JUF News Express
Friday, May 23, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• DePaul divestment referendum passes student vote

• Chicago Jewish leaders meet with members of Congress

• Resolution honoring Holocaust survivors passes Senate

• Jay Leno makes first Israel visit, hosts Genesis Prize

• JUF hosts Jewish day school recruitment summit

• JUF's Stephanie Goldfarb is 'America's Best Cook'

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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DePaul divestment referendum passes student vote

A student referendum at DePaul University aimed at calling on the university to divest funds from U.S. companies that do business in Israel passed by a vote of 1,575 to 1,333 this afternoon.

“While the results are unfortunate, the very strong showing against the referendum, in part a direct result of the hard work by Jewish and non-Jewish students who waged a valorous ‘Vote No’ campaign, is notable,” said Emily Briskman, director of JUF’s Israel Education Center

“Given the effort which went into passing this referendum, the numbers hardly reflect a sweeping mandate,” Briskman said. “The goals of those who created this referendum, and the larger Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement, are to falsely accuse and demonize Israel rather than create a civil dialogue based in fact. That approach was clearly reflected in the incendiary language of this referendum. The result was disappointing but the many students who voted ‘no’ saw through the misleading language in the referendum in favor of finding real solutions to peace in the region.”

At the beginning of April, Students for Justice in Palestine at DePaul successfully submitted a petition with over 1,000 student signatures to the Office of Student Involvement requesting that a referendum be placed on this week’s Student Government Association election ballot.

The IEC and community partners were on the forefront of combatting the divestment referendum by supporting students, faculty and staff at DePaul on a large-scale “VOTE NO” campaign launched after the submission of the SJP petition. A core group of student activists took charge of running the campaign with the IEC’s guidance and full support.

Elections opened May 19 and concluded today.

Photo: DePaul students against BDS launched a “VOTE NO” campaign on campus.

Chicago Jewish leaders meet with members of Congress

Capitol Hill received 23 members of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s Government Affairs Committee this week as agency executives and board members advocated for their programs.

The two-day mission to Washington D.C. began with a private night tour of the Capitol by Congressman Brad Schneider and included meetings with Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk, the Illinois House delegation, U.S. Department Officials, Subcommittee chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Rep. Schneider, and civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. A reception included friends and supporters of the Jewish Federation.

During the trip, the delegation witnessed the passage of five anti-human trafficking bills in the House of Representatives and vocal support for other Federation priorities: the IRA Charitable Rollover, increases in access to healthcare and the reauthorization of the Older American’s Act with additional services for Holocaust survivors. The group was also able to thank Senator Kirk for sponsoring a resolution honoring Holocaust survivors that passed late Thursday night.

“It’s very exciting to see the success of our work while we are still in D.C.,” said trip leader David Golder, Federal vice-chair of the Government Affairs Committee.

Resolution honoring Holocaust survivors passes Senate

A resolution honoring Holocaust Survivors and their contributions to the United States passed the U.S. Senate yesterday. Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Ben Cardin of Maryland introduced the resolution in recognition of May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

Cosponsored by Senator Richard Durbin, the resolution commends Holocaust survivors who have dedicated their lives to educating future generations both about the dangers of bigotry and the resiliency of the human spirit. The resolution also recognizes their substantial role in the areas of humanities, science, government, law, history, medicine, military service, philosophy, social justice, technology, and more.

“This resolution honors the memory of the millions who perished during one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, the Holocaust,” Senator Kirk said in a statement. “It also celebrates the lives of those who survived this unspeakable horror. These remarkable individuals have contributed greatly to American life and I am proud to recognize their achievements.”

Jay Leno makes first Israel visit, hosts Genesis Prize

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, on his first trip to Israel, hosted the inaugural Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem yesterday, which went to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“I love Israel, that’s why I’m here,” Leno told Ynet after arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday.

Bloomberg has said he will use the $1 million the prize, awarded him by the Genesis Philanthropy Group in coordination with the Prime Minister's Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel, to promote economic ties between Israelis and Palestinians.

Photo: Chicagoan Sam Sterling on a post-college trip to Israel bumps into Jay Leno in Jerusalem just beyond the Jaffa Gate.

JUF hosts Jewish day school recruitment summit

JUF welcomed educators from around the country this week as the host of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education’s Recruitment & Retention Academy summit from May 18-20.

PEJE brought 35 schools and more than 140 people from coast to coast for three days of Jewish day school admission excellence. The results-oriented conference focused on teaching schools to attract new families and retain those who are already enrolled.

Noted enrollment experts such as Rick Newberry and Mike Connor were joined by leaders of several day school networks: PEJE’s Amy Katz, RAVSAK’s Marc Kramer, and the Schechter Network’s Jon Mitzmacher.

JUF's Stephanie Goldfarb is 'America's Best Cook'

After a pressure-filled six-week competition, Stephanie Goldfarb, the 29-year-old JUF senior associate of teen initiatives, cooked her way to winning the title of “America’s Best Cook” and $50,000 on the Food Network’s reality series.

“In one word it was surreal,” Goldfarb told Oy!Chicago. “I was really just trying to survive and have a good time, but I never considered that I would actually have a shot at winning or competing to win until it was down to two of us."

Goldfarb said she wants to expand her professional cooking career but is also committed to her work at JUF. She runs the teen philanthropy program Voices: The Chicago Jewish Teen Foundation.

Photo: Goldfarb celebrates with her chef mentor, Michael Symon. (Photo courtesy the Food Network)

From JUFNews.org and around the web

The University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced Thursday that they will expand their collaboration on ground-breaking research in the field of clean water initiatives. The schools began working together last year with the goal of making drinking water more plentiful and less expensive by 2020.

Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European basketball title on Sunday with an upset victory over Real Madrid. Thousands rallied in Rabin Square to celebrate the team’s sixth European title.

Pope Francis will embark on a two-day trip to Israel next week. Approximately 8,000 Israel Police personnel will be securing the visit, which the Tourism Ministry expects to spur a 10 percent increase in visits to Israel by Christians.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution awarding Israel President Shimon Peres a Congressional Gold Medal. He will be one of only nine individuals to have received both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Peres’ seven-year term ends in July.

Dr. Rebecca Schorsch, director of the Jewish Studies program at Chicagoland Jewish High School in Deerfield, has been named a 2014 Covenant Award recipient. Presented by The Covenant Foundation, the national award recognizes excellence in Jewish education.

Join Religious Zionists of Chicago for a rally and celebration of the 47th year of the reunification of Jerusalem at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27 at Kehillat Chovevei Tzion, 9220 Crawford Avenue in Skokie. Speakers include Rabbi Shaana Gelman and Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel of World Mizrachi; the event includes a celebratory prayer service, Israeli-style buffet and music from Listen Up! A Capella.

This Tuesday, May 27, will be the last day of nominations for Chicago’s Jewish 36 under 36 list. Tell Oy!Chicago and JUF’s Young Leadership Division about an amazing Jew you know by filling out this form.

The first ever Chicago Kosher BBQ Festival & Competition will take place from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 1 at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 N. Broadway. Hosted by Anshe Emet, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed, the festival will see kosher cooking teams compete for top honors in different food categories, from brisket to beans, amidst an atmosphere of music and family friendly activities.

And the latest JUF News blog posts:  

Tzivi reviews the Polish-set Holocaust drama “Ida.”

Heather Lindstrom and her husband, David, share why they chose to become foster parents in the latest Jewish Child & Family Services blog recognizing National Foster Care Month.

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