Statement of Purposes

The Louis Rose Society for the Preservation of Jewish History was formed March 24, 2005, to document the rich and varied legacy of Jews in San Diego County and environs. The society was named after San Diego’s first Jewish settler, whose life proved a harbinger of Jewish contributions to come.  After his arrival in 1850, Louis Rose became an important and positive force in the development of the city and county, while also helping to establish the Jewish community here.

In its first several months of existence, the Louis Rose Society committed itself to four worthy projects: building a statue of Louis Rose; placing a headstone on the grave of Rose’s daughter, Henrietta; developing an on-line encyclopedia of San Diego Jewish accomplishment, and conducting an inventory of Jewish historical sites in the region.

To accomplish the first goal, the society is raising money for a statue to be built in Rose’s honor at Louis Rose Point—a piece of land at Liberty Station (the former Naval Training Center) that was designated  in 2004 by the San Diego city government in honor of Rose’s contributions to this region. 

Rose’s contributions included starting San Diego’s first tannery in the area that came to be called Rose Canyon, laying out the town site of Roseville in the Point Loma area, and Rose’s pioneering service on the city Board of Trustees, the county Board of Supervisors, the San Diego School Board, and the county grand jury, among other activities.

In cooperation with other organizations, the Louis Rose Society is putting a gravestone on the previously unmarked grave of Rose’s daughter, Henrietta, who had served as a San Diego city school teacher from 1895 to 1940, and also served as worthy matron in 1901 of the local Order of the Eastern Star chapter.

The Society’s members also are honoring notable Jewish San Diegans, past and present, by collecting materials and telling their stories on the web at

Meanwhile, the Society is investigating places of Jewish interest around San Diego County, for possible designation as sites of historical importance.

Membership in the Louis Rose Society is open to any San Diegan, Jewish or Gentile.  Membership is obtained simply by making a tax-deductible minimum contribution of  $36 (“double chai”) per household to the Louis Rose Fund of the San Diego’s Jewish Community Foundation.  Checks may be made out to the Jewish Community Foundation at 4950 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123.  The memo line of the check should be marked “Louis Rose Fund.”

Co-founder Donald H. Harrison, a member of the San Diego Historical Resources Board, serves as the acting president and chairman of the Louis Rose Society’s History Committee, while co-founder Norman Greene, a member of the San Diego Park and Recreation Board, chairs the group’s Governmental Relations Committee. 

Other steering committee members include Arlette Smith, chair of the Community Relations Committee; Peter Levine, chair of the Grants/ Fundraising Committee, Gerry Greber, North County affairs; Gail Umeham, administrative secretary.  Additional positions on the steering committee remain to be filled.

 Harrison, author of the biography Louis Rose: San Diego’s First Jewish Settler and Entrepreneur,  has been hosting the Louis Rose Society’s growing online compendium of San Diego Jewish accomplishments on his  website. 

Support for the work of the committee has been expressed by the United Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Foundation, the San Diego School Board, and –as of mid October 2005—by more than 150 San Diego households and businesses that thus far had affiliated with the organization. Further information about the Louis Rose Society may be obtained from Harrison at (619) 265-0808 or via email at   {2005-10-23} click here for single page print version