Our  History

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Stained glass window, originally installed in the 1928 Joliet Synagogue

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Burning Bush sculpture in our Synagogue courtyard

The first Jewish settlers came to Joliet around 1893. As more Jews arrived they organized services in people’s homes. By the time there were three separate groups in town, the need for a Synagogue became evident. In 1911, the first Hebrew School was organized, and a short time later a Synagogue was established. Shortly thereafter, a second congregation was organized.

In 1922, the Jewish community consolidated all the Jewish organizations from one synagogue, which included the Mt. Moriah Cemetery. The consolidation is believed to be the first synagogue organized in the United States to simultaneously serve orthodox, conservative and reform needs of the Jewish people in the same community. In 1928, the first Synagogue building built from the ground up was consecrated.

After WWII, the congregation changed its name to Joliet Jewish Congregation. The community prospered and grew. In 1968, the current building was erected.

 

The congregation is made up of a small and energetic group of Jewish families. We believe that the growth in Chicago's southwest suburban area will result in additional Jewish families joining our congregation. We offer a sound religious education for the children and a community of caring individuals within a traditional Jewish setting.