|Vol. V, No. 2
Iyar 5607, May 1847
Philadelphia.—On the first Sunday in April, being the 4th, the Hebrew United Beneficent Fuel Society of Philadelphia held their sixth annual meeting, when the Treasurer reported the funds in hand to amount to $625, of which $500 are invested in United States six per cent. loan. During the year there were distributed to the poor fortyeight half cords of wood, and nine tons of coal; besides which several stoves were purchased, for the purpose of loaning them to families standing in need of them. The amount of relief thus given is greater than even the apparent quantity would indicate, as it supplies a material costly under the best circumstances, and at the depth of winter, when the small means of the poor are yet more than usually limited, through the derangement of their business pursuits. It affords us pleasure to be able to state that the funds have now reached such a point, and the number of members is sufficiently large, as to cause not the least apprehension to be felt for a successful continuance. We trust that the society will find imitators in other large cities around us. The officers elected for the current year are, President, Z. A. Davis; Vice President, Isaac Leeser; Treasurer, Julius Jacob; Secretary, Simon M. Klasser; Managers, A. Hart, A. S. Wolf, H. Polock, D. Pesoa, J. Fatman, S. Elfelt, Benjamin Grünewald, S. Lyons, Jacob Ulman, A. T. Jones, Isaac Lobe, and M. A. Van Collem.
New York Elm Street Synagogue.—We learn from a reliable source that Mr. Leon M. Ritterband been elected assistant Hazan of the congregation worshipping in Elm Street. We hear also good reports of the ministry of Rev. Mr. Leo, and trust that much prosperity may attend both incumbents in the discharge of their duties.
Congregation Shearith Israel, New York.—We have received a copy of a circular issued by the trustees of the Portuguese congregation, New York, which we communicate as a matter of general interest to our readers, without other comment than that, according to our expressed views, we deem the measure embraced therein entirely too stringent, though we are free to confess that there may be circumstances which induced the gentlemen of the board to issue this special decree which, operating as it does as a warning, leaves transgressors afterwards no room for complaining.
New York, 4th Nissan, 5607.
Sir:—At a meeting of the Trustees of the Congregation Shearith Israel the following was adopted:
Resolved, That no seat in our holy place of worship shall hereafter be leased to any person married contrary to our religious laws; and no person married contrary to our religious laws shall be interred in any of the burying-grounds belonging to this congregation.
Ordered, that the clerk send a printed copy of the foregoing resolution to each seat-holder.
Extract from the minutes.
N. Phillips, Clerk.
Albany.— During Passover, as we learn from our private correspondent, the first semi-annual public examination of the children attached to the school lately organized by the Rev. Dr. Wise, took place. The examination was conducted under the presidency of the President of the Beth-el congregation, assisted by the School-committee, and the Reader, the Rev. Mr. Traub. A very interesting introductory address was delivered by a male scholar of the first class; after which, that class was examined in Catechism and lessons in religion. The female teacher, Miss Chaplin, to whose exertion the greatest credit is due, and who is a teacher any school may be proud of, examined in Spelling, Reading, Arithmetic and Geography. Dr. Wise also examined in reading the Prayer Book and Pentateuch; and much praise is due to the Rabbi for his labours in teaching the scholars the true way of becoming what they ought to be. The specimens of Writing, also, afforded proof of astonishing progress during the first six months of the existence of the school. The sight the examination presented, is said to have been a pleasant one; and it was delightful to witness parents watching, with great anxiety, to observe whether their wishes would be gratified, and their children would indeed become learned; but the progress then exhibited inspired them with the confident hope, that they would not be disappointed, with the blessing of Heaven. The examination over, prizes were distributed to the deserving scholars, and the whole was concluded by an address from a female pupil of the first class.
St. Thomas.—Mr. A. Wolff, the lately appointed president of the congregation of St. Thomas, held a fair at his house on the 2d and 3d of March, for the benefit of the Sunday School of that place, and we are happy to state that it realized the handsome sum of five hundred dollars.
Russia And The Jews.—We see it stated in the papers that the Emperor Nicholas has lately issued a new edict, which orders that Jews in the military service shall not be held to do active duty on Sabbaths and holy days, but be left at leisure to. attend divine worship. Also, that Hebrews may advance to the rank of lieutenant Both these regulations are certainly a great concession, and an improvement upon the iron policy of the Russians; especially the former, which gives Israelites opportunities to attend to their religious requirements. We trust, therefore, that the report which has reached us may be true, and we can easy believe it to be so, without assuming a radical change of policy in the Czar toward the Jews, as he often acts from the caprice of the moment, as many of his ukases too well demonstrate.
England.—It affords us pleasure to learn from late English papers, that Dr. Adler is using active remedies to reform the defects of the various public charity schools in London, and to induce the parents to send their children punctually; even to the extent of furnishing some means from his private purse, where he found relief was needed. We hope that the reform will also extend to other educational establishments where the children of the rich are trained, so as to give all an equal chance of becoming well instructed in the concerns of our religion. Whilst speaking of England, we would respectfully call the attention of our readers, some of whom we know to be of the most influential classes, to use their earnest endeavours to make the distribution of public charity less burdensome and shame-bringing to the poor, than has lately been the case, if we are correctly informed; we ought never to forget that the miserable and needy are our brothers, and that they require equal delicacy in relieving their wants, with that which we would claim were we in their unfortunate position. We are too far removed from the scene of the mismanagement which has been reported to us, to give the statement at full length; but. surely we may be permitted to lift up our voice to allude to abuses, concerning which the local press in London is not permitted to speak from prudential considerations. As a brother Israelite we feel a deep interest in all that relates to our race; and we would remind those who have the ability to lead in useful public measures, that “the charity which exalteth a nation,” must necessarily be of that benignant kind which makes the suffering brother forget his distress almost when he receives relief from the hands of those who bless themselves for the opportunity of aiding others, and who only think they discharge a duty whilst they fulfill the command of their God in opening wide their hand to the needy one, their fellow-man, within their gates.