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.

Benjies Deli – 50 Years Young

Orange County’s oldest Jewish deli, Benjies Delicatessen, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this coming October. The restaurant got its start after Stan and Eleanor (Finegold) Weinstein left Brooklyn in the late 1940s and moved to the west coast to raise their growing family. Althou…

Two Purple Hearts, One Medal of Honor, and a Library

December 5th marks one year since Tibor Rubin, a truly remarkable human being, passed away. Born in Hungary in 1929, he was transported to the Mauthausen concentration camp at the age of 13. Though he survived, most of his family did not. After the war he became a U.S. citizen and fought in …

For Sale Turkeys

Most likely unaware that the headline indicated their Jewish Eastern European heritage, this ad, complete with Yiddish syntax, ran in the November 21, 1932 issue of the Santa Ana Daily Register. Phillip Bernstein started selling chickens and eggs in August of 1919 out of his garage at 838 N.…

Shoes for the Whole Family at Real Bargains

After Nathan Fainbarg’s father passed away, he and his mother Libby emigrated from what is now Belarus to New York in 1907. A few years later Nathan moved in with cousins in Michigan and started working as a shoemaker, and in 1912 he met and married Rose Gorodetsky of Detroit. The young fa…

The Brothers Israel

Leonard and Walter Israel were both born in New York City to Michael (Elimelech) and Yetta (née Leibowitz), who had immigrated from Galicia/Austria in the early 1900s. Originally “Isrealowich,” Michael shortened the last name over the years until it finally became just “Israel.” He …