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Spertus Closed for Christmas Holiday

Spertus Closed for Christmas Holiday

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 to Saturday, December 27, 2014

Occasionally in the past, Spertus Institute has been on open on Christmas Day. This year, however, Spertus will be closed to give our staff a well-earned break.  

Looking for something to do? Here are some suggestions:

  • The Eleven City Diner is open until 8 pm on Christmas Day, both at its original location in the South Loop at 11th and Wabash and in Lincoln Park at Clark and Belden (where the old Belden Deli was located).
  • Milt's BBQ for the Perplexed, located at 3411 N Broadway, is open until 10 pm on Christmas Day.
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo is open every day, year round. 
  • Many locations in and around Chicago's famous Chinatown will be open.
  • Jewish singles can check out The Matzo Ball at Crimson Lounge at the Sax. A longtime holiday tradition, The Matzo Ball is billed as the nation's biggest Jewish singles mixer

We also suggest you can contact your local JCCs to check for programs and events.

Name That Tune

Wouldn't you know it? Turns out a lot of those holiday songs you've been hearing over and over (and over) again on the radio were actually written by Jews! Here's a list of the top Christmas songs penned by members of the Hanukkah crowd.

1) "Winter Wonderland," lyrics by Felix Bernard (born Bernhardt). You heard that right. The man behind rhyming "snowman" with "no, man" was Jewish!

2) "Silver Bells," music by Jay Livingston (b. Levison) and Roy Evans.

3) "I'll Be Home for Christmas," by Buck Ram and Walter Kent. The original title? "I'll Be Home for Christmas, Or Else My Mother Will Worry."

4) "Let It Snow," by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne.

5) "White Christmas," by Irving Berlin. Bing Crosby (not a Jew) made this song famous. His version is the best-selling single in history.

A Little Nosh for Santa Claus 

Sure, Hanukkah's over. But that doesn't mean you have to put down the cookie cutter and give up holiday baking for good! Here are some recipes that add a touch of Yiddishkeit to the holiday cheer.

1) Admit it. You're still craving latkes. Try these Fa-La-La Latkes for a spin on the traditional potato pancake.

2) Wondering what to do with that leftover gelt? Bake some Gelt Melt Cookies. You just have to see them to believe!

3) A Jewish staple takes the place of a traditional Christmas bird in this Gefilte Goose recipe.

A Jewish Christmas Classic

Chinese FoodTo many Jews, the term "holiday movies" rings a bell — and not just a sleigh bell. Holiday movies are those that are available to see on Christmas day, when Jews around the country celebrate with the traditional pairing of a movie and Chinese food. In fact, the tradition of Jews, Christmas, and Chinese food is so much a part of the America Jewish experience that it played a role in the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings of Justice Elena Kagan. Senator Lindsey Graham, in questioning Ms. Kagan about her views on the war on terror, inquired about where she was on Christmas day 2009, the date of the failed attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by a passenger with explosives sewn to his underwear. Kagan responded, to well-deserved applause, "Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant." You should watch the clip. It's hilarious. Senator Patrick Leahy needed the joke explained to him by New York Senator — and Jew — Chuck Schumer.

Click here for a Chicago Tribune article on why Jews traditionally eat Chinese food on Christmas.