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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 visited New York, and had the opportunity of seeing, for the first time, the new [B’nai Jeshurun] Synagogue in Green Street. It is a beautiful Gothic structure, and the columns which support the roof are beautifully carved and covered with sand, so as to imitate stone. The roof is painted oak colour, and painted windows are ranged all above the gallery, and light up the interior very beautifully. The Hechal, the pulpit, which is placed on the steps immediately in its front, and the Tebah, as also the benches, are all in excellent keeping with the entire building, which is lighted at night by a unique Gothic chandelier, with three tiers of burners (42 in number), and a number of side brackets. It is decidedly the handsomest Synagogue building we have yet seen in this country, and all it requires is a full attendance of the faithful to profit by the weekly lessons preached by the eloquent minister they have elected to teach them the way of life. On Sabbath Kedoshim Dr. Raphall preached a very effective sermon on obedience to God’s commandments and filial piety, from the text, Levit. xix. 2, 3, and he enforced the duty of being holy, since we know not when death may be sent to take us away from our possessions. He alluded eloquently to the sudden bereavement which a family had experienced the day before in the death of a child in good health, who was brought home a bleeding corpse, after having been just sent out with a message from his mother, and then to the demise of the ancient Israelite, of whom we have spoken <<170>> above. But we regretted that so few were present to profit by the instruction.—Mr. Leo has been re-elected Hazan for a period, we think, of three years.—Mr. Isaacs’ congregation is progressing prosperously, with an increasing revenue and a diminishing debt. He continues as popular and influential as ever with his flock, and we wish them and him many years of pleasant connexion. We spoke, by invitation, in his Synagogue on Sabbath Emor, on Mishna 12, of chap. iv. of the Proverbs of the Fathers : “Rabbi Meir said, Diminish thy mercantile pursuits and engage in the study of the law and be humble-spirited before all men, &c.,” enforcing the necessity of fortifying ourselves by religious studies that we may be able to withstand the assaults of temptation and the vicissitudes of fortune by having within us the unerring guide which is to point to us the way of happiness here, and salvation hereafter.—On Sunday afternoon, the 9th of May, Dr. Raphall delivered a eulogy (Hespade) on the late Jacob J. M. Falkenau; but we are now precluded from giving an analysis of it.—We also visited Mr. Loewe’s day and boarding school, and were glad to see that another Jewish educational establishment meets with a moderate share of encouragement. Miss Palache and Dr. Lilienthal also continue, as usual, active and successful at their arduous duties. The Rev. Doctor held, as we understand, a confirmation in the Norfolk Street Synagogue on the just-passed Pentecost.—The Hebra Terumath Hakkodesh is still continued, though no one has, as yet, been chosen to replace its late President, Mr. Kursheedt; at least, we have not heard anything on the subject—There is a great field for extensive usefulness in New York; but when will the various congregations and societies, all feeble in themselves, unite for one common purpose? do not they see that disunion is weakness?—The cemeteries of the Shearith Israel and Bnai Jeshurun congregations, on Long Island, are well situated, and when properly laid off in lots, which, we understand, is in contemplation, will, no doubt, be handsome recep­tacles for the remains of the departed. The only fault we have to find, is, that they are too far from town, and must entail a heavy expense on many who can ill afford it to carry out their dead to so great a distance as six to eight miles from their place of residence.

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:

<<171>>
About two years ago, through Mr. Morland Micholl, of N. Y., $62.00 Through R. Zadok Levy, by order of Mr. M. Samuel Parnoss, of St. Louis, 10.00
Through Mr. Nathan Malzer, of Cincinnati,       50.00
"           Sir Moses Montefiore,         £37 16, 188.60
"           Rev. S. M. Isaacs, of New York,         5.85
Total:                                                   $316.45

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 140 Canal Street, New York.

Baltimore.—The Rev. Abraham Lissner, late of Easton, Pennsylvania, has been chosen Hazan of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, after the office was vacant nearly an entire year. The Rev. Solomon Jacobs, formerly Minister of the German Synagogue of Kingston, Jamaica, commenced, last autumn, a private School at Baltimore, which contained, at the time our correspondent wrote, already fifty-three scholars.

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.

Savannah, Georgia.—The Israelites of this place have lately put their Synagogue in complete repair, at an expense of upwards of $3000; <<172>> and we learn with pleasure that many Christian gentlemen voluntarily and cheerfully contributed to this worthy object. The improvements have been made according to plans furnished by Mr. Charles Shole, an English architect, and the work executed by two Jewish master mechanics, Mr. Lizer Solomons and Mr. D. Lopez Cohen. The gallery front is of iron, and presents quite a neat and light appearance. The congregation have not yet succeeded in engaging a Minister.—The constitution has been altered so as to hold the annual election in January instead of August, which will at all times enable the entire community to vote; whereas, under the old rule, many were always absent on their summer trips, for business or pleasure.—The law of the State concerning marriages has been so amended as to authorize Jewish Ministers or other proper persons to perform the ceremony, which was formerly confined to Ministers of the Gospel, and magistrates; which phraseology, no doubt unintentional, virtually prohibited Jewish marriages, except with the aid of a justice of the peace—a disqualification which was removed, so soon as the incongruity it presented was pointed out to the Legislature.—The Governor, the Hon. Howell Cobb, has appointed Jacob De La Motta, Esq., his aid-de-camp, with rank of Lieut. Colonel: an honour, we believe, not hitherto conferred on an Israelite in Georgia.

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:—

Augusta, March 9th, 1852.

At a meeting of the congregation Beney Israel on Sunday, October 27th, the following resolutions were unanimously passed:

“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 Philadelphia, viz.: J. Newhouse, Lazarus Mayer, Jacob Langsdorff, N. Straus, Messrs. Mayer, Haas & Co., Joseph Einstein, Binswanger and Eger, and— Jeroslawski, Esqs., for their liberal subscription in aid to purchase a Sepher Torah, and present the same to this congregation.

“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 re­ligion of Israel and its doctrines, from the text, Exod. xx. 20, proving that the duties prescribed in Scripture are not burdens, but guides, to show us the way we should travel, that the fear of God may be always upon us that we sin not.—We came little in contact with gentlemen of the reform Synagogue; but we learnt that the attendance there has greatly diminished, a result which was long since anticipated. We have learned lately that the Rev. Ellis Lyon has resigned his situation as Hazan of the Wentworth Street Kahal.—Rev. Dr. Eckman has, of <<174>> late, been delivering a course of religious lectures on Sabbath after­noon, at the Hall of the Abi Yetomim Society, to attentive audiences.—Mr. S. N. Carvalho has invented a method of varnishing daguerreotypes, which will protect them against ahrasion, and dispense with the necessity of covering them with glass. It is not often that persons of our persuasion turn their attention to inventions and mechanical contrivances; wherefore, we seize the first leisure we have to record this in our Magazine.

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.

Norfolk, Virginia.—Here, too, a Kahal has been formally constituted, and they lately sent for the Rev. Max Michelbacher, of Rich­mond, to consecrate a place for them as a Synagogue. The promised particulars have not been sent us.

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.

Richmond, Virginia.—Much 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 Virginia,, so small in numbers; but we trust that it may grow again, and become as important as it was in former years.

St. Thomas.—We record with pleasure the appointment of Major, conferred hy the King of Denmark, in the local militia of the Island of St. Thomas,, on Mr. Aaron Wolff, for many years well known for the active interest he has taken in Jewish affairs. We wish him many happy days to enjoy the honour, the first conferred in the Danish do­minions on one of our persuasion.

<<175>>
Panama, New Grenada
.—The transit of many Israelites to Cali­fornia has naturally induced some to stay on the Isthmus; and we have lately learnt that they have not forgotten the ancient character of benevolence so peculiarly distinguishing the Israelites. We copy an extract from a local paper sent to us:—

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 Panama. The object of this Society is to assist, so far as lies in its power, all those of the above persuasion,—both resident and travellers,—who should unfortunately happen to be sick, or in indigent circumstances. From what we can learn, there has been a handsome fund already got up by those gentlemen engaged in the undertaking; and there appears every prospect of contributions thereto, by the emigrating Hebrews on their way hence to California.”

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 East End is too great for most persons to walk that far, except under extraordinary circumstances. The great popularity of the Synagogue of the so-called British Jews, may have contributed somewhat to hasten this movement; but be the cause what it may, it is a very wise one; and we hope that it will be <<176>> carried into execution without delay. A respectable Synagogue, with stated religious instruction, is greatly needed in the neighbourhood proposed; and had the heads of the Sephardim Kahal understood their proper duty, they would long since have opened a branch Synagogue, with a competent preacher and Hazan under direction of the Chief Rabbi Meldola and the Dayanim; and it is almost certain that the schism, now so greatly deplored, would never have had an existence.

—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 America five years anterior to his. We know not, indeed, whether such a course is altogether defensible on sound principles of fair dealing.

—The Reverend David M. Isaacs has returned to the ministry in Liverpool, but with another congregation than the one he was formerly with. Though this change is to be regretted for the sake of both, it proves that those who know him well, appreciate his services in our cause too highly to permit themselves to lose them entirely. We wish him full success in his new office.

—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.