Top Jewish Travel Sights of Chicago

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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Although Chicago is known by some as the “Second City” it is a destination of choice for travelers drawn to its world-class cultural attractions, diverse neighborhoods and architectural wonders. Chicago is known for its world-famous museums, fantastic shopping, lively nightlife, world-class sporting events and a thriving theater scene that is now spoken of in the same breath as New York’s Great White Way.  The Chicago Theatre, Goodman, Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and the Ford Center have made Chicago a must visit for theater lovers everywhere.

Visitors from around the world who come to Chicago leave in awe of its architectural marvels. From historic landmark buildings to contemporary masterpieces, Chicago is the home to some of the most unique and innovative designs that have ever shaped American architecture. The city is a living museum of architecture featuring the work of such greats as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn and others.

With more than 270,000 Jewish residents, Chicago has a wide variety of resources for the Jewish traveler.  Located across from Grant Park, the Spertus Museum and the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is the center of Jewish learning and enrichment in Chicago, where more than 200,000 people each year take part in creative, multi-dimensional programming.  The KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation (originally Orthodox and now Reform) was originally established in 1847 and claims to be the first synagogue in the midwest – its Neo-Byzantine architecture and stunning interior sanctuary is a designated Chicago landmark.

Nearby suburbs to the north of the city, such as Skokie, have attracted thousands of observant Jewish residents and boast restaurants, synagogues, bakeries and bookstores, as well as the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, which opened in April 2009.

Our 10 Favorite Things to See and Do in Chicago

Favorite Restaurants? Been There? Done That? Better Ideas? Tell Us in the Comments Below!