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Philadelphia.—The Ninth Annual Examination of the Hebrew Sunday School of this city took place on Sunday the 14th instant, at the Synagogue in Cherry Street, the usual place. The number of scholars in attendance was very large, more so, we should judge, than on any former occasion. The exercises were, as formerly, commenced with reading a section from Scripture, a portion of Deuteronomy, followed by prayers from the minister, superintendent, and children, when the following report was read, in which the superintendent states both a gratifying amount of progress, and calls on those capable of aiding in the good work as teachers to come forward to labour in a cause where success is easily attainable with moderate exertions.

“On the ninth Examination of the Hebrew Sunday School, the Superintendent feels authorized to express her conviction of the importance of its influence on the religious and moral condition of the rising generation. Hundreds of young Israelites are here brought together from various parts of the community, from foreign countries, from families in different stations of life, all engaged in the same holy pursuit, all listening to the Scriptures, and imbibing knowledge of the laws and duties of Jewish life, and lifting up their feeble voices in praise and prayer to the common Father of all, thus preparing  in due season for the warfare of life.

“An Israelite, who begins by honouring his religious privileges, who feels that among the various opinions of his fellow-men, on this important subject, he has the highest, even divine authority for his belief, may go on steadily, his eye and his heart fixed on the Rock of Ages, and meet arguments and objections of mortal men, without fear and without reproach. The Superintendent most earnestly solicits aid from the young ladies of the several congregations, as teachers in the school. There are many very small pupils crowded into  classes, without the means of receiving competent instruction, who might do credit to a kind teacher for the first elements of tuition; and, in some cases, this may be the only means afforded them of learning what may be of vital importance to their future lives. Such a consideration, it is hoped, will induce intelligent and pious ladies, not yet engaged in the school, to hasten and support the good work. Does not the wisest of men bid us to ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it?’”

After the reading of the report, it was given out that donations for the funds of the school would be received, and the persons present proved that they duly appreciated the benefits resulting from the institution, and contributed about ninety dollars, more than will probably be required for the current expenses of the year, as the congregation, Mikve Israel, pay the hire for the room where the school is kept. To show the economy with which about one hundred and fifty children are instructed during the period of one year, we are enabled to state that  the expenses during the last twelve months were only about thirty-eight dollars, independently of room-hire, and this includes outlays of every kind.—As regards the present examination, it passed off extremely satisfactorily, though we have again to regret, as last year, the absence of more advanced scholars. After the examination, several of the children recited either original or select articles, and, among others, three female scholars recited a dialogue on the book of Esther, by Mr. David N. Carvalho, of this city, which excited, deservedly, considerable interest. When the exercises were closed, the premiums were distributed to the deserving scholars; and we felt gratified to observe that the books thus distributed were nearly all the works issued by the Jewish Publication Society. We hope to see the school progress in usefulness, and that many blessings may attend its founders and teachers, and that finally it may lead to the organization of educational establishments on a larger scale.

Maryland.—Most of our southern readers must know, though it may be news to those residing in places where domestic slavery is unknown, that persons of colour are not permitted to give evidence against whites. It was therefore to be expected that the same law should obtain in Maryland. We speak not of the humanity of such an enactment, but merely of its existence. It is also, no doubt, known to many, that it is only about twenty years since the Jews of Maryland were placed upon an equality with other citizens, by the constitution of the State being amended to that effect by the required concurrent action of two successive Legislatures in the premises. Thus the matter rested for several years, till it was observed that, as regards the evidence of coloured persons, there existed yet an odious distinction between Jews and Christians; for “there was an old law of 1717, in regard to the testimony of Indians, negroes, &c., to the effect that their testimony  should not be received in any court of record, or before a magistrate, &c. &c., in any case in which a Christian white person was con­cerned;” and though it is not remembered that such evidence was ever allowed against one not of the Christian religion, it was deemed proper to appeal to the Legislature to have the law removed from the statutebook. Our friend Dr. Cohen, who will excuse us for bringing his name before the public, therefore applied to Dr. Williams, the President of the Senate, and the Hon. John P. Kennedy, Speaker  of the House, to take charge of the business; and it is scarcely necessary to remark, that while we write this, there is perfect equality in this regard too between Jew and Christian in Maryland. We append Mr. Kennedy’s letter to Dr. Cohen, and a copy of the bill, which will speak for themselves; and we are sure that our readers will thank Mr. K. for the truly liberal sentiments in which he expresses himself.—By some mistake, by the by, the letter of Dr. Cohen, enclosing the bill, &c., came only to hand after our March number was printed off: but it is still in time, and will serve, though late, as a matter of pleasing record for future reference.

Annapolis, February 4, 1847.

My dear Sir:—The bill relating to the Law of Evidence, which passed the Legislature a few days ago, was reported by the Committee on the Judiciary at my instance. The object is to remove all discrimination between different religious sects, as regards the application of the Law of Evidence. I believe this was the only case in the present law of Maryland in which a discrimination was recognised. That being now obliterated, our statute book is purged of an odious and offensive distinction, and now truly leaves, in the spirit of the constitution, and of the present age, every man the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

I send you enclosed a copy of the act.

Yours, truly,

J. P. Kennedy.
Dr. Joshua I. Cohen.

An Act relating to the Law of Evidence.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the distinction made by the second section of the act passed in the year seventeen hundred and seventeen, chapter thirteen, between persons professing the Christian religion, and those not professing the same, be hereby removed, and that no negro or mulatto slave, or free Indian, native of this or the neighbouring States, be admitted and received as good and valid evidence, in law, in any matter or thing whatsoever, that may hereafter be depending before any court of record, or before any magistrate within this State, wherein any white person is concerned.

[Note from the webmaster: We don't normally include commentary on the primary documents included on this site, but the preceding article simply shocked us. To object to a minor discrimination in a law which is in and of itself totally discriminatory, boggles the mind, that someone could understand the injustice of religious discrimination, and yet totally fail to recognize the monstrous injustice of racism.]

The Jewish Miscellany, No. 6, is now ready, and will be forwarded to all the members of the Publication Society. We hope, for the sake of the cause, that all will continue their subscriptions, and seek to gain others to support an institution which promises so much good.

Easton.—We learn from our friend, Dr. A. B. Arnold, that the  congregation in Easton is progressing, by several Jews settling there, and in a prosperous condition.

Mobile.—The same gratifying intelligence has been communicated from Mobile, and we trust to hear the same from all our brethren throughout the land.

Augusta.—The congregation of this place worship at present in a building fitted up for them by Mr. Isaac Henry, for temporary use, till they can erect a proper house of worship. This commendable liberality deserves an honourable mention, and we hope that it may meet the reward which ever attaches itself to good deeds.

Montego Bay, Jamaica.—The Rev. Abm. P. Mendes, recently elected as minister of Montego Bay, has entered upon his duties, and gives general satisfaction, and hopes are entertained that the differences lately prevailing there will be healed under his administration.

Kingston, Jamaica.—One of our correspondents at Kingston writes us under date of February 16th, that on the following Sunday, (21st,) the English and German free School was to be amalgamated with the Beth Limmud school of the Portuguese congregation, under the name of the Hebrew National School. We are pleased to record this fact, as it proves that Israelites belonging to different Synagogues, in which the difference at last is but nominal, are anxious to unite their efforts to produce by combined efforts, that which is beyond their reach if conducted singly. May the example spread, and find many congregations ready to imitate it; for only then can we look for permanent and useful improvement in education, which is evidently so necessary among us.

St. Thomas.—We regret not to be able as yet to report the final adoption of a code of laws for the government of the congregation of St. Thomas. We have received a concurrent account of the difficulties existing there, but we forbear giving the particulars, as they can lead to no good result, and their publication would only lead farther to excite the resentment of the minority, though they are but a fifth of the entire body. Let us trust, that as the former rulers of the Synagogue are now reinstated, through the action of the government, that they will earnestly endeavour to heal the breach, and that thus all may soon be brought again to attend as brethren at the house of God. Mr. Aaron Wolff, the former president, is again at his old post.

Venezuela.—The offices of our religion were lately celebrated at Caraccas and Barcelona, by our correspondent, Mr. Simmond, of St. Thomas. He performed the marriage ceremony at place, and introduced in the covenant of Abraham, a young Israelite at the latter. May our brethren there increase so that such occurrences may cease to be matters of special news. We have stated also before this that the government had given the Jews a burying-place at Caraccas; the congregation, also, at Coro is still in progress. There are also Jews at Angostura, on the Orinoco, and Porto Cabello, and perhaps elsewhere, as there appears to be liberty of conscience for them in New Granada and Venzuela.

Cincinnati.—At the regular annual meeting of the members of the Hebrew Institute, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year:—J. Jonas, President; S. Bernheim, Vice-President; P. Moses, Treasurer; Lewis Abraham, Secretary; Reverend J.  K. Gutheim, Principal.

This institution, which has now been in successful operation one year, held its annual examination on Sunday, 20th February, and the progress made by the pupils in their various studies, gave great satisfaction. From the various reports read on the occasion, it appears that there are seventy-one scholars in daily attendance, twenty-nine of whom are taught gratis. In the Hebrew language, the pupils gave evidence of the sound and admirable method pursued by Mr. Gutheim, one class being able to translate correctly thirty-six chapters of the Bible, besides many portions of the daily prayers, and also being conversant with all the elementary rules of grammar; the junior classes also evinced much improvement. In all the English branches of education, the advancement is encouraging.

At the conclusion of the exercises, the children chaunted a Hebrew Psalm, and fourteen prizes were then presented to the most deserving pupils.

The Institute enters its next year with cheering prospects, which, if fulfilled, will make it, without doubt, one of the most valuable Jewish institutions in the United States.

Relief For The Indigent Sick At Cincinnati.—It having been made known to the various Jewish societies, that the poor of our nation frequently suffer for want of medical attention, the fact was introduced to the members, and it was resolved by The Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society, The German Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society, The Hebrew Benevolent Society, The Hebrew Beneficent Society, The Holy Congregation of Israel, and The Holy Congregation of Jeshurun, each to contribute towards a fund for granting a medical attendant, who shall visit the poor gratis. Each of the above bodies elected delegates, who organized by electing J. Jonas, President; Heinsiemer, Vice-President; J. Goodhart, Treasurer; A. Harris, Secretary; and on motion to engage a doctor, Dr. Bettmann was unanimously chosen. A committee was also appointed, whose duty is to visit the sick and order the attendance of the doctor, if necessary.

Laws and Regulations for all the Synagogues in the British Empire.—The above code of laws, issued by the Rev. Chief Rabbi, was the subject of discussion at a Vestry Meeting of the Great Synagogue, Duke’s Place, where all the Laws were adopted with the exception of law 34, Sect. 4, in reference to precedence; and a clause in law 39, Sect. 5, in reference to the fine of 2l. for non-solemnization of marriage in the Synagogue. At a Meeting of the Committee of the New Synagogue, the laws were, after much opposition, referred to a Sub-Committee. The Hambro’ Synagogue has not yet come to any decision on the subject. We defer all comment to a future number.—Jewish Chronicle. (Mentioned also by our own correspondent.)

Rome, Dec. 21st. The Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung contains the following communication: “A new proof has been added to the many latterly given of Pope Pius IX.’s philanthropy and of his little regard to confessional barriers in cases that demand a speedy relief. The Jews, who live on the lowest banks of the Tiber, and who have lately suffered so much from the inundation of that river, have been permitted three days ago, by a gracious decree of the Pope, to remove from their quarter (the Ghetto, the iron gates of which are usually locked every evening), and to reside so long in any part of Christian Rome until the waters of the Tiber should have left their houses, and those be perfectly habitable.”

Ought we to laugh of to weep, when such decrees, whereby the Jews are permitted to escape the danger of being drowned, are proclaimed as generous actions, or when it is yet necessary to proclaim them as such?—Ed. A. Z. des Jud.