Joseph Haber: Pioneer Jewish Jeweler of San Francisco

Joseph Haber

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Joseph Haber, Jeweler, San Francisco

Joseph Haber, jeweler, San Francisco

“In all domestic virtues, charitableness and goodness of heart, he was a Jew.  A keen businessman, endowed with high ideals of citizenship, great integrity and the ambition to make life expressive of the virtues that should adorn the Jew, placed him in a high station of life.”

— Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916


Joseph Haber was born in Bavaria in 1842.

He left home at the age of 14 and headed for New York City.


Along the way

In New York, Joseph Haber learned the jewelry trade.

He then moved to Monteal, Canada.

In 1860, he came to San Francisco.

Hearing of a new Gold Rush in the Caribou Mines of the Canadian Northwest, he rushed there to try his hand at prospecting, but returned to San Francisco soon thereafter with only 50 cents in his pocket.

In 1863, he again went  to Montreal.

Haber was in Ohio during the Civil War.


San Francisco

In 1865, Joseph Haber returned to San Franciscowhere he was employed, once again, in the jewelry business.

Along with S. B. Dinkelspiel, he organized the firm of S. B. Dinkelspiel & Co., Wholesale Jewelerswhich continued until his retirement in 1893.

In retirement, Haber kept busy with real estate investments.



Joseph Haber married Fanny Solomon in 1876.

Together, they had five children: Dr. William J. Haber, Joseph Jr., Samuel B. Haber, Walter B. Haber, and Harold Haber.


Joseph Haber died in 1910.


  • Martin A. Meyer, The Jews of San Francisco (San Francisco: Emanu-El, 1916).

David Epstein is curator of this Joseph Haber exhibit.


Jews in the News

–About this time–

Rabbi Aron J. Messing

  Of Congregation Sherith Israel

    Evaluates San Francisco Jewry — 1872

The Jewish inhabitants of San Francisco are not wicked and sinful, any more than are the Jewish people of European cities. True, there are some who desecrate the Sabbath, but then there are many who keep it sacred. There are those who partake of the forbidden food, still there are many who are very strict in the observance and the observation of the dietary laws.

The most of them are generous, open-hearted and charitable, and their justice and righteousness plead for them before the world and according to the maxim of our rabbis, “Those who are thought well of by mankind generally, will also find grace in the eyes of God.”

— The Hebrew, San Francisco, January 26, 1872 [WSJHQ 7/2]