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Twenty-Sixth Anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society.


The twenty-sixth anniversary of this Society was celebrated, on the 9th ultimo, by a public dinner, at the Apollo Saloon. To the members of this Society, as well as to all persons imbued with true charitable feelings, an event like this is always replete with the most interesting and pleasurable sensations. Twenty-six years have passed away since a few persons, sensitively alive to the evils incident to human nature, and, in a true prophetic spirit, looking to the time when the oppressed of our brethren would abjure the countries which hold them in chains, forswear allegiance to the governments which do not protect them, and seek for protection under the eagle’s wings, first laid the foundation of this excellent institution. Judging from the good that has been effected, within the sphere of our own knowledge, we are forced to exclaim שכרם הרבה מאד “Their reward is exceedingly great.” Many hearts would perhaps have ceased to beat, had it not been for the helping hand stretched out to relieve them in time of need. Many a mind would have lost its divine stamp, on account of worldly misery and want, had not this Society, like a tutelary angel, come to the rescue. But we forget, we are not writing a homily on charity, but a report of the anniversary. Well, to begin then.

At six o’clock, p.m., the company sat down to a very sumptuous dinner, prepared under the superintendence of M. Moritz, Esq., chairman of the dinner committee; and we cannot allow this opportunity to pass without acknowledging our gratitude to that gentleman for the efficient manner in which he acquitted himself, studying the interest of the Society, with the comfort and enjoyment of the guests. The chair was filled by our venerable President, M. M. Noah, Esq., supported on his right and left by the Rev. Hazanim J. J. Lyons, A. Leo, S. C. Noot, and S. Samelson. Vis-a-vis to the President, the chair was filled by David Samson, Esq., Vice-President of this Society. Grace before meals ברכת המוציא was said by Rev. A. Leo, and ברכת המזון was most beautifully chaunted by Rev. J. J. Lyons.. After the dinner, the President proposed the regular toasts, which were repeated by the Vice-President. After the fifth toast, which was “Charity,” the President stated the amount of income and expenditures of the last year, which reached nearly $3000; he then made a most eloquent address, in his usual happy style, dilating on the assistance this Society had afforded to the <<506>>many resident poor and immigrants during the last twelve months, appealing to the audience in the most glowing terms, to assist the Directors in carrying out their benevolent intentions. He stated, likewise, that the Board had scrupulously adhered to the letter of the constitution, and invested a certain sum of the income every year for the purpose of raising a permanent fund to erect a hospital.

The Rev. S. C. Noot next addressed the audience, on the subject of charity. In the course of his remarks he displayed a good deal of erudition in Talmudic lore, which we are afraid was hardly sufficiently appreciated by the audience.

The following was the seventh regular toast: “Our brethren who are now fighting our country’s battles in Mexico. May they always remember that they are the descendants of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees.” Jonas B. Phillips, Esq., was called upon to respond to the toast. It is impossible to do justice to the gentleman’s efforts in this brief and meagre report. All we can say is, that we never listened with more pleasure and edification to any speech coming from his mouth, than we did to the present. He proved, that whenever our brethren were called upon to fight our country’s battles, they invariably manifested the most indomitable courage, and the purest patriotism. Mr. Phillips mentioned the names of several of our brethren who have fought and distinguished themselves during the two wars with Great Britain. We are, indeed, sorry, that these names have escaped our memory, deserving, as they do, to be handed down to posterity. We would have liked to see them grace the pages of this periodical.

The ninth regular toast was, “Education,” to which Robert Lyon, Esq., responded in the happiest manner. His speech was entirely impromptu, and we liked it all the better for it. Mr. Lyon has, evidently, all the elements of a good speaker in him; the only fault we find with him is, that he should suffer them to lie dormant, and be so sparing of his favours.

After the regular toasts, the President proposed the health of Rev. J. J. Lyon, on which occasion he passed some well-deserved compliments on the reverend gentleman, for the zeal he lately manifested in the cause of charity, when the epidemic was raging in New Orleans, when, although no direct application had been made to him, nor to his congregation, he nevertheless went round and collected from a few members of his congregation, the sum of nearly $500, for the benefit of those that were made widows and orphans by the epidemic. The reverend gentleman responded in a most beautiful, happy, and modest speech, which called forth repeatedly the spontaneous applause of the audience.

<<507>>The rest of the evening was spent in convivial hilarity, evidently to the satisfaction of all the guests. The donations made on the occasion, amounted to nearly $2000. May this Society, with all others of a similar nature, continue to flourish, until the time shall come when none shall require its assistance. Amen.


New York, December 15th, 5608.

Note.—As the account of the above dinner which was inserted in our News Items last month, appeared too meagre for the directors of the charity, we have been requested to give publicity to the above official account. The statement sent us was anonymous, wherefore we only took out those parts of which we had already some general knowledge  from other sources, since, as a rule, we will not notice anything, to which the authors are unwilling to append their names. We have stated this so very often, and sure we are that all our readers must have noticed it, that we are surprised to be constantly taxed with reading anonymous papers, on almost every subject. It cannot surely be a difficult matter for writers of articles for the public press, to let the editors know, in confidence, whom they are called on to serve; for we take it that few would write, without having some interest in their ideas reaching the public eye. We take this occasion then, once for all, to repeat, that articles sent to us must have either the author’s name appended, or be sent in by a person known to us, who will vouch for the correctness of the facts stated, and the respectability of the writer; we put in the latter exception, to favour those who may not be willing to make a public essay, without first trying their power. And as regards the present report, we would also tell public bodies, that we cannot be responsible for the satisfactoriness of any account concerning them, which we may extract from our private correspondence; if they wish their views stated to suit themselves, they will bear in mind to send us immediately a MS. official account of what has taken place; we say MS.; for as a general rule, we cannot consent to republish articles from newspapers, to which they have been first furnished. Will our friends bear this in mind?