Rabbi Vernon Kurtz: “The innocence, serenity, peace and quiet of Highland Park may be gone forever”

May you be comforted, my beloved Highland Park
Rabbi Vernon Kurtz
July 7, 2022

For 31 years, I had the privilege of serving as senior rabbi of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. Those were very good years for me and my family in a wonderful congregation and in a peaceful, friendly and beautiful community. We enjoyed living there taking long Shabbat walks on its tree-lined streets, experiencing the beauty of living on the shores of Lake Michigan, and being close enough to the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago, but far enough away that we could appreciate the serenity of its northern suburb. I left Highland Park as I retired from my pulpit in June 2019 and made aliyah to the State of Israel. READ MORE

TIMES OF ISRAEL Highland Park, shaken by July 4 shooting, has long and notable Jewish presence According to a 2020 study, the town is 50% Jewish; it has only seen a handful of major antisemitic incidents over the years…The entire North Shore region — which stretches over 20 miles along Lake Michigan, approximately from Evanston up to Lake Bluff — is heavily Jewish, and other adjacent suburbs northwest of Chicago, such as Buffalo Grove and Skokie, are also known for their large Jewish populations.

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