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.
Leah Shoshanah, Cantorial Soloist
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.
Jay Stanton, Assistant Clergy
Assistant Clergy Jay Stanton has been a part of Tzedek Chicago since its first Shabbat service, and was Tzedek Chicago’s inaugural rabbinic intern. 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 about Judaism at the margins, blogging occasionally at Dandy Songbird, and has been published in the Jewish Daily Forward, Moment Magazine, and the Religion Bulletin. He also composes liturgical music and is working on a progressive, egalitarian, Western Sephardic prayer book.
Jay is currently finishing his rabbinical studies. He 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. Jay grew up in an interfaith, multiethnic family, and has been involved in interfaith dialogue and social justice movements for decades. Jay finds his diverse experiences as an organizer, a preschool teacher, a tech geek, an avid poetry reader, and a math nerd, among others, great preparation for thinking deeply about Judaism, justice, and humanity’s role in the ecosystem of the multiverse.
Click here to read Jay’s 2018 Passover remarks.
Aviva Stein, Family Program Coordinator
Aviva Stein is an educator, naturalist and activist, happily living in Rogers Park. She has worked as a camp farmer, religious school teacher, and environmental educator and is so happy to bring her love for the natural world, Jewish education and justice advocacy to her role at Tzedek Chicago. She can usually be found riding her bike, looking for birds and generally delighting in living things.
Hannah Rehak, Social Media Manager
Hannah Rehak is a 26-year-old writer, comedian and social media manager based out of Chicago. Hannah graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English & American Studies and has spent time in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Morocco studying journalism and new media. She joins Tzedek Chicago as an employee after years as a follower and fan of Rabbi Brant and the larger Tzedek community. When not scrolling Instagram and Twitter, Hannah can be found drawing, editing audio or performing improv and sketch comedy at The iO Theater. For more information visit her website or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.