2014 Conference

The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society Annual Conference
November 15-16, 2014
Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE
The Jewish Merchants of Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque

Although Jewish history in New Mexico had its beginnings when it was sill a far-flung colony of Spain, it has attracted Jews as diverse as the German-born merchants of the 1800s to immigrant and first generation Jews whose roots were in Eastern Europe. They played a significant role in the commercial, civic, and religious life of Albuquerque in the 20th century, building businesses and a vital community. Focusing on “The Jews of Albuquerque:  Building Businesses and a Community,” the conference features discussions of merchant families who emigrated to Albuquerque and environs 1930-1950.

Keynote speaker, Yiddish scholar and historian Harvey Buchalter investigates “Why Albuquerque?” examining the migration of urban American and European Jews who put down roots in the desert southwest. Subsequently, a panel of descendants of these original merchant families will discuss their family businesses and reminisce about growing up in Albuquerque. Another panel of descendants will focus on Jewish Indian arts merchants of the era. Cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and entertainment will follow.

Sunday’s program will include brunch, a film of Jewish merchant settlement in the West, wrap-up discussion and a Downtown walking tour led by author Sharon Niederman. The tour will end at the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum, 616 Central Ave. SW with Dr. Noel Harvey Pugach’s presentation on Holocaust survivors rescued by New Mexicans.

Saturday, November 15: 1-8 PM

Welcome and Keynote Speech: Harvey Buchalter: The Exceptionality of Albuquerque

Session 1 Panel: Merchants of the 1930s-1960s

Session 2 Panel: Commerce: Jewish Merchants and Native Americans

Buffet Dinner and Live Musical Entertainment

Sunday, November 16: 9 AM-1 PM
Bagel Brunch

Session 3: Film / Discussion: From Peddlers to Merchant Princes: Early Colorado Jewish

Walking Tour of Downtown Jewish Albuquerque led by author Sharon Niederman

Session 4: Dr. Noel Pugach at the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum

An Outstretched Arm: New Mexico Jewry and the Rescue of German Jews in the 1930s

Downtown Jewish History Uncovered!
Walking Tour of Downtown Albuquerque, Sun., Nov. 16
Led by author Sharon Niederman

Meet by 12:30 at Hotel Andaluz, 125 2nd St. NW for a presentation on the original Hilton Hotel
Wear good walking shoes and be prepared to be on your feet for approximately 1 -1/4 hrs.

Some of the sites of interest we will visit and learn about include:
Indian Room at Alvarado Hotel
Sunshine Theater
Rosenwald Building
Gardenschwartz Sports
Freed Co.
Maisel’s Indian Curios
And much more!

Find out where First Lady Carrie Tingley shopped for hats and in which Jewish deli Sen. Pete Dominici launched his national political career.

The tour will end at the NM Museum of the Holocaust and Intolerance with a presentation by Dr. Noel Harvey Pugach on New Mexican rescuers of Holocaust survivors.

Click on images for larger view

Alvarado Hotel,
home of Herman Schweitzer’s
Fred Harvey Indian Room.

Rosenwald Bros., “The handsomest, most up-to-date, and most complete department store in the southwest.”

Franciscan Hotel.

Kimo Theater – next door to the Freed Company.


Sunshine Building, site of the first meetings of Congregation B’nai Israel.


Maurice Maisel’s downtown landmark Indian curio shop – still running.


El Fidel Hotel (on Copper Ave).


Hilton Hotel at 2nd and Copper, today the Andaluz Hotel.

Second Street looking south toward Central Avenue with the Albuquerque National Bank and Sunshine buildings on the left. The old N. T. Armijo Building is on the right.

State Theater, Central Ave in the 50’s.


Should say- Central Avenue looking west from First Street. The Sunshine Building is on the left and ahead on the right is the State Theater in front of the First National Bank Building.


Directions from Santa Fe to JCC:
Take I-25 south to the San Mateo exit (230)
Take San Mateo to Academy (make a left onto Academy, heading East)
Turn Right onto Wyoming Blvd
The JCC is on Wyoming Blvd. on the left hand side. If you get to Spain, you’ve gone too far.

Directions from JCC to Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Garden Inn 5320 San Antonio NE
Turn Right onto Wyoming Blvd.
Make a left onto Academy Rd NE
Turn R onto San Mateo Blvd. NE
Turn R onto Pan American frontage Road.
Turn R onto San Antonio Dr. Hotel is on the R.

Registration: Includes Meals
Pre-registrations are accepted through November 7: Member, $105; Non-member, $145 (includes membership)
Contact Ruth Carter: 505-348-4471, admin@nmjhs.org
New Mexico Jewish Historical Society
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Ste. B Albuquerque, NM 8710