JUF News Express
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In this Issue:

• Nominations open for Chicago's Jewish 36 under 36 list

• Itzhak Perlman gives bravissimo performance at JUF Spring Event

• Daley Plaza brims with pride for Israel's 66th

• Jewish day schools get $1.67 million boost

• Chicago teens fight hunger at J-Serve 2014

• Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival continues next week

• In this month's issue of JUF News ...

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Nominations open for Chicago's Jewish 36 under 36 list

Who is an extraordinary Jew you know? JUF’s Young Leadership Division and Oy!Chicago are looking for the young leaders, humanitarians, educators, social activists and movers and shakers of Chicago to be part of “Double Chai in the Chi,” Chicago’s annual Jewish 36 under 36 list.  

“Double Chai in the Chi” shines a spotlight on the faces of Chicago’s Jewish future and recognizes their amazing contributions. YLD and Oy!Chicago are looking for those who make a difference through their work, who give back in their free time, who innovate and inspire, who are leaders in their communities and the Jewish community, or are simply Jews we should know. See last year's list of 36.

Nominate someone by filling out the online nomination form before May 27. You will receive an email confirming your nomination. The 36 honorees will be announced and profiled on Oy!Chicago on July 15 and recognized at YLD’s WYLD party on Aug. 7. To be the first to know, like Oy!Chicago and YLD on Facebook.

Itzhak Perlman gives bravissimo performance at JUF Spring Event

Close to 700 members of JUF’s Women’s Division attended the 2014 Spring Event at the Fairmont Hotel yesterday, featuring renowned violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.

Acclaimed violinist David Lisker, who studied with Perlman, spoke about the help his family received from JUF agencies when they immigrated to the United States.

“I’m standing in front of you as an example that real people are being helped by JUF every day. Lives are being completely changed,” Lisker said. 

Chaired by Dana Gordon, overall chair; Lynne Shapiro, Young Women’s Board chair; and Michelle Friedman, Young Women’s City Council chair; the event also included moving remarks by Women’s Division leaders Charlene Sales, Jennifer Worth, and Robyn Tavel, who shared their individual reasons for supporting JUF’s work.

The afternoon included a conversation with Perlman moderated by Alison Cuddy, newly-appointed program director for the Chicago Humanities Festival. Perlman also performed for the crowd.

The event was co-chaired by Women’s Board members Marcey Barichello, Debra Green, Sharon Koltin, Debra Marcus and Sheryl Perlman. Each attendee received the gift of an award-winning cookbook, One Egg Is A Fortune, which served as a major sponsor for Spring Event.

Photo: Itzhak Perlman performs during JUF's 2014 Spring Event. (Photo by Robert F. Kusel)

Daley Plaza brims with pride for Israel's 66th

Downtown Chicago was decked in blue and white Tuesday as a large, enthusiastic crowd gathered to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The event kicked off JUF’s Israfest, a month-long celebration of Israel benefitting Israel Children’s Zone.

Sights, sounds and tastes of Israel filled Daley Plaza in honor of Israel’s 66th anniversary: the Israeli flag was raised, vendors offered lunch, and performances by Israeli singer/songwriter Mika Karni and Jaman drummer circle created a festive atmosphere. Celebrants, including students from Chicago Jewish Day School and Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School, sang and danced.

Skip Schrayer, chairman of JUF’s Jewish Community Relations Council, welcomed everyone to Daley Plaza and shared words from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was unable to attend the festivities. He then introduced Roey Gilad, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest.

"We are proud of what [Israel has] achieved,” Gilad said. “Those achievements would have been impossible without you, without the support we get from America, from Jewish and non-Jewish people alike.”

Jewish day schools get $1.67 million boost
Chicago's Jewish day schools just got a raise.
The Jewish Day School Guaranty Trust Fund, a collaboration of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the local day school community, will distribute $1,670,513 in the coming year to 17 participating schools that serve students of all denominations. That’s nearly 12 percent more than the previous year, and brings the total distribution to $12.3 million since 2003.
"Jewish day schools are one of the keys to assuring our community’s future," said Federation President Steven B. Nasatir. "Chicago was a pioneer when it launched this ground-breaking effort to help our financially struggling schools. Today, the Fund is a proven vehicle, assuring an ongoing source of support for our schools that will continue, and hopefully grow, in perpetuity."
Chicago teens fight hunger at J-Serve 2014

On Sunday, close to 250 Chicago-area Jewish teens joined peers from around the world for a meaningful day of volunteering as part of J-Serve 2014, the ninth annual International Day of Jewish Youth Service.

Hosted under the auspices of the JUF Hunger Awareness Project, J-Serve brought 7th-12th grade students from across Chicago together at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, where they spent the day fighting hunger through hands-on service and advocacy.

“Working with teens from all over Chicago to make an impact was one of the most fulfilling things I have done,” said Mallory Sherwood, a junior at Stevenson High School and one of the teen leaders who helped plan the event.

In addition to sorting through nearly 20,000 pounds of food – the equivalent of 15,718 meals that the food bank will provide to Chicago families in need – the teen volunteers received a crash course on food insecurity in the Chicago area. Educational workshops focused on Judaism and hunger, root causes of hunger and how to be an effective advocate, and how to use social media to make a difference.

Photo by Mallory Sherwood

Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival continues next week

The second annual Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival began this week with performances from Mika Karni, singer-songwriter Keren Ann and jazz flutist Mattan Klein. The festival, part of JUF’s Israfest, was organized by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest and continues through May 17 with a number of other renowned Israeli musicians and performers.

This Sunday, trumpeter Avishai Cohen comes to City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., at 8 p.m.; trombonist Reut Regev and her band, R*time, give a free concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; the Hadar Noiberg Trio performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.; and Israel pop and world music sensation Idan Raichel Project performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway.

The festival concludes with clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen performing at 9 p.m. Friday, May 16, and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Chicago’s legendary Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway.

Read Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich's preview of the festival.

In this month's issue of JUF News ...

Graduate. Find a fulfilling career. Join a synagogue. Date. Meet friends. Spend time in Israel. Get married. Have kids. There are so many opportunities and challenges out there for young Jewish Chicagoans.

The May issue of JUF News, coming out today, examines the journeys of a variety of Jewish millennials in town.

Also, in this issue…

- Read perspectives on the shooting that targeted the Jewish community in Kansas City.

- Learn about the prevalence of human trafficking in Chicago.

- JUF News speaks with Israeli musician Idan Raichel, who brings his band to Chicago on May 15.

- The JUF Trades, Industries & Professions Division dinner season runs May 19 to June 2. This year's events feature David Gergen, a CNN analyst; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, and David Stern, former commissioner of the NBA.

If you don't already receive JUF Newssubscribing is easy! A donation in any amount to JUF brings the award-winning newsmagazine to your home every month.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

“Connecting with Young Families,” the next episode of the public-affairs program “Sanctuary,” airs at 11 a.m. this Sunday on ABC7-Channel 7. The show looks at the many ways the Jewish community reaches out to the parents of young children. The episode also will be available for viewing online starting the week of May 12.

The violence in Ukraine continues to escalate. This past week, nationalist and pro-Russian forces began street clashes in Odessa. The city's Jewish community, numbering approximately 30,000, has put evacuation measures in place should the situation take a turn for the worse. Your gift to JUF continues to help our partners on the ground, including JDC, put contingency plans in place and establish an emergency contact system.

Immigration from Ukraine to Israel is up 142 percent compared to the same time last year, according to JUF's overseas partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel. Nineteen arrived last Sunday, and in May alone, 200 people are signed up to make aliyah.

Comedian Benji Lovitt reveals his annual list of “things I love about Israel,” with 66 reasons this year, in honor of Israel’s 66th birthday.

An infographic analyzing the contents of the New York MTA’s lost and found reveals that, in addition to 1,696 missing “undergarments” leading the way in the clothing category, there’s a “Jewish” lost and found section, specifically containing forgotten teffillin.

Would you like to live-stream performances from next month’s Greater Chicago Jewish Festival on your computer or mobile device? The festival has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $9,500 by May 26 for the technology infrastructure that would make streaming this year’s Sunday, June 8, event a reality.

And the latest JUF News blog posts:  

Your Jewish identity might be more a part of your genes than you realize. Brian Zimmerman takes a fascinating look at Jewish DNA.

In this competitive job market, JVS Chicago explains that positioning yourself as a unique candidate is critical to getting hired.

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