Click here for information on past Jewish Museum Milwaukee Changing exhibits.


Jews Who Rock: A Musical History Tour

Bob Dylan. Beastie Boys. Paula Abdul. Neil Diamond. The Ramones. Drake. P!nk. Steely Dan. And Many More!
This exciting exhibit examines the Jewish influences in rock and roll and popular music through representational sampling of the countless singers, songwriters, musicians, concert promoters and record company executives who worked on stage and behind the scenes to build a musical foundation and rich legacy which continues to thrive today. Well before the birth of rock and roll more than 60 years ago, music inspired and was inspired by historical, cultural and social events. Arrangements and beats originating in Eastern Europe and Russia crossed the Atlantic to America where they found footing at Tin Pan Alley and fused with diverse sounds to create scores to delight theater and movie going audiences on both coasts before permeating the nation and nearly every melodic category to become part of the world's collective musical consciousness where it continues to influence the industries cutting edge. Through biographies and stories exploring the breadth and diversity of rock, and artifacts, including concert posters, records, books and photographs, this exhibit illustrates the importance of Jews in the evolution and popularity of this genre of contemporary music

Presenting Sponsors - Anonymous Foundation, Gene & Ruth Posner Foundation
Producers - Joan Lubar
Promoters - Friebert, Finerty & St. John, S.C., Kevin & Meg Kinney, Krukowski & Costello, S.C., Moshe & Debra Katz, Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Disc Jockeys - Jim & Nancy Barnett, The Bob Moog Foundation
Other - Heidi Rattner

Programming Partners: Arts@Large, Hillel Milwaukee, Karma Bar & Grill, Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, PJ Library, School of Rock, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Young Jewish Adults of Milwaukee

Member Preview: Talk and Discussion with Piet Levy
Thursday, April 24, 7:00 pm

Cost: $8 per person – includes wine and dessert reception; RSVP by clicking here.

Public Opening
Sunday, April 27, Noon – 4:00 pm

Bring family and friends to ROCK OUT!
Cost: Free with Museum Admission

JMM After Hours: Jews Who Rock
Thursday, May 15, 7:00 - 9:00

Meet, schmooze, network and just have a good time with other young Jewish professionals from throughout the Milwaukee area. Enjoy drinks (from Karma Bar & Grill) and snacks while engaging in fun, cultural activities – including trivia about the artists included in Jews Who Rock with Trivia Master, Ari Domnitz. This is part of the regular programming that YJAM, MJF and JMM will provide for changing exhibits for this exciting After Hours series! With support from the BYFI Alumni Venture Fund.
Cost: $8 per person, Free for Museum Members

Rock and Roll Roots of Jews Who Rock
Thursday, June 12, 11:30 am - Lunch and Learn

Steve Palec will explore how many noted "Jews Who Rock" began their musical journey. Steve hosts 'Rock & Roll Roots' on WKLH 96.5, one of the longest running radio shows in Milwaukee, which has aired on Sunday mornings for 26 years. He has featured and interviewed numerous musicians and relates their stories in a unique and entertaining manner. His well respected radio show is only his hobby. In his (lack of) spare time, Steve is also one of the top commercial real estate brokers in the Midwest as the managing principal of Cresa Milwaukee.
Cost: $6 for lecture/ $16 for lecture and lunch
RSVP by clicking here. Please respond by June 5th. Questions? Email Molly Dubin.

PJ Library and JMM Present: JEWS WHO ROCK, The Concert!
Featuring the House Band from School of Rock

Sunday, June 22, 4:00 pm

Celebrate Jews Who Rock: A Musical History Tour with a special set list, featuring the house band from School of Rock and a story from PJ Library! School of Rock: Teaching kids to rock onstage and in life!
Cost: $5 per family
RSVP by clicking here.

Jewish Entrepreneurs in the Rock & Roll Business
Monday, June 23, 11:00 am

In addition to the frontmen of Jews Who Rock, thousands of Jewish entrepreneurs and creative-types found employment in the music business. Jews in the music business followed the footsteps of earlier Jews in the entertainment industry, but the rise of Rock also challenged earlier music business models. Can we call rock 'n' roll a "Jewish business?" Join Professor Jonathan Z. S. Pollack for a voyage through the Jewish history of the rock 'n' roll business. Pollack is on faculty at the Mosse Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Cost: Free for members, $5 for non-members
RSVP by clicking here. Please respond by June 18. Questions? Email Molly Dubin.

The Jewish Museum Milwaukee and The Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee invite you to become a student at the UNIVERSITY OF ROCK! This electrifying 3-part series being offered in connection with the exhibit, JEWS WHO ROCK, and sponsored by the Milwaukee-based firm of Friebert, Finerty & St. John S.C., will take you on a musical history tour exploring more than 60 years of Rock & Roll.

U Rock Part 1: Jews N Blues
Tuesday, July 15, 7:00 PM
Musicians Peter Roller, Jim Liban and Lil Rev, a former adjunct lecturer of the Peck School of the Arts Music Department faculty, will take you on a musical journey across the 1940's and 50's, connecting Afro-Americans and Jews to their storied past. Performing on harmonica, guitar, ukulele, dobro and mandolin they will take an in depth look at Chess Records and other Jewish Founded Record labels who recorded iconic blues musicians.
RSVP by clicking here.

U Rock Part 2: Bob on Bob: My Thoughts on the Mystery that is Bob Dylan (But I Could Be Wrong)
Tuesday, July 22, 7:00 PM
Join Milwaukee radio veteran and WUWM show host Bob Reitman as he explores how an unknown kid from a small mining town in northern Minnesota became the fascinating enigma he is today.
RSVP by clicking here.

U Rock Part 3: Diamond, King to P!nk: Jews Who Rocked the 60s Through Today
Tuesday, July 29, 7:00 PM
As the conclusion of the UROCK series, Scott Emmons, Dean of the UWM Peck School of the Arts, and Joni Clare, UWM Music Student, will be presenting a lecture/concert based on the music of influential Jewish performers, songwriters, and music producers from the 60s through today. Songs performed live will include hits by Carole King, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, The Band, Peter Yarrow, Mama Cass, the Tokens, Janice Ian, David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Ani DiFranco, and Helen Reddy.

Scott will be singing and playing guitar. Joni will be singing and playing hand percussion.
RSVP by clicking here.

Cost: $8 per individual program, $6 for students or $15 for the series.

Further information is available at URock
Questions? Email Molly Dubin.

From Rockin' the Rec Room, to NYC Club Scene, to the Record Biz, and Back Again With Former Milwaukeean Bob Appel
Thursday, August 7, 7:00 PM

Milwaukee native Bob Appel, Chief Operating Officer at and one of the founders of The Knitting Factory, will share stories from the vaults of this influential music venue and talk about his experiences in the record business. The Knitting Factory was established as an art gallery and performance space as well as a home for experimental music. Originally located in Manhattan on Houston Street, between CBGB and the Bottom Line, the club quickly emerged as a home for music that didn’t neatly fit into the categories of jazz or rock. Artists including Sonic Youth, Sound of Urchin, Cassandra Wilson, Gil Scott Heron, Yo La Tengo, Carl Hancock Rux, Cecil Taylor, Cluster, Tim Berne, Wayne Horvitz, Bobby Previte, and Bill Frisell were among the artists who played there.

Like so many record executives, Bob's entree into the music business was driven by the decision to quit performing and jump into the business side of the industry. He went from guitar riffing - Bob was a founding member of Swamp Thing, a popular rock band from Madison's mid-80s scene - to principal of the New York City club, The Knitting Factory (1986), to doing A & R for Windham Hill, to Vice President of A & R and Creative Services at Six Degrees Records in San Francisco. Aside from signing acts and producing records, Bob spearheaded the digital music sales efforts at Six Degrees, driving production, content creation, website construction and e-commerce systems, as well as partnerships with digital distributors such as iTunes, Emusic, and Ioda. Bob's passion for global issues, digital media, and classic-rock lyrics, made him a perfect fit as a member of the founding team at

This program is free for Museum members and $5 for non- members.

RSVP by clicking here

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The Jewish Museum Milwaukee explores the story of the Jewish people in this city through artifacts, personal narratives, pictures and film. The Museum is divided into the following central themes:

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