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 Amazing Herschkowitz Parents

Morris Herschkowitz, born in Lautenberg, Germany in 1836, is pictured here with his wife Johanna shortly after they married. The two raised eleven children together, all of whom emigrated to California and settled in Orange County, San Bernardino and San Francisco. Except for the oldest son,…

Germain Packing House is a Lively Place

 

Eugene Germain was born in Switzerland in 1849 to a Jewish family and immigrated to the U.S. in 1868. He arrived on the west coast two years later and opened a restaurant, but soon became much more successful in the packing and shipping of produce. In the late 1880s he purchased a large …

Just Hangin’ Out

Betty Zirinsky, second from left, is enjoying hanging out with friends in this photo taken when she was in her early twenties. They’re seated on a delivery cart for Stein’s Stationery Store, famous for its tag line “Sam Stein’s… of course!), across from the popular Peerless Café. …

Kosher Wines and Brandies for Pesach

 

Known as “King of the Anaheim Winemakers,” Benjamin Dreyfus was the first Jewish resident of what would later become Orange County, as well as its first Jewish mayor (he served from 1881-1882). When this ad was placed in the San Francisco newspaper The Hebrew in February of 1863, Ana…

A Silver Star and A Purple Heart

 

Theodore (Ted) Bernstein was born in New York City in 1920 and later moved with his parents Hyman and Mary (née Ducker) to Santa Ana, where younger brother Robert was born in 1926. His father and Uncle Philip were in business together as Bernstein Bros. Poultry, selling chickens and egg…