Milwaukee Jewish Timeline
1842 – 1849
- First Jews settle in Milwaukee: Meyer, Emanuel, Gabriel, Samuel, William and Charles Shoyer; Moses Weil; Isaac Neustadtl; Solomon Adler
- First Rosh Hashana services at Henry Newhouse home
- Yom Kippur services above Pereles grocery store
- Emanuel Shoyer opens a tailor shop
- Joseph Schram opens a grocery store
- Jewish clothing retail manufacturing established on Water Street
- First Jewish child born in Milwaukee – Emma Herbst
1850 – 1859
- 70 Jewish families in Milwaukee
- Cong. Imanu-Al, first congregation organized, 1850, Solomon Adler, Pres.
- Cemetery purchased above 15th Street between Lisbon Plank Rd. and Fond du Lac Rd.
- Charles Shoyer begins medical practice
- Baruch Schleisinger-Weil elected to the State Assembly
- Three synagogues in Milwaukee
- Cong. Ahabath Emuno founded, 1854, Simon Levy, Pres.
- Anshe Emeth Deborah Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society established
- Cong. B’ne Jeshurun organized in 1856 through consolidation of Ahabath Emuno and Imanu-Al, and Anshe Emeth in 1859, Fourth St. between State & Prairie, Nathan Pereles, Pres., Rabbi Isidor Kalisch
- Die Treue Schwestern (True Sisters) Benevolent Organization established by Rabbi Kalisch
- Odd Fellows Armenia (Golden Links) Lodge organized
- 200 Jewish families in Milwaukee
1860 – 1869
- Lewis S. Mack elected Alderman, 1st Ward (Later becomes President of Board of Alderman and Chairman of County Board)
- Chevra Bikur Cholim organized, Loebel Rindskopf, Pres.
- First B’nai B’rith Lodge Gilead #41, created, M. Heiman, Pres.
- Civil War Jewish casualties: Nathan Neustadtl, Alexander Metzel, Jonas Goldsmith, Arnold Rosenbaum, Gustav Mahler
- Harmony Lodge established
- Ladies Gemilas Chesed Society organized
- Hebrew Widows and Orphans Association organized
- Minhag America adopted by B’ne Jeshurun: all English service, sermons, choir, mixed seating, Friday evening services
- Hebrew Relief Society organized to meet needs of local immigrants, David Adler, Pres.
- Past Masters Harmony Lodge (Masons), Henry Bonn, Pres.
- H.F. Leopold & Bros. organize Lake Superior Shipping and Navigating Co.
- Cong. Emanu-El founded, 1869, David Adler, Pres., Rabbi Edward B. M. Browne
1870 – 1879
- Sunday schools and Hebrew schools organized for public school students
- B’nai B’rith Grand Lodge #6 organized, Lewis Rindskopf, Pres.
- Anshe Emes Synagogue established 1874, Joseph Platke, Pres., Rabbi Florian Schauer
- Reform Temple Emanu-El established on Martin and Broadway in 1872, Henry Friend, Pres., Rabbi Moritz Spitz
- West Side B’ne Jeshurun Synagogue dedicated
- Jewish Population – 2000
- Ladies Relief Sewing Society established, Mrs. A.W. Rich, Pres.
- Cream City Lodge #3 organized, A. Boguslawski, Pres.
1880 – 1889
- Harmony Lodge #52 organized, Max Ascher, Pres.
- Der Zeitgeist, Yiddish Newspaper produced German-Jewish
- Immigrant Relief Society organized to address poverty issues of newcomers.
- Jews from Russia, Poland, Rumania begin arriving in large numbers
- Russian Protective Club created for new immigrants, I. Isaacs, Pres.
- Bernard Abrams becomes Assistant Superintendent of Schools
- Phoenix Knitting Works established
- Cong. Anshe Jacob, 1886, 674 Market St, Markus Katz, Pres.
- Cong. Moses Montefiore Gemeinde, 1886, 438 Fourth St., M. Rosenstein, Pres.
- Hebrah Ohabai Sholem organized, 1887. Changes to Hebrah B’ne Israel, then to Congregation B’nai Israel Anshe Ungarn, 541 Tenth, Edward May, Pres., Rev. Jonas Berko
- Greenwood Cemetery established
- Hebrew Relief Association organized, S. Herman, Pres.
- Cong. B’ne Jeshurun cornerstone laid at 10th and Cedar Streets in 1886
- Cong. Anshe Sfard incorporated in 1889.
1890 – 1899
1900 – 1909
- Jewish Population – 7,000 – 8,000
- Settlement Cookbook, “The Way to a Man’s Heart,” published by Milwaukee Jewish Mission, Lizzie Kander, Pres.
- Cong. Sinai organized in 1900 for south side Reform Jews, Arthur S. Kahn, Pres., disbanded 1915
- Industrial Removal Office established to settle and find jobs for immigrants
- Cong. Beth Hamidrosh Hagadol becomes Cong. Beth Israel
- Federated Jewish Charities organized from coalition of benevolent organizations- David Adler, Pres.
- Social Science Club created to study parliamentary practices
- Jewish Hospital Association established (name later changed to Mt. Sinai in 1913)
- Cong. Agudas Achim Anshe Polen established at 670 11th Street, Meyer Boruzak, Pres.
- Home for the Aged established with Talmud Torah and Hachnosas Orchim (Hebrew Sheltering Home) at 906 Galena St.
- Cong. Degel Israel Anshe Roumania established at 599 11th Street
- OKUV- Ostraykher Kranken Untershtitsn Farayn established (Austrian Sick Benefit Society)
- Cong. Anshe Lubavich organized, 8th & Walnut St., Robert Wasserman, Pres.
- Poale Zion organized (Socialist Zionist), Louis Perchonok, Pres.
- Children’s Outing Society founded, Mrs. Eugene Friend, Pres.
- Workmen’s Circle (Arbeiter Ring) branch organized
- The Woodmont Club organized, S.D. Adler, Pres.
- Mabowehz Family (Golda Meir) arrive from Kiev
- Ladies’ Benevolent Society organized, Mrs. W. B. Rubin, Pres.
- Council of Jewish Women of Milwaukee founded, Mrs. Eugene Friend, Pres.
1910 – 1919
1920 – 1929
- Jewish Population – 22,000
- Milwaukee Chapter of Hadassah organized, Sarah Margoles, Pres.
- Cong. Beth Medrash Hagodol, Max Sverdlin, Pres., Rabbi Boaz Cohen
- Sholom Aleichem Circle, J.L. Bitker, Chairman
- Milwaukee Zionists of America organized by Benjamin Morse
- Exodus begins from Walnut Street as center of Jewish life; movement east to Shorewood & Whitefish Bay, west to Brown between 7th & 20th, then west to Keefe from Lloyd, 41st to 64th St.
- Golda Mabowehz and husband Morris Meyerson leave for Palestine
- Oer Chodosh (later named Beth El) organized as first Conservative congregation in 1921 at 49th & Garfield, Henry D. Eder, Pres., Rabbi Eugene Kohn
- Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle established by Nathan Gould and Irving Rhodes
- Jewish Social Service Organization established from Hebrew Relief Association, Charles Friend, Pres.
- Ha-Kodimo Club established for young adults
- Hazomir Singing Society formed, Dr. M. Silverman, Director
- David Pinsky Women’s Club organized
- Cong. Beth Israel moves to Teutonia Ave., I. J. Rosenburg, Pres., Rabbi Solomon I. Scheinfeld
- Talmud Torah School housed in Beth Israel
- Avukah Zionist Youth Organization established
- Jewish Children’s Home building established at 403 21st Street
- Conference of Jewish Women’s Clubs of Milwaukee, Mrs. Sig Ruscha, Pres.
- Cong. Emanu-El and B’ne Jeshurun combined, A.L. Saltzstein, Pres., Rabbi Joseph Baron
- Board of Jewish Education established
- Women’s Welfare Board founded
- Camp Sidney Cohen established
- Cong. Emanu-el builds on Kenwood Blvd., organizes a Sabbath school
- Cong. B’ne Israel organized from B’nei Israel Anshe Ungarn, becomes Conservative – Leopold Greenblatt, Pres., Rabbi Julius Rappaport
- Cong. B’ne Jacob organized by dissident B’ne Israel members, L. Feldman, Pres.
- Jewish National Fund Council organized, John A. Post, Pres.
- Brynwood Country Club established
- Palestine Development League organized, Rabbi Chas. S. Levi, Pres.
- Milwaukee Council of Pioneer Women created, Mrs. Mendel Safer, Pres. -later becomes Na’amat USA in early 1980’s
- Rabbi Jacob Twerski establishes Cong. Beth Jehudah
- Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith organized
- Mt. Sinai Hospital Free Dispensary and Clinic established
- Women’s League for Jewish Education established to aid Talmud Torah
1930 – 1939
- Jewish Population – 25,000
- Jewish Community Center building dedicated on Milwaukee St. (Funded with proceeds of Settlement Cook Book) Joseph Daneman, Pres., George M. Peizer, Exec. Dir.
- Yiddish Drama League created from Young Literary and Dramatic Society
- Max Raskin elected City Attorney
- Jewish War Veterans organizes Peter Royal Feldman Post 145
- Mizrachi of Milwaukee (Orthodox Zionists) created, Chaim Siegel, Pres.
- Society of Friends established by Dr. Alfred Beutler (Later becomes New Home Club, a refugee organization)
- National Conference of Christians & Jews establishes Wisconsin chapter
- Milwaukee Jewish Welfare Fund established as fundraising and allocating organization, Nathan Stein, Pres., H. A. Goldsmith, Exec. Dir., one year, then Elkan C. Voorsanger
- Jewish Vocational Service established
- Milwaukee Jewish Council created by American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee and Jewish War Veterans, Bert Broude, Pres., George Gratz, Exec. Dir.
- Cong. Emanu-El of Waukesha founded
1940 – 1949
- Zionist Emergency Council organized
- Milwaukee Army & Navy Committee, an affiliate of Jewish Welfare Board, organized
- Milwaukee Chapter Women’s American ORT organized
- Perhift Players (Peretz Hirschbein Folk Theatre) formed from Yiddish Drama League
- World War II, 2,400 Milwaukee Jews in Armed Forces around the world
- United Synagogue B’ne Sholem merges with Cong. Degel Israel and Cong. B’ne Israel, Sam Holzman, Pres.
- 1,435 children enrolled in Jewish Schools (30% of 6-14 yr. olds)
- Bureau of Jewish Education is renewed, Norman Gill, Pres., Meyer Gallin, Exec. Dir.
- National Council of Jewish Women assumes responsibility for Thrift Shop from Women’s League for Jewish Education
- United Hebrew School created by merger of Talmud Torah & Folk Schule
- Jewish Family & Children’s Service established from Jewish Social Service Organization; absorbs Jewish Children’s Home; Raymond Scribner, Pres.
- East Side Hebrew School established by Bureau of Jewish Education
- Mizrachi opens all-day kindergarten school
- Beth El Ner Tamid organized from Beth El, Michael Shapiro, Pres.
- Milwaukee Jewish Convalescent Center founded on 51st Street
1950 – 1959
- Cong. Shalom established, David Pasch, Pres., Rabbi Harry Pastor
- Wisconsin Society for Jewish Learning established by Rabbi Joseph L. Baron
- Cong. Anshai Lebowitz moves to 52nd & Burleigh, Morris Segel, Pres., Rabbi Solomon Schulson
- Cong. Agudas Achim (formerly Agudas Achim Anshe Polen) builds on Burleigh, Hyman Epstein, Pres., Rabbi Israel Feldman
- Cong. Sinai organized, Richard Teweles, Pres., Rabbi Jay Brickman
- 1st Warsaw Ghetto Memorial Observance held in Milwaukee
- Cong. Beth Hamedrash Hagadol B’nai Sholom formed by consolidation of Beth Medrash Hagadol Anshe Sfard and United Synagogue B’nai Sholom, 1957, David S. Wollach, Pres., Rabbi Charles Rubenstein
- Jewish Community Center builds on Prospect Avenue using funds from Settlement Cookbook and public fundraising campaign
- Beth Am Center created by Labor Zionist groups, Poale Zion, Farbend, Pioneer Women (building formerly United Synagogue)
- Milwaukee Jewish Welfare Fund creates separate Women’s Division
- Cong. Anshe Emeth organized on Appleton Avenue, George Glicksman, Pres., Rabbi Harold H. Baumrind
- Development Corporation for Israel (State of Israel Bonds) established in Milwaukee
- New American Club formed
1960 – 1969
- Jewish Population 22,600- 25,000
- Cong. Anshe Sfard moves to 51st and Keefe, Sam Oxman, Pres., Rabbi David S. Shapiro
- Hillel Academy established
- Chair of Jewish Studies established at UW-Milwaukee; Golda Meir speaks at dedication
- Jewish Chaplaincy Services established, Rabbi Emanuel Lifschutz, Dir.
- Camp Interlaken, Eagle River, purchased for Jewish Community Center, Jack Weiner, Dir.
- Camp JCC day camp purchased in Fredonia
- Cong. Beth Israel moves to Green Bay Avenue
1970 – 1979
1980 – 1989
- Golda Meir House built on Prospect Avenue by Milwaukee Jewish Federation; provides low income housing for elderly
- Holocaust Memorial commissioned by Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Designer, Claire Lieberman
- Jewish Community Pantry created by Federation’s Women’s Division and Jewish Community Center, Lotta Brafman, Pres.
- Generation After established, Sandy Hoffman, Pres.
- Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study (WITS) established for Orthodox high school boys, Rabbis M. Dov Harris and Raphael Wachsman
- Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education created from Board of Jewish Education, Stanley Jaspan, Pres.
- Milwaukee Jewish Day School established, Doris Shneidman, Principal
- Jewish House Exhibit opens at Milwaukee Public Museum
- Lake Park Synagogue established, Jerry Benjamin, Pres.; first modern Orthodox synagogue in Milwaukee
- Karl Jewish Campus purchased by Milwaukee Jewish Federation to house Jewish Community Center, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Jewish Family Services Day Care, and Lubavitch Nursery School
- Yeshiva Elementary School established on west side, Alan Borsuk, Pres., Rabbi Shabse Werther, Principal
- Milwaukee Kollel-Center for Jewish Studies established, Rabbi Michel Twerski, Pres., Rabbi Mendel Senderovic, Dean
- Beth El Ner Tamid dedicates new building in Mequon
- Women’s Division Roots Committee begins photograph identification under guidance of Evy Garfinkel, Director, Bev Schuminsky and volunteers, leading to creation of Milwaukee Jewish Archives, Wm. H. Orenstein, Clarice Resnick, Beverly Shon, co-chairs
- Mount Sinai name changed to Sinai Samaritan Medical Center – equal number of board members from Good Samaritan and Mount Sinai
- Cong. Shir Hadash established as the first Reconstructionist congregation in Milwaukee
- Wisconsin Jewish Conference established by Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Michael Blumenfeld, Dir.
1990 – 1999
- Congregation Anshe Sfard and Kehillat Torah merge to form Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah; construct first new Orthodox synagogue building since 1960.
- Cong. Agudas Achim Chabad created from Chabad of North Shore and Agudas Achim
- Jewish Vocational Service changes name to Milwaukee Center for Independence
- Milwaukee Jewish community’s Sesquicentennial Celebration – 16 months of cultural, historical, educational and entertainment events, Robert D. Eiseman, Chair, Flora M. Abramson, Exec. Dir.
- Habush House created on Mohawk Avenue by Jewish Family Services
- Cong. Moshiach-Milwaukee Synagogue for Russian Jews, Rabbi Alexander Milchtein
- Keshet of Wisconsin founded, Rabbi Shabse Werther, Dir.
- Wisconsin Jewish Genealogical Society formed, Penny Deshur, Pres.
- Merger of Milwaukee Jewish Home and Milwaukee Jewish Convalescent Center, known as Jewish Home & Care Center
- Chai Point Senior Living Apartment Complex built on Prospect Avenue
- Torah Academy of Milwaukee established for Orthodox high school girls, Dr. Bernard Cohen, Pres., Sora Rauch, Principal
- Maurice S. Surlow Senior Residences built on Bartlett Avenue by Milwaukee Jewish Federation for low income elderly
- Milwaukee Jewish Archives renamed Milwaukee Jewish Historical Society, Marianne Lubar, Chair
- Coalition for Jewish Learning (formerly Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education) becomes education arm of Federation; Louise Stein, Karen Torem, Co-chairs, Rabbi Irwin E. Witty, Exec. Dir.
- Ohr HaTorah-Jewish Heritage Center created
- Holocaust Education Center and Holocaust Resource Center merge to become Holocaust Education and Resource Center, a program of the Coalition for Jewish Learning, 1999
2000 – 2008
- The Shul created in Bayside by Rabbis Shmaya and Mendel Shmotkin
- Jewish Family Service moves to its own facility on Jackson Street
- Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee created, Judy Baruch, Exec. Dir.
- Sinai Samaritan Medical Center name changed to Aurora Sinai Medical Center
- Beth Torah Religious School established by merger of religious schools of Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue & Congregation Beth Israel
- JFS Child Development Center merges with Early Childhood Program operated by the Jewish Community Center
- Milwaukee Jewish Historical Society unveils its Web site displaying photos and documents conveying the story of Milwaukee Jewish life
- Jewish Museum opens in Milwaukee at the Helfaer Community Service Building
*Resource materials used for this Timeline include the Jewish Community Blue Book (1923) and The History of the Jews of Milwaukee by Rabbi Louis J. Swichkow (1963).
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