Better Makers: Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner

juf: Judd Apatow

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.

His work has won many awards, including his new HBO documentary “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling,” which recently won an Emmy.

juf: Judd Apatow, Wendy Berger
Comedian and filmmaker Judd Apatow sits down for a Q&A with Wendy Berger, JUF’s 2019 general campaign chair. (Photo by Jeff Ellis.)
Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner: David Schwartz, Jamie Diamond Schwartz
David Schwartz and Jamie Diamond Schwartz, chairs of the 2019 Vanguard Dinner, address the crowd of nearly 650 people attending the event. (Photo by Robert F. Kusel.)
Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner: Leslie Apter, Ellory Shutan, Devra Shutan
Leslie Apter, Ellory Shutan, and Devra Shutan (Photo by Robert F. Kusel.)
Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner: Andy Hochberg, Daniel Hochberg, Rafi Lowenstein
JUF’s Chairman of the Board Andy Hochberg with son Daniel Hochberg and nephew Rafi Lowenstein (Photo by Robert F. Kusel.)
Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner: Logan Booth, Elyse Saretsky, Alex Entratter, Marc Staros
Logan Booth, Elyse Saretsky, JUF’s 2019 Young Leadership Division Campaign Chair Alex Entratter, and Marc Staros (Photo by Robert F. Kusel.)
Filmmaker Judd Apatow Headlines JUF Vanguard Dinner: impact
Impact: The Jewish United Fund assists people in need, transforming daily life for over 500,000 Chicagoans of all faiths. (Photo courtesy of JUF.)

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.