The just-completed 2016 Annual Campaign of Chicago's Jewish United Fund, one of the largest annual fundraising efforts in the nation, raised $84,282,469, an increase of $1,159,705 over the previous year.
"This is an incredibly generous outpouring from our community," 2016 JUF Annual Campaign Chair Harry Seigle said. "But what really counts is the difference those dollars will make, enabling us to rush aid to more people in crisis, to lend relief to more of the most vulnerable among us, to transform more lives, and to strengthen our community, here in Chicago, in Israel, and around the globe.
"We are deeply grateful for the trust our supporters place in JUF," Seigle said. "We truly are 'Together for Good.' "
The funds donated annually through JUF support a network of more than 70 vital social service agencies and programs that heal and nurture more than 500,000 Chicagoans of all faiths, and provide humanitarian assistance to millions of Jews in Israel and throughout the world.
The Annual Campaign is the most significant component of JUF's overall fundraising efforts, which also include bequests, the Centennial Campaign, corporate sponsorships, donor advised funds, support foundations and more. They also include donations to emergency relief efforts, which this past year have helped Israelis rebuild from the devastation of forest fires, aided Syrians fleeing the bombing of Aleppo, and supported victims of the Baton Rouge flood and those in the path of Hurricane Matthew.
As a major funder of human services addressing the needs of Illinois' most vulnerable populations, the Federation also receives significant grants - totaling nearly $16.4 million in 2016 - from governments and foundations, and is a beneficiary of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
"The Annual Campaign makes it possible for us to turn our commitment into action," said JUF Board Chairman Michael H. Zaransky. "It provides the tools to make life better for people all over Chicago, Israel, and remote corners of the Jewish world. And it also is the way every single donor says 'I am part of this community, and I make a difference.' "
"An effort of this scale takes incredible commitment by hundreds of volunteers," JUF President Steven B. Nasatir said, "a commitment to all of those we help and serve, and to our community. It simply could not have happened without people like Harry Seigle and so many, many others. Thank you to all of them, and to the JUF staff who worked hand in hand with them."
Among the other volunteer leaders of the 2016 Campaign were End-of-Year Chairs Gita Berk and Jimmy Sarnoff, Major Gifts Chair Kim Shwachman, Women's Division Campaign Chair Cindy Kaplan, and Young Leadership Division Campaign Chair Bryan Rosenberg.