LOSS: Former Temple Judea Synagogue/ Lawndale Greater Missionary Baptist Church Demolished

Temple Judea Synagogue/ Lawndale Greater Missionary Baptist Church Detail, 1227 S. Independence Boulevard, Photo Credit: Razel613 Flickr
Temple Judea Synagogue Historic, Forgotten Synagogues, Chicago’s Jewish West Side, pg.43

Temple Judea was founded in 1914 and dedicated its synagogue at 1227 S. Independence Boulevard in 1917. This two-story yellow-brick structure was set back from the boulevard by a large courtyard. The building had brick ornament Stars of David, a pair of menorahs mounted on the limestone cornice, and stone Ten Commandments mounted above the two doorways. The building was demolished in May 2018.

Despite the large population of Eastern European Jews living in Lawndale during the early 20th century, Temple Judea was the only Reform temple in the Lawndale community. It hosted a variety of innovative programs for youth groups and a popular lecture series. The more traditional Jewish community within the neighborhood were often skeptical regarding the new practices of mixed seating for men and women, men without head covering, and riding on the Sabbath. (The Jews of Chicago, Cutler, pg. 216)

On June 24, 1954, the Chicago Tribune reported that the congregation sold its building to the Greater Progressive Baptist Church. The building later known as Lawndale Greater Missionary Baptist Church, in recent years had been cited for numerous code issues and had been in building court with structural issues tied to the rear walls which lead in part to the building’s demise.


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