Page created: 31 January 2004
Latest revision or update: 29 June 2014
Press Reports relating to the Cork Jewish
From Newry Report, reported in the Jewish Chronicle 28 January 1876
There is a place on the south-east corner of White Street, Cork, now built over, which is said to have been the site of the a cemetery once used by the Jews of Cork. In the last century, there were many Jews in Cork; they were employed as merchants, who exported large quantities of provisions to the West Indian Islands. The following from the letter-book of Messrs. Hare, formerly eminent merchants in Cork, and now in the possession of that indefatigable collector, Mr. Franks, who will help to throw some light on this subject: "John Holmes, junior Belfast, October 12, 1771 - I am favoured with yours of the 7th, and observe your order for the "John". I shall apply to your Jew butcher about the salmon, but am certain he will not give a certificate. Indeed, I am somewhat doubtful if any certificate is necessary. I have shipped a trifle of salmon for a Jews in Jamaica without a certificate and had no complaint."
Letter from Marcus Hartog, Professor of
Natural History, Queen’s College, Cork.
‘CORK HEBREW CONGREGATION, 15, UNION QUAY
WANTED a competent Melamed with a fair knowledge of the English language, who shall be able to act as Shochet of fowls and as Bal Koreh; salary 30/- per week. Apply, S. Criger, 2, Great George’s -street, Cork.’
‘TO THE EDITOR, - From Mr. S. SPIRO, J.P., President, Synagogue Chambers, 10, South Terrace.
SIR,-An advertisement appears in the current issue of the JEWISH CHRONICLE in the name of the Cork Hebrew Congregation, with an address at 15, Union Quay, Cork, inviting applications for the post of “Melamed and Shochet.” etc.
Permit me to inform your readers generally, and prospective candidates in particular, that the advertisement is entirely unauthorised by the Cork Hebrew Congregation, that we have not moved to No. 15, Union Quay, and there is not the least intention of doing so, and furthermore, that we have already two qualified Chazonim and Shochetim and three Teachers of Hebrew and Religion, which is quite ample for our present requirements. There can be no further appointments in the Cork Congregation unless and until one of the existing offices becomes vacant.
By inserting this explanation in your next issue you will much obliges.
[The advertisement was tender to us as presumably emanating from “The Cork Hebrew Congregation” and we gladly insert the above disclaimer.- EDITOR.]’
‘THE CORK CONGREGATIONS.
TO THE EDITOR. - From Mr. S. CRIGER, 2, Great George’s Street, Cork.
SIR,- As one of the founders or re-establishers of the 15, Union Quay, Cork Hebrew Congregation, and as under the advertisement for a Melamed, Shochet, etc., my name is appended, I am compelled to reply to Mr. Spiro’s uncalled-for communication of the 17th ult., (sic) in which he disclaims the advertisement, warns the prospective candidates not to apply, thereby trying to spoil the advertisement and discourage intended applicants.
I am quite ready to believe that had Mr. Spiro written, in plain English, so that you could have discerned his intentions, his letter would not have seen print. Mr. Spiro started by saying that No. 10, South Terrace Congregation did not remove to No. 15, Union Quay. Had he stopped there I would have thought him to be officious, and would have treated his letter with silence. But he went further, and warned the prospective candidates not to apply as there was no vacancy. Therefore I beg to express my strongest indignation and that of the entire congregation at Mr. Spiro’s interference. And I wish to inform the candidates through this medium that there is a vacancy for a Shochet, Mohel, etc., at the Cork Hebrew Congregation, 15, Union Quay, and that the parents of the children must have a competent teacher immediately..
[It would appear that there are two congregations in Cork each calling itself the Cork Hebrew Congregation. Hence the misunderstanding. It is worth adding that the Jewish population of Cork, all told, according to the “Jewish Year Book,” is 400.] - EDITOR.’
‘CORK. At a meeting of the Congregation, 15, Union Quay, held last week Messrs. A.H. Goldfoot, S. M. Creiger, and Mr. Cliffe, were elected President, Treasurer, and Secretary respectively. The Rev. M.D. Herschman was elected Chazan, Shochet and Teacher. The President presented the congregation with a Scroll of the Law.’
‘CORK HEBREW CONGREGATION.
TO THE EDITOR. -From Mr. S. SPIRO, J.P., President, 9 and 10, South Terrace, Cork.
SIR, - The letter from Mr. Criger in your issue of the 8th inst. Eminently shows the necessity of defining clearly what constitutes the right of an associated body of men to style themselves a congregation. Let us suppose that five or six dissatisfied members of al old-established London synagogue, say the Bayswater Synagogue, were to form themselves into a Minyan with the aid of a similar number of youths over the Barmitzvah age, to hire a room within fifty yards of the established synagogue, and there to start services without a Chazan and without a Sepher Torah of their own, would they, for all practical purposes, have the right to style themselves the Bayswater Synagogue?
This is what has just happened in Cork with the formation of the so-called “Cork Hebrew Congregation” at 15, Union Quay. That the use of this name is misleading is evident from the fact that even you, Sir, have been made a victim of misunderstandings as indicated by your note stating: “it would appear that there are two congregations in Cork each calling itself the Cork Hebrew Congregation.”
The question, however, is which if the two congregations has the right to style itself the Cork Hebrew Congregation? Is it the original one, which has been in existence for the past thirty-five years, and with which the only other congregation in Cork, that formerly worshipped at No. 2, South Terrace, is now amalgamated, thus comprising all the Jews in Cork: or is it the other, of No. 15, Union Quay, formed a few days before the High Festivals in the manner described above, and for reasons which, unfortunately, are not uncommon in provincial congregations? The fact that none of the supporters of this movement have as yet resigned membership, thus retaining their seats in the Cork Synagogue, clearly shows that they are not very confident of the stability of their enterprise. If Mr. Criger had read my letter carefully he could not have avoided seeing that I did not “start by saying that No. 10, South Terrace, did not remove to 15, Union Quay.” I distinctly stated that “the Cork Hebrew Congregation” did not move to 15, Union Quay, and I repeat again that no vacancy exists in the Cork Synagogue. When Mr. Criger ventures to express his “strongest indignation, and that of the entire congregation, at Mr. Spiro’s interference,” he ought to have made use of the plain English he recommends to me by stating that he was only referring to his particular congregation, as, with the few exceptions thus comprised, the entire community of Cork is in perfect accord with my “interference.” The prospective Melamed will certainly have a sinecure as far as the children are concerned, seeing that of the three men in the newly-formed body who have children to be taught, one is already sending his to the established Hebrew Classes. But I will not dispute Mr. Criger’s statement that “ the parents of the children must have a competent teacher immediately.” ‘
TO THE EDITOR.-From Mr. S. CRIGER, 2, Great Georges Street, Cork.
SIR,- With reference to Mr. Spiro’s second letter I recognise that he intends to hit our congregation in other vulnerable directions, besides trying to prevent us from obtaining a competent “Hebrew teacher.” He himself admits, in contradiction to his assertion in his former letter, that his congregation has three qualified teachers, including a headmaster (sic). Sir, had our congregation not been so lucky as to secure a reverend gentleman with qualities far surpassing our expectations our, we would have had to complain of your liberality for giving countenance to attacks with a view, deliberately, to deter candidates from coming over (several candidates withdrew their applications), and I may as well mention that your generosity in giving publicity to my last letter saved us, and for this we are exceedingly obliged to you. I aver that our members far exceed in number that which Mr. Spiro so erroneously stated, and that they are, without exception, the respected, wealthy gentlemen, with erudition in Talmudic lore and university education.
It is very difficult to drive home to you and your numerous readers in the metropolis and in the great provincial cities the true state of affairs of a remote Jewish community like Cork, and no matter how I may refute Mr. Spiro’s mis-statements I am certain that he will make other assertions, which would be based on the flimsiest arguments. To save further unnecessary spilling of ink, and to abuse no longer the privilege you extend to correspondents, I request you grant me space in your esteemed columns to refute Mr. Spiro’s statement. Mr. Spiro employs only an excuse when he innocently complains of our advertising under the name of Cork Hebrew Congregation. For the past thirty years there have been two congregations in Cork, both of which were known by the same title, although they were in the same street and in juxtaposition to one another, and during those years there frequently appeared in your advertising columns similar advertisements to the present one. It is true this Congregation of which ours is in continuation was originally known as “Remnant of Israel,” but that name was seldom if ever used; in fact, very few remember the name. Indeed, the great majority who have resided less than a decade never heard of that name. Mr. Spiro, who was anxious to deprive us of the benefit of the advertisement, brings for than (sic) argument because we had no Chazan, therefore, we were no congregation; hence there was no vacancy. Surely, in common sense, if we had had a Chazan we would not have had to advertise for one. I contradict in toto Mr. Spiro’s assertion that the entire community is in accord with his views, and since we engaged our minister and as a protest against his interference our Congregation has become augmented by a number of members.
[Further correspondence on this very reprehensible inter-communal quarrel, which reflects no credit on either of the parties involved, is not desired. - EDITOR.]
Cork. Annual meeting of the Hebrew Congregation held at the schoolrooms 9 South Terrace.
Mr S. Spiro JP, presided. Treasurer I. Marcus.
Elected. S. Spiro JP, President. W. Jackson Vice-President
Joe Levin Treasurer
Louis Jackson (10 Marine Terrace) Hon Sec.
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