||A collection of passages on Jewish ethics taken from Biblical and Talmudical sources.
The compiler, Dr. Samuel Kristeller (1920-1900) was a medical doctor who was very involved in community affairs. The Jewish Encyclopedia reports that Dr. Kristeller and H. Steinthal were involved in setting up a course of study for instruction in the Jewish faith for the first congregational religious school. [The school was established in 1833 in Madgeburg, and the course of study was finished in 1884]. He was also president, from 1882-1896, of the Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindbund.
The Gemeindbund was an association of Jewish corporations in Germany, founded July 3, 1869, on the occasion of the Jewish synod at Leipsic, and incorporated Feb. 13, 1899. The federation has for its object the exchange of experiences in matters of administration, and especially the promotion of the common interests of German Jews, excluding, however, from its sphere of activity all matters relating to ritual. It directs its attention chiefly to education and charity. It grants subsidies for religious instruction to the smaller communities, and helps the needy by assisting them to take up agricultural and technical pursuits. At the same time it provides for the training of religious teachers and cantors, and for pensions to aged officials of the congregations or to their families, contends against the evil of strolling beggars, and furnishes aid for released convicts. These objects are enumerated in section two of its constitution of Nov. 15, 1898.
At the head of the federation, which includes two legally established boards (in Baden and Wärttemberg), ten provincial and district congregational associations ("Verbände"), and 750 congregations, are a president and a board of thirty-six members. This board appoints delegates in the various communities (numbering 118 in 1903) to watch the interests of the federation. A regular meeting of delegates is held every four years. The business of this meeting comprises the hearing of the report of the board, as well as that of the treasurer, etc.
Included in the charitable funds and institutions under the administration of the Federation is the Samuel Kristeller Fund; founded May 26, 1890. Its object is to assist young Jews who wish to learn a trade, and to help deserving Jewish mechanics in settling themselves.
The Gemeindebund published a number of popular tracts, the best known being "Grundsätze der Jüdischen Sittenlehre, "by Dr. S. Kristeller, approved by the most influential rabbis and Jewish notables.