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Yishai on AlJazeera & Cleaning Up Conversion Post-Freundel
 
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin

October 24, 2014 - 3:42 PM
 
US Bans Embassy Personnel from Part of Jerusalem Light Rail Route

October 24, 2014 - 1:00 PM
 
Two Israeli Women Killed in Nepal Bus Crash

October 24, 2014 - 12:05 PM
 
Women of the Wall Smuggle Tiny Torah Scroll to Western Wall

October 24, 2014 - 11:10 AM
 
New York Doctor Infected with Ebola [video]

October 24, 2014 - 9:46 AM
 
Tearful Message from Baby Terror Victim’s Grandfather

October 24, 2014 - 9:35 AM
 
Romney and Joe Lieberman to Address Israel-Americans in Washington

October 24, 2014 - 8:59 AM
 
Arab Rioters Attack Jewish-owned Buildings in Old City [video]

October 24, 2014 - 6:17 AM
 
J Street U Blames Jews for Terrorist’s Murderous Rampage

October 24, 2014 - 1:25 AM
 
Boko Haram Kidnaps Another 25 Nigerian Girls

October 24, 2014 - 1:03 AM
 
New York City Hospital Testing Patient for Ebola Virus

October 23, 2014 - 11:46 PM
 
Arabs Continue Terror with Rock Attacks in Jerusalem

October 23, 2014 - 8:05 PM
 
Netanyahu Convenes Top Brass in Jerusalem Over Terror Attack

October 23, 2014 - 8:00 PM
 
News for Israel: Boeing Sells Data, Drawings to Iran

October 23, 2014 - 6:22 PM
 
US-led Coalition Destroys Syrian Oil Wells

October 23, 2014 - 5:56 PM
 
Suspected Ebola Patient Quarantined in Lebanon

October 23, 2014 - 5:19 PM
 
Convicted Terrorists Still Have Drivers’ Licenses, But . . .

October 23, 2014 - 4:42 PM
 
Terror: US Pledges Support for Canada but Tells Israel to Stay Calm

October 23, 2014 - 2:50 PM
 
The Shabbos Project: Jews Worldwide Keeping This Shabbos Together

October 23, 2014 - 2:45 PM
 
Israel Railways Going ‘Electric’

October 23, 2014 - 1:36 PM
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Glimpses Into American Jewish History
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Posted on: June 1st, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The previous two columns discussed kashrus and bris milah observance in America during the 19th century. The trend was that until about 1860 most Jews were careful to observe these mitzvos. However, in the latter part of the century many Jews abandoned keeping kosher both at home and in public. Bris milah, though, was generally observed throughout the entire century.

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Posted on: May 4th, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

Last month's column dealt with the observance of kashrus by Jews in America during the 19th century. Up until about 1870 German Jewish immigrants went to considerable effort to make sure they could eat kosher meat and poultry. Almost every Jewish community of more than 15 families employed a professional shochet. Smaller communities were served by volunteer shochtim. However, with the spread of the Reform movement in the latter half of the century, Jews began to abandon kashrus.

 

Posted on: March 30th, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

During the latter part of 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, many European Jews viewed America as a treife medina (a non-kosher land) from the perspective of traditional Jewish religious observance. It was felt that it was virtually impossible to remain observant in America, and many Jews proved this was indeed the case, as they or their children abandoned much of their religious practices once they arrived in this country.

 

Posted on: March 2nd, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

In 1629 George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, applied to King Charles I for a charter to found what was to become the Province of Maryland. Tobacco had proven to be a profitable enterprise in Virginia, and Calvert was hopeful the same would prove true in this new venture. In addition, Calvert, a Catholic, hoped to found a religious haven for his co-religionists who were often persecuted in predominantly Protestant England.

 

Posted on: February 2nd, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The first ordained rabbi to settle in America, Abraham Rice did not arrive here until 1840. Before then, few men with anything more than a rudimentary Torah knowledge resided in America. One exception was Mordecai Moses Mordecai.

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Posted on: January 5th, 2011

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The story of Hebrew culture in Massachusetts begins with the very foundation of the Plymouth colony, for the first Hebraists to settle in New England came over in the Mayflower. Governor Bradford, one of the Mayflower Pilgrims, was a man whose ability, character, and comparative culture raised him above his fellow settlers. His knowledge of languages is praised by Cotton Mather in the Magnalia:" he was conversant with Dutch, French, Latin, and Greek, but the Hebrew [tongue] he most of all studied, because he said he would see with his own eyes the ancient oracles of God in their native beauty."

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Posted on: December 1st, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The name de Sola appears prominently in the annals of Spanish Jewish history. The de Solas may have settled in Andalusia (in southern Spain) as early as the sixth century.

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Posted on: November 3rd, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

Lydia Maria (nee Francis) Child (February 11, 1802-Oct. 20, 1880) was educated at home, at a local "dame school" and at a nearby women's seminary. After her mother died when she was twelve, she went to live with an older sister in Maine for some years. She is little known today, but in her time she was a famous anti-slavery activist. She was also a novelist, editor, journalist and scholar. She is best remembered for her poem "Over the River and Through the Woods," which recalls her Thanksgiving visits as a child to her grandfather's home.

 

Posted on: September 28th, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

There were Jews living during the nineteenth century who made substantial contributions to Yiddishkeit but who, unfortunately, are almost completely forgotten today. Their lives are at most a footnote in standard books dealing with American Jewish history. One such man was Dr. Simeon Abrahams, a pillar of the New York Jewish community during his relatively short life.

 

Posted on: September 1st, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

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.

 

Posted on: August 4th, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

Jacob da Silva Solis was born into London's Sephardic community on August 4, 1780. He referred to himself as Jacob S. Silva. Arriving in America on October 25, 1803, Jacob almost immediately affiliated with New York's Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue (Shearith Israel). On April 24, 1811, he married Charity Hays, daughter of a Westchester County farmer. They had seven children, the eldest born in 1813 and the youngest in 1827.

 

Posted on: June 30th, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

In 1749 the Jews of Charleston, South Carolina established their first synagogue, Kahal Kodesh Beis Elokim (KKBE). Last month we examined the events that led some members of KKBE to establish The Reformed Society of Israelites.

 

Posted on: June 2nd, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

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.)

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Posted on: May 5th, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The English first settled at Albemarle Point in what is now South Carolina in 1670. In 1680 this settlement was moved to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, and became Charles Town (named in honor King Charles II). The new location was more healthful than the original settlement, and, since it was behind the islands of a land-locked harbor, provided safety from attack. The name was changed to Charleston at the end of the War of Independence.

 

Posted on: March 29th, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

There is a stereotype that many may have regarding women of the past - namely, that their place was in the home. But this was not necessarily the case for Jewish women during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Indeed, there were some women during this period who were engaged in a variety of commercial endeavors. Things did begin to change at about the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the attitude that a woman's place is in the home became prevalent.

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Posted on: March 3rd, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

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.

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Posted on: February 3rd, 2010

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The Rev. Ezra Stiles was born on November 29, 1727 in Connecticut and graduated from Yale University in 1746. He then studied theology at Yale and was ordained in 1749. After working as a tutor at Yale for a year, he began some mission work among the Indians. In 1752 he was forced to give this up due to ill health. He turned to the study of law and in 1753 took the attorney's oath. He practiced law in New Haven until 1755, whereupon he returned to the ministry, accepting the position of pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Newport, Rhode Island, serving there from 1755 until 1777.

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Posted on: December 30th, 2009

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

In 1636 Roger Williams, after having been banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for what were considered radical religious views, settled at the tip of Narragansett Bay. He was joined by twelve other settlers at what he named Providence Plantation, due to his belief that God had sustained him and his followers.

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Posted on: December 2nd, 2009

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

Last month we discussed how Rabbi Abraham Joseph Rice came to America in 1840 and became the rav of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (Congregation Nidchei Yisroel). Rav Rice was the first ordained Orthodox rabbi to settle in North America.

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Posted on: November 4th, 2009

SectionsMagazineGlimpses Into American Jewish History

The first Jews arrived in North America in 1654. What is not so well known is that the first qualified rabbi to settle here, Rabbi Abraham Rice, did not arrive until 1840. One might refer to the first 186 years of American Jewish history as the "Reverend and Cantorial Age," since such men, as well as some laymen who possessed better than average Jewish educations, served as the leaders of the various Jewish communities during that period.

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