Lawn Manor Hebrew Congregation, was a conservative Jewish Synagogue on Chicago's Southwest Side. Located in in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, the synagogue grew out of the Lawn Manor Community Center at 66th Street and Troy Street in the early 1930's. The community center, a gathering place for the small number of Jewish families living in the area, developed into a synagogue and Hebrew School under Rabbi Mordecai Schutlz. Rabbi Schultz served the congregation for forty years, retiring in August of 1974. By the early 1950's, the congregation served over three hundred families.
They built a new synagogue and Hebrew School to replace the one on Troy, and located it at 66th Street and Kedzie Avenue. The Rabbi and congregation wanted to ensure that the synagogue was a house of prayer and learning, first and foremost. They held a minyan twice a day, every day. To ensure the religiously mandated quorum of ten Jewish people in order to hold the service, Rabbi Schultz would walk down 66th Street past the public school playground in search of Jewish children playing ball. He would invite them to join the minyan, in the manner of a father making a request of his children. The children rarely refused.
Besides daily services and holiday observances, Hebrew School, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Jewish Youth League, AZA, and B'nai Brith Girls met at Lawn Manor. Adult education was also encouraged by Rabbi Schultz. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt spoke at Lawn Manor on January 22, 1958, as part of a lecture series sponsored by the synagogue. Other speakers who were participants in that particular series included Ann Landers and Harry Golden.
The synagogue's (and Rabbi Schultz's in particular) approach to community participation was ecumenical. The Rabbi was an active member of the Chicago Lawn Clergy Association. In 1966, when the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Marquette Park to march against anti-Black and anti-Semitic hostilities. Lawn Manor Hebrew Congregation became the safe house for Dr. King, should it be needed. Rabbi Schultz sat vigil that day and night in the synagogue in case things turned bad. No harm came to Dr. King, and calm was restored to the Marquette Park area.
Rabbi Schultz retired in 1974, and died on June 17, 1975. Rabbi Schultz was succeeded by Rabbi David Tamarkin, and later by Rabbi Prombaum. Today, the synagogue is home to congregation Beth Shalom B'Nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation (House of Peace for the Children of the Ancients)https://localwiki.org/chicago/Beth_Shalom_B%27Nai_Zaken. This congregation is led by Chief Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr., and Rabbi Avraham.
Circa 1956. Left to right: Dan Cohen, Rabbi Mordecai Schultz, unknown, Leo Hoffman