Orange County, California Exhibition Hall

Orange County Exhibition Hall

I’m an avid Western States Jewish History subscriber and reader. In fact, I own every issue ever published and have read almost all of them from cover-to-cover. Mention the names of Norton Stern and Rabbi William M. Kramer and my eyes light up.

I’m also a big Orange County fan, booster and promoter. This is the best place on the planet to live, work and play.

In 2014, Orange County will be commemorating its quasquicentennial, its 125th anniversary. We have so much to celebrate. Morris Goodman, a Jewish pioneer of Anaheim, played an influential role in the split of Orange County from Los Angeles County on August 1, 1889. Goodman was also on the first Los Angeles City Council in 1850.

The Jewish influence in Orange County has fingerprints everywhere. Benjamin Dreyfus founded Anaheim’s largest wine producer and served as the city’s mayor in 1881 and 1882.

I’m an immigrant from the Netherlands. I am motivated by the stories of Jewish immigrants who lived noble lives of service to their spouses, their children, their businesses, and their communities. They emphasized education and charity. While some may read man­agement books to become better leaders, I read Western States Jewish History to be motivated on how to lead and live.

– John M. W. Moorlach, C.P.A., Past-Chairman, Orange County Board of Supervisors; Currently a State Senator in Sacramento

Taken from Moorlach’s Introduction to the special issue of WSJH, “Jewish Pioneers of Orange County: 1850s – 1870s,” from which much of this Exhibition is derived.


Morris Goodman: First Jewish Councilman of Los Angeles and a Founder of Anaheim

Isaac Cohen: Pioneer Merchant, Politico & Federal Officer

Louis Waternberg: Anaheim’s First Jewish Marshal

Benjamin Dryfus: Pioneer Jewish Wine Tycoon of Anaheim

The Davis Brothers: Early Pioneers of Anaheim

The Mendelson Family: Pioneer Inn Keepers of San Juan Capistrano

Early Jewish Pioneers of Santa Ana: Lewin, Hirshfeld, Frankels, Goldsmith, Gildmacher, Reinhaus, Huff & Goldstein