Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library


News Items.


Philadelphia.—We learn that the Second Annual Hebrew School Fund Ball, is to take place on the 29th of February, of course, too late for us to give particulars in this number. We hope to present a good account of the doings and receipts in our next.

Chicago, Illinois.—In one of our late numbers, we briefly included Chicago among the newly-formed congregations. We have now the pleasure of giving the following particulars. The congregation bears the name of קהלת אנשי מערב “the Congregation of the Men of the West;” and they elected, at a general meeting, on the fifth of November, the Rev. J. Kunreuther, as Hazan and Shochet. He has already duly entered on the discharge of his duties. The officers of the congregation are Philip Newburg, President; M. L. Leopold, Vice President and Treasurer; Abraham Kohn, Levi Rosenfeld, and J. Benedict, Trustees. They began the work with not more than fifteen paying <<615>>members; but have in addition a burial-ground society, consisting of thirty contributing members, of which Isaac Wormser is President. As soon as their means will permit, they contemplate procuring a place of worship. Our friends are indeed yet few in number; but, with the facilities for commerce which Chicago affords, and the additional means for reaching the great lakes, now in progress, to connect with that growing city, will insure a constant influx of the children “of the weary foot,” who are driven by the illiberality of their native governments to seek a home in the distant West. The first thing we recommend to the new congregation is union in the strict sense of the word; and with this fully upheld in the fear of God, they will increase both in public and private prosperity. We hope to hear much good of them and of their progress; and, for the present, bid them “God speed” in the work they have commenced, to unite for the glorious worship of the God of Israel.

Mobile.—At the last annual meeting, the late incumbents, Messrs. Israel J. Jones, and David Salomon were unanimously re-elected President and Vice President, and Messrs. Tims, Cohen, Elkus, H. Salomon, and Goldsmith, Trustees; Mr. Forcheimer, Treasurer, and Joseph Morrison, Secretary. The position of the congregation is reported as satisfactory as could have been expected; there are of course many obstacles to retard their advancement and to interfere with entire success; but they have no reason to feel dissatisfied with the result of their undertaking. “It is now four years,” says our correspondent, “since the establishment of our religious community, and we find ourselves daily increasing in strength, with prospects that give flattering assurance of something still better. For one, I feel that we owe much to the active and zealous exertions of our worthy President, whose unremitting attention to the duties of his position, has entitled him to the warmest praise of all who ardently love the cause of Judaism. Mr. Da Silva yet officiates as our Reader. We have had under consideration the erection of a building at an early day, although the place at present used by us (formerly an Episcopalian, and at a later date a Universalist church) is quite ample for our present wants, and in every way adapted to our exigencies. It is merely leased property, however; and there is an anxiety manifested by some to own our Synagogue in fee simple.” Our readers will thus see that another of our new congregations manifests proper signs of progress, and we hope to see the same exhibited in every other place where Israelites are assembled.

Porto Cabello, Venezuela.—We are truly gratified to name an<<616>>other place in the once benighted country under the Spanish rule, where Israelites have met to celebrate one of the holiest rites of their religion in the face of the day, and under the protection of the government of the country. No longer need the Jew in Venezuela enter the land under disguise, and with a fictitious or altered name; but he can come as he is, a follower of Abraham’s God, and act unmolestedly in obedience to the dictates of his religion. The Inquisition is abolished, priest power is humbled, and freedom of mind and body has become incorporated with the laws of the land. For which grace the name of the Lord be praised. We have received a memorandum from our correspondent at Curaçoa, of which the following is a copy. “Names of the persons present at the circumcision of Elias Henriquez’s son, ‘Benjamin Franklin,’ on Sunday, 26th December, 1847: Elias Henriquez, (father); M. F. Ricardo, (Mohel); Moses Lindo, (god-father); Michael Pardo, (of Laguayra), Jacob Julien, Abraham Myerston, Abraham Lobo; Nelson Cohen Henriquez, Polli, (of Valencia,) and Daniel Lobo; there were two or three others of our persuasion invited, but did not attend.” So far the memorandum; it will be seen from it, that a full Minyan attended the ceremony, and it was, probably, the first time that a sufficient number for public worship thus met in Porto Cabello; and as Jews seldom go back, but like revolutions, according to Napoleon, only move onward: we hope to be able to record, before long, a permanent establishment of our worship in that city, and that the blessing of God may there be with our brothers, both in the city and in the field, and in their conning in, and in their going out.

Koenigsberg, Prussia.—We learn from a London Morning Chronicle of a late date, that at a session of the faculty of the University of Königsberg, it was resolved by a vote of, we think, 22 to 9, to admit Jews as well as Catholics to the right of professorship; thus enabling us to make use of the late law of the King of Prussia, to be appointed professors in a university where the statutes of the institution do not prohibit it. Königsberg has in several instances displayed its liberality towards Jews, and this new evidence is a truly gratifying mark of the gradual progress of liberal principles. Let the Jews only remain firm and not abandon their religion on account of the paltry love for office, and they will obtain that by constancy; in refusing the alluring bait, which never would be conceded to them notwithstanding all cringing, and adopting Christianity merely to escape the disabilities attaching to a profession of our faith.