Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This Day, November 17, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


November 17

9CE:  Birthdate of Titus Flavius Vespasianus, better known as Vespasian, who as a Roman General and then Emperor put down the Judean Revolt which included the destruction of the Second Temple.

284: Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. “According to Jewish tradition, in his youth Diocletian had been a swineherd and when he went past the Beis Midrash the children would beat him.” After he became Emperor, Diocletian spent time in Tiberias where enemies of the Jewish people said they disrespectfully referred to him as ‘the swineherd.’ Angered by the charges, the emperor demanded that Jewish leaders come to Tiberias and answer for their slanderous remarks.  The rabbis conceded that they had acted badly towards Diocletian the swineherd but they had never been disrespectful towards Diocletian, the emperor.  The Emperor accepted their argument and apology.  Based on this experience the Jerusalem Talmud cautions Jews against treating any Roman disrespectfully, no matter how low his station in life, since one never knew how high he might rise. In an attempt to bring unity to the empire, Diocletian ordered all of his subjects to accept his divinity and to offer sacrifices to his cult. Fortunately, he exempted his Jewish subjects from this decree.  Diocletian’s reign was a comparatively favorable period for the Jewish people especially when one remembers the fate they would suffer in the next century at the hands of Constantine and his successors.

331: Birthdate of Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus. Known by some as Julian the Apostate, Julian reigned from 361 until his death in 363.  Ironically, he was the nephew of Constantine the Great, the man who made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. For some unknown reason, Julian repealed many of the harsh laws that had been promulgated against the Jews by his predecessors.  While Julian believed that his paganism was superior to Judaism, he felt that the Jews had suffered unnecessarily at the hands of Rome for the last four centuries and he sought to redress the imbalance.  Julian announced plans to rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem.  He ordered the local Roman officials to help with the project.  Jews returned from as far away as Persia and even built a small synagogue near the Temple Mount in anticipation of this monumental project.  Unfortunately, Julian died while on a military campaign before work could begin.  Rumor had that he had been killed by a Christian Arab in the pay of those who disliked his support of the Jews.  This brief window of hope closed and the Christian Religion joined hands with the power of the Roman state to embitter the lives of the Jews.  

473: The future Zeno I is named associate emperor by Emperor Leo I. Leo was the Byzantine Emperor from 457 until 474. Leo was determined to wed the power of the Empire to the Christian Church. In 468 Leo issued a decree banning everyone but Christians from practicing law. Jews were persecuted with combinations of imperial decrees and church canon. Leo, in his desire to outlaw Judaism and force Christianity upon Jewish people, declared in Constitution LV (55) of the Constitutions of Leo, "Therefore We, desiring to accomplish what Our Father failed to effect, do hereby annul all the old laws enacted with reference to the Hebrews, and We order that they shall not dare to live in any other manner than in accordance with the rules established by the pure and salutary Christian Faith. And if anyone of them should be proved to, have neglected to observe the ceremonies of the Christian religion, and to have returned to his former practices, he shall pay the penalty prescribed by the law for apostates." Leo's Constitution became part of the Justinian's Civil Law. Now Jews had to pretend they were Christians and observe Christian ceremonies. The penalties that could be inflicted on Jews included loss of real estate and/or personal possessions, loss of testamentary rights, exile and, in some case, loss of life.

1278: Edward I of England arrested all the Jews for alleged coin clipping and counterfeiting. 680 were arrested, jailed and put on trial. The judges were given prior instructions clearly biased against the Jews. Although many Christians were accused, many more (ten times as many) Jews were hanged than Christians (269 Jews and 29 Christians). Edward received 16,500 pounds from the property of the executed Jews and the fines of those charged. At that time Jews comprised 1% of the English population. 16,500 pounds was almost 10% of the exchequer's national income.
1278: “Among the Jews arrested today were Benedict fil’ Licoricia, a prominent Jew of Winchester, and the affluent woman financier Belaset of Lincoln whose house is still standing in Steep Hill.”
1333 Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveler, visits Jewish communities in India
1494: Thirty-one year old Pico De Mirandola, Count Giovanni Frederico, a student of the Kabbalah and one of the first Italian nobles to collect Hebrew books and who translated the Hokamt ha-Nefesh into Latin passed away today.
1558: The Protestant monarch Elizabeth I assumed the throne of England following the death of her Catholic half-sister known to history as “Bloody Mary.” During her reign the Jewish community was limited to small groups of Marranos living in London and Bristol.  Jews did play a part in the realm foreign affairs. “Don Solomon Aben-Jaish, an adviser to the Sultan of Turkey established ties with Lord Burleigh, one of Elizabeth’s closest advisors.  The two men were and their two countries were drawn together by their common foe, Philip II, the Catholic King of Spain. In 1588 England faced the threat of the Spanish Armada. A Morrano, Dr. Hector Nunes provided the English with invaluable intelligence on the progress of the Armada as it sailed north towards England.  This information enabled Drake and the other English Sea Dogs to position their ships to best advantage.  On a more negative note, Dr. Roderigo Lopez, who served as one of Elizabeth’s physicians, was accused of plotting to poison the monarch. Lopez was caught in political contest between two of Elizabeth’s advisors – The Earl of Essex and Sir Robert Cecil.  Essex provided evidence of Lopez’s guilt;   Cecil proclaimed his innocence.  Given the tenor of the times, and the numerous plots on her life, Elizabeth had the unfortunate doctor executed.  His ordeal provided the impetus for Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice featuring the famous Shylock.
1720(10th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Jehiel Michel Teimer, author of Seder Gittin passed away today
1755: Birthdate of King Louis XVIII of France. Following the defeat of Napoleon, Louis was restored as the Bourbon King of France.  As such, he is seen as a figure of reaction seeking to undo the legacy of the French Revolution, including the rights gained by the Jews of France.  The facts speak otherwise.  As Napoleon became more and more an Emperor and less and less of a Republican he chipped away at the rights of the Jews.  Under the Infamous Decrees of 1808, Napoleon placed severe restrictions on Jewish businessmen.  These decrees remained in effect until 1818, when the restored Louis refused to renew them.
1757: Bishop Dembowski's violent death that led to a reversal of fortune in conflict between the Frankist and Talmudists in Poland.  Persecution of the Talmudists immediately came to an end. The Frankist found themselves declared outlaws subject to persecution and imprisonment.  
1800: In Paris, Beer Léon Fould, a successful Jewish banker, and his wife gave birth to Achille Fould, French financier and statesmen who was a close advisor to Louis Napoleon and the grandson of wine merchant Jacob Bernard Fould.

1822: Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth to their second child and second son, Israel.

1823: Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth to their third child and first daughter, Rachel

1846: A welfare society, the Chevra Mevaker Cholim, was organized today in Montgomery, Alabama by 12 German Jewish immigrants including Emanuel *Lehman, uncle of Herbert H. *Lehman. The society conducted services, purchased a cemetery, and on June 3, 1849, with 30 members transformed itself into Congregation Kahl Montgomery. The mobility of immigrant Jews and the tentativeness of their settlement is indicated by the constitutional provision of Kahl Montgomery that "four members shall be sufficient to continue the Society, but should there be only three members, the Society shall be dissolved." The congregation is now called Temple Beth Or, and its first building, built in 1862 with seed money from Judah Touro, is the oldest synagogue building in the state. It now houses a church.
1852: In New York City, the members of the German Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated the organizations 9th anniversary with a dinner in the City Assembly Rooms.  From September 1, 1851 to September 1, 1852 the society had raised $2,325.50 and spent $2,148.52 in meeting the needs of the poor and the indigent.
1853: The Five Academies comprising the Institute of France held their annual meeting today.  Among the presenters was M. Holely of the Academy of Fine Arts, composer of the "Wandering Jew" who read "an interminable discourse on Frohberger, a German organist whom no one ever heard of, and whom the writer himself acknowledged was snuffed out by Handel.

1856: Founding of the Bradford Festival Choral Society whose conductors would include Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen

1858: The New York Times reported that the Pope is back in Rome, “safer than ever…since he assumed the Triple Crown.”  The Pope “is disgusted with political reform but deeply interested in infant Jews.”  By infant Jews, the reporter was referring to the Morata Affair, which involved the kidnapping of a Jewish child who was secretly baptized by a maid and turned over to the Catholic Church for safe-keeping.

1859: Birthdate of Bruno Borchardt the native of Bromberg and physicist who turned to a career in journalism after being forced to give up his teaching position because of his political beliefs.
1862(24th of Cheshvan, 5623): Seventy-eight year old Gotthold Salomon the German Jewish rabbi who continued with the work pioneered by Moses Mendelssohn which led him to be the first Jew to translate the TaNaCh into High German.

1869: The Suez Canal opens creating a direct water route from Europe to the Orient. The canal is controlled by the French with the Egyptians as minority stockholders British imperialists wanted control of the canal since it was the gateway to India, the pride of the Empire. In 1875 Benjamin Disraeli bought the Egyptians shares using money borrowed from the Rothschilds. Protecting the Canal was the primary goal of British policy in the East from that day until the middle of the twentieth century.  The British wanted the mandate over Palestine to protect the East Bank of the Canal. Hence their willingness to betray the promises of the Balfour Declaration because they saw Arab violence as being a threat to English control of the waterway to India.  The British gave up the Mandate in 1947 which resulted in the creation of Israel because India was gaining its independence.  The Suez Crisis of 1956, which led to the Six Day War in 1967 which has led today’s stalemate, was triggered by British vestigial feelings for the Canal. 
1871: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger approves of the recent defeat of the Tammany Machine in local city elections.  The Messenger gives credit to the New York Times for informing the public about the great abuses and agrees with the Times that this was not a victory of party but of principle.
1871: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger does not think that appealing to the Russian government for a redress of the conditions of the Jews of Russia will do much to improve conditions. The primary source of misery comes from “petty sources” that no government can control in such a vast expanse as Czarist Russia. [To most of us, this view Jewish life in Russia, is unique]
1871: In Mako, Rabbi Enoch Fischer and his wife gave birth to Emil Maki the Hungarian poet who also wrote “a Biblical drama” entitled “Absalom.”
1874: Birthdate of Samuel Platt, the native of Carson City, Nevada who graduated from Stanford University who became one of the state’s leading lawyers and Republican Party leaders who was also active in B’nai B’rith.
1877: Gilbert and Sullivan’s two act comic opera “The Sorcerer” for which Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) “created the role of Constance” opened in London today.
1878: “Ancient and Modern Gymnastics” published today commented on the recently published findings of Dr. Schaible in which he traces the history of physical training among various ancient people.  According to Schaible, “the Jews ‘paid but little attention to exercises for the body.’ If this were true, it would that the nation which possesses the most inexhaustible vitality” (the Jews) “is that which has taken the least trouble about training.” The article challenges Schaible’s view of Jewish physicality.  Not only does the Bible contain numerous accounts of a people who were physically strong enough to win and hold their lands by the swords.  But in modern times, the number of successful Jewish boxers in the UK would tend to refute his contentions.
1878:“The Jews and the Keys of Jerusalem” published today described two unusual customs practiced by the Jews living under Ottoman rule in Palestine The first concerns “small squares of brass-foil stamped with the Hebrew words meaning visiting the sick.”  Nobody is sure of the origin of this unsanctioned (by the Turkish government) coinage but it is used for commercial among the Jews in the local bazaars. The other custom has to do with acquiring the great keys to Jerusalem when each Sultan passes away.  After a mysterious religious ritual, the Jews return the keys to authorities for used by the incoming Sultan.  The local Turkish authorities see it as harmless activity that enriches them since the Jews have to pay a bribe to get the keys.
1879: “Hearts of Oak” a play co-authored by David Belasco opened at Hamlin’s Theatre today in Chicago, Illinois.
1881: Julius J. Frank delivered a lecture entitled “The Jew” Has he Still a Mission” at a meeting sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
1884: “A Good Old Philanthropist” published today provides a detailed review of Sir Moses Montefiore: A Centennial Biography by Lucien Wolf
1884: Plans for an upcoming fund raiser to be held at the Thalia Theatre “for the benefit of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society” were published today.
1884: It was reported today that Mount Sinai Hospital currently has 168 patients.  The hospital has a capacity to serve 185 patients and serves them regardless of race, creed or financial condition.  The hospital has a fund of $175,000 and owes no money on its building or furnishings.
1885: “Hebrews in Convention” published today described events at a conclave of 35 Reform rabbis at which Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler presented his plans for changing the practice of Judaism in the United States.  Among them is the rejection of the traditional belief that all Jews are going back to Palestine and the elimination of reading those sections of the Scriptures “which referred to certain subjects not fit to be read in public or placed in the hands of children.”  He also “denounced the rite of circumcision as a relic of barbarism.” (As can be seen from Kohler’s proposals, the rift between Reform and Jewish traditionalists was about a lot more than just serving shell food at a banquet in Cincinnati)
1887(1st of Kislev, 5648): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1887: “Dancing for Charity’s Sake” published today provided a full description of the 9th annual charity ball held by the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The event opened at ten o’clock when President and Mrs. Ernst Nathan and Vice President Samuel Goldstein and his daughter Sara led the promenade. Mayor Whitney and Mayor-elect Chapin attended the event which raised $6,000.
1889: “Modern English Jews” published today traces the history the Jewish community in the British Isles from its earliest days until the end of the present time when Sir Henry Isaacs is about to be named Lord Mayor of London.
1891(16th of Cheshvan, 5652): Fifty-seven year old author and teacher Jacob Egers who “was for more than twenty years a master at the Training-School for Teachers in Berlin” passed away today.
1892: “Indignant Russian Hebrews” published today described the anger friends of the late Louis Krabitz expressed when Israel Ronginsky was released following a coroner’s inquest. Both men were Jewish immigrants from Russia who worked as peddlers.
1893: Having lost their courtroom battle with landlord Alexander Grant, 33 Russian Jewish families were reported today to have three days to move out of their tenements and find other housing.

1895: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Gustav Gottheil “began a series of sermons on ‘Womanhood’ the first of which was entitled ‘The Birthday of a Great Woman.’”
1895: “The Charity of the Jews” published today described Rabbi Joseph Silverman’s view on the generosity of his co-religionist which included his view “that Israel was always noted for her charity, and, in fact was the first nation to make public charity and benevolence prevalent among its people so that a landed aristocracy could hold no footing in the nation.”
1895: It was reported today that Temple Emanu-El’s Joseph Silverman has “paid tribute to the liberal spirit of the Emperor of Austria for his firm stand against the anti-Semitic fanaticism that recently broke out in Vienna.”
1895: “Queer Marriage Customs” published today described marital rituals in ancient times and non-European societies including “Talmudic prohibitions” requiring “that the male must not be under fourteen years and a day and the female under thirteen years and a day.” During the Middle Ages the Jewish wedding banquet featured “a dressed hen and a raw egg” which “were placed before the bride as a way of urging her to be prolific when it came to children.
1896: Mrs. Sophie C. Axman of Kansas City delivered a lecture on “Child Life” at the Convention of the National Council of Jewish Women which is now in its third day.
1896: Birthdate of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky
1898: Dr. Dillingham, the assistant Sanitary Inspector of the Health Department was reported today to have said that the two cases of measles and three cases of scarlatina have been taken care of and there is no public health problem at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1901:  Birthdate of director Lee Strassberg. Born Israel Strassberg in Budzanow, Poland, he was the son of a provincial innkeeper. At the age of 7, he immigrated with his family to the United States, where his father worked in the garment industry. Growing up on the Lower East Side, he attended the theater whenever possible and joined the Chrystie Street Settlement's drama group as an actor. It was at that time that he changed his name to I. Lee Strasberg, subsquently dropping the initial. He worked as a wigmaker; studied improvisational acting techniques with Richard Boleslavsky, a student of Stanislavsky, and began working as an actor. He pioneered the technique of "method acting" and taught many famous actors and actresses how to behave on stage and in front of a camera.  In later life he gave a memorable performance as the Myer Lansky like character in Godfather II.

1902: Birthdate Laurette Eugen Wigner. Wigner was a Hungarian-born American physicist who was the joint winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics (with Maria Goeppert Mayer and Johannes Hans Jensen) for his insight into quantum mechanics, for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles. He made many contributions to nuclear physics and played a prominent role in the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.

1905:  Today, on the same day that the government presented revolutionaries with a new constitution “a rumor was spread that orders had been given to attack the Jews, followed by an attack abated by soldiers and Cossacks during which the mob smashed windows, broke down doors, broke locks, put booty in their pockets and “grievously” beat men, women and children while shouting “Money, gave us your money.”

1905: Two weeks of massacres began in Zhitomir, Ukraine.

1905: As of today, $302, 678.39 has been collected to help the suffering Jews of Russia and has been sent to Baron Gunsberg in St. Petersburg.

1905: Jacob Schiff, the Treasurer of the Nation Relief committee to raise funds for the sufferers by the Massacres in Russia received a cablegram from Lord Rothschild in London which states in part “Russian catastrophe, according to details from Russia today, far greater than expected; outrages and whole robber and incendiarism in eighty-four town, so relief fund has huge take to grapple with.”

1905: It was decided today to form a National Self-Defense Association of Jews in Russia which will necessitate sending “delegates to the Czar’s dominions.”

1905: Meetings were held tonight at Ottawa and Montreal which were attended by several members of the Dominion Parliament to protest the attacks on the Jews of Russia and to raise money for their relief.

1906: Birthdate of Mischa Ounskowsky, the native of St. Petersburg who gained fame as American actor Mischa Auer.

1907: Lord Lionel Rothschild has tentatively agreed to send two of his motorboats to the United States to take place in a series of race scheduled to take place during 1908.

1909: Birthdate of Alter Mojze Goldman a Polish Jew who was active in the French Résistance during World War II

1909(4th of Kislev, 5670): Rabbi Nissim Moche Amon, President of the Constantinople Bet Din (religious court) passed away at the age 72.

1911(26th of Cheshvan, 5672): Eighty-five year old Jacob Aaarons passed away today after which he was buried at the Plashed Jewish Cemetery in London.

1912: In Chicago, dedication of the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home.

1913:  Amidst a controversy over using Hebrew as a language of instruction in the schools in Palestine, the German Counsel in Haifa warned Berlin that use of Hebrew would heighten Arab suspicions about Jewish intentions while exacerbating inter-communal conflicts among the Jews.

1915: The Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC made an announcement today, that “in an effort to draw within their border Jews no in territory ceded away by the Ottoman Empire as a result of the last Balkan war, the Turks have decided to grant the same benefits and exemptions” to the Jews which “heretofore were accorded only to Mohammedans.”

1915: Today “omitting any references to the failure and insuffiency of supplies, the military censor willingly permitted the Zemlya” to explain “the Russian reverses” by writing “If it were not for the Jews the war with Germany would not have been accompanied by the unpleasant features which contributed so strongly to the success of the enemy.

1916: General Sir Ian Standish Hamilton, the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Gallipoli Campaign wrote to Jabotinsky today from his home at 1 Hyde Park Gardens” about the Zion Mule Corps saying  that ‘The men have done extremely well, working their mules calmly under heavy shell and rifle fire, and thus showing  a more difficult type of bravery than the men who were constantly in the trenches and had the excitement of combat to keep them going’ (Jewish Virtual Library)

1916: Birthdate of author and Civil War historian Shelby Foote.  Foote grew up in Greenville, Mississippi.  His maternal grandfather was a Viennese Jew who immigrated to the United States and settled in Mississippi.  According to an interview found in Confederates in the Attic, Foote’s mother took him to Saturday services in Greenville until he was eleven years old.  Foote did not say why she stopped taking him. However he did say that he did not experience any anti-Semitism while growing up in Greenville. He soon found out that the rest of the world was not as accepting. As a student at UNC in Chapel Hill, Foote was blackballed from a fraternity being pledged by his friends because of his religion. As Foote said in an interview, “’I knew all the trouble I’d have down the line,’ he said of his Jewish heritage.  “I was always not wanting to take on that kind of trouble.   It just added one more problem, an added awkwardness to life.’” So, while in his twenties, Foote was Baptized and confirmed as an Episcopalian. Foote passed away in 2005.

1916: “Dr. Judah L. Magnes made public in statement issued” tonight "an idea, the details of which have not yet been worked out…which contemplates a gigantic loan, the largest in the world’s history and without interest, to the Jews of Europe” that will help them to “rehabilitate themselves and their devastated lands at the end of the European War.”

1916: Until today, “the hostility of the authorities against the Jews” particularly in Poland “found expression in well-known laws and in uninterrupted persecutions and oppressions of the Jewish community as well as in the fact that a religious body to which 14 per cent of the population of Poland belongs was deprived of all uniform organizations.”

1916: The Jews of Poland received a “grant of new rights” under which “the members of the Jewish religion will be permitted to reorganize as a religious body” and a “guarantee is given that no religious tendency can be suppressed by the majority of the population.”

1916: German General von Besseler, the Governor General at Warsaw made public today an ordinance that “provides for the creation of an organization of the heretofore unorganized and unrecognized Jewish religious communities”

1917: In Munich, Major Franz Carl Andres “in an address delivered under Zionist auspices and sanctioned by the imperial (the Kaiser) authorities intimated that Germany will support Zionist aims in Palestine. (Note – this speech comes two weeks after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and would seem to be a bid by the Germans to hold on to Jewish support)

1917: During World War I, General Allenby’s forces entered the Hills of Jerusalem.  The German General on whom the Turks were depending left Jerusalem and headed for Nablus.  He had no intention of fighting by the side of his Ottoman compatriots as the Allies made their way towards the City of David.

1917: “The battle of Nebi Samwil which was the first attempt by the forces of the British Empire to capture Jerusalem” began today.

1917: Birthdate of Helen Gavronsky the  Germiston, South Africa native who would gain fame as activist and Nobel Prize Winner Helen Suzman

1917: In Brookline, MA, Rose and Myron Helpern gave birth to David Moses Halpern, “the business side of the husband-and-wife apparel design team known as Joan & David…” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1918(13th of Kislev, 5679): Captain Joseph B. Greenhut passed away today in Peoria, Illinois.  Born at Bishop-Purnitz, Austria, in 1843, lived in Mobile, Alabama before moving to North prior to the Civil War.  He was the second man in Chicago to respond to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers.  As a Sargeant in the 12th Illinois Infantry he fought at Fort Donelson where he was wounded and then promoted to the rank of Captain.  His fought in most of the major battles of the war including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and the Battle Above the Clouds.   His valor earned him the brevet rank of Colonel.  He served on the state of Edward S. Salomon, one of the Jewish soldiers to reach the rank of General in the Union Army.  After leaving the Army, Greenhut settled in Peoria where he was a successful businessman for over thirty years. His membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and the B’nai B’rith bespeak his pride in being an American and a Jew.

1918: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow delivered a sermon today “at the temple of the Liberal Union of Paris” entitled “The War and the Future of Religion.”

1919: Birthdate of composer and arranger Hershy Kay.

1921: Winston Churchill demands that Sir Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, move forcefully to collect the fines from Arab rioters who had attacked Jews and destroyed their property in Jaffa.

1922: Birthdate of Stuart Schulberg, the son of producer and studio executive B.P. Schulberg and younger brother of novelist/screenwriter Budd Schulberg,

1924: Release date for a Rudolph Valentino melodrama “A Sainted Devil produced by Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor.

1927: Birthdate of Stanley Cohen. “Cohen is an American biochemist who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his researches on epidermal growth factor (EGF), a substance produced in the body that influences the development of skin tissues. With the nerve growth factor (NGF) studied by Levi-Montalcini, these were the first of many growth-regulating signal substances to be discovered and characterized. The discovery of NGF and EGF opened new fields of widespread importance to basic science and increased understanding of many disease states such as developmental malformations, degenerative changes in senile dementia, delayed wound healing and tumor diseases.”

1927: In Boston, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to perform Alexander Tansman's Symphony no. 2 in A minor which will mark its first performance in the United States.

1930: Birthdate of acclaimed composer David Amram. One of the most eclectic, versatile, and unpredictable American musicians of the 20th–21st centuries, Amram has given equal attention throughout his life thus far to contemporary classical art music, ethnic folk music, film and theater music, and jazz. The Boston Globe has saluted him as "the Renaissance man of American music," and The New York Times noted that he was "multicultural before multiculturalism existed." Yet Amram's so-called multiculturalism has not been political—"correct" or otherwise—but rather a function of his genuine interest in a variety of musical traditions and practices. "Music is one world," he has declared. Amram was born in Philadelphia, but he spent his childhood on the family farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the family moved shortly before his seventh birthday. His father had been a farmer before becoming a lawyer, and—like David Amram to this day—he continued to farm in addition to his professional pursuits. Since there was little Jewish population in that farming region, young David grew up without the benefit of a Jewish community, but his grandfather (David Werner Amram, for whom he was named), who had been active in early American Zionist circles and had spent considerable time on a kibbutz in Palestine, taught him basic Hebrew; and his father conducted Sabbath services in their home. His father also introduced him to recordings of cantorial music and to his own amateur piano renditions of European classical pieces. His uncle was a devotee of jazz, introducing David to recordings of such artists as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong—and then taking him to hear some of those performers in person. Those three traditions—jazz, classical, and Jewish liturgical music—were thus somehow interrelated for him from childhood, in terms of both emotional and improvisational aspects.

1930: “Sweet and Low,” a musical revue produced by Billy Rose whose stars included George Jessel and Fanny Brice opened on Broadway at Chanin’s 46th Street Theatre.

1931: Montefiore Kahn, vice president of Oil Shares, Inc., is scheduled to make a court appearance today related to the theft of $100,000.

1931: “Kameradschaft” a German made film with social protest overtones co-starring Jewish actor Alexander Granach premiered in Germany today.

1933: “The Right to Romance” written by Sidney Buchman was released today by RKO in the United States.

1936: In Budapest, Hungary, “anti-Semitic student demonstrations at the University of Budapest which had ceased during the visit of the Italian Foreign Minister were resumed today.”

1937: As the Arab terrorist war against the Jews of Palestine continued, The Palestine Post reported that 45 Jews were arrested under the new emergency regulations. The Jewish Agency stated, in reference to the revolting murder of five Jewish pioneers at Ma’aleh Hahamisha, and an apparent dissidents’ retaliation during which six Arabs were killed in Jerusalem, that it would oppose to the utmost any attempts at revenge on innocent persons. The agency was confident that all responsible Jewish bodies would stamp out dissidents from their midst. British troops killed three Arab terrorists in Galilee.

1938: U.S. premiere of “The Cowboy and the Lady” a western comedy produced by Samuel Goldwyn with a script by S.N. Behrman and music by Alfred Newman.

1938: Birthdate of Peter Kassovitz, the native of Budapest who left Hungary during the 1956 Revolution and whose directorial credits include one of the most unique Holocaust movies – Jakob the Liar.

1938: Mussolini adopted an Italian anti-Semitic Code patterned after the German Nuremberg Laws.  Was Mussolini an anti-Semite?  This is the subject of The Contract: Mussolini, the Publisher of Hitler by Giorgio Fabrre, recently released in English translation and reviewed by the New York Times on November 7.  This book explores the murky relationship between the two fascist dictators including the fact that Mussolini paid an exorbitant sum for the rights to publish Mein Kampf in Italy.  Apparently the money was really a secret campaign contribution from Mussolini to Hitler.  Prior to the enactment of this code, Mussolini had already moved against the Jews of Italy including his former mistress who was Jewish. The most immediate impact of the code was to force many Jews out of Mussolini’s Fascist Party.  This controversial book has forced many Italians to re-examine this dark chapter in their history.

1938: Sheik Abdul Rahman el Khatib was shot and seriously wounded while walking on a street here this morning. There is little hope for his recovery. His Arab assailant escaped.

1938: As Arab violence continues for a second straight year, “A Jew was fatally shot this morning by an Arab near Sharona, a Christian German colony near Tel Aviv.”

1938: Ernst von Rath whose murder by Herschel Grynszpan was the excuse for Kristallnacht, “was given a state funeral in Düsseldorf, which was attended by Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop who in his funeral oration described the shooting as an attack by the Jews on the German people.”

1939: Nazis destroy all of the synagogues in Lódz, Poland.

1939: Abraham Kaplan, the author of Conduct of Inquiry, married child psychologist Iona Judith Wax; a union which produced two children -- Karen Eva Kaplan Diskin and Jessica Aryia Kaplan Symonds.

1939: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Very Warm for May," premieres in New York City.

1939(5th of Kislev, 5700): Boruch Ber Leibowitz passed away.  Born at Slutsk (Belarus) in 1864, he was Talmudic prodigy who studied under Rabbi Chaim Brisker before becoming head of the Kneseth Beis Yitzchak Yeshiva in Slobodka which he was forced to re-locate and reconstitute in different locales based on the vicissitudes of World War I and the ensuring violence that gripped Eastern Europe.  Tragically, death came to him in Vilna the last location of his Yeshiva.

1940: The Lodz Ghetto Archive was established today, by order of the Chairman of the Judenrat, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski.

http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/this_month/october/15.asp

1940: In Tel Aviv, a conference of 300 communal representatives formed a “United National Front” dedicated to carrying out the reform program championed by Pichas Rutenberg.  “This united front has the support of many middle class Jews” who have been concerned by the breach growing between “socialists affiliated with the General Jewish Labor Federation and Zionist Revisionists.”

1940: In Berlin, Lieutenant Colonel Kazys Skirpa, former Lithuanian ambassador to Germany, established the Lietuviu Aktyvistu Frontas (Lithuanian Activist Front), a collaborationist Fascist organization dedicated to nationalism and anti-Semitism.

1941: Birthdate of Arlington, VA, native James Steven “Jim” Bregman “a member of the first American to compete in judo in the Summer Olympics.”

1941: The Hitch-Hiker a radio play written by Lucille Fletcher featuring a score written and conducted by Bernard Herrmann, Fletcher's first husband was broadcast of the Orson Welles Show on CBS Radio for the first time.

1941: Proceeds from tonight’s performance of the play “Theatre” at the Hudson Theatre featuring Cornelia Otis Skinner will go to the Women’s League for Palestine and help the league raise funds for the construction of a center for refugees in Jerusalem.

1941: Eight Jews executed for going outside the Warsaw ghetto without permission. Six were women.

1941: In France, the Vichy government expanded the Aryanization rules to exclude Jews from any employment beyond menial labor.

1942: Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz “married Rachel Unger Leifer of Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Rabbi Naftali Unger, av beis din of Neumarkt and a descendant of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz.”

1942: It was reported today that two chapters “Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary” by Bella Fromm have appeared in Harper’s Magazine.   [Bella Fromm was a German Jewish correspondent for the Ullstein newspapers and the Times. She risked her life by staying in Germany during the 1930’s so that she could report on events surrounding the Hitler régime.  She finally fled to the United States where her reportage became the inspiration for this first-hand account of events in the land of the Nazis.]

1942: The headline in today’s edition of Haaretz announced that "The Eretz-Israeli residents that have been exchanged have arrived from the Reich."  According to the Jewish daily, “There’s been much commotion at the Afula station in preparation for the arrival of 114 women and children, relatives of Eretz-Israeli and British residents, who've come from Germany. They were exchanged for German women and children from Eretz Israel, who were allowed to travel to Germany."

1943: Nine hundred ninety-five Jews from Holland were sent to Birkenau where 531 were gassed, including 166 children.

1943: Max Sievers, who was forced to return to Europe in 1939 because he could not get a visa that would have allowed him to say in the United State was sentenced to death by the Nazis.

1943: General Antonescu, the Rumanian dictator warned the cabinet against giving into Hitler's demands for the Jews. Hundreds of thousands still survived in camps and ghettos. "We will take them away from here." Four thousand, four hundred orphans were the first to be repatriated, followed by 15,000 others.

1943: The director-general of the BBC, Robert Foot, issued a policy directive . . . 'that we should not promote ourselves or accept any propaganda in the way of talks, discussion, features with the object of trying to correct the undoubted anti-Semitic feeling which is held very largely throughout the country'

1944: U.S. premiere of “The Princess and the Pirate” produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with music by Daid Rose and screenplay co-authored by Mel Shavelson.

1944: In Palestine, Florence Becker and Henry Abraham Lipowitz gave birth to Lorne Lipowitz, the Canadian raised television producer known as Lorne Michaels the driving force behind “Saturday Night Live.”

1945: A delegation from the American League for Free Palestine headed by former Senator Guy Gillette arrived in London tonight.  The delegates are supposed to hold discussions with British leaders about the situation in Palestine and payment of reparations to those living in DP camps in Germany.

1945: As the British government sought to enforce the White Paper and clamp down on Jewish resistance activities, “British paratroopers carried twenty expectant mothers to hospitals in armored cars today.  A baby born in one of the armored cars was named Shalom by his mother.

1946: As part of growing wave of terror caused by Britain failing to honor its war time promise to allow Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel and increasing repressive measure aimed at the Jews of the Yishuv, four British policemen were killed when their truck was blown up outside Tel Aviv.

1946: In New York premiere of “The Chase” with a screenplay by Philip Yordan

1946: Freedom Fighters for Israel (FFI) also known as Lehi or the Stern group operatives detonated a mine that killed four and wounded several others; over the course of the month, FFI gunmen sabotaged rail lines, shot at trains, blew up military vehicles, destroyed international telegraph lines, attacked police stations, robbed Barclays Bank in Tel Aviv, and set off an explosion at a British military base.

1946: Eighty-six year old archaeologist Max von Oppenheim whose accomplishments included the excavations at Tell-Halaf passed away today.

http://tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/141788/hitler-jews-oppenheim

1947: “Unidentified robbers gagged and bound a Tel Aviv diamond merchant in his home and escaped with jewels valued at $8,000.”

1947: Members of the “Stern Gang…announced that they were ready to resume their truce pledge.”

1947: Today “a prominent Arab source said differences of between King Abdullah of Transjordan and the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, had ruled out a coordinated invasion by Arabs opposed to a partition of the Holy Land.”

1947: In Palestine, the departing British administration plans to sell state-owned real estate along the Haifa waterfront and to invest in England money from bonds sold to Palestinians.

1947: A Liverpool jury needed only 13 minutes of deliberation to find newspaper editor James Caunt not guilty of charges of “seditious libel against the Jews in Britain.”  Caunt had written an editorial in The Visitor criticizing “British Jews for not doing more to prevent Zionist killing of British troops in Palestine, describing Jews as ‘a plague on Britain’ and encouraging violence against them.

1947: Today, while the National Conference of the CDE was still conducting its business, Dr. William Filderman resigned from the leadership of the UER, and after a short time, succeeded in leaving Romania clandestinely. This decision had to be made, because it was discovered that the Romanian authorities were preparing a plot in which he would be accused of being a spy for Great Britain.

1948: King Abdullah of Transjordan hopes for a "real peace" to replace "semi-peace." He suggests that "the Israelis should be more reasonable "and the Arabs "should accept the logical." (Abdullah was a complex figure who wanted to rule Jerusalem. He announced that no land under the control of the Jordanian army would be turned over to what are called today the Palestinian Arabs.)

1949: Charles "Charlie" Thompson Winters was released today after spending 18 months in prison for violating the Neutrality Act of 1939 in conspiring to smuggle three bombers via Czechoslovakia to Palestine.

1949: “The first of the military’s dead – the remains of those who fought in Latrun, in Kfar Etzion and the Convoy of 35, along with those buried in Sheikh Bader – some 300 people in all – were buried in a communal grave in the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl. (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

1950: Soprano Roberta Peters, the twenty year old daughter of Ruth and Sol Peterman debuted at the Metropolitan Opera when she replaced a colleague on six hours’ notice. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

1953 (17 Kislev): Isser Zalman Meltzer passed away.  Born in 1870, he was a famous Lithuanian Orthodox rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva and pose. He is also known as the "Even HaEzel", after the title of his commentary on Rambam's Mishne Torah.

1953: Anna Meingest, who had been Stefan Zweig’s secretary in Salzburg for twenty years during the inter-war years passed away today.

1954(21st of Cheshvan): Hebrew poet Yizhak Lamdan passed away

1954: “Désirée” a movie version of the novel by the same name, directed by Henry Koster, produced by Julian Blaustein and written by Daniel Taradash

1958: Syrian terrorists killed the wife of the British air attaché in Israel, who was staying at the guesthouse of the Italian Convent on the Mt. of the Beatitudes.

1960: “Morgan the Pirate” produced by Joseph E. Levine was released today in Italy.

1960: Birthdate of Mandy Yachad a former South African cricketer and field hockey player who represented the South African national team in both sports.

1961: “A Proper God” published today reviews Paddy Chayefsky’s “Gideon” a play “drawn from 3 chapters of the Book of Judges” that “explores the relationship of an ordinary man to God.”

1962: “Little Me” a Broadway “musical written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

1962: “More Language That Needs Watching” by Theodore M. Bernstein, the assistant managing editor of the New York Times is scheduled to be published today. This is Bernstein’s second book on linguistics. “Watch Your Language” provided examples “of words gone wrong – incorrect usage – and inept sentence structure” as well as selections of “bright and incisive writing.”

1962: In his sermon delivered today, Dr. Israel Margolies said that laws that prevent the abortion of deformed babies are barbarous. The New York City rabbi has been quoted as saying “that the truly civilized mind would be hard pressed to devise a greater sin than to condemn a helpless infant to a life of permanent deformity, or to the twilight world of the slum and orphanage, or to an unwelcome home.”

1962(20th of Cheshvan, 5723): John Shubert who had taken over as head of operations from his father Jacob in the 1950’s “passed away unexpectedly” today.

1964(12th of Kislev, 5725): Chaim Mordechai Katz the Rosh Yeshiva of the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, suffered a massive, fatal heart attack today.

1964: Seventy-eight year old General Sir George James Giffard who served as General Officer Commanding British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan from 1940 to 1941 passed away today.

1965: “The War Lord” a medieval war movie with a score by Jerome Moross was released in the United States today.

1966: Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” premiered on Broadway today.

1967: “Former concentration camp guard Erwin Busta, Gestapo official Ernst Sander and chief of security for the V-weapons program Helmut Bischoff went on trial before the District Court at Essen, West Germany on charges that included “summary executions of prisoners who had attempted to escape or were accused of sabotage.”

1968(26th of Cheshvan, 5729): Ninety-four year old Vicksburg native Sidney N. Scharff, the son of Nicholas Scharff and Carrie Bernheimer passed away today in St. Louis

1968: In what became known as the “Heidi Game” NBC cut away from the last minute of football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets so viewers could see the children’s classic, Heidi.  Given the closeness of the game, NBC’s switchboard was lit up with calls from irate fans.  The Jets were owned by two Jews, Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess and the Raiders were owned by another Jew, Al Davis. 

1969: NBC broadcast “Friend of the Earth” the 11th episode of “My World and Welcome to It” created by Melville Savelson, produced by Sheldon Leonard and Danny Arnold and co-starring Harold J. Stone today.

1969: An F-4E Phantom Jet manned by Ehud Hankin and Shaul Levi fell victim to Jordanian anti-aircraft fire.

1972: “They Call Him Mechanic” a “crime thriller directed by Michael Winner, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler with music by Jerry Fielding was released in the United States today.

1973: NPR broadcast the first episode of “The National Lampoon Radio” whose stars included Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis and Richard Belzer

1977: Egyptian President Sadat formally accepts invitation to visit Israel. This is the start of a historic process that will result in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.  While Sadat may have been the leader of the sneak attack that started the Yom Kippur War, he is worth remembering as an Arab Nachson, a man who was brave enough to plunge into the unknown for the greater good.  He literally paid for peace with his own blood. 

1977: Colonel Menachem Milson, the Israeli officer named to serve as aide-de-camp to Anwar Sadat during his upcoming visit to Israel met with the committee coordinating preparation for the historic visit. 

1978: Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” premiered today at Lyttelton Theatre & Royal National Theatre in London

1980: Bella Abzug and Grace Paley were among the thousands of women who participated in today’s Women’s Pentagon Action.

1980: In a move that reinforced the concept of separation of church & State, the Supreme Court today decided in Stone v Graham, that “a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments purchased with private contributions on the wall of each public classroom in the State is unconstitutional”

1980: “Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the Jews of Berlin in which he discussed his views of Catholic-Jewish relations” in which he “claimed that Catholics must embrace the Hebrew Bible as being equally valid as the New Testament” and “asserted that God's Old Covenant with the Jewish people was never revoked which meant, as Darcy O'Brien wrote, that the pope had indicated that the Catholic Church had abandoned its mission to proselytize the Jews and has embraced the Jews' salvation.”

1982(1st of Kislev, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1982(1st of Kislev, 5743): Russian violinist Leonid Borisovitch Kogan passed away.

1983: Birthdate of Milwaukee Brewers MVP Ryan Braun.

1985: “Art View; The Best and Biggest In Pittsburgh” published today described the 49th Carnegie International Exhibition which included works by Lucian Freud and Mel Bochner.’

1985(4th of Kislev, 5746): Eighty-one year old Jimmy Ritz, one of the Ritz Brothers, passed away today after he was buried with his brothers at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.”

1988: Neil Simon's "Rumors," premieres in New York City.

1989: “The Little Mermaid” an animated musical with a score by Alan Menken was released in the United States today.

1990(29th of Cheshvan, 5751): Robert Hofstadter passed away. Hofstadter was an “American scientist who was a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1961 for his investigations in which he measured the size of the neutron and proton in the nuclei of atoms. He revealed the hitherto unknown structure of these particles and helped create an identifying order for subatomic particles. He also correctly predicted the existence of the omega-meson and rho-meson. He also studied controlled nuclear fission. Hofstadter was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. He also made substantial contributions to gamma ray spectroscopy, leading to the use of radioactive tracers to locate tumors and other disorders. (He shared the prize with Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer of Germany.)”

1992: In the wake of last year’s riots in Crown Heights, “New York Governor Mario Cuomo gave the Director of Criminal Justice Services, Richard H.Girgenti, the authority to investigate the rioting and the trial” of Lemrick Nelson, Jr who was identified by Yankel Rosenbuam as his attacker before he succumbed to his wounds.

1993: Judith Rodin was named the president of the University of Pennsylvania making her the first woman to head an Ivy League University. Serving as Penn's president until 2004, Rodin guided the university through the largest capital construction period in its history and increased its U.S. News and World Report ranking from 16 in 1994 to 5 in 2003. Rodin is a faculty member of Penn's psychology department and in its School of Medicine. Widely published, her research focuses on the complex relationships between mind and body. Rodin attended Penn as an undergraduate and spent 22 years on the faculty of Yale University, where she served as provost from 1992 to 1994. In addition to her academic work, she chaired the board of Innovation Philadelphia and the Knowledge Industry Partnership. She serves on the steering committee of college presidents for America Reads and the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Rodin also served on President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Rodin was not a token, but a trailblazer.  When she retired in 2004, she was followed by another Jewish woman, Amy Gutman.  Gutman would gain a measure of notoriety when she was photographed with a student dressed as a suicide bomber at a Halloween Costume Party in 2006.

1993(3rd of Kislev, 5754): Sgt. 1st Cl. Chaim Darina, age 37, was stabbed by a Gazan terrorist while seated at the cafeteria at the Nahal Oz road block at the entrance to the Gaza Strip. The terrorist was apprehended. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the murder.

1994: Irish Labor Party member Mervyn Taylor completed his service as Minister for Equality and Law Reform.

1996: In New York, the complete list of candidates for landmark status and their architects suggested by Robert A. M. Stern includes the Henry L. Moses Research Institute, Montefiore Hospital, East Gun Hill Road, Bronx

1998: Israel's parliament overwhelmingly approved the Wye River land-for-peace accord with the Palestinians.

1999: U.S. premiere of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” produced by Scott Rudin, with music by Danny Elfman and filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

2000: Mathew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and Elizabeth Murdoch gave birth to their first child Charlotte Emma Freud.

2001: Daniel Saul Goldin finishes serving as Adminstrator of NASA.  Goldin was the first Jew to hold the post.  He held the position longer than any of his predecessors, serving under three different Presidents.

2002 (12th of Kislev, 5763): Abba Eban passed away.  (Editor’s note:  This entry is a little on the lengthy side, but the subject is well worth the time.  There is a prejudice at work here.  As youngster growing up in Washington during the 1950’s I heard Eban speak several times. His round Churchillian tones along with his sharp, lucid comments made one swell with pride.  I was further amazed to think that Israelis sounded just like Winston Churchill [boy was I in for a surprise].  But in the early days of the state, when Israel was not a popular cause, Ambassador to the U.S. and the U.N., Abba Eban bucked the odds, conducting a one-man diplomatic and public relations offensive against the well-heeled American oil lobby and the Arab governments to provide Israel with a positive image in the United States at a time when the survival of the state hung in the balance on daily basis. He will always be remembered as one of the statesmen who helped persuade the world to approve creation of Israel and dominated Israeli diplomacy for decades.)


Abba Eban, orator, Israeli statesman and diplomat, Foreign Minister from 1966 to 1974, was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and brought up in England. He studied oriental languages and classics at Cambridge University, England, where he was a lecturer in Arabic from 1938 to 1940. He was already a public speaker of caliber and renowned for his presence at debates on the Middle East. During World War II he served in the British Army in Egypt and Mandate Palestine, becoming an intelligence officer in Jerusalem, where he coordinated and trained volunteers for resistance in the event of a German invasion. In 1946, the Jewish Agency appointed him political information officer in London, where he participated in the negotiations with the British government and the UN concerning the establishment of the State of Israel. When Israel became independent in 1948, he was appointed its first Ambassador at the UN. From 1950 until 1959 Eban was both Israel's ambassador in Washington, D.C., and chief delegate to the UN. On his return to Israel in 1959, Eban was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Mapai party, and served under David Ben-Gurion as Minister of Education and Culture from 1960 to 1963. From 1963 to 1966, he was deputy to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. He was also president of the Weizmann Institute at Rehovot from 1959 to 1966. As Israel's Foreign Minister from February 1966 to 1974, Eban tried to strengthen relations with the United States and to associate Israel with the European Economic Community. During and after the Six-Day War of June 1967, he led Israel's diplomatic struggle in the UN. Following the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, Abba Eban helped bring about a disengagement of Egyptian and Israel forces in Sinai.  Eban continued to serve in succeeding sessions of the Knesset, but outside the ministerial sphere, as a member and later as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, until he retired from politics in 1988. He was widely admired for his brilliant oratory outside Israel and his statesmanship at the UN on Israel's behalf, including some dramatic oratory. He wrote a scathing article on the infamous UN "Zionism=Racism" Resolution in 1975.  A figure of multiple accomplishments, Eban was fluent in ten languages, with the dual vocation of statesman and erudite academic. Throughout his career, he found time to publish meticulous and detailed historical works based on his vast knowledge and personal experience. His books include Voice of Israel (1957); My People (1969); My Country (1972), and Personal Witness (1992), as well as An Autobiography. After his retirement, he was able to dedicate more time to writing and lecturing, including essays and books The New Diplomacy and Diplomacy for the Next Century (1998), but his major landmarks were his involvement in the creation of three major historical television documentary series about the Jewish People and Israel, in which his remarkable voice rings throughout the narration with elegance and confidence. The first two were for Israel Television: Heritage: Civilization and the Jews; Personal Witness: A Nation is Born; and The Brink of Peace was produced with PBS.  In 2001, Abba Eban was awarded the Israel Prize for his lifetime achievement, but his wife received the prize on his behalf, as he was too ill to attend the ceremony. He also held twenty honorary doctorates and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

2002: The New York Times book section features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, Media and Her Children by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Arch Tait and The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right by Daniel Levitas.

2004: Premiere of the French comedy “The Grandsons,” directed, produced and written by Ilan Duran Cohen.

2005: Ira Glass’ “This American Life celebrated its tenth anniversary.”

2005:  Haaretz reported on the three day visit of Israel’s President Moshe Katsav to Italy.  On the second day of the trip, Italy’s prime minister said that Israel should be admitted to the European Union.  This appears to be further evidence of the end of a period in which Israel was isolated from western democracies.  Katsav also announced his plans to invite the new Pope to visit Jerusalem.

2005: Conrad M Black was indicted for his alleged role in stealing $51.8 million dollars from Hollinger International, the giant international newspaper publisher he helped create.  His publishing empire included The Jerusalem Post.  Black is Catholic but he is married to the conservative columnist Barbara Amiel, who is Jewish.  

2006: William Shattner, the actor best known for his role as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise appears in a commercial on the History Channel proclaiming that he is a Jew while wishing Mazel Tov to the Pilgrims.  The commercial is promoting an upcoming television telling the untold story of the Pilgrims travels to America in 1620.

2006: Pierre Lellouche, the Tunisian born French Jewish political leaders completed his term as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

2006: Jessica Savitch, of blessed memory, was inducted into "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame"

2007: The International Oud Festival presents "Peace on Earth" at the Jerusalem Theater. The ensemble put together by Dinkjian for our Festival this year is comprised of some of the finest musicians from Greece, Turkey and Israel, Christians, Muslims and Jews, who will improvise together and play a selection of works by composers of the different faiths.

2007: As part of the Australia Festival of Jewish Cinema “The Vow” is shown in Melbourne, Australia and “The Cantor’s Son” is shown in Sydney, Australia.

2007: Omer Golan scored the winning goal for Israel against Russia, handing England a lifeline in their qualification group for Euro 2008,

2007: Haaretz reported that “the Jewish poverty rate in the United States is higher than that in Israel. In Israel 24 percent of the population is considered poor, but about half is not Jewish…The poverty line for a family of three is set at an annual income of $15,000 but in New York and other large cities it is adjusted to the higher cost of living and set at $22,530.”  

2008: The Jewish Community Center of Chicago holds its annual Hall of Fame Dinner, this year honoring Edward Fox followed by a benefit concert featuring Itzhak Perlman with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

2008: As part of the Meet the Author series, the JCC in Manhattan presents an evening with Yehudit Katzir, “a leading fresh female voice from Israel whose work has been translated into many languages.”  Her latest novel, “Dearest Anne, is a coming of age story set in mid-1970s Israel. After divorce shatters her family, Rivi is raised by her neglectful mother and helps care for her two younger brothers. She documents her feelings in a diary addressed to Anne Frank.”

2008(19th of Cheshvan, 5769): Ali Ashtari was hanged today after being sentenced to death on June 30 by a revolutionary court in Teheran. It was the country's first known conviction for espionage linked to Israel in almost a decade.

2008: Moshe Ya'alon announced that he was joining Likud and that he would participate in the primaries which would determine the Likud candidates for the 2009 elections. Ya’alon had served as IDF Chief of Staff from 2002 through 2005.

2009: At Acre, the second workshop sponsored by UESCO on the subject of “Protecting Heritage Sites from Disaster” comes to an end.

2009: Opening of The Fifth International Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition - WATEC Israel 2009 at the Trade Fair and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.

2009 (30th of Cheshvan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2009: Noralee Frankel discusses and signs Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee at noon as part of the Books & Beyond series at the Library of Congress.

2009: A former SS sergeant who worked unnoticed for decades as a train-station manager was charged with 58 counts of murder today after a student doing undergraduate research uncovered his alleged involvement in a massacre of Jewish forced laborers. University of Vienna student Andreas Forster was working on a project about the slaying in a forest near the Austrian village of Deutsch Schuetzen when he stumbled across Adolf Storms' name in witness testimony. Forster then obtained files from federal archives in Berlin that enabled him to link the former sergeant to the massacre, his professor, Walter Manoschek, told The Associated Press. Manoschek visited Storms, 90, at his home in the city of Duisburg several times last year after finding him in the phone book. The professor conducted about 12 hours of interviews during which Storms stressed repeatedly that he has no recollection of the killings on March 29, 1945. Forster and Manoschek notified authorities and state prosecutors near Storms' hometown in the industrial Ruhrgebiet region of western Germany filed charges against Storms Tuesday accusing him and unidentified accomplices of forcing at least 57 of the Jewish laborers to hand over their valuables and kneel by a grave, then fatally shooting them from behind. The Duisburg court where the charges were filed still must decide whether there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial. Storms does not appear on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most-wanted Nazi war criminals, but the organization's top Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said he was "very encouraged by the indictment." "He wasn't on our radar - he wasn't on anyone's radar - and this is a case that clearly shows it is possible, even at this point, to identify perpetrators who bear responsibility for serious crimes committed during World War II and bring them to justice," he said. The court described the suspect simply as a "retiree from Duisburg," but German authorities have previously identified him as Adolf S. His full name was given in previous trials in Austria related to other suspects in the massacre. Storms has been identified as a former member of the 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking." A day after the forest massacre, Storms is accused of personally shooting another Jew who could no longer walk during a forced march in Austria from Deutsch Schuetzen to the village of Hartberg, according to the court.  The remains of the victims of the Deutsch Schuetzen massacre were found in 1995 in a mass grave by the Austrian Jewish association. A plaque now marks the site. Storms was interned in an American prisoner of war camp following the war, but was released in 1946. It was not uncommon for possible war criminals to go undetected in the chaotic aftermath of the war.Storms worked as a train-station manager after the war until his retirement. The Austrian press has reported he changed the spelling of his name after the war. Manoschek described Storms as "fully there" mentally but in poor physical health. Authorities did not disclose his attorney's name and the phone at his home in Duisburg went unanswered. Prosecutor Andreas Brendel said there are no living witnesses to the forest massacre but statements made during an Austrian trial of others involved can be used as evidence against the suspect.  Brendel said three former members of the Hitler Youth who were helping the SS guard the prisoners on the march have provided witness statements in Austria. A fourth former Hitler Youth member, now living in Canada, is being interviewed this week, he told the AP. According to Manoschek, several of the former Hitler Youth were tried in 1946 and convicted an sentenced to two years in prison for their involvement.

2010: In New York City, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present: Journeying to the Jews: Literary Ethnography along the Eastern Front, 1914-1918.

2010:  In New York City, Jaimy Gordon was the surprise winner of the National Book Award for fiction.

2010: It was announced today that a Holocaust survivor who teaches children the value of citizenship is among those who will be honored by President Obama with a Medal of Freedom. Gerda Weissman Klein, who survived the notorious death march at the end of the war designed by Nazis to keep Jews from being rescued, recently founded Citizenship Counts, “an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday. “Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faith around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people,” the statement said. The Medal of Freedom is the highest U.S. civilian honor, “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”.

2010: Today Israel approved the withdrawal of troops from the northern half of a divided village that straddles the border with Lebanon — a step that would end its four-year presence in the volatile area. 2010: Jean-François Copé began serving his term as President of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Group in the French National Assembly.

2011: The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El are scheduled to present “Gender, Power, and Authority in Jewish Life: Challenges and Opportunities in North America and Israel” featuring Renana Pilzer, head of the Beit Midrash at the Shalom Hartman Institute Midrashiya Girls High School and Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community

2011: Jeremy Cowan author of “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How it took 13 years, extreme Jewish Brewing and Circus sideshow freaks to make Schmaltz Brewing Company an International Success” is scheduled to appear at the JCC in St. Louis, MO.

2011: Rabbi Jeff Portman is scheduled to begin teaching a five session course “The Simpsons and the 10 Commandments” at Kirkwood Community College.

2011: “The Young Zionist of Dror in Morocco” a film that documents Jewish life in Morocco during the 1950’s is scheduled to be shown today at the Jewish Eye World Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Israel has reached its lowest poverty levels since 2003, according to the 2010 poverty report released today, but still faces significant problems in wealth disparity and impoverished children. According to the report, 20 percent of Israeli families - some 1.7 million people - live in poverty. Among them are 873,000 children, representing about a third of the country's youth. While noting the "positive improvement in poverty indicators for the year 2010," Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon called the poverty levels and wealth gaps "intolerable" and said they must change. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz noted that the report shows positive trends, such as improvements in the wealth gap. "I can inform you that for the first time we are seeing the beginning of narrowing gaps, the beginning of a poverty-reduction trend in all populations: the elderly, children, and the two most disadvantaged groups, the haredim and the Arabs. This is an important topic we are dealing with every day," Steinitz said during an address to the Calcalist conference. "The most important thing is to maintain economic investment growth, which allows increases in employment, decreased in unemployment and ultimately, a reduction in gaps," he continued. Steinitz also announced plans to present the government with a detailed proposal in two weeks on improving financial education in Israel.

2011: Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said today that medical residents who were resigning en mass in protest over pay and conditions were “taking the law into their own hands.”

2012(3rd of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-four year old “Leah Gottlieb, who started with a single sewing machine in a refugee camp in the new nation-state of Israel and rose to become one of the world’s most renowned designers of women’s bathing suits” passed away at her home in Tel Aviv today.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/fashion/leah-gottlieb-a-designer-of-swimsuits-dies-at-94.html?hpw&_r=0

2012: “Süskind,” a cinematic treatment of the life the Jewish manager of the Jewish Council in Amsterdam in 1942, is scheduled to be shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival.

2012: The Jerusalem International Oud Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2012: The World Union For Progressive Judaism is scheduled to host the 2012 International Humanitarian Awards Dinner in NYC.

2012: Flory Jagoda, Aaron Shneyer, Hannah Spiro, Freida Enoch, Jessi Roemer, Jill Sege and Jonathan Tucker are scheduled to perform at Congreation Tifereth Israel as part of the Jewish Folk Arts Festival.

2012: As Jews around the world observe Shabbat the words “Oseh shalom bimromav hu ya'aseh shalom aleynu v'al kol yisrael vimru amen” (He who makes peace in his high places, he shall make peace upon us and upon all Israel, and say amen) take on a special poignancy as terrorist rockets are fired at Jerusalem and Israeli soldiers prepare to risk their lives to preserve the Jewish state.

 2012: As Israel entered the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, an eerie silence washed over the south, with the familiar sound of red alerts and booms of rockets giving way to rumors of a ceasefire. As soldiers continued to stream south, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi told reporters that there were indications that an agreement to halt hostilities was close. Israel denied the report, with officials saying there were still too many targets to hit before they could be confident the job they set out to do was done. Still, Southern Command head Tal Russo told reporters Hamas had been dealt a heavy blow.

2012: The Iron Dome intercepted two Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles aimed at Tel Aviv today. The missiles marked the third attack on the heavily populated central city in as many days, after Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired four missiles toward the financial capital yesterday and the day before yesterday, prompting red alert air raid sirens to sound in the city

2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Map and The Territory: Risk, Human Nature and the Future of Forecasting by Alan Greenspan, Jews In Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010 by Jeffrey S. Gurock, The Rise of Abraham Cahan by Seth Lipsky, Hanukkah in America: A History by Dianne Ashton, Jews and the Military: A History by Derek Penslar  and The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood by Roger Rosenblatt.

2013: In Australia, the annual Jewish International Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2013: “The Fading Valley” and “Good Garbage” are scheduled to shown at the “Other Israel Film Festival” in New York City.

2013: France favors an interim agreement with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, French President Francois Hollande said today in Israel, but such an agreement would only be signed if Tehran would abandon its ambition to acquire a nuclear weapon. (As reported by Raphael Ahren and Adiv Sterman)

2013: According to reports published in the London Sunday Times the Saudis have agreed “to let Israel use its airspace in a military strike on Iran and cooperate over the use of rescue helicopters, tankers and drones.” (As reported by the Times of Israel staff)

2013(14th of Kislev, 5774): Seventy-seven year old Syd Field author of Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, the “bible of screening passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

2014: In Melbourne, “The Last Mentsch” and “Regarding Susan Sontag” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014: “The Last Mentsch” and “Natan” are scheduled to be shown at the 18th UK Jewish Film Festival

2014: The funeral of Charley J. Levine is scheduled to take placed this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Har Menuchot in Givat Shaul in Jerusalem.

2014: Twenty-three year old Yonatan Souid, a French Jew will be formally charged today after being arrested yesterday for scalling the Brookly Birdige, apparently in an attempt to take some photographs.

2014: “As tensions within the fractured government reached new levels” of crisis, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman met today “to discuss solutions for the crisis in the coaltion over the state budget. (As reported by Moran Azulay)

2014: “Many Palestinian bus drivers in Jerusalem did not show up for work today after an Arab bus driver was found hanged last night in what was classifified as suicide following an autoposy. (As reported by Marissa Newman)

2014(24th of Cheshvan, 5775): Ninety-five year old Victor Elmaleh the Morooccan-born American Jewish businessman who, ironically, was one of the first to import German made VW’s into the United States passed away today.

2015: “Partner with the Enemy” and “April Fool’s” are scheduled to be shown in Los Angeles at the 29th Israel Film Festival.

2015: “Deli Man” and “The Physician” are scheduled to be shown in Sydney at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2016: The ADL is scheduled to host “Never Is Now!” its “groundbreaking summit on anti-Semitism today in New York City.

2016: The American Jewish Historical Society and the American Society for Jewish Music are scheduled to host the Ted Rosenthal Quintet performing “The Great Jewish American Songbook” – “an evening of jazz interpretations of famous Jewish composers including George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, and Jerome Kern, and a post-performance talk by Ted Rosenthal about the Jewish immigrants contributions to the American jazz repertoire of the 20th century”

2016: “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” and “Natasha” are scheduled to be shown at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “Cloudy Sunday” and “Alone in Berlin” are scheduled to be shown at Sydney as part of the International Jewish Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

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