Nearly 300 young Iranian Jews packed UCLA’s Fowler Museum auditorium on March 7 for a discussion featuring five prominent young Iranian-Jewish professionals openly discussing topics considered to be taboo within their community. The gathering was historic not only because young Iranian-Jews do not typically discuss their problems regarding career choices and personal relationships in a public forum — but also because this event marked the first time an openly gay member of the community has discussed issues of homosexuality facing Iranian-Jews in Los Angeles.
Persian Jewish actress Bahar Soomekh earned some serious attention last year when she played a young Iranian in "Crash," the Academy Award winner for best picture. She's now appearing in an even bigger role -- playing alongside Tom Cruise in the thriller, "M:I:III." On the eve of the film's debut, Soomekh spoke about growing up Persian Jewish in Los Angeles and about her career.