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New Synagogue in New York

To the Editor of The Occident:


Doubtless you are aware that for the last nine months the members of the Elm Street Congregation [Bnei Jeshurun] have been engaged in several suits at law. The main question being whether we, as members of that Synagogue, shall be permitted to govern our own affairs, or whether the State laws preclude us from guarding our own courts; in short, whether we may make by-laws to keep our Synagogue respectable, or whether the laws of the State compel us to admit every one to the electoral right no matter who the applicant may be. This was the chief question at issue, and cheerfully we left that point to the decision of the Supreme Court.

The case had been argued, but before it was decided our opponents took the law into their own hands, employing physical force instead of waiting for the result of the case. The consequence has been that a number of us, the founders and their friends, were compelled to secede from the congregation, and we are now worshipping at a temporary Synagogue, No. 67 Franklin Street, one door from Broadway; at the same time we have purchased a lot of ground for a splendid edifice, which we hope shortly to consecrate to the God of Israel and to the credit of his people.

The Rev. S. M. Isaacs having resigned his official connexion with the Elm Street Synagogue, has afforded us the opportunity of securing his valuable services as our minister, and we hope through his zeal, our love for our venerable religion, and mainly through the help of our God, shortly to have a Synagogue which shall be a model for every congregation to copy.

On pure Orthodox principles we shall cast off all man-worship, which has hitherto tarnished our reputation as Israelites, and make the Synagogue what it was destined to be, a House of Prayer and Instruction.


June, 1845.