Charles Richmond Henderson.

Modern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods online

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rope in the middle of the nineteenth century, were established
among Jews in the early days of the Christian era in the form
of the Tamchui, already referred to in the early part of this
chapter. To-day, the Tamchui, though conducted perhaps more
methodically, still exists in the numerous soup kitchens estab-
lished in the larger cities. London has a large soup kitchen
conducted by the Jewish Board of Guardians. Paris has two
large soup kitchens conducted by the Comite de Bienfaisance.
There is also in London a Society for Providing Strangers
with Meals on Sabbaths and holidays. Similar societies exist
in numerous small communities throughout Europe, though
the duty of temporarily boarding strangers on Sabbaths and
holidays is more generally undertaken by well-to-do private

jMedical relief is carried on through hospitals founded by pri-
vate generosity or by societies organized for the purpose. Most
of the hospitals have dispensaries and afford outdoor medical
relief. London has two hospitals, one in connection with the
Spanish and Portuguese Jews' congregation, founded in 1747;
and the other founded in 1795, but first opened in 1807; it has
also a provident dispensary, whose object is to render medical
assistance, on a provident basis, to the foreign Jews of White-
chapel. The number of attendances at the latter in 1902 was
4,330; and the number of doctor's visits to the homes during the
same period was 2,069. Besides the above, London has two
Convalescent Homes, one founded by the Baroness de Hirsch,
and the other by public subscription in memory of Judith Lady
Montefiore, The objects as stated by the latter are to provide a


home for poor Jewish patients recovering from illness, and to
train Jewish domestic servants. There are also a home and hos-
pitals for Jewish incurables, established in 1889.

Manchester established a Jewish hospital in 1903. France
has a general hospital in Paris, founded by a member of the
Rothschild family ; and connected with it is a home for incurables,
paralytics, and idiots. Germany has over thirty hospitals. Very
recently, in Austria, a hospital for the poor who are compelled
to spend some time at Carlsbad was founded with accommoda-
tions for 700 patients. Lemberg has also opened a hospital dur-
ing the past year. Calcutta, India, has a Jewish hospital called
the Ezra Hospital, founded by Mrs. E. D. Ezra. It is managed
by the government, and is open to all castes and creeds. Other
hospitals are located at Aden, in Arabia, at Salonica, Jaffa, Jeru-
salem, Smyrna, Tunis, Constantinople and Florence. The nurs-
ing of invalids is attended to by three organizations in London.
Presburg in Austria-Hungary has recently established a Nurses'
Training Association. Maternity cases are cared for either in
special hospitals or by attendants in the home provided by vari-
ous societies organized for the purpose. In London there are
four societies organized for the purpose of affording clothing and
monetary relief, and relief in general. Paris has a maternity hos-
pital. Hospitals for consumptives are not numerous. One is
located in Paris ; while in other places, Jewish consumptives are
cared for in the public sanatoria and hospitals, but are generally
under the supervision of some Jewish philanthropic organization.
This occurs likewise in general hospitals. London, for example,
has special wards for Jewish patients in some of its general hos-
pitals, and maintained by Jewish funds. The religious and
dietary wants of these patients are attended to by certain socie-
ties formed for the purpose.

Defectives are in most countries placed in the care of public
institutions, because of the comparative absence of such insti-
tutions under Jewish auspices. The Jewish Hospital in Paris,
mentioned above, is connected with a home for incurables, para-
lytics and idiots. London has a Jewish home for the indigent
blind, founded in 1819; and Vienna has a Jewish Blind Institute.
Homes for Jewish deaf and dumb are established in London, in
Berlin, Tauberbischoffsheim, and Budapest. In Berlin there is


a Society for the Advancement of Israelitish Deafmutes in Ger-

The care of children has always occupied the most prominent
place in the history of Jewish philanthropic activity. Whatever
the condition of the child, — whether dependent, defective, or de-
linquent, — education, and not mere attendance upon his physical
needs, was the prime consideration. Emphasis was especially
laid upon the necessity of teaching him some trade as a means of
averting moral delinquency. This was based upon the Talmudic
maxim: "He who does not teach his boy a trade teaches him
to steal." That this was more than a mere homiletic maxim is
shown by the treatment of the Jewish child in the middle ages
and by the various institutions and organizations for the care
of the child to-day. The care of dependent children is mainly
institutional. The adoption by relatives or friends is observed
with religious sacredness in a great many Jewish communities
throughout the world. This is indeed the first step taken in
the care of the Jewish orphan, and only where it fails is the child
placed in an orphan's home. The method of boarding out, or
placing in care of others than relatives or friends, has always been
more or less unpopular in Jewish communities ; and from avail-
able data, the system appears to be unsuccessful to-day. In gen-
eral, the institutional care of children has created little ground
for objection beyond the minor details of form and procedure that
characterize the management of large institutions elsewhere.
Most of the orphans' homes outside of the United States have too
few inmates to allow the criticisms ordinarily passed on the sys-
tem of institutionalism. Elementary and industrial education
are almost everywhere afforded within the homes, though in
many cases boys are apprenticed outside. The Jews' Hospital
and Orphans' Asylum of West Norwood, London, was opened in
1807, and until 1850, the boys were taught trades within the
home. Since that time the boys on finishing their education in
the home are apprenticed to independent masters outside. The
funds of the institution are augmented by small weekly subscrip-
tions paid by an auxiliary society. The Spanish and Portuguese
Jewish congregation of London had an orphan society founded in
1703, whose object is the education and clothing, maintaining
and apprenticing of the orphan boys of the congregation. Simi-


lar organizations are common elsewhere. Germany has forty-
one institutions of various kinds in the interests of children. Ten
of these are located in Berlin. France has an orphanage in
Paris, founded by one of the Rothschilds in 1855, that educates
100 children of both sexes. A home for orphans in Switzerland
was opened in 1903. Two homes for the support of abandoned
children are maintained, one, the Refuge de Plessis Piquet, where
boys between 6 and 14 are given an elementary education and
taught a trade, and the other, Refuge de Neuilly, for girls. Flor-
ence, Italy, has two orphans' homes, one established by a local
society in 1836, and the other by private philanthropy in 1890.
Melbourne, Australia, has a Jewish Orphans' and Neglected Chil-
dren's Aid Society.

Societies and institutions for the partial care of children are
established in several cities of England and the continent. Lon-
don has a Jewish Creche established in 1897; its fees are 2d. per
day. The total attendance in 1901 was 5,070. Nurses for invalid
children are supplied by the London Board of Guardians. Berck-
sur-Mer in France has a special institution founded by private
beneficence, for receiving feeble and scrofulous children under
15. Schools for the free tuition of poor children are numerous.
The needs of schools attended by poor Jewish children are pro-
vided for by special societies. In 1883, a society was founded in
London to provide penny dinners at schools and elsewhere. The
number of dinners given in 1901 amounted to 47,118. Clothing
and shoes are also provided by The Ladies' Clothing Associa-
tion and the Jewish Schools' Boot Fund. In 1901, the latter
society distributed 2,000 pairs of shoes. Liverpool has a He-
brew School Children's Soup Fund, founded in 1870, which pro-
vides 367 children with hot dinners daily during the winter. It
has also two societies for making and distributing clothes. The
Society for Clothing Necessitous Boys of the Hebrew Schools
was founded in 1867; and makes regular attendance at school and
cleanliness and tidiness in appearance its conditions of relief.
London and Manchester have children's country holiday funds
to provide means whereby poor children may be enabled to spend
some time away from the congestion and squalor of the city.
The London society, founded in 1889, sent 1,711 children to the
country in 1901. Recently a Seaside Home was presented by a


member of the London community for the accommodation of
the children in the London Orphans' Home. The Manchester
Society has a Children's Holiday Home at Chinley in Derbyshire,
founded and maintained by the women of Manchester, Delin-
quent children are generally placed under the care of public insti-
tutions. This feature of Jewish charity is at present receiving-
serious attention in many of the larger cities of Europe. An in-
dustrial school for Jewish boys was founded in 1901 at Hayes,
Middlesex, England, in response to the need created by the petty
offences of Jewish boys in certain quarters of London. Its spon-
sor is the United Synagogue of London, which appoints a Com-
mittee of Managers. The number of inmates in 1902 was 47.
Frankfort has a society in the interests of Feeble or Mor-
ally Lnperilled Jewish Children. ("Stift fur Gebrechliche oder
Verwahrloste Israelitische Kinder.") Preventive agencies and
organizations for the physical, mental, and moral development
of youth are numerous, particularly in the larger cities of Europe.
There are no less than twenty literary, choral, dramatic, athletic,
and recreational clubs for young people of the working classes in
London alone, while almost every provincial city has one or more
societies of a similar character. These societies are mainly
guided and conducted by prominent members of the Jewish com-
munity, who seek by personal contact and social intercourse to
elevate and refine the lives of the younger working classes. The
West Central Jewish Girls' Club and Institute of London is typ-
ical. Its objects are: (i) to provide evening continuation classes
for working girls living in the West Central District ; (2) to pro-
vide amusement with a view to discourage girls from harmful
amusements; (3) to encourage social intercourse between women
of different education and varied occupation. Its administration
is in the hands of a General Committee consisting of three offi-
cers of the society, 9 workers and 8 members.

A home for friendless Jewish working girls was established
in 1901. It has accomodations for twenty-four residents; and
the charge for board and lodging is 8s. per week. There is also
a large dining hall to supply dinners to working girls at 5d. per
head. A domestic training home was founded in 1894.

A most interesting and — from the modern philanthropic view-
point — novel feature of Jewish charity is its provision of marriage


dowries for poor and orphaned girls. For many centuries, this
feature of Jewish charity has been a favorite recipient of private
and organized philanthropy. London alone has six agencies for
the purpose of assisting young men and women in providing mar-
riage dowries. One of these was founded in 1724. Another,
known as the "Marriage Portion Society for Assisting Young
Men and Virtuous Girls of the Jewish Faith," was founded in
1850, and is supported by voluntary subscriptions. The amount
of the dowry is £25, besides £1 is. marriage fee, and an allow-
ance not exceeding 2s. 6d. to offer in the synagogue on the Sab-
bath prior to the marriage. The ages of the candidates are 18
to 35 years. In 1903, a ftmd known as the Barnato Marriage
Fund, was created by private generosity and left to the manage-
ment of the Jewish Board of Guardians. The occasion of the
creation of the fund is typical of similar funds elsewhere. The
amount of $25,000 was donated by a private individual in honor
of the marriage of an only daughter. Every year on the anni-
versary of the wedding, the income is to be distributed among
poor girls to provide a dowry.

The Jewish Lads' Brigade of London was started in 1895 to
promote the physical development of the humbler classes of
Jewish boys. It is organized along military lines with a staff com-
posed of some of the leading members of the Jewish community.
A seaside encampment to which about 600 boys are taken is held
annually. Eight similar organizations are established in the
provinces ; one in Canada, at Montreal ; and two in South Africa,
at Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

The education and elevation of the laboring classes is con-
ducted through educational institutes, reading rooms, libraries,
and dramatic, debating, literary, and general culture clubs.
Bombay, India, has two Chautauqua classes adapted to the Jew-
ish Chautauqua System of America. In many of these men and
women are admitted alike. Manchester, England, has a Jewish
Workingmen's Club, consisting of 886 members, of whom 412
are ladies. The Newcastle-on-Tyne Club has 250 members, of
whom 130 arc ladies. Liverpool has an Educational Institute
whose object is to provide an English education for foreign co-

For the cultivation of trades and handicrafts there are socie-


ties and clubs in over fifty cities of Germany. Workingmen's
homes, benefit, loan and building societies are numerous. Lon-
don has a Home for Workingmen, containing 100 beds and is
self-supporting. London has at least six laborers' societies with
sick, death, and general insurance benefits. Besides the loan so-
cieties in London organized among workingmen themselves,
there are no less than seven lay societies to grant loans without
interest to laboring and trades people. Dispersion movements
in the congested Jewish quarters of large cities are significant.
Model tenement agitation was inaugurated in London in 1885,
by the Four Per Cent. Industrial Dwellings Company. Its object,
as stated by the constitution, is to provide the industrial classes
with healthy and commodious dwellings — maximum accommoda-
tion at minimum rent, compatible with yielding a net 4 per
cent, per annum dividend upon the investment of the paid-up
capital of the company. The buildings of the company afiforded
accommodation for about 4,600 inhabitants ; while new build-
ings are in course of erection. In 1903, another impetus to the
dispersion movement was given by the donation of £ 10,000 by
Sir Samuel Montagu to the Housing of the Working Classes
Committee of the London County Council. Twenty-five acres
of land are to be utilized in a suburb of London for the residence
of poor families now living in the crowded quarters, without dis-
tinction of race or creed. Preference is given to those of three
years' residence in the congested district. The sanitation and
cleanliness of poor dwellings is conducted by many societies of
ladies organized for the purpose of rendering personal service
in the homes of the poor. The Manchester, England, society
is called the Ladies' Visiting Association, and has for its object
the popularization of sanitary knowledge along with the inculca-
tion of habits of cleanliness and order.

The two foremost organizations in the Jewish world of philan-
thropy to-day are the Jewish Colonization Association and the
Alliance Israelite Universelle. They are international in scope,
the field of their operations covering almost every land in which
Jews are located. The Jewish Colonization Association was
founded by Baron de Hirsch in 1891. Its objects may be sum-
marized as follows: (i) To promote and assist the emigration
of Jews from those countries of Europe and Asia where they


may for the time being be subjected to any special taxes, or po-
litical or other disabilities, to other parts of the world, and to form
and establish colonies for agricultural, commercial, and other
purposes ; (2) to accept gifts, donations, and bequests of money
and other property on the terms of the same being applied for
all or some one or more of the purposes of the company, or on
such other terms as may be consistent with the objects of the

For these purposes a company was formed in 1891 with
registered offices in London. Its capital was £2,000,000 divided
into 20,000 shares of £ 100 each. Of these, 19,992 were allotted
to Baron de Hirsch, who transferred them to six different organ-
izations of religious and philanthropic character. In 1896, on the
death of Baron de Hirsch, additional property was bequeathed
by the latter giving the Jewish Colonization Association a total
fund of something more than £8,000,000. The offices of the
company are in Paris, where a Council of Administration consist-
ing of eleven members, three directors, and a secretary, have
the control of its operations. It is impossible here to give even
a brief resume of the work of the association because of its vari-
ety and scope. Its last annual report, issued by the Conseil
d'Administration in July, 1903, occupies a space of 132 pages.
The merest suggestion of its activities therefore must suffice.
The main work of the association so far has been the coloniza-
tion of Russian, Roumanian, and Galician Jews in the Argentine
Republic, Brazil, Canada, Palestine, Cyprus, and the United
States. Some idea of the extent of its colonizing operations may
be gained from the number of acres owned by the association
in Argentine. In 1902, the nvmiber was over one million and a
half acres, of which over 150,000 were being cvdtivated by 1,380
families. The average cost of colonizing a single family is, ac-
cording to the address of the president of the association at the
last annual meeting, from 8,000 to 10,000 francs. The form of
government in the colonies is adapted to that of the country in
which they are located, though in some colonies, a system of
tutelage prevails under the regime of an administrator appointed
by the association. The Woodbine Colony in New Jersey,
founded by the association, was incorporated as an independent
municipality in 1903. Elementary and industrial schools are


generally established. The inspection of the various colonies
is carried on from time to time and the reports are sent on to
the Council of Administration which publishes them annually.
Besides colonization in outside countries, the association has
established, particularly in Russia, farm colonies, elementary,
agricultural, and industrial schools. Considerable attention in-
deed is paid to the amelioration and development of the perse-
cuted Jews in the lands they inhabit. Elementary, agricultural,
and industrial schools are maintained ; conditions for various
forms of work otherwise prohibited by the government are cre-
ated; loan funds, mutual savings banks, and cooperative work-
shops are started ; model sanitary dwellings erected ; removal bu-
reaus for the placing and dispersion of immigrants are established
in several of the larger cities of Europe and America ; and finan-
cial assistance to a large number of educational and philanthropic
organizations is rendered.

The varied activity of the Jewish Colonization Association
is reenforced by that of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. This
organization was founded by six Jews of Paris in i860 with the
following objects: (i) To work everywhere for the emancipa-
tion and moral progress of the Jews; (2) to give effectual sup-
port to those who are suffering persecution because they are
Jews ; (3) to encourage all publications calculated to promote
these ends. Although its objects are confined to poor and per-
secuted Jews, the Alliance has frequently exerted its good offices
in behalf of the poor and persecuted of other faiths. Shortly
after the Alliance was founded, it appointed a provisional com-
mittee and opened a subscription in behalf of the Christians of
Lebanon suffering as a result of famine and persecution by the
Druses, and its contribution formed no small part of the general
fund. The elementary and trade schools of the Alliance are
largely attended by Mohammedans and Christians of various

The activity of the Alliance is more extensive even than that
of the Jewish Colonization Association. As with the latter,
therefore, it is impossible here to do more than merely hint at
the general work of the organization. Its last annual report,
published in April, 1903, covers over 200 pages of actual work
accomplished. The Alliance establishes and maintains primary

43 •


and normal schools for males and females ; industrial schools,
where trades, supplemented by agricultural training, are taught ;
apprentices the graduates ; establishes and maintains professional
schools, dispensaries, and hospitals in Jerusalem and wherever
else these are most needed ; aids victims of expulsion ; organizes
bureaus of relief; and assists in establishing farm colonies. The
main activity of the Alliance, however, is spent in education,
while colonization and similar work is left to the Jewish Coloniza-
tion Association. The schools of the Alliance are chiefly of three
kinds: primary schools, trades schools, and agricultural schools.
Of these, in 1903, there were 108, 74 for boys and 34 for girls,
attended by over 30,000 children. The schools are located in
Russia, Roumania, Bulgaria, Turkey in Europe, Turkey in Asia,
Syria, Palestine, Persia, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, and Eg}'pt.
With the exception of one school in Constantinople, and another
in Bulgaria, all instruction in the Alliance schools is given in
French because of the prevalence of this language in the Orient.
While instruction in other European languages is given, the na-
tional language of the country is always given first consideration.
Almost all the schools being located in territories where the
population is extremely congested, and where the ventilation of
homes, and sanitation generally, is poor, the Alliance has directed
special attention to the improvement of these conditions.
Through the generosity of Baron and Baroness de Hirsch, who
contributed largely for the establishing of the schools, the poor
children are served with a warm meal daily at noon. The total
expense of supplying the food alone is 50,000 francs a year. By
the will of Baroness de Hirsch, the perpetuation of this part of
the Alliance's work is provided for. The instructors of the vari-
ous schools are educated in normal institutes founded and main-
tained by the Alliance in Paris. Many of these teachers are
drawn directly from the schools of the Alliance whose most
promising pupils are sent to the normal schools in Paris to com-
plete their studies. The establishing and development of trades
schools is an important part of the Central Committee's work.
The simple and overcrowded trades, like those of tailor, shoe-
maker, hair-dresser, and so forth, are not taught. Only those
trades which require the expenditure of physical energy, develop
the body and improve the general health of the pupil, — trades


like blacksmithing, carpentry, masonry, machine-work, and so
on, — are favored. The apprentices are selected from the highest
graduates of the school and are placed with outside employers.
They receive a monthly allowance of from four to eight francs
from the Alliance ; and a portion of this allowance is withheld
for several years, when the accumulated amount is returned to
the apprentice to enable him to purchase the apparatus necessary
for his work. The trades taught the girls are limited in number
to about six, owing to the wretched industrial conditions in the
Orient. These trades are seamstress, needle-woman, em-
broiderer, laundress, dressmaker and draper. The system of
apprenticing girls to outside employers being obviously impos-
sible in the Orient, the Alliance has established workshops in
connection with the schools where it is possible for them to earn
a livelihood, or assist in contributing to their future household
expenses. The Alliance has laid special emphasis upon the edu-

Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonModern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods → online text (page 68 of 73)