From Emanu-El to the J: 100+ Years of Jewish Journalism in San Francisco

Emanu-El to the J


The first issue of the Emanu-El came off the press in late 1895.

It rapidly became the Jewish newspaper of San Francisco, and had a fair circulation as far south as Los Angeles.

"Emanu-El" January 24, 1896. Archives of WSJH.

“Emanu-El” January 24, 1896,
WSJH Archives

Along with mergers, Emanu-El went through a number of name changes until after World War II, when it settled on Jewish Community Bulletin.

For almost a decade, the Jewish Community Bulletin carried a weekly feature called “Jewish Pioneers of Northern California,” written by Norton B. Stern, founder of the Western States Jewish History Association.

Many of our exhibits draw from the same files as did those history articles by Dr. Stern.

The name was next changed to Northern California Jewish Bulletinand, then came the J: The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California.

Each time the name changed, the circulation grew – as did the Jewish population of Northern California.

Today, the J is available both in print and online. It holds the distinction of being the first Jewish electronic newspaper in America.

From a hand press, to a rolling press, to an electronic press, San Francisco Jewish newspapers have followed the growth and development of Northern California’s Jewish Communities.