|Vol. VII, No. 3
Sivan 5609, June 1849
The Proposed Convention.—Since our last the following congregations have elected delegates: the Portuguese congregation of New Orleans, have chosen their president, G. Kursheedt, Esq.; the Shaaray Tefilla of New York, their minister, the Rev. Samuel M. Isaacs, and the Beth Shalome, of Richmond, their former fellow member, Isaac Leeser. From the complexion of the delegations thus far chosen, the public can judge whether they are deserving of confidence, and whether their deliberations would likely lead to an overthrow of Judaism. Of course, as twenty congregations have not yet united, to form the union, the convention cannot meet on the 11th of June, under the circular which was issued in Adar; but we hope and trust that the question will not to be allowed to drop here. The experiment is a new one, for this country; and yet, notwithstanding the difficulties of the case, notwithstanding that to many it was a new proposition, eight congregations have given their assent, to wit, one in New York; one in Philadelphia; one in Albany; one in Richmond; one Cincinnati; two in New Orleans; and one in Mobile, and we are assured that the Israelites of Augusta, Georgia, are also ready to join. There can be no doubt, but that if the question is properly canvassed, the convention can meet at a future day, since we understand, that the only reason why some congregations stand aloof, is the fear of the expenses it may entail on them. Such a consideration, if this is all, can soon be overcome; and, therefore, we say, that we have well-founded hopes, that, before many years, a sufficient number of communities to make a union respectable, will unite to promote the good cause of Judaism, by a united and vigorous effort; and let the timid and selfish then stand aloof if they think proper to do so; we shall in that case be able to do without them. But we will not yet relinquish the pleasing anticipation that all will unite; for why should there be timidity, where nothing need be feared? why selfishness, where the object is to promote the welfare of our people? We, therefore, urge the friends of the movement, not to falter because of the want of success just now; there are better days coming, and we trust to live to see them. En avance!
Baltimore.—We regret to inform the public that the Rev. A. Rice has resigned his office as preacher to the old congregation, to take effect in October next. We hope that he may yet be induced to resume his ministerial functions before the arrival of that time. We cannot afford to lose they services of one so devoted to the good of Israel’s household.
New Orleans.—At the anniversary meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent Association of N. O. the following gentlemen were duly elected officers for the current year:—President, G. Kursheedt; Vice-President, J. C. Labatt; Treasurer, N. Worms; Secretary, C. Phillips; Directors, J. Turner, M. Mayer, C. Emanuel, G. Brown, and A. Breiger. The society’s receipts last year were $1587; the balance from previous year was $730; total funds, $2317. Its expenditures for charity, $807.10; monthly pension for one female orphan child, $94; one aged widow, $120; one aged man, $120; different hospitals, $154; physician, yearly fee, $100; for another do., $5; medicines, $11.60; general expenses, $96.80; total, $1508.50, The society numbers 103 members, 31 of whom were elected during the past year. All this shows the great efficiency of the institution, and the services it renders to the cause of humanity and charity.
Charleston.—The congregation Shearith Israel gave a concert on behalf of their funds on the evening of the 26th of April, under the direction of Messrs. A. Tobias, N. Nathans, S. Hart, Sen., J. Cohen, M. A. Hart, and S. N. Hart, and a junior committee, composed of Jews and Christians; and we are pleased to learn that the result was favorable to the intentions of the projectors.
Correction.—We stated in our leading article for May that there were but two congregations in the country who had elected their ministers for life. We, in stating so, did inadvertently injustice to the BethElohim congregation of Charleston, who actually had elected their minister for life, before the expiration of the first term of two years, to which he was originally appointed. We thought that the Rev. Mr. Poznanski had resigned, retaining his office merely till the arrival of his successor; wherefore we did not include him in the list of the actual ministers, though we were .aware of the nature and terms of his election.
Europe.—After a long and tedious debating in the Austrian Diet, relative to the emancipation of the Jews, which was not carried, the Emperor granted them equal rights in the constitution which he gave to the people. So a despot concedes privileges, which those contending for freedom refused to yield; and this is only another anomaly in the <<180>>strange events which have lately astonished the world. We may as well state here that the Dr. Jellineck who suffered last November at Vienna for his political writings, was not Dr. Adolph, but Dr. Hermann Jellineck, a very different character indeed; the former, a pious theologian, the latter, a carping philosopher, a disciple of the Spinozian school. His last moments were not such as an Israelite could approve of, wherefore we did not publish the details which reached us in the Orient. Nevertheless, his execution was a foul murder, and will be a blot on the character of those who were instrumental in it. Dr. J. was scarcely more than twenty years old when he fell a victim to political bigotry, equally with Blum and Beecher, who all died for the part they had taken as writers and speakers in the revolution in Austria, last year. In Hamburg, also, among other places, they have removed, or are about doing so, the Jewish disabilities and we see it stated, that already Christians lay claim to loans from the fund left by the late Solomon Heyne, which was to be for Jews only, until the time that the granting of equal rights to them should permit the Christians to participate in the bounty of a Jew. The son of Mr. H. is said to have added $33,000 to the amount left by his father, to add additional weight to the charitable bequest. In England the justice to the Jews had not been granted, by the last accounts.—Upon the whole, however, the news from Europe in regard to us, is very meagre.
England.—By the last accounts Sir M. Montefiore had been detained from his contemplated visit to Jerusalem by the illness of his wife. But it was hoped that she would soon be sufficiently restored to leave her native land for the East.—Rabbi Hirsch Edelman has, through the instrumentality of the Rev. Dr. Raphall, and his influence with the Jews of Birmingham and Manchester, succeeded in raising a sum, though yielding a small pittance, to enable him to ransack the hidden treasures of the Oxford libraries, with regard to Jewish literature. The celebrated Leopold Dukes, the learned Hungarian Jew, has also, through the laudable exertions of Mr. Walter Josephs and friends, of London, been placed in a condition to spend three months in the same seat of learning, and to make the contents of the many valuable books and MS. available to the Jewish community. We obtain these brief particulars from the Jewish Chronicle of 27th of April. We could say a great deal in comment about the great liberality displayed by the wealthy English Jews to Jewish literature and writers, but we forbear; our space besides is too limited this month.