Welcome to the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation

 

Fostering a vibrant Jewish future at home and abroad and assisting broader humanitarian activities since 1929.

On Wednesday last week, the Illinois Student Government (ISG) Senate passed a resolution that asked the University, among other things, to divest from “companies that contribute directly…to severe human right violations…”; and to divest “…from its own police force”. The list of “pariah” businesses consists of five companies, four of which are guilty for their association with Israel. The decision was opposed by many Jewish students during the debate; student Senator Nathan Edelman read a thoughtful declaration of principles clearly explaining the reason for their opposition. It was criticized  by the University Chancellor and Provost, by Illini Chabad (see letter) and by Illini Hillel (see letter).  We thank the University for its statement.

A common ploy in electoral politics is to bring up to vote resolutions that bind together unrelated topics. One cannot support one topic while rejecting the other.  The student resolution is a perfect example of this strategy: It links together four totally unrelated topics: Police violence in U-C, from 2009 to our day; abuses in US prisons; global warming; and weapon and security equipment sales to “criminal” countries, with Israel in the lead.

The resolution had a clear goal: advancing the agenda of the BDS movement.  I am not surprised when Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) push for disinvestment in Israel. But I am surprised by the intellectual dishonesty of tying together opposition to Israel, opposition to police violence, concern about global warming and concern about the state of US prisons. This forces students to either support all four causes or reject all of them. 

ISG decisions, even when not vetoed, are non-binding. As is the case on many campuses, ISG represents the more engaged and vocal students on campus, not the broad majority. Nevertheless, these repeated attempts to associate Zionism with any cause reviled by progressive students are tiresome and are hurting Jewish students on Campus. The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation stands in solidarity with the Jewish students on campus. Peace in the Middle East can only come from a dialogue between Jews and Palestinians, not from rejection and demonization and not from a denial of the rights of both the Jewish people and the Palestinian people for self-determination.

Marc Snir, Board President, CU Jewish Federation

  

 

Jewish Life and Learning

 

CUJF engages our dynamic and diverse community with educational resources and community events to appeal to different interests, backgrounds, and ages throughout the life span. This is what we do.

 

Support for Our Most Vulnerable

 

As Jews, we have a responsibility to care for the needy in our community, as well as to support our members during their most vulnerable times. CUJF is there with information, referrals, and financial assistance when needed. Contact us.

 

Community Giving

 

Together, we are stronger. CUJF serves as a central mechanism for raising and allocating funds to local organizations as well as supporting Jewish organizations and initiatives in Israel and throughout the world. Join us here.

News & Upcoming Events

Download and print our fillable September 2020 calendar.

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CUJF Publication Deadline

 

The deadline for CUJF’s weekly email blast is Wednesdays at 3:00 pm for publication on Fridays at noon. Tell us about your services, your events, and your good news! Email us at communications@cujf.org.

 


 

Call for Volunteers

 

Do you know how to edit video?

 

CUJF recorded a 2-hour video of our Jewish Heroes event earlier this month. We'd like to make it available for others to view, but it needs a bit of editing first. 

If you have experience editing video and would like to volunteer your time to make this wonderful presentation available, please contact Linda Bauer at cujf@cujf.org.

COVID-19: Let Us Know How We Can Help

In these difficult times, CUJF continues to fulfill its mission to Aid, Educate and Celebrate our Jewish culture and community. CUJF's Human Services function is more important than ever. We have been making calls to our seniors and volunteers are picking up grocery orders for those who are unable to go out. If you or someone you know could use a friendly phone call or a delivery of needed items, please email us at cujf@cujf.org or call our office at (217) 367-9872 and leave a message. We are checking email and voicemail regularly.

We've reached out to the kids in our community with an online PJ Library storytime in conjunction with Sinai Temple. CUJF plans to offer more virtual programs, plus continue to provide information about resources from the other Jewish organizations in our community. We are also raising funds in order to assist members of our Jewish Community who may be affected by work closures, unexpected medical bills, and other emergencies. You can support these efforts! Click on “Donate” at the top of the page and type "virus" in the “Earmarks” section.

Together, we'll do a world of good!