The Schmooze

Los Angeles Jews Imagine the Future

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles concluded its 2011 centennial celebration with an event headlined “Imagining Our Future,” drawing more than 600 people to the Sheraton Universal Hotel for a “day of Jewish learning and culture” and a promise of a glimpse of the next hundred years of Jewish life in L.A. But if the past is prologue, and the attendees’ kvetching over the lack of bagels and pastries with the morning coffee is current history, then a future of Hebraic disgruntlement comfortably like the present seemed assured.

A similarly cranky note was struck by filmmaker and novelist Michael Tolkin during the day’s first session, “The future of Jews in Hollwyood.” Asked if he believed Jews controlled Hollywood, he replied: “Not my Jews,” on behalf of downtrodden Writers Guild members everywhere. And while session participants, including a television producer and an agent, seemed upbeat about the ability of Jews in entertainment to maintain their Jewish identities within the business as never before, none tackled the more serious question of the underlying malaise currently afflicting the film, television and music industries for reasons that extend beyond ethnicity (unless you count digital downloading a tribal activity).

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Los Angeles Jews Imagine the Future

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