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The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation

Bernard Susser

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 40, 2005 The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation* BERNARD SÜSSER By around the year 1825 some 6000 to 8000 Jews had settled in English provincial towns. Liverpool and Birmingham was home to perhaps the bulk of them, while the rest were to be found mostly in small communities of up to 250 souls in sea ports. The majority of such communities included considerable well-anglicized native-born elements. British-born Jews had, in the main, forsaken lowly occupations such as old-clothes dealing and peddling for the more middle-class occupations of shopkeeping, small-scale manufacturing, doctoring and dentistry. In dress and speech they were indistinguishable from the general public, and to an increasing extent they participated in the social, political and even, in the case of the substantial number who converted, religious life of the country.1 Our knowledge of one of these communities, that of Sunderland, in the early 1820s, has been enlarged by the discovery of a manuscript book of Regulations relating to the Congregation of Adath Jeshurun, a poetical name for Israel (Deuteronomy 32:15). The designation was not unique. Bristol congregation founded in about 1750 was similarly named, as was one in Cologne.2 The book measures 9% inches by 7'A inches and contains 216 pages of which 190 are blank. At the Hebrew end of the book, reading from right to left, are the Regulations written in a blend of Germanic Yiddish and Hebrew, in square Hebrew characters. These take up twenty-four leaves written on the left-hand side of each two-page spread only. The title page is in Hebrew and is dated 1823 (although Regulation 30 refers to founder members in 1821). The book was used again in 1845 and 1846 when deci sions of'the old established Congregation of Israelites' were recorded in English at the back, using both sides of two leaves. It was probably at this time that the outside cover was adorned with tooled gold lettering which reads 'Rules and Regulations of the Sunderland Synagogue'. * This paper, written in 1969, is here published for the first time. 1 For an overview see Cecil Roth, History of the Jem in England (Oxford 1949) 239. 2 The Regulations were found among the effects of the late Abraham Merskey and given to the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation by his family.</page><page sequence="2">Bernard Süsser Sunderland's two Jewish congregations There were two Jewish congregations in Sunderland in the nineteenth century. The senior was called the 'Polish' and was founded towards the end of the eighteenth century. George Garbutt, writing in 1819, referred to this congregation when he said that 'the Jews of Sunderland and neigh bourhood meet for public worship in a house at the bottom of Vine Street. It is difficult of access and in no way remarkable for its interior decora tions.'3 The congregation still met there in 1830 when James Burnett wrote 'The Jews have a synagogue in Vine Street'.4 By the middle of the 1850s it had become extinct, there being only twelve worshippers on the Sabbath morning of the 1851 census. The other congregation, the 'Israelite', as it eventually became known, appears to have been founded on 13 July 1821.5 The official name of the congregation at its foundation was Adath Jeshurun; in the course of time this appellation was dropped and, from being referred to as a Congregation of the Israelites, became the Israelite Congregation. Evidence of this change is provided by the minutes of deci sions taken at 'a meeting of the members of the old established Congregation of Israelites' at the home of Jacob Joseph on 15 May 1845, copied in English at the left-hand end of the manuscript volume containing the Regulations. The use of the same book for both the Adath Jeshurun and Israelite congregations, coupled with Jacob Joseph's continuity of member ship and service - he was a founder member of Adath Jeshurun and presi dent of the Israelites - indicates that the two congregations were one and the same. A further alteration in the congregation's official name was made when the Israelites built their first synagogue in Moor Street, opened in 1862. It was then styled 'The Sunderland Hebrew Congregation', the name by which is it still officially known. The present account is intended to correct Levy's somewhat confused history, which he would no doubt have amended had he known of the Regulations and lived to see his book published. The use of the adjectives 'Israelite' and 'Hebrew' instead of the now more obvious 'Jewish' requires explanation. They were used because in the eighteenth, nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, at least until after the great martyrdom of European Jewry, 'Jew' and 'Jewish' had unpleasant 3 G. Garbutt, A Historical View of Sunderland (Sunderland 1819) 258. 4 J. Burnett, The History of the Town and Port of Sunderland (Sunderland 1830) 83. 5 Regulation (hereafter Reg.) 30. Cecil Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (London 1950) 102, says that it was founded in 1829, but gives no source for his statement. A. Levy, 'History of the Sunderland Jewish Community' (unpublished MS 1956) 29, mistakenly asserts that Burnett gave 1829 as the date of the foundation of the Israelite Congregation.</page><page sequence="3">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation connotations6 and were used in a 'more or less opprobrious sense'.7 Graetz, the Jewish historian, speaks of'the scornful nick-name of the Jew' which was in general use throughout Europe.8 Sympathetic non-Jews who wished to avoid the unpleasant undertones of'Jew' therefore used the euphemistic terms 'Israelite' and 'Hebrew'. As the Voice of Jacob put it in 1844, 'proba bly because of the remains of ancient prejudice against the title "Jews", the Athenaeum calls us "Hebrews" '.9 In Britain 'Hebrews' was in general use and was adopted by Jews themselves, particularly in provincial towns, to designate their communities, hence the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation. In France, Israélite was preferred and was in general use until the emer gence of the State of Israel, which has led to ambiguity in the adjectival form (for instance, the Alliance Israélite Universelle). Jacob Joseph dominated the affairs of Sunderland's Jewry during the greater part of the nineteenth century.10 While in Amsterdam in 1790 he accepted an invitation from the Polish Congregation to become its shochet (ritual slaughterer) and hazan (cantor). Since the congregation was small and could not afford to pay a living wage, he augmented his salary by trad ing (not at all unusual in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: records of the business transactions of the Penzance shochet, B. A. Simmons, 1784-1860, are still extant). Commercial success led him to resign his post. The opportunity to do so came with the founding of Adath Jeshurun in 1821, when he exchanged his service status as a shochet for the higher social standing of a baal habayis. This term (pi. baalei batim) is used in the Regulations to describe a full Member with voting rights as distinct from a Seat-holder who had none, but is also used, depending on the context, to designate members in general, as distinct from paid officials. Relations between the two congregations were bad. Members of the Israelite Congregation had not only to refrain from supporting the Polish, but were not to worship there (Regulation 10). The cause of the split is not now known. Levy tentatively suggests that the Polish Congregation was principally composed of Hasidim, whereas the other catered for Misnagdim.11 This is unlikely because there is no evidence that Hasidic conventicles were anywhere established in Britain before the large-scale Russo-Polish immigration from i860 onwards (there are few references to Hasidism in the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society). A more likely reason for the split is that the members of the Adath Jeshurun 6 H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modem English Usage (Oxford 1940) s.v. Hebrew. 7 Ibid. s.v. Jew. 8 H. Graetz, History of the Jews V (Philadelphia 1956) 293. 9 Voice of Jacob 16 February 1844. 10 A. Levy (see n. 5) 36-8. 11 Ibid. 30.</page><page sequence="4">Bernard Süsser Congregation were Jewishly more observant and less anglicized and assimi lated than their brothers in the Polish. Two considerations lend strength to this argument: first, the Regulations are written entirely in Hebrew and Yiddish without a single English loan word and, secondly, the detailed explanation of the reasons underlying some of the regulations (Regulations 4 and 11 and see below under 'Standards of Jewish Knowledge') suggests that the justifications for them were not fully comprehended by this congregation. The number of Jews in Sunderland in 1823 There were probably about 150 Jews - men, women and children - in Sunderland in the early 1820s. This number emerges only from a series of assumptions and guesses, albeit based on some known data. The only certainty in the chain of circumstantial reasoning is the number of Full Members in the Adath Jeshurun Congregation. Regulation 30 lists twelve Full Members, all of whom, to judge by their titles, were married men. The abbreviated prefix of the letter kaf suggests kevod, an honorific title usually reserved for married men, while the letters he bet represent ha bachur, usually placed before a bachelor's name. Seven of these can be identified, among whom the youngest was David Jonassohn and the oldest Jacob Joseph, respectively aged twenty-six and fifty-eight in 1821.12 Since, on average, each Full Member represented a family of four or five persons, there must have been some fifty or sixty individuals associated with Adath Jeshurun. In addition, an allowance must be made for a number of Seat holders and non-paying associates. In older-established communities Full Members formed a minority, but in newly organized congregations, such as Adath Jeshurun, it may be assumed that the Seat-holders were in the minority, particularly as they were encouraged to become Full Members (Regulation 28). Assuming five Seat-holders and non-paying male worshippers, the total number of individuals associated with Adath Jeshurun can be estimated at between sixty-eight and eighty-five, as the following table illustrates: Estimated total of individuals assuming average assuming average of4 per family of5 per family 12 Full Members 48 60 5 Seat-holders and others 20 25 68 85 See Reg. 30 notes below. 10</page><page sequence="5">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Adath Jeshurun was the younger and breakaway congregation, in spite of Levy's theories to the contrary,13 so it is reasonable to suppose that there were at least as many, if not more, members associated with the Polish Congregation. There are two indications that this was so: first, Burnett writing in 1830 mentions only the Polish Congregation and, secondly, Myers Marks, an official of the Polish Congregation, was appointed Secretary for Marriages for all Sunderland Jews in 1837.14 It can therefore be suggested that the total Jewish population of Sunderland in 1823 was between 136 and 175. A final estimate of 150 Jews in a total population of some 34,000 would probably not be far out, and would correspond with V. D. Lipman's estimate of the Jewish population in Sunderland in 1850.15 There is no reason to suppose that numbers fluctuated to a great extent until the Russo-Polish influx of 1860-1910. The communal organization of Adath Jeshurun Three types of membership were recognized in most Jewish communities established in England during the eighteenth century. They were: i. Baalei batim (literally, 'house-owners'; sing. Baal habayis), that is, Full Members who had voting rights and from whom the executive officers were chosen ii. Toshavim (literally, 'sojourners'; sing. Toshov), that is, Seat-holders who had no voting rights and were only rarely consulted on financial or administrative matters iii. Orchim (literally, 'guests'; sing. Orach), that is, those who had been settled in the town, often for some years, but who could not afford to pay regularly the guinea or 30 shillings a year usually required for a seat The Adath Jeshurun in Sunderland recognized only two of these cate gories, Full Members and Seat-holders, the latter being called orchim, the term reserved elsewhere for non-seat-holders. Full membership in most communities was available only to the son or son-in-law of a Full Member. Sometimes it was granted as a special mark of favour in recognition of serv ices rendered to a long-standing Seat-holder. In the Adath Jeshurun the Seat-holder was encouraged to become a Full Member, the only qualifica tion required being financial: a single special payment of one guinea, or annual payment of two guineas, as seat money sufficed to transmute a Seat holder into a Full Member (Regulation 28). 13 A. Levy (see n. 5) 29. 14 J. Burnett (see n. 4). 15 V. D. Lipman, Social History of the Jews in England, 1850-1950 (London 1954) 187. II</page><page sequence="6">Bernard Süsser The Congregation was governed by a parnas (president), a gabbai (treas urer) and the Five Men (a committee; see the notes to Regulation 26 below). It also employed a hazan (Regulation 7) who probably acted as shochet (Regulation 27) and teacher (Regulation 24), as well as a beadle who proba bly helped with the teaching (Regulation 7). There is no mention of fees paid to these officials, although Plymouth's shochet was paid 21s a week when he was appointed in 1823. In addition, he received probably as much again in fees for his shechitah and teaching, as well as free meat.16 A quaint recompense, however, was awarded the beadle when he acted as a kind of Azazel's goat (Regulation 27). There was no provision for a rabbi, and none was appointed until the community was at a much later stage of its development. Liturgy The rite followed in the Adath Jeshurun was the Germano-Polish, that is, the rite used in Germany and by Misnagdim (non-Hasidim) in Poland, together with certain additions peculiar to English congregations such as Yigdal on Friday night and Adon Olom at the end of the Sabbath morning service.17 Prayers were recited earlier than is now customary (Regulation 7), indicating in some instances a greater degree of devotion but also the earlier hour at which work then started. Finance The Congregation's income was derived from: a) seat rentals, probably about one guinea a year for each gentleman's seat (two guineas entitled a Seat-holder to special privileges) b) entrance fees from would-be Full Members (Regulation 28) c) offerings from those called to the Reading of the Law, of 3d on a Sabbath, 6d on ordinary festivals and is 6d on the Days of Awe (see the notes to Regulation 9). d) fines Fines were exacted for maliciously disturbing the service (Regulation 3), talking during the service or allowing children to disturb (Regulation 6), throwing things in the synagogue on Simchat Torah or on Tisha b'Av (Regulation 32), holding unauthorized services (Regulation 5), leaving the synagogue to avoid being called up (one had to make an offering when 16 Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 'Minute Book', 1795-1834, 177. 17 Israel Abrahams, Companion to the Authorised Daily Book (London 1922) i. 12</page><page sequence="7">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation called up; Regulation 11 ), refusing to be one of the Bridegrooms of the Law (Regulation 16) or to become parnas, gabbai (Regulation 19) or one of the Five Men (Regulation 20), or for unlawful shechitah (Regulation 27). In addition the officials, paid and unpaid, were liable to be fined for any dere liction of duty (Regulations 7 and 17). The fines ranged from threepence for talking during the service, to a guinea for refusing to be parnas. There is no evidence that recourse was made to fines in order to raise funds (as Isaac Disraeli felt when he was heavily fined for not taking office at Bevis Marks Synagogue, London; he resigned) or, indeed, that they were actually imposed. Studies of the accounts of the Plymouth and Exeter syna gogues indicate that fines were rarely imposed and even then usually remit ted because of the ill-will engendered by their imposition. Accounts were kept and had to be rendered twice yearly, although none seem to have survived. There was a separate account for the cemetery and for charity (Regulations 17, 9 and 18). The sums involved - fines of 3d, 6d, 2s 6d, 5s, 10s 6d, £1 is, seat-money of up to two guineas annually and offerings of 3d or 6d - appear to be small, but must be considered in conjunction with a working-man's wages in Sunderland at that period. Wages of shipwrights were then about 15s a week, while the unemployed were glad to help in cutting away Houghton le-Spring embankment for is 6d a day.18 Monies were collected by the beadle and handed to the treasurer (Regulation 12). There is no suggestion that there was a tax on meat, although this was usual. The reason for the tax was that dues were often paid in arrears, notwithstanding rules to the contrary, so provincial congre gations frequently found themselves short of ready cash. They raised it by imposing a tax on kosher meat which was paid by the butcher weekly, and then credited to the member's account and deducted from his quarterly bill.19 Communal discipline The avowed intention of the Regulations was to ensure communal harmony (see the title page below), although it is doubtful whether this remained more than a pious hope. Working- and lower-middle-class Jews who had not yet achieved social emancipation were made painfully aware that they were second- if not fourth-rate citizens. Political emancipation was of far less consequence than social acceptance in a country in which the great majority of people had no parliamentary vote. In such circumstances it was 18 The Life, Adventures and Poems of Thomas Sanderson (3rd edn, Sunderland 1876) 18. 19 See Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 'Rules', 1835, no. 82. 13</page><page sequence="8">Bernard Süsser natural for men of spirit to look for exaggerated respect within their own community, hence the insistent demands for honour and the order of precedence (Regulations 8, 16 and 21). Contributory causes of the bitter fights which broke out from time to time were personal animosity engen dered by trading rivalry (see Regulation 4) and the absence of a strong local religious authority. They had no rabbi to settle religious or other problems 'and each man did that which was right in his own eyes'.20 Bitter feuding and even brawling took place in other communities, and there is reason to suppose that it also happened in Adath Jeshurun (see Regulation 32). As Jews became more anglicized and less afraid of courts and the police, or rather, perhaps, as they discovered they could get a fair hearing, they resorted to them with greater frequency. By the middle of the nineteenth century the many prosecutions brought by Jews against co-religionists for assault or slander within the synagogue precints became an open scandal. Not quite so unpleasant a case, but one which still attracted unfavourable notice, occurred in Sunderland County Court where two Jews were plain tiff and defendant in a debt case.21 The Regulations do not mention Rabbi Solomon Herschell of London, the de facto Chief Rabbi. According to the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation's rules, each person called to the reading of the Law had to mention Rabbi Herschell's name first in any mi sheberach.22 Few congrega tions would celebrate a marriage or allow the shochet to practise his profes sion without Herschell's prior authorization.23 Although no evidence appears to have survived suggesting that Rabbi Herschell exercised authority in these spheres in Sunderland in the first quarter of the nine teenth century, the paucity of records makes it unwise to draw general conclusions. By 1838 Jacob Joseph was writing to Rabbi Herschell to ask his decision concerning a mistake in a Torah Scroll,24 suggesting that his authority was accepted in Sunderland at least by the Adath Jeshurun Congregation. Standards of Jewish knowledge The language of the Regulations is Yiddish, with Hebrew elements, written in Hebrew characters. At that period other congregations were translating Exeter Hebrew Congregation, 'Rules' 1823: 'None but the Rabbi may pasken [lay down reli gious law] in the synagogue' but as they never had a rabbi, disputes proliferated. E.g.jfemsh Chronicle 26 Sept. 1856; ibid. 1 Nov. 1901. Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 'Rules', 1779, no. 3. For this prayer see Reg. 8 and, for an example of the text, Reg. 21. Ibid. no. 10. Charles Duschinsky, The Rabbinate of the Great Synagogue (Oxford 1921) 123. H</page><page sequence="9">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation their rules into English (Exeter did so in 1823) and even issuing printed booklets, as did Liverpool in 1818 and Brighton in 1825, followed by the Great Synagogue in London in 1827.25 The fact that the Sunderland Regulations were drawn up in Yiddish in 1823 suggests that the members of Adath Jeshurun were at that time not yet anglicized, and still spoke and read Yiddish more fluently than English. This is not unusual, however, for in some congregations the minutes and additions to the rules continued to be written in Yiddish, particularly while there was an individual capable of doing so, such as the beadle or cantor, long after most members had become sufficiently at home in English to use the language with fluency. In Plymouth, for instance, the hazan kept the minutes of the congregation in Yiddish until 1833, although members of a private society kept the records of their proceedings in English from as early as 1797.26 At about the time that the Regulations were drawn up, Yiddish literacy was declining in some of the older provincial congregations. The Exeter Congregation, for example, was seriously inconvenienced by correspondence in Yiddish, as is evident from the postscript to a letter sent in 1837 by M. L. Green (an uncle of the Revd A. A. Green, later Minister of Sunderland Hebrew Congregation) on behalf of his congregation to Rabbi Herschell in London: 'It will particularly oblige our Congregation for your answer to be sent to us in English'.27 An unusual feature of the Regulations is a tendency towards didacticism. In Regulation 4, for example, the talmudic interpretation of Exodus 21:1 is quoted in an otherwise commonly found regulation. Rules designed to prevent worshippers from leaving the synagogue before the Reading of the Torah, and thus avoid the necessity of making a donation, were common. Less usual is the quotation of the talmudic passage referring to such conduct (Regulation 11). The writer of the Regulations, and probably most members of Adath Jeshurun, was at home in the principal sources of Jewish literature. However, his knowledge, though wide, lacked the precision of meticulous scholarship. Thus the proof text is misquoted in Regulation 11, the doctrine 'there is no punishment without prior warning' ( Yoma 81 a) is quoted inaccurately in Regulation 22, and Numbers 15:31 is transcribed in Regulation 11 either carelessly or in ignorance of basic Hebrew grammar. None the less, there was a greater than usual emphasis on Jewish learning and studies (Regulation 24), for rules concerned with education and the supervision of the teacher were rarely embodied in the general laws of congregations at that time. 25 Cecil Roth, Magna Btblwlheca Anglo-Judatca (London 1937) 298-300. 26 Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 'Minute Book', 1795-1834; 'Plymouth Meshivas Nefesh Accounts', 1797. 27 MSS in the author's collection. i5</page><page sequence="10">Bernard Süsser Religious practice Observance of laws relating to the Sabbath, diet and conjugal life is basic to the proper practice of Judaism. As the Regulations are silent about penalties to be imposed on those who infringed them, it may be inferred that all members properly observed the main requirements. In contrast, Rule 17 of the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation of 1779 bars Jews who married out of their faith or were living with non-Jewish mistresses from participating in synagogal rites. According to the same congregation's rules of 1835, any member publicly transgressing the Sabbath or Festival forfeited all privi leges of membership. Here there is no mention of a mikveh (ritual bath whose use is enjoined on Jewish women once a month, and which may also be used by men), but this silence was quite common. The Sunderland Jewish community had one in 1845 and almost certainly before that date as well.28 The usual provisions were made for the baking of matsot (unleavened bread eaten during Passover), but none for a synagogal succah (a booth in which meals are eaten during Tabernacles). Bevis Marks, London, had a synagogal succah at this period, but the custom had not yet become general, and even at the time of writing, of the two Sunderland congregations only the Hebrew Congregation builds a succah.29 It may have been assumed that each home would have one. Nor was there provision for an etrog (citron used in the service on Tabernacles), even though they were expensive and had to be imported, so few could afford their own. One was usually provided by the congregation and taken round to members by the beadle, receiving a fee from the congregation for so doing.30 Nothing is said either of the custom to remain awake in the synagogue on the night of Yom Kippur (in Plymouth in 1883 the beadle was paid to stay up vicariously for the rest of the congrega tion31), although the custom of studying through the nights of Pentecost and Hoshanah Rabbah was observed (Regulation 23). Welfare services The Congregation as such administered all welfare services, as was typical of a community still in the early stages of its development. Sensitive arrangements were made to help members who had fallen on hard times through sickness (Regulation 25). Doubtless, members sat at the bedside of the dying and watched over the dead, although these functions were not 28 Chief Rabbinate Archives, MS 104. 29 Voice of Jacob 22 Oct. 1845. 30 Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, 'Accounts', 1884, 224. 31 Ibid. 112. i6</page><page sequence="11">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation codified until 1845 (see the Minutes of 15 May 1845). Provision was made for contributions to the Cemetery Fund (Regulation 9), although the silence about burials might imply that there was an independent society in operation or that the Adath Jeshurun used the facilities provided by the 'Polish' Congregation. Itinerant Jewish poor were helped from the Charity Fund, which was maintained by offerings (Regulation 18). The amount given was generally about a day's wages, but thtparnas and gabbai had wide discretion. Relations between Jews and Gentiles The Regulations throw little light on Jewish-Gentile relationships in Sunderland. The traditional bar on recourse to Gentile courts of law was included (Regulation 4), but few conclusions should be drawn from this. However, the detail in which the prohibition is spelled out may indicate that some Jews did utilize the local courts. The Congregation itself called in the police to settle one internal squabble, a procedure which is admitted to have been a profanation of the Divine Name (Regulation 32). The Five Men were enjoined to appoint a butcher (Regulation 27), who was probably a Gentile and would have worked in close cooperation with the synagogue authorities. There is evidence of at least one business partnership in Burleigh Street between a Jew, Isaiah Samuel, and a Gentile, Peter Johnson, in 1814.32 Nevertheless, the Jews as a community preferred to remain inconspicuous. In common with most synagogues established in Britain between 1760 and i860 the buildings were discreet and their entrances difficult of access. The Portsmouth, Edinburgh and Plymouth synagogues were approached from lanes leading off a street, while those at Dublin and King's Lynn were entered through a yard at the rear of another property.33 The desire to be inconspicuous prompted Sunderland Jews to purchase for a synagogue the Vine Street property, which was, in Garbutt's words quoted earlier, 'difficult of access'.34 Postscript The Sunderland Jewish community of 1823 was small but vigorous, steeped in Jewish lore and law, and strongly traditional in character. The hard struggle for economic survival undoubtedly marred the social life of its members and bitter words were no doubt exchanged. Yet the poor and the sick were looked after sympathetically and with delicacy of feeling. 32 'Sunderland Parish Poor Rate Book, 1814-15'. 33 E. Jamilly, 'The Georgian Synagogue' (unpublished essay) 14. 34 G. Garbutt (see n. 3). 17</page><page sequence="12">Bernard Süsser One cannot leave the Sunderland Jewish Community of 1823 without a glance at the situation 145 years later, when this study was written. In 1968 there were some 1150 Jewish souls in Sunderland. The Jewish Year Book of 1968 gives a figure of 1350, but this is probably an overestimate. There were two congregations - the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation (president, David Abrahams) whose synagogue is in Ryhope Road and the Sunderland Beth Hamedrash (president, Dr Aaron Gillis) which is situated in Mowbray Road. The Sunderland Hebrew Congregation was the natural successor to the Israelite Congregation of the mid-nineteenth century, which itself succeeded the Congregation of Adath Jeshurun. In 1968 the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation comprised some 250 families, many of whom also supported the Beth Hamedrash. The two congregations co-operated harmoniously in all spheres of Jewish activity. In particular they jointly operated the Chevrah Kaddishah (president, Stan Goldberg), a society which arranged funerals and cared for Sunderland's Jewish cemeteries; the board of Shechitah (president, I. W. Brewer); and the Board of Guardians (president, J. D. Levine), which worked closely with the Sunderland Jewish Ladies' Guild (chairman, Mrs L. Collins). The members of the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation, in common with those of the Beth Hamedrash, supported the Menorah School which provided primary education for some 100 children (chairman, C. Gillis; head mistress, Mrs G. Shochet; director of Jewish education, Rabbi R. Kahan); the Sunderland Yeshivah, which housed and taught more than fifty young men (principal, Rabbi S. Zahn); the Sunderland Kolel, which maintained some dozen young married men who pursued higher talmudic studies (principal, Rabbi Ch. Ehrentreu); the Joel Intract Memorial Home of Rest for Aged Jews, with about forty residents (president, H. Olswang; the home's intake was from all over the northeast of England); as well as the numerous welfare and Zionist societies which usually flourish in Jewish communities. The members of the Congregation of Adath Jeshurun strove to implant their Jewish traditions on English soil and to train their offspring to walk in their footsteps. The measure of their success may be gauged by the unique Anglo-Jewish community of Sunderland. Acknowledgements In this work I gratefully acknowledge the debt I owe to my parents who made it possible for me to devote my life to study and the service of others. My deepest gratitude is due to my wife whose encouragement alone has enabled me to persevere through all manner of difficulties. This work would not have seen the light of day without the constant</page><page sequence="13">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation support of David Abrahams. I am indebted to D. R. Berg who has provided secretarial assistance and has patiently seen the work through various drafts. To these and all others who have helped in one way or another I express my grateful thanks. Bernard Süsser Wunderland içôç EPILOGUE At the time of publication, almost forty years after the late Bernard Süsser wrote this paper, the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation, the remnant of the amalgamation of the original Sunderland Hebrew Congegation and the Sunderland Beth Hamedrash in the 1980s, stands on the brink of extinc tion. From a peak in the mid-twentieth century of about 1500 souls, it has declined to just thirty-seven. The year 2005 marks the 250th anniversary of recorded Jewish settlement in the city. Those who remain are conscious of the debt owed to the past. The reputation of the community stands high in Britain and in many countries of the world, not least in Israel where so many from the city now live. Unfortunately in the near future we will have to bid farewell to an organized community. Those of us who are left do so in sadness but also in pride at the dedication of our forebears and immediate ancestors and especially the ministers and rabbis who led us. Charles H. Slater Chairman, Sunderland Hebrew Congregation 19</page><page sequence="14">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation TEXT AND TRANSLATION There follows a photographic record of the manuscript of the Regulations of the Sunderland Synagogue with an annotated translation and, in the case of the English pages, a transcription. The Hebrew pages of the MS were foli ated by the scribe in Hebrew at the top left, beginning with the leaf after the title-page. Arabic foliation, including the title-page, was added in pencil on square paper slips stuck to the lower left-hand corner of each folio, but these survive on the first 18 pages only. In this translation the pencilled folio numbers are cited up to folio 18, together with the Hebrew foliation. Thereafter the series of Arabic foliation is continued, although the Hebrew foliation alone appears in the MS. The four pages in English at the left hand end of the volume are not numbered. 21</page><page sequence="15">„ i m _ mez . | ___ !? Jti! hv twspnnr &lt; lirwjwfcp1 TttfWnoio ppn 1 t p » . mhmrvh jrmth BfV'ihN a'Wan Itjrn b$n arv^v iSas i I , HI '■""f *yj&gt;59^ "iaV ImwVi+w ht »p»a B'S^oh hujwi* j | j -ft—&lt;* K3« m bwi jhtiwA ywt Vjj^»a uj.* 3.17' xt , 'ja'T^S Ts iVSri vora&gt; -yrj; &lt;tm no«n i"=avv^r'iT)u&gt;" jgj-1 nxpa'bV5u?a &gt;»a.' tp^wW imi Vaw b,Wa &gt;..'■&lt; ■ TP* oiSwia i»y ,\ b^ifrsn ftsncts ! ^"ta *i5-»bVi y QH .• - ? • " 1&lt; 22</page><page sequence="16">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 1 [Hebrew title] This is the Pinkes1 of the regulations of the Congregation of Adath Jeshurun of the holy community of Sunderland,2 which they took on them selves and their seed3 who come after them for a token to be kept,4 to cling fast to the regulations which are written in this Pinkes; and they shall be as a sign for rebellious children that no man of Belial and quarrelsome person shall draw near to hold to contention. And if, Heaven forfend, one shall come to protest and to dispute in the synagogue, then your eyes shall look on these regulations in order to maintain and magnify peace, in order that each one may come in peace to his place,5 and may the Lord bless his people with peace.6 In the year 'the Jews ordained and took upon them, and upon their seed' according to the minor and major accounting [5583 AM].7 The term pinkas originally meant a writing tablet, then a book of such tablets. Cf. Mishnah Aboth 3:16, 'The Pinkas is open and the hand writes'. It now generally refers to a record book of the community, often containing its constitution, lists of members, records of births and deaths and sometimes the minutes of its meetings; see 'Pinkes',_7&lt;?B&gt;zs/! Encyclopaedia (New York 1901). Hebrew terms in the translation are transliterated to reflect the Ashkenazi accent employed in Yiddish. Those in the notes are transliterated in the now more usual Sephardi accent. The Hebrew transliteration reflects the Wearside pronunciation of the name. Esther 9:27. Numbers 17:25, referring to the rod of Aaron. Exodus 18:23 and 'Burial Service', Authorised Daily Prayer Book (London 1890) 321. Psalms 29:11. The date is given according to both the minor order, i.e. omitting the thousands, and the major order, including the thousands. The ornamented letters, the first He representing 5000, have the numerical equivalent of 5583. This Jewish year corresponds with 1822-3. The selection of this particular chronogramme from the book of Esther, which is read on the springtime festival of Purim, suggests that the title page was written about that time. 23</page><page sequence="17">3 Kru^n jnjraV it hyhwb jtapah jrvmv M*&gt;&gt; VaV n^ea j}»»i sh-f b'HFu ttfts" sns ai" naiy »*&gt;•**&gt;&amp; pi ^th ip^sna p ffhx ww twnwtsanyiKn wsivw-&gt; ijjafut t»s jj-» anux yiSu* ywy, ty'SaS A p* W p arsnsi tahraT tt Mnsa jr^'en srw tr-tr-a 3 npn ;w 4st riSns.ih m** p Up a-4w» a^*,, bh ^ umjtw Wt r&lt;r Sa? -raiym n^ttrn snk i'tsn r* Srr-it* p» Ttrt -t'-oiiH is u'j -vi-p est *» w^n'j i hapn y* *v Th&gt;3 py» WT^-vitK ahaa WiJ* tynja Tiia -t *» SAta pwr \* iw® r*&gt;j&gt; fi' j&gt;?anyrv&lt; »i-upfta r * v^tyj *»•« wy 24</page><page sequence="18">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 2 [Hebrew 1] Regulation11 The order and custom of prayer shall not be changed from the custom of Poland as established in this country to the custom of any other country, either in the weekday prayers or the prayers of Sabbath, Festival or Days of Awe;2 so that we may not become separate groups. But the order shall be as the first [settlers] appointed, the worthy men who established the custom of prayers in this country.3 May their merit and goodness protect us. Amen. Regulation 2 That, Heaven forfend, no man shall cause dissension during the time of prayer, and all the time that people are in the synagogue even after prayers.1 One who contravenes shall be punished just as it is set out in Regulation 3. And no one shall denigrate the honour of the Honorary Officers of the Congregation in the synagogue under the penalty which is set out in Regulation 3. And to the one who obeys good blessing shall come.2 1 Heb. Takanah. The term has undergone a semantic change since its use in the tannaitic period. Until the end of the Middle Ages the rabbinic authorities issued ordinances - halakhic, synago gal and social. Gradually the laity became the effective rulers of communities and themselves issued regulations. The authority of the rabbi was restricted to purely religious matters, but wide disagreement about where the dividing line was to be drawn led to bitter dispute. S. Stein, 'Some Ashkenazi Charities in London' Trans JHSE XX (1964) 64. New Year and the Day of Atonement. See Introduction above, under 'Liturgy'. This rule corresponds to Great Synagogue, 1827, rule 2. This rule does not refer to the custom of interrupting prayers in order to call public attention to private wrongs; L. Finkelstein, Jfiris/i S elf-Government in the Middle Ages (New York 1924) 15. For a similar rule, see Great Synagogue, 1827, rule 223. But see Reg. 32 and Introduction above, under 'Communal Discipline'. 25</page><page sequence="19">JffTJ$Ts WTaWh? '33*3 Sy-M was 13*3 Wr» was .-ik»jti» -* ayh «3i as'aa snj?it»a \&gt; aojsa r-aa *v&gt; *p* -en h*«y *aWttWt syi aw Tftwu i^'Bk ham a»o rump i* itVshn •at-vkM» bhya -p*i pt fp'vyw s»j uSyi »x pr aaiy pn* ■way piwKah nyjsa pt -Of t&gt;J?3 araWt a&gt;a ry*r»s p vm.t ens aya ipWiprhM jiw W-piWlypkj ms yt-T nwt'ba iw «,fO ^T\ y»U" fak» *'= pwr'baa nN1 hyhD K p*Wf&gt;a •3&gt;t»i hl^lM pT 9"J2 ''^^i''1)^^ *,,wi,a p*# vajkpja 13b J»w 3JS' *** • &gt;aa pi* pri* aap'a SyVa i-zhttr p? |M* I5f bas» hi»» p* fah'K yh-wv a&lt;w* is I'i"f i'i-bn aiyiaa3ii&gt; «W ham ur* r« ^V, on hK, a3i D»k -,hK wpm Sj, t,K nmg fe* pa aa^nsa Vy pa ia?a pa^um ^ tt, ,,r ^ 4VV^ •fh1 otvyy piX"! "qV 'y ifjya a-jS^T ujrt Sajh Vsa P» Wats SHJ,,, Ka apr ar-K im iS D jp ar»Wt *a rn ^VnprrwoD iraa 3 ■ .1 ;•&lt;1 »„&gt; ' , 26</page><page sequence="20">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 3 [Hebrew 2] Regulation j One who has hatred stored in his heart against one of our congregation shall not give vent to such hatred in the synagogue either during the time of the prayers or the reading of the Torah even during the mi sheberach. And if a person is so wicked as to contravene deliberately and does not control himself after this, then the parnas may declare him to be fined; for the first time half a crown. And if after all this he does not forsake his way but holds to quarrels, then he shall again be fined, one crown. And if with all this he is not willing and will not listen and will not turn his heart, then it shall be in the power of the parnas not to call such a wicked person to any holy office. Nobody shall even honour him with a mitzvah until he has been penalized for at least one month. And if in spite of all this, Heaven forfend, a man bears gall and wormwood,1 and does not change, but goes in stubborness,2 then the next time the vestry meets3 he shall be penalized as it is good in their eyes and according to the needs of the hour. And all the above written shall be the same penalty for anyone who insults the honour of the Honorary Officers of the congregation. 1 Deuteronomy 29:17. 2 Leviticus 26:21. 3 Kahal, which is generally translated here 'vestry', in the sense of the body of full members who govern the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation, occasionally describes the Congregation as a whole. 27</page><page sequence="21">*7 -TTJIH-B'tt sows ♦"* B^Vyi bh irrkp lbs cr-m- a tyv aw*'« lajs'ws *&gt;*•* b-Sss sua piyii its s'js's'swt ptm »hW? b'«.-h "sfn b"obM&gt;sb bV»r }*»t* v^yw msr* ••* p9ijjt inSSC* WW UJSjfc bh'Jgjf^S W&gt;iyi b'»5h *VY&gt;1|» "&gt;jrr l3*sJ»yi *y-T asj n'*t sb «'j saw s'Skw sb piysa oufeisns -t,sw "p£3 pa*3 ws wbjuw s® hya^yT -»yr ay #-r 16 ubiys —* sauna kt !&lt;$P*«jjhjb M"T pis 3J) l'if Ki (1S psbw N'-T JpYvii S3MM Si» i^lp in tol *lb ''2M3 IS bifB p« pJH IS JIN p tranm rpw w-r •nrrjtt &lt;teu»» sitt N vws pr pi^-aw's rsSKi awi pVW, fawV^n r? ~" rit,'n J,?,3,a "» is t"N s»"rw fciSw p prr'^s su'j na«-&gt;Bn is 5-i _rph ijb? hn*i 'S3 p us spa pv frwp pWt pwsia $ taiSu?a VQ&amp; pa- "i «-,» sbV Ws w M Mr 1 28</page><page sequence="22">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 4 [Hebrew 3] Regulation 4 When two members of our congregation, Heaven forfend, have a law suit with one another, they shall not bring it before Gentiles, just as it is written in our holy Torah, 'and these are the judgements which ye shall set before them'.1 Our sages interpret the words 'before them' to teach that Israelites must bring their cases before Israelites, but not before Gentiles. And one who does take his case to the Gentiles profanes the name of the Lord, blessed be he, and aggrandizes the name of the idolatrous worship.2 Therefore the Honorary Officers of the Congregation shall attend to this closely and see that a compromise is made, in order that, Heaven forfend, no profanation of the Name may arise. And if either or both the suitors do not agree to make peace or a compromise before the Honorary Officers of the Congregation, then such a stiff-necked person shall be fined according to the discretion of the vestry and according to the needs of the hour in order that it may be a sign for rebellious children.3 And may the Lord bless his people with peace.4 Exodus 21:1. 1 Git tin 84b. ; Numbers 17:25. 1 Psalms 19:11. Although talmudic law prohibits the use of Gentile courts in any case, a takanah (regulation) of Rabbi Jacob Tam permitted it where both parties agreed. Here the more strin gent view is followed, whereas the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation in 1779 permitted unilateral recourse to Gentile courts only if the parnas, gabbat and Five Men also gave their permission. If not, the offender was fined 39d 'according to the number of stripes'. To this day the Anglo Jewish community has a strong distaste for the spectacle of Jews attacking each other before the eyes of the non-Jewish world, such as by suing in court; H. M. Brotz, 'The Outlines of Jewish Society in London', in M. Freedman (tà.) A Minority in Britain (London 1955) 169. 29</page><page sequence="23">I t—pvxsrs aim iws3 pkw t**9 xyiyfr wrk*hp 'ifaWw *"■* ht Sbi W&gt;?n hi-*?-. fc'i&gt;i biw »y *V bft *»»!••&gt; r*aa.yap y*«r hv»&gt;-( y*p rw bits or- v-vib! ha*&gt; y -ok yann -tyr yx ■ ayea nt by Havw was *"b*w as wk-*p-i &lt;a*na ^ya »»n bif i "0&gt; bNT ijwn oi'sa- fay**1* top irb »*ny* yu&gt;Riri btt k—(iri^bijp '«T«h»7a w'-s isSyr 'yk "bnpn &gt;ry ***■&gt; &gt;s» Sy~*fsH Jvm»s i4a Ma»i-&gt; r'2? y" ybkp yap yaw •V a^w J&gt;a",!s ms' ;*»?' m ®ip» p na rw«r iropr rte-Wtibyawi y&amp;psaw bhKj} #vo*tm&gt;v yy n"n&gt;aw '■o rvtr* • &lt;a pn j-k bsbfbtia wbyfb !*# iS8n ,N py Taxi tsj?fci Bj&gt;b Ss3 yr bjps ip Vnt b'lt •j'bNn yy -kt "».» s^s &gt;* H ",mj "i*** '« ^«t ea va a u-&amp;h*»»Y r»t tru *&gt;*r» by»b&gt; nippy y&gt; is u*j"jin bnaa i* pu^i yjbjns «y k"i bPyp na-'t Jyihja t»« a'a nyTN ba Jib'g.T biibia baaki pw n*"5ftb ""spaw biteyr &lt;g&lt;*5 is ri*iR 'jin y«a»t yj Vr W5J ®«W&gt; "'bS. yt "J ospa *»t ^11 r» by rvjiwp -3-3 -rr«x ^ a'»" "pun s «"•- b'» nw- ptf '-ay mi4»»n&lt; | 30</page><page sequence="24">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 5 [Hebrew 4] Regulation 5 No one of our Congregation shall make a minyan [a quorate service] in his house, thereby spoiling the minyan in the synagogue, unless it is unavoid able and by permission of the vestry.1 All this applies during the weekdays, but on Sabbaths or Festivals none of the members of our Congregation shall make a minyan in his house.2 One who transgresses shall pay a fine, the first time of half a crown to charity, and the second time he shall be fined accord ing to the discretion of the vestry. Similarly, such individual members of our Congregation who help to make a minyan outside the synagogue with out permission of the vestry shall likewise be fined. And to the one who obeys shall come good blessing. Regulation 6 Be he who he may, nobody shall engage in idle speech during prayer time, or the Reading of the Torah. The first time the parnas shall rebuke him. And if he then does not conform, then he shall be fined three pence1 for each time that he speaks idle words. Also each one is warned that he must remain on his place which is assigned to him in the synagogue and not to go from place to place, for this causes a disturbance in the prayers. Every member is obliged to keep his children by his side, and they shall not run in and out, which disturbs the prayers.2 If someone does not attend to this then he shall be fined three pence each time. And the one who does attend to this shall see children who fear the Lord and prolong life. Permission would obviously be given for services to take place during the week of mourning. This type of rule was common: e.g. the first Ascama ('regulation') of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, which prompted the formation of the Reform Synagogue in Britain; L. D. Barnett, El Libro de los Acuerdos (Oxford 1931) 3. Great Synagogue, 1827, rule 286 provided for a fine of £10 for any member holding an unauthorized morning service on days on which there is Reading of the Torah within two miles. Services need not be held even in a house of mourning on Sabbaths. On Festivals there is no mourning. Yiddish bosh or bash. Dr H. J. Zimmels, 'Pesakim u'teshuvot mibet dino shel R. Shelomo', Sefer Hayovel Tiferet Yisrael (1966) 225, suggests that bosh is a thickening of posh, itself an abbrevia tion of peshittim, 'small coins'; M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim (Berlin 1926) 1246 under p'shita\ Zimmels quotes from Ben Yehuda, A Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew (Jeruslaem 1945) 11:5265 (under pashut), a Lithuanian pinkes with the expression: 'One Pashut which is called a pennig'. It is likely, however, that posh, and its thickened form bosh, was a naturalized English cant word derived from Romany; E. Partridge, A Dicitonary of Slang and Unconventional English (2nd ed., London n.d.), under Posh. Compare kibosh, something of low value, perhaps from Hebrew and Yiddish chai bosh, eighteen pence. Exceptionally, young children were allowed considerable licence: 'Children under Bar Mitsvah may have Flags or Banners in Shoo! [synagogue] on Simchat Torah but not any lights attached to 3i</page><page sequence="25">■■II * f nJ$n "Daw taw yssxn is y ins ami haws itiw? JihDh s»»kp Ny»iN tyy» tv nsvnY&gt;M-&gt; aty yt iWso -iyix b^toh* us V* "w»n Saw M&gt;-in tt)*f Wi* rhmib hjrbK opy? i» awn jit—uaiy awartytois Kai xsyiwin vsaixa in •vwpnix y»KB V"«k ]th ty-t pjn »} ya-iww ay-i y* b^j&gt;T i* tra* jr-wi Xm'1 H"t ^ •prttfn jyt is yr aha y* yj yu'ayt lyww tjjt saysa nasth tihh* v* aa*a»i ySyn yrwha «pw ss.jmn in oyaai Hys h •s\yri a^btv u&gt;a-ww y»te&gt;p*a&gt;nSki ^is»w»m •wy an ysj»s uc ain&gt;j* *w»hi aster' ib iw»ie&gt; tna» yn yk xwk DMttn&amp;w ax *w n'tyWr t»*ot Vai yn unit/ &lt;®3i am&lt;j&gt; mur -pa n nspp priyhSahhiys bwio h« that' ansh &lt;&gt;&lt;»:» 1*4 osy&amp;n Si? iaV»a rwsit&gt; h *&gt;* **pm n-,,rl, *,nK t,y, OJ{ ,j,.SJV 1BW1 tvr SJ&gt; #.W b'^sst hwwn nx ytahan w* o*i wajn ❖ rn" r"" ^ S^'Jy MKT * a urwh inx i.:'SV--: f. :;'. """ ' "" 32</page><page sequence="26">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 6 [Hebrew 5] Regulation 7 Morning prayers on Sabbath and Festivals shall begin at eight o'clock; Penitential prayers at six; Penitential prayers on the eve of New Year at five; the Days of Awe at six; weekday mornings, New Moon and Intermediate days of Festivals at seven; Hoshanah Rabbah, the ninth of Av, Simchas Torah, Purim at six in the morning.1 If the cantor2 or beadle3 is not in the synagogue at the right time, whereby the service is held up and thus causes an inconvenience to the congregation,4 then the first time the fine shall be six pence and the second time one shilling, and the third time the cantor or the beadle shall be brought before the parnas and Five Men5 and they shall act within their discretion and equitably. All that is said above applies only if there is no accident. Regulation 8 In the mi sheberach the name of the parnas and gabbai must be mentioned before any of the congregation.1 Even if one goes up [to the Torah] who has hatred in his heart against the parnas and gabbai [he must mention them]. And if he does not wish to do so, then the Five Men shall supervise this and compel that man according to their discretion, to act with him according to what is right and proper. them. . . .While the cantor is reading the Megillah [Book of Esther read at Purim] no person above Bar Mitsvah is to make any noise on Purim in Shoot, neither with hammers, or in any other way'; Exeter Hebrew Congregation, 'Rules' 1823. 1 It was somewhat unusual to specify all these times. Bristol, Plymouth and Dublin specify only eight o'clock for Sabbath morning services in summer and half an hour later in winter. 2 A paid official who, in small congregations, acted as shochet and teacher. In synagogue he leads congregational prayers and acts as a soloist. 3 Another paid official, responsible for maintaining the ritual appurtenances of the synagogue. He also acted as clerical officer, carrier of messages, collector of monies and subsidiary cantor. 4 Usually the cantor and beadle were specifically obliged to be in the synagogue five or ten minutes before the service started; Great Synagogue, 182g, rule 165. 5 See Reg. 20 and note. 1 This was the common practice. The multiplication of mi sheberach blessings (recited by the cantor after a person has been called to the Torah, incorporating, in this case, the announcement of a charitable donation) led to prolongation of the service and various attempts were made to curtail them. As early as 1779 the Plymouth Congregation failed to restrict the number to six. 33</page><page sequence="27">Ifl i i ai-y win icn*1- w% pn is *VTrs a*ih» rx wmb nVy *gn tskmtffain yv&amp;tr+aW* W4 wrii i£&gt;-np roiy ft"i nm* tv*u&gt;' h"5 n-*-»» b'»»si -p*te»* ws r&gt;*&gt;i£&gt; 1-s waniy ty H*n "ywnisi *wa.v♦» h"-»-i 'ibjM a*rn?3 ft-tib*? b'ff-pjii^s Wj 13*1 inaiwa 03* wlb K ft'n tW "jyryu wj *y**S*f &lt;ta **t*ijn: b y'X •pwyn iS 3«h ^ A fcpt* tfwwHi tr-njvli *ipj4"5 p&gt;n»is b*)otvi ^ phh ©y SC*h» l*w ifl**a S*»?n msh'iw'ns W Ss^ ie&gt;» r*u&gt;iy nw» yt is mht&gt; "%** * HJpD fiSt'jifi 4JsV yr^oh'D ppp ^kn*it» *b frb* "I'-ruy'-*© p*p ^ tsJ^an pa b!ic?i **i»*iiiT &lt;a»-x bh«* yx pt 1WJHWW) yvOJBr&lt; p*3n V3 -vo 9* yt *wr -q^ ^itVt esai "31*1 tnpw ivfcknp *^rh»73 Srtyn ni**« nuw iS*sW b-ips Ssj s?5d Wuv y* u-oya ism i^an* w WNVntJ -,y 1* ty*3 \3Nti 31K b}nb ri Ul'^lr, 9y«, *,y&gt;« ^ yai mwi rkh» pS* &lt;pu&gt;»tp» VHri "m* ptf anaw yn* y b^Jiyaw »&gt; . ' •■! -. .'■ '. &lt;*» ' - . ,£ . WW&amp; I , » , , ; &lt; «.'J 34</page><page sequence="28">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 7 [Hebrew 6] Regulation g One who goes up to the Torah is obliged to offer on New Moon and Sabbath at least three pence for each mi sheberach; on Festivals at least six pence for each mi sheberach; on the Days of Awe he shall make not less than three mi sheberachs and for each mi sheberach offer not less than six pence.1 Also on Sabbath and Festival all who are called to the Torah are obliged to offer in each separate mi sheberach not less than one penny for the Cemetery Fund, and for him who increases, the Lord will increase life.2 For one who has a jahrzeit [the anniversary of the death of a close rela tive] the Hazzan must recite El maleh rahamim ['Lord full of mercy'] and must offer not less than 6 pence for each time the prayer is recited. Regulation io No stranger, be he who he may, may lead the prayers even on his jahrzeit without permission of the parnas. One who departs from the synagogue which is established here from of old, even one who supported our Congregation from of old, and he goes to pray and takes a seat in a strange synagogue, then he loses his rights and has no more to expect from the old synagogue and has no more portion or inheritance or any other matter in the world.1 1 These were lower than usual amounts for the period, but no doubt provided a substantial proportion of the Congregation's income. In Exeter in 1823 the amounts were stipulated at is for a special Sabbath, 2s for a Festival and 3s for the Days of Awe. It seems that Exeter Jews were more prosperous then than those of Sunderland. Although now no longer obligatory [in 1968], those called to the Torah in the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation are still expected to make offerings, which form about 10 per cent of the congregation's income. This money may have been paid to the Polish Congregation if cemetery facilities were used in common, but the next regulation makes this seem unlikely. Perhaps Adath Jeshurun had its own cemetery. If so, where was it? This refers to a rival synagogue in Sunderland; Reg. 29 refers to Full Members who wish to keep their rights while away from the town. The rule is evidence of the bitter feud which then existed between the two Congregations. 35</page><page sequence="29">saunn^m^I ."l*'?g 4*4 iw&gt;fi» N njpn J-—iks*, fcjmi 'eP-iSjrw y-ix by n byjnsVytby*, Sfc bV""b»*&gt;H-&gt; to t"i*«h *iet) ni4*bp njt»*oa. -"bin r,-&gt;it^ »^t&gt;n Jbiy toh» ba^ brfcbjfb ^ tjjpi by ^xr py-n yBrv3 epx w»3 ) tmb hSy \aHp«j?fi by jyn ybSnr ■xy ny 4»xr, **** ^bb y * yray bbbb* yx rx ry w Mj*»h '•us y-*~Ttllk yX ytJl&gt;i bbfl -y^a P'3 W V|StW» N»b rik *m ptt&amp;rs m*?p yb»* ^ert wsbmh»a « *^%-r*3 m-nr, nrW, jwviwu a^x*, b"»sn hioti »na &lt;«pry «nW5*bjBJ4 Sbb \sxb •vatxV vx ur&gt;-A srv«' x*-&lt; n« byb •&gt;*&gt;■&gt;*» x*x syw $ tpsibo mW &amp;h bt San fvriln r mptn x&amp;SKjrarns hbrte&gt;Sij® -ubyti bbiya wXb tbhbjM hybsh Vb *^3, b'xsub few ivwy *»*«» ibShnff x bv&gt; *y^j y,y„ xkn*&amp;&gt;*&gt; tobw by-, p»yv, ^Sr&gt;xirh. s* i^bx trc 0^*4 ^ ]p»»» is -«•* "k3» ** "nw pnxb pt 36</page><page sequence="30">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 8 [Hebrew 7] Regulation u If anyone leaves the synagogue at the time the Torah Scroll is taken out or at the time of the reading of the Torah Scroll so that he shall not be called up, he shall be fined half a crown, apart from the money that he would have been obliged to pay had he been called to the Law according to Regulation 9. Because it is a great sin to leave the Torah Scroll lying and to go out of the synagogue, just as we find in our holy Torah, 'Because he has despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment; that soul shall be utterly cut off, his iniquity shall be upon him'.1 Our sages interpret the verse to refer to one who leaves the synagogue and leaves the Torah Scroll lying there.2 All this applies if there were no pressing circumstances. Regulation 12 All vows and offerings which are offered every Sabbath must be paid promptly on the following day, Sunday. All that they offer on the Days of Awe and the Three Pilgrim Festivals1 must be paid on Isru Chag? The beadle must request such money, and hand it over to the gabbai. 1 Numbers 15:31. The writer mispointed hephar, placed a mappig in the he of avonoh and omitted it in boh. 2 Berachot 8a, where the proof text is 'and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed' (Isaiah 1:28). 1 Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. 2 The day after the festival. 37</page><page sequence="31">ywam X"1 w» Jw&gt;a -u-iy" !aa*)9 -&gt;a 133. pi, vniw wa \?j,ra-trr» am-ty wwn rW iww" tw 'Win Vy yt v» -at&gt; maw rwa^yr" ,*, p»* uSnws'i mno amy Van n» nrms^&gt; -my" t ropr&gt; t&gt;»i -wiArri D3"«ri ta^j" wW- erwma b-o* amp -Syanp -afem -pts "ma iw y*y is "m»w n»s b-wA* } ,.—nji-ifetf* f "jjrri w~r *m a-nm^a -i'-tik a&gt;pb aiwnmiw yw ww-r yry«."&amp; *yiw p&gt;" *,iWb *&gt;«t iy .w^*r«p &amp;h'» yen ma Win yy y» atu fa"1? "~V" ,1~T *t"T ***T *VP*&lt; "A'aSjn ny? yj&gt; j«j y-s-,a was y-t «r TJJpW ^yy nnw W*&gt; ma niyia n—Sy? yr ps ta-iyii nnsrp », b-&gt;Vit?a Mb- * ♦ V 5 %r 38</page><page sequence="32">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 9 [Hebrew 8] Regulation ij One who has an obligatory aliyahthat is when his wife leaves childbed, or when his son is bar mitsvah, may be segan2 on that Sabbath, on condition that he has paid before that Sabbath all that he owes to charity. Regulation 14 Before the Days of Awe and the Three Pilgrim Festivals the parnas and gabbai and Five Men shall come together and choose such of the Full Members or Seat-holders who are due to be called up to the Torah Scroll on that festival. Also, when it is seen that an honoured guest will be coming here near the festival then the segan may call him to the Law; that is, subject to the good will of the person who will be displaced from his aliyah; in order that each one may come to his place in peace.1 1 I.e. is called to the reading of the Torah, recites blessings before and after a pericope and is expected to make a donation for the honour. 2 One who decides which worshipper is to have an aliyah. 1 Members were usually called up in seniority of membership. 39</page><page sequence="33">fcAgjlg tamMtiutk-iKtk 'w roj?!; bMr •rtw a'Wjfi -*&gt;iW \&gt;y yn5 b-fcap o'ai^ni b^bi&gt;,h S»b }♦** y?\pv h** »#* ysw-ift w^a-vf ■&gt;)&gt;•• -nut b'WHis N-T *&gt;S|* V5"5iW'-r-&gt;® -pBWfra^ww xawwi&amp;r &gt;»&lt;* -ij?^ ^nt Y'^jyii •uKbSt* ^ p--&gt; n« b^wnuw \w»»H b'Wiinb sots \&gt;p &gt;r^i bta?&gt;^1a&gt;ShV»YJ* sm? S" tonvp '&gt;"ym "w^nna'a r» a'Wasa^iw ®t*» M»»* a-mut^ f-T yws "y'W W^shp kWs w-yjb-^ WT py» jr' *.jrvN %—s-i ^&gt;MOra is vr^s WSW jrtW ■£&gt; frtsw -» ^ •,i5^31'V3 Wbb "fbibtv njTtib b*bjT h «&amp;tf Sjjys3'3i w*» r% -&gt;to **is&gt; 'jbbi m ^bWs'b t*» •o^aowwy W-rtn 3c&gt;»r» s*r« wwwi trip t*n r-s'^KT *4 \s«s ft*" ******* ser^i ^3 *Ma nrpspwt^ ns,K Y'k s^* smhfr ,»K !0: 4°</page><page sequence="34">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 10 [Hebrew 9] Regulation 15 The beadle shall ask all travellers who come here at the Three Pilgrim Festivals or Days of Awe if they wish to take a seat in the synagogue for the period that they will be here. If they do not wish to have a seat, then the beadle shall appoint a place in the Seat-holders' section. Seat money must be paid before the festival in the same way as Full Members or Seat-holders who have a place in the synagogue. Every boy belonging to members of our congregation immediately after his bar mitsvah is obliged to pay seat money not less than five shillings per annum. To the one who increases, may blessings come. Seat money must be paid each quarter in advance, before New Moons of Tishri,1 Teves, Nisan, and Tamuz. There is no difference in this between a Full Member and a Seat-holder — all of them are equal in this regulation. 1 More usually termed Rosh Hashanah. It is most unlikely that the writer here had in mind the tannaitic suppression of the Rosh Hodesh element in Rosh Hashanah (Eruvin 3: 9). 4i</page><page sequence="35">♦ yr,i oMn!a»afii p 5rb "dry), hS'i&gt;in W pah^iw. **» pt y»s &lt;fr-&amp;*t01 W'1" -raja^ tr*sa# i—yila?** yra hibv pp«*?&lt;n* yT 13 hPWHbia |NW» W#i pri y* yerw* bw y*if**1-! *»%jfa puna y* V*» y*t -thSi^'k '•i'vc naw rbyx? -yy) hSiri yn yt i» SHbj t*t way t j»wt "*jrw h*nfc &lt;tfg IT'S t&gt;Wl w&gt;rb pH pr tjr essw^nw a **» H ywajwi* p tar pti&gt;u&gt;rs V&gt;» Van Vbi yt ^ V*aa tw pa-ir**# "pott *t**? b*i»3k ^u&gt;Y3b riyH toil htoaaa ubio-t a y—&gt;H *npk par* is bhbi rw •*«* wb-prr S»apjm prn ——mwn fc* -i.y'a -rps'sWyV -y-t nK b*»KSa pn i* main I-tiww ~ry&gt; pp "2-hj y* Sja-r&gt;n u-s a® pT pp Vro]* "■Vr ii«k y-v. yijra Pw u®3&gt;ftw ytV^ny*rpa #»«•» ^-ri y* -r&amp;* ova y» pw * ni®a u'-jnwisn. bap \aKh mt $ *-&gt;rw Santas pt ^ b'^ Q*»n &gt;&lt;■*?-LJ?&lt;* -&gt;* x&gt; J?yfc&gt;*•&gt;&lt; ^v3 42</page><page sequence="36">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 11 [Hebrew 10] Regulation 16 Full Members or Seat-holders who have paid seat money for longer than three months who are fit and proper to be a Choson Torah or a Choson Bereshis,1 shall have their names placed in a ballot among the names of the Full Members. Whosoever's name comes out first shall be chosen Choson Torah, and whose name comes up second shall be chosen to be Choson Bereshis. If such person does not agree to take it on, then the fine for each one shall be one crown2 and two others shall be balloted. All the above must be seen to on the second day of Tabernacles at the Afternoon Prayer, and also shall be with the knowledge of the Five Men who shall know who is proper to be chosen as Choson Torah or Choson Bereshis. One whose name was balloted shall not go back into the ballot until all the names which are in the ballot have first appeared. However, if someone paid the fine one year, then his name must again be balloted for in the next year. All the above refers to married men. [This last clause was added in a cursive hand.] Chat an Torah, 'bridegroom of the Torah', is the worshipper called to recite the blessing when the last portion of the Torah is read at the feast of Simchat Torah in the autumn, and Chatan Bereshit, 'bridegroom of Genesis', to begin the next cyclic reading. Each were expected to offer substantial sums to the synagogue and charity and to provide spiritual entertainment for worshippers and some form of treat for the children. The honour was, and to a certain extent still is, an expensive one, and therefore often avoided. In 1779 in Plymouth the fine for not accepting was half a sovereign, and in 1835 one guinea. The reluctance to accept this office was due to the cost entailed in providing refreshments for all worshippers during and after the service. 43</page><page sequence="37">MMMWMh I W 1Saws. ta^i a hs^s Watefrh ^Jv »%tojtfn i&amp;tw MvsVni soasn «•»« ps «nb ^■&gt;'»hsn "aw r»# S-s—OS rtMpft «*|5 »»&amp;A f n WITH b*&gt; .v ■DWrva-utthVp trail VnptTS'a&gt;w»i ''Bis m DsfsSyVwT pp't^i^isK yNit^V pyp* ipm •* vn V^ti b-prtb. rs^t k*» '"W ]w ^n^tinwba^Vsi bwa* rrn^an tw^vuS** ba-ifen '13 St 'yj-s ysSaiss 'Msa*-&gt;'3, *"&gt;vrt yut-ipyjp* TM T&gt; ij&gt;11 Sb« "ifO *&gt;*'» hfHfcbw ts'toiH rnypri »iB w-t 'njih-ib waa'aw ban -nn W t=3^ Wt^ lr*i&gt;i4&gt;rv ^11* '»ai BhPS* wr* 'B=&gt; Siesjp- bM ❖ roiar\ Ti*s, 'SSi^s*? "ps m to bins »t-i 'Masniii*&gt;-i»tj&gt; r» p»i *•» a-Pi-an wa ftkbteftatatis' HW» i^this but' nb ^ v*&gt; V 44</page><page sequence="38">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 12 [Hebrew 11] Regulation ij Twice yearly on the Intermediate days of Passover and Tabernacles1 the gabbai shall present accounts of all his income and expenditure. If the gabbai is not able to deliver up his accounts then he shall be fined according to the discretion of the vestry. This shall be written in the Congregation's Minute Book2 so that it may be a memorial for generations to come, 'and all the people shall hear and fear and do no more presumptuously'.3 Regulation 18 The gabbai is permitted to give on the direction of the parnas from the Charity Fund not more than half a crown to a poor person. If it be a poor person of standing then the parnas and gabbai shall ask advice of the Five Men and they shall act according to their discretion and to the needs of the hour; and according to their pronouncement the matter shall be estab lished. This also applies to the needs of the Synagogue. And if the parnas is not at home, then the gabbai is permitted to give to a poor person no more than half a crown.1 1 When most of the members were likely to be at home and not away travelling. 2 This appears not to have survived. 3 Deuteronomy 17:13. 1 This is a low amount for this period for a Jewish community, being equal to the comparative Gentile hand-out: a Wallsend woman who died aged 102 in 1828 received 2s a week for the last 30 years of her life; J. Sykes, Local Records ... of.. . Northumberland, Durham, Newcastle . . . (Newcastle 1866) 2:215. About this period the amount in other Jewish communities that could be given by the gahbai without reference to his colleagues was: Plymouth, 5s; Exeter, 10s; Bristol, 2 is; Dublin, passage to Liverpool and 5s. Jewish communities were generally anxious to pass their itinerant poor to the next congregation, it being cheaper to pay their passage than to support them for any length of time. 45</page><page sequence="39">s«i imm tJn ^ f OS 1*-&gt;i&gt;rr »&gt;{2i "six ^ v-vt ^ ipavyi b-sW ffom vpj oaisn p^n -*•*» &lt;fcn» Wit* r* "** *W K ^ V ,"~3V B1* ^5lK wi?,"T 'Jd \jr p*y«» Shaj to -^j -iy&gt; r-w1? p&gt;* -cvm TW'H3i&lt;**»* ams *y*i *yp pw *'T T 7**» ;v ^W»jjvr V5 «**« *«* **»atn,, -UW &lt;**»* **» ^ Bhl ^ sj,h ^ r«w1* m BT^nt w a v^ri *}&amp; , J«pn' i™j"ii»TOP»JrJ„lw «r r «• %»•&gt; ^ t, „., *£ =M" f». »s™ PI», &gt;MW »w ^ bw i-6 - »V l*»5s&gt;* *jw 1337a * ~ - ' 46</page><page sequence="40">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 13 [Hebrew 12] Regulation ig The parnas and gabbai shall be chosen by a majority of votes by the vestry. When the parnas and gabbai do not want to take it on, then they shall be fined for the first time one guinea, and another parnas or gabbai must be chosen by a majority vote. A parnas or gabbai may be chosen to serve again another year and if he does not want to take it on a second time then he shall be fined half a guinea. If the one chosen to be parnas or gabbai gives a proper reason why he cannot take it on, then the Five Men shall act according to their discretion. Regulation 20 The Five Men1 shall likewise be elected by a majority of the votes of the vestry. If anyone does not want to take it on, then for the first time he shall be fined a half guinea. And if he is chosen for a second time in the next year after he has paid a half guinea fine, and he again does not want to serve, then he shall be fined one crown. 1 Committees of three, five and seven men are found in various communities. The number seven was most ancient: Josephus, Antiquities IV, 8:14, speaks of seven judges in each city. A tannaitic source, jfer. Megillah 74a, reads 'Seven men from a city may act on behalf of the city'; in that connection Raba refers to them as the 'seven best men' (Megillah 26a). 47</page><page sequence="41">o rupn *pn» *«n yaw wv ij&gt;*t rv mtu ni» i-wt bin pt pr&gt; p«s»w*i bet) !nb»h tJirp paw p*no 1&gt;» p* pi pn rip lyr-iaw*# "pi-e? *•*» mww* »n» pi top*** DlttS WHip"! rii»hV rone&gt; ^vi t'pji jik pa' ww ajBwjJh** or&lt;iaw *W rfcfcfc «# "Wi ^h*h ^ **&gt; ®0:,e ^ to** ^ahh,^n^hWl W^ppt^ 4 pN *ibm» vhn W*to&lt; V» ay JDrapfl pn VW ^r,v» y* ?J»hW ja»i* y&amp;vhn b-np *aie&gt; p**»v* vfen i-Sik *W pr Wbhu ^ *,wh -t»—»w -* ptt b»i *,»«*„ pk a-Wrto-rp VW1, Btontwwh****!*! ,»b t&gt;s?h.^ tw na*?V*,* V*. V »**. bW, ,», p'nr» n?W ^ V ■ , , 48</page><page sequence="42">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 14 [Hebrew 13] Regulation 21 When a parnas or gabbai is chosen, the cantor must make1 a mi sheberach in the name of all the Congregation on the next Sabbath before the Torah Scroll is returned to the Holy Ark, and thus shall be its formula:2 'May he who blessed our fathers Abrahams, Isaac and Jacob, bless — son of — because he merited to be chosen parnas (or gabbai) over the community. On account of this, may the Holy One, blessed be He, keep him and guard him from all trouble and harm, and send blessing and prosperity on all the work of his hands, with all Israel his brothers, and let us say, Amen.'3 Regulation 22 The Sabbath before the audit the beadle must call out in the synagogue that everyone must pay the charity or seat money which he owes. If anyone deliberately withholds payment then he shall be fined according to the discretion of the Five Men. Before the fine, the beadle shall warn him once again to pay his debt, for there is no punishment without prior warning.1 Yiddish idiom speaks of'making' a misheberach or blessing. This is the usual form of a mi sheberach. The present practice in the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation [in 1968] is for the outgoing Honorary Officers to lead their incoming replacements to the Wardens' box on the Friday night following their election. Yoma 81 a. 49</page><page sequence="43">\i j!d mpi1 wn,n, WkrT &lt;j(b» v»n «aS MSpNtwVv. Jr^ia^y '-r&amp; p»-w« tv-aa^ «n h*#"\*t biwi* rvwwhn *iSha!«i» *il ^nr&gt; r»aa ^'*n« irtrfchftt «u&gt;im ti^swrnr^;:, &gt;*W» &lt;^0$p nwia- *•"-&gt; an vwtrn Wihi s-isjjm nvah n^p ny-iTan on '^a* -yr.yo "w fmth 'sa si^a **# ■fcVn os^M ti-anw wa tm. A— i—,,-. 13 ft3|5ff ■papj i* &lt;mu»N 'pgjii Shi'ia ylpsi •.sf.Sbp *■»*&gt;*» 73 to^in j w-.ha-.nM ayD *nhsk ^usn Nnwb tan hsNh *pw Sara** n MM**# ivij? nw aw m* *»%«* V baa 50</page><page sequence="44">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 15 [Hebrew 14] Regulation 23 On the night of Pentecost and Hoshanah Rabbah it is right and proper that the members of our Congregation shall agree to stay in the house of one of the men of our Congregation, or in the house of the cantor, as the Five Men choose, in order to occupy themselves in study.1 The expense shall be borne out of the Charity, or as the Five Men see fit. If the cantor or beadle do not come to learn on these nights they shall be fined according to the discretion of the Honorary Officers of the Congregation. If, however, force of circumstances prevents them, the Merciful One shall forgive. Regulation 24 Three men of our Congregation shall be designated to supervise, at least once each month, the administration and teaching of the children, and the children's teacher, to see whether he does the Lord's work faithfully.1 1 Heb. Tikkun Leil Shavuot and Tikkun Leil Hoshanah Rabbah. See Zohar, Emor 98a, for the origin of this Pentecost custom, which was popularized by the kabbalists of Safed in the sixteenth century. Its purpose is to enable the worshipper to recite an abridgement of the Bible and Mishnah, which the kabbalists considered tantamount to reading the whole and accepted as wholehearted approval of the Torah believed to have been given on Pentecost. Abudarham (writing c. 1340) refers to the custom of reading the Torah on the night of Hoshanah Rabbah. People stayed awake because it was considered to be the night on which the decree settling one's welfare for the forthcoming year was sealed. By the nineteenth century fears for one's fate had largely been superseded and it became a social gathering at which refreshments figured prominently. The cantor and/or beadle was usually also the teacher. In 1845 there was no teacher, or indeed any paid official, though there were two synagogues: 'parents teach their children' is Nathan Adler's laconic comment. None of the regulations of Plymouth of 1779 and 1835, of Exeter of 1823 and 1833, Dublin of 1839 or Bristol of 1838 make any mention of teaching, although it was certainly carried out and is referred to in minutes of their meetings. 5i</page><page sequence="45">□ oJS &lt; UjJh W,®1V W»npti &lt;?Dwtt SNK t#*» t&gt;f-v ana •p»"-it&gt; jpw *•*&gt;■» vn p&gt;«p tPj v-vpn -&lt;p 'prmn' asttra' ' 'vahrin *»*» br&gt;s&gt;n yiyrt, pws i* nM^» p» nw* 'Wi*W" ym -v-m* v&gt;»p \&amp;»v&gt; uw -paij? ss»k it-!* b»u/jK ij!^&lt;airS5a y»$ftgs. |&gt;a»b |%* bWy* *nw im -.n^w mm JT&gt;r#»wn-»w jvw mW&gt; . ihiK ^gam.. «tjrsivi'tf --wr tm ^ &amp;3~1 ^ £^,«tlT &gt;""*"' nf-wwpM. ™ * *,",ai""' r&gt;P ^ io, ' ^ S-I03N rvisstttvyjp , I '** ""'^wwaiiwwwipip^^ 52</page><page sequence="46">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 16 [Hebrew 15] Regulation 25 If one of the supporters of the Congregation becomes ill and bedridden on account of which he is not able to transact his business and lacks his liveli hood, then the parnas and gabbai and Five Men shall come together and shall take counsel together as to what is right and proper. In this way they will give an invalid a sufficiency until the Lord shall have mercy on him and heal him.1 All this shall be by majority of votes and according to the ability of the Charity. When such a person is again able to do so, he must pay back all that he received from the Charity, but this too is in the discretion of the Five Men. 1 This is an unusual provision: usually the Meshivat Nefesh or other Poor Society undertook such responsibilities, and it indicates that the community was in a primitive stage of its development. One must admire the sympathetic and understanding way in which help was given — a trait which retained in Sunderland to this day. 53</page><page sequence="47">a• "» napn *.-3b-c?sk Mwiatn -Haam taa~&gt;ob Tw ic^h 15?*-^ wpwsnjjwpms "I6&gt;«11 ynflt *&gt;2-n -row ^nfnw 1" *** 'W frt ^ST»W&gt; nis?n &lt;&amp;*&gt;$»fma H*0 !P&gt;*TD ^ Vie* r-rswrs ha1) rrywhyy* itiria uij&gt;n Tt*"p nrwcK n-yti v3n '^m-ois-wk fifsrem iv'Bw *p a*r\nw "&gt;8 fa* b'ftt -Vysn -»s f^ca farm is f »t*v«» p^j? par* Su?a?ia Sw r'bn u&gt;hi 'lb ftvw nrSj, isiy -£,- 31* i-sVjjt ft Sb p#» risw (J» n-jWwh^ "pp&gt; ha^na awiwn bapaf* ,« 54</page><page sequence="48">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 17 [Hebrew 16] Regulation 26 On New Moon Adar the parnas, gabbai and Five Men shall come together and take counsel about the proper thing to do in respect of the flour for matsos, the ritual cleansing of equipment, and also matsos for the poor.1 One man of the members of our Congregation shall be designated to supervise the baking of the matsos and to do everything necessary to bake matsos both for the Full Members and Seat-holders in order that everything shall be in order.2 Therefore nobody may bake matsos for himself alone; anyone infringing this rule shall be fined as it is written in the next Regulation on shechitah. 1 Until the rise of the Leeds and Manchester matsah factories about 1875, each community baked them according to their own needs. Regulations such as this were common. 2 Behechsher zu gehen: the implication is that everything had to be ritually in order. 55</page><page sequence="49">, : • taK1* Wph 'W tsV&gt;j)aie» pitt oro*. pw» yyyo ivp •—&gt;*»*—T3ir pmw teyyn in* pr "-mm ^jrpii T'tnia v&gt;y&lt;* *wm apsia '50 "»n p mmb mV ptop t^Swt hwi pW'S T1» "K jnwteb r&gt;SK' *V mWb a*t • Own ajuoa »ys *—&gt;si*&gt;h *03 toii?1? pj&gt;nr* sr&gt;'® W Vipn 'sv wtows nts^nlw pj \soj^ Ml ~yt -tnsr oh* Ws fvr y-tn on ❖ btnpt" Mil*** "'"TOrr uniu N-* Oj&gt;0 Sj»3"&gt;» p pN pt "'To Tasini cu-inm b'tojw r*St»»hp pu»yi gjj ❖ ]**» TjwHuri tip WW **&gt;»* n-to *m ^&lt;p 'n?hlW,t"teli' \®'TO tpM *H«%J* w^npsbrp ^hb pmsW* *a*-* &lt;5« b*iV4 •'a"1' hip MP-\ bn rvt to^'b tosjj 'rv * m ' '*• •.'.&gt;!/{.• ' ' ... ... &lt;„ &gt;,,&gt;^&lt;f ! 56</page><page sequence="50">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio 18 [Hebrew 17] Regulation 27 Nobody may ritually slaughter animals under any circumstances whatso ever without permission of the vestry. If anyone deliberately and sacrile giously infringes and does slaughter without permission, then he shall be fined not less than half a guinea for the first time and one guinea for the second time. If in spite of this he does not wish to obey, then the vestry by a majority vote shall punish him in their discretion according to strict law. This rule applies to everyone who eats meat slaughtered ritually by one who slaughters without permission of the committee.1 The Five Men, parnas and gabbai must pick a butcher in conjunction with whom alone animals may be ritually slaughtered. The one who is called up at the reading of the curses in the pericopes of Behukosai2 and Ki S ovo3 shall have a half crown from the Charity Fund. The beadle shall be chosen for this if he wishes and shall have precedence over all men.4 Prohibitions against individuals slaughtering outside congregational auspices were common, as the monopoly in the control of kosher-meat supplies enabled a congregation to discipline refrac tory members by threatening to withhold facilities to purchase. In addition, taxes on meat formed an important part of the congregational budget. Solomon Herschell licensed at least one Sunderland shochet, Judah Leib ben Nissan, nephew of Jacob Joseph, on 31 October 1839; Duschinsky (see Intro, n. 24) 272. Leviticus 26. Deuteronomy 28. The beadle is still called up in the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation for these portions [in 1968], though he receives no recompense. Out of superstitious fear many people refuse to be called up for 'the curses'. In some communities it was the custom to announce, 'let him who will, go up!' If no one arose then the reader of the Scroll said the blessings. In Mayence the beadle was engaged on the express understanding that he would be called up for 'the curses'; Sefer Maharil, Hilkhot Keriat Hatorah, and Rema's gloss on Orah Hayyirn, 428. 57</page><page sequence="51">I I pp w ~ rupri —y W ywiVrpi *"a Sya yihtv Hv* psV Ns«"U ■uSyiVNViw pipH *« * *1'?™ rT S| •aWa hi nyn in S*»i *pci b'jia 'Vysn Vsa a *n» t*i «'*a an V?aa.p as vw navVsa uSsyj vin'oitj vra 3 ^ ^jBn? 1* f* 131a "p TininnH 03TOIW prn* W* p»ii* pa» -yn i»*hn U K naw 'a ins -T3-W i^wn n«H rwnpi trsian **» ann»V m Vn^ ^ Bn, 9^7 *^ *» p ^ UNn pw hannn snw-5 h,„a ^aj, ^ ^ ^ a.n^,N ^33 ^b'JiaiSya-nVnaa *n?ii«T pnnjis N ^SnW-j.a wn 5§</page><page sequence="52">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio [19] Hebrew 18 Regulation 28 One who comes here and wishes to be a Full Member of our Congregation must pay one guinea for Congregational rights1 apart from seat money, and he shall then be a Full Member. Anyone who pays two guineas seat money annually is also a Full Member and does not have to buy himself in. Regulation 2g A Full Member who departs from here must maintain his Congregational rights by paying one crown annually.1 If he does not pay, then after two consecutive years his Congregational rights are lost, and he will then be classed only as a Seat-holder. Sons of Full Members after their marriages are to be classed as Full Members if they pay one crown.2 1 Chezkat hakehillah. In Germany until the nineteenth century no Jew could reside and trade in a town until he was granted 'congregational rights'. In exceptional cases, strangers were permit ted to buy this right, but generally it passed to the sons and sons-in-law of a baal habayit, i.e., one who already had it. In the older-established English provincial communities it was a rare mark of honour to allow anyone other than the son or son-in-law of a baal habayit to become one. In Plymouth the distinction between Full Members and mere Seat-holders was not abol ished until 1946. 1 See Reg. 10 and note. 2 See Reg. 28 n. 1. 59</page><page sequence="53">rknpn *pYTM9 rn -»*&gt;* treo^yaft S53 *J-r&gt;±&gt;s \3mw*&gt; rww Vaa. m a tr&gt;i nt-r'tvn *p *w *&gt;*» nan SS a-rib 'Vya Vnaja ft Wrap pj&gt;r&gt;*ap"&gt;th* yanhMi WH b-Vh' n^sir Wj»73 «j&gt; KBJT t'»h A' bra. S'lwjHn jsrote? ■•S^n —iitnu/iyo p3 n«a n* ' ' - ^' N5"^ JW-Wfl ***** *a . STMior^iNinWa 13 *^i^S j • Sso ap,j&gt;* ra^ujua ■?3T NBft' *3 3j?J?* 9 • 'at Brv-OM p 3 sWM wLv. aart Jjjfc *»p&gt; Tipi y bva ♦ pntaK p -mSw s * ♦ St B*h p hbi&gt; * S» pwr rrn p Vi*» s « • St p* p iW 3 , . * ^rwsKS? * -ass V3VA WW t*» a tW» r„„ T3P, B'jia ny* Sr&gt;3» &lt;p 5W ^Siva p« yrwtj *w* \nvvi »ovj ■■■■ 6o</page><page sequence="54">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio [20] Hebrew 19 Regulation 30 All the Full Members who comprised our Congregation and also all those individuals who pay two guineas seat money annually, which means those individuals who belong to our Congregation on 13 Tamuz 5581 [13 July 1821] are to be classed as Full Members in every respect. And these are the names of the men who founded our synagogue here in Sunderland aforetime: Naphtali, son of the late1 Abraham David Asher, son of Jacob S. G. L.2 Judah, son of the late Abraham3 Eliezer, son of the late Abraham4 Baruch, son of Naphtali Kohen.5 Jacob, son of the late and righteous6 Joseph7 And these are the names of the men who belonged to our Congregation on 13 Tamuz 5581 and who are classed as Full Members: Joseph, son of the late Hayyim David, son of the late Ts vi Elchanan, son of Abraham8 David, son of the haver9 Jonathan S. G. L.10 Hayyim, son of the late and righteous Joseph11 Alexander, son of Phineas And all who pay two guineas annually shall have their names inscribed and shall be classed as Full Members. Lit. 'may his memory be a blessing'; similarly for each of the other names with this appellation in this and the next regulation. Samech, Gimmel, Lamel are the three Hebrew letters placed after the name of a Levite. They are an abbreviation for Segan Leviyah ('Levitical excellence'). The signatory was Asher Lotinga, father of Isaac and Aaron Lotinga. He died some time before 1869 when Aaron called his first-born son after him. Probably a son of Abraham Samuel, reputedly the first Jew to settle in Sunderland. Judah, or Levi, Samuel was the tenant of houses in High Street and Burleigh Street for which he was assessed Poor Rate in 1814. Isa. Samuel was similarly assessed in Burleigh Street. Eliezer and Elchanan, below, were probably his brothers. See n. 3. Kohen indicates one of priestly descent and need not have been his surname. Probably a more than usually pious man. The signatory was Jacob Joseph, a leader of Sunderland Jewry from 1790 until his death in 1861; Levy (see Intro, n. 5) 36-7. See n. 3. In his signature to Reg. 31 he refers to his father as 'the late'. A title implying some degree of learning above average. David Jonassohn; in Reg. 31 he is the only one to sign his name in English. He died in 1859 aged 64. Hyam Joseph, died in 1879 aSed 96 6i</page><page sequence="55">4-*~~ - so rufxi '—)gj Vnpb y? ry wiyn b^lPb "pTG* '®S p?n» n"i py-»&gt; fcr-s ye wx yvwy yw^wSa yN y-ijjii nah^i yaw #•* ^ ay yr p^wa ^ StTpr? I&gt;3Y13,7 yyW'at'Va r*ni&gt; p trttsjn rfc-»i*n W b"w;!i bbpmb b1?# triitwb h^iphhbb o^p*? wabbi fvss-vhbsi $ taVy 13? tW* {* bf topjfca *'&lt;%&gt; «~Cp'n vrvX pn &gt;*'" " * "&amp;*&lt;$**? • pa t* '#cfPtrr2f* ?*•*£&gt; (t«fi pn ipr /""•"•^i,.« pVp &lt;"PPf&gt;S' r&gt; +** j,^ f* fp/P/ffi ?n ?" \ f pb ?* 1 ph t* pb - 02</page><page sequence="56">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio [21] Hebrew 20 Regulation 31 According to the needs of the hour the vestry is empowered to alter any of the above written regulations, and also any that from now onwards may be listed, provided it is done with the benefit of the Congregation in view. These are the names of the men who stand by the blessing and who come to sign and have agreed to keep all the regulations written in this Pinkes: and may the Lord protect them for ever, Amen. The lowly1 Baruch, son of Naphtali K. Ts.2 Jacoby, son of my lord my father the late Joseph, may the memory of the righteous be a blessing Asher, son of Jacob the Levite Elchanan, son of the late Abraham Hamburg Joseph, son of Hayyim The lowly Hayyim, son of Joseph, may his memory be a blessing Samson, son of Baruch The lowly Simha, son of Shalom Abraham, son of Gumpricht Jonas [?sohn]3 A conventional self-appellation of modesty. The scribe has written only the abbreviation indi cating this designation in each case, leaving room for twenty signatories in two columns. Ten people have added their signatures. The letters kaf and tsadi stand for kohen tsedek, 'priest of righteousness', and indicate priestly descent. The only signature in English. It was later obliterated, but the first part of the name has become visible. It was doubtless deleted because Jonassohn became a member of the West London Synagogue, a Reform Synagogue, which was anathematized by the Chief Rabbi Solomon Herschell; Levy (see Intro, n. 5) 47. 63</page><page sequence="57">mmm US km Ism 2? njpJi ta-'xrpiy fcwa ihs tmvna iron y»# iww ty ^V»t£i ^arW&gt; yawn a*i W?w \tt",y« $V*&gt;w r»fva&lt;r th wrt *ur&gt;w mm #n»V« vs'is jyT-oii prrfM "«r* W*ai» ■yvrw&gt;« rteash r«*aa ■ywwn* yaw* T^"*"*3* y-tiffl nawa vnyn -*ty*spn^&lt;m wn*m* ?H«i '•-rwtwfl i"N b-"*» -IBs Hfwy nar^a wmttrnm? «** •tea* r»v jmotrw Y*rniri -runt? y&gt;» ytwaY»*3 ynSjifsnvM»w t$r*»a pS^-wr ta 'abttt sin yawb is &gt;a»h ji-aa anaw yian1? ay pry f» t*»'.'i -pmii teao?n ahy*Vi*»ai» a-»^» bay* yri r** wnyhft yinttns yawt ,3w*{ fWH -rbsiK yr ttj» -try ww i-t vSl Ne/*H hnw** KSttii few **&gt;a»n Jrsa 'wvn *1** with "way aany m &lt;* hw ivk *""** fckio-"** "ty fnytnpar* *-»3M anoS to' ir»i tu? yrn nrr» ay^Sai oapn ^»»»pwwwp 64</page><page sequence="58">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folio [22] Hebrew 21 Regulation J2 There has been an obnoxious custom here in former days that on Simchas Torah and Tisha b'Av certain individuals would throw Prayer Shawls or other things at one another in the synagogue, thus disturbing the prayers and causing dissension.1 In particular in the year 5584 on the day of Simchas Torah [Sunday 28 September 1823] when the [Torah] Reading and prayers ceased, which was on account of two men of Belial, while the Honorary Officers of the Congregation had to call in an officer to quieten that quarrel, whereby a profanation of the Name occurred. Therefore, this regulation is designed to prevent this evil custom and to remove a stumbling block from the midst of the people, namely, nobody shall take up any article to throw it in the synagogue. If any man be in anywise found who bears gall and worm wood2 and does not observe this, then that man shall be fined a half guinea, and shall come to no holy office until he pay the fine; 'and all the people shall see and shall not deal presumptuously'.3 1 Merrymaking in the synagogue on Simhat Torah is understandable, but the reference to throw ing things on Tisha b'Av is perplexing. However, the Eliyahu Rabbah by Elijah Shapiro to Orah Hayyim 559, 5, gloss 17, notes this peculiar custom. He is quoted by the Mishnah Berurah, gloss 22, who adds, 'Certainly the practice is obnoxious to me whereby some exhibit levity and throw things one at another in the synagogue. This is a great sin, for even on a day other than Tisha b'Av it is forbidden to exhibit levity in the synagogue, a fortiori on Tisha b'Av during the lamen tations when the people of Israel lament for the house of the Lord which is destroyed, and for his people who are scattered throughout the world.' Rabbi S. Zahn, Rosh Yeshivah of Sunderland, drew my attention to this reference; he recollects that in his youth boys threw burrs at worshippers. G. D. Guttentag of Newcastle relates that in Gateshead some forty years ago [ie. 1928] this custom was practised to the extent of throwing tin cans at one another, the throwers finding biblical justification in Lamentations 3:53-6, read on Tisha b'Av, 'they have cast stones at me ... I called on Thy name . .. Thou didst hear my voice'. 2 Deuteronomy 29:17. 3 Deuteronomy 17:13. 65</page><page sequence="59">* /•?- ^5/ *y/^~ //^u /^^' 0~/e// £&lt;/ ^/ S'iTti *A*y .A-7*£^*is s^~ / * /+// a^'X \ / '' / S s/ //Us *£&amp;£&lt;*/£ //*/ -*/£irUytJ /+ £ts4*~g/j //£- */a 'li/i*-??/ ^ //&amp;— */ /^U / i | ' ' " H ■• ...jS &amp;-£A:.-/es Aif /&amp;//y?£r~- 4/^ /fa£-4u/ HT ^&gt;- -/4u^ •**%S &lt;//jts .:/^/^^ £-&lt;^?'~MU^Lf,'- 4#- ■ tfh tku/' 1 ^y' r Z^/iy ye -r£/^^\ ,y Sa*.*/ ^ ^ t^y&lt;y/e^ - \ /£- £&gt; y?v~&gt;j-«yc*/sy-&gt;--/%/-■ y*a.u ^u^yyy^uycf * 2/ ? ^ fj-.s*£y * /£■?. r /y^y c^ ^ /£y^y^/\ sty s/t-py' # -/jj a^U- -'^y.ayy&gt; yt4-4^ y/" *v-e&lt;y2y *sztsm^ /~~ a.s^y/&lt;^., / ^ ^ y/y s/sr t A -fs?) y£-T- a4 sUUy/ y/, / / //L- £±ja^££U hy £sas,~*s xAv^a yf - y y , - y - y 1 / / ^ S*»*e*S /&gt; /t_^ £*S*l*tU*&gt;y A»y OA4^U.^f y.v..y-^ ^ crtunUkv y*/£+*; £ y yy /u^,^y£ yt //, £^^y£Zt^J&gt; c\ j5tfi*f.|j2. J v 1 66</page><page sequence="60">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation Folios 1-2 at the left-hand end of the volume [Folio la] At a meeting of the members of the old established Congregation of Israelites1 held at the house of Mr. J. Joseph on the 15th May 1845. ist it was unanimously agreed that every householder pay the weekly sums of three pence towards the salary of a person who shall officiate as killer of meat2 for the Israelites3 in Sunderland, the defiency to be paid out of the General Fund. Any Israelite using said meat and refusing to pay his contri bution to be considered in arrears. 2ndly Resolved also that every male person above the age of 16 years and capable shall pay the weekly sum of two pence towards a fund to be appro priated for the relief of the poor and other casualties4 any person refusing to pay the same to be considered to be in arrears. 3rd Resolved that a Committee of Five be chosen yearly to transact the business of the Congregation.5 'Israelites' was a nineteenth-century euphemism for Jews; see Intro, and nn. 6 and 7. The circumlocutory phrase 'a person who shall officiate as killer of meat' indicates a deliberate attempt at anglicization. Here 'Israelites' is clearly used for 'Jews'. Obviously synagogal offerings by those called to the Torah were insufficient to meet the rising demand. The 1840s saw the beginning of the flood of Russian Polish Jews, many of them poor and illiterate in both Hebrew and Western languages, who took advantage of cheap passages across the North Sea; Lipman (see Intro, n. 15) 66. See Reg. 20 n. 1. 67</page><page sequence="61">/ // ' ti t's Xfr-sf.- y/1/ y/ d ylsbAh^. .-■'/ XZ&amp;l&gt; A &lt;t./{%. - *yXX X d7 &lt;j XtX**. y /Xi/A? Xf- 6tr~ Jc*t *£■ 4***S*1r-&lt;?4-' dd ^X^dsGjZ- .X. dXtx-Xd^ £c,-&amp; d&lt;y XX' X&lt;Xl , - jX*£y« , - 6«-r A»*J Xd+d-X y/?C* ^Ad-^xl? -Xd^S £*%r^giy^ Xd . X/e^^-dX-Xd y^StykXXdr AXXsX dn^J y.* x£*^ ^2^ Xt^sX^XxdApgd^ Asf**i X /t +/ Xd-* ■jXf-'f rjN|^r Ast&lt;y ^ ~ ^ yXe^- &lt;A*yy^y^d XXddX &lt;6%x s tdytyddX /'*-«££_- A&gt; &lt;* y X^^sXs.-$sd&lt;r Jh_*s JAAs9hji X/yX* XX^tdis^%XX tdd d&gt;Xs ?&lt; / &lt;*~-*" ^Xd-v rX/7 &gt;^i t si_e, XL r, ^ dn^A y As-^d^iALo i^-' Xd+ t*~4y- dt^, A *■ X'dsXX*tS A'frSf Xd,'±9dS'M,.^ Jtr-~ j/ty * X* ~2«~ "/ J *~«y j&gt;yy~ /* .td.-»..y~ k y- *- ^s' yddy ^ A r_ si «'fd S ft&gt; j t~y»^ r * y. X d j&gt;? a /, .-a ,/k y. d. / ^ A,A d yy a / * A A: /*.-# / ' yd A y Af A // y yd A' Am // 0 d£A" fAf d* y 00/. Ad A..A. A - ■ s y y y _, ^/.'^ * {*:■■ y' yd* A {*&lt;■■ • ~~^y y*,*.s -* .&lt;■./&gt;■* t■&lt;■ $• « ■ ■ Sk^lA^- /Ims**; ad-sv-e^ /#rS. *?■" /' . V ^d&gt;,*d'A. yd yd */A A-c^ /,. , d-, d* A t/syd **, /A-" *S yd At dfs&lt; r I A m 68</page><page sequence="62">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation [Folio lb] 4ly Resolved that the Committee of Five make application to Mrs. Aylmer to allow us to annex a piece of ground contiguous to the old Burial place in order that the same may be enlarged.6 Resolved further that in case of sick ness amongst us it should be found necessary to attend the sick, that in such case each person's name to be drawn and such person (or persons) as the case may require to serve in rotation. Any person (or persons) not able to attend to find a substitute.7 Hours of attendance as follows: From 7 o i o )' clock a.m. to i o' clock p.m. i o' clock p.m. to 6 o' clock p.m. 6 o' clock p.m. to 11 o' clock p.m. no' clock p.m. to 7 o' clock a.m. 5thly Resolved that every head of a Family and every single male person above 18 years of age do contribute the sum of one shilling per Quarter to defray the expenses of the Burial Ground. The burial ground at Ayere's Quay was filled and further burials forbidden in 1856. In the eighteenth century, when provincial congregations found it impossible to extend a cemetery, they used the same one again by putting down additional layers of earth. This minute records the initial stages of the project brought to fruition in 1866; Levy (Intro, n. 5) 308. See Reg. 25 and note. This minute indicates that the community was entering a second stage of development, when it was usual for sick-watching to be done by members of the Bikkur Holim, a society founded for that purpose. When it became customary for the sick to be treated in a hospital, the Bikkur Holim often vanished, although it sometimes made its secondary objects, helping the poor and watching the dead before burial, its main raison d'etre. 69</page><page sequence="63">| 'x J H ^ I fg,- « * /Ah t '^ | A-SUuf. 4&amp;-1-A.&amp;AA- iU^JC- A&gt;J*»Aa~ *£*■+*" A&amp;t-Sjp.. I l^i A&amp;T:?**' jA&gt; A ■Ss/'^y /-&gt; ^ . I v V I Au**-*S-- A*-- A-- +r ««6&gt;A £*-«- 4+**AJ* ft \X j /"' , ' _/ . ^ ' | i's / 1: 'Acs 'yA^ BT^Ivj a***~~^ i vj ^ s '-^AA "A- A AAc. A •&lt;•—- &lt;*&lt;A £&gt; *K~Ay*^ /A- *&gt;,-&lt;£„./ */ A / / »T"~A~~ ~ aAjT** *^€a.A~~ +Aj aA* ^Ak A jCa^A A *'■*" ^ y/ . y^ *y&lt;A tf=: /*&gt; '* ys* *^- &lt;* ^^is. &lt;jC* szir Ar-AA'^AA £A?4~Als*&gt;^ A'-ty AAA &amp;*aAA a^ -6c 1# A .AxAj? aA^a.[ ■j'f ~sf ~ft &gt; sA&gt;-~~ s~AA?^' , (Aa~*z/~Af..~ yy . a y 70</page><page sequence="64">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation [Folio 2a] 6th That in the event of Death occurring to any Israelite not a member of our Society - that the sum for allowing the defunct to be buried before an adult two pounds and for a child one pound, such sum to be paid previous to burial. [Written in the margin:] Should the circumstances of the deceased or relatives admit, the sum for burial can be increased at the option of the Committee. 7th That the Committee of Five have it in their power to mitigate such charge in the event of the relations or friends of deceased pleading poverty, three out of the Committee of Five to be considered a majority. Resolved also that Mr. J. Joseph be perpetual chairman. In the event of the votes being equal the chairman to give the casting vote.8 In the last resort every congregation will bury any Jew, even a non-member, who dies within the area covered by it. This regulation was designed to strengthen the hand of Honorary Officers who dealt with the heirs of a Jew who avoided the obligations of community membership, but who desired to benefit from its facilities. 7i</page><page sequence="65">^ ^ ^ s 4 „. i4i s s A&gt;/ .' 4-.r y^Aiw /&gt; l~&gt;tS&gt; ■s*-*£l&gt; *-■&amp;*.- S /{^, ^lAAsS**^ £i? &lt; /$ ? t ,y~- c £&gt; t jC-./^yy /a- */?*/&amp; y?s*'s n y^i.y Aj' d y* &gt;—- /4^r &lt;fss 4 ^ 72</page><page sequence="66">The nineteenth-century constitution of the Sunderland congregation [Folio 2b] Copy of Resolutions passed at a meeting of the members of our Kehillah, 8 Mar Heshvan 5607.' Resolved That the present registrar Myers Marks be deposed.2 Resolved That Mr. D. Joseph be elected registrar.3 Resolved That a statement of our reasons for this proceeding be trans mitted to Sir Moses Montefiore Bart.4 [Editor's note: The word kehillah, 'congregation' is written in cursive Hebrew, as is the date. The latter, which reads '607 according to the minor reckoning; 8 Marheshvan', is equivalent to Wednesday 28 October 1846.] The reference is to Myers Marks who acted as Secretary for Marriages for the Jews of Sunderland. According to the Sunderland Jewish Marriage Registers he was Secretary for Marriages from 1837 (when it first became compulsory to register marriages with the State) until 1851. He was presumably appointed because his was then the older and probably more numerous 'official' Congregation of the town. By 1846 the 'Polish' Congregation was declining and the 'Israelites' no doubt wanted to be independent of Myers Marks. The Congregation eventually got its Secretary for Marriages when he was elected in 1851. The Secretary for Marriages acts on behalf of the Registrar General. He is appointed after his name has been forwarded to the Registrar General by the President of the Board of British Deputies (then Sir Moses Montefiore). Ironically, fifty years later the Sunderland Hebrew Congregation in turn opposed the Sunderland Beth Hamedrash when it wanted its own Secretary of Marriage. The objections were amicably withdrawn in 1903. 73</page></plain_text>

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