Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library


Vol. X No. 6
Elul 5612 September 1852

News Items

The Hebrew Literary Association, of Philadelphia, at the last election, chose the following officers: S. C. Van Beil, President; Lewis Tobiason, Vice President; M. M. Allen, Treasurer; Joseph Harris, Librarian; and M. F. Lobo, Secretary. Although this Society is not strong in members, it has a handsome collection of useful and miscellaneous books, and it is to be hoped that it may ultimately be able to extend its sphere of usefulness, and become really a support of Jewish literature.

Williamsburg, New York.—We have heard that a congregation has been organised in this growing town on Long Island, opposite the city of New York, but we have not yet obtained any particulars respecting officers, &c. We shall be pleased if our friends there will inform us at their leisure.—P. S. This new Congregation consecrated their new Synagogue on Sunday, the 1st of August. The Rev. S. M. Isaacs, we see from the papers, delivered the consecration sermon, and <<317>> we believe that addresses were likewise delivered by Rev. Dr. Raphall and Dr. Lilienthal. Mr. A. M. Chrytalar is the President of the congregation.

Pittsburg, PA.—We learn, from a letter before us, that Mr. Alexander Fink has been elected President of the congregation Shaaray Shamayim, Mr. J. Morgenstern, Treasurer, and Mr. Nathan Gallinger, Secretary. At the meeting held on Sunday, the 8th of August, all the members, except two, were present; and all bound themselves, of their own free accord, to attend divine service regularly every Sabbath and holy day, or to pay a fine of one dollar for every case of absence. This was done because the Kahal, though four years old, has not increased, and consists of only fourteen members, who have an expense of about 450 dollars per annum. Notwithstanding this small number, they have got along, only that they could not obtain Minyan every Sabbath; but now they confidently hope that regular service will be held hereafter. Mr. Sulzbach is Hazan, Shochet, and teacher. They have a burying-ground, and occupy a fine, large and comfortable room for a Synagogue, and have two Sepharim, one belonging to Kahal. As there are over thirty Jewish families in Pittsburg, it is to be hoped that the congregation will soon increase. We also learn that the Polish congregation continues to exist; but we regret that few Israelites as there are in Pittsburg, there should be a rivalry of an unpleasant nature among them; we can well imagine that each one can allege good reasons for his course; but we must beg all Israelites that if they find it necessary to form separate congregations, to act at least together in harmony, so that their divisions may not operate injuriously to our faith. We give this advice in all sincerity, and trust that it may not pass unheeded.

Washington, D. C.—We were not aware, till we saw on the 23d of August, a notice, in a daily paper, of the Israelites having bought a piece of land for a Synagogue, that a congregation had been organized in the Capital of the United States. We knew that several families lived there, but not being acquainted with them, we never were informed of their proceedings. We would thank any of our friends to communicate to us the particulars which may be accessible to them.

Savannah, Georgia.—We call the attention of those interested, to the advertisement of the congregation at Savannah, for a suitable Hazan and Preacher. The terms are just such as we have always advocated, that the minister’s connexion should last so long as it is mutually agreeable and beneficial; and such terms will, we have no doubt, be useful both to the people, whose interests ought always to be regarded first, and the person they may select as their spiritual guide.

Nashville, Tennessee.—The few Israelites residing here have a charitable society, and possess a burying-ground of 3¼ acres of land within 1 miles from the city. There are but five families, and eight young men; but being desirous not to be behind other cities, they are about forming a congregational union, and to meet for prayer on the approaching holy days. We welcome this new body among the faithful of Israel.

New Orleans.—We learn that the Rev. M. N. Nathan has resigned the ministry of the Portuguese congregation of New Orleans, to take effect from the first of February next.

St. Louis.—It is with much regret that we are informed that the contemplated union of the Israelites into one body, has not been consummated. It seems that the elements were too discordant to produce an harmonious fusion, so it is best, perhaps, that each of the former bodies should endeavour to proceed in the best manner by itself. The Bohemian Kahal, in consequence under their new president, Mr. Isidore Bush, purchased a lot on Jackson Street, in the southern part of the city, for the purpose of building a Synagogue on it. An advertise­ment in the proper place, requests all persons kindly disposed to aid the “Bné Berith” to erect a structure for the glory of the Lord, to forward their donations and loans, and we offer our services to become the medium of their benefactions; and we assure our friends that their contributions could not be bestowed on an object more demanded just now, as the increasing number of our brethren in the West, requires more extended means to afford them religious consolation and knowledge. There is also a wide field opening for a man of piety and talents, to labour efficiently in the cause of his Maker.

Barcelona, Venezuela.—Also in this distant quarter, where not many years ago it was a capital offence to call even in secret, on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, enlargement has been extended to us, and the ceremonies of our faith are practised in the face of the sun, with none to make us afraid. Owing to the smallness of the number of emigrants who had taken advantage of the more tolerant laws of the late Spanish colony, Venezuela, the Israelites had till lately only practised circumcision as a special religious act at Barcelona, in the families of Messrs. Isaac Baiz, M. H. Baiz, Jacob Lindo, Abraham H. Moron, and Isaac Valencia, the Mohalim being Mr. Isaac Sasso, of St. Thomas, and Mr. M. F. Ricardo, of Curagoa. But now the marriage ceremony has been twice celebrated of late, the first time in February last, between Jacob Levy Madura and Miss Judith Jesurun Lindo, and the <<319>> second on the 19th of July, between Michael Penso and Miss Rebecca Sasso. Mr. S. Piza acted as Hazan on the occasion, and Mr. M. H. Baiz, as U. S. Vice Consul, certified to the legality of the act. Many Spanish residents, including the civil authorities, were present at both, and our correspondent states that the solemnity of the act made a deep impression on them. This is true progress, and though it is but a beginning, we hope that it may extend farther, till it produces the happiest results. They have now a full Minyan at B., and we should judge, from the tenor of the letter before us, that they mean to unite for the public prayers on the ensuing holy days. May God’s spirit be with them.

Basle, in June.—The decree of banishment against the Jews, has been executed with all rigour. Out of the city, five wholesale dealers, resident there, have been removed, and from the country district, fifty more families. The most remarkable circumstance is, that the authorities of the cantons who have banished them, have furnished them with the most laudatory testimonials, and were compelled to designate them as moral and blameless men, of unblemished character. The Supreme tribunal of Basle expresses, in its report to the Court of Appeals, its regret, that it was compelled to proceed with such rigour against houses so every way honourable. This document has been deposited with the Ambassador of France. The banishment had no other motive than commercial rivalry.—Jewish Gazette.

Strasbourg, France.—We learn, from the same authority as above, that Mr. Louis Ratisbonne had leased, without charge, one of his houses, and this a very large one, for 101 years, as a hospital. On Passover too the aged donor was at Synagogue, and offered 300 francs towards hospital and benevolent societies. Several Jewish physicians had of­fered their services, and as the funds to commence the good work are ample, the correspondent of the Gazette anticipates a speedy opening of that institution.

Breslau, Prussia.—On the 6th of April there was opened here a beautiful institution, and solemnly dedicated. The late Commercial Counsellor, Jonas Frankel, directed in his will that his executors should establish, by degrees, the following foundations from the funds remaining after satisfying all the legacies mentioned by him.

1. An Asylum for families of the Jewish faith in Breslau, who have become reduced through no fault of their own.
2. An Institution to prevent poverty among Jewish heads of families in the same place.
3. A Seminary for the education of Rabbins and Teachers.
4. An Institute (the operations of which are to extend over the province of Silesia), if circumstances permit, for the promotion of the arts and trades among the Jews of Breslau.
5. A Benevolent Institute for persons of all denominations of religion.

In accordance with the first provision, the executors purchased a house and garden for 25,000 dollars (Prussian currency), and endowed it with a sum of 55,000 dollars. Fifteen pensioners have already been received, who are to be supplied with dwelling, fire, and attendance, without any charge, and some, for the present time, are to receive besides seven dollars per month. They are also to have gratuitous medical attendance. Persons desiring to enter the institution, not as pensioners, can do so by a contribution to the funds of at least 500 dollars. The testator had also established a hospital, we think, during his life. The Asylum was opened by appropriate hymns, performed by the choir of the Synagogue, and an address by the celebrated Dr. Abr. Geiger, the Rabbi of Breslau, and the ceremonies were concluded with a prayer for the deceased founder, according to the custom of the place. The Gazette expresses the hope that the executors may now turn their attention to the College, in which wish we heartily join.

Ober-Endigen, Switzerland.—As an evidence how things are done  in Europe occasionally, we will cite from a late number of Dr. Phillipson’s Jewish Gazette, that the comparatively small congregation of the above place had just erected a new and beautiful Synagogue, at an expense of 20,000 florins, and had, by more than 3,500 fl., reobtained that sum by the sale of 50 double seats (1. e., one in each department, male and female), and 12 single ones; and that these purchases were mostly made by persons of the middle classes. The consecration, attended by a procession joined by many Christian officers and the Israelites of Lengau, took place with proper solemnity on the 26th of March last. The day was beautiful, and joy pervaded the Jewish community, and the Christians were not less ready to honour the occasion with their good wishes. How strange a contrast does this present to the action of the Canton of Basle!


At Liverpool, on the 30th June, by the Rev. M. S. Oppenheimer, assisted by the Rev. A. Fischell, Mr. S. Solis, of Philadelphia, to Ellen, third daughter of Lewis Samuel, Esq., of Percy Street, Liverpool.

At Buffalo, August 3d, Menachen 18th, 5612, by Rev. Isaac M. Slatky, Mr. Isaac Michael to Mrs. Hannah Tobias, both of St. Louis, Missouri.