The Jewish Family Service of Los
Angeles Oral History Project consists of 50 interviews of Jewish immigrants in the Los
Angeles area. The goal of the project was to study and evaluate the life experiences of
persons who came to the United States during one of the three waves of Jewish immigration -
the period from 1900-1945, the years after the Holocaust, and the period of Russian
immigration in the late 1970s. The life stories taken during the project reveal a rich
folklore of the Jewish people, their countries of origin, war, social change, customs,
traditions, and the individual's feelings about Jewish life.
The Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Los Angeles was originally established in 1854 as the
Hebrew Benevolent Society. Founded by a group of Jewish businessmen, the organization
provided funeral services and charity to destitute Jews and Gentiles. This was the first
relief agency in Los Angeles, and the predecessor of all benevolent societies and charitable
institutions in Southern California.
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The collection is open for research use.