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105th Anniversary of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation Marked

The 105th anniversary of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of New York, was celebrated Saturday night by a banquet held in the ballroom of the B’nai Jeshurun Community Center. The speakers were Rabbi Israel Goldstein; Charles W. Endel, president of the Congregation; Samuel Blumberg, president of the Men’s Club; and Mrs. Israel Goldstein, president of the Sisterhood.

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, the oldest conservative congregation in America is the second oldest Jewish Congregation in New York and one of the seven oldest in America. It was founded chiefly by English and Dutch Jews. Among the founders were Benjamin Morange, who was France’s minister to Spain under Napoleon I, and Abraham Mitchell, who was one of the handful of Jews who served in the war of 1812. One of the early patrons of the Congregation, although not a member of it, was Mordecai M. Noah, the most distingished American Jew of his time, who under President Madison served as United States Consul to Tunis, and who was distinguished as journalist, jurist and playwright. In 1825, when the Congregation was founded, there were probably no more than 1,000 Jews in New York, and about 6,000 Jews in the United States.

B’nai Jeshurun was the first Jewish congregation in New York at which regular sermons were delivered in English. In 1840 it took the leading part in protesting against the Damascus affair, in which the United States government under President Van Buren for the first time intervened in the cause of the suffering Jews in another part of the world. Stephen S. Wise was the rabbi of B’nai Jehurun from 1893 to 1900.

The president of the Congregation is Mr. Charles W. Endel. Its honorary secretary is Sol. M. Stroock. The other officers are: treasurer, Mr. Ferdinand Jacobson; secretary, Mr. David Herman; and the additional trustees are Hyman Bauman, Samuel Blumberg, Henry A. Dix, Nathan Klau, Alfred E. Kornfeld, Mrs. Dora L. Morrison, William Prager, Louis Rittenberg, L. M. Rothman, Charles Rubinger and Mrs. Miriam Schlechter.

In honor of the Congregation’s 105th anniversary, Rabbi Israel Goldstein has prepared a historical volume, A Century of Judaism in New York.

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