Jews in the American West

Jews in the American West

The 19th century saw Jews, like many other people, moving to the American West. Fact|date=January 2008

Jewish congregations

Lewis A. Franklin moved to San Diego in 1851 and organized the first High Holiday services in southern California. Lewis A. Franklin was not the only person who wanted to help Jews form a congregation in San Francisco in 1849. Congregation Sherith Israel was also being born at that time. Congregation Sherith Israel, like Lewis A. Franklin’s congregation, also did not have a permanent home. Finally, in 1852, the congregation bought land on Stockton Street and asked for donations so they could build a temple of their own. They did get the opportunity to build a temple, which was completed in one year and they soon had 110 members mostly from Northern Europe and England. “The service follows the correct Polish minhag (rite) and is strictly Orthodox” noted Israel J. Benjamin. Another temple in San Francisco in 1854 was Congregation Emanu-el. Emanu-el had a different path from Sherith Israel, because Sherith Israel was an orthodox temple. Emanu-el was a “reform” community. Their rabbi was Dr. Cohen who was originally from Germany, where the “reform’ movement started. The congregation had 260 members, made up mostly of Germans and French natives.

Jewish politicians

Jews such as Charles Himrod, Solomon Star, J.M. Sampliner, and Phillip Wasserman were all mayors. There were over 30 Jewish mayors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. One Jewish mayor was Adolph Sutro, he was the mayor of San Francisco, California, 1895-1897. Adolph Sutro came from Prussia for trade like most Jews. He ran as the "Anti-Octopus" candidate and served one term.

Solomon Star was born in Bavaria on December 20th in 1840. When he was ten years old, he was sent to live with his uncle in Ohio. When the Civil War broke out he went to Missouri. He moved to Deadwood South Dakota and, in 1884, he was elected mayor of Deadwood. He was the mayor for nine years. In 1893 he was elected state senator. After his term he was elected for a second term as mayor in 1896. He died in 1917.

Edward Salomon became the first Jewish governor when he became governor of Wisconsin following the accidental drowning of Louis P. Harvey in 1862. It was not until seventy-one years later, that Herbert H. Lehman became the first Jewish governor in the United States.

The first Jewish congresswoman in the United States, Florence Kahn, who succeeded her husband Julius Kahn who died in the middle of his twelfth term. In addition to being a congresswoman, she taught English and history to high school students. She was involved in many Jewish organizations and motivated women across California to be a part of politics. [cite book |title=Jews of the American West |author=Moses Rischin and John Livingston |pages=p.196References


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