Abraham & Cecilia Goodman, Jewish Merchants of St. Helena, California

Abraham and Cecilia Goodman

Values Codes  I-E-L


Abraham Goodman was born in Hungary in 1851.

Abraham Goodman arrived in Cincinnati, at age 25, in 1876.

There, Abraham Goodman met and married Cecilia Rosenthal.


St. Helena

The Goodmans moved to St. Helena, California, in 1879.

Abraham Goodman's Store, 1879

Abraham Goodman’s Store, 1879

They opened a shoe and clothing store on Main Street.

Eventually Abraham Goodman expanded the store by constructing a duplicate store to the north and began selling dry goods.


In 1882, Abraham Goodman went on trial for challenging the Blue Laws which ordered stores to be closed on Sundays.

The jury acquitted Abraham Goodman after deliberating for ten minutes.


In 1887, Abraham Goodman took in Nathan Lauter as a partner.


Julius Goodman would partner up with Joseph Galewsky in 1913 to open the first cinema in the Napa Valley, the  G & G Theater.

Known as the Cameo Cinema today, it is the oldest single screen theatre in the country.



Abraham Goodman had married Cecilia Rosenthal in Cincinnati in the 1870s before moving to St. Helena, California.

The couple had three children: Julius, Jacob and Tessie.

The Expanded Goodman Store in St. Helena, California

The Expanded Goodman Store in St. Helena, California


For more information, see:

Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley, by Lin Weber, ISBN 0-9667014-4-5, 2003

Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage, by Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, ISBN 978-0-7385-8898-8 Arcadia Publishers

Both books are available thru the Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley, info@jhsnv.org



A. Goodman Co. storefront ca. 1879

Expanded A. Goodman Co. storefront ca. 1880s.

Click on photos to enlarge them.

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Goodman Family Exhibit.