Monday, October 20, 2014

This Day, October 21, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


1553 BCE (11 Cheshvan 2207): On the civil calendar, this date marked the death of Rachel, the matriarch and wife of Jacob, at the age of 36. She died during the childbirth of Benjamin, near Efrat, and is buried in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem).

336 BCE (24th of Tishrei, 3425): According to the Book of Nechemia, Ezra and Nechemia convened the Jewish community in Jerusalem. (As reported by Aish)

681: The revised laws adopted by the Twelfth Council of Toledo including 28 anti-Jewish measures among which was forbidding converts to Christianity from returning to Judaism went into effect today.

1096:  During the First Crusade, the Turks destroyed the portion of the Crusader army led by Peter the Hermit.  Peter escaped and joined the main crusader army.  The main body took Jerusalem from the Moslems in 1099.  The Crusaders slaughtered the Jews of Europe as they made their way to the Holy Land.  When they got to Jerusalem, the continued their bloody behavior as they slaughtered the Jews living in David’s City.

1422: King Charles VI, the monarch who banished the Jews from France in 1394, passed away.

1486: The body of one of the sons of Hieronymus de Sancta Fide, (Jerome of the Holy Faith) who had been arrested with other Marranos who had taken part in the rebellion against Pedro Arbucs was publicly burned today after he had killed himself in order to escape the disgrace of being publicly burned alive. Other members of the Santa Fe family were burned as marranos in 1497 and 1499. Hieronymus de Sancta Fide, Jerome of the Holy Faith was born Ibn Vives Lorki (Al-Lorqui, Joshua ben Joseph). A Jewish Christian convert, he was a Spanish physician and writer who wrote as Gerónimo de Santa Fe (Hieronymus de Sancta Fide, Jerome of the Holy Faith). His Jewish name came from the name of his birthplace, Lorca, near Murcia.

1512: In what may have been one of the most far-reaching decisions in the history of academia, Martin Luther joined the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg.  It would be almost five years to the day (October 31, 1517) from his appointment, that Luther would post his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg’s Castle. (This gives a whole new meaning to the term “publish or perish”).  Seven years after his appointment (1519) “Luther denounced the doctrines” regarding the treatment of the Jews.  His final view of the Jews would be codified in the 1544 pamphlet “Concerning The Jews and Their Lies” that included a call for burning synagogues and destroying the homes of Jews.

1553: Volumes of the Talmud were burned in Venice

1780(22nd of Tishrei, 5541): Shemini Atzeret

1781: In Austria, Joseph II rescinded the law forcing Jews to war a distinctive badge. The regulation had been in effect since 1267, more than 600 years.

1791(23rd of Tishrei, 5552): Simchat Torah

1804: Birthdate of French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey who created one of the earliest surviving pictorial record of Palestine.,7340,L-4486020,00.html

1805: Under the command of Lord Nelson the British win the decisive Battle of Trafalgar


1809: In Glasgow, Elizabeth Currie and William Stenhouse gave birth to noted Chemist John Stenhouse whose assistant included Raphael Meldola, the descendant of Sephardic Jews who had been in England since the 18th century.

1810(23rd of Tishrei, 5571): Simchat Torah

1817(11th of Cheshvan, 5578): Meyer Abrahamson, the native of Hamburg who followed in his father’s footsteps and became a doctor who served as “the physician to the Jewish Hospital in Hamburg” and who also pursued a literary career passed away today.

1833: Birthdate of Alfred Bernhard Nobel, creator of dynamite and the Nobel Prizes “Since 1901, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 802 individuals.” While Jews account for only 0.2% of the world’s population, 180 or 22% of the recipients are classified as Jewish or of Jewish ancestry.  This anomaly has fascinated writers and researches for decades, but so far has not been satisfactorily explained. [Editors note – Claims that Jews are somehow smarter are just as specious as are claims that they are all crooks because of the disproportionate number of Jews involved in recent financial scandals.  For more details on Jewish winners, see an very informative site that seems to be everybody’s primary source when it comes to these matters.]

1835: In Charleston, SC, Mr. Alexander Solomons officiated at the weeding of Nathan Emanuel of Georgetown, SC and Henrietta Eugenia, the “third daughter of the late Michael Simpson.”

1837(22nd of Tishrei, 5598): Shmini Atzeret

1837(22nd of Tishrei, 5598):Thirty-one year old Michael Joseph Gusikow, a multi-talented musician who played the flute and an early form of the Xylophone passed away at Aix la Chapelle.

1847: Birthdate of Danish political leader and author Edvard Brandes.

1853(19th of Tishrei, 5614): Sukkoth Chol HaMoed

1853(19th of Tishrei, 5614): Eighty-year old Samuel Meyer Ehrenberg, the Director of Wolfenbüttel Samson School, passed away today.

1861: Temple Emanuel of Davenport, Iowa was formed today as B’Nai Israel Congregation

1864(21st of Tishrei, 5625): Hoshanah Rabah

1864: “Jewish Festivals” published today reported that “The last of the series of Autumnal Jewish festivals will commence this evening. It is a part of the festival of Succoth tabernacles, previously described in the Times. It is called Shemini Artzareth, and the institution will be found in Numbers xxix, 35. Part of the liturgy of the day is a prayer for rain and a propitious season. To-morrow evening commences the festival of Simchas Torah, rejoicing of the law. According to the regular service of the synagogue each Sabbath a sedrah or "section" of the law of Torah or Pentateuch is read, so that the whole five books of Moses are read each year, and with the new year the first book of Bereshit or Genesis is commenced while the reading of the last section of Deuteronomy is reserved for this festival. It is customary on the eye of this festival to take out all the "rolls or the law" deposited in the Ark, and to carry them in procession round the synagogue, which is brilliantly lit up. In order to pay due honor to the law, both at the termination of its reading and at the commencement, two persons are appointed in each synagogue to fill the offices of Bridegroom of the Law and Bridegroom of the Beginning. The liturgy of the day celebrates the excellence of the law and the mission of Moses, and its festival is greeted with joyous demonstrations. With this festival the Autumnal festivals of the Hebrews are brought to a close. According to the teachings of the Jewish sages, the festival teaches this lesson: Rosh Hashanah (New Year) calls the Israelite to examine his past conduct, the Arsareth Yermi Tershura, ten days of repentance, tell him to repent and amend his conduct, the Your Kippur (Day of Atonement) directs him to make his peace with God and his fellow-men, and when his mind is thus properly prepared, (Succoth,) or Tabernacles teaches him to rejoice in the belief of the Divine bounty, and Simchas Torah seals his attachment and adherence to the law. [Editor’s Note-This article shows an amazing comprehension of Jewish holidays, especially when you consider that it was published in an American newspaper at a time when the Jewish population was comparatively small.]

1865(1st of Cheshvan, 5626): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1867(22nd of Tishrei, 5628):  Shemini Atzeret

1867:  Zigmund Schlesinger, frontiersman and Indian fighter gave up life in the Wild West and moved to New York today where he pursued a more civilized life of commerce and business.  The following monograph entitled “Zigmund Schlesinger: A Defender of the West” by Seymour "Sy" Brody provides a glimpse of less than typical life for an American Jew.

“General George Forsyth was delegated by General Philip Sheridan to hire 50 first class frontiersmen to fight the attacking Indians. One of the first to apply was a young Hungarian-Jew, Zigmund Schlesinger, who had immigrated to America in 1864. Schlesinger came to New York City and worked at many jobs. He heard about the opportunities that existed in the West and left New York to go to Kansas. In Kansas, he tried his hand at business by baking bread and cake and selling the foods under a canvas tent. The bakery failed as did some other business ventures. When Schlesinger applied for the frontiersman with Forsyth, they were not anxious to have him. He was small with a high-pitched voice and had very little experience or knowledge of firearms and horsemanship. He was told if they couldn't get 50 men, he would be hired. Schlesinger was lucky. He was hired since a 50th man was not found. In his diary, Schlesinger wrote of his first day as a member of the scouts in August 1868. After riding all day, Schlesinger recalled how stiff and tired he was when it was over. His riding abilities bore the brunt of ridicule from others. He was also reminded that he was a Jew. Schlesinger had been involved in many minor encounters with the Indians. The encounter that earned him the respect of the others took place at the Arikaree Fork of the Republican River in 1868. His scouting expedition was set upon by Chief Roman Nose with his band of Cheyenne and Sioux Indians. The scouts were pinned down for 9 days. Their horses had been killed and they suffered 19 casualties. Schlesinger had been wounded in both legs and the head. Yet, he managed to shoot down any Indian who exposed himself. They held off the Indians until a U.S. Army relief column came to their rescue. Forsyth wrote a letter to Rabbi Henry Cohen of Texas, lauding the heroism of Schlesinger: "...He was the equal in manly courage, steady and persistent devotion to duty, and unswerving and tenacious pluck of any man in my command." Schlesinger left the company and returned to New York. Eventually, he settled in Cleveland, where he established a successful cigar store business. Active in Jewish organizations, Schlesinger was one of the organizers of the Hebrew Free Loan Association, vice-president of his temple, and president of the Hebrew Relief Association. He died in 1928, leaving behind a legacy as a Jewish Indian fighter and as a philanthropist.”

1869: Birthdate of William Edward Dodd, the first American Ambassador to Germany appointed by Franklin Roosevelt.  Dodd became an early foe of the Nazis and tried to warn Americans of the evil that Hitler represented. For more about Dodd see “In the Garden of the Beasts.”

1873: “Season of Wonders” published today described many of the unusual apparitions that can be seen at this time of the year including “the erudite Hen that lays eggs inscribed with Hebrew characters.”  The article does not say if the Hebrew is script or block printing.
1874: Birthdate of Albert Abram Aftalion, a native of the Ottoman Empire who taught economics at the University of Paris for 14 years before WW II.

1875(22nd of Tishrei, 5636): Shemini Atzeret

1878: “A committee was empowered to rent the mansion on the southeast corner of Stuyvesant Avenue and McDonough Street for a term of five years at annual rent” to be used for the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1879: Pauline Markham (the future wife of Wyatt Earp) arrived in Yuma, AZ with a theatrical troupe headed for Tucson.

1879: According to a report published today based on a dispatch from Bucharest, the measure adopted by the by the Romanian government concerning the emancipation of the Jews does not contain all that they, the Jews want.  But under its terms they are better off than they were before. If they accept the compromise, “there is no reason why they Jews…should not have a peaceful and prosperous political future before them.”  Support for Romania by the Great Powers depended, in part, on granting the Jews full rights as citizens.  The Romanians did not wish to do this and they kept looking for ways to grant the Jews as little as possible while hoping that the Powers would be satisfied with a minimalist approach.

1880: In today’s review of the recently published A History of Our Own Times: From the Accession of Queen Victoria to the Berlin Congress by Justin McCarty includes a chapter styled “On the True Faith of a Christian” describes the fight to remove the “disabilities of Jews in England, who for so many years were prevented from occupying the seats in Parliament to which they had been elected by” the words in the oath.

1882: “To Make Farmers of Hebrews” published today described the creation of the Maccabees, an organization formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, “to encourage and aid in the promotion of agriculture among” the Jewish people in the United States.  Moses Krohn, Henry Stix, Joseph Abraham, Joseph Trounsine, Alexander Straus, Max Isaacs and Henry Lowenstein are the among those who will serve on the new organizations Executive Council.

1883: At the Essex Market Police Court Judge Gardner heard the facts surrounding the row that had taken place last night at Ansche Chesed, a synagogue located on Hester Street.  After hearing the witnesses and the police officers, Gardner told Mr. Korn, one of the congregants, that “he ought to be ashamed of himself for fighting in a sacred place” and fined him $5 for his role in the matter.

1883: “The Jews of Wazan” published today reported that there are 10,000 people living in this Moroccan city, 600 of whom are Jews. Unlike in other cities like the melha, or Jewish quarter, is not “dirtier than any other part of town” and “the well-to-do appearance of the grownups…and pretty laughing faces of the children, show that in Wazan…the ancient race is not subject to persecution.”

1883: “Cremated After Burial” published today described the hassle that had taken place to ensure that the remains of the late Marcus Kronberg were cremated as he had requested; a request that his widow had at first tried to avoid by having him embaled and prepared for a traditional burial.  (The embalming was necessitated by the fact that he had died of typhoid in Chicago but the cemetery was in Washington, PA)

1884: Sara Rock, “a well-formed” 18 year old Polish Jewess sued Kever Leiman for $40, the value of the engagement gifts she said he had given her and that were then taken away by his father.

1884: Henry Lehr went on trial today for the murder of John Wilson in Passaic County, New Jersey.  The Jews of Patterson, NJ, have provided financial support for their co-religionist who claims the shooting was an accident.

1884: “Life in Tenement Houses” published today included a report by “Dr. Simeon New Leo, Chief Sanitary Inspector for the United Hebrew Charities” said that after inspecting numerous downtown tenement houses the “great and crying evil was” the lack “of a proper water supply and bathing facility.”  He also said that the law requiring each tenement dweller “to have 600 cubic feet of air space” need to be enforced and that those buildings that could not comply should be torn down. (Dr. Leo was active in many Jewish organizations including the Young Men’s Hebrew Association whose first meeting was held in his home.)

1885: John Edward Moss, President of Shaar Hashomayim laid the cornerstone for a new synagogue on McGill College Avenue. The building was consecrated in 1886.  It had cost $40,000 to build. 

1886: In Cleveland, Ohio, Anshe Chesed, laid the cornerstone for its new temple today.

1886: In Cleveland, Ohio, a grand ball took place this evening that was attended by city’s “Hebrew elite.”

1887: Birthdate of Isa Kremer, who may have been the first woman to bring Yiddish songs to the concert stage in Russia.

1887: “Claimed By Two Mothers” published today described the custody battle between the Lees, an African-American family and Brodsky, a family of immigrant Jews from Poland over child known as either Nellie Lee or Yetta Brodsky.

1887: Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, the Rabbi at Temple Beth-El met with a reported from the New York Times so that he could explain the growing popularity of the Reform movement.

1888: Actor’s from Poole’s and the Oriental Theatre met at 56 Orchard Street today where they formed the Hebrew Actor’s Union.

1891: Dr. Walter Kempster, one of the U.S. Government Commissioners who sets sail today for the United Sates today having completed his investigation of Russian treatment of the Jewish population “has the highest opinion of the Jewish population…and is boiling over with indignation and horror at the inhuman treatment they are receiving from the Russians.”

1891: Baron and Baroness von Suttner and Professor Nothnagel were among those who founded a society for combatting anti-Semitism today

1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band marched in today’s Columbus Day Parade in Harlem.

1892: German histologist and medical author Gustav Jacob Born and Bertha Epstein born gave birth to their son Wolfgang.  Wolfgang was the half-brother of Max Born, the physicists who played a critical role in the development of quantum mechanics.  Gretchen Kauffmann, the mother of Max, was Gustav’s first wife.  She passed away after having given birth to Max and his younger sister Käthe. Gustav Born was born in 1862 at Posen.  By the time he passed away in 1900 he had made several contributions in the fields of microscopy and embryology.

1893: “The Week at the Theatres” published today described the upcoming revival of “The Merchant of Venice” in which famed Shakespearian actor Richard Mansfield will play Shylock with a portrayal “that will surely be original” but “also true to Shakespeare” and Beatrice Cameron will play the Jew’s daughter, Portia.

1894: Jacob Siegel and a family of Polish Jews – Hyman, Rosie, Becky and Henry Rubin – were among those injured when a stove exploded causing a fire at the tenement at 60 Orchard Street

1896: Herzl is elected honorary member of "Kadimah."

1899: “San Toy,” or “The Emperor's Own,” a  musical comedy with songs by Paul Alfred Rubens premiered at Daly’s Theatre in London

1910: The Minister of the Interior takes prompt steps to suppress anti-Semitic manifestations at Kirk-Klisse, near Adrianople (Edirne, Turkey).

1912: Birthdate of composer George Solti.

1918: In Brooklyn, Bertha (née Lerner) and Max Himmelfarb gave birth to Milton Himmelfarb an American scholar and brother of Gertrude Mimmelfarm who is famous for his comment on Jewish voting patterns. "Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans."

1920: Birthdate of Louis Herman “Red” Koltz the native Philadelphian who played college basketball for Villanova  before turning pro where he spent most of his career playing for teams that were the foil of the Harlem Globetrotters, including the Washington Generals.

1924(23rd of Tishrei, 5685): Simchat Torah

1925: Birthdate of Wolf Stefan Priwin, the native of Berlin and brother of Andre Previn who gained fame as American director and television producer Stephen “Steve” Wolf Previn.

1925: Preferred Pictures, a movie production company formed by B.P. Schulberg in 1919 filed for bankruptcy. This cleared the way for him to join Paramount Pictures and its founder, Adolph Zukor.

1926: Birthdate of Mel Simon the Brooklyn native “who helped shape suburbia developing shopping malls” and who was the co-owner of the N.B.A. Indiana Pacers. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1927 Birthdate of Howard Zieff, the commercial director and ad photographer who stuffed an actor with spicy meatballs in a memorable Alka-Seltzer spot and used an American Indian in print ads to convince people “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish Rye,” and then went on to direct movie comedies

1928: Alfred Hugenberg, the German businessman and political leader served in Hitler’s first cabinet was appointed chairman of the conservative German National People’s Party of DNVP.

1930: The Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development or Hope Simpson Report of October 1930 was released today.  The report followed the Arab Riots of 1929.  Prepared by Sir John Hope Simpson, it recommended limited Jewish immigration due to the lack of agricultural land to support it.  The report said nothing about limiting Arab immigration into Palestine.  The Arab population had been growing since WW I thanks in no small measure to the economic improvements brought about by the Jewish population.

1931: After having agreed to work to overthrow the Weimar Republic, conservative political leader Alfred Hugenberg and Adolph Hitler joined together to create a short-lived united front.  Like so many other Hugenberg thought he could control Hitler and instead just ended up being used by him.

1931(10th of Cheshvan, 5692): Sixty-nine year old Austrian playwright and author Arthur Schnitzler, the son of Dr. Johann Schnitzler passed away today. Born in Vienna in 1862, Schnitzer trained to be a physician.  However, he decided to follow his passion and become a playwright and author.  One of his more memorable lines was “If a person knew at twenty how fortunate he is to be twenty, he would get a stroke because of sheer bliss.”

1932: In Baltimore, MD, “a five-story art deco style expansion to the downtown store, described as "Greater Hutzlers", opened” today. “Hutzler's, or Hutzler Brothers Company, was a department store founded in Baltimore by Abram G. Hutzler in 1858. From its beginning as a small dry goods store at the corner of Howard and Clay Streets in Downtown Baltimore, Hutzler's eventually grew into a chain of 10 department stores, all of which were located in Maryland.”

1933: German withdrew as a member of the League of Nations. This move was in keeping with Hitler’s contempt for the Versailles Treaty of which the League was a creation. 
1935: Hank Greenberg was named the American League Most Valuable Player in a unanimous vote by sportswriters.

1937(16th of Cheshvan, 5698): American rabbi Henry (Haim) Pereira Mendes passed away.  According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, this  son of Abraham Pereira Mendes was  born in Birmingham, England,.. He was educated at Northwick College (rabbinics), at University College (London), and at the University of the City of New York, taking the degree of M.D. He became minister of the Manchester (England) Sephardic congregation in 1874, and in 1877 was called to the Congregation Shearith Israel of New York, of which he is still (1904) the minister. In 1881 he was one of the founders of the New York Board of Ministers, and acted as its secretary from its foundation up to 1901, when he became president. He joined Dr. Morais in helping to establish the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1886, of which he became secretary of the advisory board and professor of history. On the death of Dr. Morais he became acting president of the faculty until the appointment of Dr. S. Schechter. In 1884, the centennial of the birth of Sir Moses Montefiore, he moved his congregation to convene the leading Jews of New York to mark the event by some practical work: the outcome was the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, established in the same year. He was made vice-president of the Gild for Crippled Children in 1896, and in 1901 established the Jewish branch of that gild. He promoted the formation of the Union of Orthodox Congregations of the United States and Canada (1897) and was subsequently elected its president. Mendes was one of the founders of the Young Women's Hebrew Association of New York (1902), of whose advisory board he is chairman. In Zionism, Mendes stands specially for its spiritual aspect; he served as vice-president of the American Federation of Zionists and was a member of the Actions Committee of Vienna (1898-99). The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1904. In conjunction with his brother Frederick de Sola Mendes, and others, he was one of the founders of "The American Hebrew” in 1879, to whose columns, as to those of the general press, he is a frequent contributor. He is the author of Union Primer and Reading Book (1882); Jewish History Ethically Presented (1895); Looking Ahead, a plea for justice to the Jew (1900); The Jewish Religion Ethically Presented (1904). Among his other writings are: In Old Egypt, stories about, but not from, the Bible; Esther; Judas Maccabæus; and many essays in periodical publications.

1937: The Palestine Post reported the death at 66 in New York of Felix Warburg, the banker and a great philanthropist, the leader of the non-Zionist group of the Jewish Agency.  Born in Germany in 1871, Warburg eventually became a senior partner in the firm of Kuhn, Loeber and Co where he played an active role in the financial aspects of the industrial development of the United States.  Warburg engaged a wide variety of philanthropic activities.  “Although not a political Zionist, Warburg was involved in a variety of projects designed to develop Eretz Israel.  He was a co-founder of the Jewish Agency and founder of Hebrew University.  He actively protested British attempts to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine.  His former home on Fifth Avenue is now the Jewish Museum.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish constable, Eliahu Shitreet, was seriously wounded by an Arab terrorist in Haifa.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the new Mandatory Ordinance introduced a more limited definition of a family and "dependants," further limiting the number of Jews eligible to immigrate under this category.

1937: Attendees at a dinner hosted by the New York-Brooklyn Federal of Jewish Charities paid tribute to the memory of the late Felix Warburg.  Ironically, the dinner had originally been planned as tribute to Warburg’s son, Paul Felix Warburg, “head of the business men’s council of the federation.”

1937: In Jerusalem, Avinoan Yellin, inspector of the Jewish Schools in the Government Department of Education was shot by an Arab gunman who ambushed him as walked towards his offices.  Yellin, the son of Hebrew University Professor David Yellin, was taken to Hadassah Hospital where his condition was described as “grave” following surgery.

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

1941(30th of Tishrei, 5702): Residents of the Jewish community at Koidanov, Belorussia, are murdered.

1941(30th of Tishrei, 5702): Thousands of Jews are murdered at Kraljevo, Yugoslavia.

1941: The first transport of Jews left Cologne, Germany for the Lodz Ghetto.

1942:  In Brooklyn, Dr. Murray Blum and Ethel Silverman gave birth to Judith Susan Blum who as Judith Sheindlin gained fame as “Judge Judy”

1942(10th of Cheshvan, 5703): At Szczebrzeszyn, the final Jews remaining were rounded up in a night of fierce and deadly slaughter. Those who were not shot were taken to Belzec. In Zwierzyniec, more Jews were rounded up. The guards all carried walking sticks that they would use to pull out Jews who lagged behind as they were marched to the town square. Those pulled out where shot on the spot.

1943(22nd of Tishrei, 5704): Shmini Atzeret

1943(22nd of Tishrei, 5704): The last surviving 2,000 residents of the Minsk ghetto were rounded up and killed in pits outside the city.

1943: Lucie Auerbach, who was six month pregnant, led an ambush in which five German guards and truck drivers were killed while members of the French resistance rescued 13 of their comrades including her husband Raymond had been held by the Gestapo at Montluc.

1943(22nd of Tishrei, 5704): During the final Aktion in Minsk, Belorussia, about 2000 Jews are murdered at Maly Trostinets.

1944: The retreating Nazis burned trunk loads of files, documents and papers concerning the Jews of Birkenau. The Germans were busy destroying the evidence of their evil. At the same time thousands of Jews would be sent away from Birkenau. The human evidence was being moved as well. Tens of thousands would die from hunger, cruelty and the raw elements as they marched from the concentration camp towards central Germany. Some would eventually find their way to Dachau and Stutthof.

1944 (4th of Cheshvan, 5705):  Frances Y. Slanger, R.N. died in Elsenborn, Belgium, a victim of a German artillery attack. She was the first American nurse to die in Europe after the June 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy. She was 31 years old. On the night before she died, Slanger had written a letter to the Stars and Stripes military newspaper, on behalf of military nurses, praising American G.I.'s and thanking the wounded for the privilege of easing their pain and sharing some of their hardships. Featured on the newspaper's editorial page by editors who did not know of her death, Slanger's letter evoked a deep response. When the news of her death was published, Stars and Stripes received an unparalleled outpouring of letters from its moved readership. Charles Sawyer, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium speaking of Slanger, said "if there is in heaven and in our hearts a special shrine for those who have given the most and the best, it is held sacred for the American nurse." Born in Poland, Slanger came to Boston, Massachusetts when she was seven years old with her family. She helped her father, a fruit peddler, while she attended high school. She graduated from the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing in 1937 and entered hospital work. In 1943, she enlisted in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and attended the first nursing basic training program at Fort Devens. In Europe, she worked as part of a surgical team on the front lines.In June 1945, a cruise ship, refurbished as a hospital ship to return wounded American soldiers from Europe, was commissioned as the Frances Y. Slanger. In November 1947, her body was returned to Boston for reburial. More than a thousand people, including the mayor of Boston, paid their respects.(As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)

1946: The HMS Moon, a British minesweeper captured the SS Alma off the coast of Lebanon and towed her to Haifa.  The vessel contained 800 Jewish refugees trying to enter Palestine despite the White Paper and the British Blockade.  According to reports by the British, the Jews “took strong but unsuccessful action” in an attempting to prevent British sailors from boarding the Alma and tying tow ropes to the vessel.  The British claim that no Jews were injured or killed.  The Stern Gang used rumors about harm that had come to the refugees to issue a shoot to kill order aimed at British soldiers and sailors.

1947: “In the little town of Raanan on the coastal plain between Tel Aviv and Nathanya a new children’s village and farm school was dedicated today by the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America.”  Initially the facility will be home to 170 holocaust survivors ranging in age between 5 and 17 years of age who have been living in displaced persons camps in Cyprus or at the Athlitit detention center.  The village will eventually be able to house anywhere from 300 to 500 children.

1947: The UNSCOP majority report with its recommendation of partition was sent to the UN General Assembly with the approval of both the United States and the Soviet Union.

1948: Israeli naval vessels supported by planes from the Israeli Air Force shelled Egyptian positions in Gaza.

1948: At four in the morning, Israeli troops attack the fortified positions of the Egyptians outside of Beersheba.  The Egyptians are taken by surprise since they did not know that the Israelis had opened the road to the Negev two days earlier.  The Egyptians surrendered and the ancient place to which Abraham returned after “the binding of Isaac” was in Jewish hands.

1949: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

1952: In Beverly Hills, CA, Phoebe and Henry Ephron gave birth to Amy Ephron the multi-dimensional author whose work includes A Cup of Tea and One Sunday Morning.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion met "Hazon Ish," the supreme authority on interpretation of the Jewish law for extreme Orthodox Jewry. After an hour of animated discussion the area of disagreement between the two leaders remained fundamentally as wide as ever, but they came closer on the need for the mutual understanding. “Hazon Ish” was the appellation applied to the famed Talmud scholar Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz.  Born in Poland in 1878, he moved to Eretz Israel in 1933.  He settled in B’nai B’rak  (yes the same place mentioned in the Haggadah) where he severed as communal leader while writing forty books on a variety of religious topics. Although principally an academic scholar, he applied himself to practical problems such as the use of milking machines on Shabbat and the cultivation of hydroponics during the sabbatical year, when it is forbidden to cultivate land in Eretz Yisrael. He was even once consulted by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion on the question of drafting young women to the Israel Defense Forces.  He passed away in 1953.

1956: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe appeared as contestants on the panel quiz show “What’s My Line?”

1959: In New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened to the public. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  This is yet another example of Jewish philanthropy for the civil society.

1959: U.S. premiere of “A Bucket of Blood” a satire with music by composer and cellist Fred Katz.

1961: Author James Michener purchases a painting by Morris Louis, the great Jewish Washington abstractionist whom kingmaker-critics would anoint as the greatest painter since Jackson Pollock.

1962(23 of Tishrei, 5723): Simcaht Torah

1965: Helen Schucman commits the first lines of A Course in Miracles to paper.  Dr. Helen Schucman was a Jewish research psychologist who was a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University

1967 17th of Tishrei, 5728): Third Day of Sukkot

1967 17th of Tishrei, 5728): An Egyptian missile attack sank the Eilat an Israeli ship 13 miles away from Port Said which meant the attack that cost the lives of 48 Israelis, took place in international waters.  Israeli artillery opened up all along the Suez Canal setting the refineries at Suez City on firing thus forcing the evacuation of thousands of Egyptians

1967: First broadcast of “Twice a Fortnight” co-starring Abba Eban’s nephew Jonathan Lynn.

1967: “Jerusalem of Gold, Israel Festival Song, Strikes Gold” published today descried how “a song originally commissioned by the May of Jerusalem for the 1967 Israel Song Festival in May has become, since the Six Day War, one of the biggest hits ever.”

1973: Yitamar Barne’a and Gil Haran ejected from their F-4E Phantom Jet after it fell victim to a Syrian MIG-21, the most advanced Soviet aircraft of that period.  Barne’a was taken prisoner.  It is unclear as to whether Haran was captured or killed.

1973: Israeli forces sustained serious casualties as they fought to re-capture Mount Hermon from the Syrians.  The Israelis referred to the 8,200 high mountain as “the eyes of the State of Israel.”  Henry Kissinger flew from Moscow to Tel Aviv where he pressured the Israelis into accepting a cease fire.  Kissinger and the Israelis knew that the Egyptian Third Army which was on the east bank of the Suez Canal was on the verge of annihilation.  Kissinger claimed that such a crushing defeat would weaken Sadat and keep him from making any kind of political settlement in the future.  There are those who contend that Sadat was able to sign a peace treaty with Israel because he felt that Arab honor had been redeemed in 1973.  Others contend that Sadat also made peace because in 1973, the Egyptians with every possible military advantage still could not defeat Israel and that there was no point in continuing the endless hostilities.

1976: Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize for Literature

1979: Birthdate of Israeli jazz guitarist and composer Assaf Kehati.

1983: Admiral Arnold Resnicoff arrived in Lebanon to lead a memorial service for Sgt. Allen Soifert, an American Jewish Marine killed by Arab sniper fire

1983: U.S. premiere of “The Dead Zone” an horror film directed by David Cronenberg.

1986: During “Operation Wrath of God” Munzer Abu Ghazala, a senior PLO official and member of the Palestinian National Council, was killed by a bomb as he drove through a suburb of Athens

1987: Former Miss America Bess Myerson is arrested on charges of bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud, all involving an alimony-fixing scandal. She is later found not guilty.

1988: Today Israeli Army officials reported that the Palestinian arrested in the grenade assault on Monday that wounded 67 Israelis, including 24 soldiers, confessed to several recent terrorist incidents. The suspect, Salem Rajab al-Sarsour, 29, an Islamic militant, admitted the assault on the Beersheba bus terminal, a similar grenade attack late last month on an army post in Hebron, and the fatal stabbing of an elderly rabbi, also in Hebron, in late August, the Israeli officials said.

1995(27th of Tishrei, 5756): Eighty-three year old Jack Rose, the Russian immigrant who began as a gag writer for Milton Berle and Bob Hope before pursuing a career as a screenwriter.

2000(22nd of Tishrei, 5761): Shemini  Atzere

2001: The Sunday New York Times features reviews of the following books by Jewish authors and/or that featured Jewish topics including A History of Britain Volume II: The Wars of the British, 1603-1776 by Simon Schama, Cultivating Delight:  A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman and Too Close To Call: TheThirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election by Jeffrey Toobin.

2002(15th of Cheshvan, 5763): A car packed with explosives pulled up to a bus in northern Israel during rush hour, igniting a massive fireball that killed 14 people along with two suicide attackers.

2003: Exactly one year after a suicide bomber killed 14 Israeli bus riders, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding that Israel tear down a barrier being built as an anti-terrorist measure.  The U.N. objects to what critics claim is the “jutting the fence into the West Bank.”

2004:  An Israeli air strike in Gaza City killed Adnan al-Ghoul,a leading Hamas weapons maker who was responsible for some of the group's most powerful bombs and its homemade rockets, Israel's military said.

2005: The Icon Festival comes to an end at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The Icon Festival, a celebration of science fiction and the imagination is held yearly during the Chol Hamoed period of Sukkoth. 

2005:  As a testimony to the vibrancy and creativity of Israeli society, Haaretz reported that “Lumenis, the developer, manufacturer and seller of laser and light-based devices for medical, aesthetic, ophthalmic, dental and veterinary applications, has announced the launch of a series of new products over the past two weeks.

2005(18th of Tishrei, 5766): Chol Hamoed Sukkoth

2005(18th of Tishrei,5767): Rabbi Hermann Naftali Neuberger, the President of Ner Israel and the man who helped to save 60,000 Persian Jews.  His legacy includes three sons who became prominent rabbis in their own right and two other sons who became prominent members of the legal profession.

2006: Palestinian terrorists fired four Kassam rockets at the western Negev, a day after several other rockets hit Israel. All of them landed in open areas, causing no injuries or damage.

2007(9th of Cheshvan, 5768): Seventy year old “R. B. Kitaj, an American artist who became influential in Britain with figurative and Pop Art paintings that ran against the grain of 1960s and ’70s abstraction” passed away today.  (As reported by Martha Schwendener)

2007: A 10-day klezmer festival featuring over 100 klezmer musicians comes to an end in New York.

2007: In “A Counter History” published today, Alex Witchel traces the history of the New York deli and the role of Abe Lebewohl, who started the 2nd Avenue Deli in 1954. (Editor’s note – the 2nd Avenue Deli makes the best tongue on pumpernickel sandwich in the world and their meat knishes are beyond compare.)

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section features Marvin Kalb’s review of Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War by Howard Kurtz and The Siege of Mecca: The forgotten Uprising in Islam’s Holiest Shrine and the Birth of Al Qaeda by Yaroslav Trofimov.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section features reviews of the following books by Jewish authors and/or that featured Jewish topics including Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex by Andrew Wilson, The Conscience of Liberal by Paul Krugman, Supercapitalism by Robert Reich, Foreskin’s Lament: A Memoir by  Shalom Auslander, Weimar Germany: :Promise and Tragedy by Eric D. Weitz, The Last Chicken In America, Ellen Litman’s elegantly constructed web of stories about Russian-Jewish immigrants living in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, The Sabotage Café by Joshua Furst fiction editor of Zeek and Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky, translated by Sandra Smith.

2007: The Chicago Tribune carried a front page story entitled “How Holocaust heroine rescued 2,500 children” that told the story of how four Kansas high school students “discovered” and publicized the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker an unsung Polish heroine of the Holocaust

2007: the State Senate voted to oppose the Elliot Spitzer plan to issue special driver’s licenses to immigrant workers without requiring proof of legal immigration status by a 39–19 vote

2007: The latest adaptation of I.L. Peretz’s “A Night in the Old Marketplace” has its last performance at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, PA. The musical is the creation of composer Frank London.

2007: Archeologists overseeing contested Islamic infrastructure work on Jerusalem's Temple  Mount have stumbled upon a sealed archeological level dating back to the First Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced today. The find marks the first time that archeological remains dating back to the First Temple period have been found on the contested holy site, the state-run archeological body said.

2008(22nd of Tishrei, 5769): Shemini Atzeret,

2008: Inside the grand Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in this bustling seaside city, five mostly elderly women and a middle-aged man from the Jewish community here gathered this evening to commemorate the holiday of new beginnings: Simhat Torah.
2008: The Israeli feature film Seven Minutes in Heaven, directed by newcomer Omri Givon, took the top award in its hotly contested category at the 24th Haifa International Film Festival, which ended tonight.
2008: Ruth Gruber, Journalist, photographer, writer, humanitarian and U.S. government official “was honored for her work defending free expression by the National Coalition Against Censorship.

2009: Closing session of the National Jewish Democratic Conference Washington Conference.

2009: Freelance writer David Sax discusses his new book, Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, in Washington, D.C.

2009: The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival feature programs centered around Morris Dickstein’s  Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression  and Shana Liebman’s Sex, Drugs and Gefilte Fish: The Heeb Storytelling Collection

2009: The IDF and the US military are scheduled to begin a major joint air defense exercise today, highlighting military ties between the two allies at a time of heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

2009: The Anti-Defamation League said today that despite the apology of two South Carolina Republican Party chairmen for characterizing Jews as penny-pinchers, "they need to do more to publicly disavow their words and to understand why their remarks were so insensitive."

2009: The Senate plenum and executive council of Tel Aviv University approved the appointment of Professor Joseph Klafter as the school's 8th president.

2009(3rd of Cheshvan, 5770: English mystery writer Lionel Davidson passed away. In 1966, he won his second Gold Dagger for A Long Way to Shiloh which was published in the United States as The Menorah Men, a story that revolves around the search for a holy candelabrum rescued from the Jerusalem Temple before its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE. The story draws from the Copper Scroll found at Qumran in 1952, which lists buried treasure.

2010: Samuel Heilman is scheduled to deliver The Bernard Wexler Lecture on Jewish History based on The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson at The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival in Washington, DC.

2010: Artist Noam Braslavsky unveiled a life-sized sculpture of Sharon in a hospital bed with an IV drip at the Kishon Gallery in Tel Aviv.

2010: The Chief Rabbinical Council today formed a committee to examine the conversion processes not only in the IDF but also in the State Conversion Authority.
2011(23rd of Tishrei, 5772): Simchat Torah

2011: A brushfire broke out between Kibbutz Yasur and Moshav Ahihud in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel today. 24

2011: The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court agreed to a police request today to extend the remand of 14 people arrested during a rally outside the Sharon prison last night.

2011: Theo Epstein officially resigned as general manager of the Red Sox to accept the position of Cubs president of baseball operations.

2012: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Who Could That Be at This Hour?  by Lemony Snicket (who is really David Handler, the son of Lou Handler a Jewish accountant)

2012: 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 Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

2012: Carl Bernstein is scheduled to address a luncheon sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington

2012: Jeanne Golan is scheduled to perform the second and final, in a series of recitals featuring the complete piano sonatas of Viktor Ullman at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

2012: The Wiener Library, “the world’s oldest Holocaust memorial institution,” is scheduled to host an Open Day as part of the Bloomsbury Festival, which will give a wider audience a chance to view the new temporary exhibition, ‘Rescues of the Holocaust: Remembering Raoul Wallenberg and Lives Saved’. 

2012: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah is scheduled to sponsor “Yiddish Café & Cabaret” featuring Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel (Temple Judah Confirmation class of 1973), “the Java Jews” (Des Moines gift to klezmer) and Dr. Bill Carson, director of bands at Coe College.

2012: Former Mossad chief and Yesh Sikuy director Meir Dagan is facing the threat of assassination by an Iranian hit squad as he recovers from a liver transplant in Belarus, The Sunday Times reported.

2012: Israel’s security forces are being tested rigorously in the upcoming days as they take part in two major drills aimed to test their ability to face both natural disasters and war. The largest-ever joint Israeli and American military drill began today at the same time that the country’s emergency services were participating in their first earthquake preparedness drill.

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Sex, Yiddish and the Law: Jewish Life in Metz in the 18th Century”

2013: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (CAHS), is scheduled to host a seminar, Introduction to Holocaust Studies through the International Tracing Service (ITS) Collection at the Wiener Library, designed for advanced undergraduate, master’s-level and first-year PhD students.

2013(17th of Cheshvan, 5773): Seventy-two year old New York City “budget maven” Paul Dickstein passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2013: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was announced today as the winner of the first Genesis Prize, a $1 million award dubbed “the Jewish Nobel Prize.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2013: Two mortar shells fired from Syria, likely spillover from the bloody civil war in the country, landed on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights today near Tel Fares. (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2013: An Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism published today described how Ivan Fischer’s “The Red Heifer” is being used to combat rising anti-Jewish sentiment.

2014: In Glencoe, Illinois, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host a screening of the documentary “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus.”

2014: The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival is scheduled to present Zachary Lazar, author of I Pity the Poor Immigrant and “Art Spiegelman's WORDLESS! with music by Phillip Johnston.