Welcome to the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation

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

News, Events, & Announcements

CUJF Seeking Financial Officer
Here's a chance to be part of an organization that's doing good in our community. Interested? Let us know! Or if you know someone who might be qualified, please pass on this information. Thanks!
The Financial Officer carries out the financial operations of CUJF in a timely and efficient manner, and consistently with relevant laws and regulations, and with CUJF’s Bylaws. The Financial Officer also is responsible for the financial operations of the CUJF’s subsidiary, The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Endowment Fund, and works ¼ time on CUJEF business and ¾ time on CUJF business.
For information, contact Linda Bauer, Executive Director, CU Jewish Federation.


2021 High Holidays


2021 High Holidays Schedule is now available. Please click below to download.



Do you know a Jewish child in Champaign-Urbana that would love to get Jewish-themed storybooks? Tell their family about CUJF’s PJ Library program!

PJ Library sends Jewish books to Jewish kids each month. Free!
The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation is a PJ Library sponsoring organization. CUJF pays a portion of the cost of each book sent to families. PJ Library covers the rest of the cost. There's no cost to your family!
You can sign up your child here: https://pjlibrary.org/enroll-in-a-community
Reading to your children is important. Reading - or being read to -- affects child’s development. Just having books in a home increases a child's ability to learn.
But finding the right books and making the time to read as a family can be hard. That’s where PJ Library comes in. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values and traditions that are important to you.
A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations like CUJF. Families raising kids from birth through 9 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up. PJ Library welcomes all Jewish families, whatever your background, knowledge, or family make-up, or observance may be.
For more information about PJ Library, check out their website at www.pjlibrary.org/about-pj-library.
You can also email Linda Bauer, CUJF Executive Director, at cujf@cujf.org.


From the Director . . .

We have some good news! 
The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation has received a renewal of a grant for $8,000 to expand “CU in PJ’s.” The program will involve PJ parents in planning virtual or in-person experiences for PJ Library families and in reaching out to other Jewish families in the community.
Our local families raising Jewish children will now have more opportunities to participate in Jewish experiences. PJ Library is the flagship program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that provides books to families raising Jewish children.  PJ Library pays a portion of the cost of the books, and CUJF also shares in the cost.
We had a successful implementation of last year's grant, despite the challenges we faced with COVID restrictions, and we are pleased to be able to continue the program this year.
Thank you for your support of CUJF and our PJ Library Program!

Robin Goettel (HEC Committee member), Rebecca Lawson (HEC Committee member), Linda Bauer (CUJF Executive Director), Brian Kahn (Chair, Holocaust Education Center), Bob Lehmann (HEC Committee member)


Holocaust Education Center hosted a retirement lunch


Members of of CUJF's Holocaust Education Center hosted a retirement lunch recently in Tuscola for HEC committee member Rebecca (Becky) Lawson. Although she is retiring from teaching, Becky plans to continue serve on the committee.


Becky has been an English teacher at Sullivan High School in Sullivan, Illinois for many years. It is not common for small rural school districts to have Holocaust Education program, but Becky has been dedicated to making students aware of the Holocaust.


Her involvement includes receiving several fellowships, one which was Holocaust, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (1994); the Mandel Teacher’s Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1996); the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teacher’s Fellowship (sponsored by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the American Federation of Teachers) (1998); the Leo and Antonia Gershanov Teaching Fellowship at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie, IL (2004); Becky has directed two Holocaust plays (Who Will Carry the Word? and I Never Saw Another Butterfly) and has worked extensively on teaching Holocaust literature, especially through drama, poetry, and Elie Wiesel’s Night. She has presented throughout the region about Holocaust literature. She has also helped organize several Holocaust workshops and visits to her community and area schools by Holocaust survivors. A member of the CUJF's Holocaust Education Center for over 20 years, for her outstanding innovation and dedication to Holocaust education.


CUJF congratulates Rebecca Lawson on her many years of teaching, and thanks her for her dedication to teaching the important lessons of the Holocaust.


Interview with CUJF Executive Director Linda Bauer

CUJF Executive Director Linda Bauer was interviewed by Illini Radio Group News Director Sam Albert recently. Linda spoke about CU Jewish Federation goals and activities and also about her family's story.
In the course of the interview, Linda also talked about her family and her parents, who were Holocaust survivors. That interview is available on the Soundcloud.



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.


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.


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.


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!

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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!