Or Tzedek’s Winter Leadership Retreat

January 5, 2012

Last week, 15 amazing high school and college students came together as a community to visit community partner organizations, learn leadership and organizing skills, explore Chicago, and take action. These youth leaders, activists and organizers gathered for the first annual Winter Leadership Retreat, created by Or Tzedek, JCUA’s Jewish teen institute for social justice. 

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Workshops, actions and fun, oh my!

By Rebecca Katz
Winter Leadership Retreat Program Director  

What’s in a mission?

Or Tzedek leadership member Sophie Leff planned our first workshop of the retreat. To get to the bottom of what it means to be a part of JCUA’s Jewish teen institute for social justice, Sophie guided us in the deconstruction of the words that comprise the organization’s name. Using Post-it notes, we wrote our own definitions for “Jewish,” “Council,” “Urban,” and “Affairs.” Through this exercise, we spoke about JCUA’s mission: to combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with Chicago’s diverse communities.

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Or Tzedek Teens Lead an Interfaith Vigil

June 27, 2011

By Eve Carne
Communications Intern

On a cold, Friday morning, bright and early, nine teenagers gave up sleeping in to pray for those impacted by our broken immigration system.  The teens, who were participating in JCUA’s week-long Or Tzedek program, helped lead a prayer service for immigrants that were about to be deported.

The interfaith service took place outside of the detention center where immigrants are being held.  Services used to be held at the Broadview detention center, but are now being held downtown as the Broadview center is temporarily closed for remodeling.

This vigil tradition was started by Sister Jo Anne Persch and Sister Pat Murphy,  two nuns from the Chicago Sisters of Mercy dedicated to keeping families together.  The Or Tzedek teens read Hebrew prayers along with prayers they wrote themselves.  The Sisters and others present at the vigil said they were excited to see teenagers actively involved in such an important issue.

If you’re interested in attending a vigil they take place every Friday morning from 7:15-7:45 am in front of the detention center located on 101 West Congress.


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