JUF Uptown Cafe:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: Where is the JUF Uptown Cafe located?

A: The JUF Uptown Cafe is located at 909 W. Wilson Ave., in Chicago. 

Q: Is there parking available?

A: Free parking is available near the JUF Uptown Cafe. See the parking map for more details.

Q: What time should I arrive?

A: Volunteers should allow extra time before their shifts begin for traffic, weather conditions, and parking. Weekday volunteers please arrive at EZRA and sign in at the front desk by 5:30 pm. Sunday or holiday volunteers, please arrive no later than 10:30 am to sign in. If you arrive later than 15 minutes after the start of your shift without prior notice, you will be turned away.

Q: What if I’m running late? Who do I contact?

A: Please contact the  JUF Uptown Cafe’s front desk at (773) 275-0866, to notify the Cafe. If you arrive later than 15 minutes after the start of your shift without prior notice, the JUF Uptown Cafe staff will not be able to accommodate you. 

Q: Something came up and I can no longer volunteer for the full two-hour meal service. Can I still come?

A: No: Because the Cafe serves a restaurant-style meal with a limited team, it disrupts the flow of the meal service to stop and unlock the volunteer closet before the end of the service. It also doubles up the workload for other volunteers. We therefore kindly ask that volunteers be prepared for and committed to the full two-hour meal service. Please call the TOV Hotline at 312-357-4762 or email TOV@juf.org if your plans have changed and you can no longer serve.

Q: What if I need to cancel my service? Who should I contact?

A: For cancellations prior to your day of service, please contact TOV via our hotline (312) 357-4762, or email TOV@juf.orgPlease include: your full name, volunteer date and anyone else you are cancelling for.

Q: Is it ok to bring a child younger than 12 to the JUF Uptown Cafe, even if they’re not volunteering?

A: No: for potential safety issues involved with food service, our age limit is strictly 12 years and older. Please do not bring anyone with you who is not already scheduled to volunteer during your shift—this includes anyone who is not intending to volunteer, such as younger children, etc.

Q: May I bring a guest who's not on the schedule?

A: No, all participants must be registered in advance to volunteer at the JUF Uptown Cafe. If you would like to bring an additional volunteer, please see below for registration instructions. 

Q: How can I sign up for a meal service at the JUF Uptown Cafe? 

A: Click here to sign up online now! If you would like to register a group or need more information, call or email TOV at TOV@juf.org or 312-357-4762.

Q: How often may I volunteer?

A: Individuals may volunteer 1 Sunday a month and as many weekdays as we are able to confirm. Those who have not yet volunteered during the month will get priority over repeat volunteers if there are limited spaces. Groups may reserve 1 date per month, and 1 Sunday per calendar year. 

Q: What should I wear?

A: For safety reasons, we ask that our volunteers wear closed-toe shoes. Please dress comfortably, and plan on standing for several hours. 

Q: My child is seeking a bar/bat mitzvah service project involving hunger/homelessness, and needs to volunteer more than once a month. What should I do?

A: We can most likely accommodate additional shifts. Please contact TOV when getting ready to sign up for dates.

Q: Should I bring a donation with me?

A: EZRA's food pantry and hygiene closet are always looking for donations. If you have any items you wish to donate, please refer to the linked food pantry and hygiene closet Amazon wish-lists for suggested donations.  

Q: How else can I help the Cafe/EZRA?

A: The Greater Chicago Food Depository has a volunteer program, whereby you can donate your time served at their facility towards a participating food pantry. EZRA is a GCFD beneficiary. Please see the linked flyer for more details.

EZRA also participates in Family Tree Resale Shop's voucher program, where gift cards will be given to EZRA/Uptown Cafe clients if you donate clothing and other gently used items to the store, in EZRA's name. Family Tree Resale Shop is located at 5066 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625. Tel: (312) 918-9260.  

Day of cancellations after normal business hours: please contact the Cafe directly: (773) 275-0866.