Early Jewish Pioneers of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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In Early Pioneer Jewish Citizens of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Pre-1907

Ben Hirschland was a successful paper wholesaler and box manufacturer.

 

In 1909, Ben Barnett started a laundry which expanded into other businesses.

In 1915, Al Rosenthal opened a shop.

B.J. Kaufman was a wholesale milliner.

 

In 1917, Max Fagin, an attorney arrives in Oklahoma City.

In 1919, Dr. I. Levy, an optometrist, arrives from McAlester.

Dr. J.C. Fishman joins University of Oklahoma’s Medical School faculty.

 

1920, Ed Hirsh and son – also attorneys moved from Muskogee to Oklahoma City.

In 1922, David Schoenwald founded Blackwell Oil (in Blackwell) and was President of the First National Bank of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Main Street at Turn of the Century, Vintage Postcard

Oklahoma City Main Street at Turn of the Century,
Vintage Postcard

Community

Temple B’nai Israel founded in 1903.

It used student Rabbis from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati for High Holy Days.

Gus Paul, City Attorney, led regular services.

Arthur Lewinsohn was its first Rabbi – 1904

Rabbi Joseph Blatt presided from 1906 until 1946 – 40 years!

 

In 1906, there were 35 families in the congregation.

From 1906-1916 Rabbi Blatt was Oklahoma’s only full-time Rabbi.

 

In 1904, Emanuel Synagogue was formed as an Orthodox congregation.

It is now Conservative.

Oklahoma Capital in Oklahoma City with Oil Wells on Lawn, Vintage Postcard

Oklahoma Capital in Oklahoma City with Oil Wells on Lawn, Vintage Postcard

 

Civic 

Gus Paul served as City Attorney.

Max Fagin served as Assistant County Attorney, before 1930.

Seymor C. Heyman, who came to Oklahoma City in 1901, served as President of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and later became President of the Oklahoma City School Board.

Oklahoma's 50th Anniversary U. S. Postage Stamp.

Oklahoma’s 50th Anniversary U. S. Postage Stamp.

 

 

Sources

  • Tobias, Henry J. The Jews of Oklahoma.  University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.
  • Jewish Virtual Library
  • Encyclopedia Judaica
  • Institute of Southern Jewish Life

Regina Merwin is the Curator for this Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Exhibit

Pictures and more information would be very helpful for this exhibit.

 

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