Moses D. Pass: Pioneer Jewish Physician and Drugstore Owner of Nebraska

Moses D. Pass

Value Codes I – E – L


Moses Pass was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine in 1861.


Along the way . . . .

Moses Pass came to New York in 1882, where he worked as a bookbinder.

In 1895, Pass was naturalized as an American citizen.

He studied homeopathic medicine at the Cleveland Medical College (now Western Reserve University), graduating in 1896.

Dr. Pass continued his studies at the University of Kentucky, Louisville, earning his graduate degree in 1899.



Nebraska, Vintage Postcard

Nebraska, vintage postcard

In 1881, Dr. Pass registered as a physician in Nebraska’s Douglas, Lincoln, and Thomas Counties.

In 1901, he practiced medicine in Elba.

He also bought and sold real estate, earning a profit.

In 1906, Pass practiced medicine and worked as one of the town druggists in Wallace.

In 1909, he moved to Seneca, which was without a physician or drugstore.

His drugstore had a Star of David on it, proclaiming that the proprietors were Jewish.

Dr. Moses Pass' Drug Store circa 1910, Vintage Postcard

Dr. Moses Pass’ Drug Store, circa 1910, vintage postcard

In addition to serving the people of Elba, Wallace and Seneca, he was a railroad physician serving the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad.

He was also a “Union Pacific Surgeon.”

In 1915, Dr. Pass moved to Omaha and opened a new drugstore there.

In 1916, the Pass family moved to Broadwater, where he became the town physician and Yetta, his wife, sold notions (personal items) and drugs.



In 1937, Moses Pass spoke out against fascism and anti-Semitism.

In 1943, he contributed to the “Smokes for Service Men” campaign, which collected more than 1,700,000 cigarettes for overseas servicemen.



Pass married Yetta Brodsky (1872-1971) in 1898 in Meridian, Connecticut.

Yetta was also an immigrant from Kiev, Ukraine.

Together they had four children: Ruth, Miriam, Emanuel (d.1994), and Raphael (d.1997).


Dr. Moses Pass died in 1948 in Broadwater, Nebraska.

He is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Tombstone of Dr. Moses Pass

Tombstone of Dr. Moses Pass


  • Oliver B. Pollak, “Moses D. Pass, MD, and Stars of David in Nebraska Sand Hills,” Western States Jewish History 46/4.

Samantha Silver is the curator of this Moses Pass exhibit.