Channels of Support

JUF has numerous channels through which it supports Israel: in the Partnership Together region we support the development and improvement of the quality of life for residents while connecting them with the Chicago Jewish community; we support Jewish pluralism; we support women's empowerment; through the Breakthrough Fund, we support innovation; and we support philanthropy and projects by JUF donors. When needed, JUF also allocates emergency funds.

Partnership Together

JUF's Partnership Together (P2G) is a program of the Jewish Agency for Israel that links communities in the Diaspora with communities in Israel. Chicago's P2G region of Kiryat Gat-Lachish-Shafir is located in Israel's northern Negev. Through P2G, more than $900,000 of funding from JUF's annual campaign supports projects that promote the region's development, improve the quality of life for its residents and connects them with Chicago Jewry through "people-to-people" programs.

Partnership Together Staff

Ido Benvenisti - Partnership Director
Lee Oshri - P2P Coordinator
Tamar Lugasi - Operation Coordinator
Michal Nativ - Diller Teen Fellowships Coordinator

We Support Jewish Pluralism

JUF allocates funding to religious pluralism organizations in Israel, supporting projects of the Progressive (Reform), Masorti (Conservative) and Modern Orthodox movements, as well as inter- and non-denominational projects.

JUF’s support of these programs provides participants with the opportunity to learn about their Judaism, explore different spiritual expressions through the religious movements, and connect with Israelis from different backgrounds.

JUF began providing additional annual support to the religious streams in Israel in 2001.  Since then, JUF has provided more than $3.5 million to the movements in addition to annual, multi-million dollar allocations to its overseas partners, JAFI and JDC (which also supports the streams), and has become a national model for other communities to follow.

List of beneficiaries

We Allocate Emergency Funds

The Chicago Jewish community has a long- standing tradition of supporting Israel in times of emergency. Through numerous emergency campaigns,JUF has supported projects benefiting ,among others, the citizens of southern Israel who suffered from ongoing attacks from Gaza; helped the wildfire victims in northern Israel; and more.

We Support Women through The Jewish Women's Foundation

The Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, an independent project of JUF, seeks to expand and improve opportunities and choices in all aspects of Jewish women's and girls' lives through strategic and effective grantmaking.  The Foundation empowers Jewish women as leaders, funders and decision-makers and supports women empowerment projects in Israel. In 2016 The Jewish Women's Foundation supported Adva Center (a community empowerment project to improve the lives of women and girls), Mavoi Satum (legal and emotional support to women who have been refused a Jewish divorce), The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center, The Eden Center (education for abuse, prevention and women’s health empowerment), WePower (college for women in politics) and more.

We Support Innovation via The Breakthrough Fund

The Breakthrough Fund is a grant program to encourage smart, strategic growth and creative projects.

The Breakthrough Fund aims to meet local human needs in the Chicago area and in Israel, to engage members of the Jewish community of all ages and to strengthen Israel and the overseas Jewish community.

As part of these goals, in 2016-2017, the Breakthrough Fund supported the first pre-army prep course for Bedouin leadership in the Galilee, the Israel Center for Excellence through Education and Hillel, an Israeli nonprofit dedicated to helping young adults who have left the ultra-orthodox world and are taking their first steps in Israeli secular society.


Donors in Chicago area who engage in philanthropy over-and-above their contribution to JUF’s campaign, often choose to give to projects and organizations in Israel. JUF’s Israel office provides research background information and monitoring for the use of funds and programs supported by JUF donors. For example, the Alex Brand Learning Center in Kiryat Gat was inaugurated in 2016. It was made possible by a generous bequest to the JUF Centennial Campaign. The center provides needed services and educational enrichment for local children. The Eretz Israel Museum’s Lasky Planetarium received a generous donation from the Lasky Foundation to refurbish its equipment and launch new programs. Some of JUF’s allocated projects in the partnership region receive additional support by  private donors. For example, the Israel Children’s Zone (flagship educational intervention program in the Partnership region), SAHI - Special Grace Unit (social contribution project for teenagers at risk) and more. 

Ofer's Column

Read the monthly Israel's commentary by Ofer Bavly, Director General of the JUF Israel office.