In JCC of Chicago’s 100 years of continuous service, the agency has impacted thousands of lives in Chicago and surrounding communities. The following JCC history timeline illustrates how JCC has evolved and adapted during its century of service to reflect the changing needs and challenges facing the Chicago Jewish community.
Approximately 75,000 Jewish people settled in Chicago as they escaped the pogroms in Eastern Europe. As more and more eastern European Jews moved into the West side, the need for assistance and social adjustment grew significantly.
To help immigrants adapt to American life, a group of young West Side Jewish men raised $250 to establish a community center (later named Chicago Hebrew Institute) that would offer classes in English, Jewish literature, foreign languages, music and sciences to immigrants.
On November 12, 1903, the Chicago Hebrew Institute (224 Blue Island Ave., Chicago) was founded.