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Milwaukee Jewish Federation Benjamin Cardozo Society

The Benjamin Cardozo Society is an honorary society for Jewish attorneys in Milwaukee that aims to celebrate the legal profession's commitment to the principles of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. The society sponsors programs that integrate Jewish and legal concerns and provide educational, leadership, social, and networking opportunities for attorneys. Membership is open to any attorney age 35 or older who contributes a minimum gift of $1,800 to the Annual Campaign for the Community, $1,000 for 30- to 34-year-old donors, and $500 for donors under age 30.

Events sponsored by the Cardozo Society are open to all attorneys, their guests, and others who share similar interests or goals. Frequently, these events offer Continuing Legal Education credits for topics such as "What Makes Jewish Lawyers Run? A Discussion on Ethics," "Legal Aspects of Peace Negotiations: An Insider's View," and "Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding Stem Cell Research."

The Cardozo Society also serves as a way for the Federation to impart a better understanding of its goals and its connection to the community. Future plans for the Society include developing a social action component and a mentoring program to afford attorneys the chance to fulfill the mitzvah of tikkum olam, or repairing the world.

The Cardozo Society is named after the renowned Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938). Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover as a succesor to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Cardozo was one of the foremost spokesmen on sociological jurisprudence. His views on the relationship of law to social change made him one of the most influential of U.S. judges. With Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Harlan F. Stone, he voted to uphold much early New Deal legislation, often dissenting from the majority opinion. Cardozo's legacy includes an expansion of the legal duty owed in tort law, expressed in the landmark New York case of MacPherson v. Buick, a seminal case for products liability. He also worked to undergird contract law with principles of fairness, changing a presumption of purely competitive behavior to one of mutually cooperative behavior, and making contract law more reasonable and practical.

Source: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.
Connecticut Law Tribune, May 13, 2002, by Thomas Scheffey.

For more information on the Society, please e-mail Debra Gorra Barash, Campaign Manager, at