Our Mission

The JUF/Jewish Federation mission is to serve as the central communal organization of the metropolitan Chicago Jewish community. The Federation and Jewish United Fund are dedicated to the survival and welfare of the Jewish people and to the benefit and progress of humanity. They are committed to providing the means, resources, and planning to address needs while fulfilling the highest Jewish principles and ideals of our tradition. The Jewish Federation and Jewish United Fund are committed to the preservation, enrichment, and continuity of the Jewish people, and to expressing our community’s deeply shared concerns regarding Jewish life in the Chicago area, North America, Israel and throughout the world. The JUF/Jewish Federation has a responsibility to participate in the wider arena of general community needs and problem solving.

Our History - South Suburbs

Jews have lived in the southern suburbs since the turn of the century. After WW II, increased Jewish migration to the area was stimulated by the creation of Park Forest. Twenty-five years later, in the mid-1970’s, another migration occurred when Jews relocated from the south side of Chicago to the contiguous communities of Park Forest, Olympia Fields, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Flossmoor and Glenwood, areas in which the largest concentration of Jews now live. In 1995, as a result of a community-wide Priority Study, the Jewish Federation restructured the delivery of its services to better meet the needs of the south suburban Jewish community. A full-time coordinator provides referral services, works with the many Jewish agencies and organizations in the area to assess needs and coordinate services, and interfaces with the social service network in the south suburbs to secure services for the Jewish community.

Cooperative Jewish Council

The CJC was formed to increase affiliation of its respective organizations and to provide services more efficiently to strengthen the Jewish community of the southern suburbs. The CJC is comprised of Jewish Federation South Suburban Community Services Office, Congregation Am Echad, Temple Anshe Sholom, B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom, Joliet Jewish Congregation, Anita M. Stone JCC, Chai Unit B’nai B’rith, Zahava Deborah Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women-South Cook Section, and Pvt. Sam Neivelt Post Jewish War Veterans.

The CJC, in collaboration with Jewish Federation, publishes the South Suburban Jewish Community Newsletter highlighting community activities and programs sponsored by the CJC and Jewish Federation. The newsletter is now available on both the CJC and the JUF websites.

Shabbat baskets containing a challah roll, grape juice, a prayer pamphlet and a greeting card from the south suburban Jewish community, are delivered to Jewish patients in four area hospitals by a volunteer. Specially designed baskets are delivered to hospital patients and nursing home residents on Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Passover.

The CJC and Jewish Federation support a bus for the Shalom Over 50’s senior club, which is used for social and cultural trips within the metropolitan Chicago area. Trips are planned once monthly, from April through October.

Federation Partnerships

  • Community Foundation for Jewish Education (CFJE)
  • CJE Senior Life (CJE)
  • Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS)
  • Jewish Community Center of Chicago (JCC)
  • Jewish Vocational Services (JVS)
  • Maot Chitim

Information and Referrals

  • Coordinates services with all Jewish Federation agencies and area social service agencies

Emergency Services

  • Offers direct assistance for the south suburban Jewish community with food, utilities, medication and shelter
  • Provides food to needy Jewish families at Rosh Hashanah and Passover through Maot Chitim
  • Offers winter clothing to needy south suburban Jewish children through the Chanukah Clothing Program
  • Homeless prevention funds through the Homeless Prevention Network of the South Suburban Council on Homelessness.

Community Partners

  • Village of Homewood Senior Advisory Committee
  • South and Southwest Suburban Council on Homelessness
  • South Suburban Senior Services Providers Network
  • Southland Human Services Leadership Council
  • Unity Coalition of the South Suburbs


  • Shalom Taxi — subsidizes cab rides for Jewish seniors living in the south suburbs; travel is available north to Ingalls Hospital (154th Street), south through Park Forest, east to Halsted Ave. and west to Cicero Ave.
  • The South Suburban Jewish Community Newsletter is published three times a year highlighting events and activities of Jewish Federation, its agencies and the CJC

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Delivering Shabbat Baskets to area hospitals and nursing homes
  • Linking individuals to volunteer opportunities through TOV’s Merry Mitzvah, Mitzvah Mania and Literacy Programs
  • Distributing Maot Chitim food baskets at Rosh Hashanah and Passover


Addressing the needs of the South Suburban Jewish Community in collaboration with our partner agencies and institutions.

For more information:
Alene Rutzky, Coordinator
3400 West 196th Street
Flossmoor, IL 60422
Phone 708.798.1884
Fax 708.798.9148
E-mail: alenerutzky@juf.org