|Vol. V, No. 4
Tamuz 5607, July 1847
Montgomery, Alabama. New Congregation. We have received a letter, under date of May 22d, which communicates the following pleasing information:—During the month of January last, several German Jews, residing at Montgomery, united themselves, induced by the praiseworthy exertions of Mr. Aaron Englander, into a congregation, by the name of Mebacker Cholim, for the purpose of maintaining a proper observance of our holy religion, purchasing a Sepher Torah and Shophar, to establish a Jewish burying-ground, and providing nurses and support for the sick and distressed. Since the time of organizing, the congregation has increased to seventy-two members, and they have bought a burying-ground adjoining that of the Christians, and have put it in excellent order. They have also written out for a Sepher and Shophar. To judge from the zeal and proper religious feeling exhibited by the members, there is no doubt but that this society will flourish, and that Montgomery will be the place of meeting for all our Jewish brethren, who are scattered around there in considerable numbers, for religious service on many occasions, but especially on the New Year and Day of Atonement. May God grant his blessing to all who take an interest in this and similar undertakings.—To the honour of the Mayor of the city, the Hon. N. E. Benson, it must be confessed, that he made the Israelites the generous offer of giving them a portion of the city graveyard, as large as they wanted; but as the ground is not dry, they could not make use of his liberality. The following gentlemen were duly elected officers for the current year:—Moses Englander, President; Jacob Myers, Vice-President; Aaron Englander, Secretary; H. Weil, Treasurer; Joseph Naimon and Jacob Levy, Managers.—So far the report which we have received; and it conveys the gratifying assurance that, however Israelites may sometimes go astray after arriving singly at new settlements, they feel for the most part a strong affection for their religion, and will unite into congregations for the promotion of divine service whenever they become sufficiently numerous in any particular place. It only requires one man to urge the matter forward; and we think truly that Mr. Englander has, in the particular instance under question, deserved well the thanks of all sincere Jews for the share he has taken in establishing the congregation at Montgomery. We wish this new body all imaginable success, and hope to hear some very good accounts of them, and that they may be imitated wherever our brothers are found to the number required to form a Minyan, so that the Lord may dwell in many sanctuaries all over the land; blessing all who call on his name in truth.
Philadelphia. It is perhaps singular, but still so it is, that a new German congregation, has been for some time in existence in our city, of which we have received no official account. But we understand that they have a regular organization, and have fitted up a temporary Synagogue, besides purchasing a burying-ground. They have elected a Mr. Gotthelf as their minister, and their president is Mr. Julius Stern.—Mr. Cohen, the lately elected Hazan of the old German congregation, has delivered several sermons, which have been well received. We regret that official duties compelled us to be absent from the Synagogue where Mr. Cohen officiated, during their delivery, or else we would have attended; to be, among others, edified by this new labourer among us in the cause of Israel.
New York. In one of the articles in our present number it will be seen that a new congregation, composed of Netherlands Jews, was lately formed in New York; and we have little doubt but that it will succeed as well as all the others already established there. We believe that there are now TEN Kehilloth in New York, viz. one, Portuguese; four Polish (we include among these the Elm Street, the Wooster Street, the White Street, and the Pearl Street Synagogues;) three German, (the Henry and the two Attorney Street Synagogues;) the new Netherlands congregation, and the Emanuel (reformed), under Rev. Mr. Mertzbach. There are perhaps other minor establishments, of which we have received no particular account. We are not even quite sure whether the Polish one is still in Pearl Street or not. It is very difficult to obtain intelligence from even so near a city as New York; but we are in hopes of being able to succeed better hereafter.—The congregation in White Street had lately elected Mr. Julius Spiro, formerly of Baltimore, as Hazan and lecturer, when he was suddenly cut off after a residence of but seven weeks in his new field of duty, by a rapid and violent disease of the lungs, at the early age of twenty-seven years. He gave, we understand, great promise of becoming an eminent pulpit orator, and had already greatly won upon the affections of his constituents, who, we learn, treated him with great kindness during his state of suffering, and have not forgotten his widow and child. May he rest in peace.—We must also mention in this place that, before our present number can reach our subscribers at a distance, the new Synagogue in Wooster Street will, God willing, have been dedicated on the 25th of June. We hope to be present, and probably shall report hereafter what we shall hear and see to our readers.
Baltimore.—We are officially informed that the Rev. Joseph Lewin, formerly of the Shahar Shamayim Congregation, of New York, has as been elected Hazan of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, who express a unanimous approbation of his merits.
Charleston.—The new Synagogue of the Shearith Israel Congregation is properly progressing, and will probably be finished during the course of the summer.
New Orleans.—We learn that a proposition has been made to the Sephardim Congregation of N. O. to become incorporated. We hope to be soon able to give a gratifying account of their progress. For the present we do not feel authorized to say more.
Venezuela.—Our attentive correspondent, M. B. Simmonds, Esq., of St. Thomas, informs us that the spirit of liberality and religious freedom is widely diffused on the Spanish Main, and that lately a gentleman of Caraccas succeeded in placing his son at the University there, without his being obliged to subscribe the required religious test, overcoming the objection of the illiberal founders of that institution of learning.—There are in Coro about one hundred and seventy Jews, men, women, and children.—The circumcision of which we spoke in the first number of the present volume, did not take place at Barcelona, but was performed on a child of that place. It is an immaterial misconception on our part, of the language of our esteemed correspondent. At all events the whole account thus given of the Jews on the Spanish Main speaks of a rapid progress truly gratifying. Synagogues will, no doubt, multiply, and the land be blessed in consequence of its kindness to the sons of Abraham. “And I will bless those who bless thee.”
St. Thomas.—A letter from this place says: “Mr. Nathan has formed a Bible Class which numbers twenty-two young ladies and gentlemen. Our children have the benefit of being instructed solely by our own people; we have four schools for elementary and classical education; viz. Mr. Nathan’s, Mr. Deleval’s, Miss Benjamin’s, and Dr. Boscowitz’s. Many Christian children have the benefit of them; you will find that we are ahead of you; for I hear of no elementary schools by our people in Philadelphia.” “The committee have finished the laws for the government of the congregation; they have been in the hands of the lawyer the past six weeks for translation into Danish, and will, I trust, be soon ready.” “We have had another confirmation the Friday evening of the middle days of Passover. Thirteen, four boys and nine girls, were confirmed. The Synagogue could contain no more than were in it; among these were a good many Christians. The ceremony went off admirably, and drew forth the admiration of every one present. There was much difference in the form to the preceding ones; no Sepharim was taken out, nor was there any oath or promise administered. Mr. Nathan’s address was very expressive and affecting, and drew tears from many eyes, and it can be but beneficial.”—“The Sunday School numbers sixty-four children.”
Kingston, Jamaica.—We learn that the Hebrew National School, formed by a union of the German and Portuguese Congregations’ Charity Schools, has been duly organized by the election of Dr. Amos Henriques, as President; Edward Lucas, as Vice-President; Simon Magnus, Treasurer; David De Leon, Aaron De Cordova, Abr. De Pass, Jacob De La Penha, David Alberga, Daniel Jacobs, Benj. A. Franklin, Moses Sarfaty, Benj. Naar, Dr. Lewis Ashenheim, Phineas Bravo, and Mr. Melhado, Directors.—The teachers for the School are Mr. Vandreys, head-master or principal; Henry S. Jacob, second master, for Hebrew and English; Abraham De Levante, assistant Hebrew master, and Mrs. Rachel Pyke, governess.—The school contains sixty children, who are clothed and educated at an outlay, including salaries, rent, and clothing, of six hundred pounds sterling per annum; all this large sum is raised by voluntary contribution.—Perhaps the statements of what can be done by combined efforts may induce the Israelites of certain large towns in the United States to attempt something for themselves likewise; yet we fear that the general favour in which the public free schools are viewed, may be an insuperable bar for some time to any concerted action; since even with education men will sooner take it gratis than pay for it, although they obtain something very different from what is demanded by themselves. When will our people awake to their true interest, and combine religious training with scientific attainments?
Presentation of a Testimonial of Respect.—We are requested to state that some weeks ago the members of the Society of Social Friends, of London, dined together, to the number of sixty, for the purpose of presenting a testimonial of respect, consisting of an elegantly chased silver salver, to their President, Lewis Isaacs, Esq., for his manly and upright conduct during three successive periods he was elected to hold that high office. The gentleman so handsomely complimented is brother of the Revs. D. M. Isaacs of Liverpool, S. M. Isaacs of New York, and J. M. Isaacs, of Sydney.