Jacob Weinberger: Federal Judge Who Left His Mark on Arizona & San Diego California, Part 2


Judge Jacob Weinberger, San Diego, California, #WS43/2

Judge Jacob Weinberger, San Diego, California,

Jacob Weinberger

The San Diego Years

Values Codes I – E – L

For part 1 of this article, click here


Jacob Weinberg and his family arrived in San Diego in 1911 after 6 years in Globe, Arizona.

From 1911 to 1941 Jacob Weinberger had a private law practice in San Diego.

From 1913 to 1914, his law partnership was Binnard & Weinberger.

In 1922, the partnership was Heskett & Weinberger.

From 1932 to 1941, it was Weinberger & Miller.

Between 1941 and 1945, Jacob Weinberger served in various civic positions.

From 1945 to 1946, Weinberger was again in private practice.



Between 1918 and 1939, Jacob Weinberger served on the Board of Education for the San Diego School District, serving seeveral terms as president.

In 1940, he was vice-president of the Jewish Committee for Personal Service.

Between 1941 and 1943, he served as City Attorney of San Diego.

Between 1943 and 1945, he was a Judge of the Superior Court of San Diego County. He was appointed by the Governor to fill a vacancy left when Judge Mundo was called to military service.

Jacob Weinberger also served as vice-chairman of the State Democratic Central Committee.

In 1945 and 1946, he served on the board of directors of the San Diego County Community Welfare Council.

Jacob Weinberger sat on the  USO Council in San Diego in 1945.

In 1945, he was chairman of the Army and Navy (USO) Jewish Welfare Board.

From 1946 to 1959, he sat as United States District Court Judge for Southern California, appointed by President Harry Truman.

As a U.S. District Court Judgehe presided over the infamous Dora Jones Slavery Trial in 1947, which resulted in a Coronado couple’s conviction for keeping a black woman in bondage for more than forty years.

Judge Jacob Weinberger swore in approximately 16,000 new American citizens. He is quoted as saying:

“It isn’t a fairy tale.  America will give you back thrice-fold what you give to her.  She did it for me; and she can do it for you.”



Jacob Weinberger was a member of all San Diego Masonic bodies including the Shrine.

He was lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

In 1923, Weinberger joined the Lions Club as a charter member, and served as its president from 1923 to 1930.



From 1911 on, Jacob Weinberger was an active member of Congregation Beth Israel.

In 1918 Weinberger was chairman of the Jewish Welfare Board, which provided for the special needs of Jewish soldiers and sailors concentrated in the San Diego area during World War I.

From 1934 to 1945, Weinberger was president of the United Jewish Fund of San Diego, and sat on its board of directors for life. UJFSD was formed to help rescue European Jews. All of San Diego, not just the Jewish population, was organized in this effort through the UJFSD. The organization evolved into the United Jewish Federation of San Diego.

Jacob Weinberger was a member of San Diego B’nai B’rith Lasker Lodge #270 and served as president. He had joined B’nai B’rith back in his Denver years.

Weinberg U.S.Courthouse, San Diego, CA, #WS3954

Jacob Weinberg U.S. Courthouse, San Diego, CA, #WS3954

Jacob Weinberger U.S. Courthouse, a historic 1915 building, was renamed for him in 1988.

The Jacob Weinberger Elementary School, established in 1963, also bears his name.


Judge Jacob Weinberger passed away in 1974 and is buried in the Home of Peace Cemetery in San Diego.

“The Jewish People of San Diego were never all of one mind as to many issues.   Some were explosive and others drew into their shell.  Jake was the great conciliator.  He smoothed out our differences, and worked tirelessly for our total good.  By 1940 he had become among us a legend in his own time.  There was no Jew in San Diego who could have approached the position Jake held as commanding the almost unanimous respect and support of so many of our people.”

— Unnamed interviewee in Stanford Leland article

“It was at the beginning of the Holocaust in Europe when Judge Weinberger and a handful of men and one woman foresaw the need to extend a helping hand to some of the human beings who were trapped in the web of a madman’s hate.  These few people formed a small organization which became the United Jewish Fund of San Diego.  Under the leadership and wise council of Judge Weinberger – an interrelationship with the whole community developed, with mutual understanding and respect between the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens.  Due to the Judge’s leadership and foresight, brotherhood in San Diego today is a fact, and there are not many communities like ours; and this is an outgrowth of the Judge’s bold leadership for social justice.”

— Dr. Walter Ornstein


  • Jacob Weinberger, United States Federal Judge; by Leland Stanford, WSJH 43/2.

Regina Merwin is of this Jacob Weinberger exhibit.