|Vol. IV, No. 9
Kislev 5607, December 1846
Annual Report Of The Managers Of The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society Of Philadelphia.
The twenty-seventh anniversary of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society was notified for the 4th November; but in consequence of inclement weather a quorum was not present; the members therefore adjourned to the 10th inst. At the adjourned meeting the following reports were read:
At the period a society is required to render an account of its stewardship, it is happy for its officers, if they can meet investigation with the conviction of having done their duty.—The Managers of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society at this anniversary feel grateful in the belief, that much has been done during the past year to respond to the views of their generous patrons. Many destitute families have had their pressing wants supplied; the sick have been visited; mourners comforted, and strangers from foreign lands, differing in laws and in language from ours, have been made to understand, that they have here reached a home, among brethren and sisters, worshippers of the living God, who commands them to “consider the poor,” and who feel it a privilege to welcome unfortunate Israelites, escaped from tyranny and oppression, who seek an asylum in this land of freedom.
This may be considered an epoch in the history of the Jews. At length a good and a great man* has arisen among their own people, who has gone forth to loosen the bonds of oppression—to appeal to the hearts of kings in their behalf—to claim for them the rights of humanity, and to rouse the crushed spirit of the abject sufferers to a sense of their capabilities, as beings created in the image of God, the recipients of his holy law, and accountable to Him for its preservation. The records of time afford nothing more wonderful and more true, than that this people “torn and afflicted” as they have been for ages, have an imperishable mission assigned them. “The Law which Moses commanded, is the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob”—an inheritance which has been carried proudly into the courts of kings—been hidden in the dungeons of superstition—secretly cherished through ages of intolerance; and meekly enjoyed among enlightened nations with whom they now exchange the kindliest offices of friendship and of fellowship.
In feeling the importance of this epoch, the Jews of America are called on to aid the great benefactor of their nation, to raise funds for the support of emigrants who approach these shores, and to teach them how by honest industry they may, like other inhabitants of the soil, become secure and independent citizens, and in obedience to their own law, seek the peace of the country that shelters them.
The Treasurer’s report will exhibit the amount of expenditure. Among the most interesting cases which have been registered, were two distressed persons, attacked with temporary insanity—one had an infant to be provided for; they were placed in the Pennsylvania Hospital at the charge of the society. One was discharged cured, and after some time was capable of resuming the duties of her family. The other continued some time under the care of the committee after her return home. Recently a family of German emigrants have been added to those who receive aid from the managers.
The Board, among many causes for thankfulness, have to acknowledge co-operation and aid in the active and prompt exertions of the Hebrew Sewing Society, The Fuel Society, and the several Hebras, conducted by benevolent gentlemen of the congregations, in bestowing help where help is merited and most needed. The singleness of purpose which animates all these associations, proves that the Israelites of Philadelphia may sing with the Royal Psalmist, "Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble."
At the adjourned annual meeting of the society, the following ladies were elected officers during the current year: Mrs. Phila Pesoa, first Directress; Mrs. Richea Hays, second Directress; Mrs. Anna Allen, Treasurer; Miss Rebecca Gratz, Secretary; Mrs. Esther Hart, Mrs. Rebecca Moss, Mrs. Sarah Hart, Mrs. Hetty Samuel, Mrs. Rebecca C. Hart, Mrs. Hannah Florance, Mrs. Myrtilla Florance, Mrs. Matilda Cohen, and Miss Rachel Pesoa, Managers.