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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
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Glimpses Into American Jewish History
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Jewish Agricultural Colonies in America (Part III)

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014

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“Attuned to the ideal of establishing a new Zion in free America, they named their new colony Palestine.

 

Jewish Agricultural Colonies In America (Part II)

Posted on: March 5th, 2014

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Last month’s column outlined some efforts during the first half of the nineteenth century to establish Jewish agricultural colonies in America. In only one case was a colony actually established.

 

Jewish Agricultural Colonies In America (Part I)

Posted on: February 5th, 2014

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There were very few Jewish farmers in Europe during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Indeed, in many parts of Europe Jews were forbidden to own land. Despite this there were some Jews who always felt they should return to the agrarian way of life their forefathers had pursued in ancient times, and that America was an ideal place to establish Jewish agricultural colonies.

 

Adolphus S. Solomons: A Founder Of The American Red Cross

Posted on: January 1st, 2014

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The President having signed the Treaty of the Geneva Conference and the Senate having, on the 16th instant, ratified the President's actions, the American Association of the Red Cross, organized under provisions of said treaty, purposes to send its agents at once among the sufferers by the recent floods, with a view to the ameliorating of their condition so far as can be done by human aid and the means at hand will permit. Contributions are urgently solicited.

Last photo of Abraham Lincoln
 

Adolphus S. Solomons: Friend Of President Lincoln

Posted on: December 4th, 2013

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Last month’s column sketched the myriad of social programs in which the Orthodox American communal worker and leader Adolphus S. Solomons (1826-1910) was involved. Adolphus married Rachel Seixas Phillips (1828-1881), a descendant of colonial patriot families and together they had eight daughters and a son.

Adolphus Simson Solomons
 

Adolphus S. Solomons: Forgotten 19th Century Communal Activist

Posted on: October 30th, 2013

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There are many observant Jews who contributed much to secular and Jewish life in America and yet have, unfortunately, been essentially forgotten. One such man is Adolphus Simson Solomons (1826-1910).

 

Dr. D. Peixotto And The 1832 New York Cholera Epidemic

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

Cholera was officially recognized to be of epidemic proportions in New York City on June 26, 1832. The epidemic was at its peak in July and 3,515 out of a population of about 250,000 died. (The equivalent death toll in today’s city of eight million would exceed 100,000.) Sadly, in 1832 there were no effective treatments available for those who contracted this disease.

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes
 

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes – Safeguarding Orthodox Judaism (Part III)

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013

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As this is our third column on the Reverend Dr. Henry Pereira Mendes, we’ll begin with a summary of his life.

Glimpses-080213-Mendes
 

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes: Man Of Chesed (Part II)

Posted on: July 31st, 2013

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In last month’s column we traced the early career of Reverend Dr. Henry (Chaim) Pereira Mendes and described his extraordinary service to Congregation Shearith Israel in New York where he served as hazan (chazzan) and minister from 1877 to 1923 and then as minister emeritus from 1924 until his passing in 1937.

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes
 

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes: Orthodox Stalwart (Part I)

Posted on: July 3rd, 2013

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Beginning around 1840 the Reform movement began asserting itself as a major force in American Judaism. Indeed, with the rising tide of Reform during the nineteenth century it looked as if Orthodox Judaism might disappear. Many synagogues that had been founded by observant Jews and had remained for years true to halacha found their memberships increasingly calling for the institution of reforms and the abandonment of commitment to authentic Judaism.

Manuel Josephson
 

Manuel Josephson, Orthodox American Patriot

Posted on: June 6th, 2013

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Last month we sketched the life of Manuel Josephson (1729-1796), who immigrated to New York in the 1740s. Manuel was one of the few learned Jews residing in America in the 18th century. His talents were recognized by Congregation Shearith Israel, and he served on the synagogue’s bet din for several years and as its parnas (president) in 1762. He earned his living as a merchant.

Manuel Josephson
 

Manuel Josephson: A Learned 18th-Century American Jew

Posted on: May 1st, 2013

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The overwhelming majority of Jews who came to America before the Revolutionary War did not have an extensive Jewish education. One exception was Manuel Josephson (1729-1796), who was born and educated in Germany. His extensive knowledge of Judaism qualified him to serve on the beis din of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York.

Sabato Morais
 

Sabato Morais – Forgotten Advocate For Orthodoxy (Part Two)

Posted on: April 4th, 2013

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Last month we sketched the life of Reverend Dr. Sabato Morais and discussed his spiritual leadership of Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia as well as his involvement in a wide range of communal activities. Here we outline some of his many other accomplishments and describe his huge funeral.

Sabato Morais
 

Sabato Morais: Forgotten Advocate For Orthodoxy (Part One)

Posted on: February 27th, 2013

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“Sabato Morais was born on April 13, 1823 to Samuel and Bonina Morais in the northern Italian city of Leghorn (Livorno), in the grand duchy of Tuscany. Morais was the third of nine children, seven daughters and the older of the two sons. The Morais family descended from Portuguese Marranos. Morais’ mother, Bonina Wolf, was of German-Ashkenazic descent.”

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Abraham Lincoln's use of the term'"four score and seven years ago' may have been borrowed from a rabbi's Fourth of July sermon
 

A Special Flag For Abraham Lincoln

Posted on: January 31st, 2013

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In February 1861, Abraham Kohn, one of the founders of Chicago’s Congregation Kehilath Anshe Maariv and at the time the city clerk in the administration of Mayor John Wentworth, presented Abraham Lincoln with a unique American flag.

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Building
 

Preserving Baltimore’s First Synagogue (Part II)

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013

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Last month we dealt with the building of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the first synagogue to be built in Maryland. This month we look at how the building became a church, then again an Orthodox Synagogue, and finally a historic site.

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Building
 

Preserving Baltimore’s First Synagogue (Part I)

Posted on: December 5th, 2012

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While it is not known precisely when Jews first settled in Baltimore, we do know that five Jewish men and their families settled there during the 1770s. However, it was not until the autumn of 1829 that Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, whose Hebrew name was Nidchei Yisroel (Dispersed of Israel), was founded. This was the only Jewish congregation in the state of Maryland at the time, and it was referred to by many as the “Stadt Shul.”

 

The Hays Family Of Westchester County

Posted on: November 1st, 2012

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Early American Jewish history is unfortunately replete with examples of observant families who came to America and, within a relatively short period of time, not only abandoned much of their commitment to religious observance but even had the sad experience of having some of their children intermarrying and assimilating. One family that did not follow this trend was the Hays family.

 

Moses Raphael Levy – Wealthy Colonial Jewish Merchant

Posted on: October 4th, 2012

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For centuries Jews have believed America to be a land of freedom and financial opportunity. One such Jew was Moses Raphael Levy, who achieved tremendous financial success as an American colonial merchant.

Glimpses-090712
 

Reverend Samuel Myer Isaacs – Champion of Orthodoxy (Part II)

Posted on: September 5th, 2012

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Last month’s column sketched the life of Reverend Myer Isaacs, concentrating primarily on his efforts to preserve and foster Orthodoxy in New York City, where he served as the spiritual leader of Congregation Shaaray Tefila from its founding in 1845 to his passing in 1879. Reverend Isaacs’s sphere of influence was not limited to New York. His efforts encompassed a broad range of activities throughout America designed to strengthen Orthodoxy in its battle against the Reform movement.

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