Passover Seder: Stories of Violence and its Impact

March 20, 2014

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED

Seder 2014: "From Handguns to Hope"

JCUA’s Annual Passover Seder

Thursday, April 3, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

HOSTED BY
Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation
6601 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago
(map it)
Capers Funnye, Rabbi



Chicago stories of
VIOLENCE, IMPACT and SOLUTIONS

With
Kevin Coval, emcee

Featuring
The “Louder than a Bomb 2014 Team”
And
JCUA’s inspiring partners on violence prevention work

Our seder will highlight three organizations and their approaches to ending gun violence in Chicago: 

Raise Teen Voices. Since 2001, Louder Than a Bomb has given youth a platform to share their stories. This spoken-word competition allows students from any neighborhood, suburb or region to listen, share and build a community. Louder Than a Bomb’s poetry teams address racism, sexism, violence and segregation through the art of spoken word. Their art gives them an outlet and helps us understand the obstacles we all must address to build a better Chicago. You will be inspired by their insightful performance.

Mobilize Underrepresented Communities. For the past year, Fierce Women of Faith has worked tirelessly to increase peace in our city. Fierce Women of Faith launched last summer to mobilize women of faith to address the gun violence epidemic plaguing neighborhoods in communities of color. Today, they are hundreds of members strong and have taken a holistic approach to addressing gun violence. From offering public witness to training community leaders and pursuing legislation, Fierce Women of Faith have been invaluable partners in advancing solutions to gun violence. Speaker: Marci Richards.

Advancing Gun Violence Legislation. Last summer, Illinois enacted the state’s first concealed carry gun law. Long regarded as sanctuaries and safe spaces, guns are now legally allowed in houses of worship. These new laws threaten to make guns and gun violence even more widespread. That is why the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence has launched a legislative campaign to ban handguns in houses of worship. By reversing our state’s legislative backslides on gun control, ICHV plays a crucial role in preventing gun violence. Speaker: Mark Walsh.

In addition to our partners,
you’ll hear powerful words from:

Tamar Manasseh – Rabbi Capers Funnye – Rabbi Ben Greenberg 

With musical performance by
the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken E.H.C. Choir


JCUA’s annual Seder ALWAYS sells out.
Order your tickets today to be assured of a seat.

Single Tickets:  $25          Table of 10:  $250

Purchase tickets or sponsor a seat so that
someone else can attend at no charge:

Buy Tickets Be a Sponsor


Transportation

Bus transportation will be available from the Spertus Institute in downtown Chicago to Beth Shalom in Chicago Lawn. Cost is $5 per person. Get more details here.


A Strong Jewish Voice for Economic Justice

January 22, 2014

443Seventy-five Jewish community members from JCUA, Jewish Solidarity and Action for Schools (JSAS), Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation and Moishe House came together for havdallah and economic justice training. Despite the cold weather outside, Moishe House was filled with Jews from different generations raising their voices to address the inequitable distribution of resources.

Rabbi Brant Rosen from JRC led a text study that used Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to  illuminate the racial and economic inequalities currently present in Chicago. We left the evening ready to fight for a more justice city with the “A Better Illinois” campaign. 486

Act Now for Economic Justice!

Click here to learn more about JCUA’s work for a fair and just tax system.  JCUA is a proud member of the “A Better Illinois” campaign, advocating for a fair and just tax structure in Illinois.


Concealed Carry: Art Exhibit and Discussion

January 10, 2014

As of Jan. 1, Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to allow its residents to carry concealed guns on their persons.

In response, the Experimental Station and Moving Design are presenting “Concealed Carry and the Experimental Station,” an art exhibit and public conversations about the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Please join us in taking part in this powerful discussion about the implications of gun legislation on our city.

JCUA will be attending the discussion, led by former Chicago Public Radio host Steve Edwards.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7-9 p.m.
6100 S. Blackstone Ave. , Chicago

To RSVP, please contact Rebecca Katz or Chris Huff.

» Learn more


(Panel Discussion) Widening the Circle: Theory & Identity in the Praxis of Solidarity

October 31, 2013

Asaf Bar-Tura, JCUA’s Director of Operations, will be speaking at a panel discussion (Thursday, November 14, 2013) convened by the University of Chicago Divinity School and four theological seminaries. The topic will be “Theory and Solidarity.” 

Asaf Bar-Tura

Asaf Bar-Tura

Background:

The University of Chicago Divinity School is collaborating with seminarians from McCormick Theological Seminary, the Catholic Theological Union, the Lutheran School of Theology, and the Chicago Theological Seminary, in organizing the Annual Ministry Conference. This year’s focus: “Widening the Circle: Theory & Identity in the Praxis of Solidarity.”

The Annual Ministry Conference consists of three panel discussions throughout the year, the first of which will take place on Thursday, November 14, 2013 (5:00-7:00pm).

Details:

  • Discussion Topic: “Theory & Solidarity”
  • When: November 14th, 5-7pm
  • Where: McCormick Theological Seminary, Common Room (5460 S University Ave, Chicago)
  • Click here to RSVP

Topic Overview: 

Recognizing that solidarity movements address a wide variety of justice issues, we seek to begin the conversation by hearing about the theoretical perspectives and personal commitments that are at stake in the praxis of solidarity.

Panelists:

  • Asaf Bar-Tura: Director of Operations, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
  • Mikki Kendal: writer and pop culture analyst. Most recently known for her feminist/womanist work related to #solidarityisforwhitewomen.
  • Heath Carter: Associate Professor and historian at Valparaiso University. Particularly interested in issues of economic inequality and how American Christians relate to them.

Discussion Moderator:

  • Rev. Dr. Linda Eastwood: Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of the Colombia Accompaniment Program at McCormick Theological Seminary.

A light dinner will be served. Suggested donation of $5 is welcomed but not required.

Click here to RSVP.

Additional Panel Discussions in this Series:

  • “Identity in Solidarity”: February 6th, 2014 at Chicago Theological Seminary
  • “The Praxis of Solidarity”: May 2, 2014 at the University of Chicago Divinity School

Be part of the Solution to Gun Violence in Chicago

October 16, 2013
Fierce Women of Faith at peace vigil

Fierce Women of Faith at peace vigil

Violence in Chicago is a problem, but we believe that working together, we can reach a solution. But we can’t do it without you.

Knowledge and collaboration is power, so join JCUA and our partners in attending the Fierce Women of Faith Training Symposium on Friday, October 18, 2013.

Details:

  • WHEN: 8:30am-12:00pm, Friday October 18, 2013 (registration opens at 8:00am)
  • WHERE: Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E. 60th St (map it!)
  • DIRECTIONS: If you are taking public transportation, CTS is just a five minute walk from the 6 bus. There is also free parking in the lot on the South end of the building as well as street parking near the entrance at the North end.
  • CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Suggested Donation: $20-$30

Young JCUA leaders at vigil with Fierce Women of Faith

Young JCUA leaders at vigil with Fierce Women of Faith

What to expect?

  • Engaging with topics of advocacy, awareness and community building.
  • Learn about addressing violence from a legislative perspective with the Illinois Council on Handgun Violence’s Campaign Director, Mark Walsh and Senator Jacqueline Collins.
  • Recognize vital aspects of community engagement including working with youth and other community partners like hospitals and the CPD.

Find the JCUA group at the event:

At the event look for JCUA staff (particularly Rebecca Katz and organizing intern Beth Filipiak) with our blue JCUA logos during registration.  Rebecca will hold a brief gathering after the symposium to discuss JCUA’s next steps in our anti-violence campaign. She will be holding a JCUA sign to help everyone gather.

Help Stop the Violence:

  • Tell us more about your interest and RSVP here.
  • For more information about Friday, contact Rebecca at rebecca@jcua.org
  • For more information about all of our anti-violence work, contact asaf@jcua.org

[EVENT: July 24] Join JCUA for Lunch and Text Study on “Strangers and Obligations”

July 9, 2013

Leiah Moser, JCUA’s Rabbinical Student Fellow, will be leading a text study, asking how far does obligation to be concerned with the well being of the stranger extends.

WHEN: 12:00-1:00pm, Wednesday, July 24, 2013
WHERE: Spertus Building, 610 S. Michigan, Chicago – Room 314 (3rd floor)
WHO: The event is free and open to the public. All are invited.
*** Bring your own lunch

More About the Text Study:

Emmanuel Levinas

Emmanuel Levinas

A passage in the Babylonian Talmud (Yevamot 78b-79a) discusses the execution of seven of the biblical king Saul’s sons in punishment for their father’s treatment of the Gibeonites, a group of non-Israelites who lived within Israel. This passage was later commented upon by Emmanuel Levinas, a 20th Century Jewish philosopher.

Given that the Torah ordinarily prohibits punishing children for their parents’ misdeeds, what is it about the treatment of strangers in particular that seems to override that principle in this case? What are the consequences of upholding the rights of the stranger so stringently? These are some of the questions we will discuss together.

More About the Facilitator – Leiah Moser:

Leiah Moser

Leiah Moser

Every summer JCUA hosts and trains a rabbinical student fellow in becoming a Jewish social justice leader. Leiah Moser is the 2013 fellow, focusing on JCUA’s teen social justice progeam.

Leiah just finished her second year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. As a rabbi in training, she has a deep interest in finding new ways to build spiritually engaged, inclusive communities of prayer. In addition to blogging about issues of identity and gender diversity within Judaism, she is active in service leading at a number of local congregations, particularly at Dorshei Derech, the Reconstructionist minyan at Germantown Jewish Centre, and has been involved this year in Mitzvah Mensches, a service program for adults with special needs at Mishkan Shalom.

For more information about this event, contact:
Asaf Bar-Tura
Director of Programs
asaf@jcua.org


Youth Story Slam Calls Young Activists to Share Their Stories

June 14, 2013

by Jessica Cohen
JCUA Intern, Communications

On June 25, join young leaders, organizers and activists for the Youth Power Story Slam. Share and listen to people’s stories  about what it means to make a difference as a youth in Chicago. RVSP on Facebook. 

story slam 2013Originally conceived by Rebecca Katz and Miriam Grossman, who will both be staffing Or Tzedek’s summer 2013 sessions, the event is co-sponsored by AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, Chicago Repair House, Moishe House Chicago, Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Imagine Englewood If… and Response.

“Working to help promote youth power through stories and media is a passion of mine,” Elie Zwiebel, of AVODAH, said. “As an educator and youth advocate, I think youth are often marginalized in our society and not given the opportunity or trust deserved and earned to play a part in shaping our societal conversations.”

The slam is an opportunity for teens and young people to share empowering and disempowering experiences in the form of stories, spoken word or poetry, creating a safe space for young Chicagoans to explore both their similarities and differences, The theme of the night is stereotypes and their consequences, filled with  as participants will speak about their experiences  as agents and targets of stereotypes based on race, gender, sexuality, religion and socioeconomic status, among other labels.

“I think a great way to fight ignorance is through storytelling,” Joel Spiegel, an Or Tzedek Advanced Activism 2013 participant, explained. “It is always a powerful experience hearing my Latino or Muslim counterparts tell me about their social justice work. It is so inspiring to hear stories, and so empowering.”

The slam’s mission centers on youth empowerment and all Chicagoans of all ages are encouraged to attend. Filled with stories that are inspiring, sad, funny and everything in-between, this will be a thought-provoking experience for all.

Having attended all three previous slams, Gita Karasov is excited to bring the event to the Chicago Repair House. “Our community is mostly in their 20s, so I thought it was especially important and meaningful for these young professionals to see how powerful youth is and to see their energy and passion. It’s nice to have an event that isn’t focused on one specific age group, but rather on working with youth, together,” Gita said.

This free and open event will take place from 7-9 pm at Chicago Repair House, 1615 W. Byron St. Apt. 2F, in Chicago’s Roscoe Village.


JCUA Honors Social Justice Champion Sylvia Neil

June 10, 2013

by Jessica Cohen
JCUA Intern, Communications

Nearly 350 people gathered on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, for JCUA’s annual Acts of Change event, where Sylvia Neil was presented with the Rabbi Robert J. Marx Social Justice Award for her commitment to social justice and human rights.

JCUA honoree Sylvia Neil with Dr. Steven Nasatir, President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

JCUA honoree Sylvia Neil with Dr. Steven Nasatir, President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Martha C. Nussbaum, scholar of law, philosophy, gender and social justice, gave the keynote speech, which discussed the need for compassionate concern when working for social change, while not losing sight of the challenges posed by oppressive social institutions.

Rabbi Capers Funnye, event chair and vice president of the JCUA board, remembered Sylvia Neil’s steadfast support of his predominantly African-American synagogue years ago. “It was difficult to find leaders of the Jewish community who would support me and my congregation. Sylvia Neil stepped forward in support, delivering a powerful message of inclusion,” said Rabbi Funnye in his remarks.

Rabbi Capers Funnye speaking about Sylvia Neil

Rabbi Capers Funnye speaking about Sylvia Neil

“At the time, it was a gutsy move on her part, a bold step,” he continued. “She spoke out. She took action. That’s the same way JCUA has operated from day one. Recognizing the need to say something, to take bold action, to fight unceasingly for justice.”

The message of speaking out against injustice resounded throughout the evening.

During the cocktail reception, JCUA staff set up a “Voices for Change” stage, where attendees raised their voices in support of four different causes JCUA has been focusing on: immigrant justice, housing, combating hate and bigotry and teen leadership.

Postcards placed on dinner tables also encouraged attendees to call Sen. Mark Kirk, asking him to vote for SB744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill.

While many may feel overwhelmed by the immensity of social justice issues, Sylvia’s children, David and Deanna Neil, illustrated the change that one person can make in his or her lifetime, and what it was like to grow up with a social justice champion.

Speaking to Sylvia’s work fighting for religious liberties, such as her opposition to prayer in public schools, David emphasized the way his mother has influenced many of our lives today. “Thanks to Mom, we are now freer to practice the religion of our choosing. But tonight is about you, not us.”

After these moving remarks, Sylvia was presented with the award.


Meet Saleha Jabeen: A Muslim Student at a Catholic Seminary, Building Relationships Between Jews and Muslims in Chicago

May 28, 2013

Meet Saleha Jabeen – an Indian-born Muslim student at the Catholic Theological Union, who is part of the leadership team organizing the annual “Iftar in the Synagogue” event, as part of JCUA’s Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative.

by Jessica Cohen
JCUA Intern, Communications

Saleha Jabeen

Saleha Jabeen

In an event encouraging the Jewish and Muslim communities to come together, JCUA is partnering with other Jewish and Muslim organizations to hold its ninth annual “Iftar in the Synagogue.”

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and break their fast each evening with an “Iftar” meal. In celebration of this, Iftar in the Synagogue includes prayers, speakers and a kosher/halal dinner. One of the major events of the JCUA summer, it will take place Thursday, July 25 at Anshe Emet Synagogue.

27-year-old Saleha Jabeen, a student pursuing an MA at the Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park, is volunteering as a leader on the event planning committee (find out how you can volunteer as well).

“I always try to volunteer with different organizations, so I was excited to hear about JCUA. I love finding organizations that hold onto the core beliefs of a religion, rather than the traditional religious aspects,” Saleha said.

Read the rest of this entry »


Jewish and Muslim Cyclists Will Ride Together, Narrowing the Distance Between Faiths

May 21, 2013

On Sunday, June 30, area Jews and Muslims will share the road and their places of worship via bicycle tour of North shore Chicago-area mosques and synagogues.
 
Photo by The Chicago Tribune

Photo by The Chicago Tribune

The Jewish-Muslim Ride is the second in what Julie Hochstadter, of The Chainlink hopes will be a series of annual rides that share the faiths’ heritage and houses of worship. The Chainlink: A Chicago Bicycling Online Community, is managed by Hochstadter as a website that connects cyclists to biking news and events in Chicago.

Last year’s ride in the city was a surprisingly huge success,” says Hochstadter. “I’d love to see two rides a year in different parts of the Chicago-land area.”

Inspiration for the ride came in the mid 2000s after Hochstadter participated in a ride that brought Arab and Jewish students together to raise money for an environmental school in Israel.

“The ride not only got me hooked on biking, but on the power of bringing people of different faiths together for a fun, shared goal,” she says.

This year’s ride is co-sponsored by The Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative (JMCBI) (an initiative of JCUA) and the Evanston Bicycle Club. Interfaith and bicycle organizations interested in partnering to bring common ground to Muslims and Jews are welcome to sponsor or ride.

Riders will meet at the The Muslim Community Center at noon and ride to several synagogues and mosques in Morton Grove, Skokie and Evanston for a 15-mile, family-friendly ride. There are plans to tour a LEED-certified synagogue in Evanston and for a kosher ice cream stop at Chocolate Shoppe in Skokie.

“Our hope is to find common ground, quite literally,” Hochstadter says. “And show unity by riding together. The more time we spend with one other, the more we can do to bring together the two faiths and fight stereotypes and, possibly make change.”

North shore synagogue and mosque stops along the way include: The Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove; Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation; Beth Emet The Free Synagogue.

The Jewish-Muslim ride is open to riders of all abilities and all faiths.

More Information:

Contact:

Julie Hochstadter, Director
The Chainlink
773-965-3396
julie@thechainlink.org

 
********

About The Chainlink:  With over 8,000 members, The Chainlink is Chicagoland’s premiere social media site for cyclists, from commuters to racers, from local aldermen and City of Chicago officials, to Peter Sagal of National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,392 other followers

%d bloggers like this: