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Philadelphia, Congregation Knesseth Israel.—It is with pleasure that we record that the new German Congregation of this city lately presented their minister, the Rev. Lazarus Naumburg, with an elegant gold chain and a pair of gold spectacles, in testimony of their high regard for his exertions in the discharge of his official duties. We hope that the parties may long enjoy the opportunity of expressing their mutual satisfaction with each other. If we are correctly informed, the congregation contemplate erecting a suitable place of worship of their own, so soon as they can raise the funds, in which we hope they may be amply successful.

The Hebrew Education Society’s School is progressing fairly, with every prospect of effecting much good. Up to the moment of writing this it has been only a few days over six weeks in operation, and it numbers already sixty-seven scholars, about equally divided between the two sexes. The teachers are faithful and diligent in their duties, and already a marked improvement is observable in our pupils, in every sense of the word. The applications for admission had become so numerous that the Board of Directors were compelled to decline taking any more till they had appointed additional teachers whereupon, after due examination of the candidates, the Board of Managers, on the recommendation of the Directors, elected, on Sunday, the 18th of May, two assistant female teachers, Miss Clara F. Weil and Miss Mary A. Murray, who at once entered on their duties the day following. Since then, several additional pupils have been admitted, and, if we under­stand right, it is the intention of the committee to admit as many, on application, as the school-rooms will hold, and the present corps of teachers can properly attend to. We record the progress of this society <<165>> so minutely, as it is the first of its kind in the country, and perhaps anywhere else; and should it succeed in establishing a wholesome system of education in this place, and diffuse a high tone of religion and morals among the youth of our nation, it is to be hoped that it will meet with many imitations wherever practicable, so that in every city of the Union all Jewish children may be trained under the guidance of teachers of their own faith, or at least that their education may be under the strict supervision of Israelites of good standing, so as to guard them against the gradual introduction of error and enmity to our religion, which are not seldom imbibed in the ordinary schools, both public and private. We may also add, that in order to aid the teachers in their onerous labours, one of the school directors attends every morning at the school, and we believe that this has been faithfully done every day since it commenced; at the same time, we do but justice to all to say that the greatest unanimity prevails among the Directors and the Board in general, which gives an assurance of many happy results for the future.

Congregation Rodef Sholem of Philadelphia.—This, the oldest German Congregation in the United States, has certainly made great progress in all the material elements of outward propriety during worship, an improved manner of singing, and increase of members. We recollect when the worshippers in their hired room, which they had fitted up, were extremely limited; and now, on the last Passover, their Synagogue, the largest by far in this city, was well filled both by male and female attendants. We see also a constantly improved state of religion among them, and we believe that several of them have of late paid attention to the sanctity of the Sabbath more than formerly. The congregation have also two Hebrew teachers to instruct the children belonging to their members and seatholders, Messrs. Bachman and Sternheimer, and there are few indeed who attend Synagogue now who. are not able at least to read the Hebrew fluently. It is nothing but justice, that we make this statement.

Shearith Israel Congregation of New York.—Whilst lately in New York, we learned from the venerable Secretary of the Portuguese Synagogue of our sister city, that the trustees had purchased twelve acres of land on Long Island, opposite what is called the Cypress Cemetery, for a burial ground, and that it was supposed that the Bnai Jeshurun Congregation, would take a portion of this land for the inter­ment of their dead. This step of purchasing land so far from the city has been rendered necessary in consequence of the Common Council passing an ordinance prohibiting interments within certain limits; which <<166>> embrace the burying-places of both the congregations named; and as it is probable that before long the whole island, composing the City of New York, may be thus interdicted, it is the best policy to go to Long Island to seek a place where the dead may lie undisturbed by the constant encroachment of improvements in the shape of new buildings and new streets. Would it not be well were all the Jewish congregations of New York to make one cemetery common to them all, under proper regulations, if even each might have its own particular portion? We think the matter worth a serious reflection. But who will move first?

Albany, New York.—Our readers will recollect that we reluctantly stated last autumn, that in consequence of some misunderstanding, on Rosh Hashanah, Dr. Wise, was deprived of his ministerial charge; whereupon his friends formed a new congregation, over which they elected him as minister. We just learn that the subject had been brought before the Mayor’s Court of that city, and that it was decided on the 17th of May, in favour of Dr. Wise. We have been requested to give the substance of the Judge’s charge and the finding of the jury. We are ready, however, to admit a counterstatement should we be misinformed in the premises. The following report has reached us:

The judge charged as follows:

1. A minister elected by the majority of the congregation can be deposed only by a vote of said majority, otherwise none dare prevent him or interfere with him in the discharge of his official duties.

2. All acts of a Parnass without the consent of the majority of trustees are illegal.

3. The meeting of the Congregation Beth-El on the 5th of September last was illegal, and all resolutions passed are null and void, because, 1. No notice was given, that resolutions would be offered regarding the minister of the congregation, and still such resolutions were passed at said meeting 2. Motions to adjourn the meeting were made and seconded, which the chair refused to put to the meeting; in consequence of which the majority of the trustees, after a delay of two hours, announced the meeting adjourned, to which the majority of the congregation responded and left the meeting; only 43 out of the 132 members of the congregation remained and passed resolutions concerning Dr. Wise.

4. The plaintiff Isaac M. Wise, D. D., was bound in duty to mount the pulpit on Sabbath next, September 7, as he usually did, and did so in a legal and orderly manner.

3. The defendant, Louis Spanier, had no right to interfere nor to stand at the pulpit

6. The defendant prevented the plaintiff from the discharge of his duty by inflicting upon him blows and pushes.

<<167>>
7. The defendant is guilty of an assault and battery committed on a minister in the pulpit in the presence of his congregation.

The jury then retired and brought in a verdict of one thousand dollars, and costs.

Richmond, Virginia.—It gives us much pleasure to announce the following:—“At a meeting of the Bakal Kadosh Beth Shalome, held on Sunday, May 18th, 1851, the Rev. Jacob Mendes De Solla was duly elected Hazan and Teacher for that congregation. Mr. De Solla will enter immediately on the discharge of the duties of his office.” Mr. De Solla made a very favourable impression on us when in Philadelphia last winter, and we welcome him with sincere gratification to the ministry. We wish him all imaginable success.

Pittsburg, Pa.—We learn from one of the members of that congregation that they are progressing there in all things, and that the number of Israelites is fast augmenting in the western capital of Penn­sylvania. We should like to obtain an accurate account of their condition. Will some of our friends oblige us?

Augusta, Georgia.—It will be seen by reference to our advertiser that the congregation of that flourishing city desire to engage a compe­tent person to act as Hazan and Shochet. We hope that they may soon be able to find one every way calculated to serve the cause of religion, both spiritually and materially. Augusta has the credit of being the first congregation in Georgia to make a proper movement towards a permanent religious organization. May they be blessed for it.

St. Louis.—A correspondent from this flourishing city writes as follows :

With sincere joy, and an admiration, as only my own experiences earned on your thornful field, can inspire, I received the first number of the new series of your Occident, and I determined to obey your friendly and repeated demands for some contributions of my pen. To save you the trouble of translating, I write in English, and hope your readers will excuse their German brother for the want of elegance and even correctness of style, and that they may find what he offers them worthy of their notice.

As a correspondent at this place, I feel it my duty to begin with local matters, though they may not be of much interest, as my knowledge of them is but very little, and this not favourable. The body of the Jews here of Polish origin and habits, and have generally followed the clothing trade, which is little calculated to gain the <<168>> esteem of our fellow-citizens; but even many Jews were unwilling to join them, on account of their intolerance and exactions at every op­portunity. The result is, that a kind of stagnation prevails in our community, and while St. Louis has become in the last ten years one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the U. S., and whilst the number and wealth of its Israelites kept pace in proportion, our religious institutions are insignificant, our house of worship poor, and there is no learned man at the head of the community to elevate, on the Sabbath, our minds and hearts, to instruct our children, which are, in great numbers, sent to parochial and Catholic nunnery schools, to obtain the first rudiments of education. Most probably the old community thought to obtain adherents by making extravagant charges, when a Jew, who was not a member, had the sad duty to perform to bury his friend or relation. This was a grievance to many, and they formed lately, though with very little means, new congregations, one of which is generally called the Bavarian, the other the Bohemian. The latter, though very few in number, distinguish themselves by a greater degree of tolerance; they have, by great sacrifices, purchased a burying- ground, and have organised a well-regulated system of worship, which is well attended on our holy days.

It is to be hoped the future will furnish a more agreeable report, with regard to our interests; until then, you will not wonder that your magazine finds but very few subscribers in this great metropolis of the West; and that a St. Louis paper, speaking of Jews in general (and though as a catholic organ inclined to speak favourably of them), men­tions the Jews of South Carolina and Savannah, of New York and Philadelphia, but does not find anything to say in praise of those Jews that are its own readers. I. B.

Obituary

Died, at Curaçoa, W. L, on the 19th Nissan, 5611, 21st April last, Mr. Obediah Mendez Da Costa, a native of London, in his fifty‑seventh year.

Mr. Da C. had been, from the year 1812, a merchant of that place, and was much beloved by all who knew him. He has left an only daughter, of the early age of sixteen, to lament her loss, with a numerous circle of relatives and friends; he was an indulgent parent, affectionate brother, and sincere friend. Peace be to his departed soul.