Ramsey Retrospective: Long and Winding Road

Chicago Jewish News Profiles JCUA President Jane Ramsey

By Judy Levey
Chief Executive Officer, JCUA

Congratulations to Jane Ramsey, the subject of a major cover story in the Chicago Jewish News (March 16, 2012). As we announced recently, Jane was named to the new position of president after many years as executive director. In the article, writer Pauline Dubkin Yearwood chronicles Jane’s many contributions to JCUA.

Long and Winding Road
By Pauline Dubkin Yearwood

There are so many memories, so many accomplishments, they tumble forth from her so fast, she sometimes has to stop and catch up with herself for a minute.

The day after Sept. 11, when a Jewish organization reached out for the first time to the Muslim community as a partner in eradicating hate.

The press conference at the Robert Taylor Homes, when the public took notice for the first time of what the Chicago Housing Authority was doing to residents there.

The time a coalition of Jews, Latinos and African Americans, wanting to send a message to Sears about jobs, flooded the teller lines at the bank on the first floor of the then-Sears Tower, leading to an elevator shutdown – and a meeting with Sears officials.

The successful effort to wrest a Pilsen housing complex from the forces of gentrification and save it for the area’s low-income residents.

And the many quieter, less public successes: a curriculum on Judaism and urban poverty that now reaches some 30,000 students; an Urban Mitzvah Corps for college students; voter registration drives; and, most cherished, joining forces with groups from other Chicago ethnic and religious communities to fight against poverty and oppression.

That’s only a small part of what Jane Ramsey recalls as she looks back over her three decades as executive director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a 48-year-old organization that works in partnership with other Chicago communities on social justice issues.

Read the rest of this story at the Chicago Jewish News website

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