Our Mission

JCUA and its members are powerful allies and advocates for positive social change in Chicago. We combat poverty, racism and antisemitism in partnership with our city’s diverse communities.

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Our Impact

Impact 1


Since JCUA launched its revamped Membership program in Spring of 2014, we have grown to over 1,800 members.

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Impact 2

$5.2 million

JCUA has invested $5.2 million in the creation and preservation of over 4,000 units of affordable housing.

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Impact 3


JCUA’s Teen Social Justice Program has taught over 500 teenagers how to put their Jewish values into action as powerful social justice advocates.


Upcoming Events

JCUA Organizing Fellowship Workshop
Feb 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

This is a regular meeting of the JCUA Organizing Fellowship yearly cohort for college-aged young folks. Please visit jcua.org/organizingfellowship to learn more about the program.

Chicago Justice Series
Feb 21 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join Avodah, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Mishkan Chicago, Repair the World and Silverstein Base Hillel for our third annual Chicago  Justice series. This year we will focus on themes of safety and security through a Jewish lens: examining our relationships as Jews to law enforcement historically and today, exploring local work on police accountability, and thinking about how various identities we hold may impact how we think about our own safety.

Register below for the series, which costs $25 a person and includes dinners at all sessions. If cost is a barrier to participation we are happy to work with you – we want this space to be accessible to everyone. Email Rabbi Megan (rabbimegan@gmail.com) and we will make it work!

Register through Mishkan Chicago’s page

Session Dates

  • Thursday February 21, 6:30-8:30

    What do safety and security look like to each of us? What could it look like? In the opening session of the cohort we will begin by situating ourselves in what makes us feel safe, how our intersecting identities impact that and in how we want to build Jewish community as a cohort addressing safety and security. We will engage with and reflect on sources from historians, thinkers and leaders that bring up different frameworks for understanding community safety and accountability.

  • Thursday March 28,  6:30-8:30

    What does Judaism teach us about safety? In this session we will bring in Jewish texts of different kinds to examine what our own traditions, values and practices tell us about the creation of safety, the role of police and other accountability systems. We will reflect upon what these mean for us now and how we want to continue unpacking meanings of safety through a Jewish lens.

  • Tuesday April 23, 6:30-8:30

    How do systems of policing and security impact those within them?In our third session we will develop an analysis of policing and safety that understands the systemic impact police have on society as well as the experiences of those who operate within the police system. We will engage with resources and text that illuminate how a system like the Chicago Police Department functions and how those working within it understand their role in building community safety.

  • Thursday May 9, 6:30-8:30

    Where do we go from here? Before our closing Shabbat on May 31st, this final session will provide space to think about how we bring what we have learned in this series to our daily lives. What this looks like will depend on the flow of the conversation thus far in the series. We will learn about ongoing campaign work around police accountability including ways to get involved and take action. There will also be space to brainstorm together about community safety planning in Jewish spaces, and other opportunities to continue unpacking issues around safety and security.

  • Friday May 31, 6-9 pm, Shabbat Dinner


Register through Mishkan Chicago’s page

Campaign for a Welcoming IL Springfield Action Day @ Springfield, IL
Mar 5 @ 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
JCUA North Suburban Organizing Team Meeting @ Home of a JCUA member
Mar 10 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Latest Blog

  • February 18, 2019 05/29/15 The Mitzvah of Voting

    There is a fascinating story told about the 20th century Israeli rabbi, the Chazon Ish. On Election Day, the Chazon Ish ran into a fellow Jew. "Did you vote yet" inquired the Chazon Ish. The person responded, "No." "Why not," the Chazon Ish persisted. The …

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  • February 18, 2019 05/29/15 Act in the Gap

    We as a community are collectively thinking about voting in the Chicago elections this month and what it means to be an engaged member of a democracy that is still profoundly flawed. One of the concepts that I believe can help us find our place …

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  • February 15, 2019 05/29/15 G-d forgives, but unfortunately not the United States.

    This blog is taken from the D'var Torah given by Immigration Attorney and JCUA Member Kalman Resnick at Beth Emet Synagogue last Friday. Shabbat Shalom.  The Book of Exodus from which we continue reading this Shabbat has resonated through my life. As a young child, I saw …

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  • February 11, 2019 05/29/15 Voting, Civic Engagement, and the Parsha

    When contemplating the portion Tetzaveh in terms of voting and elections, at first blush few portions would seem more at odds with democracy. The portion starts with instructions for lighting the Menorah regularly then proceeds to describe the various elements of clothing of the High …

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For over 40 years, Gerry and I have proudly supported the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. Through my work at JCUA, I have a voice on the issues that are important to me. And I continue to build upon what has become a family tradition, passing on our values to the next generation.

Steve Keen, JCUA Board of Directors