Ellen Eisenberg holds the Dwight and Margaret Lear chair in American History at Willamette University, where she has taught since 1990. She is the author of Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920, The First to Cry Down Injustice: Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (a 2008 National Jewish Book Award finalist), and Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America’s Edge, coauthored with Ava F. Kahn and William Toll. Her latest work is a two-volume history of the Jewish community in Oregon, Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians 1849-1950 (2015) and The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2010 (2016).
Jews in Oregon
Jewish Pioneers: Becoming Oregonians In 1869, Bernard Goldsmith, an immigrant Jew from Bavaria, was sworn in as the mayor of Portland. Two years later, he was succeeded in office by his friend, countryman, and coreligionist, Philip Wasserman, a former state legislator who would later serve on the city’s school board. …
Jonah B. Wise (1881-1959)
Rabbi Jonah B. Wise led Congregation Beth Israel, Portland’s oldest and most prestigious synagogue, from 1907 to 1926. He played a key role in shaping the congregation and the larger Jewish community before leaving Oregon for New York and a career as a leader in national Jewish affairs. Born in …
Stephen S. Wise (1874-1949)
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, one of the most significant American Jewish leaders of the twentieth century, served Portland’s Congregation Beth Israel from 1900 to 1906. His Oregon sojourn laid the foundation for his career as a national champion of liberal Judaism and Zionism while profoundly shaping his congregation and Oregon …