|Volume VIII. No. 9
Kislev 5611 December 1850
Cincinnati.—At the regular meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent Society, held on Sunday, the 10th November, the following gentlemen were elected officers for the ensuing year. President, Nathan Maltzer; Vice-President, Lazarus Arnold; Treasurer, Henry Mack; Secretary, Isaac E. Hackenburg. These gentlemen, with the aid of the Trustees, Messrs. D. Wolf, Dr. H. C. Cohen, L. Isaacs, and M. Loovis, will have the superintendence of the annual dinner, which comes off in a few weeks, and the funds of this excellent society having been severely encroached on during the past two years, in consequence of the disastrous effects of the cholera, it is to be hoped every exertion will be used by the officers and members to replenish the exhausted treasury, so as to be able to meet the increased demand on this institution.
K. K. B’nai Israel of Cincinnati.—At the annual election of this body the following gentlemen were elected to serve as officers for the ensuing year. Philip Heidelbach, Parnass; Michael Klaw, Gabbah Zedakah; Hyman Moses, Gabbah Beth Haim; Jacob Seasongood, Treasurer; Joseph Abraham, Secretary. This, the oldest congregation west of the mountains, has increased in members so much during the past few years, that they have decided upon building a new edifice for worship, the present one being found insufficient to accommodate its visitors. The lots adjoining the present Synagogue on either side have been purchased and paid for by its own members, and the building committee, consisting of the most prominent members, are very assiduously employed in considering plans for the erection of the new building. Among the committee are several gentlemen who were on the same committee some fifteen years back, when the present building was about being erected; one of them then made the remark, “What is the use of putting up so large a building!—you will have to get the Schamas a horse to go round and hunt up the members; I am for putting one up half the size.” Several of the committee have lived to see that even their views were too contracted, and happily find the increase of our people so great, that four congregations now exist in Cincinnati, all in a prosperous condition.
Thanksgiving in Ohio.—The Governor of this State issued his proclamation, appointing the usual Day of Thanksgiving, as follows:
Proclamation of the Governor for a Day of Thanksgiving.
In conformity with an ancient Christian custom among the people of the <<477>>States composing this Union, and in conformity with the obligations which all people are under to the great Ruler of the Universe for the daily blessings which they are receiving at His hand, the General Assembly of the State of Ohio did, at its last session, resolve—That the Governor be requested to issue, within the year, his proclamation recommending to the people of the State the observance of a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for his blessings to us as a people.
Now, therefore, in compliance with and in obedience to recognised duty, I, Seabury Ford, Governor of the State of Ohio, do appoint and set apart Thursday, the 28th day of November next, to be observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer throughout the State, and I hereby recommend to all the people that, abstaining from all secular employments, they repair to their usual places of worship, and feeling their entire dependence upon that God to whom belongeth “the earth and the fulness thereof,” they render to him thanks and praise for peace in our borders, for general health, for abundant harvests, for the spread of knowledge, and for all his temporal blessings; but especially for the Christian religion, for the inestimable blessings flowing to us from the prevalence of the principles of the “everlasting gospel,” and that, relying in faith upon the promises of that gospel, they earnestly supplicate a perpetual continuance of these blessings to all the people of this State and this nation.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State
It will be seen that, as on some former occasions in various parts of this republic, he has fallen into the great error of incorporating in his remarks certain doctrinal opinions and wrongly puts them forth as the popular will and law of the land:—nothing can be farther than this from being the intention of the framers of the organic code by which this country is governed, not only as a republic, but as the binding acts of the various state constitutions, and any endeavour of an executive to assume that any religion is recognised by the state is, to say the least, a presumption not warranted by any legislative enactment; as well may a thanksgiving proclamation show favouritism to the believers in the same political creed of the executive as to his co-religionists.
A Jew in the Cincinnati Times thus notices the Proclamation.
To the Editor of the Times:—For the first time this morning, I read the proclamation of the Governor of the State, enjoining upon the citizens the observance of a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for his blessings to us as a people. To this proclamation I take exception, viz., the Governor, after having appointed the day in pursuance of a resolution paced by the General Assembly, voluntarily, and on his own responsibility, and, as I maintain, contrary to the letter and spirit of the resolution passed by the legislature, instructs the citizens to pray “especially for the Christian religion and the inestimable blessings flowing to us from the prevalence of the principles of the everlasting gospel, and that, relying in faith upon the promises of that gospel, they earnestly supplicate a perpetual continuance of these blessings to all the people of this State and this nation.”
This may do very well in a country where the State is the Church, but is <<478>>unbecoming in a republican government, where all religions are equal, and is a positive impropriety against those good citizens of the State whose personal religious creed may be different to that of the occupant of the gubernatorial chair: if the system were recognised in this government, which requires no religious test for eligibility to office, we are liable at various times, and on various occasions, to he instructed to pray for the welfare of every religion in existence; and, finally, the proclamations may assume the various phases and doctrines of the many denominations in existence.
If we go on at this rate, we may some day see Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Methodists, Mahomedans, Deists, and others to be especially prayed for: and may be we will progress so far as to be told only to pray for those who do not sit in pewed churches.
Thanksgiving Day.—The Governors of Pennsylvania and New York have appointed the 12th of December as a day of thanksgiving for the mercies the country has received from an all-wise Providence. Both these functionaries have now worded their proclamations in general terms, not excluding the Jewish citizens from joining the other inhabitants of the land in lifting up their hearts to God. We hope, therefore, that the day will be properly celebrated in all our Synagogues.
Philadelphia.—At the annual election of the
Congregation Beth Israel the following persons were
elected the officers for the current year: Hyman
Polock, President; Joseph Rosenbaum, Treasurer; Sam.
Pagel, B. Myers, H. A. Levy, and A. Oelsner.—Trustees.
The Society of Mercy and Truth elected the
following: H. Marcus, President; A. Levy,
Vice-President; Samuel Hunt, Treasurer; Sam. Pagel,
Sol. Blitz, E. S. Linse, S. M. Klasser, Managers;
Dr. Young, Physician; Dr. Killduff, Apothecary; and
D. A. Phillips,
The New York Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated their anniversary by a public dinner on November 7th. Speeches were made by Rev. Dr. Raphall, S. M. Isaacs, and others, and we learn that a large amount was collected on behalf of the charity.
The Anshe Emeth Congregation of Albany have purchased a fine church edifice, located in one of the principal streets in the centre of the city, as a place of worship. It formerly belonged to the Baptists, and it will be consecrated as soon as possible to the service of the Lord, the God of Israel.
Louisville, Kentucky.—At the last annual election the following officers were chosen by the Congregation Adas Israel: M. Strauss, President; Simon Lichten, Vice-President; Jos. Lieber, Treasurer; L. Lewossohn, Secretary; M. Goldberg, B. Sachs, S. Ulman, Abraham <<479>>Dinkelspieler, A. Steinauer, and P. Marx, Trustees, and Moses Lieberman, Goba for Beth Haim.—A society for the attendance of the sick, and officiating at burials, was also lately constituted there, and the following persons chosen as officers: A. Sammelson, President; H. Stern, Vice-President; F. Mark, Treasurer; G. Lorch, Secretary; David Dinkelspiel, Feist Bamberger, and Samuel Godshaw, Trustees.—The Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Louisville have chosen the following officers: Mrs. Phineas Marx, President; Mrs. Sam’l Ulman, Vice- President; Mrs. Emanuel Lieberman, Secretary; and Mrs. Hirsh Haas, Mrs. Abm. Dinkelspieler, Mrs. Heyam Godshaw and Mrs. Alan Sammelson, Committee of the Sick. It is pleasing to record so much evidence of a charitable disposition in a congregation but so lately organized, and people cannot be far from the right path, where true benevolence occupies so prominent a position.
Augusta, Georgia.—The Israelites keep up their organization, and have elected the following officers: Saml. Levy, President; J. Levy, Vice-President; Henry Morrison, Secretary, and Isidore Care, Treasurer.
Cleveland, Ohio.—A new congregation has constituted itself in this city, under the name of “Tifereth Israel;” the officers are Alexander Schwab, President; C. Rock, Vice-President; who in connexion with Messrs. F. J. Cohen, George A. Davis, the brothers Hoxter and S. Loeb, were the founders. Our correspondent speaks in high terms of the enlightened liberality of these gentlemen in establishing a dignified and instructive place of worship, and their first act has been the election of the Rev. Isidore Kalisch as Rabbi and preacher of their body. The consecration of the new Synagogue is expected to take place on the 1st of December, and we shall probably learn the particulars before we issue our next number. We have received a copy of their constitution and by-laws, from which we see that it is the duty of the Rabbi to deliver an address (in German) every Sabbath morning, or to instruct the people through some exposition of the Bible. He has assigned to him two assistant Rabbis, with whom he is to consult once in four weeks; he is also bound to give the requisite religious instruction in the elementary schools of the congregation. No Chazan, Shochet, or teacher, can be chosen without the previous approbation of the can didate by the college of Rabbins.—The sale of Mitzwoth is abolished, and they are to be distributed after the manner of the Portuguese. One good provision we see has been adopted, which is, that every three years the constitution shall be revised, and can then be amended, if <<480>>two-thirds of the congregation are in favour of any proposed change or addition. We also observe that the form of worship is to be regulated according to the views of the Rabbins; which provision we deem rather too hazardous in so new a body as this congregation, and with their college yet untried. Confiding, as they do, in the piety and knowledge of their ministers, they may think themselves acting prudently; but we dislike the possession of so much power both in the laity and the ministers. A fixed basis, established by an organic law, is always the best, and we for our part would never take the responsibility such as is here conferred. But we expect much good from the labours of Mr. Kalisch, who is represented to us as a ripe scholar, though still a very young man.
New Orleans.—The ladies of the Portuguese congregation have organized a Sunday school, and elected Mrs. Henry Florance as Superintendent, Mrs. George Jonas, Treasurer, and Mrs. Cohen, Secretary. It was resolved that the ladies, teachers and officers, should collect funds to carry on the object of the organization, when, at their next meeting, October 20th, $334.20 was handed in as the amount obtained. The Rev. Mr. Nathan gave the ladies his efficient services; and we learn that the children of both sexes belonging to the Rampart St., Canal St., and Lafayette congregations, will be admitted, though the government of the school will be in the hands of the ladies of the Portuguese (the Canal St.) Synagogue. Upon request we have forwarded a quantity of school-books for this new institution; and there can be no doubt but that they will be well used, and tend to sow the seed of righteousness in many a youthful mind.
San Francisco, California. We hear that there are two congregations organized in the new commercial emporium on the Pacific,—a German and a Polish. We hope soon to learn particulars. The Asmonean reports the proceedings held at a festival on Simhath Torah, the late President of the Baltimore Congregation, Parnass of the Kearney Street Synagogue, being Hatan Torah. The Asmonean also contains a sermon delivered on Kippur day by our old friend Lewis A. Franklin. We wish him joy at his acquitting himself so well, and hope that he may persevere in diffusing the truths of his religion in that far-off country. The Asmonean farther reports another congregation has been established at Colluma, on the Yuba River. It is thus we see, that with God’s blessing, the word is spreading; let it suffer awhile, never fear, it will triumph at last.