Every three years, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, in collaboration with our partner JAFI, brings a new Shaliach (cultural emissary) to live and work in our community. The goal of Shlichut is to make meaningful connections with Milwaukeeans.
The shlichut program in Milwaukee is the oldest continuous shlichut program in the United States. Watch a film that reviews the 50-year unbroken chain of shlichim who have become integral parts of the Milwaukee Jewish community.
Keren was born in November of 1973 in Jerusalem to the Back family, a baby sister in a family of four children. She served in the Israel Defense Force as the education officer of the military prison in Tzrifin and was honorably discharged in 1995 as a Lieutenant. Keren graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem as an industrial designer; with a semester as an exchange student at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.
Keren worked for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for more than 7 years, leading the museum’s member-groups of art enthusiasts at contemporary art exhibitions and workshops. For the past 8 years, she has been working for Rishon Le-Zion municipality as an art curator managing two of the city’s galleries. In this role, she has organized and curated over 50 art exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art at Yad- Labanim art gallery and in galleries in Tel-Aviv as well as curated solo exhibitions for dozens of various artists at Rishon Le-Zion City Hall, and initiated related cultural events. Her work in Rishon Le-Zion enabled her to help different audiences take a closer look at Israeli society and identity; linking past events, tradition, and heritage through present-day culture and art.
Keren is on shlichut with her husband Oori, their daughter Stav (age 12) and their son Erez (age 8). Oori holds a PhD in genetics from the Hebrew University and currently works for an Israeli genomics ‘Big-data’ company (NRGene). He grew up at Kiryat Biyalik (North of Haifa). They met each other during military service. Learn more about Keren and the Weisshaus family in this Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle article.
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Shaked Ram is the new Israel Campus Fellow at Hillel Milwaukee, funded by Milwaukee Jewish Federation and Jewish Agency for Israel.
Shaked was born in Petach-Tikva and raised in Matan, a small town in the center of Israel. Shaked served two years in the IDF (Israel’s Defense Forces) as a commander of courses at the Logistics Force. During her service in the IDF, Shaked took part in Taglit-Birthright, with students from The University of Pennsylvania.
Shaked has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, majoring in At-Risk Youth and Special Education from Beit Berl College. Shaked studied abroad for one semester in Krakow, Poland. While being there she found herself connecting to the Jewish community, taking part in community events and learning more about the diversity of Judaism. For the last year and a half, Shaked was working as a youth coordinator in a youth center in Oranit (a small town in the center of Israel). While having experience in a variety of fields of education, Shaked feels that being in Milwaukee, working with the Jewish community and especially the students, is an amazing experience, as she moves through a personal journey to re-discover her Jewish and Israel identity. Read more about how Shaked came to Milwaukee in this article in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.
Here in Milwaukee, Shaked works full-time on Milwaukee’s eleven campuses, engaging students of all backgrounds in Israel education and travel. When Shaked is not at Hillel, you can find her exploring the area, reading, baking, watching movies and having fun with friends! Shaked hopes to strengthen students relationship with Israel through taking the students to Israel and bringing Israel on campus.