Passover started at the beginning of this week. For those unfamiliar with the holiday, it is traditional to clean out the whole house to remove all crumbs and then eat special foods and use special dishes for the week of Passover. Preparing for the holiday takes weeks, and usually is a big deal even for those who are less observant, who use it as a time to come together with friends and family and celebrate the Jewish community. A century ago this Chicago Jewish Community Blue Book gave information about the Jewish community and highlighted philanthropic efforts of members of the community. Most appealing in this guide are the advertisements, however, giving as they do a glimpse into a world that is vanished but still present, for example the Lane Bryant advertisement on page 92, which references the importance of shopping at Lane Bryant to save time and money for war work.
Written by Margaret Heller, Digital Services Librarian, Loyola University Chicago