Jacob Frankel was the first American Jewish military chaplain; he was assigned to do hospital work (1862). Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
David Orbansky was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during the Civil War. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Phoebe Yates Pember (b. 1824) was matron of the large Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond during the Civil War. Courtesy, McCowat-Mercer Press, Inc., Jackson, TN.
Adah Isaacs Menken (d. 1868), actor and poet, was noted for her role in a play where she appeared clad in tights. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Judah Philip Benjamin (d. 1884) was a United States senator from Louisiana and later Secretary of State of the Confederacy. Courtesy, National Archives.
Eleanor H. Cohen (d. 1874) was a passionate adherent of the Lost Cause. When Lincoln was assassinated she rejoiced. She was a woman of culture and high intelligence. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Purim balls were a philanthropic device to raise funds—and to have fun.
Cincinnati’s Plum Street Temple, built in 1866, is one of the most beautiful synagogs in the United States. Courtesy, American Jewish
In 1868 Sig Shlesinger, a native of Hungary, played a heroic role in the battle of Beecher’s Island in which a handful of soldiers held off a large Indian war party. Painting by R. J. Zogbaum.
Adolph Sutro, a German, settled in Nevada in 1859 and helped develop the Comstock Lode. Courtesy, Julius Bisno, Los Angeles.
The Jaffas were pioneers in the territories of Colorado and New Mexico. The family operated a general store in Trinidad in the 1870’s. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Julius Meyer, a German, came to Omaha in 1866 and traded with the Indians. Courtesy, Nebraska State Historical Society.
The Levy Brothers of San Mateo County, California, ran a stage coach line in the 1880’s. Courtesy, San Mateo County Historical Association.
Samuel Gompers of London was the founder and head of the American Federation of Labor, 1886. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Emma Lazarus (d. 1887), a New York poet, is best known for her sonnet on the East European Jewish emigrés. “The New Colossus.” Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Annie Nathan Meyer (b. 1867), was primarily responsible for the founding of Barnard College, a woman’s institution for higher learning (1889). Courtesy, George Maillard Kesslere.
One of the Confederate heroes of the battle of Spotsylvania Court House (May, 1864) was Max Frauenthal. He built a beautiful home in Conway, Arkansas. Courtesy, Sam Fausett, Conway.
Elaine by Toby Edward Rosenthal, American Jewish artist (1848-1917). Courtesy, Art Institute of Chicago.
Isaac M. Wise (d. 1900) helped establish the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and founded the Hebrew Union College and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Hannah Greenebaum Solomon (1858-1942), a principal founder of the National Council of Jewish Women (1893). Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Sadie American (1862-1944), social worker, active in Chicago and New York City. A prime founder of the National Council of Jewish Women (1893). Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Rosa Sonneschein (b. 1847), a native of Hungary, published an American Jewish magazine for women (1895). Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Martha Wolfenstein (b. 1869) was a writer of charming old-world Moravian Jewish ghetto stories. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
The Truscon Steel Company of Youngstown was founded in the early 1900’s by Julius Kahn. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Oscar Solomon Straus served as Secretary of Commerce and Labor (1906-1909). He was the first Jew to be appointed to a Federal cabinet post. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Simon Wolf of Washington, a lawyer, was America’s most eminent Jewish lobbyist from the 1860’s into the 1920’s. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
No American Jew in the early twentieth century was more distinguished than Louis Marshall (d. 1929), lawyer and publicist. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Albert Abraham Michelson (b. 1852) was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1907. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
In 1915, Moses Alexander, an Idaho merchant, became America’s first Jewish governor of a state. Courtesy, Photo by Rothschild, Los Angeles.
Leo M. Frank, an Atlanta industrialist, was lynched August 16, 1915. It is reported that among those who murdered him were some reputable citizens of Marietta, Georgia.
Kosher kitchen in Hungary during World War I, maintained by American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Courtesy, United Jewish Appeal.
Louis D. Brandeis (b. 1856), eminent Zionist, was a successful corporation lawyer who became a United States Supreme Court Justice. Courtesy, Brandeis Collection, U. of Louisville.
Lillian Wald (d. 1940) one of the best-known social reformers in the United States, pioneered in establishing public health nursing systems. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Bernard M. Baruch (b. 1870) was chairman of the War Industries Board, 1918-1919, a very important post in World War I. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Jacob H. Schiff (d. 1920), banker and philanthropist, was one of the most respected and influential Jews in the United States. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Cyrus Adler, born in Van Buren, Arkansas, 1863, was a brilliant and innovative American Jewish leader. Courtesy, Jewish Theological Seminary of New York.
Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler (d. 1927), a native of Austria, was to become one of the world’s great pianists. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
David Belasco (d. 1931) was an actor, manager, and dramatist whose artistry was reflected in the staging of a play. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Adolph S. Ochs (d. 1935) was the man who made the New York Times the greatest and best newspaper in the United States. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Julius Rosenwald (d. 1932), head of the mail-order house of Sears, Roebuck, and a philanthropist who gave millions to help blacks. From the painting by John Doctoroff.
Martin A. Marks of Cleveland established the first Community Chest in the United States (1913). Courtesy, Newman of Cleveland.
Henry Sonneborn (b. 1826) of Baltimore, industrialist, manufactured 3,000 men’s suits a day. Courtesy, Jewish Historical Society of Maryland.
Franz Boas (b. 1858) was one of America’s best known anthropologists. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Bernhard Felsenthal (d. 1908), a Chicago Reform rabbi, scholar, and Zionist was highly respected by his colleagues. Courtesy, American Jewish Archives.
Sabato Morais (d. 1897), an Italian, was the chairman of the Jewish Theological Seminary faculty. Courtesy, Jewish Theological Seminary, N.Y.
Jacques Loeb (b. 1859) was one of the country’s most distinguished biophysiologists. Photo by L. Schmidt.