Early Beaumont Jewish Community 10
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Somewhat earlier (exact date unknown) the Hebrew Women’s Benevolent Association, under Mrs. Loeb and her daughters, Mildred (Mrs. S.) Lederer and Julia (Mrs. H.) Bohrer, was organized, its goal being to act as a cemetery association, raise funds for a synagogue and charitable purposes, and sponsor social and cultural events.38

Hebrew Rest Cemetery, north of Magnolia Cemetery, was purchased and surveyed by them in September, 1897, and later was deeded to the con­gregation. As early as August, 1895, the Benevolent Society sponsored a steamboat excursion on the Neches River, complimenting various young ladies. From 1895 on, its principal activity was the annual masquerade ball at the Goodhue Opera House, attended by Jews and non-Jews alike. In 1900, the women donated $3,000 toward the installation of electric lighting and interior decorations of a synagogue.39

Rabbi Levy, as the voice of the congregation, plunged headlong into community affairs, as have his successors since then. In September, 1896, he won much acclaim from Christians for an eloquent address at the opera house, entitled “The Jews Versus Christians.” He also contributed many newspaper articles and taught a school.40

In May, 1896, both Jews and Gentiles filled the temporary quarters to watch Dr. Levy confirm the first class of eight confirmants, namely, Cipora Solinsky, Celia Hirsch, Dora Hecht, Ada Feinberg, Rebecca Hirsch, Daisy Nathan, Harry Solinsky, Leon Hecht, and Sol Gordon. Choir music was furnished by Misses Annie Morris, Sophie and Atelia Levy, Hannah Nathan, and Mr. Itzig.41

A Jewish social event of March, 1897, identifies many young unmarried males of the synagogue who were living in Beaumont at that time, as follows: Joe Solinsky, J. Frank, Itzig, S. Stern, H. Horwitz, J. Nathan, J. Gordon, Abe Solinsky, M. Alschwang, and Oswald Levy.42

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38Biuin et al, “Founders and Builders,” pp. 5-6.

39Galveston Daily News, August 12, 1895; Sept. 2, 1897; and Jan. 25, 1898; Blum et al., “Founders and Builders,” p. 10.

40Galveston Daily News, Sept. 22, 1896. See also Footnote 36.

41Ibid., May 17, 24, 1896.

42Ibid., March 28, 1897.

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