The aim of this collection of essays is to stress the cultural aspects of the Jewish experience of coming to, and living in, the Golden State. The contributors explore how the Jews who settled in California helped shape the state's culture and were, in turn, molded by cultural influences that were uniquely Californian. While this volume looks at the Jewish experience in California in general, particular emphasis is placed on Southern California where the Casden Institute, originators of The Jewish Role in American Life series of annual reviews, is based. The collection presents choice snapshots of how life developed and changed for Jews in California as California itself evolved and grew.
Isaias Hellman and the Creation of California, by Frances Dinkelspiel
A Twice-Told Journey: Sarah Newmark in the Russian Polish Shtetl—How a Jewish California Matron Confronted Her European Heritage, by Karen S. Wilson
Postscript: The Western States Jewish History Archives, by Gladys Sturman and David Epstein
From Civic Defense to Civil Rights: The Growth of Jewish American Interracial Civil Rights
Activism in Los Angeles, by Shana Bernstein
The Third Temple: Iranian Jews and the Blessings of Exile—A Personal Memoir, by Gina Nahai
Jewish Homegrown History: In the Golden State and Beyond, by Marsha Kinder
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
ABOUT THE USC CASDEN INSTITUTE
Bruce Zuckerman is a professor of Religion at USC, teaching courses in the Hebrew Bible, the Bible in Western Literature, the Ancient Near East, and Archaeology. Professor Zuckerman received his Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern Languages from Yale University.
William F. Deverell, a historian of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West, has published numerous books and papers on the history of California and the American West. He is a professor of history at the University of Southern California (USC) and director of the newly established Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, a collaborative research and teaching effort of the USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and the Huntington Library.
Lisa Ansell is associate director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life at the University of Southern California. She received her BA in French and Near East studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MA in Middle East studies from Harvard University. She was the Chair of the World Language Department of New Community Jewish High School for five years before coming to USC in August, 2007.