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English News

London, October 17, 1847-5608.

You will, doubtless, be much concerned to learn the demise of the accomplished contributor to your columns, Miss Grace AguiIar. This melancholy event has created a deep sensation here, where the lamented deceased was personally known, and where her talented writings have been diffused and are appreciated. Although some differences of opinion prevail in respect to the value of her labours in behalf of orthodox Judaism, none appear to deny her the merit due to her rare genius, or question her sincere piety, her genuine patriotism. One or two of the leading literary journals, in mentioning her death, pay a just tribute to her literary merit, lamenting her untimely end. The Jewish periodicals also make suitable mention of this melancholy circumstance, referring to her various performances, and one of them (the “Voice of Jacob”) promises a memoir of her life, which will, no doubt, prove highly interesting. It is indeed to be deplored, that the blank occasioned by the removal of this gifted Jewish authoress is not likely to be supplied for some time to come by any of our Jewish sisters in this country; for the salutary effects of improved Jewish female education, which necessity is but just begun to be recognised, can hardly as yet be expected to develope themselves. 

The New Regulations, to which I have frequently alluded in former communications, have at length passed the board of the  great Synagogue, and we shall, probably, have the satisfaction of witnessing their general adoption in all the Synagogues under the control of our chief Rabbi. Having been carried at a full meeting, and without any opposition, the result is looked upon as highly favourable to the influence of Dr. Adler. It is extremely gratifying to announce this fact to you, which augurs so well of future harmony and good rule among our congregations. I hope, indeed, to see no exceptions in the adoption of these regulations, nor do I anticipate any. In my next, I may, perhaps, be enabled to report to you how they operate.

The chief Rabbi has just returned from a visit to the congregation of Birmingham, the first in importance of all the provincial communities; he was received with suitable distinction, and employed his time in visiting their institutions and encouraging them to the due performance of all their public and private religious duties. The Jewish Chronicle of this week gives ample particulars of the whole of the interesting proceedings. I suppose the chief Rabbi will extend his visits to other of his provincial flocks, a step which will be productive of the most wholesome results for the general welfare of Judaism.

<<466>>Yesterday a prayer of thanksgiving for the abundant harvest was recited throughout all the British Synagogues, as by royal command, the churches performing that duty as usual a day later. Dr. Adler composed the prayer for the German, and the Rev. Mr. Meldola that for the Portuguese community.

The “Jewish Chronicle” has now become a weekly publication, and the “Voice of Jacob,” which continues fortnightly, now appears in an enlarged form, the proprietorship having apparently changed hands. I suppose you exchange with both these periodicals.

Our Jewish Literary Institution has just opened its fourth session, and issues a very fair programme of the lectures to be delivered during the season. The value of this establishment is evidently not yet sufficiently recognised, as its members appear inadequate to its necessary support. The classes, which are certainly the most useful branch of the institution, are so much neglected that they are about to be remodelled so as to be more attractive. The Essay and Discussion class recommence their session this week; it is a very popular feature of the institution, attracting numerous audiences.

Baron Lionel De Rothschild (late Warden) was appointed to the office of Chathan Torah at the great Synagogue on the recent holidays. The circumstance created some interest, on account of the prominent position occupied by the Baron since his return to Parliament; he spent about £100 in offerings, and gave a grand breakfast after the morning’s service, at which some appropriate speeches were made, which are recorded in the Jewish periodicals.

Our distinguished coreligionist, Sir Moses Montefiore, has been appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Kent, together with the Earl of Darnley and J. Waire, Esq.

The Burton Street Congregation have addressed the enlightened and liberal Pius IX., in acknowledgment of his tolerant concessions to the Jews in his dominions; the document is well composed, (said to be done by Mr. D. W. Marks) and is signed by B. Mocatta and F. D. Goldsmid,  Esqrs., as wardens of the congregation, as well as Mr. Marks the minister. Our board of deputies had, some time ago, as I learn, prepared a memorial to the Pope on the same subject; but whether it has been yet presented or not, has not transpired. I am inclined to believe the latter is the fact.  O.