Paul highlights a couple interesting points about UW-Madison’s unique history with regard to Jews:
The University of Wisconsin is not only notable for being among the first universities in America to do away with its “Jewish quotas,” but also for having one of the oldest Hillel branches in the United States. Many of its notable faculty, past and present, are Jewish, and many of its famous alumni are Jewish, including both of Wisconsin’s current U.S. senators. It is this long history of being Jewish-friendly that attracts so many of today’s Jews to the University of Wisconsin.
That a state with such a small Jewish population (in terms of percentage) could elect two Jewish senators is testament to the religious tolerance in Wisconsin. I’ve always been proud of that fact. That is not to say that Jews running for public office in other states often face open bigotry on religious grounds, but in less secular areas candidates are often pressured to flex their Christian credentials. I am glad that is not the case in Wisconsin.