Vol. X. No.
Sivan 5612 June 1852
The Hebrew Benevolent Fuel Society of Philadelphia, at its late annual meeting, elected the following officers for the current year: D. Pesos, President; L. J. Leberman, Vice-President; Joseph Newhouse, Treasurer; Alfred T. Jones, Secretary; M. Arnold, Z. A. Davis, M. De Bruin, Abraham Finzi, B. Greenewald, A. Hart, Solomon Kayser, Isaac Lobe, Samuel Lyons, H. Van Beil, M. A. Van Collem, and A. S. Wolf, Managers. The Society expended and incurred responsibilities, during the past year, to the amount of $388.19, and received only $214.57, leaving a deficiency of $173.62; which will have to be made good from its fund, amounting to $1,000. We believe that this is the first time that a deficiency has occurred; owing probably to the usual means of replenishing the treasury not having been resorted to.
The Rodef Sholem Congregation of Philadelphia.—A confirmation of eight girls and four boys, all of the usual age (near thirteen), took place at the Julianna Street Synagogue, on the first day of Shabuoth, after the morning service. Mr. Bachman, the teacher, had the confirmards arranged in front of the hechal steps, where he stood before a temporary pulpit; after which, he made an address to the audience, next he addressed the children, after which, he examined them thoroughly in the catechism, and they certainly showed that they had been well instructed in the principles of the religion which they had come to bind themselves to by a solemn declaration, which each one, in succession, made, giving the right hand to Mr. Bachman, as a pledge, an outward token of assent. After this, a prayer was offered by each one of the candidates. either in verse or prose; after which, followed a parting word from Mr. Bachman, exhorting them to watch well over their heart, “for from it are the issues of life.” A hymn was sang at the entrance of the procession, after the examination, and again after the closing address, which was followed by a prayer and benediction by the Rev. Isidore Frankel, the Hazan of the congregation. The whole of the exercises were in German, and, notwithstanding, nearly all of the children are natives of the city, although of German parentage, they spoke with a fluency which proved that they had been well instructed in the language of the fatherland. The whole ceremony lasted an hour and three-quarters; and though we cannot say that it was otherwise than solemn, and at times highly impressive, we are not yet prepared to sanction it, by making it, as is done so generally among Europeans, a pre-requisite to an entry into religious life. It may have <<169>> its good effects; but, we fear, that, whilst parents are not as strict as they ought to be, it is folly and sin to demand a solemn pledge from children that they will obey truly to the last day of their life the dictates of the Lord, when the very next hour, perhaps, they have placed before them prohibited things, or are induced to violate the Sabbath and festivals. Our remarks are general; and do not apply to any particular case; and we throw out the hint merely for reflection by those who annually get up the solemnities of confirmation, and attach to it an undue importance. It was the first time that we were a witness of this ceremony: and it is no more than justice to say, that the whole management of the proceedings was exceedingly creditable to the Synagogue officers, choir, teacher, and pupils, and a visible effect was thereby produced on the audience; and we sincerely trust that a permanent impression has been left on the mind of the interesting group of twelve young Israelites, and that they will indeed remain true to the Lord, and his law, to the latest day of their earthly existence, as they vowed in the presence of one of the largest Jewish congregations we ever saw assembled within the walls of one Synagogue.
New York.—We lately
Contribution For Palestine.—Mr. Benjamin Harris Lichtenstein, late of St. Louis, but now of New York, having been appointed by Rabbi Aaron Selig Ashkenazi, one of the Treasurers for the German Perushim of Palestine, requests us to publish the subjoined statement of funds transmitted at various times to the above destination:
Mr. Lichtenstein makes this publication to
satisfy the various contributors to this charity;
and he wishes at the same time to state, that if one
or two active persons would take the matter in hand
at St. Louis, a considerable sum yet due might be
easily collected, besides ohtaining more
contributions. Mr. L. may be addressed at
Rev. Abraham Lissner, late of
At an examination lately held, great proficiency was displayed in the English elementary studies; but more yet by the boys in Hebrew Grammar, translating of the Prayer and Bible passages, religion; and the pleasing success of this new Institution is the more laudable, since the greater portion of the pupils are under nine years, and from the shortness of the period since the school was opened. Mr. Jacobs intends taking boarding in addition to the day scholars, and to engage a German and French master, besides those teachers already in his school. We wish him, heartily, ample success in his endeavours to combine religious with scientific education.
New Orleans.—A report has reached us, that Mr. Touro has purchased a valuable property in the first district of New Orleans, for the purpose of establishing a Hospital, and has appointed Dr. Joseph Bensadom resident physician. We have, however, obtained no authentic information on the subject. The Hebrew Benevolent Association lately elected the following officers: Charles Emanuel, President; Nathan Worms, Vice-President; Abel Dreyfous, Treasurer, John Abrahamson, Secretary; John Marks, Samuel H. Levy, Manuel Goldsmith, Joseph Simon, and Rev. James K. Gutheim, Directors.
Augusta, Georgia.—The Rev. Mr. Shatz has been appointed Hazan and Shochet of this congregation. The subjoined are the proceedings referred to in our last:—
At a meeting of the congregation Beney
“Resolved, That the thanks of this congregation are due, and tendered to Isaac Mayer, Esq., for his zeal on behalf of this congregation in collecting the sum of sixty-eight dollars, towards purchasing a Sepher Torah for this congregation.
“It was further resolved, That this congregation
do return their heartfelt thanks to the following
gentlemen, residents of
“It was farther resolved, That the thanks are due and tendered to <<178>> George Sloman, Esq., for the sum collected by him, for the purpose of purchasing two silver Yads, and that the above resolutions be published in ‘The Occident.’ ”
Columbia, South Carolina.—We reached Columbia the 4th of February, and met here, too, with quite a respectable body of Israelites, although not as numerous as those in Augusta. We do not believe that they have a regular Shochet; at least, we heard of none. Mr. P. S. Jacobs reads prayers and teaches Hebrew to the children, and is acting Hazan. Mr. Jacob Lerin is President of the congregation. We were, however, pleased to see so neat a building as that owned by the charitable society of the place, and which is used as the Sunday School and Synagogue; and it speaks well for the zeal of the people that they have achieved so much with so few persons and limited means. We spoke before quite a numerous audience, taking into consideration the small number of resident Israelites, on the evening of Thursday, the 5th, from Deut. iv. 39, exhorting them to remain true to the blessed Unity who has proved his existence and power to us in so many and memorable ways, and never once to swerve from the path of duty marked out to us by his law, if they wished to live happy and die in peace to reawake in the presence of the Lord of life and death. We thank our friends for their kind attendance, as our presence and intention to speak were not known till past the middle of the day.
Charleston, S. C.—During
our visit, last February, we found that the
congregation Shearith Israel was in a prosperous
condition, and that public worship was well attended
the two Sabbaths we spent there. On the first, we
addressed the people on the text, Exod. xvii. 7, on
the unbelief of the Israelites in ancient and
modern times, and showing the truth of prophecy, as
regarded the past, and the hopefulness of that which
has not yet been accomplished. On Sunday, the 15th
of February, we had again the privilege of speaking
before an audience composed, in part, of the school
attached to the Synagogue, on the nature of the
Wilmington, North Carolina.—Here, also, we found quite a number of Israelites. They have a charitable society; but, as yet, we have not learnt that they have organized a congregation.
too, a Kahal has been formally constituted, and
they lately sent for the Rev. Max Michelbacher, of
Petersburg, Virginia.—We regret that we cannot say that the numerous Israelites of this place have formed a congregational union; since we believe that a little earnest effort would readily effect all that is needed to make, at least, a proper commencement. We hope it will be tried before long.
to our sorrow, we found the Portuguese and German
congregations at variance about the possession of
the burying-ground, which was many years ago granted
by the city council to the then-existing community.
A weary law-suit has been commenced to settle the
question; and we deeply regret to state that both
parties seem averse to a compromise. We will not
give our impressions at this time, but will reserve
them for another opportunity.—We addressed the
people, by request, on Sabbath Mishphatim, at Minchah, in Exodus xxii. 31, on the nature of
personal holiness, and its object in connexion with
the observances, even the trivial ones in
appearance, as commanded by our religion. It was
with much grief that we saw the old congregation,
the successors of those who first planted the
standard of our faith in
record with pleasure the appointment of Major,
conferred hy the King of Denmark, in the local
militia of the
Hebrew Benevolent Society.
“It is with much pleasure we announce to our
readers the formation of a Society in this city,
under the above title, composed principally of our
Jewish resident business men of
England.—Dr. Schiller has been elected local Rabbi of Manchester. An extract from his introductory sermon is reported in the “Jewish Chronicle,” of February 27th; it is on the character of Moses, as the model of every Rabbi; and is in the usual fervid style of this eloquent teacher. We wish him a happy and influential life in his office.—We see by the public papers that the chief Rabbi, Adler, is making efforts to establish a Jewish college. But, thus far, we regret that the donations, as published in the Chronicle, fall far short of what we had expected from the Jews of England—little as this is; since we have not seen any evidence as yet that they are greatly in favour of diffusing a literary taste among themselves. Perhaps, there is an awakening among them, and if this be so, we hope that the contagion may spread rapidly to our brothers on this side of the Atlantic.
—We have been informed by a private letter,
and see it confirmed in the Chronicle, that the
Duke’s Place congregation, as such, has voted 6000
pounds towards erecting a new Synagogue at the West
End of London, provided a like amount be contributed
by individuals. The number of persons belonging to
the various metropolitan congregations living in the
West End has increased so greatly, that this measure
of opening a regular Synagogue for their
accommodation has become indispensable; as the
distance to the houses of worship at the
—We see from the Chronicle and other papers, that a translation of the Chizzuk Emunah, by Rabbi Isaac, has been made by Mr. Moses Mocatta. The work has been printed for private circulation only.
—An Essay on the Post-Biblical History of the Jews, for which a prize was awarded by the proprietor of the Jewish Chronicle, has also been published. We have not yet been able to obtain a sight of the work.
—Dr. A. Benisch has, we see by
his advertisement, published a new translation of
the Pentateuch, and is, it is said, busy with the
other portions of the Bible; but we hope to be ready
with our own before the completion of his. If we are
not mistaken, Dr. B. never informed the public that
such a thing as a thorough revised version of the
Torah had been published in
—The Reverend David M.
Isaacs has returned to the ministry in
—The late change of the British ministry we hardly think will injure the cause of Jewish emancipation materially. True, that Lord John Russell’s bill will not be urged by the new premier, Lord Derby, the former Lord Stanley, who started as a liberal whig, and is now a violent anti-liberal; but the sincerity of Lord John was more than doubted; and unless he was entirely powerless in the matter of keeping his promise to the Jews, he betrayed the confidence they had placed in him. However, for our part we care little whether a few Jews sit in Parliament or not; especially have we little interest in those who are now so prominent as quasi members, seeing that in real Jewish matters they are among the absentees; but, for the sake of the principle, we should be happy to see equality of right granted to our brethren, no less than all other inhabitants of England. Religion should on no account be an element of political preferment.