Ten years ago, a few of JUF's Young Leadership Division board members and professionals dreamed big: They envisioned packing a downtown hotel with young Chicago Jews to celebrate and support the JUF community and the work it does.
And when YLD's Big Event Fundraiser first launched a decade ago, it was indeed a big event--for its time. In fact, that inaugural event at Chanukah time in 2008 was the largest gathering of young Jews that Chicago had ever seen. That year, 700 people gathered and heard the music of Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu.
Since that time, YLD's Big Event Fundraiser--and Matisyahu for that matter--have changed a lot. Over the past 10 years, the event has tripled in size, drawing upwards of 2,000 young people each year.
"It's unbelievable to think about all of the progress YLD has made over the last 10 years and what this event has become," said Courtney Cohen, 2018 YLD Campaign Chair. "Having 2,000-plus Jewish young adults in the room is extremely powerful and inspiring. We are so proud of the success and growth of the event over the last 10 years and want to thank our donors for their continued support."
The event is bigger today with bigger laughs--top comedians including Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Seth Meyers, and Key & Peele have headlined the event over the last decade-but what hasn't changed is that YLD's Big Event Fundraiser is the place to be each year for young Chicago Jews to demonstrate their commitment to the community.
"It's clear that we have a strong and vibrant young professional Jewish community in Chicago who cares about giving back to the community," said Lisa Tarshis, 2017-2018 YLD President. "We are thrilled to have a night we can celebrate this dedication and commitment to community."
The king of 'Carpool Karaoke'…
This year's event-which kicks off the 2018 JUF Annual Campaign-once again, expects to be huge. James Corden--the uber talented British comedian, talk show host, Broadway, TV, and film star, and the guy in the driver's seat of Carpool Karaoke --will headline the 10th annual YLD Big Event Fundraiser on Saturday night, Dec. 9, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel followed by after-party at the Loews Chicago Hotel. After a short standup set, Corden will be in conversation with Pat McGann, a Chicago comedian who has appeared on several late night talk shows including Stephen Colbert's earlier in the fall.
Corden burst onto the British entertainment scene in the early 2000s, appearing in the hit British play and film, The History Boys; the play One Man, Two Guvnors ; and in his own TV sitcom Gavin & Stacey .
In the past decade, he has become a huge star on this side of the pond as well. Two years ago, he took over as host of CBS' The Late Late Show With James Corden . He distinguishes his show from the other late night funny men, by providing a glimpse of his celebrity guests in the green room before their interviews, and he hosts more than one star at a time on his couch to create a fresh dynamic between the celebrities and himself.
In his short time on the air, Corden has generated tons of viral videos for his hugely popular Carpool Karaoke segments in which he drives his celebrity guests--Miley Cyrus, the Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, and Harry Styles, among others--through the streets of Hollywood, belting out hit songs in harmony. Corden's karaoke alongside pop singer Adele last year became the biggest YouTube viral video of 2016.
He and wife, Julia Carey, parents to a young son and daughter, are expecting their third child in December.