Monday, April 18, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Selig Feinstein Elected President of Tpheris Israel Congregation

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I look at the newspaper article concerning the congregation my second great grandfather helped found in 1899. In 1899 he was the initial vice president.

November 22, 1903, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Israel Congregation Elections

At the fifth annual election of the Tpheris Israel congregation, Ninth and Wash streets, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: S. Feinstein, president; F. Yedlin, first vice-president; D. Yavitz, second vice-president; M. Rich, secretary; S. Weisberg, financial secretary; J. Ellman, treasurer; L. Kaupman, M. Rubenstein, S. Siegel, trustees; D. Goldberg sexton; M. Shapiro, first gabi; H. Spector, second gabi; S. Rosenberg, reverend.


1) This is another instance where searching for a surname is unhelpful, because the search engine at returns no matches for 'Feinstein' on this page. Why not? Probably another instance of Optical Character Recognition failure. But I knew my ancestor helped found the congregation, so I conducted a search on 'Tpheris."

2) It is still difficult for me to get used to seeing Rabbis referred to as 'reverend,' as apparently it was a custom at the time. 'Gabi' is likely an alternate spelling for 'gabbai', which may have performed multiple roles.

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