Rabbi Herman Schaalman
Rabbi Herman Schaalman is one of the preeminent persons in the informal organization of the Edgewater community over the past 50 years. He has been in the front rank of developing the cohesion that is an important part of our community. Despite Edgewater’s diverse population, the residents of this area not only get along, they thrive in the diversity and celebrate it. The development of various community organizations is the direct result of people like Rabbi Schaalman’s involvement.
Rabbi Schaalman has been a part of the Edgewater community since 1955, first co-founding the Edgewater Clergy and Rabbi Association, a first collaboration of its kind in Chicago, which eventually became the Edgewater Community Religious Association. Early on, ECRA organized a neighborhood survey to assess Edgewater’s demographics and needs. From this initiative Care for Real and the Edgewater Community Council were founded, grass roots organizations dedicated to all things Edgewater. That success is the legacy of today’s Edgewater – a diverse community with respect and acceptance of other cultures and a desire to work together to build a cohesive, supportive community.
Rabbi Herman Schaalman:
“We did what we did because it was what you were supposed
to do – help create an expectation for a better life.”
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