Communities and Enclaves: Where Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims Share the Neighborhoods

By Livezey, Lowell W. | Cross Currents, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Communities and Enclaves: Where Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims Share the Neighborhoods


Livezey, Lowell W., Cross Currents


An afternoon walk along Devon Avenue on Chicago's Far North Side gives one a tangible sense of that abstract concept "social diversity." Devon offers a glimpse of the neighborhoods that make up the community areas of Rogers Park and West Ridge (known locally as West Rogers Park), which we discuss here together simply as "Rogers Parks." The area lies between Lake Michigan on the east and the North Shore Channel on the west at the northern boundary of the City of Chicago, about two and a half by two miles in size. Its total 1990 population of 125,000 showed a slight increase from ten years previous, a fact that could be claimed by very few Chicago neighborhoods. The positive population trend was due to a combination of immigration (34 percent of the residents are foreign born)and in-migration from other parts of the city (mostly blacks and Hispanics moving to a better neighborhood). The residents of these neighborhoods represent an extraordinarily wide range of the racial and ethnic groups, social and economic classes, and religious faiths of the Chicago metropolitan area. And because many small shops along Devon are operated by the local residents and cater to them, the street provides a colorful lens on the cultures of the people who live nearby.

Research by the Religion in Urban America Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, from 1993 to 1998, provides the basis for my analysis of the religious dimension of local culture during that time. I argue that cultural innovation by religious organizations has encouraged the formation and maintenance of ethnoracial enclaves, which in turn characterize the diversity of Rogers Parks.

The walk eastward from Kedzie Avenue along Devon is a good way to enter the discussion. In the segment between Kedzie and California Avenues, which is officially designated Golda Meir Boulevard, Jewish residents can easily find most of the supplies needed for observance of the halachah (Jewish law) as interpreted by Orthodox rabbis. Here one can buy a wide variety of kosher groceries, choosing among alternatives that have been approved by different Jewish authorities determining what is kosher. And if there is any doubt about the requirements of observance, the beth din (rabbinic court) is nearby, not far from the mikvah (ritual bath) and the Kollel (a major center for adult religious study). Moreover, this part of Devon Avenue goes through an eruv, a geographic area constituted under Jewish law as the legal equivalent of the household - with the result that observant Jews can legally carry things on the Sabbath and on the High Holy Days.

Of the many Jewish institutions in Rogers Parks, we studied three in depth. Ezra Habonim is a Conservative congregation, the result of a merger of two German-speaking congregations. Although the older generations of its three hundred members are Germans and Austrians, it seeks to attract younger Jews of any nationality. The Sephardic Congregation is a community of about 250 Sephardic families who have come, either directly or by descent from immigrants earlier in this century, from the various Mediterranean countries in which the Spanish Jews settled. The congregation practices Orthodox observance, so most of its members live close enough to the synagogue to walk to services. Finally, we studied The Ark, a social service agency that follows halachah and conducts Shab bat services for staff, persons in their shelter, and many recent Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The time was when the Jewish dominance of Devon Avenue extended much further east than the corner of California Avenue, but now the brown sign indicating the honorary street name shows the next segment to be Gandhi Marg, and the vegetarian groceries, South Asian spices, and silk saris set the tone. The religious symbolism of the community is not as obvious as on Golda Meir Boulevard, in part because Indian culture involves many different religions-- Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, and Christianity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Communities and Enclaves: Where Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims Share the Neighborhoods
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.