The January installment of Glimpses Into American Jewish History discussed the early Jewish settlement of Newport, Rhode Island.Even as the Newport Jewish community developed, its numbers were always small, especially compared to Jewish communities today. Indeed, despite growth during the middle part of the 18th century, there were probably never more than 100 Jews residing in Newport.
“The American tradition of the military chaplaincy is as old as the United States itself. Clergymen served with the armies of the individual colonies almost from the first battle of the Revolution, and provisions for the payment of chaplains were enacted by the Continental Congress as early as 1775.
Virtually everything we know about Yeshiva Or HaChaim comes from the pamphlet “Torah Or,” published anonymously in 1895 in Hebrew.
Like many of his contemporaries, he went through some hard years, but eventually he earned the rewards of his perseverance and integrity.
From 1654, when the first Jews arrived in North America, until 1840, when the first Orthodox ordained rabbi, Rav Abraham Rice, settled in Baltimore, American Jewry was led by chazzanim and baalei batim (private individuals) who had better than average Torah educations. These men did their best to fill the void in rabbinical leadership that characterized American Jewish life until the last few decades of the nineteenth century.
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.
The sister islands of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis lie about 225 miles southeast of Puerto Rico in the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Nevis, the smaller of the two islands, is elliptically shaped and has a land area of approximately five by seven miles. When Christopher Columbus spotted this eight-mile-long island on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, he mistook its cloud-shrouded mountains for icy peaks and named it Nuestra Se?ora de las Nieves (Our Lady of the Snows).
The Jews of New York City were rather late in establishing Jewish institutions such as poorhouses, homes for orphans and the aged, and hospitals. Several attempts were made in the years prior to 1850, but they failed due to the small size of the New Jewish community, which in 1836 numbered only about 2,000 and increased to about 7,000 in 1840.
In 1527 the Spanish took possession of Curacao.
To celebrate this victory Hazzan Pinto wrote a special prayer that was read in Shearith Israel in October 1760.
Last month's column sketched the life of Judah Touro (1775-1854), who became immensely wealthy after his move to New Orleans in 1802, using his fortune to support many causes and individuals.
“Attuned to the ideal of establishing a new Zion in free America, they named their new colony Palestine.
Today Brooklyn is fortunate to have a large number of yeshivas and Bais Yaakovs that span the spectrum from Modern Orthodox to haredi and chassidic.
The Gomez family was one the foremost Jewish families in New York during colonial times.
When the Turkish government issued a prohibition against selling property to Jews in Palestine, Hirschensohn’s financial situation deteriorated, and he left the country to secure a stable livelihood.
The first part of the life of Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer was sketched in last month's Glimpses column. In his youth Rabbi Glazer received a first class Torah education. At the age of 18 he was ordained by Rabbi Alexander Moshe Lapidus, a lifetime friend of Rav Yisroel Salanter. In 1897 Rabbi Glazer immigrated to America where he devoted himself to mastering the English language and acquiring secular knowledge.
Last month we traced the establishment and development of the Jewish Community in Charleston, South Carolina, and its first synagogue, Kahal Kodesh (Holy Congregation) Beth Elokim (KKBE). From its inception in 1749 the synagogue was Orthodox and followed the Sephardic ritual. (This was the case with all of the synagogues founded during colonial times.)
“Simple, modest, altogether unassuming, Gershom spent his happiest hours with his ever-growing family who were never far from his thoughts.
Naphtali Phillips, the ninth child of Rebecca Machado and Jonas Phillips, was born in New York on October 19, 1773. His great-grandfather was Dr. Samuel Nunes Ribeiro, an escapee from the Portuguese Inquisition1 who became one of the first Jewish settlers of Savannah, GA.2 His maternal grandparents were Zipporah Nunes and David Mendes Machado.3 David Machado also escaped from the Inquisition in Portugal and served for a number of years as the chazzan and Torah teacher of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York.
Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from “Necrology: Henry S. Hendricks (1892-1959)” by David de Sola Pool, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society...
The year 2004 marked the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America.
The discovery of the Western Hemisphere opened new opportunities for Jews.
The bolder women joined in the fight and for some time there was a lively hair pulling in the street.
Anyone familiar with Jewish history knows of the blood libels that have been used against Jews for centuries.
"[Judah] Touro's name will always be numbered among the foremost in the annals of American philanthropy. His charities knew neither race nor creed, and his public spirit was no less noteworthy."[i]