Anita Weinstein's lifetime commitment to activism and social service began in college when she witnessed a cross burning on campus?an incident that compelled her to become involved in the civil rights, anti-war and women's movements. She was often called upon to speak and perform at campus demonstrations.
Summers were spent at Camp Chi in Wisconsin, which played a pivotal role in her decision to become a social worker melding her commitment to social justice with a career in social service. In graduate school at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, she helped organize sit-ins that successfully accomplished curriculum revisions in cultural diversity.
After graduate school she held positions with the Jewish Community Centers where she just celebrated her 25th anniversary. Early in her career she primarily worked with girls and women in a variety of positions including coordinating the Midwest chapter of the Jewish Feminist Organization and coordinating the medical unit at the Response Center, a crisis center for teenagers.
She is the founding director of the EZRA Multi-Service Center, a collaborative program of the Jewish Federation agencies with a mission to meet the needs of families living below the poverty level while helping them remain connected to the Jewish community. EZRA provides cultural and religious programs, supportive housing, job assistance, advocacy and meals to more than 4,000 households annually.
Anita has collaborated with and helped found several organizations dedicated to ending homelessness and hunger including Lakefront Supportive Housing and Interfaith Council for the Homeless.
She attributes her love of and talents in music to her mom, and much of her feminist consciousness to her dad, who was committed to his daughters and predicted that it was "going to be a women's world, and you'll be able to achieve anything you want."