Or Tzedek

The Or Tzedek Organizing Internship is a program for teens passionate about social justice who want to build concrete organizing skills and take their activism to the next level. JCUA’s newly redesigned teen leadership program offers participants the opportunity to: strengthen their understanding of social justice and systems of oppression from a root cause perspective; build skills to organize for social change in coalition with communities across Chicago; cultivate teens’ Jewish identity and values by connecting Judaism and social justice.

Or Tzedek explores community organizing principles and strategy through a Jewish framework. Teens have opportunities to put their knowledge into practice by taking action with JCUA’s issue-based campaigns and organizing their peers in the Jewish community to get involved.



Or Tzedek teens meet as a cohort twice a monthly during the academic calendar, from September to May. The program is open to all 9th to 12th grade students, regardless of experience, but aimed at teens who are ready to invest in their community and make a real commitment for the year. This commitment includes:

  • Approximately 8-10 hours each month
  • Two cohort meetings each month, mostly on Sunday afternoons
  • At least one other meeting, action or event each month, dependent on the month (individual teens might attend different things some months)
  • Culminating teen-led action or event
  • 1 Shabbaton weekend retreat in February

JCUA knows that Or Tzedek teens need support in making this commitment. For their full participation in the program, teens receive:

  • Food at every full cohort meeting
  • Weekend Shabbaton with all expenses paid
  • Stipend: $400 for the year, paid in two increments, for work done in the program and to cover travel costs for meetings and actions
  • Resume package: Letter of recommendation and certificate of accomplishment upon completion for future academic and professional endeavors