This year, the Online News Association conference overlaps with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which began at sunset Wednesday, Sept. 24, and ends at nightfall Friday, Sept. 26. For ONA14 attendees looking for places to observe the religious holiday, there are plenty of options.
Two main synagogues are near the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, ONA14’s home base. Central Synagogue, at 845 N Michigan Ave., about 10 blocks north of the hotel, is less than a mile away; and Chicago Loop Synagogue, at 16 S Clark St., accessible by the 124 bus and on the other side of the Chicago River, is about a mile away.
Both synagogues will host special ticketed events celebrating the High Holidays. Tickets are available through each institution’s website.
When the prayers are over and the hunt for apples, honey and challah begin, look no further than Chicago’s Eleven City Diner, at 1112 S Wabash Ave. A big bowl of matzo ball soup from this classic yet modern Jewish deli and local favorite is worth the five-stop trip Grand to Roosevelt on the Red Line train.
For a more formal and traditional Rosh Hashanah meal, Joe’s Stone Crab, at 60 E Grand Ave., just four blocks from the conference hotel. Joe’s offers a pre-fixed Jewish New Year menu from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. that includes the traditional challah with fixings, plus a choice of brisket, halibut or chicken. Reservations are recommended, 312-379-5637.