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Rising Above the Economic Storm, JUF 2010 Campaign Tops $78.6 Million

CHICAGO – Despite the ongoing, intense pressures of the economic downturn, the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago raised $78,604,927 in its just-concluded 2010 Annual Campaign, topping the previous year’s total by more than $1 million.

“When it was needed most, as the rolls of people turning to JUF-funded agencies for food, financial aid and other assistance continued to swell, the Jewish community of Chicago came through yet again,” said Ted Perlman, Chairman of the 2010 Campaign. “Thanks to their support, tens of thousands of people in desperate need are getting help.”

The proceeds from the Campaign, along with tens of millions of additional revenue from other sources, provide social welfare, education and relief services that serve 300,000 people of all faiths throughout the Chicago area, and more than 2 million Jews in Israel and around the world.

In a year when many non-profits are facing serious challenges, the fact that Chicago was able to raise more funds in 2010 is a testament to the unique strength of this Jewish community, said JUF President Steven B. Nasatir.

“The generosity and unending commitment to help those in need, even in the most difficult of times, is both amazing and humbling,” Nasatir said. “For more than two years we have been barraged by an economy that has undercut the ability of many to contribute, has driven those in need deeper into crisis, and has forced some donors to seek support themselves. And still the community has been there to assure that those in need have a place to turn. We are very proud – and profoundly grateful.”

In 2010, JUF agencies came to the aid of millions of Jews, providing essential human services at a time of crisis for newly unemployed, formerly middle-class families in Chicago; responding with immediate assistance to Israel in the wake of devastating forest fires; and saving lives in Jewish communities across the globe, from endangered families airlifted out of Yemen to impoverished seniors provided food in the former Soviet Union. There also was an emergency fundraising effort that made it possible to respond to the earthquake crisis in Haiti.

JUF-supported agencies in the Chicago area brought food to more than 42,000 people; provided millions of dollars in emergency assistance to cover housing costs, health care and other critical expenses; helped more than 1,200 people find new jobs; and provided housing support, medicine, legal assistance, intensive therapy, and tuition assistance to thousands more.

“For more than 110 years, our community has been committed to – and supported with its dollars – the idea that there is a communal responsibility to help those in need,” said Jeffrey Cohen, JUF’s Senior Vice President for Financial Resource Development. “That responsibility is heightened, not diminished, when hard times strike us all.”

“We are able to respond solely because the community is united in this belief,” added Campaign Vice President Beth Cherner. “The tens of thousands of people who join in our efforts each and every year as key volunteers and donors are the key to our community’s strength.”

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