Jewish day schools across Chicagoland play a critical role in our community, infusing our future leaders with a love of Jewish life and learning. JUF proudly serves as their partner, providing these vital institutions with multi-faceted support, year in and year out.
The pandemic took that partnership to new heights. In addition to the $14 million that JUF brings to the school system annually, JUF's COVID Relief Initiative provided the schools $1.6 million in extra funding for health and safety upgrades, additional scholarships and emergency operating support.
Throughout these many months, the day schools have adapted seamlessly to every scenario as it unfolded, with a dedicated corps of teachers at the heart of their success.
In May, JUF and our schools came together to spread messages of appreciation and gratitude to these teachers-extraordinary individuals who have worked tirelessly this past year-plus to ensure that students received whatever support they needed to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.
Parents and students were offered the opportunity to write virtual notes to their teachers, administrators or school thanking them for all their work. The response was overwhelming:
- "It is clear that our children are not merely masked faces in your classrooms-you know them, appreciate their strengths and help them grow. You embody Akiba's dedication to children as individual learners who are part of a larger community. We know this balance of needs cannot be easy to maintain; it is clearly a choice you make each day to show up for your students and that effort is not lost on us." - Elli and Dan, Parents
- "As we reflect on what we are most thankful for this year, it is what you have all accomplished to have our children in school, together with all of you and their friends. Thank you for educating and supporting our children in this incredibly confusing and challenging year and committing to doing it safely in person." - Yelena and Vlad, Parents
- "Keshet High School has an amazing staff. The team goes above and beyond this past year. This has made a very difficult situation very manageable. My son is not just maintaining but thriving. This is due to the staff's collaboration, commitment, and creativity". - Jill, Parent
- "You did an outstanding job adapting to the rapidly-changing learning environment by quickly providing students with the resources to help them achieve their IEP goals. Thank you!" Matt, Parent
- "I just love SSDS. What else can I say? The teachers are respectful, kind and amazing." Jonah, Student
- "I love all the teachers at Schechter, they make learning so much fun and make me want to be at school! This year they worked extra hard so we can be in-person and I just want to say thank you so much to them." Emerson, Student
- "Hillel Torah has been a constant source of support to our family during this uncertain time. The teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to keep our children safe and in-person this year! We can see our children's smiles even behind their masks." Aviva, Parent
- "From the teachers and staff through the administration and other parents, the Hillel Torah community provides much more than just a great education, allowing us to grow together and watch our children develop beyond our expectations." Tanya and Chaim, Parents
- "We are grateful for the inspiring commitment of HT's staff and teachers, who have gone above and beyond during this unprecedented year." Allan, Parent
- "Thank you to all the CJDS teachers and staff, who have done such an incredible job making this year as normal as possible in the most abnormal circumstances. Kindergarten has been an amazing experience, and we are so grateful to everyone who has made this year possible. Thank you!" - Rebecca, Parent
- "Thank you to the entire staff and leadership at HANNA SACKS BAIS YAAKOV for their dedication this year!! You continuously take education to the next level and show that you truly want your students to succeed on all levels." - Joanie and Neil, Parents
- "Bernard Zell Anshe Emet teachers, you guys are the best. Thank you for being there for our children, showing them and us the way." - Shira and Guy, Parents
- "Our teachers are the heart and soul of our community. They provide our children with an amazing education. We cannot thank them enough for their extraordinary work in a year like no other. Beth, Parent
- "We are grateful for the RZJHS staff. The faculty and staff go above and beyond all of my expectations. Their creativity, commitment and passion for education is exceptional. We are thankful for the relationships they build with not just the students but the parents and grandparents as well. Thank you for teaching us!" Jodi, Parent
Want to show your appreciation to a teacher? Send them a Chai Five. Make an $18 contribution and we'll send a virtual card to your honoree notifying them of your appreciation. Learn more at