For nearly half a century, the greater Lawndale area was the vibrant, spirited center of Jewish life in Chicago. It contained almost 40 percent of the city's entire Jewish population with over 70 synagogues and numerous active Jewish organizations and institutions, such as the Jewish People's Institute, the Hebrew Theological College, and Mount Sinai Hospital.
Its residents included "King of Swing" Benny Goodman, Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, journalists Irv Kupcinet and Meyer Levin, federal judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, civil rights attorney Elmer Gertz, Eli's Cheesecake founder Eli Shulman, and comedian Shelley Berman.
Many of the selected images come from the author's extensive collection. This book will bring back memories for those who lived there and retell the story of Jewish life on the West Side for those who did not. No matter where the scattered Jews of Chicago live now, many can trace their roots to this "Jerusalem of Chicago."
To purchase a copy of the book:
Irving Cutler, a decades-long resident of Lawndale, is professor emeritus of urban geography and author of several books and numerous articles, including two award-winning books about Chicago. He is well known for his tours by bus and boat and for his illustrated lectures on various aspects of Chicago. He is one of the founders of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society and also has served as president of the Geographic Society of Chicago.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times