Western Jewish Historical Societies



Arizona Jewish Historical Society &
Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center

122 E. Culver Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Hours: M-F 10:30am-4:00pm
Lawrence Bell, Ph.D. Executive Director
Jack Fradin, Archivist/Administrator

Tel: (602) 241-7870
Fax: (602) 264-9773
Email: azjhs@aol.com
Website: http://www.azjhs.org/
See ARCHIVES for AJHS collections, finding aids and contact numbers.

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society seeks to preserve the rich heritage of Arizona's Jewish Communities and educate the public about the Jewish contribution to Arizona life. Their collections include oral histories, photos, sound excerpts and music.

The Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage center is located in a restored synagogue and annex that served as a sanctuary, religious school and social center for the local Jewish community from 1922-1949, and then as a Baptist church for Chinese- and Spanish-speaking residents, before falling into disrepair. It is now available to people of all faiths for educational and social functions. Call (602) 241-2870 for information and reservations.


Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley
P.O. Box 6753
Napa, CA 94581
Donna Mendelsohn, Co-Chair
Email: donna@dmendee.com
Tel: (707) 251-9092
Zoe Kahn, Second Co-Chair
Email: info@jhsnv.org
Founding Date: 2002
Website: http://www.jhsnv.org/contact.html

The Society is a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve its Jewish heritage by providing programming and education to the Napa Valley. Its diversity is represented in the selection of programs, films and other content. It created a permanent exhibit, "The Jews of the Valley," at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville and commissioned the book, Under the Vine and Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley, available from the society for a total of $26.00, tax, shipping and handling included.

Jewish Historical Society of San Diego
1934 Pentuckett Avenue

San Diego, CA 92104-5732
Laurel Schwartz, Archives Curator
Tel: (619) 232-5888
Fax: (619) 233-5833
Email: laurelschwartz@cox.net
Website: http://jewishstudies.sdsu.edu/archives.htm
Founding Date: 1980
See ARCHIVES for JHSSD collections, finding aids, and contact numbers.

Founded in 1980, the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to collect, preserve and disseminate information about San Diego's Jewish past. It is the only organization dedicated to this purpose. The Society maintains a local Jewish community archives which was established in 1999. The Archives is a repository for the documents, records, photographs and papers of the Jewish community. The Archives accepts both personal and communal materials relating to the Jewish community of San Diego. Donated materials will be organized, stored in archival cartons, cataloged and made available to researchers and to the community.

Jewish Historical Society of Southern California
6505 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 370
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Stephen J. Sass, President of the JHSSC, The Breed Street Shul Project, & Vice-Chair of the L.A. County Historical Landmarks & Records Commission
Tel: (323)761-8950
Fax: (323)761-8952
Email: JHSociety@aol.com
Website: http://www.jewishhistoricalsociety.org/
Breed Street Shul Project
247 N. Breed St.
Los Angeles CA, 90033
Tel: (323) 881-4850
Sherry Marks, Executive Director of BSS Project
Email: smarks@breedstreetshul.org
Website: http://www.breedstreetshul.org
Founding Date: 1952

The Jewish Historical Society of Southern California has produced lectures, exhibits, publications and oral histories concerning Jewish life and culture in Southern California. In 1996 they produced a film, "Meet Me at Brooklyn and Soto," celebrating the Jewish community of East Los Angeles. A current major project is the rehabilitation of the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. Sass has also agreed to write a monthly article on Los Angeles Jewish History for the JEWISH JOURNAL.

Orange County Jewish Historical Society
Jewish Federation & Family Services
1 Federation Way, Suite 210
Irvine, CA 92603
Dalia Taft, Archivist 

Tel: (949) 435-3484 ext. 296
Fax: (949) 435-3485
Email: historical@jffs.org
Website: http://www.JewishOrangeCounty.org/historical
Founding Date: 1999
See ARCHIVES for OCJHS collections, finding aids, and contact numbers.

The society was established in 1999 in order to discover and preserve the history of the Jewish community in Orange County, and to promote public awareness of Jewish contributions to the Orange County way of life. The society's ongoing projects include the Living History Program and the digitizing of images from their archives. Additionally, it publishes a monthly column in Orange County Jewish Life on local Jewish history and activities. The society's documentary California Orange Jews: The Story of the Jews of Orange County was recently featured in the International Film Festival at the 30th Annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy.

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies
333 Washington Blvd. #336
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Dolores Sloan, President
Email: dsloanauthor@gmail.com
Arthur Benveniste, Vice-President/ Membership
Email: artbenven@aol.com
Lillooet Nordlinger, Vice President/ Communications
Email: lillooetster@gmail.com
General Inquiry: cryptojews@pop.powweb.com
Website: http://www.cryptojews.com/
Founding Date: 1990

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS) fosters the research of the historical and contemporary development of crypto-Jews of Iberian origin. Additionally, it provides a venue for the descendants of crypto-Jews, scholars, and other interested parties to network and discuss pertinent issues. The society also has an annual conference, a quarterly journal, HaLapid, and an online newsletter, La Granada, starting in Fall 2011. HaLapid includes includes articles, personal stories, reviews of conferences and books and member interviews. Past issues can be found on the society's website. La Granada covers announcements, current events and issues. The society also joins Florida International University in publishing the annual Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto Jews.


Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives, part of the Center for Judaic Studies and Special Collections, Penrose Library, University of Denver

University of Denver:
Penrose Library, Special Collections
2150 E. Evans Ave.

Denver, CO 80208
Dr. Jeanne Abrams, Director Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society & Beck Archives
Tel: (303) 871-3016
Fax: (303) 871-3037
Email: jeanne.abrams@du.edu
Website: http://www.du.edu/cjs/rocky_mountain_jewish_historical_society.html
Founding Date: 1976
See ARCHIVES for RMJHS collections, finding aids, and contact numbers.

Together with its Beck Memorial Archives, the Historical Society preserves the history of Jews in the West through exhibits, lectures, regional field trips, publications and a video documentary to serve the needs of scholars and other individuals interested in Jewish Western history.


New Mexico Jewish Historical Society
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Naomi Sandweiss, President
Tel: (505) 348-4471
Fax: (505) 821-3974
Email: admin@nmjhs.org
Website: http://www.nmjhs.org
Founding Date: 1985
See ARCHIVES for NMJHS collections, finding aids, and contact numbers.

The Society is a secular organization which solicits membership and participation of all people interested in a greater understanding of New Mexico's Jewish heritage in all its diversity and strives to present this heritage within a broad cultural context. NMJHS publishes a Newsletter quarterly and holds genealogy programs and annual meetings.


Washington State Jewish Historical Society
2031 Third Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Lisa Kranseler, Executive Director
Tel: (206) 774-2277
Email: lkranseler@wsjhs.org
Website: http://www.wsjhs.org/
Founding Date: 1968
See ARCHIVES for WSJHS collections, finding aids and contact numbers.

The Society is dedicated to discovering, preserving, and disseminating the history of the Jews of Washington State. This history is shared through publications, exhibits, displays, speakers, and tours in collaboration with the University of Washington libraries.