Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois 



 

Oakwoods Cemetery: Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol South

Link to FAQ: (Frequently Asked Questions)

From the Congregation Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Kesser Maariv Anshe Luknik website:

Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Kesser Maariv Anshe Luknik is the oldest orthodox congregation in the midwest. The congregation's first minyan took place under the name of Bnai Jacob Congregation in 1865, using a Torah sent to them by David Zemansky, a trader from New York. Mr. Zemansky arrived in Chicago one year later and started a separate minyan in his home. The two congregations merged in March 1867 under the name Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Ubnai Jacob. The Congregation's first building was located on Pacific Avenue, south of Van Buren Street on land purchased from Henry Horner. The synagogue soon engaged their first spiritual leader, Rabbi Todras Ticktin. A cheder and Talmud Torah were quickly established, as was the congregation's burial grounds, located in Oakwoods Cemetery. The synagogue's charter at Oakwoods pre-dates the Charter of the City of Chicago.

The congregation moved and merged several times during its long and distinguished history, including sites in downtown Chicago, the south side, the west side and, most recently, the East Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago's north side. 

Independent of the development and growth of Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Ubnai Jacob, the Lukniker Shul (named after the city of Luknik in Poland) was established on the west side and Congregation Kesser Maariv was formed (in East Rogers Park) in the late 1920s. Both of these Congregations were to play a role in the move of Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Ubnai Jacob to Chicago's north side. During the 1940s, prior to the disintegration of the old west side Jewish community, the Lukniker Shul and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Ubnai Jacob merged, incorporating the names of both former congregations. The rabbi of the new congregation was Rabbi Zev W. Wein.

Link to the shul's history on their website:   http://www.kessermaariv.org/about.html


Some of the main gate is gone.  And, beyond the gate there once was an administrative building, now demolished.


This is a cemetery within a cemetery, Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol is not owned by Dignity who owns Oakwoods.



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