Collection consists of records from the
organized Sephardic Jewish community of Los Angeles and other materials related to Sephardic
life in 20th century Los Angeles.
After centuries of established life on the Iberian Peninsula, Jews were formally expelled
by Spanish royal decree in 1492. With many refugees settling in North Africa and the Ottoman
Empire, these Jews developed a distinct Sephardic (meaning Spanish, in Hebrew) culture and
community that included the retention and development of a unique hybrid language, known as
Judeo-Spanish or Ladino. At the outset of the 20th century, these Sephardic Jews sought
better futures elsewhere, such as in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, South America, and
the United States. In search of economic opportunity and respite from political turmoil in
the crumbling Ottoman Empire, many of these Sephardic Jews found their way to Los Angeles, a
rapidly growing commercial and industrial metropolis. Throughout the century, the Sephardic
community in Los Angeles would expand and come to include Jews from various backgrounds,
notably North African, Israeli, and Persian Jews. By the end of the century, Los Angeles had
solidified its status as a center of Sephardic life worldwide.
42 Linear Feet
(53 boxes, 7 cartons, 6 shoe boxes, 14 flat boxes, 1 tube, 1
oversize flat box, 1 oversize folder)
Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All
other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the
responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not
hold the copyright.
Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in
advance using the request button located on this page.