Religion & Beliefs

Chicago’s Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies

Here in Chicago, the community is rather chatty about the new Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies opening a new $55M facility on Michigan Avenue. This building is, I have to admit, really quite stunning and Friday, it opens to the … Read More

By / November 28, 2007

Here in Chicago, the community is rather chatty about the new Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies opening a new $55M facility on Michigan Avenue. This building is, I have to admit, really quite stunning and Friday, it opens to the public, finally. For those of you not familiar with Spertus, allow me to introduce you. It started in 1924 as Chicago's College of Jewish Studies and currently boasts a 15,000-piece collection of Jewish art and artifacts, a library and graduate school. The new ten-floor building adds a Wolfgang Puck kosher cafe (as you know already because you read it over on Jewcy's Pickled blog), areas to rent for events (someone please hold a simcha there and invite me, please, please, please), a 400-seat theater, a really fantastic Judaica gift shop, and a children's center is set of open in a few months. It's a lot. And, it's really great. It's not a terrible idea, either, to get yourself on the mailing list of events, as I can personally attest to how wonderful their lectures and other public events are.

And, if you happen to be in Chicago with kids on Christmas Day, when everything is closed but movie theaters and Chinese restaurants, Spertus can save the day with family events all day long featuring the music of Rav Shmuel, a chess tournament, and all sorts of crafts and activities. No need for reservations and it's totally free (thought they encourage you to bring a few nonperishables for their EZRA food drive). Not too shabby.

So, if you are here in Chicago, or plan to be sometime soon, hit the website, plan your visit, and, maybe just maybe, I'll see you there.