LATE ILLINOIS STATE TREASURER and comptroller Judy Baar Topinka loved estate sales. And if she saw something she thought might make a good gift for someone, she bought it. When her son, Joseph, discovered the Israel poster in the photo above among her possessions, he knew it belonged at JUF. In July, Joseph presented it to JUF President Steven B. Nasatir, who fondly remembered Judy as “a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.” Among several examples were her purchases of Israel Bonds for the state.
She also was an increasingly rare type of leader, Nasatir said, eager to engage people of all backgrounds and willing to work with members on both sides of the aisle to make the state and its residents better. Many instances of those efforts are detailed in Joseph’s young-adult civics text and biography about his mother, Just Judy: A Citizen and Leader for Illinois.