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בס"ד

The Jews in Ohio.

(Concluded from page 147.)

Having passed this great epoch in our history, and established our congregation on a firm basis, and having returned thanks to the Giver of all good, for the protection afforded us, and for the prosperity, with His assistance, to which we have arrived at this period: let us now rest awhile, and view the Jewish horizon around us.—Alas! it is a bleak and dreary view: in the whole Mississippi Valley, from the Alleghany Mountains, to the city of New Orleans included, excepting Cincinnati, not a single community of Israelites is to be descried: numerous families and individuals were located in all directions; but not another attempt at union, and the worship of our God appeared to be dead in their hearts.

This with many might be considered a stopping place to conclude our history; but not so, we are but in our infancy, only numbering at this time 62 members, and about 400 individuals of all ages. During the following year, 5597, Mr. Morris Moses being Parnass, we bought the adjoining lot of ground and added it to our cemetery, with a metaher house. A Hebrew school was established in the basement room of the Synagogue; Mr. David Goldsmith was appointed the first Rabbi or teacher.—I perceive on the records, Sept. 6, 1838, among the officers elected for the year 5599, Mr. David Mayer, Parnass; Rev. Hertz Judah, Hazan and Rabbi, and Mr. David Goldsmith, Shohet and Shamas.

Having received from the congregation at Charleston; S. C., the intelligence of the destruction of their Synagogue, we could not resist the appeal, and immediately $119.50, were subscribed by the members, and remitted with our sympathies to our Charleston brethren;—it must be recollected that at this period we were still indebted for the erection of our own building.

During 1838, “The Hebrew Beneficent Society of Cincinnati” was incorporated; they have a burial-ground attached to their institution. Their contributions are $3 per annum. At present they consist of near 140 members. If any of them are prevented from attending to their several avocations, through sickness or accident, they are entitled to demand four dollars per week. At their annual meeting in Tishri, the following gentlemen were elected officers for the current year:—Morris Moses and Philip Symonds, Gabahim; Simon Crouse, Treasurer; Henry Hart, Secretary. About the same period two other societies were instituted by the Jewish ladies, viz.: “The Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society,” and “The German Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society;” they are both in a prosperous condition, and were instituted for the purpose of assisting distressed widows and orphans. Their contributions are three dollars per annum.

The congregation K. K. B. I. rapidly increasing, it was found necessary, in 1841, to erect additional seats, and to enlarge the ladies’ gallery, Mr. Moritz E. Moehring, being Parnas. When completed, a number of the seats were sold for a sum much more considerable than the expense of the alterations. Also several additional Sepharim were procured and deposited in the ark, with the usual prayers and ceremonies. During this year the congregation “Benai Jeshurun” was founded, and at the ensuing session of the legislature was incorporated. They are in a very flourishing condition, occupying a large room fitted up as a Synagogue, and consist of about eighty members.—Some time near this period the first settlement of Jews, and the formation of a congregation commenced at Cleveland; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, situate on the shores of Lake Erie ; this is likely to be a very thriving settlement, and is in a very wealthy portion of the State. The congregation was formed by considerable emigrations of our German brethren. Being at a great distance from them, and having very little correspondence, we are not able to give their numbers. Travellers inform us they are very numerous.

With the additional seats to our Synagogue we are now enabled to accommodate 250 gentlemen and 100 ladies. Mr. Elias Mayor was elected Parnass for the year 5602, the Hebrew school was reorganized, and Mr. David Barnard appointed teacher.

In the month of January, this year, we have to record the death of Mr. David I. Johnson, lamented by every one that knew him: truly may we say, “a good man has fallen in Israel.” Peace be unto him. He was the second individual of our nation that arrived in Cincinnati; morally and religiously he laboured in the formation of our congregation.

On the 24th of April, 1842, a number of ladies of the congregation met at the vestry-room, and commenced the establishment of a Sunday School, nominating Mrs. Louisa Symonds their first superintendent. Some time after, finding it interfered with other duties, she resigned her office, when, by a unanimous vote of the teachers, Mr. Joseph Jonas was requested to superintend the school, which since then has been under his direction. There were forty-six children in attendance, and still every appearance of increasing: the field is large, and the harvest has every appearance of being abundant. Considerable proficiency has been made by the children; but a blight appears to ne moving over our prospects, from a source little to be expected—the Rabbonim! who ought to be the promoters, not the disturbers of a plan to forward the principles of our Holy Religion in the minds of youth; but perceiving that good might be done without their interference, the craft was in danger! and the school must be put down. It was consequently anathematized by them, for being held on Sundays! In consequence, the school is not increasing, and through their influence most of the German, and some English children, are prevented attending. The leader amongst these bigoted mischief-makers is Rabbi ****** ******, a Talmid, or scholar of the Rev. Mr. R— of B—. I am well convinced that righteousness and true religion must prevail, and that the evil spirit of bigotry will be overwhelmed. We have endeavoured to reason and compromise with them, but to no purpose. Still whilst there are ten children in attendance, their teachers will not weary in superintending, knowing the benefits already done; we feel warm in the cause of the rising generation, and hope that this publication, sanctioned by some remarks in your useful periodical, may have some influence on their future conduct.

In the month of Heshvan, 5603, the Hebrew Benevolent society of Cincinnati was instituted; its first President was Mr. Phineas Moses, under whom it flourished exceedingly; it now consists of seventy members, with every prospect of being much more numerous. Their anniversary dinner was well attended, and the voluntary contributions remarkable liberal. Mr. Joseph Jonas was elected Parnass for 5604. The congregations in this city are continually increasing, their character stands high for morality, honesty and sobriety; sorry am I to say that I cannot state the same of many of them in a religious point of view. If only a few of the most able and respectable would commence sincerely keeping their Sabbaths and Festivals, it would have considerable influence on the minds of their erring brethren. But the “Solitary” is still thankful to the God of Israel, that he has been made the humble instrument in collecting near two thousand of his brethren of Israel, to worship the Lord of Hosts in this beautiful metropolis of the Great West.

Note by the Editor.—We shall take an early opportunity of speaking on the subject alluded to above by our respected correspondent.