Our Why

Fueled by Jewish tradition, Mishkan Chicago leads people toward more purposeful, more connected, and more inspired lives. When we do that, we change the world.
We create Jewish spaces to bring your whole self, and be part of something larger than yourself.

Our non-negotiables

We are radically inclusive. We welcome everyone and bend over backwards 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 not a spectator sport, it’s a spiritual practice– we need to co-create (literally practice!) our Jewish experience for it to change our lives.
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 space, tools and encouragement to help more people find purpose, connection and inspiration.

Our 2017-2022 Strategic priorities

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

Our 2021 Strategic Plan Refresh Identified Four New Themes:

  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. Being more strategic about how our participant journey helps people move from occasional participants to Builders to leaders.
  4. Exploring how use of technology fits into our communal landscape, locally and beyond Chicago.