Western Jewish Americana

Magnes collection on Congregation Emanu-El, 1850-2002

When a group of San Francisco's Jews met in 1849 to participate in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, the end result was the formation of San Francisco's congregations, Emanu-El and Sherith Israel. Congregation Emanu-El was founded in 1851 as an Orthodox congregation, and its members were primarily German-speaking Europeans. Its present synagogue building was designed by architects Arthur Brown, Jr., John Bakewell, and Sylvain Schnaittacher. In 1927, the American Institute of Architects selected the building as the finest piece of architecture in Northern California.

Levy (Myer S.) appreciation book, 1891

Myer Solomon Levy was born in London on 16 January 1852. Before immigrating to the United States, he served as the rabbi of a congregation in Australia. He served as the rabbi of the community in San Jose, Calif., for eight years, as the rabbi of the First Hebrew Congregation (a.k.a. Temple Sinai), in Oakland, for ten years (1881-1891), and as the rabbi of San Francisco's Congregation Beth Israel (a.k.a. Geary Street Temple) for more than twenty-five years.

Mooser (Hattie and Minnie) papers, 1877-1967

Hattie and Minnie Mooser were sisters and hostesses who were a part of the bohemian and theatrical life of San Francisco. They (along with their brothers George and Leon) were born in Nevada to Samuel and Rose Mooser, raised in Sacramento, and, in 1900, moved to San Francisco. Hattie was involved in social service, and worked for the juvenile court, giving benefits on its behalf with guest stars from local theaters.

Meyer family papers, 1850-2008

Daniel Meyer (1824-1911), Bavarian immigrant and San Francisco pioneer, established the Bank of Daniel Meyer with his brothers Jonas, Moritz, and Mathias in 1857. Meyer was a noted philanthropist. He married Clara Newhouse in 1852, and the couple had no chidren. Upon his death his fortune was distributed to charity and among his siblings, nieces, and nephews.


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