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Job Opening

Posted: Aug. 15, 2014

Job Description: Senior Community Organizer
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Best Consideration Date:  September 5, 2014.


The mission of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) is to combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with Chicago’s diverse communities.  Since 1964, JCUA has been a strong progressive Jewish voice for social justice.  JCUA’s current work focuses on three main areas of impact: Issue-based Campaigns; Community Investment; and Bridge-building Partnerships. JCUA works with communities that are directly affected by poverty and racism toward realizing a shared vision of justice. 

In order to maximize our impact, JCUA develops and mobilizes a base of individuals from the Jewish community to become engaged in our initiatives and campaigns as leaders, participants, or supporters.


JCUA seeks a seasoned community organizer to play a critical role on our organizing team. JCUA is a small and dynamic organization, where the staff works collaboratively. The Senior Community Organizer will supervise JCUA’s Community Organizer and will report directly to JCUA’s Director of Programs.

The work of the Senior Community Organizer is two-pronged:

1. Organizing: The Senior Community Organizer will lead JCUA’s organizing efforts on specific campaigns and will support existing work on campaigns. This will include:

  • Developing relationships with potential and existing community partners
  • Representing JCUA on campaign coalitions.
  • Meeting with Jewish leaders and organizations throughout the Chicago area and identifying mutually beneficial avenues of collaboration.
  • Engaging members of the Jewish community with JCUA’s initiatives and campaign priorities through one-on-one meetings, presentations, workshops, educational events, and more.
  • Cultivating leaders and developing leadership teams comprised of members from the Jewish community to lead and support JCUA’s campaigns.
  • Coordinating meetings, campaign actions, and other related activities.


2. Membership: JCUA launched an individual membership structure earlier this year and Issue-based Campaigns are a key piece of this structure.  Membership supports our base-building and organizing efforts.  The Senior Community Organizer will play a key role in advancing this new model. This will include:

  • Coordinating regular member meetings, where individuals can learn about JCUA’s campaigns, initiatives, and partners.
  • Developing meaningful opportunities for member engagement.
  • Overseeing and coordinating membership sign-up and follow through.
  • Developing creative approaches to increase member engagement, recruitment and retention.
  • Working closely with the development and communications staff to ensure that organizational database is accurate and effectively maintained.


The senior organizer will also:

  • Support fellow staff in JCUA’s work to achieve impact.
  • Contribute to JCUA’s communications, including writing for the blog, crafting campaign-related emails, content for the website and utilization of social media.
  • Supervise interns.
  • Assist in organization-wide events, including fundraising events.
  • As part of the JCUA team, keep the board of directors engaged and informed of JCUA’s work and activities.
  • Other tasks may be assigned as needed.



  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university.
  • Minimum of three years of paid professional community organizing experience.  Policy campaign experience a plus.
  • Commitment to engaging the Jewish community in social justice.
  • Understanding of the root causes of oppression and a commitment to social and economic justice.
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking, and analytical skills.
  • Strong research skills, including the ability to clearly summarize and present complex issues.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including a comfort level with public speaking.
  • Organizational skills, ability to multi-task, and comfort in diverse settings
  • Commitment to team-building and effective communication with colleagues.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours—including weeknights and occasional weekends.
  • Knowledge of online social media platforms.



  • Knowledge of and passion for Jewish life and Chicago neighborhoods.
  • Talent in graphic design and/or video editing. 



  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage.
  • Two weeks paid vacation (with an increase over time), and three weeks paid sick days.
  • Days off for major Jewish holidays.



Before you apply, please visit www.jcua.org and familiarize yourself with JCUA’s work. To apply, please email resume and cover letter to jobs@jcua.org.

Resumes and cover letters will be accepted until the position is filled.  No phone calls please.

In your cover letter, be sure to explain:

  • Why you are interested in working at JCUA.
  • Why you are interested in this position in particular.
  • Which experiences have prepared you to excel in this position.


JCUA encourages applicants from all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, sexual orientations and genders.

» Download the complete job description

Position: Director of Programs and Organizing (full time)

Brief Position Overview:

The Program Director is a senior level position within the organization. The Director of Programs and Organizing will oversee the coordination and administration of all aspects of JCUA's program-related activities, including work on campaigns, community investment, and building bridges between the Jewish community and communities that face poverty and/or racism. Responsibilities include oversight of and participation in planning, implementation, and evaluation of program initiatives.

Click here for full job description and application instructions.



Become an Intern

JCUA's commitment to social and economic justice plays out through its work with communities throughout the Chicago area. JCUA serves as an organizational expression of the Jewish ethical tradition that holds that the fate of one person is inextricably entwined with the fate of all. As it says in the Talmud: Whosoever Saves One Life Saves The World Entire.

The Internship Program

JCUA accepts interns year-round. The year is divided into three internship sessions: Fall (September-December), Winter/Spring (January-May), and Summer (June-August). Applicants may apply for any session. See more on minimum time commitments here. JCUA accepts undergraduate and graduate students, as well as non-students. High school students may only apply if they are alumni of JCUA's Teen social Justice Institute: "Or Tzedek." JCUA encourages applicants from all racial, ethnic, and religious background, sexual orientations and genders. Learn more about the internship program.

Be the Change

JCUA aims to provide its interns with meaningful engagement in social justice issues through a Jewish lens. At JCUA interns gain professional experience, as well as tools and skills to excel in an effective and focused non-profit environment. Internships are available in the following areas:

  • Advocacy and Community Organizing
  • Or Tzedek Teen Social Justice Program
  • Outreach and Education
  • Community Development
  • Communications (including video production, graphic design, photography, social media, journalism)
  • Fundraising and Event Planning
  • Jewish-Muslim Relations

» Apply for an internship 


Please contact Judy Levey, by phone (312-663-0960 x113) should you have questions.

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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.