An attack on one community is an attack on all communities. Just nine days after the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, members of the Chicago Jewish community came together for Jewish United Fund’s Vanguard Dinner, raising $2.3 million. The annual dinner invites those who have made a minimum gift of $5,000 to the JUF Annual Campaign. JUF also welcomes attendees to invite their young adult children, 18 and older, as a way to inspire the younger generations to continue in the tradition of charitable giving, or tzedakah.
“Last week our hearts were broken — but our resolve was not,” said 2019 JUF General Campaign Chair Wendy A. Berger. “Tonight, we ‘choose life,’ even in the face of tragedy. Tonight, we refuse to give in to fear. We will not be deterred in coming together for good, to do good, as a Jewish community. Tonight, we reaffirm our commitment to healing a broken world.”
The evening drew nearly 650 people, epitomizing the true grit of the local community. Held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, film director Judd Apatow took the stage for a stand-up performance and Q&A with Berger. Apatow is a producer, writer, director, actor, and comedian known for many classic comedies. He founded Apatow Productions in 1999, through which he directed “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Bridesmaids,” “Trainwreck,” and many more.
Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.