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American Hebrews are extremely proud of their citizenship; and although they are anxious to advocate and inculcate, in our common schools and other institutions of learning, the superiority of their education in many essentials, they are unwilling to retard or in any manner complicate the progress of free education. They are satisfied at being permitted the unrestricted use of our common-school system, particularly as religious instruction is now being confined to the different denominatio:ss, and the school-room made free to all shades of religious sentiment.
Although the Hebrews still worship on Saturday, or the seventh day, they entertain reverence and respect for Sunday, and are loth to violate the Sabbath of the Christian. For many years, in several of our large cities, Jewish congregations have regularly maintained Sunday-schools, and Hebrew children may be seen regularly wending their way to the Sunday-school exercises of their synagogues. In Philadelphia the Portuguese congregation, formerly presided over by the late Rev. Mr. Leeser, has maintained a Sunday-school for the past thirty years or more.
In the new “ Temple Immanuel," one of the grandest edifices in New York city, on the Fifth avenue, a thoroughly organized Sunday-school is maintained. Each class has a separate room set apart for its use, and competent teachers are employed and liberally paid for their services. Order is maintained in the most thorough manner, and no confusion or noise is permitted. The assembly of scholars is had in the main hall, and one of the scholars recites a prayer, the congregation remaining standing until the “Amen” is given; after which, to the music of a measured march, the classes separate and retire, each to its appropriate apartment. About two hours are employed in religious instruction, when, returning to the assembly room, a prayer is offered and they are dismissed, retiring in the most perfect order.*
The Hebrew Sabbath or Sunday schools are founded solely to impart religious instruction to Israelitish children. The scholastic year begins after the feast of the Tabernacles, (Succoth,) the commencement of the Jewish New Year, in the latter part of September or first of October, and continues until the last Sunday in June; and it is usually requisite that children should have attended some other school for a year prior to admission. Pupils are required to enrol their names in advance; and a programme of studies for the scholastic year is presented for inspection and adoption by the board of trustees. Corporal punishment is interdicted, and punishment is only in the mildest form, at worst, resulting in suspension, and, in extreme cases, in dismission. Records of punishment and absence are carefully kept, and a public examination and distribution of prizes annually celebrated. Every effort is made to conduce hap- · . piness and to attract, rather than repel, the pupils to the school.
J. J. NOAH. PHILADELPHIA.
The Rev. George Jacobs, of Philadelphia, writes:
In the city of Philadelphia there are seven Jewish synagogues. The benevolent associations number eleven lodges of the order of "B'nae Brith,'' (“Sons of the Covenant,") numbering 1,025 members, and with funds on hand to the amount of $38,850 39. There are also seven lodges of the “Free Sons of Israel,” numbering 800, and with a fund of $10,000. The United Hebrew Charities,
consolidated from five separate benevolent organizations, received, from September 1869 to February 1870, $14,773 22, most of which was distributed in relieving 682 persons. The Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society, organized in 1819, receives and disburses about $1,100 per annum. The Jewish Foster Home numbers some 28 inmates. In addition to these is the Jewish hospital, open to all patients, which has cared for 91 patients during the year, at an expense of nearly $8,000.
Of distinctive Jewish schools there are three, with 10 male and 3 female teachers, and with 454 pupils, 264 male and 190 female.
The Maimonides College, recently established, and in which, in addition to the usual classical and modern studies, the higher branches of the Hebrew are taught, numbers 6 professors. The Hebrew Sunday-school, founded in 1838 by Miss Rebecca Gratz, was The first Hebrew Sunday-school in the United States. It numbers 115 boys and 110 girls, and 5 male and 18 female teachers. The majority of Jewish children attend the State public schools in the city. Very few, if any, Jewish children fail to attend some school.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. There are three Hebrew benevolent associations exclusively for the assistance of the poor, and seven for the relief of the sick and the care of widows and orphans. There are five Jewish schools where some 300 children receive religious instruction. It is estimated that some 500 Hebrow boys and girls attend the public high and normal schools.
* Mr. Parton, in the Atlantio Monthly.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. Rev. S. Deutsch says that in Baltimore, as elsewhere, a large majority of the Jewish children attend the public schools of the city.
There is one exclusively Jewish private school of 150 pupils, and also a German private school where Hebrew and religious instruction are given if desired. There are two Sunday-schools, with a total attendance of 260 pupils. There are three Jewish charitable associations.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.
There are four Jewish charitable associations: two for the assistance of the poor, one for the support of widows and orphans, and one for the interment of the poor. A Jewish hospital is in progress.
There are no Jewish private schools. It is estimated that 1,120 Jewish children attend the public schools, 630 male and 490 female. There are three Jewish Sabbathschools, with an aggregate attendance of 398: 215 male and 183 female.
The following are the rules adopted for the management of one of these schools, and will serve to show the general plan of their organization:
“Rules for the Sabbath-school of the congregation 'Shaare Emeth,' in St. Louis, Missouri.
“I. The Sabbath-school is founded solely to impart religious instruction to Israelitish children belonging to above congregation.
“II. The scholastic year begins on the first Sunday after the feast of the Tabernacles and closes on the last Sunday in June.
“III. Such children only who have attended some other school at least one year can be admitted to the Sabbath-school.
“IV. Names of pupils must be enrolled fourteen days prior to commencement of the scholastic year.
.«V. The teachers shall, during the aforesaid fourteen days, draught a programme and a course of studies for the ensuing scholastic year, and hand the same, for adoption, to the school board.
“VI. Pupils desirous of attending the school during the scholastic year can be admitted only after having first obtained the consent of the school board.
“VII. The school board will hold regular monthly meetings during the scholastic year on the Sunday after the 15th day of each month.
“VIII. The acting superintendent of the school shall preside at the meetings of the school board.
“IX. At the regular meetings of the school board the teachers shall attend to act in an advisory capacity; they shall not, however, be entitled to vote upon any question.
“X. The superintendent is entitled to vote only when a tie occurs.
“XI. Whenever two members of the school board shall desire, or the superintendent deems it necessary to call a special meeting of the school board, the members thereof shall be convened.
“XII. It shall be the duty of every member of the school board to attend the Sabbath-school during hours of instruction at least twice each month.
“XIII. Corporal punishment is strictly prohibited.
“XIV. Punishment in the third, or mildest, degree shall be, 'Removal of the pupil from his bench during the hours of instruction ;' in the second degree, ‘Removal of the pupil from the school room to that of the superintendent during same time ;' in the first degree, Suspension of the pupil from school for two weeks.
“XV. The consent of the superintendent must first be obtained ere the pupil can be dismissed from the school.
“XVI. Pupils punished with the first, or highest, punishment three times, can bo dismissed from the school entirely, provided a resolution to that effect has been passed by the school board.
“XVII. Every teacher shall keep a correct record of punishments meted out to pupils, for monthly communication with the parents.
“XVIII. Each absence of the pupil from school must be accounted for by a written excuse from the parents.
“XIX. Every teacher shall keep a correct list of the attending pupils and report tho absentees to the school board.
“XX: The superintendent only shall have the right to interrupt the regular school exercises by asking questions or imparting information.
“XXI. A public examination and distribution of prizes shall take place at the close of the scholastic year.” (Adopted at a meeting of the trustees of the congregation held May 8, 1870,»
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. The Rev. B. Felsenthal, of Chicago, writes that Chicago has an estimated Jewish population of 10,000. He estimates that 90 per cent. of the Jewish children attend the public schools, and remarks that "it is safe to assert that every Jewish child receives at least a good elementary education, the care for the proper education of the children being an old and firmly-ronted trait of the Jewish character.” There is one private school in the city, taught by Rev. L. Adler, where instruction is given in Hebrew. About 100 children are in attendance. For instruction in Hebrew parents generally rely on the Jewish Sabbath-schools and on private tuition.
There are six Hebrew congregations, each of which has a Sabbath-school. In all these the rudiments of Hebrew are taught. From 500 to 600 children attend these Sabbath-schools.
There are five lodges of the order of B’nae Brith (Sons of the Covenant,) and seven other benevolent societies. A Jewish hospital is supported, where poor sick persons,
A of all beliefs, are received. The Hebrew Orphan Asylum, at Cleveland, receives considerable contributions from Chicago. (The Jews of the Eastern States have their orphan asylum in New York, those of the South in New Orleans, and those of the Pacific States in San Francisco.) Besides the Chicago congregations, there are in Illinois four others-two in Quincy, one in Springfield, and one in Peoria.
Rev. Isaac M. Wise, of Cincinnati, furnishes the following information :
1. There are no Jewish elementary schools in this city. The last Talmid Yeladim institute was dissolved three years ago.
2. There are three Hebrew schools for religious instruction attached to three congregations, viz:
a. Benai Yeshurun congregation, superintendent, Isaac M. Wise; four teachers; 180 pupils; two sessions weekly, Saturday and Sunday; objects, Hebrew, Jewish religion, and history.
b. Benai Israel congregation, superintendent, Max Lilienthal; three teachers ; 150 pupils; sessions and objects as above.
c. Ahabash Achim congregation, M. Goldemmer, teacher and superintendent; sixty pupils; sessions and objects as above.
Besides, the above named three rabbi teach, each, annually a confirmation or graduating class of twenty to forty pupils.
It is our settled opinion here that the education of the young is the business of the State, and the religious instruction, to which we add the Hebrew, is the duty of religious bodies. Neither ought to interfere with the other. The secular branches belong to the public schools, religion to the Sabbath schools, exclusively. Therefore I cannot give you any particular statistics as to Hebrew children in the various schools.
OF EDUCATION IN THE
Under the inspiration of President Sarmiento, who is one of the most earnest, as well as one of the inost distinguished, of educators, popular education in the Argentino Republic is constantly progressing; receiving, in every way, the warmest support from the government. The following summary, from the report of Minister Avellaneda-a volume of some 400 pages-shows what has been accomplished. It will be seen that this young republic looks to the United States for educators, as well as for an example of its system of education for the people :
“The department of public instruction has been very busy, during the past year, establishing new schools, granting subsidies, improving every branch of popular education, and losing no opportunity to enlighten and instruct all classes of the people, especially in the more remote provinces, where the lamp of learning shed but a flickerirg and uncertain light amid a dense fog of ignorance.
“The provinces coöperate in the good work. San Juan gained the prize of $10,000 for having one-tenth of its population attending schools, and devotes the money to cho establishment of upper schools. Entre Rios (under the administration of the late General Urquiza) spent the entire subsidy from the federal government in new colleges. Salta is building a splendid structure of this kind, and Tucuman has voted three times its usual sum for educational purposes. Corrientes has subscribed $4,000 to bring out school books and furniture from the United States. Rioja has arisen from a lethargy of generations, and in every part of the republic the preaching of Sar miento has called into life new schools and an incipient thirst for improvement.
“ The number of children attending school throughout the republic appears to be, according to the census, 89,500, but the returns of the various schools show this is an exaggeration, and if we deduct 14 per cent. the return of 77,000 children will be much nearer the truth. Hence the minister calculates there are at present 350,000 children who neither attend school nor receive the simplest rudiments of education. He adds that of the 40,000 immigrants who arrive annually two-thirds do not know how to read.
" The statistical returns of education in the various provinces are: Buenos Ayres City
2,833 Buenos Ayres camp. 13, 656 Catamarca.
2,500 San Juan ..
2, 475 Corrientes
2,239 Cordoba ... 5,261 || Jujuy..
2,000 Santa Fé.
1,784 Santiago Estero
4,500 Entre Rios... 3, 691
77, 213 Tucuman
2, 900 “This includes 1,884 youths belonging to the national colleges, (of which there are 14 in the republic,) being an increase of more than 80 per cent. on the returns for the previous year. In 1867 the province of Rioja was destitute of schools, and now it has over 2,000 children in course of instruction, besides a high school, with 217 collegians.
“ The national government attaches great importance to the establishment of normal schools for the training of teachers, which is, in fact, the most necessary element in the whole system. The first normal school will shortly be established in the old government-house at Paraná, under the direction of Mr. George Stearns, from the United States, who is to receive a salary of $2,400 per annum, and a lady teacher at $1,000 per annum. The new national college at Corrientes, under Dr. Fitzsimons, has already 156 pupils, and receives a subsidy of $2,000; Dr. F. furnishes a long and luminous report on education, based on the London university system.
“Night' schools have been established in Buenos Ayres, Salta, and Santiago del Estero, each of which is attended by 100 or 200 adults. Libraries are also about to be opened in each of the upper provinces, at a cost of $1,500 each, for use of the public. Infant schools or Kindergarten forin another item of improvement; the first being opened in Buenos Ayres. The observatory at Cordoba will shortly be inaugurated, Dr. Gould being shortly expected from the United States with his staff. Congress has also authorized the minister to send abroad for 20 first-class professors for the University of Cordoba and the national colleges; 8 are expected from Germany.
The new, subsidies granted during the year amounted to $90,660, viz: Rioja. $19, 080 Jujuy.
$3,000 Entre Rios. 13, 500 Mendoza.
2, 100 San Juan.. . 12,500 Salta...
2, 100 Corrientes, 12,500 Catamarca
2,500 San Luis 4, 680 Santiago del Estero.
1,500 Tucuman 4,500 Swiss colonies.
1, 100 Santa Fé....
2,000 Buenos Ayres.
4, 200 “Among minor subsidies we find subscriptions for Doña Juana Manso's Annals, Barbati's History, Wickersham on Schools, &c. The budget also provides $100,000 for the purpose of buying books for distribution in the provinces. The budget for 1870 shows a total of $785,027 for the department of instruction, worship, and justice, which will be increased by $80,000 for the ensuing year.”
EDUCATION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB.
In affording the means of education to its deaf and dumb the United States has done more, proportionally, than any other nation in the world.
Florida and Oregon are the only States of our country in which no provision has been made in this regard. And this omission is owing, probably, rather to the fact that public attention has not been drawn to the subject, than to any unwillingness on the part of the people of these States to recognize the claims of deaf-mutes to education.
From being regarded in the days of its inception in 1816 as a charity, the furtherance of which was to be urged on humane and philanthropic grounds, the work of instructing deaf-mutes has now come to be looked upon as an essential feature of that system of public education, obtaining more and more in the world, the basis of which may bo shown to rest on considerations of pure State selfishness. For as the expense of education in general can be shown to be a wise investment, bringing to the State a large return in the elements of material prosperity, so it has latterly been made clear that to educate the deaf and dumb is cheaper than to leave them in ignorance.
In the early days only indigent deaf-mutes were taught at public expense. But at the present time, although some institutions require certificates of pecuniary inability for free admission, the education of the deaf and dumb is practically as free as that of other children.
For nearly fifty years the system of instruction in the United States remained uniform, being substantially that introduced from France, in 1816, by Dr. Thomas H. Gallaudet,
who organized the first American deaf-mute institution, at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1817. This system discards articulation, and makes large use of a language of signs which is natural to the deaf-mute, and which affords at all stages of his education a free, precise, and full means of conveying ideas.
Text books, however, and written exercises enter largely into the course of instruction from its commencement, and the great work to be accomplished is to impart to the deaf-mute child a knowledge of language as it is written or printed, and a facility in its use.
This acquirement having been made, the education of the deaf-mute may be proceeded with to a range of culture as high as is possible in the case of persons who hear and speak. The mute also has, in his ability to express thought in writing, an exact and easy, though somewhat slow method of communication with all who can read and write.
Within a few years the German, or articulating method, has been regarded with favor in certain quarters, and two institutions, one the Clarke Institute, founded by private benevolence, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and one in New York City, have been established, wherein the exclusion of the sign language is attempted, and oral speech is sought to be made the medium of communication between teacher and pupil.
Public attention having been thus directed to this feature of deaf-mute instruction, the Columbia Institution, at Washington, sent its president, in the spring of 1867, to examine the most prominent articulating schools of Europe with a view of determining whether any change in the system of the old institutions in the direction suggested by the new schools of Massachusetts and New York City was desirable. The report on this inspection of foreign schools, published in the tenth annual report of the institution, while urging the retention of the old system as the most valuable for the general
truction of the deaf and dumb, advised that instruction in articulation be given in. all schools for deaf-mutes; and expressed the opinion that not over one-third of the pupils in such schools can be expected to engage successfully in the proposed study. In the spring of 1868, the subject of articulation was discussed in a conference of priňcipals of institutions for deaf and dumb held at Washington, and the following resolutions were adopted:
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this conference it is the duty of all institutions for the education of the deaf and dumb to provide adequate means for imparting instruction in articulation and lip reading to such of their pupils as may be able to engage with profit in exercises of this nature.
“Resolved, That while in our judgment it is desirable to give semi-mutes and semideaf children every facility for retaining and improving any power of articulate speech they may possess, it is not profitable except in promising cases, discovered after fair experiment, to carry congenital mutes through a course of instruction in articulation.
Resolved, That to attain success in this department of instruction an added force of instructors will be necessary, and this conference hereby recommends to boards of directors of institutions for the deaf and dumb that speedy measures be taken to provide the funds needed for the prosecution of this work."
The recommendations of these resolutions have been accepted and acted upon in nearly all the large institutions of the country, thus adding, with a marked harmony of action, a feature of no little importance to the national system.
To a full course of training in the usual elementary branches taught in common schools, a majority of the institutions of the deaf and dumb add instruction in trades and useful labor, so that their pupils on leaving are fitted at once to exert themselves intelligently and successfully for their own maintenance.
Thus does the American system of deaf-mute instruction take a class of citizen's deprived of one most important sense, and cut off from the exercise of one of the most important powers of man-a class once ranked in the eye of the law with idiots and imbeciles, à class once only a drag and burden to society-and so cultivate their remaining powers, through the senses that are still unimpaired, as to make them intelligent and useful inen and women, able to earn the means for their own subsistence, fitted to assume the burden of sustaining others, and to add to the aggregate wealth of the community.
But this is not all that has been done for the deaf and dumb of the United States. In the year 1864 the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, located at Washing