The Kol Or caucus of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs is a space for those who identify as Jews of Color to gather, build community, and organize for systemic social change. Made up of Jews of Color from across Chicago, Kol Or plays an important role in JCUA’s work to transform our city into a more just and equitable place.
The Jewish community incorporates an incredible diversity of backgrounds and identities — including but not limited to Black Jews, Latinx Jews, Asian Jews and multiracial Jews. According to some estimates, Jews of Color represent at least 12-15% of the American Jewish population.
Kol Or hosts monthly meetings and special events, aimed at building the power of Jews of Color and celebrating the traditions, rituals and practices that make up a pluralistic Jewish world. Kol Or’s annual flagship event, the Juneteeth Havdala, connects the Jewish struggle for freedom with the Juneteeth holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States. These integrative, dynamic events bring into clear focus the spirit of justice and liberation that is at the foundation of Jewish life.
JCUA is committed to the difficult, but necessary work of creating, repairing and deepening relationships of trust across our community. We are so much stronger when Jews of Color participate and take on leadership roles within the organization. The perspectives and experiences of Jews of Color are essential to informing JCUA’s root-cause approach to transforming Chicago.