JUF News Express
Friday, September 12, 2014Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Annual Meeting sends message of peace and interfaith partnership

• Campus update: U of I board rejects Salaita, Ohio students arrested

• Spertus Institute launches Center for Jewish Leadership

• Local volunteers provide disaster relief in Oklahoma

• Jan Karski Days to honor Holocaust hero

• Register now for a free winter trip to Israel

• YLD and TOV hosting citywide day of service

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


Check out what's happening in Jewish Chicago on the the JUF Community Calendar. View all kinds of upcoming events including family programs, networking opportunities, social gatherings, educational seminars and things to do and see in Chicago.

Have an event and want to get the word out? Submit an event to the calendar.


Want news of Chicago, Israel and the Jewish world in your mailbox each month? Subscribe to JUF News, Chicago's widest-circulation Jewish community monthly, by making a contribution to the Jewish United Fund.

Advertising in JUF News will put your business in 45,000 homes and businesses!


Got married or engaged recently? Had a child? Your child becoming a bar or bat mitzvah? Announce your happy news to the Jewish world in JUF News' Simchas section.


Annual Meeting sends message of peace and interfaith partnership

After a summer of hardship for Jews around the world, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s 114th Annual Meeting, held yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, reflected the community’s commitment to Jewish life and Israel in the past year — and looked ahead to hopes for peace in the Jewish year ahead.

Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George, OMI, delivered the keynote address at the afternoon luncheon. (Watch the Cardinal's speech.)

“What I’ve learned from Vatican II and from my 17 years as Archbishop of Chicago is that the narrative of Catholic/Jewish relations is best written if we write it together,” Cardinal George said.

The meeting also included the State of the Federation address from President Dr. Steven B. Nasatir (watch the address), who took the Cardinal’s presence as an opportunity to call upon all faiths to join together in protecting the innocent of the world.

“Together, let us act on the shared values of our faith traditions and tell those who are threatened that they will not be abandoned,” Nasatir said. “Together let us insist that the world protect the innocent and defeat the evil that endangers decency in our time … Let us pray for peace.”

Max “Skip” R. Schrayer received this year’s Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, the Federation’s highest honor, while Lee Miller, 2014 JUF Annual Campaign chairman, received the Shofar Award. Outgoing Chairman of the Board David T. Brown was also recognized for his two years of service; he passes the gavel to Bill Silverstein.

Earlier, at the morning business meeting, Federation recognized rising young Jewish leaders, installed the new Board of Directors and highlighted the Federation’s current efforts and initiatives in the area of young family engagement.

Photo: Archbishop Francis Cardinal George delivers the keynote speech at the Annual Meeting. (Robert F. Kusel)

Campus update: U of I board rejects Salaita, Ohio students arrested

The University of Illinois board of trustees voted 8-1 to reject the faculty recommendation to hire professor Steven Salaita, whose Tweets during the course of the Israel-Hamas conflict were deemed by university administrators to have crossed a line.

"There's plenty of room at the U. of I. for passionate intellectual discourse. There's room for profanity, vitriol and provocative language. But there's no reason to make room for hate speech," the Chicago Tribune argued in a Sept. 11 editorial.

With classes resuming on campuses nationwide, JUF's Hillels of IllinoisIsrael Education Center, and other campus-focused organizations are preparing and empowering students for activities in the wake of the summer’s war. Yehuda Kurtzer, president of The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, calls for campus activism rooted in "the core goals of Zionism, which meant to engage the Jewish people in the exercise of being agents of change with respect to our own political, social, cultural, and economic realities."

Meanwhile, four pro-Israel students at Ohio University were arrested after their open floor speech at a student senate meeting defending Israel devolved into a shouting match between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students, according to college news site Campus Reform. Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut wrote a letter to Ohio President Roderick J. McDavis calling on him to personally take charge of the university's response to the students' arrest and rectify any wrongdoing.

Spertus Institute launches Center for Jewish Leadership

The Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership will launch the Center for Jewish Leadership next month. This new center will cultivate innovative approaches and create leadership development opportunities tailored to the challenges faced by professionals and volunteers working in Jewish communities locally and around the world. 

The Center addresses a need for professional development in the nonprofit sector. Supported with generous grants from the Crown Family and an anonymous foundation, CJL will serve employees and volunteers of Jewish organizations.

CJL offerings will include graduate degree and certificate programs, master classes and workshops, a Jewish "Leadership on Leadership" series, an annual leadership symposium, a professional community mentoring program, and micro-grants for innovation and collaboration.

The Center launches officially on Sunday, Oct. 26 with an inaugural symposium, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Jewish Leadership, featuring Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform focused on Israeli startups, and other entrepreneurs and innovators.

Local volunteers provide disaster relief in Oklahoma

Eight TOV volunteers traveled to Bethel Acres, Oklahoma last week to help the community rebuild from the devastating tornadoes that swept through the region last year.

Coordinated by New York Says Thank You in partnership with the Jewish Disaster Response Corps and Jewish Federations of North America, the relief effort centered around a barn-raising for 1 Day Ranch, a horse rescue, therapeutic riding and educational facility damaged by the tornadoes. (View photos from the mission.)

“The friendliness and cooperation I experienced was only matched by the incredible results achieved,” said TOV volunteer Sy Sarowitz.

Alongside TOV volunteers were New York fire fighters and first-responders, all offering local communities the same hope and inspiration that was given to them in the aftermath of 9/11. 

Photo: TOV volunteers assist with the barn-raising in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma.

Jan Karski Days to honor Holocaust hero

From Sept. 18-21, Chicago will honor the legacy of Jan Karski in commemoration of the centennial year of his birth. Karski was a Polish soldier and diplomat who saw what was happening to Jews in Europe during World War II and undertook a mission to inform Western leaders of the Holocaust.

To kick off Jan Karski Days, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will open “The World Knew: Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity” on Sept. 18. The 22-panel exhibition will feature powerful period photos and primary documents and run through Jan. 25.

Jan Karski Days will also feature several lectures, a play, film screenings and the Jan Karski 2014 International Conference on Memory and Responsibility hosted by Loyola University Chicago on Sept. 19-20. See the full list of events and more information on Karski here.

Register now for a free winter trip to Israel

Registration for Taglit-Birthright Israel is now open. Taglit Birthright Israel offers free 10-day trips to Israel for 18- to 26-year-olds who have not been on an organized group trip to the Jewish homeland 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.

An informational session for those interested will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 3343 Walters Ave., Northbrook. RSVP to winter2014trips@juf.org to attend.

YLD and TOV hosting citywide day of service

On Sunday, Sept. 21, JUF’s Young Leadership Division and TOV Volunteer Network will host the third annual fall Feed Chicago, a citywide day of service providing food assistance to those in need.

“Feed Chicago is a great opportunity for Jewish Chicagoans to give back, especially at this time of year,” said Marissa Comin, event coordinator. “Our projects throughout Chicago make an enormous impact, and help spread awareness of the needs of our greater community.”

Close to 130 young adults are expected to join the day-long fight against hunger. Thirteen projects are scheduled across the city throughout the day.

From JUFNews.org and around the web

Four Chicago cantors united for a solidarity concert for Israel last Sunday. The event was attended by some 350 people and raised more than $14,000 for JUF’s Israel Emergency Campaign.

TheChicago Tribune published a piece and several videos about how Chicago business leaders are looking at Israel’s high-tech landscape for ways to strengthen the local tech startup scene. (Subscription to Chicago Tribune PLUS require to read whole story.)

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee CEO Alan Gill writes about his firsthand experience in Ukraine, the people he met there and their stories, and the perseverance of Ukraine’s Jewish communities amidst the worsening conflict.

Chicago’s Center for Jewish Genetics has been named a Partner in Excellence by Sharsheret, a national nonprofit supporting young women of all Jewish backgrounds who face breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center CEO Susan Abrams and Kelley Szany, the museum’s director of educational outreach and genocide initiatives, respond to the global spike in anti-Semitism, warning that such discrimination can lead to persecution, exclusion and even genocide.

Applications are open for the second cohort of Taglit Fellows, a program that trains experiential Jewish educators to staff Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. The next training seminar will be from Feb.1-4.

Celebrate Greek Israel TIEs this Sunday, Sept. 14, with a special event featuring Senator Mark Kirk hosted by CHI Circle for Hellas and Israel, an organization devoted to strengthening the relationship between Israel and the East Mediterranean through technology and innovation exchanges (TIEs). The concert event and reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the Heller Auditorium of Francis W. Parker, 330 W. Webster Ave. Cantor Alberto Mizrahi will perform Greek, Hebrew and Ladino songs accompanied by Grammy-winning pianist Howard Levy. Purchase tickets here.

The latest JUF News blog posts:  

Never having kept kosher before, Steven Chaitman makes sense of the never-ending challenges of koshering an apartment from his recent move.  

JUF website | E-mail Newsletter Archive | JUF News | Subscribe | Forward to a Friend