"A Century of Changing Lives and Building Community"
Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio
- America in the 1920s faced a rising tide of antisemitism and anti-immigrant violence
- San Antonio's Rabbi Solomon grew up amid violent attacks on Russian Jewish villages before he emigrated to Texas
- Russian gangs again terrorized Jews in the '20s and more refugees fled to America
- The US had just emerged from a global epidemic after ending a foreign war with ambivalent result
- The Rabbi was alarmed. He joined San Antonio Businessman Abraham Kamrass to provide for the community’s growth and vitality
- They formed a nonprofit organization to offer financial assistance to those in need, through loans without interest, without gain
- HFLA-SA was created in 1924 in reaction to growing intolerance
- As Rabbi Feigenbaum said at its first meeting, “These acts of kindness aren’t charity – they are mutual protection.”
Now, a century later, the world is again beset by violent attacks, rising intolerance, intensified by recent crises like the pandemic, and a distant war ending.
The Books of Reminiscence
Our century-old history is told in the Books of Reminiscence, contain nearly 400 overesized pages detailing the stories of the people and families who created a strong Jewish Community here over the last hundred years.
Created as a gift to HFLA-SA in 1937 by Trustee Abraham Seriff (who also designed the books, the artwork contained, and the original logo), they are the history and heritage of the San Antonio Jewish Community.
Originally in Alphabetical order, we have reorganized the pages by decades in the one marked Chronological as well. Once each page is appropriately dated (some are ambiguous, others require translation) a new archival resource will be available to historians and students researching Jewish Community development in America.
The digital copies above are a sample of how we shall fulfill a promise made in both 1937 and 1999:
To make them available to the community.
The Books Below are in Development for the Centennial Celebration community outreach
Acts of Valor
The following are in development for showing in portrait orientation ... on a vertical monitor, or on a tablet.
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