JUF News Express
Friday, April 03, 2015Forward this message  Forward this message

In this Issue:

• Many Jewish orgs voice concern over Iran deal

• JUF leaders meet with French Ambassador Gerard Araud

• JCRC addresses Iran talks and US-Israel relations

• Last chance to register to vote in April 7 elections

• Engaging grandparents and their grandchildren

• Guarantee your spot in the Chicago Marathon with TeamJUF

• Join YLD for Blue & White Bar Night

• From JUFNews.org and around the web


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Many Jewish orgs voice concern over Iran deal

While always supportive of a diplomatic resolution and rejecting the notion that the only choices are the current deal or a military option, major Jewish organizations today are raising a number of questions about the framework agreement that the U.S. and other world powers reached with Iran Thursday over its nuclear program.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America, AIPAC and Jewish Council for Public Affairs all have issued statements appreciating the administration’s efforts to reach a diplomatic solution while pointing out a number of unresolved issues in the framework that could have consequences for the world and especially Israel. Among those is breakout time – the time it would take Iran to develop a nuclear bomb. 

Ambassador Dennis Ross noted that any agreement would at best deter Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not force it to dismantle its program. Concerns about the breakout issue were reinforced by a Daily Beast report that Iran could hide weapons in North Korea.

After convening his cabinet to discuss the framework, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced strong opposition to the terms. “Such a deal does not block Iran’s path to the bomb,” he said. “Such a deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

Jewish organizations are emphasizing the imperative of congressional review going forward, and cautioning that even though the focus is currently on Iran as a nuclear threat, there is a need to remain mindful and vigilant of Iran’s ongoing support of terrorism in the Middle East and beyond, as well as its continuing threats against Israel.

Photo: Foreign ministers and representatives from the world powers meet in Switzerland amid discussions of the future of Iran's nuclear program. (Photo by U.S. Department of State via JNS.org)

JUF leaders meet with French Ambassador Gerard Araud

The government of France is committed to protecting its Jewish citizens: That was the message leaders from the Jewish community heard from Ambassador Gerard Araud at a closed door meeting convened by JUF and the leaders of other local organizations last Friday.

“French Jews are afraid, some are choosing to leave for Israel, but leaving France because of fear is unacceptable,” Araud said, detailing efforts by the government to confront radicalization within the Muslim community.

During the meeting, JUF Chairman Bill Silverstein shared with the ambassador his impressions from a recent national solidarity mission to Paris. “The Jews we met with expressed to us that they wished to stay in France, but want to feel secure,” he said.

JUF has provided $250,500 in emergency and security funds for France, part of $1.1 million allocated through our national agencies.

During his visit to Chicago, Araud also addressed the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Photo: French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud (left) meets with JUF leaders. (Photo courtesy the French Consulate)

JCRC addresses Iran talks and US-Israel relations

Over 100 community members and a dozen diplomats from Egypt to Canada attended JUF’s Jewish Community Relations Council April 1 meeting, which delved into the status of U.S.-Israel relations and the Iran nuclear negotiations process.

The meeting featured prominent experts including David Makovsky, Washington Institute Fellow and director of the institute's Project for Middle East Peace Process; Emily Landau, senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv; and Maya Karmely, consul for public affairs, Consulate of Israel to the Midwest.

Each speaker provided a unique analysis of current challenges and opportunities facing Israel, the United States and the Middle East.

Acknowledging that the past several months have been difficult ones for American Jews, Skip Schrayer, JCRC chair, remarked that during this time, “the Jewish Federation has remained steadfast in our work to ensure that support for Israel remain a bi-partisan issue; that Iran be prevented from obtaining the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon; and that movement towards a two-state solution be done through the support of bilateral negotiations.”  

Makovsky predicted that the coming months will continue to be challenging ones, and he reiterated that bipartisanship on the U.S.-Israel relationship must be preserved. “We must keep a big tent, and keep our eyes on the big picture.” 

Watch the full video of Makovsky's remarks here.

Photo: David Makovsky speaks at Wednesday’s JCRC meeting.

Last chance to register to vote in April 7 elections

Only Chicagoans registered in the city are eligible to vote in Tuesday's mayoral and select aldermanic run-off elections.

By state law, election-day registration is not offered. In-person registration will be available through April 4 at select locations. If you recently moved or are unsure of your status, check it here

Once registered, you can avoid the long lines and vote early from March 23 through April 4. You also can vote by mail. If you requested a ballot to vote by mail, you should have already received it. All vote by mail ballots must be returned by April 6.

Select cities and villages in suburban Cook County also will hold consolidated elections on April 7. All deadline are the same as for Chicago. For more information, visit www.JUF.org/voting.

Photo: JCC CEO Alan Sataloff and Zivya Feifel at Bernard Horwich JCC in West Rogers Park, which is an official voting site Tuesday. 

Engaging grandparents and their grandchildren

At every Passover Seder, the youngest child stands and recites the Four Questions. This year, don’t let them be the only ones asking questions – ask one of your own: What role will your grandchild play in repairing the world?

Later, continue the conversation and explore new ways to share your values at the May 31 Jewish Grandparent Symposium, sponsored by GIFTS. Grandparents will learn from top-notch educators and community leaders about engaging their grandchildren in Jewish life and instilling the value of giving back. Don’t miss the opportunity to influence the next generation to change the world for the better.

GIFTS is supported by a generous grant from JUF’s Breakthrough Fund, in partnership with Grandparents for Social Action and Interfaith Family Chicago.

Register for the symposium here

Guarantee your spot in the Chicago Marathon with TeamJUF

Make a difference on the run: For the third straight year, TeamJUF will participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October, and those who sign up with the team are guaranteed a spot and free registration.

In addition to discounted and fully supported marathon training, TeamJUF members have the opportunity to raise meaningful dollars in support of the 2015 JUF Annual Campaign. There also are team social events, fun runs and a pre-race day dinner.

Get more information about TeamJUF here, or register now.

Join YLD for Blue & White Bar Night

Celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with JUF’s Young Leadership Division from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, on the Urban Roofscape of The Godfrey Hotel, 127 W. Huron St. The evening will feature Israel-themed cocktails, a DJ, photo booth, Israeli appetizers and a party in honor of Israel’s 67th birthday.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, including a $5 gift to support JUF’s Israel Children's Zone, a program that provides services to some of Israel's most vulnerable children. Register here.

From JUFNews.org and around the web


JUF issued a statement expressing its condolences to the Christian community and the families of the victims of the terror attack in Kenya Thursday that claimed 147 lives.

Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. jumped 21 percent last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, following nearly 10 years of decline.

The Palestinians became part of the International Criminal Court Wednesday, but to this point have not taken any action to put pressure on Israel or Israeli officials.

Ukrainian Jews on both sides of the cease-fire line are preparing to celebrate Passover. Meanwhile, Jews from conflict zones who moved to Kiev are safe from war, but now are being hit hard by the economy.

Jewish Flossmoor resident Larry Simon is in need of a kidney. Read his story and find out how you can help here.

Trevor Noah, recently named successor to Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” has come under fire from national Jewish organizations because of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel nature of several of his past social media posts.

Chicago's African-American and Jewish communities came together last week for a Freedom Seder. Watch highlights from the Seder.

On Sunday, March 29, about 100 volunteers from JUF’s Young Leadership Division participated in the sixth Feed Chicago, a day of volunteer projects dedicated to fighting hunger. Volunteers helped at 11 locations totaling 191 service hours. View photos from the day. The program is coordinated by JUF’s TOV Volunteer Network.


High-school students can gain the knowledge and confidence they need to face anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment on their future college campuses at an active information session and workshop run by JUF’s Israel Education Center at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at Congregation B’nai Tikvah, 1558 Wilmot Road, Deerfield.

The Chicago area’s 70th annual collective Holocaust memorial observance will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19, at Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob Synagogue, 8825 East Prairie Road, Skokie. Speakers will include Roey Gilad, consul general of Israel to the Midwest; Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen; and Prof. Shlomo H. Resnikoff of the DePaul College of Law. The service is organized by Sheerit HaPleitah and is co-sponsored by JUF.

Celebrate Israel at 67 with a special downtown event at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 27, at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., featuring a flag-raising ceremony and music from Mediterranean folk band Baladino.

And the latest JUF News blogs

Tzivi reviews “The Woman in Gold,” starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. 

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