JUF News Express
Friday, August 22, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Israel Emergency Campaign fundraiser draws big crowd

• Hamas resumes rocket attacks

• Nachshon Solidarity Mission brings support to Israel

• Teens gather for peer-led in-depth study of Israel

• Young leaders to be honored at Federation's Annual Meeting

• Chicago hosts National Conference of Jewish Lawyers

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Israel Emergency Campaign fundraiser draws big crowd

More than 650 Chicagoans, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, showed their support for Israel and the Jewish United Fund’s Israel Emergency Campaign at a fundraiser Thursday night.

“Chicago Stands with Israel: An Evening of Solidarity and Support” was held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers and featured remarks from the mayor, Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin and former ambassador of Israel to the U.S. Michael Oren.

The evening benefited JUF’s Israel Emergency Campaign, which works through JUF’s overseas partners to provide urgent humanitarian needs and vital services for Israelis most grievously affected by the approximately 4,000 Hamas rocket attacks this summer. Including last night’s event, the campaign has raised $8.7 million to date.

“For those Israelis in harm’s way, it is important to know that world Jewry is standing behind them—that we are advocating for them in the halls of power and in the media, that we are coming together on their behalf with public rallies and programs like this one,” said Bill Silverstein, incoming JUF Chairman of the Board.

Photo: Former Ambassador Michael Oren speaks at last night's event. (Photo by Robert F. Kusel)

Hamas resumes rocket attacks

Hamas ended a 24-hour cease-fire this week, firing more than 430 rockets into Israel since Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces responded with strategic airstrikes, killing three Hamas commanders on Thursday. This morning, mortar fire killed a 5-year-old boy at a kibbutz near Gaza and a rocket struck a synagogue in Ashdod injuring three.

The renewed barrage of rockets adds to the existing humanitarian needs facing Israel, which JUF is addressing through its Israel Emergency Campaign.

To help Israelis as this war continues, PLEASE DONATE to JUF's Israel Emergency Campaign today.

Nachshon Solidarity Mission brings support to Israel

Eighteen Chicagoans traveled to Israel with JUF Aug. 10-12 on a special Nachshon Solidarity Mission. Chaired by Skip Schrayer, chair of JUF’s Jewish Community Relations Council, the mission demonstrated the support of Chicago’s Jewish community for Israel and its people during the war with Hamas.   

The mission included briefings with an IDF official, a professor, an economist, a news correspondent and more. Participants also visited an Iron Dome missile defense battery near Ashdod and a Sderot home that took a direct rocket hit. 

“In Sderot, you have 15 seconds to reach your shelter,” explained participant Keith Pascal. “Fifteen seconds means it’s hard to move about without being near a shelter.” 

Participants visited JUF-funded sites that serve immigrants, including one that is resettling new immigrants from France escaping the increasing anti-Semitism there. They also met with the CEO of the JUF-funded Israel Trauma Coalition, which helps Israelis cope with the constant attacks.

“It was scary to hear of what the residents of JUF’s Partnership Together Region—Kiryat Gat, Lachish, and Shafir—have been going through during the war,” said participant Jeff Rosenkranz, “but wonderful to hear how JUF dollars are providing security for residents and respite from the trauma of the current battle.” 

The Nachshon Solidarity Mission was one of several missions led by JUF or with JUF participation during the conflict.

Photo: Nachshon Solidarity Mission participants visit the IDF Engineering Corps in the field.

Teens gather for peer-led in-depth study of Israel

Teens from across the Chicago area gathered Wednesday for an intensive evening of learning about Israel and the implications of Operation Protective Edge. The collaborative program was sponsored by JUF’s Israel Education Center, Congregation Beth Shalom, and a coalition of youth groups and teen programs.

“Israel: What You Need to Know Now” featured breakout groups facilitated by Senior Fellows and alumni of JUF’s Write On for Israel program. Sessions focused on using social media, understanding the historical context for the summer’s events, the role of Lone Soldiers in Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s technology sector and more.

A session for parents focused on ways they can help their children grapple with situations that may develop when they return to school, ranging from tough conversations with friends to in-class references to the summer’s events.

“The evening was a great opportunity for us to share our knowledge and engage in thoughtful debates with peers and community members,” said Write On for Israel Senior Fellow Toby Klein, a senior at Glenbrook North High School. “Every person at the event was both a student and a teacher.”

Photo: Write On for Israel Senior Fellows facilitated breakout sessions.

Young leaders to be honored at Federation's Annual Meeting

The spotlight will shine on four of the Chicago Jewish community's outstanding young leaders – two of them volunteers, two professionals at communal organizations – at the114th Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.


The 10 a.m. business session of the meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, and will feature presentation of the 50th annual Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser Young Leadership Award to David Goldenberg and James B. Sarnoff. Jessica Schaffer of Jewish Child & Family Services and Ariel Zipkin Weiss, JUF Director of Donor Engagement and former Director of JUF’s Young Leadership Division will receive the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Young Jewish Professionals.


New board members will also be elected at the morning session and presentations made to outgoing board members. At the noon luncheon, long-time Federation leader Max “Skip” R. Schrayer will receive the Federation's highest honor, the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award; Federation President Steven B. Nasatir will present the annual State of the Federation address; and Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, OMI, will deliver the keynote address.

There is a charge of $40 for the luncheon session; $20 for senior citizens, rabbis, Jewish communal professionals and students. There is no charge to attend the business meeting. RSVP here. For information, contact Pam Dierking at 312.357.4876 or annualmeeting@juf.org.

Chicago hosts National Conference of Jewish Lawyers

Israel was foremost on the minds of over 250 attorneys from all over the Chicago area who gathered for the inaugural National Conference of Jewish Lawyers earlier this month.

The conference was part of The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's National Jewish Retreat held at the Palmer House Hilton. It was chaired by prominent Chicago attorneys who are leaders in the Chicago Jewish community and strong supporters of Israel, including JUF Chairman of the Board David T. Brown of Much Shelist and JUF Board Member Keith J. Shapiro of Greenberg Traurig.

JUF President Dr. Steven B. Nasatir addressed welcomed guests to Chicago and offered insights on the importance of Jewish education for people of all ages, especially at these trying times for our people all throughout the world.

The keynote panel addressed the war on terror in U.S. courts and featured former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.

Photo: JUF/Federation President Steven B. Nasatir addresses the conference.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Chicago religious leaders and members of the public gathered for an interfaith peace service Monday to bring awareness to violence against people of faith all over the world and also the violence going on in Chicago. The event was organized by the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; Council President Rabbi Michael Balinsky, executive director of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, was emcee for the event held at Daley Plaza.

“Some Jewish Thoughts on Comedy, Parenting and Football,” the latest episode of JUF’s public affairs TV program, “Sanctuary,” is now available for viewing online. The episode features the Chicago edition of Jewish-themed ELI Talks.

Metro Detroit suffered major flooding last week, leaving many households with damage and mounting unplanned expenses. Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster immediately deployed staff to the area to assist with clean-up and they are in need of volunteers to help with the mucking and gutting of homes. If you are interested in volunteering with Nechama or would like more information, visit the website.

David Pollock of The Washington Institute stresses the importance of getting the numbers right in terms of how many civilians have been killed in Gaza.

Israel Bonds Chicago is hosting an Israel briefing featuring Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, on Thursday, Sept. 4 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required to attend.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

Deb Weiner of Keshet Chicago highlights the organization’s special partnership with Alpha Epsilon Pi to help individuals with special needs.

Get tongue-tied with Brian Zimmerman of Spertus Institute as he explores the connection between the language of Esperanto and the revival and creation of Modern Hebrew.

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