JUF News Express
Friday, July 25, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Community-wide Israel rally set for Monday

• Chicagoans address growing humanitarian needs in Israel

• Chicago leaders witness Israel's resolve firsthand

• Congressional update: Hezbollah sanctions, disability rights

• Register early and save on 8th grade Israel experience

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Community-wide Israel rally set for Monday

Chicagoans will stand with Israel at a community-wide rally at 11 a.m. this Monday, July 28, at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The event will include remarks from prominent elected officials.

Local support for Israel was strong all this week, as JUF’s Jewish Community Relations Council held a briefing on Operation Protective Edge (watch it here) and Chicagoans rallied outside the Israel Consulate in a show of solidarity. The same day, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. flights to or from Israel for a 36-hour period.

As talks of a new cease-fire continue to swirl, 35 Israeli soldiers have been killed in action to date, along with hundreds of Hamas terrorists and Gaza civilians.

Chicagoans address growing humanitarian needs in Israel

As human needs in Israel continue to change and increase JUF, through its Israel Emergency Campaign, is helping tens of thousands of Israelis in the areas of respite, direct service, trauma care, and long-term assistance. 

JUF partner agencies are continuing their tireless work on the ground moving children, including many with special needs, out of rocket range; equipping people, including many Holocaust survivors, with adequate safe rooms and bomb shelters; providing trauma care for individuals, new immigrants, and first-responders; helping homebound and disabled Israelis endure life under fire; and supporting families who have paid the ultimate price and lost loved ones. 

Visit JUF's special website for updates on the emergency.

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

Chicago leaders witness Israel's resolve firsthand

Local and national leaders on the Jewish Federations of North America’s second Solidarity Mission to Israel visited the southern part of the country this week to see the impact of federation funding on Israelis living under Hamas rocket fire.

Participants on the mission, which was chaired by JUF Board Chairman David T. Brown and included JUF Government Affairs Chairman Andy Hochberg, visited children from Kiryat Gat and other towns that are on respite activity funded by JUF and other federations. 

The mission then visited the Beersheba absorption center, where they were joined by Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. They met with new immigrants, including a family that arrived the day before from Odessa in Ukraine. They told participants how they spent the morning at the Soroka Hospital in the city visiting IDF soldiers wounded in Operation Protective Edge, bringing them candy and flowers.

Meanwhile, rabbinic leaders in Chicago continue to document and reflect on their experience. Read the latest thoughts from Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom and Rabbi Alex Felch of B’nai Tikvah.

Photo: JUF Chairman David T. Brown, JUF Government Affairs Chair Andy Hochberg and national leaders with children on respite in Israel.

Congressional update: Hezbollah sanctions, disability rights

This week the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan-supported Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, which Rep. Mike Meadows of North Carolina introduced with Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider.

The bill, which was supported by 17 Illinois representatives, targets Hezbollah’s access to the financial system. Hezbollah already is sanctioned as a terrorist group, but the new bill extends the sanctions to third parties that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities. This will impede Hezbollah’s ability to fund international terrorist activity and set back Hezbollah’s ability to move funds around the world. In addition, the bill requires increased scrutiny of Hezbollah’s news network, al-Manar, stifling their ability to spread their message. A Senate version of the bill, S. 2329, has been introduced and currently has 46 cosponsors, including Sen. Mark Kirk. 

Watch a speech by Rep. Schneider on the bill.


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday passed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty, which aims to promote, protect, and ensure the rights of the disability community on a global scale.

In 2013, CRPD was five votes short of passing; the treaty now includes several additions declaring that it does not affect American law, which was the leading concern. Both Illinois senators, Mark Kirk and Richard Durbin, have been leading supporters of this legislation. Ratification of the CRPD enables the U.S. to maintain its leadership as a partner in advancing disability rights, an issue of primary importance to groups such as Keshet.

Register early and save on 8th grade Israel experience

The early registration deadline for Ta’am Yisrael: A Taste of Israel, the Community Foundation for Jewish Education’s eighth-grade Israel experience, is July 31. Families who register by that date will save $100 on the trip, which brings 200 eighth graders from across the Chicago area to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada, the Dead Sea, the Negev and more.

Find out more about next year’s trip, which will take place Feb. 8-16, at two informational meetings this fall: 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road, Northfield, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Moadon Kol Hadash, 1454 W. Willow St., Chicago.

To register for the program, RSVP for an information meeting, or get more information regarding the current situation in Israel and the registration/cancellation implications, visit www.taamyisrael.org or call (312) 673-3268.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Ambassador David Roet, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN and former deputy consul general of Israel in Chicago, gave an impassioned speech on Operation Protective Edge at a meeting of the UN Security Council earlier this week.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps James T. Conway laid out the moral chasm between Israel and Hamas. (Subscription required.)

Reuven Rivlin was sworn in as the 10th president of Israel yesterday, in a small ceremony that was scaled back due to the current crisis.

One of the world’s biggest Jewish festivals is in Krakow. The Jewish Culture Festival draws tens of thousands of people, Jewis and non-Jews, for an entire week of festivities.

LeBron James’ new coach tells JNS.org about his Jewish upbringing and his life-changing experience on a kibbutz.

Spertus Institute has selected David Laskin’s book The Family for this year’s Chicago Jewish “One Book | One Community” initiative. The book is a memoir following the author’s ancestors across the 20th century, and will be the focal point of this year’s Jewish Book Month, which will be celebrated through various community events from Nov. 9 to Dec. 7.

This Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is Family Day at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie. “Who Am I?: Exploring Identity Through Art” will allow families to examine identity through art-based activities. The program is free with museum admission and free to members. Reservations required to education@ilhmec.org

A city-wide memorial and prayers on the shloshim of murdered Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at Congregation KINS, 2800 W. North Shore Ave., Chicago.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

After going on a Birthright Israel trip just two months ago, Israel Education Center intern Tori Weinstein reflects on what’s going on there and how quickly things have changed.

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