Home May 2012 Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

The owner of the store shown in this classic American ad was a man named Srul (Yiddish for Yisrael) Beisser. Beisser was born in 1896 in a small village near Odessa, Russia, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1913, at the age of 17. The passenger manifest lists him as a locksmith. He first settled in Detroit and then made his way to California, marrying Mae, a fellow Russian Jewish immigrant, in San Diego. The young couple moved to Santa Ana and had two sons, Stanley, born in 1922, and Arnold, born in 1925. Srul officially changed his name to Henry in 1931, when he became a citizen. According to Martin Weinberg, who was also born in Santa Ana in 1925, Arnold was “one of my closest friends. His father had the only bicycle store in Santa Ana. Henry gave Stanley and Arnold some bicycles to keep on Balboa Island and they would rent them out from there.”

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