Address: Jewish Federation Council
6505 Wilshire Blvd., ground floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Telephone: (323) 761-8644
Abigail Yasgur, Director
Sally Hyam, Assistant to the Director
Hours of Operation:
Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs.: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sun.: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Children’s Library:6505 Wilshire Blvd. Phone: (323) 761-8648
Description of Resources:
All items in this collection of over 30,000 items expresses Jewish life, history, and culture through books, journals, and newspapers, videos (over 800 tapes) and archival material. It serves four purposes:
Houses donated selections from the records of the local congregations and Jewish organizations;Houses the collection of the Bureau of Jewish Education and provides resource materials for Jewish teachers; Serves the needs of the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles; and houses a privately-donated Yiddish collection (Mostly fiction).
The library itself , arranged separately from the archives, contains a number of memorial collections (Yizkor Books) which are shelved separately from the other catalogued materials. These collections are almost exclusively in Yiddish, and are catalogued in a separate Yiddish card catalog.
They have a full set of Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly which was indexed in 2000.
There is a small collection of other genealogically useful reference works, such as Encyclopedia Judaica, Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, and Berl Kagan’s Sefer ha-Prenumeratn (Hebrew Subscription Lists. The most interesting materials in the library, though, deal with local Jewish history.
There is an excellent collection (mostly on microfilm) of California Jewish periodicals (mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco) dating back to the late 1800’s. The librarian has a complete listing of these periodicals.
The Californiana file. This file contains records of Jewish organizations, synagogues, landsmannschaftn, and prominent individuals in California. Most of the information is from Southern California, but there is some information from other parts of the state as well. Types of information include correspondence, articles, newsletters and other publications, membership and donor lists, etc.
Rabbi Neches records. Rabbi Neches was the longtime rabbi of Congregation Talmud Torah (Breed Street Shul, Boyle Heights), one of the oldest orthodox congregations in Los Angeles. The records include vital statistics (births, marriages, divorces, deaths, funerals, bar mitzvahs) from 1918 to 1953, personal papers, speeches, sermons, diaries, etc. These records are also available on microfilm.
Aaron Riche Collection. These are the papers of Aaron Riche, a longtime B’nai B’rith activist. The records span the years 1915 to the early 1960’s, and contain mainly correspondence with a smattering of other records.
This files sections on histories and biographies, is called the “near print” file, which includes scrapbooks and newsletters from a number of different sources. Also in this file is a set of over 100 glass slides of Jewish pioneers in the Los Angeles area.
The archives are separate from the library collection and are kept in a locked room. There are two drawers of card catalog on the archives – these are in the process of being transferred to the computer system. These materials include collections from various congregations, Jewish organizations, prominent individuals, etc. The librarians will retrieve materials from the archives on request.