||Petition and declaration of selection of R. Leibish Balaban as representative of the community. The document is signed by the five committee members: R. Samuel Rapaport ha-Kohen; Wolf Finkelstein; Moshe Jeliss; Abraham Isaac; Jehiel Mical Bernstein. All five were distinguished members of the community and descendent of prominent families.
The Rapaport family was descended from R. Abraham Menahem b. Jacob ha-Kohen Rapa who lived in Porto, Italy, at the beginning of the 16th century. The name Rapa originated in the German Rabe (Rappe in Middle High German), i.e., a raven. In order to distinguish themselves from other members of the Rapa family, the members of this family added the name of the town of Porto, and thus the name Rapoport was formed. (According to another version, this came about by a marriage between the Rapa and Porto families.) The family escutcheon of Abraham Rapa of Porto shows a raven surmounted by two hands raised in blessing (indicating the family's priestly descent). In the course of time other families, including some who were not Kohanim, took the name of Rapoport.
R. Jehiel Mical Bernstein's father was a grandchild of the Peni Yehoshua and many other noted rabbis. His children served in the rabbinate of Amsterdam, Hanover, and Levertov.