Home of Peace Cemetery in East LA
The Oldest Jewish Cemetery
in Los Angeles
Sunday, October 6, 2019
12pm - 3pm
In East Los Angeles sits the oldest Jewish cemetery serving the city and county of Los Angeles. Originally founded around Chavez Ravine in 1854, the cemetery relocated to its current location in 1901. And for generations it was the most important Jewish burial site in Southern California. Today it is still active, and remains just as grand and lovely.
On this walking-tour led by Latino-Jewish resident historian Shmuel Gonzales (the "Barrio Boychik") we will be talking about the epic history of this site. And also celebrate the lives of some of the most interesting people who are interred here. Here are just a few things we will see and discuss this day:
The pioneer burial section. The relocated graves of early Los Angeles Jews going back all the way to the mid-1800s. We will learn the story of why and how these graves were relocated, and how this site became chosen as the new resting place for our dearly departed.
The Byzantine/Moorish style chapel and mausoleum. One of the first Jewish mausoleums in the country.
We will discuss traditional orthodox burial and modern Jewish practices as well; both of which can be seen at this cemetery.
We will visit the great tombs of Hollywood mogul families, the Warners of Warner Bros. and the Mayers of MGM Studios, and other studio families.
We will see the often decorated graves of much loved actors; including Curly and Shemp Howard, two of the infamous Three Stooges.
We will see the burial sites of our famous rabbis and cantors who rest here.
We will talk about Jewish groups who are often under discussed; Sephardic Jews, crypto-Jews and even the fascinating history of the sect of Russian Subbotnik converts to Judaism who are also buried here.
On this tour we will be discussing the story of an ever changing Los Angeles and it how it expanded eastward. And how the Jewish people came to rest in peace here, even before a thriving Jewish community once came to live in this area. And further discuss how this site has remained in the hearts of Jewish families even after they migrating all over the southland.
This is one of the most beloved of local sites, by Jewish and Latino families alike... indeed, by everyone who loves the history of East Los Angeles. Join me on this special, heart warming tour!
We will meet at the front gates of Home of Peace Memorial Park off Whittier Blvd, at 11:45am in order to start our talk and walking tour promptly at 12-noon.
There is parking inside the cemetery, which is to your right hand side as you come into the cemetery.
For public transit riders: You can take the MTA bus 18 east from downtown and exit at Eastern Ave. For Metro rail, our location is also about a 1-mile away from the Maravilla Gold Line station, walking Third Street to Eastern Ave.
Children aged 13 and under are free, please contact me to add them to my guest list. For current Boyle Heights residents, educators, and community activists, I will be offering a few spots on my guest list once again; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, as spaces are limited.
This tour will be limited to 25 guests. So please sign-up right away!