Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This Day, October 12, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


OCTOBER 12

539 BCE: The Persian armies of Cyrus the Great captured Babylon.  Within the year, Cyrus would make it possible for the Jews to return to their homeland.

1129: The tombstone of Elijah ben Simon dated October 12, 1129 is among the oldest evidence of the Jewish settlement in Nuremberg goes back to the 12th century.

1285: The Jews of Munich (Germany) were caught in a claim of blood libel which resulted in the death of most the Jewish community.  When 180 Jewish survivors refused baptism, they were burned alive in their synagogue.

1366:  In Sicily, Jews were forbidden to decorate the outside of their houses of worship.

1491: During the Blood Libel tied to the Holy Child of La Guardia, inquisitors arranged for a meeting between Yucef Franco and Benitor Garcia, the two Jews accused in this event.

1492: After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia. His expedition, including Hebrew speaker Luis de Torres (the translator) went ashore the same day and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China, India, and the fabled gold and Spice Islands of Asia. Louis de Torres, a Marrano, was the first member of Columbus’ expedition to set foot in the Western Hemisphere. He discovered and introduced tobacco into Europe. According to one legend he saw a bird he thought to be a peacock and called it a "tuki" (Hebrew for peacock - I Kings X22). Today that bird is known as a turkey. (There are those who say that the story of the Turkey is pure fiction.  All that I can say is “Of this I do not know.”)

1504: Thirty-one year old John Corvinus, the pretender to the Hungarian throne who expelled the Jews from Tata where they had lived since the second of the 11th century, passed away today.

1576:  Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor passed away. Maximilian reversed the decree that had banished the Jews from Prague. Furthermore, he allowed them to return to other towns in Bohemia and to settle in Austria.  The life of the Jews in these domains was far from tranquil thanks to pressure from the Catholic Church.  But under Maximilian II it was better than it had been under his predecessor Ferdinand.

1589(2nd of Cheshvan, 5350): Rabbi Samuel ben Moses Medina (RaShDaM) passed away in Salonica.  Born in 1505, his disciples included Abraham de Boton and Joseph ibn Ezra and his grandson was Samuel  Hayyun, author of “Bene Shemuel “

1711: Charles VI who sought to limit the number of Jews living in Austria and Hungary began his reign as Holy Roman Emperor. Among his subjects was Ḥayyim Judah Löb Ettinger, the Austian Rabbi who was the son of Eliezer ha-Levi Lichtenstein Ettinger and the brother-in-law of Chaim Cohen Rapport, who served as a rabbi in Lemberg.

1759(21st of Tishrei, 5520): Hoshanah Rabah

1772(15th of Tishrei, 5533): Sukkoth

1775: The Continental Congress creates the United States Navy. Some of the famous Jews to serve in the U.S. Navy include: Commodore Uriah P. Levy who played a key role in ending flogging as a punishment for seamen; Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the Nuclear Navy; Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations.

1778: In Denmark, Philip Hartvig Rée and Hanna Hartvig von Essen gave birth to Hartvig Philip Ree.

1781: Birthdate of Ludvig Mariboe, one of a small number of Jewish converts to Christianity who had settled in Norway in the first decade of the 19th century when Jews were not accepted as citizens.

1789(22nd of Tishrei, 5550): Shemini Atzeret is observed for the first time during the Presidency of George Washington.

1793:  The cornerstone of Old East the oldest state university building in the United States is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  This is an important date in Jewish history because my sister, Judy Sharon (Levin) Rosenstein, of blessed memory was a Tar Heel Grad.  She met her husband, Larry Rosenstein of blessed memory, at Chapel Hill.  All three of their sons are also Carolina grads. Of such moments are real Jewish history made.

1796(10th of Tishrei, 5557): Yom Kippur is observed for the last time during the Presidency of George Washington.

1796: Birthdate of “educator, poet and mathematician” Jacob Eichenbaum, the native of Galicia who was “one of the pioneers of modern education among the Russian Jews.”

1796: Israel Baer Kursheedt observed Yom Kippur as the only Jew aboard an American sloop sailing to the United States from Hamburg.

1797(22nd of Tishrei, 5558): Shemini Atzeret

1800(23rd of Tishrei, 5561): Jews celebrate Simchat Torah for the first time in the 19th century and for the last time during the Presidency of John Adams.

1819(23rd of Tishrei, 5580): Simchat Torah

1822: Birthdate of Seligman Solomon, the German born American businessman and philanthropist best known for his support of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City

1830: Birthdate of Antony Mayer de Worms, a London born descendant of Amschel Moses Rothschild and Schoenche Lechnich

1837(13th of Tishrei, 5598): Seventy-five year old Talmudist, interpreter of Halacha and moel Rabbi Akiva Eger passed away today in Poznan
 

1838(23rd of Tishrei, 5599): Simchat Torah

1842: In Reckendorf, Bavaria, Nathan and Rosa Walter gave birth to Moritz Walter the husband of Sophie Walter,

1845: Abraham Einstein and Helene Moos gave birth to Heinrich Einstein one of the six siblings of Albert Einstein.

1848(15th of Tishrei, 5609): Sukkoth

1852: In Minsk, Joseph Dubov and his wife gave birth to Marcus H. Dubov who served congregations in Grodno, Russia; Graudenz, Prussia; Sioux City, Iowa; and Canton, Ohio before becoming Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Moshe in Evansville, Indiana

1853(10th of Tishrei, 5614): Yom Kippur

1853: Rabbi Raphall led services today at the Greene Street Synagogue in New York.

1854: Birthdate of Ida Kuhn, the daughter of Clara Regina Kuhn who became Ida Cohen after marrying Eduard Cohen

1864: The General News column reported today, Wednesday, that Monday’s livestock market was fairly active despite “the absence of the Hebrews, who” were “observing the Day of the Atonement, one of their principal fasts.” Tuesday’s market was more active than usual, in part, because “on account of the numbers of Jews present.”

1865: In a column styled “Our London Correspondence,” The New York Times reported that, “If you want a present proof that Mammon rules here, take the fact that yesterday Mr. PHILLIPS, a gentleman of the Hebrew persuasion, was elected Lord Mayor of London. Not that a Jew has not teeth, hands, organs, dimensions, and all that, as well as any other man; but, in the face of English prejudice, money and money alone could make a man who is a Jew by birth and religion, member of Parliament or Lord Mayor.” “Mr. Phillips” referred to Benjamin Samuel Phillips, a prominent British citizen and leader of the Agnlo-Jewish community who had been elected Lord Mayor in September of 1865.  He served with such distinction that Queen Victoria knighted him for his service. Phillips was the second the Jew to hold the post; the first being David Salomons.  His son, Sir George, would also served as Lord Mayor. The level of anti-Semitism displayed in this items stands in stark contrast with the detailed and sympathetic description of Jewish holidays that this paper was publishing in the 19th century.

1865(22nd of Tishrei, 5626): Shmini Atzeret

1866: Birthdate of Morris Aaron who would be buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA when he passed away in 1943.

1872(10th of Tishrei, 5633): Yom Kippur

1873(21st of Tishrei, 5634): Hoshanah Rabah

1873: “Curiosities of Superstition” published today traces the history of “host desecration” including a description of the 38 Jews who were burned to death in 1510 “because they had tortured the consecrated host until bled.”

1875: Birthdate of Yaakov Ben Zion Morein who gained famed as Rabbi Yaakov Ben Zion HaCohen Mendelsohn who served a congregation in Glasgow, Scotland before settling in the United States where he founded “his own shul, Congregation Beis Hamedrash Hagadol.”

1877: An application was made to Judge Barrett on behalf of the two children of the late Abraham Weisberg to order the Public Administrator to turn the two hundred dollars that constituted his estates to Rabbi Ash of the Ludlow-Street Synagogue so that he could send the money to the children living in Poland.  Weisberg was a Jewish peddler who had been murdered two years ago in New York’s Westchester Country.  The judge denied the application saying a guardian for the minor children would have to be appointed before going forward with the dispersal of funds.

1878(15th of Tishrei, 5639): Sukkoth

1878(15th of Tishrei, 5639): S. S. Man.Maximilien, Baron von Königswarter, the Dutch born French banker who supported Napoleon III passed away today.

1878: The strict anti-Socialist legislation passed today outlawed, for all practical purposes, the German Socialist Democratic Party whose leaders included Eduard Bernstein

1879: “Fish in Morocco” published today devoted to describing the rich variety of shell-fish used by cooks in Morocco pointed out that these are “utterly tabooed” when it comes to the local Jewish population.

1881: At Beth Elohim, Rabbi David Levy officiated at the marriage of Herman Leidloff, of Berlin and Selna Davega of Charleston, SC.

1882: It was reported today that the Prime Minister told members of the Hungarian Chamber of Deputies, that the recent anti-Jewish riots in Pressburg “might …degenerate into” an event “of a socialistic character.” He declared that would he would not tolerate “such excesses.” 

1884(23rd of Tishrei, 5645): Simchat Torah

1884: As the effects of the sever economic recession, which has necessitated the closing of many major employers, including the Falls Cotton Mills, grip New England, it is reported that the Polish Jews living in Baltic, a city 8 miles north of Norwich, Conn, are reduced to begging from door to door.

1884: Roderick Waters, who is Christian and Michael Hauman, who is Jewish nearly came to blows today as they vied for the affections of a Jewish widow living in St. Mark’s Place.

1884: “News of the World” published today described the change in fortunes for Mahmoud Pasha, aka Jacob Freund   The Sultan has brought him back from the Island of Rhodes where he had been living in exile since 1876 and restored him to his former position of prominence.  Mahmoud Pasha was a Polish born Jew named Jacob Freund who had fled Hungary after the revolution there failed and, after converting, became “the ablest of Turkish Generals.

1885: David J. Seligman and Adelaide (Addie) Seligman gave birth to Gladys Seligman who, after she married Henri Wertheim became Gladys Wertheim.

1885: “The Only One In America” published today described the opening of the first and only “Hebrew-Christian Church” in the United States.  Located in New York, it is the only congregation that has been established by Jewish converts to Christianity. (Editor’s note – Jews for Jesus type movements are obviously note a creation of the late 20th century.)

1886: “The Anchroia’s Long Trip” described the perilous ocean crossing of a steamer that that had its propeller shaft brake causing havoc among the crew and passengers. Fortunately, only two passengers died in the chaos, one of whom was an unnamed Polish Jew who was buried at sea.

1888(7th of Cheshvan, 5649): Just two months before his 76th birthday, Joseph Moses Levy, the English newspaper editor and publisher whose properties included The Daily Telegraph passed away.

1888: “The Fifteenth Season” published today described the first event of 1888-1889 season sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.  Among those who addressed those attending the gala at Chickering Hall was Chauncey M. Depew. (Depew was not Jewish. He was an attorney who became President of the New York Central Railroad and U.S. Senator from New York. His willingness to speak at the YMHA gathering gives an indication of the importance of the organization.)  The speeches were followed by an evening of choral music with violin accompaniment.

1889: Max Maretzek, the Moravian born American opera conductor and composer, celebrated his Golden Jubilee

1890: “Russia’s Milling Industry” published today attributed the decline in the country’s grain milling industry and the decline in the price of corn to “the persecution of the Jews.”

1891(10th of Tishrei, 5652): Yom Kippur

1891:  Several “temporary places of worships have been established” in New York city “public halls” to accommodate the large number of people attending services, especially on the Lower East Side.

1891: In Columbus, GA, more than fifty Jewish owned stores closed because of the Day of Atonement.

1891: In Brooklyn, Sophie and Pincus Weinberg gave birth to Sidney James Weinberg

1891: An Indictment of Russia” published today described the view of the Jews that Nicholas I who reigned from 1825 to 1855 was “a Second Haman” whose 30 year reign “was filled with special hardship for” them. Much to their surprise, the reign of Alexander III has proved to be even worse.

1891:  Birthdate of Edith Stein.  Stein converted to Catholicism.  When she became a nun she took the name "Teresia Benedicta ac Cruce."  Sister Teresia left Germany for Holland after the Nazis came to power.  In 1942, the Nazis ordered the arrest of Catholics of Jewish origin living in Holland.  This included clergy like Sister Teresia.  Sister Teresia was once again Edith Stein.  She died in Auschwitz in August of 1942.  If people who converted to Catholicism are really Catholics it is hard to understand how the Pope gave up these members of his flock. Eventually, Edith Stein would be made Saint.  Cynics would say that in one respect the Church has remained consistent.  It loves Jews, as long as they are dead. The fate of Edith Stein gave those studying in Cedar Rapids something to discuss when they studied the Papal response to Hitler and the Holocaust.

1891: Today, Jews in Missouri are upset by the recent attack John T. Blake the manager for William Warner, the Republican candidate for governor has made on Mr. Isaac Isaacs, Secretary of the Republican clubs that included a “roast of the Jews.”

1892(21st of Tishrei, 5653): Hoshana Rabah

1892: In New York, a conference of Orthodox rabbis which has dealt with changes espoused by the Reform including doing away requiring circumcision as part of the conversion ceremony, is scheduled to come to an end

1892: Carlos Pellegrini, who has a German-Jewish brother-in-law, completed his term of office as President of Argentina during which he expressed his support for Baron Hirsch’s plan to settle a half a million Russian Jews in the Argentine Republic.

1892: A part of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, a celebration which Jewish communities participated, “school children recite the original ‘Pledge of Allegiance” which did not contain the phrase “under God” – a phrase that was added in the 1950’s as a measure designed to “defeat” the Soviets during the Cold War.

1893: Julius Bien, the President of B’Nai B’rith is scheduled to address the opening session of a three day affair marking the Golden Anniversary of the Jewish fraternal organization.

1894: Alfred Gobert, “the handwriting expert from the Bank of France,” was summoned to the rue Saint-Dominique where he spent the day examining the treasonous documents supposedly written by Captain Dreyfus.(For more see The Dreyfus Affair by Piers Paul Read)

1894: This evening, General de Boisdeffre told Commandant du Paty de Calm that “he had been chosen to arrest Dreyfus.”  Du Paty tried to avoid the task but the general insisted.

1895(24th of Tishrei, 5656): Seventy-eight year old German politician and jurist Isaac Wolffson, the son of “businessman Meyer Wolffson” and the father Albert Wolffson who served in the Hamburg Parliament for thirty years, passed away today.

1897: In Kansas City, clothing store owner Jacob Epstein and his wife gave birth to Jane Epstein, the future wife Goodman Ace who became half of the comedy team known as “Easy Aces.”

1897: Expenses estimates submitted at today’s meeting of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment included: Aguilar Free Library $41, 500; Maimonides Free Library $5,000; Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum $324,992; Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society $89,000; Sanitarium for Hebrew Children $5,500; Mt. Sinai Hospital $26,000

1903(21st of Tishrei, 5664): Hoshana Rabah

1903: Birthdate of Walter Jurmann the “Austrian born composer” who moved to France after the Nazis came to power and then to the United States where Louis B. Mayer employed him at MGM.

1906(23rd of Tishrei, 5667): Simchat Torah

1906: In Australia, Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs began serving as Puisne Justice of the High Court of Australia.

1910(9th of Tishrei, 5671): Erev Yom Kippur

1910: Birthdate of Canadian screenwriter Ben Barzman who fell afoul of HUAC and ended up on one of its infamous blacklists.

1911: Multiple telegrams were received in London from Malta, Gabes and Djerba, appealing for help for the many thousands of Jewish refugees who had come from Tripoli

1912: Birthdate of Elizabeth H. Friedman, the wife of Sylvan N. Friedman, the Jewish political leader who served in both houses of the Louisiana state legislature.

1913(12th of Tishrei, 5674): Mrs. Beile Weinberg passed away today.

1914(22nd of Tishrei, 5675): Shemini Atzeret

1914: “Turkey Gathers Troops” published today reported that the Turks “are showing much energy” in several of its Middle Eastern territories including “Palestine where they are concentrating troops at a number of points and fortifying important places on the coast and on routes to the interior.”

1914: “The Committee on Foreign Relations this morning ordered a favorable report to the Senate of the peace treaty with Russia” even though “the committee has received no word from the Department of State indicating that any progress has been made toward negotiating a new treaty of commerce with Russia to take the place of the treaty of 1832 abrogated by the United States because of Russia’s treatment of American Jews.”

1914: Birthdate of Mauricio Leib Lasansky, “an Argentine-born master printmaker who was equally well known for a series of drawings depicting the horrors of Nazism…” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1915: Assistant Under-Secretary of State Bertam Cubitt wrote to General Sir John Maxwell “that to grant the ZMC (Zion Mule Corps) pensions that would be granted to enlisted British soldiers would be unduly liberal” as they were only “temporary employees” – a status he ascribed to men who wore the uniform of His Majesty’s forces and many of whom “permanently gave their lives” under fire at Gallipoli.

1915: Edith Louisa Caviell, the British nurse who in addition to providing medical aid to battlefield casualties regardless of their nationality, was executed today by the Germans today for helping Allied soldiers escape after a court martial in which she had been represented by Sadi Kirschen whose Jewish family would be forced to flee Belgium 25 years later when the Nazis came to power.

1915:  “More Rioting In Russia” published today described fighting in the streets of Moscow which has included civilians building barricades in the city and which the “aristocracy and merchants “attribute to the disloyalty of the Jews and the granting to them of the rights of suffrage” – a condition that they will cure by returning to “the customs of the ancient Muscovite Empire” making it “once more a land of orthodox Slavs.

1915: Alexei Khvostoff, the new Russian Minister of the Interior was reported to believe that “the step already taken to extend the rights of the Jews must be followed up” and that “the only restriction that should be maintained with regard to the Jews after the war is the prohibition of the purchase of real estate.”

1915: As of today, according to Professor R.J. H. Gottheil, the Temporary Chairman of the University Zionist Society, Eugene Meyer, Jr. is the society’s new president and E.L. Thurman is the society’s new Secretary.

1916(15th of Tishrei, 5677): Sukkoth

1916: During the Punitive Expedition into Mexico led by General Pershing “Rabbis sent to the Mexican border for the holidays by the Army and Navy Committee and by the Central Conference of American Rabbis” are scheduled to Sukkoth services in Texas “at McAllen, El Paso, San Antonio, Brownsville, Laredo and Eagle Pass” while “elsewhere along the…border Succoth will be observed out of doors or in tenets which will prove peculiarly appropriate in view of the fact that Succoth celebrations are held whenever possible in out-of-door booths in token of the harvest origin of the holiday.”

1916: Dr. J.L. Magnes, a Brooklyn born member of the American Jewish Relief Committee arrived in Warsaw where he will be distributing “funds collected in the United States” to “the poor Jews in Poland.”

1916: Columbus Day

1916: During tonight’s Columbus Day celebration at Carnegie Hall sponsored by the New York Chapter of the Knights of Columbus former Assemblyman Aaron J. Levy delivered a speech in which he said “When I was invited to take part in these exercise, I had some doubt of my right to be here but when I recalled that five members of Columbus’s crew were Jews and that another Jew prominent at the” Spanish Court “financed that famous expedition of discovery by contributing $250,000” leading me to “believe that I have the best right to be here.”

1917: “For the Tsar and Holy Russia,” “a new reactionary organization” conducted a “vigorous anti-Jewish campaign” and distributed millions of copies of circulars urging anti-Jewish uprisings.”

1917: In Tsaritsin, “Bankers and Trust Companies establish a company to sell insurance again casualties and losses resulting from pogroms.”

1917: In Lubashevka, “peasant women attack Jewish shops demanding food at lower prices” followed by looting of the shops with the goods being taken by force.

1917: Three hundred more Jewish refugees are expected to arrive shortly in New York from Palestine which can be added to the total of 91 saved souls who arrived yesterday after having been driven from their homes in Jaffa and Jerusalem.

1918: Dr. Madisen Clinton Peters, the former pastor of the Bloomingdale Church and author whose works included Justice to the Jew, The Jews as Patriot, The Wit Wisdom of the Talmud, The Jews in America and the Jews Who Stood by Washington, passed away after losing his week-long fight with Spanish Influenza.

1918: Upon hearing that the German government had accepted President Wilson’s condition for negotiation, “the German born Zionist Arthur Ruppin noted in his diary how he ‘went for a long walk and continuously repeated to myself the one word: Peace! How much it means.’” Ruppin’s joy was premature and it would be another month before Peace would become a reality.

1919: The New York Times includes a review of Past and Present: A Collection of Essays by Dr. Israel Friedlander, a noted member of the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary and an author of several volumes on Jewish history.

1921(10th of Tishrei, 5682): Yom Kippur

1921: In New York City, attorney Allen Blaustein and his wife the former Rose Brickman gave birth to law professor and “constitution drafter Albert P. Blaustein.

1921: According to New York City political leaders yesterday's drop in voter registration, as compared with both the first day's registration and that of last year was mainly due to the fact that the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur began yesterday evening.  “In many instances Jewish registration inspectors left their booths at sundown” which delayed registration for those waiting in line.  “The Jewish holiday kept the registration down on the East side of Harlem” and other East side locations because Jews did not come out to register on the eve of Yom Kippur.  The importance of observing Yom Kippur was a universal factor among Jews regardless of affiliation as can be sen by the fact that Jacob Schiff, who was serving as Chairman of one of the registration boards and a co-religionist serving on the board “quit work at sunset.”  When Schiff was challenged by waiting voters he replied, “We are sorry, but you observe your holidays and we must observe ours.”  The Board of Elections admitted that it had not even considered the disruption that would take place when voter registration coincided with the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar.

1923: In Brooklyn, David Slutsky, a cab driver and Mae Rodin Slutsky, a manicurist gave birth to Jean Evelyn Slutksy who gained fame as Jean Nidetch, founder of Weight Watchers. “The story of the establishment of Weight Watchers International begins with the personal story of a New York housewife who wanted to succeed at losing weight. In 1963, Mrs. Jean Nidetch , a Jewish woman in her forties, who had experienced many failed attempts at losing weight and gaining weight, decided to lose weight forever.”  So begins the saga as described by the Weight Watchers Program.  There are those who say the program is very Jewish.  Like Moses, Ms. Nidetch started with a list of foods you could not eat and book.

1924: Birthdate of Erich Gruenberg, the Austrian born violinist who studied at the Jerusalem Conservatory and “led the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra from 1938 to 1945.

1925: Birthdate of Julius Bronstein, a 34 for year veteran of the Chicago Police Department

1925: Birthdate of Alan Howard Abelson, the New York native who became an editor of Barron’s magazine where he wrote “a pugnacious, sagacious stock market column that denounced Wall Street hucksterism and routinely rocked share prices (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1925(24th of Tishrei, 5685):  Thirty-two year old Polish born circus performer Siegmund Breitbart known as the “Strongest Man in the World” passed away today in Berlin after having injured himself during a performance.

1926: In the Bronx, William Schlesinger, “a pants salesman” and his wife Lillian who was “a milliner gave birth to “printer, historian, composer and printer Carl Tobias Schlesinger.

1926: Birthdate of Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein, a National Institutes of Health pathologist who helped develop and refine tests to ensure the safety of vaccines for polio and measles, organized the NIH response to the AIDS epidemic, and became the first woman appointed director of an NIH institute.”

1927: Anna Boudin, Mrs. Jacob Panken and Florence Dolowitz organized the first meeting of the Women's American ORT (WAO). Originally founded in Tsarist Russia in the 1880s, ORT (the Russian acronym stands for Organization for the Distribution of Artisanal and Agricultural Skills) was organized to provide vocational training to help impoverished Russian Jews become more economically self-sufficient. The American arm of ORT, founded in 1922, was only open to men. Dolowitz and Boudin, who were married to ORT officers, founded WAO to assist in funding ORT programs intended to help Eastern European Jews devastated by World War I. Starting with fundraising concerts and bazaars, WAO grew in response to the rise of Nazism and the plight of Jewish refugees. Women's American ORT became an independent organization in 1940, helping to fund International ORT's growing number of vocational high schools in Europe, India, Israel, and North Africa. Today WAO focuses primarily on fundraising for ORT schools and programs around the world, including schools in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. These programs assist disadvantaged individuals and communities to be self- sufficient by providing education and training in employment skills. The organization also maintains a public policy platform advocating for quality public education, increased literacy and women's rights, the separation of church and state, the elimination of anti-Semitism, and the fostering of Jewish communities worldwide. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

1927: It was reported today that Justice Jacob Panken has rejected the endorsement of the Communist Party because, the Communists “believe in dictatorship and ridicule and denounce the principles and practices of social democracy, while the Socialist Party believed that whatever “changes are to be made in the United States must the result of education and the intelligent use of the ballot”

1928: On the 33rd anniversary of his death, a bust of Jurist Isaac Wolffson was placed “in the vestibule of the Court of Appeals Building” in Hamburg.

1929: The British High Commissioner sends a telegram to the government in London warning that the Arabs of Palestine had recently obtained a considerable number of arms from Transjordan and the Hedjaz which they intended to use in attacks on the Jewish population.

1930: Birthdate of New Rochelle native Jack Gottlieb, a noted composer who “served as President of the ASJM for a number of years.”

1932: “The Flag Lieutenant,” a British made WW I movie featuring Abraham Sofaer as “Meheti Salos” was released in the United Kingdom today by Woolf and Freedman.

1933(23rd of Tishrei, 5694): Simchat Torah

1933: In Los Angeles, garment workers, most of whom were “Mexicans” began a strike organized by Rose Posetta (Rakhel Peisoty) of the ILGWU who believed that “Mexican garment workers” could be the backbone of a West Coast organizing movement.

1933: William E. Dodd, FDR’s newly appointed Ambassador to Germany, defied the conventional wisdom and gave a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin in which he was highly critical of the Nazi regime.  Among the high-ranking Nazis in attendance were Goebbels and Alfred Rosenberg.

1934: Birthdate of architect, Richard Meier.

1934: U.S. premiere of “The Gay Divorcee,” a musical directed by Mark Sandrich with a score by Max Steiner and filmed by cinematographer David Abel.

1935(15th of Tishrei, 5695): Sukkoth

1935: “Jubilee,” “a musical comedy with a book by Moss Hart premiered on Broadway tonight at the Imperial Theatre

1935: Birthdate of “historian and biographer” John Cooper, , whose works included A Social History of Jewish Food  and The Life Cycle of the Baghdadi Jews of India that he wrote with his wife, psychoanalyst Judy Cooper.

1936: It was reported today that during the first six months of this year, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee had provided assistance to “2,047 Jews long resident in Germany but natives of other lands” including 700 from Poland who were forced to “return home” by the Nazi regime as well as assistance to “1,993 people to leave small towns and villages for larger German cities because residence in the smaller communities was no longer possible for them.”

1936: It was reported today that philosopher and historian Dr. William Durant said “I trust that before my days are end, I shall the Germany of Lessing, Kant, Goethe and Schiller restored to the moral fellowship of the nations; and the Jewish people living once more in peace and honor with Germans in Germany and with Arabs in Palestine.”

1939: The first Jewish deportees left Vienna and Bohemia.

1939: Hans Frank is appointed governor-general of Occupied Poland.

1940(10th of Tishrei, 5701): Yom Kippur; it is also Shabbat.

1940: Governor Lehman of New York missed the celebration of Columbus Day “for the first time in ten or twelve years because” today was “the holiest of the Jewish religion and he was attending to religious duties and abstaining from public appearances.

1940: All soldiers who had received a furlough starting yesterday at noon so they could observe Yom Kippur were required to return by the sounding of taps this evening.

1940: For the first time in 940 years, non-Christian religious services were held in Iceland. Approximately twenty five Jewish soldiers from England, Scotland and Canada gathered with eight Jewish refugees and Hendrik Ottósson, who had married a Jewish woman to observe Yom Kippur. Ottósson, served as their Shammash. The Icelandic authorities offered a chapel in Reykjavík's old cemetery. Ottósson found the suggestion insulting and rented a hall of the Good Templars' Lodge. They borrowed the only Torah scroll available in town.

1940: On this Jewish Day of Atonement, German loudspeakers in Warsaw, Poland, announce that all Jews in the city must move to the Jewish ghetto by the end of the month.

1940 (10th of Tishrei, 5701): In one of those calendar quirks, Yom Kippur, Shabbat and Columbus Day all fell on the same day.  As the Nazis swept across Europe, sermons provided different ways to respond to the challenge and observe the Day of Atonement. Rabbi Stephen Wise told congregants at the Free Synagogue that it was not enough for England to resist Hitler.  The resistance to Hitler must take the form of renewed and deepened loyal to morality which “in its origins is Judeo-Christian.” Rabbi Jonah Wise asked those at Central Synagogue “how much liberty can we lose and still retain from freedom” while Rabbi David de Sola Pool told those at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue “Our effective answer to the tyrannies of other lands is to build here a better society of free, unexploited happy men and women. It is within our power to reconstruct society and build it in the light of divine wisdom.”

1940(10th of Tishrei, 5701): The Nazis executed 3,400 Jews in Galicia.

1940: It was reported today that due to the start of Yom Kippur yesterday evening, “slaughters had reduced the kill of those classes generally dressed kosher.”

1941: In Stanislawow, Eastern Galicia, all of the Jews living in the district, were driven out of their homes into the center of the town where massive graves had been dug. SS troops and Ukrainian militia commence machine gunning of the gathered populace. Estimates of the number of Jews murdered range from a low of 6,000 to a high of 12,000. For the Jews, it was Hoshanah Rabbah, (the Great Prayer day.) The Ukrainian and German killers throw a "Bloody Sunday" victory celebration.

1941: At Sabac, Yugoslavia, hundreds of Gypsies are murdered. Jews were the primary victims of genocide, but not the only victims.

1941: The head of the University of Louisville expresses his gratitude for a bequest by the late Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandies to the school’s Law Library.  About two decades ago, Justice. Brandies selected the Law School of the University of Louisville as beneficiary of specific current gifts from him because, in his judgment, this university is much less liable to political influence than institutions under complete public control.

1941(21st of Tishrei, 5702): Hoshanah Rabah

1944: Gerda Baier was deported to Auschwitz where she was subsequently murdered.

1944(25th of Tishrei, 5705): The wife and young daughter of chess champion Salo Landau were gassed today at Auschwitz.

1945: Forty women rescued from Nazi concentration camps were the first to be sheltered in the new sixty-bed wing opened” today “at the Women’s League for Palestine home at Haifa.  In New York, “Mrs. David L. Isaacs, who head the Palestine committee of the league” described “the welcome given the group rescued from Bergen-Belsen, Buchwald and Auschwitz.”

1945: British authorities continued their search of a secret radio that was “attempting to rally Jewish resistance forces.”  Shortly before a secret radio station “that was attempting to rally Jewish resistance forces…broadcast the announcement ‘Listen to the voice of Israel!  This is not a terrorist station.  This is the station of Hebrew resistance. Never again will Jews be deported from their homeland.  Our patience is over.  No power in the world shall break our determination.”

1946: U.S. premiere of “Nobody Lives Forever” starring John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle)

1947: Ninety-four year old General Sir Ian Hamilton the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forced during the Gallipoli Campaign which meant he commanded the first Jewish fighting unit since the days of Bar Kochba and who “carried out a spot inspection” of the newly formed Zion Mule Corps “and was delighted with the workman-like appearance of the Corps after so little training” passed away today.

1948(9th of Tishrei, 5709): Erev Yom Kippur; in the evening Kol Nidre is chanted for the first time in almost two thousand years in an independent Jewish state.

1948(9th of Tishrei, 5709): Eighty year old Alfred Kerr passed away today.

1948: Egypt, Syria and Lebanon recognize the All Palestine Government.  Jordan’s King Abdullah had already refused to grant this entity any power in territory seized by his Arab Legion.  In other words, there was to be no Palestinian control over what is now called the West Bank and the Old City section of Jerusalem.

1949: “Christopher Columbus” a biopic featuring Abraham Sofaer was released in the United Kingdom today.

1950: CBS broadcast the first episode of “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” which was a continuation of their vaudeville act that had been a hit on radio as well.

1952(23rd of Tishrei, 5713): Simchat Torah is celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Harry S. Truman, “the godfather of Israeli independence”

1953:  The “Caine Mutiny Court Martial” opened at the Plymouth Theatre in New York.  This Broadway dramatic hit was based on the novel The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk.  Wouk has had a successful writing career dealing with both non-Jewish and Jewish themes.  More to the point, he has been successful without compromising his very strong belief in traditional Judaism and the state of Israel.

1953(3rd of Cheshvan, 5714): “Suzanne Kinyas, and her two children (3 year old girl and a 1 and a half year old boy) were  killed today when a Palestinian Fedayeen squad infiltrated into Israel from Jordan” and “threw a grenade into a civilian house” at Yehud, a village eight mile east of Tel Aviv.  (Fedayeen was the 1950’s term for the Arab terrorists.  Over the decades, they change their names but not their murderous aims.)

1954(15th of Tishrei, 5715): Sukkoth

1954: In Philadelphia, PA, Congressman Joshua Eilberg and his wife Gladys gave birth to Amy Eilberg, the first female rabbi ordained by the Conservative movement.

1955(26th of Tishrei, 5716): Arthur Hammerstein passed away. Born in 1872, this son of Oscar Hammerstein I and uncle of Oscar Hammerstein II, “was an opera producer and one of the writers of the song "Because of You," a major hit (#1 for 10 weeks) for Tony Bennett in 1951. Hammerstein wrote the song in 1940. It was used in the film I Was an American Spy (1951). He was the producer of the musical comedies The Firefly (1912), and Rose Marie (1924), which he did along with his nephew. He also was the producer of the film The Lottery Bride (1930), and made an appearance as himself in an episode of the film series Popular Science in 1949. Arthur Hammerstein was born and educated in New York City. Arthur's daughter, Elaine Hammerstein was a well-known stage and film actress.”

1956: In response to a request from a very worried Jordanian King, the British government informed Israel that, in accordance with the treaties with Jordan and Iraq, Britain would go to the aid of both these countries if they were attacked by Israel.  The irony was that Israel was negotiating with France and Britain over plans to attack Egypt and seize the Suez Canal.

1957: Publication of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged which, in 2007, will be described as one of the most influential business books ever written.

1958: Fifty sticks of dynamite exploded in the entryway of Atlanta's Hebrew Benevolent Society -- the oldest and largest Reform congregation, commonly known as the Temple. Five men, all associated with white separatist groups like the National States' Rights Party, were tried and acquitted. No one was ever convicted for the crime. The bombing came as Rabbi Jacob Rothschild was becoming increasingly active in the Civil Rights movement.

1959(10th of Tishrei, 5720): Yom Kippur

1959: The Play of the Week broadcast David Susskind’s production of Media as its first broadcast.

1960(21st of Tishrei, 5721): Hoshanah Rabah

1960; U.S. premiere of “Inherit the Wind,” the cinematic adaptation of the play co-authored by Jerome Lawrence, directed and produced by Stanley Kramer.

1961: “Let It Ride” a musical with lyrics and music by co-authored by Jay Livingston and starring Sam Leven opened tonight at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York.

1961: Today the West End production of “Do, Re Mi”  featuring the music of Jule Styne and the lyrics of Betty Comden and Adolph Green opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre where it “ran for 169 performances.

1963: Archaeological digs began at Masada, Israel.  Masada was the site of the famous “last stand” during the “War Against Rome” that ended with the destruction of the Second Temple.  The archaeological dig was important because it gave credence to Jewish history.  Of course the debate continues to this day as to who was right – the Jews of Masada or the Jews of Yavnah.

1963: “A virulent anti-Semitic book, Judaism Without Embellishment, by Trofim Kichko was published in the USSR today.”

1967:  In discussing his latest archeological finds, Dr. Yigael Yadin, Israel's leading archeologist contends that King Solomon may have indulged a passion for building during his long reign from 960 to 922 B.C., but he did not build the stables at Megiddo

1969(30th of Tishrei, 5730): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1969(30th of Tishrei 5730): Seventy-two year old Dr. Max Schur, the friend and confidant of Sigmund Freud passed away

1971(23rd of Tishrei, 5732): Simchat Torah

1972: “Lady Sings the Blues” a biopic featuring Sid Melton as “Jerry” was released in the United States today.

1972: “The King of Marvin Gardens” a drama directed by Bob Rafelson, the co-producer and co-author of the script and starring Ellen Burstyn was released in the United States today.

1973: Moshe Koren safely ejected from his F-4E Phantom Jet after it fell victim to Lebanese anti-aircraft fire and was recovered by IDF forces.

1973: Ran Goren and Micha Oren were safely recovered by IDF forces after their F-4E Phantom Jet was shot down by an Egyptian MiG-21.

1973: A week after the Yom Kippur War began; Avraham Lanir scored his third and last aerial kill, downing a Syrian MiG-17 in the vicinity of Kuneitra while flying Mirage 5

1973: As many as 15,000 Iraqi troops had reached the Syrian front and were prepared to attack Israeli forces. The Israelis lucked out and spotted a lead contingent of fifty Iraqi tanks. When the Iraqis reached to within three yards of the outnumbered Israelis, the IDF tanks opened fire destroying 17 tanks and halting the assault The Soviets completed a twenty-four hour air lift during which eighty large Soviet transport planes landed in Syria filled with a wide variety of arms that more than compensated for the Syrian losses during the first week of fighting. On the southern front, Egyptian tanks and troops continued to pour across the Suez Canal posing a new threat to the Israelis. 

1973:  In the midst of the perilous first week of the Yom Kippur War a dispute broke out between the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and his Ashkenazi counterpart.  October 12, 1973 was a Friday.  As the sun was setting the Sephardic Rabbi announced that it was a sin to bake bread on Shabbat, even in war time.  The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, the man who had been chief rabbi of the IDF in the 1967 war said that it was perfectly permissible to break the rules of Shabbat and bake bread during war time.  Doesn’t this remind you of Jerusalem during the Roman Siege?

1974: Ten people participated in the second of two demonstrations that took place in Moscow today during which demands were made for the granting of exit visas.

1975: Birthdate of Aharon Mordechai Rokeach the only child and heir of the current Rebbe of Belz, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach. Born in Jerusalem, Israel, he was named after his father's uncle, Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, the fourth Belzer Rebbe, and his father's father, Rabbi Mordechai of Bilgorai.

1978: Representatives of Israel and Egypt opened peace talks in Washington, D.C.

1982(25th of Tishrei, 5743): Eighty-two year old publisher Robert Paul Michel Calmann-Levy the son of Gaston Michel Calmann-Lévy and Hélène Koenigswarter  passed away today.

1981: Yuli Edelstein, Victor Fulmacht, Alexander Kholmianskii, Vladimir Kuravsky, Vladimir Magarik and   Boris Teplitsky were among the “more than a hundred Moscow Hebrew teachers and their students who wrote a letter of protest to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the systematic and continuous KGB persecution of refuseniks engaged in studying and teaching the Hebrew language.”

1984: It was reported today that memoirs of Jaroslav Seifert, the newly named Nobel Prize winner in Literature, contain a “selection, titled 'Russian Bliny,' is about Roman Jakobson, a Russian born Jewish scholar who emigrated to Czechoslovakia after World War I and came to the United States during World War II.”

1984: “Garbo Talks” a comedy directed by Sidney Lumet, produced by Elliot Kastner, with music by Cy Coleman and cos-starring Ron Silver, Steven Hill, Howard Da Silva and Harvey Fierstein was released in the United States by MGM/UA.

1985(27th of Tishrei, 5746): In Cincinnati, Ohio, ninety year old Betty Fabe, the daughter of Max and Sara Hexter and the wife of Isadore Fabe passed away today.

1987(20th of Tishrei, 5748): Sixth Day of Sukkoth

1987(20th of Tishrei, 5748): Oliver Louis Zangwill an influential British neuropsychologist passed away today. Born in 1913, he was Professor of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, 1952-81, then Professor Emeritus. He was the son of Israel Zangwill and the grandson of William Edward Ayrton. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1977

1988: Israel and China signed a trade agreement and made plans for establishing diplomatic relations.

1989: “Last Exit to Brooklyn’ the movie version of the novel by the same name starring Stephan Lang and Jerry Orbach and with music by Mark Knoplfer was released in West Germany today.

1989: A Syrian Air Force major flying a Soviet-made fighter-bomber landed in Israel today, stunning Israeli officials who said the pilot had asked for political asylum. Syria asserted that the MIG-23 plane had suffered mechanical problems and made an emergency landing, though the Syrian statement did not explain why the pilot had flown more than 50 miles into Israel. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin hastily left a Cabinet meeting as soon as he heard of the defection at about noon today. Joined by several other military officials, he rushed to the site of the landing, a small crop-duster air strip outside Megiddo in the central Galilee, and personally questioned the pilot. Syria is this nation's most bitter enemy and has been at a state of war with Israel since the nation was founded in 1948. Its political leaders oppose any form of accommodation with Israel. No Syrian pilot has ever defected to Israel before now. The last defection of an Arab pilot to Israel was in August 1966, when an Iraqi air force captain flew his MIG-21 to Israel. Israeli officials reported that a second MIG-23 from the same unit landed in Alexandria, Egypt, today. But the Egyptian Government denied that, and there has been no independent confirmation. Without making any mention of the report of a plane landing in Egypt, the Syrian Government said it planned to ask the International Committee of the Red Cross for help in winning the return of the plane and the pilot that landed in Israel. ''Fire and smoke were reported coming out of the plane's engine before its pilot was forced to bring it down in Israel,'' a Syrian Defense Ministry statement said. Syria intends ''to work for repatriating the pilot,'' it added. Israeli officials scoffed at the idea that either the plane or its pilot would be returned. They said the major was already cooperating with Israeli officials, who began interrogating him almost immediately. Being Held at Air Base He was identified as Maj. Adel Bassem, 34 years old. Israeli officials have not said so far whether he has explained the reason for his defection. He is being held at an air base in the northern Galilee. Military officials said that the plane was one of several on maneuver near the Golan Heights and that it and the others were being tracked by radar even before it veered west, crossing into Jordanian and then Israeli airspace and flying west on its own. A MIG-23 is capable of flying at Mach-2, twice the speed of sound, and officials said the plane probably was airborne over Israel for only three or four minutes. Once it landed, Israel Radio reported, workers at the small airstrip said the Syrian major climbed down, spread his arms and in Arabic said, ''I have no hostile intentions.'' The workers offered the pilot water, which he accepted and then told them he wanted to request political asylum. No military or security officials arrived at the airfield for more than 20 minutes, said the workers on the scene, who were quoted by the Israeli radio. The Soviet Union has supplied the MIG-23, a single-seat, swing-wing fighter known as the ''flogger'' in NATO parlance, to several Arab nations, and it remains the principal plane of the Syrian and Iraqi air forces.

1990(23rd of Tishrei, 5751): Simchat Torah

1990: “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael” a comedy co-starring Winona Ryder, directed by Jim Abrahams and featuring Valerie Landsburg, Dinah Manoff and Stephen Tobolowsky was released in the United States today

1992(15th of Tishrei, 5753): Sukkoth

1997: In “Neighborhood Report: Corona –New Worshipers Are Bane, Not Balm, for Old Synagogue,” Charlie Leduff describes the challenges faced at Tifereth Israel as an influx of  Bukharan Jews face the aging members of the nine decades old synagogue.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of special interest to Jews including The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews From the Nazisy by William D. Rubinstein, Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews by Eva Hoffman and God & The American Writer by Alfred Kazin.

1998(22nd of Tishrei, 5759): Shmini Atzeret

2000: Ben Weider received the French Legion of Honor.  A successful body builder and businessman, Weider was a student of history who worked to prove that Napoleon had been poisoned.

2000(13th of Tishrei, 5761): Vadim Nurhitz and Yossi Avrahami, two Israeli reservists who entered Ramallah by mistake were arrested by the PA. While in the custody of the PA, a mob savagely murdered them and then mutilated their bodies.
 
2000: During the Infitada, “vandals…desecrated the building” housing the mosaic that had been part of the Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue, Jewish house of worship that dates back “to the late 6th or early 7th century and was discovered in 1936 “by Dr. Baramki of the Antiquities Authority under the British Mandate.”

2002: In Massachusetts, Boston College, a Catholic institution of higher learning, installed “a copy of the Torah in the worship center, where it is expected to be used” for future Friday and Saturday services.

2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of special interest to Jews including Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward and Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 by Gerald Posner.

2005: New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified one last time before the federal grand jury before being “relieved of contempt charges” in matters related to the Scooter Libby leak case.

2005(9th of Tishrei, 5766): Erev Yom Kippur: In the evening, Jews all over the world gather to hear Kol Nidre marking the start of Yom Kippur

2006(20th of Tishrei, 5767): Sixth Day of Sukkoth

2006(20th of Tishrei, 5767): Sixty-one year old Don Novick, loving husband of Denise Novick and father of Rochelle and Cassie Novick passed away. The son of Russian immigrant Jews, he was raised as an Orthodox Jew in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  A member of Temple Judah, he was a pillar of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Jewish community who gave freely of his time and culinary skills to so many worthwhile events.  Among his many virtues, was the ability to cook anything you wanted to perfection, including the best falafel west of Tel Aviv.  A quite man, he touched many lives and will never be forgotten.

2006(20th of Tishrei, 5767): Eighty-six year old Gillo Pontecorvo an Italian movie director best known for making the award winning “Battle of Algiers” whose siblings included  Bruno Pontecorvo, an internationally acclaimed physicist, Guido Pontecorvo, a geneticist and Polì [Paul] Pontecorvo, an engineer who worked on radar after WWII passed away today.

2006: In New York, the Albany County District Attorney acknowledged that he was investigating the hiring of a chauffeur by the Comptroller of New York, Alan Hevesi.

2006: Judy Gold’s “her one-woman show ’25 Questions for a Jewish Mother…based on a series of interviews with more than Jewish mothers in the United States” “reopened today at St. Luke’s Theatre.

2007(30th of Tishrei, 5768): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

2007: The film “Jewish Life in Cracow is screened at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

2007: Yaakov Katz the military correspondent and defense analyst for The Jerusalem Post, the Middle East's leading English daily speaks at the Hillel House at the University of Iowa 

2007: Some of the world's best klezmer musicians gathered in a New York neighborhood that was once home to poor immigrant Jews for a 10-day festival of the music rooted in their Eastern European cultures.

2008: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of special interest to Jews including My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar and The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs by Charles D. Ellis.

2008: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of special interest to Jews including Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe by Mark Mazower and two paperback offering: A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich; Translated from the German by Caroline Mustill and Just Say Nu Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do) by Michael Wex.

2008: In Atlanta, members of The Temple gathered to observe the 50th anniversary of the blast that shook the congregation, recalling its terrifying aftermath and the way it changed their congregation's mission to promote racial equality. The bombing of a prominent Atlanta synagogue in 1958 claimed no lives, but the community outrage that it prompted helped galvanize the city's nervous Jewish community to embrace the civil rights movement. "What could have been a terribly tragic event had the effect of making the congregation more confident, and more willing to get involved in controversial events," said Ellen Rafshoon, who curated an exhibit on the bombing at Emory University's rare manuscripts library. The Reform congregation, housed in a handsome cluster of buildings on one of Atlanta's busiest streets, had for years discouraged conflicts with Atlanta's dominant Christian community. But the synagogue's message changed when it hired Rabbi Jacob Rothschild to lead the congregation in 1946. Sermons encouraging racial equality soon became an annual tradition on Jewish holidays, and the rabbi slowly pushed his congregants to work for integration. "He suspected all along that he was endangering the congregation and his family," said Rothschild's widow, Janice Rothschild Blumberg, who remarried after the rabbi's death in 1973. "But he felt he had to do it, that this was his duty — as a rabbi and a human being." On the early morning of Oct. 12, 1958, some 50 sticks of dynamite exploded in the synagogue's entryway, destroying a part of the building. At least six other synagogues around the nation had been targeted by bombs in the previous year. But it was a particular shock for congregants who believed Atlanta — whose leaders fostered a reputation as a bustling, progressive city — was immune from the hate crimes spreading across other parts of the South. "We were so naive at the time," said Jill Shapiro Thornton, a Temple member and a ninth-grade student at the time of the bombing. The city's Jewish community worried the bombing would be met with a halfhearted response, as had happened in the aftermath of the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Temple member who was killed by a white mob. Instead, the Temple was flooded with letters and donations, messages of support from Girl Scout troops, concerned clergy — even a white citizen’s council in Alabama. Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield visited the Temple and quickly went on television to condemn the bombers and the politicians who he said should share the blame. "Whether they like it or not, every political rabble-rouser is the godfather of these cross burners and dynamiters who sneak about in the dark and give a bad name to the South," he said. "It is high time the decent people of the South rise and take charge." Dozens of city, state and federal investigators fanned out across the area, arresting five suspects with ties to anti-Semitic groups. One suspect, George Bright, was acquitted in a high-profile trial, and charges against the other four co-defendants were dropped. Rothschild, meanwhile, continued to urge his flock to embrace racial equality. Among his proudest accomplishments was co-hosting an integrated dinner after Martin Luther King Jr. had won the Nobel Prize in 1964. Some 20 percent of the event's donors were Jewish, Rafshoon said. "Jews had become complacent and afraid, reluctant to stick their necks out," said Rafshoon. "The rabbi had pushed the congregation to take a stand, to support the civil rights movement. After the bombing, the big hug that came their way made Jews in Atlanta feel they could have the confidence to move forward on this controversial issue." Congregants on Sunday mingled with residents who came to pay respects in a new building near the site of the explosion. Some recalled it as a terrifying introduction to racism. Some said it cemented the Jewish community's role in Atlanta. To Blumberg, it was an act of violence that ultimately proved to be positive. "I felt it was like lancing a boil, like a surgeon opening a wound that didn't heal right," she said. That helps explain the surprising name she coined for the blast that shook Atlanta: "The bomb that healed."

2008: A critically acclaimed fully staged off-Broadway production of Joseph Stein’s “Enter Laughing: The Musical” came to a close at The York Theatre. It was nominated for a 2009 Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding revival.”

2009: Time magazine published an article entitled “How Moses Shaped America” by Bruce Feiler.

2009: Israel and the U.S. are scheduled to begin their biggest joint air-defense exercise today. Code named  "Juniper Cobra," the maneuvers will be overseen by Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, chief of the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet and are designed to test the missile interceptors that would serve as a strategic bulwark in any future showdown with Iran. The first Juniper Cobra took place in 2001, when the Scud missiles of Saddam Hussein's Iraq menaced Israel. Now Iran and its nuclear project are seen as the main threat. American forces taking part will include 17 ships and ground personnel operating the Aegis and THAAD missile interceptors, which will be meshed with Israel's Arrow II missile-killer for computer-simulated

2009: As part of The New School's "Jewish Text" seminar series David Stromberg will be reading from and discussing his newest book, Baddies.

2009(24th of Tishrei, 5770): Ninety-six year old Mildred Cohn who overcame gender and religious discrimination to make major advances in biochemistry and who received the nation's most prestigious award in science passed away today. (As reported by Matt Schudel)

 2010: Joshua Sobol is scheduled talk about his novel Cut Throat Dog at program sponsored by Wesleyan University Jewish and Israel Studies program in Middleton.

2010: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present “Protocols of Justice: Inside the Rabbinical Court of Metz, France (1771-1789).” In this presentation, Professor Jay Berkovitz is scheduled examine several exemplary cases that came before the Metz beit din in order to learn how members of the Jewish community, as well as the judges of the court, negotiated the powerful winds of change. His talk will focus on efforts to navigate the plural jurisdictions of French and Jewish law, with particular attention to women, inheritance and family law. “The record book (pinkas) of the Metz rabbinic court is one of the most treasured documents of the early modern period that is housed in the YIVO archives. Covering the period 1771 to 1789, its pages open a window onto Jewish life in the years just prior to the French Revolution. The handwritten pinkas, penned in Hebrew by the court scribe and set in two leather-bound volumes, contains numerous cases brought before the rabbinic court by Jewish residents of Metz and neighboring towns. Decisions rendered by the court pertain to everyday life situations such as betrothal, marriage, bequests, commercial transactions and business disputes.”

2010: After six years of construction, the American Consulate in Jerusalem is scheduled to open its new facility for consular services on Rehov David Flusser in the southern Arnona neighborhood today.

2010: British Jewish author Howard Jacobson was the surprise winner of the Man Booker Prize today for The Finkler Question, the first comedy to scoop one of the English-speaking world's most coveted literary awards. The 68-year-old novelist and critic, who specialises in writing about what it means to be Jewish in Britain today, was the rank outsider with bookmaker Ladbrokes ahead of the announcement, while Tom McCarthy's "C" was firm favorite."It's about Jewishness, but so much more than that," said former poet laureate Andrew Motion, head of the judging panel, speaking to the press after naming the winner."It's brilliant about male friendship in particular, and it's very clever about how sometimes we don't like our friends," he added ahead of a glitzy awards dinner in the medieval splendor of London's Guildhall. Motion said The Finkler Question was not pure comedy."The kind of comedy that it is is so nearly adjacent to sadness that it would be a mistake simply describing this as a comic novel," he said, drawing comparisons with Shakespeare. "It is comic, it is laughter, but it's laughter in the dark." Ion Trewin, literary director of Man Booker Prizes, told Reuters he would call it the first comic novel to win the award, while adding that other winners contained strong comic elements and agreeing that Jacobson's novel was more than just comedy. The Finkler Question follows three friends -- Libor and Sam, both Jewish widowers, and Julian -- as they contemplate the crises of identity and loss. Edward Docx, writing in the Observer, praised Jacobson for using Judaism to tackle universal themes. "As all serious artists do, he is mining his immediate milieu as a way of directly unearthing the deeper questions of family, society, belief, culture, relationships – the underlying nature of humanity." As well as a check for 50,000 pounds ($80,000) and a long list of interview requests from the world's media, Jacobson can expect to see sales of his latest novel soar.

2010(4th of Cheshvan, 5771): Ninety-five year old best-selling author Belva Plain passed away today (As reported Elsa Dixler)

2010: The Guardian published Shabtai Rosenne: Eminent International lawyer, teacher and Israeli diplomat” by Malcom Shaw.

2011(14th of Tishrei, 5772): Erev Sukkoth

2011: Israeli cellist Inbal Segev is scheduled to perform at the Bulgarian Concert Evening in Carnegie Hall.

2011: Galid Shalit's parents, Noam and Aviva, arrived this evening in their home in Mitzpe Hila in northern Israel, after leaving the protest site they had been encamped at in Jerusalem. They were welcomed by dozens activists and neighbors. Also today a delegation from the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement, led by Khaled Meshaal, the chief of its political bureau, arrived in Cairo evening to finalize the prisoners swap deal with Israel.

2012: NFTY/HUC/AJA Teen Study Weekend is scheduled to begin in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2012: The US State Department confirmed today that it had attempted to renew peace talks between Jerusalem and Damascus in 2010, before the outbreak of violence in Syria. The information partially confirmed an article in today’s Yedioth Ahronoth that stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in principle to withdraw from the Golan Heights during indirect talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2010.The newspaper cited documents written by Special Coordinator for the Middle East Frederick Hoff, an assistant to the then-US Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell, claiming Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak opened secret negotiations with Assad over a full withdrawal from the Golan to the shores of the Sea of Galilee in exchange for a peace deal. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967.The article claimed Netanyahu had Israeli officials who were involved in the negotiations sign confidentiality agreements in order to guard the secrecy of the talks, of which the rest of the Israeli government was apparently unaware. The negotiations reportedly ended in early 2011, with the outbreak of the popular uprising against the Assad regime. The Prime Minister’s Office denied the report, saying the suggested withdrawal had been a US initiative and that Israel had never accepted it. Netanyahu’s office dismissed the report as “politically motivated,” aimed at harming him ahead of the upcoming elections. (As reported by Yoel Goldman and Ron Friedman)

2012: Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip fired a Grad rocket towards Netivot today, causing one civilian to suffer shock symptoms, according to the Negev Police. The rocket fell in the backyard of a house, causing light damage to the building. Shrapnel from the rocket also punctured a number of rooms in the house, including one belonging to a child living.

2013: In Jerusalem, the Ensemble Millennium is scheduled to perform “Night Music,” a concert that will include works by Mozart, Schubert, Liszt and Schoenberg.

2013: The Hyman S & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival is scheduled to present “American Savage: Insights, Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics” featuring Dan Savage.

2013: Iran said it arrested three Israelis suspected of spying and attempting to recruit Iranian citizens to gather intelligence for Israel, Iranian news agency Mehr reported today.

2013: "The State should act forcefully to send a message to these people," said Monique Ofer, wife of retired IDF Colonel Seraya Ofer, 61, who was murdered in a terror attack outside his home in the northern Jordan Valley early yesterday. "He was an amazing man, and two bastards took his life," she said.  In a conversation with journalists on Saturday, Monique avoided giving details about the night of the attack as per the request of security forces, so as not to damage the investigation. "The Jordan Valley is one of the safest places according to statistics, the fewest terror acts, definitely in comparison to places like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv." (As reported by Ahiya Raved)

2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig

2014: “Race: Are We So Different?” is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

2014: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host a new walking tour “Downtown Synagogues and D.C.’s Urban Evolution.”

2014: The Jewish Museum of London is scheduled to host “Zangwill’s Ghetto: An East End Story” which is a walking tour of the author’s childhood neighborhood held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Zangwill’s birth.

2014: “The commander of the Jewish Legion, Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, who died in 1947, was exhumed and his ashes brought to Israel, in a fulfillment of the Christian Zionist’s final wish to be buried in the Holy Land, the Prime Minister’s Office announced today.” (As reported by Marissa Newman)

2014: Onno Hoes completed his service as Chairman of the Dutch Center for Information Documentation Israel.

2014: “Israel was set today to tighten border controls on travelers from Western African countries, as part of larger efforts to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading into Israel.” (As reported by Marissa Newman)

2014: “Thousands of Israelis and Jews from around the world gathered in the Western Wall (Kotel) plaza this morning, for the traditional Birkat Hacohanim (Priestly Blessing) ceremony held on Sukkot (the Feast of the Tabernacles).

2014: In honor of Sukkoth, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Pita in the Hut.”

2015: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present the 2nd Annual Concert for Daniel Pearl: "Building Bridges: From Bene Beraq to Baghdad."

2015: In Leeds, Dr. Lorna Waddington is scheduled to lecture on “The History of the Myth of International Jewish Conspiracy.”

2015: Professor David Shneer’s “The Romance and Tragedy of Yiddish Culture” is scheduled to begin today.

2016: In Memphis, TN, a part of the afternoon Yom Kippur observance, Temple Israel’s own Daniel Kiel, a law professor, is scheduled to moderate a discussion on “Building A More Just Memphis.”

2016(10th of Tishrei, 5777): Yom Kippur

G'mar Hatima Tova”


 

 

 

 

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