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

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.

Henry Solomon Hendricks

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...

A Jewish Father’s Letter To Abraham Lincoln

The Jewish population of the United States in 1860 was somewhere between 150,000-200,000. Approximately 3,000 Jews fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War while 7,000 were found on the Union side.

Henry S. and Benjamin H. Hartogensis

Usually Jewish history books deal with those who have made their mark by doing extraordinary things. While such people obviously are important, there are those who may not have enjoyed much fame yet whose efforts and accomplishments were crucial to maintaining Yahadus in their community. Two such men are Henry S. Hartogensis and his son, Benjamin H. Hartogensis, who devoted their lives to the Jewish community of Baltimore.

The Jews Of Washington During The Civil War

Washington, D.C. was created in 1790 as a result of a political compromise. “Washington was a Federal city. It did not have a ‘State’ government. It was under the direct control of Congress for even the simplest of things; schools, streets, courts and land use by private individuals and corporations. Accordingly, Congress dutifully passed on the last day of the first session of the 28th Congress, June 17, 1844, ‘A Bill, concerning conveyances or devices of places of public worship in the District of Columbia.’

The Early Jewish Settlement Of Texas

In 1519 Alonso Álvarez de Pineda, Spanish explorer and cartographer, led an expedition into Texas with the goal of finding a passage between the Gulf of Mexico and Asia. He and his men were probably the first Europeans to see the land that became known as Texas.

The Jewish Chaplaincy Controversy

“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.

Sixty-Five Years And Four Generations

Sixty-five years is a long time. Indeed, it was not until about 1947 that a person born in that year could expect to live to at least age 65. So when one encounters a couple who have been married for sixty-five years, it is certainly worth noting.

Reverend Abraham de Sola: Scholar Extraordinaire

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.

A Non-Jew’s 1841 Impressions Of Shearith Israel

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.

Intermarriage Circa 1918

Intermarriage is without doubt destroying the American Jewish community. There are approximately 5.6 million American Jews, some 2 million of whom live in households identified as non-Jewish. Better than half the Jewish children under the age of 18 are being raised as non-Jews or with no religion. Whereas before 1965 only 10 percent of American Jews who married did so outside the faith, that percentage has jumped over the past two-and-a-half decades to at least 52 percent.

The Early Jewish Community Of Charleston

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.

Building And Dedication Of The Newport Touro Synagogue

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.

Ezra Stiles And The Jews Of Newport

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.

The Early Jewish Settlement Of Newport

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.

Abraham Rice: The First Rabbi In America (Part II)

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.

N. Taylor Phillips: Scion Of One Of America’s First Jewish Families

Naphtali Moses Taylor Phillips, generally known as N. Taylor Phillips, was a descendent of one of America's first Jewish families. His great-great-great grandfather, Dr. Samuel Nunes (Nunez) Ribeiro and his great-great grandmother, Zipporah were among the first group of Jews to arrive in Savannah, Georgia in 1733. Zipporah married David Mendes Machado, who served as the chazzan of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York from 1737 until his passing in 1747.

Gershom Kursheedt And Sir Moses Montefiore

Last month's Glimpses column, "The Man Who Brought Judah Touro Back To Judaism," discussed how legendary philanthropist Judah Touro's return to religious observance was influenced by Gershom Kursheedt (1817-1863). Kursheedt also convinced Touro to leave considerable sums of money to support many Jewish causes.

The Man Who Brought Judah Touro Back To Judaism

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.

The Founding of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School

"In 1901 a few individuals who wished to give their own children an intensive Jewish Talmudical education, engaged one Hebrew teacher and one English teacher, and opened a school under the name Beth Sefer Tifereth Jerusalem (Glory of Jerusalem School).

The Chief Rabbi Encounters Opposition

In "Failed Experiment: New York's Only Chief Rabbi" (front-page essay, May 30), we described the warm welcome thousands of Jews gave Rabbi Jacob Joseph when he disembarked from his ship in Hoboken, New Jersey on July 7, 1888.

Alfred Mordecai’s Agonizing Decision

The Civil War caused a great divide among Americans, pitting brother against brother, relative against relative, friend against friend. Jews fought on both sides in this conflict, and they also found themselves beset with divided loyalties. Alfred Mordecai was one such individual who was forced to make a most difficult decision that cost him his career and alienated him from family and friends..

The Jews Of Nevis And Alexander Hamilton

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).

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