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Abba Hillel Silver in Wheeling, 1915-1917

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▼ Newspaper Articles


-Wheeling Register, June 19, 1915


The services last evening at the Eoff Street temple were conducted by Rabbi A. Silver, a member of this year's graduating class of the Hebrew Union college at Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Lazeron, the former rabbi of the temple who leaves on Monday for Baltimore, where he has accepted a call to one of the largest temples of that city, was present and introduced the visitor.

Rabbi Silver delivered a splendid sermon which delighted the members of the congregation. He will also conduct the services at the temple this morning.

Following the services Mr. M. Sonneborn, president of the Eoff Street temple, presented Rabbi Lazeron with a substantial purse of gold, on behalf of the members of the congregation, as a token of their friendship and esteem.

Rabbi Lazeron responded to the presentation in a very feeling manner, in which the people of his congregation were endeared to him, during his stay in the city as their rabbi.

-Wheeling Intelligencer, June 11, 1917



Delightful Affair Given Last Night in His Honor Before His Departure For Cleveland.

A farewell gathering was given in honor of Rabbi A. H. Silver of Eoff Street temple, last night by Wheeling Lodge, No. 615, I. O. B. B., in their club room in the Board of Trade building. Rabbi Silver will leave Wheeling Saturday for a two weeks' vacation in the East and then go to Cleveland where he will assume his new charge in the largest synagogue of that city.

Rabbi Silver was presented with a beautiful Russian traveling bag and encased in chamoise and marroco a complete set of toilet articles, each article bearing his monogram. The handsome gift was from the lodge and the presentation speech was made by Leon B. Stein, chairman of the committee, who arranged the delightful affair. Mr. Stein was assisted by E. M. Baer and C. H. Jacobs.

The gathering was not only attended by members of the local lodge, but a number of members from out-of-town lodges, including Edward Hemple, chairman of the propaganda committee of Pittsburgh lodge, No. 3, of Pittsburgh; Isaac Brown, Ralph Levinson, Henry Greenberger and H. Mirken of Steubenville. Letters and telegrams were received from the grand I. O. B. B. officials and from lodges in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and throughout this state, expressing regret that the Wheeling temple and the local lodge were to loose Rabbi Silver, and praising the good work he had done here. All the messages extended tidings to him for unbounded success in his new field.

Preceding the social meeting, fifteen candidates were initiated into the Wheeling lodge. A buffet luncheon was served.

Rabbi Silver in his farewell address to the lodge spoke feelingly. He told of his happy association here and the many dear friends he regretted to leave, but said that the Cleveland call gave him a large field.

Rabbi Silver is one of the youngest rabbis in this country. He was graduated at the Jewish college in Cincinnati two years ago and came here a few months later. He is one of the most learned, eloquent and impressive speakers of the city, and has taken an unusually active part in all uplift and charitable work.

Rabbi Silver will deliver his farewell discourse in Eoff Street temple Friday evening at the weekly services.

-The Wheeling Intelligencer Thursday, June 21, 1917.



Stunts of Fun and Patriotic Impersonations Feature Delightful Evening In the Windsor

As an expression of the love and respect of the love and respect that his people of Eoff Street Temple have for him a delightful farewell entertainment was given in honor of Rabbi A. H. Silver last night in the Hotel Windsor ball room. Rabbi Silver will leave Wheeling in a few days to assume his new pastorate at Tifireth Israel synagogue in Cleveland, one of the largest Jewish congregations in this country.

The affair last evening was one of the most unique and one of the most enjoyable and humorous even tendered in honor of a minister of Wheeling. The merriment was interspersed with things more sublime, including expressions of sincere regret of the departure of Mr. Silver and his expression of sorrow in departing from his congregation here. The delightful affair was attended by nearly every member of Eoff Street Temple numbering about 150.

The evening of pleasure was opened with an interesting program including motion pictures and living models exemplifying various planets and nations. Mars was represented by Mrs. D. Mentor Gutman; England by Herbert Sonneborn; France, Miss Margaret Front; Russia, Miss Bertha Steinhauser; Japan, Mrs. M. R. Elikan; Italy, Miss Rose Moss; Belgium, Miss Virginia Horkheimer; Red Cross nurse, Mrs. J. D. Gordon; Columbia, Miss Anna Front; Peace, Miss Adalade Brenman. American soldiers were impersonated by August Duga, Sidney Good and Harold Horkheimer.

A humorous feature was the appearance of several applicants for Rabbi Silver's "job." They were of a number of nationalities, dressed in exaggerated costumes and declared in broken English that they were well qualified to step into Mr. Silver's shoes. Those who aspired to succeed Mr. Silver were Bernard Horkheimer, David Tyler, Charles H. Baer and Henry Jacobs.

A number of parodies were sung, which were composed by some of those present. The singing was lead by Irwin H. Baer, Charles S. Schlessinger and Mrs. Elsa G. Duga. Mrs. Duga also sang two solos. The parody to the tune of "Oh, Evelyn," was written by Miss Rose Moss; "When God Gave Me You I Got More Than My Share," was parodied by Leon B. Stein, while the parody to the tune "Yaaka Hula, Hickey Dula." was composed by Herbert M. Sonneborn.

A Novel Program

The program was filled with humor and many catchy expressions. On the front, which bears a photograph of Mr. Silver, the reading is: "The Hebrew Union College Finishing School, Leshem Shomayim, Wheeling, W. Va." Rabbi Silver and his predecessors are summed up in this manner: "Levi's Staying Qualities, Brill's Domesticity, Lazaron's Charm, and Silver's Eloquence." The program declares that Rabbi Silver has some athletic record, saying: "New record made this year by A. H. Silver, rabbinical high jump; after a scant two years' run, this rabbi sprang from Wheeling to Cleveland, thereby creating a new world record. The officers of "Commiseration and Destruction" were given as follows: Mose Sonneborn, H. U. B., president demeritus; Claudia Wolf, B. O. S. S., confidential advisor of all Incoming and Outgoing Rabbis; Irwin Cobb Horkheimer, B. S., professor of half wit and humor; Jenny Beekman, H. E., professor of Rabbinical food; Leo Wolf, instructor of encyclopediatrics; Rose Moss, professor of dutch; Charles Wolf, professor of unsocialogy; Guild Girls, instructors of romantic languages; Nettie F. Steinhauser, professor of Si-cology. Motto -- If I am not for myself, Cleveland will be for me -- if not now, when? Hillel III."

A delicious dinner was served in the ball room. The Premier orchestra furnished the music, playing many patriotic selections. The hall was beautifully decorated in national colors, with a large photograph of Mr. Silver in the middle of the balcony.

Following the hours of humor and the more serious part of the program, dancing was begun, lasting until midnight.

The committee in charge of the entertainment was composed of Mrs. Leo Wolf, chairman; Mrs. Herbert M. Sonneborn, Mrs. Leo B. Stein, Miss Rose Moss, Miss Virginia Horkheimer, David Kraus, H. O. Baer, Leon B. Stein, Louis Kraft and Irwin H. Baer.

Rab[b]i Silver Lectures Friday.

The last public appearance of Rabbi Silver in Wheeling will be made Friday evening in Eoff Street Temple, when he will preach at the regular weekly service. He delivered his farewell address last Friday. Rabbi Silver will likely leave Wheeling early next week to spend a few weeks vacation with relatives and friends in the east, including New York City. From there he will go to Cleveland to assume his new duties. Rabbi Silver came to Wheeling from the Hebrew Union college in the fall of 1915, following his graduation with honors in the Cincinnati institute. He has proved to be one of the most popular, learned, eloquent and gifted ministers of this city. It was expressed last night that his congregation did not want him to leave here, and he said he did not want to leave, but he felt that his new field would give him a larger territory of activity in his life's work.

Presented With Watch Chain

At the close of the enjoyable evening the members of the congregation presented Rabbi Silver with a most beautiful gold watch chain. The presentation speech was made by Leo Wolf.

Silver married Miss Virginia Horkheimer in Wheeling on January 2, 1923.

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