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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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    December 12

    456 BCE (1st of Tevet, 3305): Ezra opened convocation on the problem of intermarriage.

    627: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh at the Battle of Nineveh. This meant that The Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire regained control of the Middle East, including Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor did not keep his promise to his Jewish allies to give them control of David’s City and its environs.

    1098: During the First Crusade, Christian forces breach the walls of Ma'arrat al-Numan in Syria and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. Some view this is as a “dress rehearsal” of the massacres that took place when the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem and slaughtered the Jewish and Moslem inhabitants

    1204(20th of Tevet, 4965):  Maimonides passes away. His name says it all.  Nothing that can be said here would do him justice.   Maimonides followed the Rabbinic injunction that a man should have a job and study Torah unlike some who today insist that their “studying’ exempts from having to earn a living.“From Moses to Moses, there as none like Moses”   

    1254: Alexander IV, the prelate “responsible for launching the Inquisition in France” began his papacy today.

    1474:Isabella crowns herself queen of Castile and Aragon in what will become a milestone on the road to end of the Jewish Community in Spain in 1492. Ironically two of the people who would help her come to power and/or consolidate her crown were Don Isaac Abravanel and Don Abraham Senior.

    1479: The Jews were expelled from Schlettstadt, Alsace by Emperor Frederick III

    1484: At Soncino, Italy, Joseph Solomon Soncino printed the first copy of “Beḥinat ha-'Olam” (The Examination of the World) by Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi a Jewish poet, physician and philosopher. Born in 1270 at Béziers, he was the son of Abraham Profiat, another French-Jewish poet. He passed away in 1340. Beḥinat ha-'Olam (The Examination of the World), called also by its first words, "Shamayim la-Rom" (Heaven's Height), a didactic poem written after the banishment of the Jews from France (1306), to which event reference is made in the eleventh chapter. The 37 “chapter” poem concludes with an expression of Bedersi’s admiration of Maimonides.

    1505: In Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, ten Jews were tortured and killed after being accused by a local shepherd of killing a local girl. Years later on his deathbed, the shepherd confessed that he made up the whole story.

    1524:  Pope Clement VII approved the organization of a Jewish Community in Rome

    1574: Selim II, Ottoman Sultan, passed away. During his reign, Selim appointed Joseph Nassi as the Duke of Naxos.  He appointed his physician Solomon Nathan Eskenazi to serve as ambassador in Venice where he participated in negotiations for a treaty between the Turks and the Spanish. When Turkish forces took Cyprus, Selim had five hundred Jewish families settle on the island.  This was a way of improving the economic environment on the island while ensuring the presence of a loyal local population.

    1626: Inquisitional authorities arrested Francisco Maldonado de Silva, after his sister (a devout Catholic) turned him because he told her he believed in Judaism, as their father had. His passion for Judaism came after studying a book written in 1391 by the Bishop of Burgos. The Bishop, a convert Jews who was born as Solomon Halevi, wrote the book to defend the Catholic faith. Halevi's words put doubt into Francisco's mind about Catholicism, and brought him closer to Judaism-the religion Francisco's father had already been following. In the end Francisco went to his death January 23, 1639 for his faith in Judaism.

    1653: The Short Parliament was dissolved today leaving Oliver Cromwell, who held the title of Protector of the Realm, as the king-like ruler of England.  This may have actually helped Manasseh ben Israel in his effort to gain readmission of the Jews since Cromwell, unlike some of his allies, actively supported the Jews attempts to return to the British Isles.

    1670: Today the Sephardic Jewish community of Amsterdam acquired the site to build a synagogue

    1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Religious qualifications for holding state and local office were abolished in 1790.  Jews had been part of Pennsylvania even before the coming of William Penn.  The community had its start with Jewish traders who operated in what would be the southeastern corner of the soon to be founded colony.  Mikveh Israel (Hope of Israel) the Philadelphia’s first synagogue was established in the 1740’s.  When an enlarged Mikveh Israel, under the leadership of Gershom Mendes Seixas was dedicated in 1782, a wide variety of public officials attended.  Jews were earlier settlers of Lancaster where a Jewish burial plot was established in 1747.  The size of the Jewish population was exaggerated due to that fact that the English confused Yiddish speaking Jews with the German speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. 

    1805: Birthdate of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, a collection of whose papers are found at Brandeis University.

    1806: Birthdate of Rabbi Isaac Lesser, one of the most important leaders of the 19thcentury American-Jewish community whose accomplishments included completing the first translation of the Bible from Hebrew in English published in the United States.

    1821: Birthdate of Gustave Flaubert, the French author whose works included “Herodias” set in the court of Antipater in which the author writes “The Jews were tired of Herod’s idolatrous ways.”

    1831: In Jamaica, a tankard was presented to Moses Delgado in recognition of his work on behalf of Jewish rights

    1841: Jacob Frankfort arrived in Los Angeles as part of the Rowland-Workman party.  Frankfort, one of the earliest Jewish settlers in New Mexico had been living in Taos when he hurriedly left town because authorities believed he was part of a group of Texans seeking to take control of the territory.  He and some of his confederates joined a scientific expedition and traveled with them to California. 

    1851: An article entitled “Interesting Hebrew Relic” published today reported that in Washington, DC, Colonel Lea, the Commissioner of Indian affairs has in his possession “four small rolls or strips of parchment, closely packed in the small compartments of a little box or locket of about an inch cubical content.  On these parchments are written, in a style of unsurpassed excellence, and far more beautiful than print, portions of the Pentateuch, to be worn as frontlets and intended as stimulants to the memory and moral sense.”  The item was brought to Washington from the Pottawatomie Reservation on the Kansas River by a man named Dr. Lykins. Lykins got them from a member of the tribe name Pategwe who had gotten them from his aged grandmother.  Originally there had been two boxes, but one of them had been lost long ago when the Indians were crossing some river rapids.  The Indians believed that the lost box contained a description of the creation of the world.  Nobody seems to know how the boxes first came into the possession of the Indians.  They cannot remember a time when they did not have them in their possession.  The article concludes, “The question occurs here, does not this circumstance give some color to the idea, long and extensively entertained, that the Indians of our continent are or less Jewish in their origin?”

    1853: Rabbi Raphall delivered the last in a series of lectures on “The Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews” in New York City.

    1855(3rd of Tevet, 5616): 8th and final day of Chanukah

    1861:At today’s regular meeting of the Board of Councilmen the report in favor of donating $30,000 to the Hebrew Benevolent Association was finally adopted.

    1874: It was reported today that it appears Russian government has ordered to the managers of the nation’s railway companies to fire all of the Jews in their employ and not to hire any Jews in the future.

    1875: During the past week, the Hebrew Charity Fair raised $66, 421.19 for Mt. Sinai Hospital.

    1878: Joseph Pulitzer begins publishing "St Louis Dispatch."  Pulitzer’s father was Jewish.  His mother was Roman Catholic.

    1880(10thof Tevet, 5641): Asara B’Tevet

    1880(10thof Tevet, 5641): Fifty-year old Hyman Vollenburg, a Jewish tailor was found dead in his room on Baxter Street in New York.  He was said to be so observant that he refused to accept anything which had been purchased from Jews who worked on Shabbat.

    1880: It was reported today that among Mrs. Jacob Hess, Mrs. A.H. Allen, Mrs. J.J. Bach, Miss Alice Solomon and Miss Essie Content (who portrays the Biblical Rebecca at the well) are among the young ladies the Mrs. Isaac Phillips has enlisted to work during the ten day long Hebrew Charity Fair in New York.

    1881: In the Polish part of the Russian Empire, Benjamin Wonsal and Pear Leah Eichelbaum gave birth to Hirsch Moses Wonsal who came to the United States in 1889 where he gained fame as Harry Morris Warner, one of the Warner brothers who formed the film studio of Warner Brothers.
    1881: According to reports published today the burial of the victims of the theatre fire in Vienna that claimed the lives of 580 people was public ceremony that began with speeches by a Rabbi, a Catholic Prior and an Evangelical Provost. The Jewish victims were the first to be buried with their ceremonies beginning at daybreak.

    1882: Sarah Bernhardt had a major marital row with her husband Jacques Damala during she which she would no longer support his dissolute lifestyle.  This marital breakup came while she was starring in the hit play Fedora by Victorien Sardou.  Sardou refused to let him have a part in the play so Sarah let him serve as manager of the theatrical company, a position that he was totally unfit to hold.  Following his dismissal he turned to drugs and humiliating her at every turn.  The role of “Mr. Sarah Bernhardt” was one that he could not play.

    1882: The settlers at Rosh Pina experienced “their first significant rainfall of the year which meant they could now sow their first crop.”  Some use this date as marking the founding of Kibbutz which is not totally accurate because an earlier attempt had been made 1878.

    1882:  Birthdate of famed chess player Akiba Rubenstein.

    1884: In New York, Marx Cohen, who has already been charged with receiving “$7 worth of goods” stolen from Bates, Reed & Cooley, is expected to be charged with more serious crimes today.  According to the police, is a Fagan-like figure who organizes youngsters into gangs of thieves and then fences the stolen merchandize.  The Jewish store owner has denied all allegations.
    1884: It was reported that in Russia, the Minister of Interior, Count Tolstoi, “has ordered the expulsion of all Jews living in Odessa, Kiev and other cities” if they hold foreign passports and do not have special permits from the government.  This has caused a great deal of concern for Jews doing business in this city who are afraid the new rules will force them into liquidation.

    1884: It was reported today that fighting has broken out among Jewish and anti-Semitic university students in Vienna

    1885: In New York, Rabbi S. Schocher, of Russ, a city near Memel, Prussia gave a lecture at Or Chaim in the classical style of the old-fashioned Derashot.

    1886: In New York, four undercover officers arrested for Polish Jews for selling dry goods in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws.

    1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association which had been providing services to 520 students in 1876 had grown to providing 2,581 students ten years later (1886).

    1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association had chosen new officers for the following year including: President – M.S. Isaacs; Vice President – Uriah Herman; and Treasurer – Newman Cowen.

    1888: “Four Couples Made Happy” which was published today reported that two Jewish couples were among what was described as the four “fashionable weddings” that occurred in New York City.

    1889: Birthdate of Phillip Carl Katz, the San Francisco native who earned the Medal of Honor while serving as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army

    1889: Poet Robert Browning passed away.  Browning wrote “Rabbi ben Ezra.” The poem is based on the life Abraham ibn Ezra. Ibn Ezra lived from 1092 until 1167 and was a leading figure in what was known as the Golden Age in Spain.  Ibn Ezra was second only in fame to Rashi as Torah commentator.  He was the first two attribute that the last section of Deuteronomy describing the death of Moses was written by Joshua.  He was also the first two attribute the last 26 chapters of the Book of Isaiah to a different writer now known as the Second Isaiah.  The poem begins with the famous line “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be…”  The belief that “Jewish blood coursed in his veins” was so common that a biography written two years after his death began by disproving this theory which was based on Browning’s “interest in Hebrew language and literature and his friendship for many members of the London Jewish community.”

    1890: In New York, The Board of Estimates and Apportionment appropriated $12,700 the work of converting the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building into a school.

    1890: As Americans seek a way to register their displeasure with Russian treatment of the Jews, several prominent Jews met at the home met at the home if Rabbi Jacob Joseph where “it was suggested that instead of hold a mass meeting, a meeting of the leaders of the synagogues and Jewish benevolent intuitions should be help to consult as to the best means to adopt to put a stop to the persecutions.”

    1890: The eldest of Moses Winterstein’s children who were living in New York came to the Barge Office and agreed to assume responsibility for his Russian Jewish father and his family so that they could enter the country instead of being denied entrance because they would become “public charges.”

    1892: When Treasury agents searched a ship appropriately named the Wandering Jew in Boston today they found boxes of cigars and opium.

    1892: A list of the newly elected officers of the Hebrew Free School Association published today includes President Albert F. Hochstadter, Vice President Henry Budge and Treasurer Newman Cowen

    1892: “Curious Novel of Jewish Life In London” published today provided a review of Children of the Ghetto: Being Pictures of a Peculiar People by Israel Zangwill.

    1893:  Birthdate of actor Edward G Robinson. Born Emanuel Goldenberg in Romania, Robinson came to the United States in 1902.  Robinson gained early fame playing in gangster movies including the classic Little Caesar and Key Largo.  He also had a deft comedic ability.  One of his most often seen, and poorest performances, is as the grumbling Jew in “The Ten Commandants.” He passed away in 1973.

    1894: At the convention of the American Federation of Labor in Denver, President Samuel Gompers “announced the committees on Resolutions, Organization, Grievances and Local Federated Bodies.

    1895:In New York, the Hebrew Fair continued to draw “immense crowds” and enjoy three days of increasing financial success.

    1895: The investigation into charges of voter fraud brought by Eugene Frayer, a member of the Good Government Club that revolved around the residents of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews resumed today.

    1897: Anti-Jewish violence broke out in Bucharest, Romania. 

    1901: Birthdate of Howard E. Koch, playwright, screen writer and victim of the Hollywood Blacklist.

    1902(12thof Kislev, 5663): Seventy year old Edwin Warren Moise passed away in his native South Carolina. 

    1903(23rd of Kislev, 5664): Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., passed away this evening in New York City at the age of 74.

    1904” Birthdate of Nicolas Louis Alexandre, Baron de Gunzburg the Parisian native who served as editor at Vogue, Harper’s Bazar and Town & Country.

    1905:Birthdate of Manès Sperber an Austrian born French novelist, essayist and psychologist who also wrote under the pseudonyms Jan Heger and N.A. Menlos. He was also the father of Italian historian Vladimir Sperber and French anthropologist and cognitive scientist Dan Sperber.

    1905: Birthdate of Iosif Solomonovich Grossman who gained fame as Soviet author and journalist Vasily Semyonovich Grossman.

    1906: The Brownsville Retail Kosher Butcher’s Association was meeting at the same time that the women of Brownsville were holding a mass meeting designed to gain support for a boycott of the Beef Trust. The mass meeting  was chaired by Israel Reichman. There were 350 butchers at the Kosher Butcher’s meetings, 100 of whom have closed their shops in support of the attempts to end the Beef Trust.

    1906: Leopold Greenberg, owner of a successful British advertising agency, publisher of “The Jewish Yearbook” and an ardent Zionist writes Jacobus Kann, his friend a Dutch Zionist, that “The Jewish Chronicle” is for sale and he has begun negotiating for its purchase.

    1909: Birthdate of Hans Alex Keilson, “a Jewish German/Dutch novelist, poet, psychoanalyst, and child psychologist who wrote about traumas relating to what happened in Europe during WWII. In particular, he worked with traumatized orphans. Some of his novels deal with the same time period, though his first one was published in 1934. He was also active in the Dutch Resistance. Francine Prose has called him one of ‘the world’s very greatest writers.’" (As reported by William Grimes)

    1911: During the days of the British Empire, Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India. Shalom Aaron Cohen who came to India from Aleppo in 1790 was one of the first Jews to settle in Calcutta.  The arrival of Jews from Baghdad during the 19th century marked an upturn in their economic and social power that lasted until the power World War II rise of Indian nationalism.

    1913:Hebrew language officially used to teach in schools located in Eretz Israel.

    1915: Birthdate of Frank Sinatra.Sinatra “may have been one of America 's most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting life-long commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel . Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940s, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine” rally (1947). He sat on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center . (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.) As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries. Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, by serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war. The Copacabana Club, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York Mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York. The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the back door with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier. The origins of Sinatra's love affair with the Jewish people are not clear, but for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (Years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender. Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather. As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could not arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra  again -- threatened to punch him in the nose. Sinatra famously played the role of a Jewish pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's War for Independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth, and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film. Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 45-minute featurette he made in which he sang "In the Still of the Night "and "Without a Song". He also starred in "The House I Live In" (1945), a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.”

    1917: Four days after the British arrival in Jerusalem, Dr. Yaakov Thon, convened a meeting of Jewish leaders with an eye toward establishing a City council of Jerusalem Jews.

    1920: The Histadrut Ha-ovdim (General Labor Federation) was founded in pre-state Israel. Its founder, Berel Katznelson, a disciple of Ber Borochov, combined various labor groups to form a federation

    1924: Birthdate of Edward I Koch.  Koch served as Mayor of New York City from 1977 to 1989.

    1924: In Berlin, Alexander Israel Helphand, the man who negotiated with the German’s during World War I to gain Lenin’s return to Russia from Switzerland which brought about the Communist Revolution and took Russia out of World War I passed away.  

    1925: Birthdate of Russian composer Vladimir Shainsky.

    1925: The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia. The new Shah removed “removed restrictions on Jews and other religious minorities.’  He prohibited the mass conversion of Jews and “Jews were allowed to hold government jobs.”  But the Shah’s sympathetic view of Nazi Germany, along with an under-current of anti-Jewish sentiment, left the community with a sense of discomfort.

    1928: In Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Alfred Frankenthaler and his wife Martha gave birth to abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler

    1931: Dr. Alexander Rosenfeld, vice president of the World Maccabee Association, spoke this afternoon over WLPH from the Lyric Theatre, Brooklyn.  He talked about the forthcoming Maccabee Jewish Games which will be held in Tel Aviv in March, 1932 and in which more than 3,000 Jewish athletes from all parts of the world are expected compete.
    1935: Heinrich Himmler begins the Lebensborn Project.

    1937: Jewish writer Arch Oboler caused more controversy with his script contribution to today’s edition of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. In Oboler's sketch, host Don Ameche and guest Mae West portrayed a slightly bawdy Adam and Eve, satirizing the Biblical tale of the Garden of Eden. On the surface, the sketch did not feature much more than West's customary suggestive double-entendres, and today it seems quite tame. But in 1937, that sketch and a subsequent routine featuring West trading suggestive quips with Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy cause a furor that resulted in West being banned from broadcasting and from being mentioned at all on NBC programming for 15 years.

    1937: The Palestine Postreported numerous assassinations, attempted murders, hold-ups and robberies perpetrated by Arab terrorists all over the country. In Haifa, Elimelech Gromet, 13, the victim of a terror attack in the Hadar Hacarmel quarter, died of his wounds. Sheikh Khatib, an Arab notable, and his bodyguard were murdered in the town's Arab quarter. In Jerusalem all gates of the Old City, except for the well-guarded Jaffa and Damascus gates, were closed from early in the evening until late the following morning.

    1939:In eastern areas of Greater Germany, two years of forced labor is made compulsory for all Jewish males aged 14 to 60.

    1939: Jews are expelled from Kalisz in the Warthegau region of Poland; many flee to Warsaw.

    1940: The Salvador, a ship that set out from Varna, Bulgaria, a month ago, sinks in the Sea of Marmora; 250 Jewish refugees, including 75 children, drown. T. M. Snow, head of the British Foreign Office's Refugee Section, notes that "there could have been no more opportune disaster from the point of view of stopping this [Jewish refugee] traffic [to Palestine]."

    1941: Adolf Hitler announced plans for the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery

    1941: In the second action in two weeks, the Germans killed another estimated 12,000 inhabitants of the Riga Ghetto.

    1941: The German Army of Occupation began a house to house search in Paris looking for Jews.

    1941:The SS Struma set sail from Constanţa, on the Black Sea

    1942: MGM released “White Cargo” starring Hedy Lamarr to the cinematic audience.

    1942: The Jews of Volhunia revolt against a German round-up.

    1942 Jewish prisoners at a labor camp in Lutsk, Ukraine, armed with knives, bricks, iron bars, acid, and several revolvers and sawed-off shotguns, revolt against Germans and Ukrainians. The uprising is crushed.

    1943: The chairman of the Jewish Council in Wlodzimierz Wolynski, Poland, the site of street massacres in 1942, assures the remaining ghetto residents that they will be safe

    1945: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of U.S. aid to open Palestine to Jewish refugees.

    1946: Arabs call for a general strike to protest the alleged abduction of an Arab in Salame, Palestine by the Haganah.

    1946: Two illegal Arab Armies were merged by the Arab High Committee into the Arab Youth Movement.

    1946: Birthdate of Steve Goldsmith, Harvard professor and former mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana.

    1947: Gordon P. Merriam, chief of Division of Near Eastern Affairs, refers Dr. Irving E Medoff of New Jersey to the United Nations after he had written to the U.S. State department concerning his interest in organizing an air force group to operate in Palestine.  Merriam’s referral is based on the U.S. view that matters pertaining to Palestine are under the control of the UN.

    1947: King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia promised that the Arabs will protect and maintain American oil operations at the same time expressing the hope that the U.S. will correct its “mistake” on the issue of Palestine Partition

    1947: British foreign minister Ernest Bevin asks the Jews for a moratorium on “illegal immigration” while the mandate is still in power.

    1947:UN Trusteeship Subcommittee announces that internationalized Jerusalem will only have a police force which can call on UN Security Council if more order is needed. Legislature is legally "rigged" so a minority group will keep a balance of power between Jewish and Arab factors.

    1947: The Arab League voted to provide funds, weapons and volunteers for an impending Palestine war designed to thwart the United Nation’s partition vote.  An Arab Liberation Army under the command of an Iraqi staff officer named Ismail Safwat Pasha established its headquarters outside of Damascus and gave field command to Fawzi al-Qawujki a veteran terrorist leader of the uprisings during the 1930’s.

    1947(29th of Kislev, 5708): An Arab gang stopped a BOAC truck leaving Lydda Airport.  The Arabs told the Arabs on the truck to run away.  The three Jews – Yitzhak Jian, David Ben Ovadia and Joseph Litvak - were then shot dead.

    1948: Israel and Transjordan let Christians travel to Bethlehem for Christmas pilgrimages

    1948: “Less than two weeks after the signing of the final cease-fire, the ‘Valor Road’ was opened by Ben-Gurion as a secure by-pass for travel from Jerusalem to the coast.  The road replaced the famous ‘Burma Road’ and made it possible for Jews to travel the fifteen miles from the Judean hills to the coastal settlements without having to brave Arab sniper attacks.

    1949: The U.S. asks Israel and Jordan not to do anything which would disrupt relations with other Arab states or the Vatican.

    1949: Birthdate of Anglo-Jewish historian David Samuel Harvard Abulafia who is married to another famous historian Anna Sapir Abufia. (Can you imagine what a Shabbat dinner would be like at their house?)

    1950: Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi after her husband, who was the congregation's rabbi, passed away. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1951:  Yosef Sprinzak, the Speaker of the Knesset became acting President of Israel when Chaim Weizman became so ill he could not fill the position.

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported that the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly passed, by 32 votes to 13, with 13 abstentions, a strongly-worded resolution calling for direct Arab-Israeli negotiations.

    1952: As HUAC continued its investigation of Rutgers Professor Moses Finley, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution declaring "It shall be cause for immediate dismissal of any member of faculty or staff to fail to cooperate with government inquiries.”

    1952(24th of Kislev, 5713): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

    1953: Birthdate of Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

    1963:  Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom. Jews began to settle in Kenya in the early years of the 20th century.In 1904, The Nairobi Hebrew Congregation was established in 1904 and the 20 families living in Nairobi built the country’s first synagogue in 1913. The community saw some growth after World War II. In 1955, “Israel Somen, the president of the Board of Kenya Jewry, was elected mayor of Nairobi.” A small Jewish community has continued to exist which has not been always been the case of former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Israel and Kenya continue to enjoy positive relations.

    1964: “Casablan,” or “Kazablan” a film adaptation of a play of the same name that substitutes Ashkenazim and Sephardim for Montagues and Capulets, premiered in New York.

    1966: A 27 year member of Local 338 writes to the national union headquarters expressing his despair over the deteriorating conditions in the bagel industry which are leading to cuts in pay, benefits and the number of jobs available for bakers.

    1970: Birthdate of Jennifer Connelly who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress 2002 for A Beautiful Mind and the 2002 Golden Globe 2002 for same role.

    1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.
    1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): David Sarnoff, CEO of RCA and founder of NBC, passed away. Born in Russia 1891, Sarnoff reportedly studied to be a rabbi before joining the Marconi Wireless Company as a telegraph operator.  He became the leading figure in the creation of RCA.

    1971(24thof Kislev, 5732): Sixty-two year old philologist and linguist Yechezkel Kutscher, the native of Sloavkia who made Aliyah in 1931 and pursued a career which earned him the Israel Prize in 1961 passed away today.

    1974: In Jerusalem, an explosive device went off in Ben Yehuda Street. Thirteen people were injured lightly to moderately.

    1975:  In San Diego, CA, Barry Bialik and Beverly Winkelman gave birth to actress Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom Russo on “Blossom” and Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang.”  “Hayim Nahman Bialik, Israel's national poet, was Mayim Bialik's great-great-grandfather's uncle”

    1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): 8th day of Chanukah

    1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): Eighty-six year old French filmmaker Raymond Bernard passed away today/

    1978(12th of Kislev, 5739): American painter Norman Raeben died of heart attack in the lobby of his apartment.  Born in Russia in 1901, he was “the youngest of the six children of Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem.” “The pen-name 'Raeben' is probably derived from his family-name 'Rabinowitz'.  Raeben moved to New York City with his family in 1914. He studied painting from Robert Henri, George Luks and John French Sloan, who all belonged to the Ashcan School. His studio was on the 11th floor of Carnegie Hall. His students include Bob Dylan, Bernice Sokol Kramer, Carolyn Schlam, Andrew Gottlieb, Janet Cohn, John Smith, Diana Postel, Lori Lerner and Rosalyn (Roz) Jacobs. Raeben's mission was to teach the art of painting through intuition and feeling, instead of through conceptualization.”

    1979(22nd of Kislev, 5740): Elka de Levie, the only Jewish gymnast of the triumphant 1928 Dutch ladies’ gymnastics team, which won the Olympic title in Amsterdam in 1928 to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, passed away.

    1988:Foreign Minister Shimon Peres urged the Palestine Liberation Organization today to direct its diplomacy toward Israel rather than the United States. ‘We criticize the Palestinian position and their declarations because they have been looking for expressions that travel well in Washington rather than for positions that make sense in Jerusalem,'' Mr. Peres told a meeting of American and Israeli officials and academics. ''The Palestinians must remember, as we do that coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel must take place in the Middle East and not in North America,'' Mr. Peres said. ''The Palestinians must not only talk peace - and I appreciate statements in favor of peace - but behave peacefully,'' he said.

    1988: European countries are pressing the Palestine Liberation Organization and its Arab allies to moderate plans to seek United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state, diplomats said today. The effort came on the eve of a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman, is to be the main speaker Tuesday when the Assembly holds its first meeting in Geneva. The Assembly decided to move here for its annual debate on the Palestinian question after the Reagan Administration refused to give Mr. Arafat a visa to address the Assembly in New York.

    1989: In an article entitled “Soviets Trying to Become Team Player in Mideast” published today, Alan Cowell describes the change in Russian Middle East policy from one of confrontation to “partnership with Washington in the diplomacy of the region.”

    1990(25th of Kislev, 5751): Chanukah

    1990: A fund-raising dinner and dance is held at the Pierre to further the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side.  The event also honors the founders of the Eldridge Street Project, who include Brooke Astor, Joan K. Davidson, Simon Rifkind and Joanna and Daniel Rose.

    1990: The 1991 fund-raising campaign of the UJA-Federation of New York opens with the Lawyers Division annual Proskauer Award Dinner during which Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner in the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, receives the award.

    1990: The Young Professionals of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University sponsor a concert at Steinway Hall to raise money to help replace the instruments Soviet émigré musicians in Israel could not take from the Soviet Union. The pianist Dina Joffe and her husband, the violinist Mikhail Vaiman, and the pianist Byron Janis, an officer of American Friends, are among those who help to provide the evening’s entertainment.

    1993: Today Mr. Rabin and Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, agreed in Cairo that they needed more time to resolve complex security issues before self-rule could begin in roiling Gaza and placid Jericho, and they gave themselves at least another 10 days.

    1993: Under attack by some political leaders for dealing far less firmly with Jews who commit acts of violence than with Palestinians, the Israeli Army today ordered soldiers to take "strong action" against law-breaking settlers in the occupied territories, including possible arrests and curfews.

    1994: Israel and Jordan fleshed out their new peace treaty some more today, opening temporary embassies in each other's country and saying they would exchange ambassadors next month. For the first time, an Israeli flag flew openly in Amman, and in a separate ceremony a few hours later, the Jordanian flag was raised in Tel Aviv, where almost all countries put their missions to Israel. Both embassies are in hotels for now, until permanent locations are found. Israel has yet to name its ambassador to Jordan, which on Oct. 26 became the second Arab country, after Egypt, to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Amman has appointed Marwan Muasher, a former spokesman for the Jordanian delegation to peace talks in Washington, as its ambassador, but he will not begin his assignment for several more weeks.

    1995(20thof Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Moshe-Zvi Neria, the native of Łódź who became an Israeli educator and MK passed away today.

    1995: Israeli PM Shimon Peres addressed both houses of the US Congress.

    1997: John Marks, the former Berlin bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report wrote an essay cautioning against letting the hunt for the stolen assets hoarded by the Swiss and other European dangers overshadow the reality of the primary villain of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany.  “’No one would argue that German evil absolves Swiss cupidity or French collaboration.  But it would be a very odd paradox indeed if the partial eclipse of German culpability became a permanent historical fixture” as the heirs of the Holocaust seek to regain the property of their progenitors.

    1999: The New York Times book section includes a review of Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership by Naomi W. Cohen.

    1999(3rd of Tevet, 5760): Author Joseph Heller passed away.  He is best remembered as the author of Catch-22.a book whose title has entered the English language (As reported by Richard Severo and Herbert Mitgang)

    2001: Yasser Arafat bowed to long-standing Israeli demands by ordering the closure of the offices of the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  The supposed closing had no effect in ending the terrorism which enjoyed Arafat’s continued support.

    2001: Irv Rubin, JDL Chairman, and Earl Krugel, a member of the organization, were charged with conspiracy to bomb private and government property. The two allegedly were caught in the act of planning bomb attacks against the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and on the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who is Arab-American. The two were arrested as part of a sting operation after an FBI informant named Danny Gillis delivered explosives to Krugel's home in L.A

    2002:Austria failed in its attempt to block a lawsuit by an 86-year-old American citizen who fled the Nazis in 1942 and whose uncle owned the works. In a promising ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that Austria was not immune from a suit in American courts when the interests of justice outweigh the inconvenience to a foreign country.

    2003: Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, president of the European Union, proclaimed the body’s deep concern at the increase in instances of anti-Semitic intolerance and strongly condemns all manifestations of anti-Semitism, including attacks against religious sites and individuals.”

    2003:Irwin Cotler, Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election was sworn into Cabinet today.

    2004: The New York Times features a review of A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz; translated by Nicholas de Lange

    2004(29thof Kislev, 5765): One hundred-one year old “Bernada Bryson Shan, the widow of painter Ben Shahn” passed away today.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2005:Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. honored Gerald Schoenfeld and four city leaders at his annual Jewish Heritage celebration today. The event was co-sponsored with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC) and The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. 
    2005: The Israeli government voted to increase financial help for needy Holocaust survivors.  The aid comes in the form of increased rent subsidies and 75% discount on drug purchases.

    2006:Germany hosts a Holocaust conference in Berlin featuring Raul Hilberg, considered one of the leading experts on Holocaust studies who wrote the comprehensive multi-volume book, "The Destruction of European Jewry."

    2007: As part of Chanukah festivities, the last of 18 performances of “Around the World in 80 Days” directed Yaron Kafkafi takes place at the Nokia Stadium in Yad Eliahu.

    2007: Opening session of the 46th Assembly of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) in San Diego, California.

    2007:Union for Reform Judaism 2007 Biennial Convention opens in San Diego, CA.  On the eve of the conference, Meir Azari, rabbi of the Beit Daniel synagogue in Tel Aviv, expressed his concern over the future of relations between the Reform Movement in the United States and Israel.

    2007: The New York City Police arrested ten individuals suspected of carrying out an anti-
    Semitic attack against four Jewish students on the previous Friday night, the fifth night of Chanukah.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah Friday Night Services features, the Second Musical Shabbat of the 2008-2009 Season.

    2008: “Adam Resurrected” which follows the life former Berlin magician and circus impresario Adam Stein opens at the Quad City Cinema in New York City. A highly theatrical performance by Jeff Goldblum, traces the life of Stein an enthralling, enigmatic patient at the Seizling Institute, a remote Israeli rehabilitation outpost for Holocaust survivors.

    2008:The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation based in Salem, Mass., shut its doors after saying it had lost all its money -- $8 million -- by investing with Bernard Madoff self-confessed creator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history

    2008:Reacting to an increasingly perilous economic outlook, the leader of the Reform movement proposed that some of the movement's synagogues could consider merging with Conservative congregations as a cost-saving measure. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, in a speech to the Union for Reform Judaism's board of trustees, said that while he generally views American Jewish pluralism as a source of strength, communities in the current crisis may no longer be able to afford multiple synagogues.

    2009 (25 Kislev, 5770): First Day of Chanukah

    2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a screening of “The Wedding Song,” a film that tells the story of two adolescent girls – one Jewish, one Moslem – living in Tunis in 1942 when the Nazis occupy the city.

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival features screenings of “A Matter of Size” and “Adam Resurrected” starring American actor Jeff Goldblum

    2009: Opening night of the Sephardic Music Festival in New York City.

    2009: The Hub of the JCCSF and San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum present “Super 8 Hanukkah Festival.”

    2009:Five Hamas men were arrested today, while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit bills, according to the announcement.  During the arrest, two of the operatives were wounded.

    2010:The Women's League Convention 2010 is scheduled to hold its opening session at the Marriott Waterfront located in Baltimore, MD.

    2010: Andy “Samberg and the other members of the Lonely Island debuted their next digital short, titled "I Just Had Sex."

    2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Ayn Rand and The World She Madeby Anne C. Heller.

    2010: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, ­Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim are listed  on The New York Times list of the 10 Best Books of 2010

    2010(5th of Tevet, 5771): Eighty-eight year old “Dan Kurzman, who wrote military histories that illuminated little-known incidents in World War II and an exhaustively reported account of the first Arab-Israeli war, passed away today Manhattan. (As reported Daniel E. Slotnik)

    2010(5th of Tevet, 5771):Eighty-two year old “Jacob Lateiner, a concert pianist renowned for his interpretations both of Beethoven and of 20th-century music, passed away today in Manhattan. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011: Gabriel Bass, Rabbi Joanne Heiligman and Nina Bonos are scheduled to participate in “Objects and Spaces that Influence Jewish Memory” a panel discussion presented by Shaare Tefila in Olney, Maryland.

    2011:  Israel Hayom reported that Rabbi YonaMetzger had received an offer to serve as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs ends his term of office in 2013.

    2011: “A Happy End” Israeli playwright IIddo Netanyahu’s play that follows acclaimed Jewish physicist Mark Erdmann, head of the atomic lab at the University of Berlin, and his wife Leah through the arduous decision of whether or not to leave Germany following the notorious elections of 1932 is scheduled to be performed at the Martin E.. Segal Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

    2011: Israel's new ambassador to Egypt arrived in Cairo today, Egyptian airport officials told the Associated Press, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy in the Egyptian capital.

    2012: In New York, Jonathan Karp, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present “Culture Brokers’ Music Produces and Labels” a program that “traces the history of small independent record labels that pioneered new forms of popular music from the 1960s to today, including rock & roll, Latin pop, and hip-hop.

    2012: A public menorah lighting is scheduled for the Ped Mall in Iowa City, Iowa

    2012: Sufganyot and latkes will be served at the scheduled pubic menorah lighting at the Grand Cities Mall in Grand Forks, North Dakota

    2012: “Football is God” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. (Attention American readers – this is a movie about you call soccer, not the pigskin game)

    2012: Mika Karney and the Kol Dodi Ensemble, Zion80 + Hasidic New Wave & Yakar Rhythms are scheduled to perform at the Sephardic Music Festival’s closing event.

    2012: Pedro Hernandez “pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping the case of Etan Patz.

    2012: King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan would host Israeli-Palestinian meetings in February with the backing of the European Union and the United States, a leading Arab daily reported today.

    2012: Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned two “price-tag” vandalism acts carried out overnight in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    2013: The Pears Institute For The Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to sponsor a discussion led by Professor Mary Fulbrook and Professor Jane Caplan entitled “A Small Town near Auschwitz – Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust.”

    2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present a panel discussion “Do Words Kill?  Hate Speech, Propaganda & Incitement to Genocide”

    2013: “The Herd” and “Guilt by Fire” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Today’s meeting of the URJ Biennial is scheduled to end with a Biennial Music Festival that will include performances by Larry Milder and Rocky Mountain Jewgrass at Taste and Thirst and Rick Recht and Max Jared performing at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

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    December 13

    522 BCE: Darius I, the Persian monarch who allowed the Jewish people to re-build the Temple at Jerusalem strengthened his hold on his kingdom when he defeated Nebuchadnezzar III in a battle at the Tigris and that at the Euphrates.

    519 BCE: According to some sources this is the day that, the foundations for the Second Temple were laid during the second year of the reign the Persian ruler, Darius with the support of Haggai and Zachariah. It would take four years to complete the project.

    1124: End of the papacy of Callixtus II who issued an updated version of Sicut Judaeis, the papal bull that reiterated the need for protecting the Jews of Europe “in the wake of the persecutions of the First Crusade”

    1250: Frederick II passed away.  During his reign as Holy Roman Emperor Frederick created a secular government in Palermo, feat without parallel in the middle ages, with a written constitution that guaranteed the rights of his subjects, be they Christian, Arab, or Jew, and the religious freedom that went along with it.” When he founded the University of Naples in 1224, “he took care that its faculty included Christians, Muslims and Jews, and that all of these languages were taught, together with the laws and literature of these cultures. Equally remarkable considering the times was Frederick's edict ordering religious toleration for Christians, Muslims and Jews throughout his realm.” During the Sixth Crusade, he dealt with the issues through negotiations and not military action.  His rule of Jerusalem was marked by a period of “religious toleration for Muslims, Christians and Jews.”

    1521: King John III succeeded his father as King of Portugal.  Like his predecessors, John III maintained the ban on Jews living in his kingdom and persecuted conversos and marranos alike.  The only time he wavered in this policy came in 1525 when he was negotiating with David Reubeni, the Jewish adventurer who was seeking a fleet and an army from the monarch so he could fight Selim I.

    1521: Manuel I, the Portuguese monarch who “decreed that all Jews had to convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children passed away. In 1496, he “exiled thousands of Jews to São Tomé, Príncipe, and Cape Verde.”

    1521: Birthdate of Sixtus VI, who from the point of the Jews, was one of the better Popes.  He issued a bull that lifted the restrictions his predecessors had placed on the Jews.  He gave them permission to live in all of the cities in the Papal States. He ordered the Knights of Malta to stop enslaving Jews traveling by sea to and from the Middle East.  He allowed Jews physicians to treat Christian patents and made provision for new printing of the Talmud. 

    1532(Tevet, 5293):Solomon Molcho, ("Solomon His Angel"), originally Diogo Pires, passed away.  He was a "New Christian" who converted back to Judaism, declared himself the Messiah, and was burned at the stake for apostasy. Molcho was born a Christian to Marrano parents in Portugal about 1500. His baptismal name probably was Diogo Pires. He held the post of secretary in one of the higher courts of his native country. When the Jewish adventurer David Reubeni came ostensibly on a political mission from Khaibar (Peshawar) to Portugal, Molcho wished to join him, but was rejected. He then circumcised himself, though without thereby gaining Reubeni's favor, and emigrated to Turkey. Intellectually talented, a visionary and believer in dreams, he studied the Kabbalah with Joseph Taytazak and became acquainted with Joseph Caro. He then wandered, as a preacher, through the Land of Israel (then a province of the Ottoman empire), where he achieved a great reputation and announced that the Messianic kingdom would come in 1540. In 1529 Molcho published a portion of his sermons under the title Derashot, or Sefer ha-Mefo'ar. Going to Italy, he was opposed by prominent Jews including Jacob Mantino ben Samuel who feared that he might mislead their co-religionists, but he succeeded in gaining the favor of Pope Clement VIIand of some Judeophile cardinals at Rome. He is said to have predicted to the pope a certain flood which inundated Rome and various other places. After his many cabalistic and other strange experiments, Molcho felt justified in proclaiming himself the Messiah, or his precursor. In company with David Reubeni, whom he came across in Italy, he went in 1532 to Ratisbon, where the emperor Charles V was holding a diet. On this occasion, Molcho carried a flag with the Hebrew word Maccabi, the four letters מכבי which also signify an abbreviation for Exodus 15:11 "Who among the mighty is like unto God?". The emperor imprisoned both Molcho and Reubeni, and took them with him to Italy. In Mantua an ecclesiastical court sentenced Molcho to death by fire. At the stake the emperor offered to pardon him on condition that he return to the Catholic Church, but Molcho refused, asking for a martyr's death.

    1545: The Council of Trent which produced The Tirdentine Mass begins. The Tridentine Mass, a Latin ritual the rubrics of which were set by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The mass reflected the traditional Christian goal of converting Jews to Jesus including “praying on Good Friday that God "lift the veil" from "Jewish blindness.”  This changed at the time of Vatican II, with the declaration "Nostra Aetate," which condemned the idea that Jews could be blamed for the murder of Jesus, and affirmed the permanence of God's Covenant with Israel. The "replacement" theology by which the church was understood as "superseding" Judaism was no more. Corollary to this was a rejection of the traditional this version of the Mass would be discontinued as the Catholic Church affirmed a more positive view of Judaism and the Jewish people. The Vatican would reintroduce the Tridentine Mass in 2008 with Catholics praying that God "enlighten" the hearts of Jews "so that they recognize Jesus Christ, Savior of all mankind."

    1619:“Under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it was decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In consequence, the position of Jews differed greatly between cities In those towns where they were admitted, they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.” (As reported by The History of the Jewish People)

    1642: A Dutch explored named Abel Janszoon Tasman reached New Zealand. Jews would not reach New Zealand until the 1830’s when it was under British control.

    1663: Mattahthias Calahora, “a renowned physician” was “accused by Friar Servatius of ‘blaspheming the virgin.’ Although there was no testimony aside from the Friars, he was tortured and burned at the stake. His ashes were dispersed to prevent him from having a proper Jewish burial. Despite this, enough of his remains were found for a burial to take place” (As reported by The History of The Jewish People

    1754; Mahmud I, Ottoman Sultan passed away. During his reign, two Jewish doctors, Isaac Tchelebi and Hekim Joseph were appointed to serve at his palace. In 1739, Mahmud signed the Treaty of Belgrade that gave citizenship rights to the Ottoman Jews. Austrian Jews were so impressed with the grant of rights that many of them applied for citizenship in Mahmud’s empire.

    1769: Dartmouth College founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock.  Today Dartmouth has approximately 450 Jewish students out of an undergrad population of over four thousand students.  There are approximately 100 Jewish students among its 1,300 grad students.  Dartmouth offers ten courses in Jewish studies. Dartmouth also has a special Hebrew Studies semester transfer credit arrangement with the Hebrew University and with Oxford University.

    1797: Birthdate of author and poet Heinrich Heine. The German author converted in 1825.  Heine said, “The baptismal certificate is an admission ticket to European culture.”  Unfortunately for Heine, things did not work.  Christians saw him as an opportunist.  Jews saw him as a turncoat and in the end, he supposedly regretted his decision.  “It is extremely difficult for a Jew to be converted, for how can he bring himself to believe in the divinity of another Jew?”  “Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.”  “The Jews trudged around with the Bible all through the Middle Ages, as with a portable fatherland.”  And in words that almost seem to foretell the coming of the Nazis he wrote, “Where men burn books, they will also burn people.”

    1797: In the first attempt to remove the qualification that office holder’s in Maryland had to be Christians, a petition signed by Solomon Etting, Bernard Gratz, and others was presented to the General Assembly at Annapolis; the petitioners averred "that they are a sect of people called Jews, and thereby deprived of many of the valuable rights of citizenship, and pray to be placed upon the same footing with other good citizens." The petition was read and referred to a committee of three persons, who upon the same day reported that they "have taken the same into consideration and conceive the prayer of the petition is reasonable, but as it involves a constitutional question of considerable importance they submit to the House the propriety of taking the same into consideration at this advanced stage of the session." This summary disposition of the petition put a quietus upon further agitation for the next five years. (As reported by Cyrus Adler and J. H. Hollander)

    1807: Thirty-four year old Joseph Philipson, opened his general merchandising store and permanently settled in St. Louis. Joseph was reportedly the first Jew to settle in St. Louis, He was the first Jewish merchant to settle in St. Louis and the first American merchant to establish a permanent store in St. Louis. In 1808, Joseph's brother Jacob arrived in St. Louis and established his own store. Their remaining brother Simon remained in Philadelphia, traveling occasionally to St. Louis. Until 1816 the Philipsons were the only Jews known to live in St. Louis. Jacob died about 1858, buried in the City Cemetery

    1813: Birthdate of David Spangler Kaufman.  Kaufman was the first Jewish Congressman from Texas. He died in 1851.  Kaufman County, Texas and the city of Kaufman, Texas are named for him.

    1815: Birthdate of Arthur Stanley, the Dean of Westminster who wrote “Lectures On The History of the Jewish Church”.

    1819(25thof Kislev, 5580): As the Unites States endures its first peacetime major economic and financial  crisis, known as the Panic of 1819, Chanukah is observed.

    1847: The Portuguese congregation of New Orleans held its first annual meeting.

    1855: During the thirty-fourth session of the United States Congress, a special act was passed, which provided that all the rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore granted by the law to the Christian churches in the city of Washington be and the same hereby are extended to the Hebrew Congregation of said city.”

    1856: Birthdate of Abbott Lawrence Lowell, who served as President of Harvard from 1909 to 1933. Thanks to reforms Lowell made in the admission policies where merit was the driving factor, Jewish enrollment rose from 6% in 1908 to 22% in 1922.  Lowell had not intended for his reforms to bring this many Jews to his university and he worked vigorously and successfully to institutionalize other criteria that drove down the Jews representation to the point that when he left in 1933 Jews made up less than 10% of the undergraduate student body.  Lowell also was an outspoken critic of Wilson’s decision to nominate Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court.  Like so many of his ilk, Lowell did not limit his bigotry to Jews – he had no use for African-Americans or homosexuals either.

    1860: The New York Times reported that “A private letter from Jerusalem states that an American Jew at New Orleans has bequeathed £10,000 for the building and endowment of almshouses for infirm and destitute Israelites in the Holy City. An agent had already arrived to carry out the bequest, and the houses intended to be used for the purpose mentioned are expected to be ready for occupation before the expiration of the coming Winter.”

    1862: During the Civil War, Army of the Potomac suffered one of its worst defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg where they were commanded Ambrose Burnside. Company C of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment which had been formed by a group of Jewish volunteer soldiers under the name of the Concordia Guards was one of the units engaged in the battle. The regiment would be commanded by Colonel Edward S. Salomon, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, who may have been Chicago’s first Jewish lawyer and was the alderman for the Sixth Ward when the war broke out. Among other Jews serving during the battle was Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a native of Richmond, who was a solider with the Union Army and was wounded at Fredericksburg.

    1873: It was reported today that most of the Jews of Paris attended the funeral of French banker and philanthropist Louis Raphael Bischoffsheim which was held last month.  The large filled the synagogue and then followed the coffin to the cemetery. A native of Germany, this highly successful financier founded schools for Jewish children, established hospitals and asylums for the general population and supported soup kitchens every winter.

    1874: Birthdate of Joseph Arkadievich Levin, the Russian pianist who gained fame as Josef Lhévinne, a name given to him by his manager.

    1877: Birthdate of Abraham I. Shiplacoff, a native of Chernigov (Russia) who moved to the United States where he became a labor leader and the first Socialist to be elected to the New York State Assembly.

    1880: A charter was granted today marking formally incorporation of Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, MS.  Twenty-five to thirty families had been acting as a congregation since 1870 going so far as to hire a Charles Rawitzer of Memphis as their Rabbi.  HUC built their first temple in 1881 and hired Joseph Bogen as their Rabbi. In 1962 H.U.C. was the largest Jewish congregation in the state of Mississippi with almost 200 families. At last report, the Temple is home to about 50 Jewish families in the area.

    1881: A Pogrom begins in Warsaw that leaves approximately 1,500 Jewish homes, shops and synagogues in ruins.

    1882: Jacques Damala left for North Africa today after his wife, Sarah Bernhardt told him she would no longer support his dissolute life-style. He left her to pay off his debts that arose from, among other things, gambling and drugs.

    1885: It was reported today that the funeral of Wolfgang Strassmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family who was the President of the Municipal Council in Berlin “was made the occasion of a demonstration against Jew-baiters.” Thirty thousand people attended the funeral and the Emperor sent two wreaths. (The Emperor would seem to be somewhat conflicted since one of his court chaplains was a leader of the anti-Semitic forces)

    1885: The New York Times published a review of The Rabbi’s Spell: A Russo-Jewish Romance by Stuart C. Cumberland

    1886: As police are arresting merchants selling goods on Sunday in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws, the question is asked how can a Jewish peddler “arrested on the Sabbath” who pleads that he has kept the previous day holy, be punished under a law that allows a businessman “to select the one day out seven on which to abstain from business.”

    1888:Telemachus (Telemaque) Thomas Timayenis, the author of The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé,‎ was charged with grand larceny by Mrs. Emma Dickson his partner in the Minerva Publishing Company. (Timayenis denied reports that he was Jewish and his books were decidedly anti-Semitic in nature.

    1889: It was reported today that the B’nai B’rith has taken a leading role in the education fair currently taking place at the American Institute Building in New York City.

    1889: Moritz Ellinger, editor of the Hebrew Standard delivered a lecture entitled “A New Departure” in New York City

    1890: The “juvenile orchestra” of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to perform at the Teachers’ Fair, today.

    1890: Rabbi Jacob Joseph delivered a sermon at the Beth Hamedrasch Hagol, an Orthodox synagogue on Norfolk,  in which he addressed “the persecution of the Russian Jews and said that necessary steps should be taken to urge the United States Government to use its influence with the Czar for the cessation of the persecution.

    1890: Rabbi Kaufman Kohler, a leading Reform rabbi, delivered a sermon at Temple Beth EL, in which he said “that Jews had proved that they were the equals of the highest races of the age in all countries except Russia where they had been subjected to the greatest hardships.”

    1891: Jacob Rubino, a New York Life Insurance policy holder filed suit again a trustee of New York Life who is also a member of the Finance Committee seeking the return of “exorbitant commissions.”

    1892: Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Straus and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lauterbach and their daughter were among those who attended a meeting of the Nineteenth Century Club where they listened to a lecture on “The Significance of the New-England Transformation.

    1893: Justice Ryan of the Essex Market Police court committed “three destitute little children” ranging in age from 7 to 2 to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society because their mother Sarah Polskie could not care for them.

    1894: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn won a competition among all the orphanages in Brooklyn and New York sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany of Brooklyn by 700 votes which means it will receive “100 dressed dolls and other toys.”

    1894: This evening members of the University Settlement Society heard the report of Helen Moore, the librarian at Guild House in which she noted that the young Jewish readers show “discrimination” “always wanted the best literature.  They always have the library’s 83 histories of the United States checked out but they “show a passion for stories about…patriotism and fairy tales. (The purpose of the society is “to being men and women of education into closer relation with the laboring classes so that they might meet on a common ground for education purpose.”)

    1895: In Chicago, “three drunken poles” attacked Abraham Mar, a Jewish vegetable peddler, and hung him three times with a clothes line, threatening him each time with death unless “he prayed according to the Christian fashion.”

    1895: Today’s session of the Educational Fair sponsored by the Jewish community opened at 2:30 this afternoon and closed at 5 p.m. because this evening is the start of the Sabbath.  Although it was only open for 2 and one-half hours, the fair was so well attended that the total receipts for the fair has now risen to over one hundred thousand dollars.

    1899: Birthdate of publisher Harold Guinzburgfounder of Literary Guild and head of Viking Press.

    1903(24thof Kislev, 5664): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1903: At today’s meeting of the United Zionists of Greater New York a resolution was adopted that expressed opposition to trying to establish a Zionist colony in Uganda.  The 250 delegates expressed their dissatisfaction with Israel Zangwill and expressed their support that the Zionist dream could only be fulfilled in Palestine

    1903:  Isidor Strauss read the eleventh annual report at tonight’s meeting of the Educational Alliance.  Andrew Carnegie attended the meeting and engaged in light-hearted banter with Strauss, who is the President of Alliance.

    1903: Four hundred guests attended the Carmel Chanukah dinner tonight which sponsored by the Carmel Wine Company.  The sponsors of the dinner were trying to develop support for the Jews who are working to establish agricultural settlements in Palestine.  Professor Richard Gottheil and Cyrus L Sulzberger were among the speakers at the event.

    1910: Birthdate of Sol Saks, who is most famous for writing the first episode of the highly popular sitcom “Bewitched.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1910: In Boston, Katie Silverman and Arthur Rutstein gave birth to Lillian Rutstein who gained fame as the actress and singer Lillian Roth, who would convert to Catholicism in 1948 although “she later said she could really forget her Jewish heritage.

    1913(14th of Kislev, 5674): Abraham J. Laredo a prominent Gibraltar merchant passed away.

    1914: Birthdate of Larry Park, the native of Joliet, Illinois  who starred in the film biography of Al Jolson before falling victim to the Hollywood Black list.

    1921: An order was issued by King George V for Sir Edgar Speyer to be struck off the list of the Privy Council.

    1923: This evening, an anti-Jewish open air meeting was held by Royalist students in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Copies of "L' Action Francaise", the Royalist Organ, were on sale. The speakers denounced the Jews as the chief obstacle to the restoration of the Monarchy in France. The Jews, they declared, were Communists; the Jews were the counselors of President Wilson and were responsible for his Fourteen Points, which had brought about the isolation of France. The first step towards the destruction of the Republic must be the annihilation of the Jews. (As reported by JTA)

    1923: Birthdate of William Bernard Kannel  a cardiovascular epidemiologist whose work helped to identify and sought to rout the culprits behind heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1924(16th of Kislev, 5685):  Samuel Gompers, the famed American labor leader, passed away.

    1928: George Gershwin's musical work ''An American in Paris'' had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

    1936: It was reported today that Rabbi Harry Halpern of the East Midwood Jewish Center will deliver a talk entitled “The Significance of Chanukah” at the upcoming meeting of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America.

    1936: Andy Devine appears on the Jack Benny where he scores the longest laughter pause in the history of the program.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Solomon Baum, 23, a student at the Hebrew Teachers' Seminary, was seriously wounded by an Arab assailant in the Beit Hakerem quarter of Jerusalem. British troops and police fought a gang of 50 Arab terrorists in Galilee. The same gang was reported to have murdered and robbed an Arab villager of Kafr Kara who refused to hand over the requested sum of money.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that n Paris the Council of German Jews, headed by Viscount Samuel, announced that during the first half of 1937, 3,641 Jews left Germany, including 1,363 for Palestine. Four hundred of them made their aliya on the strength of the "capitalist" category immigration certificates, obtained by the committee.

    1938: One hundred deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): In the evening, kindle the 8th Chanukah light

    1939(1stof Tevet, 5700): In New York, Joseph Josephs passed away.

    1939: Hans Frank issued order of the establishment of Jewish councils in Polish Jewish communities over 10,000. Jews referred to these councils as the “Judenrat.”

    1941: For two days 14,300 Jews were killed in the Crimean city of Simferopol by the Einsatzkommando.  The killing started on December 13 and ended on the 15th.

    1941: The last six Jews living in Warendorf, Germany, are deported to Riga, Latvia, and killed.

    1941: Jews living in Muenster, Germany were deported to the Riga Ghetto in Latvia today.  [A photo of this is part of the Yad Vashem archives]

    1942: Borough President Edgar J Nathan Jr., Jacob O. Zabronsky, J. David Delman, and Rabbi Leo Jung spoke at the annual Chanukah celebration of the National Council of Young Israel at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

    1942: German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels complains in his diary about Italy's halfhearted persecution of Jews.

    1943: As the SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimir-Volynski, Poland, they were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force. The remainder fled to the forests to join the partisans.

    1943: In Greece, Nazis murder all males over age 14 in the village of Kalávrita.

    1943: Birthdate of Victor G. Kac, a Soviet and American mathematician at MIT, known for his work in representation theory. Kac received a Sloan Fellowship in 1981 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.

    1946: Jewish political leader Léon Blum was chosen French premier.

    1946:Moshe Sneh, the reputed head of Haganah, repudiates activities of Irgun and Stern Group. He calls for a responsible resistance. He urges Zionists to stay away from London conference.

    1947: The Jewish Agency, representing a majority of Palestinian Jewry denounced the rising tide of Irgun reprisals, calling them spectacular acts to gratify popular feeling.

    1947: Several Irgun members driving in two cars near the Damascus Gate bus station hurled two bombs into the crowd and opened fire with automatic weapons killing five Arabs including a fourteen year old boy.

    1947: The Arab League tells U.S. and Britain that partition would be considered a hostile act toward Moslems.

    1947: The Zionist Organization of America urges that the U.S. provide ships for Jews going to Palestine and help arm Jewish Agency defense forces.

    1948: The Transjordan Parliament authorizes King Abdullah to accept sovereignty over Arab Palestine and Transjordan defying a warning by council of Ulemas (a group of scholars and highest spiritual authority in Moslem

    1949: Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capitol to Jerusalem.

    1950: James Grover McDonald, the first U.S. Ambassador to Israel, left his post today.

    1952(25thof Kislev, 5713): First Day of Chanukah

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the government announced an ambitious settlement program ­ the establishment of some 100 new villages within one year.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that ten infiltrators from Jordan crossed the border, wounded the guard of a defense post and stole arms and ammunition. Elsewhere, on the same border, two marauders were killed and 26 arrested within one week. Israel demanded an emergency meeting of the Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission.

    1953: Birthdate of economist Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

    1961: Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein.  Yes, there is a Jewish connection to Ringo, Paul, John, et al.

    1961: In Jerusalem, prosecuting attorney Gideon Hausner demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann

    1970: Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in New York NY

    1971(25thof Kislev, 5732): Chanukah

    1971:Milton Glick, 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno, became a father for the second time when his wife Peggy gave birth to his son Sandy.

    1976: Release date for “Victory at Entebbe” a made for television movie based on the raid that had taken place in July of 1976.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that a top-level Israeli team, leaving for Cairo, was told by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt expected, and had to gain, an early success in the forthcoming negotiations. An 82-man Arab delegation left the Gaza Strip for Cairo while their mayor, Rashid Shawwa, said that Sadat ought to be praised for strengthening moderate Arabs. However, US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance failed to persuade King Hussein of Jordan to join the planned Israeli-Egyptian conference in Cairo

    1979: Roger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!" opens at the Palace Theater in New York City for the first of 301 performances.

    1984: In a seemingly never ending fight to nibble away at the doctrine of the separation of church and state which is critical to the Jewish community in the United States, Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department filed a friend of the court brief in support the state of Alabama in Wallace v Jaffree, a case that would decide the mandated moment of silence at the start of each school day.  The Supreme Court would declare the Alabama statute unconstitutional because it violated the “first prong of the Lemon Test i.e., that the statute was invalid as being entirely motivated by a purpose of advancing religion.

    1988: Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman, is to be the main speaker today when the U.N. General Assembly holds its first meeting in Geneva.

    1991: Birthdate of Jay "Bluejay" Greenberg composer of “Overture to 9-11.”

    1992: In a daring challenge to Israel's authority in the occupied territories, Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip. The abductors' deadline passed tonight with their demand unmet, but there was no sign that they had carried out their threatened slaying.

    1992: The New York Times published the following letter from Rabbi Harold M. Kamsler of Phoenixville, Pa. entitled “It May Help to Be Jewish to Love Turkey” which claimed that the word “Turkey,” the fowl of Thanksgiving fame was rooted in Hebrew.

    May I add another linguistic note to the colorful "One Strange Bird" by Margaret Visser (Op-Ed, Nov. 26)? The concurrence of the voyages of Columbus and the expulsion from Spain of its Jewish population after centuries of mutually advantageous co-existence has been widely aired in this 500th year of commemoration of both events. One of the key personnel making the first voyage was Luis de Torres, employed by Columbus as an interpreter since he had wide knowledge of Chaldean and Arabic, the languages of the areas they expected to reach. A "Converso," one of the Jews who had converted to Catholicism under the pressure of the Inquisition but remained a secret adherent of his own faith, de Torres also knew Hebrew well. It was natural that de Torres was in the first boats sent to shore on Oct. 12, 1492. In a letter written to a friend in Spain, he described the strange bird seen in this new land. As Ms. Visser notes, during the courting season the bird gobbles, struts and puffs, and his tail feathers display in the manner of a peacock. De Torres gave it the name that appears in the biblical book of I Kings, 10:22, the Hebrew word for peacock: tuki. Surely there is a much more direct line to "turkey" than the various other speculations at hand.”

    1992:Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip.Today’s pre-dawn kidnapping of Sgt. Maj. Nissim Toledano in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, was likely to increase the sense among Israelis that they are under siege. His abduction as a means to obtain a prisoner release is an echo of hijackings and hostage-takings that for the most part have been unknown here since the 1970's.

    Sergeant Toledano -- 29 years old, married and the father of two children -- belongs to the border police, who patrol the territories and Arab quarters of East Jerusalem. He was on his way to work when he was seized, a disappearance that was confirmed as a kidnapping when a West Bank office of the International Committee of the Red Cross received a copy of his identity card along with the abductors' terms. Their chief demand was that Israel free Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a Gazan who founded the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, five years ago today. Sheik Yassin, who is 57 and has long used a wheelchair, has been in prison since 1989, and was sentenced last year to life for ordering the killings of Palestinians accused of working with the Israeli authorities. His group is militantly opposed to the peace talks.The kidnappers, who identified themselves as members of an armed wing of Hamas, said they would kill the Israeli tonight unless their demands were met, including an insistence that Sheik's release be televised in the presence of several foreign ambassadors. The same group has claimed responsibility for killing the four Israeli soldiers slain in the last week. Israeli officials said they would not even consider negotiating with the kidnappers until they had evidence Sergeant Toledano was alive. But the deadline came and went with no word on his fate.

    1994(10th of Tevet, 5755): Asara B'Tevet

    1995(20th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, a scholar on religious and governmental issues who was a Marine Corps chaplain during the battle of Iwo Jima, died at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was 85. He was the first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn was rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Boston, where he served from 1953 to 1977. From 1936 to 1953, he served the Central Synagogue of Nassau County in Rockville Centre, L.I. He was awarded three combat ribbons for his service with the Fifth Marine Division on Iwo Jima. His sermon at the dedication of the division's cemetery, titled "The Purest Democracy," attracted wide attention and was read by many radio and television announcers during and after the war. In February, Rabbi Gittelsohn gave the benediction at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the landing. Rabbi Gittelsohn was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to a committee studying civil rights issues. Later, he studied and lectured on United States involvement in Vietnam, and on euthanasia, Israeli politics and family relationships. He wrote numerous articles and books on civic and religious issues. He was president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis from 1958 to 1960; president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1969 to 1971, and president of the Association of Reform Zionists of America from 1977 to 1984. A native of Cleveland, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1931. He studied at Columbia University and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and was ordained in 1936.

    1996: The president of Reform Judaism's synagogue organization has called for expanding the movement's small presence in Israel, to develop a liberal religious alternative within a nation overwhelmingly dominated by secular and Orthodox Jews. In a prepared speech he gave in Los Angeles today to trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, its president, said, ''We intend nothing less than to bring into being a new Israeli Judaism, which will draw Israelis with irresistible force to a renewal of practice and belief.'' Rabbi Yoffie said that the 1.5 million-member Reform movement had not done enough in Israel and promised to raise money to build the movement there. Rabbi Yoffie's statements reflected the difficulties facing the small minority of religious Jews who are not Orthodox in Israel.

    1998: The New York Times book section included a review of Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmudsby Donald Harman Akenson.

    1998(24th of Kislev, 5759): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah.

    1998: An historic and emotion-filled event took place in Jerusalem on the eve of the first day of Hanukkah. The restored synagogue of Shimon Hatzadik (Simon the Righteous) in the Jewish neighborhood of Shimon Hatzadik in eastern Jerusalem was rededicated in the presence of former residents of this and surrounding neighborhoods. According to tradition, the high priest, who was among the last members of the Great Assembly, was buried in a cave built into these sloping Sheikh Jarrah hills, where dozens of Hassidim can be found praying and learning throughout the day. The land surrounding the burial caves had lain barren of inhabitants for almost two millennia. The graves, however, were continuously visited by Jewish pilgrims. In modern times, Jews started this neighborhood in 1895 and lived there until they were evicted by the British army during the Arab riots in 1947, says a source in Lomdei Shalem, an organization responsible for the renewed Jewish presence in the area. In the interim, the Jordanian government took over the land and permitted Arab families to move into the Jewish homes, where many still remain. After acquiring power of attorney from the Sephardic Community Council, the original owner of the property, MK Benny Elon shepherded a group of young yeshiva students to the old synagogue. They cleaned it up and began to study there regularly. The rededicated synagogue has also become a kollel, where men study Torah on a daily basis.


    2000: In a seemingly never ending fight to nibble away at the doctrine of the separation of church and state which is critical to the Jewish community in the United States, the city of Elkhart, Indiana in Elkhart v Brooks was told today by the U.S. Court of Appeals said that the city had acted unconstitutionally when it accepted a Ten Commandments Monument from the Elks.


    2001(28th of Kislev, 5762): Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist of the band Death passed away as a result of a rare form of cancer.

    2005: Israel's consul-general in Los Angeles criticized Steven Spielberg's "Munich," saying that the new film drew an incorrect picture of the Mossad's hunt for the PLO terrorists who carried out the 1972 Olympic massacre, and taking the legendary director to task for morally equating the Israeli agents and their Palestinian terrorist targets. Ehud Danoch, Israeli consul general in Los Angeles, said Spielberg had addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with "certain pretentiousness" and "quite superficial statements." The film claims to be a depiction of the activities of a Mossad hit team sent out to kill those responsible for kidnapping and murdering the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. 

    2006: Sotheby’s annual sale of Judaica in New York includes a collection of the 18thcentury ritual silver objects from the Jewish community of Amsterdam and an 18thcentury decorated manuscript honoring physician and poet Dr. Isaac Luzzato.

    2006: Prime Minister Ehud Omert met with Pope Benedict XVI during the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Europe.

    2007:  In Jerusalem, a screening of The Jews in the Warsaw Uprising. This 57 minute long documentary explores the subject of the Jewish involvement in the struggle and includes Interviews with witnesses that are enriched by the archive materials and the historian reports.

    2007: In New York City, the 92nd Street Y hosts cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Kirill Gerstein as part of the Distinguished Artist Series.

    2007: Greek historian Costas Plevris was sentenced to 14 months in prison for inciting racial hatred with the publication of The Jews: The Whole Truth, a book that denies the Holocaust took place. 

    2008: Jeff Marx “premiered a new song he wrote, ‘White Kwanzaa,’ on the CNN show D.L. Hughley Breaks the News”

    2008:Itzhak Perlman plays chamber music at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    2008: The 10th Annual Jerusalem Film Festival opens. Highlights of this year's festival include:
    Daniel Burman's new film, “The Empty Nest,” a premiere screening of the acclaimed PBS series, “The Jewish Americans,” and a tribute to Meyer Levin, the American-Jewish journalist and filmmaker who made “The Illegals” and “My Father's House.”.

    2008: In Washington, D.C. the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (formerly the home of Adas Israel), hosts Shalshelet's 3rd International Festival of New Jewish Liturgy. Shalshelet, based in Chevy Chase, MD, brings unique settings of Jewish prayers that build bridges within the Jewish community and to a broader audience. The two day festival starts today with "No Rock Like You: Songs for the Jewish Soul", a major concert where the works of 30 composers from four countries and ten U.S. states will be performed by an ensemble of talented soloists, instrumentalists and full choir. "New melodies have the power to breathe new wonder into familiar prayers and speak to what is best in ourselves, in our communities, and in our common bond with God," said Shalshelet president, Hazzan Ramon Tasat who also directs the cantorial program at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and serves as the cantor of a new Montgomery County congregation, Shirat HaNefesh.

    2008 (16 Kislev 5769) Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn), 84, of Cedar Rapids and Los Angeles passed away in Cedar Rapids at the age of 84. Ann is survived by her husband of 62 years, Fred; a son, Jack Gilbert of Albany, Calif.; and two daughters, Doris (Gary) Gilbert-Stieger of San Francisco and Lena Gilbert of Springville. She was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers and sisters, who all perished during World War II. Ann was born in Szydlowiec, Poland, to Josek and Laja Zylberstajn. Ann was a Holocaust survivor. She spent over four years in concentration camps and was liberated in April 1945. She married Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) on Jan. 2, 1946, in Scwabisch Hall, Germany. Ann was a consummate homemaker, an accomplished seamstress, and devoted to her family. She and Fred lived in Cedar Rapids from 1949 to 1986, where she was an active member of Temple Judah and in the community. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah. From 1986 to 2003, Ann and Fred lived in Los Angeles, where she was a much sought after seamstress to film and motion picture stars. Ann and Fred were also very active in the survivor community. They were regular speakers at the Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. She and Fred lectured frequently about their experiences. In 2003, she and Fred returned to Cedar Rapids to be near to Lena. Ann remained a constant source of inspiration and will be greatly missed.

    2009: In Iowa City, the Agudas Achim Players present ”Zayda Was A Cowboy” which, along with a catered Latkes dinner adds to the enjoyment of the third night of Chanukah.

    2009:Adele Steiner read from her work as part of the Iota Poetry Series held at the Iota Club & Café in Arlington, Virginia.

    2009: Closing night of the 20th Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a showing of “The Gift of Stalin” and a Chanukah Party.

    2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival comes to a close with the screening of several cinematic offers including “Jaffa,” the featured closing night film.

    2009: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Why The Dreyfus Affair Mattersby Louis Begley and Emancipation:How Liberating Europe’s Jews From the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance by Michael Goldfarb.

    2009: Wonderland Express Hanukkah Dinner and Concert featuring the local Jewish band Spirit Orchestra takes place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois

    2009: In Philadelphia Chana Rothman, Naomi Less and Sarah Aroeste are the featured musicians in Lights Ignite Change at the World Café.

    2009: At the Sephardic Musical Festival it is Ladino Night featuring Rivka Amado & Elie Massias at the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue.

    2010:Damon Linker is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders” at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2010: Mollie Berch is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “American Jews and the Great Depression” in Silver Spring, MD.

    2010: In a story entitled “Faith in The Game,” Sports Illustrated reviews Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, “a new film that illuminates the Jewish to the national pastime.”  Written by Ira Berkow, narrated by Dustin Hoffman the film includes a rare interview with Dodger great Sandy Koufax and Al Rosen, the Cleveland all-star third basemen who spoke frankly about dealing with anti-Semitism.

    2011: “Grace Paley: Collect Shorts” is scheduled to be shown at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.

    2011: “Tea and Talmud” sponsored by the Touro Synagogue Sisterhood is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, LA.

    2011: Anat Hoffman, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center in Jerusalem for the past ten years, is scheduled to deliver a talk on the struggle for equality and women’s rights in Israel at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.

    2011: Jerry Abramson “took office as the 55th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.”

    2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency discussion with Israeli defense officials today, following an attack by right-wing activists on an IDF base in the West Bank. "The situation is intolerable," Netanyahu said at the opening of the discussion. "We must take care of these rioters with a firm hand. We will not tolerate a situation in which IDF officers and soldiers are attacked and distracted from protecting Israeli citizens." Early this morning, some 50 settlers and right-wing activists entered a West Bank military base and threw rocks, burned tires, and vandalized military vehicles. An IDF officer was lightly wounded as a result of the rock-throwing. In addition to the attack on the IDF base, right-wing activists blocked a main West Bank road and threw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles and IDF soldiers in the area. Around 100 right-wing activists and settlers came to the area of the base before 50 of them entered the base, according to the IDF spokesman. The youths were repelled by security forces. No arrests were made. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak harshly condemned the attack, with Barak saying the actions carried "an air of self-made terrorism." Netanyahu instructed Israeli security forces to act decisively against right-wing activists and Barak said he is determined to put a stop to such actions and instructed IDF forces to use all means necessary to find the perpetrators. Moreover, prominent settler leaders as well as right-wing lawmakers also denounced the attack. Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan said the attack was an "inappropriate, shameful, and ungrateful" act and called on the perpetrators to turn themselves in. Rightist group Im Tirtzu also condemned the attack and called to punish those responsible. "We call for the investigation and severe punishment of those people who adopted the ways of Arab terrorists and activists from the extreme left," a statement said. Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon described tonight’s events as “terrorism.” “The violent acts last night in Judea and Samaria are acts of terror,” he said. Meanwhile, MK Yaakov Katz, chairman of the National Union, also condemned the attack, saying “anyone who harms the IDF, its soldiers and officers, is not related to settlers, but in fact wants to harm them.” 

    2012: “Susan Sontag – The Glamour of Seriousness” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival today.

    2012: Under the leadership of Lena Gilbert, a Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony is scheduled to take place in Springville, Iowa.

    2012: In what is the third and final public menorah lighting in North Dakota, this ceremony is scheduled to take place tonight at Bismarck, the state capital.

    2012:Violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng are scheduled to perform in Palm Beach, FL at a benefit sponsored by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    2012(29thof Kislev, 5773): Fifth Day of Chanukah

    2012(29thof Kislev, 5773): Ninety-three year old French mountain climber Maurice Herzog passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied that he was guilty of charges brought by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein that he was gulty of fraud and breach of the public trust.

    2012: The border policewoman who fatally shot a Palestinian teen in Hebron today is content with how she performed her duty, even as it emerged that Muhammad al- Salaymeh was armed only with a toy pistol.has explained why he was carrying a toy pistol, let alone why he would point it at the Border Police.

    2012: President Obama is scheduled to host a Chanukah party in the White House. Per the request of the President, “a 90-year-old menorah from a temple on Long Island that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy will be displayed at a Hanukkah party…as a symbol of perseverance and hope for the holidays.” (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

    2013: In Iowa City, Penfield Books is schedule to host a reception for several local authors including three members of Agudas Achim : Arthur Canter for his World  War  II memoir, Flap Dog: A World War II Odyssey of a Communications Interceptor, Miriam Canter for her newly revised cookbook Dazzling Desserts and ,and Vida Brenner author of the book for children The Magic Music Shop.

    2013 The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is scheduled to perform at the UIHC.

    2013: In keeping with its annual tradition, Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National
    Fund (KKL-JNF) is scheduled to start distributing Christmas trees at Ras El E'ain next to Kfar Rama (Wadi Salama)

    2013: “Copying Beethoven” and “Bethlehem” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(10thof Tevet): Asarah B'Tevet,

    2013(10thof Tevet): Yarhrzeit Judith “Judy” Rosenstein (nee Levin) a woman of valor – gone too soon but always remembered



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    164 BCE (3597): On the secular calendar date on which Judah Maccabee restored the service in the Temple in Jerusalem. 

    1503: Birthdate of Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was not Jewish but his family had been.  His paternal grandfather converted to Catholicism ending the Jewish line.

    1546: Birthdate of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe who spent time with Jewish astronomer David Gans while visiting in Prague and who wrote Path to God which Franz Rosenzweig said “should be considered a ‘Jewish book’” but which said should be called a “Jewishlike book.”

    1754: Mahmud I, Sultan of Turkey, passed away at the age of 58. Under the reign of Mahmud I, the treaty of Belgrade was signed (September 18th, 1739). This gave rights to the Ottoman Jews. Their situation was so good that Austrian Jews applied for Ottoman citizenship.

    1760: The Board of Deputies of British Jews was founded. The Board of Deputies was composed of elected Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.

    1799: President George Washington passed away.  Washington’s letters of acceptance to Jewish communities in the early days of the United States set the tone for acceptance that has made it possible for the Jewish community to flourish.
    1808(25thof Kislev, 5569): Chanukah celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson
    1819: Alabama becomes the 22nd state to join the Union.  For those of you who think that Jews only made a contribution on the eastern seaboard, please take note.  Abram Mordecai came to Alabama in 1785 and is credited by some with the founding of Montgomery, the state capital.  He was described as “’an intelligent Jew who lived fifty years in the Creek nation.’” (The Creeks were an Indian tribe made famous by their battles with Andrew Jackson and Davey Crockett.) He traded with the Creeks, married a Creek woman and found what he considered proof positive that the Creeks were descendants of the ten lost tribes.  The first congregation in Alabama was formed in Mobile in 1844 and a second congregation was founded in Montgomery in 1852.
    1825: A group of disgruntled Russian Army officers begin what is now known as the Decembrist Revolt, an uprising against the newly installed Czar, Nicholas I.  The Jews had nothing to do with the revolt.  The officers were animated by the tainted road to throne followed by Nicholas and their desire for a more liberal regime.  The unsuccessful revolt reinforced the despot’s drive to follow in the reactionary footsteps of his father.  Among other things he increased the drive to remove the Jews from Russian society by forcing growing numbers into the Pale of Settlement and by enforcing draft laws that forced young Jewish boys to serve 25 years in the Russian Army.
    1827(25th of Kislev, 5588): First Day of Chanukah.
    1846(25thof Kislev, 5607): Chanukah is observed for the first time during the Mexican-American War.
    1850: Birthdate of Jean (Jan) Taubenhaus, the native of Warsaw who became a “French chess master.” He was the brother of Godfrey Taubenhaus  and Joseph Taubenhaus both of whom would become rabbis in the United States.
    1852: In Curaçao, Sarah Jesurun De Leon and Daniel de Leon, the descendant of Spanish-Dutch Jews gave birth to Daniel De Leon the future lead of the Socialist Labor Party of America.
    1856: Birthdate of Louis Marshall, prominent lawyer and leader of the United States Jewish community.  He passed away in 1929.
    1862: Following the crushing Union defeat at Fredericksburg caused by the ineptness of General Burnside, Lieut. G.L. Snyder, Company B, of the 104thN.Y. was among the group of Jewish members of the Army of the Potomac who were buried near the hospital that had been set up across the river from the battlefield.
    1868: A Hungarian Jewish Congress was convened today which created Neolog Judaism a “mild reform movement” that was concentrated in the “Hungarian speaking regions of Europe”
    1870: A large number of Jews and Christians including several governmental dignitaries attended today’s cornerstone laying ceremony for Ahavath Chesed on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan  In his introductory remarks, Ignatz Stein traced the history of the congregation which began with a few Jews from Bohemia holding High Holiday services at house on Ludlow Street. The congregation’s real growth began in 1848 when large number of Jews fled Europe following the failure of the liberal revolutions.
    1877: It was reported that the few Jewish families who had fled last summer as the Russian Army crossed into the Balkans last summer have been proven right in fearing the treatment they could expect from the Czar.
    1879: Mr. Isaac Rosenwald chaired the annual meeting of the Society of the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews in New York City today.  The home is providing shelter for 44 women and 32 men. The election of officers was held which included the re-election of Mr. Rosenwald as President

    1880: Mrs. Lizzie Wenke appeared in Essex Market Police Court today to answer charges that she had horse-whipped Isaac Stern, a Jewish tenant living in the same tenement.

    1881: Birthdate of Nicholas M. Schenck, the Russian born American movie mogul who headed MGM.

    1882: Julius W. Kaskel, an early Jewish settler of Leadville, was an active member of the Reception Committee for the charity ball held today in the Colorado bootown

    1883(15th of Kislev, 5644): Ignatz Fischl, a 23 year old German Jewish immigrant was found dead in his room at the Great Northern Hotel, in the Bowery.

    1883: In Rochester, NY, for the first time in the history of Berith Kodesh, Rabbi Max Landsberg led the Friday night service using the newly printed English language order of service. (They prayed in \English and not Hebrew.  One of the tenants of Reform Judaism was that people should pray in the vernacular – Germans in German, French in French, Americans in English)

    1884: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today at their building on East Broadway.

    1884: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address at Chickering Hall where he condemned the conditions of those living in  tenements on the Lower East Side, blamed them on the landlords and called for the establishment of inspection committees as the first step in improving conditions.
    1888: Rabbi Gustave Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El was among the clergymen appointed by Elbridge T. Gerry to organize the church services to be held on April 30, 1889 as part of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washing as President of the United States.
    1888: In New York, Justice Patterson is scheduled to hear evidence on the charges that Telemaque T. Timayneis “doctored” the books of Minerva Publishing Company.  The complaining witness in this case of grand larceny is his partner, Emma Dickinson.  Timayenis is the author of three very popular books aimed at discrediting the Jewish people - The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé, ‎The American Jew: An Expose of His Career‎, and Judas Iscariot: An Old Type in a New Form.

    1889: “New Departures” published today summarized the views of newspaper editor Moritz Ellinger which included the advocacy of “a departure from many of old forms and ceremonies used by Hebrews for centuries, some of which characterized as superstitions.  Mr. Ellinger felt that such reforms were the only to attract the “new blood” needed to strengthen Jewish congregations.

    1890: “The Jews In Russia” published today described “the mass meeting recently held in London to protest against the persecution of the Jews in Russia” which was attended by many prominent Christian Englishman who “made speeches denouncing the obnoxious laws” aimed at the Jews which American Jews hope will emulated in this country including outspoken support by prominent Christian Americans.

    1890: The residents of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews will be able to attend an afternoon of music starting at 3 p.m.

    1890: In Berlin, the stock marked “closed weak” today due to many chaotic situations in Europe included the “stringent measures” taken against the Jews.
    1892(25thof Kislev, 5653): Chanukah observed for the last time during the Presidency of Benjamin Harrison.
    1893: Sarah Polskie, whose three children were turned over to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society by order of the court, said that she had been unable to provide for the youngsters since her husband had been sent to the penitentiary and she had been out of work for five weeks.
    1895: The Allen Memorial Church on Rivington Street played host an overflow crowd that come to protest the visit to American by Hermann Ahlwardt the German anti-Semite who has been delivering speeches in New York.
    1895: “Against Cuba’s Rebels” published today described a pamphlet that has been circulated among members of Congress that demonizes their leaders including Carlos Roloff “the most inhuman and ferocious of them all” a Polish born Jew who is  “a Nihilist and dynamiter.” (According to Ben Frank, Roloff was “a Ukrainian Jewish adventurer” and “became the first finance minister of Cuba after she gained her independence.  who supported the revolt against For more see “Carlos Roloff:A Cuban Jewish Patriot” by Isidoro Aizenberg in the Judaica Philatelic Journal
    1895: After Shabbat, the charity fair sponsored by leading Jewish New York families reopened this evening at 8 p.m.
    1895: At the charity fair sponsored by the leading Jewish New York families, the Aguilar Library book was given one of the first copies of The American in Paris by Eugene Coleman Savidge which it would be able to sell to raise funds.
    1895: At the Hebrew Charity Fair, Mrs. Joseph L. Buttenweiser has raised $5,650 at the Candy Booth.
    1895: Birthdate of King George VI of the United Kingdom, whose reign covered the dark days leading up to World War II and the war itself. According to documents published in the Guardian in 2002, in the spring of 1939 George VI instructed his private secretary to write to Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax: “Having learnt that ‘a number of Jewish refugees from different countries were surreptitiously getting into Palestine’, the King was ‘glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin.’” Halifax’s office telegraphed Britain’s ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government ‘to check the unauthorized emigration’ of Jews.”Halifax’s telegraph in 1939 initiating the request that Hitler not allow “unauthorized” Jews to leave Germany was thus a direct result of George VI’s letter to him. “When it came to anti-Semitism, King George VI did not stutter at all!” King George Street in Israel is named for George V not George VI.
    1895: A copy of the Hebrew Scriptures is among the items placed in the bronze box which is in a cavity of the cornerstone of the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science which the mayor will lay this afternoon at 3 p.m.
    1898(1stof Tevet, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; 6th day of Chanukah
    1898(1stof Tevet, 5659): David Marks, the benefactor of many Jewish charities, passed away today in New York City.
    1900: Max Plank publishes his study on quantum theory.  His greatness as a scientist is transcended as his greatness as man.  He protested Hitler’s treatment of Jewish scientists.  At great personal risk he resigned in protest but stayed in Germany.
    1903(25th of Kislev, 5664): First Day of Chanukah
    1903: Herzl explains his position on Uganda in a letter to Sir Francis Montefiore, President of the English Zionist Federation.
    1903: The United Zionists of Greater New York continued its semi-annual meeting today. The 250 delegates representing 74 Zionist societies were scheduled to deal with “routine business.”
    1908:  Birthdate of comedian Morey Amsterdam.
    1909: Marcus M. Marks, President of the Tuberculosis’ Prevenotrium at Lakewood, NJ met with Samuel Untermeyer, counsel for Max Nathan in an attempt to reach an agreement on the disposition of Mr. Nathan's share of the Lakewood Hotel Property which is valued at $300,000.

    1914: Birthdate of Solomon Spiegelman. Spiegelman was American microbiologist and geneticist who discovered that only one of two strands of molecules that make up DNA, carried the genetic information to produce new substances. The carrier was called ribonucleic acid (RNA). In 1962, he developed a technique that allowed the detection of specific RNAand DNA molecules in cells. This technique, called nucleic acid hybridization, is credited for helping to lay the groundwork for current advances in recombinant DNAtechnology. Much earlier, his Ph.D. thesis (1944) was the first work to establish that genes are activated and deactivated by compounds that he called inducers, which thus radically affect the pattern of proteins that a cell fabricates without actually altering the genes themselves. He passed away in 1983. 
    1917: A Reuters’ telegram to Amsterdam reported that the population of Palestine is suffering terribly; and that the population has been reduced to one third because of hunger, sickness and distress. Only 23,000 of the 60,000 Jews are left in Jerusalem.
    1921: Members of Gdud HaAvoda, “a socialist Zionist work group” went to work at Tel Yosef to help develop the fledgling Kibbuz.
    1922(24th of Kislev, 5683): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah
    1922:  Birthdate of producer Don Hewitt, the man who created Sixty Minutes.

    1923: Sir William Graham Greene wrote Churchill congratulating him on finally being cleared of charges that he issued misleading reports about the Battle of Jutland that benefited Jewish financiers to whom Churchill owed a greater allegiance than he did to the British people.

    1924:Dedication of the Beth El’s new synagogue took place today in Camden, NJ. Participating in the ceremonies were Mayor Victor King of Camden, Dr. A. A. Neuman of Philadelphia's Adath Jeshurun, Judge William M. Lewis of Philadelphia and Rabbi Samuel Freedman of Beth EI in Philadelphia. Rabbi Grayzel and Cantor Mickleman officiated at the service. The Cantor was accompanied by a choir under the direction of Gedalia Rabinowitz.

    1926: Louis Marshall is honored on his seventieth birthday for his success as a lawyer, a philanthropist who raised millions, supporter of forest conservation and immigration reform, statesman and champion of Jewish causes.

    1924: Martin Henry Glynn, the first Irish American Roman Catholic governor of New York and a staunch defender of the rights of Jewish immigrants living in his state, passed away.

    1930(24th of Kislev, 5691): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1930: 74thanniversary of the birth of Louis Marshall.

    1930: Dr. Nathan Krass delivered a sermon at Temple Emanu-El “on the significance of the festival of Chanukah and on the problem of human suffering.”
    1930: Murray Seasongood, the Jewish former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and Rabbi Samuel S. Cohen of Hebrew Union College are two of the speakers scheduled to address tonight’s fourth annual dinner of the metropolitan conference of Temple Men’s Club at the Emanu-El Community House in New York City
    1932(15th of Kislev, 5693): Dr. Angel Pulido y Fernandez, Spanish researcher of the Sephardim passed away. In 1904 he wrote Espanoles sin Patria (Spaniards Without A Home) which sparked the idea of the Sephardim returning to Spain. He became a member of the Spanish Parliament, and later the King made him a Senator. He spent the latter part of his life writing, holding meetings and passionately advocating for the return of the Sephardim.
    1935(18th of Kislev, 5696): Science fiction writer Stanley G Weinbaum passed away.

    1935: Calling it "indecent," Mayor Frederick Mansfield issued a decree banning Lillian Hellman's first play, The Children's Hour, from being staged in Boston.

    1936(30th of Kislev, 5697): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1936: “You Can’t Take It with You” a comedy written by those two Jewish giants of the stage, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, opened at the Booth Theatre for the first of what would prove to be 837 performance.  The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

    1936:The original production of You Can't Take It with You” a comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart opened at the Booth Theater tonight and played for 837 performances. The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

    1936: Dr. Maurice B Hexter “summed up Jewish grievances when testified before the Royal Commission.  These include a complaint that survey and settlement of titles to land take too long to be completed are required and a demand to accelerate the pace of the work.

    1936: The Palestine Post reported that despite official assurances further instances of violence and arson were carried out by various Arab armed bands throughout the country. There was arson in Tel Aviv port, bus passengers were robbed on roads, and trees in Jewish settlements were uprooted. Moslem youth boycotted the Christian-owned National Bus Company, claiming that it had offered assistance to the British army and police during the Arab strike. But both the Jerusalem Mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini, and the Arab Higher Committee appealed to both Jerusalem's Moslems and Christians to settle their differences.

    1939: Raymond Samuel married Lucie Bernard today “after he warned her that it might be dangerous for her to marry a Jew.” He would take the nom de guerre of Raymond Aubrac. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1939: Heydrich issued a modified directive ordering all rural and small-townJews in the General Government (occupied Poland) to be transported to the larger Polish cities where they would be quarantined from the rest of the Polish population and kept under tight SS surveillance.

    1940: British military intelligence confirmed that the effect of the Patria decision on the Arabs had been “remarkably small.”

    1941: The German military commander of Kharkiv, Ukraine ordered the Jewish population to move to the city periphery within 2 days and to occupy the barracks of the works of a machine factory. In the next days, 15.000 Jews were shot at Drobitsky Yar.

    1941:Jews by the hundreds are dying from hunger and the cold in the Warsaw Ghetto. Two Jews were shot dead at a funeral for a friend
    1941: A Jewish ghetto at Kharkov, Ukraine, is established.
    1944: Birthdate of Mitchel Jay Feigenbaum, a mathematical physicist whose pioneering studies in chaos theory led to the discovery of the Feigenbaum constants. In 1983 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 1986, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics "for his pioneering theoretical studies demonstrating the universal character of non-linear systems, which has made possible the systematic study of chaos".

    1945: Josef Kramer known as "beast of Belsen", and 10 others were hanged for crimes committed at the Belsen and Oswiecim Nazi concentration camps.
    1945(10th of Tevet, 5706): Asara B'Tevet
    1945(10th of Tevet, 5706):  Ten years after her husband passed away, Lucie Hadamard Dreyfus passed away She had remained in France at the behest of her granddaughter who worked with the Resistance.  Ultimately she took refuge in a convent in Valence where her benefactors did not know her identity.  Her death so close to the end of the Shoah served as a reminder that the road to Vichy and Drancy had begun a half century before when her husband was convicted because he was Le Juif, the Jew
    1945: The Broadway production of “Dream Girl” by Elmer Rice opened at the Coronet Theatre
    1947(1st of Tevet, 5708): Rosh Chodesh Tevet
    1947:  Birthdate of entertainment mogul, Michael Ovitz.
    1949: In keeping with a resolution adopted by the Knesset, the Israeli government moves from Tel Aviv to Jersualem.
    1951: Birthdate of Norton A. Schwartz, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and the first Jew to hold this position.
    1951: The Jerusalem Post announced that for the third successive year the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Palestine Archaeological Museum refused to admit the participation of Prof. E.L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University, the board's sole Jewish representative, to its deliberations. Since the museum was located in the Jordanian-occupied part of Jerusalem, Prof. Sukenik suggested that meetings should be held at the Mandelbaum Gate, on the border, but his offer was turned down.

    1952: In Little Rock, Arkansas, on the third day of Chanukah, Agudas Achim dedicated its new synagogue.

    1952:“Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl” a radio drama written Jewish journalist Meyer Levin who had visited the concentration camps after the war and had contacted Anne's father Otto Frank to request the rights to create a play based on the diary of Anne Frank, appeared on The Eternal Light series, produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary on the NBC network.

    1953: The Brooklyn Dodgers signed pitcher Sandy Koufax.
    1955:Arthur M. Loew, the son of Marcus Loew, succeeded Nicholas Schenck as the President of MGM, although Schenck remained Chairman of the Board
    1957: Release date of “Farewell To Arms” the cinematic version of the Ernest Hemingway novel produced by David O. Selznick with a screenplay by Ben Hecht.
    1957: At Adas Israel in Washington, DC, Bar Mitzvah of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov
    1957: The City of Paris awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Paris to David Feuerwerker the French Rabbi and Jewish historian who fought against the Nazis as a member of the French Army at the start of WW II and then joined the Resistance after Petain and Vichy came to power.
    1959: “The World of Sholom Aleichem” produced by Henry T. Weinstein was broadcast as “The Play of the Week.”
    1961: U.S. release date for the epic film “El Cid” produced by Bessarabian born American Jew Samuel Bronston who was a nephew of Leon Trotsky.
    1963: Gustav Machatý, the movie director who gave Hedy Lamar her big break in “Ecstasy” passed away today.  He was not Jewish but she was.
    1967: The first synthesis of biologically active DNAin a test tube was announced at a press conference by Arthur Kornberg who had worked with Mehran Goulian at Stanford and Robert L. Sinsheimer of MIT. Kornberg chose to replicate the relatively simple DNAchain of the Phi X174 virus, which infects bacteria (a bacteriophage). It has a single strand of DNA only about 5500 nucleotide building blocks long, and with about 11 genes, it was easier to purify without breaking it up. Having isolated the Phi X174 DNA, they used the DNAfrom E. coli, a common bacterium in the human intestine that could copy a DNA template from any organism. The viral DNA template thus copied was found to be able to infect bacteria - it was error-free, active DNA.

    1971: United Artists released “The Hospital” directed by Arthur Hiller, a Canadian born Jew for which Paddy Chayefsky won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

    1973(19th of Kislev, 5734):  Composer Yitzhak Edel passed away.

    1974(30th of Kislev, 5735): Rosh Chodesh Tevet
    1974(30th of Kislev, 5735): Eighty-five year old American journalist and political philosopher Walter Lippmann passed away. (As reported by Alden Whitman)
    1974: In New York, WNYC is scheduled to broadcast “The Story of Chanukah” adopted by Pearl Klein

    1976:The Jerusalem Post reported from Washington that the US State Department, Pentagon and industry were becoming concerned over Israeli use of foreign military sales credits (from the US) not only to obtain US weapons for its inventory, but also to import technical data packages that eventually could be exported in competition with American products. Syrian troops moved into East Beirut where two Christian militias continued to fight each other.

    1977: Representatives of Egypt and Israel gathered in Cairo for their first formal peace conference
    1981: Israel annexed the Golan Heights which had been captured from Syria in 1967.  The Syrians had shelled Israeli farmers from the Golan Heights for almost twenty years.  The IDF took the heights in an amazing exercise of physical courage at the end of the Six Days War. 
    1984:Howard Cosell retired from Monday Night Football. The Carolina Israelite via Brooklyn was no longer the third man in the booth.
    1989:Joel Brinkley, writing in the New York Times, reported that Soviet Jews are leaving at a record pace, with many of them opting to settle in Israel. “The number of Jews streaming out of the Soviet Union has reached a record.
    1993:As a closely watched target date came and went with no change in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin suggested today that there could be still further delays in withdrawing Israel's soldiers and introducing Palestinian self-rule
    1994: Alfred Moses presented his credentials today as the U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
    1995: “After a private audience with Pope John Paul II,” Leah Rabin, the widow of Yitzhak Rabin said today that the Pope “had acknowledged Jerusalem's "double role" as capital of Israel and a holy city to Jews, Christians and Muslims”
    1997(15th of Kislev, 5758): Seventy-nine year old musical comedy “second banana” Stubby Kaye, passed away.  Two of his more famous film credits were “Guys and Dolls” and “Cat Baliou.” (As reported by Myrna Oliver)
    1997: The New York Times book section included a review of Gloria Steinem by Sydney Ladensohn Stern
    1998: President Clinton stood witness as hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.  Based on what has happened since then, the deeds did not match the word
    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): First Day of Chanukah
    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): Actor Norman Fell passed away.
    1998(25th of Kislev, 5759): Seventy-four year old Annette Strauss, the former Mayor of Dallas, passed away.
    1999: U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slaves and forced laborers.

    2000: Marty Glickman underwent heart bypass surgery
    2000: The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation presented the Raoul Wallenberg 2000 Award. This award, which is being offered for the first time, was presented to Oscar Vicente, CEO of Perez Companc Holding and Peter Landelius, Swedish Ambassador to Argentina. This new distinction was created with the purpose of recognizing the exemplary conduct of individuals with rectitude and outstanding performance in their respective occupations as well as their thorough and continuous support of non-governmental organizations.
    2001:In what some considered an unusual turn of events, the men who gathered for the funeral of a local boy killed by a Palestinian attack spoke little about revenge or military reprisals. Instead the talk was about God's mysterious ways and about what many saw as a divine signal that Jews had strayed from their faith in their own land.
    2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jewsby Melvin Konner and The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman,
    2004: Gary Shaprio reviews Ron Rubin’s book on the New York City Marathon's co-founder, Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon, the World's Greatest Footrace .The book - the first biography of Lebow - has been published on the 10th anniversary of his death.
    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766): Israeli archaeologist Ruth Amiran passed away.  Born in 1914 she was the author of Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land: From Its Beginnings in the Neolithic Period to the End of the Iron Age and a 1982 recipient of the Israel Prize.
    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766): Eighty-one year oldDr. Herman Roiphe, a psychoanalyst who explored the notion of sexual identity in early childhood development, passed away today.(As reported by Jeremy Pearce)
    2005(13th of Kislev, 5766):Nathalie Babel Brown, a daughter of Isaac Babel, the illustrious Russian-Jewish storyteller of the Soviet era, whose literary work she edited, died  in Washington at the age of 76. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon
    2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that Ha’eda, the official organ of the fiercely anti-Zionist Eda haharedit, characterized those Jews attending the Teheran Holocaust denial conference as a ‘tiny group of insane people, who are liable to incited hatred agiainst hareidi Jews.’ The paper’s editor lambasted them for having ignored the ‘opinion of Torah Sages’ in pursuit of their distorted anti-Zionist zealotry.
    2006: In Boston, The Improv Asylum presents its new production, "Andy Warhol's Christmas Special, or, How Hanukkah Stole Christmas." It's a story narrated by Andy Warhol about a sick, young Jewish woman who makes a wish for Hanukkah to replace Christmas. Sadly, it comes true
    2007(5th of Tevet, 5768): Eighty-eight year old Hank Kaplan, an American boxing historian and writer who was the founder and editor of Boxing Digest, passed away today, at his home in Florida. (As reported by Matt Schudel)
    2007: In New York City The 92nd Street Y School of Music presents a recital by pianist Laura Barg as part of its series of one-hour faculty concerts in the Weill Art Gallery.
    2007: The Washington (D.C.) Jewish Community Center continues “Theater J,” its successful series of informal play readings, with a presentation from “Forgiveness” by David Schulner, directed by Daniella Topol, featuring Tim Getman, Conrad Feininger, Helen Hedman, Kimberly Gilbert and Julia Proctor.
    2008: Final performance of The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater production of “The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spies, and About Their Untimely End While Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining New York.”

    2008: In Washington, D.C., the 3rd Shalshelet International Festival continues for its second and final day when the composers and performers will provide a day of free creative workshops beginning at 10:00 am, also at the Sixth & I historic Synagogue.

    2008: At the Chabad House in Little Rock, AR, Rabbi Pinchas Ciment facilitates the beginning of the writing of a Sefer Torah as part of this special year of Hakhel. . This momentous occasion will take place as Mrs. Ruth Itzkowitz will be celebrating her 90th birthday and is being partially underwritten by the Itzkowitz family in loving memory of Bob Itzkowitz (obm). 

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics uniquely related to the Jewish people including The Alchemy of Air:A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler  by Thomas Hager Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean byEdward Kritzler and American Priestess: The Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem by Jane Fletcher Geniesse.

    2008: Funeral services are held for Holocaust Survivor and long time resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn) at Tempe Judah with burial at Eben Israel Cemetary.

    2008: Avraham Infeld, President of the Chais foundation confirmed today that the California-based foundation that doles out about $12 million per year was forced to close as a result of the securities scheme orchestrated by Bernard Madoff, The Chais Family Foundation, which gives away approximately $12.5 million annually to Jewish causes in Israel, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, closed Sunday because all of its assets were invested with Madoff. The United Jewish Communities and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee were among its main beneficiaries.

    2009(27 Kislev): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit of Harvey David Luber.  He will always be missed and never be forgotten.

    2009: The Center for Jewish History, American Sephardi Federation and Center for Traditional Music and Dance present: “Ilyas Malayev: Remembering the Poet Laureate of the Bukharian Jews.” Born in 1936 Ilyas Malayev “was an immensely popular musician across Uzbekistan, deeply loved by the Bukharian Jewish community. He was a master of the Central Asian classical music cycles known as "Shash maqâm," and a major innovator of traditional forms through his musical compositions, poetry and theatrical works.” The evening’s program includes a discussion led by Walter Zev Feldman and Evan Rapport with a special performance of Malayev's compositions by Ochil Ibragimov.

    2009: Gary Schmitt and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius take part in a discussion of "The Essential Herman Kahn: In Defense of Thinking" with one of the book's editors, Kenneth Weinstein, at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

    2009: Israel's top-ranked player won the 2009 Chess World Cup. Boris Gelfand, a grand master from Rishon LeZion, defeated former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in a playoff today in the Russian town of Khanty-Mansiysk to take the $120,000 top prize.


    2010: The Historic 6th& I Synagogue is scheduled to present “Food for Thought: Digesting Ethics, Mysticism, and Philosophy” with Rabbi Yosef Edelstein of MesorahDC

    2010: In New York, the YIVO is scheduled to present a program entitled “Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in the Aftermath of the Schwarzbard Trial.”

    2010: In Hawaii, The Kahului Union Church is scheduled to host a program entitled “A Voice for Israel” featuring Nora Finberg the wife of Pastor Robb Finberg of Grace Church in Pukalani.

    2010: Today Israeli officials canceled a ceremony planned to honor the Palestinian firemen who assisted in battling the Carmel fire last week, after a number of crew members were refused permits to cross the border.

    2010: It was reported today that Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is off to an early lead in the race for Chicago mayor, but there is plenty of room for other contenders in the crowded field as the fluid contest takes shape, a new Tribune/WGN poll found.


    2011: Opening session the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to take place today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Session in suburban Maryland.

    2011: “Yiddle with His Fiddle” is scheduled to be shown today at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohi

    2011: Arsonists set fire to a deserted mosque in central Jerusalem during the night. There was no structural damage reported and the damage mainly consisted of the blackening of walls and graffiti reading “Price Tag,” and anti-Islamic phrases.
    2011: Dozens of right-wing activists clashed with police officers in Jerusalem today, amid attempts to arrest suspects linked to recent so-called price tag attacks.

    2012: Ninety-eight year old “Joe Simon, a writer, editor and illustrator of comic books who was a co-creator of the superhero Captain America, conceived out of a patriotic impulse as war was roiling Europe,” passed away today (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2011(14thof Kislev): Ninety-eight year old “Norman Krim, an electronics visionary who played a pivotal role in the industry’s transition from the bulky electron vacuum tube, which once lined the innards of radios and televisions, to the tiny, far more powerful transistor” passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2012(1stof Tevet, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    2012(1stof Tevet, 5773): Seventy-two year old China scholar and UCLA professor Richard Baum passed away today. (As reported by Meg Sullivan)

    2012: “Call me a Jew,” a documentary about Austrian treatment of Jews during World War II is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis is scheduled to bring her unique message to members and guests of Park East Synagogue.

    2012: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host its second Musical Shabbat in the 5773 season.

    2012: Report of ’80s Sexual Abuse Rattles Yeshiva Campus

    2012: Avigdor Liberman announced today he would resign from his position as foreign minister and vice premier in the current government in light of a pending indictment against him for fraud and breach of public trust

    2013: Two days before his 90th birthday, Israeli pianist Menahem Pressler is scheduled to perform on the Tully stage of the Lincoln Center

    2013: Weather permitting, “Francis Ha” and “Life Sentences” will be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: The Union of Reform Judaism Biennial Convention is scheduled to host a centennial celebration “Extraordinary Women Shaping Reform Judaism: A celebration of the 100th anniversary of Women of Reform Judaism” followed by a concert featuring Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson.




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    37:  Birthdate of Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus 5th emperor of Rome.  While legend remembers him as the emperor who fiddled while Rome burned, Jews will remember him as the ruler who was emperor when the Great Revolt began in 66.  Nero had appointed several of the incompetent governors who had helped create the conditions for the revolt.  He also chose Vespasian as the general to put down the rebellion.  Nero died in 68 during the rebellion.  His untimely death bought the Jews some breathing space as Vespasian broke off the combat to take part in a coup that would put him on the throne.  It was his son, Titus who actually destroyed the Temple when combat.

    921(6th of Tevet, 4682): Rav Saadiah Gaon cautioned the Jews of Egypt to reject the religious calendar adopted by Rabbi Aaron ben Meir, head of the Palestinian yeshiva in Ramleh

    1467: Stephen III of Moldavia who “treated the Jews with consideration” and appointed Isaac ben Benjamin to successively more responsible positions defeated Matthias Corvinus of Hungary at the Battle of Baia.

    1583(30thof Kislev, 5334: Fifty-year old Judah Abravanel, the grandson of Judah Abravanal and the brother of Jacob Abravanel passed away at Ferrara. (He is one of a long line of Sephardic Jews to have this name which is not unusual given the naming customs used by the Jewish people)

    1640: Coronation of King John IV of Portugal.  Don Fernando Mendes, a Marrano, was his court physician.  He was also the court physician to Catrina, King John's daughter who married King Charles II of England.  Don Fernando also served the English King making him one of the few physicians to ever serve three reigning monarchs.

    1647:  Isaac de Castro was put to death at an auto-de-fe by the Inquisition for the crime of teaching Judaism to conversos. De Castro had arrived in Bahia(then under Portuguese control) from Amsterdamthrough Dutch Brazil.

    1734: Daniil Pavlovich Apostole who was the Hetman of the Cossacks on both sides of the Dnieper River passed away. When Catherine I expelled the Jews from the Ukraine in 1727, Apostol led a move to modify the law.  He and the other Cossacks had learned the hard way that they needed Jewish merchants if their economy was to grow.  Thanks to his efforts, the edict was modified so that the Jews could participate in the various fairs held in the area.

    1751: Benedict XIV issued “Probe te memisse,” a papal bull establishing the rules for baptizing Jews. In case there was any doubt about this Pope’s attitude towards Jews, 4 years later he published “Beatus Andreas” which beatified Andreas von Rinn a child who was the alleged victim of a ritual murder committed by Jews in 1462. The allegation of ritual murder was the key requirement for this beatification,

    1772 (19th of Kislev, 5533): Reb Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritchsecond leader of the Chassidic movement, successor to the Baal Shem Tov and spiritual mentor of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known for his scholarship, piety, and asceticism passed away. There is no way that we can do justice to the contribution of this sage and urge you to spend time studying about him.

    1787: The Bristol Journal reported that Lord George Gordon, the English noblemen who converted to Judaism with the name of Yisrael bar Avraham Gordon, has been living in Birmingham since 1786 where “unknown to every class of man but those of the Jewish religion, among whom he has passed his time in the greatest cordiality and friendship...he appears with a beard of extraordinary length, and the usual raiment of a Jew... his observance of the culinary preparation is remarkable.” Furthermore, “He was surrounded by a number of Jews, who affirmed that his Lordship was Moses risen from the dead in order to instruct them and enlighten the whole world...It appears that (he) has officiated as a chief of the Levitical Order..."

    1791: The Bill of Rights, the first endments to the U.S. Constitution, took effect following ratification by Virginia. From a parochial point of view, the First Amendment with its statement on religion was the most important of the ten amendments to the Jews of the new nation.  Unlike Europe, with its deeply rooted anti-Semitism, acceptance of Jews was a given from America’s earliest days.  Jews have been very vigilant in using the First Amendment to ensure separation of church and state.  Unfortunately, there are some shortsighted Jews who have been willing to blur the line for short term political or financial gains.

    1806: Rothschild wrote to the Landgrave pledging his support to the German prince and offering to intercede on his behalf when Napoleon visits Frankfurt.

    1816(25thof Kislev, 5577): Chanukah

    1819: According to the Jewish Encyclopedia birthdate of Daniel Abramovich Chwolson the native of Vilna who became a noted Orientalist with a proficiency in Arabic. He also was a staunch defender of his co-religionists especially when it came to Blood Libel accusations at Saratov and Kutais which spurred several of his works including “On Several Medieval Accusations Against The Jews.”

    1831: Seventy-six year old Hannah Adams, a Christina author who wrote History of the Jews in 1812, passed away in Brookline Mass.

    1812: In London, Moses Levy and Helena Moses gave birth to Joseph Moses Levy the founder of the London Daily Telegraph.  He passed away in 1888.

    1849: The third lodge of the Free Sons of Israel was formed under the name Ruben Lodge No. 3.
    1857: The opera “Travatore” was performed tonight in New York with procedes for the evening going to the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

    1858: During “The Mortara Affair,” the New York Times published a letter U.S. Secretary of State Cass had written to Mr. Hart in which he compared President Buchanan’s decision not to join with the nations of Europe to bring pressure on the Catholic Church to return the boy to his parents with the activisits behavior of the United States during “the persecution of the Jews of Damascus” in 1840.

    1859: Birthdate of Dr.Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, the Russian born Jewish linguist who created Esperanto.

    1861: President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Arnold Fischel of New York's Congregation Shearith Israel, saying “"I find there are several particulars in which the present law in regard to chaplains is supposed to be deficient, all which I now design presenting to the appropriate Committee of Congress. I shall try to have a new law broad enough to cover what is desired by you in behalf of the Israelites." Fischel had gone to Washington to get Lincoln’s support to change the law so that Jews could serve as Chaplains in the Union Army.

    1864: During the Civil War, the Battle of Nashville (TN) begins.  Among the Union units are the 79thIndiana commanded by Colonel Frederick Knefler.

    1867: Esther Hellman Wallenstein, the founding President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum in New York and Solomon Wallenstein gave birth to Max Wallenstein.

    1869: Esther Hellman Wallenstein, the founding President of the Hebrew Infant Asylum in New York and Solomon Wallenstein gave birth to Joseph Solomon Wallenstein

    1871(3rd of Tevet, 5632): 8th day of Chanukah

    1872: Eighty-year old Mary Anne Disraeli, 1st Vicountess Beaconsfield, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield passed away today.

    1873: It was reported today that The Jewish Chronicle has expressed support for conferring peerages on Sir Moses Montefiore and Baron Lionel Rothschild

    1876: It was reported today that a translation of the Greek New Testament into Hebrew is about to be published at Leipzig “for the use of the Orthodox Jews of Eastern Germany and Poland.” [No mention is made of why an Orthodox Jew would want a copy of the New Testament.]

    1879(30thof Kislev, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1879: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Association will celebrate Chanukah with a reception at the Academy of Music.

    1880: It was reported today that “the third reception” hosted by “the Young Men’s Hebrew Union will be held on Christmas evening.”

    1880: Justice Kilbreth ordered Mrs. Lizzie Wenke to post a $200 bond to guarantee her good behavior or more specifically, that she would not attack Isaac Stern again.

    1881: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted its annual Chanukah Ball this evening at the Academy of Music. (The celebration was held today, a Thursday, because Chanukah in 1881 began on Friday night and you could not have a ball on Shabbat)

    1882: Birthdate of Helena Rubinstein famed American cosmetic manufacturer.

    1883: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the President of the Hebrew Union College delivered a lecture tonight on the subject of intermarriage in which he said “such marriages are not forbidden Mosaic law.”

    1883: In Rochester, NY, Sabbath morning services at Berith Kodesh will be conducted in English for the first time.

    1883: In a note published today, Ignatz Fishcel, a 23 year old unemployed German Jewish immigrant blames his decision to commit suicide on his sister and her husband

    1884: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association is now serving 1,959 children as compared to the 520 that it served when it began in 1876.

    1884: It was reported today that newly elected officers of the Hebrew Free School Association included President M.S. Isaacs, Vice President Uriah Herrmann and Secretary Henry S. May.

    1884: It was reported today that while speaking at event marking the 16thanniversary of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York, Reverend John Paxton said, “We are indebted to the Jews for many things, for human law and their teaching of the sacredness of life but not for hospitals.  These are the sole creation of Christianity.” And then, in what can only be considered a bit of genteel anti-Semitism, he said that the “first hospital was founded…by the good Samaritan.”

    1884: It was reported today that the officers of the newly formed Tenth Ward Society include: Joseph Blumenthal – President; Isaac Bernheimer and E.R.A. Seligman – Vice Presidents; Frederick Nathan – Treasurer; Lee Kohns – Secretary.  The society will be conducting an audit of conditions of tenements in an area surrounded by Houston Street, Division Street, Norfolk Street and the Bowery.  A report of the needed improvements and/or the failure to make them will be sent to the Board of Health and the Grand Jury.  (This was part of an over-all attempt to improve conditions for immigrants. This particular ward had a large Jewish population which may have accounted for the makeup of the officers.)

    1884: It was reported today that Ludovic Halevy, the son of Leon Halevy, has been elected as a member of the French Academy.

    1885: The Ladies’ Fair, a fund-raiser designed to raise money for the Kindergarten and Industrial Schools of the Hebrew Free School Association opened this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House.

    1887: It was reported today that in London a barber named Serne who is a Flemish Jew is on trial having been charged with setting fire to his shop on the Strand to collect on the insurance.  Unfortunately, both of his sons died in the fire as well.

    1888: “The model of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal which had been built by Vauix Carter, a Professor of Mechanics at the Hebrew Technological Institute”  in Brooklyn has proven to be one of the most popular items on display at  the annual fair sponsored by the American Institute

    1890: “Literary Notes” today described the upcoming publication of Memoirs of My Mayoralty, an illustrated work complete with photographs by Sir Henry Isaacs, the former Lord Mayor of London.

    1890: “Stringent orders have been sent to Russian Government officials in the Caucasus for the expulsion of all Jews who are not authorized to reside there.”

    1891(14th of Kislev, 5652): Jacob Judelsohn who had served as Secretary of the Jewish Immigrant Protective Society passed away. Mr Judelsohn was born in Marionpol, Russia in July of 1855.  He came to the United States in 1879 and settled in Phildelphia where he became a leader in the Jewish community taking an active role in meeting the needs of the newly arrived immigrants from Russia and Poland.  He moved to New York City where he continued his work until his death.

    1891: James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school's gymnasium, and two teams of nine players. While Basketball may have had quintessential gentile origins it quickly became a part of Jewish life.  According to Peter Levine, “Jewish involvement in basketball, especially between 1900 and 1950 was greater than in any other sport.”  “By the late 1930’s...sportswriter identified it as the ‘Jewish’ game.  According “Paul Gallico, the longtime sports editor the New York Daily News ... ‘Jews flock to basketball by the thousands’ because it placed ‘a premium on an alert, scheming mind… flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smart alikeness’’ traits naturally appealing to the ‘Hebrew with his Oriental background.’”

    1892: A petition is being circulated to gain the endorsement of prominent businessmen and professionals for the candidacy of Jacob P. Solomon, editor of the Hebrew Standard, to fill “the vacancy left on the police bench by Police Justice Daniel O’Reilly.

    1892: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to meet in Philadelphia at which papers will be read by Professor Charles Gross of Harvard, Professor Cyrus Adler of the National Museum and Henrietta Szold from Baltimore.

    1892: The Monetary Conference at Brussels which has considered a plan put forth by Austrian banker Albert de Rothschild is scheduled to come to an end without resolving any of the issue surrounding bimetallism.

    1893: Plans for the upcoming meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society at Columbia University were published today.

    1894: Register Ferdinand Levy, Justice Alfred Steckler and Emanuel Friend were among those who attended the 20th“annual reception and ball of the New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association at the Central Opera House on East 67thStreet.

    1894: Sir Julian Goldsmid a member of the House of Commons for the South Division of St. Pancras presided at a meeting of the Russo-Jewish Committee today where “private communications with relation to the condition of the Jews in Russia were presented.”

    1894: A revival of “Quite an Adventure,” a one-act comic opera by Edward Solomon opened at the Savoy Theatre.

    1895: “The Hebrew Mechanics Association” is reported to be the sponsor of tonight’s concert at the Thalia Theatre in the Bowery.

    1895: Those working at the booths of Educational Charity Fair sponsored by leading members of the Jewish community will have the day off today because Madison Square Garden, the venue where the fair is taking place, will be closed for the day.

    1895: Excise Commissioner Julius Harburger of New York and Colonel W. L. Strong spoke at the dedication of the newly erected Temple Ahavath Sholom Beth Aaron in Brooklyn

    1895: Plans were published today for a fund raiser to be held later this week for the benefit of the Hebrew Technical Institute.

    1895: Birthdate of Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho

    1897:The Federation of American Zionist Societies of New York, (FAZ) was formed today with Richard Gottheil as President and Herman Rosenthal and Rabbi Joseph T. Bluestone as vice presidents. Most remarkable and fortunate for the nescient American Zionist movement was the choice of secretary for the FAZ. Gottheil had been advisor, sponsor and friend to a young Columbia student who energetically and dynamically became the first Zionist secretary. His name was Rabbi Stephen Wise. For the next 45 years, Wise would become one of the enshrined, respected leaders of the American Zionist and World Zionist movements.

    1899:  Birthdate of Harold Abrahams, English athlete and Olympic gold medalist.  Abrahams passed away in 1978.  Abrahams gained posthumous fame when his Olympic exploits were portrayed in the film hit “Chariots of Fire.”

    1903: Funeral services for Solomon Loeb who passed away on December 12thare scheduled to be held at his residence in New York at 9:30 this morning.

    1906: During the strike aimed at breaking the Beef Trust the butchers in Brownsville who have been on strike will continue to keep their shops closed today if the Williamsburg Retail Kosher Butchers and the New York and Harlem Retail Kosher Butchers have joined in the strike.

    1909: In New York City "Miss Julia Richman, Superintendent of Schools on the Lower East Side has sent out an appeal for clothing for school children."   Miss Richman is concerned that children lack warm clothing which is contributing to poor health.

    1913:Birthdate ofMuriel Rukeyser a challenging poet whose work mixed together radical politics and a spiritual quest. Rukeyser grew up in a middle-class home in New York Citythat for her was marked by silences and the absence of books. Rukeyser sought to experience the richness and messiness of life and to depict that richness and mess in her poetry. Her father's bankruptcy during the Great Depression cut short her college education, but in 1935, at the age of 21, she won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Theory of Flight. Her poetry brought her much success and much criticism. Embracing left-wing politics, she covered the second Scottsboro Boys trial and the Spanish Civil War. She traveled to North Vietnamand Koreaand was jailed for protesting the war in Vietnam. She confronted the red-baiting of the McCarthy era and the strictures of conventional sexuality. Her poem "Letter to the Front" (1944) presented the challenge of modern Jewish identity with these words:

    To be a Jew in the twentieth century

    Is to be offered a gift. If you refuse,

    Wishing to be invisible, you choose

    Death of the spirit, the stone insanity.

    Accepting, take full life.

    1915: A fund raising campaign headed by Jacob Schiff is scheduled to come to an end.

    1916: Greeks call up all Jews ranging from age19 to 30 for military service. The response was overwhelming.

    1916: French troops defeated the Germans at the Battle of Verdun during World War I. In the 1930’s monuments were erected to Jewish and Christian soldiers who were killed at Verdun. In May of 2004the memorial to Jewish soldiers who died in the Battle of Verdun was vandalized. Nazi slogans and symbols were scrawled on the memorial. In November 2004, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to a year in prison for perpetrating the attack. In June of 2006, a concert by the Ensemble Musique Oblique was held at the Verdunsynagogue in memory of the Jewish soldiers of Verdun. French forces were commanded by General Petain.  The victory at Verdun cemented his position in the pantheon of French military prowess.  Petain would use this reputation to make peace with the Germans in World War II and to lead the government at Vichy which actively collaborated with the Nazis in bringing the Holocaust to France.

    1917: Russiaconcluded an armistice with the Central Powers. Over 350,000 Jews served in the Russian army and an estimated 70,000 were killed during World War I.  This armistice would take the new Communist Russian government out of the war.  It would help ensure the Communist rule over Russia and all that that meant for Russian Jewry. At the same time, it enabled the Germans to move their troops to the Western Front where they made one last push to defeat the Allies.  This effort failed which led to the defeat of Germany, the Versailles Treaty, the rise of Hitler and the Final Solution.

    1918: Birthdate of Jeff Chandler.  Born Ira Grossel in BrooklynNY, this classically handsome matinee idol played everything from the Indian chief Cochise Broken Arrow to the workaholic skipper in the World War II thriller Away All Boats.  To paraphrase one critic, goyisha face on a yiddisha kup.

    1918:  First meeting of the American Jewish Congress.  An advocacy group, the American Jewish Congress supports a variety of causes including civil rights for all minorities and women as well as causes one might normally associate with a Jewish organization.

    1918: Efforts to break the monolithic opposition to Zionism of Jerusalem’s Orthodox community met with success at the founding meeting of a group of senior rabbis, who in defiance of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis set up a Joint Sephardic - Ashkenazi Council which was the first breach in the Orthodox community’s strong and united opposition to Zionist institutions.

    1918:Addressing the campaign workers for the $5,000,000 Jewish War Relief drive at the Hotel Biltmore, Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Campaign Committee, advocated that campaigns of a sectarian character be hereafter abolished and announced that the drive would be extended for two days.

    1919: Birthdate of Max B. Yasgur, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants whose farm was the site of the famous Woodstock Happening in 1969.

    1921(14thof Kislev, 5682): Just 19 days before his 39th birthday, Edward Isaac Ezra, “a wealthy Jewish businessman who was the first Chinese-born member of the Shanghai Municipal Council” passed away in Shanghai.

    1922(25thof Kislev, 5683): Chanukah

    1922: Birthdate of DJ Alan Freed, the man who claimed to have coined the term “rock-n-roll” and who lost out in the payola scandal of the 1950’s.

    1922: Birthdate of Professor Phillip Rieff, author of Freud: The Mind of the Moralist and the father of author David Rieff.

    1923:Birthdate of Gotthard Glass who would gain famed as Uziel “Uzi” Gal. The German-born Israeli gun designer best remembered as the designer and namesake of the Uzi submachine gun. Gal was born in Weimar, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 he moved first to England and later, in 1936, to Kibbutz Yagur in the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1943 he was arrested for illegally carrying a gun and sentenced to six years in prison. However he was pardoned and released in 1946, serving less than half of his sentence. Gal began designing the Uzi submachine gun in 1948, shortly after the Israel War of Independence. In 1951 it was officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Force and was called the Uzi after its creator. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him but his request was ignored. In 1955 he was decorated with Tzalash HaRamatkal and in 1958, Gal was the first person to receive the Israel Security Award, presented to him by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for his work on the Uzi. In 1975 Gal retired from the IDF, and the next year he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so that his daughter Tamar, who had serious brain damage, could receive special medical attention. Gal continued his work as a firearms designer until his death from cancer in 2002.

    1924: Birthdate of Polish-born British violinist Ida Haendel.

    1927:The struggle for work turned violent during the citrus harvest in Petah Tikvah. Jewish workers, seeking employment, protest against the hiring of Arab labor by the farmers. Demonstrations and an attack on the Agricultural Committee lead to the intervention of the British police. Workers are beaten and injured. Some are arrested and sentenced to several weeks’ imprisonment.

    1928: Birthdate of Ida Haendel, the native of Chelm who became a world-class violinist in Great Britain where she played for factory workers and military personnel

    1928: In New York City, Anna and Irving Rosenthal gave birth to Stanley Herbert Ross, the producer-engineer who co-founded Hollywood's Gold Star Recording Studio, which has a storied place in rock history as the home of Phil Spector's innovative "Wall of Sound" technique.

    1930(25thof Kislev, 5691): Chanukah

    1930: Seventy-five year old Meier Dizengoff sought re-election as Mayor of Tel Aviv in contest that pits him against Laborite Joseph Aronwitz.  Dizengoff was one of the original founders of the city in 1909 and is noted for donating his salary to municipal projects not funded by the city.

    1932:  Birthdate of composer Elaine Barkin.

    1936(1st of Tevet, 5697): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1936:Zionist worries over one of the two dangers confronting the future development of the Jewish national home -- the proposed law restricting Jewish land purchases, a danger equal only to the suggested curtailment of Jewish immigration in Palestine -- loomed large at today's session of the British Royal Commission. Dr. Bernard Joseph…testified that he believed there was no justification for restricting the sale of land by small holders…He that in fifty years Jews ha bought about 5 per cent of the total area of Palestine. At that rate…it will take 150 years to buy half the land in the country if Beersheba is excluded.” 

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that 13 Jews were wounded when Arab terrorists ambushed a bus between Haifa and Nahalal. Another bus was fired on near Castel. Arab terrorists tried to kill the mayor of Nablus, Suleiman Tukan.

    1937: A Jewish guard, Haim Berger, was wounded in Tiberias, and Eliahu Gadi was shot and wounded near Kibbutz Ramat Rahel. Two Arabs were sentenced to death for the murder of Mendel Mintz on February 1, 1937

    1938: The Dutch government closed its border to refugees which had an especially detrimental effect on Jews seeking to escape from Hitler’s Germany, its next door neighbor.

    1939: Gauleiter Hans Frank launched an action aimed at shipping rural Jews to large Polish cities where they would be the tight control of the SS.  Tens of thousands of Jews would be rounded up, transported or force-marched into specially designated urban ghettos.

    1939:  World premiere of "Gone with the Wind" in Atlanta, Georgia.  This is another example of Jews creating a pop culture icon.  Consider the following: David O. Selznick was he Producer.  Leslie Howard played Ashley Wilkes.  Ben Hecht helped to write the screenplay.  And Max Steiner wrote the music.  There may be more but this is all that I could find for sure. Leslie Howard was an English Jew born Leslie Howard Steiner who was reportedly involved in anti-Nazi activities including clandestine work for British intelligence that may have been the cause for his civilian aircraft being shot down by the Nazis over the Bay of Biscay. Hecht was a Zionist whose work to aid the suffering Jews of Europe included two notable efforts “We Will Never Die” and “A Flag is Born.”  Such were his efforts that one of the ships smuggling supplies to pre-state Israel was the S.S. Ben Hecht.

    1939: In his continued challenge of the White Paper, Churchill, who is now a member of the British War Cabinet, wrote to Malcolm MacDonald seeking to limit the “draconian restrictions on future Jewish land purchases” contained in the new Land Ordinance.

    1941(25th of Kislev, 5702):  Chanukah

    1941: Members of a Latvian SD guard platoon, units of the 21st Latvian police battalion, and members of the Schutzpolizei-Dienstabteilung (German security police) under the command of the local SS and Police Leader Fritz Dietrich began a two day killing spree during which they murdered almost 3,000 Jews at Skede, Latvia. (As recorded at Yad Vashem)

    1941: On this first day of Chanukah, 15 Jews are shot to death in the courtyard of the Warsaw Ghetto prison.

    1941: Forty Polish Jews were shot by the Nazis on Chanukah in Paris.

    1942: Faked, upbeat postcard messages arrive at Jewish homes in Hollandfrom friends and relatives interned at Auschwitzand the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto.

    1944: Release date for the cinematic version of A.J. Cronin’s The Keys of the Kingdom a movie about a priest produced and directed by two Jews, Joseph L. Mankiewicz and John M. Stahl.

    1944:In a speech given on the floor of the United States Senate, Guy M. Gillette of Iowa urged that all possible steps be taken to rescue the approximately 1,500,000 Jews whom he said were still living in territory held by the Axis.  Senator Gillette also urged that the Allies adopt a resolution making crimes against Jews in Europe punishable as war crimes

    1945: Birthdate of Fiamma Nirenstein, Italian born journalist who, although a resident of Gilo would be elected to the Italian Parliament in 2008.

    1945:  At approximately , about 20 fighters of the Haganah seized a British truck south of Acre. The men, armed but wearing civilian clothing, confiscated about half a ton of documents, packed into eight sealed steel containers and 12 sacks of diplomatic mail. The documents had been sent from the British legation in Beirutto HaifaPort, from which they were to be transported to Britain. The truck was taken to an unknown location. The driver and armed guards were later found in an abandoned building near Kiryat Ata. The British tried to minimize the importance of the captured documents, claiming that most of them concerned economic matters of the British Mission in Beirut, headed during World War II by General Edward Spears. But the reaction of the British, the French and the Haganah itself to the event clearly suggests that the papers removed from the truck were, in fact, of far greater consequence. Immediately after the incident, the French consul in Jerusalemcame to Tel Aviv. The French were given classified documents from the truck that were of great operational importance to them. The British Mandate authorities censored reports of the event, prohibiting Hebrew or British newspapers from publishing any details about the Haganah operation. The documents were eventually returned to the British, but about one percent of them remained in the hands of the Haganah. The French considered the remaining so documents to be so valuable that they entered into with the Yishuv to get more of them.  The British were so determined to get their hands on the remaining documents that they attempted to seize them through clandestine military action in May and June of 1948

    1946(22nd of Kislev, 5707): Maud Nathan passed away. Born in 1862, she was an American social worker, labor activist and suffragist for women's right to vote. “She came from a prominent New York family, descended from Gershom Mendes Seixas, minister of New York's Congregation Sherith Israel during the Revolutionary War. Her sister was the author and education activist Annie Nathan Meyer and her cousins the poet Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo. Her nephew was the author and poet Robert Nathan.”

    1946: The World Zionist Congress suspends six members of Zionist Revisionist Union of America for unauthorized request to UN for discussion of Palestinian problem.

    1947:Nearly 25,000 children, the number brought to Palestine through the Hadassah Youth Aliyah immigration movement since its inception thirteen years ago, will enter Palestine in the coming year, Dr. Vera Weizmann, wife of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, scientist and Zionist leader, said today

    1948: A flight of Spitfires took off from Czechoslovakia as part of a clandestine operation to bring modern aircraft to Israel.

    1948:Israel breaks off negotiation for local truce agreements and demands future peace talks for all of Palestine.

    1949: The UN Trusteeship Council proposes to censure Israel for moving its government. It also asks Israel to help UN draft charter for city.

    1950: Birthdate of Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Disney executive who help found DreamWorks.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli army headquarters compiled a list of all US citizens serving in the IDF who would lose their UScitizenship on December 24, 1952, in accordance with the McCarran Act. The army announced that all such reservists would be released and all other cases would be judged on their merits. Many soldiers applied to the US Consulate for guidance and were supplied with letters endorsing their plea for an immediate release.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Dov Shilansky was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment for trying to bomb the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Jerusalemin protest against the acceptance of German reparations.

    1955: A torch commemorating the victory of the Maccabees over their Syrian oppressors was kindled at a special Hanukkah festival at Madison Square Garden.

    1958(4th of Tevet, 5719): Wolfgang Pauli passed away.  Born in 1900, Pauli was an Austrian-born American winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1945 for his discovery in 1925 of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that in an atom no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. This principle clearly relates the quantum theory to the observed properties of atoms. 

    1960: Release date for the film “Exodus.”

    1961: United Artists released “One, Two, Three” a comedy written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder and directed and produced by Wilder.

    1961: Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court.  Eichmann had been convicted of crimes against humanity and would be the only person sentenced to by Israel to date.

    1963: Birthdate of actress Helen Slater.  Born Helen Schlacter she is best known for her work in Supergirl.
    1968(25th of Kislev, 5729): As the country awaits the transition from Lyndon Johnson to the newly elected Richard Nixon, first day of Chanukah

    1969:Ze'ev Sherf succeeded Mordechai Bentov and Minster of Housing and Construction.

    1969: Yosef Goldschmidt became an MK as a replacement for Yosef Burg.

    1970:Sylva Zalmanson and Eduard Kuznetzov were among those who went on trial today in the Soviet Union because  they wanted to hijack a plane so they could fly to Israel and live “freely as Jews.”

    1971(27th of Kislev, 5732): Paul Pierre Lévy passed away. Born in 1886, he was a French mining engineer and mathematician. He contributed to probability, functional analysis, partial differential equations and series. He also studied geometry. In 1926 he extended Laplace transforms to broader function classes. He undertook a large-scale work on generalized differential equations in functional derivatives.

    1973: Under the leadership of newly elected president Dr. Alfred M. Freedman, the board of trustees the American Psychiatric Association voted 13 to 0, with two abstentions, in favor of the resolution, which stated that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.” This was a landmark step on the path to declaring that homosexuality was not a mental illness.

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Cartoonist Harry Hershfield, the native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa who was called “the Jewish Will Rogers” passed away at the age of 89.

    1974(1st of Tevet, 5735): Erich Walter Sternberg German-born Israeli composer passed away in Tel Aviv at the age of 83.  The Berlin native was one of the early contributors to what would become the Israeli musical world having begun his work in the pre-state days of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

    1975(11th of Tevet, 5736): Anatole Litvak, Ukrainian-born, American filmmaker passed away. “Anastasias” – a film based on the myth that one of the Czar’s daughter survived starring Yul Brynner, Ingrid Bergman and Helen Hayes – was one of his more lasting cinematic efforts.

    1979(25thof Kislev, 5740): Chanukah

    1979: Birthdate of actor Adam Bordy whose film credits include “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “American Pie 2.”

    1980: Through a Warranty Deed, James A. and Betty J. McClellen conveyed the Temple Israel property in Leadville, CO to Harvey/Martin Construction

    1983:Wendy Wasserstein's "Isn't It Romantic" premiered in New York.

    1984(21st of Kislev, 5745): Jan Peerce passed away.  Born in 1904, Peerce gained fame as a cantor and an operatic tenor. 

    1989(15thof Kislev, 5750): Seventy-nine year old scriptwriter and victim of the “blacklist” Ben Barzman passed away today.

    1990: In “Candles In Saudi Arabia” Ari L. Goodman described the observance of Chanukah in the desert oil kingdom.

    Tonight is the fifth night of Hanukkah and, in a few select spots in Saudi Arabia, American soldiers who are Jewish will be discreetly lighting candles on their menorahs to celebrate the holiday, as they have since Hanukkah began Tuesday night. In accordance with military policy, celebrations of Hanukah as well as Christmas will be muted in deference to the Muslim nation's beliefs. There are from 500 to 800 Jewish soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the American force in Saudi Arabia, according to Rabbi David Lapp, director of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. He said there are currently two Jewish chaplains on the land and two at sea in the Persian Gulf area. Hundreds of menorahs, candles and Hanukkah gifts were sent by Jewish organizations, schools and individuals in advance of the holiday, although, again out of deference to the Saudis, some were careful not to ship products made in Israel. The Saudis have allowed the shipments. Margery Wise, the owner of the Jewish Quarter, a Judaica shop in White Plains, N.Y., that shipped 300 menorahs to members of the armed forces, said she got the idea after watching a news program about Christmas gift packages being prepared for shipment. "People don't think there are many Jews in the military, but there are a lot more than we think," she said. "And because the whole celebration is low key, we wanted to be sure they wouldn't get lost in the shuffle."

    1990: Three Israelis were stabbed and killed in an aluminum factory in Jaffa today, the police said, and widespread anti-Arab rioting followed. The police set up roadblocks and closed off an area surrounding the factory in this city adjacent to Tel Aviv, saying they were looking for two Palestinian assailants from the occupied Gaza strip whom they refused to identify.

    1991: In “The Man in The Glass Closet,” published today, Andrew Sarris reviewed a biography of the Hungarian born Jewish director George Cukor – George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan.

    1992(20th of Kislev, 5753): Hamas terrorists kidnapped Nissim Toledano, an Israeli Army Sergeant. 

    1992(20th of Kislev, 5753):Ninety-six year old “Simon M. Jaglom, a New York businessman and financier, died today at New York University Medical Center.

    1994: As part of free phone lines set up for the holidays by the Teleport Communications Group, 91 year old Ann Kaufmann was able to call friends in Israel today.Through her call, Olga Reichman learned that she had become a great aunt, her niece in Tel Aviv having given birth three weeks ago to a daughter, Noa.

    1996(5th of Tevet, 5757): Ninety-five year old “Joseph Ades, a self-made businessman and investor who was a leading supporter of Sephardic Jewish life and philanthropy in Israel and the New York City area, passed away today at his home in Kings Point, L.I. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan, the widow of Cheddi Jagan and the daughter of middle class Jewish parents from Chicago was elected President of Guyana

    1999: In a press release issued today, Eden Springs said that the agreement to sell up to 25 percent of the company to Aqua International Partners, a $300 million investment fund in San Francisco, happened to be made public on the day peace talks between Syria and Israel began in Washington was “a mere coincidence.” Eden Springs Israel's biggest water-bottling plant last and is located on the Golan Heights.

    2000(18th of Kislev, 5761): W. (Bill) Birnbaum, Professor Emeritus of mathematics and statistics at the University of Washington passed away at his home at the age of 97.
    2002: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Girl Meets God:On the Path to a Spiritual Lifeby Lauren F. Winner and Jew In America:My Life and a People's Struggle for Identityby Arthur Hertzberg.

    2003: New York-based Bank Leumi USA, a subsidiary of Israel's Bank Leumi le-Israel, announced it opened an office in Los Angelesas part of its expansion. The new Los Angeles office, together with the bank's already existing operations in Beverly Hillsand Encino, will aim to bring the bank's international, private and commercial banking services to the Los Angelescommunity, a bank statement said.

    2004(3rdof Tevet, 5765): 8th and final day of Chanukah

    2006(24th of Kislev, 5767): In the evening, Jews all of the world light the first candle marking the start of Chanukah.

    2006:The owners of Bens De Luxe Delicatessen and Restaurant agreed to sell to SIDEV Realty Corporation and officially announced the closure, bringing the restaurant's long history to an end. Ben and Fanny Kravitz had opened what would become a Montreal landmark famous for its smoked meat sandwich in 1908.

    2007: In Jerusalem, a screening of a documentary entitled “Sendler’s List” It tells the story Irina Sendler  a compassionate Polish nurse who endangered her life to save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII and the three American high school students who heard about Ms. Sandler’s heroic acts decide to travel to Poland in order to meet her.

    2007: In Brooklyn, NY, at Congregation B'nai Avraham, a screening of “Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy.” Directed by award-winning American filmmaker, actor, and scriptwriter Paul Mazursky, “Yippee” chronicles the director’s whirlwind journey to Uman, a small Ukrainian town that is the site of a unique, annual gathering of Jewish men making pilgrimages to the burial place of Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810).

    2007:  In his Shabbat morning sermon at the San Diego Biennial Convention of the Reform Movement, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie calls for a return to more traditional observances in general while calling for a renewed commitment to attending Shabbat Moring Services.

    2008 (18 Kislev): On the Hebrew Calendar, Yahrzeit of Rabbi Abraham Maimuni HaNagid who passed away on the 18th of Kislev of the Hebrew year, 4998, which corresponds to the secular year 1237. Called "Rabbi Avraham ben HaRambam" he was the only son of Maimonides. Born in 1185, he succeeded his father as the leader of the Jewish community in Fostat (old Cairo), Egypt, at the young age of 19. He wrote many responses and commentaries explaining and defending his father's writings and Halachic rulings.

    2008: Time magazine reports that Linda Lingle, the first Jewish governor of Hawaii has endorsed plans for California based battery maker Better Place to build more than 70,000 recharging stations for electric vehicles by 2012.  Better Place which is headed by Tel Aviv entrepreneur Shai Agassi, is seeking a similar deal with other countries including Israel where there is a real “drive” to became an electric car nation.

    2008:President Bush recalled Harry Truman's legacy at a reception marking Hanukkah.
    Bush's Hanukkah reception  featured the hanukkiyah David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, gave to Truman in 1951, three years after the the then-U.S. president was the first world leader to recognize Israel. "A decade after President Truman received this gift, he visited Prime Minister Ben-Gurion for one of the last times," Bush said before the hanukkiyah was lit by Clifton Truman-Daniel and Yariv Ben-Eliezer, the grandsons of both leaders.  "As they parted, Ben-Gurion told the President that as a foreigner he could not judge President Truman's place in American history, but the president's courageous decision to recognize the new state of Israelgave him an immortal place in Jewish history." Attending the event were Jewish Bush administration officials and Republican Jews whose loyalty to the president has been unflagging, including Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and major donor to the party and to Jewish causes.

    2008: The Washington Post featured a review of Bones by Jonathan Kellerman (the latest in the Alex Delaware series)

    2008: The IPO and counter tenor David De’or perform a special concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary celebration of Reuth a non-profit organization located in Tel Aviv that coordinates the activities of various medical centers

    2009: The 1935 production of prominent Yiddish playwright Jacob Gordin’s 1892 play “The Yiddish King Lear” will be screened in Manhattan at CUNY’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center today.

    2009: Opening of “Letters of Conscience: Raphael Lemkin and the Quest to End Genocide” an exhibition organized jointly with the American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History that “focuses on the activities and legacy of Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-American Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide, working relentlessly and inventively to protect the rights and survival of specific groups targeted for destruction.” The exhibition presents a fascinating array of original correspondence and documents, serves as a stirring and important reminder of an individual's ability to better humanity and the future.

    2009:A King County jury this morning found Naveed Haq guilty of eight counts, including aggravated first-degree murder, in the 2006 shootings at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. The murder verdict carries an automatic life sentence for Haq.  The jury also found Haq, 34, guilty of five counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of malicious harassment, the state's hate-crime law. Haq showed no reaction as the verdicts were read, but several people in the courtroom tearfully hugged.The jury had been weighing eight criminal counts against Haq since Thursday after seven weeks of testimony. This was Haq's second trial on the shootings. His first trial ended in a mistrial. "We are grateful that justice for this heinous hate crime has finally been served," Richard Fruchter, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation, said in a statement issued after the verdicts were announced. "Our hearts go out to the survivors of this shooting and their families, who bravely endured not only the shooting but two trials." Several of the victims were seated in the courtroom this morning as the verdicts were read. They testified during both trials, reliving what happened when Haq walked into the federation offices on July 28, 2006, and started shooting indiscriminately at employees. Killed was Pamela Waechter, 58, and wounded were Cheryl Stumbo, Carol Goldman, Dayna Klein, Christina Rexroad and Layla Bush. Prosecutors said he was driven by a hatred for Israel. One of the jurors, John Bennett, 60, of Carnation, said he watched the victims as the verdicts were read. "I had to feel good there was a closing for them," he said. During a news conference after the verdicts were announced, Goldman said Waechter "finally got the justice she deserved." Erin Ehlert, senior deputy prosecutor, also spoke on behalf of the victims. "I feel a lot of finality for a lot of people ... a calming peace that the right thing was done.""I'm happy it's over," added Seattle police Detective Dana Duffy, who helped investigate the shootings. "I'm happy with the verdict." Haq's first trial ended in a mistrial in June 2008, when jurors announced after nearly two weeks of deliberations that they were deadlocked on all but one of the 15 criminal counts. Prosecutors immediately announced they would retry Haq. Prosecutors reduced the number of charges to simplify deliberations for jurors in the second trial. They eliminated seven of the charges from Haq's case, including one count of first-degree burglary, five counts of malicious harassment and one count of kidnapping. The second jury deliberated on eight counts — one count of aggravated first-degree murder; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of unlawful imprisonment; and one count of malicious harassment, the state's hate-crime law. The focus of the second trial was Haq's mental state at the time of the attack. The defense did not dispute that Haq carried out the shootings, but argued that he was legally insane at the time. Haq pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and the defense produced several mental-health experts who testified that he was mentally ill. Defense attorneys had asked that Haq be sent to a state mental hospital rather than prison. Prosecutors agreed that Haq has a mental illness, but contended that he was sane when he entered the federation and opened fire. "He wanted to kill these women," Ehlert, the prosecutor, told the jury during her closing argument on Thursday. "He knew exactly what his intent was when he walked in there. He planned this."

    2009: The Google logo was draped in a green flag today to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of L.L. Zamenoff.

    2009(28th of Kislev, 5770):Ninety-five year oldDr. Herbert Spiegel, a New York psychiatrist who treated pain, anxiety and addictions by putting people into a trance,” passed away today.  (As reported by Benedict Carey)

    2010: A memorial garden in honor of William Cooper of the Yorta tribe is scheduled to be unveiled at the national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem today.  Cooper was an Aboriginal elder who protested the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.  Cooper was 77 years old when he led a small march to deliver a petition to the German consul general in Melbourne just weeks after Kristallnacht. Although Cooper and his Australian Aborigines League were denied entry to the consulate their protest did not go unnoticed, even though they were half a world away from Europe. He died in 1941 at the age of 80. He will become the first indigenous Australian to be honored by Yad Vashem.

    2010:Israeli classical pianist, Ran Dank is scheduled to perform at the Morgan Museum and Library in New York City.

    2010: The Women’s League Convention is scheduled to come to an end.

    2010:Center for Jewish History, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are scheduled to  present: “Living Record: Prewar Poland Preserved on Film”

    2010: It was reported today that Time magazine had named Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010. Zuckerberg, 26, owns about a quarter of Facebook's shares and is, to quote Time, "a billionaire six times over." After pledging earlier this year to give $100 million to the Newark, N.J., school system, Zuckerberg last week joined the Giving Pledge--the effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to convince some of the country's richest to give away most of their wealth. Others that have joined the campaign include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media titan Barry Diller, CNN founder Ted Turner and filmmaker George Lucas.  Zuckerberg joins President Obama, Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and "You" as those who have been named Time's Person of the Year. Today, on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg commented that "Being named as Time Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I'm happy to be a part of that."

    2010: According to reports published today, "The stormy weather that hit Israel this week had an unexpected consequence when an ancient Roman statue was unearthed on an Ashkelon beach. A passer-by noticed the headless marble statue, thought to be at least 1700 years old, after the storm left it exposed in the sand. The white marble figure, which is 1.2 metres tall and weighs 200 kilograms, is wearing a toga but no longer has arms.  A spokesman for the Israel Antiquities Authority said that what was thought to be part of a Roman bathhouse was also unearthed. The violent winds were believed to have caused some damage to the ancient Roman ruins further north in Israel at Caesarea.

    2011(19th of Kislev, 5772): “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.”

    2011(19th of Kislev, 5772): Yahrtzeit of Rebbe Dov Ber,  the Maggid of Mezritch, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov

    2011: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice denounced the treatment Israel receives in the United Nations today, adding that American support of Israel's security was an "essential truth."Speaking at the annual reception of the Conference of Presidents Fund in New York, Rice said that the treatment Israel receives at the UN was “obsessive, ugly, bad for the United Nations and bad for peace.”
    2011: The Israel Defense Forces is forming a command to supervise "depth" operations, actions undertaken by the military far from Israel's borders, the army announced today. The new authority will be commanded by a military officer at the rank of Major General, and will be headed by the former chief of the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit Shai Avital, who will return to military service to fill the position. Ongoing concerns with Iran's contentious nuclear program serve as the backdrop for the IDF's announcement, with both U.S. and Israeli officials noting that, while diplomatic efforts were the preferred tool with attempting to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, no options were "off the table."

    2011:Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed that Jewish extremists would not be allowed to spark a religious war, after a West Bank mosque was vandalized at dawn today. “We won’t let them [Jewish extremists] attack our soldiers, start a religious war, set fire to mosques [and] attack Jews or non-Jews,” the prime minister told a Likud central committee meeting in Tel Aviv tonight. 

    2012: “Not in Tel Aviv” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: The Daniel Zamir Band led by Daniel Zamir  “Israeli Jazz superstar and virtuoso saxophonist” is scheduled to perform in New York City.

    2012: In New York, the New Shul is scheduled to sponsor “Let There Be Light!” a flashmob Chanukah celebration that will gather at “8 Points of Light” to bring the menorah glow to the Village.

    2012: List released today with names of Jewish children

    2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Leonard Bernstein Letters edited by Nigel Simeone, My Mistake: A Memoir by Daniel Menaker and America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East by Hugh Wilford.

    2013: YIVO is scheduled to sponsor “Music Treasures of the American Yiddish Theatre” part of the Sidney Young Artist Concert Series featuring the works of big four of Second Avenue:” Abraham Ellstein, Alexander Olshanetsky, Sholom Secunda and Joseph Rumshinsky

    2013:The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to show the Emmy Award winning film “Skokie: Invaded, But Not Conquered”

    2013: Rabbi Alexis Berk is scheduled to officiate at the graveside services at Hebrew Rest Ceremony for Attorney Milton Cohen, a lifelong resident of New Orleans and Tulane alum. (As reported by Crescent City Jewish News)

    2013: The Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to come to an end today in San Diego, CA.

    2013: A new production of “Stars of David” which transforms interviews with Jewish figures like Gloria Steinem, Aaron Sorkin and Joan Rivers into songs” is scheduled to come to an end after opening on November 13.


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    December 16

    1431: King Henry VI of Englandnamed King of France following the death of his grandfather, Charles VI, King of France. Charles VI was the French king who expelled the Jews from France.

    1485: Birthdate of Catherine of Aragon, future wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England.  This daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella failed to produce a male heir which changed the religious face of Christian Europe.  As for the Jewish view, Henry’s father had to promise his future Spanish in-laws that Jews would not be permitted to live in Englandas a condition for marriage to Catherine.

    1584: Birthdate of John Seldon the English scholar and jurist who developed an interest in an Jewish laws and customs that led to the development of a “theory of international law” based on seven Noahide Laws as well as a “treatise on marriage and divorce among the Jews entitled “Uxor Ebraica.”  For more see Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden by Jason P. Rosenblatt

    1653: Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.  Regardless of what others may have thought of him, Cromwell did work to allow the Jews to return to England.

    1684: The first room for prayer meetings of was opened in Copenhagen which was the home of the newly founded Ashkenazi community

    1741: Birthdate of Nathan Adler a German Kabbalist from Frankfurt, who passed away in 1800.  

    1769: Dr. John Sequeyra, scion of a distinguished Sephardic family of physicians in England, treated George Washington's daughter "Patsy" who was ill. Patsy was actually his step-daughter, the child of his wife, Martha who was a widow when he married her.  Patsy’s untimely death was a great personal blow to Washington.  The “Father of our Country” had no children of his own.

    1750: Birthdate of David Friedländer, (Friedlander) a German Jewish banker, writer and communal leader.

    1776: In Great Britain, declaration of an official fast “to wish success against the rebels in America.”

    1778: Birthdate of Liepmann Levin, the brother of Rahel Levin, who converted and gained fame as German dramatist Ludwig Robert.

    1832: Birthdate of French painter and illustrator Jules Worms

    1847: In Paris, General Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy and his wife gave birth to Ferdinand Esterhazy, the French officer who was a spy for the German and “the perpetrator of the acts of treason for which Captain Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted.

    1854(25thof Kislev, 5615) Chanukah

    1858: Birthdate of Yiddish singer, actor, and composer Sigmund Mogulesko.

    1858: An article published today entitled “Gen. Cass and the Mortara Affair” examined the American response to the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and the Pope’s refusal to return the child to his parents. “Gen. Cass” is Lewis Cass, the American military leader who carved out a successful political career that including serving as Secretary of State under James Buchanan starting in 1857.  According to the article, Cass conceded that an injustice had been done but that the United States could not be expected to officially interfere any time a matter of injustice in a foreign land was brought to its attention.  According to Cass “The President full participates in the public  feeling and he cannot refrain from expressing equal surprise and pain that, in this advanced age, such unnatural practices should be ascribed to any part of the religious world and such barbarous measures resorted to.”  Regardless of the President’s personal feelings, he still cannot bring himself to join the protests of other governments including England, France, Sardinia Holland and Austria.  The author of the article wonders if Cass would intervene if the Jews were suffering at the hands of the inquisition.  [Considering the international clamor that arose over the issue, President Buchanan’s reluctance may seem a little mystifying to some especially when you consider that one of August Belmont was reported to be one of his major supporters.  For those who know anything about the days leading up to the American Civil War, Buchanan’s behavior is not a matter of anti-Semitism but merely another reflection of a President who had no will to act no matter what the cause.]

    1862(27thof Kislev, 5623): Chanukah observed just two weeks before the Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect.

    1863: Birthdate of George Santayana the philosopher and writer best known for the quote “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Witty though he may have been a reading of Chapter 25 of George Santayana: A Biography by John McCormick entitled “Moral Dogmatism: Santayana as Anti-Semite gives one a different view of the famous Spaniard. While it would appear that his negative view of Jews was a slowly evolving one, starting in the late 19th century it took full form during the 1930’s as can be seen from his reading of and comments about Lecole des Cadavres written by “the pro-Hitler, Jew-baiting fascist Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

    1864: On the second and final of the Battle of Nashiville , Colonel Frederick Kneifler and his brigade of Hoosiers turned a possible defeat into victory by charging the on-coming Rebels, “forcing them to retreat” in such confusion that they left much of their equipment on the field of Battle.

    1870:Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of American Reform Judaism, preached the dedicatory sermon at the laying of the cornerstone of the Central Synagogue,
    Lexington and Fifty-Fifth Street

    1874: “Property Exempt From Taxes” published today described the decision of Judge Van Brunt exempting a lot adjacent to the Hebrew Free School from taxes even though the school is only renting the property and does not own it.

    1875: The children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum were taken to the Hebrew Charity Fair, which is now in its second week. So far, the fair has raised nearly $100,000. 

    1875:The H.M.S. Malabar set sail from Egypt, bound for Portsmouth, England, with a precious cargo stored in seven zinc boxes: 176,602 shares of stock in the Suez Canal Company, recently sold by the Khedive of Egypt. The buyer was the British Government, bolstered by a timely advance of 4 million [pounds] from N.M. Rothschild & Sons in London. Spiced with intrigue and flush with flamboyant figures, the affair has all the flair of a thriller. There have been bigger real-estate bonanzas -- notably the $15 million deal that won the Louisiana Purchasefrom Franceand the $7 million payment that wrested Alaskafrom Russia. But none have had quite the elegance, speed and daring of the Suez Canal transaction. It briefly established the House of Rothschild as a sovereign state on a par with -- or perhaps even slightly ahead of -- Her Majesty's Government.  Two decades earlier, the British were strangely myopic about the value of a proposed canal that would unite the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Benjamin Disraeli, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, dismissed the notion: ''The operation of nature would in a short time defeat the ingenuity of man.'' For the greatest maritime power on earth, this would prove a grave miscalculation, ceding construction of the canal to French capital and engineers, backed by Egyptian forced labor. By the time the canal opened in 1869, it had redrawn the map of the British Empire. The sea journey that had stretched 10,800 nautical miles from London to its imperial jewel, India, was slashed to 6,300 miles. Luckily for the British, the Khedive provided the British with a chance to remedy their blunder only six years later. A profligate borrower, addicted to luxury and Pharaonic projects, Isma'il Pasha became hopelessly indebted and could stave off his creditors only by selling his controlling stake in the Suez Canal Company. Very likely it was Lionel de Rothschild, head of the British bank, who tipped off Disraeli to the historic opportunity. The Prime Minister had to act with maximum secrecy and dispatch, sending his private secretary to sound out Lord Lionel on the huge advance of 4 million [pounds]. As legend has it, the reserved and circumspect Rothschild asked, ''What is your security?''''The British Government,'' the secretary replied. The tale has been embellished with other, possibly fanciful, details -- the most common being that the financier savored muscatel grapes as they talked, spitting out pits between rejoinders -- but the moment needs no apocryphal adornment. With a nod, Lord Lionel had conferred upon the British crown mastery of one of the world's principal crossroads. In retrospect, the feat represents a high-water mark of banker power. For its services, N.M. Rothschild exacted a steep and controversial fee: a 2 1/2 percent commission on the advance, plus 5 percent annual interest. The Rothschilds defended these terms, noting that they had put a considerable portion of their capital at risk during the perilous interval before Parliament voted for payment. Hobbled by the lumbering pace of politics and fearing a leak of information, Disraeli, like other 19th-century statesmen, employed an elite private bank as a screen behind which to conduct secret statecraft. The deal held up for a remarkable 81 years, binding together the outposts of the British Empireuntil President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, in a blaze of rhetoric, nationalized the Suez Canal Company in July 1956. In a rear-guard defense of colonial privilege, the British, the French and the Israelis pounced on Egypt in a brief but abortive invasion that only underscored the limits of Western influence in the region. The advent of larger vessels has somewhat diminished the canal's importance. Supertankers now economically ship oil by the traditional route around the Cape of Good Hope. Even so, the hundred-mile canal remains the pivot of much Middle East commerce and diplomacy.

    1877: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs of the 34th Street Synagogue officiated at the funeral of Jacob Grau, the impresario. The Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society had attended the body before the ceremony which was attended by a large throng. Burial was at the Washington Cemetery.

    1879(1st of Tevet, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Tevet
    1879: The Young Men's Hebrew Association hosted a Chanukah reception at the Academy of Music

    1880: It was reported today that the Union Presbyterian Church of Alexandria, VA which does not have a building in which to hold services has accepted the offer of a local synagogue to use its facility.

    1881: It was reported today that Young Men’s Hebrew Association had raised over $6,000 at its Chanukah ball.  The money will go towards the association’s building fund.

    1881: It was reported today that the Commissioners of Emigration have sent 200 of the 250 Jewish immigrants from Russia who arrived aboard the SS Suevia to Ward’s Island. The rest of them will be sent there in a day or two.

    1882: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El testified before a committee headed by Senators Boyd and Browning that was investigating “the subjects of corners and futures and the effect which they have upon commerce and public morals.”

    1883: It was reported today that “Mme. Janauschek” will be starring in an upcoming performance of “Zillah, the Hebrew Mother

    1883: “Shall Jews Marry Christians” published today summarized the views of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise on the subject on intermarriage of which he spoke approvingly.  To what extent the fact that one of his daughter married an Irish Catholic influenced his attitude is unknown.

    1883: In Rochester, NY, members of Berith Kodesh are scheduled to vote today on adopting the new English ritual for their services which they began using at Shabbat services this past weekend.

    1883: Birthdate of French film pioneer, Mix Linder.

    1883: “Revision” published today described some of the changes that can be found in the latest translation of the Old Testament  Among them is changing the garment that Jacob gave to Joseph from a “coat of many colors” to “a tunic with long sleeves.”

    1884: It was reported today that vice cases were treated differently based on religion as could be seen by the fact that, Herman Schneider, a 28 year old Jew, was indicted and held without bail on the same charge for which the light haired and fair skinned Frank Snyder was allowed to post bail.

    1885: It was reported today that the Ladies’ Fair being held at the Metropolitan Opera House has already raised $10,000 which will got to the Kindergarten and Industrial Schools of the Hebrew Free School Association

    1885: In San Francisco, Julius C. Koosher was one of four men arrested today on charges that they planned to assassinate 20 prominent Californians including Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker and then blow up the city’s Chinatown. Koosher, who is also known by the name Kowalski is a Jew who escaped Russia after suffering unspeakable persecutions and came to the United States where he became an agent of the Jewish Relief Society. His animosity towards the railroads stemmed from being swindled by railway magnet Henry Villard who had promised to pay me $600 for every family that helped become homesteaders.

    1886: In Detroit, a dispute erupted at the Commercial National Bank between insurance man William Parkinson a Jew named Weinberger over $75 that the former owed to the latter.

    1887: Lieutenant Louis Ostheim, the Philadelphia native and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy was detached to take charge of Fort Myer in Virginia.

    1889: Dr. Anton Zolki, a Jewish “journeyman dentist” attacked Dr. C. H. De Lamater while the being treated for a dental problem.

    1889: A large contingent from the B’nai B’rith is expected to attend the events this evening at the “Hebrew educational fair” being hold at the American Institute Building.

    1889: “Foreigners In The Trades” published today reiterates the stereotypes among immigrants including “the Chinamen who seem to be able to do little else besides washing lines” and Jews who continue to involve themselves “in callings in which compound interest figures prominently.” (Another way of calling Jews moneylenders and usurers)

    1891: Plans were published today for the construction of a new synagogue to be built at Plainfield, NJ to serve the Jews of that town as well as the Jews living in North Plainfield, Bound Brook and Somverville.

    1892: Rabbis Theodore Guenzburg, David Chan and Henry S. Jacobs led services this evening which part of the jubilee exercises celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rodeph Shalom in New York City which featured a sermon by Dr. Gustav Gottheil, the Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El.

    1894: At Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Silverman “gave the third of the series of sermons on ‘Answers to Jewish and Christians Inquirers,’” entitled “The Essential Basis for a Religion of Humanity.”

    1894: A list published today of the officers of the New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association included M.D. Michaels as President and Philip Benjamin as Treasurer.

    1894: Funeral services were held today for Abraham Keyser, a retired grocer who had originally been buried in a grave without a marker because nobody knew who he was when he mysteriously passed away.

    1895: After being closed yesterday, the Educational Fair, a fundraiser sponsored by prominent New York Jewish families re-opened today. So far the fair has raised almost $100,000.

    1896: Solomon Schechter left England bound for Egypt and Palestine so he could study Hebrew manuscripts including those in the Geniza at Cairo. Although there were reports of the Geniza dating back to the 1750’s, Agnes and Margaret Smith, known as the Westminster Sisters, were the ones who saw it in 1896 and told Schechter about what would become the greatest literary treasure trove found in Jewish history. Schechter’s involvement would vault him to a leading spot among Jewish intellectuals which led to his becoming the President of the Jewish Theological Seminary; a position from which he would try to rescues Judaism from the extremes of radical reform and stultifying orthordoxy

    1900: Last day on which the Barge Office was used as the processing station for immigrants, including tens of thousands of Jews, entering the United States through the port of New York. This was the second time that the Barge Office was used for this purpose. It had been temporarily re-opened due to a fire at Ellis Island, the place most people think of as the entry point to America.

    1901: Birthdate of American anthropologist Margaret Mead.

    1905: In Kiev, the Czar’s forces crush the four day old Shuliavka Republic whose founders had called for an end to pogroms aimed at Jews.

    1905: In Salonika which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire Isaac Carasso and his wife gave birth to Daniel Carasso who founded what would eventually become Dannon Yoghurt.

    1909: Confirmation of Rabbi Chaim Bidjarano’s election as Chief Rabbi of Adrianople.

    1911(25th of Kislev, 5672): Chanukah

    1911: Educational institutions in Jaffa raise funds for the Ottoman Navy League.

    1911: Celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first Jewish colony in Argentine.  The colony was made up of 200 families from Constantinople.   By mid-1917, Ashkenazim made up 80% of the Jews in South and Latin America, the other 20% being Sephardim.

    1913: Charlie Chaplin began his film career at Keystone for $150 a week.

    1915: Albert Einstein published his "General Theory of Relativity.

    1917(1st of Tevet, 5678): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1917(1st of Tevet, 5678):During World War I, Naaman Belkind was hung by the Turks as a spy. Naaman Belkind was born in 1889.  The nephew of Bilu founder Israel Belkind and the son of Bilu pioneer Shimshon Belkind, Naaman Belkind was born in Eretz Yisrael. Bilu was founded in 1882 and was a pre-Herzl Zionist movement. Bilu is an acronym based on a verse from Isaiah (2:5), "Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Ve-nelkha/Let the house of Jacob go!" BILU's founders believed that the time had come for Jews not only to live in Israel, but to make their living there as well.  He grew up in the Bilu community of Gedera, and was later employed in the wine cellars of Rishon LeTzion. Along with his cousin Avshalom Feinberg and his brother Eytan, Belkind joined the Nili espionage group, which was formed in 1915 to assist the British against the Turkish authorities. The group encountered much opposition to its operations, in part from the British themselves, but largely from the members of the Yishuv, who regarded the espionage as subversive and endangering Jewish settlements. Nili's independence from mainstream Zionist politics also lent it a controversial nature, but the group maintained its activities. In September, 1917, Belkind set out for Egyptto look into the circumstances regarding Feinberg's death earlier that year. Caught by Bedouin in the Sinai, he was handed over to the Turks and brought to Damascus. Shortly after, the principal Nili figures were arrested and the group incapacitated. Belkind was convicted of spying and was hanged along with Nili leader Yosef Lishansky. He was later re-interred in Rishon LeTzion.

    1917: In London, Herbert Samuel one of the highest ranking Jews in the British political firmament   wrote a letter to his son stating that “The fall-or rather the liberation-of Jerusalem has caused much emotion in this country.  I have received dithyrambs from all sorts of people, mostly strangers.”

    1917: The New York Timesreported Jacob Schiff’s announcement that The New York Jewish community had just successfully completed its first $5 million campaign for Jewish war relief, its share of a $10 million national campaign. In making the announcement Schiff commented, “Fifty-two years ago, when I came to this country, I don’t believe the combined wealth of American Jewry was equal to $5,000,000. See where we have arrived; see where our unity and strength have brought us.”

    1918: In Philadelphia, at a meeting of the American Jewish Congress, plans were formulated to send a delegation of Jews to the Versailles Peace Conference which will push the claims of the Jews for full civil and political right in all lands.

    1919(24th of Kislev, 5680): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

    1919: It was reported today that “with the coming of sunset this evening will begin…the world world-over, the celebration of Chanukah or the Festival of the Dedication.  Although rated in the traditional calendar as a minor festival, Chanukah, which is also known as the Feast of Lights is of major significance, as it commemorates one of the most heroic and far-reaching victories for the fatherland and the faith.”

    1920: President Morris Handle and Recording Secretary Herman Natal send out invitations inviting their co-religionists to “attend the celebration of the organization of Congregation Beth-El in Camden, NJ.

    1922(26th of Kislev, 5683): Sixty-four year old Eliezer Ben-Yehuda the father of the Modern Hebrew Language succumbed to TB in Jerusalem today. 

    1922:SS Albert Ballin was an ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line which was  named after Albert Ballin was launched oday.

    1922: Gabriel Narutowicz, President of Poland was a assassinated by a right-wing nationalist.  The right-wingers derided him as the “President of the Jews.”

    1923: Birthdate of Menahem Pressler a German-born pianist who fled to Palestine before settling in the United States where among other things he has spent 60 years on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

    1924: Birthdate of Nissim Ezekiel, the native of Bombay who was an Indian Jewish poet, playwright, editor and art-critic.

    1930: An Arab mob attempted to prevent Jewish settlers from plowing land near Herzlia. British police came from Tel Aviv and arrested the Arabs at which point the Jews went back to their farm work.

    1930: “Six Jewish laborers were sentenced today to three weeks’ imprisonment for participation in an unruly unemployment demonstration at Ness Ziona, near Jaffa.”

    1933: In address at the fourth annual Maccabean Festival held in Madison Square Garden to celebrate Chanukah, Samuel Untermeyer charged the German Ambassador, Dr. Hans Luther, with “insincerity and hypocrisy.”  “Mr. Untermyer said the activities of the Friends of New German and other Nazi organizations constituted a ‘criminal conspiracy against the sovereignty and neutrality of our country’ and that the purpose of these organizations was to propagate German national socialism which that ‘American citizens are to propagate on American soil the disenfranchisement of Jewish American citizens.”

    1934: In Camden, NJ, Congregation Beth-El hosted its annual dinner and installation of congregational officers’ ceremony.

    1936: Magistrate Jeannette G. Brill will deliver an address entitled “Everyday Problems” at the annual luncheon of the metropolitan branch of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America being held today at the Hotel Commodore in New York City.

    1936(2nd of Tevet, 5697): 8thDay of Chanukah

    1937: The Palestine Post reported from Londonthat the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, told the House of Commons that in Palestineleading Arab notables were murdered by Arabs, which was "terrorism of Arabs by Arabs."  This form of Arab violence has continued down to our own times. In many ways, the current Arab leadership are the survivors of their own intra-communal violence.

    1937;  The Palestine Post reported that Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem were surprised when ordered to pay for the costs of the 20 supernumerary constables appointed to guard them from frequent attacks by their Arab neighbors. Talk about adding insult to injury.  This was almost as bad as when the Jews had to pay for cleaning up the broken glass after Kristallnacht. 

    1937: Birthdate of Morris Dees Jr., co-founder of the SouthernerPovertyLawCenter. Dees is not Jewish but his father Morris Seligman Dees Sr. was named after a Jewish Merchant in Montgomery whom Grandpa Dees admired. Joe Levin (no relation) who is Jewish was the other Co-Founder of Southern Poverty Law Center.

    1939: Girls in Lodz were seized to clean a latrine using their own shirts. When done, the Nazis wrapped the woman's faces with these same shirts. By this time Jewish population of Warsaw and Lotz has risen to over 1,000,000.

    1939:  The Nazis excluded the Jews from all employment benefits.

    1939: Jewish girls in Lódz, Poland, who have been impressed for forced labor, are forced to clean a latrine with their blouses. When the job is complete, the German overseers wrap the filthy blouses around the girls' faces.

    1941: In Romania, the government dissolved the Federation of the Unions of the Jewish Communities

    1941: Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland, notes in his diary that some 3,500,000 Jews live in the region under his control.

    1942: A Jewish ghetto is established in Kharkov, Ukraine.

    1942: Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.

    1942(8th of Tevet, 5703):David M. Bressler, who was widely known for his activities in Jewish, State and municipal relief and in charity organizations, died this afternoon at the office of his physician to which he had been taken from his office at 75 Maiden Lane after he had suffered a heart attack. Mr. Bressler, son of Julius and Sarah Rothenberg Bressler, was born in Germany on May 1, 1879, and came here in 1884. He rendered service to thousands of immigrants whom he helped to settle throughout the country. Outstanding was his work as director of the Industrial Removal Board during the first decade of the century. He directed immigrants from the Eastern States to communities in the South and Middle West and provided them with the opportunities for their Americanization. By his plan, as he described it himself, he avoided over-crowding of New York and other large Eastern cities, and organized the Jewish community of America to divert the stream of Jewish immigration. The Removal Office thus was a clearing house for Jewish immigrants and prevented congestion at the port of entry. Among the many charity drives which he conducted was the United Jewish campaign of New York that raised more than 56,000,000 in 1926. After a campaign that lasted but a little more than a month, the goal was exceeded by $656,000. Another drive conducted by Mr. Bressler as national chairman was the Allied Jewish campaign of 1930. The plan, commended by President Hoover, was conceived in Washington, where Mr. Bressler was one of 800 representative Jews from all parts of the United States, who mapped out the details of the campaign. Mr. Bressler's philanthropic and social service career covered more than forty years. During that time he served many agencies. He extended his chief field of Jewish activities, to State-wide efforts when Governor Lehman appointed him a member of the New York State Planning Board in 1934, and when he became a director of Sydenham Hospital. Previously, Governor Lehman had made him a member of the Appeal Board of Unemployment Insurance, and in 1931 he was named vice chariman of the National Council of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, of which Felix M. Warburg was chairman. Mr. Bressler attended City College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the New York Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1900, and from 1900 to 1917 was general manager of the Industrial Removal Board. While he centered his business interests on insurance, he also served in a voluntary capacity as board member of the American Hebrew Congregations, the American Jewish Committee, the Palestine Economic Corporation, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies and the National Refugee Service. As a member of a survey commission appointed by the Joint Distribution Committee, Mr. Bressler went to Europe in 1922 and 1929 to study the situation of Jews there, and published several reports on his observations. He was chairman of the New York War SufferersCampaign in 1922 and 1926, and served in 1930 as national co-chairman of the Allied Jewish Campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He was a Mason and a member of B'nai B'rith and the Metropolitan Club.

    1943: Birthdate of producer Steven Boncho, creator of several hit shows including Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue.

    1944(30thof Kislev, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; in the evening light 7 Chanukah candles

    1944: As part of Ben-Gurion’s plan for breaking the power of the Irgun and the Stern Gang, Eliahu Golomb who had called the clash between the Yishuv and these groups “a struggle between Zionist democracy and Jewish Nazism” held a secret meeting with Nathan Friedman-Yellin one of the leaders of the Stern Gang.  Friedman-Yellin would only agree to halt attempts to assassinate Churchill and not much more.

    1944: As the Battle of the Bulge began, Captain Bert Katz, who would become a leader of the Cedar Rapids Jewish and business committees, was one of those facing the unexpected onslaught of Hitler’s Panzers. Among other Jewish soldiers who faced down Hitler’s last gasp attack was J.D. Salinger and Leste Milton Bornstein the father of author and Ambassador Michael Oren.

    1944(30thof Kislev, 5705): Fifty-five year old Philip Guedalla, author, barrister and extremely unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the House of Commons passed away today. He served as a squadron leader in the RAF during WWII making him one of the oldest people, I would guess, to hold that rank.  He was also noted for his quick wit, a few examples of which can be found below.

    1946: In France, Leon Blum named Premiere.

    1948: Egypt charged that the Jews announced a new attack on the garrison at Faluja.

    1949: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced that Jerusalem will be become the capital of Israel on January 1, 1950.

    1950: Birthdate of “Claudia Lynn Cohen, a high-profile gossip reporter for television and newspapers who was a frequent subject of the gossip columns herself, partly because of her marriage to, and remunerative divorce from, the billionaire businessman Ronald O. Perelman”.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1952:The Jerusalem Post reported that the extraordinary meeting of the Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission broke down with each side accusing the other of border violations. Israel accused infiltrators of firing at the guards, and stealing arms and ammunition. Jordancomplained that Israelhad laid mines and attacked the Arab Legion post in the MountScopusarea.

    1952: Birthdate of Susan Estrich, graduate of Harvard Law, and “liberal” foil on FOXNews.

    1960: “Wildcat,” a musical with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music Cy Coleman opened at the Alvin Theatre.

    1966(3rd of Tevet, 5757): Eighty-one year old Alexander Trachtenberg  the native of Russia who earned a Master’s from Yale and was a leader in the Socialist Party of America as the CPUSA as well as the founder of International Publishers passed away today.

    1968: Birthdate of Peter Orszag, an American economist, who was VP with Citigroup and Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

    1968: The Spanish government officially voided the order of expulsion of 1492.

    1969: Release date for “Cactus Flower” a film that would not have been made if it weren’t for the Jews – director Gene Saks, writers Abe Burrows and I.A.L. Diamond and actor Walter Matthau

    1969:Elimelekh Rimalt began serving as Communications Minister.

    1969: Release date for the film version of “Hello Dolly” starring Walther Matthau and Barbra Streisand and written and produced by Ernest Lehman.

    1975: CBS aired the first episode of “One Day at a Time” the popular sit-com starring Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano that lasted for nine years.

    1979:  More than 800 guests attend special ceremonies to mark what Mayor Edward I. Koch has proclaimed as "Congregation Orach Chaim 100th Anniversary Day.”

    1981: Defense Minister Ariel Sharon flew to the newly annexed Golan Heights today for a meeting with military commanders amid reports of Syrian troop alerts across the border.

    1982: Sofia Cosma, a Jewish concert pianist who defied long odds to rebuild her career after seven years in Soviet prison camps played pieces by Chopin, Haydn and Rachmanioff at first concert at the 92nd Street Y.

    1984: William G. Blair described a rent strike that is continuing at 4-6 East 65thStreet, properties which had formerly belonged to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations are across the street from Temple Emanu-El

    1986: In “Altheimer Praised for Fostering Study in Agriculture Field” Bruce Kinzel described the contribution of Benjamin Joseph Altheimer Sr. the Pine Bluff born Jew to the activity which has historically been the economic backbone of the Razorback state.

    1987(25thof Kislev, 5748): Chanukah

    1990: The New York Times reported that last week, Dr. John Strugnell, a Harvard divinity professor, was dismissed as chief editor of the scrolls after having called Judaism "a horrible religion" in an interview published in November in a Tel Aviv newspaper. Several colleagues, who said they were horrified at the remarks, attributed them to Dr. Strugnell's "mental condition" and to a drinking problem. A spokesman for Harvard said Dr. Strugnell, a Roman Catholic, was being treated in a hospital, but he wouldn't say where or why.

    1991: The U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a 111-25 vote.

    1992: The body of IDF Sergeant Nissim Toledano, who had been kidnapped by Hamas, was found today.   Toledano had been stabbed to death while his hands were bound.

    1992: The Bangor Daily News reported that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told a stunned and angry nation…that he would “strike pitilessly” against Muslim fundamentalists who kidnapped and killed and Israeli trooper.  But he promised Israel would not abandon the U.S. – sponsored Mideast peace talks.

    1992: Israel ordered deportation of 415 leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the West Bank and/or Gazaafter escalating terrorist activity.

    1992 (21st of Kislev, 5753):Simon M. Jaglom, a New York businessman and financier, died today at New York University Medical Center. A Manhattan resident, he turned 96 last Saturday. A native of Ukraine, he moved to what was then the Free State of Danzig, where he became general director of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. He went to London in 1937 to establish a business and came to this country two years later. He became president and later chairman of the New York Commodities Corporation and the Overseas Barters Corporation and continued to head both concerns until last month. He was a longtime supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. He was a past president of the American-European divisions of the United Jewish Appeal and of the Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training. He and his wife donated a wing to the Tel Aviv Museum.

    1994: Tower Airlines, which has several flights from New York to Tel Aviv reported today that that someone, probably an employee, had cut electrical wires on three cargo planes and two or three passenger planes at Kennedy International Airport in October and early November, disabling monitoring systems.  Terrorist activity, which would be of special concern to those on flights to Israel, has been ruled out as a cause.

    1995: Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel officiated at the wedding of Ruth Goldestein Israels and William Rosenwald.  The bride is an 82 year old graduate of Hunter College.  The groom is the 92 year old son Julius Rosenwald, the longtime chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Company

    1997:Janet Rosenberg was elected President of Guyana, making her the first American-born woman to be elected president of any country. Although she had been involved in the country's governance for over half a century, she was only elected president after her husband's death. Rosenberg is considered by many in Guyana to be the mother of the nation. A documentary film, Thunder in Guyana, has been made about her life. Rosenbergwas born in Chicagoin 1920. In 1943, she married Cheddi Jagan, a Guyanese dental student. When Rosenberg was 23, the couple moved to the then-colony of British Guiana. Together, in 1950, the couple founded the People's Progressive Party, the colony's first modern political party. In 1953, Guyana held its first universal election. Rosenbergwas elected minister and deputy speaker of parliament, the first woman to hold those positions. Although Jagan was elected prime minister, his government was deposed by Winston Churchill after only 133 days. Both Jagan and Rosenberg were at times jailed and placed under house arrest. Jagan was elected as prime minister in both 1957 and 1961, but intervention by the U.S. and Britain kept him out of office until free and fair elections were held in 1992. Jagan was again elected to lead Guyana, and served as Guyana's president until his death in 1997. Following Jagan's death, Rosenberg was elected as President, a position she held until resigning due to ill health in August 1999. She is considered by the Guyanese as the mother of their nation.

    2001(8th of Tevet, 5646): Helmut Flieg the German-Jewish writer who used the pseudonym of Stefan Heym passed away.


    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including The Hidden Hitler by Lothar Machtan; translated by John Brownjohn. Notes translated by Susanne Ehlert, Heidegger’s Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse by Richard Wolin, One Scandalous Story: Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalismby Marvin Kalb and Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truceby Stanley Weintraub.  (Yes one of the best Christmas stories ever written has a Jewish author.)

    2005: The US House of Representatives passed a resolution that conditioned future financial aid to the Palestinian Authority on the exclusion of Hamas from the upcoming parliamentary elections next month.

    2005: Soer Trondelag became the first province in Norway to bar the purchase of Israeli goods when the provincial board voted to impose a boycott.  A board representative from the far-left Red Electoral Alliance said she hopes the boycott will spread to other Norwegian provinces.  The Norwegian national government has not imposed or called for any such boycott.

    2006: In Boston on the first day of Chanukah, Rob Tannenbaum and his pal David Fagin, who fronts the New York band the Rosenbergs, came to Boston with his latest Jewish-themed act, “Good for the Jews.” The duo performs songs such as the sarcastic "Good to be a Jew on Christmas" and "Jdate," an ode to the popular dating website.

    2006(25th of Kislev, 5767):  Chanukah

    2006(25th of Kislev, 5767): Rabbi Yehosuha Yagel, who headed the Midrashiyat Noam Yeshiva High School since its founding in 1945 passed away at the age of 91. Midrashiyat Noam, located in Pardes Hannah, was the first yeshiva high school in the country and has become on of the flagship yeshivas of religious Zionism in Israel.  Yagel received the President’s Prize for life achievement in education in 1998.

    2007: The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) opened its 39th annual conference.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics related to Judaica including a marvelous text entitled How To Read The Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now by Professor James L. Kugel, The Year of Living Biblicallyby A.J. Jacobs, Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert and Henry James: The Mature Master by Sheldon M. Novick.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics related to Judaica including Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle by Alan Weisman, Love Falls by Esther Frued great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud and Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black by South African author Nadine Gordimer, both of whose parents were Jewish.

    2007: The New York Times features an article on conflicts surrounding Gerard Schwarz’s tenure as conductor of the Seattle Symphony where he “is known for his fund-raising and civic involvement, but where he has made enemies and generated ill will among the players.”

    2007: Julius Shulman attended a showing of his architectural photography at the Los Angeles Public Library.

    2008:Mort Gerberg presents “Last Laughs: Cartoons About Aging, Retirement...and the Great Beyond” at the Washington DCJCC.


    2008 (19 Kislev, 5769):Celebration of Yud-Tes Kislev, the 19th of Kislev.  “The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism. It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia. For Chassidim this event is more than a personal liberation.  They see this as a watershed event heralding a new era in the revelation of the ‘inner soul’ of Torah. This is also the celebration of the birthday of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov, the Coca Chef.

    2008: Award winning Israeli-born photographer, Michal Chelbin delivers a lecture at New York’s School of Visual Arts Amphitheater followed by a book signing

    2008: Andy Statman joined the Flecktones in a concert at the Kimmel Center in Phildelphia. The venue was named in honor of Sidney Kimmel.

    2008:The Israeli version of “Big Brother,” a reality show alternately beloved and reviled by Hebrew speakers, wrapped up today in exactly the manner in which it was broadcast all season: as a ratings juggernaut.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Hadassah Book Club meets at the home of Charlene Wolf to discuss Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner.

    2009: Professor Ari Y. Kelman discusses his new book, "Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States," as part of the Nextbook series' 2009 season being held at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. 

    2009: Jonathan Sheehan of UC Berkeley is the Keynote Speaker at workshop entitled "The Bible and Secularism" at The Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia, PA.

    2009:Iran test-fired it’s most advanced ballistic missile, capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe. The missile tested, according to Iranian reports, was an upgraded version of the Sajjil 2, a sophisticated ballistic missile that has a range of close to 2,000 kilometers, can carry a nuclear warhead and is powered by a solid-fuel propellant which gives it greater accuracy and range.

    2009: US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was name Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2009 today.

    2009: The third annual Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism opens today in Jerusalem.

    2009: Britain’s Supreme Court declared today that it was illegal for a Jewish school that favors Jewish applicants to base its admission policy on a classic test of Jewishness – whether one’s mother is Jewish.

    2009: Today approximately 400 El Al passengers had to wait for almost seven hours in a grounded airplane in a U.S. airport due to a fuel leak.

    2010: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present the” Chamber Music of Barber, Britten and Brahms” featuring the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

    2010: Janis Spindel is scheduled to present a program entitled “Men and the City: Where Are all the Men in New York?” at the 92nd St Y in, of course, New York City.

    2010: A judge has ordered members of the family that owned a kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa to pay more than $2 million after defaulting on financial agreements with one of their former banks.

    2010(9thof Tevet, 5771): Ninety year old violinist and concert master Eric Rosenblith passed away.

    2010(9thof Tevet, 5771):Irwin M. Abrams, a longtime professor of history at Antioch College, a pioneer in the field of peace research and a global authority on the Nobel Peace Prize, died today at the Friends Care Center, just a block away from the house on Xenia Avenue where he had lived for almost 60 years. He was 96. Irwin was born in San Francisco in 1914. He graduated from Lowell High School in December 1930 at the age of 16. He went on to earn a bachelors degree from Stanford University and a masters degree and PhD from Harvard University. In 1936–37, Irwin traveled to Europe to do research for his dissertation. It was a formative experience. He met many outstanding leaders and scholars of the international peace movement and delved into previously unknown source materials.

    2010: Starting today the Galilee will be hosting its first annual international ornithological festival.
    2010: Judith Malina’s production of “Korach” “a new play based on the Biblical account of Korach, ‘the first recorded anarchist in history,’ opened at The Living Theatre in New York.

    2011: A brunch honoring Rabbi Eric Yoffie is scheduled to take place at today’s session of the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial.

    2011: Before delivering the keynote address at the Union for Reform Judaism conference in Maryland today, President Obama met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    2011:President Obama told a gathering of Reform Jewry not to let anyone challenge his record of support for Israel, which he said was "unprecedented.""No U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours -- none," he said in an address this afternoon to more than 5,000 people at the biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism. "Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. It is a fact." The crowd at a hotel in the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington gave him a standing ovation. Obama listed areas of close cooperation, including missile defense and Iran sanctions. Of the sanctions, he said they were the "hardest hitting" ever. He repeated his pledge that he would take "no options" off the table when it comes to forcing Iran to back down from its suspected nuclear weapons program. Obama peppered his speech with Jewish references, starting with "Shabbat Shalom" and joking about his daughter Malia's eagerness to attend bar and bat mitzvahs. His speech was based on the story of Joseph's declaration "Hineni" -- "Here I am" -- to his father, Jacob. To repeated applause, Obama ran through his domestic policy achievements on health care, and women's and gay rights, among others.

    2011:The High Court of Justice ruled today to reject a petition asking to delay the second stage of the prisoner exchange deal brokered with Hamas to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. The release of 550 Palestinian security prisoners is now expected to proceed as normal.
    2012: Monni Must, acclaimed photographer and author of Living Witnesses: Triumph Over Tragedy, a portrait book trilogy that captures the lives and experiences of over 400 Holocaust survivors is scheduled to appear at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
    2012: The Third Israeli-Russian & International Russian Émigré Film Festival sponsored by the Russian American Cultural Center is scheduled to take place in New York City.
    2012: The last performance of “Bad Jews” a comedy by Joshua Harmon is scheduled to take place at the Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theater. (As reported by Charles Isherwood)
    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World by Howard Pollack and The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon
    2012: “Amour” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: The JCNVV is scheduled to present a performance of “Clever Rachel,” a Moses Goldberg’s dramatic adaptation of a book by Debby Waldman.

    2012:  Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman formally submitted his resignation from the government to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning, ending a turbulent term as the country’s top diplomat.
    2013: MoMA is scheduled to host the North American premiere of “Footsteps in Jerusalem.”

    2013: The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to host The Holocaust & Churches in Nazi Germany: Examples of Complicity & Resistance

    2013: Weather permitting, the “Stranger by the Lake” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

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    December 17

    520 BCE (24th of Kislev): “The foundation-stone of the Temple was laid” (As reported by Jewish Encyclopedia)

    1141 (Tevet, 4902): After leaving Cairo, Jehuda Halevi arrived at the port of Damietta where he was warmly received by his old friend Abu Said Chalfon.

    1187: Gregory VIII, the Pope who called for the disastrous Third Crusade, passed away. Each of the crusades was a disaster for the Jewish people in way or another.  On top of everything else, the Third Crusade removed the protective hand of King Richard from England and left the Jews to suffer under the anti-Semitic Prince John.

    1398: Tamerlane, also known as Timur, defeated the armies of Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's in Delhi.This battle was part of the war between the Persians and the Mongols.  According to one source, Timur brought Persian Jews to his kingdom so that they could help develop the textile industry.  For more on this subject see Tamerlane and the Jews by Michael Shterenshis

    1490: Yucef Franco went on trial today charged with  “trying to attract conversos to Judaism as well as having participated in the ritual crucifixion of a Christian child on Good Friday.”

    1531: A Bull was issued by Pope Clement VII establishing the Inquisition in Portugal. Frei Diogo da Silva was made Inquisitor General.

    1538: Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. Henry had reportedly sought support from Italian rabbis in making the Biblical case for his annulment.  The Italian Jews were fearful of the Pope among whom they lived than they were of a distant monarch who did not let Jews live in his kingdom.  The excommunication led to a weakening of the Church and the strengthening of the Protestant Reformation which helped to contribute to the Jews return to England in the 17th century.

    1600: King Henry IV of France married Marie de' Medici. She is most famous as the mother of Louis XIII in whose name she reigned for seven years as Queen Mother and regent.  During that time she defied the ban on Jews living in France by retaining Elijah Montalto as court physician. To gain his services Marie agreed to let him practice his religion and not to have to work on Shabbat.  When Louis came of age he reverted to the practice of his predecessors and reaffirmed the ban on Jews living in his kingdom.

     1728: Congregation Shearith Israelpurchased a lot on
    Mill Street
    in lower Manhattan, to build New York's first synagogue.

    1791(21st of Kislev, 5552):Chief Rabbi David Tevele Schiff passed away. He was the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the rabbi of the Great Synagogue of London from 1765 until his death. He was the son of Solomon Schiff, member of a famous and learned family from Frankfurt am Main. Tevele Schiff was educated in the schools of Rabbis Jacob Poper and Jacob Joshua Falk. He served as maggid in Vienna. He also was head of the Beth Midrash in Worms, and later Dayan in Frankfurt.

    1794:William Moultrie completed his second term in office as Governor of South Carolina. In 1794, during his final year in office, Moultrie attended the consecration of Congregation Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.

    1819: Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela). Jews served in Bolivar’s army and provided him with the financial backing that was necessary for his ultimate success.

    1839: Birthdate of Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild an English politician and art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild family of bankers. He would pass away exactly 59 years later on his birthday.

    1830: Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Venezuelaand Columbiaknown as the “George Washington of South America” passed away. “Simon Bolivar found refuge and material support for his army in the homes of Jews from Curaçao. Jews such as Mordejai Ricardo and the brothers Ricardo and Abraham Meza offered hospitality to Bolivar as he fought against the Spanish, thus establishing brotherly relations between Jews and the newly independent Venezuelan republic. Several Jews even fought in the ranks of Bolivar's army during the war.” “The Jews of Curacao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from Curacaodistinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.”

    1833: In Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin and Harriet Marx Etting gave birth to Frank Marx Etting who became Paymaster of the United States Army during the Civil War.

    1851: In Baltimore, MD, Members of the Kaschurn Lodge, No. 3, a Jewish fraternal organization, met with Lajos Kossuth, the exiled Hungarian leader.  They gave him seventy-five dollars.  They also gave him three banners.  The largest one had three full length pictures of Moses, Washington and Kossuth.  Moses represented Asia; Washington represented America and Kossuth represented Europe.  The two smaller banners contained the statement, in both Hebrew English, “Thy enemies shall come against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.  In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

    1852: Benjamin Disraeli finished serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He will be replaced by Gladstone.  This is the first of three times that Disraeli will hold this office in the English government.

    1859: British political leader Henry Fitzroy, the husband of Hannah Rothschild and the son-in-law of Nathan Mayer Rothschild passed away.

    1859: During his sermon at the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Raphall delivered “a fervent appeal on behalf” of the Jews who had been forced to seek refuge at Gibraltar because of the war between Spain and Morocco.  The Jews fled because of their justified fear of attacks by the enraged native population.  Several thousand had been forced to leave all of their possessions behind and were now living in tents provided by the British colonial government and eating food provided by funds from the Jews of England.  The congregation responded by immediately raising several hundred dollars to aid their suffering co-religionists.

    1859: It was reported today that “From Austria, amid the echoes of Hungarian dissatisfaction, and Tyrolese boldness, come the reports of promised reform. It is stated as a certain fact that in a few days the Emperor will issue a decree, relieving the Jews from many disabilities under which they now lie. The law which forbade a Jew to have a Christian servant is already repealed; and the emancipated Israelite can now rejoice in the possession of a cook who hasn't a conscientious objection to getting up and making a fire, of a Saturday morning. The expected decree will abolish the old law, by which no one of the three witnesses required for a Christian's will could be a Jew -- a blind provision, which has been the source of more trouble to Christians than Jews. Then the rule, still on the statute-books in Austria, that a Jew's evidence in a civil case against a Christian should be considered as "doubtful," will be done away; as also the present prohibition, which prevents any but a Christian from filling the office of Notary. This last provision is no older than 1855. Before that year Jews were allowed to be Notaries, and it is said that there is a Jewish Notary in Prague, who was appointed under the old law, and holds his office still. It is proper that the Government should concede these rights to an oppressed class; but one cannot but notice how, through these reforms, it hopes to escape more pressing and important demands from its subjects. Hungary demands her constitutional rights, and the Emperor grants a couple of reforms to Venice. Tyrol desires her ancient and guaranteed privileges, and he emancipates the Jews at Prague! No matter -- the day is coming

    1860: An article entitled “Affairs in France” published today described the conflict between the French Empress and Achille Fould, the Jewish financier and political leader whom she used to value as an advisor.  The Empress has changed her view of Fould due to the influence of the Catholic clergy.  Fould is not bothered by the possible loss of the Pope’s temporal power while the clergy and the Empress are greatly distressed by such a possibility. It is rumored that the Empress has said she will not return from England until Fould has been dismissed from office.

    1862(25thof Kislev, 5623): Chanukah

    1862: General Grant, in issuing his infamous Order 11, ordered all "Jews as a class" expelled from his lines. In New York City 7000 Jews marched in protest against his decision. Lincolnrescinded his order.  Grant never explained the order.  Grant had shown something of a nativist streak in the 1850’s when he reportedly supported the Know Nothing Party.  As President, Grant maintained cordial relations with Jewish leaders.  After leaving the Presidency, Grant lent his name to petitions protesting the treatment of Russian Jews and he made a contribution to the newly formed Adas Israel Congregation in its formative years! (for more see When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna , a “must read” and Jews and the Civil War edited by Johnathan Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn)

    1870: This evening will mark the close of the Hebrew Fair which has been held for several days at the 22nd Regiment Armory in New York City.

    1874: At today’s meeting of the Board of Alderman in New York, the resolution submitted a t a previous meeting in favor of permitting the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society to sublet their premises” which is property own by the city “was called up and laid over.”

    1875: The three men convicted of killing a Jewish peddler named Abraham Weissburg are scheduled to be executed today in New York.

    1875: It was reported today that in the Hebrew Charity Fair’s contest for most popular minister Dr. Einhorn is in first place with 43 votes followed by Dr. Isaacs with 37 votes.  This is just part of the many activities connected with this pre-Chanukah fundraising fair.

    1875: P. Nathan Rubenstein was identified as the man who had bought the knife that was used in the murder of Sarah Alexander. The same witness said she had not sold this unique item to Lewis Rubenstein, Nathan’s brother.  Both of the young men are Jewish.

    1878: Garnier and Schaefer will play tonight at the Hebrew Fair in Tammany Hill.[ Garnier and Schaefer were locally famous billiard players and this match must have been part of the fair’s fundraising activities.]

    1880: Ernst Henrici delivered a speech propagating his anti-Semitic ideas at the Imperial Hall.

    1881(25thof Kislev, 5642): Chanukah

    1882: It was reported today that Herr Belchman has come to the conclusion that there are both blond and dark haired people among the Jews living in Western Russia.  Furthermore, they have “narrower chests” and “shorter heads” than their non-Jewish counterparts.

    1882: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil had testified before Senators Boy and Browning who are investigating “corner and futures and the effect… they have on commerce and public morals.” The Rabbi said he could not speak about the business aspect of the topic.  But as to the moral implication he cited the Jewish prohibitions against allowing a man who engaged in gambling to serve as a Judge as a witness.  Furthermore, the lure of gambling misled young man and was comparable to putting a stumbling block before the blind.

    1883: Madame Fanny Janauschek will appear in tonight’s production of “Zillah, the Hebrew Mother” at the Third Avenue Theatre in New York

    1883: A Jewish peddler named Simon Holzman was assaulted and nearly killed near Eatontown, NJ.

    1885: Julius C. Koosher, a Russian Jew who came to this country after his business was destroyed in his native land because of his religion and who worked in the United States worked as a land agent but was cheated out the money owed to him by the railroad tycoon Henry Villard, was being held by authorities after having been arrested yesterday for trying to murder 20 prominent Californians and blow up Chinatown

    1888: In Philadelphia, PA, Mat Goldberger went to trail today for the murder last April of Mrs. Annie Schuleberg

    1888: The Republican Club of 450 5th Avenue blackballed Benjamin F. Peixotto and James W. Moses this evening

    1889: Mrs. Martin M. Lewis took a leading part in the activities at today’s Hebrew Fair.

    1889: A fire broke in a tenement on Eldridge Street that housed several Jewish owned businesses as well as a synagogue and school used by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

    1889: Anton Solki, an itinerant Jewish dentist will be arraigned today in Yorkville for having attacked Dr. C.H. de Lamater, after the latter had treated him for a dental problem.  The accused does not remember the attack and can give no reason for having done what he is accused of doing.

    1890: The Auxiliary Society of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is scheduled to host a reception at Terrace Garden this evening.

    1891: “Under Cover Of Her Child’s Right” published today described the case of Hannah Bocks a Russian Jewess who will be allowed to stay in the United States because her child was born here and “the law will not permit her to be separated from her child” who is an American by birth.

    1891: Alexander Becce, a Russian Jew living in San Antonio, TX filed suit today in Federal court against the Hamburg-American Packet Company for $5,000 in damages after the company refused to honor the tickets it had sold him or to refund his money.

    1891(16th of Kislev, 5652): Benedict Zuckermann, an observant German-Jewish mathematician and astronomer passed away today.  He was a colleague of Henrich Graetz and a support of Zacharis Frankel.

    1892: Birthdate of American biochemist Edwin Cohn.  In 1940 the hard-driving Harvard biochemist Edwin Cohn broke plasma down into its different proteins — and saved millions of soldiers' lives Most fatalities in World War I occurred not from the direct physical damage of bullet wounds but from loss of blood. In the spring of 1940, as another war seemed inevitable, finding a way to replace lost blood became a medical priority. Edwin Cohn, a Harvard biochemist, took on the problem of breaking down blood plasma to isolate a protein called albumin that could be stored for long periods without spoiling, shipped efficiently and used easily on a battlefield to save lives. Patriotic blood drives yielded whole blood from which a small inventory of albumin had been accumulated by December 7, 1941. It was rushed to Pearl Harbor where it proved enormously successful in the first battlefield setting.  Cohn headed up a government effort to oversee the production of albumin. His work throughout the war to improve the process and the consequent successes of blood products on the battlefield were one of the keys to victory for the Americans in World War II. He passed away in 1953.

    1892: Rabbi David Cahn conducted services this morning as Rodeph Shalom continued the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary which included a sermon, delivered in German, by Rabbi Wise entitled “Retrospective Glances” that traced the history of the congregation

    1892: In an attempt to exercise better control over the Jews, “the Russian Senate has promulgated a law requiring that Jewish artisans shall only reside in places where official boards of trade exist.”

    1892: Samuel Muhr a leading Philadelphia Jewish merchant and Mayer Sulzberger a prominent Jewish Philadelphia lawyer were among the dignitaries who attended a dinner at the Art Club in Philadelphia honoring the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who was also the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee.

    1892: The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Rodeph Sholom continues today with services starting at 9:30 a.m.

    1893: Birthdate of Erwin Piscator.The German born Piscator has been described as one of the most renowned figures of modern theater famous for his avant-garde productions at the Epic Theater in WeimarBerlin and his innovative contributions to the American stage.

    1893: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon on “Shall We Give State Aid to Denominational Schools?” this morning at Temple Emanu-El

    1893: In “France and Autocracy” published today Gabriel Monod of The Contemporary Reviews writes “we cannot go on feigning ignorance” of the persecution of the Jews by the “Russian autocratic government.”

    1894:  Birthdate of Arthur Fiedler.  Fiedler gained fame as the conductor of the Boston Pops which he turned into an American institution.  He passed away in 1979.

    1895: “The Sweat-Shop Problem” published today described the growth of the clothing industry which “has been built up…largely on the cheap labor of poor Jews who have sought refuge here from oppression in other countries.

    1895: Max Schindler was injured today when he tried to stop a fight between Italian and Jewish pushcart peddlers on Essex Street which was being repaved.

    1900: British soldier and diplomat Sir Matthew Nathan began serving as the Governor of the Gold Coast.

    1900: New buildings were opened on Ellis Island as it returned to operation following fire which had meant that immigrants, including tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants, had been processed at the Barge Office.

    1901: Birthdate of Lee Strasberg.  Strasberg was an actor and a director.  But his greatest fame came from teaching others to act.  He passed away in 1982

    1903 (28th Kislev): On the fourth day of Chanukah The Wright Brothers made their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. According to some, the success of the Dayton bicycle men was based on early work by Otto Lielenthal who died during a flight test seven years before.  Arthur L. Welsh, a young Jew from Dayton, was one of the early pilots who were taught to fly by the Wright brothers. When Welsh died in 1912 during a test flight, he was the only pilot employed by Wrights who were close friends as well as his mentors.

    1904: T.C. Evans reviewed “he Life of Lord Beaconsfield” by Walter Sichel, a “biographical study of the remarkable man, wit, statesman, novelist, the celebration of whose centenary is now at hand.”

    1906: Oscar Straus became the third U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor

    1909: Muslims in Tunis protested when Jews were going to be put under French jurisdiction. Muslims stated that this was discriminatory and a violation of treaties, even though it was the Muslims the French were going to protect the Jews from.

    1913: Birthdate of American business man Sol Linowitz. He served as Chairman of the Board of Xerox Corp and negotiated the return of the Panama Canal

    1914:  The Turks expelled the Jews of Tel Aviv, sending them to Egypt.  Many of the Jews were native Russians.  Since Russia and Turkey were enemies during World War I, the Turks saw these Russian Jews as potential enemy agents or worse.  

    1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Eighth Day of Chanuka

    1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678):Dov Ber Borochov, one of the founding fathers of the Labor Zionist movement, passed away

    1917: Birthdate of Jacob Landau, the native of Philadelphia who gained fame as an artist “known for his evocative works on the human condition

    1918: Release date for “Carmen” a 1918 German silent drama film directed by Ernst Lubitsc

    1919(25th of Kislev, 5680): Chanukah

    1924: Birthdate of Yohai Ben-Nun, the sixth commander of the Israeli Navy.

    1928: Aaron Copland is part of a group participating in a musical event at the New School for Social Work.

    1929:  In New York City, Oliver C. and Ida Panish Safir gave birth to William Safire.  Unique among the Jews of his generation, Safire was a conservative Republican who was a speech writer for President Nixon.  He spent almost three decades as a political columnist for The New York Times.

    1930: According to reports published today, Arabs have failed to stop Jewish settlers from plowing their land at Hedera after they lost a lawsuit designed to keep the land from the Jews.  After the police intervened, the Arabs agreed to await the outcome of the appeal before taking any further action.  The Arabs said that they understood the recently issued White Paper to mean that all land in Palestine belonged to them.

    1931: In Manhattan, Blanche and Milton Frankfurt gave birth to Stephen Owen Frankfurt “an advertising executive who helped lead the transformation of television commercials from straightforward sales pitches in the 1950s to sophisticated, art-designed productions”  (As reported by Leslie Kaufman)

    1931: The meeting of the World Islamic conference came to an end in Jerusalem.  The conference agreed to deny Jews access to the al-Akso Mosque as a first step to undermining efforts of the Zionists to live peacefully side by side with their Arab neighbors.  

    1935: Based on votes counted so far, Meier Dizengoff trails Laborite Joseph Aronowitz in the Tel Aviv mayoral election held on Sunday.

    1937:Temple Shaaray Tefila began a weekend of services dedicating their reconstructed sanctuary. The Temple had been the victim of an arsonist’s fire in March necessitating this rebuilding projects.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Arabs were killed when British troops and police fought a large Arab gang near Tulkarm.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish boy of 16 was killed when a Polish hooligan shot him and threw a bomb at a shop in the village of Czarna, near Warsaw, completely demolishing it. Polish officials were reported to be planning to deport, with French approval, some 30,000 Jewish families, 120,000 persons to Madagascar, within the next six years. France demanded that the refugees be supplied with sufficient capital to make their planned farms profitable.

    1940: Thanks to the efforts of Marge Iverson, the wife of Phillip Iverson, The St, Johnsbury Jewish Woman’s Club held its first meeting in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

    1940: Drunken SS guards at the Sachsenhausen labor camp awaken Jews during a frigid night and order them to roll in the snow.

    1941: Presidential Executive Order 8982 created the Board of Economic Warfare among whose employees was Raphael Lemkin the Polish lawyer who created the term “genocide” in 1944.

    1941: The slaughter of the Jews of Skede, which began on December 15, came to an end. German security police and Latvian police marched almost three thousand Jews to a ditch, forced them to strip and then shot them in groups of ten.  For those who doubt the truth, Yad Vashem has a photograph that was taken by one of the German or Latvian killers.

    1941: German Christian church leaders of Saxony, Nassau-Hesse, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstei, Anhalt, Thuringia and Lubeck announced that the “severest measures” should be taken against the Jews, who should be expelled from German territories.

    1941(27th of Kislev, 5702): Dr. David Dubslo and two of his colleagues died of spotted typhus while treating Gypsies who had been sent to the Lodzghetto.  The Gypsies lived in a special section of the ghetto and had no doctors of their own.

    1942: Dr. Samuel Goldenson is scheduled to officiate at the funeral services for David M. Bressler at Temple Emanu-El

    1942: The Yishuv announces a 30-day period of mourning to commemorate the tragedy of the Jews in Europe.

    1942: Pressure from members of Parliament, from Jewish groups in England, from the Anglican Church, from the British press, and from the Polish government-in-exile persuades the Allied governments to publish their first official recognition of atrocities in Poland. The Allied nations--Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee--officially condemn the Nazis'"bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination." They vow to punish those responsible. Several U.S. State Department officials try to block this declaration. All previous and following declarations neglect to mention Jews.

    1942: Accepting the United Statesgovernment position that the Jews being massacred by the Germans can be helped only by a total and unconditional Allied victory over Germany, the American press continues to treat the Holocaust as just another war story, and is unwilling to discuss the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Given the Allied governments' knowledge of the Holocaust at this time, waiting until the Allied Armed Forces have achieved a total victory over the Germans indicates that the Allied governments have accepted the probability that the majority of European Jews will be killed before the Germans can be stopped.

    1942: Jewish inmates at the labor camp at Kruszyna, Poland, near Radom, attack guards with knives and fists. Six prisoners are killed and four escape.

    1942:The Allies issued a statement saying Jews were being taken to tBirkenau, the part of Auschwitz devoted to extermination and killed.

    1943: Transport 63 departed with a cargo of French Jews being sent to Nazi-Germany

    1943: Jews are executed at Kovno, Lithuania, as reprisal for an escape of several Jews from the ghetto.

    1944(1stof Tevet, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Tevet coincides with the 2nd day of the Battle of the Bulge.

    1945: U.S. Senate votes for Wagner-Taft resolution calling for free entry of Jews into Palestine and establishment of Jewish commonwealth. Wagner is Senator Robert Wagner, a New York liberal Democrat. Taft is Senator Robert Taft a conservative Republican from Ohio.  This shows the bipartisan support the measure had.

    1946: Land purchases and budgetary matters were discussed at a meeting of the World Zionist Congress.

    1946: Birthdate of Eugene Levy.  A native ofHamiltonCanada, this writer and comedic actor is best known to Americans for his role in “American Pie.”

    1947: Birthdate of Eddie Antar.  He was the cofounder of the electronics retail chain Crazy Eddie, Inc. He fled to Israel in February, 1990 to avoid. Later, he was extradited and convicted of securities fraud and racketeering.

    1947: In the face of mounting violence and fearing that worse was to come, the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem opened a blood bank with goal of producing 1000 doses of plasma.

    1947: The U.S. State Department expressed its fears that the Soviet Union is supplying arms to both sides of the Palestine conflict.

    1947: The Arab League Council announced it will stop the proposed partition of Palestine by force and begins raids on the Jewish communities in Palestine.

    1947: The State Department reported that the Arab League Council had begun buying weapons to implement its policy of thwarting the partition of Palestine.

    1947: Moshe Shertok, Jewish Agency political head, charges that British are obstructing partition and that British administration does not protect Jews from Arab attacks, yet they prevent Jews from defending themselves. Dr. Nahum Goldmann,

    1947: The Jewish Agency executive, reports Jewish plans for Swiss-like neutrality.

    1947: Pinchas Ben-Porat, a pilot with Sherut Avir, the air arm of Haganah, boarded his single engine RWD-13 and flew a medical doctor to the small town of Beit Eshel.

    1947: After completing his flight to Beit Eshel, “Ben-Porat was assigned a support role to Nevatim, a Jewish settlement in the Negev desert. When Nevatim came under attack by Arab irregulars, Ben-Porat flew an RWD 13 or Auster to Nevatim. Upon arriving, he removed the right door of the plane and set up a Bren gun and gunner with several hand grenades. Ben-Porat and his gunner flew a half-hour of close air support. The tactic was emulated by many Jewish pilots and crew in the Israeli War of Independence.”
     Once he completed that leg of the mission Ben-Porat was supposed to fly to Nevatim, but learning that 200 Arabs were assaulting it, he removed the doors of his aircraft to install a Bren Gun, and with a volunteer gunner and some hand grenades, took off for the village

    1948: Four thousand, one hundred Jews set sail from Yugoslavia for Israel.

    1952:According to a report issued today by Moshe Kol, co-treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and chairman of the Youth Aliyah management committee in Israel twenty million dollars has been expended by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, on its Youth Aliyah (youth immigration) activities in Israel in the last eighteen and a half years.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the new Mapai-General Zionists coalition won 73 seats in the Knesset.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that in New York, more than 19,000 persons, attending the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, at the MadisonSquareGarden, purchased $2,575,000 worth of Israel Bonds.

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that officers and men of the Jerusalem Area Police Force contributed IL 136 to the Post's Hanukkah Toy Fund, the largest amount given by any organized group of workers, and assisted the newspaper's volunteers in the distribution of toys and sweets in the Jerusalem Corridor's outlying ma'abarot.

    1956: Time magazine “panned" Jewish playwright’s “Night of the Auk” saying “that a good case of actors…were unhappily squandered on a pudding of a script…that sounded like cosmic advertising copy.”

    1959: “The fourth Knesset started with David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party forming the ninth government” today.

    1959:Haim-Moshe Shapira replaced Israel Bar-Yehuda as Internal Affairs Minister.

    1959:Yisrael Barzilai completed his term in office as Communications Minister.

    1959: Rabbi Ya'akov Moshe Toledano returned to his position as Minister of Religions.

    1960(28thof Kislev, 5721): Fifty-nine year old Bella Weretnikow Rosenbaum, the first Jewish female attorney in the state of Washington, passed away today.

    1964: Nobel Prize winner Victor Francis Hess passed away.  A native of Austria, the non-Jewish Hess fled his native country because his wife was Jewish.

    1965: AstronomerDavid H. Levy began his search for comets

    1972: Release date for “Avanti!” a comedy produced and directed by Billy Wilder with a screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A. L. Diamond

    1974: Birthdate of super chef Duff Goldman.

    1974: Release date for “Front Page,” the cinematic adaptation of Ben Hecht’s play made possible by the writing team of I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder.  (The latter also served as the director.

    1976(25thof Kislev, 5737): Chanukah for the last time during the Presidency of Gerald Ford

    1978: Channel 2 (WCBS) broadcasts “Lamp Unto My Feet – Chanukah in Romania” at ten o’clock this morning.

    1978(17th of Kislev, 5739: Eighty-year old Irving Jacobson, a star of the Yiddish theatre who made the successfully transition to the world of American film and legitimate theatre passed away today.

    1982: Opening of “Tootsie,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

    1982: Israeli born cellist Ofra Harnoy, a winner of the 1982 Concert Artists Guild Award, made her debut this evening at the Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of 17.

    1988: Abdeen Jabara, the 45-year-old president of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, an American citizen, was barred from entering Israel today.  According to a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry the decision was based on Jabara’s record which includes “activities as a lawyer defending terrorists, attempts to prevent the collection of money for Israel, trying to legally prevent the entry of Prime Minister Shamir into the U.S., and an F.B.I. investigation against him.''

    1989: The New York Times reviewed “Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy” by Israeli lawyer Carmel Shalev.

    1991(10th of Tevet, 5752): Asara B'Tevet

    1992:After more than 18 months of racial and ethnic unrest, Jews and blacks joined hands tonight in an emotional session at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater to recall their past alliances and pray for future healing. The reason for the gathering was the showing of a documentary on the black soldiers who liberated Jews from Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II. But the real drama occurred on the great stage of the Apollo after the house lights came up and Jews and blacks hugged, wept, held hands and vowed to put their differences behind them. It was an emotional catharsis that included the singing of "We Shall Overcome," personal reminiscences from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mayor David N. Dinkins's quoting the great Talmudic sage Hillel. Those at the Apollo last night seemed weary of the fighting and eager to come together, nodding and applauding as the Mayor quoted the first-century Jewish scholar by asking, "If not now, when?"Mr. Jackson, who first suggested that the film, "Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II," be used as a vehicle for reconciliation , said, "The walls that came down in Dachau and Buchenwald must not be resurrected in Crown Heights or any place."As he spoke, he reached out for the hands with those around him. At one point he held tight to Rabbi Leib Glanz, an official of the Satmar Hasidic group, which is based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At another he clasped the hand of Abe Chapnick, a concentration camp survivor. Mr. Jackson, who angered Jews in 1984 when he called New York City "Hymietown," spoke softly and haltingly as he implored the group to remember it was bound by historic links. His appearance was one of several recently in which he has reached out to the Jewish community.As the film was shown at the Apollo last night before an invited audience of 1,200, it was also viewed by gatherings of blacks and Jews at more than 100 other locations around the city, including synagogues, churches and private living rooms. At the Apollo, the audience members included the Rev. Al Sharpton; Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X; Felix Rohatyn, the financier; Peggy Tishman of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Representative Charles B. Rangel of Harlem and Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan District Attorney."We intend to go on the moral offensive," Mr. Jackson told the crowd, "and take this message to the nation. We will defeat hatred and fear and violence.""The pain and violence surrounding Crown Heights is a challenge to come together, not to fall apart."After Mr. Jackson spoke, Rabbi Glanz prayed for healing, saying, "Let us have peace and show the world that we all have backgrounds where we suffered. Let us say to suffering, enough is enough."Rabbi Glanz's Satmar group was among those who met with Mayor Dinkins at a tense private meeting in Crown Heights on Wednesday. The primary group in Brooklyn neighborhood, the Lubavitch, had no major officials at the Apollo, although several Lubavitch followers attended. A Jewish communal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that tickets had been set aside for Lubavitch officials but that they declined to attend, saying that they did not feel that enough progress had been made at the Wednesday meeting to warrant their attendance. Several of the speakers at the Apollo last night recalled the great alliance between blacks and Jews. Symbols of that alliance, they said, included the tragic -- like the murder of three civil rights workers, two Jews and one black, in Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964 -- and the triumphant, the march through Selma, Ala., in which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was joined by a host of rabbis. The focus of the evening was the encounter between two black Army units, the 761st Tank Batallion and the 183d Combat Engineers, and the emaciated, hollow-eyed survivors of Buchenwald. As one survivor, Rabbi Yisrael M. Lau, now the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, said in the film, "To us, they looked like angels."Ms. Tishman called on the audience to "symbolically re-enact that moment of reconciliation and brotherhood.""Not simply to rekindle, but to refuel the lamp of brotherhood in this city," she said. Mayor Dinkins received a standing ovation when he took the podium to introduce the movie. He said that "images and words have been used to great harm" in the city, and that "it is our task to use them to heal."The work of reconciliation, he said, "will take more than one film and one evening." And he called the night at the Apollo "the first volley in a long campaign."

    1992: As violence from Palestinian terrorist escalated 415 terrorist leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were flown to Israel’s northern border and deported to Lebanon.


    1995:”Vatican Reaffirms Its Policy on Jerusalem” published today takes issued with Leah Rabin’s description of the Pope’s comments about the Israeli capital city.

    1995: The New York Times featured a review of the recently published paperback edition of Yehoshua Kenaz’s The Way To The Cats, an “Israeli novel that presents old age with all its ravages” as seen through the life of its protagonist “Yolanda Moscowitz, 76, who is recuperating from a broken leg in a rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, where she hopes that her dignity won't go the way of her beauty.

    1996(7th of Tevet, 5757): Song writer Irving Caesar passed away.  Born in 1895, he was originally known as Isidor Caesar.  He wrote lyrics for "Swanee,""Sometimes I'm Happy,""Crazy Rhythm," and "Tea for Two," one of the most frequently recorded tunes ever written.

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boomby Bob Woodward, Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision by Louis Breger, Schmidt Deliveredby Holocaust survivor Louis Begley and Sex and Power by Susan Estrich.

    2000: In an article published today entitled “A Haunting Legacy in Provence” Michael Frank provides a brief informative view of the history of a French Jewry.

    2002: The money that South African businessman Cyril Kern had lent to the campaign of Ariel Sharon was returned to him today.

    2005: On SNL, Andy Samberg co-starred in the Digital Short "Lazy Sunday", a nerdcore hip hop song performed by two Manhattanites on a quest to see the film The Chronicles of Narnia.

    2006: Sir Arnold Wesker, the Jewish dramatist was the castaway on Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4

    2006: The Times of London names Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (translated by Sandra Smith) as number one on its list of “The Best Books of 2006.” This recently discovered volume written by a French Jewish author describes life in France in the early days of World War II.  The book was written as Nemirovsky fled from the Nazis.  She perished in the death camps before she had a chance to complete the work or edit it.

    2006: The Jewish people should develop a long-term strategic planning mechanism to address the threats that endanger all Jews, according to recommendations submitted at today’s cabinet meeting. According to former US envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross "The nature of the threats to the Jewish people put a premium on better planning." Ross is chairman of the board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jewish Agency think tank presenting the recommendations to the cabinet in the framework of its third annual assessment of the state of the Jewish people. \

    2006: In Boston, WGBH-FM (89.7) airs"Chanukah: A Time for Superheroes" The radio special is about the connection between superheroes and Judaism. It has input from Stan Lee, "Spiderman" director Sam Raimi, Bryan Singer of the X-Men movies, and Michael Chabon, an author who dissects comics and Judaism in his book "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

    2006: The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) opened its 38th Annual Conference, San Diego, California.

    2006(26th of Kislev, 5767): Dodger Pitcher Larry Sherry, who with his brother Norm formed the only all brother, all Jewish battery in baseball history that led a team (the 1959 Dodgers) to a World Series Championship, passed away.

    2007: In Chevy Chase, MD, historian Walter Isaacson discusses his most recent book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, at the FriendshipHeightsVillageCenter.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a chief rabbinical chaplain is servicing the spiritual and religious needs of Jewish soldiers in Russia's armed forces and various security services.  The position is currently being filled by thirty four year old Rabbi Aharon Gurevich.

    2007: The owners of the
    2nd Avenue
    Deli “literally cut the salami and officially welcomed hungry patrons to its new address on
    33rd Street
    Third Avenue
    in Manhattan. Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, is the new proprietor. Once again we can savor the best tongue sandwich and meat knishes in the known world.

    2008: In New York, Chamber Music at the Y features acclaimed Jerusalem born pianist, Benjamin Hochman

    2008:The rocket that shattered the front windshield of Pinchas Cohen's bright yellow hatchback this evening narrowly missed his wife and son. So as he stood with his arms folded in front of him in the dark parking lot outside the Victory supermarket in Sderot on this evening, Cohen thanked God for saving his family.

    2008: Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, announced today that it had invested $90 million with Bernard Madoff, who has been charged with securities fraud. This means that “The Madoff Scam” may cost Hadassah the entire ninety million dollars.

    2009: The Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and the Potomac Chapter offer a program entitled “Harry Truman and the Founding of Israel” featuring Allis and Ronald Radosh, authors of A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel.

    2009(30 Kislev, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Kislev.

    2009: The third annual Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism comes to a close today in Jerusalem.

    2009: Germany announced today that it was donating 87 million dollars to a new endowment for Auschwitz-Birkenau to preserve barracks, gas chambers and other evidence of Nazi crimes at the former death camp.

    2010(10thof Tevet, 5771): Yarhtzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin)

    2010(10th of Tevet, 5771): Fast of the Tenth of Tevet

    2010:"A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell" is scheduled to open at Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan

    2010: A traditional Friday Night Shabbat services with MesorahDC complete “with soulful melodies, contemporary insights, and stories followed by a three-course dinner is scheduled to take place at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010: The Los Angeles Times published David Ulin’s list of the ten top books of 2010 which included three works by Jewish authors – Almost Dead by by Assaf Gavron, Freedom by by Jonathan Franzen and The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg.

    2010(10th of Tevet, 5771: Mary Jane “M.J.” Bear, a journalist and Internet pioneer who built websites around the world, died today at the age of 48. Bear, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, worked for TV and radio stations. At National Public Radio she became a vice president. She also worked for Online,

    2010: In an article published today entitled “Beneath the Dead Sea, Scientists Are Drilling for Natural History,” Isabel Kershner, describes how “an an international team of scientists has been drilling beneath the seabed to extract a record of climate change and earthquake history stretching back half a million years.”

    2011: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, CA.

    2011: The third weekend of Hamshoushalayim is scheduled to come to an end.

    2011: Havdalah, Board Installation and Centennial are scheduled to take place this evening at the Union Of Reform Judaism Biennial.

    2011: Opening night of the 13th annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival 

    2012: The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue is scheduled to host “Living A Serious Jewish Life” which will examine what it mean to be an “observant Jew’ using The Observant Life as the basis for the presentation.

    2012: Director Mariano Wainsztein is scheduled to discuss his film “The Mitzvah makers which premieres tonight at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

    2012: “Jud Süss” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Dorit Beinisch, the first female President of the Supreme Court of Israel became an Officer at The French "National Order of the Legion of Honour

    2012: A memorial service was held today for director, writer, actor and impresario Isaiah Sheffer


    2012: Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the spiritual leader of one of the largest congregations in London and a former chief rabbi of Ireland, was named Britain's chief rabbi-designate today.

    2012:The state informed the High Court of Justice today that it will evacuate the two Jewish families living in four rooms in Hebron’s Beit Ezra building.

    2012: Funeral Services were held today for six-year old Noah Pozner, the youngest victim of the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the only Jew who was killed

    2013: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “David” directed by Joel Fendelman and “Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish.”

    2013: Weather permitting, the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to show “Jews for Sale” which tells the story of “the sale of Jews of Romania to the State Israel starting with WW II and climaxing during the rule of Nicolai Ceasescu.


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    December 18

    1271:  Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" ( yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China. Reportedly, Marco Polo found several influential Jews at the court of Kubla Khan. These Jews would have been descendants of Persian Jews who probably came to China the 11thcentury as merchants. In the 13th century, Marco Polo, traveling in China spoke of meeting Jews or hearing about them during his travels in the Middle Kingdom. Polo recorded that Kublai Khan himself celebrated the festivals of the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.  Historical sources also describe Jewish communities at various cities, including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Yangzhou. Only the community in Kaifeng(HenanProvince) survived since its founding around 240 BCE

    1495: King Alphonso II of Naples passed away.  Both Alphonso and his father employed Isaac Abravanel the biblical scholar who was also a financial wizard.

    1626: Birthdate of Christina, Queen of Sweden who became a Catholic and moved to Rome in December 1655 where she made Clement X prohibit the custom of chasing Jews through the streets during the carnival. In 1686 she issued a declaration that Roman Jews stood under her protection, signed la Regina – the queen.

    1655: Oliver Cromwell presided over the fourth, and what he hopes will be the final, debate over allowing the Jewish people to return to England.  Much to his chagrin, Cromwell cannot get a majority to support the return of the Israelites despite his argument that “The pure (Puritan) gospel must be preached to the Jews, to win them to church. ‘But can we preach to them, if we will not tolerate them among us?’”  Cromwell closed the meeting and announced that he would decide the issue on his own.

    1744: In Prague, Empress Maria Theresa banished the Jews. A few weeks earlier, Frederickthe Great took Praguein 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. At this point and then again January 7, Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due to the protests of the Jews and the governments of Englandand Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.  To put this in perspective, this happened five months before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  In other words, while the Old World was continuing to find ways to persecute Jews, the New World was about to enjoy a new birth of freedom that would include the Jews.

    1787: New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Like many of the original thirteen colonies, New Jersey had religious restrictions for holding office that were not removed until the 19th century.  By the 1840’s Patterson, NJ, “launched a congregation” and in 1857, the Jews of Elizabeth began meeting for regular worship services. New Jersey’s Jewish experience would prove to be unique because of the success of the agricultural movement that began in 1882 when Michael Heilprin helped a group of European immigrants establish Carmel in southern New Jersey. 

    1813: Birthdate of David Spangler Kaufman, the first Jew elected to the U.S. Congress from the state of Texas.

    1850(13th of Tevet, 5611): Daniel Meijer’s sister, Eva, passed away.  Daniel was the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands and one of the youngest members of the bar in that nation’s history.

    1852: The New York Times described a recent major address by Chancellor of the Exchequer Benjamin Disraeli before the House of Commons on the Budget and plans to make make major revisions in the tax code.  The speech and proposals are so well received that the Times concluded by saying  that “”The Chancellor evidently wins new laurels at every fresh display of his truly remarkable ability.”

    1861: In Chicago it is reported that a young girl who had run away from her parents’ home in Maine to live with an uncle in Wisconsin now is in critical condition in Chicago following an attempted suicide.  While making her way back to Main, the young girl allegedly met young Jew named Laselle with whom she stayed at various hotels including the Tremont, the Stewart House and Sollitt House where “he effected her ruin.”  He then allegedly turn the girl over to another Jew named Stein who brought her “to an assignation house.”  Within half an hour the police “pounced” on the house arresting Stein and several others at which time the girl tried to kill herself.  The investigation is at a standstill until she recovers so that authorities can question her.

    1865: Slavery ended in the United Statesas the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect. Yes there were Jews who owned slaves and yes there Jews who served with Confederacy.  But the majority of the Jews supported the Union and Jews played a role in the movement to gain freedom for slaves. For example a visit to the Lloyd Street Synagogue in Baltimoreincludes a demonstration of its role in the Underground Railroad.  This role was quite risky in a city in slaveholding Maryland.

    1869(14th of Tevet, 5630): Louis Moreau Gottschalk passed away.Born in 1829, Gottschalk was born of a Jewish businessman from London and a white Creole Haitian in New Orleans.  He was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano pieces.

    1872: George Geiger re-enlisted today and was attached to Troop H of the 7th Cavalry, the military unit that would be under the command Custer at the Little Big Horn.

    1876: The Hebrew Charity Fair which is a fund-raiser for the Ladies’ Benevolent Society opened this evening at the Masonic Hall in New York.  Despite the inclement weather, the event was well attended.

    1877: Sergeant George Geiger who earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of the Little Big Horn was discharged today “for medical reasons."

    1878: Birthdate Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin recognized the state of Israel at the moment of its birth and he did allow the Czechs to sell fighter planes to the new-born Israeli Air Force.  But these measures were a reflection of his fight against British Imperialism and not a reflection of any love for the Jewish people. Stalin did employ Jews in his regime before and during the war. But he also conducted bloody purges aimed at the Jews.  Stalin did enjoy support among some Jews – those who were loyal party members and those who regarded him as a savior because the Soviet Army was the force that liberated much of Europe from Nazis.  The reality was that Stalin was an anti-Semite who began a series of murderous purges aimed at the Jews of the Soviet Union and that he died before he could carry out his own version of the Final Solution.

    1878: It was reported today that the Jews of New York are planning on rejecting the donations made by Mrs. A.T. Stewart through Judge Hilton. The gifts included $500 for Mount Sinai Hospital, $250 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and $250 for the Hebrew Home for the Aged and Infirmed. These Jewish organizations have received donations from Mrs. Stewart in the past.  However, this year the notices of the donations were worded in such a way that it would have required Jewish leaders to come to Judge Hilton’s office to get the money.  Considering the fact that Judge Hilton has banned Jews from his hotel in Saratoga Springs, such an arrangement is totally unacceptable.

    1878: Randolph Herr, a New York lawyer who was a partner of Judge Bloom, shot himself through the head today.

    1881: Anti-Juif ,a weekly, was published for the first time in Paris.  This would be the first of four publications with this name all of which had a common anti-Semitic theme.

    1881: It was reported today that an unnamed American who was performing in a circus at St. Petersburg received orders from the Russian government to leave the capital city because he was Jewish.  (This is part of the pattern of discriminating against American citizens because they were Jews that would be protested by President Arthur in his message to Congress)

    1882: It was reported today that Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the “most imposing structures” in New York. It has a capacity to serve 160 patients and has added to new units in the last year – an eye and ear department and an “isolation house.”  While the hospital is almost totally dependent on the Jewish community for financial support, it provides services to one and all regardless of religious affiliation.

    1882: “A Hebrew Colony Broken Up” published today described the demise of a colony that had been “established a year ago on Sicily Island in Concordia Parish by several families” of Jewish immigrants from Russia. According to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Association representative in New Orleans, so many of the colonists were stricken with swamp fever that they were unable to care for themselves let alone work at building the settlement.  After returning to New Orleans, the immigrants have been sent to either Chicago or New York.

    1882: “Value of the Bible” published today provided some of the views of Reverend Richard Heber Newton, an Episcopalian minister and theologians, on the ancient text.  Among other things, that Bible did not included “the whole of Hebrew literature” because “many of the Hebrew writings had been lost.”  But the Bible contains “the best of the Hebrew writings” because it’s a sifted and winnowed library” that represented “the literature of a race whose religion grew until it became a universal religion for all men.”

    1883: George Reeveys is in jail at Freehold, NJ because he has been charged with an attack on a Jewish peddler named Simon Holzman whom authorities fear may die from his wounds.

    1883: In the Westchester County Court at White Plains, NY, Judge Pratt sentenced Theodore Hoffman to be hanged after he had been convicted of kill a Jewish peddler, Zife Marks.

    !886: After two weeks, the fair that was raising funds for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids came to a close tonight.  The successful event was held in New York’s Central Park Garden.

    1886: It was reported today that the during the year, the Hebrew Free School Association had provided services to 2,698 students as compared to 2,046 students in 1885.

    1886: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today.  During the meeting it was announced that prominent educator Julia Richman has been chosen to serve on its board of directors.  Ms. Richman along with Ms. Froelich are the first two women to serve on the boar

    1887: Al Hayman, the partner of Charles Frohman, who managed the Baldwin and California Theatres in San Francisco left to New York today to return to “the city by the Bay.”

    1887: The Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory held its Chanukah reception at 95 East Broadway. After the children sang in Hebrew, Mrs. Deborah Alexander distributed fruit and candy to the youngsters.

    1887: Birthdate of Capt. Artur Carlos de Barros Basto, “a decorated Portuguese military officer, a hero of Portugal's 1910 revolution and World War I and leader of the open return to Judaism of the Crypto-Jews of Portugal. Barros Basto died in 1961, almost blind, a disappointed man. He has never been exonerated by the Portuguese Army of the decision of 1943 of the Minister of the War under the Fascist regime of Antonio Salazar who stripped him from the Portuguese Army Officer Corp for the simple fact of his being Jewish and being a defender of religious tolerance and of the Portuguese Crypto-Jews in particular. The attempts and efforts to rehabilitate him continue to this day. He was born in the Portuguese city of Amarante on December 1887, and was given a Catholic education. When he was nine years old his grandfather told him they were descendants of Jews forcibly converted in 1497. Raised by his mother in Porto, he attended the Portuguese Military Academy and participated in 1910 in the founding of the Portuguese Republic. He later commanded a battalion of the Portuguese Corps in World War I, as lieutenant on the Western front. There he met a French rabbi who likely further influenced him. Upon his return to Portugal from the war he began to study Judaism and Hebrew. Rebuffed by the Israeli community of Lisbon, he went to Tangier to formally return to normative Judaism, adopting the name of Abraham Israel Ben-Rosh. He married the daughter of a prominent Lisbon Jewish family and settled in Porto where in 1923 he created the Israeli community of Porto, still active today[4] Barros Basto became known as the "Apostle of the Marranos", the title of a short biography by noted historian Cecil Roth who met Basto in 1930 and described him as the most charismatic man that he had ever met. Basto had been recommended in 1926 by Lucien Wolf of the London Marranos Committee to be the recipient of funds to establish a Jewish school and lead the return of thousands of descendants of Jews forcibly baptized in 1497 (New Christian, Conversos, or Marranos, more politically correct known as "Anusim", Hebrew for "forced one"). Basto established "Rosh Pinah", described by him as a "theological seminary", the first Jewish school in 500 years. In 1929 the first stone of a new synagogue was laid. A magnificent art nouveau synagogue, Mekor Haim was inaugurated, in 1939, the year of Kristallnacht. Basto had led a successful international fund raising campaign from Jewish communities with historical connection to Portugal such as Amsterdam, London, New York, Hamburg and Paris. Paul Goodman, friend, and president of the Portuguese Marranos Committee attended; so did Moses Amazalak, president of the Lisbon Israeli community. Rabbi David de Sola Pool of New York was an avid supporter and a room in the synagogue is named after him. "Adonai (God) is with me and I will not fear"[5] was his motto, and he was not afraid to canvas the interior of Portugal to make surveys, the contacts, to defend the Jewish identity of the Crypto-Jews at the same time having the goal of returning them to modern Judaism. Upon his return to the city of Oporto, he established the Israelite Community in 1923, and was one of the founders of the synagogue of the city of Oporto in 1938. Given the difficulties that he found in Portugal, most of all financial, he left Portugal. In London the Committee of Portuguese Marranos was created, that raised £10,000 for the construction of a community centre with a synagogue and a reading room, and to hire a resident rabbi”

    1888:  Birthdate of Robert Moses.  The son of Emanuel Moses, a department-store owner, and Bella Silverman Moses, the Moses family was part of the well-to-do circle of New York German Jews known as ''our crowd.''  Moses was public works planner who re-shaped New York and its environs.  Two of his more famous works were the LincolnCenter and Shea Stadium. He passed away in 1981.

    1888: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs read the opening prayer at the dedication ceremonies marking the official opening of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids were held today. Isaac Eppinger, Chairman of the Building Committee then presented a ceremonial golden key to Jacob H. Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home.

    1888: In Philadelphia, PA, the murder trial of Jewish businessman Mat Goldberger entered its second day.  He is accused of murdering  Annie Schuleberg who fell to her death while trying to escape a fire that Goldberger had set to collect the insurance for his business which was on the ground floor of the building where Mrs. Schuleberg lived with her husband and eight children.

    1889(25thof Kislev, 5650): Chanukah

    1889: Three Russian Jewish shoemakers – Harris Elias, Solomon Elias and Abraham – are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation following a fire at their tenement on Eldridge Street.  The three were the only ones injured when the five story building went up in smoke,  (Fires like these were all too common and were run of the reasons that some Uptown Jews formed committees to look into conditions in these buildings that dominated the Lower East Side)

    1889(25thof Kislev, 5650): Mrs. Martin M. Lewis ( nee Lizzie Lazarus) passed away unexpectedly this evening.  Her husband is a prominent importer of woolen goods.  She was the daughter of Alfred Lazarus, the Secretary of the Third Avenue Railroad Company.  She is survived by her seven year old son and seven month old son and a sister-in-law, Mrs. Charles Lewis.

    1890: Birthdate of Neville Jonas Laski, the younger brother of Harold Laski, who was a jurist and leader of the Anglo-Jewish community.

    1890: Colonel George P. Clark will give a lecture this evening at 55th Street and Lexington sponsored by the Young Men’s Association of Congregation Ahawath Chesed.

    1891: The body of a well-dressed man, thought to be a Russian Jewish immigrant was found in flour mill today at Petersburg, PA.

    1892: Almost 1,500 people attended the third and final day of the celebration of Rodeph Shalom’s 50th anniversary which featured the 300 children attending the religious school under the direction of Benjamin Blumenthal.

    1892:  Rabbi H. Rosenberg was expelled from Temple Beth Jacob in Brooklyn, for eating pork.

    1892: The United Hebrew Charities Society has reportedly refused to give any more support to the striking cloakmakers because  the society “received a good deal of support from the cloak manufacturers and these men refused to give any more money to support the persons who were fighting against them.

    1892: As gold leaves Europe for America and America moves to restrict the exportation of the precious metal, the Austrian government has reportedly “concluded a gold loan of 50,000,000 florins from a Rothschild Syndicate” in an attempt to stabilize its economy.

    1892: “The admissions by [Isidor] Loewe, the Jewish small arms manufacturer the offered to supply France with the machinery necessary for the manufacture of Lebel rilfles has caused renewed viruluence in the Judenhetze.” [German anti-Semites] They overlook the “open fact” that the Krupp, the great German arms manufacturer has continued to supply Russia with guns and ammunition, even when the two nations seemed to be on the verge of war.

    1892: The Cologne Gazette attacked Loew’s offer to supply France “as strengthen the assertions of the anti-Semites that the Jews have no national feeling, that they never amalgamate with any people and that they are dominated by the idea that they are a privileged nation that may prey upon but be absorbed by other nationalities.  (These sentiments expressed by a prominent German paper pre-date Hitler by forty years providing more proof that German anti-Semitism was not a Nazi aberration but a part of the German social fabric)

    1893: Twelve Jews were held at the Essex Mark Police Court “on charges of violating the law by keeping their places of business on Essex, Hester, Ludlow, Orchard, Rivington and Canal Streets open on Sunday.

    1894: In Manchester, UK, David Rodker and his wife gave birth to John Rodker one of the “Whitechapel Boys” and a leading figure in the world of British literature.

    1895: Antonio Cappel is being held by authorities today on charges that he assaulted a Jew named Max Shindler when Jewish and Italian pushcart peddlers clashed on Essex Street yesterday.

    1895: Today is “Fraternity Day” at the two-week long charity fair which is raising funds for the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Technical Institute. Music was supplied by the band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Victor Herbert Orchestra.

    1898(5th of Tevet, 5659):Baron Ferdinand James de Rothschild, M. P., passed away on his 59thbirthday.

    1902: Great Britainfavors the sending of a small commission to the Sinai Peninsula to report on conditions and prospects. This was part of plan to start a Jewish settlement in the Sinai which could eventually lead to a Jewish home in Palestineitself.

    1902: N. Taylor Phillips chaired a contentious meeting of Zionists and those opposed to Zionism at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

    1904: The New York Times reports that Lionel de Rothschild is building a 250 Horse Power auto boat as an entry for the Harmsworth Cup race to be held in July of 1905.

    1906: The Czar approved a bill presented to him by the Russian Council of Ministers which purported to give greater liberties to Jews living in the 15 provinces of western Russia known as the Pale of Settlement.

    1908: Rabbi Panigel was forced to surrender his seals of the office of Hahambashi of Jerusalem. Rabbi Hiskia Shabbatai filled the office temporarily.

    1910:  Birthdate of Abe Burrows.  Born in Brooklyn, this successful composer won a Tony in 1951 for the Broadway hit, “Guys and Dolls.”

    1911: In Middletown, CT, Berthe Vogel and Samuel Dassin gave birth to director and victim of the Hollywood blacklist, Julius “Jules” Dassin.

    1912: La sorcière, an opera composed by Camille Erlanger, premiered in Paris.

    1914: Jacob Furth’s conviction on charges of financial irregularities related to a bank in La Conner, Washington, was over-turned today.  Furth was an Austrian born American businessman and banker who played a prominent role in the development of Seattle, Washington.  The removal of this blemish on his record was bittersweet since it came six months after he had passed away.

    1917: Major General, Charles-Arthur Gonse who refused to admit that Dreyfus was innocent and continue to work to keep him in prison even after being shown conclusive evidence of his innocence passed away today.

    1917: During World War I, the American Joint Distribution Committee issues $50,000 for the Jews of Salonica, $25,000 for the Jews of Turkey living outside of Palestine and $3,500 for the Jews of Alexandria. These funds are to purchase wheat for the baking of Matzah for the upcoming Passover.

    1918: Birthdate of Daniel Mazia. He was an American a cell biologist who was notable for his work in nuclear and cellular physiology. His research centered on the broad question of cell reproduction, especially the division and regulation mechanisms involved in mitosis (the process by which the chromosomes within the nucleus of a cell double and divide prior to cell division). Mazia is best known for his isolation (1951, with Japanese biologist Katsuma Dan) of the mitotic apparatus, the structure responsible for cell division. This brought understanding of the mechanisms of cell division and intracellular motility. A study in the early '60s on centrosomal reproduction, until recently an unappreciated structure, led to Mazia's interest in this cell organelle and the publication of a seminal paper. He passed away in 1996.

    1918: Birthdate of Savannah, GA, native Hal Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, and a director and producer whose career included writing for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directing Elvis Presley and creating a landmark 1960s TV series starring Diahann Carroll. (As reported by Dennis McLellan)

    1923(10th of Tevet, 5684): Asara B'Tevet

    1924(20th of Kislev, 5685) California Republican Congressman Julius Kahn, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee dies paving the way for his widow Florence Kahn to begin her active political career in the same legislative body.

    1924: “A protest again the attitude of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the  League of nations with regard to Jewish immigration into Palestine was adopted today the conference of the representatives of the Jewish settlements and communities which is in session in Tel Aviv for the purpose of creating better facilities for the arriving immigrants.” The conference also adopted resolutions “demanding immediate abolition of restrictions on Jewish immigration into Palestine” and the assignment funds to building inexpensive housing to accommodate those making Aliyah.

    1927: According to today’s New York Times, “The organization of two Jewish Fascist groups in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is reported in recent dispatches from Palestine to German newspapers.  It is averred that the self-assumed task of the new organizations consists in fighting Socialist and Communist ideas and the Yiddish jargon brought to Palestine by immigrants from Poland and Russia.  The Jewish Fascists insist that the use of Yiddish handicaps the establishment of Hebrew as the common language of Palestine Jews.”

    1931: Birthdate of record producer Allen Klein.

    1934: Birthdate of Marcell David Reich, the Antwerp born commodity trader Marc Rich, the fugitive financier who purchased a Presidential Pardon from Bill Clinton.

    1936(3rd of Tevet, 5697): Dr. Henry Moskowitz, a leader in civil, political and labors circles” passed away at the age of 57 in his New York Home.  A native of Romania, Moskowitz graduated from NYC public schools and City College before moving to Germany where he earned his Doctorate. Moskowitz was active in the settlement house movement, an ally of Governor Al Smith and served as chairman of the Civil Service Commission and Commissioner of Public Markets. Moskowitz was active in Jewish affairs He was on the board of directors of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Social Service. His most notable achievement may have been being one of the founders of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP).

    1937: On Shabbat (Saturday), Temple Shaaray Tefila continued with the dedication of its new facilities in New York City.

    1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): First Day of Chanukah; kindle the second light in the evening

    1938: “Sheik Said el Khatib, who was a leader at the Mosque of Omar was shot dead by Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem this morning…  The killing eliminates another important Arab from the opponents of the exile Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini.”

    1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): Chanukah

    1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): “One Jew was killed and two were wounded when a Jewish-owned bus, traveling on the new coastal road between Haifa and Tel Aviv was fired on by “unidentified assailants” while an Arab woman was shot dead by another Arab in the Old City of Jerusalem.

    1938: Birthdate of Bronx-born, Oscar winning song writer, Joel Hirschhorn. He and his partner Al Kasha won in 1972 for “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure and We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno in 1974.

    1938: Thousands of Father Charles Coughlin's followers take to the streets of New York City, chanting, "Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!" and "Wait until Hitler comes over here!" Many Christian policemen are sympathetic to the Coughlinites. The protests will last until April 1939. They are opposed by other Catholic organizations and by leftists and liberals.

    1939:  Birthdate of Harold Varmus. Varmus was an American virologist and co-winner (with J. Michael Bishop) of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1989 for their work on the origins of cancer - that cancer genes (oncogenes) can arise from normal cellular genes, called proto-oncogenes. Oncogenes are normal genes that control growth in every living cell, but which under certain conditions can turn renegade and cancerous. They believed that the growth of cancerous cells is not the result of an invasion from outside the cell, but rather a misuse of a normal gene by a retrovirus, as a result of exposure to some aggravating carcinogen, such as radiation or smoke. Their research in the mid '70s has led to great strides in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of cancers.

    1940: The South Shore Group of the Women’s League for Palestine is selling tickets for today’s matinee performance of “The Corn is Green” at the National Theatre as part of their efforts to raise funds for refugee relief.  Proceeds of the sale will “augment a $25,000 Emergency Refugee Relief Fund for young women refugees living the two homes of the Women’s League in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

    1940: Hitler prepared his directive for war with Russia. He changed the name from Fritz to "Operation Barbarossa." Barbarossa was the mythic Emperor of Medieval Germany, destined to rise again and lead Germany in glory and victory. Hitler fixed May 15, 1941as the date of invading Russia.  Because he had to rescue the Italians from their military misadventures in Greece, Hitler would not invade until June.  This month long delay cost the Nazis dearly.  Their offensive ground to a halt in the Russian winter and despite victories in 1942 never regained sufficient momentum for final victory.  Unfortunately for the Jews, Operation Barbarossa carried a companion piece that included sending liquidation squads in on the heels of the invading German Army.  Their mission was to murder Jews and Bolsheviks.  This was the first step in the plan to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Russian to create “living room” for Hitler’s Aryan Master Race.

    1941:  Three months before the deportations of the Jews in Francebegan in earnest, Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi Party’s chief ideologue and its leading plunderer, requested Hitler’s personal authorization to seize all the household effects and personal possessions belonging to Jews and to distributed parts of them among party members and the Whermacht staff.

    1942(10thof Tevet, 5703): Asara B’Tevet

    1942: When Jewish forced laborers at Kruszyna, Poland, refuse to board trucks, more than 100 of them are shot.

    1942: British Ambassador to the Vatican Francis d'Arcy Osborne asserts that Pope Pius XII "does not see that his silence is highly damning to the Holy See." He had provided the Vatican with detailed information on the killings of Jews and pleaded for a clear denunciation of this horror in the Pope’s Christmas Eve broadcast to the world.

    1943:In Neve Sha’anan, Malka and Israel Levin gave birth to Israeli dramatist Hanoch Levin

    1945: Birthdate of Cantor Marsha Fensin.

    1945: The father of Aryeh ben Eliezer, a former member of the American Committee to Save the Jews of Europe who was deported from Palestine to Eritrea in October of 1944, failed in his attempt gain his son’s freedom in suit brought before the high court in Jerusalem. 

    1946:Sir William Fitzgerald, chief justice of Palestine, says Jerusalem will be divided into Jewish and Arab boroughs.

    1946: An Arab landowner is assassinated because he sold land to Jews.

    1947: Arab guerilla forces that have been recruited in Damascus and Beirut gathered in the Syrian capital as they prepare to invade Palestine.

    1947: Birthdate of Shabtai Kalmanovich

    1947:  Birthdate of Steven Spielberg.  Born in Cincinnati, this famous director has given us everything from “ET”, to “Close Encounters,” to “Jaws” to fictional and documentary cinema about the Shoah.

    1948: During the “Operation Velvetta,” which was part of the clandestine movement to provide the new Jewish state with modern aircraft, a flight of Spitfires left Czechoslovakia for Israel but was forced to turn back because of “poor weather conditions.”

    1948:UN mediator Ralph Bunche announces that a final solution to Palestine conflict is well on its way.

    1949: The Palestine Post reported thirty-five men and women from 12 countries signed up for a three month class to become first-aid workers for the Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulance service. Instruction was in French, Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish.

    1950:  Birthdate of film critic Leonard Maltin.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported from Sofia that the new Israeli Chargé d'Affaires, Gershon Avner, who presented his credentials, was assured that Bulgaria would not restrict Jewish emigration to Israel.

    1953:Israel's first paper mills were dedicated today at Hadera, midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The enterprise, sponsored by investors from the United States, Brazil, Australiaand Israel, is expected to meet most of Israel's current paper needs.

    1956: The IDF hoisted the Israeli flag on the purported site of Mount Sinai.  Actually, there are at least three places on the Sinai Peninsula that lay claim to being the location for the giving of the Ten Commandments. 

    1957(25th of Kislev, 5718): Chanukah

    1969: Today marked the historic move of the original home of Adas Israel to its current location at Third and G Streets, NW. With help from the District, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and an Act of Congress, the Society relocated the building, now the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum. The first floor was too weak to survive a move, so the structure was severed horizontally and only the second and third floors (Sanctuary and Balcony levels) made the journey by flatbed truck.

    1976: "A Star is Born," with Barbra Streisand, premieres

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin, upon his return from the US, prepared himself to leave for Egypt, in response to the direct invitation by President Anwar Sadat. Begin, who presented a new Middle Eastern peace proposal to Washington, was now expected to bring it with him to Cairo.

    1977: The Post described in great detail the emotional moments for Israelis who spent their first Shabbat in Cairo. There was riotous, joyful welcome for the Israeli negotiating team outside the Cairo synagogue. In his address in Tel Aviv, President Ephraim Katzir, revealed a $100m. oil deal with Mexico.

    1979:Amy Sheridan, who would go on to be “the first American Jewish woman to gain aviator status in any branch of the Armed Services” earned her bars as a Warrant Officer One at the United States Army Aviation Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1982: At Ohev Shalom Talmud Torah Congregation in Washington, rabbi Hillel Klavan officiated at the wedding of Barbara Eileen Cohen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jay J. Cohen of Bethesda, MD and Andrew Mark Hutter, son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert V.P. Hutter of Livingston, N.J.

    1982: Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz officiated at the wedding of Linda Rachel Nass, daughter of Edna Kadin Nass of New York and the late Samuel Nass and Dr. Brian Lloyd Tell, son of Frieda Tell of Jamaica Estates, Queens, and Lake Worth, Fla., and the late Dr. Meyer Tell.

    1984(24thof Kislev, 5745): Kindle the first Chanukah light in the evening.

    1984:Christopher Lehmann-Haupt reviewed Albert Speer: The End of a Myth by Matthias Schmidt

    1987: The Jewish National Fund New Leadership of Greater New York is sponsoring ''A New York Chanuka'' at the Crystal Pavilion, 805 Third Avenue near 49th Street.

    1987:  A federal judge sentenced Ivan F Boesky to 3 years in jail for insider trading. 

    1987: Israeli troops kept a tight lid on the occupied Gaza Strip today, but scattered demonstrations broke out in Palestinian refugee districts and towns in the West Bank and the Arab sector of East Jerusalem. A Palestinian shot as he stabbed an Israeli soldier in the Gaza border town of Rafa died today, bringing the death toll to at least 14 Palestinians shot by the army in the current round of violence.

    1988:Israel's political leaders continued to flounder today in their nearly seven-week effort to form a new government. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's hard-line Likud supporters said he was ready to abandon efforts to form another government with his Labor Party rivals.

    1988: In an article entitled “American-Jewish Writers: On Edge Once More,” Ted Solotaroff, author of A Few Good Voices In My Head examines the changes in American Jewish literature over the last quarter of a century

    1989:Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said today that his ministry authorized and paid for meetings between relatives of Israeli soldiers captured during the invasion of Lebanon and representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is illegal under Israeli law for Israelis to meet members of the P.L.O., which the Government deems a terrorist group.

    1990: The former New York City Mayor, Edward I. Koch, was hit in the head and slightly hurt today when a stone was thrown at him as he strolled through the Arab Quarter of the Old City. Mr. Koch and Jerusalem's Mayor, Teddy Kollek, were walking to the Western Wall without a police escort when the stone was thrown. Mr. Koch was in Jerusalem as a guest of the city government, which was trying to use his visit to promote tourism. However, because of the three-year uprising by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories, few Israelis or tourists walk or shop in the Arab marketplaces. "I would hope that the Jews and Christians in New York and in the United States would say, 'You're not going to keep us out of Jerusalem,'" Mr. Koch said after the incident today. "'You're not going to prevent us by stoning innocent people from supporting the people of Israel."

    1992(23rd of Kislev, 5753):  Television producer and game show creator Mark Goodson passed away. Born in 1915, his stable of creations included Beat the Clock, The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth and that Sunday favorite, What’s My Line

    1994(15th of Tevet, 5755):Seventy-year old Heinz Bernard, the German born British actor, director and theatre manager passed away today.

    1995(25thof Kislev, 5756): Chanukah

    1995 (25th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Chaim Pearl passed away.  Born in England in 1919, Rabbi Pearl’s first pulpit was in BirminghamEngland.  He came to the United States after World War II and officiated at a Conservative Synagogue in New York.  He retired in the 1980’s and moved to Jerusalem where he lived at the time of his death. Rabbi Pearl published numerous articles in the Anglo-Jewish press. He also authored a number of books, including a translation of Sefer Ha-Aggadah, A Guide to Jewish Knowledge, and The Medieval Jewish Mind: Studies in the Religious Philosophy of Isaac Arama, as well as two volumes on Rashi. In addition, he edited the sermons of Rabbi Abraham Cohen, who was his predecessor in Birmingham; produced a number of pamphlets; and served as associate editor of The Jewish Bible Quarterly.

    1995 (25th of Kislev, 5756): Nathan Rosen passed away. Born in 1909, he was a U.S.-born Israeli theoretical physicist who in 1935 collaborated with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky on a much-debated refutation of the theory of quantum mechanics; he later came to accept the theory. The famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen critique of quantum mechanics was published in the 1935 Physical Review. (A New York Times obituary described The Physical Review as "one of the most impenetrable periodicals in the English language.") Rosen founded the Institute of Physicsat Technion in Haifa Rosen was also the father of Dr. Joe Rosen a noted-physicist in his own right, a Renaissance Man in the truest sense of the word and a real mensch.  


    1998: Release date for “You’ve Got Mail,” a comedy produced and directed by Nora Ephron with a script by Nora and Delia Ephron.

    2001: In Tampa, Florida, the funeral is held for Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist of the band Death. 

    2005: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to hospital in Jerusalem after suffering a minor stroke and briefly losing consciousness. His doctors later said that the prime minister was in a stable condition and was undergoing tests. Sharon's long-time personal physician, Dr. Boleslav Goldman, said several hours later that the "prime minister is fully conscious. He is talking freely, moving and joking. He underwent a mild stroke."

    2005: Israeli Holocaust survivor Lea Fuchs Chayen sends her e-mail address to Iowan David Cmelik so that they could communicate in a more direct, personal manner.  Cmelik is the son of Frank Cmelik who was a rifleman in the 84th Division of the Ninth Army.  The 84th Divisions was recognized a a liberating unit by the United States Holocaust Museum and the United States Army.  Cmelik had been searching for Chayen because she was one of the girls his father had mentioned that he had helped to liberate when his unit entered the Salzwedel Labor Camp in the spring of 1945.  His father was finally being awarded the Bronze Star that he had earned as part of the liberation effort.  In her e-mail and subsequent correspondence, Chayen described the details of her liberation and her gratitude for what Frank Cmelik and his fellow soldiers had one.

    2006: The "Local Testimony" photography exhibition opens in Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, in commemoration of Lior Ziv, an IDF Spokesman photographer who was killed during an Israel Defense Forces operation in 2003.

    2007: Internet voting, sponsored by The Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Company, designed to choose the stamp to be used to mark Israeli’s 60thIndependence Day, comes to an end. 

    2007(9thof Tevet, 5768): Eighty-three year od mathematician Samuel Karlin passed away. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2007:Naftali Tzi Weisz, the 59-year-old Grand Rabbi of Spinka, and Gabbai Moshe E. Zigelman, 60, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were named in a federal grand jury's 37-count indictment in Los Angeles. The indictment claims that Weisz and Zigelman promised to secretly refund up to 95 percent of millions of dollars of contributions to several Spinka charities. The contributors could claim the full amount for tax deductions, even though they gave as little as five percent of the amount declared on federal income tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    2008: In its final evening, The 10th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival features a screening of the 1920 classic, “The Golem.”

    2008:In New York, as part of the “18 Nights of Inspiration lecture series “Dov Waxman, professor of political science at Baruch College, discusses the main issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prospects for peace in a talk entitled "Is Peace Possible?"

    2008:The largest and most hi-tech movie theater in the South is opening in Beersheba's ONE center today.

    2008: Members of an Australian trade union that accused Israelof “ethnic cleansing” joined Jewish officials at a Chanukah celebration. A candle lighting ceremony today at union headquarters in New South Wales included members of the Maritime Union of Australia. In March, the union's Sydney branch endorsed a controversial advertisement in The Australian newspaper that accused Israel of “racism and ethnic cleaning.”
    2008:Hamas officially declared this evening that it would not extend the six-month-old truce between Gaza factions and Israel. The announcement appeared to be anti-climatic since 11 Kassam rockets and five mortar shells had already pounded southern Israel by mid-afternoon.

    2009: In New York, as part of the Concert Masters Series, the Baruch Performing Arts Center presents as an evening with Roman Spitzer, Principal Violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    2009(1 Tevet, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    2009: In the evening, light the eighth Chanukah candle, 5770

    2009:A Las Vegas teacher has been told to stay home while district officials investigate a claim that she denied in class the Holocaust happened, a newspaper reported today. Clark County schools spokesman Michael Rodriguez said Northwest Career and Technical Academy teacher Lori Sublette was assigned to remain home after she reportedly told a class that history books were inaccurate and Nazis in World War II lacked the technology to kill millions of Jews.
    2009: Amjal Kasab, a Pakistani man standing trial for his role in the terrorist attack on Mumbai last year that included the murder of Jews at the Chabad House, recanted his earlier confession in court today saying he been framed by the Indian police.

    2009: According to police reports, the infamous iron sign over the gate to the Auschwitz memorial site with the cynical phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” – German for “Work Sets You Free” was stolen this morning between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. when museum guards noticed that it was missing and alerted police.

    2009: U.S. release date for “Avatar” the epic sci-fi thrill co-produced by  Jon Landau

    2010: Hazak Shabbat -The United Synagogue has designated this Shabbat as HaZaK Shabbat, to recognize the older adults' groups of Conservative congregations. 

    2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present “Wiesel in Concert: Memories & Melodies of My Childhood” during which the “renowned scholar, teacher and advocate, with orchestra and choir, is scheduled to sing songs from his youth for a new generation—a review of Jewish melodies from the shtetl to today.

    2010:Oy Vey in a Manger is scheduled to open at Theatre J in Washington, DC.

    2010: An article entitled “Jerusalem Rejuvenates C.R. Native” published today,  describes the spiritual and professional  journey made by Abbie Silber, the daughter of Dr. Robert and Laurie Silber,  from growing up in Cedar Rapids to studying and performing in Jerusalem.

    2010:On Saturday, two women were stabbed in a forest near Beit Shemesh. Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and her American friend Kristine Luken were hiking in the wooded hills west of Jerusalem. 

    2010(11th of Tevet, 5771): French scholar Jacqueline de Romilly, a specialist on ancient Greece, a prolific writer and one of the first women to join the prestigious Academie Francaise, died today at the age of 97. (As reported by Cecile Roux)

    2010(11th of Tevet, 5771):Eighty-three year old “Morris L. Cohen, a book lover who shunned the practice of law because it was too contentious and became one of the nation’s most influential legal librarians, bringing both the Harvard and Yale law libraries into the digital age, died today at his home in New Haven.” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “In The King’s Arms,” Sonia Taitz’s first novel about a Yeshiva-schooled and Vassar-scrubbed, 21-year-old New Yorker named Lily Taub and “Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World” by Richard Rhodes. Unbeknownst to most of her fans, Hedy Lamar a Viennese born Jewess whose birth-name was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler.

    2011: The Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to come to an end.

    2011: London’s Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host a family-friendly Chanukah Party this afternoon.

    2011:”Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Cinema Mississippi Chanukah Event in Jackson, MS.

    2011: The Jewish Community Center Wide Chanukah Concert with Craig Taubman is scheduled to take place at the Uptown JCC in New Orleans, LA.

    2011:Viewers of ION-TV are in for a musical treat as Meaghan Reider, daughter of Sue and Ronald Reider, pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community is scheduled to perform a cantorial role this morning.

    2011(22nd of Kislev):  Yahrzeit of Dulcina, the wife of Eleazar Rokeach and his son Jacob and his daughters, Belat and Hannah. They were killed in 1196 by two crusaders who broke into Eleazar’s home while he was working on a commentary on “Bereshit.” Born in 1176, this native of Mainz (Germany) was also known as Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymus. A leading Talmudist and author his works included “Ha-Rokeah” (Perfumer) “a halachic guide to ethics and Jewish Law for the common reader. The title derives from the numerical value of the word הרקח, which corresponds to that of אלעזר. The book is divided into 497 paragraphs containing halachot and ethics; first published at Fano, 1505.” The title of the book probably was the source of his “last name.”  He played a critical role in devising legislation that helped the Jews of the Rhineland survive the devastation of the Crusades.  He passed away in 1238.

    2011:Today, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill that would allow Jewish couples to register for marriage with any rabbinate bureau in the country, irrespective of where they live.
    2011: Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger criticized the segregation of men and women on public transportation, in an interview with Army Radio. According to Metzger, the haredi community does not have the right to impose its practices on public bus lines.

    2011: An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed today, the 10th such attack this year, but no fire erupted because the line that runs through North Sinai was already disabled, a security source said.
    2012:  “Fill the Void” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.
    2012:Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion with Julia Moskin of The New York Times, Stephanie Pierson – author of Brisket Book, Daniel Delaney of Brisket Town, Noah Bernamoff of Mile End and butcher Jake Dickson entitled “Let’s Brisket” in which they will discuss what was once considered to be the quintessential Jewish cut of beef.

    2012:Tthousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls went online today with the launch of a new website by Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority, part of a move to make the famed manuscripts easily available to scholars and casual web surfers.

    2013: Rev. Canon Jack E. Lindquist is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Holocaust and Churches in Nazi Germany: Examples of Complicity and Resistance” at the Coronado Library.

    2013: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish” and “David” by Director Joel Fendelman.

    2013: “Fill the Void” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem

    0 0

    December 19

    324: Licinius abdicates his position as Emperor leaving Constatine I, “the first Christian Emperor” in control of the Roman Empire much to the detriment of the Jewish people.

    1154: Coronation of Henry II, King of England.With the restoration of order under Henry II, conditions of the Jews improved markedly. Within five years of his accession Jews are found at London, Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich, Thetford, Bungay, Canterbury, Winchester, Newport, Stafford, Windsor, and Reading. Yet they were not permitted to bury their dead elsewhere than in London, a restriction which was not removed till 1177. Their spread throughout the country enabled the king to draw upon them as occasion demanded; he repaid them by demand notes on the sheriffs of the counties, who accounted for payments thus made in the half-yearly accounts on the pipe rolls (see Aaron of Lincoln). Richard "Strongbow" de Clare's conquest of Ireland in 1170 was financed by Josce, a Jew of Gloucester; and the king accordingly fined Josce for having lent money to those under his displeasure. As a rule, however, Henry II does not appear to have limited in any way the financial activity of Jews. The favourable position of the English Jews was shown, among other things, by the visit of Abraham ibn Ezra in 1158, by that of Isaac of Chernigov in 1181, and by the resort to England of the Jews who were exiled from France by Philip Augustus in 1182, among them probably being Judah Sir Leon of Paris. When he asked the rest of the country to pay a tithe for the crusade against Saladin in 1186, he demanded a quarter of the Jewish chattels. The tithe was reckoned at £70,000, the quarter at £60,000. In other words, the value of the personal property of the Jews was regarded as one-fourth that of the whole country. It is improbable, however, that the whole amount was paid at once, as for many years after the imposition of the tallage arrears were demanded from the recalcitrant Jews. The king had probably been led to make this large demand upon English Jewry by the surprising windfall which came to his treasury at the death of Aaron of Lincoln. All property obtained by usury, whether by Jew or by Christian, fell into the king's hands on the death of the usurer; Aaron of Lincoln's estate included £15,000 of debts owed to him. Besides this, a large treasure came into the king's hands, which, however, was lost on being sent over to Normandy. A special branch of the treasury, constituted in order to deal with this large account, was known as "Aaron's Exchequer". In this era, Jews lived on good terms with their non-Jewish neighbours, including the clergy; they entered churches freely, and took refuge in the abbeys in times of commotion. Some Jews lived in opulent houses, and helped to build a large number of the abbeys and monasteries of the country. However, by the end of Henry's reign they had incurred the ill will of the upper classes. The anti-Jewish sentiment fostered by the crusades, during the latter part of the reign of Henry, spread the anti-Jewish sentiment throughout the nation.

    1187: Clement III elected Pope.  Clement III was no friend of the Jews.  In the aftermath of the First Crusaders violent march through the Rhine, Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor sought to allow Jews who had been forced to convert to return to Judaism.  Pope Clement III opposed Henry on this insisting that the Jews, no matter how they had come to the Church, could not leave it.  To his credit, Henry ignored the Pope.  He went so far as to find those who had killed his Jewish subjects and bring them to justice.  From the Jewish point of view, Henry was the exception to the norm among European Princes and Prelates.  We should remember him for this and not for shivering in the winter as he did penance before an arrogant prince of the Church.

    1370: Pope Urban V passed away.  Urban issued a bull entitled “Sicuti judaeis non debet” that forbade the molestation of Jews and condemned the forced baptism of Jews.

    1483: The first edition of Talmud Babli Berakot was published in Soncino, Italy by Joshua Solomon Soncino.  This is the tractate of the Babylonia Talmud that discusses the laws of Kriat Shema, Prayers and Blessing.

    1483: The first edition of Talmud Betzah was published in Soncino, Italy by Joshua Solomon Soncino. Betzah is the tractate that deals rules concerning Festivals.

    1488: The first edition of the Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol was published in Soncino, Italy. The Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol (The Great Book of the Commandments) was written by Rabbi Moses ben Jacob of Coucy'. Rabbi ben Jacob lived in the first half of the 13th century in Coucy, France. This work--usually designated by its acronym, the Semag—classifies Jewish law according to the traditional enumeration of 613 commandments. The work is divided into two sections. The first deals with the 365 negative precepts of the Torah, and the second with the 248 positive precepts. References to the Semag are by Section. The publishing of this and other such texts helped to enhance the culture of education that has been the hallmark of Judaism since its earliest days.  Guttenberg and his printing press were definitely “friends” of the Jews.

    1521: John III was crowned King of Portugal in the Church of São Domingos in Lisbon, beginning a thirty-six-year reign that included negotiations with David Reubeni over the providing a fleet to help in his competition with the Ottomans in 1525 and the introduction of the Inquisition to his realm in 1536.

    1762: Birthdate of Ephraim Zalman Margolis the Galician born rabbi who was the brother of Hayyim Mordecai Margolioth and whose works including commentaries on parts of the Shulchan Arukh.

    1777: Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter. Hanukkah at Valley Forge is a children’s book by Stephen Krensky about an event that took place during that fateful winter.On a cold December night during the height of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington surveys his weary troops at Valley Forge. He spies a soldier lighting a candle. Curious, he asks the soldier what he is doing. The soldier explains that he is celebrating the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. He goes on to relate a miraculous story—how long ago a ragtag army of Jewish soldiers defeated a much larger force of powerful Greeks, a tale that provides just the kind of inspiration General Washington needs. Stephen Krensky's fictionalized version of a poignant historical anecdote is brought vividly to life in Greg Harlin's brilliant watercolor illustrations.” The thirty two page book is designed for children from 4 to 7. While we may not know the names of all the Jews who spent the winter freezing in the Pennsylvania cold, we do know that Abraham Levy and Phillip Russell were among those who stuck it out. When the army marched out in the spring, some of the soldiers carried rifles supplied by Joseph Simon who crafted them at this forge in Lancaster, PA.

    1781: Joseph II abolished Leibzoll (body tax) along with the "special law taxes, the passport duty, the night duty and all similar oppressive imposts which had stamped the Jews as outcasts."

    1821(25th of Kislev, 5582): Chanukah

    1831: The Privy Council in England granted the Jewish community official recognition and equality on the island. Jews were then permitted to vote in the elections and, by 1849, eight of the 47 members of House of Assembly were Jewish, including the Speaker of the House. Jews became so prominent in society that in 1849, the House of Assembly did not gather on Yom Kippur.

    1841: Birthdate of Russian-born Austrian “rabbinical scholar” Abraham Epstein author of the Ḳadmut ha-Tanḥuma, who passed away in 1918.

    1844 (9th of Tevet, 5605): The Czar abolished all Kahals in the Russian Empire

    1852: Birthdate of Albert A. Michelson. The Russian born Michelson taught at the U.S. Naval Academy.  He calculated the Speed of Light and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1907.

    1855(10thof Tevet, 5616): Aasara B’Tevet

    1856: The Huntington Trial a case being heard before Judge Capron was in recess today “because on of the jurors was a Jew and had conscientious scruples about working on his Sabbath…”

    1857: Under a modification of the 1855 Naval Reform designed to remove superfluous officers, Uriah Phillips Levy began the first of three days before a Board of Inquiry that had been convened to see if he should be reinstated. Fifty -three character witnesses, including former Secretary of the Navy and historian George Bancroft, governors, senators, congressmen, bank presidents, merchants, doctors, and editors had already testified on his behalf before Phillips began testify. The most shocking statement had come from Bancroft who confirmed Levy had been purged "because he was of the Jewish persuasion." The most moving part of the testimony came with the statement of Phillips,"My parents were Israelites, and I was nurtured in the faith of my ancestors.""I am an American, a sailor, and a Jew," At the end, there was a moment's silence before the explosion of cheers, the hats flung in the air, the wild applause.

    1859: Nine year old Israel Dov Frumkin emigrated from Russia to Jerusalem with his father, Alexander Sender Frumkin, mother and brother

    1870(25thof Kislev, 5631): First Day of Chanukah

    1876: It was reported today that William J. Ree, “one of the most daring and expert swindlers and forgers” ever to operate in New York City, is among the many convicts paroled by Governor Tilden without informing the District Attorney or the criminals’ victims. Ree is reportedly from Denmark and a member of a wealthy Jewish who has two brothers who are successful merchants in London. He married the wealthy widow of the late Commodore Uriah P. Levy and proceeded to run through her fortune of $400,000. He also was the heir to a fortune left to him by one of his wife’s aunts – a fortune that he dissipated with equal speed which led him to turn to active swindling.

    1876: A fair to raise funds for Hebrew Charities is to be held this evening at the Masonic Hall in NYC.

    1878: It was reported today that most of the Jews of Cincinnati, Ohio, approved decision of the Hebrew Benevolent Societies decision to refuse the contributions offered by Mrs. A.T. Stewart.  They feel that the involvement of Judge Hilton makes it impossible for Jews to accept the money.  Several Jews have offered to make up any short-fall. A minority, including Louis Kramer and Henry Mack Southern, have expressed the opinion that charities have no right to reject contributions regardless of the source.  Jews have refused to do business with Hilton and his company since he banned Jews from being guests at his fashionable New York hotel.

    1880: It was reported today that Mt. Sinai Hospital, which was opened in 1852 was the third private hospital opened that provided for New York City’s destitute.  St Vincent’s which was opened by the Roman Catholics in 1859 and St. Luke’s which opened in 1850 are the only two such institutions that are older than the facility funded by the Jewish community that is opened to all regardless  race or creed.

    1880: In New York, Reverends John Cotton Smith, R. Heber Newton and L.D. Devan expressed their concern from their respective pulpits about the wave of “anti-Jewish agitation” currently sweeping Germany. (Compare this to the relative silence that one “heard” during the 1930’s)

    1880: In Belz, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach and Basha Ruchama Twersky gave birth to Aharon Rokeach the fourth Rebbe of the Belz Hasidic dynasty who led the movement from 1926 until his death in 1957.

    1880: “First Chandlery Factory In America” published today credited Jews who had come to Newport from Portugal between 1745 and 1750 with introducing this “lucrative…business” in which they had an advantage because they knew “the art of preparing the sperm for candles.” “Of the 16 people” originally “engaged in this business” three were Jews named Riveria, Lopez and Siexas.

    1881: It was reported today that police in New York, Brooklyn Staten Island and Jersey City are all looking for thirty eight year old Louis Hammel, the Jewish foreman of J. Beck & Sons who has been reported missing by his relatives.

    1881: In New York, Sarah and Julius Goldman gave birth to Hetty Goldman “a well know archaeologist who unearthed many new excavations that gave historians a better insight of the past in Greece” and who “was very active in sponsoring Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.” (As reported by Seymour Brody)

    1882: In New York Superior Court, Judge Arnoux heard the argument of Abraham Meyer who is seeking an injunction that will restrain police from enforcing that part of the Penal Code that would force him to close on Sunday.  Meyer is Jewish and claims that under the law he can “sell goods on Sunday because he observes Saturday as his ‘holy time.’”

    1882: Birthdate of Bronislaw Huberman, the Polish born violinist who founded the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra in 1936.  After the creation of the state of Israel, a year after Huberman’s death, the orchestra would change its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    1883: D. Wiley Travis, the attorney for Theodore Hoffman who was sentenced to death for murdering Jewish peddler Zife Marks, “will take the case to the Court of Appeals.”

    1883:Madame Fanny Janauschek will appear in “Zillah, The Hebrew Mother” today at the Third Avenue Theatre.

    1885: At least a thousand people attended tonight’s session of the fair being held to raise funds for the kindergarten and industrial schools of the Hebrew Free School Association.

    1886: First meeting of the “Emin Pasha Relief Committee.” Mehmed Emin Pasha was the name of a German Jew Eduard Schnitzer had taken when he had converted to Islam to further his career in the world of the Ottomans. 

    1886: Five hundred prominent Jews met at Temple Israel in Brooklyn, NY, this afternoon and formed the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1886: It was reported today that the Hebrew Fee School Association is now supporting a “Ladies Hebrew Seminary” in addition to its industrial branches for manual training and kindergartens.

    1886: An auction will held today, the day after the close of the charity fair held to raise funds for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, which is expected to raise an additional $15,000. The fair raised $168,000 for the Home.

    1887: It was reported today that the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery, founded by Mrs. Deborah Alexander, is currently providing care “for 150 young boys and babies.”

    1888: It was reported today that Benjamin F. Peixotto and James W. Moses were blackballed from the Republican Club on 5th Avenue because they “had enough Jews in the club at present.” Peixotto is a member of a distinguished Sephardic family that has served the United States for three generations. But Moses, a prominent member of the Cotton Exchange, is a Yankee from Maine without a drop of Jewish “blood in his veins.”

    1888: It was reported today that the following have made donations to the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids: Lazarus Straus, $2,500; Louis Stern, $500, W.J. Cholle, $200; Henry Newman, $100 and M.W. Mendel and Jacob H. Schiff, $1,000 each.

    1888:  Birthdate of Fritz Reiner, Hungarian born American symphony conductor who passed away in 1963.

    1891: “The coroner is making a searching inquiry” into events surrounding the death of Maxwell Castine, a Russian Jew whose body was discovered yesterday with his throat cut from ear to ear in a “flouring mill at Petersburg

    1891: Ninety Russian Jews who have been brought to the United States by Baron Hirsch are staying at the synagogue in Fall River, MA until they begin working in the local mills.

    1892: The State Board of Arbitration met in Camden, NJ tonight and decided to go to Woodbine and “get the facts regarding the cloakmaker’s strike” taking place at the Jewish colony.

    1893: Henry Solomon, Lazarus Diamond, Max Rosenthal and Leah Blumental are among the saloonkeepers were being held on charges violating the excise law which forbids the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

    1894: Judge Henry Mayer Goldfogle expressed his sympathy with the striking cloakmakers  who are faced with eviction and “asked the landlord to give their tenants an extension of time” – a request with which they complied so “no evictions were ordered.”

    1895: “Dr. Hermann Kahn will sell copies of Maritz Oppenheim’s paints of scenes from the life of the Israelites at tonight’s session of the charity fair which is a fundraiser for the Educational Alliance and The Hebrew Technical Institute

    1896: “Santa Maria,” an operetta by Oscar Hammerstein I closed at the Olympia Theatre after three months of performances.

    1890: It was reported today that a St. Petersburg newspaper has responded to “English remonstrances against the treatment of the Russian Jews” by charging the English with having exterminated the natives of Australia and poisoned the Chinese with opium among other crimes.

    1902:Birthdate of British violinist and orchestra leader, Leonard Hirsch.  He was a conductor of the Royal Air Force Symphony Orchestra.

    1903:Chaim Zelig Louban, a 27 year old student, attempts to assassinate Max Nordau at a Chanukah ball of the Paris Zionist society. He approaches Nordau, cries "Death to Nordau, the East African" and fires two shots. Nordau writes to Herzl: "Yesterday evening I got an installment on the debt of gratitude which the Jewish people owe me for my selfless labors on its behalf. I say this without bitterness, only in sorrow. How unhappy is our people, to be able to produce such deeds." This incident goes to show the depth of feeling surrounding the “Uganda Plan.”

    1903: Herzl publishes an account of the Kharkovconference in "Die Welt", together with a declaration calling upon those who had voted for the ultimatum to surrender their mandates. In a subsequent issue a digest of the minutes of the Conference appears.

    1903: The WilliamsburgBridge was opened in New York City. For Jews it meant a connection between the Lower East Side and what would become the thriving Jewish neighborhoods of 20th century -- Brooklyn.

    1908(25thof Kislev, 5669): Chanukah celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Teddy Roosevelt.

    1910: Birthdate of David Raziel, one of the founders of "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel" better known at the Irgun.

    1916(24thof Kislev, 5677): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1916: The New York Times reported, “the celebration of the Jewish festival of Chanukah, or Feast of Dedication known also as the Feast of Lights, will being this evening and will continue for eight days.

    1919: Birthdate of Sally Ann Lowengart, the native of Portland, Oregon who gained fame as civil rights activist Sally Lilienthal, found of the Ploughshares Fund.

    1919: Victor Berger was elected for a second time to serve in the House of Representatives for a district in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The House had denied Berger the right to serve after having been elected in 1918 because he a convicted felon and opponent of the Great War.

    1919: Zionist office opened in Constantinople for Jews wanting to move to Palestine.

    1919: The SS Ruslam reached Jaffa with 671 people aboard. The ship was loaded with doctors, artists, and academics and had been called Israel’s Mayflower. Its arrival marked the period of what is known as the "Third Aliyah," which lasted four years. Approximately 50% of the 35,000 immigrants were from Russiaand 35% from Poland. The "Third Aliyah" was idealistic and marked the time when the first Kibbutzim and Moshavim were established.

    1920: Rabbi Max D. Klein of Adath Jeshuron Congregation in Philadelphia will address those attending today’s celebration of the organization of Congregation Beth-El in Camden, NJ.

    1920:  Birthdate of David Susskind.  Susskind was known primarily as a movie, stage and television producer.  But during the late 1950’s he hosted one of the original late-night talk shows.  It was a high-brow event with no singers, no book pluggers and no comedy monologues.  The set would become wreathed in a haze of cigarette smoke as the guests discussed weighty and artsy issues of the day.  Susskind passed away in 1987.

    1924:  Governor General Primo de Rivera of Spainoffered all Sephardim the possibility of reacquiring Spanish nationality provided they acquired this nationality before December 31, 1930.

    1926: Birthdate of Mina Arison Sapir, the native of Belz Bessarabia, Romania who is the wife Yekutiel Sapir and  the mother of Micky and Shari Arison. Her daughter is reported to be one of the richest women in the world.

    1927(25thof Kislev, 5688) Chanukah

    1934:The projected Jewish republic in Biro-Bidjan, Russia, constitutes no menace to the Zionist movement, E.Z. Goldberg, associate editor of The Day, who recently returned from the Soviet, declared today. He was interviewed at 285 Madison Avenue, the office of the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in the U.S.S.R., of which he is a member. Mr. Goldberg said that the Soviet territory of Biro-Bidjan was an improvement over Palestine as a home for the Jews because it was three times larger than Palestine, “had no Arab problem” and benefited from support from the government.  At the same time he said that Biro-Bidjan would not be a homeland for all Jews since there would no place for Orthodox Jews “who are capitalistically minded” and can go to Tel Aviv to make money.

    1934: Thomas Lovejoy, Vice Chancellor of Bristol, wrote to Churchill that he would not be able to help him in his quest to find any more places for German-Jewish medical students because “there had been a heavy rush on entry to the Faculty of Medicine that year and we have had to refuse applications for entry from all foreign counties and even from some of the Dominions.”  If the German-Jewish students could gain admission to the college than they could get out of Germany and gain entrance into the safe haven of Great Britain.

    1935: Birthdate of Sidney Alvin Field, the Hollywood native who gained fame as Syd Field, author of Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

    1936: “Tribulations of the Persecuted Jews” published today provides a detailed review of Some of My Best Friends Are Jews by Robert Gessner.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that out of the three Arab constables ambushed by an Arab terrorist gang, two were "tried" and killed on the spot, while the third was released after he promised to report on the "trial" and undertook to leave the police force within the next three days. All three constables were robbed of all their belongings. A punitive fine of £500 was imposed on the Jureina quarter of Haifa, where Sheikh Khatib was murdered. Jewish and German Protestant residents were exempted.

    1939: The Nazi government officially gave Heydrich the responsibility for centralizing the implementation of his deportation plans.  This was one of the basic steps in creating the organization that would lead to the slaughter of European Jewry.  German efficiency and detailed planning was one of the hallmarks of the Final Solution.

    1939: Three months after the German invasion of Poland, Chaim Weizmann meets with Winston Churchill who is now a member of the British Cabinet.  Weizmann thanks Churchill for his consistent support of the Zionist cause.  Churchill reiterates his support by agreeing that after the war he will support the Zionist “wish to have a State of some three or four million Jews in Palestine.” 

    1940:Zygmund William “Bill” Birnbaum married Hilde Merzbach. The two had met in Seattle while both of them were involved in assisting Jewish refugees arriving from Europe.

    1940: Birthdate of Phil Ochs, singer, songwriter and social activist.

    1941: Adolf Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army. It is realties like this that put the lie to those who apologist who tried to separate the Whermacht from the Nazi death machine.

    1942: After three weeks trapped in a synagogue by hostile Ukrainian troops, 42 Jewish men are marched to the RakowForestand ordered to dig ditches. They resist and are then shot. A few manage to escape. Later in the day, 560 more Jews are led from the synagogue to the forest and murdered.

    1942: In Norway, new tenants moved into the home of the Isak Plesansky family who had already been shipped to Auschwitz.  Within three weeks the clothing of the Plesanksy family would be in the hands of the superintendent of the Berg Concentration Camp.  Needless to say, the heirs of the Plesansky family were never compensated for the loss after the war. 

    1944(3rd of Tevet, 5705): Eighty three year old Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp passed away today.

    1944: Birthdate of Mitchell Feigenbaum. Born in Philadelphia, Feigenbaum is a mathematical physicist whose pioneering studies in chaos theory led to the discovery of the Feigenbaum constant.  Makes you wonder how many more Jewish boys named Mitchell were born in Philadelphia in December, 1944.

    1945: The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution on Palestine which had been approved by the U.S. Senate.

    1946:Johan J. Smertenko, vice president of American League for a Free Palestine, is barred from England where he had planned to start British branch of organization. He says terrorism is justified.

    1946:William B. Ziff declares that negotiation by Jewish Agency would be opposed by Palestinian underground groups. Revisionists say that Ziff had been expelled for breaches of party discipline.

    1947: In an attempt to deal with the looming threat to its water supply, Jerusalemhouseholders respond to a request by communal leaders to open and clean their cisterns “in preparation for water storage.”

    1948: During “Operation Velvetta” 12 more Spitfires were flown to Israel as part of the effort to create a modern air force in the heat of battle.

    1952: David Ben-Gurion’s government resigned due to a dispute with the religious parties over religious education.

    1952: In the UK and USA, release date for “Hans Christian Andersen” produced by Samuel Goldwyn, directed by Charles Vidor, with a screenplay by Moss Hart and Ben Hecht and starring Danny Kaye. (So many Jews to immortalize a Dane – only in America)

    1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the resolution of the UN General Assembly's Political Committee urging direct Arab-Israeli peace negotiations was hindered by a sudden Philippine and Catholic Bloc countries' amendment demanding the implementation of all old UN resolutions, including the internationalization of Jerusalem. Israelcomplained to the USand Britainthat they continue to arm the Arab states, despite their promise that there should be no arms race in the region.

    1957:Aharon Remez, the second commander of the Israeli Air Force, resigned his seat in the Knesset.  He had been elected in 1955 as a member of Mapai and was followed in office by Amos Degani.

    1965(25thof Kislev, 5726): Chanukah

    1968: American Socialist Party leader and social critic Norman Thomas passed away. While he may have been a visionary liberal on many issues including the need to end racial segregation, his record regarding the Jews is more of a mixed bag.  During the 1930’s, Thomas actively opposed the United States entering World War II, a view that he changed after Pearl Harbor. Thomas campaigned…in favor of opening the United States to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in the 1930s. Thomas was also very critical of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Arabs in the postwar years (especially after the Suez Crisis) and often collaborated with the American Council for Judaism.

    1968: MK Avraham Hirschson and his wife gave birth to his first son, Ofer.

    1969:  Two pharmacists were killed in a bloody robbery. In 1974, Pierre Goldman, the illegitimate son of Jewish WW II Resistance Leader Alter Mojze Goldman, was given a life-sentence by the Paris cour d'assises, after being convicted of this crime. He denied having committed this robbery, although he admitted to three earlier robberies. He was finally acquitted of the murders that took place during the robbery, but condemned to twelve years in prison for the other three robberies

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

    1971(1st of Tevet, 5732): James G. Heller an American composer and rabbi passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio. “James Gutheim Heller was born in New Orleans on January 4, 1892, to the famous Reform rabbi Maximilian H. Heller. He received an undergraduate degree from Tulane University, a graduate degree from the University Of Cincinnati College Conservatory Of Music, and was ordained a rabbi at Hebrew Union College. Heller was rabbi of Congregation Bene Yeshurun (Isaac M. Wise Temple) in Cincinnati from 1920-1952, and was involved with several organizations including the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Labor Zionist Organization of America, and the State of Israel Bonds Organization. He was an active Zionist, and introduced Youth Temple, which was designed to bring young individuals together for religious education. Heller was also a composer and musician who wrote program notes for the Cincinnati Symphony.”

    1971: Stanley Kubrick's X-rated "A Clockwork Orange" premieres

    1977: The Jerusalem Post published details of Menachem Begin's peace plan which outlined a mutual Arab-Jewish right of settlement in Judea and Samaria and a united Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs were to enjoy "self-rule," their own administration and freedom to vote in Jordan. Israel was to retain full responsibility for internal and external security of the West Bank and Gaza, and recognized Egyptian sovereignty over all of Sinai. Israel was willing to consider, but not to initiate, a military defense pact with the US.

    1979: Newly minted Warrant Officer “Amy Sheridan earned her wings as an aviator for the US Army, making her the first American Jewish woman to gain aviator status in any branch of the Armed Services” (As reported by Jewish Woman’s Archives)

    1979: Results of a comparison test of White Pekin Ducks published todayreported that the Kosher Empire Duckling (frozen) had an “extremely mushy exterior, with skin broken in several areas.  It was poorly cleared with many pin feathers remaining.  The meat was very mush and flavorless. At $2.25 a pound it was by far the most expensive of the ducks in the test group. [Editor’s Note – as a consumer of Empire poultry, I can honestly say that this comes as a complete surprise.  In my experience, their products have always been first rate.]

    1980: Birthdate of actress Marla Sokoloff.

    1981(23rdof Kislev): MK Shabtai Daniel, born Shabtai Don-Yichye in 1909, passed away today.

    1982: At Congregation Schomre Israel in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Rabbi Morris Bekritsky officiated at the marriage of Grett Evonne Singer and David Rapport Lachterman.

    1982: Edward Rothstein reviewed the Carnegie debut of Israeli cellist Ofra Harnoy and the 92nd Street Y debut of pianist Sofia Cosma.

    1984(25thof Kislev, 5745): First Day of Chanukah

    1987: As Congress tries to finish its business before adjourning for the holidays, the House holds a rare Saturday session which has made many members re-consider their travel plans including House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas who wonders if he will be able to make his scheduled Sunday evening flight for Tel Aviv.

    1990: Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 18 Palestinians today during a strike to protest Israeli plans to expel four Arabs, residents said.

    1991: Professor Avishair Margalist of the Hebrew University publishes a plan in the New York Review of Books suggesting a form of joint sovereignty whereby Jerusalem would be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian State.

    1992(24thof Kislev, 5753): Kindle the first candle of Chanukah in the evening.

    1992(24thof Kislev, 5753):: A Hamas terrorist kidnapped and murdered a policeman in Jerusalem.

    1992(24thof Kislev, 5753): Eighty-five year old legal philosopher and Oxford professor H.L.A. Hart passed away

    1995:Roval Elimelech who lives in Kfar Saba, a suburban town north of Tel Aviv, found out that a new border had sprung up overnight not far from her doorstep. About a mile away, Palestinian policemen had moved into Qalqilya, a town on the West Bank's border with Israel, taking it over from Israeli soldiers who had withdrawn on Saturday night in keeping with an agreement signed in September on expanding Palestinian self-rule.
    1996(9th of Tevet, 5757:Sefton D. Temkin, an author and scholar of American Jewish history, passed away in his native Liverpool, England. He was 79 and a resident of Albany. Dr. Temkin, who was associate professor emeritus of Judaic studies at the university, was chairman of the department of judaic studies in the 1970's and had continued his research at Albany since retiring a few years ago. Dr. Temkin was an expert on the life and work of Isaac Mayer Wise, who founded Reform Judaism in the United States in the nineteenth century and oversaw its spread across the country as the founder and longtime leader of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

    1997(20th of Kislev, 5758): Physicist David Norman Schramm passed away at the age of 52. He had a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother.

    1997: Release date for “Titanic” co-produced by Jon Landau

    1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan completed her term as Prime Minister of Guyana.

    1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan began serving as President of Guyana.

    1999: The New York Times book section includes a review of Mailer: A Biographyby Mary V. Dearborn which tells “How a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn grew up to be you-know-who.”

    2004: The New York Times features a review of the paperback edition of American Music by Annie Leibovitz

    2004(7th of Tevet, 5765): Herbert Brown passed away. He discovered organoboranes and received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1979. Brown was born Herbert Brovarnik in London to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. He moved to the United States at a young age and was educated at the University of Chicago, earning a B.S. and Ph.D. in 1936 and 1938, respectively. He became professor at Purdue University in 1947, a position he had held emeritus until his death.

    2005: Having pulled out of Gaza, the Israeli government announced further measures to improve relations with the Palestinians. The IDF announced thatIsrael will ease access to Bethlehem during the upcoming Christmas celebrations in a "calculated risk" intended to let Christian pilgrims worship the holiday freely in the West Bank town. IDF Lt. Col. Aviv Feigel said pilgrims will not need permission from the army to enter the town, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. The military will try to speed the process by not checking every tourist bus, but conducting spot checks of random buses instead, he said. The Israelis are doing this despite the fact that half of the Israeli terror fatalities in 2004 came from attackers who entered Jerusalem from Bethlehem.

    2006(28th of Kislev, 5767): The joy of Chanukah was marred as three yeshiva students belonging to the Lubavitch Hasidic sect were killed in a car accident on their way to light Hanukkah candles and distribute doughnuts for the holiday at Israel Defense Forces bases in the south of the country. Five other Lubavitchers traveling in the same vehicle were injured in the accident.

    2007: Yonatan Dagan performs in his capacity as lead DJ of the J.Viewz proejcted, a ensenbmle that defies any clear musical classification at Jerusalem’s Yellow Submarine a venue for some of the most clectic and innovative music styles available.

    2007(10thof Tevet, 5768): Fast of the Tenth of Tevet

    2007(10thof Tevet, 5768): Yarhtzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin)

    2008:Temple Beth Rishon, in North West Bergen County, NJ, presents the Marvin Gastman Memorial Concertfeaturing "The Chanukah Story" sung byThe Western Wind as part of its pre-Chanukah festivities.

    2008:Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the defense minister met at IDF headquarters in central Tel Aviv to approve Operation Cast Lead


    2008:  Haaretz reported that a rare half shekel coin, first minted in 66 or 67 C.E., was discovered by 14 year-old Omri Ya'ari as volunteers sifted through mounds of dirt from the TempleMountin Jerusalem. The coin is the first one found to originate from the Temple Mount.For the fourth year, archaeologists and volunteers have been sifting through dirt dug by the Waqf, the Muslim authority in charge of the Temple Mount compound, in an unauthorized project in 1999. The dig caused extensive and irreversible archaeological damage to the ancient layers of the mountain.

    2009: Final performance of at Theater 3 of “Biography,” a play written by S.N. Behrman aka Samuel Nathaniel Behrman a native of  Worcester, Massachusetts, who was the third child of Joseph and Zelda Behrman, Jewish immigrants living on Worcester's East Side.

    2009: (2 Tevet, 5770): Eighth Day of Chanukah

    2009: Final night of the 5thAnnual Sephardic Music Festival in New York.

    2010:Shaloah Sunsets, a fund raiser for the Jewish Congregaton of Maui is scheduled to host a fund-raising event – Shaloah Sunsets- at the Four Seasons Resorts Waliea.

    2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present “Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype” featuring Abe Foxman and Allan Chernoff.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Digital Barabarism: A Writer’s Manifesto by Mark Helprin and Arthur Miller: 1915-1962 by Christopher Bigsby.

    2010: The body of Kristine Luken, a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between was discovered around 6:30 a.m. today.  She was one of two women who were stabbed while were hiking in the wooded hills west of Jerusalem

    2010: A crowd of approximately 200 people demonstrated outside the Silver Spring apartment of 34 year old Aharon Friedman demanding that he give his wife Tamar Epstein a “get.” The two have already received a civil divorce.  Friedman’s refusal to grant the “get” is reportedly tied to his dissatisfaction with the visitation rights granted by the courts.

    2011:The third annual Latke Festival is scheduled to take place this evening, with attendees sampling the potato-pancake offerings of local restaurants like Kutsher’s Tribeca and Veselka and judges choosing the winning recipe.

    2011: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC of Dutchess County/Upstate Film Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.

    2011: Israel has offered to export natural gas to India, according to a report in today’s edition of the Indian daily Economic Times. 

    2012: The Museum of Jewish Heritage is scheduled to present an evening with Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, author of A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish

    2012: “No Man’s Land” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: The US prevented a UN Security Council condemnation of Israel today over a spate of settlement construction decisions, leading the other 14 countries on the 15-member council to issue separate condemnations of their own instead.

    2012: Comedic actor Alan Alda is scheduled to discuss math and science with Steven Strogatz, author of  The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math from One to Infinity at the 92ndStreet Y.

    2012:Those who “sleep with rockets and amass large stockpiles of weapons” in southern Lebanon are “in a very unsafe place,” OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel said today.

    2012(6th of Tevet, 5773): Leading figures from across the political spectrum closed ranks today in paying tribute to Israel’s 15th chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who died at age 68 at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem after a prolonged battle with leukemia.

    2013: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres before going to the Yad Vashem where he will lay a wreath after which he will attend a luncheon hosted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

    2013:In the central region, KKL-JNF foresters are scheduled to distribute Christmas trees in the Cypress grove adjacent to the KKL-JNF offices in Givat Yishayahu

    2013; “The Draughtsman's Contract” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Festival



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    December 20

    69: General Vespasianus occupied Rome on the same day that the Emperor Vitellius was murdered.  Vespasianus is better known as Vespasian, the Roman general who was in charge of putting down the Great Revolt in Judea.  He broke off his military action to come back to Rome and seize power.  His son Titus would destroy the Temple in 70.  Before leaving for Rome, Vespasian gave permission for the establishment of what would become the community of scholars at Yavneh.

    1192: Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna. Richard was returning home after the Third Crusade when he was taken prisoner by Leopold, duke of Austria.  Leopold then sold him to the Henry VI, the Holy Roman Emperor.  Henry offered to return Richard to his homeland if his brother Prince John paid the ransom.  The Jews of England paid 5,000 marks towards the ransom.  This was three times the rate paid by the Christian citizens of the realm.

    1497: Isaac Abravanel completed the Yeshu'ot Meshiḥo" (The Salvation of His Anointed).

    1522:  Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate the Isle of Rhodes. Based on references in the Book of the Maccabees, Jews had lived on Rhodes since the second century BCE.  However, in 1500, The Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes “expelled all the Jews who did not choose to convert to Christianity” making the Island “Jew Free” for a couple of decades. Suleiman the Magnificent conquered the island “he invited Jews from various parts of his empire to come to Rhodes and start a new community. The Jews that came were Sephardim, the ones who had found refuge in the Ottoman Empire following the expulsion from Spain in 1492. These Jews brought with them their culture, their customs and traditions, one of the cultural aspects was linguistic, the language they spoke was Espanyol, as they called it, also known as a "Ladino" and "Judeo-Spanish" The Jewish Quarter of the city was affectionately known as "La Juderia".  Suleiman is also the Sultan who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and was the patron of Dona Gracia and Joseph Nassi.

    1780(22nd of Kislev, 5541): Naphtali Cohen the Ukrainian born rabbi who was the son of Isaac Cohen great-great-grandson of the Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, died in Constantinople today as he made his way to the Holy Land

    1783(25th of Kislev, 5544): As Jews in America observe Chanukah, the holiday that celebrates the defeat of a tyrant takes on a special meaning since this is the time the holiday is celebrated after the close of the American Revolution.

    1803: The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans as huge swath of land stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains became part of the United States.  Jewish settlement in the region had been hampered by the anti-Semitic codes and practices of the European powers – Spain and France – that had owned the land.  Now that it was the hands of the United States, the territory Jews could settle and thrive in a land that would come to include cities like New Orleans, St. Louis, and Denver each with their own thriving Jewish communities.

    1821: Birthdate of Michel Levy, the native of Phalsbourg who became a prominent French publisher.

    1827: In New Orleans, a group of Jews with Germanic roots led by Jacob Solis formed Shaarei Chesed, an Orthodox Synagogue.  In 1881, the congregation merged with Neufutzot Yehuda to form what would become Touro Synagogue, one of the Crescent City’s leading Reform congregations.

    1844: The Jewish Chronicle challenged Nathan Marcus Adler, the new chief rabbi, to handle the controversy between ”those who wished to move ahead quickly, too quickly, and those who would rather not move at all” in a “temperate” way.

    1848(25th of Kislev, 5609): As Jews observe Chanukah, the term Chanukah Gelt takes on a special meaning as this is the first time the holiday is celebrated after the start of the California Gold Rush.

    1860: South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States. Jews had been living in South Carolina since colonial times. It was in South Carolina that a Jew was for the first time elected to serve in the legislature. The Jews of South Carolina served with distinction in the American Revolution and Beth Elohim has been a part of Charleston since the beginning of the 19th century. When war the Civil War began Benjamin Mordecai donated $10,000 to “The Cause” and at least 182 Jews from South Carolina fought with the CSA. [During the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Charleston will be site of a symposium on the role of Jews, Slavery and the Civil in 2011.]

    1861:In the U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Williams S. Holman’s of Indiana “resolution, instructing the Committee on Military Affairs to report a bill amendatory of the present laws, so as not to exclude in the appointment of chaplains any religious societies, was adopted. Mr. Holman mentioned that at present Jewish Rabbis were excluded, notwithstanding there were large numbers of Hebrews in the army.

    1861: Arnold Fischel, a Rabbi from New York City who had gone to Washington, DC to seek President Lincoln’s help in changing the law so that Rabbis could serve as chaplains in the Union Army wrote a letter to Henry Hart describing his visit to the city, the fruits of his labor and a detailed description of his visits to the camps and hospitals of the Army of the Potomac which, according to him  the number of Jews is very large.

    1863: Hevrat Mefizei ha-Haskalah (Society for the Promotion of Culture Among the Jews of Russia) was founded was founded in Russia.

    1870: The Executive Committee in charge of the Hebrew Charity Fair voted to donate an assortment of items valued at $1,000 to the Soldier’s Orphan Fair taking place at the armory on Broadway.  The donation is the committee’s way of thanking the non-Jewish community for their support of the Jewish fundraising event.

    1878(24th of Kislev, 5639): In the evening, Kindle the first light of Chanukah

    1880: It was reported today that 2,000 people attended a meeting in Berlin during which a resolution “was passed in favor of the suppression of the liberty of the Jews.” They also passed resolution to opposed the return of any Liberal to Parliament who would not vote “for such suppression and to buy nothing from Jewish shops or firms.”

    1882: It was reported today that former New York Assemblyman Charles W. Dayton is representing Abraham Meyer, a Jewish merchant who did business on Sunday.  In his opening remarks, Dayton said that while there should be a “day of rest” the Jews, under the Constitution, had a right to choose on which day they should rest.  Too force him to stay closed for two days would work an undue hardship on Meyer.

    1882: Henry Phillips, a leading member of the Sephardic (Spanish and Portuguese) Congregation Mickvé Israel of Philadelphia, presided at the "bar dinner" given to Chief Justice Sharswood on the retirement of the latter. This was the last public occasion in which he participated as a member of the Philadelphia bar, of which he had become a leader.

    1885: Birthdate of Albert C. Cohn who served as Justice on the New York State Supreme Court. He was the father of Roy Cohn, the infamous lawyer who worked for Joe McCarthy.

    1885: Through its first five days, the Ladies Fair has brought in $21,196 which will go to support the Hebrew Free School Association.

    1886: It was reported today that 185 young Jewish men have “signified their intention of joining” the newly organized Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1888: Birthdate of Yitzhak Baer a German-born Israeli historian whose expertise was medieval Spanish Jewish history and whose works include Land of Israel and Exile to the Medieval Ages and History of Jews in Christian Spain.

    1890: Birthdate of Bella Fromm the German journalist who covered the rise of Hitler until she fled to the United States where she published “Blood and Banquets. A Berlin Social Diary: A Berlin Social Diary.”

    1890: “Coroner Levy” is scheduled to deliver a “lecture today at the Eldridge Street Synagogue for the benefit of the Hebrew Sheltering House on Madison Street” entitled “The Condition of Jews in Russia.”

    1890: “Judas Maccabaeus,” a five act dramatic presentation of the Jewish war with Antiochus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is scheduled to “presented by the Edwin Forrest Amateur Dramatic Society this evening at Turn Hall in New York City.

    1891: “Among the Philadelphians” published today described civic activities in the City of Brotherly Love including the $100,000 offer made by the Mercantile Club, a Jewish social and business organization to by the building on North Broad Street that had been the home to the now defunct Delaware Club.

    1891: The summary of the annual report by the President of Johns Hopkins included among the school’s accomplishments a lecture by Dr Herbert B. Adams at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on Confucius.

    1892: Members of the State Board of Arbitration are in Woodbine, NJ, the Jewish colony to “see what they can do to settle the differences between the cloakmakers and the New York ‘sweater’ contractors who have become an evil in the settlement.”

    1895: A.M. Palmer, Agustin Daly, Daniel and Charles Frohman, Tony Pastor, Kirke La Schelle and W.A. Brady are among those who will participate in benefit performance at Palmer’s Theatre that will provide additional funds for the charity fair being held at Madison Square to raise money for the Hebrew Technical Institute and the Educational Alliance.

    1898: Jacob H. Schiff the donated a new building to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association located at Ninety-Second Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City.

    1897(25th of Kislev, 5658): Chanukah

    1899: "The retired British priest and die-hard Egyptophile Greville Chester" wrote a letter today describing the destruction of the Ben Ezra building in Cairo

    1901:  Birthdate of Louis I Kahn.  This world famous architect had trouble getting commissions early in his career because he was Jewish.  His work can be found from the Yale Campus, to the Salk Institute, to Fort Worth to Bangladesh.  He passed away in 1974.

    1902:  Birthdate of columnist Max Lerner whose famous quotes include “When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” “Either men will learn to live like brothers, or they will die like beasts.”

    1902: In Brooklyn, Austrian Jewish immigrants Jennie and Isaac Hook gave birth to philosopher and author Sidney Hook.

    1903(1stof Tevet, 5664): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1904: At a meeting of the Council of Jewish Women Mrs. Solomon Schechter presented a paper entitled "The Problem of Religious Observance" which contended that congregational singing is an important factor in the religious services of the Jews, and pleaded for a return to the use of beautiful ancient melodies, which at present are sadly neglected and almost disappearing.

    1905: Forty-four year old Henry Harland who, early in his career wrote the “Jewish Tribology” – As It Was Written, Mrs. Peixada and The Yoke of the Torah– under the penname of Sidney Luska passed away today.

    1906: Dr. Solomon Schechter, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary presided over a mass meeting in Cooper Union which was sponsored by the Zionist Council of Greater New York. When Dr. Schmarja Levin, a member of the recently dissolved Russian Duma, was introduced the crowd waved small Zionist flags in the pattern adopted by the Zionist Convention held in Basle, Switzerland in 1897.  Speaking in Yiddish, Levin presented the Zionist argument that Jews would always be treated as outsiders and needed to establish their own nation in their historic homeland.

    1907: Albert Abraham Michelson wins the Nobel Prize for Physics. The physicist was the first American to win a Noble Prize in a field of science.

    1908: Ossip Gabrilowitsch was injured today in Danbury, Connecticut, when he rescued Clara Clemens from run-away sleigh that overturned when the horse pulling the sleigh bolted.  Clemens is the daughter of Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, the famous American author. [Gabrilowitsch was a Russian-Jewish pianist, composer and orchestra conduct who had settled in the United States. He would marry Clara in 1909 and would be the father of Samuel Clemens’ only grandchild.]

    1911:Birthdate of Hortense Calisher. The daughter of a Southern Jewish perfume-maker and a German immigrant, author Hortense Calisher was born in New York City. She has written about her own family in three memoirs. The most recent, Tattoo for a Slave (2004), traces the history of her father's family from before the Civil War to her own lifetime. A 1932 graduate of Barnard College, Calisher published her first short story, "The Middle Drawer," in 1948. She did all of this while raising two young sons. Like much of her later work, this O. Henry Award-winning story drew upon themes of Calisher's own life. Most of Calisher's fiction features Jewish characters, but their ethnic identity is usually background rather than a dramatic element. Calisher has been a Guggenheim fellow twice and a National Book Award finalist three times. Though popular fame has eluded her, she has been lauded as a "writer's writer" with a wide imaginative and formal range, and has been praised for both intricate plot and rich character development. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1911: Caricature of Lucien Wolf with the caption “Diplomaticus” was published in Vanity Fair. Born in 1857, this native of London was journalist, historian and advocate of Jewish rights who passed away in 1930.

    1914: The Battle of Champagne in France started on this day. Many Oriental Sephardim fought in this battle, and gave their lives. Many of them were Jews from the Ottoman Empire who were educated in the Alliance Israelite Universelle schools in Turkey. These Jews felt they owed a debt to France.

    1915: During World War I the last ANZAC troops evacuated Gallipoli.  If Gallipoli had succeeded, the Allies would have been able to open a supply route to Russia and end the stalemate on the Western Front.  This would have meant no Russian Revolution and no humiliating peace that would give the Nazis a road to power.  The Zion Mule Corps served at Gallipoli.  The Jewish unit acquitted itself with distinction and help. This helped to convince the British to create regiments of Jewish troops that would help to liberate Palestine under General Allenby.  The Zion Mule Corps is one of the progenitors of the modern IDF.

    1916(25th of Kislev, 5677): 1st day of Chanukah

    1917: Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, which eventually become the feared NKVD is founded. Regardless of its various names, Jews could be counted among the members of, and victims of the Secret Police.  For example, Genrikh Grigor'evich Yagoda whose father was a Jewish watchmaker (his mother was a Russian) was head of the NKVD during the 1930’s where he oversaw the show trials and murders of such Old Bolsheviks as Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev both of whom were born Jewish before giving up Moses for Marx and Lenin. Yagoda himself would fall victim to Stalin’s wrath and would arrested and executed by the same NKVD.

    1917: Colonel Sir Ronald Storrs, the newly appointed British Military Governor for Jerusalem, arrived in the City of David. 

    1917: Birthdate David Bohm, American-born physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist.  Bohm worked on the Manhattan project.  Like many others who worked with Oppenheimer, Bohm fell afoul of the spirit of McCarthyism in the 1950’s

    1920: Birthdate of Aharon "Aharale" Rabinovich Yariv, the native of Moscow who made Aliyah at the age of 15 and became a key member of the Israeli intelligence service and advisor on counterterrorism.

    1922(1st of Tevet, 5683): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1922: The New York Times reported that "a rumor is circulating here that Henry Ford is financing Adolf Hitler's nationalist and anti-Semitic movement in Munich.”

    1922(1st of Tevet, 5683): Eighty-five year old French banker Louis Raphaël Cahen d'Anvers  the son of  Meyer Joseph Cahen d'Anvers and Clara Bischoffsheim both of whom were members of prominent French banking families passed away today.

    1924: Adolf Hitler freed from jail before completing his full sentence.  This attests to his growing political power and popularity. Hitler had spent 8 months in Landsberg Prison for his role in the famed, failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.  The term was a slap on the wrist and presaged the anarchy that would envelop the Weimar Republic.  While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, his “literary masterpiece” that was a blueprint for the havoc he would unleash on the world.

    1924: Spanish newspapers published a signed decree from the king of Spain saying Sephardic Jews dispersed along the Mediterranean coast and in other countries, which "in one way or another" claim descent from families, which once lived in Spain can apply for full Spanish citizenship.

    1926:  Birthdate of David Levine, painter and artist who is famous for his caricatures.

    1928: Tel Aviv Mayor, David Bloch, is scheduled to arrive in New York today aboard the SS Leviathan.  Mayor Bloch is coming to the United States to seek financial support for the development of Zionist programs in Palestine.  A delegation of “Jewish and labor leaders headed by Abraham Shiplacoff the former Assemblyman of Brooklyn” is scheduled to greet the Mayor and his associated including Dr. C.H. Arlasaroff and Miss Goldie Meyerson. Miss Meyerson would gain lasting fame as Golda Meir, Israel’s first female prime minister.

    1928: Ernest Bloch’s “America: An Epic Rhapsody in Three Parts for Orchestra,” has its first performance at today’s matinee performance of the New York Philharmonic

    1930: At services this morning, Rabbi Louis Newman will deliver a sermon on “Compassionate Marriage and Other Marriage Problems” at Rodeph Shalom in New York City

    1930: At services this morning, Rabbi Israel Goldstein will deliver a sermon on “Compassionate Marriage: What is wrong with it?” at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.

    1930: Cleveland’s Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver will deliver a sermon on “The Role of Religion in a Changing World” at the Free Synagogue which is meeting in Carnegie Hall.

    1930: Rabbi Nathan Krass will deliver a sermon on “If I Were a Jew” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1936: “Arturo Toscanini and his wife arrived by plane today from Alexandria, Egypt and then drove to Tel Aviv where he will conduct the Palestine Symphony Orchestra.

    1937: The Palestine Post reported that Simon Less, 24, a milkman, was killed near the Jerusalem quarter of Beit Hakerem. Shlomo Ben-Nun, 27, a policeman, was kidnapped and later murdered by armed Arabs near Kfar Hittin. A police squad killed one Arab terrorist and jailed another. Jewish buses were shot at and a number of passengers were wounded.. In Berlin, Herr von Schwabach, a prominent half-Jewish banker, committed suicide when refused permission to marry his Aryan fiancée. The Lwow University closed owing to renewed anti-Jewish violence. 

    1939: Miss Sophia Harris daughter of Mrs. Louis I. Harris and the late Dr. Harris, one-time Health Commissioner of New York was married tonight at the Hotel Whitehald to Rabbi Leo Geiger of Congregation Sha'arey Israel in Macon GA.  Rabbi Nachman Arnoff performed the ceremony.

    1940: Captain America Comics #1 — cover-dated March 1941 went on sale today.  Captain America was the creation of Joe Simon (born Hymie Simon) and Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg)

    1942: The Nazis shot 560 Jews in the Rakow forest. “The story of the massacres that took place at the Rakow forest is typical of the Nazi atrocities during the WWII. The Nazis liquidated the ghetto of Piotrokov, the first ghetto built by the Germans in Poland. While most of the inhabitants of the ghetto were deported to be murdered at Treblinka, one group of 560 Jews was shot to death in the forest outside of town.”

    1943: The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a resolution by sponsored by Iowa’s Senator Guy Gillette and 11 of his colleagues proposing “that President Roosevelt set up a commission of diplomatic, economic and military experts to devise ways ‘to save the surviving Jewish people of Europe from extinction at the hands of Nazi Germany.’ The Nazis were charged in the resolution with having ‘exterminated close to two million’ Jewish men, women and children in Europe.” 

    1944: During negotiations with the Germans to save Hungarian Jews, Dr. Rudolf Kastner arrived in Switzerland.

    1944:  In response to the activities of Lechi (the Stern Gang), Churchill “dropped all discussion of the Jewish state proposal that had been scheduled for promulgation on this date.”

    1945: Fifty-two Palestinian Jews detained at a camp at Latrun halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv…were transferred to military custody today and deported to Eriterea.”  The British believe that the Jews are part of an “underground terrorist organization” but have not formally charged them with any crimes.  The 52 join 300 Jews already imprisoned at Eriterea under similar conditions.  When other prisoners at Latrun found out about the deportations they began a hunger strike.

    1945: In an article entitled “Baghdad Worried by Zionist Issue and the Russian’s Activity,” Clifton Daniel reports that “Iraq is probably the fountainhead of the pan-Arab movement and hotly anti-Zionist.”

    1945: Council Law No. 10 was signed by 23 countries establishing the war crimes commission at Nuremburg. Approximately 5000 people were tried with 600 receiving the death sentence

    1945: The British deport 52 suspected Jewish terrorists who have been held at Latrun to Eritrea.

    1946:  Birthdate of Romanian born author and poet Andrei Codrescu.  Codrescu is a naturalized American who teaches at LSU and is a regular contributor on National Public Radio
    1946:  Birthdate of Uri Geller, Israeli psychic

    1948:  Canada recognized the state of Israel.

    1948: King Abdullah of Palestine appoints Sheikh Hussan Medin Jarallah as mufti of Jerusalem. Haj Amin el Husseini is recognized as mufti of Jerusalem by other Arab states.

    1949: The UN Trusteeship Council asks Israel to call off transfer of its government to Jerusalem.

    1949: The UN Economic Survey Mission plans several projects to be covered by the aid program for Arab refugees including irrigation and hydroelectric development in Arab Palestine and Arab countries. No funds are allotted for Israel which is absorbing thousands of Jewish refugees who have been forced to flee from the Arab and/or Moslem countries in which they have been living.

    1952(2nd of Tevet, 5713): 8th day of Chanukah marking the last time the holiday is celebrated during the Presidency of Harry Truman who played a critical role in the creation of the state of Israel.

    1954(25thof Kislev, 5715): Chanukah

    1960: Auschwitz-commandant Richard Bär was arrested in German Federal Republic.

    1961(13th of Tevet, 5722): Dramatist Moss Heart passed away.

    1963: Birthdate of Tal Friedman, the native of Kiryat Ata who served in the Israeli Sea Corps and went on to become a popular comedian, actor and a musician

    1964: Prime Minister Levi Eshkol formed his cabinet and became head of the Israeli government.  Eshkol was a compromise candidate of whom little was expected.  In one of the irony of history, Eshkol would be Prime Minister when Israel was faced with its greatest military challenge in May and June of 1967.  Under Eshkol’s leadership, the Israeli forces won the Six Days War, which among other things, resulted in the re-unification of the city of Jerusalem.

    1966: Albert Günther Göring, the younger brother of Nazi leader Hermann Göring who worked to save Jews from Hitler and was an anti-Nazi, passed away.

    1966: A Chanukah Festival for Israel featuring Sophie Maslow and company is scheduled to be held at Madison Square Garden.

    1967:  Premiere of "The Graduate", starring Dustin Hoffman

    1968: Israeli author and Editor Max Brod passed away. His most famous work wasThe Redemption of Tycho Brahe. He edited the works of Franz Kafka and was executor of Kafka’s estate.

    1969: Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" reaches #1

    1969: In Zurich, Jacqueline (née Burgauer) and Gilbert de Botton gave birth to author, philosopher and television personality Alain de Botton. De Botton’s father was part of a prominent Egyptian Jewish family that was expelled by Nasser along with most of the rest of the Jews living in Egypt.  (This part of the Middle East refugee problem that you did not hear about)

    1972:  Neil Simon’s "Sunshine Boys" premiered in New York.

    1976: Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin resigned.  Rabin was forced to resign over a financial indiscretion that took place while he had been Ambassador in Washington.  His resignation opened the way for the election of the Likud and Menachem Begin.  Up until then, Labor had controlled the Israeli governments chosen since 1948.  This opening for the Right wing changed the political equation in Israel both in foreign and domestic affairs.

    1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo that Egypt and Israel agreed to incorporate all principles of UN Resolution 242 on their agenda. In the Knesset a number of members of Likud, Labor and the National Religious Party expressed fears about Menachem Begin's peace plans for Judea and Samaria and asked for explanations. It became evident that the prime minister faced a serious challenge from many of his own ardent supporters. The chief editor and political analyst of the Egyptian influential daily al-Ahram, Ali Hamdi el-Gammal, welcomed Begin's peace proposals as "very promising and encouraging."

    1979(30th of Kislev, 5740): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1982(4th of Tevet, 5743): Ninety-five year old pianist Arthur Rubinstein passed away.

    1984(26thof Kislev, 5745): Fifty-one year old Dr. Stanley Milgram, the noted psychologist, passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Coleman)

    1985: Howard Cosell retired from television sports after 20 years with ABC

    1987: "Nuts" with Barbra Streisand premieres.

    1987:Today, Egypt summoned the Israeli Ambassador, Moshe Sasson, to the Foreign Ministry to express concern over what it called ''the brutal, oppressive measures taken by Israel against the Palestinian people.'' It was the fifth protest statement issued by Egypt in the eight days.

    1989:On the day of the American invasion of Panama, Mike Harari, a 62-year-old retired agent of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, rumored to have been an Israeli spy, a gun-runner, and a military adviser to General Manuel Antonio Noriega vanished from the country.

    1992(25th of Kislev, 5753): First Day of Chanukah

    1992(25th of Kislev, 5753): Eighty-eight year old Nathan Milstein, the Russian-born violin virtuoso, died yesterday at his home in London. (As reported by Harold C. Schonberg)

    1992(25th of Kislev, 5753): Ninety-one year old “Stella Adler, an exponent of Method acting whom many considered the leading American teacher of her craft, died today at her home in Los Angeles. (As reported by Peter B. Flint)

    1995:The trial of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's confessed assassin opened today only to be postponed for a month, while Israelis received an unexpected replay of the killing in an amateur video not made public before.

    1996(10th of Tevet, 5757): Astronomer and science celebrity Carl Sagan passed away at the age of 62. (As reported by William Dicke)

    1996(10th of Tevet, 5757): Asara B'Tevet

    1998: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The House of Rothschild Money's Prophets, 1798-1848 by Niall Ferguson and The Lord Will Gather Me In: My Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy by David Klinghoffer

    2003: The Klezmatics perform "Holy Ground: The Jewish Songs of Woody Guthrie," at the 92nd Street Y, featuring songs inspired or written by Guthrie's mother-in-law, Aliza Greenblatt.

    2004: Paula Abdul the daughter of Syrian born Jew Harry Abdul and Canadian born Jew Lorraine Rykiss was involved in an automobile accident today in Los Angeles.

    2005: The Jerusalem Post reported on clean-up efforts at Beth El Synagogue in New Orleans.  The work is being done by college students who are using their winter break to help clean up damage left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Beth El was covered by ten feet of water and was the only synagogue in New Orleans completely destroyed by the storm.

    2006: “Cantors in Concerto” featuring Eliezer Kepecs, Yehuda Rossler, Davide Montefiore, Alex Stein and Michael Trachtenberg will take place at 8 o’clock this evening at Merkin Concert Hall.

    2006: Haaretz reported on a case of technology, academia and physical courage converging to protect the history of the Jewish people. Emory University is planning to translate a professor's Web site on Holocaust denial into Arabic, Farsi and other languages common to countries where anti-Semitic views are widespread. Professor Deborah Lipstadt, who runs the site Holocaust Denial on Trial (, said she hopes the translations will provide resources to people who have no historical accounts of the Holocaust in their native tongue.
    2006(29th of Kislev, 5767): Fifth Day of Chanukah

    2006(29th of Kislev, 5767): Rabbi Dovid Barkin the son-in-law of Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Bloch and former Rosh Yeshiva of the Telshe Yeshiva passed away today.

    2007: In the afternoon, Palestinian terrorists fired three rockets toward southern Israel with one hitting about forty yards from a school in downtown Sderot forcing twelve students to seek treatment for shock.

    2007: In the evening five Palestinian terrorist were killed and Israeli soldier was badly wounded in fighting in Gaza about a mile from the border with Israel as forces of the IDF sought to put an end to the continuous missle attacks on southern Israel including the town of Sderot.

    2007:According to unnamed sources in Los Angeles, the Spinka Rebbe has hired top criminal defense Attorney Donald Etra to defend him.

    2008:”Imagine This!,” a production depicting the tragic story of the Warshowsky Family theater group who defy the oppressors and the ghetto's meager resources to put on a musical on the siege of Masada and warn their audience of the fate awaiting them in Treblinka, closes only a month after its official opening at the Drury Lane New London Theatre.

    2008: In New York, as part the JCC Manhattan, Beit Midrash Yonatan Gefen facilitates a presentation entitled, “Why Do I Write? (Zionism as an Anti-depressant)” Poet, playwright, author of 20 books, translator, lyricist and satiric performer, Yehonatan Geffen has been a correspondent for Maariv since 1992


    2008: The slender Saturday edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette reads like a Jewish newspaper with articles entitled ‘Israeli election hopefuls siik the Obama touch” (complete with a picture of the President-elect at the Western Wall), “Hamas declares end of truce with Israel,” “Jewish Festival of Lights begins Sunday” and “Potential buyers showing interest in Agriprocessors.”

    2009: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Hot, Flat and Crowed: Why We Need a Green Revolution — And How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman and A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 by Annie Leibovitz.

    2009: The Washington Postfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Herblock: The Life and Work of the Great Political Cartoonist by Haynes Johnson and Harry Katz.

    2010: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Chosen Peoples and Their Enemies” featuring Michael Walzer and Jackson Lears, Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz.

    2010:Some 1,200 new species and varieties have been discovered during the just-concluded first world “census” of marine life. The director of the census, Jesse Ausubel, will participate in a conference today at the Israel Academy of Sciences and the Humanities in Jerusalem.


    2010:The Los Angeles Times featured a review of The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt, of blessed memory.

    2010:An IDF soldier reported that three individuals attempted to stab him near a gas station in Givat Ze'ev in Jerusalem. According to the soldier, the three individuals exited their vehicle with one holding a knife. After the soldier loaded and aimed his personal weapon at the three, they returned to their red Toyota and fled.

    2010: Seven mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into the Eshkol regional council today.

    2010:  Nearly 50 Conservative (Masorti) rabbis have signed a halachic statement allowing home rentals or sales to non- Jews in Israel, in a move to counter the statement recently signed by nearly 50 city rabbis that prohibited just that.
    2010:Roni Daloomi released her debut album titled "Ktzat Acheret" (A Little Different)

    2010(13th of Tevet, 5771): Seventy-four year old “Steve Landesberg, an actor and comedian with a friendly and often deadpan manner who was best known for his role on the long-running sitcom ''Barney Miller,'' died in Los Angeles today.  (As reported by Hamilton Boardman)

    2011(24th of Kislev, 5772): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

    2011(24th of Kislev, 5772): Ninety year old “Jacob E. Goldman, a physicist who as Xerox’s chief scientist founded the company’s vaunted Palo Alto Research Center, which invented the modern personal computer” passed away today.” (As reported by John Markoff)

    2011: The Mobile Menorah Parade is scheduled to roll through uptown, downtown, and the French Quarter as Chabad celebrates Chanu
    2011: The Sephardic Music Festival is scheduled to open in NYC

    2011:Girl-power aficionado Gloria Steinem is scheduled to join the activism-inclined five-piece pop rock band Betty for their late show.

    2011:A jazz ensemble, featuring David Freeman, Oren Neiman, Doug Drewes and Ivan Barenboim, is scheduled to perform original compositions inspired by Chanukah, as well as new arrangements of music from the YU Museum’s “Jews on Vinyl” exhibition.

    2011:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned violence by right-wing extremists today, vowing to use all means to eradicate the phenomenon. 

    2012: Following a screening of “Roman Holiday” at the 92nd Street Y, Andrew Dickos is scheduled to lead a presentation on “Hollywood’s Blacklisted Filmmaker,” a disproportionate number of whom were Jewish.

    2012: “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor today called on Europe to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

    2012:Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak was "a true hero," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at his funeral this afternoon.

    2013: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to tour Jerusalem’s Old City and visit the Western Wall before leaving Israel for Algeria. (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

    2013: “A program of the best Israeli songs from all time from Argov through Naomi Shemer: is scheduled to be performed by “the soloists of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio.

    2013: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim under the leadership of Rabbi Jeff Portman is scheduled to host a complimentary Shabbat Dinner followed by a musical service welcoming the Sabbath Queen.

    2013: “Washington Square,” the cinematic version of the novel by Henry James, is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.





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    December 21

    69: The Senate acknowledged Vespasian as emperor. This marked the end of the so-called The Year of the Four Emperors during which four individuals - Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian – held the position of imperial leadership.  This period of apparent anarchy was very unsettling for the Romans and part of Vespasian’s acceptance as emperor stemmed from the fact that he would be able to provide an imperial heir and stability for the emperor.  In Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations, Martin Goodman ties the destruction of the Temple to the unsettling events of the Year of the Four Emperors and Vespasian’s determination to prove that he could bring order to the Empire.

    640: As the forces of Islam sweep across North Africa in a wave that will end with the conquest of Spain seventy years later, Muslims capture the Babylon Fortress in the Nile Delta after a seven month siege

    1140: Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg. Seven years later, Conrad would be one of the leaders of the Second Crusade during which the Jews of Mainz, Cologne and Worms were all attacked.

    1361: As Christian forces continued their attempt to drive the Moslem from Iberia, forces from the Kingdom of Castile (Catholic) defeated forces from the Emirate of Granada ((Islam at the Battle of Linuesa, part of the Reconquista that when concluded would result in the expulsion of the Jews from Spain more than a century later

    1375: Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio passed away.  No, Boccaccio was not Jewish but Jews play an important part in his literary life. Boccaccio wrote about the “corruption and decadence” that were part of the Church in the 14th and 15th centuries. “In his classic work, Decameron, a Jew by the name of Abraham is convinced by a Christian friend to visit Rome in the hope that he will be so impressed that he will convert to Christianity. Abraham returns disgusted and reports: ‘I say this for that, if I was able to observe aright, no piety, no devoutness, no good work or example of life or other what did I see there in any who was Churchman: nay lust, covetise, gluttony and the like and worse ... And as far as I judge, meseemeth your chief pastor and consequently all others endeavor with all diligence and all their wit and every art to bring to naught and to banish from the world the [values of the] Christian religion ...’” Boccaccio and others like him help lay the groundwork for the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century

    1733: Despite the efforts of some Englishmen to overcome Oglethorpe’s decision to allow Jews to settle in his Georgia colony Jews from the Suasso, Salvador and Da Costa families were among those who received conveyances of town lots, garden and farms that were executed today.

    1804:  Birthdate of Benjamin Disraeli.  Disraeli was born Jewish but his father had him baptized.  The baptism resulted from a dispute that the father had had with the local Jewish community.  The change in religion opened the doors to a political career for Disraeli that resulted in him serving two terms as Prime Minister.  Disraeli was the victim of anti-Semitic remarks and was also quite proud of his Jewish heritage.  He passed away in 1881.

    1828: Birthdate of Albert Cardozo, the Philadelphia native who became a prominent New York State jurist and was the father of Benjamin Cardozo, the second Jew to serve on the U.S Supreme Court.

    1846: Birthdate of infamous German “Jew baiter” Hermann Ahlwardt was the co-founder of the Anti-Semitic People’s Party

    1859:  Birthdate of Gustave Kahn. The French Symbolist poet wrote works on a variety of topics including Zionism.  This theme was the inspiration for “Terre d'Israël” published in 1933.  He passed away in 1936.

    1860: Birthdate of Henrietta Szold, American Jewish leader; founded Hadassah.  Among other things she was responsible for the Youth Aliyah that brought European Jews to Palestine before the war and saved them from the final solution.  She passed away in 1945, three years before her dream of Jewish state came true

    1861:  The Congressional Medal of Honor was created at the start of the Civil War.  Six Jews were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.

    1863: Mendez Nathan, the son of Seixas Nathan, was one of the signatories of the agreement to form a public stock exchange, to be known as the "Open Board of Stock-Brokers" which was made public today.

    1867: The Austrian constitution abolished discrimination based on religious differences.  This did not mean the end of anti-Semitism in Austria. 

    1870: The Hebrew Charity Fair came to a close tonight marking the end of the three week long successful fund raising event.  The fair raised almost $155,000 which will divided between Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  The hospital will get 75% of the money and the orphanage will get 25%  The funds will enable Mount Sinai to complete its new hospital and the orphanage to build a new industrial school.

    1872: It was reported today that the human remains found on the shore of Oneida Lake in New York were not those of a farmer named Blodgett but were probably those of Jewish peddler who was known to carry large amount of money when he travelled through this area. It is thought that the peddler was attacked by a local gang and killed during the robbery

    1876: The Hebrew Charity Ball took place tonight at the Academy of Music.  The ball is a fundraiser for the United Hebrew Charities, an organization devoted to taking care of the poor Jews of New York that has been so successful it is a model for similar non-Jewish organizations.  Last year the ball raised more than $13,000.

    1878(25thof Kislev, 5639): First day of Chanukah

    1879:  Birthdate of Joseph Stalin.  As head of the Communist Party and Prime Minister of the Soviet Union Stalin gave vent to his anti-Semitic beliefs on more than one occasion.  At the same time he was the head of the Soviet nation that fought the Nazis and whose forces liberated several concentration camps.  His decision to recognize the state of Israelat the moment of its birth may be been one of the facts that prodded the U.S. to take the lead in the recognition race.  Also, Stalin’s support of Israelat its moment of birth, made it possible for Israel to acquire much needed arms in Communist dominated Eastern Europe, including the first combat aircraft of the IDF.  This may be one an example of the Rabbinic admonition that Yetzer Ha-Rah (the evil inclination) can produce a positive result.

    1880: “The Hebrew fair for the benefit of the Forty-fourth Street Synagogues and the Ladies Lying-in Relief Society’ which is taking place at the Metropolitan Concert Hall is scheduled to come to an end today.

    1880: In New York, The Thalia Theatre Company will give a benefit performance at the Terrace Garden as a fundraiser for the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Yorkville.

    1883(22ndof Kislev, 5644): Isidor Goldsmidt, a native of Bavaria who came to New York where he developed “a prosperous millinery business” passed away today.

    1883: The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army were formed. According to the Jewish Canadian Military Museum “members of the Jewish community have participate in every significant conflict that has involved Canada” since 1759 when Jews fought in the forces of General James Wolfe. These conflicts have included the Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and various “peacekeeping activities” since 1953.

    1884: Count Tolstoi, the Minister of the Interior has struck “a blow against the Jews” with his announcement that effective with New Year’s 1885, the Russian Imperial Government “will monopolize the business of pawnbroking” an enterprise, at least in the popular mind, dominated by Jews who charge unreasonable rates of interest.

    1885: The Ladies’ Fair, a fund raiser for the Hebrew Free School Association will come to an end tonight with an auction followed by a ball.

    1886: “Leah: The Forsaken” a five act play by German-Jewish playwright Salomon Hermann Mosenthal opened at the Union Square Theatre in New York City. The play deals with issues of confronting 17th century Jews living in Germany and intermarriage.

    1889: After two weeks the Hebrew Educational Fair, a joint fundraising effort by several NYC Jewish organizations, came to an end

    1890: In New York City, Joseph Muller who was Catholic and Frances Lyons who was Jewish gave birth to Hermann Joseph Muller whose method for recognizing spontaneous gene mutation led to his discovery of a technique for artificially inducing mutations by means of X rays that has since had broad theoretical and practical application. For this discovery he was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

    1891:”Aid For Jewish Refugees” published today described the first ever appeal by the Jewish residents of the United States “to the American people, irrespective of creed or religion for assistance in a work of charity” i.e. funds to help with resettlement of Russian Jews in New York City to other places in the United States, a project already funded by Baron de Hirsch.

    1891: The will of Deacon Josiah W. Cook of Cambridge filed for probate today including a bequest to the Hebrew Academy.

    1891(20thof Kislev, 5652): Sixty-four year old Jacob Hecht, one of the leading Jewish citizens in Baltimore, MD, passed away leaving behind seven sons and two daughters.

    1892: Two fresh outbreaks of Cholera in Hamburg today have given rise to fears that this “will strengthen the movement in America to shut out immigrants” especially among Russian Jews are thought to be carriers of the disease.

    1893(12thof Tevet, 5654): Seventy-four year old Charles Dyte, the son of David Moses Dyte and Hannah Lazarus and the husband of Evelina Nathan passed in Ligar St, Bllarat, Victoria, Australia.

    1895: An article tracing the use of saffron published today points out that to this day, the cooking of “the Jews of Spanish descent” derives some of its unique character, from the “use of saffron in their dishes.”

    1895: The charity fair sponsored by the Jewish community for the benefit of the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Technical Institute came to an end today with an auction of all of the previously unsold items just before midnight.

    1896: A laparotomy was performed today on Morris Goodheart, President of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society “for the removal of an abscess in the peritoneal cavity.

    1896: “Santa Maria” an operetta composed by Oscar Hammerstein I opened at the Alvin Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA.

    1898: It was reported today that Dr. Herman Baar, who has been serving as the Superintendent of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York for the past 22 years has announced his decision to retire next Spring.

    1903(2ndof Tevet, 5664): 8th and final day of Chanukah

    1904: In an article simply entitled “Benjamin Disraeli,” the New York Times takes note of the fact that this date is the exact centenary of the birth of the English statesman.  The Times reminds its readers that despite the fact that he had been named Earl of Beaconsfield, he will always be known to posterity by his given name or by the nickname of “Dizzy.”

    1906: It was reported today that Dr. Schmarja Levin, a former member of the Duma which has been dissolved by the Czar, had denounced a recent bill promulgated by the Russian Council of Ministers while visiting the New York home of Dr. J. Leon Manges, the Secretary of the Federation of American Zionists. Levin said that the bill did not give the Jews living in the Pale of Settlement any new rights and actually discriminated against Jews living in or trying to do business in other parts of Russia.

    1911(30thof Kislev, 5672): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

    1911(30thof Kislev, 5672): Seventy-seventy year old Benjamin F. Jonas, the third Jew to serve in the United States Senate and the second Jew to represent Louisiana in the “Upper House” passed away in New Orleans.

    1912: In Warsaw, Rabbi Nathan Mileikowsky and his wife gave birth to Israeli mathematician Elisha Netanyahu who was the brother of historian Benzion Netanyahu and the uncle of Benjamin Netanyahu

    1913: It was reported today that the Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue will holding their annual Chanukah Ball at the Astor.

    1914:  The first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance" was released.  Charlie Chaplin was one of the three stars in this feature film.

    1915: The Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York has named Dr. Cyrus Adler who is currently President of Dropsie College, as acting President of JTS following the death of Dr. Solomon Schechter.

    1916(26thof Kislev, 5677): Sixty-one year old Harry Hananel Marks, the founder of the Financial News and a leader of the Anglo-Jewish community passed away today.

    1919: Emma Goldman, along with 248 other radical "aliens," was deported to the Soviet Unionon the S.S. Buford under the 1918 Alien Act, which allowed for the expulsion of any alien found to be an anarchist.

    1922:  Birthdate of Paul Winchell.  Born in New York, Winchell was an accomplished ventriloquist. During he 1950’s he starred on television with his two “wooden friends” - Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smith.

    1923: In Baltimore, MD, Fannie Hirsch Flom and Itak Flom gave birth to Joseph Harold Flom, pioneering corporate lawyer who helped build Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the nation’s leading law firms. (As reported by Jonathan D. Glater)

    1925: In Newark, NJ, Sara Lasser and Martin Kurtz gave birth to Paul Winter Kurtz “a philosopher whose advocacy of reason ahead of faith helped define contemporary secular humanism.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1925: Premiere of Eisenstein's movie “Potemkin” in Moscow.

    1926: Birthdate of Arnost Lustig, an acclaimed Jewish Czech author who drew on his own harrowing experiences as a teenager in World War II to produce novels and short stories laced with tales of young people who survive the Holocaust. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi

    1928: The New York Philharmonic Symphony performs Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Bloch’s “America.”

    1930(1st of Tevet, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

    1931: Birthdate of Ysrael Abraham Seinuk, the native of Havana, Cuba, “a structural engineer who made it possible for many of New York City’s tallest new buildings to withstand wind, gravity and even earthquakes.”

    1934: Churchill wrote the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, expressing his support for the practice of collective punishment – in the form of fines – aimed at terrorists who burned groves of fruit trees “in a thirsty land.” The fruit trees had been planted by Jewish pioneers; those burning them were Arabs taking part in the armed revolt organized by the Grand Mufti.

    1935(25thof Kislev, 5696): Chanukah

    1935: The 75th birthday of the pioneering Zionist Henrietta Szold was celebrated with a radio address broadcast across the United States. It included addresses by the President of Hadassah, Rose Jacobs and by the President of the World Zionist Organization, Chaim Weizmann. Hadassah chapters hosted local celebrations and numerous Shabbat sermons across the United Stateswere reportedly devoted to Szold's life story and achievements.

    1935:The British High Commissioner announces to Arabs and Jews the British intention of setting up a Legislative Council in Palestine.

    1935:Sir Grenfell Wauchope, High Commissioner of Palestine, summoned Arab leaders today and presented to them a memorandum outlining the features of the proposed Legislative Council of Palestine. The preface to the memorandum states that in view of the fact that municipalities are now functioning smoothly the time is ripe for the establishment of the Council.

    1936:Helmut Hirsch, the German Jew who actively worked to carry out a plan to murder Hitler was arrested by Gestapo agents in Stuttgart.

    1936:Rabbi J.Z. Dushinsky, representing Audath Israel, told the Peel Commission, "The holy Torah has promised the Holy Land to the people of Israel, but is by the very Torah that we are commanded not to occupy the country by force...but we are confident that to the extent that the returning exiles to Zion will fulfill the will of god, as revealed in the torah, and will make the national home the abode of the torah in all branches of economic and cultural endeavor...

    Sir Horace Rumbold questioned him:

    Q. There should be a proportion of members of Audath Israel employed in the posts and in the railways, but you also object to their working on Saturdays?