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Eric Garcetti, L.A.'s First Elected Jewish Mayor, Will Take His Oath On A Christian Bible

Eric Garcetti at a past swearing in
Eric Garcetti at a past swearing in

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti still has a lot of decisions to make about his upcoming inauguration. Should he sit in with Moby, or would that be too show-offy? Which food truck should he hit first?


But one decision seems to have been made. Garcetti -- L.A.'s first elected Jewish mayor -- will take his oath on a Christian Bible.

His spokesman, Diego de la Garza, said the Bible belonged to Garcetti's Catholic grandmother.

As a candidate, Garcetti often noted that he would be the first elected Jewish mayor in the city's history. (One was appointed in the 1870s.) However, his heritage is complicated. His mother is Jewish. His father, former D.A. Gil Garcetti, is of Italian and Mexican descent. Garcetti, who speaks Spanish, calls himself "doble mestizo."

His complex ancestry created a dilemma for his inauguration. Some Jewish officials -- such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- take their oaths on a Hebrew Bible.

In Garcetti's case, tradition won out. His spokesman said that he used his paternal grandmother's Bible when he was sworn in as a councilman, and saw no reason to do anything differently this time. Garcetti's paternal grandmother, Juanita Iberri, was born in Arizona; her family came from Mexico.

The inauguration will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday on the Spring Street steps of City Hall.

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