Jewish Chicago comes together on Sept. 17 for Federation’s first virtual Annual Meeting

Join JUF for a unique 120th Annual Meeting.

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On Sept. 17, Jewish Chicago will come together--just as it has throughout the COVID-19 crisis--for the Jewish Federation of Chicago's first-ever virtual Annual Meeting.

The hour-long event, which begins at 11 a.m., will focus on the incredible accomplishments of an unprecedented year and honor some of those who made those accomplishments possible.

It will be punctuated by videos that spotlight the profound impact donors have had on the community, during the pandemic and beyond. 

The meeting is chaired by Linda Becker Ginsburg. Registration is free of charge and open online at

Among the highlights of this 120 th Annual Meeting:

  • Michael H. Zaransky will receive the 57th annual Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, the Federation's highest honor. The award, named for the preeminent business icon and philanthropist, recognizes a lifetime of outstanding dedication and service to Chicago's Jewish community.

Zaransky is a former JUF/Federation Board Chair who has described his greatest passion as "giving back to society and helping those most vulnerable in my community." He headed JUF's 2013 JUF Annual Campaign, as well as a wide range of key JUF committees. Professionally, he is founder and managing principal of MZ Capital Partners and co-CEO of Prime Property Investors, and has authored two books on commercial real estate investment.

  • In the annual State of the Federation address, President Lonnie Nasatir will discuss how JUF/Federation quickly pivoted to respond to a crisis unlike any other, providing desperately needed financial resources and technical support to its partner agencies, enabling them to deliver help where it was most needed. Nasatir also will set the course for the year ahead, in which other challenges are set against a backdrop of rising antisemitism.
  • The Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser Award, celebrating an outstanding young volunteer leader's achievements and promise, will be presented to Katie Berger.

Berger, who has been described as "passionate about building a stronger Jewish community," is on the JUF/Federation Board and three major commissions and committees. After holding key roles with the Young Leadership Division, including a stint as Campaign Chair, she was a prime mover in creating the Ben Gurion Society Advisory Council, which strengthens NextGen leaders' engagement with JUF. She also chairs the Jewish Women's Foundation's Economic Security/Legal Reform Subcommittee.

  • The Samuel A. Goldsmith Award, spotlighting outstanding young Jewish agency professionals shaping Chicago's community, will go to Emily White of JUF's Israel Education Center and Elyse Saretsky of JUF's Young Leadership Division.

White guides JUF's programs and response to antisemitism and Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions efforts on campuses across Illinois and beyond, while also helping shape strategies nationally. Her work was a major factor in shifting federal government response on campus antisemitism and has tangibly helped make campuses safer for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.

In less than two years as YLD Director, Saretsky has introduced a "change-positive mentality" that has reshaped programming, strengthened staff and lay leadership, expanded the Division's outreach to new audiences, and invigorated collaboration among departments within JUF. She also has taken on leadership roles defining core organizational priorities throughout JUF, and is described by one supervisor as "one of the fastest rising young leaders in our organization."

  • Presentation of the Shofar Award to 2020 JUF Annual Campaign Chair Marc Spellman, and introduction of 2021 Chair Kim Shwachman.
  • Election of new Board members and the passing of the gavel from 2018-2020 Board Chair Andrew S. Hochberg to incoming Board Chair Pam Friend Szokol. 

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