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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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    January 1


    630:  Prophet Muhammad sets out toward Mecca with the army that will capture it bloodlessly.  At first Mohammed “had hoped to find is main supporters among the Jewish tribes” of Arabia.  This can be seen in his early adoption of certain laws regarding fasting and facing Jerusalem during prayer.  When the Jews refused to accept him as the final line of prophets that had included Abraham and Moses, he turned against the Jews “in a cruel war of extermination.”  Mohammed would die two years after the conquest of Mecca but his legacy lives on to this very day.


    1430:  The Jews of Sicily were no longer required to attend “conversionist services.”


    1432: Alexander the Good


    1438:  Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary. Albert confirmed the privilegium of Béla IV. In 1251 Béla had granted a privilgium to his Jewish subjects which was essentially the same as that granted by Duke Frederick II the Quarrelsome to the Austrian Jews in 1244, but which Béla modified to suit the conditions of Hungary.



    1515: King Francis I succeeds to the French throne. Francis did not have any Jewish subjects since they had been expelled by Charles V at the end of the 14thcentury and they would not return until 1675 when Louis XIV would grant permission to the Jews living in Alsace and Lorraine, his two newly acquired provinces, to remain in their ancestral homes.


    1515:  Jews were expelled from Laibach, Austria.


    1527: Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as king of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin. There were no Croatian Jews in attendance since the Jews had been expelled and there was no record of any Jews living in Croatia after 1526. 


    1549(Shevat, 5309): Elia Levita also known as Elijah Levita, Elias Levita, Eliahu Bakhur ("Eliahu the Bachelor") a Renaissance-period Hebrew grammarian, poet and one of the first writers in the Yiddish language passed away. Born in 1469, he “was the author of the Bovo-Bukh the most popular chivalric romance written in Yiddish, which, according to Sol Liptzin, is ‘generally regarded as the most outstanding poetic work in Old Yiddish.’”[


    1577: Today, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that all Roman Jews, under pain of death, must listen attentively to the compulsory Catholic conversion sermon given in Roman synagogues after Friday night services.


    1578: Today, Pope Gregory XIII signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to Christianity.


    1581: Today, Pope Gregory XIII ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community.  Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign.


    1594:Rodrigo Lopez, a Marrano who was serving as physician to Queen Elizabeth, was arrested on charges of trying to poison the English Monarch


    1627 (13th of Tevet, 5387): A press belonging to Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel published a prayer book, which was the first work produced by this Hebrew particular printing press.


    1651: Coronation of King Charles II of Scotland who as King Charles of II of England would issue several proclamations guaranteeing the rights of the fledgling Jewish community in the British Isles.


    1515: Louis XII who ordered the final expulsion of the Jews from Provence in 1501 and who introduced a tax in 1512 on the remaining Jews there, who had accepted baptism known as the "tax of the neophytes," passed away today.


    1714:Leffmann Behrends, the son of Issachar Barmann and the grandson of Isaac Cohen of Borkum, who was a leading German financier who used his influence to protect his co-religionists passed away today.


    1784:Sara Rodrigues Alvares and Abraham Furtado, President of the Assemblee des Notables gave birth to their daughter Anne Emilie


    1793 Birthdate of Bertha Morgenstern, the native of Russia who came to New York City in 1842 with her children and husband.


    1798:  The first Jewish censor was appointed by the Russian government to censor all Hebrew books printed in Russia or imported from other countries.  As you can see from the next comment about life under Communism, the Czars and the Commissars agreed on the need to censor Jewish books.  However, some times, the outcome could be a bit on comical side.  “Yosef Mendelovitch tells that when he was being transferred from one Russian prison to another, he was in temporary possession of his Chumash that had been confiscated when he was first imprisoned.  He would have to give it up again upon arrival at the new prison. Also in his possession was a collection of selected speeches by Brezhnev translated into Yiddish.  This book was officially passed by the censor (which is why I'm relating this story). He separated content from covers in both books, which happened to be of the same size, got rid of the speeches, and pasted (with well-chewed bread) the Chumash into the censor-approved cover.  His Chumash passed cursory inspection at his new prison and was his unfailing companion during his incarceration.”


    1802: In a letter written to the Danbury, CT Baptist Association, ThomasJefferson coined the metaphor, "a wall of separation between Church and State."  Many think this term originated in 1947, when the "wall of separation" concept gained acceptance as a constitutional guideline. It obviously dates back to the Founding Fathers.  Contrary to the nonsense being passed around by various demagogues today, separation of Church and State was a basic concept in the founding of the United States.  The assault on Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” could be styled as an attempt by modern day radicals to undo the work of the American Revolution.


    1804:  As a result of the slave revolt of Toussaint L’Ouverture French rule ends in Haiti.  Haiti becomes the first black republic and first country independent in the West Indies.  “Unfortunately, “during the slave revolt, much of the Jewish community was murdered or expelled from Haiti.  A few years later, many Polish Jews arrived in Haiti due to civil strife in Poland.”


    1807: Birthdate of German rabbi Asher Sammter


    1807: Birthdate of Abraham Kohn, the Chief Reform Rabbi of Lemberg.


    1808: Several restrictions on Jewish ownership of land went into effect in Russia.


    1811: Today Lübeck was annexed to France. This meant an end to all anti-Jewish discrimination including an abolition of the special taxes of the "Schutzjuden.” This change brought an influx of Jews who entered the town from surrounding areas including Moisling. All this would come to an end when the French left and the Germans again took control. :


    1815: Birthdate of German author Boas Eduard who passed away in June of 1853l


    1834: Gustav Schwabe, a Jewish native of Hamburg whose family was forced to convert when he was 6 years old, became a partner at Boustead and Company was renamed Boustead, Schwabe and Company.


    1834: Birthdate of Salomon Stricker, the native of Waag-Neustdadt  which was part of the Autro-Hungarian empire at that time who became a note pathologist and histologist.


    1834: Birthdate of Ludovic Halévy, a member of the famed Halevy clan whose artistic and social activities spanned at least three centuries starting in 1760.  Halevy was prominent in the musical theatre of 19th century France.  One of his most famous works was the libretto for the opera “Carmen.”Halevy is an example of the fate of European Jews.  His father had converted in order to marry the daughter of the architect Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and this enabled him in 1831 to become assistant professor of French literature at the Ecole Polytechnique, where there was some discrimination against Jews.


    1837: Earthquake in the Tzfat-Tiberias area of Eretz Israel killed between two thousand and four thousand people, mostly Jews.  Many monuments and archaeological sites were damaged. The quake is also called The Galilee Earthquake of 1937 and the Safed Earthquake.


    1837(24thof Tevet, 5597):Nissim Zerahiah Azulai “editor and annotator of Shabbethai Cohen's "Shulḥan ha-Ṭahor" (The Pure Table), a treatise on the 613 commandments, perished in the earthquake at Safed”



    1854: Solomon Nunes Carvalho,a South Carolina native of Portuguese and Sephardic Jewish descent, who had the good or bad fortune to join John C. Fremont's 1853-54 mapping expedition to the Rocky Mountains, served a dessert of blanc mange “to the ‘satisfaction and astonishment of the whole party,’ a fitting climax to a meal of horse soup and horse steaks fried in buffalo tallow.”


    1849: Birthdate of Bohemian born pediatrician Alois Epstein


    1854(1st of Tevet, 5614): Rosh Chodesh Tevet


    1858: French author Mario Uchard exchanges New Year's greetings with the famed Franco-Jewish actress Rachel Félix in which the latter seemed to be bidding Uchard "an eternal adiu.  However, her doctor assured Uchard that "she would live some days longer.


    [Editor’s Note: The following is not an error.  There were two different letters.]


    1859: The New York Times published a copy of the letter “The Executive Committee of the Representatives of the United Congregations of Israelites of the City of New York” had sent to President James Buchanan in November of 1858 concerning the Mortara Case. Their letter included a reference to the letter sent by The London Committee of Deputies of British Jews “to their brethren in the United States” seeking their support in having the boy who was kidnapped in Bologna returned to his family.  The letter informed the President of the support being offered by several European nations and of plans to hold a public meeting to enlist public support in the United States. The committee reminded President Buchanan of the prompt action taken by President Van Buren in 1840 when he was asked to intervene to aid the persecuted Jews of Damascus and expressed the hope that he would do the same.


    1859: The New York Times published a copy of the letter The Executive Committee of the Representatives of the United Congregations of Israelites of the City of New York had sent to President James Buchanan in December of 1858 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. 


    1863: Edward Rosewater, a member of the United States Telegraph Corps serving at the White House telegraph office, was responsible sending out President Abraham Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” today. Rosewater was born to a Jewish family in Bohemia and moved to the United States in 1854


    1863: During the Civil War, Confederate forces recaptured Galveston, Texas with assistance from Rosanna Dyer Osterman.  As recounted in Jewish Women in America: An Historical

     Encyclopedia, Rosanna Dyer Osterman, a native of Germany, was living in Galveston, Texas, in 1862 when Union forces captured the city.  She had come to Texas in 1838 to help her husband run his mercantile business.  Eventually, she became a leading member of the Jewish community, helping to bring the first rabbi to Texas in 1852.  When the Civil War broke out, Osterman, by then a widow, remained in Galveston.  While many others left for the mainland, she stayed to nurse the sick and wounded, turning her home into a hospital. After the city was captured by Northern troops, she provided military information to Confederate officers in Houston. This information helped them to successfully recapture Galveston on January 1, 1863.  Just three years later, Osterman was killed in a steamboat explosion on the Mississippi River.  In her will, she left her considerable fortune, over $200,000, to a host of Jewish and benevolent institutions. Gifts went to Jewish hospitals in New York, New Orleans, and Cincinnati, and enabled the establishment of a Hebrew Benevolent Society in Galveston, which cared for poor and sick people of all faiths.  Osterman's bequests also funded synagogues in Houston and Galveston, a Home for Widows and Orphans and a Sailors’ Home in Galveston, and a Jewish Foster Home in Philadelphia.  In an obituary, the Galveston News lauded Osterman for her "unselfish devotion to the suffering and the sick" and said that "the history of Rosanna Osterman is more eloquently written in the untold charities that have been dispensed by her liberal hands than any eulogy man can bestow."


    1864: Birthdate of Alfred Stieglitz considered by some to be “the father of modern photography.”


    1867: Birthdate of Lew Fields.  This New York native was part of the Weber and Fields one of the most successful vaudeville acts of their time.  When the act split up, Fields became one of the most influential producers in New York.  He was the father of songwriter Dorothy Fields who enjoyed a successful Broadway career in her own right.


    1867: Rabbi Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, presided over the first Jewish wedding in Atlanta, which joined Emilie Baer to Abraham Rosenfeld in the holy bonds of matrimony. He used the occasion to encourage the creation of a congregation to replace the short-lived one begun in 1862.  The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation received a charter four months later and began constructing a synagogue in 1875.


    1867: Following the retirement of Joseph Herzfeld, Hallgarten & Herzfeld, changed its name to Hallgarten & Co, the investment bank co-founded by Lazarus Hallgarten.


    1869: Birthdate of Milton J. Rosenau. Rosenau played a crucial role in the long, contentious campaign to make milk supplies pure and safe in the United States. As researcher, health official, and educator, Rosenau put medical science to work in the service of preventive medicine and public health. The Philadelphia native received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1889. In 1890, he joined the United States Marine Hospital Service (MHS). He served as quarantine officer in San Francisco from 1895-1898 and in Cuba in 1898. During 1899-1909, he directed the MHS Hygienic Laboratory, transforming a one-person operation into a bustling institution with divisions in bacteriology, chemistry, pathology, pharmacology, zoology, and biology. Rosenau conducted his most important medical research during his 10 years at the Hygienic Laboratory, publishing many articles and books, including The Milk Question (1912) and Preventive Medicine and Hygiene (1913), which quickly became the most influential textbook on the subject. From early in his career, campaigns to reduce milkborne diseases occupied Rosenau's attention. As he stated in his textbook, "Next to water purification, pasteurization is the most important single preventive measure in the field of sanitation." A Public Health Service study in 1909 reported that 500 outbreaks of milkborne diseases had occurred during 1880-1907. By 1900, increasing numbers of children drank pasteurized milk, but raw milk remained the norm partly because the high-temperature process then in use imparted a "cooked milk" taste. In 1906, Rosenau established that low temperature, slow pasteurization (140 F [60 C] for 20 minutes) killed pathogens without spoiling the taste, thus eliminating a key obstacle to public acceptance of pasteurized milk. However, securing a safe milk supply nationwide took another generation. By 1936, pasteurized, certified milk was the standard in most large cities, although over half of all milk in the United States was still consumed raw. In 1913, Rosenau became a Harvard University Medical School professor and a co-founder of the Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology School for Health Officers. When Harvard established a school of public health in 1922, Rosenau directed its epidemiology program until 1935. In 1936, he moved to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to help establish its public health school (1940), where he served as dean until his death in 1946. Rosenau was a dedicated teacher and advocate for improved training in preventive medicine, but he is better remembered for his textbook than his pioneering epidemiologic work. This is as he expected: "We find monuments erected to heroes who have won wars, but we find none commemorating anyone's preventing a war. The same is true with epidemics." As can be seen from his membership on the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee, Rosenau was active in the affairs of the Jewish Community in the United States.


    1873: Julie Judith Bamberger and Isaac Bamberger gave birth to Shimon Simcha Bamberger.


    1874: Frederick de Sola Mendes assumed his duties as of Rabbi at Shaaray Tefillah congregation (later known as the West End Synagogue) in New York City.


    1874: As part of the New Year’s Day celebration, 200 children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum partook of an excellent dinner.  Afterwards, they marched to the homes of Meyer Stern and Mrs. Max Herzog, President of the Ladies’ Sewing Society, where they paid there respects.

    1875: In New York, Hirsch & Mayer, a firm dealing in woolen goods, was reported “to have a stock of goods wholly paid for” and to be owed $30,000.


    1875: Jacob Schiff (1847-1920), Solomon Loeb's son-in-law, joined the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.


    1876: As of today, the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith has a total of $550,000 in its treasury.


    1876: As of today, the Independent Order Free Sons of Israel has a total of $58,350 in its treasury


    1876: As of today, the Improved Order Free Sons of Israel has a total of $25,500 in its treasury.


    1876: In New York, Hirsch & Mayer was found to be insolvent.  The insolvency touched off 20 civil suits and criminal charges aimed at Benjamin Mayer, a young, well-connected man, from a prominent Jewish New York family.

    1878:  Birthdate of Edwin Franko Goldman.  Goldman was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of David Henry and Selma Franko Goldman.  His father died when Goldman was only nine. Golman's mother was a professional pianist was was part of the famous Franko Family.  At the age of nine, Goldman studied cornet with George Weigand at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York.  In 1892, after winning a scholarship, he attended the National Conservatory of Music, where he studied music theory and played trumpet in the Conservatory orchestra. In 1893 he became a professional trumpet player, performing in such organizations as the Metropolitan Opera House orchestra and with his uncle Nahan Franko, a famous trumpet player.Goldman soon founded the New York Military Band, which is known today as the famous Goldman Band. The band played in many summer band concerts throughout New York, especially The Green at the Columbia University and then The Mall in Central Park.  They were also heard on many radio broadcasts.Goldman was known for his very congenial personality and dedication to music. He was very close to city officials and earned three honorary doctorates.  Eventually in 1929, he founded the American Bandmasters Association and served as Second Honorary Life President after John Philip Sousa.  In his lifetime, Goldman composed over 150 works.  He was also the composer of many cornet solos and other short works for piano and orchestra.  Goldman's works are known for their pleasant and catchy tunes, as well as their fine trios and solos.  He also encouraged audiences to whistle/hum along to his marches.  This has become a tradition with his most famous march "On the Mall".


    1878: After completing his legal studies today, Louis Marshall “joined the law firm of William C. Ruger in Syracuse, NY.”


    1878: Leopold Ullstein converted the Berliner Tageblatt into the Berliner Zeitgung(B.Z.)


    1879: Birthdate of Alfred Ernest Jones, the official biographer of Sigmund Freud.


    1879: Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum opened its facility today with four children.


    1880: David Joël, brother of Manuel Joël, assumed his duties as professor of the Talmudic branches, with the title of "Seminarrabbiner", at The Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau


    1880: Alonozo B. Cornell began serving as the 27th Governor of New York during which term he appointed Myer S. Isaacs, the son of the late Rabbi Samuel M. Isaacs, as Justice of the Marine Court.


    1881: Hallgarten & Company became a member of the New York Stock Exchange.


    1882: A magic act presented by Professor Leon is part of the scheduled entertainment to be presented tonight at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.


    1882: The New York Times published a detailed review of The Mendelssohn Family, 1729-1847 by Sebastien Hensel


    1882: Leon Pinsker anonymously published “Auto-Emancipation,” a pamphlet whose subtitle was Mahnruf an seine Stammgenossen, von einem russischen Jude (Warning to His Fellow People, from a Russian Jew) in which he urged the Jewish people to strive for independence and national consciousness.


    1883: It was reported today that Marcus Marx has been elected Chairman of a committee to consider the merger of B’nai B’rith, the Free Sons of Israel, and Kesher Shel Barzel since half of the members of the latter two organizations are members of B’nai B’rith.



    1884: As of today the two story frame building used by the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids housed 30 patients


    1885: As of today, the Russian Imperial Government will begin its monopoly pawnbroking in an attempt to add to the misery of its Jewish subjects which it believes are the only people engaging in this form of moneylending. 


    1885: “An English Society for the Conversion of the Jews” announced that during 1884 it had converted “four Jews at an average cost of about $21,000 each.”


    1885: As of today, the Hebrew Technical Institute enrollment has risen from 27 to 45.


    1885: This month marking the founding of The Chicago Israelite, “an American weekly newspaper devoted to Jewish interests” under the “editorship of Leo Wise who wrote the “Notes and Comments” column along with Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, Levi A. Eliel and Dr. Julius Wise “who wrote under the pen-name of ‘Nickerdown.’”


    1886: Birthdate of Clara Lemlich Shavelson who was a leader of the Uprising of 20,000, the massive strike of shirtwaist workers in New York's garment industry in 1909.  Later blacklisted from the industry for her union work, she became a member of the Communist Party and a consumer activist.  In her last years as a nursing home resident she helped to organize the staff.  Clara Lemlich Shavelson was already a confirmed radical when she arrived in New York City in 1905.  Raised in a religious household in Ukraine, she had defied her parents to learn Russian, traded folk songs for volumes of Tolstoy, and borrowed revolutionary tracts from a sympathetic neighbor.  In New York, she found work in a Lower East Side garment shop, and soon began organizing the workers.  She quickly became an influential member of the new International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), where she protested the virtually all-male leadership's habit of ignoring female union members.  In 1909, Lemlich burst onto a larger political stage when her speech in New York's Cooper Union Hall galvanized young, predominantly Jewish, working girls and set off what became known as the Uprising of the 20,000.  Though the strike was only partially successful, the speech marked the beginning of Lemlich Shavelson's long career in political activism.  Her next project was women's suffrage; she helped to found the Wage Earners League for Women's Suffrage, a group distinguished by its working-class membership at a time when most suffrage organizations were composed of more moderate middle-class members.  Although Lemlich Shavelson's radicalism eventually cost her a paid organizing position with the suffrage league, she remained an outspoken activist, leading the kosher meat boycotts of 1917 and the New York City rent strikes of 1919.  After her 1913 marriage and a move to Brooklyn, some of Shavelson's colleagues in the trade union movement felt that she had sold out to middle-class ideals by raising children in the suburbs.  However, Shavelson redirected her energies without moderating her radicalism, joining the Communist Party in 1926, and founding the United Council of Working-Class Housewives and then, in 1929, the United Council of Working-Class Women (UCWW).  The UCWW argued that consumption was integrally tied to production and that housewives, as consumers, could be an integral part of the class struggle.  The Council led meat, milk, and bread boycotts, marched on Washington, and staged rent strikes and sit-ins, winning periodic victories that addressed some of the most pernicious threats to the economic survival of many families during the depression.  In addition, Shavelson's insistence on the importance of women's labor in the home laid the groundwork for the later feminist movement's emphasis on gender politics and personal power relations within the family.  After the Second World War, Shavelson became a peace activist, working as an organizer for the American League Against War and Fascism, which opposed nuclear weapons.  She also worked for a time in a garment shop, and renewed her activism in the ILGWU, from which she finally retired in 1954.  Although she is still hailed as a founder of that union, she was never granted a union pension.  At age 81, Shavelson moved into the Jewish Home for the Aged in Los Angeles, where she spent her time convincing the administrators to honor grape and lettuce boycotts, and organizing a union among the orderlies.


    1887: Henry M. Stanley was back in London preparing the expedition that is designed to rescue Emin Pasha, the governor of Equatoria who is besieged by forces of Muslim fanatics. Emin Pasha was a Silesian born Jew named Isaak Eduard Schnitzer who successively converted to Christianity and Islam.


    1887: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York is scheduled to move into its new home “in the building formerly occupied by the Home and School for the Children of Soldiers and Sailors on 11th Avenue near 151stStreet in New York where it will continue to care for over 400 children.


    1888: “The People of Israel” published today provides a detailed review of Histoire Du Peuple D’Israel (Volume I) by Ernest Renan.



    1890: In Louisiana, any Jews remaining in Alsatia, East Carroll Parish faces the threat of being driven out by “lead.”  (That’s mean guns for the uninitiated)

    1890: A fair being held under the auspices the People’s Free School Association, is scheduled to come to an end today. This is a fundraiser sponsored by the Executive Council of the Hebrew Fair Association.


    1890: “A mass meeting of down-town” Jews held this evening at the Pythagoras Hall on Canal Street to discuss the construction of a new hospital to be built on the Lower East Side.  The up-town hospitals cannot accommodate the influx of sick Jewish immigrants.


    1890: According to H.I. Goldsmith, the Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge, No. 1 of the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel, there is $295,027.33 in “the degree benefit, an increase over the last year of $7,608.94.


    1890: As today, the Hebrew Technical Institute had a balance on hand of a little more than six thousand dollars.


    1890: The terms of Messrs. Tuska, Thalmessinger and Bloomingdale as trustees for the Hebrew Technical Institute were scheduled to come to an end today.


    1892(1stof Tevet, 5652): Rosh Chodesh Tevet and 7th day of Chanukah


    1892: Roswell P. Flower, who would appoint Edward Jacobs as Loan Commissioner, began serving as Governor of New York.


    1892: The SS Masilia whose passengers include a large number of Russia Jews whose passage had been paid by the Baron Hirsch Fund left Marseilles today for a four week voyage to New York


    1892: Birthdate of Bertha Solomon, one of the first women’s rights activists in South Africa.


    1892: The Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York opened.  Millions of mostly eastern European Jews would pass through Ellis Island on their way to New York’s Lower East Side or other such urban locations.


    1892: The Society of the Hebrew Sheltering Home has received $2,005 in the last twelve months.


    1892: Colonel John Weber, the first Commissioner of Immigration at the port of New York, gave a $10 gold Liberty coin to the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island.


    1893: The new sliding scale dues structures based on age adopted by the Grand Lodge District No 1 of the Order of B’nai B’rith to encourage younger Jews to join went into effect today.


    1893: It was reported today that Darkest Russia, “the organ of the English Jewish community” had suspended publication on the assurance if it did so Russia “would modify her persecution” of the Jews would resume publishing since things have actually gotten worse.

    1894: Birthdate of Heinrich Hertz, the German physicist for whom the hertz, the SI unit of frequency, is named.  Hertz was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a Jewish family that had converted to Christianity.


    1894: As of today, the United Hebrew Charities has spent an additional $64,900 in the last three months (October 1) to provide a variety of services including medical, educational and vocational to aid those suffering during the worst economic depression to hit the United States until 1929 and 2008.


    1895: In Cincinnati, Ohio formation of Council No. 13 of the National Council of Jewish Women was formed with Miss Clara Bloch as President and Miss Mathilda Bettman as Secretary.


    1895: Birthdate of Nathaniel Shilkret, American composer and conductor.  For many years he was "director of light music" for the Victor Talking Machine Company.  His best-known popular composition was "The Lonesome Road", which has been recorded by more than one-hundred artists, including Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. He passed away in 1992.



    1896: “Destroying the Old Relic” published today described the destruction of the Rolls House which had originally been “built by Henry III as a House of Maintenance for converted Jews” but was converted to other uses by Edward III when the supply of Jewish converts ran out.


    1896: As of this date, there were 43, 658 Jews living in Minsk.  There were forty synagogues along with numerous less formal “houses of prayer.” The city boasted a large number of Yeshivot including Blumke’s Yeshivah, the Little Yeshivah and the Yeshivah at the Synagogue of the Water Carriers.  At this time Minsk was also home to a Jewish Trade School that offered training for locksmiths and carpenters as well as providing instruction in Hebrew and Religion.  The Jewish hospital had accommodations for 70 patients and the Jewish poorhouse had beds for 80 indigent patrons.


    1897: A fundraiser for the Hebrew Technical School for Girls was held at the Carnegie Lyceum.


    1898: In Silesia, Maximillian Ullman and his wife, two Jews who had converted to Catholicism, gave birth to “composer, conductor and pianist” Viktor Ullman. Their conversion and did not save this musical genius who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt and murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    1898: “Do People Read the Bible Nowadays?” by Amos Kidder Fiske, author of “The Jewish Scriptures” and “The Myths of Israel” was published today.


    1898:”Miracles and Dilettantism” published today disputes the version of the conversion of Abbe Ratisbonne to Catholicism as described in The Life of Cardinal Wisemanby Wilfred Ward.


    1898: Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered an address entitled “The Religious and Ethical Possibilities of New York” at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.


    1899: “Dr. Baar’s New Year Address” published today described Dr. Hermann Baar’s what is his last address to the children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum since he has announced his retirement as Superintendent of the organization.


    1899: Birthdate of Elazar Menachem Man Shach, (Eliezer Schach) the Lithuanian born Haredi rabbi who became a leader in Bnei Brak.

    1899: Leopold Cohn sent a letter to President McKinley concerning the anti-Semitic prejudice that exists in Brooklyn and Manhattan which is manifested by “acts of violence” aimed the poor Jews of these cities.  Cohn, a former Rabbi, converted to Christianity and now is a missionary for the Baptist Church.


    1899: “A Benevolent Society’s Jubilee” published today described plans for the upcoming celebration of the Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association 50thanniversary celebration.  The association  was originally formed by German Jews in the 1840’s.


    1899: Mrs. Bertha Morgenstern observed New Year’s Day and her 106thbirthday at the Hebrew Sheltering House in NYC.


    1899: It was reported today that Aaron Baerlein is President of the Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association, a fraternal and benevolent order formed by German Jews in New York before the Civil War.


    1900: Starting today The Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) “restructured the way in which the colonies received financial and managerial support, with the effect of making them more profitable and independent.”


    1900: Birthdate of Chiune Sugihara “ aJapanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania who risked  his career and life by issuing travel documents to thousands of Jews so that they could escape the Nazis by appearing to be traveling to Japan


    1901: Birthdate of Russian born American sculptor and watercolorist Eugenie Gershoy.



    1902: Birthdate of Hans von Dohnányi, the German jurist, anti-Nazi who rescued Jews including “two Jewish lawyers from Berlin, Friedrich Arnold and Julius Fliess.”

    1902(22ndof Tevet, 5662): Solomon Lyons, the 6th son of Rose and Henry Lyons of Birmingham, UK  “accidently drowned in Jersey” today.


    1903: Herzl begins a trip to Elach, Austira, his home town.


    1904: Birthdate of Louis Cohen a New York mobster who murdered labor racketeer "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan and was an associate of labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter.


    1906: During the dispute about establishing a temporary Jewish homeland in a place other than Palestine, Winston Churchill wrote to his constituent Dr. Joseph Dulberg, leader of the Manchester Jewish community, describing the difficulties in establishing “a self-governing Jewish colony in British East Africa” not the least of which was the division between the Territorialists and the “Palestine or bust” faction.


    1909(8thof Tevet, 5669): Louis A. Heinsheimer passed away. Born in 1859, he was a partner in the investment banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. from 1894 to 1909. Heinsheimer was the nephew of one of the Firm's founders, Solomon Loeb. Heinsheimer's estate in Far Rockaway, New York, was called Breezy Point (not to be confused with the Breezy Point neighborhood on the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula) and stood until 1987. Heinsheimer's mansion was owned and used for several years by the Maimonides Institute for Exceptional Children until it burned down. The mansion site is now a part of Bayswater Point State Park.


    1909: Birthdate of Barry Goldwater, Republican Senator from Arizona and godfather to what has become the dominate right wing of the Republican Party.  Goldwater was not Jewish.  His father was Jewish but he raised his son as an Episcopalian for the obvious advantages it brought to him.  However, some of Goldwater’s critics did not let him forget his Jewish origins.  When he ran for President, his running-mate was William Miller, a Catholic member of the House of Representatives.  Bigots referred to the ticket as the Arizona Israelite and his fellow-traveler from the Vatican.


    1909: As of today, agents of the Baron Hirsch Fund have purchased several hundred acres of farm land four miles west of Millville, New Jersey for the purpose of establishing a colony.  Forty families are ready to move into the houses once they are built.  Each family will receive 25 acres of cleared ground to work.


    1910: Isabel Hyams, an 1888 MIT graduate and a trustee of the Boston Consumptive Hospital, began an experimental “Penny Lunch” program in a Boston elementary school.



    1911(1stof Tevet, 5671): Rosh Chodesh Tevet


    1911: In Łódź, Poland, Slanislava (Vinaver) and Adam Totenberg gave birth to Roman Totenberg, the child prodigy violinist who is the father of NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg, Judge Amy Totenberg and business woman Jill Totenberg.


    1911: The Sunday Magazine Section of the New York Times described the debate between Dr. Solomon Schechter of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Dr. G. Margoliouth of the British Museum over the interpretation of a document entitled “A Document on the Sectaries” which had been found in the Cairo Genizah.


    1911: Birthdate of Hammering Hank Greenberg Hall-of-Fame first baseman for the Detroit Tigers.


    1913: A treaty of commerce and navigation and commerce between the United States and Russia “became inoperative” today “because it was interpreted by Russia as permitting the exclusion of American Jews from her dominions.


    1914: In an attempt to obliterate loan sharking and enable American wage earners to borrow money easily, cheaply, and under self-respecting conditions, Julius Rosenwald of Chicago, announced plans to create “industrial loan banks that could make small loans at a low rate of interest - loans so trifling in character that the ordinary bank would not consider them - to workingmen whose means are too insignificant to give them any standing with banks.  These industrial loan banks “shall require no collateral but simply an endorsement from some fellow wage-earner.”  Loans will be made only after the bank has ascertained that the money is to be used for legal activities.  By making these loans, Rosenwald and his supporters plan to teach the working class the proper use of credit while keeping them out of the clutches of loan sharks and predatory lenders.  “The inspiration for the idea came from one of Mr. Rosenwald’s eminent European co-religionist, Signor Jusotti, the Italian Minister of Finance, who is the founder of a system of banks in Italy which lend sums as low as $10 to workingmen, small tradesmen, farmers and other who have no credit at the banks.”


    1914: The sons of Leopold Ullstein purchased the Vossische Zeitug, “a liberal newspaper with a tradition dating back to the 1617.”


    1915: “Texans Make Plea For Leo M. Frank” published today described a petition signed by over three hundred “Gentile citizens:” from Waco, TX sent to the Governor of Georgia listing the reasons why he should stay the execution of Leo Frank and free him if the evidence warrants such a conclusion.


    1915: Charles Whitman, who after being elected promised to appoint at least one Jew to each of New York’s hospital boards began serving as the state’s 41stgovernor.


    1915: Jews of Laibach Austria were expelled.


    1919: Prince Faisal “submitted a formal memorandum to the Supreme Council of the Peace Conference outlining his vision for Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East. It was not monolithic or pan-Arab. It sought only one territory: Syria.”


    1919: (29th of Tevet, 5679): Sixty-nine year old David Lubin, the Polish born American “merchant and agriculturalist”  who played a pivotal role “in founding the International Institute of Agriculture” passed away today.



    1919: Birthdate of J.D. Salinger who is as famous for being a recluse as he is for being the author of Catcher in the Rye.  “Salinger was born in 1919 in New York City.  His mother was Irish Catholic and his father was Jewish. And because many people in the early half of the 20th century were often openly racist toward Jews, being half-Jewish was hard on Salinger’s psyche.

    What also hurt Salinger’s relationship with his father was the fact that he wanted him to take over the family meat business.  Salinger was initially unopposed to the proposition.  However, after taking a trip to his father’s native land of Poland and seeing the slaughter houses, Salinger lost respect for his father and his profession.  Salinger then became a devout vegetarian. What probably had the strongest effect on the mental makeup of Salinger was his experience in World War II.  Salinger was in one of the most dangerous regiments of the entire war, as he saw as many as 200 of his fellow soldiers die in a day.  Plus, he is also believed to be one of the first soldiers to see the Nazi concentration camps.  This probably greatly affected him because of his Jewish ancestry.” Salinger, who passed away in 2010, became a Buddhist who only would eat organic foods.


    1920:Arnold "Arnie" Horween kicked the PAT that provided the margin of victory as Harvard won the Rose Bowl.


    1922(1st of Tevet, 5682): Rosh Chodesh Tevet


    1923: Birthdate of Daniel Gorenstein, American mathematician.


    1925: Greece mandates a national day of rest, in disregard to any religion. Thus the Jews are forced to work on the Sabbath, and those who did not, lost profits.  The Jews saw this as a move on the government's part to get rid of them.


    1926: Lazar Kaganovich completed his first term as a member of the Orgburo (The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union)


    1927: Birthdate of Canadian political leader Shelia Finestone.



    1927 (28th of Tevet, 5687): “Asher Ginsberg, whose pen name was Achad Ha’am passed away 5 o’clock this morning at Tel Aviv.” Born in 1856 near Kiev, Ginsberg lived in England from 1906 until 1921 when he made Aliyah. While living in England, managed a tea shop owned by one his literary admirers and worked with Chaim Weizmann to create the document known as the Balfour Declaration.  In 1889, Ginsberg caused a stir with “the publication in the Russian Jewish periodical Ha-Meliz of his frist article dealing with the Zionist movement and the future of the Jews.”  Over time he would develop the concept of Cultural Zionism which espouses a belief “in the development of Palestine as intellectual and moral homeland for the Jewish people throughout the word, as well as a place of physical refuge.”  His most famous literary work was a three-volume work called Al Parshat Derachimor The Parting of the Ways.


    1928: Sixty five year old theatrical dancer Loie Fuller whose rumored engagement to Jacob Cantor helped lead to his defeat when he ran for a seat in Congress representing New York’s 15th district, passed away today.


    1929: The Labor Party has been defeated in the elections for the Municipal Council of Tel Aviv.  Labor had controlled the council for the past three years but had only won five of the fifteen seats on the council in this year’s election.  It would appear that the United Centre Party has captured a majority of the seats which means that Meir Dizengoff will return as Mayor of the Jewish metropolis since the council elects the mayor.  Dizengoof had resigned three years ago in a dispute with the Laborites.


    1930(1st of Tevet, 5690): Rosh Chodesh Tevet


    1933: A pastoral letter of Austrian Bishop Gfollner of Linz states that it is the duty of all Catholics to adopt a "moral form of anti-Semitism."


    1934: In New York City, Henry G. Schanko “took office as a Justice of the City Court” today.


    1934: The Nazis remove Jewish holidays from the official German calendar.


    1934: German laws allowing sterilization of the "unfit," which were passed in July 1933, are promulgated.


    1934: In a move that will upset the balance of power in Europe and therefore threaten the well-being of the Jewish people, Hitler orders the German government to undertake a building program that will produce 4000 aircraft by October 1935. (As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library)


    1936: Section 3 of the Nuremberg Laws – “Jews will not be permitted to employ female citizens under the age of 45, of German or kindred blood, as domestic workers” – went into effect.


    1936: Birthdate of Actress Zelda Rubinstein.


    1937: The New York Times describes the very successful performance in Tel Aviv of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Arturo Toscanini.  The site of an Italian maestro conducting a Jewish orchestra in front of a predominately Jewish orchestra is proof to the Times of “how completely forgiven and forgotten is the serious misunderstanding between the twopeoples that arose under Titus and Hadrian a couple of thousand years ago.”


    1937: Georg Wertheim head of Wertheim’s one the four largest department store chains in Germany writes in his diary, “The store is declared to be ‘German.’”  This marked the end to his involvement in the family business begun by his parents in 1875.  Wertheim died in 1939.


    1938: During January, the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany, is enlarged.


    1938: The Namensänderungsverordnung  went into effect today forcing 87 year old German mathematician Alfred Pringsheim to legally change his name to Alfred Israel Pringsheim


    1938: During January, a collaborationist organization, National-Socialistische Vrouwen

    Organisatie (National Socialist Women's Organization), is established in Holland.


    1939: The Palestine Post expressed world-wide Jewish disgust for Sir Horace Rumbold after he had publicly referred to the Jews of Palestine as an “alien race.”


    1939: “By today, in Cologne, all the Jews were excluded from the economic life and constrained to forced labor.”


    1939: As of today, the licenses of the Jewish cattle traders in Laupheim, Germany were revoked.


    1939: In an infamous prophecy delivered in a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler threatened that if “international Jewry” started “another” world war, such a war would not end in the extermination of the Aryan race but rather in the extermination of the “Jewish race.”


    1939: In Germany, The Decree for the Elimination of Jews from German Economic Life took effect.  This was part of what was known as the compulsory Aryanization process in which all Jewish retail businesses were to be eliminated.  All stock was forbidden to be traded on the free market, but it had to be "sold" to a German competitor or association.  This edict was signed just a month earlier by the Economic and the Justice ministries.


    1939: By the end of January "Illegal immigration" from Germany to Palestine has begun.  27,000 Jews will illegally immigrate by the end of 1940.


    1939: As decreed on August 17, 1938, Jewish men in Germany must adopt the middle name of "Israel"; Jewish women must take the middle name "Sara."


    1939: Jews are eliminated from the German economy; their capital is seized, though some Jews continue to work under Germans.


    1939: At the Buchenwald, Germany, concentration camp, Deputy Commandant Arthur Rödl orders several thousand inmates to assemble for inspection shortly before midnight. He selects five men and has them whipped to the melody played by the inmate orchestra.  The whipping continues all night.


    1940(20th of Tevet, 5700): Hugo Herrmann a Zionist author and publisher passed away. He was one of the founders of the Jewish student organization Bar Kochba in Prague, worked for the Keren Hayesod . He settled in Jerusalem in 1934 where he published descriptions of his extensive travels in Palestine.


    1940: The Nazis shot Dr. Cooperman in Warsaw for being out after eight o'clock.


    1940: Nazis prohibited Jews from gathering in shuls or private homes for prayer.


    1941(2ndof Tevet, 5701): 8th and final day of Chanukah


    1942: U.S premiere of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” the film version of the play of the same name by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman with a script by Julius and Philip G. Epstein produced by Jerry Wald.


    1942: In the U.S., the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) is established to investigate and arrest suspected Nazi war criminals.


    1942: Birthdate of Democratic politician Martin Frost who represented the 24thCongressional District in Texas from 1979 until 2004.


    1943: Birthdate of American investor and businessman Ronald Perelman.


    1943 (24th of Tevet, 5703): Arthur Ruppin passed away today in Jerusalem at the age of 67.  “Born in Germany, Mr. Ruppin came to Palestine in 1908 to direct the first Palestine office of World Zionist Organization in Jaffa.  He was one of the founders of Tel Aviv.”  Dr. Ruppin was considered an authority on all facets of the economic situation in Palestine and was a strong fighter against those who claimed that limits must be placed on Jewish immigration because the country could not sustain anything more than a marginal growth in population.


    1944: Operation Halyard, one of the largest Allied airlift operation behind enemy lines of World War II in which Yugoslav Partisans (a multi-ethnic resistance force that included Bosnian Muslims and Jews) played a key role, began today.


    1946: In Tel Aviv, police found a large arms cache today that contained a both heavy and light automatic weapons, various chemicals of the type used for detonating explosives and a number of military uniforms.


    1947: A British Military Court sentenced Dov Bela Gruner to be hanged for his part in the attack on the police station at Ramt Gan.  Gruner, a 33 year old veteran of the British Army, is a member of the Irgun and claimed that he should have been treated as a prisoner of war and not a criminal.


    1948: Thousands of “illegal” Jewish refugees who had been trying to reach Palestine disembarked in Cyprus where the British interned them in DP camps.


    1949: As promised by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Israeli troops began withdrawing from the Sinai Peninsula.


    1950: In Guyana, Janet Rosenberg Jagan and her husband formed the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which she served as General Secretary until 1970.


    1952: In Jerusalem, “shooting attack by terrorists during a home invasion.”


    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel continued to protest against the increased British, French and US arms sales to the belligerent Arab states, at least until they agreed to negotiate peace.  While Britain, threatened by the Egyptian guerrilla war against its forces stationed at Suez, had temporarily suspended her arms shipments there, France and the US had no such problem and continued to arm Israel¹s neighbors without any restrictions.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the government presented the oil-importing companies with IL 3,800,000 financial guarantees, covered by funds earmarked under the German Reparations Agreement for this purpose.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the number of unemployed in 1952 was 16,500.  This number, however, did not include Israeli Arabs, residents of immigrant transit camps, and others who had not registered with the Labor Exchange for employment.

    1955: Arthur Leavitt, Sr begins serving as New York State Comptroller, a position he will hold for a record 24 years.

    1955: Jacob K. Javits begins serving as the 58th New York State Attorney General.

    1956: In an open-the-flap book titled See the Circus published today H. A. Rey illustrated a man who looks very much like the Man with the Yellow Hat wearing a blue and white polka-dotted kerchief. The caption for the page reads, "Ted has a tricycle, so very small, He cannot ride it, because he's so tall. If you want to find out WHO the rider will be, just open the flap, and then you will see." Opening the flap reveals two monkeys riding a tricycle.”

    1959: Caroline Klein Simon was sworn in as New York's Secretary of State as part of the administration of newly elected Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

    1960(1st of Tevet, 5720): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; The first day of the year coincides with the first day of the month and, in the evening, the kindling of the candles for the 8th day of Chanukah

    1963(5th of Tevet, 5723) A fire broke out at the Telshe Yeshiva claiming the lives of two students.

    1965: Palestinian al-Fatah terrorist organization forms.

    1966: “Dr. Manfred George 72, Dies” published today


    1968: Louis Begley named partner in the law firm now known as Debevoise & Plimpton. Begley would eventually leave the law and become a successful, award winning author.

    1967: A month-long exhibition of the paintings of Isser Arnovici, opened at the Elizabeth Street Gallery.

    1966: Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" reaches #1.

    1968: During a reception today, “President de Gaulle…assured the Grand Rabbi of France that it was from his intention to insult the Jews when he call them an ‘elite people, sure of itself and domineering.’”

    1968: Louis Begley became a partner of the law firm now known as Debevoise & Plimpton

    1969: Isidore Dollinger begins serving as a justice of New York Supreme Court, from the first judicial district.

    1971: U.S. premiere of “Something Big” with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

    1977: Jerry Nadler began serving as a member of the New York State Assembly from the 69thdistrict.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Egyptian negotiators in Cairo demanded that Israel liquidate her settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza as a pre-condition for the Palestine Arabs¹ self-determination. 
    Israel suggested that under the proposed peace plan, the prospective Sinai settlers would pay taxes to Egypt.

    1978: Ed Koch begins serving as the 105th mayor of New York City.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US President Jimmy Carter, who concluded his talks with the Shah of Iran and King Hussein of Jordan, was expected to arrive in Cairo for talks with President Anwar Sadat and a possible active participation in Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli population toward the end of 1977 stood at 3,650,000 ­ 3,076,000 Jews and 574,000 non-Jews.

    1979: After 22 years, Louis Lefkowitz completes his service as Attorney General of New York State.

    1983: Moshe Levy was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed IDF Chief of General Staff.

    1984: The funeral for Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer, author of What Is a Jew? is scheduled to held in Toronto today.

    1985: Carolyn Leigh was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame today.

    1985: Louis Silverstein, the long time Art Director of The New York Times, retired today.

    1986: Jerry Abramson began serving as the 47th mayor of Louisville, KY.

    1987(30th of Kislev, 5747): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1988(11th of Tevet, 5748): Leo Steiner owner of the famed Carnegie Deli's in New York passes away.

    1989: As new measures, imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration in response to the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Scotland on December 21 take effect, Senator John D. Rockefeller 4th, a West Virginia Democrat who was en route from Israel to the United States and was transferring to a Pan Am flight in Paris, said the security was tighter than usual, but not as heavy as that which he had experienced at Ben-Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv. ''They opened everything, and that's excellent,'' he said of his early-morning departure. Security officers gave every passenger ''a very diplomatic, but careful grilling,'' asking questions like: Do you have anything new? Are you carrying anything for anyone? One security officer, he said, told him bluntly: ''Get nothing between here and the airplane. Go straight to the plane.''

    1989: Stephen Engelberg and Michael Gordon of The New York Times are the first to report in detail about West German participation in the design and construction of the vast chemical plant designed to produce poison gas at Rabta in Libya along with facts about French aid in refueling bombers that would make possible the quick delivery of poison-gas bombs to Tel Aviv residents who are descendants of those forced to breathe Cyclon-B at Auschwitz.

    1990: Elizabeth Holtzman became the 40th Comptroller of New York City.

    1990: Stephen Breyer began servicing as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

    1991: Bruce Sundlun began serving as the 21st governor of Rhode and the second Jew to hold this position.

    1992: In “Frank Binswanger - Philadelphia's Golem - Remembered Fondly He Was Constantly Exhorting Philadelphians To Join His Pursuit Of Impossible Dreams” Dan Rottenberg provides a personal picture of this descendant of Rabbi Judah, the 16th century creator of the Golem.



    1992: A suspicious fire broke out in the basement of a synagogue in Brooklyn, severely damaging the building and forcing the removal of several torahs. . Flames rushed through the basement of Congregation Hisachbis Yirieim at 902 Avenue L, near East Ninth Street, at 4:02 P.M.  It was under control at 4:47 P.M., Fire Marshal Glynn said. Fire department officials said that the fire “is being considered as suspicious” in origin.


    1994: Abraham M. Lackman is scheduled to begin serving as budget director under new mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani


    1994: Alan Hevesi began serving as the 41st Comptroller of New York City


    1994: Gabriel Oliver Koppell began serving as the 61st New York State Attorney General.


    1995(29th of Tevet, 5755): Eugene Wigner, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963 passed away.


    1995: The full text of report compiled by the Agranat Commission, except for 48 pages, was made public today.


    1995: “The final phase of the Free Trade Agreement was fully implemented today when Israel and the United States completely eliminated all duties and tariffs on manufactured goods.”


    1997: Eighty-eight year old James Bennett Pritchard, the University of Pennsylvania archaeologist whose work included six expeditions that unearthed and examined the remains of the Biblical city of Gibeon.


    1998: Share prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed higher today, on optimism that the Government would pass its 1998 budget and that there would be a cut in interest rates as early as February. The TA-100 index of the shares with the highest market capitalization rose nine-tenths of 1 percent, to 293.74, an increase of 2.68 points. The Maof index of the 25 blue-chip shares gained seven-tenths of 1 percent, to 305.92, a jump of 2.11 points. The TACT index of continuously traded shares rose 1 percent, to 98.06, a gain of 0.92 points. Trading volume was 121 million shekels ($34.30 million). Stockbrokers said the relatively low volume was attributable to the closing of foreign markets for New Year's Day.


    1999: After 13 years, Jerry Abramson completed his final term as mayor of Louisville, KY.


    1999: The Times of London features a review of Athens In Jerusalem: Classical antiquity and Hellenism in the making of the modern secular Jew by Yaacov Shavi; translated from the Hebrew by Chaya Naor and Niki Werner.


    1999: Eliot Spitzer became the 63rd New York Attorney General.


    2000: David Hurlbut moved into the Harmony Club in Selma, Alabama. It had originally been built as a social club by a group of prominent Jewish businessmen in 1909.


    2000(23rd of Tevet, 5760): Jeshajahu Weinberg, the first director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here and one of the principal forces behind its creation, died today in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. He was 81. Mr. Weinberg served as the museum's director from its beginning in 1989 until 1995, as it became one of Washington's leading tourist attractions. He also helped create museums in Israel and Europe. Walter Reich, who succeeded Mr. Weinberg as director of the Washington museum, said today that Mr. Weinberg's interests in it went from inducing a British television documentary maker to design the exhibitions to worrying about the impact that a museum depicting the Nazi horrors might have on children who visit it and curators who work there. Mr. Weinberg, whose first name was pronounced yuh-shah-YAH-who but who was known as Shaike (pronounced SHY-kuh), was born in Warsaw and educated in Germany until his family fled to Palestine in the 1930's with the rise of Hitler. Mr. Weinberg served from 1935 to 1948 in the Jewish underground army, the Haganah, and from 1942 to 1946 in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, although the Haganah and the British Army were frequently at odds. He fought in Italy while in the British Army and became a sergeant. Martin Smith, the documentary filmmaker who designed the exhibitions, said from his home in Bristol, England, that Albert Abramson, one of the museum's founders, had suggested to Mr. Weinberg that Mr. Smith would make the ideal designer of the museum. ''I wasn't Jewish, I wasn't museum inclined, and I wasn't American,'' Mr. Smith said, but Mr. Weinberg was persuasive. ''He encouraged me to look at how the techniques of documentary filmmaking could be used in a museum setting,'' Mr. Smith said. The museum's architect, James I. Freed, also described how Mr. Weinberg had driven the design and construction of the museum. After a section had been built, Mr. Freed said, ''Shaike was insistent -- he wanted a railroad freight car to be included. We had to change the building to accommodate it. He never accepted 'no.''' Mr. Freed added that Mr. Weinberg worked to bring together competing constituencies that wanted to make sure their groups' sufferings were not ignored. The groups included European Jews, Gypsies and other ethnic groups as well as members of dissenting religions and political parties, homosexuals and the physically and mentally handicapped. Mr. Weinberg was also an official of the Israeli government and director of the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv. He helped create the Beth Hatefutsoth Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv, where he served as director, and the Museum of the History of the City of Jerusalem. At his death, even while slowed by vascular illness, Mr. Weinberg was working on the design of Jewish museums in Warsaw and Berlin. (As reported by Irvin Molotsky)


    2001: A car bomb rocked the commercial heart of the Israeli coastal city of Netanya today wounding more than 30 people, at least one seriously. The terror attack shattered store windows and draped central Netanya in black smoke, sending ripples of panic through a downtown area that was still twinkling with leftover Hanukkah lights.  It came five days after a bus bombing in Tel Aviv. Jan. 1 is a routine working day in Israel, so there was no holiday spirit to dampen. But as the latest in a spate of terror attacks, the bombing hardened hearts.


    2001: Yasir Arafat left Gaza shortly after midnight today for a hastily arranged meeting with President Clinton to discuss the Palestinian leader's reservations about an American blueprint for a final peace deal. The announcement of his trip to Washington, made by aides and confirmed by American officials, came several hours after a car bomb rocked the commercial heart of the Israeli coastal city of Netanya on Monday evening, wounding more than 30 people, at least one seriously.


    2001: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu belatedly endorsed Ariel Sharon in his bid to become Prime Minister. 


    2002: Michael Bloomberg became the 108th Mayor of New York City.


    2002: Gabriel Oliver Koppell began servicing as a member of the New York City Council from the 11thDistrict.


    2002: Michael Applebaum began serving as Borough mayor for Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Montreal City Councilor


    2002(17thof Tevet, 5762): Fifty seven film producer Julia Phillips passed away. (As reported by Bernard Weinraub)


    2002: Gabriel Oliver Koppell began serving as member of the New York City Council from the 11thDistrict.


    2003: Het Parool “an Amsterdam based daily newspaper” that got its start “as a resistance paper during the German occupation” took a financial bailout today to save it from the consequences of failing circulation and revenue.


    2003: Alan Hevesi began serving as the 53rd Comptroller of New York


    2004: Louis Begley retired from Debevoise & Plimpton


    2005: Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig and Bobby Salomon were married today in “a traditional Jewish wedding.


    2006: Jack Lebewohl, the new owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli which was located at its original location in the East Village, closed the famed eatery after a rent increase and a dispute over back rent that the landlord had said was due.


    2006: Daniel C. Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt, assumes the position of S. Daniel Abraham Visiting Professor in Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University.


    2006: Eric Garcetti began serving as President of the Los Angeles City Council


    2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Kafka: The Decisive Years by Reiner Stach, Savage Shorthand The Life and Death of Isaac Babel by Jerome Charyn, Siegfried Sassoon: A Life by Max Egremont and Why She Married Him  Myriam Chapman’s first novel based on her grandmother's recently discovered manuscript describing a childhood in turn-of-the-century czarist Russia, close escapes from its brutal pogroms and life as a Jewish émigré in Paris.


    2006(1st of Tevet, 5766): Henry Samuel Magdoffpassed away. He was a prominent American social commentator who held several administrative positions in government during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt and later became co-editor of the Monthly Review.


    2007: As a result of “the incident in which the Hanit Navy ship was struck by an Iranian missile launched by Hizbullah during the second Lebanon war” “IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Dan Halutz announced today that the two Navy officers at the rank of colonel would be reprimanded following the incident, and that the ship's commander, a lieutenant colonel, would also be punished by the Navy commander, and his next position would be at the headquarters and not a commanding position.” (As reported by Hanan Greenberg)


    2007: Eliot Spitzer became the 54th governor of New York


    2007: Under Commissioner David Stern, the NBA switched back to the leather ball.


    2007: Jane Doe Buys a Challah and Other Short Stories, the first publication of Ang-Lit Press, a newly established English publishing house based in Tel-Aviv goes on sale in Israel.  The book is the first ever anthology of short stories by Israeli Anglo writers.


    2008: Lieutenant General Moshe Levy, who had served at the 12th Chief of Staff of the IDF, suffered a massive stroke.


    2008: At the Museum of Jewish Heritage and closing day of an exhibition entitled The Other Promised Land: Vacationing, Identity, and the Jewish-American Dream. “Set against the backdrop of the seashore, the mountains, or the countryside, vacations have always been a meaningful part of American Jewish life. American Jews chose their own distinctive destinations - Florida, the Catskills, Atlantic City, sites of Jewish heritage - to join with friends or in response to being excluded at other venues, creating temporary communities of like-minded people. Some vacations were pursuits of luxury and abundance, while others emphasized Jewish beliefs and traditions, but all expressed the excitement and promise of America. The history of Jewish vacationing provides a glimpse into Jewish values, past and present.”


    2009: In a move that bodes well for Israel, The Czech Republic takes over the presidency of the European Union from France.  While France has condemned Israel’s attacks on Hamas, the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Shwarzenberg has “insisted Israel had the right to defend itself…Schwarzenberg said Hamas has excluded itself from serious political debate due to its rocket attacks on Israel” and that Hamas “has put its bases in gun warehouses in densely populated areas” which “was the reason for the Palestinians’ growing death toll.


    2009: Haaretz reported that according to a story published by the Belgian daily La Derniere Heure published earlier this week Jewish-French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy was listed by a Belgium-based Islamist group as a target for assassination alongside other leading Jewish personalities in Europe.  The planned assassination was apparently thwarted after group leader Abdelkader Belliraj, a Belgian of Moroccan ascent, was arrested last February in Morocco, the newspaper reported. Belgian authorities found the list during a raid on homes of local Muslim community members last November, according to the report.  The hit list mentioned the names of five other well-know Jewish figures in Belgium and France: Josy Eisenberg, producer of the A Bible ouverte (Open Bible) television program on FR2; Simone Susskind, a leader of Belgium's secular Jewish community; attorney Markus Pardes, president of the International Association of Jewish lawyers and jurists; Belgian writer Jean-Claude Bologne and La Derniere Heurereporter Edmond Blattche.  Belliraj is scheduled for trial next week over charges of assassinating and orchestrating the murders of six people in Belgium during 1980s, as well as for charges of arms trafficking.


    2009 (5 Tevet 5769):  Helen Suzman, the internationally renowned anti-apartheid campaigner who befriended the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and offered an often lonely voice for change among South Africa’s white minority, died in Johannesburg at the age of  91. (As reported by John F. Burns and Alan Cowell)


    2009: “Teapacks, an Israeli band that formed in 1988 in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, officially disbanded today.


    2009(5th of Tevet, 5769): Polish writer Henryk Halkowski, one of Poland's most notable contemporary Jewish personalities, died suddenly today just days after celebrating his 57th birthday.  (As reported by JTA)


    2010: Starting at noon, Congregation Tikvat Israel in Rockville, Md., is hosting a sale of used books about Judaism.


    2010: In a case of Jew vs Jew Lionel Perez replaced Saulie Zajdel as Montreal City Councillor for Darlington.


    2010:In Israel the Water Authority is supposed to be implementing a price hike. If the price increase does not go through, several water corporations - including those servicing the Galilee - will not have the funds to buy water from Mekorot, the national water company.


    2010:In Jerusalem Hama'abada and The Visual Theatre present a unique collaboration: "Snow Will Fall Tonight" including the following three shows: "Pollyamoria" by Ma'ayan Moses, Pets" by Anat Arbel--tragi-comic dance theatre and "To Raise You Wild"--by Shai Persil.


    2010:The Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility today for firing two Grad-type rockets at the Netivot area from Gaza on last night.


    2010:Two mortar shells hit open areas in southern Israel this evening. There were no reports of casualties or damage in both attacks. One of the projectiles landed near the Kerem Shalom border crossing at the southeastern end of the Gaza Strip and the other hit an open area in the Sdot Negev region, and has not yet been located.


    2010: Michael Bloomberg is sworn in for this third term as Mayor of New York.


    2010: Birthdate of Nathan Zachary Silber son of David and Rebecca Silber and grandson of Dr. Robert “Bob” and Laurie Silber, pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community and all around great guys.


    2011: András Schiff “published a letter in the Washington Post questioning whether "Hungary is ready and worthy to take on" the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, as it did that day,because of "racism, discrimination against the Roma, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, chauvinism and reactionary nationalism," and "the latest media laws"


    2011:Frederick Lawrence, 54, is scheduled to become Brandeis University’s eighth president today succeeding President Jehuda Reinharz


    2011: With snow falling and temperatures well below freezing, the Traditional Minyan at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ushered in the New Year.  In keeping with the bowl games that dominate the day, Deb Levin and Amy Barnum provided a football themed Kiddush complete with pizza, munchies and a whole lot more.


    2011: Arab terrorists launched a mortar attack near Sderot this evening. One woman was treated for shock. The IDF noted that 6,500 residents live in the immediate area, which includes several kibbutzim. The IDF retaliated by bombing a terrorist base and a weapons factory in northern and central Gaza later that night.


    2011:Two female soldiers managed to escape a would-be attacker tonight. The two were attacked by a Palestinian Authority man with a knife as they left their base in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The two reported the incident immediately, and Border Police began searching the area. They found the PA man nearby, and he admitted to having attempted to stab soldiers at the base. He was arrested and taken in for questioning.


    2011:An earthquake hit northern Israel on this evening, being felt most strongly in the region of Beit Shean and Afula; residents of Tzfat reported feeling motion as well. The quake was measured at 3.6 on the Richter scale. No injuries were reported following the quake. One residential building sustained damage, and the families living there were evacuated by Homefront Command workers. Residents of Beit Shean live along the Syrian-African fault line, and are accustomed to occasional earthquakes. However, many said that Saturday night's earthquake was unusually strong. Some residents fled their homes during the quake, fearing the buildings would collapse. An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale hit the northern Galilee in late November, but did not cause injury. Scientists have warned that Israel is likely to experience a strong earthquake, measuring at least 7.5 on the Richter scale, in the near future. The epicenter will be near Beit Shean, they say. A governmental committee found in November that a strong earthquake could kill 16,000 people, injure 6,000 more and leave up to 377,000 homeless if old buildings are not reinforced to prevent collapse.


    2011(25th of Tevet, 5771): Abdallah Simon, called one of America's "most powerful" wine executives for decades and a philanthropist, died today at the age of 88. Simon, a Baghdad native, was the developer of the Seagram's Chateau & Estate Wines Company and helped craft America's taste for fine French wines. In a 1988 article, The New York Times described Simon as a "superpower" in the world of fine French wines and said his yearly visits to Bordeaux were "probably more important than those of the president of France." Simon, who was known as "Ab" to both the American and Bordeaux wine industries, attended private school in England and American University in Beirut, but left Iraq for New York after a pro-Nazi regime came to power there in 1941. Simon's wine career began in 1952 when he tasted a 1929 Chateau Latour Bordeaux, a prominent First Growth wine, on the Queen Mary while sailing to Europe. He joined Seagram in 1974. With $2 million staked by Seagram, Simon turned the division into a leading force in the wine industry. Simon bypassed the middlemen, called negociants, and struck deals with chateau owners that allowed him to influence prices and deliver large quantities of fine wine to the U.S. market. In 1980, France made Simon a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for service to that nation’s wine industry. Simon's philanthropy in retirement included the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Foundation, which said upon his death that his "generosity and friendship will be missed but his contributions to Tel Aviv's future generations will live on for all time."

    2011: As a result of the 2010 Congressional Elections, the following is a list of the 39 Jewish members — 12 senators and 27 representatives — who are expected to serve in the 112th U.S. Congress, which is set to convene in January:


    Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)*

    Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)**

    Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)

    Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

    Al Franken (D-Minn.)

    Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)

    Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

    Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)

    Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

    Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)

    Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)**

    Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)**

    (Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is projected to win his re-election bid, does not identify a religion, but notes that his mother is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor.)


    Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)

    Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)

    Howard Berman (D-Calif.)

    Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

    David Cicilline (D-R.I.)*

    Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.)

    Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

    Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)

    Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

    Bob Filner (D-Calif.)

    Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

    Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

    Jane Harman (D-Calif.)

    Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

    Sander Levin (D-Mich.)

    Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

    Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

    Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

    Steve Rothman (D-N.J.)

    Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

    Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)

    Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

    Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

    Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

    Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

    John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)

    *Elected to House or Senate for the first time in 2010 midterms

    **Senators who were re-elected in 2010 midterms (As reported by JTA)
    2012:Simon Greer will become the president and CEO at the Nathan Cummings Foundation after serving in the same roles at Jewish Funds for Justice. He succeeds Lance Lindblom.

    2012:  A memorial service was held to honor the late Yiddish singer Adrienne Cooper at Congregation Ansche Chesed while shiva was held at her daughter’s apartment in New York City.

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit” by Joseph Epstein and “Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir” by Rosamond Bernier whose mother was English and whose father was an American Jew.

    2012(6th of Tevet, 5772):Venerated Israeli singer Yafa Yarkoni died at the age of 86 at Reut Medical Center in Tel Aviv today, after years of suffering from Alzheimer's disease. (As reported by Isabel Kershner)

    2012: Israeli politicians responded to last night‘s ultra-Orthodox demonstration in Jerusalem’s Kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square), with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni expressing outrage over protesters use of Holocaust symbolism to protest what they termed the exclusion of Haredim.

    2012:Gaza terrorists resumed 11 years of aerial attacks on Israel late this morning, firing two mortars shells on the western Negev.

    2013: Paul Shapiro's Ribs and Brisket Revue is scheduled to host a special Klezmer Brunch for the New Year.

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

    2013: Starting today, female and male models who have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 may not be shown in the media or on Israeli websites or go down the catwalk at fashion shows

    2013: After coming under fire from right-wing Israeli politicians for a series of statements he made over the past few days regarding the peace process and the prospect of talks with Hamas, President Shimon Peres was subjected to an unexpected tongue lashing — from a top Palestinian Authority official today.

    2013:The ascendant head of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, continued to make political waves on Tuesday, after supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list released an Internet ad featuring Holocaust-era imagery that implied that the national religious party aspires to take the country’s Orthodox citizens back to “the ghetto.”

    2014:Professor Gal Kaminka, of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Computer Science and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, one of Israel’s, and the world’s, leading contributors to intelligent robotics – the science of using artificial intelligence to make robots “smarter” – is scheduled to receive Landau Prize for Arts and Sciences in the robotics category for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of science today (As reported by David Shamah)

    2014: Rabbi David Ellenson completed his term as President of HUC-JOR

    2014: “The Escape” and “Omar” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition continues to worsen, Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer reported today to Channel 10. (As reported by Tova Dvorin)

    2014:A memorial service for the 69 sailors of the INS Dakar was held at Mount Herzl today, marking 46 years since it sank into the Mediterranean. (As reported by Tova Dvorin)

    2015: “The IDF is scheduled to withdraw its security forces from Israeli communities near Gaza that are not adjacent to the border effective today.”


    2015: “Heartburn” and Foxcatcher” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2015(10thof Tevet, 5775): Fast of the 10th Tevet

    2015(10thof Tevet, 5775): Yahrzeit of Judith Sharon  Levin Rosenstein, known to one and all simply as Judy.

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    January 2

    438: Empress Eudocia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem

    1012: Jewish mourners were attacked at a funeral in Egypt.

    1481: An edict was handed down in Spain calling for all persons to aid in apprehending and accusing suspects who are guilty of heresy. This was said to be issued because persons of nobility in Andalusia were not true to the teachings of the Church.

    1481: The officers of the Inquisition issued an edict to the governor of Cadiz and other officials to seize the possessions of the Marranos and to turn these conversos over to them or suffer excommunication, confiscation of their goods and deprivation of public office.

    1492: The Reconquista was completed as the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrendered to the forces under the command of Ferdinand and Isabella. The fall of Granadaadded even more Jews to Catholic Spain. Under the terms of surrender, the Jewish inhabitants were promised protection by the King and Queen. Within a few months these most Catholic Monarchs would break their word when Ferdinand ordered “the razing of the Jewish quarter. Nine months from the fall of Granada, the Sephardim will be banned from their ancestral homeland.

    1554:A mandate promulgated today ordered that the Jews should leave the territory of Lower Austria at the end of six months.

    1661(2nd of Shevat): Rabbi Menahem Mendel ben Abraham Krochmal, author of Zemah Zedek passed away

    1642: Birthdate of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV.  As proof of the role that Jews played in his government, we find the Sultan appointing Moses Beben as ambassador to Sweden.  When Moses passed away, the Sultan appointed his son Yehuda to serve in his place.  At the time, Sweden was a major European power.  Mehmed is also the Sultan who dealt with Sabbait Zivi, giving him the choice of conversion or death.

    1712: Clement XI issued “Salvatoris nostri vices,” a Papal Bull that transferred the work of catechumens to Pii Operai (Holy Works). [Pii Operai was an offshoot of The College of Neophytes, a Roman Catholic College founded for training Jewish converts]

    1745: Maria Theresa threatened Moravian Jewry with expulsion but rescinded her order, permitting them to remain for another ten years.(As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library

    1768: In New York, Eva Esther Hendricks and Uriah Hendricks gave birth to Hannah de Leon.

    1770:The Crown Prince of Brunswick "expressed his admiration" for the "great tact and high degree of humanitarianism" that Moses Mendelssohn had shown in responding to the writings of Charles Bonnett that had been sent to him by Johann Lavater.


    1782: The Tolerance Edict (Toleranzpatent) guaranteeing existing rights and obligation of the Jewish population, was enacted by Joseph II of Austria, the son of Maria Theresa. Joseph II was influenced by Wilhelm von Dohn, a friend of Mendelssohn's and beginning with this edict, followed a generally enlightened attitude toward the Jews. The Edict (with the final edict less liberal than the original), received mixed reviews by Jewish leaders including Ezekiel Landau and Moss Mendelssohn. They realized that the real intention of the edict was not the emancipation of the Jews but their assimilation. As further proof the new freedoms being granted to the Jews of Austria, Emperor Joseph II "permitted Jewish wholesale merchants, notables and their sons to wear swords" and "insisted that Christians should behave in a friendly matter towards Jews."


     1788: Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  A year later, Georgiabecame the third state to remove religious discrimination from the political process.  According to one reliable source, Jews had “held public office in Georgia even before the revision of the oath which included the words ‘upon the faith of a Christian.’”  Jews had been a part of Georgia from the earliest colonial settlement with the first families arriving in July of 1733.  Two years before the ratification vote, the Jewish community of Savannah had stabilized enough to re-organize Congregation Mikve Israel, elect officers and rent a house from Ann Morgan to be used as a synagogue. 


    1801: Birthdate of Jonas Ennery a native of Nancy who was affiliated with the Jewish school at Strasbourg for twenty-six years.


    1816: Birthdate of Shmuel Salant, the native of Bialystok, who “served as the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem for almost 70 years.”


    1822: Birthdate of Bernhard Felsenthal, the German-born American Rabbi who was a leader in the Reform Movement and served as the leader of Zion Congregation in Chicago from 1864 to 1887. (As reported by Adler & Stolz)


    1829(27th of Tevet): Rabbi Samuel Austerer of Brody, author of Ketav Yosher passed away


    1830:Abraham Geiger preached his first sermon.


    1836:  Birthdate of Mendele Mocher Sforim (מענדעלע מוכר ספֿרים) "Mendele the bookseller," is the pseudonym of Sholem Yakov Abramovich, Jewish author and one of the founders of modern Yiddish and Modern Hebrew literature. He was born to a poor family in Kopyl near Minsk and lost his father, Chaim Moyshe Broyde, shortly after he was bar mitzvahed. He studied in yeshiva in Slucak and Vilna until he was 17; during this time he was a day-boarder under the system of Teg-Essen, barely scraping by, and often hungry. He next travelled extensively around Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania at the mercy of an abusive beggar named Avreml Khromoy (Avreml would later become the source for the title character of Fishke der Krumer, Fishke the Lame). In 1854 he settled in Kamenets-Podolskiy, where he got to know writer and poet Avrom Ber Gotlober, who helped him to learn secular culture, philosophy, literature, history, Russian and other languages. His first article, "Letter on Education", appeared in first Hebrew newspaper, Hamagid, in 1857. At Berdichev in the Ukraine, where he lived in 1858-1869, he began to publish fiction both in Hebrew and Yiddish. Having offended the local powers with his satire, he left Berdichev to train as a rabbi at the relatively theologically liberal, government-sponsored rabbinical school in Zhitomir, where he lived in 1869-1881, and became head of traditional school (Talmud Torah) in Odessa in 1881. He lived in Odessa until his death in 1917. He initially wrote in Hebrew, coining many words in that language, but ultimately switched to Yiddish in order to expand his audience. Like Sholom Aleichem, he used a pseudonym because of the perception at the time that as a ghetto vernacular, Yiddish was not suited to serious literary work — an idea he did much to dispel. His writing strongly bore the mark of the Haskalah. He is considered by many to be the "grandfather of Yiddish literature"; his style in both Hebrew and Yiddish has strongly influenced several generations of later writers. While the tradition of journalism in Yiddish had a bit more of a history than in Hebrew, Kol Mevasser, which he supported from the outset and where he published his first Yiddish story "Dos Kleine Menshele" ("The Little Man") in 1863, is generally seen as the first stable and important Yiddish newspaper. Sol Liptzin writes that in his early Yiddish narratives, Mendele "wanted to be useful to his people rather than gain literary laurels". [Liptzin, 1972, 42] "The Little Man" and the unstaged 1869 drama Die Takse ("The Tax") both condemned the corruption by which religious taxes (in the latter case, specifically the tax on kosher meat) were diverted to benefit community leaders rather than the poor. This satiric tendency continued in Die Klatshe (The Dobbin, 1873) about a prince, a stand-in for the Jewish people, who is bewitched and becomes a much put-upon beast of burden, but maintains his moral superiority throughout his sufferings. His later work became more humane and less satiric, starting with Fishke (written 1868-1888) and continuing with the unfinished Masoes Beniamin Hashlishi (The Wanderings of Benjamin III, 1878), something of a Jewish Don Quixote. As with Fishke, Mendele worked on and off for decades on his long novel Dos Vinshfingeril (The Wishing Ring, 1889); at least two versions preceded the final one. It is the story of a maskil—that is, a supporter of the Haskalah, like Mendele himself—who escapes a poor town, survives miserable to obtain a secular education much like Mendele's own, but is driven by the pogroms of the 1880sfrom his dreams of universal brotherhood to one of Jewish nationalism. His last major work was his autobiography, Shlome Reb Chaims, completed shortly before his death in 1917.

    1854(2nd of Tevet, 5614): 8th Day Chanukah

    1856: “What the Jews Think of New Year’s” published today reported that “in the opinion of our Jewish fellow-citizens New Year’s day and its accompanying custom of giving presents is a blessed institution. “ According to the author, being able to give gifts to their children on New Year’s, makes it possible for Jewish parents to avoid gift giving at Christmas while still being able to bring joy to their youngsters.  Oddly enough, the more recently arrived German Jews still cling to the habit they developed in Europe of gift giving on Christmas.  “The Jewish families of long standing in” New York “universally” prefer the New Year’s gift giving celebration.  The article concludes by reminding readers that ‘our New Year’s, of course, does not correspond with the commencement of the Hebrew year.  That falls in the month of Tishrei, which comprises a part of our September and October, and is celebrated, besides religious ceremonies, by magnificent entertainments and a general wish of ‘Happy New Year.’”

    1858: Towards midnight, Rachel Felix, who was dying awoke from her sleep and said she wanted to write a letter to her father.  Since she did not have the strength to do so, she began dictating the letter "which contained her last wishes."

    1858: Birthdate of Bernard Sachs the Harvard trained neurologist who is the “Sachs” in “Tay-Sachs

    1861: Wilhelm I became King of Prussia.  His repeated clashes “with the liberal Chamber of Deputies” forced legal scholar Ferdinand Lassalle  “to make public addresses dealing with the nature of the constitution and its relationship to the social forces within society.”


    1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel wrote a letter from Washington, DC to Henry Hart in New York updating him on the progress he was making in having the law changed so that Rabbis could serve as Chaplains in the Union Army.  Fischel also asked Hart to send him the smallest sized prayer book and Tehillim for the use of the Jewish soldiers serving in the Union Army.  He asked for an immediate shipment of 50, the smaller the better since they have to fit into the packs carried by the soldiers.  Fischel said that Joseph Seligman had assured him that the members of Temple Emanu-El would contribute a large sum of money for such a project was would the Jews at the Stanton Street Synagogue.  Finally, Fischel asked Hart to apologize on his behalf to Rabbi S.M. Isaacs for having not written but he, Fischel had been dealing with a bout of Cholera.

    1863: The Battle of Stones River in which Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded the 79thIndiana Infantry came to an end with the Rebels being forced to withdraw. 


    1863(11thof Tevet, 5623):Shlomo Zalman, the son of Shalom Charif Ullmann, who had been born in 1792, passed away today.

    1873: It was reported today that an Imperial ukase or proclamation of the Czar has been issued today concerning the rules and regulations surrounding the recruiting program for the navy and army. Among other things, in that part of Poland ruled by Russia, Jews who have converted to Christianity will no longer be exempted from military service.  These converts, like others who have lost their exemption, can purchase one by 800 silver rubles to the government. [Considering the treatment of Jews in the Russian Army, conversion may have seemed like the lesser of two evils, especially for those who were too poor to be able to leave the country.]

    1874(13thof Tevet, 5634): David Stern, husband of Fanny and brother-in-law of Levi Strauss, passes away.


    1878: “The Merchant of Venice In 1652” which was published today and which was based on information that first appeared in the London Athenaeum speculated on the possibility that the republication of Shakespeare’s play featuring the infamous Shylock was released as part of the campaign against readmitting Jews to England which championed by Cromwell but opposed by a large segment of the population including the merchants in London, the clergy and such notables as William Prynne.

    1879: It was reported today that The Hebrew Book Union has issued a prospectus for a new “Lexcicon to the Talmud, Targum and Midrash” compiled by Dr. F. De Sola Mendes.  It will be issued in four parts and will be the first such work published with an English translation. 

    1884:Sir Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 1st Viscount Burnham “married Olive de Bathe, daughter of General Sir Gerald Henry Perceval de Bathe, 4th Bt and Charlotte Clare.”


    1884: Birthdate of Ben-Zion Dinaburg, who studied to be a rabbi before moving to Palestine in 1921 where he gained fame as Ben-Zion Dinur where he served as head of the Jewish Teachers’ Training College and as an MK in the first Knesset.

    1886: Alice le Strange, the wife of English philo-semite Laurence Oliphant passed away today after having contracted a fever while traveling along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Oliphant, who had also contracted the fever, was too sick to attend her funeral.  Oliphant was in Palestine to pursue his dream of helping large numbers of Jews to settle in their ancient homeland.

    1886: Birthdate of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern one of “the most innovative and ironic of the modernist Yiddish poets.

    1887: The Jewish Theological Seminary Association, the educational and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism opened under the leadership of Saba Morais. Morais, a Rabbi of Congregation Mikve Israel in Philadelphia, sought to train Rabbis who would help preserve Jewish traditions which he felt were being eroded by the “reformers” and their Pittsburghplatform. In 1902 Solomon Schechter reorganized the Seminary and changed the name to JTS or the Jewish Theological Seminary. it was at this point that it became the central foundation for the Conservative Movement, a role that it plays to this day.


    1890(10th of Tevet, 5650):Asara B'Tevet


    1890: It was reported today that the Beth Israel Hospital Association, which was recently formed to build a hospital on the Lower East Side for the burgeoning immigrant population has 180 members who have raised $1,200 in pledges and $500 in cash contriubtions.

    1892(2ndof Tevet, 5652): 8th day of Chanukah

    1892(2ndof Tevet, 5652): Jacob Goldsmith, a trustee of Temple Emanu-El and director of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, passed away today. Born in Germany in 1821, he moved to the United States at the age of 15.  He successfully operated dry goods stores in Shreveport, Portland and San Francisco.  Finally, he sold his interest in a petroleum refining company to Standard Oil and moved to New York where owned a stationary business.

    1893: It was reported today that Professor Cyrus Adler of Johns Hopkins University acquired a rare manuscript while in Constantinople that related to Columbus and the New World.

    1893: It was reported today that Henry S. Morais is preparing a publication that will cover the history of “the Jews of Philadelphia from the earliest settlements until the present.” 

    1893: As the outbreak of typhus that began on December 1st continues to work its way through the city, Henry Mazinsky, an eleven year old Jewish boy, who had been under the care of the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery fell victim to typhus today.


    1894: Birthdate of Robert Gruntal Nathan an American novelist and poet whose works included The Bishop’s Wife which became a hit movie starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young.


    1895: Birthdate of Count Folke Bernadotte.  Bernadotte was a member of a prominent Swedish family and well-known diplomat.  His negotiations with Himmler during World War II saved the lives of thousands of Jews.  As a U.N. representative, Bernadotte negotiated the first truce between the Arabs and the Israelis in 1948.  During the truce, Bernadotte visited Israel where he proposed a peace plan that would have been detrimental to Jewish interests.  In one of the most dastardly deeds in Jewish History, members of the Stern Gang assassinated Bernadotte.  Most Jews were so revolted by the act that the members of the gang were hunted down by authorities and the Stern Gang was forced to disband.  Unfortunately, the leadership of the Stern Gang gained respectability after the war.  Yitzchak Shamir, a prominent Sternist, would later serve as Prime Minister of Israel.


    1895: Sir Matthew Nathan “was created a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for his services” “as secretary of the Colonial Defense Committee.


    1895(6th of Tevet, 5655): A mother and her two children were burned to death at fire in the tenement house on Pitt Street.  The dead were, Lena Leiman (24), Sadie Leiman (2) and Henry Leiman (2 months)


    1896: It was reported that Hirsh Leavitt, a Russian Jew hired by William Rubin as a night watchman for his building on 19th Bleecker Street had suffered a broken leg which would heal and not require amputation.  Leavitt, who speaks no English, had been injured when police mistook him for a burglar.


    1897: Jacob A. Riss delivered an address at a dinner hosted by the Reform Club in which he described the tenement system as “an invention of Satan” which had the power to overwhelm the scruples of its tenants including Jews as well as Roman Catholics.


    1897: It was reported today that “Morris Goodhart, President of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society and…the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is dangerously ill” as a result of “an abcess in the peritoneal cavity.”


    1897: “Good-Will to Men”  which was published today and which relies on information that first appeared in The Jewish Messenger, notes that “the trend of thought today among our Christian brethren of any culture and enlightenment is against bigotry and hatred for the greater glory of God.”

    1898: “My Interview with the Wandering Jew” by John Denison Champlin was published today.


    1898: It was reported today that “an explosion of accumulated gas wrecked the entire first floor of” Israel Cohen’s bathhouse at 23 Hester Street.

    1898: It was reported today that a the two existing “Jewish colleges” – Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and Jewish Theological Seminary in New York – are about to be joined by a third school located in Philadelphia that will be funded, in part by a legacy created by the late Hyman Gratz which yields $5,000 per year.


    1899: The Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association is scheduled to “celebrate its golden jubilee” this “afternoon and evening with a banquet and reception at the Terrace Garden.”

    1899: Mrs. Bertha Morgenstern told a reporter that she had celebrated her 106thbirthday yesterday drinking “a pint of beer” and eating “three hearty meals” which is how she spends each and every one of her days at the Hebrew Sheltering Home.

    1901: In New York Florence (née Lowenstein) Marshall and Louis Marshall gave birth to their third child,Robert "Bob" Marshall “an American forester, writer and wilderness activist.”

    1903: Publication of the first edition of The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger.


    1903: British minister Joseph Chamberlain “found” a wonderful piece of land in East Africa for Jewish settlement.


    1904:Manya Shochat the “Russian Jewish politician and the "mother" of the collective settlement in Palestine, the forerunner of the kibbutz movement” joined her brother Nachum Wilbuszewicz the founder of the Shemen soap factory “on a research expedition to some of the wilder places of Palestine.


    1905:  Japanese General Nogi received from Russian General Stoessel at a letter formally offering to surrender, ending the Russo-Japanese War. The Russian defeat led to an uprising against the Czar and Pogroms aimed at the Jews.  In an attempt to gain support, Czar Nicholas II agreed to popular elections for the Duma (Russian Parliament).  The reforms were short lived and produced limited results.  Even more significantly, the Russians were unable to reform their military establishment.  This meant that the Russians were ill-suited to fight the Germans in World War I which would break out five years later.  Jews would suffer during World War I and would suffer even more when the Bolsheviks came to power at the end of World War I. As we have discovered in our studies in Cedar Rapids, Jewish History is entwined with the history of all of the civilizations in which they live and have lived. That is part of the challenge and half of the fun.


    1905: Birthdate of Russian mathematician Lev Schnirelmann.


    1906: The 9th Duke of Marlborough, a cousin of Winston Churchill, expressed his dissatisfaction with a review of Churchill’s newly published biography about his father Randolph by threatening “to administer a good and sound trouncing to that dirty little Hebrew,” Harry Levy-Lawson, the Jewish manager of the paper in which the review appeared. The two cousins had very different views of Jews and the Jewish people.


    1909(9thof Tevet, 5669): Russian born British artist and illustrator Henry Ospovat passed away today.

    1909(9th of Tevet, 5669): Louis A. Heinsheimer passed away. He died as result as complications from recent operation for appendicitis. Born in 1859 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he worked for sixteen years at the investment banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company before being made a partner in 1894 Heinsheimer was the nephew of one of the firm's founders, Solomon Loeb. He never married and was survived by his mother, brother and two sisters.  A renowned philanthropist, Heinsheimer served as the Treasurer for the United Hebrew Charities. Shortly before his death he completed building a summer home called Breezy Point at Far Rockaway, New York. The estate would be used by by the Maimonides Institute for Exceptional Children until it burned down in 1987.


    1912: Newly-elected Sheriff Julius Harburger announced “that he would appoint a number of women deputies.”  Only was it later discovered that such appointments were against the law.


    1913: Birthdate of English actress Anna Lee was the seventh wife of poet Robert Gruntal Nathan (He was Jewish.  She was not)


    1915(16th of Tevet, 5675): Karl Goldmark Austria-Hungarian composer passes away at the age of 84.


    1916: Birthdate of Edmund Leopold de Rothschild.

    1916: In Camden, NJ, : Rabbi Max Klein of Philadelphia's Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, Rabbi Bernard Levinthal, Philadelphia's renown Orthodox Jewish leader, Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen, Rabbi Samuel S. Grossman and Rabbi Abraham Nowak of New York City were scheduled to appear at a mass meeting at the North Broadway Theater at Broadway and Kaighn


    1916:Birthdate of Zypora Tannenbaumwho gained fame as Zypora Spaisman. Born in Lublin, she was a Polish-American actress and Yiddish theatre empresaria. She emigrated to the United States in 1954 where she helped keep the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre in NYC alive for 42 years (along with Morris Adler), before helping to found the Yiddish Public Theater following a dispute with the Folksbiene's new management


    1920: Birthdate of Isaac Asimov.  Born to middle class Jewish parents, Asimov’s family moved to the United Statesin 1923.  Asimov became one of the 20thcentury’s greatest science fiction writers.  He also wrote guides to the Bible and Shakespeare.


    1920: Rabbis in Jerusalem arranged to have special prayers recited at the Western Wall for the Jews in Damascus who are threatened with violence.

    1920: “In a speech in Sunderland…Churchill described Bolshevism as a ‘Jewish movement.’”


    1922(2nd of Tevet, 5682):  8th Day of Chanukah


    1927: According to published reports, two plans are being developed for the electrification of Palestine.  One plan “contemplates pumping the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean over a low ridge of mountains between the Palestinian coast and the Jordan Valley, and then through turbines into Lake Tiberius and the Dead Sea.” The other, a more modest plan, calls for using the flow of the Jordan to create mechanical power which could then generate an affordable supply of electricity. 


    1927 (28th of Tevet, 5687): “Asher Ginsberg, whose pen name was Achad Ha’am passed away 5 o’clock this morning at Tel Aviv.” Born in 1856 near Kiev, Ginsberg lived in England from 1906 until 1921 when he made Aliyah. While living in England, managed a tea shop owned by one his literary admirers and worked with Chaim Weizmann to create the document known as the Balfour Declaration.  In 1889, Ginsberg caused a stir with “the publication in the Russian Jewish periodical Ha-Meliz of his frist article dealing with the Zionist movement and the future of the Jews.”  Over time he would develop the concept of Cultural Zionism which espouses a belief “in the development of Palestine as intellectual and moral homeland for the Jewish people throughout the word, as well as a place of physical refuge.”  His most famous literary work was a three-volume work called Al Parshat Derachimor The Parting of the Ways.


    1928: The municipality of Tel Aviv is scheduled to start paying the principle on a 75,000 pound bond issue that was offered in December of 1922.


    1932: Maurice J. Karpf was elected President of the American Association of Schools of Social Work.


    1933(4th of Tevet, 5693):Belle Moskowitz the political advisor to New York Governor Al Smith who managed his 1928 presidential campaign died unexpectedly as a result of complications from a fall on the steps in front of her house.


    1933: The death of Mrs. Henry (Belle) Moskowitz came as a great shock to those gathered in Albany for today’s inauguration ceremony.  Both Governor Herbert Lehman and former Governor (1928 Presidential candidate) Al Smith were taken aback by the loss of their friend and political ally.


    1933: Birthdate of author Leonard Michaels whose works included Sylvia and The Men’s Club.


    1934: New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was among the many prominent civic, academic and religious leaders who attended today’s funeral for Dr. George Alexander Kohut which was held at the deceased’s Park Avenue Home. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the Free Synagogue and a life-long friend of the Dr. Kohut conducted the service and delivered the eulogy. Internment followed the service at the Linden Hill Cemetery
    1936: On his 75th birthday, Philadelphian Samuel Bloom announced that he was contributing 3000 pounds for the establishment of a home for “vagrant children” in Tel Aviv.


    1938: The Palestine Post reported from London that the British Zionist Federation launched a movement, led by Lady Reading, Lord Melchett and Rabbi Perlzweig, for the inclusion of the Jewish National Home in Palestine within the British Empire. They stressed the common ideals and interests in Palestineof both Great Britainand the Jewish people. The High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, paid an official visit to Tel Aviv and assured Mayor Israel Rokach that the government would approve a £175,000 loan for the building of a new town hall and other essential developments.


    1939: Time magazine names Adolf Hitler “Man of the Year, 1938.”  (This was not a vote of approval; merely acknowledgement of his importance.)


    1939: Roman Dmowski, an anti-Semitic Polish politician who co-found the National Democracy movement which sought to counter what it considers unfair “Polish-Jewish economic competition with Catholic Poles” passed away. (Polish anti-Semitism was homegrown which helped to account for why there was no refuge for the Jews of Poland when the Nazis invaded.)


    1939: Solomon Levitan served his final day in office as state treasurer of Wisconsin


    1940: In Poland, Jews were forbidden to post obituaries by the General Gouvernment


    1941: “In the Netherlands, Jews are prohibited from visiting cinemas.”


    1941(3rd of Tevet, 5701): Forty-two year old pianist Mischa Levitzki died suddenly of a heart attack in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey.


    1942: Truckloads of deportees were driven around Chelmo, gassed and then buried. The first of 5,000 Gypsies were brought to Chelmo and gassed.


    1945: Abba Eban ended his tour of duty at the Ministry of State.


    1945: Abba Eban is betrothed to his future wife Suzy.


    1946: Holocaust survivors Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn) Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) were married in Scwabisch Hall, Germany.


    1946: At a press conference, British General Frederick Morgan, the director general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Europe, disclosed that "thousands of Polish Jews were coming into the U.S. Zone of Occupation assisted by an unknown secret Jewish organization." He further stated that Jewish Holocaust survivors were being forced by that organization to immigrate to Palestine. He clarified this accusation, intimating that most of the survivors preferred to emigrate elsewhere. The organization was Bricha.  But the claim by the British general must be measured against the fact the British government was still committed to the White Paper which barred Jewish immigrants from entering Palestine.


    1946:Ruth Seid, writing under the ethnically neutral and gender-ambiguous pen name Jo Sinclair, won the $10,000 Harper Prize for new writers. “Seid had supported her writing through the generosity of a local patron. She shared her $10 a week stipend with her parents, Russian immigrants living in Cleveland. Like most of Seid's later fiction, Wasteland puts questions of Jewish and gender identity at its core. The novel, whose main character is a Jewish photojournalist who passes as a gentile in order to gain social and professional acceptance, explores Seid's own mixed feelings about her Jewish identity and is partially based on her own family. The book's sympathetic portrayal of the photographer's apparently lesbian sister further explores central questions of identity and belonging that reflected Seid's own experience. When she won the Harper prize, Seid was already hard at work on a second novel. In this and her later works, she consistently focused on the theme of oppression in its many forms: anti-Semitism, racism, Jewish self-hatred, poverty, homophobia, and marginalization. Her most well-known novel, The Changelings, depicts a Jewish neighborhood in the process of becoming an African-American neighborhood. It takes the long history of Jewish oppression as a touchstone for exploring the prejudice faced by African Americans. Published in 1955, The Changelings won the 1956 Jewish Book Council of America annual fiction award, and was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Seid later published several more novels and a memoir, The Seasons: Death and Transfiguration(1992). Growing scholarly and popular interest in women's and ethnic literature in the 1980s and 1990s has revived interest in Seid's work. Ruth Seid died in 1995”


    1946: The Women’s League for Palestine holds an open meeting and tea to plan a campaign for raising funds for enlarging and maintain the league’s other homes in Jerusalem and Haifa.


    1946: Eleanor Florence Rathbone, a member of the British House of Commons and advocate for the rights of women passed away.  In the House of Commons, the courageous Eleanor Rathbone attacked the British government for the defeatist attitudes expressed at the Bermuda Conference and noted that the Allies are responsible for the deaths of any Jews if they refuse to help.


    1947(10th of Tevet, 5707): Asara B'Tevet


    1947: Jewish underground staged bombings and machine gun attacks in five cities. Casualties were low. Pamphlets seized warned that the Irgun had again declared war against the British


    1948:Birthdate of Tony Robert Judt who went from being an ardent Zionist to one who was so critical of the Jewish state that he might classified as an anti-Zionist.


    1949: In the aftermath of the War of Independence, the last Israeli troops left the Sinai Peninsulacompleting a withdrawal that had been worked out between Ben Gurion and Britain.


    1949: In an example of what difference a year makes, two Israeli Spitfires attacked an Egyptian train traveling in violation of the withdrawal agreement. 


    1949: An Egyptian plan flew over Jerusalem injuring seven people when it dropped its bombs.


    1949:As part of Bill Paley’s “great raid” the Jack Benny Program returned to CBS radio where it will remain until its last broadcast in 1955.


    1951: The North American tour of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra sponsored by the American Fund for Israeli Institutions began with a concert in Washington, D.C. conducted by Dr./ Serge Koussevitzky,


    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that on the first day on which price control was lifted from poultry, prices rose from IL 2 to IL 6 a kilo. The Norwegian s.s. Rimfort passed through the Suez Canal, and arrived with a cargo of 150 tons of meat from Ethiopia, assuring the distribution of the monthly meat ration. The Ministry of Commerce started planning further substantial meat purchases from Braziland Argentina


    1953: Birthdate of Egyptian born American author Andre Aciman who wrote the autobiographical Out of Egypt.


    1954: Herman Wouk’s "Caine Mutiny" premiered in New York City.


    1955:  Arab militant gunmen attacked and killed 2 hikers in the Judean Desert.


    1955: First broadcast of “The Bob Cummings Show” for which Stanley Frazen served as Supervising Editor.


    1956: Sydney Fine resigned from his position as member of the House of Representatives for New York’s 22nd congressional district so that he could join the New York Supreme Court.


    1957(29thof Tevet, 5717): Six-eight year old Isaac Nachman Steinberg passed away.


    1960: Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Kennedy was quite popular with a significant segment of Jewish voters.  Unlike others, Jews had no problem supporting a Catholic running for President.  As President, Kennedy appointed Jews to his Cabinet and to the Supreme Court.  He also supported the state of Israel when the survival of the Jewish state was still at risk


    1961: Birthdate of Representative Rob Wexler, representing Florida’s 19th congressional district starting in 1997.


    1966: First native Jewish child was born in Spain since the expulsion in 1492


    1966: “The Trefa Banquet” published today described the famous dinner given in Cincinnati in 1883 which proved to be a decisive moment in the separation of the Reform movement from traditional Judaism.



    1967: Yisrael Yeshayahu replaced Eliyahu Sasson as Communications Minister.


    1967: Eliyahu Sasson replaced Bechor Shalom Sheetrit as Minister of Public Security.


    1967: An exhibition of the works of Gertrude Schaefler began today at the Bodley Gallery in New York City.


    1969: Opening of “The Fig Leaves Are Falling” with script and lyrics by Allan Sherman


    1970: In Operation Double Bass 10, The Golani Brigade took part in a retaliatory raid on Kfar Kila in response to the kidnapping of an elderly guard from Metula by Fatah two days earlier.

    1970: During the War of Attrition, Hagi Zamir , together with two other soldiers - including Aharon Danziger - were hurt while entering the island of Shaduan with Zamir’s wounds resulting in the amputation of his left leg.

    1971:A team of Israeli scholars announced the discovery in Jerusalem of a 2,000-year-old skeleton of a crucified male. Found in a cave-tomb, it was the first direct physical evidence of the well-documented Roman method of execution.

    1972: Opening of “FunCity,” the first Broadway play by--and starring--Joan Rivers.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that during the current Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations, Mustafa Amin, a well-known Egyptian journalist, described Prime Minister Menachem Begin as a "Shylock," determined to get his pound of flesh from his people. Residents of the Yamit area were "more disappointed than ever" by the government decision to allow Egyptian sovereignty over the entire Rafiah Approaches.


    1981: As of today Helen Reddy and Jeff Wald “had separated with Wald moving into a Beverly Hills rehad facility to treat an eight-year addiction to cocaine.”  Reddy had “converted Judaism before marrying Wald.”


    1981: “Nadezhda Mandelstam, widow of Osip Mandelstam, the poet who died in a Stalinist purge, was buried today on the outskirts of Moscow” (As reported by Anthony Austin)

    1987(1stof Tevet, 5747): Rosh Chodesh Tevet


    1987:During the Intifada,  Israel stopped another Junieh-bound ferry, the Sunny Boat, and turned it back to Larnaca after the Cypriot captain refused an Israeli demand that he hand over Palestinian passengers suspected of being terrorists.


    1989:In an article entitled “Israel, Hardly the Monaco of the Middle East,” Abba Eban explained why Israel must negotiate with the Arabs and why her “friends” must not be alarmed at this turn of events.  Since Eban may be considered as “the dean of Israeli foreign policy and one of those who got it more right than most, the article is worth reading in its entirety.





    1990: The Likud and Labor parties averted a breakup of their governing coalition today with a compromise under which Ezer Weizmann, the independent-minded Labor Party Science Minister, would keep his post but be suspended from the Government's decision-making core.


    1990: In  “From Letter Writer to Starting Forward,” published today Jack Cavanugh described the unique approach followed by Nadav Henefield as he transitioned from being one of the best basketball players in Israel to a scholarship and starting role with the University of Connecticut.

    1992: Tonight, Israel announced that it would expel 12 Palestinians who were involved with known terrorists following the murder of a Jewish settler.


    1992: Jerusalem struggled with its worst snowstorm in four decades. Across the Israeli capital, tree branches, and even entire trees, snapped with rifle-shot cracks under the heavy snow. Besides blocking roads, the fallen trees knocked out power lines, leaving large sections of the city without electricity and, in some instances, without telephones as well. As Jerusalem knows all too well, it is not equipped to deal with such calamities. For hours, there was no way for cars to move up or down the steep, winding main highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and other coastal cities, and so this city had to carry on in uncertain isolation. Most people elected to remain indoors, thus turning normally bustling streets into milky canyons of quiet. The storm t dumped at least 18 inches on the city, the heaviest snowfall in 42 years. All of Israel was hit hard by rain and snow. In the Tel Aviv district of Ezra, where people had fled as Iraqi Scud missiles fell on them a year ago during the Persian Gulf war, hundreds of residents had to be evacuated once more today as heavy rains brought six-foot-high waters. Since this is a region where water is often scarcer than peace, it was hardly all bad news. The Middle East has been plagued for a long time by severe drought, but this fall and winter have been one of the wettest periods in years. As a result, many Arabs and Jews view the ordeal of the last day or two as a worthwhile price for the ultimate payoff in healthy river flows. In northern Israel, the Sea of Galilee, a primary water source for the country, is said to have risen by at least 30 inches over the last two months -- almost five inches in the last day alone.


     1993:The New York Times published the following letter tothe editor from David L. Gold; President of the Association of the Study of Jewish Languages disputing early claims that that the word “turkey” had a Hebrew root.

    “Harold M. Kamsler's attempt to trace English "turkey" to Hebrew "tuki" (letter, Dec. 13) makes etymology seem as easy as finding like-sounding words in other languages.

    To set the record straight: The English word is a shortening of "Turkey-cock" and "Turkey-hen," which were originally the names of the guinea fowl (so called because the guinea fowl was sometimes imported into Europe through Turkey). Because people misidentified the turkey with the guinea fowl or mistakenly considered it to be a species of that bird, these English names came to designate the turkey. Furthermore, the word "Turkey-cock" is not attested until 1541, that is, almost a half-century after Columbus's voyages. "Turkey-hen and "turkey" are not attested until even later. Rabbi Kamsler's explanation, not original with him, is an old yarn spun in uninformed Jewish circles. Along with countless other pseudoscientific claims about supposed Hebrew influence on English and other languages, the myth of the Hebrew origin of "turkey" was quietly exploded in volume 2 of Jewish Linguistic Studies (1990).”


    1994: “A Coat of Many Colors: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada” comes to a close today at the Jewish Museum in NYC


    1994: Final day for showing"A Coat of Many Colors: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada" at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

    1994: The last in a series of three family tours sponsored by American Jewish Congress are scheduled to come to an end.


    1996(10thof Tevet, 5756): Asara B’Tevet

    1997: The governor of Colorado appointed Michael Bender to serve as an associate Justice of the Colorado State Supreme Court He was the son of basketball legend and former U.S. Attorney Lou Bender,


    1997(23rdof Tevet, 5757): Eighty-six year old Moshe Vilenski, the native of Warsaw who is considered a pioneer of Israeli music and who wrote the music for “Kalaniyot” passed away today.

    1998: In  “Are yeshiva students dumb?” published today author Jonathan Rosenblum quoted the following story in explaining why yeshivot are important to the survival of the Jewish people. “At the cornerstone-laying of Ponevezh Yeshiva, nearly 50 years ago, many were surprised by the presence of Mapai stalwart Pinhas Lavon. Asked what an avowed secularist was doing there, Lavon replied in all seriousness, 'The leaders of the Jewish people have always come from the yeshivas. If we have no yeshivas, where will the leaders come from?"

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including And the Sea Is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969by Elie Wiesel, Arthur Kosetler: The Homeless Mindby David Cesarani and The Multiple Identities of the Middle East by Bernard Lewis.


    2001:Yasir Arafat was scheduled to meet with President Clinton this afternoon following Arafat’s emergency flight to Washington from Gaza coming in the wake of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day. Arafat is expected to discuss his “reservations” about the blue-print for peace that President Clinton had brokered during meetings with Arafat and Prime Minister Barak.


    2003:Today Israeli soldiers found the charred body of a 73-year-old Israeli man near a West Bank village hours after his family had reported him missing. The grisly discovery came after the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group linked to Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, issued a statement declaring it had killed an Israeli in the Jordan Valley near Tubas.


    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Catastrophe:Risk and Response by Richard A. Posner and the recently published paperback editions of Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder: A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler,Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s by Gerald Nachman, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? by Bernard-Henri Levy; translated by James X. Mitchell andA Mighty Heart The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearlby Mariane Pearl with Sarah Crichton.


    2005: In “Shalom, y’all a smile from South’s Jews” published today the Chicago Tribune reported on “an archive opening soon in South Carolina that salutes 300 years of immigrants’ history.” The archive located on the campus of the College of Charlestonwill shed light on Jewish Southern history and its role in society.  The focus will be the Jews of Charleston which was once the leading port of entry for Jews coming to the United States.


    2006: In  “Satire That Spares Nothing, Not Even God and Country” Dina Kraft described Israel's hit spoof news show, "A Wonderful Country" which drew inspiration in part from "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."


    2007: Police Inspector - General Karadi has decided to appoint a special national police task force to combat the attacks and threats against Israeli mayors.


    2007(17 Shevat 5767): Teddy Kolleck, Jerusalem’s most famous mayor, passed away.


    2008: In Buenos Aires, Argentinathe 11th Annual Maccabiah Games came to an end.


    2008: The Film Forum in Manhattan started a sixteen day showing of 23 of the films of producer-director Otto Preminger.  The Viennese born refugee from Hitler’s Europe, Preminger’s accomplishments transcended those of a movie mogul.  The crusading liberal challenged racism by directing “Porgy and Bess” and “Carmen Jones.”  He challenged McCarthyism and the Red Baiting Right Wing by hiring Dalton Trumbo one of the jailed Hollywood 10 as the writer screenwriter for the film “Exodus.”


    2008: The New York Times features a review of Richard Cook’s Alfred Kazin a biography of the literary critic who was “a proud Jew” and “a champion of writers like Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.”


    2008: Representative Tom Lantos a California Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that he will not seek re-election because he has cancer of the esophagus.  Born in Budapest, Hungaryin 1944, Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the U.S. Congress.


    2009: As the impact of Bernard L. Madoff’s con game spreads, the management of the Bank Medici, the small Austrian merchant bank that emerged as one of its largest victims resigned making room for a government appointed accountant to temporarily take over day-to-day management of the bank’s operations.  The bank, based in Vienna, had invested $2.1 billion in client funds with Madoff.


    2009: As Jews around the world prepared for Shabbat, the following names would be added to the Yahrzeit Lists read at more than one synagogue or temple:
    December 27, 2008 (30 Kislev 5769): Beber Vaknin, aged 57, was killed by missile in his hometown Netivot when he went out of his house on Saturday morning.

    December 29 2008 (2 Tevet 5769):Irit Shitrit, a 36 year old mother of four who had sought shelter in a bus station was killed by a rocket in downtown Ashdod


    December 29, 2008 (2 Tevet 5769): First Staff Sgt. Lutfi Nasraldin, 38, from the Israeli Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel was killed when two mortar shells landed in the brigade headquarters near Nachal Oz.


    December 29, 2008 (2 Tevet 5769) : Hani al Mahdi a 27-year-old construction worker, from the Bedouin village of Aroer was killed when a Palestinian Grad missile exploded near a construction site in the coastal town of Ashkelon.


    2010:  Jews around the world complete the reading of Bereshit (Genesis)– one down, four to go.

    2010: Jerusalem native Dan Aran, leads the Dan Aran Trio, as it performs at The Bar Next Door in New York.

    2010: In Cedar Rapids, the traditional Saturday Morning Minyan at Temple Judah entered its ninth year. Despite sub-zero temperatures and the New Year’s weekend, our small congregation produced a number in excess of the basic prayer quorum. Per the request of our youngest attendee, Gabriella Thalblum Deb Levin saw to it that we had  Pizza as part of the Kiddush following services.  

    2010:A hacker attacked Jewish Web sites in Boulder, Colo., posting anti-Semitic messages. The Web sites of two Boulder synagogues, Bonai Shalom and Har HaShem, were defaced today.
    2010(16th of Tevet, 5770):David Gerber, an Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning television producer who brought forward-thinking series like “Police Story” and “Police Woman” to prime time in the 1970s and produced more than 50 television films and mini-series during a four-decade career, died today in Los Angeles at the age of 86. (As reported by Anita Gates)

    2011: A Judaica book sale -- the largest of its kind in the Greater Washington area -- with an estimated 1,600 titles is scheduled to take place at Congregation Tikvat Israel in Rockville, Md.

    2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt

    2011: The funeral of Rabbi Yissachar Meir, who passed away on Shabbat, was held today at Netiviot, Israel

    2011: Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh is one of two winners of Israel’s Media Watch’s 2011 award for media criticism, the organization announced today. The right-wing satirical news site Latma was a co-winner of the award.

    2011: As of today, Deborah Shapiro and Michael Rieber who have been friends, political allies, and fellow members of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston for several years enjoy another distinction. Together, they form the Republican minority on the five-person Livingston Township Council.


    2012: In Jerusalem, local talent is scheduled to have a chance to shine at Open Mic Night at Mike’s Place


    2012: Rabbi Chaim Sabato and Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein are scheduled to appear at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue in a program is in celebration of the recently published book "Mevakshay Panecha" by Rabbis Sabato and Lichtenstein.  “Adjusting Sites” and “Aleppo Tales” by Chaim Sabato are available in English and are a must read for everybody.


    2012: The Knesset approved today in second and third readings the so-called Grunis bill, which is expected to pave the way for Supreme Court Justice Asher Dan Grunis, a conservative judge popular with right-wing politicians, to be named the next court president.
    2012:The IDF General Staff forum has decided to adopt a special committee's recommendation to excuse religious soldiers from informal events which include women's singing, Ynet learned today. The committee, which is headed by IDF Personnel Directorate chief Major-General Orna Barbivai, also determined that religious soldiers should not be allowed to leave an official event where women are invited to perform.

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

    2013: “Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize will honor American, German and Austrian scientists as well as an architect from Portugal this year, the Wolf Foundation announced today.” (As reported by Michal Shumlovich

    2013: Ruth Goodman, Yossi Almani and the Hilulim team from Israel featuring Gadi Bitton, Yaron Ben Simchon, Yaron Carmel are scheduled to lead an evening of Israeli Dancing at the 92nd Street Y.


    2013(20thof Tevet, 5773): Ninety-two year old scholar and author Gerda Lerner passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

    2013:Clashes broke out for the second day running between Palestinians and settlers outside the West Bank outpost of Esh Kodesh near the Shiloh settlement this morning, Army Radio reported.
    2013:The IDF Prosecutor today filed an indictment against the alleged “mastermind” of the Tel Aviv bus bombing which injured 24 passengers during Operation Pillar of Defense with the West Bank Military Court of Yehuda.

    2014: “Sage of a Photo” and “Behind the Candelabra” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014(1stof Shevat, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    2014: “An internal Palestinian Authority document” “whose contents were reported by…Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Radio this morning” predicted a “third intifada” if the Kerry Peace talks fail.


    2014: A 16-year-old Gaza terrorist, who was trying to destroy the security fence, was shot in the leg by the IDF today after he refused orders to desist. (As reported by Ari Yashir)

    2014: The IDF expects Israeli born Seton Hall basketball player Tom Maayan to return to fulfill his military obligation.

    2014: The gag order was removed on Shin Bet’s arrest of “14 terrorists some from the Islamic Jihad organization, on suspicion that they were involved in the bombing of a bus in Bat Yam two weeks ago.” (As reported by Gil Ronen)

    2015: In Washington, DC, the historic sixth and I synagogue is scheduled to host a “Good Soul Shabbat” featuring Rabbi Scott, Kevin Snider of DeLeon, percussionist Guy Irlander, and Michal Bilick

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    January 3

    106 BCE: Birthdate of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero is remembered as Roman statesman and orator.  From the Jewish point of view he was just one more anti-Semitic intellectual.  “He denounced Judaism as a ‘barbarous superstition.’” He defended a Roman official who had stolen contributions that we supposed to be shipped to the Temple at Jerusalem.  He decried the influence of Jews in Rome cautioning one group to speak quietly lest they be overheard by the Jews.  Unfortunately, when I had difficulty translating Cicero in high school, my father would not accept my excuse that Cicero was an anti-Semite so how could he expect to do well in Latin class.

    1521: Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem. Leo is portrayed as the epitome of Church corruption – the great seller of indulgences.  But Leo also provided protection for the Jews living in the Papal States.  On one occasion he defied King Louis of France by not burning Jewish texts and he actually encouraged a Christian printer to publish a complete, uncensored copy of the Talmud.  Luther is portrayed as the great reformer and father of the Reformation.  Jews certainly benefited from the Protestant Reformation since was in the Protestant Netherlands and protestant England that the Jews found refuge and had a chance to grow and develop.  However, Luther’s version of the Protestant Reformation included a large dose of anti-Semitism that would help fuel the fires of what became the Holocaust. History is not always black or white, but can be a whole lot of gray.

    1571:Joachim II Hector, the Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, who allowed the Jews to return to the Margavite after having been banished because of false accusations of host desecration, passed away.

    1598: In a letter from the Sultan to the Ottoman leaders in Jerusalem, he expressed his approval of the fact that the local Muslims locked the doors of the Nachmanides (Ramban) Synagogue, since, "the noisy ceremonies of the Jews in accordance with their false rites hinder our pious devotion and divine worship." Because of this the door was locked and sealed. The Sultan approved of the closing of the building, and he then ordered the synagogue to be annexed to the Muslims.

    1676: Frederick William of Brandenburg issued a decree safeguarding the privileges of the Jews of Berlin.

    1690(22ndof Tevet, 5450): Famed Lithuanian Rabbi Hillel ben Naphtali Zevi passed away. Born in 1615, he served as a Rabbi in several towns throughout Lithuania.  He was an important communal leader since he was a delegate to the Council of Four Lands.  He was the author of Bet Hillel which was a major commentary on the code of Jewish law known as the Shulchon Oruch.


    1769: Birthdate of Jacob Herzfeld, a native of Dessau, Germany who studied medicine at Liepzig before become an actor and theatrical manager.  He passed away in 1826.


    1811: In New Orleans, Pierre Brugman who was from Curaçao and of Dutch–Jewish Sephardic ancestry and Puerto Rican Isabel Duliebre gave birth to businessman and leader in the movement for Puerto Rico’s indepenced Mathias Brugman

    1825: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the first engineering college in the U.S. is opened in Troy, New York. Today its 4,000 undergrad student body includes approximately 500 Jewish students.


    1835: Schiee Jaffé and his first wife Ernestine gave birth to Moritz Jaffe.


    1853: “The Affairs in Europe” column published today reported that Parisians are amused at the “Protestant rigors in Germany against the Jews” in reaction to “the event of December 2, 1851…”  The “event of December 2, 1851” is a reference to the overthrow of the Second French Republic by Louis Napoleon who had himself crowned Emperor on December 2, 1852.


    1855(13th of Tevet, 5615): Forty-two year old Henry Edward Goldsmid passed away today in Cairo.  Born in London in 1812, he spent most of his career serving in India in various positions with the East India Company. 


    1858: Judah Touro’s fourth Yahrzeit was observed this afternoon at the Green Street Synagogue in NYC.

    1858: As she grew weaker, Rachel Felix completed a final letter to her father around 11 in the morning.  At 8 o'clock a dozen Jews arrived from Nice to be with Rachel Felix in her last hours.  Sometime after 10 pm, two women and one man approached Rachel's bed and and began chanting prayers for the dying Jewess. 


    1858 (17th of Tevet, 5618): Elisabeth Rachel Felix, known simply as “Rachel,” the French actress and singer passed away at the age of 36. “Élisabeth Rachel Félix was the second of the six children of Alsatian Jewish peddlers, Jacob (Jacques) and Esther Hayyah (Thérèse) Félix, and a French citizen under the Civic Emancipation, Rachel always remained profoundly in phase with the Jews’ entry into and participation in modernity. Although singular, her career was characteristic of the collective experience of the second generation of Jews born after the Emancipation and who participated fully in French social, economic, political and cultural life. Furthermore, for many French people, Rachel personified the great allegorical figures of Tragedy, History and the Republic. Her example illustrates the extent to which an often passionate but at any rate profound and intimate adhesion to French culture was an essential component in the construction of emancipated French Judaism. In Rachel we find all the cultural and political paradoxes and contradictions of her time. She was a symbol of legitimist and republican virtue in equal measure. Her performance as La Marseillaise had the public in raptures in 1848. But if she exercised such fascination it was also because she personified the social ascension of the lower classes, and was proud of it. Never hiding her humble origins and always asserting the importance of her family ties, she worked furiously at educating and cultivating herself and modeling her image. But despite her aspiration to affluence and respectability, she could never avoid details of her private life fuelling the whiff of scandal that clung to her name. Although never developing a critical awareness of the condition of women in the society of her time, she was loath to espouse the model of the bourgeois, cultivated woman defined by the notables of her time – married, a mother, either discreet or ceasing to appear on stage – and constantly asserted her desire to remain independent in order to devote herself fully to her art.

    The Rachel phenomenon in many ways transcends that of the successful actress. Many biographies of her were written, and she became one of the most famous women of her century. Other artists, men and women, may also have left their mark on their time, but Rachel forged a new model of the actress and woman.” As one reads this entry, one gets a sense of how “French” French Jews felt themselves which provides understanding to the depth of shock and dismay felt at the time of the Dreyfus Affair.


    1862: In Paddington, English businessman Jonah Nathan and Miriam Jacob Nathan gave birth to Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Matthew Nathan, the brother of Major F.L. Nathan and Sir Nathaniel Nathan.


    1863:  Cesar Kaskel arrived in Washington and went to meet with Cincinnati congressman John Addison Gurley to get his help in arranging a meeting with President Lincoln.


    1866: Sir Saul Samuel completed his first term as Treasurer of New South Wales.

    1871(10th of Tevet, 5631): Asara B’Tevet


    1876(6th of Tevet, 5636: Sixty-five year old Sir Anthony de Rothschild, 1st Baronet, the second son of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, passed away today. He took on much of the responsibility for the family’s banking business, was the first President of the United Synagogue and was known as an art collector and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. He died without a male heir so his title transferred to his nephew Nathan Mayer Rothschild.

    1879: It was reported today that a commission appointed at the recent convention of American Hebrew Congregations to consider plans to establish one central college to train Rabbis in the United States is meeting in Philadelphia. The commission includes Rabbis Gottheil and Einhorn from New York and L.M. Demibtz of Louisville, KY.  Currently there are at least three such colleges located in New York, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, Ohio.


    1882: In Milwaukee, WI, Isaac David Adler, a prosperous wholesale manufacturer of men's clothing, and Therese Hyman Adler gave birth to their only son David Adler, the noted American architect

    1882: In Shanghia, Isaac “Ned” Ezra, the merchant whose name was given to Ezra Road and his wife gave birth to the first of the nine children, Edward Isaac Ezra.

    1883:  Birthdate of British political leader Clement Attlee.  Atlee was a member of the Labor Party and served as Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951.  He replaced Winston Churchill as Prime Minister shortly after VE Day when the Laborites defeated the Conservatives in the first Parliamentary elections since the start of World War II.  Talk about ingratitude.  In what seemed like unnecessary cruelty, the Atlee Government continued to bar Jews from immigrating to Palestine.  The government pursued an active war of suppression against the Zionists and made it clear that the Laborites had no intention in honoring the promise of the Balfour Declaration. Faced with financial bankruptcy and war weariness, Atlee began dismember the British Empire which meant surrendering the Palestine Mandate as well as the colony of India.


    1887: In San Francisco, Marcus Schiller and others formally established the Beth Israel congregation with forty male members.


    1888: Opening of the 111th New York State Legislature in which Jacob Cantor served as a member of the York State Senate.


    1890: “Trouble Over A School” published today described the opposition of Jewish citizens on the Lower East Side to the establishment of a school by Reverend Morgan of St. Mark’s  which some of them “regard as movement to undermined the Jewish faith.”

    1891: Birthdate of poet and author Osip E Mandelstam.  A native of Warsaw, Mandelstam grew up in the comfortable middle class Jewish home that was described as not being very religious.  The ups and downs of his career and posthumous honor mirrored the fate of many other intellectuals living in the Soviet Union.  He died in the Gulag in 1938.


    1891: Among the charities that the Brooklyn Board of Estimate said would be receiving public funds were the Eastern District of the Hebrew Benevolent Society ($155.86); Western District of the Hebrew Benevolent Society ($88.96) and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum ($319.06).


    1892: It was reported today that among the forty Europeans being held as prisoners by the Mahdists are eight Jews.

    1893: In Alliance, NJ, Anna Saprho and George Sergius Seldes gave birth to Gilbert Vivian Seldes the a writer and American “social critic.


    1893: It was reported today that Henry Mazinsky, the young boy who had contracted typhus, had been at The Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory for four months “under the constant care of the attendants” and how he contracted the disease remains a mystery.


    1893:  It was reported today that The Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory is currently caring for 150 boys.

    1894: A meeting was held this evening at the Jewish Theological Seminary “for the purpose of founding a society” that will improve the observance of Shabbat.

    1894(25th of Tevet, 5654): Adolph L. Sanger, a native of Baton Rouge, LA who graduated from Columbia Law School in 1864 following which he forged a successful career as an attorney, politician and leader of the Jewish community passed away today.

    1894: The Footlight Club provided the entertainment for a fundraiser held at the Berkley Lyceum for the benefit of the Louis Downtown Sabbath and Daily School.


    1895: Birthdate of British born Protestant archaeologist James Leslie Starkey who was “the chief excavator of the first archaeological expedition at Lachish.

    1895: It was reported today that Aaron Leiman was at work at cloak factory when a fire broke out in his apartment killing his wife and two children.


    1895: It was reported today that the tenement house at 25 Pitt Street that burned yesterday  “was inhabited entirely by the families of” Jewish “cloakmakers and tailors” most of whom are suffering financially due to the cloakmakers’ strike.

    1895: Colonel David S. Brown who will be leaving on trip that will take him to Egypt and Palestine was the guest of honor at a dinner at the Colonial Club.


    1895: Herzl personally witnessed Colonel Dreyfus being “drummed out of the army in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire as huge crowds outside shouted, ‘” ‘Death to the Jews!’”

    1897: Dr. Maurice Harris of Temple Israel in Harlem delivered the sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El.


    1897: Adolph Sutro completed his service as the 24th Mayor of San Francisco.


    1897: “Maspero On The East Again” provides a detailed review of The Struggle of the Nations: Egypt, Syria and Assyria by Gaston Maspero in which “he records the exodus, the conquest of Canaan, the founding…of David’s kingdom, the building of the reservoirs ascribed to Solomon, and of Solomon’s temple.”

    1898: It was reported today that Julius D. Eisenstein has been chosen as president of “The American Congregation, the Pride of Jerusalem” – a new organization to provide aid for the indigent Jews living in Jerusalem.

    1898: Gratz College is scheduled to open its doors today in Philadelphia.  A teachers’ and general college, it is the third Jewish institution of higher-learning in the United States. Faculty members include Rabbi Henry M Speaker (Jewish literature), Arthur A. Dembitz (Jewish history) and Isaac Husik (Hebrew). The course of study lasts three years and “under certain conditions” students who cannot afford the tuition “will be admitted free of charge.”


    1901: Birthdate of George W.F. Hallgarten, the German born American historian

    1906 (6th of Tevet, 5666): Dr. Otto A. Moses passed away at the age of 72.  Born in 1846, the South Carolina native “had a worldwide reputation as a geologist and chemist.” He was also the founder of the Hebrew Technical Institute, a New York “institution for the education of poor boys” and was an active supporter of other Jewish charities including the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Montefiore Home.


    1909(10th of Tevet, 5669): Asara B'Tevet

    1911: Emir Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan for whom Levi Babakahn the grandfather of the Central Asian musician Ari Babakhanov served as “court vocalist” began his reign today.


    1915: The Memphis Commercial Appeal“printed a long review of the Leo Frank case from a Georgia newspaper man who argued that the evidence in the case warranted the verdict” rendered.


    1915: British synagogues joined other houses of worship in holding special services on behalf of the empire as requested by the King.


    1915: In St. Louis at the 18thannual convention of the Knights of Zion, Louis D. Brandeis declared “Responsibility for preserving Jewish customs and ideals now rests almost wholly with the American Jews.”


    1915:Birthdate of Jack Levine the Boston born American Social Realist painter and printmaker best known for his satires on modern life, political corruption, and biblical narratives.

    1917: In New York City wealthy heiress Gladys Guggenheim and Roger Williams Straus, Sr whose family owned Macy’s gave birth to Roger Williams Straus, Jr.

    1919: Simon Petlyura, "hetman" of Russia and the Ruthenian Republic, a Ukrainian nationalist and commander of the Zaporog Cossacks and Haidamaks, began his attack against the Jews. He accused them of being supporters of the communist regime. In Berdichev, Uma, Zhitomir and other cities about seventy thousand were killed and an equal number wounded. Altogether 372 cities and towns were attacked in 998 major and 349 minor pogroms. This took placed during the Russian Civil War that followed the Bolshevik Revolution.  The civil war was loosely described as fight between the Reds (the communists) and the Whites (all of the various groups opposed to the communists).  The Jews were caught in the middle and suffered at the hands of both sides.

    1919: The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement was signed today, by Emir Faisal (son of the King of Hejaz) and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 settling disputes stemming from World War I. It was a short-lived agreement for Arab-Jewish cooperation on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East. Weizmann first met Faisal in June 1918, during the British advance from the South against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. As leader of an impromptu "Zionist Commission", Weizmann traveled to southern Transjordan for the meeting. The intended purpose was to forge an agreement between Faisal and the Zionist movement to support an Arab Kingdom and Jewish settlement in Palestine, respectively. Weizmann and Faisal established an informal agreement under which Faisal would support dense Jewish settlement in Palestine while the Zionist movement would assist in the development of the vast Arab nation that Faisal hoped to establish. Weizmann and Faisal met again later in 1918 in London and soon afterwards at the Paris peace conference. In their first meeting in June 1918 Weizmann had assured Faisal that "the Jews did not propose to set up a government of their own but wished to work under British protection, to colonize and develop Palestine without encroaching on any legitimate interests". The day after they signed the written agreement, which bears their names, Weizmann arrived in Paris to head the Zionist delegation to the Peace Conference. It was a triumphal moment for Weizmann; it was an accord that climaxed years of negotiations and ceaseless shuttles between the Middle East and the capitals of Western Europe and that promised to usher in an era of peace and cooperation between the two principal ethnic groups of Palestine: Arabs and Jews. The maipoints of the agreement were:

    • The agreement committed both parties to conducting all relations between the groups by the most cordial goodwill and understanding, to work together to encourage immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale while protecting the rights of the Arab peasants and tenant farmers, and to safeguard the free practice of religious observances. The Muslim Holy Places were to be under Muslim control.

    • The Zionist movement undertook to assist the Arab residents of Palestine and the future Arab state to develop their natural resources and establish a growing economy.

    • The boundaries between an Arab State and Palestine should be determined by a Commission after the Paris Peace Conference.

    • The parties committed to carrying into effect the Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for a Jewish national home in Palestine.

    • Disputes were to be submitted to the British Government for arbitration.

    Weizmann signed the agreement on behalf of the Zionist Organization, while Faisal signed on behalf of the short-lived Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz.

    Two weeks prior to signing the agreement, Faisal stated:

    The two main branches of the Semitic family, Arabs and Jews, understand one another, and I hope that as a result of interchange of ideas at the Peace Conference, which will be guided by ideals of self-determination and nationality, each nation will make definite progress towards the realization of its aspirations. Arabs are not jealous of Zionist Jews, and intend to give them fair play and the Zionist Jews have assured the Nationalist Arabs of their intention to see that they too have fair play in their respective areas. Turkish intrigue in Palestine has raised jealousy between the Jewish colonists and the local peasants, but the mutual understanding of the aims of Arabs and Jews will at once clear away the last trace of this former bitterness, which, indeed, had already practically disappeared before the war by the work of the Arab Secret Revolutionary Committee, which in Syria and elsewhere laid the foundation of the Arab military successes of the past two years.The areas discussed were detailed in a letter to Felix Frankfurter, President of the Zionist Organization of America, on March 3, 1919, when Faisal wrote :

    The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper."The boundaries of Palestine shall follow the general lines set out below: Starting on the North at a point on the Mediterranean Sea in the vicinity South of Sidon and following the watersheds of the foothills of the Lebanon as far as Jisr el Karaon, thence to El Bire following the dividing line between the two basins of the Wadi El Korn and the Wadi Et Teim thence in a southerly direction following the dividing line between the Eastern and Western slopes of the Hermon, to the vicinity West of Beit Jenn, thence Eastward following the northern watersheds of the Nahr Mughaniye close to and west of the Hedjaz Railway; in the East a line close to and West of the Hedjaz Railway terminating in the Gulf of Akaba; in the South a frontier to be agreed upon with the Egyptian Government; in the West the Mediterranean Sea. The details of the delimitations, or any necessary adjustments of detail, shall be settled by a Special Commission on which there shall be Jewish representation. Faisal conditioned his acceptance on the fulfillment of British wartime promises to the Arabs, who had hoped for independence in a vast part of the Ottoman Empire. He appended to the typed document a hand-written statement:

    "Provided the Arabs obtain their independence as demanded in my [forthcoming] Memorandum dated the 4th of January, 1919, to the Foreign Office of the Government of Great Britain, I shall concur in the above articles. But if the slightest modification or departure were to be made [regarding our demands], I shall not be then bound by a single word of the present Agreement which shall be deemed void and of no account or validity, and I shall not be answerable in any way whatsoever." The Faisal-Weizmann agreement survived only a few months. The outcome of the peace conference itself did not provide the vast Arab state that Faisal desired mainly because the British and French had struck their own secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 dividing the Middle East between their own spheres of influence, and soon Faisal began to express doubts about cooperation with the Zionist movement. After Faisal was expelled from Syria and given the Kingdom of Iraq, he contended that the conditions he appended were not fulfilled and the treaty therefore moot. St. John Philby, a British representative in Palestine, later stated that Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca and King of Hejaz, on whose behalf Faisal was acting, had refused to recognize the agreement as soon as it was brought to his notice. However, Sharif Hussein formally endorsed the Balfour Declaration in the Treaty of Sèvres of 10 August, 1920, along with the other Allied Powers, as King of Hedjaz. The United Nations Special Committee On Palestine did not regard the agreement as ever being validwhile Weizmann continued to maintain that the treaty was still binding. In 1947 Weizmann explained:"A postscript was also included in this treaty. This postscript relates to a reservation by King Feisal that he would carry out all the promises in this treaty if and when he would obtain his demands, namely, independence for the Arab countries. I submit that these requirements of King Feisal have at present been realized. The Arab countries are all independent, and therefore the condition on which depended the fulfillment of this treaty, has come into effect. Therefore, this treaty, to all intents and purposes, should today be a valid document". According to C.D. Smith the Syrian National Congress had forced Faisal to back away from his tentative support of Zionist goals

    1920: Viola Flannery married Elie Nadelman, the Polish born American-Jewish sculptor, in New York City. 


    1924: Birthdate of Israeli Admiral Mordechai Limon, the man who would mastermind and execute the Cherbourg Project in 1969.

    1925: Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist, announced that he was taking dictatorial powers over Italy.  Mussolini enjoyed support among Italian Jews.  According to Alexander Stille, by 1938 one third of adult Italian Jews belonged to Fascist Party. “This amounted to 10,000 Jews out of Italy's small Jewish population of 47,000.”  But according to Claretta Petacci, Mussolini's mistress, between 1932 and 1938, the Italian dictator “was a fierce anti-Semite, who proudly said that his hatred for Jews preceded Adolf Hitler's and vowed to ‘destroy them all.’”

    1925: In London, Aileen Freda Leatherman and Michael Balcob gave birth to English actress Jill Balcon.

    1927: At Cooper Union, the United Palestine Appeal held its kickoff event designed to raise $100,000.  During the meeting it was announced that $15,000 had already been raised with $2,500 having been donated by Morris Eisenman.

    1927: During a meeting of the United Palestine Appeal held at Cooper Union in New York City, tribute was paid to the memory of Asher Ginsberg who was better known by his pen name, Achad Ha’am.  Ginsberg who was living in Tel Aviv when he passed away, was described as “one of the most creative forces in world Zionism.”

    1929: At the tender age of 27 William S. Paley became President of CBS.

    1930(3rd of Tevet, 5690): The first Chanukah to be observed during The Great Depression comes to an end today on the 8thday of the festival.

    1936: The Manchester Guardian published an article disproving Hitler’s claims that the Jews had a “stranglehold or monopoly” on German cultural and professional life.  The percentages were based on official German statistics.

    1937: The New York Timesreports that Mrs. Yetka Levy-Stein the wife of a Berlin Rabbi arrived here last week on the Cunard White Star liner Berengaria to make a three-month tour of the United States on behalf of the Youth Aliyah movement, which is concerned with the settlement of German-Jewish children in the cooperative colonies of Palestine.

    1937:California Congresswomen Florence Prag Kahn completed her fifth and final term in office.


    1938: The Palestine Post reported that it was no coincidence that most of the arms found on Arab terrorists were of German manufacture. They were smuggled in from Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan. British troops, assisted by police, fought a bloody battle with a band of arms smugglers near the Sahla village in Galilee.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that settlers at Kibbutz Neveh Ya'acov, north of Jerusalem, repelled another heavy Arab attack.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a forest was planted at the Ma'aleh Hahamisha hill in memory of the five pioneers who were murdered there while preparing land for this new settlement. 

    1938: New York Supreme Court Justice Salvatore A. Cotillo signed a writ of reasonable doubt today which allowed the release of convicted felons Samuel "Sammy" Weiss and David Goldberg.  The two had been convicted by Thomas E. Dewey for filing false tax returns. Weiss was a notorious racketeer and mobster.

    1939: In Tel Aviv, actor Yaakov Einstein and his wife gave birth to Israeli entertainer Arik Einstein.


    1940: Germany’s Ministry of Agriculture denied German Jews food ration cards.

    1941: During World War II, German bombers dropped some of their payload on Greenville Hall Synagogue. The building was damaged but not destroyed in the raid.


    1943: Polish President Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz requested that Pope Pius XII publicly denounce German atrocities against the Jews. Pius remained silent concerning both the German slaughter of the Polish Jews as well as the German attacks against Polish Catholics.

    1945: Benjamin Rabin assumes office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 4th district

    1947: The USCGC Northland the last cruising cutter built for the Coast Guard equipped with a sailing rig was sold for scrap today after which she was renamed the Jewish State and used to transport Jewish refugees and renamed Eilat in 1948 so that she could be the flagship of the newly created Israeli navy.


    1947: Jacob Javits begins serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 21st congressional district.

    1948: The Palmach received orders concerning the attacking on Salama.

    1949: Lyndon Johnson, who had already shown himself to be a friend to the Jewish people, completed his 12 years of service representing Texas’ 10th Congressional District.

    1949: Lyndon Johnson began serving as U.S. Senator from Texas.

    1949: Leo Isaacson, a member of the American Labor Party, finished his term as a member of the House of Representatives representing New York’s 24thcongressional district

    1949: As part of Operation Horev, Israeli troops attacked the Egyptians at Rafah in an attempt to encircle the Arab force.


    1951: Sydney A. Fine assumes office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 23rd district.

    1952: A revival of “Pal Joey”, the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical opened today for the first of 540 performances.

    1953: Isidore Dollinger assumed office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 23rd district

    1956: More than 600 leaders of Hadassah from all over the United States met at New York’s Plaza Hotel to celebrate the twenty-second anniversary of Youth Aliyah, the worldwide child rescue and rehabilitation organization.

    1959: Seymour Halpern assumed office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 4th district.  Unlike most New York Jewish politicians, Halpern was a Republican.

    1959: Alaska became the 49th state to join the Union.  For more about Alaska, the final Jewish Frontier you may go to, featuring “Alaskan Jewry – An Historical Overview.”

    1959: Ernest Gruening began serving as U.S. Senator from Alaska.

    1963: Tel Aviv University opened. Although its antecedents go back to the early 1950's the university became an independent entity on this date. Today it is the largest University in the country with over 100 departments and over 75 research facilities.

    1965: James H. Scheuer began assumed office as member of the House of Representatives from New York’s 21st District.

    1965(29th of Tevet, 5725): Semyon Ariyevich Kosberg passed away.  Born in 1903, this Jewish-Soviet engineer developed an expertise in aircraft and rocket engines who won the Lenin Prize in 1960 and was named a Hero of Socialist Labor in 1961.

    1965: Richard Ottinger assumed office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 25th district

    1967(21st of Tevet, 5727): Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital.

    1969: Ernest Gruening, one of only two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution completed his service as U.S. Senator from Alaska.

    1969: Ed Koch began serving as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 17th District.

    1970: Jerry Herman’s musical “Mame” closed on Broadway after 1,508 performances.

    1973: Ed Koch completed his service as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 17th District.

    1973: Ed Koch began serving as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 18th District.

    1973: Elizabeth Holtzman began serving as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 16th District.

    1973: James Scheuer completed his service in Congress from New York’s 21stDistrict.

    1973: Seymour Halpern finishes his career as a member of the House of Representatives representing New York’s 6th congressional district.

    1975: Stephen J. Solarz began serving in the United States House of Representatives as the Congressman from New York’s 13th District, a post he would hold until 1993.

    1975: James Scheuer began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Congressman from New York’s 11th District.

    1975: President Gerald Ford signed the Trade Reform Act which contained the Jackson-Vanik-Mills Amendment.  The Amendment required any nation that wanted “most favored nation status” had to grant its citizens the right immigrate to the country of their choice.  The Amendment was intended as a way of forcing the Soviet Union to allow Jews to leave the USSR and was part of the campaign to “Free Russian Jews.”

    1977: Ted Weiss assumed office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 20th district

    1977: Stan Lee and his partner “launched the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip today.

    1977(13th of Tevet, 5737): Avraham Ofer, Minister of Housing the cabinet of Yitzchak Rabin, passed away

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the US was seeking to establish a bloc of moderate Arab and Muslim states, like Turkey, that would accept Israel's self-rule proposal for the West Bank and Gaza as a transitional phase, leading eventually to these areas' fuller independence, preferably in close linkage to Jordan. Gush Emunim members settled at Karnei Shomron, on the Kalkilya-Nablus road. The Gush rejected Prime Minister Menachem Begin's assurances that his new peace plan would not affect the safety of the existing Jewish settlements in administered areas.

    1981: Jacob Javits completed his career as a member of the U.S. Senator from New York.

    1981: Elizabeth Holtzman completed her service as a Member of the U.S. Representatives from New York’s 16th District.

    1981: Lester L. Wolfe finished his career as a member of the House of Representatives representing New York’s 6th congressional district

    1983: James Scheuer completed his service as a Member of the U.S. House from New York’s 11th Congressional District and began serving as a Member of the U.S. House from New York’s 8th Congressional District.

    1983: Jerry Nadler completed his service as a member of the New York State Assembly from the 69th district and began serving as the member from the 67thDisrict.

    1984: A revival of David Merrick’s “Hello Dolly” starring femal impersonator Danny La Rue as Dolly opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

    1985: The government of Israel confirmed the resettlement of 10,000 Ethiopian Jews.  In a world where revisionists condemn the Zionist dream or at least pronounce it dead, this rescue operation served as poignant, pressing reminder of one of the reasons the Jewish state must continue to exist.

    1987: The original production of “Smile,” a Marvin Hamlisch musical closed today after 48 performances.

    1988:  As part of the war against terrorists, Israel ordered 9 Palestinian "instigators" deported from West Beirut.

    1988: The Reagan Administration, through an announcement by its State Department, withheld comment today on the Israeli air strikes into southern Lebanon. A State Department official said Administration officials monitoring weekend developments in the Middle East would assess the information about the air strike

    1988(13th of Tevet, 5748):Rose Ausländer a Jewish German- and English language poet passed away. 

    1989: Steven Schiff assumed office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.

    1989: Eliot L. Engel assumed office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 17th district.

    1989: Nita Lowey assumed office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    from New York's 18th district.

    1990:Ezer Weizmann is scheduled to leave today for Moscow, a visit that is a further sign of warming relations between the Soviet Union and Israel. Shimon Peres is planning a Soviet trip at the end of January or beginning of February.

    1991: Israel reopened its consulate in the USSR after 23 years.  The Soviets had broken off relations with Israel after the Six Day War.  The Soviets alternately used its Jewish population as pawns or prisoners depending upon the vagaries of the Cold War.  The cry of “Free Soviet Jewry” now seems like something out of the distant past. 

    1991: Pan American World Airways announced today that it was suspending flights to Tel Aviv and to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, because of surging insurance rates, a result of the crisis in the Middle East.

    1992: Yasar Arafat demanded that the United States vote for a U.N. resolution that would “strongly deplore” Israel’s decision to deport a dozen Palestinians described as “inciters to violence.”  The Israeli action followed the murder of four Israeli settlers by P.L.O. hit men over the past ten weeks.

    1992: In the State Department office of Assistant Secretary Edward Djerejian, at the instigation of Director of Policy Planning Dennis Ross and with the concurrence of Richard Haass, a national security aide, the decision was made to unload on Israel as never before.  PLO hit men had murdered four Israeli settlers in the past 10 weeks, provoking Israel to expel a dozen Palestinian inciters to violence.  No Yasser Arafat was sending word that Arabs would boycott the peace talks unless the U.S. voted in the U.N. to strongly deplore the deportations. 

    1993(10th of Tevet, 5753): Asara B'Tevet

    1993: Nita Lowey completed her term representing New York’s 20th Congressional District and began representing New York’s 18th Congressional District.

    1993: Stephen J. Solarz’s career in the House of Representatives came to an end.

    1993: James Haas Scheuer’s career in the House of Representatives came to an end.

    1993: Jerry Nadler stopped serving as a House Member from New York’s 17th Congressional District and began serving as a House Member from New York’s 8thCongressional District.

    1993:"Catskills on Broadway" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City after 452 performances

    1993(10th of Tevet, 5753): An agent of the Shin Bet security service was stabbed and bludgeoned to death today, apparently by an Arab assailant, in a rare attack on a member of Israel's secretive internal intelligence agency. The body of Haim Nahmani, 25, was found in the stairwell of an apartment building in a Jewish neighborhood in West Jerusalem. A police statement said Mr. Nahmani had been "on active duty" when an assailant known to the security forces stabbed him repeatedly and battered him with a hammer. No further details were released.

    1993: Bob Filner completed his service on the San Diego City Council and began serving as a Member of the U.S. House from California’s 50th District.

    1993: At a building site in Holon, near Tel Aviv, attackers slashed the throat of a Jewish man, seriously wounding him. The police said they were searching for an Arab laborer from the West Bank who had fled the scene.

    1993: The Associated Press reported that a pipe bomb exploded in the baggage hold of an Israeli bus outside Tel Aviv today. The police said no one had been injured on the bus, which was taking at least 40 people to Jerusalem from Haifa

    1993: Junk bond king Michael Milkin was released from jail after 22 months.

    1993: The New York Times describes the Israeli Folk Dancing classes taught by Uri Aqua at the Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale and at Congregation Kneses in Port Chester, NY. Mr. Aqua, a Sabra, or native Israeli, came to this country in 1983, is a cantor at Beth Israel Synagogue in New Rochelle. But now he says he has a mission: to teach Israeli folk dancing, which he studied in Jerusalem.

     1997: Steve Rothman is sworn in to serve his first term in the House of Representatives representing New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District.

    1998(5th of Tevet, 5758): Howard Gilman, the chairman of the Gilman Paper Company, who was a philanthropist and a collector of photographs and other art, died today on an estate near Jacksonville, Fla.  Among the beneficiaries of his largess were Tel Aviv University, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    1999: Anthony Weiner began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 9thcongressional district.

    1999:  Israel detains, and later expels, 14 members of Concerned Christians. Concerned Christians is described as apocalyptic Christian cult that believed the Al-Aqsa mosque has to be destroyed to facilitate the Second Coming.

    1999: The New York Times features a review of Life of the Movie:How Entertainment Conquered Realityby Jewish critic Neal Gabler.

    2000: Israeli and Syrian leaders meet today as they resume American-brokered negotiations ambitiously aimed at reaching a peace accord by this summer.

    2001: Frank Lautenberg completed a career in the U.S. from New Jersey that had begun in 1982.

    2001(8th of Tevet, 5761: Sports broadcaster and youthful track & field star, Marty Glickman passed away at the age df 83.

    2001: Representative Shelley Berkley begins her second term as the 107th Congress holds its first sessions.  Berkley is the first Jewish woman to represent Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    2001: Nita Lowey began serving as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

    2002: Operation’s Noah’s Ark began this morning when Israeli naval commandos boarded a Palestinian freighter during the second intifada loaded with tons of arms including Katyusha rockets, and anti-tank weapons without firing a shot.

    2002: “The world press eulogized Julia Phillips, the first woman to win an Academy Award as a producer, following her death on January 1, 2002”

    2003(29th of Tevet, 5763): College and professional football coaching great Sid Gillman passed away.

    2003: Fundtech Ltd., whose software helps banks transfer money electronically, said today that it would cut jobs as it combined units that handle development, professional services and customer services. Fundtech, has headquarters in Ramat Gan, Israel, and Jersey City. Shares of Fundtech, controlled by Clal Industries and Investments, which is based in Tel Aviv, have dropped 19 percent in the last year as reduced demand forced the company to sell its software for less.

    2003: Jerry Abramson began serving as the first May of Louisville Metro, a governmental created by the merger of Louisville and Jefferson County, KY.

    2003: Nita Lowey completed her term as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

    2003: Bob Filner began serving as a Member of the U.S. House from California’s 51stCongressional District.

    2003: Norma Coleman began serving as United States from Minnesota.

    2003: Frank Lautenberg as is sworn in as U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

    2004: Four Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Army here today in Nablus which has been a center of militant activity since the current cycle of violence started in September 2000. An army spokesman said the operation, the largest now under way, was intended to dismantle a terrorist network in Nablus, after 18 attempted terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians originated in the city over the last month.

    2005 (22nd of Tevet, 5765): Will Eisner passed away.  Born in 1917, Eisner first knew fame from The Spirit, a weekly comic strip appearing in newspapers from 1940-1945, where he nurtured a young Jules Feiffer. After being drafted in 1945, he created the Joe Dope series of instructional comics for soldiers. He is generally credited with the creation of the graphic novel when he published A Contract with God in 1978. He also wrote Comics & Sequential Art in 1985, a groundbreaking academic overview of those subjects.

    2005: High powered GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to three felony charges in a deal with prosecutors that helps clear the way for his testimony about members of Congress in a wide-ranging political corruption investigation. 

    2006: Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to three criminal felony counts related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials, in a Washington, D.C., federal court.

    2008: “Psalm Song: Healing through the Art of Carol Hamoy” opens at the Jewish Museum of Florida. 

    2008: The Rabbinical Court of Appeals is scheduled to convene for a meeting that will decide whether or not Rabbi Yona Metzgeer resigns as Israel’s Ashkenazi Rabbi in the wake of a recommendation by Justice Minister Daniel Friedman that the chief rabbi be impeached for alleged breach of trust and fraud.

    2008: A Katyusha is fired from Gaza at the city of Ashkelon, ten miles away.  For the first time this major Israeli city has been attacked by Palestinians using a rocket.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, The traditional Saturday Morning Minyan at Temple Judah enters its eighth year with 19 people in attendance (an amazing turn-out for such a small congregation)!

    2009: As the stain of the Madoff financial scandal spreads the New York Times reported that the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Madoff’s trading firm has made an urgent request to the court for unusually broad authority to subpoena witnesses and documents because of the “vast scale” of this self-described record Ponzi scheme.

    2009: Israeli ground troops entered Gaza tonight, following a week of aerial strikes aimed at ending rocket fire on Israel's southern communities. Despite repeated bombing raids, the rocket fire continued, killing four Israelis over the last week. Initial reports from both Israel and Gaza tonight indicated that IDF troops had killed dozens of Hamas gunmen as they traded heavy fire upon entering the Strip.

    2009: Three New York office holders -  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia and Mayor Bloomberg - boarded a plane bound for Israel late Saturday night for a trip designed to show support and concern for the citizens of Israel who are under missile attack from Gaza.

    2009: An Israeli film, “Waltz with Bashir,” was named the best picture of 2008 by The National Society of Film Critics at its annual meeting in New York.

    2009: The Des Moines Register reports on the work of Colorado playwright Don Fried to create a stage drama based on events at Postville, Iowa.

    2009: Jared Polis assumed office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.

    2009: Norman Coleman completed his term as U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

    2009: John Adler completed his service as a member of the New Jersey Senate from the 6thdistrict

    2009: John Adler began serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 3rd district.

    2010: An exhibition styled “Folk Art Judaica by Herman Braginsky” presented by the Yeshiva University Museum comes to a close. Born in 1912, Braginsky was a self-taught craftsman who carved ritual objects made of fine and aged woods, including tzedakah boxes, Torah pointers, mizrach plates, mezuzot, dreidels, Torah arks, spice containers, many of which are on display as part of this exhibit.  Braginsky passed away in 1999.

    2010: The Washington Post included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, And the Ongoing Assault on Humanity by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen and the recently released paperback edition of Sashenka by Simon Montefiore.

    2010: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including A Literary Bible: An Original Translation by David Rosenberg.

    2011: Steve Grossman began serving as the 57th Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts.

    2011: MesorahDC which provides young, single professionals with exciting opportunities in Jewish enrichment is scheduled to present Cafe Nite at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2011: A romantic play entitled “Apples from the Desert” is scheduled to be performed tonight at the Jerusalem Theatre at 20 Rehov Marcus.

    2011(27thof Tevet, 5771): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.

    2011: Dozens of English-speaking Bar-Ilan University students demonstrated in front of the university administration building today, demanding rights promised to them as new olim. Wielding signs with slogans like "We left our families, what more do you want?" and "What? I don't understand you," the students rallied after the administration raised the price of translating exams into English to NIS 285, and limited the translations to first-year students alone.

    2011: Despite last-minute efforts by President Shimon Peres, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev canceled his planned visit to Israel in February, Beit Hanassi announced this afternoon.

    2011(27thof Tevet, 5771): Israeli actor Yosef Shiloach passed away today at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer. Shiloach was known for Israeli comedy film classics such as Alex Holeh Ahava, Sapiches, and Hagiga B'Snuker. A year ago, Shiloach was awared a life-time achievement award in at Jerusalem Film Festival. Shiloach was born in Kurdistan in 1941, and moved to Israel at the age of 9. He was one of the first graduates of the Beit Zvi acting school, and in 1964 he appeared in his first film - Mishpachat Simchon. Shiloach went on to star in dozens of films and television shows, mostly portraying comic characters, among them caricatures of a Mizrahi man with a heavy accent. He also participated in a number of American films, including Rambo III and The Mummy Lives. He was considered a left-wing activist, and has called for Arab-Jewish coexistence as well as equal rights for Mizrahi Israelis.

    2011(27thof Tevet, 5771):Dorothy Silk, a professional leader of volunteers and a volunteer until her last years, died today in East Lansing, Mich., at 90. In 2008, at age 88, Silk was named one of "Eight Over Eighty," an annual event sponsored by Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit recognizing people over 80 whose efforts showed dedication to "tikkun olam," or "repair of the world."

    2011:The Jewish community of St. Martin opened its first synagogue since the 18th century. The synagogue, part of a new Chabad Center operated by Rabbi Moshe and Sara Chanowitz, is based in a 1,200-square-foot office space that once housed a church. Opening ceremonies were held today. The Chanowitzes moved to the Dutch-owned Caribbean island in 2009 to serve its 300 Jewish residents. The Jewish population swells to 1,000 or so during the tourist season. Jews first came to the island as refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, and the community grew during the 16th and 17th centuries. The lone synagogue was abandoned in 1781 and later destroyed by a hurricane. A historic Jewish cemetery also was recently discovered, according to

    2011: Jerry Abramson completed his term as the Mayor of Louisville Metro, KY.

    2011: John Adler completed his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 3rd district.

    2012: Grace Hannah is scheduled to appear at the Blaze Bar at 23 Rechov Hillel.

    2012: Yair Lehman and Inbal Lori are scheduled to perform “The Slaughter Cow,” a comedic show about all topics from politics to the Torah, at Bet Avi Chai.

    2012: European rabbis told MKs today that laws prohibiting kosher slaughter will lead to banning circumcision.  

    2012: Israel and Palestinian negotiators meeting in Amman today for the first direct talks in 16 months agreed to continuing talking, with another round of talks scheduled in Jordan next week.

    2013: “A Hole in the Moon and Three Shorts” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Jerry Nadler completed his service a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 8th district.

    2013: Jerry Nadler assumed office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the New York’s 10th district.

    2013: Beth Jacob Congregation is scheduled to host a debate between the L.A. Mayoral candidates.

    2013: Nita Lowry began serving as the Representative from New York’s 17thCongressional District.

    2013: Today “Israel’s National Library unveiled the cache of recently purchased documents that run the gamut of life experiences, including biblical commentaries, personal letters and financial records.” (As reported by Aron Heller)

    2013: Steve Rothman completed his services as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 9th district.

    2013: Approximately 3,000 haredim were enlisted into the IDF and will begin active service by August 2013, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai told Israel Radio today.

    2013:Israeli doctors have developed a portable device which they say can detect strokes, the third biggest killer in the western world. The prototype, worn on patients' heads, monitors brain waves and identifies any discrepancies in their pattern.

    2014: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host “Excellence-The Future Generation” featuring outstanding composers and performers from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

    2014: “Copying Beethoven” and “Vivre sa vie” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

    2014: “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the IDF’s successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile, which was conducted today in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency, and said that the missile would prove a major asset to Israeli society.”

    2014(2ndof Shevat, 5774): Ninety-two year old Oscar winning producer Saul Zaentz passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2014(2ndof Shevat, 5774): Seventy-eight year old publisher Tom Rosenthal passed away today.


    2014: A Wall Street Journal report published today stated that U.S. officials believe members of Hezbollah are smuggling” “components of the Yahkont advanced guided missles” which the terror group could used to attack Haifa and Ashdod into their bases in Syria or Lebanaon. (As reported by Yoav Zitun)

    2014: “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the IDF’s successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile, which was conducted today in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency, and said that the missile would prove a major asset to Israeli society. “

    2014: “German, Jewish and Neither” published today

    2015: “The Imitation Game” is scheduled to be shown in Jerusalem today.

    2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present "The Glorious Sound of Two Pianos" -- The Jerusalem Piano Duo: Shir Semmel- Dror Semmel


    2015: Under the leadership of Lena Gilbert, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the third annual Cedar Rapids Opera Recital featuring six principal singers from Don Giovanni



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    January 4

    41: The Praetorian Guard killed the Roman Emperor Caligula.  Caligula is one of those vile figures whose behavior is dismissed as the acts of crazy person.  As far as the Jews are concerned, Caligula had no use for them as a people.  His attempts to have them worship his image led to anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria, among other places. His death avoided a collision between the Jews and Rome because Caligula had ordered that the Jews begin worshipping him as god at their Temple in Jerusalem.

    1034:According to Yahia of Antiochia the port of' Akko fell dry for an hour and there was a Tsunami at Jaffa.

    1248: Alfonso III replaced, whose mention of the Jews of Faro in the municipal establishes the antiquity of the community replaced Sancho II as King of Portugal.

    1278(2ndof Shevat, 5038): Rabbi Isaac Males was burned at the stake by order of the Inquisition. A Jew who had converted to Christianity returned to Judaism.  When he died, he was buried in a Jewish cemetery by the Rabbi.  The Church felt the need to severely punish Males as a part of deterring converts to Judaism and encouraging those who had converted to Christianity to remain faithful to their new faith.

    1361: The aljama of Barcelona was pardoned by the king after it had "persuaded" a Muslim to convert to Judaism.  An aljama was the name given to self-governing Jewish communities in the kingdoms of Christian Spain.

    1559: The first critical edition of Hovot ha-Levavot by Rabbi Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquada was published in Mantua, Italy

    1729(4th of Shevat, 5489) Hebrew poet Meir Bacharach passed away.

    1786 (5th of Shevat, 5546): Moses Mendelssohn passed away at the age of 56.  Born in 1729 at Dessau Germany, Mendelssohn was leader of the movement to emancipate the Jews of Europe.  He argued for the separation of church and state.  At the same time he sought to prepare Jews for entrance into German society.  This included efforts to replace Yiddish with German as can be seen by his translation of the TaNaCh into German.  Mendelssohn himself was an observant Jew for his entire life.  Some view him as one of the fathers of what would become Reform Judaism. Mendelssohn’s descendants would forsake the religion of Mendelssohn and convert to Christianity as they sought acceptance in the world of German culture.

    1796: “Solomon Etting's name appears in the Advertiser as one of five persons authorized ‘to receive proposals in writing for a house or suitable lot’ for a bank to be established in Baltimore Town.”

    1802: In Paris, Chazzan Élie Halévy and his wife gave birth to Léon Halévy the French intellectual who converted so he could “marry the daughter of the architect Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and become assistant professor of French literature at the Ecole Polytechnique,

    1803(10th of Tevet, 5563): Asara B’Tevet

    1822: Eugenia Pavia Gentilomo Fortis, the native of Milan who composed poetry in Italian and translated “medieval Hebrew poems” into Italian.

    1824: In Cincinnati, Ohio a group of approximately 20 Jews met “to consider the advisability of organizing a congregation.

    1830:  In Cincinnati, Ohio, a preliminary meeting was held by a group of Jews to consider the advisability of organizing a congregation.

    1850: Birthdate of Frederick Kohn, the native of Prague better known as the French author Paul d’Brest who married Fannie Sulzer, the wife of Viennese cantor Salomon Selzer in 1877.
    1855: Birthdate of Edward S. Rothchild, the native of Louisville who “is believed to have built the first sizable office building in San Francisco after the…earthquake” and who served as President of two New York banks – the Public National Bank and the Chelsea Exchange Bank formerly known as “The Bank of the Theatre.

    1858: The New York Timespublished a very detailed article describing “the ‘jahrszeit’ or mortuary services” on the 4th anniversary of the death of Judah Touro held at the Green-street Synagogue “which were performed by the Gemelth Chased Society.” The article noted that “every man, woman and child Israel knew that…the anniversary of parent’s decease should be observed with prayer and fasting by his kindred.”  Since Touro had no children he would be denied such honor would be denied him; a reality that was offensive given the virtue and generosity of this self-made millionaire. So the community gathered to honor his memory with a service that included a sermon by Rabbi Raphall that included a biography of this wealthy businessman who had fought at the Battle Of New Orleans and who was a generous benefactor to a variety of Jewish and gentile causes and charities.  The service concluded with the Dr. Ritterman chanting in Hebrew, “a prayer for the soul of the deceased.”

    1858: French author Mario Uchard wrote a letter to Victorien Sardou describing the final hours of the Rachel Felix, the Franc-Jewish actress known as Mademoiselle Rachel

    1858: French author Mario Uchard wrote a letter to Victorien Sardou describing the final hours of the Rachel Felix, the Franc-Jewish actress known as Mademoiselle Rachel

    1861: Members of the New Orleans Jewish community heard an address delivered by Rabbi Bernard Illowy in Baltimore which resulted in their offering him a position in the Crescent City.

    1861: As the storm clouds of the Civil War gathered, Morris J. Raphall, the Rabbi at B’Nai Jershrun in New York gave a sermon entitled “The Bible View of Slavery.”  In the sermon Raphall argued that the Bible did permit slavery.  This statement was popular with pro-slavery forces and erroneously stamped Raphall as being pro-slavery since he personally opposed what Southerners called “their peculiar institution.”

    1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel wrote a letter today describing his efforts to get Congress to pass legislation that would Jews to serve as Chaplains in the Union Army. The bill would remove the requirement that a chaplain be “of a Christian denomination” but will instead say the "the Chaplains must be of a religious denomination", which will open the office to Jews without offending the religious sensibilities of the Christians. He also asked that this news not be shared with the general public or with the newspapers since the matter has not been voted on by Congress.

    1863: Today Congressman John A. Gurley arranged a meeting between Cesar J. Kaskel, and Abraham Lincoln regarding an order issued by Gen. Grant expelling Jews from Military Department of Tennessee. Bertram W. Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1951), 125.

    1863: Following the instructions of President Lincoln, General Halleck sent a telegram to General Grant calling for the immediate revocation of General Order 11.

    1865: The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City. The NYSE was founded in 1791.  Three Jews, Benjamin Mendes Seixas, Ephraim Hart and Alexander Zuntz, were among the original founders.

    1869:Baron George de Worms and Louisa de Samuel gave birth to 1.Baron Anthony Denis Maruice George de Worms.

    1872: In Baltimore, Rose Laura Sutro and Ottilie Sutro gave birth to their second daughter Ottilie who along with her sister Rose “were notable as one of the first recognized duo-piano teams.”


    1875: “A Disappointed Russian wrote to the London Times to denounce last year’s proclamation of amnesty issued by the Russian government was a fraud.  Under the terms of the declaration anybody who not took part in an assassination plot were eligible to return.  The author’s only crime was leaving the country without a passport.  However, his application to return home was denied because, according to the Russian official in London, he was Jewish.  Furthermore, the Russian Consul asked the writer not to disclose the facts of the case.

    1877: It was reported today that the Austrian Government will probably take decisive steps to ameliorate the suffering of Jews in Romania because some of the suffering Jews may actually be subjects of the Austrian Empire.
    1878: Birthdate of Zvi Nishri, the native of Russia who made Aliyah in 1903 and became one of he “founding fathers” of modern physical education programs in Israel.

    1878: A report published today that described the conflict between the Turks and the Russians described a plan being put forth by business leaders in London to check “Russian progress toward the Mediterranean” by having the Jews purchase Syria and Palestine from the Turks which would lead to “the establishment of a Jewish Kingdom or Republic under the guarantee of England and France.”  Reportedly the Jews of London and “several eminent Christians” support the idea. “The restoration of the Jews with the aid and under the patronage of a financial company, would at least be in keeping with the utilitarian spirit of the age.”

    1880(20th of Tevet, 5640):Yaakov Abuhatzeira, also known as the Avir Yaakov and Abu Hasira,” a leading Moroccan Rabbi” passed away today in Egypt while on his way to Palestine. 

    1882: Members of the Baruch family of Alexandria Egypt were released from jail and exonerated from ritual murder charges in the Fornaraki affair

    1882: British political leader Ralph Bernal Osborne, the eldest son of an Anglo-Sephardic Jew who converted to Christianity, passed away today.

    1884: The Fabian Society is founded in London.  The society advocated socialist reform but by gradual, not revolutionary means.  Leonard Woolf an English Jew, was one of the early members of this society of intellectuals derisively referred to as Parlor Pinks by left wing activists.

    1891: “Matters We Ought To Know” published today provides a detailed review of How The Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York, the seminal work on this topic by social reformer Jacob A. Riis.  (When one considers the large number of Jews who would live in these tenements during the next three or four decades, the importance of this work to Jewish people should be self-obvious)

    1892: R.D. MacLean played the role of Shylock the Jew in a performance of The Merchant of Venice produced by the MacLean-Presscott Company in New York.  The Merchant of Venice was the first play by Shakespeare performed in the Thirteen Colonies and its continued performance attests to the popular enjoyment of a play that portrays the Jew as the “moneylender.”

    1892: The funeral for retired businessman and Jewish communal leader Jacob Goldsmith who is the stepfather of Alan L. Sanger is scheduled to be held at Temple Emanu-El.

    1892: Birthdate of James G. Heller, the New Orleans native and Tulane alum who gained famed as a musician and reform rabbi.

    1894: “A special meeting of the Board of Alderman will be held today” to deal with the death of Adolph L. Sanger, the President of the Board of Education

    1894: It was reported today that one hundred Jews who have converted to Christianity have signed a protest that they will present to the New York Presbytery over the refusal to ordain Hermann Warszawiak.  Warszawiak is a convert and the petitioners express their displeasure he should be subjected to persecution and attack by Christians…from whom only brotherly love and kindness were due.”

    1894: A reporter for the New York Times visited the headquarters of the United Hebrew Charities on Second Avenue in search of a reaction to Oliver Sumner Teall’s report that was highly critical of the work being done by charities in New York.

    1894: “Want The Jewish Sabbath Observed” published today described efforts by rabbis in New York to improve the observance of the Jewish day of rest.  They plan to publish a list of all Jewish businesses that observe Shabbat so that those in search of work can know where they should go for a job if they are “observant.”  Among those take a leading role in the movement are Stephen S. Wise, Aaron Wise, Max Cohen, Moses Oettinger, Simon M. Roeder, Joan Weil, David M. Pizer and Abraham Neumark.

    1896: Utah becomes the 45thstate to join the Union.  According to Ralph Tannenbaum, Jews have been in Utah from its earliest days. “Julius and Gerson Brooks came to Salt Lake in July 1853 from Illinois, and their millinery establishment became the first Jewish business in the area. The earliest record of Jewish religious observance in the area is the celebration of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in 1864 at the home of one of the Jewish merchants. High Holyday (Rosh Hashonah [New Year] and Yom Kippur) services in 1867 were observed in the Seventies Hall at the invitation of Brigham Young. The Passover observance of 1876 was reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, which noted that the Jewish congregation of Salt Lake numbered some forty families. Jewish men were active in public life. Louis Cohn was elected as a member of the city council in 1874 and was reelected in 1882. The formation of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce in 1887 records the names of J.E. Bamberger, M.H. Lipman, Fred H. Auerbach, and several other prominent Jews. Although Moses Alexander of Idaho was elected as the first Jewish governor in the United States, it is still surprising to learn of the election two years later of Simon Bamberger as the governor of Utah in 1916. Governor Bamberger was the first non-Mormon governor of Utah.”

    1896(18th of Tevet, 5656): In Philadelphia, PA, 45 year old Levi Harris and 30 year old Marks Feinberg died in a fire at a tenement house on 3rd and Gaskill Streets.  Harris suffocated while marks died in the hospital from internal injuries suffered while trying to escape the burning building.

    1896: Jacques Ochs, a Romanian Jew was arrested in Chicago today on charges that he had masterminded a swindle that had earned him over $50,000.

    1896: Speaking in Russian and Hebrew, Dr. Adolph Rodin addressed a meeting of the City Vigilance League which was held at the Hebrew Institute. 

    1896: At the Oakland Club in Chicago, Rabbi Joseph Stoltz officiated at the first services of Reform Congregation of Isaiah Temple

    1896: It was reported today that McMillan & Co will be publishing Jewish Ideals and Other Essays by Joseph Jacobs which include chapters on “the Jewish diffusion of folks tales, the London Jewry, Mordecai of Daniel Deronda as typical Jews, Browning’s theology of the Jewish point of view, the solution other Jewish questions, the legends concerned with little St. Hugh of Lincoln and the poet Jehuda Halevi.

    1897: It was reported today that those taking the competitive civil service examinations that will be given for the post of court interpreter may be fluent in any one of six languages including Hebrew (but not Yiddish).

    1897: The Hebrew Technical Institute began using its new building today although the formal dedication will not take place until Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12.

    1898(10th of Tevet, 5658): Asara B'Tevet

    1898: It was reported today that State Supreme Court Judge William N. Cohen will speak at the upcoming meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1902: After 128 performances on Broadway, “The Messenger,” a musical with “additional material and numbers by Paul Rubens” came to a close.

    1903: Herzl ends a four day visit to Edlach, his home town.

    1908(1st of Shevat, 5668): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1909: The funeral of Louis A. Heinsheimer, who passed away on January 1st will take place today at 9:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

    1915: “Duties of American Jews” published today provided Louis D. Brandies view that with “half the entire Jewish population of the world in the western zone of the European war” “the people of Israel are now suffering the greatest calamity since 1492” and that American Jews have “two obligations – to give quickly and generous to the aid of the war sufferers and to live up to the highest ideals of American democracy.”

    1915: “Louis Marshall, Chairman of the American Jewish Relief Committee received a telegram from Secretary of State Bryan” today “saying that the expulsion program recently adopted by Turkey applies to Russian Jews who do not renounce the Czar and become Ottoman subjects and that Ambassador Morgenthau had cabled that while Jews in Turkey, who had not become Ottoman subjects had suffered no ill treatment.”

    1915: A letter to the American Jewish War Relief Committee was made public today that came from Wolf Glucksin of Alexandria saying that “the fund for Jewish relief was being expended carefully and that that the authorities were warned from Constantinople to touch nothing that belongs to the American Fund.”

    1915: “Jacob H. Schiff made public” today “a letter from the Jewish Relief Committee in Petrograd saying that the Petrograd committee was collecting funds: and that the public was responding satisfactorily.

    1915: As of today the American Jewish Relief Committee of which Felix M. Warburg has raised $276,566.35

    1915: “British Dominions Pray For Victory” published today described how all denominations included the Jews have responded to King George’s call for special prayers of “intercession on behalf of the empire and its allies in this time of war.”

    1915: In Ben Shemen, Itzhak Elazari Volcani and Sarah Krieger gave birth to microbiologist Benjamin Elazari Volcani who “discovered life in the Dead Sea.”

    1915: Democrat Moses Alexander, 62, was sworn in as governor of Idaho. He was the first elected Jewish governor in the U.S.  He served two terms (1915-19).

    1915: It was reported today that there were 300,000 Jews serving in the Russian army and ‘a total of 600,000 Jews” in all “the warring armies.”

    1916: In New Haven, CT, Luba Newman and her husband gave birth to American conductor, pianist, and film and television composer Lionel Newman part of a distinguished family including brothers Alfred and Emil Newman and nephew Randy Newman.

    1917(10th of Tevet, 5677): Asara B’Tevet

    1919: A memorandum dated with today’s date signed by Faisal said that he will agree to the implementation of the Balfour Declaration in Palestine provided that he is named ruler of Syria. Faisal wrote that any deviation from the agreement would nullify it in its entirety.

    1919: Birthdate of Lester L. Wolfe a Democratic politician who represented two different Congressional districts from New York.

    1920: French forces stationed at a fort near Metulla retreated northward after being attacked by Bedouins. With the defeat and retreat of the French army, the 120 members of the settlement of Metulla, all of whom were Jewish, fled to Sidon where they boarded a ship to Haifa.  Metulla was the northern most Jewish town in Eretz Israel having been settled in 1896. Since it was close to the border with Lebanon, which was under French control at the time, the retreat of French military forces would have left the Jews to the “tender mercies” of local, armed Arabs.

    1923: As part of the Association of Reform Rabbis’ Lecture Series, Dr. Nathan Stern will speak on “The Exile to the Destruction of the Second Temple” at West End Synagogue in Manhattan.

    1923: As part of the Association of Reform Rabbis’ Lecture Series, Dr. Rudolph Grossman will speak on “Hanukah and Purim” at the West End Synagogue.

    1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Lord Burnham, the grandson of J.M. Levy, has sold the Daily Telegraph to the Berry Newspaper Group.

    1932 (25th of Tevet, 5692): Alexander Moses, former Governor of Idaho passed away at the age of 78,

    1933: As he moved to consolidate his power, Hitler and former Prime Minister Franz von Papen meet secretly to discuss Hitler’s future in the German government.

    1934 (17th of Tevet, 5694): Samuel Sakier, a pioneer Jewish farmer in Palestine, where he took part in the student agrarian movement of the Biluim forty years ago, passed away.

    1935: Pierre Laval, the French politician who will be the driving force behind Vichy France, met with Benito Mussolini for the first time

    1936:Diego von Bergen, Nazi Germany's ambassador to the Vatican, wrote a letter to German foreign minister Constantin von Neurath describing Pope Pius XI’s complaints about German violations of the Concordat with the Vatican.”

    1937:  Solomon Levitan took office today as state treasurer of Wisconsin

    1937: “At the closed session of the Royal Commission of Inquiry…Lieut. Gen. J.G. Dill, commanding the British Forces in Palestine, submitted the plan for maintaining public security in the country in the event of further disturbances.” The commission is popularly known as the Peel Commission.

    1937: Toscanini conducted a concert in Jerusalem for the second time.

    1937: Birthdate of actress Dyan Cannon. Born Samile Diane Friesen, Cannon was the fourth wife of actor Cary Grant.  She was the mother of Grant's only child.  Thus the great matinee idol's sole offspring is Jewish.  Only in America!

    1939: Hermann Goering appointed Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration.  This is a charming euphemism for moving Jews to what would be the chain of ghettos and death camps that would be known as the Final Solution.

    1938: A decree issued today by “Adolf Hitler defines a Jewish business as one where: Jews own it, dominate it, or if form a majority on the corporate board” and starting next month “such companies will be ineligible for government contracts.”

    1940: Birthdate of Brian D. Josephson winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973.

    1942 (15th of Tevet, 5702): At the age of 70, composer Leon Jessel was murdered by the Gestapo.

    1943: Armed with only one gun and knife members of the Jewish Fighting Organization at Czestochowa resisted a ‘selection.' As a reprisal, the Germans shot 25 men. Czestochowa is a town in Poland famous for the “Black Madonna” and is scene of annual religious pilgrimages.  Sometimes, the Jewish view is a little different than the non-Jewish view of places and events.

    1943 (27th of Tevet, 5703): Young members of the Jewish Fighting Organization are rounded up in Czestochowa, Poland. Its leader, Mendel Fiszlewicz, uses a hidden pistol to wound the German commander of the Aktion. Fiszlewicz and 25 other men are immediately shot, and 300 women and children from the group are deported to the Treblinka death camp and gassed.

    1943: The SS administrative office instructs all concentration-camp commandants to send human hair taken from Jewish women to the firm of Alex Zink, Filzfabrik AG at Roth, Germany, near Nuremberg, for processing.

    1944: “What’s Up” the “first Broadway collaboration of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner closed after only 63 performances.

    1945 (19th of Tevet, 5705): Fritz Elsas, the Jewish mayor of Berlin until his arrest for alleged resistance activities in 1933, was executed at Sachsenhausen, Germany, after 12 years of imprisonment.

    1947: "Show Boat" closes at Ziegfeld Theater New York City NY after 417 performances

    1956: Announcement in the Seattle Times: “The first new Jewish congregation in Seattle in more than a generation will be launched with a service Friday evening...”

    1960: “The Closing Door” produced by David Susskind with George Segal in the role of “Don” was broadcast today as The Play of the Week.

    1961: Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger who “in 1935, after extensive correspondence with Albert Einstein, he proposed what is now called the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment” passed away. In 1934, he left Germany because “he disliked the Nazis’ anti-semitism” but recanted his position when the Nazis annexed Austria, an act for which he personally apologized to Einstein, after he fled Austria and was beyond the grasp of the Germans.

    1962: Today, Doubleday will issue “The Man Who Played God,” a novel about a man who bargains with the Nazis for a few thousand Jewish lives and is tried for collaboration after the war.

    1964: In a series of first Pope Paul VI became the first Pope to fly in a plane, the first Pope to leave Italy in more than a century and the first Pope to visit “the Holy Land” when he began his trip to Israel and Jordan today.

    1965(1st of Shevat, 5225): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1966: Seventy four year old Henry Torres the attorney who defended Samuel Schwartzbard in his historic 1927 murder trial.

    1970: Abba Eban published an appeal for peace between Israel and the Arab states in the London Sunday Times following an Arab summit in the Moroccan city of Rabat.

    1972: Having left the HaOlam HaZeh – Koah Hadash political movement in 1971, today Shalom Cohen began sitting as in independent in the Knesset. Born in Baghdad in 1926, Cohen made Aliyah in 1946 where he joined kibbutz Nahshonim. “During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War he was part of the Samson's Foxes commando unit in the Givati Brigade.” In 1950, Cohen and Uri Avnery bought the HaOlam HaZeh weekly magazine, which he remained an editor of until 1971. “He joined the Black Panthers in 1971 and served as their secretary general until 1977. Between 1971 and 1977 he was also a member of the Histadrut's executive committee. In the 1977 elections he ran as part of the Hofesh party together with Yehoshua Peretz. However, it failed to cross the electoral threshold. He later worked as a journalist for the French language paper Le Matin. He died in 1993.”

    1972: Rose Heilbron became the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London. The daughter of a Jewish hotelier, Rose Heilbron was born in Liverpool on August 19, 1914, and educated at Belvedere School and Liverpool University, where she took the top First in Law. Called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1939, she began practicing on the Northern Circuit from chambers in Liverpool. Dame Rose Heilbron was one of the most celebrated defense barristers of the post-war years; no woman before her enjoyed anything like her success rate at the criminal Bar, and she later became only the second woman to be appointed a High Court judge. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 91.

    1974(10th of Tevet, 5734): Asara B'Tevet

    1975: A Broadway revival of “Gypsy” closed at New York’s Winter Garden Theatre.

    1975 (21st of Tevet, 5735): Carlo Levi, Italian writer and painter, passed away at the age of 72.  Levi was trained as a doctor and was an anti-Fascist leader in Italy during the 1930’s.

    1978: When PLO official Said Hammami was shot and killed today in London, those suspected of responsibility were Mossad and the Abu Nidal Organization.

    1981In New York at The Jewish Museumof Andy Warhol: Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century comes to a close.

    1981(28th of Tevet, 5741):Yehuda L. Rabin, an aircraft company executive and one of the founders of the Israeli Air Force, died of a heart attack today while seeing a friend off at Kennedy International Airport. He was 64 years old and lived in Manhattan.

    1983 (19th of Tevet, 5743): New York Congressman Benjamin Stanley Rosenthal passed away.

    1985: As of today, since November 20, 1984, 6,500 Ethiopian Jews have secretly made their way to Israel as part of Operation Moses.

    1987: In “The Istanbul Synagogue Massacre” published today, Judith Miller described the inter-locking terrorist networks that were responsible for the attack on the Neve Shalom Synagogue.  The Arab terrorists killed 22 worshippers before setting the building ablaze by detonating grenades. [Reading this article years later makes it clear that authorities knew a lot about terrorists and terrorism which means that 9/11 should not have as such a surprise.]


    1987: An Israeli gunboat stopped a Cypriot ferry bound for Lebanon today. The officials in the Lebanese port of Junieh said the ferry, the Empress, was stopped off the Lebanese coast. The Israeli gunboat allowed it to proceed after being told that only crewmen were aboard, they said.

    1991:With most tourists staying away from Israel because of the Persian Gulf crisis, the country's two major museums have had to lay off employees and cut back operations. "There are almost no tourists coming to Israel," said Nissim Tal, the deputy director of the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. Mr. Tal said the number of tourists visiting the museum was only a fifth of the usual number. As a result, the museum has dismissed 15 percent of its employees, including a few tenured staff members, to help reduce its $4.2 million budget. "We hope the situation will stabilize shortly," Mr. Tal said.

    1995(3rd of Shevat, 5755): Eighty-one year old Victor Riesel, the crusading syndicated labor columnist who was blinded by an acid attack in 1956, died today at his home in Manhattan. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

    1998: The New York Times book section featured a review of Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha C. Nussbaum who would become a Bat Mitzvah ten and a half years later in August, 2008.

    2000: In “A New Armageddon Erupts Over Ancient Battlefield; Archaeological Finds Challenge Chronologies of the Israelites,”  published today John Noble Wilford describes how work at this ancient site is being used by Dr. Israel Finkelstein and his associate to challenge the timelines presented in the Bible as well as the historic accuracy of the Biblical narrative.

    2002: TheMV Karine A, a Palestinian ship loaded with 50 tons of arms including rockets and missiles which the Israeli Navy had seized during the intifada was brought to Eilat.

    2002:The Israeli Army said today that it had seized a ship carrying 50 tons of rockets, mines, antitank missiles and other munitions meant for Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority, even as the Bush administration's envoy met with Mr. Arafat in the hope of strengthening his declared cease-fire with Israel.

    2003(1st of Shevat, 5763): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    2003(1st of Shevat, 5763): Seventy-nine year old violinist Fra Neaman, the Lebanese son of Jewish parents from Palestine, passed away today.
    2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Hegemony or Survival America's Quest for Global Dominanceby Noam Chomsky and a newly release paperback edition of Welcome to Heavenly Heights, by Risa Miller which tells the story of an Orthodox couple from Baltimore, responding to their longing for the holy city of Jerusalem who relocate to a heavily guarded settlement in the West Bank, where they confront the vast abyss between contemporary Israel and the ideals of their spiritual life.

    2005: It was announced today that Mark Lehrman has been appointed director of YU’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. Mr. Lehrman has been at the university’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Israel since 1995 where he was most recently assistant director of admissions. In the past decade, he has led YU’s recruitment efforts in Israel and has helped bring about a significant increase in enrollment in the Israel Program

    2005: The 2 day international "Bridge Between Judaism and Islam" conference held at Bar-Ilan University comes to a conclusion. 


    2006, Rabbi Yaaqov Medan and Rabbi Baruch Gigi were officially invested as co-roshei yeshiva alongside Rav Amital and Rav Lichtenstein, with an eye toward Rabbi Amital's intention to retire.

    2006 (4th of Tevet, 5766): Milton Himmelfarb who coined the aphorism on the Jewish community's political persuasions: "Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans” passed away at the age of 87 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

    2006: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage at Havat Shimim and collapses into a coma.

    2006: Ehud Olmert assumes the duties of the Prime Minister after Prime Minister Sharon suffered his second stroke.

    2007: Representative Bob Filner began serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

    2007: The 108th Congress is sworn in. Of the 43 Jewish members of Congress, there is only one Jewish Republican in the House and two in the Senate The number of Jews in the Senate will rise from 10 to 11. The number of Jews in the House of Representatives will remain at 26.

    2007: Max “Kampelman served as a motivating forced the op-ed ‘A World Free of Nuclear Weapons’ published today in the Wall Street Journal

    2008: Israeli officials reported that they they had uncovered an arms cache in the West Bank city of Nablus last night that contained explosives, military equipment and materials for manufacturing rockets. At least one rocket was found in an early stage of production.

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman and Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds by Joel L. Kraemer

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers that have recently been published in paperback editions including: Linda Grant’s The Clothes on Their Backs in which the protagonist is a London woman whose parents, Hungarian Jewish refugees, have always been secretive about their past Ehud Havazelet’s Bearing the Body in which a medical resident, accompanied by his father, a grumpy Holocaust survivor, travels to San Francisco to investigate the life and death of his older brother, a drug-addicted former ’60s radical and Suzanne Braun’s Bella Abzug, an oral history of “the feisty feminist New York congresswoman.”

    2009: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” a new musical stage reinvention of the classic film, completed a limited engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre in New York City.

    2009: An exhibition at the Jewish Museum titled “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World” comes to an end.

    2009: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia arrived Sunday in Israel to show solidarity with Israel’s besieged southern residents. The three men are scheduled to tour the rocket-battered cities of Sderot and Ashkelon today.

    2009: Helen Suzman, who spearheaded the battle against apartheid in South Africa's parliament, was buried in a private Jewish ceremony at Johannesburg's Westpark Cemetery.

    2009: Three men charged with involvement in a deadly synagogue bombing in Tunisia went on trial today in Paris in a case expected to highlight the reach and complexity of al-Qaida-linked networks in North Africa. Among those charges is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who says he orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
    2009(8 Tevet 5769): Sergeant Dvir Emmanueloff, 22, was killed during a firefight in northern Gaza's densely populated Jabalya refugee camp today. He was the first fatality suffered by Israel since it launched the ground operation on Saturday. Emmanueloff, who served in the Israel Defense Forces Golani infantry brigade, was a resident of Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem. He was laid to rest late Sunday at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery. Emmanueloff was a graduate of a Jewish seminary in the southern town of Netivot. He had been set to complete his compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces in six months' time. The 22-year-old had recently been serving as an instructor at the IDF academy for squad leaders, away from the front, and had fought to rejoin the Golani infantry brigade in order to participate in operations.

    2009(8 Tevet 5769): Gregory Sher, a Private serving in the Australian Army was killed in a rocket attack on a military compound southwest of Kabul. Sher is the eighth Australian soldier, and the first of the country's reservists, killed in Afghanistan since Australia sent forces to aid the United States-led coalition against the Taliban and al-Qaida in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He is believed to be Australia's first Jewish military casualty at least since the Vietnam War.

    2010: Three Palestinian men were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a stabbing attack. The men, from Hebron, were arrested today near the Jaffa Gate with a knife in their possession. They told police later that they planned to stab a security officer or a Jewish person. Also today, two Palestinians carrying knives were stopped at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, according to the Israeli army. They were detained for questioning. 

    2010: In New York Israeli violinist Sergey Ostrovsky and Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, together with the Jupiter musicians, perform the Janacek Concertino and Dvorak’s beloved “American” String Quartet. 

    2010: Yisrael Bar Kochav's new book Shmu'ot (Rumors) is celebrated at Mishkenot Sha'ananim.

    2010: Beit Avi Chai's Music on Monday’s series presents Guitar virtuoso Ofer Amar in a wonderful acoustic performance that combines world music, flamenco, and ethnic jazz.

    2010: Yitta Schwartz of Kiryas Joel in New York was buried this morning. The 94-year-old Holocaust survivor left behind at least 2,500 descendants. She had five generations of descendants. Schwartz survived Bergen Belsen, leaving the concentration camp with her family intact when World War II ended in 1945. Schwartz, her husband and six children moved to Antwerp and then Belgium before settling in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the Times Herald-Recordreported. The Schwartzes had 11 more children following the war. Her husband died 33 years ago. Schwartz, who reportedly was reluctant to talk about the Holocaust, had about 170 grandchildren -- and knew all their names.

    2010: In Israel, the National Insurance Institute reported today that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped four percent in December. 

    2010: Mitchell A. Levin retires as Vice President of AEGON/Transamerica in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mr. Levin is the editor and publisher of and as well a Contributing Editor to and a Contributing Editor and featured columnist for Segula, a magazine devoted to history and culture.
    2011: Prof. Howard N. Lupovitch is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Hillel’s World” at Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield, Michigan

    2011: The Jerusalem Theatre is schedule to present “Sheindale,” an “Amnon Levy and Rami Danon play about the ultra-Orthodox society, its fine line between tradition and profess and its attitude towards women.

    2011: Israeli greenhouses on a farm near Ashkelon sustained damage from a terrorist rocket fired from Gaza today, and the Air Force responded by bombing a Hamas training base.

    2011: About 20 Israeli suppliers will help build the first modern Palestinian city in the West Bank but only after promising they will not use products or services from Israeli settlements, the project’s developer said today.The announcement angered Israeli residents of the West Bank, who accused the suppliers of caving in to an international boycott of settlement goods and businesses.

    2012: “When Jews Lived in the Muslim Quarter,” an English Walking Tour that will help participants to discover what life was like when Jews lived in the Muslim Quarter is scheduled to begin at 9:30 this morning.

    2012: A comedy entitled “The Religion Thing” is scheduled to have its world premiere at Theatre J, part of the DCJCC.

    2012:Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) warned that ties between Jews in the Diaspora and their Israeli counterparts are weakening, in today’s  meeting with US Senator Joe Lieberman in Jerusalem

    2012:Police arrested two terrorists at different locations this morning and prevented intended attacks on Be’er Sheva residents.

    2013:Rabbi Joshua Plaut and cantorial soloist Leah Tehrani as scheduled to lead “Golden Shabbat” services at Metropolitan Synagogue which are inteneded to honor “elder members” of the community.
    2013: Gesher City is scheduled to sponsor “SPY Shabbat”

    2013: “Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Reform movement's international umbrella announced plans to open a large community center in Kiev later this year.


    2013: Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a mass shooting in her Arizona district two years ago, met with Newtown officials on Friday afternoon before heading to visit with families of the victims of last month’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre

    2014:B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim on Lake Cook Road is scheduled to host a free concert featuring “local band Shakshuka and Kol Echad, an a capella group” made up of students from Boston University.

    2014:”Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey” an example that “seeks to illuminate Herod’s story – his reign and his role in the history of the region – through a display of the archaeological remains of the architecture he created and the art and artifacts that surrounded his royal life” at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2014: In Jerusalem, the Eden-Tamir Music Center a musical “New Year’s Celebration.”

    2014: “Last Vegas” and “Enough Said” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: After Shabbat, Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids is scheduled to host a special performance by members Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

    2014: Happy New Year Shabbat, marks the start of the 13th consecutive year of the Traditional Shabbat Monthly Minyan at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids – an event that owes its creation to the vision of Deb Levin

    2014: Efforts continued today despite the fact that it was Shabbat to find developer Menachem Stark the Hasidic millionaire real estate developer “who was reportedly kidnapped outside his Brooklyn office.”

    2014: “Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards reaching a framework peace agreement but they are not there yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters” today. (As reported by Eilor Levy)

    2014: The funeral for Menachem Stark, the Hasidic millioniaire whose body had been found in a dumpster yesterday after he had been kidnapped was held at Lodiner Bais Medrash on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

    2015: 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 Falling Out of Timeby David Grossman and Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

    2015: In Atlanta, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is scheduled to host Holocaust Survivor Henry Friedman as part of its “Bearing Witness” program.

    2015: The Jewish Museum of London is scheduled to host a screening of 'Abram Games: Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means'

    0 0

    January 5

    1355: Charles I of Bohemia was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan. Charles I morphed into Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor who at the beginning of his reign made an effectual attempt to protect his Jewish subjects by issuing “letter after letter forbidding the person of the His Jews, his ‘servi camerae,’ to be touched.”  His Christian subjects in Germany disregarded their Emperor and continued their persecution of the Jews.

    1548: Birthdate of Francisco Suarez the Jesuit theologian who “advocated the banning of the Talmud and the building of synagogues as well as forbidding ‘any familiarity with Jews.’” (As described by The History of the Jewish People)

    1589:  Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, the wife of King Henry II passed away.  Along with several other French rulers and power brokers including Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIV, she had a penchant for collecting Hebrew Manuscripts.

    1642: King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war. The Civil War would bring Oliver Cromwell to power.  Cromwell would champion the return of the Jews to England, leading to the creation of the modern Jewish committee in Great Britain, and by extension throughout the British Empire including the United States.

    1796: Birthdate of Joseph Salvador, the French historian “who according to family traditions were descendants of the Maccabees” but whose mother Elizabeth Vincens was a Roman Catholic.

    1797: Birthdate of German-Jewish banker and astronomer Wilhelm Wolff Beer, the half-brother of Giacomo Meyerbeer

    1814:Today Chief Rabbi Lehmans of The Hague organized a special thanksgiving service and implored God's protection for the allied armies. 

    1826: Maryland put into effect the "Jew Bill", 1826, which allowed Jews to hold public office if they believed in Reward and Punishment in the Hereafter. Marylandhad an interesting history when it came to questions of religious toleration.  Unlike other colonies, it was founded by Catholics and the Act of Toleration was one of its landmark pieces of colonial legislation.

    1841: Birthdate of Shlomo Elyashiv, the son of Rabbi Chayim Chaiil Elisahoff and author of Leshem Shevo V’Achlama.

    1846: Birthdate of Arsène Darmesteter the French Philologist who “deciphered the difficult and beautiful French elegy, preserved in the Vatican, on the burning of the thirteen Jewish martyrs at Troyes in 1288.”

    1856: Under the heading “We May Eat Pork Without Fear of the Tape Worm,” the New York Times published a letter to the editor written in response to a previously published article warning about the relationship between pork consumption and tape worm infestation.   Citing the statement  “that a Jew was never known to have a tape-worm,” the author warns  any “hypochondriac” who  “should be tempted to turn Jew from this statement and forswear pork”  need not do so since it is a “rare occurrence in this country” for anybody  to be infested by the worms  “notwithstanding we  are such universal pork-eaters.” 

    1863: Lazarus Powell, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky called on Congress to adopt “a resolution condemning…General Orders No. 11 as ‘illegal, tyrannical, cruel and unjust.’”

    1868(10th of Tevet, 5628): Asara B’Tevet

    1874: It was reported today that when the noted author Léon Gozlan passed away he was buried by a Catholic priest.  “He had the features of a Jew and lived like a Jew…but it was positively declared that he had been so baptized so the Rabbi gave way” and Gozlan was interred using the rites of the Church.

    1874: Birthdate of American physiologist Joseph Erlanger

    1875(28th of Tevet, 5635): Seventy-four year old Émile Péreire one of the two Péreire brothers, 19th century Sephardic French financiers who were on a par with the Rothschilds passed away today.

    1875: A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which includes several Jewish members, was held at their new offices on Broadway and 34thStreet.

    1876:  Birthdate of Konrad Adenauer.  Adenauer was the first post-war Chancellor of West Germany.  He took office in 1949.  Having been imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II, Adenauer sought to return Germanyto the world community.  He sought to make amends with the Jewish community by offering war reparations to the government of Israel.  Under Adenauer, Germanyrecognized Israel and provided arms for her defense despite threats from the Arab governments.

    1877: The Supreme Court of Massachusetts upheld a lower court decision that Jews must observe the laws of the state regulating the observance of the Sabbath.  The case grew out of an attempt to keep a store open on Sunday.

    1878(1st of Shevat, 5638): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

    1878: It was reported today that “a thrilling tale of a brave young Jew will appear in the New York Weekly on the morning of January 7.

    1878: Rabbi Abram S. Isaacs will deliver lecture entitled “The Dance to Death” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in New York’s Lyric Hall.

    1879(10th of Tevet, 5639): Asara B’Tevet

    1879: The Board of Directors of the Home for Aged and Infirm Jews met this afternoon.  The Board limited itself to routine business and did not take up the matter of accepting or rejecting Judge Hilton’s recent offer to contribute $250 to the Home.  Judge Hilton is the New York businessman who banned Jews from his hotel at Saratoga Springs.

    1879: An article profiling Otto von Bismarck published today reported that “mixed marriage in Germany” is “a source of horror to the orthodox Christians as well as to orthodox Jews.”  Bismarck coarsely described mixed marriage as “the crossing of a Jewish mare with a Christian stallion.”

    1881: The price of l'Union Générale stock began an eleven day crash, which the anti-Semites would later blame on a conspiracy of Jewish bankers,

    1884(8th of Tevet, 5644): Fifty-four year old Eduard Lasker, “a German politician and jurist” who “promoted the unification of German” passed away today in New York City.

    1885: Ludovic Trarieux, the future Minister of Justice who would become a defender of Alfred Dreyfus, was elected Senator from the Gironde.

    1886(28th of Tevet, 5646): Seventy-five year old Lazarus (Levi) Adler, the author of "Emancipation and Religion of the Jews, or the Jewish Race and its Adversaries" passed away while serving as  the chief rabbinate of the electorate of Hesse, at Cassel, as successor to Philip Roman, who had died 1842.”

    1886: Birthdate of Israeli scientist Markus Reiner.

    1888(21st of Tevet, 5648): Henri Herz, the Austrian born French pianist and composer passed away.  Hertz owned his own piano factory, built a concert hall in Paris and still found time to teach write and perform.

    1890: Birthdate of Sarah Aaronsohn, the native of the moshav Zikhron Ya’akov who became a leader of Nili during World War I. After being tortured by the Turks, she took her own life in 1917.

    1891” It was reported today that “Solomon J. Solomons has been moved Russia’s persecution of the Jews to” create a painting that is an allegorical representation of the struggle.  In the picture, “the Russian Eagle falls with the beak and claw on a Jewish family while a Fury, masquerading as Justice, presented to defend the family from the monster’s attack.”

    1892: Captain Strauss of the Seventh Precinct took five children, all Russian Jewish immigrants, from a hotel on 141 Madison Street.  They were suffering variously from varioloid, diphtheria and/or scarlet fever.

    1892: Birthdate of Louis Waldman, a native of the Ukraine who became an American labor leader and a leader of the Socialist Party.

    1892: A review of the MacLean-Prescott company’s production of “The Merchant of Venice” described Marie Prescott’s portrayal of the Jewess Portia as “very bad, cold” and “stilted.”  R.D. MacLean’s portrayal of Shylock which appeared to be on par with Cruikshank’s drawing of Fagen was based on “a totally false idea.”

    1894: Rabbi Gottheil officiated at a private funeral service for Adolph L. Sanger, the late President of the Board of Education after which a public ceremony was held at Temple Emanu-El followed by burial at Salem Field in Cypress Hills Cemetery.

    1894: It was reported that “Marie,” a one act play by Charles D. Levin was performed at the Berkley Lyceum as part of a fundraiser for the Louis Down-Town Sabbath and Daily School.

    1894: It was reported today that during the current economic depression Nathan Straus has begun the sale of bread “at his sterilized milk depot” at reduced prices and will begin selling coal at reduced prices starting next week.

    1894: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities had spent over $171,000 in aiding the needy. Due to the economic downturn in 1893, the organization had spent $200,000 through November of 1893.

    1895: According to the will of the late multi-millionaire Eugene Kelly which was filed in the Surrogate’s office today, $10,000 should “go to such Hebrew charitable institutions” as may be selected y by the executors.

    1895: Colonel David S. Brown is scheduled to set sail today on the SS Normannia for a trip that will take him to Egypt and then to Palestine.

    1895: Alfred Dreyfus was publicly degraded and sent to Devil's Island. Later, evidence was produced which proved that Major Esterhazy and Colonel Henry, Dreyfus' chief accusers, had forged the evidence. Yet, a new trial was not begun until 1899.  The Dreyfus Affair brought on a torrent of anti-Semitism that spawned the modern Zionist movement.  It tore at the fabric of French society and for decades later, there was still a political divide between those who supported Dreyfus and those who wanted to believe that he was a traitor.

    1896: “Colonial New York City” published today provides a picture of “the Big Apple” in 1748 based on the writings of Peter Kalm who visited the city at that time which includes a description of “the Jews of New York at that time” who “formed a considerable portion of the population.  They had stores and fine houses and ships and a flouring synagogue and enjoyed all the privileges of the other citizens.  The young Jews, especially when away from home made no scruple about eating pork when” the opportunity presented itself.

    1896: Julius Harburger, the Excise Commissioner of New York City, addressed a meeting of the Boston chapter of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, of which he is a Grand Master.

    1896: The will of Eugene Kelly which was filed for probate today included a bequest of “$10,000…to go to such Hebrew charitable institutions” of which the executors “may approve.”

    1896:Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered his second lecture today entitled “Another Basis on Which Christians and Jews Can Unite” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1896: It was reported today that the most recent census of the state of New Jersey shows that there are 16.413 people in the category of “other nationalities” which includes Jews as well as Italians and Hungarians.

    1896: Detective Sargent Cuff was on his way to Chicago today where he was to take custody of Jacques Oschs, a Romanian born Jew and bring him back to New York to face charges of participating in swindling schemes many of which were aimed at his co-religionist which earned him over $50,000.

    1896: “Effect of Hellenism on Judaism” which relied on information that first appeared in The Edinburg Scotsman provided a summary of an address delivered by Claude G. Montefiore in Glasgow entitled “Some Reflections on Hellenistic Judaism.”  Montefiore used the term “Hellenic Judaism” to described “that Judaism which was touched an influenced by the Hellenism of the time of Alexander the Great and his immediate successors

    1896: It was reported today that Reverend C.H. Parkhurst publicly expressed his appreciation for the support the Jews have given to the City Vigilance League, the successor to the Society for the Prevention of Crime.

    1896: It was reported today that 16 year old Jennie Zellers saved the lives of her five siblings when a fire broke out in a tenement building in Philadelphia. A grocery store owned by Samuel Lipman occupied the first floor of the four-story building that suffered $5,000 in damages.

    1897: It was reported today that the Trustees of Columbia tendered their thanks to Benjamin Stern and Charles A. Dana for their donation of Hebrew manuscripts to the school’s library.

    1898: In the Supreme Court in Brooklyn, Justice Gaynor is scheduled to hear Mrs. Martha Reubel’s petition for an annulment based on a claim that he is a Christian.  Mrs. Reubel is an 18 year old Jewess and contends that her husband Siegfried mis-represented himself as being an Orthodox Jews.

    1898: Herzl’s "The New Ghetto" was finally produced in the Carl-Theater in Vienna.
    The play was also performed in Berlin and Prague.

    1899: The will of David Marks, benefactor of Jewish organizations, was filed for probate today.

    1899: It was reported today that a French civil court has fined Comtesse de Martel who writes under the nom de plume of “Gyp” five thousand francs for libeling Senator Ludovic Trarieux, the former Minister of Justice. The libel consisted of an unfounded accusation that the Senator had become a Protestant “in order to contract a rich marriage. 

    1899: It was reported today that the Comtesse de Martel, who proclaimed herself to be an anti-Semite said the Jews should not only be driven out of Paris but out of the whole country. 

    1899: “Alleged Outrages on Jews” published today summarized the “anti-Semitic prejudice existing in “the United States as described by Brooklyn resident Leopold Cohn, a former rabbi who had converted to Christianity

    1904: Birthdate of Austrian violinist Erika Morini who began her studies under the guidance of her father, Oscar Morini, who directed his own school in Vienna.

    1906: In London, biblical scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon and Amy Kenyon gave birth to archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon who worked on excavations at Jericho from 1952 until 1958 and at Jerusalem “concentrating on the ‘City of David’ from 1961 to 1967.”

    1908: Birthdate of American playwright, novelist and screenwriter Harry Kurnitz.

    1908:Adas Israel dedicated its new sanctuary at Sixth and I NW in Washington, DC which replaced the original building at Sixth and G Streets, NW. The cornerstone for the building, which was designed by Louis Levi, the Baltimore Architect, was laid in 1906.

    1909: In Switzerland, Ernest Bloch and his wife gave birth to American artist Lucienne Bloch.

    1912: Birthdate of Kalmen Kaplansky, the native of Bialystok who has been described as “the zaideh of the Canadian human rights movement.”

    1912:State organization formed in Boston, Mass. to encourage naturalization of Jews living in the BayState.

    1912: ThePhiladelphia Jewish community requested leniency in the enforcement the Sunday Closing Law of 1794.

    1912:The Boston Section withdrew from Council of Jewish Women.

    1914: Mary Kursheedt and 24 year old Albert Kursheedt, the son of Alexander E. Kursheedt and the nephew of Moses Montefiore Kursheedt were wed today.

    1914:Birthdate of Heinz Berggruen a German art dealer and collector who founded the BerggruenMuseum in BerlinGermany. Born in Berlin, he immigrated to the United States in 1936 and studied at BerkeleyUniversity. In 1939 he became an "Assistant director" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In preparing an exhibition about the Mexican painter Diego Rivera he met Frida Kahlo, too, and had a short love affair with her. After the Second World War he got acquainted with Pablo Picasso in Paris, who spontaneously had confidence in Berggruen and so he became Picasso's art dealer. In 1996, after 60 years in exile, he returned to Germany and opened an art museum in front of the CharlottenburgPalace. Berggruen left his precious art collection in a generous gesture of a low price to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. For this he was awarded the honorary citizenship of Berlin and the Federal Cross of Merit (Grand Cross 2nd Class) of Germany(Bundesverdienstkreuz, Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband). He died in Paris on February 23, 2007.

    1915: “From Leo M. Frank” published today contained a letter from Leo M. Frank expressing his appreciation for the stand the New York Times has taken for the cause of justice as it relates to his case, for “Mr. Marshall’s successful presentation of his appeal before Supreme Court Justice Lamar and wishing everybody on behalf of his wife and parents, a Happy New Year.

    1915: The list published today of donors to the fund of the American Jewish Relief Community included the Montefiore Benefit Corporation of Boston, the Jewish Community of Attelboro, Mass., the New Bedford (CT) Jews, Meyer Cohen of Washington, DC, Jewish Women, Bedford, PA; Lover of Israel, Susquehanna, PA; Zion Lodge, Chicago, Ill; Phoenix Packing Company, San Francisco, CA; Jewish Community, Beaumont, TX; Jewish Community, Tyler, TX and Congregation Adath Israel, Douglas, Arizona.

    1916: African-American actor Sam Lucas passed away. In 1878 he became the first black man to play the part of Uncle Tom when he appeared a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin produced by Charles and Gustave Frohman “who financed a number of theatre productions featuring African American actors” – something quite unusual for its time.

    1919: The National Socialist Party (Nazi) formed as German Farmers Party.  Hitler was not one of the party founders.

    1923: Birthdate of Robert L Bernstein, chief executive of Random House.

    1923: Birthdate of Israel Prize-winning author and translator Aharon Amir. Amir, who was born in Lithuania, grew up in Tel Aviv and was a member of both the Irgun and the Lehi. He was one of the founders of the Canaanite movement, which saw geographical location rather than religious affiliation as the defining element of Hebrew or Israeli culture. He studied Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but translated works of literature mainly from English and French. Authors whose work he rendered into Hebrew include Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Lewis Carroll, Albert Camus, and Charles de Gaulle. Amir won the Tchernichovsky Prize for translation in 1951 and the Israel Prize for translation in 2003. He passed away on February 28, 2008 at the age of 85.

    1924: Leon and Henrietta Shershevsky gave birth to George Leon Sherry, a United Nations official who helped calm crises around the world — a role that evolved from his time as the leading rapid-fire translator of speeches by Russian diplomats in the organization’s early days…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1928: Reports of a large number of unemployed workers in the non-agricultural sector of the economy are a cause of major concern for the Government and leaders of the Labor movement.  While approximately 21,000 people are employed non-farm jobs, there may be as many as 10,000 unemployed workers.  It is hope that the situation will be alleviated, in part, with the construction and operation of a variety of public works projects including the building of the Straus Health Clinic in Jerusalem.

    1930: Mapia was founded today “by the merger of the Hapoel Hatzair founded by A. D. Gordon and the original Ahdut HaAvoda (founded in 1919 from the right, more moderate, wing of the Marxist Zionist socialist Poale Zion led by David Ben-Gurion

    1931: Elections were held today to choose members for the Asefat Hanivcharim (The Jewish Elected Assembly). Only 35 to 40 per cent of those eligible are expected cast their ballots.  The sharpest contest is between the Labor Party and the Revisionists.  Labor is expected to win 23 seats and the Revisionists will end up with 18 seats, the same number expected to be won by the Party representing “Oriental Jews.”  There are a total of 71 seats at stake.  There has been no prediction about how many seats will be won by the United Women’s ticket head by Henrietta Szold. 

    1933: Birthdate of Leonard Marsh, the New York born window washer, who along with his brother Hyman Golden and childhood friend Arnold Greenberg founded the Snapple Beverage Corporation. (As reported by Margalit Fox).

    1936: Birthdate of Steven Cojocaru, Canadian born American television personality and fashion critic.

    1937: In the Beit She’an Valley, members of the Sadeh group from the Mikveh Israel agricultural school and immigrants from Austria, Germany and Poland Kibbutz HaSadeah, which was later re-named Sde Naum in honor of Zionist leader and author Nahum Sokolov

    1937: Israel Rokach, Mayor of Tel Aviv, testified before the Peel Commission.  Rokach said that he was not opposed to a certain amount of governmental involvement with municipal affairs but that the real dispute centered on underfunding of the city government.  Members of the commission expressed positive interest in Rokach’s proposal to develop a port that would serve both Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

     1938: The Palestine Post reported that the British government was about to send to Palestine a new, largely technical commission, essentially a fact-finding body, which would plan how to implement Partition, according to the terms of the agreement reached with the Mandatory Commission of the League of Nations. The government, however, indicated that it was in no way committed to the actual execution of such a plan. Three Arabs out of a band of 40, apparently arms smugglers, were killed close to the Syrian border. Haskiel Joseph and Nathan Yairoff were shot and badly wounded by an Arab terrorist inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.

    1939: The gathering of a group of young Jews in Riga is captured in a photograph which will later become the property of Yad Vashem.

    1939: Sir Horace Rumbold, a member of the Peel Commission, attempts to explain away his description of the Jews of Palestine as an “alien race” by saying that he merely meant that the Jews were a race with different characteristics from the Arab race.

    1939: Germany declared Karaite Jews exempt from enforcement of the Nuremberg Laws.

    1939: President Roosevelt nominated Felix Frankfurter to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was chosen for the position following the death of Benjamin N. Cardozo.  When Frankfurter was confirmed two weeks later, he became the third Jew to serve on the High Court. 

    1940: Jews were forbidden by the General Gouvernment be in the streets between 9:00PMand 5:00AM.

    1942: Birthdate of Elzbieta Ficowska, nee Koppel, one of the 2,500 children smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto by Irena Sendler and her associate Stanislawa, a widowed Catholic mid-wife. (Shades of the story of the brave mid-wives found in the Book of Exodus.)

    1942: The Jewish ghetto at Kharkov, Ukraine, is liquidated.

    1943: The Vught, Holland, concentration camp is established

    1943: In an orgy of killing that would last for the next two days the Nazis murdered thousands of Jews at Lvov, Ukraine.

    1943: Birthdate of Lawrence E. Stager, the Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University  and Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum” who since 1985 “has overseen the excavations of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon.

     1944: Birthdate of Ed Rendell, Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia in the 1990’s before being elected Governor of the State of Pennsylvaniain 2002.

    1944: Twenty-nine year old Jean Tatlock, the woman whose “romantic relationship” with J. Robert Oppenheimer would help to lead to his loss of top security clearance, passed away today.

    1945: In artcle entitled “American Boy’s Find Tel Aviv Like a Home Town” published today Anne O’Hare McCormick described conditions in Palestine’s major metropolis.  According to her, “40% of the Jewish population of Palestine lives in Tel Aviv.”  She describes Tel Aviv “as being one of the world’s youngest cities” and as being “better planned and more modernistic that the Florida boom towns it resembles.”  This very cosmopolitan city is suffering from a housing shortage brought on by an influx of refugees from Europe and North Africa.

    1946: The long running Broadway revival of "Show Boat" opened at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City for the first of 417 performances. This was a musical adaption of a novel of the same name by Edna Ferber, Jewish author who remembered being taunted as a “sheeny” when walking the streets of home town in Michigan.  Ferber’s willingness to tackle the touchy subjects of race and miscegenation stood in stark contrast to the romanticized formula followed by Margaret Mitchell and others and is yet another example of Jews advancing the cause of social justice.  The creation of the musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II is a reminder that this unique culture phenomenon is in many ways, an Jewish creation.

    1947:In a broadcast from its secret transmitter, Haganah, the Jewish defense organization denounced Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang as extremist organizations and blamed them for the latest outburst of violence in Eretz Israel.

    1948: Benjamin Rabin begins serving on the New York Supreme Court.

    1948: Warner Brothers offered the first color newsreel, covering the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. At that time, the company was still the property of the four brothers name Warner – Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack L. – Polish Jews who came to the United States via Canada.

    1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, the Haganah launches an attack against Katamon, a suburb from which Arab gunmen have been firing non-stop into adjacent Jewish neighborhoods.

    1949: As the War of Independence winds down, Israeli forces struggle to dislodge the Egyptians from Gaza.  A sandstorm hinders and IDF column attacking the town of Rafa.  At the same time the storm provides cover for an Egyptian armored column that launched a counter-attack aimed at keeping the Israelis from Rafa.

    1950: Birthdate of guitarist Chris Stein, co-founder of “Blondie.”

    1953: Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir was appointed Deputy Minister of Welfare.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that East Germany had launched a Zionist witch-hunt, accusing two Jewish Communist leaders of being Zionists, American agents, Titoists and Trotskyites. 

    1959:In his introduction to A Matter of Taste: The Albert D. Lasker Collection: Renoir to Matisse that includes commentaries by Wallace Brockway, Alfred Frankfurter asks, “What was it that made an American business man * * * train his eye and his energies so spectacularly as to produce this extraordinary array of art ?"

    1963: After 873 performances, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of Lerner an Loewe’s “Camelot” which was directed by Moss Hat.

    1964: Pope Paul VI and President Zalman Shazar of Israel met today at Megiddo, the scene of ancient battles, and both voiced hope for a moral revival and for peace among men.

    1964: Under the leadership of Head Coach Sid Gillman, the San Diego Chargers defeated the Boston Patriots for the AFL Championship.

    1968: “Informed Jewish sources said today that Jacob Kaplan, the Chief Rabbi of France told President de Gaulle of his concern over the fact that” his statement calling the Jews “an elite people, people, sure of itself and domineering”  “had been used by ‘real’ anti-Semites as an instrument against Jews.”

    1970(27th of Tevet, 5730):  Max Born passed away at the age of 87.  A native of Germany, the famous physicist was forced to take refuge in Britain in 1933 when the Nazis came to power. Max Born won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954.

    1970: Nine Egyptians soldiers crossed the Suez Canaland under covering fire from the west bank attacked Israeli positions.  All nine were killed.

    1973(2ndof Shevat, 5733): Hyman Reznick who had founded the Halevi Choral Society with Harry Coopersmith, passed away today.

     1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that at AswanUS President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat declared jointly that any Middle Eastpeace settlement required the recognition of the "legitimate rights of the Palestinians and their participation in deciding their own future." In Jerusalem Premier Menachem Begin declared his firm opposition to this self-determination principle.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jewish National Fund started ground-breaking operations for eight new settlements in Sinai, between Yamit and El Arish.

    1981: Yoram Aridor, a member of Likud, began serving as Communications Minister.

    1985: In response to pressure from Arab countries, Sudan ended the airlift of Jews from Ethopia after Israeli Shimon Peres held a press conference confirming reports of what would become known as Operation Moses. With help from the CIA, Israel would organize Operation Sheba, the last of the airlifts which had secretly brought over 14,000 Jews from Ethiopia from 1972 through 1985.

    1988: Richard Mathew Stallman starts developing GNU. GNU is a free software operating system.

    1988: The New York Times reviews Operation Babylon by Shlomo Hillel (Translated from the Hebrew by Ina Friedman) which relates the fascinating tale of the rescue of the Iraqi Jewish community.

    1989:Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that the reported death threat by Mr. Arafat against other Palestinians ran counter to a P.L.O. pledge to refrain from terrorism and had created a ''real problem'' for the United States. Mr. Arafat was reported to have said in the radio broadcast on Monday that ''any Palestinian leader who proposes an end to the intifada exposes himself to the bullets of his own people.'' Speaking to reporters on his way here for a conference on chemical weapons, Mr. Shultz said that the United States did not have direct information about Mr. Arafat's reported statement. He said: ''What we have is reports of what Arafat is alleged to have said. We have not seen any statement as such.'' But the Secretary then assailed the reported remark. ''It represents a real problem and an equivocation,'' he said.

    1992: “Yeshivas Defy the Odds” published today described the growth of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School.

    1993: Israel approved a $380 million grant today to support a major upgrading of the Jerusalem plant of the computer-chip manufacturer Intel Israel. The money, spread over seven years, was approved under a law authorizing state grants covering 38 percent of high-technology business ventures in the city. The cost of upgrading the silicon chip manufacturing plant is estimated at $1 billion. A Treasury spokeswoman said it was now up to Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., parent of Intel Israel, to give the plan final approval. Intel Israel, established in 1974, has operations in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

    1996: Yahya Ayyash, chief bomb maker for Hamas, is killed by an Israeli-planted booby-trapped cell phone.

    1997:In the Southern Ocean near 52°S 100°E, Tony Bullimore's boat, Exide Challenger capsized and the majority of press and media reports assumed that the 55 year old sailor was lost

    1997: A revival production of "Show Boat" the famed musical that owes its music, lyrics and book to three American Jews closed at Gershwin Theater New York City. 

    1997: The Sunday New York Times book section featured review of books by Jewish authors or of special interest to Jewish readers including My Teacher’s Secret Life by Stephen Krensky,A Journalist's Search for the Heart of His Country by Henry Grunwald which tells the story of how a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany became editor in chief of all publications in the vast Time Inc. empire, before retiring at the end of 1987 and   Unfinished People: Eastern European Jews Encounter America by Ruth Gay which “is essentially a memoir of Jewish life in the West Bronx in the 1920's and 30's, including the author's discomfort with her Eastern European immigrant family and her ''ordeal of civility,'' to use John Murray Cuddihy's phrase, in moving from ghetto culture to gentility.”

    1998:To commemorate her 30 years on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Muriel Siebert rang the closing bell to mark the end of the trading day.  She was the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE “Known as the "First Woman of Finance," Muriel "Mickie" Siebert was a dentist's daughter from Cleveland, OH, Siebert never graduated from college. Still, by lying about her education, she was able to get a low-level job at a prominent Wall Street firm where she eventually became partner before striking out on her own. In 1967, after being rejected by nine of the first ten men she asked to sponsor her application, Siebert became the first woman to purchase a seat on the NYSE. A decade later, New York Governor Hugh Carey appointed Siebert the first woman New York State Superintendent of Banking, a post she held for five years. After an unsuccessful 1982 bid for a United States Senate seat, Siebert returned to Wall Street, where she became an outspoken critic of business and financial practices. Throughout her career, Siebert worked on behalf of women in business and politics, donating millions of dollars from her brokerage and securities underwriting business to help other women break into the world of business and high finance. She is a founding member and former president of the Women's Forum, an international women's leadership network, and a member of the Committee of 200, a group of over 445 leading American businesswomen. Siebert was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1994.” (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

    2002: In the wake of shoe-bomber Richard Reid’s attempt to blow up a plane last December, airlines and government officials are looking at additional security measures. As food service deliveries and food cars used on planes are coming under scrutiny the stringent procedures followed by El Al, the Israeli airline are considered the gold standard for aviation security. At its catering center, several miles from Tel Aviv's airport, security guards monitor every step of food packaging, from items being ladled onto trays and sealed with plastic wrap, said Isaac Zeffet, a former chief of El Al security who now runs a consulting concern in Cliffside Park, N.J.Mr. Zeffet, the former El Al security chief, said banning food carts would be only a patch on a security system that requires a complete overhaul, including tighter controls on everyone and everything that comes in contact with planes before takeoff.

    2003: DeborahSolomon made her debut as the New York Times Magazine's "Questions For" columnist.”

    2003(2nd of Sh'vat, 5763):In the deadliest attack against Israel in 10 months a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up just seconds apart today in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of Tel Aviv, an area crowded with foreign laborers, killing 23 other people and injuring 100 more. The attackers, only 500 feet away from each other, set off their bombs 30 seconds apart. The first attacker stood in front of a bus stop, the second next to a currency exchange kiosk in a pedestrian mall, both sites teeming with Sunday evening shoppers. The blasts blew out windows, burned awnings and scattered limbs and torsos across two wide swaths. A spokesman for Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a Palestinian militant organization, claimed responsibility. The death toll kept climbing into the night here, making the tandem bombing the worst attack since a suicide bomber killed 29 people at the Park Hotel in Netanya during the Passover Holiday last March. That assault sent Israeli forces wheeling into the West Bank in a fierce counterattack. In Tel Aviv, Israeli rescue teams rushing to the site tonight encountered a scene of horrific carnage. The injured, clutching wounds, staggered from the scene in search of help, marking their escapes with long trails of blood. One man, calling for help, lifted himself from the ground and ran 50 yards down Neveh Shaanan Street before finally falling down dead. All about the scene hung the grim evidence of the attackers' work -- nails and ball bearings and hunks of metal, evidently planted in the bombs to sharpen their effect. Rescue workers said the two bombs appeared to be unusually large. The evidence, they said, came in the number of body parts they found scattered over so wide a distance and the fact that so many people were killed even though they were in an open area.

    2004: The Center Art Gallery at Calvin College presents “Talmud: in the Art of Ben-Zion and Marc Chagall,” an exhibit that brings together the Biblical work of two of the most important Jewish artists of the 20th Century. It features 18 intaglio prints by Ben-Zion and 25 color lithographs by Marc Chagall. The title, Talmud, is appropriate for this exhibit of images that help illustrate the collection of Biblical writings that constitute the Jewish civil and religious law (Talmud, n. {Heb. Talmud, instruction, from lamed, to learn}). Although Talmud traditionally deals with text and not image, these works act as aesthetic and insightful commentaries on the text of Scripture in the best of the Talmudic tradition. Viewed together, Zion’s blunt, powerful expressions of Biblical subjects and Chagall’s vibrant and dreamlike interpretations of religious narrative create an artistic dialogue that furthers understanding and enjoyment of their work and the Scripture they interpret.





    2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was showered with catcalls on today from his own right-wing party during a speech in which he said he would take down some Jewish settlements and permit the formation of a Palestinian state if the two sides reached a peace agreement. But Mr. Sharon again warned that he was prepared to set a security line unilaterally that would separate Israelis and Palestinians if they could not make progress under the current peace plan, which is stalled.

    2005 Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, is discovered by the team of 4 that included David L. Rabinowitz.

    2005: The 10th Pan American Maccabi Games came to an end in Santiago, Chile.

    2007: Haaretzreported that The Amsterdam house where Anne Frank wrote her diaries in hiding before dying in a Nazi concentration camp drew almost a million visitors during 2006. The total of 982,000 was 16,000 higher than in 2005. Most of the visitors were young tourists, primarily from the United States and Britain, the Anne Frank House said.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The traditional Shabbat Morning minyan at TempleJudahenters into its seventh year.

    2008: The Israeli Army wound up a large-scale, three-day operation in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.  Nineteen Palestinians had been detained during the operation that uncovered a major arms cache including rockets similar to the hundreds of projectiles that have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

    2009:Rabbi Ari Solomont, a native of Boston, has been named director of the Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. The program enables hundreds of young men and women every year to incorporate their study at more than 45 participating yeshivot and other educational institutions in Israel into their college years, enhancing their academic experience. The program is supervised by the Israel Program staff at the YU campus in Jerusalem

    2009: “For Women Only,” a drama, song and dance review showcasing the Jewish women and girls of Baltimore was presented at Goucher College.

    2009:Lawmakers are scheduled to take their first close look at financier Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion fraud and why the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to discover the scandal. Critics say the SEC missed warning signs and failed to uncover the scandal until Madoff's sons went to the authorities and told them he confessed to the fraud.

    2009: The Washington Post reviewed Old Flame, a Jackson Steeg novel, by Ira Berkowitz.

    2009:The Minnesota State Canvassing Board certified results today showing Al Franken, a Democrat, winning the Senate recount over Republican Norm Coleman, who is expected to challenge the result. Earlier today, the state Supreme Court rejected the Coleman campaign’s petition to count several hundred additional absentee ballots.

    2009:The disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff tried to hide at least $1 million in watches and jewelry from government investigators and should have his bail revoked and sent to jail immediately, federal prosecutors told a judge this aftern
    2009: In France, a car containing Molotov cocktails rammed into the door of a French synagogue and burst into flames. A rabbi and about 10 of his adult students in the Toulouse synagogue during the attack tonight fled unharmed. A second car containing Molotov cocktails was found near the synagogue, according to police.

    2009 (9 Tevet 5769):Four soldiers were killed in friendly-fire incidents that took place during fighting on Monday night. Three soldiers were killed when a tank mistakenly opened fire on a home in Saja'iya occupied by officers and soldiers from the Golani Brigade. Another tank accidentally fired on a home in al-Atatra, killing an officer in the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroop Brigade. The soldiers were Cpl. Yousef Moadi, 19, who lived recently in Haifa, but was originally from the Druse village of Yirka; Maj. Dagan Wertman, 32, from Ma'aleh Michmash in the Binyamin region; St.-Sgt. Nitai Stern, 21, from Jerusalem; and Capt. Yonatan Netanel, 27, from Kedumim.

    2010: In Jerusalem, Hama'abada presents a Double Feature show featuring Uri Dror a Jerusalemite singer-songwriter gaining recognition in the Israeli rock music scene in advance of his upcoming debut album and missFlag, the four piece band from Jerusalem that will soon begin a tour in the United States.

    2010:The Yellow Submarine's Zik Gallery presents Diyukan (Portrait), a group photography exhibit of the Third Year Students at the Musrara School of Photography and Media

    2010:Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a phone conversation today with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to assist in renewing peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Barak also updated the UN chief regarding Israeli efforts meet the humanitarian needs of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
    2010:Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated in New Zealand against Israel’s top-ranked women's tennis player amid a bomb scare in the arena. Shahar Pe'er, 22, was delayed from entering the arena for her opening match in the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland for about 20 minutes today after an unattended bag in the ASB Tennis Centre prompted the bomb scare. Pe'er said at the time, “I’m Shahar Pe'er. I came here to play tennis. I know I’m from Israel and I’m proud of my country.”

    2010(19th of Tevet, 5770):Murray Saltzman a Reform Rabbi and civil rights leader passed away. Born in 1929 to a Russian-immigrant family, he was the youngest of three sons. He led congregations in Maryland, Indianapolis, and Florida, among them Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Saltzman was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, after marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. and leading in various civil action projects.

    2010: Rabbi Shira Stutman is scheduled to lead an interactive conversation about Rosh Chodesh, traditionally considered a “woman’s holiday” for reasons including perceived connections between the moon and the female cycles answering the question  ‘How does the monthly reminder of womanhood shape our identity as women and as Jews?’ at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2011: After Senators returned Amy Totenberg’s nomination to the President at the end of the 111th Congress, he re-submitted the nomination today.

    2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to feature a screening of “Coming to America: The History of the Syrian Jewish Community 1900-1919.” This documentary is envisioned as part of a series on Syrian Jewish History and includes interviews with Syrian Jews living in the New York metropolitan area talking about their own families' experiences, histories, customs and traditions. 

    2011:Terrorists from the Hamas-controlled Gaza region struck the western Negev with another mortar attack this morning.

    2011:  39 Jewish members — 12 senators and 27 representatives — are expected to serve in the 112th U.S. Congress, which is set to convene to
    2011:Relatives and friends of those killed in the devastating Carmel fire last month refused to let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak today  as he stood at the podium of the official state memorial ceremony to deliver a eulogy to the victims. Those present at the ceremony mourning the 44 people killed in Israel's largest-ever wildfire let President Shimon Peres address the audience, but began heckling the premier and calling him a "liar" as he took his turn on the stage.

    2011:According to an email sent today from the West Coast branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Songwriter Debbie Friedman is sedated and on a respirator at a hospital in Orange County, Calif.  The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman's behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.
    2011(29th of Tevet, 5771):Seventy three year oldDavid G. Trager, a federal judge in Brooklyn whose rulings were pivotal in a racially charged case in Crown Heights and in the first civil suit to challenge the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to countries that employ torture, died today at his home in Brooklyn.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2012: The Red Sea Classical Music Festival is scheduled to open this evening at Eilat.

    2012(10th of Tevet, 5772): Asara B’Tevet

    2012(10th of Tevet, 5772): Yahrzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin), a true woman of valor who will always be missed.

    2012:Israeli Police have been unsuccessful in running its agents in the West Bank, a senior police officer said today, adding that officers have been struggling to gather evidence on crimes committed by right-wing activists.

    2012:Ehud Olmert, who resigned as prime minister of Israel in 2008 amid corruption charges, was indicted today for allegedly taking bribes in the construction of a huge residential complex while he was mayor of Jerusalem.

    2013: “Les Troyens,” a cinematic presentation of Berlio’s epic is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

    2013: Ms. Erica Strauss, a soprano making a guest appearance with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is scheduled to present a one hour program of live opera and Jewish music this evening at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2013(23rdof Tevet, 5773): Eddie Goldstein, who lived in Boyle Heights for almost 8 decades, possibly making him “the last Jewish resident from the original Boyle Heights Jewish community” passed away today.

    2013: Israeli documentary "The Gatekeepers" was awarded the nonfiction or documentary prize by the National Society of Film Critics in the U.S. today

    2013: The traditional minyan at Temple Judah starts its 12th year of Saturday morning services.

    2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed willingness to form a broad-based coalition with center-left parties, but claimed they have negated the possibility in advance.

    2013: Vienna's Jewish Museum holds hundreds of books and works of art that may have been stolen by Nazis, a newspaper reported today.

    2013: Deadline for raising the one hundred thousand dollars need to make “Next Year In Jerusalem”

    2014: “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” an exhibition that had opened at the National Archives in October is scheduled to come to a close today

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart and The Downfall of Money by Frederick Taylor in which he described Germany’s hyperinflation during the 1920’s which some contend helped bring Hitler to power.

    2014: When Aaron Liberman of Northwestern checked in for the final minute of action against Michigan he made history by being the first basketball player to wear a kippa in Big Ten Conference history. (As reported by Adam Soclof)

     2014: “Behind the Candelabra” and “Happy Happy” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Thousands of African asylum seekers in Israel and their supporters held a silent march and then a rally in Tel Aviv to day in an escalation of their protest against measures restricting their movement and ability to work.

    2014: New York government officials publicly condemned the New York Post today, hours after the paper published a front-page picture of a slain Hasidic businessman and the headline “Who didn’t want him dead?”

    2014: Pope Francis today announced long-awaited plans to travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this May.

    2014: “Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age” is scheduled to have its final showing at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX.

    2015: At the Center for Jewish History David is scheduled to “tell, for the first time, the dramatic story of how Yiddish poets Abraham Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski rescued hundreds of treasures from YIVO’s archives following WWII and brought them to YIVO’s new headquarters in New York.”

    2015: An exhibition “Batsheva Dance Company at 50: American Concepts and the Israeli Spirit” is scheduled to come to an end at the New York Library for the Performing Arts

    0 0

    January 6

    548: This was the last year the Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus on this date. (Celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the late 300s in the WesternChurch.)


    1387: John I begins his reign as King of Aragon. In 1375, the future king assigned Abraham Cresques and his son Yehuda “to make a set of nautical charts which would go beyond the normal geographic range of contemporary portolan charts to cover the "East and the West, and everything that, from the Strait (of Gibraltar) leads to the West". For this job, Cresques and Jehuda would be paid 150 Aragonese golden florins and 60 Mallorcan pounds, respectively…”


    1432: The Jewish aldermen and the Jewish community in Pilsen bought from the Town Council a piece of land for which they paid “12 schock of Prague coppers” in the škvrner suburb on which to establish a cemetery.

    1449: In an unusual move, Constantine XI is crowned Byzantine Emperor at Mistra instead of at Constantinople. His reign would be a short one.  He would lose his throne in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans under Mehmed II.  Constantine was the last Emperor and the last Christian ruler of what was left of the Roman Empire.  The Moslem Ottoman Empire would prove to be a haven for Jews fleeing from persecution in Christian Europe.  Also, Mehmed worked to insure that a significant portion of the population of Istanbul (the new name for Constantinople) would be Jewish.  Cresques was a 14th century Jewish cartographer “who is credit with the authorship of the Catalan Atlas.

    1481: In Spain, during the Inquisition, the priests inaugurated the first auto-da-fe. 

    1497: Jews were expelled from Graz, Syria.

    1560: Giovanni Medici who had been elected Pope on Christmas Day 1559 was installed as Pope Pius IV. According to Gordon Thomas, author of The Pope’s Jews, “Pope Pius IV …relaxed a variety of restrictions on Jewish life that had been imposed by his predecessor, Paul IV, but… does not point out that the restrictions were restored by Pius V.”

    1567: Birthdate of Richard Burbage the 16th century English actor noted for his portrayal of Shylock – no mean accomplishment considering the fact that he and most of those in his audiences had never met a Jew.

    1663(5423): Italian rabbi Simeon (Simḥah) ben Isaac Luzzatto passed away in Venice.


    1693: Mehmed IV, the Ottoman Sultan passed away. During his reign, Moses Beberi was appointed ambassador to Sweden. After his death in 1674 his son Yehuda was appointed to the position ambassador. When the Jews of the Ukraine were looking for a place of refuge during the Cossack Uprising Mehmet IV, allowed them to settle on the banks of the Danube in Morea, Kavala, Istanbul and Salonica. The second event happens in 1666. Rabbi Sabetay Sevi declares himself messiah and causes turmoil. Mehmed was also the sultan who had to deal with Sabbati  Zevi, the famous false messiah.

    1706: Birthdate of Benjamin Franklin, printer, publisher, scientist, statesmen and a man who was far greater than his parts.  Franklinknew the Hebrew scriptures (what we call the Bible) very well. He had even suggested that the Great Seal of America depict Moses standing on the shore of the Red Sea, while Pharaoh drowns in his chariot in its midst. The motto at the bottom of the seal would have read: ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.’ You see Franklin was among those Founding Fathers who saw in the American Revolution a replaying of the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. King George III was the Pharaoh. George Washington was Moses. The Atlantic Ocean was the Red Sea. And, it was as if God were saying to King George: ‘Let my American people go!’ It is also important to point out that when the Jewish community in Philadelphia built their synagogue, which they named “Mikveh Israel,” Franklin contributed to the building fund himself. On July 4, 1788, Franklinwas too sick and weak to get out of bed, but the Independence Day parade in Philadelphia marched right under his window. And, as Franklin himself had directed, ‘the clergy of different Christian denominations, with the rabbi of the Jews, walked arm in arm. And when he was carried to his grave two years later, his casket was accompanied by all the clergymen of the city, every one of them, of every faith.”

    1753(1st of Shevat, 5513): As it had for the last 13 years, on the first of Shevat the Great Synagogue in London levied a tax of two shillings on each of its members “for the purpose of providing Unleavened Bread for the poor on Passover.”

    1761: Jacob Henry of New York wrote a letter addressed to Barnard Gratz in which he discussed plans to build a synagogue in Philadelphia.

    1785(24th of Tevet, 5545):  Haym Salomon passed away in Philadelphia at the age of 44.  Born in Poland in 1740, Salomon came to the United States before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  He was a friend of financier Robert Morris and helped several leaders of the American Revolution.  Among those whom he lent money to was James Madison, author of the Federalist Papers and President of the United States.  Salomon died penniless having bankrupted himself in support of the cause of American independence

    1803:Birthdate of pianist and composer Henri Herz.

    1811: Birthdate of Charles Sumner who served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. While serving as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sumner supported efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Jews of Romania.

    1813:Wirt und Gast, the second opera by German-Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed for the first time in Stuttgart, Germany.  Unlike his first opera, Jephtas Gelübde, which was a Biblical drama, Wirt und Gast is “the colorful Arabian Nights tale of the man who becomes caliph for a day.”


    1814(14th of Tevet, 5574): Jacob Abraham Rabbie who had taken the family name Rabbie in 1812 in response to a requirement that “all Dutch citizens had to take a surname’ passed away today in Amsterdam.

    1838: Birthdate of German composer, Max Bruch.  Bruch was not Jewish.  But he is most famous for his composition Kol Nidrei, written for cello and orchestra.  It is based on the traditional chant associated with that most holy of Jewish holidays

    1840: Sultan Abdul Mejid, under pressure from the Montefiore delegation, issued a Firman against blood libels. He also unconditionally released nine survivors of the Damascus libels. Four Jews had already died.

    1846(8th of Tevet, 5606):  Lewis Goldsmith passed away in Paris.  Born at Richmond,Surrey, he played an active, if marginal role, in the conflict between Napoleon and the British,  Among other things, he “published The Crimes of Cabinets, or a Review of the Plans and Aggressions for Annihilating the Liberties of France and the Dismemberment of her Territories, an attack on the military policy of” William  Pitt.

    1850: Birthdate of Eduard Bernstein, a leading German social democrat whose “Jewish parents, who were active in the Reform Temple on the Johannistrasse where services were performed on Sunday.”

    1853: Elias David Sassoon and his wife gave birth to Sir Edward Elias Sassoon, 2ndBaronet “who was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son Victor.”

    1854: The will of Judah Touro dated this day appoints four executors, three of whom are to each receive $10,000.  R.D. Shepperd, the fourth legatee is the residuary legatee.  The will bequeathed nearly $450,000 to various public institutions for charitable purposes, including the following: $80,000 for the establishment of an Almshouse in New-Orleans; $5,000 to the Hebrew Congregation in Boston;

    1854: Judah Touro signed his last will and testament.

    1858: Babette and Joseph Seligman give birth to George Seligman


    1858: The Court of Common Pleas heard the case of Mark Isaacs vs The Beth Hamedrash Society which “grew out of a claim by the plaintiff for baking” Matzah “for this religious corporation.  The matter was to be settled by arbitration but the plaintiff contended the arbitration was invalid because the arbiters met on Sunday which was a violation of state law.  But the respondents contended that since they observed Saturday as a day of rest they were not bound by this restriction.  While agreeing with respondents contention, the Court found their claim to be immaterial since the final document of arbitration was signed on Monday which meant that the issue of Sabbath observance was moot. Decision for the Respondent.

    1859: Birthdate of Samuel Alexander, the Australian-born British philosopher who was the first Jewish fellow of an “Oxbridge” college.

    1859:It wasreported today that a journal printed in Hebrew called Cammagia (The Orator) which has just appeared in Lyk, a city in northern Prussia  has been well received in Poland as well as in Prussia.

    1861(24th of Tevet, 5621): Major General Albert Goldsmid passed away. Born in 1794, this son of Benjamin Goldsmid entered the British Army in 1811 and served at the Battle of Waterloo.  Much of his career was spent in the cavalry where he earned several decorations for his service.

    1863: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that General Order 11 had been rescinded.

    1863: General Grant sent several telegrams to General Halleck acknowledge the revocation of General Order 11.  “By direction of the General in Chief of the Army at Washington¸ the General Order from these Head Quarters expelling Jews from this Department is hereby revoked.”

    1871: U.S. Vice President Schyler Colfax sent a letter today expressing his regret at not being able to attend an upcoming celebration of the newly unified nation of Italy.  Colfax expressed his hope that when Victor Emanuel said that Italy is free and one he meant that the newly united nation would follow the example of the United States of guaranteeing religious freedom to “Jew and Gentile” alike.  Colfax saw this guarantee of religious freedom as critical to the current success of the American Republic and as a critical to the future success of the Italian Republic. [Declarations like this are another example of what separates the experience of the Jews in the United States from that in European, Asian or African political entity.]

    1876: In Buffalo, NY, the clothing firm of Friedman & Co made an assignment to Henry Cone, a retired Jewish merchant to cover their liabilities of $5,000.

    1878; It was reported today that “a thrilling tale of a brave young Jew” is going to appear in the Number 10 issued of the New York Weekly.

    1878: It was reported today that “a Jewish paper” has called for a national meeting to revise Jewish ritual.  The papers say that “there is much in the ritual to which many Jews no longer give assent.”  Also, there are sections which an even larger number do not understand.

    1879(11th of Tevet, 5639)Rabbi Benjamin Artom passed away today at 3 Marine Parade, Brighton.(UK).He was the Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Great Britain.  Born in 1835 at Asti, Piedmont, Italy, he was the first person to hold the post of rabbi of Naples. In 1866 he accepted a call to become the spiritual leader, or Haham, of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Britain, and held the post until his death. He composed a prayer for boys on the occasion of their Bar Mitzvah that was at one time used in most orthodox synagogues in Britain, and is still used in the Spanish and Portuguese ones.

    1890(14THof Tevet, 5650): Former Judge Philip J. Joachimsen passed away today at 4 o’clock this afternoon at his home on 54th Street in New York City. The American jurist and communal worker was born in 1817 at Breslaue Germany. He emigrated to New York in 1827, and was admitted to the bar there in 1840. During the Civil war, he organized and commanded the Fifty-ninth New York Volunteer Regiment, and was injured at New Orleans. For his services he was made brigadier-general by brevet. After the war he practiced law until he was elected judge of the New York Marine Court in 1870. In 1877, he returned to private practice. In 1859, he was elected to serve as the first president of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. In 1879 he organized the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children in New York. (As reported by Adler & Friedenberg and the NYT)

    1892: It was reported today that thirty adult Russian Jews and 12 of their children are living at J. Syren’s Hotel on Madison Street where conditions are so unsanitary that officials are worried about an outbreak of smallpox.

    1893: “The Outbreak of Typhus Fever” published today described the outbreak of the epidemic in New York City which had its greatest impact among the immigrant population which included a large number of Jews from eastern Europe.

    1893: The Libre Parole sponsored “a great anti-Semitic meeting” at the Tivoli Vauxhall in Paris.

    1894: Among the charities receiving funds from the Brooklyn Board of Estimate were the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society - $294.88; Hebrew Benevolent Society, Eastern Division - $121.42; Hebrew Benevolent Society, Western Division - $72.32.  This means that the Jewish charities received $488.62 of the $85,000 distributed by the Board.


    1895: For the first time since its founding in 1863, the Union League does not have any Jewish members because Edwin Einstien resigned from the club today.  He resigned because the league had taken no action to remedy the effect of the blackballing of the son of Jesse Seligman which had taken place two years ago.

    1895: “Will of Eugene Kelly” published today explained that “the famous banker” had not left money to Catholic and Jewish charities as an “expression in favor” in favor of either these religions but because “other denominations are wealthier and better able to care for their poor.”

    1895: “The Late Czar” published today provided a review of Alexander III of Russiaby Charles Lowe which included a description of Russian persecution of its Jewish population.


    1896: Birthdate of Nathan Pritzker, the highly successful investor and real estate mogul  best known for his ownership of the Hyatt Hotel chain.  At one time or another he has also controlled the Hammond Organ Company and Continental Air Lines.  According to one estimate his holdings were valued at 700 million dollars during the 1980’s.

    1896: Mrs. Freda Silverman and her two daughters (Rachel,9 and Sarah, 3) were forced to leave their room at 185 Division Street tonight by their landlord because they could not pay the $6 in rent they owed him.

    1897: “The twenty-third annual lecture course of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association opened tonight at the Musical Hall of the Carnegie Building with a recitation by Mrs. Aida Kaufman and a lecture on ‘Modern Popular Delusions’ by Simon Sterne.”

    1898: State Supreme Court Judge William N. Cohen is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Profession of the Law and Its Demands” at Temple Emanu-El sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1898:Herzl travels to Berlin and convenes a conference of Berlin Jews. He also has two conversations with Ahmed Tewfik, the Turkish ambassador.

    1898: In a case of Jew versus Jew “representatives of the Auxiliary Relief Branch of the Russian and Polish Jewish Central Committee at Jerusalem… expressed indignation at the charges made of misues of the money collected in the United States for the relief of poor American Jews in…Palestine” made by the President of the newly formed American Congregation, the Pride of Jerusalem.

    1899: A list of the bequests left by the late David Marks published today includes instruction that $250 be given to each of the following: the Hebrew Technical School; the Montefiore Home, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews; Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, Mount Sinai Hospital, Educational Alliance, Young Men’s Hebrew Association and $100 each to the Hebrew Free School and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.  (This represents panoply of the institutions supported by New York Jewry at the turn of the century.)

    1899: “The Honorable Lionel Walter Rothschild has been elected a member of Parliament for the Aylesburgy Division of Buckinghamshire without opposition, succeeding his uncle, the late Baron Ferdinand James De Rothschild, who died December 17, 1898

    1902: Birthdate of Wilhelm Kraus a member of the anti-Nazi resistance group known as The Ehrenfeld or Steinbruck Group.

    1903:  Birthdate of composer and conductor Maurice Abravanel.Abravanel was born in Saloniki Greece when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire. A descendant of Isaac Abravanel, he came from an illustrious Sephardic Jewish family, which was expelled from Spain in 1492. Abravanel's ancestors settled in Saloniki in 1517, and his parents were both born there. In 1909, they moved to Switzerland, where his father Edouard de Abravanel was a very successful pharmacist. In 1934, anti-German sentiment forced  Abravanel to leave Europe.  After enjoying a triumph in Austraalia, Abravanel came to the United States to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera. He became the long-time conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra (1947-1979, building it from a part-time community orchestra into a well-respected, professional ensemble with recording contracts with Vanguard, Vox, Angel, and CBS. He lobbied for years for a permanent home for the orchestra, which then performed in the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square. He saw his dream come true when Symphony Hall was built, but not until the season after he retired. It has now been renamed Abravanel Hall in his honour. Only in America could the a major musical venue in the heart of “Mormon Country” be named for a Sephardic Jew from Salonika.   Abravanel passed away at the age of 90 in Salt Lake City.

    1903(7thof Tevet, 5663): Henry de Worms, 1st Baron Pirbright, the third son of Solomon Benedict de Worms and leading Conservative  politician passed away today.

    1903: Herzl begins a trip that would take him to Paris and London.

     1908: Birthdate of composer Menahem Avidom.  Born in Galicia, Avidom moved to Eretz Israel after World War I.  He studied music and graduated from the AmericanUniversity in Beirut.  He gained fame in Israel and throughout the world for his musical accomplishments before he died in 1995.

    1911:  Birthdate of comedian, actor and columnist, Joey Adams

    1912: New Mexico becomes the 47th state to enter the Union.  The historical record is too limited to do more than speculate on New Mexico Jewish life prior to 1848. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia suggests that prior to 1850; there may have been isolated conversos in New Mexico. From then until New Mexico's statehood, Jews played an active role in New Mexico's social, economic and political life. The first religious services were held in 1860 Sante Fe and a B'nai B'rith lodge was formed in 1882 in Albuquerque. New Mexico's first synagogue was built in Las Vegasin 1886. Other Jews were active in municiple and territorial/state politics. The experiences of New Mexico's Jewish pioneers speak clearly to their resilience and dedication. In 1990, the 6,400 Jews living in New Mexico were found mostly in the Albuquerque area. Between 1750 and 1850, many German Jews came to America to escape economic hardship and religious persecution. In the 1840s and 1850s, the first Jewish immigrants to New Mexico established themselves as merchants, sending for relatives as soon as they were able. They married local women or traveled to Europe or cities in the United States to find Jewish brides. By 1860, half the Jewish population of the territory was related. During the Civil War, Jews served the Union cause as soldiers and suppliers.  After the war, they expanded into new occupations - banking, politics, law, mining, and ranching. The railroad arrived in New Mexico in 1879, and a new wave of Jewish immigrants reflected their conservative Eastern European origins. After New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912, most of these families returned to urban centers to educate and marry off their children, and the pioneer era came to a close.

    1913: The Jewish National Workers Alliance (Farband) received its official charter, licensing it to sell various insurance and medical plans, from the State of New York (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1914: Birthdate of Heinz Berggruen, the collector and gallery owner who was one of the most important patrons and collectors of 20th century masters.

    1915: It was determined at a conference between Georgia State Attorney General and Warren Grice and Solicitor Dorsey who prosecuted the Leo Frank case that Grice and not Dorsey will make “the formal motion in behalf of the State before the United States Supreme Court in Washington for the advancement of the Leo M. Frank case on the docket for an early hearing.”

    1915: “Facts Never Appealed” published today included the view of Tom Loyless the editor the Agususta (Georgia) Chrnoiclewho believes that Leo Frank “committed the crime, but who says “We do not know it.  We are not absolutely certain of it.  There is in our own mind as there is in the minds of thousands of others that shadow of a doubt which would not permit us to see Leo Frank or any other man go to his death as long as that doubt exists.”

    1916: President Woodrow Wilson responded to Simon Wolf’s request that the State Department help facilitate the shipment of wheat for making matzah to the war zone in Europe by saying that he “would be very pleased to take up the matter…with the State Department to ascertain if it is possible to do anyting”

    1916: In Vienna, Else Reis and economist Hans Simon gave birth to Hedwig Magdalena Simon whose father had her baptized to avoid anti-Semitism caused by the misery of World War I and who gained fame as Hedi Stadlen.


    1918(22nd of Tevet, 5678): Georg Cantor passed away.  Born in 1845, Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor was a mathematician who was born in Russia and lived in Germany for most of his life. He is best known as the creator of modern set theory. He is recognized by mathematicians for having extended set theory to the concept of transfinite numbers, including the cardinal and ordinal number classes. Cantor is also known for his work on the set of uniqueness, a generalization of Fourier series. Cantor’s father was a Jewish Dane.  His mother was a Protestant. Under Halachah, Cantor would not be considered Jewish.  Under the racial laws that would go into in Germany 15 years after his death, he would have been a candidate for the Final Solution.

    1919: Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of the United States passed away.  While President, Roosevelt intervened with the governments of Rumania and Russia on behalf of their Jewish populations.  This was an unusual event for Jews and earned Roosevelt and the Republicans support among Jewish voters.  T.R.’s finest moment, from a Jewish point of view, may have come in 1895 when he was serving as New York City Police Commissioner.  Pastor Hermann Ahlwardt, a noted German anti-Semite came to New York to give a speech.  In an attempt to gain publicity for himself and his cause, he demanded police protection from what he was sure would be hostile demonstration by New York Jews.  Roosevelt gave him his police protection.  All of his protectors were Jewish policemen.  

    1919:As 100,000 German Marxists gathered in Berlin, Rosa Luxemberg urged them not to seize power until they had popular support.  They did not listen to her.  They began their unsuccessful revolt during which Rosa Luxemberg and Karl Liebknecht, the Jewish Communist leaders were killed.

    1919(5th of Shevat, 5679): Isaac Shadbrisky, a native of Chicago who served with Royal Navy under the name of Kelly passed away today.

    1922(6thof Tevet, 5682): Eighty-year old Jakob Rosanes the native of Broday who became a leading German mathematician and chess master

    1923: Birthdate of Argentine  writer and social protestor Jacobo Timerman.  After his release from an Argentine prison he moved to Israel.  He died in 1999.

    1925(10th of Tevet, 5685): Asara B'Tevet

    1925: Birthdate of Israel Shenker, the Philadelphia native who served as “a reported on the metropolitan staff of the New York Times” from 1968 to 1979. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1926: Birthdate of Monroe “Mon” Levinson “who used plexiglass and other nontraditional materials in becoming a prominent Op Art sculptor, creating work that actively affects the viewer’s perception.” (As reported by Roberta Smith)

    1927: Birthdate of Jesse Leonard Steinfeld, “the son of Jewish immigrants from Hungary” who as surgeon general in the Nixon administration spoke out against cigarette smoking, bringing new attention to the risks it posed to women and to people exposed to secondhand smoke.” (As reported by William Yardley)

    1927: A mass meeting is held tonight at Cooper Union to honor the memory of Asher Ginsberg (Ahad Ha’am).  Speakers at the event include, Dr. Chaim Weismann, Louis Lipsky (President of the World Zionist Organization), Carl Sherman (President of the Zionist Organization of America), Ambrahm Goldberg (President of the American Hebrew Federdation), Professor Selig Brodetzky and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise.

    1929: “Several speakers at the quarterly meeting of the national executive committee of the Zionist Organization of America…expressed disapproval of the actgion of Dr. Stephen S. Wise of the Free Synagogue in opposing participation of non-Zionists in the activities of the Jewish Agency.  The Jewish Agency is the term now applied to the World Zionist Organization.”  Non-Zionists who will work with the with Zionists in the Jewish Agnecy iknclude Louis Marshall, Felix M. Warburg, Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Herbert H. Lehman and Judge Irving Lehman.

    1929: The New York Times featured a review of How Propaganda Works by Edward L. Bernays, “father of modern public relations and nephew of Sigmund Freud.

    1931:  Birthdate of author E. L. Doctorow.

    1932(27th of Tevet, 5692): Julius Rosenwald passed away. Rosenwald is best known for turning Sears and Roebuck into a retail giant.  He was also a great philanthropist whose efforts included everything from being the patron of chess champion Samuel Reshevsky to endowing Tuskegee Institute to the creation of the Rosenwald Fund which was established “for the well-being of mankind.”  This brief entry cannot do justice to the accomplishments of a man, mighty in his times, who has been forgotten by most.

    1932: It was announced today that “an unlimited quota of athletes will be permitted by the Palestine government to enter the country to take part in the Maccabee Games” to be held this spring in Tel Aviv.

    1933: Henryk Szeryng “made his solo debut” today “playing Brahms Violin Concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.”

    1934: Hadassah announced that “the lowest infant mortality rate achieved in a Palestine health district was in Tel Aviv.  “The rate was 68.03 among children under 1 year for every 1,000 live births and represented an improvement over 1931 when the rate was 72.52.”  Jerusalem “had a rate of 117.30 in 1932 and 104.28 in 1931.  Bethlehem…had a rate of 341.91 in 1932, the highest health district rate in the country.   The infant death rate for the whole country was 153 in 1932, against 170 in 1931.”

    1936: Cartoon character Porky Pig makes his debut.  For most of his career the traif animal got his voice from the Jewish Mel Blanc.

    1937: The Palestine Postreported that a quarry worker, Haim Katz, 29, and a policeman, Jacob Klinger, 34, were murdered in an ambush at Givat Shaul.

    1937: Birthdate of Lou Holtz, who, while serving as assistant coach recruited Scott Cowen, the future President of Tulane University, to play football at the University of Connecticut where he earned a B.S. in 1968. 

    1938: William Dodd, who had resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Germany in December, arrived in New York City wherehe said that he "doubted if an American envoy who held his ideals of democracy could represent his country successfully among the Germans at the present time." Dodd was the first U.S. Ambassador appointed after the rise of Hitler.  In time he came to see the Nazi threat and tried to do what he could to warn America about the danger.

    1938(4th of Sh'vat, 5698): Pinchas Friedman one of the earliest Zionist settlers and a founder of Tel Aviv passed away today.  Born in Russia, he made Aliyah in 1890.

    1939: In an article entitled “Interests of Britain, Jews and Arabs Are in Clash,” Anne O’Hare McCormick describes conditions in Palestine which is currently in the grip of an armed Arab uprising.  She describes meetings with two different groups of Arabs.  The first group, “composed of fervent nationalists complained” that the Jews of Palestine “prevented Palestinians from attaining an independent status like that granted to Iraq.”  They vowed that they “would never cease fighting” and “insisted that they spoke for every Arab in the land.”  The second group of Arabs was found “sharing a meal in a communal dining room” on a kibbutz.  These Arabs said “they wanted peace and complained that the British neither punished the handful off rebels stirring up their village” nor providing arms to responsible Arab leaders so they could stand against those creating the violence.

    1940: Shivering Jews in Warsaw, Poland, are forced to burn Jewish books for fuel.


    1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his State of the Union address which became known as the Four Freedoms Speech because FDR listed them as:

    1. Freedom of speech and expression including the right to dissent

    2. Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way

    3. Freedom from want

    4. Freedom from fear
    The first two are recognizable as being part of the Bill of Rights.  Freedom #2 spoke directly to the needs and concerns of the Jewish people and would prove strikingly ironic considering the events surrounding the Holocaust.

    1942: Jacob Moshe Toledano who was born in Tiberias was installed as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. In 1926 Toledano served as the head of the religious court at Tangiers, and later similar posts in Cairo and Alexandria. Toledano was escorted from Tiberias to Tel Aviv by a grand delegation.

    1942: Victor Klemper was arrested and interrogated at the Gestapo headquarters in Dresden.

    1943: Eighty six year old Abbot Lawrence Lowell, the former President of Harvard, passed away.  He was praised by some for being a leader in educational reforms.  But many of his policies were homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic.

    1943: The Jews of Lubaczow, Poland, are killed at the Belzec death camp

    1943: Jews hiding in Opoczno, Poland, are murdered by Germans after being coaxed out of hiding with a promise of rail transport to a neutral country. Five hundred "Jews with relatives in Palestine" came out of hiding to register. All 500 were sent to Treblinka and were gassed.


    1944: Birthdate of Bonnie Franklin, American actress. She once said that because of her red hair and freckles, fans have a hard time believing that she is Jewish.


    1944: Anne Frank wrote in her diary that “her image of” Peter Schiff “was so vivid that she didn’t need a photograph” of him.


    1945 (21st of Tevet, 5705): On Shabbat, Roza Robota and three other Jewish women implicated in the smuggling of explosives used in the October 7, 1944, uprising at Auschwitz are hanged in front of the entire women's camp at Birkenau.  The three women had been previously tortured in connection with the revolt at Birkenau but gave away no one. Robota’s final words were, "that vengeance would come."

    1945: Hungarian authorities accede to Raoul Wallenberg's request that 5000 Jews be transferred to Swiss-sponsored safe homes in Budapest.

    1945(21st of Tevet, 5705):  Anne Frank's mother, Edith, dies at Auschwitz

    1946: In Zanzur, Libya Islamic instigators encouraged the local population to attack the Jewish community. Of the 150 local Jews half were murdered. The rioting spread to a number of small towns near Tripoli leaving a death toll of approximately 180 Jews and 9 synagogues destroyed. The local police and Arab soldiers often joined in the destruction and murder.  This outbreak of Arab anti-Semitic violence took place two years before the creation of the state of Israel.  This should put an end to claims that only source of friction between Jews and Arabs was the creation of the Jewish state.

    1949: During Operation Horev, the Israeli Air Force shot down five RAF Spitfires on patrol in the area, killing two pilots and taking two prisoners.  It is not clear if the Spitfires were being flown by Egyptian or British pilots.

    1949: The British moved forces into the Jordanian port of Akaba.

    1949:After three days of fighting around Rafah in which its forces failed to defeat the IDF, the Egyptian government announced, that it was  willing to enter armistice negotiations

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the new and improved rationing schedule each Israeli was now able to purchase four eggs a week. A mere fifty years ago, the Israelis were living barely above the subsistence level.  With no natural resources and faced by enemies on all of its borders, the Jews created a modern, vibrant country. A huge forest, named after Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was planted on Mount Carmel. Only five years after the founding of the state of Israel, the Jewish state created a living monument to a Moslem leader who was not afraid to embrace the modern world.

    1954: Moshe Sharett succeeded David Ben-Gurion as Prime Minister of Israel.  Ben Gurion had been Prime Minister since the creation of the state in 1948.  Sharett had been Foreign Minister, a post he kept in the new government.  Golda Meir remained as Labor Minister and Pinchas Lavon became Minister of Defense.  The change was in leadership; the Labor Zionist still maintained control of the government. 

    1956: Birthdate of Gonen Segev, the native of Kiryat Motzkin who has served as an MK and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

    1955: In Boston, publication of the tercentenary issue of the Jewish Advocate.

    1956: In Seattle, Washington, a Friday night services is held at the U of W Hillel House attended by 170 people who want to form a Reform congregation that will become Temple Beth Am.

    1956: Birthdate of Justin Welby, “the first ‘Jewish’ Archbishop of Canterbury.”

    1957: Yeshiva Kol Ya'ackov opened in Moscow Russia.

    1960: In Wandsworth, London Vanessa (née Salmon) “the heiress to the J.Lyons and Co. fortune: and Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby gave birth to “English journalist, broadcaster, television personality, gourmet, and food writer” Nigella Lawson.


    1964: Pope Paul VI completed his first visit to the “Holy Land” where he visited sites in Jordan and Israel and began his return flight to Rome.

    1967: Jewish pianist Jacob Lateiner, accompanied by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performed at the premier of Elliot Carter’s piano concerto and the third piano sonata of Roger Sessions.

    1967: "Milton Berle Show" aired for the last time on ABC-TV

    1968: It was reported today that during a New Year’s conversation French President Charles de Gaulle had assured Jacob Kaplan, the Grand Rabbi of France “that it was far from his intention to insult the Jews when he called them an ‘elite people, sure of itself and domineering’ during a news conference in November of 1967.  Speaking at a time when France was repositioning itself following the Six Days War de Gaulle also said “that while the Jews though the centuries had ‘provoked, more precisely aroused’ antagonism in various countries, they had received great sympathy from Christians because of their sufferings.” (Editor’s Note – these words have a hollow sound coming from the land of Drancy.  They also show that French anti-Semitism in the 21st century is not just a produce of Moslem radicals)
    1969: “The Fig Leaves Are Falling” a musical with script and lyrics by Allan Sherman closed after only 4 performances

    1969: In his review of “The Birthday Party,” film based on an unpublished screenplay by Harold Pinter, published in The Nation, “critic Harold Clurman described the film as "a fantasia of fear and prosecution,"

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that Egypt agreed to reduce by one -third its forces in Sinai, once Israelevacuated the whole area. The US Embassy in Tel Aviv asked the Israeli government to clarify its intentions regarding the setting up of new settlements on the West Bank and in Sinai.

    1981(1st of Sh'vat, 5741): Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat

    1987: A.M. Rosenthal’s “On My Mind” column appeared for the first time on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times.

    1987(5 Tevet 5747): U.S. Federal Court issued a decision in favor of Agudas Chassidei Chabad ("Union of Chabad Chassidim") regarding the ownership of the priceless library of the 6th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. The ruling was based on the idea that a Rebbe is not a private individual but a communal figure synonymous with the body of Chassidim. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak's son-in-law and successor) urged that the occasion be marked with time devoted to study from Torah books ("sefarim") as well as the acquisition of new Torah books.

    1987:A roadside bomb killed four members of an Israeli-backed militia in southern Lebanon today.

    1987: Yitzhak Shamir replaced Yitzhak Peretz as Internal Affairs Minister.

    1991: Following a speech today, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Iraqi Army, in which Sadam Hussein said he was preparing the nation for a great battle to liberate Palestine and defeat American "tyranny" in the Middle East the United States once again rejected efforts to tie the gulf crisis to the Palestinian question.

    1994: “Homicide: Life on the Street” began its second season with a show written by David Simon and co-starring Yaphet Frederick Kotto Baltimore Police “Lieutenant Al Giardell.”

    1995(5th of Shevat, 5755): Sixty-eight year old Joe Slovo (born Yossel Mashel Slovo) a leading opponent of Apartheid who served as Minister of Housing under President Nelson Mandela passed away today

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including newly released paperback versions of! Amy Wilentz’s Martyrs' Crossing, the first novel by a former Israel correspondent for The New Yorker and Bob Woodward’s Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom, an admiring portrait of the Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.

    2002: Sheila Finestone completed her service as Senator for Montarville, Quebec, when she reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

    2003(3rdof Shevat, 5763):

    2003: Police said tonight that that they suspected the suicide bombers who struck in Tel Aviv on Sunday used backpacks containing more than 20kg of explosives instead of suicide belts.
    2005:: Edgar Ray Killen is arrested as a suspect for the 1964 murders of three Civil Rights workers James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi and two Jewish voting rights organizers from New York, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

    2005: The First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace begins in Brussels, Belgium. “The Permanent Committee for Jewish-Muslim Dialogue was created after the First World Congress as an institution which would reflect and act in domains and on problematic issues in which Islam and Judaism are implicated. The committee is composed on nine founder members, four international Jewish personalities, four international Muslim personalities and a neutral president.”

    2006:  “Jackie Hoffman: Chanukah At Joe’s Pub” and “Walking in Memphis: The Life of A Southern Jew,” a semi-autobiographical piece by Jonathan Ross are now playing “Off, Off Broadway” in New York City.

    2006: “Fateless” a movie based on the novel by the same name written by Imre Kertesz opens at the Film Forum in New York.  Fatelesswas a biographical novel for which Kertesz won the Nobel Prize in 2002.

    2006: Ariel “Sharon underwent a five-hour operation to halt bleeding in his brain, following which Sharon was returned to the neurological intensive care unit.”

    2007: As part of its “Jewish Season” The Theater for a New Audience in New York City presents The Merchant of Venice.

    2008: An exhibition entitled Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. comes to a close.

    2008(28thof Tevet, 5768):Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, a Talmudic scholar who for more than 50 years led a major Orthodox yeshiva in Brooklyn, known as the Mir Yeshiva, died today. He was 87. His death followed a long struggle with cancer, said Rabbi Pinchos Hecht, executive director of the yeshiva, also called the Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute.  The Mir Yeshiva is exclusively devoted to the study of the Torah: the Old Testament, commentaries upon it and the oral tradition known as the Talmud. It has 1,200 members. Another branch is in Jerusalem, with an estimated 4,000 students.  Rabbi Berenbaum was born in 1920 in Poland and studied in a yeshiva in Mir before World War II. As the Nazis rolled across Eastern Europe, he and other yeshiva students fled to the Soviet Union and resettled in Shanghai. From there, they eventually emigrated to the United States. Steven Bayme, national director of contemporary Jewish life at the American Jewish Committee, said the yeshiva helped preserve “a world that was otherwise lost.” “The rescue of the institution during the Holocaust by going to Shanghai was an act of incredible daring,” Mr. Bayme said. “It took enormous courage and perseverance.” Jonathan Rosenblum, director of Am Echad, an advocacy group in Israel that works to build bridges between ultra-Orthodox Jews and others, said that while Rabbi Berenbaum had no public position in America, “he was the one who was consulted on anything connected to Torah learning in the Torah world,” adding, “He taught Torah for over 50 years, and he never repeated himself.” Leadership of the Brooklyn yeshiva will pass to Rabbi Berenbaum’s nephew, Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz. (As reported by AP)

    2008: The Matzo Show on Rivington Street by Deborah Kolben Matzo Show on Rivington Street &st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

    2008: The Washington Post featured a review of People of the Book a work of historic fiction by Geraldine Brooks.  “The Book” in the title is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, created in medieval Spain.  The Haggadah is “a famous rarity because it was a lavishly illuminated Hebrew manuscript made at a time when Jewish belief was firmly against illustrations of any kind.”

    2008: The Sunday New York Times featured a review of, and excerpt from, Jihad and Jew-Hatred:Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11by Matthias Küntzel and translated by Colin Meade, a review of, and an excerpt from, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemyby Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg and a review of Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence by Zacharcy Karabell.


    2008 (28 Tevet 5768): Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, the Rosh yeshiva of the Mir yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York City which includes an elementary school and a high school, as well as its post-graduate Talmudical Academy passed away. The original Mirrer yeshiva was founded in 1815, in Mir, Belarus, and remained in operation there until 1914. With the outbreak of World War I the yeshiva moved to Poltava, Ukraine, under the leadership of Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, son of the legendary Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slabodka), and son-in-law of Rabbi Elya Boruch Kamai, his renowned predecessor. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 marking the beginning of the Holocaust. Although many of the foreign-born students left when the Soviet army invaded from the east, the yeshiva continued to operate, albeit on a reduced scale, until the approaching Nazi armies caused the leaders of the yeshiva to move the entire yeshiva community to Keidan, Lithuania. As the Nazi armies continued to push to the east, the yeshiva as a whole eventually fled across Siberia by train to the Far East, and finally reopened in Kobe, Japan in 1941. Several smaller yeshivos managed to escape alongside the Mir, and, despite the difficulties involved, the overseers of the Mirrer yeshiva undertook full responsibility for their support, distributing funds and securing quarters and food for all the students. A short time later, the yeshiva relocated again, to (Japanese-controlled) Shanghai, China, where they remained until the end of World War II. The heroism of the Japanese consul-general in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, who issued several thousand travel visas to Jews, permitting them to flee to the east, has been the subject of several books. Following the end of the war, the majority of the Jewish refugees from Shanghai ghetto left for Palestine and the United States. Among them were the survivors from the Mir yeshiva, who re-established the yeshiva, this time with two campuses, one in Jerusalem, Israel and this one in Brooklyn, New York.

    2009:The National Jewish Democratic Council recognizes the Jewish Democratic Members of the 111th Congress at a reception at Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC

    2009: Fast of the 10th of Tevet and Yahrzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin).


    2009:Today, on the Christian observance known as the Feast of the Epiphany, the Ra'anana Symphonette (RS) conducted by Omer Wellber, will play Irena's Song - a Ray of Light through the Darkness by Kobi Oshrat. The composition and the performance were inspired by Irene Sendler, who along with her intrepid band of helpers from Zegota, the Polish underground, rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between 1942 and 1943. “Between these dates grows a story no less wonderful than the life, deeds and soul of a Polish Catholic social worker who risked her life that Jewish children might live. "Every child saved with my help, and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers… is the justification of my existence on earth, and not a title to glory," Sendler said to the Polish Senate when it honored her in 2007. In January 2008, RS general director Orit Fogel saw the portrait of a woman (pictured) in a Poznan home "whose goodness radiated, and when I asked 'who is that?', I was told the story of Irena Sendler. I said 'we have to write a work in her honor.'" Sendler died in Warsawthis past May 12 at the age of 98, so she will never get to hear the song that Oshrat calls "more than a professional challenge. It was a kind of mission, the least that I, as a Jew, could do to honor this woman." The 20-minute work is "a sort of collage of her life, ending with seven-year-old Menashe Shalev, who sings like an angel, and symbolizes a better future.""'I entered the room and saw an angel,' were the first words spoken by ten different people who had met her on ten different occasions," says Fogel. She buckled down to the research on Sendler by enlisting the mayor of Ra'anana to get 2,500 junior high school students to write letters to Irena, after they'd been told her story by some of her "children" who now live in Israel. The Israel Philatelic Authority issued a limited edition of two stamps (designed by renowned Polish artist Rafal Olbinski who volunteered his services when he heard it was "for Irena") for the envelopes. And others including artist Ilana Gur, echoed the sentiment of her angelic nature. "The project was a huge privilege for me," says Fogel. "I threw in a stone called Irena Sendler and the ripples spread and spread. People from all over the world are coming to this concert." Sendler and her helpers smuggled the children out of the ghetto in ambulances, coffins, burlap bags, boxes - any way they could. They settled the children in convents, orphanages, private homes, giving each false papers with a new name. Sendler wrote the child's real name, new name, and that of his parents in code on thin sheets of paper that she buried in jars beneath a neighbor's apple trees so she could reunite the children with their parents after the madness was over. In 1943 she was arrested by the Gestapo, horribly tortured and sentenced to death. Zegota bribed a guard, and so rescued her. She resumed her activities under another name until the end of the war. When she was little, her doctor father once said to her "Irena, in this world there is good and evil. Always choose only the good." And so she did.

    2009: Barack Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to serve as his solicitor general. If the nomination is confirmed by the United States Senate, Kagan who is the dean of the HarvardLawSchooland is Jewish would be the first woman to hold this position.

    2009 (10 Shevat 5769):St.-Sgt. Alexander Mashevizky, 21, a resident of Beersheba, was killed in a gun battle with Hamas operatives in northern GazaCity.Mashevizky, a member of an elite Engineering Corps unit, led the joint force, which was ambushed by Hamas gunmen while conducting ground sweeps.

    2010:The Bronx House Jewish Community Center presents “Klezmer Party” with Matan Chapnizka (Saxophone), Daniel Ori (Bass) and Dan Pugach (Drums) as part of the 2010 Bronx House Concert Series.

    2010:At around 1 a.m. this morning the Etz-Hayyim Synagogue in the Greek city of Hania on the island of Crete was set on fire by an unkown arsonist. The fire was started on wooden staircase that led to the second-story women's section of the main sanctuary in the small seaside complex. The Etz-Hayyim Synagogue was restored in the late 1990s after years of neglect in the wake of the Second World War. The nearly 300 members of the Hania Jewish community were shipped out by the Nazi invaders in 1944, and died when their ship was sunk in transit by an Allied torpedo. It serves as a place for prayer, a museum and memorial, and a library recording the long and troubled history of Crete's Jews. The walls of the synagogue's main hall were covered in soot, but the fire did not reach the Torah scrolls or the library.

    2010:Israel inched a step closer to deploying a missile defense system along the border with the Gaza Strip today after the Iron Dome successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests held in southern Israel this week. The tests were overseen by the Defense Ministry, the Israeli Air Force and the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. which has developed and is manufacturing the Iron Dome, slated to become operational and deployed along the Gaza border in the middle of 2010.

    2010:American Jewish youth movement Young Judaea and its long-running sponsor, Hadassah Women's Organization, suffered another blow today following the resignation of key staff member, YJ/FZY Year Course Director Keith Berman. Berman's decision to leave Young Judaea after more than 20 years with the movement closely follows the resignation of its director, Rabbi Ramie Arian, who is scheduled to step down in the coming weeks.

    2010:James von Brunn, who shot and killed museum guard Stephen Tyrone Johns on June 10 during an attempted raid on the U.S. Holocaust Museum, died in a prison hospital today. He was 88 and died of natural causes. Von Brunn was awaiting trial on possible death penalty charges in the federal prison in Butner, N.C., after recovering from being shot in the face by another guard. Von Brunn had a long history of white supremacist and anti-Semitic writings. The museum issued a statement memorializing Johns.  "The Museum's thoughts and prayers continue to be with Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns' family at this time," the statement said. "Officer Johns died heroically defending the Museum, visitors and staff. This tragedy is a powerful reminder that our cause of fighting hatred remains more urgent than ever."

    2011(1stof Shevat, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

    2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “Democracy, Power Politics and the New Middle East” which will “delve into the shifting tectonic plates of Middle East politics, Iran's embattled regime and its nuclear ambitions, Iraq's fledgling democracy, new realities for Persian Gulf monarchies and the longer-term challenges facing Israelis and Palestinians.

    2011: Aaron Hillel Swartz “was arrested near the Harvard campus by MIT police and a U.S. Secret Service agent” after which he “was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on two state charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.”
    2011: The Red Sea Classical Festival is scheduled to open in Eilat.

    2011: Birthday of Brian Cohen, shofar blower par excellence, and a man whose life is worthy of his patronymic.

    2011: The High Court of Justice ruled today that public bus companies could continue the practice of gender segregation on dozens of lines serving the ultra-Orthodox sector, as long as there is no coercion or violence involved.

    2011:Kenyan runner Stephen Chemlany won the 34th annual Tiberias Marathon today, making it across the finish line after 2:10:02. Frenchman Patrick Tambe Ngoie captured second place, finishing seven seconds behind the leader. Kenya’s Julius Muriuki Wahome finished in third place. Haile Satayin, Israel’s champion marathon runner, defended his title today, becoming the first Israeli to cross the finish line. Satayin, who finished in 19th place overall, completed the course in 2:18:57. .

    2012: In New Orleans, LA, Touro Synagogue is scheduled to host a Shabbat Family Dinner.

    2012: Think Different – Original Israeli Rock is scheduled to take place at the Blaze  Sports and Rock Bar on Rechov Hillel

    2012: Excerpts from works by LeeSaar The Company Lior Shneior (Sea Songs), Michal Samama (Under the Skin), Neta Dance Company and Netta Yerushalmy are scheduled to be performed at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

    2012:  The Judges Selection Committee announced the nomination of four new Supreme Court judges today. The four are: Jerusalem District Court Judge Noam Sohlberg (50), Deputy President of the Jerusalem District Court Zvi Zylbertal (60), Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uri Shoham (64) and Professor Dafna Barak-Erez (47), who serves as Dean of Law at the Tel Aviv University.


    2012: Gabriel Cadis, a senior figure in Jaffa’s Christian community was stabbed to death today evening, during festivities at the St George Church in Jaffa. Cadis, who served as head of the Orthodox Church Association in Jaffa, was taken to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, but succumbed to his injuries very quickly. Police Commander David Gaz said that the stabbing caused by a business disagreement.

    2012:A third file containing hacked credit card details of Israelis was posted on the internet today. The new file, published in the PasteBin website, contains information from the same credit cards that was revealed earlier this week. Bank Leumi warned that the current file might contain a Trojan horse and that people should refrain from downloading it.

    2013: The Klezmer Jam Session and Dance is scheduled to take place at The Talking Stick in Venice, CA.

    2013: Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya and the recently released paperback editions of Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine by Eric Weinter and  The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman

    2013: Family and friends of Brian Cohen, master latke maker and shofar blower par excellence, wish him the happiest of birthdays in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2013: Public Television is scheduled to broadcast “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, featuring interviews and performance footage that provides insight as to why Broadway “is fertile territory for Jewish artists.”
    2013:A report released by the State Comptroller today finds that former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi was not directly complicit in the production of a document aimed at discrediting Defense Minister Ehud Barak's choice to succeed him as army chief, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant.

    2013: Flooded tracks brought train traffic between Tel Aviv and Haifa to a halt for a few hours on Sunday, as stuck automobiles caused traffic jams in many places across the country.

    2013(24thof Tevet, 5733): 200th Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Lubavitch Movement. We cannot do justice to the career of this Jewish leader who “created” a form of Judaism that harmonized the need for spirituality, ecstasy  and education.

    2014: “12 Years a Slave” is among the films scheduled to shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: It was announced today that Julius Genachowski had joined The Carlyle Group

    2014: In a case of Jew follows Jew, the United States voted today to confirm Janet Yellen as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve following Ben Bernake who completes his term at the end of this month. 

    2014: An unknown assailant lobbed a small pipe bomb into the Rachel’s Tomb complex near Bethlehem tonight, causing an explosion “lightly injuring” one passer-by. (As reported by Times of Israel Staff)

    2014: Jane Yellin “was confirmed as Chai of the Federal Reserve” making her the first woman and the first Jewish woman to hold the post.

    2014: “Amid mounting criticism from international organizations and protests by African migrants outside several Tel Aviv embassies, Israeli officials tonight tried to reframe the debate over the fate of the 50,000-60,000 migrants here by reiterating the official government position in a more conciliatory manner while emphasizing the unique challenges that Israel faces.” (As reported by Marissa Newman)

    2015: In the UK, the University of Kent is scheduled to mark the 70thanniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by hosting a conference that “seeks to examine the significance of the topography of the Nazi concentration camps --- from historical, sociological and artistic perspectives.”

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    January 7

    1256:Berechiah De Nicole, the Chief Rabbi of Lincoln was released after having been imprisoned in London on charges related to the death of “Little Hugh of Lincoln.”  The son of Rabbi Moses ben Yom Tov of London, Reb Berechiah was an English Tosafist who was considered an authority on ritual matters. “He decided that the evening prayer might be said an hour and a quarter before the legal time of night…and declared that nuts prepared by Gentiles might not be eaten by Jews.” In August, 1255, the body of gentile boy named Hugh was found in Lincoln (a town called Nicole in Norman-French). This discovery gave rise to charges of ritual murder for which all the Jews of Lincoln were seized and imprisoned in Lincoln. Berechiah reportedly some time during 1256, but the exact date and cause are unknown.


    1325:  Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal.  During the early 14th century, more than 200,000 Jews lived in Portugal, which was about 20 percent of the total population. This period was part of what is known as “Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery, in which Jews made a major contribution to Portugal’s success.” During the reign of King Dinis, Alfonso’s father, the clergy invoked the restrictions of the Fourth Lateran Council in an attempt to get the monarch to restrict the role of Jews in Portuguese society.  .  The clergy, however, invoking the restrictions of the Fourth Council of the Lateran, brought considerable pressure to bear against the Jews during the reign of King Dinis I of Portugal, but the monarch maintained a conciliatory position. Alfonso remained faithful to his father’s policies.  The position of the Jews of Portugal did not begin to deteriorate until the last decades of the 14th century as can be seen by the decree of King Joao I forcing Jews to wear special clothing and obey a special curfew.


    1502: Birthdate of Pope Gregory VIII, famed for the creation of the Gregorian calendar, a method of tracking time has had a unique impact on Jewish historians trying to match events that occurred before 1752 (5512) on the Jewish calendar with the civil calendar.


    1516: Representatives of several towns including Frankfort and Worms attended a Diet at Frankfort to discuss how the Jews might be banished and never allowed to return.


    1536: Catherine of Aragon, the wife of King Henry VIII of England, passed away.  She was the daughter of the two monarchs who created the Spanish Inquisition and drove the Jews out of Spain. The Spanish monarchs would consent to their daughter’s marriage if Henry’s father would promise that no Jews would ever live in England.  Ironically, it was Catherine’s inability to provide a male heir that led to the England’s break with the Catholic Church which would play in an indirect positive role in the return of the Jews to England.


    1566: Pius V. the Pope, who expelled the Jews from Imola, began his papacy today.  Among those expelled was Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph the Talmudist and author of the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, also known as Sefer Yaḥya


    1601: An entry made today into the Stationer’s Register assigns Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus” a play which oddly enough contains a posthumous reference to Rodrigo Lopez the Marrano physician who was hung after being convicted of treason, to the bookseller and publisher Thomas Bushnell


    1625: Ferdinand II issued decree of general expulsion that the Jews of Vienna were able to prevent from being carried out.


    1768: Birthdate of Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.  As King of Spain, he abolished the Inquisition. 


    1775: For the second time in two months, Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia.


    1800: Birthdate of Mortiz Daniel Oppenheim whose paintings included portraits of  several notables including Moses Mendelssohn and “The Return of the Jewish Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to His Family Still Living According to Old Customs”



    1800:  Birthdate of President Millard Fillmore.  In 1850, the American Minister to Switzerland signed a treaty with the Swiss Confederation establishing the rights of the citizens of each country to travel and sojourn in the other.  However, the Swiss wished to limit the privileges to Christians. In a message to the Senate, Fillmore opposed the treaty because the U.S.government could not sanction an agreement that treated its citizens differently based on religion.  This episode serves to underscore the difference between the Jewish experience in America and other parts of the world in which they had previously settled.  Fillmore is living proof that the least of men can do the greatest of things. 


    1841: Birthdate of Israel Levy, the German-Jewish scholar whose first publication was Ueber Einige Fragmente aus der Mischna des Abba Saul


    1843: The first Jewish service was held at the Wellington Hebrew Congregation in Wellington, New Zealand under the leadership of Abraham Ort. There had been Jewish people in New Zealand from the beginnings of European settlement in the north.  Jewish traders from England, including John Montefiore, Joel Polack and David Nathan, were active starting in the 1830’s. Jews were on the first ships to arrive in Wellington. A Jewish community was founded in 1843 with the arrival from London of Abraham Hort after he and his family arrived aboard the Prince of Wales.


    1848: The Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association was formed today.  A fraternal and benevolent order formed by German Jews “who had fled to” the United States “during the German revolution,” it was first led my Mordecai Noah, a former Sheriff of New York.


    1857(11th of Tevet, 5617): Sampson Simson passed away today in New York.  Born at Danbury in 1781, he was the son of Solomon Simson and was partners with his in a firm known as Simson’s in Stone Street which “imported beaver coating and other articles.”


    1858: Birthdate of Eliëzer Ben-Yehuda.  Born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman, in what is now Lithuania; Ben-Yehuda was the father of Modern Hebrew.  Ben-Yehuda adopted several plans of action to accomplish his goal. The main ones were three-fold, and they can be summarized as “Hebrew in the Home,” “Hebrew in the School,” and “Words, Words, Words.”  By the time he died in 1922, Ben-Yehuda had almost singled-handedly transformed a “dead Biblical language” into a modern language that embodied the spirit of Zionism and the modern Jewish world.


    1863: Ohio Congressman George H. Pendleton introduced a resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives condemning General Order No. 11.  Pendleton was “a Peace Democrat” so his resolution was more a reflection of his anti-war sentiments than of any great concern about the well-being of the Jews.


    1865(9th of Tevet, 5625):Lazarus Simon Magnus Esq the beloved and only son of Simon Magnus of Chatham passed away today at the age of 40.  He was buried at the Chatham (Kent) Jewish Cemetery


    1860:Solomon F. Joseph of the Portuguese Hebrew Society was chosen as one of the Directors of the Board of Deputies of Benevolent and Emigrant Societies at the organizations meeting held tonight at Cooper Institute in New York City.


    1865: Lazarus Magnus “developed a toothache. Despite an invitation from his brother-in-law to stay with him and his family Lazarus went back to his offices in London Bridge. He exchanged greetings with the housekeeper and asked her about the best remedy to the problem. The housekeeper suggested some laudanum on a piece of lint, but Magnus replied: “That is no use. I will try chloroform.” Unfortunately, this was a fatal mistake, that cost him his life - he died from inhaling too much of it.” Born in Chatham in 1826, he was a successful British businessman, leader of the Jewish community and Mayor of Queenborough.


    1868: Birthdate of Abraham M "Mark" Lidzbarski.  Born in Russia, he moved to Germany.  A linguist and Orientalist, he was also known by the name Avraam-Mordekhay He passed away in 1928.


    1873: Birthdate of Charles Pierre Péguy a Roman Catholic, a socialist and journalist who was a Dreyfusard (supporter of Dreyfus)


    1873: Birthdate of Adolph Zukor, the American entrepreneur who built the Paramountmovie empire.


    1876(10th of Tevet, 5636): Asara B'Tevet



    1877: It was reported today that Bishop Claughton presided over a meeting of several prominent English clergyman where they discussed the difficulty they were having in converting Jews to Christianity.


    1878(3rd of Shevat, 5638): Karl Ritter von Weil, a lawyer by training who pursued a career as journalist at the Allgemeine Zeitung and “a member of the executive board of the Israelitische Allianz” passed away today.


    1878: It was reported today that the United States Consul at Florence had sent the State Department a report describing the government loan institutions (Monte di Pieta) of Italy first introduced by Bernasdoda Feltried toward the close of the 15th century which led to Jewish money-lenders being banish from Florence.


    1879: Superintendent Lewis was in charge of the orphanage for Jewish children in Brooklyn that opened today with 4 children residing at the facility.


    1879: Birthdate of architect Gustave Albert Lansburgh who designed Oakland’s Temple Sinai in 1914 and whose personal favorite “was said to have been the Al Hirschfield Theatre.”



    1881: Herr Strassman who is Jewish received 97 out of 120 votes to gain re-election as President of the Berlin Municipal Council


    1884:The Hebrew Technical Institute, a vocational High School in New York City was founded on today. The school was founded after three Hebrew charity organizations formed a committee to promote technical education for the many Jewish immigrants arriving in New York at the time. The school closed in 1939


    1884(9th of Tevet, 5644): Julius Hallgarten, the wealthy American banker, passed away today in Davos Switzerland.

    1885:Alois Hitler (born Alois Schicklgruber) married Klara Pölzl whose fourth child would be the author of the Holocaust.



    1887(11th of Tevet, 5647):Anna "Nettie" Rosenbaum Grossmann, wife of Ignatz Grossmann and the mother of Julius, Adolph, Louis and Rudolph who had been born in Hungary in 1835  passed away today in Detroit Michigan.



    1888: A telegram arrived in Leadville, CO, stating that the “defendant in the case of the United States vs. Jacob Schloss and others had achieved final victory before Judge D. J. Brew of the United States Supreme Court



    1889(5th of Shevat, 5649): Asher Asher passed away in London.  Born at Glasgow in 1837, “was the first Scottish Jew to enter the medical profession”  In 1873, he published The Jewish Rite of Circumcision. “Since 1910, the University of Glasgow awards the Asher Asher Memorial Medal and Prize, annually for its Ear, Nose and Throat course.”


    1890: State Senator Jacob Cantor was among those who were present when the 113th New York State Legislature was convened today.


    1890: Birthdate of Frieda Ulricke “Henny”  Porten  the German silent film actress from Magednberg who “refused to divorce her Jewish husband when the Nazis came to power” even though it meant the end of her career.


    1891: It was reported today that Captain A.F. Wild of the U.S. Secret service has arrested Antono Ruggiero, an Italian-Jew who used the alias Anthony Rogers on charges of having been involved with a ring that counterfeited two dollar bills.


    1892: The Brooklyn Institute is scheduled to host a program entitled “The Policy of the Czar in the Expulsion of the Jews and the War of Movement in Europe” this evening.


    1893: It was reported today that the meeting organized by the right-wing anti-Semitic journal Libre Parole was addressed by the Marquis de Mores.  He opened his speech “with a general onslaught on the Hews as the corrupters of French honesty and the haters of French honor.”



    1895: General Horace Porter, the President of the Union Club and his predecessor Chauncey M. Depew, refused to discuss the resignation of Edward Einstein from their organization.  They did not dispute Einstein’s claim that he had left because a Jewish candidate had been blackballed because of his religion.


    1895: Adolph Sutro began serving as the 24th mayor of San Francisco, CA making him the first Jew to be elected to this position


    1895: “Edwin Einstein Resigns” published today described the impact of Edward Einstein’s resignation from the Union Club which resulted from the blackballing of the son of Jesse Seligman because of his religion and which now leaves the social organization without a Jewish member; a situation which will not soon change since there are no Jews on the list of perspective members.




    1895: “The Crusaders and Their Work” provides a detailed review of The Crusaders: The Story of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by T.A. Archer and Charles L. Kingsford which attributes the practice of making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to the Jews in a period the pre-dates Christianity.


    1896: Herzl's article "Die Lösung der Judenfrage" - "The Solution of the Jewish Question" appears in "The Jewish Chronicle" in London.


    1896: Nine year old Rachel Silverman and three year old Sarah Silverman, the daughters of Freda Silverman “were committed to the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery” today following a hearing at the Essex Market Police Court.”



    1896: Levi Freiburg, a fifty-year old Jew was being held on charges of child endangerment at the Lee Avenue Police Station.


    1896(21st of Tevet, 5656): Fifty-seven year old Sir Julian Goldsmid, 3rd Baronet “a British lawyer, businessman and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1866 and 1896” passed away today at Brighton.


    1897: The annual meeting of the Educational Alliance which included addresses by Isidor Straus and Dr. Henry Leipzierg was held tonight Temple Emanu-El in New York City


    1898: The Brooklyn Hebrew Hospital Society applied to the State Board of Charities for a certificate of incorporation.


    1898: Three men were hung today at Hahnville in St. Charles Parish, LA for their part in murdering a Jewish peddler name Ziegler after they had robbed him while he was at the Ellington Plantation.


    1898: “Charity in the Holy Land” published today described the indignation expressed by representatives of the Auxiliary Relief Branch of the Russian and Polish Jewish Central Committee at Jerusalem over charges “made of misuse of the money collected in the United States for the relief of poor American Jews in Jerusalem and Palestine.”



    1899: “Scotts Novels” published today contained a description of the English authors novels including Ivanhoe which features “such quotable characters” as Rebecca and her uncle, Isaac the Jew.



    1902(28th of Tevet, 5662): Sixty-one year old Adolph Moses, the native of Poland who fought with Garibaldi and in the Polish revolt against Russia before he came to the United States where he served as a rabbi in Mobile, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky passed away today.



    1902: At the Almorah Cemetery in Jersey, Rabbi J.L. Hanau officiated at the funder of Solomon Lyons who was a “gunner” in the British Army and the son of Henry Lyons of Birmingham


    1903: In Paris, Herzl discusses the reply to the British government with Nordau, Leopold Greenberg and Alexander Marmorek and to take counsel on subsequent action.


    1910:  Birthdate of Baron Alain de Rothschild.  He was part of the French banking family


    1911: In Witkovitz, Jakob and Laura Lichtenstern gave birth to Margit Lichtenstern Wolf.


    1915: It was reported today that Harry Alexander and Leonard Haas, counsel for Leo Frank would probably not oppose a motion by the state of Georgia to advance the hearing of their client’s case before the U.S. Supreme Court.


    1915: During WW I, Alexander Helphand a Ukrainian born Jew who was also known as Israel Lazarevich Gelfand and who had risen to prominence in the Bolshevik movement, approached the German Ambassador in Constantinople.  He contended that the Germans and the Bolsheviks should make common cause because they had similar goals, the overthrow of the Czar and the dismemberment of the Russian Empire into smaller entities.  This intitial overture would ultimately lead to the Germans shipping Lenin and his supporters back to Russia during the Russian Revolution to ensure that Russia would make a separate peace with the Kaiser. 


    1916: In an article entitled “Rabbi Silver Will Talk on General Subjects,” The Wheeling Register reports on a series of upcoming Sunday lectures to be delivered at the Eoff Street Temple. "The general subject for the series will be Aspects of American Life. The lectures will touch on topics related to business, home, the stage, politics, school and the press and will be given in Rabbi Silver's characteristic manner."


    1917: Birthdate of Alfred Mordecai Freedman,a psychiatrist and social reformer who led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 when, overturning a century-old policy, it declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness.


    1918: Seventy-three year old German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen who “is credit with being on of the originators of the ‘documentary hypothesis’” passed away today.



    1919(6th of Shevat, 5679): Sixty-seven year old Anglo Jewish banker and philanthropist Herbert Stern, 1st Baron Michelham, the son of Herman de Stern and Julia Goldsmid and the first cousin of Sydney James Stern and Sir Edward Stern passed away today in Paris


    1920: Louis Waldman and Charles Solomon were among the five members of the Socialist Party that the New York State Assembly refused to seat as Assemblymen.


    1921: Publication of the  first edition of the resurrected Yiddish language newspaper Der Emmes (The Truth) published by Yevsektsiya, the Jewish section of the Communist Party.  An earlier version of the paper had been published in 1918 in Moscow.  The paper would cease publication in 1939 when it fell victim to an anti-Yiddish campaign in the Soviet Union.


    1921: A Commission in Jerusalemreports that at present there is no way to secure an appointment of a Hahambashi for Palestine that would satisfy all sections of the community. They recommend the formation of a supreme religious council that will represent both Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities.


    1921: Birthdate of ChesterKallman. Kallman was a poet, librettist and translator.  From a professional point of view, his greatest claim to fame may rest on his work with Igor Stavinsky.  But he may be equally famous for the fact that for thirty-five years he was the companion of poet W.H. Auden with whom he also collaborated professionally.  Kallman passed away in 1975.


    1922: The partners of Edgar Speyer published a letter supporting their business partner and rejected rthe implications of his correspondence with his German relatives, stating that he was "incapable of any act of treachery against the country of his adoption"


    1923(19th of Tevet, 5683):Emil Gustav Hirsch “a major Reform movement rabbi in the United States” passed away. Born on May 22, 1852 in Luxembourg, he was “a son of the rabbi and philosopher Samuel Hirsch. He later married the daughter of Rabbi David Einhorn. For forty-two years (1880-1922), Hirsch served as the rabbi of Chicago Sinai Congregation, one of the oldest synagogues in the midwest. At this post, he became well-known for an emphasis on social justice. From Chicago Sinai's pulpit, he delivered rousing sermons on the social ills of the day and many Chicagoans, Jew and gentile alike, were in attendance. Appointed professor of rabbinical literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1892, Hirsch also served on the Chicago Public Library board from 1885 to 1897. He was an influential exponent of advanced thought and Reform Judaism. He edited Der Zeitgeist (Milwaukee) (1880–82) and the Reform Advocate (1891–1923). He also edited the Department of the Bible of the Jewish Encyclopedia. Hirsch is the namesake of the Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan High School of Communications (Hirsch Metro), located in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. In keeping with his interest in education, Hirsch advised a wealthy congregant, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck & Co., to use part of his wealth to help build public schools which black students could attend in the segregated south. The school building program was one of the largest programs, but not the only, administered by the Rosenwald Fund.


    1924: George Gershwin completes “Rhapsody in Blue.”


    1925: Musical "Big Boy" with Al Jolson premiered in New York City.


    1926: George Burns married Gracie Allen. He was Jewish.  She wasn’t.


    1927: Abe Saperstein’s Harlem Globetrotters play their first game in Hinckley,Illinois.


    1927: A memorial service was held for the late Zionist poet Achad Ha’Am at New York’s Cooper Union.


    1929: Henry Arthur Jones, the English dramatist whose works include “Judah” which was first performed in 1890 passed away.


    1932: Chaim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, wrote a letter to High Commissioner Viscount Ord Plumer proposing that the municipal region of Jerusalem should be divided into two boroughs: West Jerusalem, which was mostly Jewish and the Old City which was largely Arab.  A United Municipal Council would oversee these to two sub-entities.  The British rejected the proposal lest it anger the Arabs.


    1931: Doar Hayom, the newspaper of the Revisionists, published a demand that the election for the Jewish-elected Assembly be declared null and void and that new elections should be held.


    1932: Birthdate of Allen Richard Grossman the native of Minneapolis “an award-winning poet whose work bridged the Romantic and Modernist traditions, claiming nobility and power for poetry as a tool for both engaging the world and burrowing into the self.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)


    1934: The New York Times reported on the recent announcement that 200 Jewish families, drawn from the ranks of jobless needle trade workers in New York, are to be settled in an industrial-agrarian community on a 1,000-acre tract of land bought for the purpose in New Jersey. This move calls attention to the new back-to-the-land movement among the Jews of the United States


    1934: Birthdate of George Zames, the Polish born Canadian “control theorist and professor at McGill University.



    1935: Birthdate of Noam Sheriff.  He is one of Israel’s most versatile and world renowned musicians. He studied composition and conducting in Tel-Aviv (Paul Ben-Chaim), Berlin(Boris Blacher) and Salzburg (Igor Markevitch) and philosophy at the JerusalemUniversity. Since the premiere of his work, Festival Prelude, by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein at the opening of the Mann Auditorium in Tel-Aviv in 1957, his works are regularly performed in Israeland all over the world. In his music one finds an original solution to the fusion between East and West, between the musical elements of the ancient Mediterranean countries and the musical culture of the West. Among his most significant works are the three vocal big scale works which form a trilogy. Mechaye Hamethim (Revival of the Dead) which was premiered in 1987 in Amsterdam by the IPO and is based on the Jewish East-European traditional music as well as the ancient Jewish oriental themes of the Samaritans. Sephardic Passion which was premiered in 1992 in Toledo, Spain, by the IPO, Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo is based on the Music of the Sephardic Jewry and Psalms of Jerusalem which was premiered in 1995 in Jerusalem to open the 3000 years celebrations to the City with its four choirs around the hall singing in Hebrew and Latin.His newest vocal work, “Genesis”, was commissioned and premiered by the Israel Philharmonic and Maestro Zubin Mehta at the festive concerts of Israel’s 50th Independence day. His "Mechaye Hamethim" was performed by the IPO under Mehta in a unique concert for Israel's 50th anniversary at “Yad Vashem"HolocaustMuseumin Jerusalem. Noam Sheriff conducts regularly his works and other works of the orchestral repertory all over the world. From 1989 until 1995, he was the music director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le-Zion which had, under his leadership, a success unprecedented in Israeli musical history. Since 1963 Noam Sheriff has been teaching composition and conducting. He taught in institutes as the Jerusalem and TelAvivUniversities as well as the Musikhochschule in Cologneand the Mozarteum in Salzburg. During those years he was directing many music festivals in Israel as well as various television and radio programs. Since 1990 Noam Sheriff has been Professor for composition and conducting at the Tel-AvivUniversity's Rubin Academy of Music. Since January 2002 he has been the music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra, under his leadership has won the praise of the critics and audiences in the season 2002-3, his first season as its music director. Since April 2004 he has been nominated as Music Director of the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra. Noam Sheriff is the winner of the prestigious Emet Prize for the year 2003, the highest prize given in Israel for excellence in Sciences and culture.”


    1935(3rd of Shevat, 5695):  Rabbi Yosef ben Rabbi Menachem Kalisch zt"l, the Amshinover Rebbe, passed away.


    1935: Benito Mussolini and French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco–Italian Agreement.  The Italians were looking for a free hand in their conquest of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia).  The French were looking for support in dealing with Hitler.  The irony of this is that Pierre Laval would become the Prime Minister of Vichy France a role which enable him to ship thousands of French Jews to Drancy and then on to the death camps in the East.  Mussolini, who had support of some Italian Jews and a Jewish mistress, would become Hitler’s ally.


    1935: Birthdate of Joe Wizan the head of 20th Century Fox's motion picture division and an independent producer of films such as "Jeremiah Johnson" and "… And Justice for All” (As reported by Dennis McClellan,


    1938: The Palestine Postreported that Romania started re-examining the naturalization of all "foreigners" who had settled there since 1913, in order to deprive them of their citizenship. The first victims of the new policy were Jewish doctors who lost their right to practice medicine. Jewish innkeepers were declared to be "dangerous". All Jews were divided into citizens and non-citizens, and the latter became the subject of a compulsory expulsion. A timely British note reminded Romania of her obligations under the Minorities Treaty, signed in Paris in 1910. 


    1939:  Official founding of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.


    1940(26th of Tevet, 5700): State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler passed away tonight at the age of 58. Born in 1881, he attended City College, where he developed a life-long friendship with Felix Frankfurter and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1903.  Frankenthaler was active in Democratic Party Politics, numerous civic and professional organizations and Jewish charitable activities.



    1941: Members of the Woman’s League for Palestine are using tonight performance of “Meet the People,” the new topical, musical revue at the Mansfield Theatre as a benefit for the Overseas Refugee Relief fund.  The net proceeds will augment the $25,000 Emergency Refugee Relief Fund for young women refugees sheltered in the two home of the league in Haifa and Tel Aviv.


    1942: A major Arctic blast hit the Levant. The thermometer in Alexandria was six degrees below zero, five people were killed because of the snow in Lebanon, Jerusalem suffered damage when buildings in the Old City were cracked from ice buildup, and in Istanbul the city suffered deaths and was stifled with three feet of snow, twelve degrees below zero temperatures and "hungry wolves" in the neighborhood.


    1942: Throughout the day at the Chelmno, Poland, death camp, Jewish deportees from nearby villages are systematically gassed in vans; German and Ukrainian workers pull gold teeth and fillings from the corpses' mouths. Germans undertake van gassings of 5000 Gypsies from Lódz, Poland.


    1943: British Colonial Secretary Oliver Stanley informs the British War Cabinet that Germany's Eastern European allies have turned to a policy of expulsion of Jews as an alternative to exterminating them. He concludes that this change in policy makes it "all the more necessary" to limit the number of Jewish children accepted into Palestine.


    1943: Over the next three weeks, twenty thousand Jews from Germany, Belgium, Holland, and Poland are gassed at Auschwitz.


    1944: “Anne Frank confessed her love for” Peter Schiff “a boy she had been smitten with for years.”



    1944: Word reached those living in New York City that Rabbi Louis Werfel, the 27-year-old chaplain serving with the 12th Air Force Service Command was killed in a plane crash in Algeria on Christmas Eve, 1943. Werfel was the fourth Jewish chaplain be killed in line of duty during World War II.  Werfel was known as “the flying rabbi” because of his willingness to use aircraft to reach Jewish soldiers serving in far-flung outposts throughout the Mediterranean Theatre



    1945: Birthdate of Shulamith Bath Shmuel Ben Ari Feuerstein, author of The Dialectic of Sex


    1948: With Jerusalem under siege, members of the Irgun planted a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in an attempt to get food supplies into the Jewish quarter. The bomb killed fourteen Arabs.  Three members of the Irgun were killed by British police in the aftermath of the explosion.  Apparently the British were unable to keep the Arabs from trying to starve out the Jews but they were strong enough to kill the Jews where were trying to feed their co-religionists.


    1949: During Israel’s War of Independence Operation Horev came to an end.


    1949: At two o’clock in the afternoon, Israel accepts a ceasefire on the Egyptian front based on Egypt’s publicly announced willingness to negotiate an armistice.  Egyptis left in control of Gaza, but Israel has driven the Egyptians from the Negev.


    1949: During the War for Independence Israel shot down 5 British planes that flew over the battlefront with Egypt. The British government was hardly a disinterested party during the war.  The Jordanian Army, known as the Arab Legion, drew its leadership from the British Army.  The British supplied and trained the force as well.  The actions of the RAF at this point, further debunk the notion that the British were neutrals and that the West was responsible for the creation and survival of the infant state of Israel.


    1950:The "ten greatest Jews of the last fifty years" were named today by Rabbi Israel Goldstein in a sermon at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, in New York City.


    1951: As it starts its first post-independence tour in the United States, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) has its first performance at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.


    1953:The eightieth anniversary of American Reform Judaism, founded in Cincinnati by the late Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise "to adapt Judaism to the American way of life," was marked tonight with special ceremonies and a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. More than 300 American Jewish leaders from various sections of the country attended.


    1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the Knesset debated the proposed State Archives' and Public Accountants' Bills. Israel seized an Egyptian ship with a cargo of 65 tons of arms, bound for Syria. The ship was reported to have run aground in Israel's territorial waters.


    1953: President Harry Truman announces that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.  The bomb had been successfully tested at Eniwetok atoll in 1952.  The creation of the H-bomb had pitted Edward Teller against Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the Atomic Bomb.”  The two Jewish physicists became the poles around which the proponents and opponents rallied during this major Cold War debate.


    1958: A week after Ben Gurion resigned as Prime Minister “over the leaking of information from ministerial meetings” he formed the 8thgovernment “with the same coalition partners.”


    1958: As Israel transitioned from its 7th government to its 8th government, Golda Meir continued to serve as Foreign Minister.


    1962: Lev Landau’s was in automobile accident today which left him so severely injured that he was unable to accept the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physics in person.


    1967(25th of Tevet, 5727): American author and screen writer David Goodis, passed away.


    1969: Birthdate of Israeli comedian and television performer Eyal Kitzis.


    1970: In response to cross canal attacks by Egyptian forces, Israeli planes begin an in-depth bombing campaign against Egyptian military bases. 

    1971(10th of Tevet, 5731): Asara B'Tevet

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's announcement that after the signing of the peace agreement he would not accept the presence of even a single Israeli soldier or civilian who would like to remain on Egyptian soil.

    1978: Isaiah Sheffer and “his artistic partner…put on a marathon concert of Bach “at a grimy, derelict movie theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side” that would become Symphony Space.

    1979: The New York Times book section features the following Walter Kerr’s essay on Anne Frank entitled 'Anne Frank' Shouldn't Be Anne's Play

    1980(18thof Tevet, 5740): Eighty-year old Dov who served as the military governor of Jerusalem during the 1948 War of Independence and served as MK and cabinet minister  passed away today

    1984: Birthdate of Ran Danker an Israeli actor, singer, and model who “is the son of Israeli actor Eli Danker. He has sung such songs as "אני אש" ("I am Fire"). He has also starred in the hit Israeli series HaShir Shelanu.”

    1984(4thof Shevat, 5744): Eighty-four year old Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Moroccan born Sephardic Rabbi knownas the Baba Slali or Praying father passed away in Jerusalem.

    1990: In “The Russians Are Coming In Droves,” Barrymore L. Scherer described the “torrent of music that has pouring our way” in a variety of recordings including a live recording Shostakovich's weirdly disturbing Violin Concerto No. 1 (coupled with the Glazunov Concerto), both performed at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in July 1988 by Itzhak Perlman with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta (EMI CDC 49814; CD and cassette).

    1993: Showing some flexibility in the crisis over 415 deported Palestinians, Israel agreed today to allow two Red Cross officials, including a doctor, to visit the exiles at their tent camp in southern Lebanon.

    1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Harry Golombek passed away.Born in 1911, Harry Golombek, was a British chess player and honorary grandmaster.

    1995(6th of Shevat, 5755): Economist Murray Newton Rothabard passes away at the age of 69. Born in 1926 and educated at Columbia. Rothbard was the co-founder of the Cato Institute.

    1995: Bruce Sundlun completed his term in office as Governor of Rhode Island.

    1996: Debbie Friedman gave a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, commemorating twenty-five years as one of the world's most well-known contemporary Jewish musicians. “Known for her folksy and "singer-friendly" style, Friedman has recorded twenty albums that have sold over 200,000 copies. Friedman began recording on her own label in 1972, appealing largely to Reform Jews and those interested in Jewish Renewal. Now, her music is sung in synagogues across the United States and has become so widespread that, in many places, it is thought of as "traditional." Since its release in 1993, her "Mi Sheberach" prayer has become the fastest adopted liturgical melody in both the Reform and Conservative movements. The 1999 release of Friedman's first English-language album, "It's You," marked the singer/songwriter's first effort to reach a broader, not-necessarily-Jewish audience. That same year, Hallmark began releasing a series of Jewish holiday cards featuring Friedman's lyrics. A committed Jewish feminist, Friedman also composed all the music for the tremendously popular Maayan Women's Seder. She is famous for her inspiring live concerts, performing and teaching in communities, synagogues, schools and Federations throughout Europe, Israel, Canada, and the U.S.

    2001 (12th of Tevet, 5761): Seventy-two year old “Rabbi Yitzchok Singer, whose leadership of the historic Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan helped it thrive despite four decades of community change, passed away today at Beth Israel Medical Center.” (As reported by Nadine Brozan)

    2001: Giving its stalled Middle Eastern peace effort one final push, the Clinton administration said today that it would send its top negotiator to the region this week for direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Dennis Ross, the State Department's envoy to the Middle East, will try to lay the groundwork for what Israeli and Palestinian officials describe as anything from a joint declaration of general principles for making peace to an ambitious framework accord for a final settlement to the half-century-old conflict.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount by Gershom Gorenberg, To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World:The Life of Frieda Fromm-ReichmannBy Gail A. Hornstein and Future Success by Robert B. Reich

    2001: Among the 28 recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medals were

    Jack Greenberg

    In the courtroom and the classroom, Jack Greenberg has been a crusader for freedom and equality for more than half a century. Arguing 40 civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the historic Brown v. Board of Education, he helped break down the legal underpinnings of desegregation in America, and as a professor of law, an advocate for international human rights, and head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, he has helped shape a more just society.

    Anthony Lewis

    Revered by colleagues and readers alike for his Pulitzer prize-winning reporting, profound insight, and broad understanding of constitutional law, Anthony Lewis has set the highest standard of journalistic ethics and excellence. A staunch defender of freedom of speech, individual rights, and the rule of law, he has been a clear and courageous voice for democracy and justice.

    Robert Rubin

    Leaving a brilliant career on Wall Street to serve as Director of the National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin played a pivotal role in creating America's longest economic expansion. He forged a new team approach that produced an economic framework based on fiscal discipline, investment in opportunity, and expanded trade, while exhibiting exceptional leadership in ensuring global financial stability. His efforts helped countless Americans share in an era of unprecedented prosperity.

    Elizabeth Taylor

    A screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor has captured the hearts of audiences around the world, portraying some of the most memorable characters in film history. A dedicated leader in the fight against AIDS, she has focused national attention on this devastating disease. With grace, style, and compassion, she has reminded us of our responsibility to reach out to those in need.

    Marion Wiesel

    Convinced that our greatest hope for a just society is to teach tolerance and mutual respect, Marion Wiesel has worked with creativity and compassion to combat hatred and injustice. Whether writing a haunting documentary about the children of the Holocaust, translating her husband’s work, or helping young Ethiopians in Israel to thrive and succeed in a new land, she is replacing despair with dignity and overcoming ignorance with understanding

    Rabbi Arthur Schneier

    A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has devoted a lifetime to overcoming the forces of hatred and intolerance. As an international envoy, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, and founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, he has set an inspiring example of spiritual leadership by encouraging interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding and promoting the cause of religious freedom around the world.

    Eli J. Segal

    As founder of AmeriCorps and the first Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Eli Segal has galvanized the American spirit of community and helped us realize the dream of a vital civilian service corps. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, he has brought businesses and communities together to create opportunity for welfare recipients, enabling them to experience the power, dignity, and independence of work. Juan Andrade, Jr.

    2002(23rd of Tevet, 5762): Actor and comedian Avery Schreiber passed away.  Born in 1935 he was half of the comedy team of Burns and Schreiber.

    2002:The captain of a ship seized last week by Israel as it smuggled tons of weapons said in jail-house interviews today that he had taken his orders from a weapons agent of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority and that his deadly cargo was meant to arm Palestinians. The Israeli government contends that Mr. Arafat himself was behind the smuggling mission. The captain, Omar Akawi, said that as he sailed north toward the Suez Canal, he was in regular radio contact with Adel Awadallah, who he knew was working for the Palestinian Authority. A senior Israeli military official said tonight that the name was an alias for Adel Mughrabi, a weapons buyer for the Palestinian body.

    2003: Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff delivered the benediction for the Bipartisan Congressional Prayer Service that welcomed the members of the 108th congress before the ceremony to swear them in.

    2003:Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian gunmen today in a raid on a Gaza Strip refugee camp. A spokesman for the Israeli Army said soldiers shot the Palestinians during an operation aimed at rooting out weapons factories in Al Muazi refugee camp. The spokesman said the soldiers fired only after they had been fired on.

    2004:Israeli and Libyan officials held a secret meeting in December and discussed the possibility of ties between the longstanding enemies, Israeli officials said today. The officials cautioned that the contacts were tentative and played down the chances of any formal relationship. According to the official Libyan news agency, JANA, The Associated Press reported, the Libyan Foreign Ministry denied that any meeting had taken place. Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, is trying to end his nation's diplomatic isolation. Last month, he announced that Libya would abandon plans to build unconventional weapons, and he permitted international inspectors into weapons sites. The Israeli-Libyan contacts were widely reported in the Israeli news media today, and some Israeli officials expressed concern that the leaks and publicity would kill any chance for diplomacy.

    2007: Teapacks or Tipex, an Israeli band formed in 1988 in Sdeort was ”selected by IBA's Eurovision Committee to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Helsinki, Finland”

    2007: The Washington Post Sunday book section featured a review of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer.

    2007: The Sunday Times (of London) reported that “Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources. The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.”

    2007: Under the title “Operation Screwball” about 350 Jews staged a noisy protest  against Neturei Karta an anti-Israel religious group whose members - among them a Monsey rabbi - attended an Iranian conference that questioned the Holocaust.

    2007: Two rabbis, two rabbinic pastors and one cantor were ordained by the Jewish Renewal Movement at the annual Ohalah convention in Boulder, Colorado.

    2008: Sidney Blumenthal a former aide to President of the United States Bill Clinton and an advisor to Hillary Clinton during her Presidential campaign was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Nashua, New Hampshire. Later, he would plead guilty to a charge of misdemeanor DWI.


    2008(29th of Shevat, 5768): Eighty-three year old Boris Lurie “who survived the Holocaust and then depicted its horrors while leading a confrontational movement called No! Art,” passed away today. (As reported by Colin Moynihan)


    2008: In New York, The 92nd Street Y presents “Protection from Terrorism: What America Can Learn from Israel,” a lecture by Leonard Cole and Irwin Redlener, part of the Y’s Israelat 60 celebration.

    2008: In Brooklyn tens of thousands of mourners turned out for the funeral of Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum the 87 year old head of the Mir Yehsiva who had passed away the day before. Berenbaum's body was to be flown to Israel for burial in Jerusalem.

    2009: The Wall Street Journal reported that Cass Sunstein would be named to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

    2009: At the Wise Auditorium on the campus of HebrewUniversity, The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance presents the latest in a series of concerts titled “The Titan,” that honors Ludwig van Beethoven with a series aptly titled, The Titan. Five concerts in The Titan series have already taken place with all proving to be an immense success, filling the Academy's 550 seats.  The series takes its name from a comment by Wagner who proclaimed that of intensity of Beethoven’s compositions reminded him of "Titan, wrestling with the gods."

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, members of TempleJudah meet to form an Israel Advocacy Task Force

    2009(11thof Tevet, 5769): Eighty-eight year old Yaakov Bania, a commander with Lehi who served with the IDF during the War for Independence and later wrote Hayalim Almonim (Anonymous Soldiers) passed away today.

    2009: Israel suspended fighting today for three hours to permit humanitarian relief goods to reach civilians living at Gaza while Hamas declared that the group would not talk about a cease fire so long as Israel continued its “occupation.”  In the Hamas lexicon, “occupation” is synonymous with the existence of the state of Israel.

    2009: As the Madoff Scandal widens in scope, The New York Times reported that Sonja Kohn  was leaving the firm she founded, Bank Medici, in the hands of Austrian regulators, who took it over last week. Embarrassment from investing heavily with Mr. Madoff could explain wanting to disappear from public view. But another theory widely repeated by those who know Mrs. Kohn is that she may be afraid of some particularly displeased investors: Russian oligarchs whose money made up a chunk of the $2.1 billion that Bank Medici invested with Mr. Madoff. “

    2010 (21 Tevet, 5770): The Israeli Government marks today a National Hebrew Day in honor of the 152nd birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew.

    2010: At the 14th Street Y opening night of “Laba’s Guests." LABA is the National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture, an innovative arts and culture initiative of the 14th Street Y. LABA’s Guests will feature a group of distinguished artists exhibiting pieces in different visual mediums. Artists included in the exhibition include Tirtzah Bassel, Aimee Burg, Maria Cabo, Lourdes Correa, Keren Cytter, Karni Dorell, Tamar Ettun, Hadassa Goldvicht, Leor Grady, Tamar Hirschl, Itamar Jobani, Shay Kun, Yael Rechter, Yaniv Segalovich and Rona Yefman. The exhibition is curated by Tzili Charney.

    2010: At least 10 mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel.

    2010: A breakthrough in the research of the Hebrew scriptures has shed new light on the period in which the Bible was written, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE, the University of Haifa announced today. Prof. Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa recently deciphered an inscription dating from the 10th century BCE, and showed that it was a Hebrew inscription, making it the earliest known Hebrew writing. The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time. The inscription itself, which was written in ink on a 15 cm X 16.5 cm trapezoid pottery shard, was discovered a year and a half ago at excavations that were carried out by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley. The inscription was dated back to the 10th century BCE, which was the period of King David's reign, but the question of the language used in this inscription remained unanswered, making it impossible to prove whether it was in fact Hebrew or another local language. Prof. Galil's deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region. "This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ("did") and avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ("widow") are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages," Prof. Galil explained.

    The deciphered text:

    1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].

    2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]

    3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]

    4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.

    5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

    Once this deciphering is received, Prof. Galil added, the inscription will become the earliest Hebrew inscription to be found, testifying to Hebrew writing abilities as early as the 10th century BCE. This stands opposed to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research, which would not have recognized the possibility that the Bible or parts of it could have been written during this ancient period.

    2011: Gold Medals are scheduled to be given to Israeli illustrators Asaf Hanuka and Koren Shadmi at The first of the three-part “Annual Exhibition: Illustrators 53,” the Sequential/Series and Uncommissioned Exhibit features works by leading contemporary illustrators worldwide.


    2011: Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to host 6thin The City Shabbat at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.


    2011: The first Musical Shabbat of 2011 is scheduled to take place at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.


    2011(2ndof Shevat, 5771): Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Nadav Rotenberg, 20, was killed today and four were wounded in a violent encounter with Palestinian militants near the border between Israel and Gaza.The other three soldiers were lightly wounded. A preliminary IDF investigation concluded that friendly-fire was responsible for the death of Sgt. Rotenberg and for the wounding of the other IDF soldiers. The IDF had apparently launched the mortars at the militants who were observed on the border, but for some unknown reason one of the mortars strayed and struck the soldiers.


    2011: Israel’s departing intelligence chief said he believes Iran will not be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 at the earliest, Israeli news media reported today, in a revised and surprisingly upbeat assessment of Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.


    2012 The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture at the 14th Street Y is scheduled to present the premiere of the musical theater adaptation of the famous Israeli children's book "Hanna's Shabbat Dress," by Itzchak Damiel.


    2012: The Impossible Spy is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Kerem Shalom in Concord, MA


    2012: Shlomi Koriat is scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem Theatre where he will give a stand-up performance in which he tells about his childhood, his Moroccan family, coming to the big city, marriage, and more.


    2012(12 of Tevet, 5772): Jews all over the world complete Bereshit– Chazak, Chazak,


    2012: Approximately 200 protesters clashed with police in south Tel Aviv tonight during a protest against the municipality’s attempt dismantle a tent city for homeless families.

    2012: Israel said today the online publication of thousands of its citizens' credit card details by a hacker claiming to be Saudi was comparable to terrorism, and vowed to hit back. The data theft, which appeared to focus on commercial web sites, was one of the worst Israel has said it has faced.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance is scheduled to present: “A Vanishing Sound: Jewish Musical Resonance in Traditional Moldavian Dance--ca. 1800-1950”


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


    2013(25thof Tevet, 5773): Sixty-two year old Pulitzer Prize winning author RichardBen Cramer passed away today. (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)



    2013(25thof Tevet, 5773): Eighty-eight year old poet and New York Times editor Harvey Shapiro passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox)


    2013(25thof Tevet, 5773):  Eighty-eight year old Holocaust survivor and Israeli historian Zvi Yavetz whose life you can read about in his autobiography My Czernowitz, passed away today.


    2013(25thof Tevet, 5773): Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable passed away today at the age of 91. (As reported by David Dunlap)


    2013: “Life in Stills” is scheduled to be shown at the Washington Film Festival under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.


    2013: December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service today.



    2013: As lights flickered and falling tree branches batted down power lines across the country today, Israelis continued to brace themselves for a week of torrential rains and thunderous winds.


    2014: “License to Live” and “The Grandmaster” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.


    2014(6thof Shevat, 5774): Ninety-one year old advertising executive Judy Protas whose career was tied to Levy’s Real Jewish Rye passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)



    2014:Two former employees of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty - Former Executive Director David Cohen and Chief Financial Officer Herbert Friedman - were charged in the multimillion-dollar scam at the New York charity.”


    2014:“JPMorgan Chase & Co., already beset by costly legal woes, will pay more than $2.5 billion for ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, authorities said today.”


    2014: “The US ambassador to Israel said today that a framework proposal on all issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be presented to both sides soon.”


    2015: The Pears Institute for the study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann entitled “After Liberation – Legacies of the Nazi Concentration Camps”


    2015: A preview screening of “Next to Her” is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem.

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    January 8


    1198: Start of the papacy of Innocent III who was responsible for the Fourth Lateran Council which produced an array of anti-Jewish promulgations.

    1297: Monaco gains its independence when Francesco Grimaldi and his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco. Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi.  Any Jews living in Monaco from the 14th century until the start of World War II were usually Ashkenazim fleeing from France.  An organized Jewish community was established in 1948.  Almost half of the Jewish community is made up of British Jews living in Monte Carlo.

    1324: Venetian traveler Marco Polo, who visited China, then under the Yuan Dynasty, in the late 13th century and described the prominence of Jewish traders in Beijing, passed away.

    1414: The Disputation of Tortosa, one of the famous disputations between Jews and Christians of the Middle Ages, which was held in the city of Tortosa, Spain resumed.

    1455: Nicholas V issued a “Romanus Pontifex,” a Papal Bull that expressed the Church’s approval of Portugal’s seizure of lands in the New World and Asia.  This was part of an attempt to divide the newly discovered lands between Catholic monarchs and freeze out the Protestant nations.  Fortunately for the Jews, the Church’s bull was not worth the paper it was written on since the Protestant nations such as the Dutch and the English would provide a place where Jews could practice their religion and engage in commerce.

    1575:  Many Marranos were among the victims of the Auto de Fe at Seville.

    1598: Expulsion of the Jews from Genoa, Italy.

    1790:In France, the Deputies excluded the rights of Jews when considering the rules governing the election of municipal officers

    1806: Cape Colony became a British colony as the Union Jack replaced Dutch rule.  Dutch Jews had been living in the colony since 1652.  In 1804, they had finally gained freedom of religion thanks to a proclamation issued by the Dutch commissioner-general Jacob Abraham de Mist that instituted religious equality for all persons (including the Jews) without any regard to creed.  One of the first acts of the British was to repeal this proclamation.  While a new wave of Jews began arriving in the 1820’s, the first synagogue was not formed until 1841 with the establishment of the Gardens Shul in Cape Town.

    1815: American forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans.  The pirate leader, Jean Lafitte provided a large number of soldiers and several cannon that were critical to Jackson’s success.  According to some sources, Lafitte’s mother was a Sephardic Jew whose family had fled the Inquisition.  He was raised in a home that observed Kashrut and his first wife was Jewish.  Like so many other things about Lafitte, we cannot be sure where fact ends and legend begins.  There is no question about the Jewish identity of another fighter at the Battle of New Orleans.  Judah Touro, of the famed New England Turo family had moved to New Orleansand become a prominent member of the community.  He volunteered and fought with Jackson’s forces.  He was severely wounded and taken from the battlefield by Rezin Shepherd, a close friend and fellow merchant.  Touro walked with a limp as a result of the wounds sustained in the battle.  Touro Infirmary (hospital) and Touro Synagogue provide modern reminders of this businessman-philanthropist who answered the call to defend the United States in one of its darkest moments.

    1830: The Ohio General Assembly granted Congregation B’Nai Israel in Cincinnati a charter whereby it was incorporated under the laws of the state.

    1849: Following the failure of the Revolution of 1848, Prague native Isidor Bush arrived in New York City where he briefly published Israel’s Herald before moving to St. Louis where he found fame and fortune.

    1851: In Cayuga County, New York, a jury is to be impaneled in the case of People vs. John Baham, Jr.  Baham and his brothers were charged in the vicious murder of Nathan Adler, a Jewish peddler from Syracuse.

    1852: Jacob Lehman, the son of a Jewish peddler living in Philadelphia is seen for the last time.  His disappearance will eventually lead to a gruesome murder case.

    1855: The sixth anniversary of the German Hebrew Mutual Aid and Benevolent Society was celebrated this evening in Pythagoras Hall on Walker Street in New York City.  The dinner, which began at 7 pm, was attended by two hundred members of the society and their guests.  Before the meal began, a Hebrew hymn was chanted in memory of the members of the society who had passed away.  Among the speakers for the evening were Rabbis Raphael and Isaacs. The guests gave a “liberal contribution” to the poor before departing from the event.

    1856:The New York Times published a summary of The Jew: A Story of the South by the same author who wrote Leaves From The Journal of a Physician's Wife

    1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel enclosed a copy of the bill that has been approved which will allow Rabbis to serve as Chaplains in the Union Army in a letter he sent to his supporters in New York.  In the letter, Fischel thanked them for their financial support.  He assured them that the money had been put to good use in getting the Congressional Committee to approve the change in the law.  He also reported that a l