Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dreams of Higher Learning



Aug. 30, 1907
Los Angeles

Led by Rabbi Alfred Arndt of Congregation Beth Israel, the local Jewish community hopes to open what The Times describes as “the only Hebrew university within the entire United States.”

Noting the increased immigration to Southern California (the estimated number of Jews in the state went from 28,000 in 1905 to 42,000 in 1907), The Times said: “For a decade there has been a rapidly increasing Hebrew population in Los Angeles and other sections of Southern California. There is scarcely a place of any prominence within the seven southern counties which has not received a large quota of Hebraic citizens, especially within two or three years.”

Arndt told The Times that he hoped to open the new university soon after Rosh Hashanah, which began at sundown Sept. 8, 1907. The Times notes that Cantor J. Weinstock has been engaged for Rosh Hashanah services of the Independent Sons of Israel.

Unfortunately, there are no follow-up stories about the attempts to found a Hebrew university and very little information about Arndt, except for the footnote that in 1911 he performed a marriage between a Muslim bride (Fanny Alishabron) and a Jewish groom (Charles Levin).

We also know that Rosh Hashanah services were held at Temperance Temple, operated by the WCTU, at Broadway and Temple, a site now occupied by a generating station across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Jewish Institutions in Los Angeles, 1908-1920

American Jewish Yearbook 5669 (1908-1909)

Lmharnisch.com

Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

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