|Vol. IX. No. 7
Tishry 5612 October 1851
New Haven, Connecticut.—In a late hasty tour through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, we stopped first at New Haven, and were gratified to find quite a numerous and well-organized community. They have for Hazan the Rev. Mr. Zunder, and Mr. Maylander for Shochet. They occupy, for the present, a pretty hall, situated in a good position. Mr. L. Waterman was Parnass until lately, but he has resigned. We omitted to note down the name of his successor. The attendance has increased to that extent, that they require to place additional seats for the holydays; but there is enough room yet to introduce them. Our sojourn was limited to but a few hours, wherefore we could not obtain all the knowledge we desired.
Hartford, Connecticut.—We found here a body of Israelites consisting of about fifty families, who as we learn from a letter before us, and as we were convinced by such an actual intercourse which our short stay allowed, are thriving and doing a respectable business. The congregation was organized about four years ago; and the officers who are annually elected at the quarterly meeting held on the middle days of Passover, are, Mayer Stern, First President; Isaac Hartman, Second President; Abraham Hollander, Comptroller; and Hirsh Wallach, and Alexander Rothschild, Trustees. The means at command not being yet sufficient to build a proper Synagogue, they have rented a hall which they have fitted up; it will hold about one hundred and fifty persons. The service is read by Rev. M. L.Strauss, who acts as Hazan and Shochet. There exists also here a Hebrew and English school with about twenty-five scholars, under charge of Mr. Lazarus Mosbacher.
Boston, Massachusetts.—Here we found a numerous body of Israelites, some of whom we should judge to be engaged in large and <<381>>flourishing business. The Minister is the Rev. Joseph Strouse, who also conducts the Hebrew school of the congregation. The President is Mr. Moses Ehrlich. We have not as yet received the particulars as to the other officers, and numbers of the people, which we had expected. They have a large room in Washington Street; but we learned from the president that they had resolved to build forthwith, a lot of ground having already been purchased. We think that there are at least a hundred and twenty families in Boston, who though mostly in moderate circumstances, are all able to support themselves; and if we understood aright, there are few or none either here or in other northern towns, who require charity for their support. We hope that some of our friends there will favour us with particulars at their first leisure.
Providence, Rhode Island.—At Boston we learned that a small body of Israelites was settled in the capital of Rhode Island; but our time did not permit us to visit them this time.
Bangor, Maine.—Here, also, there is a small Jewish community. We did not visit it, and met with none from there. Besides these places, there are Jews at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; New Bedford, Massachusetts; at Bridgeport and Meriden, Connecticut; and in most other towns of New England where the situation or business prospects hold out the means of obtaining a decent livelihood. The whole time we spent in New England, was from Monday to Thursday evening; wherefore our information is necessarily as meagre as we have given it.
Albany, New York, has now three congregations; the old . Beth- El, the Beth-Jaacob, and the new society of Dr. Wise; the latter of which we hear intend consecrating a church they have purchased, on Sabbath Teshubah. The Beth-El Synagogue, in Herkimer Street, of which Rev. Ferst Traub is Hazan, we found in excellent order. The President is Louis Spanier. The Beth-Jaacob, in Fulton Street, under charge of Rev. Katzenberg, is a neat structure, and was under repairs, to be ready for the holydays, during our visit. We should be pleased to receive full accounts of the state of the congregations in this city. We think the average number of families belonging to each, is somewhat exceeding fifty.—We are happy to announce that the litigations consequent on Dr. Wise’s retirement from his former office have been amicably adjusted, and all charges, &c., dropped on all hands. We could not communicate any more pleasing intelligence to our readers; since concord should always prevail between the various divisions of our brethren, if unfortunately even circumstances compel them to separate into different congregations in the same city.
Syracuse, New York.—In this city exist three benevolent Societies, the Society of Brotherly Love אהבת אחים of which Wm. Henochsberg is President, Israel Bronner Treasurer, and M. Henochsberg Secretary. It has lately laid the foundation of a widows’ and orphans’ fund. The other is called “The Mutual Assistance Society,” רודף חסד under the Presidency of Isaac Garson; Solomon Lederer is Treasurer, and M. A. Marks Secretary. The members of both number about fifty each. The annual contribution is three dollars, and the weekly relief during sickness is the same amount. The last is a ladies’ society, called and has sixty-five members. The President is Mrs. Fanny Bamberger, and Mrs. Rosa Stone is Treasurer and Secretary. All three attend to the funeral rites of the respective members.—The Synagogue costs about $10,000, of which a considerable sum is still unpaid. It has a clock under the western gallery, which performs its work in silence;—and wherever one is introduced or in existence in Synagogues, we hope that pains will be taken to obviate the peculiar annoying and monotonous ticking which we have observed in some places, by which the worship is greatly interrupted.
Rochester, New York.—The congregation of this place is under the Presidency of Mr. J. Katz. The minister is the Rev. Mr. Doski. We had no opportunity of visiting the temporary Synagogue where they worship, or of making the personal acquaintance of the minister. We heard persons speak of their intention of soon building a Synagogue, and we trust that they may speedily commence the good work. Every day’s delay is a hindrance to a proper progress. Here too is a Ladies’ Benevolent Society; but we failed to obtain the particulars.
Buffalo, New York.—Here we learned to our regret that the people are divided into two congregations; still, there seems to exist a good understanding between the two bodies. The elder or <<383>>Polish congregation, have a pretty Synagogue in Pearl Street, in the rear of the American House in Main Street. It has the fault of being too far back from the front entrance, but we hope that before long the people may be able to remove the obstruction which now separates them from the street. The Rev. Isaac Moses Slatki is minister of the body. The other or German congregation, under the Presidency of Mr. E. J. Bernheimer, is about fitting up a place of worship in Ellicott Street, at no great distance from the other. From what we saw, we should say that there are a great many Israelites at Buffalo, so that it may perhaps be practicable to maintain two respectable congregations, with all the necessary appliances. We should be pleased to learn all the particulars of the resources and the number of Israelites and other matters of interest, from some of our friends. Will they attend to it?
Poughkeepsie, New York.—Although we had no opportunity to visit this city, we learned in travelling that a congregation was organized here. In Hudson there are several families, but no congregational organization. The same is the case at Troy, Schenectady, Watertown, Oswego, Binghampton, and probably other places in the State of New York, of which we could obtain no account. Upon the whole, it will be seen, however, that the field of Judaism is extending, and this very rapidly in the Northern States, where not long since the face of an Israelite was but seldom seen, and where our mode of worship was entirely unknown. May the future be still brighter than the past has been!
Richmond, Va.—We are pained to hear that a dispute has arisen between the Portuguese and German Congregations, relative to the possession of the burying-ground. It was given by the city of Richmond, when Major Wolfe was a member of the Council, to the then Israelitish congregation, which was the Portuguese, years and years before the Germans were thought of; hence, at a first view of the case, we should say the custody belonged to the original possessors, though all others are entitled to its use. Perhaps, however, there are some points in the question which we do not understand. We extort them all, however, to pursue the path of peace. Let them remember the name of the old association of Israelites, Beth Shalome.
The Rev. David M. Isaacs, who for many years was the preacher of the Liverpool congregation, was lately induced to resign his office, and to remove from the city. We now learn from the Jewish Chronicle of August 29th, kindly lent us by the Rev. S. M. Isaacs, of New York, at a meeting was held on the. 24th of August, which was largely attended, for the purpose of devising ways and means to induce <<384>>the reverend gentleman to resume his ministerial functions. A resolution was moved by Mr. Lewis Samuel, and seconded by Mr. N. Goldsmith, which will give our readers the main features of the transaction. It is as follows: “Resolved, That this meeting, having heard with regret of the resignation and departure of our respected friend and lecturer, the Rev. D. M. Isaacs, do pledge themselves to use their utmost exertions to obtain his return and re-engagement, and request most respectfully that the wardens of the congregation do immediately place themselves in correspondence with the Rev. D. M. Isaacs, the purpose of endeavouring to secure his re-engagement.” The unanimous adoption of the resolution is certainly highly creditable to all the parties; and we trust that Mr. Isaacs may soon be reinstalled in the exercise of his sacred functions, by which hitherto he had secured to himself so large a share of public approbation. At the same time it was recommended to place seat-holders on the same footing with members and give them the right of suffrage, a measure which we deem highly necessary for the advancement of religion, only to be denied upon an urgent necessity being made out on the contrary side; and we trust that in America, too, this subject may demand and obtain. as it deserves, the profound attention of several congregations which are faulty in this respect. Want of space prevents us now from enlarging.
England.—It is no news to our readers to announce to them that again a bill to emancipate the Jews, by a repeal of the test oath, has been once more rejected by the House of Lords, as the daily papers have long since announced it; but we insert it merely as a matter of record. Equally unsuccessful with Baron Lionel Rothschild, the member from London, has been Mr. David Salomons, the newly elected member from Greenwich. The House would not admit him to his seat without taking the oath “on the true faith of a Christian;” and he had to withdraw in consequence, although he had already voted several times, and spoken once in quality of a member of the Commons. It is probable that the question will be farther agitated, and that justice will be done at last. In the mean time, we recommend to Messrs. Rothschild, Montefiore, Salomons, Goldsmith, and others, to do themselves justice by encouraging Jewish literature, establishing a college for the training of ministers, and do other things to elevate our character. They would thus impose more respect upon the House of Lords for the Jewish character than all expenditures otherwise directed, and all the hollow sympathy of a faithless premier and his vacillating supporters. Will they try? Our word for it, their means would be well laid out, and success would not be long doubtful.