The Ark’s Peterson offices close Feb. 28. We will reopen on Mar. 11 at 6450 N. California Ave. and in Northbrook. Learn more.

Our History

How We Began

The Ark is a vibrant hub of vital human services, empowered by Jewish values, that lifts and strengthens the Jewish community.

Our Story

The Ark was founded in 1971 through the efforts of an Uptown doctor and a local rabbi, who were approached by a group of young Jewish community members advocating for the doctor’s clinic to provide more services to the poor. The idea quickly gained many supporters, and in March, 1971, The Ark opened as a free medical clinic in Albany Park.


Soon, The Ark’s cause began attracting large numbers of volunteers who were interested in contributing their time and professional skills to help their less fortunate neighbors. Throughout the years, services and programs were added one-by-one; a kosher food pantry was opened; rent and utility bills were paid; a free pharmacy opened. We are grateful to Dr. Binyamin Sokol z”l, Rabbi Avram Kaufman, Rabbi Yehoshua Eichenstein and Joseph Weiss z”l for their vision and dedication to making The Ark a reality.


As The Ark grew, it followed the Jewish population from Albany Park to Devon Avenue. The Ark moved again in 1991 to its current facility on California Avenue, and in 2011, a second office was opened in Northbrook, to meet the needs of the growing Jewish population in the northwest suburbs.


Building Our Future

Serving clients in a new, modern, updated, secure space with the dignity that Ark clients deserve.