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Sun-Times Media: JUF hosts Jewish Jordan

by Lee Litas~Sun-Times Media (article and pictures)

The Event: The theme of dreaming — and achieving — the impossible dream was front and center on April 17 inside the North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, where more than 100 supporters of the Jewish United Fund came out to meet one of Israel’s premier basketball heroes, Tamir Goodman.

JUF-Israel Emergency Fund mobilizes the resources for wide-ranging humanitarian services to 300,000 Chicagoans of all faiths as well as 2 million Jews in Israel and around the world.

Cause Célèbre: “JUF has invited me to this amazing temple to be part of this community and share my story,” said Goodman, who first gained notoriety as the “kippah-wearing standout” at Townson University in Maryland (kippah is another name for yarmulke).

Dubbed the “Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated, Goodman’s story received worldwide media coverage on Fox News, ESPN, CNN and ABC, to name a few. He played six professional seasons in Israel despite being told that it would be impossible for him to play professional or collegiate ball as an observant Jew.

“I was fortunate to live out my dream and play professionally without playing on Shabbat,” Goodman said. Currently a motivational speaker, Goodman uses his story as a tool to inspire “everyone whom I can possibly reach to let them know that there is no such thing as impossible.”

NSCI Executive Director Drew Barkley said, “To be able to host the JUF here tonight is something that … cements our values with [JUF’s] values in supporting the community.”

The website for North Shore Congregation Israel is www.nsci.org. The main number is 847.835.0724.

JUF’s website is www.juf.org, and the main phone number is 312.346.6700.

Bottom Line: The event raised nearly $70,000, bringing North Shore Congregation Israel’s total for the Jewish United Fund 2012 campaign to $2,482,000 from more than 800 donors.

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