Stories from around the Chicago-area Jewish community.

david spade

When JUF’s Young Leadership Division hosted its first annual ‘Big Event’ fundraiser in 2008, it was indeed a big event, with some 700 Jewish young adults gathering to hear the music of Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu. A decade later, the now-annual event has tripled in size. 


 We’ve all heard the one about when a rabbi walks into a bar, but what happens when nine rabbis walk into a recording studio?

jcc big idea

Israel at JCC Chicago camps now looks dramatically different today than it did 30, 10, and even two years ago.

Keshet camp inclusion

Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience camp life—and with more and more summer camps fostering a culture of inclusion, children with disabilities are no exception.

RJD gala

A sold-out crowd of 400 people celebrated the 30th anniversary of Freedom Sunday and today’s success of Chicago's Russian-speaking Jewish community on Nov. 30.

Midwest Camp Network

Directors from Beber Camp, Camp Interlaken JCC, Camp Moshava Wild Rose, Camp Nageela Midwest, Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Camp Young Judaea Midwest, Habonim Dror Camp Tavor, JCC Camp Chi, JCYS Camp Henry Horner, and URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute see more in each other than just competitors. 


While summer camp has traditionally been a rite of passage for children and teenagers, two Chicago-based organizations offer unique Jewish summer camp options for adults.

camp endowment

An anonymous donor has made a $5.1 million contribution to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Camping Endowment, believed to be the largest gift ever made to a community camping endowment in the United States.The gift brings the JUF Camping Endowment to nearly $8.5 million, which will support up to 500 first-time camper grants and provide $120,000 in financial need scholarships for Chicago-area campers each year.

Houston updated

JUF’s TOV Volunteer Network has partnered with NECHAMA—Jewish Response to Disaster to send a convoy of Jewish young adults to Houston for a series of trips to aid in the rebuilding efforts.


Ten years ago, a few of JUF's Young Leadership Division board members and professionals dreamed big.

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