On Wisconsin

From the summer issue of On Wisconsin Magazine!

Crazy for Klezmer

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PHOTO: RONEN TIVONY

It took Rabbi Daniel Brenner ’92 until now to realize that he just wants to dance.

Brenner has spent two decades finding innovative ways to connect young Jewish people with their faith. Newsweek named him one of America’s most influential rabbis for his work at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, Auburn Theological Seminary, and Birthright Israel Foundation. He currently develops educational programs and trains mentors at Moving Traditions, a Jewish educational organization.

Now he’s working on a new idea for connecting kids with their culture. Brenner — also a musician, playwright, and essayist — is leading a one-person revolution to revive nearly forgotten Jewish dances. “I’m pursuing this crazy dream, bringing people together through dance and reclaiming a ritual that’s been lost,” he says.

On a fall day during his senior year at UW–Madison, Brenner was called to lead High Holiday services for a few hundred students at James Madison Park. Read More

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