A territory in the western division of the United States; acquired after the war with Mexico by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ratified May 30, 1848. The earliest Jewish settler in New Mexico was Jacob Spiegelberg, who went to Santa Fé in 1846. Among the other early Jewish settlers who helped to build up the district, and of whom many are still (1904) alive, were Jacob Amberg, Col. Marcus Brunswick (served in the Civil war), Gustave Elsberg, the brothers Ilfeld, Major Arthur Morrison (served in the Civil war), the brothers Rosenwald, the brothers Seligman, the brothers Spiegelberg, Spitz, and Zadoc and A. Staab.
In addition to those mentioned above, H. N. Jaffa (first mayor of Albuquerque), Nathan Jaffa, Ernest Meyer, C. Rosenwald, and many others have filled public offices in the territory and are among the most respected citizens of New Mexico.Albuquerque:
The largest and most important city of New Mexico; has a Jewish population of 150. A B'nai B'rith lodge, formed in 1882, was the first Jewish organization in the territory. Other institutions are the B'nai B'rith Cemetery Association, Ladies' Hebrew Aid and Benevolent Society, and Congregation Albert, formed in 1897 through the efforts of H. N. Jaffa, its first president, and Sam. Neustadt, first secretary. Rabbis Greenberg, Jacobs, and Kaplan have successively occupied the pulpit.Las Vegas:
At one time the largest, and now the second, city in New Mexico; it has the most considerable Jewish population in the territory, and likewise the oldest Jewish congregation. With thearrival of several families in 1878, Jewish influence began to be felt in Las Vegas; and within a few years a regular congregation was formed (1884) and weekly services were held in a hall rented for the purpose. Two years later a temple was built, Congregation Montefiore being named in honor of the hundredth birthday of the great philanthropist. The rabbis who have successively occupied the pulpit are: J. Luck (1884-86), Schelitzer, Sig. L. Frey, L. Schreiber (1896-97), B. A. Bonheim (1897-1902), and Dr. Lefkovits, the present occupant (since 1902). Other Jewish institutions are the Cemetery Association, Ladies' Relief Society (organized 1889), Ladies' Temple Society (organized 1903), J. E. Rosenwald Lodge, No. 545, I. O. B. B. (organized 1902).Santa Fé:
Capital of New Mexico; contains about twenty-five Jews. The Jewish population at one time was much larger, but since 1880, when Santa Fé was cut off from the main line of the railroad, the population has gradually decreased and many Jews have since removed. At no time, however, was there a Jewish organization, either religious or philanthropic, although during the holy days services were sometimes conducted by laymen. But recently a congregation has been gathered together, and Rabbi Kaplan of Albuquerque now (1904) conducts services and lectures once a month.Roswell:
Although this town has a Jewish population of but 36, a congregation and Sabbath-school have been organized through the efforts of Nathan Jaffa, who conducts services every Friday evening.
Throughout New Mexico a number of Jews are scattered in almost every town, the entire Jewish population of the territory numbering between 700 and 800 in a total population of 195,310.