Central Texas Jewry in 1875
Compiled from an article in The American Israelite, Cincinnati, Ohio, written by “L,” and published on November 2, 1875.
After leaving Dallas, the towns are small, and although thriving, the Israelites are usually too few in number to form congregations.
In most places they are even too few for B’nai B’rith lodges.
But, as a rule, wherever six or eight families are gathered together a Benevolent Society exists.
In Navasota and Waco an unmarried man might make a living as a teacher, schochet, (Ritual Slaughterer), and mohel (Circumsizer).
In Waco, Mr. Sam Sanger attempted to form a Sabbath School, but meet with little encouragement.
In Hempstead there is an organization which appears to be a killa (Jewish Community Council) and a chevra, (Charitable Brotherhood).
Brenham has a Jewish organization, and then none until Austin.
Austin has about eighty Jewish male adults, about thirty families.
There are about thirty Jewish business houses.
The B’nai B’rith Lodge has about twenty members.
President is H. Hellman; Vice-President is Nathan Meyer, and Secretary is L. Littmon.
On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, where there was no congregation, there were two minyanim.
In New Braunfels, a neat little town, there is but one Israelite, said to be very wealthy, a Mr. Landa.
San Antonio, on the San Antonio River, is the oldest town in the United States next to St. Augustine, Florida.
There are about twenty Jewish families here and about the same number of business houses.
Congregation Beth El has more than forty members with a structure, completed in 1875, that cost $13,000.
They are offering a stipend of $1,800 in gold for a rabbi.
President is Louis Zork; Secretary is B. Oppenheimer.
The B’nai B’rith Lodge is very active.
President is E. Moke; Vice-President, S. Steiner.
There is a Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.
President, Mrs. M. Roos;
There is also a Hebrew Benevolent Society.
For more information, see this article in Western States Jewish History
- Central Texas Jewry in 1875, by “L” Vol XIII, #4.