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

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    November 22

    1307: Pope Clement V issues the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. The Templars were a group of Christian Knights who took their name from the fact that their first headquarters was located on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in an area believed to be on the site of the ruins of Solomon’s Temple.

    1348: Riots reached the Germanic lands of Bavaria and Swabia.  Eighty towns, including Augsburg, Munich, and Wurzburg were attacked

    1547:Asolo, Italy was the scene of one of the few pogroms recorded in Italy. Ten Jews in a town of thirty were killed, and their houses robbed with no apparent motives.

    1580: In Poland, the Council of the Four Lands adopted an ordinance that limits the extent of land leasing, known as arenda that is permitted to any individual.  The prevention of competition for  arenda was one of the council’s major concerns. 

    1617: Ahmed I, Ottoman Sultan, passed away.  During his reign, Ahmed contracted small pox. The treatments prescribed by his physicians proved ineffectual. The widow of Solomon Eskenazi, who had served as a court physician was called in and she saved the Sultan.

    1793: Strasbourg prohibited circumcision and the wearing of beards Further It ordered the burning of all books in Hebrew.  Strasbourg is located on the border between Germany and France.  As such it has changed hands numerous times.

    1795(10th of Kislev, 5556): Vrouwtje Frumet David Lintz-Cohen passed away. Born at Amsterdam in 1737, she was the daughter of David Levie Juda-Moshe Lints-Cohen and Bele Simon Samson Levie-Drukker and the widow of Kalman Isaac Shochet

    1797: In London, Levy Salomons and Matilda de Metz gave birth to Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, a leading figure in the 19th century struggle for Jewish emancipation in the United Kingdom who was the first Jewish Sheriff of the City of London and Lord Mayor of London, and one of the first two Jewish people to serve in the British House of Commons.

    1800 (5th of Kislev): Philosopher Solomon ben Joshua Maimon passed away

    1808: Birthdate of Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild.  He was born in London "just after his father had established the London branch of the banking business of the Rothschilds."

    1811: Birthdate of David Woolf Marks, a leading Reform Rabbi in the UK who was the first Rabbi to serve at The West London Synagogue, the country’s first (and oldest) reform congregation.

    1813: Today, a codicil was attached to the original will of Benjamin D’Israeli, the grandfather of the Earl Beaconsfield, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister to have been born Jewish.

    1819: Birthdate of Joseph Seligman, the native of Bavaria, who founded Seligman Brothers and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1819: Birthdate of Mary Anne Evans, who, under the pen name of George Elliot wrote Daniel Deronda is a novel by George Eliot, first published in 1876. It was the last novel she completed and the only one set in the contemporary Victorian society of her day. Its mixture of social satire and moral searching, along with a sympathetic rendering of Jewish proto-Zionist and Kaballistic ideas has made it a controversial final statement of one of the greatest of Victorian novelists.

    1848: Jonas Phillips Levy married Frances (Fanny) Mitchell today.  Born in 1807, he was the younger brother of Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy and the son of Michael Levy and Rachel Phillips. This native of Philadelphia, commanded the U.S.S. America during the Mexican-American War.  He continued his career as a merchant and sea captain until his death in New York in 1883.

    1852: The New York Times reported that Baron James Rothschild has just named as a recipient of the Order of the Iron Crown, Second Class. It is ironic that the award which conferred the status of nobility should have been awared at a time when the Jews of Austria are worried about a possible loss of rights.

    1852:  “The Austrian Jews” published today described the fear of the Jews of Austria that they will lose all of the gains they have made since the revolution and will be forced to return to the repressive status under which they lived prior to 1848.  The author contends that the Jews will continue to enjoy most of their newly won rights including that of acquiring real estate and living where they please.  They will once again be banned from holding any state position that “brings them in contact with the public in a judicial capacity.

    1854: Two hundred people gathered at the Chinese Assembly Rooms tonight to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society in New York City.

    1858: Denver, Colorado is founded. Jews have been active in Denver from its very beginning.  Fred Z. Salomon and his brother Hyman led the first large pack train into the settlement that would become Denver.  The two were "fifty-niners" who were later joined in Colorado by their brother Adolph. A native of Strelno, Posen, Prussia, Fred worked at various trading centers in New Mexico Territory before leading a supply train from Independence, MO to Auraria, the village across the river from the soon to be created Denver.  Fred devoted his life to business and cultural ventures in the Mile High City.  He started a brewery which the Rocky Mountain News “noted speedily decreased the local consumption of strychnine whiskey and Taos Lightning.”  In 1860, Fred and Hyman started what would become the Denver Water Company.  Fred “helped organize the Auriaria and Denver Chess Club and literary Society, later the Colorado Pioneer Society the Denver Public Library and the Denver B’Nai Brith Lodge.” In a time when rail travel was critical to commercial success, the elder Salomon helped lead the fight to bring the Denver Pacific and Kansas Pacific railroads to Denver.  Fred also found time to serve as territorial treasurer.  Such total identification with his adopted hometown stands in stark contrast with the decision of member of the Denver Club - the name of the “chess and literary society head helped found” to bar Jews starting in 1881. Other Jews connected with Denver in its early days were Otto Mears who arrived in Colorado in 1852, and Sam Flax, who after several false starts, meet success in the restaurant and hotel business. [For more information about Denver Jewry see the website of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Pioneer Jews by Harriet and Fred Rochlin.]

    1858: The New York Times published a copy of a letter that appeared in this week’s Jewish Messenger addressed to the President of the Hebrew Congregation in the United States and others from Sir Moses Montefiore, the President of the London Committee of Deputies for the Jews. The letter called for the American Jewish community to join its co-religionists in England, Holland France in seeking the support of their government in having the Mortara child returned to his parents and to avoid any such future seizures. It summarized the threat that the seizure Edgardo Mortara posed to Jews and “every other denomination of faith” except the Roman Catholics. Montefiore reiterated that this was not just a matter of religious freedom. The behavior of the Catholic Church placed “in peril, personal liberty, social relations and the peace of families.”

    1858: The New York Times reported that “our Jewish fellow-citizens will shortly hold a mass meeting in one of our large public halls, to denounce the unjustifiable abduction of Mortara’s child by the Roman inquisition. The Israelitish communities of France, Holland and England have already considered the subject, and a meeting of the Jews of Philadelphia has recently been held to take action in the same matter.

    1870: The Ladies Bikur Cholim Society held their 9th annual ball tonight at the Apollo Hall.  Due to inclement weather, the event was not well attended.

    1875: Vice President Henry Wilson passed away today making Thomas W. Ferry, the President pro tempore of the Senate, next in line if the President of the United States should pass.  Perry, along with President Grant, would attend the services consecrating Adas Israel in Washington, DC in 1876.  This meant that the two top leaders of the United States government attended the consecration of a Jewish house of worship for the first time in the nation’s history.

    1877:  Seligman Hirsch, a New York fur dealer was found guilty of receiving stolen goods. He was defended by Albert Jacob Cardozo.  Under the law, Hirsch could have been sentenced to five years in prison but in response to the jury’s recommendation for mercy, the judge sentenced the Jewish businessman to only two years in the state prison.

    1878: It was reported today that New York has 375 houses of worship, 25 of which are synagogues of Jewish Temples.


    1879: David McAdam is scheduled to deliver a lecture tonight at the Young Men’s Hebrew Union in Clarendon Hall followed by musical and literary entertainment.

    1879: The Young Ladies Charitable Union, an organization made up of 72 Jewish woman chaired by Julia Richman, are scheduled to host a fund raiser at the Opera House on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.  The entertainment will include nine tableaux representing the nine muses and a children’s pantomime followed by an evening of dancing. The money raised will go to supply New York’s poor with shoes.  Last winter the Union provided over 900 pairs of shoes for the needy.

    1880: It was reported today that there are 3 and a half million people living in Holland, 100,000 of whom are Jews.  A million are Catholics and the rest are Protestants.

    1882: It was reported today that Herr Meyer killed Captain Emerich in a duel fought at Wurzburg.  Meyer had challenged the gentile over a matter of honor.

    1884: Sir Moses Montefiore has had another attack of the bronchial affection just after the celebration of his one hundredth birthday, and is now confined to his bed at his home near Ramsgate.

    1885: “Conflicting Ideas In Judaism”

    1885: The San Francisco Call reported today that the late Senator William Sharon had bequeathed $5,000 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of San Francisco.

    1885: It was reported today that the annual Charity Ball sponsored by the Purim Association will be held in February of 1886.

    1885: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler will officiate at Temple Beth-El’s Thanksgiving Services in New York City.

    1886: Based on information that first appeared in the London Times, it was reported today that Levy Isaacs, an old German Jewish peddler who dealt in sponges and jewelry died as a result of house fire at his home on Ashburner Street, Bolton.

    1886: Following the recent Massachusetts State Supreme Court decision requiring the enforcement of the state’s Sunday closing laws, it was reported that the police have been making a list of the peddlers who were buying supplies at the Jewish businesses on Salem Street yesterday, Sunday.  Up until now, the police have not enforced the law where Jewish businessmen are concerned because the Jews closed their businesses on Saturday in observance of their Sabbath.

    1888: Rabbi Alexander Kohut will officiate at the funeral services for Simon Lederer who will be interred in Cypress Hills.

    1890:Mrs. Philip J. Joachimsen, presented “a report of the past year’s work done by” the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of which she is the President.  During the past year, home run by the society has admitted 153 children, discharged 179 children and is currently caring for 566 children.

    1891: Birthdate of German born historian Victor Ehrenberg whose illustrious family includes his sons Sir Geoffrey Elton, the British historian and physicist Lewis Elton.

    1892: It was reported today that until the Hungarian parliament passes the bills for the state recognition of the Jewish religion “special regulations to enforce the registration of children of mixed marriages would be made.”

    1895: Samuel Greenbaum, a prominent New York lawyer was reported to have expressed the view that the Jews of New York would “take no notice” of the Dr. Hermann Ahlward the German anti-Semite who is scheduled to deliver a series of lectures in the United States. Echoing the sentiment of most other Jews, Greenbaum said  “the Jewish people do not have anything to fear from…this disciple of German anti-Semitism” because “the American people are not like to be influenced by the wild and unfounded accusations which in the stock in trade of anti-Semites.”

    1896: Michaelis Machol, the Rabbi of the Sparrow Avenue Temple, plans on delivering a talk today expressing his opposition to the Thanksgiving message issued by President Cleveland that invokes the image of Jesus “as a mediator between man and God.” This would not be his last entrance into the Separation of Church and State fray. In 1901, Machol joined other rabbis and lay leaders in “protesting the decision of the board of the Cleveland Public Schools to begin each school day with the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the 23rd Psalm.”

    1896: “President Cleveland Criticized” published today provided expression of rabbinic displeasure over Grover Cleveland’s Christologically laced Thanksgiving proclamation including Cincinnati Rabbi David Phillipson’s state that the Jews “feel excluded from the invitation to observe the day.”  (Full disclosure – some of his indignation might have been politically motivated since Phillipson was a Republican and Cleveland was a Democrat.)

    1896: The Hebrew Institute will be the site of the Harmony Musical Society’s concert this evening.

    1896:”Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, the rabbi at Temple Sinai, “predicts the downfall of the Jewish Sabbath. He declares that the seventh day tradition of the race is doomed, wiped from the Hebraic calendar swallowed up in the necessity of adapting the religion to the customs of the countries in it may be transplanted. (Just as the Jew has kept the Sabbath, so has the Sabbath kept the Jew – from the Saturday morning service.)

    1897: In a speech delivered today, Reverend Samuel Frender, a convert to Christianity told a meeting of Methodist clergyman that “the average Jew believed that Christians had a prejudice against them.”

    1897: Charles Schapiro…the young Russian Jew who shot and killed Louis Lieberman at a wedding at 123 Henry Street” and tried to kill his sweetheart Yetta Gordon was arraigned in the Essex Market Court” today

    1897: In a move that might surprise some advocates of the separation of church and state, a summary of Rabbi Gustave Gottheil published included his expression of displeasure over Tammany Hall’s victory “in the recent election” saying that “he had wished the election had gone the other way.”

    1899: In Paris, the Senate sitting as a High Court for the trial of the conspiracy, which has already heard testimony from the President of the League of Anti-Semitic that the demonstrations he arranged were anti-Dreyfus protests and not a plot to overthrow the Republic, resumed its deliberations today. The Senate was investigating charges of treason that included many leaders of the anti-Semitic movement in France who were also anti-democratic rightists.

    1902:  Birthdate of Emanuel Feuermann.  Born in Galicia, this world class cellist found fame playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He died unexpectedly in 1942 as the result of an infection contracted during a minor surgical procedure.

    1909: Birthdate of Mikhail Leontyevich Mil a founder of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, which is responsible for many of the well-known Russian helicopter models, notably the Mil Mi-24 'Hind'. He passed away in 1970.

    1909: Speaking in Yiddish, twenty-three-year-old Clara Lemlich addressed a crowd of thousands of restless laborers at New York City's Cooper Union. “I am one of those who suffer from the abuses described here, and I move that we go on a general strike.”  The audience of workers had been listening for hours as numerous labor leaders decried current working conditions in New York's garment industry but who nonetheless advocated caution when considering a strike. Lemlich's words and passion stirred the crowd. The chairman of the event came to her side and called out “Will you take the old Hebrew oath?” Although not an exclusively Jewish gathering, most in the crowd raised their right arms and pledged with him in Yiddish: “if I turn traitor to the cause I now pledge, may my hand wither from the arm I now raise.” And so began the “Uprising of the 20,000,” a critical turning point in American labor activism. In the months that followed, thousands of garment workers, mainly young Jewish and Italian women walked picket lines and confronted police brutality. The Jewish women, including Lemlich, Rose Schneiderman, and Pauline Newman, who worked tirelessly to organize and sustain the strike effort, insisted that their concerns extended beyond wages and hours. They fought for dignity in working conditions and for women's right to union recognition. While the strike was only partially successful, it set off a wave of general strikes from 1909-1915 in cities across the United States. As a result, U.S. labor leaders who had long dismissed the needs of women workers and ignored the work of female activists had to accept the centrality of women's needs within the American labor movement.

    1910: Birthdate of Ervin György Patai, who as Raphael Patai would gain fame as an ethnographer and anthropologist.

    1917: As Allenby’s forces, including the 38th and 39thBattalions known as the Jewish battalions, made their way towards Jerusalem, Turkish forces made three fruitless counter-attacks in an attempt to dislodge the British from Nebi Samwil.

    1917: Woodrow Wilson became the first president to publicly endorse a national Jewish philanthropic campaign when he sent a letter to Jacob Schiff, today calling for wide support of the United Jewish Relief Campaign, which was raising funds for European War relief.

    1918: Polish forces attack Jewish community of Lemberg (Lvov).

    1921:  Birthdate of comedian and comedic actor Rodney Dangerfield.  Dangerfield passed away in 2004.  His ill-fitting black suits and shirts with the too-tight collar were as much a part of his comedic signature as was the lament, “I don’t get no respect.”

    1923: Birthdate of film director Arthur Hiller.

    1927: George Gershwin's "Funny Face," premieres in New York City.

    1931: In article entitled “Palestine Goes to the Theatre”, Jean Jaffe reports approvingly on the wide scope of theatrical productions offered by the Jewish community including productions of Shaw’s “Devil’s Desciple” which was produced under the Hebrew names “Bechor Hasatan”, Upton Sinclair’s “The Pot Boiler” and Zweig’s “Jeremiah.”

    1933: Incorporation of the Anti-Nazi League

    1934: "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" was first heard on Eddie Cantor's radio program.  And you thought that “White Christmas” was the only Christmas song with a Jewish connection. 

    1934: In an effort to curb “excessive rentals,” Tel Aviv’s Municipal Council vote to impose “regulations for the fixing of a maximum rate of rent for all business and residential property.”

    1936: Emir Abduallah fails in his attempt to convince Palestinian Arabs to give testimony before the Peel Commission.

    1936: Birthdate of Fred Wilpon the Bensonhurst native who made his fortune in real estate before he purchased the New York Mets.

    1936: Birthdate of Dr. Albert Bernard Ackerman.  A native of Elizabeth, NJ who graduated from Princeton and Columbia Medical School, Ackerman was a founding figure in the field of dermatopathology who trained a generation of doctors to recognize skin diseases under the microscope

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that in Beirut four persons lost their lives and more than 60 were wounded in demonstrations protesting the closing down by French authorities of several Lebanese political organizations. Over 300 arrests were made. Palestine was not the only scene of unrest in the Middle East prior to World War II.

    1937(18th of Kislev, 5698):

    1937:  The Palestine Post reported that in Vienna the local Jewish community conducted a winter relief appeal for funds to feed some 1,800 needy residents daily.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that 2,000 delegates attended the Palestine Conference in Warsaw. They were addressed by Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.  Ben-Zvi would gain fame as the second President of Israel.

    1938: Beersheba, after having been in the hands of Arab rebels since it was abandoned by the government civil authorities six weeks ago, was occupied by British troops today. All towns in Palestine that the Arab rebels had seized are now controlled by the British military although Arab terrorists are still active.

    1939(10th of Kislev, 5700): Moissaye Joseph Olgin, a Russian-born writer, journalist, and translator in the early 20th century passed away. He found the Morgen Freiheit, a New York City Yiddish Newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, among whose stated aims was the promotion of the Jewish labor movement and the defeat of racism in the United States.

    1939(10th of Kislev, 5700): In Warsaw, Poland a Jew killed an officer.  As punishment for the crime, all 53 male inhabitants of his building were summarily shot.

    1940: Prime Minister Winston Churchill writes to Lord Lloyd, the Secretary of State for the Colonies who is an opponent of Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel, cautioning him to make that Jewish internees on island of Mauritius be treated humanely.

    1941(2nd of Kislev, 5702): Kurt Koffka passed away. Koffka was born and educated in Germany. The famed psychologist moved to America in 1928.  With Wolfgang Köhler and Max Wertheimer, he co-founded the Gestalt school of psychology. Koffka became in time the most influential spokesman of Gestalt psychology. He applied it to child development, learning, memory and emotion. The name Gestalt, meaning form or configuration, emphasizes that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology grew as reaction against the traditional atomistic approach to the human being where behavior was analyzed into constituent elements called sensations. He made an influential distinction between the behavioral and the geographical environments - the perceived world of common sense and the world studied by scientists. 

    1942 (13th of Kislev, 5703): “Dr. Benzion Mossinsohn, noted Hebrew educator, Zionist leader and a member of the Jewish National Council died…today in the Hadassah Hospital at the age of 64, after a long illness.  He was the found and head of the Herzlia Gymnasium in Tel Aviv, the leading secondary school in Palestine.”  Dr. Mossinsohn visited New York for the first time in 1912 as a representative of the Gymnasium of Jaffa “the first strictly Jewish school to be established in Palestine in 2,000 years.”  During the visit, Mossinsohn addressed a gathering at Cooper Union during when he declared “Palestine is the land in which to solve the Jewish problem.  It will be the land of our salvation if we make it a center of culture and not merely a center for immigration.”  Mossinsohn visited the United States again in 1936, the same year in which his son was killed by a land mine explosion that took place during the multi-year long Arab uprising.  By now he was President of the World Confederaton of General Zionists and head of the Herzlia Gymnasium in Tel Aviv.

    1943: Lebanon gains its independence from France

    1943: Birthdate of former MK Naomi Blumenthal

    1943: More than 1000 Jewish patients at a Berlin mental hospital are deported to Auschwitz.

    1943(24th of Cheshvan, 5704): Professor Martin Pappenheim, the Viennese psychiatrists passed away today in Tel Aviv at the age of 62. He was the father of Else Pappenheim, MD Austrian-American psychiatrist and neurologist and a colleague of Sigmund Freud.

    1943(24th of Cheshvan, 5704): Lyricist Lorenz Hart passed away New York at age 48

    1943: Lebanon gains independence from France.

    1944: Birthdate of Yitzchak Mordechai, a native of Iraq who made Aliyah in 1949.  He became a decorated member of the IDF before beginning a political career that included service as Minister of Defense and Minister of Transport.

    1944: Protectors of Jews in Budapest, Hungary, meet with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg at the city's Swedish legation

    1945: In Brooklyn, Morty and Sylvia Okun Bernstein gave birth to Allen J. Bernstein who greatly expanded the high-end Morton’s of Chicago steakhouse chain during his 17 years as chairman, applying what some in the industry called a Big Mac approach to filet mignon. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1945: The British claim that members of “Jewish underground” took arms from the RAF stationed in Ras el Ain, Syria.

    1955(7th of Kislev, 5716): Shemp Howard passed away.  A member of the Three Stooges, he died of a heart attack following an evening out with friends watching boxing matches

    1956: "A new Egyptian Nationality Code barred so called 'Zionists' from Egyptian nationality.

    1957: Simon & Garfunkel appear on "American Bandstand" as "Tom & Jerry" 

    1963: John F Kennedy 35th U.S. President was shot dead in Dallas, Texas.  Kennedy enjoyed a great of deal of political support among Jewish voters.  He appointed two Jews to his cabinet – Abe Ribicoff to H.E.W. and Arthur Goldberg to Labor. Kennedy would appoint Goldberg to the Supreme Court as a replacement for Felix Frankfurter.

    1963: In Austin, TX, “the women of Augas Achim…were working in their new kosher kitchen, mixing potato salad for the several hundred people including Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who were expected to attend the dedication of the new synagogue which was to take place tomorrow. (As reported by Cathy Schechter; full disclosure – I taught pre-bar mitzvah at Agudas Achim five years later)

    1965:Man of La Mancha opens”at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in Greenwich Village. The part of Sancho Panza was played by Irving Jacobson, a veteran of the Yiddish Theatre.  (Only in America could a Jew play a major role in play set in what would become the Land of the Inquisition)

    1967: Birthdate of tennis star Boris Becker. According to an interview Becker gave in 1999, his mother was Jewess from Czechoslovakia. 

    1967: English professional football player George Cohen”s “37th and final England appearance came in a 2–0 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley” today

    1967: The U.N. Security Council approved Resolution 242 as a result of the Six Day War fought in June of that year.  The resolution would provide the basis for Israel’s attempts to trade land for peace.

    1967: U.N. Secretary General Thant raises issue of restrictions placed on Syrian Jews at the U.N. Security Council during Resolution 242 on the Israeli-Arab conflict. Intervention on behalf of the Jews fails.

    1968: First interracial kiss on network television takes place between Captain Kirk played by William Shattner, and Lt. Uhura. (Shatner is Jewish.
    1969(12th of Kislev, 5730): Bertha Solomon passed away today at the age of 77.

    1974: The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status. For the PLO, this was a reward for a variety of terrorist acts including the slaughter at the Munich Olympics.  What the UN members failed to understand was that others would see this as an approval of terrorism as an instrument for the advancement of their own agendas.  There is a direct line between the UN’s action and the radical Islamic terrorists that are confronting the West in the 21st century

    1978(22nd of Cheshvan, 5739): San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was Jewish, were assassinated in City Hall by a former city supervisor, Dan White. Dianne Feinstein, who was then the President of the San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, was the first to discover Harvey Milk's body. Feinstein who was the first female president of the Board of Supervisors was then sworn in as the first female mayor of San Francisco in Moscone's stead. In 1979, she was elected to the first of two full terms as mayor. In 1992, she won a special Senate election to replace Pete Wilson who had left his seat to become governor of California. She was re-elected in 1994 and 2000.

    1981: Sir Hans Adolf Krebs passed away. The son of a Jewish physician, Krebs was forced in 1933 to leave Nazi Germany for England. The German-born British biochemist who received (with Fritz Lipmann) the 1953 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery in living organisms of the series of chemical reactions known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (also called the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle) - the basic system for the essential pathway of oxidation process within the cell.. These reactions involve the conversion - in the presence of oxygen--of substances that are formed by the breakdown of sugars, fats, and protein components to carbon dioxide, water, and energy-rich compounds. The Krebs cycle explains two simultaneous processes: the degradation reactions which yield energy, and the building-up processes which use up energy

    1984: In New York, Karsten Johansson and Melanie Sloan whose Ahskenazi family had lived in the Bronx gave birth to actress Scarlett Johansson.

    1985: According to the Tower Report Al Schwimmer, a middleman and consultant for Israel's Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, fouled up one arms shipment today when he allowed the lease to expire on three transport planes in Tel Aviv. At the time, weapons for Iran were en route to Tel Aviv: when they arrived, there were no planes to take them to Iran. As a result, the arms delivery to Iran was days late, and no hostages were released. Mr. Schwimmer had been trying to save what amounted to a day's leasing cost. ''I have never seen anything so screwed up in my life,'' General Secord is reported to have said.

    1988: William Andreas Brown was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel

    1990:  Margaret Thatcher resigns as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Thatcher was seen by many as philo-Semitic and a supporter of Israel. She had been a member of Anglo-Israel Friendship League of Finchley and Conservative Friends of Israel and during her career had five Jewish members of her cabinet.

    1993: Edward P. Djerejian was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

    1995: Ehud Barak finished his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    1995: Chaim Ramon began serving as Minister of Internal Affairs in a government headed by Shimon Peres.

    1997: It was reported today the President Bill Clinton was the first recipient …of the Man of Peace Award, established by the Rabin Foundation and the Peres Foundation, two ''peace centers'' financed in part with money from the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize the men shared with Mr. Arafat. Mr. Clinton asked the foundations to devote the $75,000 in prize money to pay for scholarships for Americans to study in Israel.”

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941by Victor Klemperer, Freud: Conflict and Culture, edited by Michael S. Roth in association with the Library of Congress and A Likely Story: One Summer With Lillian Hellmanby Rosemary Mahoney

    1999: In an article entitled “Final Sabbath for a Spiritual Hub; A Synagogue That Embodied an Earlier Bronx Is Closed” Barbara Stewart provided the following description of the MosholuJewish Center.

    2001(7th of Kislev, 5762): Eighty-three year old Norman Granz, American jazz musician and record producer passed away.(As reported by Richard Severo)

    2004: Having assembled the largest and most comprehensive listing of the names of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, along with biographical details, photographs and nutshell memoirs, Yad Vashem makes the information available online at

    2005: Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany. In 2007, Merkel would receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem "in recognition of her lifelong dedication to the principles of democracy and in appreciation of her warm and constant friendship for the people and State of Israel."

    2005: After 26 years, Ted Koppel calls it quits as host of ABC’s late night news show, Nightline.  Begun before the 24/7 world of cable news turned television news into tabloid entertainment, Koppel started a show that proved that some Americans wanted something a little more substantive than “Here’s Johnny” at the end of the day.

    2006(1st of Kislev, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2006: During an exclusive interview with members of the University of Wisconsin Hillel staff, Ben Karlin ('93), a Senior Writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” admits that Sukkot is his favorite Jewish holiday because he “likes lulavs and loves etrogs

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, the Yuval Ron Ensemble present an evening of pan-Middle-Eastern Diaspora music anchored by Haifa-born vocalist Najwa Gibran.

    2007: (12 Kislev 5768) Yahrzeit of Solomon Schechter founder and President of the United Synagogue of America, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and architect of the American Conservative Jewish movement.

    2008: The movie, “Old Days,” set in a retirement home with a decidedly Jewish feel opens at the Big Apple Film Festival in New York

    2008: As part of the Israeli Voices series the 92nd Street Y presents Yoni Rechter who has made a great contribution to the Israeli music scene.

    2008: In Arlington, Virginia, children's author and illustrator Sallie Lowenstein, author of Waiting for Eugene and The Festival of Lights, leads a discussion, "From Memory to Story: How a Childhood in Burma Became a Novel in the Future," on the origins of her new young-adult book, In the Company of Whispers.

    2008: 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s pro-civil rights stance attracted and energized a significant segment of the Jewish populace. His sympathy for the state of Israel can be seen in the following speech which he delivered during his campaign for the presidency.

    Prophecy is a Jewish tradition, and the World Zionist movement, in which all of you have played so important a role, has continued this tradition. It has turned the dreams of its leaders into acts of statesmanship. It has converted the hopes of the Jewish people into concrete facts of life. When the first Zionist conference met in 1897, Palestine was a neglected wasteland. A few scattered Jewish colonies had resettled there, but they had come to die in the Holy Land, rather than to make it live again in greatness. Most of the governments of the world were indifferent. But now all is changed. Israel became a triumphant and enduring reality exactly 50 years after Theodore Herzl, the prophet of Zionism, had proclaimed the ideal of nationhood. It was the classic case of an ancient dream finding a young leader, for Herzl was then only 37 years of age. Perhaps I may be allowed the observation that the Jewish people - ever since David slew Goliath - have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership, or measured experience and maturity by mere length of days. I first saw Palestine in 1939. There the neglect and ruin left by centuries of Ottoman misrule were slowly being transformed by miracles of labor and sacrifice. But Palestine was still a land of promise in 1939, rather than a land of fulfillment. I returned in 1951 to see the grandeur of Israel. In 3 years this new state had opened its doors to 600,000 immigrants and refugees. Even while fighting for its own survival, Israel had given new hope to the persecuted and new dignity to the pattern of Jewish life. I left with the conviction that the United Nations may have conferred on Israel the credentials of nationhood; but its own idealism and courage, its own sacrifice and generosity, had earned the credentials of immortality… Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom; and no area of the world has ever had an overabundance of democracy and freedom. It is worth remembering, too, that Israel is a cause that stands beyond the ordinary changes and chances of American public life. In our pluralistic society, it has not been a Jewish cause - any more than Irish independence was solely the concern of Americans of Irish descent. The ideals of Zionism have, in the last half century, been repeatedly endorsed by Presidents and Members of Congress from both parties. Friendship for Israel is not a partisan matter. It is a national commitment. Yet within this tradition of friendship there is a special obligation on the Democratic Party. It was President Woodrow Wilson who forecast with prophetic wisdom the creation of a Jewish homeland. It was President Franklin Roosevelt who kept alive the hopes of Jewish redemption during the Nazi terror. It was President Harry Truman who first recognized the new State of Israel and gave it status in world affairs. And may I add that it would be my hope and my pledge to continue this Democratic tradition - and to be worthy of it….The Middle East needs water, not war; tractors, not tanks; bread, not bombs. There is already little enough available in the way of financial and physical resources for either side to be devoting its energies to huge defense budgets. The present state of tensions serves only the worst interests of Arab and Israeli alike. But a new spirit of comity could well serve the highest ideals of both. For the original Zionist philosophy has always maintained that the people of Israel would use their national genius not for selfish purposes but for the enrichment and glory of the entire Middle East. The earliest leaders of the Zionist movement spoke of a Jewish state which would have no military power and which would be content with victories of the spirit. The compulsions of a harsh and inescapable necessity have compelled Israel to abandon this hope. But I cannot believe that Israel has any real desire to remain indefinitely a garrison state surrounded by fear and hate. And I cannot believe that the Arab world would not find a better basis for unity in a united attack on all their accumulated social problems - an attack in which they could benefit immensely from a closer cooperation with the people of Israel. The technical skills and genius of Israel have already brought their blessings to Burma and to Ethiopia. Still other nations in Asia and in Africa are eager to benefit from the special skills available in that bustling land. Why should the Middle East alone be cut off from this partnership? And why should not the people of Israel receive the blessings available to them from association with the Arab world? When we think of the possibilities of this association, an emotion of soaring hope replaces our somber anxieties about the Middle East. Ancient rivers would give their power to new industries. The desert would yield to civilization. Disease would be eradicated, especially the disease that strikes down helpless children. The blight of poverty would be replaced by the blessings of abundance…”For the entire text see

    2008: An experimental Israeli music ensemble, the Givol Choir and David Moss, an innovative American singer and percussionist perform three separate shows at the historic Ha'adumim Building near the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.

    2008: Seeking to ensure that President George W. Bush's promises to Israel are transferred to the new US administration, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left for Washington tonight for his final meeting with the outgoing American leader.

    2009: The Lost Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors or/of special interest to Jewish readers including A Dream of Undying Fame: How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis byLouis Breger

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors or/of special interest to Jewish readers including Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer is part of literary family.  His brother Franklin is an editor with the New Republic. His brother Joshua is a journalist.  And is if that was not enough, he married novelist Nicole Krauss in 2004:

    2009: An experienced guide from the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, a nonprofit Jewish educational organization, leads a tour in which attendees “discover 150 years of Lower East Side history on Shteibl Row, noted for its abundance of 19th-century one- and two-room synagogues.”

    2010:Salman Rushdie, the author living under the threat of a fatwa, is scheduled to speak at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

    2010:NoVA State Legislators' Reception 2010 which gives the Jewish community a chance to Hear our state legislators identify their top priorities and address the Jewish community's state platform, is scheduled to take place at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV)

    2010: The Leo Baeck Institute in cooperation with Manhattan School of Music is scheduled to present “Adventures in Listening: Kurt Masur, A Film by Amit Breuer”

    2010:The IDF's new Head of Military Intelligence, Major-General Aviv Kochavi, formally assumed his new position today and was promoted from the rank of brigadier-general.

    2011: A forum hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the subject of ridding the world of nuclear weapons which representatives from Israel and Arab states are schedule to attend is scheduled to come to an end in Vienna.

    2011: Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper a teacher at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and serves as the spiritual leader of Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar in Tzur Hadassah is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures entitled “Maharal: The Mystic as Legal Scholar” at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

    2011: Sharon Steinberg, the Cantor at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA, is scheduled to give the last lecture in the series entitled “An Overview of Jewish Liturgical Music” as the JCC of Northern Virginia.

    2011: Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided today to open a criminal investigation against Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, for alleged incitement to racism. The decision to investigate Eliyahu came after he was quoted making several anti-Arab comments in interviews with the media.

    2011:The Military Advocate General filed indictments today against two Palestinians from the village of Halhoul near Hebron, who confessed to throwing a rock that killed Asher Hillel Palmer and his son as they drove near Kiryat Arba in September.

    2012: In Melbourne, Australia,  “The One That Got Away” is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

    2012:The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to offer an introductory course for students and researchers wishing to use its extensive photo archive.

    2012: In the U.S., Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim holiday based on Sukkoth

    2012: The IDF Spokesman’s Office said today it was looking into a photograph circulating widely on Facebook in which 16 IDF soldiers arranged their uniformed bodies on the sand, to spell out the Hebrew words “Bibi loser” — in a deft physical critique of Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s failure to send ground troops into Gaza during the just-ended Operation Pillar of Defense. (As reported by Times of Israel)

    2012:"Shin Bet officers and police arrested the terrorists who bombed a bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesday several hours after the device exploded, the agency revealed this evening."

    2012(8th of Kislev, 5773): Twenty-eight year old Boris Yarmolnik, the IDF reserve officer who was wounded in a rocket attack yesterday, passed away today following an unsuccessful surgical process designed to save his life.

    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host “Discovery and Recovery” – a behind the scene tour of the Iraqi Jewish Archive at the National Archives.

    2013: “Kol HaMusica” is scheduled to broadcast a noontime concert by Tatiana Rubina.

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    November 23

    912: Birthdate of Otto the Great, founder of the Holy Roman Empire which was neither holy nor Roman. During his reign Rabbis living in the Rhineland addressed questions to the Rabbis in Palestine “concerning the reported appearance of the Messiah.” This report was based on information supplied by 12 century Rabbi Isaac ben Dorolo.

    1221: Birthdate of King Alfonso X of Castile who had Yehudah ben Moshe translate several texts on magic into the national vernacular.

    1248: In the long war to unite Spain, King Ferdinand III of Castile takes Seville from the Moors. Ferdinand is remembered as the king who refuses Pope’s demand that Jews be forced to wear special badge and clothing.  The reason given by the monarch is a fear that Jews would flee to Muslim Granada, which would be disastrous for the revenues of the kingdom. “The Jews have played a prominent part in Seville’s history since the 4th Century and after the Christian Reconquest, their community was concentrated in this part of the city and enjoyed a period of great prosperity until the end of the 14th Century. Jews were prominent bankers, tradesmen, doctors, writers, philosophers, and advisors to both Arab and Christian rulers. It is no coincidence that the Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz is located right next to the Royal Palace, the Alcázar. A street called “El Callejón de La Judería” (“The Little Street of the Jewish Quarter”) leads into the heart of the Santa Cruz neighborhood.”

    1510: The Jews were expelled from Naples. Fifteen years earlier, the Spanish had conquered the island, and within a year had issued an order for the banishment of all Jews, which was never carried out. Now the community, which had existed since Roman times, was forced out. The only Jews remaining were the "New Christians" (who were to be expelled 5 years later) and 200 wealthy families who paid a new annual tax for such tolerance.

     1584: The Sultan ordered an investigation to the number of synagogues in Safed. In his letter to the local administration, he wrote, "in the town of Safed there are only seven sacred mosques. But the Jews who in olden times had three synagogues have now thirty-two synagogues, and they have built their buildings very high."

    1593: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Bucharest claiming the lives of many Jews

    1702(3rd of Kislev): Thirty six Jews were killed in an explosion in Lemberg, Poland

    1777(23rd of Cheshvan): Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen of Brisk, author of Minhat Aharon passed away

    1801: In Philadelphia, Leon van Amringe, Isaiah Nathan, Isaac Marks, Aaron Levi, Jr., Abraham Gumpert, and Abraham Moses took title to a plot of ground to be used as a place of burial for members of the newly formed Congregation Mickvé Israel.

    1804: Birthdate of Franklin Piercefourteenth President of the United States. Pierce is part of the unmemorable trio who served occupied the White House in the decade before the Civil War including Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan.  Among his few claims to fame is that he was the first and maybe the only President whose name appears on the charter of a synagogue. Pierce signed the Act of Congress in 1857 that amended the laws of the District of Columbia to enable the incorporation of the city's first synagogue, the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    1841: It was announced that Albert Goldsmid had been promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. In the British Army.

    1845: Paul Julius Reuter married Ida Maria Elizabeth Clementine Magnus in Berlin completing a series of changes that had begun a month before when he arrived had arrived in London.  In that time he changed his name to Joseph Josephat, converted to Christianity and then changed his name again to Paul Julius Reuter.

    1845: Forty-six year old Michael Solomon Alexander, the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem passed away.  An ordained Rabbi, he converted to Christianity in 1825.

    1845: Forty-six year old Michael Solomon Alexander, a convert to Christianity who became the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem passed away today.

    1847: The Ladies of the Society for the Religious Instruction in Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution of tribute at the passing of the British author, Grace Aguilar. Aguilar had died on September 16, 1847 at the age of 32. Aguilar's work had been championed by Philadelphia editor Isaac Leeser, who published Aguilar's books in the United States and included her writings in his monthly magazine, The Occident and American Jewish Advocate. As a result, Aguilar was in many ways better known in the Jewish community of the United States than in England. In addition to historical romances (e.g. The Vale of Cedars) and reflections on Judaism (The Spirit of Judaism, 1842) Aguilar's influential book, The Women of Israel (1844), contested the claims by numerous Christian authors that Judaism denigrated women. Aguilar argued for Judaism's ancient and contemporary regard for women by detailing the strong and admirable women who appear in Judaism's essential defining text, the Bible. Aguilar returned the feeling of kinship that American Jewish women bore her. She even responded to an 1843 request from Savannah to contribute to a fair that local Jewish women were holding to raise funds to hire a rabbi. Aguilar sent along 2 purses, 6 needle cases, and 12 pincushions on which she had done the needlework, along with additional needlework pieces gathered from some of her friends. In mourning Aguilar's passing, the Charleston women truly felt they had lost one of their own. Aguilar's death at a young age evinced a strong response. Leeser observed that “there has not arisen a single Jewish female in modern times who has done so much for the illustration and adornment of her faith as Grace Aguilar.” The Charleston women expressed their appreciation for the “power and effect” of the “pen of this champion of our faith, against that giant Prejudice, whose shadow blackens the earth.” Citing her as the “moral governess of the Hebrew family,” the women of the Society resolved that her death “must be regarded as a national calamity; and that no demonstration of respect, however high, can convey an adequate sense of the exalted estimation in which we hold her character or of the profound regret with which we received the tidings of her dissolution.”

    1848 (27th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Meir Benjamin Danon, author of Be’er ba Sadeh, passed away

    1852: An article published today entitled “Trial for Arson In the First Degree’ described the trial of Aaron Diamond on charges of arson. Mr. Morrison appeared as counsel representing Aaron Diamond, a German Jew who does not speak English in the case of the People vs. Aaron Diamond.  The case revolved around an allegation that Diamond and Joshua Feller had set fire to the dwelling of John Nally.  Morrison demanded that Diamond be tried separately. When several of the prosecution’s witnesses failed to show up, the District Attorney said that it would “unsafe” to convict the defendant and the Jury was directed by the court to render a verdict of not guilty.

    1853: The Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated its 32nd anniversary this evening with a dinner attended by 350 gentlemen at the Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway. 

    1867: Birthdate of Edgar D. Peixotto, the native New Yorker and son of Raphael Peixotto who became a successful lawyer in San Francisco, CA.

    1870: It was reported today that Thanksgiving Services will be held at the 44th Street Synagogue after which children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum will enjoy a holiday dinner provided by the Trustees.

    1870(29th of Cheshvan, 5631): Augusta Feuchtwanger nee Levy, the wife of Lewis Feuchtwanger, passed away today in New Yor,

    1871: Ignatz Ratzsky was released from Sing Sing Prison after having served nine years for the robbery-murder of a German Jew named Sigismund Fellner.  Ratzsky had originally been sentenced to death, but Governor Fenton commuted his sentence based his judgment that the conviction had been based on circumstantial evidence.

    1874: Carl Schurz will deliver a lecture this evening sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on “Educational Problems” at Steinway Hall in New York.

    1877: It was reported today that two men have been charged for their role in stealing furs from A.T. Stewart & Co. Rpbert Kyle was charged with stealing the first while Seligman Hirsch, who was described as a “Hebrew” fur dealer, was charged with receiving the stolen firs. Why or how the reported knew that Hirsch was Jewish is not stated nor is any reason given for not identifying any of the other characters by their religious affiliation.

    1880: It was reported today the lower house of the Prussian Diet debated the proposals by the anti-Semitic party to limit the activities of Jews in Germany.  The anti-Semites reflected the views of Reverend Stecker, the Court Chaplin who wants legislation adopted that will “keep the Jews from any post of authority.”  The opponents including members of the Liberal Party defended the Jews and “contended that it was breach of the Constitution to deny that Jews were Germans.”

    1882: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment distributed funds to a variety of charitable institutions including $1,680 to the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1883: It was reported today that Spanish in Morocco tried and convicted twelve Jews accused supplying guns to the Berbers.

    1883: Henry Irving will play Shylock, one of his signature roles in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Star Theatre.

    1883: According to a report that appeared in today’s edition of the Hebrew Standard, Hugh O’Neill is quoted as telling a Jew in New York, “We don’t want any of your people in our employ.”

    1884: It was reported today that the friends of Mrs. Max Rosenberg, the former Miss Jennie E. Lyman, were surprised to hear that she has filed for divorce especially since most of them did not she had gotten married several months while visiting New York.  In her petition, Mrs. Rosenberg accused her husband of “extreme cruelty.”  Rosenberg disputes his wife’s claims and says that the cause of the problem is her father’s dislike for him because he was Jewish.

    1885: Birthdate of Alexander “Alex” Trachtenberg the native of Odessa  who was active in the Socialist Party of America and the Communist Party USA.

    1885: It was reported today that this year’s Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Fair raised over $7,800.

    1886: Warrants are expected to be issued today for those who have violated Massachusetts “Sunday Closing Laws.”  Several Jews and their customers are expected to be named since up until last week, it had been considered permissible for the Jews to operate their businesses on Sunday since they were closed on Saturday for their Sabbath observances.

    1888:  Birthdate of Harpo Marx, one of the famous Marx Brothers.

    1889: Jacob Levy arrived in New York City from Poland today and moved in with his brother at 83 Norfolk Street in NYC.

    1889: Sanitary officers “seized some unwholesome meat and vegetables in the sidewalk markets in the Hebrew quarter in the Tenth Ward.”

    1889: “The Red Hussar,” a comedy opera in three acts by Edward Solomon, with a libretto by Henry Pottinger Stephens, which opened at the Lyric Theatre in London tonight.  Solomon was the prolific Ango-Jewish composer and conductor who died prematurely at the age of 29.

    1890: “Catholic Spain” published today provided a detailed review of Chapters From The Religious History Of Spain Connected With The Inquisition by Henry Charles, a subject near and dear to the hearts of Jews in general and Sephardic Jews in particular.

    1894: At today’s meeting of the Tenement House Committed that was held in the Old Criminal Court Mr.Rice and Mr. Tuska of the United Hebrew Charity expressed their agreement with Reverend John B. Devins that tenement residents do not prefer filth, “that there should be public lavatories and that “every saloon should have an outside drinking fountain.  They also believe that tenements should be better lit, have water on each floor and house kindergartens.

    1896:”A Radical Chicago Rabbi” published today summarized the view of Dr. Emil G. Hirsh, the rabbi Temple Sinai on the Windy City’s south-side, including his beliefs that observing Shabbat on Saturday “and the hope of the return to the Holy Land” are “relics of an attractive tradition but entirely out of keeping with advance and progress of modern ideas.

    1896: In Philadelphia, the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women hosted a reception for the National Board at the Mercantile Club.

    1897: Charles Schapiro was being held in the Tombs today after having killed Louis Lieberman and wounded his girlfriend Yetta Gordon yesterday.   Gordon whose wounded eye was bandaged is being held in the House of Detention as a material.  She had rejected Schapiro because he did not earn enough money.  And he was angry because she would not return the twenty-five dollar ring he had “bought for her with money she had lent him.”

    1909: The annual meeting of the Civic Federation which features a discussion of old age pensions by a panel including Samuel Gompers came to a close in New York City.

    1912:  The British Consul in Jerusalem continued to complain to the British Ambassador in Constantinople about the British born Jews arriving in his city.  Of the latest batch of 20, only six had means to support themselves while twelve of them were living off of contributions supplied by local Jewish charities.

    1913: Supreme Court Justice Seabury has ordered the sale in foreclosure of the Bijou theatre property on Broadway in a suit brought by Felix M. Warburg, Isaac N. Seligman, Paul M. Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff as trustees under the will of Alfred M. Heinsheimer against the Bijou Real Estate Company.

    1918: After three days, the Lemberg Pogrom came to an end with 50 to 150 Jewish dead, hundreds more injured and untold loss of property thanks to looting carried out by Polish soldiers and local civilians.

    1918: Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, announced that organization's decision to hold its New York City campaign designed to raise $5,000,000 to aid Jewish war sufferers during the week starting on December 8 and ending on December 15.

    1920: Birthdate of poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan who used the pseudonym of Paul Antschel.

    Death is a gang-boss aus Deutchland his eye is blue

    he hits you with leaden bullets his aim is true

    there's a man in this house your golden hair Margareta

    he sets his dogs on our trail he gives us a grave in the sky

    he cultivates snakes he dreams Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

    (from 'A Death Fugue')

    1921: Churchill offers to send a warship to help Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, collect the fines levied against the Arabs in Jaffa who had rioted and attacked Jews in villages surrounding the ancient port.

    1922: The silent movie, Hungry Hearts  produced by the Goldwyn Company and based on a book of the same name written by Anzia Yezierska opened in New York City on Thanksgiving.

    1923: Birthdate of Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock, an American musical theatre composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1965 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Harnick.

    1924: The Price of a Party featuring Dagmar Gadowsky the daughter of Leopold Godowsky.

    1924: Herzliya was founded as a moshav. It has since become a flourishing town on the Mediterranean coast. 

    1928: In New Haven, CT, George Bock and the former Peggy Alpert gave birth to Jerrold Lewis Bock, the man who composed such Broadway hits as “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Fiorello!” and “She Loves Me.”

    1930(3rd of Kislev): Poet Israel Fine passed away

    1936: Life, the photo journalism magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, was first published. In the days before television, webcams, the internet and the myriad of other ways we have a recording and sending pictures, Life, with it large splash, creative or documentary like images was the major window on the world for millions of Americans.  It was the photographers who made Life the magazine it was and some of the most famous were Jewish including Alfred Eisenstaedt who shot “The Kiss,” Robert Capa who shot “Death of a Loyalist Soldier” as well as the first still photos of first wave at Omaha Beach, Cornell Capa who photographed Grandma Moses and Margaret Bourke-White who snapped “Working Atop the Chrysler Building.”     

    1937: In the tenth day of the Arnold Bernstein’s trial before the Hamburg Emergency Court, the German-Jewish shipping magnate is charged by the the prosecution with “exchange irregularities in connection with 2,000,000 marks loaned by the Chemical National Bank of New York.  The trial was part of a ploy by the Nazi government to assume control of Arnold Bernstein & Red Star Line.

    1938: In a memorandum to Winston Churchill correspondents in Europe quote Hitler as saying, “he wanted eliminate from German life the Jews, the Churches and suppress private industry.  After that, he would turn to foreign policy again.”

    1938: It was reported today that, “The movement started only a week ago by Palestine Jewry to adopt children from Germany is spreading with amazing rapidity.  Following a suggestion made by Israel Rokach, Mayor of Tel Aviv…to members of the Jewish Women’s Labor Federation” have already “volunteered to adopt refugee children.”  The National council of Palestine Jewry had set a goal of adopting 5,000 children but given the quick positive response the goal will be met and exceeded.

    1938: Violinist Mischa Elman played “Larghetto Lamentoso” during Leopold Godowsky’s funeral which was held in Manhattan today.  Godowsky was the composer of this piece of music. Music critic Leonard Liebling described the late composer as “a citizen of the world” and “a great and patient teacher of music…” (Godowsky, Elman and Liebling were all Jewish.)

    1938: In a column published today Leopold Godowsky was described as “a unique figure among al his contemporaries: a phenomenal pianist and a musician of the most exceptional attributes.”

    1939: In Nazi-occupied Poland, Frank ordered that “All Jews and Jewesses within the Government-General who are over ten years of age are required to wear . . . the Star of David.

    1940: All Jewish professors of the Utrecht University were dismissed, among them the Dutch mathematician Julius Wolff.

    1940: Newpaper visited Abu Sinan, a village north of Nazareth, where they investigated reports that Helen Yussef Nicola, an 8 year old Arab girl whose parents are devout Greek Orthodox, has been responsible for miraculous healings including cures “of a crippled Arab boy and a crippled Jewish boy from Tel Aviv.”  Over the last two weeks, “hundreds of Christians, Moslems and Jews have visited Helen and come away allegedly convince of her curative capacities.”

    1941:  Cherna Berkowitz describes the arrival of refugees at Dorohoi at Transnistria. "The deportations resumed. Women, elderly people and so many children in the freezing cold. With each passing day their numbers dwindle as more of them die.” Dorohoi, people say, “We send the children to give the newcomers some warm tea. They return with horror stories. The men were all at work when they deported the women and children. We have one woman with three small children, one of whom is not yet weaned. All she has are rags and a few pennies in her pocket. The soldiers round up the arrivals and order them to march on."

    1941: Thirty thousand Jews are killed at Odessa, Ukraine. "

    1942: “Hitler: Man of Strife” by Ludwig Wagner was published today.  It was the first full-length biography about the Nazi dictator to appear in the United States since the publication of “Hitler” by Konrad Heiden in 1936.

    1943: One hundred and fifty Jewish partisans escape from Occupied Kovno, Lithuania, and head eastward into the Rudninkai Forest.

    1943: Birthdate of Andrew Goodman.  Goodman worked a volunteer in the voter right’s registration movement in Mississippi in the summer of 1964. He and two of his fellow volunteers would be murdered that summer in Neshoba County.  It would take years to finally bring their killers to justice.  This brutal murder was one of the many events that helped bring about the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  That fall, Mississippi would show its displeasure with this change in events by voting for Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for President who opposed the Civil Rights Act.  This election would mark a turning point in American history providing the Republican Party with its political base.  

    1944: Premiere of “Three Is a Family” a comedy written Henry and Phoebe Ephron.

    1944:Over the next four days, Swiss consulate officials Leopold Breszlauer and Ladislaus Kluger issue about 300 protective documents to Hungarian Jews gathered at the Hungarian-Austrian border.

    1944: Birthdate of Joe Eszterhas, the Hungarian-American author, who cut his father out his life entirely what at age 45 he learned “his father had concealed his collaboration in the Hungarian Nazi government and that he had "organized book burnings and had cranked out the vilest anti-Semitic propaganda imaginable."

    1945: Ruth and Moshe Dayan give birth to Asaf "Assi" Dayan, an Israeli film director, actor, screenwriter and producer.

    1945:  Birthdate of comedian Steve Landesberg.  Born in the Bronx, Landesberg is best known for his portrayal of Dietrich, the cerebral detective on in the television sitcom, Barney Miller.

    1946: Fawi Husseini, cousin of Arab Higher Committee chairman, is killed by Arabs for selling land to Jews.

    1947(1st of Cheshvan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

    1947:U.S. Army chaplain, Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz married Holocaust survivor Rachel Abramowitz married at Berlin.  They had first met at one of the DP camps General Eisenhower had established for Jewish survivors of the Shoah following clashes in camps shared between survivors and those they recognized as murderers. To Eisenhowers credit, he found that “The situation was unbearable” and moved to remedy it.

    1947:  Eliezer Sukenik an outstanding archaeologist and text expert on the faculty of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered earlier that winter by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.  Sukenik was able to purchase three of the scrolls they had found, the War Scroll, the Thanksgiving Scroll and a small Scroll of Isaiah.  The Great Scroll of Isaiah had already been purchased the Metropolitan Stephen, of St. Mark’s Church.  In one of the strange twists of fate, Yigal Yadin, Sukenik’s son, would arrange for the purchase of the Scroll of Isaiah and three other scrolls in 1954.  The purchase began with a simple newspaper ad in the Wall Street Journal, “Miscellaneous For Sale…Four Dead Sea Scrolls.” Yadin knew the importance of the items and arranged for a loan of a quarter of a million dollars (a large sum in those days, especially for the infant state of Israel) to bring them back to their ancestral home.  The secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls are still being unlocked by scholars to this day.  Considering that the acquisition of the scrolls began against the backdrop of the Partition of Palestine and the Israeli War for Independence, there is enough adventure here for an Indiana Jones style movie.

    1948: In today’s session of the UN General Assembly's Political and Security Committee, Dr. Philip C. Jessup suggests that both Bernadotte and UN partition plans be considered in fixing Israeli boundaries. Israel would keep Galilee and pan: of Negev.

    1948: Aubrey S. Eban (Abba Eban) defended Jewish claims to both the Galilee and Negev.

    1948: Israel forms a reserve forced made up of men aged 40 to 45.

    1949: Israeli forces made their way through the Negev Desert to the isolated outpost at Sodom (the Biblical Sodom) on the Dead Sea which had been cut off from any overland contact for more than six months.  Their success in reaching Sodom extended the boundaries of the new state of Israel 20 miles further south and east.

    1950: As of this date 80,000 Jews were reported to be waiting to leave Iraq.

    1950: Birthdate of New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

    1956 (19th of Kislev): Birthdate of Elliot R. Wolfson, author of Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menachem Mendel Schneerson

    1956(19th of Kislev)::On Friday night, Rabbi Schneerson, "The Rebbe," delivers "a learned discourse on kabbalistic themes to mark the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev...the Lubavitch 'Day of Redemption.'"

    1956: "An inflammatory proclamation was read in all mosques in Egypt declaring 'All Jews are Zionists and enemies of the State.'"

    1959: David Susskind produced The White Stage, this week’s selection for “The Play of the Week.”

    1963: Congregants of Agudas Achim in Austin, TX who had been planning to dedicated their new building today – an event that was to include a visiting from Vice President Lyndon Johnson – “gathered to mourn the death of John F. Kennedy and pray for their old friend Lyndon Johnson>’

    1968: After 1, 234 performances, the curtain came down on the Broadway production of “Cactus Flower” a farce written by Abe Burrows.

    1970: Birthdate of Oded Feher.  Born in Tel Aviv he lived there until he was age 18 when he joined the Israel Navy for 3 years. At the completion of his National Service duty, he went to Europe to pursue a business career but instead of business, he discovered acting. He went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England. Oded appeared as Don Juan in a production of Don Juan Comes Back From War at the Courtyard Theatre in London.  He has also appeared in both The Knock and Killer Net on British Television.  In his Breakout Role, Fehr played the role of Ardeth Bay in his first major screen role, The Mummy, a 1999 Universal release.

    1972: Birthdate of Christopher James Adler,an American drummer, best known as a member of the metal band Lamb of God. He is the older brother to bandmate and guitarist Willie Adler.

    1973(28th of Cheshvan, 5734): Mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel passed away. Leonard Bernstein paid her tribute in a eulogy at her funeral, saying, ‘when Jennie opened her mouth, God spoke.’”

    1987: About 100 Soviet Jews, united by their inability to emigrate, crowded into a two-room apartment today to discuss state secrets: the secrets that keep them from leaving the Soviet Union, the secret process by which the holders of secrets are identified, and the reason the secrets themselves are secret. The gathering, the culmination of months of research by would-be emigrants from the ranks of Soviet scientific and technological professions, was an attempt to collate bitter individual experiences, an attempt by people whose professional lives were once permeated with logic to explain a fate they find irrational. ''State secrets have been a skeleton in a closet,'' Tatyana Ziman, one of the organizers, said in an interview after the meeting. ''We want to break the spell that hangs over this word 'secret.' We were thinking of the thousands of people who are hanging between earth and sky not knowing what will happen to them.'' Security considerations have been cited in the cases of the vast majority of Soviet Jews who have been denied exit visas this year. Estimate of Visa Denials It is not known how many Soviet Jews have been told they are security risks by visa authorities, who almost never provide written verification of what they say. Conference organizers put the number between 2,000 and 10,000. The Soviet authorities appear to have taken a more liberal attitude toward Jewish emigration this year, allowing more than 6,000 Jews to go so far in 1987, more than six times the total for all of 1986, and have announced creation of a high-level commission to review contested visa decisions. However, some Soviet Jews say they feel that ''state security'' is still being invoked to deny exit visas in many cases in order to justify an official approach that remains intentionally capricious. Many Soviet citizens seeking to emigrate have said in the past that the practice of keeping would-be emigrants in limbo for years, while taking away their jobs and sometimes hindering their children's education, serves to strongly discourage those toying with the idea of applying. Few Written Explanations Also, in the absence of written explanations for administrative decisions, which are almost never offered by visa authorities when they turn down an application, a would-be emigrant has great difficulty knowing exactly what knowledge in his possession is considered secret by authorities. ''I wish I knew what it is I know, so I could tell,'' Ida Nudel said several months ago, before she was granted the long-sought permission to emigrate to Israel in October. In an interview with French television in 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, said that the maximum term during which state security could be cited as a reason to deny permission for emigration would be 10 years. But in a news conference at the Foreign Ministry some months later, a leading Soviet spokesman, Gennadi I. Gerasimov, clarified Mr. Gorbachev's remarks saying that in some cases -he cited the case of Naum S. Meiman, a mathematician, in particular - the duration of the secrecy rule might have no limit. Classified Work in 1950's Mr. Meiman did classified calculations while working at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the early 1950's. Many of those barred from emigration argue that virtually any kind of work can make a person a ''security risk.'' During the seminar today, Mrs. Ziman read a paper drafted by her husband, Yuri, examining the differences between United States and Soviet emigration policies. To leave the Soviet Union, specific permission is needed, the difficulty of obtaining permission depends on the country of destination, and the decision-making process is done on an administrative basis with severely limited opportunities for appeal. In addition, Yuri Ziman's paper said, the Soviet Government claims a right to control the movements of its citizens overseas, including where they go and how long they stay. Leaving the country without permission is a crime, and attempts to do so are viewed as serious crimes, for which the death penalty can be invoked. According to one seminar organizer, Pavel Abramovich, the group wanted to analyze various aspects of the state security system that has kept them in limbo for 10, 13, or even 17 years. But the first question put to Mr. Abramovich after he finished his preamble reflected the group's success in gaining both attention and participants. ''Could someone open a window?'' asked a spectator from the middle of the rush-hour like crush in the two rooms.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Tuesday’s With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom, Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom by Herbert G. Goldman and A History of the Twentieth Century Volume 1: 1900-1933 by Martin Gilbert

    2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): A powerful car bomb killed two Israelis and wounded scores during rush hour in the coastal city of Hadera this evening. Prime Minister Ehud Barak immediately pledged that Israel would ''get even'' for a ''barbaric'' attack that took the current violence into the country's heartland. The bomb struck at a busy hour on a congested street. A car detonated by remote control blew up beside a city bus on President Street, lifting the bus in the air and hurling it into a kiosk. A blinding flash of light was followed by a tremendous boom. Store windows shattered, and several fires started. A man and a woman were killed, and several people, including a 1-year-old girl, were hospitalized in very serious condition. Naftali Wechter, 47, was riding in the bus in front of the one that exploded. ''I saw a column of smoke and a flash of fire several feet high,'' he said while lying on a gurney at the local hospital. ''We were thrown.'' Also in the hospital, Michal Azaria, 43, a shopkeeper, had a blood-caked face. ''The noise was terrifying,'' he said. ''Things flew in the air and got stuck in my legs. I saw people thrown on the ground. It was like a battlefield. They didn't move. They had blood on their hands and legs, and people were groaning, 'Oy, oy.' They were in great pain.'' Within minutes the street was littered with metal scraps and glass shards. The bus remained whole but was burned out inside. It rested on the sidewalk, its nose inside the kiosk under a crumpled awning. The car that had carried the bomb was nothing more than a piece of twisted metal with a steering wheel.

    2001: An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at a van in the West Bank, killing Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, a leading member of Hamas, the Islamic terror organization.

    2003: The Al Hirschfeld Theatre which had been renamed in honor of his talents and long career reopened on with a revival of the musical Wonderful Town. Hirschfeld was also honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

    2003: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural Historyby Adam Bellow and The Media and The War co-edited by Marvin Kalb

    2004(10th of Kislev, 5765):Rafael Eitan, a former Israeli Army chief of staff and government minister who was reprimanded after Lebanese Christian allies of Israel massacred Palestinian refugees in 1982, drowned today after being swept into stormy seas. He was 75. Mr. Eitan was a war hero whom Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called "a comrade-in-arms and a friend." But Mr. Eitan's reputation, like Mr. Sharon's, was blighted by the killing of hundreds at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut while Israeli forces stood by. Mr. Sharon called Mr. Eitan's life "the story of this country." Mr. Eitan, known as Raful, was born in 1929 in Tel Adashim, a communal farm, and at 16 he joined the Palmach, an elite fighting force of the Haganah that later became the foundation for the new state's army. A paratrooper and pilot, he fought in all of Israel's wars and was wounded four times. He was appointed chief of staff in 1978.Mr. Eitan was known as a blunt talker and strict disciplinarian who would always meet his troops returning from night raids against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon. He also established programs to bring poor youths into the army to integrate them better into Israeli society. In civilian life, Mr. Eitan was a carpenter and olive farmer. He was also a politician of the right who formed a hard-line party, Tzomet, when he left the army. He opposed withdrawal from Sinai and other interim peace deals with the Palestinians, whom he once called "drugged cockroaches in a bottle." He was elected to Parliament many times and served as agriculture minister, environment minister and deputy prime minister in various governments. His party later joined Likud, which Mr. Sharon currently leads. Mr. Eitan left politics to work in his olive grove and build rocking horses at his wood shop in his birthplace, and in recent years had gone back to work as an adviser and construction coordinator for the Ashtrom company, which is improving the breakwater at the port in Ashdod. This morning about 7, Mr. Eitan was examining storm damage at the breakfront and talking to the company on a cellphone when he was apparently swept off the breakwater by the sea, the police said. He was found by police and naval personnel aided by a helicopter, but paramedics were unable to revive him. (As reported by Steven Erlanger)

    2005: Labor Party MK Ophir Pines-Paz completed his service as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2005:Major General (Ret) Matan Vilnai completed his term as Science, Technology and Space Minister

    2005: Ariel Sharon began his second term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

    2005: Shimon Peres completes his term in office as Vice Prime Minister.

    2005: Dalia Itzik, who will become the first women to serve as Speaker of the Knesset, completed her term as Communications Minister of Israel.

    2005: Isaac Herzog completed his term as Minister of Housing and Construction.

    2005: Eli Ben-Menachem completed his term as Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction

    2005:A decision by a Federal appeals court opens the way for settlement payouts for Austrian Jews. Deferring to US foreign policy interests, a federal appeals court has tossed out a class-action lawsuit by Austrian Jewish victims of the Nazi regime in a ruling that may clear the way for payouts from a 2001 settlement fund. 

    2005: The IDF unveiled the tombstones of five soldiers including two American volunteers, who fell in a battle for Latrun in the War of Independence at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery after positively identifying their remains which had been resting in a mass grave. The five soldiers being honored were Pvt. Menachem “Mendel’ Math, Cpl. Shlomo Berber, Pvt. Yehuda "Jerry" Kaplan, Pvt. Ya'akov Shnawiss (who changed his name to Sheleg Lavan), and Pvt. Moshe Hessman. Math and Kaplan were members of MACHAL.” During the War of Independence, some 3,500 volunteers from 37 different countries rallied to Israel's defense. These young men and women, Jews as well as non-Jews, were known as MACHAL (Mitnadvei Chutz-La'Arets) - the Hebrew acronym for overseas volunteers.

    2006: Americans gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday is based on two traditions: the English Harvest Home and the Biblical Sukkoth.  The Pilgrims were a deeply religious people who saw themselves as modern Israelites fleeing their own Pharaoh so they could worship their One true God.  The New World was synonymous with the Promised Land.  So it was only to be expected that when looking for a way of expressing thanks for a bountiful harvest, they would turn to the Bible and fashion a week long holiday in the manner of Sukkoth.

    2006(2nd of Kislev, 5767): Betty Comden passed away at the age of 89.  She was a writer, who with longtime collaborator Adloph Green created the lyrics and the librettos for some of the most celebrated musicals of stage and screen

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, violinist and singer Sameer Makhoul performs with French double bassist Joelle Leandre.

    2008: In a visit sponsored by Alive Productions, Randy Newman performs in Tel Aviv's Hamishkan Leomanuyot Habama (performing arts house).

    2008:At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, following a dinner, Rabbi Lane Steinger, Regional Director, Union for Reform Judaism, Midwest Council, facilitates adiscussion will concerning interfaith families and the challenges they may face with the upcoming winter holiday season.

    2008: In Chicago, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, the Spertus presents a lecture entitled “Calvin and the Jews” in which Dr. Dean Bell, Chief Academic University at Spertus, explores Calvin’s and his impact on Christian/Jewish Relations.

    2008: At the Shirlington Branch Public Library, journalist Michaele Weissman discusses and signs her new book, God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee.

    2008: The New York Times featured a the review of a biography of the Jewish born creator of the Follies entitled Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Businessby Ethan Mordden.

    2008: The Washington Post book section included reviews of the latest addition to the Holocaust Literature genre, The Journal of Hélène Berr,translated from the French by David Bellos and two books that recount “the making of modern Hebrew”:Resurrecting Hebrew by Ilan Stavans and Yehuda Amichai” The Making of Israel's National Poet by Nili Scharf Gold.

    2009: The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and the Moline Public Library sponsor an address by Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim who will speak on “The Behind the Scenes Story of Operation Solomon: The Exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel”.

    2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Eighty-year old Fred Silberstein, a survivor of Auschwitz who gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials passéd away today in New Zealand. Silberstein, who was 14 when he was taken to Auschwitz in 1943, spent much of his life educating people in New Zealand about the horrors of the Holocaust and the subsequent dangers of racism. The president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, Stephen Goodman, described him as a righteous person. “For 60 years he worked tirelessly bearing witness to the horrors of the Holocaust,” Goodman said. “He was a modest and humble man.” Silberstein survived operations by Nazi “doctor” Josef Mengele, called the “Angel of Death,” and avoided near-certain death by telling camp guards he was 15 and able to do manual labor. His evidence at the Nuremburg Trials in 1946 helped to convict Nazi leaders such as Hermann Göring and Rudolf Heß. He moved to New Zealand in 1948.

    2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Ninety-one year old Max Eisen, a Broadway press agent from the days when feeding tidbits of gossip to columnists like Walter Winchell and staging stunts were standard practice for stirring up a bit more box-office appeal, passed away today.  (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2009: Israeli author Naomi Frenkel is to be laid to rest on Kibbutz Beit Alfa at 2 p.m. today three days after dying at Sheba Medical Center on her 91st birthday.  Frenkel catapulted to fame with her triumphant trilogy, Saul and Johanna (1956-67), which tells the story of two young men who grow up in assimilated Jewish families in Germany before the Holocaust and find freedom through Zionism. 
    2010: Kathleen Straus is scheduled to be honored with the Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award by the Detroit American Jewish Committee.

    2010: Dwight Garner’s list of the “Top 10 Books of 2010” included books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “ Simon Wiesentahl: The Life and Legends”  by Tom Segev, “Letters” by Saul Bellow; edited by Benjamin Taylor, “Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance” co-authored by Nouriel Roubini, “Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, “Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory” by Ben Macintyre, one of the most successful disinformation operations of the 20th century which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu, a leading member of the UK’s Jewish community.

    2010: This afternoon at JFK airport in New York City, a Holocaust survivor was reunited with the Polish man who rescued her from the Nazis, after not having seen one another for 65 years. Wladyslaw Misiuna, 85, from Poland, and Sara Marmurek, 88, from Canada had not seen each other since the war.

    2010(16th of Kislev, 5771): Seventy three year old Ingrid Pitt,long celebrated as the first lady of British horror cinema, who starred in sanguinary classics of the 1970s like “The Vampire Lovers,” “Countess Dracula” and “The House That Dripped Blood,” died today in London. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: The Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon is scheduled to begin at 9 pm at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

    2011:Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Director at Rabbis for Human Rights is scheduled to be the  guest speaker at the first session of the Adult Education series at the West London Synagogue.

    2011:The IDF identified Beduin smugglers on the southern border trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, and a firefight erupted between the two sides tonight. No IDF soldiers were injured in the clash.
    2011: Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall. Israel's Antiques Authority announced today that the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) alongside Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel challenges the conventional archaeological perception that Herod built the wall in its entirety, saying it is now evident that construction was completed at least 20 years after Herod's death (believed to be in 4 BCE)

    2011:The threat of another political murder exists in Israel, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told the Knesset today. Aharonovitch's statement came in response to a query from MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) following the repeated harassment of activist Hagit Ofran and the Peace Now organization. Recently, death threats were sprayed on the apartment building of Ofran, a Peace Now activist, and Peace Now offices in Jerusalem were vandalized in suspected "price tag" attacks.


    2012: “Oy Vey! The Play” a comedy about a wealthy widow, her three daughters, her son, her Rabbi is scheduled to be performed at The Lion Theatre in New York City.

    2012(9th of Kislev, 5773): Seventy-four year old Devorah Krinsky “ the wife of Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, secretary to the late Lubavitcher rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson” whom she married in 1957 passed away. (As reported by JTA)

    2012: "Seeds of Resiliency," a new film directed and produced by Susan Polis Schutz, the granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants is scheduled to open tonight at the Quad Cinema in NYC.

    2012: National Yiddish Theater Presents "The Golden Land" at the Baruch Performing Arts Center

    2012: Rain fell from the North to the Negev today morning with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms forecasted to continue throughout the day.

    2012: Hamas Islamists enforced a fragile two-day-old truce on today by evacuating Palestinians from a "no-go" border zone after IDF gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian and wounded several others.

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled host a performance of the Klezmer Nutcracker Holiday Concert.

    0 0

    November 24

    166 BCE: According to secular calculations this date marked “The Origin of Era of the Maccabees.”

    380: Theodosius I made his” adventus,” or formal entry, into Constantinople. Eight years later, in 388, Theodosius attempted to intervene unsuccessfully on behalf of the Jews of his Empire.  “The bishop of a town on the bank of the Euphrates was among those responsible for the burning of a synagogue by a Christian crowd”  When the governor of the province refused to punish the bishop, Theodosius exercised his imperial power and ordered the offending bishop to build the Jews a new house of worship.  However, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan and a leader of the Christian Church, overruled the emperor and Theodosius folded like a cheap suit. This episode points to the worsening conditions of the Jews.  If a powerful Emperor like Theodosius could not stand up to the Church, how could one expect a lesser ruler to challenge the growing power of the prelates?

    1105: Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes Talmudic dictionary.  According to Heinrich Graetz, Ben Yehiel is the only Italian who made a contribution to Jewish literature during this period which was dominated by the Jews of Spain.  He published his dictionary under the name Aruch.  What this work lacks in originality it makes up for in thoroughness.  It became a standard text for Jews studying the Talmud during the Middle Ages.

    1190: Isabella of Jerusalem marries Conrad of Montferrat at Acre, making him de jure King. This took place during the period when the Crusaders controlled the City of David.  Their “kingship” should not be confused with the reign of the Davidic Dynasty.

    1275:  Edward I issued the Statute of the Jewry which placed a number of restrictions on the Jews of England. See for a complete copy of the text.

    1493: Gershon Soncino printed an edition of the Pentateuch at Brescia.

    1631 (5 Kislev, 5392): Rabbi Samuel Eliezer Edels, also known by the acronym, “MaHarSha,” passed away. Born in 1555 in Krakow, he was one of the best known Talmudic commentators. His Chidushei Halachot is included in almost every publication of the Talmud. He believed that many of the Agadot (Talmudic legends) could be explained rationally and/or as parables. Edels also served as the chief rabbi in Lublin and Ostrog. As part of his commentary and explanation on the subject of guardian angel, Edels wrote, “In the way you wish to go in life, so you will be led by your Guardian Angels." According to the MaHarSha,” this passage explains that, in the way you wish to go in life, so you will be led by your guardian angels.  In other words  every action, word and thought that you do in this world creates an angel, so if you really want something good to happen in your life, create enough angelic good angels with kindness, loving thoughts and honest words . And then these angels you have attracted to you by your good thoughts, words and actions will indeed lead you to your goal.” As you can see from this commentary, all Rabbis living in Eastern Europe were not dry legalist.  Those of you who think of them in that manner will get a chance to re-consider that concept if you study this period of Jewish History.

    1632: Birthdate of Baruch Spinoza (known also as Benedict De Spinoza). The life and philosophy of Spinoza are too complex for this brief daily blurb and you are urged to read more about him on your own) In brief Spinoza was born in Amsterdam to Sephardic Jews who had fled from the Inquisition in Portugal, Spinoza received a rigorous Jewish education including the study of such “modern” commentators as Maimonides and Ibn Ezra.   However his inquiring mind led to learn Latin and to study with so-called free-thinkers.  He became a disciple of Descartes and his rationalist philosophic approach to life.  Spinoza was a pantheist believing that God was within nature and not above nature with His own divine will.  To paraphrase Telushkin, Spinoza did not believe that God created nature, but that God is Nature.  In 1656, while still in his twenties, Spinoza was excommunicated (in Hebrew “kerem”) for denying the immortality of the soul and God’s authorship of the Torah.  On this latter point, Spinoza was a forerunner of modern Biblical critics.  He believed that the Torah had not been written by Moses, but by Ezra the Scribe.  The ban from the Jewish community was total.  Spinoza spent the rest of his life moving from place to place in Holland studying and developing his philosophical works.  At one point he joined a Mennonite sect and changed his name to Benedictus or Benedict. By the time of his death in 1677, Spinoza had developed a philosophy of rational pantheism in which to “know” nature is to know God.  Over the centuries, many Jews have expressed their displeasure over Spinoza’s excommunication.  In the 1950’s no less a figure than David Ben Gurion tried unsuccessfully to have the ban lifted.  From the writings of Spinoza: “As long as a man imagines a thing is impossible, so long will he be unable to do it.”  “Men who are ruled by reason desire nothing for themselves which they would not wish for all humankind.”  (Sounds like Hillel).

    1843: Birthdate of David Zvi Hoffmann, a rabbi and Torah scholar who was active in the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” a German based movement that attempted to apply scientific methodology to all aspects of Judaism. His daughter Hannah married Alexander Marx who along with Max L. Margolis published “A History of the Jewish People” which was a classic work of the inter-war period. Rabbi Hoffiamn passed away in 1921.

    1843: Birthdate of Tammany Hall political leader Richard Croker, Jr. who recognized the importance of the Jewish vote in the municipal elections of 1898 when he threatened to get rid of all the leaders who did not do enough to deliver it to the Democratic Party machine.

    1851: "Acapulco" published today describrf the high cost of living in the Mexican city provided the unusual comparison that "a little crib not bigger than a Jew's clothing-shop in San Francisco, brings $50 a month."

    1853: The cornerstone for a new Jewish Hospital was laid this afternoon in a two hour long ceremony.  At 2 pm a procession including members of the Hospital Society, the Hebrew Benevolent Society and other dignitaries left the Crosby street synagogue and walked to the site of the new hospital on 28th street between 7th and 8thavenues.  At 3 pm, Henry Hendricks made a few opening remarks in Hebrew and handed the trowel to Sampson Simpson who also make a few remarks in Hebrew before actually laying the cornerstone.  Rabbis Lyon and Helsen then delivered prayers in Hebrews followed by an address given by Rabbi Isaacs in English.  During the talk Isaacs assured listeners, including NYC dignitaries that the hospital would offer its services to all – Gentiles and Jews alike.  Sampson Simpson donated the land on which the hospital is being built.  He has also promised that $30,000 bequest will made to the hospital at the time of this death.

    1853: Rabbi Isaacs is scheduled to give a sermon this evening at 5 pm on the topic of Charity.

    1855: An article published today entitled “The Merchants of London” described the financial activities of the various banking houses in London.  The House of Rothschild is reported to be very active in the affairs of Spain where it is represented by Mr. Weisler.  The Rothchilds hold large mortgages on the silver mines located in Spain


    1858: Under the guidance of Max Maretzek, Adeline Patti made her operatic debut at age 16 in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the Academy of Music, New York. (He was the Jewish impresario and concert master.  She was the native of Spain who went on to a brilliant career.) 

    1858: A schochet named Aaron Friedman appeared before New York Mayor Daniel F. Tiemann and accused Abraham Joseph Asch, Pesach Rosenthal and Moses Levi of selling lottery tickets which is against the law.  Abraham Joseph Asch served as Rabbi at Beis Hamedrash Hagadol on Bayard Street. Founded in 1852, it was the first congregation founded by Russian Orthodox Jews.  Pesach Rosenthal was the founder of the Downtown Talmud Torah, Yiddish speaking school also founded in 1852.

    1858: In New York City, Sergeant Birney and 12 officers of the law, armed with a warrant to search and seize lottery tickets arrested Rabbi Abraham Joseph Asch, Reb Pesach Rosnethal and Moses Levi.  Rabbi Asch was arrested while he was leading services at this synagogue.  All three were taken before May Tiemann to answer the charges lodged against them.

    1859: British naturalist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which explained his theory of evolution. Ironically, Hitler was greatly influence by Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution. Hitler believed that the German people were the most advanced race of people, and all others were inferior. For Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest to be true, all other inferior species had to die. Hitler was making sure the inferiors would die off rapidly, so his MASTER RACE would rule faster.

    1862: Michel Levy publishes Gustave Flaubert’s "Salammbo." Levy (not Flaubert) was Jewish.

    1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk collapsed from having contracted malaria. Just before his collapse, he had finished playing his romantic piece Morte!! (interpreted as "she is dead"), although the actual collapse occurred just as he started to play his celebrated piece Tremolo.

    1863: During the Civil War, the 82nd Illinois Infantry under the command of Edward S. Solomon took part in the Union Army’s victory over the Rebels at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. Joseph B. Greenhut, an Austrian born Jew, served as Captain of Company K during the Battle.

    1864: Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Tapié de Celeyran gave birth to artist Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec whose work included “Reine de joies.”

    1869(20th of Kislev, 5630): Jonathan Alexandersohn, a German born Hungarian rabbi, passed away.

    1870: Rabbi S.M. Isaacs is scheduled to deliver the sermon at the Forty-Fourth Street Synagogue’s Thanksgiving Day services which will begin at 11 a.m. Children from Hebrew Orphan Asylum will attend the service after which they will be fed Thanksgiving Dinner paid for by the synagogues trustees.

    1871: It was reported today that the Reorganization Committee meeting in St. Petersburg has been discussing whether or not to allow Jews to serve as officers in the Russian Army.  The majority of the committee favor postponing a decision until enough time has elapsed to evaluate the recent decision to allow Jews to hold civil service positions in the Russian government.

    1874: It was reported today that Jacob Cohen has donated a printing press, Hebrew type, non-Hebrew type and other printing office furniture to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York.  [The printing operation would prove to be a beneficial source of training an income for the male orphans.]

    1878: It was reported today that the Rothschilds in London have successfully gained the right to underwrite the “new Numidian loan” for which they will receive a premium commission.

    1878: It was reported today that Maggie de Rothschild has been receiving religious instruction from a Roman Catholic priest in Frankfort, Germany.  Conversion to Christianity is a condition set by the family of her future husband, the Duc de Guiche for their approval of the marriage.  The family has no objection to her Jewish money, just to her Jewish religion.  If the trend of intermarriage continues, the more numerous Christian will eventually absorb the Jews. “That is one way getting rid of the Jews…but one which will take time.”

    1879: It was reported that a confidence man identified as "a Hebrew from New York" has swindled several French businessmen out of 6,000,000 francs.

    1879: It was reported today that Lord Beaconsfield has only been able to gain promises of “moral support from Austria and Germany” in the current conflict involving the Russian and Ottoman empires.

    1879: Albert Lavergne, alias Abraham Levy, an Alsatian Jew, went to the 29thPrecinct in New York and confessed to having stolen $30,000 worth of diamonds in France in 1876.

    1880: “The German War on the Jews” published today noted that “the authorities are inclined to wink at, if not openly encourage, the movement for stemming the rising tide of Jewish power and influence and in the Empire.”  While Chancellor Bismarck has modified his view that used to include opposition of “the admission of Jews into office” the anti-Semitic movement has plenty of power as can be seen from the leadership supplied by Reverend Stoecker, one of the Kaiser’s Chaplains.” (Editor’s note: The emergency of the anti-Semitic movement paralleled the emancipation of Jews in Germany and was in full flower long before a Bavarian Corporal came to power.

    1880: At today’s meeting of the New York State Senate Committee on City Affairs, Judge P.J. Joachimsen defended the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society from remarks made by Elbrdige T. Gerry

    1881: J.S. Moore responded to the anti-Semitic attacks by Goldwin Smith, a Professor at Oxford that appeared in the October issue of the Nineteenth Century.”

    1884:  Birthdate of Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, the second President of Israel.  After the death of Chaim Weitzman, Ben-Zvi was elected in 1952.  He served until his death in April of 1963.

    1885: Henry M. Leipziger, the principal of the Hebrew Technical Institute presented a report at a meeting of the Industrial Education Association in New York today during which he described what his school had during the past 18 months to meet the needs of boys ages 12 to 14.

    1887: In a moment of honesty, Reverend Armitage delivered a sermon at the Fifth Avenue Baptist church in which he “compared the American Thanksgiving feast with joyous ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ of the ancient Jews. This Jewish feast continued eight days, and commemorated the gather of fruits. With the Jews, it was a joyous outpouring of religious feeling and in this quality of their religion they set an example which well be followed by Christians.”

    1887: On Thanksgiving, “bountiful dinners” were provided those under the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1887: Thanksgiving Services were held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City

    1889(1ST of Kislev, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1889: “Jews of Bagdad” published today described the mistreatment of the Jews of Mesopotamia during the recent cholera epidemic.

    1889: It was reported today that The Conference of the Civic, Commercial, Industrial and Educational Bodies will be presenting a “silk banner” to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.

    1890(12th of Kislev, 5651): Financier and sportsman, August Belmont, passed away.

    1892: The SS Weimar a large number of whose 1,906 passengers are Russian Jews is still detained at the Cape Charles Quarantine facility at Baltimore in accordance with President’s order this matter.

    1892: On Thanksgiving Day Mrs. J. P. Jonchimsen will deliver the opening speech at the dedication of the new Orphan Asylum of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York will take place at 2 p.m.

    1894: According to figures provided by Charles G. Wilson, the President of the Board Health published today “the lowest death rate…is in the tenement wards where the Hebrew population is densest.”  Wilson attributed this fact to the observance of “the Mosaic laws regard cleanliness” and avoiding abuse of alcohol as well as the fact that Jews “observe certain religious rules and regulations requiring them to keep their apartments clean.”

    1895: Herzl expounds his plans at The Maccabeans Club, the first group to hear his ideas. (In his diary he wrote, "Abends bei den 'Makkabäern'. Mageres Dinner, aber guter Empfang." - In the evening with the 'Maccabaeans', skimpy dinner, but good reception.")

    1896: As of today, it was reported that Mrs. Hannah Solomon is President of the National Board of the National Council of Jewish Women and Miss Laura Mordecai is President of the Philadelphia chapter of the organization.

    1897: In Chicago, Illinois, Leopold Godowsky gave birth to silent film actress Dagmar Godowsky.

    1897: “Thanksgiving Exercises for Orphans” published today described upcoming holiday plans for those at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam Avenue.

    1898 Simon Guggenheim and Olga Hirsch married today at the Waldorf Astoria; an event they celebration by providing 5,000 poor children with a Thanksgiving Dinner.

    (Editor’s Note: The following four entries are examples of the Americanization of the Jewish Community in the best sense of the term.  It provides an indication of why American Jews believe that their experience is different from that in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East)

    1898: Rabbi Silverman will deliver a sermon on “American Progress” at Temple Emanu-El during Thanksgiving Services that start at 11 a.m.

    1898: Rabbi Rudolph Grossman will deliver the sermon at Temple Rodeph Sholom during Thanksgiving Services that start at 10:30 a.m.

    1898: Shaarai Tephilla and B’nai Jeshurun  will hold a joint Thanksgiving Service at 10:30 a.m led by Rabbi Stephen G. Wise that will include “the reading of the of the President’s proclamation by Morris Wise, a speech by Washingtonian Simon Wolf and a performance by the brass band of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society Orphan Asylum

    1898: “The Young Men’s Hebrew Association” is scheduled to hold Thanksgiving Services at 861 Lexington this morning starting at 10:30.

    1899: Jacob Furth, the Jewish President of the Puget Sound National Bank of Seattle, Washington, described economic conditions in the Northwest to a group meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria. The seven banks in the area have more than 13 million dollars in deposits most of which has been investing in Eastern commercial paper since there is so little demand for money in the Pacific Coast region. Manufacturing and farming have been so profitable that there has been little need for borrowing. Furth concluded his remarks by saying that he saw an automobile for the first time while traveling through Chicago on his way to New York.  Furth is convinced that the Pacific Northwest is too hilly “for the successful operation of the horseless carriage.”

    1905 (26th of Cheshvan): Nahum Meyer Shaikevich (Shomer)  Yiddish novelist and playwright, passed away

    1911: The Damascus newspaper Muktebisattacked Jews, and in response readers wrote letters to the Grand Vizier to condemn the attitude of the paper.  On the same day the editor of another newspaper, the Turkish Hikmet, insulted Jews in an 'open letter to the Sultan.' As a result of the letter the editor was banished from Constantinople.

    1912: In Rochester, NY, David Kanin and Sadie Levine gave birth to screen writer and director Garson Kanin.

    1912: In Antwerp Paul (Pinchas) Gluck-Friedman and Henia Shipper gave birth to Antoinette Gluk who would marry a young Swiss-born French rabbi named David Feuerwerker.  Antoinette Feuerwerker would become famous as a decorated hero of the Resistance and a as juristin post-war France.

    1912: In the presence of an audience of 600 persons, including all of the members of the Straus family, a memorial tablet in honor of Ida Straus was unveiled this afternoon at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob, an institution for aged men and women at 301 and 303 East Broadway. Impressive services marked the official dedication of the tablet, which has been mounted upon the wall of the large auditorium to the right of the main entrance. The large bronze casting bears the raised profile of Mrs. Straus upon the centre, directly under the inscription; “The Ida Straus Memorial of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.” On one side are the words “Her life was beautiful” and the date in the Hebrew calendar of Mrs. Straus’s birth, “Shebat 14, 5609.” On the other side is the inscription “Her death was glorious,” and the date of the Titanic disaster, “Nisan 28, 5672.” Below the profile are the words: To the everlasting memory of Mrs. Ida Straus, one of the noble and heroic daughters in Israel, the hospital wards of this home are dedicated. She perished on the high seas in the Titanic disaster, together with her husband, Isidor Straus, statesman, philanthropist, and merchant, persistently [sic] refusing to be saved that she might remain to cheer the last moments of her life’s companion. Beneath is this quotation from the Book of Ruth: Where thou Diest Will I Die, and There Will I Be Buried. Dr. Nathan Abramson opened the dedication services with a hymn, in which he led a selected chorus of sixteen voices. The Rev. H. Pereira Mendes delivered the opening prayer, in which he expressed the hope that the example of the heroic and devoted wife in whose memory the tablet was erected and to whose lasting fame the wards of the hospital were dedicated might be forever an inspiration to the women of her race and ancient creed. Dr. Henry Fleischman, President of the Educational Alliance, made the principal address. He lauded the modest charity and kindliness of Mrs. Straus and the great unselfish works of her husband in the public service. Other speakers were Joseph Barondes of the Board of Education, the Rev. Dr. Schulman, pastor of the Congregation of Beth-El; the Rev. H. Masliansky of the People’s Synagogue, and Gustavus A. Rogers, who acted as Chairman.The most impressive incident of the dedication occurred when the 186 inmates of the home, led by Supt. Albert Kruger, filed slowly into the auditorium and took their seats in the front rows. The oldest of the feeble and decrepit men and women was said to be almost 108, and the youngest in the procession more than 70 years old. Just before the close of the exercises they arose and with quavering voices chanted aloud in unison a prayer for the eternal happiness of their departed benefactress. Among those seated on the platform were Mr. and Mrs. Percy Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Straus, Mrs. Nathan Straus, Herbert Straus, Jesse I. Straus, Mrs. Weil, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Kohns, and Mr. Lee Kohns. At the close of the exercises the members of the Straus family group, together with a few intimate friends, made a tour of inspection of the new hospital wards of the home

    1912: A meeting in honor of the late Dr. Morris Loeb is scheduled to be held today at the Hebrew Technical Institute in New York.

    1913: A mass meeting was held in New York under the auspices of the Federation of Oriental Jews that reside $58,000 for the relief of Balkan Jewry.

    1916: The Greek government considers calling on Jews to serve in military; prior to this date they were exempt from service.

    1914: On the Western Front during WW I, Lieutenant F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London “led two of his Indian soldiers into the sap of a German trench that had been pushed out to within ten yards of the Indian line.”  They destroyed the sap.

    1917: In London, Harry Rowson and his wife gave birth to Sefton Wilfred David Rowson who gained fame as Israeli diplomat and Professor of International Law, Shabtai Rosenne.

    1918: Felix Warburg outlines plans for a December campaign designed to raise funds for Jewish war suffers at a meeting of the People’s Relief Committee which represents the working class of New York Jewry.

    1922: In Akron, Ohio, Benjamin and Bertha Munitz Ovshinsky gave birth to Stanford R. Ovshinsky, the inventor of the nickel-metal hydride battery. (As reported by Barnaby J. Feder)

    1929: Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France during the final years of World War I passed away.  He provided the stamina that helped France stay the course and defeat the forces of the Kaiser.  For Jews, he will be remembered as a French politician who risked his career to support Emile Zola as he worked to gain justice for Colonel Dreyfus. 

    1932: A call to orthodox Jewry to unite to finish rebuilding Palestine as a Jewish homeland was sounded today by Rabbi Wolf Gold of Brooklyn, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America, at the opening session of the annual convention of that body held in Buffalo, NY.  “Detailing the Mizrahi’s program for Palestine which calls for a rebuilding along strict orthodox line, Rabbi “Gold held that the organization was the only one in the world which could accomplish the task of taking back to the homeland the ancient principles of Judaism.”  On a more practical note, “Rabbi Gold reported that…$40,000,000 has been invested in more than 63,000 acres of orange groves in Palestine.  Raising oranges is one of the chief industries of the homeland he said.”  Despite problems in the world economy, he reported that orange exports have “increased tremendously” over the last year.

    1933: The German Law Against Dangerous and Habitual Criminals adopted today allows for compulsory castration of “hereditary” criminals.

    1936: The Jerusalem Arab daily newspaper al-Liwa demanded the Peel commission should reach only one conclusion: ‘a National Arab Government’ throughout Palestine.

    1937: The Reich is about to assume permanent control of the property of the Jewish shipping operator, Arnold Bernstein, without awaiting his conviction on "economic treason" charges. His trial before the Hamburg Emergency Court has been going on for ten days

    1938: Winston Churchill condemns the British stewardship of Palestine in speech in the House of Commons.

    1940: Slovakia becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers. Regardless of the impact of Slovakian troops on the fighting on the Eastern Front, this move helped lay the groundwork for the Jewish community which saw 65,000 of its 77,000 shipped to the camps and their death by 1945.

    1940: The Atlantic, with 1,783 illegal Jewish refugees on board was escorted into the harbor at Haifa.  How determined were the British to keeps Jews out Palestine?  Consider the following; at this time in 1940, Britain stood alone against the Nazis.  France had surrendered the previous June. The Soviet Union was still an ally of Hitler and would not enter the fray until June of 1941.  The United States would not enter the fight for another year.  The U-boat wolfpacks were sinking British ships in the North Atlantic.  Yet at a time when British merchant vessels need all the protection they could get. British warships were cruising the Mediterranean so they could keep a few thousand Jews out Palestine.  

    1941: A ghetto was set up at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia in the old barracks and then in the walled town itself. All the 3,700 local inhabitants were moved out. Although Theresienstadt was set up as a "model settlement," its death rate reached 50% in 1942 through starvation and epidemics. During an investigation by the Red Cross in June 1943 the Germans changed the external appearance of the town and deported many so that there would be less overcrowding. All the interviews were carefully orchestrated and immediately after the visit most of the "actors" were then deported. In all 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.

    1941: "Life Certificates" were distributed to some Jews of the Vilna Ghetto. By now most of the Jews of Vilna had been slaughtered.  Only about 15,000 Jews held “yellow certificates” and these would do them little good.  By the end of the war, 96% of the Jews of Vilna would be dead.

    1942: American born Zionist leader Rechaviah Lewin Epstein was buried in Rehoboth today.

    1942: Dr. Stephen S. Wise presided over a memorial service for the late Rechaviah Lewin Epstein in the New York Offices of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs

    1942: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, a founder and president of the World Jewish Congress, announces at a press conference that the United States State Department has confirmed that Europe's Jews are being slaughtered by the Nazis. Wise estimates that the Germans have already murdered two million Jews, which is an understatement;

    1942: Birthdate of Earl Leslie Krugel, the West Coast coordinator of the Jewish Defense League.

    1942: “Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary” by Bella Fromm is scheduled to be published today.  Fromm is a German Jewish reporter who left Germany just before the outbreak of World War II.  The book is based on her first-hand observations of the Nazi leaders in Berlin.

    1943: Mordechai "Modi" Alon who had enlisted in the RAF in 1940 finally began his flight training today in Rhodesia.  Alon would one of the IAF’s first pilots and hero of the War for Independence.

    1944: Birthdate of former congressman and Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman.

    1946: Birthdate of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the New York born Sephardic Jew who became the director of New York University's Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy

    1946: “Report on the Sanitary and Medical Organization of the Monowitz Concentration Camp For Jews (Auschwitz-Upper Silesia)” by Dr. Leonardo De Benedetti, Physician and Surgeon and Dr. Primo Levi, Chemist was published in the Turin-based medical journal Minerva Medica. The material will be republished in 2007 as Auschwitz Reportby Primo Levi.

    1947: The Jewish Agency (part of the de facto Jewish government in Palestine) began registering “Jewish youths to work for and defend” the as yet undeclared and unrecognized Jewish state.

    1947: Birthdate of Eli Ben-Menachem, the native of Bombay who made Aliyah in 1949 and has served as an MK and as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.

    1947: A group of writers, producers and directors, known later as the Hollywood 10, was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer a committee’s questions about alleged communist influence in the film industry. This was viewed as part of right wing America’s war against “Jewish Hollywood.”  This was actually part of the first round of what would later come to be called the Culture Wars which have always had a taint of anti-Semitism to them.

    1948: The UN Truce Mission announces “a provisional…truce line” between Arab and Israeli forces.

    1950: Guys and Dollsa musical by Frank Loesser and Abe Burrowsopened at the 46th Street Theatre and enjoyed a run of 1,200 performances.

    1958: Yisrael Barzilai began serving as Minister of Postal Services in Israel.

    1963: Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.  Yes, Jack Ruby was Jewish, a fact that conspiracy theorists have loved to play with over the past forty-five years.

    1975: In Paris, Jews originally from Arab and Muslim establish the Tel Aviv-based World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC)

    1982(8th of Kislev, 5743):  Seventy-seven year old Benny Friedman passed away. The University of Michigan football star was considered the first of the great professional passing quarterbacks.  After WW II, he served as the Athletic Director and Football Coach for Brandeis University

    1983: The PLO exchanged 6 Israeli prisoners for 4,500 Arabs held by the government of Israel.  This would not be the last of such numerically disproportionate trades in which the Israelis would engage.

    1997: As part of the process in which Zypora Frank, a Polish Jewess, learned that her family had owned part of the land on which the Auschwitz death camp stood, and where most of her mother's family perished she went to visit Auschwitz today. And there, in the records of the village that the Poles called Oswiecim, she found her grandfather's property -- now hers and her brother's. Fifteen square miles of what became the Auschwitz death camp had been his tile factory.

    1999(15th of Kislev, 5760): David Kessler, the man most responsible for making the Jewish Chronicle the most respected Jewish weekly in the world passed away. He achieved this by dint of his unwavering desire for fairness, his belief that all sections of a community must be given a fair hearing, his insistence on total independence, accuracy, economic stability and the need for accepting modern progress. As chairman and managing director for 50 years of the newspaper, in which he and his family held the majority of shares, Kessler was able to ensure, at times after a struggle, that it followed his principles.

    1999: American-Jewish economist Joseph E. Stiglitz announced that he would resign as the World Bank's chief economist after using the position for nearly three years to raise pointed questions about the effectiveness of conventional approaches to helping poor countries".

    2001(9th of Kislev, 5762): Eighty-three year old Jacob Landau, the Philadelphia native whose works can be found in in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery past away today.

    2002: The New York Timesbook section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including A Moral Reckoning The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repairby Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Punch by John Feinstein, Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know: What You Can Do to Fight Backby Arthur Levitt, Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim by Theron Raines and The Pity of It All: A History of Jews in Germany, 1743-1933 by Amos Elon.

    2002: The government adopts Resolution 2793 which provides the criteria for The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Old Acre Development Company, in cooperation with the Israel Lands Administration, to begin a rehabilitation and conservation project in Old Acre. The area where the work is to be done is called Block 10 and is located in the northwestern part of the city and represents the first of its kind effort in Acre since the creation of the modern state of Israel.

    2003(29th of Cheshvan, 5764):Rabbi Abraham Karp, a pulpit rabbi in Rochester, N.Y., and prominent scholar in American Jewish history, passed away today at the age of 82. Rabbi Karp, who served as spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Rochester from 1956 to 1972, was a professor of history and religion at the University of Rochester until he retired in 1991 and was named professor emeritus of Jewish studies. He moved that year to New York, becoming adjunct professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary of

    2005: The Israeli bobsled team, a.k.a. the “Frozen Chosen” has chosen to defrost this year away from the slopes. In just two full seasons of competition, they had catapulted themselves into the elite ranks of the sport, and have already taken part in two World Championships.  Teams members expressed extreme disappointed at not being able to represent Israel at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The decision was based on a number of factors, including the realization that no support would be forthcoming from the Israeli Olympic committee and changes in the family situations of most of the team members.

    2006: The Jewish Daily Forwardfeatured an interview with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gershowitz.  The 26 year old Lubavitcher is the leader of the 5 Chabad Rabbis serving the needs of Kazakhstan’s 25,000 Jews. Rabbi Gershowitz stated that the treatment of the Jews of Kazakhstan bears no relationship to the images appearing in Sasha Cohen’s hit film “Borat.”  He is hoping that the movie never finds its way to Kazakhstan, as he fears it could hurt the warm relationship that the Kazakh president has with the Jewish community - and with Israel. ‘If he will think that the Jews are against him, and don’t like what he does, we will get the result,’ he said.

    2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, Ladino singers Janet and Jak Esim close the musical event with a blend of Judeo-Spanish melodies and song.

    2007: “David and Bat Sheba,” a new production of the COMPAS Dance Company premiers at Merkaz Habama, Ganei Tikva, Israel.

    2007: A mild earthquake registering 4.1 on the Richter scale was felt in central Israel shortly after midnight, days after a 4.2 tremor struck the northern Dead Sea earlier this week. Police said they had received no reports of injuries or damage. Reports of the quake were recorded, among other places, in Ra'anana, Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Rehovot and Jerusalem, Army Radio reported. Seismology experts said the epicenter of the earthquake was east of the city of Ramle, Israel Radio reported Saturday morning.

    2008:As part of Works & Process at the Guggenheim in New York, a performance John Zorn’s Shir Ha-Shirim. Scored for five female voices and two narrators, Shir Ha-Shirim is John Zorn’s lush and sensitive setting of the Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s—perhaps the world’s first erotic verse. This romantic and lyrical project evokes feelings of love, eroticism, and spirituality and features a specially-commissioned dance work.

    2008: Sports Illustrated magazine features a “Jewish Triple Header” with stories about Rena Glickman, the Jewish grandmother recognized as the “mother of woman’s judo,” charges of insider trading leveled by the S.E.C. against Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban and plans by Lew Wolff to move the Oakland A’s to Fremont, CA where he has promised Bob Wasserman, the town’s Jewish mayor, he will be building a $500 million baseball stadium using his own money.  

    2008; Empire poultry which has already expanded its Turkey production to meet the demands of the Thanksgiving holiday reportedly is to begin “increasing its production of poultry today by 50%, thus putting about 100,000 more chickens on the market each week.”

    2009: The British commission of inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilicot that was to examine the British role in the Iraq War which included Sir Martin Gilbert began its inquiry today,

    2009: The oldest complete Spanish Torah scroll will be up for sale at Sotheby's Judaica auction today. The scroll, the only Spanish Torah to include the kabalistic traditions of curved letters, has an estimated worth of $300,000-$500,000. Yitzchok Reisman, a world-renowned sofer (scribe), discovered the 730-year-old scroll about 10 years ago, and was able to date it and identify its origin.

    2008: “The Jerusalem Foundation launched Jerusalem 2010, a campaign celebrating 150 years of British involvement in Jerusalem, at a special private event at London's Bevis Marks Synagogue. Sir Martin Gilbert, official biographer of Winston Churchill and author of the History of Jerusalem in the 19th Century, gave an address on 150 years of Britain and Jerusalem

    2009: In a program entitled “Above and Beyond attendees at the Washington DCJCC Learn over Lunch examine “The Origin of Ethics and Piety Out of the Pages of the Jewish Legal Tradition.”

    2009(7 Kislev, 5770): Eighty-five year old Abe Pollin “the owner of the N.B.A.’s Washington Wizards, who built the sports arena that revitalized downtown Washington and was known for his wide-ranging philanthropy, passed away. (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

    2010: The Yeshiva Beth Yehudah Annual Dinner is scheduled to take place at the Detroit Renaissance in Detroit, Michigan.

    2010: Holocaust survivors of Greek extraction will soon have their Greek citizenship restored in an expedited process, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitrios Dollis, who accompanied Prime Minister George Papandreou on his official visit to Israel in late July, told The Jerusalem Post today. That survivors have been denied their citizenship until now was a “result of the paranoia of consecutive governments,” Dollis said. symbolic

    2010(17th of Kislev, 5771): Joel Daner, a West Orange, NJ man who devoted his life to Jewish communal service, died today at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, a few days after his 72nd birthday. He had been suffering from cancer for several years.

    2011: The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress is scheduled to meet today at the King David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem where it is to elect businessman Vadim Shulman to be its new president

    2011: Family and friends gather to celebrate the birthday of Bill Gasway, husband, father, grandfather, recent Bar Mitzvah and pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community.

    2011: Congressmen Ted Deutsch (D-FLA) and Steve Israel (D-NY) have asked US Comptroller-General Gene Dodaro to investigate the Palestinian Authority’s use of American funding, three weeks after MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) sent a letter informing the budget committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s policy to pay murderers released from Israeli prisons $5,000 and build them new homes. “Many of the released prisoners were convicted of orchestrating and carrying out Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks in Israel, including the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people, the attack on a Netanya hotel that killed 29 people, and the bombing of a Sbarro Pizzeria that killed 15 people,” Deutsch and Israel wrote (As reported by Jerusalem Post)

    2011: A group of Palestinians and Iranians protested today against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as he was speaking to members of the Jewish community at a synagogue in Bochum, Germany.

    2012: The Millinery Center Synagogue is scheduled to present “The Controversial, The Amazing, and The Mystical Ideas in Judaism"


    2012:East Midwood Jewish Center, a conservative synagogue, in Brooklyn is scheduled to host a benefit concert for the displaced victims of Hurricane Sandy this evening.

    2012:Several armed groups belonging to Fatah in the Gaza Strip claimed today that they had also fired various types of rockets and missiles at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2012: Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar said today that Iran will increase the military and economic aid to Gazan groups because of the victory Hamas claims against Israel in Operation Pillar of Defense.

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The State of Israel: ‘My Promised Land’ by Ari Shavit.

    2013: The 55th Venice Biennale International art festival which includes an Vatican exhibit “Creation, Un-Creation, Re-Creation” based on the first 11 chapters of Bereshit  is scheduled to come to an end today. (As reported by JTA)

    2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform in Camp Springs, MD.

    2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to Maurice Sendak’s “Pincus and the Pig” – “a Jewish version of Peter and the Wolf.”

    2013: At Temple Sinai in New Orleans, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Law or Love? What Are We All About?” as part of the Murray Blackman Memorial Weekend. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)

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    November 25

    2348 BCE: According to Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, the Great Deluge ("Noah's Flood") began on this date.

    407 BCE: Yedanaiah petitioned Bagohi, the governor of Yehud to rebuild the Jewish Temple at Elephantine.

    1120: The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.  The sinking of the ship would lead to chaos since William was Henry’s only male heir. When Henry, who treated his Jewish subjects well, passed away civil war broke out between the claimants to the throne. The crown went to King Stephen who was opposed by the Empress Matilda. Both monarchs raised cash from the Jews. Matilda had placed a levy on the Jews of Oxford and, on seizing the city, King Stephen demanded a levy three and a half times that of Matilda. The king forced payment by the simple expedient of burning the Jews’ houses one by one until the full sum was paid. On the other hand, King Stephen did protect his Jewish subjects from those who were going off to join the Second Crusade.  Things would improve for England and the Jews of England as well, when Henry I’s grandson, Henry II finally took the throne.

    1177:  Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeats Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.  The Crusader victory was one of their last in the Holy Land and only delayed the inevitable return of Jerusalem to Moslem control.  For Jews, Moslem control was comparatively better than Christian control.

    1277: Nicholas III began his papacy. “During his brief reign Nicholas displayed a considerable zeal for the conversion of the Jews. His bull Vineam sorce encouraged conversion through "sermons and other means." Copies of the document were sent (1278–79) to the *Franciscans and provincial priors of the *Dominicans in various provinces. Concurrently, however, he renewed the decisions of his predecessors forbidding the forcible baptism of Jews and protecting them from attacks by Christians. Nevertheless, several *Church councils and synods legislated against the free intercourse of Jews and Christians. It is not clear whether it was the supposed hostility of Nicholas or his mildness toward the Jews which prompted Abraham b. Samuel *Abulafia to announce his intention of visiting the pope to demand the release of captive Jews. (When he arrived, however, the pope was already on his deathbed.)” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

    1357: Charles IV issued an edict protecting the Jews of Strasbourg. Two years later, amidst rumors about well-poisonings, 1,000 Jews would be burned and the remainder forcibly baptized.  Rumor trumped Royal Protection

    1420: Pope Martin V favorably reinstates old privileges of the Jews and orders that no child under the age of twelve can be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

    1489:  A work popularly referred to as “Abudarham's Siddur” was published for the first time in Lisbon.  Actually the book was untitled by its author David Abudarham, a Jewish scholar who lived in Seville (Spain) in the first part of the 14th century.  He modestly referred to his work as “Ḥibbur Perush ha-Berakot we-ha-Tefillot."  In fact it was a commentary on the various prayers tracing their origins and providing information about their liturgical significance.  This volume proved to be so popular that it went through nine editions the last of which appeared in Warsaw in the middle of the 19th century.  The printer was Eliezer Alantansi who used a lion rampant on a shield as his printer’s mark. “In his first publication, the Tur Orah Hayyim (1485), it is framed in red; in his second book, the Tur Yoreh Deah (1487), the frame is black; in his third book, the undated Pentateuch [1487-88], the lion appears without a frame. The designer and cutter is probably Alfonso Fernandez de Cordoba, who, no doubt, created the beautiful types and ornaments for Alantansi's books.”

    1491:  The siege of Granada last Moorish stronghold in Spain began. When the siege is over, Spain will be united as a Catholic nation and Jews will be confronted with the choice of conversion or expulsion.

    1491: Muley Abdu-Abdallah, the last Moorish ruler of Granada signed a secrety treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella, in which he agreed to surrender the city and its surrounding territory at a future date (January, 1492).  Included in the terms was a provision that Jews were to be allowed the same rights of protection that were being extended to the Moors.  However, "relapsed Marranos" were given one month to leave the city.  After that time they would be turned over to the Inquisition.  Also, the Moorish King made the incoming Christian monarchs promise that no Jew would serve as an "officer of justice, tax-gather, or commissioner" if holding that position would mean that the Jew would have authority over any Muslim.

    1622:  "Christian IV, King of Denmark, addressed a letter to the Jewish Council of Amsterdam asking them to encourage some of their members to settle in his state.  He promised them freedom of worship and other favorable privileges."

    1744: Austrian soldiers killed an untold number of  Jews in Prague.

    1761: The first Jewish social and civic club in North America was founded in Newport, RI

    1783: American forces retake New York from the British. Jews who had fled the British were able to return. Jews who were loyal to the Crown left along with other Loyalists making their homes in Canada or returning to England. Many of the Jews had taken refuge in Philadelphia, including Raabi Gershom Mendez Seixas who returned to the pulpit at Shearith Israel.

    1795:  Stanislaus August Poniatowski the last king of independent Poland, is forced to abdicate and is exiled to Russia.  This marks the last act in the third and final partition of Poland.  “Polish” Jews now live in Austria, Germany and Russia.  As a result of the partition of Poland, Russia ended up with millions of Jews.  The Czars had worked long and hard to make and keep their empire “Jew free.”  Their greed for Polish land created their “Jewish problem.”  The shift from Poland to Russia dealt a mortal blow to the welfare of the Jewish people for the duration of the 19th century and on into the 20thcentury.

    1806: Birthdate of French financier Isaac Pereire who was the grandson of Jacob Rodrigues Pereire. During the 19th century, the Pereires were financiers on a par with the Rothschilds.  Unlike the Rothschilds, the Piereires were Sephardim who traced their ancestry to Portugal. (As reported by Meyer Kayersling, Isidore Singer and Jacques Kahn) 

    1852: A banquet celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society began at 8 pm in New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway.  The evening raised over $5,000 in donations which ranged in amounts from $10 to $150.

    1853: The New York Times reported that yesterday, which was celebrated as day of Thanksgiving by the people of New York, "the Jews laid the cornerstone of a new hospital for people of their persuasion."

    1853: “The Jews In Europe” published today focused on the treatment of the Jews by the government of Austria. Reports “that the Austrian Government has revived the system of intolerance against the Jewish subjects" were misleading because “ there was no need of a revival of the system of intolerance, because the Austrian Government have at all times been cruel and malicious against the unfortunate Jewish inhabitants.”

    1856 (27th of Cheshvan): Danish philanthropist Simon Aaron Eibeschuetz passed away

    1863: Max Maretzek, the Moravian born American-Jewish maestro conducted the first performance of "Faust" in America

    1864:British statesman Benjamin Disraeli declared in a speech: 'Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.'  Disraeli had been baptized at his father’s insistence.  Disraeli was proud of his Jewish heritage and often vilified for it by his political enemies.

    1869: New York businessman Daniel McFarland fatally shot  New York Tribune reporter Albert Deane Richardson in front of Daniel Frohman, Jew from Ohio who was working as a clerk at the paper and would go to became a famous theatrical and film director.

    1871: “The Bells, a play in three acts by Leopold Davis Lewis opened today at the Lyceum Theatre in London for the first of 151 performances.  “The Bells is a translation by Leopold Lewis of the 1867 play Le Juif Polonais (The Polish Jew) by Erckmann-Chatrian.”

    1871: A pair of pantaloons which had been left hanging in front of a Jewish clothing store at No. 6 on Main Street in Brooklyn was stolen tonight

    1874: Carol Schurz delivered a lecture at the Steinway Hall in New York as part of a course sponsored by the Hebrew Young Men’s Association.

    1877: “Joseph II and the Jews” published today traces the history and impact of The Toleration Edict promulgated by the Austrian monarch.

    1880: Rabbi de Sola Mendes delivered a talk in which he uses the Passion Play as an example of what he calls “Religion Out of Place.”

    1880: It was reported today that Arthur Lieberman, the Jew who committed suicide in Syracuse was a Nhilist from Russia. He fled the country to avoid arrest after having written a pamphlet espousing his beliefs.  Apparently he shot himself because he was despondent over having to leave his family.

    1881: Alexander and Ida Kursheedt gave birth to Jessie Millier

    1881: Birthdate Angelo Roncalli.  Roncalli would enter history as John XXIII, the Pope of Reform who tried to improve relations between the Church and the Jewish People

    1881: “A large number of” Jewish immigrants from Russia were among the 1,338 passengers who arrived at Castle Garden aboard the SS Silesia.

    1883: “Peace in Galilee” published today described a visit to Bukeia, “an interesting community of Jews who maintain that they are the descendants of families who were not dispersed and that they are the only Jews in the whole of Palestine whose direct ancestors inhabited the same spot and cultivated the same land prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.”

    1883: Pere Hyacinthe delivered a talk on “Catholic Reform in France” at New York’s Presbyterian Church during which he said that “Judaism is recognized in France and I am glad of it.”

    1884: The Brooklyn Academy was the scene for tonight’s Grand Ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1885: It was reported today that there are 70 boys enrolled in the Hebrew Technical Institute on Crosby Street.

    1886: Mrs. Tillie Bernheimer (or Miss Lillie) provided Thanksgiving Dinner for the children at the United Hebrew Charities’ Industrial School on St. Mark’s Place.

    1887: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Silverman preached a Thanksgiving Day sermon at Temple Emanu-El entitled “Religious Liberty” in which he said “We meet today as Jews and Americans…as Jews in religion and as Americans in citizenship.”

    1888: It was reported today that the Industrial School sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities plans to provide a Thanksgiving dinner at the school this year.

    1889: Jacob Levy, a recent Jewish immigrant from Poland was beaten today when he mistakenly opened the door to the wrong apartment.

    1890: Dr. H. M. Leipziger presented the claims of the Jews in Russia at today’s meeting of the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association a non-denominational group whose Executive Committee included Jacob H. Schiff.

    1890: The funeral for Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, the daughter of Juliana and Mayer de Rothschild was held at the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

    1890: Birthdate of British poet Isaac Rosenberg, who while serving as a Private in the U.S. Army was killed on the Western Front at the age of 27 on April 1, 1918.  He was the author of Poems from the Trenches which are considered by some to be among themost outstanding poems written during the First World War. “In The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell's landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg's Break of Day in the Trenchesas ‘the greatest poem of the war.’"

    Break of Day in the Trenches

    The darkness crumbles away.

    It is the same old druid time has ever,

    Only a live thing leaps my hand,

    A queer sardonic rat,

    As I pull the parapet’s poppy

    To stick behind my ear.

    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew

    Your cosmopolitan sympathies.

    Now you have touched this English hand

    You will do the same to a German

    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure

    To cross the sleeping green between.

    It seems you inwardly grin as you pass

    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes

    Less chanced than you for life,

    Bonds to the whims of murder,

    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,

    The torn fields of France.

    What do you see in our eyes

    At the shrieking iron and flame

    Hurled through still heavens?

    What quaver - what heart aghast?

    Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins

    Drop, and are ever dropping;

    But mine in my ear is safe,

    Just a little white with the dust.

    He was killed on April 1, 1918 while fighting on the Western Front. His self-portrait hangs in the British National Portrait Gallery.

    1893: Herman Lottmann who has owned a saloon for years in Brooklyn “announced today that he intended to quit the liquor business because “I am a Jew” who has been harassed by a gang of Irish ruffians for the past year and the courts have been no help.  “Lottmann said his wife had threatened to leave him if he had license renewed.

    1895:Herzl begins a two days visit Colonel Goldsmid, leader of the British Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) Movement, in Cardiff, Wales.

    1896: After his return to Vienna, Herzl reworks the "Rede an die Rothschilds" and a new work finally emerges: Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage or in English The Jewish State: An Attempt at a Modern Solution of the Jewish Question. “Theodore Herzl's pamphlet Der Judenstaat, The Jewish State, heralded the coming of age of Zionism….In The Jewish State, Herzl envisioned that diplomatic activity would be the primary method for attaining the Jewish State and he called for the organized transfer of Jewish communities to the new state. Of the location of the state, Herzl said, ‘We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by public opinion.’ Herzl's The Jewish Stateincluded social innovations such as the seven-hour working day. In general, he was interested in an economy where free enterprise and state involvement went hand-in-hand. It was to be a modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced and Europeanized society. The Jewish Stateestablished Herzl as the leader of Zionism, and the "father of the Zionist Idea." Zionist also provoked considerable opposition, in particular from the assimilationst Jews of Central and Western Europe. The book became required reading for all Zionists and was taken as the basic platform of political Zionism. In conclusion, he wrote: ‘And what glory awaits those who fight unselfishly for the cause! Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity.’” 

    For more information about The Jewish State and complete copy of the text see, click on the icon “Israel” scroll down to Zionism, and then go to  Excerpts From Herzl's The Jewish State.

    1897(30th of Cheshvan, 5658): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1897: Dr. Gustav Gottheil will deliver a sermon entitled “The Most Religious Day of the Year in America” during Thanksgiving Services at Temple Emanu-El which begin at 11 a.m.

    1897: At New York’s Agudath Yesharim(Jersharim), Rabbi J.P. Solomon will officiate at the Thanksgiving Services starting at 3 p.m.

    1897: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will lead Thanksgiving Services at Temple B’Nai Jeshrun beginning at 3 p.m.

    1897: “The children of the Industrial and Sabbath Schools of the United Hebrew Charities will have a Thanksgiving Dinner today at 58 St. Mark’s Place at noon.

    1897: The Cadet Corps of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum provide a full dress parade as part of the today’s Thanksgiving celebration.

    1897: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam will hold services 3 pm.

    1897: Emile Zola addressed a letter to Le Figaro that might have been called “The Injustice of French Justice” since the author “intimated that he believed Dreyfus was innocent” and that he had the proof for this belief.  The letter ended “The truth is on the way; nothing can stop it.”

    1897: “To Begin Its Receptions” published today described plans for a series of upcoming functions hosted by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum.

    1898: Birthdate of Regina Gotlop, the native of Tarnow, Poland who was part of Convoy 25 that left Drancy for Auschwitz on August 28, 1942

    1898: “Former Counsel General…Opposes Expansion” published today provided the view Simon Wolf, the former United States Counsel to Egypt on how this country should deal with Cuba and the Philippines, countries that were part of the Spanish Empire until the recent U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War.  Wolf is opposed to annexation.  He thinks that we should develop a special relationship with both of them, in the way that England has with Egypt.  But he believes that we must make them independent and not annex them.  (The disposition of former parts of the Spanish Empire including Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines was “a hot political topic” at the end of the 19thcentury and is interesting that a leading Jewish statesman would take the stand for individual and national liberty as opposed to imperial expansion.)

    1899: The final performance of “The Children of the Ghetto” will take place tonight at the Herald Square Theatre.

    1899: Mme. Nevada’s final performance this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House was a fund-raiser for the benefit of the Hebrew Infant Asylum which is need of help to pay for the “recent heavy expenditures” resulting from the modernization and enlargement of its facility on Eagle Avenue and 161stStreet.

    1900: At Cape May, NJ. Meyer S. Isaacs presided over the ceremonies held to dedicate De Hirsch Hall, the new dormitory of the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural and Industrial School at Woodbine.  Woodbine an agricultural colony founded 12 years ago.  With a population of 1,000, it is the most successful De Hirsch funded colony in New Jersey.

    1901: It was reported today Marks Arnheim has spent the last three days looking for the person who has printed and distributed circulars urging a boycott of his tailoring shop on the corner of Broadway and 9thStreet in New York.

    1902: Birthdate of Morris Lapidus, the Russian-born American architect who was responsible for the design of resort hotels in Miami and Miami Beach in the 1950’s.

    1904(17th of Kislev,5665): Seventy-four year old Henry Strauss, a native of Alsace who served in the 10th Mississippi Infantry and was buried in the Beth Israel Cemetery, passed away today.

    1907: The Neu-Isenburg orphanage for Jewish girls (Mädchenwohnheim Neu-Isenburg) founded by Bertha Pappenheim began operation today.

    1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): A.M. Edelweiss passed away in Cuba.

    1909: Turks resolve to grant all requested privileges to Jewish soldiers, except kosher food

    1910: Birthdate of Léon Poliakov, the Russian born French historian whose field of expertise was Holocaust and anti-Semitism. In November 1950, Poliakov wrote "The Vatican and the 'Jewish Question' - The Record of the Hitler Period-And After," in the influential Jewish journal Commentary which was the first article to consider the attitude of the papacy during World War II and the Holocaust.

    1912(15th of Kislev, 5673): Sixty-two year old Isidor Raynor who represented the Fourth Congressional District of Maryland from 1887 to 1889 and 1891 to 1895 and served as U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1905 until today, passed away.

    1912: The following article entitled “Daughters of Jacob Honor Ida Straus” described the memorial ceremony commemorating the life of this Jewess who went down with her husband on the Titanic.

     In the presence of an audience of 600 persons, including all of the members of the Straus family, a memorial tablet in honor of Ida Straus was unveiled yesterday at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob, an institution for aged men and women at 301 and 303 East Broadway. Impressive services marked the official dedication of the tablet, which has been mounted upon the wall of the large auditorium to the right of the main entrance.The large bronze casting bears the raised profile of Mrs. Straus upon the centre, directly under the inscription; “The Ida Straus Memorial of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.” On one side are the words “Her life was beautiful” and the date in the Hebrew calendar of Mrs. Straus’s birth, “Shebat 14, 5609.” On the other side is the inscription “Her death was glorious,” and the date of the Titanic disaster, “Nisan 28, 5672.” Below the profile are the words:To the everlasting memory of Mrs. Ida Straus, one of the noble and heroic daughters in Israel, the hospital wards of this home are dedicated. She perished on the high seas in the Titanic disaster, together with her husband, Isidor Straus, statesman, philanthropist, and merchant, persistenly [sic] refusing to be saved that she might remain to cheer the last moments of her life’s companion.

    Beneath is this quotation:

    Where thou Diest Will I Die, and There Will I Be Buried. RUTH

    The Rev. Dr. Nathan Abramson opened the dedication services with a hymn, in which he led a selected chorus of sixteen voices. The Rev. H. Pereira Mendes delivered the opening prayer, in which he expressed the hope that the example of the heroic and devoted wife in whose memory the tablet was erected and to whose lasting fame the wards of the hospital were dedicated might be forever an inspiration to the women of her race and ancient creed.  Dr. Henry Fleischman, President of the Educational Alliance, made the principal address. He lauded the modest charity and kindliness of Mrs. Straus and the great unselfish works of her husband in the public service. Other speakers were Joseph Barondes of the Board of Education, the Rev. Dr. Schulman, pastor of the Congregation of Beth-El; the Rev. H. Masliansky of the People’s Synagogue, and Gustavus A. Rogers, who acted as Chairman. The most impressive incident of the dedication occurred when the 186 inmates of the home, led by Supt. Albert Kruger, filed slowly into the auditorium and took their seats in the front rows. The oldest of the feeble and decrepit men and women was said to be almost 108, and the youngest in the procession more than 70 years old. Just before the close of the exercises they arose and with quavering voices chanted aloud in unison a prayer for the eternal happiness of their departed benefactress. Among those seated on the platform were Mr. and Mrs. Percy Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Straus, Mrs. Nathan Straus, Herbert Straus, Jesse I. Straus, Mrs. Weil, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Kohns, and Mr. Lee Kohns. At the close of the exercises the members of the Straus family group, together with a few intimate friends, made a tour of inspection of the new hospital wards of the home.

    1913: Birthdate of Robert Friend, the American born “poet and translator” who made Aliyah and became “a professor of English literature at Hebrew University.”

    1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London, and an Indian soldier faced German machine-gun fire for two hundred yards, to bring in a badly wounded Indian lying in No-Man’s Land.

    1915: Months after Leo Frank was taken from the Milledgeville prison, members of the Knights of Mary Phagan burned a gigantic cross on top of Stone Mountain, reportedly inaugurating a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The group was led by William J. Simmons and attended by 15 charter members and a few aging survivors of the original Klan.

    1915: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel, the member of a prominent Anglo-Jewish family succeeded Winston Churchill as the Chancellor of the Duchy Lancaster in the government headed by Prime Minister Henry Asquite.

    1917:The New York Section of the Council of Jewish Women dedicated the first shelter for “homeless and friendless” Jewish women discharged or paroled from New York City and New York state jails. Speakers at the dedication included the prominent rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Deaconess Young, who directed another home for “friendless women” in the same neighborhood. Although the home was founded to serve Jewish women, the president of the New York Council section affirmed that “no unfortunate woman of any race, creed or color would be refused aid if she needed it.”

    1917: The Provisional Zionist Committee, chaired by Stephen S. Wise, “sent a cable message of greetings and congratulation to the Zionist mass meeting what held in London” celebrating the adoption of the Balfour Declaration. 

    1917:  A mass meeting of Zionists attended by Lord Walter Lionel Rothschild, Chaim Weitzman, President of the British Zionist Federation and Rabbi Moses Gaster was held in London this evening designed “to celebrate the promise by the British Government ot support the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.

    1926:  Birthdate of playwright and screenwriter Murray Schisgal.  He is the author of hits that include Luv and Tootsie.

    1927: Yehudi Menuhin was the soloist with New York Symphony Orchestra today where he played the Beethoven Violin Concerto. His performance won audience approval and critical acclaim and marked the start of tours through the United States and Europe.

    1931: According to figures released by the census authorities, of the 1,035,154 inhabitants of Palestine, 387,525 live in Palestine’s major cities including 90,526 in Jerusalem, 51,876 in Jaffa, 46,109 in Tel Aviv and 50,869 for Haifa.  “There is an almost equal number of men an women in nearly all the urban localities, the total being 197,307 males and 190,218 females.” Since the last census conducted in 1922, “purely Arab areas showed less than a 1 per cent increase in population…while the mixed Arab-Jewish residential localities showed a 30 per cent rise indicating a higher measure of prosperity during the past decade.”

    1933: Max Born received a letter from Werner Heisenberg in which he said he had been delayed in writing due to a “bad conscience” that he alone had received the Nobel Prize “for work done in Göttingen in collaboration — you, Jordan and I.” Heisenberg went on to say that Born and Jordan’s contribution to quantum mechanics cannot be changed by “a wrong decision from the outside.” Jordan was Pascual Jordan a physicist who joined the Nazi party and became a Brown Shirt. Heisenberg was an “Aryan” who stayed in Nazi Germany.  Born was a Lutheran who was classified as a Jew under Nazi Racial Law and would win his Nobel Prize in 1954.

    1934: John Kenmuir reports that “not since the period immediately following the World War have so many new places claimed attention from mapmakers as in the last few months. Towns have seemingly appeared out of nowhere…”  Included in this category is Tel Aviv, “the second largest city in Palestine a country of age-old town.  This thriving metropolis of 70,000 did not even exist in 1909, its site being then a deserted area of rolling sand dunes north of Jaffa.”

    1935: Birthdate of feminist Gloria Steinem.

    1936: Dr. Chaim Weizmann testified before the Peel Commission, stating the case for Jewish immigration to Palestine.  Since the Arabs were boycotting the hearings, Weizmann was the first witness.

    1936: Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty that will be the basis of the Axis alliance.  The treaty is another step towards World War II and the Final Solution. At the time, the treaty seemed to be one more diplomatic victory for Hitler, but the Japanese actually outsmarted the Little Corporal.  The treaty did not commit the Japanese to take military action against the Soviets.  Hitler fully expected the Japanese to attack Russia when he invaded the Soviet state forcing Stalin to fight a two front war.  The Japanese never budged.  Hitler was left to fight the Soviets on his own and it was this Soviet ability to have face only the Germans that helped chew up the divisions of the Wermacht. [If the Japanese had really been such dedicated anti-communists you would have thought they would have joined the Nazis in attacking the leading communist state of the time, the Soviet Union.  Of course the Japanese did not having been bloodied by the Soviets in the late 1930’s.  Even strange bedfellows do not always sleep together]

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that the first death sentence was passed, under the recently promulgated Defense Regulations, by a military court on Sheikh Farhan e-Sadi, leader of a terrorist group, who was found guilty of carrying firearms and ammunition. The Arab Defense Party appealed for clemency.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews had been attacked and beaten in riots in Memel, Shavli and Wilkomir in Lithuania. This outburst of anti-Semitism took place two years before the outbreak of World War II.  This is an example of the inherent European anti-Semitism that helped to make the Holocaust possible and provided the Nazis with willing accomplices in completing the Final Solution.

    1939: Birthdate of economist Martin Feldstein winner in 1977 of the John Bates Clark Medal.

    1940: The Patria, a steamer carrying illegal Jewish immigrants sank in Haifa port killing 250 of the passengers. The Patria was a French steamer chartered by the British to ship illegal immigrants who had previously made it to Palestine to detainment camps on the British island of Mauritius. This removal of the Jewish immigrants was part of a British campaign to placate the Arabs.  The plan was in violation of the terms of the Mandate.  The plant was also a violation of basic human decency since the Jews were seeking a safe haven from the advancing Nazi armies.  However, nobody has ever accused the British Foreign office or the Arab leaders of that time of having an over abundance of human decency when it came to dealing with Jews.  The explosion on board the Patria was caused by the Haganah who were attempting to disable the ship and force the British to let the refugees land.  Almost two thousand of the Patria’s human cargo would end up staying in Eretz Israel while another similar number would end up in internment camps.  This was but one small event in the combined British-Arab attempt to strangle the Yishuv.

    1941: German Jews were shipped east to Kovno.  This gave the SS new targets for their killing raids. In one day the Einsatzkommando reported the deaths of 1,159 men, 1,600 women and175 children. Four days later they reported killing another 693 men, 1,155 women and152 children.

    1942: In the evening and continuing into the next day, the SS and Norway’s State Police began rounding up all woman and children. In all, 532 Jewish women and children in Norway are arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Although more than 700 Norwegian Jews were eventually sent to Auschwitz, about 930 found refuge in Sweden.

    1942: Jews hiding in Piotrkow (Poland) were offered a chance to stay in the ghetto legally if they came out of hiding. Some did, and they were killed by Ukrainians upon doing so.

    1943:  Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People's Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    1944: Crematorium II at Birkenau was dismantled by the Nazis and its remains were buried in attempt to hide the evidence of the Final Solution. 

    1944:  Birthdate of actor, self-styled political commentator and game show host Ben Stein

    1944: Warner Brothers release “Arsenic and Old Lace” comedy that includes murder and mental illness produced by Jack Warner with a score by Max Steiner and a screenplay by Julius and Philip G. Epstein.

    1945:Jewish underground attacks Palestinian coast guard; blows up two coast guard stations in retaliation for capture of Greek schooner Demetrios which brought 200 illegal immigrants to Palestine.

    1946(2nd of Kislev, 5707): Ninety-year old Henry Morgenthau, Sr. the United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during WW I whose grandchildren included historian Barbara Tuchman and long-time NY DA Robert M. Morgenthau passed away today.

    1947: The House of Representatives overwhelming vote to approve citations for contempt of Congress citations against the Hollywood Ten for the “defiance” of the mis-named House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”

    1947: Following yesterday’s overwhelming vote to cite the Hollywood Ten for Contempt of Congress, the Hollywood studios blacklisted them. “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”  (As reported by Jennifer Lipman)

    1948:Arabs announce they will not negotiate with Israel except through UN.

    1948: UN mediator Ralph Bunche recommends to Political Committee that UN try another strong appeal for Israel and Arabs to get together. He urges Israel's admittance to UN.

    1948: Israel's Provisional Government Council announces it will hold first general elections on January 25. Persons aged 18 years or more will be eligible to vote.

    1948:  Birthdate of French born, American educated, film director Jonathan Kaplan

    1949:Israel turns down the UN Palestine Conciliation Committee's plan for an international Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett says Jews favored UN control of Jerusalem at one time. They oppose it now, because if they lose Jerusalem they will have to rescue it from Arabs. They recommend that Jerusalem's old city be internationalized. Modern Jerusalem's holy places will be accessible to people of all faiths.

    1959: Birthdate of Yaakov Edri, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1959, earned two degrees from the University of Haifa and pursued a political career that including service as an MK and in several ministerial posts.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that fear for the safety of 2,500,000 Jews behind the Iron Curtain was voiced in the Knesset by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett when he read the government¹s statement on the Prague trials of former leading Communists, accused of Zionism and espionage, which he called “a farce in the form of a trial.”

    1952: Premiere of Hans Christian Andersen produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with a script by Moss Hart and starring Danny Kaye.

    1956: In Boston, Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy addresses a dinner honoring Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister.

    1961: Negotiations between representatives of the Israeli government and King Hassan of Morocco came to an end with an understanding that would make it easier for the Jews to leave for Israel.

    1963: Following the assassination of President Kennedy, “the Jewish Community Council held a memorial service at Washington Hebrew Congregation that included “a tribute delivered by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.”

    1969: Birthdate of Israeli actress and comedian Orna Banai

    1975: Suriname, a Dutch colony on the Northeast coast of South America gains its independence from the Netherlands. According to The Virtual Jewish Library, “the Jewish community of Suriname is one of the oldest in the Americas. Jews apparently arrived from Brazil (or Holland) and settled in Suriname as early as 1639, and there is an extant ketubbah, marriage contract, signed by a rabbi in 1643.”  For part of its history, the Jewish community was quite active and wealthy. By the end of the 20th century “200 Jews live in Suriname with the Nederlands Portugees Israelitische Gemeente overseeing the community's activities. The two 18th century synagogues in the capital, Paramaribo, have been restored. Neve Shalom is considered to be Conservative, and both synaggoues hold weekly Shabbat services. The Ashkenazi synagogue has a sandy floor, which is symbolic of the 40 years in the desert, and was also supposed to have hidden the footsteps of the Conversos. Kosher food is available in Suriname and there is a community newspaper, Sim Shalomthat is printed in Dutch.

     For more information see  

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced that his government had adopted the policy of promoting communications with Israel in order to establish a comprehensive Middle Eastern peace settlement. It was suggested that the proposed Israeli-Egyptian dialogue would be held in the UN Sinai buffer zone.

    1978: Prime Minister Menachem Begin met German Ambassador Klaus Schuetz. This was the first time Begin had personally conferred with any German representative.  During the 1950’s Begin had been a vocal opponent of accepting reparations from the Bonn government.

    1979: Birthdate of Gerson Levi-Lazzaris,a Brazilian archaeologist, descendent of Italo-Slovenian immigrants. Most of the Lazzaris are from Forno di Zoldo, Veneto, from where most of them emigrated during the end of the XIXth century, and also after the Second World War to Argentina, Australia, Brazil and United States.

    1979: As part of the Camp David Accords, Israel surrendered the Alma oilfields

    1981(28th of Cheshvan, 5742): Actor Jack Albertson passed away.  Born to immigrant parents in 1907, this Bay State native was a multi-talented entertainer. Some of his more famous roles include a bit part as a postal worker in Miracle on 34th Street, a starring role in the Broadway hit "The Sunshine Boys" and as the cantankerous elderly Anglo in "Chico and the Man."

    1983:Syria and Saudi Arabia announced cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.  There are a number of people who blame Israel for all of the problems in the Middle East.  There is a growing chorus on the both the Left and the Right in America who blame America’s problems in that region on United States support for Israel.  The Civil War in Lebanon is a reminder that turmoil and violence exist in that region without regard to the existence of Israel.  In fact the argument can be made that Arab violence against Israel is merely another manifestation of on-going Arab versus Arab conflicts.

    1989(27th of Cheshvan, 5750): Ninety-four year old Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron, who was recognized as one of the century's great historical scholars for his sweeping multivolume history of the Jews passed away today. (As reported by Peter Steinfels)

    1992: The Czechoslovakia Federal Assembly votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993. “After the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia in 1992, Slovakia gained its independence on January 1, 1993. Since Slovakia’s independence, such organizations as Maccabi and B’nai B’rith have become active in the communities… During the immediate post-Cold War period, the Czech Republic reopened diplomatic ties with Israel and Czech President Vaclav Havel became the first leader from a previously Soviet controlled Eastern European country to travel to Israel.”

    1994: John Charles Walker, “an American agricultural scientist “and winner of the Wolf Prize an Israeli award funded by Dr. Ricardo Wolf, the former Cuban ambassador to Israel

    1998(6th of Kislev, 5759): American philosopher Nelson Goodman passed away at the age of 92.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry by Sheila Isenberg, The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalemby Kanan Makiya, In The Shape of a Boar by Lawrence Norfolk and Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics byEdward Teller with Judith L. Shoolery

    2002(20th of Kislev, 5763): Seventy six year old “Karel Reisz, a Czech refugee who became a leading director of the British New Wave before making "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and other Hollywood dramas” passed away today. (As reported by Rick Lyman)

    2002: Theo Epstein was appointed General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. In less than two years (2004) the Sox would beat the hated Yankees for the American League Pennant and then win the World Series thus breaking “the curse.”  The youthful Jewish executive would be hailed as part of a new generation of baseball executives.

    2002: In a review of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Dvesti let Vmeste (Two Hundred Years Together) the first of two volumes devoted to the history of Jews in Russia from the third partition of Poland in 1795, when Russia, until then effectively without Jews, suddenly acquired one million Jewish subjects, Daniel Pipes discusses the Russian author’s attitude toward Jews and the role of Jews in Russian history.

    2005: In a reminder that even in the hell of the Holocaust, there were righteous people who did the right thing, Ruth Greiner, a Holocaust survivor and Joanna Zalucka, her Polish protector were re-united.Sixty-one years ago, Joanna Zalucka hid a young Jewish girl in her bedroom for eight months, saving the child from the Nazi killing spree in their native Poland.The girl survived, was reunited with her parents, and moved to Brooklyn in 1953. Ruth Gruener - now 72 with two grown sons - was reunited with her old friend from Poland, finally returning a lifesaving favor by hosting her World War II benefactor for two weeks. "It is just so wonderful that no words can describe how I feel," said Gruener, who was sobbing as she and Zalucka hugged in an emotional encounter before reporters, camera crews and photographers. Although the two have corresponded over the decades, they hadn't seen one another since 1944. "It's a miracle," Zalucka said in Polish shortly after arriving at Kennedy International Airport from her homeland. The flight was only the second time she had been on an airplane. Gruener's survival in their hometown of Lvov, Poland, was a miracle as well; she and her parents were the only ones from an extended family of 300 who survived the Holocaust. Her father smuggled her out of the ghetto under his overcoat and placed her with Zalucka's family because he expected to be slaughtered. Ukrainian nationalists had already begun ransacking Jewish homes at night. Families disappeared in waves, presumably taken away to concentration camps. "I heard screams every evening," Gruener said. "To a child's ears, it was just horrible." Ruth spent most of her eight months at Zalucka's home just sitting in a chair, afraid to even look out the window from Joanna's bedroom. Joanna, then 18, was in charge of keeping an eye on the girl. When visitors came, the 8-year-old would hide under Joanna's bed or duck into a trunk. Ruth spent so much time silent and immobilized that she had to relearn how to walk and speak normally. After eight months, Ruth was brought to the home of another Christian family that hid her parents for another two years. Ruth and her family went to Munich and then to Brooklyn after the end of World War II  Ruth eventually married another Holocaust survivor, Jack Gruener, and started a family. Jack's path to freedom was more traumatic. His parents were murdered in the Krakow ghetto when he was 13. He then spent time in a series of concentration camps before being liberated at Dachau in 1945. None of his other relatives lived. "To this day, I can't figure out how I survived," he said. For the next two weeks, Zalucka will spend time with Gruener and her family, a turnabout that was a long time coming. She cried and embraced Gruener when they met on Friday. "You look so young," she said. Zalucka would likely have faced the death penalty if she had been caught harboring a Jew during the war. The family was never found out, but Zalucka herself was later imprisoned, first by the Germans, then by the Soviets, as a suspected member of the Polish underground. The pair was reunited by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which was created in 1986 to provide assistance to non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. The foundation has been providing Zalucka with a pension and helping her pay for medical care.

    2006: The Jerusalem Quartet takes center stage marking the first time that Jerusalem Music Center musicians have abandoned the safety of their lofty haven and descended to the level of the man in the street by performing at the local YMCA auditorium. Breaking what some consider a chain of snobbery they perform their superb New Chamber Concert Series, entitled "YMCAMERI" in honor of the venue at prices the average Israeli can afford.

    2006: In an article entitled “A Torah for the Next Generation” The Washington Post reported on the efforts of members of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to write an entire Torah in time for the 150thanniversary of the congregation which was founded in 1857.

    2007:The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra with conductor, Daniel Kossov, soprano, Keren Hadar, tenor, Yotam Cohen, and pianist, Yoni Fahri performs Humperdinck`s Hansel und Gretel: Vorspiel, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Mozart’s Symphony in A Major, no. 29, performs a special benefit concert.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Canadian born Jewish commentator and social activist Naomi Klein.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of A Pigeon and A Boy by Israeli author Meir Shalev, Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore and Dough: A Memoir by Jewish author Mort Zacht

    2008: In Manhattan, the 92ndStreet Y presents a program entitled, “Rabbi David Wolpe in Conversation with Safran Foer” during which “Rabbi Wolpe, one of today’s leading voices of contemporary religion, discusses his personal journey through life-threatening illness, from the depths of darkness to the illuminating light of faith.

    2008:Israel closed its cargo crossings with Gaza today because of Palestinians fired at least one rocket into Israel, just a day after Israel had allowed vital humanitarian supplies to shipped into Gaza

    2008(27th of Cheshvan, 5769):Eighty-four year old Gerald Schoenfeld the chairman of the powerful Shubert Organization, the largest and most important theater owner on Broadway and in the United States passed away. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2009: At the Jerusalem Music Center, the final performance "The Bald Soprano": a chamber opera by Israel Sharon, based on a play by Eugène Ionesco.

    2009: “The Jazz Baroness,” a documentary about Nica Rothschild by her great-niece Hannah Rothschild airs on HBO at 8 pm.

    2009: In Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chai presents "One Spring for Me": The love story of Leah Goldberg.

    2010: In Jerusalem, comedian David Kilimnick is scheduled to present his Thanksgiving Special, ‘My Family Made Me in America'


    2010: The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, today strongly denounced a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, the iconic holy site and place of Jewish worship in the Old City of Jerusalem, describing the report as “reprehensible and scandalous.”  

    2011: Downtown Shabbat, a  Carlebach-inspired service led by Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner is scheduled to be held at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2011:While tens of thousands of protesters are amassing in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the Sinai Peninsula is heating up. Egyptian security forces today raised the alert level to an unprecedented level in the al-Arish area in northern Sinai after they received information that Jihad members are planning on carrying out an attack on the local security headquarters, the Ma'an news agency reported today.

    2012: The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) is scheduled to bestow an honorary degree on Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (As reported by the Canadian Jewish News)

    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Far From the Tree Parents: Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon, Iron Curtain:The Crushing of Eastern Europe,1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum and Saul Steinberg: A Biographyby Deidre Bair.

    2012: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Family Stories at the Center: Young Historians.”

    2012: “Hava Nagila” is scheduled to shown tonight at the close of the Jewish International Film Festival in Australia.

    2012:Syrian fire pierced Israel for the second time in a day tonight, as bullets fired from across the border struck next to a military vehicle near the border.

    2012: Morethan 123,000 Likud members have the power today to shape the face of their party’s list for the 19th Knesset, and political analysts say they will use it to move the party further to the right.

    2013 In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the community-wide Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service.

    2013:The Black Institute, in partnership with Bend the Arc, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc. (RCCMB), is scheduled to host a forum to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in support of Jewish civil rights in the Soviet Union.


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    November 26

    43 BCE: The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed. This power sharing arrangement would fall apart. Octavian would defeat Mark Antony and remove Lepidus leaving him as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.  Initially, Antony’s defeat and Octavian’s victory did not change the situation for the Jews living in Judea.  Herod had made the mistake of backing Antony.  So if Antony had won, Herod would have kept his kingdom.  But Antony’s defeat did not cost Herod his kingdom.  In one of the history’s greatest acts of political audacity, Herod went to the island of Rhodes where he met with Octavian.  He admitted that he had supported Antony but convinced the young Caesar that this was a good thing because he now he would give Augustus the same level of support.  Impressed by Herod’s audacity (and in need of allies) he left Herod on his throne.  So the outcome for the Jews of Judea, in the short term, was the same no matter what.  In the long run, the Jews probably did well with the victory of Augustus since he would follow the same kind of comparatively benevolent policies followed by his uncle Julius including exempting the Jews from emperor worship and respecting Jewish laws by exempting Jews from appearing in court after dark on Friday or on Shabbat.

    1504: Queen Isabella I of Castile, the first Queen of united Spain passed away.  Born in 1451, Isabella is one of history’s more fascinating monarchs.  She was every bit as wiley, clever and effective as Queen Elizabeth of England, even though she does not get her share of credit for these traits.  Isabella did have Jewish advisors, physicians and financiers.  But in the end her devout Catholicism and need for funds to finance “crusades” against Moslems proved the undoing of her Jewish subjects.

    1572: King Maximilian II expressed his intention “to expel the Jews of Pressburg (Bratislava), stating that his edict would be recalled only in case they accepted Christianity.”

    1669: As events surrounding the blood libel that would lead to the death of Raphael Levi unfolded, two swineherds found the head and the neck of a child in the woods near Metz.  Despite the fact that two surgeons testified that the body parts came from a recently killed person, officials decided that this was the body of the Christian child that had been reported missing and killed more than a month ago.  These body parts would be used in the trial of Levi where he was found guilty.  He was buried alive, protesting his innocence to the end.  This blood libel was part of a series of persecutions aimed at the Jewish community of Metz and would end with their expulsion from the city.

    1715(30th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Joseph ben Mordecai Ginzburg, author of Leket Yosef passed away today

    1775: The American Navy began using chaplains within its regular service.  However, Rabbis were not allowed to serve as Chaplains until 1862 when President Lincoln sponsored legislation allowing ordained Protestant, Catholic or Jewish ministers to serve as Chaplains.

    1789: Once the United States had been established as an independent nation, President George Washington proclaimed a day of national thanksgiving for November 26, 1789. Congregation Shearith Israel held a service on that first Thanksgiving Day (and has continued to do so each year since), at which time Rev. Gershom Mendes Seixas delivered an address. He noted that the Jewish community had reason to rejoice "as we are made equal partakers of every benefit that results from this good government; for which we cannot sufficiently adore the God of our fathers who hath manifested his care over us in this particular instance; neither can we demonstrate our sense of His benign goodness, for His favourable interposition in behalf of the inhabitants of this land."

    1800: Salomon Rothschild married 18 year old Caroline Stern, the only daughter of Jacob Stern a wine seller.  As can be seen from the Ketubah (wedding contract) this was another beneficial marriage arranged by A.M. Rothschild.

    1802: As the Jews of Maryland seek full equality On Nov. 26, 1802, a petition "from the sect of people called Jews" specifically stating their grievance, namely, "that they are deprived of holding any office of profit and trust under the constitution and laws of this state," was referred to the General Assembly, which read it and referred it to a special committee of five delegates, including the two Baltimore representatives, with instructions to consider and report upon the prayer of the petitioners for relief. A month later the petition was refused by a vote of thirty-eight to seventeen. The attempt to secure the desired relief was repeated at the legislative session of 1803; again proving unsuccessful, it was renewed in the following year.

    1835: Birthdate of Joseph Perles, Hungarian born rabbi and author whose works included essays on the lives of Nachmanides, and Shlomo be Aderet, the Spanish sage known as the Rashba.

    1841: A article entitled in today’s Voice of Jacob“Alleged Progress of London Jews Towards Christianity” reported that “the attempt of a few gentlemen, of the West End section of the town, to form a synagogue there, with certain omissions from the established liturgy, and in contravention of the regulations of one of the London congregations, of which they have been and are yet members… These gentlemen are not known as a congregation, but as an association, deeming itself qualified to abrogate the customs which Israelites have observed for centuries… While the almost universal feeling condemns this movement as the presumptuous attempt of a handful of laymen, and while therefore there need be no apprehension of the evil spreading, the only wise policy would be to treat the attempt as neither formidable by numbers, by status (at least theological), nor otherwise possessing a single element of union.” The Voice of Jacob was published fortnightly and was the first publication that provided “real-time” reports on events in the Jewish community.  The article refers to attempts to established London’s first Reform Congregation which became known as the West London Synagogue of British Jews

    1842: The University of Notre Dame is founded as private Catholic University. Since 1992, Rabbi Dr. Michael Signer has filled the Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture and has served as the Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. “The Notre Dame Holocaust Project promotes educational opportunities about the destruction of European Jewry during World War II for the university community.” 

    For more information about opportunities offered to Jewish students attending Notre Dame see

    1849(11th of Kislev, 5610): Julius Eduard Hitzig  a German author and civil servant passed away. Born Isaac Elias Itzig) at Berlin in 1780, he was a member of the wealthy and influential Jewish Itzig family Between  1799 and 1806 he was a a Prussian civil servant, after which he became Criminal Counsel at the Berlin Supreme Court in 1815 and its director in 1825. In 1808 he established a publishing house and later a bookstore. He was very active in Berlin’s literary circles.  Heinrich Heine, of all people, reportedly made fun of his name change.

    1852: At the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Morris Raphall preached a sermon based on the opening words of the 92nd Psalm, “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord –to sing praise unto Thy name, O most high!” 

    1855: Adam Mickiewizc, a noted Polish poet and ardent nationalist died today in Constantinople while working with his friend Armand Levy, to organize a Jewish legion, the Hussars of Israel, comprising Russian and Palestinian Jews.  The legion was supposed to join in the fight against the Russians during the Crimean War.  Polish nationalists believed that a Russian defeat would help undermine the authority of the Czar and help lead to the liberation of Poland.  [Mickiewizc was not Jewish and I have not been able to find an explanation why he was organizing a Jews for this fight.]

    1858: In London, Barnett Abrahams and his wife gave birth to Israel Abrahams, the Jewish scholar whose works included A Companion to the Authorized Prayer Book and Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.

    1858: The New York Times reported that Rabbi Isaac Leeser, head of Beth El Emet has written a series of articles about the Mortara Affair that have appeared in the Philadelphia Ledger and that “indignation meetings in reference to the Mortara Affair" have been held. For more about the Mortara Affair see:

    1858: In New York, members of the Jewish community expressed their indignation over the tactics used by the police when arresting three of their co-religionists on charges of selling lottery tickets. Among other things they were protesting the fact that the police had arrested a rabbi who was leading his congregation in prayers. The three have posted $1,000 in bail

    1862: Birthdate of Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Born in Budapest, Stein was an Hungarian Jewish archaeologist who became a British citizen. He was also a professor at various Indian universities. Stein was inspired by Sven Hedin's work, Through Asia.. His travels and research in central Asia, particularly in Chinese Turkistan, revealed much about its strategic role in history.  In 1906, Stein uncovered a group of mummified corpses near Loulan, in Central Asia. Their well-preserved bodies were clad in woolen garments and they wore tall felt hats decorated with jaunty feathers. The men were bearded and their facial features seemed European. Stein dated them to c.100 BC. When the Dunhuang Caves, China, closed for centuries, were reopened, he discovered 15,000 manuscripts (1907), including the Diamond Sutra, reputed to be the first dated printed book (868 A.D.). He passed away on October 26, 1943.

    1863:Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.  While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it has it origins in the Bible.  The Pilgrims were students of what they called The Old Testament.  When they had enjoyed their first successful harvest at Plymouth, they looked to scripture for a way to express their joy.  They found the answer in the holiday of Sukkoth – a celebration of in-gathering; a celebration of thanks that took place after the harvest was completed.  There are reports that the first Thanksgiving was a week-long affair but I would avoid making any claim that this was intended to mirror the seven days of Sukkoth. 

    1876: Birthdate of Isadore Bernstein, the New York native who wrote scripts for 65 films from 1914 through 1938.

    1876: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charities and Purim Association plan to sponsor a Hebrew Charity Ball next month at the Academy of Music.

    1880: Luther R. Marsh will deliver a lecture entitled “On the Power of the Alphabet” at meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Lyric Hall. (Marsh was prominent New York lawyer who developed an interest in Spiritualism.  He was not Jewish)

    1880: “Disraeli’s Latest Novel” published today provided a detailed review of Endymion by the Right Honorable Earl of Beaconsfield.

    1881: It was reported today that the influx of immigrants from Russia is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities.  As many as 400 Jews have been arriving each week, most of whom are “destitute and helpless.”

    1882: “Monmouth and the Wye” published today provides a brief history of medieval England that includes the reminder that “butchery of the helpless Jews at York, when the despairing wretches hurled their children from the battlements upon the howling murderers below and the slew each to the last man” “cannot drop from the memory of mankind….”

    1883: The Baltimore Sun reported that the colony started for Russian Jewish immigrants in Middlesex County, Virginia has been abandoned.

    1883: It was reported today that the current issue of the Nineteenth Century features Dr. Charles H.H. Wright’s Paper “The Jews and the Malicious Charge of Human Sacrifice” which “goes over the whole history of the recent outrages in Europe.”

    1883: Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish Cape Town diamond dealer arrived in New York this evening aboard SS Servia of the Cunard Line.

    1883: It was reported today that “David Phillipson…who graduated from Hebrew Union College” last July “has accepted a call from a congregation in Baltimore, MD.

    1884: It was reported today that three prizes – a diamond ring, a bracelet and a face pin – were awarded to the ladies who had sold the most tickets to this year’s grand ball, a charity event sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.

    1885: During Thanksgiving services a  large throng listened to an address by Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler at Temple Beth-El that reviewed the principles adopted by the Reform Rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.

    1886: The New York Times featured a review of The Land the Book by William Thomson, a book that examines the material in the scriptures with the information gained by explorations in Palestine through 1880. While some of the information in the Old Testament is “not borne out by facts…many more points” in the Scripture “have been corroborated”  that the results cannot have failed to find favor with Jews.

    1888: As she went to visit her sister, eighteen year old Yetta Reiner, a Jewish girl who has been in the United States for two weeks, disappeared when she walked off with a Hebrew-speaking man on the corner of Norfolk and Hester Street who had offered “to get her a situation.” 

    1888: Leo Bamberger the master of ceremonies, introduced Moses May, the Chairman of the Fair Committee who introduced Brooklyn Mayor Alfred C. Chapin who officially opened the charity fair on Clermont Avenue that will raise funds of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1889: Police are expected to arrest Morris Kassofky who gave “a terrible beating” to Jacob Levy when the latter mistakenly tried to enter his apartment. They live in a building on Norfolk Street that is inhabited by Jewish immigrants from Poland.

    1890: “Friends of the Exiles” described the rejection of request made Jews to help their suffering co-religionists in Russia by the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association because “the work of the association…was done by petition” and “the work for the relief of the Jews required a different kind of effort.”

    1891 (25th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe passed away.

    1892: “In the Czar’s Family” published today described the hope that by naming the Crown Prince as President of the Russian State Council “the repression of Jews…will eventually be relaxed.”  (Things were always going to get better for Russian Jew – in the future!)

    1893: “Seen in Ceylon” published today described the commercial life of this island state including “the keen-faced Jews with long, black ringlets” who “preside over stores of shining gems.”

    1894: The will of Adolph Bernheimer which names his widow, his brother Lehman and William Rothschild as excutors was filed for probate today.

    1894:  Birthdate of child prodigy and famed mathematician Norbert Wiener.  Among his many accomplishments, Weiner is known as the discoverer of cybernetics.  President Johnson awarded him with the National Medal of Science two months before his death in 1964.

    1896(21st of Kislev, 5657): Joseph C. Wolf who was elected the State Assembly from the 16th District in 1892 and the State Senate in 1893 passed away today.  Born in 1849, the native of Besancon, France and graduate of Columbia Law School enlisted in the Second New York Light Cavalry at the start of the Civil War serving with the Army of the Potomac. 

    1896: Temple Israel and the West End Synagogue will hold a joint Thanksgiving Service starting at 3 p.m.

    1896: Temple Emanu-El will hold a Thanksgiving Service at 11 a.m.

    1896: As part of day long holiday observance, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will hold a Thanksgiving Service at the synagogue on 11thAvenue and 151st Street.

    1896: William Matthew Flinders Petrie married Hilda Urlin in London. This was the same year that he and his archaeological team were conducting excavations at Luxor when they discovered the “Israel’ or Merneptah Stele

    1897: During the Dreyfus Affair, today. the French minister of war “received the following anonymous letter: ‘Monsieur le Minstre: You will find in a chamber on the sixth story interesting document conetening the Dreyfus case’ signed “A Patriort”

    1898: The Emperor and Empress of German arrive at Potsdam this morning on their return from Palestine where the Kaiser met with Herzl.

    1899: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “Are We Children of the Ghetto, or Children of the World?” which was a play on words using the name of the drama now appearing at a New York theatre.

    1899: “Rosebery On Cromwell” published today provided the remarks made by Lord Rosebery at the ceremony celebrating the tercentenary of Oliver Crowmwell  including his observation that Cromwell “was the first Prince who reigned in England who welcomed and admitted Jews” a fact of which Jews and Englishmen are equally proud of as can be attested to by the presence of Sir Samuel Montagu, Lord Rothschild and Benjamin Cohen on the platform at the banquet honoring his memory.

    1909: Sigma Alpha Mu is founded in the City College of New York by 8 Jewish young men.

    1903: Birthdate of Alice Herz-Sommer, also known as Alice Sommer-Hertz and Alice Sommer, “a Czech pianist, music teacher and survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp.”

    1911: Birthdate of Samuel “Sammy” Herman Reshevsky, the Polish born Jewish-American chess grandmaster who was a strong contender in the World Chess Championship competitions for a thirty year span.

    1912(16th of Kislev, 5673): Baron George De Worms passed away.

    1912: Simon Bloom was elected Mayor of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

    1912: Birthdate of playwright Eugene Ionesco. There is dispute about Ionesco’s Jewish origins. According to a sizeable body of evidence, Ionesco’s mother was a Romanian of Sephardic Jewish origin. 

    1913: In a letter from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica to Prince Nicholas of Greece, the rabbi denies truth of charges of excesses committed by Greek soldiers, and declares he has not sought protection of powers for Jews of Salonica. Three months later the Greek Prime Minister, Venizelos, assured the Chief Rabbi that the rights of the Jews would be continued.

    1913: Jesse Laksy forms The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in partnership with his brother-in-law Samuel Goldfish (later known as Sam Goldwyn) and his friend Cecil B. DeMille. The Squaw Man is the company’s first film and it is an instant hit.  It is also the first movie filmed entirely in Hollywood, California. 

    1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London “went forward to a sap-head in the front line to repair a parapet that had been damaged.   Seeing a German sniper at work, he tried to shoot him, but was himself shot through the head and killed.”  He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British equivalent of the American Congressional Medal of Honor, for his bravery in the face of the enemy.

    1918: Dr. Solomon Oppenheimer, the Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum who has just returned from Palestine, gives a report on the condition of the Jews in Eretz Israel.

    1922: In an article entitled “Palestine Industries Thriving Capital an Settlers Needed” Dr. Arthur Ruppin notes the changes that have taken place since Herzl called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland 25 years ago at the first Zionist Congress.  While “towns of thousands houses have grown up on neglected ground” the need to develop irrigation projects and travel facilities represent the biggest challenge for future development as well as creating investment opportunities for foreign financiers.

    1924: Birthdate of George Segal, sculptor lifelike mixed-media figures.

    1925: Birthdate of pianist Eugene Istomin. He was an American pianist born in New York City of Russian-Jewish parents. He was famous for his work in the trio, with Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose, known as the Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, with whom he made many recordings, and particularly of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. He also played with them in orchestral music, with conductors such as Eugene Ormandy Bruno Walter and also as a soloist.  He passed away in 2003.

    1926: In an article entitled “Palestine Industry Thriving,” Arthur Ruppin describes the social and economic progress that has been in Eretz Israel in the 25 years following Herzl opened the founding Zionist conference in Basel, Switzerland.

    1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that evidence presented during the trial of a “communist named Teichman” the Druze Rebellion against the French mandatory government in Syria received financial and moral support from Communist groups in Palestine.

    1931: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Zionist leader, in a lecture today before the Keren Hajessod for the Rhineland and Westphalia on the present states of Jewry and Zionism, said the unhappy position of the Jews in Germany was really no different from their position everywhere in the world.

    1933: In an article entitled "Two Contrasting Views of Palestine" Jacob Weinstein reviewed Modern Palestine: A Symposium edited by Jessie Sampter and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.

    1933: In an article entitled “Two Contrasting View of Palestine,” Jacob Weinstein reviews Modern Palestine: A Sympose edited by Jessie Sampster with a foreword by Albert Einstein and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.

    1934: Release date for the cinematic version of Fannie Hurst’s novel Imitation of Life directed by John M. Stahl

    1936: Birthdate of Yitzhak Yitzhaky, the native of Tiberias, the founder of and director of “Idud, a village for intellectually challenged children” who was an MK.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Jews were wounded when Arab terrorists shot at a crowded bus, traveling from Nesher to Haifa, and escaped.

    1937:  In another example of the anti-Semitism that was endemic to European society, the Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews were again attacked and beaten in various towns in Lithuania.

    1940: British Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Lloyd calls those who are working to save Jewish lives by illegally transporting them to Palestine "foul people who had to be stamped out."

    1940: The Nazis forced 500,000 Warsaw Jews to live in walled ghetto.

    1941: A fleet of six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo left Hitokapu Bay under strict radio silence. On December 7th, the world would find out that their destination was Pearl Harbor.  The arrival of the fleet would usher in America’s entrance into World War II and all that would flow from that. 

    1941: The recapture of Rostov by Russian forces marked the first major setback suffered by Germany in World War II, 1941.  The German blitz had moved unchecked across the Soviet Union since June of 1941.  By stopping the Nazis at Rostov, the Soviets forced the German Army to suffer through a Russian Winter from for which it was ill-prepared.  The Germans would resume their offensive in the Spring of 1942 but the Wehrmacht would have been depleted just enough that it would fail a year later at Stalingrad which would mark the beginning of the end for the German military.  Unfortunately, none of these military setbacks would slow down the pace of the Final Solution. 

    1942: A ship called the Donausailed from Oslo’s Pier 1 carrying 532 Norwegian Jews, now classified as prisoners all of whom would end up in Concentration Camps.

    1942: At dawn, in Norway, the Quisling police returned to the home of Isak Plesansky, the founder and proprietor of the Tonsberg Clothing School and arrested his wife, daughter and son.   All of them would be gassed at Auschwitz within the month.

    1942: ''Casablanca,'' starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York. The Jewish connections with this film classic are so numerous that this should only be considered a partial list. Jewish actors included Peter Lorre, S.Z."Cuddles" Sakall, and Leonid Kinskey.  Conrad Veidt was not Jewish but his wife was.  Michael Curtiz, a Hungarian Jew, was the director. The script was a product of Jewish writers Julius and Philip Epstein. The inspiration for the movie came from a play by Murray Bennett.  Bennett got the idea after going to Vienna to help Jewish relatives after the Aunschluss in 1938.  The score was written by Max Steiner…and that will have to do for now.

    1942: Jews in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, who are lured from hiding places by Nazi promises of no retribution, are taken to a synagogue, locked inside, and subjected to random gunfire by Ukrainians.

    1943: Birthdate of producer and director Bruce Paltrow.  A native of Brooklyn, Patlrow was a graduate of Tulane University where he is a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.  As a producer he was responsible for two of television’s best dramatic series - The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere.  He also directed several episodes of Homicide as well as full length motion pictures.  He died in 2002 after battling cancer.

    1944: In an interview given today on the eve of his 70thbirthday, Dr. Chaim Weizmann said that “any blueprint for the future of what is left of the Jewish people should include allowing at least 100,000 refugees settle in Palestine annually and that this “must be undertaken by the United Nations as a measure of historic justice.  He said that this is the least that is owed to the Jewish people “whose agony in Hitler’s Europe during this war needs no elaboration.”  When he used the term “agony” Weizmann could have included the rest lost of his son Michael who died while serving with the RAF.

    1944: Government officials announced that “twelve more arrests were made today in Tel Aviv and Haifa during continued police searches for suspects connected with” what they described as underground political terrorist groups.

    1944: As World War II entered its last phase, the Germans decided to hide all evidence of the mass murders. On orders from Himmler the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau were blown up.

    1945: Jewish underground blows up police headquarters and several electric power stations.

    1945: Mandatory government sends troops to search for arms in Jewish settlements in Sharon and Samaria.

    1945: Soviet Union proposes submission of the Arab-Jewish problem to Big Five Conference.

    1945: Polish Jews announce in Italy that they intend to proceed to Palestine by any means.

    1946(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandson of Theodor Herzl, plunged to his death off a Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in Washington D.C. at the age of 28.  During WWII, Norman had served as a Captain in the British Army.  He visited Palestine in late 1945 and 1946.  Severe depression brought on by the Holocaust and the plight of the Jews after World War II ended led to severe depression which led to his final moments.

    1946: Birthdate of Roni Milo, future Mayor of Tel Aviv


    1946: Jewish refugees in Haifa resist British attempts to ship them Cyprus.


    1947:Louis Bromfield, cochairman of American League for Free Palestine, charges that Arabs have obtained surplus U.S. arms.

    1948: Bulgaria recognized Israel.

    1948: Menachem Begin visited New York Mayor William O’Dwyer

    1948: Abba Eban tells a meeting of the UN Truce Mission that Israel will not let a large force of Egyptians surrounded by the Israelis in the Negev retreat until the Arab’s accept the Armistice Resolution.

    1949: Pasha el Mulbi says that the Jerusalem must be held by the Arabs to protect the surrounding Arab sectors.

    1949: Jordan rejected the plan for an internationalized Jerusalem.

    1949: Birthdate of Roni Milo, Israeli MK and cabinet minister who served as Mayor of his hometown, Tel Aviv from 1993 to 1998.

    1949: Birthdate of Shlomo Artzi an Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter and composer. Born in Moshav Alonei Abba he has sold over 1.5 million albums, making him one of Israel's most successful male singers

    1950: Rabbi Theodore Friedman is scheduled to speak at a Youth Aliyah Dinner-Dance at the Henry Hudson Hotel sponsored by The North Hudson New Jersey chapter of Hadassah

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported that in the Knesset Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sharply attacked Mapam in the debate on the Prague trial, accusing it of duplicity and inability to face the truth about the Soviet regime. The Knesset, by an overwhelming majority, adopted a resolution expressing “its sense of shock at the trial now proceeding in Prague, which had struck at the Jewish people... and on the attempts to bring into disrepute the good name of the State of Israel.”

    1954: Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, said that through the use of dense settlement and exploitation of natural resources Israel's southern Negev desert could be restored to its ancient prosperity.

    1956:Sixteen-year-old Ellery Schempp refused to listen or to participate in the mandatory Bible-reading exercise of his high school in the Abington School District outside of Philadelphia. According to one source, Schempp was disciplined for reading from the Koran during his high school’s mandatory Bible reading time. After being severely disciplined by the district administrators, Ellery and his family initiated a lawsuit that would ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The defendants were the authorities of the Abington School District. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that religious recitations and prayers of any kind were in violation of the Constitution of the United States if practiced in public schools. Schempp was raised as a Unitarian. “The minor rebellion led to a landmark Supreme Court case that (much to the relief of many Jewish students) outlawed school-sponsored prayer.

    1958: Birthdate of David Asper, a Canadian businessman and lawyer who has served as the  Executive Vice President of the Canadian media company CanWest Global Communications Corp and as Chairman of the National Post newspaper and a Professor at the Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Asper is the eldest son of the late Izzy Asper, founder of CanWest Global. He is the brother of Leonard Asper, current president of CanWest Global. In the mid-1980s, Asper represented David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1970. With Asper arguing the case before the Supreme Court of Canada, Milgaard's conviction was overturned in 1992.[1] Asper endorsed Toronto Conservative candidate and former Global news anchor Peter Kent in the 2006 Canadian federal election. Asper is a former trustee of the Fraser Institute. Asper is also one of the main proponents behind building a new stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. If his stadium proposal is accepted Asper will spend $100,000,000 of his own money to finance part of the stadium and build a shopping complex on the stadium grounds. In exchange he would become owner of the team, who are currently community owned. He is currently in negotiations with the football clubs board of governors over his stadium proposal. Asper is married to Ruth Asper and has a 2 sons and a daughter: Daniel, Rebecca, and Max.

    1960: Birthdate of Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware

    1964(21st of Kislev, 5725): Sixty-one year old Herbert Solow the editor of the Menorah Journal who went from being a follower of Trotsky to an editor of Fortune passed away today.

    1982:Howard Cossell called his last fight after being disgusted by the Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb mismatch.

    1986: The New Yorker Magazine published "The Way We Live Now" a short story about AIDS written by Jewish author Susan Sontag.

    1986: The trial of John Demjanjuk opened in the Jerusalem District Court today.

    1989: The New York Times included a review of The Jews In America: Four Centuries of an Uneasy Encounter by Arthur Hertzberg.

    1992(1stof Kislev, 5753): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1992(1stof Kislev, 5753): Ninety-year old Bernard M. Baruch, Jr., the son of the fame financier passed away today.

    2000: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest includingJulius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply Districtby Ben Katchor

    2005: Start of Jewish Book Month sponsored by the Jewish Book Council.  According to its website, “The mission of the Jewish Book Council is to promote the reading, writing and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America. To carry out its mission, the Jewish Book Council sponsors a variety of activities and programs. The most widely known are the National Jewish Book Awards, established in 1948/9, and the Jewish Book Month. Its publications include Jewish Book Annual and Jewish Book World.”

    2005(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Children’s author and illustrator Stan Berenstain passed away.  He and his wife Jan are best known for creating the children’s book series, “The Berenstein Bears.”

    2006: Juilliard instructor Samuel Zyman praises the talent of Jay “Bluejay” Greenberg during an interview on tonight’s broadcast of CBS News 60 Minutes.

    2006: Just in time for Jewish Book Month, The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amdanda Vail.

    2006: The Sunday New York Timeslist of “100 Notable Books of the Year” includes the following volumes by Jewish authors or about Jewish topics: Everyman by Philip Roth, Golden Country byJennifer Gilmore, Intuition by Allegra Goodman, A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua,Courtier and The Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern Worldby Matthew Stewart.Greatest Story Ever Told: The Decline and Fallof Truth From 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich,The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn,Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide by Jeffrey Goldberg andSweet and Low: A Family Story, by Rich Cohen.

    2006:  In Auckland, New Zealand, The Governor-General of New Zealand, gives a speech at event celebrating one hundred years of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society attended by Hon Judith Tizard; President of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society, Sonny Beder; President of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, Rabbi Jack Engel and former President, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

    2007: Holocaust denier David Irving and Nick Griffin anti-Semitic leader of the British National party are scheduled to speak at the Free Speech Forum sponsored by the Oxford Union.  Britain’s defense secretary Des Browne, three British lawmakers and Labour Party leader Denis MacShane have all refused to appear before the group because of Irving and Griffin.

    2007: In Jerusalem the Uganda Pub hosts an Ethiopian evening – music, films, food, lectures and even Ethiopian beer - followed by DJ and dancing.

    2008: The OU Bicentennial Convention opens in Jerusalem.

    2008: The 92nd Street Y hosts an Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon.

    2008: After months of delay, the Supreme Court is due to hear a petition regarding the 20,000 Subbotnik Jews of Russia, many of whom have found it increasingly difficult in recent years to get permission to make Aliyah

    2008: Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz notified Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday that he planned to indict him on several criminal charges relating to the Rishon Tours affair.

    2008(28th of Cheshvan, 5769): Bentzion Chroman, who survived an earthquake in China earlier this year, was killed when a terrorist invaded the Mumbai Chabad House where he had stopped briefly today for the afternoon minhah prayer. Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, who helped supervise kashrut was also killed in the attack. Other victims of the terrorist attack on the Mumbai Chabad House included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka and Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich.

    2008: “Saul Steinberg: Illuminations,” a travelling exhibition, which will displayed original Steinberg works opened in London.

    2009: At the Sixth & I Lunch & Learn Rabbi Ethan Seidel leads a class studying unsettling stories containing elements of relativism, confusion, acknowledgment of chaos, and distrust of authority.

    2009: Tikvat Israel Synagogue in Rockville, MD, features an evening of Israeli folk dancing.

    2009: Hamshushalayim, a three-weekend-long festival, opens in Jerusalem.

    2009: Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat told Likud activists this evening that “I do not envy the prime minister because I know he is in distress. It isn’t easy to face an American President.” The Likud Minister was addressing a meeting of party activists in Be'er Sheva. Livnat was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s press conference earlier where he announced that the government would temporarily freeze construction for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. The official announcement came after several months of intense American pressure on Netanyahu to halt all Jewish development in Israel’s heartland. Livnat insinuated that the freeze will do nothing to advance the State of Israel’s interests but that the prime minister is being forced into the discriminatory policy by the government of the United States.

    2009: This evening, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired five mortar shells toward the western Negev. The shells landed in an open field in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage.

    2009: Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks gave his first speech in the House of Lords during which he “apid homage to Britan an said it was a sense of indebtedness to the country that drives Jews to make the vast contribution they make to society.”

    2010: The New York Times reviews Nora Ephron’s Last Book

    2010: The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia, PA

    2010: In Brussels, opening of Party Like a Jew a fun-filled weekend organized by the European Centre for Jewish Students (ECJS), the largest European organization for young adults in Europe.

    2010(19th of Kislev, 5771): “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.”  The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the "the New Year of Chassidus (Hasidism)."“It was on this date, in the year 1798 that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), was freed from his imprisonment in czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah. The public dissemination of the teachings of Chassidism had in fact begun two generations earlier. The founder of the chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760), revealed to his disciples gleanings from the mystical soul of Torah which had previously been the sole province of select kabbalists in each generation. This work was continued by the Baal Shem Tov’s disciple, Rabbi DovBer, the “Maggid of Mezeritch”—who is also deeply connected with the date of “19 Kislev”: on this day in 1772, 26 years before Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s release from prison, the Maggid returned his soul to his Maker. Before his passing, he said to his disciple, Rabbi Schneur Zalman: “This day is our yom tov (festival).” Rabbi Schneur Zalman went much farther than his predecessors, bringing these teachings to broader segments of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. More significantly, Rabbi Schneur Zalman founded the “Chabad” approach—a philosophy and system of study, meditation, and character refinement that made these abstract concepts rationally comprehensible and practically applicable in daily life. In its formative years, the chassidic movement was the object of strong, and often venomous, opposition from establishment rabbis and laymen. Even within the chassidic community, a number of Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s contemporaries and colleagues felt that he had “gone too far” in tangibilizing and popularizing the hitherto hidden soul of Torah. In the fall of 1798, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was arrested on charges that his teachings and activities threatened the imperial authority of the czar, and was imprisoned in an island fortress in the Neva River in Petersburg. In his interrogations, he was compelled to present to the czar’s ministers the basic tenets of Judaism and explain various points of chassidic philosophy and practice. After 53 days, he was exonerated of all charges and released. Rabbi Schneur Zalman saw these events as a reflection of what was transpiring Above. He regarded his arrest as but the earthly echo of a Heavenly indictment against his revelation of the most intimate secrets of the Torah. And he saw his release as signifying his vindication in the Heavenly court. Following his liberation on 19 Kislev, he redoubled his efforts, disseminating his teachings on a far broader scale, and with more detailed and “down-to-earth” explanations, than before. The nineteenth of Kislev therefore marks the “birth” of Chassidism: the point at which it was allowed to emerge from the womb of “mysticism” into the light of day, to grow and develop as an integral part of Torah and Jewish life.”

    2010(19th of Kislev, 5711): Yahrtzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov

    2010: Alice Herz-Sommer turned 107 today and is the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor, as well as being the second oldest resident of London, England.

    2011: Pianist Taiyuan Stepanov and clarinetists Alex & Daniel Gurfinkel are scheduled to perform “Clarient with a French Flavor at the Eden Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem-Jerusalem.

    2011: Penultimate performance of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall” sponsored by Theatre J (an arm of the DC Jewish Community Center) is scheduled to take place tonight in Washington, DC.

    2011: A Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council area early today.

    2011: The Israel Air Force struck two centers of terrorist activity in the southern and central Gaza Strip tonight in response to rocket fire into southern Israel, according to the IDF Spokesman's office.

    2012: David Siegel, the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles is scheduled to speak at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

    2012: A scheduled screening of “Killing Kasztner, The Jews that Dealt with the Nazis” at the Upper East Side Chabad will be followed by a discussion led by the film’s director and Dr. Joseph Berger, Holocaust survivor saved by Kasztner.

    2012: Ehud Barak, who over a half-century career became Israel’s most decorated soldier and held the nation’s trifecta of top positions — chief of staff of the military, prime minister and, since 2007, defense minister — announced today that he would soon “leave political life,” withdrawing from elections scheduled for Jan. 22.

    2012: The French Consulate in Jerusalem recently hosted as a guest of honor a Palestinian terrorist, Salah Hamouri, who was convicted of plotting to kill Ovadia Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, an Israeli newspaper reported today. (As reported by the Times of Israel)

    2013: Jewish Book is scheduled to come to an end today.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “The Reconquest of Jewishness in Post-War America: Will Herberg and Irving Howe

    2013: Rabbi Jonah Layman is scheduled to lead the Greater Olney Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Shaare Tefila.

    2013: Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor who is the subject of “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” is scheduled to celebrate her 110thbirthday

    2013: Fifth anniversary of the Mumbai Massacre a terrorist attack on  Westerner and Hindus and institutions that they used including the Naiman House, the Chabad Center where Jews, regardless of their affiliation could always find comfort and a meal. The victims included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka, Israelis Bentzion Kruman and Yoheved Orpaz, Brooklyn Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum and Mexican Jewess Norma Rabinovich.




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    November 27

    176: Emperor Marcus Aurelius grant his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and makes him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions. To the world at large Marcus Aurelius was “the philosopher-king” or “philosophical but impractical” ruler, but to the Jews he was just Roman emperor who held them in contempt describing them as “’Stinking and tumultuous!’” to his companions as he traveled through Judea. The dissolute nature of Commodus has become well known to all through the film “Gladiator.” Commodus showed his ineptitude in his failed attempt to defeat the Parthians, Rome’s eastern enemy whose empire reached to the borders of Palestine.  Unable to defeat an armed enemy in the field, Commodus began fresh persecutions of the Jews living there denying them, among other things, the right to use their courts of justice.

    1095: First Crusade proclaimed by the Council of Clermont. By now everybody should be aware of the fact that the Crusades ushered in a period of death and destruction for the Jews of Europe and Eretz Israel.

    1198(Kislev, 4959): Rabbeinu Abraham ben David passed away.  Born in Provence, France in 1125, he was a Provençal rabbi, a great commentator on the Talmud, Sefer Halachot of Rabbi Yitzhak Alfasi and Mishne Torah of Maimonides, and is regarded as a father of Kabbalah and one of the key and important links in the chain of Jewish mystics

    1614: In Frankfurt, Vincenz Fettmilch, the ringleader of the Fettmilch Rising during which the Judengasse was attacked looted, was arrested along with 38 of his followers and “charged for their persecution of the Jews.”  (They would eventually be executed.  The authorities really were not upset about his attack on the Jews.  What got him into trouble was when he was perceived as a threat to the Emperor and the ruling order.

    1688 (4th of Kislev): Rabbi Elijah Kovo of Salonika, author of Aderet Eliyahu, passed away

    1755: An English merchant named Joseph Salvador bought 10,000 acres near Fort Ninety-Six, in the southern part of the Carolina Colony. In 1773, Joseph Salvador would send his nephew Francis Salvador to South Carolina to develop the land as an indigo plantation.  At the outbreak of the American Revolution the wealthy young aristocrat joined the fight for independence.  He died of wounds in August of 1776 while fighting the Cherokee allies of the British.  The following words were etched on his tombstone: Born an aristocrat he became a democrat, An Englishman he cast his lot with America; True to his ancient faith, he gave his life for new hopes of liberty and human understanding.”

    1757: Birthdate of William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker.Controversy surrounds Blake’s grasp of Jewish mysticism. It seems pretty clear that Blake’s art and writing invoke Kabbalah, but scholars debate how Blake accessed the Jewish mystical concepts he quoted. Some argue that the dozen or so Hebrew inscriptions in Blake’s etchings and watercolors show that Blake was fluent in Hebrew. But close analysis of the works, some of which are on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, reveals that Blake had not even mastered the letter alef. Reading Kabbalah in Hebrew without knowing the first letter of the alef-bet would be as implausible as tackling “Finnegans Wake” with barely a grasp of the English alphabet. Arguments that Blake knew Hebrew date back to Frederick Tatham, who cared for Catherine after Blake’s death in 1827. In a letter to bookseller Frances Harvey, Tatham said that Blake’s library included “well thumbed” books in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian, as well as works by Swedenborg and Christian mystic Jacob Boehme. “His knowledge was immense, his industry beyond parallel,” Tatham wrote. Modern scholars echo Tatham’s claim. Writing in the journal Modern Philology in 1951, David V. Erdman ascribed “some Hebrew” to Blake, particularly the knowledge that beth-lehem means “house of bread.” “We know that Blake knew a little Hebrew,” Anthony Blunt agreed, writing in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes in 1943, “for he wrote to his brother in 1803 that he was learning the Hebrew alphabet, and his etching of the Laocoön [a copy of the sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons”] bears a few words in Hebrew script.” In his book “The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake (The Davies Group, Publishers, 2000), Thomas J. J. Altizer suggests not only that Blake knew Hebrew, but also that he was self-taught.But the work that Blunt cites as proof of Blake’s proficiency in Hebrew, “Laocoön” — a circa 1820 print depicting snakes strangling the famous Trojan priest and his two sons — is one of the best pieces of evidence that Blake did not know Hebrew. Writing “malakh Jehovah,” which he translated as “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” Blake inadvertently rotated the alef 90 degrees on its y-axis. He spelled “Lilit” (Lilith) correctly, but he miswrote “Jeshua” (Jesus) with another rotated letter, this time an ayin (the 16th letter). “Laocoön” does not appear in the Morgan show, but an etching from Blake’s Job series does. In an etching from Blake’s Job series, the artist again wrote “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” but this time he wrote the Hebrew “melekh Jehovah,” which means King Jehovah, rather than malakh (with an alef), the Angel of Jehovah. In “William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job,” S. Foster Damon says that Blake intentionally removed the alef to show that Job was worshipping a false God — mistaking an angel for the king. But could Blake really have known enough Hebrew to distinguish between “melekh” and “malakh,” when he revealed in “Laocoön” that he didn’t even know how to form the letter properly?  “Job’s Evil Dreams,” features a bearded figure with hooves encircled by a snake. The figure hovers above a reclining man and points with its right index finger to the Ten Commandments. Though Blake wrote out only two of the commandments in full, the inscriptions contain more than a dozen mistakes. One line contains a properly and an improperly formed alef, a further inconsistency suggesting that Blake was copying a language he did not understand. “Blake did study Hebrew with his one-time patron, William Hayley, but scholars are not agreed about his proficiency in the language,” explained Leslie Tannenbaum, associate professor of English at Ohio State University and author of “Biblical Tradition in William Blake’s Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art” (Princeton University Press, 1982). According to Tannenbaum, the late Gerald Bentley, a Blake scholar who taught at Princeton University, implied in a biography that Blake was “fairly fluent” in Hebrew. But Tannenbaum also notes that Sheila A. Spector, whom he describes as “an extremely meticulous scholar and expert on Blake and the Kabbalah,” writes that Blake did not know the biblical language.In Blake’s preface to the chapter “To the Jews,” from the poem “Jerusalem,” Tannenbaum sees references to the kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon (the primordial man). Blake learned Kabbalah from Swedenborg’s writings on Boehme, who seems to have been influenced by Balthasar Walther, Tannenbaum adds, and Blake also identified with the Avignon Society, which sought science and reason “in such unlikely places as alchemical lore, cabbalistic numerology, mesmerist séances, Swedenborgian spiritualism, and (perhaps most surprising of all) the Scriptures.” In “Wonders Divine: The Development of Blake’s Kabbalistic Myth” (Bucknell University Press, 2001) Spector, an adjunct associate professor at New York University, agrees that Blake’s kabbalistic sources were Christian rather than Jewish, and English rather than Hebrew. Further, Blake was “unfortunately” influenced by his contemporary Anglo-Israelites, who thought that English derived from Hebrew “and that the language of the Jews was a spurious version in which the rabbis obscured the ‘true Christian’ message to be found in the Bible,” Spector said.“Under the circumstances, the question of whether or not Blake was fluent in Hebrew misses the point,” she added. “He rejected normative Hebrew in favor of the linguistic gymnastics that re-interpreted words to conform with some eccentric – to be charitable – interpretations that coordinated Hebrew and English, as well as Greek, etymologies to proffer a new interpretation of Scripture.” (As reported by Menachem Wecker)

    1798 (19th of Kislev, 5559):Rabbi Shneur Zalman founder of Chabad Lubavitch was released from a St Petersburg jail. He had been arrested on charges of high treason for allegedly sending money to the Czar’s enemy, the Sultan of Turkey. In reality he was sending money to Jews living in Eretz Israel which was part of Turkey at the time.  Shneur Zalman is the author of two works Tanya and Likkute Torah which describe the philosophy of the Chabad movement.  Chabad is an acronym for the Hebrew words Chokhmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Da’at (Wisdom).  Lubavitch is the name of the town in which the Descendants of Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezhirech, Shneur Zalman’s “teacher” settled.  In 1798, November 27 corresponded to the 19th day of Kislev.  Ever since then Chabad Lubavitchers mark YUD-TET KISLEV (19th of Kislev) as day of joy and celebration.

    1819: Leopold Zuns and Eduard Gans founded the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism). It delved into Jewish history, culture and literature using scientific methods of criticism and assessment. The Society lasted less than five years. Gans and many others converted to Christianity.

    1830: Joseph Mérilhou, the French official who successfully got the Deputies to adopt legislation treating Judaism on equal footing with Christianity when it came to public financial support for synagogues and rabbis completed his term as Minister of Public Education.

    1837: Birthdate of Ludwig Loewe, who began as manufacturer of sewing machines and then became major arms maker whose employees included Georg Luger, the inventor of the famous “Luger” pistol.

    1846: A wagon train owned and commanded by Albert Speyer, a Prussian born Jew, arrived  at San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, in time for the pre-Christmas fair where he sold his merchandize, “reloaded the wagons with Mexican goods – mainly silver curios and sugar – and returned to Chihuahua” Mexico.

    1853: An editorial entitled “The Arrest of Rabbi Asche” published today questioned the methods used by the authorities when they arrested Rabbi Asche and two other Jews on charges of selling lottery tickets.  The editorial supported the concept of law and order but thought the police could have used better judgment in exercising their authority.

    1856: Proof of the role of Jews played in settling the American Frontier can be found in the letters Thomas Gladstone sent to the London Times excerpts of which were published today.  In describing those traveling up the Missouri River Gladstone reports that his fellow passengers included “Border Ruffians, Abolitionists…Jews” and others who “completely” represent “the various classes of the population in Kansas.”

    1858: It was reported today that two New York Rabbis have been arrested on charges of selling lottery tickets based on the charges brought by one of their co-religionists.

    1860: In Paris, there are reports of a serious rift between Achille Fould, the Jewish financier who is a close advisor to Emperor Napoleon, and the Empress.

    1863: At the Wooster-street Synagogue, Thanksgiving Day services were held at 3 o'clock, embracing the usual afternoon prayers, conducted by Rabbi S.M. Isaacs the Prayer for the Government and appropriate hymns, after which an address was delivered by Meyer S. Isaacs, the Rabbi’s son. He commenced with a reference to the peculiar significance of the present day of thanksgiving, observed as it was by all Americans, wherever resident, in response to the recommendation of the Executive. It was a grand spectacle, an entire nation united in offering up incense on an altar of a religion all alike profess -- thanksgiving and praise to the Supreme Being. Divesting themselves of social, political and religious distinctions, superior to the division of sentiment engendered by sectional ideas and antagonistic theories, they assembled in their respective places of worship, to pour forth praises to Him enthroned on hish. Actuated by these considerations, his audience had gathered together in their house of God, that they too might join in the grand anthem swelling upward to celestial heights. Israelite and Christian grasped each other's hand in cordial confidence, working together, fighting together the battles of the Union, pouring their blood on the battle-field in friendly rivalry for country's sake. There was no trace of religious intolerance or sectional feeling in the proclamation of the day; we were called upon to observe it as Americans, acknowledging special obligations to Heaven for the providences so graciously displayed in the progress of our struggle for national existence, and not unmindful of His divine favor in the daily blessings unintermittingly showered upon us, whose value we often fail to diiscern until we are deprived of them. He then took his text from Psalm c., verses 4 and 5, discussing it from its various points of view, and earnestly directing attention to the necessity of sincerity in this observance of National Thanksgiving. The stake was too mighty a one to permit even the semblance of insincerity in the history we were making, in our protestations of patriotism. It is understood now, that our love of country is not purely romantic, but that we were in earnest in our expressions of determination to reestablish the national supremacy, to permit no armed assemblage, however formidable, however desperate, to maintain an eternal antagonism to the constituted authorities.  Were we equally sincere in our observance of Thanksgiving, in our expressions of dependence upon God, of our own unworthiness and His eternal goodness and truth? This was to be the lesson of the day. He then illustrated his text by a reference to the peculiar benefits the Israelites of America enjoy in this land of thorough civil and religious liberty. We should enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, "for here there was no distinction recognized between Jew and Gentile in the guaranty by the Constitution of protection in the enjoyment of the sacred rights of man.  Returning to the broader view of the subject, as Americans, we should signalize the sincerity of this observance by an amendment in those respects where we acknowledge national faults. Although we have demonstrated a stauncher patriotism than we ourselves believed to be inherent in American character, there may be more sacrifices to make, more selfish considerations to combat, more errors of administration to deplore and divest of their apparent danger to the State by a confirmed determination to strengthen the hand of those we have chosen to preside over our national destinies. In conclusion, he spoke of the favorable prospect before us, as contrasted with the gloom, astonishment and despondency at the culmination of the preparation for the war upon our flag. The ship of state, madly tossed upon an unknown sea, exposed to the dangers of the warring elements, her pilots surrendered to the guilt of the hour or sadly inexperienced, was now sailing majestically into a safe harbor, a clear head and a steady hand at the helm; but God be thanked for this great salvation -- no human wisdom or power hath accomplished this.  He closed with a fervent prayer for the continuance of Divine favor to the land, and its speedy restoration to peace and prosperity.

    1871: An article published today entitled “A Tolerant City” quotes the Jewish Chronicle as saying that “Ireland is the only country where Jews were never persecuted.”  As proof of Irish tolerance, the Chronicle cites the case of a young Jewess named Miss Samuel, who, when she was on her death bed was the object of prayers of recovery offered both in Jewish synagogues and Christian Chapels.  Her funeral included thirty carriages that were filled with citizens of both faiths.

    1873: The Charity Committee of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum has asked that an appeal be made during today’s Thanksgiving Day services for contributions of money, clothing and other items that can be used to aid Jews who are economically distressed due to the current depressed economy.

    1874:  Birthdate of Zionist leader and Israel’s first President Chaim Weizmann. He first gained fame as the Russian-British chemist who used bacteria for the synthesis of organic chemicals. During WW I, a recent immigrant into Great Britain, he discovered a way to use a bacterium to synthesize acetone during the fermentation of grain. Acetone was important in the manufacture of cordite for explosives. Postwar, he modified the fermentation to produce butyl alcohol, suitable for uses such as lacquers. This was the forerunner of the deliberate use of microorganisms for a wide variety of syntheses. A generation later, penicillin and vitamin B12 were produced in this way.

    1879: Dr. Henry W. Bellows, a prominent Unitarian Minister, delivered the Thanksgiving Day Sermon at Temple Emanu-El, the New York Jewish house of worship led by Rabbi Gustav Gottheil

    1880(24th of Kislev, 5641): In the evening kindle the first light of Chanukah.

    1880: The New York Times reported today that “the celebration of the Jewish feast of ‘Chanuka’ will be commenced this evening by the Children of Israel throughout the world.” The Times goes on to provide an accurate description of the origins of the holiday and its modern observance including the fact that the events celebrated began “on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.” (This was written 15 years before the Ochs family acquired the paper)

    1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted its “fourth entertainment” of the season tonight at Lyric Hall.

    1881: At Rostov-on –Don Isaiah and Feodosia Chatzman to their daughter Vera, the future wife of Chaim Wiezmann, who was a leading Zionist in her own right. (As reported by Esther Carmel-Hakim)

    1881: A meeting was held this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to discuss additional measures to be taken to meet the growing influx of Jewish immigrants from Russia which is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities.  One solution is to establish “farming colonies” which will provide a livelihood for the impoverished new arrivals and avoid population congestion in a few east coast cities.

    1882: A review of Natural Religion by Sir John Robert Seeley, the author of Ecce Homo, cites the author’s contention that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic form and in language suited another age the spirit of modern science.  Notably the Book of Jobcontrasts the conventional and, as it were, orthodox view of the universe with the view which those obtain who are prepared to face it awfulness directly.” (Editor’s note – this comes at a time when there was a clash between science and religion so it is intriguing that an English author would find a harmony between the two in the Jewish section of his Bible.)

    1883: “Hen” Rice, who had been a Deputy Sherriff is New York is being held on charges that he won $2,700 from Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish diamond dealer, by cheating at card games they played while crossing from England to the United States aboard the SS Servia.

    1883: “Russian-Hebrew Colony Broken Up” published today provided a brief history of an agricultural colony that had been established for Jewish immigrants from Russia in Middlesex County, Va.  Despite the contribution of several thousands of dollars from the Jewish community in Baltimore, MD, the experiment failed.  One family has asked to be sent back to Russia while the remaining men have been provide with jobs and several of the women are being taught to use sewing machines.  The Torah used by the colonists will be returned to the Hebrew Hospital Association which had lent it the newcomers.

    1883: It was reported today that Herr Haumann one of the lawyers who represented the Jews unfairly charged with the ritual murder of Christian girl in Hungary, fought a duel with Herr Vay, the Police Commissioner.  The sword fight, during which Vay was “severely wounded in the chest,” resulted from the attorney’s accusation that the Police Commissioner had tortured the Jewish prisoners.

    1885: “Judaism of the Future” published today provided a summary of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler’s view of the principles adopted by Reform rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh.  He described it as a “Jewish Declaration of Independence” which no longer looks to the memories of ancient Israel, rejects tradition “but recognizes in Christianity and Islamism valuable helpers and co-workers in the direction of the fruition of the kingdom of virtue and truth.”  (Editor’s note – one cannot help but wonder what Rabbi Kohler would have to say about the Reform movement in the 21st century)

    1888: Today marks the second day of the fair sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which is an annual fundraiser for this Jewish organization.

    1888: It was reported today that a new congregation “Zichron Osher” has been established on the west side of New York. Joseph Arthur Levy was the founder of the synagogue whose services will include congregational singing and the use of English for some of the prayers.  Rabbi H. Veld will lead the new congregation assisted by Rabbi J.I. De Young.

    1889: It was reported today the United Hebrew Charities will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner this week

    1890: At 3 p.m. the boys of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum held their annual parade” today, marching through the streets of Harlem.

    1892: The Maccabeans, An Aggressive Club” published today described the formation of this club by London’s Jews in the wake of the Russian persecution of their co-religionists. “The meetings of the Maccabeans afford something quite novel to English Judaism – an arena in which all the social, ethical and theological questions which are bubbling so vehemently in the Jewish mind can be thrashed out freely and without prejudice.”

    1892: The members of Shaary Zedek voted not to remove the bodies from the congregation’s old cemetery on 88th Street between Park and Madison and reinter them in the new Bay Side Cemetery on Long Island

    1892:  It was reported today that Herman Ahlwardt, who is in jail because he was convicted of libeling a Jewish gun-making firm and is such “a shameless rogue” that he has been publicly disowned by “the anti-Semitic Party won a seat in the Reichstag by-election running three thousand votes ahead of his nearest opponent with campaign cry of “Down with the Jews.!”

    1894: In Paris, the Grand Rabbi preached a lengthy sermon at a well-attended service during which he “lauded Alexander III’s peace and exhorted all to pray for his soul as well as for his successor Czar Nicholas, his wife and all their relatives.”

    1894: The bequests of the late Adolph Bernheimer published today included “$10,000 in 3 per cent bonds” to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum and Mount Sinai Hosptial.

    1895: In a change of policy it was reported today that “a recent Ministerial order in Russia, Jews living in the interior who have been members of a first-class guild for five years are permitted to retain a permanent domicile in the place of their present habitation and this privilege will extend to their children.”

    1895 Alfred Nobel established Nobel Prize.At least 167 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2004, and constituting 37% of all US recipients during the same period.  In the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, and Physics, the corresponding world and U.S. percentages are 26% and 39%, respectively.  (Jews currently make up approximately 0.25% of the world's population and 2% of the US population.)

    ·        Chemistry (28 prize winners, 19% of world total, 28% of US total)

    ·        Economics (21 prize winners, 38% of world total, 53% of US total)

    ·        Literature (12 prize winners, 12% of world total, 27% of US total)

    ·        Physiology or Medicine (52 prize winners, 29% of world total, 42% of US total)

    ·        Peace(9 prize winners, 10% of world total, 11% of US total)

    ·        Physics (45 prize winners, 26% of world total, 38% of US total)

    1897: The Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum will host a dance tonight at Terrace Garden.

    1897: Following an anonymous tip, a Commissaire of Police “made of thorough search” at 3 Rue Yvon-Villareau in Paris where he was told to look for “interesting documents concerning the Dreyfus case. The apartments were occupied by Lt. Col. Picquart and what he found was not revealed to the public.

    1898: In Chicago, $10,230 was raised during the auction of the boxes for the charity ball being held by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association.

    1898: “The Week At The Theatres” published today provided a detailed review “The Merchant of Venice” at Daly’s Theatre  starring  Sidney Herbert as Shylock and Ada Rehan as Portia which is described as being filled with “a few keen disappointments.”

    1899(25th of Kislev, 5660): First day of Chanukah

    1907: Sixty-four year old Cyril Flower, 1st Baron Battersea, the husband of Constance, the daughter of Sir Anthony de Rothschild passed away today.

    1912:  Birthdate of David Merrick. Born David Lee Marguloisin St. Louis, Missouri, he graduated from Washington University then studied law. In 1940 he left his legal career behind in St. Louis to produce theatre.  In a career that included a mixture of “brilliant successes and embarrassing flops,” Meririck is best remembered as the producer of “Hello Dolly.” He passed away in 2000.

    1912: Leopold Godowsky’s piano recital at Carnegie Hall included a half dozen of Listz’s most difficult etudes.

    1914: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committeewas established by combining several separate organizations. Its original name was the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers and was chaired by Felix M. Warburg. It campaigned and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe. It is popularly known as the "Joint" or "JDC." During the First World War they spent almost 15,000,000 on relief efforts.

    1917: Turkish forces began four days of attacks against Allenby’s troops in futile attempt to keep the British forces from Jerusalem.

    1917: Birthdate of Yhyah Qafih, the native of Sana’a Yemin who was the son of Rabbi David Qafiḥ and the grandson of Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafiḥ, making him the third generation of leaders of the Yemenite Jewish community, first in Yemen and then in Israel.

    1924: In the New York City the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.  Macey’s was not founded by Jews, but it was two Jews, Isidor and Nathan Straus, who took control of the store in 1896 who turned into what was then “biggest department store in the world.”

    1925:  Birthdate of English comedian Ernie Wise (OBE). Born Ernest Wiseman, he changed his named to further his career as an actor and singer in English music halls.  He was best known as one half of the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, which became an institution on British television, especially for their Christmas specials.  He passed away in 1999.  Just as in American, English entertainers changed their names to get ahead and like Irving Berlin helped add luster to the Christian’s Christmas.

    1925: Birthdate of Claude Lanzemann, the French filmmaker who became “chief editor of the journal Les Temps Modernes, which was founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. A native of Paris, he joined the Resistance at the age of 18 and fought the Nazis. ” Lanzmann's most renowned work is the nine-and-a-half hour documentary film Shoah (1985), which is an oral history of the Holocaust, and is broadly considered to be the foremost film on the subject.”

    1933: As Hitler moves to consolidate his control over German society Kraft durch Freude (KdF; Strength through Joy) is established to tie leisure activities of the German Volk (people) to the aims of the Nazi Party.

    1933: A transfer company was established today in Tel Aviv to facilitate the immigration of German Jews along with whatever property they are able to bring with them. (Jewish Virtual Library)

    1936: Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels declares that film criticism is henceforth banned, freeing the Nazi-controlled German film industry to pursue its own agenda, which includes blatantly anti-Semitic films.

    1936: During the same period in the United States, Hollywood is self-censored in that it fears dealing with Jewish issues because of the high level of anti-Semitism existing at the time in the United States.

    1937: Opening performance of "Pins & Needles" a pro-labor musical revue produced by ILGWU

    1941: The Jews were deported from Wuerzburg, Germany.

    1941: Friedrich Jeckeln met with the leaders of Protective Police, “a branch of the German Order Police” who would be participating in the upcoming massacre of the Jews in Riga.

    1941: The first of 19 trains leaves Germany to resettle thousands of Jews in Riga and Kovno. Yet, 1000 newly resettled German Jews were taken and killed at the same time.

    1941: “The Palestine Symphony Orchestra has just announced the results of a competition open to composers in Palestine and the neighboring countries.”  Because of the volume and quality of the entries, four “winners” instead of just one were announced including, a Divertimento for Orchestra by Joseph Huttel, director of European Music at the Egyptian State Broadcasting, Cairo, Overture to a cantata by A. Daus of Tel Aviv, a Symphony of Variations for Soloists and Orchestra by Peter Gradenwitz of Tel Aviv and Fatum, a symphonic poem by J. Wohl of Haifa.

    1942: From this date through August 1943 more than 110,000 Poles are expelled from their homes in the fertile Zamosc province so that the area can be resettled by ethnic Germans, SS troops, and Ukrainians. More than 300 villages are affected. Thousands of Polish children are deported from the area to Belzec and other death camps.

    1942: Birthdate of poet Marilyn Hacker

    1944: In the weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board, it reported that the United States embassy had received from the Spanish Foreign Office: "Official confirmation that appropriate instructions have been sent to the Spanish Legation in Bern to seek the collaboration of the Swiss government in the efforts of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin to obtain the release and transfer to Swiss territory of the group of 155 Sephardic Jews at Camp Bergen Belson."

    1944: "The Trial and Punishment of European War Criminals," a report by U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Secretary of State Cordell Hull, is submitted to President Franklin Roosevelt. 

    1944(11th of Kislev, 5705): Leonid Isaakovich Mandelshtam, Russian physicist, passed away.

    1945: The American League for a Free Palestine, chaired by former Iowa Senator Guy Gillette, sent a telegram to President Harry Truman protesting recent beatings of Jewish displaced persons housed at the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British military police.  According to the League, an unnamed German had told the British that the Jews planned to protest Ernest Bevin’s recent hostile comments about Palestine. British forces arrested the leader of the Jewish “prisoners’ and reportedly beat several of the women.

    1945: In London, former U.S. Senator Guy Gillette, head of the American League for a Free Palestine, held a press conference after meeting with Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin in which he declared “that the United States was ‘thoroughly worked up’ over Palestine” and regarded the situational there as a testing ground for all the principles of Atlantic Charter.

    1945: The American League for a Free Palestine submitted a memorandum to the British government calling for action by the Big Five Powers to deal with any violence that the British claim will occur if 100,000 Jews are allowed to immigrate to Palestine.

    1950: A rummage sale sponsored by the Jordan Metropolis Chapter of the B’nai B’rith is scheduled to begin today in New York City.

    1950: Mrs. Jack Kesselman is scheduled to address today’s meeting of the Jersey City, NJ chapter of Hadassah at the Jersey City Jewish Community Center.

    1950:  Films of Europe and Israel are scheduled to be shown at tonight’s meeting of the Kinnereth Business and Professional Group of Hadassah meeting at the Henry Hudson Hotel.

    1956:Goodrich and Hackett's "Diary of Anne Frank," premieres in the Netherlands.

    1956: Senator John F. Kennedy addresses the Annual Banquet of Histadrut Zionist Organization, Baltimore, Maryland.

    1956: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jews arriving by plane in Paris 'confirmed that expulsion orders were being issued to Jews in Egypt by the thousands.'

    1956: Golda Meir, the Israeli Foreign Minister, "wrote the first of two letters to the UN Secretary General, protesting the 'action taken by the Egyptian Government against the Jewish Community in Egypt.'"

    1958: Polish born conductor Artur Rodziński passed away. Rodzinski was not Jewish but under the law of unintended consequences, he had major impact on the career of a Jew who was one of the musical icons of the 20thcentury, Leonard Bernstein.  “Rodzinski said that God told him to hire 24 year old LeonardBernstein, to be his assistant conductor. In the fall of 1943 Rodzinski decided to take a vacation, spend a little time with his goats, and called in Bruno Walter to conduct seven concerts in ten days. Only hours before one of those concerts (in the program, works by Schumann, Rosza, Strauss and Wagner) Walter fell ill. Rodzinski was only four hours away, in his farm. But he declined to come back to Carnegie Hall: "Call Bernstein. That's why we hired him." The concert was broadcast over radio and a review appeared on page 1 of The New York Times the next day: "Young Aide Leads Philharmonic; Steps in When Bruno Walter is Ill’" And the rest, as they say, is history.

    1962(30th of Cheshvan, 5723): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1962(30th of Cheshvan 5723): Fifty-one year old photographer Florence Meyer Homolka, the daughter of Eugene Meyer and actor Oskar Homolka, passed away today.

    1964: In Montreal, Dr. Gina Shochat-Rakoff and Dr. Vivian Rakooff gave birth to “prize-winning humorist” David Benjamin Rakoff (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1972: Release of Free to Be You and Me, the album of non-sexist stories and songs that helped shape the self-understanding and worldview of a generation of children. Letty Cottin Pogrebin was the editorial project consultant for the album as well as the book and television special associated with the project, all of which were created by feminist and actress Marlo Thomas.
    1973:Neil Simon's "Good Doctor," premieres in New York City.
    1976: Release date for “Network” the Paddy Chayefsky written classic directed by Sidney Lumet. Lumet was nominated for an Oscar and Chayefsky won one for his screenplay.
    1978(27th of Cheshvan, 5739):  In San Francisco, California, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White. Milk was Jewish.  Moscone was succeeded by Jewish the head of the Board of Supervisors, Diane Feinstein. Feinstein would go on to be elected to the U.S. Senate where she and fellow Californian Barbara Boxer would become the first Jewish female duo to represent a state in the nation’s Upper Chamber.
    1991: The New York Times published a review of Benevolence and Betrayal Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism by Alexander Stille.
    1993(13th of Kislev, 5754): Marvin H. Bernstein, a businessman and philanthropist in New York for many years passed away today at the Miami Heart Institute. He was 66 and lived in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was the founder and for 34 years the president of the Variety Knit Corporation of Manhattan, which makes women's clothing and T-shirts. He also founded the Marvin Bernstein Oil Company, a petroleum exploration company with headquarters in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was a fund-raiser for and a contributor to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the Simon Weisenthal Center, Israel Bonds, the Weitzman Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University and other medical and religious groups.

    1995: Salah Tarif begins serving as the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

    1995: Uri Or began serving as the Deputy Minister of Defense.

    1999:  The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history. In 2005, she opposed a visit by Israeli President Moshe Ktsav because of a dispute surrounding alleged Mossad agents and the issuing of fraudulent passports.
     2005:  In the topsy-turvy world of Israeli politics, Shimon Peres is seriously considering leaving the Labor Party and joining Ariel Sharon’s new Kadima Party.  This would mean the old lion of labor and the old lion of Likud could end their careers under a common political banner.  In yet an even stranger twist of fate, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak injected himself into the upcoming electoral campaign by declaring that Ariel Sharon was the only Israeli leader capable of making peace with the Palestinians. 
    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine by Harold Bloom and The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam.
    2000: Illusionist Dave Blaine began a stunt called “Frozen In Time” at New York’s Times Square
    2006: The Times of London reported Alexander Litvinenko, the poisoned former KGB agent had just returned from a trip to Israel. A dossier drawn up by Alexander Litvinenko on the Kremlin’s takeover of Yukos, the world’s richest energy giant was turned over to Scotland Yard as police investigate the former KGB spy’s secret dealings with some of Russia’s richest men. It emerged yesterday that Mr. Litvinenko traveled to Israel just weeks before he died to hand over evidence to a Russian billionaire of how agents working for President Putin dealt with his enemies running the Yukos oil company. He passed this information to Leonid Nevzlin, the former second-in-command of Yukos, who fled to Tel Aviv in fear for his life after the Kremlin seized and then sold off the $40 billion (£21 billion) company. Mr. Nevzlin told The Times that it was his “duty” to pass on the file. “Alexander had information on crimes committed with the Russian Government’s direct participation,” he said. There has been more than a whiff of anti-Semitism in Putin’s drive to gain control of Russia.

    2007: Batsheva Dance choreographer Ohad Naharin premiers his latest work, “Kamuyot” in Stockholm.  The premier will be followed by 100 performances before 20,000 students all over Sweden.  “Kamuyot” can be translated as “numbers of” or “characteristics.”

    2007: The scheduled U.S. sponsored meeting of Israelis and Arabs at Annapolis, MD, comes to an end.

    2007: YIVO Institute presents The Klezmatics: Up Close in downtown Manhattan.  The Klezmatics perform music drawn from their 2007 Grammy award-winning CD Wonder Wheel – Lyrics by Woody Guthrie, YIVO’s Max and Frieda Weinstein Sound Archives and their vast repertoire.

    2007: "Operation: Last Chance” will be formally launched at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" is targeted to find and bring to justice at least some of the thousands of Nazis still hiding in South America 62 years after the end of World War II. It will probably be the final major effort to locate and bring to justice Nazis in hiding scattered around the world.

    2007: At the end of the Annapolis Conference, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke of the relevance to any future Israeli-Palestinian agreement of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries after 1948.

    2008: As the Thanksgiving weekend begins, Secretsdirected by Avi Nesher premiers theatrically in commercial movie theatres.

    2008: During the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks, Indian army reported that it had secured the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House and liberated 60 people in the building.

    2008:  Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar are calling for a mass prayer rally today in the hope that heavenly intervention will stem the global financial crisis.

    2008: Final showing at the Jacob Burns Film Center of “One Day You’ll Understand” a film that portrays the reaction of French businessman’s reaction to the televised trial of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie in 1987.

    2008: Israeli sculptor Gideon Gechtman, a native of Alexandria, whose family made Aliyah in 1945, passed away today.


    2009: Eighty-eight year old Heinrich Boere, man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad said at his trial today that he was proud about being chosen to fight for the Nazis. As part of that SS unit, he is charged with killing a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian.

    2009: A Palestinian terrorist was killed this morning when the IAF struck a Gaza terror cell preparing to fire rockets into Israel, according to the IDF. In a statement, the army said that the terrorist belonged to the Jaljalatt terror organization, a Salafist movement operating in the Gaza Strip and influenced by al-Qaida. The statement added that some 770 Kassam rockets, mortar shells and Grad missiles had been fired at Israel since the beginning of 2009.

    2009: The Israeli Black Panthers host a special tour of the Musara neighbored in Jerusalem.  The Israeli Black Panthers “is a popular movement of Arab Jews “first established during the 1970’s. 

    2009: Performance of “Lost in Yonkers” at the DC JCC.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa Noah Thalblum helps to lead Friday Night services as part of his Bar Mitzvah weekend.

    2009: Abe Pollin’s funeral service is held at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    2010(20thof Kislev, 5771) Irvin Kershner - who directed the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back, the James Bond film Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2 – passed away at the age of 87.

    2010(20th of Kislev, 5752): Vilém Flusser a Czech-born Brazilian Jewish philosopher, writer and journalist passed away.

    2010: In Michigan, the Young Adult Division of Jewish Federation is scheduled to sponsor the sixth annual Latke Vodka donor thank you event.

    2010: A rock was thrown through the back window of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center, which is located on campus, today. Earlier in the week, a rock was thrown through the back window of the Chabad Jewish student center located just outside the campus.

    2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Something Urgent I Have to Say to You: The Life and Works of William Carlos Williams” by Herbert Leibowitz

    2011:Ministerial Committee on Legislation decided today not to back a bill that would limit public access to High Court petitions, sponsored by MKs Danny Danon and Yariv Levin from the Likud. All of the ministers voted against the bill. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier today that he would defend Israel's courts but that there were certain distortions that need to be fixed.

    2011:Prominent Israeli singer Margalit Tzan'ani pleaded guilty today to extorting her manager, and is expected to be sentenced to several months of community service. The plea bargain was presented to the Tel Aviv District Court. Known criminal Michael Hazan, who carried out the extortions, is expected to serve up to a year in prison.

    2011: The New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2011 includes the following books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: “The Free World” in which David Bezmozgis overturns clichéd expectations of immigrant idealism in his first novel, which follows a Soviet Jewish family awaiting visas in Rome in 1978; “The Grief of Others” by Leah Hager Cohen;  “Say Her Name” by Francisco Goldman, “Scenes From Village Life” by Amos Oz; “The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World” by Haifa-born physicist David Deutsch; “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India” by Joseph Lelyveld; “In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family Hitler’s Berlin,” Erik Larson’s account of the experiences of William Dodd, F.D.R.’s first ambassador in Nazi Germany; “Jerusalem: The Biography” by Simon Sebag  Montefiore; “The Memory Chalet” by Tony Judt; “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War” by Tony Horwitz; “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark” by Brian Kellow; “The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World” by Jewish Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin; “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” by Stephen Greenblatt; “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Israeli born Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman; “A Train Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France” by Caroline Moorehead

    2011(1st of Kislev, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2012: The tomb of Yasser Arafat is scheduled to be opened as the first step in process intended to determine if he was poisoned.

    2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a program that will examine ”the Rothschild Baba Kama, an ornate and richly decorated manuscript written in 1721-22 by Anshel Moses Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty.”

    2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present a program that will “explore how the image of a typical Israeli has been depicted in Israeli films from the 1960’s until today.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, members of the Jewish community are scheduled to meet to discuss ways to further the cause of Israel in the Hawkeye State.

    2012(13th of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-five year old “Marvin Miller, an economist and labor leader who became one of the most important figures in baseball history by building the major league players union into a force that revolutionized the game, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan.” (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

    2012: The Taub Center released its annual State of the Nation Report for 2011-2012 this morning, which according to the organization, paints “a troubling picture of the way Israeli governments have thus far dealt with Israel’s primary socioeconomic problems.”

    2013: In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle.

    2013: Chabad of Talbiya is scheduled to host its third annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Festival at the entrance to the Mamilla Mall.

    2013: The City of  Tel Aviv-Jaffa in collaboration with Heritage Fund for Israel in Tel Aviv are scheduled to host two candle lighting ceremonies – at Culture Square and Rabin Square.

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    November 28

    1095: On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appointed bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land. The call for the Crusade is based, in part, on false reports of atrocities committed by Muslims against Christian pilgrims.  The Crusades, which will begin in the following year, mark a dark chapter in Jewish history as those marching under the Sign of the Cross sack Jewish settlements in Europe and later slaughter Jews living in Eretz Israel.

    1660: At Gresham College, 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the Royal Society. A British physician named Isaac de Sequeira Samuda or Isaac de Sequeyra Samuda was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1727, making him the first Jew to be so honored.

    1744: Frederick the Greattook Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked. A few weeks later (December 18 and January 7) Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due to the protests of the Jews and the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.

    1757: Birthdate of William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker.Controversy surrounds Blake’s grasp of Jewish mysticism. It seems pretty clear that Blake’s art and writing invoke Kabbalah, but scholars debate how Blake accessed the Jewish mystical concepts he quoted. Some argue that the dozen or so Hebrew inscriptions in Blake’s etchings and watercolors show that Blake was fluent in Hebrew. But close analysis of the works, some of which are on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, reveals that Blake had not even mastered the letter alef. Reading Kabbalah in Hebrew without knowing the first letter of the alef-bet would be as implausible as tackling “Finnegans Wake” with barely a grasp of the English alphabet. Arguments that Blake knew Hebrew date back to Frederick Tatham, who cared for Catherine after Blake’s death in 1827. In a letter to bookseller Frances Harvey, Tatham said that Blake’s library included “well thumbed” books in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian, as well as works by Swedenborg and Christian mystic Jacob Boehme. “His knowledge was immense, his industry beyond parallel,” Tatham wrote. Modern scholars echo Tatham’s claim. Writing in the journal Modern Philology in 1951, David V. Erdman ascribed “some Hebrew” to Blake, particularly the knowledge that beth-lehem means “house of bread.” “We know that Blake knew a little Hebrew,” Anthony Blunt agreed, writing in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes in 1943, “for he wrote to his brother in 1803 that he was learning the Hebrew alphabet, and his etching of the Laocoön [a copy of the sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons”] bears a few words in Hebrew script.” In his book “The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake (The Davies Group, Publishers, 2000), Thomas J. J. Altizer suggests not only that Blake knew Hebrew, but also that he was self-taught.But the work that Blunt cites as proof of Blake’s proficiency in Hebrew, “Laocoön” — a circa 1820 print depicting snakes strangling the famous Trojan priest and his two sons — is one of the best pieces of evidence that Blake did not know Hebrew. Writing “malakh Jehovah,” which he translated as “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” Blake inadvertently rotated the alef 90 degrees on its y-axis. He spelled “Lilit” (Lilith) correctly, but he miswrote “Jeshua” (Jesus) with another rotated letter, this time an ayin (the 16th letter). “Laocoön” does not appear in the Morgan show, but an etching from Blake’s Job series does. In an etching from Blake’s Job series, the artist again wrote “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” but this time he wrote the Hebrew “melekh Jehovah,” which means King Jehovah, rather than malakh (with an alef), the Angel of Jehovah. In “William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job,” S. Foster Damon says that Blake intentionally removed the alef to show that Job was worshipping a false God — mistaking an angel for the king. But could Blake really have known enough Hebrew to distinguish between “melekh” and “malakh,” when he revealed in “Laocoön” that he didn’t even know how to form the letter properly?  “Job’s Evil Dreams,” features a bearded figure with hooves encircled by a snake. The figure hovers above a reclining man and points with its right index finger to the Ten Commandments. Though Blake wrote out only two of the commandments in full, the inscriptions contain more than a dozen mistakes. One line contains a properly and an improperly formed alef, a further inconsistency suggesting that Blake was copying a language he did not understand. “Blake did study Hebrew with his one-time patron, William Hayley, but scholars are not agreed about his proficiency in the language,” explained Leslie Tannenbaum, associate professor of English at Ohio State University and author of “Biblical Tradition in William Blake’s Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art” (Princeton University Press, 1982). According to Tannenbaum, the late Gerald Bentley, a Blake scholar who taught at Princeton University, implied in a biography that Blake was “fairly fluent” in Hebrew. But Tannenbaum also notes that Sheila A. Spector, whom he describes as “an extremely meticulous scholar and expert on Blake and the Kabbalah,” writes that Blake did not know the biblical language.In Blake’s preface to the chapter “To the Jews,” from the poem “Jerusalem,” Tannenbaum sees references to the kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon (the primordial man). Blake learned Kabbalah from Swedenborg’s writings on Boehme, who seems to have been influenced by Balthasar Walther, Tannenbaum adds, and Blake also identified with the Avignon Society, which sought science and reason “in such unlikely places as alchemical lore, cabbalistic numerology, mesmerist séances, Swedenborgian spiritualism, and (perhaps most surprising of all) the Scriptures.” In “Wonders Divine: The Development of Blake’s Kabbalistic Myth” (Bucknell University Press, 2001) Spector, an adjunct associate professor at New York University, agrees that Blake’s kabbalistic sources were Christian rather than Jewish, and English rather than Hebrew. Further, Blake was “unfortunately” influenced by his contemporary Anglo-Israelites, who thought that English derived from Hebrew “and that the language of the Jews was a spurious version in which the rabbis obscured the ‘true Christian’ message to be found in the Bible,” Spector said.“Under the circumstances, the question of whether or not Blake was fluent in Hebrew misses the point,” she added. “He rejected normative Hebrew in favor of the linguistic gymnastics that re-interpreted words to conform with some eccentric – to be charitable – interpretations that coordinated Hebrew and English, as well as Greek, etymologies to proffer a new interpretation of Scripture.” (As reported by Menachem Wecker)

    1816(8th of Kislev, 5577): Eight-six year old Benjamin D’Israeli, the Italian born Anglo-Jewish merchant who was the grandfather of the British Prime Minister of the same name passed away today.

    1827 (9th of Kislev, 5588): On the secular calendar Dov Baer Schneersohn passed away.  Dov Ber succeeded his father Shneur Zalman of Lyady as the second Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Shneur Zalman was the found of Chabad, Dov Baer was known as the “Middle Rabbi” because he came between Shneur Zalman and the third Rebbe Menachem Mendel known as the Zemen Zedek.   Among other things, Dov Baer was responsible for starting a Chabad settlement in Hebron in 1823. In 1826, Dov Baer was imprisoned by the Czar on trumped up charges of sending money to support the Sultan of Turkey.  He was released on the tenth of Kislev which has been a day of celebration among Lubavitchers ever since.  “The only way of converting darkness into light is by giving to the poor.”  “Every act of kindness that God performs for man should make him feel not proud, but more humble and unworthy.”  

    1829: Birthdate of composer Anton Rubinstein. Rubinstein was quite a widely performed composer in his lifetime, but following his death, his works were largely ignored. Some have suggested that this was due to the anti-Semitism prevalent at that time in Germany, the musical hub of Europe.

    1831: Birthdate of John William Mackay, the Irish born American industrialist and one of the four Silver Kings of the Comstock Lode who was greatly upset when in 1890 he was erroneously accused of “despising Jews.”

    1842(25th of Kislev, 5603): Chanukah

    1863:Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.  While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it has it origins in the Bible.  The Pilgrims were students of what they called The Old Testament.  When they had enjoyed their first successful harvest at Plymouth, they looked to scripture for a way to express their joy.  They found the answer in the holiday of Sukkoth – a celebration of in-gathering; a celebration of thanks that took place after the harvest was completed.  There are reports that the first Thanksgiving was a week-long affair but I would avoid making any claim that this was intended to mirror the seven days of Sukkoth. 

    1864: During the Civil War, Major Alfred Mordechai, Jr. was named Chief of Ordinance for the Union Army’s Department of the Cumberland.

    1873: Birthdate of Louis Ginzberg, the native of Kovno, Lithuania who became a noted Talmudist, as a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, a leader of the Conservative Movement in the United States for half a century.

    1873: An article published today that traced the history of laundering clothes from ancient to modern times reported that “the ancient Jews had great regard for cleanliness.  They never sat down to a meal or said a prayer without first washing their hands, and it is only fair to presume that a people who would be so particular in keeping their goodies clean would not be behind in keeping their garments equally spotless and free from taint, the more particularly as among these ancients white garments were the emblems of purity and holiness.

    1874: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted a musical and literary entertainment  this evening at Number 112, West 21st Street in Manhattan.

    1874: Rabbi Schneerson, an American citizen in Palestine, was attacked by a group of Jews at Tiberias. After robbing him, he was imprisoned, stoned, stripped naked and ridden through the streets, barely escaping with his life.

    1878: A theatrical review published today shows the changing view of the Jew, at least in the theatrical community.  Unlike his famous predecessors, the great tragedian Edwin Booth portrays Shylock as man “of well and keen perception.”  “A certain class of critics” now seek Shylock “as a species of hero and martyr who is more worthy of our sympathy and pit than our contempt.”

    1880(25th of Kislev, 5641): First Day of Chanukah

    1880: It was reported today that meetings instigated by the anti-Semitic party are being held in Leipzig.

    1880: It was reported today that the police have torn down placards in south-eastern Berlin “directly inciting the inhabitants to persecute the Jews.”

    1881: New York Congressman Samuel S. Cox returned from his visit to Palestine today on board of the SS Republic. (Four years later Cox resigned his seat in Congress to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, replace Lew Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, the novel with the Jewish prince as its protagonist.)

    1881: “Aid For Hebrew Immigrants” published today described efforts to meet the rising and growing tide of Jewish immigrants Russia.  Leading Jewish citizens in New York have agreed to organize the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society which will be incorporated under the laws of New York State.  Jacob Schiff publicly expressed his opposition to the formation of the group, but most of his co-religionists including Charles L. Bernheim, Jacob Seligman and Frederick Nathan overcame his objections. Baron Maurice de Hirsch has pledged a million pounds to support the efforts of the society to assist in the establishment of agricultural “colonies” which will provide homes and a livelihood for the immigrants.

    1881:  Birthdate of Austrian Stefan Zweig.  Although barely known today, in his time he was a noted poet, essayist and dramatist.  Although he was an assimilated Jew, he could see that Austria was no place for Jews and he fled the country in 1934.  Sadly, he and his wife committed suicide in Brazil in 1942.  They had come to the conclusion that the life was no longer worth living in a world that was spinning a downward spiral.

    1883: It was reported today that “Sir Moses Montefiore is the first Jews that was ever elected to be Sherriff of London.  He was chosen a few days after the succession of Queen Victoria and received the honor of Knighthood at the hands of her Majesty when she visited the city on the following Lord Mayors’ Day.”

    1884: “Hittite Inscriptions” published today provided a detailed review of The Empire of the Hittites by William Wright who contends that these ancient people were contemporaries of the ancient Israelites and were involved in the story of their enslavement in Egypt.

    1884: It was reported today that Reverend Charles H. Eaton has told his congregation that “the sentiment of the Hebrew song sung at the Feasts of Tabernacles” has now come “naturally to our lips upon our Thanksgiving Day.” (Editor’s note – Nice to see that a 19th century Christian source acknowledge the Jewish origins of our most popular secular holiday)

    1885: It was reported today that much to the surprise of her family, Mamie Curran, a Catholic girl, has secretly married a Jewish suitor, John Cohen.  Her father, Edward Curran, is so distraught over the news that he has gone to his room which is  over a local saloon and his refused to leave it.

    1886(1st of Kislev, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1887: It was reported today that German-Jewish author and historian Jacob Auerbach has passed away.

    1887: It was reported today that Daniel Greenleaf Thompson has dedicated his latest book, The Religious Sentiments of the Mind, to “my friend and partner, Oscar S. Straus…”  Straus was a leading figure in the American Jewish community who served as U.S Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

    1888(24th of Kislev, 5649): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  This will not happen again until 2013.

    1888: Baron Hirsch has made a donation of $5,000,000 for schools for Jews in Galicia and Bukovina

    1888: In New York, police began looking for Yetta Reiner, and 18 year old girl who has been in this country for two weeks and has been reported as missing.

    1888: Mrs. Julia Lind challenged the will of her late mother Jettie Lissauer, a Jewess who passed away in December of 1887.

    1889: Two hundred and fifty-eight children who attend the Industrial and Sunday Schools sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities will be eating Thanksgiving dinner today at St. Mark’s Place in New York City.

    1889: The Conference of the Civic, Commercial, Industrial and Educational Bodies will present a silk banner to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society as its annual Thanksgiving festival today at 3 p.m.

    1889: Samuel D. Levy celebrated his birthday today by sending a box of candy to each of the children who attend the schools sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities.

    1889: The Washington Centennial Committee presented a banner to the youngsters at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in recognition of their “excellent marching in the civic parade” that had been held last Spring. Charles Freund accepted the banner on behalf of his schoolmates.  General William T. Sherman spoke to the boys complimenting them on their drilling.

    1889: The cornerstone of the new Temple that will be used by Congregation Zichron Ephraim was laid this afternoon on 67th Street between Lexington and Third avenues.

    1890: Herman Kertscher is under arrest following the accident at yesterday’s annual parade of the boys at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  While driving his wagon, his horse crashed into the parade seriously injuring two boys.  Kertscher “made no effort to stop his horse either before or after the accident.

    1890: A day following the national holiday, Temple Israel of Harlem will host a Thanksgiving Service where the topic of the sermon will be “The Ethics of Gratitude.”

    1892: Engineer George Franjieh presented his plans for a tramway in Jaffa.  The plan, like his one for a new water supply system to Jerusalem, we rejected.

    1892: Baron Hirsch was wounded in the hands and forearm by the explosion of his gun while hunting at Acheres in France.

    1892: The French government was confronted by a demand that the coffin of Baron Reinach be exhumed amid rumors that his death was a sham and that the coffin does not contain his body.

    1893: “New Bill At The Theatres” published a review of the “Merchant of Venice” which found Henry Irving’s portrayal of Shylock to be “fine, subtle, thoughtful” but not his greatest work since “he reached the zenith of his powers some time ago.”  (Irving was one of those who had made a career playing the Jewish banker, providing at one time, a powerful interpretation.)  As in so many earlier productions, Ellen Terry played Portia to Irving’s Shylock.

    1894: “Russian Jews Forgive Russia” published today described a strange ceremony where 400 Jews having attended a memorial service for the late Czar in Paris swore allegiance to his successor, Nicholas II “in the presence of the Russian Consul and the secretary of the Russian Embassy.”

    1895: Three hundred and fifty young ladies attended the Thanksgiving Day Dinner hosted by the Girl’s Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities at St. Marks Place.

    1895: Registrar Ferdinand Levy delivered a speech at the Thanksgiving Service held at the synagogue at 115 East 86th Street entitled “The Jews as a Citizen and Patriot.”

    1895: Rabbi Silverman delivered a sermon at the Temple Emanu-El Thanksgiving Service entitled “The Ethics of American Patriotism.”

    1895: Rabbis Mendes and Harris will speak at the West End Synagogue Thanksgiving Service to which The Young Men’s Hebrew Association and members of Temple Israel of Harlem have been invited.

    1895: Half a dozen Jews including Rabbi Isaac Blankfort “rushed into the Madison Street (Police) State” tonight “and said that two loafers had assaulted them and pulled their beards on East Broadway.”  The police went out and arrested the two after they saw them “striking at every Jew they passed.”

    1896: According to reports published, the Tenth Ward of New York, in spite of its being the most densely crowded area of its size in the world” has “a remarkably low rate” because “its population consisted largely of Hebrews, who were the first race in the world that learned the secret of the ‘length of days’ and have known what not to eat ever since the adoption of the Levitical codes, three or four thousand years ago.

    1898: In Chicago, opening of a charity fair bazaar sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association the proceeds of which will split evening between Michael Reese Hospital and United Hebrew Charities.

    1898: “Jewish Agrarian Colony In Bessarabia Russia” published today descried a law that “has just been promulgated in St. Petersburg for the establishment of a Hebrew agrarian colony on the estate of Baron Horace Guenzburg…which covers about 1,350 acres.”

    1902: In Berlin, Gertrude Sternberg and Dr. Oscar Jolles gave birth to Heinz-Frederic Jolles who gained fame as pianist and composer Henry Jolles.

    1905: Sinn Fein founded today based on the vision of Arthur Griffith whose disciples included Michael Noyk the Lithuanian born Irish-Jewish lawyer who joined shortly after the “Easter Rising.”

    1905: In a letter from U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco to the Algeciras Conference, he stated, "Concurrent testimony positively affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Musselmans….Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions."

    1907:  In Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opened his first movie theater.  From these humble beginnings would come the famed studio MGM.

    1908:  Birthdate of Claude Levi-Strauss.Born in Belgium, Claude Levi-Strauss was the son of an artist, and a member of an intellectual French Jewish family.  He was a popular French anthropologist most well-known for his development of structural anthropology.

    1912: Birthdate of Morris Louis.  Born Morris Louis Bernstein, Louis became one of America’s leading abstract expressionist painters before his untimely death at the age of 49.

    1917:Sigmund Romberg’s revue "Over the Top," premiered in New York City.

    1918: The Jewish Guardian reported that on the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) declared, “Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East.”

    1919: Birthdate of Faye Schulman, the Lenin born photographer who was one of only 26 people spared by the Nazis when they slaughtered the Jews of town including her parents, sisters and younger brother. They did not kill her because they wanted her to develop their pictures of the massacre

    1922: In the Bronx, Sadie "Sonia" Birkenfeld and Harry Eidus, a Latvian born Jewish violinist gave birth to Arnold Eidus, “the first American violinist to win the Jacques Thidbaud Award

    1926:Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a report to the Endowment on his observations in Egypt, Palestine and Greece, made public today, declares that the movement to colonize Palestine with Jews is "unfortunate and visionary," and will in the long run "bring more bitterness and more unhappiness both for the Jew and for the Arab."  According to Dr. Pritchett, “Zionist plans for a national Jewish home in Plaestine…have nothing to commend them and are bound to fail.”  He also wrote despairingly of any attempt to improve the economic conditions in Palestine; attempts which he said were doomed to failure. Nicholas Murray Butler, who is President of the Carnegie Endowment, was responsible for the report being published today.  As President of Columbia, Butler has advocated limiting the enrollment of Jews at Columbia where he has supported a strong quota system.

    1928: Birthdate of Shulamit Aloni. Born in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel, Aloni Served in the Palmach in the War of Independence and gained fame as an attorney, teacher, journalist and the winner of numerous awards including Honorary PhD in Humanities from Hebrew Union College (1994), Honorary PhD of Law from Kon-Kuk University in Seoul (1994),Honorary PhD of Philosophy, Weitzman Institute of Science (1999), Decoration of Honor from the International Academy for Humanism (1996), Honorary PhD from the Free Univeristy in Brussels (1997) and Israel Prize Honoree for special lifetime contribution to Israeli society (2000).

    1932: Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time

    1933(10 of Kislev 5694): Sixty-seven year old Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein died in Jerusalem

    1937(24th of Kislev, 5698): This evening Jews kindled the first Chanukah Candle.

    1939: The Nazi governor-general of Poland established the Judenrat. The Jews were ordered to set up Jewish Councils in every Jewish community in the General Government of Germany. Heydrich ordered that the deportation of 80,000 Jews and Poles should be carried out by December 17.

    1940: The anti-Jewish film Der Ewige Jude, “The Eternal Jew,” was released

    1941: Hitler entertains Hajj Amin al-Husseini. The grand mufti of Jerusalem pledges to cooperate in the extermination of the Jews and offers to enlist Arabs to fight for Germany.

    1943:  Birthdate of singer Randy Newman known for a variety of off-beat ditties including Short People, I Love LA, andRaindrops.

    1943: A testimonial is scheduled to be held tonight to celebrate the 70th birthday of Dr. Louis Ginzberg, the Polish born Talmudist and Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) who has been living in the United States for the last 44 years.  Dr. Louis Finnkelstein, President of the JTS is chairing the committee hosting the event; a committee that includes several notables such Dr. Butler, President of Columbia, Dr. Woodburn, Chancellor of New York University and Dr. Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire.

    1944: As he tried to negotiate the rescue of Hungarian Jews Rudolf Kasztner followed the instructions of the Germans and left for the Germanborder.

    1944: In Budapest, Hungarian Fascist gangs attacked a hospital of Jews, killing 28.

    1946:Three Jewish refugee ships were reported off Haifa tonight, trying to run the Navy-Air Force blockade in a new challenge to British immigration policy.

    1947:In Haifa, the British admit 1,450 Jews from Cyprus, ahead of immigration quota.

    1948 (26th of Cheshvan): Moses Kleinman editor of Ha-Olam, passed away

    1948: Lt. Col. Moshe Dayan and his Arab counterpart met at Government House in Jerusalem. Under UN supervision, the two military commanders worked out the terms of cease fire for the divided holy city.  Once the cease fire was announced soldiers of the Arab Legion danced with joy and Arab refugees returned to the Old City.  All attempts by Jews to pray at the Wall were rebuffed.  As the cease fire took effect Chaim Weitzman returned to the city for the first time in a year.  The first President of Israel comforted the people over the fact that Jerusalem was divided.  “All will come to pass in peace.”

    1948: Birthdate of self-promoting political lobbyist Dick Morris.

    1948: Birthdate of author Bruce Vilanch.

    1948: The Polaroid Land Camera first went on sale, at a Boston department store. The 40 series, model 95 roll film camera went on sale for $89.75. This first model was sold through 1953, and was the first commercially successful self-redeveloping camera system. A sepia-colored photograph took about one minute to produce. Jewish inventor Edwin H. Land had previously demonstrated his invention of instant photography at a meeting of the Optical Society of America on 2 Feb 1947. His first commercial success came in 1939 with his invention of Polaroid filters for lenses in products such as ski goggles, sunglasses and slip-on sunglasses for optical glasses.

    1949: Birthdate of bandleader and David Letterman straight man Paul Shaffer.

    1950: The New York Council of the Pioneer Women is scheduled to have its Chanukah meeting at the home of Mrs. David H. Panitz.

    1950: Oscar Karlweis and Mrs. Irving M. Engel are scheduled to address today’s meeting of the Brooklyn Section of the National Council of Jewish Women being held at Temple Beth Elohim.

    1950: Dr. Henry shoskes is scheduled to address todays meeting of the Abraham Herman Chapter of HIAS.

    1950: The Passaic, NJ Section of Hadassah is scheduled to meet this evening at the Y.M.H.A.

    1953: Birthdate of Homeland Security “Czar” Michael Chertoff

    1954: Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist and Nobel Prize laureate passed away.  Fermi was not Jewish, but his wife was.  He left Europe in 1938 because he was afraid of the fate that awaited her and her family.

    1961: One hundred five Moroccan Jews sailed from Casablanca for Nice on board the French steamship Lyautey.  This marked the beginning of a major exodus of Morrocco's ancient Jewish community.

    1957(5th of Kislev): Dr. Pinchas Churgin, the first president of Bar-Ilan University passed away.

    1962(1st of Kislev, 5723): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1962: Birthdate of Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz who gained fame as Jon Stewart host of the fake news program The Daily Show. Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, the popularity of this late-night show has earned Stewart notoriety as “the most trusted name in fake news,” a sardonic reflection of his stature as the Walter Cronkite for a younger generation. He has also gained attention as an outspoken critic of established news media sources.

    1963(12th of Kislev, 5724): Actress Karyn "Cookie" Kupcinet, daughter of columnist Irv Kupcinet is murdered.  The crime remains unsolved.

    1963(12th of Kislev, 5724): Seventy year old Abba Hillel Silver, who served as Rabbi of The Temple in Cleveland, Ohio and was an ardent Zionist passed away today.

    1966: Birthdate of actor, writer and media commentator Sam Seder

    1966(15th of Kislev, 5727): Seventy year old Russian born physicist who worked with Albert Einstein, and Nathan Rosen, the father of Joe Rosen, passed away today.

    1970: Birthdate of Ran Ben Shimon, the Israeli football (soccer) player who became the manager for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

    1980(20th of Kislev, 5741): Nachum Gutman passed away. Born in 1898, he was a Russian-born Israeli painter, sculptor and author.

    1993(14th of Kislev, 5754): Marvin H. Bernstein, a businessman and philanthropist in New York for many years, died today at the Miami Heart Institute. He was 66 and lived in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was the founder and for 34 years the president of the Variety Knit Corporation of Manhattan, which makes women's clothing and T-shirts. He also founded the Marvin Bernstein Oil Company, a petroleum exploration company with headquarters in Miami.n Mr. Bernstein was a fund-raiser for and a contributor to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the Simon Weisenthal Center, Israel Bonds, the Weitzman Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University and other medical and religious groups.

    1993(14th of Kislev, 5754): Monroe Abbey passed away. Born in 1904, he was a Canadian lawyer specializing in mining law and a Jewish civic leader in Montreal. He was president of Canadian Jewish Congress from 1968 to 1971.He was married to Minnie Cummings. His daughter, Sheila Finestone, was a Member of Parliament and Senator. In 1978, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in recongition for being "devoted community worker who has held office in every important Jewish organization in Montreal".

    1994(25th of Kislev, 5755): First Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the second light

    1994(25th of Kislev, 5755): Jerry Rubin, the 1960s war protester, died in Los Angeles at 56, two weeks after he was hit by a car.

    1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including  A Life on the Stage: A Memoirby Jacob Adler, translated and edited by Lulla Rosenfeld, Carl Sagan: A Lifeby Keay Davidson and Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmosby William Poundstone.

    2001(13th of Kislev, 5762): Kal Mann passed away.  Born Kalman Cohen, the Philadelphia native gained fame for writing lyrics to such rock and roll hits as Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear," Bobby Rydell's "Wild One", and Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again."

    2002(23rd of Kislev, 5763): Three suicide bombers detonated an SUV in the lobby of the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 13 people and injuring 80. Among the dead were three Israeli tourists who presumably were the targets of the attack, and 10 Kenyans, mostly members of a dance troupe. About 20 minutes earlier, two surface-to-air missiles were fired at an Arkia Boeing 757 airliner carrying 271 people, narrowly missing the aircraft, which was taking off from nearby Moi International Airport. The plane was able to land safely in Tel Aviv.

    2004: Juilliard instructor Samuel Zyman praised Jay “Bluejay” Greenberg's talent during a CBS News 60 Minutes broadcast this evening.

    2004: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special interest to Jewish readers including including High Noon In the Cold War: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Max Frankel and Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire by Ann Norton.

    2005: The Jerusalem Postreported from Budapest that the Israeli ambassador to Hungary, David Admon had recognized the efforts of 13 Hungarians and their families to assist Jews during the Holocaust by presenting them with the title of "the Righteous among the Nations." Ten of the 13 honored were awarded the distinction posthumously. The ceremony in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was attended by the president of the National Assembly, Katalin Szili, and the primate of the Catholic Church in Hungary, Cardinal Peter Erdo. Yad Vashem has so far awarded the "Righteous among the Nations title to over 20,000 people worldwide, including 650 in Hungary. Nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during World War II.

    2006: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Schechter Institute Campus in Jerusalem.

    2006(7th of Kislev,5767):Seventy-nine year old “Elliot Welles, a Holocaust survivor who spent the years after World War II as a tireless hunter of Nazis, starting with the man who murdered his mother passed away today at the age of 79. [Information supplied by Margalit Fox, one of the great obituary writers for the New York Times.]

    2006: In a move that would earn him the appellation of “Bigot” from New York Mayor Ed Koch, Dennis Prager “wrote that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be allowed to take his Congressional oath using a Koran because ‘the act undermines American civilization.’” (Apparently Mr. Prager’s Jewish education did not include a study of the problems that Jews in England had in taking their seats in Parliament after being elected.)

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

    2007: “The Land Was Theirs” is shown at the Highstown Memorial Library in Highstown, NJ. “An absorbing documentary about Farmingdale, New Jersey, one of many Jewish farming communities in the United States established with the help of the Jewish Agricultural Society. Spanning more than fifty years, the history of Farmingdale provides a perspective on the pressures, problems, and satisfactions of rural Jewish life as experienced in one community.”

    2007: Social scientist Riane Eisler, Czech born Jewish American author of the influential The Chalice and the Blade, discusses her new book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C

    2008(1st of Kislev, 5769): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2008: Daniel “Barenboim made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for the House's 450th performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.”

    2008: Former government minister and civil rights activist Shulamit Aloni celebrates her 80th birthday.

    2008: The centenary of the legendary French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss is celebrated in Paris. As a centenary celebration of a legend, however, it is rather unusual, as the birthday boy is very much alive and well at this time. (He passed away on October 30, 2009.),0,890035.story

    2008: Indian commandos were dropped by helicopter on the roof of the besieged Chabad headquarters in Mumbai as Indian snipers at the site opened fire early Friday morning. Sharpshooters in buildings opposite the headquarters of Chabad began shooting early Friday as a helicopter circled overhead. Meanwhile, there were at least three blasts in the building Friday, as militants were believed to be holed up inside - possibly with hostages - but the situation still remained murky. Approximately 5.000 Jews live in Mumbai. This does not include the large number of Jewish visitors to the city, including a large number of Israelis on their way to visit other tourist sites on the subcontinent. Where there are Jews, there is Chabad.  In this case the Chabad House is run by Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, from Brooklyn and his Israeli born wife.  In response to requests from Chabad, Jews around the world recite Psalm 20 as they wait for further word on the fate of their co-religionists facing this nightmare.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Noah Thalblum is called to the Torah as Bar Mitzvah at Shabbat Morning Services.

    2010: Today Germany's main Jewish group elected its first leader born after the Holocaust, a 60-year-old businessman who promised to focus the organization more on contemporary Jewish life. Dieter Graumann was born in Israel in 1950, the son of Jewish refugees who moved to Germany two years later He said after his unanimous election by the board of the Central Council of Jews in Frankfurt that he wants to focus on the positive aspects of Jewish existence in Germany, including "the joy of life,"

    2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Dealings: A Political and Financial Life by Felix Rohatyn and I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron.

    2010: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim

    2010: Party Like A Jew is scheduled to come to an end in Brussels, Belgium.

    2010: Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza resumed rocket fire on the Western Negev this morning, striking near Sderot.

    2010(21st of Kislev, 5771): Eighty-nine year old “Samuel T. Cohen, the physicist who invented the small tactical nuclear weapon known as the neutron bomb, a controversial device designed to kill enemy troops with subatomic particles but leave battlefields and cities relatively intact, died today at his home in Los Angeles”  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to host “Finding A Lost Tribe of Israel: The Bnei Menashe of India,” a program in which “the Bnei Menashe community, along with Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund, tell the remarkable story of how this lost tribe is finally coming home.”

    2011: President Shimon Peres, under the instructions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left for Amman today to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II, to discuss stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    2011: The IDF returned fire on the source of at least three rockets fired into northern Israel from Lebanon tonight.

    2012: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is scheduled to present its legislative agency at tonight’s “Northern Virginia Legislators’ Reception at the JCCNVa

    2012(14th of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-six year old New York real estate and newspaper tycoon Jerry Finkelstein passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2012: The French Institute American Alliance Française is scheduled to host a reception prior to the opening of “Haim Shelley Part One & Two” which “presents works by Brigitte NaHoN from 1999 to the present, a period when the artist lived in New York and immigrated to Tel Aviv.”

    2012: "The convulsions of the Arab Spring may be driving the American public’s support for Israel to new highs, according to a poll released today by the Washington-based group The Israel Project."

    2012: Today "Germany announced its opposition to the Palestinian bid to upgrade its status at the United Nations to a nonmember state, but did not indicate whether it would vote against or merely abstain."

    2013(25thof Kislev, 5774): First Day of Chanukah

    2013: Thanksgiving – for the first time since 1888, the first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving coincide.  In 1888 it happened on November 29.


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    November 29

    800: Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. Leo and Charlemagne were allies.  Charlemagne would exonerate Leo of the charges and Leo would crown Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  This was “good for the Jews” since Charlemagne was protective of his Jewish subjects at  a time when many were using the sword of Constantine to advance the cause of the Cross of Christ.

    1394: Massacre of the Jews of Augsburg Germany.

    1424: According to some sources, Anti-Pope Benedict XIII passed away.  In an attempt to curry favor and consolidate his position, Benedict conducted an aggressive program of forced conversion among Jews that included the issuance of a Bull that prohibited study of the Talmud, banned Jews from holding public office, practicing medicine, engaging in crafts, trading or bathing with Christians, wear a red or yellow badge and compelled them listen to at least three sermons a year during Advent.

    1655: The Brazilian/Dutch Jews of New Amsterdam make an application for a license to enter the fur trade.  It was later denied

    1777: San Jose, California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. Jews began to play an active role in the affairs of San Jose at the time of the Gold Rush in 1849.  San Jose History - San Jose's Jewish Community

    1790: The Jews of Hungary handed a petition, in which they presented their claims to equality with other citizens, to King Leopold II at Vienna

    1797: Seventy-four Reverend Samuel Langdon, the former President of Harvard College passed away today. As can be seen by a sermon he preached in the New Hampshire Legislature “The Republic of the Israelites an Example to the American States” who believed that the Old Testament and the ancient Hebrews provided the foundation of the democracy being championed in the newly formed United States.  He saw “Moses as a destroyer of tyranny” and the seventy men appointed chosen to assist Moses as the prototype for a “Senate.”

    1806: Napoleon wrote to Minister of the Interior Champagny, “[It is necessary to] reduce, if not destroy, the tendency of Jewish people to practice a very great number of activities that are harmful to civilization and to public order in society in all the countries of the world. It is necessary to stop the harm by preventing it; to prevent it it is necessary to change the Jews. [...] Once part of their youth will take its place in our armies, they will cease to have Jewish interests and sentiments; their interests and sentiments will be French.”

    1809(21st of Kislev, 5570): Moses Seixas passed away.  Born in New York in 1744, the eldest son of Isaac Mendez Seixas was one of the founders (1795) of the Newport Bank of Rhode Island, of which he was cashier until his death. He addressed a letter of welcome in the name of the congregation to George Washington when the latter visited Newport, and it was to him that Washington's answer was addressed.

    1812:Napoleon's Grand Army crossed the Berezina River in its retreat from Russia.  The retreat marked the real end of Napoleon.  It also marked the end of new found freedom that Jews had begun to experience in most of Germany, Italy and Russia as the French Armies marched across these lands bringing the message of “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality”  on the tips of their bayonets.

    1820:  In New York City, first publication ofIsrael Vindicated by an anonymous author who styled him or herself as “An Israelite.”   “The work was ‘a refutation of the calumnies propagated respecting the Jewish nation; in which the objects and views of the American Society for Ameliorating the Condition of the Jews are investigated.’” The original subtitle also contained the additional words “‘and reasons assigned for rejecting the Christian religion.’” In his monograph entitled “The Freethinker, the Jews and the Missionaries,” Professor Jonathan Sarna contends that the book was the work of a freethinker named George Houston who was assisted by a Jewish printer named Abraham Collins.

    1830: The November Uprising also known as the Cadet Uprising begins in Warsaw when a group of Polish non-commissioned officers began an unsuccessful attempt to throw off the yoke of Russian rule. Josef Berkowicz, whose father had commanded a Jewish legion in the 1794 Uprising and who had fought alongside his father in the Battle of Kock, was a leader in what would prove to be another failed attempt to gain Polish independence.

    1845: On Shabbat Toldoth, Rabbi Lilienthal delivered a sermon in German at the Henry Street Synagouge in New York City.  Dr. Lilenthal, who had only recently arrived in the United States, had been invited to address the congregation.

    1853: Reverend Francis N. Vinton, D. D delivered a lecture entitled "The Merchant, or the Progress and Influence of Commerce" during which he stated that the Jews had invented the first bills of exchange in 1160.  This invention was so important that soon it would be impossible to transact business without using them.  Furthermore, the Jews created one of the first banks, at Boscoe, but it was used merely as depository for Gold. (Boscoe was probably a city in Italy.)

    1855: Most of the Jews of New York City celebrated Thanksgiving today by “eating hearty dinners” and giving thanks “in private.”

    1855: During his Thanksgiving Day sermon, Rabbi Morris Raphael rebuked New York’s Governor Clarke for issuing a proclamation inviting “only patriots and Christians to keep Thanksgiving.” At the same time, he commended Mayor Wood for inviting “all the people” to join in observing the holiday.

    1855: Rabbi S.M. Isaacs delivered the sermon during Thanksgiving Day services at Shaaray Tefillah, the synagogue on Wooster Street.

    1856: A pro-Zionist meeting was held in Great Britain at the Great Assembly Hall of Miles End. There was a "great rush into the building" with most seats taken quickly. The meeting was presided over by Dr. M. Gaster, Chief Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation, and among those present were Sir Francis Montefiore.

    1858: It was reported from Boston that the Jews of that city have a held a meeting to express their outrage over what has happened in Bologna. “The theft of the child is an outrage of the worst kind and shows there are men in the old Church ready to go as far as did their predecessors of the old days, when the Inquisition was a great fact, and a very disagreeable one, too.”  [This refers to the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara which had taken place in Bologna and became known as the Mortara Affair.]

    1859: Lazarus Simon, the son of English coal merchant Simon Magnus accepted a commission as a Captain in the newly formed 4th Corps of the 1st Brigade of the Kent Voluntary Artillery

    1860: In San Francisco, “The Episcopalians, the Roman Catholics and the Jews, all opened their churches…” for the celebration of Thanksgiving.  The Jewish Church is probably a reference to Congregation Sherith Israel and Congregation Emanu-El. Sherith Israel which was founded in 1849 had about 110 members and consecrated its first synagogue which was located on Stockton Street in September of 1852. Emanu-El which followed the Reform minchag had about 260 members and dedicated it sanctuary in 1854.

    1861: In New York Leopold and Kate gave to attorney David Gerber who became a partner of Judge A.J. Dittenhoefer. 

    1862: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Louis and Emma (Goodhart) Heinsheimer gave birth to Stella Heinshier.  In 1894 she married J. Walter Freiberg, a partner in Frieberg and Workum, Distillers.  As Stella Heinshier Frieberg she pursued her two passions – “helping the arts flourish in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, and furthering the growth of Reform Judaism—and the role of women in it—in the United States and Western Europe..” (As reported by Laura Lieber)

    1862: Phoebe Yates Levy Pember wrote a letter to her sister indicating that she was “to take charge of one of the hospitals at Richmond.” In December 1862, she reported for duty at Chimborazo, a hospital for the care of Confederate soldiers in Richmond, Virginia, reputed to be the largest military hospital in the world up to that time. Pember oversaw nursing services in one of the hospital's five divisions. In this role, she was responsible for the medical and dietary needs of over 15,000 men. Pember had grown up in a prosperous and acculturated family in Charleston, South Carolina. Along with her siblings, she was strongly identified with the Confederate cause and received the invitation to serve as matron of Chimborazo Hospital from the wife of the Confederate secretary of war. In A Southern Woman's Story: Life in Confederate Richmond, published in 1879, Pember described daily life at Chimborazo, detailing the poor state of the Confederate medical facilities. Despite resistance to her authority, Pember's spirit and determination overcame many obstacles. At the end of the war in April 1865, Mrs. Pember stayed at her post so that her patients might be cared for during the transition from Confederate to federal control. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1867: Future Medal of Honor winner George Geiger “reenlisted with Troop M, of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, todayin St. Louis, Missouri.”

    1872: George Gieger completed his enlistment and was discharged at Unionville, SC

    1869(25th of Kislev, 5630): First Day of Chanukah; for the first time Jews celebrate the Festival of Lights under President Grant, who received a majority of the Jewish vote.

    1870: It was reported today that Governor Hoffman will deliver an opening address at the upcoming Hebrew Fair designed to raise funds for Mount Sinai Hospital and Hebrew Orphan Asylum

    1870: In New York, Henry Hissig, a German-born Hebrew went on trial for violating New York’s new seduction law.  He is accused of having seduced his cousin, Ida Schwab.

    1873: Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr. begins serving as a member of the New Cavalry Outfit Board.

    1873: It was reported today that members of Adas Jeshrun and Anshi Chesed, two Jewish Temples in Manhattan, have been meeting to discuss the possibility of consolidation. Anshi Chesed has over 100 members while Adas Jeshrun has approximately 300 members. Some of the sticking points revolve around finances with Anshi Chesed being in $110,000 in debt from the construction of a new sanctuary. The other points of contention revolve around ritual. Adas Jeshrun is not in favor of many of the reforms adopted by other Temples.  Prayer is in Hebrew and heads are covered during services.  Anshi Chesed favors reform.  Services are held in German and there is a movement to begin using English.  And heads are uncovered during services.

    1874: An article published today entitled “Influences of Judaism on Early Christianity” shows that acknowledging the Jewish origins of Christianity becomes a negative in the conflict between Protestants and Catholics.  “There is no question that the earliest Christian Church was a Hebrew Church. There is also no question that it was an offshoot from this Hebrew Church which planted itself with exceptional vigor at Rome; and that hence Roman Christianity from that time to this, has been strongly tinctured with Jewish elements, has blazed with Jewish intolerance, delighted in Jewish gorgeousness, and fallen a victim to Jewish realism; while Pauline or Augustinian or Protestant idealism has struggled manfully…to overcome the deep weight of these lower ingredients…and to assert for intelligence and freedom their true place in the Church.”

    1874: The New York Times defended itself charges leveled in the Jewish Messenger that the paper’s use of the term “Jew” was one of derision or insult.  The Times contended that it was merely using it as an identification of national origin or ancestry in the same way that that it uses the term to American or Englishman.  The Times identifies lawbreakers as Jewish and does not do so with Christian lawbreakers, because absent the statement of distinction, it is assumed the criminal is a Christian.

    1878: It was reported today that government of Romania has continued to fail to honor its pledges concerning the treatment of Jews given to the Great Powers when they met in Berlin. “Unless the some of the treat power can be induced” to take direct action “It is likely that the Romanian Jews will be no better off in the immediate future they have been in the past.

    1879(14th of Kislev, 5640): Mr. S.L. Lewis passed away today in the Sandwich Islands. (This may be the first reported death of a Jew in what is now Hawaii).

    1880: It was reported today that “a petition has been presented to Prince Bismarck to restrict the civil rights of the Jews and repeal the absolute equality enjoyed by them with German.” The petition sent to the Chancellor is filled with complaints that Jews “are rapidly getting rich as merchants, landed proprietors and capitalists” and that if left unchecked within a generation Jews “will be lording it over the Teutons” i.e. the true Germans. 

    1881: It was reported today that I. Albert Engelhart is the President of the newly incorporated Hebrew Society for the Improvement of the Sanitary Condition of the Poor.  Uriah Hermann and Alfred Steckler are the vice presidents of the society which is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the immigrant and poor in New York.  Among other things, the society will work for the construction of “good tenements” that will be healthful home and to “prevent the adulteration” of their food.

    1883: Miss Lillie Bernheimer treated 170 children attending the Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities to turkey dinner in honor of Thanksgiving.

    1884(11th of Kislev, 5645): Fifty-seven year old, Levi Goldenberg  A native of Frankfort, he came to the Baltimore, MD in 1845 before eventually moving to New York where he became a leading lace merchant, as one of the principles of Goldenberg Brothers &Co.  Goldenberg was a noted philanthropist and was a founding member of Temple Beth-El

    1885: It was reported today that there has been a clash between a band of Austrian Gypsies and a Jes living in village in Bessarabia.

    1885: A review of The Religion of Philosophy or The Unification of Knowledge by Raymond S Perrin published today points out that the “Hebrew Religion has a chapter to itself.”

    1886: It was reported today that there are approximately 6,300,000 Jews in the world today, two and a half million of whom live in the European part of the Russian Empire.  There are 63,000 Jews living in France while there are 562,000 Jews living in France.  Ironically, 39,000 of them live in Alsac-Lorraine which means the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War reduced France’s Jewish population by about one third.

    1887: It was reported today the Reverend E. D. Simons of Bloomfield, NJ, will present a paper entitled “Why the Jews Crucified Christ” next week.

    1887: A national meeting of Reform Rabbis came to a close in New York City today. 

    1887: Seventy-eight year old Dr. Samuel Adler, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-El “gave a dissertation on the benedictions with which ritual is interspersed “tracing them back “Ezra and the return from the Babylonian Capitivty.”

    1888(25th of Kislev, 5649): For Jews a double header – first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving

    1888: At Temple Beth-El in New York, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler will deliver a sermon entitled “What does America owe to the Jews and what the Jew to America at today’s Thanksgiving  Services

    1888(25th of Kislev, 5649): First Day of Chanukah

    1888: It was reported today that the late Mrs. Jette Lissauer named the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum as two of her beneficiaries in her will provided that the patients and students say Kaddish on her Yarhtzeit. 

    1888: It was reported today that Yetta Reiner, an 18 year old Jewish girl who arrived in the United States two weeks ago was last seen on November 26 talking to a man on the corner of Hester and Norfolk Streets who promised to find her a job.

    1888: It was reported today from Vienna, that “Baron Hirsch has made a donation of $5,000,000 for schools for Jews in Galicia and Bukovina.”

    1889: It was reported today that one of “little girls” under the care of the United Hebrew Charities read a poem to Samuel D. Levy yesterday “congratulating him on having his birthday on Thanksgiving Day, so that he could celebrate with Turkey.”

    1889: It was reported today that the new synagogue being built on 67thStreet between Lexington and Third avenue “will be known as the Ephraim Memorial in honor of the late Ephraim Weil,” whose sons have contributed heavily to the building fund.  In Hebrew, the congregation is called Zichron Ephraim.(The congregation lives on today as Park East Synagogue. The orthodox congregation is led by Rabbi Bernard Drachman.

    1889: It was reported that the 600 children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum “ate about six hundred pounds of turkey at their Thanksgiving dinner” and consumed “enough cake and ice cream and candy to freight a ship. (The reference to Turkey and ice cream makes wonder about the Kashrut at this esteemed institution supported by such Jewish luminaries as Jesse Seligman and Oscar Straus)

    1892: In France, during the investigation of the scandal surrounding the failed attempt to build the Panama Canal the Chamber of Deputies heard testimony that Charles de Lesseps had said that among those whom he paid to influence the price of his company’s stock were the Jews who “offered to assist when new issues were announced” because they were “able to praise or decry according to the sums received.”  ( Frenchmen were always willing to blame Jews every time one of their financial bubbles burst and the public’s view of Jews as conniving manipulators was instrumental in creating the environment that gave birth to the Dreyfus affair).

    1893: Plans were published today for the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities Society.

    1894(1st of Kislev, 5655): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1894: Thanksgiving

    1894: “To Humanity,” the new Hamilton place wing of the Montefiore Home was dedicated today in New York.  The Montefiore Home had been dedicated ten years earlier as part of the Centennial Celebration honoring Sir Moses Montefiore. Among the speakers were Jacob Schiff and Charles S. Fairchild who noted “how appropriate it was to have the celebration on Thanksgiving Day.”

    1895: According to evidence presented today at the Harlem Court, Solomon Riens a resident of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews right to vote was challenged by Eugene Frayer because the institution received tax money which meant he was a public charge and this not eligible to vote. The unanswered question is why the other 12 residents of the Home were allowed to vote without any challenge.

    1895: Twenty-seven year old Daniel Ryan and 36 year old Daniel Healy were charged with “Jew baiting” in Essex Market Court after the police observed them striking at every Jew they passed on East Broadway.

    1895: It was reported today that attendance of the Girl’s Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities averages 250 students a day.



    1896: James Loeb will deliver a lecture at the Hebrew Institute on “Civic Life in Greece.”

    1896: The funeral for former State Senator Joseph C. Wolff will take this place this morning at Temple Ahawath Chesed at Lexington and 55th.

    1897: Birthdate of Alfred K. Stern, the Fargo, ND, native who marred Martha Dodd Stern, the daughter of William E. Dodd FDR’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. She became a foe of the Nazis and fascism and he joined her in her efforts which led to them being named as suspected spies for the Soviet Union.

    1897: Herzl outlines his ideas for the "Jewish Colonial Bank" in a letter to Max Nordau.

    1897: “Jews In United States” published today included information in the recently issued sixth publication of the American Jewish Historical Society that featured an article by Philadelphian David Sulzberger entitled “Growth of the of the Jewish Population in the United States.”

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    1898: The outbreak of measles among the children of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which began on November 5 “has been checked” according to Superintendent Baar.

    1898: Birthdate of C.S. Lewis


    1902:  Birthdate of Italian painter and novelist Carlo Levi

    1910: Birthdate of Austrian born Anglo-Jewish  scholar Walter Ullman who specialized in “medieval political thought and legal theorgy.”

    1918(25th of Kislev, 5679): First Day of Chanukah and the first Chanukah celebrated after four years of World War.

    1918: It was reported today that Dr. Stephen S. Wise will serve as chairman of the delegation that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is sending to Europe to deal with “many questions concerning” the Zionist movement that have arisen in Europe.  The delegation includes Mrs. Joseph Fels, Louis Robinson, Dr. Shmarya Levin and the Chicago attorney Bernard Flexner. (This delegation was being sent as the world prepared for the Peace Conference at Versailles which was intended to formally end the World War and lay the groundwork for a new world order based on Wilson’s 14 Points. Among other things, the Jews wanted to make sure that the victors honored the promises of the Balfour Declaration and took measures to protect the Jews living in the former Austrian, German and Russian empires.

    1919: In Montreal, Louis and Anna Weider gave birth to Josef Weider who gained fame as bodybuilder Joe Weider the creator of “an empire of muscle magazines, fitness equipment, doubtful dietary supplements and Olympic-style contests featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1926: In responding to publication of the report of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who asserted that the movement to colonize Palestine with Jews is ""unfortunate and visionary," Congressman Emanuel Celler maintained that Dr. Pritchett went to Palestine to find a flare and was surprised to find success.  He said that disparage Palestine now was ‘childish,’ that it has been sanctioned and encouraged by the League of Nations. ‘To call the Jews an egotistical nation without capacity of cooperation, with the rest of the world, is akin to insult and belies the history and tradition of the Jews.’ [Editor’s Note:  An early version of anti-Zionism meets anti-Semitism.

    1926: At tonight’s meeting of the Jewish National Fund at Cooper Union, Bernard A. Rosenblatt responded to “the adverse report of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett on Zionism in Palestine…declared that the fundamentals of economic prosperity exited in Palestine and they would be fully developed.”

    1928: Birthdate of Shulamit Aloni an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.


    1930: This evening “a prominent member of the Revisionists’ Central Committee…said that Jabotinsky’s party would not agree to negotiate with the British Government on the basis of the present white paper. The Revisionists also will not negotiate with the Arabs as long as they continue to demand the abolition of the Balfour Declaration, revocation of the Palestine mandate and the denial of right Jews to repopulate Palestine as a national homeland.

    1933: Birthdate of Dr. David Reubenauthor of Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex

    1936: Germany's Minister of Agriculture, Walther Darré, declares that democracy and liberalism were invented by the Jews.

    1936: The National Council for Palestine adopted a resolution which was sent today to the British Royal Commission now meeting in Jerusalem ask that it “it embody in its findings the policies of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which pledged Great Britain to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.”

    1937(25th of Kislev, 5698): First day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the second light.

    1937: Today’s edition of Time magazine describes the fate of Arnold Bernstein at the hands of his Nazi jailers.

    Greying Arnold Bernstein, 47, son of an old-time Saxon shipper, served with distinction as a German artillery officer during the War, was decorated with the Iron Cross, First Class. Back in Germany after the War he evolved the scheme of fitting modern freighters with automobile elevators so that U. S. cars could be exported to Europe uncrated and unscratched. So successful was this that Bernstein "floating garages'' have long carried over 60% of all U. S. automobile exports, made enough money for sole Owner Arnold Bernstein to allow him to buy out the American-Belgian-British Red Star Line and incidentally bring into Nazi Germany thousands of dollars yearly in much needed foreign exchange. Bernstein passenger agents find their boats are "very popular with intellectuals who object to the snobbishness of Cabin Class." Partly because of his personal popularity and War record, Shipper Arnold Bernstein was left in control of his business much longer than most Jewish tycoons. Finally last January, Nazi extremists forced the Government's hand. Arnold Bernstein and four of his managers (three Jewish), were clapped into jail, charged with "economic sabotage" through infringing German foreign exchange regulations. While he sat in jail Bernstein's 21-month-old Palestine Shipping Co. went into receivership "because the Jews deserted me," says Prisoner Bernstein, and Japanese bought for $150,000 its auctioned steamer Tel Aviv. Last week in Hamburg the trial of Arnold Bernstein began. Of all the eight charges in a 88-page indictment against Shipper Bernstein the gravest was that several years ago he set aside in Manhattan banks a fund from the Arnold Bernstein & Red Star Lines' profits to be held for a rainy day of the two lines (whose two chief creditors are the Erie R. R. and Chemical Bank & Trust Co.). This entire sum was returned to Germany some months ago. Hamburg lawyers scoffed at news stories that Bernstein "faces death," expected him to get anything from a five-year jail sentence to pardon. Since the arrest of Arnold Bernstein, Herman Kollmar, the director of his Red Star Line and his executor, has been in amicable contact with Minister President & Economic Director Hermann Goring, seeking a pardon, showing Ford and Studebaker company letters urging clemency. Mr. Kollmar denied rumors that the German Government has taken or plans to take over the Bernstein Line, admitted these rumors have caused many cancellations.

    1937: The Habima Hebrew Players open their third week of their season at London’s Savoy Theatre with a performance of “The Wandering Jews.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a police tender was ambushed and a British constable was killed near Nazareth. A Jewish worker was wounded when a bus was shot at near Nahalal, at the same spot where two Jewish shepherds were murdered and their flocks stolen a year earlier.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that there were very favorable, frequently enthusiastic reports on the series of performances given by the Habimah theater troupe on its visit to London. In the midst of Arab terrorism the Jewish community to develop its artistic, social and political institutions.

    1938: Establishment of the 29th“tower and stockade” kibbutz, Mishmar Zevulun which would be moved to a new site in 1940 and renamed Kfar Masaryk in honor of the first President of Czechoslovakia.

    1939: Heydrich commented on the first stages of the Final Solution declaring that "The factor determining the pace of the evacuation is the Evacuation Plan."   Nothing would slow down the ultimate march to the Death Camps.

    1939: SS chief Heinrich Himmler orders the death penalty for German Jews who refuse to report for deportation.

    1940: On his own initiative, Dutch Physicist Leonard Ornstein withdrew his membership of the Dutch Physical Society

    1941: Fredrich Jecekeln made held a final planning session with is senior commander where he told them that “the extermination of the Jews was their patriotic duty” and that nobody would be excused from participating in the upcoming liquation of the ghetto.

    1941: Karl Heise made with the Protective Police and told them of their role in tomorrows “resettlement of the Jews in the Riga Ghetto, a term they all knew meant a mass killing.

    1941: The Latvian militia and police received their final instructions as to their role in the upcoming liquidation of the ghetto. (The Nazis could always count on local accomplices during the Shoah)

    1941: Jan Peerce (b. Yakob Perelmuth) “made his much acclaimed debut at the Met” at the same time when his brother-in-law Richard Tucker was trying to start a small business and working at Temple Adath Israel in the Bronx.

    1941: Kovno Massacre of the Ghetto. Estimated 10,600 people would be killed over the next few days.

    1942: The Jewish Fighting Organization of the Warsaw Ghetto assassinated the economic head of the Jewish Council who was an active German collaborator

    1942: The U.S. Drum, a submarine serving in the Pacific, began its fourth war patrol with future Admiral Maurice Rindskopf serving as Torpedo and Gunnery Officer.

    1942: Friedrich Rehmer, a member of the Red Orchestra, who was in the Brietz military hospital recovering from a severe war wound sustained on the Eastern Front was arrested today and taken from the hospital. Eventually, he would be killed for his role in the resistance.

    1943: “50,000 Kiev Jews Reported Killed” published today provides a firsthand account of the slaughter at Babi Yar and the attempts to cover it up by the Nazis.  It is worth reading in its entirety because it puts the lie to the notion that people did not know about the slaughter of the Jews until after the war was over.

    1946: British Court in Palestine rejects a petition to prevent deportation of Jews to Cyprus

    1946: Szapsel (Shabtai ) Rotholc, the Polish-Jewish boxer, “was expelled from the Jewish community for a period of two years; his civil rights in the community were rescinded for a further three years.” (As reported by Uri Talshir)

    1947: In one of the most historic moments in Jewish history, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to accept the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).  UNSCOP recommended the partition of Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab with Jerusalem to governed by an international authority.  The vote was thirty-three in favor, thirteen against and ten abstentions.  In a rare moment of Cold War solidarity, both the United States and the Soviet Union supported the UNSCOP plan which guaranteed the creation of the state of Israel in May of 1948.  One other recommendation of the UNSCOP plan was the opening of a port on February 1, 1948 to Jewish immigrants.  Almost three years after the ovens of the Holocaust had cooled, boatloads of displaced persons would finally have a final destination.  When news of the partition vote reached the public, “there were celebrations in New York, in Palestine, wherever Jews lived.  Traffic stopped in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as people danced in the streets until the early hours of the morning.”  In the words of Rabbi Isaac Herzog,  “After a darkness of two thousand years, the dawn of redemption has broken.”  Arabs say they are not bound by decision and charge that U.S. and Soviet Union coerced smaller countries to vote for partition.[ Starting on the next day, the Arabs responded with violence that would continue until the end of the mandate and unfortunately has continued literally to this day in the 21stcentury]

    1947:Edis De Philippe mounted a gala performance of selections from operas, which was soon followed by a full production of Thaïs in which she performed the title role (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1947: Despite having virtually no Jewish population or tie to the Yishuv, Iceland is among nations voting for the Partition Plan creating a Jewish state.

    1947: The annual convention of Junior Hadassah, the young women's Zionist organization of America, at its concluding session today, received from Dr. Chaim Weizmaiin, former president of the World Zionist Organization, a call for young men and women, "who are nurtured in western methods and standards" to "further the building of the (Jewish) state."

    1948: Israel applied for admission to the United Nations.

    1948: Stanton Griffis was appointed Director of the UNRPR.

    1949: Birthdate of comedian Garry Shandling.

    1949: Israelis pause to celebrate  anniversary of the United Nations partition resolution.  Zipporah Porath, a nurse working in Haifa, wrote to her parents living in the United States describing the proud parade of Israel’s newly minted soldiers.

    1953: As the holiday season begins, which in America means a meshing of Christmas and Chanukah, International Records has released “Holiday Time,” a record combining music from both holidays. The record is designed “to promote better human relations through an understanding of the general cultural significance of Christmas and Chanukah” while avoiding mentioning the theological differences between the two holidays.

     1953: Birthdate of Moshe Igvy, the native of Casablanca, who has become one of Israel’s leading directors and actors.

    1953: It was reported today that Kinor Records has released “Chanukah Music Box” just in time for the holiday season.  Designed as a participation record for children, it features music written and sung by Shirley R. Cohen, with narration by Eli Gamliel and musical accompaniment by Helen Schraeter.

    1954:Birthdate of Joel Coen. Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers, are Jewish-American film director best known for their quirky comedies such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, as well as for darker film noir dramas such as Fargo and Blood Simple. The brothers write, direct and produce their films jointly, alternating top billing for the screenplay. Until recently, Joel received sole credit for directing the films, and Ethan for producing, but the two brothers work so closely together and share such a strong vision of what their films are to be that actors report that they can approach either brother with a question and get the same answer. The brothers are known in the film business as "the two-headed director."

    1954: On this cold and rainy night Esther Borenstein was on duty when a "mosquito" plane was hit by lightning and crashed while landing. Esther ran towards the burning plane, rescuing the badly injured navigator. Although ammunition on the plane began to explode, Esther did not hesitate and ran in again to rescue the pilot, Ya'akov Shalmon. When they reached a hiding spot, the entire plane blew up. Esther was awarded a Badge of Courage for this operation by Moshe Dayan, then Highest in Command of the IDF. Esther was born in Bulgaria, and during the Second World War, her family was ousted to Italy. As early as her childhood, Esther always loved the Land of Israel, and at age 11, left her home in an attempt to come to Israel. At 16, she indeed arrived, with her brother, and shortly afterwards, in spite of her early age, joined the Israel Defense Forces.  She joined the Air Force, completed a medic's course, and viewed army service as an honor and not a duty. After completing her army service, Esther continued to work as a nurse with the Israeli Red Cross, and was the first female ambulance driver in the country. Later, she looked for a job that would express her love for the country and chose to be a tour guide. At that same time, the 6-Day War broke out, and Esther joined the paratroopers, where under constant fire and shelling, she tended to injured soldiers, receiving the nickname "Angel of the Paratroopers". She volunteered during the Yom Kippur war as well, and in 1973, she received the Medal of Honor for saving the pilot. In February 2003, she passed away during a trip to Italy, and was buried there at her family's request. In February 2005, Bridges of Viewpoint was built in memory of Esther Borenstein on a quiet corner on the banks of the Jordan River, opposite the basalt arches of the 2,000 year old Roman-era bridge.

    1956:  Birthdate of actor and comedian Howie Mandel

    1957(6th of Kislev, 5718): ComposerErich Wolfgang Korngold passed away.Korngold was born in an assimilated Jewish home in Brno, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic), the son of the music critic Julius Korngold, and studied music under Alexander von Zemlinsky and Robert Fuchs. Gustav Mahler, upon meeting the young Erich, called him a "musical genius." He had success in Europe with his opera Die tote Stadt (1920) among other pieces before moving to the United States in 1934, where he wrote a number of highly regarded film scores. He continued to write concert music in a rich, Romantic style, with a violin concerto among his notable later works. In 1943, Korngold became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He died in Hollywood, California.

    1957:  The three-day dedication program of the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue, the Baron Hirsch Synagogue of Memphis, starts today.

    1959: Birthdate of Rahm Emanuel the son of a former member of the Irgun and civil rights activist who went on to represent  the Fifth District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives  and serve as White House Chief of Staff under  President Barak Obama before being elected Mayor of Chicago.

    1962(2nd of Kislev, 5723):  Rav Aaron Kotler famed Orthodox Talmudic scholar passed away.

    1969(19th of Kislev, 5730): Yakov Grigorevich Kreizer, a general in the Soviet Army passed away today at the age of 64.  His promotion to the rank of general “apparently made him the highest ranking Jewish military figure in the Soviet Union since Leon Trotsky organized the Red Army after the Bolshevik Revolution.”  Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Kreizer took command of the 1st Moscow Motorized Infantry and fought forces under Heinz Guderian to a virtual stand-still giving other Soviet forces a chance to regroup. He was designated a Hero of the Soviet Union for his efforts.

    1969: In Massachusetts, the Marblehead School Department has banned all religious reference to Christmas and Hanukah in the town’s public school. The decision prohibits the exchange of gifts and any decorations in connection with either holiday.  The policy comes in response to complaints by the American Civil Liberties Union about the religious aspects of the Christmas activity and numerous complaints from Jewish parents protesting their children’s involvement in school holiday activities.

    1972: A Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” the creation of Geroge S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, was broadcast by NBC today.

    1975(25th of Kislev, 5736): Ze’ev Beret was killed when his F-4E Phantom II Jet spun out of control and crashed.

    1975(25th of Kislev, 5736): First Day of Chanukah; light the second candle in the evening

    1977:The Jerusalem Post reported that in reply to President Anwar Sadat’s appeal, Israel named Eliahu Ben-Elissar and Meir Rosenne as members of the Israeli negotiating team to the proposed Cairo Conference, which was expected to prepare ground for the reconvened Geneva Peace Conference. Israel joined the fervent Egyptian appeal to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon for their participation, but they uniformly rejected Sadat’s initiative. The US continued to study the Egyptian invitation.

    1979(9th of Kislev, 5740): Zeppo Marx, one of the Marx Brothers, passed away.

    1981(3rd of Kislev, 5742): Fredric Wertham, German-born, American psychologist passed away.  During the 1950’s, in what seems like a laughable episode half a century later, many Americans became convinced that comic books were the cause of juvenile delinquency.  “This anti-comic book sentiment led in the spring of 1954 to the publication of The Seduction of the Innocent,based on Jewish psychologist Frederic Wertham's seven-year-long study of the effects of comic books on America's youth. Dr. Wertham condemned most of the genre--especially crime and horror comics--for having contributed to juvenile delinquency. As the outcry following the publication of Seduction of the Innocent grew, so did the call for government intervention. The Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary opened in Manhattan federal court on April 21, 1954.” (Ed. Note: I must confess that my brother and I were eager consumers of comic books during this period.)

    1984: Gotthard Günther German born, American philosopher passed away.  Günther was not Jewish but he was married to the Jewish psychologist Dr. Marie Günther-Hendel.  Together they made their way out Nazi Europe before WWII and finally made their way to U.S. 

    1989(1st of Kislev, 5750): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1989(1st of Kislev, 5750): Robert W. Schleck, a former foreign service officer, teacher and research analyst who was second secretary at the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv during the Suez crisis in 1956 passed away today.

    1993: Richard Danzig began serving as Undersecretary of the Navy.

    1994: The New York Times featured a review of A Chosen Few by Mark Kurlansky.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Isaiah Berlin: A Lifeby Michael Ignatieff, The Crisis of Global Capitalism Open Society Endangered by George Soros and Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmonyby Arnold Steinhardt

    2000: At the New York Public Library,a presentation byMarion Kaplan entitled “Friendship on the Margins: Jewish Social Relations in Imperial Germany” that asks the question, “With whom did the German Jews spend their leisure time?” This lecture examines the spectrum of friendships available to Jews in Imperial Germany (1871-1918), looking at extended families, friendships among Jews, and relationships with non-Jews. Those friendships could be intense or distant, intimate, or burdened by social and political anti-Semitism. Marion Kaplan is a social and cultural historian, with an emphasis on women’s history. Dr. Kaplan’s writings include Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany, which won the National Jewish Book Award for 1998.

    2002(24th of Kislev, 5763): In the evening, Kindle the first Chanukah light

    2004: Victor Brailovsky completed his term as Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs.

    2004: Victor Brailovsky replaced Ilan Shalgi as Minister of Science and Technology.

    2004: “The Émigré:  The farewell broadcast of a voice from the past by Janet Malcolm

    2005: The Seattle Reconstructionist congregation Kadima which, according to its Web site, “welcomes members from all backgrounds, including multicultural, gay, and lesbian households,” now is welcoming Ariel Sharon's adoption of its name. "[We] wish Prime Minister Sharon the very best with his new party name," Kadima Executive Director Susan Davis told The Jerusalem Postvia email. "It is a huge responsibility to use a name as progressive as Kadima." Kadima means "forward" in Hebrew. Two other entities using the name Kadima were not nearly as accepting.  The city fathers of Kadima, a town in the Sharon section of Israel, expressed their displeasure with the name chosen for Sharon’s new party. Kadima is also the name of a left-wing political party with headquarters in Beersheba. Party leaders are petitioning the government to force Sharon to use a different name since they feel that they own it for purposes of political party nomenclature.

    2006(8th of Kislev, 5767): Seventy-seven year old “Leonard Freed, a prominent photojournalist and member of the Magnum Photography Collective who was known primarily for his in-depth coverage of African-Americans in the era of the civil rights movement” passed away. (As reported by Philip Gefter)

    2006: In Jerusalem, The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies awards the 10th Liebhaber Prize for Religious Tolerance to Deborah Goldman Golan, Director of the Bamidbar Center for Pluralistic Jewish Studies in Yeroham.

    2007: A tribute was held in New York City in anticipation of poet Philip Levine's 80th birthday. Among those celebrating Levine's career by reading Levine's work were Yusef Komunyakaa, Galway Kinnell, E. L. Doctorow, Charles Wright, Jean Valentine, and Sharon Olds. Levine himself read several new and interesting poems. He thanked his students and asked them to refrain from asking for any more letters of recommendation.

    2007: At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, television star Sarah Silverman, headlines “Comedy without Borders” a fund-raiser for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the ecological and coexistence center located at Kibbutz Ketura, near Eilat.

    2007(19th of Kislev, 5768):  Ninety three year old “Victor Erlich, a path-breaking scholar of Russian literature, passed away today (As reported by Marissa Brostoff)

    2007: USCJ International Biennial Convention opens in Orlando, FL.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that “Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni failed in attempts to set up meetings in Annapolis or Washington with colleagues from the Arab world, even though the summit was designed to show international support for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations… Israeli officials interpreted this as evidence that the Arab world had not changed its fundamental policy that there would be no warming of relations with Israel until after a deal, and that normalization was one of the Arab world's major bargaining chips.”

    2007: Sixty one years after he was buried at a wind hilltop cemetery in southeast Washington, Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Theodor Herzl was exhumed as the first step of trip that will lead to his burial in Israel.

    2008: On this Shabbat when we recite “Av harachameem,” there will be special poignancy to the words as we mourn the passing Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai. “The Father of mercy who dwells on high in His great mercy will remember with compassion the pious, upright and blameless the holy communities, who laid down their lives for the sanctification of His name.They were loved and pleasant in their lives and in death they were not parted.They were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions to carry out the will of their Maker, and the desire of their steadfast God.May our Lord remember them for good together with the other righteous of the world and may He redress the spilled blood of His servants as it is written in the Torah of Moses the man of God: "O nations, make His people rejoice for He will redress the blood of His servants. He will retaliate against His enemies and appease His land and His people". And through Your servants, the prophets it is written: "Though I forgive, their bloodshed I shall not forgive When God dwells in Zion" And in the Holy Writings it says: "Why should the nations say, 'Where is their God?'"Let it be known among the nations in our sight that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants. And it says: "For He who exacts retribution for spilled blood remembers them. He does not forget the cry of the humble". And it says: "He will execute judgement among the corpse-filled nations crushing the rulers of the mighty land; from the brook by the wayside he will drink then he will hold his head high".

    2008: This afternoon authorities announced that the family of one of Israeli victims of the attack on the Mumbai Chabad House had identified her as being Yocheved Orpaz, aged 60. Another woman was identified as a Jewish resident of Mexico, whose name has not yet been released.

    2008: U.N. Israel Partition Day – 61st anniversary of this momentous moment in Jewish history. “Three minutes that changed two thousand years of wandering.”

    2009: In Jerusalem, the opening of Whiskey Month at the Mia Bar featuring whiskey tastings and special winter dishes which go well with whiskey.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel and the recently released paperback edition of Friendly Fire: A Duet by A. B. Yehoshua.

    2009: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta.

    2009: Beachwood, Ohio declares today “Hudesa Gora Day” to mark the 100thbirth of this holocaust survivor who ran a successful fur business in Cleveland for many years.

    2010: Roz Chast, Al Jaffee and Robert Mankoff are scheduled to participate in a program entitled “The Cartoonist Chronicles” at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

    2010: Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Mossad veteran Tamir Pardo as his choice as the new head of Israel's spy agency, to succeed Meir Dagan.  Pardo served in senior positions in the Mossad for many years, as well as in various operative units. He left the agency in 2009, before which he served as deputy Mossad chief.

    2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771):  Sixty seven year old  “Steven N. Posner, who with his father, Victor, was caught up in a major corporate raiding case that led to the convictions of Ivan F. Boesky and Michael R. Milken, died today in a high-speed boat collision on Biscayne Bay, Fla. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771): Ninety year old “Richard N. Goldman, a San Francisco civic leader and philanthropist best known for co-founding the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is given to six grass-roots environmental activists every year, died  today at his home in San Francisco. (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)

    2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771): Seventy year old “Stephen J. Solarz, a nine-term Democratic congressman whose concerns went beyond traffic lights and beach erosion in his Brooklyn district to nuclear weapons, the Middle East and his revelation that Imelda Marcos owned 3,000 pairs of shoes, died today in Washington. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2011: David Kalender, the Senior Rabbi of Olam Tikvah in Fairfax, Virginia, is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures on The Book of Ruth.

    2011: In honor of the 10th anniversary of the JCC in Manhattan, the JCC is scheduled to screen the audience’s favorite film.

    2011: The Tulane Hillel Board Meeting is scheduled to take place at Goldie & Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life.

    2011: In New Orleans, Rabbi Alexis Berk is scheduled to lead the Touro Synagogue Interfaith Chavurah Group in a discussion of “The December Dilemma.”

    2011: Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan said in a television interview today that if Israel attacks Iran, it will be dragged into a regional war. According to Dagan, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will respond with massive rocket attacks on Israel.

    2011:It was announced earlier today that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan will lead a group that will endeavor to immediately alter the system of government in Israel. Maariv reported today that the group is operating without much publicity, backed by a group of leaders in the fields of business, culture and law that has already begun to raise funds. Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, businessman Gad Zeevi and Herliya Interdisciplinary Center President Professor Uriel Reichman have already joined the new group.

    2012: Yeruham Scharovsky is scheduled to conduct the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in a gala concert featuring young piano artists. (In a tribute to the courage and resiliency of the Jewish people, the flyer announcing this event went out at the same time that rockets were being filed on the capital city of Israel)

    2012: Pianist Bill Charlap was the real piano player at the television wedding of “Liz Lemon,” a leading character on “30 Rock.”  He is a descendant of 16th century Italian Talmudist  of Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph

    2012: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Jew in the Warsaw Rising” followed by a Q & A with the film’s director Anna Ferens.  (This is a film about the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and not the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943)

    2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present an evening with Montreal writer Julija Šukys, the author of  Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė,“which beckons back to life this quiet and worldly heroine, a giant of Holocaust history (one of Yad Vashem's honored Righteous Among the Nations) and yet so little known.”

    2012 Sixty-fifth Anniversary of the UN vote approving the creation of Jewish state in Palestine with independence to come within six months. Am Yisrael Chai.

    2012: Sixty-five years to the day after the UN voted for the partition of mandatory Palestine – a move the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected – the same body overwhelmingly voted today to grant the Palestinian delegation the upgraded status of non-member observer state.

    2012: Labor members went to the polls today to elect the party’s list for the 19th Knesset, in a vote that will show how much influence party leader Shelly Yacimovich has, as opposed to the growing opposition within Labor led by MK Amir Peretz.

    2013: “Moses Montefiore: The Man Behind the Windmill,” an international conference at Mshkenot Sha’annaim is scheduled to come to a close.

    2013: The Maccabees Festival near Modi’in, the site of the original Chanukah story, is scheduled to open today.

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    November 30

    1215: The Fourth Lateran Council which had been led by Innocent III came a close. The Fourth Lateran Council made first official use of the term "transubstantiation," with reference to the Eucharist (Lord's Supper). The adoption of this concept would lead to anti-Semitic outbreaks based on charges that Jews had desecrated the Host i.e. the wafer that was seen as being the body of Christ.

    1286: Pope Honorius IV sent a Bull to the Archbishops of York and Canterbury condemning the Talmud

    1518: Maria Lopez and her daughter Isabel were sentenced to death by the Inquisition after having been charged with “juadizing.  (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)

    1631(5th of Kislev, 5932): Rabbi Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-levi Edels passed away.  Born in Cracow in 1555, Edels is known by the acronym Maharsha. He was known as outstanding Talmudist and master of dialectics whose commentaries were of such value that they were included in most editions of the Talmud.  Edels was a man of character as well as erudition.  “He attacked the misuse of rabbinic authority and the attempt made by wealthy individuals to monopolize communal offices.”

    1654: Sixty-nine year old John Selden an English jurist and student of Jewish law whose writing included a 1646 treatise on marriage and divorce among the Jews entitled Uxor Ebraica, passed away today.

    1670: Birthdate of John Toland, Anglo-Irish author and philosopher. In 1714, at a time when Jews were still considered to be outsiders by many Englishman, Toland wrote “Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews” in which he advocated “full citizenship and equal rights for the Jewish people.

    1748(9th of Kislev, 5509): Mordecai ben Jacob Ẓahalon, a doctor and rabbi who was part of a famous Sephardic family, passed away today in Ferrara, Italy. Among his many books were Megillat Naharot," describing the miraculous rescue of the Jewish community of Ferrara from the inundation that occurred in 1707

    1774: Pamphleteer Thomas Paine whose opposition to Monarchy was based in part on his reading of the Bible where the Israelite kings had a propensity for leading their subjects into the evils of idolatry, arrived in Philadelphia on the eve of the American Revolution.

    1782:In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

    1790: King Leopold II forwarded the petition from the Jews asking for full equality with other citizens to the “chancelleries of Hungary and Moravia” to see if this change would be supported.

    1790: Georgia Governor, Edward Telfair granted to Levy Sheftall, Cushman Pollock, Joseph Abrahams, Mordecai Sheftall, Abraham de Pas, Emanuel de la Motta, and their successors a charter of incorporation wherein they were declared to be "a body incorporates by the name and style of the 'Parnass and Adjuntas of the Mickve Israel at Savannah.'" This charter is still in the hands of the congregation and it is the document under which it operates to this day.

    1803:  In New Orleans, Louisiana, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.

    1805: In Chatham, Kent, England, Lazarus Magnus and Sarah Moses gave birth to Jacob Magus.

    1813: In Paris,  Alkan Morhange and Julie Morhange, née Abraham gave birth to Charles-Valentin Morhange, the descendant of Ashkenazi from Metz who gained fame as French pianist and composer Charles-Valentin Alkan.

    1845: Birthdate of Wisconsin Congressman Richard W. Guenther who worked with Congressman Ford during the 1880’s to conduct a series of hearing designed to exclude Jews from immigrating to the United States

    1840: Birthdate of Ludovic Trarieux, the supporter of Dreyfus who founded the League of Human and Civil Rights

    1854: Between 300 and 400 people danced to the music of Dodsworth’s Band at the Hebrew Young Men’s Ball held in the New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms.  Procedes from tonight’s event will be be given to the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    1856(3rd of Kislev, 5617): Marcus Cone, a Jew who had been living in New York, passed away today in Abbersweiler, Germany, the city where he was born.

    1856: The Manchester Guardianreported a "Great Fire" had taken place in Constantinople where 600 homes were destroyed, and another devastated Adrianople.

    1858: Today’s City Intelligence column reported that the recent stories about the arrest of three Jews for their role in selling lottery tickets were in error.  At least one of those arrested was identified as being a rabbi when in fact he made no claim to being a clergyman.  Apparently he is the leader of a “Bet Hamidrash” or House of Instruction which is attended by recently arrived poor immigrant Russian Jews who speak little or no English.  In Europe, the sale of lottery tickets is legal and apparently the immigrants had no reason to think that this was not the case in the United States.  Those preparing the original report were unaware of the fact that the term “Reb” merely implies that one is a “master” or an “instructor” and not a clergyman.

    1864: In Tennessee, Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded a brigade protecting the Union flank at the Battle of Franklin, one of the worst defeats suffered by the Rebels during the Civil War.

    1870: E.B. Hart delivered the opening remarks at the Hebrew Charity Fair.  The lavish event was held to raise funds for the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  In his speech Governor Hoffman of New York said praised both institutions saying that the latter was indeed populated primarily by Jewish children but that the former served all members of the community, regardless of their religion.

    1873: The Jewish Maternity Association, originally known as Ezrath Nashim (Helping Women) was founded in Philadelphia, PA.

    1874:  Birthdate of Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, orator and author who served as prime minister during World War II.  Churchill’s official biographer was the famous Jewish historian Martin Gilbert. Churchill often spoke of his support for a Jewish homeland.  During the war, his government studiously supported the White Paper which effectively banned Jewish immigration to Palestine.  Churchill’s supporters explained this as being a wartime necessity meant to ensure Arab support for the Allied cause.  Even if one accepts this argument, it does not explain Churchill’s support for the ban on Jewish immigration after the Nazis had surrendered in May of 1945. For more about Churchill and his relationship with the Jewish people, see Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert.  Like all off Gilbert’s work it is well researched and highly readable.

    1876: Rabbi Einhorn is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Bethel’s Thanksgiving Services the first of which will be held at 10 AM followed by a second service at 11 AM.

    1876: Rabbi Gottheil will deliver the sermon at this afternoon’s Centennial Thanksgiving Service at Temple Emanu-El. The service will include musical program by the congregation’s choir and a reading of the President’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.

    1876: In Philadelphia, a ceremony was held today unveiling and dedicating a monument symbolic of Religious Liberty that was built with contribution from member of B’nai Brith from throughout the United States.

    1876: It was reported today that the Ladies of the Forty-fourth Street Synagogue’s Hebrew Benevolent Society are seeking donations of goods and money for the fair they are holding during the last two weeks of December.

    1878: Solomon A. Levy and Dilah Horner Levy gave birth to Henry Horner, the first Jewish governor of Illinois.

    1879: C.J. Fishel of Mellis & Fishel read the opening prayer at the funeral of S.L. Lewis which was the first Jewish funeral to be held in the Sandwich Islands which we know as Hawaii.

    1881: It was reported today that new regulations issued in Russia divided the Jews of Kiev into 8 different classes based on education and occupation.  Membership in a particular class determines your rights including where you can live in the area and for how long.

    1881: It is reported today that at least one Jew in St. Petersburg has found a way to get around the government law forbidding Jews from changing occupations.  A Jew who began as a maker of ladies’ riding habits is now operating a counting house.  He just never changed the signage, something that everybody including the authorities is aware of

    1882: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities has contributed one hundred dollars to the Charity Organization Society, an umbrella organization that investigates applicants for charities in New York Society to make sure that they are really in need.

    1883(1st of Kislev, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1883(1st of Kislev, 5644: In Rushville, Indiana, a violent quarrel, including fisticuffs and gunfire, between Jewish merchants Eli Frank and Jacob Block turned fatal when Frank was shot to death by Block’s son.

    1885: It was reported today that an unnamed Jew from Pittsburg stole $475 from a co-religionist in Newark, NJ.

    1885: It was reported today that New York Police Commissioner Stephen B. French, a Republican had several explanations for his party’s defeat in the recent election, including the fact that in Fourth Assembly there are “a great many Irish and a great many Hebrews.”  According to French, the Jews “are always nearly against” the Republicans and the Irish have reverted to voting Democratic after their apparent switch in the 1884 election. (Electoral post mortems are nothing new and misguided ones are certainly not.  Actually, in the post-Civil War United States, Jews in the North and Mid-West tended to vote for Republicans)

    1886: The wife and daughter of a Polish Jew named Milkowski who has lived in Louisiana for the last 30 years took refuge in Lake Providence after a mob attacked their home in Caledonia.

    1887: Based on information that first appeared in the London Truth, it is reported that there are no more than 100,000 Jews in France, but of the 86 prefectures (administrative chiefs) 60 are Jews.  Furthermore “Jews have the best places in the Treasury” and “merit was the last consideration when they were appointed.”  (Editor’s note: This sub-text of French anti-Semitism would play out in the Drefyus Scandal and continue into the darkest days of Vichy)

    1887: It was reported today that the recently concluded conference of Reform Rabbis adopted a resolution introduced by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise to appoint a committee to “consider establishing a reformatory for Jewish children.”  According to Wise, there are more than 150 Jewish children in various reformatories and they are never visited by a Rabbi.

    1887: It was reported that the next national meeting of The Jewish Ministers’ Association, an organization of Reform Rabbis will be held this Spring in Washington, D.C.

    1888: It was reported today that there had been a record number of Jews attending Thanksgiving services and that the Thanksgiving Dinner served to 200 east side children by the United Hebrew Charities was further proof of Israelites enjoyment of this American holiday.

    1891: Benjamin Berensen, a leading member of the Boston Jewish community disappeared.

    1892: The Hebrew Orphans Asylum band – 45 boys under the direction of Martin Cohen – will perform at this evening’s session of the American Institute Fair,

    1893: Birthdate of author I.J. Singer. Israel Joshua Singer was the older brother of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Born in Poland, Singer gained fame as Yiddish writer.  He was the Polish correspondent for The Jewish Daily Forward.  He came to the United States in 1934.” Singer’s epic masterpiece Di Bruder Ashkenazi (The Brothers Ashkenazi) details Jewish industrial development before World War I.”

    1893: “Three hundred children will be given a Thanksgiving dinner of Turkey, cranberry sauce and trimmings at the Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities today at noon.”

    1894: “Dedicated to Humanity” published today provided a description of the Montefiore Home’s  new additions which is a five story edifice that includes a new synagogue on the ground floor that will accommodate 500 worshippers as well “a vast kitchen and laundry in the basement” and quarters for servant

    1895: Birthdate of Samuel Norton "Sam" Gerson, the Ukrainian born Jewish-American wrestler who won a Silver Medal at the 1920 Olympics and helped to organize Philadelphia's Maccabi Sports Club.

    1895: In New York, Daniel Ryan and Daniel Healy were each fined $10 for “striking at every Hebrew they passed on Broadway” which the court described as “Jew baiting.”

    1895: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon entitled “One Touch of Nature, our Appeal in Behalf of Armenia” at Temple Emanu-El during Friday night services.

    1896(25th of Kislev, 5657): For the last time during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, first day of Chanukah

    1896: Prior to the tomorrow’s start of the 15th Biennial Council of the American Hebrew Congregation in Louisville, KY, the Executive Committee met and chose temporary officers.

    1897: “Ethnic Politics” published today described the difficulties that the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, which is polyglot multi-national domain is having in creating a national identity as can be seen even in Vienna where political lines “are drawn between Jews and Jew-baiters.”  The rise of Jews in Viennese culture has been matched by a rise in Anti-Semitism which is opposed by the Emperor.

    1898: Leo M. Franklin an 1892 graduate of Hebrew Union College who was the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Omaha, Nebraska, “became the 11th rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Detroit, a position he would hold for the rest of his life.”

    1898: As the measles epidemic at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum comes to an end 15 children ranging in age from 6 to 11, remain in isolation at the hospital

    1899: One thousand pounders of turkey was consumed by the children under the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.  The daylong celebration included band music, a speech by Dr. Kaufman on the meaning of Thanksgiving and an afternoon of play preceded by the receipt of “a masquerade costume” for youngster.

    1899: Four hundred children attended the 19th annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Industrial School of the Hebrew Charities Society.

    1899: One hundred children who attend the kindergarten sponsored by the Shearith Israel Sisterhood were provided with a free Thanksgiving Dinner.

    1900: Oscar Wilde passed away.  The Picture of Dorian Gray, possibly his most famous novel, includes a Jewish character named Isaacs, a theatre manager. The author stresses both his Jewishness and his ugliness describing him as “a hideous Jew,” a “horrid old Jew” who had “greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond … in the centre of a soiled shirt.”

    1903: In a case of literary matrimony, Else Lasker-Schuler married George Lewin, the author who used the penname Herwarth Walden.

    1910: Lucille Selig married Leo Frank.  Selig was the member of an “old” Atlanta Jewish family that had founded the city’s first synagogue.  Frank would come to a horrible end when he was lynched for a crime that he did not commit.

    1913: Jacob H. Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home, presided at the dedication ceremonies of the new buildings at the institution located at Gun Hill Road and 210th Street, near Jerome Avenue.  The ceremonies included services at the synagogue located at the Montefiore Home.

    1915: A large gathering of Rumanian Jews held a special memorial service at the Manhattan Lyceum  in honor of Dr. Solomon Schechter who had passed away on November 20.  While recognizing his leadership and scholarly skills, the Rumanians were also honoring one of their own and voted to name soon to be opened Jewish Home for Convalescents the “Professor Solomon Schechter Memorial.

    1917: The Australian Light Horse, part of Allenby’s forces, took the offensive against the Turkish forces blocking the way to Jerusalem,  The Aussies captured 200 Turks and the rest fell back toward the City of David.

    1917: As victorious British Imperial forces approached Jerusalem, the Turkish governor began to make good on the promise that there were would be no Jews in the city to welcome the British.  Forty American Jews living in Jerusalem and several Zionists of Ottoman nationality were expelled from the city.  A staff member of the German Consulate in Jerusalem said that the Jews were driven out on foot and beaten like criminals as they made their way towards Jericho.

    1917:  The Germans captured a British brigade headquarters and ammunition dump at Masnieres and Les Rues Vertes, France. Among those taken prisoners was the Captain Robert Gee, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Gee managed to escape and organized a party of the brigade staff with which he attacked the enemy, closely followed by two companies of infantry. He cleared the locality and established a defensive flank, then finding an enemy machine-gun still in action, with a revolver in each hand he went forward and captured the gun, killing eight of the crew. He was wounded, but would not have his wound dressed until the defense was organized. Gee was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action.

    1918(26th of Kislev, 5679): Seventy-two year old Jesse Lewisohn, the son of Leonard Lewisohn and the nephew of Adolph Lewisohn, all of whom made fortunes in the copper mining business fell victim to the infamous Spanish Flu Epidemic  and passed away today.

    1924:  Birthdate of songwriter and humorist Allan Sherman author of the famous camp song that began, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

    1926: Birthdate of Andrew V. Schally. Schally is a Polish-born American endocrinologist and co-recipient with Roger Guillemin and Rosalyn Yalow, of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Schally fled Poland with his family in 1939. Schally became a U.S. citizen in 1962.  He became senior medical investigator with the Veterans Administration in 1973. He was noted for isolating and synthesizing three hormones that are produced by the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus; these hormones control the activities of other hormone- producing glands. These accomplishments were the synthesis of TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), the isolation and synthesis of LH-RH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone), and studies of the action of somatostatin.

    1929: In Phoenix, AZ, Pauline and Sylvan Ganz gave birth to Joan Ganz, who as Joan Ganz Cooney gained fame as the television producer who was one of the founders of the Children’s Television Workshop that created “Sesame Street.” She was the granddaughter of Emil Ganz, the German Jewish immigrant who served three terms as the mayor of Phoenix.

    1930: At a meeting in London today, Dr. Chaim Weizmann “insisted…that he did not and would not accept the MacDonald Government’s White Paper.” While expressing his displeasure with the White Paper, the Zionist leader “cautioned the Zionists…against taking sides in politics, a reminder obviously directed toward the White-chapel by-election in the East End of London, where it is said the preponderant Jewish vote may make trouble for the Labor candidate.”

    1933: Rabbi Jerome D. Folkman, of Temple Beth Israel, delivered the Thanksgiving sermon today at a joint service attended by Jews and Gentiles. The services were held in the First Baptist Church of which the Rev. Carl Winters is pastor. (JTA)

    1935: Rosa and Avrom Shlavestein gave birth to their daughter Berdichev in the Zhitomir District, USSR (today in Ukraine). Before World War II, Nina’s family lived in Moscow. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union Nina was vacationing in Klintsy in the Bryansk District of the Soviet Union, and was unable to return home because of the invasion. Nina perished during the Holocaust. Her mother Rosa survived and immigrated to Israel. Rosa submitted a Page of Testimony in Yiddish to commemorate her daughter Nina, probably in the 1950s. (As chronicled by Yad Vashem)

    1936:  Birthdate of Abbie Hoffman.

    1936: “An American flag, the gift of Mayor a Guardia of New York, was presented today to the municipality of Tel Aviv by the Maccabee soccer team” which had just returned from a tour of the United States.  “The Maccabee also presented a flag of New York Harbor to the new Tel Aviv port in ceremonies at the City Ha, where the athletes were officially welcomed after a parade.

    1938: According to Michael Hesemann, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli – the future Pius XII – wrote a letter today urging Catholic archbishops throughout the world to apply for visas for "non-Aryan Catholics" and Jewish converts to Christianity who wanted to flee Germany

    1938: Germany bans Jews from being lawyers

    1939: Just months after having divided Poland with its Nazi ally, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in hopes of scoring another quick victory that would re-establish Russian control of what was viewed as breakaway province from the old Imperial System.  The attack would further confuse the military and political situation in Europe during the period of the Phony War.

    1940: Anti-Jewish laws are established in Tunisia.

    1940: After the “Patriaincident,” General Wavell, Britain’s top military officer in the Middle East complains vehemently to Sir Anthony Eden protesting the decision to let any Jewish refugees remain in Palestine. He contends that the decision to let 1,900 Jews remain in Palestine will undermine British relations with the Arabs.  The Mufti, who is Berlin with Hitler, will be strengthened.  Nazi sympathizers in Syria will be encouraged.  And fifth-columnist in Egypt will find it easier to gain support for the Germans.  At least Wavell was honest.  For him as for so many less honest Englishmen (and others) it was all about keeping the Arabs happy.    

    1941: Start of the Rumbula Massacre, the liquidation of the Riga Ghetto, a killing spree exceeded only by Babi Yar.

    1941: Jews began to arrive at Theresienstadt from Prague.

    1941:  Haj Amin, leader of the Palestinians was “ceremoniously received by Hitler.”

    1943(3rd of Kislev, 5704):Esther "Etty" Hillesum a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation died at Auschwitz. They were published posthumously in 1981, before being translated into English in 1983.

    1943: All nine Palestinian Hebrew newspapers and the German-language daily issued at Tel Aviv re-appeared today after eleven days' suspension. “The suspension resulted from” the “simultaneous uncensored publication” by these papers “of identical accounts with uniform editorial comment on the search carried” out at a kibbutz named Ramat Hakovesh by British forces looking for arms.  The search turned violent resulting in the murder of one of the Jewish settlers. The articles in the newspapers had been part of the Jewish response which, among other things, continues to claim the right for Jews to be able to defend themselves.

    1943: Italy's Interior Ministry orders the concentration of all Italian Jews in camps.

    1944(14th of Kislev, 5705): Anna Dresden-Polak’s husband, Barend, died today Auschwitz. Anna, a member of the Dutch ladies’ gymnastic team that won the Gold Medal at the 1928 Olympics, had been killed the year before at Sobibor along with Eva, her six-year old daughter.

    1944: More than 100,000 persons, more than half the population of the city, greeted Dr. Chaim Weizmann when he visited Tel Aviv today for the first time since arriving in Palestine two weeks ago. The demonstration was the greatest welcome ever given to anyone in Tel Aviv.  Weizmann responded by saying, “I never imagined my own people could have received me with such spontaneous joy.” When he went to Te Aviv to review 200 soldiers who where were serving in the new Jewish bridged of the British Army, he was greeted by crowds that were so large that they filled balconies, windows, lamp posts, trees, and telephone poles.  Weizmann saw a direct connection between the fate of European Jewry, these troops and the creation of a Jewish commonwealth.  He told the crowd that the “remnants of the European Jews” would received the Jewish brigade as “a harbinger of freedom and by the masses of Jewish soldiers serving in the Allied armies as a symbol of national unity.”

    1944: Cordell Hull completed his service as U.S. Secretary of State, a post he had held since FDR’s inauguration in March, 1933. Hull’s wife, Frances Witz, was the daughter of an Austrian Jew, something he worked very hard to hide.  He may have won a Nobel Prize for helping to create the United Nations, but for Jews, his policy opposing the entry of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe, should have earned a large measure of contempt. 

    1946: Bombs are set off in Jerusalem.

    1947: A day after the two-state solution is approved by the United Nations, Arabs begin attacking Jews in Palestine.

    1947: Arab rifleman fired shots at an ambulance on its way to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus.

    1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Arabs armed with machine guns and grenades attacked a bus traveling from the coast to Jerusalem killing four Jews including Jerusalemites Hirsh Stark and Hanna Weiss and twenty year old Shoshana Mizrachi Farhi who had been on her way to Jerusalem to get married.

    1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): In another attack on a bus bound for Jerusalem, Arab gunmen killed Hehama Hacohen a pathologist at Hadassah Hospital.

    1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Moshe Goldman, a twenty five year old from Jerusalem was shot dead at the Jaffa-Tel Aviv boundary.

    1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Fifty-five year old director, actor, writer and producer Ernst Lubitsch passed away. Born in 1892, his urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch".”

    1947: On the day after UN decree for Israel, Arabs attacked Jewish settlements. Even though the Jewish state would not officially declare its independence until May, 1948, this day marked the beginning of the Israeli War of Independence as a bus near Lydda (Lod) was attacked by Arabs killing five passengers. The Arabs proclaimed a general strike and attacked the commercial quarter near the Old City of Jerusalem. The Arabs, including those living outside of Palestine, were determined to destroy the Jewish homeland before the mandate officially ended.  Their efforts would include attacks on Jewish settlements throughout the Yishuv as well as a siege of the City of Jerusalem.  The Arabs were well armed and moved about with impunity.  The Jews were limited in their response by an international arms boycott and the presence of the British Army.

    1947: Birthdate of David Mamet. Mamet is an American playwright, screenwriter, director and poet born to a Jewish family in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Mamet first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays in The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and American Buffalo. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for Glengarry Glen Ross. In 2006, he wrote The Wicked Son, an examination of self hating and assimilated Jews.

    1948:Colonel Moshe Dayan of Israel and Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah el Tell of Transjordan Arab Legion sign cease-fire agreement.

    1948:The American Council for Judaism asks Attorney General Tom C. Clark for a federal investigation of Menachem Begin’s U.S. activities.

    1952: Birthdate of Semyon Mayevich Bychkov a Russian-American conductor who is the brother of the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, of blessed memory.

    1952:  Birthdate of Mandy Patinkin.  Born Mandel Bruce Patinkin in Chicago, Illinois, Patinkin attended Kenwood High and the University of Kansas before beginning his Broadway career that playing Che Guevara in Evita and a leading role in Stephen Sondheim's Follies.

    1953: Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Uganda is deposed and exiled to London by Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda. “Sir Andrew was from a distinguished Anglo-Jewish family. He was a descendant of Levi Barent Cohen, the founder of the oldest Ashkenazi family in Britain.”

    1953: “Confessions of a Nervous Man” by George Axelrod which depicts a “playwright waiting anxiously in a theatre district bar for the newspaper reviews of his first play to hit the streets” was broadcast on the television drama show, “Studio One.”

    1954: As Churchill celebrated his 80th birthday, Moshe Sharett (formerly Shertok), sent the aging British statesman a telegram praising him for his leadership again the Nazis during World War II and for his steadfast support of Zionism in general and the Balfour Declaration in particular.

    1957: Eighty three year old Winston Churchill receives early Christmas presents – a case of Israeli oranges from Vera Weizmann, widow of Israel’s first President and longtime friend of Churchill and a Virginia Ham from American Jewish financer Bernard Baruch.

    1959: Today’s broadcast of the Play of the Week featured the David Susskind production Sartre’s “Crime of Passion” translated by Lionel Abel, the Brooklyn born son of author Anna Schwartz Abelson and Rabbi Alter Abelson whom “Sartre called the most intelligent man in New York City.”

    1962: The United Nations General Assembly elects U Thant of Burma as the new UN Secretary-General. U Thant was the Secretary General who caved in to President Nasser’s demand to remove the UN peace keeping force from the Sinai.  The men in the Blue Helmets were the guarantee that Egypt would not remilitarize the Sinai.  U Thant’s spineless behavior, in violation of the understandings that had caused the Israelis to withdraw after the 1956 Sinai Campaign, set events in motion that would lead to war in June of 1967.

    1962: Birthdate of actor Ben Stiller

    1964(25th of Kislev, 5725): As America digests the consequences of Lyndon Johnson’s landslide victory earlier this month, observance of the first day of Chanukah

    1965: Ninety-four out the 100 prominent Washingtonians whom Charles E. Smith had invited to a dinner at the Mayflower listened to his vision of what would become a campus on Montrose Road in Rockville that would include the Wasserman Residence, the JCC and the Charles E. Smith Day School

    1966: Barbados becomes independent from the United Kingdom. In 1667 “many Jews moved to Barbados to retain their British citizenship. Jews are believed to have been established in Barbados as early as 1628. In 1661, three Jewish businessmen requested permission to institute trade routes between Barbados and Surinam, which was still part of the British Empire. As will be seen repeatedly, even though the Jews had full legal citizenship and were allowed by the government to trade and conduct business, their success caused the other settlers to try to limit the scope of Jewish trade. British businessmen claimed the Jews traded more with the Dutch than the British, and the government did finally put limits on the Jews' ability to trade. They were not allowed to purchase slaves, and were required to live in a Jewish ghetto. By 1802, the colonial government in Barbados had removed all discriminatory regulations from the Jews living there. A Jewish community remained on Barbados until 1831, when a hurricane destroyed all of the towns on the island.” By the time Barbados gained its independence, there were approximately 80 Jews living in the country. In 1987, the Nidhei Israel Synagogue would be rededicated in a new location and the Old Jewish cemetery in Bridgetown would be restored. “The former Nidhei Israel building, which served as the synagogue, is today used for a library. The Jewish cemetery in Barbados is considered to be the oldest graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. A few of the graves date back to the 1660s and include Samuel Hart, son of Moses Hart, and Moses Nehemiah (the first Jew to live in Virginia). Today, approximately 40 Jews live on Barbados. It was the Jewish community of Barbados that initiated and maintains the Caribbean Jewish Congress.”

    1975: WABC-AM is scheduled to broadcast Message of Israel with an address by Dr. Human Judah Schachtel.

    1975: WBAI is scheduled to broadcast “A Hanukah Offering – Shtetl on the Hudson with Issac Bashevis Singer, Leonard Michaels and Jerome Charyn, writers who transformed the Jewish experience from the old country to New York

    1975: WMCA is scheduled to broadcast a 2 hour program featuring an interview of playwright Dore Schary.

    1975: WNBC is scheduled to broadcast the long-running Jewish radio series, Eternal Light, with an appearance by Harry Kemelman, author of “Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red.”

    1975: New York Senator Jacob Javits, the state’s most prominent Jewish Republican, is scheduled to appear on a broadcast of Focus on Youth.

    1978(30th of Cheshvan, 5739): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1979(10th of Kislev, 5740):  Zeppo Marx, one of the famed Marx Brothers, passed away.

    1979: Ted Koppel becomes anchor of nightly news on Iranian Hostages (ABC)

    1980:  Leonard Bernstein’s "West Side Story" closes at Minskoff Theater New York City after 341 performances

    1985(17th of Kislev, 5746): Ninety-four year old Israeli artist Joseph Zaritsky passed away. A native of the Ukraine, he studied art in Kiev before making Aliyah in 1923. He moved to Jerusalem in 1929 and finally settled Tzova, a kibbutz near Israel’s capital city.,_Safed,_c_1924_1.jpg,_Yossef,_Painting,_1950-1~B74_0036.jpg,_Yossef,_Painting,_1950-1~B74_0036.jpg

    1988: As Israeli political leaders continue try and form a government following the election held on November 1, today the Labor Party decided to end coalition negotiations with Likud. At about the same time, its leader, Shimon Peres, vowed that if a measure redefining who is Jewish under the Law of Return were put to a vote in Parliament, every Labor member would ''vote clearly against it.''

    1988: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. buys RJR Nabisco for $25.07 billion. All three of the takeover kings were Jewish.

    1994(27th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty-six year old “Lionel Stander, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants whose gravelly voice and beetling brow made him a memorable presence on stage and screen and whose political beliefs in the era of the Hollywood blacklist earned him a long exile from American films, died today at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

    1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Kathy Acker (née Karen Lehmann) “an American experimental novelist, prose stylist, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer” passed away.

    1997: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Darkside of Camelot by Seymour Hersh and an essay by Alfred Kazin entitled “Missing Murray Kempton.”

    2000(3rd of Kislev, 5761): Seventy-five year old Ilona Karmel, “literary chronicler of the Holocaust and author of An Estate of Memory, passed away.(As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    2002(25th of Kislev, 5673): Channukah

    2000(3rd of Kislev, 5761):  Ilona Karmel passed away. She was remembered as the author of the novel, An Estate of Memory. It is considered one of the most significant novels in English to address the experiences of Jewish women during World War II. Born in Cracow in 1925, Karmel was interned along with her mother and sister in three different labor camps after the Nazi occupation of Poland. She sustained severe leg injuries during the war and required years of recuperation before immigrating to the United States in 1948. Within four years of arriving in the United States, Karmel graduated from Radcliffe College, won a fiction-writing contest sponsored by Mademoiselle Magazine, and completed her first novel, Stephania. Stephaniafocused on the physical and spiritual recovery of a young woman who had survived the Nazi concentration camps. In 1969, Karmel published An Estate of Memory, which was reissued by the Feminist Press in 1986. Reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, it was one of the earliest significant literary treatments of Jewish experience in the Nazi camps and remains one of the most significant novels to address Jewish women's experiences during the Holocaust. Karmel taught creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for many years where an annual writing prize that she established has been renamed in her honor.

    2001: South African businessman Cyril Kern gave Gilad Sharon a loan to help cover the shortfall in the contributions being raised for his father’s campaign.

    2002(25th of Kislev, 5763): First Day of Chanukah; light second candle in the evening

    2003: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special interest to Jewish readers including In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices From Wall Street to Washington by Robert E. Rubin and Jacob Weisberg, Secrets of the City by Anne Roiphe, Primo Levi: A Life by Ian Thomson and Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait by Midge Decter

    2005: It is official. Former Labor chairman Shimon Peres announced that he was ending his political activity in the Labor Party and would support Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the upcoming March elections.

    2006: Haaretz reported that a small room in Kibbutz Merhavia which was once home to Israel's first woman prime minister, Golda Meir, has been renovated and refurbished  in the style of the 1920s when Golda lived there.

    2006(9th of Kislev, 5767): Poet, songwriter and journalist Eli Mohar who wrote the “Goings On Around Town” column in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha’ir passed away from cancer at the age of 58.

    2006: Sasson Somekh, visiting professor in Jewish Studies, opened the Jews Among Arabs conference at Vanderbilt with a lecture based on his memoir Baghdad Yesterday. Somekh grew up in the Jewish community in Iraq in the 1930s and ‘40s. He pointed out that some 250 Muslim Iraqis died in 1941 while trying to defend their Jewish neighbors being attacked by a pro-Nazi mob. About 150 Jews were killed in the incident, which launched the decline of Jewish community in Iraq, which had thrived there for 26 centuries. 

    2007:John Strugnell, controversial Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, passed away.

    2007: The Wall Street Journallisted Ramaz as one of the top schools for graduates entering the top eight universities in the country, with 10 out of a class of 100 (class of 2007) going to these schools. The Ramaz School is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school located on the Upper East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

    2007: At The Sydney Jewish Museum an exhibition styled “Butterflies of Hope” comes to an end.

    2007: The week long launch of "Operation: Last Chance” will continue with a press conference in Chile. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" is targeted to find and bring to justice at least some of the thousands of Nazis still hiding in South America 62 years after the end of World War II. It will probably be the final major effort to locate and bring to justice Nazis in hiding scattered around the world.

    2007: The New York Timesreviewed The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father’s Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem.

    2007(20th of Kislev, 5768): IDF Private Ma’ayan Rotenberg of Kibbutz Beit Haemek passed away as a result of an accident while training with a tank unit.  He died a week before his 19th birthday.

    2008: The Orthodox Union's National Conference meeting, at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem comes to a close.  Participants included Rabbi Metzger, Rabbi Lau, Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Herschel Schachter. The Keynote address was given by British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

    2008: The International Conference on Contemporary Issues and Halacha, opens at Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem. The conference which is being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Israel's first chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog of Blessed Memory features the theme: "They'll be there, will you?""They" are 50 well-known personalities, including Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, along with their immediate predecessors Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron, IDF Chief Rabbi Avraham Ronski, Yitzhak Peretz, Chief Rabbi of Raanana, lawyers Dr. Yaacov Weinroth and Prof. Yaakov Neeman, MKs Rabbi Michael Melchior, Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Zevulun Orlev, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and retired Judge Zvi Tal.

    2008: Four of eight soldiers wounded in terrorist attacks on the Nahal Oz Base Gaza crossing during the Sabbath remained hospitalized. Three of them are being treated for moderate to serious wounds in Soroka Medical

    2009: Amy Goodman, host of the radio and television program "Democracy Now!," discusses and signs her new book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

    2009: AJWS and its President, Ruth Messinger join Congregation Emanu-El, Congregation Emanu-El’s Young Adult Community, Congregation Beth Sholom, Congregation Sherith Israel, Taube Center for Jewish Life at the JCCSF, The Hub of the JCCSF, The SF Bay Area Darfur Coalition and Congregation Sha’ar Zahav to cosponsor an advance screening of Reporter the new documentary featuring Nicholas Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist.  Reporter documents Kristoff’s efforts to write about the gut-wrenching conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    2009:The opening of the John Demjanjuk trial today in Munich had to be delayed by over an hour because of the flood of visitors - including Holocaust survivors - who wished to observe what might be the last prosecution of an alleged Nazi war criminal.

    2010:"My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm Home for the Holidays!," is scheduled to have its first performance in Charlotte, NC.

    2010: The Shin Bet has arrested three Palestinian militants suspected of carrying out a shooting attack against two Israelis in late September, it emerged today The three Palestinians belong to the Abu-Moussa group, a splinter faction of Fatah; the head of the cell received his military training in Syria and Lebanon.

    2010: Norman Lebrecht reviews “Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World.”

    2011: The Chabad Jewish Center in Metairie, LA, is scheduled to host its monthly Rosh Chodesh event which this month is entitled “Impression & Expression: The Essential Woman.”

    2011: In New Orleans, Temple Sinai is scheduled to host its final session of this month’s Adult Education Series, “The Major Message of the Minor Prophet!”

    2011: David Schmahmann is scheduled to discuss his new novel “The double Life of Alfred Buber” at the final event of the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore’s Jewish Book Month.

    2011:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top cabinet ministers approved the handover of $100 million in tax money to the Palestinian Authority today, despite the vocal opposition of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

    2011:An errant volley of projectiles landed in the vicinity of a top Israel Defense Forces officer today, in what preliminary reports say was a severe mishap during a large-scale drill in Israel's south.

    2012: Adi Neuhaus, first prize winner of the “Voice of Music Young” Artist Competition is scheduled to perform at noon today in Jerusalem.

    2012: “A Late Quartet,” Israeli director Yaron Zilberman's engrossing drama about an illustrious string quartet, is scheduled to shown at several cinemas in New York City.

    2012: “A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer” published today described the career of Andy Statman.

    2012: In a clever combination of Mitzvot (Tzdekah and Shabbat) the Young Professionals Network is scheduled to host a Shabbat dinner where the attendees will make contributions toward the B'nai B'rith's Disaster Relief Fund for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    2012:Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who delivered a supportive speech of Israel at the UN before its vote yesterday on the Palestinian statehood, said today "the bottom line is we will not let the Jewish people and the State of Israel stand alone when the going gets tough."

    2012:  At a meeting of the Saban Forum, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the Palestinians for the collapse of the peace talks in 2000, when she said, “I don’t care how many people try to revise that history, the fact is [Arafat] said no at Camp David.”  “The Palestinians could have had a state as old as I am if they had made the right decision in 1947,” she said. “They could have had a state if they had worked with my husband and then-Prime Minister Barak at Camp David. They could have had a state if they’d worked with Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni.”

    2013(27thof Kislev, 5774): Shabbat Chanukah

    2013: Scheduled opening of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

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    December 1

    500: (Kislev 4428): This is the traditional date of the closing of the Talmudic era and the beginning of the Saboraic era. Saboraim is “the title applied to the principals and scholars of the Babylonian academies in the period immediately following that of the Amoraim.  The Saboraic Era lasted for approximately 200 years.

    800: Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican. Fourteen years later, with the crown firmly on his head Charlemagne would issue his Capitulary for the Jews.
    During his papacy, Leo III “introduced public disputations between Jews and Christians, resulting in forced conversions to Christianity.”

    1081: Birthdate of Louis VI of France. “During his reign jurisdiction over the Jews (and their revenues) gradually passed from royal control to the hands of the Church. The Abbey of Saint-Denis, in 1112, obtained from the king judicial control over the Jews in the town. In 1119 Louis ceded half his income from the Jews of *Tours to the Abbey of Saint-Martin there; and in 1122 he granted five houses belonging to Jews to Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis.” (As reported by Bernhard Blumenkranz)

    1135: Henry I of England passed away. During Henry's reign (1100–1135) a royal charter was granted to Joseph, the chief rabbi of London, and all his followers. Under this charter, Jews were permitted to move about the country without paying tolls, to buy and sell goods and property, to sell their pledges after holding them a year and a day, to be tried by their peers, and to be sworn on the Torah rather than on a Christian Bible. Special weight was attributed to a Jew's oath, which was valid against that of 12 Christians, because they represented the King of England in financial matters. The sixth clause of the charter was especially important: it granted to the Jews the right of movement throughout the kingdom, as if they were the king's own property (sicut res propriæ nostræ).  Henry died without a direct male heir.  The result was civil strife that was bad for England in general and the Jews in particular.  Peace would only come when Henry’s grandson, Henry II, took the throne.

    1145: Pope Eugene IIIsent a papal bull to the French King, Louis VII, proclaiming the Second Crusade. Led by Louis and Emperor Conrad III from 1147 to 1149, the crusade failed to accomplish its goal.

    1516: Jerusalem surrendered to Selim I, the Ottoman Sultan

    1521:  Pope Leo X passed away. Leo was one of those Italian Popes whose pursuit of other interests left him “no time to think of torturing Jews.” Bonet de Lates, a Jew from Provence served as Leo’s physician and unofficial advisor.  He was more of an aristocrat than man of the cloth who was more concerned about navigating among the competing temporal powers than matters of religion. His leniency towards the Jews may have stemmed from an attitude summed up by his statement that “It is well known how useful this fable of Christ has been to us and ours!”

    1652: Manuel Fernando de Villa-Real, a distinguished Marrano who "conducted the consular affairs of the Portuguese court at Paris" was seized in Lisbon, gagged and executed.

    1573(Kislev, 5334): This date marks the death of Solomon Luriawho was born in 1510 at Brest-Litovsk.  Luria is known as the "Rashal" or the Maharshal. A contemporary of Salomon Shakna, he represented an opposing view in Talmudic study, believing in plain but lucid methods. He was also the author of the Yam Shel Shlomo (Sea of Solomon), a commentary on several volumes of the Talmud, and Chokmat Shlomo (Wisdom of Solomon) in which he corrected many faulty readings in the Talmud, Rashi and the Tosophot.

    1626: Ibn Farukh (Governor of Jerusalem) was deposed after harshly persecuting the Jews.

    1652(Tevet, 5413): Portuguese Jewish statesman Manuel Fernando de Villarreal was executed by the Inquisition.

    1742: The Jews living in “Great Russia” were expelled by order of Empress Elizabeth. 

    1742: Suleiman Pasha of Damascus ended the siege of Tiberias

    1820(25thof Kislev, 5581): Chanukah

    1825: Czar Alexander I passed away.  This anti-Semitic Russian monarch’s death coincided with a temporary cessation of the forced re-settlement of Jews in the Pale of Settlement.  The cruel re-settlement policy would be quickly reinstituted by his son and successor, Nicholas I. Prayer for the Czar: May the Lord keep the Czar…far away from the Jews.

    1834: Birthdate of Joseph Blumenthal, the native of Munich who became a successful New York businessman who served in the State Assembly and was instrumental in bring down the Tweed Ring.

    1843: Birthdate of Leopold Lowenstein a German rabbi born from Gailingen, Baden. The son of a rabbi, he would eventually serve as the Rabbi for three districts located in his native Baden.

    1844: In an election for Chief Rabbi of the British Empire Jacob Adler received 121 votes, Hirsch Hirschfeld 12, and Samson Raphael Hirsch 2.

    1848: Birthdate of Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, or Sonnenfeld, who was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. 

    1852: A British ship, the Fitzjames under the command of Captain arrived at the Quarantine area in New York tonight.  Among the passengers were two Jews – a man named Drestner from Poland and Augustine Behr from Germany.  Apparently when the ship was about thirty miles from Sandy Hook (off the coast of New York) the two Jews had a discussion about religion that became so heated that Behr stabbed Drestner with his knife.  Drestner was taken to the hospital on Staten Island.  While the police are holding Behr in jail, U.S. authorities say they have authority in the case since the attack took place on British vessel in international waters.  The British Counsel has been notified and may send Behr back to England for a hearing.

    1860: The New York Times correspondent wrote from Jamaica that “an Anti-Jewish feeling is brewing in the community, and I am very much afraid that, politically -- that is, speaking daggers, but using none, for we can never come to that -- a war of races will have to be fought. The colored classes who constitute the education, the planters who represent the wealth, and the blacks who have the force of numbers, are not going to rest satisfied while the Government and the patronage of Government are given up to the Jews, who are clannish enough to employ them to their own use, and to the detriment of all other classes. This is the state of things at present; but the difficulty is far from being settled, and I am afraid the Governor will, at the long run, be forced to retire.”

    1861: E. Delafield Smith, the U.S. District Attorney, wrote a letter of introduction to President Lincoln on behalf of Rabbi Fischell “who has been appointed by the Board of Delegates of the Israelites of the U.S. to urge the modification of the laws in relation to chaplains, so far as they affect the practice, though I doubt not unintended exclusion of clergymen of the Jewish faith from acting in that capacity, even in regiments composed of persons of that faith. This class of our citizens has evinced loyalty to the Government, and I need not say is entitled to at least a hearing on this subject. Dr. Fischell is a gentleman of great worth and intelligence.”

    1868: Disraeli completed his first term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and became the leader of the Opposition.

    1870: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charity Fair under the chairmanship of E.B. opened to a full house with a program that included a speech by the Governor of New York.

    1870:  Attendance at the second day of the Hebrew Fair for the benefit of Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was less than on opening night, but was robust enough to raise an additional $7,000.  When this total is added to the over $51,000 raised the first night, it means that in only two days the fair has already raise almost $60,000.

    1870: Professor Singler’s Orchestra provided the music at tonight’s second annual ball of the Hebrew Young Men’s Literary Association which was held at the Apollo Hall in New York.

    1871: The Hebrew Young Men’s Literary and Benevolent Association is scheduled to host an evening of entertainment at the Irving Hall.

    1871: It was reported today that children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum enjoyed a “splendid” Thanksgiving meal filled with “holiday pleasure.”

    1871: It was reported today that in Brooklyn all businesses were closed for Thanksgiving except for “saloons and Jew clothing-stores.”

    1876: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charity Ball will be held on December 21 at the Academy of Music.

    1876: It was reported that Rabbi George Jacobs delivered the invocation at yesterday’s ceremony in Philadelphia, PA during which a monument dedicated to Religious Liberty financed by the B’nai Brith was presented to the Centennial Committee chaired by A.L. Singer.

    1877: The Hebrew Free School Association in New York is providing services to 701 students.

    1878: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association was held today at the schoolhouse located at Number 96 Bowery. As of this date, the association operates five schools, employs 17 teachers and serves 1,045 students.

    1883: In Rushville, Indiana, Jewish merchant Jacob Block is suffering from the after effects of having been slashed with a razor by the son of his competitor Eli Frank while his is son is under arrest for fatally shooting Eli Frank.

    1885: The new home of Congregation B’nai Jershurun on Madison between 64th and 65thStreets is scheduled to be dedicated today

    1886: The Wife and daughter of a Polish Jew named Milkowski who has lived in West Carroll Parish came to Lake Providence, LA to report that a mob made of people who owed him money had destroyed the family home and outbuildings at Caledonia.

    1891: “Benjamin Berensen Disappears” published today described how Berensen, a Boston Jewish “dry-goods jobber” defrauded his co-religionist out cash and goods valued at $10,000 to $15,000 by using an elaborate check-kiting scheme before skipping town.

    1892: Officials of the New York Health department were alarmed yesterday at the reappearance of typhus five months after dealing with the last epidemic which had begun with a group of infected Russian and Polish Jews who had arrived on the SS Massila,

    1893: Birthdate of German expressionist playwright Ernst Toller who would be memorialized by W. H. Auden's poem "In Memory of Ernst Toller."

    1893: It was reported today that among the dignitaries who had served Thanksgiving Dinner to the children at the United Hebrew Charities’ Industrial School were H.S. Allen, Dr. H.P. Mendes and Mrs. Louis Mendes.

    1894: New Yorker A. M. Huntington has purchased University of Chicago Professor William I. Knapp’s 6,000 volume library that included the Ferrara Bible of 1443 which is known as the “Jews Bible.

    1895: “Dr. Silverman On Armenia” published today provided a summary of the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El on  “the Turkish persecution directed against the Armenians” as well  the Turkish persecution against Christian missionaries, and against those Americans residing in the Ottoman Empire. Silverman believes that Jews, given their own history of persecution, have an obligation to speak out when others persecuted.

    1896: The Fifteenth Biennial Council of the American Hebrew Congregations opened today in Louisville, KY, with a business meeting in the gymnasium of the Yong Men’s Hebrew Associations and ending with a “musicale” at Liederkranz Hall.

    1897: Moritz Rosenthal is scheduled to “give his first piano recital…at the Academy of Music.”

    1898: The United States Consul at Beirut wrote a report today “The Jews in Palestine” which opened by saying “In view of the impetus given the Zionist movement by the second Zionist congress held at Basel in September and also by the Palestine journey of Emperor Wilhelm II, the present status of Jews in Palestine becomes a matter of general interest.”

    1907(25thof Kislev, 5668): Chanukah

    1907: In Alpena, Michigan, the community’s Jewish women formed the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society.

    1909: The first Kibbutz, Degania, was established in pre-state Israel. Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), one of its founders, was considered the "Apostle" of the kibbutz movement. Each colony was independent and democratically governed. Membership was voluntary and all earnings and expenses were shared.

    1913: Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, is annexed by Greece. “The Jews of Crete are first mentioned in 2 Maccabees and appear to have had a community at Gortys.”  “Toward the end of the 19th century, Crete was made into an independent republic under a Greek prince regent. A parliament was established, with several Jewish representatives, who managed to claim their constitutionally guaranteed seats with great difficulty. After Crete was formally annexed to Greece in 1913, Jewish emigration continued until, by 1941, there were only 364 Jews in Hania, 1 in Rethymnon, and 7 in Herakleion.”

    1915: First night of a “fete” held for the benefit of the Spanish and Portuguese Sisterhood which is chaired by Mrs. Mortimer M. Meken. 

    1916: Italian government declares an Italian, and not a native, be appointed as rabbinate in Tripoli. Arabs are in charge of local courts of justice and deal unjustly against Jews.

    1917(16thof Kislev, 5678): Just 28 days before his 63rd birthday Dr. Henry M. Leipzieger, whose twenty-five year career in New York City education culminated with his service as Supervisor of Lectures of the Board of Education passed away today.

    1917: A fund raising campaign led by Jacob Schiff is scheduled to begin today in New York City.

    1917:  The Bolshevik Armistice Commission, with two Jews, Adolf Jofee and Leo Kamenev (Trotsky’s brother in law) as chief negotiators left Petrograd for peace talks with the Germans at Brest-Litovsk.

    1918: Following the incorporation of Bessarabia and Bukovina, Transylvania united with Romania to form what will become known as Greater Romania. Greater Romania gained its legitimacy as a result of the Versailles Peace Conference that end World War I, during which 882 Jewish soldiers died defending Romania (and 825 were decorated). This enlarged state had an increased Jewish population. Based on treaties signed after the war, the government of Romania agreed to change its policy towards the Jews, promising to award them both citizenship and minority rights, the effective emancipation of Jews. The 1923 Constitution of Romania sanctioned these requirements, meeting opposition from Cuza's National-Christian Defense League and rioting by right-wing students.

    1918: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.  The redrawing of the map of Europe by the Allied Powers following WW I was intended to break up the old European imperial system recognizing the aspirations of a variety of nationalities throughout central and eastern Europe.  The process may have looked very tidy in the drawing rooms of London and Paris.  But it was quite messy for those having to live it out and this very true for the Jews of the Balkans.  For a primer on the early days of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities in the political invention called Yugoslavia read the following:

    1918:Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom. Jews were not officially allowed to reside in Iceland until 1855 when the parliament complied with the request of the Danish king to allow Jews to enter the little island and trade under the same terms as had been adopted in Denmark. By the end of 19th there were a small number of trading agents which represented firms owned by Danish Jews but there is no record as to how many of them, if any were Jewish.  A Jewish Danish merchant named Fritz Heyman Nathan moved to Iceland and pursued a successful business career in Reykjavik in the first two decades of the twentieth century.  He moved returned to Copenhagen to pursue his business interest, having found that Iceland was a hard place to follow a Jewish way of life.  Today, the Jewish population of Iceland is miniscule.

    1921:Following an investigation into Sir Edgar Speyer's wartime conduct held in camera by the Home Office's Certificates of Naturalization (Revocation) Committee, his naturalization was revoked by an order issued today.

    1925: Mr. and Mrs. Abraham J. Cahan arrived in New York today aboard the SS Majestic.  Mr. Cahan is editor of the Forwards. They were returning from a month long visit to Palestine where Mr. Cahan had spent most of his time investigating the growth and development of the newly created city of Tel Aviv

    1925: Birthdate of Martin Rodbell. Dr. Rodbell was an American biochemist who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery in the 1960s of natural signal transducers called G-proteins that help cells in the body communicate with each other. He shared the prize with Alfred G. Gilman, who later proved Rodbell's hypothesis, by isolating the G-protein, which is so named because it binds to nucleotides called guanosine diphosphate and guanosine triphosphate, or GDP and GTP. Prior to Rodbell's research, scientists believed that only two substances--a hormone receptor and an interior cell enzyme--were responsible for cellular communication. Rodbell, however, discovered that the G-protein acted as an intermediate signal transducer between the two.  [Ed. Note: I have note a clue as to what this really means.]

    1927: Birthdate of Mordkhe Schaechter, a leading Yiddish linguist who spent a lifetime studying, standardizing and teaching the language.

    1927: Birthdate of Abby Mann, American film writer and producer. Born as Abraham Goodman, he grew up in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was best known for his work on controversial subjects and social drama. His most famous work is the drama Judgment at Nuremberg, which was initially a television drama aired in 1959. Stanley Kramer directed the 1961 film adaptation, for which Mann received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his acceptance speech, he said: "A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives."Mann later adapted the play for a 2001 production on Broadway, which featured Maximilian Schell from the 1961 film in a different role. Working on television, he most notably created the television series Kojak, starring Telly Savalas. Mann was executive producer, but was credited as a writer also on many episodes. His other writing credits include the screenplays for the television films The Marcus-Nelson Murders, The Atlanta Child MurdersTeamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story, and Indictment: The McMartin Trial, as well as the film War and Love. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 80

    1928: Birthdate of actor Malachi Thorne

    1930: Birthdate of Joachim Hoffmann, the German military historian, who contended that the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust, was in the thousands and not the millions and who testified on behalf of Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf.

    1933: Birthdate of Sir James David Wolfensohn the Australian who was the ninth president of the World Bank Group.

    1934: In the Soviet Union, Leonid Nioleav murdered Sergei Kirov, the head of the Communist Party in Leningrad providing Stalin with an excuse to start the five year long purge known as The Great Terror the first victims of which were two Jewish leaders, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev.

    1935:  Birthdate of Woody Allen

    1937: This date marks the seventh anniversary of the Palestine Post, which would later become the Jerusalem Post.

    1937:  The Palestine Post reported that two members of a police patrol, a British sergeant and an Arab constable were killed by an Arab terrorist gang at Wadi Malak, near Haifa. A Public Works Department store was sabotaged and burnt out at Tulkarm.

    1938: Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht travels to London to propose to George Rublee, of the Intergovernmental Committee for Political Refugees, an extortionate scheme: German Jews could emigrate if they put up cash assets that would be transferred to the Reich upon emigration. This Schacht-Rublee plan will be abandoned in January 1939, when Schacht will be dismissed by Hitler after Schacht objects to the high cost of Germany's rearmament.

    1938: The British Cabinet allows 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children into Britain in an action called the Kindertransport. (Britain, however, refuses to allow 21,000 more Jewish children into Palestine.) The rescued children come from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia with the help of British, Jewish, and Quaker welfare organizations. Because of the Holocaust, most of the children will never see their parents again, and many of the Jewish children will be converted to Christianity.

    1939:  This date marked the final deportation of Jews from Poland to the Soviet Union. The Jews had been marched from Chelm to Hrubieszow, Poland.  Then 1800 Jews set off marching from Hrubieszow, Poland to the Soviet border. More than 1,400 were killed on December 4 on or near the Russian border.

    1939: German Field Marshal Johannes Blaskowitz, commander-in-chief of the German Army Group East, reports that many Jewish children in transport trains are arriving at their destinations frozen to death.

    1939: The Lipowa camp at Lipowa Street in Lublin, Poland, is established. It is initially an assembly point for Polish-Jewish POWs, and it will later be a Jewish work camp.

    1939: Lódz (Poland) Ghetto administrator Friedrich Übelhör notes that ghettoization of Jews is only temporary. The final goal is to clean Jews out of Lódz, to "utterly destroy this bubonic plague."

    1940: Inside the Warsaw (Poland) Ghetto, Polish-Jewish historian Emanuel Ringelblum begins work on a secret diary of ghetto life.

    1941: The German Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories decrees that the destruction of Jews shall continue irrespective of economic considerations; i.e., the allure of unpaid Jewish labor will be ignored.

    1941: During the murder of 5000 Jews at Novogrudok, Belorussia, 200 Jews resist and kill 20 Nazis before being gunned down.

    1941: Ten thousand Jews deported from Odessa, Ukraine, are murdered at camps at Acmecetka, Bogdanovka, and Domanevka, Romania.

    1941: Mass murders of Jews in the Ukraine and Volhynia region of Poland are slowed when the frozen ground prevents the digging of execution pits.

    1941: Fur coats belonging to Jews in eastern Germany are confiscated by the Nazis. They'll be used by German soldiers on the Eastern Front.

    1941: The Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica, published in Rome under strict Vatican supervision,reminds Catholics that the Jews are supposedly those primarily responsible for murdering God and that the Jews repeat this crime by means of ritual murder "in every generation."

    1941: For the next three days and nights, seven thousand Jews from Novogrudok, Belorussia, are forced to stand all day and night in frigid temperatures outside the municipal courthouse. Five thousand are taken away to their deaths on the 6th; the remaining 2000 are impressed into forced labor at suburban Pereshike

    1941: According to an Einsatzkomando Report only 15% of Lithuanian Jews were left alive less than six months after the Nazis had invaded the Soviet Union.

    1941: The German established a ghetto in Losice forcing all the Jews from surrounding areas to move there.

    1941: Himmler issued “strict instructions that no mass murders of deported German Jews were to occur without his express orders>

    1942:Ayn Rand, novelist and creator of Objectivism, delivered the completed manuscript of her novel The Fountainhead to her publisher

    1942: Four hundred laborers were killed at Karczew a town near Warsaw

    1942: Members of the Siemiatycze (Poland) Group of Jewish resisters kill a Polish peasant and his entire family as retribution for the peasant's capture and betrayal to the Nazis of three Jews.

    1942: Nazis lock 1000 Gypsies in a Lithuanian synagogue until the prisoners starve to death.

    1942 Ghetto resistance is organized at Czestochowa and Kielce, Poland.

    1942: At Brody, Ukraine, Jewish resistance is led by Solomon Halberszstadt, Jakub Linder, and Samuel Weiler.

    1942:  Jewish resistance at Chortkov, Ukraine, is led by Heniek Nusbaum, Mundek Nusbaum, Reuven Rosenberg, and Meir Wasserman.

    1942: Jewish Resistance leader Dr. Yeheskel Atlas, a young Polish physician, is mortally wounded by Nazi troops in a battle at Wielka Wola, Poland.

    1942: The Jewish ghetto at Lvov, Ukraine, is liquidated.

    1942: The SS shuts down extermination activities at Belzec.

    1942: A Sonderkommando plan to escape from Auschwitz is discovered, and the inmates are gassed.

    1942: A forced-labor camp is established at Plaszów, Poland.

    1942(22nd of Kislev, 5703): Partisan leader Hirsch Kaplinski, survivor of an August 1942 massacre of Jews at Diatlovo, Belorussia, is killed in combat during a German attack on the Lipiczany Forest.

    1942: Roosevelt and Churchill issued a joint public statement revealing the dire facts of the Nazi extermination program aimed at the Jews and issuing a solemn warning that individuals engaged in it would ultimately would be tried as war criminals.

    1943: Mussolini ordered the arrest of "all Jews living on the national territory."  As a result Italian police and carabinieri arrested thousands, who were promptly delivered to the Germans and deported to Auschwitz. Within Italy, 200 Jews were murdered by German Nazis and their Italian Fascist collaborators. “However, by now, many Italians did not follow Il Duce's bidding and 40,000 Italian Jews survived the war while another 8,000 died.

    1943: United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau instructs assistants Randolph Paul and John W. Pehle to investigate the State Department's handling of the Jewish refugee issue.

    1943: The Daman Yankee, a B-17 piloted by Bruce Sundlun was damaged by flax during a bombing run over Solingen, Germany.  The plane was so badly damaged that crew was forced to bail out over Jabbeke, Belgium.  Before bailing out, Sundlun turned the plane to make sure it crashed harmlessly into a turnip field instead of landing in the town, an act of derring-do that earned him the designation of honorary citizen in 2009. (Sundlun would serve the war and eventually served as the second Jewish governor of Rhode Island) 

    1944: After three months' work at Lieberose, Germany, Nazis suspend slave labor on a vacation complex for German officers. They instead evacuate the Jewish workers 100 miles on foot northwest to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany. Of the 3,500 who began the march, only 900 arrived at the destination. Several hundred sick inmates who were unable to begin the march were shot in their beds.

    1944: Birthdate of Eric Bloom of “Blue Oyster” fame.

    1944:  American pollster Elmo Roper warns that anti-Semitism has infected the U.S., most strongly in and around cities.

    1945:  Anti-Semitic Poles murder 11 Jews in the town of Kosow-Lacki, Poland, which is located less than six miles from the site of the Treblinka extermination camp.

    1945: Oliver Cox, an American sociologist, concludes that Christians in the United States regard the Jew as "our irreconcilable enemy within the gates, the antithesis of our God, the disturber of our way of life and of our social aspirations."

    1945: Birthdate of singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler. Midler was born in Honolulu to Jewish parents from New Jersey.  After graduating from the University of Hawaii, she got her start singing in the Continental Baths, a New York City bathhouse.  Her piano accompanist at the time was Barry Manilow.  Manilow produced Midler first hit album entitled The Divine Miss M.

    1946: Birthdate of the multi-talented Jonathan Paul Katz.

    1947: In response to the partition vote, the Arab High Committee declared that November 29 was henceforth to be  “a day of mourning” and that it marked the beginning of the struggle against the Partition. 

    1947: The Arab League plans to meet and discuss ways to resist the partition of Palestine into two states.

    1947:Emanuel Neuman, President of the Zionist Organization of America, sought formal recognition of the Jewish volunteer defense units as being the Jewish militia in Palestine.

    1948: The Arab Congress names Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, King of Palestine.  Abdullah earned this title because the Jordanian Army (known as the Arab Legion) had successfully crossed the Jordan River and seized what is now called the West Bank and the eastern section of Jerusalem. Under the partition plan, the area of the West Bank should have been part of an Arab State.  Apparently the Arabs saw things differently since they awarded it to Abdullah as “spoil” for his part in the war against the Jewish state.  Since it now held land on both sides of the Jordan, Trans-Jordan would officially change its name to Jordan.  Please note, there was no attempt to create an independent Palestinian state on this land for the almost twenty years it was occupied by the Jordanian Army.

    1948: Riots break out in Damascus in response to King Abdullah of Transjordan being proclaimed king of Palestine at a meeting of central Palestinian Arabs in Jericho and Syrian premier Jamil Mardam Bey and his cabinet resign.

    1949: The UN General Assembly's Political Subcommittee recommends an international Jerusalem despite objections of Israel and Jordan.

    1956: The Dutch Kingdom officially recognized the Jewish community of Aruba.

    1966: In response to competition from W & S an automated bagel factory that had begun operating in metropolitan New York, “the bagel bosses” presented baker’s union with a list of “radical demands,” including a 40% pay cut, a decrease in the number of paid holidays and a 50% cut in the number of bakers on each shift.

    1966: Yad Vashem officially recognized Father Père Marie-Benoît as a Righteous Among the Nations for helping thousands of Jews to reach Switzerland and Spain from the South of France and continuing his work after escaping to Rome where he was pursued by the Gestapo.

    1968: Near Amman, Jordan, Israeli commandos destroy four bridges.

    1968: It was reported today that “Tel Aviv is building a huge five-level bus terminal with local and out-of-town platforms, shops and movie theatres. The terminal will be the world’s largest surpassing even the Port Authority Terminal in New York City.”

    1970: In Manchester, NH, Beth Ann O'Hara and Donald Silverman gave birth to Sarah Kate Silverman of SNL fame.

    1973(6th of Kislev, 5734):  David Ben-Gurion, First Prime Minister of Israel, passed away.  There is no way that a short blurb can do justice to one of the greatest Jewish leaders in modern times.  Regardless of what one might think of his flaws, and he did have them, without Ben-Gurion there would have not been a modern state of Israel.  He was a walking contradiction:  an idealist and a pragmatist; a secular Jew who was an expert on the Bible and biblical history; a man whose hands were hardened from manual labor on a kibbutz who taught himself English and classical Greek; a seemingly autocratic political figure who believed in democracy even when the process when against him.    No matter how the revisionists work at it, nobody can take away his most monumental achievement – the Jewish homeland.  To paraphrase what was said about Maimonides, from David (the king) to David (Ben-Gurion) there was none like David.

    1977: Birthdate of guitarist Bard Delson.

    1977: Three weeks into the Sadat peace initiative, the Carter administration had offered only the faintest approval for the Egyptian president’s visit to Jerusalem, and had not yet abandoned its support for Geneva in favor of the bilateral Egyptian-Israeli process that Sadat, Begin and Dayan were actively proposing.

    1983(25thof Kislev, 5744): Chanukah

    1985: In an article entitled “First A State, Then A Nation,” Paul Johnson reviews Israel The Partitioned State: A Political History Since 1900 by Amos Perlmutter.

    1985: In “Quarrying History In Jerusalem” Thomas Friedman described the impact of the excavations at Zedekiah’s Cave.

    1988: Birthdate of Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz.

    1988: As Israeli politicians struggle to form a new government after the elections which were held on November 1, Shimon Peres signed a coalition agree with Agudat Israel even though his Labor Party and this Orthodox political party held different views on attempts to redefine who is Jewish under the Law of Return.

    1988:Israeli and American women joined together and attempted to pray as a group at the Western Wall for the first time today

    1991: Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory by Lawrence L. Langer, Maus: A Survivor's Tale II. And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman and Wartime Liesby Louis Begley are among the ten books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year

    1992(6thof Kislev, 5753): Eighty-three year old Rabbi Eli A. Bohnen passed away today.

    1993(17thof Kislev, 5754):Shalva Ozana, age 23, and Yitzhak Weinstock, age 19, were shot to death by terrorists from a moving vehicle, while parked on the side of the road to Ramallah because of engine trouble. Weinstock died of his wounds the following morning. Iz a-Din al Kassam claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was carried out in retaliation for the killing by Israeli forces of Imad Akel, a wanted HAMAS leader in Gaza

    1994(28th of Kislev, 5755):An ax-wielding Islamic militant killed an Israeli soldier in a northern Israeli town today, officials said. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, vowing that his peace efforts with the Palestinians would continue despite a surge of guerrilla attacks, said the killer belonged to the Islamic resistance movement Hamas.


    1995:Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, today denied suggestions that he had acted with the approval of a rabbi, and insisted that he had decided on the killing alone after careful deliberation. Mr. Amir, 25, had asserted that he was required to kill Mr. Rabin under religious law because the Prime Minister was betraying Jewish lives and land to the enemy. Suspecting that Mr. Amir may have received a rabbinic authorization, the police interrogated four rabbis this week to determine whether they had declared Mr. Rabin a "pursuer" under Jewish law -- a deadly assailant who can be legally killed. None were held in custody, but the questioning highlighted discussions in some Orthodox circles about whether the Government could be subject to the law of the "pursuer." In court today, Mr. Amir sat hunched and intent as he listened to the proceedings. A police representative said he expected an indictment to be handed down on Sunday against Mr. Amir and his brother, Hagai and a third suspect, Dror Adani, who are being held on conspiracy and other charges. Judge Dan Arbel ordered all three held until next week.

    1995: It was reported today that Alfred Lerner, the son Russian-Jewish immigrants and one of America's wealthiest men, with a net worth of $1 billion gained in real estate and banking has donated 25 million dollars to Columbia University in New York City

    1996: In an article entitled “Shulberg Tackling Fitzgerald Play Anew” Meryl Spiegel described his interview with Budd Schulberg in this last of “the living links to F. Scott Fitzgerald, talked about ''The Disenchanted,'' his fictional tale of their cataclysmic collaboration on a film script.Having lost favor with the literary world of the 1930's, the ''laureate of the Jazz Age'' was a shadow of his former self, Mr. Schulberg recalled. Deeply in debt, physically ill and desperately trying to stay sober, Fitzgerald grabbed the screenwriting job just to pay his bills and finance a return to his own work. The film, called ''Winter Carnival,'' was written in 1939, two years before the writer died nearly penniless at the age of 44. ''The Disenchanted'' was first written as a novel, published in 1950, and was later transformed into a play that opened on Broadway in 1958. Mr. Schulberg, 82, is probably most famous today for writing the screenplay for ''On The Waterfront,'' starring Marlon Brando, and for his first novel, ''What Makes Sammy Run?'' He has published many other novels, however, several works of nonfiction, and has seen his plays produced on Broadway.”

    2001(28th of Kislev, 5755): Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in back-to-back explosions at a downtown Jerusalem pedestrian mall, killing 11 bystanders.

    2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including One World:The Ethics of Globalization by Peter Singer,The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945by Michael Beschloss and Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the Worldby Margaret MacMillan.  The last two may seem like general history texts but they deal with events that had a unique impact on the Jewish people

    2002: Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education, stepped down, after 15 years as the president of the Carnegie Institution, a major national scientific research center.

    2002(26th of Kislev, 5763): Ninety-three year old British bridge grandmaster Boris Schapiro passed away.

    2004: “Or” a film directed by Keren Yedaya was released to theatres in RAnce.

    2004(18th of Kislev, 5765):  Dr. Jonathan A. Goldstein, former professor at the University of Iowa passed away. Among his scholarly works were his translations and commentaries on the Books of the Maccabees as part of the Anchor Bible.  He will be missed by all those who knew him. 

    2005: A new defense system designed for civilian planes passed it its final test. The new anti-missile protectionsystem is designed to defend passenger jets from shoulder-held missile attacks. El Al will begin installing the systems as early as next week.  The development of the systems came as a result of attacks on Israeli civilian airliners flying in Africa by terrorists armed with shoulder held missiles.

    2005: The Maryland/Israel Development Center and The Trendlines Group co-sponsored a conference in Tel Aviv on raising money for Israeli homeland security companies. One hundred fifty executives and entrepreneurs of Israeli homeland security technology companies came to learn how to raise funds and break into the American homeland security market.


    2006: “The Jews Among Arabs Conference” at Vanderbilt University in Nashville,TN sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies comes to an end.

    2006(10th of Kislev, 5767): Songwriter and journalist Eli Mohar passed away at the age of 58, of cancer. Mohar, considered one of Israel's best songwriters, was best known as the veteran columnist in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha'ir, which published his weekly column "Goings on Around Town."

    2006(10th of Kislev, 5767): Character actor Sid Raymond passed away at the age of 97. The NYU dropout was famous for being the face people remembered but did not connect with any given character he portrayed. He was also “known” for being the voice of the cartoon character Baby Huey

    2007(21st of Kislev, 5768):.  Ninety-five year old “Moses M. Weinstein, a Queens Democrat who served in the State Assembly, with stints as majority leader and acting speaker in the 1960s, and nearly two decades as a trial and appellate judge of the State Supreme Court, died on today at Memorial Hospital in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2007: The Ninth Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival opens at the Jerusalem Cinematheque with the showing of Etz O Palestine, The Tribe, The Powder and the Glory, Toots, O Jerusalem and Song of David.

    2008:The92nd Street Y presents  "Radical Islam and the Nuclear Bomb: Understanding Contemporary Genocidal Anti-Semitism" - A conversation featuring Dr. Charles Small, founder and director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, and Bret Stephens, a writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal

    2008: Archbishop of Lublin, Josef Zycinski participates in a symposium entitled "Confronting a New Reality: The Polish Catholic Church, the Jews, and Israel."
    2008 (4 Kislev 5769): Ninety-eight year old “Emanuel Rackman, the spiritual leader of the prominent Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan and an outspoken advocate of a more inclusive, intellectually open Orthodox Judaism passed away at his home in Manhattan (As reported by William Grimes)

    2009: Michael Rosen reads from What Else But Home, “a strikingly honest portrait of his unusual (Jewish) identity” at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, IA.

    2009:Journalist Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time magazine and currently CEO of the Aspen Institute, discusses and signs his new book, American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane, at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

    2009:At Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, former Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim delivers a speech entitled “Ethiopian Jews then and now-from Operation Solomon-1991 to Israel 2009.” Asher Naim has been the Israeli ambassador to Japan, Finland and Korea, is multilingual and has been active in working with Arab-Israeli relations.

    2009:Knesset Member Ayoub Kara (Likud), who also is Deputy Minister for Development of the Galilee and Negev, is scheduled to tour the Dead Sea area this morning, accompanied by representatives of the Megilot Regional Council. He is promoting the Dead Sea as one of the 28 finalists in the contest for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, sponsored by the New Seven Wonders Fund.

    2010:Dalia Tsuk Mitchell, a Professor of Law and History at The George Washington University, and author of a biography of Felix Cohen is scheduled to present a program entitled “Felix Cohen, Father of Federal Indian Law” at the Interior Department in Washington, DC.  Felix Solomon Cohen's experiences as a Jewish American deeply influenced his career and legal philosophy, helping shape his reworking of federal Indian law in the 1930s. Come learn about this influential legal scholar in the beautiful New Deal-era auditorium at the Department of the Interior, where Cohen worked in the Solicitor's office.

    2010: Editor and writer Robert Gottlieb and New Yorker writer Judith Thurman are scheduled to speak at the 92nd Y in a program entitled “The Life of Sarah Bernhardt”

    2010(24th of Kislev, 5771):  This evening Jews all over the world will be lighting the first Chanukah candle.

    2010: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud)  is scheduled to light the first Chanukah candle at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron this evening.

    2010: In a world where the inmates seem to be running the asylum, today is the final day for students at Princeton to cast their ballot on a referendum that would allow brands of hummus other than Sabra to be sold in university stores. Sabra is half-owned by The Strauss Group, which has publicly supported the IDF and provides care packages and sports equipment to Israeli soldiers. The referendum was initiated by Princeton Committee on Palestine, which is led by Yoel Bitran, an American-born Jewish student who moved to Chile and returned to the U.S. to attend Princeton. It is part of larger program supported by the Philly BDS, which calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against companies that support the Israel Defense Forces. 

    2010: Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron wished "Hanukkah Sameach" to the millions of Jews around the world who prepared to light the first candle of the Jewish festival of lights.  "I want to pass on my very best wishes to the Jewish community here and around the world for a happy and peaceful Hanukkah," Cameron said. "The story of Hanukkah continues to be an inspiring message of the power of hope to sustain people through the toughest of times, and the strength that we can find when we come together and focus on building a brighter future," he added. "I wish you and your families a Hanukkah sameach,” Cameron said. The eight-day Jewish holiday, known as the Festival of Lights due to the ritual of lighting candles, commemorates the re dedication of the Second Temple and marks the narrative of the miracle of the oil lamp, in which oil that should have lasted for one day to light up the temple, lasted for eight days. British Foreign Secretary William Hague also recorded a special Hanukkah greeting saying "it's a great pleasure to send warm good wishes to the Jewish community in Britain and all over the world as you celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights.""Hanukkah is about courage," he said. "It is about hope, looking forward of course to the future and we certainly hope for peace and for continuing to strive for peace in a region that so desperately needs it."

    2010: Still Hilfe, or Silent Aid, an organization which provides help for Third Reich fugitives of justice, is funding the defense of Klass Faber, a Dutch Nazi living in Germany, the Daily Mirror reported today.  According to the report, Gudrun Burwitz, the 81-year-old daughter of Gestapo head Heinrich Heimler is a leading member of the organization, which began operating in 1946.

    2010: In an article entitled “Small-City Congregations Try to Preserve Rituals of Jewish Life” Jane Levere described the effort of the Jewish Community Legacy Project to help cities like Laredo, Texas; Sumter, SC; and Marion, Indiana deal with “an economic and social decline, shrinking synagogue membership and the eventual end of cemetery oversight.”

    2011: After about three months of operation Jerusalem’s light rail is scheduled to begin charging passengers today

    2011: The 22nd Washington Jewish Film is scheduled to open with a screening of “Mabul” and a reception at the Avalon Theatre.

    2011: The seventh annual Hamshoushalayim event begins today in Jerusalem

    2011:Israel's Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch today condemned the recent "delegitimization campaign" carried out against the Supreme Court, saying Israeli politicians are responsible.

    2012: Clarinetists Alex and Daniel Gurfinkel are scheduled to perform at The Best of Chamber Music concert in Jerusalem
    2012: The JCCNV is scheduled to host its 32nd Annual Fundraising Gala.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, the traditional minyan observes Solidarity Shabbat, marking the 65th anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 181, celebrating 65 years of American support for the Jewish state and memorializing those who were killed during the recent attacks on Israel
    2012:Representatives of Jewish communities in Spanish-speaking countries are today and tomorrow in Miami to discuss the effects of recent political shifts on Jewish life in the Americas and Iberia.

    2012: Today, Tzipi Livni’s newly founded Hatnua (The Movement) party began filling its ranks, ahead of next week’s deadline for submitting Knesset lists.

    2013: The New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of 2013” includes the following books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem, The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, Half the Kingdom by Lore Segal, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff, The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt. Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel, After the Music Stopped by Alan S. Blinder, The American Way of Poverty by Sasha Abramsky, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass, The Boy Detective by Roger Rosenblatt, Miss Anne In Harlemby Carla Kaplan, My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox, The Town by Mark Leibovich,  and Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb and American Strategy by Kenneth M. Pollack

    2013: In Little Rock, Chabad Lubavitch is scheduled to present “Latkes and Laughter” with Mike Niehaus (and if the Latkes are prepared by Mrs. Ciment, everybody is in for a real treat)
    2013: “The Magic Flute” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host an evening of Sephardic songs set to tango entitled “SepharTango.”

    2013: “LOX & VODKA the Washington, DC based Klezmer band” is scheduled to perform in Alexandria, VA.


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    December 2

    127 CE: In a document drawn up on this date at a government office in Rabbatg, east of the Dead Sea, four date groves in Maoza were registered by their owner as part of a provincial census ordered by the Roman governor. The date groves abutted the property of Tmar, daughter of Thamous (Tamar, daughter of Thomas).  Record of this ancient document from an area the Romans called Palestine is proof that women did own property in their own right.  Who was Tamar?  Who was her father Thomas?  These are questions for which, as yet, we have no answers.


    499: (Kislev, 4427): Ravina II (Bar Shemuel), the nephew of Ravina passed away.  According to tradition Ravina completed the final editing of the Talmud that had been begun by Rav Ashi about one year prior to this time.  According to some authorities, Ravina committed the Oral Law (the Talmud) to writing, despite protests that only the Bible should be written down. His death marked the end of the period of the Amoraimushered in the period of the Savoraim.


    1264: In Sinsig, Germany, a convert to Judaism was arrested for preaching Judaism. Although tortured he refused to recant his belief in Judaism and is burned at the stake.


    1763: The Touro Synagogue opened in Newport, Rhode Island. Sephardic Jews in Jamaica, Surinam, London and Amsterdam sponsored the building of this first major center of Jewish culture in America.  It is the oldest synagogue in the United States.The new edifice introduced an important innovation in synagogue design. The women’s gallery of this traditional synagogue featured a low balustrade that offered women an open view of the rest of the sanctuary.Women’s galleries in other “new world” and “old world” synagogues generally were constructed with high or opaque barriers meant to keep women out of the sight of men within the sanctuary. The change in Newport represented less a reform of traditional practice than a reflection of colonial American expectations for female religious expression.The strong presence of women in colonial American churches was an important way in which women demonstrated the religious piety expected of them by their society. Observing the behavior of their non-Jewish neighbors, colonial American Jewish women seemed to understand that it was more important that they be seen in the space of public worship than had been the case in their previous communities. Early American synagogue records suggest that unmarried young women both attended and asserted their presence in the synagogue.The open gallery layout of the Newport synagogue demonstrates a changing consciousness of what women’s synagogue role should be. Moreover, the open plan was imitated by most of the early American synagogues that followed Newport.”

    1790: In Hungary, “the Diet drafted a bill showing that it intended to protect” the rights of the Jews as they had requested in the petition submitted to King Leopold II.

    1796: Ezekiel Hart, the first Jew to be elected to public office in the British Empire, and his brothers Moses and Benjamin went into partnership to establish a brewery in Trois-Rivières, the M. and E. Hart Company. By the terms of the agreement the three agreed to hold equal shares in the firm. They had the financial backing of their father. Ezekiel Hart later withdrew from the M. and E. Hart Company. Ezekiel sold everything to Moses, apparently soon after their father's death in 1800. Subsequently Ezekiel followed in the footsteps of his father, who was in every respect his model. He went into the import and export trade, kept a general store, never let a good business deal pass, and acquired property. Besides inheriting the seigneury of Bécancour, he bought a great deal of land, mainly at Trois-Rivières and Cap-de-la-Madeleine.

    1825: Birthdate of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. An opponent of slavery and a comparatively tolerant man, he was tolerant of both Jews and Muslims. “when asked why there were no laws against” the Jews of Brazil he answered: ‘I will not attack the Jews, as the God of my religion came from their people.’”

    1839(25th of Kislev, 5600): Chanukah
    1848: Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria. Born in 1830, Franz Josef reigned until his death in 1916.  Most people think of him as the Austrian Emperor who declared war on Serbia in 1914 and started World War I.  From the Jewish perspective, the last of the Hapsburg monarchs was one of the better rulers under which to live.  Despite the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Josef saw himself as the protector of his Jewish subjects.  At one point he told his ministers, “I will tolerate no Jew-baiting in my empire!”  He described anti-Semitism as “an illness” whose “excesses were awful.”  He is reliably reported to have publicly walked out of a theatre when performers began a series of anti-Semitic songs.  In 1895, he moved to block the anti-Semitic rabble-rouser Karl Lueger (one of Hitler’s early role-models) from becoming burgomeister of Vienna. In 1869, Franz Josef visited Jerusalem where he met with a group of local Jews and contributed to the building of a new synagogue.  Austrian Jews spoke highly of the Emperor during his reign and at the time of his death.  But his enemies provided the full measure of the monarch’s attitude towards his Jewish subjects.  Behind his back, they called him the “Judenkaiser.”

    1851: French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.

    1851: In France, Adolphe Crémieux was arrested and was imprisoned for his opposition to Louis Napoleon. 

    1852: Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Napoleon III. In one sense, he was a comic opera figure who used his name to gain power, Napoleon was not as weak as his enemies thought nor as wily a politician as he himself thought.  He did not dabble in anti-Semitism and counted Jews among his friends and supporters, especially if they were wealthy and successful.  His relations with the House of Rothschild were strained by the fact that the Jewish bankers had supported one of his opponents.  But Napoleon overlooked this since he needed their financial support.  On the other hand, Louis Napoleon was the sole supporter of reactionary Pope Leo IX who pursued a number of anti-Semitic practices.  However, this was more a case of power politics than personally held beliefs.  In the end the greatest impact Louis Napoleon had on the Jews was tangential. Louis Napoleon led France to defeat in the disastrous Franco-Prussian War in 1870.  The French desire to avenge this humiliation and regain its lost provinces was one of the contributing factors to World War I.  And of course, World I begot World War II and the Holocaust. 

    1855: Articles of Incorporation for the Judah Touro Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    1857: The Melbourne Herald described the interment of 4 of the participants in the goldfields uprising a the Eureka Stockade including a German-born Jew, Edward (Teddy) Thoen.

    1859: Abolitionist John Brown was hung after his unsuccessful raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry that was intended to be the first step in an uprising that would free the slaves. Three Jews – August Bondi, Jacob Benjamin and Theodore Weiner – had fought alongside Brown in his first armed attack that took place at Osawatomie, Kansas.

    1868: Disraeli’s first British government resigns.  Disraeli’s father may have had him baptized, but Disraeli’s enemies would never let him forget his Jewish ancestry
    1869: Birthdate of Jonas Cohen German-born, English philosopher.

    1877: Over 500 people attended the annual meeting of the Society of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews. Mrs. P.J. Joachimsen, the President of the society, chaired the meeting.  The unusually large turnout was precipitated by concerns over financial irregularities combined with the election of officers. In her annual report, the President expressed her concern over financial irregularities involving other officers and the home’s superintendent.  Despite request that she serve another term, Mrs. Joachimsen has decided to end her service due to the contention she has had to deal with. 

    1877: It was reported today that The Board of Delegates of American Israelites and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations have met and agreed to unite their organizations.  The new organization will meet every three years. A committee with 30 members from all four sections of the country will be empowered to handle administrative matters.

    1878: The New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals is scheduled to hand down a ruling today in the case of Erie v Dringer which is on appeal from Vice Chancellor Van Fleet. Erie is the Erie Railroad.  Dringer is an Austrian born Jew who came to the United States in 1867 and went from driving a junk wagon in New York to owning his own junk yard in Paterson. He invented a unique machine for cutting up old iron which made it possible for him to buy large amount of scrap and made him the largest scrap dealer in the United States.  Eventually some of his less successful competitors brought suit against him, claiming among other things that he was effectively stealing scrap metal from the Erie Railroad.  The trial court ruled in favor of Dringer and his co-defendants.  The Plaintiffs appealed and now that case has been argued, a decision is awaited by all parties.

    1880: Plans for Sarah Bernhardt’s final performances New York and opening performance in Boston were published today.

    1881: It was reported today that the government in Belgrade will introduce a Jewish emancipation bill in Parliament in March that will conform to the Treaty of Berlin and that will place Serbian Jewish on an equal footing “with Jews who are Austrian subjects.”

    1881: “Riotous Doings In Hungary” described an attack on the Jews of Zalalövő in south-west Hungary.

    1883: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Hoboken (NJ) hosted an evening of entertainment including singing and recitation entitled “Spartacus” as the Odd Fellow’s Hall.

    1883: “Herr Stocker” published today described the hostile reception Adlolph Stocker, the Jew-baiting German clergyman received on his recent visit to England. He was greeted by hostile mobs that were primarily made up German Socialist living in London who regard him “as the typical representative of that military tyranny under which they say the Fatherland is groaning.”

    1883: It was reported today that the Adloph Stocker, the anti-Semitic clergyman is disliked by the younger members of the German court including the Crown Prince who has snubbed him on more than one occasion and by Chancellor Bismarck, “who has no sympathy with his Jew hating proclivities” as can be seen by his confidential relationship with Jewish banker Gerson Von Bleichroeder.

    1883: “He Has No Such Prejudices” published today contains a denial by Hugo O’Neill that ever told a Jew that “We don’t want any of your people in our employ” using as proof that he employs Jews some of whom were recommended to him by Rabbi D.H. Nieto of the 19thStreet Synagogue.

    1885:Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) an opera in four acts by Karl Goldmark premiered in the United States at the Metropolitan Opera
    1885(24th of Kislev, 5646): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle.

    1885: Rabbi Kohut delivered a sermon “on the victory of the Maccabees” at the Chanukah service at Ahavath Chesed at Lexington and 55th Street.

    1888: J. Harpman the Treasurer of Temple Shaari Tov in Minneapolis, was reported to have responded to questions about the distribution of money an “unknown New Yorker” sent for the benefits of destitute Jews living in Dakota by saying that “there is no longer any need for the money among the Jews” because their needs have been met but he did object to the fact that when there was need for this money it “was held by the authorities in Bismarck.”

    1890: As the cloak manufacturers were reported today to be strengthening their Cloak Manufacturers’ Association, many of the cloakmakers want Joseph Barondess to resume his role as leader of their union

    1891: Based on information that firs appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, Joseph Pennell the American artist and photographer attributed his deportation from Russia to his photographing of the Jewish quarter of Kiev and not “his sketching of the Jews and poking about the Jewish quarters” which the authorities didn’t like either.

    1893: Birthdate of Russian-born, American composer Leo Ornstein. He was one of the leading American experimental composers and pianists of the early twentieth century. Though he gave his last public concert around the age of forty, he continued to compose through his late nineties. He passed away in 2002.

    1895: Birthdate of English-born pianist Harriet Cohen.

    1896: At today’s session of the 15th Biennial Council of the American Congregations, delegates are scheduled to elect officers, discuss the future of the Hebrew Union College and in the evening attend a banquet at the Standard Club followed by a ball.

    1897: L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, runs a story on the Dreyfus Affair explaining that Dreyfus' treason is only to be expected from Jews.According to the Catholic paper:"The Jewish race, the deicide people, wandering throughout the world, bearing with it everywhere the pestiferous breath of treason....  And so, too, in the Dreyfus is hardly surprising if we again find the Jew in the front ranks, or if we find that the betrayal of one's country has been Jewishly conspired and Jewishly executed." (As reported by Austin Cline)

    1900: Herzl First visit of the Turkish agent Eduard Crespi in Vienna.

    1902: In order to renew the connection with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber, Herzl sends him a copy of "Altneuland".

    1905: Birthdate of Moses ("Moe") Asch, the founder of Folkways Records. He was the son of Yiddish language novelist and dramatist Sholem Asch and the younger brother of novelist Nathan Asch.

    1906:  Birthdate of award-winning engineer, Peter Carl Goldmark.  Born in Hungary, Goldmark came to the United States in the 1930’s.  Goldmark is best known for his invention of the l.p. or long-playing record which revolutionized the recording industry.  He also help develop the first commercial color television.  He passed away in December of 1977.

    1908: Daoud Effendi Molho, First Dragoman of the Imperial Divan, Constantinople was nominated to serve as a Senator in Turkey. The functions of the First Dragoman were mainly political; he accompanied the ambassador or minister at his audiences of the sultan and usually of the ministers, and was charged with the core of diplomatic negotiations

    1910: A Jew, Jacob Effendi de Vidas, ex-Censor of the Jewish Press at Smyrna is appointed Inspector of Elementary Schools at Mitylene (Lesbos).

    1911 Big Jack Zelig, a Jewish gangster murdered Italian gangster Julie Morrell at the Stuyvesant Casino. Zelig believed Jack Sirocco and Chick Tricker had hired Morrell to kill him so he struck first.  This killing was part of the fight by the Jewish dominated Eastman gang to control the Five Points section of New York.

    1914: Birthdate of composer of Adolph Green.  With his partner Betty Comden, he wrote numerous hits, including "New York, New York" (the version from the musical On The Town) and the screenplay for the film Singin' in the Rain.

    1915(25th of Kislev, 5676): Chanukah

    1915: Second night of a “fete” featuring historical tableaux held for the benefit of the Spanish and Portuguese Sisterhood which is chaired by Mrs. Mortimer M. Meken. 

    1915:  Albert Einstein published the general theory of relativity.

    1916:Isaiah "Jacques" Pais married Kaatje "Cato" van Kleeff.  This union of a Sephardic Jew and Ashkenazi Jew produced a son named Abraham Pais, the famed Dutch born physicist.

    1917: In New York Pauline (Weiss) Blagman and Abraham Blagman gave birth to Sylvia Blagman who gained fame as Sylvia Sims “ one of the most admired pop-jazz singers of her generation.” (As reported by Stephen Holden)

    1923:Arnold "Arnie" Horween “kicked a 35 yard field goal and his brother Ralph ran for a touchdown as the Chicago Cardinals beat the Oorang Indians 22 to 19.

    1923:  Birthdate of Meshulam Riklis, chief executive of McCrory Corporation.  After serving in the military during World War II, Riklis majored in mathematics at Ohio State University.  He worked his way through college as a Hebrew teacher before starting out on his very successful business career.

    1933: Release of “Dancing Lady,” a musical comedy that showed the Jewish involvement in the movied industry. It featured the Three Stooges (all Jewish) in one of their first film.  Louis Silvers provided the music and David O. Selznick coproduced this film that was distributed by MGM.

    1934: Birthdate of Salomon Gottlob, who at the age of seen boarded Convoy 25 that left Drancy for Auschwitz on August, 28, 1942

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that out of the three Arab constables ambushed and kidnapped by an Arab terrorist gang near Shfaram, two were "tried" and murdered. The third constable was released to inform the authorities of the murder and the "trial."

    1937:  The Palestinian Post reported that scores of bullets hit the Haifa-Kiryat Haim bus, but no one was wounded. 

    1939: Birthdate of Yael Dayan. This daughter of Moshe Dayan has made a career in her own right including that of an Israeli politician.

    1940: Prime Minister Churchill replied to General Wavell’s concerns about letting the survivors of the Patria remain in Palestine.  Churchill wondered if even the most militant of Arabs could find fault with what Churchill described as a humanitarian gesture.  He wondered if the Arab commitment to the cause of the fight against the Nazis was so slender that such an event as this could have such disastrous consequences.  At the same time, Churchill assured Wavell that there would not be a repetition of the Patria since all future illegal Jewish immigrants would be imprisoned in Mauritius for the duration of the war.

    1940(2nd of Kislev): Fifty-five year old Rabbi Bernard Revel passed away. Born in Lithuania, he came to the United States after the Russian Revolution of 1905, entered NYU and received an MA in 1909. In 1915, he was named the first President of Yeshiva College, a position he held at the time of his death.  This blog cannot do justice to his life and contributions to the Jewish people.  You can begin to learn more about him at


    1941: Release date for “Ball of Fire,” a comedic treatment of cloistered intellectuals produced by Samuel Goldwyn written by Billie Wilder.

    1942: Jews in 30 countries hold a day of prayer and fasting for European Jews.

    1942: The first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated in Chicago, Illinois. At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and his team achieved the world's first artificial nuclear chain reaction, in a makeshift lab underneath the University's football stands at Stagg Field. Work on the experimental pile had begun on 16 Nov 1942. It was a prodigious effort. Physicists and staffers, working around the clock, built a lattice of 57 layers of uranium metal and uranium oxide embedded in graphite blocks. A wooden structure supported the graphite pile. The chain reaction was part of the Manhattan Project, a secret wartime project to develop nuclear weapons, which initiated the modern nuclear age. This was a discovery that changed the world. 

    1943: The first RSHA transport reached Birkenau from Vienna.

    1943:  One hundred Jews from Vienna arrive at Auschwitz.

    1944: In Budapest, three Jews were killed when gangs attacked the building in which they were living even though it was under Swiss Protection. Some Swiss diplomats, like their Swedish counterparts, used the diplomatic concept of extra-territoriality to provide safe haven for Hungarian Jews.  Unfortunately, the various forces of anti-Semitism operating in the Hungarian capital did not always respect the niceties of international law.

    1944(16th of Kislev, 5705):  Russian born painter and pianist Josef Lhévinne, whose birth name was Joseph Arkadievich Levin passed away in New York City just a few days before his 70th birthday.

    1947: First day of a three-day general strike called by the Arab Higher Committee to protest the UN vote for partition.

    1947: Birthdate of British businessman Michael Phillip Green who founded Carlton Communication with his brother David.

    1947: Bands of Arabs engage in violent protests and murderous attacks on the Jewish populace. Three Jews were shot dead in the Old City.  Hundreds of Arab youths marched towards Zion Square in the center of Jerusalem chanting “Death to the Jews.” Fighting broke out in Jerusalem’s Commercial Centre between marauding Arab mobs and Jews seeking to protect their property.

    1947: On the second day of general strike called by the Arab Higher Committee 200 Arabs broke into the commercial center in Jerusalem, looting and burning Jewish owned shops.  The British troops made no effort to intervene.  They did prevent a platoon of Haganah troops from coming to the aid of the embattled Jews.

    1948: The Iraq government “suggested” to oil companies operating in Iraq, that no Jewish employees be accepted

    1951: "Borscht Capades" closes at Royale Theater in New York City after 90 performances.  Mickey Katz and his son Joel Grey both appeared in this short-lived musical.

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported on the new Israeli peace initiative which urged the scrapping of all old UN resolutions and provided for negotiations based on the consideration of all security, territorial, refugee, economic and regional questions, as well as scientific, cultural and technical cooperation.

    1953: Eugene Ferkauf opened the first of E.J. Korvette Stores in what had been a Long Island potato field.

    1954: The U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to censure Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI) for refusing to cooperate with a Senate subcommittee that was investigating his finances. This was a backdoor way for the Senate to express its displeasure over the abusive investigative tactics of the Senator which many Jews opposed.  On the other hand, the Senator’s right-hand man was none other than Roy Cohn, the Jewish lawyer from New York.

    1957(9th of Kislev, 5718): Fifty-seven year old Dr. Manfred J. Sakel passed away.  Born in 1900, Manfred Joshua Sakel was a Polish born neurophysiologist and psychiatrist who introduced insulin-shock therapy for schizophrenics and other mental patients in 1927, while a young doctor in Vienna. Insulin-induced coma and convulsions, due to the low level of glucose attained in the blood (hypoglicemic crisis) improved the mental state of drug addicts and psychotics, sometimes dramatically. His findings indicated that up to 88% of his patients improved with insulin shock therapy. His method became widely applied for many years in mental institutions worldwide. He immigrated to the U.S. ahead of WW II. in 1936. "Sakel's Therapy" is still used in Europe, but in the U.S. it has been superseded by electroconvulsive therapy and other means of treatment.

    1968: President Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor.  Kissinger was a surprise choice for the job for two reasons. He had supported Nelson Rockefeller and strongly questioned Nixon’s fitness for the job. And, as we have found out from the Nixon Tapes, Richard Nixon had an anti-Semitic streak that bordered on the paranoid. 

    1968: Birthdate of actress Rena Sofer who appears on the soap “General Hospital.” She is the daughter of Martin Sofer, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. “Sofer is a descendant of Baal Shem Tov and of the Chasam Sofer through her father's family.
    1968: Madison Square Garden is scheduled to host one of the events marking the 125th anniversary of the found of B’nai B’rith
    1970: Birthdate of comedic actress Sarah Silverman.

    1971: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain form the United Arab Emirates.

    1973: King Hussein of Jordan said that there could no peace in the area until Israeli forces had completely withdrawn from all lands taken in 1967 including all of Jerusalem

    1973: Yonatan Netanyahu wrote to his brother Benjamin


    "We're preparing for war, and it's hard to know what to expect. What I'm positive of is that there will be a next round, and others after that. But I would rather opt for living here in continual battle than for becoming part of the wandering Jewish people. Any compromise will simply hasten the end. As I don't intend to tell my grandchildren about the Jewish State in the twentieth century as a mere brief and transient episode in thousands of years of wandering, I intend to hold on here with all my might.”


    1977:  In the aftermath of Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, Moshe Dayan and Hassan Tuhami, the Egyptian Deputy Prime minister held a second secret meeting in Morocco.  Dayan provided a proposal for the restoration of Egyptian sovereignty over the Sinai. Much to Dayan’s chagrin, Tuhami is less than thrilled with the offer.  It is obvious that there is big gap between Sadat’s spectacular flight to Jerusalem and his claims to want piece and the achievement of that stated outcome.

    1978:"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" featuring Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand makes it to the top spot on the charts.

    1981(6th of Kislev, 5742): Hershey Kay, American born composer and arranger, passed away

    1982(16th of Kislev, 5743): Marty Feldman, the comedic actor featured in the film Young Frankenstein, passed away.

    1983: Dr. Moisés Carlos Bentes Ruah and Catarina Lia Azancot Korn gave birth to Daniela Sofia Korn Ruah a Portuguese-American Jewish actress best known for playing NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye in the CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles.

    1984: Him With His Foot In His Mouth and Other Stories by Saul Bellowand Lives of the Poets: Six Stories and a Novella by E. L. Doctorow are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

    1987(11th of Kislev, 5748):Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, a Soviet scientist who played a key role in the development of nuclear weapons in the U.S.S.R.  passed away.

    1988: Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv, named Moshe Zanbar chairman and David Friedman managing director.

    1988: A man carrying the passport of a former Israeli official linked to the Iran-contra scandal was killed in a plane crash, Government officials said today. The man was tentatively identified by a passport found on his body as Amiram Nir, said a statement from the Attorney General's office in the state of Michoacan. The statement said the passport was issued in Tel Aviv and contained a Mexican visa issued Nov. 25 by the Mexican Embassy in London.

    1990: The New York Times reported that Israel has undertaken an investment initiative designed to lure high-tech American and European companies to invest in its economy. The program was developed by Moshe Nissim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade.

    1990(15th of Kislev, 5751): Composer Aaron Copland passed away at the age of 90. Some of his works include Rodeo, Billy the Kid, Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring. 

    1991(25th of Kislev, 5752): Chanukah

    1994: Jury finds Heidi Fleiss guilty of running a call girl ring

    1994:Tonight, “with a rousing encore of Johann Strauss Sr.'s "Radetzky March" that had a stadium audience of 14,000 people chanting for more, Zubin Mehta put the finishing touch to a long-standing ambition: bringing the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to India, and better still to Bombay, the hometown Mr. Mehta left 40 years ago to begin his musical career.

    1997: MCI Center opens in Washington, DC, as the Wizards played the Seattle SuperSonics.  The Wizards are owned by Abe Pollin and the MCI Center, which helped to rejuvenate downtown Washington, was the product of this forty year fixture of the basketball and Jewish community.

    2001: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 2001 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks a physician and author raised as an Orthodox Jew.

    2001(17th of Kislev, 5762): A bomb went off aboard a bus in Haifa, killing 15 Israelis.  Same terrorists as described above attacking the same kind of targets.

    2005(1st of Kislev, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    2005(1st of Kislev, 5766): American painter Nat Mayer Shapiro passed away at the age of 86.

    2005:On this date Haaretz reported that thousands of Ethiopian immigrants gathered along the Sherover-Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem's Old City to celebrate Sigad - the Ethiopian Jewish holiday that for 2,500 years in exile marked the yearning for Zion. Sigad, held on the 29th day of the Jewish month of Heshvan, commemorates the renewal of the covenant between the people of Israel and the Almighty, when Ezra and Nehemiah read out the Torah to the exiles who returned to Jerusalem.

    2005: Nicholas F Taubman began serving as United States Ambassador to Romania.

    2006: After 11 months, Kaddish is recited for the last time by the family of Judy Rosenstein, of blessed memory. 

    2006: The Economist Magazine of this date reviewed Jonathan I. Israel’s Enlightenment Contested in which he contends that the Dutch led by Spinoza were the real “torchbearers of the enlightenment” and not the English of the time whom he describes as apologists for colonialism and enemies of equality.

    2007: Jewish Book Month comes to an end.

    2007: After 20 years of renovation work that cost US$20 million, and that was overseen by the non-profit Museum at Eldridge Street the Eldridge Street Synagogue reopened today to the public. It continues to serve as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, with regular weekly services on

    2007: In Kensington, MD, children's author and illustrator Sallie Lowenstein, author of Waiting for Eugeneand The Festival of Lights, discusses the evolving state of children's books. Lowenstein, also a keen book collector, will have a number of her treasures on display to help enliven the discussion.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section features reviews of books on Jewish topics and/or by Jewish authors including A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman by veteran underground cartoonist Sharon Rudahl, Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan one of the founders of the Actus Tragicus collective of Israeli cartoonists and I Killed Adolf Hitler by the Norwegian cartoonist known simply as Jason

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section lists the Books of 2007 including the following books on Jewish topics and/or by Jewish authors including Lost Genius, by Kevin Bazzana, The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, by Martin Duberman, Einstein, by Jurgen Neffe, Calvin Coolidge, by David Greenberg, Ike, by Michael Korda, Opening Day by Jonathan Eig, Reality Show by Howard Kurtz, The Art of Political Murder, by Francisco Goldman, Power, Faith, and Fantasy, by Michael B. Oren, The Grand Surprise, edited by Stephen Pascal, Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks, A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories, by Primo Levi, Away, by Amy Bloom, Imposture, by Benjamin Markovits and The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon.

    2008: As part of the Oud Festival sponsored by Confederation House, Violet Salameh will perform a program of works dedicated to the three great divas of the classical Arabic music world - Layla Morad, Asmahan and Oum Koulthoum at the Jerusalem Theater

    2008: In New York,  Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson will be the guest speaker at the AFHUS Einstein Award Gala honoring Bill Gates with proceeds going to benefit pioneering research at The Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, developing innovative solutions to feeding the world through sustainable agriculture.

    2008: Hours after voting began this morning, the Labor party postponed the primary elections after computerized voting systems malfunctioned in several locales around the country.

    2008: Throngs of mourners packed the funerals of the six Jews killed in last week's terror attack in India. The six died after gunmen struck the Chabad House, the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch movement, last Wednesday. After a two-day standoff, four Israelis, an American Jew and a Mexican woman were dead. The dead included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, his 28-year-old wife, Rivka, 38-year-old Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum, 28-year old Bentzion Kruman and 50-year-old Norma Shvarzblat-Rabinovich.

    2009: The trial of Heinrich Boere, a man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad  and has said that he was proud about being chosen to fight for the Nazis is scheduled to resume today.

    2009(15th of Kislev, 5770): Eighty-one year old “Harold A. Ackerman, a federal judge in New Jersey for three decades whose hundreds of cases included trials of crooked politicians, corrupt union officials and reputed organized crime chieftains, died today at his home in West Orange, N.J. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2009(15th of Kislev, 5770)L Eight-six year old Samuel Hirsch, the co-founder of the Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition and a life-long champion of civil rights and the rights of American workers passed away today.

    2009: David Wessel, the economics editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of the Capital column, discusses and signs his new book, In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic, at the Arlington Central Library in Arlington, VA.

    2009: Chabad and JCCNV present “Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition” featuring Laibl Wolf, noted Australian Mystic, author of “Practical Kabala” and originator of Mind-Yoga.

    2010: Lynda Barry and Maira Kalman are scheduled to “show slides of their work, compare notes and talk about their experiences as creators in many genres” in a program entitled “Words and Pictures” at the 92nd Street Y.

    2010: Jewish children's author Jacqueline Jules is scheduled to read from her book, The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2010: A huge brushfire was raging across the Carmel Mountains near Haifa this  afternoon, resulting in the death of some 40 people and hurting dozens of others, among them prison guards and firemen.
    2010: Two Palestinian terrorists were killed on the Gaza border this morning, when IDF troops opened fire on a number of suspects on the northern end of the Strip. The terrorists were apparenlty trying to infiltrate a kibbutz on the Gaza border.  IDF

    2010: In Gainesville, FL, The Lubavitch Chabbad Jewish Center celebrated the second of the eight day Hanukah holiday with a twelve foot Menorah filled with toys for hospitalized children. "I know when I get toys it's very exciting and I can imagine even more so to these children in the hospital so we're trying to bring the happiness of Hanukah to them." said Medel Goldman, who donated toys.
    2010: Today marked the 30th anniversary the death of French-Jewish novelist Romain Gary,

    2010: As Irving Picard sought to get control of funds related to the Madoff Ponzi Scheme non-profits targeted by clawback suits yesterday and today include the Joseph Persky Foundation, the Miles and Shirley Fitterman Charitable Foundation, and the Melvin B. Nessel Foundation. In all, over 20 charities and foundations were sued.

    2011: The Heist Project is scheduled to perform works by Israeli choreographer Idan Sharabi

    2011:U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called on Israel today to take diplomatic steps to address what he described as its growing isolation in the Middle East.Panetta, in prepared remarks that he was due to deliver in Washington this evening, stressed U.S. efforts to bolster regional stability and to safeguard Israel's security.

    2011:Roni Fuchs and Zeev Frenkiel, the two Israeli businessmen sentenced to imprisonment in Georgia earlier this year for allegedly offering seven-million-dollars-worth of bribes to the Georgian deputy finance minister, returned to Israel today after being pardoned.
    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including  A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish by Joshua Eli Plaut, Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, A Ship Without a Sail: The Life of Lorenz Hart by Gary Marmorstein, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs by Michael Feinstein and Ian Jackman and We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Cohen

    2012: Those attending the ECLC Barnes and Noble Book Fair scheduled to take place in Fairfax, VA, will have a chance to have their picture taken “with a special Chanukah Dreidel.]
    2012: In Minneapolis, MN, the Sabes Jewish Community Center is scheduled to sponsor, How Do You Spell Chanukah?? This is  “a unique evening of comedy, fun, music and dreidel spinning and a FUNdraiser for the 2013 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.”

    2012: Ambassador Richard Schifter is scheduled to “speak about his childhood in Vienna, escape after the Nazi takeover, and his return to Europe as a Ritchie Boy” at today annual meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington  

    2012:AFIPO is scheduled its annual Family Music Day!

    2012:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz decided today to confiscate the tax revenues that Israel collected for the Palestinian Authority during the month of November, and use it to offset the PA's debt to Israel's Electric Corporation.
    2012:Holocaust survivors gathered in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem this morning to protest the Treasury’s handling of the budget allocated to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, which reimburses survivors’ annual medical expenses.

    2013: “Jerusalem on a Plate” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.
    2013: The Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to present “Welcome to America: Memories of a Bintel Brief.

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    December 3

    311: Sixty-sixty year old Emperor Diocletian passed away.

    1368: Birthdate of Charles VI, the French king who would order the expulsion of the Jews from his realm in 1394. Unlike the orders of expulsion issued by some of his predecessors this one remained in force with Jews not returning to France until the 17th century.

    1447: Birthdate of Bayezid II the Sultan who is 1492, issued a formal invitation to the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal and sent out ships to safely bring Jews to his empire.

    1685: King Charles XI of Sweden ordered the governor-general of the capital to see that no Jews were permitted to settle in Stockholm, or in any other part of the country, "on account of the danger of the eventual influence of the Jewish religion on the pure evangelical faith."

    1809: Birthdate of Samuel Adler a leading German-American Reform rabbi, Talmudist, and author who was also the father of Felix Adler, the well-known founder of the Society for Ethical Culture.

    1818: Illinoisbecomes the 21st state admitted to the Union. “John Hays was the first Jewish pioneer in Illinois.  He served as county sheriff and collector of internal revenue before the territory became a state. German Jews built the first synagogue in 1851 in Chicago calling it the Congregation of the Men of the West. By the end of the decade Polish Jews had started their own congregation and a group of Reform Jews had split away from “the Men of the West” to form their own synagogue called Sinai Congregation.  The Jewish population of Illinois was large enough to provide over 1,100 volunteers to fight in the Union Army. 

    1819: Birthdate of Daniel Abramovich Chwolson, the native of Vilna who became a distinguished Orientalist and defender of the Jews from the rampant anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.

    1847(25th of Kislev, 5608): Chanukah

    1850: In Padua, Samuel David Luzzatto and his wife gave birth to Beniamino Luzzatto, the Italian physician who became chief of the propaedeutic clinic of Padua University.

    1852: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Benjamin Disraeli, delivered a major address today in the House of Commons on the subject of taxation.  The speech, which was well received, contained proposals to change the Tea Duties and the Income Tax.

    1854(12th of Kislev, 5615: A German-born Jew, Edward (Teddy) Thonen was killed today when troops stormed the stockade during the goldfields uprising at Ballarat, Australia.

    1857:  Birthdate of Dr. Carl Koller. Koller was a Czech-born American ophthalmic surgeon whose introduction of cocaine as a surface anesthetic in eye surgery (1884) inaugurated the modern era of local anesthesia. He was a colleague of Sigmund Freud, who in 1884 was interested in the use of cocaine to cure morphine addiction. Koller noticed cocaine had a numbing effect on the tongue and, after experimenting with animals, introduced it as a local anesthetic in ophthalmology. It was also quickly adopted for nose and throat surgery and for dentistry. He died in 1944. Koller was one of the so-called Vienna Trio made up of three Jewish doctors - Carl Koller (1857-1944), Sigmund Lustgarten (1857-1911) and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). All three are characterized by several interesting similarities. In their early achievements in medical research they were pathfinders of the first successful local anesthetic: cocaine. All three became later victims of anti-Semitism

    1859:At the Green-street Synagogue in NYC, Rabbi S.M. Isaacs “delivered a stirring appeal to his congregation on behalf of the Jews who have fled from Morocco and taken refuge at Gibraltar. Their suffering co-religionist were forced to take flight because of the fighting between the natives and Spain. Issacs acknowledged the help rendered by the British who had provided the refugees with tents and food.  He also expressed thanks fro support from the local Christian population.  But he still urged his congregants and the rest of the Jewish community to come to the aid of the some 29,000 Jews who had been living along the Barbary Coast.

    1861(30th of Kislev, 5622): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1871: The annual meeting of the B’nai Jeshurun  Ladies’ Benevolent Society and Home for Aged Hebrews took place today the 34th Street Synagogue.  Following the reading of the annual report the following officers were elected: Mrs. Henry Leo, President; Mrs. H. B. Hertz, Vice President; Mrs. Zion Bernstein, Treasurer; Judge P.J. Joachimsen, Honorary Counsel; Dr. Simeon U. Leo, Physician

    1873: The Oratorio Society, a choral music society founded by Leopold Damrosch gave its first concert today

    1875: Birthdate of Father Bernhard Lichtenberg German clergyman, anti-fascist and outspoken defender of the Jews of Germany. For example, after Kristallnachtwhile the German churches kept their silence in face of the vicious attack upon the Jews, Lichtenberg was the only Church man to raise his voice publicly and fearlessly against Nazi brutality. “We know what happened yesterday, we do not know what lies in store for us tomorrow. But we have experienced what has happened today: Outside burns the temple. This is also a place of worship.” From that evening until his arrest in 1941, Lichtenberg continued to pray daily from his pulpit in the St Hedwig Cathedral for the both Jews and Jewish Christians as well as other victims of the regime. Following his two year imprisonment, Lichtenberg turned the Gestapo’s offer to leave him alone if he would stop speaking out against the regime.  Lichtenberg asked to be allowed to accompany the Jews and Jewish Christians being sent to the Ghetto at Lodz, Poland.  The Church refused his request because of his failing health. Instead the Gestapo ordered him to be sent to Dachau. The sixty-seven year old priest died on November 5, 1943while waiting to be shipped to the concentration camp.


    1878:Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah in what is now Israel.  Petach Tikvah is Hebrew for Gateway of Hope. The land was purchased by Jews living in Jerusalemfrom a Greek landowner after the Sultan of Turkey had thwarted their efforts to buy land near Jericho.  The village they built was in an area prone to malaria outbreaks.  In 1882, the settlers gave up the village, due in part to poor harvest.  At the time only 66 people were living in ten houses.

    1880: The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society “purchase the Devlin property at 10thAvenue, the Boulevard and 136th to 138th Streets for $138,000” with the intention of constructing a facility at this location.

    1880: At Gottingen University, a group of students is preparing a statement for the Rector protesting the distribution of Court Chaplain Adolph Stocker’s “petition against the Jews.

    1881: “Some Minor Foreign Facts” published today include estimates of the Jewish population that “have been prepared in Rome showing that there are 6,568,000 Jews in the world, 5,500,000 of whom live in Europe, 240,000 in Asia, 500,000 in Africa and 308,000 in America.

    1882: “Notes On Art” published today described the discovery of  a“grotesque wall painting” called ‘The Judgment of Solomon,’ a veritable caricature of the famous Biblical  story” in a house at Pompeii that had been built by merchants from ancient Alexandria, a city “well acquainted with Jewish lore” which would have accounted for the artistic creation.

    1885(25thof Kislev, 5646): Chanukah

    1885: Birthdate of chess champion Edward Lasker.

    1885: “Lighting A Candle Each Day” published today described the celebration of Chanukah, a “festival that last eight days” where “at the beginning of each day the orthodox Hebrew family lights a candle until they eight candles burning.”

    1886: A wealthy French Jew named Altmayer who was serving time for embezzlement has escaped from the Mazas Prison using a “forged letter of release.”

    1887: In New York, Judge Barrett has decided “that the child about whose ownership the mulattoes William and Jennie Lee and the Russian Jews Bertha and Harris Brodsky have each been contesting is Nellie Lee and not Yetta Brodsky and has order the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to deliver her to the Lees.  The unanswered question is, what has become of the missing Yetta Brodsky

    1888: Supporters of Boulanger rallied in Paris today shouting for an end to the Republic and chanting “Down with the Jews!”  (French anti-Semitism was a subset of right-wing hostility towards the Third Republic)

    1889: A party of fifty Jews from several cities including Ogden, Utah and Chicago, Illinois, passed through Pittsburgh, PA today on their way to Jerusalem.

    1890(21stof Kislev, 5651): Leonard Arnheim, the four year old son of Ida and Lewis Arnheim, passed away.  Lewis Arnheim served in the Georgia State Legislature as a representative from rural Dougherty County and was the son-in-law of David Mayer of Atlanta. A native of Germany, he made a career in the law before taking an active role in state politics.

    1891: The residence of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews are scheduled to enjoy a free evening of musical entertainment.

    1892: The Moscow Chamber Commerce resolved “to exclude all Jews from the list of city merchants unless they” convert and become Greek Orthodox.

    1892: In Chattanooga, TN, Harry Clay Adler and Ada Ochs gave birth to Julius Ochs Adler, the publisher of The Chattanooga Timesand general manager of The New York Timeswho had a distinguished military career in both World Wars.

    1892: Judith Solis-Cohen began a ten year stint as the editor for “the weekly ‘Womanknd’ column in the Jewish Exponent.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1894: In Baltimore, MD, Jacob and Hilda (Kaplan) Sobeloff gave birth to Simon Sobeloff who served as Solicitor General of the United States and Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District.

    1894: Glass dealer Benjamin Rosenthal was assaulted by a gang of boys hollering “Sheeny, sheeny” at 34th Street and 5th Avenue in Manahattan.

    1895: Birthdate of Anna Freud, Austrian-born English psychoanalyst and daughter of Sigmund Freud.She was the founder of child psychoanalysis and one of its foremost practitioners. She also made fundamental contributions to understanding how the ego, or consciousness, functions in averting painful ideas, impulses, and feelings. She diverged from her father in emphasizing the role of the ego (as opposed to id forces) in psychological functioning. Her book The ego and mechanisms of defense (1936) laid the groundwork for ego psychology. She was one of the first psychoanalysts to work primarily with children. She passed away1982.

    1900:In Great Britain, The Court of Appeal has rendered a decision upholding that of a Divisional Court in the suit of the Attorney General vs. the Jewish Colonization Association. The Crown claimed estate and succession duty upon the death of Baron Maurice de Hirsch. This victory means the Crown gains upwards of 1,250,000 English pounds.

    1902: Birthdate of American artist Louis Leon Ribak, the husband of artist Beatrice Mandelman, who passed away at Taos, NM in 1979

    1903:  Birthdate of mathematician John von Neumann.  Born in Hungary, von Neumann brilliant career included work on the project to build the hydrogen bomb as well and development of logical design.  This work was critical in the development of the modern computer.  He won the Medal of Freedom in 1956 a year before his death.

    1903: Birthdate of Abe Pollin future owner of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Washington Wizards, the National Hockey League's (NHL) Washington Capitals and Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Washington Mystics. Pollin would use his own money to build a home for the Wizards that would revitalize a large section of downtown Washington, D.C.   He would also support a number of civic and charitable efforts that would do everything from rewarding public school teachers to feeding starving children in Africa. If the first question asked of a soul by the heavenly court is “How did you conduct yourself when doing business?” Pollin will pass with flying colors.

    1904(25thof Kislev, 5665): Chanukah

    1904 (25th of Kislev, 5665):Rabbi Chaim Chizkiah Medini, the author of the Halachic encyclopedia Sdei Chemed passed away.

    1914: The American Jewish Committee appropriates $2,500 for an orphan asylum in Sophia, Bulgariadue to orphans of the Balkan War. This was at the request of the Chief Rabbi, Dr. M. Ehrenpreis.

    1919: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the French artist who painted “Alice and Elisabeth Cahen d’Anvers” (most commonly referred to as Pink and Blue) passed away.  The painting portrayed the 2 daughters of the banker Louis Raphael Cahen d'Anvers, the blonde, Elisabeth, born in December 1874, and the younger, Alice, in February 1876, when they were respectively six and five years old. The artist produced many portraits for the families of the Parisian Jewish community at the time. Renoir was commissioned to paint many portraits for this family, which he had met through the collector Charles Ephrussi, proprietor of the "Gazette des Beaux-Arts."

    1914:  Birthdate of composer Irving Fine.

    1917: In Austria, Rudolf and Helena Brasse gave birth to Wihlelm Brasse, the unwilling creator of the part of the photographic record of the Holocaust.(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1920: Sir Mathew Nathan, the second son of Jonah and Miriam Nathan began serving as the 13thGovernor of Queensland (Australia)

    1922: Birthdate of Henry Anatole Grunwald, an Austrian-born Jewish-American journalist and diplomat perhaps best known for his position as managing editor of TIME magazine and editor in chief of Time, Inc.

    1922: Birthdate of Len Lesser, a veteran character actor best known for his recurring role in the 1990s as Uncle Leo on the hit NBC-TV comedy "Seinfeld."

    1922:Silent movie, Hungry Hearts produced by the Goldwyn Company and based on a book of the same name written by Anzia Yezierska opened in Los Angeles. In her short stories and novels, author Anzia Yezierska focused on the challenges faced by young Jewish women trying to navigate between their immigrant families and their desire to become part of America.


    1923: In Pittsburgh, PA, Rabbi Wolf Leiter and his wife gave birth to photographer Saul Leiter.

    1925: George Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F is premiered at Carnegie Hall.

    1930: Rodgers and Hart's musical "Evergreen" premiered in London.

    1934: In what is said to be the first clinical conference in medical history devoted to chronic diseases opened this morning at the Montefiore Hospital for Chronic Diseases, Gun Hill Road, the Bronx, and will continue through the week. The conference is the chief scientific feature of the observance of the hospital's fiftieth anniversary.  The hospital was named in honor of the great British born Jewish philanthropist and the original funding was largely raised by the Jewish community.

    1937: Birthdate of British attorney and businessman Stephen Rubin. The founder of Pentland, he struck it rich with Reebok and Adidas.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a large police unit accompanied by a detachment of Transjordanian Frontier Force, scoured Galilee in pursuit of Arab terrorists that had murdered two Arab policemen and apparently sought to escape to Syria. In London, Major C.S. Jarvis, the former British governor of Sinai, said that after he had seen what the Jewish settlers had done in various arid areas of Palestine, he would strongly recommend a large Jewish settlement of the entire Negev, which ought to be included in the Jewish state in any partition negotiations.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that the total official population of Palestinewas given at the end of September 1937 as 811,347 Moslems, 389,504 Jews, 108,433 Christians and 11,588 others.

    1938: The German government decrees that all Jewish industries, shops, and businesses must be forcibly "Aryanized."

    1939: Among the patents issued this week was one issued to Rudoph Feige of Tel Aviv for “a tropical hat with a crown separated from the brim to provide and air circulating slot around the hat…”

    1940: Heads of educational institutions and other prominent persons were among the 3,000 attending a funeral service for Rabbi Bernard (Dov) Revel, one of the founders of YeshivaCollege which became YeshivaUniversity.

    1940:  Debut of Bugs Bunny with the voice supplied by Mel Blanc. Bugs Bunny was not Jewish but Mel was.

    1941: Amidst the misery of the Lodz Ghetto, a newly arrived Viennese Pianist, Leopold Birkenfeld held a concert for his fellow Jews. He played Shubert, Liszt and Beethoven brilliantly.

    1942(24th of Kislev, 5703): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle.

    1942(24th of Kislev, 5703): The Nazis shot three young girls who had escaped from Poznan labor camp

    1942(24th of Kislev, 5703): One thousand Jews from Plonsk, Poland, are killed at Auschwitz.

    1942(24th of Kislev, 5703): Salomon Malkes, an official of the Lódz Ghetto, commits suicide after becoming despondent over the deportation of his mother.

    1942: An unknown photographer took a picture of Jews in the Drancy assembly and detention camp which was the departure point for sending French Jews to Auschwitz.  The picture is part of the Yad Vashem Photo Archives.

    1943: At a meeting with the German ambassador Francisco Franco said, “’Thank God a clear appreciation of dangers caused by Jews led our catholic Kings to insure ‘we have for centuries been relieved of that nauseating burden.’” Oddly enough, Franco actually protected that ‘nauseating burden’ from the clutches of the Final Solution.

    1944:Hungarian death march of Jews ends

    1944: Beginning of the Greek Civil War in which pro-Soviet Communist forces attempt to destroy the pro-Western government.

    1945:Abdul Azzam Bey, Arab League secretary general, announces that member states will boycott all Jewish-produced goods from Palestine beginning January 1,1946.

    1947(20th of Kislev, 5708): While Jewish workers were evacuating undamaged goods from the Centre a group of Arabs attacked them, killing Yitzhak Penzo,

    1947: Arab violence continues with an attack on a synagogue in the OldCity. Following threats by Arab gangs to burn their dwellings, “Eight Jews living in a house in the Musrara Quarter outside the Damascus Gate were forced to leave their homes”

    1948: Mission of the UN Mediator on the Palestine Disaster Relief Project meets with volunteer agencies. Dr. Pierre Descooeudres, chief of mission, reports that refugees in camps do not have good living conditions. More supplies are needed as well as a better system of transporting them. Refugees tend to feel frustrated and isolated, although the goal of the camps is to build a sense of social consciousness.

    1952(15th of Kislev, 5713): Rudolph Slansky, former secretary-general of the Czech Communist Party, Rudolf Margolius and 9 of their co-defendants were hanged after a show trial aimed at purging alleged Zionist conspirators.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported the Israeli denial that its troops crossed the armistice lines in the vicinity of Jerusalem and tried to lay mines in Jordanian-occupied territory. The Israeli spokesman complained, however, that Jordanfailed to control the scores of infiltrators who crossed the armistice lines every night in order to rob and murder. Only a week earlier, infiltrators killed two Israeli watchmen in the Jerusalem'corridor' and escaped over the lines to Jordan. At the UN Mexico urged Arab states to consider seriously the recent Israeli peace offer. The Mexican delegate, Dr. Luis Quintamilla, pointedly asked why the Arabs always 'see evil' and automatically reject any Israeli proposal i