His commitment 'runs deep'

Keith Shapiro named 2024 Annual Campaign Chair

Keith Shapiro Cropped  image
Photo credit: Monica Rogers

Longtime community leader Keith Shapiro, renowned for his commitment to the Chicagoland Jewish community and the State of Israel, has been named Chair of the 2024 JUF Annual Campaign.

The Annual Campaign is the cornerstone of JUF's multi-faceted resource development efforts, fueling life-transforming services for 500,000 Chicagoans of all faiths and two million Jews across the globe.

"Keith's commitment to the Jewish people and Israel run deep," said JUF President Lonnie Nasatir. "He brings great passion, along with tremendous expertise and energy, to this pivotal role, and we are fortunate to have him at the helm of the Campaign."

"When my Bubbe and her family were forced to flee the pogroms of Russia for America, she could never have imagined that one day there would be an organization like JUF to support Jews across the globe, give them a voice, and provide them with better opportunities in each succeeding generation," Shapiro said. "The October attack on the State of Israel and the unprecedented level of antisemitism we now face has made a strong and well-funded JUF more vital than ever, and I am honored to chair the annual campaign at this critical time for Israel and the Jewish people."

Shapiro was born and raised in Chicago's southwest side neighborhood, which was notorious for its racism, including housing the headquarters of the neo-Nazi movement in the 1970s.

"I understood antisemitism at way too early an age, and am committed to fighting hate in all its forms," said Shapiro.

His deep connection to Israel was formed when he was 16, shortly after the Yom Kippur War, during a USY Pilgrimage to Israel.

"I was moved by the haunting sadness and steely resilience of those who served on the front lines, and after a trip to Yad Vashem, became obsessed with learning about the Holocaust and the generations of challenges faced by the Jewish people," Shapiro said.

That year was also notable as he not only fell in love with Israel, but also with fellow USYer Marci, now his wife of almost 43 years.

The Shapiros returned to Israel in February with a JUF Solidarity Mission for the second time since the war began, and plan to return several times this year.

"The biggest thing I can do for the 2024 Campaign is to bring people to Israel, and bring the growing needs of Israel back to Chicago," Shapiro said. "We must raise more funding than ever to support the State of Israel, and to fund the growing needs in Chicago. And we must bear witness, bring back the stories, and share them every way we can."

Shapiro is a longtime JUF board member and has chaired and served on many JUF committees.

In his professional life, he serves as Chairman and CEO of alternative investment fund Karlov Street Capital, LLC. Shapiro previously spent 25 years at law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where he served as the Global Vice President and founding Chicago Managing Shareholder and Chairman. He is also a successful restauranteur whose restaurant Smyth recently earned three Michelin stars.

Previously, Shapiro has served as the Chairman of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission and on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League-Midwest Region, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Shapiro holds a bachelor's degree in finance from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earned his JD from Emory University School of Law, where he has served on the board for 18 years.

He and Marci have three grown sons, Jacob, Michael, and Jordan, and daughter in laws Jenna and Carah-all of whom have taken on leadership roles in JUF and the Chicago Jewish community-along with a granddaughter, Emma. 

 


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