Matthew Schiff, Marketing Director
San Diego History Center
(619) 232-6203 x 149 [email protected]

Foundation Grant Ensures the Legacy of San Diego’s Jewish History
History Center awarded $25,000 to underwrite history book

SAN DIEGO-The San Diego History Center announced today that it is the recipient of a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation of New York for $25,000 to produce the book titled Celebrate, Commemorate: The History and Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community with the goal of establishing a legacy to the History Center’s groundbreaking exhibition Celebrate San Diego: The History and Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community.

Curated by Jewish scholar Dr. Joellyn Zollman, the exhibition was the first comprehensive survey of the Jewish experience in San Diego. The story begins in 1850, when San Diego’s first Jewish resident, Louis Rose, traveled overland to reach San Diego, and continues through the twentieth century to the present day. The exhibition closed in June 2018 after an 18 month run visited by over 150,000 people. In addition to curating the exhibition, Zollman also authored and edited the book.

“This story of San Diego’s early Jewish pioneers is remarkable because the ones who came here were essentially double immigrants,” mentioned Dr. Zollman. “These individuals left their homes in Eastern Europe via places like New York, moving from there to San Diego. It’s a really remarkable story and I’m glad it will live on after the exhibition closes.”

“We are deeply honored that the Gardiner Foundation chose to help reinforce the deep bonds between Jews who came through New York, leaving family there as they proceeded to find a new life here in the San Diego region,” said Executive Director of the San Diego History Center, Bill Lawrence.

The book retails for $27.84 (plus tax) in the History Center Store inside the History Center in Balboa Park, or online on its website at: The Robert D.L. Lion Foundation has previously supported the San Diego History Center through the award of a $100,000 grant to underwrite The Journal of San Diego History.

The San Diego History Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, has been preserving our region’s history and making it available to the public since 1928. It operates its flagship museum in the heart of Balboa Park as well as the Junípero Serra Museum in historic Presidio Park and tells the diverse stories from our region’s past. The History Center is the steward of our heritage and the principal resource for San Diego history. No other institution is solely devoted to preserving San Diego’s collective history and enhancing community identity.
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The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987, primarily supports the study of New York State history. Robert David Lion Gardiner was, until his death in August 2004, the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, New York. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history.
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Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit

Celebrate, Commemorate: The History and Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community