26 March 2011

Southern California: 'Jews of the Pacific Coast,' April 3

Dr. Ava F. Kahn will present "Jews of the Pacific Coast," at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV), in conjunction with the Western States Jewish History Journal, on Sunday, April 3.

The meeting runs from 1.30-3.30pm, at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, which also co-sponsors JGSCV meetings. There is no admission fee.

From the California Gold Rush of 1849 to the explosion of population centers in the Southwest in the 1980s, Jews have played a significant role in shaping the Pacific West.

In the process, they have reshaped themselves as individuals and as communities. Through their mercantile networks and cultural innovations, their philanthropic institutions and political leadership, western Jews created a distinctive identity.

Using historical photographs from her new co-authored book Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community at America's Edge Ava F. Kahn will explore the nature of the Jewish experience in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland and the small towns of the West. She will explain the important differences among these cities, as well as highlighting the ways in which the western Jewish experience has echoed and deviated from the familiar story of American Jewish history.
Speaker Ava F. Kahn, PhD, is affiliated with the California Studies Center, University of California, Berkeley. She has published numerous articles and books on Jews in the West including: "Jewish Voices of the California Gold Rush," "Jewish Life in the American West and California Jews." There will be a book-signing following the meeting.

Western States Jewish History Journal is a quarterly journal dedicated to discovering, chronicling, and making available to the general public information on the Jewish participation in the pioneering and development of the American West, Canada, Mexico, and the Pacific Rim.

For more information, click on the JGSCV website, or send an email.

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