The Role of Artistic Creativity in the Lives of Israeli Emigres in Los Angeles

About this Exhibit

The current digital exhibit was created and curated by Dr. Anat Gilboa and UCLA students from the 2017 Winter course “The Role of Artistic Creativity in the Lives of Israeli Émigrés in Los Angeles.” The project aims to expand to help students familiarize themselves with a distinct culture and achieve a much deeper comprehension of modern Israeli society and its diaspora. Tens of thousands Israeli Jews have immigrated to the United States since the 1948 creation of the Jewish state. Around 100,000 Israeli Jews live in LA. While previous studies focus on the Israeli community in LA from sociological and demographic perspectives (Gold, S. 2002, 2006; Gold, S. and Phillips, B., 1996), this project examines how immigration from Israel and artistic creativity are involved in rebuilding the meaning of home in a new environment.

The course included service learning, an innovative pedagogical methodology, in which students actively participate in helping the community. This included meeting, interviewing, and documenting the oral history and personal accounts of local Israeli artists, musicians and Hollywood creators. At the end of the course, students organized, cataloged and digitized the information they collected to be incorporated in an exhibition on This is their final project.

We would like to extend our thanks to UCLA Alan Leve Center for Jewish Studies, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, and to our community partner, Professor Ruth Weisberg, Director and Founder of the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI), and the Israeli artists whose work is the core of the final exhibition. We are grateful to our guest speakers for sharing their knowledge with us: Misha Segal, widely known composer, songwriter, recording artist and producer; Noga Pnueli, Hollywood screenplay writer; Adi Shapira, pianist; Dr. Bruce Philips, Professor of Sociology & Jewish Communal Service, Hebrew Union College, HUC Louchheim School of Judaic Studies, USC; and Sherri Morr, fundraising expert in nonprofit management. 

 כי אנכי ידעתי את־המחשבת אשר אנכי חשב עליכם נאם־יהוה מחשבות 
שלום ולא לרעה לתת לכם אחרית ותקוה׃
ירמיהו כט:יא

“For I knew the plans I have for you,” declares HaShem, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Partial Bibliography:
Gold, Steven, The Israeli Diaspora. Rutledge: University of Washington Press, 2002.

Gold, Steven, ‘Jewish Israelis in Los Angeles,’ Espace, Populations, Societes, (2006), volume 1 ps. 47-60.

Gold Steven and Phillips Bruce, ‘Israelis in the United States,’ American Jewish Year Book, (1996), volume 96, ps. 51-101.

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