Early Jewish Pioneers of Los Angeles – 1842 to 1899

Early Jewish Pioneers of Los Angeles – 1842 to 1899

The first Jewish pioneer arrived in Los Angeles in 1841 and was listed in a Mexican census in 1844.

The 1850 United States Census listed 8 residents with Jewish names residing in Los Angeles.

The 1870 Census showed 330 Jews out of a total Los Angeles population of 5,720 – or 5.77% of the total population.  

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


Jacob Frankfort & the First Eight Jewish Pioneers of Los Angeles 

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

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

Herman W. Hellman: Los Angeles Merchant & Banker 

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, Los Angeles Years

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: 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: Purveyor 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 Purveyor 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 Chabad 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: 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 Schreiber: 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

Lemuel Goldwater: California Garment Industry Pioneer

Mina Norton & Jeanette Lazard: Early Professional Teachers in Los Angeles

Benjamin Platt: Music Retailer of Early 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 & Ephraim Shirsper: El Monte Area Jewish Merchants & Public Servants

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