On Tuesday evening, October 13, I will be making a presentation on the history of the Jewish community in West Ridge a.k.a. West Rogers Park at the Northtown Public Library, 6535 N. California. This free event, which starts at 6:30 pm, is under the auspices of the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. All of the preregistration seats are already full. There are a small number of walk in seats that are available on a first come, first served basis. So if you not preregistered, please come as early as you can. I was raised in the neighborhood and attended Rogers elementary school and Mather high school. I attended Hebrew school at Ezras Israel synagogue, where I also celebrated my bar mitzvah. My family lived next door to the synagogue on Lunt Avenue.
B’nai Zion was the first synagogue established in Rogers Park in 1919. The Conservative congregation moved into its magnificent building at 1447 West Pratt Blvd. in 1926. It soon became a bedrock of the Rogers Park Jewish community for years to come. B’nai Zion, as well as many other religious, cultural, social and political aspects of Jewish Rogers Park, will be part of my presentation on “The Jewish Community in Rogers Park” at the Rogers Park Library on August 12 at 6:30 pm. The library is located at 6907 N. Clark Street. The event is sponsored by the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society.
I will be playing the role of Chicago neighborhood historian in two public appearances during the upcoming months. I delve into Saul Bellow’s Chicago’s Jewish roots in the Humboldt Park neighborhood as the featured speaker at the Chicago Jewish Historical Society meeting on June 7 at Temple Beth Israel, 3601 West Dempster in Skokie. The presentation is at 2:00 p.m. Two months later, on August 12, I discuss the history of the Jewish community in Rogers Park at the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society meeting on August 12. That presentation begins at 6:30 at the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark.