|Vol. IV, No. 8
Heshvan 5607, November 1846
Philadelphia. We have heard it stated that the German congregation, Rodef Sholem, of this place, have in contemplation the establishment of a general free school for the bestowal of instruction in both Hebrew and English, in connexion with the usual branches of education. The particulars of the plan have not been communicated to us, if indeed they have been as yet matured. But as the friend of progress we sincerely trust, that the report will assume a tangible shape before long, and be carried out into active operation. We will gladly co-operate with any thing in our power to aid in this worthy scheme, so soon as we find that it can be rendered effective.
The Hebrew Beneficial Society “Mercy and Truth,” held their annual meeting on the 19th of October last, and elected the following gentlemen as officers during the current year: Joseph Levi, President; Herman Van Beil, Treasurer; David A. Phillips, Henry Lewis, Julius Davidson, and Moses Marcus, Committee; Simon Klosser, Secretary; Dr. Samuel MacLellan, Physician; Robert Killduff, Apothecary, and David A. Phillips, Messenger. The members of this association now amount to thirty-five, with seven new applications for membership; and the funds are already upwards of two hundred dollars, quite a considerable amount, if it is considered that the society was organized but three years ago.
Jewish Settlements Through The Country. We constantly hear of new incipient congregations springing up in every direction, and every year the worship of the God of Israel is extending into towns where formerly the One had no adorers. Far and near the sons of Jacob are diffusing themselves over the area where liberty of conscience is the inalienable right of all the inhabitants, and glad are we that they are remembering the God of their fathers in the new homes which they possess in peace and security. Whilst lately on a short tour through a portion of Virginia, we stopped a day at Norfolk, and were rejoiced to find that the Israelites assembled there during the last holydays for worship, having at the same time a Sepher out of which to read the word of the Lord. One of the people has kindly undertaken to kill twice a week; so that Kasher meat can he procured by all; and we are pleased to learn that several who before the settlement of Mr. Umstetter, did not keep strict[ly kosher] house, now do so, availing themselves of the services of this worthy Israelite. We should not be surprised to hear that in the course of a little while a permanent Synagogue were organized in Norfolk, especially as many individuals are scattered in the towns of eastern North Carolina, Newbern, Elizabeth City, Edenton, &c., as also at Suffolk, Va., and hence they can easily unite with those in Norfolk for the promotion of public worship:—In Petersburg there are several families, but they have not yet united into a congregation, and are contributors to some extent to the Portuguese Kahal at Richmond.—In Richmond there are two congregations, the minister of the Portuguese body is the Rey. Ellis Lyons, and Rev. Max Michelbacher is the minister of the German brethren. Mr. Michelbacher is also the teacher for his congregation, and also preaches to them in German. He informed us that he meant soon to preach in the English language, which we do consider far more useful in America, than a resort to an idiom which only can be allowed here on account of the want of knowledge of the vernacular by the emigrants from Europe, a defect gradually diminishing by intercourse with the natives of the country. A Sunday School for religious instruction, attended with much success, is conducted by several ladies of the Portuguese congregation.—We think that in Wheeling, in western Virginia, also, there are a sufficient number of Jews to form a small congregation, and we believe likewise that they have met for prayers.—In Pittsburg, too, in this state, we hear that the Jews speak of uniting themselves for the promotion of worship.—In Macon, Georgia, also, meetings for prayer have been held for some time past, as we learn from report.—And lastly, whilst this number is going through the press, we hear that the Israelites of Columbia, South Carolina, are now framing a constitution, to insure a permanent organization of the brethren in that place. It will thus appear that, no matter how careless the Jews may be to appearance to their religion, in the eyes of those who know them not, there is, as we have always contended, a deep feeling of attachment to the law of God pervading their nature, which will at some time, whether remote or near, produce ample fruits of godliness. And whilst on this subject, we may at once inform the editor and conductors of the New York Jewish Chronicle, that the remnant of Israel in America is something more than mere dry bones, and that the shaking of these bones, (a simile so often employed by the conversion organs and their agents, discourteous though it be,) is not unaccompanied by the spirit of truth which dwells in Israel; yea, we have a spirit, but one very different from the false spirit which they would gladly instill in us. We are sinners, it is also true, but our iniquity cannot be blotted out by our forsaking the path of the Law as they would counsel us. This is all we mean at present to say in reply to the unhandsome notice the Chronicle took, in its number for October, of our statement concerning the increase of Jewish communities in this land. The present additional account will no doubt be acceptable to those “friends of Israel,” who are so anxious to ameliorate our condition; and will prove to them that their efforts are likely to prove in vain, and “so mote it be.”
New Orleans. The congregation, Shanarai Chased, of New Orleans, are desirous of engaging a suitable person as Hazan and Shohet (see advertisement); it is desired to obtain a gentleman of good, moral, and religious character, who can give a good English discourse, is well versed in the Holy Tongue, and capable of giving instruction in the same.
At an annual meeting of the Hebrew congregation, (“Shanarai Chased”) of New Orleans, held at their Synagogue, on Sunday, October 18th, 1846, the following gentlemen were elected officers: L. A. Gunst, President; Binnel Levy, Vice President; Joseph Turk, Treasurer; B. W. Cohen, Secretary; J. Lamm, M. Shewell, E. Newbourg, Trustees.
Montreal. We have before us a letter from Montreal, from which we extract the following particulars: During the last session of the Canadian Legislature, an act was passed, incorporating a number of of Israelites under the title of “the Corporation of Portuguese Jews of Montreal;” and the following gentlemen were elected under that bill as the officers for the current year: A. H. David, M. D., President; John Levy, Treasurer; Myer Solomons, Secretary; and B. Hart, M. J. Hays, and G. J. Ascher, Trustees; and afterward, in accordance with the By-Laws, Mr. Ascher was elected Parnass.—The members have engaged as Reader and lecturer, Mr. Abraham De Sola, son of the Rev. Hazan De Sola, of London; and he is now on his way to this country. He is spoken of as a young man of very great abilities and rising talents, and highly competent for the office for which he has been elected. As the congregation was without a proper person to officiate since the departure of Rev. Mr. Piza for London, the members resolved to invite Mr. Myer Levy, of New York, to act for them during the past season of festivals; Mr. L. kindly accepted the invitation, and he was presented on the morning of the 18th of October with a handsomely-chased silver goblet, as a slight token of gratitude for the handsome and unhesitating manner in which he responded to the call. The goblet bears the following inscription: “Presented to Myer Levy, Esq., by the members of the Portuguese congregation of Israelites of Montreal, as a token of the estimation of his services in officiating for them during the holidays, 5607. Montreal, 16th October, 1846.” It was presented by a deputation, with a neat address; to which Mr. Levy returned a suitable reply.—We congratulate our friends in Montreal at the accession to the service of a young man, of whom fame speaks so favourably; and we trust that the connexion between them may be long and agreeable to all parties.
Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Henry S. Jacobs, son of S. Jacobs, Esq., of Kingston, has been elected as master of the school attached to the German congregation, in the room of the Rev. S. Jacobs, resigned.
Cincinnati. At the regular annual meeting of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society, held on 7th October, the following ladies were elected officers for the ensuing year: Mrs. E. Mayer, Lady Patroness; Mrs. J. Jonas, Treasurer; Mrs. M. Ezekiel, Secretary; Mrs. J. Joseph, and A. Franco were appointed visiting committee. This society, in a most commendable spirit, resolved to form from their body an auxiliary society, for the purpose of supplying clothing for the poor during the approaching winter, to be termed The Ladies’ Sewing Society.
At the regular annual meeting of the K. K. B. Jeshurun, held on 4th October, the following gentlemen were elected officers: S. Bernheim, Parnass; A. Fechheimer, Treasurer; L. Goldsmith, Secretary; Friedman, 1st Gabah;— Stern, 2d Gabah. This congregation laid the corner stone of their new Synagogue on Wednesday, October 7th. The ceremonies, which were very appropriate and interesting, were conducted under the supervision of Mark Levy, Esq., and consisted of hymns and psalms, sung by the choir of the Synagogue, who, together with the members of the K. K. B. Jeshrun, and K. K. B. Israel, formed themselves into a procession, preceded by a band of music, and after the morning service was concluded, marched to the site of the new Synagogue, where a short but excellent address was delivered by Mr. Levy, which was followed by a sermon by Rev. J. K. Gutheim, who spoke in his usual happy and effective manner, exhorting the congregation to unity of purpose and unity of action, so that they might be able to persevere in their good and holy work with success. His text was “Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord, we welcome ye to the house of the Lord.” After he had concluded, the procession resumed their line of march, and on the return of the trustees to the vestry-room it was unanimously resolved that the board procure a copy of Mr. Gutheim’s address for the purpose of publication. Altogether, the scene was one of sincere congratulation to every lover of Israel’s sacred cause, as this is the second building for the purpose of Jewish worship in Cincinnati, where, a quarter of a century since, ten Israelites could not be found.
At the regular meeting for election of officers of the Hebrew Beneficent Society, Mr. J. Abraham was chosen President; Mr. A. Aub, Vice President; Mr. Samuel Bruel, Warden of Burying Ground; Mr. Simon Kramer, Treasurer; Mr. A. Harris, Secretary.
The Gentlemen’s Hebrew Benevolent Society held their regular annual meeting on 22d October, when the following gentlemen were elected officers for the ensuing year: Mr. Philip Heidelbach, President; Mr. J. Tannewald, Vice President; Mr. B. Barbé, Treasurer; Mr. J. K. Gutheim, Secretary.
Egypt. Since the return of Ibraham Pacha from his European tour, it appears that he has displayed considerable liberality towards the Jews on the occasion of the death of the Rabbi at Cairo, in offering to protect them in the performance of the funeral ceremonies, which they had been afraid to undertake from fear of the violence of the mob of the capital. He offered to place a force of 3000 men at their disposal, with his own carriage to put the bier in.—Although the large force was not needed, the offer proves the advance made in the rights of man in the Ottoman empire.
Switzerland. It is reported in the papers that the council of Berne has issued an ordinance, which emancipates the Jews from several oppressive obligations previously imposed on them, as to the mode of conducting their commercial transactions.
Departed this life, on Monday afternoon, October 5th, 1846, Amanda M. Hart, daughter of Levy and Abigail M. Hart; aged 17 years, 6 months, and 25 days. The decrees of a wise Providence are such that the young as well as the old must die; but when one in the prime of life, and freshness of bloom, is taken away, possessing every thing to make life desirable, do not the ways of Providence seem mysterious? The deceased, one week previous to her death, was in the enjoyment of health, and bid fair to live to a green old age. Taken sick, she bore her sickness with calmness and resignation to the Divine will, not murmuring or complaining; and being sensible of her situation, as she often expressed herself, she placed her sole reliance on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Her death-bed was one of peace and tranquillity, the King of Terrors had no effect on her; she yielded her spirit to the God who gave it “as a child who slumbereth.” The deceased, in the relations of life, was warm, ardent, affectionate, and devoted as a daughter, kind and loving as a sister, affectionate and devoted as a friend. Firm and sincere, she commanded the esteem, respect, and sympathy of all classes, as the daily visits to her death-bed will fully testify. Sociable, amiable, and talented, the void created by her death will be scarcely filled to her numerous friends and acquaintance, and never to her afflicted parents. “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God, and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears; For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.”