Page 168 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
researchers have access to one of the premier libraries of Jewish
Americana in North America. A large percentage of items
recorded by Rosenbach are to be found at the AJHS, supple­
mented by hundreds of ephemeral items preserved by Rev.
Jacques Judah Lyons, the
hazzan
of New York’s Congregation
Shearith Israel from 1839 to 1877, in three bulky scrapbooks.
Consisting of circulars, announcements, resolutions, invitations,
and admission cards, for the most part emanating from the
various synagogues or benevolent societies in New York City,
these fugitive items are today priceless records not to be found in
any other repository.
The Society has an extensive collection of Isaac Leeser’s multi­
tudinous works as well as imprints by Solomon Henry Jackson
(died 1846), including his first recorded effort in book form, the
financial committee report by M.L. Moses and Judah Zuntz to
Shearith Israel’s Board of Trustees, dated June 1824 (Rosenbach
265). Another Jackson imprint, with English and Hebrew text, is
the
Form of Service at theDedication of theNew Synagogue of the Kahal
Kadosh Shearith Israel
from 1834 (Rosenbach 382), a rarity with
apparently only two surviving copies. Constitutions and by-laws
ofJewish congregations, before and after 1850, can also be found
in abundance at the AJHS, including the bibliographically
unrecorded constitution of Congregation B’naijeshurun of New
York (1840). Mention may also be made of a very early constitu­
tion of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (New York, 1851),
printed in English and in German for the benefit of new Jewish
arrivals from Germany to American shores. An exceedingly rare
copy of B.I. Hamburger’s
Dine nikkur,
a twelve-page Hebrew and
English manual with plates, for ritual slaughterers (Philadelphia,
1859), is worthy of mention as the first rabbinic work containing
Hebrew published in the United States, predating by one year
Joshua Falk’s
Avne Yehoshua
(New York, 1860), traditionally
accepted as the first “scientific” American Hebrew book. Finally,
the works of prominent American rabbis such as Morris J.
Raphall, Sabato Morais, Benjamin Szold, Emil G. Hirsch,
Kaufmann Kohler, James K. Gutheim, and David Einhorn, are
preserved for the serious study ofJewish homiletics and religious
thought.
Not far from Waltham, Massachusetts is Worcester, home of
the American Antiquarian Society, founded in 1812 by Isaiah
Thomas, the famous publisher and author of the enduring
His­