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Fund for the Future continues to fuel innovation

 New distributions support six pioneering programs

Fund_for_Future image
JBaby Chicago, Sonder Lane

Better serving day school students with learning differences.

Connecting Judaism to LGBTQ+ teens' process of self-discovery.

Helping Jewish and interfaith new parents build community and engage in Jewish life.

These are among the innovative initiatives supported by the most recent round of distributions from the Jewish Federation's Fund for the Future, which is devoted to accelerating the community's investment in Next Generation Jewish engagement.

The $550,000 in distributions, made in November 2020, bring total Fund for the Future disbursals to nearly $5 million to date.

"The Fund for the Future is proving to be a critical resource, fast-tracking funding for innovations that connect young Jews to Israel, to Jewish life, and to one another," said Bill Silverstein, Fund for the Future Chair. "It is helping send more children to Jewish preschools, Jewish camps, and Jewish day schools; bringing more teens and college students to Israel; and ensuring that more young adults and young families build Jewish homes and connect to community."

The newest Fund for the Future distributions will support six pioneering programs:

  • CHIdush: Inspiring innovation in Jewish education
    JUF's project to systemically rethink congregational education began as a cohort-based pilot program, but in the face of the pandemic, CHIdush has had to pivot to a dual function. Now it also serves as a resource to enhance local Jewish educators' effectiveness teaching online.

  • jBaby Chicago
    jBaby Chicago is an award-winning JUF initiative that supports Jewish and interfaith new parents through "parent ambassadors;" playgroups, classes, holiday events, and other programs that help them make connections, build friendships, and engage in meaningful Jewish experiences.

    The LEARN (Live, Enrich, Appreciate, Respect, Nurture) program is a collaboration between JUF's Young Leadership Division and Silverstein Base Hillel which involves groups of young adults in a more intensive exploration of Jewish texts, issues, and identity.

  • Moving Traditions - Tzelem+
    Using Jewish values to foster well-being among local LGBTQ+ teens, this new program helps participants develop the strong self-concept and social-emotional skills to navigate through life; recognize and resist sexism; and meaningfully experience Jewish values and community.

  • Onward Israel
    A program of JUF's Israel Education Center, Onward Israel offers internships in Israel that build young adults' professional resumes along with their connections to their Jewish homeland.

    REACH is ATT's strategic initiative to foster inclusivity system-wide, building the capacity of JUF's Day School network to teach and care for children with a wide range of needs.

The Fund for the Future, which was launched in 2019 under the auspices of the Federation's Centennial Campaign, has raised $59.2 million to date to infuse funding into gateway experiences for young Jews.

Additional funds are needed to further accelerate and expand the effort. To learn more, please contact Merle Cohen at

Fund for the Future

Funded programs to date

Young Families
jBaby Chicago
JUF Early Childhood Collaborative
JUF Infertility Project
PJ Library Chicago
JUF Right Start

B'nai B'rith Beber Camp
Chicago Jewish Day School
Jewish Day School Guaranty Trust Fund
JUF Camp Scholarships
JUF Camping Initiative
JUF CHIdush Project

Moving Traditions - Tzelem+
Voices - The Chicago Jewish Teen Foundation
Write On for Israel

Young Adults
AEPi Foundation
Base Hillel
Birthright Foundation
Honeymoon Israel
Jewish Federation Encompass Endowment
JUF Israel Education Center
JUF Lewis Summer Intern Program
LEARN (Live, Enrich, Appreciate, Respect, Nurture)
Moishe House, Chicago
Onward Israel

Linda S. Haase is Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing Communications for JUF.

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