Moses Garfunkel


1318 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC

FAMILIES: Garfunkel

In the late 1870’s, New York-transplants-turned-Charleston-residents Moses (1839-1919) and Mary Garfunkel (1840-1916) moved their growing family to Columbia to escape an outbreak of yellow fever in Charleston. This relocation inland led Moses–who retired upon the family’s move south to Charleston in 1869 and subsequently devoted himself to the study of a library of traditional Jewish religious texts he previously collected–to reengage himself in commercial pursuits by opening a dry goods and clothing store at 71 Assembly Street (1318 Assembly Street). Shortly after the death of Mary’s mother, Jeanette Esther Trager (1818-1882), the Garfunkels returned to Charleston, where Moses and Mary would open a dry goods store at 312 King Street.1



1 Milton M. Gottesman, Hoopskirts & Huppas: A Chronicle of the Early Years of the Garfunkel-Trager Family in America, 1856-1920 (New York: American Jewish Historical Society, 1999), 21-24.

Main Image: An advertisement for Moses Garfunkel’s dry goods and clothing business in Columbia. Reprinted from The Newberry Herald, November 9, 1882.


Above Image: Moses Garfunkel, c.1900. Reprinted from Hoopskirts & Huppas (1991) by Milton M. Gottesman.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918