About JCUA


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

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs was established in 1964 with the mission of combating poverty, racism and anti-Semitism by working in partnership with diverse communities in Chicago. Guided by the prophetic principles of tzedek (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), for 50 years JCUA has worked to create positive systemic change for Chicago’s most vulnerable communities.

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.


This year JCUA marks its 50th anniversary. During JCUA's 50 years of working in Chicago's diverse communities, we have fostered an understanding and trust with the organizations with which we partner. While the exact challenges in Chicago have changed, poverty, racism and anti-Semitism continue to run rampant.  In 2013, JCUA underwent a comprehensive strategic planning process, asking our community partners what they need from us now. The overwhelming response was that they wanted us to organize the Jewish community to be a powerful partner for justice.  Their assessment, and ours, is that bringing Jewish voices and Jewish participation to their issues – as partners and allies - is the best way to tackle root causes of injustice and have a lasting impact. 

Today, JCUA pursues social and economic justice through issue-based campaigns, community investment, and bridge building between the Jewish community and communities plagued by poverty and racism.  JCUA provides opportunities for engagement, education on the issues, leadership training and tools, and a thriving activist community. Our members put their Jewish values into practice in a meaningful way, providing vehicles for action and engagement on issues that can change the course of peoples’ lives and open up opportunities for those who face poverty and racism.

As always, JCUA remains firm in its call for justice. Reaching across our community, we engage people of all ages and affiliations to come together to collectively take action.  We invite people to join us as they express Judaism through action and act on their commitment to social justice and repair of the world. This is how JCUA makes a difference, now and for the next 50 years.

For more information on JCUA:

          JCUA Strategic Plan 2014-2018                                                                     JCUA's Theory of Change



Be a Member

As a JCUA member, you will receive action alerts and important information on campaigns that interest you. Fulfill your commitment to Jewish social justice and repair of the world.


Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60605
Phone: 312.663.0960  |  Fax: 312.663.5305

© 2015 Jewish Council on Urban Affairs