California Jews

California Jews

by Ava F. Kahn

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The first full-length presentation of Jewish life, history, and culture in California from the Gold Rush to the twenty-first centurySee more details below


The first full-length presentation of Jewish life, history, and culture in California from the Gold Rush to the twenty-first century

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“California Jews offers a window into one of the most intriguing communities in American Jewish history.”—Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“The book covers Jews in the Gold Rush, behind-the-scenes Jewish influence on Hollywood during the 1930s, and the success of Jewish women in politics, among other issues that add considerably to our understanding of the complex history of ethnic California.”—California History

“The color illustrations are glorious; the large photos and reprints of documents are clear and engrossing . . . Each chapter is a self contained topic, chapters advancing chronologically from the 1848 Gold Rush to the 1990’s. Readers can pick and choose subjects and be assured when they do that they will be well informed by digestible facts, insightful analysis, sources and footnotes . . . California Judaism is as sound as it is spirited. California Jews is the book to convince you; try it!”—Jewish Book World

“All in all, this excellent book helps us achieve a broader perspective on Jews in California. The black-and-white and color photographs help make the book even better. It is highly recommended, even for those not specifically concerned about California.”—MultiCultural Review

Publishers Weekly
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. Seventeen color and 122 b&w illustrations offer a fascinating visual documentation of the rich and varied life these essays explore. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Brandeis University Press
Publication date:
Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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