After the Los Angeles Times recently published a piece by Hector Becerra on the deplorable conditions of the Mount Zion Cemetery in East Los Angeles (the subject of a Jewish Journal investigation in the May 10, 2013, issue, as well), I joined with others in the Jewish community to express my disgust — not only over the conditions of the cemetery but also over the fact that leaders of our community knew about the problem and chose to ignore it.
The headstone of Isabel Janken’s father, Henry Morhar, lies flat on the ground at Mount Zion Cemetery, knocked from its ledger. It’s an elegant headstone, weighing more than 1,000 pounds. A few feet below, an engraved picture showing a handsome Morhar is inscribed in capital letters, “Gone But Not Forgotten.”
While the Emmy Awards were under way at downtown’s Nokia Theatre on Sept. 23, a very different — but no less emotional — celebration of the arts took place less than half an hour away in the leafy residential community of San Marino.
The East L.A. community of Boyle Heights has always been a neighborhood dominated by immigrants. Today, it's a poor Hispanic neighborhood. But Hershey Eisenberg, 75, remembers a different Boyle Heights: It was during the Great Depression, when the community was poor and Jewish, but the sense of community was very rich.
Although East Los Angeles, and the bordering Boyle Heights, is now the heart of Mexican Los Angeles, vestiges of its diverse past still remain.