From “The Emanu-El” to “J”, 100+ Years of Jewish Journalism in San Francisco

“Emanu-El” to “J”

The first issue of the “Emanu-El” came off the press in late 1895.

It rapidly became the Jewish newspaper  of San Francisco, and had a fair circulation as far South as Los Angeles.

"Emanu-El" January 24, 1896. Archives of WSJH.

“Emanu-El” January 24, 1896.
Archives of WSJH.

Its early publishers, editors and reporters can be found among the dozens of Jewish Pioneers of San Francisco, as part of the Jewish Museum of the American West.

Along with mergers, the “Emanu-El” went through a number of name changes until after World War II when it settled down as the “Jewish Community Bulletin.”

For almost a decade, the “Jewish Community Bulletin” carried a weekly feature called Jewish Pioneers of Northern California, written by the founder of Western States Jewish History, Dr. Norton Stern.

Much of the material for the Exhibition Halls of our Jewish Museum of the American West comes from the same files of Dr. Stern as did those loved history articles in the earlier “Jewish Community Bulletin.”

Then came the “Northern California Jewish Bulletin,” and, after that came ‘ “J” The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California.”

Each time the name changed – the circulation grew – as did the Jewish population of Northern California.

Today, “J” is both a printed Jewish newspaper as-well-as an electronic journal.

From a hand press, to a rolling press, and now, also as an electronic press, (the first Jewish electronic newspaper in America), “Emanu-El” to “J” has been an important factor in following the growth and development of the Northern California Jewish Communities.