What is AJC ACCESS Chicago?
In the vibrant tapestry of Jewish Chicago, AJC ACCESS stands out as an organization of immense significance, yet remains a well-kept secret that needs to be exposed. As we eagerly anticipate the annual event on the Chicago River on September 27, ChiTribe spoke with Sarah van Loon, AJC Regional Director to learn more about the profound impact and legacy of this century old global advocacy powerhouse. Join AJC on September 27th on the river in celebrating 117 remarkable years, and 79 years of the Chicago region expanding. Register Here!
$25-off general admission tickets with promo code: ChiTribe25
First of all, AJC stands for the American Jewish Committee.
“AJC stands up for the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the democratic values that unite us all.” AJC ACCESS is the young adult division of the American Jewish Committee and the organization is growing in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
At AJC ACCESS, the endeavors initiated in Chicago are amplified across continents, paving the way for unprecedented active advocacy opportunities. This isn’t just about advocacy in theory but actual tangible, real-world scenarios. Where else can you engage in candid discussions with diplomats about pressing concerns such as antisemitism?
Beyond the confines of meeting rooms, the AJC Board in Chicago has been at the forefront, forging genuine connections over dinners with diplomats. These interactions are not just for the moment; they’re seeds sown for a lasting impact. Keep reading to learn more!
DID YOU KNOW? AJC was integral in the Abraham Accords
From playing a crucial role in the Abraham Accords to reflecting on the significant 30th anniversary of the Oslo accords, the organization has been steadfast. This commitment traces back to the 1950s, with AJC’s journeys to the Gulf. Through quiet diplomacy throughout the Middle East, AJC has been instrumental in weaving connections and nurturing trust. A truly notable moment came in 2019 in the UAE when discussions on a non-belligerency agreement with Israel led to ambitions for full peace.
Beyond global diplomacy, at the heart of AJC’s mission lies the commitment to interfaith coalition, dialogue, and intercultural endeavors. These engagements are pivotal in fostering mutual understanding, learning shared histories, and emphasizing the interconnected destinies of minorities. It’s through these synergies that AJC can effectively counter the tides of hate. AJC’s consistent engagement has established it as a beacon of trust for diplomats. As many of these diplomats ascend to higher roles globally, it is to AJC they turn, recognizing its invaluable counsel.
To say the work at AJC ACCESS is dynamic would be an understatement. It’s an evolving journey of building bridges, forging connections, and ensuring a world where understanding overcomes cultural and political differences.
A few questions about AJC
Who is on the board? How do people get involved in leadership roles?
Debbie Bain is the ACCESS Chicago Board President, and leading the region with her are Board members Alan Bukingolts, Danielle Gensburg, Jenny Herman, Lauren Mogil, Alison Plott, and Dan Siegel. Folks can get involved in leadership roles through a variety of options: participate in an AJC leadership development program like the ACCESS Leadership Fellowship (an advocacy training program designed to bring together an elite group of young professionals to strengthen their leadership skills, grow their networks, and improve their ability to make a positive impact in their communities. Click to Learn More
Join a Regional Committee to become engaged in AJC advocacy work, or talk to Debbie or any of the AJC Chicago staff to begin a conversation about joining the Board.
Tell us more about the programs that everyone should know about instead of being the “Best Kept Secret” in the Jewish world?
AJC Chicago brings the global to the local, so participating in the upcoming Midwest Diplomatic Marathon – the largest day of international Jewish advocacy in the Midwest – or joining us for a more intimate “Dinner with a Diplomat” are great ways to better understand and participate in AJC’s active advocacy work. AJC also regularly engage with elected officials at the local, state, and Federal levels through small-group advocacy meetings. Additionally, AJC builds meaningful relationships with leaders in other faith and ethnic communities, so joining us for an Intergroup lunch-and-learn, or participating in AJC’s annual Hanukkah Celebration event or Diplomat, Interfaith, and Community Leaders Seder are great ways to get plugged in.
Tell us a few events you host regularly and why these are important for the larger Jewish community?
Every year, AJC Chicago hosts a Diplomat, Interfaith, and Community Leaders Seder, where the organization invites all of their top advocacy friends and partners to join them in learning about the story of Passover and the lessons of freedom that apply to our world today. AJC shares in the Passover Seder rituals and engage with their partners from all different faith and ethnic traditions, while discussing how we all can work together as a global community to ensure that all people are free.
How to Get Involved with AJC ACCESS
AJC ACCESS Chicago, often dubbed as the “Best Kept Secret” in the Jewish world, is more than just an organization. With a rich legacy spanning over a century, its work embodies the essence of fostering global understanding, diplomacy, and collaborative efforts. From impactful dinners with diplomats to playing pivotal roles in international peace accords, AJC’s commitment to bridge-building and mutual respect remains unparalleled. As they gear up for their annual event, the spotlight is on this beacon of trust, advocating for a world where cultural and political differences are met with understanding and unity. Get involved with AJC Chicago by registering for the Annual Event on the River on September 27.