Chicago federation aims grants at reducing violent crime epidemic


(JTA) — Chicago’s Jewish federation is giving $425,000 in grants to help reduce a cycle of violence gripping the city.

Awarded through the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the grants will support the work of Sinai Health System ($175,000), the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago ($150,000) and the United Way Neighborhood Network Initiative ($100,000), the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago said in a statement this week.

The United Way will serve as administrator of the funding.

“Violence is a critical issue impacting our local community today, and we will not stand idly by while our neighbors bleed,” Steven Nasatir, president of the federation, said in a statement.

Funding will support neighborhood-specific initiatives in each of the organizations, including the Sinai Health System’s work to build a comprehensive behavioral health system for children and youth in Southwest Chicago and their citywide Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative, the federation said.

Through June 30, some 323 people died violently in the city. This month, 58 have been killed and another 293 wounded in shootings, according to data provided to DNAinfo by the Chicago Police Department. Chicago is on course to topping 700 homicides for a second consecutive year.

On Wednesday, the city’s Jewish mayor, Rahm Emanuel, rejected criticism from President Donald Trump, who said the mayor wasn’t being “tough” enough in combating the violence.

Emanuel responded by saying fighting violence was “not about being tough but being smart and strategic,” and pointed to a comprehensive strategy that includes efforts to create jobs, expand afterschool programs, curb access to guns and install high-tech crime fighting tools.

The federation grants were funded through the Shure Charitable Trust.

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