Welcome to Tzedek Chicago.
Founded in 2015, we are an intentional congregational community based on core values of justice, equity and solidarity with the oppressed. In our educational programs, celebrations and liturgy, we emphasize the Torah’s central narrative of liberation, the prophetic imperative to speak truth to power, and an expansive diasporic vision that views the entire world as our homeland.
We encourage you to read our core values to learn more about the foundational principles that guide the life of our congregation.
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.
Rabbi Rosen and his wife Hallie live in Evanston. IL.
Click here to read Rabbi Rosen's sermon for Tzedek Chicago's inaugural Rosh Hashanah service.
Rabbinic Intern May Ye
May Ye is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. In addition to being a rabbinical student, she is a pianist, activist, and organizer. May is proud to be a member of the rabbinical council of Jewish Voice for Peace. Drawing on her background as a pianist and her deep and sometimes overwhelming empathy for the world, she seeks to explore the intersectionality between music, justice, and spirituality. May is committed to creating safe and welcoming spaces for Jews of Color, low-income Jews, disabled Jews, and queer Jews.
Click here to read May's sermon for Tzedek Chicago's Erev Yom Kippur 5779 service.
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.