Table of Contents
PETER M. KAHN, 1878-1952
(Written by his grand daughter)
Judy Kahn Gorman
All Rights Reserved. Do not copy photographs.without permission
Los Angeles 1930's
Rabbi Jacob Kohn, of Sinai Temple, said it well at the funeral: "The father of the city has died." 1
Deborah Dash Moore in To the Golden Cities says "Kahn was considered one of the most erudite members of the Jewish community and an intellectual with a life-long record on behalf of Jewish education." 2
Peter M. Kahn devoted himself to the betterment of the oppressed and to the help of the needy. He rapidly became one of the leaders of the Los Angeles Jewish community and was nationally known for his intellect, integrity, and leadership qualities. People said that Peter M. Kahn spent more time at meetings than he did in business. They could not imagine a meeting of Jews in Los Angeles without the presence of "Pete", as they affectionately called him. He was at the forefront of Jewish educational and philanthropic endeavors, locally and nationally, including:
Peter M. Kahn’s career started out by being a fruit picker, then a fruit peddler, and in time he became a fruit and vegetable grower and broker. H. Lang writes: "The labor movement in the American west in the years 1908-1912 was going through a period of great instability, with acts of terror by employers and workers alike. Naturally you find the name of Peter Kahn on the side of the workers. California workers were attacked at their meetings and suffered terrible persecution by "vigilante" groups. Peter Kahn helped form self-defense units..... He was equally active on behalf of American Indians in their fight against the exploitation by white landowners in the California and Arizona deserts.......Experts on California agriculture even believe that were it not for his contribution in the development of the area [Imperial Valley], California would not now be the biggest producer and marketer of dates and the low growing fruits of the cantaloupe family..."
1. The Forward, January 12, 1952.
2. (p. 124)
3. The Forward, January 12, 1952.
Copyright © November 2002. All Rights Reserved
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