JCCWRP Annual Meeting – July 17, 2017

The Annual Meeting of the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park will take place on:


Monday, July 17, 2017

          7:30 PM at the Bernard Horwich JCC

          3003 W Touhy Ave

          Chicago, IL 60645


We have invited Alderman Debra Silverstein to report to us on her priorities for the coming year.  We also will be hearing a report from Edin Seferovic, the Executive Director of the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce on the Chamber’s economic development agenda in our neighborhood.

Finally we will hear a report from our Nominating Committee on recommendations for Board membership and officers for the coming year as well as reports from our Executive Director, Scott "Shalom" Klein and myself.


An annual report is always an occasion for stock-taking.  A look back to the previous year and an articulation of plans for the future.


We should feel satisfaction at last year’s accomplishments.  A new park that is under construction at Devon & McCormick that will transform a once squalid site into a new gem for our community.


Implementation plans for a new facility for the Northtown Library scheduled to open in December, 2018.


The Magenta Sister Stores prospering at the corner of Pratt & Kedzie.


We had a positive role in all of those steps forward.


Nevertheless, the key to success is not to dwell unnecessarily on past achievements but, rather to envision what comes next and to establish new goals for the future.


I believe that our agenda going forward must include a redoubled effort to fill additional empty storefronts and to improve existing businesses.  With the proven Magenta model, we should attempt to find other home-based businesses whose owners might see the wisdom of following in their footsteps.  Working with Alderman Silverstein and the Chamber we can address zoning code violations, thus making the neighborhood more attractive to new businesses.


Finally, while most of us are personally invested in WRP, maintaining our residences, shuls and communal agencies, we need to come together as a community to better utilize the public spaces that are available to us.  Lerner Park’s new playground that the Alderman advocated for and has brought to fruition is a magnet for families with children, but the rest of the park is empty most of the time.  There are not even enough comfortable benches for people to gather.  What about programming and improvements comparable to what exists at other parks?  One look at Indian Boundary Park, Peterson Park and others will make it clear what Lerner Park lacks.  A fully developed park is a magnet for community building.  Lerner Park can and should be that magnet.


I am sure that many of you have additional ideas for us.  Let me know what’s on your priority list.