Jews in the Golden State

In 2007, the Magnes and the Labyrinth Project jointly received a generous grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund in support of Jews in the Golden State, a project aiming at the creation of an online digital portal providing an unprecedented view on the history of the Jews in California since the Gold Rush. 

The Labyrinth Project, a unit of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, offered its exceptional expertise in creating stunning visual installations blending historical narratives and interactive experience. The Magnes gave full access to the resources its unique Western Jewish Americana archives, viewed through a four-decade-old expertise in the preservation and interpretation of California's Jewish history. The Magnes and the Labyrinth Project had already collaborated in the past, when the exhibition Danube Exodus was installed in Berkeley.

The grant enabled the Magnes to create and implement the architecture of its digital programs, which resulted in the digitization of thousands of archival documents, photographs and objects from its collections, and in their online distribution across a network of social media, thanks to a dedicated platform.  

The grant also enabled Labyrinth Project to create the prototype of a new portal, Jewish Homegrown History, which incorporates assets and knowledge from the Magnes archives. 

Jewish Homegrown History Web Portal

Homegrown History, directed by Professor Marsha Kinder (USC), Executive Director of the Labyrinth Project, and co-directed by Rosemary Comella (USC), Creative Director of the Labyrinth Project, Professor William Deverell (USC), Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, and Dr. Francesco Spagnolo, Director of Research and Collections at the Magnes, is still being developed, and The Magnes continues to add its resources. 

 


 

The digital programs created by the Magnes for Jewish Homegrown History are listed below. 

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Cantor Reuben H. Rinder (1887-1966) was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century Jewish musical culture. During his 50-year tenure as cantor of Congregation Emanu-El in San ...
The collection of the promotional materials of the Jewish Music Festival is the first Magnes archival collection to be acquired only in digital form.  The Jewish Music Festival is ...
Bassya (Maltzer) Bibel (1908-1980) was a poet, author, secretary, and an actress. She arrived to San Francisco in 1921 from Kopaygorod, Podolia (Kopayhorod in modern Ukraine). After settling in ...
Camp Kelowa publicity book    San Francisco, California, 1931 ScrapbookThe Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Gift of David Kupfer, 2009.27.1(Louis and Emma Blumenthal ...
Elizabeth Lilienthal Gerstley's Christmas Parties album contains 201 photographs taken inside the Haas Lilienthal House at 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, between 1954 and 1971. These ...
San Francisco's Congregation Sherith Israel was founded in 1851, the same year as the city's other leading Jewish congregation, Emanu-El. Its first buildings were on Stockton Street and then Post ...
Jewish roots in China can be traced from the 9th century when Jewish merchants thought to be from Persia reached China by way of the Silk Road, and settled in Kaifeng. These Jews remained secluded ...
Video digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and ...
For some 40 years Professor Gerald (Gerry) Berreman of UC Berkeley pursued a longitudinal study of social inequality (caste, gender, class) and environment in their historical context in a Garhwal ...
Images from the Western Jewish Americana archives of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.    Council Cook Book published by the San Francisco Section of the ...
There were other large Jewish clans in Reckendorf, and isaias and Herman [Hellman] played with boys from these families, forming relationships that would survive immigration and distance. one of ...
Letter from Julius Eckman to Solomon Nunes CarvalhoSan Francisco, March 15, 1855Julius Eckman letter, 1855, BANC MSS 2010/513, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft ...
The Jewish Music Festival started in Berkeley, California, in 1986 as a one-day event produced and hosted by the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay (formerly the Berkeley-Richmond Jewish ...
Founded in 1853, the Sonora Hebrew Cemetery was the first cemetery in the Gold Rush Region. The first burial dates from 1853, and the last was in 1977. On January 13, 1974, it was rededicated as a ...
On February 22, 1956, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, was filled by a crowd of opera-goers, rushing to attend the American premiere of Darius Milhaud's opera, David. The ...
The Western Jewish Americana collections of the Magnes include a host of information on marriage and family ties since the early days of Jewish life in San Francisco, California.  ...
Raphael Weill was a pioneer San Francisco merchant who emigrated from France and arrived in San Francisco in 1855. Within three years, he had become a partner of the J. W. Davidson Dry Goods ...
Rosalie Meyer Stern was a civic and social leader of San Francisco. In 1892, Rosalie Meyer married Sigmund Stern, the president of Levi Strauss and Company. Following the 1906 San Francisco ...
Darius Milhaud was born in France and immigrated to the U.S. in 1940. He was then a professor at Mills College, in Oakland, Calif., from 1940 to 1971. His opera, David, premiered at La Scala in ...
The Development Corporation for Israel (Israel Bonds) was founded in 1951 to raise money from the American public for the fledgling Israeli state, which, at the time, was struggling to build an ...
Prepared by Risa Elkind Nye from family documents."Inspired by the Jews of the Fillmore exhibition that the Magnes presented at the Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco (2009), I asked ...
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