JCUA is dedicated to empowering the next generation of Jewish leaders. We have two programs that engage teens and young adults across Chicagoland, focusing on community organizing through a Jewish lens and putting values and ideas into practice by taking action locally on crucial issues.

The Or Tzedek Organizing Internship, which was recently redesigned into a full-year program, is for teens passionate about social justice who want to build concrete organizing skills and take their activism to the next level. In JCUA’s College-Aged Organizing Fellowship, participants develop and strengthen their Jewish social justice identities while building organizing skills to combat the root causes of inequality in our city and create real systemic change.

Outside of year-long programs, JCUA is committed to providing opportunities for Jewish youth to engage accesibly with their interests.

Youth Organizing Caucus: During the summer of 2020, a group of young people plugged into JCUA in various ways  started working consistently on the Fair Tax campaign, and organizing their communities of peers and friends to get involved as well. Now, young people involved in JCUA’s work through previous campaigns, Or Tzedek cohorts, or even involved friends can join the youth organizing caucus. This caucus meets monthly to build community, talk about current events, learn skills for community organizing, and take action on issues they care about. To get involved, contact Mara Wolkoff, JCUA’s Manager of Youth Engagement (mara@jcua.org) or Marissa Levy (marissa@jcua.org).

Queer Youth Caucus: This space exists for queer Jewish youth to process their identities and experiences within the Jewish community, build community through social events, and think about how we can organize the JCUA and broader Jewish community for LGBTQ+ liberation. To get involved, contact Mara (mara@jcua.org) or Helen Lerner (Helen.lerner.2018@gmail.com), the founder of this caucus.