Mitchell Duneier Explains the Invention of the Ghetto, as Place and as Idea

The Zócalo Book Prize Winner Discusses the Evolution of Ethnic Enclaves, from Renaissance Europe to the Modern U.S.

When sociologist Mitchell Duneier was growing up in the 1960s, he said, “references to the word ghetto were references in my house and in my segregated Jewish community on Long Island to the Nazi ghettos.”

A half-century later, Duneier, a Princeton University sociologist, explained to an overflow audience at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles that the word’s meaning has become vastly different. “If I teach a class on the ghetto at Princeton, students expect to hear about the ‘hood, and are astounded to hear about Jewish history …

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

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, …

Camp Conformity

I Was Sent to Bond With My Fellow Jews. I Failed.

Last month, for the first time since I was 15, I returned to summer camp. Some friends were getting married and had rented out a YMCA in upstate New York …