Jane Addams & Her Jewish Neighbors

Tzivi’s Spotlight for December ‘07

People who remember where the “Maxwell Street Market” neighborhood used to be don’t need me to remind them that Hull-House is located in the heart of what was once one of Chicago’s most heavily-populated Jewish neighborhoods.  Therefore, it is no surprise that prominent Jewish philanthropists such as Julius Rosenwald (president of Sears, Roebuck) provided critical financial & material support.

Of all Hilda Polacheck’s annecdotes about Jane Addams, this one about her wedding reception (on page 126) is my favorite:

“When I was finally lead to a table and seated between Bill [the groom] and my mother, Jane Addams whispered in my ear that I must tell my mother than the chickens in the chicken salad were kosher.  That was the tolerant, generous, & understanding heart of Jane Addams. She had gone to all that trouble to please my mother. But what she did not know was that the dishes, the butter, the cream in the coffee, the ice cream, & the small cakes baked with butter made everything not kosher.”

Read more in my December column for the JUF NEWS (pdf attached). Illinois will celebrate its first annual Jane Addams Day on December 10, 2008 & AAUW-Illinois has planned a program at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday 12/8.  We invite you ALL to celebrate with us!

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