For those of us close to JCCWRP, the work we do and the impact we’ve made is a familiar litany. Yet, it’s safe to say, the majority of the community has never heard of our organization or our accomplishments.
We’re working to change that, and we’d like to enlist your participation to create opportunities to tell our story. A new documentary about Jewish West Rogers Park will help us do it.
My wife and fellow JCCWRP board member Beverly Siegel is volunteering her time to research and produce a documentary on the unique history of West Rogers Park, which is now in its 9th decade as a Jewish neighborhood and going strong. One of the ways we plan to use the documentary is through small-group and synagogue meetings.
Both the Chicago Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago are supporting this endeavor. The hard costs of shooting and post-production are being covered by a $5,000 grant from the Chicago Jewish Historical Society, $10,000 of pro bono services from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and a $10,000 grant from the Steven B. Nasatir New Directions Fund to bring the project to fruition.
We are very grateful to our sponsors -- CJHS for recognizing the special place of West Rogers Park in the history of Chicago’s Jewish neighborhoods, and the Federation and its leadership for its ongoing support in many ways. The Federation and its agencies have been an anchor for West Rogers Park for decades, serving as a bulwark for the human service and educational agencies that serve our community. Even as I write this they are making matching grants to synagogues for security upgrades at a time of increased vulnerability.
We hope to use the documentary as a trigger piece in block meetings and at synagogues and other community organizations. Let us know what doors you can open for us to do so. Volunteer to schedule a time to invite friends and neighbors to your home to hear our story. And please share your ideas with us.
Building our constituency is crucial to the success of our work. Help us build our collective voice to strengthen West Rogers Park. It is that collective voice that enables us to get things done.