Jewish History in LA

19th century

The first Jew moved to the Mexican Pueblo de Los Angeles in 1841. He was called Jacob Frankforth. When California became a member of the Union in 1850, there were 8 Jews living in LA. The first Jewish Councilman was Morris L. Goodman in 1850. In 1853, Solomon Lazar, a LA merchant also served in the City Council of LA.

The first organized Jewish community attempt was in 1855 when the Jews acquired a cemetery site for their own people in LA. The Hebrew Benevolent Society was located at Lookout drive and Lilac Terrace. This site is today known as the first Jewish site in Los Angeles.

20th century

In the first 30 years, there were no actual Jewish neighborhoods in LA since 2500 Jews lived in the city center. Mainly in the Temple street which was called the main Jewish Street at the time. In the mid-1920s, the number of Jews grew to 65,000. This is because the number of Jewish immigrants grew because of LA’s economic boom and many Jews from Chicago moved to LA.

From 1900 to 1926 there was no distinct Jewish neighborhood.[4] 2500 Jews lived “downtown” which in 1910 was described as Temple Street (the main Jewish Street) and the area to its south. In 1920, this was described to include Central Avenue. Smaller groups lived in the University, Westlake, and wholesale areas. Except for University, these areas steadily declined between 1900 and 1926.

All kinds of Jewish communities were created, from Sephardic Jews which are said to have opened the first supermarket in America to Soviet Jews which came by in large numbers(around 1500) in 1989. Today, there are around 662.450 Jews living in LA. As all over the world and Israel as well, the Jewish community helped the growth of Las business and cultural institutions.

Demographics and Geography

From 1996 till today, most of the immigrants from Israel are speaking Hebrew. The Jewish communities are widely spread all over California. In LA, the most populous Jewish communities are located in the San Fernando and the Conejo Valley. Ever since 1953, the Fifth District Representative in the City Council is Jewish.

Facts about the Jewish Community in LA

·       The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles is a local Jewish newspaper and it goes out once a week.

·       Jewish voters mainly vote for politically liberal candidates because it serves their interest. However, the Jews in the San Fernando Valley are often rather conservative.

·       There are a lot of Jewish schools in LA. Some of the most notable are Milken Community High School in Bel-Air, Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and American Jewish University

·       Some of the most notable Jewish residents in LA are Amir Blumenfeld(a comedian), Jimmy Delshad who was the mayor of Beverly Hills in California, Jonah Hill(a famous actor), Ben Shapiro, Jackie Goldberg and many others.

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