Roundup: June 16, 2023

Click here to sign up for JCUA’s mailing list and receive the Friday Roundup in your inbox every week!

The Juneteenth Havdalah is tomorrow! 🎉

We look forward to seeing you in Hyde Park tomorrow for the sixth annual Juneteenth Havdalah, hosted by our Kol Or Jews of Color Caucus. Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery and emancipation of African Americans in the United States.

The theme for this year’s event is Liberation: Can You Feel It? Through music, prayer, art-making, and more, we will commemorate Juneteenth, observe Shabbat, and recommit to the work of ending anti-Blackness.

Join us at KAM Isaiah Israel (1100 E Hyde Park Blvd) at 6:00 pm. Register.

Illinois becomes first state to outlaw book bans 📚

Earlier this week, Illinois became the first state to prohibit the banning of books in public and school libraries.

The new law hinges on the enforcement of the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, which states that books cannot be banned or restricted on the grounds of personal opinion, political ideology, or religious beliefs. Libraries that don’t adopt these standards will be ineligible for state funding.

The legislation, which takes effect in 2024, arrives as communities across the country face attempts to ban books that explore race, sexuality, and oppression.

In another win for learning, Illinois has joined Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program to provide free books to children five and under. The Imagination Library program enrolls one in ten children nationwide and has increased kindergarten readiness by 29%.

Chicago pays out more police settlements 🚔

Chicago continues to pay out large settlements to the victims of police misconduct cases. This week, the Finance Committee approved $7.25 million in compensation for Arthur Brown, a man who spent 30 years in prison after police coerced him into confessing. Additionally, the Committee approved a $1 million settlement to the mother of Sharell Brown, who was killed by a police officer in 2019 after the officer turned off his body camera.

New CVP project in North Lawndale 🏠

We’re proud to announce a partnership with Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) on a new Community Ventures Program (CVP) project.

LCDC supports North Lawndale residents by providing affordable housing, addressing economic challenges, promoting homeownership, and facilitating community organizing.

JCUA has awarded LCDC with a $70,000 zero-interest loan to acquire the space for its new family recreation center. Modeled after the Pullman Community Center, the MLK Family Recreation Center will offer a year-round indoor space for sports, recreation, and educational opportunities for all ages.

Check out all of CVP’s current projects.

Allies in Action event: Monday, June 26th 🌳

JCUA is excited to co-sponsor “Allies in Action: Combating Antisemitism and Racism,” hosted by the Avodah Institute for Social Change and Black Jewish Liberation Collective.

This free, virtual event will feature an opening panel and breakout rooms on the following topics: how to talk about antisemitism with your non-Jewish neighbors; how to have intergenerational conversations about antisemitism; and how to teach about antisemitism to Jewish teens.

Join us on Monday, June 26th at 6 pm CT to learn how we can overcome this moment of fear through inspiring conversation with leaders in our field. RSVP.

We’re hiring: Director of Operations & Finance 💼

Come work with us! JCUA is seeking a Director of Operations & Finance to support our day-to-day financial, human resources, and operations.

This person will be responsible for managing finance, operational planning and budgeting, human resources administration, and IT. They will be integral in cultivating an equitable and inclusive workplace culture that enables JCUA to achieve our mission. Learn more about the job and apply!