Jews have been in Orange County since 1857, when it was still a part of Los Angeles County, and have made significant contributions ever since. Dalia Taft, archivist for the Orange County Jewish Historical Society will speak at the Orange County Historical Society’s Dec. 10, 2020 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom. Taft’s program will show how many of Orange County’s Jewish residents were, and continue to be, actively involved in local commerce, culture and politics while still maintaining their Jewish identities. The lecture covers the period 1857-1945, and includes a montage of old photos, period newspaper announcements and vintage advertisements.
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As the archivist for the OCJHS, Taft is responsible for increasing the awareness of the role Jews have played in the development of Orange County from 1857, when the first Jew settled in Anaheim, to now. She maintains the Society’s archives and is constantly researching and digitizing the growing collection. She helped organize the group’s website and lectures regularly about the different significant periods in Orange County’s Jewish history. Ms. Taft also writes a monthly column in JLife, Orange County’s monthly Jewish magazine, highlighting images from the society’s archives, and she wrote and directed the documentary California Orange Jews, on the history of the Orange County Jewish community. She has also published the book, Jewish Pioneers of Orange County, (Vol. 44, #3/4 of the journal Western States Jewish History), detailing the many stories of Jewish life in Orange County from the 1860s through the 1980s. This volume is an invaluable resource and features an introduction by longtime OCHS member John Moorlach.
Ms. Taft graduated from UCLA with a degree in art, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and her professional experience includes work as educator at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and public relations manager with the Easter Seals organization.
This program was originally scheduled for April but was postponed due to COVID.