The Chicago Loop Synagogue was founded in 1929 to serve the religious needs of those whose professional or business activities brought them to Chicago's downtown business district. Since then, it has grown to become the city's central synagogue. It is, in a very real sense, the symbol of the Jewish religious presence in Chicago. Citywide events of religious and other significance to the Jewish community are conducted in the Synagogue, and civic and religious leaders of other faiths look to the Chicago Loop Synagogue as a source of guidance and information concerning Judaism and Chicago's Jews.
By providing a convenient place for daily worship, the Synagogue makes it possible for people from all parts of the greater Chicagoland area to make congregational prayer a regular part of their business day, as well as to observe Yahrzeit and to recite the Kaddish prayers during periods of mourning. Membership dues include the lighting of Yahrzeit candles and the recitation of Yahrzeit Kaddish prayers in memory of members' loved ones. While the form of worship in the Synagogue is Traditional and separate seating is observed, all Jews are welcome.
The synagogue also serves the many Jewish visitors who come to Chicago from all parts of the world. Over the years, distinguished leaders of Jewish communities in the United States, Europe and Israel, have worshiped at this Synagogue while in Chicago.
In recent years, the construction of high-rise apartment buildings in and near the Loop has provided a residential population for whom the Loop Synagogue is the major religious affiliation. For these families, the Synagogue provides the services and facilities of any local congregation.
Throughout the year, there are daily Bible study classes, and on the first Thursday of the month there is a lunch and learn program. There is a modest charge for the lunch and reservations have to be made a day in advance with the Synagogue office.
The Chicago Loop Synagogue is also an architectural marvel. Among other features, it contains the magnificent Abraham Rattner stained glass artwork which takes up almost the entire Eastern facade of the Synagogue, Rattner lithographs in the Bet Midrash and the entry to the Social Hall and the Hands of Peace by Henri Azaz, which crowns the entrance to the Synagogue.
Read the Hanukkah issue of The Bulletin of the Chicago Loop Synagogue online!