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Female Hebrew Benevolent Society

The thirty-first anniversary meeting of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society of Philadelphia was held on the 6th of November, 1850, at the Synagogue in Cherry Street. The Rev. Dr. M. J. Raphall delivered an eloquent and appropriate discourse; and the following reports were read, after which a Board of Managers were elected, and the meeting adjourned.


The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society has this day reached its thirty-first anniversary, and the managers greet with grateful hearts their untiring patrons. May liberal offerings enable them to continue the work of charity which has so long poured the oil of gladness into the widow's cup. Could all our contributors witness the amount of good they have assisted to produce, they might realize how it is that "he who giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord;" they would see the desponding spirit lifted into grateful praise, and the feeble hand made vigorous by the hope that labour would bring its reward.

To the usual business of visiting committees—that of aiding, counselling, and sympathizing with the regular recipients of your bounty— there were added, in the last session, other peculiar and urgent occasions of attention, chiefly the calamitous fire in July, by which many of our brethren were made houseless, and some cast into even more acute suffering by , the loss of children and relatives who fell victims to the flames. Your committee hastened to the scene of ruin, and were foremost among those who sought for whom they might relieve or comfort, giving shelter, and food, and raiment, even before means were called for from your funds.

An instance of private suffering was also made known to them, and we trust permanently relieved, by placing two worthy women (sisters), who had seen better day, s in a position which will enable them to support themselves. The languor of hopeless poverty, which seemed to have sapped the powers of bodily and mental energy, has disappeared under the encouragement and assistance of timely and judicious kindness.
There is still one crying want in the land, which, we trust, will reach the ears and hearts of those who are capable of supplying it—a home for destitute Hebrew children. One little motherless child is supported <<466>>by this Society, who, when she has passed the age of infancy, will require instruction and a home. But we would not tax your feelings by anticipating evils, but rather hope provision will be made for every class of sufferers in Israel. We are told that “the poor will never cease out of the land;" we know that God has bountifully bestowed riches on many of his people, and entrusted their poor brethren to their mercy. "Blessed is he who considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble."

This is the anniversary of the first charitable association among the daughters of our people in this city. Many have since been established of equal or more extensive usefulness, to prove they are diligent workers in the good cause.

The treasurer’s report will exhibit no balance this year. Had the funds been more ample, the same result would have been presented. To give all was unanimously resolved, when, alas! all was too little for the occasion.

The Board return thanks here, in the name of the Society, to the managers of the Benevolent Hebrew Ball, for their acceptable donation.
They also acknowledge with corresponding feeling, the co-operation of the Fuel and Sewing Societies, in all cases where they could trace their benefactions in the habitations of thepoor.

Treasurer's Report, 1850

Anna Allen in account with the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society


Nov. 7 To balance in hand of Treasurer at this date $51.91
Feb. 11 To amount received from Managers of Hebrew Ball 88.97
June 30   Cash, for sale of $200 6. per cent loan at $115½, cost $200 231.00
    Cash for sale of $600 Pennsylvania 5 per cent loan, cost $408 574.50
    Six months' interest on $600 Pennsylvania 5 per cent loan to February, 1850. 14.25
July 10   Interest on 12 shares Union Canal Stock, 50 cents each 6.00
Aug. 6   One year's interest on $500 Pennsylvania 6 per cent loan, less state tax 28.50
    One year's interest on $300 Spring Garden loan to 1st July 17.10
    six months interest on $200 County loan to June 1 4.70
Nov. 6   Cash for sundry donations to date 14.00
    Cash from contributors and subscribers to date 212.00


June 10   By Cash paid for certificate No. 16 of 6 per cent loan of Guardians of the Poor of County of Philadelphia at par, $800.00
Nov. 6   Cash paid collector, and incidental expenses 3.05
    Cash paid warrants of President, No. 8 to 32 inclusive 414.49
    Cash paid warrants Nos. 34 and 35 24.28
  Balance in hand 1.11