Young Jewish families, lured by housing opportunities, excellent school systems, good park districts and access to major highways, have moved in significant numbers over the past two decades to northwest suburban communities. As the numbers increased, so did the Jewish environment.
Communities like Hoffman Estates, Wheeling, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights and Long Grove all enjoyed significant growth, but probably the greatest influx was in Buffalo Grove.
Located 35 miles from downtown Chicago (a Metra train station enhances commuting to downtown) in both Cook and Lake Counties, Buffalo Grove is described as a great place to raise children both in terms of quality of education and Jewish community activities through local congregations and the Northwest Suburban Jewish Community Center.
Buffalo Grove has more than 380 acres of parks, three public golf courses and a variety of park district programs for children and adults. It also is home to a variety of kosher food stores.
Arlington Heights, 27 miles from the Loop, boasts an award winning park district, relatively affordable housing, good schools and business climate. There are two Metra stops for commuters to Chicago. Elk Grove Village, 22 miles from downtown Chicago, has a business park reputed to be the largest of its type in the country, helping to keep property taxes low. More than one-third of Hoffman Estates is forest preserve and nearly 600 acres are used as parks and recreational areas.
There is a variety of single family homes and townhouses. Wheeling is another of the region's fast-growing communities, fueled by industrial expansion and affordable housing. It is a 20-minute drive to O'Hare Airport and buses connect with the Loop and nearby suburbs.
Long Grove is an upscale community with a quaint business district that attracts shoppers from near and far to its more than 100 distinctive shops. Schaumburg, 29 miles from the Loop, is home to the massive Woodfield mall and nearby Woodfield Village Green shopping complex. The eastern border of Schaumburg abuts a forest preserve with miles of walking and biking paths. Express Metra trains reach the Loop in 40 minutes.
As the region's Jewish population grew, new congregations were formed and today the Jewish community is served by synagogues in Buffalo Grove, Long Grove and Hoffman Estates.
Residents from several communities participate in the broad range of activities offered at the Northwest Suburban JCC in the Jacob Duman Community Building in Buffalo Grove. In September, 1999, the Center opened its first satellite facility in the Woodland Commons in northern Buffalo Grove to accommodate increasing needs for early childhood and children's programs. The Duman Building also houses offices of Jewish Federation agencies.