Major Industries and Commercial Activity
With its diverse economic base, young, energetic population, and high quality of life, Jacksonville experienced substantial growth during the latter decades of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.
The city is a transportation hub, with a 38-foot deepwater port that ranks with New York as the top two vehicle-handling ports in the nation. It is served by four airports, three seaports, a highway system that links the city to three major interstates, and a rail system served by three railroads—CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Florida East Coast.
The automotive parts and accessories industry is attracted by this logistics network, as well as the fact that less than two percent of the city's manufacturing industry is unionized. Jacksonville was selected as the site of Southeast Toyota, the largest distributor in the United States, and of a distribution center for General Motors Corp. that serves Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
Pulp and paper mills play substantial roles in the local economy, and Georgia Pacific Corp. and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. are two of the area's largest manufacturers. Construction equipment and building materials is another key segment of the Jacksonville economy, with Ring Power Corp., U.S. Gypsum, and Florida Rock Industries Inc. among the top employers in the region. Other large manufacturers are Northrop Grumman Corp. (aircraft), Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. (beer), Vistakon (optical products), Swisher International Inc. (cigars and smokeless tobacco), Medtronic Xomed (surgical products), and Dura Automotive Systems Inc. (automotive components).
Three important naval air stations within the city limits and Kings Bay Submarine Base nearby give Jacksonville one of the largest military presences in the country, topped only by Norfolk, Virginia, and San Diego, California. The total economic impact of the bases in the community is about $6.1 billion annually.
Aviation is a natural fit to Jacksonville. Of the 6,000 naval personnel that exit the military every year in Jacksonville, over 80 percent remain in northeast Florida, supplying the area with a rich resource of aviation skills and related technical experience. Additionally, more than 15,000 students enroll in aviation-related programs in the Jacksonville area. One such program is Florida Community College of Jacksonville's Aviation Center of Excellence, located at the Cecil Commerce Center, which is also home to one of four airports in Jacksonville. The city was experiencing a boom in the aviation industry in the early 2000s. Flightstar Aircraft Services Inc. began operations in Jacksonville in 2000, Kaman Aerospace Corp. launched business there three years later, and Embraer broke ground in 2004 on a facility to accommodate work on a $879 million Army contract to assemble surveillance aircraft.
Import-export operations are a vital segment of Florida's economy, and Jacksonville is a major center for that activity. World Trade Center Jacksonville, one of six trade centers in the state, assists Florida companies to enter or expand into overseas markets. Along with an international trade library housing 2,500 volumes and 700 periodicals, it provides basic and intensive research, offers monthly seminars on various trade topics, and permits use of its boardroom and several meeting rooms at no charge. Jacksonville is also a pilot city for TradeRoots, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation, that studies the benefits that trade brings to local communities. The Jacksonville Port Authority manages the Free Trade Zone, an area in which goods arriving from a foreign country are temporarily exempt from import duties unless and until they are permanently delivered to the U.S. The city is home to Foreign Trade Zone #64 and there are designated customs facilities at the Jacksonville International Airport. The city's top exports are building materials, medical/health and beauty products, transportation equipment, food and restaurant equipment, construction equipment, packaging, generators, and chemicals.
Jacksonville, once abandoned by the motion picture and television industry, is experiencing a renaissance. The Jacksonville Film and Television Office was formed to attract film and video production to the area and helps streamline the production process. As a result, numerous motion pictures, television movies, commercials, and videos were produced in Jacksonville in recent years. Each movie or television series filmed there can add millions of dollars to the local economy, through housing, hiring of a local labor crew, catering, special heavy equipment rental, and expenses. The city was the filming location for the 2004 remake of the film The Manchurian Candidate. The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission reports that the industry had an economic impact of more than $99 million in fiscal year 2002/2003.
Items and goods produced: aircraft, machinery, paper and paper products, building products, beer, soft drinks, tobacco, and optical and surgical products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Cornerstone is the economic development initiative of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. It is led by a group of companies and individuals who provide the leadership and resources to foster business expansion and relocation in Jacksonville. Investment dollars are channeled into business recruitment, existing business services, education and workforce preparation, and special economic initiatives.
Several incentive programs are managed at the local level. Portions of downtown Jacksonville are part of either the Empowerment Zone or the Enterprise Zone, each of which offers tax or wage credits to businesses based on the number of new jobs created. The Northwest Jacksonville Area Fund makes available grants or loans for infrastructure improvements, facade renovation, and purchase of land or buildings. The Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund is extended to companies that are on the list of industries identified by the city as desirable additions to the local economy. Similarly, Targeted Economic Development Area Special Funds are designed to induce the location of high economic value projects to critical areas of Jacksonville. Lastly, Industrial Development Revenue Bonds afford manufacturing companies access to low-interest, tax-exempt loans.
The Chamber of Commerce maintains close relationships with the City of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, the Jacksonville Port Authority, and the 4,000 local businesses that are Chamber members and Cornerstone investors. The businesses that have located or expanded in Jacksonville cite the many city and state incentives that are available, the support of city and business leaders, and the fact that the consolidated city-county government allows for faster permitting and less bureaucratic red tape overall.
Enterprise Florida is a partnership between Florida's government and business leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida's mission is to increase economic opportunities for all Floridians by supporting the creation of quality jobs, a well-trained workforce, and globally competitive businesses. It pursues this mission in cooperation with its statewide network of economic development partners.
Among the incentive programs managed at the state level is the Economic Development Transportation Fund, which provides up to $2 million to fund the cost of transportation projects such as access roads and road widening required for the establishment, expansion, or retention of businesses in Florida. The Brownfield Bonus Program, which is available to most of downtown Jacksonville, extends a bonus for each new job created. The state also offers various sales and use tax exemptions for machinery and equipment purchase, electric energy, research and development, and other aspects of doing business in the area.
Job training programs
The Workforce Development Board (WDB), commonly known as Jobs & Education Partnership, is a part of Enterprise Florida. WDB provides policy, planning, and oversight for job training programs funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act, along with vocational training, adult education, employment placement, and other workforce programs administered by a variety of state and local agencies. Regional Workforce Development Boards operate under charters approved by the Workforce Development Board. The 24 regional boards have primary responsibility for direct services through a state-wide network of One-Stop Career systems.
State and local workforce development efforts are concentrated on three broad initiatives. First Jobs/First Wages focuses on preparing workers for entry-level employment including the School-to-Work and WAGES programs. High Skill/High Wages targets the higher skills needs of employers and trains workers for advancement through such programs as Performance Based Incentive Funding, Occupational Forecasting Conference/Targeted Occupations, Quick Response Training, and Incumbent Worker Training. One-Stop Career Centers are the central elements of the One-Stop system that provide integrated services to employers, workers, and job-seekers.
The Better Jacksonville Plan was approved by voters in 2000. This plan increased the sales tax by a half-cent to raise $2.25 billion over 30 years to fund road improvements, environmental clean-up and conservation, the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund, and the construction of new public facilities downtown. It also enabled the establishment of Cecil Commerce Center, a mixed-use industrial/business park located about 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. Approximately 4,800 acres are available for light industrial expansion, with another 800 set aside for heavy industrial use. Also zoned for commercial, recreational, and aviation use, Cecil Commerce Center provides the setting to attract more distribution, manufacturing, and aviation economic activities to the city.
Also established in 2000 was Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI), a not-for-profit organization designed to bolster the downtown community and promote it as an ideal venue for business and tourism. Its initiatives include programs to make the downtown area clean and safe, to market the area through television programs, radio spots, and publications, to tackle transportation and parking issues, and retain and attract business. In 2003 DVI launched a Downtown Image campaign that included a new logo and tagline: Downtown Jacksonville—Not Your Ordinary Neighborhood.
Cornerstone, the city's economic development initiative, reported that 60,000 new jobs were created by companies expanding or relocating to Jacksonville between 1999 and 2004. CSX Corp. and Fidelity National Financial, Inc. relocated their corporate headquarters to the city in 2003, joining Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. in the ranks of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Jacksonville. Cingular Wireless also added 400 new jobs to the area that year. Major expansions and relocations the following year include Washington Mutual, which created 725 new jobs, and State Farm, Option One, and Wal-Mart Distribution, each of which added 300 new jobs. It's no wonder that Expansion Management magazine rated Jacksonville in the top 10 "Hottest Cities in America" for each of the six years the list has been published, of which Jacksonville was ranked number one three times.
Economic Development Information: Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, 3 Independent Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32202; telephone (904)366-6680; fax (904)353-6343. Enterprise Florida, 390 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 1300, Orlando, FL 32801; telephone (407)316-4600; fax (407)316-4599. Downtown Vision, Inc., 214 N. Hogan St., Ste. 120, Jacksonville, FL 32202; telephone (904)634-0303; fax (904)634-8988.
The hub of seven major highways—I-10, I-95, I-295, and U.S. Highways 1, 17, 90, and 301—Jacksonville has a straight shipping line to the Midwest, West, and Northeast. It is served by more than 100 trucking lines, three major railroads, and Jacksonville International Airport. As the largest deepwater port in the South Atlantic, Jacksonville is the leading U.S. port for automobile imports.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Jacksonville is an attractive site for expanding companies, in part because of its abundance of workers due to in-migration, natural growth, a strong military presence, and the area's educational institutions. The metropolitan area population, which topped 1.1 million in 2000, is significantly younger than all major Florida cities, with a median age of under 34 years old.
Relocating businesses are drawn to the area's quality of life, its sunshine, and its sports, recreational, and cultural opportunities, as well as the region's emphasis on well-planned growth. Between 1999 and 2004, approximately 60,000 new jobs were created by companies expanding or relocating to Jacksonville. In its September 2003 issue, Business 2.0 magazine reported the 10-year projected job growth rate for the city to be 24.8 percent.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Jacksonville metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 559,700
Number of workers employed in . . .
trade, transportation and utilities: 124,200
financial activities: 57,300
professional and business services: 84,600
educational and health services: 64,100
leisure and hospitality: 52,100
other services: 25,600
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.09 (2003 statewide average)
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004)
|Largest employers (Duval County)||Number of employees|
|Naval Air Station||19,537|
|Naval Station Mayport||15,293|
|Duval County Public Schools||15,000|
|City of Jacksonville||8,019|
|Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.||7,238|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc.||7,000|
|Publix Distribution Center||6,615|
|Baptist Health System||5,600|
|Bank of America Corp.||4,000|
Cost of Living
Jacksonville ranks lowest among the five major metropolitan statistical areas in Florida and lower than many comparable cities nationwide in terms of cost of living. Housing costs are among the least expensive in Florida among cities with populations over 500,000.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Jacksonville area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $225,636
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 92.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: None for personal income; 5.5 percent of state's portion of federal taxable income for corporations
State sales tax rate: 6.0%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 1.0%
Property tax rate: $19.3913 per $1,000 (2004)
Economic Information: Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, 3 Independent Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32202; telephone (904)366-6680
Jacksonville's miles of beautiful wide beach area has three main sections: Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. The Jacksonville Beach Pier is a place known for fishing and people-watching; and artifacts, paintings, and lighthouse models are the focus at the American Lighthouse Museum in Jacksonville Beach. The beach's Seawalk Pavilion features music concerts at its 2,000-seat open air auditorium. The Pablo Historical Park, a few blocks off the beach, preserves the area's railroad history with a nineteenth-century station master's house, a railroad depot, and a 1911 steam locomotive. The nostalgic autoferry Jean Ribault carries visitors to the nearby fishing village of Mayport, home of a large commercial shrimp fleet, as well as to historic Fort George Island. Mayport Naval Air Station, one of the nation's largest navy ship facilities, is located in this charming community. Favorite beach area recreation and camping sites are the Kathryn Abbey Hanna State Park with 450 acres of picnic areas, salt and freshwater fishing, and Little Talbot Island State Park beach and campground.
Jacksonville's beautiful downtown area, which has seen more than a billion dollars in restoration, is centered around the shores of the St. Johns River. On the north bank of the river is Jacksonville Landing, a festive marketplace featuring fine dining, boutiques, and an open courtyard that frequently offers entertainment. Located at the landing is the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, which contains artifacts embracing all facets of the maritime scene from historical to technical. Across the river on the Southbank is the Riverwalk. Its wooden boardwalk, lined with shops, restaurants, and outdoor vendors, extends for more than a mile along the river, allowing visitors a wonderful view of the city's skyline. At the end of the Riverwalk is Friendship Park, the site of one of the tallest fountains in the world. Water taxis offer an enjoyable way to cross the St. Johns River.
The Jacksonville Zoological Gardens, located on the city's north side, consists of 89 acres and houses more than 1,000 animals. An African veldt (an open grazing area typical of southern Africa) has been recreated and visitors can experience it firsthand on a wood boardwalk. The Okavango Village is a replica of an African riverfront village that features a dock, wildlife exhibits, a petting zoo and a river shuttle back and forth from downtown. Tours that display all the steps of the beer-making process are available at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Visitors can also watch Oreo cookies and other confections move along the conveyor belt at the Peterbrooke Chocolatier production line on San Marco Boulevard. The World Golf Village is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame, a PGA Tour Academy, and an IMAX theater.
The Fort Caroline national memorial is the site of the first Protestant settlement in the United States. Established in 1564, the site overlooks the St. Johns River and includes a replica of the original fort. Located on Fort George Island, the 1792 Zephaniah Kingsley Plantation contains the remains of slave quarters. Nature walks are available at the Nature Trails at the University of North Florida, the only state university in the country located in a protected wildlife area. Self-guided and expert-guided walking tours of historical areas around the city are well worth the exploration.
Located 25 miles from the city, Fernandina Beach is a 300-year-old town that was once a haven for pirates and smugglers and today features many restored buildings and eighteenth-century homes. A half-hour south of Jacksonville by car is the nation's oldest city, St. Augustine. A walk along the recently restored St. George Street, with its authentic Spanish-Colonial homes and quaint shops, provides a view of more than 400 years of American history.
Camp Milton Historic Preserve is scheduled to be opened in September 2005. Named for Florida's Civil War governor, John Milton, the 124-acre park will feature an educational center, boardwalk, interpretive hiking trails, and a tree sanctuary.
Arts and Culture
From musical theater to contemporary drama, the arts are alive and well in Jacksonville. This is partly due to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, which keeps the spotlight on the arts and encourages public and private partnerships to increase arts funding.
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, one of the premier orchestras of the Southeast, offers classical performances with world-class guest artists in its more than 130 annual concerts at the Florida Theatre, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, and in nearby communities. The Florida Community College at Jacksonville Artists Series brings top quality national and international entertainers to the Florida Theatre and to the Times-Union Center. The Alhambra Dinner Theatre, which has been producing professional Broadway style shows since 1967, features professional Equity actors.
Jacksonville's museums and galleries reflect the diverse historical and cultural interests of its residents. The Museum of Science and History features wonderful exhibits showing the history of the area, science and health demonstrations, and nature studies. An indoor playground at the museum and the adjacent Alexander Brest Planetarium bring fun to young and old alike. The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, on the city's south side, houses five galleries and features a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts as well as exhibits of painting, sculpture, and photography. Its adjacent outdoor sculpture garden is a famous place for picnicking. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, located in the restored former First Church of Christ Scientist, is one of seven in the nation that exists to display the historical manuscript collection of David and Marsha Karpeles. Surrounded by two acres of beautiful English and Italian waterfront gardens in Riverside, the Cummer Museum of Art is the largest museum in northeast Florida. Its permanent collection of more than 4,000 objects includes works from prehistoric, medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, 19th Century Impressionist, and modern art eras. The Ritz Theatre houses the LaVilla Museum, displaying a permanent collection of African American history. The Museum of Southern History features a collection of artifacts reflecting life in the southeastern United States, the Civil War, and genealogy of southern families. Other items of note are the Battle of Antietam replica, and more than 3,000 books, periodicals, military, and cultural items. Finally, the Jacksonville Maritime Museum is dedicated to artwork and large-scale models of maritime-related events and objects from the history of Jacksonville and the First Coast.
Festivals and Holidays
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is the city's best-known annual event. This three-day celebration takes place in the spring, and draws classic and contemporary jazz and blues celebrities and includes the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. The JaxParks Family Fest, held each March, features games, entertainment, and food for the whole family. Also in the spring are the Jacksonville Film Festival; the 15K River Run; the World of Nations Celebration, which provides an opportunity to experience the food, culture, and traditions of various countries around the globe; and the Kuumba Festival, devoted to African cultures.
The Fiesta Playera dia de San Juan Bautista is an annual summertime festival paying tribute to St. John the Baptist and celebrating the customs and culture of Puerto Rico. It has been voted among the top 20 festivals in the region by the Southeast Tourism Society. The Juneteenth Celebration celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 with food, entertainment, and music. The Caribbean Carnival is held each autumn and features costumes, cuisine, and music. The Olustee Battle Festival re-enacts the 1864 Battle of Ocean Pond, a major Civil War battle, each winter.
Celebrations in Jacksonville are not limited to annual events. The First Wednesday Art Walk takes place on the first Wednesday of every month. On these days, Downtown Jacksonville is transformed into a walkable art gallery. A variety of art is displayed in dozens of historic buildings, and is accompanied by live bands, sidewalk artists, and street vendors.
Sports for the Spectator
More than 70,000 avid fans flock to watch the Jaguars of the National Football League, who play home games on Sundays from September to January at Alltel Stadium. This arena is also the site of two annual college event games: the Gator Bowl Classic and the University of Florida vs. University of Georgia contest. Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, built on the site of the former Jacksonville Coliseum in 2003, is the venue for the Jacksonville Barracudas hockey games as well as other sporting and entertainment events. Memorial Arena also houses the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. Jacksonville's newest professional sports team is the Jade, who compete in the W League, a nationally organized women's soccer league in the United States.
Athletic enthusiasts in Jacksonville also enjoy the tennis championships organized by the Association of Tennis Professionals as well as March's Players Championship, which attracts 150,000 spectators to Sawgrass Resort, the toughest course on the Professional Golfer's Association tour. Up to 10,000 fans fill the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, a stadium constructed in 2003, to watch the Class AA Jacksonville Suns minor league team. The Kingfish off-shore fishing tournament in July draws nearly 50,000 people. The 42-mile Mug Race Regatta in May attracts both local and Olympic sailors for the longest river sailboat race in the world. Jacksonville has a year-round greyhound racing season at St. Johns Greyhound Racing Park, the Jacksonville Kennel Club, and the Orange Park Kennel Club.
Sports for the Participant
Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation. Residents and visitors enjoy more than 82,000 acres of land that extends from the rivers to the beaches. Nearly 60 miles of free beaches avail themselves to boating, sailing, surfing, fishing, and swimming. Playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic areas, about 70 golf courses, and dozens of public pools offer more choices.
The Fort Clinch State Park, a restored Civil War fort built in 1847, has picnic grounds, beaches, and an ocean fishing pier. Adventure Landing features two miniature golf courses, batting cages, a go-cart track, an uphill water coaster, and Shipwreck Island water park. Hikers enjoy the trails at Timucuan Ecological Historic Preserve.
Shopping and Dining
Jacksonville is a shopper's delight, offering interesting shops downtown and arty shops along the beaches. Jacksonville Landing offers a festive marketplace atmosphere, with novelty and gift shops, name-brand apparel, antiques, toys, and locally made accessories along with entertainment venues. The Avenues Mall on the Southside and Regency Square in Arlington each offer more than 100 nationally known retailers. Avondale, one of the country's largest National Register of Historic Districts, is a charming place to stroll, shop, and dine. San Marco Square, in the style of St. Mark's Square in Venice, offers an open-air produce market, restaurants, and boutiques, together with a water fountain, bronze lions, and a gazebo.
Local fish camps and waterside restaurants with their fresh seafood fare add to the pleasure of dining in Jacksonville. Southern barbecue is also a tradition. A delectable selection of ethnic foods from Japanese to Greek to Indian or Tex Mex are offered by the city's many casual and upscale restaurants downtown or at suburban or beach locations.
Visitor Information: Jacksonville and the Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau, 550 Water St., Ste. 1000, Jacksonville, FL 32202; telephone (904)798-9111; toll-free (800)733-2668
JACKSONVILLE , city in northeast Florida, general population in 2005 about 800,000; Jewish population, about 13,000. Since the founding of Jacksonville in 1822, Jews have played a prominent role in the development of Florida's largest city (in land area). Jews came to Jacksonville as merchants before the Civil War and suffered the same fate as others at the hands of Union troops. Jews have served their city by defending it, holding public offices, building the economy, and contributing to the cultural arts, education and philanthropies. From the period following the Civil War until the mid-1930s, Jacksonville was the center of Florida Jewish life. Attracted by the business opportunities offered by the port, Jews migrated here via the St. Johns River and the railroad. Tourism, a lumber industry, and military bases acted as magnets to draw new residents.
The head of Florida's longest continuing documented Jewish family is Philip Dzialynski, who arrived from Prussia by 1850. He sent for his father and eight brothers and sisters. In 1857 George Dzialynski was the first known Jewish boy born in Florida, son of Philip and his wife, Ida. In that same brutal year of 1857 for Jacksonville, a yellow fever epidemic killed six members of the Dzialynski family. A Hebrew cemetery, the first in the state of Florida, was established that year. In 1867 Jacob and Morris Cohen came from Ireland and established the Cohen Bros. Department Store, the most prominent in town for more than 100 years, and Austrian-born Herman, Max, and Leopold Furchgott opened Furchgott's. The Hebrew Benevolent Society was formed in 1874 and B'nai B'rith in 1877. By 1880 there were 130 Jews, well integrated into the life of the city. The earliest known public figure is Civil War veteran Morris Dzialynski, who was the first president of Congregation Ahavath Chesed at the same time he served as mayor (1882); he was also a judge. Ahavath Chesed was the second congregation in Florida. Rabbi Israel L. Kaplan was the religious leader from 1916 to 1946 and was succeeded by Sidney Lefkowitz (through 1973), who had conducted the first Jewish service on German soil following the years of Nazi persecution.
In 1901 40 Orthodox families established B'nai Israel. Reverend Benjamin Safer was hired as the community's first shoḥet. Many Jews who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 19th century from Pushalotes, Lithuania, settled in Jacksonville. In 1901 a devastating fire swept through 146 blocks of Jacksonville and architect Roy Benjamin figured prominently in the rebuilding of the city. Benjamin also designed many theaters throughout Florida. This fire destroyed Ahavath Chesed. Less than a year later it was the first house of worship to be rebuilt. The congregation formed a Boy Scout Troop in 1915 and continues without interruption as the second oldest troop in Jacksonville. Henrietta Szold came to start Hadassah in 1914. The ymha formed in 1917. Families from surrounding small communities moved to Jacksonville where they could maintain Jewish traditions and participate in Jewish life. With increasing river traffic and World War i shipyard demands, the population grew.
Benjamin Setzer came from Pushalotes in 1918 and opened his first Setzer's grocery store, which later became Food Fair. By 1961, Benjamin had started another chain, Pic N Save super drug stores. Louis Mendelson moved to Jacksonville from Live Oak and founded, in 1912, Mendelson Printing. With Morris Gelehrter, in 1924, he started The Florida Jewish News, which became The Southern Jewish Weekly in 1938, with Isadore Moscovitz as the editor for more than fifty years. Julius Hirschberg, with brother-in-law, Jacob R. Cohen, conducted the first statewide Palestine campaign just prior to World War i that raised $10,000. Morton left a generous art collection to the Cummer Museum. In 1926 B'nai Israel began to introduce Conservative Judaism practices and the Jacksonville Jewish Center was founded.
In the 1940s there were 3,095 Jews, and a Naval Air Station was built in Jacksonville, which brought tens of thousands of new faces to the city. Many of them were Jewish, married Jacksonville Jews and started families and businesses. William Katz graduated from the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School as a lieutenant in 1942. He received many medals for World War ii service, after which he immigrated to Israel and later became chief pilot for El Al Airlines. Admiral Ellis Zacharias was born in Jacksonville in 1890. Following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he became chief of Naval Intelligence in World War ii and assisted in breaking the Japanese code, which led to the eventual defeat of the Japanese navy.
More Jewish institutions were organized to strengthen Jewish identity and meet increasing needs: Jewish Cultural League, Jewish Community Council, Esquire Club, Council of Jewish Women, Beauclerc Country Club (1953–1984), and River Garden Hebrew Home for the Aged (1945), which is one of the outstanding institutions of its kind in the country. In 1988, the $8 million Jewish Community Alliance (jca) opened on land that was formerly the Beauclerc Country Club.
Immigrant Morris Wolfson came in 1914, started a scrap business, and left a legacy of philanthropy to many institutions of health, education, and religion in the city through his children. In 1978 Florida had its first Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes) horse race winner, Affirmed, owned by Morris' son Louis E. and Patrice Wolfson. Samuel "Bud" Shorstein served Governor Bob Graham as chief of staff. When Graham was elected Florida's U.S. senator in 1987, Bud accompanied him to Washington, again as his chief of staff. Ray Ehrlich became chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court in 1988. In 1994 the National Football League awarded its 30th franchise to Jacksonville. The Jaguars, co-owned by Lawrence Dubow, began play in 1995, and Jacksonville hosted Super Bowl xxxix in 2005.
In addition to the Jewish Federation, Jacksonville Jews also have a newspaper, seven congregations, a day school through 8th grade, a joint community Hebrew High evening program, and a full array of organizations that support a robust Jewish life. New growth is moving toward the beach areas.
[Marcia Jo Zerivitz (2nd ed.)]
Town Founded on River Site
Historians hold that the Timucua tribe lived on the site of today's Jacksonville since before the year 2000 B.C. The first documented European visitors to the area were a group of French Huguenots, led by Rene de Laudonniere, who sailed into the mouth of the St. Johns River in 1562. They soon founded Fort Caroline (on the river north of the present downtown), which was captured by the Spanish during a bloody massacre in 1565. The Florida region became a territory of the United States in 1821, following a 300-year period of battles between Spain, France, and Great Britain. That same year Georgia plantation owner Isaiah D. Hart moved to the narrowest spot of the St. Johns River known as "Cowford," where cows were transported by ferry across the river. On this site in 1822 Hart laid out the plans for the town of Jacksonville, which he named after General Andrew Jackson, provisional governor of the Florida Territory who later became president. The small community of 100 people was chartered as a town and elected its first mayor in 1832. In 1845 Florida became a state. By 1859, when Jacksonville was chartered as a city, it had become the state's major port, exporting both timber goods and cotton.
Jacksonville During the Latter Nineteenth Century
Jacksonville was not part of the Confederacy during the time of the Civil War (1861–1865); however, both sides fought for the land and the Union Army occupied the city on four different occasions. Following the battle of Olustee, which took place in the city, wounded Union soldiers were brought to Jacksonville's homes and churches, some of which were converted to military hospitals. Union forces destroyed the city but it was quickly rebuilt.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Jacksonville had a population of about 7,500 permanent residents and drew more than 75,000 tourists annually. Jacksonville began to grow and prosper during the 1870s with the development of its lumber and shipping industries. Like many other east Florida coastal areas, Jacksonville's beach communities became established with the development of the railway system. A group of Jacksonville businessmen united in the late 1800s to construct a rail system that ended at the beach east of town. In time deluxe hotels were built, beach property was sold, and in 1888 the first direct railroad service between the city and the North was established. That same year, 427 people were killed by a yellow fever epidemic that assailed the city.
Fire Causes Large-Scale Destruction
By 1900 the city had a population approaching 30,000 people. The new century dawned with the Great Fire of 1901 when embers from a stove ignited materials at the Cleveland Fiber Factory. Before it was extinguished, the fire had destroyed nearly 2,400 buildings, decimated 146 city blocks, killed 7 people, left 10,000 people homeless, and destroyed $15 million worth of property. Fortunately, the city was once again quickly rebuilt and the population grew to more than 91,000 people by 1920.
Briefly a Film Center; Industry Revives
Jacksonville was an important site for the early development of the film industry, and Florida's first motion picture studios opened there in 1908. The warm weather year round and the low cost of labor and housing boosted this development, which continued until the early 1920s, when the industry moved to California.
The population of Jacksonville stood at more than 173,000 people by 1940. Mayport Naval Base and two naval air stations were built in the city during the Second World War (1941–1945). Suburban sprawl during the 1950s resulted in a loss of population for the city, while the county population grew. In 1968 the city and Duval County consolidated, and Jacksonville grew in the rankings of U.S. cities by size from sixty-first to twenty-second.
In the period of the 1960s and 1970s local focus was directed toward industrial diversification and development of the city's port facilities. Redevelopment efforts transformed the downtown area, and new service industries, especially finance and insurance, were booming as the city entered the twenty-first century.
Jacksonville expanded into a new direction when it was awarded a team franchise by the National Football League in 1993. The Jacksonville Jaguars draw thousands of fans to the downtown area on a regular basis, adding lifeblood to the local businesses. This newfound football momentum sharply increased when the city hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005, the smallest market ever to do so. "I hope this will be an experience that will introduce the city to the world," said Mayor John Peyton in the Los Angeles Times.
Historical Information: Jacksonville Historical Society, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32202; telephone (904)665-0064; fax (904)665-0069
Jacksonville:1 City (1990 pop. 29,101), Pulaski co., central Ark., inc. 1941. The city has varied industries, including printing and publishing and the manufacture of electronic equipment, ordnance, and plastic and metal products. The Little Rock Air Force Base, primarily an airlift-training installation and located in Jacksonville, and defense-related industries are also economically important.
2 City (1990 pop. 635,230), consolidated (since 1968) with Duval co., NE Fla., on the St. Johns River near its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean; inc. 1832. The largest city in the state, it is one of the most important Southern centers of commerce, finance, and insurance on the Atlantic coast. Jacksonville is a rail, air, and highway focal point and a busy port of entry, with an international airport and ship repair yards and extensive freight-handling facilities. Lumber, phosphate, paper, and wood pulp are the principal exports; automobiles and coffee are among imports. The city also has a large and diverse manufacturing base. Jacksonville is a major East Coast center of U.S. navy operations; three important naval installations are in the area, including Jacksonville Naval Air station and the large Mayport base at the mouth of the St. Johns River.
Jacksonville has a significant retired community and is also a tourist resort, with ocean beaches, fishing and yachting facilities, and inland hunting areas. Educational facilities include Jacksonville Univ., the Univ. of North Florida, Edward Walters College, and Jones College. The city has a symphony orchestra, a jazz festival, a zoo, and museums and art galleries, and is the home of the National Football League's Jaguars and the Gator Bowl. Points of interest include the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Confederate monument in Hemming Park, and nearby Fort Caroline National Memorial (see National Parks and Monuments, table).
Settled in 1816 and named for Andrew Jackson, the first territorial governor of Florida, the city was laid out in 1822. The Seminole War and the Civil War (in which much of the city was destroyed) interrupted its growth, but with the development of a deepwater harbor and railroads in the late 19th cent., industry and commerce increased. A fire in 1901 destroyed a large part of the city; it was quickly rebuilt.
3 City (1990 pop. 19,324), seat of Morgan co., W central Ill.; laid out 1825, inc. 1867. Its industries include bookbinding and the manufacture of plastics and metal products. It is the seat of Illinois College and MacMurray College. Stephen A. Douglas and William Jennings Bryan lived there. Jacksonville was a station on the Underground Railroad.
4 City (1990 pop. 30,013), seat of Onslow co., E N.C., on the New River; settled c.1757. It is a trade center in a farm area, and produces foods and machinery. It is also a summer resort. Camp Lejeune, a U.S. marine corps training base, is adjacent to the city, and New River, a marine air station, is to the south; both installations play a major role in Jacksonville's economy. A state park is nearby.
Jacksonville: Education and Research
Jacksonville: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Duval County Public Schools, the 20th largest school system in the nation, serves about 127,500 students. The system is run by a seven-member Board of Education, who are elected for four-years terms, and who appoint the superintendent. A magnet school program permits students to choose to attend specialized schools in such areas as language, arts, or mathematics. The Duval County Public Schools enforce a mandatory uniform policy for elementary and middle school students throughout the district.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Duval County public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: approximately 127,500
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 104
junior high/middle schools: 25
senior high schools: 17
other: 3 exceptional student centers, 5 special schools, 2 academies of technology, and 7 charter schools
Student/teacher ratio: 17:1
Funding per pupil: $5,672
There are 103 private schools in the Jacksonville area, with an enrollment of more than 15,000 students. Included are boarding schools and day schools, both coeducational and single sex. Many of these schools are church-related and some are for students with special needs.
Public Schools Information: Duval County Public Schools, 1701 Prudential Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32207; telephone (904)390-2126
Colleges and Universities
Nine institutions of higher learning serve the Jacksonville area. In addition, several satellite campuses, such as the Columbia College Navy Campus, established at naval bases also serve the civilian population. The University of North Florida, a state school, enrolls more than 12,000 students, and the privately run Jacksonville University has 2,100 students. The University of Florida in nearby Gainesville has 16 colleges and four schools. Florida Community College at Jacksonville has a student population of 41,000 full-time and part-time students, making it one of the largest such institutions in the country. Other higher education facilities include historically African American Edward Waters College; Jones College, specializing in business and computers; and St. Johns River and Lake City community colleges. There are five vocational/technical schools, including Florida Technical College and ITT Technical Institute.
The Florida Coastal School of Law and satellite campuses of Webster, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois, and Florida A&M universities, and of St. Leo and Columbia colleges also serve Jacksonville-area students.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Jacksonville Public Libraries include the main library, 20 branches, and one bookmobile. The library has nearly 2 million volumes and subscribes to more than 2,400 periodicals. Special collections are devoted to Floridiana, music, and genealogy. There are at least 19 other libraries in the city. Some are affiliated with higher educational institutions, while others are associated with religious groups, research centers, or the U.S. Navy. Their collections focus on such areas as art, science, health care delivery, law, business, education, and liberal arts.
The Center for Local Government Administration, First Coast Technology Park, Center for Public Leadership, and the Institute of Police Technology and Management are associated with the University of North Florida. Jacksonville State University conducts research on mathematics and on business and economics.
Public Library Information: Jacksonville Public Libraries, 122 North Ocean Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202-3374; telephone (904)630-2665
JACKSONVILLE, city located on the Saint Johns River twenty miles from the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida. French Huguenots settled in the area in 1564 and built Fort Caroline. The Spanish took control of the area the following year, and the English followed in the late eighteenth century. In 1822, settlers laid out a town named for Andrew Jackson. The city was incorporated in 1832 and served as a base for blockade-runners during the Civil War. A fire destroyed much of the city in 1901 but it was quickly rebuilt. In 2000, Jacksonville was Florida's largest incorporated city, with a land area of 765 square miles and a population of 735,617. The population of the metropolitan area was 1,121,580. African Americans were the largest racial minority in Jacksonville—25 percent of the population. Jacksonville's consolidation with Duval County in 1968 ended much duplication of urban services and provided political access for minorities. It also kept middle-income residents as taxpayers and voters, while attracting national corporations to relocate, providing jobs and tax revenues. Crime, drugs, teenage pregnancies, school dropouts, and homelessness were serious problems for the city in the 1990s. The U.S. Navy is Jacksonville's largest employer. Banking, insurance, finance, medicine, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and tourism are other major industries. The Jacksonville Jaguars expansion team in the National Football League began play in 1995 in an entirely new Gator Bowl. Downtown, the Jacksonville Landing and Riverwalk helped revitalize the waterfront. In 1995, a renaissance plan to include a new city hall and civic auditorium was under way, which by 2002 had resulted in a rebuilt Performing Arts Center, the Florida Theatre, and the Ritz Theatre, and had moved city hall to the St. James Building on Hemming Plaza. Historically, Jacksonville has been mainly a blue-collar city. In the 1980s, that image began to change with the establishment of new up-scale communities in Amelia Island and Ponte Verde, and the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Hall of Fame in adjacent Saint Johns County.
Martin, Richard A. A Quiet Revolution: Jacksonville-Duval County Consolidation and the Dynamics of Urban Political Reform. Jacksonville, Fla.: White Publishing, 1993.
Ward, James Robertson. Old Hickory's Town: An Illustrated History of Jacksonville. Jacksonville, Fla.: Florida Publishing, 1982.
James B.Crooks/a. g.
See alsoFrontier ; South, the: The New South ; Trading Posts .
Newspapers and Magazines
Jacksonville's major daily (morning) paper is the Florida Times-Union. The Jacksonville Business Journal and the Jacksonville Daily Record are the area's business newspapers. Other weekly newspapers are the Florida Star Times, serving the black community, and the Florida Baptist Witness. Newspapers published in Jacksonville Beach include the semiweekly Beaches Leader and the weekly Sun-Times. Jacksonville Magazine is a monthly publication devoted to the city's attractions, community resources, and recreational opportunities. St. Augustine Catholic is a religious magazine published in Jacksonville.
Television and Radio
Jacksonville is served by seven television stations: six commercial and one PBS. There are 16 AM radio stations and 22 FM stations.
Media Information: Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., PO Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231; telephone (904)359-4111
City of Jacksonville home page. Available www.coj.net
Downtown Jacksonville, Inc. Available www.downtownjacksonville.org
Duval County Public Schools. Available www.education central.org
Enterprise Florida. Available www.eflorida.com
Florida Times-Union. Available www.jacksonville.com
Jacksonville and the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.jaxcvb.com
Jacksonville Historical Society. Available http://www.jaxhistory.com
Jacksonville Public Libraries. Available http://jpl.itd.ci.jax.fl.us
Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. Available http://www.myjaxchamber.com
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. Available www.mayoclinic.org/jacksonville
Crooks, Arsenault, and Mormino, Jacksonville: The Consolidation Story, from Civil Rights to the Jaguars (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2004)
Crooks, James B., Jacksonville After the Fire, 1901-1919: A New South City (Jacksonville: University of North Florida Press, 1991)
Jacksonville Historical Society, Jacksonville in Vintage Postcards: Between the Great Fire and the Great War (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2001)
Jacksonville: Population Profile
Jacksonville: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 21.3%
U.S. rank in 1980: 50th
U.S. rank in 1990: 47th
U.S. rank in 2000: 45th
2003 estimate: 773,781
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 53rd
U.S. rank in 1990: 15th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 20th (State rank: 1st)
Density: 970.9 people per square mile (based on 2000 land area)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 213,514
American Indian and Alaska Native: 2,474
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 448
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 30,594
Percent of residents born in state: 49.2% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 53,938
Population 5 to 9 years old: 55,679
Population 10 to 14 years old: 55,311
Population 15 to 19 years old: 51,816
Population 20 to 24 years old: 50,844
Population 25 to 34 years old: 114,352
Population 35 to 44 years old: 123,558
Population 45 to 54 years old: 96,664
Population 55 to 59 years old: 32,580
Population 60 to 64 years old: 24,960
Population 65 to 74 years old: 40,738
Population 75 to 84 years old: 26,678
Population 85 years and older: 8,499
Median age: 33.8 years
Births (Duval County, 2003)
Total number: 12,421
Deaths (Duval County, 2003)
Total number: 6,838 (of which, 130 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $20,337
Median household income: $40,316
Total households: 308,736
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 27,216
$10,000 to $14,999: 16,735
$15,000 to $24,999: 38,253
$25,000 to $34,999: 40,276
$35,000 to $49,999: 52,391
$50,000 to $74,999: 57,369
$75,000 to $99,999: 26,044
$100,000 to $149,999: 17,492
$150,000 to $199,999: 4,010
$200,000 or more: 4,875
Percent of families below poverty level: 9.4% (43.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 51,021
Jacksonville: Geography and Climate
Jacksonville: Population Profile
Jacksonville: Municipal Government
Jacksonville: Education and Research
Jacksonville: Health Care
Jacksonville: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1816 (incorporated 1832)
Head Official: Mayor John Peyton (R) (since 2003)
2003 estimate: 773,781
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 53rd
U.S. rank in 1990: 15th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 20th (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 21.3%
U.S. rank in 1980: 50th
U.S. rank in 1990: 47th
U.S. rank in 2000: 45th
Area: 758 square miles (2000)
Elevation: ranges from sea level to 71 feet
Average Annual Temperature: 68.0° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 51.3 inches
Major Economic Sectors: finance, insurance, government, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004)
Per Capita Income: $20,337 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 51,021
Major Colleges and Universities: University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Florida Community College at Jacksonville
Daily Newspaper: Florida Times-Union