The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) has long sought to help every Jew in the Chicagoland area, and no one needs the community’s help more than new families. Young parents, who are already overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising a child, may feel unsure about the best way to pass along a sense of Jewish community to their children. However, JUF Young Families has the process well in hand thanks to myriad programs specifically designed to meet the needs of parents and children. From educational vouchers to children-centered playgroups, JUF Young Families makes it easy for families to introduce their children to the vibrant and inclusive Jewish community of Chicago.
Many of JUF Young Families’ programs are designed specifically to help children learn about their heritage in a fun and accessible way. JUF Right Start ensures that every young Jew in Chicago has the opportunity to receive an early childhood education through vouchers, while PJ Library and PJ Our Way ensure that young parents have excellent Jewish music and literature designed to be accessible to young minds. JUF Young Families also provides a monthly eNewsletter that features listings of events, resources, and activities perfect for young families looking for things to do and ways to learn.
JUF Young Families has also found a way to reach even the youngest members of the community through jBaby Chicago, a free resource for parents with children in their first years of life. In addition to a free PJ Library subscription, the program offers free welcome packages for children under 25 months, featuring a range of excellent baby gear. However, jBaby Chicago places considerable focus on the needs of parents, including access to jBaby Parent Ambassadors who can help new parents navigate the wide range of resources and events available to them. The program even offers social events, playdates, and meet-ups to help parents find other new young families.