Better Makers: James Corden Joins JUF and Chicago’s Next Gen Philanthropists for Big Event Fundraiser

James Corden performs a stand-up routine at the 2019 Big Event Fundraiser. (Photo by Robert Kusel.)

“Together for good” — the guiding principle informing the work of Jewish United Fund.

As the 2018 fiscal year came to a close, JUF proudly announced the record increase of its Annual Campaign to an unrivaled $86.97 million. JUF’s Annual Campaign, which secured $379,411,478 in total revenue in fiscal year 2018, supports the organization’s vast network of agency partnersFunds raised provide human services to vulnerable community members across Chicagoland and around the globe. Individual and corporate donors make it possible to provide care for Holocaust survivors; services for people with disabilities; combat acts of anti-Semitism, racism, genocide, and bigotry; and engage more people in Jewish life and learning.

On Dec. 15, nearly 1,450 young leaders filled the ballroom at the Sheraton Grand Chicago for the 11th annual JUF Young Leadership Division (YLD) Big Event Fundraiser, headlined by British actor, comedian, and “The Late Late Show” host James Corden. The event kicked off the 2019 JUF Annual Campaign. Manifesting the commitment of the Chicago Jewish community’s next generation of leaders, more than $172,300 was raised.

In typical Corden fashion, the groundbreaking host, particularly beloved for his show’s “Carpool Karaoke” segments, did not skimp on cheeky humor. The room roared as he took the stage exclaiming, “I feel like I’m watching JDate live!”

Intermixed with Corden’s charm and quippy banter, he shared a special message with the audience: “You are the next generation,” he said. “You are the people who are going to create the best society and help solve the world’s problems.”

Corden made his way into the audience to schmooze with a few guests during his stand-up performance.

Chicago comedian and television host Pat McGann later joined Corden on stage, where he quizzed the British comic on his knowledge of Yiddish phrases, Jewish Broadway stars, and food. Although the two funny men didn’t perform a live rendition of “Carpool Karaoke,” they did touch upon the segment in their Q&A.

Corden revealed the origin of the viral series. The bit was inspired by a sketch created for Comic Relief’s 2011 Red Nose Day special in which he drives the late British singer George Michael to an event while singing the Wham! hit “I’m Your Man.”

The British charity, Comic Relief, created Red Nose Day in England as a way to combat child poverty.

As host of “The Late Late Show,” the comedian says he’s constantly creating. “Sometimes, things are good and sometimes things you’re really proud of, lots of people don’t like,” Corden said. “And then other things, people really love something, and you go, ‘I don’t really get it.’ Mostly, you just have to put it out there and hope that people find it.”

YLD Campaign Chair Alex Entratter announced that donations to JUF can now be made through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

Along with the comedy show, guests enjoyed cocktails and networking, a performance by Chicago group Deep Dish A Cappella, an after-party complete with live music and dancing with 6-piece band and vocals TC Squared (TC2), and an after-after party at Joy District.

The 2019 YLD Big Event Fundraiser was generously sponsored by Eleven City Diner, Celebrity Cruises, The Cohn Weisskopf Oxman Group at Morgan Stanley, Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, HFF, AV Chicago, Sheraton Grand Chicago, DineAmic Group, and Joy District.

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser

James Corden entertained the crowd he affectionately called “JDate live.” (Photo by Jeff Ellis.)

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser: After-Party

Attendees dance to a live band at the after-party. (Photo by Jeff Ellis.)

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser: Andrew Landan, Jon Landan

James Corden joked with attendees Andrew and Jon Landan. (Photo by Robert Kusel.)

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser: Melanie Beatus, Alex Entratter, Mike Schwartz, Nathan Redisch

YLD Leadership poses with James Corden. Pictured from left to right: Melanie Beatus, 2019 Campaign Vice Chair; Alex Entratter, 2019 Campaign Chair; James Corden, headliner; Mike Schwartz, President; and Nathan Redisch, Executive Vice President. (Photo by Robert Kusel.)

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser: Daniel Oxman, Jillian Gliksberg, Gabi Gliksberg, Joanna Greenberg, Beni Gliksberg

Pictured from left to right: Daniel Oxman, Jillian Gliksberg, Gabi Gliksberg, Joanna Greenberg, and Beni Gliksberg. (Photo by Jeff Ellis.)

James Corden at JUF Big Event Fundraiser: impact

Impact: The Jewish United Fund assists people in need, transforming daily life for more than 500,000 Chicagoans of all faiths. (Photo courtesy of JUF.)


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Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.



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