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Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

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Address: 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1901
Phone Number: +1 312-322-1700
Website
Description:

Chicago's Jewish education and cultural center. Spertus offers an array of...

Chicago's Jewish education and cultural center. Spertus offers an array of interesting programming (all open to the public), including lectures, performances, films, exhibits, and lectures, some presented by the esteemed faculty who teach for its graduate programs. Programs take place in the award-winning Spertus building on South Michigan Avenue as well as select locations around Chicago and the suburbs. (The stunning building, with its fabulous views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan, is worth a visit just to see. It's also available as a venue for events.) The building includes a 400-seat theater and a gift shop that carries art, books, and contemporary and traditional Jewish ceremonial gifts. Exhibits are free. Program and performance prices vary. Check website for schedule. Easily accessible by public transportation (Red Line to Harrison). Discount parking available in nearby lots with validation.

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Great architecture; mediocre museum

When Spertus built this museum, the architectural critics raved about the building. It is an amazing glass building with very unusual geometric designs. I guess they ran out of... read more

3 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 June 2015
Paul C
,
Chicago, Illinois
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12 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 12: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
374 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2015

When Spertus built this museum, the architectural critics raved about the building. It is an amazing glass building with very unusual geometric designs. I guess they ran out of money when it came to curating the museum. In their prior building, they displayed much more in a smaller space. Their first effort at curating exhibits was to follow the "trend"of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Paul C
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2015

I attended a performance of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Charles Mingus in the theater at the Institute. The upstairs theater was intimate, modern and clean. The bathrooms were also cleaner than local businesses and museums nearby. The upstairs windows give a lovely night view of the park. The architecture feels unique and protective of the inner... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank KimRChicago
Sudbury,ON
Level Contributor
458 reviews
188 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2015

The 2nd and 7th floors were bare of exhibits when we visited this week. The incredibly lovely Miriam Shabbat artefacts made up for that. Modern takes on ancient symbolism are breathtakingly beautiful. The shop is closed on Tuesdays which was a disappointment but likely saved us a packet as reproductions of the exhibit are on sale. Always top of our... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank CanBrit1
Chesterfield, MO
Level Contributor
339 reviews
219 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2014

The Spertus Institute stands out on Michigan Avenue literally with a glass façade that looks like an origami experiment. They have a small art collection, just go to the gift shop and they will give you a description and location of the art throughout the building. Most of it is on the first floor, but there are small pieces on... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank jjctraveler
Betsy_from_Chicago, Public Relations Manager at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, responded to this review

Thanks, Jcctraveler! We're glad you were able to stop by and experience a moment of pause and relaxation in our little oasis. Thanks for the great review, and feel free to come back any time! More 

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
123 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2013

The location is ideal for taking some time to visit. it need not be a long visit. The gift shop has many items. There was not a lot to see but it was still a moving, worthwhile experience. The building is designed with a window wall built from 726 individual pieces of glass in 556 different shapes. It is meant... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank yyz_kat
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
804 reviews
310 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2012

The Spertus Institute isn't much of a museum; it's a school, library, and cultural center. We checked in and were sent to the bookstore which provided us with directions through the building. On the first floor there is a small exhibit about how the Chicago Jewish community helped with the founding of Israel. On the second floor there are computers... More 

Helpful?
Thank areview28
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
145 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2012

Whether you visit the Spertus center because you are interested in the Jewish history of Chicago, or you are interested in architecture, this is a must-see in Chicago. Fabulously located on Michigan Avenue, the building has won numerous architecture awards (http://www.spertus.edu/about/architecture). It is a pleasure to look around, and has rotating exhibits on Jews in Chicago.

Helpful?
Thank jonekn
Management response:

Thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed your visit. More 

Detroit
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2012

There are tons of rotating exhibits in the school with a self-guided tour that you really should go to if you have some time. The gift shop is very pretty and has a ton of beautiful pieces for Jewish family life that cannot be found elsewhere. The pieces are expensive but quality is well worth the price. Easy to get... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn W
Betsy_from_Chicago, Public Relations Manager at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, responded to this review

Thanks so much for the review! Glad you enjoyed your visit. - Spertus More 

illinois
Level Contributor
35 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2012

Totally to committed to the history of the Jewish experience.

Helpful?
Thank lewsyl
Oak Lawn
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2012

the itstute has an intersting halocust exibit and an inter active archyology set up for kids

Helpful?
Thank OakLawnJayC

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Staying in Downtown / The Loop

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Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
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