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Frequently Asked Questions about CUJF

What is CUJF?

Founded in 1929, Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation (CUJF) is a non-profit, charitable organization whose goal is to foster a meaningful and vibrant Jewish future at home and abroad and to assist broader humanitarian activities. Like other Jewish federations, CUJF is an independent, local entity affiliated with JFNA, the national Jewish Federations of North America.

How much does CUJF spend on fundraising and administration?

The aim is to keep administrative expenses at a bare minimum.  A standard rule-of-thumb (used by many small-city federations) is to constrain administrative expenses to 15% of the total campaign; CUJF has historically averaged under this percentage (around 11%).  In allocations for 2009-10, we budgeted 10% for Adminisgtration, but actual expenditures in this category were closer to 14%.  While still within acceptable ranges, this increased percentage was due to the change in senior staff.  We will continue to strive for efficiency in our Administrative budget and to keep this proportion as low as possible.

CUJF has only one full time and one part-time employee, with much of the work done by volunteers and unpaid interns. It has the lowest administrative costs per dollar raised of any federation in downstate Illinois. Whatever the measure, CUJF is an extremely efficient organization, enabling nearly all funds raised to be used for charitable purposes.

How much does CUJF spend locally and how much goes overseas?

Close to 70% stays in Champaign County. About 30% goes overseas. A small amount is distributed nationally. All expenditures are charitable and humanitarian.

What does CUJF do?

CUJF engages in a wide range of activities designed to promote humanitarian relief, medical and social services, multi-cultural understanding, and social justice. Some work is accomplished indirectly by distributing funds to other charitable organizations. Other work is done directly by CUJF volunteers, interns, and staff.

Local Activities

CUJF provides many services in CU:

  • Emergency financial assistance
  • Crisis intervention, counseling, and referral
  • Refugee resettlement
  • Holocaust education
  • Israel education and advocacy
  • Community and media relations
  • Scholarships to Jewish summer camps
  • Youth travel to Israel (Gift of Israel)
  • Leadership development grants
  • Seniors programs and services (CHAI)
  • Programs on Jewish arts and culture
  • Internships in social work and related fields
  • Endowment foundation (CUJEF)
  • Jewish burial society (Chevra Kadisha)
  • Planning and coordination (CU Jewish Agency Council)
  • Jewish community calendar and bulletin
  • CUJF also supports other local Jewish organizations.

National Activities

  • Care for the elderly
  • Support for first-rate Jewish education
  • Refugee resettlement
  • Recreational, social, and cultural programs
  • Interfaith understanding, tolerance, and cooperation

 International Activities

  • Youth-at-Risk Program in Ashkelon,
  • Israel Rescue and absorption of Jews from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and other countries for resettlement
  • Day care and shelters for women and children at risk in Israel
  • Basic nutritional needs for elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union
  • Camps for Jewish youth in the former Soviet Union
  • Strengthening religious pluralism, tolerance, and democracy in Israel
  • Disaster relief worldwide, distributed on a non-sectarian basis 

 What organizations does CUJF support?

A complete list appears in CUJF's Annual Report and Allocations Guide. Here are some examples:

Local Support

  • Chabad Center for Jewish Life
  • Program in Jewish Culture and Society (UIUC)
  • Hillel Foundation at UIUC
  • Sinai Temple

National Support

  • Birthright Israel™
  • Hillels International
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
  • Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs

International Support

  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
  • PEF Israel Endowment Fund
  • Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)