Founded in 1946, JASC was formed to serve the needs of Japanese immigrants and their American-born children coming to Chicago after leaving the World War II incarceration camps. Originally called the Chicago Resettlers Committee, the organization assisted with housing, jobs, and the re-forming of a community.
JASC has served as a unique locus for the Japanese American community while playing a much larger role in providing social services to a much wider and diverse group of Chicagoans. JASC has built the Heiwa Terrace Retirement Community, the Keiro Long Term Care Facility, and instituted a number of individual services and activities for both children and adults.
JASC also works to archive the history of the Japanese American experience in Chicago for both scholars and the community with the JASC Legacy Center while continuing to provide social service and cultural programs for the greater Chicago area. As our community continues to grow and change culturally, ethnically and socioeconomically, we have an everlasting duty to adapt and change to better serve and improve the physical, emotional, and social well-being of our community.
JASC, a Special Place
The Japanese term, 伝統の継承, pronounced “dentou no keishou,” means passing along a heritage to the next generation or to leave a legacy. Historically, the Japanese concept of tradition is one of unwavering continuity rather than celebrating individual innovation in any one generation. The scope of JASC programs and services has grown far beyond our humble beginnings to serve a community wider than our founders could have imagined. One of the things that makes JASC special is taking the gift of knowledge and traditions learned in previous generations and figuring out how to make the most of it in our own way, creating works that fully respect the spirit of each era. By “living our legacy” we create a living culture and hope to live the values we cherish through our actions every day.