Milwaukee Jewish Federation >> Paz Goldschmidt
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Served from 2009 – 2011.
The two years we lived in Milwaukee will be remembered by us as a most memorable period that influenced our lives and shaped us as both a family and as individuals.
Q: How did being an Israeli emissary in Milwaukee impact your life and your career path?
A: This period gave me, for the first time, a real deep connection to the Jewish people. Before our schlichut, my connection to being Jewish was built almost entirely around the Holocaust. In Milwaukee, I felt a part of our people. I always knew that I was Jewish, and I was proud of it. Pride that was based on the fact that we survived and that we contributed so much to the world (inventions, etc.). Today, I am proud that I am part of a very special people, a people whose lives are led by moral values; a people who value education for their children as very important and that taking care of their community and its individuals as a leading way of life. I came to Milwaukee because of my great love for Eretz Yisrael and the State of Israel. I returned with a much more mature, deep and complicated love. Today, I ask many questions about Israel and have far fewer answers. The criticism that I sometimes have came from living with you in Milwaukee. It came from my love for Israel and from my wish to influence and to change. I now feel a civic obligation to participate in life and in my society in a very active way.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: We now live on a Moshav-Shadmot Dvorah- a moshav where Amir grew up and where his parents still live. This Moshav is in the Sovev Kinneret region. After we returned from America, we felt a need to be closer to the “soil” of Israel. Amir joined his father in farming the orchards of olives and almonds. I am working as a social worker and work with people that have mental problems. I am following them during their rehabilitation period and helping them to return to their communities as contributing individuals. I love my work and feel good that I can contribute to society.
Q: What are your fondest memories of your time in Milwaukee?
A: I have many good memories of Milwaukee. First of all, my memories are tied to the wonderful people that I met. I remember them all with love in my heart. I remember with pride my “floor” at the Federation, my amazing boss and all the volunteers that spent so many hours helping us. Many of our memories are related to what we did with our kids: the zoo, the JCC pool, Kopps, the parks etc. Many of my memories were from the JCC because most of my work was done there. I loved the place and what it symbolizes and my morning group of “Conversations about Israel.” And last of all, the changing of the seasons. The Fall with its amazing colors, the green summers and the white winters. It was one wonderful experience.