JUF News Express
Friday, July 18, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• JUF boosts humanitarian aid as war escalates

• Chicago leaders experience situation in Israel

• Announcing Chicago's Jewish '36 Under 36'

• Congressional update: Israel, Hamas, and taxes, too

• Final week to register for Camp TOV

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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JUF boosts humanitarian aid as war escalates

As Israel’s war with Hamas escalates, so too do the human needs. Through its Israel Emergency Campaign, JUF is helping Israel’s resilient but war-weary citizens stay safe, receive needed trauma care, and find respite out of harm’s way.

In addition to last week’s $1 million advance to support its partners' ongoing efforts, JUF wired another $500,000 to Israel earlier today.

This week, in JUF’s Partnership region alone, JUF partner agencies took 5,850 children out of rocket range for respite activities; provided trauma counseling for individuals, new immigrants, and first-responders; and helped provide support services for individuals and families who have suffered casualties. 

These and other needs, such as building shelters in residences that do not have them, are expected to rise significantly.

The mayors of the three cities in the Chicago Federation's Partnership Together region -- Kiryat Gat, Lachish and Shafir -- thanked Chicago for the crisis programming and support it is providing to their residents, and urged its continuation.

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.

Meanwhile, a rally in support of Israel is being organized by a number of local groups for this Tuesday, July 22, at noon, across from the Israel Consulate (500 W. Madison St., Chicago).

Chicago leaders experience situation in Israel

JUF leaders participated in Jewish Federations of North America leadership missions to Israel this week in a show of solidarity and to assess needs on the ground.

“The ability of Israelis to handle this adversity is miraculous, and every Jew in America has to hear and understand,” said Bill Silverstein, JUF's incoming board chairman.

"The resiliency of Israelis is truly extraordinary," said David Prystowsky of JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council. "Being there this week, I saw the heroes of this conflict in action:  doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors and everyone else who goes about their job with focus and dedication amid massive rocket fire. JUF’s work on the ground testifies to our community’s stand for Israel in good times and bad.”

Linda Fisher, 2015 JUF Women’s Board Campaign chair, met the parents of Gil-ad Shaar, one of the three Isaeli teens murdered by terrorists in June.

Other Chicago community leaders in Israel during the long stretch of rocket fire have written reflections on their experience, including Rabbi Karyn Kedar of Congregation BJBE and Rabbi Alex Felch of B’nai Tikvah. Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom continues to update her posts.

Also, Riverwoods native Hannah Schlacter, a college student who last week reflected on the sirens going off where she was living in Kiryat Gat, just returned from Israel and shared more about her experience. And Yair Sakols, a Chicagoan in Tel Aviv as part of the Onward Israel internship program, was interviewed on FoxChicago News/Channel 32 via Skype about life under rocket fire.

Photo: JUF's Bill Silverstein, left, and JFNA President/CEO Jerry Silverman track the smoke from a rocket strike in southern Israel.

Announcing Chicago's Jewish '36 Under 36'

From the founders of innovative nonprofits, to socially conscious business leaders to Jewish professionals paving the way for the Jewish future, Chicago is full of young entrepreneurs, humanitarians, educators and social activists striving to make the world a better place, each in his or her own way.

For the third straight year, three dozen of these difference-making young Jewish leaders have been named to "Double Chai in the Chi," Chicago's Jewish "36 Under 36" list, by JUF's Young Leadership Division and Oy!Chicago.

This year’s list includes the founder of a yoga company that empowers young girls, a creator of the SpotHero parking app, a Jewish outreach director connecting with interfaith families, and a lawyer fighting for the rights of those with disabilities, just to name a few.

All 36 honorees will be celebrated at YLD’s “WYLD in Paris” party at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at Studio Paris, 59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago. The party is open to the public. Tickets are $20 in advance or $30 at the door. Register here.

Congressional update: Israel, Hamas, and taxes, too

Sen. Dick Durbin says he is "shocked by Hamas' barbaric use of its own civilians as human shields."

* * *

Senate Resolution 498, a show of solidarity with Israel, was unanimously approved Thursday, following unanimous approval last Friday of the House version, Resolution 657. The bipartisan Senate statement, introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk along with Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, had 78 cosponsors, including Durbin.

* * *

The House also passed the “America Gives More Act" this week, which makes permanent key charitable provisions. Rep. Aaron Schock’s bill, HR 4619, was included in the package, and permanently extends the IRA charitable rollover.

In his speech on the House floor, Schock describes the benefits the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has seen from the IRA charitable rollover. In addition, the package also included an extension of the deadline for claiming charitable tax deductions from New Year’s Eve to April 15. Both measures would help charities, such as JUF, in their fundraising efforts.

Illinois Reps Cheri Bustos, Rodney Davis, William Enyart, Bill Foster, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Daniel Lipinski, Brad Schneider, Aaron Schock, and  John Shimkus voted in favor of the bill.

Final week to register for Camp TOV

It’s not too late to give your teen a summer experience full of both fun activities and tikkun olam.

Registration closes July 25 for Camp TOV, a week-long program for teens in middle school and high school that focuses on volunteering. Campers will volunteer with organizations such as Bernie's Book Bank, Twist Out Cancer, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and CJE SeniorLife, as well as serve meals to those in need, plant in a public park, and much more.

Camp TOV is available in two sessions: Aug. 4-8 and Aug. 11-15. Spots are first come, first served. Email TOVteen@juf.org with questions or for more information.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

As the Israel-Hamas conflict escalated, U.S. public support for Israel remained at a near record high -- 51 percent -- while about 14 percent sympathized with the Palestinians, according to the Pew Research Center.

In a Sun-Times op-ed, the American Jewish Committee's Daniel Elbaum laid out the clear-cut moral distinction between Israel and Hamas.

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, commented on the taste of Israeli life he experienced during a solidarity mission there with other Jewish leaders.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense has categorized the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Khdeir as an act of terror.

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis -- the former archbishop of that city -- posted a video calling for justice for the victims. "Buenos Aires is a city that needs to cry," he said, "that still hasn’t cried enough."

Anti-Semitic flare-ups have increased in France as a result of the conflict between Israel and Gaza. On Sunday, clashes erupted when anti-Israel protestors advanced on an occupied synagogue in central Paris and hurled objects at guards while chanting anti-Semitic slogans. Consequently, Paris police recommended Wednesday that city officials cancel plans for a massive anti-Israel protest set for Saturday due to “serious risks for public order.”

The Congress for Jewish Culture, founded in 1948 by a group of Yiddish writers and intellectuals to promote the language and culture, is shutting its Manhattan office.

Runner's World magazine looks at what happens when running runs into religious holidays, such as Yom Kippur and Ramadan.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

In Israel, Aaron Cohen saw firsthand Palestinians with a vision of peace. He wishes there were more of those efforts, and fewer efforts by those in Gaza, Chicago and elsewhere to undermine them.

Anita Silvert tries to recover from a frenetic Tech Week -- the week before opening night, when every detail of a theatrical production comes together.

Spertus Institute's Brian Zimmerman reflects on the people of the clock.

When you feel powerless to change the monumental tragedies of the world, Cindy Sher says, use your power to change the world in little ways. 

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