Welcome to Tzedek Chicago.
We draw our inspiration from Torah’s central story of liberation, from the voices of prophets who courageously spoke truth to power, from the chutzpah of ancient rabbis who responded to the reality of exile with a vision of healing and righteousness and from countless generations of rebels, radicals, revolutionaries and rabble rousers – Jewish and non-Jewish alike - who challenged the status quo in order to create a better, fairer and more equitable world.
In our religious services, educational programs and social activism we seek:
a Judaism beyond borders;
a Judaism of solidarity;
a Judaism of nonviolence;
a Judaism of spiritual freedom;
a Judaism of equity;
a Judaism beyond nationalism.
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Brant Rosen is the founding rabbi of Tzedek Chicago. A native of Los Angeles, he was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1992 and served congregations in Los Angeles and Denver before coming to the Chicago area in 1998. Rabbi Rosen served as rabbi of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston until 2014. In addition to his work at Tzedek Chicago he is the Midwest Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee.
Rabbi Rosen has served on numerous organizational and community boards. He is a Past President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, co-founder and co-chairperson of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council and co-founder of the Jewish Fast for Gaza. A longtime activist, he has led and participated in peace/justice international delegations to Israel/Palestine, Iran, the former Soviet Union, Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda.
Rabbi Rosen is a prolific journalist and blogger, whose op-eds have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Jewish Forward, Tikkun and Truthout among others. He is the author of the popular Jewish social justice blog, Shalom Rav and his book Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity was published by Just World Books in 2012 (updated in 2017). Rabbi Rosen is also a poet and liturgist; his prayers and poems can be found on his blog Yedid Nefesh.
Click here to read Rabbi Rosen's sermon for Tzedek Chicago's inaugural Rosh Hashanah service.
Rabbi Rosen and his wife Hallie live in Evanston. IL.
Rabbinic Intern Jay Stanton
Jay Stanton is a rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York. He is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council member and is active at the Beit Yosef, a sacred space for healing from the disease of addiction. Jay writes opinion pieces for The Jewish Daily Forward and blogs occasionally at Dandy Songbird. He also composes liturgical music and is developing a contemporary prayer book for egalitarian Western Sephardic prayer.
Jay is an alumnus of the College at the University of Chicago, where he studied religion. He is a former board member of the National Union of Jewish LGBTQQI Students.
Cantorial Soloist Leah Shoshanah
Leah Shoshanah is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and educator based in Chicago. She has performed worldwide, from intimate house concerts to on stage with the South African National Opera company “Opera Africa”. Leah performs original music and jazz/folk covers both solo and as the bandleader for various ensembles around Chicago. Her debut CD, "A Child Like This" was released in 2017.
Leah's upbringing in classical music, Jewish liturgy and Hebrew language lead her uniquely into the role of cantorial soloist. Today, she has written contemporary musical settings for Jewish liturgy and she has taught and led music at a variety of synagogues in the Chicago area and around the country. Leah also teaches music in Chicago public schools, the Old Town School of Folk Music and for private students. For more information about her original music, click here.