Israel Solomon: Early Synagogue Leader & Jewish Pioneer of San Francisco

Israel Solomon


WS 13/1881

Values Codes  I-E-L-P

Born in London in 1811, Israel Solomon mar­ried there and, in 1833, left for Australia, a country with which his shipping merchant fa­ther was doing business.

The family remained in Sydney until 1849 when the California Gold Rush drew Israel to San Francisco.

Israel Solomon had the foresight to bring along a disas­sembled house that was re-erected at Mont­gomery and Pacific streets.



Israel Solomon was one of the organizers of Congregation Sherith Israel, the pioneer Polish-rite synagogue of the city.

At its founding, in April 1851, he was elected a Trustee, and served as such until October, when he was elected President.

Israel Solomon was a major influence in the affairs of Sherith Israel, heading the Congregation from 1851 to 1855 and again from 1857 to 1866.

He was also the “First Reader.”

Israel Solomon was characterized as an ardent Jew, intensely religious, who took an active interest in all Jewish affairs.


Solomon made a number of trips back to Australia, and eventu­ally his parents came to San Francisco to join him in the 1860s.

By that time Israel Solomon was in business as an insurance agent.



Israel Solomon and his wife (nee Sarah Phillip) had twelve children, eleven daughters and one son.


Israel Solomon died in 1883, survived by six of his children.

Isael Solomon had been the principal shaper of the policies of one of the twin Congregations of San Francisco.


More information can be found in the following issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • Solomon, Israel, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part Two, M-Z, Norton Stern, 41/2

Photo Gallery [New photos always welcome]