The Chinese game of mahjong has become a particular favorite among elderly Jewish women in Los Angeles. [Photo by Xia Jia/Qiaobao]
The Chinese game of mahjong has gained popularity in the United States, becoming a particular favorite among elderly Jewish women in Los Angeles, according to Qiaobao, a Chinese-language newspaper in the US.
Mia Carino, spokeswoman for the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, said the exhibit "Project Mahjong" held last year attracted many local citizens, especially those from Jewish communities.
Mahjong fans in nearby neighborhoods organize clubs and get together from time to time in cultural centers or at each other's homes, making arrangements via internet. A Mahjong club in the Reseda area of Los Angeles has more than 100 members, and Southern California's Mahjong Association in Long Beach exceeds 45 members, according to the Qiaobao report.
In 1937, a group of mahjong enthusiasts -- many of whom were Jewish -- formed the nonprofit National Mahjong League to standardize the rules of an American-style version. Today, the National Mahjong League claims more than 350,000 members worldwide, and most are young people who learned from their mothers or grandmothers.