|Vol. VII, No. 2
Iyar 5609, May 1849
Consecration at Louisville.
My Dear Sir,—
I had the pleasure of being present on Friday last, 30th ult., at the consecration of the new Synagogue erected by the congregation “Adas Israel,” of Louisville, Ky. Knowing that you have no regular correspondent there, I send you a brief outline of their doings. The occasion was one eliciting feelings of pride in the bosom of every Israelite present; the building, which is situated on Fourth Street between Jefferson and Walnut Streets, is a chaste and neat edifice, an ornament to the city, rather small but amply large enough for the present congregation, and susceptible of an additional number of seats being put in whenever required. This being the first Synagogue erected in Kentucky, numberless applications were made for admission tickets by our Christian brethren; but as there were issued as many as the building could contain, (about one thousand,) the applicants were necessarily refused, although five dollars or more was repeatedly offered. The day being propitious, before the time for commencing the ceremonies the building was filled to its utmost capacity. The exercises for the present were such as are used on similar occasions, and would be uninteresting to repeat; the chief object of attraction, however, being in the vernacular, was the very able discourse of Rev. J. K. Gutheim, who had accepted an invitation for that purpose, and performed the service with Rev. Messrs. Oberdorfer and Myers. The choir was ably led by Mr. Weeler; the proceedings altogether were well conducted under the supervision of the officers of the Synagogue.
They, however, are much in need of a pastor who would lead them in the paths of rectitude, religion, virtue, and morality; one competent to teach the rising generation their manifold duties, and to remind his flock of theirs. I find here another argument in favour of the plan you suggest of educating youth for our ministry: here is a congregation anxious to procure a pastor, and in all Israel is not one suited to their wants.
I was forcibly struck with the absolute necessity of some movement being made to consummate such a desideratum, by a question I heard propounded by the mayor of the city, who was present at the consecration. He asked the name of the resident minister, wishing to be introduced to him; on being told that there was none, with evident surprise he replied, “What, a church without a pastor!” I felt the justness of his remarks.
Cincinnati, 2d April, 5609.