web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Unsung Hero: Reverend Arnold Fischel


Reverend Arnold Fischel

Reverend Arnold Fischel

“Fischel immediately accepted the invitation – he regarded it as a privilege of inestimable worth to be selected to render such a service in behalf of American Jewry. It was understood that his expenses were to be paid by the Board, but he would receive no salary. To assist him in his task the Board provided him with personal credentials and with letters of introduction to important political figures in Washington.” Fischel met with President Lincoln, who received him cordially and acknowledged the unfairness of the present law that excluded anyone who was not a Christian from serving as a chaplain. He also lobbied congressmen regarding this issue. The net result was that Congress did amend the law on August 3.

“The second task which had been entrusted to Fischel by the Board of Delegates was the fulfillment of the duties of a civilian chaplain in the Potomac area. He undertook this religious phase of his mission with as much enthusiasm and efficiency as he did the political phase, and rendered a service which could not have been more admirable even if he had been in uniform.”

“Fischel’s mission ended abruptly in April. The Board of Delegates had promised Fischel twenty dollars per week, a sum which it was able to allocate only through borrowing from another fund. This was to cover Fischel’s expenses. There had been no talk of remuneration. Fischel soon discovered that he was spending twenty dollars above his allowance, but he did not break the agreement. The Board, however, was in such financial trouble that despite repeated appeals, only four congregations were recorded as having contributed in April. Not even half of the twenty-two member congregations of the Board appropriated funds for Fischel’s two-fold mission. Fischel departed because of the indifference and outright antagonism to the appeal for funds and his mission in general.”

Efforts were made in October 1862 to have the government officially appoint Fischel as a Jewish chaplain to the hospitals in and around Washington, but they were not successful. “Having failed to obtain the appointment, Fischel returned to his homeland, Holland, to live with his mother, sometime at the end of 1862.”

“This is the brief story of a man who came out of nowhere to receive acclaim as a scholar versed in matters ranging from Greek classics to Maimonides to American Jewish history, who devoted his energies and money for the benefit of the American Jewish community, and who in the end returned to that land of historical murkiness: the Rev. Dr. Arnold Fischel.”

* * * * *

[1] An Old Faith in the New World: Portrait of Shearith Israel, 1654-1954 by David and Tamar De Sola Pool, Columbia University Press, 1955.

[1] American Jewry and the Civil War by Bertram W. Korn, Atheneum, 1970.

[1] Ibid, page 75.

 

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.

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 “Unsung Hero: Reverend Arnold Fischel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli-flag
A Palestinian State in the West Bank – World Hypocrisy
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

More Articles from Dr. Yitzchok Levine
Dr. Aaron Friedenwald

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

Dr. Aaron Friedenwald

This was a most unusual step to take in those days, given the difficulties of travel to Europe. Nonetheless, on May 1, 1860 he sailed from New York on the steamship Hammonia.

The ship’s captain apparently respected the Friedenwalds’ strict adherence to halacha because he allowed them to use his cabin for davening and other religious observances.

I happen to believe that for a couple to spend a few years in kollel is a wonderful way to start a marriage.

Penn wrote the following to a friend in England: “I found them [the Indians of the eastern shore of North America] with like countenances with the Hebrew race; and their children of so lively a resemblance to them that a man would think himself in Duke’s place, or Barry street, in London, when he sees them.”

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

There were many who believed that some North America Indians were descended from Jews.

One might think to attribute the crudeness of the calendar to the fact that it was produced by a frontier community unable to calculate a more precise table.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/unsung-hero-reverend-arnold-fischel/2012/02/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: