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NEWMARK , Los Angeles family. joseph newmark (1799–1881), who was born in Neumark, West Prussia, moved to New York in 1823; he helped to found Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in that city in 1825. He lived in St. Louis from 1840 to 1845, serving there as president of the fledgling congregation. Returning to New York in 1846, Newmark helped to organize yet another congregation before he moved to the village of Los Angeles with his wife and six children in 1854. He was the first spiritual leader of the Jewish community, conducting religious services, weddings, and funerals voluntarily until a professional rabbi was engaged. He founded the Hebrew Benevolent Society in 1855 and was the founding president of Congregation B'nai Brith (today's Wilshire Boulevard Temple) in 1862. During Newmark's lifetime the congregation remained Orthodox out of respect for him.

His nephew harris newmark (1834–1916) went to Los Angeles in 1853 and engaged in a variety of mercantile endeavors, ultimately establishing a wholesale grocery. For more than 60 years he was intimately involved in the civic, economic, and Jewish life of the community. He was a member of the committee that brought the first railroad connection to Los Angeles and was an organizer of the Agriculture Society of the 6th district, the public library, Board of Trade, and Chamber of Commerce. He engaged in real-estate activities and was one of the developers of the town of Newmark, now Montebello.

Toward the end of his life, Newmark wrote his memoirs of early Los Angeles; published as Sixty Years in Southern California (19161, 19262, 19303), this work stands as the classic autobiographic history of southern California.

Harris's son marco ross newmark (1878–1959), like his father a businessman and civic figure, served as president of the Los Angeles Produce Exchange and as vice president of the National Wholesale Grocers Association. He was ardently interested in the early history of Los Angeles and with his brother Maurice Harris (1859–1929) co-edited his father's memoirs. The two brothers also edited and published Census of the City and County of Los Angeles, California, for the Year 1850. His numerous articles on general and Jewish history were gathered in Jottings in Southern California History (1955). Newmark was a president of the Historical Society of Southern California. One of the leaders in the Jewish community, he served as president of the Federation of the Jewish Welfare Organizations, the Los Angeles Lodge of B'nai B'rith, and of the Los Angeles District of the Zionist Organization of America.


H. Newmark, Sixty Years in Southern California, 18531913 (1916); M. Vorspan and L.P. Gartner, History of the Jews of Los Angeles (1970).

[Max Vorspan]

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