Mobilize Chicago

Jewish Teens Advancing Justice

Are you ready to make a change in your community? Mobilize Chicago is a social justice immersion program focused on local Chicago issues. From a home base in the city, teens will have hands-on access to different urban social justice organizations and will spend MLK weekend actively pursuing the Jewish values of social justice and tikkun olam, repairing the world. While digging into the history of Chicago's unique social issues, teens will explore how both Chicagoans and Jews work to dismantle structural inequality. The program is designed to give space for Jewish teens to dive deep into complex issues and get a taste of working for social justice.

Program Highlights

  • Dive deep into issues of systemic oppression and power and learn about local issues impacting Chicago communities
  • Commemorate civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn about racial justice work in Chicago
  • Begin learning the tools of community organizing, advocacy, and service; and build skills to make a difference
  • Take action with local organizations doing important social justice and volunteering work
  • Explore the sites and hidden gems of Chicago - architecture, theatre, art, and more
  • Build unique and meaningful Jewish social justice community with teens from across the Chicagoland area
Thursday, January 11 (starting in early evening) - Monday, January 15, 2018
$275 for first time participants; $400 for teens that have previously participated in a Springboard School Break Program


Q: Who is running this program?

A: Mobilize Chicago is run by the JCUA - Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, in partnership with JUF TOV Teens. JCUA is Chicago's Jewish voice for social justice and works to combat poverty, racism, and antisemitism in partnership with Chicago's diverse communities. The lead staff for this program is JCUA's Manager of Youth Programs, Hannah Arwe, who runs the Or Tzedek Institute for Social Justice - a summer social justice immersion program for teens that teaches community organizing and advocacy through a Jewish lens. Learn more about JCUA and Or Tzedek here .   

Q: Where will we stay?

A: Mobilize Chicago teens stay in a communal living space that emphasizes relationship building and shared resources  - often either an airbnb style residence or a retreat center. You typically room with one or two others teens and share kitchen, living, and bathroom areas with all participants and staff.

Q: What is a typical day like?

A: Each day is different and you will return home feeling like you have experienced so much in just 4 days! In a typical day you might: create a list with fellow Mobilizers of how to be a Jewish ally to communities who are marginalized, learn about the history of the Jewish left, and canvas on the "L" platform downtown for political campaign reform or police accountability. In a typical evening you might see a local improv show or cook a delicious meal and play games with teens and staff back in your living space.  

Q: I see that the program starts on Thursday, January 11th. Does my teen need to take off from school that day?

A: No, they do not! We are anticipating to begin programming early evening on January 11th. There is no need to take school off on Thursday for this program. Assuming your teen's school has MLK Day off, the only day of school they will miss is Friday, January 12th.

Q: What will I take away from this program?

A: As a Mobilize Chicago teen you will come away understanding how to have complex and difficult conversations about identity, privilege, and oppression. You will know what's going on locally with issues like immigration, poverty & homelessness, and institutional racism. Most importantly, you will be equipped with some of the tools to address injustice in your own communities. With the support of the collaborative community you build in the program, you will be able to be a leader in future social justice programs such as JCUA's Or Tzedek Teen Institute for Social Justice, offering summer programs in community organizing and advocacy, and JUF's Camp TOV, offering community service opportunities for teens.

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