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The Sentinel Presents

100 Years of Chicago Jewry
The Sentinel Publishing, 1948

Transcribed by K. Torp, ©2007

1832—First Jew, Morris Baumgarten, arrived in Chicago.
1845—First religious services held on Yom Kippur in a small room above a store on Wells and Lake streets.
1846—"Jewish Burial Ground Society" founded.
—First Jewish cemetery acquired near the Lake, north of North avenue, now Lincoln Park.
1847—"Kahilath Anshe Maeriv"—Congregation of the Men of the West—first Jewish congregation in Chicago founded.
—The Reverend Ignatz Kunreuther, first shochet, hazan and teacher arrived in Chicago, as the minister of K.A.M.
1848—Beginning of 1848-49 cholera epidemic which carried off many Jews and resulted in welding the Jews as a community to meet its first crisis.
1849—First wedding, Hannah Reese ( of the Michael Reese family) to Jacob Rosenberg, performed by Philip Newburgh.
1849—Lot on Clark street, between Adams and Quincy, leased by K.A.M. for the erection of a permanent synagogue.
1851—"Hebrew Benevolent Society of Chicago" organized.
—Second Jewish cemetery acquired by H.B.S. in town of Lakeview, now Clark and Grace avenues.
—"Ladies' Sewing Society," adjunct of K.A.M. dedicated on Clark street, where old Post Office now stands.
1852—"Kehilath B'nai Sholom"—second Jewish congregation organized now part of Temple Isaiah Israel.
—"Ladies' Sewing Society," adjunct of Congregation B'nai Sholom.
1856-"Chevroh Gemilath Chassodim Ubikur Cholim" organized.
1857-First B'nai B'rith-Ramah Lodge No. 33.
—"Israelite Reform Society," attempting to organize the first Reform Congregation.
1858—Arrival of Dr. Bernard Felsenthal in Chicago.
—Founding of "Juedischer Reformverein" by Dr. Felsenthal.
1859—"United Hebrew Relief Association" to coordinate and administrate all the Jewish charities within the community, organized through the leadership and instigation of Ramah Lodge of B'nai B'rith .
—All day school founded by K.A.M.
—"Sunday school" for children above the age of eight years organized by School Board of K.A.M.
—"Kol Kore Bamidbar," First Jewish publication in the German language with Hebrew title, setting forth the ideals of Reform Judaism, written and published by Dr. B. Felsenthal.
1861—"Chicago Sinai Congregation" first permanent Reform Congregation, founded on principles of Reform Judaism organized by the "Juedischer Reformverein," most of its members having seceded from K.A.M.
—Acquisition of Christian Church on Monroe street, between La Salle and Clark, by Sinai Congregation, for its first synagogue.
—Abraham Kohn, County Clerk of Chicago, presented American flag with Hebrew quotation from Joshua 1:4-9, inscribed on it, to President Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, before his departure for the inauguration in Washington.
—"Chevrah Kadishah Ubikur Cholim"— burial and sick relief society—which conducted a Congregation known as the "Sesesh Shule," organized.
—First collection of hymns in the German language for use at Sinai Congregation, published.
1862—Jewish Company — the Concordia Guards—formed in Chicago to fight for the Union Army in the Civil War.
—Concordia club organized.
1863—Sinai Congregation dedicated its second synagogue on Plymouth Court and Van Buren.
1864—Zion Congregation, now part of Washington Boulevard Temple, organized.
—First Synagogue of B'nai Sholom built on Harrison street and Fourth avenue.
1865—Congregation B'nai Jacob—first Orthodox Congregation of East European Jews.
—Ramah Lodge, Hebrew Benevolent Society and Chevrah Kadishah Ubikur Cholim particpate offically in the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln.
1866—Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol organized.
1867—Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol and Congregation B'nai Jacob combined into one Congregation "Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol B'nai Jacob."
—Cornerstone of first Jewish hospital on La Salle street between Schiller and Goethe streets.
—Synagogue of "North Chicago Congregation"—now Temple Shol
1868—District Grand Lodge No. 6 of B'nai B'rith founded.
—First Jewish hospital completed and opened for patients.
1869—Standard club organized.
—"Zeichen der Zeit," first Jewish periodical of a literary and philosophical nature, edited and published by Dr. I. Cronic, Rabbi of Chicago Congregation.
1870—Congregation Ohave Sholom Mariampoler, now "Anshe Sholom" organized.
—Congregation B'nai Abraham, part of Washington Boulevard Temple, organized.
—Estimated Jewish population in Chicago 10,000.
1871—Great Chicago Fire consumed five Chicago's seven synagogues, the Jewish hospital and four of the B'nai B'rith lodges.
[Note: "1861" is handwritten in] — Dr. Liebman Adler becomes rabbi K.A.M.
1872—"Deborah Verein" organization of Jewish women to assist the United Hebrew Relief Association in its charitable work.
1873—Organization of Chicago Rabbinical Association.
—The Occident, first Jewish periodical in English published.
1874—Sinai Congregation instituted "Sabbath school" in place of the All Day School
—Sinai Congregation instituted Sunday services.
—K.A.M. became a Reform Congregation
—Second Chicago Fire consumed synagogue and the rented "shul" of Congregation Ohave Sholom Mariampoler.
1875—Congregation Anshe Kneseth Israel known as the "Russishe Shul," founded.
—KA.M. dedicated its synagogue on Indiana avenue and 26th street.
—Cornerstone of the synagogue of Sin-[?] Congregation laid on corner of Indiana and 21st street, on which a year later, a $128,000 structure was dedicated.
—Founding of Moses Montefiore Congregation.
1876—"Jewish Educational Sodety" to promote education on a community basis.
—"Jewish Reader" by Dr. Kohler, text book for Sabbath schools.
—President Grant appointed General Edward S. Solomon, Governor, of the Washington Territory.
1877—First Yiddish newspaper "Israelitische Presse."
—First Hebrew publication "Hechal HaIvri" as a supplement to the Israelitische Presse.
—Zion Literary Society founded.
1878—Hebrew Free School organized.
—"The Jewish Advance" English-German weekly devoted to social interests and progressive Judaism published by Rabbi Henri Gersoni.
—Founding of Congregation "Anshe Emet."
1879—Dr. Kohler resigned his.post at Sinai Congregation.
1880—Cornerstone of Michael Reese hospital laid.
—Dr. Emil G. Hirsch assumed spiritual leadership at Chicago Sinai Congregation.
1881—Michael Reese Hospital on Ellis and 29th street dedicated.
1882—The Maccabean, a monthly magazine edited by Dr. Henry Gersoni.
—Young Men's Hebrew Charity Association.
—Young Ladies' Aid Society, later changed to "Chicago Women's Aid."
1883—"Doreshe Safruth Ho-Ivrith," first Hebrew literary society in Chicago.
—"Hebrew Free School" changed to Moses Montefiore Hebrew Free School.
1884—Establishment of "Chicago Israelite" as a Chicago edition of the American Israelite, published in Cincinnati, Ohio.
—First Hungarian Congregation Agudath Achim organized.
1885—Zion Temple built on the corner of Ogden and Washington Boulevards.
—"Yiddishe Presse" began to appear.
1886—"Chovevei Zion" (Lovers of Zion) first Zionist group organized in Chicago.
—First Jewish labor groups organized.
1887—Jewish Courier, Yiddish newspaper started as a weekly and later became a daily.
—Monumental commentary Talmudic tractate Bikurim by Rabbi Eliezer Alperstein of Congregation Ohave Sholom Mariampoler.
1888—"Kehilath Anshe Dorom," South Side Hebrew Congregation.
—Jewish Agriculturists' Aid Society of America, organized by Dr. A. R. Levy, rabbi of Congregation B'nai Abraham.
[page torn]—"Chicago Wochenblatt," Yiddish weekly published by Jewish Courier.
[page torn]— "Keren Or" (Rays of Light) Hebrew publication published by "Dorshe Ho-Ivrith."
[page torn]— "Zedoko Kololoth," relief organization, founded by East European Jews, intended primarily to assist the needy on the "West Side."
[page torn] —United Hebrew Charities chartered.
1890—Congregation Mishno U'Gemoro devoted to extreme Orthodoxy and study organized.
—Jewish Training school, a public and vocational school organized on the West Side by German Jews, to give children of recently arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe a modern education and vocational guidance. Forerunner of manual training classes in public school system.
—Mass-meeting of a selected group of Jewish people held at the Standard club to raise $25,000 for the reorganization of the University of Chicago and to assure its existence.
—Joint Conference of Jewish and Christian clergymen held at the Methodist Episcopal Church on Clark and Washington streets.
1891—"Reform Advocate," English weekly dedicated to the interests of Reform Judaism founded and edited by Dr. Emil G. Hirsch.
—K.A.M. erected its fifth synagogue on Indiana avenue and 33rd street, at a cost of $110,000. The synagogue is now used as a Methodist Church.
—Reverend William C. Blackstone of Chicago presented a memorial, signed by the most outstanding Christian clergymen and dignitaries in America, to President Benjamin Harrison, requesting him to appeal to all important sovereigns in the world, to intervene on behalf of the Jewish people, to restore Palestine as a Jewish National Home for the Jews.
1891—"The Society in Aid of the Russian Refugees" organized.
1892—Sinai removed Aron Kodesh from its synagogue.
—"Sofo Bruru," Hebrew literary society founded.
—Fraternal Order "Somech Nofelim" consisting primarily of newly arrived East-European immigrants founded.
—Dedication of grounds for the "World's Columbian Exposition" at which 1100members of the Order Somech Nofelim participated.
—"Gomelei Chesed Shel Emeth," free burial society founded on the west side.
1893—"Maxwell Street Settlement," modeled after the Hull House, founded at 185 Maxwell street.
—Chicago Home for Jewish Aged opened on Drexel ave. and 62nd st.
—Parliament of Religious opened at the World's Columbian Exposition.
—Jewish Denominational Congress, as part of the Parliament took place.
—Jewish Women's Congress as part of Denominational Congress convened.
—National Council of Jewish Women in America founded in Chicago.
—"Self-Educational Club" organized by a few intellectuals of the East-European Jewish community.
—"Jewish Citizen," a Yiddish daily appeared for a month.
—"Chicago Jewish Tageblatt," a Yiddish daily began to appear.
—"Die Yiddishe Welt," a Yiddish weekly.
—"Ha-Kol" (The Voice) a Hebrew publication, began to appear.
1894—Independent Order Western Star organized.
—"Chevrah G'miluth Chassodim Mishno U'Gemoroh," first free loan society to assist the newly arrived Jewish immigrants with loans in order to establish them economically.
— (date not certain) "The Yiddishe Vereingite Gewerkschaften," an amalgamation of all Jewish unions, cigar-makers, cap-makers, knee-pants makers, cloakmakers, and typesetters organized by Benjamin Schlessinger who was its first secretary.
1895—Isaiah Congregation organized.
1896—"People's Synagogue," a congregation on democratic basis with a nominal voluntary membership contribution to be paid monthly so as to make it accessible to all, founded by Dr. Isaac Moses, who resigned his post at the K.A.M.
—"Chicago Zionist Organization No. 1" with Bernard Horwich as president organized as the first Herzlian Zionist group.
—"Women's Free Loan Association" to assist the needy and the Jewish small businessman, founded on the west side. Organization never had to bring legal action against a single borrower.
1897—"The Star of Israel," Zionist periodical in English published bi-monthly.
—First Austrian-Galician Congregation.
—Hapisgah—Hebrew monthly, edited by Wolf Shure began to appear in Chicago.
—"Knights of Zion," founded. '
1898—First Zionist Youth groups "B'nai Zion" for young men, and "B'noth Zion" for young ladies founded.
1899—Yeshivath Etz Chayim Talmudical Academy for advanced Jewish studies particularly in Talmud and Rabbinic literature.
—Chicago Home for Jewish Orphans dedicated at 3601 Vernon ave.
—Samuel Alshuler nominated for Governor of Illinois on the Democratic ticket.
1900-The "Arbeiter Zeitung" a Yiddish daily devoted to labor began to appear.
—"Der Taeglicher Yiddisher Kol" a general Yiddish daily began to appear.
—"Associated Jewish Charities" to coordinate and integrate all Jewish charity activities in the community.
—Ground dedicated for "Beth Moshav Zekenim" on Albany avenue near Ogden blvd.
—Arrival of Rabbi Jacob David Wilkowsky to assume the office of Chief Rabbi of Chicago.
—Estimated Jewish population 75,000.
—Conference Committee of Jewish Women's Organizations disbanded when Associated Jewish Charities came into existence.
—First Orthodox Talmudic School, Yeshivat Etz Chaim, with 100 students and four teachers.
1901—Northwest Side Talmud Torah Organization of Orthodox group formed.
—Zion Sabbath school set up by Zionist group.
1903—Chicago Hebrew Institute (now Jewish People's Institute) chartered by thirteen Zionists.
—Arbeiter Verein (Workmen's Circle) fraternal order reaches Chicago.
1904—Fraternidad Israeli ta Portugesa, Jewish fraternal order organized.
1905—Upheavals in Russia increase migration of East-European Jews to U.S.
—Organization of Poale Zionist group in Chicago.
— (to 1917) height of Yiddish vaudeville show activity.
1907—New main hospital building completed at Michael Reese at cost of $10,000,000.
—Jewish Home Finding Agency, for placement of children in foster homes.
—Lincoln Lodge No. 22 of Order True Sisters.
—Kishinef Massacre in Russia profoundly affects Jewish community in Chicago.
1910—45,000 garment workers, eighty percent of them Jewish, organized in the "Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union," go on strike for three and one-half months, win union recognition, and mark the beginning of the end of the "sweat shops."
—Women's organizations again banded together under leadership of Hannah G. Solomon, under name of Conference of Jewish Women's Organizations.
—Sarah Morris hospital for children and Nelson Morris Research institute at Michael Reese.
1911—Sentinel magazine begins publication.
1912—Federated Orthodox Jewish Charities organized.
—Arbeiter Verband (Jewish National Workers Alliance) fraternal order established.
—Chicago HIAS division permanently established after several unsuccessful efforts in prior years.
1913—Establishment of Hadassah in Chicago.
—Mizrachi Zionist group organized in Chicago.
1914—Northwest Fellowship Club, fraternal order organized.
—Daughters of Zion Infant Home and Day Nursery established.
1915—Orthodox Jews organize city-wide campaign to raise funds for relief of Jews subjected to extreme suffering under Czarist Russia. First of a series of such campaigns.
—Active movement of Jewish community from near west side to Lawndale district.
— (to 1930) peak period of Orthodox Jewish education, with two concentration centers: Lawndale (west side) district, and northwest side.
1916—Chicago Jewish community first to convene (preliminary) Congress for purposes of uniting Jewish community.
—Sarah Greenebaum Lodge No. 16 of Order True Sisters.
1917—World War I involves U.S.
—Election of delegates in Chicago to first national American Jewish Congress.
—Jabneh (Hebrew school of United (Orthodox) Congregations) opened at Rockwell and Hirsch by Congregation Esrath Israel, Ahavath Achim, K'nesseth Israel, and Zemech Zedek, all on the northwest side.
—Grenshaw Street Talmud Torah established by Russische Shul and Sawyer Avenue Shul.
—Covenant Club founded.
1918-End of World War I.
—First convention of American Jewish Congress, with delegation of 31 attending from Chicago.
—Mount Sinai hospital chartered as Orthodox Jewish hospital.
1919—National Women's League of United Synagogue (Conservative) established.
—Glickman's Palace Theatre opens on west side to present Yiddish stage performances. Peak period of Yiddish legitimate stage, running to 1930.
1920—Beginning period of active, organized anti-Semitism activity in U.S. accompanied by threats of violence.
—Hebrew Theological College of Chicago chartered.
—Chicago Branch of United (Conservative) Synagogue organized.
—The Forward begins publication of Chicago edition.
1921—Around the Palette artists group formed. First organization of Jewish artists in Chicago. Continued to 1939.
1922—Hebrew Theological college building completed at cost of $200,000.
1923—Second convention of American Jewish Congress and attempt to revitalize it.
—Orthodox Jewish Charities and Associated Jewish Charities merge into the Jewish Charities of Chicago.
—B'nai B'rith establishes women's auxiliaries,
—Jewish Education Committee, predecessor to Board of Jewish Education.
—Jewish Women's Art Club.
1925—Illinois State Federation of Reform Sisterhoods organized.
—College of Jewish Studies formed by Jewish Education Committee.
—Central Hebrew high school formed by Jewish Education Committee.
1926—Jewish Education Committee becomes Board of Jewish Education.
—Jewish People's Institute building completed at 3500 West Douglas blvd.
—Chicago Ambijan Committee formed
1927-(and 1928) Four Yiddish theatres operating simultaneously.
1928—Mandel clinic completed at Michael Reese, and takes over functions of old West Side dispensary.
1929—Orthodox "Kehillah" organized to control kosher practices and to give guidance and assistance to Orthodox needs
1930—Crisis in Yiddish theatre and beginnining of decline.
—Jewish People's Fraternal Order of I.W.O. (International Workers Order) organized in Chicago.
—Chicago community takes active step to organize a Chicago division of American Jewish Congress.
—Congress calls together Consultative Council of several prominent Jewish organizations in Chicago but differences of views prevents unity, and expires.
1936—Chicago delegates elected to first World Jewish Congress.
—Women's Division of American Jewish Congress formed in Chicago.
—Associated Talmud Torahs, central body and directing agency for Orthodox education.
1938—General Jewish Council as successor of Consultative Council organized. Expires in few years for same reason as predecessor.
—Workmen's Circle opens Douglas Park theatre.
1940—Teachers Institute for Girls established at Hebrew Theological college.
—American Jewish Arts Club organized.
1941—World War II involves U.S.
—Max Straus Community Center opened in Albany Park.
1943—American Jewish Conference organized in Chicago as successor to General Jewish Council. In decline.
—Morris Perlman Camp Avodah established by Board of Jewish Education
1944—Daily Jewish Courier suspends publication.
1945—End of World War II.
—Camp Sharon established by College of Jewish Studies for intensive training of Hebrew teachers.
—Death of President Roosevelt— the passing of a friend to all minorities and the oppressed.
1946—Board of Jewish Education acquires building at 72 E. 11th street.
1947—The Advocate suspends publication.
1948—Re-birth of Israel.
—60th anniversary of Jewish theatre in Chicago.
—Jewish population in Chicago estimated at just under 400,000. Jewish population in country, 5,000,000.


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