Constitution and By Laws of the United Hebrew Beneficent Society of Philadelphia

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A. Pinzi Esq

United Heb. Beneficent Society

Not in Rosenbach

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Not in Rosenbach!



U U Barl?

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חברת גמילות חסדים וחנוך נערים


הרופא לשבורי לב ומחבש לעצבותם לפ"ק

A. M. 5582.—JUNE 16, 1822.






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כי לא יחדל אביון מקרב הארץ על כן אנכי מצוך לאמר פתח תפתח את ידך לאחיך לעניך ולאבינך בארצך :

“For the poor shall never cease out of thy land: therefore I command
thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy
poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”—Deut. Chap. xv. v. 11.

טוב ללכת לבית אבל מלכת לבית משתה באשר הוא סוף כל האדם והחי יתן אל לבו

“It is better to go the house of mourning, than to go to the house of
feasting: for that is the end of all men: and the living will lay it to his
heart.”—Eccl. ch. vii. v. 2.

לתת לפתאים ערמה לנער דעת ומזמה

“To give subtilty (sic) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and
discretion.”—Prov. ch. i. v. 4.

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To provide in the best manner possible for the
relief of our unfortunate and indigent brethren,
and to ameliorate their sufferings to the utmost of
our abilities, is the performance of an obligation
which strengthens the bonds of society, by the
endearing ties of benevolence and gratitude.

Impressed with these truths, we whose names
are hereto subscribed, citizens of the State of
Pennsylvania, hereby unite in a Benevolent As-
sociation, and for our government, as members
thereof, adopt the following Rules and Regula-
tions; each of us pledging himself to the others
to observe them with honour and good faith.


The name of the Society shall be

חברת גמילות חסדים וחנוך נערים



The funds of the Society shall be appropriated
to the following purposes:

1. Relief to the poor and sick of the Jewish

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2. To procure attendance, medicine, &c., for
such sick as are unable to provide for themselves;
and in case of death to bury them with decency.

3. To bind poor children apprentices to me-
chanical trades, with the concurrence of their
parents or guardians.

4. Whenever the funds will admit—to encou-
rage the acquirement of the Holy Tongue among
the children of the members of our persuasion.


Section 1. The officers of this Society shall
consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary,
Treasurer, and eight members who shall form a
Board of Managers for the transaction of business.
They shall be elected separately, by written
ballot, by a majority of votes, on the first Sunday
after ראש השנה in each and every year.

Section 2. Vacancies in office shall be filled
by the Board, on such event taking place.


The President shall preside at all meetings; in
his absence the Vice-President shall take his
place; and in the absence of both, a Chairman
shall be appointed from the members who com-
pose the Board.


The Treasurer shall take charge of all moneys
and securities belonging to the Society, and shall
deposit all sums above fifty dollars, in such bank
or other moneyed institution as the Board of
Managers shall from time to time direct, in the
name and behalf of the Society. He shall make

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payments agreeably to the written orders of the
President for the time being; keep a correct ac-
count of all receipts and expenditures, which ac-
counts shall at all times be open to the inspection
of the Managers; he shall give a statement of
the funds to the Board at their stated meetings,
and to the Society annually at the general meet-
ing. If he leaves the city for more than fourteen
days, he shall deliver the balance of cash in
hand to the Secretary, or some other fit person
until his return, taking a receipt for the same,
and giving notice to the presiding officer of the


The Secretary shall keep records of the pro-
ceedings of the Society and of the Board; do all
other writing not connected with the office of
Treasurer; prepare notice and deliver them to
the person who shall be appointed by the Board
to serve them.


Section 1. The general yearly meeting of this
Society shall take place on the first Sunday after
ראש השנה at some convenient place to be ap-
pointed by the Board of Managers.

Sect. 2. The President shall have power to
call special meetings of the Board or of the Socie-
ty whenever he shall deem it expedient; and it
shall be his duty to call a meeting of the Society
whenever required in writing by seven members,
or of the Board, at the written request of any four
members thereof.

Sect. 3. Stated meetings of the Board shall be
held on the first Sundays of the months of אב


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(“Ab”) חשון (“Hesvan”) שבט (“Sebat”) אייר
(“Yar”) in every year.

Sect. 4. Seventeen Eleven members shall form a
quorum of the Society, and six a quorum of the


Section 1. Any Jew residing in the state of
Pennsylvania, desirous of becoming a member
of this Society, may apply in writing at any
meeting, which application shall lie over until
the next stated Board meeting, at which time,
or at a subsequent stated Board meeting, the
applicant shall be ballotted (sic) for; and if he shall
receive the votes of two-thirds of the members
present, shall be admitted to membership, pro-
vided he signs this Constitution, and pays one
dollar on entrance, to the Treasurer, within three
months after his election.

Sect. 2. No person who shall be married other-
wise than according to the Jewish rites, can apply
for, or be admitted to membership in this Society:
and if any member shall marry otherwise than
according to the Jewish laws, he shall, by the
vote of a majority at any Board meeting, forfeit
his membership—from which vote an appeal may
lie to the next general yearly meeting of the So-
ciety, whose decision thereon shall be final.

Sect. 3. No member in arrears to the Society
shall be permitted to vote at any general election
for officers; and every member who shall be in
arrears to the Society for one year's subscription
and fines, and shall not discharge the same within
three months after receiving notice thereof from
the Secretary, shall be reported by the Treasurer

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at the next stated meeting of the Board, who may,
by a majority of votes, expel such delinquent if
they think proper, and order the Treasurer in-
stantly to commence suit for all sums due by said
delinquent to the Society.

Sect. 4. Any officer or member may be ex-
pelled or otherwise dealt with by the Society on
an impeachment, provided such impeachment be
signed by at least four members, and a copy of
the same, with a notice of the time and place of
meeting furnished to the accused, at least one
week previously; a majority of the members of
the Society present at any such meeting, shall
determine the question of guilt or innocence, and
may impose any sentence not amounting to ex-
pulsion, which shall require the votes of three-
fourths of the members present, or fine not ex-
ceeding one hundred dollars, or suspension from
membership, either of which shall require the
votes of two-thirds of the members present.


Every member shall contribute four dollars
annually to the society in quarterly payments;
and every member who shall on entrance pay
forty dollars, shall be exempted from all contri-
butions during his continuance in the Society.


Sect. 1. The President shall, at his discretion,
on application by any person professing Judaism,
whom he may deem an object worthy of charity,
have the power to relieve such applicant with a
sum not exceeding five dollars: if, however, he
thinks any applicant entitled to more, he shall in

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that consult the Board, and whatever sum
may be voted to such applicant, shall be drawn
from the funds by an order signed by the Presi-
dent and attested by the Secretary. Weekly al-
lowances may be given to poor resident families
applying in writing to the President, who shall
lay the same before the Board to decide thereon,
and order such amount as the applicants are to
receive; these orders being also signed by the
President and attested by the Secretary; Provid-
ed always
, That the aforesaid weekly allowances,
and all other expenditures, shall never exceed
three-fourths of the yearly income of this Society.

Sect. 2. It shall be the duty of the Board of
Managers to visit the sick, order medical assist-
ance, nurses and other necessaries required.—
They shall call on poor applicants, inquire into
their distresses, and see that the Society is not
imposed on by false representations. They shall
employ proper persons to sit up with the dying
and the dead, who are unable to procure such at-
tendants at their own expense, and to watch their
remains at the בית חיים In every instance where
a child of a poor person may be bound an appren-
tice by this Society, it shall be the duty of the
Board to see that he is bound out in such a man-
ner as to keep his Sabbaths and Holy-days, and
in all other respects to adhere as nearly as possi-
ble to his religion, agreeably to the Jewish laws;
they shall also inquire, previously to such bind-
ing, as to the moral character of the intended
master, as well as to his capacity to teach the
child his trade in a workmanlike manner: and
they shall exercise a kindly guardianship over
such child, so far as they may with propriety,
and see justice done him in every respect. And

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no person shall have any claim to the charity of
this Society, unless when applied to by the Board,
he will agree to their binding his child or children
apprentices to learn mechanical trades, unless he
shall give a satisfactory reason why he will not
comply with their wishes.

Sect. 3. The Board may, if they think proper,
form themselves into Committees on Charity, on
the Sick and Dead, on Education and Apprenti-
ces, and such other committees as may facilitate
and more fully carry into effect the objects of this

Sect. 4. The Board shall elect a Messenger and
fix his salary: his duties shall be to collect moneys
due; attend the Society and Board at all meet-
ings; keep the place of meeting in order; visit
the sick, and make report to the Board; attend
all funerals and מנין deliver all notices of meetings,
of attending קבורה טהרה and מנין and such
others as may be delivered to him by the proper
officers of the Society; give the female relatives
of the members notice to attend sewing, and
report to the Secretary every member who has
subjected himself to a fine.


Section 1. No part of this Constitution shall in
any manner be altered, nor any addition made
thereto, unless the same shall have been proposed
in writing at a meeting of the Society, and con-
curred in at a subsequent meeting, by the votes
of three-fourths of the members present: and
such alterations and amendments are to be certi-
fied by the Attorney General and Supreme Court,
and enrolled according to law.

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Sect. 2. All By-laws, Rules, and Regulations,
not repugnant to the Jewish laws or to this Con-
stitution, which may from time to time be agreed
on by this Society, shall be binding on its mem-
bers, and have the same effect as if they were
part of this Constitution: Provided, They shall
have been proposed in writing at any meeting,
and concurred in at a subsequent general meet-
ing of the Society, by the votes of two-thirds of
the members present; And provided, That such
By-laws, Rules, and Regulations, be not repug-
nant to the Constitution and Laws of the United
States, or the Constitution and Laws of this

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To authorize certain alterations in the Charter of the

United Hebrew Beneficent Society of Philadelphia.

WHEREAS the United Beneficent Society of Philadelphia
has been incorporated for the purpose of relieving poor Israel-
ites, educating poor children and binding them apprentices
to learn mechanical trades, ministering to the sick, and burying
the indigent dead: And whereas under present circumstances
its sphere of usefulness is greatly circumscribed by a requisi-
tion in its Charter that applicants for membership shall reside
within this commonwealth, and shall apply in writing: And
whereas a large majority of the members of the Society have
petitioned for such alterations in their Charter as, in their
opinion, the General Assembly alone can grant. Therefore

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Re-
presentatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in
General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the
authority of the same, That the United Hebrew Beneficent
of Philadelphia shall have the power to elect as its
members individuals residing out of the State, in the same
manner as other members may be elected, according to the
provisions of the Charter of the said Society.

Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority afore-
said, That, from and after the passing of this act, any mem-
ber of the said Society may propose another for membership,
and that a written application shall not be indispensably

Section 3. And be it further enacted by the authority afore-
said, That so much of any portion of the Charter of the said
Society as is inconsistent with the foregoing provisions of this
act be, and the same is, hereby repealed, annulled, and made


Speaker of the House of Representatives.


Speaker of the Senate.

Approved April 7, 1832.


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The President shall take the chair within half
an hour after the time specified in the notices for
meeting, provided there be a quorum—call the
members to order, and have the minutes of the
preceding meeting read and submitted for ap-
proval, prior to any other business being brought


When the Vice-president or other chairman
shall preside, in the absence of the President, he
shall be bound by the duties, and invested with
the same powers as are enjoined on, and exer-
cised by the President.


All motions regularly made in writing and se-
conded, shall, before any debate takes place
thereon, be stated from the chair, and no other
shall be received but to amend, postpone, reject
or adjourn, which last shall always be in order,
and be decided without debate.


All votes shall be viva voce, except in elections
for members or officers, which shall be by ballot;
and at the request of any three members, the
yeas and nays shall be entered on the minutes.


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No vote by proxy shall be allowed in any case


All questions, not otherwise provided for, shall
be determined by a majority of the voters present;
and on such occasions the chairman shall not
vote except on an equal division, when he shall
have the casting vote.


No member shall be allowed to speak more
than twice on the same question, without the
consent of the presiding officer; nor shall any
member leave the meeting without permission
from the chair.


The Secretary shall attend all meetings, and
it shall be his duty to bring with him, or send at
the time prescribed, such books and papers as
may be required.


Any member elected to an office and refusing
to serve, or accepting any office and afterwards
resigning, shall, unless liberated by the Board,
be fined in the following sums—viz.: President,
or Vice-President, ten dollars; Treasurer, or Se-
cretary, seven dollars and fifty cents; Member
of the Board, five dollars: provided always, that

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any member who may have served in office, or
paid his fine, shall not be obliged to serve again
in that or any other office, for three years after
the expiration of the first term for which he shall
have been elected.


The following fines shall be imposed by the
society on its members for neglects or delinquen-
cies, from which an appeal may lie to the Presi-
dent, who may remit them on proper excuses
being shown, and from his decision an appeal
shall be further had to the next stated Board-
meeting, whose decision thereon shall be final.


Dolls. Cts.
For absence at roll-call from any meeting of the
Society or Board, . . . . . 25
For absence from any entire meeting of the
Society or Board, . . . . . 50
For leaving a meeting without permission from
the chair, . . . . . 50
And if such leaving the meeting should
break a quorum, . . . .1 00
For not attending טהרה . . . . . 50
For not attending לויה or finding a proper substi-
tute, . . . . . . . 12
For not attending מנין or finding a proper substi-
tute, . . . . . . . 25
And if there be no מנין in consequence, each
absentee shall be fined . . . . 50
For leaving the burial ground before the grave is
filled and the ceremonies concluded, . . 25
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Any member guilty of any disorderly conduct
at a meeting, may be fined by the chairman to
an amount not exceeding five dollars, from which
an appeal may lie to the same meeting, who may
reduce or release the fine, and their judgment
shall be final and conclusive.


The Society shall subscribe to the City Dis-
pensary five dollars, annually, and to the North-
ern and Southern Dispensaries three dollars each,


Any person leaving a legacy of fifty dollars or
more to the Society, shall have honourable men-
tion made of his name at every yearly meeting.


I give and bequeath to the United Hebrew
Beneficent Society
of Philadelphia, the sum of
—- dollars, to be paid to their Treasurer for
the time being, —- months after my decease,
and to be applied towards carrying on the charitable
designs of their Institution.”


Donations may be received from persons of
every religious denomination, whose names shall
be honourably mentioned at every general yearly
meeting of the society.

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Life-subscriptions, legacies, and donations to
the amount of thirty dollars and upwards, shall
be invested in public stocks when they amount
to five hundred dollars, as a permanent fund, the
interest only to be expended.


In all legal controversies between the Society
and any of its members, the books and accounts
of the Society, verified by the oath of the proper
officer, shall be evidence of contributions or fines
due from such member to the Society.


If any member purposes leaving the state for
any considerable length of time, he may notify
the same to the President, and pay up all arrears
to the end of the quarter in which he resigns; and
if such member shall again return to the state,
and wish to be re-admitted, he may again be
considered a member without being ballotted (sic)
for, or paying any new entrance fee, by consent
of a majority of the Board.


Any member wishing to resign, must pay all
arrearages (sic) to the end of the quarter in which he
resigns, and notify his intention, in writing, to
the President, who shall lay it before the Board
for consideration at their next meeting


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When a person shall be admitted to member-
ship in the middle of a quarter, his first quarterly
subscription shall become payable at the same
time as that of the other members.


On the death of a member, it shall be the duty
of the Society to follow his remains to the grave,
and attend, in turn, morning and evening prayers
בתוך שבעה ימי אבלות, or if a member becomes
אבל the Society shall in their turns attend מנין,
and prayers shall be said in the מנהג desired by
the אבל.


All the members who shall be in the city or
county of Philadelphia, shall be summoned to
attend the funeral of every member of the So-


Male relatives of a member who are not more
than twenty-one years of age shall be entitled to
the services of the חברה.


Female relatives of a member on whom it is
obligatory to make קריעה and to observe the
seven days mourning, are entitled to the services
usually rendered by a חברה to females.

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If any indigent Jew lies sick, and apprehen-
sions are entertained of his death, the Board, or
their Committee on the sick, shall procure suita-
ble persons to attend him in his last moments,
and they shall in all instances appoint the hours
for טהרה וקבורה and regulate all proceedings


The committee on the sick and dead, shall
select eight members to perform טהרה who shall
permit no person to interfere, without the con-
sent of the chairman of said committee; nor shall
any member be permitted to give to any other
person that duty which he shall have been called
on to perform, without the consent of the same
chairman; and no member shall depart the burial-
ground, until all the ceremonies are performed—
except in cases of contagious disease.


The aforesaid by-laws Nos. 24 and 25, shall
on no account whatever, interfere with the rules
and regulations already adopted by the חברות
קברנים established in this city.


The name of every member of the Society
shall be entered on a list, to be kept by the Se-
cretary, and on the requisition of the committee
on the sick and dead, it shall be his duty to sum-
mon in turn, a sufficient number to attend מנין

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taking care that the same names are not selected
twice, until the whole roll of the Society shall
have been gone through.


The committee on the sick and dead, shall,
whenever it is practicable, employ Jews, and no
others, to dig the graves of the deceased mem-
bers, or such poor Jews as shall be interred at
the expense of the Society; and it shall be the
duty of such persons so employed, to direct and
see them filled and finished.


Any member who shall pay two dollars quar-
terly, in lieu of the contribution required in the
9th Article of the Constitution, shall be exempted
from all fines, except fines for improper conduct
at a meeting, and every member who shall have
signified his intention of thus becoming an ex-
empt member, shall continue to be so considered
until he shall otherwise direct in writing, to the


Any member who shall, on entrance, pay fifty
dollars in lieu of the life contribution required in
the Constitution, shall, during his continuance
in the Society, be exempted from all further con-
tributions, and from all fines except fines for im-
proper conduct at a meeting: Provided, neverthe-
less, that nothing contained in this or the forego-
ing by-law, shall be so construed as to exonerate
any such exempt member from his liability to the

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Jacob PhillipsZadok A. Davis
I. J. LevyHerman Van Beil
Samuel LyonsAbraham Hart
Simeon DreyfousHenry M. Phillips


January 8th, 1837.

Moses AbrahamsGeorge A. Davis
Lewis AllenGoodman Davis
Joseph J. AndrewsMark Davis
Mitchel AnckerZ. A. Davis
Mayer ArnoldIsaac De Young
Joseph BomeislerM. H. De Young
M. BreslauMichael De Young
M. H. CardozoA. Dessau
M. CauffmanS. Dreyfous
Abraham H. CohenM. I. Drucker
Benjamin W. CohenSimon Elfelt
David CohenAbraham Elkin
Moses CohenDr. M. Emanuel
Benjamin DavisB. Eytinge
David A. DavisJacob Ezekiel
George DavisM. Freidenburg
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Officers 5619

PresidentL J Leberman
V PresidentM. Cauffman
TreasrI J Phillips
SectryM. M. Allen


I A PhillipI. Newhouse
A HartI. Hunt
M A MitchellL Mayer
L. L. MosesI Langdorf
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M. Rosenbach

Jacob J. Phillips

Abm Isaacs

Harding Newhouse

David Solomon

Isaac Myers

B. Brummer

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Abraham HartJoseph L. Moss
Abraham L. HartA. Myers, (Richmond)
B. B. HartJoseph Myers
Hyman M. HartA. C. Peixotto
Andrew IsaacsH. M. Phillips
George IsaacsJacob Phillips
Jacob I. KeysJ. A. Phillips
Abraham LazarusIsaac J. Phillips
Henry LazarusLevy Phillips
Henry Lazarus (Mobile)Zalma Rehine
Isaac LeeserEdward Roget
Lyon LembergerG. D. Rosengarten
David LevineAaron Samuel
A. Levy (Richmond)David Samuel
Alexander LevyFrederick Samuel
I. J. LevyMayer Shoyer
Jacob A. LevyR. J. Switzer
L. J. LevyIsrael Tobiason
Samuel LyonsJacob Ulman
August MendelsohnH. Van Beil
Simpson MorrisSimon Weil
Hart I. MosesWolf Weil
John MossJonathan Zachariah
Isaac M. Moss