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Research Guides

The following bibliography contains secondary resources which have proven helpful to researchers interested in the Jewish history of Washington State:  



Bagley, Clarence B., History of Seattle from Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, 1916.  3 vol., Includes bio. Of Clarence Bagley, early Jewish mayor of Seattle.

Cone, Molly, Droker, Howard, Williams, Jacqueline, Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State, 2003.  notes, index, illus.   

Eisenberg, Ellen, Kahn, Ava F., Toll, William, Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America's Edge (Samuel and Althea Stroum Book), 2010. Includes bibliographical references and index.

Holde, Artur  Jews in Music, 1974.  Short sketches of some Jewish musicians working in Washington.

Hunt, Herbert, Tacoma, Its History and Its Builders: A Half-Century of History, 1916.

Kramer, William M., ed., Sephardic Jews in the West Coast, Vol III  “The Sephardic Experience: Seattle & Portland,” 1996.

LeWarne, Charles L., Utopias on Puget Sound1885-1915, 1975. Includes bibliographical references and index.

Polk’s Seattle City Directory: 1889-1928.

Rigberg, Benjamin, Walla Walla: Judaism in a Rural Setting, 2001, History of Congregation Beth Israel of Walla Walla, WA. Includes notes and index.

Toll, William, The Making of an Ethnic Middle Class: Portland Jewry Over Four Generations, 1982. Includes bibliographical references and index.

Washington State Jewish Historical Society, The Jewish Experience in Washington State: A Chronology 1845-2005, 2006. A source is given for each event in Washington Jewish History. Excellent resource. 

Wright, Mary C., ed., More Voices, New Stories: King County, Washington’s First 150 Years, 2002. Includes a chapter about two early Jewish women volunteer organizations.

Ladies’ Auxiliary to Temple de Hirsch Famous Cook Book, compiled by Mrs. William Gottstein, Mrs. Sigismund Aronson, Mrs. Salmon G. Spring, Seattle, WA., 1916. The recipes, which include shellfish and ham, foods restricted for traditional Jews,  in both of these cookbooks, show the culture of Reform Jewish people in Seattle. Names of contributors; Index, Ads.

One Thousand Favorite Recipes, compiled by Mrs. Sigismund Aronson and Mrs. William Gottstein, Ladies Auxiliary Temple de Hirsch, Seattle, WA.,1908. Names of contributors; Ads, index.

Theses and Dissertations



Albert Adatto, “Sephardim and the Seattle Sephardic Community” (University of Washington Master Thesis), 1939


Adatto, Emma, "A Study of the Linguistic Characteristics of the Seattle Sephardic Folklore," (University of Washington Master Thesis, 1935)


 David Romey, "A Study of Spanish Tradition in Isolation as Found in the Romances, Refrains, and Storied Folklore of the Seattle, Sephardic Community," (University of Washington, Masters  Thesis,1950).


Alissa Schwartz, "Americanization and Cultural Preservation in Seattle's Settlement House: 1906-1936," University of Washington Master Thesis, 1998)


Eulenberg, Julia Niebuhr, “Samuel Koch: Seattle’s Social Justice Rabbi” University of Washington Master’s Thesis, 1984

Eulenberg, Julia,  Jewish Enterprise in the American West: Washington, 1853–1909, (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, 1996).


Journal Articles


The Jewish Experience in Washington State: A Chronology 1845-2005 is the best source for articles in “Nizkor,” the newsletter for Washington Jewish Historical Society, Jewish Transcript, Jewish Voice, synagogue newsletters, local city newspapers, and those tucked away in individual archives.


Angel, Marc D., "The 'Progress'-Seattle's Sephardic Monthly 1934-5," Western States Jewish History, 29:1 (Oct. 1996)


Anonymous, “The Origin of the First Jewish Student Organization at the University of Washington,” Nizkor, Spring 2005.


Baker, Tim.  Articles regarding history of Congegration Beth Israel, accessed January 17, 2012, at

A Century of Jewish Life in Bellingham From Skopishok to Bellingham:
The Birth of a Community The Great Food Fight of 1916 In Memory of Rabbi Benjamin Cohen

Bellingham's B'nai B'rith: A Sketch Women's
Organizations Within the Synagogue
Who Were Bellingham’s "Gold Rush" Jews?
Rabbi Anchel Pastinsky From Bellingham to Jerusalem and Back Again
Thal Tales An Old Man's Imagination
The Day Rabbi Stephen Wise Came to Town
In Memory of Frances Garmo
The Poplack Family


Baker, Tim. "Walther Matthau’s Connection to Bellingham." The Journal of the Whatom County Historical Society No. 9 (December 2009): pp. 32-40.


Behar, David, “To Be a Sephardic Jew,” The Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer, May 17, 1992.


Buttnick, Meta, “Congregations Bikur Cholim-Machzikary Hadath of Seattle: The Beginning Years,” Western States Jewish History, Jan. 1990.


Devine, Jean "From Settlement House to Neighborhood House, 1906-1976,” Box 6/8, council of Jewish Women-Seattle Section, Acc. 2059-29, UWL/MUA.


Droker, Howard, “A Coat of Many Colors: The History of Seattle’s Jewish Community,” Portage Magazine, 1983.


Droker, Howard, “Ohaveth Sholum: Seattle’s First Congregation,” Western States Jewish History, Oct. 1984.


Hollander, Russell, "Our Brothers' Keepers: The Story of Human Services in Washington,1853-1932,"  Columbia, The Magazine of Northwest History, 3:1 (Spring 1989)


Kestenberg, Tobi Faye, “From the Shtetl to Bellingham: The History of New Whatcom’s Jewish Community, 1908-1984,” University of Washington Libraries, Acc. 3718


Kramer, William, M. "The Beauty of Sephardic Life: Personal Reflections of Seattle's" Western States Jewish History, 29:1 (October 1996). 


Levine, David, "History of the Jews in Spokane," The Reform Advocate, probably 1914.

Rosenthal, Judith W. "L.N. Rosenbaum: The Man Who Built Seattle's Paramount Theatre",

Columbia (The Magazine of Northwest History), Spring 2007, pp.35-40.


Rosenthal, Judith W. "Bella Weretnikow: Seattle's First Jewish Female Attorney", Columbia (The Magazine of Northwest History), Spring 2004, pp. 6-10.


Rosenthal, Judith W. "Who Was Fani Rosenbaum?", Nizkor (Newsletter of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society), Spring 2004, pp. 3-5.


Rosenthal, Judith W. "My Maternal Grandparents: Bella (Weretnikow) and Lewis Newman (L.N.) Rosenbaum", Nizkor (Newsletter of the Washington State Jewish Historical Society), Winter 2001, 1, 4-5.


Rosenbaum, Bella W.  “In My Lifetime” American Jewish Archives, Vol. XIX, No. 1  (April, 1967).

Thurston County History Preservation Office,"Chronology of the Jewish Cemetery in Olympia,” Olympia,Wa.


"The Up and the Down of Jewish Activity in Spokane, 1891-1894," in Western States Jewish Quarterly, 5:4,(July 1979):


Weissberg, Muriel, “Morris Schneider, Pioneer Washington State Merchant,” Western States Jewish History, July 1992.


Williams, Jacqueline, “Was It Strictly Kosher? Washington State, 1889-1937”, Western States Jewish History, Spring 2004.


Williams, Jacqueline B., “A History of Our Local Jewish Press,” JT News, July 23, 2004.


Wilson, Cynthia H., “On Being a Jew in Seattle,” The Seattle Weekly, Dec. 8, 1982.




The Jewish newspapers are excellent sources for organizational and synagogue events.  Many articles are cited as source in The Jewish Experience in Washington State: A Chronology.


Jewish Chronicle, Seattle, WA.  Only published few issues in 1932 before merging with Jewish Transcript.

Jewish Herald, Spokane and Inland Empire, Sept. 26, 1935, Box 1/33, Spokane Jewish Community, MS 151, Eastern Washington Historical Society. Only a few issues of this paper

Jewish Voice of the Pacific Coast, Seattle, Washington. Published between 1915--1919.


Jewish Transcript, Seattle, Washington. Occasionally changed names but has been continuously published since 1924.


Tacoma Daily Ledger. Began publishing in 1883. Selected issues available.


Booklets and Guide Books


Historic Jewish Seattle: A Tour Guide. Walking tour of Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market.  WSJHS, 1995. Guide to homes of Jewish people on Capitol Hill, Yesler Way and Seward Park. 

The Sephardim and the Pike Place Market, WSJHS, no date. Brief descriptions of Sephardim businesses in the market.

Scenes of Sephardic Life, Washington State Jewish Historical Society, 1992.

Guide to Jewish Washington, A publication of Jewish Transcript Media. A recent publication now issued annually. Gives names, addresses, and brief histories of all Jewish religious and voluntary organizations.

The Tradition Continues From Generation to Generation. 100 year history of Bikur Cholim-Machzikay Hadath Congregation. Published by Bikur Cholim-Machzikay Hadath Congregation. Includes illustrations.

Home of Peace Cemetery Inscriptions, compiled by Deborah K. Freedman, 1998. Excellent source for burials in Tacoma’s Home of Peace Cemetery.

A Demographic Study of the Greater Seattle Jewish Population, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, 2001.

From the Shtetl to Bellingham: The History of "New Whatcom’s" Jewish Community, 1908-1984Tim Baker, Tobi Faye Kestenberg, 1984.  Sixteen page mimeograph history of Congegration Beth Israel in Bellingham. 

Congregation Beth Israel: Celebrating 100 Years in Bellingham, WA. Tim Baker. Lynden WA: Lynden Tribune, 2008.  20 page booklet published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the synagogue's incorporation.


Compiled January 2012 by Jacqueline Williams, author of The Hill with a Future:  Seattle's Capitol Hill, 1900-1946 and co-author of Family of Strangers:  Building a Jewish Community in Washington State.



The Washington State Jewish Historical Society promotes interest in and knowledge of the life, history, and culture of the Jewish people and communities of the State of Washington.

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