Fiesta Shalom Pics

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So I made it out to the Fiesta Shalom in Boyle Heights early this morning. There’s still about 2 hours to go if you want to check it out, or just click ahead for some pics!

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The first thing I noticed, besides the colorful balloons, was the heavy police presence and the barricades. Balloons and barricades, they don’t exactly go hand in hand. But considering this event was being sponsored by the Israeli Consul, it’s understandable.

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Crazy.

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Lots of warnings against leaving unattended packages.

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The star of the event is the Breed Street Shul. They even decorated the barbwire!

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You can actually take a tour inside, but there was already a long line and I was pressed for time. I think El Random Hero is taking some pics inside so hopefully he will share them here shortly.

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Canters, which used to be in Boyle Heights, came back to offer free slices of bagels. Not sure if they were offering JalapeƱo bagels but this would have been the perfect time for them!

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Thumbprint mural sponsored by the LAPD. Haha, just kidding. It’s sponsored by the Mossad. Jaja, not really.

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Free caps for everyone!

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This mapping project was pretty cool, you put in colored pins to represent where your parents or grandparents lived in Los Angeles.

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Once inside the festival there was another extra area to see the music acts.

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They were searching peoples bags. Having grown up with enough searching and pat downs, I don’t volunteer for yet another one if I can avoid it.

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They were also searching peoples trash cans.

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The other long line was for La Curacao. Not sure what they were offering.

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The Jewish Journal has a spinning wheel with prizes like Del Taco coupons, and LACMA raffle tickets. I won a museum ticket but traded it in for the Del Taco coupon, I know what’s valuable!

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Dancing to the Klezmer music.

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Some decent looking food. I should have waited to have breakfast here.

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11:30 am and already a good turnout. Don’t people sleep in anymore?

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Yet more cops. I hear there were also undercovers making the rounds.

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And yet more barricades. No balloons on these though.

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Hmm.

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Jesus howling at the moon.

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On my way out there were still quite a few caps and plastic flags left.

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There was more media at this event than I’ve ever seen in Boyle Heights, unless they’re on some chase or covering a shooting. Of course. The dude with the hat was dancing it up to La Buena. Good times.

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All in all, a decent event. I like the whole Jewish-Latino cultural mix angle. The Israeli state, that’s another matter.

You still have an hour to check it out yourself, it ends at 3! On Breed just by Brooklyn and Soto.

15 thoughts on “Fiesta Shalom Pics

  1. Great pictures—and I’m glad you took a picture of the signs warning attendees about unattended packages. I only did a quick walk through (without my own camera, unfortunately) but those signs, along with the security, really left an impression on me…

    During my seven or so minutes there, I also loved seeing the whole mixing of cultures and it was kinda cool to have all these Jewish folks walking about on the streets in the vicinity—it seemed to bring history alive for me as I tried to imagine Boyle Heights in some decade before white flight.

    I just regret one thing about this event: that it was organized by the Israeli consulate to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the Great Catastrophe (what Zionists euphemistically call “independence”), the expulsion of most of the Palestinian population from their land in order to establish a necessarily “Jewish state”.

    I’m also annoyed to think, as a friend of mine suggested the other day, that this event is part of the consulate’s efforts to cultivate a relationship with the growing Latino electorate, which could prove important to the pro-Israel lobby (which helps ensure that Israel—hardly a poor, or peaceful, state—remain, unreasonably, the world’s principal recipient of US economic and military aid). I think Latino politicians also see how collaborating with this event could help endear them to Jewish voters.

    I didn’t do what I had considered doing: passing out Divest from Israel flyers. I just didn’t have the energy today for the hostile attention I’d surely get as I helped spread the word about the growing movement to boycott Israel until the end of apartheid.

  2. How about displaying some courage and approaching the Consulate with your feelings? Who knows? If they’re trying to do good, maybe they are not so bad after all?
    I would write to them on their website … ENGAGE, like our new great President says …

    Take care and I had a lot of fun there today,
    Sharon

  3. Chuy – at the temple where I grew up (back in the 80’s) security precautions like keeping an eye out for unattended packages was part of being Jewish. I remember that the secretaries’ office had a big poster out for what to do during a bomb threat. There’s always been a little touch of Israeli-style public security as part of the American Jewish lifestyle – remember, most of the leaders of the last generation of Jewish leaders in the US lived through the war.

  4. It’s great to have people coming back home to visit their grandparents/parents’ old neighborhood, and the oldest shul in LA (one “L” in “shul”, guyz)—but yep, I thought there would be more protesting since the Israeli consulate was in Boyle Heights and BH people are about indigenous rights. From the pictures it looked like fun, in spite of the cavity probes—ay—or should I say “oy”? Like Quetzal, I stayed away too, but I attended the ordination of friends who became Rabbis today in Hollywood and their after parties. A peaceful milestone for these graduates—and no body searching at that shul in Hollywood—lol.

  5. It is great to see the Jews community and Latinos(mostly Mexican) come together. I live near Obregon park just streets from this synagogue and always wonder how was life Boyle Heights years ago and how has it change. About the Quetzal boycott,I respect their point of view but I think that there must be a Jews State. This people have suffer more than any other ethnic race in the world for years. Always being blame on for no reason. Whether economic, social or that they murder Jesus. Also, the Jews are always portray as the bad guys and the Palestinians as the good guys and many of us have come to believe so.

  6. BOrn and raise in east l.a boyle heights. Hey ese esta chido que nos unamos que los mexicanos y los judios tenemos algo en comun por lo menos aqui en los estados unidos; Que nadie nos quiere por X razones. Y apoyo a israel que tenga su propio estado era de ellos y an sufrido mucho

  7. Strange and sad that the working class Jewish population in the USA and here in LA used to be looked up to and admired by Chicanos as sympathetic and politically inspired brethren.
    But with changing demographics, and the especially abhorrent Israeli occupation and subjugation of the Palestinians, it’s changed and now the Palestinians are the Chicanos and Mexicans new primos in the fight for civil and human rights.
    With humankind, when power and religious dogma take center stage, truth and justice are shoved out the side door and into the alley.

  8. “Abhorrent” and “subjugation” seem relative to me. There is no nation in the world today more desirous of peace and co-existence than Israel.

  9. I just have to say, based on my limited (but ever expanding) knowledge of the Jewish population of Boyle Heights in the early 1900s and with info gleaned from the film, Brooklyn and Soto, the Jewish population of Boyle Heights was made up of a healthy number of left-leaning, radical types (Amy Goodman would have lived there! :)). In fact, there used to be a cafe where anarchists and socialists where known to meet and discuss politics right on Brooklyn. I’d love to see a further exploration of this historical tendency.
    Also, there is a shul in Highland Park on Monte Vista street that is open and often invites visitors. There was an article a few months back about it in the Los Angeles Magazine.

  10. chimatli, yeah, cool stuff. I believe that a lot of the Jews in LA had come from NY during the McCarthy period. I think that Hollywood was the draw, which, for some reason, was more tolerant than NY. (dunno why that was the case, but…).

  11. It would have been nice if the event was in fact just to strengthen Chicano/Latino – Jewish relations … but with the Israeli Government involved … this was ultimately only motivated to build support to the Israeli state. I decided not to attend in order to show solidarity with Palestinians and Jewish people working for peace.
    Check this out …
    http://www.fsrn.org/audio/quetzal-boycotts-fiesta-shalom/4731

  12. Apparently a giant wall isnt draconian enough for israeli jews and their frothing supporters. now any unfavorbale comment made regarding their ocupatiinal practices must be attacked, mind police get to work.

    i think the behavior of israelis and jews regarding this issue is what turned me off to their side the most, that and the illegal settlement building and machine gunning of rock throwing kids.

  13. Aside from the festivities’ apparent political intentions, it was very cool to see so many visitors in the neighborhood, many whom were former residents. The only other area I’ve seen that many white people and men wearing yarmulkes is on Pico and Roberston.

    I’ve heard some great stories from folks who went to Roosevelt HS in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s when it used to be so culturally diverse and student behavior was almost completely the opposite of what it has become today. Students back then didn’t even fathom the thought of comparing schools to prisons.

    Roosevelt is going back to a traditional school calendar (Sept. through June) with two new sites opening in Boyle Heights and East LA. I wonder if and how it would affect the educational experience for students. Or if going to Roosevelt HS would be so appealing to Jewish parents on the Westside that they’d send their kids to East LA for their high school and cultural education.

  14. As a Jew teaching at Roosevelt, I have been interested in the history of Boyle Heights for years, but I have never really investigated deeply. I remember reading once that there was a connection between the radical Jewish tradition in Boyle Heights and the Chicano movement, but I don’t remember where I saw this. I did come across a website about a documentary about old friends from Boyle Heights that’s in production (http://www.bluewatermedia.org/boyleheightsdocumentary/index.html). Several of the biographies mention leftist politics like Trotkyism, anarchism, etc. I definitely want to learn more and look forward to seeing that.

    Regarding Roosevelt, I look forward to the traditional calendar. We are also restructuring the school as 6 autonomous small schools sharing the same campus, with another small school off site. This will be happening starting in 2010-11, so that should also affect the experience of the students, hopefully in a positive way, since it’s such an overpopulated campus, and with the new calendar there will be even more students on track at any given time.

    A quick comment on Fiesta Shalom: The event was held at the Breed Stree Shul for a reason. The renovation of that historic Jewish landmark as a community center for Boyle Heights’ current residents is a project that can bring those two communities closer and reacquaint Jews with “the old neighborhood.” It’s unfortunate that the Israeli politics got tied into this, but the effort I think is a positive one for Los Angeles. Will it bring the children of Westside Jews to Roosevelt? Adivino que no.

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