About Us

The Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley is a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve our Jewish heritage by providing excellent programming and education to the Napa Valley. Our diversity is represented in our selection of programs, films and unique content.

How did we begin?

The Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley was started in December 2002 by Donna Mendelsohn and Zoe (Kahn) Stein, who wanted to document the history of the Jews in Napa Valley. They commissioned Lin Weber, a well known historian of the area, to write a book about the early Jews in Napa Valley, their life, and contributions to this beautiful area. While Lin was researching, Zoe and Donna began to raise money through memberships. Our membership is now at 125 and our programs are known throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Events include various speakers, films, authors and connections with other groups to create unusual events.

JHSNV 1st Book

We commissioned the book Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley by Lin Weber. It was unveiled in September 2003 and is now the definitive history of the contribution of the early Jews to Napa Valley. The book can be found in local wineries, book stores and at Amazon.com. The profits from the book will be given to local agencies to help those less fortunate.

Exhibit Case

The members of JHSNV and their advisory committee, along with museum curator Sue Morris, and exhibit-designer Dan Wodarcyk, have created a permanent exhibit, “The Jews of the Valley“, at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville. Now visitors to Napa Valley can visit the museum and feel a part of the local Jewish community. We celebrated a wonderful gala opening on September 18th, 2004.

Who we are…


JHSNV Board of Directors at one of their monthly planning and programming meetings are L to R: Sue Taub Johnson, Ernie Heine, Donna Mendelsohn, Sue Barush, Thelma Stiles, Roy Barush, Lauren Chevlen.