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   |    Our news, events, and announcements in CU Jewish Weekly Newsletter, January 15, 2021 

Summer Camps are making plans to open this summer!


Applications are due January 22, 2021

Jewish summer camp is a wonderful social and educational opportunity for our Champaign-Urbana students.

Why send your child to overnight summer camp?
Camp is fun and educational! There are many activities like arts and crafts, sports, music, outdoor adventure, hiking, and more! Campers learn new skills and gain new interests.
Jewish summer camp helps campers to strengthen their own Jewish identity and helps them to feel part of the larger Jewish community. Campers make friendships that can last a lifetime. This connection to their Jewish identity not only benefits the campers and their families, but is important to the community at large. A child with a memorable Jewish camp experience is more likely to grow into an adult who values their Jewish heritage, supports Jewish causes, and takes on leadership roles in their communities.
There are a variety of Jewish summer camps that serve different denominations of Judaism, or accommodate special needs and interests. Contact your child's Jewish educator for information about camps of interest. You can also contact CUJF for more information.
Champaign-Urbana students from elementary to high school age can apply for financial assistance to help pay for Jewish overnight camp. Because our C-U Jewish community sees the value in summer camp, CUJF, Sinai Temple and Champaign Urbana Jewish Endowment Foundation provide camp scholarships. CUJF and Sinai Temple work together to to coordinate camp scholarship funds for students and to maximize the number of children served.
All first-time campers, regardless of need, are eligible for a one-time subsidy of $350 for overnight camp or $50 for day camp. Need-based scholarships are also available to pay a portion of camp expenses.
To be eligible for CUJF funds, a child must have at least one parent who is a resident of the greater CU Jewish community (includes Champaign, Danville, Mahomet, Monticello, Mattoon-Charleston, Rantoul, Savoy, Urbana, etc.). Eligibility for CU Jewish Endowment Foundation and Sinai Temple scholarships varies. Overnight camps must be fully accredited.
You can mail or email the application to: CU Jewish Federation, Camp Scholarships, 503 E. John St., Champaign, IL 61820. Email: cujf@cujf.org
Questions, contact CUJF Director Linda Bauer at cujf@cujf.org or call 217-367-9872.
NOTE: Scholarships for summer camp are also available to college students at the University of Illinois through the CUJEF Josh Gottheil Fund. Also, students in elementary through high school in Champaign-Urbana who are going to camp in Israel or travel to Israel with an accredited program can request support from the Josh Gottheil fund. For information on how to apply, contact CUJF Director Linda Bauer, cujf@cujf.org

Save a Child’s Heart by Faye L. Lesht, CUJF Allocations Committee Member

I am honored to report on Save a Child's Heart (SACH). Prior to serving on the CUJF Allocations Committee, I did not know about this organization.  Learning about SACH was a revelation. With CUJF funding, we pay to save the life of a child born with one or more heart defects. This is something most of us could not do on our own. Together we help SACH save a life.
SACH does not discriminate based on religion or country of origin, saving the lives of children from all over the world, mostly from undeveloped areas who, without the surgery, would die.  SACH also saves Israeli children. In fact, the surgeries take place in Israel and children from other countries travel with a parent or guardian to Israel to spend at a month in Israel for pre-operative, surgery, and post-operative care.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regards Save a Child’s Heart as the "Jewel in the Crown of Diplomatic Relations."  
As noted by Rabbi David Litwack, SACH’s U.S. Executive Director, “No other Israeli organization shows the humanitarian side of Israel better than SACH, which generates the most positive stories about Israel year in and year out in the global media.”
SACH’s new Israeli Children’s Hospital, the Wolfson Medical Center, will serve 10% of Israel’s children and house the Middle East’s first international pediatric cardiac care center. 
During the 2019-2020 allocation cycle, CUJF donated $7500 to the organization.  In essence, CUJF’s funds pay for one cardiac surgery.  The entire process includes pre-op care, travel expenses (if necessary), and post-op care costing $15,000.  The SACH organization budget is just under $3 million.
SACH was founded in 1996.  CUJF has been a SACH donor since 2013. SACH has served between 250 and 400 children annually for the last 10 years.
Save a Child’s Heart has transformed pediatric cardiac care in developing countries. More recently, they train cardiac surgeons and medical teams from developing countries so that children can be operated on in their home country, saving many more children's lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut SACH down for a couple months in spring 2020.  Sadly, several children died due to lack of care during that time.  SACH is now back to full operation. 
Words cannot convey the impact of SACH on these sick children, their parents, and the societies from which they come. CUJF should be proud of our support of SACH. Please look at this short video for more of a glimpse into this remarkable organization.



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.


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! Email us at communications@cujf.org.