Vol. I, No. 1
Consecration of a Jewish Synagogue in New York
On Friday afternoon last, the third of Adar 5603, corresponding with the 3d of February 1843, another new Synagogue in Attorney Street was consecrated to the service of the God of Israel, by the numerous members of the Jewish persuasion residing in that section of the city. The ceremony, always solemn, interesting; and retaining the ancient forms and customs of the chosen people, was handsomely performed, and an appropriate discourse in German delivered by the Reader, (Hazan,) after which the members of that and other congregations of this city made voluntary contributions to the amount of nearly five hundred dollars.
From the circumstances of a discourse being delivered in German, it will be inferred that most of the congregation who intend worshipping in Attorney Street are Germans; such is the fact--the emigration of Israelites to this country is great--the severe oppression which they are yet subject to in Poland, Bavaria, and other parts of Germany, drives them to this land of religious freedom, where every man may worship his Maker, after the dictates of his conscience, and "sit beneath his vine and fig tree, and there is none to make him afraid;" and if they do not bring money with them, they bring substantial wealth in their habits of industry and temperance.
Mechanics and artisans, in almost every branch, may now be found among the Jews of this city. It is estimated that the entire number of Israelites at present in New York cannot be short of ten thousand.
The new Synagogue mentioned above is the sixth we now have in this city. Sixteen years ago there was but one. The first was built in Mill Street, in the first ward, in 1729, and rebuilt in 1817; but as most of that congregation removed to the upper part of the city some ten or twelve years ago, the building was taken down and the lot sold, and the spacious and. convenient Synagogue in Crosby Street erected in 1833; for the ancient congregation Shearith Israel (Remnant of Israel).
The Jews commenced settling in New York about the
year 1656. Tombstones bearing inscriptions more than one hundred and
sixty years old may yet be seen in the old grave-yard fronting on Oliver
Street, in the rear of the Tradesmen's Bank. During the Revolutionary
war, the time when the British held possession of New York, most of
the Jews removed to Philadelphia, with their pastor, the Rev. Gershom
Seixas, (who acted in that capacity for over fifty years,) where they
remained until the evacuation in 1783. With the exception of a few foreigners
they were all staunch whigs of '76, and many served as officers of the
army during the struggle for independence. A number of Jews have settled
in the interior of this state and we are informed there are two synagogues
in Albany, and one in Syracuse. Very recently one was constructed at
Easton, (Penn.) an account of which appeared in this paper, where a
number settled more than eighty years ago.--N. Y. Union.