JUF News Express
Friday, January 03, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Federation leaders applaud universities for opposing academic boycott of Israel

• From JUF volunteer to full-time 'grandma'

• JUF to co-host tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Federation leaders applaud universities for opposing academic boycott of Israel

As of Wednesday, more than 100 American colleges and universities have publically opposed the American Studies Association’s (ASA) recent vote in favor of an academic boycott of Israel, according to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

JUF/Federation Chairman of the Board David T. Brown and President Steven B. Nasatir this week issued a statement commending the many academic institutions – including, locally, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the entire University of Illinois system – for publically rejecting and in some cases withdrawing membership from the ASA.

“Our hope and expectation is that all universities will join this chorus speaking up for academic freedom and against the violation of academic standards by the ASA and any other association who use their pulpits to promote misguided political agendas,” the statement says.

Nasatir and Brown called on alumni to contact key administrators at their alma maters to express appreciation if they have issued an anti-boycott statement, or to urge them to issue such a statement if they have not alread done so. 

Following the ASA vote on Dec. 15, Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg immediately withdrew from the association and many of Israel’s universities signed a full-page ad in the New York Times that challenged the ASA’s action. The American Association of University Professors, which opposes academic boycotts, quickly urged ASA members to reject it.

The ASA was the third academic association to urge its members to boycott Israeli academic institutions, following the Association of Asian American Studies and the Native American Studies Association. Next week, the Modern Language Association is expected to consider a boycott.

From JUF volunteer to full-time 'grandma'

What began as a volunteering opportunity quickly blossomed into a whole lot more for Chicagoan Marcy Goldberg.

Goldberg, 68, received a letter from JUF in 2002 asking if she would like to tutor a child from an impoverished family for one hour a week. Eleven years later, her student calls her “grandma.”

The story of Goldberg and Jeremiah Smith’s relationship, which they compare to the 2009 hit film “The Blind Side,” is recounted in a recent story on DNAinfo Chicago.

Goldberg met Smith when he was six. He was close to flunking reading, and agreed to meet Smith every night at his home in Cabrini-Green with the exception of Fridays because of Shabbat, when he would stay with her in her Streeterville condominium. The Smith’s now live in West Garfield Park, but all five siblings continue to spend time with Goldberg.

"I love them as if they were my own, and they mean everything to me," Goldberg said of the Smith children. Smith now attends Ogden International School of Chicago where he plays on the basketball team and is one of the top point-scorers in the state.

(Photo: Jeremiah Smith and Marcy Goldberg. Credit: DNAinfo/Justin Breen)

JUF to co-host tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, JUF will co-host a day of service and tribute to Dr. King titled “Where Do We Go From Here: Strengthening Bonds Between the African-American and Jewish Communities, A Tribute to the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The event will be held at Stone Temple Baptist Church (3622 W. Douglas Boulevard) on Jan. 20 starting at 11 a.m. The church is also a sponsor of the event, along with The Firehouse Community Arts Center and the North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society.

Questions about the event should be directed to the Jewish Community Relations Council at (312) 357-4770 or JCRC1@juf.org.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition has worsened due to kidney failure. Sharon has been comatose since suffering a stroke about eight years ago.

About 19,200 immigrants made aliyah (immigration to Israel) in 2013, an increase from 18,940 in 2012, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.

15-year-old Lucy Sattler of Evanston got to travel to Israel for this month’s Rosh Chodesh service at the Kotel on Thursday. Sattler won a contest hosted by Moving Traditions, which organizes a program Sattler participates in at Beth Emet: The Free Synagogue called “Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!” She wrote a poem to express her feelings about women’s right to pray at the wall.

Temple Sholom of Chicago will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit the synagogue on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a Friday night service featuring the Voices of Trinity Choir from the Trinity United Church on the South Side.

This year's Valedictorian at Technion University was a Muslim woman named Mais Ali-Saleh, who grew up in a small Arab village outside of Nazareth in Israel's Galilee.

Who do you love and why? Send a 1-4 sentence answer to JUF News Editor Cindy Sher at cindysher@juf.org and your answer may run in the February 2014 issue of JUF News! Include your name, city/suburb and a captioned photo of yourself (with your loved one if possible) and submit by Jan. 6.

Winter Taglit-Birthright Israel trips have begun! Check out what some Chicago young adults experiencing Israel for the first time have to say on Shorashim’s Birthright blog.

And in the latest JUF News blog posts:

A grave matter, ancient curses, a romantic Kristallnacht and more are on tap for this month's "News Askew" with Joel Schatz.

Cindy Sher looks forward to 2014 and appreciates having two New Year's celebrations each year.

The new year is a time for personal change, so Betsy Gomberg shares some books about exactly that.

Deb Weiner recalls her finest winter memories and how Keshet helps create new ones for children with special needs through the Reis Family-Keshet Overnight Winter Program.

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