, 7pm

When faced with a rapidly changing Jewish community, characterized by increasing ethnic diversity, interfaith families, challenges affecting the organized institutions of Jewish life and an unprecedented merger into the fabric of North American life, what does the seventh day mean to contemporary Jews who may or may not choose to adhere to traditional observances?

In an era when technology and culture have eroded the boundaries separating work, play, and repose, The Seventh Day, organized by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion Museum of New York, invites us to delve into the possibilities and new definitions of renewal symbolized by Shabbat.

Fifty international artists explore one of the pillars of Jewish practice and belief: the sanctity of the Sabbath. The Seventh Day provides an opportunity to explore how the Sabbath is observed from a perspective of diversity. Programs will explore the theme of repose from a cross-cultural perspective including various religious traditions, mindfulness practices, and back to nature movement.

Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights
Winter-Spring 2018

Allied in the Fight recounts the efforts made by American Jews and African Americans to fight for the fundamental American promise of equality before and during the Civil Rights era, and explores shared projects, organizational efforts, and, for a time, how many members of the African American and Jewish communities became allied against injustice.

As seen through photos, letters, film and other rare, archival materials from selected collections of American Jewish Historical Society, Leo Baeck Institute, and Yeshiva University Museum, as well as materials sourced from locally-based collections and archives used to create an augmented component focusing on Milwaukee, Allied in the Fight strives to address Black-Jewish collaboration and the complicated nature of Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights movement in America.

In connection with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Fair Housing Movement marches, and part of a city-wide initiative commemorating 200 Nights of Freedom, affiliated programs and collaborations will explore the coalition of Jewish and African American leaders who worked to convince their constituents of their shared quest for liberty and justice as well as the historical and evolutionary relationships of these communities.

Stitching History from the Holocaust
Spring-Summer 2018
Jewish Museum Milwaukee is proud to bring back this popular, original exhibit after its first US tour.

In 1997, the Strnad family in Milwaukee found an envelope bearing the Nazi seal while cleaning out their mother’s basement. Inside was a letter from 1939 written by Paul Strnad. Paul asked his cousin Alvin to help him secure an affidavit for he and his wife, Hedy, to escape Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Paul explained that Hedy was a dressmaker and included eight of her designs as proof of her talent. Paul and Hedy did not survive the Holocaust. But her dress designs did.

Realizing the letter’s significance, the family donated it to Milwaukee’s Jewish Historical Society. When the Jewish Museum Milwaukee opened in 2008, it became part of its permanent collection. In 2014, the Museum worked with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater to bring Hedy’s designs to life. Currently traveling around the country, a digital version of the exhibit allows visitors all over the world to learn about Hedy’s story. With additional, never-before-seen content, it will continue to inspire children and adults alike.

Blacklist: Hollywood’s Red Scare
Fall 2018 – Spring 2019

The freedoms of speech and assembly are central to the idea of American democracy, but what happens when the rights associated with these freedoms are impacted? How did and does the American public, government, and industry respond to these encroachments. The exhibit will highlight the effects of this intersection of art, politics, and economics and its impact on individuals and the country more broadly.

The people regarded as “Un-American” were disproportionately from minority backgrounds—Jewish, immigrants, gays, and African American.  One person’s subversion is another’s biting commentary on the American experience. This exhibit will explore the factors which led to the Hollywood Blacklist, a time in which these first amendment freedoms and what it meant to be patriotic became central in a cultural battle, one that Americans continue to replay with new and different issues.

Organized and curated by Jewish Museum Milwaukee.