FAQ's (frequently asked questions or fantastically absorbing queries )
Q: How do I register for Or Tzedek's Summer Programs?
Q: What is the program overview?
A: Or Tzedek is a program of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the most experienced Jewish social justice organization in the country. Or Tzedek’s summer program is an 8-day summer experience in which Jewish high school teens gain leadership skills, strengthen their Jewish identity, and further their commitment to social justice through hands-on service. Each session engages teens with a broad range of community organizations throughout Chicago and offers a wide variety of service experiences, as well as forums for exploration and discussion.
Or Tzedek provides a proven entry point for Jewish teens to a deeper commitment for social justice, Jewish values, and to the Jewish community. We think teens can make a difference in the world and we want to teach them how to create change. Through Or Tzedek, teens will learn advocacy and organizing tools to effectively lead in their home communities.
The program also includes prominent Jewish educators and leaders who will facilitate workshops about Jewish values and social justice. Please note that we seek diversity within the Jewish community for all of our programs.
Q: Who can participate in the program?
A: The summer program is open to high school students (participants must have completed Grade 9). We are non-denominational and invite participants from with all different Jewish backgrounds who share a desire to learn about advocacy and activism from a Jewish perspective.
Q: What are my session options and dates?
A: We offer three summer session options- Advanced Activism for returning Or Tzedek participants and Activism and Community Organizing (offered twice) for new participants. The available dates are:
Advanced Activism: June 23-30, 2013.
Activism and Community Organizing: July 14-21, 2013.
Activism and Community Organizing: Aug. 4-11, 2013.
Q: Who will be staffing the summer sessions?
A: Or Tzedek's summer staff are experienced in advocacy and activism and bring to the program a diversity of Jewish experience. They are passionate about engaging teens as Jewish youth activists and facilitating their exploration of the Jewish and Chicago social justice community. The participants will be accompanied by staff at all times throughout the program, including during any free time.
Rebecca Katz, JCUA's teen programs coordinator, will be directing all three summer sessions. Danny Obeler and Miriam Grossman, activists and Jewish leaders who have previously staffed Or Tzedek’s winter retreat and summer programs, will be joining us for all three sessions. Rachel Aaronson and Eliana Fischer, Or Tzedek summer alums and Chicagoland Jewish High School graduates, will be our program interns this summer. Read more about our amazing summer staff!
Q: Can I get community service hours for participating?
A: Yes! Past participants have applied their work with Or Tzedek for 30 to 40 hours of Service Learning credits!
q: Where will participants be staying?
A: The summer sessions will be housed at Hostelling International Chicago. The hostel is located within walking distance of JCUA's offices in the Spertus Building and allows Or Tzedek to be based in the heart of downtown Chicago. This neighborhood is safe, fun and easy to get to from anywhere in Chicago.
Q: How will the program handle dietary restrictions?
A: We want to make sure that everybody is comfortable with the food choices available. As such, all food served on the program will be certified Kosher and accommodate different dietary needs, including vegetarian, lactose-free, nut-free diets.
Q: Where will the workshops take place?
A: We will be using facilities at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, including classrooms, dining room, and multi-purpose spaces. We will also use spaces at Hostelling International Chicago.
Q: How will the teens be traveling around Chicago?
A: Transportation will primarily include passenger vans. On occasion we will use public transit and walking when possible and appropriate. Participants are accompanied at all time by staff throughout the program.
Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Tuition is only $700! This includes everything (tuition, housing, meals) except for transportation to and from the program.
Q: That sounds so exciting! How do I register?
A: Click here to register!
Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies:
Hostelling International Chicago: