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MOSKOWITZ, GEORGE ISRAEL (1892–1977). George Israel Moskowitz, merchant and civic leader, the son of Mordecai and Esther (Goldberg) Moskowitz of Russia, was born on Galveston Island on October 3, 1892. When the Galveston hurricane of 1900 struck, he and his family spent the night in the old Alamo School on Thirty-eighth and Broadway; later his narrative of this experience was published in newspapers and magazines. Moskowitz was president of the Texas Produce and Commission Company on the Strand in Galveston for many years. He was one of the first Galvestonians to import large quantities of bananas to Texas from Central America. He married Bess Shapiro of Brenham, and they had five children, of whom four lived to adulthood. He was president of the Galveston chapters of the Zionist Organization of America and the Jewish National Fund, which purchased land for a Jewish homeland. When the reform movement in Judaism passed a resolution that Judaism was a religion and not a nationality, these groups were not allowed to meet in the temple, so he held meetings in Masonic and other civic halls. He was a Scottish Rite Mason, Thirty-second degree, and was honored with life membership. He was also a member of Rotary International. He died on October 31, 1977, and is buried in the Hebrew Benevolent Cemetery. The reception room in the cardiac wing of St. Mary's Hospital is dedicated in his memory. His grandson, Dean Ornish, became a renowned heart specialist and author.


Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).

Natalie Ornish


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Natalie Ornish, "MOSKOWITZ, GEORGE ISRAEL," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed January 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.