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WILD WILD WEST – ORTHODOX JEWISH PIONEERS IN L.A.

July 11th, 2018

Rabbi Dunner presents an array of astonishing stories and anecdotes, charting the unlikely rise of Orthodox Jewish Los Angeles at the beginning of the twentieth century, and its turbulent journey through the 1960s and 1970s. 

From Boyle Heights to Fairfax and West Adams, the struggles of the nascent Orthodox Jewish leadership gave rise to rivalries, shenanigans, and skulduggery, as well as remarkable determination and perseverance, coupled with concern for the integrity of halacha, by a range of rabbinic leaders and their friends. 

Rabbi Dunner introduces Rabbi Solomon Neches, first rabbi of Breed Street Shul, and founder of Western Jewish Institute, a man whose influence endures to this day. He also introduces Rabbi Osher Zilberstein, rabbi of Breed Street Shul for almost forty years; Rabbi Eliezer Adler, the first hasidic “rebbe” in Los Angeles (or was he?); Rabbi Chaim Uri Etner, whose unorthodox approach to the halachot regarding kosher food landed him in numerous lawsuits; as well as Rabbi Ephraim Rottenberg, Rabbi Simcha Wasserman and others.

The story of Orthodox Jewry in Los Angeles has barely been researched, never mind revealed, despite being the backdrop to the Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish community of today.

Rabbi Dunner unpacks this important historical narrative, revealing some astonishing aspects that have never been heard before.

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