Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 cohort!


The JCUA Organizing Fellowship is a seven-month social justice initiative that offers young adults, ages 18-23, the opportunity to learn community organizing through a Jewish lens and gain experience working on local campaigns for racial and economic justice. Fellows join a cohort of young Jews from across the city and suburbs, where they develop and strengthen their Jewish social justice identities, while building organizing skills to combat the root causes of inequity in Chicago through progressive, systemic change.

Organizing Fellows meet twice a month from October to May on weekday evenings. Alongside regular workshops, Fellows attend JCUA actions and events throughout the year and conduct one-on-one relationship-building conversations with each another and the broader JCUA community. Throughout the program, participants develop a dynamic understanding of Jewish identity and tradition and take action on JCUA’s campaigns for immigration justice, affordable housing, and community safety. Fellows dive deep into concepts of power, intersectionality, and systemic oppression; learn the history and building blocks of organizing in Chicago: building people power, developing campaigns, creating effective direct action; actively participate in JCUA’s current campaign work; and build Jewish social justice community with young people from across Chicagoland.

To learn more about the Organizing Fellowship and JCUA’s Youth Programs, please contact Mara Wolkoff, Manager of Youth Engagement: mara@jcua.org

If you’d like to receive updates about the Fellowship or recommend a friend for the program, please fill out the Interest Form.

Wondering what it’s like to participate in the Organizing Fellowship?
Here’s what some of our recent alumni have to say about the program:


“After participating in the JCUA Organizing Fellowship, I have finally found a Jewish community that walks the walk in living the Jewish commitment to justice and allyship. The relationships and organizing skills we developed through workshops and involvement in JCUA’s campaigns will stay with me long after this fellowship and have propelled me to become further involved in the work of making Chicago a more equitable city.”

“The Fellowship helped me feel less like an outsider, an imposter, coming in to fight for justice in Chicago, as an out of state college student. Through the fellowship I learned more about the city and state issues, how they are affecting people directly, how they came to be, how they are sustained systemically, what is already being done about it, and where I can contribute”

“This Fellowship has truly changed the ways in which I am able to call Chicago home. I am both much prouder of this city, knowing how many incredible people there are fighting for change, and I am much angrier at the city, and far readier to continue that fight myself.”

“Before this program, I was unsure how to combine my passions for Judaism and social justice with my interest in engaging with the city of Chicago. This fellowship allowed me to do all of that and more! I feel more connected to my Judaism, and I also feel as though I’ve found a strong, passionate Jewish community that I want to engage with going forward.”

“I joined this program with the passion and desire to change my community, and I leave this program with the skills and initiative necessary to do so. There was never a moment in this Fellowship that I was not happy to be a part of it. I learned so much from working with JCUA and foresee my involvement with JCUA continuing for as long as I live in Chicago.”

Apply for the 2022-2023 Organizing Fellowship cohort!