Celebrating Orange County's Jewish History

Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society highlights images from the archives every month. Her columns are also featured in JLife magazine. To view earlier articles, contact Dalia at History@JFFS.org.

The Goldsmith-Kallman Tragedy of 1875

It was not unusual for Jewish merchants to be victims of violence in the early West. But it was unusual for violence to break out between Jews, who had the reputation of being law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Our story involves Simon Goldsmith, a prominent Santa Ana businessman, and his bu…

Anaheim’s Jewish Historic District

Rudolph Luedke, one of Anaheim’s earliest Jewish pioneers, was a man of many talents: watchmaker, jeweler, optician, vintner, fictional mayor (in Susan Sontag’s 2000 novel “In America”), trustee of the Los Angeles Vineyard Society (Anaheim’s first organizing body), businessman and …

Passover Celebrated in a Delightful Manner

It’s easy to see the acceptance of the Orange County Jewish community in the 1920s by observing their appearance in articles, editorials and society columns in the Santa Ana Daily Register, the main OC newspaper of the day. Being mentioned in the society column was particularly important, …

Edward & Olga

Edward Wenzel, owner of one of the original 50 plots of land in Anaheim, and his wife, Olga Charlotte Hammes, were very early Jewish pioneers in Orange County. Olga’s family was from Kalisz, Poland, where she was born in 1844. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1855 and by 1860 were living in …

Undoubted Respectability

Three of the thirteen organizers of the 1881 St. Valentine’s Day Masquerade Ball were Jewish: M.A. Mendelson, Fred Hartung, and Frank Ey.

 

Photo Caption: Masquerade Ball Invitation, January 1881