The 1920’s

After an initial period in East Coast and mid-west cities, significant numbers of Jewish immigrants and their families drawn by the economic boom, move to Los Angeles, eventually making Boyle Heights home to largest Jewish community west of Chicago.
Japanese Americans move east along First Street from Little Tokyo into Boyle Heights.
La Communidad founded on February 1, 1920 with thirty-nine men in attendance representing the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles. Rabbi Abraham Caraco served as the first rabbi of the community. The first book of minutes dated 1 February 1920 reads, “Communidad sefardi de Los Angeles, domingo 1 de febrero de 1920 en Los Angeles, California – Walker Auditorium, 730 S. Grand Avenue a las 2:00 P.M. Respondiendo al llamaniento de los presidentes Mandolino Levy y Jose M. Estrugo acudieron en asamblea general a las personas siguentes.” Mandolino Levy was the provisional president for this very first meeting of La Communidad, as it was to be known, and Adolphe de Castro Danziger was elected the first president of the fledgling organization. Jose Estrugo was elected vice president and secretary. The minutes also note that monthly dues would be $1.00 for each member.
Bikor Cholim Society was founded in response to influenza epidemic, and renamed Bikor Cholim Hospital when the epidemic ended. A larger home was secured in 1925 and the name became the Home for Incurables. In 1929 it became Mount Sinai Home for Chronic Invalids, forerunner of Mount Sinai Hospital and Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Mass Immigration created a large-scale community. Areas of greatest population were Brooklyn Avenue and Boyle Heights section, Temple Street section and the Central Avenue Section. The later two sections were stagnating and gradually declined.

Old Boyle Heights contained the Hebrew Sheltering Home, the Talmud Torah, the Modern Social Center, the Day Nursery and the area around the Breed Street Synagogue and the Kaspare Cohn hospital.

The New Boyle Heights was the Wabash Avenue district, north of Brooklyn Avenue. Religiously Orthodox, they were modern in ideas and tendencies. City Terrace was a Yiddish secularists’ enclave.

The Breed Street Shul on Breed Street was completed in 1923. The huge brick structure, closed since 1992, is now, finally, under the administration of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California. It is hoping to raise $5 million to renovate the shul into reuse. Boyle Heights had 70,000-80,000 Jews from the 1910s through the 1950s. Breed Street Shul served the Orthodox Jewish community and once was the biggest Orthodox congregation west of Chicago.
Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School in Boyle Heights opens doors to first students.
The Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 established annual quotas for immigrants from Europe. Northern Europeans were favored over Eastern and Southern Europeans. The law significantly curtailed the massive 1881-1924 influx of Eastern European Jews. However, the population in Los Angeles continued to increase rapidly as Jews and others moved West.
Sinai Temple (1925-1961) on New Hampshire Avenue and Fourth Street was the second site of this temple. The huge building still stands and is now the Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church. Huge menorahs, Ten Commandment tablets and the cornerstone make it obvious that a major synagogue once occupied this site.
The Sephardic Brotherhood was founded – Congregation Haim VaHessed.
I. M. Hattem, a Sephardic Jew, opens the first supermarket in America on December 15, 1927.
Stock market crashes — Great Depression begins.

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Timeline of Jewish History in Los Angeles

The 1930’s »