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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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    43 BCE: The famous orator Marcus Tullius Cicero died.  Cicero was a Patrician, member of the Senate and opponent of Julius Caesar.  Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Anthony and Octavian executed those whom they viewed as enemies of the state.  Cicero fell into that category.  Based on his public utterances, Cicero had no use for the Jews. "The Jews belong to a dark and repulsive force. One knows how numerous this clique is, how they stick together and what power they exercise through their unions. They are a nation of rascals and deceivers." While serving as defense counsel at the trial of Flaccus, a Roman pro-consul accused of diverting one hundred pounds of gold bound for the Temple in Jerusalem, Cicero described the Jews as a people born to slavery who had become far too intrusive in the affairs of Rome. Was Cicero an anti-Semite?  Or was he merely a member of the old order who resented the changes in society (sort of a Roman version of Henry Adams or Gore Vidal); a person who demonized Jews because they were different?  Regardless of the cause, the statements speak for themselves. 

    1158: Abraham Ibn Ezra, under the influence of an inspiration or vision he had on that Shabbat day, decided to defend the traditional reckoning of the Jewish holidays and Sabbaths against the trend to begin them only at day break rather than the previous night. Immediately after the Sabbath he began to write his Iggeret Shabbat ("Shabbat Letter") in which he used both religious and astronomical sources to defend his position. He wrote it while visiting England, making it one of the few Hebrew works composed there prior to the expulsion of the Jews in 1290.

    1237(Kislev, 4998):Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon the son of Maimonides aka the Rambam who followed his father as the leader of the Egyptian Jewish community passed away.

    1254: Pope Innocent IV passed away. During his papacy, Innocent “denounced the Blood Libels as unfounded.”  In 1247, Innocent agreed to grant a request from the Jews by issuing a declaration stating “that the Talmud was an absolute necessity for the Jews, if Judaism were to continue to exist as a separate religion, and that the burnings of the Talmud were to cease.” These actions certainly make him stand out from many of those who served as the Vicar of Christ in Rome.

    1279(O.S.): King Boleslaus V of Poland passed away. In 1264, Boleslaus V issued a charter that allowed for Jewish residence and protection, hoping that Jewish settlement would contribute to the development of the Polish economy. This charter was similar to one that had been granted to the Jews of Austria in 1244.  While Jews were not granted the same degree of protection as other citizens and while Jews were excluded from privileges afforded Christian merchants and burghers, the charter did  include recognition of legal testimony of Jews, fines for harming Jews or Jewish property, prohibition of blood libels, and equal commercial rights.  Even though the charter was not always followed, it marked a major improvement over conditions that Jews were living under in other parts of Europe and helped encourage a major eastward migration of the Children of Israel.


    1742: Talmudist Judah Lob Mokiach, the son of Mordecai Mokiah the father of “David Berlin (Mokiach) and Isaiah Berlin (Mokiach), known also as Isaiah Pick” passed away today in Pressburg.


    1776(26thof Kislev, 5637): As Jews observe Shabbat and prepare to kindle candles for the third night of Chanukah, Washington’s Army successfully finishes crossing to the south bank of the Delaware River, thus escaping destruction by the British who chased the revolutionary army from New York down the entire state of New Jersey.

    1787: Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  Delaware abolished religious tests for public office in 1792.  For more about the history of the Jews of the “first state” see

    1793(4thof Tevet, 5554):Herz Cerfbeer of Medelsheim the military contractor and philanthropist passed away today at Strasbourg.  Born Naphtali Ben Dov-Beer at Alsace in 1730, he was granted citizenship rights by Louis XVI in 1775. A spokesperson and supporter of the Jewish community he published rare Hebrew books including Lechem Setarim by Solomon Nissim Algazi the 17th century Talmudist who served as a rabbi by Smyrna and Jerusalem.

    1795(25th of Kislev, 5556): Chanukah

    1802: Birthdate of German poet and editor Lesser Ludwig who wrote, “One thing to Life you owe: Struggle, or seek for rest. If you're an anvil, bear the blow; If a hammer, strike your best” and who was supporter of the Reform movement.

    1822(23rdof Kislev, 5583):Rabbi Yosef ben Moshe Mammon, the native of Morocco who taught at the Yeshiva in Safed before settling in Burkhara in 1793 because the people needed strong Jewish leadership, passed away today.  Among his descendants is the Dorit Moussaieff, the First Lady of Iceland.

    1822: In Breslau, Amalie Kempner and Salomon Silberstein gave birth to Emma Silberstein, the future wife of Louise Loewe and the father of James Loewe.

    1823: In Liegnitz, Silesia, Isidor and Johanna (née Prausnitzer) Kronecker gave birth to German mathematician Leopold Kronecker

    1830: Birthdate of Judah Leib (Ben Asher) Gordon, the native of Vilnius also known as Leon Gordon, who became a leading Hebrew poet of the 19th century.

    1833: Birthdate of Louis-Norbert Carrière the anti-Dreyfusard “government commissioner who successfully pled at Rennes for Dreyfus’s second conviction even if it meant misrepresenting evidence.

    1841:Michael Solomon Alexander, a convert from Judaism was ordained as Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem at Lambeth Place.  He would arrive in Jerusalem in the first month of the following year

    1842: The New York Philharmonic gave its first performance.  Numerous Jewish musicians and conductors have been involved with the Philharmonic in its 163 year history.  One of the most famous Jews connected with the Philharmonic was not a musician.  In 1909, Minnie Utermyer, wife of prominent businessman and lawyer Samuel Untermey led a group of philanthropist in guaranteeing the future financial solvency of this great American musical institution.

    1844:Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (a Singspiel in three acts by German-Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was first performed today at the Hofoper, in Berlin.

    1847: Birthdate of Solomon Schechter.  “Solomon Schechter was born in Rumania in to a Chabad Chassidic family. His Chassidic upbringing did not satisfy him, however, and, in 1879 he went to study at the Berlin Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums and at the University of Berlin. In 1882 Schechter was invited to be a tutor in Rabbinics in London. He quickly rose to prominence as a rabbinic scholar and spokesman for Jewish traditionalism. In 1890 he was appointed lecturer in Talmudics and in 1892 reader in Rabbinics at Cambridge University. In 1899 he also became professor of Hebrew at University College, London. He gained international fame as a scholar when he discovered and brought back to London more than 100,000 pages of rare manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza. Beyond sorting and filing the documents, Schechter wrote on the newly-found Ben Sirach materials, unknown until then. Schechter accepted the invitation to become president of the Jewish Theological Seminary and succeeded in attracting an outstanding group of scholars to teach. The Jewish Theological Seminary became a recognized center of Jewish learning. In 1913 Solomon Schechter was instrumental in founding the United Synagogue of America, the umbrella organization of all Conservative congregations. Though a staunch traditionalist, Schechter admitted that there could be change in modern Judaism. However, he felt that changes should not be introduced arbitrarily or deliberately. Rather, ‘the norm as well as the sanction of Judaism is the practice actually in vogue. Its consecration is the consecration of general use—or, in other words, of Catholic Israel.’ Although it may be apocryphal, my favorite quote from Solomon Schechter is, ‘Gentlemen, in order to be a success in the American rabbinate, you must be able to talk baseball.’"


    1852: Reverend Edward Robinson, DD read a lengthy paper based on his recent visit to the Holy Land at the regular monthly meeting of the New York Historical Society. After Reverend Robinson finished his presentation Dr. Adams said that to some such a detailed report of such a distant place “was not the most appropriate for the New York State Historical Society.  But on reflection every man should feel that Palestine was not a strange land to us. It was our home, ‘Jerusalem is the mother of us all.’ …They therefore felt thankful to the Doctor for his laborious research.”  [This is an early manifestation of philo-Semitism that would be beneficial to the Zionist movement.]


    1860: A column published today entitled “The Commercial Relations Between the North and South,” reviews the impact that Southern Secession would have on the business operations in what has been the United States of America using the ability of Jews and Christians to engage in commercial activities as its template:

    “How, then, is New-York to lose its Southern trade? If at all, from political considerations alone; South Carolina says, "I do not like your political sentiments, and will have nothing to do with you." She is not as tolerant as the Jew who would buy and sell with the Christian, but not eat or drink with him. But will, or can she deliberately persist in any course in violation of her own interest? No! The thing is impossible. It has not an example in all history. If there be a law unerring in its action, and firmly engraved upon the popular mind, it is that "men will sell in the dearest market and buy in the cheapest," and will always take the shortest and most convenient method to accomplish their ends. South Carolina can no more stay away from us than matter can refuse to obey the laws of gravity, which is not a whit stronger in its way than is the law of self-interest with the individual.”

    1871(24thof Kislev, 5632): Light the first Chanukah candle.

    1875: Today’s session of the Hebrew Charity Fair raised  over $12,000 for the Mount Sinai Hospital.

    1875: It was reported today that the bodies of Abram and Aaron Dietz, William Meyers, Abram Kurtz and William Laser who died in the Brooklyn Theatre Fire which claimed the lives of 278 people were taken from the City Morgue by representatives of the Brooklyn Young Men’s Hebrew Benevolent Society and taken to Temple Israel.  The bodies were so badly charred that identification of the victims has been so slow and difficult

    1879: Based on information that originally appeared in an article entitled the “History of Money” by famed numismatist Sir John Lubbock, it was reported today that the ancient shekel is one of the most popular coins among collectors possibly because of its Biblical connection.  However, it is the most frequently counterfeited ancient coin and “of so-called shekels found among collectors, over three-fourths of them are forgeries.

    1879: “The Prussian Press and Bismarck” published today describes the government’s control of the content of newspapers in Germany which is under the direction of a Privy Councilor named Hahn, who is a convert from Judaism. (This will not be the last time that the Jews are accused of controlling the media in Germany or elsewhere)

    1879: President Abraham Oettinger chaired the 15th annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association. The association operates 5 schools and is planning to open a sixth.  The school employs twenty teachers, five of whom are women. The association serves 1,129 students. All of the students must attend public school during the day since the association’s schools are intended to supplement and not supplant public education offerings.  Two of the association’s schools conduct Saturday morning services which draw approximately 600 worshippers.

    1879: The formal incorporation of Or Chaim takes place in New York City with the adoption of its constitution and by-laws at its first meeting attended by two of its first members, Sigmund Arnstein and Marcus J. Cohen.

    1880: “Modern Persecution of the Jews” published today described the outbreak of anti-Semitism sweeping across Germany.  It is based on the premise that a million and half Jews are trying to control the lives of forty million Germans. German nationalist hate Jews because they do not engage in manual labor while the Socialists hate them because they are all millionaires.  The outbreak of anti-Semitism coincided with the economic downturn that came after the bubble created the victory over France came to an end.

    1880: It was reported today that German Jews do not serve in the army because they are prevented from rising above the rank of 2nd lieutenant.

    1880: It was reported that German Jews do not serve in the navy or the merchant marine because they have no hope of ever serving as captain of a vessel.  This based on “an old German superstition that a Jewish Captain would sink his vessel.”

    1881: It was reported today when Chester A. Arthur sent his Presidential message to Congress he took note of the fact that the Senate resolutions expressing condolence at the time of the assassination of Czar Alexander II had been sent to the Russian government which he hoped would improve the treatment of American Jews visiting that empire.  The Russians, Arthur wrote, had a tendency to treat American Jews in the same manner they did Jews living under the Czar

    1882: During the Tiszaeszlár Affair, a Hungarian blood libel, the body found in Tisza was exhumed and reexamined by three professors of medicine from the University of Budapest.  They would conclude that the original autopsy “had no scientific basis” and showed “grows ignorance” on the part of the examiners.

    1882:Marianne Trenel and Rabbi Simon Debré gave birth to French pediatrician Robert Debré

    1884: According to reports published today L’Académie française has admitted its first Jewish member, Ludovic Halévy who has agreed to focus only on writing novels from now on.

    1884: The list of Holiday Books published today included Our Young Folks Josephus: The Antiquities of the Jews and Jewish Wars simplified by William Shepard which is a simplification of the works of Josephus with illustrations by Dore.

    1885: In an attempt to thwart the efforts of the members of St. Bernard’s Church to stop construction of a side track on Van Rensselaer Street on Sundays, the attorney for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company says he will hire eight Jews “to test the question  whether a Jews breaks the Sabbath by working on Sunday.”

    1886: According to reports published today, a society has been formed at Minden, Germany to promote marriages “between Christians and Jews.

    1887: A Polish Jewish immigrant named Burkmann was pulled from the water when he attempted to kill himself by jumping off the pier at Castle Garden.

    1888: In a case of Jew versus Jew, 19 year old Ernestine Nolfen sued Noach Soenfeld in Minneapolis, MN for “breach of promise.”

    1888: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs was reported today to have been among the clergymen who met with Mayor Hewitt today to discuss plans for the celebration of the Centenary of the Inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States which is scheduled to take place on April 30, 1889.

    1888: It was reported today that Rabbi Wolf Berger of Anshe Chesed has sued the brothers of the late Mr. Kingsburgh who owned a stationary and tobacco store near the local post office for twenty five dollars.  Berger claims he is owed the money for teaching the decedent’s sons the appropriate prayers for mourning their father and for composing the inscription on his tombstone.

    1890(25th of Kislev, 5651): Chanukah

    1890: M.S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of The Hebrew Free School Association, an organization dedicated to “Americanizing” Jewish immigrants.

    1890: “Baron Hirsch To Send Jews To The Argentine Republic” published today described plans that Baron Hirsch has for settling some of the half million Jews expelled by Russia in the South American country; a plan for which he is ready to spend twenty million dollars and which has the support Argentine President Carlos Pellegrini who has a Jewish brother-in-law.

    1890: It was reported today that Dr. George Allan Heron’s “”newly- published work on the communicability of consumption dwells on the well-ascertained  immunity from tuberculosis of carefully-conforming Jews whose meat is inspected in a manner which would require the rejection of an entire carcass if any speck of tubercle were discovered.” (In other words he is making a positive connection between the observance of Kashrut and immunity from Tuberculosis.  At the same time, opponents of immigration in the United States demonized Jews as carriers of TB.)

    1891: In New York, seven Russian Jews – Hirsch Bachletsky, Susman Wilkisky, Elias Chyot, Benjamin Soldofsky, Adolph Baum, Solomon White and Jacob Schwartz – “appeared before the British Consulate on State Street and made formal charges against a foreman of the cattlemen employed on the steamship France after having tried to report their theft and abuse to the local police and the United States Commissioner.

    1892: As a result of a campaign led by Joseph Barondess Governor Fowler pardoned cloakmaker Frank Rheingold who had been convicted of 2nddegree burglary as a result of actions taken during the cloakmaker’s strike at Benjamin & Caspary.

    1892: In Washington, DC, the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations came to an end with a report by the financial committee that the Union has raised $26,539 with $22,804 going to support the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    1892: During Hermann Ahlwardt’s trial for slandering a Jewish arms manufacturer the presiding Judge fined self-professed anti-Semite’s counsel 100 marks when he attempted to resign following rulings from the bench that he did not liked

    1892: In describing the changing population mix in New York, Reverend William T Elsing was quoted today as saying that the east side below Houston Street has become “a great Hebrew center.”

    1892: Eighty-four year old Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, whose work provide one of the “earliest surviving records of the lands of the east Mediterranean including Palestine and Jerusalem passed away today.

    1894: Silver Dollar Smith, the Jewish Tammany politician and saloon keeper is scheduled to appear in court today where he must answer charges that he assaulted August J. Gloistein, the operator of another nearby saloon.

    1894: Max Lissauer explained that the Jewish members of the Committee had not attended the reception at the Union Club for Mayor-elect William Strong, even though they had “worked as hard as they could for his election” because they did not feel comfortable at the Union Club which refused membership to a co-religionist, Theodore Seligman who had been blackballed because he was Jewish.

    1895: Birthdate of Peretz Davidovich Markish, the Russian poet whose language of choice was Yiddish whose wife Esther and his sons, literary scholar Shimon Markish and prose writer David Markish sought to redeem his reputation after he was murdered in the Stalin purge “Night of the Murdered Poets.”

    1895: Financier Henry Clews who organized the “Committee of 70” was quoted today as saying that “the best thing that” German anti-Semite Hermann “Ahlwardt can do is to go home.”  “The Jews as a class are good citizens.  They respect the laws and benefit business and society.” Ahlwardt, “may as well understand that he is a most unwelcome visitor.”

    1898: In Chicago the fair and bazaar sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association which is raising funds for Michael Reese Hospital and the United Hebrew Charities is scheduled to come to an end.

    1905: Birthdate of Leonard Goldstein who would become President of the American Broadcasting Companies in 1968.

    1907:In Chicago,Leon Oboler and Clara Oboler, Jewish immigrants from Riga, Latvia, gave birth to Arch Oboler an American actor, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, and director who was active in radio, films, theater, and television.

    1907: Birthdate of Fred Rose.  Born Fred Rosenberg in Lithuania, Rose moved to Canada where he gained fame as a labor organizer and Canadian communist politician.

    1907:The Trustees, Faculty, and students of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America gave a "surprise party" to Dr. Solomon Schechter, the President of that institution, in celebration of his sixtieth birthday. Dr. Schechter has only been in this country five years, having been summoned by the Trustees of the seminary from his position as Reader in the Rabbinic in Cambridge University, England, and Professor of Hebrew in the University of London.

    1910: Birthdate of Richard Franko Goldman conductor, educator, author, music critic, and composer who was the son of Edwin Franko Godman.  The son followed the father as conductor of the Goldman Band of New York City.

    1911(16th of Kislev, 5672): Seventy-eight year old Sir George Lewis passed away.

    1914: The Federation of Oriental Jews organized the Oriental Jewish Community of New York. They plan to establish and maintain their own institutions, burial grounds, Talmud-Torahs, etc., and to care for the poor and sick Ladino speaking community.

    1915: Abraham Shalom Yahuda of Madrid is appointed ordinary professor "Catedratico numberario" of rabbinic literature at the Central University. The appointment came despite the fact that there no synagogues in Spain and that there had not been one in the country since 1492.

    1915:  Birthdate of actor Eli Wallach. Of all his roles one of his best was as the Mexican outlaw leader in The Magnificent Seven.

    1916: Birthdate of Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, a psychiatrist who was a co-owner of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, makers of the controversial painkiller OxyContin, and whose lavish gifts to the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University made him one of New York City’s most prominent benefactors. (As reported by Bruce Weber

    1916: During World War I, David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister and forms a new government.Lloyd George re-invigorated the British War effort and helped ensure the Allied victory over the Kaiser.  Lloyd George was the Prime Minister when the Balfour Declaration was issued and continued to fight for the Zionist cause after the World War when other British leaders were determined to break their war-time commitment to the Jewish people.

    1916: Herbert Louis Samuel (the Viscount Samuel) completed his first term as Home Secretary in the UK.

    1917: A delegation of notables including the mayor of Jerusalem, the chief of police and several imams, rabbis and Christian clergy met with British forces just north of the city and surrendered the “keys of the city.”

    1918:  As Allied troops march into Germany and establish zones of occupation under the terms of the Armistice signed on November 11, German born Zionist Arthur Ruppin wrote in his diary, “Never indeed, in the history of the world has a people been confronted with such terrible armistice terms and admitted its complete defeat, although no enemy has yet set foot on its soil and on the contrary, its armies are still deep within the territories of its enemies.  The simple man in the street cannot understand what has happened so suddenly and feels completely lost.”

    1918: Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI, writes a letter to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Vatican Secretary of State, apparently complaining about what he considered the disproportionate power of Jews in Poland."There are about 600,000 Protestants and about 2 million Jews, but their religious importance is negligible, outside of the fairly frequent conversions to Catholicism.  But by contrast their economic, political, and social importance (especially that of the Jews) is large and indeed tremendous." (As reported by Austin Cline)

    1921: The graduation of the nursing class from Hadassah hospital, which had been postponed due to Arab attacks in November, took place.  The graduation address was given by Dr. Eder, a distinguished British Jew and member of the Zionist Executive who spoke in English.  Dr. Eliezer Ben Yehuda, one of the pioneering fathers’ of Modern Hebrew, walked out in protest.

    1922: In Manhattan, Walter and Marion Pollak gave birth to Louis Heilprin Pollak, “a federal judge and former dean of two prestigious law schools who played a significant role in major civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1923: Birthdate of Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg who became Regius Professor of the Practice of Medicine at the University of Glasgow

    1924: In Frankfurt am Main Gustav and Toni (née Koch) Fleischmann gave birth to Ernest Martin Fleischmann who fled the Nazis and eventually became “imperious impresario who ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nearly three decades, helping to elevate its stature to that of an orchestra of the first rank.”

    1933: Premier of the cinematic version Elmer Rice's play 'Counsellor-at-Law”' starring John Barrymore. Rice was Jewish.  Barrymore was not.

    1928: Birthdate of Noam Chomsky.

    1940: In Brooklyn, Sol Frank Steinhardt and his wife gave birth to Michael Steinhardt the hedge fund manager who founded Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co.

    1941: A ship from Lisbon arrives at Ellis Island arrives carrying Wanda Landowska.

    1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, an act that led to America's entry into World War II.  Approximately 500,000 Jews served during World War II.  This was about ten per cent of the Jewish Population in the United States, which would have made it higher than the average for other ethnic groups.  The numbers put the lie to the anti-Semitic slur that Jews were nothing but black market profiteers.  Approximately 52,000 of the Jewish service personnel were decorated during the war. 

    1941: Time Magazine correspondent Theodore White dropped slips of paper down twenty-nine floors to the street from Time offices at Rockefeller Center to inform  bewildered Christmas shoppers below that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. This young Jewish Harvard graduate would go on to write The Making of the President 1960, a classic which would change the nature of political literature while helping to create the Kennedy Legend and the Concept of Camelot.

    1941:  SS and Latvian firing squads began a slaughter of the Jews of Riga.  Between December 7 and December 9, 1941, 25,000 Riga Jews were put to death by firing squads. Combined with previous actions by the SS and their Latvian allies, only 20% of original Jewish population in Riga now remained. This ghetto was now ready to house German Jew deportees. Among the victims is a preeminent Jewish historian, 81-year-old Simon Dubnow.

    1941: The attack at Pearl Harbor brings the U.S. into WW II during which approximately 200 Jews from Utah would serve in the various branches of the Armed forces.

    1941: The Nazis begin gas-van extermination operations at the death camp in  Chelmno, Poland

    1942( 28thof Kislev, 5703):Eighty-three year old  Hannah Greenebaum Solomon the celebrated founder of the National Council of Jewish Women which was the first national association of Jewish women and also an important force for reform in Chicago around the turn of the twentieth century” passed away today. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1942: In the United Kingdom, premiere of “Went the Day Well?” a British war film directed by Michael Balcon, the youngest son of “Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

    1942: German troops enter the Polish village of Bialka and murder 96 villagers suspected of shielding Jews fleeing the anti-Jewish Aktion in the nearby Parczew Forest.

    1942: United States State Department official G. Robert Borden Reams, an "expert" on the Jews in the Division of European Affairs, advises that the United States government remain silent concerning details of the Holocaust.

    1942: British official John Cecil Sterndale Bennett is upset because Bulgarian Jewish children may be allowed into Palestine.

    1944 (21st of Kislev, 5705):Satmar Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum rescued. The Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), was rescued from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, along with 1,368 other Jews, through the efforts of Rudulf Kastner, head of the Zionist rescue operation in Hungary (an earlier transport of 1,686 Jews had been rescued on Av 29). The Satmar community celebrates the 21st of Kislev as a day of thanksgiving.

    1944: USS Drum (SS-228) a Gato-class submarine which has been under the command of Maurice H. Rindskopf set out on 12th war patrol

    1944: The Kasztner transport’s 1, 361 Jews who had left Bergen Belsen on December 4 crossed the border into Switzerland today. For more see the work of Gaylen Ross at

    where you can order a copy of “Killing Kasztner)

    1945:Irvine Robbins opened his first ice cream store -- called Snowbird because he couldn't think of anything else – on the day after his 28th birthday. Robbins used $2,000 he saved and cashed a $4,000 insurance policy his father had given him at his bar mitzvah at Seattle's Temple DeHirsch Sinai to finance the venture. Robbins had 21 flavors then, and his cousin bought $39 of the first day's $53 total ice cream sales.

    1946: U.S. Secretary of state James “Jimmy” F. Byrnes said endorsed the creation of a Jewish state when he said that partition was the best solution to the Palestine Problem.

    1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

    1947: During a meeting of the Jewish World Congress, it was charged that anti-Jewish incidents are taking place in Iran

    1947: Sir Alan Cunningham, the British High Commissioner asked David Ben Gurion to meet with so that he could tell him that the British "had decided to evacuation Palestine as soon as possible." 

    1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): Eighty-one year old French author and lawyer Tristan Bernard whose health was broken during his imprisonment at Drancy passed away today,

    1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): Pessia Lev, a nineteen year old student nurse was killed by Arab snipers when the eight bus convoy she was riding in was attacked as it made its way to Jerusalem.  Lev was going home to celebrate Chanukah with her family.

    1948: President Truman announced that he would ask Congress for money for the Palestinian refugees.  This would appear to be at odds with the British who want to furnish supplies and money for the refugees from UN working capital funds

    1948: The Transjordan cabinet gives its consent to crowning of King Abdullah as king of united Palestine and Transjordan.  [In other words, having crossed the Jordan River, seized what is called the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jordanians were staking their claim to the land as opposed to turning it over to the Palestinians for a state of their own.]

    1948: On the third and final day of Operation Assaf, the Egyptians prepared to counter-attack and drive the Israelis back. “However, Israeli Air Force reconnaissance revealed the Egyptian preparations in the morning. The Israeli assault battalion was sent to the Egyptian's north (left) flank and stormed their forces southwards, then chased the retreating Egyptians westward, eventually stopping in face of strong anti-tank Egyptian positions.” With the end of Operation Assaf, the Israelis cleared the area of mine’s and built defensive lines in case the Egyptians came back, before being withdrawn to take part in Operation Horev. 

    1950(28thof Kislev, 5711): Sixty-six year old, the Labor Zionist leader “served as the secretary of the World Union of Poalei Zion” passed away today in Haifa.

    1952: Yigael Yadin resigned today, over disagreements with prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion about cuts to the military budget, which he argued should be at least one third of the national budget

    1952:Mordechai Maklef became the I.D.F.’s Chief of Staff

    1953: To the amazement of the Israeli public, Ben-Gurion resigned as Prime Minister and retired to the small farming community of Sde Boker in the Negev.

    1959: The Broadway production of “Saratoga” Harold Arlen’s musical adaptation of Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber “opened at the Winter Garden Theatre where it ran for 80 performances.”

    1959: David Susskind produced “Simply Heavenly” on The Play of the Week.

    1967:How Now, Dow Jones is a musical comedy by Academy Award winner Elmer Bernstein, Tony Award nominee Carolyn Leigh and Max Shulman opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

    1970(9thof Kislev, 5731): Cartoonist Rube Goldberg passed away. The winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for cartooning made his name synonymous with complicated ways to perform simple tasks.

    1972(2ndof Tevet, 5733): Eighty-nine year old German born composer and conductor Klaus Pringsheim, Sr. the father of “Klaus Pringsheim, Jr., who attended Bunce Court School, a German-Jewish refugee school in Kent, England during World War II” and the brother-in-law of Thomas Mann passed away today in Tokyo.


    1977(27thof Kislev, 5738): Peter Goldmark passed away.  Born in Hungary in 1906, Goldmark was an engineer who played a major role in the development of the long-playing record and the first commercial color television.

    1981: Philip C. Habib, President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Jerusalem today.

    1984: In his review of the new four hour made for television film version of “The Sun Also Rises” John J. O’Connor reminds us that “the anti-Semitism in Hemingway’s work clearly remains a problem” as can be seen by the depiction of the fictional “Robert Cohn.”  He is “the New York Jew who is never quite swell enough to be fully accepted into…the special inner circle of” Jake Barnes and who “emerges as an obnoxious whiner with a pronounced streak of nastiness.” (Hemingway is but one of a series of noted American writers whom critics felt dabbled in anti-Semitism, something that was not mentioned when Pappa was busy “fighting fascism” during the Spanish Civil War.)

    1986:Arab and Jew:Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land by David K. Shipler is among the twelve books chosen by the New York TimesBook Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

    1986: NBC broadcast the first of the two part series “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna” written by James Goldman and co-starring Amy Irving.

    1987: About 10,000 Israelis held a rally today to demand that the Kremlin open the gates for Soviet Jews to emigrate. ''We say to the Soviet leader, free my people,'' Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told the crowd. ''We want him to know we will not forget our brethren in the Soviet Union.''''No more gestures, no more tokens,'' President Chaim Herzog said. ''For us, the outcome of the discussion of human rights will be the litmus test for the success of this summit.

    1988: President-elect George Bush announced the appointment of Thomas B. Pickering who has served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel since 1985 to be the next United States representative to the United Nations.

    1988: Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.  Given what transpired afterwards including the Second Intifada, he must have had his fingers crossed.

    1990: In a column entitled “Abroad at Home; A Broken Dream” Anthony Lewis described the anguish of Yuval Neria, a decorated war hero and poet who became a clinical a psychologist and author the semi-auto-biographical bestselling novel entitled “Fire.”

    1992(12thof Kislev, 5753: Hamas murders three Israeli soldiers and proclaims the killings to be acts of heroism.

    1993(23rd of Kislev, 5754):Palestinian gunmen killed a Jewish settler and his son today and wounded three other sons near the West Bank town of Hebron, apparently in revenge for the weekend killing of an Arab by settlers.

    1994:In a sign of Washington's mounting frustration with Yasir Arafat and his Palestinian Authority, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said today that Israel cannot be expected to withdraw its army from the occupied West Bank until Palestinian attacks on Israelis come to an end.
    1997:Inbal Segev, a world-renowned female cellist who grew up in Israel,made her Carnegie Hall debut today

    1997: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 1997 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including American Pastoral by Phillip Roth and The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick.

    1998: In “Beauty Queen,” published today, Grace Mirabella described how Estee Lauder “turned cosmetic into a big business”

    1998(18th of Kislev, 5759): Dr Martin Rodbell an American biochemist who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine passed away. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    2003: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including The Complete Lyrics of Frank LoesserEdited by Robert Kimball and Steve Nelson

    2004:In his talk, "The Royal Court Preacher and the Hebrew Book: Early Enlightenment and Hebrew Publishing in Prussia, 1700-1750," Menachem Schmelzer examined the role of an influential figure in the Prussian court, the Christian theologian and scholar D.E. Jablonski, who founded the Hebrew press in Berlin in 1690.

    2004: “An IDF soldier of the Oketz canine unit was killed by a bomb, along with his dog, when a booby-trapped chicken coup exploded northwest of the Karni Crossing. Four soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire while evacuating him. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.”

    2005: Two days after the murder of five Israelis at a shopping mall, an IAF helicopter destroyed the car carrying a PRC leader.  The PRC is part of Hamas.  The attack is part of a targeted response designed to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank.

    2006:  Zachor? Who will remember that today is the 65th anniversary of “The Day that Will Live Infamy”?

    2006: The House of Representatives gave final passage to a bill aimed at forcing the Palestinians' ruling Hamas government to accept Israel and join negotiations toward a Palestinian state in formerly Israeli-occupied territory.

    2007(27 Kislev, 5768): Harvey David Luber, 71, son of Nathan and Anne Luber, passed away today. Born July 20, 1936 in Chicago, IL, he shared 52 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Elaine Roberta Barg, and was blessed with 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Jackie Luber; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Mark Mackey; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and Steve Mink; and son, preceded in death, Sheldon Luber. While Harvey was justifiably proud of being graduate of Northwestern University with a double major in Chemistry and Biology with a minor in Humanities and he was even prouder of having earned MSJS (Master of Science in Judaic Studies) from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, Illinois. As a member of Temple B’Nai Israel and previously Congregation Agudith Achim, Harvey devoted 40 years of his life to educating young people and serving in many board positions within the community. He also served as Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas for many years. He believed in education as a way to understand one another, speaking to schools about the Holocaust and church groups about comparative religion. He shared his love and knowledge of photography and Judaism by teaching at the Arkansas Art Center and UALR. He was an outstanding teacher, role model and friend and touched many people’s lives of all ages. He was my friend, a chever in the truest sense of the term.  As long as a camera shutter clicks, his students open books or one of us chuckles over the memory of unique “Harvey moment” he will always live amongst us.

    2007:  As a testament to the strength and creativity of small town Judaism in the 21st century, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah hosts a Shabbat Chanukah potluck complete with latkes and apple sauce.

    2007: On Friday, the fourth day of Chanukah, four Jewish subway riders were approached by a group of ten people who offered holiday greetings.  When the Jews responded with greetings of Happy Chanukah, they were pelted with anti-Semitic remarks before being beaten.

    2008: The First Annual Goldstein Lecturein memory of Jonathan Goldstein is presented by David Schoenbaum at Agudas Achim. Schoenbaum’s topic is "Fiddlers on the Roof: How They Got Up There, and How They Got Down.” Professor Jonathan Goldstein was a long time member of Agudas Achim and had a joint appointment in the UI History Dept and Classics Dept. He was an ordained rabbi and his research was in Jewish Studies. He was considered the expert on the Hasmonean period.

    2008: Barbara Streisand is among those honored by the Kennedy Center for her contribution to Arts in America.

    2008: In The Washington Post, critic Jonathan Yardley’s list of the fifteen best books he reviewed in 2008 include For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder That Shocked Chicago, by Simon Baatz and The Spies of Warsaw by Jewish author Alan Furst.

    2009(22ndof Kislev, 5770): Roy Solomonoff, a pioneer, in Artificial Intelligence, passed away today. (As reported by John Markoff)

    2009:Poets and writers from Israel and all over the world come together in Jerusalem at Beit Avi Chai and  Mishkenot Sha'ananim, for the opening session of the third annual Kisufim Conference,  which aims to "encourages encounters between Israeli creativity - in Hebrew and other languages - and world Jewish creativity that is both multilingual and multicultural," according to the organizers.

    2009: The 20thWashington Jewish Film Festival includes a screening of “Human Failure,” a film that “documents the bizarre competition that developed between bureaucrats as to how to organize the robbery of the German Jews before they were ever expelled or sent to their deaths.”

    2009:The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes a screening of “The Voice of Jerusalem,” a documentary that examines the city’s “glorious feature” and “bleak future.”

    2009:Galilee police arrested two additional suspects in an attempt to extort millions of shekels from McDonald's Israel. The suspects, both 22-year-old residents of Tira, are believed to have filmed a short video that they claimed showed extremely poor food safety standards at a McDonald's chain.

    2009: A four day conference entitled "A Century of Yiddish: 1908-2008" opened in Jerusalem

    2009. The third annual Kisufim Conference opened at Beit  Avi Chai and at Mishkenot.

    2009: Ambassador Michael Oren addressed a breakfast session at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's biennial convention during which he "bashed" J Street as being "out of the mainstream."

    2010:Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a religious ruling that forbids renting homes to gentiles, and more specifically to Arabs.  The ruling, which became public today, comes less than two months after leading rabbis in the northern Israeli city of Safed signed on to a letter drafted by the city's chief rabbi calling on Jews not to rent to non-Jews in the northern Israeli city, as well as a month after rabbis in the haredi Orthodox Israeli city of Bnei Brak issued a religious ruling forbidding residents to rent apartments to African refugees, echoing a similar ruling for southern Tel Aviv.

    2010: The East Coast Premier of Jews In Space is scheduled to take place at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival.
    2010: The Jewish Study Center is scheduled to present a program entitled The Military Siddur — and Soldiers’ Prayers in which Michael Bloom will look at the special prayerbook for Jewish members of the Armed Services and the unique prayer for and about military personnel and our national security.

    2010(30thKislev, 5711): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    2010(30thKislev, 5711): Eighty-six year old “Arnold Hans Weiss, who fled to the United States from Nazi Germany as a 13-year-old and returned as an American soldier during World War II, becoming a principal in the investigation that led to the discovery of Hitler’s last will and political testament, died today in Rockville, Md. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2010:A farewell ceremony was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem today for the international firefighting forces that assisted Israel in putting out the recent fire in the Carmel Forest region.

    2010:Former European Union Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein said that Jews have no future in the Netherlands and recommended that they emigrate to the US or Israel, Dutch magazine Elsevier reported today. According to a book on Dutch Judaism, released this week, Bolkestein, former leader of the right-wing VVD party, said that due to anti-Semitism amongst young Moroccans Jews who look like Jews - those who wear kippahs or payot - should leave Holland for their own safety.

    2011: The Israeli documentary “I Shot My Love” is scheduled to be shown tonight at the 22nd Annual Jewish Film Festival in Washington, DC.

    2011: The Northern Virginia Legislative Reception complete with “light kosher buffet” is scheduled to take placed at the JCC of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, VA.

    2011: Seventieth Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.  How many will remember “the day that will live in infamy”?

    2011:Israel's Yav Vashem Holocaust memorial said today it has received its largest private donation ever - a $25 million gift from U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Yad Vashem said most of the money will go to its International School for Holocaust Studies, which has trained thousands of non-Jewish educators from dozens of countries.

    2011: Today, arepresentative body of medical residents voted in favor of a draft deal with the Finance Ministry to end a months-long labor dispute.

    2011: Moshe “Katsav arrived at Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla to begin serving his seven-year sentence.”

    2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor “First Friday Book Group.”

    2012: In Fairfax, VA, Gesher Jewish Day School is scheduled to sponsor a Sheldon Low Concert

    2012: “Human Rights Shabbat” is scheduled to start this evening at Adat Reyim in Springfield, VA.

    2012: Jewish Book Month comes to an end.

    2012: Roei Fridman, Elyasaf Bashari, Netanel Lesser, Yishai Ben Yaaov and Yishai Tsarfaty are scheduled to perform “Hamshushalym” at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

    2012: 71st anniversary of “The Day of Infamy.”

    2012: Two IDF soldiers and a border policeman were injured lightly this afternoon when a group of about 40 Palestinian protesters threw stones in their direction in the northern West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum.

    2012: As Israeli politicians shift alliances as part of the current election campaigns, her two neighbors conduct politics in a different style.  The world watches and wonders about the possible use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons on its own citizens in a civil war that has claimed the lives of mostly innocent civilians.  At the same time, mobs in Egypt clash over President Morsi’s new Islamist constitution and his granting to himself (temporarily of course) of sweeping powers that make his actions immune from judicial review.

    2012: “Anarchy in the U.S.A.” published today provides a review of Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich

    2012(23rdof Kislev, 5773): Seventy-three year old Saul Steinberg the Wharton graduate who tried to use Leasco as the base on which to build a financial empire based on a series of acquisitions passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2012(23rdof Kislev, 5773): Eighty-two year old Table Tennis champion Marty Reisman passed away today (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2013: JOFA’s 8th International Conference of Feminism and Orthodoxy is scheduled to open this evening at John Jay College in New York.

    2013: The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “An Evening in Honor of Yehuda Amicahi.”

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present “Jackie Hoffman’s A Chanukah Charol.”

    2013: The IDF said today that an Israeli military vehicle damaged by a bomb attack set off by Syrians on the Golan Heights was the first “targeted bombing of Israeli forces” since the start of the Syrian civil war. (As reported by Reuters and Forwards)

    2013: The Traditional Shabbat Minyan remembers those who answered the call to service as it observes “Pearl Harbor Shabbat” at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2013: Kansas-raised Jew Paul Rudd is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live this weekend. (As reported by Jordan Hoffman

    2013(4thof Tevet, 5774): Eighty-three year old Jack Fishman “who helped develop naloxone, a powerful medication that has saved countless people from fatal overdoses of heroin and other narcotics” passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley

    2013(4thof Tevet, 5774): Eight-two year old Olympic gold medal winning coxswain and rowing coach Allen Rosenberg passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2013: Germany’s Bild newspaper reported today that “German has signed a multimillion arms deal with Israel” which will provide the Jewish state with two guided missile destroyers that can be used her natural gas pipelines. (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

    2013: Acclaimed Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin is scheduled to be granted Israeli citizenship in a special ceremony this evening in Jerusalem.

    2014: In Bethesda, MD, Ruth Marcus, “an op-ed columnist and member of the editorial board of The Washington Post” is scheduled to speak at the 54thannual meeting of Congregation Beth El.

    2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host The Ruth Spector Memorial Mah Johngg Tournament.

    2014: The UK Jewish Comedy Festival is scheduled to “Comedy Club 4 Kids.”

    2014: On day after the story of Dinah is read as part of the weekly sedrah, Lifetime is scheduled to broadcast the first in a two part series based on The Red Tent, a novel that “took the shards of Dinah’s story, told in a fairly short chapter of Genesis, and recast them as a layered tale of sisterhood, friendship and love.” (As reported Debra Nussbaum Cohen)

    2014: The New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of 2014” published the following works by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: American Innovations by Rivka Galchen, Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich, The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman, A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon, Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murder by Bettina Stangneth, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein, Thirteen Days In September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein and World Order by Henry Kissinger.




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    December 8

    1522:David Reubeni left Khaibar today “and went to Nubia in northern Sudan, where he claimed to be a descendant of Muhammad. When he spoke to audiences of Jews, he told of large Jewish kingdoms in the east, possibly referring to the Jewish community at Cochin. The Portuguese had just conquered Goa.”

    1596( Kislev, 5357):In Mexico, Luis de Carvajal el Mozo, his mother, and three sisters were burned at the stake together with five other Crypto-Jews who were all accused of Judaizing.
    1609: “Biblioteca Ambrosiana” opens its reading room, the second public library of Europe.  Located in Milan, this library has been cited as a valuable repository for documents about the Jews of Italy including the Ashkenazic Ambrosian Bible which contains a graphic depiction of Ezekiel’s heavenly chariot.

    1783(13thof Kislev, 5544): Isaac Touro, the native of Amsterdam who served as “hazzan” for Jesuath Israel, the Sephardic synagogue in Newport, RI. Unlike most American Jews, Touro was a loyalist.  After the war he moved to Kingston where he passed away. For some his biggest claim to fame is that he was the father of Judah Touro.

    1784(25thof Kislev, 5545): Chanukah

    1813: Birthdate of August Belmont, the German born financier who “immigrated to New York City in 1837 after becoming the American representative of the Rothschild family's banking house in Frankfurt.”  Belmont carved a niche in American finance and became a leading member of the Democrat Party. Prominent socially, he gave his name to the famed New York racetrack, Belmont Park as well as the third leg of the Triple Crown, “The Belmont Stakes.”

    1816: Birthdate of Austro-Hungarian write and political leader Adolf Fischhof.

    1822(24thof Kislev, 5583): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

    1822(24thof Kislev, 5583): Fifty-five year old German author, published and bookseller Saul Ascher, passed away in Berlin.

    1841(25thof Kislev, 5602): Chanukah

    1850: Seventy year old anti-Semite Georg Svedrup, the Norwegian political leader who “felt that it would be incompatible with Judaism to deal honestly with Christians, writing that ‘no person of the Jewish faith may come within Norway's borders, far less reside there’” passed away

    1851: “Religious Freedom” published today reported that the U.S. Department of State has replied to a letter from Rabbi Lilienthal who is the spiritual leader for three congregations in New York concerning a proposed treaty with the Swiss Confederacy.  The State Department assured Dr. Lilienthal that the United States would ratify any treaty with the Swiss Confederacy that discriminated against citizens of the United States who were Jewish.

    1851: In New York City, Rabbi Raphall delivered a lecture tonight on the history of Hungary and the Hungarian people.  The talk would cover that nation’s whole history and would not be a recap of its recent efforts to gain its independence.

    1854: Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogma of Immaculate Conception which holds that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin. This is the same Pope Pius IX who was responsible for the 1858 abduction of a six-year old Jewish child in what became known as the infamous Edgardo Mortara Affair.

    1856: Count Pawel Strzelecki sent a message from Istanbul to London that the Ottoman government “was not willing to provide the land for the construction of” a railroad between Jaffa and Jerusalem which would delay construction for years to come.

    1859(12thof Kislev, 5620): Eighty year old Markus Bär Friedenthal a German banker who devoted his “free time” to Jewish studies passed away today at Breslau.

    1865: Birthdate of Jacques-Salmon Hadamard developer of the Prime Number Theorem.

    1869: In Rennes, France, Emile Worms and his wife gave birth to Rene Worms the academic who was a member of the “Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques of the Institut de France” and who “was a devoted adherent of Judaism.”

    1869: In New York, Rabbi Moses Mielziner and Rosette Mielziner gave birth to portrait artist Leo Mielziner.

    1871(25thof Kislev, 5632): First Day of Chanukah; light the second candle in the evening.

    1871(25thof Kislev, 5632): Seventy-three year old Jacob Ettlinger, the Orthodox Rabbi “referred to as the Aruch la-Ner” and who “headed the protest of the one hundred and seventy-three rabbis against the Brunswick Conference of 1844” passed away today.

    1871: On Friday evening, a Shabbat Chanukah party was held at Concordia Hall on Avenue A in New York City.

    1875: Several thousand people came to the Hebrew Fair at Gilmore’s Garden today.  The fair is a fundraiser for Mount Sinai Hospital and so far has been quite successful in reaching its goal.

    1876: Funeral services were held today for William Meyer, Aaron Dietz and his brother Abram Dietz at Temple Israel on Greene Avenue in Brooklyn. The three were among the victims of the Brooklyn Theatre Fire that claimed almost three hundred lives.  Following the service, the young men were buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery.

    1876: A deck hand named Dixon murdered a Jewish peddler named Bachman on board the Fair Play, a steamboat that was entering the mouth of the Old River as it traveled between Faisonia and Vicksburg, MS.  The packs belonging to the 45 year-old Bachman had been rifled two nights earlier and Bachman had accused Dixon of the theft.

    1878: It was reported today that New York City is home to 375 houses of worship, 25 of which are Jewish.

    1880: According to “Nervous and Mental Pathology,” Dr. Edward Sptizka’s pamphlet that studies “the comparative pathology of insanity as illustrated by the different races in the New York City Asylum for the Insane” only 10.29% of the Jews suffer from paralytic insanity as compared to 13.29% for Anglo-Saxons. Jews, who “values intellectual culture…enjoys a comparative immunity from paralysis.”

    1881: It was reported today that discussion at Constantinople concerning plans for Jews to settle in Syria has brought forth a counter-proposal from the Spanish Ambassador.  He offered a plan that would allow Jews to settle on “Crown lands in Castille” and a promise that “any Jew who goes to Spain will be treated with the utmost liberality.”  (Considering the history of the Jews of Spain, this is peculiar entry to say the least)

    1882: The Hebrew Leader a theologically conservative New York weekly newspaper edited by Jonas Bondy published its last edition today. The paper which first appeared in May, 1850, was unique in offering a department dedicated to Masonic News.

    1884: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil officiated at the marriage of Belle Glazier, the daughter of Mr. S.W. Glazier to Jacob S. Bernheimer at the bride’s home on East 67thStreet in Manhattan.

    1884: Adolph Cohn wrote a letter from Harvard University at Cambridge, Massachusetts, challenging the contention of the New York Times that Ludvoic Halevy is the first Jew elected to the French Academy.  “Although of Jewish descent of his father’s side” (Leon Halevy and Uncle Fromental Halevy composer of La Juive) he is no more Jewish than his half –brother Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol who was also the son of Leon Halevy.

    1885: Birthdate of Joseph Sprinzak who served as Chairman of the Knesset for the first ten years of its existence (1949-1959)

    1886: The American Federation of Labor was founded at a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio.  The driving force behind the AFL was Samuel Gompers who would serve as the group’s long time President.

    1887: Perl Cajesky and another woman to whom her husband is allegedly married are being held as witnesses at Ward’s Island in an alleged Jewish love triangle. 

    1888: It was reported today that Ernistine Nolfen wants to be paid five thousand dollars by Noach Soenfield because, after paying for her passage from Poland and proposing marriage, he has changed his mind and does not want her for a wife.

    1889: “In Russia’s Holiest City” published today, recounted the traditional myth of how the ancient ruler of Kiev chose Orthodox Christianity. He heard representatives from all four major faith groups before making his decision.  Judaism was rejected because their representatives “were forced to confess” that “that they had been…from their country and were outcasts and wanders on the face of the earth” because of their sins.

    1890: “Literary Notes” published today described plans to commemorate “the thousandth anniversary of Saadia” in 1892 by publishing a collection of his works under the direction of Professor Joseph Derenbourg of the French Academy which will included a biography of Sasdia by Dr. Abraham Eliyahu Harkavi of St. Petersburg, Russia.

    1890: The Directors of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn purchased property at Ralph and Howard Avenues for $32,000 which will be the future home of a facility that will replace the current building on Stuyvesant Avenue which is too small to meet the society’s needs.

    1890: It was reported today that the American Committee planning the millennial anniversary of the birth of Saadia Gaon include Cyrus Adler of Johns Hopkins, Richard J.H. Gottheil of Columbia, Morris Jastrow, Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania and Jacob Schiff who will serve as treasurer.

    1892: The trial of Hermann Ahlwardt who is charged with slandering the Jews weapons manufacturer Ludwig Loewe was adjourned for the day when the anti-Semite’s doctor provided a certificate saying he was suffering from an attack of catarrh and could not appear in court.

    1892: The delegates at the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations who have met with President Harrison were reported today to have decided to hold their next meeting in New Orleans, LA.

    1895: In New York, Temple Emanu-El was filled this morning “by those who went to hear an address on “The Debt Humanity Owes to Heinrich Heine,” by Assistant Rabbi Joseph Silverman.

    1895: “The Great Hebrew Fair” published today described plans for the upcoming city-wide fund raiser under the leadership of Isidor Straus, President and Vice Presidents James Hoffman and Joseph B. Bloomingdale.

    1895: It was reported today that “the upcoming “ball of the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home promises to eclipse all former events of the kind given by this organization”

    1895: In New York, “an advertisement published today read ‘Wanted – Enlightened men who deprecate the attempt to raise race prejudice by Hermann Ahlwardt, to welcome the fanatic with ancient eggs”

    1895: “The anti-Semitic group in the Reichstag has laid upon the table of the chamber a proposal to forbid the free immigration of Jews and for the adoption of regulations under which their expulsion may be accomplished.”

    1900: Herzl met with Arminius Vámbéry in Budapest where discussed the Turkish loan.

    1900: Birthdate of outfielder Mose Hirsch Solomon who was nicknamed the “Rabbi of Swat.”

    1900(16thof Kislev, 5661): Eighty-seven year old singer, composer and pianist Henry Russell who was a great-nephew of the British Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel and whose sons were “conductor Sir Landon Ronald Russell and impresario Henry Russell, passed away today.

    1901: Birthdate of Doris Caroline Abrahams who gained fame as Caryl Brahms “an English critic, novelist, and journalist” who specialized in the theatre and ballet and who also wrote film, radio and television scripts.”

    1905(10th of Kislev, 5666): Zadoc Kahn, the Alsatian born Chief Rabbi of France passed away. A noted scholar, he was active in Jewish communal affairs including leading the Alliance Israélite Universelle and serving as President of the Société des Études Juives, an organization that he had helped to found.

    1910: “Salome” an opera based on Jewish author Hedwig Lachman’s German translation of the French play “Salomé” by Oscar Wilde was performed for the first time in London.

    1911: In New York, Kate (Neilecht) and Benjamin (Benzion) Jacob, a compositor for a foreign-language newspaper, gave birth to Leo Jacob who gained fame as actor Lee J. Cobb whose many screen triumphs included roles in ”On The Waterfront,” “Three Faces of Eve” and “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.”  He passed away in 1976.

    1911: Jews in Palestine organize the Red Magen David society with the purpose of sending doctors and nurses to Tripoli. Earlier in the week the Anglo-Palestine Company in Jaffa donated 1,000 Francs for a fund for injured Turkish soldiers in Tripoli.

    1912: “Over 1,000 people gathered at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to hear Boston writer Mary Antin” author of the recently published The Promised Land, “a memoir of her emigration from Russia to Boston's South End” “make a plea for more aid to support Jewish immigrant girls arriving alone in the United States.”  

    1913: Birthdate of poet Delmore Schwartz. The prolific poet won the Bollingen Prize in 1960 and was the inspiration of the title figure in Saul Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift.

    1913: In France,Louis-Lucien Klotz completed his service as Minister of the Interior.

    1914: Irving Berlin's musical "Watch your Step" premiered in New York.

    1915: Birthdate of American screenwriter Ernest Lehman. His credits include the scripts for “The King and I,” “North by Northwest,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf?”  He passed away in 2005. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1916: In Brooklyn Essie (née Goldstein) and animator/producer Max Fleischer gave birth to director Richard Fleisher whose films include the Oscar winning documentary “Design for Death” as well as the “Boston Strangler” and “Tora! Tora!”

    1917: British troops began to bombard Turkish positions west of Jerusalem marking the start of the final assault to seize the City of David from the Ottomans.

    1917: Contributions to the $5,000,000 fund for the Jewish war relief and welfare work in the army and navy reached a total of $2,400,000 today. The largest individual contributions received today were $15,000 from Mr. and Mrs. S.R.. Travis, $10,000 from the Altman Foundation and $5,00 from Michael Friedsam, President of B. Altman & Co.

    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.

    1919: Yitak Jacov Liss who had been 16 years old when he enlisted completed his service as a member of the British Jewish Legion 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. (The diary he kept provided an eyewitness account of the service of the Jewish soldiers serving in Palestine during World War I)

    1919: Birthdate of Mieczysław Weinberg, a native of Warsaw who lost most of his family in the Holocaust and who became a major Soviet composer after he moved there in 1939.

    1919: Birthdate of Sidney H. Radner an amateur magician who became the unlikely steward of a trove of Harry Houdini artifacts, which he built into one of the world’s largest Houdini collections,

    1922: In Berlin, Lucie Brasch and Ernst L. Freud gave birth to Lucian Freud, the German-born British realist painter who was the grandson of Sigmund Freud. (As reported by William Grimes)

    1922: Birthdate of historian and self-styled left-wing activist Howard Zinn. Zinn wrote A People’s History of United States.

    1925: Birthdate of the multi-talented entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

    1926: In Berlin, “Johannes Fest, a conservative Roman Catholic and staunch anti-Nazi schoolteacher who was dismissed from his post when the Nazis came to power in 1933” and his wife gave birth to Joachim Fest the German authorbest known for his writings and public commentary on Nazi Germany, including an important biography of Adolf Hitler and books about Albert Speer and the German Resistance to Nazism.”

    1930: Birthdate of Shepsel Ber Nudelman, the Bronx native who gained fame as Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland.

    1932: Political activist and social reformer Belle Moskowitz broke several bones when she fell down the steps in front of her home in New York today.  This accident would lead to a fatal embolism which would bring about her premature death in January of 1933 at the age of 55.

    1933:In an article entitled “John Barrymore in a Pictorial Conception of Elmer Rice's Play 'Counsellor-at-Law'” Mordaunt Hall provides a description of the successful efforts to move this drama from Broadway to Hollywood.

    1936(24thof Kislev, 5697): Thirty-eight year old David Freedman – “The King of the Gagwriters” passed away today.

    1939: Six Jews and 25 non-Jewish Poles, accused of committing acts of sabotage, are shot in Occupied Warsaw.

    1940: Jewish immigrants who had entered Eretz Israel illegally aboard the Atlantic were told that those aboard the Patria would stay in the country but they would be deported.

    1941: The Nazis brought 700 Jews to Chelmo for final experiment of the new method of killing. In groups of 80, the Jews were driven around the woods in a special van, gassed to death by the fumes of the exhaust. A thousand Jews a day for the next four days go through the same test.  While this was seen as in improvement over the other forms of murder used by the Nazis, it was not efficient enough.  These mobile vans would give way to the gas chambers. 

    1941: Four thousand Jews of Novogrudok, Belorussia, are killed.

    1941(18th of Kislev, 5702): Eighty-one year old Jewish historian Simon Dubnow was murdered in Riga because he was too old and sick to travel to Rumbula where he would have been massacred with other Jews. There is no way this blog can do justice to this Jewish Intellectual Giant.  The tragedy is that a mind like this lost its life in the mud of Nazi murder spree.

    1941(18th of Kislev, 5702): As the Riga Ghetto was being liquidated 81 year old Jewish historian Simon Dubnow was murdered in Riga because he was too old and sick to travel to Rumbula where he would have been massacred with other Jews. There is no way this blog can do justice to this Jewish Intellectual Giant.  The tragedy is that a mind like this lost its life in the mud of Nazi murder spree. Even as he faced death he expressed his faith in the value of history when he told the Jews of Riga, "Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"("Jews, write and record"). 

    1941(18th of Kislev, 5702): Second day of the Rumbula Massacre during which 25,000 Jews were murdered

    1941: FDR called for a declaration of war against Japan on the same day Germany was entering into the most horrific stage of the Final Solution.

    1941: The Screen Writers Guild responded to yesterday’s attack on Pearl Harbor by forming the Hollywood Writers Mobilization Against the War, a body to organize writers for the war effort chaired by Robert Rossen.

    1941: Williams College undergraduate Bruce Sundlun who would become the second Jewish Governor of Rhode Island volunteer to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program.

    1941: Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal enlisted in the United States.  His request for combat training led to him becoming a much decorated B-17 pilot who flew more than twice the required missions over German.

    1942: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress, met with other Jewish leaders and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to discuss the recently revealed plight of European Jews. “In the Abandonment of the Jews author David S. Wyman points out that this gathering the Oval Office was ‘the only one concerning the Holocaust that FDR ever granted to a group of Jewish leaders’ Estimates of two million Jewish dead were given to him.  Roosevelt responded by saying that official U.S. sources …’have given us proof that confirms the horrors discussed by you.’” Based on this meeting, FDR knew but did nothing except allow his previous made comments about ‘doing all in our power to be of service to your people in this tragic moment.’”

    1942: The German SS organise the last deportation of Ternopil Jews to death camp in Belzec, when 1,400 Jews were sent there. The chief of the Gestapo, SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Müller, bore overall responsibility for the mass murder of the Jews of Ternopil and Berezhany which were located in the western Ukraine.

    1945: Birthdate of Russian volleyball player Valdimir Patkin, who competed for the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summer Olympics and 1976 Summer Olympics” before becoming "the Secretary General of the Russian Volleyball Federation."

     Birthdate of actor and composer of John Rubinstein, the son of Arthur Rubinstein

    1946: Dan Keinan photographed “a typical ship carrying illegal immigrants to Mandatory Palestine.”

    1947(25th of Kislev, 5708): First Day of Chanukah; in the evening, kindle the second light.

    1947: Birthdate of Chava Alberstein

    an Israeli singer, lyricist, composer, musical arranger and an actress who is one of the most important Israeli singers, with a career spanning more than forty years.  In 2007, she released her latest work “Shvil HeChalav” or “Milky Way.”

    1947: As the Arabs tighten the noose around the Jewish community in Jerusalem, trucks arrived carrying 60,000 eggs. 

    1947(25th of Kislev, 5708): Tragedy struck when Yehoshua GLoberman, a senior Haganah official was gunned down when his car was stopped at Latrun.  This is the same Latrun that was the fortress held by the Jordanian Arab Legion cutting off the city of David from Tel Aviv.

    1947: Egypt and Lebanon asked to be heard during the UN debates.

    1947: The UN rejects the request by the Jewish Agency to address the Security Council since the organization did not want to set a precedent that allowed an entity other than a country to participate in UN debates.

    1948: During the War for Independence, Uri Avnery, age 25, who would describe his view of the war sixty years later in 1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem is wounded while serving as a private soldier

    1948:Jordan annexes “Arabic Palestine.”  The Kingdom of Trans-Jordan (Across the Jordan) will drop the “Trans” prefix in recognition of its holdings on both sides of the Jordan River.  Obviously, there was no thought to creating a state of Palestine on the part of the Arabs since the only thing that changed this illegal land holding was the war in 1967.

    1948:Britain demands that the Security Council’s Negev subcommittee implement sanctions against Israel because Israel continues to surround an Egyptian force in the Negev.  The British did not seem to bothered by the fact that the Egyptian force was part of an act of aggression taken to contravene a resolution of the United Nations.

    1948: At kibbutz Ein HaHoresh, Israeli diplomat, historian, and poet Ya’akov Morris and journalist Sadie Morris, Jewish immigrants from Great Britain gave birth to historian Benny Morris.

    1948:King Abdullah denounces Arab League-sponsored Palestine Army regime in Gaza.

    1948:Egypt announces dissolution of Moslem Brotherhood, a fanatical national religious organization. [I guess they didn’t do such a good job since the Brotherhood came out on top in the elections of 2011.]

    1949: Birthdate of Raymond “Ray” Shulman, “a British musician and the youngest of three brothers that were in the innovative British progressive rock band, Gentle Giant.”

    1949:Birthdate of Nancy Jane Meyers “an American film director, producer and screenwriter” who “is the writer, producer and director of several big-screen successes, including The Parent Trap (1998), Something's Gotta Give (2003), The Holiday (2006), and It's Complicated (2009). Her second solo venture, What Women Want (2000), was at one point the most successful film ever directed by a woman, taking in $183 million in the United States.

    1949: Burma recognizes the state of Israel.

    1949: Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) married Helayne McNorton

    1949: In a ground-breaking precedent, the United Nations established UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees with a budget of $54,900,000.  Thus the UN played a key role in creating Palestine Refugee Problem.  No comparable UN organization was established when Jews were forced to flee from a variety of Moslem and/or Arab nations.

    1949: U.S. premiere of “On the Town” a cinematic adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical of the same named with a screenplay by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, co-directed by Stanley Donen, co-produced by Arthur Freed co-starring Jules Munshin as “Ossie” and featuring Hans Conried as ”Francois, the head waiter.”

    1950: In Nevada, Gus Greenbaum “lobbied the Clark County Commission to create the unincoported township of Paradise” today

    1952: Yitzchak ben Zvi was elected the second President of Israel succeeding Chaim Weitzman, who had died in office.

    1953: Birthdate of Dr. Norman Finkelstein.

    1958: “Everybody’s Broker” published today described the powerful role played by 67 year old Sidney J. Weinberg the partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co who is modern day version of Bernard Baruch.

    1960: U.S. premiere of “The Sundowners” directed by Fred Zinnemann, with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin.

    1960: A special television version of “Peter Pan” with music by Jule Styne, Mark Chartap and Trude Rittman and lyrics by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Carolyn Leigh was broadcast today.

    1965: Abe Burrows'"Cactus Flower" premiered in New York. (Would there be theatre in America without the Jews?)

    1966(25thof Kislev, 5727): Chanukah

    1974: Anti-Zionist trials begin in Moscow today.

    1976: U.S. premiere of “A Star is Born” starring Barbra Streisand who also co-produced the film.

    1977: Sir Zelman Cowen was sworn in as Governor-General of Australia.

    1977:Rosalyn Yalow became the first American-born and American-trained woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science when she accepted the Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work in the development of radioimmunoassay, a technique that allows scientists to measure minute amounts of hormones and other substances in human blood.(As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1978(8th of Kislev, 5739): Eighty-year old Golda Meir, passed away.  A Russian immigrant to the United States, this former Milwaukee school teacher would make aliyah in the 1920’s. She would become one of the most influential leaders of the Zionist movement whose career included raising the funds that made it possible for Israel to purchase arms at the time of its creation, clandestine negotiations with the King of Jordan designed to avert war in 1948 to serving as Israel’s Foreign Minister and Prime Minister.  One of her most memorable quotes came when Sadat made his visit to Jerusalem.  In this one statement she showed a depth of understanding rare in world leaders.  “Long after we have forgiven you for killing our children, we will still be trying to forgive you for turning our children into killers.”  As a socialist and an idealist she believed in and sought peace.  As a pragmatist, she understood the necessity of self-defense even if it meant war. 

    1979: Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Parisian born Jew who converted to Catholicism in 1940 at the age of 13 “received episcopal consecration …from Cardinal François Marty”

    1982(22nd of Kislev, 5743): Eighty-seven year old General Haim Laskov, former Chief of Staff of the IDF, passed away.

    1983(2ndof Tevet, 5744): 8th Day of Chanukah

    1983(2ndof Tevet, 5744): Sixty-three  year old General Haim Laskov, a former chief of staff of the Israeli passed away today in Tel Aviv.

    1984: “Biloxi Blues, a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon premiered at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.”

    1984(14th of Kislev, 5745): Eighty-four year Luther Adler, a stage and screen actor who starred in ''Fiddler on the Roof'' on Broadway, died today at his home in Kutztown, Pa., after a long illness (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    1985(25th of Kislev, 5746): Chanukah
    1985:The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 by David S. Wyman and The Periodic Table by Primo Levi; translated by Raymond Rosenthal are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year

    1987: Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began an intifada, or uprising.

    1987: Sir Joshua Abraham Hassan completed his second term as Chief Minister of Gibraltar

    1988: “Yasir Arafat said today that the Palestine Liberation Organization accepted the existence of the state of Israel. His statement, which he presented as a milestone, was immediately dismissed in Israel and greeted coldly by the United States.

    1990(21st of Kislev, 5751): Director and playwright Martin Ritt passed away.

    1991: “Nick & Nora” a musical written by Arthur Laurents with music by Charles Strouse based on character from The Thin Man opened on Broadway.

    1992(13th of Kislev, 5753):  Journalist William Shawn passed away. Born William Chon in 1907, the Chicago native was the editor of the New Yorker Magazine from 1952 to 1987.

    1993: Upon being named today as budget director by New York’s incoming Mayor, Abraham Lackman said “he hoped to bring some new approaches to budget balancing…so the city can avoid tax increases.”

    1994(5th of Tevet, 5755):  Israel Aaron Maisels, popularly known as “Isie” Maisels, passed away at the age of 89. He was fondly remembered as a leading member of the bar and a respected leader of the Jewish Community in South Africa.

    1994: Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with Yasser Arafat to express the Clinton Administration’s displeasure with the failure of the Palestinian Authority to provide the level of security that will make possible the transfer of territory to PA control.

    1996:  Michael and Susan Dell attend the groundbreaking for the Dell Jewish Community Campus.

    1996: In “Symbol on a Hill” Serge Schmemann reviews a series of recent books about Jerusalem including “City of Stone:The Hidden History of Jerusalem”by Meron Benvenisti, “Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths” by Karen Armstrong, “ City of the Great King: Jerusalem From David to the Present” edited by Nitza Rosovsky, “Jerusalem In 3000 Years” by Nachum Tim Gidal and “Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century” by Martin Gilbert

    1997(9th of Kislev, 5758):Eighty-seven year old Leon Poliakov, a historian of anti-Semitism who testified at major war crimes trials, died today in France.

    2002: The New York Timeslist of the Best Books of 2002 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including White Christmas': Irving Berlin's Dream by Barry Gwen.

    2002: Final performance of Jewish playwright Clifford Odets’ masterpiece Awake and Sing at the Timleline Theatre in Chicago, Ill.

    2003: A special two day lighting tribute began marking the 110th anniversary of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) with illumination of the Empire State Building with the organization's colors of blue and green. The illumination marked the founding of the Council at the Jewish Women's Congress held at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    2004(25th of Kislev, 5765): First Day of Chanukah; kindle the second light in the evening.

    2004(25th of Kislev, 5765): David Brudnoy, Boston radio talk show host, passed away. Born in Minnesota, Brudony was living proof that one could be a popular radio personality, discussing controversial subjects while maintaining a basic level of civility.

    2004: U.S. premiere of “Blade: Trinity” directed and written by David S. Goyer based on a character created by Marv Wolfman.

    2005: Delegates to an international conference have accepted a new Red Cross emblem, paving the way for Israel to join the humanitarian movement after nearly six decades of exclusion, officials said today. The 192 signatories of the Geneva Conventions approved the new "red crystal" emblem. A number of Muslim countries again tried to block Israel's path into the Red Cross movement by voting against the proposal after three days of negotiations in Geneva. "The most important thing is the result," said Noam Yifrach, head of the Magen David Adom, after receiving a congratulatory call from Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the board of governors of the American Red Cross.

    2005: Avi Saig a member of the IDF who died when his APC rolled over during a training exercise was laid to rest in Holon’s Military Cemetery.

    2005(7th of Kislev, 5766): Sixty-nine year old Kalman Ruttenstein,”the fashion director for Bloomingdale’s” passed away today. (As reported by Eric Wilson)

    2005: Israeli mathematician Robert Auman shared the Nobel Prize in Economics with Thomas Schelling.  Auman was recognized for his research into game theory.

    2005: “Leonard Woolf’s Quiet Complexity” published today provides a review Victoria Glenddinning’s biography of the man some know only as the Jewish husband of Virginia Woolf.


    2006: Macmillan Reference USA and Israel’s Keter Publishing unveil the new edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica with 22 volumes containing more than 21,000 entires about Jewish life.

    2007(28th of Kislev, 5768): Amy Elizabeth Rosenblatt Solomon, the wife of Dr. Harrison Solomon, mother of Jessica, Sammy and James, and daughter of Ginny and Roger Rosenblatt passed away.

    2007: In Jerusalem, a screening of “Children of the Sun” a documentary about the first generation of sabras born on kibbutzim to the parents of parents who immigrated to Eretz Israel with the hope of creating a new society.

    2007: In the Chicago Tribunea Jewish literary double-header:  E.L. Doctorow reviews a memoir by Studs Terkel entitled Touch and Go.

    2008: Amy Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize"— the first journalist to be so honored. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation cited her work in "developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media."

    2008:Prof. Aliza Lavie of Bar-Ilan University discusses her compilation of traditional prayers for women, A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book at the Ivry Lounge in the Schottenstein Cultural Center in New York City.

    2008: At the 92nd Street Y Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Hillel president Wayne Firestone discuss the complications facing Jewish life on campus today, from anti-Israel activity and Holocaust denial to outright anti-Semitism in a presentation moderated by Thane Rosenbaum, professor of law at Columbia University.

    2008: “Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkovitz, a mathematician from the Technion, was chosen to head” the newly formed Jewish Home Party.

    2008: Time magazine includes reviews of "Defiance," a film based on Defiance: The Bielski Partisans which chronicles the exploits of the largest of all Jewish partisans fighting against the Nazis and Milk,“a biopic” that chronicles the exploits of Harvey Milk as he “organized gay society…into a politcally effective community as well as a laudatory obtiurary of Irving Brecher which like so many articles about the famed comedy writer, fails to mention the fact that he is Jewish and was part of a whole generation of Jewish comedy writers who fueled the funnybones of America during the 20th century.

    2009: A public memorial service is held in honor of Abe Pollin at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival presents a screening of “In Search of the Bene Israel” which documents “the filmmaker travels to India to reconnect with her grandmother's Bene Israel community” and “From Swastika to Jim Crow,”a film that includes “the lost stories of the ‘refugee scholars,’ Jewish academics who fled Nazism to the United States and found employment at historically Black colleges.”

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes a screening of “Israeli Cinema, Part 2.”

    2009(21st of Kislev, 5770):Yosef Haim Yerushalmi, a groundbreaking and wide-ranging scholar of Jewish history whose meditation on the tension between collective memory of a people and the more prosaic factual record of the past influenced a generation of thinkers, passed away today at the age of 77. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

    2009:Mr Matthew Gould MBE has been appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the State of Israel in succession to Mr Tom Phillips CMG.  He is the first Jewish person to hold this post

    2010: “Celebrating the First Lights of Women Rabbis” by Elizabeth Imber published today.

    2010: Yael Perlov is scheduled to present a program entitled David Perlov: Pioneer of Israeli Cinema at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival. The scheduled presentation will include the U.S. premier of “In Jerusalem” and “Diary: Chapter 1 (1973-1977)”

    2010: Keshet Eilon students and teachers are scheduled to perform works by Schumann on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase at 9 pm in New York City.

    2010(1st of Tevet, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    2010: Funeral services were held today for Rose Becker, of blessed memory, in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    2010: Four to five mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into the Eshkol regional council tonight night hitting an area resident. He suffered light wounds to his upper body.


    2011: The Booklover’s Luncheon, a part of Jewish Cultural Arts Month, is scheduled to be held at the Upton JCC in New Orleans, LA.

    2011: The second weekend of Hamshoushalayim is scheduled to begin today.
    2011: “Eichmann’s End: Love, Betrayal, Death” is scheduled to be shown at the 22ndJewish Film Festival in Washington, D.C.

    2011: An Israeli air strike in central Gaza killed a Palestinian militant planning a terrorist attack on the Egypt border, the IDF Spokesperson said today.


    2011(12thof Kislev, 5772): Ninety-two year Sir Zelmann Cowen who was the 19thGovernor-General of Australia passed away.

    2011: David Stern asserted his power as Commissioner of the NBA by vetoing a three-team trade that he thought would have undermined the integrity of the game.

    2012: An outdoor menorah lighting ceremony is scheduled to take place the Virginia Gateway Town Center in Gainsville, VA.

    2012: Parshat Vayeshev – this is the same Torah portion that was read on December 13, 1941, the first Saturday after Pearl Harbor.  You have to wonder how the Rabbis of the day tied the story of Joseph to the events of the day.  Maybe they related the darkness of Joseph’s pit to the darkness that America was facing at the start of WW II.

    2012(24thof Kislev, 5773): In the evening, Kindle the first light of Chanukah.

    2012: The Sephardic Music Festival is scheduled to open with performances by Copal, Cannibal Animal Machine and The Sway Machinery at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn

    2012: Tonight, President Obama “congratulated Jews around the world on the first night Chanukah.” (As reported by the Times of Israel)

    2012: In Westport, CT, the Jews are scheduled to find two uses for potatoes at “Vodkas and Latkes.”

    2012: Yesterday, the United Nations on Friday approved an Israel-initiated resolution in which the international body affirmed for the first time that entrepreneurship was a critical development tool.

    2012:Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, making his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip, vowed today never to recognize Israel and said his Islamist group would never abandon its claim to all Israeli territory.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff, The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron and Wonders of Wonders: A Cultural History of “Fiddler on the Roof”by Alisa Solomon

    2013: Out-of-town tryouts for “If/Then” starring Idina Menzel came to an end at the National Theatre in Washington, DC.

    2013: The Yiddish film “American Matchmaker” is scheduled to be shown at the Westside Neighborhood School.

    2013: In Springfield, VA, Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to host a service rededicating its 200 year old Holocaust Torah that had belong to a congregation in Sedlacany, Czechoslovakia that was destroyed by the Nazis.

    2013: “Voices of the Vigil,” an exhibition that “tells the story of the Washington Jewish Community’s “role in the struggle for Soviet Jewry” is scheduled to open at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education is scheduled to host a screening of “Mrs. Miniver” followed by a discussion of this Oscar winning account of English bravery during the Battle of Britain that buttressed the cause of those believing America should enter the war to fight the Nazis.

    2013:Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the attack on Greek Orthodx Priest Garbriel Nadaf’s son at today’s cabinet meeting, saying that Israel will not tolerate threats of physical attacks against Christians, Muslims and Druse who “want to link their fate even more to the State of Israel and want to serve in the IDF (As reported by Ariel Ben Solomon and Herb Keinon)

    2013 A right-wing political group accused former Knesset speaker and Jewish Agency head Avrum Burg of treason today in a letter to law enforcement officials for statements Burg made last week that appeared to confirm that Israel possessed nuclear and chemical weapons. (As reported by Gavriel Fiske)

    2013: The American Zionist Movement, the World Zionist Organization and Consulate General of Israel in New York City is scheduled to host a conference on Anti-Zionism and Ant-Semitism


    2013: “The London Review of Books published an online article by Seymour Hersh alleging that President Obama had "omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts" in his assertion during his televised speech of 10 September that Bashar Al-Assad regime had been responsible for the use of sarin in the Ghouta chemical attack of 21 August 2013 against a rebel-held district of Damascus. In

    2014: Willa Schneberg is scheduled “to read from her recent collection Rending the Garment at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

    2014: The second and final episode of “The Red Tent” is scheduled to be broadcast on Lifetime.




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    December 9

    1565: Pope Pius IV passed away. Pius issued a bull that improved the conditions of the Jews. It allowed them to stop wearing their yellow cap, buy land up to the value of 1,500 ducats and to trade in things other than old clothes. While they could speak with Christians, they could not have Christian servants. He also allowed the Jews to publish the Talmud as long as they did not use that word in the publication.

    1657 (Kislev 5418): Manasseh ben Israel passed away. Manasseh ben Israel was born in 1604 in Holland, A Marrano at birth; he became an outstanding man of letters. He was mystically inclined and believed that Jews should dwell in every country before the Messiah could come. It is from this platform that he approached the religiously-minded Cromwell with a petition for the resettlement of Jews in England. He was assisted by Antonio Carvajal, the first "denizenized" (foreigner granted residence and some other rights) Jew in England under Charles I. Although Manasseh was later offered a job in Brazil, he remained in Amsterdam. Cromwell eventually had his way despite the fact that England and the Dutch states were at odds, and in spite of the opposition of English clergy and merchants.

    1666: Nathan of Gaza, one of Shabbtai Zvi's foremost "prophets" was excommunicated by the Rabbinical Council in Constantinople.

    1669: Pope Clement IX passed away. The year before his death, the Pope modified the custom of having the Jews run through the streets of Rome as part of the carnival festivities by allowing them to pay heavy fines to avoid the race. This ended two hundred years of humiliation that had been introduced by Pope Paul II in the 15th century.

    1677: Birthdate of William Whiston “an English theologian and historian” who “is now probably best known for his translation of the Antiquities of the Jewsand other works by Josephus.

    1712(Kislev, 5473): Simon Moses Ben Israel, the Dutch rabbinical scholar who was the father of Moses Frankfurter the Dutch printer who lived from 1672 to 1762, passed away today.

    1738: The Jews were expelled from Breslau Silesia.

    1783: After the British were driven from New York and General George Washington entered the city late in 1783, exiled New Yorkers including the Jewish exiles began to return home. Today Myer Myers joined two other leaders of Shearith Israel as a delegation that was to convey the loyal greetings of the Jewish community of New York to Governor Clinton.

    1809: Birthdate of Jules Isaac Mires, the son of Sephardic watchmaker from Bordeaux who became a successful banker, Managing Director of the Gas Company of Aries and was decorated with the Cross of the Legion of Honor by Napoleon III in 1860.

    1813: Birthdate of John Addison Gurley the Congressman from Cincinnati, Ohio who arranged for Cesar Kaskel to meet with President Lincoln so that Jewish Kentuckian could protest the issuance of General Order 11.

    1818: In Montego Bay, Jamaica, Isaac Simon and his wife gave birth to Sir John Simon, the English barrister and member of the Liberal Party.

    1821: In Bavaria, Ella and Wolf Goldmann, “a former schoolteacher and cattle dealer” gave birth to

    Marcus Goldman, the German-born American businessman and entrepreneur who immigrated to the United States in 1848 and was the founder of Goldman Sachs, which became one of the world's largest global investment banks.

    1822(25thof Kislev, 5583): Chanukah

    1831: Birthdate of Maurice de Hirsch who would gain fame as Baron Hirsch one of the greatest philanthropists of his time.

    1843: Birthdate of Corporal Isaac Gause who won the Medal of Honor during the U.S. Civil War.

    1861: Rabbi Arnold Fischel arrived in Philadelphia and met with Jewish leaders working to make it possible for Jews to serve as chaplains with the Union Army. Fischel was on his way from New York to Washington, D.C.

    1861: Today’s edition of the Louisville-Nashville Courier gave the following details concerning the burning of a bridge at Whippoorwill on the Memphis Branch Railroad. A detachment of fifty or sixty federal soldiers “under the under command of a Dutch Jew peddler named Netter” fired “a volley of over one hundred rounds from Sharp’s revolving rifles” at the Confederates who guarding the bridge. Two were killed and the rest surrendered. The Federals then burn the railroad bridge. “Netter” was probably Gabriel Netter, a French-born Jew living in Kentucky who within a year would rise to the rank of Lt. Colonel before being killed in fighting near Owensboro.

    1868(25thof Kislev, 5629): Chanukah is observed for the last time during the Presidency of Andrew Johnson.

    1868: Birthdate of German-born Chemist Fritz Haber. Haber synthesized ammonia and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1918.

    1870: The Society of Biblical Archaeology was founded in London "for the investigation of the archaeology, history, arts, and chronology of ancient and modern...biblical lands...."

    1872: Birthdate of Edward Lazansky  the native of Brooklyn who “was a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court from 1917 to 1926, and a Justice of the Appellate Division from 1926 to 1943” and who “was  a founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital.:

    1875: Today’s session of the Hebrew Charity Fair raised over $7,000 for the benefit of Mount Sinai Hospital.

    1878: A fair for the benefit of Shaare Rachmim is scheduled to open tonight at Tammany Hall.

    1878: Joseph Pulitzer bought the St Louis Dispatch for $2,500.

    1879(24th of Kislev): In the evening the first light of Chanukah was kindled.

    1879: It was reported today in New Jersey, that Chancellor Runyon has decided not to grant Rachel Blumenthal, young Jewess from Canada, a divorce from Moses Tannenholz an older Jew living in New Jersey. In 1875, when she was only 17 she participated in what she thought was a betrothal ceremony with Tannenholz Much to her amazement she discovered that the ceremony was a marriage ceremony. According to testimony offered during the divorce hearing, Blumenthal’s parents had declined Tannenholz’s offers to end the marriage for a cash payment. The Chancellor sensed that Tannenholz had been perpetrating a fraud in the matter of the marriage. But he declined to grant the divorce because Miss Blumenthal was a minor when she moved to New Jersey from Canada so that she could establish residence (a requirement for filing for divorce) and since she was a minor she could not file for divorce under New Jersey state law

    1881: It was reported today that at least one Russian newspaper has taken issue with President Chester A. Arthur’s criticism of the Czarist Empire’s treatment of its Jewish citizens.

    1882: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Associations is planning on holding its annual meeting this month.

    1882: Some Jewish businessmen who had obtained a temporary injunction were able to keep their stores open today.  The Jews, who observe the Sabbath on Saturday, have taken the matter to court.

    1883: R. Heber Newton delivered a lecture on “The Book of Genesis” during when he said the book “purported to be a Jewish work, giving the traditions of Jewish antecedents in prehistoric times…”

    1885(1stof Tevet, 5646): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1885: Thirty thousand people, including the adjutant of the Crown Prince who been sent as a representative of the royal family attended the funeral of Herr Strassmann, the President of the Berlin Municipal Council

    1886: Birthdate of Irma Levy, the daughter of a New York assimilated anti-Zionist German Jewish family who gained fame as Irma Lindheim, a member of Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1888:”Old New York Churches” published today featured a history of the houses of worship on Manhattan’s Norfolk Street including one building on the corner of Broome Street that housed a Baptist Church, followed by a Methodist church and is currently being used as a synagogue and another one on Stanton Street that had been a Presbyterian Church but is now a synagogue.

    1888: In Brooklyn, a caucus of Republicans met today and decided that Ernst Nathan, a Twenty-third Ward politician must be stopped “at all cost” from gaining any power in their party.

    1889: The Hebrew Education Fair opened this evening at the American Institute Building. This two long fund raiser officially began at 8:45 this evening when Eben’s Band began playing the grand march as New York City Mayor Grant and A.W. Lilienthal took their places on the stage.

    1891: In London, Polish Jewish immigrants, Louis Gertler and Kate "Golda" Berenbaum gave birth to British painter Mark Gertler.

    1892: Reports published today describe the spread of anti-Semitism among Germany’s political parties as can be seen by “a violent anti-Jewish article” in “the Catholic organ Germania” that the parties “desirous of annulling the emancipation of the Jews are growing daily.”

    1892: Reports published today describe efforts to “invalidate Hermann Ahlwardt’s election to the Reichstag on grounds of corruptions and intimidation of opponents” including the beating of a member of the Radicals who is “suspected of being a Jew.”

    1894: “Finances and Russian Alliance” published today described changes in British policy toward the new Czar’s government including the arrangement of loans by London’s financiers along with the expectation of “decent treatment of the Jews.

    1894: As the former Belle Glazier and her new husband Jacob S. Bernheimer left on their wedding trip the bride’s father gave a dinner for the children of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1895: N.S. Rosenau of the United Hebrew Charities was among those who attended today’s conference where ways were discussed “promote prosperity among the farmers” during the current agricultural depression.

    1895: “The great Hebrew fair…one of the most extensive enterprises” that the Jews of New York have undertaken is scheduled to open tonight at Madison Square Garden. This fundraiser which has booths sponsored by every Jewish congregation and organization in the city is expected to raise $250,000 for Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Technical Alliance.

    1895: “When the doors of the Madison Square Garden opened this evening for the great Hebrew fair the visitors saw much that in splendor will rival what has been depicted by the authors of ‘The Arabian Nights’ and like fiction, in which spectacular wonders abound.”

    1895: Birthdate of Vivian de Sola Pinto the British poet and literary critic who was a close friend of Siegfried Sassoon with whom he served in WW I and who became one of the great authorities on D.H. Lawrence.

    1897: Birthdate of Hermione Gingold. Born Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold in London, she was the daughter of a high-class Austrian-born Jewish financier. The British actress known for her sharp-tongued, eccentric persona, an image enhanced by her sharp nose and chin, as well as her deepening voice, a result of vocal nodes which her mother encouraged her not to remove. She appeared on stage, on radio, in films, on television, and in recordings. Gingold passed away in 1997.

    1898: The Jewish Messengerreported Meyer Dannenberg a member of Or Chaim in New York City passed away. He "...was an Israelite of the olden school...he was truly pious and he leaves to his descendants and friends the priceless legacy of a good name."

    1899: “The Children of the Ghetto” is scheduled to open at the Adelphi Theatre in London.

    1904: In Richmond, VA, members of Congregation Beth Ahavah (House of Love) dedicated their new home what is popularly known as the Franklin Street Synagogue, probably because it is located on West Franklin Street. The congregation is one of the oldest in the United States tracing its origins back to 1789. The building which is still in use is on the National Historic Registry.

    1905: “Salome” an opera based on Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the French play Salomé which was dedicated to Sir Edgar Speyer “was first performed at the Hofoper in Dresden.”

    1905: The French law on the Separation of the Churches and State (Loi du 9 décembre 1905 concernant la séparation des Églises et de l'État) was passed by the Chamber of Deputies today. From now on, the functionaries of all religions in France - Catholic, Protestant and Jewish - ceased to receive state funding and no longer conducted their affairs under state supervision. France had become a secular nation thanks to the backlash from the Dreyfus Affair.

    1905:  The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that in New Jersey, “the Camden Hebrew Relief Fund has reached $694.38. (Ed. Note – the money was being raised for the victims of the Pogroms that had taken place in Russia earlier in the year)

    1911(18th of Kislev, 5672): Rabbi Haim Covo of Salonica passed away at age the age of 68.

    1914: In Johannesburg, Alexander and Luba Katz gave birth to Samuel Katz who made Aliyah in 1936 and
    who was a close adviser to Menachem Begin, Israel’s prime minister in the late 1970s and early 1980s, until he became a vociferous opponent of Begin’s peace efforts with Egypt and the Palestinians. .

    1917(24th of Kislev, 5678): In the evening, Kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1917: According to reports published today, “this evening the celebration of Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication, will begin among Jewish people and continue for eight days. Although rated in the traditional calendar as a minor festival, compared with the Biblical festivals and holy days, it is known also as the Feast of Lights, and is of great significance, as it commemorates one of the most heroic struggles and final victory for the Jewish fatherland and faith.”

    1917: Just after midnight, Turkish troops began the final evacuation Jerusalem. According to one report, it was fitting that the Turks should be leaving Jerusalem for the last time on the same day that the Seleucids left the city since this day coincided with the celebration of the holiday of Chanukah.

    1917: The Turkish mayor of Jerusalem surrenders the city to 2 British soldiers - Sergeants Sedgwick and Hawcombe.

    1918: Birthdate of Kirk Douglas. Born Issur Demsky, Douglas has played everything from Doc Holiday in Gunfight at the OK Corral, to deranged Naval officer in In Harm’s Way to Colonel Mickey Marcus in Cast a Giant Shadow.

    1918: Victor Berger went on trial today on charges that he had violated the Espionage Act of 1917 by publicly opposing America’s entry into WW I.  Berger was a Socialist who opposed all war.

    1920: Thirty days after the death of Shloyme Zanvl Rappoport whose pen name was S. Ansky, passed away, “The Dybbuk” was performed at the Elyseum Theatre in Warsaw.

    1923(1st of Tevet, 5684): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1923(1st of Tevet, 5684): Seventh day of Chanukah; in the evening Kindled the 8th candle

    1923: Hadoar resumes publication

    1923: The Jewish Welfare Board sponsored a special Army and Navy Chanukah Service that was held at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in Manhattan. During his address to the attendees, Rear Admiral Charles P. Plunkett, commander of the Third Naval District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, said that “There are more kinds of hatreds both religious and social in the world today than ever existed. This country has been open to the world, a haven of safety, but we have no room here for those who cannot be assimilated. They cannot bring their hatreds here..”

    1923: In address to the first meeting of the National Council of the Keren Hayesod at the Hotel Astor, Dr. Arthur Ruppin said that “the housing shorate in Palestine has been relieved to a considerable estnet by the establishment of the General Mortgage Bank of Palestine which has invested more than $300,000 in mortgages enabling the construction of 300 house in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa and Tiberias.

    1924: In the presence of in the presence of Sir Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Ronald Storrs, Governor of the Jaffa district in Jerusalem, and Raghib al-Nashashibi, the Arab mayor of Jerusalem a street in Jerusalem that crosses Ben Yehuda Street and Hillel Street was named King George Street or Rechov HaMelech in dedication ceremonies held today. The street was named in honor of King George V in honor of the seventh anniversary of Lord Allenby’s conquest of Jerusalem during World War I.

    1928: A Chanukah celebration is scheduled to be held this afternoon at the Bronx Jewish Center under the supervision of Talmud Torah’s principal, Rabbi J.J. Charlot

    1929: During an interview today Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Jewish son-in-law of Mark Twain, commended the music program started last week at Hebrew University. Based on first-hand knowledge gained by his visit to Palestine last Sring, Maestro Gabrilowitsch spoke highly of tte accomplishments of the Jewish musical community and identified the areas in most need of growth.

    1930: Birthdate of Buck Henry. Born Henry Zuckerman, Henry is known as an actor, writer and the satirical wit who helped to make SNL into a hit show.

    1931: Jews throughout the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Birth of Baron Hirsch

    1931: Supporters of the Grand Mufti distributed “fake photographs” to delegates to the World Islamic Conference showing Jews armed with machine guns attacking the Dome of the Rock. This was part of the mufti’s plan to inflame relations between Jews and Arabs while cementing his role as leader of the Arabs in Palestine.

    1933(21stof Kislev, 5694): Fifty-four year old German silent screen actor Julius Falkenstein passed away today in Berlin.

    1934: In a response to a request from Churchill, Leonard Montifore, a member of the Central British Fund, sent the British statesman a translaton of the recently promulgated Nuremberg Laws, commentary from The Times on these anti-Jewish laws and a pamphlet describing the conditions in Germany just before the laws were passed.

    1935: Walter Liggett, Minnesota newspaper editor and muckraker, is killed in gangland murder. After writing newspaper articles connecting between the mobster Kidd Cann and Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson, Ligett was gunned down, reportedly by Kid Cann. Kid Cann was Isadore Blumenfeld a leading Jewish mobster living in the Twin Cities. He was tried for the murder but “beat the rap.”

    1937: The Palestine Postreported that in Jerusalem two bombs were thrown by Arab terrorists at the houses of Arabs known to oppose the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was hiding from the authorities in Lebanon.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that in London the Colonial Office refused to accede to Colonel J.C. Wedgwood’s request to circulate the names of 137 officials of the Palestine government and judiciary who, on June 30, 1936, sent a memo critical of the establishments’ activities and policy.

    1938: As the level of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany increases and Hitler pursues a more aggressive foreign policy, Churchill gives a speech reminding his constituents that four years earlier he had called for a four-fold increase in spending for the RAF and that if those who are criticizing him now would have heeded his advice then Britain would not be dealing with the Germans from a position of weakness.

    1939: Dr. Henryk Szoskies, vice president of the Jewish community in Warsaw, who escaped last month and is now in Paris has provided first-hand information on the desperate situation of the Jews living in the German-occupied zone of Poland. “Jews all over the German part of Poland live in constant fear of new persecutions and new orders making life even harder.” He reported that the Gestapo had ordered the establishment of a ghetto in the middle of November allowing only three days to transfer an additional 160,000 Jews into the Nalewiki district increasing the population in this small area to 366,000. “Jews all over Poland face an extremely hard winter…since merchants are not allowed to trade and all their property has been confiscated. Dr. Szoskies has “presented a detailed report to Premier Wladislas Sikorski and other members” of the Polish government in exile in Paris.

    1940: The British deported illegal Jewish immigrants from Haifa to Mauritius. This was part of the British enforcement of the White Paper that effectively ended Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel. When you consider how strapped the British were for resources in fighting Hitler, it is amazing that the government in London could find the resources to intercept vessels sailing to Palestine.

    1940: Jewish immigrants who had entered Eretz Israel illegally protested their deportation by lying nude in their bunks, refusing to dress in an act of spontaneous, and ultimately futile, civil disobedience,

    1940: A German soldier leaps from a car in the Warsaw (Poland) Ghetto and strikes a Jewish boy in the head with an iron bar, killing him.

    1941(19thof Kislev, 5702): “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism”

    1941(19thof Kislev, 5702): Following two days of killing known as the Rumbula Massacre, an additional 500 Jews were murdered in the “small ghetto” at Riga. The Nazis used buses supplied by the Riga municipal authorities to transport the Jews to the Bikernieki forest where “they were murdered and buried in mass graves.

    1942: German troops in Tunis, Tunisia, seize 128 Jews and march them to a labor camp. One young Jew who drops from exhaustion is shot and killed.

    1942: Hannah Karminski was brought to the extermination camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau

    1942: Christian Century, an American Protestant journal, attacks Rabbi Stephen Wise, claiming he has lied about the Holocaust in his recent press conference. Christian Century further argues that even if what Wise has to say is true, to make the facts of the Holocaust public serves no purpose.

    1946: “The Doctors' Trial,” the trial for crimes committed in Nazi human experimentation during World War II, began in Nuremberg, Germany.

    1946: Chaim Weizmann calls for a Jewish state in Palestine.

    1947: The Security Council tables a debate on partition after Syria reports that Arabs will question legality of such a partition.

    1948: Iraq is asked by Britain, U.S., and France to reopen oil pipeline from Iraq to Haifa The promise made that oil refined in Haifa will not be furnished to Israel.

    1948: In British ruled Aden eighty-two Jews were killed during a savage attack on the Jewish citizens and their property. Other such riots took place in Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria and Aleppo.

    1949: The UN General Assembly voted to put Jerusalem under permanent UN rule. The is a repeat of what was in the resolution adopted on November 29, 1947.

    1949: Arab states support the adoption of the motion to put Jerusalem under permanent UN rule because they are suspicious of King of Abdullah of Jordan who has annexed the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem.

    1949: Britain opposes the UN plan to put Jerusalem under permanent UN rule.

    1949: The United States opposes the UN plant to put Jerusalem under permanent UN rule. It favors a compromise put forward by Sweden and the Netherlands under which only the city’s religious shrines would be under UN Control instead of the whole city

    1949: Chile abstained from voting on the UN resolution in favor to the internationalization of Jerusalem

    1950: Harry Gold is sentenced to thirty years in jail for stealing United States nuclear weapon secrets for the Soviet Union. Gold’s testimony led to David Greenglass which in turn led to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were executed after being convicted of espionage. Gold only served about half of his sentence.

    1952: The Jerusalem Postreported that the Knesset elected Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the 68-year-old Labor Zionist leader, as the second President of Israel. He was elected on the third ballot when he won 62 votes. The other candidates were Rabbi M. Nurock, who received 40 votes, and Mr. Y. Gruenbaum who won five. There were five blanks and eight abstentions.

    1956(5thof Tevet, 5717): Sixty-two year old painter and poet Uriel Birnbaum passed away.

    1957: The first Japanese ambassador to Israel arrived in the Jewish state.

    1959: Robert Welch, Jr. founded the John Birch Society.

    1961: An Israeli court found Adolf Eichmann found guilty of war crimes.

    1962: Premiere of “Station Six-Sahara” a British-German film produced by Holocaust survivor Gene Gutowski and co-starring Carroll Baker who converted to Judaism when she married Holocaust survivor Jack Garfein.

    1966: Birthdate of Gideon Moses Serchanski, the Tel Aviv native who gained fame as Gideon Sa'arl, a Likud MK and Minister of Education.

    1966: Seventy-one year old poet Lazarus Leonard Aarronson, a native of London’s East End who converted to Christianity and published Christ in the Synagoguein 1930, passed away today.

    1968: In the U.K. premiere of “The Birthday Party” directed by William Friedkin, produced by Max Rosenburg and Milton Subotsky with a script by Harold Pinter.

    1969: Thanks to newly supplied Soviet radar, the IAF suffers a “bad day” when Egyptian aircraft shoot down two Mirages and one F-4 Phantom Jet.

    1969: The Nixon Administration publicizes the “Rogers Plan” named for the U.S. Secretary of State that “calls for Egyptian ‘commitment to peace’ in exchange for the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai.”  (This plan follows a pattern all too common to these negotiations over the decades – Israel gives up something tangible for an Arab promise)

    1969: Birthdate of musician Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan.

    1971: Dr. Ralph J Bunche passed away. Bunche won the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful role in negotiating an end to the fighting between the Israelis and the Arab states in 1949.

    1972:Helen Reddy’s "I Am Woman" tops the charts

    1973: A revival of “The Pajama Game,” the Richard Adler/Jerry Ross musical starring Hal Linden opened at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre.
    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt had returned to Israel the bodies of three unidentified Israeli soldiers who were killed during the Yom Kippur war.

    1977: In Cairo tens of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated, carrying placards and chanting slogans of support for President Anwar Sadat's drive for peace. While Egypt severed relations with Arab states, King Hussein of Jordan arrived in Cairo for a visit. Hussein seemed to be ready to agree to the Jordanian participation in the joint Israeli-Arab meeting in Cairo, suggested by Sadat, preparatory to the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference.

    1980: Birthdate of Simon Maxwell Helberg, American actor and comedian best known for his role as Howard Wolowitz in “The Big Bang.”

    1981:Lady in the Dark” a musical with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book and direction by Moss Hart had its premiere UK performance at the Nottingham Palace.

    1982(23rd of Kislev, 5743): Polish born Dutch violist Paul Godwin [Goldfein] passes away at the age of 80.

    1982(23rd of Kislev, 5743): Activist Norman Mayer threatens to blow up the Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police.

    1983: U.S premiere of “Scarface” produced by Martin Bregman

    1987: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

    1988: Today the major daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot published a survey indicating that 80 percent of Israelis now want President Chaim Herzog to continue urging Labor and Likud to form a new coalition. And 76 percent want that coalition to include no other partners - especially not the religious parties.

    1990: In New York, Congregation Ansche Chesed sponsors a concert by folk singer Richie Havens. The concert is a fund raiser for the building fund and is part of the synagogue's 10th annual Hanukkah Arts Festival, which also offers a bazaar of gift items and refreshments.

    1991: In a case of a Jewish critic evaluating the work of a Jewish authors and a Jewish composer, Franks Rich reviewed “Nick & Nora.”

    1993: A revival of Lerner and Loewe’s "My Fair Lady" opens at Virginia Theater New York City for the first of 165 performances

    200I: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced he would resign and call a special election.

    2001: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Collected Stories by Saul Bellow, Letters To A Young Lawyer by Alan Dershowitz and Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered by Ruth Kluger.

    2001 - A suicide bomber exploded a powerful bomb near a bus stop at the Checkpost Junction in Haifa shortly after 7:30 AM. About 30 people were injured, most lightly and suffering from shock. A second explosive device was found and detonated nearby. The terrorist was killed.

    2002: An International Symposium entitled "Jewish identity and anti-Semitism in Central and South Eastern Europe sponsored by the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities, the "Goldstein-Goren" Hebrew Studies Center, Bucharest University and Bucharest History Museum opened in Bucharest.

    2002: Susan “Sontag continued to theorize about the role of photography in real life in her essay "Looking at War: Photography's View of Devastation and Death", which appeared in today’s issue of The New Yorker in which she concludes that the problem of our reliance on images and especially photographic images is not that "people remember through photographs but that they remember only the photographs ... that the photographic image eclipses other forms of understanding – and remembering. ... To remember is, more and more, not to recall a story but to be able to call up a picture"

    2003: For the second night in a row, The Empire State Building offered a special tribute to the 110th anniversary of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), when it was illuminated by the organization’s colors of blue and green. The illumination marked the founding of the Council at the Jewish Women’s Congress held at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The New York section of NCJW took a strong role in its early years sending volunteers to Ellis Island to look after the welfare of single Jewish women who arrived alone in the New World. Today, with 90,000 members, NCJW continues to advance Jewish values by working for social change, acting nationally to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families, and to advance individual rights and freedoms.

    2004: The first Broadway revival of “La Cage Aux Folles a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman opened at the Marquis Theatre.

    2004: Birthdate of Mile High resident Judah Ruscha

    2005: Sgt. Nir Kahane, 20, the military policeman who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian attacker at the Kalandia checkpoint, was buried in the Kiryat Tivon military cemetery.

    2006: Haaretzreported that Germany condemned a planned Iranian conference on the Holocaust. The German Foreign Ministry told a top Iranian official that attempts to question the Nazis' murder of Jews were "shocking and unacceptable." Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said "We condemn all past and future attempts of anyone who gives a platform to those who relativize or question the Holocaust. Ploetner stressed that "the German government finds all statements that question the right of Israel to exist or the Holocaust shocking and unacceptable."

    2006: The Chicago Tribunepublished an “edited” version of a “letter to the editors” describing one Jew’s view of the annual office Christmas Party, and if you read between the lines, a whole lot more.

    2006: Shuttle Discovery launches on the STS-116 mission at 8:45 P.M. Space Shuttle Discovery Commander Mark Polansky took a replica of "Refugee" with him on the shuttle's mission. Each astronaut is invited to take a few items into space. Polansky took the replica of "Refugee" and an image of a Darfurian child in a refugee camp in Chad taken by Museum staff member Jerry Fowler. “Refugee” is the name of the stuffed bear that comforted Holocaust survivor Sophie Turner-Zaretsky when she is a refugee following World War II.

    2007: The Center for Jewish History, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America present “A Legacy for the Future: Celebrating the Life and Teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Centennial of His Birth 1907-2007

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section reviews of books by Jewish authors or on topics related to Judaism or Jewish culture including The Rowing Lesson by the South African Jewish author Ann Landsman, Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel and Bernard Malamud: A Writers Life by Philip Davis.

    2007: The Washington Post list of Best Books for Young People included Leaves by David Ezra Stein.

    2007(29th of Kislev, 5768): In Little Rock, AR, Harvey Luber, a man whose talents, gifts and accomplishments are too numerous to mention is laid to rest. To say he was a pillar of the Jewish community, a teacher, a photographer, a first class raconteur and lifelong learner as well as a proud father and great Zeda does not even begin to capture the essence of the man. To say that he was a friend to all both great and small regardless of rank or status says much about the basic decency of the man. If one were to write more in this vein, it would cause Harvey to laugh all the more. Suffice it to say that God apparently was in need of a great photographer, a memorable laugh and sage if slightly twisted discussion on matters of Judaica and only Harvey could give Him all that and more in one soul. He will me be missed and never forgotten.

    2007: “Bagels & Barbeque: The Jewish Experience” opens at The Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Bagels & Barbeque: The Jewish Experience in Tennessee is a joint project of the Tennessee State Museum in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Jewish Community Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Knoxville Jewish Alliance, and Memphis Jewish Federation, with the participation of other Jewish communities around the state. The exhibit’s statewide tour is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    2008: Police provided the name of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who attacked various targets in Mubain last month including the Chabad House.

    2008: At Adas Israel, a three day conference entitled "Zionism, Israel and Human Rights" with Avram Burg, author and former Speaker of the Knesset and Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al Quds University moderated by Kathleen Peratis, Board Member Emeriti of Human Rights Watch comes to an end.

    2008 (12 Kislev): Yahrzeit of Solomon Schechter.

    2009: Rabbi Addin Steinsaltz is scheduled to produce tractate Niddah, which deals with the laws that a married woman must adhere to during menstruation.

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a screening of “Divided We Fall,” which tells the story of a childless couple living in a small Czech village during World War II who hide their former neighbor, a young Jewish man who has managed to escape from the death camps after losing his entire family. “The couple must suddenly become pregnant in order to prevent a Nazi official from moving into the apartment and discovering their secret boarder…who begins to play an important part in the charade.”

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes a screening of “Legends in the Dunes,” Ya’akov Gross’ new documentary prepared in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv that follows the development of the building of the new city across from the ancient city of Yaffo.

    2009(22nd of Kislev, 5770): Gene Barry passed away. Born Eugene Klass in 1919, he enjoyed successful career performing on the stage, in films and on several successful television series. His marriage to Betty Kalb lasted 58 years, making him a success in his personal as well as professional life.

    2010: “Tango, A Story With Jews” is scheduled to make its Mid-Atlantic Premiere at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival. The film highlights the role played by Russian musicians who fled to Buenos Aires in the 19th century in creating this icon of Argentine culture.

    2010: The YIVO is scheduled to present a program entitled "This Theatre is a Battlefield: How Antifascist and Zionist Performance Forged a New Jewish- American Identity, 1939-1948.”

    2010(2nd of Tevet, 5711): Eighth Day of Chanukah

    2010(2nd of Tevet, 5711): Dov Shilansky, Holocaust survivor and former speaker of the Knesset passed away at the age of 86.

    2011: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is one of three films being screened today at the 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Craig Breslow was part of a multi-player trade that sent him from the Athletics to the Diamonbacks.

    2011: As part of the Scholars in Residence Weekend at Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, Dr. Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, a professor in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago is scheduled to address the issues of terrorism, counter-terrorism and religion.

    2011: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is scheduled to host one of its ever-popular Musical Shabbats.

    2011: Gaza militants launched several rockets toward Israel's south today, hours after an Israeli air strike in central Gaza killed a Palestinian militant planning a terrorist attack on the Egypt border..

    2011: Thousands of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv today to mark International Human Rights Day.
    2012(25th of Kislev, 5773): Chanukah

    2012(25th of Kislev, 5773): Eighty-five year old “Charles Rosen, the pianist, polymath and author whose National Book Award-winning volume The Classical Style illuminated the enduring language of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven” passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)


    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich

    2012:Bein Hashmashot (Between the Suns), the official youth choir of Beit Shemesh, is scheduled to perform the JCC of Northern Virginia.

    2012: The Sephardic Musical Festival is scheduled to continue tonight with “Sephardic Story Slam” at Lolita Bar in NYC.

    2012: Chabad of North Dakota led by Rabbi Yonah Grossman  is scheduled to host a public menorah lighting complete with Latkes and Sufganyot (Is there any place where the lamplighters of Lubavitch are not to be found?)

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Brian Cohen, champion Shofar Blower, shows that he is a “man for all festivals” as he leads his latke flipping team in preparing the potato delights for Temple Judah’s annual Chanukah Dinner.

    2012: Israel should define its borders, even if this means doing so unilaterally, and separate from the Palestinians, former IDF chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said today.

    2012: “The Gatekeepers,” a film by Israeli director Dror Moreh, was named best documentary today by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, whose prizes are among a flurry of year-end honors that help sort out the Academy Awards race.

    2012: Agovernment proposal to allow 1,300 haredi yeshiva students to enlist in the civilian service program instead of serving in the military was approved today but was greeted with widespread outrage from IDF draft reform advocates.

    2012: The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to open tonight in Israel’s capital city.

    2012:Yoram Marciano re-entered the Knesset.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a roundtable discussion “French and Jewish: Defining a Modern Jewish Identity in the 19th Century.”

    2013: “Trembling Before G-d” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: On the advice of his doctor “nonagenarian President Shimon Peres” will not be traveling to South Africa to attend Nelson Mendela’s funeral which Israel will be represented by Knesset Speark Yuli Edelstein.

    2013: The trial of five former employees of the great goniff Bernie Madoff resumes today.

    2013: In a rare instances of unanimous agreement “Both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and senior Palestinian spokesmen doused any optimism today that the US-led Israeli- Palestinian talks were on the verge of a breakthrough. (As reported by Herb Keinon)

    2013: Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority were set today to ink an agreement to build a long-anticipated pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, part of an initiative that would produce millions of cubic meters of drinking water for the parched region and slake the critically dwindling Dead Sea (As reported by Stuart Winer)

    2013: Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israeli Religious Action Center is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled Between the Stones and a Hard Place: The Challenge to Gender Equity & Pluralism in Israel at the Lawrence Family JCC. 

    2014: LBI is scheduled to present “Fighting for Kaiser and Fatherland” German-Jewish Soldiers and the Quest for Integration, 1914-1935”

    2014: “Zero Motivation, a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers” is scheduled to be shown at the Washington Jewish Film Festival

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    December 10

    1475: Seventy eight year old Italian artist Paolo Uccello passed away. Like many artists of his time, Uccello produced what today would be called anti-Semitic art.  Among his works was “Miracle of the Host”

    1508: The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice. From a Jewish point of view, this item presents a mixed bag. Ferdinand ruled over a kingdom that had expelled its Jews and was home to the inquisition. But Pope Julius employed a Jewish physician, Samuel Sarfatti and practiced a policy of “benign neglect” when it came to dealing with the Jewish people. While Venice had enacted its share of ant-Jewish laws (and in 1516 would create the first Ghetto), it was a better place for Jews to settle than other parts of Europe. This is attested to by the fact that many of the Sephardim who had been expelled from Spain made their new home in the city of canals, including Isaac Abravanel.

    1768: Birthdate of “Christian Orientalist and theologian Ernst Friedrich Karl Rosenmuller” who among other things “brought out a pocket edition of the Hebrew Bible in 1822.”

    1675: A German Jew, Alexander Polak, became a citizen of The Hauge. He was the progenitor of the Polak Daniels family, and gave the congregation a cemetery in 1697.

    1773(25th of Kislev, 5534): Chanukah

    1774: After just a little over three months of Austrian rule, General Gabriel Freiherr von Spleny reported on the conditions at Czernowitz including a description of the Jewish population whose presence in the city dated back to the 15th century during the reign of Moldavian Prince Alexander the Good.

    1776: Birthdate of Abraham Mendelssohn, the son of Moses Mendelssohn and the father of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. A successful banker, he would change his name to Abraham Ernst Mendelssohn Bartholdy and change his religion to Christianity. "Once I was the son of a famous father, now I am the father of a famous son."

    1803(25th of Kislev, 5564): Chanukah

    1804: Birthdate of German mathematician Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi. Jacobi was the German mathematician who, with the independent work of Niels Henrik Abel of Norway, founded the theory of elliptic functions. He also worked on Abelian functions and discovered the hyperelliptic functions. Jacobi applied his work in elliptic functions to number theory. He also investigated mathematical analysis and geometry. Jacobi carried out important research in partial differential equations of the first order and applied them to the differential equations of dynamics. His work on determinants is important in dynamics and quantum mechanics and he studied the functional determinant now called the Jacobian. He passed away in 1851.

    1814: Birthdate of Sebastian Brunner, the Benedictine trained priest who was one of a group of authors including Anton E. von Roasa, Count Ferdinand Schirnding and Albert Wiesinger and who launched a libel case against Ignaz Kuranda and Heinrich Graetz.

    1817: Mississippi was admitted to the union as the 20th state. The Jewish community in Mississippi dates back to the 1840’s. There are Jewish houses of worship and cemeteries dotted in many towns across the state including Jackson, the state capital, Greenwood and Vicksburg. The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE) is located in Utica, Mississippi. Utica is also the home to Henry S. Jacobs Camp, the summer destination for thousands of southern Jewish youngsters in the last forty years. The Mississippi Jewish community has produced several prominent individuals including Shelby Foote and Rabbi Fred Davidow.

    1826 (10 Kislev 5587): Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch was released from prison after being arrested the week after Sukkot on slander charges.

    1836: Emory College was chartered in Oxford, Georgia. Today Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia. One third of the undergraduate student body is Jewish and in 2005 Hillel received a three million dollar grant to upgrade its services and facilities on campus. The university offers a two year graduate degree in Jewish Studies.

    1848: Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte won a four-way race and was elected President of France today.

    1850: Judah Leib "Leopold" Löw was installed as the rabbi at Szeged, Hungary

    1851: At Friedland, Germany Miriam Lessler and Wolf Schreier gave birth to Eugene Schreier who was married Martha Kasprowicz and who was the “first president of the reorganized Congregation Jeshuat Israel” for which he procured a charter from the State of Rhode Island in 1894.

    1854: In Berlin tax-collector Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Henrici and his wife Wilhelmine gave birth to Carl Ernst Julius Henrici the anti-Semitic leader who founded the Social Nazi Party in 1881

    1855(1st of Tevet, 5616): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1855: Birthdate of Mrs. James (Selina) Levi. The Dubuque native was the daughter of the founder of Iowa Jewry and one time held the record for being the oldest Jewish woman born in the Hawkeye State.

    1858: The Executive Committee of the Representatives of the United Congregations of Israelites of the City of New York sent a letter to President James Buchanan which described a public meeting held on December 4 in which Jews and non-Jews gathered to demand the return of Edgardo Mortara to his parents. Those attending the meeting also petitioned the President to join with the several European nations who were protesting the kidnapping of the youngster by representatives of the Pope. This letter was a follow-up to a communication sent by the same group on November 20, 1858.

    1858: Caleb Lyon delivered his second lecture on The Holy Land under the auspices of the Mercantile Library Association at Clinton Hall this evening. His lecture included a description of the mountains of Moab, the Dead Sea and “the silvery Jordan River.” He described his trip to Jerusalem which he said was populated by six thousand Jews as well as a visit to the Siloam Springs, the Wailing Wall and attendance at a Jewish wedding.

    1861: An article entitled “Sold by a Jew Peddler” reported that John H. Bornisky had filed a complaint before Judge Osborne claiming that a Jewish peddler name August Seligman had sold to him seven pieces of linen, for the sum of $38 50. The sale was made by sample, and the complainant had paid the money upon the promise of Seligman to deliver the goods immediately. Since the goods were not delivered Seligman was arrested and held because bail had not been posted.

    1861: Rabbi Arnold Fischel arrived in Washington, D.C. this evening. He hopes to meet with government leaders including President Lincoln in an attempt to change the law so that Jews can serve as chaplains with the Union Army.

    1861: Moses Grinnell writes a letter of introduction to President Lincoln on behalf of Rabbi Arnold Fischel.

    “Sir, permit me to present to you Rev .Dr. Fischell of this city who visits Washington as a delegate from the Board of Delegates of American Israelites, having been selected as chaplain to the Jews of the army around Washington estimated at about 8000. Dr. Fischell is of high literary abilities and greatly esteemed by distinguished men of all religious denimonations. Believe me, etc.”

    1864: Sherman’s Union Army reaches Savannah in what history will call “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” Among those with Sherman was Major General Frederick Knefler. The native of Hungary was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Union Army. He was commander of the 79th Indiana regiment before he was promoted to brigadier general for his performance at the Battle of Chickamauga and then to major general during his service with Sherman on his march through Georgia.

    1869(6th of Tevet, 5630): Fifty-four year old Rabbi Maier Zipser passed away at Rohonc.

    1870: It was reported today that ground has been broken for a new synagogue located at Lexington and 55th in Manhattan. Henry Fernbach who was the architect for the 34th and 44th street synagogues as well as one of the architects who worked on Temp[le Emmanuel, designed this building which he estimates will cost $180,000, [Today this synagogue is the Central Synagogue which was formed from the merger in 1898 of Shar HaShomayim (meaning Gate of Heaven), founded in 1839 by German Jews, and Ahawath Chesed (meaning Love of Mercy), founded in 1846 by Bohemian Jews. Its name was changed to Central Synagogue in 1920 symbolizing not only its location, but also its change to Reform Judaism.”]

    1871: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger has a published “a very discriminating criticism on the character of Shylock as a representative of the Hebrew nation.” According to the Messenger, “as an embodiment of the Jewish people Shylock stands forth strong in his love of religion, family and neighbors but impotent to remonstrate against injustice or to resent it.”

    1874: During today’s meeting of the Board of Alderman in New York, a resolution authorizing the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society to sub-let the property they obtained from the City was referred to the Committee on Law.

    1875: Today’s session of the Hebrew Charity Fair which closed at 4 o’clock because of erev Shabbat raised $1,155.65.

    1876(24th of Kislev, 5637): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.

    1876: It was reported today that the Purim Association will manage the upcoming Hebrew Charity Ball which is fund raiser for the United Hebrew Charities.

    1876: It was reported today that New York’s Hebrew Free School Association is serving 580 students and that the association’s President has announced that additional efforts will be made to provide more facilities for the youngsters.

    1876: Rabbi Lukskar officiated at the funeral of 27 year old Abraham Stettaner (sp) at the Cypress Hills Cemetery. He was one of the victims of the Brooklyn Theatre Fire.

    1879: The New York Times publishes a lengthy article about the history of Chanukah which begins with the erroneous statement, “The Jewish feast called Chanukah or the Feast of Dedication will be honored by the adherents of the ancient faith on the 16th.” On the evening of December 16th, Jews will be lighting the 8th candle

    1879(25th of Kislev, 5640): First Day of Chanukah

    1880: It was reported today that a fundraiser is to be held to benefit the 44th Street Synagogue.

    1881: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Association is planning on hosting a ball in celebration of Chanukah at the Academy of Music that will feature several tableaus depicting events in Jewish history.

    1881: In Brooklyn, the fair sponsored by Temple Israel which opened on November 30 is scheduled to close this evening.

    1882: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Associations is scheduled to take place at ten o’clock this morning in Manhattan.

    1882: It was reported today that Alfred Steckler has obtained an injunction preventing the police from arresting several Jewish shopkeepers and workers for violating the Sunday Closing Laws.  The injunctions were based on Section 264 of the Penal Code which permits people to work on the first day of the week if they “uniformly keep another day of the week as holy time” and that their labor does not disturb those “observing the first day of the week as holy time.”  (In our world where everything it is 24-7-365 it seems hard to remember that Sunday Closing Laws were the norm and vestiges of them still exist such as the prohibition on buying and selling vehicles in Iowa on Sunday.)

    1882: Birthdate Austrian-born British philosopher Otto Neurath. The Marxist radical and refugee from Hitler’s Europe passed away in 1945.

    1882: It was reported today that the Jews are one of only “religious sects” (the others being Catholics, Episcopalian and Presbyterians) who have founded one or more hospitals in New York City.

    1882: It was reported today that that the Prefect of Police has ordered the expulsion of all Jews “residing within the boundaries of St. Petersburg without official permission.”

    1883: Birthdate of Shakhne Epstein the native of Vilna who came from a long line of “distinguished rabbis and maskilim.”

    1884: It was reported today that the state of Connecticut has had a law on the books “designed to exempt Jews and Seventh Day Baptists who conscientiously observed Saturday as a day of religious worship from the penalties apply to a violation of Sunday laws.

    1884(22nd of Kislev, 5645): Abraham Placzek, the chief rabbi of Moravia, passed away today.

    1888: “He Wants To Be A Boss” published today described moves by Ernst Nathan to take control of “the Republican machine in Kings County (NY)” by asserting his role to dispense patronage following the election of Benjamin Harrison to the Presidency of the United States.

    1889: In the U.K. Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading, and Alice Edith Cohen gave birth to Gerald Rufus Isaacs, 2nd Marquess of Reading the WW I veteran, British barrister and MP who was the son-in-law of Alfred Moritz Mond and the father-in-law of Solly Zuckerman.

    1889: It was reported today that the Montefiore Home Fair of 1887 which raised $158,000 was the most successful fundraiser sponsored by the Jewish community to date.

    1889: It was reported today that this year’s Hebrew Educational Fair is being sponsored by the Hebrew Free School Association, the Aguilar Free Library and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. Funds raised during this two long event will go the Hebrew Institute.

    1890: In London, The Lord Mayor presided over a meeting at the Guildhall today “to consider the condtion of the Jews in Russia and to take action to secure some alleviation of their distress.”

    1890: A benefit performance of the play “Ein Konigreich um ein Kind” presented by Amberg’s company “for the benefit of the building fund of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum” will take place tonight at New York’s Lexington Avenue Opera House.

    1890: The forty-piece juvenile orchestra of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum performed at the Teacher’s Bazaar, an event designed to raise funds for teachers’ pensions.

    1890: In New York the State Senate Committee on Finance whose members included Jacob Cantor met today to “consider what disposition should be made of the 121 acres of land on Ward’s Island” which had been the entry point for untold thousands of immigrants including Jews from Russia and Poland.

    1890: In New York, William Lesser who was accompanied by Jacob Finkelstone of the United Hebrew Charities Organization, identified the corpse of Maximillian Laski just before it was about to be dissected in the amphitheater of the University Medical School

    1891: Birthdate of Nelly Sachs. Born in Berlin, Sachs was a German poet and dramatist who was transformed by the Nazi experience from a dilettante into a poignant spokesperson for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews. Sachs found sanctuary in Sweden in 1940. When, with Shmuel Yosef Agnon, she was awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature, she observed that Agnon represented Israel whereas "I represent the tragedy of the Jewish people." She passed away in 1970 and was buried in Sweden.

    1891: Sixty-three year old Abraham Kuenen, “a Dutch Protestant theologian” who specialized in the Hebrew Bible including as can be seen by his text on the Hexateuch” passed away today at Leiden.

    1891: “Our Foreign Relations” published today noted that President Harrison’s “references to the persecution and expulsion of the Russian Jews are just and temperate.” The President showed a “practical as well as a humane and sympathetic interest in persuading” to “abate her cruelties” when dealing with the Jews.

    1892: Lucius Weinschenk, a member of the firm of Bryan, Weinschenk & Hirschel and prominent member of the Chicago Jewish country fled the United States “leaving a shortage in his accounts…of about $20,000.”

    1893: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address at Carnegie Hall this morning on the teachings of Jesus Christ which began with a comparison between Jesus and “the older prophets of Israel.”

    1893: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered a sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “Who Are the Enemies of Judaism?”

    1894: “Cheap Loans A Success” published today described the activity of the Provident Society, which had been established to lend money to the needy at a rate far below of the pawnshops whose founders included August Belmont and Jacob Schiff, had made half of its loans to Jews with the rest going mostly to “Americans and Germans.”

    1895: Large crowds visited all of the booths and displays at the Hebrew Fair in New York City. Isaacs S. Isaacs is editor in chief of the Fair Journal. Rebecca Kohut is the business manager of the Fair Journal.

    1896: A secretary for President-elect William McKinley wrote a letter to Rabbi Emanuel Schwab in response to one that Rabbi Schwab had sent to him congratulating McKinley on his election and telling the former Civil War major that he had voted for him.

    1897(15th of Kislev, 5658): Charles Louis Fleischmann passed away. Born in 1835, he “was an innovative manufacturer of yeast and other consumer food products during the 19th Century. In the late 1860s, he and his brother Maximilian created America’s first commercially produced yeast, which revolutionized baking in a way that made today’s mass production and consumption of bread possible.”

    1898: The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the Spanish-American War. Following the war, a number of Jewish veterans settled in Cuba. By 1904, they were able to establish a synagogue in Havana.

    1899: The National Jewish Hospital for Treatment of Consumptives opened today in Denver, Colorado.

    1901: The first Nobel Prizes were awarded. In 1905, Adolph von Baeyer, a German chemist, became the first Jew to win a Nobel Prize. He won it in Chemistry for his work in synthesizing dye indigo.

    1903: “The Early and the Girl” a two-act musical comedy for which Jerome Kern would write the song “How’d you like to spoon with me?” opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London.

    1905: The Jews of Manchester, England called for a meeting to publicly protest the treatment of Russian Jews as typified by the Kishinev Pogroms.

    1906: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize. Roosevelt never intended to keep the money that was part of the prize. Finally, in 1918, he was able to donate the money to a variety of charities. Among those receiving funds was the Jewish Welfare Board, which received $4,000 for War Activities. The funds were to be handled by the treasurer, Mr. Walter E. Sachs.

    1909: Bessie Ida Ginsberg married Jesse Lasky, the co-founder of Paramount Pictures.

    1910(9th of Kislev, 5671): Seventy-seven year old Michael Friedländer passed away.  Born in Posen, and educated in Germany, he moved to England in 1865 when he back principal of Jews’ College in London, a position he held until three years before his death.  His English translation of Maiimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed is considered to be a classic.  He was the father-in-law of Moses Gaster.

    1910: German-Jewish author and translator Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    1913: Birthdate of composer Morton Gould.

    1913: In London, Charles Rothschild and his wife, Hungarian baroness Rozsika Edle von Wertheimstein, daughter of Baron Alfred von Wertheimstein of Transylvania gave birth to Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild “a British-born jazz patroness and writer.”

    1915: Moise Cohen of Constantinople was appointed professor of finance at Ottoman University.

    1916: Alfred Mond began serving as First Commissioner of Works under Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

    1917(25th of Kislev, 5678): First Day of Chanukah

    1922: Due to travel problems, Albert Einstein was unable to attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and deliver his Nobel Lecture.

    1923: Dr. Arthur Ruppin tells the Keren Hayesod Council that “the housing shortage in Palestine has been relieved to a considerably extent by the establishment of the General Mortgage Bank of Palestine, which has invested more than $300,000 in mortgages, enabling the construction of 300 houses, chiefly in Tel-Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa and Tiberias.”

    1923: Birthdate of Harold Gould. Born Harold Goldstein, Gould is one of those character actors whose face you know but name you don’t. One of his more memorable roles came in Paul Newman/Robert Redford hit, The Sting.

    1926: In Hamburg, Germany, Solomon Birnbaum, the son of Nathan Birnbaum, and his wife gave birth to Jacob (Yaakov) Birnbuam who survived the Holocaust thanks to the Kindertransport and formed the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry”

    1929: Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Jewish son-in-law of Mark Twain, conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a concert at Carnegie Hall tonight.

    1930: As the U.S. economy moved further into what we now call The Great Depression, the savings bank in which many members of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood in New York had placed their money closed and no funds were made available to depositors. The collection of dues began to fall off at an alarming rate, and there was a high demand for financial aid from the Secret Relief Fund.

    1931: “Baron De Hirsch Centenary” published today traces the life of Jewish philanthropist who is all but unknown to modern generations.

    1931: U.S. Premiere of “The Struggle” D.W. Griffith’s last picture which was filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.

    1931: U.S. premiere of “Men in Her Life” a drama with a script co-authored by Robert Riskin.

    1934: Birthdate of Howard Martin Temin. Temin an American virologist who in 1975 shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with his former professor Renato Dulbecco and another of Dulbecco's students, David Baltimore, for his co-discovery of the enzyme reverse transcriptase.

    1934: Birthdate of Ryszard Przecicki, who as Richard J. Pratt, became one of the richest men in Australia.

    1936: Jewish settlers erected the first of the “Tower and Stockade” settlements (Tel Amel) Nir David. These settlements on remote parcels of land purchased by the Jewish National Fund were set up overnight with the help of prefabricated towers and walls. They were usually put up overnight with the help of hundreds of volunteers. Eventually 118 of this type of settlement were erected throughout the Galilee, Bet-She'an Valley and the Jordan Valley. The secretive construction method was one way of avoiding Arab attacks.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported on the brazen attack carried out in the heart of Haifa's Hadar Hacarmel. An Arab terrorist first exploded a bomb and then fired two shots, seriously wounding 13-year-old Elimelech Gromet. Another bomb was thrown in the Tel Arza quarter of Jerusalem, next to the Weismann carpentry.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Sir Charles Teggart, who won his reputation as an indefatigable anti-terrorist fighter in Bengal, arrived in Jerusalem, to advise the government and police on new anti-terrorist tactics.

    1937(6th of Tevet, 5698): Eighty-one year old Abraham Isaak the Russian born anarchist who worked as a journalist and founded Aurora Colony with his wife in California which was based on his anarchist belief

    1938: Thanks to the effort of Mrs. Gertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer, a Dutch organizer of Kindertransporte, who had been active in this field since 1937,” a train filled with 600 children left Vienna today.

    1939: Friedrich Ubelhor, governor of the Kalisz-Lodz district, issued a secret order for the establishment of a ghetto in the northern section of Lodz, where the Jewish Baluty slum quarter was situated. "Needless to say [stated his order] the establishment of a ghetto is only a provisional phase...the ultimate goal must be the total purge of this scourge."

    1942: A transport of Jews from Germany arrives at Auschwitz.

    1942: At Wola Przybyslawska, Poland, near the Parczew Forest, Nazis shoot seven Poles accused of aiding Jews.

    1942: The Polish ambassador to Britain informs Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden that the Polish government-in-exile can confirm that the German authorities are systematically exterminating the entire Jewish population of Poland and the rest of Europe.

    1943: As Soviet troops began to break through German lines, the Germans (and local Rumanians) tried cover up their actions by killing the surviving inmates of the labor camp and destroying the camp itself in Tarasika Rumania. This type of action was repeated over and over as Soviet troops moved toward Germany.

    1943: In Brooklyn Elaine and Arthur Niederhoffer gave birth to Victor Niederhoffer “a hedge fund manager, champion squash player, bestselling author and statistician” who is the older brother of Roy Niederhoffer.

    1945: Birthdate of James Lee “Jimmy” Kessler, the founder of the Texas Jewish Historical society and the “first native Texan to serve as Rabbi of B’nai Israel, in Galveston Texas.

    1945: The cover of Time features a montage of Nazi leaders standing trial at Nuremberg under the title “Hitler’s Heirs”

    1945: Time published “War Crimes: Day of Judgment” describing the trial of Hermann Göring, Alfred Jodl, Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, Alfred Rosenberg, Julius Streicher, Julius Streicher and Rudolph Hess

    1945: "The Chalice of Nurnberg," published today by Time described the purpose of the trials in the words US. Prosecutor Robert Jackson who defined the need for individual responsibility and the establishment of a rule of International Law that would prevent such crimes from happening again

    1945: “Treason: The Seeker” published today described the condition Ezra Pound, the expatriate American poet who relished giving anti-Semitic and anti-American broadcast from his home in Italy.  The latter earned him the dubious distinction of being one of the few Americans indicted for treason because of his radio broadcasts.

    1945: President Truman names six U.S. members to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine. London announces six members

    1945: SS Captain Theodore Dannecker, a henchman of Adolf Eichman committed suicide after having been arrested by the United States Army.

    1946: Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver criticizes President Truman, expresses his opposition to Partition and recommends resistance to the British Mandatory Government.

    1947: British leaders will not alter the Jewish quota that limits the Jewish immigrants 1,500 a month.

    1947: Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori became the first Jewish woman, as well as the first American woman, to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences when she received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. She won the prize jointly with her husband, Dr. Carl F. Cori, and Bernardo A. Houssay.

    1947: A detachment of Palmach soldiers was attacked while paroling the water pipeline near the Arab village of Shu’ut in the Negev. The commander of the Palmach assured his men that they had nothing to worry about since the head man of the village had been a friend of his. But in the Arab’s undeclared war on the yet to be born Jewish state, friendships did not always matter.

    1948: Speaking in the House of Commons as leader of the Opposition, Winston Churchill raised the question of why the British government continued to refuse to recognize the state of Israel since nineteen other countries including the United States and the Soviet Union had already done so. He appeals to Parliament to end its “sulky boycott” of the Jewish state

    1948: Despite opposition from some of his ministers, Ben Gurion pressured the cabinet into committing to move the Israeli government to Jerusalem “without further delay.” Ben Gurion dismissed the fears of his opponents that the move would anger world opinion by pointing out that the occupation of the Old City and the West Bank by the Jordanians had changed the equation.

    1948: Israel agrees to UN truce mission's request to let a trapped Egyptian force withdraw from Faluja in Negev. Was it only 6 months ago that the Egyptians invaders were bombing Tel Aviv and heading toward the “Jewish city” with the intent of driving the Jews into the sea.

    1948: The Israelis devised Operation Horev, a new offensive plan designed to drive the Egyptian army out of the remaining areas of Mandatory Palestine south-west of Beersheba, along the western edge of the Negev.

    1948: Moshe “Dayan gave a sealed letter to Abdullah el-Tell to be delivered to King Abdullah. Before delivering the letter el-Tell discreetly lifted the seal and made a photo-static copy of its contents, which was an invitation from Elias Sasson to King Abdullah to restart the negotiations which had been led by Golda Meir before the outbreak of war

    1950: Ralph J. Bunche was presented the Nobel Peace Prize. Bunche was the first black American to receive the award. He was honored for bringing an end to the war between the Israelis and the Arabs that began in 1948 when the Arabs began their unsuccessful attempt to drive the Jews into the sea.

    1952: Yosef Sprinzak, the first Speaker of the Knesset, completed his service as President of Israel which had begun following the death of Chaim Weizmann.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that at the end of the 30-day mourning period for the first president of the State of Israel, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, his successor, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, took the pledge of office.

    1955(25th of Kislev, 5716): Chanukah

    1955: “An Israeli police approaching the Sea of Galilee’s northwestern shored was fired on by Syrian guns” in the latest of a series of Syrian violations of the truce agreement.

    1956(6th of Tevet, 5717): David Shimoni, Israeli poet, writer and translator, passed away.

    1961: Birthdate of Oded Schramm, who melded ideas from two branches of mathematics into an equation that applies to a multitude of physics problems from the percolation of water through rocks to the tangling of polymers.

    1963: In Chamberlin v Dade County Board, the Florida State Supreme Court heard “new arguments in a challenge to public school students in Miami, Florida, being required to read passages from the Bible and recite the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of every school day” (As reported by Austin Cline)

    1964: In Israel, the government resigned when “Ben-Gurion demanded that members of the Supreme Court Investigate the Lavon Affair.

    1965: Birthdate of Gary “The Kid” Jacobs the Scottish boxer who “wore a Star of David on his trunks" and who “held the British Commonwealth and European (EBU) welterweight titles.”

    1966: “A musical version of the Mossinsohn play, ‘Casablan’ starring Yehoram Gaon, opened today on the Alhambra Stage in Tel Aviv.”

    1966: Israeli Samuel Yosef Agnon and German-Jew Nelly Sachs shared the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    1970: A small group of local Jewish activists gathered on the International Union of Electrical Workers plaza which was across the street from the Soviet Embassy. The group was protesting the verdicts of treason and death sentences of 11 Soviet citizens, 9 of them Jewish.

    1970: First Human Rights Day on which “a daily Soviet Jewry Vigil is launched across from the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC” which will last for twenty years.

    1971: Dr. Gunter Kahn and one of his colleagues “went to Upjohn’s headquarters in Kalamazoo where they briefed scientists and executives” on minoxidil telling “them that he drug was a potential ‘gold mine.’”

    1972: U.S. premiere of “Sleuth” the film version of Anthony Shaffer’s Tony Award winning play directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

    1972(5th of Tevet, 5733): Forty-seven year old Tibor Szamuely, the Russian born English historian who was the nephew of Tibor Szamuely and the father of journalist George Szamuely, passed away today.

    1975: Activist Andrei Sakharov is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, accepted by his Jewish wife, Yelena Bonner.

    1978: The New York Times features reviews of children’s books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “My Noah’s Ark” by M.B. Goffstein and “Hanukah Money” by Sholem Aleichem with illustrations by Uri Shulevitz.

    1978: Richard Shepard reviews “The Girl From Tel Aviv,” a throwback to “the Yiddish musical theater of bygone years, the type of theater that provided escapism for the Lower East Side, which always enjoyed tsoress on stage and had more than enough of its own waiting at the exit.”

    1978: In Oslo, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat accept 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. The two men earned the prize for breaking the cycle of violence. More to the point, their work has stood the test of time. These two certainly earned their award.

    1980: Future Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer began serving as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

    1981: Jules Pfeiffer’s "Grownups" premieres in New York NY.

    1984: In “Jewish Federation Shifts Policy on Hospital Gifts” published today Ronald Sullivan described changes the organization is making in its distribution of five million dollars to local medical facilities

    1986: Michiko Kakutani reviewed “Letters from Westerbrook” the posthumously published diaries of Etty Hillesum that describe life in Holland under the Nazi occupation. Westerbrook, where Miss Hillesum and a large number of Dutch Jews were held, was, in reality a transit camp with the next stop being Auschwitz

    1986: Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepted the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.

    1987(19th of Kislev, 5748): Yasha Heifetz passed away. Born in 1901 in what is now Lithuania, Heifetz joined a long list of world class Jewish violinist.

    1989: The Intifada enters into its third year today.

    1989: In “The Arab Uprising After Two Years: Voices From Both Sides” published today, Joel Brinkley examines the impact of the Intifada on average Arabs and Israelis.

    1990: In Canada, Herb Gray, a member of the Liberal Party stepped down as the leader of the Opposition

    1992: In “Hafetz Hayim Journal; The Rabbis' Almanack of Seventh-Year Farming” Clyde Haberman described the implementation of the Sabbatical Year in modern day Israel

    1994: The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat. Arafat betrayed Rabin, Peres and all who supported the peace process as can be seen by his continuing support of violence in the Middle East up until the day of his death.

    1994(7th of Tevet, 5755): Eighty-seven year old Philip “Phil” Piratin who was one of the leaders of “Battle of Cable Street” in 1936 and one of two members of the Communist Party elected to Parliament in 1945 passed away today.

    1995: Vice President Al Gore, Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Leah Rabin, addressed a crowd of nearly 15,000 people crowded into Madison Square Garden today to honor the memory of Yitzhak Rabin.

    1996: Three hundred Palestinian students “suddenly barged onto the walled campus of Hebron University, closed by the Israelis since last March, and declared that they would stay until it was reopened.”

    1997(11th of Kislev, 5758): Eighty-five year old Kalmen Kaplansky who was described as   "the zaideh" (grandfather) of the Canadian human rights movement” passed away today.

    1999(1st of Tevet, 5760): Rosh Chodesh is observed for the last time in the 20th century.

    2000: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak submitted his resignation.

    2000: The New York Times book section includes a review of Open Closed Open by Yehuda Amichai whose “poems capture the joy of ordinary experience.”

    2001(25th of Kislev, 5762): Chanukah is celebrated for the first time in post 9/11 world.

    2004: Actor Jeffrey Michael Tambor and “his wife Kasia gave birth to Gabriel Kasper today.

    2005: Deputy Chief Gertrude D.T. Schimmel, “ the second highest ranking woman ever in the New York Police Department described her training in 1940 when she wrote today “we didn’t box or do the two-mile rue but other than that the police academy training for women was the same as for men.”

    2005: The first Asiatic elephant to be conceived in Israel through artificial insemination was born at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem.
    2006: "Reflections from the Heart," an exhibition of the works of CHIM (David Seymour) at the Albin O. Kuhn Library came to an end today.

    2006: Celebration of Yud-Tes Kislev, the 19th of Kislev. “The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism. It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia. For Chassidim this event is more than a personal liberation. They see this as a watershed event heralding a new era in the revelation of the ‘inner soul’ of Torah. This is also the celebration of the birthday of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov, the Coca Chef.

    2006: Under the title of “The Schindlers of the Middle East” The Washington Post book section features a review of Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands by Robert Satloff.

    2006: Actor Jeffrey Michael Tambor and “his wife Kasia gave birth to their second child, Eve “Evie” Julia. today.

    2007(1st of Tevet, 5768): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    2007: “President George W. Bush and Laura Bush invited Ruth and Judea Pearl, parents of Daniel Pearl to the White House Chanukah reception, to light the menorah that once belonged to Daniel's great grandparents, Chaim and Rosa Pearl, who brought it with them when they moved from Poland to Israel in 1924 to establish the town of Bnai-Brak.”

    2007: The New Republicfeatures a review of The Book of Psalms: A Translation With Commentarytranslated by Robert Alter.  “He has deliberately set out to evacuate these covert (and usually Christological) assumptions” that distort or completely alter what the Psalmists actually created.

    2008: Peter Yarrow, the Peter in “Peter, Paul and Mary” appears at the Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as he promotes “The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series.”

    2008: Baal teshuvah Andy Statman who is at home with Klezmer and Country music  joined Bela Fleck and the Fleckstone in a concert at the University of Buffalo.

    2008: The month-long exhibition “The Nature of Dreams: Israeli photographs, selection from the collection of Yosefa Drescher Fine Art” has its final showing at Trinity College in Hartford.

    2008 (13 Kislev): On the Hebrew calendar, Yahrzeit of Ravina II who passed away in 475 CE the same year in which he finished editing the Gemara portion of the Talmud Bavli ("Babylonian Talmud"), completing the work of his teacher Rav Ashi.

    2008: At Princeton University, Dennis Ross former special Middle East Coordinator under the Clinton administration and consultant for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy delivers a speech entitled "Whither the Middle East?"

    2009: The third annual Kisufim Conference which aims to "encourages encounters between Israeli creativity - in Hebrew and other languages - and world Jewish creativity that is both multilingual and multicultural," comes to an end.

    2009: Screenwriter Steven Karras discusses and signs his first book, The Enemy I Knew: German Jews in the Allied Military in World War II, at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, in Washington, D.C.

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a screening of “Brothers,” a film that depicts the struggle of 2 brothers who struggle to come to terms with their political and religious beliefs when they reunite in Israel after years of silence.

    2009: “Avatar,” the science fiction film co-produced by Jon Landau premiered in London.

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes a screening of “Achziv,” a film that documents the unique story of Eli Avivi, President of "Achziv Land," from the time of the War of Independence when Eli appropriated a deserted Arab village called A'Ziv.

    2009: The Israel Aerospace Industries made the first delivery of the Heron UAV to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) today. The ten unmanned aerial vehicles will be used in Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

    2009: The third annual Kisufim Conference, a series of special workshops and meetings in Russian, English, French, Hungarian, Serbian and Spanish which aims to "encourages encounters between Israeli creativity - in Hebrew and other languages - and world Jewish creativity that is both multilingual and multicultural," comes to an end in Jerusalem.

    2009: A four day conference entitled "A Century of Yiddish:1908-2008" came to a close in Jerusalem

    2010: On Human Rights Day, the community is scheduled to hold a ceremony that will remember the Soviet Jewry Struggle and commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Washington, D.C. Vigil that became part of efforts to make it possible for Russian Jews to leave the Soviet Union.

    2010: Daniel Burman, who lives and works in Argentina as one of its leading filmmakers today, and Jorge Gurvich, also an award-winning filmmaker who left Argentina for Israel are scheduled to present a program entitled “Argentina’s Jewish Community Through Filmmaker’s Eyes at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    2010: The 12th annual Jerusalem Festival is scheduled to come to a close. During this year’s festival, Frans Weisz, a Holocaust survivor who directed “Polonaise” (1989), “Qui Vive” (2001) and “Happy End” (2007) – a trilogy, about two Dutch Jewish families he co-wrote with playwright Judith Herzbergrecipient received this year’s Life Achievement Award.

    2010: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni at the State Department in Washington today, only a few days after the U.S. and Israel announced that talks between Jerusalem and Washington over a new freeze on West Bank settlement construction in exchange for a set of U.S. guarantees had hit a dead end.

    2010: Rain began falling on different parts of Israel this afternoon, beginning what was expected to be a stormy weekend. Tel Aviv received its first raindrops early in the afternoon, along with Haifa, Netanya, Ra'anana and Kfar Saba.

    2010: Thousands of people participated in a march celebrating International Human Rights Day in Tel Aviv this morning.
    2010: Hundreds of people attended the funeral of former Knesset speaker and Holocaust-survivor advocate Dov Shilansky at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv this morning.
    2011: As part of the Scholar-In-Residence Weekend at Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, Dr. Ethan Bueno de Mesquita of the University of Chicago is scheduled to lead the Shabbat Torah Study.

    2011: Producer Aviva Kempner is scheduled to see the 2011 WJFF Visionary Award recipient at the 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival followed by a screening of her documentary “Partisans of Vilna” the theme of which is "We will not allow them to take us like beasts to the slaughter."

    2011: The second round of weekend events that are part of Hamshoushalayim are scheduled to end today.

    2011:Israeli professor Dan Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in Stockholm today, and said that scientists have many duties, including keeping an eye on politicians.  Israel has an impressive showing when it comes to Nobel winners, with 10 laureates in its 63-year history. Most recently, Israeli scientist Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute also won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2009, for her work on the ribosomes. Shechtman also won the Israel Prize in physics in 1998.

    2012:The Sephardic Music Festival is scheduled to continue today with performances by Zion 80,Hasidic New Wave with Yakar Rhythms, and Mika Karney

    2012(26thof Kislev, 5773): Ninety-seven year old economist Albert O. Hirschman who helped to rescue artists and intellectuals from Nazi-occupied France passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

    2012(26thof Kislev, 5773): Zoltan Zinn-Collis, who was born at High Tatras in 1940 and “was one of only five living survivors of the Holocuast in Ireland” passed away today “in his Athy home.”

    2012: The Washington Jewish Festival and the Hebrew Language Table are scheduled to present a screening of “There Was Once,” a film by Gabor Kalman, that focuses on the work of a high school teacher in Kalocsa,

    2012: The Sephardic Scholar Series is scheduled to continue this year with a free concert at the CUNY-Graduate Center with the New York Andalus Ensemble. 

    2012: Nechemya Weberman a 54 year old unlicensed therapist who is a prominent member of the Satmar Chasidic community in Williamsburg was convicted “of repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl who had been sent to him for help.” (As reported by Sharon Otterman)

    2012: After nightfall, Jews worldwide will celebrate the third of the winter festival’s eight nights

    2012: The Palestinian Authority  today granted Hamas permission to mount a 25th anniversary celebration in the West Bank in growing signs that Fatah and rival Hamas are working to end the five-year schism between them, Ma'an News Agency reported.

    2012: Todayin Stockholm, the Royal Academy of Sciences is scheduled to present the Nobel Prize in chemistry to Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, and the Nobel in economics to Alvin Roth. (As reported by Mark Shulte)

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor a reading and discussion of The Reason I Jump by Naokj Higashida.

    2013: “The Congress” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013:Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) is scheduled to begin distributing free Christmas Trees at Nazareth.  (This is not a typo or a joke)

    2013:Hundreds of haredi men from radical sectors of the ultra-Orthodox community rallied once again in Jerusalem tonight in protest at the ongoing detention of two yeshiva students by the army, and against enlistment to the military and national service programs in general.” (As reported by Jeremy Sharon)

    2013: “Emergency services across” Israel “were put on high alert as a major storm hit the region which is expected to last through the weekend.  Mt. Hermon is already experiencing high winds and snow according to the Israel Metrological Service (As reported by Gavriel Fiske)

    2013: Israeli-American chemists Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt were officially awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, today. The two, along with Martin Karplus, won the award “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. (As reported by Adiv Sterman)
    2014: At the Historic 6th& I Synagogue is “Rabbi Shira” is scheduled to present “What It Takes To Officiate at Your Friend’s Wedding.”

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to sponsor a tour of its exhibition “Echoes of the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld.



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    321: A letter from Emperor Constantine the Great regarding special taxes of this date provides the first evidence of Jews along the Rhine.

    361: Emperor Julian, referred to as Julian the Apostate, entered Constantinople as the sole ruler of the Empire. The appellation was affixed to him because unlike his predecessors he did not embrace Christianity and was willing to see a return to previous pagan practices.  His “toleration” of other religions would be seen in 363, when, on his way to find the Persians, he announced that the Jews would be allowed to re-build their Temple.  The plan was thwarted by an earthquake in the Galilee and by his untimely death at the hands of an assassin.

    1475: Birthdate of Pope Leo X.  To the Christian world, Leo was one of the Popes criticized by Luther for selling indulgencies and perpetuating other non-spiritual practices.  To others he was a patron of the arts and one of the Renaissance Popes.  In fact, Leo “fostered tolerance of Jewish learning as another aspect of the Renaissance cultural scene.”  During a dispute over the Talmud, Leo refused to have the Talmud burned.  Instead he had a Christian printer published the text in its entirety without censorship.  “Leo confirmed privileges accorded Jews in French papal territory despite protests from the local bishops.” He ended the wearing of Jew Badge in French papal territories and did not enforce the requirement in Italy.

    1751: Birthdate of Christian Wilhelm von Dohm a friend of Moses Mendelssohn, “a staunch advocate for Jewish emancipation, who published On the Civil Improvement of the Jewish.

    1758: Birthdate of German composer and music teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter whose students included Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny Mendelssohn and Gioaccomo Mayerber, an unlikely trio given their ethnic background and the conditions in Germany at that time.

    1762(25th of Kislev, 5523): Chanukah

    1789: The University of North Carolina is chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly. The first Jewish student group, the Hebrew Culture Society, appeared on campus in 1912. Despite objections, the secretary of the YMCA, Frank Porter Graham, gave them meeting space in his building. In 1936, Jewish community leaders and students organized the Hillel Foundation, one of eleven across the nation.Jewish students began their own fraternities because the existing organizations excluded them. The first Jewish fraternity at Carolina was Tau Epsilon Phi, organized in 1924. By 1926, it had twenty-one members. Notable among them was Harry Schwartz, who starred on the football team, and Emanuel J. Evans, who competed on the track, basketball, and debate teams. Zeta Beta Tau appeared on campus in 1928. In 1951, Evans was elected mayor of nearby Durham, the first Jew to hold that office in North Carolina. Carolina students in 1958 elected their first Jewish student body president, Eli Evans of Durham, whose father had attended the university during the 1920s. Evans published a memoir, The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South, in 1973. According to recent figures 1,000 of Carolina’s 16,000 undergrads are Jewish and 200 of the 10,000 graduate students are Jewish.  The school offers approximately 30 Jewish studies courses including a minor in Jewish studies.  From a personal point of view, the school’s greatest claim to fame is that Larry Rosenstein, of blessed memory met Judy Levin, of blessed memory while they were both attending Carolina.  They married and produced three sons all of whom are proud Tar Heels.

    1803: According to the JCR-UK Jewish Communities & Records, birthdate of Nathan Marcus Adler, who served as Chief Rabbi from 1845 to 1890.  (The Jewish Encyclopedia shows January 15, 1803 as the birthdate)

    1807: In Bremerhaven, Marcus and Henritte Hertz Schwabe gave birth to Johanna Schwabe who married David Mortiz Goldschmidt who gained fame as Johanna Goldschmidt the leader in the fight for women’s right who was the mother of Otto Goldschmidt and the mother-in-law of famed singer Jenny Lind.

    1809: Birthdate of Theodore Griesinger, a German clergyman, author and leading anti-Semite.

    1813: In the Netherlands coronation of King William I who “began to regulate the Jewish community's internal affairs, by effectively disbanding the Netherlands kehilla, instituting compulsory secular education for Jewish children and waging “a determined battle against Yiddish, which resulted in the Jews' widespread adoption of Dutch.” The efforts of the government were aided by those of the Dutch maskilim, who were of course in favor of integration. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1816: Indiana became the 19th state to join the Union. “In Indiana, towards the end of the 1840’s, there were small organized communities in Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Evansville.  The first congregation was organized in Indianapolis in 1856.” During the Civil War, over five hundred Jewish Hoosiers fought for the Union.

    1817: Sixty five heads of families joined The New Israelite Temple Society (Neuer Israelitischer Tempelverein in Hamburg) which was founded today.

    1826: Birthdate of William Henry Waddington, the future Prime Minister of France, who as Foreign Minister provided Laurence Oliphant with a letter of recommendation he could take to the Sultan to further his plan to settle  large numbers of Jews in Palestine.

    1830(25thof Kislev, 5591): Chanukah

    1835: Birthdate of Adolf Stoecker, the Lutheran theologian and Court Chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm II who became an outspoken leader of the anti-Semitic movement in Germany.

    1838:  Birthdate of Emil Rathenau.  A German industrialist, Rathenau was cofounder of the German Edison Company which later became the electrical and telephone giant AEG.  He was the father of Walter Rathenau, the famous German statesman from the World War I era.

    1843: In Furth, Bavaria, Mina Gerstle and Anton Pickert gave birth to Lehman Pickert, the husband of Bertha Kaufman, who came to the United States in 1858 where he first settled in Cincinnati before finally settling in Boston in 1875.

    1854: A Jew named Rosenthal was arrested in Louisville, KY today on charges that he had obtained goods valued at $60,000 under false pretenses while in Philadelphia, PA. He left for Philadelphia today in the custody of law officer who had been dispatched from the City of Brotherly Love,

    1860: Birthdate of Louis Ostheim, the Philadelphia native and son of Philip Ostheim who was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy in 1878.

    1861:  “Jewish Chaplains” published today reported that Rabbi Arnold Fischel, of New York, “had an interview today with the President, to urge the appointment of Jewish Chaplains for every military Department, they being excluded by an act of Congress from the volunteer regiments, among whom there are thousands of Israelites. In the meantime the Doctor will take charge of the spiritual welfare of the Jewish soldiers on the Potomac. The President assured him that the subject will receive his earnest attention, and expressed the opinion that this exclusion was altogether unintentional on the part of Congress.”

    1861: In his own words, Rabbi Arnold Fischel “called this morning at ten o’clock at the White House where hundreds of people were anxiously waiting for admission, some of whom told me that they had been for three days awaiting their turn. I was, nevertheless, at once invited to his room and was received with marked courtesy. After having read the letter of the Board and delivered to him several letters of introduction, he questioned me on various matters connected with this subject and then told me that he fully admitted the justice of my remarks, that he believed the exclusion of Jewish chaplains to have been altogether unintentional on the part of Congress, and agreed that something ought to be done to meet this case. I suggested that he might do for the Jewish what he had done for the Christian volunteers and take upon himself the responsibility of appointing Jewish chaplains for the Hospitals. He replied that he had done that at a time when Congress was not in session deeming the subject to require immediate attention, but that after the Meeting of Congress he would not be justified in taking the responsibility upon himself. Finally, he told me that it was the first time this subject had been brought under his notice, that it was altogether new to him, that he would take the subject into serious consideration, that I should call again tomorrow morning and if he has five minutes to spare he would receive me and let me know his views. I thanked him for his kind reception, and expressed to him my best wishes for his welfare. In the course of my remarks, I gave him clearly to understand that I came to him not as an office seeker but to contend for the principle of religious liberty, for the constitutional rights of the Jewish Community and for the welfare of the Jewish volunteers, which he seemed fully to appreciate.”

    1862: Union troops including the 59th New York Volunteer Regiment which had been formed by Lt. Colonel Phillip J. Joachimsen began crossing the Rappahannock River at the start of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the military disaster led by General Ambrose Burnside.

    1866(3rd of Tevet, 5627): Hirsch Kolisch, the philanthropist from Nikolsburg who established a school for deaf-mutes passed away today in Vienna.

    1875: Birthdate of religious leader Yehuda Leib Maimon who served as an Israeli cabinet minister.

    1875: Edward Levy, who had assumed by Royal license of the name Lawson in addition to and after Levy making him Edward Levy-Lawson, today legally changed the name of his son to Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson

    1876: It was reported today Boston police have arrested several notorious female shoplifters included a Lena Nugent a Jewess known as “Black Lena.”  Nugent and one of her accomplices, an English woman named Tilly Miller are wanted by authorities in Brooklyn, NY on charges of shoplifting and jail breaking.

    1876(25th of Kislev, 5637): First day of Chanukah

    1876: The Hebrew Charity Ball is scheduled to take place tonight at the Academy of Music in New York City.  The Executive Committee responsible for this fundraising activity includes H.S. Allen, Henry Rice, J.F Bamberger, L.S. Levy, M.H. Moses, S.B. Solomon, C.C. Allen, Joseph Koch and J.S. Isaacs.

    1880: A fair that will raise funds for the Ladies’ Lying in Relief Society and the Forty-fourth Street Synagogue is scheduled to open at the Metropolitan Concert Hall in New York City.

    1882: “Literary Notes” published today contains a brief review of Jews of Barnow by Karl Emil Franzos. “This collection of Jewish stories” based on life in Eastern Galicia  “is certainly one of the most valuable contributions made during this century”  in helping us to understand the customs of Polish and Russian Jews.

    1882: It was reported today that several ministers in New York have spoken out on the subject of the Sunday Closing Laws. Reverend Charles H. Eaton spoke of the need to remember the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law. “The Jew who closed his store on Saturday kept his Sabbath according to his conscience and it would be wrong to compel him by force to change the Sabbath of his faith. (Strangely enough, this comes at a time when leaders of the Reform movement were trying to substitute Sunday services for the traditional Shabbat Saturday morning service.)

    1882: A fire in Kingston destroys Spanish and Portuguese and Ashkenasic synagogues along with many other buildings

    1882: In Bresalu, Gretchen Kauffmann and Gustav Jacob Born gave birth to Max Born, pioneer in the field of quantum mechanics.  The German born physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1954, with Walther Bothe of Germany, for his statistical formulation of the behavior of subatomic particles. His studies of the wave function led to the replacement of the original quantum theory, which regarded electrons as particles, with a mathematical description He also won the Max Blanc Medal and the Hughes Medal. He passed away in 1970. Born was a Jew who converted to the Lutheran faith in 1914.

    1882:  Birthdate of Fiorello H. La Guardia, Republican Congressman and three term mayor of New York City.  The flamboyant reformer had a Jewish mother and an Italian father. At one point in his career, the Democrats ran a Jewish candidate against La Guardia.  According to legend which may be fact, La Guardia countered by insisting on debating his opponent in Yiddish.  While the “Little Flower” was conversant in the tongue of Eastern European Jewry, his opponent had to beg off since he wasn’t.

    1884: In New York, the Sixth Precinct Station House was filled with a variety of clothing, haberdashery and furnishings that had been taken from the house of Marx Cohen a Jew is, “an alleged receiver of stolen goods.”

    1885: “Victoria’s Fifty Years of Reign” published today says that if the celebration of the British Monarch’s time on the throne is to be “a Jubilee” it should follow the pattern of the Jubilee described in Leviticus.  Based on the words of the ancient Israelites the celebration should be a year-long affair that should actually begin with the 49th year of her ascension to the throne. (Another example of the indirect impact that Jewish culture has had on the world)

    1887(25thof Kislev, 5648): Chanukah

    1887: Judge M.S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association in New York City.

    1888: Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler officiated at the wedding of Miss Fannie Foster, the daughter of Myer Foster and Jonas F. Emanuel in New York City.

    1888: This evening, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler officiated at the wedding of Miss Ophelia V. Herman daughter of Simon Herman and Leon Sonneborn.

    1889: It was reported today that the actor M.B. Curtis will be appearing a newly written and as yet unnamed comedy in which he will a Jewish matchmaker who marries one of his clients when he is unable to find her a match.  (Curtis is no stranger to playing Jewish roles since he began his career playing a Polish immigrant traveling salesman in “Sam’l of Posen. As reported by Harley Erdman)

    1890(29thof Kislev, 5651): Fifth Day of Chanukah

    1890: According to reports published today a committee has been organized to convey the views of several prominent Englishmen including Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Argyle, the Duke of Westminster and Lord Ripon concerning the treatment of the Jews to the Czar. They declare “that the renewed sufferings of the Jews in Russia from the operation of the sever and exceptional edicts against them and the disabilities placed upon them are deeply to be deplored and that in this last decade of the 19th century religious liberty is a principle which should be recognized by every Christian community as among natural rights.”

    1890: Among those who arrived at the Barge Office aboard the SS Noordland today were three Russian Jews, Moses Winterstein,  his “18 year old wife and 22 year old daughter” who were destitute be who claimed that any of Winterstein’s other three children who were already in this country would vouch for them.

    1890: “Russian Anti-Jewish Laws” published described new anti-Jewish laws that will be promulgated in 1891 including the extension of provisions already in place in Poland that prohibit the selling, leasing or mortgaging to Jews of any real estate in any part of the empire and that dispossess the Jews of any real estate they may already hold.

    1890: Simon Ascher who employed Maximillian as “a confidential clerk” said that that Maximillian Lasker probably committed suicide because of “overwork.”

    1890(29thof Kislev, 5651): Sixty-one year old Henry Nordlinger, the native of Wurtemberg who came to New York about 40 years ago where founded the importing firm of Henry Nordlinger & Co. along with his brother J.D. Nordlinger died suddenly while along Chambers Street.  He was a supporter and/or member of the Harmonie Club, Temple Emanu-El the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Hebrew Technical Institute, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, Mt Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home, the United Hebrew Charities and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children.

    1892: Members of the Hebrew Free School Association elect officersed at the annual meeting this morning after discussing Jacob H. Schiff’s plan for “consolidating all the branches of the Hebrew educational system in the Educational Alliance.”

    1892:  Birthdate of Leo Ornstein.  Born in Russia, the son of a Cantor, this composer’s early works showed the influence of Jewish liturgical music as well as the influence of Armenian chants.

    1892: Reports published today claimed that embezzler Louis Weinschenk, the prominent member of the Chicago business and Jewish communities has fled to New Orleans as he tries to make his way to Mexico City where he hopes to avoid the consequences of his “extravagant living.”

    1892: Four hundred people had signed up for the new singing classes at the Hebrew Institute at Jefferson and Broadway organized by Frank Damrosch.

    1892: It was reported today that a meeting of the Conservative members of the Reichstag turned “itself into a frenzy of Jew-baiting zeal” where “too much Judaism” was blamed for the lack of success of people living in rural areas.

    1892: It was reported that approximately “1,500 people mostly wealth and all well educated and refined” will be affected by the new royal decree calling for the immediate of Jews from Moscow unless they agree to be baptized in the Orthodox Church.

    1892: It was reported today “that the Russians will do their best to foment the anti-Semitic outcry in  Paris” in retaliation for the refusal of the Rothschilds to take up a  new loan desired by” Minster of Finance Sergei White.
    1892: It was reported today that “the anti-Semitic propaganda in Austria has received fresh energy” as can be seen by “a mass meeting recently held at the Vienna Town Hall” where Prince Alois Lichtenstein advised a crowd that included 2,000 working people “to boycott Jewish tradesmen.”

    1892: It was reported today that “Sarah Bernhardt me with a cool reception in Moscow because she is a Jewess” and that season-seat holders offere their tickets for her series at any price.

    1893: “The Proposed Tax On Bourse Transactions Approved by the Masses” published today described the willingness of the Reichstag to pass new, increased taxes on Bourse transactions because most people are not affected by them and because those who will suffer the greatest loss will be “the Jews who dominate the Frankfort and Berlin Bourses.”

    1893: “Enemies of Judaism” published today provided Rabbi Gustav Gottheil view that the two greatest threats to the survival of the Jewish people came from missionaries who “desired to close the doors of the synagogue and make it a church” and “Jews who have reached a lofty position” and say that “this religion might been all right once, but it is not now.”



    1894: “The body of Abraham Keyser, a retired grocer, was found in the Hutchinson River, near Pelham Bay Park in Westchester County” New York today.

    1895: The attendance at the today’s session of the Hebrew Fair “was much larger than on the previous day” and the receipts collected almost eclipsed the total collected on the opening night of the event being held at Madison Square Garden.

    1898(27th of Kislev, 5659): Third Day of Chanukah

    1898(27th of Kislev, 5659): Seventy-nine year old Max Grünbaum, a German orientalist who specialized in Ladino and Yiddish literature passed away today in Munich.

    1898: During the winter social season, Baron Hirsch leads hunting parties at his estate in Norfolk.

    1899:The crisis between the Neue Freie Presse and Herzl comes to an end. Herzl is paid the highest salary at the "Neue Freie Presse" and is given the exclusive editorship of the entire literary section.

    1899: In Denver, the first patient, “a Protestant Swedish woman from Minnesota,” entered the National Jewish Hospital for Treatment of Consumptives one day after it had opened.

    1899: In Charleston, SC, Etta Goodman married Jacob J. Goldstein of New York City.

    1903:Herzl asks for an interview with the Austrian Foreign Minister Agenor Goluchowsky. He writes to Wenzel von Plehve and repeats his request that the Russian ambassador in Constantinople be directed to give his support to the Zionist demands. He also pursues his efforts to open a branch of the Jewish Colonial Trust in St. Petersburg.

    1904: In Hanover, GermanyRahel and Philipp Nussbaum gave birth to “surrealist painter” Felix Nussbaum.  Unfortunately, being the son of a German patriot and a veteran of the Kaiser’s WW I Army did not save Felix from death at Auschwitz

    1905: Birthdate of award winning Anglo-Jewish author Robert David Quixano Henriques

    1905: Workers in Kiev rise in revolt and issue a manifesto that among other things calls for “national emancipation of …Jews” and “the immediate end to the Jewish pogroms, which embarrasses our people.”

    1906: Two hundred and twenty-five retail kosher meat butchers went on strike because of the increase in the price of beef. There were more meat riots tonight in the Brownsville district of Brooklyn and several butcher shops were destroyed. Additional police had to be called out to deal with the mob.

    1908: Birthdate of Ruth Weiss, the native of Vienna who moved to China where she witnessed World War II, the end of Chiang Kai-Shek, the rise of Mao Zedong and the Communist takeover.

    1909(27th of Kislev, 5670):Ludwig Mond, German-born, British chemist and industrialist passed away.  He was the founder of Mond Nickel Company and the father of Robert and Alfred Mond.

    1909: At the Reichstag, a debate on the budget gave way to a discussion of a speech Ambassador Bernstorff had delivered in Philadelphia which was attacked by Herr Zimmerman, of the Anti-Semites, who expressed displeasure at disparaging remarks about the Pan-German movement.

    1914: Hahambashi Nahum calls upon the Ottoman government in Palestine to protect the Jews in the face of an anti-foreign movement.

    1917(26thof Kislev): Second Day of Chanukah

    1917: British troops under General Allenby make their way into Jerusalem, defeating the Ottoman Turks and liberating Judea. The whole city turned out to greet the General, as did the Chief Sephardic and Ashkenazi Rabbis. The Jaffa Gate was opened after years of disuse to enable Allenby to enter on foot and also to enable him to enter into the city without making use of the gap in wall created for Kaiser William in 1898.

    1917:Corporal Louis Isaac Salek, a Gallipoli veteran from New Zealand, flew the first Jewish flag ever to fly over Jerusalem since the city’s fall to the Romans 2000+ years ago.” The flag was made by an Egyptian-Jewish department store owner named Moreno Cicurel with the assistance of a tailor from Alexandria named Eliezer Slutzkin. Unlike Israel’s present flag, Salek’s version was blue and white, the top half blue, the bottom half white with a Magen David in the center, but within the triangles there were rounded edges. Salek planted Moreno’s flag “atop the Tower of David - the Citadel - where it flew for 20 minutes before being removed by the British who had just conquered Palestine from the Turks.”

    1917: On the second day of Chanukah, the Atlanta Constitution headline read, "Jerusalem Falls into the Hands of British Troops; Jerusalem Is Freed from Turk after Virtually we Centuries - British Capture the Holy City.

    1917: On the same day that it reported on the fall of Jerusalem to the British, the Atlanta Constitution carried a story entitled "Jerusalem's Fall Brings Happiness to Atlanta Father" which told of how Abraham Amato now believes that "he will be able to bring his wife and children" who are living to Jerusalem to the United States.  Amatao was a Sephardic Jew born on the isle of Rhodes, who had lived in Jerusalem before coming to Atlanta.

    1920: Birthdate of Austrian born American violinist Eric Rosenblith.

    1922: In the Bronx, Isaac and Manya Ridnyik Goodside gave birth to Grace Goodside who gained fame as   Grace Paley, author, feminist and "somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist,” She has written three highly acclaimed collections of short fiction including Later the Same Day (1985) and Enormous changes at the Last Minute(1974), as well as three poetry collections. She contributes fiction to many prominent periodicals. She has taught at City College of New York as writer-in residence, as well as at Sarah Lawrence College. Raised in a socialist family by parents who had been arrested by the Russian czarist regime, Paley's progressive stances and concern for the underdog often emerge in her writing. Her political activism as an adult began with her work with the PTA at her children's school. She has been and remains actively involved in anti-war, anti-nuclear and feminist movements. Her more controversial activities include a visit to North Vietnam in 1969 and her role in co-founding the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation of the Left Bank and Gaza in 1987. Paley has been the recipient of many grants and awards including a Senior Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of her life-time contribution to literature in 1987. In 1986, Governor Mario Cuomo named Paley as the first official New York State Writer.

    1923: Birthdate of pianist Menahem Pressler. A native of German, he immigrated to Palestine in 1939 before finally settling in the United States where, among other accomplishments, he help to found the Beaux Arts Trio.

    1925: Birthdate of Paul Greengard. Greengard is American neurologist who was awarded a share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Arvid Carlsson of Sweden and Austrian-American Eric R. Kandel) for their discoveries concerning how drugs affect the brain and recognizing drug addiction as a brain disease.

    1929: In the Bronx, Irving Sperling, a Broadway ticket broker and Peggy Sperling, a milliner, gave birth to Donald Seymour Engel “a lawyer who helped pop stars like Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer and the Dixie Chicks wrest greater control of their careers from their record companies.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1931: In Providence, Rhode Island Madeline (Talamo) and David Dworkin gave birth to legal scholar and philosopher Ronald Dworkin.

    1933: Following the death of the incumbent mayor, the city council named Sam Frank as Mayor of Reno, Nevada, a position held for two years while also serving as the manager of the Reno Municipal Airport. Frank was the first Jew to serve as Mayor.

    1933: Birthdate of Louis Lentin, the Irish “theatre, film and television director’ who was the husband of Ronit Lentin, a Sabra who moved to Ireland in 1969.

    1937:At Yeshiva College, Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan speaks at the opening session of a two-day national conference of Jewish organizations which is attended by more than 600 delegates.  Dr. Bernard Revel, President of Yeshiva College also addresses the delegates.

    1938: In West Vancouver, British Columbia Ethel(nee Frankel) and Sol Horowitz gave birth to Michael Horowitz who has the dubious distinction of being “a former lose associate of Timothy Leary” and is the father of Winona Ryder and Uri Horowitz.

     1939: All Jews living within General Government of Germany were held liable for two years of forced labor.

    1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.  This has to rate as one of the topic strategic blunders in history.  Under the terms of the Axis treaty, the Germans did not have to declare war on the United States.  But Hitler was so “angry” with the United States and so convinced of his own invincibility that he blundered into war with America. If it had not been for Hitler’s hubris, the United States would have found itself fighting only Japan. 

    1941: A Jewish ghetto is established at Lutsk, Ukraine.

    1941: Over the next two days, more than 14,000 Jews are murdered by Einsatzkommandos in Simferopol, Ukraine.

    1942: In Paris, Etienne began a multi-day auction of “the George Via Impressionists” which was attended by Nazi occupation officials who were in the business of confiscating art, much of it owned by Jews, for collections in the Reich.

    1942: Jewish inmates of a labor camp at Lutsk, Ukraine, are informed by a Christian woman that the camp is about to be liquidated. The Jews quickly planned a revolt.

    1943(14thof Kislev, 5704): Thirty-nine year old Ricardo Reuven Pacifici, the Italian Rabbi who refused to desert the Jews of Genoa was murdered at Auschwitz today after betrayal led to his capture by the Nazis.

    1944(25th of Kislev, 5705): Chanukah

    1944: As Jews kindle the candle for the second night of Chanukah, the 1,361 Jews aboard the Kasztner transport found refuge in Caux, Switzerland.  For more see Gaylen Ross’

    1944: Yehuda Amital, the Romanian born rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Minister without Portfolio, arrived in Palestine after having survived a Nazi concentration camp.

    1944: The surviving 2,000 Jews of Monowitz, also known as Auschwitz III, lit candles on Chanukah in remembrance of the 12,000 who perished.

    1945: The Palestinian Arab Council (Higher Committee) announces opposition to the Anglo-American inquiry into Palestine. Arab League has offered cooperation.

    1946:Dr. Emanuel Neumann, vice president of Zionist Organization of America says Jews of Palestine will have to rely on U.S. and armed strength since they cannot rely on the British.

    1947: “Ten Jews were killed when their convoy, carrying food and water to the Etzion Bloc settlements, was ambushed just south of Bethlehem.”

    1947:TheBritish government announces its intention to terminate its responsibility under mandate on May 15, 1948.

    1947: Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones of Britain appeals to UN to speed up its partition plans.

    1947: In a six hour battle, Haganah troops fought off a major Arab attack on the Old City of Jerusalem, home to 2,500 Jews.

    1948: The UN General Assembly established the Palestine Conciliation Commission with primary responsibility for preparing for the international governance of Jerusalem.  Of all the lame committees, panels and commissions created by the UN this had to be one of the lamest.

    1948:King Farouk of Egypt and Syrian foreign minister disclose that they had warned King Abdullah of Transjordan not to annex Palestine.

    1948: Elias Sasson, an Israeli representative at the ceasefire negotiations, “met Abdullah el-Tell and Shawkat al-Sati “King Abdullah's confidant and personal physician”

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported after the festive Knesset inauguration ceremony, President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was made a Freeman of Jerusalem. The new president signed pardons for 25 prisoners, all of whom had nearly completed their sentences.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that 184 new students had been admitted to the new Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. The majority were Israelis who had previously studied medicine abroad and graduates of Israeli secondary schools.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Post’s Toy Fund started the distribution of Hanukkah toys and sweets at over 100 ma’abarot and new-immigrant centers throughout the country.

    1955: Operation Olive Leaves which was designed to put an end to Syrian shelling attacks on Israelis in around the Sea of Galilee began this evening with an artillery barrage “elements of the 890th Paratroop Battalion, augmented by units of Aharon Davidi's 771 Reserve Paratroop Battalion as well as units from the Nahal and Givati Brigades commenced” “a complex two pronged attack” “on Syrian emplacements along Kinneret’s northeastern shoreline.”

    1957: Birthdate of Orly Silbersatz Bania, the Israeli singer and actress who has won two Ophir Awards.

    1961:  Melvin Calvin, the son of Jewish immigrants was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studies related to the process of photosynthesis.

    1961: Adolf Eichmann was found guilty.

    1963(25thof Kislev, 5724): Chanukah observed during the national mourning for John F. Kennedy.

    1964: In Jerusalem, Leonard and Ricki Waldman gave birth to author Ayelet Waldman, the wife of Michael Chabon.

    1970:  Birthdate of actress Jennifer Conelly.  She won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film A Beautiful Mind.

    1971:  The Libertarian Party of the United States was formed.  According to The Libertarian Party News, Irv Rubin, leader of the Jewish Defense League, signed up with the party in 2000.

    1972: In New York, premiere of Man of La Mancha a film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, directed by Arthur Hiller and co-produced by Hiller and Saul Chaplin

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Ephraim Katzir proclaimed the opening of the 30th anniversary of Israel's independence.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said that the preliminary talks between Egypt and Israel should be expanded to foreign ministers’ level. Sadat warned the PLO that their recent, hard-line Tripoli conference canceled the resolution of the 1974 Rabat talks which called for peace negotiations. This, in Sadat's opinion, could affect PLO status as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Jimmy Carter said he would be willing to come to the Middle East to support the current peace initiatives. Cairo sources revealed that King Hessian of Morocco had played an active role in promoting Sadat’s historic visit to Israel.

    1981: Release date of “Buddy Buddy” a film “loaded with Jews” including director Bill Wilder, co-star Walter Matthau and writer I.A.L. Diamond. The film was based on a screenplay by French writer Francis Verber whose father was Jewish.

    1981: U.S. premiere of “Pennies From Heaven” directed by Herbert Ross with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

    1982(25thof Kislev, 5743): Chanukah

    1984: “Airlift to Israel Is Reported Taking Thousands of Jews from Ethiopia” published today described the resettlement of Ethiopia Jews in Israel saving them from famine, war and prejudice.


    1984: The funeral of Luther Adler, a stage and screen actor who starred in ''Fiddler on the Roof'' on Broadway, was scheduled to take place this afternoon at the Riverside Chapel in New York City

    1984: German-born American literary scholar, poet, and writer of children’s stories, Oskar Seidlin, passed away

    1986:  The Jewish National Funds Annual Tree of Life Awards are held atSheraton Premiere Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

    1988: “On the Red Sea, Israel’s Answer to Key West,” published today reports that Eilat is to Israel what Key West is to the United States - a hot, lazy, bohemian and (to be honest) tawdry little resort town at the nation's southern tip, physically and emotionally far removed from the commotion to the north. Eilat has no Arab community and no significant religious population, facts the city's boosters like to point out. ''This is a resort area; the religious, they like to stay in the center of the country,'' Mayor Avi Hochman says. That removes any possibility for the two greatest sources of tension here - Arab versus Jew, religious versus secular. ''We're tolerant here,'' said Rina Maor, head of the state tourism office. ''If people want to go to the synagogue it's O.K.; if people want to go topless it's O.K.'' Most female visitors seem to choose the latter option.” (As reported by Joel Brinkley)

    1988: The New York Times featured reviews of the following books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers which were recently released in paperback edition including Hitchcock and Selznick: The Rich and Strange Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick in Hollywoodby Leonard J. Leff and Café Nevo by Barbara Rogan which is set in a Tel Aviv bistro during the war in Lebanon.

    1990: Dr. John Strugnell, a Harvard divinity professor whose verbal attacks on Jews, Judaism and Israel included statements describing Judaism as “racist,” and “not a higher religion” and saying that that the state of Israel “is founded on a lie” led to his dismissal as chief editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the celebrated documents illuminating the evolution of Judaism and the origin of Christianity, scholars and others close to the controversy said today.

    1991(4th of Tevet, 5752): Robert Q. Lewis passed away at the age of 71.  Born Robert Goldberg, this son of Jewish immigrants gained fame on radio and television primarily as a game show host. His dark black glasses and gravelly voice provided him with two distinctive trademarks.

    1992: U.S. premiere of “A Few Good Men” the film based on Aaron Sorkin’s play of the same name directed by Rob Reiner with music by Marc Shaiman.

    1992: U.S. premiere of  “Forever Young” written by J.J. Abrams with music by Jerry Goldsmith.

    1992: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany issued a statement detailing the criteria for eligibility of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution for German Government compensation under an agreement concluded in November. In the newer, detailed statement, issued today to Jewish newspapers, the conference noted that the agreement provides funds for "severely persecuted Jewish Nazi victims who received no compensation or only minimal indemnification." (As reported by David Binder)

    1995: In “Thousands Pay Tribute to Rabin And Listen to Appeals for Unity” published today Carey Goldberg described the rally at Madison Square Garden that featured speakers from the U.S. and Israel including Yitzchak Rabin’s widow, Leah.

    1996: Presentation of the 14th Annual Harold U. Ribalow Prize

    1997:  Neil Simon’s "Sunshine Boys" opens at Lyceum Theater in New York City

    1999(2nd of Tevet, 5760): Eighth Day of Chanukah marking the last time the holiday is celebrated in the 20th century.

    2002: Barry Strauss published “What, You Considered Anti-Semitism?  How Very One-Sided” which provides an interesting view of Jewish treatment on college campuses.





    2002:  In Bucharest, anInternational Symposium entitled "Jewish identity and anti-Semitism in Central and South Eastern Europe sponsored by the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities, the "Goldstein-Goren" Hebrew Studies Center, Bucharest University and Bucharest History Museum came to an end.

    2004: The Sixth Annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival features a screening of the film שיחה מקומית/ Local Call/ Quittez Pas!

    2005: In a reversal of what happened during the Hitler people period, German church leaders spoke out in defense of the Jewish state. The Jerusalem Post website reported that German church leaders joined international protests against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand that Israel be moved to Europe and his statement doubting whether the Holocaust happened.

    2005: In the tops-turvy world of Israeli politics, Shaul Mofaz ended his attempt to lead Likud, left the party and joined Kadima, the new political party started by Ariel Sharon.

    2006: End of a two day conference sponsored by the government of Iran designed to support the Iranian contention that the systematic killing of some 6 million Jews a "myth" and "exaggerated."

    2006: Despite David Stern’s support for a new basketball, the NBA announced today that it would in fact switch back to the leather ball starting on January 1, 2007

    2007: Six days of performances including productions of “The Jester” and “The Mutual Note” come to an end at The Orna Porat Theater in Tel Aviv.

    2007: Haaretz reported on a study that finds Maine has the highest intermarriage rate in the United States.According to the study, which was conducted by Ira Sheskin, the director of the Jewish Demography Project at the University of Miami, 61% of couples in married Jewish households are interfaith.

    2007(2ndof Tevet, 5768): 7th Day of Chanukah

    2007(2ndof Tevet, 5768): Eighty-four year old theatrical agent and producer Freddie Fields passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2007: David “D'Or released Live Concert, an album for which he composed most of the songs including "Kiss from a Rose" (in English), "Sri Lanka" (instrumental), and an Arabic song

    2007: The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proposed by Israel. The UN passage of an Israeli resolution on agriculture is the first time a nonpolitical Israeli resolution has been adopted by the international body, and signifies a breakthrough in Israeli-UN history.

    2008: In one of those anomalies that is unique to the American cultural scene, Jewish composer Marvin Hamlisch conducts the National Symphony Orchestra’s Pops Happy Holidays concert in Washington, D.C.

    2008:Allen Weinstein, archivist of the United States, chats with journalist Daniel Schorr, whose career has spanned decades at both CBS News and National Public Radio, about his recent collection of essays, Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium, as part of the "American Conversation" series at the National Archives. Schorr holds the unique distinction of being the only American reporter to have been kicked out of the Soviet Union and been on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

    2008: Bernard Madoff, who founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on alleged fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported  on its Web site.

    2008 (14 Kislev 5769): Robert Chandler,a Creator of the ’60 Minutes’ Format, passed away at the age of 80.

    2009: As Jews light the first candle for Chanukah, Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, hosts its annual Chanukah Pot Luck Dinner and Latke extravaganza.

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a screening of “The Imported Bridegroom” and “Black Over White.”

    2009:President Barak Obama and first lady Michelle Obama extended warm wishes to Jews around the world who are observing Hanukkah. Obama said the story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed is a reminder that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain people through difficult times and help them overcome great odds. President Obama says Hanukkah's lessons should inspire everyone to be thankful for what they have.

    2010:Daniel Burman is scheduled to receive the WJFF Visionary Award at the 21stWashington Jewish Film Festival. A screening of Lost Embrace is scheduled to be part of the special ceremony. The award “recognizes and pays tribute to courage, creativity and insight in presenting the diversity of the Jewish experience through the moving image.”

    2010: “Expectations,” a piece of video art by Shahar Marcus is scheduled to be shown at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn.

    2010: In Columbus, Ohio, Congregation Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host Minyan Chadash,an alternative service featuring lots of singing, congregant participation, interactive learning, and a sense of Shabbat ruach! 

    2010(4th of Tevet, 5771):Mark Madoff, the older of Bernard L. Madoff’s two sons, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment today, the second anniversary of the day his father was arrested for running a gigantic Ponzi scheme that shattered thousands of lives around the world.  “Mark Madoff took his own life today,” Martin Flumenbaum Mark Madoff’s lawyer, said in a statement today. “This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy.”  One city official said that the first notification, via 911, was at 7:27.18, this morning, and the call was for a, “possible suicide.” The call came from a fourth-floor, private house at 158 Mercer Street – a 13-story building.

    2010(4th of Tevet, 5771):A 30-year-old Israeli man was pronounced dead today after being hospitalized with swine flu. The man, a resident of east Jerusalem, was checked into the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center  suffering from severe flu symptoms, after a blood test revealed the potent flu virus strain was present in his blood stream.

    2010: Rabbi Chaim Brovender will discuss: "Why Couldn't Yosef 'Hold Back' (Hitapek)?" and talk about his activities at ATID and WebYeshiva at a shiur and reunion in Silver Spring, MD.

    2010: Diane Kaplan showcases material from her latest album, Like an Olive Tree, at the Jacob’s Ladder Festival at its Nof Ginosar venue by the Kinerret.

    2011: Temple Judah is scheduled to host it annual Chanukah Potluck Dinner where they will enjoy Latkes prepared under the supervision Linn County Latke Maven Brian Cohen

    2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Jerusalem: A Biography” by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

    2011: Closing night of the 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:One person was injured in southern Lebanon today when a rocket apparently fired towards Israel hit a Lebanese border village, security sources in Lebanon said.


    2011:Iran's ruling clerics could use nuclear weapons to strengthen their grip on power and the world must urgently impose crippling sanctions to prevent them from building such arms, Israel's defense minister said today. Ehud Barak also predicted that Syria's ruling Assad family could fall within weeks and that this would be a "blessing" for the Middle East.


    2012: “Oded the Wanderer” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

    2012: Vanessa Paloma and the Lev-Yulzari Duo are scheduled to perform at Congregation Shearith Israel as part of the Sephardic Music Festival

    2012: “Punk Jews,” the “documentary film that follows an underground Jewish community expressing their identity in unconventional ways that challenge stereotypes and break down barriers” is scheduled to have its world premiere at the JCC of Manhattan

    2012(27th of Kislev): Yahrzeit of Harvey David Luber who will be remembered as long as people laugh and take pictures.

    2012:The IDF has acquired tens of thousands of doses of a drug used to combat nerve agent chemical poisoning and will distribute them to all combat medics in the coming months, according to a report in the new issue of the army’s Bamahane weekly magazine

    2012: Israeli students from all sectors of society registered dramatic increases in test scores in all subjects, the Education Ministry announced today.

    2013: The Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to open in San Diego, CA

    2013: “The Best Offer” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Lawrence Family JCC is scheduled to the opening reception for “smART: The Art of Jewish Educators.”

    2013: “Heavy amounts of rain drenched the Galilee, the Sharon region and the Gush Dan…cause Lake Kinneret’s water level to rise by centimiere this morning (As reported by Sharon Udasin, LIdar Grave-Lazar and Ben Hartman)

    2013:Ian Paul Livingston, Baron Livingston of Parkhead began serving as Minister of State for Trade and Investment

    2013: According to the Wall Street Journal and Israel’s Channel 2 “former Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer is the top choice to become vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank” which would mean that the two top slots at the Fed would be held by Jews.

    2014: Scholar Eddy Portnoy is scheduled to team up with puppet theater company Great Small Works to present a reinterpretation of the scripts of Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler, who in the 1920s formed Modicut, a bitingly satirical Yiddish puppet theater troupe as part of YIVO’s Artists and Scholars Series.

    2014: LBI is scheduled to present “From the Shtetl to the Lecture Hall: Jewish Women and Cultural Exchange.”

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    December 12

    456 BCE (1st of Tevet, 3305): Ezra opened convocation on the problem of intermarriage.

    627: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh at the Battle of Nineveh. This meant that The Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire regained control of the Middle East, including Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor did not keep his promise to his Jewish allies to give them control of David’s City and its environs.

    1098: During the First Crusade, Christian forces breach the walls of Ma'arrat al-Numan in Syria and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. Some view this is as a “dress rehearsal” of the massacres that took place when the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem and slaughtered the Jewish and Moslem inhabitants

    1204(20th of Tevet, 4965):  Maimonides passes away. His name says it all.  Nothing that can be said here would do him justice.   Maimonides followed the Rabbinic injunction that a man should have a job and study Torah unlike some who today insist that their “studying’ exempts from having to earn a living.“From Moses to Moses, there as none like Moses”  

    1254: Alexander IV, the prelate “responsible for launching the Inquisition in France” began his papacy today.

    1474:Isabella crowns herself queen of Castile and Aragon in what will become a milestone on the road to end of the Jewish Community in Spain in 1492. Ironically two of the people who would help her come to power and/or consolidate her crown were Don Isaac Abravanel and Don Abraham Senior.

    1479: The Jews were expelled from Schlettstadt, Alsace by Emperor Frederick III

    1484: At Soncino, Italy, Joseph Solomon Soncino printed the first copy of “Beḥinat ha-'Olam” (The Examination of the World) by Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi a Jewish poet, physician and philosopher. Born in 1270 at Béziers, he was the son of Abraham Profiat, another French-Jewish poet. He passed away in 1340. Beḥinat ha-'Olam (The Examination of the World), called also by its first words, "Shamayim la-Rom" (Heaven's Height), a didactic poem written after the banishment of the Jews from France (1306), to which event reference is made in the eleventh chapter. The 37 “chapter” poem concludes with an expression of Bedersi’s admiration of Maimonides.

    1505: In Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, ten Jews were tortured and killed after being accused by a local shepherd of killing a local girl. Years later on his deathbed, the shepherd confessed that he made up the whole story.

    1524:  Pope Clement VII approved the organization of a Jewish Community in Rome

    1561: According to a document of this date, Nahum Pesakohovich, a Jew living in Pinsk filed a complaint against Grigori Grichia, the estate owner in the district of Pinsk for failure to honor the terms of their mortgage agreement.

    1574: Selim II, Ottoman Sultan, passed away. During his reign, Selim appointed Joseph Nassi as the Duke of Naxos.  He appointed his physician Solomon Nathan Eskenazi to serve as ambassador in Venice where he participated in negotiations for a treaty between the Turks and the Spanish. When Turkish forces took Cyprus, Selim had five hundred Jewish families settle on the island.  This was a way of improving the economic environment on the island while ensuring the presence of a loyal local population.

    1626: Inquisitional authorities arrested Francisco Maldonado de Silva, after his sister (a devout Catholic) turned him because he told her he believed in Judaism, as their father had. His passion for Judaism came after studying a book written in 1391 by the Bishop of Burgos. The Bishop, a convert Jews who was born as Solomon Halevi, wrote the book to defend the Catholic faith. Halevi's words put doubt into Francisco's mind about Catholicism, and brought him closer to Judaism-the religion Francisco's father had already been following. In the end Francisco went to his death January 23, 1639 for his faith in Judaism.

    1653: The Short Parliament was dissolved today leaving Oliver Cromwell, who held the title of Protector of the Realm, as the king-like ruler of England.  This may have actually helped Manasseh ben Israel in his effort to gain readmission of the Jews since Cromwell, unlike some of his allies, actively supported the Jews attempts to return to the British Isles.

    1670: Today the Sephardic Jewish community of Amsterdam acquired the site to build a synagogue

    1762: In Philadelphia, Mordecai Moses Mordecai and Zipporah "de Lyon" Mordecai gave birth to their first daughter Esther who became Esther Mordecai Russell when she married Dr. Philip Moses Russell in 1780.

    1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Religious qualifications for holding state and local office were abolished in 1790.  Jews had been part of Pennsylvania even before the coming of William Penn.  The community had its start with Jewish traders who operated in what would be the southeastern corner of the soon to be founded colony.  Mikveh Israel (Hope of Israel) the Philadelphia’s first synagogue was established in the 1740’s.  When an enlarged Mikveh Israel, under the leadership of Gershom Mendes Seixas was dedicated in 1782, a wide variety of public officials attended.  Jews were earlier settlers of Lancaster where a Jewish burial plot was established in 1747.  The size of the Jewish population was exaggerated due to that fact that the English confused Yiddish speaking Jews with the German speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. 

    1805: Birthdate of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, a collection of whose papers are found at Brandeis University.

    1806: Birthdate of Rabbi Isaac Lesser, one of the most important leaders of the 19thcentury American-Jewish community whose accomplishments included completing the first translation of the Bible from Hebrew in English published in the United States.

    1821: Birthdate of Gustave Flaubert, the French author whose works included “Herodias” set in the court of Antipater in which the author writes “The Jews were tired of Herod’s idolatrous ways.”

    1831: In Jamaica, a tankard was presented to Moses Delgado in recognition of his work on behalf of Jewish rights

    1838(25thof Kislev, 5599): Chanukah

    1841: Jacob Frankfort arrived in Los Angeles as part of the Rowland-Workman party.  Frankfort, one of the earliest Jewish settlers in New Mexico had been living in Taos when he hurriedly left town because authorities believed he was part of a group of Texans seeking to take control of the territory.  He and some of his confederates joined a scientific expedition and traveled with them to California. 

    1851:  “Interesting Hebrew Relic” published today reported that in Washington, DC, Colonel Lea, the Commissioner of Indian affairs has in his possession “four small rolls or strips of parchment, closely packed in the small compartments of a little box or locket of about an inch cubical content.  On these parchments are written, in a style of unsurpassed excellence, and far more beautiful than print, portions of the Pentateuch, to be worn as frontlets and intended as stimulants to the memory and moral sense.”  The item was brought to Washington from the Pottawatomie Reservation on the Kansas River by a man named Dr. Lykins. Lykins got them from a member of the tribe name Pategwe who had gotten them from his aged grandmother.  Originally there had been two boxes, but one of them had been lost long ago when the Indians were crossing some river rapids.  The Indians believed that the lost box contained a description of the creation of the world.  Nobody seems to know how the boxes first came into the possession of the Indians.  They cannot remember a time when they did not have them in their possession.  The article concludes, “The question occurs here, does not this circumstance give some color to the idea, long and extensively entertained, that the Indians of our continent are or less Jewish in their origin?”

    1853: Rabbi Raphall delivered the last in a series of lectures on “The Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews” in New York City.

    1855(3rd of Tevet, 5616): 8th and final day of Chanukah

    1861:At today’s regular meeting of the Board of Councilmen the report in favor of donating $30,000 to the Hebrew Benevolent Association was finally adopted.

    1872: In Paris, Ludovic Halevy, who had turned his back on his family proud Jewish tradition when he became a Protestant and his wife gave birth to French historian Daniel Halevy.

    1874: It was reported today that it appears Russian government has ordered to the managers of the nation’s railway companies to fire all of the Jews in their employ and not to hire any Jews in the future.

    1875: During the past week, the Hebrew Charity Fair raised $66, 421.19 for Mt. Sinai Hospital.

    1875(14th of Kislev, 5636): Pesach N. Rubenstein, the husband of Elke Rubenstein of Jerusalem, “murdered Sara Alexander in a cornfield” in what “is now a portion of the 26th ward.”

    1878: Joseph Pulitzer begins publishing "St Louis Dispatch."  Pulitzer’s father was Jewish.  His mother was Roman Catholic.

    1880(10thof Tevet, 5641): Asara B’Tevet

    1880(10thof Tevet, 5641): Fifty-year old Hyman Vollenburg, a Jewish tailor was found dead in his room on Baxter Street in New York.  He was said to be so observant that he refused to accept anything which had been purchased from Jews who worked on Shabbat.

    1880: It was reported today that among Mrs. Jacob Hess, Mrs. A.H. Allen, Mrs. J.J. Bach, Miss Alice Solomon and Miss Essie Content (who portrays the Biblical Rebecca at the well) are among the young ladies the Mrs. Isaac Phillips has enlisted to work during the ten day long Hebrew Charity Fair in New York.

    188!: In the Polish part of the Russian Empire, Benjamin Wonsal and Pear Leah Eichelbaum gave birth to Hirsch Moses Wonsal who came to the United States in 1889 where he gained fame as Harry Morris Warner, one of the Warner brothers who formed the film studio of Warner Brothers.

    1881: According to reports published today the burial of the victims of the theatre fire in Vienna that claimed the lives of 580 people was public ceremony that began with speeches by a Rabbi, a Catholic Prior and an Evangelical Provost. The Jewish victims were the first to be buried with their ceremonies beginning at daybreak.

    1881: In Krasnosielc, “a village a short distance from Warsaw”Benjamin Wonsal, a shoemaker born in Krasnosielc, and Pearl Leah Eichelbaum gave birth to Hirsch Moses Wonsal who gained fame as Harry Morris Warner, one of the Warner brothers who created Warner Bros. a major studio during the early days and golden era of motion pictures.

    1882: Sarah Bernhardt had a major marital row with her husband Jacques Damala during she which she would no longer support his dissolute lifestyle.  This marital breakup came while she was starring in the hit play Fedora by Victorien Sardou.  Sardou refused to let him have a part in the play so Sarah let him serve as manager of the theatrical company, a position that he was totally unfit to hold.  Following his dismissal he turned to drugs and humiliating her at every turn.  The role of “Mr. Sarah Bernhardt” was one that he could not play.

    1882: The settlers at Rosh Pina experienced “their first significant rainfall of the year which meant they could now sow their first crop.”  Some use this date as marking the founding of Kibbutz which is not totally accurate because an earlier attempt had been made 1878.

    1882:  Birthdate of famed chess player Akiba Rubenstein.

    1884: In New York, Marx Cohen, who has already been charged with receiving “$7 worth of goods” stolen from Bates, Reed & Cooley, is expected to be charged with more serious crimes today.  According to the police, is a Fagan-like figure who organizes youngsters into gangs of thieves and then fences the stolen merchandize.  The Jewish store owner has denied all allegations.

    1884: It was reported that in Russia, the Minister of Interior, Count Tolstoi, “has ordered the expulsion of all Jews living in Odessa, Kiev and other cities” if they hold foreign passports and do not have special permits from the government.  This has caused a great deal of concern for Jews doing business in this city who are afraid the new rules will force them into liquidation.

    1884: It was reported today that fighting has broken out among Jewish and anti-Semitic university students in Vienna

    1885: In New York, Rabbi S. Schocher, of Russ, a city near Memel, Prussia gave a lecture at Or Chaim in the classical style of the old-fashioned Derashot.

    1886: In New York, four undercover officers arrested for Polish Jews for selling dry goods in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws.

    1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association which had been providing services to 520 students in 1876 had grown to providing 2,581 students ten years later (1886).

    1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association had chosen new officers for the following year including: President – M.S. Isaacs; Vice President – Uriah Herman; and Treasurer – Newman Cowen.

    1888: “Four Couples Made Happy”  published today reported that two Jewish couples were among what was described as the four “fashionable weddings” that occurred in New York City.

    1889: Birthdate of Phillip Carl Katz, the San Francisco native who earned the Medal of Honor while serving as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army

    1889: Poet Robert Browning passed away.  Browning wrote “Rabbi ben Ezra.” The poem is based on the life Abraham ibn Ezra. Ibn Ezra lived from 1092 until 1167 and was a leading figure in what was known as the Golden Age in Spain.  Ibn Ezra was second only in fame to Rashi as Torah commentator.  He was the first two attribute that the last section of Deuteronomy describing the death of Moses was written by Joshua.  He was also the first two attribute the last 26 chapters of the Book of Isaiah to a different writer now known as the Second Isaiah.  The poem begins with the famous line “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be…”  The belief that “Jewish blood coursed in his veins” was so common that a biography written two years after his death began by disproving this theory which was based on Browning’s “interest in Hebrew language and literature and his friendship for many members of the London Jewish community.”

    1890: In New York, The Board of Estimates and Apportionment appropriated $12,700 the work of converting the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building into a school.

    1890: As Americans seek a way to register their displeasure with Russian treatment of the Jews, several prominent Jews met at the home met at the home if Rabbi Jacob Joseph where “it was suggested that instead of hold a mass meeting, a meeting of the leaders of the synagogues and Jewish benevolent intuitions should be help to consult as to the best means to adopt to put a stop to the persecutions.”

    1890: The eldest of Moses Winterstein’s children who were living in New York came to the Barge Office and agreed to assume responsibility for his Russian Jewish father and his family so that they could enter the country instead of being denied entrance because they would become “public charges.”

    1892: When Treasury agents searched a ship appropriately named the Wandering Jew in Boston today they found boxes of cigars and opium.

    1892: A list of the newly elected officers of the Hebrew Free School Association published today includes President Albert F. Hochstadter, Vice President Henry Budge and Treasurer Newman Cowen

    1892: “Curious Novel of Jewish Life In London” published today provided a review of Children of the Ghetto: Being Pictures of a Peculiar People by Israel Zangwill.

    1893:  Birthdate of actor Edward G Robinson. Born Emanuel Goldenberg in Romania, Robinson came to the United States in 1902.  Robinson gained early fame playing in gangster movies including the classic Little Caesar and Key Largo.  He also had a deft comedic ability.  One of his most often seen, and poorest performances, is as the grumbling Jew in “The Ten Commandants.” He passed away in 1973.

    1894: At the convention of the American Federation of Labor in Denver, President Samuel Gompers “announced the committees on Resolutions, Organization, Grievances and Local Federated Bodies.

    1895(25th of Kislev, 5656): Chanukah

    1895:In New York, the Hebrew Fair continued to draw “immense crowds” and enjoy three days of increasing financial success.

    1895: Rector Herman Ahlwardt, “who is proud of his German title of anti-Semitic agitator” dodged eggs as he delivered his first address at Cooper Union where among other things he referred to the Jews as “a disease.”

    1895: Policemen carried Louis Silverman out of Cooper Union and locked him up in the East Fifth Street Police Station after he threw eggs at Herman Ahlwardt, the German anti-Semite  who was speaking at Cooper Unon.

    1895: The investigation into charges of voter fraud brought by Eugene Frayer, a member of the Good Government Club that revolved around the residents of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews resumed today.

    1897: Anti-Jewish violence broke out in Bucharest, Romania. 

    1901: Birthdate of Howard E. Koch, playwright, screen writer and victim of the Hollywood Blacklist.

    1901: In New York City, Katherine (nee Moden) and artist Frederick William Menken gave birth to Helen Menken

    1902(12thof Kislev, 5663): Seventy year old Edwin Warren Moise passed away in his native South Carolina. 

    1903(23rd of Kislev, 5664): Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb &Co., passed away this evening in New York City at the age of 74.

    1904: Birthdate of Nicolas Louis Alexandre, Baron de Gunzburg the Parisian native who served as editor at Vogue, Harper’s Bazar and Town & Country.

    1905:Birthdate of Manès Sperber an Austrian born French novelist, essayist and psychologist who also wrote under the pseudonyms Jan Heger and N.A. Menlos. He was also the father of Italian historian Vladimir Sperber and French anthropologist and cognitive scientist Dan Sperber.

    1905: Birthdate of Iosif Solomonovich Grossman who gained fame as Soviet author and journalist Vasily Semyonovich Grossman.

    1906: The Brownsville Retail Kosher Butcher’s Association was meeting at the same time that the women of Brownsville were holding a mass meeting designed to gain support for a boycott of the Beef Trust. The mass meeting was chaired by Israel Reichman. There were 350 butchers at the Kosher Butcher’s meetings, 100 of whom have closed their shops in support of the attempts to end the Beef Trust.

    1906: Leopold Greenberg, owner of a successful British advertising agency, publisher of “The Jewish Yearbook” and an ardent Zionist writes Jacobus Kann, his friend a Dutch Zionist, that “The Jewish Chronicle” is for sale and he has begun negotiating for its purchase.

    1909: Birthdate of Hans Alex Keilson, “a Jewish German/Dutch novelist, poet, psychoanalyst, and child psychologist who wrote about traumas relating to what happened in Europe during WWII. In particular, he worked with traumatized orphans. Some of his novels deal with the same time period, though his first one was published in 1934. He was also active in the Dutch Resistance. Francine Prose has called him one of ‘the world’s very greatest writers.’" (As reported by William Grimes)

    1911: During the days of the British Empire, Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India. Shalom Aaron Cohen who came to India from Aleppo in 1790 was one of the first Jews to settle in Calcutta.  The arrival of Jews from Baghdad during the 19th century marked an upturn in their economic and social power that lasted until the power World War II rise of Indian nationalism.

    1913:Hebrew language officially used to teach in schools located in Eretz Israel.

    1915: Birthdate of Frank Sinatra.Sinatra “may have been one of America 's most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting life-long commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel . Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940s, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine” rally (1947). He sat on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center . (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.) As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries. Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, by serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war. The Copacabana Club, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York Mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York. The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the back door with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier. The origins of Sinatra's love affair with the Jewish people are not clear, but for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (Years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender. Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather. As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could not arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra  again -- threatened to punch him in the nose. Sinatra famously played the role of a Jewish pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's War for Independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth, and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film. Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 45-minute featurette he made in which he sang "In the Still of the Night "and "Without a Song". He also starred in "The House I Live In" (1945), a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.”

    1917: Four days after the British arrival in Jerusalem, Dr. Yaakov Thon, convened a meeting of Jewish leaders with an eye toward establishing a City council of Jerusalem Jews.

    1920: The Histadrut Ha-ovdim (General Labor Federation) was founded in pre-state Israel. Its founder, Berel Katznelson, a disciple of Ber Borochov, combined various labor groups to form a federation

    1924: In the Bronx, Yetta (or Joyce, née Silpe) and Louis (Leib) Koch, immigrants from Uscieczko in Eastern Galicia gave birth to Edward Irving “Ed” Koch who served as Mayor of New York City from 1977 to 1989.

    1924: In Berlin, Alexander Israel Helphand, the man who negotiated with the German’s during World War I to gain Lenin’s return to Russia from Switzerland which brought about the Communist Revolution and took Russia out of World War I passed away.  

    1925: Birthdate of Russian composer Vladimir Shainsky.

    1925: The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia. The new Shah removed “removed restrictions on Jews and other religious minorities.’  He prohibited the mass conversion of Jews and “Jews were allowed to hold government jobs.”  But the Shah’s sympathetic view of Nazi Germany, along with an under-current of anti-Jewish sentiment, left the community with a sense of discomfort.


    1928: In Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Alfred Frankenthaler and his wife Martha gave birth to abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler

    1931: Dr. Alexander Rosenfeld, vice president of the World Maccabee Association, spoke this afternoon over WLPH from the Lyric Theatre, Brooklyn.  He talked about the forthcoming Maccabee Jewish Games which will be held in Tel Aviv in March, 1932 and in which more than 3,000 Jewish athletes from all parts of the world are expected compete.

    1933: In Strasbourg, Polish born Rabbi Oscar (Ovadia) Eisenberg and his wife gave birth to French television producer Josy (Yossef ) Eisenberg.

    1934: In New Orleans, the sale of the Roosevelt Hotel to The New Orleans Roosevelt Corporation headed by Seymour Weiss was finalized today.

    1935: Heinrich Himmler begins the Lebensborn Project.

    1936: U.S. premiere of Camille, “an American romantic drama directed by George Cukor and produced by Irving Thalberg and Bernard H. Hyman.

    1937: Jewish writer Arch Oboler caused more controversy with his script contribution to today’s edition of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. In Oboler's sketch, host Don Ameche and guest Mae West portrayed a slightly bawdy Adam and Eve, satirizing the Biblical tale of the Garden of Eden. On the surface, the sketch did not feature much more than West's customary suggestive double-entendres, and today it seems quite tame. But in 1937, that sketch and a subsequent routine featuring West trading suggestive quips with Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy cause a furor that resulted in West being banned from broadcasting and from being mentioned at all on NBC programming for 15 years.

    1937: The Palestine Postreported numerous assassinations, attempted murders, hold-ups and robberies perpetrated by Arab terrorists all over the country. In Haifa, Elimelech Gromet, 13, the victim of a terror attack in the Hadar Hacarmel quarter, died of his wounds. Sheikh Khatib, an Arab notable, and his bodyguard were murdered in the town's Arab quarter. In Jerusalem all gates of the Old City, except for the well-guarded Jaffa and Damascus gates, were closed from early in the evening until late the following morning.

    1939:In eastern areas of Greater Germany, two years of forced labor is made compulsory for all Jewish males aged 14 to 60.

    1939: Jews are expelled from Kalisz in the Warthegau region of Poland; many flee to Warsaw.

    1940: The Salvador, a ship that set out from Varna, Bulgaria, a month ago, sinks in the Sea of Marmora; 250 Jewish refugees, including 75 children, drown. T. M. Snow, head of the British Foreign Office's Refugee Section, notes that "there could have been no more opportune disaster from the point of view of stopping this [Jewish refugee] traffic [to Palestine]."

    1941: Adolf Hitler announced plans for the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery

    1941: In the second action in two weeks, the Germans killed another estimated 12,000 inhabitants of the Riga Ghetto.

    1941: The German Army of Occupation began a house to house search in Paris looking for Jews.

    1941:The SS Struma set sail from Constanţa, on the Black Sea

    1941: Romania declared war on the United States.

    1942: MGM released “White Cargo” starring Hedy Lamarr to the cinematic audience.

    1942: The Jews of Volhunia revolt against a German round-up.

    1942 Jewish prisoners at a labor camp in Lutsk, Ukraine, armed with knives, bricks, iron bars, acid, and several revolvers and sawed-off shotguns, revolt against Germans and Ukrainians. The uprising is crushed.

    1943: Birthdate of Hana Spitzer, the native of Kfar Pines who gained famed as Rabbi Hanan Porat, Israeli educator and MK.

    1943(15thof Kislev, 5704): Thirty-six year old Wanda Abenaim Pacifici, the wife of Riccardo Reuven Pacifici who was murdered at Auschwitz, was murdered today at the same death camp.

    1943: The chairman of the Jewish Council in Wlodzimierz Wolynski, Poland, the site of street massacres in 1942, assures the remaining ghetto residents that they will be safe

    1945: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of U.S. aid to open Palestine to Jewish refugees.

    1946: Arabs call for a general strike to protest the alleged abduction of an Arab in Salame, Palestine by the Haganah.

    1946: Two illegal Arab Armies were merged by the Arab High Committee into the Arab Youth Movement.

    1946: Birthdate of Steve Goldsmith, Harvard professor and former mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana.

    1947: Gordon P. Merriam, chief of Division of Near Eastern Affairs, refers Dr. Irving E Medoff of New Jersey to the United Nations after he had written to the U.S. State department concerning his interest in organizing an air force group to operate in Palestine.  Merriam’s referral is based on the U.S. view that matters pertaining to Palestine are under the control of the UN.

    1947: King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia promised that the Arabs will protect and maintain American oil operations at the same time expressing the hope that the U.S. will correct its “mistake” on the issue of Palestine Partition

    1947: British foreign minister Ernest Bevin asks the Jews for a moratorium on “illegal immigration” while the mandate is still in power.

    1947:UN Trusteeship Subcommittee announces that internationalized Jerusalem will only have a police force which can call on UN Security Council if more order is needed. Legislature is legally "rigged" so a minority group will keep a balance of power between Jewish and Arab factors.

    1947: The Arab League voted to provide funds, weapons and volunteers for an impending Palestine war designed to thwart the United Nation’s partition vote.  An Arab Liberation Army under the command of an Iraqi staff officer named Ismail Safwat Pasha established its headquarters outside of Damascus and gave field command to Fawzi al-Qawujki a veteran terrorist leader of the uprisings during the 1930’s.

    1947(29th of Kislev, 5708): An Arab gang stopped a BOAC truck leaving Lydda Airport.  The Arabs told the Arabs on the truck to run away.  The three Jews – Yitzhak Jian, David Ben Ovadia and Joseph Litvak - were then shot dead. (David Ben Ovadia's name is not  forgotten because it lives on in his namesake and nephew who is a proud citizen of the Jewish state he did  not to see)

    1948: Israel and Transjordan let Christians travel to Bethlehem for Christmas pilgrimages

    1948: “Less than two weeks after the signing of the final cease-fire, the ‘Valor Road’ was opened by Ben-Gurion as a secure by-pass for travel from Jerusalem to the coast.  The road replaced the famous ‘Burma Road’ and made it possible for Jews to travel the fifteen miles from the Judean hills to the coastal settlements without having to brave Arab sniper attacks.

    1949: The U.S. asks Israel and Jordan not to do anything which would disrupt relations with other Arab states or the Vatican.

    1949: Birthdate of Anglo-Jewish historian David Samuel Harvard Abulafia who is married to another famous historian Anna Sapir Abufia. (Can you imagine what a Shabbat dinner would be like at their house?)

    1950: Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi after her husband, who was the congregation's rabbi, passed away. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1951:  Yosef Sprinzak, the Speaker of the Knesset became acting President of Israel when Chaim Weizman became so ill he could not fill the position.

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported that the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly passed, by 32 votes to 13, with 13 abstentions, a strongly-worded resolution calling for direct Arab-Israeli negotiations.

    1952: As HUAC continued its investigation of Rutgers Professor Moses Finley, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution declaring "It shall be cause for immediate dismissal of any member of faculty or staff to fail to cooperate with government inquiries.”

    1952(24th of Kislev, 5713): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

    1953: Birthdate of Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

    1955(27th of Kislev, 5716): Third day of Chanukah; kindle 4th candle in the evening

    1955(27th of Kislev, 5716): Operation Olive Leaves, under the command of Ariel Sharon came to a successful conclusion with the destruction of all the Syrian gun emplacements attacked by the IDF. Among the casualties were ten wounded including Rafael Eitan and six dead including Yitzchak Ben Menachem, a hero of Israel's War of Independence “who was killed by a Syrian hand grenade.”

    1962: U.S. premiere of “Freud: The Secret Passion,” an “American biographical film drama based on the life of the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud” with music by Jerry Goldsmith and featuring David Kossoff as “Jacob Freud.

    1963:  Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom. Jews began to settle in Kenya in the early years of the 20th century.In 1904, The Nairobi Hebrew Congregation was established in 1904 and the 20 families living in Nairobi built the country’s first synagogue in 1913. The community saw some growth after World War II. In 1955, “Israel Somen, the president of the Board of Kenya Jewry, was elected mayor of Nairobi.” A small Jewish community has continued to exist which has not been always been the case of former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Israel and Kenya continue to enjoy positive relations.

    1964: “Casablan,” or “Kazablan” a film adaptation of a play of the same name that substitutes Ashkenazim and Sephardim for Montagues and Capulets, premiered in New York.

    1966: A 27 year member of Local 338 writes to the national union headquarters expressing his despair over the deteriorating conditions in the bagel industry which are leading to cuts in pay, benefits and the number of jobs available for bakers.

    1970: Birthdate of Jennifer Connelly who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress 2002 for A Beautiful Mind and the 2002 Golden Globe 2002 for same role.

    1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.

    1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): David Sarnoff, CEO of RCA and founder of NBC, passed away. Born in Russia 1891, Sarnoff reportedly studied to be a rabbi before joining the Marconi Wireless Company as a telegraph operator.  He became the leading figure in the creation of RCA.

    1971(24thof Kislev, 5732): Sixty-two year old philologist and linguist Yechezkel Kutscher, the native of Sloavkia who made Aliyah in 1931 and pursued a career which earned him the Israel Prize in 1961 passed away today.

    1974: In Jerusalem, an explosive device went off in Ben Yehuda Street. Thirteen people were injured lightly to moderately.

    1975:  In San Diego, CA, Barry Bialik and Beverly Winkelman gave birth to actress Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom Russo on “Blossom” and Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang.”  “Hayim Nahman Bialik, Israel's national poet, was Mayim Bialik's great-great-grandfather's uncle”

    1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): 8th day of Chanukah

    1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): Eighty-six year old French filmmaker Raymond Bernard passed away today/

    1978(12th of Kislev, 5739): American painter Norman Raeben died of heart attack in the lobby of his apartment.  Born in Russia in 1901, he was “the youngest of the six children of Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem.” “The pen-name 'Raeben' is probably derived from his family-name 'Rabinowitz'.  Raeben moved to New York City with his family in 1914. He studied painting from Robert Henri, George Luks and John French Sloan, who all belonged to the Ashcan School. His studio was on the 11th floor of Carnegie Hall. His students include Bob Dylan, Bernice Sokol Kramer, Carolyn Schlam, Andrew Gottlieb, Janet Cohn, John Smith, Diana Postel, Lori Lerner and Rosalyn (Roz) Jacobs. Raeben's mission was to teach the art of painting through intuition and feeling, instead of through conceptualization.”
    1979(22nd of Kislev, 5740): Elka de Levie, the only Jewish gymnast of the triumphant 1928 Dutch ladies’ gymnastics team, which won the Olympic title in Amsterdam in 1928 to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, passed away.

    1988:Foreign Minister Shimon Peres urged the Palestine Liberation Organization today to direct its diplomacy toward Israel rather than the United States. ‘We criticize the Palestinian position and their declarations because they have been looking for expressions that travel well in Washington rather than for positions that make sense in Jerusalem,'' Mr. Peres told a meeting of American and Israeli officials and academics. ''The Palestinians must remember, as we do that coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel must take place in the Middle East and not in North America,'' Mr. Peres said. ''The Palestinians must not only talk peace - and I appreciate statements in favor of peace - but behave peacefully,'' he said.

    1988: European countries are pressing the Palestine Liberation Organization and its Arab allies to moderate plans to seek United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state, diplomats said today. The effort came on the eve of a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman, is to be the main speaker Tuesday when the Assembly holds its first meeting in Geneva. The Assembly decided to move here for its annual debate on the Palestinian question after the Reagan Administration refused to give Mr. Arafat a visa to address the Assembly in New York.


    1989: In  “Soviets Trying to Become Team Player in Mideast” published today, Alan Cowell describes the change in Russian Middle East policy from one of confrontation to “partnership with Washington in the diplomacy of the region.”

    1990(25th of Kislev, 5751): Chanukah

    1990: A fund-raising dinner and dance is held at the Pierre to further the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side.  The event also honors the founders of the Eldridge Street Project, who include Brooke Astor, Joan K. Davidson, Simon Rifkind and Joanna and Daniel Rose.

    1990: The 1991 fund-raising campaign of the UJA-Federation of New York opens with the Lawyers Division annual Proskauer Award Dinner during which Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner in the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, receives the award.

    1990: The Young Professionals of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University sponsor a concert at Steinway Hall to raise money to help replace the instruments Soviet émigré musicians in Israel could not take from the Soviet Union. The pianist Dina Joffe and her husband, the violinist Mikhail Vaiman, and the pianist Byron Janis, an officer of American Friends, are among those who help to provide the evening’s entertainment.

    1993: Today Mr. Rabin and Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, agreed in Cairo that they needed more time to resolve complex security issues before self-rule could begin in roiling Gaza and placid Jericho, and they gave themselves at least another 10 days.

    1993: Under attack by some political leaders for dealing far less firmly with Jews who commit acts of violence than with Palestinians, the Israeli Army today ordered soldiers to take "strong action" against law-breaking settlers in the occupied territories, including possible arrests and curfews.

    1994: Israel and Jordan fleshed out their new peace treaty some more today, opening temporary embassies in each other's country and saying they would exchange ambassadors next month. For the first time, an Israeli flag flew openly in Amman, and in a separate ceremony a few hours later, the Jordanian flag was raised in Tel Aviv, where almost all countries put their missions to Israel. Both embassies are in hotels for now, until permanent locations are found. Israel has yet to name its ambassador to Jordan, which on Oct. 26 became the second Arab country, after Egypt, to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Amman has appointed Marwan Muasher, a former spokesman for the Jordanian delegation to peace talks in Washington, as its ambassador, but he will not begin his assignment for several more weeks.

    1995(20thof Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Moshe-Zvi Neria, the native of Łódź who became an Israeli educator and MK passed away today.

    1995(20thof Kislev, 5756): Eighty-seven year old David Saul Marshal “a politician and lawyer from Singapore who served as Singapore's first Chief Minister from 1955 to 1956” passed away today in Singapore.

    1995: Israeli PM Shimon Peres addressed both houses of the US Congress.

    1997: John Marks, the former Berlin bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report wrote an essay cautioning against letting the hunt for the stolen assets hoarded by the Swiss and other European dangers overshadow the reality of the primary villain of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany.  “’No one would argue that German evil absolves Swiss cupidity or French collaboration.  But it would be a very odd paradox indeed if the partial eclipse of German culpability became a permanent historical fixture” as the heirs of the Holocaust seek to regain the property of their progenitors.

    1999: The New York Times book section includes a review of Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership by Naomi W. Cohen.

    1999(3rd of Tevet, 5760): Author Joseph Heller passed away.  He is best remembered as the author of Catch-22.a book whose title has entered the English language (As reported by Richard Severo and Herbert Mitgang)

    2001: Yasser Arafat bowed to long-standing Israeli demands by ordering the closure of the offices of the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  The supposed closing had no effect in ending the terrorism which enjoyed Arafat’s continued support.

    2001: Irv Rubin, JDL Chairman, and Earl Krugel, a member of the organization, were charged with conspiracy to bomb private and government property. The two allegedly were caught in the act of planning bomb attacks against the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and on the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who is Arab-American. The two were arrested as part of a sting operation after an FBI informant named Danny Gillis delivered explosives to Krugel's home in L.A

    2001(27th of Kislev, 5762): Three terrorists attacked a #189 Dan bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades, and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel in Samaria at 6:00 p.m. Ten people, including two teenagers, were killed and 30 others were injured. The victims: Yair Amar, 13, of Emmanuel; Esther Avraham, 42, of Emmanuel; Border Police Chief Warrant Officer Yoel Bienenfeld, 35, of Moshav Tel Shahar; Moshe Gutman, 40, of Emmanuel; Avraham Nahman Nitzani, 17, of Betar Illit; Yirmiyahu Salem, 48, of Emmanuel; Israel Sternberg, 46, of Emmanuel; David Tzarfati, 38, of Ginot Shomron; Hananya Tzarfati, 32, of Kfar Saba; Ya’akov Tzarfati, 64, of Kfar Saba. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

    2002:Austria failed in its attempt to block a lawsuit by an 86-year-old American citizen who fled the Nazis in 1942 and whose uncle owned the works. In a promising ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that Austria was not immune from a suit in American courts when the interests of justice outweigh the inconvenience to a foreign country.

    2003: Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, president of the European Union, proclaimed the body’s deep concern at the increase in instances of anti-Semitic intolerance and strongly condemns all manifestations of anti-Semitism, including attacks against religious sites and individuals.”

    2003:Irwin Cotler, Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election was sworn into Cabinet today.

    2004: The New York Times features a review of A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz; translated by Nicholas de Lange

    2004(29thof Kislev, 5765): One hundred-one year old “Bernada Bryson Shan, the widow of painter Ben Shahn” passed away today.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)


    2005:Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. honored Gerald Schoenfeld and four city leaders at his annual Jewish Heritage celebration today. The event was co-sponsored with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC) and The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. 
    2005: The Israeli government voted to increase financial help for needy Holocaust survivors.  The aid comes in the form of increased rent subsidies and 75% discount on drug purchases.

    2006:Germany hosts a Holocaust conference in Berlin featuring Raul Hilberg, considered one of the leading experts on Holocaust studies who wrote the comprehensive multi-volume book, "The Destruction of European Jewry."

    2007: As part of Chanukah festivities, the last of 18 performances of “Around the World in 80 Days” directed Yaron Kafkafi takes place at the Nokia Stadium in Yad Eliahu.

    2007: Opening session of the 46th Assembly of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) in San Diego, California.

    2007:Union for Reform Judaism 2007 Biennial Convention opens in San Diego, CA.  On the eve of the conference, Meir Azari, rabbi of the Beit Daniel synagogue in Tel Aviv, expressed his concern over the future of relations between the Reform Movement in the United States and Israel.

    2007: The New York City Police arrested ten individuals suspected of carrying out an anti-
    Semitic attack against four Jewish students on the previous Friday night, the fifth night of Chanukah.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah Friday Night Services features, the Second Musical Shabbat of the 2008-2009 Season.

    2008: “Adam Resurrected” which follows the life of former Berlin magician and circus impresario Adam Stein opens at the Quad City Cinema in New York City. A highly theatrical performance by Jeff Goldblum, traces the life of Stein an enthralling, enigmatic patient at the Seizling Institute, a remote Israeli rehabilitation outpost for Holocaust survivors. Entertainer, clairvoyant, sophisticate and lothario, Stein veers from brilliance to eroticism, horror and madness, with flashbacks to the physical and psychological demoralization he endured under Commandant Klein, played by Willem Dafoe, in the Stellring death camp. Stein appears to have everyone stymied and overawed, but an unusual new patient seems to have the magnetic power to break him free of the grip of his relentless torment.

    2008:The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation based in Salem, Mass., shut its doors after saying it had lost all its money -- $8 million -- by investing with Bernard Madoff self-confessed creator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history

    2008:Reacting to an increasingly perilous economic outlook, the leader of the Reform movement proposed that some of the movement's synagogues could consider merging with Conservative congregations as a cost-saving measure. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, in a speech to the Union for Reform Judaism's board of trustees, said that while he generally views American Jewish pluralism as a source of strength, communities in the current crisis may no longer be able to afford multiple synagogues.

    2009 (25 Kislev, 5770): First Day of Chanukah.

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a screening of “The Wedding Song,” a film that tells the story of two adolescent girls – one Jewish, one Moslem – living in Tunis in 1942 when the Nazis occupy the city.

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival features screenings of “A Matter of Size” and “Adam Resurrected” starring American actor Jeff Goldblum

    2009: Opening night of the Sephardic Music Festival in New York City.

    2009: The Hub of the JCCSF and San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum present “Super 8 Hanukkah Festival.”

    2009:Five Hamas men were arrested today, while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit bills, according to the announcement.  During the arrest, two of the operatives were wounded.

    2010:The Women's League Convention 2010 is scheduled to hold its opening session at the Marriott Waterfront located in Baltimore, MD.

    2010: Andy “Samberg and the other members of the Lonely Island debuted their next digital short, titled "I Just Had Sex."

    2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Ayn Rand and The World She Madeby Anne C. Heller.


    2010: “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, .Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, “Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, ­Grudges, Whines and Anecdote by Stephen Sondheim are listed  on The New York Times list of the 10 Best Books of 2010
    2010(5th of Tevet, 5771): Eighty-eight year old “Dan Kurzman, who wrote military histories that illuminated little-known incidents in World War II and an exhaustively reported account of the first Arab-Israeli war, passed away today Manhattan. (As reported Daniel E. Slotnik)

    2010(5th of Tevet, 5771):Eighty-two year old “Jacob Lateiner, a concert pianist renowned for his interpretations both of Beethoven and of 20th-century music, passed away today in Manhattan. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: Gabriel Bass, Rabbi Joanne Heiligman and Nina Bonos are scheduled to participate in “Objects and Spaces that Influence Jewish Memory” a panel discussion presented by Shaare Tefila in Olney, Maryland.

    2011: Israel Hayom reported that Rabbi YonaMetzger had received an offer to serve as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs ends his term of office in 2013.


    2011: “A Happy End” Israeli playwright IIddo Netanyahu’s play that follows acclaimed Jewish physicist Mark Erdmann, head of the atomic lab at the University of Berlin, and his wife Leah through the arduous decision of whether or not to leave Germany following the notorious elections of 1932 is scheduled to be performed at the Martin E.. Segal Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

    2011: Israel's new ambassador to Egypt arrived in Cairo today, Egyptian airport officials told the Associated Press, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy in the Egyptian capital. Amitai, the new envoy, replaces Yitzhak Levanon, who was ambassador when the embassy was stormed in August after six Egyptian guards were killed by Israeli troops pursuing militants responsible for the deaths of eight Israelis on the border.


    2012: In New York, Jonathan Karp, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present “Culture Brokers’ Music Produces and Labels” a program that “traces the history of small independent record labels that pioneered new forms of popular music from the 1960s to today, including rock & roll, Latin pop, and hip-hop.


    2012: A public menorah lighting is scheduled for the Ped Mall in Iowa City, Iowa

    2012: Sufganyot and latkes will be served at the scheduled pubic menorah lighting at the Grand Cities Mall in Grand Forks, North Dakota

    2012: “Football is God” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. (Attention American readers – this is a movie about you call soccer, not the pigskin game)

    2012: Mika Karney and the Kol Dodi Ensemble, Zion80 + Hasidic New Wave & Yakar Rhythms are scheduled to perform at the Sephardic Music Festival’s closing event.

    2012: Pedro Hernandez “pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping the case of Etan Patz.

    2012: “Settlement ends bitter battle over Mel Simon Estates” published today”

    2012: King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan would host Israeli-Palestinian meetings in February with the backing of the European Union and the United States, a leading Arab daily reported today.

    2012: Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned two “price-tag” vandalism acts carried out overnight in Jerusalem and the West Bank
    2013: The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to sponsor a discussion led by Professor Mary Fulbrook and Professor Jane Caplan entitled “A Small Town near Auschwitz – Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust.”

    2013: “Ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran was on rogue mission for CIA, officials say” published today provides an update on the status of Robert Levinson.

    2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present a panel discussion “Do Words Kill?  Hate Speech, Propaganda & Incitement to Genocide”

    2013: “The Herd” and “Guilt by Fire” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Today’s meeting of the URJ Biennial is scheduled to end with a Biennial Music Festival that will include performances by Larry Milder and Rocky Mountain Jewgrass at Taste and Thirst and Rick Recht and Max Jared performing at the Old Spaghetti Factory

    2013: The 20-state council of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research that operates the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss- French border, voted unanimously tonight to accept Israel as a full member. (As reported by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)

    2013: As snow falls in Jerusalem, Arab youth find a way to turn it into a terrorist event by throwing snowballs wrapped around a stone at Jews. (As reported by Gil Ronen)

    2013: Due to “snow and the danger of skidding” “Highways 1 and 443, which connect Jerusalem to the coastal plain, were closed today by police to traffic in both directions until 6:00 a.m. (As reported by Gil Ronen)

    2014:Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which is scheduled to open in movie theaters across the United States today “will include, most famous of all biblical miracles: the parting of the Red Sea. But its depiction will look quite different from the one in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 classic “The Ten Commandments.” (As reported by Bruce Parker)

    2014: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present a performance by The Singers of the Israeli Opera’s Meitra Opera Studio

    2014: “Monologues from the Kishke,” a Yiddishpiel Theater musical celebrating Eastern European food and culture “is scheduled to be performed at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfusot.




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    December 13

    522 BCE: Darius I, the Persian monarch who allowed the Jewish people to re-build the Temple at Jerusalem strengthened his hold on his kingdom when he defeated Nebuchadnezzar III in a battle at the Tigris and that at the Euphrates.

    519 BCE: According to some sources this is the day that, the foundations for the Second Temple were laid during the second year of the reign the Persian ruler, Darius with the support of Haggai and Zachariah. It would take four years to complete the project.

    1124: End of the papacy of Callixtus II who issued an updated version of Sicut Judaeis, the papal bull that reiterated the need for protecting the Jews of Europe “in the wake of the persecutions of the First Crusade”

    1250: Frederick II passed away.  During his reign as Holy Roman Emperor Frederick created a secular government in Palermo, feat without parallel in the middle ages, with a written constitution that guaranteed the rights of his subjects, be they Christian, Arab, or Jew, and the religious freedom that went along with it.” When he founded the University of Naples in 1224, “he took care that its faculty included Christians, Muslims and Jews, and that all of these languages were taught, together with the laws and literature of these cultures. Equally remarkable considering the times was Frederick's edict ordering religious toleration for Christians, Muslims and Jews throughout his realm.” During the Sixth Crusade, he dealt with the issues through negotiations and not military action.  His rule of Jerusalem was marked by a period of “religious toleration for Muslims, Christians and Jews.”

    1521: King John III succeeded his father as King of Portugal.  Like his predecessors, John III maintained the ban on Jews living in his kingdom and persecuted conversos and marranos alike.  The only time he wavered in this policy came in 1525 when he was negotiating with David Reubeni, the Jewish adventurer who was seeking a fleet and an army from the monarch so he could fight Selim I.

    1521: Manuel I, the Portuguese monarch who “decreed that all Jews had to convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children passed away. In 1496, he “exiled thousands of Jews to São Tomé, Príncipe, and Cape Verde.”

    1521: Birthdate of Sixtus VI, who from the point of the Jews, was one of the better Popes.  He issued a bull that lifted the restrictions his predecessors had placed on the Jews.  He gave them permission to live in all of the cities in the Papal States. He ordered the Knights of Malta to stop enslaving Jews traveling by sea to and from the Middle East.  He allowed Jews physicians to treat Christian patents and made provision for new printing of the Talmud. 

    1532(Tevet, 5293):Solomon Molcho, ("Solomon His Angel"), originally Diogo Pires, passed away.  He was a "New Christian" who converted back to Judaism, declared himself the Messiah, and was burned at the stake for apostasy. Molcho was born a Christian to Marrano parents in Portugal about 1500. His baptismal name probably was Diogo Pires. He held the post of secretary in one of the higher courts of his native country. When the Jewish adventurer David Reubeni came ostensibly on a political mission from Khaibar (Peshawar) to Portugal, Molcho wished to join him, but was rejected. He then circumcised himself, though without thereby gaining Reubeni's favor, and emigrated to Turkey. Intellectually talented, a visionary and believer in dreams, he studied the Kabbalah with Joseph Taytazak and became acquainted with Joseph Caro. He then wandered, as a preacher, through the Land of Israel (then a province of the Ottoman empire), where he achieved a great reputation and announced that the Messianic kingdom would come in 1540. In 1529 Molcho published a portion of his sermons under the title Derashot, or Sefer ha-Mefo'ar.Going to Italy, he was opposed by prominent Jews including Jacob Mantino ben Samuel who feared that he might mislead their co-religionists, but he succeeded in gaining the favor of Pope Clement VIIand of some Judeophile cardinals at Rome. He is said to have predicted to the pope a certain flood which inundated Rome and various other places. After his many cabalistic and other strange experiments, Molcho felt justified in proclaiming himself the Messiah, or his precursor. In company with David Reubeni, whom he came across in Italy, he went in 1532 to Ratisbon, where the emperor Charles V was holding a diet. On this occasion, Molcho carried a flag with the Hebrew word Maccabi, the four letters מכבי which also signify an abbreviation for Exodus 15:11 "Who among the mighty is like unto God?". The emperor imprisoned both Molcho and Reubeni, and took them with him to Italy. In Mantua an ecclesiastical court sentenced Molcho to death by fire. At the stake the emperor offered to pardon him on condition that he return to the Catholic Church, but Molcho refused, asking for a martyr's death.

    1545: The Council of Trent which produced The Tirdentine Mass begins. The Tridentine Mass, a Latin ritual the rubrics of which were set by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The mass reflected the traditional Christian goal of converting Jews to Jesus including “praying on Good Friday that God "lift the veil" from "Jewish blindness.”  This changed at the time of Vatican II, with the declaration "Nostra Aetate," which condemned the idea that Jews could be blamed for the murder of Jesus, and affirmed the permanence of God's Covenant with Israel. The "replacement" theology by which the church was understood as "superseding" Judaism was no more. Corollary to this was a rejection of the traditional this version of the Mass would be discontinued as the Catholic Church affirmed a more positive view of Judaism and the Jewish people. The Vatican would reintroduce the Tridentine Mass in 2008 with Catholics praying that God "enlighten" the hearts of Jews "so that they recognize Jesus Christ, Savior of all mankind."

    1585(Kislev, 5346):Eliezer (Lazer) ben Elijah Ashkenazi who first became a rabbi in Egypt before making his way to Europe via Cyprus where he led congregations in Cremona and Posen before moving to Cracow where he passed  away today.

    1619:“Under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it was decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In consequence, the position of Jews differed greatly between cities In those towns where they were admitted, they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.” (As reported by The History of the Jewish People)

    1642: A Dutch explored named Abel Janszoon Tasman reached New Zealand. Jews would not reach New Zealand until the 1830’s when it was under British control.

    1663: Mattahthias Calahora, “a renowned physician” was “accused by Friar Servatius of ‘blaspheming the virgin.’ Although there was no testimony aside from the Friars, he was tortured and burned at the stake. His ashes were dispersed to prevent him from having a proper Jewish burial. Despite this, enough of his remains were found for a burial to take place” (As reported by The History of The Jewish People

    1748(22nd of Kislev 5509): Mozes Marcus Mordechai Drukker passed away in Amsterdam and was buried in the Muiderberg Cemetery.

    1754; Mahmud I, Ottoman Sultan passed away. During his reign, two Jewish doctors, Isaac Tchelebi and Hekim Joseph were appointed to serve at his palace. In 1739, Mahmud signed the Treaty of Belgrade that gave citizenship rights to the Ottoman Jews. Austrian Jews were so impressed with the grant of rights that many of them applied for citizenship in Mahmud’s empire.

    1769: Dartmouth College founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock.  Today Dartmouth has approximately 450 Jewish students out of an undergrad population of over four thousand students.  There are approximately 100 Jewish students among its 1,300 grad students.  Dartmouth offers ten courses in Jewish studies. Dartmouth also has a special Hebrew Studies semester transfer credit arrangement with the Hebrew University and with Oxford University.

    1776(3rdof Tevet, 5537): In London on a day of national fasting proclaimed by King George III the Portuguese and Spanish Congregation offered a special prayer in they “implored forgiveness for our sins” and asked for “divine assistance” to help our forces on sea and land to “restore peace and prosperity to these kingdoms” followed by a sermon given by Moshe Cohen d’Azevdeo.

    1797: In Dusseldorf, Peira (known as "Betty"), née van Geldern and Samson Heine, a textile merchant gave birth to the first child author and poet Heinrich Heine. The German author converted in 1825.  Heine said, “The baptismal certificate is an admission ticket to European culture.”  Unfortunately for Heine, things did not work.  Christians saw him as an opportunist.  Jews saw him as a turncoat and in the end, he supposedly regretted his decision.  “It is extremely difficult for a Jew to be converted, for how can he bring himself to believe in the divinity of another Jew?”  “Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.”  “The Jews trudged around with the Bible all through the Middle Ages, as with a portable fatherland.”  And in words that almost seem to foretell the coming of the Nazis he wrote, “Where men burn books, they will also burn people.”

    1797: In the first attempt to remove the qualification that office holder’s in Maryland had to be Christians, a petition signed by Solomon Etting, Bernard Gratz, and others was presented to the General Assembly at Annapolis; the petitioners averred "that they are a sect of people called Jews, and thereby deprived of many of the valuable rights of citizenship, and pray to be placed upon the same footing with other good citizens." The petition was read and referred to a committee of three persons, who upon the same day reported that they "have taken the same into consideration and conceive the prayer of the petition is reasonable, but as it involves a constitutional question of considerable importance they submit to the House the propriety of taking the same into consideration at this advanced stage of the session." This summary disposition of the petition put a quietus upon further agitation for the next five years. (As reported by Cyrus Adler and J. H. Hollander)

    1800(26thof Kislev, 5561): 2nd day of Chanukah; Shabbat; kindle three candles in the evening

    1800(26th of Kislev, 5561): Saul ben Meir Margolith who was a rabbi at Zbaraz, Galicia, Komorn, and Lublin and was the father of Zebi Hirsch, passed away at Lublin today.

    1807: Birthdate of Levi Bodenheimer, the native of Karlsruhe who served as a rabbi at Krefeld and Hildesheim.

    1807: Thirty-four year old Joseph Philipson, opened his general merchandising store and permanently settled in St. Louis. Joseph was reportedly the first Jew to settle in St. Louis, He was the first Jewish merchant to settle in St. Louis and the first American merchant to establish a permanent store in St. Louis. In 1808, Joseph's brother Jacob arrived in St. Louis and established his own store. Their remaining brother Simon remained in Philadelphia, traveling occasionally to St. Louis. Until 1816 the Philipsons were the only Jews known to live in St. Louis. Jacob died about 1858, buried in the City Cemetery

    1813: Birthdate of David Spangler Kaufman.  Kaufman was the first Jewish Congressman from Texas. He died in 1851.  Kaufman County, Texas and the city of Kaufman, Texas are named for him.

    1815: Birthdate of Arthur Stanley, the Dean of Westminster who wrote “Lectures On The History of the Jewish Church”.

    1819(25thof Kislev, 5580): As the Unites States endures its first peacetime major economic and financial crisis, known as the Panic of 1819, Chanukah is observed.

    1845: In Sulzburg, Samuel and Hina Henritte Kahn gave birth to Rosa Kahn who after her marriage became Rosa Hirschel.

    1847: The Portuguese congregation of New Orleans held its first annual meeting.

    1855: During the thirty-fourth session of the United States Congress, a special act was passed, which provided that all the rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore granted by the law to the Christian churches in the city of Washington be and the same hereby are extended to the Hebrew Congregation of said city.”

    1856: Birthdate of Albert Hessberg, the native of Albany, N.Y. who became a partner in the law firm of Peckham, Rosendale and Hessberg  and who served as president of the Albany Jewish as well  as Recorder of Alabany for two terms.

    1856: Birthdate of Abbott Lawrence Lowell, who served as President of Harvard from 1909 to 1933. Thanks to reforms Lowell made in the admission policies where merit was the driving factor, Jewish enrollment rose from 6% in 1908 to 22% in 1922.  Lowell had not intended for his reforms to bring this many Jews to his university and he worked vigorously and successfully to institutionalize other criteria that drove down the Jews representation to the point that when he left in 1933 Jews made up less than 10% of the undergraduate student body.  Lowell also was an outspoken critic of Wilson’s decision to nominate Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court.  Like so many of his ilk, Lowell did not limit his bigotry to Jews – he had no use for African-Americans or homosexuals either.

    1860: The New York Times reported that “A private letter from Jerusalem states that an American Jew at New Orleans has bequeathed £10,000 for the building and endowment of almshouses for infirm and destitute Israelites in the Holy City. An agent had already arrived to carry out the bequest, and the houses intended to be used for the purpose mentioned are expected to be ready for occupation before the expiration of the coming Winter.”

    1862: During the Civil War, Army of the Potomac suffered one of its worst defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg where they were commanded Ambrose Burnside. Company C of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment which had been formed by a group of Jewish volunteer soldiers under the name of the Concordia Guards was one of the units engaged in the battle. The regiment would be commanded by Colonel Edward S. Salomon, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, who may have been Chicago’s first Jewish lawyer and was the alderman for the Sixth Ward when the war broke out. Among other Jews serving during the battle was Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a native of Richmond, who was a solider with the Union Army and was wounded at Fredericksburg.

    1869: In Lida, Russia, Bernard and Aida Pollock gave birth to David B. Pollock the “editor and manager of Zion Messenger, the official organ of the Knights of Zion” in Chicago, Illinois, who organized the Junior Knights of Zion Military Band of Jewish Boys to provide “a musical education for Jewish children without means.

    1873: It was reported today that most of the Jews of Paris attended the funeral of French banker and philanthropist Louis Raphael Bischoffsheim which was held last month.  The large filled the synagogue and then followed the coffin to the cemetery. A native of Germany, this highly successful financier founded schools for Jewish children, established hospitals and asylums for the general population and supported soup kitchens every winter.

    1874: Birthdate of Joseph Arkadievich Levin, the Russian pianist who gained fame as Josef Lhévinne, a name given to him by his manager.

    1877: Birthdate of Abraham I. Shiplacoff, a native of Chernigov (Russia) who moved to the United States where he became a labor leader and the first Socialist to be elected to the New York State Assembly.

    1880: A charter was granted today marking formally incorporation of Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, MS.  Twenty-five to thirty families had been acting as a congregation since 1870 going so far as to hire a Charles Rawitzer of Memphis as their Rabbi.  HUC built their first temple in 1881 and hired Joseph Bogen as their Rabbi. In 1962 H.U.C. was the largest Jewish congregation in the state of Mississippi with almost 200 families. At last report, the Temple is home to about 50 Jewish families in the area.

    1881: A Pogrom begins in Warsaw that leaves approximately 1,500 Jewish homes, shops and synagogues in ruins.

    1882: Jacques Damala left for North Africa today after his wife, Sarah Bernhardt told him she would no longer support his dissolute life-style. He left her to pay off his debts that arose from, among other things, gambling and drugs.

    1885: It was reported today that the funeral of Wolfgang Strassmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family who was the President of the Municipal Council in Berlin “was made the occasion of a demonstration against Jew-baiters.” Thirty thousand people attended the funeral and the Emperor sent two wreaths. (The Emperor would seem to be somewhat conflicted since one of his court chaplains was a leader of the anti-Semitic forces)

    1885: The New York Times published a review of The Rabbi’s Spell: A Russo-Jewish Romance by Stuart C. Cumberland


    1886: As police are arresting merchants selling goods on Sunday in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws, the question is asked how can a Jewish peddler “arrested on the Sabbath” who pleads that he has kept the previous day holy, be punished under a law that allows a businessman “to select the one day out seven on which to abstain from business.”

    1888:Telemachus (Telemaque) Thomas Timayenis, the author of The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé,‎ was charged with grand larceny by Mrs. Emma Dickson his partner in the Minerva Publishing Company. (Timayenis denied reports that he was Jewish and his books were decidedly anti-Semitic in nature.

    1889: It was reported today that the B’nai B’rith has taken a leading role in the education fair currently taking place at the American Institute Building in New York City.

    1889: Moritz Ellinger, editor of the Hebrew Standard delivered a lecture entitled “A New Departure” in New York City

    1890: The “juvenile orchestra” of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to perform at the Teachers’ Fair, today.

    1890: Rabbi Jacob Joseph delivered a sermon at the Beth Hamedrasch Hagol, an Orthodox synagogue on Norfolk,  in which he addressed “the persecution of the Russian Jews and said that necessary steps should be taken to urge the United States Government to use its influence with the Czar for the cessation of the persecution.

    1890: Rabbi Kaufman Kohler, a leading Reform rabbi, delivered a sermon at Temple Beth EL, in which he said “that Jews had proved that they were the equals of the highest races of the age in all countries except Russia where they had been subjected to the greatest hardships.”

    1891: Jacob Rubino, a New York Life Insurance policy holder filed suit again a trustee of New York Life who is also a member of the Finance Committee seeking the return of “exorbitant commissions.”

    1892: Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Straus and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lauterbach and their daughter were among those who attended a meeting of the Nineteenth Century Club where they listened to a lecture on “The Significance of the New-England Transformation.

    1893: Justice Ryan of the Essex Market Police court committed “three destitute little children” ranging in age from 7 to 2 to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society because their mother Sarah Polskie could not care for them.

    1894: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn won a competition among all the orphanages in Brooklyn and New York sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany of Brooklyn by 700 votes which means it will receive “100 dressed dolls and other toys.”

    1894: This evening members of the University Settlement Society heard the report of Helen Moore, the librarian at Guild House in which she noted that the young Jewish readers show “discrimination” “always wanted the best literature.  They always have the library’s 83 histories of the United States checked out but they “show a passion for stories about…patriotism and fairy tales. (The purpose of the society is “to being men and women of education into closer relation with the laboring classes so that they might meet on a common ground for education purpose.”)

    1895: In Chicago, “three drunken poles” attacked Abraham Mar, a Jewish vegetable peddler, and hung him three times with a clothes line, threatening him each time with death unless “he prayed according to the Christian fashion.”

    1895(26thof Kislev, 5656): Second Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle three candles

    1895: Today’s session of the Educational Fair sponsored by the Jewish community opened at 2:30 this afternoon and closed at 5 p.m. because this evening is the start of the Sabbath.  Although it was only open for 2 and one-half hours, the fair was so well attended that the total receipts for the fair has now risen to over one hundred thousand dollars.

    1895: It was reported that during this past month the average attendance in the industrial school supported by the United Hebrew Charities was 238 girls who produced 175 garments while learning sewing and dressmaking.

    1899: Birthdate of publisher Harold Guinzburgfounder of Literary Guild and head of Viking Press.

    1903(24thof Kislev, 5664): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1903: At today’s meeting of the United Zionists of Greater New York a resolution was adopted that expressed opposition to trying to establish a Zionist colony in Uganda.  The 250 delegates expressed their dissatisfaction with Israel Zangwill and expressed their support that the Zionist dream could only be fulfilled in Palestine

    1903:  Isidor Strauss read the eleventh annual report at tonight’s meeting of the Educational Alliance.  Andrew Carnegie attended the meeting and engaged in light-hearted banter with Strauss, who is the President of Alliance.

    1903: Four hundred guests attended the Carmel Chanukah dinner tonight which sponsored by the Carmel Wine Company.  The sponsors of the dinner were trying to develop support for the Jews who are working to establish agricultural settlements in Palestine.  Professor Richard Gottheil and Cyrus L Sulzberger were among the speakers at the event.

    1910: Birthdate of Sol Saks, who is most famous for writing the first episode of the highly popular sitcom “Bewitched.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1910: In Boston, Katie Silverman and Arthur Rutstein gave birth to Lillian Rutstein who gained fame as the actress and singer Lillian Roth, who would convert to Catholicism in 1948 although “she later said she could really forget her Jewish heritage.

    1913(14th of Kislev, 5674): Abraham J. Laredo a prominent Gibraltar merchant passed away.

    1914: Birthdate of Larry Park, the native of Joliet, Illinois  who starred in the film biography of Al Jolson before falling victim to the Hollywood Black list.

    1916: In Philadelphia, Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen, Jr married Marion Gimbel Labe with whom he had two daughters, Mary and Ann Solis-Cohen Rosentahl the wife of Charles Rosenthal.

    1921: An order was issued by King George V for Sir Edgar Speyer to be struck off the list of the Privy Council.

    1922: “A Jewish Manifesto to the Arabs” published today contains the second statement by the Jewish National Council of Palestine in which it pleads for a peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

    1923: This evening, an anti-Jewish open air meeting was held by Royalist students in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Copies of "L' Action Francaise", the Royalist Organ, were on sale. The speakers denounced the Jews as the chief obstacle to the restoration of the Monarchy in France. The Jews, they declared, were Communists; the Jews were the counselors of President Wilson and were responsible for his Fourteen Points, which had brought about the isolation of France. The first step towards the destruction of the Republic must be the annihilation of the Jews. (As reported by JTA)

    1923: Birthdate of William Bernard Kannel  a cardiovascular epidemiologist whose work helped to identify and sought to rout the culprits behind heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1923: “Two Jews Innocently Imprisoned in France Seven Years” published today described the fate of two Jews who were falsely imprisoned during World War I.

    1924(16th of Kislev, 5685):  Samuel Gompers, the famed American labor leader, passed away.

    1925(26thof Kislev, 5686): Eighty-year old Caroline von Gomperz-Bettelheim, the sister of Anton Bettelheim and the wife of Julius Ritter von Gomperz who was an “Austrian court singer and member of the Royal Opera in Vienna, passed away today.

    1928: George Gershwin's musical work ''An American in Paris'' had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

    1936: It was reported today that Rabbi Harry Halpern of the East Midwood Jewish Center will deliver a talk entitled “The Significance of Chanukah” at the upcoming meeting of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America.

    1931: Author and journalist Emil Ludwig (born Emil Cohn) interviewed Joseph Stalin.

    1936: Andy Devine appears on the Jack Benny where he scores the longest laughter pause in the history of the program.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Solomon Baum, 23, a student at the Hebrew Teachers' Seminary, was seriously wounded by an Arab assailant in the Beit Hakerem quarter of Jerusalem. British troops and police fought a gang of 50 Arab terrorists in Galilee. The same gang was reported to have murdered and robbed an Arab villager of Kafr Kara who refused to hand over the requested sum of money.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that n Paris the Council of German Jews, headed by Viscount Samuel, announced that during the first half of 1937, 3,641 Jews left Germany, including 1,363 for Palestine. Four hundred of them made their aliya on the strength of the "capitalist" category immigration certificates, obtained by the committee.

    1938: One hundred deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): In the evening, kindle the 8th Chanukah light

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): In New York, Joseph Josephs passed away.

    1939: Hans Frank issued order of the establishment of Jewish councils in Polish Jewish communities over 10,000. Jews referred to these councils as the “Judenrat.”

    1940: U.S. premiere of “Comrade X” a American spy-spoof co-starring Hedy Lamar, filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg with a script co-authored by Ben Hecht and Herman J. Mankiewicz.

    1941: For two days 14,300 Jews were killed in the Crimean city of Simferopol by the Einsatzkommando.  The killing started on December 13 and ended on the 15th.

    1941: The last six Jews living in Warendorf, Germany, are deported to Riga, Latvia, and killed.

    1941: Jews living in Muenster, Germany were deported to the Riga Ghetto in Latvia today.  [A photo of this is part of the Yad Vashem archives]


    1942: Borough President Edgar J Nathan Jr., Jacob O. Zabronsky, J. David Delman, and Rabbi Leo Jung spoke to the National Council of Young Israel at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

    1942: German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels complains in his diary about Italy's halfhearted persecution of Jews.

    1943: As the SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimir-Volynski, Poland, they were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force. The remainder fled to the forests to join the partisans.

    1943: In Greece, Nazis murder all males over age 14 in the village of Kalávrita.

    1943: Birthdate of Victor G. Kac, a Soviet and American mathematician at MIT, known for his work in representation theory. Kac received a Sloan Fellowship in 1981 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.

    1946: Jewish political leader Léon Blum was chosen French premier.

    1946: Cessation of hostilities between the United States and Germany was by US President Truman

    1946:Moshe Sneh, the reputed head of Haganah, repudiates activities of Irgun and Stern Group. He calls for a responsible resistance. He urges Zionists to stay away from London conference.

    1947: The Jewish Agency, representing a majority of Palestinian Jewry denounced the rising tide of Irgun reprisals, calling them spectacular acts to gratify popular feeling.

    1947: Several Irgun members driving in two cars near the Damascus Gate bus station hurled two bombs into the crowd and opened fire with automatic weapons killing five Arabs including a fourteen year old boy.

    1947: The Arab League tells U.S. and Britain that partition would be considered a hostile act toward Moslems.

    1947: The Zionist Organization of America urges that the U.S. provide ships for Jews going to Palestine and help arm Jewish Agency defense forces.

    1948: The Transjordan Parliament authorizes King Abdullah to accept sovereignty over Arab Palestine and Transjordan defying a warning by council of Ulemas (a group of scholars and highest spiritual authority in Moslem

    1949: Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capitol to Jerusalem.

    1950: James Grover McDonald, the first U.S. Ambassador to Israel, left his post today.

    1952(25thof Kislev, 5713): First Day of Chanukah

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the government announced an ambitious settlement program ­ the establishment of some 100 new villages within one year.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that ten infiltrators from Jordan crossed the border, wounded the guard of a defense post and stole arms and ammunition. Elsewhere, on the same border, two marauders were killed and 26 arrested within one week. Israel demanded an emergency meeting of the Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission.

    1953: Birthdate of economist Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

    1961: Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein.  Yes, there is a Jewish connection to Ringo, Paul, John, et al.

    1961: In Jerusalem, prosecuting attorney Gideon Hausner demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann

    1965: U.S. premiere of “A Thousand Clowns” featuring Martin Balsam as “Arnold Burns,” Barry Gordon as “Nick Burns” and Gene Saks as “Leo ‘Chuckles the Chipmun’ Herman

    1967: In Canada, premiere of “The Fox” directed by Mark Rydell with music by Lalo Schifrin.

    1968: “Urban Picaresque” published today provides a review of Murray Schisgal's Jimmy Shine,33009,839680,00.html

    1970: Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in New York NY

    1970(15thof Kislev, 5731): Eighty-three year old Baruch Zuckerman, a long time Zionist leader who was one of the founders of Yad Vashem passed away today in Jeruslaem.

    1971(25thof Kislev, 5732): Chanukah

    1971:Milton Glick, 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno, became a father for the second time when his wife Peggy gave birth to his son Sandy.

    1976: Release date for “Victory at Entebbe” a made for television movie based on the raid that had taken place in July of 1976.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that a top-level Israeli team, leaving for Cairo, was told by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt expected, and had to gain, an early success in the forthcoming negotiations. An 82-man Arab delegation left the Gaza Strip for Cairo while their mayor, Rashid Shawwa, said that Sadat ought to be praised for strengthening moderate Arabs. However, US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance failed to persuade King Hussein of Jordan to join the planned Israeli-Egyptian conference in Cairo

    1979: A revival of Roger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!" opens at the Palace Theater in New York City for the first of 301 performances.

    1984: In a seemingly never ending fight to nibble away at the doctrine of the separation of church and state which is critical to the Jewish community in the United States, Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department filed a friend of the court brief in support the state of Alabama in Wallace v Jaffree, a case that would decide the mandated moment of silence at the start of each school day.  The Supreme Court would declare the Alabama statute unconstitutional because it violated the “first prong of the Lemon Test i.e., that the statute was invalid as being entirely motivated by a purpose of advancing religion.

    1988: Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman, is to be the main speaker today when the U.N. General Assembly holds its first meeting in Geneva.

    1991: Birthdate of Jay "Bluejay" Greenberg composer of “Overture to 9-11.”

    1992: In a daring challenge to Israel's authority in the occupied territories, Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip. The abductors' deadline passed tonight with their demand unmet, but there was no sign that they had carried out their threatened slaying.

    1992: The New York Times published the following letter from Rabbi Harold M. Kamsler of Phoenixville, Pa. entitled “It May Help to Be Jewish to Love Turkey” which claimed that the word “Turkey,” the fowl of Thanksgiving fame was rooted in Hebrew.

    May I add another linguistic note to the colorful "One Strange Bird" by Margaret Visser (Op-Ed, Nov. 26)? The concurrence of the voyages of Columbus and the expulsion from Spain of its Jewish population after centuries of mutually advantageous co-existence has been widely aired in this 500th year of commemoration of both events. One of the key personnel making the first voyage was Luis de Torres, employed by Columbus as an interpreter since he had wide knowledge of Chaldean and Arabic, the languages of the areas they expected to reach. A "Converso," one of the Jews who had converted to Catholicism under the pressure of the Inquisition but remained a secret adherent of his own faith, de Torres also knew Hebrew well. It was natural that de Torres was in the first boats sent to shore on Oct. 12, 1492. In a letter written to a friend in Spain, he described the strange bird seen in this new land. As Ms. Visser notes, during the courting season the bird gobbles, struts and puffs, and his tail feathers display in the manner of a peacock. De Torres gave it the name that appears in the biblical book of I Kings, 10:22, the Hebrew word for peacock: tuki. Surely there is a much more direct line to "turkey" than the various other speculations at hand.”

    1992:Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip.Today’s pre-dawn kidnapping of Sgt. Maj. Nissim Toledano in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, was likely to increase the sense among Israelis that they are under siege. His abduction as a means to obtain a prisoner release is an echo of hijackings and hostage-takings that for the most part have been unknown here since the 1970's.

    1994(10th of Tevet, 5755): Asara B'Tevet

    1995(20th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, a scholar on religious and governmental issues who was a Marine Corps chaplain during the battle of Iwo Jima, died at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was 85. He was the first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn was rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Boston, where he served from 1953 to 1977. From 1936 to 1953, he served the Central Synagogue of Nassau County in Rockville Centre, L.I. He was awarded three combat ribbons for his service with the Fifth Marine Division on Iwo Jima. His sermon at the dedication of the division's cemetery, titled "The Purest Democracy," attracted wide attention and was read by many radio and television announcers during and after the war. In February, Rabbi Gittelsohn gave the benediction at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the landing. Rabbi Gittelsohn was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to a committee studying civil rights issues. Later, he studied and lectured on United States involvement in Vietnam, and on euthanasia, Israeli politics and family relationships. He wrote numerous articles and books on civic and religious issues. He was president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis from 1958 to 1960; president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1969 to 1971, and president of the Association of Reform Zionists of America from 1977 to 1984. A native of Cleveland, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1931. He studied at Columbia University and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and was ordained in 1936.

    1996: In a speech he gave today in Los Angeles,Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie the president of Reform Judaism's synagogue organization called for expanding the movement's small presence in Israel, to develop a liberal religious alternative within a nation overwhelmingly dominated by secular and Orthodox Jews.
    1997: A revival of “Chips with Everything” a play by Arnold Wesker came to a close at the Royal Nation Theatre.

    1998: The New York Times book section included a review of Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmudsby Donald Harman Akenson.

    1998(24th of Kislev, 5759): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah.

    1998: This evening the restored synagogue of Shimon Hatzadik (Simon the Righteous) was rededicated. 


    2000: The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Elkhart v Brooks, the city of Elkhart had acted unconsituionally when it accepted a Ten Commandments Monument from the Elks.

    2001(28th of Kislev, 5762): Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist of the band Death passed away as a result of a rare form of cancer

    2005: Israel's consul-general in Los Angeles criticized Steven Spielberg's "Munich," saying that the new film drew an incorrect picture of the Mossad's hunt for the PLO terrorists who carried out the 1972 Olympic massacre, and taking the legendary director to task for morally equating the Israeli agents and their Palestinian terrorist targets. Ehud Danoch, Israeli consul general in Los Angeles, said Spielberg had addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with "certain pretentiousness" and "quite superficial statements." The film claims to be a depiction of the activities of a Mossad hit team sent out to kill those responsible for kidnapping and murdering the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. 

    2006: Sotheby’s annual sale of Judaica in New York includes a collection of the 18thcentury ritual silver objects from the Jewish community of Amsterdam and an 18thcentury decorated manuscript honoring physician and poet Dr. Isaac Luzzato.

    2006: Prime Minister Ehud Omert met with Pope Benedict XVI during the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Europe.

    2007:  In Jerusalem, a screening of The Jews in the Warsaw Uprising. This 57 minute long documentary explores the subject of the Jewish involvement in the struggle and includes Interviews with witnesses that are enriched by the archive materials and the historian reports.

    2007: In New York City, the 92nd Street Y hosts cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Kirill Gerstein as part of the Distinguished Artist Series.

    2007: Greek historian Costas Plevris was sentenced to 14 months in prison for inciting racial hatred with the publication of The Jews: The Whole Truth, a book that denies the Holocaust took place. 

    2008: Jeff Marx “premiered a new song he wrote, ‘White Kwanzaa,’ on the CNN show D.L. Hughley Breaks the News”

    2008:Itzhak Perlman plays chamber music at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    2008: The 10th Annual Jerusalem Film Festival opens. Highlights of this year's festival include:
    Daniel Burman's new film, “The Empty Nest,” a premiere screening of the acclaimed PBS series, “The Jewish Americans,” and a tribute to Meyer Levin, the American-Jewish journalist and filmmaker who made “The Illegals” and “My Father's House.”.

    2008: In Washington, D.C. the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (formerly the home of Adas Israel), hosts Shalshelet's 3rd International Festival of New Jewish Liturgy. Shalshelet, based in Chevy Chase, MD, brings unique settings of Jewish prayers that build bridges within the Jewish community and to a broader audience. The two day festival starts today with "No Rock Like You: Songs for the Jewish Soul", a major concert where the works of 30 composers from four countries and ten U.S. states will be performed by an ensemble of talented soloists, instrumentalists and full choir. "New melodies have the power to breathe new wonder into familiar prayers and speak to what is best in ourselves, in our communities, and in our common bond with God," said Shalshelet president, Hazzan Ramon Tasat who also directs the cantorial program at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and serves as the cantor of a new Montgomery County congregation, Shirat HaNefesh.

    2008 (16 Kislev 5769) Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn), 84, of Cedar Rapids and Los Angeles passed away in Cedar Rapids at the age of 84. Ann is survived by her husband of 62 years, Fred; a son, Jack Gilbert of Albany, Calif.; and two daughters, Doris (Gary) Gilbert-Stieger of San Francisco and Lena Gilbert of Springville. She was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers and sisters, who all perished during World War II. Ann was born in Szydlowiec, Poland, to Josek and Laja Zylberstajn. Ann was a Holocaust survivor. She spent over four years in concentration camps and was liberated in April 1945. She married Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) on Jan. 2, 1946, in Scwabisch Hall, Germany. Ann was a consummate homemaker, an accomplished seamstress, and devoted to her family. She and Fred lived in Cedar Rapids from 1949 to 1986, where she was an active member of Temple Judah and in the community. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah. From 1986 to 2003, Ann and Fred lived in Los Angeles, where she was a much sought after seamstress to film and motion picture stars. Ann and Fred were also very active in the survivor community. They were regular speakers at the Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. She and Fred lectured frequently about their experiences. In 2003, she and Fred returned to Cedar Rapids to be near to Lena. Ann remained a constant source of inspiration and will be greatly missed.

    2009: In Iowa City, the Agudas Achim Players present ”Zayda Was A Cowboy” which, along with a catered Latkes dinner adds to the enjoyment of the third night of Chanukah.

    2009:Adele Steiner read from her work as part of the Iota Poetry Series held at the Iota Club & Café in Arlington, Virginia.

    2009: Closing night of the 20th Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a showing of “The Gift of Stalin” and a Chanukah Party.

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival comes to a close with the screening of several cinematic offers including “Jaffa,” the featured closing night film.

    2009: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Why The Dreyfus Affair Mattersby Louis Begley and Emancipation:How Liberating Europe’s Jews From the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance by Michael Goldfarb.

    2009: Wonderland Express Hanukkah Dinner and Concert featuring the local Jewish band Spirit Orchestra takes place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois

    2009: In Philadelphia Chana Rothman, Naomi Less and Sarah Aroeste are the featured musicians in Lights Ignite Change at the World Café.

    2009: At the Sephardic Musical Festival it is Ladino Night featuring Rivka Amado & Elie Massias at the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue.

    2010:Damon Linker is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders” at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2010: Mollie Berch is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “American Jews and the Great Depression” in Silver Spring, MD.

    2010: Lord Sacks retirement as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom was announced today

    2010: In a story entitled “Faith in The Game,” Sports Illustrated reviews Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, “a new film that illuminates the Jewish to the national pastime.”  Written by Ira Berkow, narrated by Dustin Hoffman the film includes a rare interview with Dodger great Sandy Koufax and Al Rosen, the Cleveland all-star third basemen who spoke frankly about dealing with anti-Semitism.

    2011: “Grace Paley: Collect Shorts” is scheduled to be shown at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.

    2011: “Tea and Talmud” sponsored by the Touro Synagogue Sisterhood is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, LA.

    2011: Anat Hoffman, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center in Jerusalem for the past ten years, is scheduled to deliver a talk on the struggle for equality and women’s rights in Israel at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.

    2011: Jerry Abramson “took office as the 55th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.”

    2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency discussion with Israeli defense officials today, following an attack by right-wing activists on an IDF base in the West Bank.

    2012: “Susan Sontag – The Glamour of Seriousness” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival today.

    2012: Under the leadership of Lena Gilbert, a Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony is scheduled to take place in Springville, Iowa.

    2012: In what is the third and final public menorah lighting in North Dakota, this ceremony is scheduled to take place tonight at Bismarck, the state capital.

    2012:Violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng are scheduled to perform in Palm Beach, FL at a benefit sponsored by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    2012(29thof Kislev, 5773): Fifth Day of Chanukah

    2012(29thof Kislev, 5773): Ninety-three year old French mountain climber Maurice Herzog passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied that he was guilty of charges brought by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein that he was gulty of fraud and breach of the public trust.

    2012: The border policewoman who fatally shot a Palestinian teen in Hebron today is content with how she performed her duty, even as it emerged that Muhammad al- Salaymeh was armed only with a toy pistol. It has not been explained why he was carrying a toy pistol, let alone why he would point it at the Border Police.

    2012: President Obama is scheduled to host a Chanukah party in the White House. Per the request of the President, “a 90-year-old menorah from a temple on Long Island that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy will be displayed at a Hanukkah party…as a symbol of perseverance and hope for the holidays.” (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

    2013: In Iowa City, Penfield Books is schedule to host a reception for several local authors including three members of Agudas Achim : Arthur Canter for his World  War  II memoir, Flap Dog: A World War II Odyssey of a Communications Interceptor, Miriam Canter for her newly revised cookbook Dazzling Desserts and ,and Vida Brenner author of the book for children The Magic Music Shop.

    2013 The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is scheduled to perform at the UIHC.

    2013: In keeping with its annual tradition, Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National
    Fund (KKL-JNF) is scheduled to start distributing Christmas trees at Ras El E'ain next to Kfar Rama (Wadi Salama)

    2013: “Copying Beethoven” and “Bethlehem” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(10thof Tevet): Asarah B'Tevet,

    2013(10thof Tevet, 5774): Yarhrzeit Judith “Judy” Rosenstein (nee Levin) a woman of valor – gone too soon but always remembered

    2013(10thof Tevet, 5774): Eighty year old Hugh Nissenson whose “books were immersive journeys that often explored religion, particularly Judaism” passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

    2013: US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin this morning in Jerusalem amid a severe winter storm which has left thousands without power and stranded hundreds of travelers on roads leading to and from the capital.

    2013: Jersusalem experiences a “White Shabbat

    2014: Shabbat Va-yayshe
    2014: The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio is scheduled to perform at the 92ndStreet Y.

    2014: At NYU’s Kimmel Center The Workmen’s Circle is scheduled to host its Annual Winter Reception where it will honor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “distinguished professor, scholar, author, and Program Director of the brand-new Core Exhibition at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.”



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    164 BCE (3597): On the secular calendar date on which Judah Maccabee restored the service in the Temple in Jerusalem. 

    1503: Birthdate of Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was not Jewish but his family had been.  His paternal grandfather converted to Catholicism ending the Jewish line.

    1546: Birthdate of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe who spent time with Jewish astronomer David Gans while visiting in Prague and who wrote Path to God which Franz Rosenzweig said “should be considered a ‘Jewish book’” but which said should be called a “Jewishlike book.”

    1584: According to a document with this day’s date, “Isaac (Isaiko) Shachovich, a Jew of Brest, visited Moscow on business in 1581, notwithstanding the prohibition of Ivan the Terrible, and en route stopped in Mohilev at the house of his friend, the tax-collector Isaac Jacobovich.”

    1754: Mahmud I, Sultan of Turkey, passed away at the age of 58. Under the reign of Mahmud I, the treaty of Belgrade was signed (September 18th, 1739). This gave rights to the Ottoman Jews. Their situation was so good that Austrian Jews applied for Ottoman citizenship.

    1760: The Board of Deputies of British Jews was founded. The Board of Deputies was composed of elected Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.

    1778(25thof Kislev, 5539): Chanukah

    1799: President George Washington passed away.  Washington’s letters of acceptance to Jewish communities in the early days of the United States set the tone for acceptance that has made it possible for the Jewish community to flourish.

    1807: In Hamburg, Israel Abraham Meyer and his wife gave birth to Meyer Isler who wrote a these on the Greek poet to earn his doctorate and who was a follower “of the new science of Judaism” as presented by Leopold Zunz and Isaak Markus Jost.
    1808(25thof Kislev, 5569): Chanukah celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
    1808(25thof Kislev, 5569):Abraham ben Elijah of Vilna the son of Elijah, the Vilna Gaon passed away today in Vilna.

    1819: Alabama becomes the 22nd state to join the Union.  For those of you who think that Jews only made a contribution on the eastern seaboard, please take note.  Abram Mordecai came to Alabama in 1785 and is credited by some with the founding of Montgomery, the state capital.  He was described as “’an intelligent Jew who lived fifty years in the Creek nation.’” (The Creeks were an Indian tribe made famous by their battles with Andrew Jackson and Davey Crockett.) He traded with the Creeks, married a Creek woman and found what he considered proof positive that the Creeks were descendants of the ten lost tribes.  The first congregation in Alabama was formed in Mobile in 1844 and a second congregation was founded in Montgomery in 1852.
    1825: A group of disgruntled Russian Army officers begin what is now known as the Decembrist Revolt, an uprising against the newly installed Czar, Nicholas I.  The Jews had nothing to do with the revolt.  The officers were animated by the tainted road to throne followed by Nicholas and their desire for a more liberal regime.  The unsuccessful revolt reinforced the despot’s drive to follow in the reactionary footsteps of his father.  Among other things he increased the drive to remove the Jews from Russian society by forcing growing numbers into the Pale of Settlement and by enforcing draft laws that forced young Jewish boys to serve 25 years in the Russian Army.
    1827(25th of Kislev, 5588): First Day of Chanukah.
    1846(25thof Kislev, 5607): Chanukah is observed for the first time during the Mexican-American War.
    1849: Following the revolution in Hungary during which he had been arrested Rabbi Judah Leib "Leopold" Löw was pardoned by General Julius Jacob von Haynau
    1850: Birthdate of Jean (Jan) Taubenhaus, the native of Warsaw who became a “French chess master.” He was the brother of Godfrey Taubenhaus  and Joseph Taubenhaus both of whom would become rabbis in the United States.
    1852: In Curaçao, Sarah Jesurun De Leon and Daniel de Leon, the descendant of Spanish-Dutch Jews gave birth to Daniel De Leon the future lead of the Socialist Labor Party of America.
    1856: In Syracuse, NY, Zilli Strauss and Jacob Marshall gave birth to Louis Marshall, prominent lawyer and leader of the United States Jewish community. 
    1862: Following the crushing Union defeat at Fredericksburg caused by the ineptness of General Burnside, Lieut. G.L. Snyder, Company B, of the 104thN.Y. was among the group of Jewish members of the Army of the Potomac who were buried near the hospital that had been set up across the river from the battlefield.

    1868: A Hungarian Jewish Congress was convened today which created Neolog Judaism a “mild reform movement” that was concentrated in the “Hungarian speaking regions of Europe”
    1870: Birthdate of South Carolinian Julius Levin, the husband of Etta Karesh Levin and the father of Sidney L. Levin
    1870: A large number of Jews and Christians including several governmental dignitaries attended today’s cornerstone laying ceremony for Ahavath Chesed on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan  In his introductory remarks, Ignatz Stein traced the history of the congregation which began with a few Jews from Bohemia holding High Holiday services at house on Ludlow Street. The congregation’s real growth began in 1848 when large number of Jews fled Europe following the failure of the liberal revolutions.
    1877: It was reported that the few Jewish families who had fled last summer as the Russian Army crossed into the Balkans last summer have been proven right in fearing the treatment they could expect from the Czar.
    1879: Mr. Isaac Rosenwald chaired the annual meeting of the Society of the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews in New York City today.  The home is providing shelter for 44 women and 32 men. The election of officers was held which included the re-election of Mr. Rosenwald as President

    1880: Mrs. Lizzie Wenke appeared in Essex Market Police Court today to answer charges that she had horse-whipped Isaac Stern, a Jewish tenant living in the same tenement.

    1881: Birthdate of Nicholas M. Schenck, the Russian born American movie mogul who headed MGM.

    1882: Julius W. Kaskel, an early Jewish settler of Leadville, was an active member of the Reception Committee for the charity ball held today in the Colorado bootown

    1883(15th of Kislev, 5644): Ignatz Fischl, a 23 year old German Jewish immigrant was found dead in his room at the Great Northern Hotel, in the Bowery.

    1883: In Rochester, NY, for the first time in the history of Berith Kodesh, Rabbi Max Landsberg led the Friday night service using the newly printed English language order of service. (They prayed in \English and not Hebrew.  One of the tenants of Reform Judaism was that people should pray in the vernacular – Germans in German, French in French, Americans in English)
    1884: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today at their building on East Broadway.
    1884: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address at Chickering Hall where he condemned the conditions of those living in  tenements on the Lower East Side, blamed them on the landlords and called for the establishment of inspection committees as the first step in improving conditions.
    1887: It was reported today that of the twenty-eight hospitals in New York represented by The Hospital Saturday and Sunday Association, two of them have “a Jewish connection,” “are of distinctively Jewish origin and depend for their maintenance almost exclusively upon Jewish support.”

    1888: Rabbi Gustave Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El was among the clergymen appointed by Elbridge T. Gerry to organize the church services to be held on April 30, 1889 as part of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washing as President of the United States.

    1888: In New York, Justice Patterson is scheduled to hear evidence on the charges that Telemaque T. Timayneis “doctored” the books of Minerva Publishing Company.  The complaining witness in this case of grand larceny is his partner, Emma Dickinson.  Timayenis is the author of three very popular books aimed at discrediting the Jewish people - The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé, ‎The American Jew: An Expose of His Career‎, and Judas Iscariot: An Old Type in a New Form.

    1889: “New Departures” published today summarized the views of newspaper editor Moritz Ellinger which included the advocacy of “a departure from many of old forms and ceremonies used by Hebrews for centuries, some of which characterized as superstitions.  Mr. Ellinger felt that such reforms were the only to attract the “new blood” needed to strengthen Jewish congregations.
    1890: “The Jews In Russia” published today described “the mass meeting recently held in London to protest against the persecution of the Jews in Russia” which was attended by many prominent Christian Englishman who “made speeches denouncing the obnoxious laws” aimed at the Jews which American Jews hope will emulated in this country including outspoken support by prominent Christian Americans.

    1890: The residents of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews will be able to attend an afternoon of music starting at 3 p.m.

    1890: In Berlin, the stock marked “closed weak” today due to many chaotic situations in Europe included the “stringent measures” taken against the Jews.

    1891: “An Indictment of Russia” described the abusive treatment of the Jews in the Czar’s empire including their recent expulsion from St. Petersburg that came without warning.  Among those affected were “Moses Mordechai Feinberg, a gold and silversmith whose right of residence” in St. Petersburg “dated from 1871 and Eidel Solomon Gissing, whose permit extended back to 1868” reducing them and there co-religionist “to beggary.”

    1892(25thof Kislev, 5653): Chanukah observed for the last time during the Presidency of Benjamin Harrison.
    1893: Sarah Polskie, whose three children were turned over to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society by order of the court, said that she had been unable to provide for the youngsters since her husband had been sent to the penitentiary and she had been out of work for five weeks.

    1895: The Allen Memorial Church on Rivington Street played host an overflow crowd that come to protest the visit to American by Hermann Ahlwardt the German anti-Semite who has been delivering speeches in New York.

    1895: “Against Cuba’s Rebels” published today described a pamphlet that has been circulated among members of Congress that demonizes their leaders including Carlos Roloff “the most inhuman and ferocious of them all” a Polish born Jew who is  “a Nihilist and dynamiter.” (According to Ben Frank, Roloff was “a Ukrainian Jewish adventurer” and “became the first finance minister of Cuba after she gained her independence.  who supported the revolt against For more see “Carlos Roloff:A Cuban Jewish Patriot” by Isidoro Aizenberg in the Judaica Philatelic Journal
    1895: After Shabbat, the charity fair sponsored by leading Jewish New York families reopened this evening at 8 p.m.
    1895: At the charity fair sponsored by the leading Jewish New York families, the Aguilar Library book was given one of the first copies of The American in Paris by Eugene Coleman Savidge which it would be able to sell to raise funds.
    1895: At the Hebrew Charity Fair, Mrs. Joseph L. Buttenweiser has raised $5,650 at the Candy Booth.

    1895: Birthdate of King George VI of the United Kingdom, whose reign covered the dark days leading up to World War II and the war itself. According to documents published in the Guardian in 2002, in the spring of 1939 George VI instructed his private secretary to write to Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax: “Having learnt that ‘a number of Jewish refugees from different countries were surreptitiously getting into Palestine’, the King was ‘glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin.’” Halifax’s office telegraphed Britain’s ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government ‘to check the unauthorized emigration’ of Jews.”Halifax’s telegraph in 1939 initiating the request that Hitler not allow “unauthorized” Jews to leave Germany was thus a direct result of George VI’s letter to him. “When it came to anti-Semitism, King George VI did not stutter at all!” King George Street in Israel is named for George V not George VI.
    1895: A copy of the Hebrew Scriptures is among the items placed in the bronze box which is in a cavity of the cornerstone of the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science which the mayor will lay this afternoon at 3 p.m.
    1898(1stof Tevet, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; 6th day of Chanukah

    1898(1stof Tevet, 5659): David Marks, the benefactor of many Jewish charities, passed away today in New York City.

    1900: In Romania, the issue of Lazăr Șăineanu's naturalization was also revisited by the lower chamber, and the proposal defeated with 44 votes to 31 (from an insufficient quorum of 75) despite the fact that he had converted to Christianity to facilitate the process.

    1900: Max Plank publishes his study on quantum theory.  His greatness as a scientist is transcended as his greatness as man.  He protested Hitler’s treatment of Jewish scientists.  At great personal risk he resigned in protest but stayed in Germany.

    1903(25th of Kislev, 5664): First Day of Chanukah

    1903: Herzl explains his position on Uganda in a letter to Sir Francis Montefiore, President of the English Zionist Federation.

    1903: The United Zionists of Greater New York continued its semi-annual meeting today. The 250 delegates representing 74 Zionist societies were scheduled to deal with “routine business.”
    1903: Belle Mandel, the daughter of Simon Mandel who with his brothers Solomon, Leon and Emanuel formed Chicago’s Mandel Brother’s department store, married Ben Altheimer, the Arkansas born lawyer and philanthropist who was the driving force behind the creation of Flag Day. (Carolyn Gray LeMaster)

    1908:  Birthdate of comedian Morey Amsterdam.

    1909: Marcus M. Marks, President of the Tuberculosis’ Prevenotrium at Lakewood, NJ met with Samuel Untermeyer, counsel for Max Nathan in an attempt to reach an agreement on the disposition of Mr. Nathan's share of the Lakewood Hotel Property which is valued at $300,000.

    1914: Solomon Rabinowitz who writes under the name of Shalom Aleichim and is known as the “Jewish Mark Twain” is scheduled to lecture at Cooper Union where last spoke in 1908 when he his family had come to the United States to escape the anti-Semitic violence in his native Kiev.

    1914: Birthdate of Solomon Spiegelman, an American microbiologist and geneticist who discovered that only one of two strands of molecules that make up DNA, carried the genetic information to produce new substances. The carrier was called ribonucleic acid (RNA). In 1962, he developed a technique that allowed the detection of specific RNA and DNAmolecules in cells. This technique, called nucleic acid hybridization, is credited for helping to lay the groundwork for current advances in recombinant DNA technology. Much earlier, his Ph.D. thesis (1944) was the first work to establish that genes are activated and deactivated by compounds that he called inducers, which thus radically affect the pattern of proteins that a cell fabricates without actually altering the genes themselves. He passed away in 1983. 
    1917: A Reuters’ telegram to Amsterdam reported that the population of Palestine is suffering terribly; and that the population has been reduced to one third because of hunger, sickness and distress. Only 23,000 of the 60,000 Jews are left in Jerusalem.
    1921: Members of Gdud HaAvoda, “a socialist Zionist work group” went to work at Tel Yosef to help develop the fledgling Kibbuz.
    1922(24th of Kislev, 5683): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah
    1922:  Birthdate of producer Don Hewitt, the man who created Sixty Minutes.
    1923: Sir William Graham Greene wrote Churchill congratulating him on finally being cleared of charges that he issued misleading reports about the Battle of Jutland that benefited Jewish financiers to whom Churchill owed a greater allegiance than he did to the British people.
    1924:Dedication of the Beth El’s new synagogue took place today in Camden, NJ. Participating in the ceremonies were Mayor Victor King of Camden, Dr. A. A. Neuman of Philadelphia's Adath Jeshurun, Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia and Rabbi Samuel Freedman of Beth EI in Philadelphia. Rabbi Grayzel and Cantor Mickleman officiated at the service. The Cantor was accompanied by a choir under the direction of Gedalia Rabinowitz.
    1926: Louis Marshall is honored on his seventieth birthday for his success as a lawyer, a philanthropist who raised millions, supporter of forest conservation and immigration reform, statesman and champion of Jewish causes.
    1924: Martin Henry Glynn, the first Irish American Roman Catholic governor of New York and a staunch defender of the rights of Jewish immigrants living in his state, passed away.
    1930(24th of Kislev, 5691): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah
    1930: 74thanniversary of the birth of Louis Marshall.
    1930: Dr. Nathan Krass delivered a sermon at Temple Emanu-El “on the significance of the festival of Chanukah and on the problem of human suffering.”
    1930: Murray Seasongood, the Jewish former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and Rabbi Samuel S. Cohen of Hebrew Union College are two of the speakers scheduled to address tonight’s fourth annual dinner of the metropolitan conference of Temple Men’s Club at the Emanu-El Community House in New York City
    1932(15th of Kislev, 5693): Dr. Angel Pulido y Fernandez, Spanish researcher of the Sephardim passed away. In 1904 he wrote Espanoles sin Patria (Spaniards Without A Home) which sparked the idea of the Sephardim returning to Spain. He became a member of the Spanish Parliament, and later the King made him a Senator. He spent the latter part of his life writing, holding meetings and passionately advocating for the return of the Sephardim.
    1935(18th of Kislev, 5696): Science fiction writer Stanley G Weinbaum passed away.

    1935:Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" is banned in Boston. Calling it "indecent," Mayor Frederick Mansfield issued a decree banning Lillian Hellman's first play, The Children's Hour, from being staged in Boston.
    1936(30th of Kislev, 5697): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1936:The original production of You Can't Take It with You” a comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart opened at the Booth Theater tonight and played for 837 performances. The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


    1936: Dr. Maurice B Hexter “summed up Jewish grievances when testified before the Royal Commission.  These include a complaint that survey and settlement of titles to land take too long to be completed are required and a demand to accelerate the pace of the work.

    1936: The Palestine Post reported that despite official assurances further instances of violence and arson were carried out by various Arab armed bands throughout the country. There was arson in Tel Aviv port, bus passengers were robbed on roads, and trees in Jewish settlements were uprooted. Moslem youth boycotted the Christian-owned National Bus Company, claiming that it had offered assistance to the British army and police during the Arab strike. But both the Jerusalem Mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini, and the Arab Higher Committee appealed to both Jerusalem's Moslems and Christians to settle their differences.

    1939: Raymond Samuel married Lucie Bernard today “after he warned her that it might be dangerous for her to marry a Jew.” He would take the nom de guerre of Raymond Aubrac. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1939: Heydrich issued a modified directive ordering all rural and small-townJews in the General Government (occupied Poland) to be transported to the larger Polish cities where they would be quarantined from the rest of the Polish population and kept under tight SS surveillance.

    1939: The League of Nations expelled the Soviet Union for its attack on Finland in what is known as the Winter War which would result in Jewish soldiers fighting on the same side as the Wermacht.

    1940: British military intelligence confirmed that the effect of the Patria decision on the Arabs had been “remarkably small.”

    1941: The German military commander of Kharkiv, Ukraine ordered the Jewish population to move to the city periphery within 2 days and to occupy the barracks of the works of a machine factory. In the next days, 15.000 Jews were shot at Drobitsky Yar.

    1941:Jews by the hundreds are dying from hunger and the cold in the Warsaw Ghetto. Two Jews were shot dead at a funeral for a friend

    1941: A Jewish ghetto at Kharkov, Ukraine, is established.

    1944: Birthdate of Mitchel Jay Feigenbaum, a mathematical physicist whose pioneering studies in chaos theory led to the discovery of the Feigenbaum constants. In 1983 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 1986, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics "for his pioneering theoretical studies demonstrating the universal character of non-linear systems, which has made possible the systematic study of chaos".

    1945: Josef Kramer known as "beast of Belsen", and 10 others were hanged for crimes committed at the Belsen and Oswiecim Nazi concentration camps.
    1945(10th of Tevet, 5706): Asara B'Tevet
    1945(10th of Tevet, 5706):  Ten years after her husband passed away, Lucie Hadamard Dreyfus passed away She had remained in France at the behest of her granddaughter who worked with the Resistance.  Ultimately she took refuge in a convent in Valence where her benefactors did not know her identity.  Her death so close to the end of the Shoah served as a reminder that the road to Vichy and Drancy had begun a half century before when her husband was convicted because he was Le Juif, the Jew
    1945: The Broadway production of “Dream Girl” by Elmer Rice opened at the Coronet Theatre
    1947(1st of Tevet, 5708): Rosh Chodesh Tevet
    1947:  Birthdate of entertainment mogul, Michael Ovitz.
    1948: At a meeting today with Jordanian commander Abdullah el-Tell, Elias Sasson “recorded el-Tell saying  ‘strike the Egyptians as much as you like. Our attitude will be totally neutral.’
    1949: In keeping with a resolution adopted by the Knesset, the Israeli government moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
    1951: Birthdate of Norton A. Schwartz, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and the first Jew to hold this position.

    1951: The Jerusalem Post announced that for the third successive year the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Palestine Archaeological Museum refused to admit the participation of Prof. E.L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University, the board's sole Jewish representative, to its deliberations. Since the museum was located in the Jordanian-occupied part of Jerusalem, Prof. Sukenik suggested that meetings should be held at the Mandelbaum Gate, on the border, but his offer was turned down.

    1952: In Little Rock, Arkansas, on the third day of Chanukah, Agudas Achim dedicated its new synagogue.

    1952:“Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl” a radio drama written Jewish journalist Meyer Levin who had visited the concentration camps after the war and had contacted Anne's father Otto Frank to request the rights to create a play based on the diary of Anne Frank, appeared on The Eternal Light series, produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary on the NBC network.

    1953: The Brooklyn Dodgers signed pitcher Sandy Koufax.

    1955:Arthur M. Loew, the son of Marcus Loew, succeeded Nicholas Schenck as the President of MGM, although Schenck remained Chairman of the Board

    1957: U.S. premiere of  a remake of  “Farewell To Arms” the cinematic version of the Ernest Hemingway novel directed by Charles Viodr. produced by David O. Selznick with a screenplay by Ben Hecht.
    1957: At Adas Israel in Washington, DC, Bar Mitzvah of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov
    1957: The City of Paris awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Paris to David Feuerwerker the French Rabbi and Jewish historian who fought against the Nazis as a member of the French Army at the start of WW II and then joined the Resistance after Petain and Vichy came to power.
    1959: “The World of Sholom Aleichem” produced by Henry T. Weinstein was broadcast as “The Play of the Week.”
    1960: U.S. premiere of “Esther and the King” and Italian made movie based on the Book of Esther starring Joan Collins whose father was Jewish in the title role.
    1961: U.S. release date for the epic film “El Cid” produced by Bessarabian born American Jew Samuel Bronston who was a nephew of Leon Trotsky.
    1963: Gustav Machatý, the movie director who gave Hedy Lamar her big break in “Ecstasy” passed away today.  He was not Jewish but she was.

    1967: U.S. premiere of “In Cold Blood” the movie version of the novel of the same name directed and produced by Richard Brooks who also wrote the screenplay and edited by Holocaust survivor Peter Zinner.

    1967: The first synthesis of biologically active DNAin a test tube was announced at a press conference by Arthur Kornberg who had worked with Mehran Goulian at Stanford and Robert L. Sinsheimer of MIT. Kornberg
    1970: Joseph B. Levin represented the National Assn. of Securities Dealers, Inc. when arguments opened before the Supreme Court in INVESTMENT COMPANY INSTITUTE et al., Petitioners, v. William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency, et al. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES DEALERS, INC., Petitioner, v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION et al.

    1971: U.S. premiere of  “The Hospital” directed by Arthur Hiller, a Canadian born Jew for which Paddy Chayefsky won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and featuring Stephen Elliot.

    1973(19th of Kislev, 5734):  Composer Yitzhak Edel passed away.

    1974(30th of Kislev, 5735): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1974(30th of Kislev, 5735): Eighty-five year old American journalist and political philosopher Walter Lippmann passed away. (As reported by Alden Whitman

    1974: In New York, WNYC is scheduled to broadcast “The Story of Chanukah” adopted by Pearl Klein

    1976:The Jerusalem Post reported from Washington that the US State Department, Pentagon and industry were becoming concerned over Israeli use of foreign military sales credits (from the US) not only to obtain US weapons for its inventory, but also to import technical data packages that eventually could be exported in competition with American products. Syrian troops moved into East Beirut where two Christian militias continued to fight each other.

    1977: U.S. premiere of “Saturday Night Fever” based on “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” a New York Magazine article by Nik Cohm with a screenplay by Norman Wexler with Donna Pescow as “Annette” and Fran Drescher as “Connie.”

    1977: Representatives of Egypt and Israel gathered in Cairo for their first formal peace conference
    1981: Israel annexed the Golan Heights which had been captured from Syria in 1967.  The Syrians had shelled Israeli farmers from the Golan Heights for almost twenty years.  The IDF took the heights in an amazing exercise of physical courage at the end of the Six Days War. 
    1984:Howard Cosell retired from Monday Night Football. The Carolina Israelite via Brooklyn was no longer the third man in the booth.

    1988: U.S. premiere of “Torch Song Trilogy” written and co-starring Harvey Fierstein, produced by Ronald K. Fierstein with music by Peter Matz.

    1989:Joel Brinkley, writing in the New York Times, reported that Soviet Jews are leaving at a record pace, with many of them opting to settle in Israel. “The number of Jews streaming out of the Soviet Union has reached a record. Not counting people departing this month, more than 62,500 Jews have left this year, surpassing by more than 20 percent the high of 51,320 set in 1979. In recent years most Soviet Jews have gone to the United States. But because of immigration limits imposed by Washington recently, the number of Jews going to Israel has increased dramatically in recent months. As a result, Israel is bracing for its greatest flow of immigrants since its early days of independence four decades ago.
    1990: U.S. premiere of “Look Who’s Talking Too” directed by Amy Heckerling
    1993:As a closely watched target date came and went with no change in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin suggested today that there could be still further delays in withdrawing Israel's soldiers and introducing Palestinian self-rule.
    1994: Alfred Moses presented his credentials today as the U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
    1995: “After a private audience with Pope John Paul II,” Leah Rabin, the widow of Yitzhak Rabin said today that the Pope “had acknowledged Jerusalem's "double role" as capital of Israel and a holy city to Jews, Christians and Muslims”

    1997(15th of Kislev, 5758): Seventy-nine year old musical comedy “second banana” Stubby Kaye, passed away.  Two of his more famous film credits were “Guys and Dolls” and “Cat Baliou.” (As reported by Myrna Oliver)

    1997: The New York Times book section included a review of Gloria Steinem by Sydney Ladensohn Stern

    1998: President Clinton stood witness as hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.  Based on what has happened since then, the deeds did not match the word.
    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): First Day of Chanukah
    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): Actor Norman Fell passed away.

    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): Seventy-four year old Annette Strauss, the former Mayor of Dallas, passed away.

    1999: U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slaves and forced laborers.
    2000: Marty Glickman underwent heart bypass surgery
    2000: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation presented the Raoul Wallenberg 2000 Award. This award, which is being offered for the first time, was presented to Oscar Vicente, CEO of Perez Companc Holding and Peter Landelius, Swedish Ambassador to Argentina. This new distinction was created with the purpose of recognizing the exemplary conduct of individuals with rectitude and outstanding performance in their respective occupations as well as their thorough and continuous support of non-governmental organizations.
    2001:In what some considered an unusual turn of events, the men who gathered for the funeral of a local boy killed by a Palestinian attack spoke little about revenge or military reprisals. Instead the talk was about God's mysterious ways and about what many saw as a divine signal that Jews had strayed from their faith in their own land.
    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jewsby Melvin Konner and The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman.
    2004: Molly Tambor gave birth to Mason Jay Moore Jeffrey Michael Tambor’s first grandchild.
    2004: Gary Shaprio reviews Ron Rubin’s book on the New York City Marathon's co-founder, Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon, the World's Greatest Footrace .The book - the first biography of Lebow - has been published on the 10th anniversary of his death.
    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766): Israeli archaeologist Ruth Amiran passed away.  Born in 1914 she was the author of Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land: From Its Beginnings in the Neolithic Period to the End of the Iron Age and a 1982 recipient of the Israel Prize.
    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766): Eighty-one year oldDr. Herman Roiphe, a psychoanalyst who explored the notion of sexual identity in early childhood development, passed away today.(As reported by Jeremy Pearce)

    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766):Nathalie Babel Brown, a daughter of Isaac Babel, the illustrious Russian-Jewish storyteller of the Soviet era, whose literary work she edited, died  in Washington at the age of 76. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon
    2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that Ha’eda, the official organ of the fiercely anti-Zionist Eda haharedit, characterized those Jews attending the Teheran Holocaust denial conference as a ‘tiny group of insane people, who are liable to incited hatred agiainst hareidi Jews.’ The paper’s editor lambasted them for having ignored the ‘opinion of Torah Sages’ in pursuit of their distorted anti-Zionist zealotry.

    2006: In Boston, The Improv Asylum presents its new production, "Andy Warhol's Christmas Special, or, How Hanukkah Stole Christmas" -- a story narrated by Andy Warhol about a sick, young Jewish woman who makes a wish for Hanukkah to replace Christmas. Sadly, it comes true.

    2007(5th of Tevet, 5768): Eighty-eight year old Hank Kaplan, an American boxing historian and writer who was the founder and editor of Boxing Digest, passed away today, at his home in Florida. (As reported by Matt Schudel)

    2007: In New York City The 92nd Street Y School of Music presents a recital by pianist Laura Barg as part of its series of one-hour faculty concerts in the Weill Art Gallery.

    2007: The Washington (D.C.) Jewish Community Center continues “Theater J,” its successful series of informal play readings, with a presentation from “Forgiveness” by David Schulner, directed by Daniella Topol, featuring Tim Getman, Conrad Feininger, Helen Hedman, Kimberly Gilbert and Julia Proctor.
    2008: Final performance of The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater production of “The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spies, and About Their Untimely End While Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining New York.”

    2008: In Washington, D.C., the 3rd Shalshelet International Festival continues for its second and final day when the composers and performers will provide a day of free creative workshops beginning at 10:00 am, also at the Sixth & I historic Synagogue.

    2008: At the Chabad House in Little Rock, AR, Rabbi Pinchas Ciment facilitates the beginning of the writing of a Sefer Torah as part of this special year of Hakhel. . This momentous occasion will take place as Mrs. Ruth Itzkowitz will be celebrating her 90th birthday and is being partially underwritten by the Itzkowitz family in loving memory of Bob Itzkowitz (obm). 

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics uniquely related to the Jewish people including The Alchemy of Air:A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler  by Thomas Hager Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean byEdward Kritzler and American Priestess: The Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem by Jane Fletcher Geniesse.

    2008: Funeral services are held for Holocaust Survivor and long time resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn) at Tempe Judah with burial at Eben Israel Cemetary.

    2008: Avraham Infeld, President of the Chais foundation confirmed today that the California-based foundation that doles out about $12 million per year was forced to close as a result of the securities scheme orchestrated by Bernard Madoff, The Chais Family Foundation, which gives away approximately $12.5 million annually to Jewish causes in Israel, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, closed Sunday because all of its assets were invested with Madoff. The United Jewish Communities and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee were among its main beneficiaries.

    2008: Jack Black hosted the Spike Video Games.

    2009(27 Kislev): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit of Harvey David Luber.  He will always be missed and never be forgotten.

    2009: The Center for Jewish History, American Sephardi Federation and Center for Traditional Music and Dance present: “Ilyas Malayev: Remembering the Poet Laureate of the Bukharian Jews.”

    2009: Gary Schmitt and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius take part in a discussion of "The Essential Herman Kahn: In Defense of Thinking" with one of the book's editors, Kenneth Weinstein, at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

    2009: Israel's top-ranked player  Boris Gelfand, a grand master from Rishon LeZion, defeated former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in a playoff today in the Russian town of Khanty-Mansiysk to take the $120,000 top prize.

    2010: The Historic 6th& I Synagogue is scheduled to present “Food for Thought: Digesting Ethics, Mysticism, and Philosophy” with Rabbi Yosef Edelstein of MesorahDC

    2010: In New York, the YIVO is scheduled to present a program entitled “Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in the Aftermath of the Schwarzbard Trial.”

    2010: In Hawaii, The Kahului Union Church is scheduled to host a program entitled “A Voice for Israel” featuring Nora Finberg the wife of Pastor Robb Finberg of Grace Church in Pukalani.

    2010: Today Israeli officials canceled a ceremony planned to honor the Palestinian firemen who assisted in battling the Carmel fire last week, after a number of crew members were refused permits to cross the border.

    2010: It was reported today that Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is off to an early lead in the race for Chicago mayor, but there is plenty of room for other contenders in the crowded field as the fluid contest takes shape, a new Tribune/WGN poll found.

    2011: Opening session the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to take place today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Session in suburban Maryland.

    2011: “Yiddle with His Fiddle” is scheduled to be shown today at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohi


    2011: Arsonists set fire to a deserted mosque in central Jerusalem during the night. There was no structural damage reported and the damage mainly consisted of the blackening of walls and graffiti reading “Price Tag,” and anti-Islamic phrases.


    2011: Dozens of right-wing activists clashed with police officers in Jerusalem today, amid attempts to arrest suspects linked to recent so-called price tag attacks.


    2012: Ninety-eight year old “Joe Simon, a writer, editor and illustrator of comic books who was a co-creator of the superhero Captain America, conceived out of a patriotic impulse as war was roiling Europe,” passed away today (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2011(14thof Kislev): Ninety-eight year old “Norman Krim, an electronics visionary who played a pivotal role in the industry’s transition from the bulky electron vacuum tube, which once lined the innards of radios and televisions, to the tiny, far more powerful transistor” passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2012(1stof Tevet, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth day of Chanukah; Kindle the 7 candles.

    2012(1stof Tevet, 5773): Six year old Adam Posner was the youngest of the victims murdered today at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT
    2012(1stof Tevet, 5773): Seventy-two year old China scholar and UCLA professor Richard Baum passed away today. (As reported by Meg Sullivan

    2012: “Call me a Jew,” a documentary about Austrian treatment of Jews during World War II is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis is scheduled to bring her unique message to members and guests of Park East Synagogue.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host its second Musical Shabbat in the 5773 season.

    2012: Report of ’80s Sexual Abuse Rattles Yeshiva Campus

    2012: Avigdor Liberman announced today he would resign from his position as foreign minister and vice premier in the current government in light of a pending indictment against him for fraud and breach of public trust

    2013: Two days before his 90th birthday, Israeli pianist Menahem Pressler is scheduled to perform on the Tully stage of the Lincoln Center

    2013: Weather permitting, “Francis Ha” and “Life Sentences” will be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Union of Reform Judaism Biennial Convention is scheduled to host a centennial celebration “Extraordinary Women Shaping Reform Judaism: A celebration of the 100th anniversary of Women of Reform Judaism” followed by a concert featuring Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson.

    2013: As thousands of Gazans suffer from record flooding, Israel relaxes restrictions at the border crossing to allow the shipment of water pumps and gas for heating to relieve the human misery.

    2013: Israel faced another freezing night, with fears of icy roads nationwide, but the worst storm in decades was winding down. Late tonight, much of Jerusalem and northern Israel were still deep in snow, the authorities were working to open roads in and out of the capital, and much of the rest of the country was still grappling with stormy conditions.

    2014: Musician David Broza is scheduled to perform in the Mintz Auditorium of the Uptown Jewish Community Center as part of the Community Chanukah Celebration in New Orleans.

    2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host a program with Ruth W. Messinger, President of the American Jewish World Service.

    2014: At the Berman Museum, Emory Professor and WW II veteran Dr. Mort Waitzman is scheduled to speak in third installment of the Bearing Witness series.

    2014: After today’s performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” Miriam Isaacs who taught Yiddish at the University of Maryland for 15 years is scheduled to speak on the literary antecedents to the show based on Sholom Aleichem's "Tevye" short stories.

    2014:Ambassador Mal Berisha is scheduled to deliver “a talk on the role of U.S. Ambassador Herman Bernstein (1930-1933) in championing positive Albanian Jewish relations and how this set the stage for Albania sheltering its Jews during the war.

    2014: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Jby Howard Jacobson and Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg.

    2014: Today’s New York Times list of the 10 Best Books of 2014 included Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright.

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    37:  Birthdate of Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus 5th emperor of Rome.  While legend remembers him as the emperor who fiddled while Rome burned, Jews will remember him as the ruler who was emperor when the Great Revolt began in 66.  Nero had appointed several of the incompetent governors who had helped create the conditions for the revolt.  He also chose Vespasian as the general to put down the rebellion.  Nero died in 68 during the rebellion.  His untimely death bought the Jews some breathing space as Vespasian broke off the combat to take part in a coup that would put him on the throne.  It was his son, Titus who actually destroyed the Temple when combat.

    921(6th of Tevet, 4682): Rav Saadiah Gaon cautioned today cautioned the Jews of Egypt to reject the religious calendar adopted by Rabbi Aaron ben Meir, head of the Palestinian yeshiva in Ramleh

    1467: Stephen III of Moldavia who “treated the Jews with consideration” and appointed Isaac ben Benjamin to successively more responsible positions defeated Matthias Corvinus of Hungary at the Battle of Baia.

    1583(30thof Kislev, 5334: Fifty-year old Judah Abravanel, the grandson of Judah Abravanal and the brother of Jacob Abravanel passed away at Ferrara. (He is one of a long line of Sephardic Jews to have this name which is not unusual given the naming customs used by the Jewish people)

    1640: Coronation of King John IV of Portugal.  Don Fernando Mendes, a Marrano, was his court physician.  He was also the court physician to Catrina, King John's daughter who married King Charles II of England.  Don Fernando also served the English King making him one of the few physicians to ever serve three reigning monarchs.

    1647(18thof Kislev, 5408):  Isaac de Castro was put to death at an auto-de-fe by the Inquisition for the crime of teaching Judaism to conversos. De Castro had arrived in Bahia (then under Portuguese control) from Amsterdamthrough Dutch Brazil. After being ‘recognized as a Jew he was arrested by the Inquisition and sent to Lisbon.”  On the day of his death he “was led, together with five fellow-sufferers, to the stake. In the midst of the flames he called out in startling tones, "Shema' Yisrael! [Hear, O Israel!] The Lord our God is One!" With the word "Echad" (One), he died.”

    1734: Daniil Pavlovich Apostole who was the Hetman of the Cossacks on both sides of the Dnieper River passed away. When Catherine I expelled the Jews from the Ukraine in 1727, Apostol led a move to modify the law.  He and the other Cossacks had learned the hard way that they needed Jewish merchants if their economy was to grow.  Thanks to his efforts, the edict was modified so that the Jews could participate in the various fairs held in the area.

    1751: Benedict XIV issued “Probe te memisse,” a papal bull establishing the rules for baptizing Jews. In case there was any doubt about this Pope’s attitude towards Jews, 4 years later he published “Beatus Andreas” which beatified Andreas von Rinn a child who was the alleged victim of a ritual murder committed by Jews in 1462. The allegation of ritual murder was the key requirement for this beatification,

    1772 (19th of Kislev, 5533): Reb Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritchsecond leader of the Chassidic movement, successor to the Baal Shem Tov and spiritual mentor of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known for his scholarship, piety, and asceticism passed away. There is no way that we can do justice to the contribution of this sage and urge you to spend time studying about him.

    1779: While “serving as a volunteer in Captain Verdier's regiment under Count Pulaski during the siege of Savannah” Benjamin Nones, the native of Bordeaux who had moved to Philadelphia, “received a certificate for gallant conduct on the field of battle” today.

    1787: The Bristol Journal reported that Lord George Gordon, the English noblemen who converted to Judaism with the name of Yisrael bar Avraham Gordon, has been living in Birmingham since 1786 where “unknown to every class of man but those of the Jewish religion, among whom he has passed his time in the greatest cordiality and friendship...he appears with a beard of extraordinary length, and the usual raiment of a Jew... his observance of the culinary preparation is remarkable.” Furthermore, “He was surrounded by a number of Jews, who affirmed that his Lordship was Moses risen from the dead in order to instruct them and enlighten the whole world...It appears that (he) has officiated as a chief of the Levitical Order..."

    1791: The Bill of Rights, the first endments to the U.S. Constitution, took effect following ratification by Virginia. From a parochial point of view, the First Amendment with its statement on religion was the most important of the ten amendments to the Jews of the new nation.  Unlike Europe, with its deeply rooted anti-Semitism, acceptance of Jews was a given from America’s earliest days.  Jews have been very vigilant in using the First Amendment to ensure separation of church and state.  Unfortunately, there are some shortsighted Jews who have been willing to blur the line for short term political or financial gains.

    1806: Rothschild wrote to the Landgrave pledging his support to the German prince and offering to intercede on his behalf when Napoleon visits Frankfurt.

    1812: In London, Helena Moses and Moses Levy gave birth to Joseph Moses Levy the editor and publisher who turned the failed Daily Telegraph & Courier into the famous and highly successful Daily Telegraph.

    1816(25thof Kislev, 5577): Chanukah

    1819: Birthdate of Daniel Abramovich Chwolson the native of Vilna who became a noted Orientalist with a proficiency in Arabic. He also was a staunch defender of his co-religionists especially when it came to Blood Libel accusations at Saratov and Kutais which spurred several of his works including “On Several Medieval Accusations Against The Jews.”

    1827: Birthdate of Joseph Halévy, the native of Adrianople who gained famed as a French Orientalist and traveler

    1831: Seventy-six year old Hannah Adams, a Christina author who wrote History of the Jews in 1812, passed away in Brookline Mass.

    1849: The third lodge of the Free Sons of Israel was formed under the name Ruben Lodge No. 3.
    1857: The opera “Travatore” was performed tonight in New York with procedes for the evening going to the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    1858: During “The Mortara Affair,” the New York Times published a letter U.S. Secretary of State Cass had written to Mr. Hart in which he compared President Buchanan’s decision not to join with the nations of Europe to bring pressure on the Catholic Church to return the boy to his parents with the activisits behavior of the United States during “the persecution of the Jews of Damascus” in 1840.

    1859: Birthdate of Dr.Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, the Russian born Jewish linguist who created Esperanto.

    1861: President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Arnold Fischel of New York's Congregation Shearith Israel, saying “"I find there are several particulars in which the present law in regard to chaplains is supposed to be deficient, all which I now design presenting to the appropriate Committee of Congress. I shall try to have a new law broad enough to cover what is desired by you in behalf of the Israelites." Fischel had gone to Washington to get Lincoln’s support to change the law so that Jews could serve as Chaplains in the Union Army.

    1864: During the Civil War, the Battle of Nashville (TN) begins.  Among the Union units are the 79thIndiana commanded by Colonel Frederick Knefler.

    1867: Esther Hellman Wallenstein, the founding President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum in New York and Solomon Wallenstein gave birth to Max Wallenstein.

    1869: Esther Hellman Wallenstein, the founding President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum in New York and Solomon Wallenstein gave birth to Joseph Solomon Wallenstein
    1870: Sir Saul Samuel completed his first term as Treasurer of New South Wales.
    1871(3rd of Tevet, 5632): 8th day of Chanukah

    1872: Eighty-year old Mary Anne Disraeli, 1st Vicountess Beaconsfield, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield passed away today.

    1873: It was reported today that The Jewish Chronicle has expressed support for conferring peerages on Sir Moses Montefiore and Baron Lionel Rothschild

    1876: It was reported today that a translation of the Greek New Testament into Hebrew is about to be published at Leipzig “for the use of the Orthodox Jews of Eastern Germany and Poland.” [No mention is made of why an Orthodox Jew would want a copy of the New Testament.]

    1877: Birthdate of Bernhard Maissner, the Russian born ancestor of Cantor Benjamin Maissner  and his nephew Israel Alter who was also a Cantor.

    1879(30thof Kislev, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1879: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Association will celebrate Chanukah with a reception at the Academy of Music.

    1880: It was reported today that “the third reception” hosted by “the Young Men’s Hebrew Union will be held on Christmas evening.”

    1880: Justice Kilbreth ordered Mrs. Lizzie Wenke to post a $200 bond to guarantee her good behavior or more specifically, that she would not attack Isaac Stern again.

    1881: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted its annual Chanukah Ball this evening at the Academy of Music. (The celebration was held today, a Thursday, because Chanukah in 1881 began on Friday night and you could not have a ball on Shabbat)

    1882: Birthdate of Helena Rubinstein famed American cosmetic manufacturer.

    1883: Birthdate of David Abel, the native of Amsterdam who was the husband of Eva “Chava” Rayevskyand who served as cinematographer for over 110 films for RKO Pictures.

    1883: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the President of the Hebrew Union College delivered a lecture tonight on the subject of intermarriage in which he said “such marriages are not forbidden Mosaic law.”

    1883: In Rochester, NY, Sabbath morning services at Berith Kodesh will be conducted in English for the first time.

    1883: In a note published today, Ignatz Fishcel, a 23 year old unemployed German Jewish immigrant blames his decision to commit suicide on his sister and her husband

    1884: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association is now serving 1,959 children as compared to the 520 that it served when it began in 1876.

    1884: It was reported today that newly elected officers of the Hebrew Free School Association included President M.S. Isaacs, Vice President Uriah Herrmann and Secretary Henry S. May.

    1884: It was reported today that while speaking at event marking the 16thanniversary of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York, Reverend John Paxton said, “We are indebted to the Jews for many things, for human law and their teaching of the sacredness of life but not for hospitals.  These are the sole creation of Christianity.” And then, in what can only be considered a bit of genteel anti-Semitism, he said that the “first hospital was founded…by the good Samaritan.”

    1884: It was reported today that the officers of the newly formed Tenth Ward Society include: Joseph Blumenthal – President; Isaac Bernheimer and E.R.A. Seligman – Vice Presidents; Frederick Nathan – Treasurer; Lee Kohns – Secretary.  The society will be conducting an audit of conditions of tenements in an area surrounded by Houston Street, Division Street, Norfolk Street and the Bowery.  A report of the needed improvements and/or the failure to make them will be sent to the Board of Health and the Grand Jury.  (This was part of an over-all attempt to improve conditions for immigrants. This particular ward had a large Jewish population which may have accounted for the makeup of the officers.)

    1884: It was reported today that Ludovic Halevy, the son of Leon Halevy, has been elected as a member of the French Academy.

    1885: The Ladies’ Fair, a fund-raiser designed to raise money for the Kindergarten and Industrial Schools of the Hebrew Free School Association opened this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House.

    1887: It was reported today that in London a barber named Serne who is a Flemish Jew is on trial having been charged with setting fire to his shop on the Strand to collect on the insurance.  Unfortunately, both of his sons died in the fire as well.

    1888: “The model of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal which had been built by Vauix Carter, a Professor of Mechanics at the Hebrew Technological Institute”  in Brooklyn has proven to be one of the most popular items on display at  the annual fair sponsored by the American Institute

    1889: “Musical Notes” described the upcoming performance of Halevy’s “La Juive” in New York as being “novelty of the week.”

    1890: “Literary Notes” today described the upcoming publication of Memoirs of My Mayoralty, an illustrated work complete with photographs by Sir Henry Isaacs, the former Lord Mayor of London.

    1890: “Stringent orders have been sent to Russian Government officials in the Caucasus for the expulsion of all Jews who are not authorized to reside there.”

    1891(14th of Kislev, 5652): Jacob Judelsohn who had served as Secretary of the Jewish Immigrant Protective Society passed away. Mr Judelsohn was born in Marionpol, Russia in July of 1855.  He came to the United States in 1879 and settled in Phildelphia where he became a leader in the Jewish community taking an active role in meeting the needs of the newly arrived immigrants from Russia and Poland.  He moved to New York City where he continued his work until his death.

    1891: James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school's gymnasium, and two teams of nine players. While Basketball may have had quintessential gentile origins it quickly became a part of Jewish life.  According to Peter Levine, “Jewish involvement in basketball, especially between 1900 and 1950 was greater than in any other sport.”  “By the late 1930’s...sportswriter identified it as the ‘Jewish’ game.  According “Paul Gallico, the longtime sports editor the New York Daily News ... ‘Jews flock to basketball by the thousands’ because it placed ‘a premium on an alert, scheming mind… flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smart alikeness’’ traits naturally appealing to the ‘Hebrew with his Oriental background.’”

    1892: A petition is being circulated to gain the endorsement of prominent businessmen and professionals for the candidacy of Jacob P. Solomon, editor of the Hebrew Standard, to fill “the vacancy left on the police bench by Police Justice Daniel O’Reilly.

    1892: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to meet in Philadelphia at which papers will be read by Professor Charles Gross of Harvard, Professor Cyrus Adler of the National Museum and Henrietta Szold from Baltimore.

    1892: The Monetary Conference at Brussels which has considered a plan put forth by Austrian banker Albert de Rothschild is scheduled to come to an end without resolving any of the issue surrounding bimetallism.

    1893: Plans for the upcoming meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society at Columbia University were published today.

    1893(6thof Tevet, 5654): Thirty-three year old Gottlieb Adler who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1882 and who served as a professor there while working on matters related to electricity and magnetism, passed away today.

    1894: Register Ferdinand Levy, Justice Alfred Steckler and Emanuel Friend were among those who attended the 20th“annual reception and ball of the New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association at the Central Opera House on East 67thStreet.

    1894: Sir Julian Goldsmid a member of the House of Commons for the South Division of St. Pancras presided at a meeting of the Russo-Jewish Committee today where “private communications with relation to the condition of the Jews in Russia were presented.”

    1894: A revival of “Quite an Adventure,” a one-act comic opera by Edward Solomon opened at the Savoy Theatre.

    1895: “The Hebrew Mechanics Association” is reported to be the sponsor of tonight’s concert at the Thalia Theatre in the Bowery.

    1895: Those working at the booths of Educational Charity Fair sponsored by leading members of the Jewish community will have the day off today because Madison Square Garden, the venue where the fair is taking place, will be closed for the day.

    1895: Excise Commissioner Julius Harburger of New York and Colonel W. L. Strong spoke at the dedication of the newly erected Temple Ahavath Sholom Beth Aaron in Brooklyn

    1895: Plans were published today for a fund raiser to be held later this week for the benefit of the Hebrew Technical Institute.

    1895: Birthdate of Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho

    1895: “Herter’s Heine Fountain” published today described the decision of the citizens of Dusseldorf and Mayence to reject a fountain in honor of the poet “because he was a Jew.”

     1895: “Herr Ahlwardt Denounced” published today described the meeting at Allen Memorial Church where speakers including Methodist minister George Van Alystayne and Episcopal minister Frank M. North spoke out against the visiting German anti-Semite and defending the role of Jews as American citizens.

    1897:The Federation of American Zionist Societies of New York, (FAZ) was formed today with Richard Gottheil as President and Herman Rosenthal and Rabbi Joseph T. Bluestone as vice presidents. Most remarkable and fortunate for the nescient American Zionist movement was the choice of secretary for the FAZ. Gottheil had been advisor, sponsor and friend to a young Columbia student who energetically and dynamically became the first Zionist secretary. His name was Rabbi Stephen Wise. For the next 45 years, Wise would become one of the enshrined, respected leaders of the American Zionist and World Zionist movements.

    1899:  Birthdate of Harold Abrahams, English athlete and Olympic gold medalist.  Abrahams passed away in 1978.  Abrahams gained posthumous fame when his Olympic exploits were portrayed in the film hit “Chariots of Fire.”

    1900: In Hungary, following yesterday’s preliminary vote,  members of the lower chamber of the parliament cast the “definitive vote” denying Lazăr Șăineanu's naturalization even though he had converted to facilitate his bid for citizenship.

    1903: Funeral services for Solomon Loeb who passed away on December 12thare scheduled to be held at his residence in New York at 9:30 this morning.

    1904: In Brooklyn, Zemad and Annie Groden Bloomgarden gave birth to Kermit Bloomgarden, the CPA who became a successful producer.

    1906: During the strike aimed at breaking the Beef Trust the butchers in Brownsville who have been on strike will continue to keep their shops closed today if the Williamsburg Retail Kosher Butchers and the New York and Harlem Retail Kosher Butchers have joined in the strike.

    1909: In New York City "Miss Julia Richman, Superintendent of Schools on the Lower East Side has sent out an appeal for clothing for school children."   Miss Richman is concerned that children lack warm clothing which is contributing to poor health.

    1913:Birthdate ofMuriel Rukeyser a challenging poet whose work mixed together radical politics and a spiritual quest. Rukeyser grew up in a middle-class home in New York Citythat for her was marked by silences and the absence of books. Rukeyser sought to experience the richness and messiness of life and to depict that richness and mess in her poetry. Her father's bankruptcy during the Great Depression cut short her college education, but in 1935, at the age of 21, she won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Theory of Flight. Her poetry brought her much success and much criticism. Embracing left-wing politics, she covered the second Scottsboro Boys trial and the Spanish Civil War. She traveled to North Vietnamand Koreaand was jailed for protesting the war in Vietnam. She confronted the red-baiting of the McCarthy era and the strictures of conventional sexuality. Her poem "Letter to the Front" (1944) presented the challenge of modern Jewish identity with these words:

    To be a Jew in the twentieth century

    Is to be offered a gift. If you refuse,

    Wishing to be invisible, you choose

    Death of the spirit, the stone insanity.

    Accepting, take full life.

    1914: It was reported today that “the Jewish Relief Committee’s Executive Committee has appropriated $100,000 for immediate transmission for war relief as follows: $50,000 for Russia, $25,000 for Galicia and $25,000 for Palestine.

    1914: When a Russian cruiser appeared outside the port of Jaffa today all “non-Moslems were ordered” by the Turkish government “to stay in their dwellings under the pain of death.”  (This order really applied to the Jews many of whom were of Russian origins and whom the Turks did not trust because they feared the Jews were a “fifth column” that would help their Czarist enemies.)

    1914: “Frank Can Appeal Again, Says Lawyer” published today provided the opening of Hooper Alexander the United States District and “an authority on constitutional law” that “Leo M. Frank can take his case before the United States Supreme Court on a writ of error from the first decision” by the Georgia Supreme Court.

    1915: A fund raising campaign headed by Jacob Schiff is scheduled to come to an end.

    1916: Greeks call up all Jews ranging from age19 to 30 for military service. The response was overwhelming.

    1916: French troops defeated the Germans at the Battle of Verdun during World War I. In the 1930’s monuments were erected to Jewish and Christian soldiers who were killed at Verdun. In May of 2004the memorial to Jewish soldiers who died in the Battle of Verdun was vandalized. Nazi slogans and symbols were scrawled on the memorial. In November 2004, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to a year in prison for perpetrating the attack. In June of 2006, a concert by the Ensemble Musique Oblique was held at the Verdunsynagogue in memory of the Jewish soldiers of Verdun. French forces were commanded by General Petain.  The victory at Verdun cemented his position in the pantheon of French military prowess.  Petain would use this reputation to make peace with the Germans in World War II and to lead the government at Vichy which actively collaborated with the Nazis in bringing the Holocaust to France.

    1917: Russiaconcluded an armistice with the Central Powers. Over 350,000 Jews served in the Russian army and an estimated 70,000 were killed during World War I.  This armistice would take the new Communist Russian government out of the war.  It would help ensure the Communist rule over Russia and all that that meant for Russian Jewry. At the same time, it enabled the Germans to move their troops to the Western Front where they made one last push to defeat the Allies.  This effort failed which led to the defeat of Germany, the Versailles Treaty, the rise of Hitler and the Final Solution.

    1918: In Brooklyn,Anna (née Herman) and Phillip Grossel gave birth to their only child Ira Gossel who gained fame as Jeff Chandler the classically handsome matinee idol played everything from the Indian chief Cochise Broken Arrow to the workaholic skipper in the World War II thriller Away All Boats.  To paraphrase one critic, goyisha face on a yiddisha kup.

    1918:  First meeting of the American Jewish Congress.  An advocacy group, the American Jewish Congress supports a variety of causes including civil rights for all minorities and women as well as causes one might normally associate with a Jewish organization.

    1918: Efforts to break the monolithic opposition to Zionism of Jerusalem’s Orthodox community met with success at the founding meeting of a group of senior rabbis, who in defiance of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis set up a Joint Sephardic - Ashkenazi Council which was the first breach in the Orthodox community’s strong and united opposition to Zionist institutions.

    1918(12thof Tevet, 5679): After 21 years of marriage, Clara Engels the wife of German classical scholar Friedrich Münzer passed away during the Influenza Epidemic.

    1918:Addressing the campaign workers for the $5,000,000 Jewish War Relief drive at the Hotel Biltmore, Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Campaign Committee, advocated that campaigns of a sectarian character be hereafter abolished and announced that the drive would be extended for two days.

    1919: Birthdate of Max B. Yasgur, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants whose farm was the site of the famous Woodstock Happening in 1969.

    1921(14thof Kislev, 5682): Just 19 days before his 39th birthday, Edward Isaac Ezra, “a wealthy Jewish businessman who was the first Chinese-born member of the Shanghai Municipal Council” passed away in Shanghai.

    1922(25thof Kislev, 5683): Chanukah

    1922: Birthdate of DJ Alan Freed, the man who claimed to have coined the term “rock-n-roll” and who lost out in the payola scandal of the 1950’s.

    1922: Birthdate of Professor Phillip Rieff, author of Freud: The Mind of the Moralist and the father of author David Rieff.

    1923:Birthdate of Gotthard Glass who would gain famed as Uziel “Uzi” Gal. The German-born Israeli gun designer best remembered as the designer and namesake of the Uzi submachine gun. Gal was born in Weimar, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 he moved first to England and later, in 1936, to Kibbutz Yagur in the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1943 he was arrested for illegally carrying a gun and sentenced to six years in prison. However he was pardoned and released in 1946, serving less than half of his sentence. Gal began designing the Uzi submachine gun in 1948, shortly after the Israel War of Independence. In 1951 it was officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Force and was called the Uzi after its creator. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him but his request was ignored. In 1955 he was decorated with Tzalash HaRamatkal and in 1958, Gal was the first person to receive the Israel Security Award, presented to him by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for his work on the Uzi. In 1975 Gal retired from the IDF, and the next year he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so that his daughter Tamar, who had serious brain damage, could receive special medical attention. Gal continued his work as a firearms designer until his death from cancer in 2002.

    1924: Birthdate of Polish-born British violinist Ida Haendel.

    1925: “The Plastic Age” a silent film produced by B.P. Schulberg was released in the United States today.

    1926: Sixty-seven year old Paul Haupt, the German born Professor of Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University who “projected and edited the Polychrome Bible, a critical edition of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and a new English translation with notes. A unique feature of this edition is the use of different colors to distinguish the various sources and component parts in the Old Testament books” passed away today in Baltimore, MD

    1927:The struggle for work turned violent during the citrus harvest in Petah Tikvah. Jewish workers, seeking employment, protest against the hiring of Arab labor by the farmers. Demonstrations and an attack on the Agricultural Committee lead to the intervention of the British police. Workers are beaten and injured. Some are arrested and sentenced to several weeks’ imprisonment.

    1928: Birthdate of Ida Haendel, the native of Chelm who became a world-class violinist in Great Britain where she played for factory workers and military personnel

    1928: In New York City, Anna and Irving Rosenthal gave birth to Stanley Herbert Ross, the producer-engineer who co-founded Hollywood's Gold Star Recording Studio, which has a storied place in rock history as the home of Phil Spector's innovative "Wall of Sound" technique.

    1930(25thof Kislev, 5691): As the Great Depression worsens, the first day of Chanukah

    1930: Seventy-five year old Meier Dizengoff sought re-election as Mayor of Tel Aviv in contest that pits him against Laborite Joseph Aronwitz.  Dizengoff was one of the original founders of the city in 1909 and is noted for donating his salary to municipal projects not funded by the city.

    1932:  Birthdate of composer Elaine Barkin.

    1934: U.S premiere of “Murder in the Clouds” which “was notable as the screenplay and original story was written by Dore Schary” the future head of production at MGM.

    1936(1st of Tevet, 5697): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1936:Zionist worries over one of the two dangers confronting the future development of the Jewish national home -- the proposed law restricting Jewish land purchases, a danger equal only to the suggested curtailment of Jewish immigration in Palestine -- loomed large at today's session of the British Royal Commission. Dr. Bernard Joseph…testified that he believed there was no justification for restricting the sale of land by small holders…He that in fifty years Jews ha bought about 5 per cent of the total area of Palestine. At that rate…it will take 150 years to buy half the land in the country if Beersheba is excluded.” 

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that 13 Jews were wounded when Arab terrorists ambushed a bus between Haifa and Nahalal. Another bus was fired on near Castel. Arab terrorists tried to kill the mayor of Nablus, Suleiman Tukan.

    1937: A Jewish guard, Haim Berger, was wounded in Tiberias, and Eliahu Gadi was shot and wounded near Kibbutz Ramat Rahel. Two Arabs were sentenced to death for the murder of Mendel Mintz on February 1, 1937

    1938: The Dutch government closed its border to refugees which had an especially detrimental effect on Jews seeking to escape from Hitler’s Germany, its next door neighbor.

    1939: Gauleiter Hans Frank launched an action aimed at shipping rural Jews to large Polish cities where they would be the tight control of the SS.  Tens of thousands of Jews would be rounded up, transported or force-marched into specially designated urban ghettos.

    1939:  World premiere of "Gone with the Wind" in Atlanta, Georgia.  This is another example of Jews creating a pop culture icon.  Consider the following: David O. Selznick was he Producer.  Leslie Howard played Ashley Wilkes.  Ben Hecht helped to write the screenplay.  And Max Steiner wrote the music.  There may be more but this is all that I could find for sure. Leslie Howard was an English Jew born Leslie Howard Steiner who was reportedly involved in anti-Nazi activities including clandestine work for British intelligence that may have been the cause for his civilian aircraft being shot down by the Nazis over the Bay of Biscay. Hecht was a Zionist whose work to aid the suffering Jews of Europe included two notable efforts “We Will Never Die” and “A Flag is Born.”  Such were his efforts that one of the ships smuggling supplies to pre-state Israel was the S.S. Ben Hecht.

    1939: In his continued challenge of the White Paper, Churchill, who is now a member of the British War Cabinet, wrote to Malcolm MacDonald seeking to limit the “draconian restrictions on future Jewish land purchases” contained in the new Land Ordinance.

    1939: The Jews are required to pay “an additional installment of 200,000,000 marks” to the Reich which will probably be paid, in part, in shares of stock.

    1940: Birthdate of Gabriel Oliver Koppell the Bronx native and the son of refugees from Nazi Germany who served on the New York City Council and as New York State Attorney General.

    1941(25th of Kislev, 5702): First Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the second candle

    1941: Members of a Latvian SD guard platoon, units of the 21st Latvian police battalion, and members of the Schutzpolizei-Dienstabteilung (German security police) under the command of the local SS and Police Leader Fritz Dietrich began a two day killing spree during which they murdered almost 3,000 Jews at Skede, Latvia. (As recorded at Yad Vashem)

    1941: On this first day of Chanukah, 15 Jews are shot to death in the courtyard of the Warsaw Ghetto prison.

    1941: Forty Polish Jews were shot by the Nazis on Chanukah in Paris.

    1942: Faked, upbeat postcard messages arrive at Jewish homes in Hollandfrom friends and relatives interned at Auschwitzand the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto.

    1944: Release date for the cinematic version of A.J. Cronin’s The Keys of the Kingdom a movie about a priest produced and directed by two Jews, Joseph L. Mankiewicz and John M. Stahl.

    1944:In a speech given on the floor of the United States Senate, Guy M. Gillette of Iowa urged that all possible steps be taken to rescue the approximately 1,500,000 Jews whom he said were still living in territory held by the Axis.  Senator Gillette also urged that the Allies adopt a resolution making crimes against Jews in Europe punishable as war crimes

    1945: Birthdate of Fiamma Nirenstein, Italian born journalist who, although a resident of Gilo would be elected to the Italian Parliament in 2008.

    1945:  At approximately , about 20 fighters of the Haganah - the pre-state underground Jewish militia - seized a British truck south of Acre. The men, armed but wearing civilian clothing, confiscated about half a ton of documents, packed into eight sealed steel containers and 12 sacks of diplomatic mail. The documents had been sent from the British legation in Beirutto HaifaPort, from which they were to be transported to Britain. The truck was taken to an unknown location. The driver and armed guards were later found in an abandoned building near Kiryat Ata. The British tried to minimize the importance of the captured documents, claiming that most of them concerned economic matters of the British Mission in Beirut, headed during World War II by General Edward Spears. But the reaction of the British, the French and the Haganah itself to the event clearly suggests that the papers removed from the truck were, in fact, of far greater consequence. Immediately after the incident, the French consul in Jerusalemcame to Tel Aviv. The French were given classified documents from the truck that were of great operational importance to them. The British Mandate authorities censored reports of the event, prohibiting Hebrew or British newspapers from publishing any details about the Haganah operation. The documents were eventually returned to the British, but about one percent of them remained in the hands of the Haganah. The French considered the remaining so documents to be so valuable that they entered into with the Yishuv to get more of them.  The British were so determined to get their hands on the remaining documents that they attempted to seize them through clandestine military action in May and June of 1948

    1946(22nd of Kislev, 5707): Maud Nathan passed away. Born in 1862, she was an American social worker, labor activist and suffragist for women's right to vote. “She came from a prominent New York family, descended from Gershom Mendes Seixas, minister of New York's Congregation Sherith Israel during the Revolutionary War. Her sister was the author and education activist Annie Nathan Meyer and her cousins the poet Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo. Her nephew was the author and poet Robert Nathan.”

    1946: The World Zionist Congress suspends six members of Zionist Revisionist Union of America for unauthorized request to UN for discussion of Palestinian problem.

    1947:Nearly 25,000 children, the number brought to Palestine through the Hadassah Youth Aliyah immigration movement since its inception thirteen years ago, will enter Palestine in the coming year, Dr. Vera Weizmann, wife of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, scientist and Zionist leader, said today

    1948: A flight of Spitfires took off from Czechoslovakia as part of a clandestine operation to bring modern aircraft to Israel.

    1948:Israel breaks off negotiation for local truce agreements and demands future peace talks for all of Palestine.

    1949: The UN Trusteeship Council proposes to censure Israel for moving its government. It also asks Israel to help UN draft charter for city.

    1950: Birthdate of Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Disney executive who help found DreamWorks.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli army headquarters compiled a list of all US citizens serving in the IDF who would lose their UScitizenship on December 24, 1952, in accordance with the McCarran Act. The army announced that all such reservists would be released and all other cases would be judged on their merits. Many soldiers applied to the US Consulate for guidance and were supplied with letters endorsing their plea for an immediate release.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Dov Shilansky was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment for trying to bomb the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Jerusalemin protest against the acceptance of German reparations.

    1955: A torch commemorating the victory of the Maccabees over their Syrian oppressors was kindled at a special Hanukkah festival at Madison Square Garden.

    1958(4th of Tevet, 5719): Wolfgang Pauli passed away.  Born in 1900, Pauli was an Austrian-born American winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1945 for his discovery in 1925 of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that in an atom no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. This principle clearly relates the quantum theory to the observed properties of atoms. 

    1960: Release date for the film “Exodus.”

    1961: United Artists released “One, Two, Three” a comedy written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder and directed and produced by Wilder.

    1961: Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court.  Eichmann had been convicted of crimes against humanity and would be the only person sentenced to by Israel to date.

    1963: Birthdate of actress Helen Slater.  Born Helen Schlacter she is best known for her work in Supergirl.

    1964: U.S. premiere of “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” the successful horror film with a script co-authored by Lukas Heller.

    1968(25thof Kislev, 5729): As the country awaits the transition from Lyndon Johnson to the newly elected Richard Nixon, first day of Chanukah

    1969: Shlomo Hillel replaced Eliyahu as Minster of Public Security.

    1969:Ze'ev Sherf succeeded Mordechai Bentov and Minster of Housing and Construction.

    1969: Yosef Goldschmidt became an MK as a replacement for Yosef Burg.

    1970: Joseph B. Levin represented the petitioner National Assn. of Securities Dealers, Inc before the Supreme Court today.

    1970:Sylva Zalmanson and Eduard Kuznetzov were among those who went on trial today in the Soviet Union because they wanted to hijack a plane so they could fly to Israel and live “freely as Jews.”

    1971(27th of Kislev, 5732): Paul Pierre Lévy passed away. Born in 1886, he was a French mining engineer and mathematician. He contributed to probability, functional analysis, partial differential equations and series. He also studied geometry. In 1926 he extended Laplace transforms to broader function classes. He undertook a large-scale work on generalized differential equations in functional derivatives.

    1973: Under the leadership of newly elected president Dr. Alfred M. Freedman, the board of trustees the American Psychiatric Association voted 13 to 0, with two abstentions, in favor of the resolution, which stated that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.” This was a landmark step on the path to declaring that homosexuality was not a mental illness.

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Cartoonist Harry Hershfield, the native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa who was called “the Jewish Will Rogers” passed away at the age of 89

    1974: U.S. premiere of “Young Frankenstein” directed by Mel Brooks, written by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, and starring Gene Wilder, Mary Feldman and Madeline Kahn.

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Erich Walter Sternberg German-born Israeli composer passed away in Tel Aviv at the age of 83.  The Berlin native was one of the early contributors to what would become the Israeli musical world having begun his work in the pre-state days of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

    1975(11th of Tevet, 5736): Anatole Litvak, Ukrainian-born, American filmmaker passed away. “Anastasias” – a film based on the myth that one of the Czar’s daughter survived starring Yul Brynner, Ingrid Bergman and Helen Hayes – was one of his more lasting cinematic efforts.

    1979(25thof Kislev, 5740): First day of Chanukah

    1979: Two Palestinians connected to the Munich Olympics Massacre, Ali Salem Ahmed and Ibrahim Abdul Aziz, were killed in Cyprus

    1979: Birthdate of actor Adam Bordy whose film credits include “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “American Pie 2.”

    1980: Through a Warranty Deed, James A. and Betty J. McClellen conveyed the Temple Israel property in Leadville, CO to Harvey/Martin Construction.

    1983: In Tiberias, Israel, Brigadier General Richard Heaslip who was serving with UNIFL and his wife gave birth to Irish rugby player Jamie Heaslip.

    1983(9th of Tevet, 5744): Sixty-one year old “Nat Shapiro, a writer, record producer and artist manager who was active in numerous aspects of the music and recording fields, died” of an apparent heart attack today. (As reported by John S. Wilson)

    1983:Wendy Wasserstein's "Isn't It Romantic" premiered in New York.

    1984(21st of Kislev, 5745): Eighty year old cantor turned operatic tenor Jan Peerce passed away today. (As reported by Harold C. Schonberg)

    1989(15thof Kislev, 5750): Seventy-nine year old scriptwriter and victim of the “blacklist” Ben Barzman passed away today.

    1990: In “Candles In Saudi Arabia” Ari L. Goodman described the observance of Chanukah in the desert oil kingdom.

    Tonight is the fifth night of Hanukkah and, in a few select spots in Saudi Arabia, American soldiers who are Jewish will be discreetly lighting candles on their menorahs to celebrate the holiday, as they have since Hanukkah began Tuesday night. In accordance with military policy, celebrations of Hanukah as well as Christmas will be muted in deference to the Muslim nation's beliefs. There are from 500 to 800 Jewish soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the American force in Saudi Arabia, according to Rabbi David Lapp, director of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. He said there are currently two Jewish chaplains on the land and two at sea in the Persian Gulf area. Hundreds of menorahs, candles and Hanukkah gifts were sent by Jewish organizations, schools and individuals in advance of the holiday, although, again out of deference to the Saudis, some were careful not to ship products made in Israel. The Saudis have allowed the shipments. Margery Wise, the owner of the Jewish Quarter, a Judaica shop in White Plains, N.Y., that shipped 300 menorahs to members of the armed forces, said she got the idea after watching a news program about Christmas gift packages being prepared for shipment. "People don't think there are many Jews in the military, but there are a lot more than we think," she said. "And because the whole celebration is low key, we wanted to be sure they wouldn't get lost in the shuffle."

    1990: Three Israelis were stabbed and killed in an aluminum factory in Jaffa today, the police said, and widespread anti-Arab rioting followed. The police set up roadblocks and closed off an area surrounding the factory in this city adjacent to Tel Aviv, saying they were looking for two Palestinian assailants from the occupied Gaza strip whom they refused to identify.

    1991: In “The Man in The Glass Closet,” published today, Andrew Sarris reviewed a biography of the Hungarian born Jewish director George Cukor – George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan.

    1992(20th of Kislev, 5753): Hamas terrorists kidnapped Nissim Toledano, an Israeli Army Sergeant. 

    1992(20th of Kislev, 5753):Ninety-six year old “Simon M. Jaglom, a New York businessman and financier, died today at New York University Medical Center.

    1994: As part of free phone lines set up for the holidays by the Teleport Communications Group, 91 year old Ann Kaufmann was able to call friends in Israel today.Through her call, Olga Reichman learned that she had become a great aunt, her niece in Tel Aviv having given birth three weeks ago to a daughter, Noa.

    1994: In Ireland, Mervyn Taylor began serving Minister for Equality and Law Reform.

    1996(5thof Tevet, 5757): Eighty-eight year old mystery writer Harry Kemelman creator “Rabbi David Small” passed away today.(As reported by Eric Pace)


    1996(5th of Tevet, 5757): Ninety-five year old “Joseph Ades, a self-made businessman and investor who was a leading supporter of Sephardic Jewish life and philanthropy in Israel and the New York City area, passed away today at his home in Kings Point, L.I. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon

    1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan, the widow of Cheddi Jagan and the daughter of middle class Jewish parents from Chicago was elected President of Guyana

    1999: In a press release issued today, Eden Springs said that the agreement to sell up to 25 percent of the company to Aqua International Partners, a $300 million investment fund in San Francisco, happened to be made public on the day peace talks between Syria and Israel began in Washington was “a mere coincidence.” Eden Springs Israel's biggest water-bottling plant last and is located on the Golan Heights.

    2000(18th of Kislev, 5761): W. (Bill) Birnbaum, Professor Emeritus of mathematics and statistics at the University of Washington passed away at his home at the age of 97.

    2002: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Girl Meets God:On the Path to a Spiritual Lifeby Lauren F. Winner and Jew In America:My Life and a People's Struggle for Identityby Arthur Hertzberg.

    2003: Hamodia revolutionized the American community with its introduction of a daily edition.

    2003: New York-based Bank Leumi USA, a subsidiary of Israel's Bank Leumi le-Israel, announced it opened an office in Los Angelesas part of its expansion. The new Los Angeles office, together with the bank's already existing operations in Beverly Hillsand Encino, will aim to bring the bank's international, private and commercial banking services to the Los Angelescommunity, a bank statement said.

    2004(3rdof Tevet, 5765): 8th and final day of Chanukah

    2006(24th of Kislev, 5767): In the evening, Jews all of the world light the first candle marking the start of Chanukah.

    2006:The owners of Bens De Luxe Delicatessen and Restaurant agreed to sell to SIDEV Realty Corporation and officially announced the closure, bringing the restaurant's long history to an end. Ben and Fanny Kravitz had opened what would become a Montreal landmark famous for its smoked meat sandwich in 1908.

    2007: In Jerusalem, a screening of a documentary entitled “Sendler’s List” It tells the story Irina Sendler  a compassionate Polish nurse who endangered her life to save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII and the three American high school students who heard about Ms. Sandler’s heroic acts decide to travel to Poland in order to meet her.

    2007: In Brooklyn, NY, at Congregation B'nai Avraham, a screening of “Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy.” Directed by award-winning American filmmaker, actor, and scriptwriter Paul Mazursky, “Yippee” chronicles the director’s whirlwind journey to Uman, a small Ukrainian town that is the site of a unique, annual gathering of Jewish men making pilgrimages to the burial place of Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810).

    2007:  In his Shabbat morning sermon at the San Diego Biennial Convention of the Reform Movement, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie calls for a return to more traditional observances in general while calling for a renewed commitment to at