|Vol. V, No. 5
Ab 5607, August 1847
Philadelphia.—The old German congregation of this city lately purchased a building formerly used as a meeting place of a rationalist community; which, composed of persons of various sects, fell into that state of decrepitude, which all such associations usually fall into. The necessary alterations to adapt it to a Synagogue have already been commenced, and it is expected that it will be solemnly dedicated o the service of the God of Israel, the only Source of wisdom and knowledge, by the approaching holidays. The German congregation of this city, is the oldest of that denomination in America; having been in existence about forty-three years; and this is the first time that it has possessed a structure of its own, having hitherto worshipped in hired rooms, temporarily fitted up as Synagogues.—We tell the Conversionists Judaism progresses in America!
New York.—Dr. Lilienthal is making great efforts to establish education among the Synagogues under his charge. He has just introduced a more comprehensive system of elementary schools, but we have not as yet been informed of the details. He expects to hold the first semi-annual examination on the middle days of next Tabernacle feast.—During our recent visit we also learnt that several gentlemen contemplate the issue of a Jewish weekly paper, under the charge of Judge Noah, and Mr. Robert Lyon. Individually (we repeat what we stated in conversation), we have no objection that such a paper should appear, as, if anything, it would probably increase our circulation: but, as concerns the projectors, we are almost sure it would result in a pecuniary loss, greater or smaller, according to the outlay they may incur. There is as yet no reading Jewish public of a great extent in America; from Christians but little support can be expected; and the German Jews who are here will hardly encourage any publication, even in their own language. Our friends may take our word for it, as we have sufficient experience of the extent of support realised, to speak with more certainty than they can, of the prospects of any Jewish publication under present circumstances. Ten years hence it will be different.—We were also sorry to hear that the Talmud Torah school has ceased to exist, for the want of funds. This is not what one could of right expect of the famed liberality of the Israelites of New York. Education among us is still not enough regarded; we mean especially, training in religion under Jewish teachers; the want of it must certainly be felt more and more every day; and time will then work the remedy, much better than all premature appeals.
Rochester, N.Y.—The Rev. S. M. Isaacs informs us that he has been called on to prepare a constitution and by-laws for a new congregation about to be organized at the above city.
Buffalo, N.Y.—A congregation is also assembling at this great town of Western New York. There are already twenty-four families, and they have a person officiating as Hazan and Shochet.
Syracuse, N.Y.—There are at this place fifty families, and have a Synagogue of their own. Their Hazan is the Rev. Mr. Gutman, who also gives instruction in Hebrew.
Albany. The choir in the Synagogue is organized upon the plan of Mr. Sulzer, of Vienna, and assists at public worship on the Sabbath, when the stores are generally closed, and the Synagogue is well attended. Dr. Wise’s school consists of seventy-six scholars, twenty-four of which belong to the Bible class, and the school fees for ten scholars is paid by the Education Society.
New Orleans. Mr. Judah Touro, of New Orleans, has presented to the congregation Nefuzote Yehudah, as a Synagogue, a handsome church edifice, formerly used by the Episcopalians; and he is going to defray himself the expenses for necessary alterations and repairs. This act of liberality is the more commendable, as the venerable donor acted altogether upon his own impulse, without the solicitation of those benefited by his benevolence.
Montreal. By request of the congregation Shearith Israel of Montreal, we lay before our readers this month the sermon of the Rev. Abraham De Sola, the youthful minister of that congregation. Mr. De Sola, we believe, is scarcely more than twenty-one years old, and we are sure that the general opinion will agree with that of his own immediate constituents, in assigning to it a considerable share of merit. We are authorized to say, that he gives much satisfaction to his congregation. He has lately been the instrument of forming a “Hebrew Philanthropic Society,” of which M.J. Hays, Esq., is president, and Rev. A. De Sola secretary and treasurer; the meeting for organizing the society was attended by nearly all professing Jews of Montreal. The annual subscription is three dollars. Mr. De Sola has also established a choir, and improved the decorum in the Synagogue.
Prussia and Rome. We hear occasionally reports that some measures of amelioration of our suffering state is contemplated in several European countries, particularly Prussia and Rome. It will be time enough to lay particulars before our readers when anything of real importance has been fully enacted by the respective law-making powers; our space is too limited to give currency to mere rumour. This much our readers may depend on, that it requires a great deal of time to work the smallest change, and to obtain the least concession in Europe; and then there is so much to be done before we can be placed upon a civil and political equality, that the little favours of which we occasionally hear so much, are but like a single draft of water to a thirsty man. Prejudice dies slowly, and the Christians in many parts of Europe still imagine that Jews could become injurious to the state.
Palestine Relief Fund. We have been put in possession of a receipt of Rabbi Hirsch Lehren, and Messrs. J. B. Rubens, Abraham A. Prins, and Meyer Lehren, acknowledging the receipt of a bill for 25l, 6s. 9d. sterling, from the committee of the Holy Land at New York, consisting of Messrs. Sol. I. Isaacs, I. B. Kursheedt, and Simon Abrahams, on account of the extra collection instituted for the relief of the poor of Palestine, in their state of destitution, caused by the dearth of breadstuffs existing for some time past. The amount collected was $120 50, and was contributed in sums from $2 to $10, by twenty-three contributors. We have also been favoured with the sight of a circular emanating from Rabbis Hayim Abraham Gagin, Myer Menachem Danon, Isaac Parchi, Hayim Moshe Pisanti, Samuel ben David Magar, dated at Jerusalem on Monday the 16th of Tebeth last, in which they complain of the state of famine in which the country is placed, and that they had proclaimed that day as a public fast, on account of the drought which had continued already forty days, in the midst of the rainy season. They also say that eighteen hundred persons are supported by public charity, and that there are many besides who suffer in private the evils of straitened circumstances, because of their unwillingness to make their sorrows publicly known. They therefore appeal to all Israelites to send donations to Mr. H. Lehren, and associates, of Amsterdam, who they say, have solemnly and faithfully distributed the funds sent out from various quarters for the relief of Palestine. Still in the midst of all this suffering there is an evidence of progress; they have eighteen schools and a printing-office; and we were lately presented by Mr. A. Loewe of New York with a copy of the celebrated Chissuck Emunah printed there, which, with the circular just named, is well printed. We may recur to the subject hereafter.