17 April 2009

Los Angeles: 'The Girl from Foreign," April 20

Genealogists are always on the hunt for clues to our ancestors, and our journeys may take us in very unusual directions.

Author-filmmaker Sadia Shepard arrived in Bombay with a crumbling family tree and asked directions to the "Jewish Mosque." The rest is history.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles will host Shepard at its next meeting as she discusses her quest, her book ("The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home") and screens her film ("In Search of the Bene Israel") at 7.30pm, Monday, April 20, at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Raised in Boston by her Muslim mother and Christian father, Sadia learned of her family's Jewish heritage as a teenager when her Indian grandmother told her of her birth name: Rachel Jacobs.

As an adult, on a Fulbright scholarship, arriving in Bombay, armed only with a crumbling paper containing her family tree and asking directions to the "Jewish Mosque" she fufills her "nana's" dying wish to discover her personal history and the larger story of the Jews of India.
The event is free for JGSLA members; $10 for others. Reservations are strongly suggested for what will be a very popular program. For more details, see the JGSLA website, which also features a film clip.

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