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Twenty-Eighth Anniversary of the F. H. B. S. of Philadelphia


The twenty-eighth anniversary of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society was held on the 3d of November, 1847, at which a Board of Managers was elected, and the following report read:

“The season of action has again arrived, when the Managers of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society are happy to greet their patrons, to present the report of the last year’s proceedings, and to solicit aid for future exertions. Every year the demands on this institution seem to assume a more important character; and the Managers become sensible from past experience, that more alms-giving should not be considered the highest duty devolving on them. They should seek to mend the condition of the poor, to provide a home for destitute children, and to obtain for them such a degree of early education as would tend to establish industrious habits and high moral and religious principles. These objects appear to call for united efforts, and to the consideration of them they invite the counsel and co-operation of every member of the Society. It has been suggested that means should be taken to provide a home for destitute children of the Jewish faith, similar to “the foster home” already established its this city, where children, whose parents obtain their livelihood by journeying through the country, might be received at a small expense; and others who have no parents or relations to provide for them would be maintained by the charity. All should be educated and carefully attended to; and at a suitable age the boys be recommended to Jewish mechanics or merchants as apprentices. To effect this, a suitable Jewish matron and a teacher would be required. The funds should be raised by annual subscriptions and donations, and be regulated by a board of managers, assisted by a committee of gentlemen. Whatever improvement or amendment shall be offered to this embryo institution will be gratefully received; and the consideration of it is respectfully submitted to all the congregations of Jews in the city for future adoption.

“During  the last year there were many invalids assisted by the Society. Some of these have been removed by death;  some, whose cases required particular treatment, were placed in public institutions, and visited by the committee; and some are still under the care of the <<460>>visiting committees, whose character and condition engage their deepest interest. Small gifts, accompanied by kindness and personal services, are often most gratefully acknowledged. Who but the lonely sufferer can appreciate the value of a benevolent visitor at the bedside of a destitute invalid, or tell the consolation she might bring to the last hours of human suffering?

“The Treasurer’s report will inform you of the amount of expenditure, which has been faithfully administered by the various committees, and reported to the Board at their monthly meetings. It will also there be found that the donation from the Hebrew Benevolent Ball has largely contributed to their means of affording relief; and in proportion to their sensibility for the suffering poor, is their heartfelt gratitude towards those who so charitably strengthen the hands of the Society in this labour of love.

“Where so many ‘women of Israel’ are assembled, it would seem ungrateful not to pay a small tribute to the memory of the benefactress of her sex and nation—the pious, the wise, the excellent, the beloved Grace Aguilar, to whose talents and piety we are indebted for the best religious books of modern times. ‘The Spirit of Judaism’ should be the text-book of every Jewish worshipper; mothers and daughters should daily pray that such a spirit may inspire their devotions and regulate their lives. Her ‘Jewish Faith’ should be the study of all who are interested in the vindication of our holy religion. It is calculated to confirm the wavering and to invigorate the timid; and it is a beautiful and lucid illustration of divine authorities. Who that have read her ‘Women of Israel,’ have not had their piety and veneration increased by the holy example of their great predecessors, and dwelt on the morals, the virtues, and the talents which were dedicated to the service of the God they served?

“Let us honour the memory of Grace Aguilar by endeavouring to profit by her labours. God bestowed her on his chosen people for a short space of time, and she has immortalized her name by devoting herself to his service.”

At an election held on the above day, the following ladies were elected managers for the current year: Mrs. Phila Pesoa, First Directress; Mrs. Riche Hays, Second Directress; Mrs. Anna Allen, Treasurer; Miss Rebecca Gratz, Secretary; and 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.

<<461>>Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, in account with Anna Allen, Tr.

Dr. Cr.
Nov. 4, 1847   Nov. 4, 1847  
  To cash paid sundry warrants, No. 308 to 329, inclusive, $328.00   By balance on hand at the annual meeting, Nov. 4th, 1846, $114.29
  To discount on uncurrent money, 1.66   By cash received from members and contributors since Nov. 4th, 1846, 196.00
  To balance on hand, as follows:     By cash received from donations and proceeds from Hebrew Ball, 145.75
In bank, $75.54     By cash, interest on loans and Saving Fund Society, 110.11
" saving fund, 160.95 236.49  
  $566.15   $566.15