JUF News Express
Thursday, July 03, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Memorial for murdered teens unites Chicago Jews

• JCRC condemns murder of Palestinian teen; conflict escalates near Gaza

• Highland Park teen receives $36,000 Diller Tikkun Olam award

• 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.

Have an event and want to get the word out? Submit an event to the calendar.


Want news of Chicago, Israel and the Jewish world in your mailbox each month? Subscribe to JUF News, Chicago's widest-circulation Jewish community monthly, by making a contribution to the Jewish United Fund.

Advertising in JUF News will put your business in 45,000 homes and businesses!


Got married or engaged recently? Had a child? Your child becoming a bar or bat mitzvah? Announce your happy news to the Jewish world in JUF News' Simchas section.


Memorial for murdered teens unites Chicago Jews

As Jews all over the world grieve and reflect on the murder of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, an overflow crowd of more than 700 Chicagoans gathered at Chicago Loop Synagogue yesterday afternoon for a memorial service to pray for the boys and their families. (Watch a video of the full service here.) 

Organized by the Jewish United Fund, the service came just nine days after Chicago supporters of Israel rallied and prayed for the boys’ safe return at a community vigil held June 23 at the Thompson Center. Although decidedly more somber in tone, the memorial still carried a message of fortitude and hope.

“After 66 years of Israel’s statehood, our people still face the scourge of hatred and terror,” said JUF/Federation President Steven B. Nasatir. “It will never deter us. It could not deter Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal or any of Israel’s youth from living vibrant lives filled with joy and hope.”

In addition to words and prayers offered by Jewish clergy throughout the Chicago area, U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly expressed their feelings of sympathy toward the families and condemned those responsible for this act of hate-based violence. Statements from other elected officials also were read at the service.

Those wishing to express their sympathies to the families of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali are encouraged to sign a national letter of condolence.

Photo by Robert F. Kusel

JCRC condemns murder of Palestinian teen; conflict escalates near Gaza

Tension and violence continue to mount between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza and East Jerusalem following the news that Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were murdered.

Riots in East Jerusalem erupted Wednesday morning after a Palestinian teenage boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was found dead hours after he was reported kidnapped. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the murder and vowed to bring justice to those responsible. Several clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces have since ensued.

JUF’s Jewish Community Relations Council condemned, in the strongest terms, the murder of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir.

“While the murderer(s) and motives have not been identified,” the statement reads, “we applaud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat for their swift and unequivocal condemnation of Mohammed's kidnapping and murder. We echo the Prime Minister’s declaration that Israel is 'a nation of laws and everyone must act according to the law,' and we are confident that the police are acting swiftly to investigate who was behind the loathsome murder and its motive."

In Gaza, Israel’s Air Force struck 34 targets on Tuesday in response to the more than 70 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza in the month of June, including 16 on Monday, which Hamas’ military wing has claimed credit for. International media linked the retaliatory strike to the discovery of the three Israeli teens’ bodies on Monday afternoon. Rockets continue to be fired into southern Israel; a home being used as a summer day-care center was hit, though no one was injured. Israel continues to target the launch sites and has mobilized infantry units to the south.

Photo: Qassam rocket launchers in Gaza (Photo by Israel Defense Forces)

Highland Park teen receives $36,000 Diller Tikkun Olam award

Nineteen-year-old Highland Park native and Columbia University student Jonny Cohen has been named one of 15 recipients of the 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards.

Cohen, who is the first Chicago-area teen to win the Helen Diller Family Foundation’s prestigious $36,000 prize, is the founder of GreenShields, a project that designs and produces aerodynamic add-ons that enhance the fuel efficiency of school buses, reducing emissions and in turn, saving school districts money. He hopes to one day provide every school in the U.S. with GreenShields at cost or for free.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, dean at the Mekor Chaim high school where Gilad and Naftali were students, offers a call to action to all Jews in response to their deaths.

American Jewish leaders left the African Union Summit in Equatorial Guinea last week after a delegation from Egypt refused to enter the session hall or be in the presence of “Israelis.” Similar sentiments were also reportedly conveyed by the Iranian delegation.

Jewish groups are divided on this week’s Supreme Court ruling in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that says the Affordable Care Act’s provisions mandating for-profit corporations to provide contraception coverage through their healthcare policies is unconstitutional. The decision was handed down 5-4.

Oy!Chicago uncovered 18 ridiculous Jewish items you can buy on Amazon.com.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

Today, the world turns its eyes and prayers toward Eyal, Gilad, Naftali and their families, but Rabbi Yehiel Poupko is looking toward what will happen tomorrow.

Deb Weiner writes a big thank you to Mrs. Rinkenberger, a special education teacher who believed in her 20 years ago and shaped her career path, which led to Keshet.

With all the athlete and celebrity scandals, where have all the heroes gone? If you don’t see them, writes Linda Haase, you’re not looking closely enough.

JUF website | E-mail Newsletter Archive | JUF News | Subscribe | Forward to a Friend