This article analyzes the relation between the development of religious institutions and neighborhood formation in the main Jewish Orthodox neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Melrose-La Brea neighborhood, an ethnically Jewish area since the 1930s, was transformed by religious place entrepreneurs from the East Coast in the 1970s. The emerging Orthodox community, however, was not principally populated by converting secular Jews. Instead, by developing prestigious institutions, religious place entrepreneurs made it into a viable destination for Orthodox Jews across the United States. Contrary to 'supply side' models developed in the sociology of religion, I then argue that institutional 'supply' may be successful without producing local 'religious demand'. Moving from a market metaphor to examine the role of far reaching networks, I contend that the success of religious place entrepreneurs in this case emerged from the relation between institutional development, the production of neighborhood identity, and population movements within an ethnic geography.
- Los Angeles
- Neighborhood formation
- Religious place entrepreneurship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)