Today during our new Facebook lunch series we had board chair of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Moshe Katz, talking about the Jewish holiday, Passover, with Milwaukee Magazine’s Editor and Publisher Carole Nicksin. Despite this odd time, he is able to maintain a positive outlook on Passover and the world even with the changes he and his community will have to make for it this year.
Passover is a time spent with lots of friends and family. This year Katz who normally cherishes this day with 15-20 people, will now only be able to celebrate with those he’s quarantining with. His table this year will consist of just him, his wife and two children.
“One of the most fun parts of the meal [besides the amazing food] is the wonderful exchange of conversations and thoughts. What’s your take on this what’s your take on that.”
While trying to understand the pandemic, a friend of Katz explained this: “His notion that if you take the word COVID-19, and play with it a little bit, it sounds like Kavod, which means respect and honor.”
While this is a scary time for everyone, there is a lot of greatness happening at the local level.
“The innocence of the lives being lost is unexplainable, a lesson learned might be that in decades the Chinese are seeing blue skies, people living in California aren’t seeing smog, our highways are safer, we’re treating each other with significantly more love. A lot of good is being done out there,” Katz said.
Katz has been working with several organizations and so far has managed to pass out 500 meals for Passover to those in need in the Milwaukee area, and get as much Kosher food to as many places as possible.
On top of owning a property management company, being a part-time teacher at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, he also owns an outdoor gear shop called Yellow Wood, located in Whitefish Bay. A lot of companies that make gear for his store are now making PPE (personal protective equipment) for those in need and medical professionals.
Like most of us, what Katz misses the most during this time of seclusion is being able to hug his friends and those he cares about. He’s even skeptical if it’ll happen again.
But, as Caroline Nicksin said, “I’m hopeful we’ll hug again.”