The disappearing history of Chicago's Jewish past can be found in the religious architecture of its stately synagogues and communal buildings. Whether modest or majestic, wood or stone, the buildings reflected their members' views on faith and their commitment to the neighborhoods where they lived in a time when individuals and the community were inseparable from their neighborhood synagogues, temples, and shuls. From Chicago's oldest Jewish congregation, Kehilath Anshe Maariv Temple (Pilgrim Baptist), to Ohave Sholom (St. Basils Greek Orthodox), to Kehilath Anshe Maariv's last independent building (Operation Push), come and explore Chicago's forgotten synagogues and communal buildings. Nearly 150 years of Chicago history unfolds in Chicago's Forgotten Synagogues as the photographs and accompanying stories tell of the synagogues' past greatness and their present and uncertain future.
About the Author
Robert A. Packer is a former history teacher and is a professional building consultant and freelance photographer. His work has appeared in many local publications. Packer's goal has been to document the many old synagogues and communal buildings before they meet the wrecking ball. Packer is the president of the Illinois Society of Building Consultants, vice president of the Maxwell Street Foundation, and an associate member of the American Society of Media Photographers. He is a popular lecturer at many local libraries and colleges.