San Francisco/Bay Area Early Jewish Pioneers

San Francisco/Bay Area Early Jewish Pioneers


Washington Bartlett: California’s Pioneer Jewish Governor

Henry A. Lyons: First Jew to Serve on the California Supreme Court

Joel Noah: Jewish 49er and Respected Masonic “Tiler”

Joshua Norton: Beloved Jewish Emperor of San Francisco

Louis Sloss: Grand Jewish 49er of San Francisco & Alaska

Israel Solomon: Early Synagogue Leader of San Francisco

Abraham Watters: Pioneer Synagogue Founder of San Francisco


Emanuel Berg: Maker of a Historical Mistake

Simon Blum: Pioneer Master Merchant of Martinez, California

Joseph Brandenstein: Pioneer Philanthropist of San Francisco

Aaron Cahn: Pioneer Jewish Merchandiser and Philanthropist of San Francisco and the Northwest

Frederick “Fred” Levy Castle: Pioneer Jewish Merchant and Dried Fruit & Nut Purveyor of San Francisco

Harriet Ashim Choynski: Early Jewish Pioneer Educator of San Francisco

Isidor Choynski: Foremost Jewish Journalist of San Francisco

Lazerus Dinkelspiel: Pioneer Merchant and Philanthropist of San Francisco

Rabbi Julius Eckman: Rabbi and Jewish Newspaper Publisher

Aaron Fleishhacker & Sons, Mortimer & Herbert: Jewish Pioneer Merchants, Manufacturers, Bankers and Philathropists of San Francisco

Morris Greenberg: Brass Foundry Owner

August Helbing: Jewish Pioneer Founder of the Eureka Benevolent Society of San Francisco

Martin Heller: Dry Goods Wholesaler & Longest Synagogue President

Solomon Heydenfeldt: Jewish Justice of California Supreme Court

Adolphus Hollub: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant & Mason

Benjamin Hyam: Lawyer and Master Mason

Harry Isaacs: Pioneer Jewish Freighter & Saloon Keeper in Early of San Francisco

Philo Jacoby: Newspaper Publisher and World Champion Sharpshooter

Henry J. Labatt: Lawyer and Statesman

Daniel Levy: Jewish French Intellectual and Educator

Samuel Wolf Levy: Insurance, Retailer, and Philanthropist

Henry Lyons: Justice of the California Supreme Court

Hannah Marks Solomons: Pioneer Jewish Woman

Sigmund Steinhart: Food Broker & Philanthropist

John & Adelaide Steinman: Hotel Owners

David Stern: Partner in Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss: Founder of Levi Strauss and Co.

Adolph Sutro: Engineer, Entrepreneur and Mayor

David N. Walter: Early Pioneer Jewish Home Furnishing Merchant of San Francisco

Simon Wolf: Pioneer Master Merchant of Contra Costa County

Isaac Wormser: Capitalist and Philanthropist


Abraham Anspacher: Grain Merchant and Philanthropist

Julius Baum: Leading Jewish Pioneer Businessman of San Francisco

Samuel Bloom: Early Jewish Pioneer and Quality Tanner of San Francisco

Joseph Rodrigues Brandon: Pioneer Lawyer and Activist of San Francisco

Rabbi Elkin Cohn: Accomplished Early San Francisco Rabbi

Amelia Dannenberg: Clothing Manufacturer

Mendel Esberg: Pioneer Jewish Cigar Merchant and Manufacturer of San Francisco

Benedict Feigenbaum: Early Pioneer Merchant of Northern California and San Francisco

Elizabeth Fleishman-Aschheim: Heroic Radiologist

Lewis Gerstle: Jewish Pioneer of the Alaska Commercial Company and San Francisco Benefactor

Emanuel Lewis Goldstein: Jewish Pioneer Wholesale Grocer of San Francisco

Jacob Greenbaum: Clothing Manufacturer, Importer and Philanthropist

Henry Greenberg: Jewish Pioneer Manufacturer, Banker, Real Estate Broker & Benefactor

The Gumps: From Picture Frames to San Francisco’s Most Exclusive Store

Joseph Haber: Pioneer Jewish Jeweler of San Francisco

Abraham Elias Hecht: Jewish Pioneer Partner of Buckingham & Hecht Shoe Co. of San Francisco

Isaac Hecht: Jewish Pioneer Partner of Buckingham & Hecht Shoe Co. of San Francisco

Marcus Hecht: Shoe Manufacturer and Retailer

Julius Jacobs: Pioneer Merchant, Insurance Salesman, and Assistant United States Treasurer

Simon Koshland: Pioneer Jewish Wool Merchant of San Francisco

The Liebes Family: Fur Importer and Manufacturer

The Roos Family: Pioneer Merchants of San Francisco & Virginia City

Lippman Sachs: Dry Goods and Clothing Wholesaler

Dr. Max Sichel: First Known Dentist in California

Isaac Stone: Early Dairyman of San Francisco

Oscar Weil: Jewish Music Teacher, Composer, and Critic of San Francisco

Cantor Alexander Weisler of Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco


Charles Louis Ackerman: Successful Jewish Pioneer Barrister of San Francisco

David Belasco: America’s Gold Rush-Bred Impresario

Simon Greenwald: Early Jewish Pioneer & Founder of the Alaska Commercial Co.

Moses Gunst: United Cigar Stores

Samuel Hart: Jewish Pioneer Businessman of San Francisco and the Gold Country

Herman Heyneman: Pioneer Jewish Tobacco Merchant of San Francisco

Gabriel M. Kutz: Pioneer Jewish Manufacturer of Shoes in San Francisco

Samuel Lachman & Sons: Leading Jewish Winemaker/Merchants of the American West

David Livingston: Dry Goods Merchant of San Francisco & San Bernardino

Rabbi Aron Messing: Too Orthodox for Congregation Sherith Israel

Daniel & Jonas Meyer: Pioneer Jewish Bankers of San Francisco

Julius Platshek: Jewish Pioneer Real Estate and Wool & Hide Merchandiser

Emanuel Raas: Jewish Pioneer Wool Merchant and Philanthropist

Toby Rosenthal: Jewish Artist of Early San Francisco

Henry Sinsheimer: Early Jewish Pioneer Merchant of San Luis Obispo, while Living in San Francisco

Rabbi Henry Vidaver: Orator and Patriot

Cantor Max Wolff of Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, 1874 – 1884 

1880′s & 1890’s

Dr. Albert Abrams: Contoversial Doctor of San Francisco

Simon Bachman: Pioneer Jewish Purveyor of Cigars & Tobacco in San Francisco

Joseph Bartlett Choynski: Foremost Jewish Boxer of San Francisco

Isaac F. Bloch: Pioneer Jewish Merchant and Quality Leather Manufacturer of San Francisco

Jennie Rosenthal Ehrman: Pianist, Teacher, & Music Critic of San Francisco

Abraham Haas: Food Wholesaler and Industrialist, Part #2

Isaias W. Hellman: California’s Eminent Banker, Part #2

Sir Henry Heyman: Knighted Jewish  Violinist of San Francisco

Samuel & Albert S. Lavenson: Two Generations of Jewish Pioneer Merchandisers

Solomon Levinson: Jewish Boxing Glove Manufacturer of San Francisco

The Levy Brothers: Pioneer Chiropodists/Podiatrists of San Francisco & Aurora

Phillip N. Lilienthal: Jewish Pioneer Banker and Philanthropist

Adolph Mack: Jewish Pioneer of the San Joaquin Valley & San Francisco, California

Isaac & Mary Ann Cohen Magnin: Early Jewish Pioneer Fashion Leaders

Joseph Naphtaly: Pioneer Jewish San Francisco Lawyer and Public Servant of California

Jacob H. Rosewald: Jewish Conductor and Music Teacher of San Francisco

Julie Eichberg Rosewald: “Cantor Soprano” of Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco, 1884 – 1893

Adolph A. Son and the Spitz Brothers: Pioneer Jewish Tobacco Merchants

Cantor Edward Stark: Esteemed Cantor of Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco

Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger: Outstanding Rabbi of San Francisco

Anthony Zellerbach: Jewish Paper King of the American Wild West

Early 20th Century

Flora Jacobi Arnstein: Educator, Poet, and Musician of San Francisco

Gustave Albert Lansburgh: Architect of Movie Theaters, Synagogues and Other Buildings