Two families constituted the Jewish population of 
Chicago in 1843, when the first refugees from the Ger- 
man persecution of 1830-1840 found their way to Illi- 
nois. The Jewish Colonization Society had purchased 
a hundred and sixty acres of land at Shaumburg, Cook 
County; but only a few of the settlers took farms. 
Those who located in Chicago organized the first Jewish 
religious society in 1845. The history of the religious 
organizations forms the history of the colony for many 
years. In 1848 a society was chartered under the name 
Kehillath Ansh4 Maariv (Congregation of the Men of 
Obscurity). The first religious services were held at 
the corner of Lake and Wells Streets. In 1849 a syna- 
gogue was erected on Clark Street, between Quincy and 
Jackson. It was from the ranks of the Kehillath Ansh6 
Maariv Congregation that Reform Judaism in Chicago 
sprung. A few young men in this congregation formed 
a society called the Reform Association, to introduce 
changes into the services and doctrines. Unsuccessful 
in this, they seceded in 1861, and organized the Sinai 
Congregation, the first Chicago organization of Reform 
The location of the synagogues marks the region 
occupied by the Jewish colony. Before the fire they 
were situated in what is now the chief business district 
of the city. A whole chapter of social development