About JCUA


Our mission is to combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with diverse communities.

Guided by the Jewish prophetic principles of "Tzedek" (justice) and "Tikkun Olam," (repairing the world) we pursue human rights and socio-economic justice for our most vulnerable populations by empowering communities from within.

Since 1964, JCUA has

  • increased the capacity of numerous grassroots community organizations so that they are better able to achieve their goals;
  • facilitated the development and preservation of thousands of units of affordable housing;
  • advocated for enlightened public policies that address the root causes of poverty; and
  • educated and mobilized a Jewish constituency to create a more just city for all.


In 2014, JCUA marks its 50th anniversary. Over years of working in Chicago’s low-income communities and communities of color, we have developed deep relationships with the organizations with which we partner and an understanding of the challenges these communities face. Because we are in communities on a daily basis, we have earned the trust of community leaders and residents with whom we work. Our deep and long-standing relationships with grassroots community groups and leaders enable us to make inroads into communities where others might not be so readily welcomed.

We partner only with groups that come to us for assistance, thereby assuring that our work goes towards helping groups meet the needs that they themselves have identified as being most critical for their own neighborhoods and communities.

We reach out across faith, race and class not just to create dialogue, but to create tangible results.

We are a Human Rights organization, operating under the belief that every human being has a right to a decent standard of living, to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education and health care, and to live without fear of discrimination or persecution.

We engage Jews from all denominations and backgrounds – including the next generation of Jews – who might otherwise choose not to be involved in Jewish life, and provide them with meaningful opportunities to learn, to act, and to make a difference in the world in which they live.

Who We Are

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© 2014 Jewish Council on Urban Affairs