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University of Arizona

Primary Resources on Jewish History in Arizona and the Southwest

The Bloom Family Archives – Who were the Blooms?

The Bloom Family of Tucson is well-known for their interests in the business and philanthropic communities of Tucson. David W. Bloom, the patriarch of the family, immigrated from Lithuania to the United States in 1894. David W. and his friend/future business partner, J. Cress Myers, moved to Tucson in 1906. Myers & Bloom Co. opened their doors for business on September 20, 1906, where they specialized in men's clothing, home goods and notions. The business was very successful in its early years and even acquired a competitor's store in 1911. Myers & Bloom Co. built a reputation in the Tucson community for its quality merchandise. One novel business tactic for the time period was to display their merchandise using glass showcases to prevent the merchandise from being soiled.

Their family and organizational memberships
Both Clara and David raised their children: Herbert, David, Theodore and Elaine, with a strong sense of involvement with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Tucson. The Bloom's were involved with Temple Emanu-El; the Tucson Symphony Society, Tucson Chamber of Commerce, University of Arizona Alumni Association and numerous other organizations. On occasion, the Bloom business would sponsor an event benefiting a local charity. The Bloom children learned the benefits of helping others. For example, David with his wife, Leona, [26K] established the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives at The University of Arizona.

Business history of the Bloom Family
Myers and Bloom sold their business to another famous retailing family, the Levy's of Arizona. All was not lost to the business community of Tucson. David W. formed David Bloom Men's Store. The Great Depression of the 1930s made the retailing business very difficult. Yet, David W. continued with his new store, and acquired some help in the form of his sons, Herb, Ted, and Dave. By 1940, the business changed its name once again and became known as Dave Bloom and Sons, Inc. With the death of David W., each of the sons assumed greater responsibilities in making the store a success. The clientele at the store included both Tucson residents and visitors from Mexico. Herb, Dave and Ted Bloom continued with the business until 1990. The Bloom brothers made the difficult decision to close Dave Bloom & Sons, Inc. as the family had other interests beyond the retail clothing business.


The Papers of David A. and Leona G. Bloom (SJA 001)

View the collection guide (SJA 001)

David A. Bloom (born in 1917) and his wife Leona G. Bloom have been active members of Tucson's business, religious, and social service communities for decades, as well as serving as amateur historians for Tucson's Jewish community.

Business history
David A. Bloom and his brothers operated the successful retail men's clothing store founded in 1906 by his father, David W. Bloom (called Dave Bloom Mens' Store until 1936 and Dave Bloom and Sons thereafter). The store operated in downtown Tucson at Congress and Sixth for years, later moving to the El Con Mall. His grandparents came to the Arizona Territory in 1869.

David A. Bloom's memberships
David A. Bloom has served as president of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's Southern Arizona Chapter, president of the Tucson chapter of the University of Arizona's Alumni Association, and vice president of Temple Emanu-El. He is the benefactor of the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives.

Leeona G. Bloom's memberships
Leona G. Bloom (1913-1995) was born in New York City, but she resided in Tucson for over 50 years. In addition to being the benefactor of the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives, she was very active in community activities and service, including those of Temple Emanu-El, the International Friends, the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (O.R.T.), Tucson literacy programs, the Tucson Zoological Society, and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's Southern Arizona Chapter.

What's in the collection
The files in this collection document the involvement of David A. and Leona G. Bloom in service to both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Tucson, Arizona. The collection is a particularly good depiction of the community service work of Leona G. Bloom. For instance, there exist here records of her involvement in the University of Arizona's organization International Friends, the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (O.R.T.), Tucson adult literacy programs, and the Tucson Zoological Society.

There are also present in this collection records which document the activities of both David A. and Leona G. Bloom in Temple Emanu-El of Tucson, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's Southern Arizona Chapter, the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives, and scrapbooks documenting the Dave Bloom and Sons store in Tucson.