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In the beginning....

The National Council of Young Israel was founded in 1912, to combat the wave of assimilation by Jews into secular American society. At that time, American Jews were striving primarily for social and economic advancement, often leaving their religious observances behind. The Young Israel movement aimed to provide a positive Orthodox synagogue experience for newly-arrived immigrants and their future generations. The organization used the traditional communal synagogue to provide educational, religious, social, spiritual and communal programming.

Young Israel of Skokie (YIOS) opened its doors parshas Breishis in 1994.  It was started by a small group of families who were looking to attend a synagogue built on the principles of Torah, avodah and gemilus chassadim.  Additionally, these families were interested in establishing and maintaining a strong emphasis on the younger members of the Congregation--the children.  With these principles in mind, they chose to identify with the national Young Israel movement. YIOS began as a Shabbosminyan renting space from a local school.  As the membership grew, the school could no longer serve their needs, and a storefront was chosen to house the Shul.  One storefront became two, two storefronts became three, a full fledged shul was rented, and finally in 2014 they moved to their current home at 8746 East Prairie in Skokie,IL.

As the membership of YIOS grew, so did its programs. A Sunday minyan was started, which led to a weekday morning minyan, and eventually Mincha/Maariv in the summer and a Maariv minyan in the winter. With the addition of Rabbi Gershon Eliezer Schaffel as Rabbi in 1996, numerous classes were added to the weekly schedule. The Chessed Committee arranges meals for those in need, as well as other chessed projects for the members of the Shul.  Throughout the synagogue’s growth, the members never lost sight of their most precious possessions--their children. The children’s programs on Shabbos morning are divided by age group to provide each child with the most appropriate atmosphere for them to learn about davening and the weekly parsha.

At YIOS, we like to believe that we provide a warm environment for all Jews to come and become part of our family. The davening and Torah reading are treated with great respect, and we make a concerted effort to minimize conversation. We take great pride in hearing compliments from visitors who take note of the serious attitude the members take towards their davening. Baruch Hashem, we have had tremendous success in achieving the original goals of the Shul, and we pray that we should continue to grow, and provide our membership and the rest of the community meaningful opportunities for Torah, avodah and gemilus chassadim

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784