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

Chicago Justice Series
Apr 23 @ 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

Police Accountability Committee Meeting @ Sketchpad
Apr 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for our ~monthly Police Accountability Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd, at 6:30 pm, with a 6:00 orientation for newer folks. RSVP here.

*Note: meetings are for members only. Sign up to become a member here.

Contact avra@jcua.org for more info.

Resisting Spacial Violence: A Film Screening and Discussion @ KAM Isaiah Israel
Apr 28 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Hosted By Kol Or
JCUA’s Jews of Color Caucus

Don’t forget to RSVP for our Passover screening of Not in My Neighbourhood.” This award-winning documentary tells the intergenerational stories of ordinary citizens responding to the policies, process, and institutions driving contemporary forms of spatial violence and gentrification in Cape Town, New York, and São Paulo. We are also excited to announce we will be joined by Co-Producer Najma Nuriddin for a discussion following the screening.

On Passover we move out of a narrow place of struggle towards a vision for a better world. Join us as we come together to connect our struggles globally and talk about how we can fight for a city, and a world, in which all are free.

JCUA Organizing Fellowship Workshop
May 2 @ 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.

Latest Blog

  • April 16, 2019 05/29/15 Chag Sameach from JCUA – Pursue Justice this Passover

    Every year on Passover the Jewish community has an opportunity to reflect on the connections between our history and tradition and the world we live in today. We retell the story of our ancestors' oppression under slavery in Egypt - their forced, brutal labor, the terrible loss …

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  • April 9, 2019 05/29/15 Face to Face Accountability

    In March I had the opportunity to travel with JCUA and the Campaign for Welcoming IL to the capitol in Springfield. Being there reminded me how much work we still have left to do to fight for immigration justice. The first thing they did when …

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  • March 11, 2019 05/29/15 Community Ventures Program (CVP) Invests in Veterans Housing

    JCUA is excited to announce its newest CVP investment: the Roosevelt Road Veterans Housing Project, a 90-unit facility for veterans experiencing homelessness and veterans with disabilities. CVP provided a no-interest $100,000 loan to A Safe Haven to cover a portion of the predevelopment costs associated …

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  • February 28, 2019 05/29/15 Immigration Justice in Springfield and the Northern Suburbs…and a Campaign Victory!

      Join JCUA and the Campaign for a Welcoming IL in Springfield We are heading down to Springfield with the Campaign for a #WelcomingIL to kickoff our organizing efforts around two new bills in Springfield this year - the Keep Illinois Families Together Act (KIFTA) and the Retain Illinois Students and …

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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