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Insiders/Outsiders: Religious Discrimination in San Diego

In conjunction with Celebrate San Diego! The History & Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community, the San Diego History Center is hosting a panel discussion and public dialogue about religious discrimination in San Diego, past and present.

Through the exploration of historical documents and happenings (such as restrictive housing covenants and the “Gentleman’s Agreement” in La Jolla), participants will also learn about the details of First Amendment cases in San Diego, and discuss current challenges. Panelists bring first-hand experiences, historical data, and legal expertise to the dialogue. Participants will have the opportunity to view the exhibition as well.

San Diego History Center
Thursday, June 22, 2017, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 SDHC members; $15 general admission



Reception with light refreshments 6:00-6:30 pm
Program begins at 6:30 pm


  1. Historical Perspective: Donald Harrison and Joellyn Zollman
  2. Case Study of anti-Semitism in La Jolla: Phil Shapiro and Mary Ellen Stratthaus
  3. Religious discrimination in contemporary times among communities in San Diego: Gagandeep Kaur and Tammie Gillies


Adam Rosenthal is a Partner in the Del Mar office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP, where he specializes in employment law.  Mr. Rosenthal serves on the Executive Committee for the San Diego Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (“ADL”).   Mr. Rosenthal received his BA from UCLA in History and a Minor in Jewish Studies.  Mr. Rosenthal received his J.D. from UC Davis. While in law school, Mr. Rosenthal served as the sole student member of the University of California Board of Regents, representing over 200,000 UC students.  Mr. Rosenthal lives in San Diego with his wife and three children.


Tammy Gillies is the Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego and Imperial Counties.  The San Diego Region is one of five ADL offices in California, and one of 28 across the country.    Tammy began her career with ADL as the Director of Development in San Diego in 2007.  In 2010 she assumed the position of Regional Director in San Diego and has oversight of the Arizona and Nevada offices of ADL.

Tammy takes great pride in the ADL staff in San Diego, their focus on fighting anti-Semitism, anti-bias and diversity education, civil rights, and partnerships with the law enforcement community.

Prior to her work with ADL, Tammy held the position of Director of Development at the Agency for Jewish Education in San Diego, as well as Founding Producer of Yom Limmud: A Community Day of Learning; San Diego’s largest Jewish education event and one of the largest Limmud events in the country.

Tammy is a native New Yorker, and worked as an executive in the garment industry in New York prior to relocating to San Diego in 2000.

Donald Harrison is the editor of San Diego Jewish World and a journalist since 1962. He is the author of Louis Rose: San Diego’s First Jewish Settler and Entrepreneur (2004) and Schlepping through the American West: There is a Jewish Story Everywhere.

Gagandeep Kaur has had the privilege of many diverse experiences, beginning working directly under Chairperson Ronald Brown during the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York, and later was founder and editor-in-chief of a Sikh youth magazine named Sikh Generations in college. She was the first Sikh woman to chair (2003-2005) the national Sikh non-profit civil liberties organization, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund in Washington D.C. Gagandeep has had several essays published, one of which is in the anthology Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence in the South Asian-American Community, June 2001. She has been invited to speak at national and international conferences, such as Harvard’s Pluralism Project forum on “Religion & Politics 2004: Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices” at the National Press Club. Her current community activities include being  a member of the Interreligious Council of San Diego, a Commissioner for The City of San Diego Human Relation’s Commission, Vice President of The Sikh Foundation San Diego Board of Director’ d Board Member of the San Diego District Attorney’s Interfaith Advisory Board.

Phil Shapiro was born and raised in Chicago and served in U.S. Marine Corps. He was commissioned as Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service. After retirement from the military, Shapiro attended law school and has been practicing criminal defense law in San Diego for 30 years. He Joined Congregation (then Temple) Beth El in 1971, and was President of Beth El from 1976-80, helping find and secure their current property in La Jolla in 1976.

Mary Ellen Stratthaus grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated high school from there. After moving to California, she attended Long Beach State University and UCSD for her undergraduate degree and continued studying history at UCSD for graduate school.  In addition to her pursuit of higher education, she was engaged in a series of professional jobs, including being an assistant to the producer, writers and director of the Red Skelton Show on NBC and later secretarial work for the UCSD School of Medicine. Though not of Jewish heritage herself, Ms. Stratthaus’s husband was Jewish and their network included Jewish professors from UCSD. One of her papers while in graduate school was about anti-Semitism in La Jolla, where she uncovered a wealth of sources and learned much about La Jolla’s history. Her paper “Flaw in the Jewel: Housing Discrimination against Jews in San Diego”, published in the journal American Jewish History in 1996, was the first academic paper to detail the history of La Jolla’s anti-Semitic housing policy.

Joellyn Wallen Zollman holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history from Brandeis University. Her dissertation, completed in 2002, is a history of American synagogue gift shops.

This topic incorporates two of her areas of specialization, Jewish art and Jewish history. Professionally, Dr. Zollman has worked with the Jewish material culture collections at the Smithsonian Institution, the Skirball Museum, and The American Jewish Historical Society. Locally, she has taught classes on Jewish history, American religion, and religious art and architecture at San Diego State University, UCSD, and the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:  San Diego Hebrew Homes and Seacrest Foundation


June 22, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101 United States
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