The CUJF Annual Dinner on November 4 was a great success!

We had over 150 people in attendance at our Annual Dinner on November 4th. During the reception, attendees sampled tasty hors d’oeuvres, wine and kosher beer from 25 O’Clock Brewery in Urbana. We had delicious salmon, chicken and a vegetarian selection from Campus Kosher Catering.

We also had food for thought. Our speaker was Rabbi Evan Moffic, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. He is the author of the book The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today.

Rabbi Moffic described what practices help us feel a greater sense of satisfaction, meaning and purpose in our lives. What makes us happy? An ancient formula can help. 2000 years ago there was a prayer for happiness called Eilu Devarim. No matter where you are in life, finding purpose is easier than you think.  Some of the things we can do that lead to happiness are: Honor those who gave you life, be kind, keep learning, be there when others need you, celebrate good times, pray with intention, and forgive.

In light of our difficult times, this particular quote resonates:  “Things do not bring happiness. People do. Happiness is more of a who than a what.” Join us as the CU Jewish Federation continues to work toward bringing us together as a strong, compassionate, loving Jewish community.

At our annual dinner, CUJF honored Alice Berkson, Lee Melhado, and Lynn Wachtel, founders and driving force of Champaign-Urbana Chevra Kadisha Society. The Chevra Kadisha, the local Jewish burial society, provides preparation of the dead for traditional Jewish burial, education about Jewish death and mourning practices, and respectful, low-cost burial for the indigent. All work is performed by volunteers who give their time anonymously as a hesed shel emet, an act of true loving-kindness, to the bereaved family and to the Jewish community. Costs of materials, such as the traditional shroud, are covered by contributions from families served and by CU Jewish Federation.


Linda Bauer, Executive Director


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