First Bris in Anaheim – in 1876

It was common practice in the late 1800s and early 1900s for Orange County and LA newspapers to announce Jewish life cycle and social events. Examples include Joseph Goldsmith’s bar mitzvah (Santa Ana, Sept. 13, 1892), Adelle Mendelson’s wedding (San Juan Capistrano, March 5, 1895), Stanley Reinhaus’ college graduation (Santa Ana, December 23, 1911), and even circumcisions. The first bris announcement we know of was printed March 9, 1876 on the front page of the Los Angeles Daily Herald, for Manny Solomon, son of Goodman and Flora Mendelsohn. It’s interesting to note that the Hebrew words “mohel” and bris mila” are used. Just one year later, in the announcement for Marshall Louis Wartenberg’s son Michael, the bris is a “rite of circumcision,” and the rabbi has become a “reverend.” Almost two years to the day, on March 16, 1878, a bris is still front page news. This time it’s for Leon Aaron, Manny’s first cousin and son of Morris and Henrietta Mendelsohn.


Photo Caption: Los Angeles Daily Herald, March 9, 1876.


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