Brothers Max and Reuben Hurwitz were born seven years apart in Sioux City, Iowa to Isaac and Bessie (nee Polaykoff), Jewish immigrants from Russia who had arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900s. Isaac owned a grocery store and impressed upon all five of his children the benefits of hard work and education. Eventually the siblings found their way to California, where Max graduated from USC Law School in 1941. Reuben, who was now going by Robert, followed suit in 1950, finishing second in his class from the UC Berkeley School of Law. Max had started his practice in 1946, and when Robert joined him in 1951, the firm of Hurwitz & Hurwitz became the first law firm established in the city of Newport Beach. Both men were very involved in local civic and political activities, and Robert was the founder and longtime chairman of the Orange County branch of what was then called the National Conference of Christians and Jews (today it is known locally as the California Conference for Equality and Justice). Though the brothers are now gone, they left a legacy of philanthropy and commitment that continues to this day.
Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society, highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishoc.org/history. You can also contact Dalia at email@example.com or at (949) 435-3400, ext. 360. The Orange County Jewish Historical Society is a program of the Merage Jewish Community Center and is fully funded by the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County.