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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.

Adolphus S. Solomons: A Founder Of The American Red Cross

The President having signed the Treaty of the Geneva Conference and the Senate having, on the 16th instant, ratified the President's actions, the American Association of the Red Cross, organized under provisions of said treaty, purposes to send its agents at once among the sufferers by the recent floods, with a view to the ameliorating of their condition so far as can be done by human aid and the means at hand will permit. Contributions are urgently solicited.

The Life Of Rav Shimon Schwab (Fourth of Four Parts)

There were a few times he did not have a ready answer for me. He would then say, “Please call me back tomorrow.” When I did, there was always a ready and clear answer.

The First Jew To Live In North America

The year 2004 marked the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America.

A Jewish Calendar For Fifty Years

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.

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..

Early Caribbean Jewish Communities (Part I)

Places like Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica, Tobago, the Lesser Antilles, and St. Eustatia probably conjure up, in the minds of many Jewish Press readers, visions of vacation resorts.

Was The ‘Rabbi’ Really A Missionary?

The story of Jacob Mayer is one of the most bizarre in the annals of American Jewish history. In order to understand how such a thing could have occurred, one must keep in mind that for many years America was a Jewish free-for-all.

The Controversial Mordecai Moses Mordecai

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.

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.

Jews in Europe: Do Not Come To America!

He must understand that nothing is more valuable or useful in America than smooth talk and vulgarity.

The First Yeshiva Gedolah In The U.S.?

Virtually everything we know about Yeshiva Or HaChaim comes from the pamphlet “Torah Or,” published anonymously in 1895 in Hebrew.

Rabbi Dr. Phillipp (Hillel) Klein, Talmudic And Secular Scholar

Rabbi Klein delivered his sermons in such a high classical German that a group of his congregants had to repeatedly ask him to speak so he could be understood.

Reverend Henry Pereira Mendes: Orthodox Stalwart (Part I)

Beginning around 1840 the Reform movement began asserting itself as a major force in American Judaism. Indeed, with the rising tide of Reform during the nineteenth century it looked as if Orthodox Judaism might disappear. Many synagogues that had been founded by observant Jews and had remained for years true to halacha found their memberships increasingly calling for the institution of reforms and the abandonment of commitment to authentic Judaism.

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.

Hazzan Joseph Jesurun Pinto: Colonial Spiritual Leader

To celebrate this victory Hazzan Pinto wrote a special prayer that was read in Shearith Israel in October 1760.

The Gomez Family

The Gomez family was one the foremost Jewish families in New York during colonial times.

The Kosher Meat Boycott Of 1902

The bolder women joined in the fight and for some time there was a lively hair pulling in the street.

Dr. Simeon Abrahams: More Than A Footnote

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.

The Jewish Community Of Surinam

The discovery of the Western Hemisphere opened new opportunities for Jews.

Jews Settle In New York

In 1654 the Portuguese recaptured the city of Recife, Brazil from the Dutch. This marked the end of the vibrant Jewish community that had flourished under the Dutch beginning in 1630.

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.’

Hazzan Abraham Lopes Cardozo

“Throughout his life, he observed Tisha B’Ab as the Nahalah (anniversary) for all of his relatives who were murdered, as this is the national Jewish day of mourning.

Rev. Samuel Myer Isaacs: Champion of Orthodoxy (Part I)

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from “The Forerunners – Dutch Jewry in the North America Diaspora” by Robert P. Swierenga, Wayne State University...

Rav Shimon Schwab: Values And Views

After Rav Breuer was nifter in 1980, Rav Schwab led the community until his passing in 1995.

The Malach

The student followers of the Malach stood in direct opposition to his philosophy and to the standards of the yeshiva.

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.

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.

History of the Day School Movement in America (1880 – 1916)

The addition of secular subjects was little more than a concession to the demands of the day.

Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer: Early 20th Century Wordsmith (Part I)

Virtually all of the rabbonim who came to America during the latter part of the nineteenth century did not speak English. A few did master the language and become proficient at speaking and writing it; one of these was Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer, who did more than just learn to speak and write in English - he also acquired a substantial secular education.

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