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Isaac Hyneman (1804-1886)

Isaac Hyneman

This week we remember the Hashcabah of Isaac Hyneman.  Mr. Hyneman was a prominent member of Mikveh Israel.  He was Born in 1804 in Hofgeismar, Hesse-Cassel, Germany and died on January 14, 1886 (8 Shebat, 5646). He came to Philadelphia in the early 1830s.  Soon after, he moved to Richmond, Virginia and in 1834 married Adeline Ezekiel, who was born in Philadelphia May 10, 1815, but was at the time living in Richmond, VA.  Together they had five sons, Augustus, Leon, Jacob, Herman, and Samuel, all of whom were prominent in the Congregation Mikveh Israel and in the secular community.  They lived in Richmond until 1850, when the family moved to Philadelphia.  In their adult lives Leon, Jacob, and Samuel lived in Philadelphia, and Augustus and Herman resided in New York.

In 1836, Isaac entered into the dry goods business with his brother-in-law, Adeline’s brother Jacob Ezekiel, under the firm name of Ezekiel & Hyneman.  The business was very successful and gave Isaac the resources to give generously of his time and money to many Jewish Educational and Charitable associations in Philadelphia.  He was on the Board of Offices of the Hebrew Education Society.

Adeline Hyneman was very active in the affairs of the Jewish community and contributed her time and concern to a number of charitable organizations.  She was a manager for the Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum.

Isaac’s son, Herman Naphtali Hyneman, born July 27 1849, was quite an accomplished painter.  After studying painting in Germany and France for 8 years, he returned to Philadelphia where he opened an art studio.  His works have been displayed in Paris, Philadelphia, and New York City.  To this day, several of his paintings are displayed at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design in NYC.  Some of his paintings can be seen in the American Gallery, Greatest American Painters: http://americangallery.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/herman-n-hyneman-1849-1907/

Samuel HynemanSon Samuel Morais Hyneman was a lawyer of some renown, having been admitted to the Philadelphia Bar in 1877.  In the 1880s and 1890s, he was a director of the Hebrew Education Society.  A few years later, in 1893, the large Hyman Gratz trust came into the control of Mikveh Israel with the expressed purpose of establishing and maintaining a Jewish College in Philadelphia.  Samuel Hyneman served on the Permanent Committee to establish Gratz College and make Gratz’ dream a reality.  He also helped establish the Association of Jewish Immigrants. Samuel Hyneman also served on the Board of Managers of Mikveh Israel, elected in 1894 as one of the Adjunta (Directors).

Son Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman was born in Richmond, Virginia on August 5, 1843, but moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1850.  Jacob Hyneman became a military man.  He received his college education at Strasburg Academy in Lancaster County, PA and enlisted in the army to fight for the Union in August 1862.  He fought and was wounded in numerous battles of the Civil War, including Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Appomattox Court House.  He was present at Lee’s Surrender on April 9, 1865.  After the war, he joined the National Guard of Pennsylvania, where he rose to First Lieutenant in 1880, and Quartermaster with the rank of Captain in 1883.  He resigned from the National Guard in 1891 and started an Insurance Agency, which grew to be one of the largest in Pennsylvania.  He devoted much time and money to furthering many of the principal Jewish agencies in Philadelphia.  Jacob and Samuel both were long-time members of the Union League of Philadelphia.  He also served with Samuel on the Board of Managers of Mikveh Israel.

In Samuel Hazards United States Commercial and Statistical Register of 1840, published in Philadelphia, he notes a Meeting of the Israelites in Richmond, August 18, 1840, in which four resolutions were adopted.  These were described in detail.  The first was that “the Israelites of the State of Virginia unite in sentiments of sorrow and sympathy, for the unparalleled cruelties and sufferings inflicted on their innocent and unoffending brethren of Rhodes and Damascus”.  Another expressed gratitude toward their Christian brethren for helping to prevent future aggressions.  The third resolved that the Israelites of Virginia would unite with their brethren throughout the Union in diffusing the blessings of civil and religious liberty.  The last resolved to appoint a committee that would meet and confer with other Israelite groups in order to carry out resolutions.  Isaac Hyneman was appointed to this committee, and his partner and brother-in-law Jacob Ezekiel was appointed Secretary.


  • www.geni.com
  • Robert P. Swierenga, The Forerunners, Dutch Jewry in the North American Diaspora, 1994
  • Henry Samuel Morais, The Jews of Philadelphia, 1894
  • Fifty Years’ Work of the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia 1848-1898
  • Samuel Hazard, Hazard’s United States Commercial and Statistical Register, Volume 3, Philadelphia, 1841
  • Wikipedia
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