Earning a Living

Against centuries of social and economic restrictions, Jewish people have had to develop creative ways to earn a living. Relying on the strength of community and sometimes desperate ingenuity, Jews in both the old world and America have managed to not only survive but to thrive. The forced nomadic life of the middle ages helped Jews prepare for the immigrant experience in America, which often included peddling, the trades, and domestic work. Jewish flexibility and determination, bolstered by a strong sense of purpose and community-centered thinking, led to Jewish-owned businesses and institutions growing into economic and social landmarks in Milwaukee. The stories featured here provide a wide array of experiences showcasing how earning a living always includes building a better life for oneself, one’s family, and one’s community.

“Six days may you work and perform all your labor.” - Exodus 20:9

Jay Larkey

Jack Marcus

Harry Soref