In all of Wisconsin, there is only one kosher restaurant with table service – the Rubenstein Family Kosher Oasis, located inside the Jewish Home and Care Center. And that restaurant is currently undergoing a metamorphosis; from a simple café to an art gallery, where lunch and dinner are served with a taste of, at the moment, Hundertwasser.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) is the debut artist for the café, which is having its grand opening May 24, from 3-6 pm. With a new daily and Sunday brunch menu, in art gallery surroundings, the restaurant clearly gives you more to think about than your Wednesday night fish fry or falafel sandwich.

Both artist and menu will change seasonally, with close attention being paid to what patrons preferences are in the restaurants’ new format. Besides the traditional table service, grab’n go service is being added, as well as self-serve coffee. All new décor includes lighting, flooring, wall-coverings and table-top items. In addition, music will be introduced; some live and some not.

Tuesday nights will be special, with something different each week. For instance, we begin with Kids’ Night on May 31, with balloons and something special for the children. On June 7, it’s our first ethnic night, with a make-your-own-taco bar. June 14 we will be closed due to the religious observance of Shavuot. On June 21 we will have the live music of Rick Aaron and Mike Hetzel (flute and keyboard). To view images of the renovated Oasis, click here.

The artwork by Friedensreich Hundertwasser was graciously donated by Florence Minkoff for the enjoyment of our residents and their guests. The Jewish Home and Care Center is proud to house several rotating art exhibits, as well as being home to several permanent art installations. Each of our locations (Jewish Home and Care Center, Chai Point Senior Living, Sarah Chudnow Community) has at least one rotating art gallery, with local artists being featured.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser was born Friedrich Stowasser on December 15,1928 to a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. Having intermarried parents helped him during the war, as he was able to hide his Jewishness behind his father’s religion.

He assumed his nom d’artiste in 1949.Hundertwasser spent three months at the Viennese Art Academy studying under Professor Robin Christian Andersen. Hundertwasser was, however, more indebted to the work of Egon Schiele and Walter Kampmann, which he saw at their exhibitions, than to the brief period of academic instruction. Hundertwasser developed an abstract, decorative, two-dimensional and vibrantly colourful, utterly distinctive style distinguished by ornamental spiral and labyrinth forms, circles, meanders and biomorphic shapes.

During the 1960s Friedensreich Hundertwasser was extremely successful, with a 1962 retrospective in the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale and a 1964 retrospective mounted by the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover. In addition, the first comprehensive catalogue of his œuvre was published.

Active in the ecological movement, Hundertwasser was committed to making life liveable in a humane environment that was close to nature. He furthered his aims by issuing manifestos and making provocative public appearances.

In 1981 Hundertwasser was appointed head of the master classes for painting at the Viennese Art Academy. The famous Hundertwasser House in Vienna, begun in 1983, attests to the artist’s skill as an architect. The year before he died, Hundertwasser was working on a catalogue raisonné of his works and presented the Uelzen Station architectural project.

The Jewish Home and Care Center offers a comprehensive continuum of care services to the community, including long- and short-term rehabilitation in a post-acute care setting, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, long-term nursing care, skilled nursing care and respite care. An adult day program and brain health program are also offered on the premises as community-based services. For more information, visit www.jhccmilwaukee.org.