Rhodesli Luncheon. Sunday, January 30, 2011 at the Del Rey Yacht Club in the Marina del Rey.
Rhodesli Luncheon. Sunday, October 24, 2010 at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Levy Hall.
Photos of the luncheon which included Sephardic foods, live music and belly dancing:
7th Annual “Rhodesli Picnic”. Sunday, September 12, 2010 at Rancho Park (Cheviot Hills) at 11:30am. Everyone brought something for the “Pot Luck” table.
Catalina Reunion. It was August 14 to 18, 2010 centered at the Pavillion Lodge on the beachfront boardwalk.
Background: There is a local L.A. Rhodesli custom that has survived almost a hundred years. It is one of charm and as often happens, it is a charm which flows from nostalgia.
Ever since those young men from Rhodes established themselves in Los Angeles, they were attracted to another island for their vacations near Los Angeles, called Santa Catalina. From the beginning it has been a favorite annual vacation spot for the immigrant families.
Catalina, and it’s primary town of Avalon, is situated 25 miles across from the Southern California coastline, and is coincidentally similar to Rhodes’ distance from the Turkish mainland. Louie Benveniste first vacationed in Catalina in 1918, with his wife, Behora, and son Bob, who was one year old at that time. The boat trip cost $2 round trip in that year, and the house they rented cost $7 for one week. Louie Israel visited Catalina in 1920 with a few other friends, and stayed in the villa area, which had tents, instead of homes and motels as it is today. He explained his enjoyment of Catalina by saying, “once you are born on an island with the water all around you, you just like the ocean. The water attracts us.”
Every year in August, a large number of Rhodeslis continue enjoying a week holiday in Avalon. The traditional Sephardic foods and “mezzes” are served at parties in the beach town. There are so many members of the synagogue there during that week in summer that a person could not walk down the Avalon boardwalk without seeing someone they know.
Photo taken circa 1970: