December 4, 2018

Profile: Isadore Kahn

Portrait of Isadore Kahn, photographer unknown. (Source: NMAJMH)

Isadore Kahn was born in Cologne, Germany in 1837. After immigrating to the United States he served with the Union Army during the Civil War. Kahn was one of about sixty Jewish veterans who helped found the Hebrew Union Veterans Organization in 1896. Today it is known as the Jewish War Veterans (JWV). Their goal was to combat anti-Semitic views, and combat claims that no Jews served in the United States military. Today, the JWV stands as the oldest veterans organization in the country. They continue to make sure that stories of Jewish veterans are heard, remembered, and honored among military communities. 

Little else is known about Isadore Kahn’s life or military service. We know his son Herman Kahn is a World War I Army veteran. Five of his grandsons also served during World War II: Harold, Kenneth, Ira, Stanley, and Bertram. Today, Isadore Kahn is buried in Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.