5. 4.

In San Francisco, German Jewish immigrants laid the foundation for Jewish community life in the city, creating benevolent societies, synagogues, and schools. At the same time they influenced the making of the new metropolitan area, supporting education, the arts, and social causes, thus translating German Jewish ideals shaped by the haskalah to the realm of civic engagement in the new world.

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is supported by Koret Foundation, Taube Foundation, Hellman Family Foundation, Magnes Museum Foundation, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, Jim Joseph Foundation, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and Lumina Foundation. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the founding Friends of the Magnes: Barry and Debbie Cohn, Frances Dinkelspiel, Rosalie Eisen, Robert D. Haas, Adele Hayutin, Dana Shapiro, Janet Traub, Marjorie and Barry Traub, and Chen C. Wang.

Illustrations: 1. Levi Strauss & Co. Invoice for the purchase of clothing. San Francisco, February 25, 1858
CouRTESy LEvI STRAuSS & Co. ARCHIvES

2. Moritz Daniel oppenheim (German, 1800–1882), Lavater and Lessing Visit Moses Mendelssohn (detail), Germany, 1856, oil on canvas
GIFT oF vERnon STRouD, EvA LInKER, GERDA MATHAn, ILSE FEIGER AnD IRWIn STRAuS In MEMoRy oF FREDERICK AnD EDITH STRAuS 75.18, THE MAGnES CoLLECTIon oF JEWISH ART AnD LIFE, THE BAnCRoFT LIBRARy

Exhibition dates: March 1–July 1, 2011 Bancroft Library Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday 10–4

3. Anonymous, Lilienthal Family Portrait (detail), Germany, ca. 1816, oil on canvas
GIFT oF THEoDoRE AnD WEnDy LILILEnTHAL 2006.10, THE MAGnES CoLLECTIon oF JEWISH ART AnD LIFE, THE BAnCRoFT LIBRARy

4. university of California, “Levi Strauss Scholarship” Balance Sheet, June 30, 1904
RECoRDS oF THE REGEnTS oF THE unIvERSITy oF CALIFoRnIA, Cu-1, unIvERSITy ARCHIvES, THE BAnCRoFT LIBRARy

www.magnes.org

5. Augusto Ferran (Spanish, 1813–1879), View of Harbor at San Francisco, California, 1850, oil on Canvas
RoBERT B. HonEyMAn, JR. CoLLECTIon oF EARLy CALIFoRnIAn AnD WESTERn AMERICAn PICToRIAL MATERIAL, BAnC PIC 1963.002:1356--FR, THE BAnCRoFT LIBRARy

1.

With the establishment of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at uC Berkeley in July 2010, unique materials documenting the Jewish experience in northern California were gifted to The Bancroft Library by the former Judah L. Magnes Museum. The Magnes archives of Western Jewish Americana have served as an important source for several foundational studies of Jewish history in California. Researchers often relied on the combination of Magnes and Bancroft collections in their work. now, the physically integrated collections of both institutions bring unparalleled resources under one roof, making them even more accessible for teaching and research. This inaugural exhibition draws on art, artifacts, books, and archival materials from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, and the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives. The resulting synergy stretches the boundaries of California history, connecting German Jewish history before 1849 to the establishment of the Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
AllA EfimovA , Jacques and Esther Reutlinger Director frAncEsco spAgnolo, Curator of Collections

2.

In 1856, Moritz Daniel oppenheim, an artist later labeled as the first modern Jewish painter, portrayed an imagined meeting among scholars Moses Mendelsohn (1729–1786), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781) and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) in Mendelssohn’s Berlin home. The scene refers to two foundational moments in the history of German Jewish cultural interactions. The actual meetings between Mendelssohn and Lavater, which took place in 1763–64, were followed by the failed attempt on the part of the theologian to convince Mendelssohn to embrace Christianity. The much celebrated friendship between Mendelssohn and Lessing, one of the high points of the haskalah, or Jewish Enlightment, came to be considered a paradigm of the possibility of a harmonious cohabitation between Germans and Jews. By the mid-19th century, the philosophical debates of the haskalah spread throughout Europe, and were translated into the political and social realms by the Emancipation movement. Jewish contribution to society at large became the norm but did not go unchallenged. The decade in which the painting appeared was pivotal for German Jews: their hopes for emancipation were shattered by the failed revolutions of 1848–49. The revolutions also spurred emigration to the united States, including to San Francisco, where the Gold Rush opened unprecedented opportunities for social success and civic engagement.

3.

The history of individuals and families from their roots in Southern Germany to their settlement in California is broadly documented in the Magnes archives and museum holdings. The materials related to the Haas and Lilienthal families of San Francisco provide a particularly insightful illustration of the span of this immigration story, including family portraits, ritual objects, personal and professional papers, photographs, and business records. The families who immigrated from Germany to the Bay Area following the Gold Rush maintained close ties to each other. Many came from Bavaria, particularly from Reckendorf, a village north of Bamberg. In San Francisco, they forged business partnerships and formed extended families, whose influence still impacts the texture of the city. The history of commerce in California is extensively documented at The Bancroft Library. The papers of individuals and families from The Magnes Collection add to this wealth of research material on the pioneer businesses of the West Coast.

January 24, 1848: Gold is found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill,
Coloma, California, a town in the Sierra Foothills.

February 24, 1848: The monarchy of King Louis-Philippe is overthrown in
France, resulting in the proclamation of the Second Republic.

February 27, 1848: The revolution reaches Germany, where an assembly in Mannheim adopts a resolution demanding a bill of rights. Demands for constitutional and civil reforms and the unification of Germany are made throughout the German-speaking lands. September 26, 1849: The first celebration of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new
year) in San Francisco is held in a wood-framed tent. Today, this early Jewish presence in California is acknowledged by a bronze plaque on the 700 block of Montgomery Street in San Francisco.

February 21, 1848: Karl Marx publishes the Manifesto of the Communist Party
in London.

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