Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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OHR Publishes Jewish History Context

The Office of Historic Resources has released a new citywide historic context statement on the history of Los Angeles’ Jewish community.

This context is a component of Los Angeles’ Citywide Historic Context Statement for SurveyLA and provides guidance to field surveyors in identifying and evaluating potential historic resources relating to Los Angeles' rich Jewish history. It was prepared by GPA Consulting, with input from a wide array of experts on Los Angeles Jewish history, and was partially funded with a grant from the California Office of Historic Preservation.  

To review the entire document, click here.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple (1928-1929), 3663 Wilshire Boulevard


Following a broad historical overview on settlement and development patterns of Los Angeles Jewry, the context focuses on key themes and geographic areas that help yield an understanding of the historic resources associated with the Jewish community that still remain across the city. The context’s five major themes are:

·        Religion and Spirituality, addressing the religious and spiritual aspects of Jewish identity, including synagogues, schools, and cemeteries.

·        Social Clubs, including benevolent societies and social welfare organizations, foreign aid and Zionist groups; immigrant and refugee societies; social and fraternal organizations, community centers, and unions.

·        Private Health and Medicine, addressing major Jewish medical organizations, including hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provided health services for the poor and elderly.

·        Commercial Identity, focusing on the businesses that made important contributions to the development of the Jewish community and often became beloved neighborhood landmarks, including restaurants, delis, bakeries, banks and retail stores.

·        Entertainment Industry, highlighting the Los Angeles Jewish community’s significant role in entertainment, starting with motion pictures, then moving on to music, radio, and television, as well as the places and homes associated with major Jewish entertainment figures.

Each theme contains a detailed historical narrative, a summary of designated and identified sites associated with each theme, as well as eligibility standards for survey evaluation of potential historic resources.