Letter from M. R. Cohen to the President of the Synagogue Emanu-El Victoria V.I.
Cohen, M.R., 2-page autograph letter signed and dated November 9, 1863-5624, from Victoria. "Victoria Nov 9th 1863-5624. To the President of the Synagogue Emanu-El Victoria V.I.. Dear Sir: I think you will agree with me when I say that our synagogue arrangements at present are anything but satisfactory or likely to draw religious light upon us as a Congregation of Israel! We have no properly set time for divine service on Sabbaths or Holidays, which keeps the people from attending the Synagogue instead of finding a pleasure in visiting it. Our rising generation especially, must suffer by it, to whom the Synagogue service if properly conducted, from the principal fountain of their Religious Life. There they have to learn how to love their Religion. The prayers there said to correspond more with the present age will not only teach them to know the difference between the kernel and the shell, and thereby appreciate the time they there spend, but it will give them a wholesome taste for the religious instruction they may receive at their daily school. The present age demands of us some improvement in our religious affairs, and unless some steps are taken in the matter, I fear that all your labour and means in erecting so noble an Edifice, as also my humble endeavours to advance its progress, will prove "Labour in vain." I therefore would beg leave to suggest that a public meeting of all the Israelites of Victoria be called for the purpose of taking this and other matters for the welfare of our holy faith into consideration. Should you consider it necessary for me to attend the meeting, I can only say that I shall be most happy to answer to your call and address the meeting on the subject. Allow me to be Dear Sir Yours faithfully, M.R. Cohen, Minister Cong Emanu El."
Date:November 9, 1863