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

News Items

 

California.—While at St. Louis, we spoke with a gentleman, one of our new subscribers, who had just returned from California. We learned from him that Judaism was awakening, in that distant land, from its slumbers, and that now people can be supplied with Casher meat, wherefore the excuse, which the absence of this made for transgression, has been removed. He also told us that at Sacramento City, where he was during the autumnal holy-days, these were celebrated with proper spirit, and that their Synagogue was filled with worshippers. It strikes us, if the people were only settled once, in the respective towns, and that they purposed ending their days there, and not regard themselves as mere roving sojourners, and homeless adventurers, we should soon hear of many and permanent communities being formed at all the prominent points in California and Oregon. But our misfortune is, that many, seek the distant West for no other reason than to acquire all the wealth possible, in the least imaginable space of time; hence the idea of making a spot their home there, does not enter their imagination; and hence they are not willing to contribute a large amount of funds towards erecting suitable houses of prayer, and engaging ministers of the mental capacity, and moral qualifications, such as are most needed, in a new country, to act as missionaries, and, to use an expressive word, as apostles of our faith. Still this evil will correct itself every day more, as the country becomes more settled; and we yet look forward, in a short time, to the joyful news, that many Synagogues will be consecrated, and that they win have ample room to accommodate the many thousands now there, on every, Sabbath and festival.

We occasionally meet, in the public papers, with some evidence of the kind, which proves that <<60>> the Jewish heart is true, though so many display not the spirit of ready obedience which the law demands of Israelites; and no matter who the pioneers are, it is not to be doubted but that others will follow, to com­plete what the first have begun, though these be the uneducated, and, it may be, the unworthy. Among other little notices, we saw, in the Sabbath (Baptist) Recorder, of December 4th, the following: “The Israelites of San Diego (Southern portion of California), faithful to the religion of their forefathers, observed their New Year’s Day, and the Day of Atonement, with due solemnity. The Day of Atonement, one of the most solemn and sacred days in the Jewish Calendar, was observed by Messrs. Lewis Franklin, Jacob Marks, and Charles A. Fletcher (the only three Hebrews in town), by their assembling in the house of the former gentleman, and passing the entire day in fasting and praying.” This little paragraph proves conclusively, what has been often advanced, that give the Jew of right feeling an opportunity, and he will show his attachment to his faith, by joining with others to honour his God after the ancestral rites.. A friend in New Orleans has communicated to us an extract from the California Courier, which contains matter of interest to many of our readers, wherefore we take the first opportunity of giving it to the Jewish public.

<<44>>
California, Hebrew and English Almanac.—We are indebted to Mr. Alexander Iser for a copy of the above work, which has just been issued for the years 1851-2. It contains much useful information to the general reader, and especially to the Israelites of our city.

“The Jews, or Israelites, compose a very large and respectable portion of our population, numbering some of our first and most influential citizens. In objects of benevolence they are not exceeded by any other class or sect in the city, having in existence a number of societies. In the Almanac we find the following list of Synagogues and Charitable Societies in our State:

“ ‘In San Francisco.—In January, 1850, the first Hebrew society in California was organized, under the title of The Hebrew Benevolent ociety; for Assisting the Poor and Indigent of the Jewish Persuasion, and the Burial, of the Dead; and the following gentlemen were elected officers:—

“ ‘M. Brook, Pres.; A. Watters, Vice-Pres.; Hart, Treas.;
M. Rehfish, Sec.; J. J. Joseph, G. M. Cohen, J. Rosenbaum, Trustees.

“ ‘The following were elected officers for the second year:—

“ ‘A. Watters, Pres; M. Rehfish, Vice-Pres.; H. Hart, Treas.; D. <<61>> Jacoby, Sec.; J. J. Joseph, G. M. Cohen, J. Rosenbaum, F. Lask, J. Kraose, Trustees.

“ ‘In January, 1850, funds were raised to the amount of $4000, by voluntary contributions, through the exertions of Messrs. H. Hart, A. Watters, G. M. Cohen, J. Rosenbaum, I. Goldstein, and H. M. Lewis, and a suitable piece of ground purchased and enclosed for a burial-ground, or cemetery, free for all Israelites in California.

“ ‘This Society was formed by a great number of Hebrew residents of San Francisco, in September, 1850, their aim being to nurse the sick, to assist the poor, and to bury the dead. The present officers are Philip Runkel, Pres. pro tem.; Simon Lazard, Treas.; — Silvermann, Sec: ; S. Fleisehacker, M. Berg, Philip Schloss, E. Dittman, M. Holman, Trustees,

“ ‘In the summer of 1850, the first temporary Synagogue in this city was organised, for the purpose of celebrating the holy-days. The meetings were held in Kearney Street, and the officers selected on that occasion were, Leon Dyer, Pres.; J. J. Joseph, Vice-Pres.; H. Hart, J. Rosenbaum, P. Runkel, Samuel Marks, L. A. Levy, Trustees.

“ ‘During the visitation of the cholera in this city, in the fall of of 1850, a Hebrew society was formed for the occasion, as auxiliary to the Benevolent Society, and the managers of which were—

“ ‘J. J. Joseph, Pres.; L. A. Levy, Sec.; H. Hart, L. Mawson, R. Wyman, Trustees.

“ ‘In the commencement of the year 1851, a present of a very handsome Five Books of Moses, with covering for ditto, and an Index composed of solid gold, was transmitted by Sir Moses Montefiore, the agent of Messrs. Rothschild,—Mr. B. Davidson,—to the first congregation in San Francisco. The congregation named The Lord be with Us, being the first incorporated, claimed and obtained it, and have it now their Synagogue in Kearney Street.

“ ‘The first regularly-organized and incorporated Synagogue was instituted in April, 1851, under the title of The Lord be with Us, Kearney-Street, between Pine and Bush, and the following gentlemen were elected to serve as, officers until-the succeeding year:—

C. Labat, Pres.; A. Watters, Vice-Pres.; M. Schwartz, Sec.; N. S. Neustadt, Treas.; J. J. Joseph, P. Runkel, L. A. Levy, R. Wyman, I. Seligman, Trustees.

“ ‘The following gentlemen were chosen for the present year:

“ ‘J. Shannon, Pres.; S. Fleischacker, Vice-Pres.; M. Berg, Sec; <<62>> S. Myers, Treas.; A. Watters, D. Jacoby, J. Myer, D. Gottschalk, H. Hesse, Trustees.

“ ‘About the same time (April, 1851), another Congregation was organized and incorporated, under the name of Remnants of Israel, situated on Kearney Street, near Broadway. The following gentlemen were elected as officers to serve until the following year:—

“ ‘J. Joseph, Pres.; H. Hart, Vice-Pres.; S. H. Cohen, Sec. ; A. Meiss, M. Hart, I. Nathan, I. Solomon, M. Blacksenstein, Trustees.

“ ‘At the subsequent election, the present officers were chosen:

Israel Solomons, Pres.; H. Hart, Vice-Press; A. A. Joseph, Sec.; H. M. Lewis, A. Weiss, L. Myers, S. R. Jacobs, M. Rehfish, Trustees.

“ ‘At a meeting held at this period, Alexander Iser was unanimously chosen as Collector.

“ ‘Mr. Jacob Frankel volunteered to act as Priest to the congregation. Sacramento.—This city has also a temporary Synagogue, and a benevolent society, long established, and in a flourishing condition.

“ ‘Stockton.—A society is formed in this town, under the title of Lovely Nation, having the same benevolent objects in view as the preceding societies, The following gentlemen act as present officers:—

“ ‘I. Zechariah, Pres.; A. Greenbaum, Vice-Pres.; A. Craner, Treas.; S. Hoffman, Sec.

“ ‘Marysville and Sonora.—These towns also contain temporary Synagogues, to meet the requirements of the communities at the holy-days.’ ”—California Courier.

We saw a copy of the Almanac spoken of in the above, at Richmond, we think, which was marked, “Price, one dollar;”—rather high charge for a few pages, although, in view of the small Jewish population in California it is perhaps not too dear. The work itself is well executed.

*** The other notices of our journey we must reserve for our next number.

Europe.—The Pope, the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Czar, do not seem to do much for Israel, except to repress their aspirations again down to the old standard. Of course, in Rome and Russia our amelioration is not dreamt of if oppression can be carried on; but in Austria and Prussia better things were expected. Perhaps the governments cannot make headway against the hatred of the Jews (Judenhaß), and are, therefore, compelled to yield a little to public clamour. But, on the whole, we regret to state that the papers <<63>> which we receive do not satisfy us that the ancient prejudice has been entirely suppressed. Still the amendment of our condition in Austria and Prussia is as preferable as light is above darkness. Let us pray for a real progress.

Rabbis of Europe.—We understand that the celebrated Samson Raphael Hirsch has been elected Rabbi at Frankfort-on-the-Maine. Mr. Anschel Stern has been called to Hamburg, to supply the vacancy left by the demise of the late Rabbi Isaac Bernays. He is stated to belong to the extreme orthodox party, and is said to have gratified his audience, by his first two sermons, as we see in the Jewish Gazette, whence we quote. Rabbi Solomon Eger, of Posen, departed this life in the beginning, probably the third or fourth, of January. His decease will be deeply felt as a great public calamity to his congregation. About the same time, on the 4th of January, as we learn from the late Orient received by us, died M. S. Ghirondi, chief Rabbi of Padua, where he was born in 1799, was appointed Teacher in 1824, and chief Rabbi in 1831; he is deeply lamented by his congregation, and all Italian Israelites, and will be remembered as a pious, amiable, learned, and zealous Rabbi. He was the author of a treatise on Artesian Wells, מאמר כרית הבורות, printed in אגרות ישר, No. 1 (conducted by Isaac S. Reggio), Vienna, 1834; a work on Morals, &c., תוכו רצוף אהבה, printed at Pisa, 1818, and some papers in the Kerem Chemed. It is supposed that he left some unprinted works, which will probably be yet published.