Photo Credit: Jewish Press

At the time the congregation was founded, Minhag Ashkenaz was adopted as the ritual for the synagogue, and it was a strictly Orthodox shul. This is not at all surprising in light of the fact that most of the Jews who first settled in Chicago were from Germany. However, as was the case in most synagogues in America during the middle of the 19th century, many congregants began to agitate for reforms. In light of this, Rev. Kunreuther severed his ties with the congregation in 1853 and retired to private life. Sadly, it did not take long after that for K.A.M. to become a reform temple.





[ii] The Jews of Chicago by H. Elliassof, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society (1893 – 1961), 1903; 11, AJHS Journal page 117 and ff.


[iv] The Jews of Chicago by H. Elliassof

[v] History of Kehillath Anshe Maarabh (Congregation of the Men of the West) by Dr. B. Felsenthal and Herman Elliassof, Chicago, 1897 pages 17-18.



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Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He then taught as an adjunct at Stevens until 2014. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at