Chicago Jains gear up for Golden Jubilee of temple

Jains at Bartlett Jain Temple

Surendra Ullal
CHICAGO: The Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago (JSMC), Bartlett Illinois, is gearing up for a grand celebration of the 25th Anniversary of its temple from June 22 to July 1 in Bartlett with an expected attendance of over 4000 members, devotees invitees and guests to witness this historical celebration.

This will be the first Jain temple in North America with “Shikhar” or dome to complete 25 years. A number of dignitaries, speakers, and faith leaders from US and India will grace the occasion. With the mission of preserving and sharing Jain way of life, JSMC has grown great with 1900+ life members (families) and expanded its facilities in a 17.5-acre lot with a monumental temple and Community Center.
Since the 1970s, Chicago has experienced tremendous growth in population. A great part of this growth has come about as Chicago has become more international in character. Story of Jains in Chicago parallels that of Chicago. During this brief period, Jain population exploded from less than thirty families to more than nineteen hundred families. Jains built a beautiful 84,000 square feet Jain Center and Temple in Bartlett, Illinois. Executive Committee President Vipul Shah mentioned that, “This is a milestone year for all Jains in and around Chicago and indeed the whole of US. We have put in a lot of planning to ensure that all our guests have a great experience.”

The ten-day celebration includes various religious, cultural, educational and entertainment events to keep the audience enthralled. There is also a separate track of activities for youth and young adults. Planning for the celebration has been going on for the last six months and has now reached a feverish pace with over 200 volunteers working to put finishing touches with the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees leadership.
PR & Media co-leads Hemant Shah and Dr Mukesh Doshi observed that, “We are building on a very successful legacy of 48 years of JSMC.” Chicago is very fortunate to have remarkable history of the first Jain who landed 125 years ago – when Shri Virchand Raghavji Gandhi pioneered Jainism in western world and represented Jains in first parliament of World religious conference held in Chicago in 1893.

Therefore, the roots of Jain religion were already planted. Since 1970, this society is standing on contributions of generous donors, dedicated volunteers and passionate leadership of visionaries. This society is regarded as symbol of unity and harmony among all Jains.
Founded in 1970, JSMC caters to the religious, educational, cultural and community needs of Jains in and around Chicago. Shwetamber, Digambar, Sthanakvasi and Shrimad sects over the years have continued to inspire the Jain values of non-violence, multi-pluralism and non possessiveness.
For Further Information visit or contact: Jignesh Jain, JSMC Board of Trustees, 847.477.5246 Pragnesh Shah, JSMC Membership Secretary, 630.975.3122

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