New York : De Leeuw & Oppenheimer, 1891. Hardcover. Item #31226
1st edition. Original cloth, Oblong 4to, 10 leaves. Uriah Hermann’s copy, who is listed as Vice-President of the Association, with his bookplate (Hermann was a leading German-Jewish philanthropist in New York at the time) . Singerman 4250. A lavishly printed souvenir book on typical 19th century 1/16” thick stiff cardboard boards for leaves. All Edges Gilt. On the Programme page, the Opening Prayer is given by Rachel Sinaberg, the Address by Rev. R. Benjamin, the Examination by Rev. I. C. Noot, The Act of Confirmation & Address by Rev Dr. F. De Sola Mendes, the Song by Miss Carrie Strauss, and the Closing Prayer by Israel Goldwasser. All members of the Confirmation Class of 1891 (38 girls and 6 boys) are listed, as are the officers and directors (names include M. S. Isaacs, U. Hermann, N. Cowan, Henry Budge, A. Friedlander, F. Forsch, Dr. H. Gomez, Joseph Lilianthal, Jesse Lilianthal, Albert Loeb, I. Meinhard, A. F. Hochstadter, David Kohn, Jacob Korn, L. Levy, J. E. Newberger, M. Warley Platzek, Miss Julia Richman, I. Steinhart, Lipman Stern, & S. Stiefel) . A composit photo of portraits of the board of directors is also present, as is a history of the Association and an illustration of its future home in the Educational Alliance building. SUBJECT(S) : Jews -- Education -- New York (State) -- New York. The Hebrew Free School Association was a “19th-century organization that countered efforts of Christian missionaries by founding a group of free schools for New York City’s Jewish immigrant children. In 1864, Christian missionaries had opened a school on the Lower East Side that offered to teach Hebrew to Jewish children, but the offer proved only a lure to convert Jewish children to Christianity. Outraged, a dozen Reform and Orthodox congregations opened a Hebrew free school nearby, with a complete Hebrew studies program that supplemented the standard curriculum of secular public schools. The school was so successful that the organizers formed a Free Hebrew School Association that opened branches in other Jewish neighborhoods. Aside from turning back the threat posed by Christian missionaries, the association, which was made up of successful, Americanized Jews of German origin, became a major instrument for helping newly arrived Jews—mostly from impoverished shtetls and ghettoes of eastern Europe—to adapt to their new country. In addition to traditional secular education and studies in the Hebrew language and Jewish religion and history, the schools taught the new arrivals hygiene and other American ways unknown in their homelands. The schools began closing in the 1870s, as the New York public school system expanded and as those Jews who had learned their lessons well emerged from the slums and moved elsewhere to assimilate with other Americans” (Encyclopedia of American Education, 2011). OCLC: 236064870. OCLC lists 3 copies (NYPL, Harvard, YIVO) Very light wear to cloth, old spine label and institutional number on title page, faint damp stain along extreme bottom edge of last few leaves, otherwise very clean. Rare in any condition, here a gorgeous association copy. (AMR-39-5-D).