Then and Now: Oakland temple nurtured famous cultural leaders
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Under the tutelage of Rachel “Ray” Frank, considered the first (if nonordained) female rabbi, both modernist icon Gertrude Stein and Rabbi Judah L. Magnes learned their alef-bet. Stein, who moved to Paris and pushed aside Jewish rituals, focused on the Jewish obsession with language and conversation as she helped rewrite the use of English through her wit (“There is no there there”) and her novels (“The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”).
This column is provided to j. by Daniel Schifrin, writer-in-residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where stories of local Jewish life are explored in “California Dreaming: Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present.”
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