JCUA Community Organizer
Position Description April 2022
The mission of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) is to combat poverty, racism, and antisemitism in partnership with Chicago's diverse communities. Inspired by core Jewish values, we organize a Jewish constituency to collaborate with communities directly impacted by systemic oppression to advance racial and economic justice. Our work includes four central program areas: 1) Issue-based Campaigns and Community Organizing; 2) Youth Organizing and Engagement; 3) Community Development, and 4) advancing and elevating Racial Equity. To achieve our mission, JCUA develops and mobilizes a base of individuals and institutions within the Jewish community who become engaged as members, leaders, donors, and participants in campaigns, activities, and programs.
ABOUT ISSUE-BASED CAMPAIGNS & COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
As a model for community engagement on a grassroots level, JCUA has built relationships and stood in solidarity as an ally with communities directly affected by poverty and discrimination for the past five decades. In the past, our work has focused on a variety of issues including civil rights, public housing, police brutality, immigration reform, and worker rights — all with an emphasis on correcting systemic injustice in our city and region.
Today, in the context of JCUA’s community organizing work, JCUA pursues social, racial, and economic justice by mobilizing our members to work as powerful partners with organizations and in coalitions on pressing issues in Chicago. Our active members comprise an internal leadership core that informs our work, develops organizing campaign strategies, and actively carries out JCUA’s work to win campaigns and bring about systemic change.
ABOUT THE POSITION
JCUA is seeking to hire a highly motivated Community Organizer who is passionate about social justice and organizing the Jewish community. The Community Organizer is a key position within the Organizing Team, working to recruit and develop JCUA members to make an impact on critical issues in Chicago. Coordinating with staff, this person will play a lead role organizing our Community Safety Committee and current campaign work, including work that is underway on Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS), the Treatment Not Trauma campaign, and the Defund campaign. In conjunction with the Associate Director & Director of Organizing, the staff member will identify and coordinate issue campaigns, take the lead staff role when appropriate, and carry out community organizing activities to accomplish goals. Successful candidates will demonstrate the ability to build relationships and work with people who hold a range of identities and experiences.
JCUA is a small dynamic organization where the staff is highly collaborative and committed to supporting each other's work and goals. As an outgrowth of our most recent strategic plan, JCUA is working to bring a racial equity framework to all of the organization’s work. Everyone on staff is expected to participate in that work. This position will report to JCUA’s Associate Director & Director of Organizing.
- Develop and sustain relationships with JCUA leaders, Congregation Partners, local coalitions and groups, leaders in the Jewish community, and other stakeholders.
- Develop JCUA leaders who are committed to organizing a powerful Jewish base to advance racial equity and end systemic oppression.
- Organize opportunities to cultivate leadership development for members and leaders to learn and grow i.e. relational one-on-one’s, strategy sessions, political education, trainings, and community-building events.
- Work with committee leaders to identify issues, plan, strategize, set goals and achieve results to advance ECPS, Treatment Not Trauma, and further the vision for public safety in Chicago.
- Represent JCUA and play staff role in coalition work with attention to coalition expectations and values
- Mobilize JCUA members & leaders to accomplish coalition and campaign objectives
- Take initiative on projects while practicing solid follow-through; work strategically to balance multiple activities and deadlines.
- Create materials and conduct research & analysis to support campaign work as needed.
- Willingness to work flexible hours to complete programmatic goals— including evenings and weekends.
- Represent JCUA as an ambassador and public spokesperson in Jewish community settings and in the larger community.
- Assist with fundraising and development objectives as requested.
- Assist with JCUA programming when needed/requested.
- Commitment to team-building and effective communication with colleagues.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Passion for engaging the Jewish community in social justice.
- Deep commitment to social justice, racial equity, and civil rights.
- Demonstrated ability to build empathic relationships including across lines of difference.
- Value and understanding of grassroots leadership and organizing as a critical method of social change.
- Familiarity with Chicago area neighborhoods and the Chicago Jewish community.
- Minimum of 2 years related organizing experience.
- Good listening, organizational, communication, writing, and interpersonal skills; effective public speaking and presentation abilities a plus.
- Experience working in multiple settings and coalition-building with diverse communities.
- Familiarity with a range of organizing tactics, including field tactics such as canvassing, phone banks, text programs, and social media platforms; experience with VAN, EveryAction ThruText platforms, etc., is a plus.
- Experience training in Organizing, Antiracism, or understanding Antisemitism, is a plus.
- Resourcefulness and a willingness to take initiative.
- Fieldwork is expected for this position; Regular access to a car and valid driver’s license is required.
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent lived experience is preferred.
- Salary range is $45k-$49k; potential increase if candidate demonstrates considerable organizing experience.
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage.
- Retirement matching program.
- Generous days off including two weeks of paid vacation (with an increase over time), sick leave, and major Jewish holidays. JCUA closes at 1:00 on alternate Fridays in an effort to promote a healthier work/life balance.
- Flex and comp time available to balance evening/weekend scheduling
- A supportive work environment with people committed to bringing out the best in each other and to advancing positive social change.
JCUA is located on the north side of Chicago. Due to Covid considerations, staff currently work two days in the office with additional days remote optional, which is subject to change.
HOW TO APPLY
The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs believes that personnel diversity is an organizational strength, and recognizes and values the intersecting identities that staff members bring to our organization. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply. JCUA is committed to providing equal employment consideration without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. Candidates will be working within the Jewish community but do not need to be Jewish for this position. To apply, please email resume and cover letter to [email protected]. We are excited to fill this position in an accelerated time frame while remaining dedicated to the priorities for the position; we are accepting applications on a rolling basis.