Former Lawndale students return to give back for the holidays

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Friday, December 20, 2019
Former Lawndale students return to give back for the holidays
Two former North Lawndale students return back to neighborhood to give back with the help of Temple Beth.

NORTH LAWNDALE (WLS) -- Childhood friends Art Farber and Phill Witt are back in the neighborhood they grew up in to spread the holiday cheer at Theodore Herzl School of Excellence in North Lawndale.

"Phil and I went to grammar school together about two miles from here back in the 1940's," says Farber.

Back in the day, North Lawndale was the heart of Jewish Chicago. Herzl is named after the 19th century leader of the Zionist movement.

About 480 students received an early Christmas gift. Art and Phill belong to the Great Vest Side Club which partnered up with Temple Beth Israel in Skokie for their annual gift giveaway.

"There are unfortunately some of our students and our families who won't be able to purchase gifts or even give a gift so for them to go home with gifts that have been selected just for them means so much more," said Tamara David, principal of Herzl School.

"Anybody in need, we're there for them. And I think we try to show the same thing to everyone. Doesn't matter if they're Jewish or Christian. We're very happy to do that," said Farber.

Yukare Nakayama is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the west side of the city in neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale and Austin. Nakayama also covers the north shore suburbs such as Highland Park and Highwood. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods, send an email to