JUF News Express
Friday, February 28, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• JUF-funded agencies aiding Ukraine's Jews

• JUF producing a night of 'Jewish TED Talks'

• U.S. Reps. Quigley and Roskam speak to JUF

• JCRC hears from United Against Nuclear Iran CEO

• Write On for Israel now accepting applications

• Concert to celebrate the music and life of Israeli icon

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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JUF-funded agencies aiding Ukraine's Jews

Fulfilling its mandate to protect and care for at-risk Jews around the corner and around the globe, JUF has made available $110,000 to aid Ukraine's beleagured Jewish community.

Given anti-Semitism’s deep roots in Ukraine, the country’s 200,000 Jews – including up to 50,000 in Kiev – are vulnerable. Last week, the Giymat Rosa Synagogue was firebombed.

The assistance is in addtiion to the ongoing support JUF already provides to its partner agencies there – the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel and World ORT.

At this moment, the agencies are using the emergency funds to expand critical services. They are providing food, medicine, and heating and cooking fuel to home-bound, frightened families – and especially the frail elderly – and are bolstering security at a wide range of Jewish institutions.

JDC has posted photos from its emergency assistance efforts on the ground in Kiev, delivering aid to homebound Jews.

The support has been made possible by the 2014 JUF Annual Campaign. Donate here.

Photo: A JDC worker in Kiev’s Independence Square on her way to delivering food to an 82-year-old homebound pensioner. (JDC)

JUF producing a night of 'Jewish TED Talks'

JUF News has announced ELI Talks: Chicago, an exclusive production of “Jewish TED Talks” that will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27.

ELI Talks are compelling live presentations that explore inspired Jewish ideas about religious engagement (E), Jewish literacy (L) and identity (I).

Speakers for the evening include Aliza Kline, discussing "Wisdom 1.0;" Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, "Divine Love: How Parents Can Help Us Rethink Judaism;" Dr. Hal Lewis "It Ain’t the Heat, It’s the Humility: Jewish Leadership for the 21st Century;" Rabbi Dan Bronstein, "Taking Jewish Humor Seriously;" and Rabbi Shai Held, "Compassion and the Heart of Jewish Spirituality."

A private reception will take place prior to the talks, which will be recorded at WTTW Chicago, 5400 N. St. Louis Ave. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; reserve your spot in the live audience.

Speakers and topics are subject to change without notice. In the event that registration fills, additional opportunities will be made available to enjoy the ELI Talks content. For more on ELI Talks and to watch past presentations, visit the ELI Talks website.

U.S. Reps. Quigley and Roskam speak to JUF

The JUF Government Affairs Committee welcomed U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley and Peter Roskam as guest speakers at Monday’s meeting.

Quigley, a former Cook County commissioner who took office in 2009, spoke on the importance of fiscal responsibility, his long-standing commitment to Israel, and the urgency for bi-partisanship in Congress.

“We want to pass legislation and need more than one reason to pass legislation, other than a vote against the other party,” he said. Quigley said he believes the immigration reform debate will push both sides to work together to change and ultimately pass the bill.

Roskam, current chief deputy whip serving his fourth term in the House, used the pension crisis in Illinois as an example of how not to do business in Washington, and noted that entitlement programs are at risk.

“The challenge is that we all grew up in an economy that assumes if you work hard and make good choices, you will be successful,” Roskam said. “Now, with increased debt and capital harder to form, this is no longer the case.”

Roskam emphasized losing the “all-or-nothing” attitude and said, “we need to start focusing on incremental change and, over time, we will all be in a better place.”

Photo: Rep. Mike Quigley, Rep. Peter Roskam and Government Affairs Committee Metropolitan Chicago Vice-Chair Peter Friedman

JCRC hears from United Against Nuclear Iran CEO

Ambassador Mark Wallace, CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran, addressed JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council Thursday about the organization's efforts to prevent Iran from achieving its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons.

UANI, a not-for-profit non-partisan advocacy group formed in 2008, has launched dozens of successful campaigns that have called on multinational firms to end their dealings in Iran, played a key role in curbing services to Iran's banking system, and persuaded the international community to reduce economic and diplomatic relations.

UANI also authored and supported a variety of federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives designed to enhance Iran's economic isolation.

Addressing the interim agreement reached between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany and Iran, Wallace challenged the assertion that sanctions relief would only reach $8 billion. An analysis published by UANI anticipated sanctions relief could be more than $20 billion.

The election of President Rouhani and the multilateral talks have contributed to a strengthened Iranian economy, thus undermining efforts to force Iran back to the negotiating table. Citing economic indicators including a rise in oil exports, strengthening of Iran’s currency, a drop in inflation, and growth in GDP, Wallace expressed pessimism that Iran’s leaders would feel pressure to accept a nuclear deal. In order to achieve a peaceful resolution to the nuclear standoff with Iran, Wallace urged the Senate to pass The Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran Act, which calls for additional sanctions if negotiations fail.

JUF leadership helped create UANI and continues to through participation on the organization’s board and with funding.

The next JCRC meeting on March 25 will be held jointly with the Government Affairs Committee and Jewish Women’s Foundation, and will focus on human trafficking.

Write On for Israel now accepting applications

Write On for Israel, JUF’s Israel education and advocacy training program for high school students, is accepting applications for its new cohort of Fellows.

A program of JUF’s Israel Education Center, Write On for Israel is open to students who will be juniors this fall. The two-year, once-a-month program combines study, skills-building workshops and high-level, hands-on, behind-the-scenes trips to Israel and Washington, D.C., to prepare the next generation of pro-Israel students and community leaders.

Applications are due April 1, and suitable candidates will be invited for a personal interview soon thereafter. Click here for more information and to apply.

Concert to celebrate the music and life of Israeli icon

Pay tribute to the life of Israeli legend Arik Einstein with “Ani Ve’Ata – Sharim Arik Einstein,” an evening of songs and stories, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St.

New York-based musician Moshe Bonen and friends will lead the event, which will be conducted in Hebrew. Tickets are available now through City Winery.


To get a taste of the evening, check out this clip from the New York City tribute concert held in December.


From JUFNews.org and around the web

President Obama will take a more active role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, according to administration officials. He will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later in March.

Ultra-Orthodox leaders in Israel expect some 600,000 to join a "million man march" prayer rally in Jerusalem Sunday protesting a new conscription law that requires yeshiva students to serve and that would impose criminal sanctions on those who don't.

AIPAC Chairman Lee Rosenberg, of Chicago, co-authored a New York Times letter to the editor last weekend discussing the importance of coupling Iranian diplomacy efforts with a range of congressional actions. Also this week, U.S. senators again attempted to pass the stalled Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk.

The Chicago City Council passed a resolution honoring late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

A Jewish member of parliament in Ukraine says “for the first time in Kiev, it is better to be Jewish than Russian.”

The Israeli Embassy in Japan has donated 300 Anne Frank-related books to Tokyo public libraries in order to replenish copies that recently were vandalized.

Chicago filmmaker and Hollywood comedy legend Harold Ramis, 69, died Monday morning at his Glencoe home from complications from vasculitis. JUF Newsinterviewed Ramis in 2009, in advance of a Jewish community appearance.

The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, will perform in Chicago for the first time in nearly 10 years, at 8 p.m. Monday, March 17, at Symphony Center, 22 S. Michigan Ave.

Rabbi Benay Lappe, of Chicago’s SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, delivered a TEDx talk entitled “CRASH! 1-2-3: How to Navigate Inevitable Change” in New York City Jan. 28, and will give a live extended version on how it applies to today’s Jewish community at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at 1770 W. Berteau Ave. RSVP to contact@svara.org.

And in the latest JUF News blog posts:

Brian Zimmerman explores the Jewish fascination with pi. And no, the “e” is not missing.

Tzivi reviews "The Last of the Unjust," from the filmmaker behind Shoah.

How to create an inclusive work environment for people of all abilities, from JVS Chicago.

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