Nearly 90 years ago, before King Harris' family moved to Chicago, before there was an Israel, before Harris was even born-the Jewish Federation was deeply rooted in his family's identity. Harris, who has been named the Jewish United Fund's General Campaign Chairman, tells the tale of his grandfather, a self-made man who sold peacock feathers for women's hats when he was 13 and eventually started what became a prosperous woolen goods business in Minneapolis-St. That really meant something to him. The Annual Campaign is the largest source of funds supporting JUF's network of more than 70 vital programs and agencies that meet basic human needs, create Jewish experiences, and strengthen Jewish community connections locally and around the globe. Harris long has been one of Chicago's preeminent business and civic leaders. Much earlier in his career, he was a neighborhood center director for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Massachusetts and, before that, spent two years in the Peace Corps as a community development worker in Chile. Every day, we help transform the lives of thousands of people at defining points in their lives. JUF gets the job done. Sign up for our weekly newsletter featuring issues and events in the Jewish world.
Constantly curious, always bewitching, and clearly conversant: Caryn Harris is even a bit more. Think of the dazzle of a Chicago skyline, and Caryn might spring to mind, her leadership stretching from one end of our city to the other. I try to really listen and have a sense of passion for all that I do. I am constantly learning, frequently visiting, for example, the collections of the Field, knowing what we have. Being recognized by the Music Institute of Chicago, which brings, among its many programs, music education to students from the inner city as well as several suburbs, seems just right.
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Covering a story? Visit our page for journalists or call Get more with UChicago News delivered to your inbox. University Trustee Dennis J. His mother, Dorothy Alice Barckman Keller, was a student in the College and retained an abiding love for the University throughout her life.
Within the first five minutes of our interview in his Wacker Drive office, King Harris reveals much that defines him. Building helpful connections comes second nature to this cerebral civic leader, who uses his wit and substantial resources as broadly as possible. And there is a lot of good news here. The developer, Related Midwest , knows what they are doing. Harris, 75, is happy in life and talented at navigating complex business, governmental, and philanthropic dynamics. His wife, Caryn , is equally committed to civic service — particularly in the arts. The ideas he helped develop then have blossomed into effective plans for at least 43 Illinois communities now. Our interview focuses on this work.