About JCUA

JCUA is a community of changemakers working to transform Chicago and Illinois into a home for all of us. Founded in 1964 by Rabbi Robert J. Marx, we harness our values, traditions, and experiences as Jews to organize for systemic change and work to ensure that everyone in our region has the safety, dignity, and resources they need to flourish.

We do this by:

  • Developing powerful leaders to shape the future of our city and state

  • Mobilizing our community to take action for racial and economic justice

  • Building a world free of racism, antisemitism, and white supremacy

Our People

JCUA’s power comes from our people.
We are a multiracial, multigenerational community of activists, educators, clergy, artists, parents, children, and neighbors from across Chicago and Illinois — sharing a common purpose and vision for our region.

As a member-driven organization, JCUA's nearly 2,000 members are advocates and coalition partners working to address the root causes of disparity and oppression in Chicago. We mobilize our members to take action in partnership with community organizations in order to create a more just and equitable city.

JCUA's Board of Directors

President — Karyn Bass Ehler

Vice President — Sara Cantor

Treasurer Rich Amend

Secretary Cydney Wallace

Immediate Past President Rabbi Fred Reeves

Founder Rabbi Robert J. Marx (z"l)*


Daniel Epstein

David Feinberg

Sonje Hawkins

Karen Jacobs

David Levinson

Benetta Mansfield

Jessica Nepomiachi

Matthew Owens

Rabbi Steven Philp

Jackie Rassner

Gregory Rothman

Steve Rothschild

Randi Stern

Jeff Zaluda*

Emeritus Board

Kay Berkson

Rabbi Capers Funnye*

David Graham

Sidney Hollander*

Steve Keen*

Peggy Slater*

Nikki Stein*

*Past President

JCUA Staff

Judy Levey

Marla Bramble

Brian Gladstein

Jackie Baldwin

Jonathan Elbaz

Maetal Gerson

Joe Grant

Jonah Karsh

Becca Lubow

Julie Mansfield

Mauricio Román

Jimmy Rothschild

Anna Rubin

Rose Shapiro

asia smith

Hannah Sugarman

Mara Wolkoff