Wednesday, 8 April 2009

California Jews

Like other Americans, Jews headed west in the 1849 Gold Rush, and for many, according to Jewish history scholars Kahn and Dollinger, "California became the Promised Land." And for 150 years, they continue, the role of Jews in that state has differed from that of Jews on the East Coast: they integrated rapidly, gained political power earlier and "thrived in the multicultural mix." This collection of articles by a range of scholars examines various aspects of Jewish life in Los Angeles (which former Israeli kibbutzniks find particularly congenial); the architecture of early synagogues, built not only as houses of devotion but as monuments to Jewish success; and the Jewish role in the counterculture, from Berkeley's free speech movement to support for the Indian occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. Order the book here.

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