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A collection of Jewish history and current Jewish events, in date format, updated daily in this Jewish history blog.

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    November 17

    9CE:  Birthdate of Titus Flavius Vespasianus, better known as Vespasian, who as a Roman General and then Emperor put down the Judean Revolt which included the destruction of the Second Temple.

    284: Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. “According to Jewish tradition, in his youth Diocletian had been a swineherd and when he went past the Beis Midrash the children would beat him.” After he became Emperor, Diocletian spent time in Tiberias where enemies of the Jewish people said they disrespectfully referred to him as ‘the swineherd.’ Angered by the charges, the emperor demanded that Jewish leaders come to Tiberias and answer for their slanderous remarks.  The rabbis conceded that they had acted badly towards Diocletian the swineherd but they had never been disrespectful towards Diocletian, the emperor.  The Emperor accepted their argument and apology.  Based on this experience the Jerusalem Talmud cautions Jews against treating any Roman disrespectfully, no matter how low his station in life, since one never knew how high he might rise. In an attempt to bring unity to the empire, Diocletian ordered all of his subjects to accept his divinity and to offer sacrifices to his cult. Fortunately, he exempted his Jewish subjects from this decree.  Diocletian’s reign was a comparatively favorable period for the Jewish people especially when one remembers the fate they would suffer in the next century at the hands of Constantine and his successors.

    331: Birthdate of Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus. Known by some as Julian the Apostate, Julian reigned from 361 until his death in 363.  Ironically, he was the nephew of Constantine the Great, the man who made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. For some unknown reason, Julian repealed many of the harsh laws that had been promulgated against the Jews by his predecessors.  While Julian believed that his paganism was superior to Judaism, he felt that the Jews had suffered unnecessarily at the hands of Rome for the last four centuries and he sought to redress the imbalance.  Julian announced plans to rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem.  He ordered the local Roman officials to help with the project.  Jews returned from as far away as Persia and even built a small synagogue near the Temple Mount in anticipation of this monumental project.  Unfortunately, Julian died while on a military campaign before work could begin.  Rumor had that he had been killed by a Christian Arab in the pay of those who disliked his support of the Jews.  This brief window of hope closed and the Christian Religion joined hands with the power of the Roman state to embitter the lives of the Jews.  

    473: The future Zeno I is named associate emperor by Emperor Leo I. Leo was the Byzantine Emperor from 457 until 474. Leo was determined to wed the power of the Empire to the Christian Church. In 468 Leo issued a decree banning everyone but Christians from practicing law. Jews were persecuted with combinations of imperial decrees and church canon. Leo, in his desire to outlaw Judaism and force Christianity upon Jewish people, declared in Constitution LV (55) of the Constitutions of Leo, "Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates." Leo's Constitution became part of the Justinian's Civil Law. Now Jews had to pretend they were Christians and observe Christian ceremonies. The penalties that could be inflicted on Jews included loss of real estate and/or personal possessions, loss of testamentary rights, exile and, in some case, loss of life.

    1278:Edward I of England arrested all the Jews for alleged coin clipping and counterfeiting. 680 were arrested, jailed and put on trial. The judges were given prior instructions clearly biased against the Jews. Although many Christians were accused, many more (ten times as many) Jews were hanged than Christians (269 Jews and 29 Christians). Edward received 16,500 pounds from the property of the executed Jews and the fines of those charged. At that time Jews comprised 1% of the English population. 16,500 pounds was almost 10% of the exchequer's national income.
    1333 Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveler, visits Jewish communities in India
    1494: Thirty-one year old Pico De Mirandola, Count Giovanni Frederico, a student of the Kabbalah and one of the first Italian nobles to collect Hebrew books and who translated the Hokamt ha-Nefesh into Latin passed away today.
    1558: The Protestant monarch Elizabeth I assumed the throne of England following the death of her Catholic half-sister known to history as “Bloody Mary.” During her reign the Jewish community was limited to small groups of Marranos living in London and Bristol.  Jews did play a part in the realm foreign affairs. “Don Solomon Aben-Jaish, an adviser to the Sultan of Turkey established ties with Lord Burleigh, one of Elizabeth’s closest advisors.  The two men were and their two countries were drawn together by their common foe, Philip II, the Catholic King of Spain. In 1588 England faced the threat of the Spanish Armada. A Morrano, Dr. Hector Nunes provided the English with invaluable intelligence on the progress of the Armada as it sailed north towards England.  This information enabled Drake and the other English Sea Dogs to position their ships to best advantage.  On a more negative note, Dr. Roderigo Lopez, who served as one of Elizabeth’s physicians, was accused of plotting to poison the monarch. Lopez was caught in political contest between two of Elizabeth’s advisors – The Earl of Essex and Sir Robert Cecil.  Essex provided evidence of Lopez’s guilt;   Cecil proclaimed his innocence.  Given the tenor of the times, and the numerous plots on her life, Elizabeth had the unfortunate doctor executed.  His ordeal provided the impetus for Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and William Shakespeare’s TheMerchant of Venice featuring the famous Shylock.
    1720(10th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Jehiel Michel Teimer, author of Seder Gittin passed away today
    1755: Birthdate of King Louis XVIII of France. Following the defeat of Napoleon, Louis was restored as the Bourbon King of France.  As such, he is seen as a figure of reaction seeking to undo the legacy of the French Revolution, including the rights gained by the Jews of France.  The facts speak otherwise.  As Napoleon became more and more an Emperor and less and less of a Republican he chipped away at the rights of the Jews.  Under the Infamous Decrees of 1808, Napoleon placed severe restrictions on Jewish businessmen.  These decrees remained in effect until 1818, when the restored Louis refused to renew them.
    1757: Bishop Dembowski's violent death that led to a reversal of fortune in conflict between the Frankist and Talmudists in Poland.  Persecution of the Talmudists immediately came to an end. The Frankist found themselves declared outlaws subject to persecution and imprisonment.  


    1800: In Paris,Beer Léon Fould, a successful Jewish banker, and his wife gave birth to Achille Fould, French financier and statesmen who was a close advisor to Louis Napoleon and the grandson of wine merchant Jacob Bernard Fould.

    1846: A welfare society, the Chevra Mevaker Cholim, was organized today in Montgomery, Alabama by 12 German Jewish immigrants including Emanuel *Lehman, uncle of Herbert H. *Lehman. The society conducted services, purchased a cemetery, and on June 3, 1849, with 30 members transformed itself into Congregation Kahl Montgomery. The mobility of immigrant Jews and the tentativeness of their settlement is indicated by the constitutional provision of Kahl Montgomery that "four members shall be sufficient to continue the Society, but should there be only three members, the Society shall be dissolved." The congregation is now called Temple Beth Or, and its first building, built in 1862 with seed money from Judah Touro, is the oldest synagogue building in the state. It now houses a church.

    1852: In New York City, the members of the German Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated the organizations 9thanniversary with a dinner in the City Assembly Rooms.  From September 1, 1851 to September 1, 1852 the society had raised $2,325.50 and spent $2,148.52 in meeting the needs of the poor and the indigent.

    1853: The Five Academies comprising the Institute of France held their annual meeting today.  Among the presenters was M. Holely of the Academy of Fine Arts, composer of the "Wandering Jew" who read "an interminable discourse on Frohberger, a German organist whom no one ever heard of, and whom the writer himself acknowledged was snuffed out by Handel.

    1856: Founding of the Bradford Festival Choral Society whose conductors would include Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen

    1858: The New York Times reported that the Pope is back in Rome, “safer than ever…since he assumed the Triple Crown.”  The Pope “is disgusted with political reform but deeply interested in infant Jews.”  By infant Jews, the reporter was referring to the Morata Affair, which involved the kidnapping of a Jewish child who was secretly baptized by a maid and turned over to the Catholic Church for safe-keeping.

    1862(24th of Cheshvan, 5623): Seventy-eight year old Gotthold Salomon the German Jewish rabbi who continued with the work pioneered by Moses Mendelssohn which led him to be the first Jew to translate the TaNaCh into High German.

    1869: The Suez Canal opens creating a direct water route from Europe to the Orient. The canal is controlled by the French with the Egyptians as minority stockholders British imperialists wanted control of the canal since it was the gateway to India, the pride of the Empire. In 1875 Benjamin Disraeli bought the Egyptians shares using money borrowed from the Rothschilds. Protecting the Canal was the primary goal of British policy in the East from that day until the middle of the twentieth century.  The British wanted the mandate over Palestine to protect the East Bank of the Canal. Hence their willingness to betray the promises of the Balfour Declaration because they saw Arab violence as being a threat to English control of the waterway to Inida.  The British gave up the Mandate in 1947 which resulted in the creation of Israel because India was gaining its independence.  The Suez Crisis of 1956, which led to the Six Day War in 1967 which has led today’s stalemate, was triggered by British vestigial feelings for the Canal. 

    1871: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger approves of the recent defeat of the Tammany Machine in local city elections.  The Messengergives credit to the New York Times for informing the public about the great abuses and agrees with the Times that this was not a victory of party but of principle.
    1871: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger does not think that appealing to the Russian government for a redress of the conditions of the Jews of Russia will do much to improve conditions. The primary source of misery comes from “petty sources” that no government can control in such a vast expanse as Czarist Russia. [To most of us, this view Jewish life in Russia, is unique]
    1871: In Mako, Rabbi Enoch Fischer and his wife gave birth to Emil Maki the Hungarian poet who also wrote “a Biblical drama” entitled “Absalom.”
    1878: “Ancient and Modern Gymnastics”  published today commented on the recently published findings of Dr. Schaible in which he traces the history of physical training among various ancient people.  According to Schaible, “the Jews ‘paid but little attention to exercises for the body.’ If this were true, it would that the nation which possesses the most inexhaustible vitality” (the Jews) “ is that which has taken the least trouble about training.” The article challenges Schaible’s view of Jewish physicality.  Not only does the Bible contain numerous accounts of a people who were physically strong enough to win and hold their lands by the swords.  But in modern times, the number of successful Jewish boxers in the UK would tend to refute his contentions.

    1878:“The Jews and the Keys of Jerusalem” published today described two unusual customs practiced by the Jews living under Ottoman rule in Palestine The first concerns “small squares of brass-foil stamped with the Hebrew words meaning visiting the sick.”  Nobody is sure of the origin of this unsanctioned (by the Turkish government) coinage but it is used for commercial among the Jews in the local bazaars. The other custom has to do with acquiring the great keys to Jerusalem when each Sultan passes away.  After a mysterious religious ritual, the Jews return the keys to authorities for used by the incoming Sultan.  The local Turkish authorities see it as harmless activity that enriches them since the Jews have to pay a bribe to get the keys.

    1881: Julius J. Frank delivered a lecture entitled “The Jew” Has he Still a Mission” at a meeting sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1884: “A Good Old Philanthropist” published today provides a detailed review of Sir Moses Montefiore: A Centennial Biography by Lucien Wolf
    1884: Plans for an upcoming fund raiser to be held at the Thalia Theatre “for the benefit of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society” were published today.
    1884: It was reported today that Mount Sinai Hospital currently has 168 patients.  The hospital has a capacity to serve 185 patients and serves them regardless of race, creed or financial condition.  The hospital has a fund of $175,000 and owes no money on its building or furnishings.
    1885: “Hebrews in Convention” published today described events at a conclave of 35 Reform rabbis at which Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler presented his plans for changing the practice of Judaism in the United States.  Among them is the rejection of the traditional belief that all Jews are going back to Palestine and the elimination of reading those sections of the Scriptures “which referred to certain subjects not fit to be read in public or placed in the hands of children.”  He also “denounced the rite of circumcision as a relic of barbarism.” (As can be seen from Kohler’s proposals, the rift between Reform and Jewish traditionalists was about a lot more than just serving shell food at a banquet in Cincinnati)

    1887(1st of Kislev, 5648): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1887: “Dancing for Charity’s Sake” published today provided a full description of the 9th annual charity ball held by the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The event opened at ten o’clock when President and Mrs. Ernst Nathan and Vice President Samuel Goldstein and his daughter Sara led the promenade. Mayor Whitney and Mayor-elect Chapin attended the event which raised $6,000.
    1889: “Modern English Jews” published today traces the history the Jewish community in the British Isles from its earliest days until the end of the present time when Sir Henry Isaacs is about to be named Lord Mayor of London
    1891(16th of Cheshvan, 5652): Fifty-seven year old author and teacher Jacob Egers who “was for more than twenty years a master at the Training-School for Teachers in Berlin” passed away today.
    1892: “Indignant Russian Hebrews” published today described the anger friends of the late Louis Krabitz expressed when Israel Ronginsky was released following a coroner’s inquest. Both men were Jewish immigrants from Russia who worked as peddlers.
    1893: Having lost their courtroom battle with landlord Alexander Grant, 33 Russian Jewish families were reported today to have three days to move out of their tenements and find other housing.
    1895: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Gustav Gottheil “began a series of sermons on ‘Womanhood’ the first of which was entitled ‘The Birthday of a Great Woman.’”
    1895: “The Charity of the Jews” published today described Rabbi Joseph Silverman’s view on the generosity of his co-religionist  which included his view “that Israel was always noted for her charity, and, in fact was the first nation to make public charity and benevolence prevalent among its people so that a landed aristocracy could hold no footing in the nation.”
    1895: It was reported today that Temple Emanu-El’s Joseph Silverman has “paid tribute to the liberal spirit of the Emperor of Austria for his firm stand against the anti-Semitic fanaticism that recently broke out in Vienna.”
    1895: “Queer Marriage Customs” published today described marital rituals in ancient times and non-European societies including “Talmudic prohibitions” requiring “that the male must not be under fourteen years and a day and the female under thirteen years and a day.” During the Middle Ages the Jewish wedding banquet featured “a dressed hen and a raw egg” which “were placed before the bride as a way of urging her to be prolific when it came to children.
    1896: Mrs. Sophie C. Axman of Kansas City delivered a lecture on “Child Life” at the Convention of the National Council of Jewish Women which is now in its third day.

    1896: Birthdate of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky
    1898: Dr. Dillingham, the assistant Sanitary Inspector of the Health Department was reported today to have said that the two cases of measles and three cases of scarlatina have been taken care of and there is no public health problem at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1901:  Birthdate of director Lee Strassberg. Born Israel Strassberg in Budzanow, Poland, he was the son of a provincial innkeeper. At the age of 7, he immigrated with his family to the United States, where his father worked in the garment industry. Growing up on the Lower East Side, he attended the theater whenever possible and joined the Chrystie Street Settlement's drama group as an actor. It was at that time that he changed his name to I. Lee Strasberg, subsquently dropping the initial. He worked as a wigmaker; studied improvisational acting techniques with Richard Boleslavsky, a student of Stanislavsky, and began working as an actor. He pioneered the technique of "method acting" and taught many famous actors and actresses how to behave on stage and in front of a camera.  In later life he gave a memorable performance as the Myer Lansky like character in Godfather II.

    1902: Birthdate Laurette Eugen Wigner. Wigner was a Hungarian-born American physicist who was the joint winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics (with Maria Goeppert Mayer and Johannes Hans Jensen) for his insight into quantum mechanics, for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles. He made many contributions to nuclear physics and played a prominent role in the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.

    1907: Lord Lionel Rothschild has tentatively agreed to send two of his motorboats to the United States to take place in a series of race scheduled to take place during 1908.

    1909: Birthdate of Alter Mojze Goldman a Polish Jew who was active in the French Résistance during World War II

    1909(4th of Kislev, 5670): Rabbi Nissim Moche Amon, President of the Constantinople Bet Din (religious court) passed away at the age 72.

    1912: In Chicago, dedication of the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home.

    1913:  Amidst a controversy over using Hebrew as a language of instruction in the schools in Palestine, the German Counsel in Haifa warned Berlin that use of Hebrew would heighten Arab suspicions about Jewish intentions while exacerbating inter-communal conflicts among the Jews.

    1916: General Sir Ian Standish Hamilton, the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Gallipoli Campaign wrote to Jabotinsky today from his home at 1 Hyde Park Gardens” about the Zion Mule Corps saying  that ‘The men have done extremely well, working their mules calmly under heavy shell and rifle fire, and thus showing  a more difficult type of bravery than the men who were constantly in the trenches and had the excitement of combat to keep them going’ (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1916: Birthdate of author and Civil War historian Shelby Foote.  Foote grew up in Greenville, Mississippi.  His maternal grandfather was a Viennese Jew who immigrated to the United States and settled in Mississippi.  According to an interview found in Confederates in the Attic, Foote’s mother took him to Saturday services in Greenville until he was eleven years old.  Foote did not say why she stopped taking him. However he did say that he did not experience any anti-Semitism while growing up in Greenville. He soon found out that the rest of the world was not as accepting. As a student at UNC in Chapel Hill, Foote was blackballed from a fraternity being pledged by his friends because of his religion. As Foote said in an interview, “’I knew all the trouble I’d have down the line,’ he said of his Jewish heritage.  “I was always not wanting to take on that kind of trouble.   It just added one more problem, an added awkwardness to life.’” So, while in his twenties, Foote was Baptized and confirmed as an Episcopalian. Foote passed away in 2005.

    1917: During World War I, General Allenby’s forces entered the Hills of Jerusalem.  The German General on whom the Turks were depending left Jerusalem and headed for Nablus.  He had no intention of fighting by the side of his Ottoman compatriots as the Allies made their way towards the City of David.

    1917: Birthdate of Helen Gavronsky the  Germiston, South Africa native who would gain fame as activist and Nobel Prize Winner Helen Suzman

    1917: In Brookline, MA, Rose and Myron Helpern gave birth to David Moses Halpern, “the business side of the husband-and-wife apparel design team known as Joan & David…” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1918(13th of Kislev, 5679): Captain Joseph B. Greenhut passed away today in Peoria, Illinois.  Born at Bishop-Purnitz, Austria, in 1843, lived in Mobile, Alabama before moving to North prior to the Civil War.  He was the second man in Chicago to respond to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers.  As a Sargeant in the 12thIllinois Infantry he fought at Fort Donelson where he was wounded and then promoted to the rank of Captain.  His fought in most of the major battles of the war including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and the Battle Above the Clouds.   His valor earned him the brevet rank of Colonel.  He served on the state of Edward S. Salomon, one of the Jewish soldiers to reach the rank of General in the Union Army.  After leaving the Army, Greenhut settled in Peoria where he was a successful businessman for over thirty years. His membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and the B’nai Brith bespeak his pride in being an American and a Jew.

    1919: Birthdate of composer and arranger Hershy Kay.

    1921: Winston Churchill demands that Sir Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, move forcefully to collect the fines from Arab rioters who had attacked Jews and destroyed their property in Jaffa.

    1922: Birthdate of Stuart Schulberg, the son of producer and studio executive B.P. Schulberg and younger brother of novelist/screenwriter Budd Schulberg,

    1924: Release date for a Rudolph Valentino melodrama “A Sainted Devil produced by Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor.

    1927: Birthdate of Stanley Cohen, "an American biochemist who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his researches on epidermal growth factor (EGF), a substance produced in the body that influences the development of skin tissues. With the nerve growth factor (NGF) studied by Levi-Montalcini, these were the first of many growth-regulating signal substances to be discovered and characterized. The discovery of NGF and EGF opened new fields of widespread importance to basic science and increased understanding of many disease states such as developmental malformations, degenerative changes in senile dementia, delayed wound healing and tumor diseases.”

    1930: Birthdate of acclaimed composer David Amram. One of the most eclectic, versatile, and unpredictable American musicians of the 20th–21st centuries, Amram has given equal attention throughout his life thus far to contemporary classical art music, ethnic folk music, film and theater music, and jazz. The Boston Globe has saluted him as "the Renaissance man of American music," and The New York Times noted that he was "multicultural before multiculturalism existed." Yet Amram's so-called multiculturalism has not been political—"correct" or otherwise—but rather a function of his genuine interest in a variety of musical traditions and practices. "Music is one world," he has declared. Amram was born in Philadelphia, but he spent his childhood on the family farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the family moved shortly before his seventh birthday. His father had been a farmer before becoming a lawyer, and—like David Amram to this day—he continued to farm in addition to his professional pursuits. Since there was little Jewish population in that farming region, young David grew up without the benefit of a Jewish community, but his grandfather (David Werner Amram, for whom he was named), who had been active in early American Zionist circles and had spent considerable time on a kibbutz in Palestine, taught him basic Hebrew; and his father conducted Sabbath services in their home. His father also introduced him to recordings of cantorial music and to his own amateur piano renditions of European classical pieces. His uncle was a devotee of jazz, introducing David to recordings of such artists as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong—and then taking him to hear some of those performers in person. Those three traditions—jazz, classical, and Jewish liturgical music—were thus somehow interrelated for him from childhood, in terms of both emotional and improvisational aspects.

    1930: “Sweet and Low,” a musical revue produced by Billy Rose whose stars included George Jessel and Fanny Brice opened on Broadway at Chanin’s 46thStreet Theatre.

    1931: Montefiore Kahn, vice president of Oil Shares, Inc., is scheduled to make a court appearance today related to the theft of $100,000.

    1931: “Kameradschaft” a German made film with social protest overtones co-starring Jewish actor Alexander Granach premiered in Germany today.

    1937: As the Arab terrorist war against the Jews of Palestine continued, The Palestine Post reported that 45 Jews were arrested under the new emergency regulations. The Jewish Agency stated, in reference to the revolting murder of five Jewish pioneers at Ma’aleh Hahamisha, and an apparent dissidents’ retaliation during which six Arabs were killed in Jerusalem, that it would oppose to the utmost any attempts at revenge on innocent persons. The agency was confident that all responsible Jewish bodies would stamp out dissidents from their midst. British troops killed three Arab terrorists in Galilee.

    1938: U.S. premiere of “The Cowboy and the Lady” a western comedy produced by Samuel Goldwyn with a script by S.N. Behrman.

    1938: Mussolini adopted an Italian anti-Semitic Code patterned after the German Nuremberg Laws.  Was Mussolini an anti-Semite?  This is the subject of The Contract: Mussolini, the Publisher of Hitler by Giorgio Fabrre, recently released in English translation and reviewed by the New York Times on November 7.  This book explores the murky relationship between the two fascist dictators including the fact that Mussolini paid an exorbitant sum for the rights to publish Mein Kampf in Italy.  Apparently the money was really a secret campaign contribution from Mussolini to Hitler.  Prior to the enactment of this code, Mussolini had already moved against the Jews of Italy including his former mistress who was Jewish. The most immediate impact of the code was to force many Jews out of Mussolini’s Fascist Party.  This controversial book has forced many Italians to re-examine this dark chapter in their history.

    1938: Sheik Abdul Rahman el Khatib was shot and seriously wounded while walking on a street here this morning. There is little hope for his recovery. His Arab assailant escaped.

    1938: As Arab violence continues for a second straight year, “A Jew was fatally shot this morning by an Arab near Sharona, a Christian German colony near Tel Aviv.”

    1938: Ernst von Rath  whose murder by Herschel Grynszpan was the excuse for Kristallnacht, “was given a state funeral in Düsseldorf, which was attended by Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop who in his funeral oration described the shooting as an attack by the Jews on the German people.”

    1939: Nazis destroy all of the synagogues in Lódz, Poland.

    1939: Abraham Kaplan, the author of Conduct of Inquiry, married child psychologist Iona Judith Wax; a union which produced two children -- Karen Eva Kaplan Diskin and Jessica Aryia Kaplan Symonds.

    1939: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Very Warm for May," premieres in New York City.

    1939(5th of Kislev, 5700): Boruch Ber Leibowitz passed away.  Born at Slutsk (Belarus) in 1864, he was Talmudic prodigy who studied under Rabbi Chaim Brisker before becoming head of the Kneseth Beis Yitzchak Yeshiva in Slobodka which he was forced to re-locate and reconstitute in different locales based on the vicissitudes of World War I and the ensuring violence that gripped Eastern Europe.  Tragically, death came to him in Vilna the last location of his Yeshiva.

    1940: The Lodz Ghetto Archive was established today, by order of the Chairman of the Judenrat, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski.

    1940: In Tel Aviv, a conference of 300 communal representatives formed a “United National Front” dedicated to carrying out the reform program championed by Pichas Rutenberg.  “This united front has the support of many middle class Jews” who have been concerned by the breach growing between “socialists affiliated with the General Jewish Labor Federation and Zionist Revisionists.”

    1940: In Berlin, Lieutenant Colonel Kazys Skirpa, former Lithuanian ambassador to Germany, established the Lietuviu Aktyvistu Frontas (Lithuanian Activist Front), a collaborationist Fascist organization dedicated to nationalism and anti-Semitism.

    1941:The Hitch-Hiker a radio play written by Lucille Fletcher featuring a score written and conducted by Bernard Herrmann, Fletcher's first husband was broadcast of the Orson Welles Show on CBS Radio for the first time.

    1941: Proceeds from tonight’s performance of the play “Theatre” at the Hudson Theatre featuring Cornelia Otis Skinner will go to the Women’s League for Palestine and help the league raise funds for the construction of a center for refugees in Jerusalem.

    1941: Eight Jews executed for going outside the Warsaw ghetto without permission. Six were women.

    1941: In France, the Vichy government expanded the Aryanization rules to exclude Jews from any employment beyond menial labor.

    1942: Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz “married Rachel Unger Leifer of Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Rabbi Naftali Unger, av beis din of Neumarkt  and a descendant of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz.”

    1942: It was reported today that two chapters “Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary” by Bella Fromm have appeared in Harper’s Magazine.   [Bella Fromm was a German Jewish correspondent for the Ullstein newspapers and the Times. She risked her life by staying in Germany during the 1930’s so that she could report on events surrounding the Hitler régime.  She finally fled to the United States where her reportage became the inspiration for this first-hand account of events in the land of the Nazis.]

    1942: The headline in today’s edition of Haaretz announced that "The Eretz-Israeli residents that have been exchanged have arrived from the Reich."  According to the Jewish daily, “There’s been much commotion at the Afula station in preparation for the arrival of 114 women and children, relatives of Eretz-Israeli and British residents, who've come from Germany. They were exchanged for German women and children from Eretz Israel, who were allowed to travel to Germany."

    1943: Nine hundred ninety-five Jews from Holland were sent to Birkenau where 531 were gassed, including 166 children.

    1943: General Antonescu, the Rumanian dictator warned the cabinet against giving into Hitler's demands for the Jews. Hundreds of thousands still survived in camps and ghettos. "We will take them away from here." Four thousand, four hundred orphans were the first to be repatriated, followed by 15,000 others.

    1943: The director-general of the BBC, Robert Foot, issued a policy directive . . . 'that we should not promote ourselves or accept any propaganda in the way of talks, discussion, features with the object of trying to correct the undoubted anti-Semitic feeling which is held very largely throughout the country'

    1944: U.S. premiere of “The Princess and the Pirate” produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with music by Daid Rose and screenplay co-authored by Mel Shavelson.

    1944: Birthdate of producer Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live.

    1945: A delegation from the American League for Free Palestine headed by former Senator Guy Gillette arrived in London tonight.  The delegates are supposed to hold discussions with British leaders about the situation in Palestine and payment of reparations to those living in DP camps in Germany.

    1945: As the British government sought to enforce the White Paper and clamp down on Jewish resistance activities, “British paratroopers carried twenty expectant mothers to hospitals in armored cars today.  A baby born in one of the armored cars was named Shalom by his mother.

    1946: As part of growing wave of terror caused by Britain failing to honor its war time promise to allow Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel and increasing repressive measure aimed at the Jews of the Yishuv, four British policemen were killed when their truck was blown up outside Tel Aviv.

    1946: Eighty-six year old archaeologist Max von Oppenheim whose accomplishments included the excavations at Tell-Halaf passed away today.

    1947: “Unidentified robbers gagged and bound a Tel Aviv diamond merchant in his home and escaped with jewels valued at $8,000.”

    1947: Members of the “Stern Gang…announced that they were ready to resume their truce pledge.”

    1947: Today “a prominent Arab source said differences of between King Abdullah of Transjordan and the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, had ruled out a coordinated invasion by Arabs opposed to a partition of the Holy Land.”

    1947: In Palestine, the departing British administration plans to sell state-owned real estate along the Haifa waterfront and to invest in England money from bonds sold to Palestinians.

    1947: A Liverpool jury needed only 13 minutes of deliberation to find newspaper editor James Caunt not guilty of charges of “seditious libel against the Jews in Britain.”  Caunt had written an editorial in The Visitor criticizing “British Jews for not doing more to prevent Zionist killing of British  troops in Palestine, describing Jews as ‘a plague on Britain’ and encouraging violence against them.

    1947: Today, while the National Conference of the CDE was still conducting its business, Dr. William Filderman resigned from the leadership of the UER, and after a short time, succeeded in leaving Romania clandestinely. This decision had to be made, because it was discovered that the Romanian authorities were preparing a plot in which he would be accused of being a spy for Great Britain.

    1948: King Abdullah of Transjordan hopes for a "real peace" to replace "semi-peace." He suggests that "the Israelis should be more reasonable "and the Arabs "should accept the logical." (Abdullah was a complex figure who wanted to rule Jerusalem. He announced that no land under the control of the Jordanian army would be turned over to what are called today the Palestinian Arabs.)

    1949: Charles "Charlie" Thompson Winters was released today after spending 18 months in prison for violating the Neutrality Act of 1939 in conspiring to smuggle three bombers via Czechoslovakia to Palestine.

    1949: “The first of the military’s dead – the remains of those who fought in Latrun, in Kfar Etzion and the Convoy of 35, along with those buried in Sheikh Bader – some 300 people in all – were buried in a communal grave in the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl. (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

    1950: Soprano Roberta Peters, the twenty year old daughter of Ruth and Sol Peterman debuted at the Metropolitan Opera when she replaced a colleague on six hours’ notice. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

    1953 (17 Kislev):Isser Zalman Meltzer passed away.  Born in1870, he was a famous Lithuanian Orthodox rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva and pose. He is also known as the "Even HaEzel", after the title of his commentary on Rambam's Mishne Torah.

    1953: Anna Meingest, who had been Stefan Zweig’s secretary in Salzburg for twenty years during the inter-war years passed away today.

    1954(21st of Cheshvan): Hebrew poet Yizhak Lamdan passed away

    1960: Birthdate of Mandy Yachad a former South African cricketer and field hockey player who represented the South African national team in both sports.

    1961: “A Proper God” published today reviews Paddy Chayefsky’s “Gideon” a play “drawn from 3 chapters of the Book of Judges” that “explores the relationship of an ordinary man to God.”

    1962: “Little Me” a Broadway “musical written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

    1962: “More Language That Needs Watching” by Theodore M. Bernstein, the assistant managing editor of the New York Times is scheduled to be published today. This is Bernstein’s second book on linguistics. “Watch Your Language” provided examples “of words gone wrong – incorrect usage – and inept sentence structure” as well as selections of “bright and incisive writing.”

    1962: In his sermon delivered today, Dr. Israel Margolies said that laws that prevent the abortion of deformed babies are barbarous. The New York City rabbi has been quoted as saying “that the truly civilized mind would be hard pressed to devise a greater sin than to condemn a helpless infant to a life of permanent deformity, or to the twilight world of the slum and orphanage, or to an unwelcome home.”

    1964(12th of Kislev, 5725): Chaim Mordechai Katz the Rosh Yeshiva of the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, suffered a massive, fatal heart attack today.

    1966: Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” premiered on Broadway today.

    1968: In what became known as the “Heidi Game” NBC cut away from the last minute of football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets so viewers could see the children’s classic, Heidi.  Given the closeness of the game, NBC’s switchboard was lit up with calls from irate fans.  The Jets were owned by two Jews, Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess and the Raiders were owned by another Jew, Al Davis. 

    1969: An F-4E Phantom Jet manned by Ehud Hankin and Shaul Levi fell victim to Jordanian anti-aircraft fire.

    1977:Egyptian President Sadat formally accepts invitation to visit Israel. This is the start of a historic process that will result in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.  While Sadat may have been the leader of the sneak attack that started the Yom Kippur War, he is worth remembering as an Arab Nachson, a man who was brave enough to plunge into the unknown for the greater good.  He literally paid for peace with his own blood. 

    1977: Colonel Menachem Milson, the Israeli officer named to serve as aide-de-camp to Anwar Sadat during his upcoming visit to Israel met with the committee coordinating preparation for the historic visit. 

    1980: Bella Abzug and Grace Paley were among the thousands of women who participated in today’s Women’s Pentagon Action.

    1980: In a move that reinforced the concept of separation of church & State, the Supreme Court today decided in Stone v Graham, that “a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments purchased with private contributions on the wall of each public classroom in the State is unconstitutional”

    1980: “Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the Jews of Berlin in which he discussed his views of Catholic-Jewish relations” in which he “claimed that Catholics must embrace the Hebrew Bible as being equally valid as the New Testament” and  “asserted that God's Old Covenant with the Jewish people was never revoked which meant, as Darcy O'Brien wrote, that the pope had indicated that the Catholic Church had abandoned its mission to proselytize the Jews and has embraced the Jews' salvation.”

    1982(1st of Kislev, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1982(1st of Kislev, 5743): Russian violinist Leonid Borisovitch Kogan passed away.

    1983: Birthdate of Milwaukee Brewers MVP Ryan Braun.

    1985: “Art View; The Best and Biggest In Pittsburgh” published today described the 49th Carnegie International Exhibition which included works by Lucian Freud and Mel Bochner.’

    1988: Neil Simon's "Rumors," premieres in New York City.

    1990(29th of Cheshvan, 5751): Robert Hofstadter passed away. Hofstadter was an “American scientist who was a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1961 for his investigations in which he measured the size of the neutron and proton in the nuclei of atoms. He revealed the hitherto unknown structure of these particles and helped create an identifying order for subatomic particles. He also correctly predicted the existence of the omega-meson and rho-meson. He also studied controlled nuclear fission. Hofstadter was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. He also made substantial contributions to gamma ray spectroscopy, leading to the use of radioactive tracers to locate tumors and other disorders. (He shared the prize with Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer of Germany.)”

    1993: Judith Rodin was named the president of the University of Pennsylvania making her the first woman to head an Ivy League University.
    1993(3rd of Kislev, 5754): Sgt. 1st Cl. Chaim Darina, age 37, was stabbed by a Gazan terrorist while seated at the cafeteria at the Nahal Oz road block at the entrance to the Gaza Strip. The terrorist was apprehended. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the murder.

    1994: Irish Labor Party member Mervyn Taylor completed his service as Minister for Equality and Law Reform.

    1996: In New York, the complete list of candidates for landmark status and their architects suggested by Robert A. M. Stern includes the Henry L. Moses Research Institute, Montefiore Hospital, East Gun Hill Road, Bronx

    1998: Israel's parliament overwhelmingly approved the Wye River land-for-peace accord with the Palestinians.

    1999: U.S. premiere of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” produced by Scott Rudin, with music by Danny Elfman and filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

    2000: Mathew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and Elizabeth Murdoch gave birth to their first child Charlotte Emma Freud.

    2001: Daniel Saul Goldin finishes serving as Adminstrator of NASA.  Goldin was the first Jew to hold the post.  He held the position longer than any of his predecessors, serving under three different Presidents.

    2002 (12th of Kislev, 5763): Abba Eban passed away.  (Editor’s note:  This entry is a little on the lengthy side, but the subject is well worth the time.  There is a prejudice at work here.  As youngster growing up in Washington during the 1950’s I heard Eban speak several times. His round Churchillian tones along with his sharp, lucid comments made one swell with pride.  I was further amazed to think that Israelis sounded just like Winston Churchill [boy was I in for a surprise].  But in the early days of the state, when Israel was not a popular cause, Ambassador to the U.S. and the U.N., Abba Eban bucked the odds, conducting a one-man diplomatic and public relations offensive against the well-heeled American oil lobby and the Arab governments to provide Israel with a positive image in the United States at a time when the survival of the state hung in the balance on daily basis. He will always be remembered as one of the statesmen who helped persuade the world to approve creation of Israel and dominated Israeli diplomacy for decades.)

    Abba Eban, orator, Israeli statesman and diplomat, Foreign Minister from 1966 to 1974, was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and brought up in England. He studied oriental languages and classics at Cambridge University, England, where he was a lecturer in Arabic from 1938 to 1940. He was already a public speaker of caliber and renowned for his presence at debates on the Middle East. During World War II he served in the British Army in Egypt and Mandate Palestine, becoming an intelligence officer in Jerusalem, where he coordinated and trained volunteers for resistance in the event of a German invasion. In 1946, the Jewish Agency appointed him political information officer in London, where he participated in the negotiations with the British government and the UN concerning the establishment of the State of Israel. When Israel became independent in 1948, he was appointed its first Ambassador at the UN. From 1950 until 1959 Eban was both Israel's ambassador in Washington, D.C., and chief delegate to the UN. On his return to Israel in 1959, Eban was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Mapai party, and served under David Ben-Gurion as Minister of Education and Culture from 1960 to 1963. From 1963 to 1966, he was deputy to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. He was also president of the Weizmann Institute at Rehovot from 1959 to 1966. As Israel's Foreign Minister from February 1966 to 1974, Eban tried to strengthen relations with the United States and to associate Israel with the European Economic Community. During and after the Six-Day War of June 1967, he led Israel's diplomatic struggle in the UN. Following the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, Abba Eban helped bring about a disengagement of Egyptian and Israel forces in Sinai.  Eban continued to serve in succeeding sessions of the Knesset, but outside the ministerial sphere, as a member and later as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, until he retired from politics in 1988. He was widely admired for his brilliant oratory outside Israel and his statesmanship at the UN on Israel's behalf, including some dramatic oratory. He wrote a scathing article on the infamous UN "Zionism=Racism" Resolution in 1975.  A figure of multiple accomplishments, Eban was fluent in ten languages, with the dual vocation of statesman and erudite academic. Throughout his career, he found time to publish meticulous and detailed historical works based on his vast knowledge and personal experience. His books include Voice of Israel (1957); My People (1969); My Country (1972), and Personal Witness (1992), as well as An Autobiography. After his retirement, he was able to dedicate more time to writing and lecturing, including essays and books The New Diplomacy and Diplomacy for the Next Century(1998), but his major landmarks were his involvement in the creation of three major historical television documentary series about the Jewish People and Israel, in which his remarkable voice rings throughout the narration with elegance and confidence. The first two were for Israel Television: Heritage: Civilization and the Jews; Personal Witness: A Nation is Born; and The Brink of Peace was produced with PBS.  In 2001, Abba Eban was awarded the Israel Prize for his lifetime achievement, but his wife received the prize on his behalf, as he was too ill to attend the ceremony. He also held twenty honorary doctorates and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    2002: The New York Timesbook section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, Media and Her Children by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Arch Tait and The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Rightby Daniel Levitas.

    2004: Premiere of the French comedy “The Grandsons,” directed, produced and written by Ilan Duran Cohen.

    2005:  Haaretz reported on the three day visit of Israel’s President Moshe Katsav to Italy.  On the second day of the trip, Italy’s prime minister said that Israel should be admitted to the European Union.  This appears to be further evidence of the end of a period in which Israel was isolated from western democracies.  Katsav also announced his plans to invite the new Pope to visit Jerusalem.

    2005: Conrad M. Black was indicted for his alleged role in stealing $51.8 million dollars from Hollinger International, the giant international newspaper publisher he helped create.  His publishing empire included The Jerusalem Post.  Black is Catholic but he is married to the conservative columnist Barbara Amiel, who is Jewish.  

    2006: William Shattner, the actor best known for his role as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise appears in a commercial on the History Channel proclaiming that he is a Jew while wishing Mazel Tov to the Pilgrims.  The commercial is promoting an upcoming television telling the untold story of the Pilgrims travels to America in 1620.

    2006: Pierre Lellouche, the Tunisian born French Jewish political leaders completed his term as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

    2006: Jessica Savitch, of blessed memory, was inducted into "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame"

    2007: The International Oud Festival presents "Peace on Earth" at the Jerusalem Theater. The ensemble put together by Dinkjian for our Festival this year is comprised of some of the finest musicians from Greece, Turkey and Israel, Christians, Muslims and Jews, who will improvise together and play a selection of works by composers of the different faiths.

    2007: As part of the Australia Festival of Jewish Cinema “The Vow” is shown in Melbourne, Australia and “The Cantor’s Son” is shown in Sydney, Australia.

    2007: Omer Golan scored the winning goal for Israel against Russia, handing England a lifeline in their qualification group for Euro 2008,

    2007: Haaretz reported that “the Jewish poverty rate in the United States is higher than that in Israel. In Israel 24 percent of the population is considered poor, but about half is not Jewish…The poverty line for a family of three is set at an annual income of $15,000 but in New York and other large cities it is adjusted to the higher cost of living and set at $22,530.”  

    2008: The Jewish Community Center of Chicago holds its annual Hall of Fame Dinner, this year honoring Edward Fox followed by a benefit concert featuring Itzhak Perlman with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    2008: As part of the Meet the Author series, the JCC in Manhattan presents an evening with Yehudit Katzir, “a leading fresh female voice from Israel whose work has been translated into many languages.” 

    2008(19th of Cheshvan, 5769): Ali Ashtari was hanged today after being sentenced to death on June 30 by a revolutionary court in Teheran. It was the country's first known conviction for espionage linked to Israel in almost a decade.

    2008: Moshe Ya'alon announced that he was joining Likud and that he would participate in the primaries which would determine the Likud candidates for the 2009 elections. Ya’alon had served as IDF Chief of Staff from 2002 through 2005.

    2009: At Acre, the second workshop sponsored by UESCO on the subject of “Protecting Heritage Sites from Disaster” comes to an end.

    2009: Opening of The Fifth International Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition - WATEC Israel 2009 at the Trade Fair and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.

    2009 (30th of Cheshvan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2009: Noralee Frankel discusses and signs Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee at noon as part of the Books & Beyond series at the Library of Congress.

    2009: A former SS sergeant, Adolf Storms who worked unnoticed for decades as a train-station manager was charged with 58 counts of murder today after a student, Andreas  Forster, doing undergraduate research uncovered his alleged involvement in a massacre of Jewish forced laborers.

    2010: In New York City, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present: Journeying to the Jews: Literary Ethnography along the Eastern Front, 1914-1918.

    2010:  In New York City, Jaimy Gordon was the surprise winner of the National Book Award for fiction.

    2010: It was announced today that a Holocaust survivor who teaches children the value of citizenship is among those who will be honored by President Obama with a Medal of Freedom. Gerda Weissman Klein, who survived the notorious death march at the end of the war designed by Nazis to keep Jews from being rescued, recently founded Citizenship Counts, “an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship.”  “Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faith around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people,” the statement said.

    2010: Today Israel approved the withdrawal of troops from the northern half of a divided village that straddles the border with Lebanon — a step that would end its four-year presence in the volatile area.

    2010: Jean-François Copé began serving his term as President of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Group in the French National Assembly.

    2011: The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El are scheduled to present “Gender, Power, and Authority in Jewish Life: Challenges and Opportunities in North America and Israel” featuring Renana Pilzer, head of the Beit Midrash at the Shalom Hartman Institute Midrashiya Girls High School and Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Director of Strategic Initiatives,Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community

    2011: Jeremy Cowan author of “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How it took 13 years, extreme Jewish Brewing and Circus sideshow freaks to make Schmaltz Brewing Company an International Success” is scheduled to appear at the JCC in St. Louis, MO.

    2011: Rabbi Jeff Portman is scheduled to begin teaching a five session course “The Simpsons and the 10 Commandments” at Kirkwood Community College.

    2011: “The Young Zionist of Dror in Morocco” a film that documents Jewish life in Morocco during the 1950’s is scheduled to be shown today at the Jewish Eye World Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Israel has reached its lowest poverty levels since 2003, according to the 2010 poverty report released today, but still faces significant problems in wealth disparity and impoverished children.

    2011: Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said today that medical residents who were resigning en mass in protest over pay and conditions were “taking the law into their own hands.”

    2012(3rd of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-four year old “Leah Gottlieb, who started with a single sewing machine in a refugee camp in the new nation-state of Israel and rose to become one of the world’s most renowned designers of women’s bathing suits” passed away at her home in Tel Aviv today.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2012: “Süskind,” a cinematic treatment of the life the Jewish manager of the Jewish Council in Amsterdam in 1942, is scheduled to be shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: The Jerusalem International Oud Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2012: The World Union For Progressive Judaism is scheduled to host the 2012 International Humanitarian Awards Dinner in NYC.

    2012: Flory Jagoda, Aaron Shneyer, Hannah Spiro, Freida Enoch, Jessi Roemer, Jill Sege and Jonathan Tucker are scheduled to perform at Congreation Tifereth Israel as part of the Jewish Folk Arts Festival.

    2012: As Jews around the world observe Shabbat the words “Oseh shalom bimromav hu ya'aseh shalom aleynu v'al kol yisrael vimru amen”  (He who makes peace in his high places, he shall make peace upon us and upon all Israel, and say amen) take on a special poignancy as terrorist rockets are fired at Jerusalem and Israeli soldiers prepare to risk their lives to preserve the Jewish state.

     2012: As Israel entered the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, an eerie silence washed over the south, with the familiar sound of red alerts and booms of rockets giving way to rumors of a ceasefire.

    2012: The Iron Dome intercepted two Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles aimed at Tel Aviv today. The missiles marked the third attack on the heavily populated central city in as many days, after Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired four missiles toward the financial capital yesterday and the day before yesterday, prompting red alert air raid sirens to sound in the ci
    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Map and The Territory: Risk, Human Nature and the Future of Forecasting by Alan Greenspan, Jews In Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010 by Jeffrey S. Gurock, The Rise of Abraham Cahan by Seth Lipsky, Hanukkah in America: A History by Dianne Ashton, Jews and the Military: A Historyby Derek Penslar  and The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood by Roger Rosenblatt.

    2013: In Australia, the annual Jewish International Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
    2013: “The Fading Valley” and “Good Garbage” are scheduled to shown at the “Other Israel Film Festival” in New York City.

    2013: France favors an interim agreement with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, French President Francois Hollande said today in Israel, but such an agreement would only be signed if Tehran would abandon its ambition to acquire a nuclear weapon. (As reported by Raphael Ahren and Adiv Sterman)

    2013: According to reports published in the London Sunday Times the Saudis have agreed “to let Israel use its airspace in a military strike on Iran and cooperate over the use of rescue helicopters, tankers and drones.” (As reported by the Times of Israel staff)

    2013(14thof Kislev, 5774): Seventy-seven year old Syd Field author of Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, the “bible of screening passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley

    2014: In Melbourne, “The Last Mentsch” and “Regarding Susan Sontag” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.
    2014: “The Last Mentsch” and “Natan” are scheduled to be shown at the 18thUK Jewish Film Festival

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    November 18

    1095: Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. Summoned to plan the First Crusade, it was attended by over 200 bishops. Among its official policies, the Council decreed that a pilgrimage to Jerusalem made every other penance superfluous.  And so began one of the darkest periods in Jewish history.

    1302: Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Unam sanctam that proclaimed, "outside of the Church there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins." It declares that those who resist the Roman Pontiff are resisting God's ordination. This is the same Pope Boniface VIII who issued the bull Exhibita Nobis, ordaining that Jews could be denounced to the Inquisition without the name of the accuser being revealed, so as to protect Christians against Jewish reprisals.

    1489: Joseph Günzenhäuser, Yom-Tov ben Perez and Solomon ben Perez published “Hobot ha-Lebabot” (Duties of the Heart) by Bayha ibn Pakuda in Italy. Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda was a Jewish philosopher and rabbi who lived at Zaragoza, Spain, in the first half of the eleventh century. The same trio had printed “Eben Bohan” byKalonymus ben Meir ben Kalonymus in August of 1489. Kalonymus was a an author and translator who lived in Provence “Eben Bohan” (The Touchstone) was a seminal work on morality for the Jews living in southern France.

    1570: In Ferra, Italy, the town where Azarya ben Moses dei Rossi is living was struck by an earthquake, which “miraculously” spared the Jewish Community.   In the aftermath of the earthquake, Dei Rossi became aware of whole body of Jewish literature from the time of the Second Temple which was known to Christians but had been lost to the Jews because it was written in Greek.   In twenty days he translated "The Letter of Aristas," from Greek into Hebrew. "The Letter of Aristas,""is supposed to be the discourse a Greek king gave about the wisdom of the Jews [Some sources give 1571 as the date for the earthquake.]

    1576: Birthdate of Philipp Ludwig II of Hanau-Münzenberg who in 1603 “invited many wealthy Jewish” to live in Hanuah and provided them with “a definite legal status” as well as permitting them to build a synagogue.

    1648: Bogdan Chemielniki and his Cossacks began their attacks. Kamenets, in the western Ukraine is one of the first cities to be attacked, with thousands killed in the first few days. Chemielniki was leading a Ukrainian national uprising against their Roman Catholic Polish masters. The Russian Orthodox Ukrainians were bitter over the forced conversions to Catholicism led by the Jesuits and the unscrupulous taxes collected by some Jews for the nobles.  The Jews managed the Ukrainian estates of the absentee Polish landlords. This volatile mixture of nationalism, religion and economic exploitation set the stage for the Cossack uprising. During the reign of Vladislav IV, the Zaporozhin Cossacks lived in a semi-autonomous kingdom called Sitch. Led by their leader - or Hetman - Chemielniki, they decided to avenge the people's rights. Their victories over the Polish army encouraged the serfs to join them. The Jews were even more hated than the Poles and were massacred in almost every town. In the ten tumultuous years that followed, over seven hundred Jewish communities were destroyed and between one hundred and five hundred thousand Jews lost their lives.

    1804(15th of Kislev, 5565): First observance Purim of Abraham Danzig which is also called Pulverpurim or Powder Purim. Memorial Day established for himself and his family by Abraham Danzig, to be annually observed by fasting on the 15th of Kislew and by feasting on the evening of the same day in commemoration of the explosion of a powder-magazine at Wilna in 1804. By this accident thirty-one lives were lost and many houses destroyed, among them the home of Abraham Danzig, whose family and Abraham himself were all severely wounded, but escaped death (see Danzig, Abraham ben Jehiel). Danzig decreed that on the evening following the 15th of Kislew a meal should be prepared by his family to which Talmudic scholars were to be invited, and alms should be given to the poor. During the feast certain psalms were to be read, and hymns were to be sung to the Almighty for the miraculous escape from death.

    1838: In Mainz, Lazarus and Eleonore Hallgarten gave birth to Charles Hallgarten who followed in his father’s footsteps as an American banker at Hallgarten & Company.

    1842: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Lamle ‘Lewis’ and Judith Einstein gave birth to Edwin Einstein who was the Congressman from New York’s 7th district from 1879 until 1881.

    1844: Birthdate of Sir Benjamin Louis Cohen, Baronet, British businessman and Conservative politician.

    1849: Birthdate of French banker and horse breeder Maurice Ephrussi, the native of Odessa who was  part of the “Euphrussi family” and the husband of Beatrice de Rothschild, the daughter of Alphonse de Rothschild

    1851: Birthdate of Austrian critic and journalist Anton Bettelheim.

    1851: Reverend Henry Giles delivered a lecture before the Mercantile Library Association entitled "The Greek Man: or the Man of Culture" in which he compared the ancient Greeks to the Jews. Among other things he said that "Among men of the higher races, the Hebrew man and the Greek man stand, perhaps, the most in contrast. The spirit of the Hebrew man went upward; the faculties of the Greek man went outward.  In one was the idea of the divine: in the other, the idea of the Human.  The Hebrew man abhorred all image of God; the Greek man had no Got but in an image...The worship of the Hebrew ascended to a single and supreme object; the worship of the Greek went diffusively abroad...The mere form of the Hebrew ritual was eminently ceremonial...the appeal was with a sublime and sacramental meaning of which that of the Greek had nothing...the Hebrew life was developed through faith  and governed by authority.  The Greek life was developed through imagination and was governed by art.

    1852: At the Paris Observatory, Hermann Goldschmidt confirmed his observations of November 15 that had led to the discovery of Asteroid 21 Lutetia.

    1856: In Lancaster, PA, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim was incorporated today with  Jacob Herzog serving aas the first president.

    1858: At New York’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, popularly known as the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Morris Raphall preached a Thanksgiving Day Sermon following the afternoon service based on the words of the Psalmist, “Thank ye the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endureth forever.”  In his sermon, the Rabbi noted that the Governor’s Thanksgiving Proclamation had been written in such a manner that it did not offend the Jews making this a day that fulfilled the words of the Psalm, “How good, how beautiful it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

    1858: A Thanksgiving Day service was held today at Congregation Shearith Israel on Crosby Street.  The service began at 11 a.m. and featured a sermon by Dr. Fischel based on the words of the Psalmist, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman walketh but in vain.”

    1863:  King Christian IX of Denmark decided to sign the November constitution, which declared Schleswig as part of Denmark, what was seen by the German Confederation as a violation of the London Protocol and lead to the German–Danish war of 1864. If you look at history in the long haul, The Prussian war with the Danes was the first of a series of conflicts ultimately led to the creation of Modern Germany.  In other words, there is a line from war with the Danes, to war with the Austrians, to war with France in 1870, to World War I to World War II and the Holocaust.

    1869: In New York City, Rabbi James K. Gutheim delivered a Thanksgiving Day sermon at Temple Emanu-El based on Isaiah, XXXV, 17.

    1873: “Give a Dog a Bad Name” by Anglo-English playwright Leopold Davis Lewis was published today.

    1874: Rabbi De Sola Mendes delivered the first in a series of six lectures on Hebrew poetry at the Lyric Hall in Manhattan.

    1875: The Cleveland (Ohio) Herald reported that an unnamed young woman living on the city’s west side has canceled her wedding.  The bride assumed that her future husband, a local doctor, was a Roman Catholic.  In fact he is a Jew who regularly attends services at his synagogue.  The young woman sent word that she would not marry him unless he renounced his Judaism; something that he does not appear to be willing to do.

    1878: It was reported today that during the recent Congressional elections in Alabama Senator John Tyler Morgan delivered a speech opposing the candidacy of Colonel William Lowe in which he described Charles E. Mayer, the United States District Attorney and a Lowe supporter as being a “Jew dog.” The attack on Mayer resulted in many Jews who had opposed Lowe to support him in his bid for election.  Lowe, who was opposed by the Bourbon Machine, won the election. Morgan was a bigot who sought to pass legislation legalizing lynching an repealing the 15th Amendment. Mayer served as U.S. District Attorney from 1876 through 1870.

    1879: Bernard Williams, a Jew born in Poland now living in New Orleans, was one of the witnesses who testified before the Senate Sub-Committee looking into allegations of irregularities regarding the elections held in the Crescent City’s Seventh War in 1876.  Allegations concerning voter fraud were a major issue in the South following the Civil War as the “Bourbons” sought to return to power by disenfranchising newly freed slaves and poor whites who would not support them.

    1880(15th of Kislev, 5641): Arthur Lieberman, a Jew who had fled Russia to avoid arrest by the authorities took his own life today in Syracuse, NY.

    1883: It was reported today that the Lord Mayor of London has received telegrams from Jews in the United States and Germany congratulating him on his decision to not let Herr Stoeckel, the anti-Semitic German religious leader speak at Mansion House.

    1883: It was reported today that Herr Stoeckel, the anti-Semitic German minister, has had numerous offers to speak before sympathetic audiences in London.

    1883: “Morris Ranger’s Career” published today traces the rise and fall of this native of Hesse-Cassel who joined the Liverpool Exchange and became the “Napoleon of the Cotton Speculators” before suffering financial reverses in the amount of £10,000,000.

    1883: “Gossip of the Theatres” published today contained a clarification issued by Daniel Frohman, the Jewish American theatrical producer, expects “The Strangler” to run for another seven or eight weeks at the New Park Theatre.  This play is a collaborative effort of all three Frohman brothers -  Daniel, Charles and Gustave.

    1884(30th of Cheshvan, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1884: It was reported today that the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children is providing lodging for “nearly 400 children who are homeless waifs.”

    1884: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children sponsored a fund raiser featuring theatrical and dramatic performances by the Thalia Theatre Company

    1885: “A New Jewish Platform” published today lists the 8 points of what will become known as the Pittsburgh Platform of Reform Judaism – that group’s controlling document for decades to come.

    1885: The Hebrew Asylum Ball was held tonight at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY.

    1886: Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States passed away.  Elected as Vice President, Arthur became President after James Garfield was assassinated by a disappointed office seeker.  Arthur was one of the least distinguished personages to occupy the White House. In 1882, when the United States finally ratified the Red Cross treaty, President Arthur appointed Adolphus SimeonSolomons as one of three delegates to represent the country at the Geneva Congress, where he was elected vice-president. Solomons was a successful Washington businessman who played an active role in the secular and Jewish communities

    1888: “Searching For Her Husband” published today tells the story of Mrs. Hirschbeck, a Jew from Warsaw who has arrived in Buffalo, NY, her latest stop on a five year quest to find her husband, who is now known as Nathan Cohen.  According to her, he was a dissipated man who deserted her and their five children.

    1890: A conference of Protestant clergymen met today at the University of the City of New York where attendees spoke in favor of keeping religion out of the public schools because Roman Catholics and Jews “were partners in the public schools” and “their children were entitled to the benefit of them…without the liability of having” to change “their faith in the religion of their fathers.”  The ministers felt it was the responsibility of churches and homes to provide moral and religious training.

    1891: Tonight, in New York, Carnegie Hall will be transformed into an Oriental Bazaar such as those found in Palestine where items will be sold in various “stalls” to raise funds for the Louis Down-Town Sabbath and Daily School.

    1892 (28th of Cheshvan): Seventy-six year old Hebrew scholar Senior Sachs passed away in Paris.  Born in Russia he was trained in Talmud by his father Rabbi Tzemach Sachs.  After studying in Berlin during the 1840’s he arrived in the French capital in 1856 where he worked as a private librarian and produced several works including Kanfe Yonah

    1893: As two more Spanish regiments arrive Mellila to deal with the Rif Berbers “numbers of Jews continue to leave” the Spanish city on the coast of Morocco.

    1893: In Morocco, 12 Spanish Jews were each “sentenced to six years’ penal servitude” after a court martial found them guilty of keeping rifles intended for the Riffians in their houses.  (The Riffians were a group of Berbers who were rebelling against their European masters)

    1894: In New York, Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a talk on “What Is The Attitude of Judaism to Christianity and Other Religions” which is “the first of a series of lectures on ‘Answers to Jewish and Christian Inquirers.”

    1894: The Glasgow Herald published a theory propounded by one of its readers “that the Japanese are…descendants of the ten lost tribes” basing “his arguments on linguistic considerations point out that ‘Hiroshima’ has a very strong resemble to the Hebrew word for Jerusalem and that ‘Tokyo’ may be a corruption of ‘Tekoa.’”

    1895: It was announced today that “Dr. Ahlwardt, the anti-Semitic leader of Berlin, Germany, is making arrangements to sail for the United States next month to deliver lectures”  at the invitation of “a committee of German Americans in Milwaukee.”  Given his nickname “Jew-baiter” there is little doubt as to the subject matter of the talks.

    1896: Fannie and Irving Dittenhoefer married today in New York City.

    1896: In Cleveland, Ohio, Micahelis Machol, the Rabbi at the Reform Temple on Scoville Avenue protested “against that portion of President Cleveland’s Thanksgiving proclamation of Christ as the mediator between man and God.”

    1896:  The delegates at the National Council of Jewish Women have changed the name of their organization to the Council of Jewish after Mrs. Mendola de Sola of Canada protested “the use of the word national.”  The delegates then adopted “Faith and Humanity” as their motto.

    1897: Auguste Scheurer-Kestner, “who has forced the government to reopen the Dreyfus case did not attend today’s meeting of the Senate so that he could meet with President Faure who told him that “I give you my word of honor that” the documents in the Dreyfus case that have been brought to my notice “contain irrefutable proofs of guilty” and “I beg you to cease this campaign by you are comprising the republic and yourself to no purpose.”

    1897: In Albany, Chief Examiner Fowler of the State Civil Commission announced that candidates for the upcoming examination of interpreter for the First Judicial District must be able to interpret several languages including “Hebrew jargon.” (This may a reference to Yiddish)

    1898: William Sparger conducted the Sabbath eve service at Temple Emanu-El which was a prelude to a Thanksgiving Service and a celebration of Dr. Guastav Gottheil’s silver anniversary as the Rabbi of New York’s leading Reform congregation.

    1898: Following the meeting of Herzl and Kaiser Wilhelm II outside of Jerusalem, the London Daily Mail wrote today that: “An Eastern Surprise Important Result of the Kaiser’s Tour Sultan and Emperor Agreed in Palestine Benevolent Sanction Given to the Zionist Movement One of the most important results, if not the most important, of the Kaiser’s visit to Palestine is the immense impetus it has given to Zionism, the movement for the return of the Jews to Palestine. The gain to this cause is the greater since it is immediate, but perhaps more important still is the wide political influence which this Imperial action is like to have. It has not been generally reported that when the Kaiser visited Constantinople Dr. Herzl, the head of the Zionist movement, was there; again when the Kaiser entered Jerusalem he found Dr. Herzl there. These were no mere coincidences, but the visible signs of accomplished facts.” Reverend William Henry Hechler, an Anglican clergyman who supported the Jewish return to Palestine, was instrumental in arranging the meeting between the Zionist leader and the German monarch.

    1899: Birthdate of Conductor Eugene Ormandy. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Ormandy was a child prodigy.  He began playing the violin at the age of 4 and entered the Royal Academy at the age of 5.  Ormandy’s father dreamed of his son becoming a great violinist.  So he was disappointed when Ormandy pursued a career that would lead him to become one of the world’s greatest conductors.  For most of his career, Ormandy was the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  This was no small accomplishment since he was following in the footsteps of the world-renowned Arturo Toscanini.   He passed away in 1985.

    1899: “Notes and News” published today described the decision of Harper & Brothers to published a second edition of The Jewish Question and the Mission of the Jews  which include “much additional material” including an article on Captain Dreyfus. Originally published anonymously, the second edition will included the name of the author, Dr. Charles Waldstein, Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge, an American born Jew who graduated from Columbia.

    1906: Birthdate of German novelist Klaus Mann.  Klaus Mann was the son of Thomas Mann and Katia Pringsheimz.  Pringshmeimz was Jewish which according to Halachah means Kalus Mann was Jewish as well. He was also part of the unit known as “Ritchie Boys.”

    1906: Birthdate of biologist George Wald, American biochemist who received (with Haldan K. Hartline of the U.S. and Ragnar Granit of Sweden) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1967 for his work on the chemistry of vision

    1906: In Brooklyn, Leopold Wintner, the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Elohim and Canto Leon Kourick officiated at the funeral of Raphael Benjamin the Rabbi of Beth Elhoim who was the subject of the eulogy delivered by Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Beth Emmanuel in Manhattan.

    1914: In Far Rockaway, NY Rabbi Stephen S. Wise addressed a group of orthodox and reform Jews at meeting at Temple Israel where $3,000 was raised to provide “relief for the Jews of Palestine.”

    1914: The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War announced today that as of today it had raised $19,463.

    1917: Eleven young men in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded Sigma Alpha Rho(ΣAP)  the oldest, continuously run, independent Jewish High School Fraternity.

    1919(25th of Cheshvan, 5680): Sixty year old German mathematician Adolf Hurwitz, the husband of Ida Samuel who helped develop the Routh-Hurwitz stability criterion (which I do not pretend to understand) passed away today in Zurich

    1921: “President Warren Harding gave Rabbi Simon Glazer of Kansas City, Kansas, executive permission to adopt five children who are now in Romania.” Glazer already has five children of his own.  The orphans lost their mother in one of the Ukrainian massacres last year and their father died in the United States.  If it had not been for President Harding’s intervention, current immigration restrictions would have kept the rabbi from bringing the youngsters to the United States.

    1921(17th of Cheshvan): Fifty-six year old journalist and author Micha Josef Berdyczewski passed away in Berlin.  Born in Russia, the son of a Rabbi, he wrote in Hebrew, Yiddish and German. Sdot Micha, the moshav founded in 1955, was named in his honor

    1922: Marcel Proust passed away. “Marcel Proust was the son of a Christian father and a Jewish mother. He himself was baptized (on August 5, 1871, at the church of Saint-Louis d'Antin) and later confirmed as a Catholic, but he never practiced that faith and as an adult could best be described as a mystical atheist, someone imbued with spirituality who nonetheless did not believe in a personal God, much less in a savior. Although Jews trace their religion through their mothers, Proust never considered himself Jewish and even became vexed when a newspaper article listed him as a Jewish author. His father once warned him not to stay in a certain hotel since there were "too many" Jewish guests there, and, to be sure, in Remembrance of Things Past there are unflattering caricatures of the members of one Jewish family, the Blochs. Jews were still considered exotic, even "oriental," in France; in 1872 there were only eighty-six thousand Jews in the whole country. In a typically offensive passage Proust writes that in a French drawing room "a Jew making his entry as though he were emerging from the desert, his body crouching like a hyena's, his neck thrust forward, offering profound `salaams,' completely satisfies a certain taste for the oriental." Proust never refers to his Jewish origins in his fiction, although in the youthful novel he abandoned, Jean Santeuil (first published only in 1952, thirty years after his death), there is a very striking, if buried, reference to Judaism. The autobiographical hero has quarreled with his parents and in his rage deliberately smashed a piece of delicate Venetian glass his mother had given him. When he and his mother are reconciled, he tells her what he has done: "He expected that she would scold him, and so revive in his mind the memory of their quarrel. But there was no cloud upon her tenderness. She gave him a kiss, and whispered in his ear: `It shall be, as in the Temple, the symbol of an indestructible union.'" This reference to the rite of smashing a glass during the Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony, in this case sealing the marriage of mother to son, is not only spontaneous but chilling. In an essay about his mother he referred, with characteristic ambiguity, to "the beautiful lines of her Jewish face, completely marked with Christian sweetness and Jansenist resignation, turning her into Esther herself"--a reference, significantly, to the heroine of the Old Testament (and of Racine's play), who concealed her Jewish identity until she had become the wife of King Ahasuerus and was in a position to save her people. The apparently gentile Proust, who had campaigned for Dreyfus and had been baptized Catholic, was a sort of modern Esther. Despite Proust's silences and lapses on the subject of his mother's religion, it would be unfair, especially in light of the rampant anti-Semitism of turn-of-the-century France, to say that he was unique or even extreme in his prejudice against Jews. And yet his anti-Semitism is more than curious, given his love for his mother and given, after her death, something very much like a religious cult that he developed around her. His mother, out of respect for her parents, had remained faithful to their religion, and Proust revered her and her relatives; after her death he regretted that he was too ill to visit her grave and the graves of her parents and uncle in the Jewish cemetery and to mark each visit with a stone. More important, although he had many friends among the aristocracy whom he had assiduously cultivated, nevertheless when he was forced to take sides during the Dreyfus Affair, which had begun in 1894 and erupted in 1898, he chose to sign a petition prominently printed in a newspaper calling for a retrial. The Dreyfus Affair is worth a short detour, since it split French society for many years and it became a major topic in proust's life--and in Remembrance of Things Past. Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) was a Jew and a captain in the French army. In December 1894 he was condemned by a military court for having sold military secrets to the Germans and was sent for life to Devil's Island. The accusation was based on the evidence of a memorandum stolen from the German embassy in Paris (despite the fact that the writing did not resemble Dreyfus's) and of a dossier (which was kept classified and secret) handed over to the military court by the minister of war. In 1896 another French soldier, Major Georges Picquart, proved that the memorandum had been written not by Dreyfus but by a certain Major Marie Charles Esterhazy. Yet Esterhazy was acquitted and Picquart was imprisoned. Instantly a large part of the population called for a retrial of Dreyfus. On January 13, 1898, the writer Emile Zola published an open letter, "J'accuse," directed against the army's general staff; Zola was tried and found guilty of besmirching the reputation of the army. He was forced to flee to England. Then in September 1898 it was proved that the only piece of evidence against Dreyfus in the secret military dossier had been faked by Joseph Henry, who confessed his misdeed and committed suicide. At last the government ordered a retrial of Dreyfus. Public opinion was bitterly divided between the leftist Dreyfusards, who demanded "justice and truth," and the anti-Dreyfusards, who led an anti-Semitic campaign, defended the honor of the army, and rejected the call for a retrial. The conflict led to a virtual civil war. In 1899 Dreyfus was found guilty again, although this time under extenuating circumstances--and the president pardoned him. Only in 1906 was Dreyfus fully rehabilitated, named an officer once again, and decorated with the Legion of Honor. Interestingly, Theodor Herzl, the Paris correspondent for a Viennese newspaper, was so overwhelmed by the virulent anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus Affair that he was inspired by the prophetic idea of a Jewish state. In defending Dreyfus, Proust not only angered conservative, Catholic, pro-army aristocrats, but he also alienated his own father. In writing about the 1890s in Remembrance of Things Past, Proust remarks that "the Dreyfus case was shortly to relegate the Jews to the lowest rung of the social ladder." Typically, the ultraconservative Gustave Schlumberger, a great Byzantine scholar, could give in his posthumous memoirs as offensive a description of his old friend Charles Haas (a model for Proust's character Swann) as this: "The delightful Charles Haas, the most likeable and glittering socialite, the best of friends, had nothing Jewish about him except his origins and was not afflicted, as far as I know, with any of the faults of his race, which makes him an exception virtually unique." It would be misleading to suggest that Proust took his controversial, pro-Dreyfus stand simply because he was half-Jewish. No, he was only obeying the dictates of his conscience, even though he lost many highborn Catholic friends by doing so and exposed himself to the snide anti-Semitic accusation of merely automatically siding with his co-religionists.”

    1922: Die Zaubernacht (The Magic Night), a children’s pantomime by Kurt Weil premiered at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm;

    1927: Humphrey Bogart divorced his first wife, the Jewish actress Helen Menken.  (Bogart’s fourth and final wife would also be Jewish)

    1929: According to the report o the Palestine Committee presented at today’s meeting of Hadassah held in Atlantic City, NJ, “the outstanding event in Palestine heal work this year has been the completion an formal opening of the Nathan and Lina Straus health center in Jerusalem.”

    1937: Establishment of military courts in Palestine to try civilians. 

    1936: Two weeks after meeting with Hitler, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, the archbishop of Munich, “met with leading members of the German hierarchy of cardinals to ask them to warn their parishioners against the errors of communism.”

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish farmer, Yehuda Shpanov, was shot in Afula and died four hours later in the local hospital, where his wife was awaiting the birth of their child. An official amendment held that "no judgment over the proceedings of the Military Court shall be called in question or challenged in any manner whatever by or before any other Court."

    1937:  The Palestine Post reported that in Hamburg a baptized Jew, Dr. Theodor Wohlfahrt, was sentenced to 10 years penal servitude for having married a gentile and claiming in a German court that it was his right to do so.

    1938: Hitler recalls Hans Heinrich Dieckhoff, German ambassador to the United States, after President Franklin Roosevelt recalled the U.S. ambassador to Germany as part of America’s protest against Kristallnacht.

    1938: The American Virgin Islands Assembly offers the islands as a haven for Jewish refugees. The American government does not explore this possibility.

    1939: Hans Frank, the governor-general of Occupied Poland, reiterates Reinhard Heydrich's order of September 21 regarding the establishment of Judenräte in Jewish ghettos.

    1939: The Nazis ordered the Jews of Cracow to wear a Star of David.

    1941: J.D. Salinger “wrote to a young woman in Toronto,” Marjorie Sheard, “to look for a new piece of his in a coming issue of The New Yorker” which he described as “the first Holden story.” (As reported by Dave Itzkoff

    1941: Friedrich Jeckeln, the SS General who developed the 8 point Jecklin System for murdering Jews was searching for the right place to slaughter of the Jews of Riga when he saw Rumbula for the first time.

    1942:  Birthdate of pianist Jeffrey Siegel.

    1942: As part of the Holocaust German SS carry out a selection of Jewish ghetto in Lviv in the western Ukraine arresting 5.000 "unproductive Jews". All get deported to Belzec death camp.

    1943: In an attempt to hide the Holocaust from the westward moving Soviet Army, 300 Jews at Borki were told  that they were to dig up the trenches of 30,000 dead humans in Borki and then burn them all. One thousand bodies were placed on each pyre. The bones were ground to dust and taken away. The graves were emptied, disinfected, filled with earth and grass was planted over them.

    1943: During the Holocaust, as part of Aktion Emtefest, the Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lviv, western Ukraine, murdering at least 6.000 surviving Jews. The German SS leader Fritz Katzman declares Lviv (Lemberg) to be Judenfrei (free from the Jews).

    1944(2nd of Kislev, 5705): Enzo Serini, Havivah Reik, Raffi Reiss and Zvi Ben Ya'acov were all murdered at Dachau. They were all Jews from Palestine who had parachuted behind German lines.

    1944(2nd of Kislev, 5705): Alfred B. Nietzel died valiantly today during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest providing covering fire for his comrades “during an enemy advance threatening to overrun his position” – an action that would earn him the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor.

    1945:At Zionist Organization of America meeting, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver is elected to succeed Dr. Israel Goldstein as president. A proposal is made to allow the Jewish National Fund of America to buy 500,000 acres of land in Palestine in defiance of British land transfer regulations. A budget is approved for immigration and settlement.

    1945: In the wake of the latest British statements about Palestine it was reported today that “It was apparent that some sort of compromise will have to be forthcoming from outside Palestine as there is little possibility of the Arabs and Jews getting together on anything so far proposed.” (Editor’s Note – what was written in 1945 sounds as if it could have been written in 2012)

    1945: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization, says British foreign minister Ernest Bevin cannot divide Zionists and other Jewish People.

    1946: Police and Jewish citizens clash in Tel Aviv

    1947: “Stern Gang Hints at Truce” published today examined the possibility of “a respite from violence in Palestine” should among other things Lehi make good on its announcement to the press that it was “ready to resume its truce pledge.”

    1947: Birthdate of Peter Shurman, the native of Ontario who went from being a radio talk show host to a career in politics as member of the Progressive Conservative Party.

    1947: Birthdate of Michel-Jean Hamburger, a very successful French singer and songwriter of Jewish origin.

    1947: British editor James Caunt was reported today to have expressed his belief that the accusations of seditious libel that had been filed after his assertions that anti-British propaganda “was financed by American Jews and “that if British Jews were really concerned by the shooting of British boys in Palestine they should ‘disgorge their ill-gotten wealth in try to dissuade their brothers in the United States from pour out dollars to facilitate the entrance into Palestine of European Jewish scum’” were politically motivated by those who believe that “anyone who criticizes the Jews must be a Fascist.”

    1948:British state minister Hector McNeil offers the Political Committee a resolution calling for permanent settlement based on Bernadotte plan. Israel proposes compromise: it will withdraw all troops who arrived in Israel after October 14; troops who arrived before October 14 will stay to ensure that area does not fall to Egypt. Israel announces it is ready to begin armistice with Arabs.

    1949:UN Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East proposes after a three-month study that the General Assembly set up program of relief and public works in various Arab countries for 652,000 Arab refugees from Palestine. No comparable fund would be suggested for providing aid to Israel when Jewish populations of Arab and Moslem countries were forced to flee from their homes.

    1951: In Tel Aviv, second generation architect Yaakov Rechter and his first wife, Sara Safir gave birth to Israeli musical artist Yoni Rechtet, the stepson of Israeli actress Hanna Meron.

    1951: Birthdate of David “Dudu” Fisher, the native of Petah Tivka who pursued a decades long career as a cantor before appearing as “Jean Valjean in the musical Les Miserables.”

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that observers noted Arab protests over the German-Israeli Reparation Agreement were meant only to extort more trade and imports from their countries to Germany.

    1955(3rd of Kislev, 5716): Sixty-five year old chess master Solomon Rosenthal passed away today.

    1956: In case of “Jew on Jew,” Alfred Kazin reviews Saul Bellow’s most recent book, Seize the Day.

    1958: The Assistant United States Attorney that the $4,790.44 that Charles A. Levine still owed the government as part of a $5,000 fine levied after he was convicted of smuggling in 1937 was not collectible.

    1958: Jerusalem's new reservoir was opened ending a long history of water problems that made Jerusalem more vulnerable to siege.  Water for Jerusalem had been a challenge going all the way back to Biblical times.  Remember the story of how David took the city in the first place.  Fear of siege was not paranoia for the Israelis.  The Jews had nearly lost the city ten years earlier when the Jordanian Army (the Arab Legion) laid siege to it during the War for Independence.

    1959: William Wyler’s film Ben-Hur premieres at Loew's Theater in New York City. William Wyler was Jewish.  Judah Ben Hur was also Jewish.

    1959: Opening of the Sephardic Bibliographical Exhibition in Madrid, Spain.  The Exhibition was in conjunction with the World Sephardi Federation, Arias Montano Institute, the faculty of Philosophy of the Madrid University as well as the Royal Academy of Spanish Language. The Exhibition demonstrated rare Sephardic documents, books, maps and material showing the life of Jews in Spain up to 1492.

    1962: Niels Henrik David Bohr passed away. “Bohr was a Danish physicist, born in Copenhagen, who was the first to apply the quantum theory, which restricts the energy of a system to certain discrete values, to the problem of atomic and molecular structure. For this work he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. He developed the so-called Bohr Theory of the atom and liquid model of the nucleus. Bohr was of Jewish origin and when the Nazis occupied Denmark he escaped in 1943 to Sweden on a fishing boat. From there he was flown to England where he began to work on the project to make a nuclear fission bomb. After a few months he went with the British research team to Los Alamos in the USA where they continued work on the project.”

    1964: In London, UK, Neil Simon’s “Little Me” opened at the Cambridge Theatre.

    1966: Sandy Koufax announces his retirement, due to an arthritic left elbow

    1971(30th of Cheshvan, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1973: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis delivered a speech today at Madison Square Garden that led to the formation of “Hineni,” “one of the first Ba’al Teshuva movements.

    1976(25th of Cheshvan, 5737): Eighty-six year old American born artist Man Ray passed away in Paris.

    1977: Longtime feminist activist and U.S. Representative Bella Abzug presided over the first federally funded National Women's Conference.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that 60 Egyptians and 2,000 journalists arrived in order to prepare the historic visit of the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Israel. Chaim Herzog, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, suggested that the General Assembly suspend the "acrimonious and counterproductive" debate on Palestine in order to be able to consider this historic event. It was also reported that Sadat¹s visit was partly prompted by a question that the Post¹s US correspondent, Wolf Blitzer, had asked Sadat in Washington last April.

    1978(18th of Cheshvan, 5739): Judge Leo Frederick Rayfiel passed away.  Born in 1888 to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, he was a graduate of New York University Law School.  He was a member of the New York State Assembly and served two terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before being appointed to the federal bench by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. Rayfiel was a voracious reader and die-hard Dodgers fan until the team left Brooklyn.

    1983(12th of Kislev, 5744): Ninety-one year old publisher, George B. Eisler passed away today.

    1988: In Tel Aviv, Orly Silbersatz and Yuval Banay gave birth to singer and guitarist Elisha Banai, older brother of Amalia and Sophie Banai and the grandson of another Israeli performer Yossi Banai.

    1988: In New York City, Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” premiered at the Playwrights Horizon.

    1990(1st of Kislev, 5751): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1990: The third Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof opened today at the Gershwin Theater. It ran for 241 performances at the George Gershwin Theatre. Topol starred as Tevye, and Marcia Lewis was Golde. Robbins' production was reproduced by Ruth Mitchell and choreographer Sammy Dallas Bayes. The production won the Tony Award for Best Revival.

    1991(11th of Kislev, 5752): Eighty-three year old French Marxist Claude Cahen who has been described as “the  doyen of Islamic social history and one of the most influential Islamic historians of [his] century” and who “neither self-identified as Jewish nor supported the State of Israel” passed away today.

    2000(3rd of Kislev, 5762):St.-Sgt. Baruch (Snir) Flum, 21, of Tel-Aviv was shot and killed by a senior Palestinian Preventive Security Service officer who infiltrated the Kfar Darom greenhouses in the Gaza Strip. (St.-Sgt. Sharon Shitoubi, 21, of Ramle, wounded in the Palestinan shooting attack in Kfar Daromwould died of his wounds two days later.)

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Complete Works of Isaac Babel:  Edited by Nathalie Babel, Translated by Peter Constantine. Introduction by Cynthia Ozick, Somewhere For Me:
    A Biography of Richard Rodgers
    by Meryle Secrest, Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions by Martha C. Nussbaum, Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945by Richard Overy and I’m Not Bobby by Jules Feiffer.

    2002(13th of Kislev, 5763) Esther Galia, 48, of Kochav Hashahar, was killed in a shooting attack near Rimonim, on the Allon Road, some 15 kilometers northeast of Ramallah

    2002: During the investigation of Jack Abramoff’s business activities in Guam a grand jury issued a subpoena demanding that the administrator of the Guam Superior Court release all records relating to the contract.

    2002: “U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson of Montgomery, Alabama, orders the removal of Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument, finding that it violated the constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.”

    2003(23rd of Cheshvan, 5764: Fifty-five year old Grammy award winning musician Michael Kamen passes away. While studying the oboe, he formed a rock classical fusion band called New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, which was on the first of Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic.

    2003(23rd of Cheshvan, 5764): Two IDF soldiers, Sgt.-Maj. Shlomi Belsky, 23, of Haifa, and St.-Sgt. Shaul Lahav, 20, of Kibbutz Shomrat, were killed by a Palestinian terrorist who opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, hidden in a prayer rug, at a checkpoint on the tunnel bypass road, linking Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion bloc. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

    2004(5th of Kislev, 5765): Cy Coleman, American composer, songwriter, and jazz pianist passed away.  Born Seymour Kaufman, to Jewish immigrant parents, Coleman won or was nominated for 15 Tony Awards, 3 Emmy Awards and 2 Grammy Awards. (As reported by Robert Berkvist)

    2005(15th of Cheshvan, 5766): Harold J. Stone passed away. Born Harold Hochstein to a Jewish acting family in 1913, Stone practiced his craft on Broadway, in film and finally in television where he gained respect and a form of fame as “a character actor.”

    2005: The Jerusalem Post reported that Pope Benedict XVI responded positively to an invitation extended to him by President Moshe Katsav when the two met at the Vatican. 

    2006: Some eight thousand people gathered near Germany's biggest World War II soldiers’ cemetery to protest against far-right extremism.

    2006(27th of Cheshvan, 5767: Jack Werber passed away at the age of 92.  He was a Holocaust survivor who helped save more than 700 children at Buchenwald slave labor camp.  He gained economic success in the mid-fifties by manufacturing coonskin caps during the Davey Crockett craze.

    2007: The SundayWashington Post book section featured a review of The Conscience of a Liberal by Jewish economist Paul Krugman

    2007: The Sunday New York Timesbook section featured reviews of three books about or by comedian Woody Allen including, Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking by Eric Lax, Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen and The Insanity Defense: The Complete Proseby Woody Allen.

    2007: The Chicago Tribune business section reported on the growth of Chicago based Levy Restaurants. Since its founding in 1978 by brothers Larry and Mark Levy, Levy Restaurants has grown from a single delicatessen in Chicago to a specialized, industry-leading food organization with a network of internationally acclaimed restaurants; the leading market share of premium foodservice operations at sports and entertainment facilities; as well as a full-service consulting and advisory services group. The keeper of the Company’s precious culture is Eadie Levy, mother of Larry and Mark, and resident Mom to almost 15,000 team members.
    2008: In Israel, members of the National Religious Party “voted to disband the party in order to join the new Jewish Home Party

    2008: French and Israeli police discovered 43 of timepieces that had been stolen from the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic art in two French bank safes.

    2008: Ethan Berkowitz himself conceded defeat in the race to fill the seat of U.S. Representative for Alaska's At-large congressional district, after counting of absentee and provisional ballots had mostly been completed and his Republican opponent Don Young had a clearly insurmountable lead.

    2008: At Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines, Iowa AIPAC Midwest Political Director Jonathan Greenberg speaks on “Changes in the White House and on Capitol Hill:  How It Impacts The Pro-Israel Agenda.”  Of course, the presentation is based on the premise that AIPAC’s agenda and the “Pro-Israel Agenda” are one and the same.

    2008: The Ninth Annual Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival presents: “The Counterfeiters”  “One Day You’ll Understand,” adaptation of Jerome Clement’s autobiographical novel, Plus Tard, Tu Comprendras and “Two Ladies” a hopeful drama that offers a sensitive portrayal of the unlikely friendship two French women – Esther, who is Jewish, and Halima, who is Muslim – which defies the prejudice and hostility that surround them.

    2008:As part of the "Jewish Encounters" series at the D.C. Jewish Community Center,writer and poet Adam Kirsch discusses and signs Benjamin Disraeli, his new biography of the British prime minister in which takes an in-depth look at the first—and only—Jewish Prime Minister of England.

    2008: Michael Rosen was presented with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the Government of France at the French Ambassador's residence in London

    2009 (1st of  Kislev, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2009: Moshe Holtzberg, son of Barvriel and Rivka Holztberg of blessed memory who were murdered by the terrorists in Mumbain in 2008, celebrated his third birthday according to the Jewish calendar. A party was held at Kfar Chabad which was attended by 2,000 people who stayed for a memorial dinner for his parents.

    2009: In Fairfax, VA, Congregation Olam Tikvah hosts “Sacred Scripture: How do you understand your own? Can I try?” as part of its interfaith program.

    2009: At the UK Jewish Film Festival, a screening of an episode from the groundbreaking TV drama "Good Intentions", which centers around two female chefs, one Palestinian and one Israeli, co-hosting a cookery show despite intense opposition from their respective communities.

    2009(1st of Kislev, 5770): Seventy-five year old  Ari Kiev, a psychiatrist whose early work on depression and suicide prevention led to a career helping athletes and Wall Street traders achieve peak performance, passed away today in Manhattan. (As reported by William Grimes

    2009(1st of Kislev, 5770):James F. Berg, who as the chief negotiator for most of the major landlords in New York City was given large credit for an era of labor peace in their buildings because of the trust he inspired on both sides of the bargaining table, died today in Manhattan. He was 65 (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2010: “Precious Life” is scheduled to be shown at the Other Israel Film Festival today at the JCC in Manhattan.

    2010: In New York, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present The Fall Concert which is part of The Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series at YIVO:

    2010: In response to a call by Chief Ashkenazi RabbiYona Metzger and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo for the public to pray for rain during this draught-like period, today is scheduled to be a special day of fasting and prayer to atone for the sins that are likely preventing the direly missing rainfall.

    2010:"Army of Islam," a group linked to Al Qaida, released today for the first time a statement in Hebrew threatening to avenge the killing of two senior members of the organization in the Gaza Strip yesterday

    2010: Jacob Lew began serving as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

    2011: “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” is scheduled to be shown this evening at Jewish Eye World Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: An opening reception is scheduled to take place at the Derek Eller Gallery marking the opening of “Rona Yefman: Marath a Bouke, project #4” in which Rona Yefman will present an installation about Martha Bouke, an 80-year-old grandfather and Holocaust survivor living in Tel Aviv who assumes a feminine persona…”

    2011: It was reported today that Henry Kissinger in 1972 called Jews "self-serving" because of pleas from the community for the Nixon administration to increase the pressure on the Soviet Union to allow its Jews to leave. "Is there a more self-serving group of people than the Jewish community?" Kissinger, who is Jewish, asks Leonard Garment, also Jewish, in transcripts of a 1972 exchange released this week by the State Department and reported by The Associated Press. Garment, a special counsel to President Nixon, replied: "None in the world." Kissinger, who at the time was the national security adviser, added: "What the hell do they think they are accomplishing? You can’t even tell bastards anything in confidence because they’ll leak it.”Nonetheless, Kissinger tells Garment he will raise the issue with the Soviet ambassador. Kissinger resented the Jewish community's emphasis on releasing Jews, saying it detracted from the overall White House strategy of achieving detente with the Soviet Union -- a strategy he to this day maintains would have brought greater success for Soviet Jewry, although veterans of the movement adamantly disagree. Kissinger's office said he was traveling and not immediately available for comment. A request to Garment for comment, emailed to a law firm where he is last known to have had offices, went unanswered. Revelations of Kissinger's disparagement of Jews during his Nixon years have at times led to him apologizing; most recently, last December, he said he was "sorry" for telling Nixon in 1973 that it would not be an American concern if the Soviets were to consign Jews to death camps.

    2011:Israel sent housing assistance for up to 1,000 people in Turkey affected by two earthquakes that hit the country in October. The mobile homes, which were requested by the government in Ankara, were delivered by the Defense Ministry this morning.
    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe which “begins with Marvel’s best-known employees:” – Stan Lee (Stanley Martin Lieber) and Jack Kirby (Jacob Kurtzburg) and the recently released paperback edition of A Train In Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women Friendship and Resistance in Occupied Franceby Caroline Moorehead which traces the fate of 230 women shipped to Auschwitz in January, 1943.
    2012: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
    2012: The American Society for Jewish Music and American Jewish Historical Society are scheduled to present The Hugo Weisgall Centennial Concer
    2012(4th of Kislev, 5773): Eighty-six year old academic and diplomat Helmut Sonnenfeldt passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin

    2012: Adas Israel Cantor Arianne Brown and the Charm City Klezmer are among those scheduled to perform at the Jewish Folk Arts Festival hosted at B’nai Israel in Rockville, MD.
    2012: Global Day of Jewish Learning

    2012: As published today in the Cedar Rapids Gazette

    For weeks Arabs have been firing rockets into southern Israel.  Israeli schools have been closed for days at a time.  Citizens of several towns including Beersheba have had to stay within seconds of a “safe room” because that is all the warning that exists between the launching from Gaza and landing in Israel.  In one sense, there is nothing new about this.  The Arabs in Gaza did this in November of 2011, 2010, etc. The reason for the attacks is simple.  Hamas is committed to the destruction of the state of Israel.  When Israel left Gaza without any pre-conditions, the Arabs had a choice.  They could start working on building a state or they could enhance their war of destruction aimed at Israel.  Unfortunately, they chose the latter.  Today, the Israelis had enough. They responded to these incessant attacks by killing one of the leaders responsible for these rocket terror attacks and unleashed a series of limited attacks on launch sites and the logistics net that supported it.  Unfortunately, the American media chose not to cover the attacks of the last three weeks so all we have in the news tonight is the mean old Israelis attacking the poor Palestinians

    2012: After a few hours of relative quiet, a rocket fired from Gaza this evening hit a house near Kiryat Malachi. (As reported by the Jerusalem Post)

    2013: The Center For Jewish History and the YIVO Institute For Jewish Research are scheduled to present a concert and lecture “Charles-Valentin Alkan: His Life and Music” as part of the Circles of Justice Program.

    2013: “The Lesson” and “Mom, Dad, I’m A Muslim” are scheduled to be shown at The Other Israel Film Festival.

    2013: The Embassy of the Czech Republic, Embassy of Israel and LCPA-Hebrew Language Table are scheduled to present “The Story of the Shipwrecked from the Patria.”

    2013: French President Francois Hollande continued his official visit today, touring the Old City in Jerusalem, meeting with senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah and then visiting the Knesset, where he listened to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly call on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to break the diplomatic freeze and come address the Israeli parliament. (As reported by Moran Azulay)

    2013: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-mmon walked through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate as he began his to Auschwitz where he paid tribute to those murdered by the Nazis and their allies.

    2013: “Former chief rabbi Yona Metzger was arrested today at the culmination of a long investigation into a litany of financial crimes involving millions of shekels.” (As reported by Stuart Winer)

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Stravinsky, Ravel, Prokofiev: Composing in War Time.”

    2014: In Melbourne “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem” and “King of the Jews” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2014: “Swim Little Fish” and “This Is Where I Leave You” are scheduled to be shown at the 18th annual UK Jewish Film Festival.The Phoenix Chamber Ensemble performing Stravinsky’s Suite de L'histoire du soldat for violin clarinet and piano, Prokofiev’s Sonata in D Major for violin and piano and Ravel’s Piano Trio.The Phoenix Chamber Ensemble performing Stravinsky’s Suite de L'histoire du soldat for violin clarinet and piano, Prokofiev’s Sonata in D Majorfor violin and piano and Ravel’s Piano Trio.

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    November 19

    1095: The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, begins. The Crusades ushered in one of the darkest periods in Jewish history.  In the name of Christianity, the Crusaders would leave a path of death and destruction for the Jewish people that stretched from the Rhineland to the streets of Jerusalem.

    1190: Baldwin of Forde, the Archbishop of Canterbury who expressed his displeasure with King Richard’s decision to allow a Jew who had been forcibly converted to return to the faith of his fathers by saying “If the King is not God’s man, he had better be the devil’s” passed away today while with serving with the Crusaders in Palestine.

    1600: Birthdate of King Charles I. The English monarch who would be defeated by the Puritan forces commanded by Cromwell and eventually be executed in 1649. The death of Charles and the rise of the Puritans helped encourage Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel to approach Cromwell about allowing the Jewish people to return to England. 

    1621:  Rabbi Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz, known as the Shlah after the title of one of his major works Shnei Luchos Ha-Bris arrived in Jerusalem.  The Shlah was a renowned Halachist, kabbalist and communal leader.  He was born in Prague in 1656 and eventually became head of the Jewish community in Frankfort.  He moved to Jerusalem as the death of his wife.  The Shlah was a wealthy philanthropist who stressed man’s ability to overcome the evil inclination and turn it into the good inclination.  He passed away in 1650 and was buried in Tiberias near the tomb of the Rambam.

    1816: Warsaw University is established in the part of Poland that was incorporated into the Russian Empire as part of the partitions that had taken place in the waning decades of the 18th century.  The fortunes of the university would follow the ebb and flow of political and cultural events in Poland as it sought to regain and then maintain its independence. In 1968, the government would conduct and anit-Semitic and anti-democrat campaign at the university that would touch off a wave of student unrest. During the subsequent government crackdown professors of Jewish descent were removed from their positions and many of them were forced to emigrate. 

    1853(17th of Tishrei, 5614): Third day of Sukkoth

    1862: During the Civil War, Jacob Cohen of the 27th Ohio Infantry wrote to the Jewish Messenger from Davis’ Mill, MS where the Union Army had gone into camp describing the victories at Iuka and Corinth.

    1863: President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the military cemetery dedication ceremony in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. One of the more interesting stories, if it is true, involves Dr. M.L. Rossvally, a Jewish surgeon who saved the life of a Christian drummer boy.  Rossvally went on to become the Surgeon General of the United States.

    1869: It was reported today that in a manner similar houses of worship of other denominations, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun hosted a Thanksgiving Service where Rabbi Henry Vidaver delivered a sermon based on the words of Zechariah.

    1872: A meeting was held tonight at the Thirty-fourth Street Synagogue in New York City to deal with impending immigration of Romanian Jews to the United States who were seeking refuge from the persecution in their native land.  A twenty-five man Executive Committee was established that will contact various European Jewish Committees involved with this issue to ensure that the emigrants come from the “industrial classes” and to arrange for their transportation. Several hundred families are expected to arrive in the Spring and the committee will set the mechanism to provide them with employment and support.

    1874: Nathan Aaronson, a wealthy Jew is spending tonight in the Tombs after having been arrested and charged with numerous counts of grand larceny, obtaining goods under false pretenses and other crimes related to a series of swindles. Aaronson was arrested after having posted bail on similar charges in New Jersey as he attempted to sail to Europe.

    1874: Chief Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler attended the start of the construction of the Middle Street Synagogue which designed by architect Thomas Lainson.

    1876: The New York Times published a review of The Ethics of Benedict De Spinoza: From the Latin with an Introductory Sketch of his Life and his Writings published in New York by D. Van Nostrand. According to the review, this is believed to be the first translation of any of the writings that has appeared in the United States.

    1876: A report published today attributed the change in the writing style of George Eliot( Mary Anne Evans) that resulted in Daniel Deronda was a product of a collaboration with her consort, George Henry Lewes.  Lewes claims that “he wrote every line of the chapter which describes the discussion at the club to which Mordecai introduced Daniel. Such a club as this really had an existence in London under the presidency of a Jew upon whom Mr. and Mrs. Lewes modeled Mordecai.”  The report concluded that many of Eliot’s admirers are not pleased with the new novel feeling that literary partnership “has destroyed the classic purity of the lady’s English.”  Despite this, the novel is selling quite briskly.

    1878(23rd of Cheshvan): Poet Abraham Dov Levenson (Adam ha-Kohen) and father-in -law of Jewish author Joshua Steinberg, passed away

    1880: The Jewish Chronicle reported that a “North German young lady who is able to teach German, French, drawing, drilling and needlework wants a situation in a family or in a school” in the Jersey, Channel Islands.

    1880: Birthdate of Hugo Gutmann, the German Jewish officer who was Adolph Hitler’s commanding officer during 1918 and who saw to it that the Austrian corporal received the Iron Cross First Class.

    1880: Based on information that first appeared in the Boersen Zeitung, “public quarrels and duels have taken place between Jews and Germans.”

    1881: “The Hebrew Union College” published today summarized plans to upgrade HUC, the Cincinnati educational institution that is only place in the United States dedicated to providing formal education for rabbis in the United States. The plan is to create a million dollar endowment by selling 200,000 “subscription certificates at $5 each.”  (The rabbis trained here will be Reform and will not be able to address the needs of the traditional movements of Judaism)

    1882: It was a reported today that the Public Prosecutor has applied to the court at Nyireghyhasa, for an order to disinter and re-examine the body of a Christian girl, who it is alleged, was by the Jews at Tiszaeszlar” in order to sift through the evidence “and put an end to a scandal which has lasted six months.” (This is a reference to The Tiszaeszlár Affair, a blood libel that began in April of 1882 and would actually resurface  in the world of Hungarian politics in the 21stcentury.)

    1882: It was reported today that a radical newspaper editor has fought a duel with a member of the parliament who defended Jews against charges in The Tiszaeszlár Affair.

    1884(1st of Kislev, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1885: Upon his return to Cincinnati from the national of Reform Rabbis in Pittsburgh, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise said, “The meeting was an official expression and confirmation of principles which have been advanced and advocated by progressive Jews for a decade past.”

    1885: It was reported today that the Reform movement has adopted a resolution that would effectively allow the substitution of Sunday morning services to replace the traditional Saturday morning Shabbat services. 

    1885: “The Hebrew Asylum Ball” published today provided a description of the fundraiser hosted for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum” which was attended a large segment of notables including Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wechsler, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wechsler and Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Oppenheimer.

    1886: It was reported today that based on information that first appeared in the Vossische Zeitung, Jews make up the largest contingent of the Hungarian immigrants crossing Germany on their way to the United States.

    1887(3rd of Kislev, 5648): Emma Lazarus passed away.  Born in 1849, Lazarus is remembered as the poet who wrote the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. When Emma Lazarus died on November 19, 1887 at the age of 38, the obituary published in the New York Times referred to her as "an American Poet of Uncommon talent," but did not mention her poem, "The New Colossus," which today is indelibly associated with The Statue of Liberty. One of the first successful Jewish American authors, Lazarus was part of the late nineteenth century New York literary elite, and was celebrated in her day as an important American poet. In her later years, she wrote bold, powerful poetry and essays protesting the rise of anti-Semitism and arguing for Russian immigrants' rights. She called on Jews to unite and create a homeland in Palestine before the title Zionist had even been coined. She is best known today for her poem, "The New Colossus," which was written in 1883 as part of the effort to raise money for a pedestal to the Statue of Liberty. France was donating the statue to the United States, but Americans had to raise the funds for the pedestal. Her untimely death, probably from cancer, was mourned in both the Jewish and broader communities. It was only, however, after Lazarus's friend Georgina Schuyler installed a bronze memorial tablet inside the entrance to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, inscribed with the lines from the "New Colossus," including "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," that Lazarus's memory became forever associated with her powerful vision of America as a symbol of hope for the down-trodden.

    1890(7th of Kislev, 5651): Thirty-nine year old Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, the daughter of Juliana and Mayer de Rothschild, who was rumored to be the richest woman in Britain, passed away. (There is no way that we can do justice to the life of this woman. She is far more fascinating than any fictional character created by Bronte sisters and those other writers of 19thcentury romance novels)

    1890: The Citizens’ Savings Bank paid out $113,000 to depositors as a run on the bank began following a story “in an east side Hebrew Newspaper.”

    1891: The more than four hundred pupils attending the Louis Down-Town Sabbath and Daily School are the beneficiaries of the Palestine Bazaar which is being held for a second day at Carnegie Hall.

    1892: “Prussians Jealous of Hebrews” published today, relying on information that first appeared in the London Daily News described a debated taking place among “Prussian Conservatives” on the “ways and means of decreasing the influence of Jews in public life.”  The Conservatives are especially upset because the Jews “get themselves better educated than their neighbors and so win their way to professorial chairs.”

    1892(29th of Cheshvan, 5653): Fifty two year old Jacques de Reinach, the French banker who successfully invested in the Canadian Pacific Railway before becoming embroiled in the scandals surrounding the building of the Panama Canal passed away today.

    1892: During an interview Otto Von Bismarck warned “the anti-Semites that ‘in trying to obtain State legislation against the Jews, they got hold of the wrong insect powder. (The term used was Wanzenpulver which has a contation that is even more insulting than the English translation and gives one the idea of the low esteem in which the Iron Chancellor held the Jewish people)

    1893: According to a rumor published today, the Jews are fleeing Melilla because they fear what “the inquiry into the illicit trade firearms’ might reveal. (The implication is that the Jews are guilty of selling guns to the Berbers who are revolting against their Spanish colonial masters)

    1893: Today’s review of “The Bells” praises Henry Irving’s performance of Mathias whom he plays as “a large, spectacular figure” who is a victim of remorse; a portrayal that is not consistent with that found in the translation of Leopold Lewis. The reviewer concludes his portrayal of this Jewish figure is “always worth seeing once” and then worth seeing a second time because Irving’s “Mathias is to be remembered because of its historical importance.”

    1894: In Germany Elizabeth (nee Kirchner) and Wilhelm Hopf a Jew who converted gave birth to mathematician Heinz Hopf.

    1894: “Not Antagonistic To Christianity” published today provided Dr. Joseph Silverman’s views on the attitude to of Judaism to non-Judaic religions.  Among other things, he said that Judaism’s view on this has always been represented; that Judaism is neither “tribal, narrow or exclusive” but universal.  While Christianity claims that only those who believe in its doctrine can be saved, “Judaism has never claimed that universal salvation depends on universal conversion to Judaism.”
    1895: While visiting Paris and London trying to gain Jewish support for a Jewish homeland, Herzl gained one “convert’ - Max Nordeau.

    1896: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New York and the Hebrew Technical Institute were reported today to be among the institutions willing to host a “series of popular lectures on the affairs of the City” which will lead to greater civic participation.

    1896: The first national convention of the National Council of Jewish Women which was held at Tuxedo Hall in New York City between came to an end. Founded at the conclusion of the Jewish Women's Congress held at Chicago's World Columbian Exposition in November 1893, the National Council of Jewish Women was the first national open-membership organization for American Jewish women. Addressed by the leaders of the nation's leading women's organizations and numerous prominent rabbis, it was clear that the Council was helping to establish the legitimacy of Jewish women's presence on a public stage. The convention received extensive coverage in the New York Times and other papers. During its first three years, Council sections around the country had focused on diverse activities ranging from Bible study to education for children to active philanthropy in the interest of immigrant women and children. Representatives at the first convention summarized these achievements, established a clear institutional structure and sought to offer guidance to local sections. Conflict emerged in relation to the Jewish character of the Council. Hannah Solomon of Chicago presided over the convention, but some members objected to her advocacy of Sunday as the Jewish Sabbath. Solomon memorably responded "I consecrate every day in the week." As the New York Times reported, "Pandemonium reigned for five minutes, and then Mrs. Solomon was re-elected." In its first few decades, NCJW transcended these religious divisions by focusing especially on aid to newly arrived Jewish immigrants. In sections across the country, NCJW provided an early training ground for Jewish women leaders and a forum for Jewish women's concerns within and outside the Jewish community.

    1897: Herzl publishes his article "Die jüdische Kolonialbank" -"The Jewish Colonial Bank" in Die Welt.

    1897: “Dreyfus May Be A Victim” published today offers the unique theory that the French Captain was actually the victim of a blackmail plot gone awry.  Taking advantage of the “wave of Jew-baiting” that was sweeping Europe in 1893, these conspirators forged the documents that would lead to the conviction of Dreyfus.  The conspirators had used “a beautiful woman whose house” was a refuge to many French officers and foreign diplomats as a go between to try and extort money from Mrs. Dreyfus who was wealthy in her own right in exchange for the document.  When the Dreyfus family refused to be involved, members of the press who were part of the plot helped to incite the public in such a way that the conviction of Dreyfus was inevitable.

    1898: “Dr. Gottheil’s 25 Years” published today included a summary of the accomplishments of the Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El who according to some stem the tide of assimilation while raising his voice for “justice and the down-trodden of his race’  “when anti-Semitism raised the black flag of intolerance in Germany, Austria and other European countries.”

    1904:  Birthdate of Nathan Leopold.  Leopold and Loeb, sons of wealthy Chicago families, saw themselves as a superior intellects not bound by the rules.  Their murder of Bobby Franks and the trial that followed (where they were defended by Clarence Darrow) forever marked both of them as venal, vile killers.  Leopold died in 1971. 

    1906: Birthdate of Henri Temianka, a native of Scotland who was the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants.  Among his accomplishments was a performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto with four other Jewish violinists – David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szeryng and Jack Benny.

    1906: “Big Crowd Attends Funeral” published today in the Brooklyn Standard Union describes the funeral of Rabbi Raphael Benjamin at Congregation Beth Elohim which was so well attended “that hundreds of men and women were unable to gain admittance..”

    1909: At the request of the Hahambashi, the Grand Vizier of Turkey directs the Minister of War to appoint Jewish chaplains to battalions where Jews serve, to grant soldiers the ability to observe the high holidays and to facilitate they be provided with kosher food. The Hahambashi also requested that all teachers in Jewish school and rabbinical students be granted an exemption from military service.

    1911: Herman Bernstein, who has written for such publications as The Nation and The New York Evening Post delivered an address to the Mikve Israel Association in Philadelphia, PA, entitled “Anti-Semitism in Russia, Germany and Elsewhere.”  According to Bernstein, while political and social progress has been made “in every part of the world” anti-Semitism is the one age-old evil “for which no remedy has been found.” [Bernstein would go to a distinguished career as a foreign correspondent with the New York Times and as U.S. Ambassador to Albania.  His History of a Lie provides an account of the history of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.]

    1913: Serbian troops enter and loot Monastir. As part of the violence, Jewish shops were burned and robbed.

    1913: Birthdate of Morris Ziff, the Brooklyn native, who was an award winning expert in rheumatic diseases and  who investigated how the body sometimes turns on itself to cause such illnesses (As reported by Jeremy Pearce)

    1914: “Jews Raise Relief Fund” published today described a fund raiser to provide relief for the Jews of Palestine where the attendees heard from Professor R.J.H. Gotteheil of Columbia University, Rabbi Ephraim Frisch and Rabbi Jacob Lichter of Far Rockaway, NY.

    1914: “Forced Czernowitz To Raise Ransom” published today described the “how humble Hebrews sacrificed their ritual candelabra” to help meet demands made by General Arintinoff when his Russian Army entered the Austrian city that the citizens pay “a levy of 600,000 rubles in gold or silver.

    1914: “For Relief of Jews” published today provides a list of those who have contributed to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War including Ike Scher of Richmond, VA, Congregation Shaarey Tzedek of Windsor, Ontario, Congregation Tree of Life, Oil City, PA, Rebecca Bender of Ashly, ND and Congregation B’nai Jacob of Vineland, NJ.

    1915 (12th of Kislev, 5676): A wide variety of Jewish and gentile leaders including Louis Marshall, Jacob Schiff, John H. Finley, President University of the State of New York at Albany and Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia, expressed their sense of sorrow and deep admiration for Dr. Solomon Schechter who passed away today in New York. Schechter’s original fame rested on his work with the Cairo Geniza. As President of the United Synagogue of America, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, he was the driving force behind Conservative Judaism.  He was an early Zionist who played an active role in the work of the Jewish Publication Society.  This brief entry cannot do justice to his impact on the world at large or the Jewish community in particular.

    1916: Samuel Goldfish (later renamed Samuel Goldwyn) and Edgar Selwyn established Goldwyn Company which would become one of the most successful independent filmmakers.

    1919: The U.S. Senate, under the leadership of the Republicans, fails to ratify the Versailles Treaty.  This meant that the United States would not be joining the League of Nations which meant that the League was DOA.  It also signaled America’s return to isolationism.  The rejection of the Versailles Treaty was a contributing cause to the rise of Hitler, World War II and the Holocaust.

    1919: Birthdate of Judge Wapner of People’s Court Fame.  Considering the Torah’s injunctions about Judges, what do we make of the fact that both Judge Judy and Judge Wapner are Jewish?

    1921: Today Joseph Missrahi Orpahli, an Oriental Jew, became the first Jew to receive the death penalty for murder in connection with the August riots.  “Orphali was accused of firing from a rooftop into a mob of Jaffa Arabs who had congregated supposedly for an attack on Tel Aviv.”  Three British police officers Dixon had testified that “they had heard no shots besides those of the police who fired on the mob, but relatives of Arabs killed declared the accused had killed on Arab purposely and another unintentionally.”

    1921: “Thirty-seven Arabs of the Tireh village, near Haifa who had previously been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, had their sentences reduced on appeal today to three months.  They had been accused of participating in an attack on Bath Gilim, a suburb of Haifa.”

    1921: Pinchas Ruthenberg, director of the Palestine Electric Corporation and chairman of the Palestine National council, told the commission of inquiry” sent from London to find the reasons for the Arab August riots and the lack of preparation on the part of the police, “how he had warned H.C. Luke, acting High Commissioner, of the gravity of the situation developing over the Wailing Wall, and was told by Mrs. Luke that he was exaggerating the danger.  Mr. Rutenberg’s suggestions for precautions were not followed.”

    1923: In Charleston, SC, Louis D. Rubin, Sr. and Jeanette Weinstein Rubin gave birth to Louis D. Rubin, Jr. “a teacher, novelist, essayist, editor and publisher, among other things —who was devoted to the practice and promotion of American Southern writing.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1925: Birthdate of Zygmunt Bauman the Polish born sociologist who was forced to take refuge in England in 1970 following an anti-Semitic purge orchestrated by the Polish Communist Party.  Bauman “has made some of the most important observations about the Holocaust and modernity.”

    1928: A concert featuring Alexander Baerwald and Thelma Yellin was held in Jerusalem as the European born Jews of Jerusalem celebrated the centenary of the death of Schubert.

    1929: Birthdate of medieval scholar, Norman Cantor.  Cantor did step out of his expertise when he wrote The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews. Based on the reviews, Cantor would have been better off if he had stuck to works on the Middle Ages.

    1929: U.S. premiere of “The Love Parade,” a musical comedy directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch co-starring Lillian Roth.

    1932: Birthdate of Avner Friedman, who earned his doctorate from Hebrew University in 1956 and became Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Ohio State University.

    1933(1st of Kislev, 5694): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1933: Birthdate of Gerald "Jerry" Sheindlin who served as a judge on the television show The People’s Court and is married to Judith Sheindlin, known as television’s Judge Judy.

    1933(1st of Kislev, 5694): “Samuel Leib Gordon, noted Hebraist, teacher and scholar who translated Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ and Zangwill’s ‘Children of the Ghetto died’ in Tel Aviv today.” The sixty-six year old intellectual had lived in Tel Aviv since 1924.  “Mr. Gordon was born in Lida, Lithuania in 1890.  He taught Hebrew in Jaffa from 1898 to 1910 and wrote and edited many textbooks in Hebrew.  For a time he edited Olam Kata, a Hebrew magazine for Jewish youth, published in Warsaw.  Several volumes of a scientific commentary on the Bible which he began in 1903 have also been published. His son, Moses Gordon, has followed in his father footsteps by serving as general secretary of Tarbuth, the Hebrew education movement.
    1933: In Brooklyn , Jennie (Gitlitz) and Edward Jonaton Zeiger gave birth to Lawrence Leibel Harvey Zeiger who gained fame as radio and television personality Larry King.

    1934: Birthdate of French artist Sam Szafran.

    1936: “Johnny Johnson,” a Kurt Weill musical directed by Less Strasburg and a cast that included Luther Adler, Lee J. Cobb, John Garfield and Sandy Meisner had its Broadway premiere at the 44th Street Theatre.

    1936: As Hitler seeks to gain support from the Catholic Church by creating an alliance based on the anti-Communism of the Nazis and the Church, “Pius XI announced that communism had moved to the head of the list of ‘errors/’”

    1937: Today marked the end of the first of a four week London Season for the Habima Players.  They had demonstrated what is known as the "Habima Method" in their performances of the Dybbuk.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that the country was generally quiet, but the Jerusalem curfew continued for the eighth day in succession. Telephone lines were cut between Hebron and Beersheba and Beersheba and Gaza.

    1937: In an article critical of the Jewish development of Galilee ThePostpointed out that the Jewish settlement of Mahanayim had been completely deserted since the riots of 1929. Mishmar Hayarden, "The Watch Over the Jordan," was almost a dead village ­with many of the farmyards burned to the ground. The Post demanded rapid development of this area, with particular attention given to the settlement of those Jewish lands which belonged to persons who did not live in Palestine.

    1938(25th of Cheshvan, 5699): Seventy-two year old existentialist philosopher Lev Isaakovich Shestov passed away.  Born in Czarist Russia in 1886, he fled from the Bolshevicks in 1921 and settled in France where he continued to work until his death. While not well-known today, Shestov influenced many more famous philosophers and writers including Albert Camus.

    1940: A Christian is killed by German soldiers for throwing bread into the Warsaw ghetto. Close to 400,000 Jews would be contained within approximately 37,200 apartments.

    1941: In the West, gassing has become the popular method of exterminating the Jews. Eichmann moved forward on his plans for the deportation of Jews.

    1941: Friedrich Jeckeln decided that Rumbula was the best site to murder the Jews imprisoned in the Riga Ghetto.

    1942: Birthdate of Calvin Klein, the Bronx born son of Jewish-Hungarian immigrants who went on to became a leading figure in the American fashion industry.

    1942: Birthdate of Congressman Gary Ackerman who represents New York’s Fifth District.

    1942(10th of Kislev, 5703):The Germans shoot 100 Jews from Potrkow outside of the town.

    1942: Germans in Debica, Poland, announce that as of December 1, any Pole who assists Jews "will be punished by death."

    1942(10th of Kislev, 5703):Bruno Schulz, the brilliant Polish Jewish author and artist, was gunned down by a Nazi officer in the Drohobycz ghetto.

    1943: Jewish prisoners at Janowska, a labor and extermination camp, revolted against their captors. The revolt failed and the camp was liquidated.  One thousand of the survivors were taken to the town of Sandomierz .
    1943: One thousand Jews are shot at the Jewish cemetery outside Sandomierz, Poland.

    1945: Five months after World War II ended in Europe, Anti-Jewish riots erupt in Lublin, Poland. Jan T. Gross would document post Holocaust anti-Semitism in Poland in Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz published in 2006.

    1945: It was announced today that the curfew imposed on Tel Aviv after rioting last week will lifted effective tomorrow.

    1945: “Five thousand officers and men of a Jewish brigade in the British Army of the Rhine began a hunger strike today in protest against Foreign Minister Bevin’s declaration on Palestine.”  Some did not go to the mess hall “while others sat idly before full plates.  The Jewish brigade is deployed in a swath of territory from  northwest Belgium and through southwest Netherlands

    1945:: In London members of the American League for a Free Palestine called on Great Britain to immediately allow 100,000 Jews to settle in Palestine.  Guy Gillette, a former U.S. Senator from Iowa and head of the league warned the British that any delay would be unpopular with the citizenry of the United States.

    1945: Secretary of State James F. Byrnes and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee met twice today to discuss the situation in Palestine. Among the attendees were Robert F. Wagner the Democratic Senator from New York and Robert A. Taft the Republican Senator from Ohio “co-authors of a proposed Senate resolution favoring immediate unlimited Jewish immigration to Palestine.” [Wagner, who was a Liberal and Taft, who was a Conservative, were polar opposite on most issues.  Dealing with the DP Jews of Europe and Palestine brought them together in common cause.]

    1947:  Chaim Weizmann “rose from his sickbed” and went to Washington to meet with President Truman to talk about the creation of a Jewish state that included the Negev.

    1947: Lessing J. Rosenwald, the President of the American Council for Judaism expressed his opposition for “plans to establish the American Jewish Conference on a permanent basis to coordinate all Jewish activities” in the United States.

    1948:UN mediator Ralph Bunche accepts Israel's proposal made yesterday that included the Jewish state’s stated readiness to begin an armistice with the Arabs.

    1948: In an unprecedented move that would have serious consequences for the region th UN General Assembly approves $30 million fund for relief of Palestinian refugees forming the UNRPR. Assembly asks UN member countries for contributions. No money would be provided for Jewish citizens forced to flee from their homes in Arab and/or Moslem countries.  These funds would create a permanent  and ever-growing refugee population on Israel’s borders and would keep the Arab and Moslem states of the region of offering a home to their Palestinian brethren.

    1951: “Tillie’s Unpunctured Romance” published today describe the love affair between Tillie Louse (born Myrtle Ehrlich) with the tomato.


    1952:The Jerusalem Postreported that Albert Einstein had declined to accept the offer of the Israeli Presidency. Einstein said that while he was deeply touched by the offer, he felt unsuited for such an office.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the minister of social affairs, Mrs. Golda Myerson, promised that the new immigrants’ tent cities would completely disappear within the next half year.  Mrs. Myerson was a former school teacher from Milwaukee who would change her name to Meir and go to serve as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister.

    1953: As tensions mounted between Israel and Jordan because Palestinian terrorists repeatedly crossed from Jordan in to Israel, Prime Minister Churchill cautioned against sending British troops to support the Jordanians lest they be caught in a cross-fire between Israeli and Arab forces.

    1959: David Susskind produced an adaptation of “The Power and the Glory” for tonight’s broadcast of the Play of the Week.

    1954: Entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. loses his left eye in an automobile accident. 

    1958: U.S. premiere “Houseboat,” a romantic comedy produced by Jack Rose who also co-authored the script.

    1962: S(amuel) N(athaniel) Behrman’s "Lord Pengo," premiered in New York City

    1965: In New Orleans, Benjamin and Richard Swig acquired the Roosevelt Hotel from Seymour Weiss, renaming it the Fairmont-Roosevelt before finally changing the name to the Fairmont New Orleans.

    1971(1st of Kislev, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1971 (1st of Kislev): Seventy-five year old Yiddish poet and essayist Jacob Glatstein passed away

    1971(1st of Kislev, 5732): Sportscaster Bill Stern passed away at the age of 64.

    1971: U.S. premiere of “Werewolves on Wheels” filmed by cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky.

    1975: U.S. premiere of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s  Nest produced by Saul Zaentz with a screenplay co-authored by Bo Goldman filmed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

    1976: “Dorothy Schiff, editor in chief and publisher of the New York Post announced that she had agreed to sell the afternoon daily to Rupert Murdoch, the Australian publisher.”

    1977:  Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement.

    1980:CBS TV bans Calvin Klein's jeans ad featuring Brooke Shields. [He is Jewish; she is not.]

    1980: “Taxi” starring Judd Hirsch and created by Ed Weinberger begins its third season.

    1982(3rd of Kislev, 5743): Sixty year old Canadian born Erving Groffman sociologist passed away today. (As reported by William Dicke

    1983(13th of Kislev, 5744):  Fifty seven year old lyricist Carolyn Leigh passed away.(As reported by G. Gerald Fraser)

    1988: A month before his death at the age of 79, Alter Mojze Goldman was elected to the Légion d'Honneur on for his role in the French Résistance today.

    1994: The Shagmar Commission which had been established to conduct to investigate the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin held its first meeting today.

    1998: During the Mona Lewinsky scandal, The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    1998(30th of Cheshvan, 5759): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1998(30th of Cheshvan, 5759): American film producer, writer and director Alan J. Pakula the Yale educated son of Jewish parents from Poland passed away. Some of his more memorable efforts included “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “Klute” and “The Pelican Brief.”

    1999: In Atlanta, GA, the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities comes to an end.

    2000:  The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including At Memory’s Edge:  After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architectureby James E. Young, Highlanders:A Journey to the Caucasus in Quest of Memory by Yoav Karny, Lying Awake by Mark Saltzman and Louisa by by Simone Zelitch

    2001: During the investigation of Jack Abramoff’s business dealings in Guam, U.S. Attorney Frederick A. Black, the chief prosecutor for Guam and the instigator of the indictment, was unexpectedly demoted and removed from the office he had held since 1991. The federal grand jury investigation was quickly wound down and took no further action.

    2003(24th of Cheshvan, 5764): Patricia Ter´n Navarrete, 33, of Ecuador was killed and four other tourists, pilgrims from Ecuador, were wounded when a terrorist entered the Israel-Jordan border crossing terminal north of Eilat from the Jordanian side and opened fire. The terrorist was killed by Israeli security guards.

    2003(24th of Cheshvan, 5764): Nineteen year old Sgt. Liron Siboni of Ramat Gan died today from the wounds she suffered  on September 9th when Hamas terrorist attacked the bus stop next to Tzrifin military base.

    2004(6th of Kislev, 5765): Children’s book illustrator Trina Schart Hyman passes away.

    2004:The Wall Street Journalpublishes “They Call It Chrismukkah: ‘The O.C.’ launches a new interfaith holiday” in which columnist Jonathan Eig describes another response to the confluence of Christmas and Chanukah in America. "The O.C.," is a television show which traces the lives of some hip teens in Orange County, Calif. One of them is Seth Cohen, the fictional son of a Protestant mother and a Jewish father.

    2005: The movement that was the first to welcome intermarried families into its synagogues nearly three decades ago now will focus on actively inviting non-Jews to convert to Judaism. That was one of the initiatives announced by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, during his Shabbat sermon at the movement’s 68th biennial in Houston.

    2006: TheNew York Times book section featured reviews of Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg by Bill Morgan, Collected Poems:1947-1997by Allen Ginsberg, and I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life  by A Goldstein and Josh Alan Friedman

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, Dovid Broza and Yair Dalal present an evening of love songs in Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic.

    2007(9th of Kislev, 5768): Ninety-one year old Wiera Gran passed away.

    2007: In “Bad and Badder” published today described F. Murray Abraham’s reaction to playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and Barabas in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta

    2007(9th of Kislev, 5768): Ido Zuldan, a 29 year old resident of Shavei Shomron was killed by Palestinian gunman while traveling between two villages on the West Bank while in a separate incident, five Qassam rockets and 18 mortar shells struck the western Negev including at least one rocket that struck the city of Ashkelon.

    2008: Barney Rosset receives a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in honor of his many contributions to American publishing, especially his groundbreaking legal battles to print uncensored versions of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. He is also the subject of “Obscene,” a documentary by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Hadassah Book Club discusses The History of Love by Nicole Krauss at the home of Amy Barnum.

    2008: On its final night the Ninth Annual Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival presents “Four Seasons Lodge”, a movie about a bungalow colony in New York’s Catskill Mountains, has provided idyllic refuge to a group of Holocaust survivors and their families for nearly three decades.

    2008: Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor won his race to become the new minority whip today, becoming the second-ranking Republican in the US House of Representatives.

    2008: Facing a tight economic crunch, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League has laid off nearly 10 percent of its staff at its national headquarters, the organization said today. The cuts at the non-profit organization, which like other American Jewish groups is reliant on private donations, were the starkest indication to date on how the US economic malaise has forced these groups to carry out staff cuts.

    2008:Israeli archaeologists excavating what they believe is the tomb of biblical King Herod said today they have unearthed lavish Roman-style wall paintings of a kind previously unseen in the Middle East and signs of a regal two-story mausoleum, bolstering their conviction that the Jewish monarch was buried here. Ehud Netzer, head of the team from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, which uncovered the site at the king's winter palace in the Judean desert in 2007, said his latest finds show work and funding fit for a king. "

    2008: Brigadier-General Eyal Eisenberg replaced Moshe Tamir as commander of The Israel Defense Forces Gaza Division (Territorial) which is subordinate to the Southern Regional Command.

    2008: Today, following dozens of Qassam rockets and mortar rounds which exploded on Israeli soil, the plan for operation cast lead was brought for Barak's final approval.

    2008: John Key assumed office as the 38th Prime Minister of Australia.

    2009: Melvin Urofsky, a professor of law and public policy, discusses and signs "Louis D. Brandeis: A Life," his new biography of the Supreme Court justice, at the National Archives

    2009: At the Trade Fair and Convention Center in Tel Aviv the Fifth International Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition - WATEC Israel 2009 comes to an end.

    2009: Moshe Holtzberg, son of Barvriel and Rivka Holztberg of blessed memory who were murdered by the terrorists in Mumbain in 2008, receives his first haircut at a ceremony called upshiren.

    2009: The Iowa Department of Economic Development Board approved state incentivizes of more than $600,000 that will help kosher meatpacker Agri Star Meat & Poultry in Postville launch a $6.7 million expansion to add a line of oven-baked beef and poultry.  Agri Star is the successor the defunct Rubashkin operations in Postville.  The new Canadian owners have made a commitment to operate in a manner that is Kosher in name and as well as spirit since they have promised to follow federal, state and local laws and regulations.

    2010: Israeli/International Folk Dance for Seniors is the scheduled activity for today at The Jewish Folk Arts Festival.

    2010:An exhibition featuring the work of Ayala Gazit, the Haifa born photographer, entitled “Was It A Dream,” is scheduled to open in New York City.

    2010:Following multiple rockets and mortar shells being fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip today, the IDF confirmed that IAF jets successfully struck three terror-related targets in Gaza in response. The IDF also reported that the four mortar shells that landed in the Ashkelon Regional Council area earlier today contained white phosphorous. The Salah al-Din Brigade claimed responsibility for the four mortar shells.


    2010(12th of Kislev, 5771): Seventy six year old  Marvin Levin, a real estate developer who wore a wire in his cowboy boots during a major FBI anti-corruption sting of California’s state government in the 1980s, passed away toda

    2011: “Now I Am Talking, Memories of a Woman Partisan” a film that tells the story of Vitka Kovner, the Jewish resistance fighter who was the wife of Abba Kovner, is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Eye World Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Adat Reyim is scheduled to host its annual Autumn Art Auction in Springfield, VA.

    2011:Cellist Inbal Segev is scheduled to perform selected string trios as part of the Amerigo trio with Glenn Dicterow and Karen Dreyfus at the music for Youth Concert in New York.

    2011:Israel sees cracks in Syrian power structures amid increasingly violent unrest, and there are signs President Bashar Assad may not be in power for long, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today.


    2011:Israel Police and the Communications Ministry cut off the broadcasts of Kol Hashalom radio station today, claiming that they are pirate broadcasts.

    2011(22nd of Cheshvan, 5772): Ninety-three year old “Sanford D. Garelik, a former New York City mayoral candidate and a City Council president who served the city amid the fiscal and criminal turmoil of the 1970s” passed away today. (As reported by Matt Flegenheimer)

    2012: Jean-François Copé begins serving as President of the Union for a Popular Movement Group in the French National Assembly,

    2012: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Jewish World in Action: Facing the Polish-Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1648-1683.”

    2012(5th of Kislev, 5774): Eighty two year old Warren Rudman, the senator who led the fight for a balanced budget passed away today. (As reported by Adam Clymer)

    2012:The Wiener Library and the University of London are scheduled to host "The Strongest Possible Terms": The Evolving Role of Parliamentary Condemnations of Atrocities Past and Present a debate marking the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Persecution of the Jews.

    2012: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor a musical evening celebrating 100 years of Woody Guthrie. 

    2012: To date, since the start of the year, more than 1,700 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza.

    2012: As Sunday gives way to Monday, Israel continues to defend itself during Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2012: Two Katyusha missiles aimed at Israel from Lebanon were “discovered” today in the southern region. Both were set to launch, a security source told Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star.

    2012:Israel’s operation to stem Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel continued in its sixth day today. The Israel Air Force struck over 80 terrorist targets in Gaza, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 130 rockets into Israel.

    2013: “It’s Better To Jump” and “The Lesson” are scheduled to be shown at the Other Israel Film Festival
    2013: Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs warned today “that chances of peaceful end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be ‘irreparably damaged’ unless steps are taken to prevent new Israeli settlement building and ‘other negative developments.’”  The U.N. official did not define what he meant by “other negative developments” but apparently they do not include the murder of Israelis by Arab terrorists and the mortar and rocket attacks that have taken place since the talks began following Israel releasing dozens of terrorist.

    2013: Terrorists in Gaza fired mortars at IDF soldiers on the Israel side of the border between the Palestinian “entity” and the Jewish state. 

    2013: IAF destroyed a weapons factory and two tunnels used by terrorists this evening in response to Arab attacks which come on the first anniversary of Pillar of Defense.

    2013(16thof Kislev, 5774): Ninety-eight year old children’s book author and editor Charlotte Zolotow passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “The Rosenburg Files: The German Federal Ministry of Justice and the Nazi Past.”

    2014: Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life is scheduled to present Charles Asher Small speaking on “The Dimensions of Global Anti-Semitism: Will it spread to the U.S.?”

    2014: “Dancing in Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

    2014: The Tulane University Jewish Studies Department under the leadership of Dr. Brian Horowitz is scheduled to present Erga Atad speaking on “How News Becomes News: The Israeli Case.”

    2014: Decent people everywhere mourn the loss of Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 40, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59 and Police Officer Zidan Saif, 30 who were brutally murdered yesterday in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood by two Arab terrorists.

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    November 20

    331 BCE (21st of Kislev, 3431): According to the Talmud, Simeon the Just destroyed the Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizim.  The Samaritans had undermined the efforts during the post-exilic period and this move was as much about establishing political sovereignty as it was about wiping out a “high place” intended to compete with Jerusalem.  The victory was marked by a minor festival called Mt. Gerizim Day.

    284: Diocletian was chosen as Roman Emperor.  Diocletian began a policy of subdividing the various provinces of the Roman Empire into increasingly smaller administrative units.  Palestine, the name the Romans gave to Eretz Israel, was divided into three territories: Palaestina Prima including Judea, Samaria, and the coastal plain, Iduemea and Peraea with Caesarea (the one on the Mediterranean that had played such a key role in the Great Revolt against Rome) as its capital; Palaestina Secunda, consisting of the Galilee and the Golan with Beth-shean (the city to which the ancient Philistines had taken King Saul’s decapitated body) as its capital; Palaestina Terita consisting primarily of the Negev with Petra as its capital.  In a further division of powers, each of these new subdivisions had a military and a civilian head. All of the new bureaucrats who came with these new subdivisions took on aura of divinity connected in keeping with their role as representatives of the Divine Emperor.  What it meant for the people of the empire was further subjugation and impoverishment.  Diocletian was also the last of the Roman Emperors took actively persecute the Christians.  His ultimate successor would adopt a policy that represented a 180 degree and would mark even worse times for the Jewish people.

    1194: Palermo, Sicily, is conquered by Emperor Henry VI. By the time of Henry’s conquest, Jews had been living on the island of Sicily for over a thousand years. Jews had been living in Palermo since the sixth century because we have evidence that in 590 “Pope Gregory the Great ordered the ecclesiastical authorities to reimburse the Jews of Palermo for the damage suffered by the expropriation of their synagogue.” Furthermore, just prior to the conquest, the famous traveler Benjamin of Tudela mentioned the Jewish community of Palermo in his writings.

    1272:Edward I proclaimed King of England. Edward is remembered as the English king, who, after stripping the Jews of their wealth, expelled them from his realm in 1290.

    1316: King John I of France died.  His father, Louis X had issued a decree in 1315 allowing the Jews to return.  We do not know how John felt about the Jews (or anything else for that matter) since he only lived for five days.  We do know that the Jews were allowed to remain in France until the end of the 14th century when they were again expelled.

    1451: Pope Nicholas V issued an edict empower the bishop of Osman and the vicar of Salamanca to appoint new inquisitors to examine the cases of "new-Christians suspected of Judaizing.  The inquisitors were authorized to punish the convict, imprison them, confiscate their goods and disgrace them, to degrade even priests and hand them over to the secular arm - a church euphemism for condemning them to the heretic's stake

    1521: All Jewish wine was dumped by Arabs and heavy fines imposed on the Jewish community of Jerusalem. The Arabs blamed the Jewish use of wine for a severe water shortage. 

    1616: Bishop Richelieu becomes French minister of Foreign affairs/War.  Richelieu was the power behind the throne during the reign of King Louis XIII. Any decree issued over the signature of Louis was probably written by Richelieu.   While Jews had long been banished from France, exceptions were made. For example, when the French captured the city of Metz, a special letter was posted allowing the Jews to remain because their presence was a necessity for the good of the Kingdom.  Furthermore, the ban against Jews was not enforced during Louis XIII’s reign in his overseas possessions. Once again, thanks to economic needs, in places such as Martinique, the Jews were allowed to settle while engaged in trade and practicing their faith.

    1657: Manasseh Ben Israel passed away. Manasseh Ben Israel will always be remembered as the Jewish leader who negotiated with Oliver Cromwell to gain the right for Jews to settle in England.


    1785: “The earliest known Yiddish letter from the United States was written by Barnard Gratz of Philadelphia to his brother Michael in London today.

    1789: New Jersey became the first state to ratify the amendments to the U.S. Constitution known as the Bill of Rights with its guarantee of Freedom of Religion.  It would take another two years for the Bill of Rights to become part of the Constitution. Virginia would put it over the top in December of 1791.

    1790: Governor of Georgia Edward Telfair authorized a charter for the "Parnas and Adjuntas of Mickve Israel at Savannah" under which the congregation still operates.

    1823: Birthdate of Baruch Hirsch Strousberg, the native of Neidenburg, East Prussia, who gained fame as Christian convert Bethel Henry Strousberg, the German industrialist who lost most of his railway empire following business reverses that took place after the Franco-Prussian War.

    1827(1st of Kislev, 5588): Rosh Chodesh

    1829: The Jews were expelled from the Russian cities of Nikolayev and Sevastopol.

    1842: Birthdate of Italian lawyer, editor and political leader Caser Porec.

    1850: Birthdate of Joseph Samuel Bloch, an Austrian rabbi, who aggressively fought August Rohling, one of the leading Austrian anti-Semitism – a stand which resulted in his being elected to the Chamber of Deputies.

    1857: In Westphalia, German Solomon Spiegel and Rosalie Herzberg gave birth to Cincinnati trained lawyer Frederick S. Spiegel, the husband of Minnie Steinberg who became a Judge of Court of Common Pleas in the 1stJudicial District of Ohio.

    1858: The Executive Committee of the Representatives of the United Congregations of Israelites of the City of New York addressed a letter to President James Buchanan concerning the Mortara Case. The letter included reference to the letter sent by London Committee of Deputies of British Jews “to their brethren in the United States” seeking their support in having the boy who was kidnapped in Bologna returned to his family.  The letter informed the President of the support being offered by several European nations and of plans to hold a public meeting to enlist public support in the United States. The committee reminded President Buchanan of the prompt action taken by President Van Buren in 1840 when he was asked to intervene to aid the persecuted Jews of Damascus and expressed the hope that he would do the same.

    1858(13th of Kislev, 5619): Hirsch Edelman, the native of White Russia, who worked at Oxford’s Bodleian Library where he produced several works on of the most famous of which was Derekh Tovim: The Path of Good Men, “a compilation of writings by Judah ibn Tibbon and Maimonides along with Arabic and Greek proverbs in Hebrew” passed away today.

    1864(21st of Cheshvan, 5625): Fifty-year old Jacob Ezekiel Lowy, the nation of Austrian Silesia passed away at Beuthen where he had been serving as rabbi since 1854.passed away today.

    1870: It was reported today that Robert C. De Large, a mulatto with a Jewish father has defeated Mr. C.C. Bowen in the race for the Second Congressional District in South Carolina. A Republican, Mr. De Large “combines the shrewdness of the Jew with the intuitive cleverness of the negro…”

    1880: It was reported today that the Purim Association will be hosting a ball in March at the Academy of Music “for the benefit of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.”

    1880: In Germany, the members of the government are expected to face questioning from deputies about anti-Semitic “agitation” that has been taken place.

    1880: According to a referee’s reported filed today described the sham by Henry Cone, Abraham Altman, Emanuel Levi and the Third National that enabled them to gain control of the Buffalo clothing firm Friedman & Co owned by Jacob and Burnet Friedman.

    1881: It was reported today that “the King of Denmark has knighted four Jews in Jutland.”

    1881: A resolution was adopted by a group at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to hold a meeting on November 27 to discuss ways to deal with the unprecedented demand on resources being created by the arrival of the wave of immigrants from Russia.

    1883: The Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum held its second annual charity ball tonight.

    1884: Birthdate of Norman Thomas social reformer and frequent Socialist candidate for President of the United States.  Thomas was not Jewish but he was active in numerous causes that affected the Jewish People.  He was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.  As a member of the America First Committee he opposed America’s entry into World War II until Pearl Harbor changed his mind.  At the same time, he worked to change American policy during the 1930’s to make it possible for Jewish victims of the Nazis to enter the United States.

    1885: It was reported today that while the Reform movement has approved substituting Sunday services for Saturday services, such will not be the case in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Rabbi Wise, who spoke approvingly of the change said that it was not necessary to make the change in the Queen City.

    1886: Birthdate of Alexandre Stavisky, the Ukrainian born French financer whose elaborate swindle gave rise to the infamous Stavisky Affair, a scandal that rocked France in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

    1886: It was reported today that the recent decision of the Supreme Court that “affirmed the illegality of keeping open a shop on Sunday “for the purpose of doing business’” will work an extra hardship on Jewish merchants.  The police had allowed them keep their shops open on Sunday “on the supposition” that because they observed the Sabbath on Saturday they were not covered by the law.  Rabbi Solomon Schindler has already chaired a packed meeting at the Columbus Avenue Synagogue on this subject.  The Jews will comply with the law but will work to have the legislature change it in the next session.

    1887: “Miss Adams, The Writer” published today traces the life and career of Hannah Adams, the first American woman to earn her living as an author.  Her works included The History of the Jewswhich was published in 1812.  The full title was The History of the Jews from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time and it may be the first book on this topic published in the United States.

    1887: “Reading From Right to Left” published today relied on information that first appeared in the Hebrew Journal to speculate as to way Hebrew is read from right to left.  “The most pertinent reason lies in the fact that our vision from right to left is much clearer and stronger than it is from left to right.”

    1887: “Emma Lazarus” published today provided a laudatory obituary of the Jewish poet who passed away yesterday.

    1887: Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler delivered a lecture to the congregants at Temple Beth-El entitled “Prejudice.”

    1888: A concert was given tonight at the Metropolitan Opera House to raise money for the Aguilar Free Library, an institution supported by the leading Jews of New York City.

    1888(16th of Kislev, 5649): Simon Lederer, a prominent New York merchant passed away today.  Born in Austria in 1823, he came to the United States in 1857 where he pursued a 17 year career in the tobacco business  first with Gustav Resiman and  then as a partner in Bondy & Lederer. A life-long bachelor, he was a generous but modest supporter of Jewish charities.

    1889: Gustav Mahler’s 1st Symphony premiered.  Mahler was born Jewish and was still nominally Jewish when he wrote the First Symphony.  He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1897 so that he could become Director of the State Opera.

    1889(26th of Cheshvan, 5650): Sixty-seven year old Dutch bibliographer Meyer Roest  who “to various Jewish periodicals, such as the Dutch Spectator and the Taalkundig Magazin, and edited the (non-Jewish) Navorscher and Israelietische Nieuwsbode for several years and whose best known work is Catalog der Hebraica und Judaica aus der L. Rosenthal'schen Bibliothek passed away in his native Amsterdam today.

    1890: As the “run” on Citizens’ Saving Bank, located on the Lower East Side with a large number of poor, Jewish depositors, it was suggested “that Chief Rabbi Joseph be invited to examine the thousands of dollars in the bank’s vault and then tell his people what he had seen” – a move that the Bank President hoped would reassure the depositors and end the run.

    1892 (1st of Kislev, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1892(1st of Kislev, 5653): Seventy-two year old Haim Nathan Dembitzer the Galician rabbi and historian who worked with historian Heinrich Graetz and  whose publications include a biography of Tosafist Joseph Porat passed away today.

    1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Military Band is scheduled to play at a fundraiser at Central Turn Hall which will be addressed by Ferdinand Levy, Judge Henry M. Goldfogle and Dr. Herman Baar, the Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum

    1892: A service is scheduled to take place this morning at Temple Emanu-El to honor the memory of the recently deceased Seligman Adler.

    1892: “Russia and Her Jews” published today provided a detailed review of The New Exodus” a Study of Israel in Russia by Harold Frederic a Presbyterian journalist and novelist  who had just visited Russia last summer.

    1893: As of today the tenants at 59, 61, 63, and 65 Moore Street, all of whom are Russian Jews are to have vacated the premises as ordered the Civil Justice in Brooklyn.

    1894(21st of Cheshvan, 5655): Russian born pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein passed away.

    1894: Birthdate of English film composer and music director, Louis Levy.

    1896: “Rachel Frank of California, the only woman rabbi who is famous as the ‘inspired prophet’ of the Jews on the Pacific Coat” was “conspicuous among” the delegates at the just completed first convention of the National Council of Jewish Women

    1896: Professor H. L Sabsovich, the General Agent of the Baron De Hirsch Fund officiated at the service dedicating the new synagogue in Woodbine, NJ, a colony settled by Russian-Jews.  The service included a sermon in English by Rabbi Sabato Morris and a sermon in German by Dr. Morris Jastrow.

    1896: Birthdate of Russian author Yevgenia Ginzburg.

    1898: A summary of the United Hebrew Charities report for October revealed that the society had processed 2,243 applications that would provide assistance to 7,477 people.

    1898(6th of Kislev, 5659): Fifty-five year old Emanuel Wachenheim passed away tonight at Bellevue after he had brought to the hospital from the Victor Hotel where he had registered under an assumed name and may have tried to take his own life.

    1898: Vice President Maruice Untermyer gave the opening address at the formal dedication of “the new home of the Hebrew Infant Asylum” which included a performance by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band.

    1901: At the opening meeting of the Second New York State Conference of Charities and Correction, Rabbi Adolph Radin of the People’s Synagogue and Chaplain of the House of Refuge arose from his chair and said, “I wish to register…my protest in the name of justice and humanity against the action of the Juvenile Asylum” to which “Jewish children are sent…and after a brief period are sent to Christian families.” He compared this form of proselytism to the practices of Czar Nicholas II.

    1901: A devastating fire broke out a four story brick factory building in Brooklyn, the top floor of which was occupied by Isadore Gerber’s sweatshop.

    1902: “The Jewish Theological Seminary held its first public gathering this evening in the hall of the Young Men's Hebrew Association at Lexington Avenue ad Ninety-Second Street. Prof. Solomon Schechter, the professor at Cambridge University, England, who is known for his archaeological work in the Genizah of Cairo, made his inaugural address as President of the Faculty of the new seminary.”  Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the Board of Trustees, followed with a speech that outlined the development of Jewish educational institutions in the United States.

    1903: Birthdate of journalist and co-editor of the Menorah, Herbert Solow who began as a Bolshevik and ended up working for Henry Luch.

    1908: The Grand Vizir of Morocco sent a letter to President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle approving educational work and stating that the new Sultan is resolved to protect Jews.
    1909: The One-hundredth anniversary of the death of Moses Mendes Seixas was observed at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York. Gershom Mendes Seixas was the first native-born rabbi in the United States. He was one of seven children of Rachel and Isaac Seixas. He was born in New York City on January 15, 1746. He was the first rabbi in America to give his sermons in English. He gave sermons which dealt with Jewish participation in the life of the state and made appeals for support of the American Revolution and against the British-Indian raids in the Northwest Territory. When the council members of Philadelphia made eligibility for an assembly seat dependent on professing the divine origin of the New Testament, he and other Jews fought against this unconstitutional religious test.

    1911: In Warsaw, “Regina and Benjamin Szymin, a respected publisher of Yiddish and Hebrew Books” gave birth to David Syzmin who gained fame as David Seymour famed photographer and co-founder of Magnum Photos.


    1913: Birthdate of Charles Bettelheim, a French economist and historian and founder of the Center for the Study of Modes of Industrialization (CEMI).

    1913: Birthdate of Leo Hanin, the native of Vilna who found refuge in China and Japan before finally making Aliyah in 1948

    1913: Birthdate of Professor Henry A. Fischel, the noted linguist who played a key role in the founding of the Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University

    1914: “For the Relief of Jews” published today urged donors making contributions to The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews to send them to Treasurer Harry Fischel at the World Building.

    1917: As the Empire of Russia collapses, the Ukraine declares itself an independent republic. In the ensuing civil war, as many as 100,000 Jews may have been killed in organized pogroms or by forces competing for control who had one thing in common --- anti-Semitism.

    1918: Rabbi Joseph Silverman will officiate at the funeral of Civil War veteran and successful Peoria (Illinois) businessman Captain Joseph B. Greenhut this morning at 10 o’clock at Temple Emanuel with burial at Salem Field Cemetery.

    1922: The Conference of Lausanne, one of the many peace conferences held to windup World War I which was covered by Albert Karasu opened today. Born in 1885 in Ottoman Salonika, he went to school in Switzerland before returning to Istanbul where he founded Le Journal d’Orient which survived until 1971, 11 years before Karasu passed away.

    1923: In Springs, Transvaal, Union of South Africa, Isidore Gordimer,  a Jewish immigrant watchmaker from Žagarė and Hannah "Nan" (Myers) Gordimer gave birth to Nadine Gordimer. a South African Jewish novelist and writer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature and 1974 Booker Prize.  Gordimer was educated at an Anglican convent school. Thereafter she studied for a year at Witwatersrand University, but did not complete her degree. During the 1960s and 1970s she taught at several universities in the United States. She drew praise for her demand that South Africa re-examine and replace its long held policy of apartheid. As such, most of her works deal with the moral and psychological tensions of her racially divided home country. Her first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. A founding member of the Congress of South African Writers, Gordimer has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, as well as France's Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

    1924: Birthdate of mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. Mandelbrot is a leading proponent of fractal geometry. He is Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Emeritus at Yale University and IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

    1925:  Birthdate of Robert F. Kennedy.  In 1968, Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan supposedly because he was upset because Kennedy was a supporter of the state of Israel.

    1929: Birthdate of Joyce Beber (née Sacks) the yesihiva student turned advertising executive who co-founded Beber Silverstein & Partners and created numerous memorable campaigns for the Helmsley group of hotels, which successfully promoted Leona Helmsley and her hotel chain, but led to her being hired and fired four times by Helmsley.

    1929: Rabbi Judah P. Magnes declares that Palestine must be a place for Christians, Moslems and Jews. He sees Palestine as an international home for people of all three faiths and calls for “the renunciation of all ideas of Jewish political domination” along with the development of “cultural Zionism.”

    1929: Today, Gertrude Berg's popular radio program, The Goldbergs, about an upwardly mobile American Jewish family debuted on NBC radio. Berg developed the kernel of the show as a series of live sketches to entertain guests at her family's Catskills hotel. It was produced in recurrent runs as a daily 15-minute program on NBC and other networks for nearly two decades before shifting to television in January, 1949. On both radio and TV, Berg served as the sole writer, producer, and star of one the nation's most popular programs. Throughout its 30 years on radio and television, as well as in presentations on Broadway and on film, The Goldbergs dealt explicitly with Jewish life in the United States, joking about the cultural differences between "old world" immigrants and their American-born offspring. Berg's Molly became a cultural touchstone, a figure combining old world wisdom, new world common sense, and a mother's humanity in confronting the perplexities of American life. Over the show's three decades, the Goldberg family moved from a New York City tenement to the Bronx and later to suburban Connecticut, mirroring the upward progression of many Jews into the American mainstream. Although Berg continued to produce The Goldbergs into the 1950s, the show's popularity declined. The demise of The Goldbergs reflects the homogenizing trend in postwar American society. As millions of ethnic Americans fled their traditional urban enclaves in search of an un-hyphenated, simply "American" identity in the suburbs, programming explicitly grounded in ethnic cultures gave way to more all-American shows like Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. The Goldbergs went off the air in 1955.

    1933(2nd of Kislev): Rabbi Moses Mordecai Epstein, author of Levush Mordecai, passed away today.

    1934: Lillian Hellmann’s "Children's Hour," premieres in New York City.

    1935: King Levinsky, who had recently been knocked out by a youthful Joe Louis, “fought professional wrestler Ray Steele in a bout that attracted national interest.”

    1938: Father Coughlin made the first of his many anti-Semitic attacks on his radio show. Using Nazi documents, American radio commentator Father Charles Coughlin contends that Jews are responsible for Russian communism and for Germany's problems. All of Coughlin's radio programs are approved by his archdiocese as not contradicting Catholic faith or morals. Some Catholics protest Coughlin's broadcasts, including Chicago's Cardinal George Mundelein, but most of the American Church is silent.

    1939: In what had been Poland, the Nazi Generalgouvernement blocked all bank accounts held by Jews. Withdrawals were limited to thirty dollars per month.

    1940: Britain announced a more stringent policy aimed at Jews trying to enter Palestine illegally.  Jews found on ships running the British blockade will not be allowed to enter Palestine.  They will be taken to an undetermined colonial destination where they will be imprisoned until the end of the war.  At that time, there final destination, which will not be Palestine or the site of the imprisonment will be determined. 

    1940: The Jewish Agency informed Prime Minister Churchill of the inhumane conditions under which Jewish detainees are being held on the island of Mauritius.

    1940: Hungary becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers. This is the first step on the long road which will belatedly bring the Holocaust to the Jews of Hungary including Nobel Prize Winner Elie Weisel.

    1941(30th of Cheshvan, 5702): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1941(30th of Cheshvan, 5702): Approximately 7000 Jews from Minsk, Belorussia, are killed at nearby Tuchinka.

    1942 (11th of Kislev, 5703): Rechaviah Lewin-Epstein, who was in charge of the economic work of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs died in Cairo today at the age of 49 while on his way to Palestine to continue his work.  Mr. Lewin-Epstein, the son of author and Zionist leader Elias W. Lewin-Epstein, established The Bureau of American Economic Committee for Palestine an organization he headed until 1938.  He returned to New York in 1939 after he had “facilitated the settlement of thousands of refugees in agriculture, industry and trade” in Palestine.

    1942: Birthdate of folk singer Norman Greenbaum.

    1943: Facing withering fire from Japanese artillery and machine guns, U.S. Marines land on Tarawa.  This bloody battle provides part of the backdrop for “Battle Cry,” the World War II novel by Leon Uris.

    1943: This afternoon several hundred residents of Tel Aviv protested the search that had been carried out at Ramat Hakovesh.  The protesters also demanded the release of men who had been arrested during the search. 

    1943: “Winged Victory,” a play originally created and produced by the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II as a morale booster and as a fundraiser for the Army Emergency Relief Fund” with a script by Moss Hart that “tells the story of a group of recruits struggling to make it through pilot training” opened in New York at the Forty-Fourth Street Theatre today and became a smash hit, playing to over 350,000 people in 226 performances.

    1943: Madeline Dreyfus who had chosen to remain in France as part of the Resistance instead of joining most of her family in the United States was sent to Auschwitz. Her grandmother Lucie Eugénie Hadamard, Colonel Dreyfus’ widow stayed with her.  She would be hidden in a convent, survive the war and not pass away until 1945.

    1943: The Nazis auction off the furniture and household possessions of the family of Isak Plesansky in an example of how the property of Norwegian Jews “mysteriously” disappeared.

    1944(4th of Kislev, 5705): Havivah Reik and Rafael Reiss, together with a group of captured Jews, were murdered in the Kremnica forest by the Germans and their Slovakian fascist collaborators. They dumped the bodies into a large ditch that served as a mass, unmarked grave.

    1944(4th of Kislev, 5705):Haviva Reik was captured and executed by the Nazis and members of the Ukrainian Waffen SS. Born in 1914, she was one of four volunteers from the Yishuv in Eretz Israel who parachuted into Slovakia to help the uprising against the Nazis. In September 1944 she succeeded in helping the Jews who were left in Banska Bystresis. When it fell they moved into the mountains with other Jewish partisans. Kibbutz Lahavot Haviva and the Givat Haviva center are dedicated to her memory.

    1945:  Twenty-four Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg. Colonel Benjamin Kaplan, “who later became a Harvard law professor and served nine years on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court” played a key role in crafting the indictment. 

    1945: Birthdate of Deborah Eisenberg, an American short-story writer, actor and teacher

    1945: Joseph Newman wrote to the War Office today to ask why the Gestapo had released Denise Desvaux so quickly,  how did they know that Isidore Newman was a British  officer and had she betrayed him to the Nazis.

    1946: As tensions rise in Palestine, a bomb explodes in Jerusalem.

    1947: The New York Times includes a review of The Victim, Saul Bellow’s novel about Asa Leventhal, “a frightened and lonely, man.”

    1947:"Meet the Press" makes network TV debut on NBC. The popular television news show began as a radio program in 1945, produced by Lawrence Spivak. A panel of four news people interviewed a prominent leader of the day.    When the show shifted to television, Spivak was the permanent panel member and some time served as moderator. 

    1947: Lillian Hellman's "Another Part of the Forest," premieres in New York City.

    1947: It was reported today that Lessing J. Rosenwald, the President of the American Council of Judaism, has expressed his strong opposition to “plans to establish the American Jewish Conference on a permanent basis to coordinate all Jewish activities in this country.”  The American Council of Judaism was a leading anti-Zionist Jewish organization in the United State.

    1947: British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan delivered his country’s response to United Nations General Assembly’s Committee on the Palestine

    1948: “An unarmed RAF photo-reconnaissance De Havilland Mosquito of No. 13 Squadron RAF was shot down by an Israeli Air Force P-51 Mustang flown by American volunteer Wayne Peake as it flew over the Galilee towards Hatzor Airbase. Peake opened fire with his cannons, causing a fire to break out in the port engine. The aircraft turned to sea and lowered its altitude, then exploded and crashed off Ashdod.” Both members of the crew were killed. (So much for the myth of British neutrality in the Middle East.

    1948: The first preliminary armistice talks begin when William E. Riley, chief UN truce observer, meets separately with Israel Foreign Office officials and Egyptian commander Fouad Sadeh Bey.

    1948: Dr. Philip C. Jessup announces U.S. policy regarding peace talks in the Palestine including a proviso that any changes in Israel’s boundaries must be agreed to by the Jewish state and a willingness to examine some parts of Count Bernadotte’s plan including the internationalization of Jerusalem.

    1949: The Jewish population of Israel reached one million.

    1951: Lewis L. Strauss addressed the second annual convocation of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.  Dr. James Conant, President of Harvard, Dr. A. Whitney Griswold, President of Yale and Arthur Hays Sulzberger, president and publisher of The New York Times, received honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters. (Sulzberger was the Jewish member of the trio).

    1951: Dr. Simon Greenberg, vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary conferred the degree of Doctor of Hebrew Literature on Rabbi Shraga Abramson, a visiting lecturer on the Talmud.

    1952: The Slánský trials- a series of Stalinist and anti-Semitic show trials - began in Czechoslovakia. The Slansky trials take their name from Rudolf Slansky.  “A veteran of revolutionary of Jewish origin, he had served as Secretary of the Czech Communitys Party.  Slansky was accused of spying for American imperialism, for the State of Israel and for the Zionist movement; allegedly he was a link in a chain of treachery” designed to undermine the authority of the Socialist Revolution i.e. Stalin and the Soviets.  “Fifteen years later this affair was officially declared to have bee a despicable slander, the whole affair having been fabricated by Soviet security agents working in Czechoslovakia.”

    1955: Dr. Cari Alpert, special assistant to Yaakov Dori, president of the Technion (Israel’s answer to MIT) “said a permanent peace between Israel and the Arab states would result in the opening of Technion’s doors to Arab students.

    1957:Morton Wishengrad's "Rope Dancers," premieres in New York City. Wishengrad was raised on New York’s Lower East Side by his Orthodox Jewish father.  Wishengrad was not particularly interested in maintaining his Jewish identity which was rather ironic because, in 1944, he became the first script writer for the radio show, “The Eternal Light” produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary.

    1959: WABC fires Jewish disc jockey Alan Freed over payola scandal.

    1960(1st of Kislev, 5721): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1960(1st of Kislev): Seventy-nine year old author and poet Ya’Kov (Jacob Cohen) passed away

    1964: The Second Vatican Council, under Pope Paul VI, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that the Jewish people as a whole are not to be blamed for Jesus' death.

    1968: Birthdate of David Einhorn, an American hedge fund manager and the founder of Greenlight Capital.

    1972(14th of Kislev, 5733): Eighty-year old Jennie Grossinger, the “queen” of Grossinger’s Resort Hotel passed away today.

    1973(25th of Cheshvan, 5734): Forty-eight year old author and songwriter Allan Sherman who wrote the popular musical satire Camp Granada passed away.

    1974: “In The Boom Boom Room” directed by Joseph Papp and co-starring Ellen Greene and Helen Hanft opened today at The Public Theatre.

    1975: Spanish dictator Francisco Franco passed away.  A fascist who aligned himself with the Hitler and Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War which would be seen as a “dress rehearsal for WW II” Franco refused to join the Axis and remained neutral during the war.  “According to the recent discovery of a World War II document, Franco ordered his provincial governors to compile a list of Jews while he negotiated an alliance with the Axis powers.] Franco supplied Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler with a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain, for the Nazis'"Final Solution". However, Franco built no Jewish concentration camps on Spanish territory, nor did he voluntarily hand Jews over to Germany. Furthermore, Spanish diplomats extended their diplomatic protection over Jews in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the Balkans

    1976: “Dorothy Schiff Agrees to Sell Post” published today described the decision to sell the venerable afternoon New York newspaper to Australian Rupert Murdoch including information that was found Jeffrey Potter’s biography Men, Money and Magic which appeared last month.

    1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to address the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

    1978: The funeral of Judge Leo F. Rayfel is scheduled to take place today at 2 pm in Farmingdale, Long Island.

    1979: About 200 Sunni Muslims revolt in Saudi Arabia at the site of the Kaaba in Mecca during the pilgrimage and take about 6000 hostages. The Saudi government receives help from French special forces to put down the uprising.  Anybody who was paying attention would have noted that 1)violence in the Middle East has many causes that have nothing to do with Israel and 2) the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites should be a real matter of concern

    1982: Andy Kaufman was forever voted off of Saturday Night Live by a live phone poll.

    1990: Efraim Gur began serving as Deputy Minister of Transportation.

    1991: Nadine Brozan described one of those strange coincidences in life where Richard Dreyfus and Michael Burns who lived near each other as children both became involved in projected related to Captain Dreyfus.  Burns authored Dreyfus: A Family Affair, 1789-1945 while Dreyfus produced and starred in a film about the French Captain entitled “Prisoner of Honor” that focuses on George Picquart one of those who sought to free Dreyfus.

    1995:  In a front page article, The Austin American Statesman reported that a group of IBM employees who were supposed to move from Florida to Austin were balking at the move because Austin lacked a kosher butcher and a Jewish Day School.  With a month, H.E.B opened a kosher butcher shop at one of its Austin stores.

    1998(1st of Kislev, 5759): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2000(22nd of Cheshvan, 5761):Sgt. Sharon Shitoubi, 21, of Ramle, wounded 2 days ago in the Palestinian shooting attack in Kfar Darom, died of his wounds today

    2000(22ndof Cheshvan, 5761): Miriam Amitai, 35, and Gavriel Biton, 34, both of Kfar Darom, were killed when a roadside bomb exploded alongside a bus carrying children from Kfar Darom to school in Gush Katif. Nine others, including 5 children, were injured.

    2003: Car bombings in Istanbul continue.  The initial bombing targeted two synagogues resulting in the death of 25 people and the wounding of 300 more.

    2005: A symposium is held at the American Schools of Oriental Studies entitled “The Tel Zayit Stone: A New Tenth-Century Inscription from the Judean Shephelah.” A dramatic discovery punctuated this year's excavation season at Tel Zayit, Israel, where The Zeitah Excavations recovered a large stone bearing an incised, two-line inscription. The special importance of the stone derives not only from its archaic alphabetic text, which hints at formal scribal training at the site, but also from its well-defined archaeological context in a structure dating securely to the tenth century BCE. The borderland site of Tel Zayit lies in the lowlands district of Judah, and in this period it exhibits strong links with the highland culture to the east, in the direction of Jerusalem, not with the coastal culture of the Philistine plain. The early appearance of literacy at Tel Zayit will surely play a pivotal role in the current discussion of the archaeology and history of Israel and Judah in the tenth century BCE.

    2005: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including the paperback edition of Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books byAaron Lanksy which recounts the adventures of  Lansky, who won a MacArthur award in 1989, as president and founder of the National Yiddish Book Center, traveling the world to salvage and catalog a literature once on the verge of oblivion.

    2006: “A rally organized by Anglo students to raise Israeli awareness about the genocide in Dafur is held at Zion Square in downtown Jerusalem.  The rally is sponsored by Hatzilu et Amei Dafur (Save the Nation of Dafur) a group composed of Yeshiva and seminary students.

    2006: Birthdate of Noah Pozner who would be the youngest victim at the Sandy Hook Mass Shooting

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, Imad Dalal who heads the Arabic music department at Safed College presents a program of traditional and contemporary song.

    2007: Prime Minister Olmert is reported to be going to Cairo for a surprise meeting with Egyptian leaders.

    2008: At the conclusion of his three-day trip to Great Britain President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where he will be awarded a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG), the sixth-most senior award in the British system, used to honor individuals who have rendered important services in relation to foreign nations.

    2008: After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level since 1997.  This is part of the long descent into what has been termed the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that will have a devastating on all Americans, Jew and gentile alike.  Many Jewish organizations will be forced to down-size as funding sources dry up.

    2008: In a secret ballot House Democrats voted 137-122 to have Congressman Henry Waxman replace John Dingell as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    2008: As part of the Live From Lincoln Center series, Jewish, Violinist Gil Shaham, the son of two Israelis, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Jonathan Feldman perform this intimate concert at the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse featuring the music of composer Pablo de Sarasate in a panoramic survey of the music of his music on the occasion of the 100 anniversary of his death.

    2008:Poland's capital marked the completion of a massive restoration project that marks the borders of the former Jewish Ghetto that was walled in by Nazis occupiers during World War II. The mayor of Warsaw, along with the minister of culture, inaugurated the project that included 21 new information points along the boundaries of the former Jewish Ghetto. The project also placed a beige line, labeled "Ghetto Wall," along the city streets that outlined the furthest reaches of the Ghetto's borders.

    2009: The 92nd St Y in New York, hosts the Shababa Bakery where you are invited to prepare for Shabbat by squishing, rolling and braiding your very own challah which you can take home and bake.

    2009: At Columbus, Ohio, at Tifereth Israel, Rabbi Unger leads The Mitzvah Initiative which features an unconventional approach to learning that is a series of open and honest workshops and discussion by participants which examine some of the most critical elements of Jewish life.

    2009: The U.S. State Department issued a statement noting “a growing trend of anti-Semitic hate crimes and discrimination around the world.” The statement coincided with the appointment of Hannah Rosenthal to serve as the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.  “The position has been vacant since Gregg   Rickman left at the end of the Bush administration.”

    2010: Sarah Michelle Levin and Melissa Ellen Levin are scheduled to be called to the Torah as B’not Mitzvah at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El.  They are the twin daughters of Gigi Cohen and Michael Levin and the sisters of Dana Levin who celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in the same congregation in November of 2008.  They are the granddaughters of Zena and David Cohen of blessed memory , Mrs. Betty Levin, an ayash chayil par excellence and Dr. Jacob Levin, of blessed memory.

    2010:JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to hold its 30th Fall Fundraiser honoring Tanya and Stephen Bodzin.

    2011: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest of Jewish readers including “Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945” by Max Hasting, “Eva Bruan: Life with Hitler” by Heike B Gortemaker, “The Unmaking of Israel” by Gershom Gorenberg and  Umberto Eco’s novel, “The Prague Cemetery,” that explores the history of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

    2011: “Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny,” a film Narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, that recounts Churchill's years in the political wilderness, his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, his support for Jews, his return to government by the demand of the British people and his rise to the Prime Minister's office in 1940, is scheduled to be shown at The Jewish Eye World Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper who the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled the first in a three part lecture series entitled Rabbi Akiva: The Mystical Prayer of a Legal Authority at Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

    2011: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to speak at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa.  Emanuel is Jewish.  Jefferson and Jackson were not!

    2011:Fears of a fuel crisis this morning followed last night's discovery of a water problem in Ben Gurion International Airport's jet fuel. According to tests conducted by Paz Nachsei Teufah, the company responsible for maintaining the quality of airport fuel at Ben-Gurion, water levels in airport jet fuel exceeded the state limit. It appeared that water might have seeped into the fuel tanks, which apparently does not contaminate the fuel, but does dilute it.

    2011: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today called for medical residents to return immediately to their hospitals as their representatives informed the High Court of Justice that they were willing to return to the negotiating table and to accept the court's proposal to appoint a mediator.
    2012: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginias is scheduled to present the final part of the series “The Evolving Views on the Afterlife in Judaism.”

    2012: Four rockets fired by Gaza-based terrorists exploded near a community in the Eshkol Regional Council.

     2012: As of midnight, Operation Pillar of Defense enters its seventh day with the Israeli government holding off on a ground offensive in the hope that talks in Cairo will lead to an end to massive Hamas assault on its citizens.

    2012: Those living in southern Israel organize demonstrations against plans for a cease-fire one of which is to take place in Kiryat Malachi where three Israelis had been murdered by terrorist rockets and one at Ashdod.

    2012(6thof Kislev, 5773): Eighteen year old Corporal Yosef Partuk and an Arab-Israeli civilian identified as Alayaan Salem al-Nabari were this  morning during a mortar attack

    2013: Today Noah Pozner would be turning 7 if had not been gunned down last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    2013: Yosef Mendeolovich is scheduled to discuss his memoir, Unbroken Sprit: A Heroic Story of Faith, Courage and Survival at the Center for Jewish History

    2013: Temple Judah is scheduled to host the Hadassah Book Club which will discuss Breakfast at Stephanie’s by Nancy Margolis.

    2013: “Inheritance” is scheduled to be shown at the Other Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Joseph P. Franklin a white supremacist who killed at least 8 people and wounded Larry Flynt and Vernon E. Jordant, Jr. in an attempt to start a race war was put death in Missouri today by lethal injection for have having murdered Gerald Gordon outside of a St. Louis Synagogue where this innocent non-Jew was attending a Bar Mitzvah.

    2013: A mid-range missile defense system, intended to close a large gap in Israel’s aerial defense readiness, successfully completed an intercept test today, the Defense Ministry announced. (As reported by Mitch Ginzburg)

    2014(27th of Cheshvan): “2104 BCE (1657 from Creation), as the Flood waters finally subsided, Noah, his family and the animals left the Ark. On this day, God commanded them to repopulate and resettle the earth

    2014: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present:“Mizrahi Music, Piyyut, and the Search for Israeli Identity”

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel discussion “Towards Life: Reviving Jewish Life in Contemporary Poland.”

    2014: In Melbourne, “A Match Made in Heaven” and “Zero Motivation” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2014: “Unorthodox” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th UK Jewish Film Festival

    2014: The 16th Street Book Club is scheduled to discuss The World to Comeby Dora Horn

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    November 21

    456 BCE (20th of Kislev, 3306): On November 21, Ezra called together all the men of Judah and Benjamin and told them that they would have to give up their foreign born wives.  This was part of an attempt by the returning exiles to purify and strengthen the House of Israel even though some might say that it altered the definition of “who was a Jew” as can be seen by the Book of Ruth which was written to portray a different point of view. 

    164 BCE: On the secular calendar, Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. Events commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

    1265: Abraham of Augsburg, who had converted to Judaism “died a martyr’s death” today which was the subject of elegies by Mordecai ben Hillel and Moses ben Jacob.

    1272:  Following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward becomes King of England.  As bad as Henry had been for the Jews, Edward would prove to be even worse.  After squeezing all he could out of his Jewish subjects, Edward expelled them in 1290.  England would remain officially Jew-free until for the next four centuries.

    1384, Philip the Bold regulated the status of the Jews. He permitted fifty-two families to settle in the towns of his domain on payment of an entrance fee and an annual tax. He fixed the rate of interest; henceforth a Jew was to be believed on his oath, and the evidence of a single apostate was declared invalid. The chiefs of the Jews were called "masters of law"; the Jewish cemetery was separated from the others, and a noble of the court was instituted guardian of the Jews. The general expulsion of the Jews from France in 1394 put an end to their presence in Franche-Comté. Israel Lévi has proved that a certain number of well-known rabbis lived in this province in the first half of the fourteenth century—for instance, Joseph b. Jacob Tournoy and Joseph de Musidan.

    1513: As Johann Reuchlin continued Johannes Pfefferkorn's drive to confiscate all books belonging to the Jews, Pope Leo ordered the Bishops of Speyer and Worms to hear the charge against Reuchlin.  Reuchlin was a Christian German Scholar whose field of study included Greek and Hebrew.  He had studied the Hebrew texts for the Emperor and found that most of them did not speak ill of Christiainity which meant that they should not be destroyed.  This thwarted the aim of Pfefferkorn and his allies. 

    1616(5377):Moses Mordecai ben Samuel Margolioth, the native of Posen who served as the head of the Yeshiva at Cracow for twenty years starting in 1591 when Joseph Katz passed away, passed away today.

    1619: Shah Abbasi (Sufi Dynasty, Persia) intensified persecution against the Jews. Many Jews were forced to live "Marrano-like" lives, outwardly practicing Islam. This policy was continued by his son, Abbas II.

    1694: Birthdate of the French philosopher Voltaire.  The great philosopher of the Enlightenment was a vicious anti-Semite.  Not only that, he was an anti-Semite with a twist.  Other Enlightenment philosophers that once Jews were no longer persecuted they would give up their religious trappings and meld into the mainstream of European culture.  Voltaire believed that Jews were innately deformed and that they were beyond reform.  However, Voltaire was humane, but he did not believe that they should be burned at the stake. In his own words he described Jews as “an ignorant, and barbarous people who have long exercised the most sordid avarice and detestable superstition, and an insurmountable hate for all peoples who have tolerated and enriched them.

    1789: North Carolina ratifies the U.S. Constitution to become the 12thstate in the Union.  North Carolina has one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. The early history of the Jews in North Carolina is a mixed.  In 1776, it was one the original thirteen colonies that could boast of having an organized Jewish community.  In 1852, the Jews of Wilmington, N.C, purchased land for a burial plot.  However, the congregation was not organized for another until 1867.  This lengthy was not unusual in the South.  In other ante-bellum communities, land was purchased for a cemetery, but with war clouds gathering, Jews waited before building synagogues and temples.  Further delay was caused by the Civil War and the impoverishment that followed. In 1809, Jacob Henry was the first Jew elected to the legislature in the state.  He accomplished this feat despite the state’s religious tests for office holders.  Strangely enough, the Tar Heel state did not get around to removing religious tests until 1876. The Jewish Community of North Carolina has made great strides over the years.   According to the Glenmary Research Center, which publishes Religious Congregations and Membership in the United States Guilford County (which includes Greensboro and High Point) ranked 99thon a list of the 100 counties in 2000 with the largest Jewish communities, based by percentage of total population. The thirty thousand Jews comprise 0.3% of the state’s population but pack enough clout to have gotten then Governor Jim Hunt to support a state agency designed to stimulate economic and cultural exchanges with the state of Israel. 

    1792: Birthdate of Benoit Fould, the French banker who married Helena Oppenheim whose dowry provided “part of the initial capital of the new bank Foul-Oppenheim et Cie.

    1800: Birthdate of “bare-knuckle boxer” Barney Aaron the native of Aldgate who was nicknamed “The Star of the East” and who was the father “Young Barney Aaron”.

    1818: A petition written by Lewis Way, an English missionary, requesting the restoration of an independent Jewish nation in Palestine was submitted by Czar Alexander to the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (p 40)

    1822(7th of Kislev, 5583): Eighty year old Lazarus Solomon passed away in Jamaica today.

    1823: Birthdate of Julius von Gomperzes, the Austrian industrialist who brother of historian Theodor Gomperzes, and the uncle of philosopher Heinrich Gomperzes.

    1824: [Editors note: Contrary to popular misconception, the American Jewish Community has deep, historic roots outside of New York and its immediate environs.] The first Reform Congregation, Beth Elohim, was established in Charleston, South Carolina. Beth Elohim congregation is the birthplace of Reform Judaism in America and the oldest surviving Reform congregation in the world. Its members have been eminent leaders in the city, state and nation. Among them: Moses Lindo, who helped develop cultivation of indigo, and Joseph Levy, the first Jewish military officer in America. The present beautiful Greek revival temple at 90 Hasell Street (pronounced Hazel) was built in 1840. The congregation began as a Sephardic group in 1749. George Washington wrote, "May the same temporal and eternal blessings which you implore for me rest upon your Congregation..." The Beth Elohim Coming Street cemetery is the largest pre-Revolutionary Jewish cemetery in America. The congregation's first rabbi, Moses Cohen, was the first person buried here, in 1762. Bernard Baruch's great grandfather, Rabbi Hartwig Cohen, is one of several other Beth Elohim rabbis here. Other noteworthy persons at this site are nine Charleston Jews who took part in the American Revolution, six who fought in the War of 1812, eight of the 180 Charleston Jews who fought in the Civil War, and three of the Jewish Masons who founded the Scottish Rite here in 1801. The history of Charleston Jewry is beautifully documented with ceremonial objects, records, paintings and photographs at the Beth Elohim Archives Museum. A three-story house at 89-91 Church Street in Charleston was the model for Catfish Row, the centerpiece of Porgy and Bess. George Gershwin wrote the opera while living in Folly Beach. As it moves into the 21st century, the Jewish Community shows its vibrancy through the construction of the College of Charleston, Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Center. Housed in a new three million dollar, 12,000 square foot building, the center offers college credit Jewish studies courses serving the entire community. The Robert Scott Small Library houses the largest archives of South Carolina Jewish history.  Last but not least, Reuben Morris Greenberg has been Chief of Police in the city since 1982.  He is the first African-American Jewish police chief in the city’s history.

    1837: Birthdate of “Austrian literary historian Marcus Landau” the native of Brody who “wrote over 700 essays, memoirs, and feuilleton articles in German and Italian for newspapers and literary periodicals.”

    1848: In New York, the "B'nai Jeshurun Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society," for the relief of indigent females was formed thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Henry Leo, Mrs. A.H. Lissak and Mrs. David Samson.

    1849: Birthdate of William A Gans, who practiced law with Samuel B Hamburger for 35 years and who besides his involvement in numerous Jewish communal organizations, served as a Captain in the Sixth Regiment of the National Guard of New York.

    1852: Birthdate of Jeanette Schwerin, the native of Berlin who “was a women’s rights activist and a pioneer social worker.

    1854: Birthdate of Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa who as Pope Benedict XV denounced anti-Semitism in response to a petition by American Jews and who gave Nahum Sokolov an extended audience where he presented the case for a Jewish state in Palestine to the Pontiff.

    1857: In Zanesville, Ohio, Jacob Schumacher and his wife gave birth to Gottlieb Schumacher, the future U.S. Consular Agent in Haifa.

    1859: Simon F. Norton the future father-in-law of Henry Klein, who had founded Norton’s Dry Goods at Los Angeles earlier this year became a naturalized U.S citizen today.

    1861: Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Judah P. Benjamin Secretary of War. Before the Civil War, Benjamin had been the second Jewish member of the United States.  After the war, he would refuse to surrender and would move to Great Britain where he became a barrister.  Benjamin is always connected with Louisiana and New Orleans.  However, there is also a strong connection with Charleston, South Carolina. Judah Philip Benjamin attended the Hebrew Orphan Society School in Charleston, as a boy. The building still stands at 88 Broad Street. High on the front is a Hebrew inscription. The house of Judah Benjamin's father can be seen nearby at 35 Broad Street.

    1866: Jacob Schiff was licensed as a broker today.

    1870: In Vilna, leather merchant Osip Berkman and Yetta Berkman gave birth to Ovsei Osipovich Berkman who gained famed as Alexander Berkman the anarchist from of Emma Goldman who attempted to assassinate Henry Clay Frick during the steel strike.

    1873: It was reported today that the Charity Committee of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society has issued an appeal to the Jewish community to provide aid to their less fortunate co-religionists who are suffering during the current economic depression which has resulted in a marked increase in unemployment.  Because of the severity of the current economic crisis there is a large number of “industrious laborers and artisans” who are suffering and are not used to seeking aid and assistance. Contributions of money and clothing can be left a Number 6 Walker Street in Manhattan.

    1875: According to reports published today, Emanuel B. Hart, a member of New York’s Jewish community will be in charge of entertainment at next month’s fund raiser for Mount Sinai Hospital.

    1878: It was reported today that a copy of the “Kabbala Denudata” which was published in Frankfort in 1684 has been sold at auction for $19.00. (This probably refers to work entitled “The Kabbalah Unveiled” by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth.]

    1879: “An assignment for the benefit of creditors, by Abraham Lager to Max Moses, with $,1850 preferences was filed in the County Clerk’s office” in New York today.

    1879: A report was published today describing the worsening situation of the Jews in Germany.  During the last month, at least 30 anti-Semitic pamphlets have been published in Berlin.  An "Antisemiten-Liga" (“League of Antisemites”) has been formed the members of which are “many of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens.”  Riots have taken place in which Jews have been not only insulted by severly maltreated.   The origin of this commotion may be traced back directly to that current of reaction, both in Church and State, which is now setting in over all Germany.”

    1879: The first edition of The American Hebrew is published in New York. Phillip Cowen was the first publisher of this weekly paper which was founded by F. de Sola Mendes.

    1880: The annual reception and ball sponsored by the William Rothschild Association is scheduled to take place this evening in New York City’s Irving Hall.

    1880: It was reported today that the government faced stiff questioning about the recent outbreak of anti-Semitism during a session of the lower house of the Prussian Diet.  Deputies “denounced the revival of race hatred and pointed out the inconsistency” of a country that “had taken diplomatic action in favor of the removal of disabilities of the Jews in the Balkan Principalities” harboring such sentiments.

    1881: “Jewish Legends” published today provides a detailed review of The Wandering Jew by Moncure Daniel Conway.

    1882: Jehiel Brill left Rosinoi, Russian Poland, with eleven men—ten farmers and a "melamed" (teacher)—today, and arrived at Palestine the following month. The story of his journey and of its results is given in detail in his work, Yesod ha-Ma'aleh (The Base of the Slope). Brill was Russian journalist who had been chosen for his take by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever and Baron Edmond de Rothschild.  (As reported by the Jewish Encylopedia)

    1883: It was reported today that Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Nathan led the opening march at the charity ball hosted by the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1885: On Shabbat, Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes delivered a sermon at Shearith Israel Synagogue  “concerning the recent meeting” of a group of rabbis at Pittsurgh “and their publication of a…declaration of the ideas of reformed Judaism, ideas which”  the rabbi said, “are totally different from European reformed Judaism.

    1887: “Something About Prejudice” published today highlights the views of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler on this subject. In his view, the Jews can do a great deal “to totally annihilate” prejudice “by not exhibiting prejudice in their turn”

    1888: It was reported today that Conrad Ausorge performed Schubert’s “Wander Fanstasia” at the Metropolitan Opera House as part of concert that was a fundraiser of the Aguilar Free Library which was founded in 188 and named for Sephardic Jewish author Grace Aguilar.

    1890: After surviving a three day run the Finance Committee of the Citizens’ Savings Bank which had been so desperate to regain public confidence that it had enlisted the services of a local rabbi, is scheduled to meet today to see what can be done to salvage the financial institution that has large number of poor Jewish depositors. 

    1890: Mark Koss, a tailor from Kiev, begged Agent Reinholz of the United Hebrew Charities Society to help him recover his missing baby who had been kidnapped by Sara Grimsburg, a former girlfriend whom he had known in Russia.

    1891: A “Palestine Bazaar” a fund raiser held to provide additional funds for the Louis Down-Town Sabbath and Daily comes to an end after three days.  The Bazaar had been closed on Friday.

    1891: Herzl's comedy "Prinzen aus Genieland" - "Princes from Genius Land", is produced at the Carltheater in Vienna. It achieves only a short run.

    1891(20th of Cheshvan, 5652): In the U.K. 41 year old David Crawcour who lived at 10 Mulcaster Street, passed away today.

    1892(2nd of Kislev, 5653): Henry Murh, a prominent member of the Philadelphia, PA Jewish community passed away.  A native of Bavaria, he established H. Murh’s Sons, a jewelry manufacturing firm.

    1892: Sándor Wekerle, the Prime Minister of Hungary appeared before the Diet where he “promised that bills for State recognition of the Jewish religion” would be introduced by his government.

    1893: Dr. Joseph Silverman introduced Professor Charles Briggs at a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association who lectured on “Modern Biblical Criticism.”

    1893: “A Sop for Jews in Russia” published today described a possible new policy in Russia that will Jews to live in “Russo-Polish” villages owned by noblemen who will “guarantee their lawful behavior” but will continue to forbid Jewish settlement where such guarantees cannot be obtained.

    1894: “The New Czar” published today held out little hope for an improvement of the condition of the Jews, since “the cruel persecution of the Jews, was the most popular part of the late Czar’s governmental program and that if a “really representative Russian Parliament” were ever assembled it adopt even more stringent regulations against the Jews.

    1895: Several New York Jewish businessman expressed their “utter indifference” with the announced plans of Dr. Ahlwardt , the German anti-Semite and Jew baiter to visit the United States next month. 

    1895: Herzl arrives in London and holds conversations with Israel Zangwill. Zangwill gives him the names of "several suitable men" with whom to meet including Colonel Goldsmid, Rabbi Singer and Chief Rabbi Adler.

    1896: Following the issuance of President Grover Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Proclamation that asked for “a continuance of heavenly favor through the mediation of Him who us how to pray, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise said that in invoking the image of Jesus, “the President panders to the passions of those bigoted sectarians who have been endeavoring to undermine the pure secularism upon which this Government is based.”

    1897: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address “What is Religion?” at the Carnegie Music Hall today.

    1897: Services were poorly attended today at Temple Emanu-El “owing to the fact that it was not generally known that Sunday services were being held” and that this only the second Sunday on which Sabbath services have been held. (The Reform Movement would find that moving Shabbat Services from Saturday to Sunday would not be a boon to attendance any more than the replacing Saturday services with Friday Night Family Services would be.)

    1898: After having having identified the body Emanuel Wachenheim, William Wolf was reported to have said he count imagine “why he killed himself” since he was “in good circumstances,” had a wife and three children and was active in several Jewish organizations including the Sons of Benjamin.

    1898: According to a description published today the new Hebrew Infant Asylum “building” which can accommodate 200 children “is a four story structure of colonial design” that includes all the modern conveniences including “a hospital for contagious disease.”

    1899: Herzl submits a memorandum for the Czar to explain the Zionist plans and to ask for an audience.

    1899: In Paris, “The Senate sitting as High Court for the trial of conspiracy cases resumed the examination of” Jules Guérin “who insisted the Anti-Semitic League of France” of which he is a leader ‘had not meddled with politics but had merely ‘defended the working classes against the power of the Jews and that he “had never plotted against the Republic.”  (Anti-Semitism, including the Dreyfus case, were part of a larger conflict between those who supported the Third Republic and those who sought a rightist takeover.)

    1901: The care of children was scheduled to be the topic at the second day’s meeting of the Second New York State Conference of Charities and Corrections at which time Rabbi Adolph M. Radin will be allowed to express his concern about the treatment of Jewish children at the Juvenile Asylum including the lack of a Rabbi to serve as a children and the practice of taking Jewish children and sending to live with Christian families who will raise the youngsters in that faith.
    1904(13th of Kislev, 5665): A month before his 62ndbirthday, Joseph Bernard Bloomingdale, the Bavarian born Jewish immigrant who, along with his brother Lyman “founded Bloomingdales Department Store” or as it is known to shopping aficionado’s  “Bloomies.”

    1905: Albert Einstein's paper, "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", is published in the journal "Annalen der Physik". This paper reveals the relationship between energy and mass. This leads to the famous equation e=mc².

    1913: Supreme court Justice Seabury ordered the sale in foreclosure of the Bijou Theatre property in a suit brought by Felix M Warburg, Isaac N Seligman, Paul M. Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff as trustees under the will of Alfred M. Heinsheimer against the Bijou Real Estate Company. [Seabury was the only non-Jew mentioned in this item.]

    1915: Funeral services for Dr. Solomon Schechter were held this morning at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Four hundred mourners, including a “who’s who” of the Jewish community, packed the building while more than a thousand people stood outside waiting to pay homage to the deceased sage and scholar.


    1916: Birthdate of Sid Luckman, legendary quarterback of the Chicago Bears.

    1916:  Emperor Franz Josef dies at the age of 85. He is followed to the throne by his 29 year old great nephew, Archduke Charles. Beginning with the start of regime of Franz Joseph I of Austria as the Emperor of the Austria–Hungary Empire his Jewish subjects enjoyed an unprecedented period economic, artistic and social success. “Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria bestowed on the Jewish population equality of rights saying, ‘the civil rights and the country’s policy is not contingent in the people’s religion.’ The emperor was well liked by the Jewish population, which as a token of appreciation wrote prayers and songs about him which were printed in Jewish prayer books. In 1849 the emperor canceled the prohibition against the Jewish population organizing within the community. In 1852 new regulations of the Jewish community were set. In 1867 the Jewish population formally received full equal rights. In 1869 the emperor visited Jerusalem and was greeted in great admiration by the Jewish population there. The emperor established a fund aimed at financing the establishment of Jewish institutions and in addition established the Talmudic school for rabbis in Budapest. During the 1890s several Jews were elected to the Austrian parliament.” But Franz Josef’s greatest impact on the Jewish people was his role in the start of World War I.  The Emperor’s unwillingness to reach any compromise with Serbia and his determination to punish his Slavic neighbor unleashed the catastrophe that caused unprecedented suffering for the Jews of eastern Europe who were caught between the opposing imperial armies for four years, unleashed the forces that led to the Holocaust and led to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire that results of which reverberate across the Middle East as we approach the second decade of the 21st century.

    1917: The Allied Forces (including Jewish soldiers) under General Allenby were fighting the Turks on the slopes of Nebi Samwil, the traditional site of the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel.

    1918: After the fall of the Czar there was a strong movement in Ukraineto establish an independent political entity. The Jewish parties voted against the severance with Russia leading to direct attacks on the Jews in the form of Pogroms (lasting 2 years). One of the first attacks was in Lvov where 72 Jews were killed and 443 wounded.

    1918: During the Polish-Ukrainian War, the Lwów or Lemberg Pogrom began.

    1918:Polish soldiers organize a pogrom against Jews of Galicia, Poland.

    1919: In an interview with the Sultan, Hahambashi assures him that Jews will never forget that when they were persecuted in other countries, Turkey welcomed them and that, if they had reason for complaint in recent years, it was directed rather against the regime which had been disastrous for all elements of the population, than against the Turkish people.

    1921: Birthdate of Lev Lipschitz, the Moscow native who made Aliyah in 1924 and gained fame as Israeli political leader and MK Aryeh Eliav.

    1922: The first official meeting of the Lausanne Conference, which was intended to deal with issues arising out of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire was held today with Lord Curzon serving as its President.

    1923: Birthdate Harry Zohn the native of Vienna who became a professor at Brandeis University.

    1924: In Baltimore Cantor Max Kotlowitz and his wife Debra gave birth to “Robert Kotlowitz, a novelist and editor who reluctantly became a public television executive in 1971 and went on to help shape a lineup of homegrown and imported shows — including “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,” “Live at the Met,” “Dance in America” and “Brideshead Revisited” — that represent a high-water mark in American television” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1924: Today, the Febre Line vessel, SS Canada which is carrying the body of the late Dr. Menachem Mendel Scheinkin set sail for Jaffa which is to be the site for his burial.

    1929: Birthday of Nahum Admoni the native of Jerusalem who served as Direct of Mossad from 1982 to 1986.

    1929: Birthdate of Brooklyn born comedian Stanley Myron Handelman.  By the time he died on August 5, 2007 at the age of 77 Handeleman had enjoyed a successful career as a television and nightclub comedian.

    1933: A delegation representing all elements of the Jewish community including members of the Vaad Leumi, representatives of Agudath Israel, leaders of the agricultural community and Israel Rokach, the Vice Mayor of Tel Aviv, met with the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope.  They were protesting British immigration policy including plans to deport Jews already living in Palestine as well as the negative impact of that immigration policy on the economic well-being of all those living in Palestine including the Arab populace.

    1935: U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, NYC Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and 800 others honored Rebekah Kohut's 50 years of communal work at a special dinner. Chaired by the novelist Fannie Hurst, the dinner assembled a wide array of political, cultural, and philanthropic notables who spoke of Kohut's varied contributions and her efforts to apply scientific principles to charitable work. Kohut was a notable activist in the Jewish and secular communities in the areas of education, social welfare and women's organizational life. She came to the United States from Hungary as a child, growing up in Richmond and San Francisco where her father served as a rabbi. In her early twenties, she married the traditionalist New York rabbi Alexander Kohut, a widower with 8 children, 6 under the age of 13. Rebecca devoted herself chiefly to these children and to her husband's scholarly work until his death in 1894. In succeeding years, Kohut immersed herself in the expanding world of Jewish women's organizational life and in the financial support of her family. She was the first president of the New York Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, gave public lectures on Jewish subjects, and opened a private school in cooperation with her stepchildren. During World War I, she became involved in employment work, which led to her role as an advisor on unemployment to New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s. Her efforts to bring relief to devastated European Jewish communities after World War I led to her leading role in convening the World Congress of Jewish Women in Vienna in 1923 and being elected as the organization's first president. (Jewish Women's Archives)

    1937: Henri Caïn, who the libretto for “Le Juif Polonais” (The Polish Jew) passed away today.

    1937: Birthdate of Ingrid Pitt, the daughter of a Polish Jew who survived the Stutthof Concentration Camp to become the first lady of British horror cinema, who starring in sanguinary classics of the 1970s like “The Vampire Lovers,” “Countess Dracula” and “The House That Dripped Blood.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1938: The British House of Commons objects to German persecution of minorities.

    1938(27th of Cheshvan, 5699): Pianist Leopold Godowsky passed away,


    1938: In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, Time published an article entitled “German: These Individuals!”

    "The civilized world stands revolted by a bloody pogrom against a defenseless people. Every instinct in us cries out in protest against the outrages which have taken place in Germany during the last five years and which sank to new depths in the organized frenzies of the last few days. . . . If you saw a gang of cowardly ruffians set upon a helpless man in a public street and proceed to beat him, you wouldn't long remain silent. If you saw a fanatical mob pillage and burn a church or a synagogue you wouldn't long remain silent. If you saw a brutal band drive helpless families from their own homes, you would speak out, and promptly." Thus last week outspoke New York State's defeated gubernatorial candidate, Republican Thomas E. Dewey, and was joined in vehement indignation by Democratic Senator William H. King of Utah who proposed that the U. S. forthwith break off diplomatic relations with the German Government. Outspoke ex-U. S. President Herbert Clark Hoover: "The blame is squarely up to the political agencies in power [in Germany]. These individuals are taking Germany back 450 years in civilization to Torquemada's expulsion of the Jews from Spain. They are bringing to Germany not alone the condemnation of the public opinion of the world. These men are building their own condemnation by mankind for centuries to come." One, Two, Three. But no active head of State,* and no No. 1 official associates of any head of State chose to speak out last week against "these individuals" who shocked an almost shockproof world with a display of deliberate and unprovoked mass cruelty. "These individuals" are four. Adolf Hitler is the World's No. 1 anti-Semite by temperament and conviction, whose intimate friend Julius Streicher publishes Der Stunner, the grossly fanatical No. 1 anti-Semitic newsorgan of the world. No. 3 Nazi Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels is a part-time virtuoso of antiSemitism, using his Ministry for Propaganda & Public Enlightenment alternately to incite and to calm German anti-Semitic mobs. And No. 2 Nazi Hermann Wilhelm GÖring is a ruthless German activist who signs the most drastic anti-Semitic decrees and has them legally enforced by the courts, the police and the army. "I Am Not A Dog!" The Führer was beside himself last week because a Polish Jew, once a resident of Germany, had put two bullets into Ernst vom Rath, third secretary to the Germany Embassy in Paris. Herr Hitler immediately sent his personal physician, Dr. Brandt, to Paris accompanied by the eminent German specialist, Professor Georg Magnus of the university at Munich. Four blood transfusions failed to save Ernst vom Rath. He died in a coma without being able to understand a message from the Führer promoting him to First Class Embassy Counselor. The assassin, Herschel Grynszpan, meanwhile told his French jailers: "Being a Jew is not a crime. . . . I hoped President Roosevelt would take pity on us refugees. . . . I am not a dog. I didn't mean to kill. I lost my head.""Mobs" and Mobs. Nazi bigwigs have often said off the record that if a Jew should ever assassinate the Fuhrer, "next day not a single member of the Jewish race would be left alive in the Reich." Last week only a handful of Jews were reported killed in the avenging of Ernst vom Rath. But in every part of Germany mobs smashed, looted, burned Jewish property. The purpose was to wreak final ruin on a section of the German population which had already been systematically persecuted to the brink of ruin. Synagogues were everywhere fired or dynamited. Numberless Jews of both sexes were beaten by mobs from the Baltic to the Brenner and from Sudetenland to the North Sea. The complicity of the German Government was proved by the fact that in most cases police made no effort to restrain the so-called "mobs." These consisted mostly of young Germans who drove up in cars. Heavy boots of the sort worn by party members when in uniform gave a good clue to the identity of the window smashers and firebugs. The synthetic "mobs" were in some cases joined by genuine mobs but these were mostly Germans who simply grabbed what they could after Jewish shop fronts had been smashed by the "mobs." Some mobsters tossed Jewish goods out of smashed windows to passersby with guffaws and cries of: "Here are some cheap Christmas presents. Get yours early!" Not all German Aryans countenanced this depravity. Said an Aryan Berlin housewife despondently as she watched Aryan children making off with the contents of a Jewish shop: "So that is how they teach our children to steal!". A few poorly-clad men jogged the elbow of a New York Times Berlin correspondent and whispered: "The German people do not approve of such treatment of the Jews." Bad Neighbor Policy. The harsh, explosive epithets in which the German language is rich, were heaped, together with obscenities, upon Jewish men, women and children in every part of the Reich. They were spat upon, cuffed, nose-jerked, kicked and given black eyes. The atrocities stopped short of rape or firing squads. Some Jews were so affected by the Nazi terror that, notably along the German-Netherlands frontier, they pitifully got down on their knees and crawled some distance, wailing and lamenting, to supplicate Dutch frontier guards to let them in. These guards were adamant in every case, on instructions of Her Majesty's Government, for The Netherlands has good reason to fear Bad Neighbor Germany. Damage & Indemnity. In Germany, insurance companies reported damage claims of more than $5,000,000 from Jewish policy holders in Berlin, more than $4,000,000 in Vienna. The New York Times estimated that total damage to Jewish property in Germany "may possibly reach one billion marks" ($400,000,000). The Times thought that the Jewish community this week, after all depredations, still owned property in Germany worth perhaps four billion marks ($1,600,000,000) and, before Hitler, may have owned 20 billions. But the spoliation did not end with the three-day pogrom. At the Air Ministry in Berlin last week, Air Minister Goring signed, as Economic Chief of the German Four-Year Plan for Self-Sufficiency. decrees providing: 1) that Jews of German citizenship as a community pay to the State a billion marks indemnity for the assassination of Rath; 2) that the State confiscate whatever is payable to Jews by insurance companies for damage done last week; 3) that Jewish owners of damaged premises must repair them at their own cost; 4) that after Jan. 1, 1939 Jews be excluded from "operation of retail shops, mail-order houses and independent exercise of handicrafts. . . . Jewish shops operated in violation of this order will be closed by the police" [and presumably turned over to Aryans]. He planned ultimately to move into ghettos all Jews who can or must tolerate life in Germany. And Jews were also forbidden to go to theatres, concert halls, art galleries, public schools, high schools, universities. In Paris, when the assassin of Rath heard of these decrees, he vowed in anguish: "I will pray every Monday for forgiveness for what I have done to my people." In England meanwhile Lord Rothschild said that nothing short of the execution of the Jews of Germany could be worse than what has now been done. Let Jews Starve? In Frankfort, where the assassin once resided, every male Jew between the ages of 18 and 60 was taken into custody. The same was done in certain other German cities. With many Jewish breadwinners torn from their families, with many of those families hungry, Der An griff, personal organ of Dr. Goebbels, coldly noted: "Noticeably large is the number of Jewish women with many children who ask for relief. . . . Our laws give even a foreigner the right to relief. . . . [Jewish] progeny and their [obscene synonym for "females"] become a burden on German funds." By holding the Jewish community of Germany in a state of general inability to earn a living wage, Nazis obviously hope to force the international Jewish community to remit to Germany huge enough sums in "good money" to keep their Jewish relatives in the Reich from going too hungry or too cold. The dollars, pounds, francs to be secured by thus "shaking down the whole Jewish race" (as some Nazis term it) are wanted to pay for such vital imports as Germany cannot get by barter deals. The Schwarze Korps, influential Nazi newsorgan of Adolf Hitler's personal Elite Guard and the Blackshirt Storm Troops, has openly hinted at the burgeoning of this gangster-blackmail scheme for several years. "Intellectual Originators." Referring to the assassin, Der Angriff libelously insinuated: "It is no coincidence that Grynszpan took the same line followed by Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Alfred Duff Cooper and their associates!" Der Angriff went on with a long list of "the intellectual originators of the crime'' which included, strangely enough, certain French Rightists like Henri de Kerillis but not the French Jewish Socialist on whom Nazis usually vent spleen, Leon Blum. Obvious reason: Blum and his Socialists last week had not broken with French Premier Edouard Daladier, one of the Munich "Big Four." In Paris the Jewish aunt and uncle of the assassin were arrested and it was revealed that just prior to the killing of vom Rath they were held under arrest for five days on suspicion of harboring an undesirable alien. Their papers were seized and the French Surete Generale probed to discover who really were the "intellectual originators" of the crime—if any. Meanwhile, French editors were not behind those of Britain and the U. S. in denouncing German pogroms in the strongest possible language and showing they felt even that to be inadequate. It was suggested that Charles Augustus Lindbergh and other Aryans who have recently received high German decorations ought to send them back to the Führer. Funk No. 2? The Great Powers plainly funked when Germany was permitted to dismember Czechoslovakia. On the issue of Jewish persecutions in Germany, Funk No. 2 raised its head this week. Typically funking was a statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England: "Would that the rulers of the Reich could realize that such excesses of hatred and malice put upon the friendship which we are ready to offer them an almost intolerable strain!"

    *Britain's Neville Chamberlain did say: "No one in this country would seek to defend the senseless crime of the murder of vom Rath, but at the same time there will be deep and widespread sympathy for those being made to suffer for it."

    1940: A cargo of 1,771 stateless Jews mostly from Austria, Slovakia, Bohemia, Hungary and Rumania are loaded aboard the Patria, a French steamer chartered by the British to ship them from Palestine to detainment camps on the British island of Mauritius.

    1941: U.S. premiere of “Shadow of the Thin Man,” the fourth in a series of Thin movies in this case based on a story by Harry Kurnitz who also co-authored the screenplay.

    1943:  Future Nobel Prize winner Dr. Arthur Kornberg married Sylvy Ruth Levy, also a biochemist of note. She worked closely with Kornberg and contributed significantly to the discovery of DNA polymerase.

    1943: In a review entitled “A Revolutionist’s Testament” Saul Bellow examines the newly published Arrival and Departure by Arthur Koestler.

    1944: In Chicago, Ruth and Nathan Ramis, who owned the Ace Food & Liquor Mart on the city's far North Side gave birth to Harold Allen Ramis  who performed and wrote in several comedies including Animal House and Groundhog Day.

    1945:  Laura and Edward Hawn gave birth to Goldie Hawn, the product of the Washington suburbs who first gained fame on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

    1945: John Farrar and Roger Williams Straus, Jr. “began the firm of Farrar Straus & Co.”

    1947: “Against Palestine Partition” a letter from several prominent Americans published today provides a panoply of reasons of why the United States should oppose the creation of a Jewish state including the fact that four –fifths of the proven oil reserves are in Arab hands and the fact that there are 40 million people inhabiting the Arab League States. The letter writers “all have intimate Jewish friends” but warn that any outbreak of violence in the Middle East that hampers American business interests will lead to a wave of anti-Semitism in the United States.

    1947: U.S. Premiere of “The Lost Moment” directed by Martin Gabel

    1948:The Sunday morning religious program "Lamp Unto My Feet" first aired over CBS television. It became one of TV's longest-running network shows, and aired through January 1979.

    1948: Israeli soldiers jam the biblical city of Beersheba to hear piano concertos played by Leonard Bernstein.

    1948: Israeli premier David Ben-Gurion praises King Abdullah of Transjordan and says he will meet with Abdullah and other Arab leaders anytime they wish.

    1948: It was announced in Tel Aviv today that “the picking of citrus fruit will begin throughout Israel this week, with the prospect of a crop almost equaling last season's in Jewish-owned groves but altogether of a little more than one-third of the pre-war production in Palestine.”

    1949: The United Nations voted to give Libya its independence within 14 months triggering a mass exodus of Jews who were so fearful of their future in the Moslem state that they left even though it meant giving up most of their property and wealth.  Over 30,000 of these Jews found refuge in the state of Israel.

    1955: It was reported today that a two-day conference under the auspices of the American Tenchnion Society, the financial arm Technion, which was being held at the Statler Hotel in Washington, D.C. has come to an end.

    1958: U.S. premiere of “The Tunnel of Love” produced by Martin Melcher and Joseph Fields, with a script by Joseph Fields, the son of Lew Fields.

    1959(20th of Cheshvan, 5720):  Max Baer passed away.  Baer was heavyweight boxing champion in 1934.  He was 49 at the time of his death.

    1959:  Jack Benny, on the violin, played a duet with pianist Richard Nixon, then Vice President of the United States.

    1961: Alexander Bittelman was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to provide testimony about his former organization today but he refused to testify, citing his rights under the 1st and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    1961: New Square, the first Chassidic town in the U.S., elected its mayor. 

    1962: U.S. premiere of “Two For The Seesaw” with music by Andre Previn which saw the movie debut of Harold Gould.

    1962: Birthdate of Abraham Kwastler who gained fame as broadcaster Avri Gilad who has been listed “among the top-ten TV earners.”

    1962: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion attends the founding ceremony for the city of Arad.

    1965: The port of Ashdod port opened for business when a freighter docked at the port for the first time.

    1965: The Central Council of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America created a Golden Jubilee Committee to celebrate the Brotherhood's fiftieth anniversary. At the time there were over 2,500 members of the Brotherhood.

    1970(22nd of Cheshvan, 5731): Anzia Yezierska, “a female sweatshop worker from a Polish shtetl” who became a “renowned author” passed away today.

    1970: Birthdate of Israeli actress and comedienne Alma Zack.

    1973: The Agranat Commission, a national committee charged with investigating the failures of the IDF prior to the Yom Kippur War, was established today.

    1977:  Off-Broadway premiere of “Uncommon Women and Others” the first play written by Wendy Wasserstein.

    1982: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff delivered the closing prayer at the official dedication of “The Wall,” the Vietnam memorial in Washington, DC

    1985: Jonathan Pollard and his wife were arrested and charged with spying for Israel. Pollard, who had worked for Naval Intelligence, had passed on information to Israel regarding Arab capabilities. Pollard was caught as he was trying to enter the Israeli Embassy in Washington. The Pollard affair caused great embarrassment to Israel both from the American perspective and also due to Israel's refusal to support him once he was caught. He was given a life sentence, and despite numerous requests from Israel for clemency he is still in prison.

    1988: Michael Dekel completed serving his term as Deputy Minister of Defense.

    1988: Weizman Shiry completed serving his term as Deputy Minister of Defense.

    1989: Morton Isaac Abramowitz was appointed “Career Ambassador.”

    1990: Michael Milken was sentenced to 10 years for security law violations

    1991: William Caldwell Harrop was named U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1991(14th of Kislev, 5752):  David "Sonny" Werblin passed away.  For most Americans, Werblin is best remembered for his purchase of the New York Jets in 1963.  Werblin then used his fortune to draft the AFL’s first super-star, Joe Namath.  Namath would lead Werblin’s Jets to victory in Super Bowl III, an event that would change the face of professional football.

    1996: Publication of the Impressionist Print in which Michel Melot describes Alphonse Hirsch as “an artist but mainly a hanger-on” to Edgar Degas” who “was one of several prominent artists who depicted Hirsch in his work.”

    1997: Speaking “at a ceremony at which he recalled the push for peace made  by” the late Yitzhak Rabin President Clinton “warned the Israelis and Palestinians today that they were running short of time” to reach come to an agreement.

    1998(2nd of Kislev): Eighty-eight year old Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, the Lakewood Mashgiach, passed away.

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Yosl Rakover Talks To Godby Zvi Kolitz; translated by Carol Brown, Village of a Million Spirits: A Novel of the Treblinka Uprisingby Ian MacMillan and In The Family Way: An Urban Comedyby Lynne Sharon Schwartz.

    2000: Itamar Yefet, 18, of Netzer Hazani died from a gunshot wound to the head by Palestinian sniper fire at the Gush Katif junction

    2002(16th of Kislev, 5763):  Eleven people were killed and some 50 wounded by a suicide bomber on a No. 20 Egged bus on Mexico Street in the Kiryat Menahem neighborhood of Jerusalem. The bus was filled with passengers, including schoolchildren, traveling toward the center of the city during rush hour. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The victims: Hodaya Asraf, 13, of Jerusalem; Marina Bazarski, 46, of Jerusalem; Hadassah (Yelena) Ben-David, 32, of Jerusalem; Sima Novak, 56, of Jerusalem; Kira Perlman, 67, and her grandson Ilan Perlman, 8, of Jerusalem; Yafit Ravivo, 14 of Jerusalem; Ella Sharshevsky, 44, and her son Michael Sharshevsky, 16, of Jerusalem; Mircea Varga, 25, a tourist from Romania; Dikla Zino, 22, of Jerusalem.
    2004: “At Holocaust Museum, Turning a Number Into A Name,” published today reports on plans for Yad Vashem to make its lists of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, along with biographical information available on line.

    2004: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including Breath: Poemsby Philip Levine

    2005: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asked President Moshe Katsav to dissolve the Knesset, just hours after he sent shockwaves across the political system with his decision to quit the Likud and form a new centrist party. Sharon formally announced that he had left the Likud and had formed a new party called National Responsibility.

    2005:Shaul Mofaz rejected Sharon's invitation to join his new party, Kadima, and instead announced his candidacy for the leadership of Likud.

    2006: Southern California coastal authorities have decided to allow a beachfront eruv - a boundary that makes it possible for observant Jews to carry objects on Shabbat - to be built in the state for the first time. The eruv will surround sections of Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Marina del Rey.

    2007: The planned chopping down of the chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank as she hid from the Nazis did not take place thanks to a court order issued on November 20,2007 ordering city officials to into ways to save the 150 year old tree.

    2007: “Yiddish Theatre: A Love Story” opens at the Two Boots Pioneer theater in Manhattan.This new documentary film is about Zypora Spaisman the amazing woman who has kept the oldest running Yiddish Theater in America alive. Zypora Spaisman is a Holocaust survivor who conquers all hearts in her passion for art, life and Yiddish.

    2008: President Shimon Peres returns to Israel after a three-day state visit to Great Britain where he met withdignitaries, visited Parliament, delivered a lecture at Balliol College, Oxford University's oldest college, and met with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and the Prime Minister.

    2008:In Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y presents “An Exploration of the Seven Deadly,” during which Aviad Kleinberg, one of the most prominent intellectuals in Israel examines the seven deadly sins with his trademark insight and deadpan humor. Aviad Kleinberg is Professor of History at Tel Aviv University and the author of Prophets in Their Own Country: Living Saints and the Making of Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages andFlesh Made Word: Saints' Stories and the Western Imagination

    2008:Dozens of synagogues and mosques across the United States and Canada are to take part in a first-of-its-kind three-day joint public relations campaign against anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim xenophobia beginning today.

    2009: In the face of far-left, Arab and Muslim opposition, the New York Mets organization has decided to honor its commitment to rent its Caesar's Club for a fundraiser benefiting the Jewish community of Hebron that is scheduled to be held tonight.

    2009: At the 92nd St Y in Manhattan Alan Dershowitz, the self-described “top defender of Israel in the court of public opinion,” and Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and director of J Street, debate issues surrounding America’s policy in the Middle East with special emphasis on matters surrounding Israel and its relationship with the United States.

    2009: Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, in collaboration with the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, gives two performances of the children’s opera, Brundibar, sponsored by the Joan & David Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Fund and Dr. Ronald and Sue Reider, two pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2010: Michael Makovsky is scheduled to delve into Winston Churchill's complex relationship with Zionism, his impact on the creation of the State of Israel and the modern Middle East that emerged from the two world wars of the 20th century during a program entitled Winston Churchill, Zionism & the Modern Middle East  at the 92ndStreet Y in New York City.

    2010: Avrom Bendavid-Val, author of The Heavens are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod  is scheduled to deliver a lecture based on his writings at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick and Saul Bellow: Letters edited by Benjamin Taylor.

    2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Dangerous Otto Katz: The Many Lives of a Soviet Spy by Jonathan Miles.


    2010:Outgoing head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin issued a warning at his final cabinet meeting today, saying that Israel should not be lulled into complacency by the relative quiet that the country has recently enjoyed.

    2010: Debbie Rosenbloom, the wife of David Levin, became a savta (grandmother) today when her daughter-in-law gave birth to a daughter.

    2011: “Latkes & Grits” by Murray Wolfe is scheduled to open at the Missing Piece Theatre in Burbank, California.

    2011: In California, Helen Duffy and Marcie Lynn Ross starred in “a wonderful reading of Murray Wolfe’s funny future in-law comedy ‘Latkes and Grits.’”

    2011: David Mitchell became the Rabbi at West London Synagogue.

    2011: The 8th Jewish Eye Festival, the World Jewish Film Festival held annually at Ashkelon is scheduled to come to an end.

    2011: Israel and Arab states plan to attend talks at a forum opening today sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at freeing the world from nuclear weapons.

    2011:Israel has gradually boosted naval patrols around its east Mediterranean natural gas fields for fear of guerrilla attacks and as maritime rivalry with Turkey deepens, an Israeli official said today.

    2011:A Jordanian delegation visiting the West Bank today called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew peace talks with Israel.


    2012: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to sponsor a screening of 'Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today'

    2012: As the eighth day of Pillars of Defense begins, Israelis mourn the loss of eighteen year old Corporal Yosef Partuk and an Arab-Israeli civilian identified as Alayaan Salem al-Nabari who had been killed yesterday morning during a mortar attack

    2012: In a case of Jew follows Jew, Lionel Perez was elected borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace by acclamation, replacing Michael Applebaum after the latter was selected as the new Mayor of Montreal.

    2012(7th of Kislev, 5773: Eighty-one year old “Mr. Food” who was in reality Art Ginsburg passed away today.

    2012(7th of Kislev, 5773): Eighty-nine year old film editor Dann Cahn passed away,

    2012: Ninety year old Valdka Mead, a leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in which she served as a courier and arms smuggler, passed away today.


    2012:An explosion ripped through a bus in central Tel Aviv around noon  — the first bombing attack in the city since 2006. Twenty-one people were injured in the bombing, three of them seriously. No one was killed. 

    2012: The UN Security Council called on Israel and Hamas to uphold a ceasefire agreement today and commended the efforts of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and others for brokering the deal.

    2013: The Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Marvin Hamlisch: One Singular Sensatio.”

    2013: Whole Foods in Friendship Heights is scheduled to host “8 Days of Oil” which will include a free olive tasting…and take-home booklets for celebrating” Chanukah.

    2013: The Valley Chapter of the of Los Angeles Yiddish Club is scheduled to host an evening of Yiddish Song with Cindy Paley

    2013: The 7th annual Other Israel Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013(18thof Kislev, 5774): Fifty-one year old Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Player Association passed away today. (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

    2013: The Iranian government is reminiscent of “dark regimes of the past” that tried to wipe out the Jews and then conquer the world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today in Moscow, vowing to deny Iran nuclear weapons.

    2013:German authorities released more pictures and details today of the massive trove of art that was discovered in a Munich apartment last year.

    2014: In Melbourne, “Anywhere Else” and “Young Perez” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2014: In the UK, the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to host a seminar that “will help students acquire skills to locate archival material on subjects including: the Holocaust, twentieth-century German history and European Jewish culture.”

    2014: “This Is Where I Leave You” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th UK Jewish Film Festival.

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    November 22

    1220: Frederick II, who would become the protector of the Jews in Frankfurt in 1236, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor today by Honorius III.

    1280: The 3 year reign of Pope Nicholas III whose bull Vineam sorce encouraged conversion through "sermons and other means" came to an end today. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1307: Pope Clement V issues the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. The Templars were a group of Christian Knights who took their name from the fact that their first headquarters was located on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in an area believed to be on the site of the ruins of Solomon’s Temple.

    1348: Riots reached the Germanic lands of Bavaria and Swabia.  Eighty towns, including Augsburg, Munich, and Wurzburg were attacked

    1547:Asolo, Italy was the scene of one of the few pogroms recorded in Italy. Ten Jews in a town of thirty were killed, and their houses robbed with no apparent motives.

    1580: In Poland, the Council of the Four Lands adopted an ordinance that limits the extent of land leasing, known as arenda that is permitted to any individual.  The prevention of competition for arenda was one of the council’s major concerns. 

    1617: Ahmed I, Ottoman Sultan, passed away.  During his reign, Ahmed contracted small pox. The treatments prescribed by his physicians proved ineffectual. The widow of Solomon Eskenazi, who had served as a court physician was called in and she saved the Sultan.

    1793: Strasbourg prohibited circumcision and the wearing of beards Further It ordered the burning of all books in Hebrew.  Strasbourg is located on the border between Germany and France.  As such it has changed hands numerous times.

    1795(10th of Kislev, 5556): Vrouwtje Frumet David Lintz-Cohen passed away. Born at Amsterdam in 1737, she was the daughter of David Levie Juda-Moshe Lints-Cohen and Bele Simon Samson Levie-Drukker and the widow of Kalman Isaac Shochet

    1797: In London, Levy Salomons and Matilda de Metz gave birth to Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, a leading figure in the 19th century struggle for Jewish emancipation in the United Kingdom who was the first Jewish Sheriff of the City of London and Lord Mayor of London, and one of the first two Jewish people to serve in the British House of Commons.

    1800 (5th of Kislev): Philosopher Solomon ben Joshua Maimon passed away

    1808: In London Hanna Barent Cohen and Nathan Mayer Rothschild who “had just established the London branch of the banking business of the Rothschilds” to Baron Lionel Nathan Rothschild.

    1811: Birthdate of David Woolf Marks, a leading Reform Rabbi in the UK who was the first Rabbi to serve at The West London Synagogue, the country’s first (and oldest) reform congregation.

    1813: Today, a codicil was attached to the original will of Benjamin D’Israeli, the grandfather of the Earl Beaconsfield, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister to have been born Jewish.

    1819: Birthdate of Joseph Seligman, the native of Bavaria, who founded Seligman Brothers and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1819: Birthdate of Mary Anne Evans, who, under the pen name of George Elliot wrote Daniel Deronda is a novel by George Eliot, first published in 1876. It was the last novel she completed and the only one set in the contemporary Victorian society of her day. Its mixture of social satire and moral searching, along with a sympathetic rendering of Jewish proto-Zionist and Kaballistic ideas has made it a controversial final statement of one of the greatest of Victorian novelists.

    1826: Birthdate of Italian patriot Enrico Guastalla who fought in the wars that led to the unification of Italy.

    1845: In the UK, Charlotte von Rothschild and Lionel de Rothschild gave birth to their third son Leopold de Rothschild who was also the youngest of their five children.

    1848: Jonas Phillips Levy married Frances (Fanny) Mitchell today.  Born in 1807, he was the younger brother of Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy and the son of Michael Levy and Rachel Phillips. This native of Philadelphia, commanded the U.S.S. America during the Mexican-American War.  He continued his career as a merchant and sea captain until his death in New York in 1883.

    1852: It was reported today that Baron James Rothschild has just been named as a recipient of the Order of the Iron Crown, Second Class. It is ironic that the award which conferred the status of nobility should have been awared at a time when the Jews of Austria are worried about a possible loss of rights.

    1852: An article published today entitled “The Austrian Jews” reported that Jews of Austria are worried that they will lose all of the gains they have made since the revolution and will be forced to return to the repressive status under which they lived prior to 1848.  The author contends that the Jews will continue to enjoy most of their newly won rights including that of acquiring real estate and living where they please.  They will once again be banned from holding any state position that “brings them in contact with the public in a judicial capacity.

    1854: Two hundred people gathered at the Chinese Assembly Rooms tonight to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society in New York City.

    1857(5th of Kislev, 5618): Forty-three year old Austrian published Wolf Pascheles passed away today.

    1858: Denver, Colorado is founded. Jews have been active in Denver from its very beginning.  Fred Z. Salomon and his brother Hyman led the first large pack train into the settlement that would become Denver.  The two were "fifty-niners" who were later joined in Colorado by their brother Adolph. A native of Strelno, Posen, Prussia, Fred worked at various trading centers in New Mexico Territory before leading a supply train from Independence, MO to Auraria, the village across the river from the soon to be created Denver.  Fred devoted his life to business and cultural ventures in the Mile High City.  He started a brewery which the Rocky Mountain News “noted speedily decreased the local consumption of strychnine whiskey and Taos Lightning.”  In 1860, Fred and Hyman started what would become the Denver Water Company.  Fred “helped organize the Auriaria and Denver Chess Club and literary Society, later the Colorado Pioneer Society the Denver Public Library and the Denver B’Nai Brith Lodge.” In a time when rail travel was critical to commercial success, the elder Salomon helped lead the fight to bring the Denver Pacific and Kansas Pacific railroads to Denver.  Fred also found time to serve as territorial treasurer.  Such total identification with his adopted hometown stands in stark contrast with the decision of member of the Denver Club - the name of the “chess and literary society head helped found” to bar Jews starting in 1881. Other Jews connected with Denver in its early days were Otto Mears who arrived in Colorado in 1852, and Sam Flax, who after several false starts, meet success in the restaurant and hotel business. [For more information about Denver Jewry see the website of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Pioneer Jews by Harriet and Fred Rochlin.]

    1858: The New York Times published a copy of a letter that appeared in this week’s Jewish Messenger addressed to the President of the Hebrew Congregation in the United States and others from Sir Moses Montefiore, the President of the London Committee of Deputies for the Jews. The letter called for the American Jewish community to join its co-religionists in England, Holland France in seeking the support of their government in having the Mortara child returned to his parents and to avoid any such future seizures. It summarized the threat that the seizure Edgardo Mortara posed to Jews and “every other denomination of faith” except the Roman Catholics. Montefiore reiterated that this was not just a matter of religious freedom. The behavior of the Catholic Church placed “in peril, personal liberty, social relations and the peace of families.”

    1858: It was reported today that “our Jewish fellow-citizens will shortly hold a mass meeting in one of our large public halls, to denounce the unjustifiable abduction of Mortara’s child by the Roman inquisition. The Israelitish communities of France, Holland and England have already considered the subject, and a meeting of the Jews of Philadelphia has recently been held to take action in the same matter.

    1860(8th of Kislev, 5621): Sixty-seven year old historian Isaak Marcus Jost passed away today.


    1870: The Ladies Bikur Cholim Society held their 9th annual ball tonight at the Apollo Hall.  Due to inclement weather, the event was not well attended.

    1875: Vice President Henry Wilson passed away today making Thomas W. Ferry, the President pro tempore of the Senate, next in line if the President of the United States should pass.  Perry, along with President Grant, would attend the services consecrating Adas Israel in Washington, DC in 1876.  This meant that the two top leaders of the United States government attended the consecration of a Jewish house of worship for the first time in the nation’s history.

    1877:  Seligman Hirsch, a New York fur dealer was found guilty of receiving stolen goods. He was defended by Albert Jacob Cardozo.  Under the law, Hirsch could have been sentenced to five years in prison but in response to the jury’s recommendation for mercy, the judge sentenced the Jewish businessman to only two years in the state prison.

    1878: It was reported today that New York has 375 houses of worship, 25 of which are synagogues of Jewish Temples.


    1879: David McAdam is scheduled to deliver a lecture tonight at the Young Men’s Hebrew Union in Clarendon Hall followed by musical and literary entertainment.

    1879: The Young Ladies Charitable Union, an organization made up of 72 Jewish woman chaired by Julia Richman, are scheduled to host a fund raiser at the Opera House on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.  The entertainment will include nine tableaux representing the nine muses and a children’s pantomime followed by an evening of dancing. The money raised will go to supply New York’s poor with shoes.  Last winter the Union provided over 900 pairs of shoes for the needy.

    1880: It was reported today that there are 3 and a half million people living in Holland, 100,000 of whom are Jews.  A million are Catholics and the rest are Protestants.

    1882: It was reported today that Herr Meyer killed Captain Emerich in a duel fought at Wurzburg.  Meyer had challenged the gentile over a matter of honor.

    1884: Sir Moses Montefiore has had another attack of the bronchial affection just after the celebration of his one hundredth birthday, and is now confined to his bed at his home near Ramsgate.

    1885: The San Francisco Call reported today that the late Senator William Sharon had bequeathed $5,000 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of San Francisco.

    1885: It was reported today that the annual Charity Ball sponsored by the Purim Association will be held in February of 1886.

    1885: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler will officiate at Temple Beth-El’s Thanksgiving Services in New York City.

    1886: Based on information that first appeared in the London Times, it was reported today that Levy Isaacs, an old German Jewish peddler who dealt in sponges and jewelry died as a result of house fire at his home on Ashburner Street, Bolton.

    1886: Following the recent Massachusetts State Supreme Court decision requiring the enforcement of the state’s Sunday closing laws, it was reported that the police have been making a list of the peddlers who were buying supplies at the Jewish businesses on Salem Street yesterday, Sunday.  Up until now, the police have not enforced the law where Jewish businessmen are concerned because the Jews closed their businesses on Saturday in observance of their Sabbath.

    1888: Rabbi Alexander Kohut will officiate at the funeral services for Simon Lederer who will be interred in Cypress Hills.

    1889(28th of Cheshvan, 5650): Seventy-two year old Levi Ali Cohen the Dutch physician and author who was also “a member of the committee on Jewish affairs in Holland” for twenty years.

    1890:Mrs. Philip J. Joachimsen, presented “a report of the past year’s work done by” the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of which she is the President.  During the past year, home run by the society has admitted 153 children, discharged 179 children and is currently caring for 566 children.

    1891: Birthdate of German born historian Victor Ehrenberg whose illustrious family includes his sons Sir Geoffrey Elton, the British historian and physicist Lewis Elton.

    1892: It was reported today that until the Hungarian parliament passes the bills for the state recognition of the Jewish religion “special regulations to enforce the registration of children of mixed marriages would be made.”

    1893: Birthdate of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich one of the original Bolshevik’s who survived all of the purges and would actually live longer than the Soviet Union existed.

    1895: Samuel Greenbaum, a prominent New York lawyer was reported to have expressed the view that the Jews of New York would “take no notice” of the Dr. Hermann Ahlward the German anti-Semite who is scheduled to deliver a series of lectures in the United States. Echoing the sentiment of most other Jews, Greenbaum said  “the Jewish people do not have anything to fear from…this disciple of German anti-Semitism” because “the American people are not like to be influenced by the wild and unfounded accusations which in the stock in trade of anti-Semites.”

    1896: Michaelis Machol, the Rabbi of the Sparrow Avenue Temple, plans on delivering a talk today expressing his opposition to the Thanksgiving message issued by President Cleveland that invokes the image of Jesus “as a mediator between man and God.” This would not be his last entrance into the Separation of Church and State fray. In 1901, Machol joined other rabbis and lay leaders in “protesting the decision of the board of the Cleveland Public Schools to begin each school day with the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the 23rd Psalm.”

    1896: “President Cleveland Criticized” published today provided expression of rabbinic displeasure over Grover Cleveland’s Christologically laced Thanksgiving proclamation including Cincinnati Rabbi David Phillipson’s state that the Jews “feel excluded from the invitation to observe the day.”  (Full disclosure – some of his indignation might have been politically motivated since Phillipson was a Republican and Cleveland was a Democrat.)

    1896: The Hebrew Institute will be the site of the Harmony Musical Society’s concert this evening.

    1896:”Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, the rabbi at Temple Sinai, “predicts the downfall of the Jewish Sabbath. He declares that the seventh day tradition of the race is doomed, wiped from the Hebraic calendar swallowed up in the necessity of adapting the religion to the customs of the countries in it may be transplanted. (Just as the Jew has kept the Sabbath, so has the Sabbath kept the Jew – from the Saturday morning service.)

    1897: In a speech delivered today, Reverend Samuel Frender, a convert to Christianity told a meeting of Methodist clergyman that “the average Jew believed that Christians had a prejudice against them.”

    1897: Charles Schapiro…the young Russian Jew who shot and killed Louis Lieberman at a wedding at 123 Henry Street” and tried to kill his sweetheart Yetta Gordon was arraigned in the Essex Market Court” today

    1897: In a move that might surprise some advocates of the separation of church and state, a summary of Rabbi Gustave Gottheil published included his expression of displeasure over Tammany Hall’s victory “in the recent election” saying that “he had wished the election had gone the other way.”

    1899: In Paris, the Senate sitting as a High Court for the trial of the conspiracy, which has already heard testimony from the President of the League of Anti-Semitic that the demonstrations he arranged were anti-Dreyfus protests and not a plot to overthrow the Republic, resumed its deliberations today. The Senate was investigating charges of treason that included many leaders of the anti-Semitic movement in France who were also anti-democratic rightists.

    1902:  Birthdate of Emanuel Feuermann.  Born in Galicia, this world class cellist found fame playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He died unexpectedly in 1942 as the result of an infection contracted during a minor surgical procedure.

    1909: Birthdate of Mikhail Leontyevich Mil a founder of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, which is responsible for many of the well-known Russian helicopter models, notably the Mil Mi-24 'Hind'. He passed away in 1970.

    1909: Speaking in Yiddish, twenty-three-year-old Clara Lemlich addressed a crowd of thousands of restless laborers at New York City's Cooper Union. “I am one of those who suffer from the abuses described here, and I move that we go on a general strike.”  The audience of workers had been listening for hours as numerous labor leaders decried current working conditions in New York's garment industry but who nonetheless advocated caution when considering a strike. Lemlich's words and passion stirred the crowd. The chairman of the event came to her side and called out “Will you take the old Hebrew oath?” Although not an exclusively Jewish gathering, most in the crowd raised their right arms and pledged with him in Yiddish: “if I turn traitor to the cause I now pledge, may my hand wither from the arm I now raise.” And so began the “Uprising of the 20,000,” a critical turning point in American labor activism. In the months that followed, thousands of garment workers, mainly young Jewish and Italian women walked picket lines and confronted police brutality. The Jewish women, including Lemlich, Rose Schneiderman, and Pauline Newman, who worked tirelessly to organize and sustain the strike effort, insisted that their concerns extended beyond wages and hours. They fought for dignity in working conditions and for women's right to union recognition. While the strike was only partially successful, it set off a wave of general strikes from 1909-1915 in cities across the United States. As a result, U.S. labor leaders who had long dismissed the needs of women workers and ignored the work of female activists had to accept the centrality of women's needs within the American labor movement. (Jewish Women's Archives)

    1910: Birthdate of Ervin György Patai, who as Raphael Patai would gain fame as an ethnographer and anthropologist.

    1914: A review of Zionism by Professor Richard H. Gottheil was published today.

    1914: Stamp Tax for Jewish Relief” published today described positive response to “the one self-taxation stamp issued by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews” that has included the formation by the Young Men’s Hebrew Associations of “Enlistment Clubs” where each members has pledged to contribute 10 cents a week.

    1914: According to an announcement made tonight by the American Jewish Committee “the Turkish Government has assured the State Deparment…that is will not expel Russian Jews residing in the Ottoman Empire. (The important impact of this was on the Jews of Palestine, a large number of whom had come from Russia starting in the 1880’s and were viewed as potential enemies by the Turks who were fighting the Czar)

    1914: “At a conference of the lodges affiliated with the Workmen’s Circle and other Rumanian organizations representing 5,000 members” held today, “it was decided to protest against the loan that a delegation from Rumania will be requesting from the United States.

    1917: As Allenby’s forces, including the 38th and 39thBattalions known as the Jewish battalions, made their way towards Jerusalem, Turkish forces made three fruitless counter-attacks in an attempt to dislodge the British from Nebi Samwil.

    1917: Woodrow Wilson became the first president to publicly endorse a national Jewish philanthropic campaign when he sent a letter to Jacob Schiff, today calling for wide support of the United Jewish Relief Campaign, which was raising funds for European War relief.

    1918: As Poles and Ukrainians clash in the anarchy that followed the breakup of the Russian Empire Polish forces began a two day attack on the Jewish community of Lemberg (Lvov).

    1921:  Birthdate of comedian and comedic actor Rodney Dangerfield.  Dangerfield passed away in 2004.  His ill-fitting black suits and shirts with the too-tight collar were as much a part of his comedic signature as was the lament, “I don’t get no respect.”

    1922: Grigori Sokolnikov began serving as People’s Commissar for Finance of the RSFSR.

    1923: Birthdate of film director Arthur Hiller.

    1923: Birthdate of Hanna Meierzak, the German child actress who made Aliyah in 1933 where she gained fame as actress Hanna Maron.

    1927: George Gershwin's "Funny Face," premieres in New York City.

    1931: In article entitled “Palestine Goes to the Theatre”, Jean Jaffe reports approvingly on the wide scope of theatrical productions offered by the Jewish community including productions of Shaw’s “Devil’s Desciple” which was produced under the Hebrew names “Bechor Hasatan”, Upton Sinclair’s “The Pot Boiler” and Zweig’s “Jeremiah.”

    1933: Incorporation of the Anti-Nazi League

    1934: "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" was first heard on Eddie Cantor's radio program.  And you thought that “White Christmas” was the only Christmas song with a Jewish connection. 

    1934: In an effort to curb “excessive rentals,” Tel Aviv’s Municipal Council vote to impose “regulations for the fixing of a maximum rate of rent for all business and residential property.”

    1936: Emir Abduallah fails in his attempt to convince Palestinian Arabs to give testimony before the Peel Commission.

    1936: Birthdate of Fred Wilpon the Bensonhurst native who made his fortune in real estate before he purchased the New York Mets.

    1936: Birthdate of Dr. Albert Bernard Ackerman.  A native of Elizabeth, NJ who graduated from Princeton and Columbia Medical School, Ackerman was a founding figure in the field of dermatopathology who trained a generation of doctors to recognize skin diseases under the microscope

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that in Beirut four persons lost their lives and more than 60 were wounded in demonstrations protesting the closing down by French authorities of several Lebanese political organizations. Over 300 arrests were made. Palestine was not the only scene of unrest in the Middle East prior to World War II.

    1937(18th of Kislev, 5698):

    1937:  The Palestine Post reported that in Vienna the local Jewish community conducted a winter relief appeal for funds to feed some 1,800 needy residents daily.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that 2,000 delegates attended the Palestine Conference in Warsaw. They were addressed by Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.  Ben-Zvi would gain fame as the second President of Israel.

    1938: Beersheba, after having been in the hands of Arab rebels since it was abandoned by the government civil authorities six weeks ago, was occupied by British troops today. All towns in Palestine that the Arab rebels had seized are now controlled by the British military although Arab terrorists are still active.

    1939: The Balfour Players are scheduled to perform “Trial,” “a play concerning the Jews, Arabs and English in Palestine by Miss Shoshanah Bat Dori at the Heckschler Theatre on Fifth Avenue.

    1939(10th of Kislev, 5700): Moissaye Joseph Olgin, a Russian-born writer, journalist, and translator in the early 20th century passed away. He found the Morgen Freiheit, a New York City Yiddish Newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, among whose stated aims was the promotion of the Jewish labor movement and the defeat of racism in the United States.

    1939: Supreme Court Justice Julius Miller said today that “payment to the German government of $3,700 from the $60,000 estate of Mrs. Lucy A. Peck will be authorized if proof is submitted that such a payment will result in the release of Mrs. Peck’s brother,” 71 year old Rudolf A. Strauss, a Jew currently being held in a German prison.

    1939: “Harry A. Jung, honorary general manager of the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation…made public today letters to Representative Martin Dies,” chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee denying “that he or the federation had any connection with Nazi organizations.”

    1939(10th of Kislev, 5700): In Warsaw, Poland a Jew killed an officer.  As punishment for the crime, all 53 male inhabitants of his building were summarily shot.

    1940: Prime Minister Winston Churchill writes to Lord Lloyd, the Secretary of State for the Colonies who is an opponent of Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel, cautioning him to make that Jewish internees on island of Mauritius be treated humanely.

    1941(2nd of Kislev, 5702): Kurt Koffka passed away. Koffka was born and educated in Germany. The famed psychologist moved to America in 1928.  With Wolfgang Köhler and Max Wertheimer, he co-founded the Gestalt school of psychology. Koffka became in time the most influential spokesman of Gestalt psychology. He applied it to child development, learning, memory and emotion. The name Gestalt, meaning form or configuration, emphasizes that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology grew as reaction against the traditional atomistic approach to the human being where behavior was analyzed into constituent elements called sensations. He made an influential distinction between the behavioral and the geographical environments - the perceived world of common sense and the world studied by scientists. 

    1942 (13th of Kislev, 5703): “Dr. Benzion Mossinsohn, noted Hebrew educator, Zionist leader and a member of the Jewish National Council died…today in the Hadassah Hospital at the age of 64, after a long illness.  He was the found and head of the Herzlia Gymnasium in Tel Aviv, the leading secondary school in Palestine.”  Dr. Mossinsohn visited New York for the first time in 1912 as a representative of the Gymnasium of Jaffa “the first strictly Jewish school to be established in Palestine in 2,000 years.”  During the visit, Mossinsohn addressed a gathering at Cooper Union during when he declared “Palestine is the land in which to solve the Jewish problem.  It will be the land of our salvation if we make it a center of culture and not merely a center for immigration.”  Mossinsohn visited the United States again in 1936, the same year in which his son was killed by a land mine explosion that took place during the multi-year long Arab uprising.  By now he was President of the World Confederaton of General Zionists and head of the Herzlia Gymnasium in Tel Aviv.

    1943: Lebanon gains its independence from France

    1943: Birthdate of former MK Naomi Blumenthal who “was one of the founders of the Beersheba theatre” and who served as Deputy Minister of National Infrastructure under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    1943: More than 1000 Jewish patients at a Berlin mental hospital are deported to Auschwitz.

    1943(24th of Cheshvan, 5704): Professor Martin Pappenheim, the Viennese psychiatrists passed away today in Tel Aviv at the age of 62. He was the father of Else Pappenheim, MD Austrian-American psychiatrist and neurologist and a colleague of Sigmund Freud.

    1943(24th of Cheshvan, 5704): Lyricist Lorenz Hart passed away New York at age 48

    1943: Lebanon gains independence from France.

    1944: The U.S. Sixth Army Group notified the Alsos Mission that the capture of Strasbourg which was home to a German nuclear laboratory was imminent

    1944: Birthdate of Yitzchak Mordechai, a native of Iraq who made Aliyah in 1949.  He became a decorated member of the IDF before beginning a political career that included service as Minister of Defense and Minister of Transport.

    1944: Protectors of Jews in Budapest, Hungary, meet with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg at the city's Swedish legation

    1945: In Brooklyn, Morty and Sylvia Okun Bernstein gave birth to Allen J. Bernstein who greatly expanded the high-end Morton’s of Chicago steakhouse chain during his 17 years as chairman, applying what some in the industry called a Big Mac approach to filet mignon. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1945: The British claim that members of “Jewish underground” took arms from the RAF stationed in Ras el Ain, Syria.

    1949: Birthdate of David J. Skorton, who had served as President of the University of Iowa before becoming the 12th president of Cornell University in 2006

    1955(7th of Kislev, 5716): Sixty year old  Shemp Howard, a member of the Three Stooges,  died of a heart attack following an evening out with friends watching boxing matches

    1955: Today, two year after the death of Joseph Stalin, a “Military collegium of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union withdrew the indictments against the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC) members due to the lack of evidence.”

    1956: "A new Egyptian Nationality Code barred so called 'Zionists' from Egyptian nationality.

    1957: Simon & Garfunkel appear on "American Bandstand" as "Tom & Jerry" 

    1963: John F Kennedy 35th U.S. President was shot dead in Dallas, Texas.  Kennedy enjoyed a great of deal of political support among Jewish voters.  He appointed two Jews to his cabinet – Abe Ribicoff to H.E.W. and Arthur Goldberg to Labor. Kennedy would appoint Goldberg to the Supreme Court as a replacement for Felix Frankfurter.

    1963: In Austin, TX, “the women of Augas Achim…were working in their new kosher kitchen, mixing potato salad for the several hundred people including Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who were expected to attend the dedication of the new synagogue which was to take place tomorrow. (As reported by Cathy Schechter; full disclosure – I taught pre-bar mitzvah at Agudas Achim five years later)

    1965:Man of La Mancha”  a musical with a book by Dale Wasserman and music by Mitch Leigh opens”at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in Greenwich Village Irving Jacobson, a veteran of the Yiddish Theatre playing “Sancho Panza” (Only in America could a Jew play a major role in play set in what would become the Land of the Inquisition)

    1967: Birthdate of tennis star Boris Becker. According to an interview Becker gave in 1999, his mother was Jewess from Czechoslovakia. 

    1967: English professional football player George Cohen”s “37th and final England appearance came in a 2–0 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley” today

    1967: The U.N. Security Council approved Resolution 242 as a result of the Six Day War fought in June of that year.  The resolution would provide the basis for Israel’s attempts to trade land for peace.

    1967: U.N. Secretary General Thant raises issue of restrictions placed on Syrian Jews at the U.N. Security Council during Resolution 242 on the Israeli-Arab conflict. Intervention on behalf of the Jews fails.

    1968: First interracial kiss on network television takes place between Captain Kirk played by William Shattner, and Lt. Uhura. (Shatner is Jewish.)

    1969(12th of Kislev, 5730): Bertha Solomon passed away today at the age of 77.

    1974: The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status. For the PLO, this was a reward for a variety of terrorist acts including the slaughter at the Munich Olympics.  What the UN members failed to understand was that others would see this as an approval of terrorism as an instrument for the advancement of their own agendas.  There is a direct line between the UN’s action and the radical Islamic terrorists that are confronting the West in the 21st century

    1978(22nd of Cheshvan, 5739): San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was Jewish, were assassinated in City Hall by a former city supervisor, Dan White. Dianne Feinstein, who was then the President of the San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, was the first to discover Harvey Milk's body. Feinstein who was the first female president of the Board of Supervisors was then sworn in as the first female mayor of San Francisco in Moscone's stead. In 1979, she was elected to the first of two full terms as mayor. In 1992, she won a special Senate election to replace Pete Wilson who had left his seat to become governor of California. She was re-elected in 1994 and 2000.

    1981: Sir Hans Adolf Krebs passed away. The son of a Jewish physician, Krebs was forced in 1933 to leave Nazi Germany for England. The German-born British biochemist who received (with Fritz Lipmann) the 1953 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery in living organisms of the series of chemical reactions known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (also called the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle) - the basic system for the essential pathway of oxidation process within the cell.. These reactions involve the conversion - in the presence of oxygen--of substances that are formed by the breakdown of sugars, fats, and protein components to carbon dioxide, water, and energy-rich compounds. The Krebs cycle explains two simultaneous processes: the degradation reactions which yield energy, and the building-up processes which use up energy

    1984: In New York, Karsten Johansson and Melanie Sloan whose Ahskenazi family had lived in the Bronx gave birth to actress Scarlett Johansson.

    1985: U.S. premiere of “Fever Pitch” that last film directed by Richard Brooks, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants Hyman and Esther Sax.

    1985: According to the Tower Report Al Schwimmer, a middleman and consultant for Israel's Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, fouled up one arms shipment today when he allowed the lease to expire on three transport planes in Tel Aviv. At the time, weapons for Iran were en route to Tel Aviv: when they arrived, there were no planes to take them to Iran. As a result, the arms delivery to Iran was days late, and no hostages were released. Mr. Schwimmer had been trying to save what amounted to a day's leasing cost. ''I have never seen anything so screwed up in my life,'' General Secord is reported to have said.

    1988: William Andreas Brown was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel

    1990:  Margaret Thatcher resigns as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Thatcher was seen by many as philo-Semitic and a supporter of Israel. She had been a member of Anglo-Israel Friendship League of Finchley and Conservative Friends of Israel and during her career had five Jewish members of her cabinet.

    1991: U.S. premiere of Mark Rydell’s “For the Boys” co-starring Bette Midler, James Caan and George Segal.

    1991: U.S. premier of “Beauty and the Beast, an “animated musical romantic fantasy film” with music by Alan Menken.

    1994(19th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty-eight year old Viola Spolin, leading innovator in American theatre passed away today in Los Angeles.

    1993: Edward P. Djerejian was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1995: Ehud Barak finished his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    1995: Chaim Ramon began serving as Minister of Internal Affairs in a government headed by Shimon Peres.

    1995: Gonen Segev began serving his second term as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

    1997: It was reported today the President Bill Clinton was the first recipient …of the Man of Peace Award, established by the Rabin Foundation and the Peres Foundation, two ''peace centers'' financed in part with money from the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize the men shared with Mr. Arafat. Mr. Clinton asked the foundations to devote the $75,000 in prize money to pay for scholarships for Americans to study in Israel.”

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941by Victor Klemperer, Freud: Conflict and Culture, edited by Michael S. Roth in association with the Library of Congress and A Likely Story: One Summer With Lillian Hellmanby Rosemary Mahoney

    1999: In an article entitled “Final Sabbath for a Spiritual Hub; A Synagogue That Embodied an Earlier Bronx Is Closed” Barbara Stewart provided the following description of the MosholuJewish Center.


    2000(24th of Cheshvan, 5761) Shoshana Reis, 21, of Hadera, and Meir Bahrame, 35, of Givat Olga, were killed, and 60 wounded when a powerful car bomb was denotated alongside a passing bus on Hadera's main street, when the area was packed with shoppers and people driving home from work. 60 were wounded in the blast.

    2001(7th of Kislev, 5762): Eighty-three year old Norman Granz, American jazz musician and record producer passed away.(As reported by Richard Severo)

    2002(17th of Kislev, 5763): IDF tracker Sgt.-Maj. Shigdaf (Shai) Garmai, 30, of Lod, was killed when an Israel Defense Forces Givati Brigade patrol near Tel Qateifa, in the Gaza Strip, came under Palestinian gunfire. Hamas claimed responsibility.

    2002: U.S. Premiere of “The Emperor’s Club” starring Kevin Kline.

    2003(27th of Cheshvan, 5764): Two Israeli security guards, Ilya Reiger, 58, of Jerusalem, and Samer Fathi Afan, 25, of the Bedouin village Uzeir near Nazareth, were shot dead at a construction site along the route of the security fence near Abu Dis in East Jerusalem. The Jenin Martyrs' Brigades, affiliated with Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    2004: Having assembled the largest and most comprehensive listing of the names of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, along with biographical details, photographs and nutshell memoirs, Yad Vashem makes the information available online at

    2005: Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany. In 2007, Merkel would receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem "in recognition of her lifelong dedication to the principles of democracy and in appreciation of her warm and constant friendship for the people and State of Israel."

    2005: After 26 years, Ted Koppel calls it quits as host of ABC’s late night news show, Nightline.  Begun before the 24/7 world of cable news turned television news into tabloid entertainment, Koppel started a show that proved that some Americans wanted something a little more substantive than “Here’s Johnny” at the end of the day.

    2006(1st of Kislev, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2006: During an exclusive interview with members of the University of Wisconsin Hillel staff, Ben Karlin ('93), a Senior Writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” admits that Sukkot is his favorite Jewish holiday because he “likes lulavs and loves etrogs.”

    2006: U.S. premiere of “The Fountain” directed by Darren Aronofsky who also wrote the screenplay and co-starring Rachel Weisz.

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, the Yuval Ron Ensemble present an evening of pan-Middle-Eastern Diaspora music anchored by Haifa-born vocalist Najwa Gibran.

    2007: (12 Kislev 5768) Yahrzeit of Solomon Schechter founder and President of the United Synagogue of America, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and architect of the American Conservative Jewish movement.

    2008: The movie, “Old Days,” set in a retirement home with a decidedly Jewish feel opens at the Big Apple Film Festival in New York

    2008: As part of the Israeli Voices series the 92nd Street Y presents Yoni Rechter who has made a great contribution to the Israeli music scene.

    2008: In Arlington, Virginia, children's author and illustrator Sallie Lowenstein, author of Waiting for Eugene and The Festival of Lights, leads a discussion, "From Memory to Story: How a Childhood in Burma Became a Novel in the Future," on the origins of her new young-adult book, In the Company of Whispers.

    2008: 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s pro-civil rights stance attracted and energized a significant segment of the Jewish populace. His sympathy for the state of Israel can be seen in the following speech which he delivered during his campaign for the presidency.

    Prophecy is a Jewish tradition, and the World Zionist movement, in which all of you have played so important a role, has continued this tradition. It has turned the dreams of its leaders into acts of statesmanship. It has converted the hopes of the Jewish people into concrete facts of life. When the first Zionist conference met in 1897, Palestine was a neglected wasteland. A few scattered Jewish colonies had resettled there, but they had come to die in the Holy Land, rather than to make it live again in greatness. Most of the governments of the world were indifferent. But now all is changed. Israel became a triumphant and enduring reality exactly 50 years after Theodore Herzl, the prophet of Zionism, had proclaimed the ideal of nationhood. It was the classic case of an ancient dream finding a young leader, for Herzl was then only 37 years of age. Perhaps I may be allowed the observation that the Jewish people - ever since David slew Goliath - have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership, or measured experience and maturity by mere length of days. I first saw Palestine in 1939. There the neglect and ruin left by centuries of Ottoman misrule were slowly being transformed by miracles of labor and sacrifice. But Palestine was still a land of promise in 1939, rather than a land of fulfillment. I returned in 1951 to see the grandeur of Israel. In 3 years this new state had opened its doors to 600,000 immigrants and refugees. Even while fighting for its own survival, Israel had given new hope to the persecuted and new dignity to the pattern of Jewish life. I left with the conviction that the United Nations may have conferred on Israel the credentials of nationhood; but its own idealism and courage, its own sacrifice and generosity, had earned the credentials of immortality… Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom; and no area of the world has ever had an overabundance of democracy and freedom. It is worth remembering, too, that Israel is a cause that stands beyond the ordinary changes and chances of American public life. In our pluralistic society, it has not been a Jewish cause - any more than Irish independence was solely the concern of Americans of Irish descent. The ideals of Zionism have, in the last half century, been repeatedly endorsed by Presidents and Members of Congress from both parties. Friendship for Israel is not a partisan matter. It is a national commitment. Yet within this tradition of friendship there is a special obligation on the Democratic Party. It was President Woodrow Wilson who forecast with prophetic wisdom the creation of a Jewish homeland. It was President Franklin Roosevelt who kept alive the hopes of Jewish redemption during the Nazi terror. It was President Harry Truman who first recognized the new State of Israel and gave it status in world affairs. And may I add that it would be my hope and my pledge to continue this Democratic tradition - and to be worthy of it….The Middle East needs water, not war; tractors, not tanks; bread, not bombs. There is already little enough available in the way of financial and physical resources for either side to be devoting its energies to huge defense budgets. The present state of tensions serves only the worst interests of Arab and Israeli alike. But a new spirit of comity could well serve the highest ideals of both. For the original Zionist philosophy has always maintained that the people of Israel would use their national genius not for selfish purposes but for the enrichment and glory of the entire Middle East. The earliest leaders of the Zionist movement spoke of a Jewish state which would have no military power and which would be content with victories of the spirit. The compulsions of a harsh and inescapable necessity have compelled Israel to abandon this hope. But I cannot believe that Israel has any real desire to remain indefinitely a garrison state surrounded by fear and hate. And I cannot believe that the Arab world would not find a better basis for unity in a united attack on all their accumulated social problems - an attack in which they could benefit immensely from a closer cooperation with the people of Israel. The technical skills and genius of Israel have already brought their blessings to Burma and to Ethiopia. Still other nations in Asia and in Africa are eager to benefit from the special skills available in that bustling land. Why should the Middle East alone be cut off from this partnership? And why should not the people of Israel receive the blessings available to them from association with the Arab world? When we think of the possibilities of this association, an emotion of soaring hope replaces our somber anxieties about the Middle East. Ancient rivers would give their power to new industries. The desert would yield to civilization. Disease would be eradicated, especially the disease that strikes down helpless children. The blight of poverty would be replaced by the blessings of abundance…”For the entire text see

    2008: An experimental Israeli music ensemble, the Givol Choir and David Moss, an innovative American singer and percussionist perform three separate shows at the historic Ha'adumim Building near the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.

    2008: Seeking to ensure that President George W. Bush's promises to Israel are transferred to the new US administration, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left for Washington tonight for his final meeting with the outgoing American leader.

    2009: The Lost Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors or/of special interest to Jewish readers including A Dream of Undying Fame: How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis byLouis Breger

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors or/of special interest to Jewish readers including Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer is part of literary family.  His brother Franklin is an editor with the New Republic. His brother Joshua is a journalist.  And is if that was not enough, he married novelist Nicole Krauss in 2004.

    2009: An experienced guide from the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, a nonprofit Jewish educational organization, leads a tour in which attendees “discover 150 years of Lower East Side history on Shteibl Row, noted for its abundance of 19th-century one- and two-room synagogues.”

    2010:Salman Rushdie, the author living under the threat of a fatwa, is scheduled to speak at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

    2010:NoVA State Legislators' Reception 2010 which gives the Jewish community a chance to Hear our state legislators identify their top priorities and address the Jewish community's state platform, is scheduled to take place at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV)

    2010: The Leo Baeck Institute in cooperation with Manhattan School of Music is scheduled to present “Adventures in Listening: Kurt Masur, A Film by Amit Breuer”

    2010:The IDF's new Head of Military Intelligence, Major-General Aviv Kochavi, formally assumed his new position today and was promoted from the rank of brigadier-general.

    2011: A forum hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the subject of ridding the world of nuclear weapons which representatives from Israel and Arab states are schedule to attend is scheduled to come to an end in Vienna.

    2011: Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper a teacher at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and serves as the spiritual leader of Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar in Tzur Hadassah is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures entitled “Maharal: The Mystic as Legal Scholar” at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

    2011: Sharon Steinberg, the Cantor at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA, is scheduled to give the last lecture in the series entitled “An Overview of Jewish Liturgical Music” as the JCC of Northern Virginia.

    2011: Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided today to open a criminal investigation against Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, for alleged incitement to racism. The decision to investigate Eliyahu came after he was quoted making several anti-Arab comments in interviews with the media.

    2011:The Military Advocate General filed indictments today against two Palestinians from the village of Halhoul near Hebron, who confessed to throwing a rock that killed Asher Hillel Palmer and his son as they drove near Kiryat Arba in September.

    2012: In Melbourne, Australia,  “The One That Got Away” is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2012:The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to offer an introductory course for students and researchers wishing to use its extensive photo archive.

    2012: In the U.S., Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim holiday based on Sukkoth

    2012: The IDF Spokesman’s Office said today it was looking into a photograph circulating widely on Facebook in which 16 IDF soldiers arranged their uniformed bodies on the sand, to spell out the Hebrew words “Bibi loser” — in a deft physical critique of Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s failure to send ground troops into Gaza during the just-ended Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2012:Shin Bet officers and police arrested the terrorists who bombed a bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesday several hours after the device exploded, the agency revealed this evening

    2012(8th of Kislev, 5773): Twenty-eight year old Boris Yarmolnik, the IDF reserve officer who was wounded in a rocket attack yesterday, passed away today following an unsuccessful surgical process designed to save his life.

    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host “Discovery and Recovery” – a behind the scene tour of the Iraqi Jewish Archive at the National Archives.

    2013: “Fox Dedicates Music Building to Oscar-Winning Composer Lionel Newman” published today described the ceremony during which “Twentieth Century Fox renamed its historic Fox Music Building in honor of film and television composer Lionel Newman.”

    2013: “Kol HaMusica” is scheduled to broadcast a noontime concert by Tatiana Rubina.

    2013: “The archaeologists who have been exploring the Canaanite site, known as Tel Kabri, announced today that they had found one of civilization’s oldest and largest wine cellars.” (As reported by John Noble Wilford)

    2013: “Isaac Herzog, the son of a former president, took the helm of Israel’s Labor Party and thus Parliament’s opposition today, vowing to restore the party’s historic focus on promoting peace with the Palestinians and to mount a vigorous challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-leaning government.” (As reported by Jodi Rudoren)

    2014: Lewis Black is scheduled to appear the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE.

    2014: In Melbourne, “The Last Mentsch” and “The Go-Go Boys” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2014: “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and “Hora 79” are scheduled to be shown at the 18thannual UK Jewish Film Festival










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    November 23

    912: Birthdate of Otto the Great, founder of the Holy Roman Empire which was neither holy nor Roman. During his reign Rabbis living in the Rhineland addressed questions to the Rabbis in Palestine “concerning the reported appearance of the Messiah.” This report was based on information supplied by 12 century Rabbi Isaac ben Dorolo.

    1221: Birthdate of King Alfonso X of Castile who had Yehudah ben Moshe translate several texts on magic into the national vernacular.

    1248: In the long war to unite Spain, King Ferdinand III of Castile takes Seville from the Moors. Ferdinand is remembered as the king who refuses Pope’s demand that Jews be forced to wear special badge and clothing.  The reason given by the monarch is a fear that Jews would flee to Muslim Granada, which would be disastrous for the revenues of the kingdom. “The Jews have played a prominent part in Seville’s history since the 4th Century and after the Christian Reconquest, their community was concentrated in this part of the city and enjoyed a period of great prosperity until the end of the 14th Century. Jews were prominent bankers, tradesmen, doctors, writers, philosophers, and advisors to both Arab and Christian rulers. It is no coincidence that the Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz is located right next to the Royal Palace, the Alcázar. A street called “El Callejón de La Judería” (“The Little Street of the Jewish Quarter”) leads into the heart of the Santa Cruz neighborhood.”

    1510: The Jews were expelled from Naples. Fifteen years earlier, the Spanish had conquered the island, and within a year had issued an order for the banishment of all Jews, which was never carried out. Now the community, which had existed since Roman times, was forced out. The only Jews remaining were the "New Christians" (who were to be expelled 5 years later) and 200 wealthy families who paid a new annual tax for such tolerance.

     1584: The Sultan ordered an investigation to the number of synagogues in Safed. In his letter to the local administration, he wrote, "in the town of Safed there are only seven sacred mosques. But the Jews who in olden times had three synagogues have now thirty-two synagogues, and they have built their buildings very high."

    1593: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Bucharest claiming the lives of many Jews

    1702(3rd of Kislev): Thirty six Jews were killed in an explosion in Lemberg, Poland

    1777(23rd of Cheshvan): Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen of Brisk, author of Minhat Aharon passed away

    1801: In Philadelphia, Leon van Amringe, Isaiah Nathan, Isaac Marks, Aaron Levi, Jr., Abraham Gumpert, and Abraham Moses took title to a plot of ground to be used as a place of burial for members of the newly formed Congregation Mickvé Israel.

    1804: Birthdate of Franklin Piercefourteenth President of the United States. Pierce is part of the unmemorable trio who served occupied the White House in the decade before the Civil War including Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan.  Among his few claims to fame is that he was the first and maybe the only President whose name appears on the charter of a synagogue. Pierce signed the Act of Congress in 1857 that amended the laws of the District of Columbia to enable the incorporation of the city's first synagogue, the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    1825: Birthdate of Henriette Goldschmidt who married Rabbi Abraham Meyer Goldschmidt and was a leading educator, social worker and activists in the fight for the rights of German women.

    1836(14th of Kislev, 5597): Jacob Cohen Bakri, a wealthy French Jew who played a key role in the French acquisition of Algeria passed away today.

    1841: It was announced that Albert Goldsmid had been promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. In the British Army.

    1844(12th of Kislev, 5605): Fifty-three year old “Austrian financier and philanthropist Hermann  Todesco passed away at his native Presburg today.

    1845: Paul Julius Reuter married Ida Maria Elizabeth Clementine Magnus in Berlin completing a series of changes that had begun a month before when he arrived had arrived in London.  In that time he changed his name to Joseph Josephat, converted to Christianity and then changed his name again to Paul Julius Reuter.

    1845: Forty-six year old Michael Solomon Alexander, the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem passed away.  An ordained Rabbi, he converted to Christianity in 1825.

    1847: The Ladies of the Society for the Religious Instruction in Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution of tribute at the passing of the British author, Grace Aguilar. Aguilar had died on September 16, 1847 at the age of 32. Aguilar's work had been championed by Philadelphia editor Isaac Leeser, who published Aguilar's books in the United States and included her writings in his monthly magazine, The Occident and American Jewish Advocate. As a result, Aguilar was in many ways better known in the Jewish community of the United States than in England. In addition to historical romances (e.g. The Vale of Cedars) and reflections on Judaism (The Spirit of Judaism, 1842) Aguilar's influential book, The Women of Israel (1844), contested the claims by numerous Christian authors that Judaism denigrated women. Aguilar argued for Judaism's ancient and contemporary regard for women by detailing the strong and admirable women who appear in Judaism's essential defining text, the Bible. Aguilar returned the feeling of kinship that American Jewish women bore her. She even responded to an 1843 request from Savannah to contribute to a fair that local Jewish women were holding to raise funds to hire a rabbi. Aguilar sent along 2 purses, 6 needle cases, and 12 pincushions on which she had done the needlework, along with additional needlework pieces gathered from some of her friends. In mourning Aguilar's passing, the Charleston women truly felt they had lost one of their own. Aguilar's death at a young age evinced a strong response. Leeser observed that “there has not arisen a single Jewish female in modern times who has done so much for the illustration and adornment of her faith as Grace Aguilar.” The Charleston women expressed their appreciation for the “power and effect” of the “pen of this champion of our faith, against that giant Prejudice, whose shadow blackens the earth.” Citing her as the “moral governess of the Hebrew family,” the women of the Society resolved that her death “must be regarded as a national calamity; and that no demonstration of respect, however high, can convey an adequate sense of the exalted estimation in which we hold her character or of the profound regret with which we received the tidings of her dissolution.”

    1848(27th of Cheshvan, 5609): Twenty-six year old Hermann Jellinek, the younger brother of Rabbi Adolf Jellinek was executed today for his role in the Vienna Uprising in October, 1848

    1848 (27th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Meir Benjamin Danon, author of Be’er ba Sadeh, passed away

    1852: “Trial for Arson In the First Degree" published today described the trial of Aaron Diamond on charges of arson. Mr. Morrison appeared as counsel representing Aaron Diamond, a German Jew who does not speak English in the case of the People vs. Aaron Diamond.  The case revolved around an allegation that Diamond and Joshua Feller had set fire to the dwelling of John Nally.  Morrison demanded that Diamond be tried separately. When several of the prosecution’s witnesses failed to show up, the District Attorney said that it would “unsafe” to convict the defendant and the Jury was directed by the court to render a verdict of not guilty.

    1852: The discovery of Asteroid 21 Lutetia by Hermann Goldschmidt was published today.

    1853: The Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated its 32nd anniversary this evening with a dinner attended by 350 gentlemen at the Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway. 

    1856: Isaac and Julie Judith Josephine Mautner gave birth to Rosa Perlhefter.

    1867: Birthdate of Edgar D. Peixotto, the native New Yorker and son of Raphael Peixotto who became a successful lawyer in San Francisco, CA.

    1870: It was reported today that Thanksgiving Services will be held at the 44th Street Synagogue after which children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum will enjoy a holiday dinner provided by the Trustees.

    1870(29th of Cheshvan, 5631): Augusta Feuchtwanger nee Levy, the wife of Lewis Feuchtwanger, passed away today in New York

    1871: Ignatz Ratzsky was released from Sing Sing Prison after having served nine years for the robbery-murder of a German Jew named Sigismund Fellner.  Ratzsky had originally been sentenced to death, but Governor Fenton commuted his sentence based his judgment that the conviction had been based on circumstantial evidence.

    1874: Carl Schurz will deliver a lecture this evening sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on “Educational Problems” at Steinway Hall in New York.

    1877: It was reported today that two men have been charged for their role in stealing furs from A.T. Stewart & Co. Rpbert Kyle was charged with stealing the first while Seligman Hirsch, who was described as a “Hebrew” fur dealer, was charged with receiving the stolen firs. Why or how the reported knew that Hirsch was Jewish is not stated nor is any reason given for not identifying any of the other characters by their religious affiliation.

    1880: It was reported today the lower house of the Prussian Diet debated the proposals by the anti-Semitic party to limit the activities of Jews in Germany.  The anti-Semites reflected the views of Reverend Stecker, the Court Chaplin who wants legislation adopted that will “keep the Jews from any post of authority.”  The opponents including members of the Liberal Party defended the Jews and “contended that it was breach of the Constitution to deny that Jews were Germans.”

    1882: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment distributed funds to a variety of charitable institutions including $1,680 to the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1883: It was reported today that Spanish in Morocco tried and convicted twelve Jews accused supplying guns to the Berbers.

    1883: Henry Irving will play Shylock, one of his signature roles in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Star Theatre.

    1883: According to a report that appeared in today’s edition of the Hebrew Standard, Hugh O’Neill is quoted as telling a Jew in New York, “We don’t want any of your people in our employ.”

    1884: It was reported today that the friends of Mrs. Max Rosenberg, the former Miss Jennie E. Lyman, were surprised to hear that she has filed for divorce especially since most of them did not she had gotten married several months while visiting New York.  In her petition, Mrs. Rosenberg accused her husband of “extreme cruelty.”  Rosenberg disputes his wife’s claims and says that the cause of the problem is her father’s dislike for him because he was Jewish.

    1885: Birthdate of Alexander “Alex” Trachtenberg the native of Odessa who was active in the Socialist Party of America and the Communist Party USA.

    1885: It was reported today that this year’s Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Fair raised over $7,800.

    1886: Warrants are expected to be issued today for those who have violated Massachusetts “Sunday Closing Laws.”  Several Jews and their customers are expected to be named since up until last week, it had been considered permissible for the Jews to operate their businesses on Sunday since they were closed on Saturday for their Sabbath observances.

    1886(25th of Cheshvan, 5647): Sixty-four year old author and historian Leopold Kompert, best known for his role in the “Kompert Affair” in which he and Heinrich Graetz “were brought to court in Vienna for publishing ideas that were heretical to Catholic faith, in addition to contradicting Jewish tradition.”

    1888:  Birthdate of Harpo Marx, one of the famous Marx Brothers.

    1889: Jacob Levy arrived in New York City from Poland today and moved in with his brother at 83 Norfolk Street in NYC.

    1889: Sanitary officers “seized some unwholesome meat and vegetables in the sidewalk markets in the Hebrew quarter in the Tenth Ward.”

    1889: “The Red Hussar,” a comedy opera in three acts by Edward Solomon, with a libretto by Henry Pottinger Stephens, which opened at the Lyric Theatre in London tonight.  Solomon was the prolific Ango-Jewish composer and conductor who died prematurely at the age of 29.

    1890: Today’s New Publication List includes a review of a novel entitled The Jew, translated from the Polish of Joseph Ignatius Kraszewski by Linda Da Kowalewska

    1890: “Catholic Spain” published today provided a detailed review of Chapters From The Religious History Of Spain Connected With The Inquisition by Henry Charles, a subject near and dear to the hearts of Jews in general and Sephardic Jews in particular.

    1894: At today’s meeting of the Tenement House Committed that was held in the Old Criminal Court Mr.Rice and Mr. Tuska of the United Hebrew Charity expressed their agreement with Reverend John B. Devins that tenement residents do not prefer filth, “that there should be public lavatories and that “every saloon should have an outside drinking fountain.  They also believe that tenements should be better lit, have water on each floor and house kindergartens.

    1896:”A Radical Chicago Rabbi” published today summarized the view of Dr. Emil G. Hirsh, the rabbi Temple Sinai on the Windy City’s south-side, including his beliefs that observing Shabbat on Saturday “and the hope of the return to the Holy Land” are “relics of an attractive tradition but entirely out of keeping with advance and progress of modern ideas.

    1896: In Philadelphia, the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women hosted a reception for the National Board at the Mercantile Club.

    1897: Charles Schapiro was being held in the Tombs today after having killed Louis Lieberman and wounded his girlfriend Yetta Gordon yesterday.   Gordon whose wounded eye was bandaged is being held in the House of Detention as a material.  She had rejected Schapiro because he did not earn enough money.  And he was angry because she would not return the twenty-five dollar ring he had “bought for her with money she had lent him.”

    1898: In Pécs, Hungary, the local cantor and his wife gave birth to opera singer Dezső Ernster who survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to perform at the Metropolitan Opera.

    1909: The annual meeting of the Civic Federation which features a discussion of old age pensions by a panel including Samuel Gompers came to a close in New York City.

    1911(2nd of Kislev, 5672): Eighty-five year old Rabbi Jacob Hamburger, “the sole author and editor of the first explicitly Jewish Encyclopedia” passed away today.

    1912:  The British Consul in Jerusalem continued to complain to the British Ambassador in Constantinople about the British born Jews arriving in his city.  Of the latest batch of 20, only six had means to support themselves while twelve of them were living off of contributions supplied by local Jewish charities.

    1913: Supreme Court Justice Seabury has ordered the sale in foreclosure of the Bijou theatre property on Broadway in a suit brought by Felix M. Warburg, Isaac N. Seligman, Paul M. Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff as trustees under the will of Alfred M. Heinsheimer against the Bijou Real Estate Company.

    1914: During WW I “A Reuter dispatch from Constantinople by way of Sofia” says that the Porte (Turkish government) has decided to permit Russian Jews resident in Turkey to become Ottoman subjects provided that they do not revert to their former nationality at the end of the war.”  (This had special meaning for the Jews living in Palestine, since a large number of them had come from Russia and were viewed suspiciously by the Turks)

    1914: According to reports published today the American Jewish Committee contends that 5,000 Jews in Jaffa had applied for permission to become naturalized Turkish subjects out of a total of 25,000 Russian Jews living in the region of Palestine.

    1915: In London, a French delegation led by François-Georges Picot, a professional diplomat with extensive experience in the Levant, and a British delegation led by Sir Arthur Nicolson met to discuss plans for the post-war partition of the Ottoman Empire which would eventually result in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.  (Editor’s Note – You cannot understand what is going on in the Middle East today if you do not understand the origins and nature of this agreement)

    1918: After three days, the Lemberg Pogrom came to an end with 50 to 150 Jewish dead, hundreds more injured and untold loss of property thanks to looting carried out by Polish soldiers and local civilians.

    1918: Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, announced that organization's decision to hold its New York City campaign designed to raise $5,000,000 to aid Jewish war sufferers during the week starting on December 8 and ending on December 15.

    1920: Birthdate of poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan who used the pseudonym of Paul Antschel.

    Death is a gang-boss aus Deutchland his eye is blue

    he hits you with leaden bullets his aim is true

    there's a man in this house your golden hair Margareta

    he sets his dogs on our trail he gives us a grave in the sky

    he cultivates snakes he dreams Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

    (from 'A Death Fugue')

    1921: Churchill offers to send a warship to help Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, collect the fines levied against the Arabs in Jaffa who had rioted and attacked Jews in villages surrounding the ancient port.

    1922: The silent movie, Hungry Hearts  produced by the Goldwyn Company and based on a book of the same name written by Anzia Yezierska opened in New York City on Thanksgiving.

    1922: At today’s session of the Conference of Lausanne which was supposed to modify the Treaty Sevres which dismembered the Ottoman Empire, Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary clashed with Ismet Pasha a member of the Turkish delegation that included Chief Rabbi Nahum.

    1923: Birthdate of Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock, an American musical theatre composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1965 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Harnick.

    1924: The Price of a Party featuring Dagmar Gadowsky the daughter of Leopold Godowsky.

    1924: Herzliya was founded as a moshav. It has since become a flourishing town on the Mediterranean coast. 

    1924: In Irvington, NJ, Fannie and Harry Yablonsky gave birth to sociologist Lewis Yablonsky.

    1925: In New York, opera singer Hannah Mandel and garment manufacturer Albert Mandel gave birth to award winning composer and arranger Johnny Mandel whose work include the theme for M*A*S*H ---“Suicide Is Painless”

    1928: In New Haven, CT, George Bock and the former Peggy Alpert gave birth to Jerrold Lewis Bock, the man who composed such Broadway hits as “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Fiorello!” and “She Loves Me.”

    1930(3rd of Kislev): Poet Israel Fine passed away

    1936: Life, the photo journalism magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, was first published. In the days before television, webcams, the internet and the myriad of other ways we have a recording and sending pictures, Life, with it large splash, creative or documentary like images was the major window on the world for millions of Americans.  It was the photographers who made Life the magazine it was and some of the most famous were Jewish including Alfred Eisenstaedt who shot “The Kiss,” Robert Capa who shot “Death of a Loyalist Soldier” as well as the first still photos of first wave at Omaha Beach, Cornell Capa who photographed Grandma Moses and Margaret Bourke-White who snapped “Working Atop the Chrysler Building.”          

    1937: In the tenth day of the Arnold Bernstein’s trial before the Hamburg Emergency Court, the German-Jewish shipping magnate is charged by the the prosecution with “exchange irregularities in connection with 2,000,000 marks loaned by the Chemical National Bank of New York.  The trial was part of a ploy by the Nazi government to assume control of Arnold Bernstein & Red Star Line.

    1938: In a memorandum to Winston Churchill correspondents in Europe quote Hitler as saying, “he wanted eliminate from German life the Jews, the Churches and suppress private industry.  After that, he would turn to foreign policy again.”

    1938: It was reported today that, “The movement started only a week ago by Palestine Jewry to adopt children from Germany is spreading with amazing rapidity.  Following a suggestion made by Israel Rokach, Mayor of Tel Aviv…to members of the Jewish Women’s Labor Federation” have already “volunteered to adopt refugee children.”  The National council of Palestine Jewry had set a goal of adopting 5,000 children but given the quick positive response the goal will be met and exceeded.

    1938: Violinist Mischa Elman played “Larghetto Lamentoso” during Leopold Godowsky’s funeral which was held in Manhattan today.  Godowsky was the composer of this piece of music. Music critic Leonard Liebling described the late composer as “a citizen of the world” and “a great and patient teacher of music…” (Godowsky, Elman and Liebling were all Jewish.)

    1938: In a column published today Leopold Godowsky was described as “a unique figure among al his contemporaries: a phenomenal pianist and a musician of the most exceptional attributes.”

    1939: At 2:30 pm WEVD is scheduled to present a program of “Jewish Melodies.”

    1939: In Baltimore, at the annual convention of the Junior Hadassah, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise told his audience “that American Jews who really believed in democracy had no choice but to support the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.”

    1939: “The National Catholic Welfare Council said today” that during the two years since January, 1937 the Episcopal Committee from Refugees from Germany has handled the cases of 2,756 refugees “the majority of whom “are of Jewish estraction.”

    1939: In Nazi-occupied Poland, Frank ordered that “All Jews and Jewesses within the Government-General who are over ten years of age are required to wear . . . the Star of David.

    1940: All Jewish professors of the Utrecht University were dismissed, among them the Dutch mathematician Julius Wolff.

    1940: Newpaper visited Abu Sinan, a village north of Nazareth, where they investigated reports that Helen Yussef Nicola, an 8 year old Arab girl whose parents are devout Greek Orthodox, has been responsible for miraculous healings including cures “of a crippled Arab boy and a crippled Jewish boy from Tel Aviv.”  Over the last two weeks, “hundreds of Christians, Moslems and Jews have visited Helen and come away allegedly convince of her curative capacities.”

    1941:  Cherna Berkowitz describes the arrival of refugees at Dorohoi at Transnistria. "The deportations resumed. Women, elderly people and so many children in the freezing cold. With each passing day their numbers dwindle as more of them die.” Dorohoi, people say, “We send the children to give the newcomers some warm tea. They return with horror stories. The men were all at work when they deported the women and children. We have one woman with three small children, one of whom is not yet weaned. All she has are rags and a few pennies in her pocket. The soldiers round up the arrivals and order them to march on."

    1941: Thirty thousand Jews are killed at Odessa, Ukraine. "

    1942: “Hitler: Man of Strife” by Ludwig Wagner was published today.  It was the first full-length biography about the Nazi dictator to appear in the United States since the publication of “Hitler” by Konrad Heiden in 1936.

    1943: One hundred and fifty Jewish partisans escape from Occupied Kovno, Lithuania, and head eastward into the Rudninkai Forest.

    1943: Birthdate of Andrew Goodman.  Goodman worked a volunteer in the voter right’s registration movement in Mississippi in the summer of 1964. He and two of his fellow volunteers would be murdered that summer in Neshoba County.  It would take years to finally bring their killers to justice.  This brutal murder was one of the many events that helped bring about the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  That fall, Mississippi would show its displeasure with this change in events by voting for Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for President who opposed the Civil Rights Act.  This election would mark a turning point in American history providing the Republican Party with its political base.  

    1944: Premiere of “Three Is a Family” a comedy written by Henry and Phoebe Ephron.

    1944:Over the next four days, Swiss consulate officials Leopold Breszlauer and Ladislaus Kluger issue about 300 protective documents to Hungarian Jews gathered at the Hungarian-Austrian border.

    1944: Birthdate of Joe Eszterhas, the Hungarian-American author, who cut his father out his life entirely what at age 45 he learned “his father had concealed his collaboration in the Hungarian Nazi government and that he had "organized book burnings and had cranked out the vilest anti-Semitic propaganda imaginable."

    1945: Ruth and Moshe Dayan give birth to Asaf "Assi" Dayan, an Israeli film director, actor, screenwriter and producer.

    1945:  Birthdate of comedian Steve Landesberg.  Born in the Bronx, Landesberg is best known for his portrayal of Dietrich, the cerebral detective on in the television sitcom, Barney Miller.

    1946: Fawi Husseini, cousin of Arab Higher Committee chairman, is killed by Arabs for selling land to Jews.

    1947(1st of Cheshvan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

    1947:U.S. Army chaplain, Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz married Holocaust survivor Rachel Abramowitz married at Berlin.  They had first met at one of the DP camps General Eisenhower had established for Jewish survivors of the Shoah following clashes in camps shared between survivors and those they recognized as murderers. To Eisenhowers credit, he found that “The situation was unbearable” and moved to remedy it.

    1947:  Eliezer Sukenik an outstanding archaeologist and text expert on the faculty of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered earlier that winter by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.  Sukenik was able to purchase three of the scrolls they had found, the War Scroll, the Thanksgiving Scroll and a small Scroll of Isaiah.  The Great Scroll of Isaiah had already been purchased the Metropolitan Stephen, of St. Mark’s Church.  In one of the strange twists of fate, Yigal Yadin, Sukenik’s son, would arrange for the purchase of the Scroll of Isaiah and three other scrolls in 1954.  The purchase began with a simple newspaper ad in the Wall Street Journal, “Miscellaneous For Sale…Four Dead Sea Scrolls.” Yadin knew the importance of the items and arranged for a loan of a quarter of a million dollars (a large sum in those days, especially for the infant state of Israel) to bring them back to their ancestral home.  The secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls are still being unlocked by scholars to this day.  Considering that the acquisition of the scrolls began against the backdrop of the Partition of Palestine and the Israeli War for Independence, there is enough adventure here for an Indiana Jones style movie.

    1948: In today’s session of the UN General Assembly's Political and Security Committee, Dr. Philip C. Jessup suggests that both Bernadotte and UN partition plans be considered in fixing Israeli boundaries. Israel would keep Galilee and pan: of Negev.

    1948: Aubrey S. Eban (Abba Eban) defended Jewish claims to both the Galilee and Negev.

    1948: Israel forms a reserve forced made up of men aged 40 to 45.

    1949: Israeli forces made their way through the Negev Desert to the isolated outpost at Sodom (the Biblical Sodom) on the Dead Sea which had been cut off from any overland contact for more than six months.  Their success in reaching Sodom extended the boundaries of the new state of Israel 20 miles further south and east.

    1950: As of this date 80,000 Jews were reported to be waiting to leave Iraq.

    1950: Birthdate of New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

    1956 (19th of Kislev): Birthdate of Elliot R. Wolfson, author of Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menachem Mendel Schneerson

    1956(19th of Kislev):: On Friday night, Rabbi Schneerson, "The Rebbe," delivers "a learned discourse on kabbalistic themes to mark the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev...the Lubavitch 'Day of Redemption.'"

    1956: "An inflammatory proclamation was read in all mosques in Egypt declaring 'All Jews are Zionists and enemies of the State.'"

    1958(11th of Kislev, 5719): Fifty-four year old comedian Harry Einstein, who had begun his career writing for Eddie Cantor died from a heart attack at a Friars Club of Beverly Hills Roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz today in Los Angeles, California

    1959: David Susskind produced "The White Stage," this week’s selection for “The Play of the Week.”

    1963: Congregants of Agudas Achim in Austin, TX who had been planning to dedicated their new building today – an event that was to include a visiting from Vice President Lyndon Johnson – “gathered to mourn the death of John F. Kennedy and pray for their old friend Lyndon Johnson;”

    1967: Edward and Peter Bronfman made the opening statements at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim when the Library Museum, which was a gift in honor of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Bronfman was formally opened today.

    1968: After 1, 234 performances, the curtain came down on the Broadway production of “Cactus Flower” a farce written by Abe Burrows.

    1970: Birthdate of Oded Feher.  Born in Tel Aviv he lived there until he was age 18 when he joined the Israel Navy for 3 years. At the completion of his National Service duty, he went to Europe to pursue a business career but instead of business, he discovered acting. He went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England. Oded appeared as Don Juan in a production of Don Juan Comes Back From War at the Courtyard Theatre in London.  He has also appeared in both The Knock and Killer Net on British Television.  In his Breakout Role, Fehr played the role of Ardeth Bay in his first major screen role, The Mummy, a 1999 Universal release.

    1972: Birthdate of Christopher James Adler,an American drummer, best known as a member of the metal band Lamb of God. He is the older brother to bandmate and guitarist Willie Adler.

    1973(28th of Cheshvan, 5734): Mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel passed away. Leonard Bernstein paid her tribute in a eulogy at her funeral, saying, ‘when Jennie opened her mouth, God spoke.’”

    1987: About 100 Soviet Jews, united by their inability to emigrate, crowded into a two-room apartment today to discuss state secrets: the secrets that keep them from leaving the Soviet Union, the secret process by which the holders of secrets are identified, and the reason the secrets themselves are secret. The gathering, the culmination of months of research by would-be emigrants from the ranks of Soviet scientific and technological professions, was an attempt to collate bitter individual experiences, an attempt by people whose professional lives were once permeated with logic to explain a fate they find irrational.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Tuesday’s With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom, Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom by Herbert G. Goldman and A History of the Twentieth Century Volume 1: 1900-1933 by Martin Gilbert

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): A powerful car bomb killed two Israelis and wounded scores during rush hour in the coastal city of Hadera this evening. Prime Minister Ehud Barak immediately pledged that Israel would ''get even'' for a ''barbaric'' attack that took the current violence into the country's heartland. The bomb struck at a busy hour on a congested street. A car detonated by remote control blew up beside a city bus on President Street, lifting the bus in the air and hurling it into a kiosk. A blinding flash of light was followed by a tremendous boom. Store windows shattered, and several fires started. A man and a woman were killed, and several people, including a 1-year-old girl, were hospitalized in very serious condition. Naftali Wechter, 47, was riding in the bus in front of the one that exploded. ''I saw a column of smoke and a flash of fire several feet high,'' he said while lying on a gurney at the local hospital. ''We were thrown.'' Also in the hospital, Michal Azaria, 43, a shopkeeper, had a blood-caked face. ''The noise was terrifying,'' he said. ''Things flew in the air and got stuck in my legs. I saw people thrown on the ground. It was like a battlefield. They didn't move. They had blood on their hands and legs, and people were groaning, 'Oy, oy.' They were in great pain.'' Within minutes the street was littered with metal scraps and glass shards. The bus remained whole but was burned out inside. It rested on the sidewalk, its nose inside the kiosk under a crumpled awning. The car that had carried the bomb was nothing more than a piece of twisted metal with a steering wheel.

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Sgt. Samar Hussein, 19, of Hurfeish, was killed when Palestinian snipers opened fire at soldiers patrolling the border fence near the Erez crossing.

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761):  Lt. Edward Matchnik, 21, of Beersheba, was killed in an explosion at the District Coordination Office near Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. (The joint DCOs were established at the borders of Palestinian-ruled areas under the interim peace accords and were

    2001: An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at a van in the West Bank, killing Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, a leading member of Hamas, the Islamic terror organization.

    2003: The Al Hirschfeld Theatre which had been renamed in honor of his talents and long career reopened on with a revival of the musical Wonderful Town. Hirschfeld was also honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

    2003: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural Historyby Adam Bellow and The Media and The War co-edited by Marvin Kalb

    2004(10th of Kislev, 5765):Rafael Eitan, a former Israeli Army chief of staff and government minister who was reprimanded after Lebanese Christian allies of Israel massacred Palestinian refugees in 1982, drowned today after being swept into stormy seas. He was 75. Mr. Eitan was a war hero whom Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called "a comrade-in-arms and a friend." But Mr. Eitan's reputation, like Mr. Sharon's, was blighted by the killing of hundreds at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut while Israeli forces stood by. Mr. Sharon called Mr. Eitan's life "the story of this country." Mr. Eitan, known as Raful, was born in 1929 in Tel Adashim, a communal farm, and at 16 he joined the Palmach, an elite fighting force of the Haganah that later became the foundation for the new state's army. A paratrooper and pilot, he fought in all of Israel's wars and was wounded four times. He was appointed chief of staff in 1978.Mr. Eitan was known as a blunt talker and strict disciplinarian who would always meet his troops returning from night raids against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon. He also established programs to bring poor youths into the army to integrate them better into Israeli society. In civilian life, Mr. Eitan was a carpenter and olive farmer. He was also a politician of the right who formed a hard-line party, Tzomet, when he left the army. He opposed withdrawal from Sinai and other interim peace deals with the Palestinians, whom he once called "drugged cockroaches in a bottle." He was elected to Parliament many times and served as agriculture minister, environment minister and deputy prime minister in various governments. His party later joined Likud, which Mr. Sharon currently leads. Mr. Eitan left politics to work in his olive grove and build rocking horses at his wood shop in his birthplace, and in recent years had gone back to work as an adviser and construction coordinator for the Ashtrom company, which is improving the breakwater at the port in Ashdod. This morning about 7, Mr. Eitan was examining storm damage at the breakfront and talking to the company on a cellphone when he was apparently swept off the breakwater by the sea, the police said. He was found by police and naval personnel aided by a helicopter, but paramedics were unable to revive him. (As reported by Steven Erlanger)

    2005: Labor Party MK Ophir Pines-Paz completed his service as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2005:Major General (Ret) Matan Vilnai completed his term as Science, Technology and Space Minister

    2005: Ariel Sharon began his second term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2005: Shimon Peres completes his term in office as Vice Prime Minister.

    2005: Dalia Itzik, who will become the first women to serve as Speaker of the Knesset, completed her term as Communications Minister of Israel.

    2005: Isaac Herzog completed his term as Minister of Housing and Construction.

    2005: Eli Ben-Menachem completed his term as Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction

    2005:A decision by a Federal appeals court opens the way for settlement payouts for Austrian Jews. Deferring to US foreign policy interests, a federal appeals court has tossed out a class-action lawsuit by Austrian Jewish victims of the Nazi regime in a ruling that may clear the way for payouts from a 2001 settlement fund.  In a 2-to-1 ruling Tuesday, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said it was "particularly mindful" of the federal government's statement that dismissing the case would advance its relations with Austria, Israel and Western, Central and Eastern European nations. The lawsuit was the final case holding up implementation of an agreement with Austria that established a fund to compensate Austrian Jews whose property was confiscated during the Nazi era and World War II, the appeals court said. Distributions from the Austrian compensation fund were contingent on dismissal of the case. The fund included $150 million to cover certain property claims

    2005: The IDF unveiled the tombstones of five soldiers including two American volunteers, who fell in a battle for Latrun in the War of Independence at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery after positively identifying their remains which had been resting in a mass grave. The five soldiers being honored were Pvt. Menachem “Mendel’ Math, Cpl. Shlomo Berber, Pvt. Yehuda "Jerry" Kaplan, Pvt. Ya'akov Shnawiss (who changed his name to Sheleg Lavan), and Pvt. Moshe Hessman. Math and Kaplan were members of MACHAL.” During the War of Independence, some 3,500 volunteers from 37 different countries rallied to Israel's defense. These young men and women, Jews as well as non-Jews, were known as MACHAL (Mitnadvei Chutz-La'Arets) - the Hebrew acronym for overseas volunteers. Many of the volunteers had been members of Jewish underground movements in Palestine and abroad before the State was proclaimed, or had served as crew members on Aliya Bet ships running the British naval blockade to bring Holocaust survivors to the shores of the Land of Israel. Most overseas volunteers were veterans of World War II; their skills and expertise were crucial - often decisive - for the newly-formed Israel Defense Forces, on land, at sea and in the air. These men and women fought valiantly and served with distinction in every branch of the IDF, including infantry, artillery, armor, the air force, the navy, the medical corps and the signals corps, often in key positions. Overseas volunteers came with a high sense of purpose and a shared feeling of pride and privilege in knowing they were helping to create and to defend a Jewish homeland. After the war, most returned to their home countries, but about 500 settled in Israel and raised families. One hundred and nineteen overseas volunteers lost their lives in Israel's struggle for independence: four of them were women; eight were non-Jews. Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, said: "The participation and women of other nations in our struggle cannot be measured only as additional manpower, but as an exhibition of the solidarity of the Jewish people...without the assistance, the help and the ties with the entire Jewish people, we would have accomplished naught...some of our most advanced services might not have been established were it not for the professionals who came to us from abroad..."

    2006: Americans gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday is based on two traditions: the English Harvest Home and the Biblical Sukkoth.  The Pilgrims were a deeply religious people who saw themselves as modern Israelites fleeing their own Pharaoh so they could worship their One true God.  The New World was synonymous with the Promised Land.  So it was only to be expected that when looking for a way of expressing thanks for a bountiful harvest, they would turn to the Bible and fashion a week long holiday in the manner of Sukkoth.

    2006(2nd of Kislev, 5767): Betty Comden passed away at the age of 89.  She was a writer, who with longtime collaborator Adloph Green created the lyrics and the librettos for some of the most celebrated musicals of stage and screen

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, violinist and singer Sameer Makhoul performs with French double bassist Joelle Leandre.

    2008: In a visit sponsored by Alive Productions, Randy Newman performs in Tel Aviv's Hamishkan Leomanuyot Habama (performing arts house).

    2008:At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, following a dinner, Rabbi Lane Steinger, Regional Director, Union for Reform Judaism, Midwest Council, facilitates adiscussion will concerning interfaith families and the challenges they may face with the upcoming winter holiday season.

    2008: In Chicago, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, the Spertus presents a lecture entitled “Calvin and the Jews” in which Dr. Dean Bell, Chief Academic University at Spertus, explores Calvin’s and his impact on Christian/Jewish Relations.

    2008: At the Shirlington Branch Public Library, journalist Michaele Weissman discusses and signs her new book, God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee.

    2008: The New York Times featured a the review of a biography of the Jewish born creator of the Follies entitled Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Businessby Ethan Mordden.

    2008: The Washington Post book section included reviews of the latest addition to the Holocaust Literature genre, The Journal of Hélène Berr,translated from the French by David Bellos and two books that recount “the making of modern Hebrew”:Resurrecting Hebrew by Ilan Stavans and Yehuda Amichai” The Making of Israel's National Poet by Nili Scharf Gold.

    2009 Lord Nigel Lawson became chairman of a new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a registered education charity

    2009: The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and the Moline Public Library sponsor an address by Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim who will speak on “The Behind the Scenes Story of Operation Solomon: The Exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel”. Author, humanitarian, and retired Ambassador Asher Naim will speak about his work on behalf of Ethiopian Jews during his distinguished diplomatic career. From 1990-1991, Asher Naim served as Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia. He was instrumental to the success of Operation Solomon, which ensured the rescue and resettlement of Ethiopian Jews. For his efforts in Operation Solomon, and his current work with Ethiopian Jews in Israel, Ambassador Naim was recently presented with the “2009 Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award” from the American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia.

    2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Eighty-year old Fred Silberstein, a survivor of Auschwitz who gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials passéd away today in New Zealand. Silberstein, who was 14 when he was taken to Auschwitz in 1943, spent much of his life educating people in New Zealand about the horrors of the Holocaust and the subsequent dangers of racism. The president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, Stephen Goodman, described him as a righteous person. “For 60 years he worked tirelessly bearing witness to the horrors of the Holocaust,” Goodman said. “He was a modest and humble man.” Silberstein survived operations by Nazi “doctor” Josef Mengele, called the “Angel of Death,” and avoided near-certain death by telling camp guards he was 15 and able to do manual labor. His evidence at the Nuremburg Trials in 1946 helped to convict Nazi leaders such as Hermann Göring and Rudolf Heß. He moved to New Zealand in 1948.

    2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Ninety-one year old Max Eisen, a Broadway press agent from the days when feeding tidbits of gossip to columnists like Walter Winchell and staging stunts were standard practice for stirring up a bit more box-office appeal, passed away today.  (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2009: Israeli author Naomi Frenkel is to be laid to rest on Kibbutz Beit Alfa at 2 p.m. today three days after dying at Sheba Medical Center on her 91st birthday.  Frenkel catapulted to fame with her triumphant trilogy, Saul and Johanna (1956-67), which tells the story of two young men who grow up in assimilated Jewish families in Germany before the Holocaust and find freedom through Zionism.  "I don't know what need it met; it's still a mystery to me," Frenkel told The Jerusalem Post's Esther Hecht in 1998 when asked to explain its phenomenal success. She returned to her native Germany briefly after receiving an Anne Frank Foundation scholarship to write the second part of the trilogy.  Born in Berlin to an assimilated family herself, Frenkel was spirited out of Nazi Germany on a boat in 1933 by her guardian after both her parents had died.  She attended Havat Halimud Lebanot, an agricultural school for girls in Jerusalem, studied Jewish thought at the Hebrew University and moved to Kibbutz Beit Alfa, where she married a teacher, Yisrael Rosenzweig, and had a daughter, Idit.  According to Frenkel, she had a falling out with the kibbutz when it wrongly accused her of pocketing reparations from Germany.  "It was character assassination, one of the methods the Left uses," she charged. In any case, she left the kibbutz and when her husband died and remarried journalist Meir Ben-Gur. In 1969, she helped Meir Har-Zion, the hero of Ariel Sharon's legendary Commando 101, edit his autobiography. She worked for the Israel Navy from 1970-8, doing highly classified work and earned the rank of major. Frenkel later revealed that she had edited protocols of the navy and army before and after the Yom Kippur War, and the material that passed through her hands shocked her deeply. "I saw a country that was corrupt, a party that was corrupt, generals who acted out of personal interest," she said. In her latter years, Frenkel's political views swung from the Left to the Right, she became religiously observant and settled in Kiryat Arba with her family in 1982. Although she was ostracized by the left-leaning arts community, Frenkel - who had always considered herself an outsider - finally felt at home. "I felt I had found what I was looking for," she said. "I had found my place. I found what it means to be a Jew. I will never leave Hebron, under any circumstances." After the terrorist murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass in Hebron in 2001, she wrote, alluding to the Hebrew meaning of the baby's name: "Despite the murder, the flame will never be extinguished. We have returned to our land, and we live now in the city of our forefathers." Last year, she sent a much-publicized message of support to families who returned to the Amona outpost after it had been violently evacuated in 2006, saying: "I bless you in the laying of the cornerstone of your new home. If they destroy it, build it again!" Frenkel won several prizes for her books for children and adults - many of which were translated into German and English - including the Ruppin and Levy Eshkol prizes as well as the Ussishkin, Neumann and Press awards. Her most popular books include My Beloved, My Friend(the story of a young woman who is treated as an ugly duckling when she arrives on a kibbutz) Wild Flower, A Boy Growing Up on the Banks of the Assi, Racheli and the Little Man, Morning Star, Barkai, (which traces the history of a Sephardi family in Hebron), and Preda (her last book published by Gefen in 2003 which is the story of two very different friends: Malchiel, a member of the Old Yishuv, and Yoske, his commander in the Palmach and the Israeli of modern times). Several of Frenkel's books were turned into radio dramas and television movies. She never cut ties with Kibbutz Beit Alfa, especially because it was the birth place and home of her daughter, and requested that she be buried there.

    2010: Kathleen Straus is scheduled to be honored with the Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award by the Detroit American Jewish Committee.

    2010: Dwight Garner’s list of the “Top 10 Books of 2010” included books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “ Simon Wiesentahl: The Life and Legends”  by Tom Segev, “Letters” by Saul Bellow; edited by Benjamin Taylor, “Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance” co-authored by Nouriel Roubini, “Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, “Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory” by Ben Macintyre, one of the most successful disinformation operations of the 20th century which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu, a leading member of the UK’s Jewish community.

    2010: This afternoon at JFK airport in New York City, a Holocaust survivor was reunited with the Polish man who rescued her from the Nazis, after not having seen one another for 65 years. Wladyslaw Misiuna, 85, from Poland, and Sara Marmurek, 88, from Canada had not seen each other since the war.

    2010(16th of Kislev, 5771): Seventy three year old Ingrid Pitt,long celebrated as the first lady of British horror cinema, who starred in sanguinary classics of the 1970s like “The Vampire Lovers,” “Countess Dracula” and “The House That Dripped Blood,” died today in London. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: The Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon is scheduled to begin at 9 pm at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

    2011:Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Director at Rabbis for Human Rights is scheduled to be the  guest speaker at the first session of the Adult Education series at the West London Synagogue.

    2011:The IDF identified Beduin smugglers on the southern border trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, and a firefight erupted between the two sides tonight. No IDF soldiers were injured in the clash. The two smugglers attempting to penetrate the border into Israel were identified by an IDF force who, according to regulations, fired at their legs.

    2011: Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall. Israel's Antiques Authority announced today that the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) alongside Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel challenges the conventional archaeological perception that Herod built the wall in its entirety, saying it is now evident that construction was completed at least 20 years after Herod's death (believed to be in 4 BCE).

    2011:The threat of another political murder exists in Israel, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told the Knesset today. Aharonovitch's statement came in response to a query from MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) following the repeated harassment of activist Hagit Ofran and the Peace Now organization. Recently, death threats were sprayed on the apartment building of Ofran, a Peace Now activist, and Peace Now offices in Jerusalem were vandalized in suspected "price tag" attacks.


    2012: “Oy Vey! The Play” a comedy about a wealthy widow, her three daughters, her son, her Rabbi is scheduled to be performed at The Lion Theatre in New York City.

    2012(9th of Kislev, 5773): Seventy-four year old Devorah Krinsky “ the wife of Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, secretary to the late Lubavitcher rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson” whom she married in 1957 passed away. (As reported by JTA)

    2012: "Seeds of Resiliency," a new film directed and produced by Susan Polis Schutz, the granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants is scheduled to open tonight at the Quad Cinema in NYC.

    2012: Memorial services were held for Art Ginsburg, the American television chef known as Mr. Food, “were held at B'nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston” after which he was buried at Beth David Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Florida

    2012: National Yiddish Theater Presents "The Golden Land" at the Baruch Performing Arts Center

    2012: Rain fell from the North to the Negev today morning with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms forecasted to continue throughout the day.

    2012: Hamas Islamists enforced a fragile two-day-old truce on today by evacuating Palestinians from a "no-go" border zone after IDF gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian and wounded several others.

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host a performance of the Klezmer Nutcracker Holiday Concert.

    2013: As part of the Murra Blackman Memoril Weekend, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman delivers a Shabbat sermon “What is the Most Important Verse in the Torah?” followed by an afternoon talk “The Two Happiest Days in Judaism – What are they? A Taste of Talmud” (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)

    2013: Israeli soldiers “fired rubber bullets at a group of Palestinians who were throwing stones at them during a day in which three Arabs were arrested by Israeli forces near the security barrier separating the Jewish state from the Gaza after they had snuck across the border near Kibbutz Be'eri. (As reported by Gil Roen)

    2013(20thof Kislev, 5774): Seventy-seven year old philanthropist and businessman Dov Lautman lost his battle with ALS today.

    2013(20thof Kislev, 5774): Eight year old Peter B. Lewis, the former Chairman of Progressive Insurance Company passed away.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris’ “novelization of the Dreyfus affair” and Memories of a Marriage by Louis Begley.

    2014: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to present “Poetry & Prose Workshop” with Willa Schneberg.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “No One Remembers Alone: Memory, Migration, and the Making of an American Family.”

    2014: Eighteenth annual UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014: The Chabad Partners Conference is scheduled to be held at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel

    2014: A live broadcast from the Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, a group that includes Rabbi Pinchas Ciment who has been a lamplighter par excellence in Arkansas for over two decades, is scheduled to take place this afternoon.


    2014(1stof Kislev, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

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    November 24

    166 BCE: According to secular calculations this date marked “The Origin of Era of the Maccabees.”

    380: Theodosius I made his” adventus,” or formal entry, into Constantinople. Eight years later, in 388, Theodosius attempted to intervene unsuccessfully on behalf of the Jews of his Empire.  “The bishop of a town on the bank of the Euphrates was among those responsible for the burning of a synagogue by a Christian crowd”  When the governor of the province refused to punish the bishop, Theodosius exercised his imperial power and ordered the offending bishop to build the Jews a new house of worship.  However, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan and a leader of the Christian Church, overruled the emperor and Theodosius folded like a cheap suit. This episode points to the worsening conditions of the Jews.  If a powerful Emperor like Theodosius could not stand up to the Church, how could one expect a lesser ruler to challenge the growing power of the prelates?

    1105: Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes Talmudic dictionary.  According to Heinrich Graetz, Ben Yehiel is the only Italian who made a contribution to Jewish literature during this period which was dominated by the Jews of Spain.  He published his dictionary under the name Aruch.  What this work lacks in originality it makes up for in thoroughness.  It became a standard text for Jews studying the Talmud during the Middle Ages.

    1190: Isabella of Jerusalem marries Conrad of Montferrat at Acre, making him de jure King. This took place during the period when the Crusaders controlled the City of David.  Their “kingship” should not be confused with the reign of the Davidic Dynasty.

    1275:  Edward I issued the Statute of the Jewry which placed a number of restrictions on the Jews of England. See for a complete copy of the text.

    1493: Gershon Soncino printed an edition of the Pentateuch at Brescia.

    1631 (5 Kislev, 5392): Rabbi Samuel Eliezer Edels, also known by the acronym, “MaHarSha,” passed away. Born in 1555 in Krakow, he was one of the best known Talmudic commentators. His Chidushei Halachot is included in almost every publication of the Talmud. He believed that many of the Agadot (Talmudic legends) could be explained rationally and/or as parables. Edels also served as the chief rabbi in Lublin and Ostrog. As part of his commentary and explanation on the subject of guardian angel, Edels wrote, “In the way you wish to go in life, so you will be led by your Guardian Angels." According to the MaHarSha,” this passage explains that, in the way you wish to go in life, so you will be led by your guardian angels.  In other words  every action, word and thought that you do in this world creates an angel, so if you really want something good to happen in your life, create enough angelic good angels with kindness, loving thoughts and honest words . And then these angels you have attracted to you by your good thoughts, words and actions will indeed lead you to your goal.” As you can see from this commentary, all Rabbis living in Eastern Europe were not dry legalist.  Those of you who think of them in that manner will get a chance to re-consider that concept if you study this period of Jewish History.

    1632: Birthdate of Baruch Spinoza (known also as Benedict De Spinoza). The life and philosophy of Spinoza are too complex for this brief daily blurb and you are urged to read more about him on your own) In brief Spinoza was born in Amsterdam to Sephardic Jews who had fled from the Inquisition in Portugal, Spinoza received a rigorous Jewish education including the study of such “modern” commentators as Maimonides and Ibn Ezra.   However his inquiring mind led to learn Latin and to study with so-called free-thinkers.  He became a disciple of Descartes and his rationalist philosophic approach to life.  Spinoza was a pantheist believing that God was within nature and not above nature with His own divine will.  To paraphrase Telushkin, Spinoza did not believe that God created nature, but that God is Nature.  In 1656, while still in his twenties, Spinoza was excommunicated (in Hebrew “kerem”) for denying the immortality of the soul and God’s authorship of the Torah.  On this latter point, Spinoza was a forerunner of modern Biblical critics.  He believed that the Torah had not been written by Moses, but by Ezra the Scribe.  The ban from the Jewish community was total.  Spinoza spent the rest of his life moving from place to place in Holland studying and developing his philosophical works.  At one point he joined a Mennonite sect and changed his name to Benedictus or Benedict. By the time of his death in 1677, Spinoza had developed a philosophy of rational pantheism in which to “know” nature is to know God.  Over the centuries, many Jews have expressed their displeasure over Spinoza’s excommunication.  In the 1950’s no less a figure than David Ben Gurion tried unsuccessfully to have the ban lifted.  From the writings of Spinoza: “As long as a man imagines a thing is impossible, so long will he be unable to do it.”  “Men who are ruled by reason desire nothing for themselves which they would not wish for all humankind.”  (Sounds like Hillel).

    1799: In Prague, Judah Jeitteles and his wife gave birth to physician, poet and author Aaron Ludwig Joseph Jeittles

    1843: Birthdate of David Zvi Hoffmann, a rabbi and Torah scholar who was active in the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” a German based movement that attempted to apply scientific methodology to all aspects of Judaism. His daughter Hannah married Alexander Marx who along with Max L. Margolis published “A History of the Jewish People” which was a classic work of the inter-war period. Rabbi Hoffiamn passed away in 1921.

    1843: Birthdate of Tammany Hall political leader Richard Croker, Jr. who recognized the importance of the Jewish vote in the municipal elections of 1898 when he threatened to get rid of all the leaders who did not do enough to deliver it to the Democratic Party machine.

    1848(28th of Cheshvan, 5609): Seventy-eight year old Joseph Mendelssohn the German Jewish banker who was the oldest son of Moses Mendelssohn and the uncle of Felix Mendelssohn passed away today.

    1851: "Acapulco" published today described the high cost of living in the Mexican city provided the unusual comparison that "a little crib not bigger than a Jew's clothing-shop in San Francisco, brings $50 a month."

    1851: Austrian physician Jakob Eduard Polak entered Iran where he began teaching medicine at Dar al-fonun

    1853: The cornerstone for a new Jewish Hospital was laid this afternoon in a two hour long ceremony.  At 2 pm a procession including members of the Hospital Society, the Hebrew Benevolent Society and other dignitaries left the Crosby street synagogue and walked to the site of the new hospital on 28th street between 7th and 8thavenues.  At 3 pm, Henry Hendricks made a few opening remarks in Hebrew and handed the trowel to Sampson Simpson who also make a few remarks in Hebrew before actually laying the cornerstone.  Rabbis Lyon and Helsen then delivered prayers in Hebrews followed by an address given by Rabbi Isaacs in English.  During the talk Isaacs assured listeners, including NYC dignitaries that the hospital would offer its services to all – Gentiles and Jews alike.  Sampson Simpson donated the land on which the hospital is being built.  He has also promised that $30,000 bequest will made to the hospital at the time of this death.

    1853: Rabbi Isaacs is scheduled to give a sermon this evening at 5 pm on the topic of Charity.

    1855: An article published today entitled “The Merchants of London” described the financial activities of the various banking houses in London.  The House of Rothschild is reported to be very active in the affairs of Spain where it is represented by Mr. Weisler.  The Rothchilds hold large mortgages on the silver mines located in Spain

    1858: Under the guidance of Max Maretzek, Adeline Patti made her operatic debut at age 16 in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the Academy of Music, New York. (He was the Jewish impresario and concert master.  She was the native of Spain who went on to a brilliant career.) 

    1858: A schochet named Aaron Friedman appeared before New York Mayor Daniel F. Tiemann and accused Abraham Joseph Asch, Pesach Rosenthal and Moses Levi of selling lottery tickets which is against the law.  Abraham Joseph Asch served as Rabbi at Beis Hamedrash Hagadol on Bayard Street. Founded in 1852, it was the first congregation founded by Russian Orthodox Jews.  Pesach Rosenthal was the founder of the Downtown Talmud Torah, Yiddish speaking school also founded in 1852.

    1858: In New York City, Sergeant Birney and 12 officers of the law, armed with a warrant to search and seize lottery tickets arrested Rabbi Abraham Joseph Asch, Reb Pesach Rosnethal and Moses Levi.  Rabbi Asch was arrested while he was leading services at this synagogue.  All three were taken before May Tiemann to answer the charges lodged against them.

    1859: British naturalist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which explained his theory of evolution. Ironically, Hitler was greatly influence by Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution. Hitler believed that the German people were the most advanced race of people, and all others were inferior. For Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest to be true, all other inferior species had to die. Hitler was making sure the inferiors would die off rapidly, so his MASTER RACE would rule faster.

    1862: Michel Levy publishes Gustave Flaubert’s "Salammbo." Levy (not Flaubert) was Jewish.

    1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk collapsed from having contracted malaria. Just before his collapse, he had finished playing his romantic piece Morte! (interpreted as "she is dead"), although the actual collapse occurred just as he started to play his celebrated piece Tremolo.

    1863: During the Civil War, the 82nd Illinois Infantry under the command of Edward S. Solomon took part in the Union Army’s victory over the Rebels at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. Joseph B. Greenhut, an Austrian born Jew, served as Captain of Company K during the battle.

    1864: Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Tapié de Celeyran gave birth to artist Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec whose work included “Reine de joies.”


    1869(20th of Kislev, 5630): Jonathan Alexandersohn, a German born Hungarian rabbi, passed away passed away in the Jewish hospital at Altofen.

    1870: Rabbi S.M. Isaacs is scheduled to deliver the sermon at the Forty-Fourth Street Synagogue’s Thanksgiving Day services which will begin at 11 a.m. Children from Hebrew Orphan Asylum will attend the service after which they will be fed Thanksgiving Dinner paid for by the synagogues trustees.

    1871: It was reported today that the Reorganization Committee meeting in St. Petersburg has been discussing whether or not to allow Jews to serve as officers in the Russian Army.  The majority of the committee favor postponing a decision until enough time has elapsed to evaluate the recent decision to allow Jews to hold civil service positions in the Russian government.

    1873: Birthdate of Julius Martov, the scion of Jewish family living in Constantinople who became a leader of the Mensheviks during the Russian Revolutions.

    1874: It was reported today that Jacob Cohen has donated a printing press, Hebrew type, non-Hebrew type and other printing office furniture to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York.  [The printing operation would prove to be a beneficial source of training an income for the male orphans.]

    1878: It was reported today that the Rothschilds in London have successfully gained the right to underwrite the “new Numidian loan” for which they will receive a premium commission.

    1878: In New York Samuel Sachs and Louisa Goldman Sachs gave birth to Paul Joseph Sachs, the partner in Goldman Sachs and associate director of the Fogg Art Museum who enter American pop culture as one of the Monuments Men.

    1878: It was reported today that Maggie de Rothschild has been receiving religious instruction from a Roman Catholic priest in Frankfort, Germany.  Conversion to Christianity is a condition set by the family of her future husband, the Duc de Guiche for their approval of the marriage.  The family has no objection to her Jewish money, just to her Jewish religion.  If the trend of intermarriage continues, the more numerous Christian will eventually absorb the Jews. “That is one way getting rid of the Jews…but one which will take time.”

    1879: It was reported that a confidence man identified as a Hebrew from New York has swindled several French businessmen out of 6,000,000 francs.

    1879: It was reported today that Lord Beaconsfield has only been able to gain promises of “moral support from Austria and Germany” in the current conflict involving the Russian and Ottoman empires.

    1879: Albert Lavergne, alias Abraham Levy, an Alsatian Jew, went to the 29thPrecinct in New York and confessed to having stolen $30,000 worth of diamonds in France in 1876.

    1879: Birthdate of Yitzhak Gruenbaum the native of Warsaw who was a leader of Polish Jewry until he made Aliyah in 1933 and expanded his career to include a leadership role that caused the British to arrest him during their “leadership sweep” in 1946 and enabled him to become a signatory to the Declaration of Independence in 1948.

    1880: “The German War on the Jews” published today noted that “the authorities are inclined to wink at, if not openly encourage, the movement for stemming the rising tide of Jewish power and influence and in the Empire.”  While Chancellor Bismarck has modified his view that used to include opposition of “the admission of Jews into office” the anti-Semitic movement has plenty of power as can be seen from the leadership supplied by Reverend Stoecker, one of the Kaiser’s Chaplains.” (Editor’s note: The emergency of the anti-Semitic movement paralleled the emancipation of Jews in Germany and was in full flower long before a Bavarian Corporal came to power.

    1880: At today’s meeting of the New York State Senate Committee on City Affairs, Judge P.J. Joachimsen defended the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society from remarks made by Elbrdige T. Gerry

    1881: J.S. Moore responded to the anti-Semitic attacks by Goldwin Smith, a Professor at Oxford that appeared in the October issue of the Nineteenth Century.”

    1884:  Birthdate of Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, the second President of Israel.  After the death of Chaim Weitzman, Ben-Zvi was elected in 1952.  He served until his death in April of 1963.

    1885: Henry M. Leipziger, the principal of the Hebrew Technical Institute presented a report at a meeting of the Industrial Education Association in New York today during which he described what his school had during the past 18 months to meet the needs of boys ages 12 to 14.

    1886: At the Star Theatre in New York, in front of a packed house, Edwin Booth played Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” part to which he brings a unique portrayal.

    1887: “La Tosca” a five-act drama by the 19th-century French playwright Victorien Sardou “was first performed today at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris, with Sarah Bernhardt in the title role.

    1887: In a moment of honesty, Reverend Armitage delivered a sermon at the Fifth Avenue Baptist church in which he “compared the American Thanksgiving feast with joyous ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ of the ancient Jews. This Jewish feast continued eight days, and commemorated the gather of fruits. With the Jews, it was a joyous outpouring of religious feeling and in this quality of their religion they set an example which will be followed by Christians.”

    1887: On Thanksgiving, “bountiful dinners” were provided those under the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1887: Thanksgiving Services were held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City

    1889(1ST of Kislev, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1889: “Jews of Bagdad” published today described the mistreatment of the Jews of Mesopotamia during the recent cholera epidemic.

    1889: It was reported today that The Conference of the Civic, Commercial, Industrial and Educational Bodies will be presenting a “silk banner” to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.

    1890(12th of Kislev, 5651): Seventy-six year old August Belmont, a Prussian Jew who “came to the U. S. in the diplomatic service, became a representative of the Rothschilds founded the banking house, August Belmont & Co., made a vast fortune and kept a racing stable passed” away today.

    1892: The SS Weimar a large number of whose 1,906 passengers are Russian Jews is still detained at the Cape Charles Quarantine facility at Baltimore in accordance with President’s order this matter.

    1892: On Thanksgiving Day Mrs. J. P. Jonchimsen will deliver the opening speech at the dedication of the new Orphan Asylum of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York will take place at 2 p.m.

    1894: According to figures provided by Charles G. Wilson, the President of the Board Health published today “the lowest death rate…is in the tenement wards where the Hebrew population is densest.”  Wilson attributed this fact to the observance of “the Mosaic laws regard cleanliness” and avoiding abuse of alcohol as well as the fact that Jews “observe certain religious rules and regulations requiring them to keep their apartments clean.”

    1894: In London, premiere of “The Shop Girl” a musical comedy featuring "The Little Chinchilla" a popular song written by Paul Alfred Rubens.

    1895: “Flora’s Beautiful Gifts” traces the role of flowers in various civilizations and cultures including the Hebrews who used the rose and the lily and whose King Solomon “was a botanist” as can be seen from his gardens “which are among the most ancient gardens of which we know.”

    1895: Herzl expounds his plans at The Maccabeans Club, the first group to hear his ideas. (In his diary he wrote, "Abends bei den 'Makkabäern'. Mageres Dinner, aber guter Empfang." - In the evening with the 'Maccabaeans', skimpy dinner, but good reception.")

    1896: As of today, it was reported that Mrs. Hannah Solomon is President of the National Board of the National Council of Jewish Women and Miss Laura Mordecai is President of the Philadelphia chapter of the organization.

    1897: In Chicago, Illinois, Leopold Godowsky and Frederica Saxe  gave birth to silent film actress Dagmar Godowsky.

    1897: “Thanksgiving Exercises for Orphans” published today described upcoming holiday plans for those at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam Avenue.

    1898 Simon Guggenheim and Olga Hirsch married today at the Waldorf Astoria; an event they celebration by providing 5,000 poor children with a Thanksgiving Dinner.

    (Editor’s Note: The following four entries are examples of the Americanization of the Jewish Community in the best sense of the term.  It provides an indication of why American Jews believe that their experience is different from that in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East)

    1898: Rabbi Silverman will deliver a sermon on “American Progress” at Temple Emanu-El during Thanksgiving Services that start at 11 a.m.

    1898: Rabbi Rudolph Grossman will deliver the sermon at Temple Rodeph Sholom during Thanksgiving Services that start at 10:30 a.m.

    1898: Shaarai Tephilla and B’nai Jeshurun  will hold a joint Thanksgiving Service at 10:30 a.m led by Rabbi Stephen G. Wise that will include “the reading of the of the President’s proclamation by Morris Wise, a speech by Washingtonian Simon Wolf and a performance by the brass band of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society Orphan Asylum

    1898: “The Young Men’s Hebrew Association” is scheduled to hold Thanksgiving Services at 861 Lexington this morning starting at 10:30.

    1899: Jacob Furth, the Jewish President of the Puget Sound National Bank of Seattle, Washington, described economic conditions in the Northwest to a group meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria. The seven banks in the area have more than 13 million dollars in deposits most of which has been investing in Eastern commercial paper since there is so little demand for money in the Pacific Coast region. Manufacturing and farming have been so profitable that there has been little need for borrowing. Furth concluded his remarks by saying that he saw an automobile for the first time while traveling through Chicago on his way to New York.  Furth is convinced that the Pacific Northwest is too hilly “for the successful operation of the horseless carriage.”

    1903: In Vienna, Carl and Emilie Popper gave birth to Hans Popper, “the founding father of Hepatology” who was fortunate enough to escape arrest by the Nazis during the Anschluss by making his way to the United States aboard the SS New Amsterdam.

    1905 (26th of Cheshvan): Nahum Meyer Shaikevich (Shomer)  Yiddish novelist and playwright, passed away

    1908: Birthdate of Harry Kemelman, the Boston native who created the Rabbi David Small mystery novels.

    1911: The Damascus newspaper Muktebisattacked Jews, and in response readers wrote letters to the Grand Vizier to condemn the attitude of the paper.  On the same day the editor of another newspaper, the Turkish Hikmet, insulted Jews in an 'open letter to the Sultan.' As a result of the letter the editor was banished from Constantinople.

    1912: In Rochester, NY, David Kanin and Sadie Levine gave birth to screen writer and director Garson Kanin.

    1912: In Antwerp Paul (Pinchas) Gluck-Friedman and Henia Shipper gave birth to Antoinette Gluk who would marry a young Swiss-born French rabbi named David Feuerwerker and who would become famous as a decorated hero of the Resistance and as a jurist in post-war France.

    1912: In the presence of an audience of 600 persons, including all of the members of the Straus family, a memorial tablet in honor of Ida Straus was unveiled this afternoon at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob, an institution for aged men and women at 301 and 303 East Broadway. Impressive services marked the official dedication of the tablet, which has been mounted upon the wall of the large auditorium to the right of the main entrance. The large bronze casting bears the raised profile of Mrs. Straus upon the center, directly under the inscription; “The Ida Straus Memorial of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.” On one side are the words “Her life was beautiful” and the date in the Hebrew calendar of Mrs. Straus’s birth, “Shebat 14, 5609.” On the other side is the inscription “Her death was glorious,” and the date of the Titanic disaster, “Nisan 28, 5672.” Below the profile are the words: To the everlasting memory of Mrs. Ida Straus, one of the noble and heroic daughters in Israel, the hospital wards of this home are dedicated. She perished on the high seas in the Titanic disaster, together with her husband, Isidor Straus, statesman, philanthropist, and merchant, persistently [sic] refusing to be saved that she might remain to cheer the last moments of her life’s companion. Beneath is this quotation from the Book of Ruth: Where thou Diest Will I Die, and There Will I Be Buried. Dr. Nathan Abramson opened the dedication services with a hymn, in which he led a selected chorus of sixteen voices. The Rev. H. Pereira Mendes delivered the opening prayer, in which he expressed the hope that the example of the heroic and devoted wife in whose memory the tablet was erected and to whose lasting fame the wards of the hospital were dedicated might be forever an inspiration to the women of her race and ancient creed. Dr. Henry Fleischman, President of the Educational Alliance, made the principal address. He lauded the modest charity and kindliness of Mrs. Straus and the great unselfish works of her husband in the public service. Other speakers were Joseph Barondes of the Board of Education, the Rev. Dr. Schulman, pastor of the Congregation of Beth-El; the Rev. H. Masliansky of the People’s Synagogue, and Gustavus A. Rogers, who acted as Chairman.The most impressive incident of the dedication occurred when the 186 inmates of the home, led by Supt. Albert Kruger, filed slowly into the auditorium and took their seats in the front rows. The oldest of the feeble and decrepit men and women was said to be almost 108, and the youngest in the procession more than 70 years old. Just before the close of the exercises they arose and with quavering voices chanted aloud in unison a prayer for the eternal happiness of their departed benefactress. Among those seated on the platform were Mr. and Mrs. Percy Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Straus, Mrs. Nathan Straus, Herbert Straus, Jesse I. Straus, Mrs. Weil, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Kohns, and Mr. Lee Kohns. At the close of the exercises the members of the Straus family group, together with a few intimate friends, made a tour of inspection of the new hospital wards of the home

    1912: A meeting in honor of the late Dr. Morris Loeb is scheduled to be held today at the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York.

    1913: A mass meeting was held in New York under the auspices of the Federation of Oriental Jews that reside $58,000 for the relief of Balkan Jewry.

    1914: Today’s contributions to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews suffering through the war amounted to $944.74 bring the total collected to day to $25,010.

    1914: “Let Jews Become Turks” published today described the decision of the Ottoman government to grant citizenship to Russian Jews living in the empire – a decision that would mean a great deal to many of the Jewish settlers in Palestine because they came from Russia.

    1914: It was reported today that “two members of the Serbian Legation who remained at Constantinople to assist Henry Morgenthau,” the Jewish philanthropist serving as the American Ambassador, “were ordered to leave the city within 48 hours.”

    1914: On the Western Front during WW I, Lieutenant F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London “led two of his Indian soldiers into the sap of a German trench that had been pushed out to within ten yards of the Indian line.”  They destroyed the sap.

    1916: The Greek government considers calling on Jews to serve in military; prior to this date they were exempt from service.

    1917: In London, Harry Rowson and his wife gave birth to Sefton Wilfred David Rowson who gained fame as Israeli diplomat and Professor of International Law, Shabtai Rosenne.

    1918: Felix Warburg outlines plans for a December campaign designed to raise funds for Jewish war suffers at a meeting of the People’s Relief Committee which represents the working class of New York Jewry.

    1922: Birthdate of Claus Adolf Moser, the native of Berlin who was brought to England in 1936 where his contributions to the world of statistics led to his being made a Life peer with the title Baron Moser>

    1922: In Akron, Ohio, Benjamin and Bertha Munitz Ovshinsky gave birth to Stanford R. Ovshinsky, the inventor of the nickel-metal hydride battery. (As reported by Barnaby J. Feder)

    1924: In New York, Barbara Stettheimer and “Maj. Gen. Julius Ochs Adler, who was the president and publisher of The Chattanooga Times and the general manager of The New York Times from 1935 until his death in 1955” gave birth to Julius Ochs Adler, Jr  “a business executive and public relations consultant who ran a popular independent bookstore in Manhattan for 16 years.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden and Eric Pace)

    1929: Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France during the final years of World War I passed away.  He provided the stamina that helped France stay the course and defeat the forces of the Kaiser.  For Jews, he will be remembered as a French politician who risked his career to support Emile Zola as he worked to gain justice for Colonel Dreyfus. 

    1932: A call to orthodox Jewry to unite to finish rebuilding Palestine as a Jewish homeland was sounded today by Rabbi Wolf Gold of Brooklyn, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America, at the opening session of the annual convention of that body held in Buffalo, NY.  “Detailing the Mizrahi’s program for Palestine which calls for a rebuilding along strict orthodox line, Rabbi “Gold held that the organization was the only one in the world which could accomplish the task of taking back to the homeland the ancient principles of Judaism.”  On a more practical note, “Rabbi Gold reported that…$40,000,000 has been invested in more than 63,000 acres of orange groves in Palestine.  Raising oranges is one of the chief industries of the homeland he said.”  Despite problems in the world economy, he reported that orange exports have “increased tremendously” over the last year.

    1933: The German Law Against Dangerous and Habitual Criminals adopted today allows for compulsory castration of “hereditary” criminals.

    1936: The Jerusalem Arab daily newspaper al-Liwa demanded the Peel commission should reach only one conclusion: ‘a National Arab Government’ throughout Palestine.

    1937: The Reich is about to assume permanent control of the property of the Jewish shipping operator, Arnold Bernstein, without awaiting his conviction on "economic treason" charges. His trial before the Hamburg Emergency Court has been going on for ten days

    1938: Winston Churchill condemns the British stewardship of Palestine in speech in the House of Commons.

    1939: “Catholic Welfare Council Helped Jews and Others in Reich” published today described the organization’s efforts to refugees from “Germany and countries under the sway of the German Reich” which has included raising $285,486 to help those of Jewish extractions as well as “a large number of Catholics classified as ‘non-Aryans’”

    1939: “Links Zionist Aims to Democratic Way” published today described Rabbi Stephen S. Wise’s belief that those “who really believed in democracy had no choice but to support the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.”

    1939: It was reported today that Junior Hadassah has raised “about $100,000 for its undertakings in Palestine” and that it will be a hospital for the children’s Village at Meier Shfeyah to be named for Miss Alice Seligsberger” who “was in charge of the Zionist medical unit which went to Palestine in the World War and established a network of hospitals and similar institutions.

    1939: Due in part “to the continued sales of stocks formerly owned by Jews for the Reich’s account” in Berlin, “the share index advanced slightly to 102.07. (Anti-Semitism is good for business)

    1940: Slovakia becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers. Regardless of the impact of Slovakian troops on the fighting on the Eastern Front, this move helped lay the groundwork for the Jewish community which saw 65,000 of its 77,000 shipped to the camps and their death by 1945.

    1940: The Atlantic, with 1,783 illegal Jewish refugees on board was escorted into the harbor at Haifa.  How determined were the British to keeps Jews out Palestine?  Consider the following; at this time in 1940, Britain stood alone against the Nazis.  France had surrendered the previous June. The Soviet Union was still an ally of Hitler and would not enter the fray until June of 1941.  The United States would not enter the fight for another year.  The U-boat wolf-packs were sinking British ships in the North Atlantic.  Yet at a time when British merchant vessels need all the protection they could get. British warships were cruising the Mediterranean so they could keep a few thousand Jews out Palestine.  

    1941: A ghetto was set up at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia in the old barracks and then in the walled town itself. All the 3,700 local inhabitants were moved out. Although Theresienstadt was set up as a "model settlement," its death rate reached 50% in 1942 through starvation and epidemics. During an investigation by the Red Cross in June 1943 the Germans changed the external appearance of the town and deported many so that there would be less overcrowding. All the interviews were carefully orchestrated and immediately after the visit most of the "actors" were then deported. In all 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.

    1941: "Life Certificates" were distributed to some Jews of the Vilna Ghetto. By now most of the Jews of Vilna had been slaughtered.  Only about 15,000 Jews held “yellow certificates” and these would do them little good.  By the end of the war, 96% of the Jews of Vilna would be dead.

    1942: American born Zionist leader Rechaviah Lewin Epstein was buried in Rehoboth today.

    1942: Dr. Stephen S. Wise presided over a memorial service for the late Rechaviah Lewin Epstein in the New York Offices of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs

    1942: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, a founder and president of the World Jewish Congress, announces at a press conference that the United States State Department has confirmed that Europe's Jews are being slaughtered by the Nazis. Wise estimates that the Germans have already murdered two million Jews, which is an understatement;

    1942: Birthdate of Earl Leslie Krugel, the West Coast coordinator of the Jewish Defense League.

    1942: “Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary” by Bella Fromm is scheduled to be published today.  Fromm is a German Jewish reporter who left Germany just before the outbreak of World War II.  The book is based on her first-hand observations of the Nazi leaders in Berlin.

    1943: Mordechai "Modi" Alon who had enlisted in the RAF in 1940 finally began his flight training today in Rhodesia.  Alon would one of the IAF’s first pilots and hero of the War for Independence.

    1944: Birthdate of former congressman and Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman.

    1946: Birthdate of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the New York born Sephardic Jew who became the director of New York University's Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy

    1946: “Report on the Sanitary and Medical Organization of the Monowitz Concentration Camp For Jews (Auschwitz-Upper Silesia)” by Dr. Leonardo De Benedetti, Physician and Surgeon and Dr. Primo Levi, Chemist was published in the Turin-based medical journal Minerva Medica. The material will be republished in 2007 as Auschwitz Reportby Primo Levi.

    1947: The Jewish Agency (part of the de facto Jewish government in Palestine) began registering “Jewish youths to work for and defend” the as yet undeclared and unrecognized Jewish state.

    1947: Birthdate of Eli Ben-Menachem, the native of Bombay who made Aliyah in 1949 and has served as an MK and as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.

    1947: A group of writers, producers and directors, known later as the Hollywood 10, was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer a committee’s questions about alleged communist influence in the film industry. This was viewed as part of right wing America’s war against “Jewish Hollywood.”  This was actually part of the first round of what would later come to be called the Culture Wars which have always had a taint of anti-Semitism to them.

    1947: The House of Representatives overwhelming vote to approve citations for contempt of Congress citations against the Hollywood Ten for the “defiance” of the mis-named House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”

    1948: The UN Truce Mission announces “a provisional…truce line” between Arab and Israeli forces.

    1949: “Israel and Egypt signed an armistice whereby the Nitzana region, situated in Israel, was declared a demilitarized zone. The armistice agreement also stipulated that on the Egyptian side of the border "no Egyptian defensive positions shall be closer to El Auja than El Qouseima and Abou Aoueigila

    1950: Guys and Dollsa musical by Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows opened at the 46th Street Theatre and enjoyed a run of 1,200 performances.

    1953(17th of Kislev, 5714): Sixty-year old Abraham Krotoshinsky who earned a Distinguished Service Cross for his role in rescuing the “Lost Battalion” during WW I passed away today.

    1956: After 1,063 the curtain comes down on the original Broadway production of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’ musical hit “The Pajama Game.”

    1958: Yisrael Barzilai began serving as Minister of Postal Services in Israel.

    1963: Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.  Yes, Jack Ruby was Jewish, a fact that conspiracy theorists have loved to play with over the past forty-five years.

    1973: “Scream, Pretty Peggy” featuring Allan Arbus as “Dr. Eugene Saks” was broadcast for the first time on ABC’s Movie of the Week.

    1974: Birthdate of Sam Kellerman, one of the four Kellerman brothers that included sportscaster Max Kellerman, an aspiring playwright who wrote “The Man Who Hated Shakespeare.”

    1975: In Paris, Jews originally from Arab and Muslim establish the Tel Aviv-based World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC)

    1982(8th of Kislev, 5743):  Seventy-seven year old Benny Friedman passed away. The University of Michigan football star was considered the first of the great professional passing quarterbacks.  After WW II, he served as the Athletic Director and Football Coach for Brandeis University


    1983: The PLO exchanged 6 Israeli prisoners for 4,500 Arabs held by the government of Israel.  This would not be the last of such numerically disproportionate trades in which the Israelis would engage.

    1994(21st of Kislev, 5755): Fifty-one year old David Patton Garfield who “became a successful cameraman and film editor” after he decided not to follow in the acting footsteps of his father John Garfield passed away today in Los Angeles.

    1997: As part of the process in which Zypora Frank, a Polish Jewess, learned that her family had owned part of the land on which the Auschwitz death camp stood, and where most of her mother's family perished she went to visit Auschwitz today. And there, in the records of the village that the Poles called Oswiecim, she found her grandfather's property -- now hers and her brother's. Fifteen square miles of what became the Auschwitz death camp had been his tile factory.

    1999(15th of Kislev, 5760): David Kessler, the man most responsible for making the Jewish Chronicle the most respected Jewish weekly in the world passed away. He achieved this by dint of his unwavering desire for fairness, his belief that all sections of a community must be given a fair hearing, his insistence on total independence, accuracy, economic stability and the need for accepting modern progress. As chairman and managing director for 50 years of the newspaper, in which he and his family held the majority of shares, Kessler was able to ensure, at times after a struggle, that it followed his principles.

    1999: American-Jewish economist Joseph E. Stiglitz announced that he would resign as the World Bank's chief economist after using the position for nearly three years to raise pointed questions about the effectiveness of conventional approaches to helping poor countries".

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Maj. Sharon Arameh, 25, of Ashkelon was killed by Palestinian sniper fire in fighting near Neve Dekalim in the Gaza Strip.

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Ariel Jeraffi, 40, of Petah Tikva, a civilian employed by the IDF, was killed by Palestinian fire as he travelled near Otzarin in the West Bank.

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Ariel Jeraffi, 40, of Petah Tikva, a civilian employed by the IDF, was killed by Palestinian fire as he travelled near Otzarin in the West Bank.

    2001(9th of Kislev, 5762): Eighty-three year old Jacob Landau, the Philadelphia native whose works can be found in in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery past away today.

    2002: The New York Timesbook section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including A Moral Reckoning The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repairby Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Punch by John Feinstein, Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know: What You Can Do to Fight Backby Arthur Levitt, Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim by Theron Raines and The Pity of It All: A History of Jews in Germany, 1743-1933 by Amos Elon.

    2002: The government adopts Resolution 2793 which provides the criteria for The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Old Acre Development Company, in cooperation with the Israel Lands Administration, to begin a rehabilitation and conservation project in Old Acre. The area where the work is to be done is called Block 10 and is located in the northwestern part of the city and represents the first of its kind effort in Acre since the creation of the modern state of Israel.

    2003(29th of Cheshvan, 5764):Rabbi Abraham Karp, a pulpit rabbi in Rochester, N.Y., and prominent scholar in American Jewish history, passed away today at the age of 82. Rabbi Karp, who served as spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Rochester from 1956 to 1972, was a professor of history and religion at the University of Rochester until he retired in 1991 and was named professor emeritus of Jewish studies. He moved that year to New York, becoming adjunct professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary of

    2005: The Israeli bobsled team, a.k.a. the “Frozen Chosen” has chosen to defrost this year away from the slopes. In just two full seasons of competition, they had catapulted themselves into the elite ranks of the sport, and have already taken part in two World Championships.  Teams members expressed extreme disappointed at not being able to represent Israel at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The decision was based on a number of factors, including the realization that no support would be forthcoming from the Israeli Olympic committee and changes in the family situations of most of the team members. The team has already prepeared  complete four year plan, in order to begin preparing the Israel Bobsled Federation for the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver, Canada.  The development of winter sports may seem a little strange for a country that of as arid with a Mediterranean climate. However, the Israeli bobsled team takes its place alongside  the Israeli hockey team as proof of the broadening cultural scope of Israel and its citizens. 

    2006: The Jewish Daily Forwardfeatured an interview with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gershowitz.  The 26 year old Lubavitcher is the leader of the 5 Chabad Rabbis serving the needs of Kazakhstan’s 25,000 Jews. Rabbi Gershowitz stated that the treatment of the Jews of Kazakhstan bears no relationship to the images appearing in Sasha Cohen’s hit film “Borat.”  He is hoping that the movie never finds its way to Kazakhstan, as he fears it could hurt the warm relationship that the Kazakh president has with the Jewish community - and with Israel. ‘If he will think that the Jews are against him, and don’t like what he does, we will get the result,’ he said.

    2007: Mark Dreyfus became a member of the Australian Parliament for the Division of Isaacs in the suburbs of Melbourne  which was named after Sir Isaac Isaacs.

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, Ladino singers Janet and Jak Esim close the musical event with a blend of Judeo-Spanish melodies and song.

    2007: “David and Bat Sheba,” a new production of the COMPAS Dance Company premiers at Merkaz Habama, Ganei Tikva, Israel.

    2007: A mild earthquake registering 4.1 on the Richter scale was felt in central Israel shortly after midnight days after a 4.2 tremor struck the northern Dead Sea earlier this week. Police said they had received no reports of injuries or damage. Reports of the quake were recorded, among other places, in Ra'anana, Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Rehovot and Jerusalem, Army Radio reported. Seismology experts said the epicenter of the earthquake was east of the city of Ramle, Israel Radio reported Saturday morning.


    2008:As part of Works & Process at the Guggenheim in New York, a performance John Zorn’s Shir Ha-Shirim. Scored for five female voices and two narrators, Shir Ha-Shirim is John Zorn’s lush and sensitive setting of the Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s—perhaps the world’s first erotic verse. This romantic and lyrical project evokes feelings of love, eroticism, and spirituality and features a specially-commissioned dance work.

    2008: Sports Illustrated magazine features a “Jewish Triple Header” with stories about Rena Glickman, the Jewish grandmother recognized as the “mother of woman’s judo,” charges of insider trading leveled by the S.E.C. against Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban and plans by Lew Wolff to move the Oakland A’s to Fremont, CA where he has promised Bob Wasserman, the town’s Jewish mayor, he will be building a $500 million baseball stadium using his own money.  

    2008; Empire poultry which has already expanded its Turkey production to meet the demands of the Thanksgiving holiday reportedly is to begin “increasing its production of poultry today by 50%, thus putting about 100,000 more chickens on the market each week.”

    2008: A human resources worker facing federal charges for allegedly helping illegal immigrants get jobs at Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville has pleaded not guilty. Karina Freund had already pleaded not guilty to a charge of harboring illegal immigrants after being arrested in September. A federal indictment also charged her with conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants.

    2009: The British commission of inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilicot that was to examine the British role in the Iraq War which included Sir Martin Gilbert began its inquiry today,

    2009: The oldest complete Spanish Torah scroll will be up for sale at Sotheby's Judaica auction today. The scroll, the only Spanish Torah to include the kabalistic traditions of curved letters, has an estimated worth of $300,000-$500,000. Yitzchok Reisman, a world-renowned sofer (scribe), discovered the 730-year-old scroll about 10 years ago, and was able to date it and identify its origin. Reisman has collected Torah scrolls from around the world for 50 years, and says this is one of the most significant scrolls he has ever encountered. The scroll is written in typical 13th-to-14th century Central Northern Spanish style Hebrew script. Reisman points specifically to the narrow "peh" and the left legs of the letters "kuf" and "hey," which touch the horizontal stroke. "There just aren't Torahs of that age to study," Reisman told The Jerusalem Post. Scholars are especially interested in unique tagin, or crowns, set in the Spanish scroll. These tagin have never been found in other scrolls. The Torah is complete and in a near-kosher state. "It's in rather good shape," Reisman said. "It was used not long ago, but I don't think it could stand regular synagogue handling." While Reisman does not have the facilities to take care of the valuable antique, he hopes the winning bidder will find a good home for the ancient scroll. "I hope it will go somewhere where it will be honored, and they will take care of it," he said.

    2008: “The Jerusalem Foundation launched Jerusalem 2010, a campaign celebrating 150 years of British involvement in Jerusalem, at a special private event at London's Bevis Marks Synagogue. Sir Martin Gilbert, official biographer of Winston Churchill and author of the History of Jerusalem in the 19th Century, gave an address on 150 years of Britain and Jerusalem

    2009: In a program entitled “Above and Beyond attendees at the Washington DCJCC Learn over Lunch examine “The Origin of Ethics and Piety Out of the Pages of the Jewish Legal Tradition.”

    2009(7 Kislev, 5770): Eighty-five year old Abe Pollin “the owner of the N.B.A.’s Washington Wizards, who built the sports arena that revitalized downtown Washington and was known for his wide-ranging philanthropy, passed away. (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

    2010: The Yeshiva Beth Yehudah Annual Dinner is scheduled to take place at the Detroit Renaissance in Detroit, Michigan.

    2010: Holocaust survivors of Greek extraction will soon have their Greek citizenship restored in an expedited process, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitrios Dollis, who accompanied Prime Minister George Papandreou on his official visit to Israel in late July, told The Jerusalem Post today.

    2010(17th of Kislev, 5771): Joel Daner, a West Orange, NJ man who devoted his life to Jewish communal service, died today at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, a few days after his 72nd birthday. He had been suffering from cancer for several years.

    2011: The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress is scheduled to meet today at the King David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem where it is to elect businessman Vadim Shulman to be its new president

    2011: Family and friends gather to celebrate the birthday of Bill Gasway, husband, father, grandfather, recent Bar Mitzvah and pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community.

    2011: Congressmen Ted Deutsch (D-FLA) and Steve Israel (D-NY) have asked US Comptroller-General Gene Dodaro to investigate the Palestinian Authority’s use of American funding, three weeks after MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) sent a letter informing the budget committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s policy to pay murderers released from Israeli prisons $5,000 and build them new homes. “Many of the released prisoners were convicted of orchestrating and carrying out Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks in Israel, including the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people, the attack on a Netanya hotel that killed 29 people, and the bombing of a Sbarro Pizzeria that killed 15 people,” Deutsch and Israel wrote

    2011: A group of Palestinians and Iranians protested today against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as he was speaking to members of the Jewish community at a synagogue in Bochum, Germany.

    2012: Millinery Center Synagogue is scheduled to present “The Controversial, The Amazing, and The Mystical Ideas in Judaism"

     2012:East Midwood Jewish Center, a conservative synagogue, in Brooklyn is scheduled to host a benefit concert for the displaced victims of Hurricane Sandy this evening.

    2012:Several armed groups belonging to Fatah in the Gaza Strip claimed today that they had also fired various types of rockets and missiles at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2012: Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar said today that Iran will increase the military and economic aid to Gazan groups because of the victory Hamas claims against Israel in Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The State of Israel: ‘My Promised Land’ by Ari Shavit.

    2013: The 55th Venice Biennale International art festival which includes an Vatican exhibit “Creation, Un-Creation, Re-Creation” based on the first 11 chapters of Bereshit  is scheduled to come to an end today. (As reported by JTA)

    2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform in Camp Springs, MD.

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to Maurice Sendak’s “Pincus and the Pig” – “a Jewish version of Peter and the Wolf.”

    2013: At Temple Sinai in New Orleans, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Law or Love? What Are We All About?” as part of the Murray Blackman Memorial Weekend. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)

    2013:President Shimon Peres issued a special statement in which he addressed the deal signed last night between the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva. ."

    2013: Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks at the Cabinet Meeting in response to the agreement signed by the P5+1 and Iran.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host David Fishman’s presentation on the biographies of three gems of the YIVO archives that survived the Vilna Ghetto: Theodor Herzl’s diary, the minute-book of the Vilna Gaon’s synagogue, and an original manuscript of Jacob Gordin’s play Mirele Efros.

    2014: In Melbourne, “The Last Mentsch and “Gett, the Trial of Vivian Amsalem” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2014(2ndof Kislev):Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Aharon Kotler, the Lithuanian born American rabbi who worked to persuade Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau to work to save the Jews of Europe and founded the Yeshiva at Lakewood, NJ.

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    November 25

    2348 BCE: According to Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, the Great Deluge ("Noah's Flood") began on this date.

    407 BCE: Yedanaiah petitioned Bagohi, the governor of Yehud to rebuild the Jewish Temple at Elephantine.

    1120: The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.  The sinking of the ship would lead to chaos since William was Henry’s only male heir. When Henry, who treated his Jewish subjects well, passed away civil war broke out between the claimants to the throne. The crown went to King Stephen who was opposed by the Empress Matilda. Both monarchs raised cash from the Jews. Matilda had placed a levy on the Jews of Oxford and, on seizing the city, King Stephen demanded a levy three and a half times that of Matilda. The king forced payment by the simple expedient of burning the Jews’ houses one by one until the full sum was paid. On the other hand, King Stephen did protect his Jewish subjects from those who were going off to join the Second Crusade.  Things would improve for England and the Jews of England as well, when Henry I’s grandson, Henry II finally took the throne.

    1177:  Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeats Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.  The Crusader victory was one of their last in the Holy Land and only delayed the inevitable return of Jerusalem to Moslem control.  For Jews, Moslem control was comparatively better than Christian control.

    1277: Nicholas III began his papacy. “During his brief reign Nicholas displayed a considerable zeal for the conversion of the Jews. His bull Vineam sorce encouraged conversion through "sermons and other means." Copies of the document were sent (1278–79) to the *Franciscans and provincial priors of the *Dominicans in various provinces. Concurrently, however, he renewed the decisions of his predecessors forbidding the forcible baptism of Jews and protecting them from attacks by Christians. Nevertheless, several *Church councils and synods legislated against the free intercourse of Jews and Christians. It is not clear whether it was the supposed hostility of Nicholas or his mildness toward the Jews which prompted Abraham b. Samuel *Abulafia to announce his intention of visiting the pope to demand the release of captive Jews. (When he arrived, however, the pope was already on his deathbed.)” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

    1357: Charles IV issued an edict protecting the Jews of Strasbourg. Two years later, amidst rumors about well-poisonings, 1,000 Jews would be burned and the remainder forcibly baptized.  Rumor trumped Royal Protection

    1420: Pope Martin V favorably reinstates old privileges of the Jews and orders that no child under the age of twelve can be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

    1489:  A work popularly referred to as “Abudarham's Siddur” was published for the first time in Lisbon.  Actually the book was untitled by its author David Abudarham, a Jewish scholar who lived in Seville (Spain) in the first part of the 14th century.  He modestly referred to his work as “Ḥibbur Perush ha-Berakot we-ha-Tefillot."  In fact it was a commentary on the various prayers tracing their origins and providing information about their liturgical significance.  This volume proved to be so popular that it went through nine editions the last of which appeared in Warsaw in the middle of the 19th century.  The printer was Eliezer Alantansi who used a lion rampant on a shield as his printer’s mark. “In his first publication, the Tur Orah Hayyim (1485), it is framed in red; in his second book, the Tur Yoreh Deah (1487), the frame is black; in his third book, the undated Pentateuch [1487-88], the lion appears without a frame. The designer and cutter is probably Alfonso Fernandez de Cordoba, who, no doubt, created the beautiful types and ornaments for Alantansi's books.”

    1491:  The siege of Granada last Moorish stronghold in Spain began. When the siege is over, Spain will be united as a Catholic nation and Jews will be confronted with the choice of conversion or expulsion.

    1491: Muley Abdu-Abdallah, the last Moorish ruler of Granada signed a secrety treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella, in which he agreed to surrender the city and its surrounding territory at a future date (January, 1492).  Included in the terms was a provision that Jews were to be allowed the same rights of protection that were being extended to the Moors.  However, "relapsed Marranos" were given one month to leave the city.  After that time they would be turned over to the Inquisition.  Also, the Moorish King made the incoming Christian monarchs promise that no Jew would serve as an "officer of justice, tax-gather, or commissioner" if holding that position would mean that the Jew would have authority over any Muslim.

    1622:  "Christian IV, King of Denmark, addressed a letter to the Jewish Council of Amsterdam asking them to encourage some of their members to settle in his state.  He promised them freedom of worship and other favorable privileges."

    1738: Birthdate of German mathematician Thomas Abbt who in 1763 entered a competition that was sponsored by the Berlin Academy for an essay on the application of mathematical proofs to metaphysics that was won by Moses Mendelssohn whom Abbt “yearned” to have as “his close friend” and to whom he “poured out…the deepest meditations of his troubled soul.”

    1744: Austrian soldiers killed an untold number of Jews in Prague.

    1761: The first Jewish social and civic club in North America was founded in Newport, RI

    1769: Lazarus Eliezer Leiser Joseph van Geldern the son of Joseph Jacob Juspa van Geldern and Braeunle Brunella van Geldern passed away in Duesseldorf where he had been born in 1695.

    1783: American forces retake New York from the British. Jews who had fled the British were able to return. Jews who were loyal to the Crown left along with other Loyalists making their homes in Canada or returning to England. Many of the Jews had taken refuge in Philadelphia, including Raabi Gershom Mendez Seixas who returned to the pulpit at Shearith Israel.

    1795:  Stanislaus August Poniatowski the last king of independent Poland, is forced to abdicate and is exiled to Russia.  This marks the last act in the third and final partition of Poland.  “Polish” Jews now live in Austria, Germany and Russia.  As a result of the partition of Poland, Russia ended up with millions of Jews.  The Czars had worked long and hard to make and keep their empire “Jew free.”  Their greed for Polish land created their “Jewish problem.”  The shift from Poland to Russia dealt a mortal blow to the welfare of the Jewish people for the duration of the 19th century and on into the 20thcentury.

    1806: Birthdate of French financier Isaac Pereire who was the grandson of Jacob Rodrigues Pereire. During the 19th century, the Pereires were financiers on a par with the Rothschilds.  Unlike the Rothschilds, the Piereires were Sephardim who traced their ancestry to Portugal. (As reported by Meyer Kayersling, Isidore Singer and Jacques Kahn) 

    1829: In Zerbst, Jakob Hirsch, a merchant, and Bertha Elkisch Bendix gave birth to Jenny Hirsch who wrote for the Bazarunder the pseudonym J. N. Heynrichs until 1864 when she became active in the cause of women’s rigts.

    1830: Birthdate of Lina Morgenstern, the wife of Theodore Morgenstern whom she married in 1850 and who was a noted author, feminist and pacifist who was a member of the German Peace Society.

    1852: A banquet celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society began at 8 pm in New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway.  The evening raised over $5,000 in donations which ranged in amounts from $10 to $150.

    1853: The New York Times reported that yesterday, which was celebrated as day of Thanksgiving by the people of New York, "the Jews laid the cornerstone of a new hospital for people of their persuasion."

    1853: “The Jews In Europe” published today focused on the treatment of the Jews by the government of Austria. Reports “that the Austrian Government has revived the system of intolerance against the Jewish subjects" were misleading because “ there was no need of a revival of the system of intolerance, because the Austrian Government have at all times been cruel and malicious against the unfortunate Jewish inhabitants.”

    1856 (27th of Cheshvan): Danish philanthropist Simon Aaron Eibeschuetz passed away

    1863: Max Maretzek, the Moravian born American-Jewish maestro conducted the first performance of "Faust" in America

    1864:British statesman Benjamin Disraeli declared in a speech: 'Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.'  Disraeli had been baptized at his father’s insistence.  Disraeli was proud of his Jewish heritage and often vilified for it by his political enemies.

    1869: New York businessman Daniel McFarland fatally shot New York Tribune reporter Albert Deane Richardson in front of Daniel Frohman, Jew from Ohio who was working as a clerk at the paper and would go to became a famous theatrical and film director.

    1871: “The Bells, a play in three acts by Leopold Davis Lewis opened today at the Lyceum Theatre in London for the first of 151 performances.  “The Bells is a translation by Leopold Lewis of the 1867 play Le Juif Polonais (The Polish Jew) by Erckmann-Chatrian.”

    1871: A pair of pantaloons which had been left hanging in front of a Jewish clothing store at No. 6 on Main Street in Brooklyn was stolen tonight

    1874: Carol Schurz delivered a lecture at the Steinway Hall in New York as part of a course sponsored by the Hebrew Young Men’s Association.

    1877: “Joseph II and the Jews” published today traces the history and impact of The Toleration Edict promulgated by the Austrian monarch.

    1880: Rabbi de Sola Mendes delivered a talk in which he uses the “Passion Play” as an example of what he calls “Religion Out of Place.”

    1880: In London, Marie (nee de Jongh) and Solomon “Sidney” Rees Woolf gave birth to author, publisher and civil servant Leonard Sidney Woolf, the husband of fellow author Virginia Woolf.

    1880: It was reported today that Arthur Lieberman, the Jew who committed suicide in Syracuse was a Nhilist from Russia. He fled the country to avoid arrest after having written a pamphlet espousing his beliefs.  Apparently he shot himself because he was despondent over having to leave his family.

    1881: Alexander and Ida Kursheedt gave birth to Jessie Millier

    1881: Birthdate Angelo Roncalli.  Roncalli would enter history as John XXIII, the Pope of Reform who tried to improve relations between the Church and the Jewish People

    1881: “A large number of” Jewish immigrants from Russia were among the 1,338 passengers who arrived at Castle Garden aboard the SS Silesia.

    1883: “Peace in Galilee” published today described a visit to Bukeia, “an interesting community of Jews who maintain that they are the descendants of families who were not dispersed and that they are the only Jews in the whole of Palestine whose direct ancestors inhabited the same spot and cultivated the same land prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.”

    1883: Pere Hyacinthe delivered a talk on “Catholic Reform in France” at New York’s Presbyterian Church during which he said that “Judaism is recognized in France and I am glad of it.”

    1884: The Brooklyn Academy was the scene for tonight’s Grand Ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1885: It was reported today that there are 70 boys enrolled in the Hebrew Technical Institute on Crosby Street.

    1886: Mrs. Tillie Bernheimer (or Miss Lillie) provided Thanksgiving Dinner for the children at the United Hebrew Charities’ Industrial School on St. Mark’s Place.

    1887: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Silverman preached a Thanksgiving Day sermon at Temple Emanu-El entitled “Religious Liberty” in which he said “We meet today as Jews and Americans…as Jews in religion and as Americans in citizenship.”

    1888: It was reported today that the Industrial School sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities plans to provide a Thanksgiving dinner at the school this year.

    1889: Jacob Levy, a recent Jewish immigrant from Poland was beaten today when he mistakenly opened the door to the wrong apartment.

    1890: Dr. H. M. Leipziger presented the claims of the Jews in Russia at today’s meeting of the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association a non-denominational group whose Executive Committee included Jacob H. Schiff.

    1890: The funeral for Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, the daughter of Juliana and Mayer de Rothschild was held at the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

    1890: In Bristol, England, Barnett (Dovber) and Hacha Rosenberg, native of Dvinsk gave birth to British poet Isaace Rosenberg who while serving as a Private in the 11th (Service) Battalion of The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regimentwas killed on the Western Front at the age of 27 on April 1, 1918.  He was the author of Poems from the Trenches which are considered by some to be among themost outstanding poems written during the First World War. “In The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell's landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg's Break of Day in the Trenchesas ‘the greatest poem of the war.’"

    Break of Day in the Trenches

    The darkness crumbles away.

    It is the same old druid time has ever,

    Only a live thing leaps my hand,

    A queer sardonic rat,

    As I pull the parapet’s poppy

    To stick behind my ear.

    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew

    Your cosmopolitan sympathies.

    Now you have touched this English hand

    You will do the same to a German

    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure

    To cross the sleeping green between.

    It seems you inwardly grin as you pass

    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes

    Less chanced than you for life,

    Bonds to the whims of murder,

    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,

    The torn fields of France.

    What do you see in our eyes

    At the shrieking iron and flame

    Hurled through still heavens?

    What quaver - what heart aghast?

    Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins

    Drop, and are ever dropping;

    But mine in my ear is safe,

    Just a little white with the dust.

    He was killed on April 1, 1918 while fighting on the Western Front. His self-portrait hangs in the British National Portrait Gallery.

    1893: Herman Lottmann who has owned a saloon for years in Brooklyn “announced today that he intended to quit the liquor business because “I am a Jew” who has been harassed by a gang of Irish ruffians for the past year and the courts have been no help.  “Lottmann said his wife had threatened to leave him if he had license renewed.

    1894(10th of Kislev, 5716): In Berlin, fifty year old Dr. Arnold Heinrich Bodek, “also known Aaron Chaim” the husband of Malwine Malva Bodek, passed away today.

    1895:Herzl begins a two days visit Colonel Goldsmid, leader of the British Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) Movement, in Cardiff, Wales.

    1896: After his return to Vienna, Herzl reworks the "Rede an die Rothschilds" and a new work finally emerges: Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage or in English The Jewish State: An Attempt at a Modern Solution of the Jewish Question. “Theodore Herzl's pamphlet Der Judenstaat, The Jewish State, heralded the coming of age of Zionism….In The Jewish State, Herzl envisioned that diplomatic activity would be the primary method for attaining the Jewish State and he called for the organized transfer of Jewish communities to the new state. Of the location of the state, Herzl said, ‘We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by public opinion.’ Herzl's The Jewish Stateincluded social innovations such as the seven-hour working day. In general, he was interested in an economy where free enterprise and state involvement went hand-in-hand. It was to be a modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced and Europeanized society. The Jewish Stateestablished Herzl as the leader of Zionism, and the "father of the Zionist Idea." Zionist also provoked considerable opposition, in particular from the assimilationst Jews of Central and Western Europe. The book became required reading for all Zionists and was taken as the basic platform of political Zionism. In conclusion, he wrote: ‘And what glory awaits those who fight unselfishly for the cause! Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity.’” 

    For more information about The Jewish State and complete copy of the text see, click on the icon “Israel” scroll down to Zionism, and then go to  Excerpts From Herzl's The Jewish State.

    1897(30th of Cheshvan, 5658): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1897: Dr. Gustav Gottheil will deliver a sermon entitled “The Most Religious Day of the Year in America” during Thanksgiving Services at Temple Emanu-El which begin at 11 a.m.

    1897: At New York’s Agudath Yesharim(Jersharim), Rabbi J.P. Solomon will officiate at the Thanksgiving Services starting at 3 p.m.

    1897: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will lead Thanksgiving Services at Temple B’Nai Jeshrun beginning at 3 p.m.

    1897: “The children of the Industrial and Sabbath Schools of the United Hebrew Charities will have a Thanksgiving Dinner today at 58 St. Mark’s Place at noon.

    1897: The Cadet Corps of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum provide a full dress parade as part of the today’s Thanksgiving celebration.

    1897: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam will hold services 3 pm.

    1897: Emile Zola addressed a letter to Le Figaro that might have been called “The Injustice of French Justice” since the author “intimated that he believed Dreyfus was innocent” and that he had the proof for this belief.  The letter ended “The truth is on the way; nothing can stop it.”

    1897: “To Begin Its Receptions” published today described plans for a series of upcoming functions hosted by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum.

    1898: Birthdate of Regina Gotlop, the native of Tarnow, Poland who was part of Convoy 25 that left Drancy for Auschwitz on August 28, 1942

    1898: “Former Counsel General…Opposes Expansion” published today provided the view Simon Wolf, the former United States Counsel to Egypt on how this country should deal with Cuba and the Philippines, countries that were part of the Spanish Empire until the recent U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War.  Wolf is opposed to annexation.  He thinks that we should develop a special relationship with both of them, in the way that England has with Egypt.  But he believes that we must make them independent and not annex them.  (The disposition of former parts of the Spanish Empire including Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines was “a hot political topic” at the end of the 19thcentury and is interesting that a leading Jewish statesman would take the stand for individual and national liberty as opposed to imperial expansion.)

    1899: The final performance of “The Children of the Ghetto” will take place tonight at the Herald Square Theatre.

    1899: Mme. Nevada’s final performance this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House was a fund-raiser for the benefit of the Hebrew Infant Asylum which is need of help to pay for the “recent heavy expenditures” resulting from the modernization and enlargement of its facility on Eagle Avenue and 161stStreet.

    1899(23rd of Kislev, 5660): Eighty-seven year old Jewish merchant and philanthropist Marcus Nordheim whose assets amounted to 10 million marks part of which were used to establish the Nordheim Foundation, passed away today.

    1900: At Cape May, NJ. Meyer S. Isaacs presided over the ceremonies held to dedicate De Hirsch Hall, the new dormitory of the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural and Industrial School at Woodbine.  Woodbine an agricultural colony founded 12 years ago.  With a population of 1,000, it is the most successful De Hirsch funded colony in New Jersey.

    1901: It was reported today Marks Arnheim has spent the last three days looking for the person who has printed and distributed circulars urging a boycott of his tailoring shop on the corner of Broadway and 9thStreet in New York.

    1902: Birthdate of Morris Lapidus, the Russian-born American architect who was responsible for the design of resort hotels in Miami and Miami Beach in the 1950’s.

    1904(17th of Kislev,5665): Seventy-four year old Henry Strauss, a native of Alsace who served in the 10th Mississippi Infantry and was buried in the Beth Israel Cemetery, passed away today.

    1907: The Neu-Isenburg orphanage for Jewish girls (Mädchenwohnheim Neu-Isenburg) founded by Bertha Pappenheim began operation today.

    1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): A.M. Edelweiss passed away in Cuba.

    1909: Turks resolve to grant all requested privileges to Jewish soldiers, except kosher food

    1910: Birthdate of Léon Poliakov, the Russian born French historian whose field of expertise was Holocaust and anti-Semitism. In November 1950, Poliakov wrote "The Vatican and the 'Jewish Question' - The Record of the Hitler Period-And After," in the influential Jewish journal Commentary which was the first article to consider the attitude of the papacy during World War II and the Holocaust.

    1912(15th of Kislev, 5673): Sixty-two year old Isidor Raynor who represented the Fourth Congressional District of Maryland from 1887 to 1889 and 1891 to 1895 and served as U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1905 until today, passed away.

    1912: The following article entitled “Daughters of Jacob Honor Ida Straus” described the memorial ceremony commemorating the life of this Jewess who went down with her husband on the Titanic.

     In the presence of an audience of 600 persons, including all of the members of the Straus family, a memorial tablet in honor of Ida Straus was unveiled yesterday at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob, an institution for aged men and women at 301 and 303 East Broadway. Impressive services marked the official dedication of the tablet, which has been mounted upon the wall of the large auditorium to the right of the main entrance.The large bronze casting bears the raised profile of Mrs. Straus upon the centre, directly under the inscription; “The Ida Straus Memorial of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.” On one side are the words “Her life was beautiful” and the date in the Hebrew calendar of Mrs. Straus’s birth, “Shebat 14, 5609.” On the other side is the inscription “Her death was glorious,” and the date of the Titanic disaster, “Nisan 28, 5672.” Below the profile are the words:To the everlasting memory of Mrs. Ida Straus, one of the noble and heroic daughters in Israel, the hospital wards of this home are dedicated. She perished on the high seas in the Titanic disaster, together with her husband, Isidor Straus, statesman, philanthropist, and merchant, persistenly [sic] refusing to be saved that she might remain to cheer the last moments of her life’s companion.

    Beneath is this quotation:

    Where thou Diest Will I Die, and There Will I Be Buried. RUTH

    The Rev. Dr. Nathan Abramson opened the dedication services with a hymn, in which he led a selected chorus of sixteen voices. The Rev. H. Pereira Mendes delivered the opening prayer, in which he expressed the hope that the example of the heroic and devoted wife in whose memory the tablet was erected and to whose lasting fame the wards of the hospital were dedicated might be forever an inspiration to the women of her race and ancient creed.  Dr. Henry Fleischman, President of the Educational Alliance, made the principal address. He lauded the modest charity and kindliness of Mrs. Straus and the great unselfish works of her husband in the public service. Other speakers were Joseph Barondes of the Board of Education, the Rev. Dr. Schulman, pastor of the Congregation of Beth-El; the Rev. H. Masliansky of the People’s Synagogue, and Gustavus A. Rogers, who acted as Chairman. The most impressive incident of the dedication occurred when the 186 inmates of the home, led by Supt. Albert Kruger, filed slowly into the auditorium and took their seats in the front rows. The oldest of the feeble and decrepit men and women was said to be almost 108, and the youngest in the procession more than 70 years old. Just before the close of the exercises they arose and with quavering voices chanted aloud in unison a prayer for the eternal happiness of their departed benefactress. Among those seated on the platform were Mr. and Mrs. Percy Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Straus, Mrs. Nathan Straus, Herbert Straus, Jesse I. Straus, Mrs. Weil, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Kohns, and Mr. Lee Kohns. At the close of the exercises the members of the Straus family group, together with a few intimate friends, made a tour of inspection of the new hospital wards of the home.

    1913: Birthdate of Robert Friend, the American born “poet and translator” who made Aliyah and became “a professor of English literature at Hebrew University.”

    1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London, and an Indian soldier faced German machine-gun fire for two hundred yards, to bring in a badly wounded Indian lying in No-Man’s Land.

    1914: “Zangwill Lauds Schiff” published today defends Jacob Schiff saying this his proposal “for a conference to end Prussian Militarism” does not make him a “mouthpiece of Berlin” but shows him as one who draws on his Jewish background and “speaks…with the voice of Jersualem.

    1914: “Britain Will Protect Jews” published today provides the response of the British Ambassador to questions about the British protecting the rights of German Jews in lands they may conquer by saying that “Jews of all nationalities who may come under British control can of course count on the same protection and liberal treatment which England has always extended to them.”

    1914: “For the Relief of Jews” published today provided a list of contributors to the fund including Rabbi J.S. Levy of Waco, TX , Joe Matz of Pocahontas, VA and Mrs. Charles Fryer of Muscatine, IA.

    1915: Months after Leo Frank was taken from the Milledgeville prison, members of the Knights of Mary Phagan burned a gigantic cross on top of Stone Mountain, reportedly inaugurating a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The group was led by William J. Simmons and attended by 15 charter members and a few aging survivors of the original Klan.

    1915: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel, the member of a prominent Anglo-Jewish family succeeded Winston Churchill as the Chancellor of the Duchy Lancaster in the government headed by Prime Minister Henry Asquith

    1917:The New York Section of the Council of Jewish Women dedicated the first shelter for “homeless and friendless” Jewish women discharged or paroled from New York City and New York state jails. Speakers at the dedication included the prominent rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Deaconess Young, who directed another home for “friendless women” in the same neighborhood. Although the home was founded to serve Jewish women, the president of the New York Council section affirmed that “no unfortunate woman of any race, creed or color would be refused aid if she needed it.”

    1917: The Provisional Zionist Committee, chaired by Stephen S. Wise, “sent a cable message of greetings and congratulation to the Zionist mass meeting what held in London” celebrating the adoption of the Balfour Declaration. 

    1917:  A mass meeting of Zionists attended by Lord Walter Lionel Rothschild, Chaim Weitzman, President of the British Zionist Federation and Rabbi Moses Gaster was held in London this evening designed “to celebrate the promise by the British Government ot support the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.

    1924(27th of Cheshvan, 5685): Ninety-two year old Jules Worms, the French painter and engraver who was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1876 passed away today after which he was “buried in Paris Montparnasse Cemetery , Section 5.

    1926:  Birthdate of playwright and screenwriter Murray Schisgal whose hits includeLuv and Tootsie.

    1927: Yehudi Menuhin was the soloist with New York Symphony Orchestra today where he played the Beethoven Violin Concerto. His performance won audience approval and critical acclaim and marked the start of tours through the United States and Europe.

    1931: According to figures released by the census authorities, of the 1,035,154 inhabitants of Palestine, 387,525 live in Palestine’s major cities including 90,526 in Jerusalem, 51,876 in Jaffa, 46,109 in Tel Aviv and 50,869 for Haifa.  “There is an almost equal number of men an women in nearly all the urban localities, the total being 197,307 males and 190,218 females.” Since the last census conducted in 1922, “purely Arab areas showed less than a 1 per cent increase in population…while the mixed Arab-Jewish residential localities showed a 30 per cent rise indicating a higher measure of prosperity during the past decade.”

    1932: U.S. premiere of “Rockabye” a drama directed by George Cukor and produced by David O. Selznick.

    1933: Max Born received a letter from Werner Heisenberg in which he said he had been delayed in writing due to a “bad conscience” that he alone had received the Nobel Prize “for work done in Göttingen in collaboration — you, Jordan and I.” Heisenberg went on to say that Born and Jordan’s contribution to quantum mechanics cannot be changed by “a wrong decision from the outside.” Jordan was Pascual Jordan a physicist who joined the Nazi party and became a Brown Shirt. Heisenberg was an “Aryan” who stayed in Nazi Germany.  Born was a Lutheran who was classified as a Jew under Nazi Racial Law and would win his Nobel Prize in 1954.

    1934: John Kenmuir reports that “not since the period immediately following the World War have so many new places claimed attention from mapmakers as in the last few months. Towns have seemingly appeared out of nowhere…”  Included in this category is Tel Aviv, “the second largest city in Palestine a country of age-old town.  This thriving metropolis of 70,000 did not even exist in 1909, its site being then a deserted area of rolling sand dunes north of Jaffa.”

    1936: Dr. Chaim Weizmann testified before the Peel Commission, stating the case for Jewish immigration to Palestine.  Since the Arabs were boycotting the hearings, Weizmann was the first witness.

    1936: Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty that will be the basis of the Axis alliance.  The treaty is another step towards World War II and the Final Solution. At the time, the treaty seemed to be one more diplomatic victory for Hitler, but the Japanese actually outsmarted the Little Corporal.  The treaty did not commit the Japanese to take military action against the Soviets.  Hitler fully expected the Japanese to attack Russia when he invaded the Soviet state forcing Stalin to fight a two front war.  The Japanese never budged.  Hitler was left to fight the Soviets on his own and it was this Soviet ability to have face only the Germans that helped chew up the divisions of the Wermacht. [If the Japanese had really been such dedicated anti-communists you would have thought they would have joined the Nazis in attacking the leading communist state of the time, the Soviet Union.  Of course the Japanese did not having been bloodied by the Soviets in the late 1930’s.  Even strange bedfellows do not always sleep together]

    1936:Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, the Archbishop of Muich, informed the Bavarian bishops that he had promised Hitler that the bishops would issue a new pastoral letter in which they condemned "Bolshevism which represents the greatest danger for the peace of Europe and the Christian civilization of our country." In addition, Faulhaber stated, the pastoral letter " will once again affirm our loyalty and positive attitude, demanded by the Fourth Commandment, toward todays form of government and the Führer."

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that the first death sentence was passed, under the recently promulgated Defense Regulations, by a military court on Sheikh Farhan e-Sadi, leader of a terrorist group, who was found guilty of carrying firearms and ammunition. The Arab Defense Party appealed for clemency.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews had been attacked and beaten in riots in Memel, Shavli and Wilkomir in Lithuania. This outburst of anti-Semitism took place two years before the outbreak of World War II.  This is an example of the inherent European anti-Semitism that helped to make the Holocaust possible and provided the Nazis with willing accomplices in completing the Final Solution.

    1938(2nd of Kislev, 5699): Fifty-five year old Jessie Sampter who made Aliyah in 1919 which led her to work with Yemenite Jews and the establishment of “a vegetarian convalescent home at Kibbutz Givat Brenner” passed away at Beilinson Hospital where she was being treated for malaria and heart disease.

    1939: There were 1,000 German Jews aboard the SS Vulcania as it left Italy tonight bound for New York City.

    1939: Today is the deadline for the Jewish population of Teschen to leave the city.

    1939: It was announced today that American “with relatives in the Upper Silesia and Danzig areas of Poland may send me to them through the Federation of Polish Jews in America at 225 West 34thStreet” in New York City.

    1939: Birthdate of economist Martin Feldstein winner in 1977 of the John Bates Clark Medal.

    1939: In New York, Dr. Samuel H. Goldensohn is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “The Sacrifices of Thanksgiving” on Saturday morning at Congregation Emanu-El.

    1939: In New York, Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “How Would Your Rewrite the Bible” on Saturday morning at Temple Israel.

    1939: In New York, Rabbi Nathan Stern is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “I Have Everything” on Saturday morning at West End Synagogue.

    1939: In Baltimore, MD, “more than a thousand delegates to the Junior Hadassah convention passed by acclamation today a resolution condemning the British White Paper on Palestine and calling upon the British Colonial Secretary, ‘for the sake o the honor of Great Britain,’ to abandon it.”

    1939: Mrs. David De Sola Pool of New York, national president of Senior Hadassah, Miss Nell Ziff of New York, president of Junior Hadassah and Rabbi Isadore Breslau, director of the American Zionist Bureau in Washington addressed today’s session of the Junior Hadassah Convention.

    1939: In New York Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “Changing Our Name and Changing Our Character” on Saturday morning Congregation Rodeph Sholom

    1939: The government in Bucharest published “the result of an investigation concerning the citizenship of the Jews” living in Rumania according to which only 63.5% of the Jews living in the country were really citizens

    1940: The Patria, a steamer carrying illegal Jewish immigrants sank in Haifa port killing 250 of the passengers. The Patria was a French steamer chartered by the British to ship illegal immigrants who had previously made it to Palestine to detainment camps on the British island of Mauritius. This removal of the Jewish immigrants was part of a British campaign to placate the Arabs.  The plan was in violation of the terms of the Mandate.  The plant was also a violation of basic human decency since the Jews were seeking a safe haven from the advancing Nazi armies.  However, nobody has ever accused the British Foreign office or the Arab leaders of that time of having an over abundance of human decency when it came to dealing with Jews.  The explosion on board the Patria was caused by the Haganah who were attempting to disable the ship and force the British to let the refugees land.  Almost two thousand of the Patria’s human cargo would end up staying in Eretz Israel while another similar number would end up in internment camps.  This was but one small event in the combined British-Arab attempt to strangle the Yishuv.

    1941: German Jews were shipped east to Kovno.  This gave the SS new targets for their killing raids. In one day the Einsatzkommando reported the deaths of 1,159 men, 1,600 women and175 children. Four days later they reported killing another 693 men, 1,155 women and152 children.

    1942: In the evening and continuing into the next day, the SS and Norway’s State Police began rounding up all woman and children. In all, 532 Jewish women and children in Norway are arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Although more than 700 Norwegian Jews were eventually sent to Auschwitz, about 930 found refuge in Sweden.

    1942: Jews hiding in Piotrkow (Poland) were offered a chance to stay in the ghetto legally if they came out of hiding. Some did, and they were killed by Ukrainians upon doing so.

    1943: World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina is re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People's Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    1944: Crematorium II at Birkenau was dismantled by the Nazis and its remains were buried in attempt to hide the evidence of the Final Solution. 

    1944:  Birthdate of actor, self-styled political commentator and game show host Ben Stein

    1944: Warner Brothers release “Arsenic and Old Lace” comedy that includes murder and mental illness produced by Jack Warner with a score by Max Steiner and a screenplay by Julius and Philip G. Epstein.

    1945:Jewish underground attacks Palestinian coast guard; blows up two coast guard stations in retaliation for capture of Greek schooner Demetrios which brought 200 illegal immigrants to Palestine.

    1946(2nd of Kislev, 5707): Ninety-year old Henry Morgenthau, Sr. the United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during WW I whose grandchildren included historian Barbara Tuchman and long-time NY DA Robert M. Morgenthau passed away today.

    1947: The House of Representatives overwhelming vote to approve citations for contempt of Congress citations against the Hollywood Ten for the “defiance” of the mis-named House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”

    1947: Following yesterday’s overwhelming vote to cite the Hollywood Ten for Contempt of Congress, the Hollywood studios blacklisted them. “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”  (As reported by Jennifer Lipman)

    1948:Arabs announce they will not negotiate with Israel except through UN.

    1948: UN mediator Ralph Bunche recommends to Political Committee that UN try another strong appeal for Israel and Arabs to get together. He urges Israel's admittance to UN.

    1948: Israel's Provisional Government Council announces it will hold first general elections on January 25. Persons aged 18 years or more will be eligible to vote.

    1948:  Birthdate of French born, American educated, film director Jonathan Kaplan

    1949:Israel turns down the UN Palestine Conciliation Committee's plan for an international Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett says Jews favored UN control of Jerusalem at one time. They oppose it now, because if they lose Jerusalem they will have to rescue it from Arabs. They recommend that Jerusalem's old city be internationalized. Modern Jerusalem's holy places will be accessible to people of all faiths.

    1959: Birthdate of Yaakov Edri, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1959, earned two degrees from the University of Haifa and pursued a political career that including service as an MK and in several ministerial posts.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that fear for the safety of 2,500,000 Jews behind the Iron Curtain was voiced in the Knesset by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett when he read the government¹s statement on the Prague trials of former leading Communists, accused of Zionism and espionage, which he called “a farce in the form of a trial.”

    1952: Premiere of "Hans Christian Andersen" produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with a script by Moss Hart and starring Danny Kaye.

    1955(10th of Kislev, 5716): Fifty year old U.S. Chess Champion and International Master Herman Steiner passed away today.

    1956: In Boston, Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy addresses a dinner honoring Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister.

    1957: U.S. premiere of “Bernadine” directed by Henry Levin with music by Lionel Newman.

    1961: Negotiations between representatives of the Israeli government and King Hassan of Morocco came to an end with an understanding that would make it easier for the Jews to leave for Israel.

    1963: Following the assassination of President Kennedy, “the Jewish Community Council held a memorial service at Washington Hebrew Congregation that included “a tribute delivered by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.”

    1969: Birthdate of Israeli actress and comedian Orna Banai

    1975: Suriname, a Dutch colony on the Northeast coast of South America gains its independence from the Netherlands. According to The Virtual Jewish Library, “the Jewish community of Suriname is one of the oldest in the Americas. Jews apparently arrived from Brazil (or Holland) and settled in Suriname as early as 1639, and there is an extant ketubbah, marriage contract, signed by a rabbi in 1643.”  For part of its history, the Jewish community was quite active and wealthy. By the end of the 20th century “200 Jews live in Suriname with the Nederlands Portugees Israelitische Gemeente overseeing the community's activities. The two 18th century synagogues in the capital, Paramaribo, have been restored. Neve Shalom is considered to be Conservative, and both synaggoues hold weekly Shabbat services. The Ashkenazi synagogue has a sandy floor, which is symbolic of the 40 years in the desert, and was also supposed to have hidden the footsteps of the Conversos. Kosher food is available in Suriname and there is a community newspaper, Sim Shalomthat is printed in Dutch.

     For more information see  

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced that his government had adopted the policy of promoting communications with Israel in order to establish a comprehensive Middle Eastern peace settlement. It was suggested that the proposed Israeli-Egyptian dialogue would be held in the UN Sinai buffer zone.

    19470: Robert Strauss completed his service as Special Envoy for the Middle East for President Carter.

    1978: Prime Minister Menachem Begin met German Ambassador Klaus Schuetz. This was the first time Begin had personally conferred with any German representative.  During the 1950’s Begin had been a vocal opponent of accepting reparations from the Bonn government.

    1979: Birthdate of Gerson Levi-Lazzaris,a Brazilian archaeologist, descendent of Italo-Slovenian immigrants. Most of the Lazzaris are from Forno di Zoldo, Veneto, from where most of them emigrated during the end of the XIXth century, and also after the Second World War to Argentina, Australia, Brazil and United States.

    1979: As part of the Camp David Accords, Israel surrendered the Alma oilfields

    1981(28th of Cheshvan, 5742): Seventy four year old actor Jack Albertson passed away.  Born to immigrant parents in 1907, this Bay State native was a multi-talented entertainer. Some of his more famous roles include a bit part as a postal worker in "Miracle on 34th Street," a starring role in the Broadway hit "The Sunshine Boys" and as the cantankerous elderly Anglo in "Chico and the Man."

    1983:Syria and Saudi Arabia announced cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.  There are a number of people who blame Israel for all of the problems in the Middle East.  There is a growing chorus on the both the Left and the Right in America who blame America’s problems in that region on United States support for Israel.  The Civil War in Lebanon is a reminder that turmoil and violence exist in that region without regard to the existence of Israel.  In fact the argument can be made that Arab violence against Israel is merely another manifestation of on-going Arab versus Arab conflicts.

    1987: Eighty-six year old Genevieve Brown, who had been marred to All-American football player and coach Ralph Horween (Ralph Horwitz) for 64 years passed away today.

    1987: U.S. premiere of  “Three Men and a Baby” directed by Leonard Nimoy, photographed by cinematographer Adam Greenberg, co-starring Steve Guttenberg with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

    1989(27th of Cheshvan, 5750): Ninety-four year old Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron, who was recognized as one of the century's great historical scholars for his sweeping multivolume history of the Jews passed away today. (As reported by Peter Steinfels)

    1992: The Czechoslovakia Federal Assembly votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993. “After the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia in 1992, Slovakia gained its independence on January 1, 1993. Since Slovakia’s independence, such organizations as Maccabi and B’nai B’rith have become active in the communities… During the immediate post-Cold War period, the Czech Republic reopened diplomatic ties with Israel and Czech President Vaclav Havel became the first leader from a previously Soviet controlled Eastern European country to travel to Israel.”

    1992: U.S. premiere of “Aladdin” an animated musical fantasy with Scott Weinger providing the voice of “Aladdin” and music by Alan Menken.

    1994: John Charles Walker, “an American agricultural scientist “and winner of the Wolf Prize an Israeli award funded by Dr. Ricardo Wolf, the former Cuban ambassador to Israel

    1998(6th of Kislev, 5759): American philosopher Nelson Goodman passed away at the age of 92.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry by Sheila Isenberg, The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalemby Kanan Makiya, In The Shape of a Boar by Lawrence Norfolk and Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics byEdward Teller with Judith L. Shoolery

    2002(20th of Kislev, 5763): Seventy six year old “Karel Reisz, a Czech refugee who became a leading director of the British New Wave before making "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and other Hollywood dramas” passed away today. (As reported by Rick Lyman)

    2002: Theo Epstein was appointed General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. In less than two years (2004) the Sox would beat the hated Yankees for the American League Pennant and then win the World Series thus breaking “the curse.”  The youthful Jewish executive would be hailed as part of a new generation of baseball executives.

    2002: In a review of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Dvesti let Vmeste (Two Hundred Years Together) the first of two volumes devoted to the history of Jews in Russia from the third partition of Poland in 1795, when Russia, until then effectively without Jews, suddenly acquired one million Jewish subjects, Daniel Pipes discusses the Russian author’s attitude toward Jews and the role of Jews in Russian history.

    2005: In a reminder that even in the hell of the Holocaust, there were righteous people who did the right thing, Ruth Greiner, a Holocaust survivor and Joanna Zalucka, her Polish protector were re-united.Sixty-one years ago, Joanna Zalucka hid a young Jewish girl in her bedroom for eight months, saving the child from the Nazi killing spree in their native Poland.The girl survived, was reunited with her parents, and moved to Brooklyn in 1953. Ruth Gruener - now 72 with two grown sons - was reunited with her old friend from Poland, finally returning a lifesaving favor by hosting her World War II benefactor for two weeks

    2006: The Jerusalem Quartet takes center stage marking the first time that Jerusalem Music Center musicians have abandoned the safety of their lofty haven and descended to the level of the man in the street by performing at the local YMCA auditorium.

    2006: In an article entitled “A Torah for the Next Generation” The Washington Post reported on the efforts of members of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to write an entire Torah in time for the 150thanniversary of the congregation which was founded in 1857

    2007:The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra with conductor, Daniel Kossov, soprano, Keren Hadar, tenor, Yotam Cohen, and pianist, Yoni Fahri performs Humperdinck`s Hansel und Gretel: Vorspiel, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Mozart’s Symphony in A Major, no. 29, performs a special benefit concert

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Canadian born Jewish commentator and social activist Naomi Klein.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of A Pigeon and A Boy by Israeli author Meir Shalev, Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore and Dough: A Memoir by Jewish author Mort Zacht

    2008: In Manhattan, the 92ndStreet Y presents a program entitled, “Rabbi David Wolpe in Conversation with Safran Foer” during which “Rabbi Wolpe, one of today’s leading voices of contemporary religion, discusses his personal journey through life-threatening illness, from the depths of darkness to the illuminating light of faith

    2008: David Korn-Brzoza’s documentary “L'affaire Finaly” which examined the effort to have two Jewish children who had been hidden by Catholics returned to the their parents by David Korn-Brzoza, was also broadcast by France 2, today

    2008:Israel closed its cargo crossings with Gaza today because of Palestinians fired at least one rocket into Israel, just a day after Israel had allowed vital humanitarian supplies to shipped into Ga

    2008: Premiere of “The Nutty Professor” produced by Jerry Lewis, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein and starring Jerry Lewis.

    2008(27th of Cheshvan, 5769):Eighty-four year old Gerald Schoenfeld the chairman of the powerful Shubert Organization, the largest and most important theater owner on Broadway and in the United States passed away. (As reported by Bruce Weber

    2009: At the Jerusalem Music Center, the final performance "The Bald Soprano": a chamber opera by Israel Sharon, based on a play by Eugène Ionesco.

    2009: “The Jazz Baroness,” a documentary about Nica Rothschild by her great-niece Hannah Rothschild airs on HBO at 8 pm.

    2009: In Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chai presents "One Spring for Me": The love story of Leah Goldberg.


    2010: In Jerusalem, comedian David Kilimnick is scheduled to present his Thanksgiving Special, ‘My Family Made Me in America'

    2010: The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, today strongly denounced a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, the iconic holy site and place of Jewish worship in the Old City of Jerusalem, describing the report as “reprehensible and scandalous.”  

    2011: Downtown Shabbat, a Carlebach-inspired service led by Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner is scheduled to be held at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2011:While tens of thousands of protesters are amassing in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the Sinai Peninsula is heating up. Egyptian security forces today raised the alert level to an unprecedented level in the al-Arish area in northern Sinai after they received information that Jihad members are planning on carrying out an attack on the local security headquarters, the Ma'an news agency reported today.

    2012: The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) is scheduled to bestow an honorary degree on Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (As reported by the Canadian Jewish News)

    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Far From the Tree Parents: Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon, Iron Curtain:The Crushing of Eastern Europe,1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum and Saul Steinberg: A Biographyby Deidre Bair.

    2012: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Family Stories at the Center: Young Historians.”

    2012: “Hava Nagila” is scheduled to shown tonight at the close of the Jewish International Film Festival in Australia.

    2012:Syrian fire pierced Israel for the second time in a day  as bullets fired from across the border struck next to a military vehicle near the border.
    2012: Morethan 123,000 Likud members have the power today to shape the face of their party’s list for the 19th Knesset, and political analysts say they will use it to move the party further to the right.

    2013 In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the community-wide Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service.

    2013:The Black Institute, in partnership with Bend the Arc, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc. (RCCMB), is scheduled to host a forum to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in support of Jewish civil rights in the Soviet Union.

    2013: “A remarkable archaeological find in the Judean lowlands southwest of Jerusalem includes a six-millennia-old cultic temple and a 10,000-year-old house. The ancient sites were located in routine archaeological digs conducted ahead of a planned expansion of Route 38, the main access road to Beit Shemesh. The building is the oldest ever found in the area, and constitutes remarkable “evidence of man’s transition to permanent dwellings,” researchers said today.” (As reported by Hativ Rettig Gur)

    2013: “Presideint Shimon Peres awarded his Presidential Medal of Distincition to author Elie Wiesel today in New York City.” ( As reported by JPost)
    2014: In Melbourne, “Life as a Rumor” and “The Dove Flyer” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.


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    November 26

    43 BCE: The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed. This power sharing arrangement would fall apart. Octavian would defeat Mark Antony and remove Lepidus leaving him as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.  Initially, Antony’s defeat and Octavian’s victory did not change the situation for the Jews living in Judea.  Herod had made the mistake of backing Antony.  So if Antony had won, Herod would have kept his kingdom.  But Antony’s defeat did not cost Herod his kingdom.  In one of the history’s greatest acts of political audacity, Herod went to the island of Rhodes where he met with Octavian.  He admitted that he had supported Antony but convinced the young Caesar that this was a good thing because he now he would give Augustus the same level of support.  Impressed by Herod’s audacity (and in need of allies) he left Herod on his throne.  So the outcome for the Jews of Judea, in the short term, was the same no matter what.  In the long run, the Jews probably did well with the victory of Augustus since he would follow the same kind of comparatively benevolent policies followed by his uncle Julius including exempting the Jews from emperor worship and respecting Jewish laws by exempting Jews from appearing in court after dark on Friday or on Shabbat.

    1504: Queen Isabella I of Castile, the first Queen of united Spain passed away.  Born in 1451, Isabella is one of history’s more fascinating monarchs.  She was every bit as wiley, clever and effective as Queen Elizabeth of England, even though she does not get her share of credit for these traits.  Isabella did have Jewish advisors, physicians and financiers.  But in the end her devout Catholicism and need for funds to finance “crusades” against Moslems proved the undoing of her Jewish subjects.

    1572: King Maximilian II expressed his intention “to expel the Jews of Pressburg (Bratislava), stating that his edict would be recalled only in case they accepted Christianity.”

    1669: As events surrounding the blood libel that would lead to the death of Raphael Levi unfolded, two swineherds found the head and the neck of a child in the woods near Metz.  Despite the fact that two surgeons testified that the body parts came from a recently killed person, officials decided that this was the body of the Christian child that had been reported missing and killed more than a month ago.  These body parts would be used in the trial of Levi where he was found guilty.  He was buried alive, protesting his innocence to the end.  This blood libel was part of a series of persecutions aimed at the Jewish community of Metz and would end with their expulsion from the city.

    1715(30th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Joseph ben Mordecai Ginzburg, author of Leket Yosef passed away today

    1775: The American Navy began using chaplains within its regular service.  However, Rabbis were not allowed to serve as Chaplains until 1862 when President Lincoln sponsored legislation allowing ordained Protestant, Catholic or Jewish ministers to serve as Chaplains.

    1789: Once the United States had been established as an independent nation, President George Washington proclaimed a day of national thanksgiving for November 26, 1789. Congregation Shearith Israel held a service on that first Thanksgiving Day (and has continued to do so each year since), at which time Rev. Gershom Mendes Seixas delivered an address. He noted that the Jewish community had reason to rejoice "as we are made equal partakers of every benefit that results from this good government; for which we cannot sufficiently adore the God of our fathers who hath manifested his care over us in this particular instance; neither can we demonstrate our sense of His benign goodness, for His favourable interposition in behalf of the inhabitants of this land."

    1800: Salomon Rothschild married 18 year old Caroline Stern, the only daughter of Jacob Stern a wine seller.  As can be seen from the Ketubah (wedding contract) this was another beneficial marriage arranged by A.M. Rothschild.

    1802: As the Jews of Maryland seek full equality today a petition "from the sect of people called Jews" specifically stating their grievance, namely, "that they are deprived of holding any office of profit and trust under the constitution and laws of this state," was referred to the General Assembly, which read it and referred it to a special committee of five delegates, including the two Baltimore representatives, with instructions to consider and report upon the prayer of the petitioners for relief. A month later the petition was refused by a vote of thirty-eight to seventeen. The attempt to secure the desired relief was repeated at the legislative session of 1803; again proving unsuccessful, it was renewed in the following year.

    1822: Seventy-two year old Karl August von Hardenberg who as Prime Minster of Prussia pursued many liberal policies including working to guarantee equal rights for the Jews, passed away today.

    1835: Birthdate of Joseph Perles, Hungarian born rabbi and author whose works included essays on the lives of Nachmanides, and Shlomo be Aderet, the Spanish sage known as the Rashba.

    1840: Sixty-five year old anti-Semite Karl von Rotteck who “wrote in 1828 that ‘the Jews had to be de-Jewified” and who “rejected Jewish emancipation with the argument that their religion was…antisocial as well as anti-national” passed away today.

    1841: A article entitled in today’s Voice of Jacob“Alleged Progress of London Jews Towards Christianity” reported that “the attempt of a few gentlemen, of the West End section of the town, to form a synagogue there, with certain omissions from the established liturgy, and in contravention of the regulations of one of the London congregations, of which they have been and are yet members… These gentlemen are not known as a congregation, but as an association, deeming itself qualified to abrogate the customs which Israelites have observed for centuries… While the almost universal feeling condemns this movement as the presumptuous attempt of a handful of laymen, and while therefore there need be no apprehension of the evil spreading, the only wise policy would be to treat the attempt as neither formidable by numbers, by status (at least theological), nor otherwise possessing a single element of union.” The Voice of Jacob was published fortnightly and was the first publication that provided “real-time” reports on events in the Jewish community.  The article refers to attempts to established London’s first Reform Congregation which became known as the West London Synagogue of British Jews

    1842: The University of Notre Dame is founded as private Catholic University. Since 1992, Rabbi Dr. Michael Signer has filled the Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture and has served as the Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. “The Notre Dame Holocaust Project promotes educational opportunities about the destruction of European Jewry during World War II for the university community.” 

    For more information about opportunities offered to Jewish students attending Notre Dame see

    1849(11th of Kislev, 5610): Julius Eduard Hitzig a German author and civil servant passed away. Born Isaac Elias Itzig) at Berlin in 1780, he was a member of the wealthy and influential Jewish Itzig family Between  1799 and 1806 he was a a Prussian civil servant, after which he became Criminal Counsel at the Berlin Supreme Court in 1815 and its director in 1825. In 1808 he established a publishing house and later a bookstore. He was very active in Berlin’s literary circles.  Heinrich Heine, of all people, reportedly made fun of his name change.

    1852: At the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Morris Raphall preached a sermon based on the opening words of the 92nd Psalm, “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord –to sing praise unto Thy name, O most high!” 

    1855: Adam Mickiewizc, a noted Polish poet and ardent nationalist died today in Constantinople while working with his friend Armand Levy, to organize a Jewish legion, the Hussars of Israel, comprising Russian and Palestinian Jews.  The legion was supposed to join in the fight against the Russians during the Crimean War.  Polish nationalists believed that a Russian defeat would help undermine the authority of the Czar and help lead to the liberation of Poland.  [Mickiewizc was not Jewish and I have not been able to find an explanation why he was organizing a Jews for this fight.]

    1858: In London, Barnett Abrahams and his wife gave birth to Israel Abrahams, the Jewish scholar whose works included A Companion to the Authorized Prayer Book and Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.

    1858: The New York Times reported that Rabbi Isaac Leeser, head of Beth El Emet has written a series of articles about the Mortara Affair that have appeared in the Philadelphia Ledger and that “indignation meetings in reference to the Mortara Affair" have been held. For more about the Mortara Affair see:

    1858: In New York, members of the Jewish community expressed their indignation over the tactics used by the police when arresting three of their co-religionists on charges of selling lottery tickets. Among other things they were protesting the fact that the police had arrested a rabbi who was leading his congregation in prayers. The three have posted $1,000 in bail

    1862: Birthdate of Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Born in Budapest, Stein was an Hungarian Jewish archaeologist who became a British citizen. He was also a professor at various Indian universities. Stein was inspired by Sven Hedin's work, Through Asia.His travels and research in central Asia, particularly in Chinese Turkistan, revealed much about its strategic role in history.  In 1906, Stein uncovered a group of mummified corpses near Loulan, in Central Asia. Their well-preserved bodies were clad in woolen garments and they wore tall felt hats decorated with jaunty feathers. The men were bearded and their facial features seemed European. Stein dated them to c.100 BC. When the Dunhuang Caves, China, closed for centuries, were reopened, he discovered 15,000 manuscripts (1907), including the Diamond Sutra, reputed to be the first dated printed book (868 A.D.). He passed away on October 26, 1943.

    1863:Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.  While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it has it origins in the Bible.  The Pilgrims were students of what they called The Old Testament.  When they had enjoyed their first successful harvest at Plymouth, they looked to scripture for a way to express their joy.  They found the answer in the holiday of Sukkoth – a celebration of in-gathering; a celebration of thanks that took place after the harvest was completed.  There are reports that the first Thanksgiving was a week-long affair but I would avoid making any claim that this was intended to mirror the seven days of Sukkoth. 

    1876: Birthdate of Isadore Bernstein, the New York native who wrote scripts for 65 films from 1914 through 1938.

    1876: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charities and Purim Association plan to sponsor a Hebrew Charity Ball next month at the Academy of Music.

    1879: “The Man With The Evil Eye” published today described the exploits of “Albert Lavergene, alias Abraham Levy, an Alsatian Jew” who confessed to having stolen $30,000 worth of diamonds while living in France two years ago and who is known to his wife’s relatives as “the Jew” or “the man with the evil eye” because of the way he used to beat her.

    1880: Luther R. Marsh will deliver a lecture entitled “On the Power of the Alphabet” at meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Lyric Hall. (Marsh was prominent New York lawyer who developed an interest in Spiritualism.  He was not Jewish)

    1880: “Disraeli’s Latest Novel” published today provided a detailed review of Endymion by the Right Honorable Earl of Beaconsfield.

    1881: It was reported today that the influx of immigrants from Russia is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities.  As many as 400 Jews have been arriving each week, most of whom are “destitute and helpless.”

    1882: “Monmouth and the Wye” published today provides a brief history of medieval England that includes the reminder that “butchery of the helpless Jews at York, when the despairing wretches hurled their children from the battlements upon the howling murderers below and the slew each to the last man” “cannot drop from the memory of mankind….”

    1883: The Baltimore Sun reported that the colony started for Russian Jewish immigrants in Middlesex County, Virginia has been abandoned.

    1883: It was reported today that the current issue of the Nineteenth Century features Dr. Charles H.H. Wright’s Paper “The Jews and the Malicious Charge of Human Sacrifice” which “goes over the whole history of the recent outrages in Europe.”

    1883: Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish Cape Town diamond dealer arrived in New York this evening aboard SS Servia of the Cunard Line.

    1883: It was reported today that “David Phillipson…who graduated from Hebrew Union College” last July “has accepted a call from a congregation in Baltimore, MD.

    1884: It was reported today that three prizes – a diamond ring, a bracelet and a face pin – were awarded to the ladies who had sold the most tickets to this year’s grand ball, a charity event sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.

    1885: During Thanksgiving services a large throng listened to an address by Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler at Temple Beth-El that reviewed the principles adopted by the Reform Rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.

    1885: Birthdate of Heinrich Brüning, German Chancellor from 1930 to 1932 who, for whatever shortcomings he may have had, worked to keep Hitler from coming to power a stance that led to his self-imposed exile  to avoid being arrested by the Nazis.

    1886: The New York Times featured a review of The Land the Book by William Thomson, a book that examines the material in the scriptures with the information gained by explorations in Palestine through 1880. While some of the information in the Old Testament is “not borne out by facts…many more points” in the Scripture “have been corroborated”  that the results cannot have failed to find favor with Jews.

    1888: As she went to visit her sister, eighteen year old Yetta Reiner, a Jewish girl who has been in the United States for two weeks, disappeared when she walked off with a Hebrew-speaking man on the corner of Norfolk and Hester Street who had offered “to get her a situation.” 

    1888: Leo Bamberger the master of ceremonies, introduced Moses May, the Chairman of the Fair Committee who introduced Brooklyn Mayor Alfred C. Chapin who officially opened the charity fair on Clermont Avenue that will raise funds of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1889: Police are expected to arrest Morris Kassofky who gave “a terrible beating” to Jacob Levy when the latter mistakenly tried to enter his apartment. They live in a building on Norfolk Street that is inhabited by Jewish immigrants from Poland.

    1888: “The Hebrews’ Thanksgiving” published in the Washington Post notes that the Jewish Feast of Lights, this year Falls on the same date as Thanksgiving.

    1888: It was reported today that the son of the “sexton who dwells in the basement of the synagogue” on 8th Street in Washington is suffering from typhoid fever.

    1890: “Friends of the Exiles” described the rejection of request made Jews to help their suffering co-religionists in Russia by the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association because “the work of the association…was done by petition” and “the work for the relief of the Jews required a different kind of effort.”

    1891 (25th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe passed away.

    1892: “In the Czar’s Family” published today described the hope that by naming the Crown Prince as President of the Russian State Council “the repression of Jews…will eventually be relaxed.”  (Things were always going to get better for Russian Jew – in the future!)

    1892(7th of Kislev, 5653): Sixty year old Mortiz Wahrman the first Jew chosen to chosen a member of the Hungarian delegation and successful businessman who bequeathed 200,000 crowns to “benevolent societies and “600,000 crowns for the erection of a Jewish gymnasium (school) passed away today.

    1893: “Seen in Ceylon” published today described the commercial life of this island state including “the keen-faced Jews with long, black ringlets” who “preside over stores of shining gems.”

    1893: Professor Felix Adler “gave the second lecture in his series on religious leaders” entitled “Moses and the Prophets” to an overflow audience at the Music Hall in New York City.

    1893: “Jews Expelled from Besieged Meililla” described the decision of the Spanish General to order all Jews to leave the Moroccan city as he battles against the Riffs  -- a decision that is consistent with the behavior of "military commanders in Europe” who “rightly or wrongly” feel that the Jews are spies for their enemies.

    1894: The will of Adolph Bernheimer which names his widow, his brother Lehman and William Rothschild as executors was filed for probate today.

    1894:  Birthdate of child prodigy and famed mathematician Norbert Wiener.  Among his many accomplishments, Weiner is known as the discoverer of cybernetics.  President Johnson awarded him with the National Medal of Science two months before his death in 1964.

    1896(21st of Kislev, 5657): Joseph C. Wolf who was elected the State Assembly from the 16th District in 1892 and the State Senate in 1893 passed away today.  Born in 1849, the native of Besancon, France and graduate of Columbia Law School enlisted in the Second New York Light Cavalry at the start of the Civil War serving with the Army of the Potomac. 

    1896: Temple Israel and the West End Synagogue will hold a joint Thanksgiving Service starting at 3 p.m.

    1896: Temple Emanu-El will hold a Thanksgiving Service at 11 a.m.

    1896: As part of day long holiday observance, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will hold a Thanksgiving Service at the synagogue on 11thAvenue and 151st Street.

    1896: William Matthew Flinders Petrie married Hilda Urlin in London. This was the same year that he and his archaeological team were conducting excavations at Luxor when they discovered the “Israel’ or Merneptah Stele

    1897: During the Dreyfus Affair, today the French minister of war “received the following anonymous letter: ‘Monsieur le Minstre: You will find in a chamber on the sixth story interesting document concerning the Dreyfus case’ signed “A Patriot”  (The letter may have been sent by Madame de Boulancy, cousin and former mistress of Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy)
    1898: The Emperor and Empress of German arrive at Potsdam this morning on their return from Palestine where the Kaiser met with Herzl.

    1899: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “Are We Children of the Ghetto, or Children of the World?” which was a play on words using the name of the drama now appearing at a New York theatre.

    1899: In Roxbury, MA, founding of the Helping Hand Temporary Home for Destitute Jewish Children at the corner of Fort Ave and Beech Glen.

    1899: “Rosebery On Cromwell” published today provided the remarks made by Lord Rosebery at the ceremony celebrating the tercentenary of Oliver Cromwell including his observation that Cromwell “was the first Prince who reigned in England who welcomed and admitted Jews” a fact of which Jews and Englishmen are equally proud of as can be attested to by the presence of Sir Samuel Montagu, Lord Rothschild and Benjamin Cohen on the platform at the banquet honoring his memory.

    1909: Sigma Alpha Mu is founded in the City College of New York by 8 Jewish young men.

    1903: Birthdate of Alice Herz-Sommer, also known as Alice Sommer-Hertz and Alice Sommer, “a Czech pianist, music teacher and survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp.”


    1911: Birthdate of Samuel “Sammy” Herman Reshevsky, the Polish born Jewish-American chess grandmaster who was a strong contender in the World Chess Championship competitions for a thirty year span.

    1912(16th of Kislev, 5673): Baron George De Worms passed away.

    1912: Simon Bloom was elected Mayor of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

    1912: Birthdate of playwright Eugene Ionesco. There is dispute about Ionesco’s Jewish origins. According to a sizeable body of evidence, Ionesco’s mother was a Romanian of Sephardic Jewish origin. 

    1913: In a letter from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica to Prince Nicholas of Greece, the rabbi denies truth of charges of excesses committed by Greek soldiers, and declares he has not sought protection of powers for Jews of Salonica. Three months later the Greek Prime Minister, Venizelos, assured the Chief Rabbi that the rights of the Jews would be continued.

    1913: Jesse Laksy forms The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in partnership with his brother-in-law Samuel Goldfish (later known as Sam Goldwyn) and his friend Cecil B. DeMille. The Squaw Man is the company’s first film and it is an instant hit.  It is also the first movie filmed entirely in Hollywood, California. 

    1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London “went forward to a sap-head in the front line to repair a parapet that had been damaged.   Seeing a German sniper at work, he tried to shoot him, but was himself shot through the head and killed.”  He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British equivalent of the American Congressional Medal of Honor, for his bravery in the face of the enemy.

    1914: Harry Baff charged today that his father Barnett Baff had been shot dead “at the instigation of a clique of retail poultry buyers” referred to as the “kosher killers.”

    1918: Dr. Solomon Oppenheimer, the Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum who has just returned from Palestine, gives a report on the condition of the Jews in Eretz Israel.

    1922: In an article entitled “Palestine Industries Thriving Capital an Settlers Needed” Dr. Arthur Ruppin notes the changes that have taken place since Herzl called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland 25 years ago at the first Zionist Congress.  While “towns of thousands houses have grown up on neglected ground” the need to develop irrigation projects and travel facilities represent the biggest challenge for future development as well as creating investment opportunities for foreign financiers.

    1924: Birthdate of George Segal, sculptor lifelike mixed-media figures.

    1925: Birthdate of pianist Eugene Istomin. He was an American pianist born in New York City of Russian-Jewish parents. He was famous for his work in the trio, with Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose, known as the Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, with whom he made many recordings, and particularly of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. He also played with them in orchestral music, with conductors such as Eugene Ormandy Bruno Walter and also as a soloist.  He passed away in 2003.

    1926: In an article entitled “Palestine Industry Thriving,” Arthur Ruppin describes the social and economic progress that has been in Eretz Israel in the 25 years following Herzl opened the founding Zionist conference in Basel, Switzerland.

    1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that evidence presented during the trial of a “communist named Teichman” the Druze Rebellion against the French mandatory government in Syria received financial and moral support from Communist groups in Palestine.

    1931: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Zionist leader, in a lecture today before the Keren Hajessod for the Rhineland and Westphalia on the present states of Jewry and Zionism, said the unhappy position of the Jews in Germany was really no different from their position everywhere in the world.

    1933: In an article entitled "Two Contrasting Views of Palestine" Jacob Weinstein reviewed Modern Palestine: A Symposium edited by Jessie Sampter and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.

    1933: In an article entitled “Two Contrasting Views of Palestine,” Jacob Weinstein reviews Modern Palestine edited by Jessie Sampster with a foreword by Albert Einstein and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.

    1934: Release date for the cinematic version of Fannie Hurst’s novel Imitation of Life directed by John M. Stahl

    1935: The Nuremberg Laws which were aimed Jews “were extended to ‘Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring.’”

    1936: Birthdate of Yitzhak Yitzhaky, the native of Tiberias, the founder of and director of “Idud, a village for intellectually challenged children” who was an MK.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Jews were wounded when Arab terrorists shot at a crowded bus, traveling from Nesher to Haifa, and escaped.

    1937:  In another example of the anti-Semitism that was endemic to European society, the Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews were again attacked and beaten in various towns in Lithuania.

    1939: “Two Pioneers of Russian Music” published today provides Howard Taubman’s review of “Free Artist: The story of Anton and Nicholas Rubinstein by Catherine Drinken Bowen

    1939: Dr. Mordecai Soltes, Harry Grayer, Dr. Jacob I. Steinberg, Herman Z. Quittman and Nathan Seidelman are scheduled this afternoon’s meeting of the Order of Sons of Zion in Greater New York at the Hotel Astor.

    1939: Dr. Henry G. Knight, Dr. Gabriel Davidson, Professor O.S. Morgan and Dr. Carl B. Woodward are scheduled to speak at the memorial service for Dr. Jacob Goodale at Temple Emanu-El.

    1939: At Congregation Emanu-El in New York, Rabbi B. Benedict Glazer is scheduled to speak on “The Promise of American Life.

    1939: At the Free Synagogue which holds services at Carnegie Hall, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to speak on “Happiness and Character: Do They Destroy Each Other?”

    1939: At Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York, Rabbi Israel Goldstein is scheduled to speak on “Information Please: A Jewish Intelligence Test.”

    1939: At Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York, Ludwig Lewisohn is scheduled to speak on “The Answer to Israel’s Enemies.”

    1939: At the West End Synagogue in New York, “Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel will review John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath at a lecture-forum service.”

    1939: “1,000 Refugees on Vulcania” published today described the hopes of 1,000 German Jews fleeing the Nazis who have sailed from Genoa to settle in the United States.
    1939: ‘More than a thousand members of the Jewish community of Teschen, Germany” have been given two more weeks to prepare for their deportation to Poland.

    1939: “Death Decreed for Jews Who Fail to Wear Armbands or Ignore Curfew” published today described the edict issued in German occupied Poland that “any Jew leaving his home without a special permit between 5 pm and 8 am may be punished by death” and that Jews failing “to wear a broad yellow arm band” will also face the death penalty.

    1939: “Cantor Kusewitsky Is Safe” published today brought word that Moijzez Kusewitsky, the chief cantor of Poland and the cousin of Mrs. Isior Achron has not been by the German bombing of Warsaw but has escaped with his family to Bucharest.

    1939: “May Send Mail to Poland” published today described a cablegram from Arnold M. Kaiser, secretary of the Polish Fund of London that included the assertion that letters for those living in Upper Silesia and Danzig maybe sent through the federation which will forward them to Geneva before they reach their final destination in Poland.

    1940: British Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Lloyd calls those who are working to save Jewish lives by illegally transporting them to Palestine "foul people who had to be stamped out."

    1940: The Nazis forced 500,000 Warsaw Jews to live in walled ghetto.

    1941: A fleet of six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo left Hitokapu Bay under strict radio silence. On December 7th, the world would find out that their destination was Pearl Harbor.  The arrival of the fleet would usher in America’s entrance into World War II and all that would flow from that. 

    1941: The recapture of Rostov by Russian forces marked the first major setback suffered by Germany in World War II, 1941.  The German blitz had moved unchecked across the Soviet Union since June of 1941.  By stopping the Nazis at Rostov, the Soviets forced the German Army to suffer through a Russian Winter from for which it was ill-prepared.  The Germans would resume their offensive in the Spring of 1942 but the Wehrmacht would have been depleted just enough that it would fail a year later at Stalingrad which would mark the beginning of the end for the German military.  Unfortunately, none of these military setbacks would slow down the pace of the Final Solution. 

    1942: A ship called the Donausailed from Oslo’s Pier 1 carrying 532 Norwegian Jews, now classified as prisoners all of whom would end up in Concentration Camps.

    1942 Norwegian police forces under the direction of the Gestapo handed 532 Jewish prisoners to the SS at Pier 1 in Oslo harbor. The ship was under the command of Untersturmführer Klaus Grossmann and Oberleutnant Manig. Men and women were put in separate holds on the ship, where they were deprived of basic sanitary conditions and mistreated by the soldiers. Only 9 of the prisoners survived the Second World War.

    1942: At dawn, in Norway, the Quisling police returned to the home of Isak Plesansky, the founder and proprietor of the Tonsberg Clothing School and arrested his wife, daughter and son.   All of them would be gassed at Auschwitz within the month.

    1942: ''Casablanca,'' starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York. The Jewish connections with this film classic are so numerous that this should only be considered a partial list. Jewish actors included Peter Lorre, S.Z."Cuddles" Sakall, and Leonid Kinskey.  Conrad Veidt was not Jewish but his wife was.  Michael Curtiz, a Hungarian Jew, was the director. The script was a product of Jewish writers Julius and Philip Epstein. The inspiration for the movie came from a play by Murray Bennett.  Bennett got the idea after going to Vienna to help Jewish relatives after the Aunschluss in 1938.  The score was written by Max Steiner…and that will have to do for now.

    1942: Jews in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, who are lured from hiding places by Nazi promises of no retribution, are taken to a synagogue, locked inside, and subjected to random gunfire by Ukrainians.

    1943: Birthdate of producer and director Bruce Paltrow.  A native of Brooklyn, Patlrow was a graduate of Tulane University where he is a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.  As a producer he was responsible for two of television’s best dramatic series - The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere.  He also directed several episodes of Homicide as well as full length motion pictures.  He died in 2002 after battling cancer.

    1944: In an interview given today on the eve of his 70thbirthday, Dr. Chaim Weizmann said that “any blueprint for the future of what is left of the Jewish people should include allowing at least 100,000 refugees settle in Palestine annually and that this “must be undertaken by the United Nations as a measure of historic justice.  He said that this is the least that is owed to the Jewish people “whose agony in Hitler’s Europe during this war needs no elaboration.”  When he used the term “agony” Weizmann could have included the rest lost of his son Michael who died while serving with the RAF.

    1944: Government officials announced that “twelve more arrests were made today in Tel Aviv and Haifa during continued police searches for suspects connected with” what they described as underground political terrorist groups.

    1944: As World War II entered its last phase, the Germans decided to hide all evidence of the mass murders. On orders from Himmler the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau were blown up.

    1945: Jewish underground blows up police headquarters and several electric power stations.

    1945: Mandatory government sends troops to search for arms in Jewish settlements in Sharon and Samaria.

    1945: Soviet Union proposes submission of the Arab-Jewish problem to Big Five Conference.

    1945: Polish Jews announce in Italy that they intend to proceed to Palestine by any means.

    1946(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandson of Theodor Herzl, plunged to his death off a Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in Washington D.C. at the age of 28.  During WWII, Norman had served as a Captain in the British Army.  He visited Palestine in late 1945 and 1946.  Severe depression brought on by the Holocaust and the plight of the Jews after World War II ended led to severe depression which led to his final moments.

    1946: Birthdate of Roni Milo, future Mayor of Tel Aviv

    1946: Jewish refugees in Haifa resist British attempts to ship them Cyprus.

    1947:Louis Bromfield, cochairman of American League for Free Palestine, charges that Arabs have obtained surplus U.S. arms.

    1948: Bulgaria recognized Israel.

    1948: Menachem Begin visited New York Mayor William O’Dwyer

    1948: Abba Eban tells a meeting of the UN Truce Mission that Israel will not let a large force of Egyptians surrounded by the Israelis in the Negev retreat until the Arab’s accept the Armistice Resolution.

    1949: Pasha el Mulbi says that the Jerusalem must be held by the Arabs to protect the surrounding Arab sectors.

    1949: Jordan rejected the plan for an internationalized Jerusalem.

    1949: Birthdate of Roni Milo, Israeli MK and cabinet minister who served as Mayor of his hometown, Tel Aviv from 1993 to 1998.

    1949: Birthdate of Shlomo Artzi an Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter and composer. Born in Moshav Alonei Abba he has sold over 1.5 million albums, making him one of Israel's most successful male singers matching the success of his sister Nava Semel the author of Kova Zekhukhit (Hat of Glass)which was the first published work in Israel that addressed topics of the children of Holocaust survivors

    1950: Rabbi Theodore Friedman is scheduled to speak at a Youth Aliyah Dinner-Dance at the Henry Hudson Hotel sponsored by The North Hudson New Jersey chapter of Hadassah

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported that in the Knesset Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sharply attacked Mapam in the debate on the Prague trial, accusing it of duplicity and inability to face the truth about the Soviet regime. The Knesset, by an overwhelming majority, adopted a resolution expressing “its sense of shock at the trial now proceeding in Prague, which had struck at the Jewish people... and on the attempts to bring into disrepute the good name of the State of Israel.”

    1954: Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, said that through the use of dense settlement and exploitation of natural resources Israel's southern Negev desert could be restored to its ancient prosperity.

    1956:Sixteen-year-old Ellery Schempp refused to listen or to participate in the mandatory Bible-reading exercise of his high school in the Abington School District outside of Philadelphia. According to one source, Schempp was disciplined for reading from the Koran during his high school’s mandatory Bible reading time. After being severely disciplined by the district administrators, Ellery and his family initiated a lawsuit that would ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The defendants were the authorities of the Abington School District. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that religious recitations and prayers of any kind were in violation of the Constitution of the United States if practiced in public schools. Schempp was raised as a Unitarian. “The minor rebellion led to a landmark Supreme Court case that (much to the relief of many Jewish students) outlawed school-sponsored prayer.

    1958: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Izzy Asper, the founder of CanWest Global communications gave birth to David Asper, a Canadian businessman and lawyer who has served as the  Executive Vice President of the Canadian media company CanWest Global Communications Corp and as Chairman of the National Post newspaper and a Professor at the Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.
    1960: Birthdate of Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware

    1964(21st of Kislev, 5725): Sixty-one year old Herbert Solow the editor of the Menorah Journal who went from being a follower of Trotsky to an editor of Fortune passed away today.

    1973: “Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It)” with Ellen Greene in the title role has its first pre-Broadway performance tonight.

    1982:Howard Cossell called his last fight after being disgusted by the Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb mismatch.

    1986: The New Yorker Magazine published "The Way We Live Now" a short story about AIDS written by Jewish author Susan Sontag.

    1986: U.S. premiere of “The Mosquito Coast” produced by Saul Zaenta and featuring Jason Alexander who would gain fame as “George Constanza” on “Seinfeld.”

    1986: The trial of John Demjanjuk opened in the Jerusalem District Court today.

    1989: The New York Times included a review of The Jews In America: Four Centuries of an Uneasy Encounter by Arthur Hertzberg.

    1992(1stof Kislev, 5753): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1992(1stof Kislev, 5753): Ninety-year old Bernard M. Baruch, Jr., the son of the famed financier passed away today.


    2000: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest includingJulius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply Districtby Ben Katchor

    2001(11th of Kislev, 5762): A Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and lightly wounded two Border Policemen at the Erez crossing point in the Gaza Strip.

    2005: Start of Jewish Book Month sponsored by the Jewish Book Council.  According to its website, “The mission of the Jewish Book Council is to promote the reading, writing and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America. To carry out its mission, the Jewish Book Council sponsors a variety of activities and programs. The most widely known are the National Jewish Book Awards, established in 1948/9, and the Jewish Book Month. Its publications include Jewish Book Annual and Jewish Book World.”

    2005: Sharon Fichman defeated Pemra Özgen to win the tennis tournament at Ashkelon.

    2005(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Children’s author and illustrator Stan Berenstain passed away.  He and his wife Jan are best known for creating the children’s book series, “The Berenstein Bears.”

    2006: Juilliard instructor Samuel Zyman praises the talent of Jay “Bluejay” Greenberg during an interview on tonight’s broadcast of CBS News 60 Minutes.

    2006: Just in time for Jewish Book Month, The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amdanda Vail.

    2006: The Sunday New York Timeslist of “100 Notable Books of the Year” includes the following volumes by Jewish authors or about Jewish topics: Everyman by Philip Roth, Golden Country byJennifer Gilmore, Intuition by Allegra Goodman, A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua,Courtier and The Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern Worldby Matthew Stewart.Greatest Story Ever Told: The Decline and Fallof Truth From 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich,The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn,Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide by Jeffrey Goldberg andSweet and Low: A Family Story, by Rich Cohen.

    2006:  In Auckland, New Zealand, The Governor-General of New Zealand, gives a speech at an event celebrating one hundred years of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society attended by Hon Judith Tizard; President of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society, Sonny Beder; President of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, Rabbi Jack Engel and former President, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

    2006(5th of Kislev, 5767): Eighty-eight year old Jeanne Lesser who had been married to Louis Lesser for more than 70 years passed away today.

    2007: Holocaust denier David Irving and Nick Griffin anti-Semitic leader of the British National party are scheduled to speak at the Free Speech Forum sponsored by the Oxford Union.  Britain’s defense secretary Des Browne, three British lawmakers and Labour Party leader Denis MacShane have all refused to appear before the group because of Irving and Griffin.

    2007: In Jerusalem the Uganda Pub hosts an Ethiopian evening – music, films, food, lectures and even Ethiopian beer - followed by DJ and dancing.

    2007: Premiere of “Boy A” starring Andrew Garfield as “Eric Wilson / Jack Burridge.

    2008: The OU Bicentennial Convention opens in Jerusalem.

    2008: Premiere of “The Joy of Singing” a French film directed by Ilan Duran Cohen.

    2008: The 92nd Street Y hosts an Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon.

    2008: After months of delay, the Supreme Court is due to hear a petition regarding the 20,000 Subbotnik Jews of Russia, many of whom have found it increasingly difficult in recent years to get permission to make aliya.

    2008: Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz notified Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday that he planned to indict him on several criminal charges relating to the Rishon Tours affair.

    2008(28th of Cheshvan, 5769): Bentzion Chroman, who survived an earthquake in China earlier this year, was killed when a terrorist invaded the Mumbai Chabad House where he had stopped briefly today for the afternoon minhah prayer. Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, who helped supervise kashrut was also killed in the attack. Other victims of the terrorist attack on the Mumbai Chabad House included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka and Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich.

    2008: “Saul Steinberg: Illuminations,” a travelling exhibition, which will displayed original Steinberg works opened in London.

    2009: At the Sixth & I Lunch & Learn Rabbi Ethan Seidel leads a class studying unsettling stories containing elements of relativism, confusion, acknowledgment of chaos, and distrust of authority.

    2009: Tikvat Israel Synagogue in Rockville, MD, features an evening of Israeli folk dancing.

    2009: Hamshushalayim, a three-weekend-long festival, opens in Jerusalem.

    2009: Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat told Likud activists this evening that “I do not envy the prime minister because I know he is in distress. It isn’t easy to face an American President.”

    2009: This evening, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired five mortar shells toward the western Negev. The shells landed in an open field in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage.

    2009: Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks gave his first speech in the House of Lords during which he “apid homage to Britan an said it was a sense of indebtedness to the country that drives Jews to make the vast contribution they make to society.”

    2010: The New York Times Reviews Nora Ephron’s Last Book

    2010: The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia, PA

    2010: In Brussels, opening of Party Like a Jew a fun-filled weekend organized by the European Centre for Jewish Students (ECJS), the largest European organization for young adults in Europe.

    2010(19th of Kislev, 5771): “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.”  The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the "the New Year of Chassidus (Hasidism)."“It was on this date, in the year 1798 that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), was freed from his imprisonment in czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah. The public dissemination of the teachings of Chassidism had in fact begun two generations earlier. The founder of the chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760), revealed to his disciples gleanings from the mystical soul of Torah which had previously been the sole province of select kabbalists in each generation. This work was continued by the Baal Shem Tov’s disciple, Rabbi DovBer, the “Maggid of Mezeritch”—who is also deeply connected with the date of “19 Kislev”: on this day in 1772, 26 years before Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s release from prison, the Maggid returned his soul to his Maker. Before his passing, he said to his disciple, Rabbi Schneur Zalman: “This day is our yom tov (festival).” Rabbi Schneur Zalman went much farther than his predecessors, bringing these teachings to broader segments of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. More significantly, Rabbi Schneur Zalman founded the “Chabad” approach—a philosophy and system of study, meditation, and character refinement that made these abstract concepts rationally comprehensible and practically applicable in daily life. In its formative years, the chassidic movement was the object of strong, and often venomous, opposition from establishment rabbis and laymen. Even within the chassidic community, a number of Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s contemporaries and colleagues felt that he had “gone too far” in tangibilizing and popularizing the hitherto hidden soul of Torah. In the fall of 1798, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was arrested on charges that his teachings and activities threatened the imperial authority of the czar, and was imprisoned in an island fortress in the Neva River in Petersburg. In his interrogations, he was compelled to present to the czar’s ministers the basic tenets of Judaism and explain various points of chassidic philosophy and practice. After 53 days, he was exonerated of all charges and released. Rabbi Schneur Zalman saw these events as a reflection of what was transpiring Above. He regarded his arrest as but the earthly echo of a Heavenly indictment against his revelation of the most intimate secrets of the Torah. And he saw his release as signifying his vindication in the Heavenly court. Following his liberation on 19 Kislev, he redoubled his efforts, disseminating his teachings on a far broader scale, and with more detailed and “down-to-earth” explanations, than before. The nineteenth of Kislev therefore marks the “birth” of Chassidism: the point at which it was allowed to emerge from the womb of “mysticism” into the light of day, to grow and develop as an integral part of Torah and Jewish life.”

    2010(19th of Kislev, 5711): Yahrtzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov

    2010: Alice Herz-Sommer turned 107 today and is the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor, as well as being the second oldest resident of London, England.

    2011: Pianist Taiyuan Stepanov and clarinetists Alex & Daniel Gurfinkel are scheduled to perform “Clarient with a French Flavor at the Eden Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem-Jerusalem.

    2011: Penultimate performance of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall” sponsored by Theatre J (an arm of the DC Jewish Community Center) is scheduled to take place tonight in Washington, DC.

    2011: A Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council area early today.

    2011: The Israel Air Force struck two centers of terrorist activity in the southern and central Gaza Strip tonight in response to rocket fire into southern Israel, according to the IDF Spokesman's office. The IAF recorded direct hits on both targets and all aircraft involved in the actions returned safely to their respective bases. The IAF strikes caused some damage near the central Gazan city of Khan Yunis, but no casualties were reported, according to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency. The IDF reiterated that attacks directed against Israeli citizens would not be tolerated and the army would continue to act against terrorists. Hamas will be held responsible for all terror activity emanating from Gaza, an IDF statement added.

    2012: David Siegel, the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles is scheduled to speak at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

    2012: A scheduled screening of “Killing Kasztner, The Jews that Dealt with the Nazis” at the Upper East Side Chabad will be followed by a discussion led by the film’s director and Dr. Joseph Berger, Holocaust survivor saved by Kasztner.

    2012: Ehud Barak, who over a half-century career became Israel’s most decorated soldier and held the nation’s trifecta of top positions — chief of staff of the military, prime minister and, since 2007, defense minister — announced today that he would soon “leave political life,” withdrawing from elections scheduled for Jan. 22.

    2012: The French Consulate in Jerusalem recently hosted as a guest of honor a Palestinian terrorist, Salah Hamouri, who was convicted of plotting to kill Ovadia Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, an Israeli newspaper reported today
    2013: Jewish Book is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “The Reconquest of Jewishness in Post-War America: Will Herberg and Irving Howe

    2013: Rabbi Jonah Layman is scheduled to lead the Greater Olney Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Shaare Tefila.

    2013: Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor who is the subject of “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” is scheduled to celebrate her 110thbirthday

    2013: Fifth anniversary of the Mumbai Massacre a terrorist attack on  Westerner and Hindus and institutions that they used including the Naiman House, the Chabad Center where Jews, regardless of their affiliation could always find comfort and a meal. The victims included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka, Israelis Bentzion Kruman and Yoheved Orpaz, Brooklyn Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum and Mexican Jewess Norma Rabinovich.

    2013(23rdof Kislev, 5774): Sixty-six year old Guiora Esrubilsky, “a prominent Argentinian businessman bas in Florida” who “presided over last summer’s Maccabiah Games” passed away today
    2013(23rdof Kislev): Seventy-four year old legendary Israeli performer Arik Einstein passed away today. (As reported by Elad Benari)

    2013(23rdof Kislev): Ninety-year old Israel Prize Winner Bracha Kapach passed away one day before the 96th anniversary of the birth of husband Rabbi Yosef Kapach.

    2013(23rdof Kislev, 5774): Eight-nine year old photographer Saul Leiter passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2014: In the UK The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to host “The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation?”

    2014: In Melbourne, “The Israeli Code” and “Shtisel” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

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    November 27

    176: Emperor Marcus Aurelius grant his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and makes him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions. To the world at large Marcus Aurelius was “the philosopher-king” or “philosophical but impractical” ruler, but to the Jews he was just Roman emperor who held them in contempt describing them as “’Stinking and tumultuous!’” to his companions as he traveled through Judea. The dissolute nature of Commodus has become well known to all through the film “Gladiator.” Commodus showed his ineptitude in his failed attempt to defeat the Parthians, Rome’s eastern enemy whose empire reached to the borders of Palestine.  Unable to defeat an armed enemy in the field, Commodus began fresh persecutions of the Jews living there denying them, among other things, the right to use their courts of justice.

    1095: First Crusade proclaimed by the Council of Clermont. By now everybody should be aware of the fact that the Crusades ushered in a period of death and destruction for the Jews of Europe and Eretz Israel.

    1198(Kislev, 4959): Rabbeinu Abraham ben David known by the abberviation RABaD (for Rabbeinu Abraham ben David) passed away.  Born in Provence, France in 1125, he was a Provençal rabbi, a great commentator on the Talmud, Sefer Halachot of Rabbi Yitzhak Alfasi and Mishne Torah of Maimonides, and is regarded as a father of Kabbalah and one of the key and important links in the chain of Jewish mystics

    1614: In Frankfurt, Vincenz Fettmilch, the ringleader of the Fettmilch Rising during which the Judengasse was attacked looted, was arrested along with 38 of his followers and “charged for their persecution of the Jews.”  (They would eventually be executed.  The authorities really were not upset about his attack on the Jews.  What got him into trouble was when he was perceived as a threat to the Emperor and the ruling order.

    1688 (4th of Kislev): Rabbi Elijah Kovo of Salonika, author of Aderet Eliyahu, passed away

    1755: An English merchant named Joseph Salvador bought 10,000 acres near Fort Ninety-Six, in the southern part of the Carolina Colony. In 1773, Joseph Salvador would send his nephew Francis Salvador to South Carolina to develop the land as an indigo plantation.  At the outbreak of the American Revolution the wealthy young aristocrat joined the fight for independence.  He died of wounds in August of 1776 while fighting the Cherokee allies of the British.  The following words were etched on his tombstone: Born an aristocrat he became a democrat, An Englishman he cast his lot with America; True to his ancient faith, he gave his life for new hopes of liberty and human understanding.”

    1757: Birthdate of William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker.Controversy surrounds Blake’s grasp of Jewish mysticism. It seems pretty clear that Blake’s art and writing invoke Kabbalah, but scholars debate how Blake accessed the Jewish mystical concepts he quoted. Some argue that the dozen or so Hebrew inscriptions in Blake’s etchings and watercolors show that Blake was fluent in Hebrew. But close analysis of the works, some of which are on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, reveals that Blake had not even mastered the letter alef. Reading Kabbalah in Hebrew without knowing the first letter of the alef-bet would be as implausible as tackling “Finnegans Wake” with barely a grasp of the English alphabet. Arguments that Blake knew Hebrew date back to Frederick Tatham, who cared for Catherine after Blake’s death in 1827. In a letter to bookseller Frances Harvey, Tatham said that Blake’s library included “well thumbed” books in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian, as well as works by Swedenborg and Christian mystic Jacob Boehme. “His knowledge was immense, his industry beyond parallel,” Tatham wrote. Modern scholars echo Tatham’s claim. Writing in the journal Modern Philology in 1951, David V. Erdman ascribed “some Hebrew” to Blake, particularly the knowledge that beth-lehem means “house of bread.” “We know that Blake knew a little Hebrew,” Anthony Blunt agreed, writing in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes in 1943, “for he wrote to his brother in 1803 that he was learning the Hebrew alphabet, and his etching of the Laocoön [a copy of the sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons”] bears a few words in Hebrew script.” In his book “The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake (The Davies Group, Publishers, 2000), Thomas J. J. Altizer suggests not only that Blake knew Hebrew, but also that he was self-taught.But the work that Blunt cites as proof of Blake’s proficiency in Hebrew, “Laocoön” — a circa 1820 print depicting snakes strangling the famous Trojan priest and his two sons — is one of the best pieces of evidence that Blake did not know Hebrew. Writing “malakh Jehovah,” which he translated as “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” Blake inadvertently rotated the alef 90 degrees on its y-axis. He spelled “Lilit” (Lilith) correctly, but he miswrote “Jeshua” (Jesus) with another rotated letter, this time an ayin (the 16th letter). “Laocoön” does not appear in the Morgan show, but an etching from Blake’s Job series does. In an etching from Blake’s Job series, the artist again wrote “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” but this time he wrote the Hebrew “melekh Jehovah,” which means King Jehovah, rather than malakh (with an alef), the Angel of Jehovah. In “William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job,” S. Foster Damon says that Blake intentionally removed the alef to show that Job was worshipping a false God — mistaking an angel for the king. But could Blake really have known enough Hebrew to distinguish between “melekh” and “malakh,” when he revealed in “Laocoön” that he didn’t even know how to form the letter properly?  “Job’s Evil Dreams,” features a bearded figure with hooves encircled by a snake. The figure hovers above a reclining man and points with its right index finger to the Ten Commandments. Though Blake wrote out only two of the commandments in full, the inscriptions contain more than a dozen mistakes. One line contains a properly and an improperly formed alef, a further inconsistency suggesting that Blake was copying a language he did not understand. “Blake did study Hebrew with his one-time patron, William Hayley, but scholars are not agreed about his proficiency in the language,” explained Leslie Tannenbaum, associate professor of English at Ohio State University and author of “Biblical Tradition in William Blake’s Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art” (Princeton University Press, 1982). According to Tannenbaum, the late Gerald Bentley, a Blake scholar who taught at Princeton University, implied in a biography that Blake was “fairly fluent” in Hebrew. But Tannenbaum also notes that Sheila A. Spector, whom he describes as “an extremely meticulous scholar and expert on Blake and the Kabbalah,” writes that Blake did not know the biblical language.In Blake’s preface to the chapter “To the Jews,” from the poem “Jerusalem,” Tannenbaum sees references to the kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon (the primordial man). Blake learned Kabbalah from Swedenborg’s writings on Boehme, who seems to have been influenced by Balthasar Walther, Tannenbaum adds, and Blake also identified with the Avignon Society, which sought science and reason “in such unlikely places as alchemical lore, cabbalistic numerology, mesmerist séances, Swedenborgian spiritualism, and (perhaps most surprising of all) the Scriptures.” In “Wonders Divine: The Development of Blake’s Kabbalistic Myth” (Bucknell University Press, 2001) Spector, an adjunct associate professor at New York University, agrees that Blake’s kabbalistic sources were Christian rather than Jewish, and English rather than Hebrew. Further, Blake was “unfortunately” influenced by his contemporary Anglo-Israelites, who thought that English derived from Hebrew “and that the language of the Jews was a spurious version in which the rabbis obscured the ‘true Christian’ message to be found in the Bible,” Spector said.“Under the circumstances, the question of whether or not Blake was fluent in Hebrew misses the point,” she added. “He rejected normative Hebrew in favor of the linguistic gymnastics that re-interpreted words to conform with some eccentric – to be charitable – interpretations that coordinated Hebrew and English, as well as Greek, etymologies to proffer a new interpretation of Scripture.” (As reported by Menachem Wecker)

    1785(25th of Kislev, 5546): Channukah

    1798 (19th of Kislev, 5559):Rabbi Shneur Zalman founder of Chabad Lubavitch was released from a St Petersburg jail. He had been arrested on charges of high treason for allegedly sending money to the Czar’s enemy, the Sultan of Turkey. In reality he was sending money to Jews living in Eretz Israel which was part of Turkey at the time.  Shneur Zalman is the author of two works Tanya and Likkute Torah which describe the philosophy of the Chabad movement.  Chabad is an acronym for the Hebrew words Chokhmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Da’at (Wisdom).  Lubavitch is the name of the town in which the Descendants of Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezhirech, Shneur Zalman’s “teacher” settled.  In 1798, November 27 corresponded to the 19th day of Kislev.  Ever since then Chabad Lubavitchers mark YUD-TET KISLEV (19th of Kislev) as day of joy and celebration.

    1804:Birthdate of Sir Julius Benedict, the German born highly successful English composer and conductor who was knighted in 1871

    1815: Birthdate of Simon Hock, the Prague born businessman who created a history of the Jews of Bohemia.

    1819: Leopold Zuns and Eduard Gans founded the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism). It delved into Jewish history, culture and literature using scientific methods of criticism and assessment. The Society lasted less than five years. Gans and many others converted to Christianity.

    1830: Joseph Mérilhou, the French official who successfully got the Deputies to adopt legislation treating Judaism on equal footing with Christianity when it came to public financial support for synagogues and rabbis completed his term as Minister of Public Education.

    1834: Birthdate of Michael Bernays, the Hamburg born lawyer who displayed an expertise in matters pertaining to Shakespeare and Beethoven and who unlike his brother Jakob, converted to Christianity.

    1837: Birthdate of Ludwig Loewe, who began as manufacturer of sewing machines and then became major arms maker whose employees included Georg Luger, the inventor of the famous “Luger” pistol.

    1839: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Poznanski officiated at the marriage of Jacob Suares and Isabella Nathans.

    1846: A wagon train owned and commanded by Albert Speyer, a Prussian born Jew, arrived  at San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, in time for the pre-Christmas fair where he sold his merchandize, “reloaded the wagons with Mexican goods – mainly silver curios and sugar – and returned to Chihuahua” Mexico.

    1853: An editorial entitled “The Arrest of Rabbi Asche” published today questioned the methods used by the authorities when they arrested Rabbi Asche and two other Jews on charges of selling lottery tickets.  The editorial supported the concept of law and order but thought the police could have used better judgment in exercising their authority.

    1856: Proof of the role of Jews played in settling the American Frontier can be found in the letters Thomas Gladstone sent to the London Times excerpts of which were published today.  In describing those traveling up the Missouri River Gladstone reports that his fellow passengers included “Border Ruffians, Abolitionists…Jews” and others who “completely” represent “the various classes of the population in Kansas.”

    1858: It was reported today that two New York Rabbis have been arrested on charges of selling lottery tickets based on the charges brought by one of their co-religionists.

    1860: In Paris, there are reports of a serious rift between Achille Fould, the Jewish financier who is a close advisor to Emperor Napoleon, and the Empress.

    1861: Seventy-seven year old Jeanette Wohl the confidant of Ludwig Borne, the German Jewish writer who like so many of his contemporaries became a Lutheran but was not above characterizing his rival Heine as “a yeshiva student” whom he accused of “the Jewish trait of employing witticisms for their own sake,”

    1863: At the Wooster-street Synagogue, Thanksgiving Day services were held at 3 o'clock, embracing the usual afternoon prayers, conducted by Rabbi S.M. Isaacs the Prayer for the Government and appropriate hymns, after which an address was delivered by Meyer S. Isaacs, the Rabbi’s son He commenced with a reference to the peculiar significance of the present day of thanksgiving, observed as it was by all Americans, wherever resident, in response to the recommendation of the Executive. It was a grand spectacle, an entire nation united in offering up incense on an altar of a religion all alike profess -- thanksgiving and praise to the Supreme Being. Divesting themselves of social, political and religious distinctions, superior to the division of sentiment engendered by sectional ideas and antagonistic theories, they assembled in their respective places of worship, to pour forth praises to Him enthroned on hish. Actuated by these considerations, his audience had gathered together in their house of God, that they too might join in the grand anthem swelling upward to celestial heights. Israelite and Christian grasped each other's hand in cordial confidence, working together, fighting together the battles of the Union, pouring their blood on the battle-field in friendly rivalry for country's sake. There was no trace of religious intolerance or sectional feeling in the proclamation of the day; we were called upon to observe it as Americans, acknowledging special obligations to Heaven for the providences so graciously displayed in the progress of our struggle for national existence, and not unmindful of His divine favor in the daily blessings unintermittingly showered upon us, whose value we often fail to diiscern until we are deprived of them. He then took his text from Psalm c., verses 4 and 5, discussing it from its various points of view, and earnestly directing attention to the necessity of sincerity in this observance of National Thanksgiving. The stake was too mighty a one to permit even the semblance of insincerity in the history we were making, in our protestations of patriotism. It is understood now, that our love of country is not purely romantic, but that we were in earnest in our expressions of determination to reestablish the national supremacy, to permit no armed assemblage, however formidable, however desperate, to maintain an eternal antagonism to the constituted authorities.  Were we equally sincere in our observance of Thanksgiving, in our expressions of dependence upon God, of our own unworthiness and His eternal goodness and truth? This was to be the lesson of the day. He then illustrated his text by a reference to the peculiar benefits the Israelites of America enjoy in this land of thorough civil and religious liberty. We should enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, "for here there was no distinction recognized between Jew and Gentile in the guaranty by the Constitution of protection in the enjoyment of the sacred rights of man.  Returning to the broader view of the subject, as Americans, we should signalize the sincerity of this observance by an amendment in those respects where we acknowledge national faults. Although we have demonstrated a stauncher patriotism than we ourselves believed to be inherent in American character, there may be more sacrifices to make, more selfish considerations to combat, more errors of administration to deplore and divest of their apparent danger to the State by a confirmed determination to strengthen the hand of those we have chosen to preside over our national destinies. In conclusion, he spoke of the favorable prospect before us, as contrasted with the gloom, astonishment and despondency at the culmination of the preparation for the war upon our flag. The ship of state, madly tossed upon an unknown sea, exposed to the dangers of the warring elements, her pilots surrendered to the guilt of the hour or sadly inexperienced, was now sailing majestically into a safe harbor, a clear head and a steady hand at the helm; but God be thanked for this great salvation -- no human wisdom or power hath accomplished this.  He closed with a fervent prayer for the continuance of Divine favor to the land, and its speedy restoration to peace and prosperity.

    1871: “A Tolerant City” published today quotes the Jewish Chronicle as saying that “Ireland is the only country where Jews were never persecuted.”  As proof of Irish tolerance, the Chronicle cites the case of a young Jewess named Miss Samuel, who, when she was on her death bed was the object of prayers of recovery offered both in Jewish synagogues and Christian Chapels.  Her funeral included thirty carriages that were filled with citizens of both faiths.

    1873: The Charity Committee of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum has asked that an appeal be made during today’s Thanksgiving Day services for contributions of money, clothing and other items that can be used to aid Jews who are economically distressed due to the current depressed economy.

    1874:  Birthdate of Zionist leader and Israel’s first President Chaim Weizmann. He first gained fame as the Russian-British chemist who used bacteria for the synthesis of organic chemicals. During WW I, a recent immigrant into Great Britain, he discovered a way to use a bacterium to synthesize acetone during the fermentation of grain. Acetone was important in the manufacture of cordite for explosives. Postwar, he modified the fermentation to produce butyl alcohol, suitable for uses such as lacquers. This was the forerunner of the deliberate use of microorganisms for a wide variety of syntheses. A generation later, penicillin and vitamin B12 were produced in this way.

    1879: Dr. Henry W. Bellows, a prominent Unitarian Minister, delivered the Thanksgiving Day Sermon at Temple Emanu-El, the New York Jewish house of worship led by Rabbi Gustav Gottheil

    1880(24th of Kislev, 5641): In the evening kindle the first light of Chanukah.

    1880: The New York Times reported today that “the celebration of the Jewish feast of ‘Chanuka’ will be commenced this evening by the Children of Israel throughout the world.” The Times goes on to provide an accurate description of the origins of the holiday and its modern observance including the fact that the events celebrated began “on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.” (This was written 15 years before the Ochs family acquired the paper)

    1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted its “fourth entertainment” of the season tonight at Lyric Hall.

    1881: At Rostov-on –Don Isaiah and Feodosia Chatzman to their daughter Vera, the future wife of Chaim Wiezmann, who was a leading Zionist in her own right. (As reported by Esther Carmel-Hakim)

    1881: A meeting was held this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to discuss additional measures to be taken to meet the growing influx of Jewish immigrants from Russia which is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities.  One solution is to establish “farming colonies” which will provide a livelihood for the impoverished new arrivals and avoid population congestion in a few east coast cities.

    1882: A review of Natural Religion by Sir John Robert Seeley, the author of Ecce Homo, cites the author’s contention that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic form and in language suited another age the spirit of modern science.  Notably the Book of Job contrasts the conventional and, as it were, orthodox view of the universe with the view which those obtain who are prepared to face it awfulness directly.” (Editor’s note – this comes at a time when there was a clash between science and religion so it is intriguing that an English author would find a harmony between the two in the Jewish section of his Bible.)

    1883: “Hen” Rice, who had been a Deputy Sherriff is New York is being held on charges that he won $2,700 from Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish diamond dealer, by cheating at card games they played while crossing from England to the United States aboard the SS Servia.

    1883: “Russian-Hebrew Colony Broken Up” published today provided a brief history of an agricultural colony that had been established for Jewish immigrants from Russia in Middlesex County, Va.  Despite the contribution of several thousands of dollars from the Jewish community in Baltimore, MD, the experiment failed.  One family has asked to be sent back to Russia while the remaining men have been provide with jobs and several of the women are being taught to use sewing machines.  The Torah used by the colonists will be returned to the Hebrew Hospital Association which had lent it the newcomers.

    1883: It was reported today that Herr Haumann one of the lawyers who represented the Jews unfairly charged with the ritual murder of Christian girl in Hungary, fought a duel with Herr Vay, the Police Commissioner.  The sword fight, during which Vay was “severely wounded in the chest,” resulted from the attorney’s accusation that the Police Commissioner had tortured the Jewish prisoners.

    1885: “Judaism of the Future” published today provided a summary of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler’s view of the principles adopted by Reform rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh.  He described it as a “Jewish Declaration of Independence” which no longer looks to the memories of ancient Israel, rejects tradition “but recognizes in Christianity and Islamism valuable helpers and co-workers in the direction of the fruition of the kingdom of virtue and truth.”  (Editor’s note – one cannot help but wonder what Rabbi Kohler would have to say about the Reform movement in the 21st century)

    1888: Today marks the second day of the fair sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which is an annual fundraiser for this Jewish organization.

    1888: It was reported today that a new congregation “Zichron Osher” has been established on the west side of New York. Joseph Arthur Levy was the founder of the synagogue whose services will include congregational singing and the use of English for some of the prayers.  Rabbi H. Veld will lead the new congregation assisted by Rabbi J.I. De Young.

    1889: It was reported today the United Hebrew Charities will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner this week

    1890: At 3 p.m. the boys of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum held their annual parade” today, marching through the streets of Harlem.

    1891: In New York, Sarah Bernhardt appeared in the opening performance of “Pauline Blanchard” at the Standard Theatre.

    1892: The Maccabeans, An Aggressive Club” published today described the formation of this club by London’s Jews in the wake of the Russian persecution of their co-religionists. “The meetings of the Maccabeans afford something quite novel to English Judaism – an arena in which all the social, ethical and theological questions which are bubbling so vehemently in the Jewish mind can be thrashed out freely and without prejudice.”

    1892: The members of Shaary Zedek voted not to remove the bodies from the congregation’s old cemetery on 88th Street between Park and Madison and reinter them in the new Bay Side Cemetery on Long Island

    1892:  It was reported today that Herman Ahlwardt, who is in jail because he was convicted of libeling a Jewish gun-making firm and is such “a shameless rogue” that he has been publicly disowned by “the anti-Semitic Party won a seat in the Reichstag by-election running three thousand votes ahead of his nearest opponent with campaign cry of “Down with the Jews.!”

    1893: Seventy-eight year old Sebastian Brunner, the Austrian Catholic writer who was part of a group 19th authors whose “anti-Jewish propaganda had no equal…either for quantity or virulence and who was part of the infamous libel charges brought against Ignaz Kuranda and Heinrich Graetz passed away today.

    1894: In Paris, the Grand Rabbi preached a lengthy sermon at a well-attended service during which he “lauded Alexander III’s peace and exhorted all to pray for his soul as well as for his successor Czar Nicholas, his wife and all their relatives.”

    1894: The bequests of the late Adolph Bernheimer published today included “$10,000 in 3 per cent bonds” to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum and Mount Sinai Hosptial.

    1895: In a change of policy it was reported today that “a recent Ministerial order in Russia, Jews living in the interior who have been members of a first-class guild for five years are permitted to retain a permanent domicile in the place of their present habitation and this privilege will extend to their children.”

    1895: Alfred Nobel established Nobel Prize.At least 167 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2004, and constituting 37% of all US recipients during the same period.  In the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, and Physics, the corresponding world and U.S. percentages are 26% and 39%, respectively.  (Jews currently make up approximately 0.25% of the world's population and 2% of the US population.)

    ·        Chemistry (28 prize winners, 19% of world total, 28% of US total)

    ·        Economics (21 prize winners, 38% of world total, 53% of US total)

    ·        Literature (12 prize winners, 12% of world total, 27% of US total)

    ·        Physiology or Medicine (52 prize winners, 29% of world total, 42% of US total)

    ·        Peace(9 prize winners, 10% of world total, 11% of US total)

    ·        Physics (45 prize winners, 26% of world total, 38% of US total)

    1898: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the marriage of Louis Flanders and Jeannette Wetherhorn.

    1897: The Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum will host a dance tonight at Terrace Garden.

    1897: Following an anonymous tip, a Commissaire of Police “made of thorough search” at 3 Rue Yvon-Villareau in Paris where he was told to look for “interesting documents concerning the Dreyfus case. The apartments were occupied by Lt. Col. Picquart and what he found was not revealed to the public.

    1897: Authorities searched for Madame de Boulancy, the cousin and former mistress of Ferdinand Esterhazy who may have evidence related to the Dreyfus affair.

    1898: In Chicago, $10,230 was raised during the auction of the boxes for the charity ball being held by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association.

    1898: “The Week At The Theatres” published today provided a detailed review “The Merchant of Venice” at Daly’s Theatre  starring  Sidney Herbert as Shylock and Ada Rehan as Portia which is described as being filled with “a few keen disappointments.”

    1899(25th of Kislev, 5660): First day of Chanukah

    1899: “Dr. Silverman On The Jew” published today provided the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman on the survival of his co-religionist over the many centuries of mistreatment only to emerge triumphant in the 19th century where he “always feels himself a citizen of the in which he lives” but where “his religion is cosmopolitan.”

    1907: Sixty-four year old Cyril Flower, 1st Baron Battersea, the husband of Constance, the daughter of Sir Anthony de Rothschild passed away today.

    1710: Birthdate of Robert Lowth, the Bishop of the Church of England who 1754 was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity by Oxford University, for his treatise on Hebrew poetry entitled Praelectiones Academicae de Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum (On the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews) which derives from a series of lectures that were published by George Gregory in 1787 as "Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews".

    1912:  Birthdate of David Merrick. Born David Lee Marguloisin St. Louis, Missouri, he graduated from Washington University then studied law. In 1940 he left his legal career behind in St. Louis to produce theatre.  In a career that included a mixture of “brilliant successes and embarrassing flops,” Meririck is best remembered as the producer of “Hello Dolly.” He passed away in 2000.

    1912: Leopold Godowsky’s piano recital at Carnegie Hall included a half dozen of Listz’s most difficult etudes.

    1914: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committeewas established by combining several separate organizations. Its original name was the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers and was chaired by Felix M. Warburg. It campaigned and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe. It is popularly known as the "Joint" or "JDC." During the First World War they spent almost 15,000,000 on relief efforts.

    1914(9th of Kislev, 5675): Lt Frank Alexander de Pass of 34 Poona Horse, part of the Indian Expeditionary Force which arrived in France soon after the war began” and who first Jew to be awarded the Victoria Cross (posthumously) was killed today.

    1914: In Brooklyn, Rabbi Alexander Lyons preached a sermon entitled “Prejudice in American Life” at Friday night services “in which he referred to the prejudice again Leo M. Frank that existed in Atlanta during the trial of Frank which resulted in a verdict convicting him of the murder of Mary Phagan.

    1914: If the Supreme Court of the United States denies the application of Leo Frank for a writ of error, Georgia Governor John M Slaton told reporters at the Waldorf today that he will review all of the evidence and if Frank “is not guilty then he ought to be saved from the (death) penalty and shall not a victim of injustice because he is a Jew.”  As to his feelings towards Jews, the governor pointed out that Mr. Philips, his law partner for nineteen years is a Jew and that Jews have been an integral part of Georgia since the days of the Crown when the Minis family settled in the colony.

    1914: “Following the secon reverse at the hands of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States” Leo Franks has issued a public statement “calling attention to several phases” of his case including the fact that the members of their jury feared for their lives because of “the dangerous…crowd which surrounded the jail” and that the “Supreme Court has never reviewed the question of his guilt or innocence” but has only responded to questions of procedural technicalities related to his appeal.

    1917: Turkish forces began four days of attacks against Allenby’s troops in futile attempt to keep the British forces from Jerusalem.

    1917: Birthdate of Yhyah Qafih, the native of Sana’a Yemin who was the son of Rabbi David Qafiḥ and the grandson of Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafiḥ, making him the third generation of leaders of the Yemenite Jewish community, first in Yemen and then in Israel.

    1918: Birthdate of Victor Elmaleh, the native of Mogador, who imported the first Volkswagens to the United States and “developed $7 billion worth of real estate.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)


    1924: In the New York City the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.  Macey’s was not founded by Jews, but it was two Jews, Isidor and Nathan Straus, who took control of the store in 1896 who turned into what was then “biggest department store in the world.”

    1925:  Birthdate of English comedian Ernie Wise (OBE). Born Ernest Wiseman, he changed his named to further his career as an actor and singer in English music halls.  He was best known as one half of the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, which became an institution on British television, especially for their Christmas specials.  He passed away in 1999.  Just as in American, English entertainers changed their names to get ahead and like Irving Berlin helped add luster to the Christian’s Christmas.

    1925: Birthdate of Claude Lanzemann, the French filmmaker who became “chief editor of the journal Les Temps Modernes, which was founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. A native of Paris, he joined the Resistance at the age of 18 and fought the Nazis. ” Lanzmann's most renowned work is the nine-and-a-half hour documentary film Shoah (1985), which is an oral history of the Holocaust, and is broadly considered to be the foremost film on the subject.”

    1933: Birthdate of William G. Dever, the native of Louisville, KY who became “an archaeologist specializing  in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times” whose works included What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?

    1933: As Hitler moves to consolidate his control over German society Kraft durch Freude (KdF; Strength through Joy) is established to tie leisure activities of the German Volk (people) to the aims of the Nazi Party.

    1933: A transfer company was established today in Tel Aviv to facilitate the immigration of German Jews along with whatever property they are able to bring with them. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1936: Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels declares that film criticism is henceforth banned, freeing the Nazi-controlled German film industry to pursue its own agenda, which includes blatantly anti-Semitic films.

    1936: During the same period in the United States, Hollywood is self-censored in that it fears dealing with Jewish issues because of the high level of anti-Semitism existing at the time in the United States.

    1937: Opening performance of "Pins & Needles" a pro-labor musical revue produced by ILGWU

    1939: In New York, at the Hotel Astor, Dr. Kurt Blumenfeld, president  of the German-Jewish Settlers Association in Palestine, Dr. Georg Landauer, head of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of Ge