Anyone affixed to the bling and other stereotypes perpetuated by Bravo's reality TV show Shahs of Sunset
might not know much about the history of Persian Jews. The Fowler Museum's exhibit "Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews" goes beyond Tehrangeles and the current political tensions between Iran and Israel, chronicling the 2,700-year genealogy of Jews living in a Shiite Muslim country, dating back to biblical times. Illuminated manuscripts, paintings, photographs and musical instruments make up the timeline, which also spans the 1979 Islamic Revolution and exodus West, namely to L.A., now home to some 40,000 Iranian-Jewish expats. One of the museum's exhibit-related events is tonight's lecture, titled "The Next Gen of Persian Jews in L.A." Crash
actress Bahar Soomekh; Tabby Davoodi, executive director of the nonprofit 30 Years After; Loyola Marymount University professor Saba Soomekh; community members Shervin Khoramian and Joseph Radparvar; and real estate tycoon (and the man who pretty much owns L.A. nightlife) Sam Nazarian will "break taboos" and discuss topics facing young Persian Jews, among them religion, gender roles, homosexuality and the obsession with economic status. Fowler Museum, UCLA's North Campus; Thurs., March 7, 7:30 p.m.; free. Exhibit runs through March 10. (310) 825-4361, fowler.ucla.edu.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through March 10, 2012