Jennie Migel-Drachman, 1859-June 13, 1927

Jennie Migel-Drachman (SWJA)

Jennie Migel-Drachman

Jennie Migel was born in 1859 in Russia. She was the daughter of a pioneer Jewish merchant who immigrated to San Bernadino, California. Jennie married Samuel Harris Drachman at the age of seventeen in California and immediately left for Tucson, Arizona. They lived in Tucson for thirty-seven years (from 1875-1916). Jennie and Sam had four children.

In Tucson, the Drachman name appears on a street and a school. The family was vital in the development of the territory and they were very observant Jews socially and religiously in the early days. They both held very strong religious feelings. Samuel was not a rabbi but acted as a lay rabbi in the early days performing wedding ceremonies and held services in their cigar shop. This couple did more in the territorial days than anyone else to keep Judaism alive in the desert southwest.

Sam was the first president of Temple Emanu-El and Jennie was active in the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society. The original papers to form the Jewish Cemetery Association were drawn on November 21, 1890 by Samuel Drachman.

There was an extensive article in the Tucson Citizen reporting on the first Purim Ball held in Tucson (1886). It was sponsored by the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society and Jennie participated in its planning. The article reported, "The most brilliant social event in the history of Tucson..." It was also reported that Jennie Migel Drachman was dressed in costume as a Tamale Girl Vendor and was the star of the ball.

Jennie died on June 13, 1927 at the age of sixty-eight. All of their struggles helped to preserve Jewish life in the early days is well recorded and the Drachman family is known still for their association with great philanthropic work throughout Arizona.

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