85 119 DROPSIE, MOSES AARON (1821-1905). Four personal and family documents. Texts in Dutch, English and Hebrew. Includes two Dutch letters (dated 1819); American citizenship certificate (1828) of Aaron Moses Dropsie (1794-1839); document showing Moses Aaron’s ownership of Seat 222 in K’K Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia (1862). v.p, v.d. $1000 - $1500 ❧ Moses Aaron Dropsie was born in Philadelphia, the son of a Dutch Jewish immigrant father and an American Christian mother. He underwent a halachic conversion aged 14 and cultivated a lifelong interest in Judaism, actively seeking to further its interests. Successful in business, Dropsie utilized his wealth to singular philanthropic effect. An ally and admirer of Isaac Leeser, Dropsie involved himself in all manner of Philadelphia’s Jewish communal and educational pursuits. Following his death, Dropsie’s estate provided funds for the creation of The Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, an institution that made a substantial imprint upon American-Jewish scholarship well into the 20th-century. 120 ENGLES, WILLIAM MORRISON (Philadelphia minister and editor of The Presbyterian. 1797-1867). Autograph Letter Signed, written to ISAAC LEESER, in English. Cover letter for a packet of letters concerning the American agricultural mission near Jaffa. One of the letters was from the son of R. Jechiel Cohen, a rabbinic emissary from Eretz Israel to his father who was on a fund-raising mission in the United States. Engles thought Leeser could forward the letters to the appropriate addresses. Unusual for the period, Leeser is addressed as “Rabbi Leeser.” One page, integral blank. 8vo. Accompanied by typed transcription. Philadelphia, 25th June,1854. $1000 - $1500 ❧ The nascent Jewish communities in Eretz Israel faced two chief crises in the 19th century, the scourge of poverty and a well-funded and organized missionary effort to convert the Jews. Realizing that starvation was the fundamental issue of concern to the Jews, the missionaries attempted to make Christianity attractive by introducing industries such as agriculture to alleviate poverty. When their efforts were rebuffed, they accused the rabbis of deliberately keeping the people dependent on charity from abroad that was distributed by the rabbis themselves (the halukah), so that Jews would remain at a remove from the missionaries. Jews overseas, who supported the development of the Jewish communities in Eretz Israel, considered this a slander. Several individuals drummed up enthusiasm and support among English and American Jews for agriculture in the Holy Land, including Peter Classen a Danzig farmer who bought land in Jaffa for Jews to farm. Classen eventually became Jewish and adopted the name David. Another was Warder Cresson, a friend of the Jews and eventual convert to Judaism. Leeser promoted such plans in the pages of the Occident and was therefore a reasonable address for Engles to forward these letters. See Abigail Green, Moses Montefiore (2012) pp. 248-50.