Web Page of the

Sheboygan Beth El Synagogue


1007 North Ave

Sheboygan, WI



Harold Holman, Congregation President


"Reunion of the Jewish Community of Sheboygan"

August 20-22, 1999


New Information as of Novemeber 4, 1999

Click her to see an article from the Sheboygan Press and Photos



Friday Afternoon:
3pm: Informal welcome at Synagogue, bring family photos and family trees for setup and display before sundown at ....... Meet and greet your long lost cousins and the other participants.

6 pm: Famous Sheboygan fish dinner.

7 pm: Official Opening Erev Shabbat service with Oneg Shabbat following.

8:30 - 11 pm: General informal gathering by family groups. We'll set up areas for each family to gather, display and share family information, family trees, old family photos and stories. (Genealogists bring your family trees and several copies of your GEDCOM files to give to relatives and others. - we will try to compile a master Sheboygan Jewish Families GEDCOM data base - each family should try to have a master genealogist)

Saturday Morning

9 am: Shabbat Service

12 noon Dairy Lunch

1:30 pm Formal Opening (No Tuxedoes Please) by Harold Holman (Synagogue President) and Joel Alpert (Reunion Committee)

2:00 pm Pre-Sheboygan History by H. Elliott Lipschultz, Historian (see below) - Where most of our ancestors came from - Belorussia - Their immigration to Sheboygan.

2:45 pm "Her Story, His Story, Our History" Early Sheboygan History and Discussion of Growing Up in Early Sheboygan - led by Stella Wasserman Schwartz with active audience participation expected - Please think about any good stories you want to share -this will be your chance to join in!

3:45 pm - 6:00 pm Break to do whatever you want, with suggested options:

  • Stay at "Schul" and schmooze with cousins and old friends
  • Stay at "Schul" and view all the photos and displays on the walls
  • Take the Walking Tour of the Old Jewish Neighborhood and see where everyone lived and played and prayed
    NEW Click here to see the current list of where the original families lived
    (This is a work in progress - not yet finished - and we hope to clarify it further - so keep an eye on this spot)

Click here to View Maps

  • Shloffee (nap time)
  • Walk around downtown and the waterfront
  • Share genealogy data.

6 pm: Famous Sheboygan baked chicken dinner.

7 pm: Havdalah Service and Awards Ceremony

8 pm: Film "Yidl in the Middle" - Growing up Jewish in a small Midwestern town, by Marlene Booth. (57 minutes)


Sunday Morning:

9:30 am: Brunch

10 am: Presentation by Susie Alpert Drazen , "Bentching in Chair City...- How did our family come to Sheboygan, and what did we find there?"

10:30 am: Informal goodbyes

11:15 am: Formal Closing - Any thoughts of doing this again in a year or two??? - Make sure to fill out the questionaire form before leaving.

-- til 6pm - Stay to shmooze and enjoy if you want, the shul will remain open

Optional: Visit the graves of your ancestors at the Sheboygan Jewish Cemetery in Kohler, only 15 minutes from shul and near the highway.

Click here to View Maps


Optional tours of the "Old Jewish Neighborhood" and the Jewish Cemetery in Kohler, both are an short drive from the synagogue. Maps and directions to both the neighborhood and the cemetery are posted on this web site.


Yidl in the Middle (Growing up Jewish in Iowa) by Marlene Booth (1998, 58 min.) With warmth and wisdom, Booth delves into the complexity of her own childhood in Des Moines in the 1950s and 1960s. Through classic home movies; conversation with friends, relatives, and Jewish and civic leaders; and visits to childhood haunts (including Camp Herzl in Wisconsin), she examines the forging of an identity made of conflicting parts. (Review in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Film Calendar)

Many of the issues raised are those faced by us growing up in Sheboygan. A discussion following the film will be lead by our own Allen Saxe.
Allen Saxe grew up in Milwaukee (and attended Washington High School). He spent time with his grandfather,Yehuda Bensman,and his many cousins in Sheboygan. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and did his graduate studies at Brandeis University. He now lives in Charlotte, NC and teaches anthropology and sociology at Livingstone College. He is married to Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe. They have four children, Kafia, Edward, Talia and Jeremy.


H. Elliott Lipschultz
M.A., History . Elliott is currently the Executive Director of Tax History Foundation and Museum in Northfield, IL. He is a member, Board of Directors, LitvakSIG, Inc. (Finance Chair). He is the author and publisher of Family Tribal Letter, a private historical and genealogical letter to his cousins. His maternal family is from Siauliai, Kraziai, Kovno Province, Lithuania and his paternal family from Warsaw, Poland. Elliott is currently engaged in research about Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe to the Middle West.

After the reunion, please fill out this questionaire to help us understand what make the event successful

Click here for the questionaire form

Contributions to the Synagogue are Welcome

Even if you do not attend you may want to help support the Beth El Synagoge in Sheboygan by making a contribution to either the Operating Fund or the Endowment Fund. Make checks out to: Beth El Synagogue. Send to Congregation Beth El, 1007 North Ave, Sheboygan, WI 53083.

Dokshitz Yizkor Book Translation Fund

Not surprisingly many of the original Sheboygan Jews, our ancestors, came from a very small region of Belorussia. This region includes Dokshitz (not pronounced "Dog ----"). There is now an ongoing project to translate the Dokshitz Yizkor Book into English. The book was written by survivors of the war about the town and is really part of our history. About 1/3 of the book is already translated and on the web, and we have a substantial contribution to complete most of the rest of the work. We are lacking about $500 and request your help in bring you your own history. The contributions are tax-deductible in the US.
You can contribute by check to: You may send a check to:
JewishGen, Inc., 12 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1100, Houston, Texas 77046
Please include your name, address and the notation "Dokshitz Yizkor Book Fund"


You can use the internet and contribute on line by clicking here and filling out the forms.

Thank you very much, Joel Alpert


We plan to have copies of the English translation (whatever is currently completed) available for purchase at the reunion.

If you are interested in a copy - cost to be determined - please email to me at alpert@LL.MIT.EDU so we can prepare enough copies.

Last updated on November 4, 1999

Background: Courtesy of Karen Alpert Entous

Tee-shirt and Mug designs