JUF News Express
Friday, July 11, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• JUF initiates Israel Emergency Campaign

• Chicago leaders visit Israel, reflect on their experiences

• U.S. House passes measure in support of Israel

• Despite fighting, basic supplies flow from Israel into Gaza

• Help TOV rebuild Oklahoma

• New webinars allow genetic screening from home

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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JUF initiates Israel Emergency Campaign

As Hamas rockets continue terrorizing the Jewish state, JUF has advanced $1 million for urgent humanitarian needs, making Chicago the first North American community to respond to the Israeli government’s request for help.

The advance kickstarts JUF’s Israel Emergency Campaign, a special fund dedicated to humanitarian relief efforts on the ground. Through this campaign, JUF is moving children and families outside the most frequently targeted zones; providing special assistance to the elderly, disabled and homebound and at-risk children; replenishing the Fund for Victims of Terror; and addressing widespread trauma.

JUF also has created a special website with continuous updates on the emergency.

Please contribute to the Israel Emergency Campaign to provide essential support to vulnerable Israelis at this critical time.

Chicago leaders visit Israel, reflect on their experiences

Chicago’s Jewish leaders are traveling to Israel to support the Jewish homeland in this time of crisis.

JUF leaders Bill Silverstein and David Prystowsky are en route to Israel to join a Jewish Federations of North America leadership mission. Watch JUF social media for updates on their trip.

Other JUF leaders are participating on a national Campaign Directors mission organized to show the impact of community funds in Israel.

And in the midst of sirens wailing and repeated trips to bomb shelters, Chicagoans visiting Israel are sharing their stories and what it is like to be there at a difficult and dangerous time.

In Jerusalem, Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom, Rabbi Vernon Kurtz of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El and Rabbi Paul Cohen of Temple Jeremiah all have written reflections.

In Haifa, Chicagoan Max Sterling, an EMT ambulance volunteer, wrote down his observations and reflections.

JUF News Editor Cindy Sher, who just returned from a national young leadership trip to Israel, wrote about why – out of her many trips there – this one was especially meaningful.

Photo: JUF News Editor Cindy Sher and other Chicago young leaders on a mission to Israel last week.

U.S. House passes measure in support of Israel

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to support Israel in its defense against the rockets from Gaza. House Resolution 675, which passed by unanimous consent, was cosponsored by 140 representatives, 10 of whom are members of the Illinois delegation.

The Senate has introduced a similar resolution that currently has 41 cosponsors, including Sen. Mark Kirk.

On Thursday, in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama "reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks."

In addition, several members of the Illinois delegation have released statements in support of Israel.

JUF encourages you to thank your congressman for their support of Israel and their vote.

Despite fighting, basic supplies flow from Israel into Gaza

Even as terrorist rockets fly from Gaza and Israel responds, fuel and basic supplies continue to flow from Israel into Gaza, and Palestinians continue to receive medical care at Israeli hospitals.

YNetNews reports that some 200 truckfuls of supplies have been allowed to cross into the strip. Separately, more than 20 Palestinians, including eight children from Gaza, were being treated for a range of medical conditions at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

“Even in times of war,” a hospital official said, “we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need – children and adults.”

Help TOV rebuild Oklahoma

In commemoration of the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and in the volunteer spirit of the National Day of Service and Remembrance, JUF’s Tikkun Olam Volunteer network is partnering with Jewish Disaster Response Corps and New York Says Thank You to help rebuild Oklahoma.

Join hundreds of volunteers from all over the country helping Oklahoma communities recover from the deadly tornadoes of May 2013.

The TOV mission will leave Chicago Wednesday, Sept. 3, and return that Friday, before Shabbat. Volunteers must be 16 or older. The work will be physical, and TOV will focus on the main community-wide project of "barn-raising" – helping rebuild an animal rescue and therapeutic riding facility damaged by the destructive tornadoes.

There is no cost to participate in this mission except the cost of your flight. Meals and accommodations are subsidized by JUF. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register here by Aug. 4.

New webinars allow genetic screening from home

The Center for Jewish Genetics’ subsidized education, counseling and carrier screening program is now available via live webinar, all from the convenience of home. The Center is the first and only community screening program that is exclusively using an advanced DNA sequencing test, allowing participants to be screened from the privacy of their own home, using just a small saliva sample. 

Through the Center’s new webinar format, there are two opportunities each month to participate in the screenings. The new program includes an expanded panel of more than 80 disorders, including Tay-Sachs disease, Gaucher disease and Cystic Fibrosis.

Pre-registration is required and will take about five minutes. Email LeahSteinberg@juf.org with any questions.   

From JUFNews.org and around the web

As media conversation about the violence in Israel grows, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Huntley reminds us “a pretty simple rule of thumb applies to the outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed.”    

Rabbi David Stav, chief of the Tzohar association of rabbis, said Jews in Israel can leave their radios on this Shabbat in order to hear sirens, and they should pray at home if going to synagogue requires traveling through unprotected areas.

Three of the six suspects arrested in connection with the killing of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir have been released to house arrest, while the other three remain in custody, having reportedly confessed to the murder. Two of the suspects are 16 years old.

A man in the Swedish city of Malmo was severely beaten last Sunday evening for hanging an Israeli flag outside his window. Malmo sees several dozen anti-Semitic attacks annually.

Jewish Renewal movement leader and pioneer Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi has died at age 89.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

Although it’s hard to find the words to say, Aaron Cohen offers words of poetry in the wake of murder.

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