By the time of Julius Caesar, Jews had lived in Palestine for a thousand years. Two millennia ago, they were driven from Jerusalem and Palestine into exile. But a few remained, and steadily more returned. The idea that Jews might reclaim their homeland survived through religious belief and practice—each year at the Passover Seder, Jews would say, “Next Year in Jerusalem!” This centuries-long hope evolved into the political movement of Zionism in the 1880s and led to the birth of a nation only 60 years later—Israel.
Milwaukee’s Jewish community was fully engaged in the Zionist movement prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. In 1921, there were twenty-three Zionist organizations listed in the city directory, each supporting different facets of the Zionist endeavor. Goldie Mabowehz was a product of this movement. Her family immigrated here in 1906. She was an exceptional member of Milwaukee’s Zionist Movement; in 1921, she and her husband Morris Meyerson made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel. There she helped form the Labor Party and signed Israel’s Proclamation of Independence. She became Israel’s fourth prime minister under her chosen Hebrew name—Golda Meir.
Milwaukee continues to have close ties to Israel. Many community programs have helped develop deep organizational and personal relationships to the people and the country. The Jewish Museum Milwaukee illustrates these bonds and the many ways in which Milwaukeeans continue to connect to Israel.
1360 N. Prospect Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to cultivating awareness of the past and preserving our Jewish heritage for future generations. Membership helps us with that mission.