Los Angeles’ Early Jewish Pioneers

Directory of the Early Los Angeles Pioneers

A list of Los Angeles Jewish Pioneers is below. Just click on a name to be taken to his/her exhibit.

Los Angeles’ Early Jewish Pioneers

The first Jewish Pioneer, Jacob Frankfort, arrived in Los Angeles in 1841 and was listed in a Mexican census in 1844.

The 1851 United States Census listed 8 resident Jews in Los Angeles..

The 1870 Census showed 330 Jews out of a total Los Angeles population of 5,720 = 5.77% Jewish.  

The Jewish population of the entire United States was less than 1% of the total!

“The Earliest Pioneers of Los Angeles” focuses on many of these early settlers, how and why they succeeded so well.

This Directory of the Early Los Angeles Pioneers features Jewish Pioneers in the decade in which they first started to affect Los Angeles history. Many more will be added over time.

Click on each individual name to see how – using specific Jewish Values – each Pioneer affected the growth and development of Los Angeles.

Early Los Angeles Jewish Pioneers


Jacob Frankfort & the First Eight Jewish Pioneers of Los Angeles 

Morris Goodman: First Jewish Councilman of Los Angeles & Founder of Anaheim, Part I 

Herman W. Hellman: Los Angeles Merchant & Banker 

Joseph P. Newmark: The First Newmark in Early Los Angeles

John Jones: Early Los Angeles Jewish Pioneer



Solomon Nunes Carvalho: Early Jewish Community Pioneer, Artist & Photographer

Bernard Cohn: Pioneer Merchant & Civic Leader

Kaspare Cohn: Creator of Many “Living Legacies” of Los Angeles

Jacob Elias: Los Angeles Jewish Pioneer Merchant & Leader

Isaias W. Hellman: Pioneer Banker of the Wild West, Part I

Wolf Kalisher: Pioneer Jewish Merchant & Indian Advocate

Maurice Kremer: Very Early Pioneer Jewish Merchant of Los Angeles

Samuel Labatt: Created the First Los Angeles Official Charity Organization

Solomon Lazard: Major Jewish Pioneer of Early Los Angeles; Infrastructure

Joseph Newmark: Early Los Angeles Pioneer: Uncle of Harris Newmark, Unofficial Rabbi of Early Los Angeles

Rosa Newmark: Matriarch of the Los Angeles Newmark Family and Founder of the Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society

Harris Newmark: The First Patriarch of Los Angeles

Louis Phillips: Rancher and Real Estate Pioneer

Samuel Prager: Early Los Angeles Jewish Merchant

Henry Wartenberg: Businessman and Community Leader



Rabbi Abraham Wolf Edelman: The First Rabbi of Los Angeles

Abraham Haas: Purveyer of Food Stuffs, Wholesale & Retail

Emil Harris: Los Angeles’ First Jewish Chief of Police

Leopold Harris: Men’s Clothier of Los Angeles

Isaac Lankershim: Creator of the San Fernando Valley Breadbasket & A Jewish Enigma

Eugene Meyer: Los Angeles Merchant and Civic Investor

Simon Nordlinger: Los Angeles Pioneer Jeweler



Eugene Germain: Pioneer Jewish Purveyer of Fruits and Nursery Products

The Jacoby Brothers: Pioneer Merchants of Los Angeles

Max Meyberg: Owner of the Crystal Palace and Creator of La Fiesta de Los Angeles

Rabbi Hyam Sneersohn: The First Chassid Rabbi in Los Angeles, 1870



Rabbi Abraham Blum: The Third Rabbi of Congregation B’nai B’rith

Herman Frank: Partner of Harris & Frank Department Store

The Hamburgers: A Los Angeles Department Store Family [Updated]

Al Levy, Jewish Pioneer Restaurateur of Los Angeles & Hollywood

Leopold Loeb: Organist at Congregation B’nai B’rith

Rabbi Emanuel Schreibner: The First Reform Rabbi of Los Angeles

Herman Silver: Los Angeles Jewish Civic Leader & Pioneer Water Commissioner


1890’s plus


Alfred Arndt: Jewish Religious Functionary of Early Los Angeles

Abraham Frankum Frankenstein: Musical Director of the Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles

Emuel Goldwater: California Garment Industry Pioneer

Mina Norton: Early Professional Teacher of Los Angeles

Victor Rosenstein: The First Cantor of Los Angeles

Alex Ratner, Founder of Ratner’s Deli in NYC, Early Jewish Pioneer of the San Fernando Valley

Sol & Ephiam Shirsper, El Monte Area Jewish Merchants & Public Servants

Rabbi Michael G. Solomon: The Fourth Rabbi of Congregation B’nai B’rith


More Early Jewish Pioneers will be added in the future.

If you are a member of an Early Los Angeles Jewish Pioneer Family and have photos, documents, etc., please contact us. [Click Here]