Transcribed from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.


Jewish Congregations.—The history of Jewish communities in America began in the year 1654, when a company of Jews located in New Amsterdam. The governor of the colony wished to exclude them, but by order of the Dutch West India company they were admitted after a delay of nine months. They were allowed to live and trade in the colony but were denied the privilege of building a synagogue and of acquiring a site for burial purposes. They met for private worship, however, and within a short time formed the congregation of Searith Israel, which is still in existence in New York city. In 1682, under English rule, the congregation occupied its first synagogue. This was followed by a synagogue of the Jews living in Savannah, Ga., in 1732; by one at Lancaster, Pa., in 1776; and at Philadelphia in 1782.

The Jewish congregations in the United States have no religious head, being autonomous in character and there is no general ecclesiastical organization controlling the individual bodies. Any person who declares himself a Jew, or is known to be one by birth or affiliation, is eligible to membership. He need not submit to any test of faith or adherence to a creed, although in some congregations the observance of certain fundamental laws is tacitly regarded as an indispensable qualification for membership.

The first Jewish congregation in Kansas of which a record is obtainable was that of Benai Jerushan, established at Leavenworth in 1862. The immigration of the Jewish race to Kansas was slow and in many communities there are not enough Jews to form a congregation, so that the number of organizations does not give any accurate estimate of the number of this faith in the state. In 1890 there were 6 organizations: 2 in Leavenworth county; 1 each in Sedgwick, Shawnee, Atchison and Saline counties, with a total membership of 486. In the next fifteen years only one new congregation was organized, and the number of communicants reported in 1906 was only 175. This gives no correct estimate, however, of the number of Jews who are regular attendants of the synagogue but who are not members.

Page 31 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

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VOLUME I

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
INTRODUCTION

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I

VOLUME II

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

VOLUME III

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEXES


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