Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library Shopping Mall of Zion AHAVA Hero Products 250x250

בס"ד

Third Annual Hebrew School Fund Ball at Richmond, Va.

Mr. Editor,—

I presumed that some individual far more competent to the task than myself, would ere this have endeavoured to chronicleize an event which truly adds another bright page in the history of our brethren in old Virginia. I allude to the last Hebrew Ball, given at the Exchange Hotel, on the 7th of February. This magnificent affair, as I may truly term it, gotten up in aid of a school fund for the “Hebrew and English Institute of the City of Richmond,” which was incorporated by the Legislature of this state (Virginia) on the 4th April, 1848, will long be remembered by those whose good fortune it was to be present on that occasion.

The precaution that is generally used on the part of the management of the “Hebrew School Fund Balls,” to render them select and the most fashionable source of an annual amusement, insures to our fund a yearly influx of the “precious metal” which, with God’s help, will be applied to the specified object for which it is intended. Too much credit cannot be bestowed on the Managers, and more particularly those of our gentile friends, for their untiring and persevering efforts which were used on this “third occasion” in our behalf, when it is for a moment recollected that this fund is to be applied towards the advancement of a religion entirely foreign to theirs. The Managers were composed of the following gentlemen: Gustavus A. Myers, Esq., Doct. F. Marx, C. W. Purcell, Lewis Hyman, Henry L. Brooke, Esq., Wm. W. Crump, Esq., C. A. M’Evoy, Doct. James Beale, Naphtali Ezekiel, Augustus Mailert, James H. Grant, James Lyons, Esq., John S. Caskie, Esq., John N. Vanlew, Isaac Lyon, Richard O. Haskins, Doct. J. H. Conway, Solomon Myers, Jacob A. Levy, Robert C. Stanard, Esq., Edward Pincus, James Allen, Doct. C. B. Gibson, Gen. Wm.

Lambert, Morris W. Rose, Wm. F. Ritchie, Jacob Ezekiel, Robert H. Gallaher, Poitiaux Robinson, Isaac Hyneman, and George Lyon, who are of high standing in our community, which alone is a sufficient guarantee as to the manner in which the affair was conducted. The subjoined extract from the Enquirer, and from a correspondent of the Richmond Republican, will bear evidence as to the result.

<<54>>
(From the Richmond Republican, Feb. 12th, 1849.)

Having been unavoidably prevented from attending this handsome and agreeable entertainment, we are unable to do justice in a description, and must therefore rely upon others. The Enquirer says:—

“Every portion of the room sparkled with flashes from the eyes of gentile and Hebrew beauties; the  gay quadrille and graceful waltz kept time to the fine music of the Armory Band till ‘the small hours about the twa;’ everybody seemed bright and happy. The room, with its floor richly decorated by Mr. Clarke, and the corridors were ornamented with United States flags and evergreens, and the supper, artistically arranged, was worthy of the taste and skill of Mr. Boyden and the Exchange. We were happy to see the Governor and the two Speakers of the General Assembly mingling freely in the gay throng.”

We add the description of a correspondent.

The Hebrew Ball

Messrs. Editors:—I feel most sensibly the difficulty of an attempt to portray with proper fidelity the scenes of pleasurable emotions lately witnessed; but being one of many who experienced a degree of enjoyment very rarely attained in this city by so respectable a number as upon a recent occasion, I beg to be excused for this feeble efort, though the colourings which the ability and imaginations of others could more appropriately impart may be wanting.

I allude to the “Third Annual Hebrew Ball,” at the Exchange Hotel on Wednesday evening. I but give the sentiments of the entire company when I assert, that never were inducements more abundantly proffered to excite pleasure, and never were countenances and actions more strongly indicative of complete success, than upon that long to be remembered occasion.

At nine o’clock, the company, composed of Jews and gentiles of both sexes, of the first order of respectability, assumed positions for the dance, which was executed with acknowledged grace, beauty, and regularity until twelve o’clock, when supper was announced. Each gentleman with a lady repaired to the supper room, where a most delicious and palatable repast was admirably arranged for their reception. Everything which the most fastidious taste could desire, or the appetite crave, was spread out, with credit to the worthy host of the hotel, whose superior in such management does not live.

After ample justice had been done to this kind of enjoyment, the ball-room again presented a lively scene. The band poured forth <<55>>strains of sweet music; voices of mellow richness, in joyous conversation, greeted the ear from all parts of the hall; beautiful forms glided through the mazes of the dance, with graceful movements and admirable accuracy; all conspiring to make the stream of pleasure to flow in one uninterrupted tide until the hour of separation arrived. We all parted with a high degree of satisfaction. For an imposing array of beauty, fashion, and intelligence, this ball has not had its equal for years. Much credit is due to the Managers for the good taste and discrimination displayed in the performance of their duty.

G.

The net proceeds of this ball were not, however, as large as the former ones, it having been attended with greater expense in getting it up and the number of subscribers not being larger than in previous years; the Institute has, however, about “five hundred dollars” to base operations upon, being the proceeds of balls, which are securely invested, bearing interest. It is the design of the trustees of the Institute to use their utmost endeavours to establish a school, wherein shall be taught every species of education, and of which Hebrew and the advancement of the Jewish religion are to be among its most prominent features. It is, therefore, the wish of those interested in our congregational matters to obtain a gentleman to reside among us, fully qualified to the task of Hazan, lecturer, and, teacher, whose services will be amply rewarded with such salary as will render the situation pleasant and agreeable.

E.