The 1840’s and 1850’s

Jacob Frankfort, a German tailor was perhaps the first Jew to arrive in Los Angeles. He traveled with the Rowland Workman party. Although he appears to have been in Los Angeles again in 1847 and is documented in the 1850 census as living at the Alexander Bell residence, he did not become among the later residents of L.A.
California admitted to the Union.
The U.S. Census recorded 15 blacks, 8 Jews and 2 Chinese residing in Los Angeles County, including Jews Jacob Frankfort, 40; Morris Michaels, 19; Abraham Jacoby, 25; Augustin Wasserman, 24; Felix Bachman, 28; Philip Sochel, 28; Joseph Plumer, 24; Morris Goodman, 24. All are listed as not married. Approximately 1/6th of the 30 natives of Germany in the census were Jews, two Jews were the only natives of Poland.
John P. Jones, one of eight Jews elected to the city council between 1850 and 1875, was chosen president of the council in 1870.
Morris L. Goodman was the first Jewish Councilman in 1850 when the Los Angeles Ayuntamiento became the Los Angeles City Council.
Samuel K. and Joseph Labatt arrived from New Orleans and were the first native born American Jewish adults in Los Angeles. They were merchants of dry goods. They were also the first Sephardic Jews in Los Angeles. Samuel K. Labatt was the first president of the first Jewish organization established in L.A. The brothers opened a store called La Tienda de China, described as the Bon Ton dry goods store of that time.
Solomon Lazard, a Los Angeles merchant, not only served on the Los Angeles City Council in 1853, but also headed the first Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
Salomon Nuñes Carvalho, an artist and photographer, accompanied the explorer John C. Fremont on his fifth and last expedition to California. His memoir: Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the Far West.
July 2, 1854
Joseph Newmark arrived in of Los Angeles and helped found the Hebrew Benevolent Society as the cornerstone of the evolving Jewish community after organizing congregations in New York and St. Louis.
When Los Angeles Jewry recognized the necessity of organizing in order to provide for religious services, a Jewish cemetery and Jewish welfare needs, they called for a meeting for 2 July 1854. At this meeting they formed the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Los Angeles, the first charitable group to be founded in the city. Samuel K. Labatt as President, Sharles Schachno, Vice President, Jacob Elias, Secretary/Treasurer, and S. Lazard and H. Goldberg, Trustees. Members included residents as far away as San Bernardino until they established their own society in 1861. Samuel K. Labatt was elected president, not only because he had the language facility of a native-born American, but also because he had similar experiences in New Orleans.
Harris Newark famed Los Angeles chronicler (Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913 NY:1926) and community leader (and also founder of Montebello). His uncle, Joseph Newmark, a lay rabbi, began conducting the first informal Sabbath services in Los Angeles in 1854. They were among the founders of the Hebrew Benevolent Society that same year.
The first Jewish cemetery site in Los Angeles, the Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery (1855-1910), was established in Chavez Ravine. From the Los Angeles Star, April 14, 1855 it was reported that “proposals will be received on the first day of May, 1855 for the purpose of building a wall to surround the future cemetery (Chavez Ravine).” Note: This is now the site of the Dodger Stadium.
As the first president, Samuel K. Labatt was responsible for local efforts in defending the fair name of Jewry against the 1855 anti-Semitic attack by William Stow in the California State Assembly. He saw to it that the lengthy and effective denunciation of Stow written by his brilliant lawyer brother, Henry J. Labatt of San Francisco, was reprinted in full in the Los Angeles Star of 7 April 1855. Samuel Labatt was thus the first one to undertake Anti-Defamation work in Los Angeles.
A regional drought decimated the herds and brought the end of the cattle boom and the collapse of the cattle economy. The demand dropped and animals began to be brought to Northern California from Missouri and Texas. The rancheros were ruined and lands were lost to creditors, many of whom were Jews.

Timeline of Jewish History in Los Angeles

שנות ה-1860 «