JUF News Express
Friday, February 06, 2015Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• DePaul student vigil protests fundraiser for convicted terrorist

• Rabbis receive funds to directly help the needy

• Holocaust Community Services program moves to CJE SeniorLife

• Registration now open for Birthright Israel summer trips

• College students can add to their resumes in Israel

• New initiative helps families pay for overnight camp

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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DePaul student vigil protests fundraiser for convicted terrorist

In response to a fundraising event at their school to benefit a convicted terrorist, pro-Israel students at DePaul University staged a vigil Tuesday night for the victim's of the terrorist's attack.

Under the leadership of Metro Chicago Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Seth Winberg, the vigil honored two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, who were murdered in a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem in 1969. (See photos from the vigil.)

The story garnered national attention; Winberg published an op-ed piece about it on Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times online and was invited to discuss the situation on Fox News.

Students convened the vigil to protest a concurrent event at the university held by anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine, which is raising funds for the legal defense of Rasmieh Odeh. Odeh, who was convicted in Israel for the 1969 bombing, was convicted last year of immigration fraud in a U.S. Federal court. She and her supporters are appealing that conviction.

Odeh came to the U.S. following her release from Israeli detention as part of a prisoner exchange.

DePaul students gather and light candles to remember the victims of the 1969 attack and stand up to terrorism.

Rabbis receive funds to directly help the needy

JUF will once again partner with local synagogues in 2015 to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families in need, and is now inviting congregational rabbis to apply for funding.

The JUF Rabbinic Discretionary Fund Program (formerly J-HELP) enhances, and in some instances creates, a pool of discretionary resources for rabbis to assist community members in crisis who turn to them for help. Since 2008, $414,500 has been made available through this program to 2,200 individuals, primarily to help provide basic human needs. 

“The financial assistance provided through this program serves as a critical safety net,” said Rabbi Michael Weinberg, co-chair of JUF’s Rabbinic Action Committee. “Rabbis report they provide a family with emergency funds to meet many needs."

Participating congregations reflect the full spectrum of synagogue streams, and the locations of participating congregations cover Chicago and all surrounding suburbs.

Learn more about the needs met by the funds and how they will be allocated to synagogues here.

Holocaust Community Services program moves to CJE SeniorLife

The consequences of advanced aging — compounded by the physical and emotional horrors endured during the war — are taking their toll on Chicago's Holocaust survivor community. The average age of a survivor is 79, with nearly a quarter 85 or older, and survivors are increasingly turning to community agencies.

In response to growing needs, administration of the Holocaust Community Services program has transitioned from Jewish Child & Family Services to CJE SeniorLife to provide greater potential for survivors to benefit from the eldercare resources available through CJE SeniorLife's continuum of care.

"There's a major misconception that the needs of the survivor community are dwindling, but in actuality, the reverse is true,” said Yonit Hoffman, Ph.D., HCS Program Director.

Holocaust Community Services, a collaborative effort of JCFS, CJE SeniorLife and the Jewish Federation, in partnership with HIAS Chicago, received nearly 300 new requests for services in the past year, Hoffman said.

Since 1999, HCS has helped ensure that members of the Chicago Holocaust survivor community and their families can continue to live independently and with dignity. The transition will enable survivors to benefit from CJE's expertise in counseling, support and referral services for older adults. HCS case managers also will facilitate in-home support, including personal care and housekeeping services, kosher food delivery, and transportation services.

Registration now open for Birthright Israel summer trips

Jewish young adults ages 18-26 can register now for a free 10-day trip to Israel this summer. Taglit-Birthright Israel: Shorashim-JUF Chicago Community Trips not only allow participants to travel with Israeli peers, but they will be the only trips to fly out of Chicago, making it easier and more convenient than ever to take advantage of the gift of a free trip to Israel.

Spread the word to eligible friends and family members by referring them to Taglit-Birthright Israel: Shorashim. Check our Summer 2015 dates and sign up at israelwithisraelis.com.

Questions? Contact Shorashim at info@shorashim.org or (312) 267-0677.

College students can add to their resumes in Israel

Registration is ongoing for Onward Israel, a program that sends young adults from Illinois campuses to Israel for the summer to strengthen their resumes through a custom-designed experience.

Onward Israel, a partnership between JUF’s Israel Education Center and the Jewish Agency for Israel, addresses many of the obstacles deterring young adults from returning to Israel for a second immersive experience, such as cost and the need to strengthen their resumes.

The eight-week program places participants in internships based on respective fields of study or areas of interest. The Illinois delegation will live in Tel Aviv, but also will spend a weekend in Chicago’s Partnership Together region of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir.

Preference will be given to students currently attending college in Illinois. Register now.

New initiative helps families pay for overnight camp

From ziplines to waterskiing to singing under the stars, at camp a child can discover who they are while having a total blast.

Paying for camp, however, can be difficult. BunkConnect is a new initiative that helps families from all Jewish backgrounds and income levels – including day school families – find a great summer experience at rates as much as 40 to 60 percent off.

If you or someone you know is thinking of sending a child to Jewish overnight camp for the first time this summer, visit www.BunkConnect.org to find the best Jewish summer camp at affordable first-time rates.

From JUFNews.org and around the web


The U.N. Human Rights Council has selected American judge Mary McGowan Davis to chair the inquiry into war crimes in Gaza after the resignation of the previous chairman, whom Israel accused of “blatant conflict of interest.”

In his Times of Israel blog, JUF Executive Vice President Jay Tcath shares moving reflections about "special" aspects of the Israel Defense Forces, including a very special--and personal--connection to a new IDF inductee

Ambassador David Roet, Israel’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, tells the story of his aunt, who died at age 20 after the liberation of Auschwitz. Roet spent five years in Chicago as deputy consul general from Israel to the Midwest,

A man wielding a knife attacked three soldiers guarding a Jewish community center in Nice, France, Tuesday.

Rabbi Jason Miller calls for Jewish leaders to stop ignoring the threat presented by the current state of anti-Semitism around the world, in an editorial for Time magazine.

A group of British neo-Nazis is organizing a rally against the “Jewification of Great Britain” in one of London’s largest Jewish communities.

A draft of a warrant for the arrest of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was found this week in the home of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who mysteriously died last month.

A story in The Jewish Week shows how Jewish organizations are helping lead the charge in education and training to prevent sexual assault on college campuses.

Twenty-five years after the wave of immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union, Judy Maltz of Haaretz looks at the profound impact the more than 1 million immigrants had on Israel.


Sing along with folk performers Barbie Silverman and fiddler Rick Veras at a Tu B’Shevat family concert at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave. Buy tickets here.

The Torah Learning Center and Keshet are hosting a free panel discussion on special needs services in the Jewish community, followed by a resource fair, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Torah Learning Center, 2548 Jasper Court, Northbrook.

The Chicago premiere of “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem,” will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Ave., and will be followed by a Q&A with Bikel.

Israel “The Voice” winners Maytal Michaeli and Etzion Mayer are back in Chicago for a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave., Highland Park, hosted by the District 113 Hebrew program.

Interested in traveling to Israel this summer with JUF’s Young Leadership Division? YLD is hosting a free informational Israel Trip Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at The J. Parker, 1816 N. Clark St., 13th floor. Registration required by emailing KatieFeld@juf.org.

Join an interactive discussion on the 40-year struggle for LGBT rights in Israel, same-sex families, pro-LGBT laws in the country and more at a reception with The Aguda, Israel’s pioneer LGBT organization, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Center on Halsted, 3565 N. Halsted.

And the latest JUF News blogs

Paul Wieder has the 411 on Jewish country music and bluegrass.

Sunday’s blizzard revealed to Steven Chaitman how bad weather can actually be a good thing.

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