Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff meets with Milwaukee Jewish community leaders

NOW: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff meets with Milwaukee Jewish community leaders

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While Vice President Kamala Harris visited Southeast Wisconsin Monday, her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, also met with community leaders in Milwaukee, including leaders in the Jewish community.

Joan Lubar, Milwaukee Jewish Federation board chair, said they had a productive conversation with the second gentleman, and they're confident he's representing their interests in the Biden administration.

"Really what we talked about primarily is the rise of anti-Semitism here in Wisconsin, it's risen over 400% since 2016," said Lubar.

Lubar is one of four Jewish community leaders who met with Emhoff, who is also Jewish, on Monday, Jan. 24.

She said they talked primarily about concerns over anti-Semitism, like anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19, or the anti-Semitic comparison between mask mandates and the Holocaust.

"For this to happen in this day and age is unconscionable," said Lubar.

Lubar said another major concern is the hostage situation at a Texas synagogue earlier this month.

"People are going to synagogue to worship on Shabbat, on Saturday morning, and they have to fear for their lives. That's just something that should not be occurring in our country," said Lubar.

She said Emhoff spoke about the Biden administration's goal to expedite the confirmation of Holocaust historian Debra Lipstadt as special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.

Lubar said that goal is part of why she and other Jewish leaders are glad to have Emhoff in the position he's in.

"Doug Emhoff truly is our emissary at this point, in the White House," said Lubar.

Emhoff also met with community members at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center while in town.

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