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Dr. Lilienthal’s School.


Mr. Editor:—You may remember, that I addressed a communication a few years ago to your journal, earnestly recommending the establishment of a Jewish College at some central position, and even offering to embark in the project myself, so convinced was I of the pressing necessity of such an institution, by the by increase of our people in every part of the United States. We are, however, a business people; every person is occupied in either procuring a living for his family, or increasing his capital; and although I have never found an unwillingness on the part of any Jew to give his children a good education, if he has the means of paying the expense, still they had not the time nor the inclination to embark in the project of establishing a Hebrew college. Dr. Lilienthal has ventured upon the experiment alone, and after surmounting many difficulties for the last four years, I have every reason to believe that he has at length succeeded in establishing a collegiate institution, which must necessarily increase, and which embodies all the principles recognised in the best collegiate establishments in the <<425>>country.

He has, in the first place, a large and handsome house, fronting Tompkins Square in this city, in a highly respectable neighbourhood, and a very healthy, airy, and open position:—an important point in affording the boys a safe and ample playground for gymnastic and other exercises. His teachers are all well-educated men, and the boys enjoy the great advantages of learning the French and German languages, which are invaluable in whatever pursuit a young man may select for himself when his education is finished. His English teacher is a good grammarian, and is every way qualified to impart to the student a substantial English education, to which is added music and drawing—Dr. Lilienthal instructing in the Hebrew and the principles and doctrines of our religion,—the entire expense of tuition and boarding and lodging, with the exception of music and drawing, being but $200 per annum.

There are a number of our people who are living in the Far West, and who would gladly pay for the education of their boys, if they were aware that a school, combining so many advantages as that of Dr. Lilienthal, was established in this great commercial city. I have sent a son of mine, a little over ten years old, to this school:— he is an apt but a wild boy, not over-attached to study, and fond of playing in the street. I have been pleased and gratified with his improvement in less than a quarter. He speaks many German and French sentences, and is required to speak in those languages to his teachers; he has improved in his writing, reads Hebrew fluently, and learns rapidly to translate it; he is perfectly satisfied with his position, and is every way contented. The boys have ample time to play, have plenty of substantial food, and every appearance of enjoying entire health. There is a physician attached to the school, and the moral and personal deportment of the scholars is carefully attended to.

This institution, Mr. Editor, approaches nearly to what you and I have been long endeavouring to see established, and from the number of scholars who are about to join the school, in addition to its present number, the Doctor will be under the necessity shortly of enlarging his establishment. Parents should be advised to send their boys as early as at seven years, in order that, without forcing various studies at so tender an age upon a boy, a proper system may be commenced with him; and, as parents desire to place their sons in some active employment at thirteen or fourteen years of age, it is impossible to bestow upon them a complete education, if they are sent at eleven or twelve, and remain but two years. There are some scholars of seven, who are quite apt and promising.  I propose to send another boy about seven, <<426>>who expresses a great desire to go.

The companionship, amusement, and instruction, are always attractive, and in such a school, the minds of parents are easy and comfortable in relation to the destiny of their children. The less they go home the better:—the indulgence of home destroys the discipline of school.

I recommend this school of Dr. Lilienthal’s with entire confidence to my co-religionaires on this continent and in the West Indies, as one of the best under all circumstances that we can expect to have, and believe that every confidence may be reposed in the fidelity and character of the Doctor, for the improvement and comfort of the children entrusted to his care.