Symbol of the Society

The images, reading from left to right:


Fort Dearborn - Stood at the mouth of the Chicago River 1803-1812; rebuilt 1816-1856.

Two Jewish-Owned Stores on Clark Street - 1857. Deliveries were made by horse and wagon.

“Concordia Guards” - Company C of the 82nd Illinois Infantry Regiment which fought in the Civil War. So nicknamed because Jewish donors raised funds to support a Jewish Company at Chicago’s Concordia Club on August 13, 1862.

American Flag with Hebrew Inscription - an inspiring quotation from Joshua 1:4-9; presented by Chicago City Clerk Abraham Kohn to Abraham Lincoln in February 1861.

Chicago Fire and Water Tower - The 1871 conflagration and the surviving landmark. 

Museum of Science and Industry - established in 1926 by Julius Rosenwald; site of the Bicentennial Jewish Exhibition in 1976 which inspired the founding of the CJHS.

Hagbah Ritual - A man lifts the Torah scroll and displays it to the congregation.

Maxwell Street Market - bustling center of Near West Side neighborhood until the area was acquired by the University of Illinois.

Hull House - four red sixpointed stars and two blue stripes on a white field.

Municipal Flag of Chicago - Four six-pointed red stars on a field of blue and white stripes. 

The Auditorium - historic multi-use architecture by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, completed in 1889 (upper stories and tower not shown).

Three Patriots Monument - George Washington, Robert Morris, and Haym Salomon; Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue; dedicated in 1941.

Chicago Loop Synagogue - showing Hands of Peace sculpture by Henri Azaz and stained glass window by Abraham Rattner, 1958.

Very early in its life, the Chicago Jewish Historical Society was fortunate enough to acquire a distinctive and eye-catching logo by Rose Ann Chasman Z”L, a local artist and a founding CJHS member. The logo contains an illustrated running history of the city, with emphasis upon its Jewish aspects. Chasman used the typeface American Uncial and added her own Hebrew calligraphy for the accompanying quotation from Isaiah 51:1, which encapsulates the Society’s purpose: “Look to the rock from which you were hewn.”

Chasman went on to enjoy a successful career creating Judaic art using Hebrew letterforms—in paper cutting, ketubot (decorative Jewish marriage contracts), and synagogue installations. Shortly before her death in 2007 she generously provided us with a new pen-and-ink drawing of the logo.

In 1999, we began producing our publications on computer. To approximate the uncial typeface used by Chasman, we chose the digital font Neue Hammer Unziale. We learned that it was named for its designer, Austrian-born Victor Hammer (1882-1967), a distinguished printer who devoted a great deal of his life to the design and development of the letterform known as the uncial, the calligraphy used by medieval scribes. His Hammer Unziale was produced in 1921.

In 1939, Hammer fled the Nazis, leaving all his cutting and casting tools and most of his fonts in Austria, and came to the United States where he had been offered a post teaching art and lettering at Wells College in New York. It was here that he began work on his best known type, American Uncial. With the help of the Society of Typographical Arts (STA) in Chicago, sufficient money was raised to complete the project.

So it turns out that every element of our logo has a Chicago connection!