Together and Connected

Together, we as a community are saving lives, caring for the sick and those in need, performing acts of loving kindness, and providing safe avenues for connection and interaction. This is our mission, in good circumstances and in crises like this.

Read our most recent community announcement from May 4.

The most powerful way you can help is through your gift to the JUF Annual Campaign, which fuels all of these critical services – and unites us in those common goals.

We have faced crises before, together, and we are facing this one with the same resilience, strength and unity. Together for Good.

Get Help

Resources for those who need services
  • Sinai Health System's COVID-19 Information Hotline — 773-257-COV2 ext. 2682 — is available for medical questions.
  • JUF Uptown Cafe is providing current  EZRA clients with meals to go. If you want to be considered for EZRA services please call 773-467-3846 and leave your name, phone number and reason for calling.
  • The ARK is accepting new clients while continuing to provide essential services to existing ones.
  • JCFS Chicago's “warm line” — 855.275.5237 — provides assistance for people who could use some extra, non-urgent support during this uncertain time.
  • Been furloughed or laid off from your job? JVS Career & Employment can be a resource for help and support as you navigate your next steps.
  • A comprehensive listing of coronavirus-related resources, assistance and updates, compiled by a consortium of Jewish groups in the West Rogers Park area, is available at JewishChicago.info.
  • Shalva offers resources and direct assistance for those experiencing domestic abuse who are forced to shelter in an unsafe place.
  • Detailed information on federal loans and assistance for small businesses and non-profits can be found at JewishTogether.org, created by the Jewish Federations of North America.

Give Help

Opportunities for assisting others

Connect

Ways to engage with our community virtually
  • Many of the events that have been canceled have moved online, and new ones are being added constantly. Check out JUF's list of virtual events.
  • Show we're all together in this. Print out our "Together for Good" sign, decorate it and display on your window for all who walk by to see.
  • JUF's new email newsletter, "Together & Connected," out each Wednesday, is packed with positivity for this trying time. And each Friday's "JUF News Express" has the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the Jewish community worldwide.
  • Missing the beauty of Shabbat services? Craving some Torah learning? Many Chicago-area synagogues are livestreaming services and/or classes. Check congregation websites or member emails for details and links. Or visit this continually updated list of livestreamed Shabbat services around the nation.
  • Channel J, JCC Chicago's new virtual space, is filled with creative ideas for children, adults, seniors, teens and families.
  • CJE Seniorlife's Cyberclub offers interactive online activities for older adults.
  • OneTable continues to connect people ages 21-39ish with Shabbat and each other via its Shabbat Alone, Together page, packed with resources for hosting Friday night dinners solo, with a roommate, immediate family or virtually.
  • BBYO On Demand is a newly created worldwide hub for Jewish teens to share ideas, learn, laugh, challenge each other and make the world better. Programming evolves daily.
  • Shorashim, JUF’s partner for Birthright and Ta’am Yisrael/Israel Now trips, has dozens of live events, virtual reunions, educational programs, and fun and games at its #BetterTogether webpage.
  • For families with younger children, check out PJ Library’s collection of activities and resources.
  • Yachad, The National Jewish Council for Disabilities, is online with virtual events, educational materials, support groups, virtual buddies and more.
  • AJC’s Advocacy Anywhere portal is the gateway to virtual conversations, programs, resources and expertise – ranging from personal protective equipment to Jewish life in Europe to Jewish-Muslim relations on campus to culinary diplomacy.


Boredom Busters

Cultural diversions for the whole family
  • Bimbam — These short, musical segments teach Jewish traditions and tell Torah stories.
  • Milken Archive of Jewish Music — The Milken Archive has spent 30 years discovering and recreating Jewish symphonies, concertos, operas and more -- now shared online.
  • Jewish Rock Radio — There may be Jewish music on Pandora and Spotify, but the true online home of contemporary Jewish music is right here.
  • Batsheva Dance Company — Israel's premier modern dance company, established in 1964 by Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who enlisted Martha Graham as its first artistic adviser.
  • Chai Flicks — It’s the streaming service for lovers of Jewish entertainment and culture. Movies. TV series. Documentaries. From world-renowned actors, directors and filmmakers.
  • Broadway HD — Like Netflix for on-stage theater and musicals. Jewish content includes classics like The Diary of Anne Frank, new offerings like Indecent, plus documentaries like an interview with Arthur Miller or a behind-the-scenes look at Bernstein's/Sondheim's West Side Story.
  • Spertus Museum — Find passages to exhibits on Andy Warhol's portraits of Jewish heroes, Hannah Arendt's fearless work, and highlights from this Chicago museum's entire collection.
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum — "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" and other exhibits may be on lockdown, but many are available virtually, with commentary, on  Facebook and  Twitter. And there are frequent livestreamed events.
  • Torah in a Box — Damaged apple pie. Family trees. Amelia Bedelia. Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Kollel turns all of them – and more -- into fun Torah-learning activities, updated daily.
  • National Museum of American Jewish History — See the exhibits housed in its grand home across from Philadelphia's Independence Hall.
  • Beit Hatfutsot — The Tel Aviv-based "Diaspora Museum" presents the global, multi-millennia history of the Jewish people.
  • Israel Museum — The Dead Sea Scrolls? Here. A scale model of the Holy Temple? That, too. The famous “Ahava" sculpture? Right out back. The website also has lots of artsy kids' activities.

JUF In Action

JUF steps up to help a community in crisis

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, JUF is accelerating human service delivery throughout our community, swiftly meeting emergency needs wherever help is necessary.

To pinpoint those areas where increased emergency resources would have the greatest impact, JUF surveyed hundreds of service providers, and a committee of volunteers who lead the community’s main planning and allocation efforts has already made several rounds of emergency grants. 

The committee will continue to meet regularly to identify emerging needs, and to provide funding to address them, in the following areas:

  • Emergency Financial Aid ($2,106,500)—cash grants for housing, food, medical care and other essentials for individuals and families in crisis, including assistance provided through synagogues’ Rabbinic Discretionary Funds;
  • Increased food assistance ($955,250)—expansion of food pantries, grocery gift cards and meal programs for people of all faiths and ethnicities – families, seniors and other individuals in need;
  • Health & Safety ($865,000)—enhanced staffing, trauma counseling and personal protective equipment (PPE) for Mt. Sinai Hospital, residential programs and other caregivers serving seniors and people with disabilities; and 
  • Community Stability ($1,538,715)—emergency operating support and professional expertise for local Jewish human service and educational agencies, especially those operating on narrower margins, to ensure future community vitality.
Total: $5,465,465 (as of May 20, 2020)

Separately, we also have advanced some $4 million to help with cash flow for JUF affiliate agencies.

Beyond dollars, JUF is providing technical assistance and expertise in employment law, human resources, benefit administration, fundraising, financial planning, communications, facilities, security, advocacy to elected officials and guidance in applying for new government programs.

As the needs continue to grow in the weeks and months to come, so will JUF’s response.

Together, we will ensure that thousands more are fed, thousands more are provided emergency cash for rent, utilities, medications and other necessities, and thousands more are receiving medical care.

We are—truly—together for good.