Friday, November 11, 2016

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


November 12

1414(Cheshvan, 5175): The Disputation of Tortosa, which had begun in February of 1413 came to an end after nine months.  At the final session of the disputation the the Jews were forced to listen to the Treatise of Geronimo De Santa, a convert to Christianity, in which he contended that the Talmud recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Joseph ibn Vidal Labi, a prominent Spanish-Jewish scholar and orator, son of the philosopher Solomon ibn from Saragossa, was one of the 25 rabbis who by order of Pope Benedict XIII assisted at the disputation where he distinguished himself by his oratorical ability. Of course, no amount of Jewish scholarship or oratorical skill would change the outcome of these disputations since the Church was always going to win. Jews tried to avoid participating, and, when forced to, “pulled their punches” lest they anger Catholics or the mob which result in riot or death.

1532: Giles of Viterbo, “a 16th-century Italian Augustinian friar, bishop of Viterbo and cardinal” who “is coupled with the grammarian Elias Levita, who honed his knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic passed away today When the turmoil of war drove Levita from Padua to Rome, he was welcomed at the palace of the bishop, where, with his family, he lived and was supported for more than ten years. It was there that Levita's career as the foremost tutor of Christian notables in Hebrew lore commenced. The first edition of Levita's Baḥur (Rome, 1518) is dedicated to Aegidius. Aegidius introduced Levita to classical scholarship and the Greek language, thus enabling him to utilize Greek in his Hebrew lexicographic labors — a debt acknowledged by Levita, who, in 1521, dedicated his Concordance to the cardinal.

1558(21st of Cheshvan, 5319):  Rabbi Shalom Shakna ben Joseph passed away.  Born in 1500, Shalom Shakna was the Rabbi of Lublin, Poland and later of the entire province.  Shakna and two of his contemporaries, Rabbi Moses Isserles and Rabbi Solomon Luria laid the groundwork for the great Yeshivot of Poland.  Prior to this period, Polish Jews were dependent upon the academies in Austria and Germany.  Considering the importance of study to Jewish survival, the development of Polish centers of learning was critical to the spiritual and communal foundation of the growing Jewish community in Poland and Lithuania.  Shakna was also instrumental in founding the inter-communal government that regulated the life of Jewish Poland. The institutions he helped found were part of the Jewish way of life until the Holocaust when it was all swept away.

1631: Simon Wolf Auerbach, the native of Posen who served as a rabbi in several including Posen and Vienna passed away today in Prague where he had been serving as Chief Rabbi.

1701: The will of Sarah Aboab Delawal, a widow living in Covent Garden was probated today.

1720: Birthdate of Simon von Gelden, the native of Vienna who was a traveler, author and the great uncle of Heinrich Heine who said of his ancestor, “His charlantry, which we do not wish to deny, was not of a common kind.”

1735: The will of Emanuel Abenatar aka Manuel Vander Croon was probated today.

1777: In Fulda, Rabbi Joseph Joe who “later took the name of Wiesbaden” and his wife gave birth to Ashe ben Joseph who Joseph Johlson became a leader of the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment Movement.

1787: Joseph II (Austria-Hungary) forced the Jews to adopt family names as part of his "Aufklaring" policy. “Aufklaring was an eighteenth-century philosophical movement, characterized by free thought, emancipation from dogma, and materialistic tendencies.  In the Germanic Catholic world, it meant an overhaul of the education system that included processes previously associated with the Protestants. It also meant a comparatively more enlightened social view than had prevailed and this included trying to make the Jews appear to be more included (even if reality said otherwise).

1792: The will of Lewis Bare was probated today.

1797(23rd of Cheshvan): Judah ben Mordecai Halevi Hurwitz, physician and author of Sefer Amudei Bet Yehudah, passed away

1812: Birthdate of British portrait painter Julia Goodman née Salaman

1813: Following the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, the American forces including Mordecai Myers who had commanded the 13th Pennsylvania Infantry began the retreat that would eventually take them back to Plattsburg.

1817: In Charleston, SC, Dr. Abraham Sheftall a resident of Savannah, GA and the son of the late Levi Sheftall married Miss Sarah De La Motta this evening.

1818: Birthdate of Jakob Eduard Polak, the native of Bohemia who was one of the first westerners to teach medicine in Iran and who was the “personal physician of Naser-aldin Shah,” the ruler of Persia.

1819: Birthdate of German lexicographer Daniel Sanders, the native of Strelitz who published a translation of the Song of Songs in 1866.

1831: Birthdate of Elie-Aristide Astruc, the native of Bordeaux who served as Chief Rabbi of Belgium, helped care for the wounded during the Franco-Prussian and returned to his native country in 1879 where he pursued a career as an author.

1841: The headline of today’s Voice of Jacob read: “The Attempt to Establish a Synagogue On Principles Opposed To Our Laws and Customs” highlighted the conflict between those attempt to “form a United Congregation” that reflected the practices of the Reform movement

1841: The first edition of The Jewish Chronicle appeared in London, UK

1841: In a postscript to a note thanking Nathan Marcus Adler for his contribution to a fund to aid the Jews of Smyrna, Sir Moses Montefiore wrote I feel most anxious to obtain a copy of your sermons. It would be presumptuous in me to express how greatly they would prove serviceable to our brethren in England.” At that Adler was serving the Jewish community of Hanover and nobody could have known that someday he would become the Chief Rabbi in the UK.

1849: The first report of the Finance Committee of the Free Sons of Israel was made at the 29th meeting of the Grand Lodge.

1854: Rabbi Zeev Wolf and Toba Bluma (née Barg) gave birth to Yehuda Dovid Eizensztejn who gained fame as Julius (Judah David or JD) Eisenstein, the Polish-Jewish-American writer who established America's first society for the Hebrew language, called Shocharei Sfat Ever and was also the first to translate into Hebrew and Yiddish the Constitution of the United States

1856: The will of John Moses, the husband of Caroline Moses, a wine merchant in Bristol was probated today naming William Wolfe Alexander and Thomas as executors. (As described by David Alexander)

1858: In New York City, August and Caroline Belmont gave birth to Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.  August Belmont was a German born Jewish American financier who chose the route of assimilation.  His wife was the daughter of the naval hero, Commodore Mathew Perry and the Great Niece of the even more legendary Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, young Belmont’s namesake.  Belmont graduated from the United States Naval Academy, a school not noted for its acceptance of Jews. One must wonder if his maternal Naval connection were able to overcome his father’s Semitic origins. Belmont lived out the life of a wealthy gentile playboy.

1859: William H. Seward, the U.S. Senator from New York, arrived in Paris today on the return leg of his trip from Jerusalem and the Holy Land.  No reason was given for the trip by the man would who seek the Republican nomination for President in 1860 and served as Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.  

1870: In Stettin, German, Elias Witt and Sophie Schlesinger gave birth to Max S. Witt, the huasband of Margaret Gonzalez, who became a composer of popular songs including “The Moth and the Flame” and “My Little Georgia Rose.”

1871: In St. Paul, MN, founding of the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society whose members included Mrs. B.B. Plechner and Mrs. Sol Fox which “meets on the first Wednesday of the month from September to April inlclusive.”

1871: Robert Strahl, Jr., Samuel D. Sewards, Davis Kisch and Joseph Dorenfeld were among the speakers who addressed a meeting of the Hebrew Young Men’s Literary and Benevolent Association that was held tonight at Cooper Union in New York City.

1879: It was reported today that Professor Felix Adler, “who has been accused of being a rationalist,” an infidel and an atheist, proved his critics wrong during his lecture entitled “Struggle of Free Religion in the United States” in which “he paid a glowing and eloquent tribute…to the late Rabbi Einhorn, one of the founders of Reformed Judaism.”

1880: Birthdate of Dutch physicist Leonard Salomon Ornstein

1880: Theodor Mommsen’s declaration that “referred to Anti-Semitism as a contagious plague that threatened to poison the relationship between Jews and Christians” which “was signed by seventy-five well-known scholars and other public figures, Jews and non-Jews alike” was published today “in the Berlin daily National-Zeitung.”

1883: It was reported today that “the Lord Mayor of London has refused to allow Herr Stocker, the ‘Jew-baiter,’ who is no in London to lecture at the Mansion House.” (Stocker is Adolf Stoecker, a German Lutheran theologian. The Lord Mayor was Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler)

1884: In New York Monseigneur Thomas John Capel delivered an address on “Patriotism” to a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1884: Businessman Mordecai Yitzhak Lubowsky a native of Lithuania who had lived in the United States in 1870 “bought…a large tract of land of 2,800 dunams at “Maroun” …in the district of Safed.

1885: It was reported today that the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society is planning on hosting a fair to raise funds “to assist the poor without regard to creed, color or nationality…”

1885: In an interview published today, Ohio Governor George Hoadley defended issuing a Thanksgiving Proclamation that did not mention God by declaring that “the founders of this Government wanted it free for the Jews and the Gentile, the infidel and the worshiper… I have no right to command the people of this State to worship God on a certain day.”  (This defense of religious freedom is one of the things that has made the Jewish experience in America different from that in other places.)

1886(14th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Avraham of Kosover, also known as Rabbi Borcuh Kosover, author of Amud ha-Avodah passed away today.

1886(14th of Cheshvan): Jehiel Brill, publisher and editor of the Hebrew monthly “Ha-Lebanon” and author of Yesod ha-Ma'alah passed away.

1890: Birthdate of Lily Kronberger who was Hungary’s first World Champion in figure skating.
https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/kronberger-lily

1892: The Metropolitan Press Club of which Abram Levy of the Hebrew World is Vice President is scheduled to hold its second regular meeting tonight.

1892: The New York Times reports on the successes and failures of organized Jewish agricultural efforts including those in Connecticut and those in New Jersey sponsored by Baron Hirsch.

1892(22nd of Cheshvan, 5653): Sixty-two year Seligman Adler, who was born in Bavaria in 1830 and who established “the wholesale dry goods house of Adler, Newbouer & Co at New York in 1858” passed away today.

1893: “Court Martial Oaths” published today traces the changes that have taken place to the point now where “the Jews are customarily sworn by the five books of Moses and the great God of Israel, that the evidence…shall be the truth and nothing but the truth.”

1894: Following yesterday’s fire at a tenement on 80 Henry Street that housed more than twenty Jewish families, losses today including those at Lewis Fisher’s tailor shop, were estimated at $1,500.

1894: It was reported today that 100,000 Jews most of whom are poor, live within a half-mile radius of Beth Israel which is the poorest of New York’s Jewish hospital.

1896: H.W. Greene is scheduled to speak on “The Development of American Song” this evening as part of the free lecture series sponsored by the Educational Alliance at the Hebrew Institute in New York City.

1897: Rabbi Maurice H. Harris of Temple delivered a lecture this evening entitled “The Value of Our Good Name in the Present Municipal Contest” in which he decried “appeals to a Jew to vote as a Jew” as an “insult to the patriotism of the Jew” and asks “How often need the depraved politician be informed that in his civic duty here the Jew knows only one Nation, the American nation?”

1899: It was reported today that Jules Guerin, “who proposed to suppress all who stood in his way and by the revolver to drive the Jews from France and by that weapon to convert unbeliever to his doctrine of anti-Semitism” will probably stand trial for his role in an attempted coup-d’état he had plotted with Paul Déroulède

1900: Birthdate of Caroline Klein Simon, a pioneering attorney, communal worker, and state official. After graduating from law school in 1925, Simon was unable to find a law firm that would hire her. She turned to volunteering, working as an unpaid clerk at a law office and immersing herself in political work with many of New York City's secular and Jewish women's organizations. She involved herself particularly in issues of crime prevention and correction. In 1935, Simon became executive director of the New York State Council of Jewish Women. Throughout her long and active life, Simon worked to change a number of discriminatory laws in her community. In the 1930s, Simon led a campaign to allow women to serve on juries in New York. In the 1940s, she helped to draft the nation's first state law on job bias based on religion, race, or nationality, and was a founding member of the State Commission Against Discrimination. In 1957, Simon became the first woman to be nominated for city-wide office in New York City. Although she lost that election for president of the New York City Council, Governor Nelson Rockefeller named her New York Secretary of State in 1959. She held that position for four years. In 1958 Simon also served as the legal advisor to the American delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In the 1960s, she sat on the New York Court of Claims. Simon remained active in legal work into her nineties.

1900: Lord Robert Cecil, the uncle of Lord Balfour of Balfour Declaration fame, completed his final term as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a position that he had first held under his political mentor, Benjamin Disraeli.

1905: Based on rumors that have been circulating in Moscow, “anti-Jewish outbreaks” are scheduled to “occur simultaneously in Moscow and St. Petersburg today.

1905: It was reported today that many Jewish families “are fleeing to Finland” because of the on-going outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence

1905: “Arm the Jews Says Rabbi” published today described the view of Charles Fleischer the rabbi at Temple Adath Israel in Boston that given the pogroms taking place in Kishinev and Odessa, that “if the Russian Government cannot protect the people against lawlessness then the law-abiding must encouraged to protect themselves” which means entrusting the Jews with arms.”

1905: Meetings expressing support for the Jews of Russia and to raise funds for their relief are scheduled to be held at Capitol Hall on Manhattan and 63 Meserole Street in Manhattan.

1905: “The fund being raised in” the United States “for the relief of the victims of the Russian massacres was increased” today “by the addition of a check for $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie who announced his gift in a letter to Isidor Strauss.”

1905: The Jews of Paterson, NJ met this morning in Barnet Memorial Temple to raise funds for the suffering Jews of Russia and ex-Mayor Nathan Barnet who presided over the meeting said “I do not know how this money…is to be expended but if I were to spend it I assure you the greater part of it would purchase dynamite to be used for assassinating the Czar, the Romanoffs and their followers.”

1905: In Pittsburgh, PA, Henry Jackson, President of the Zionists’ Council of Pittsburg presided over a meeting at the Washington Street Synagogue this evening “where steps were taken to assist in the relief of the stricken Jews of in Russia.”

1905: At a meeting this afternoon at the Forest Street Temple in Cleveland, Ohio, $541 which will be forward to Jacob H. Schiff was raised to help the Jews of Russia.

1905: In Boston, “a mass meeting was held today in the Baldwin Place Synagogue for the purpose of aiding a movement to raise $50,000 for the relief of the Jews in Russia.”

1905: Herman Rosenthal, the chief of the Slavonic department of the New York Public Library and one of the editors of the Jewish Encyclopedia was quoted as saying that “In a nutshell the situation the situation” in Russia regarding the Jews is this: “Russia in its attitude to Jews, is just about where England was in the thirteenth century” where “the Jew was always pictured as the villain, the man to be hated, despised and ill-treated.”  While the Anglo-Saxons decided three centuries ago that “the Jew was a human being to be treated liked themselves” such is not the case in Russia nor will it be for some time to come.

1905: Tonight, 10,000 Jews of the East End of London gather “gathered in the great assembly hall where a memorial services was held for the Jews recently killed in Russia” during which “almost all present burst into tears and mournful wailing during the chanting of the Fifth Chapter of Lamentations.”

1905: In Warsaw, “at 9 o’clock this evening an infantry patrol, without provocation, fired into a crowd of Jews, seriously wounding eight.”

1905: In Chicago, $50 was raised for the relief of Russian Jews at a meeting of Jewish peddler and the Central Committee announced that it had received contributions in the amount of $400 for the same purpose.

1905: Mass meetings were held in Rochester, NY tonight to raise funds for the Jews of Russia.

1905: In Baltimore, MD, Samuel Rosenthal presided over a meeting of Jewish citizens including rabbis, lawyer, doctors and businessman at the Eutaw Place Temple where plans were made to aid “their persecuted co-religionists in Russia” and where $10,250 was raised in half an hour for that purpose.

1905: In St. Louis, MO, an inter-denominational meeting raised $16,000 this afternoon to aid Jews of Russia.

1905: At a meeting this afternoon at Cincinnati’s Plum Street Temple $5,000 was raised “for the Jewish victims of the atrocities in Russia.”

1905: Five meetings were held in Philadelphia today for the purposed of raising relief funds for the Jews of Russia, the largest of which was held at Mercantile Hall where $20,000 was raised.

1905: In response to a message sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg. “reminding him of his duty to exert the full force of his influence to prevent a recurrence of the Jewish massacres” Chief Rabbi Adler said today that “it as a noble utterance; a grand recognition of the fact that the Russian horrors are something which concern not simply the Jews but everybody who loes the right and abhors religious persecution and fiendish inhumanity.”

1907: Birthdate of Klara Fejer, the future wife of Alexander Steiner and mother of Agnes Steiner.

1908: Birthdate of Harry Blackmun, who replaced Abe Fortas as U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It would not be until 1993 that another Jew would successful to a seat on the Supreme Court.

1911: Birthdate of Yehoshua Rabinovitz, the native of Vishneva who made Aliyah in 1934 and became Mayor of Tel Aviv in 1969. 1913: Rodosto, Turkey is taken, and 60 Turkish Jewish families sought safety in Constantinople. The Rodosto referenced here is a city in northwest Turkey that had originally been founded Greeks.  The fighting mentioned here was part of The Balkan Wars, which preceded World I, and in some respects, helped to provide the kindling that brought on that worldwide firestorm.

1913: At the Montefiore Home, opening of the largest Jewish hospital in the world, built at a cost of nearly $2,000,000.

1913: In Konigsberg, Elkhanan Elkes, “a prominent doctor who became a medical officer in the Russian Army during World War I and the Russian Revolution” and his wife, the former Miriam Albin, both of whom were murdered by the Nazis, gave birth to Dr Joel Elkes “who published the first scientific trial of a medication for schizophrenia and became a foundational figure in modern psychiatry…” (As reported by Bernard Carey)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/18/science/joel-elkes-who-cast-light-on-psychosis-dies-at-101.html?hpw&rref=obituaries&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

1913: “Committees composed of both Christian and Jews, with the assistance of the German government” are operating soup kitchens in Warsaw and Lodz to help feed the hundreds of thousands in who are “suffering for want of food.”

1916:”Dr. Samuel Schulman who preached this morning at Temple Emmanu-El on ‘The Jewish Congress’ said that the union of the Jews of all factions in this country was necessary in to make an appeal to the ‘conscience of Christendom’ to provide fairly for the future of the Jews” in those parts of Europe “where they are now oppressed.”

1916: “An International Committee of Correspondence to facilitate a world-wide demand for the settlement of the Jewish problem at the end of the war in Europe was proposed by Oscar S. Straus, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, at the tenth annual convention of the American Jewish Committee held at the Hotel Astor” todayl

1917: Following the Bolshevik takeover, anti-Bolshevik forces begin fighting the Red Guards at Tsarekoye Selo.

1918; In New York, the Provisional Zionist Committee received a cable from Dr. Chaim Weitzman, President of the British Zionist Committee and Dr. Nachun Sokolow of the Inner Actions Committee “giving the complete text of the British proposal” known as the Balfour Declaration “which differs somewhat from the first reports published in” the United States.

1918: As World War I came to an end and the Austro-Hungarian Empire died and the predominately Germanic portion of the old imperial state became a republic called German Austria, popularly known as Austria. The new state included 300, 000 Jews, 200,000 of which were living in the capital city of Vienna.  The little known Treaty of St. Germaine which had a major impact on the inter-war years guaranteed, among other things, the rights of Jews as a minority living in the news Austrian Republic.  Unfortunately, this would mean little when anti-Semitism reared its head in the 1930’s capped by the final blow of Anshluss in 1938. 1918: Jozef Pilsduski, head of the newly-born Polish state received a delegation of Jewish leaders.  Yizhak Gruenbaum, a prominent Zionist, demanded autonomy for Poland’s Jews.  Pilsduski promised to take measures to repress anti-Jewish violence.

1918: Abraham and Mildred Gussow gave birth to Roy Gussow, “an abstract sculptor whose polished stainless-steel works with swooping contours gleam in public squares and corporate spaces.” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1919: Governor Al Smith appointed Abram Isaac Elkus to fill a vacancy on the New York Court of Appeals.

1919: Birthdate of ”Estelle Ellis Rubinstein, who as promotion director of the brand-new Seventeen magazine helped American businesses discover what she called ‘a whole new country’ — the untapped market of millions of teenage girls” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1922: The Chicago Cardinals football team defeated the Akron Pros 7-0 thanks to a long pass thrown by Arnold "Arnie" Horween

1922: In Camden, NJ, Lieutenant Lewis Liberman delivered an address entitled “Y.M.H.A. Boys in Service” during a memorial service held this afternoon to honor the five Y.M.H.A. members who lost their lives during World /War I.

1924: “The Yeshivah of Slobodka opened a branch in Hebron

1924: During the first cycle of Daf Yomi “small siyums’ were held to mark the completion of Tractate Berachot.

1925: In the Bronx, Pauline and Milton Redlich gave birth to Norman Redlich, a quiet luminary of the New York legal community who pioneered the pro bono defense of indigent death row inmates and who, as a staff member of the Warren Commission, helped develop the so-called single-bullet theory to explain how President John F. Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1927: Seymour “Cy” Schindel fought his 19th bout today which he lost on points to “Italian Joe Gans.”

1927:  Leon Trotsky was expelled from Soviet Communist Part as Stalin tightened his grip on the USSR after the death of Lenin.  Stalin played the card of anti-Semitism in his fight with Trotsky.  It would not be the last time that the Georgian would show himself to be a vindictive anti-Semite.

1933: The Nazis received 92% of vote in Germany only a few months after gaining power through an electoral squeaker.

1935: “No Monkey Business” a British comedy with must by Benjamin Frankel was released today in the United Kingdom.

1936: On the day before his 80th birthday took his place at the Supreme Court just as he has everyday for the last two decades since he was appointed by President Wilson and “his deep tones rang clearly through the room as he questioned New York attorney Frederick H. Wood on aspects of the New York Unemployment Insurance Law.”

1936: Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress announced today “that a series of public celebrations would be held to honor Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis on his eightieth birthday tommorw, November 13,

1936: Birthdate of Brooklyn born composer Mort Shuman.  Classically trained, Shuman gained fame as a popular song writer composing for everybody from Elvis, to Janis Joplin to the music group known as “Dion and the Belmonts.”  If you ever heard “Save the Last Dance For Me,” you have heard the works of Shuman. 

1936: “Theodora Goes Wild” a comedy with a script co-authored by Sidney Buchman and co-starring Melvyn Douglas was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that two Arabs were killed and five wounded by a bomb which exploded outside the National Bus offices, off Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. The bomb, which appeared to be home-made, exploded with a tremendous force. A curfew was imposed on the city. Jewish extremists were suspected of having thus responded to the murder of five young Israelis at Ma¹aleh Hahamisha. The Mandatory authorities announced that henceforth any member of the forces would be able to arrest any person reasonably suspected of having planned or committed any offence that could be tried in military courts.

1937: “The Last Gangster” a crime film starring Edward G. Robinson and featuring Lionel Stander was released in the United States by MGM.

1937:  Birthdate of Ina Rosenberg the Brooklyn native who gained famed as actress Ina Balin whose first break came when she appeared on the Perry Como Show during the 1950’s.  The high point in her acting career came when she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in From the Terrace.  Balin appeared in numerous pictures with some of Hollywood’s biggest name before her untimely death at the age of 52.

1938: Hermann Goring leads a discussion of German officials that results in a one-billion-mark ($400-million) fine against the German-Jewish community to pay for Kristallnacht. Göring calls this extortion an "expiation payment." Seizing the money German insurance companies were paying the Jews for their damages, the Nazis require the Jews to pay for the repair of their own properties damaged in Kristallnacht.

1938: The Nazis decide on a decree to remove all Jews from the German economy, society, and culture. Reinhard Heydrich suggests that every Jew be forced to wear a badge. Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels suggests that Jews be kept from using public parks. Hermann Goring mentions that Hitler told him on the phone on November 9 that if war breaks out, Germany "will first of all make sure of settling accounts with the Jews. [Hitler] is going to ask the other nations: 'Why do you keep talking about the Jews? Take them!'" In the Nazi Party's principal newspaper, Goebbels writes: "We want only one thing, that the world loves the Jews enough to rid us of them all."

1938: Speaking at a meeting with the South African minister of economics and defense, Hitler remarks that Europe's Jews will be killed in the event of war.

1938: Hermann Goring announced consideration of Madagascar as a home for European Jewry

1939: The Nazis ordered the Jews of Lodz, Poland to wear yellow armband as they began to deport them to other parts of Poland.

1939: Heydrich, Chief of German Secret Security, ordered Jews cleared from portions of annexed Poland that were now considered to be part Greater Germany.  Heydrich was truly evil person.  He was one of Hitler’s favorites and many thought that he was Hitler’s successor.  Heydrich was the prime author of the Final Solution.  He never got to fulfill his dreams since the British had him murdered while he was serving in Bohemia.

1939: In  “Activity in Palestine,” published today Peter Gradenwitz reports on the successful year enjoyed by the Palestine Symphony Orchestra. “The Summer heat, the pre-war mood and the outbreak of war in Europe have not been able to paralyze Palestine’s musical life.  On the contrary the Palestine Orchestra had its most extensive Summer Season since the start of its activities.  From June to September the orchestra played twice weekly in the specially arrange gardens of the Levan Fair Grounds to a large an appreciative audience, and in addition to the Tel Aviv concerts there were offerings in Jerusalem, Hair and the Rechovoth.

1940: Vichy France ordered all Jewish businesses to be sold or expropriated for Aryanization.   In other words, the French joined Germany in the plundering of Jewish assets.  Anti-Semitism was and continues to be “good business” for those who trade in it.

1940: “Land of Liberty” a documentary that traces American history from pre-revolutionary days to 1939 written by Jesse L. Lasky, Jr with music by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II premiere today at Williamspor.

1941(22nd of Cheshvan, 5702): Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, a hit-,man for Murder Incorporated turned “stool-pigeon” fell (or was pushed) to his death.

1941: Laurence Adolph Steinhardt completed his service as United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

1941: In Berlin Friedrich Jeckeln met with Himmler who gave him orders on liquidating the entire Riga ghetto.

1943: Benito Mussolini argued at a general Fascist Party congress to have all Jews in Italy declared enemy aliens by law.

1943: William Schuman’s “Symphony for Strings” which “was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation, dedicated to the memory of Natalie Koussevitzky” was performed for the first time today.

1943: Birthdate of Valerie Leon, the London born daughter of Textile Company executive who went from being “a trainee fashion buyer at Harrods” to a career in acting that including performing as “a Bond girl” in “The Spy Who Love Me” and “Never Say Never Again.”

1943: Birthdate of actor Wallace Shawn

1943: Birthdate of Poughkeepsie native and Republic politcian Stephen M. Saland the graduate of the University of Buffalo and Rutgers Law School who was a Republican member of the New York State Senate, representing the 41st District from 1990-2012.”

1944:  Birthdate of sports reporter Al Michaels.  If Jews could not play the game, they sure could write and talk about it.

1944: Otto Blumenthal, a German mathematician died in the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt. Born a Jew, Blumenthal became a Protestant at the age of 19.  He remained in Germany after the rise of the Nazis.  At the age of 67, he asked to be sent to Theresienstadt so he could be with his sister who reportedly had feel while imprisoned there.  Unfortunately for Blumenthal, she had died before his arrival.

1945: Six hundred rabbis march to Capitol and stop at White House and British Embassy to plead that Palestine be opened for Jewish immigration.

1945: The American League for a Free Palestine announced today that Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington State, Representative Bertrand W. Gearhart of California’s 9th Congressional District and Guy W. Gillette, the former Senator from Iowa are scheduled to discuss “The United States Congress and Palestine” in a program to be broadcast tomorrow night by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Gillette was the president of the American League for a Free Palestine, a pro-Zionist group seeking to create a Jewish state. (As you can see, the term Palestine has not always by synonymous with Arabs),

1945: A photographic record is created of Kibbutz Buchanwald, “the first agricultural training camp established in Germany after the Holocaust” which was ironically established in what had been a death camp.

1946: It is announced that 1,050 Jews in Cyprus will be admitted to Palestine under quotas until mid-January.

1947: The Jewish Agency plans to establish Jewish state within boundaries set by UNSCOP, regardless of any UN decision. There are rumors that King Abdullah of Jordan plans to take over part of Palestine outside Jewish state

1948: Israeli premier David Ben-Gurion confirms that talks are under way between Israel and two Arab governments (presumed to be Egypt and Transjordan). Israel is opposed to new UN proposal whereby Israeli troops give up recent gains in Negev. In original partition plan, Negev is consigned to Jews. Ben-Gurion claims dispute can be settled in four weeks if U.S. stops Britain from interfering with Arabs' wish to talk peace terms.

1948: UN mediator Ralph Bunche orders Israel to give up Iraq Suweidan.

1948: “No More Vices” a comedy directed and produced by Lewis Milestone with a screenplay by Arnold Manoff and music by Franz Waxman was released in the United States today by MGM.

1950: “Southside 1-1000” a drama about a gang of real life counterfeiters starring George Tobias was released today in the United States.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported from Rehovot that more than 250,000 persons filed past the bier carrying the body of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first president of the State of Israel, statesman and scientist. Sirens brought the nation to a standstill at 2:30 p.m. A few hundred persons were privileged to be present during the burial ceremony in his garden, while some 30,000 others gathered on nearby hilltops. Messages of condolence poured from all over the world. US President-elect Dwight Eisenhower sent a cable to the Israeli Ambassador, Abba Eban, and asked him to forward it to Mrs. Vera Weizmann.

1953: A “Salute From American Higher Education to the Hebrew University” which will be attended by Professor Benjamin Mazar, the newly chosen President of the Hebrew University, is scheduled to be held tonight at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

1954: Ellis Island, the gateway to America for millions of immigrants, including untold number of Jews, closed today.

1954: Edward B. Lawson, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel presented his credentials today.

1956: “Middle-East Echoes” published today described the impact of Anglo-French military action during the Suez Crisis on the economy in general and the commodities market in particular.

1962: “Billy Budd” a movie version of the 19th century novel with a screenplay co-authored by Robert Rossen and featuring Melvyn Douglas was released in the United States today.

1969: Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the son of Yiddish speaking Litvak immigrants, broke the story of the My Lai Massacre.

1969(2nd of Kislev, 5730: Harry Scherman an American economist. passed away. He wrote several works during the second third of the twentieth century. Maybe his best known book is The Promises Men Live By, published in 1938. In it he develops an analysis of economic problems in terms of people beliefs. His open criticism to accepted policies and then fashionable Keynesianism brought his work to oblivion; something a little ironic, taking into account that he had been one of the co-founders of The Book of the Month Club in 1926.

1970: “The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer” a British satirical film co-starring Harold Pinter and featuring Valerie Leon was released today in the United Kingdom.

1973(18th of Cheshvan, 5734): Eighty-nine Dutch born American cinematographer David Abel “who filmed 110 films for RKO” and who was the husband of Eva “Chava” Rayevsky , passed away today in Los Angeles.

1980: Mayor Ed Koch admitted to trying marijuana.  Ah yes, the Jew with the Joint.

1982: Israeli political leader Avraham Hirschson and his wife gave birth to their second son Elroi.

1982: The Tucson Citizen published “Jewish Pioneers, Temple Due Honors” today which “snapshots of the lives of pioneer Jews Samuel and Philip Drachman, Albert Steinfeld, Isodore Gotthelf, and Sam Mansfeld.”

1992(16th of Cheshvan, 5753): Eighty-three year old Edward Mier Mayehoff the Baltimore born salesman turned actor passed away today.

1985: Birthdate of Roy Kafri the native of Moshav Nahal who has carved a career in the Israeli entertainment industry.

1997:  In an unusual move, The Berlin Literary Trust released a statement that included Sir Isaiah Berlin's last letter expressing his views on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the events surrounding the writing and publication of the letter.

1997: Terrorist Ramsi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

1997: Despite a tire-burning protest set off by the main event up the road – Today marked the grand opening of a new fortified complex encasing Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the wife of the biblical patriarch Jacob. The festivities, attended by hundreds of strictly Orthodox Jews, Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and Israel's two Chief Rabbis, were a celebration of Israel's continued control of the ancient shrine venerated by Jews for generations. The opening took place despite a tire-burning protest which was part of the violent Palestinian protests that have been going on for the past twelve months. 

1998: At the Vivian Beaumont Theatrre “first preview performance” of “Parade” a musical that “dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank.”

1998: A Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Little Me” opened today at the Criterion Center Stage Right

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Echoes Down The Corridor: Collected Essays, 1944-2000 by Arthur Miller, Edited by Steven R. Centola, Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love, and Life in a Half-Changed World by Peggy Orenstein, Karl Popper – The Formative Years, Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna 1902-1945 by Malachi Haim Hacohen, Lower East Side A Jewish Place in America by Hasia R. Diner and One Palestine, Complete:Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate by Tom Segev, Translated by Haim Watzman.

2000(14th of Cheshvan, 5761): Leah Rabin, widow of Yitzchak Rabin, passed away.

2001(26th of Cheshvan, 5762): Eighty-one year old “German American composer and actor” Albert Hague passed away today.

2003: Rabbi Asher Wade tackles questions of Holocaust, God at local lecture” published today described a lecture given by the Jewish leader who had been a pastor in the United Methodist Church until he converted in 1983.

2004: “Controversial American radio personality” advocates dropping a bomb on the funeral of Yasser Arafat.

2005: NYPD Chief of Detectives Al Seedman said that his decision to become a police officer date back to when “as a kid” he had been made “an Official Stairwell Monitor.”2005: “Nothing Lasts Forever” a comedy produced by Lorne Michaels in 1984 that was not released to the public, co-starring Mort Sahl, Sam Jaffe and Eddie Fisher with music by Howard Shore was screened today at the St. Louis International Film Festival.

2006: “Grace period” granted to American born Joel Covington (a.k.a. rapper Rebel Sun) his wife Soshanna and their two Israeli born children is scheduled to come to an end.  The African American musician and his family have been attempting to make aliyah since 1999.  They are not Jewish.  They want to convert, but they cannot take part in a conversion program until they have visas and so far the government has not granted them visas; talk about “Catch 22.”

2006: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner and Too Soon to Say Goodbye by Art Buchwald.

2006: “Box on the Boulevard, an outdoor exhibit of large-scale Keren Kaymet boxes by contemporary Israeli artists,” opened in Haifa at the Carmel Auditorium.  These artistic renderings of the famed “little blue charity boxes” were warmly received at its opening in Tel Aviv.  The exhibit will be open in Haifa until November 26.

2006(15th of Cheshvan, 5767): Gary Siegel passed away at the age 62.  He was associate accounting professor at Depaul University and founder of the Jewish Burial Society of Chicago.

2006:  The 10th Annual Dayton Jewish Book Fair comes to an end.

2007: The Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra under Doron Salomon presents a program featuring Balkan music at Ein HaShoresh in the Natania-Hadera region.

2007: Jewish economist Robert Kuttner, founder and co-editor of the magazine American Prospect, discusses and signs The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

2007 (2 Kislev 5768): Staff-Sergeant Asaf Waxman, 28, from Rishon Leziyon, was killed and four others were lightly to moderately injured when an armored personnel carrier overturned during a training exercise in the Golan Heights.

2007 (2 Kislev 5768): Seventy eight year old Ira Levin, “a mild-mannered playwright and novelist who liked nothing better than to give people the creeps” passed away today (As reported by Margalit Fox) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/books/14levin.html

2008: As part of the Israeli Voices Series, the Israeli guitar playing vocalist Chava Alberstein performs at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.  Chava Alberstein is regarded by many as Israel's most accomplished singer, having released five dozen recordings since the late 1960s, many of them now gold or platinum. "If we have a true folk singer, it is Chava Alberstein," Yediot Aharonot, Israel's largest daily newspaper, said about Alberstein, naming her the most important female musician in Israel's history. Last year Tel Aviv University awarded her an honorary degree for her 40-year-long contribution to Israeli music and culture. Alberstein and Israel are even the same age, and they both share a tiny but powerful stature.

2008: U.S. Jewish organizational leaders are scheduled to meet with the King of Saudi Arabia. The meeting is taking place in New York this week during an interfaith dialogue held under the auspices of the United Nations and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who has pressed in recent years for greater interreligious understanding despite resistance from his kingdom’s Islamist clerics. The meeting will be held behind closed doors.

2008: This afternoon, IDF troops gunned down four Gaza terrorists as fresh clashes raised new concerns that the increasingly shaky five-month-old truce could collapse.

2008: Following a very close race, the media declared that Alaska Congressman Don Young had defeated Ethan Berkowitz and Don Wright.  Berkowitz is Jewish.  The other two are not.

2009: “Crocodile Tears” by Anthony Horowitz, the 8th Alex Rider novel, was released in the UK today.

2009: The 31st Annual Jewish Book Festival comes to a close.

2009: Opening of Jewish Book Month, an annual event sponsored by The Jewish Book Council.

2009: In Iowa City, Israeli Film & Food Night will include a showing of the award-winning Israeli film, The Band’s Visit.

2009: Today a jury found Sholom Rubashkin, formerly a manager of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, guilty of 86 charges of money laundering and bank, mail and wire fraud. He faces another trial on 72 immigration charges.

2010: “The Electric Mind,” a documentary created by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Harel is scheduled to have its U.S. premiere at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.

2010: IAF pilot Major Amichai Itkis will be buried today in Kfar Saba. Itkis had died in a training crash along with his navigator, Major Emanuel Levi. The funeral will begin at noon in the Kfar Saba military cemetery. Itkis, 28, who lived in Sde Warburg, is survived by his parents and a sister. A brother, Barak, died in 1998 during his military service in the navy. Barak had dreamed of becoming a pilot but was unable to do so due to imperfect eyesight. Family friends said Thursday that becoming an IAF pilot was Amichai's dream as well. Amichai was engaged to marry in March. He had recently begun studying at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

2010: Antonia Fraser’s new memoir, “Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter,” is the first tome listed on the New York Times list of Coffee Table Books.

2010 Morris Lapidus: Architecture of Joy is one of the books on antiques that the New York Times recommends buying as a gift during the upcoming Holiday Season. [Lapidus is the Russian born American architect who set the style for the resort hotels built in Miami Beach and its environs during the 1950’s]

2010: Ariel Sharon was moved from the long-term care facility to his home in Havat Shikmim for a 48-hour period, the first of five planned home visits.

2010: “Tiny Furniture” “a comedy-drama written by, directed by and starring Lena Dunham” and also co-starring Laurie Simmons and Alex Karposvsky was released in the United States today.

2011(15th of Cheshvan, 5772): Seventy-five year old “Evelyn H. Lauder, a refugee of Nazi-occupied Europe who married into an illustrious family in the beauty business and became an ardent advocate for breast cancer awareness, raising millions for research” passed away today. (As reported by Cathy Horn)

2011: The 3rd Annual International Holiday Bazaar is scheduled to begin at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

2011: The Hadassah Attorneys' Council of Greater Washington  is scheduled to sponsor a lecture by Charles S. Fax entitled "Justice and Accountability in the Face of Genocide: Suing the Hungarian State Railroad Company in Federal Court For Its Role in Transporting Jews to the Auschwitz Death Camp"

2011: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor its Fall Fundraising Gala: A Night of the Arts in Arlington, VA.

2011: Around 10,000 people gathered in Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv this evening for a memorial for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated 16 years ago by a right-wing Jewish extremist.

2011: Seventy-five year old “Evelyn H. Lauder, a refugee of Nazi-occupied Europe who married into an illustrious family in the beauty business and became an ardent advocate for breast cancer awareness, raising millions for research died today from the effects of nongenetic ovarian cancer. (As reported by Cathy Horyn)

2012: At the UK Jewish Film Festival premiere screening of “Life In Stills,” about the life and work of Israeli photographer Rudi Wasserstein.

2012: Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “The Ritchie Boys” as part of the Veteran’s Day commemorations.

2012: Dorit Beinisch, the first woman to serve as President of the Israeli Supreme Court, “was awarded Doctor of Philosophy "honoris causa" degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science.”

 2012: Muhamad Abd al-Wahab, Farid al-Atrash, Layla Mourad and Asmahan are scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem International Oud Festival. (The pear-shaped instrument is compared to the lute)

2012: A Grad rocket landed in the yard of a house in the southern city of Netivot this morning. No one was injured, but the explosion caused damage to the building and its surroundings, leading to power outages in parts of the city. Twenty-six people were treated for shock.

2012: There’s no predominantly anti-Israel sentiment on most American campuses – rather apathy is the true danger facing the Jewish state, according to an Israeli diplomat.

2012: Israel fired at and struck two Syrian mortar launchers today, following the second time in as many days that Syrian artillery shells exploded in Israeli territory.

2013: The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust is scheduled to host Baroness Helena Kennedy who will speak on “What Does the Rule of Law Really Mean?”

2013: In Jerusalem, the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America chaired by CEO Jerry Silverman is scheduled to end today.

2013: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “Water: Israeli-Palestinian Cinematic Project.

2013: Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called today for the urgent release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard a day after US Ambassador Dan Shapiro appeared to end hope that he would be freed any time soon. (As reported by Gil Hoffman)

2013: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu directed Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel to "reconsider" plans for preliminary planning of some 24,000 housing units beyond the Green Line, saying this would harm efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program. (As reported by Herb Heinon and Tovah Lazaroff)

2013: Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar responded today to Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul's homophobic remarks in a Friday interview with Channel 10, saying: "I condemn, in the most unequivocal way, the words of Beit Shemesh mayor. The things that he said represent a dark and outrageous perception, and it's hard to believe that someone would say these things in this day and age." (As reported by Omri Efraim

2014: “In a new spree of anti-Semitic incidents in Paris, a kosher restaurant is firebombed, and a Jewish student wearing a yarmulke is assaulted outside his private high school.”

2014: The Skirball Center and the United States are scheduled to host “Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland” 

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Modeling the Synagogue – from Dura to Touro.”

2014: The University of Connecticut is scheduled to host a lecture by Professor Sanders on “Scholem’s Myth of Oral Torah and Jewish Interpretation before the Bible”

2014: “The Foreign Ministry announced today it would not cooperate with the UN inquiry into the summer Gaza conflict, and rejected an entry request issued by three members of the investigative committee seeking to gather evidence, leaving them stranded in Amman. (As reported by Mariss Newman)

2014: “A new report from the Ministry of Health into the leading causes of death in Israel between 2000 and 2011 shows a significant decline in mortality from heart disease, stroke, accidents, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases over the past decade. At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in fatalities from Alzheimer's and dementia.” (As reported by Yaron Keiner)

2014: Oren Kosansky, an “Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lewis & Clark College” is scheduled to deliver a lecture on the Jewish-Muslim relations in Morocco as part of Portland Jewish Book Month.

2015(30th of Cheshvan, 5776): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2015(30th of Cheshvan, 5776): Ninety-three year old portrait artist Aaron Shikler passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2015: Funeral services are scheduled to be held at Temple Judah for 93 year old Fred Rodgers, a long-time member of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community followed by burial at Eben Israel Cemetery.  Ironically, Mr. Rodgers passed away on November 10, the day after Kristallnacht. For years, Mr. Rogers would speak each about Kristallnacht describing his family’s experience at that time while living in Frankfort.

2015: Hezbollah weapons warehouses were the targets of this afternoon’s  Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

2015: Angela Bothelo is scheduled to lecture on “Modern Marrano: German Jews and the Persistence of Jewish Identity in Conversion as part of the Speakers Series sponsored by the Tulane University Jewish Studies Department.

2015: “Fired Birds” and “Sabena” are scheduled to be shown at the 29th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles.

2015: The Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College is scheduled to host a screening of “The Return,” “a documentary about being young and Jewish in today’s Poland, followed by a discussion with director Adam Zucker.”

2015: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host “author and film historian Thomas Doherty-Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University-as he addresses the impact of Nazism in films and newsreels from his book Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939.”

2016(11th of Cheshvan, 5777): Parashat Lech-Lecha; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2016: The Shabbos project continues

2016: “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “A Grain of Truth” are scheduled to be shown at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival.

2016; In Canberra, “The People vs Fritz Bauer is scheduled be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2016; Agudas Achim is scheduled to host “Eat, Sing, Love--an Evening of Jewish Music” as part of the congregation’s centennial celebration.

2016: “Wounded Land” and “Sand Storm” are scheduled to be shown at the
11th Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema.

2016: “Big: The Musical” featuring music by David Shire and with a book by John Weidman, the son of Jerome Weidman is scheduled to have its final performance at the Theatre Royal Plymouth tonight.

 

 

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