A History of the Jews of Stockton and San Joaquin County, California
From the Gold Rush to the 21st Century
by Robert K. Kolber, in two volumes
Robert Kolber’s two-volume History of the Jews in Stockton & San Joaquin County, California is an impressive feat of storytelling and archiving in over 1100 pages. As Kolber writes in his author’s note:
The idea for this compilation of the History of the Jews of Stockton and San Joaquin County came about in November 2020, during a surge in the global COVID-19 pandemic, when then Temple Israel president, Leslie Weiss, appointed me chair of the Cemetery Committee. I was handed two boxes of what was purported to be “Cemetery Records” from long-time cemetery superintendent Sheldon Barr, that turned out to be a treasure trove of newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, and Temple-related documents. Included were articles and histories prepared, in past years, by Stanley M. Arndt, Reva Clar, Bea Schwartz, Al Davidson, and Arnold Roth. Most significant was the thick meticulously organized binder labeled “David Schwartz,” that was obviously supplemented by his wife, Bea Schwartz, after his passing.
A lot of material was later gleaned from the voluminous early records collected by Rabbi Bernard Rosenberg and deposited in what later became known as the Holt-Atherton Archives at the University of the Pacific, in Stockton. This was supplemented by numerous books, articles, online archives, research on ancestry.com, and the many personal interviews that I conducted.
We printed the book in hardcover with casebinding, using a spot varnish on the photo framed on each cover. We added a slipcase. After preflighting here at Good Book Developers, the books were printed and bound by KS Printing in Shanghai, China. They were shipped across the Pacific in three massive wooden crates.