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Old 06-05-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,144 posts, read 3,033,155 times
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I can't say for sure that i caught every word here (I skimmed), but there is one neighborhood, not mentioned from what I saw, that IMHO is most responsible for the northward tilt of Chicago Jewry:

Albany Park

First of all, let's keep in mind that even with the notion of what was once known as "the Jewish West Side", both the North and South sides of the city were always in play among Chicago Jews.

Don't forget this was an extremely large Jewish community; indeed by the turn of the 20th century, only New York and Warsaw had more Jews than Chicago. So this was hardly a community that would be bottled. Back in the day, 10% of the city of Chicago was Jewish, rather hefty numbers.

So while areas like Lawndale and Douglas Park had thriving and often virtually solid Jewish communities, the South Side has its Hyde Park and South Shore. And on the North Side, Logan Square went through a Jewish period.

So why do identify Albany Park as a catalyst? For one, it came on the scene as heavily Jewish just when West Rogers Park was being developed. And Rogers Park itself was never as heavily Jewish as Albany Park.

So in the era of WWII, you had a huge Jewish population in Albany Park and its northern offshoots like Hollywood Park and Peterson Park. North of these areas, across city limits into north suburbia, streets had been laid out extending the grid into Lincolnwood and, more significantly, Skokie. These streets stood empty as places like Skokie had small populations (Skokie's around what was once Niles Center, DT Skokie today).

After WWII, these already laid out streets and sewers provided for easy construction for the post-war housing boom. And Jews road that wave north from the city into Lincolnwood, Skokie, and west Wilmette.

How did Highland Park become so welcoming to Jews? Years before WWII, some areas on the North Shore lakefront were devoted to summer cabins. Jews frequented these because, as it turned out, HP was more tolerant than the other NS communities that tended to be rather closed.

Off this topic a bit, there is one interesting part of "Jewish Chicago" I didn't see discussed here: for much of the 1950s, 1960s and even beyond, the North Side lakefront had a more heavy Jewish population than any other ethnic group in high rises that lined the lakefront on LSD and Sheridan from Belmont Harbor to the Loyola campus. While the term "lakefront liberal" and being Jewish were hardly synonymous, there is no question that the heavily Jewish population contributed to the term.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,144 posts, read 3,033,155 times
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Originally Posted by latikeriii View Post
Neighborhoods on the SE side like Pill Hill, Jeffrey Manor were predominately middle-class Jewish neighborhoods but changed rapidly during the White Flight era of the late 60s.
the areas above are heavily associated with South Shore. South Shore was a community of high quality construction, heavily Jewish and Irish, and with lots of apartment buildings (endless sea of 3 flats). When racial change moved into the solidly white South Shore area, the changeover from white (again....heavily Jewish) to black took place virtually overnight, with Jewish mobility and the lack of a really strong home ownership being the catylsts.

I remember this time as I was born in South Shore (although long gone when this happened there in the 1960's) and I remember that Winston Towers, then new, that series of high rise apartments that lined the North Shore Channel south of Touhy became a sort of relocation center for South Shore Jews.

Fascinating thread here, folks. I harks back to that bygone era when "white ethnics" dominated the city of Chicago, with groups like the Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, Germans, among a few others leading the way.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Many of the young Jews in north Lawndale were in street gangs and engaged in hostilites with Polish (and to a lesser extent Bohemian) gangs in south Lawndale. There used to be a place called the BBR which was a kind of a Jewish CYO; lots of young Jews learned to box there. My father, a formidable Irish West Side street fighter who was nicknamed "Slaughter", said lots of guys came out of there very tough.

An old-timer I knew was jumped by a Jewish gang in Douglas Park in the 1920s because they thought he was a Pole. As they walloped him and were about to drown him (he thought) in the lagoon he was screaming "I'm a Bohunk, not a Polock!" They then gave him a pass.

This guy's name was Czerny and he was a real bad-ass. He boxed under the name Buck O'Malley and had also been a bootlegger and bank robber. Even when he was in his 60s, when I knew him, he always carried a gun (his "beanie") and guys didn't screw around with him. He had lots of good stories.
You find him on the link then. They have a record of fighters going back to the 19th Century. Perhaps he fought under another name or perhaps he never fought professionally. Maybe I missed him because it's not the most user friendly site for searches.

BoxRec Boxing Records
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Interesting input edsg about Albany Park.

Our new mayor (although I don't live in city limits so not really "my mayor") is Jewish and I believe grew up in Albany Park.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Interesting input edsg about Albany Park.

Our new mayor (although I don't live in city limits so not really "my mayor") is Jewish and I believe grew up in Albany Park.
but most of his growing up was in west Wilmette; he was a graduate of New Trier West (which no longer exists as a separate school)
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Rogers Park and Albany Park used to be heavily Jewish. Some neighborhood on the West Side as well, as well as the already mentioned Hyde Park. Suburbs north of the city became a natural destination, e.g. Buffalo Grove which was a fresh slate. Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be much of a Jewish presence to the west.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Rogers Park and Albany Park used to be heavily Jewish. Some neighborhood on the West Side as well, as well as the already mentioned Hyde Park. Suburbs north of the city became a natural destination, e.g. Buffalo Grove which was a fresh slate. Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be much of a Jewish presence to the west.
The North, South, and West sides at very times had significant Jewish populations. I think the Jewish population in Chicago was sufficently large so that it could have conceivably spread north, west, and south.

So why didn't the western suburbs attract Jews in large numbers, like the north suburbs obviously did?

to start with, the West Side was the original home of eastern European Jews, the impoverished masses that started out around Maxwell Street and then spread westward to Woodlawn and Douglas Park.

Hyde Park already had a significant Jewish population but this was largely the older, well established German Jews.

but we have to remember that Jews did their shifting within the city of Chicago, largely from west to north (west to south, heading down to South Shore, was a smaller movement).

Thus, when the move to suburbia after WWII began in earnest, it was from the North Side that the movement mainly took place. And there was a lot of open real estate through Lincolnwood, Skokie, west Wilmette for it to grow (and on up to Northbrook, Glencoe, Highland Park and northwestward to Buffalo Grove).

And here's another reason I suspect little westward movement in suburbia. The west suburbs, going past Austin, hit WASPish Oak Park and Catholic River Forest before butting up against the working class areas of Maywood, Bellwood, Hillside, etc.

Jews would have had to jump over these communities to have gone to far out DuPage county, an unthinkable move when you consider north took you immediately into Skokie and Linconwood.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Herriman, UT.
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Came upon this old thread but couldn't resist adding a bit to it. Being of Jewish decent my grandparents also lived in a high rise on Sheridan Ave during the 50's and early 60's. My mother spent part of her growing up in the Logan Square area. I was born in Jeffrey Manor on the South Side. My parents bought their home there as it was a rather new development in the late 40's. I was born in 53 and lived there till we moved in 1967 ( I was about to enter High School and my parents didn't want me to go to Bowen High School) so we moved to Highland Park. What a shock. In the Manor there were no shortage of Jewish folks but in Highland Park nearly 80% of the student body were Jewish. On Jewish High Holy days the school was CLOSED! That was quite a different experience having come from a Chicago Public school before. I had cousins and such all living anywhere from Skokie, Wilmette, Glenview and Niles.

As another reported after 1967 (and most certainly after the Riots of 1968) the South Side was all but an Exodus of Jews fleeing what was perceived as a major shift towards the denigration of that area of the city. I'm communicated with many who I grew up with in the Manor and some were even "traumatized" at having to leave. At one point that South Shore and Manor are were quite the sweet place to live and grow up. It was a sad thing to see happen, but not uncommon in many a large city from what I've read.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,144 posts, read 3,033,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcisive View Post
Came upon this old thread but couldn't resist adding a bit to it. Being of Jewish decent my grandparents also lived in a high rise on Sheridan Ave during the 50's and early 60's. My mother spent part of her growing up in the Logan Square area. I was born in Jeffrey Manor on the South Side. My parents bought their home there as it was a rather new development in the late 40's. I was born in 53 and lived there till we moved in 1967 ( I was about to enter High School and my parents didn't want me to go to Bowen High School) so we moved to Highland Park. What a shock. In the Manor there were no shortage of Jewish folks but in Highland Park nearly 80% of the student body were Jewish. On Jewish High Holy days the school was CLOSED! That was quite a different experience having come from a Chicago Public school before. I had cousins and such all living anywhere from Skokie, Wilmette, Glenview and Niles.

As another reported after 1967 (and most certainly after the Riots of 1968) the South Side was all but an Exodus of Jews fleeing what was perceived as a major shift towards the denigration of that area of the city. I'm communicated with many who I grew up with in the Manor and some were even "traumatized" at having to leave. At one point that South Shore and Manor are were quite the sweet place to live and grow up. It was a sad thing to see happen, but not uncommon in many a large city from what I've read.
I was born in South Shore. I've lived in Highland Park a couple times in my life. Today I live in Buffalo Grove.

If I ever mentioned to someone I don't know who is Jewish that I lived in those three places, they'd know I was Jewish and we would be playing Jewish geography.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:03 AM
 
206 posts, read 108,199 times
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Surprisingly there doesn't seem to be much of a Jewish presence to the west.
Yeah, I grew up in Elmhurst. There was one Jewish student in my grade school (in the 70's) Being stupid kids, we were pretty cruel. I don't think the family stayed in Elmhurst long. Like I said, we were stupid.
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