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  • on June 5, 2015

From The Archives – Laws Of Darlington Hebrew Congregation 1911 – Chazan

Laws of Darlington Hebrew Congregation 1911

“The chazan must at all times be present in the Synagogue prior to the time appointed for the commencement of service, attired in his canonicals”

“The schochet shall kill all meat for the use of the congregation and porge the same, it will also be his duty to kill poultry”

“The officials shall be entitled to the following fees. The Chazan-Marriages 5/-, Funerals 5/-…”

From the minutes of a General meeting held on Sunday, Jan 25th, 1914;

“Proposed by B Kletz, seconded by S Cohen that the President and Treasurer interview the candidate Mr Hyams and have the power to engage him as chazan etc. at a weekly wage of 27/6”

From the minutes of a Committee meeting held on Sunday, Feb 22nd 1914;

“The President brought forward a letter received from Mr Hyams asking for a loan to enable him to bring over his wife and family etc., he pointed out that in the first place the Congregation were not in a position to grant Mr Hyams a loan and further he did not see how Mr Hyams would be able to repay it. After discussion it was proposed by Mr S Levi and seconded by A Richardson that all members should subscribe towards a grant for Mr Hyams but before doing so the matter should be put before a general meeting on Wednesday next.”

General Meeting held Wednesday, Feb 25th;

“The matter of a loan to Mr Hyams was discussed and the following members agreed to subscribe £4/10/- towards Congregational funds expressly for a loan to Mr Hyams.

Mr E Shwifko £1, Mr Hush £1. Mr S Levi 10/- Mr S Raphael 10/-, Mr AD Raphael 10/-. Mr A Richardson 10/- and Mr S Cohen 10/-. The secretary brought forward a letter received from London asking Mr Hyams to be sent for examination. It was decided to send him to London at the first opportunity. ”

(ed: …all does not seem to have run smoothly however…)

From the minutes, Sunday April 19th;

“The secretary read a letter he had received from Mr Hyams asking for an increase of salary. While this was being discussed several complaints were brought forward as to his neglect in teaching the children and it was proposed by H Abrahams and seconded by S Abrahams that the Secretary write Mt Hyams instructing him of the following duties and times for  teaching, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 5.30 to 7pm Saturdays 2 to 3pm and Sundays 11am to 1 o’clock and should his killing arrangements be altered at any time he must inform the children and arrange his teaching accordingly with reverence to his application for increase of salary it was proposed by Mr L Hush and seconded by Mr H Abrahams that the secretary should also write  Mr Hyams that the funds of the Congregation do not, at present allow of any increase.”

From the minutes, May 2nd

“Complaint was made by Mr S Raphael re the charges for killing hens etc. and Mr S Cohen proposed and Mr S Levi seconded that in future all Hens to be killed for members free of charge non-members to be charged 3d per Hen and the money to be handed to the Treasurer. This proposal was carried.”

From the minutes Wed Aug 19th

“It was again brought forward that Mr Hyams was neglecting his teaching the children. After discussion it was decided to tell Mr Hyams that if his visits to Stockton prevented him from teaching he would not have to go to Stockton. The Secretary promised to inform Mr Hyams. The chairman brought forward that it was time to go into the matter of a grant to our official Mr Hyams but as there was not a full committee present it was decided that the matter should be dealt with at the next ordinary general meeting”.

From the minutes Sept 9th

The chairman (Mr S Shwifko) again brought up that we should decide about the usual Grant to Mr Hyams. Mr A Richardson proposed and Mr S Raphael seconded that Mr Hyams should receive the usual Grant of £1-1-0

From the minutes Annual general Meeting, Sunday Oct 25th 1914.

The chairman read a letter received from Mr Hyams asking for an increase of wages. Mr H Abrahams proposed and Mr S Levi seconded that Mr Hyams application be left over to be dealt with at some future date.

From the minutes Jan 17th 1915

The secretary read a letter he had received from Mr B Hyams asking for an increase of salary of 2/6. The matter was well discussed and a proposition was made by Mr S Shwifko and seconded by Mr B Kletz that we increase Mr B Hyams salary from 27/6 to 30/- per week.

From the minutes April 4th

The Secretary asked for confirmation of a grant 30/- Given to Mr Hyams for Pesach. Mr S Abrahams proposed and Mr S Shiwfko seconded that the grant was quite in order and confirmation be given.

From the minutes Aug 15th 1915

It was proposed by Mr S Shwifko that Mr Hyams be asked if he would undertake to conduct the services during the festivals as per his request for an extra £2/2/- and that the Treasurer should interview Mr Hyams. Mr S Levi seconded this proposal which was carried. Mr S Abrahams proposed and B Kletz seconded that Mr Hyams should receive the usual grant of £1-1-0.

From the minutes Sunday April 30th 1916

“Mr B Kletz proposed ;r S Levi seconded the confirmation of 30/- grant to Mr Hyams for Pesach….”

The Committee recommended that a charge be made for killing fowls and a fee for the teaching of children.

From the minutes Sunday May 14th

The Committee’s recommendation of making a charge for Poultry killing was then brought forward by the President. Mr N Wilson proposed. Mr F Rachkind seconded that a charge be made of one penny per head to all members for killing poultry. The discussion arising from this proposition being somewhat heated the proposer and seconder withdrew their resolution and the meeting closed.

From the minutes Sept 3rd 1916

Mr S Abrahams reported he had seen Mr Hyams and that He agreed to officiate as last year on the sane terms. ( ed:

The High Festivals

From the minutes Sunday March 11th 1917

The Secretary read a letter Received from Mr B Hyams asking for an increase of salary. After discussion the Committee could not see their way to Recommend any increase at the present . It was decided to give Mr Hyams the usual Grant of 30/- for Passover Mr S Shwifko proposed Mr A Richardson seconded. The Chairman put forward a Recommendation that we should appoint a school superintendent. Mr S Shwifko proposed and Mr Samson Abrahams seconded Mr A Richardson. Mr A Richardson kindly consented accept the position.

From the minutes Aug 19th 1917

The secretary read a letter received from Mr B Hyams asking for an increase of Salary. Mr L Hush proposed and Mr S Shwifko seconded that Mr Hyams should receive a War bonus of 5/- a week until the end of the Congregations financial year. The matter  could then be more fully dealt with by the general body. It was decided to give Mr Hyams the usual grant of £1-1-0 also to receive £2-2-0 for his services as Bal Te Philla during the High Festivals (ed: prayer leader)

The School Superintendent not being present the Chairman gave report of the workings of the school. On the whole it was not at all bad. The only thing he regretted to mention was the poor attendance of some of the children, this he pointed out was entirely due to the parents and not the children themselves. Mr M Bender here proposed a vote of thanks to Master Sol Abrahams for his services in assisting to Conduct the School. Mr S Cohen seconded. The Chairman then presented a budget for the forthcoming year and pointed out that at the present rate of workings of the Congregation we should be in a position to increase our officials war bonus because in these hard times when the cost of living was so very much increased it was our duty to our official to assist him as far as ever possible that the Congregation funds would allow. Mr L Greenbaum proposed and Mr S Cohen seconded the Mr Hyams war bonus be increased 2/6 per week making the war bonus 7/6 week. (ed: pre-war average wages seem to have been varied between 26/4 and 34/4 but by 1918 agricultural labourers (the worst paid) were earning 60/-to 70/- a week)

From the minutes, March 17th 1918

Mr Samson Abrahams proposed and Mr M Jokelson seconded that Mr Hyam’s Grant for the Passover be increased to £2/2/-.

From the minutes, June 9th 1918

At the meeting the teaching of children and management of school was discussed and was decided that Mr B Kletz was to see Mr Hyams and arrange a scheme for teaching the children.

A committee meeting was called for Sunday, Aug 25th to make arrangements for the High Festivities etc. As there was not a quorum, only three members present, the meeting could not be held.

From the minutes Sunday Nov 17th, 1918

In the absence of the school superintendent the President gave a report of the school attendance. Mr Kletz gave his report of an interview with Mr Hyams and explained his suggestions for better teaching of the children and hoped it would show a better result in the near future. The Chairman here mentioned that Mr Hyams had applied for an increased fee for officiating during the  high Festivals and on the of Mr H Abrahams seconded by Mr N Raphael, Mr Hyams was to receive £3/3/- instead of £2-0-0. Mr Samson Abrahams proposed and Mr D Wilkes seconded that Mr Hyams  War bonus should be increased to 10/- per week for 3 months to commence as from the first week of the Congregation’s financial year.

From the minutes Sunday, January 12th 1919

The renewal of Mr Hyam’s War bonus came up for review and the Chairman said that the Treasurer would make the financial statement first, so that the question could be properly dealt with.

………..It was then proposed by B Kletz and seconded by S Abrahams that the War Bonus be continued  for a further period of 3 months. to be continued. Mr Bernard Hyams: I am delighted to be able to add the following information about Mr Hyams supplied by his grandson who is a current DHC member.

Mr Hyams came from Chodecz in Poland with his wife and 6 children firstly to Barrow in Furnace and then to Darlington where he officiated until his retirement.

He is buried in the old Jewish cemetery in Darlington having reached the age of 81. (17-3-1949)

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