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Iranian Jewish Life in Los Angeles: Past and Present

Saba Soomekh, Author

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Rabbi Loloyan: Creating a New Home

Rabbi Dovid Loloyan’s journey began in Iran in the city of Tehran where he remembered being less observant then he is now. Nevertheless, as a child, Rabbi Loloyan encountered a lot of prejudice from his Muslim peers due to the belief that the Jews were najes, the Iranian term for spiritually impure. Once the Iranian revolution occurred the situation had grown violent, and Rabbi Loloyan longed to leave a place he once called home. In 1979, the Lubavitcher Rebbe saw the trouble that was about to take place in Iran, and sent his disciples to there, where they would bring back 1,000 Iranian Jews with them to 770, also known as the Chabad headquarters of New York. Rabbi Dovid Loloyan, being only 13 years old at the time, was one of those fortunate Jews. Inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Loloyan not only decided to learn Torah with Chabad for the next 11 years, but it is also there where Rabbi Loloyan chose to dedicate the rest of his life to being a rabbi.

In 2004, Rabbi Dovid Loloyan turned his attention to the growing Persian community in Los Angeles and created Haichal Moshe. Haichal Moshe was to serve a dual purpose: a temple for all Jews and an organization which would be dedicated to enriching the lives of the members in the community through personal relationships, insightful classes and the love and respect given to every individual. With over 250 attendees every Shabbat, a third being teens and young adults, and consisting of Persians, Americans, Israelis, Moroccans and even a few Costa Ricans, Haichal Moshe has stood by its mission for almost 10 years, reaching its decade anniversary in 2014.
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