‘What Is the Jewish Experience in Los Angeles?’

My latest column is in The Times this morning. I visited the Autry National Center’s new exhibit “Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic” and attended a daylong symposium on some aspects of the Jewish experience in Los Angeles. Books could be (and have been) written about the subject, so it’s a pretty brief look, but I hope you like it.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Arthur Benveniste, a historian of the Sephardic community, who talked about his family, which was from the island of Rhodes and spoke Ladino.

“I grew up thinking the Jews spoke Spanish,” he said. “When I got to high school, somebody told me there’s a club for Jewish boys. So I found it and I joined. And these guys didn’t speak Spanish. They spoke something I never heard of called Yiddish.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in History, Museums and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ‘What Is the Jewish Experience in Los Angeles?’

  1. aryedirect says:

    While never directly intended, diasporas ultimately carry blessings for all the world.


  2. Patrick says:

    Growing up in Los Angeles, I lived next door to a woman that rented a room to an older man who was a waiter in a downtown restaurant. Mr. Glazer, as we all called him, had been on the stage in the Yiddish theatre in New York in his youth. He used to sing songs to us kids in the neighborhood, one of which went, “Tough guy Levi that’s my name, I’m a Yiddishe cowboy”. The photo of the Autry’s “Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic” exhibit accompanying this post brought back this memory from many years ago. Thanks, Larry.


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