When L.A.’s Jews Went Crazy for Albert Einstein

In His Three Semesters at Caltech, the Famed Physicist Brought Together a Divided Community and Earned Their Undying Love

Griffith Park's Einstein statue

When Albert and Elsa Einstein first visited in January 1931, the Jews of Los Angeles were besotted.

A hundred women and men, representatives of almost every Jewish organization in the city, gathered hastily to plan an event to honor of the couple. They rented the most lavish room in town: the Fiesta Room of the Ambassador Hotel where, three months earlier, Hollywood’s finest had gathered for the third annual Academy Awards. There, the Jews of L.A. would stage the “the most important event” in their community’s history, a “monster banquet” (as …

More In: Who We Were