Neighborhood Stories : Northern Lakefront Suburbs

Neighborhood Stories

Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest

In the early 1900s, the northern lakefront became a popular place for affluent Chicagoans to establish summer residences. By 1920, a number of Jews had become year-round residents of Highland Park and Glencoe, finding those communities more welcoming than other North Shore towns.

Highland Park, at the southern end of Lake County and Glencoe, at the northern border of Cook County, have continued to attract Jewish families in growing numbers. Some Jewish families are also moving to Lake Forest to the immediate north of Highland Park.

Drive through the tree-lined ravine areas, pass by stately, upscale homes, or pause to visit the beautiful beaches and recreational sites and you'll understand the attraction. Glencoe is home to the Chicago Botanic Garden with 385 spectacular acres. It also has the third largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in the country. At the southern end of Highland Park is the internationally-acclaimed venue of the performing arts, Ravinia Festival. Highland Park has twice won the All American City Award as well as a Presidential award for excellence in education and high honors for its park district.

Other area amenities include attractive downtown business districts, good Metra train and Pace bus service and access to major highways. There are a number of high caliber theatre, music and arts groups and recreational facilities. In terms of health care, the area is served by Highland Park Hospital, a 300-bed medical center, and Lake Forest Hospital..

The first synagogue in the area was established in 1920; today, the Jewish community has access to eight congregations in Glencoe and Highland Park, with abundant spiritual and educational opportunities for children and adults. Over and above the regular religious school classes, there are early childhood programs plus adult education sessions. In addition, area residents may participate in the various educational, cultural and recreational activities of the nearby Bernard Weinger JCC in Northbrook. The Jewish Federation and its agencies provides a full range of services and programs.

Highland Park offers a variety of kosher food shops and a restaurant.


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