L.A. Jewish history on Flickr

Frances Dinkelspiel, the author who talks tonight at ALOUD about "Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California," is also president of the board at the Western Jewish History Center of the Judah L Magnes Museum in Berkeley. The museum puts up narratives about prominent Jewish Angelenos and other Californians on Flickr. Dinkelspiel, who is also a journalist, posted one on Marco Hellman, Isaias' son and a big deal in early 20th Century Los Angeles. She points me to what sounds like an intriguing collection of photos from Rosalie Meyer Stern:

Rosalie was the daughter of Eugene Meyer, a French Jew who came to LA in the 1860s....The Meyer's son Eugene Meyer Jr. bought the Washington Post and their grandaughter Katherine Graham ran it for years.

The collection of Rosalie Meyer Stern at the Magnes is important in part because all her girlfriends wrote her letters once she moved to San Francisco. The letters offer a female-centric view of LA in the 1880s and beyond, and those voices are missing from much of the historical record. I used this collection extensively when writing Towers of Gold....I think these digital narratives provide a unique view into early Los Angeles.

Tonight's ALOUD event, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library, features Dinkelspiel conversing with historian William Deverell.

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