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Urbana Jewish Federation



Fostering a vibrant Jewish community since 1929


Resources on the Israel-Hamas War

To help our community better understand the situation in Gaza and Israel during this difficult time, we have compiled the resources below. Please contact our office for further resources. 

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 the 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.

The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation Committee on Antisemitism - Response to Urbana City Council Resolution No. 2024-03-013R, March 20, 2024


On March 18, 2024, the Urbana City Council passed a resolution entitled "Resolution No. 2024-03-013R: A Resolution Calling for the End of the Gaza War and a Lasting Peace".  For the reasons discussed below, The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation (CUJF) cannot support the resolution as it was ultimately passed.  


The original text of the Urbana City Council resolution was drafted by a group of individuals in the Urbana-Champaign community and intended to represent the viewpoints of different segments in the community. While the resolution does not address all of the points that the CUJF Board would have liked to see in a city council resolution (as per the CUJF Board Statement of Feb. 29, which was presented to the Urbana City Council on Feb. 29 and is copied in full below*), the Board recognizes and appreciates that the City Council sought input from a broad and diverse selection of viewpoints held by Urbana residents, and sought to articulate those values that we all hold in common. The resolution as originally written calls for peace, justice, and coexistence, and we feel that all of these are shared values held widely across both Champaign and Urbana -- even shared by those who may disagree on a particular geopolitical issue. 


Unfortunately, the resolution that was originally drafted by community members was amended at the March 18 meeting, with text calling for a halt of military aid to Israel and implicitly placing all blame for the Israel-Hamas war on Israel.


Item #6, which originally read as: 6. Urge the United States government and international community to prioritize funding tools of peace over weapons of war to create conditions for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine, which is the foundation for a just, secure, and lasting peace was amended to: 6. Call the United States Government and International community to stop funding weapons of war to Israel so as to create conditions for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine which is the foundation for a just, secure, and lasting peace.

The version with this amendment is the one passed by Urbana City Council. The CUJF cannot support this amendment and hence can not support the resolution.


CUJF Board Statement approved on February 29, 2024, presented to Urbana City Council on February 29, 2024:


The Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation (CUJF) is a non-profit organization that serves the local Jewish community. It provides and supports local Jewish programs and activities. It provides help to local members of the Jewish community in need; supports humanitarian causes locally, in Israel and in other places; educates the Champaign-Urbana community about Jewish issues; and provides resources and education in fighting antisemitism. CUJF promotes equality of opportunity and full civil rights and civil liberties for all.


The CUJF Board of Directors feels an obligation to respond to recent proposals and statements made before the Urbana City Council regarding the war between Israel and Hamas. 


Any discussion concerning the Israel-Hamas war needs to unequivocally (i) condemn the massacre of October 7, 2023 perpetrated by Hamas; (ii) demand the immediate return of the remaining hostages in Gaza; (iii) call for the dismantling of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has explicitly called for the killing of all Jews; and (iv) acknowledge the responsibility of Hamas in the current plight of the civilians in Gaza. 

While we affirm the right of everyone to speak their mind openly in a public forum, we are deeply distressed by the flood of divisive, hateful and antisemitic rhetoric that has been commonplace during public discussions of similar resolutions around the country as well as during discussions of the specific proposal that was brought to the Urbana City Council in January 2024.  While much of the local discussion has been civil, if heated, we have heard numerous accusations of genocide, claims that Israeli soldiers are worse than Nazis, references to "lynch mobs roam[ing] freely," comments about Zionists "screaming their lungs out with rabid red faces saying they wanted more massacres," and implications that those opposing the proposed resolution do not value human life.  This rhetoric serves only to further sow division in Urbana and the surrounding areas, and to intimidate and marginalize many in the local Jewish community.


We fervently hope for a lasting peace for all in the Middle East and recognize that this is a painful time for many Champaign-Urbana residents with familial and other connections to the region. We believe that the way to acknowledge and respect the pain in the community is to work on forging human connections and building bridges through communication, tolerance, and compassion.


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