Saturday, December 21, 2013

On fundraising for fake, or at least unknown, yeshivas and institutions in 1924

This fascinating article by Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn discusses a fundraising letter for a "Yeshivah Rabbi Akiba Eiger" of which it wasn't entirely clear if it actually existed. But even if it did, the point was that the provenance of the institution which was "unauthorized and superfluous" was simply unknown and suspect. Mendelsohn is particularly perturbed that 29 names of officers and directors are listed on the stationary, 6 being rabbis, and not one of them was known. And he also cannot forgive the name - Yeshivah, rather than Yeshivath.

From the Sentinel May 15, 1924.


  1. Ah, Judaism, like it used to be!

  2. I'd love to know what he means by "superfluous institutions".
    I'd also love to excoriate him for his phrasing "The Jews of American", unless that was in style then.

  3. "American" is probably just a typo for "America". But by "unauthorized and superfluous" he probably means that the yeshivah has not bent the knee to his "National Association of Jewish Charities" by applying for its "authorization", and that it teaches Torah, which he considers superfluous.

    His complaint about the grammar is misplaced. "Yeshivas RAE" could be taken to imply that it was RAE's actual yeshivah, which would not be true. "Yeshivah RAE" means it's a yeshivah that's named after RAE, In Ivrit it would be called "Yeshivah al shem RAE". Cf Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, Yeshiva Or Elchonon, etc. I think YeshivaS R YItzchok Elchonon is the anomaly.

  4. I love the term schnorrerism



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