WBEZ | synagogues http://www.wbez.org/tags/synagogues Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en DuPage amends rules on places of assembly http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage-amends-rules-places-assembly-93066 <p><p>DuPage County has new rules on where places of assembly, including places of worship, can set up. The county board Tuesday voted unanimously to allow those institutions into all zoning districts by right. That means they won’t have to go through a lengthy and costly process of seeking permission from the county to set up on land they purchase. Currently, churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship are not allowed by right in any zoning districts in DuPage County.</p><p>The new requirements include a greater minimum lot size and, for groups trying to set up in residential neighborhoods, access to an arterial road and public water and sewer lines. The amendment also prohibits groups from purchasing houses to use as worship spaces.</p><p>The measures come after more than a year of intense discussions with community and religious groups. Last year the county considered a blanket ban on allowing religious and other assembly uses into unincorporated residential neighborhoods. The sweeping approach prompted an outcry from community groups such as DuPage United, and concerns that it might violate federal and state laws that provide special protections for religious land uses.</p><p>County officials, community organizers and religious leaders agree that they were able to come together in a positive way, and do so with a positive approach.</p><p>“I think that it is going to open up a whole new avenue for places of assembly into DuPage County,” said DuPage County board member Tony Michelassi, “and I think that it reflects how DuPage is changing.”</p><p>But Amy Lawless of DuPage United still has reservations about the new rules. “We still recognize that it will prevent many, many congregations from even considering to build,” she said, “because it will be so costly in order to meet all of these restrictions.”</p><p>Lawless points out that Muslim congregations in particular may be effectively kept out of unincorporated residential districts because the groups often start out small, and coming up with the money required to meet the technical requirements may be impossible. The Muslim community is among the fastest growing population in west suburban DuPage County.</p></p> Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/dupage-amends-rules-places-assembly-93066 Despite questions, Jewish groups focus on security http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/despite-questions-jewish-groups-focus-security <p><p>Jewish institutions in the Chicago area say that even if questions mount over whether or why they may have been targeted in a recent bomb plot, they&rsquo;re re-examining their security practices.&nbsp;The recent scare involved packaged explosives that were mailed from Yemen and intercepted in London and Dubai.&nbsp;</p> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The packages were being sent to Jewish entities that no longer exist at those addresses. Federal officials have also said the devices were likely intended to explode in the planes carrying them.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Still, Jay Tcath of the Jewish United Fund in Chicago, says Chicago&rsquo;s Jewish community should take the threats seriously seriously. &ldquo;We are looking, frankly, to exploit the attention span of the community,&rdquo; said Tcath, &ldquo;and review things which we have been talking to them about over the years, and in other instances to bring new information about security developments to their attention.&rdquo;</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Some of that new information centers on how to detect and handle suspicious mail packages, said Tcath. At a security briefing with federal officials on Monday night, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service shared tips with synagogue and Jewish institution leaders.</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">At the same security briefing, U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Jesse Jackson Jr. called on the Department of Homeland Security to hold public hearings to share findings of the investigation into the foiled attack.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 09 Nov 2010 20:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/despite-questions-jewish-groups-focus-security