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King Cyrus Award

Illini Hillel Cohen Center for Jewish Life would like to honor members of the local community that support the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Community with the King Cyrus Award. King Cyrus was the emperor of the Persian Empire in approximately 500 B.C. He authorized the return of the Jewish people to their homeland under his protection and guaranteed their safety and their prosperity under his realm.

Nominations to the 2020 King Cyrus Award are now open! We will accept nominations until Friday, February 28th at 5pm. Awardees will receive an notice by Sunday, March 8th, 2020.


  • A non-Jewish organization or individual, that has done extraordinary work or deed to benefit the Jewish community at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and/or the Champaign-Urbana Jewish community.

  • We will not review financial contributions as part of this award.

  • Deed or work must be done locally.


Award winners will be decided by a committee made up of four Jewish community members, three University of Illinois students and two Illini Hillel staff members. Following a nomination, the nominee will receive a letter explaining the award.

Previous Winners:

2019: Dean Jeff Brown of the Gies College of Business

for being "outspoken against anti-Semitism and rising hatred in our country and on our campus" and for leading Gies College of Business toward developing further connections with Israeli universities and businesses

2018: Ameren Illinois

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