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With more than half a million Jews, Los Angeles is the second largest Jewish community in the U.S., after New York. Jewish life began in the mid-19th century but did not boom until the end of World War I when large numbers of Jews moved there from eastern U.S. In 1911, the Jewish Federation was founded, followed in 1934 by the Jewish Community Council, representing most Jewish organizations.

Los Angeles has more than 50 synagogues, including some of the largest in the country. It has a large Jewish education system, including day schools, and branches of both the Hebrew Union College (Reform) and the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative). It has Jewish museums, including a Holocaust museum, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Jewish weekly newspapers include the B’nai B’rith Messenger, the California Jewish Voice, the Los Angeles Reporter, and Heritage.

Jews in the 20th century have played a prominent part in the motion picture industry in the city, as producers, actors, script writers, and technical support (See Stage and Screen).

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