JAFFA, German brothers who were early New Mexico settlers. HENRY N. JAFFA (1846–1901) went to the U.S. as a young man and moved out West after the Civil War, establishing stores in southern Colorado. In 1879 he opened a business in Las Vegas, New Mexico, which he extended to Albuquerque in 1882. When Albuquerque was incorporated in 1885, Jaffa became its first mayor. He organized New Mexico's first synagogue (1897) and participated in civic and fraternal affairs. NATHAN JAFFA (1863–1945) went to the U.S. from Germany in 1878, settling in Trinidad, Colorado. After brief periods in Las Vegas and Albuquerque, New Mexico (1899), Jaffa became cashier of the Bank of Roswell, NM, where he also led congregational life. From 1907 until New Mexico became a state in 1912 he was its territorial secretary by presidential appointment. Later, he served for 15 years as regent of the University of New Mexico, two years as mayor of Santa Fe, and four years as chief state tax commissioner. He became city clerk of Las Vegas, N.M. (1938) and was an active Mason.
[Edward L. Greenstein]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.