JUF News Express
Friday, April 04, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message
 

In this Issue:

• IsraFest 2014: Chicago celebrates Israel

• Imam thanks JCRC for support following attack on Muslim house of worship

• African-American, Jewish communities come together at JUF Hunger Seder

• Join Maot Chitim's mitzvah on wheels Sunday

• Record turnout for JUF Jewish Day School Night

• Celebrate Tradition! Fiddler@50@Spertus

• From JUFNews.org and around the web

 

Check out what's happening in Jewish Chicago on the the JUF Community Calendar. View all kinds of upcoming events including family programs, networking opportunities, social gatherings, educational seminars and things to do and see in Chicago.

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IsraFest 2014: Chicago celebrates Israel

Why celebrate for just one day?

This year, join JUF for IsraFest, Chicago’s month-long celebration of Israel’s culture, music and 66th anniversary.

Wear blue and white at a jazzy, yummy Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in Daley Plaza. Party at YLD’s Blue & White Bar Night. Hear world-renowned musicians at the Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival. Attend lectures on Israel’s hot topics. And spend a Sunday playing and volunteering at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival.

Amid the fun and excitement, IsraFest also benefits Israel Children’s Zone, a new effort to transform the educational system for 8,500 at-risk students in JUF’s partnership region of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir. You can start helping now right here.

For the complete calendar of events and more, check www.JUF.org/Israfest.

Imam thanks JCRC for support following attack on Muslim house of worship

The imam of the Orland Park Prayer Center has thanked JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council for its support after a shot was fired at the Muslim house of worship. The attack, and the distribution of Nazi propaganda in the surrounding community, occurred late last month.

In response, JCRC sent a letter denouncing the incidents to Imam Nazir Chahin.

"Anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions cannot be tolerated," it said in part. "There is no place for such intolerance and violence in our society. We denounce these acts of bigotry and hatred."

In his thank you, the imam stressed that "Attacks against one house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship. The positive response of support from the community and the houses of worship was overwhelming."

African-American, Jewish communities come together at JUF Hunger Seder

Nearly 150 members of the African-American and Jewish communities celebrated an early Passover Seder together April 2, focusing on the issue of hunger.

The JUF Hunger Seder was part of the year-long JUF Hunger Awareness Project and was hosted by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, in partnership with Rabbi Michael Siegel of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Lakeview and Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Church in Bronzeville.

The Seder reframed the historical tale of redemption from slavery as the modern struggle faced by hungry people across our country. Attendees experienced all of the traditional Passover Seder rituals and symbols, including the meal.

The program also provided an opportunity for meaningful dialogue between the African-American and Jewish communities. 

Join Maot Chitim's mitzvah on wheels Sunday

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Sunday is delivery day for Maot Chitim's Passover 2014 food distribution. More than 5,000 boxes of kosher for Passover food will delivered to Jews in need throughout the Chicago area. So hundreds of volunteer drivers -- along with their cars, trucks and vans -- are needed to get the job done.

No advance registration is needed to join the monumental effort. Just drive to the NEW warehouse location -- 3411 Woodhead Drive in Northbrook -- between 9 and 10:30 a.m. Your vehicle will be loaded with boxes and you'll get your delivery assignments on the spot.

If your car has a trunk, be sure to clean it out so there's room for more boxes. And if you've got kids, bring 'em along -- make it a family mitzvah.

For details, maps and stuff like that, check out Maot Chitim's website.

Record turnout for JUF Jewish Day School Night

Over 600 parents, administrators and teachers joined JUF’s annual Jewish Day School Night on Tuesday – by far the largest turnout since the event began in 2010. 

Day School Night is about education and outreach, keeping the relationship between the Federation and the day school community strong. Nationally recognized expert Dr. Rona Novick, dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Yeshiva University, was the featured speaker and focused on how to address the problem of bullying among children and teens.

Brian Levinson, chairman of the event, told the audience that “we are blessed, here in the Chicago area, to have a vibrant, vital day school system that reinforces our Jewish ideals and identity. And we are blessed, as well, to have a Federation committed to supporting and strengthening those schools and the work they do.”

Catch a glimpse of the JUF-day school relationship in this video.

Celebrate Tradition! Fiddler@50@Spertus

After five decades, Tevye is still firmly planted on the roof, and in our hearts.

On the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership is celebrating with three programs marking the occasion.

Alisa Solomon, author of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, shares the power of Fiddler at 2 p.m. Sunday. That evening, at 5:30, there is a screening of the MGM classic version of the film. And at 6:30 p.m. Monday, there is a rare screening of the 1939 Yiddish-language film Tevye, based on the Sholem Aleichem tale that inspired Fiddler. Andrew Patner leads a discussion following that one.

Spertus is at 610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Details, prices and links to fascinating Fiddler resources and videos are just a click away.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

U.S.-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority appeared near collapse late this week, after Israel nullified a previously agreed-to prisoner release and the Palestinians filed for recognition from 15 U.N. agencies. After a nine-hour late-night meeting, both sides reportedly said "there is nothing left to discuss."

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and three other House members will introduce legislation toughening economic sanctions against Hezbollah. "Hezbollah uses its global financial connections to launder money and help fund terrorist activities," Schneider said in a statement. "This bill will stifle that financial network."

73 rabbis, male and female, shaved their heads Tuesday at the Refom Movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis convention in Chicago. It was part of an effort to raise funds for pediatric cancer research, and to show solidarity with the 8-year-old son of north suburban Rabbis Phyllis and Michael Sommers, "Superman" Sam Sommers, who died in December.

The contemporary Jewish group Shakshuka performs with "Master of Sephardic Song" Gerard Edery, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago. Tickets available online or at the door.

Israel is bracing for a possible cyber-attack by pro-Palestinian hackers, which could take place in the next few days.

Southern Israel, along one of the world's great flyways for migrating birds, hosted a 24-hour birding race Tuesday, with 22 teams of expert bird watchers from nine countries competing to identify the most species.

And in the latest JUF News blog posts:

Spertus Institute's Brian Zimmerman says that working on the Institute's Fiddler on the Roof program has left him with many songs stuck in his head. So he decided to find out why they stick.

Steven Chaitman just hit the Big "1" -- his first work-iversary at JUF. And it really is a big deal, at least from his perspective.

JVS Chicago highlights the amazing array of events that are part of the Federal Reserve's 12th Money Smart Week -- including several that JVS is hosting.

Tzivi reviews "Noah."

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