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Title: Suggestions to the Jews - for improvement in reference to their charities, education, - and general government
Author: Faudel, Henry
Language: English
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SUGGESTIONS
TO
THE JEWS,
FOR
IMPROVEMENT IN REFERENCE
TO THEIR
CHARITIES, EDUCATION,
AND
GENERAL GOVERNMENT.


BY A JEW.


LONDON:
PRINTED BY JOHN WERTHEIMER AND CO.,
CIRCUS PLACE, FINSBURY CIRCUS
AND MAY BE HAD OF
G. GALABIN, 91, BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE.
1844.



SUGGESTIONS,

ETC.

          "As the twelve tribes had many interests in
          common, and, in some respects, formed but one
          political body, the magistrates of all the tribes
          met in general assemblies to consult for the good
          of the nation."
               _Jahn's History of the Hebrew Commonwealth._


Whoever regards the state of our community in this country, must come
to the conclusion, that we have arrived at an important period, when
we can no longer defer the consideration of matters of vital interest,
if we would escape the well merited condemnation of the world at
large, or the just reproaches of conscience in ourselves. We stand in
a position where the past, the present, and the probable future are
alike presented to our view; the first to instruct and warn us, and
the two latter to furnish us with every motive to exertion which can
be gathered from the impulses of hope and fear, from a perception of
our own best interests and of those of our posterity. That the honour
and reputation of the Jewish body are and have been at stake, must be
granted by those who admit, as facts, the circumstances to which it is
the aim of this Pamphlet to draw the public attention. The great
majority of our poor are uneducated in the holy tenets of our
creed--in their duties as citizens--in the proper arts of life; while
poverty and distress abound in the dwellings of vast numbers of our
brethren, partially mitigated, indeed, not permanently provided for,
by the many excellent and worthy charitable societies which surround
us. These are truths which painfully arrest the attention of
individuals; and it becomes the duty of the whole, to seek the means
of meeting the difficulties of the case. In the ensuing pages I
venture to suggest some propositions for the purpose.


In all well constituted societies, it has been found necessary to have
a head, from which all government, laws and regulations, have
emanated. These governments have been formed either of one person or
more, the object being, "a means to an end," or more fully speaking,
"the production of the greatest possible amount of human happiness."
This fact is so universally admitted, that associations for every
object, whether religious or political, scientific or trading, have
recourse to a governing body for carrying out their particular views;
and, perhaps, I am not far wrong in stating, that the only exception
in Great Britain of an extensive religious community being without a
government is to be found amongst the Jews, not because the exigency
is less, but because, from their first establishment in this kingdom,
the want was never so much felt as at the present moment; their
position has now become matter of inquiry to every enlightened mind,
and many circumstances have recently shewn the disadvantages which a
want of system has entailed upon those who profess the Jewish religion
in this country--disadvantages which will be particularised as we
proceed.

In the peculiar position of the Jewish people, I cannot find a term by
which to distinguish them, and must therefore apologise for adopting
those terms which are already in use. They are called _a nation_; and
I avail myself of the word: but in what consists their nationality?
They are termed _a body_: in what do they assimilate? They are
designated _the British Jews_: how are they identified with the title?
The phrase, "Members of a certain Synagogue," conveys to the mind the
only idea to which we can find any corresponding reality; for, in
truth, beyond what _it_ implies, the Jews are _not united_ for any
definite design or purpose; and while it would have been reasonable to
expect, _à priori_, that the votaries of a faith set apart from all
others, should have had some common bond of union in their affairs, we
are startled by the consideration that there exist at this moment in
London alone, a number of distinct Jewish Congregations, _independent_
of each other, with separate wants and interests, having nothing in
common but their religion: and all the great and noble advantages to
be obtained by numbers, having a unity of purpose, are either
unrecognised, or merged and lost in that separation of interests which
makes the respective pecuniary benefit of each Congregation the
greatest, if not the only object of its existence.

The provincial Congregations are precisely in the same injurious
position, and sensibly feel the want of a defined and constituted
authority--to decide upon many differences that arise--to interfere
for the extinction of animosities (trifling in themselves, but made
gigantic by continued contest) easy to be reconciled by a power to
which all would feel compelled to bow--yet as pregnant with important
consequences, if unchecked, as those causes which led for a period to
the downfall of monarchy in these realms. The evil appears, so far as
regards the Metropolitan Congregations, to have originated at, and
been continued from, the period of the second settlement of the
Israelites in this country. To the rapid increase of numbers and
wealth, during the absence of one efficient regulating power, we can
trace the successive formation of so many distinct communities.

To those elements which ought to have contributed to our strength, we
thus owe our weakness, and that disorganisation and separation of
interests which characterises the various proceedings of our body, in
the formation of the necessary places of worship, and in other
affairs. Had our ancestors provided a government at the outset, or
placed us under the control of an adequate authority, no material
disagreements would have taken place. But the narrow policy which led
to the formation of parties, compelled them to _take_ what might have
been wisely and nobly given,--created feelings of aversion where the
affection of parent and offspring ought to have existed. The wealth of
the newer branches generated, on their part, a feeling of pride
equally to be deplored; and in losing sight of the necessity for
general co-operation, and for one common fund, every kindly feeling
gave way to mutual jealousy. The example once set, was soon followed,
and continues to be so on every opportunity: we blindly press onward
in the same irrational course, without staying to consider that we
impoverish the source, by continually increasing the number of the
streams.

The same spirit of division (it cannot be called independence) enters
into the details of all the affairs of the Israelites in their
respective undertakings: it marks their general social position, and
leads to a universal separation of interests. Every charity is
encountered by another for similar purposes, in the east or west, as
the case may be, to be supported by private exertion, and by opposing
parties. One counteracts the other; both contend with all the force
and feelings of competitors for public favour. The strength which
would be tenfold if united, is wasted in petty rivalries, and in
endeavours after show, instead of being employed in seeking the
advantage of the objects to be benefited. Yet views of charity and
religion, which the Jews entertain in common, and the sympathy that
unites them, as it does individuals of every class possessing a
similarity of belief or feeling, render it desirable to resort to a
plan of centralisation and union, by which not alone the wholesome
_regulation_ of _charitable institutions would be effected_, but the
_education of the poor_, and the _intellectual advancement_ of the
_entire community_, would be accomplished.

       *       *       *       *       *

The anxiety of the poor Jews for instruction,--of the trading classes
for moral improvement,--of the wealthy for a removal of civil
disabilities,--of the religious for some _alteration_ in the mode of
worship,--in short, of every portion and member of the Jewish
community, for an amendment of its social position, is so evident,
that the following suggestions are put forth in the hope and belief
that they contain the elements of a plan, which, if boldly and fully
carried out, will tend to elevate the Jews from their present degraded
and certainly unmerited position; and while it would improve _them_,
it would enable the Christian world to do that justice to their
talents and probity, for which at present, in an ignorance of their
true characteristics, little credit is given to them; not because
Englishmen are _now_ indisposed to act fairly or kindly to their
countrymen of a different religion, or from their indifference to the
wants of our co-religionists, but because (in the fear of thrusting
themselves before the public, where insult and contumely have too
frequently awaited them) the Jews have not collectively manifested any
desire for intellectual culture, nor attempted to disabuse the minds
of their neighbours from the prejudices of what, _as towards the
Jews_, may be termed _an illiberal and bigoted education_. As,
however, it forms no part of my plan to recapitulate the oppression of
the one party, or the quiet suffering of the other, nor to analyse the
causes, but to take the Jews as I find them, I will leave to others
the task of commenting upon the past, nor will I, by any invidious
remarks, prove that they have always been an ill-used body; yet I
cannot refrain from stating, that in no similar number of men in Great
Britain, labouring under the same social and political disadvantages
with themselves (unprovided for by the government, uninstructed, and
with very few attempts made, until recently, by their brethren, to
instruct them), will be found more humanity, kindness, honesty, and a
disinclination to heinous crimes, than in the body hitherto scornfully
designated _Jews_.

Attempts at _extensive improvements_ are always _termed visionary_;
and every effort towards advancement has been always met by the
clamours of the ignorant and the interested. The general spread of
knowledge has had to contend with the opposition of party and personal
feelings; but these have never been enabled to stem the onward
progress of enlightenment with any strength: I would, therefore,
entreat those who with myself are seeking to carry out this scheme,
and to arrive at a better state of things, to persevere, nothing
daunted at the first repulse, but to continue their course, rising
superior to the paltry prejudices that may and will assail them, until
they have succeeded in procuring for their brethren, a name and a
station worthy of them in the ranks of society--

    "For freedom's battle once begun,
    Bequeath'd by _suff'ring_ sire to son,
    Though baffl'd oft, is ever won!"

Let us not forget, therefore, that it is our duty to enlist the
earnest co-operation of every individual that is to be benefited, and
in that designation is comprised every member of the community. As a
crime committed by a Jew, an illegal act, even an examination before a
magistrate upon suspicion, is made a disgrace to the race, and
reflects discredit upon the whole, the entire body--the very
religion--suffers from it. Every living Jew--the very memory of the
dead--demands justice; and as _individuals_ have it in their power to
contribute to the general _honour_ or _disgrace_, it is our duty to
implant the purpose that animates us in the hearts and understandings
of all our brethren.

In a subsequent part of this pamphlet will be found, in brief detail,
a plan, which the necessity of the case itself seems to suggest as the
best means for ameliorating the condition of the Jewish body; and I
only refer to it shortly here, in order to state succinctly the
objects to be attained, and previously to an attempt, to show our
brethren of all classes and of every grade, how intimately the
interest of each is bound up with that of the whole. It is clearly
admitted that the children of the poor are not sufficiently educated,
or sufficiently instructed in the means of procuring their
subsistence, an evil which not only affects the present generation,
but spreads its baneful influence wide and deep into the future, and
may affect all the interests of our posterity. One great portion of
the plan, therefore, is to provide the means of education, to be
governed and guided according to rules which experience and
observation have proved to be the best, as selected from various
institutions and from Schools of Industry in this country. Another
principal feature of it is, to enlarge and strengthen the power of the
numerous charitable societies in existence, by providing a building
adapted to the whole, and which, by creating a unity of purpose and
management among the various administrations, will give a much larger
scope of action to the respective charities. A third portion of the
plan regards an adequate provision for an Anglo-Jewish press, which
will be found not only subsidiary to the objects already alluded to,
by publishing to our brethren every thing connected with those
objects, but will be seen to be in itself a most powerful instrument
for our mental advancement; and as it is requisite that such great and
important ends as these should be guided and controlled by one power,
so that each portion of this plan should lend to, and receive mutual
assistance from, the others, so that no differences of view should
intercept or mar the common benefit, it has been considered requisite
to provide for the constituting of a supervising committee or central
council, who would have the superintendence of all matters not
_ecclesiastical_.

Let us contrast in our minds, for one moment, the present state of
things, with what an advantageous position we should hold, as a
community, if a plan like the above were in full and fair operation.
Let us "look upon this picture, and on that;" and who is there among
us that will not say, in the communings of his own soul, "This is a
concern in which it behoves me to exert every energy and power which
the Divine Author of our faith has bestowed upon me"? And while all
can bring their meed of power and energy to the task, to each,
according to his views, his feelings, or his rank in life, some
peculiar inducement appears for taking part in so laudable an
undertaking.

I would ask the religious man, be he Jew or not, Is not a proper
observance of religion to be expected rather from the instructed than
the debased mind? Putting aside every high command to assist the
needy, is it not a duty to improve the worldly welfare of your fellow
man, giving him, at the same time, means which will develop his mental
faculties, and induce him to join you in prayer, and lead him to the
better observance of all his religious duties? To you, then,
worshipper of the Supreme Being, I appeal to join in this undertaking:
your future hopes, as well as your worldly welfare, are linked with
the fate of the poor and unenlightened Jews. Assist them--instruct
them--extend the provision for them in old age--let not the prejudices
which spring from worldly differences, or the rancour of sectarian
feeling, blind you to the great good you may achieve. Join early in
the glorious work--come even singly to combat with darkness and
disgrace. Every man may be the vanquisher of one illiterate spirit,
and bear him from ignorance and evil to knowledge and the brightness
of everlasting good. It is your duty especially, preachers of the word
of truth, to disseminate these principles from your high places; for
by opening the minds of the ignorant you teach them to laugh to scorn
the sophisms of conversionists, and enable them to judge better of
their religion and THEMSELVES. Unite yourselves then, ye pastors; cry
aloud, "There is a feeling of hope stirring among the Jews--they seek
for instruction, let us help them!" Address your exertions to inform
those who know less than yourselves--and you will have the inestimable
satisfaction of perceiving that the precepts of morality and virtue
will make their way with redoubled force to the hearts and
understandings of your hearers; that you will be enabled to impart to
all, whatever religion affords of hope and consolation and gladness;
cheering the afflicted in the hour of his adversity--proving to the
doubting spirit that "truth and good are one," and, in the exercise
of your sacred functions on _unclouded_ minds,

    "Allure to brighter worlds and lead the way."


In the prosecution of this scheme many advantages are offered, which
to the trader and mere man of the world are of considerable
importance, by bringing all our charities to a focus. Setting aside
the _great saving that could and would_ be effected _in the
management_ by united efforts, a much larger sum might be given to the
legitimate object of each charity, and a systematic and efficient
check upon each person receiving relief could be accomplished.

The vast sums annually given to established charities and benevolent
institutions, form but a small item in the sum total of expenditure
for charity. Tradesmen, and indeed individuals of every class, are in
the habit of making continual donations to persons unknown, and
frequently unworthy. To those, then, whom these considerations
principally affect, I would say,--Put all your charities under a
salutary control, and, under a united management, sink for once the
mere desire to be chairman, committee-men, and managers. Act with
others, and not as if you only were _patrons_ and _founders_ of the
institutions you wish to see flourish. Unite for the purpose of doing
good, not for granting patronage. Assist in educating the poor and
needy, whether orphans or otherwise, and in afterwards placing them as
apprentices. As the honesty of their character, and the diligence with
which they exercise their calling become developed and known, so will
your reputation as honourable tradesmen increase. As _they_ will have
received the advantage of an education, in which religion and morality
will have been combined with whatever is necessary for their support
through life, no imputation of chicanery--no supposition of dishonesty
will attach itself to them, and _your_ word will be taken. When _their
religious_ observances are known, they will be appreciated; and _your_
pledge of _honour_ as a _Jew_ will be guarantee for the quality of
your commodity. Thus everything is to be gained, and the
accomplishment is within your own power. Will you quietly sit by and
hear vituperation heaped upon your creed and upon yourselves, without
being roused to the slightest effort? I will readily admit that it is
only the prejudices of the ignorant and vulgar which draw the
distinction between yourself and the Christian: enlighten _him_
therefore where requisite; associate as much as possible with him; let
your press address _him_; prove by _your_ acts, _your_ words and
dealings, the falseness of his assertions against you, and his sneer
loses all its sting from its inapplicability. Let the phrase, "_He is
a Jew in his dealings_," be an _honourable testimonial_, equally as
desirable to you as that "_He acts like a Christian_," is to our
fellow-citizens of the faith alluded to: and let those who think that
the only worth of the Jewish religion is to be measured by the
purchase-money offered for apostasy from it, find that the price they
pay is only a bribe for _seeming assent_ from the outcasts of society,
and that the very worst and lowest Jew is sufficiently informed to
know that he will not be raised by becoming a bad Christian, or an
infidel. It is equally clear that a bad Jew will never make a good
Christian: and I am not quite sure if we ought not to be thankful for
the removal of such an excrescence from our body.


In turning to those who are sometimes termed our aristocracy, that is
to say--the wealthy portion of the Jewish community, I would ask, Are
you contented that the stigma which unjustly presses on the Jewish
name should longer continue? I am free to admit that the Christians
rather than the Jews require to be enlightened upon this point; but
have you attempted this? What has been done by you for the elevation
of your brethren? But let all that is practicable in this respect be
attained, and you will ascend with them; as the majority become
refined in their manners, talented in their professions, known in
their dealings, so will you, always the most conspicuous, be exalted
with them. Honour will emanate from the people and be reflected upon
the leaders. Every onward movement of the middle and lower orders must
press you, the more advanced, into higher eminence: and it is
therefore necessary on your parts to procure for the body of which you
are a portion, the means of making its members of every class useful
and excellent citizens. While the poor are left to obloquy--no matter
who the rich may be--all will be designated by one common term of
reproach.

While the great mass of the population is progressing in intellectual
power, the Jews cannot stand still and be at the same time respected.
The aristocratic class of the Jews is formed of men of wealth--of
wealth honourably acquired, and thus open to every man: but unless the
strictest regard be had to the education of our co-religionists, we
shall have that class, noted only for its money and its ignorance,
shamed into an unenviable notoriety by an indifference to the wants of
the majority, and dragged downwards with them into one general
obscurity. As wealth is within the attainment of poorer orders, the
requisite education should be at once provided for them--the
characters of all formed upon honest principles--the minds of all
cultivated and embued with useful knowledge--and the manners, so far
as is practicable, trained with a view to what is decorous and proper
in social life. Punish by your frowns, by public scorn and private
avoidance, the wretch who would cast dishonour on you by the
dishonesty of his dealings. The poorest youth of character may justly
aspire in this country to the honours of every station, and he will be
the more honoured and sought as his fair fame expands itself--an
example to his fellows--an ornament to his friends--an honour to his
country. One false step in early life (which, had he possessed that
education we contend for, might have been avoided), and he not only
closes the portals of distinction on himself--not to be reopened by
golden keys--but he becomes a source of injury to all his race.

I should but imperfectly fulfil my task, if I omitted to address the
fairer portion of our community for their aid in this noble
undertaking. To those who know the deep extent of their influence,
although exerted within the limited sphere of the hallowed precincts
of home, I need not say one word in vindication of an appeal to them:
and who among us, either as husband, son, or brother, does not possess
a knowledge of this influence? Glorious hereditary traits distinguish,
in the eyes of every Israelite, the daughters of his race. The pure
affection that characterises them inspires all their actions, and
repays _him_, in the hours spent in the bosom of his family, for the
toils, the trials, and the hardships of the world. From an influence
so founded, what may not be expected from her who is entrusted with
the formation of the mind at that period when it is susceptible of
every impression for good or ill: nearly everything we possess of the
better and purer feelings of our nature, we can trace to the hours of
childhood, when all is subjected to the maternal sway.

Even the tales with which she lulls to sleep may lead to pursuits of
honour; for as we find a prejudice firmly imprinted on the memory from
nursery stories, so may nobler views of men and actions be lessons
from the cradle never to be eradicated, but strengthened by subsequent
tuition.

In after-age, woman controls and influences the stronger passions of
our nature: and no shape, no circumstance of life can occur, but
where, directly or indirectly, the relation in which she stands to us
affects every occurrence, and retards or gives an impulse to the
current of our lives; and as surely as her support is sought for by
her offspring, and her affection relied upon by her husband, so is she
capable of achieving all that is desirable in her family. Looking then
to each family among us for some support for this undertaking, we may
hope to have done something towards its fulfilment, when the mothers
and daughters of Israel shall become acquainted and penetrated with
its aim and tendency. _They_ can improve the condition of their
race--to _their_ understandings no suggestion is necessary as to what
course to pursue--to their hearts no stimulus required as an
inducement to assist in a course which concerns the intellectual
advancement and the happiness of their people. Where ends like these
are to be gained, they will be the first to perceive how much of what
is purely domestic, and within their own immediate sphere, may derive
advantage from their participation and advocacy.

The humbler portion of my brethren, in whose _direct_ and more
especial interest a part of this undertaking has been contemplated,
will, it is to be hoped and expected, give it that assistance which
the case demands from them. Their welfare is the great object sought;
and I implore them, for whom so much is desired, not to meet with
coldness these efforts on their behalf--I implore them to be advised,
taught, guided and improved by those who only seek their own advantage
in common with that of the poor themselves.

To smooth the rugged path of their toils--to elevate them above the
occasional frowns and ill-temper of those whom fortune has more highly
favoured--to alleviate their misery--to provide for their wants--to
recognise their claims--to prove that they are the objects of
solicitude to their true friends among the richer Jews--will be the
great result, as it is the great purpose, of this plan: but how can
their condition be improved, unless with an earnest disposition on
their own part towards it? Is obtaining occasional charity, that
relieves them only for a short period, the sole aim of their lives? Is
not the welfare of their children an all-powerful feeling with them?
Does the destitution of old age never occur to their thoughts, until
the moment that it commences, when helpless infirmity assails them? Is
not the thought of an hereafter sometimes present to their minds? If
their answers, their opinions upon these subjects, are what they
should be, and what must naturally be expected, I am sure they will
add, that they are prepared to go with me in the scheme for their
improvement and welfare; they will remove their children from the
contamination of vice--allow them to be taught honest trades as they
grow up--let them become men of use to the community, their cheerers
and supporters in affliction and age; and when not blessed with
offspring, there will still be a reward for the uprightness and
integrity of their conduct in that Asylum, which I hope we shall soon
see erected for their reception, when their strength and powers of
exertion shall be exhausted, where their labours shall cease, and
where the doors shall be opened for their future ease, without the
interference of private friends or their personal solicitations to a
patron.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having somewhat concisely shewn the advantages to be gained by
adopting a scheme to be founded on the foregoing hints, I would
solicit the co-operation of all friends to my views, to commence
forthwith the formation of a General Committee or Council, consisting,
in the _first instance_, of those who are disposed to give their
personal or pecuniary assistance; and afterwards, during the operation
of the project, also of members selected by the public and popular
election of the Jews in all parts of Great Britain. The ultimate aim
of this Committee or Council should be to become (as they would, by
their superior knowledge and management) the governing body of the
Jews in this country in all secular matters. They should possess the
confidence of the community from their numbers, education, wealth, and
footing in society. From their public elections--from their ready
compliance to entertain and adjudicate upon all matters coming before
them--from their _public_ deliberations and well-weighed judgments in
general assembly from all parts, at stated periods, their position
would be independent, yet subject to the wholesome control of the
press and the opinions of their constituents.

The necessity for such a governing body becomes daily more apparent;
and the advantages that would arise from it are incalculable. Without
giving any opinion on the merits of the question in the recent dispute
at Liverpool, if a government had been in existence, would the
unpleasant result of the establishment of a fresh congregation,
another independent and irresponsible party, have arisen, with all its
expensive appurtenances and its future jealousies, to say nothing of
the fact of another disagreement among the Jews, being trumpeted forth
by those who watch for opportunities to defame us.

The truth is so apparent, that we think it requires little argument to
prove to the minds of those who will give the subject some
consideration, the propriety of immediately forming a Council, vested
with powers alike for the control and supervision of old
congregations, as for the supporting of new ones--for proposing and
carrying out laws and regulations in furtherance of the philanthropic
and educational portions of this scheme, and for assimilating all
Jewish arrangements, either provincial or metropolitan.

The Society of Friends (whose social constitutions and government must
be the theme of praise even to the most casual observer) I would in
this as in many other details take as my model; for they are spread
over as large a surface as the Jews--consist, like them, of merchants
and traders--similar in numbers--superior in education, (although not
in mental capacity)--with a well-ordered and responsible
government--and we consequently hear of no distress or disorganization
among them; yet it is not to be doubted that as many causes for
interference occur in that body as in our own, but education,
discipline, and a well-regulated system for their poor enable them to
grapple with every question of good or evil, whether of retrogression
or advancement as it arises.

The same advantages would so soon shew themselves in our own case,
that all the Jews would gladly accord with the arrangement, and as the
Council would have an ultimate influence on the management of the
funds, and have an opportunity of investigating into and advising upon
their distribution, an efficient system of relief would be formed--the
aged would be provided for--the ignorant instructed--and, as a general
consequence, the character of the Jew regarded with the homage that
every man pays to excellence under _every denomination_.

Not to enter fully into further particulars upon the various subjects
within the immediate province of the Council, there is yet one of
_great_ importance, hitherto wholly disregarded, but intimately
connected with any extended plan of education and philanthropy, which
might be well submitted to their supervision. By a registration of the
names of every man, woman, and child of the Jewish persuasion, a large
amount of statistical information would be obtained, and the
concentration of the community facilitated--no claimant for any
purpose of education or charity, could or would be recognised, unless
upon the register--thus offering an inducement for every member of the
Jewish body to enter his or her name upon it; for this registration a
small charge, say one shilling, should be made, which would produce an
annual amount of about £1500 to be added to the general funds, for the
benefit of all; affording material assistance to the objects now
contemplated; and, while giving an interest to each person in the
public concerns, the required sum would be very trifling to the
poorest, when considered as giving them defined claims as recognised
members of a community.

That the various Synagogues have the means of largely assisting a
liberal and progressive policy, not the most prejudiced upholder of
the present state will deny--nor will it be urged that they have
contributed to their fullest extent towards the education and
enlightenment of the rising generation. In a pecuniary point of view,
they could and would gain largely by adopting fully the views now
advocated; for they would transfer from their funds to those of the
Jewish public, all their pensioners: but they ought to be the leaders
in encouraging the objects, from a desire of improvement, instead of
mere pecuniary gain. In proposing the instruction of all the Jewish
children, therefore, and in taking charge of all the offspring of the
poor, I take from them all the claim generally resorted to for the
charitable interference of the Synagogues; as the poor will have very
little difficulty in maintaining themselves, if we maintain all their
children, to do which, it would be necessary to remove them to a
suitable establishment, properly provided and superintended, in
connection with a school of industry, in which all the trades and
useful arts of life should be inculcated. The school (Aubin's) at
Norwood gives the system as far as it can be properly acted upon; or a
new system, if necessary, could be arranged, having for its object the
instruction of the younger children, and the making artizans of the
more advanced in age. The expences of this arrangement would be much
less than generally imagined, and a considerable part of them could be
defrayed by the industry of the pupils; and the schools of the Society
of Friends at Ackworth, Sidcoat, &c. should likewise be our examples,
but accommodated to the necessary differences of the case.

In conjunction with this establishment, I would recommend the
formation of a superior school for a limited number of boys in the
neighbourhood of the London University, where the most talented of the
scholars from the former school should be placed, at the public
charge, under the tuition of Hebrew, French, and German classical
teachers. The expenditure for board and lodging, and for attending the
classes during the term at the University school, and at the
University, should be defrayed out of the general fund; and some of
these youths might and should be trained to all the offices and duties
of our clergy, others to the professions of law and medicine, and all
other superior attainments of education. Accommodation should be
afforded at this place for a number of private or paying pupils, to
have the advantages of all the means of instruction provided, and of
the general management of the house, with the privilege of attending
the University, and of having their studies likewise superintended at
the house by the professors engaged. The fees for their admission and
support would considerably lessen the expences of the whole
establishment, and enable the younger branches of the Jews to receive
a sound, religious, and classical education. This would give an
opportunity for the development of all the higher attributes of the
mind; and as the youth assembled there would be all of the best
instructed of the rising and future generations, every province in
England and the Colonies would naturally come there for its tutors and
clergy. Inducements thus held out for the cultivation of talent in all
classes, would be gradually to render the whole body of the Jews well
informed.

It is unnecessary to say more here upon this subject. The minor
points, being for the consideration of the Council, shall be
forthcoming at the proper time: but I believe the removal of the young
from the old, at an early age, very desirable; for, the contamination
of evil example, of vicious and dishonourable pursuits, tends to undo
the instruction they receive at present, and is the cause of so small
a number attending the places already provided for their instruction.
The object must be, therefore, to make the school attractive to the
children, and an advantage to the parents.

       *       *       *       *       *

By the amalgamation of the Jewish charities is not to be understood
the depriving of any of the present institutions of their funds, or of
their control over them, nor do I wish to divert legacies or the
accumulations of years from their legitimate channels, but to secure
an efficient centralisation, with wholesome and necessary control; for
it must be admitted that, independent of the money so liberally
bestowed by the wealthy portion of the Jews, the humblest as well as
the most distinguished give continually large sums in proportion to
their incomes.

Not a Sunday, and scarcely a day, passes, but contributions are
solicited from the poorer traders of the Jews, to which the most
indigent add their pence, with the _true_ feelings of Jewish
benevolence, in the hope of mitigating the poignant sufferings of the
applicants. "The charity which plenty gives to poverty is human and
earthly, but it becomes divine and heavenly when poverty gives to
want."

The great sums distributed in known or public charities are more than
doubled by the continual call upon the purses of the donors; and being
so well answered, it is impossible to calculate the amount.

The wealthy are daily subjected to these visitations, and in few
instances is the immediate pecuniary relief refused. It is scarcely
necessary to point out the expensiveness of this mode of relief, it
being self-evident; but that is a very small portion of the evil it
entails. If it ended here, I would say, Send not a mendicant, no
matter what his creed or country, from you unrelieved; as the very
necessity that induces the application is sufficient reason for
relief, should even the applicant be thought unworthy: but the
mischief STOPS not here; it is only the _commencement_--it encourages,
instead of checking, mendicity--it produces beggars where it should
make artizans--it encourages consumers instead of helping
producers--it assists idlers when its object is and should be to
support the industrious.[A]

All indiscriminate charity must therefore be an evil to the body, an
injury to the community: it begets a class of persons that spend the
easily obtained funds as improperly as they were procured--it degrades
the minds of the recipients, while the wealthy donors look more
frequently with disgust than compassion on the receiver; in short, no
persons can become more debased in mind and body than habitual beggars,
of which a very large number exists among the Jews--uncontrolled,
unchecked, and unprovided for--in spite of all the efforts of the
"charities" and Synagogue funds, nearly all of which are casual. The
sums thus distributed should, and would, suffice to maintain all the
paupers of the Jews; but the inefficiency of the administration permits
them to devote their entire time in successfully preventing one
charitable institution from arriving at the knowledge of what they
receive from another, and to extort from private sources as much as
possible.

These are facts known to us all: but, in the charitableness of our
hearts, we fear to come boldly forward and provide at once entirely
for all these mendicants, who should be properly taken care of,
clothed, fed, and housed; and the expenditures of the present day
would be sufficient, if carefully arranged.

By the withdrawal from the public eye of all these unfortunate beings,
a great improvement would appear, and certainly be very soon effected.
The pernicious example would be unknown to the young; and the idly
disposed would find the fee simple of their present estates devoted to
the purchase of useful, industrious, and honest means of procuring
them their subsistence.

Through the want of a well-regulated system of relief, under check and
control, every beggar is an independent member of the Jewish
commonwealth, employed in seeking, the entire day, whom to devour,
considering himself entirely at liberty, morally and physically, to
devote his entire time to the readiest way of getting money--honestly
if he can, that is, by persevering importunity, but frequently by
false representations, and other more disreputable means, of which the
law takes no immediate cognizance.

_We_ continually see the state to which this reduces him, but HE feels
not the degradation to which he has become familiar, habit reconciling
and making attractive his course of life, whatever may have been his
feelings at the commencement of it. The persons who condemn are those
who have driven him to this base means of existence; the facility with
which money is obtained from those who give (through the habit of
doing so from having seen their parents do it, or because they believe
the distressed is a poor Jew and has _no recognised_ refuge), induces
an opinion that this is the proper and legitimate mode of Jewish
charity: but no really laudable feeling enters the mind of either; nor
does the giver always think he is conferring a benefit: he treats the
applicant for relief generally as "a fugitive and vagabond on the
earth," forgetting entirely that the debasement of this mind, the
ignorance of this man, the slur that is cast upon the Jews by this
individual, is entirely their own act. They, the wealthy, the honored,
the enlightened, the pride of the people, are the culprits--not the
poor, the ignorant, the destitute. Cheerfully might these be induced
to regard the means of supporting themselves by their own industry.
How gladly would they avail themselves of a reputable institution to
receive them,--a house to shelter them--a supervision to protect, an
asylum to support them! But have the leaders attended to this?

It is true, and honourable, and worthy of the highest praise, that
many sources of relief exist, founded by the thoughtful, supported by
the charitable, governed by the indefatigable; but many of these even,
it is reported, have been commenced by those who are but little
elevated above poverty in the neighbourhood where the distress has
been most evident, and maintained subsequently by the personal
interference of individuals, and the stringent appeals of private
friends, which could not have been refused if wished, which dared not
be neglected. An exception, the Jews' Hospital, was the emanation of a
noble mind, and, backed by disinterested perseverance, induced all to
contribute to so bold an undertaking, commencing from the highest: its
sphere of benefit is, however, very limited. Unfortunately, few among
us investigate whether any good, or what, is achieved by other
societies to which all are ready and willing contributors. But the
time has come, hastened by the Anglo-Jewish press, when we all see the
necessity for action to the purpose, and immediate. We can do it well,
at less expense; with less trouble, with more dignity to ourselves,
and with more honour to our successors, than any class of
conversionists can do it for us; and certainly much more effectually
when we commence, as years of ineffectual effort on their part have
proved.

_Our_ motives cannot be impugned; the object being the purest and
holiest command "to honour and succour the aged;" persons unknown to
us, unconnected in every way with us except by their adoration and
worship of the Creator by the same means, forms, and language.

I would suggest to all the charities as at present constituted, while
their usefulness must be admitted, that their government, although it
is to a limited extent good, does not answer many of the purposes that
are desirable; nor does it prevent an individual obtaining from _all_
sources the donations they distribute; nor do the present methods
provide _entirely_ for the object to be benefited.

Let, then, the present _funds_ of all the charities be united, with
grants from the congregations, and gifts or loans from private
individuals. These will amount, in a very short time, to a sum
sufficiently large to build one house for the reception of the aged
decayed, the blind, the deaf and dumb, the idiotic, the helpless, and
the temporarily destitute: the really destitute only to be admissible.
Relief from all other quarters should be withheld, or a proper officer
for the distribution of charity appointed; but if the friends of any
of the inmates can contribute to their maintenance, they should do so
to the general fund. This building should be divided into wards, each
separate ward to be under the control, and supplied by the funds of
the charity to which it at present approximates nearest: the objects
of their solicitude would thus be under their immediate observation,
and deriving much greater advantages than it is possible now to give.
The existing committees would receive the voluntary subscriptions as
at present, and devote them to the same purposes; but the infirm and
poor would be entirely provided with every necessary, and a home. The
details, however, must be left until the rules for general management
are arranged: but it should be a fundamental principle, that every
member of each committee should be a member of the general board; and
a part of the details, that the beds in wards for the aged should be
fitted as those at Greenwich Hospital; and that every committee man
should have the power to inspect _every_ ward. For the purpose of
example, let us suppose the ward for the aged destitute established;
the society whose object approaches nearest should take the
management, and subscribe towards the general fund according to its
means, say £1000.

Their subsequent annual contribution must be arranged in proportion to
its revenue: for if their present income is £150 per annum, they can
now only disburse £100, the remainder being swallowed up for various
expenses. It would be desirable and easy for them to devote the larger
sum, or nearly their entire means, to the purposes of the ward.

The same system adopted throughout the house would be ample for its
support; and each charity would be carrying out to its greatest extent
the object of its formation. In every ward there should be a tablet
with the names of the Founders, Committee, and Subscribers above a
certain sum. A portion of the expences of the establishment would be
yielded by itself; the money now expended in managements would be
produced by the registration; and any other deficiency, by the general
fund.

The Society of Friends have a general register; and every member
contributes to the local funds, these again to the general: thus
sufficient sums are obtained for all proper and legitimate purposes. A
somewhat similar _modus operandi_ I would advocate for our adoption:
the country congregations, being relieved from all expences except
those of a religious or congregational character, would be enabled to
support with more honour and better remuneration the clergy--who,
feeling themselves (as their education should command) independent of
obligation to their auditory, would preach the noblest and highest
precepts of their creed, and urge a better worldly bearing.

To this advantage, which would be an indirect although certain result
of a proper administration of the funds, would be added a beneficial
influence on the head of the clergy--who, being the leader of highly
educated gentlemen, would find it impossible to govern, unless
possessing the same learning and acquirements; and thus we should
ensure an elevated clergy, to which the most wealthy might with honour
aspire.

In the execution of a scheme which depends greatly upon the majority
of the community, for whom it is intended, taking not only a clear and
comprehensive view of their present position, but upon their becoming
deeply, and daily more deeply, interested in the amelioration of that
position--which relies upon extending to all the feelings of a part,
and will be successful in the highest degree whenever anything like
this unanimity of feeling prevails--the power of a well-directed press
must be admitted not only to be great, but the necessity of it in a
measure to be indispensable. What has been effected for mankind at all
periods, since it has become within possibility to move the springs of
feeling and of volition by this more than electric force, after having
illuminated the mind by floods of light from the concentration of
opinions, the wisest and most just, is matter of notoriety to all: and
it cannot be necessary, at this time of day, to enumerate those great
events, whose earliest origin being traced to some important want of
the human race, or to some one of the great and abiding principles of
our nature, yet owe their consummation wholly to the facility by which
mind communicates with mind, enabling the truth of those principles to
be tested by the universality of their reception, and by which the
objections of prejudice and ignorance being destroyed, truth and
justice themselves are at last brought into action--

    "Immutable, immaculate, immortal."

With an Anglo-Jewish press devoted to the propositions here advocated,
and to the general cause of Judaism--prepared to vindicate the Jews at
all times from the aspersions of interested and prejudiced writers,
enabling all of us to understand the wants of our community--capable
by the force of its reasoning or the keenness of its satire, of
improving the manners, tastes, habits, and pursuits of all--placing us
before the eyes of our Christian fellow-countrymen in our own just
characters, to correct the false impressions they may have
received--with a power such as this pressing upon the general
consideration, a large and liberal scheme of charity and education,
and enforcing the wise decisions of our central Council--with such a
press might we not reasonably hope that a few short years would
behold--

    "The Jew an honored name!"

A journal to subserve such purposes ought necessarily to be placed on
an independent footing: and it would, therefore, become the immediate
duty of the Council, on its formation, to look to its establishment or
to its support. It is admitted that a journal exists; but the apathy
which meets the efforts of individuals among the Jews to benefit their
brethren, has extended itself to this: but it still might be made
available for all the ends we seek, by means within the powers of the
Council, which would yet leave the press perfectly unfettered.

It cannot come within the province of this pamphlet to state at length
what the contents of such a journal ought to be; but, besides those
general objects already stated, it might be made the vehicle for
affording a large amount of statistical information on the numbers,
callings, and education of the Jews--the incomes and expenditures of
charitable societies and Synagogues. It should, by extracts from our
authentic historians, etc. make us better acquainted with the
knowledge of the past, and at all times, by researches into the
constitutional principles of this nation, and by asserting the just
right of human kind, convince Englishmen that we are _their_
COUNTRYMEN, and that, by birth, we are as much entitled to the
privileges of our country as the proudest noble who traces his
pedigree from the Conquest.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot conclude without imploring the Jews to shake off that
terrible apathy and coldness which have from time immemorial grown
upon them, which have hitherto depressed their energies, and left
them the sport and passive creatures of circumstance. If they have
sunk into a state of listlessness, in the first place, from the
oppression which their ancestors endured in past times--and if they
have continued in that state, from a variety of causes, some of which
are faintly shadowed forth in the preceding pages, I yet hope, and
most devoutly hope, that the hour and the day are arrived for the
first step towards regeneration to be taken. The mists of prejudice,
it is indeed evident, are slowly giving way before the power of truth;
and it remains for our own exertions, well directed, under the
blessing of the Deity, to enable us to stand forth before the world at
large, in the clear noon-day light, in the possession of intelligence
and virtue, and honoured and respected accordingly; demonstrating that
in England, integrity, patriotism, and good conduct, meet their
reward, when known, under whatever creed they present themselves.


       *       *       *       *       *


    *** As the object of the writer of this pamphlet is to ensure
    the co-operation of all those Members of the Jewish community
    who agree with him in the desire of attaining the objects
    suggested, he solicits their communications to be addressed F.,
    at G. Galabin's, Printer, 91, Bartholomew Close.

    _London, March, 29th, 1844._


FOOTNOTES:

[A] "By false compassion we injure the community: industry will go to
ruin; sloth will predominate; men will no longer depend on themselves,
but, having from their own conduct nothing to hope or fear, they will
look to their neighbours for support; they will first abandon their
duty, and then be a burden on the public."--_Tacitus._


J. Wertheimer & Co., Printers, Circus Place, Finsbury Circus.


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