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Third Annual Examination of the Montreal Hebrew Sunday School, and Presentation to the Rev. Mr. De Sola.


On Sunday, 16th Adar (7th March), the annual examination of the children attending the Montreal Sunday School, was held in the school­room before the parents and other visitors. The children mustered in full force, and presented a great increase in their number in the past <<96>> year, and exhibited a very gratifying proficiency, in their ready responses to the numerous questions put them in the various branches of their religious studies.

The proceedings commenced by the children singing in excellent voice and time, Ain Kaylohenu. This was followed by prayers, after which the youngest children were questioned in Pyke’s Catechism, the commandments, creed, &c. The other classes were separately and collectively examined in Nathan’s, Cahen’s, and Peixotto’s Catechism, the creed, scripture questions, &c.; and Mr. De Sola examined the elder boys in Hebrew translations, with grammatical analysis in the Scriptures, prayer-books, and Pirke aboth and their catechisms. This was followed by recitations of a religious character, by all the pupils, which were given so as to call forth in a marked manner the approbation of the audience. The proceedings terminated with a prayer, the Shemang, and a hymn. Mr. De Sola then addressed the parents assembled, and said he was happy to find from the approbation they had expressed, they were satisfied with the progress made by the children during the past year; he would remind them that this progress would be in the ratio with the regularity of their attendance; he dwelt at some length on the importance of the school, and that this and similar schools must be regarded as the nursery, wherein the children’s minds were prepared for the more advanced and elaborate instructions of the Synagogue pulpit which,—he was, and he knew that all present were, glad to know —was now no longer mute, so that with the two combined, Israel would yet be as they once were, “a wise, deserving people,” elevated in their own estimation, and in the eyes of the nations among whom they dwelt. He urged all present to do their best to secure a general and regular attendance at the school, and said that all things considered, he was quite satisfied with the result of the past year’s labour, and bore testimony to the zeal and patience evinced by the young lady teachers, without whose assistance he never could have succeeded, and for which he returned them his best thanks. He then distributed prizes to the most deserving of the children, accompanying each with appropriate remarks. After which Master Louis Levey rose, and in a very neat speech, ably delivered, informed Mr. De Sola that he had been chosen to undertake the pleasing task of asking his acceptance of a very handsome filigree fruit-basket, as a slight token of the esteem and affection of the younger portion of his flock, and as an acknowledgment of his valuable instructions, concluding with the hope that he might for many years remain their ‘pastor. In reply, Mr. De Sola expressed the <<97>> satisfaction he felt at this proof of the regard and affection of those to whom his instructions were always more particularly addressed—a satisfaction the greater as it was quite unexpected. He should treasure the gift, and regard it with not less complacency than he did the testimonial, it was his happiness to receive about a year past, from their parents. The inscription which the basket bore, was certainly gratifying to him; and it would afford him unspeakable pleasure, to witness them all growing up and becoming pious Israelites, observant of the teachings they received in that room and in the Synagogue. It was a matter of thankfulness and pride to him, to state to the parents assembled, that two of the pupils (Masters Samuel David and Louis Levey) were exhibiting a most exemplary and praiseworthy interest and usefulness, and had become teachers in the school. He exhorted them all to be interested, and acquire the blessed truths taught them, which would be bestowing on him the most appropriate and most prized return for his labour, which should not flag while an all-directing Providence should prolong his stay among them; that would be the best return they could make him; for they themselves would be blessed as obedient children by their heavenly Father, and for this his fervent prayers were directed. All present were much gratified with the proceedings, and before separating, passed a most cordial vote of thanks to the lady teachers for their attention to the children during the past year.

A. H. D.