Missouri Exhibition Hall

Missouri Exhibition Hall

Starting with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Jews from Schwihau, Bohemia started settling in St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Troy and Perryville.

The first known Jewish settler was Ezekiel Block.

The Pioneer Jews engaged primarily in merchandising and invested in other ventures.

Most early Jewish pioneers married Christians. One married into the Philipson family, the first Jewish family in St. Louis.

1841 was the founding year of the first congregation in St. Louis, when there were less than 100 Jews living there.

By 1850, there were roughly 700 Jews living in St. Louis.

Today, Missouri’s Jewish population is about 60,000.

St. Louis World's Fair, Postcard

St. Louis World’s Fair, vintage postcard

Early Jewish Organizations of Missouri

United Hebrew Congregation of St. Louis: The First Synagogue West of the Mississippi

Early Jewish Pioneers of Missouri

Daniel Block: Helped to Merge the First Three Synagogues into B’nai El Congregation of St. Louis

Isaac Baer: Early Jewish Pioneer of St. Louis, Missouri

 Louis Bauman: Early Jewish Pioneer Jeweler of St. Louis, Missouri, 1840’s

Eleazer Block: the First Jewish Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri in the Early 1820′s

Isidor Bush: Jewish Pioneer: “A Man for all Seasons,” St. Louis, Missouri

Moritz & “Jetta” Freund and the Freund Baking Company of St. Louis, Missouri from 1856

Meyer Friede: Early Jewish Pioneer of St. Louis & First Jewish Legislator of Missouri

Isaac Fuld: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant and Synagogue Organizer of St. Louis, Missouri

Adolph Isaacs: Early Jewish Pioneer Clothing Merchant of St. Louis, Missouri

Samuel Jacks & Morris Jacks: Cousin Jewish Pioneers of St. Louis, Missouri

Max Littmann: Jewish Hero of Indian Wars in the “Wagon Box Fight”

David May: Pioneer Jewish Merchant, Founder of May Company & His Family

Dr. Simon Gratz Moses: the First Jewish Physician in St. Louis, Missouri in the Early 1840’s

Dr. Simon Pollak: Early Jewish Pioneer Doctor of St. Louis, Missouri, 1840’s+

Morris Rosenheim: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant of St. Louis, Missouri

Rosa Fassel Sonneschein: Early Zionist & Newspaper Publisher

Some of the Early Jewish Pioneers of St. Louis, Missouri, 1840’s – 1850’s