Our Mission

Mishkan Chicago leads people toward more purposeful, more connected, and more inspired lives. We create Jewish spaces to bring your whole self, and be part of something larger than yourself. As we connect to one another and to a life-affirming Jewish tradition, we breathe new life into Judaism and we change the world.

Our Non-Negotiables

We are radically inclusive. We welcome everyone and strive to be accessible on multiple levels, creating space that is both safe and brave. We assume positive intent and learn from moments of friction.
We encourage self expression. Judaism is a spiritual practice, not a spectator sport, which means we want you to bring your whole self to your Jewish exploration, and we are here to support you on that journey.
We heal the world. Racial justice and social equity are values in our work at Mishkan, and in our lives. Whether self-improvement or social justice, we know that everything we do has ripple effects that have the potential to transform our world.
We engage people.  We take active steps to help everyone feel that they belong– if on the outside to come in, if on the inside, to form deeper connections.
We educate people. We build Jewish tradition and learning into everything we do.
We empower people to lead. We give people the tools and encouragement to be agents of spreading purpose, connection and inspiration in and beyond Mishkan spaces.

Our Strategic Priorities

In 2021, we went through an organization-wide strategic plan refresh. Four years since our last strategic plan, we knew there were priorities that needed additional focus, and in the midst of a pandemic, new priorities emerged. These four themes will infuse our work in 2022 and moving forward, and in 2023, we expect to undertake another Strategic Plan.

  1. Focusing on Diversity/Equity/Inclusion and accessibility across the organization.
  2. Maintaining the sense of intimacy that keeps people feeling seen and known in the midst of a larger community.
  3. Helping our community move from occasional visitors to Builders to leaders.
  4. Exploring how use of technology fits into our communal landscape, locally and beyond Chicago.

If you’re curious about what our Strategic Plan priorities were 2017-2022, they were:

  1. The Mishkan Experience. Everything we do has that certain something– a combination of seriousness and playfulness, piety and irreverence, information and inspiration.
  2. Community of Mutuality. We are building a community in which people feel connected to and accountable to one another.
  3. Developing & Empowering Leadership. Great lay leadership and sustainable organizational growth are mutually reinforcing. We develop great leaders.
  4. Financial Sustainability. We plan to be here for the long haul and we do what it takes to make that financially possible.
  5. Operational Excellence. Mishkan is an awesome place to work at and to work with.