Jewish San Francisco (CA) (Images of America)
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In San Francisco, the "instant city" of the gold rush days, Jews were pioneers among pioneers. Some came as immigrants directly from Europe, others as resettled adventurers from the East Coast, and still others as scions of southern Sephardic families. Out of this mixed multitude emerged a community with synagogues and institutions to care for the needy and the sick, along with a dignified social fabric. New immigrants following the Russian pogroms of 1883 were absorbed, and the ashen ruins from the 1906 earthquake were rebuilt. The city's cultural treasures and social needs were enriched, and the city's Jews were nurtured by civic commitments. Today's 70,000 San Francisco Jews, standing upon the shoulders of pioneering giants, continue to build and rebuild.
battery-operated white trucks, covered the city. (Courtesy Jerry Flamm.) The variety of Jewish businesses and activities from McAllister Street and Fillmore Street to Sutter Street was dazzling. (Courtesy Jerry Flamm.) In 1925, Yehudi Menuhin used to ride his scooter in the backyard on Steiner Street. Sidney and Florence Ehrman and many other philanthropic Jews supported the Menuhin family so that Yehudi could have the European violin instruction he needed. (Courtesy Jerry Flamm.) H. Koblick’s
women, to the United States Senate. (Courtesy HUC Skirball Cultural Center, Museum Collection; photograph by Lelo Carter.) Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, is the grandson of pioneer actors, producers, and theater owners Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, who used the Yiddish theater in America as a “force for cultural transformation.” His The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of Life in the Yiddish Theater brought to the forefront their lost historical work,
(Courtesy WJHC/JLMM.) Sherith Israel moved toward the Reform Movement when families were allowed to sit together with the opening of its second building at Post and Taylor in 1870. With the arrival of Rabbi Henry Vidaver in 1874, its membership totaled over 200. (Courtesy WJHC/JLMM.) Sherith Israel’s beautiful temple interior was decorated with flags in commemoration of the assassination of President McKinley. (Courtesy WJHC/JLMM.) In the early 1850s, a Sephardic congregation and Polish
among the Jewish young people in this city and state.” Despite greatly increased membership, the Y again came to an end in 1913 due to financial problems. The 1902 YMHA Barbell Club is pictured here. (Courtesy WJHC/JLMM.) In 1854, a group of professionals, university men, bankers, insurance men, and stockbrokers formed the Verein, the direct ancestor of the present-day Concordia-Argonaut Club. In 1864, the Concordia, swelled by the short-lived Alemanian Club, became the city’s first entirely
Mount Zion Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. The picture shows their daughter-in-law Frances Jacobi Hellman laying the cornerstone. Next to her is their son-in-law Emanuel Heller, who was chairman of the building committee. The nurses had starched caps and aprons. This building still stands at the corner of Scott and Post Streets (Courtesy WJHC/JLMM.) Joseph Brandenstein arrived in San Francisco around 1850 and worked in the gold mines. He then clerked in a general store, where he married the owner’s