20th century Stockton Rabbi, Bernard Rosenberg,
collected genealogical material and records on early Jewish history of
By 1849 there were over two hundred Jews in the Gold Rush transportation
hub city of Stockton. Two years later they formed a benevolent society, Ryhim
Ahvooim [Brotherly Love] (1851), and in 1855 formally organized a congregation.
This group was nominally orthodox, though some traditional practices were
abandoned to conform to life in a growing western town. During its first
twenty-one years the congregation was generally headed by cantors with rabbis
present only on high holy days or for short periods. From 1890 there was a
strong movement within the congregation to adopt Reformed Judaism and
eventually the cantor was removed, women were allowed to join the congregation
and a rabbi was found who could preach in English (1896).
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