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“Memories of Growing Up in Chicago: Recalling Life During the 20th Century” by Neal Samors

  • 30 Jun 2024
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Illinois
  • 135


  • Choose this ticket if you intend to attend the meeting in person. The Temple will open at 12:30 p.m. CST to accommodate those who want to use our genealogy library or the Help Desk before the main program begins at 2 p.m. We will still share the Zoom link with you in case you change your mind.
  • Choose this type of ticket if you intend to watch the event via Zoom.

Registration is closed

Author to speak IN PERSON on his book featuring first-person accounts of prominent 20th century Chicagoans as part of a joint JGSI-Chicago Jewish Historical Society meeting on June 30, 2024

Neal Samors, an author, co-author, and publisher of more than 30 books about Chicago, will talk about his latest work, “Memories of Growing Up in Chicago: Recalling Life During the 20th Century,” on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at 2 p.m., at Northbrook’s Temple Beth-El. His presentation is co-sponsored by the Chicago Jewish Historical Society (CJHS) and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois (JGSI).

Samors will be speaking IN PERSON at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook, Illinois, and his talk will be available online via Zoom for those who register to attend remotely.

Please register/RSVP by clicking the button at left.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. Central Time for those who want to use genealogy library materials, including our collection of maps; get help with family history websites, ask genealogical questions, or just chat, before the main program begins at 2 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome; however, registration is strongly encouraged.

Samors’ latest work, on which he collaborated with Thomas O’Gorman and Christopher Lynch, pays tribute to neighborhoods in every section of Chicago. It also includes reflections on growing up in adjoining suburbs, such as Skokie, Evanston, and Park Ridge.

The first-person voices in “Memories” are those of dozens of native Chicagoans, at least a third of whom are Jewish—Jo Baskin Minow, Shelley Berman, Richard Elrod, Sheldon Patinkin, Walter Jacobson, and Joel Weisman, among them. Other lesser-known Jewish contributors share stories of growing up in Humboldt Park, Avondale, and South Shore.

Samors said that he has been collecting the stories of Chicagoans for more than a quarter of a century, and that he was fortunate, over this time, to acquire first-person accounts of former public officials, including Illinois Attorney General Neil Hartigan, the late Illinois Governor James Thompson, United States Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, all of whom grew up in and around Chicago. Samors said he was able to interview Clinton, thanks to a personal congressional connection: He and United States Representative Jan Schakowsky, attended Chicago’s Sullivan High School together.

The book opens with Samors’ own boyhood experiences in Chicago’s East Rogers Park. Historic black-and-white photos of Chicago neighborhoods are featured throughout the coffee table-size book, which has been published by Samors’ publishing house, Chicago’s Books Press, and which is available as a print-on-demand publication in soft cover and hardcover at Amazon.com.

This joint CJHS-JGSI event is free for all. Those who cannot attend in person will be able to view the program on Zoom. Following his talk, Samors will sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase. Attendees can also schmooze with him during a refreshment hour, which will feature coffee, tea, and kosher pastries.

For more information on the JGSI, visit our website or phone 312-666-0100. For information about membership benefits, click here.

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JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.