JUF News Express
Friday, September 05, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Annual Meeting to hear call for interfaith partnership to fight global threats

• Governor Quinn meets with Jewish community leaders

• 2015 Lion Luncheon to feature former Miss World

• Cantors sing for Israel this Sunday

• Winter Birthright Israel trip registration starts Monday

• PJ Library launches book program for kids ages 9 to 11

• Chicago young families get ready to rock

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Annual Meeting to hear call for interfaith partnership to fight global threats

A call for a new kind of global religious coalition to confront the resurgence of anti-Semitism and persecution of Christians and other minorities will be part of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, set for Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive. Registration remains open until early next week. 

The noon luncheon session of the meeting will feature a keynote address from Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, OMI, as well as Federation President Steven B. Nasatir's annual State of the Federation address and the presentation of the Federation's highest honor, the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, to Max “Skip” R. Schrayer.

Earlier, at the 10 a.m. business session, new board members will be elected, Federation's latest efforts to engage young families will be highlighted, and the Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser Young Leadership Awards and the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for young professionals will be presented.

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.

Governor Quinn meets with Jewish community leaders

JUF hosted a forum with Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday to talk about key issues for the Jewish community in Illinois.

The program was the latest in a longstanding tradition of inviting candidates for high-profile offices to engage in conversations about important health and human service issues. These include health care, refugee services, services for the disabled, and caring for the elderly, to name a few, as well as Israel and regulations governing philanthropy.

Participants included leading experts on the full range of policy priorities on the broad domestic and international agenda of JUF’s Government Affairs Committee, among them senior professionals from JUF-affiliated agencies. This network serves 300,000 Chicago-area residents annually and is one of the largest in Illinois. The forums provide these leaders an opportunity not only to  listen to the candidates, but also educate them on how the JUF system addresses critical challenges.

JUF currently is in process of planning a program with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

2015 Lion Luncheon to feature former Miss World

JUF’s Women’s Division will host its annual Lion Luncheon at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago. The event will feature Linor Abargil, subject of the documentary film “Brave Miss World,” (now available for streaming on Netflix) who has become an outspoken advocate against sexual violence.

The luncheon also will honor Edryce Cadden, recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award. The event couvert is $75; a minimum donation of $5,000 to the 2015 JUF Annual Campaign is required to attend. Attendees are encouraged to register their daughters, daughters-in-law and/or granddaughters for this event. Register here.

Bus transportation from Edens Plaza to the event will be provided for $10 per person. The bus will depart at 9:30 a.m. To reserve a spot, contact WomensDiv@juf.org or call 312.357.4823

Cantors sing for Israel this Sunday

Four north suburban cantors will come together Sunday for a concert fundraiser to help those most affected by the crisis in Israel.

“Kol Israel Arevim Ze Ba Ze: All Jews Are Responsible for One Another” will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, at Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette, and will benefit JUF’s Israel Emergency Campaign.

The concert will feature Cantors Steve Stoehr of Congregation Beth Shalom, Vicky Glikin of Congregation Solel, Andrea Rae Markowicz of Am Shalom, and Pavel Roytman of BHCBE. The Kol Zimrah Community Singers, conducted by Richard Boldrey, also will perform.

RSVP by calling BHCBE at 847.256.1213.

Winter Birthright Israel trip registration starts Monday

Jewish young adults can spend part of Chicago's brutal winter in sunny Israel with dozens of their peers. Taglit-Birthright Israel provides free 10-day trips to the Jewish homeland to any 18- to 26-year-old who hasn't been on an organized group trip there since turning 18.

JUF offers trips through Shorashim, which allows young adults from the Chicago area to experience Israel from the inside, through the eyes and hearts of Israeli peers who accompany the group for the entire trip.

For students at the University of Chicago, JUF partners with Hillel International.

Online registration for returning applicants begins at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8, and for first-time applicants at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9. Trips will run between Dec. 17 and Jan. 18. 

For more information about Shorashim trips, contact info@shorashim.org, or come to the information session at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 3343 Walters Ave., Northbrook. RSVP to winter2014trips@juf.org to attend.

PJ Library launches book program for kids ages 9 to 11

PJ Library, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s popular national program that sends free Jewish-themed books and music each month to tens of thousands of children up to age 8, is launching a new edition: PJ Our Way.

The new two-year multi-city pilot project, being launched in Chicago in partnership with JUF, expands the program to Jewish kids ages 9 to 11 and, for the first time, lets them choose the books they receive.

Every month, children can go online to pick from a selection of high-quality titles reviewed by a panel of PJ educators, parents and kids. They also will be able to write reviews, upload their own video trailers, and share ideas on the PJ Our Way website.

PJ Our Way also offers parents the opportunity to read about each book and find suggestions for family discussion on the PJ Our Way Parent Blog.

All participants, including those who previously signed up for the original PJ Library program, must register for PJ Our Way. The website is now open for registration. The other features will go live in a few weeks. Once registered, each child will receive a copy of “Jordan and the Dreadful Golem,” by Karen Goldman, as a welcome gift. For more information, email JessicaFisher@juf.org.

Chicago young families get ready to rock

To celebrate five years in Chicago, PJ Library is putting on five high-energy concerts for families. Titled PJ Rocks, the program will kick off with “PJ Rocks Rosh Hashanah” at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at Morton Arboretum in Lisle

The event will feature nationally touring children’s recording artist Laura Doherty, arts and crafts, a shofar workshop, scavenger hunt, snacks and more. The event is presented in partnership with the Prairie Jewish Coalition, Congregation Beth Shalom of Naperville, Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County, and Pushing the Envelope Farm.

Cost is $25 per family, which includes parking and admission to the Arboretum for the entire day. Register online by Wednesday, Sept. 10, at www.juf.org/rocksrosh. For more information, contact Deborah Shub at deborahshub@juf.org or by calling 312.444.2844.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Controversy erupted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in recent weeks over a decision by Chancellor Phyllis Wise to not recommend further action by the Board of Trustees concerning the potential appointment of Professor Steven Salaita to the faculty. The university found Salaita’s social media messages at the time of this summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza “disrespectful and demeaning.” This week, following the first student government meeting of the year, Student Government President Michael Dickey issued a letter endorsing the university’s decision and U of I student Hannah Schlacter was one of several students who spoke at the Illinois Student Senate meeting’s debate Wednesday night, which ultimately supported the chancellor’s decision.

Gila and Doron Tregerman, parents of 4-year-old Daniel, who was killed by mortar fire from Gaza, wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking, “Why are you silent?” and demanding a UN investigation into Hamas activities in Gaza.

The situation for Jews in eastern Ukraine remains dire. While many have fled the region, the few thousand who remain – many of whom are elderly, disabled or disadvantaged children – rely on JUF’s partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, to meet their basic needs. Meanwhile, the Jewish Agency for Israel has reached out to those who have fled to other regions of Ukraine, offering Hebrew classes and teaching them about Israel with the goal of helping them immigrate.

After he was abducted in August 2013, friends and family of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded by radical Islamist group ISIS this week, went to great measures to conceal his Jewish identity. Sotloff also was Israeli, having made aliyah in 2005.

American natural gas company Noble Energy has signed on to a prospective deal worth a reported $15 billion to supply Jordan with natural gas from Israel’s offshore Leviathan reservoir. The deal likely will face strong opposition from Jordan’s Arab allies as well as Jordanians who oppose business with Israel, according to an analysis from The Washington Institute.

Join in a call to action asking President Obama to take meaningful steps to free Alan Gross, a Jewish American citizen arrested and imprisoned in Cuba in 2009 while on a U.S. mission to help a small Jewish community there get Internet access. Gross’ health is deteriorating and he is five years into his 15-year sentence.

A ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto in Poland took place in Chicago last week. The event was held at the Union League Club, which in the past was not inclusive of Jews, as a way to bring Chicago’s Jewish and Polish communities closer together. Watch a Voice of America report featuring survivors in Chicago remembering Lodz before and during World War II.

The Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership has announced the opening of the Center for Jewish Leadership, a business school aimed at providing high-end professional development for the Jewish nonprofit world.

Jewish comedian Joan Rivers died yesterday at age 81, following complications from elective vocal cord surgery. The Forward remembers her most Jewish comedy moments.

After being challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Student Senate president at Ohio University posted a video dumping a bucket of “blood” over her head to protest “the genocide in Gaza and the occupation in Palestine by the Israeli state.” A student representative of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at OU called her out on her actions at a Student Senate meeting.

The History Channel has debuted a miniseries about infamous Jewish escape artist Harry Houdini, starring Jewish actor Adrien Brody. All of “Houdini” is available to stream online.

Despite other musical acts canceling recent concerts in Israel -- Neil Young, the Backstreet Boys and Lana Del Rey among them -- Lady Gaga’s Sept. 13 performance in Tel Aviv will go ahead as scheduled, according to the pop star’s management.

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