Three aldermen will host a community meeting next week to discuss expanding an eruv in Evanston -- a symbolic enclosure that makes it religiously permissible for Orthodox Jews to carry objects outside their homes on the Sabbath.
A portion of south Evanston, from the CTA Yellow Line tracks to Howard Street and from the Metra tracks to the North Shore Channel, is already included in what's known as the West Rogers Park Eruv.
And eruvs exist in portions of Skokie, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Northbrook and Buffalo Grove, as well as near Belmot Harbor on Chicago's north side.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the eruv would be expanded and maintained with private funds. Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein of the Tannenbaum Chabad House has been the city's main contact with a group of residents hoping to expand the eruv, Bobkiewicz added.
Eruvs have been criticized as an example of religious hypocrisy and a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state and became the subject of a heated controversy recently in one New Jersey town. But some observers also see them as liberating for observant women with young children -- since even pushing a stroller would otherwise be forbidden on the Sabbath.
The meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Room 2404 of the Civic Center, will be hosted by aldermen Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward; Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, and Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward.