Birth of Denim

23 Adar 5589 – February 26 1829

A son was born to Rebecca and Hirsch Strauss, an immigrant couple from Buddenheim in Germany, whom they called Levi. Left penniless after Hirsch’s death, Rebecca decided to try her luck in the United States in 1847. When the Gold Rush hit, Levi Strauss moved on to California, where he set up a general store to serve the miners, like many other Jews in the Wild West. Noticing his customers torn pants, Strauss started to manufacture stronger work clothes for them. After a few experiments with canvas, he chose denim as the fabric for his overalls, creating Levis – a label that’s still out there selling jeans on an enormous scale. Strauss left the company to his nephews, and today it’s the largest of its kind.