The JUF Uptown Cafe is one of Chicago's first kosher anti-hunger programs for the needy. In addition to providing hot meals in a restaurant-style setting, the JUF Uptown Cafe program brings dignity and hope to people in need. The JUF Uptown Cafe feeds Jews and non-Jews alike and is open three days a week for dinner and on Sundays for brunch.
For the safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff, all volunteers must attest to having completed their initial series of COVID-19 vaccinations, OR if unvaccinated, present proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 2 days of the shift. Negative COVID-19 tests can be presented at the start of the shift or emailed in advance to
TOV@juf.org. Masks will be optional for all volunteers for the duration of the shift. All clients are welcome to dine inside regardless of vaccination status. Volunteers and clients will both be asked not to attend the JUF Uptown Cafe if they are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of illness. Any volunteers who receive a positive COVID-19 test within 5 days of attending the JUF Uptown Cafe should contact TOV at
TOV@juf.org or 312-357-4762.
Safety Upgrades to the JUF Uptown Cafe
For the health and safety of its clients and volunteers, the JUF Uptown Cafe has made the following changes and upgrades to its space:
- Cafe is operating at a reduced occupancy. If a client is not dining in-person, they will receive a meal to-go.
- Industrial sized air purifiers in the Cafe and lobby areas
- Hand sanitizer stations throughout the Cafe and lobby areas
- Easily accessible hand-washing sink available for volunteers
- Communal and individual tables available for clients
- Extra cleaning and sanitation of Cafe tables
- Single serve condiments for clients to replace shared shakers
JUF Uptown Cafe Volunteers serve food and converse with guests at their tables. Volunteers are encouraged to enjoy a meal with guests, as many diners are socially isolated and in need of person-to-person contact. Volunteers are expected to treat clients with the same courtesy and respect one would expect from dining in a restaurant. Volunteers ages 12 and over are welcome but, if under 16, must be accompanied by an adult.
Wondering what to expect? Take a moment to watch this brief video:
Volunteers are needed to serve dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and brunch on Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The JUF Uptown Cafe is volunteer driven and depends on its volunteers to run smoothly. When volunteers do not show up it limits the number of clients the Cafe can serve.
If your schedule changes and you are no longer available for your shift, please contact TOV immediately at 312-357-4762 or TOV@juf.org. Any last minute changes outside of normal business hours should be directed to the Cafe's front desk at 773-275-0866.
The shift begins promptly at the scheduled time with a mandatory orientation. Please know, if you arrive more than 15 minutes late without prior notice, you will be turned away. This is to ensure volunteers are clear about Cafe rules and volunteer responsibilities.
VOLUNTEER SHIFTS ARE TWO HOURS LONG. PLEASE PLAN ON BEING THERE FOR THE DURATION OF YOUR SHIFT.
Please note, the Cafe cannot accept walk-ins. All volunteers must be registered in advance.
Join our on-call list to volunteer when we have last-minute volunteer cancellations. By agreeing to join our on-call list, it is with the understanding that we rely on a minimum number of volunteers in order to have a meal service. Please only respond to the call if you are truly available and committed to that shift, once you have signed up.
For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. If you need more information about the JUF Uptown Cafe, please call or email TOV at TOV@juf.org or 312-357-4762.
JUF Uptown Cafe's Anniversary Event