web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
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.



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

Glimpses-080213-Mendes

As a result of Dr, Mendes’s influence the Jews of Havana, Cuba were granted the right to purchase a burial ground. Given that he became the recognized spiritual leader of Sephardic Jewry in the Western hemisphere, he was able, through correspondence and personal influence, to further the cause of Judaism in Panama, Costa Rica and other countries in Central and South America.

“Outside of the Jewish community, Dr. Mendes was no less active. His reputation grew from year to year. As early as January 24, 1878, he was a speaker at the third anniversary meeting of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, together with Joseph H. Choate, Felix Adler, Chauncy M. Depew, General Horace Porter and the Rev. Henry C. Potter. On April 24, 1888, he opened the session of the United States Senate with (a) prayer.

“He was appointed a member of the Mayor’s Committee on the Hudson-Fulton celebration in 1909, and opened the ceremonies with prayer at the Metropolitan Opera House. He was a member of the Committee of Fourteen for the suppression of the abuses in connection with the Raines Law Hotels. He was a frequent and eloquent pleader for the cause of international arbitration and world peace, and he wrote innumerable articles and open letters on this theme of human brotherhood and international peace, stressing his claim that the spirit of the teaching of the Bible demands compulsory arbitration.

“In Masonry, he was chaplain of the Albion Lodge No. 26, F. and A. M., and he was the first Jew to attain the honor of being grand chaplain of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York (1895, 1897). As a member of the Clergy Club and as an active worker in every worthy public cause, he earned the high esteem of his colleagues in the Christian ministry and of leading citizens of all parties and all faiths.”

While the above is by no means exhaustive, the reader can certainly see that here was a man who was involved in an unbelievable number of activities that benefited his fellow man – Jew and non-Jew alike.

Early Zionist

“He was one of the first Zionists in the United States in the days when Zionism was still unpopular and misunderstood. Theodor Herzl asked his cooperation in organizing the movement in the United States, and he was elected vice-president of the Federation of American Zionists and a member of the Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization at the Second Zionist Congress in Vienna in 1898, and again in Basel in 1899. All his life he remained an eloquent, albeit at times the sole, exponent of what he called ‘Bible Zionism’ or ‘Spiritual Zionism.’ On his deathbed, with the threat of further partition menacing the Land of Israel, he whispered, ‘Palestine without Jerusalem is unthinkable.’ ”

(Next month’s column will discuss Reverend Pereira Mendes’s scholarly activities and his role in the founding of the initially Orthodox Jewish Theological Seminary and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.)

About the Author: Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at llevine@stevens.edu.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes: Man Of Chesed (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.
Netanyahu, Obama Focused on Different Priorities at White House Meeting
Latest Sections Stories
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

More Articles from Dr. Yitzchok Levine

In 1787 Jonas wrote a letter to Congress asking that the federal Constitution guarantee religious liberty in the state of Pennsylvania.

Jonas Phillips

Like many of his contemporaries, he went through some hard years, but eventually he earned the rewards of his perseverance and integrity.

These letters give us the privilege of knowing him in his old age when he is mellow, tempered in his judgments, and sagacious from long experience of dealing with people.

The British evacuated New York on November 25, 1783, and Congress demobilized the American army shortly thereafter.

“Simple, modest, altogether unassuming, Gershom spent his happiest hours with his ever-growing family who were never far from his thoughts.

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

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/reverend-henry-pereira-mendes-man-of-chesed-part-ii/2013/07/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: