Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

10 Facts About Jewish California

1. California had 1,223,640 Jews in 2012. This is the second highest number of Jews in the country (only behind New York) and 18% of the entire Jewish population in the U.S.

2. MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures, two of the largest Hollywood film studios in history, were founded by Jews. Marcus Loew started MGM and Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky founded Paramount.

3. Baseball player Ryan Braun, nicknamed the “Hebrew Hammer,” was a star player on L.A.’s Granada Hills high school team.

4. Geoff and Mitchell Schwartz, who are both offensive linemen in the NFL, grew up in Los Angeles. This year, Geoff, who weighs around 340 pounds, fasted for Yom Kippur.

5. California is currently the only state with two Jewish senators: Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

6. Rube Goldberg, the famous cartoonist known for his images of complicated imaginary gadgets, was born in San Francisco.

7. The band Jane’s Addiction, whose singer Perry Farrell is Jewish, started out in L.A.

8. Three members of the 60’s band Jefferson Airplane, which began in San Francisco, were Jewish: singer Marty Balin and guitarists Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kanter.

9. Israeli American Hillel Slovak was the first guitarist of the LA-based Red Hot Chili Peppers.

10. 2006 Olympic silver medalist figure skater Sasha Cohen was born in LA’s Westwood neighborhood.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.