The Greater Chicago Jewish Festival descended on Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods for its biannual celebration Sunday afternoon. The event is the largest Jewish festival in the Chicago area and one of the longest running in the country, having started in 1980.
One highlight of the Festival, . He is the Democratic candidate for Congress running against in the Nov. 6 general election.
“I wanted to be there for the tribute to Debbie Friedman,” Schneider said. “We all grew up with Debbie Friedman’s songs.”
Friedman, who died at 59 17 months ago, is responsible for much of the music played and sung in Jewish liturgy today, according to Nancy Landsman. Landsman, who was at the Festival, is the cantor at Glencoe’s Congregation Am Shalom. “I studied with her, she taught me Hebrew,” Landsman said.
Dold, who was at the festival as well, spent several hours talking to people about their concerns.
A variety of people played a role in returning the event this year, including Skokie trustee Michael Lorge, the Jewish Production Organization for Cultural Events and Theater and many others.
Every two years, the festival is produced with a handful of goals in mind: to educate the Jewish community about its multi-faceted culture, to reach out to the general community to show the breadth and depth of the Jewish community, to provide Jewish artists and musicians with a venue to present and develop their work, to show Jewish children the community does not only gather in times of crisis and to encourage tolerance.
Alan Levitt, of the McHenry County Jewish Congregation, explained why he liked coming to the festival: "we come for the music and it's just cool to have all the Jewish community in one place.” Levitt continued, "Especially when you're from McHenry County, to come out here and get all these Jews together is just great for us.”