Monday, August 15, 2022
Click HERE to sign up to receive our Daily Email News
Jewish History in Wood River Valley was Long and Notable
Ari Goldstein pictured next to the Friedman family stores on Hailey’s Main street in the 1950s. COURTESY: Blaine County Historical Museum
Tuesday, August 2, 2022


The Jewish people have left their mark on Idaho. Not only did Boise clothing merchant Alexander Moses become the nation’s first Jewish governor in 1915 but Boise’s Ahavath Beth Israel is the longest continuously running synagogue west of the Mississippi River.

Jews have also had a notable impact on the Wood River Valley. Simon J. Friedman was one of the first merchants in Hailey, arriving just after the town was platted and opening a general store on Main Street in a 20-by-40 tent selling dry goods, clothing, books and shoes. 

 His cousin Simon Moses Friedman served as Hailey’s first mayor and established the city’s water supply. In 1931, his children donated the land for Friedman Memorial Airport to the city.

Learn more when Ari Goldstein presents “A Jewish History of the Wood River Valley” at the Community Library. The program will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3. Register in person at

The program will be livestreamed and it will be available to watch later on the Library’s Vimeo at

Jews served as miners, merchants and elected officials in the valley’s early days, even as they experienced the challenges that accompanied being Jewish on the American frontier. As the valley evolved, they became sheep ranchers and skiers.

In 1983 they established the Wood River Jewish Community, which is about to open the first synagogue in central Idaho.

The presenter Ari Goldstein worked for three years at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, first as a project manager and later as senior producer of the museum’s public programs. He has served as a Glass Leadership fellow at the Anti-Defamation League and a Conference Committee Member for the Council of American Jewish Museums. He has a bachelor’s degree in Government and Jewish Civilization from Georgetown University.

~  Today's Topics ~

‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ Presents Demon Dog, Dead Body and Plenty of Laughs

Lisa Horton Turns Leaves into Nature-Inspired Necklaces

Check Out Proposals for Sun Valley’s New Lifts and Ski Run



Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:

Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(208) 450-9993
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
Website problems? Contact:
Michael Hobbs
ABOUT US is the largest online daily news media service in The Wood River Valley, publishing 7 days a week. Our website publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles and video content articles. The Eye On Sun Valley Show is a weekly primetime television show focusing on highlighted news stories of the week airing Monday-Sunday, COX Channel 13. See our interactive Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340

© Copyright 2022 Eye on Sun Valley