Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Project Tags

view all


  • Joseph Flateau (c.1875 - d.)
    Joseph Flateau or Flatan or Flatau depending on the source documents. In the 1910 Federal Census of St. Louis Missouri he is recorded as living with the Pickett family and his wife Jenny lived with him...
  • Caroline Schwartz (1816 - 1893)
    Numerous records of her death in St. Louis documentation and Missouri documents. No record of her birthplace. In the 1880 Federal Census for the City of St. Louis she is recorded as being age 60, bor...
  • Bessie Jacobus (1855 - 1950)
    Betsey Wolf appears in the 1860 Federal Census for Onondaga County, New York in the town of Syracuse. She was recorded at age 2, along with her sister Rachel, age 4, both born in Illinois. Father was S...
  • Menachem Nachum Reib (c.1830 - d.)
    Here is the evidence for his given name from immigrants from Belogorodka, Volhynia who used the surname Reib or had descendants who re-took the surname Reib, whose descendants share significant DNA, an...

This is an umbrella project for all projects related to Jewish inhabitants of Missouri.

An excellent reference book on the Jewish settlers of St. Louis is Zion In The Valley by Walter Ehrlich. Volume 1 covers the period from the Revolutionary War up to 1900. The index is quite complete. There are numerous photographs and notes and references. Many early families are described.

The photo is of the first synagogue building in St. Louis, around 1856. Belonged to B'nai El congregation.

Refer to The Library of Congress Virtual Jewish History site at

Virtual Jewish World: Missouri, United States Virtual Jewish World: Table of Contents | North America | United States

Jews were legally admitted into the area of Missouri with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The first known Jewish Missourian was Ezekiel Block, a slave owner who was part of a traditionally oriented family which gradually left Schwihau, Bohemia, between 1796 and 1850. At least 23 family members settled in Troy, Perryville, and mainly Cape Girardeau, Louisiana, and St. Louis. They engaged primarily in merchandising, but one also became a lawyer and another became a mill owner and an insurance company resident. Most eventually married Christians. However, one married into the Philipson family of St. Louis, the first Jewish family in that town.

By 1837 St. Louis had a minyan and, although the city had less than 100 Jews, a cemetery was founded in 1840 and a congregation in 1841. By mid-century the Jewish population in St. Louis increased to between 600 and 700 due to the German immigration of 1848–53, which also led to a Jewish influx into St. Joseph and Kansas City where congregations were established in 1860 and 1870 respectively. Congregations were established in the mid-1880s in the state capital, Jefferson City, and by 1905 in both Springfield (south-central) and Joplin (southwest). By 1950 regular services were being held at University of Missouri Hillel in Columbia, Fort Leonard Wood, and in Cape Girardeau (southeast). In 1948 Eddie Jacobson, a once failed Missouri Jewish merchant, played a role – whose importance is a matter of dispute – when he approached his former partner Harry S. Truman and pressed for the recognition of the State of Israel. By the early 1960s the Jews of Sedalia (west-central) had organized their own congregation. Two of the most popular organizations in outstate Missouri are B'nai B'rith and Anti-Defamation League. Washington University had a fine Judaic studies program. Steven Schwarczchild taught there for a generation and Hillel Kieval was the Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish Thought. The University of Missouri had an active Hillel program. The St. Louis Jewish Light was the Jewish publication for the St. Louis area. Kansas City, Missouri, was covered by the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, which was based in Kansas.

As of 2013, Missouri's Jewish population was approximately 59,175 people.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved. AJHSP (1914), index; D.I. Makovsky, The Philipsons; the First Jewish Settlers in St. Louis 1807–1858 (1958); S. Bowman, Tribute to Isidore Busch (1920).

See also