Youth Development


Chicago, IL


Guided by Jewish values and culture, Jewish Council for Youth Services provides educational and recreational programs for Chicagoland’s children and, through board service, develops the next generation of Jewish civic leaders.

Ruling Year


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Barbara Haworth

Main Address

150 N. Michigan Ave Suite 640

Chicago, IL 60601 USA


education, recreation, camping programs, people with special needs, children, people with disabilities





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Religious Leadership, Youth Development (O55)

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The agency's programs and services are constantly evolving to meet the demands of the communities we serve. In Chicago and the surrounding areas, children need high-quality educational and recreational programs that support learning, build social skills, and respond to the developmental needs of each child. As recess, physical education, and unstructured play are increasingly removed from school curricula to dedicate more time to standardized test preparation, there is a growing need for exploration and active learning that nurtures creativity and encourages children to develop their unique interests and skills. Children and adults with disabilities are also under-served by recreational programs that build life skills and encourage social growth. Adult caregivers of people with disabilities do not receive adequate support and have few opportunities for rest and rejuvenation. Finally, emerging civic and philanthropic leaders need more opportunities for leadership development.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Early Childhood Programs (infant care, toddler & preschool, enrichment)

School-Age Programs (Before & After School, School's Out/Winter Camp, Kindergarten Club)

Camp Henry Horner

Camp Red Leaf

Sunflower Day Camp

Big City Day Camp


Champ Camp

North Shore Day Camp

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

JCYS aims to provide high-quality educational and recreational activities for children of all abilities throughout the Chicago area, while continuing its tradition of service by training the next generation of Jewish civic leaders in Chicago.

Through its network of family centers throughout the Chicago area, as well as Camp Henry Horner, JCYS offers early childhood programs, after-school enrichment, day camps, and overnight camps. Similarly, through its many specialty camps, JCYS offers programs that meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities and provides caregivers with respite opportunities. Our programs serve individuals of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, and JCYS regularly provides financial support to our families. JCYS programs emphasize learning through play and enrichment activities that encourage creativity and exploration. Since its inception, JCYS has trained and developed young Jewish leaders to become members of our volunteer Board of Directors. These individuals play a hands-on role in the governance of JCYS, driving the strategic vision of the agency, and bring the mission to life.

For over a century, JCYS has responded to the varying needs and shifting demographics in the Chicago area. The agency's programs and services are constantly evolving to meet the demands of the communities we serve but our commitment to upholding Jewish values has remained constant. JCYS's facilities and expert staff members provide an enriching experience for every program attendee. The four JCYS family centers, which host a variety of programs and camps, are geographically positioned to respond to the community's needs and incorporate outdoor playgrounds, specialists, and play-based curricula that fully support each child's curiosity and growth. Camp Henry Horner features a heated swimming pool, zip line, high ropes course, and other outdoor facilities that encourage exploration and play. At Camp Red Leaf, JCYS supports campers with disabilities as the only American Camp Association accredited camp for both children and adults in the city of Chicago.

Our indicators of progress include greater demand for the programs at our Family Centers, greater self-reported parent satisfaction with our programs, and a greater capacity to assist families who might otherwise struggle with the cost of attending JCYS programs.

Since its inception, JCYS has been – and remains today – an independent organization. Each year, JCYS serves over 8,000 individuals of all religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds through its many diverse childcare, camping, and outreach programs. The agency is proud to offer families more than $150,000 in scholarship dollars annually.

External Reviews



Fiscal year: Jun 01 - May 31

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable