Oregon Exhibition Hall


The State of Oregon

Some Oregon Jewish Firsts

 1849: Jacob Goldsmith and Lewis May were the first Jewish settlers in Portland, Oregon.  Bavarian born Jews they operated a general merchandise store on Front Avenue..

 1853; The first Jewish woman in Oregon, Mrs. Caroline Weinshank, a widow, opened a boarding house in Portland for bachelors.  Portland’s 1860 census records show 84 Jews over the age of 16 – 61 men and 23 women.

 1855: Louis Blumauer, the first Jewish child born in Oregon, is born in Portland.

 1856: The first Jewish New Years services in the Oregon Territory are held in the gold-rush boomtown of Jacksonville.  The community’s last services were held in 1883, after most of the pioneers moved to San Francisco.

 1856: The first Jewish organization in Oregon, Portland’s Mt. Sinai Cemetery Association.  The first Jewish cemetery is located at the west end of Ross Island Bridge.

 1858:  The first Jewish congregation is founded in Portland. A Reform congregation

 1869: Bernard Goldsmith becomes Portland’s first Jewish mayor.  His successor, Phillip Wasserman, was Portland’s second Jewish mayor.

Temple Beth Israel of Portland Oregon, Old Postcard

Temple Beth Israel of Portland Oregon, Old Postcard


Lazard Coblentz: Pioneer Jewish Whiskeyman of Portland, Oregon

The Durkheimers: From Jewish Pioneers to Oregon Merchants

Louis Fleischner: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant and Community Leader of Portland, Oregon

Sigmund Aron Heilner, Pioneer Jewish Merchant of Oregon

Henry Heppner, Pioneer Jewish Businessman of Heppner, Oregon

Solomon Hirsch, Early Jewish Pioneer Businessman and Politician of Portland Oregon.

Edgar Marks Lazarus, Jr., Jewish Architect of the State of Oregon

Ben Selling: Leading Jewish Philanthropist and Merchant of Portland, Oregon

Joseph Shemanski, Pioneer Jewish Merchant and Philanthropist of Portland Oregon

Joseph Simon, Pioneer Jewish Lawyer, State Senator, and U.S. Senator from the State of Oregon

David Solis-Cohen, Pioneer Lawyer, Poet, Speaker, Merchant and Banker of Portland, Oregon

Meier & Frank Department Store of Portland Oregon


Some Early Jewish Pioneers of Oregon

Special Exhibits

Passover Matzos Adv in Portland, Oregon Newspaper, 1916

Early Rose Parade in Portland, Oregon