Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

Where to learn more

“Upon creating the first human beings, G-d guided them around the Garden of Eden, saying: "Look at my creations! See how beautiful and perfect they are! For your sake I created them all. Make sure you don't ruin or devastate My world. If you do, there will be no-one else to repair it.”

Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13

Programs, volunteer and advocacy opportunities 

The Illinois-area organizations listed below offer a variety of programs, volunteer and advocacy opportunities for the motivated environmentalist.

Blacks In Green (BIG) – is a community education & trade association working in the new green economy to help link, leverage, and lead health and wealth benefits to communities of color, both here in the United States and abroad.

Center for Neighborhood Technology – is a leader in promoting urban sustainability—the more effective use of existing resources and community assets to improve the health of natural systems and the wealth of people, today and in the future.

Champaign County Audubon Society - strives to 1) promote interest, enjoyment, and understanding through education about all aspects of our natural environment, and 2) actively encourage the protection of wildlife and the preservation and restoration of native habitat.

Chicago Department of Environment – is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, improving the urban quality of life, and promoting economic development.

Chicago Audubon Society - is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of nature, and to aid in the conservation and restoration of our natural ecosystems for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biodiversity.

Active Transportation Alliance – strives to improve the bicycling environment of Chicagoland.

Chicago Recycling Coalition - champions environmentally and fiscally sound management of solid waste through research, education, and advocacy, emphasizing waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and buying recycled.

Chicago Wilderness - is a regional nature reserve that includes more than 225,000 acres of protected natural areas. It stretches from southeastern Wisconsin, through northeastern Illinois and into northwestern Indiana.

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce - serves as the 'unified business voice of greater Chicago,' aggressively representing your business interests at the city, county, regional and state levels.

Chicagoland Environmental Network - is a resource for anyone interested in nature or conservation-related activities in northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas.

Citizens for Conservation – Mission: "Saving Living Space for Living Things" through protection, restoration and stewardship of land, conservation of natural resources, and education.

Conservation Foundation - The mission of the Foundation is to preserve open space and natural lands, protect rivers and watersheds, and promote stewardship of our environment. 

Corlands - is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help communities in northeastern Illinois increase the quantity and quality of open space for public enjoyment. Using a variety of conservation tools, it has helped local governments and private landowners save more than 10,000 acres of open space.

Chicago Legal Clinic - The Clinic provides advocacy, publications and seminars on environmental legal matters to low-income individuals and community groups confronting urban environmental problems.

Earthshare of Illinois - is a U.S.-based network of the world's most respected environmental and conservation organizations, and offers a simple way to care for our health, water, air, land and wildlife. Our mission: To engage individuals and organizations in creating a healthy and sustainable environment.

Environment Illinois - is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. It combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for Illinois' environment.

Environmental Law & Policy Center – is the Midwest's leading public interest environmental advocacy organization working to achieve cleaner energy resources and implement sustainable energy strategies, promote innovative and efficient transportation and land use approaches that produce cleaner air and more jobs, and develop sound environmental management practices that conserve natural resources and improve the quality of life in our communities.

Faith in Place - gives religious people the tools to become good stewards of the earth. We partner with religious congregations to promote clean energy & sustainable farming.

Illinois Environmental Council – serves as the eyes, ears and voice of the environmental community in Springfield, the Illinois Environmental Council represents groups from around the state on legislation and policies by lobbying and organizing statewide support.

Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group - IERG's primary objective is the development and negotiation of environmental regulations and laws in Illinois.

Illinois EPA - The mission of the IEPA is to safeguard environmental quality, consistent with the social and economic needs of the State, so as to protect health, welfare, property and the quality of life.

Illinois Student Environmental Coalition - ISEC's purpose is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and strategies between campus environmental organizations in Illinois.

Institute for Environmental Science & Policy - The mission of IESP is to advance multidisciplinary research and scholarship within the environmental and health sciences, engineering, economics, and the social sciences among UIC's faculty and students, to prepare the next generation of environmental scientists and decision-makers, and to transmit workable solutions for environmental problems to the public sector.

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation - Protects the natural heritage, spectacular scenery, and agricultural character of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and the surrounding area.

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association - is an almost all-volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of open spaces and natural areas in and around Lake Bluff, Illinois.

Land Conservancy of McHenry County – is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our most valuable and threatened heritage--our McHenry County landscape.

Liberty Prairie Conservancy - Our mission is to preserve open land, restore natural areas and inspire a commitment to land conservation for the benefit of people and wildlife in Lake County.

McHenry County Defenders - provides the community with educational programs and volunteer action on pollution prevention, sustainable land use and energy and natural resource conservation.

Natural Land Institute – is a member supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving land and natural diversity for future generations.  Since 1958, NLI has protected, managed, and restored more than twelve thousand acres throughout Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  These include prairies, forests, wetlands, and river corridors.

Nature Conservancy of Illinois – is dedicated to preserving the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

Openlands Project - is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing public open space in northeastern Illinois.

People for Community Recovery – is committed to enhancing the quality of life of low-income residents living in communities affected by pollution.

Peoria Wilds - is a local grassroots organization dedicated to the restoration of biological diversity in the Peoria area. 

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance – DuPage County - is dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Downers Grove.

Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization - is a grassroots community group of Pilsen residents that fight the disproportionate amount of pollution in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Prairie Enthusiasts - Is a private nonprofit organization run mainly by volunteers committed to the protection and management of native prairie and savanna of the Upper Midwest.

Prairie Rivers Network - strives to protect the rivers and streams of Illinois and to promote the lasting health and beauty of watershed communities.

Protestants for the Common Good – educates and mobilizes people of faith to participate in political democracy for the sake of social justice and the beloved community.

Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago - aims to advocate for cleaner air, reduce tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke, reverse the asthma epidemic in Chicago. And improve treatments and cures for lung disease.

Save the Prairie Society – is dedicated to preserving and restoring native landscapes for wildlife, education, and quality of life.

Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter - is a statewide organization representing over 26,000 individuals committed to protecting the Illinois environment - for our families, for our future.

Southeast Environmental Task Force – is dedicated to serving the Southeast Side and south suburbs of Chicago by promoting environmental education, pollution prevention, and sustainable development.

Union of Concerned Scientists - is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.