|Vol. I, No. 10
Tebeth 5604, January 1844
Conversion Societies.—We learn from an undoubted source that the Pennsylvania Society for Evangelizing the Jews has been dissolved, on the ground "That the number of Jews in this country is hardly sufficient for a separate organization." Under present circumstances, it is perhaps the wisest thing the gentlemen composing the association could have done, to leave the business of converting the Jews to the parent society in New York. We also learn that an auxiliary body called "The Broadway (N. Y.) Tabernacle Ladies' Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews," and another at Rochester called the "R. Auxiliary Ladies' Jews' Society" have been formed. The former dates its birth from the 6th of October, and the latter has been in existence since the summer. We have not heard of any Jewish congregation in the western part of New York; we cannot therefore know against whom the ladies of Rochester mean to direct their attacks. It is possible that the Jewish Chronicle may enlighten us on the subject. Speaking of the Jewish Chronicle, we would thank the editor to let his paper appear on the fifteenth of every month, if he means to animadvert upon our periodical, in order to enable us to reply to him; for, under present arrangements, when he goes to press on the first, and he chooses to make some remarks on our work, it will be two months before we can offer the necessary corrections, and then so many other things will probably have intervened that it is scarcely worth while to trouble our readers with rejoinders. We may as well in this place, as in any other express our surprise at the following from his notice of the Occident in his November number: "The remarks on the recently formed Pennsylvania Society for Evangelizing the Jews, (in noticing which our own institution comes in for its accustomed share of vituperation,), are in a bad spirit, besides being wholly unfounded in fact." We knew not that in our short career we ever made use of vituperation, or asserted any thing which is not founded in fact. We appeal to the editor himself to point out any passage which can be charged with either one or the other defect, and we will cheerfully make any apology for our transgression. The readers of our magazine will not be misled by any such remarks from the Chronicle; but it unfortunately happens that the latter paper circulates almost exclusively among those who know us not personally, and are nearly if not quite unacquainted with Jews. We therefore trust that whenever the Chronicle means to charge us with such conduct as the above extract betokens, it will have the goodness to specify, and not to accuse us in general terms.
Confirmation.—We learn in a private letter from St. Thomas, that the first confirmation among American Israelites took place on the Sabbath חול המעד סכות, in the Synagogue under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Carillon. The ceremony is represented as having been very imposing. The names of the confirmed are, Mrs. Daniel Wolff, Misses Miriam and Rebecca Wolff, Miss D. Cortessos, Miss De Meza, Alexander Wolff, and Jacob Benjamin.
Quo Warranto Case at Charleston.—This trial, which involves the right of membership of the persons elected by the members comprising the majority of the Board after their suspension by the act of the congregation, (see Occident No. IV.,) was expected to be decided during the last session of the Court of Common Pleas of Charleston. But it having not been reached before the 13th November, and it being apprehended that it would occupy more time than remained of the term, which the judge was unwilling to extend, it was postponed till the March session, when it is to be hoped that this vexed question will be finally settled. For obvious reasons we forbear giving any farther particulars, as it is but too likely that, with the present state of feeling of some of those interested in the issue, any thing which we could say would in all likelihood be misunderstood. But we cannot help advising forbearance to all concerned, as best calculated to sustain and to exalt the Jewish character.
We advised our readers in our fourth and fifth numbers of the difference existing in the congregation at Charleston. By a compromise effected some time since between the counsel of the two parties, it was agreed that the Synagogue should be in the exclusive possession of one party on every alternate Sabbath. Since the trial on the quo warranto writ has been deferred till March, we have learnt from an undoubted source that the Rev. Mr. Poznanski, who had resigned some time last June or July, has resumed his clerical functions without salary, and that he now officiates every other Sabbath. The temporary minister of the party opposed to the organ is the Rev. Jacob Rosenfeld.
A Sunday School has lately been commenced at Columbia, South Carolina, where till lately there have been but few Jewish residents. There are in attendance about twenty-six children, some not more than three years old; and we learn from a private letter received from a resident in Charleston, who had been on a visit to that place that the children appeared quite proficient in their lessons, and that we would have rejoiced at beholding this truly heavenly sight. Indeed we should! and our young friends who have undertaken the good work have our thanks in the name of Israel, and we bid them "God speed."
We deeply regret not to be able to announce to our readers that the cruel edict of the Emperor of Russia, ordering the Jews on the frontiers to remove fifty wersts into the interior, has been revoked, which we hoped would have been the case before this. It is said that this act of barbarity will drive into exile half a million of Israelites.
What Means Russia?—Munich, August.—"His Excellency the Russian Minister, Uwaroff, has honoured with a visit the Jewish school for religious instruction existing in this place, and not only attended an examination, but himself put questions to the pupils. He expressed his entire satisfaction."—(A. Z. D. J.)
Such a visit, paid by a Russian minister in a foreign country, appears to us significant, considering the deliberation upon the establishment of Jewish schools in Russia, which has so recently been held in Petersburgh.—The Voice of Jacob.
New Societies in Philadelphia. On the 11th day of October, a Hebrew beneficial society denominated חסד ואמת "Mercy and Truth," was formed, for the purpose of supporting the sic, interring its deceased members, and relieving widows and orphans. The officers for the current year are:
Joseph Levy, President; H. Van Beil, Treasurer; D. A. Phillips, Secretary; S. Hunt, S. A. Davis, Edward Pyke, L. A. Philips, Committee.
We also learn that another beneficial institution under the title of חברת גמילות חסדים ומשענת יתום ואלמנה, the object of which is to grant relief to sick members, to defray the expenses of their interment, and to assist the widows and orphans of deceased members by a weekly allowance, has been established, and is under the direction of the following officers:
Mayer Schoyer, President; Simon weil, Vice-President; Joseph Schoneman, Treasurer; Solomon Kayser, Meyer Fleischer and Bernhard Grunewald, Trustees; and Rev. Maximilian Michelbacher, Secretary.
Entrance fee six dollars, contribution 50 cents per month.
Officers of the several charitable institutions connected with the Elm Street Synagogue, New York, for the year 5604.
משיבת נפש Hebrew Benevolent Society, M. M. Noah, President, Morland Micholl, Vice-President; L. Garritz, Treasurer.
תלמוד תורה New York Talmud Torah, and Hebrew Theological Institute, A. L. Levy, President; I. N. Samuel, Vice-President; Samuel Cohen, Treasurer; Rev. S. M. Isaacs, Manager, ex-officio.
גמילות חסד D. Samson, President; J. Solomon, Vice-President; J. Bernard, Treasurer; E. Heilbuth, Hon. Secretary.
Ladies' Benevolent Society, Mrs. John M. Davis, First Directress; Mrs. Morland Micholl, Second Directress; Mrs. M. Morrison, Treasurer; Rev. S. M. Isaacs, Hon. Secretary.
Society for Indigent Old Men, M. B. Davis, Hon. Manager.
Report of the treasurer of the Female Hebrew Benevolent society of the City of Philadelphia, Nov. 1st, 1843.