Historic Congregational Items
Subscription List (for first synagogue building)

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Record 1/9
Copyright Statement
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Collection Colonial & Federal Documents
Date April 30, 1788
Abstract "Subscription List for the old Synagogue.
Shnor Gelt for Mikveh Israel Synagogue ...1788"

There is no full record of what went on in Mikveh Israel in the critical years between September 4, 1785, and June 28, 1789, for there is an unexplained gap in the minutes of the congregation covering this period. It can be guessed that there may have been embarrassing creditors' suits and threats of-if not the actual appearance of-the sheriff. The only surviving document which gives evidence of the desperation of the good Jews of Philadelphia is also the best evidence of the esteem in which they were held by their non-Jewish fellow-citizens including such notables as Benjamin Franklin and David Rittenhouse.

At the end of April, 1788, and for some time thereafter, the hazan and members of Mikveh Israel undertook a series of visits to the leading men of the city. With them they took a document containing a dignified plea for help.

TRANSCRIPTION:

To the Humane, Charitable, well-dispos'd People

The REPRESENTATION AND SOLICITATION OF THE GOOD PEOPLE OF THE HEBREW SOCIETY in the City of Philadelphia, commonly call'd Israelites---

Whereas the religious Order of Men in this City, denominated Israelites, were without any Synagogue, or House of Worship until the year I780 when desirous of accommodating themselves, and encouraged thereto by a number of respectable & worthy brethren of the Hebrew Society then in this Place (who generously contributed to the Design) they purchased a Lot of Ground, & erected thereon the Buildings necessary & proper for their religious Worship. And whereas many of their Number at the Close of the late War, return'd to New York, Charleston & elsewhere their Homes (which they had been exiled from & obliged to leave on account of their attachment to American Measures) leaving the remaining few of their Religion here, burthen'd with a considerable Charge consequent from so great an Undertaking. And whereas the present Congregation, after expanding all the Subscriptions, Loans, Gifts, &c., made the Society by themselves, & the generous Patrons, of their religious Intentions to the amount of at least 2200 were obliged to borrow Money to finish the Building & contract other Debts that is now not only pressingly claim'd but a judgment, will actually be obtained against their House of Worship, which must be sold unless they are speedily enabled to pay the sum of about 8oo - And which from a Variety of delicate & distressing Causes they are wholly unable to raise among themselves. They are therefore under the necessity of earnestly soliciting from their worthy fellow Citizens of every religious Denomination, their benevolent Aid & Help flattering themselves that their worshipping AIlmighty God in a way & manner different from other religious Societies, will never deter the enlightened Citizens of Philadelphia, from generously subscribing towards the preservation of a religious house of Worship. The subscription paper, will be enrolled, in the Archives of their Congregation, that their Posterity may know, & gratefully remember the liberal Supporters of their religious Society.

First Column

M. (or W. or Jn.) Nicholson (5)
Spiecie? David Re(d)dick (1,15s) pd.
G. L. ? paper (5) pd.
Jonah Ingram? (3) pd.
? ? (2)
Cash P. (1,15s) paid
William Rush (1,10s)
Cash of Ingirsole (Ingersoll) (1,13s,4p) pd.
C. of Prager? (1,15s) STRUCK "all ready incl."
Wm. Bradford three pounds (3)
Hilary Baker pd. (1,2s,6p)
Thos. FitzSimons (1,15s)
Richd. Fullerton (3)

Second Column

B. Franklin (5) paper paid,
P. Muhlenberg (9)
Thos. McKean three pounds (3),
paper Cha. Biddle (3) pd.
Jn. Baird pd. (1) paper
John Smilie (1,10s) pd.
David Rittenhouse (2) Pd.
J. B. Smith (2) Pd.
Samuel Dean (1,10s)
Abm. Smith paper (1,10s)
Jos. Cooper Mcwait? (2,10s)
By a Worthy Friend (5,5s)
Saml. Edrie? (1,10s) in paper Pd.

Third Column

Isa. Johnston (40s)
L. Jacobuy Cash (15s) pd.
Thos. Barton (30s) pd.
Jacob Morgan Jr. (30s)pd.
Daniel Beneret (22s,6p) pd.
Jacob Barge Paper (1,2s,6p) pd.
Cash (10s) (paid STRUCK)
C. I. p?y (1,10s) pd.
E. Distilhe? (30s) Paid
Cash p?y (20s) (pd. STRUCK)
Cha. Lettih? (40s) paper pd.
Thomas Lupin (60s) paper Pd.
Cash (8s,4p changed from 7s,6p)
Jn. Laighn (15s) pd.
Dd? Lemaioke? (20s) paper pd.
Campbell S. KIngston pd. (15s)
Abm. Kintring Jr. (7s,6p) paid
D. Ingram (30s)
Charles W. Kiernan (15s) paid
Thomas Lea (15s) paid
Wm. Von Phiel Cash (15s) paid
Object Name Subscription List for Donors
Title Subscription List (for first synagogue building)
Images courtesy of Congregation Mikveh Israel.

For questions, concerns or addtional information email to:    info@mikvehisrael.org
Last modified on: April 19, 2012