Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This Day, November 23, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 23

912: Birthdate of Otto the Great, founder of the Holy Roman Empire which was neither holy nor Roman. During his reign Rabbis living in the Rhineland addressed questions to the Rabbis in Palestine “concerning the reported appearance of the Messiah.” This report was based on information supplied by 12 century Rabbi Isaac ben Dorolo.

1221: Birthdate of King Alfonso X of Castile who had Yehudah ben Moshe translate several texts on magic into the national vernacular.

1248: In the long war to unite Spain, King Ferdinand III of Castile takes Seville from the Moors. Ferdinand is remembered as the king who refuses Pope’s demand that Jews be forced to wear special badge and clothing.  The reason given by the monarch is a fear that Jews would flee to Muslim Granada, which would be disastrous for the revenues of the kingdom. “The Jews have played a prominent part in Seville’s history since the 4th Century and after the Christian Reconquest, their community was concentrated in this part of the city and enjoyed a period of great prosperity until the end of the 14th Century. Jews were prominent bankers, tradesmen, doctors, writers, philosophers, and advisors to both Arab and Christian rulers. It is no coincidence that the Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz is located right next to the Royal Palace, the Alcázar. A street called “El Callejón de La Judería” (“The Little Street of the Jewish Quarter”) leads into the heart of the Santa Cruz neighborhood.”

1510: The Jews were expelled from Naples. Fifteen years earlier, the Spanish had conquered the island, and within a year had issued an order for the banishment of all Jews, which was never carried out. Now the community, which had existed since Roman times, was forced out. The only Jews remaining were the "New Christians" (who were to be expelled 5 years later) and 200 wealthy families who paid a new annual tax for such tolerance.

 1584: The Sultan ordered an investigation to the number of synagogues in Safed. In his letter to the local administration, he wrote, "in the town of Safed there are only seven sacred mosques. But the Jews who in olden times had three synagogues have now thirty-two synagogues, and they have built their buildings very high."

1593: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Bucharest claiming the lives of many Jews

1702(3rd of Kislev): Thirty six Jews were killed in an explosion in Lemberg, Poland

1777(23rd of Cheshvan): Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen of Brisk, author of Minhat Aharon passed away

1801: In Philadelphia, Leon van Amringe, Isaiah Nathan, Isaac Marks, Aaron Levi, Jr., Abraham Gumpert, and Abraham Moses took title to a plot of ground to be used as a place of burial for members of the newly formed Congregation Mickvé Israel.

1801: In Bridgetown, Barbados, Eliezer Montefiore and Judith Montefiore gave birth to Jacob Barrow Montefiore.

1804: Birthdate of Franklin Pierce fourteenth President of the United States. Pierce is part of the unmemorable trio who served occupied the White House in the decade before the Civil War including Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan.  Among his few claims to fame is that he was the first and maybe the only President whose name appears on the charter of a synagogue. Pierce signed the Act of Congress in 1857 that amended the laws of the District of Columbia to enable the incorporation of the city's first synagogue, the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

1825: Birthdate of Henriette Goldschmidt who married Rabbi Abraham Meyer Goldschmidt and was a leading educator, social worker and activists in the fight for the rights of German women.

1833: In Turek, near Kalish in Russian, Poland, Wolf Rosenthal and Esther Kolskey gave birth to “painter, engraver, etcher, lithographer and illustrator” and husband of Carolina Rosenthal who came to Philadelphia in 1849 where he pursued a career that included making illustrations of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War for the United States Military Commission, producing a collection of five hundred historical portraits and providing illustrations for “The Legend of Ben Levi.”

1836(14th of Kislev, 5597): Jacob Cohen Bakri, a wealthy French Jew who played a key role in the French acquisition of Algeria passed away today.

1840: Sixty-six year old Louis Gabriel Ambroise Bonald, the anti-Semitic “French philosopher, politician and author” who believed that most Jews were “parasites” and that before they could be emancipated they must adopt Catholicism, passed away today.

1841: It was announced that Albert Goldsmid had been promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. In the British Army.

1844(12th of Kislev, 5605): Fifty-three year old “Austrian financier and philanthropist Hermann Todesco passed away at his native Pressburg, Hungary today.

1845: Paul Julius Reuter married Ida Maria Elizabeth Clementine Magnus in Berlin completing a series of changes that had begun a month before when he arrived had arrived in London.  In that time he changed his name to Joseph Josephat, converted to Christianity and then changed his name again to Paul Julius Reuter.

1845: Forty-six year old Michael Solomon Alexander, the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem passed away.  An ordained Rabbi, he converted to Christianity in 1825.

1845: Forty-six year old Michael Solomon Alexander, a convert to Christianity who became the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem passed away today.

.1847: The Ladies of the Society for the Religious Instruction in Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution of tribute at the passing of the British author, Grace Aguilar. Aguilar had died on September 16, 1847 at the age of 32. Aguilar's work had been championed by Philadelphia editor Isaac Leeser, who published Aguilar's books in the United States and included her writings in his monthly magazine, The Occident and American Jewish Advocate. As a result, Aguilar was in many ways better known in the Jewish community of the United States than in England. In addition to historical romances (e.g. The Vale of Cedars) and reflections on Judaism (The Spirit of Judaism, 1842) Aguilar's influential book, The Women of Israel (1844), contested the claims by numerous Christian authors that Judaism denigrated women. Aguilar argued for Judaism's ancient and contemporary regard for women by detailing the strong and admirable women who appear in Judaism's essential defining text, the Bible. Aguilar returned the feeling of kinship that American Jewish women bore her. She even responded to an 1843 request from Savannah to contribute to a fair that local Jewish women were holding to raise funds to hire a rabbi. Aguilar sent along 2 purses, 6 needle cases, and 12 pincushions on which she had done the needlework, along with additional needlework pieces gathered from some of her friends. In mourning Aguilar's passing, the Charleston women truly felt they had lost one of their own. Aguilar's death at a young age evinced a strong response. Leeser observed that “there has not arisen a single Jewish female in modern times who has done so much for the illustration and adornment of her faith as Grace Aguilar.” The Charleston women expressed their appreciation for the “power and effect” of the “pen of this champion of our faith, against that giant Prejudice, whose shadow blackens the earth.” Citing her as the “moral governess of the Hebrew family,” the women of the Society resolved that her death “must be regarded as a national calamity; and that no demonstration of respect, however high, can convey an adequate sense of the exalted estimation in which we hold her character or of the profound regret with which we received the tidings of her dissolution.”

1848(27th of Cheshvan, 5609): Twenty-six year old Hermann Jellinek, the younger brother of Rabbi Adolf Jellinek was executed today for his role in the Vienna Uprising in October, 1848

1848 (27th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Meir Benjamin Danon, author of Be’er ba Sadeh, passed away

1852: An article published today entitled “Trial for Arson In the First Degree’ described the trial of Aaron Diamond on charges of arson. Mr. Morrison appeared as counsel representing Aaron Diamond, a German Jew who does not speak English in the case of the People vs. Aaron Diamond.  The case revolved around an allegation that Diamond and Joshua Feller had set fire to the dwelling of John Nally.  Morrison demanded that Diamond be tried separately. When several of the prosecution’s witnesses failed to show up, the District Attorney said that it would “unsafe” to convict the defendant and the Jury was directed by the court to render a verdict of not guilty.

1852: The discovery of Asteroid 21 Lutetia by Hermann Goldschmidt was published today.
1853: The Hebrew Benevolent Society celebrated its 32nd anniversary this evening with a dinner attended by 350 gentlemen at the Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway. 
1855: Seventy-four year old French statesman Louis-Mathieu Molé the opponent of Jewish emancipation who was the official named by Napoleon to bring together the Sanhedrin in 1806 and 1807 passed away today.

1856: Isaac and Julie Judith Josephine Mautner gave birth to Rosa Perlhefter.

1867: Birthdate of Edgar D. Peixotto, the native New Yorker and son of Raphael Peixotto who became a successful lawyer in San Francisco, CA.

1868: In Chicago, Illinois, Julius Rosentha and Jette Wolfe gave birth to attorney Lessing Rosenthal the graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern Law School and husband of Mrs. Lillie Frank Myers who combined a distinguished legal career with service to the Jewish community including serving as director of the Jewish Training School in Chicago.

1870: It was reported today that Thanksgiving Services will be held at the 44th Street Synagogue after which children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum will enjoy a holiday dinner provided by the Trustees.

1870(29th of Cheshvan, 5631): Augusta Feuchtwanger nee Levy, the wife of Lewis Feuchtwanger, passed away today in New York.

1871: Birthdate of Morris Masskov, the native of Odessa who gained fame American character actor Maurice Moscovitch whose last film may have been his most famous – Charlie Chaplain’s “The Great Dictator.”

1871: Ignatz Ratzsky was released from Sing Sing Prison after having served nine years for the robbery-murder of a German Jew named Sigismund Fellner.  Ratzsky had originally been sentenced to death, but Governor Fenton commuted his sentence based his judgment that the conviction had been based on circumstantial evidence.

1873: In New York, founding  of the Société Israélite Française de Secours Mutuels de New York which met on the fourth Sunday of each month, provided money for sick, death and burial benefits and owned burial grounds at Bayside, Long Island.

1874: Carl Schurz will deliver a lecture this evening sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on “Educational Problems” at Steinway Hall in New York.

1877: It was reported today that two men have been charged for their role in stealing furs from A.T. Stewart & Co. Robert Kyle was charged with stealing the first while Seligman Hirsch, who was described as a “Hebrew” fur dealer, was charged with receiving the stolen firs. Why or how the reported knew that Hirsch was Jewish is not stated nor is any reason given for not identifying any of the other characters by their religious affiliation.

1880: It was reported today the lower house of the Prussian Diet debated the proposals by the anti-Semitic party to limit the activities of Jews in Germany.  The anti-Semites reflected the views of Reverend Stecker, the Court Chaplin who wants legislation adopted that will “keep the Jews from any post of authority.”  The opponents including members of the Liberal Party defended the Jews and “contended that it was breach of the Constitution to deny that Jews were Germans.”

1882: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment distributed funds to a variety of charitable institutions including $1,680 to the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1883: It was reported today that Spanish in Morocco tried and convicted twelve Jews accused supplying guns to the Berbers.

1883: Henry Irving will play Shylock, one of his signature roles in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Star Theatre.

1883: According to a report that appeared in today’s edition of the Hebrew Standard, Hugh O’Neill is quoted as telling a Jew in New York, “We don’t want any of your people in our employ.”

1884: It was reported today that the friends of Mrs. Max Rosenberg, the former Miss Jennie E. Lyman, were surprised to hear that she has filed for divorce especially since most of them did not she had gotten married several months while visiting New York.  In her petition, Mrs. Rosenberg accused her husband of “extreme cruelty.”  Rosenberg disputes his wife’s claims and says that the cause of the problem is her father’s dislike for him because he was Jewish.

1885: Birthdate of Alexander “Alex” Trachtenberg the native of Odessa who was active in the Socialist Party of America and the Communist Party USA.

1885: It was reported today that this year’s Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Fair raised over $7,800.

1886: Warrants are expected to be issued today for those who have violated Massachusetts “Sunday Closing Laws.”  Several Jews and their customers are expected to be named since up until last week, it had been considered permissible for the Jews to operate their businesses on Sunday since they were closed on Saturday for their Sabbath observances.

1886(25th of Cheshvan, 5647): Sixty-four year old author and historian Leopold Kompert, best known for his role in the “Kompert Affair” in which he and Heinrich Graetz “were brought to court in Vienna for publishing ideas that were heretical to Catholic faith, in addition to contradicting Jewish tradition.”

1888:  Birthdate of Harpo Marx, one of the famous Marx Brothers.

1889: Jacob Levy arrived in New York City from Poland today and moved in with his brother at 83 Norfolk Street in NYC.

1889: Sanitary officers “seized some unwholesome meat and vegetables in the sidewalk markets in the Hebrew quarter in the Tenth Ward.”

1889: “The Red Hussar,” a comedy opera in three acts by Edward Solomon, with a libretto by Henry Pottinger Stephens, which opened at the Lyric Theatre in London tonight.  Solomon was the prolific Ango-Jewish composer and conductor who died prematurely at the age of 29.

1890: Today’s New Publication List includes a review of a novel entitled The Jew, translated from the Polish of Joseph Ignatius Kraszewski by Linda Da Kowalewska

1890: “Catholic Spain” published today provided a detailed review of Chapters From The Religious History Of Spain Connected With The Inquisition by Henry Charles, a subject near and dear to the hearts of Jews in general and Sephardic Jews in particular.

1894: At today’s meeting of the Tenement House Committed that was held in the Old Criminal Court Mr.Rice and Mr. Tuska of the United Hebrew Charity expressed their agreement with Reverend John B. Devins that tenement residents do not prefer filth, “that there should be public lavatories and that “every saloon should have an outside drinking fountain.  They also believe that tenements should be better lit, have water on each floor and house kindergartens.

1896:”A Radical Chicago Rabbi” published today summarized the view of Dr. Emil G. Hirsh, the rabbi Temple Sinai on the Windy City’s south-side, including his beliefs that observing Shabbat on Saturday “and the hope of the return to the Holy Land” are “relics of an attractive tradition but entirely out of keeping with advance and progress of modern ideas.

1896: In Philadelphia, the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women hosted a reception for the National Board at the Mercantile Club.

1896(18th of Kislev, 5657): Forty-one year old Ella Heyman, the native of Wheeling, West Virginia, passed away today in St. Louis.

1897: Charles Schapiro was being held in the Tombs today after having killed Louis Lieberman and wounded his girlfriend Yetta Gordon yesterday.   Gordon whose wounded eye was bandaged is being held in the House of Detention as a material.  She had rejected Schapiro because he did not earn enough money.  And he was angry because she would not return the twenty-five dollar ring he had “bought for her with money she had lent him.”

1898: In Pécs, Hungary, the local cantor and his wife gave birth to opera singer Dezső Ernster who survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to perform at the Metropolitan Opera.

1899: Birthdate of Parisian Israel Moshe Blauschild, the son of Romanian immigrants who as Marcel Dailo the movie actor who spent WWII in Hollywood before returning to his native country to pursue his career.

1905: As of today it was reported that the committee which is collecting funds for the relief of Jews suffering from the Russian massacres has raised $660, 756 including $51from the Orthodox Congregation of Erie, PA, $15 from the New London (CT) Ladies’ Aid Society and $720 from the citizens of Wheeling, West Virginia.

1905: “In view of the very great demand made upon the Jews of America to relieve the sufferings of the victims of the Russian savagery, the Committee on the Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Jews in the United States has resolved to abandon the project of a commemorative monument and will return to the donors to the monument fund all contributions thus far received” with the hope that the money will then be donated to help the Jews of Russia.

1905: In New York, “not a seat was to be had” during the matinee showing of “The Riots of Kishneff” (Kishinev) which raised $1,506.06 for the relief fund aid the Jews of Russia.

1905: Tonight, Jacob P. Adler oversaw a production of “King Lear” which raised $1,500 for the Jews of Russia.  Adler gave a speech at the end of the third act in which he asked how they could go with the play “when our minds are upon the atrocities committed our countrymen?  Will we leave out the fourth act?” to which the audience responded with cheers and cries of “yes, yes!”

1905: A “procession arranged by Joseph Barondess, Abram Wattman and Dr. Simonoff organized “what was probably the most remarkable demonstration that has ever been known on the east side…when fully one hundred thousand Jews turned out” today “to join a procession…formed to mourn the dead slain in the Russian anti-Semitic riots.”

1905: It was reported today that as the violence against the Jews has continued Percival Menken said “There is far more in this massacre of our race in Russia than is apparent on the surface.  Not until the Jews are restored to their native land and have their own armies and battleships will these persecutions cease. (This is nine years after the First Zionist Congress met and forty years before the Shoah came to an end.)

1905: It was reported from St. Petersburg that “dispatches from Southwestern Russia indicate that the Zionist movement has obtained a powerful impetus from the anti-Jewish disorders.”

1909: The annual meeting of the Civic Federation which features a discussion of old age pensions by a panel including Samuel Gompers came to a close in New York City.

1911(2nd of Kislev, 5672): Eighty-five year old Rabbi Jacob Hamburger, “the sole author and editor of the first explicitly Jewish Encyclopedia” passed away today.

1912: It was reported in today’s edition of The Reform Advocate that Congressman Jefferson M Levy has announced that will combat the efforts now being made to acquire Monticello… which he owns, for the United States government and he will not and cannot be forced to part with is property.

1912: “This evening a memorial meeting for the late David Blaustein is schedule to take placed at the Educational Alliance under the auspices of the Society of Jewish Social workers of Greater New York.

1912:  The British Consul in Jerusalem continued to complain to the British Ambassador in Constantinople about the British born Jews arriving in his city.  Of the latest batch of 20, only six had means to support themselves while twelve of them were living off of contributions supplied by local Jewish charities.

1912(2nd of Kislev, 5672): Ninety one year old General Sir Charles D’Aguilar, the son of Lieut. Gen. Sir George D’Aguilar who had “held high office at Bevis Marks” passed away today leaving  an estate valued at £200,000 to be shared by his two daughter.

1913: Supreme Court Justice Seabury has ordered the sale in foreclosure of the Bijou theatre property on Broadway in a suit brought by Felix M. Warburg, Isaac N. Seligman, Paul M. Warburg and Mortimer L. Schiff as trustees under the will of Alfred M. Heinsheimer against the Bijou Real Estate Company.

1914: During WW I “A Reuter dispatch from Constantinople by way of Sofia” says that the Porte (Turkish government) has decided to permit Russian Jews resident in Turkey to become Ottoman subjects provided that they do not revert to their former nationality at the end of the war.”  (This had special meaning for the Jews living in Palestine, since a large number of them had come from Russia and were viewed suspiciously by the Turks)

1914: In New York, The Evening Telegram reported that when German troops “reached the neighborhood of Pabiantze” they appeared to feel already at home” since it “is large people German colonists” and “the rest of the inhabitants are exclusively Jews.”

1914: The Petrograd (Russia) correspondent of the Morning Post wired London today about friction between the Germans and their Austrian Allies as could be seen by “a stormy council” presided over by the Kaiser during which after “mutual ruminations” had been exchanged the Germans “demanded that Austria should give up every man in defense of East Prussia” while the Austrians demanded “that the Germans should make a serious attempt to save Cracow.”  (Most people think about WW I as being fought in the trenches of the Western Front. Here is a reminder of the fighting on the Eastern Front – fighting which took an unbelievable toll on the Jewish populations of Russia and Austria since the combat was waged in the lands where they were living.)

1914: According to reports published today the American Jewish Committee contends that 5,000 Jews in Jaffa had applied for permission to become naturalized Turkish subjects out of a total of 25,000 Russian Jews living in the region of Palestine.

1915: In London, a French delegation led by François-Georges Picot, a professional diplomat with extensive experience in the Levant, and a British delegation led by Sir Arthur Nicolson met to discuss plans for the post-war partition of the Ottoman Empire which would eventually result in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.  (Editor’s Note – You cannot understand what is going on in the Middle East today if you do not understand the origins and nature of this agreement)

1915: “Praise Sisterhood’s Work” published today included the positive comments made by Chief Magistrate McAdoo about the work done by Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue under the leadership of Mrs. Mortimer Menken “to help wayward Jewish girls in the police courts” as well as to aid neighborhood settlement houses in their activities.

1915: It was reported today that based on information provided by Jacob H. Schiff and Dr. J.L. Magnes American Jews must raise at least thirty million dollars to aid the approximately five million Jews in who are suffering from the effects of the World War in Russia, Poland, Galicia and Palestine.

1915: In the manner of a Shiva Minyan, a memorial service will be held again this morning and this evening in honor of Professor Schechter of blessed memory which will be led by the students and faculty of JTS.

1916: A wireless message of sympathy was sent by the executive committee of the American Federation of Galician and Bukowinian Jews and the American Federation of Hungarian Jews to the Austrian imperial family following the death this week of Emperor Franz Josef.

1916: “At a meeting this evening of the executive committee of the American Federation of Galician and Bukowinian Jews and the American Federation of Hungarian Jews it was decided to issue a proclamation calling upon all Jewish congregations and federated bodies to set aside the day of the burial of Emperor Francis Joes for the observation of appropriate services and exercise.”

1917: As Imperial forces struggle with the weather and the Ottoman forces in the Judean Hills, the “60th (London) Division commanded by Major General John Shea arrived at Latrun to provide relief for the units that have been worn down by the elements and combat.

1917: In Roslavi, Russia eight Jews were killed and twenty were wounded during an anti-Semitic riot when the mob looted Jewish opened shops.

1917: Kozlov and Tiraspol, Russia were the site of “grave anti-Jewish riots.

1917: A pogrom in Tambov “leads to the total ruin of businesses established by Jewish refugees from the war zone lead the Jewish leaders to ask authorities to give official sanction to a plant to arm a Jewish self-defense corps.”

1917: Izvestia and Pravda published the full text of Sykes-Picot Agreement which exposed the plans of the French and British to carve up the Ottoman Empire after the World War ended. 

1917: It was reported today that the recipients of the funds raised by the Federation of Jewish Charites included Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Hebrew Technical Institute, the Jewish Big Brothers, the Motefiore Home, the Educational Alliance and many sisterhoods associated with local synagogues and temples.

1918: After three days, the Lemberg Pogrom came to an end with 50 to 150 Jewish dead, hundreds more injured and untold loss of property thanks to looting carried out by Polish soldiers and local civilians.

1918: Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, announced that organization's decision to hold its New York City campaign designed to raise $5,000,000 to aid Jewish war sufferers during the week starting on December 8 and ending on December 15.

1920: Birthdate of poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan who used the pseudonym of Paul Antschel.

Death is a gang-boss aus Deutchland his eye is blue

he hits you with leaden bullets his aim is true

there's a man in this house your golden hair Margareta

he sets his dogs on our trail he gives us a grave in the sky

he cultivates snakes he dreams Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

(from 'A Death Fugue')

1921: Churchill offers to send a warship to help Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, collect the fines levied against the Arabs in Jaffa who had rioted and attacked Jews in villages surrounding the ancient port.

1922: The silent movie, Hungry Hearts  produced by the Goldwyn Company and based on a book of the same name written by Anzia Yezierska opened in New York City on Thanksgiving.

1922: At today’s session of the Conference of Lausanne which was supposed to modify the Treaty Sevres which dismembered the Ottoman Empire, Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary clashed with Ismet Pasha a member of the Turkish delegation that included Chief Rabbi Nahum.

1923: Birthdate of Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock, an American musical theatre composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1965 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Harnick.

1924: The Price of a Party featuring Dagmar Gadowsky the daughter of Leopold Godowsky.

1924: Herzliya was founded as a moshav. It has since become a flourishing town on the Mediterranean coast. 

1924: In Irvington, NJ, Fannie and Harry Yablonsky gave birth to sociologist Lewis Yablonsky.

1925: In New York, opera singer Hannah Mandel and garment manufacturer Albert Mandel gave birth to award winning composer and arranger Johnny Mandel whose work include the theme for M*A*S*H ---“Suicide Is Painless”

1928: In New Haven, CT, George Bock and the former Peggy Alpert gave birth to Jerrold Lewis Bock, the man who composed such Broadway hits as “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Fiorello!” and “She Loves Me.”

1929: After 407 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Whoopee!” a musical with lyrics by Gus Kahn and starring Eddie Cantor as “Henry Williams.”

1930(3rd of Kislev): Poet Israel Fine passed away.

1932: “The Wonderful Day” a comedy film produced by the brothers of Bernard Natan and Emile Natan was released today in France.

1935: “Stars Over Broadway,” a musical produced by Samuel Bischoff, with a screenplay co-written by Jerry Wald and Julius Epstein was released in the United States by Warner Brothers.

1936: Life, the photo journalism magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, was first published. In the days before television, webcams, the internet and the myriad of other ways we have a recording and sending pictures, Life, with it large splash, creative or documentary like images was the major window on the world for millions of Americans.  It was the photographers who made Life the magazine it was and some of the most famous were Jewish including Alfred Eisenstaedt who shot “The Kiss,” Robert Capa who shot “Death of a Loyalist Soldier” as well as the first still photos of first wave at Omaha Beach, Cornell Capa who photographed Grandma Moses and Margaret Bourke-White who snapped “Working Atop the Chrysler Building.”          

1937: In the tenth day of the Arnold Bernstein’s trial before the Hamburg Emergency Court, the German-Jewish shipping magnate is charged by the the prosecution with “exchange irregularities in connection with 2,000,000 marks loaned by the Chemical National Bank of New York.  The trial was part of a ploy by the Nazi government to assume control of Arnold Bernstein & Red Star Line.

1938: In a memorandum to Winston Churchill correspondents in Europe quote Hitler as saying, “he wanted eliminate from German life the Jews, the Churches and suppress private industry.  After that, he would turn to foreign policy again.”

1938: It was reported today that, “The movement started only a week ago by Palestine Jewry to adopt children from Germany is spreading with amazing rapidity.  Following a suggestion made by Israel Rokach, Mayor of Tel Aviv…to members of the Jewish Women’s Labor Federation” have already “volunteered to adopt refugee children.”  The National council of Palestine Jewry had set a goal of adopting 5,000 children but given the quick positive response the goal will be met and exceeded.

1938: Violinist Mischa Elman played “Larghetto Lamentoso” during Leopold Godowsky’s funeral which was held in Manhattan today.  Godowsky was the composer of this piece of music. Music critic Leonard Liebling described the late composer as “a citizen of the world” and “a great and patient teacher of music…” (Godowsky, Elman and Liebling were all Jewish.)

1938: In a column published today Leopold Godowsky was described as “a unique figure among all his contemporaries: a phenomenal pianist and a musician of the most exceptional attributes.”

1939: At 2:30 pm WEVD is scheduled to present a program of “Jewish Melodies.”

1939: “Measure Meets Strong Opposition in Upper House” published today described the split in Hungary with House of Deputies approving the government’s Land Reform Bill which would first be felt by non-resident Jews whose estates would be the first to be broken up and those in the Upper House who oppose the bill that “would allot 1,500,000 acres to small tenants.”

1939: “Manufacturer Who Was Active in Jewish Welfare Work Dies” published today

1939: In Baltimore, at the annual convention of the Junior Hadassah, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise told his audience “that American Jews who really believed in democracy had no choice but to support the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.”

1939: “Prisoner of Nazis Asks Ransom Here” published today

1939: “Jung Denies Link to Nazi Organizations” published today described testimony by Harry A. Jung, an American anti-Semite before the House Committee on un-American Activities in which he claimed never to have corresponded with Oscar C. Pfaus and Anna Bogenholm who wanted to start a paper called The National American Patriot that would play a key role “in recovering our country from control of the Jews..”

1939: “The National Catholic Welfare Council said today” that during the two years since January, 1937 the Episcopal Committee from Refugees from Germany has handled the cases of 2,756 refugees “the majority of whom “are of Jewish extraction.”

1939: In Nazi-occupied Poland, Frank ordered that “All Jews and Jewesses within the Government-General who are over ten years of age are required to wear . . . the Star of David.

1940: All Jewish professors of the Utrecht University were dismissed, among them the Dutch mathematician Julius Wolff.

1940: Newpaper visited Abu Sinan, a village north of Nazareth, where they investigated reports that Helen Yussef Nicola, an 8 year old Arab girl whose parents are devout Greek Orthodox, has been responsible for miraculous healings including cures “of a crippled Arab boy and a crippled Jewish boy from Tel Aviv.”  Over the last two weeks, “hundreds of Christians, Moslems and Jews have visited Helen and come away allegedly convince of her curative capacities.”

1941:  Cherna Berkowitz describes the arrival of refugees at Dorohoi at Transnistria. "The deportations resumed. Women, elderly people and so many children in the freezing cold. With each passing day their numbers dwindle as more of them die.” Dorohoi, people say, “We send the children to give the newcomers some warm tea. They return with horror stories. The men were all at work when they deported the women and children. We have one woman with three small children, one of whom is not yet weaned. All she has are rags and a few pennies in her pocket. The soldiers round up the arrivals and order them to march on."

1941: Thirty thousand Jews are killed at Odessa, Ukraine. "

1942: Hitler: Man of Strife by Ludwig Wagner was published today.  It was the first full-length biography about the Nazi dictator to appear in the United States since the publication of “Hitler” by Konrad Heiden in 1936.

1943: One hundred and fifty Jewish partisans escape from Occupied Kovno, Lithuania, and head eastward into the Rudninkai Forest.

1943: In one of the most bizarre moments in WW II the following a British bombing raid on Berlin, the damage report of the police commissioner of the Nazi capital recorded a strike on the New Synagogue. 

1943: Birthdate of Andrew Goodman.  Goodman worked a volunteer in the voter right’s registration movement in Mississippi in the summer of 1964. He and two of his fellow volunteers would be murdered that summer in Neshoba County.  It would take years to finally bring their killers to justice.  This brutal murder was one of the many events that helped bring about the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  That fall, Mississippi would show its displeasure with this change in events by voting for Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for President who opposed the Civil Rights Act.  This election would mark a turning point in American history providing the Republican Party with its political base.  

1944: Premiere of “Three Is a Family” a comedy written Henry and Phoebe Ephron.

1944: In New York City, “Selma Judith (née Levy), a president of The League of Women Voters and a moderator of political debates on NBC and  Irwin Lionel Toback, a stockbroker and former vice president of Dreyfus & Company” gave birth to “screenwriter, director and author” James Lee Tobck

1944: Over the next four days, Swiss consulate officials Leopold Breszlauer and Ladislaus Kluger issue about 300 protective documents to Hungarian Jews gathered at the Hungarian-Austrian border.

1944: Birthdate of Joe Eszterhas, the Hungarian-American author, who cut his father out his life entirely what at age 45 he learned “his father had concealed his collaboration in the Hungarian Nazi government and that he had "organized book burnings and had cranked out the vilest anti-Semitic propaganda imaginable."

1945: Ruth and Moshe Dayan give birth to Asaf "Assi" Dayan, an Israeli film director, actor, screenwriter and producer.

1945:  Birthdate of comedian Steve Landesberg.  Born in the Bronx, Landesberg is best known for his portrayal of Dietrich, the cerebral detective on in the television sitcom, Barney Miller.

1946: Fawi Husseini, cousin of Arab Higher Committee chairman, is killed by Arabs for selling land to Jews.

1947(1st of Cheshvan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1947: U.S. Army chaplain, Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz married Holocaust survivor Rachel Abramowitz married at Berlin.  They had first met at one of the DP camps General Eisenhower had established for Jewish survivors of the Shoah following clashes in camps shared between survivors and those they recognized as murderers. To Eisenhowers credit, he found that “The situation was unbearable” and moved to remedy it.

1947:  Eliezer Sukenik an outstanding archaeologist and text expert on the faculty of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered earlier that winter by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.  Sukenik was able to purchase three of the scrolls they had found, the War Scroll, the Thanksgiving Scroll and a small Scroll of Isaiah.  The Great Scroll of Isaiah had already been purchased the Metropolitan Stephen, of St. Mark’s Church.  In one of the strange twists of fate, Yigal Yadin, Sukenik’s son, would arrange for the purchase of the Scroll of Isaiah and three other scrolls in 1954.  The purchase began with a simple newspaper ad in the Wall Street Journal, “Miscellaneous For Sale…Four Dead Sea Scrolls.” Yadin knew the importance of the items and arranged for a loan of a quarter of a million dollars (a large sum in those days, especially for the infant state of Israel) to bring them back to their ancestral home.  The secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls are still being unlocked by scholars to this day.  Considering that the acquisition of the scrolls began against the backdrop of the Partition of Palestine and the Israeli War for Independence, there is enough adventure here for an Indiana Jones style movie.

1948: In today’s session of the UN General Assembly's Political and Security Committee, Dr. Philip C. Jessup suggests that both Bernadotte and UN partition plans be considered in fixing Israeli boundaries. Israel would keep Galilee and pan: of Negev.

1948: Aubrey S. Eban (Abba Eban) defended Jewish claims to both the Galilee and Negev.

1948: Israel forms a reserve forced made up of men aged 40 to 45.

1949: Israeli forces made their way through the Negev Desert to the isolated outpost at Sodom (the Biblical Sodom) on the Dead Sea which had been cut off from any overland contact for more than six months.  Their success in reaching Sodom extended the boundaries of the new state of Israel 20 miles further south and east.

1950: As of this date 80,000 Jews were reported to be waiting to leave Iraq.

1950: Birthdate of New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

1951: In London Diana, née Schneiderman and Mark Rapport, “a taxi driver” gave birth to David Stephen Rapport.

1956 (19th of Kislev): Birthdate of Elliot R. Wolfson, author of Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menachem Mendel Schneerson

 1956(19th of Kislev):: On Friday night, Rabbi Schneerson, "The Rebbe," delivers "a learned discourse on kabbalistic themes to mark the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev...the Lubavitch 'Day of Redemption.'"

1956: "An inflammatory proclamation was read in all mosques in Egypt declaring 'All Jews are Zionists and enemies of the State.'"

1958(11th of Kislev, 5719): Fifty-four year old comedian Harry Einstein, who had begun his career writing for Eddie Cantor died from a heart attack at a Friars Club of Beverly Hills Roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz today in Los Angeles, California.

1958: “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness” a biopic for which Mark Robson “received an Academy Award for Best Director nomination” was released today in the United States.

1959: David Susskind produced The White Stage, this week’s selection for “The Play of the Week.”

1963: Congregants of Agudas Achim in Austin, TX who had been planning to dedicated their new building today – an event that was to include a visiting from Vice President Lyndon Johnson – “gathered to mourn the death of John F. Kennedy and pray for their old friend Lyndon Johnson;”

1964: “Bajour” a musical featuring Herschel Bernardi and Herbert Edelman opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.

1967: Edward and Peter Bronfman made the opening statements at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim when the Library Museum, which was a gift in honor of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Bronfman was formally opened today.

1968: After 1, 234 performances, the curtain came down on the Broadway production of “Cactus Flower” a farce written by Abe Burrows.

1970: Birthdate of Oded Feher.  Born in Tel Aviv he lived there until he was age 18 when he joined the Israel Navy for 3 years. At the completion of his National Service duty, he went to Europe to pursue a business career but instead of business, he discovered acting. He went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England. Oded appeared as Don Juan in a production of Don Juan Comes Back From War at the Courtyard Theatre in London.  He has also appeared in both The Knock and Killer Net on British Television.  In his Breakout Role, Fehr played the role of Ardeth Bay in his first major screen role, The Mummy, a 1999 Universal release.

1972: Birthdate of Christopher James Adler,an American drummer, best known as a member of the metal band Lamb of God. He is the older brother to bandmate and guitarist Willie Adler.

1973(28th of Cheshvan, 5734): Mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel passed away. Leonard Bernstein paid her tribute in a eulogy at her funeral, saying, ‘when Jennie opened her mouth, God spoke.’”

1973: Following a cerebral hemorrhage that he suffered on November 18, David Ben Gurion stopped improving and his condition began to deteriorate today.

1974: During the height of the Cold War and the fight to “free Russian Jews,” “at a meeting in Vladivostok, USSR, U.S. President Ford and Soviet leader Brezhnev negotiated arms control.”

1975: Dr. Mikhail Stern was reported to be seriously ill in prison.

1976: Soviet authorities searched the apartments of “the organizers of the symposium on Jewish culture including Benjamin Fain, Vladimir Prestin, Pavel Abramovich, Vladimir Lazaris, Iosif Begun and Eliyahu Essas.

1987: About 100 Soviet Jews, united by their inability to emigrate, crowded into a two-room apartment today to discuss state secrets: the secrets that keep them from leaving the Soviet Union, the secret process by which the holders of secrets are identified, and the reason the secrets themselves are secret. The gathering, the culmination of months of research by would-be emigrants from the ranks of Soviet scientific and technological professions, was an attempt to collate bitter individual experiences, an attempt by people whose professional lives were once permeated with logic to explain a fate they find irrational.

1988: “Scrooged” a comedic version The Christmas Carol directed and co-produced by Richard Donner with a screenplay co-authored by Mitch Glazer and music by Danny Elfman was released in the United States today.

1989(25th of Cheshvan, 5750): Ninety-three year old art dealer Sidney Janis passed away today. (As reported by Grace Glueck)

1990: “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge” a film version of the novel with the same name starring Paul Newman and featuring Melissa Newman was released in the United States today.

1991: “Israel Has Its Nuclear Demons” published today provides a review of The Samson Option by Seymour Hersh.

1994(20th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty three year old Oscar winning orchestrator and conductor Irwin Kostal passed away today.

1994: “The Pagemaster” an animated horror film co-starring Leonard Nimoy and with music by James Horner was released in the United States today.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Tuesday’s With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom, Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom by Herbert G. Goldman and A History of the Twentieth Century Volume 1: 1900-1933 by Martin Gilbert

2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): A powerful car bomb killed two Israelis and wounded scores during rush hour in the coastal city of Hadera this evening. Prime Minister Ehud Barak immediately pledged that Israel would ''get even'' for a ''barbaric'' attack that took the current violence into the country's heartland. The bomb struck at a busy hour on a congested street. A car detonated by remote control blew up beside a city bus on President Street, lifting the bus in the air and hurling it into a kiosk. A blinding flash of light was followed by a tremendous boom. Store windows shattered, and several fires started. A man and a woman were killed, and several people, including a 1-year-old girl, were hospitalized in very serious condition. Naftali Wechter, 47, was riding in the bus in front of the one that exploded. ''I saw a column of smoke and a flash of fire several feet high,'' he said while lying on a gurney at the local hospital. ''We were thrown.'' Also in the hospital, Michal Azaria, 43, a shopkeeper, had a blood-caked face. ''The noise was terrifying,'' he said. ''Things flew in the air and got stuck in my legs. I saw people thrown on the ground. It was like a battlefield. They didn't move. They had blood on their hands and legs, and people were groaning, 'Oy, oy.' They were in great pain.'' Within minutes the street was littered with metal scraps and glass shards. The bus remained whole but was burned out inside. It rested on the sidewalk, its nose inside the kiosk under a crumpled awning. The car that had carried the bomb was nothing more than a piece of twisted metal with a steering wheel.

2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761):Sgt. Samar Hussein, 19, of Hurfeish, was killed when Palestinian snipers opened fire at soldiers patrolling the border fence near the Erez crossing.

2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Lt. Edward Matchnik, 21, of Beersheba, was killed in an explosion at the District Coordination Office near Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

2000(25th of Cheshvan, 5761): Sixty-nine year old Clarence Yale Palitz, Jr. the Chairman of the Board  of Financial Federal Corporation and patron of the arts who is survived by his wife Anka passed away today.

2001: An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at a van in the West Bank, killing Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, a leading member of Hamas, the Islamic terror organization.

2003: The Al Hirschfeld Theatre which had been renamed in honor of his talents and long career reopened on with a revival of the musical Wonderful Town. Hirschfeld was also honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

2003: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural History by Adam Bellow and The Media and The War co-edited by Marvin Kalb

2004(10th of Kislev, 5765): Rafael Eitan, a former Israeli Army chief of staff and government minister who was reprimanded after Lebanese Christian allies of Israel massacred Palestinian refugees in 1982, drowned today after being swept into stormy seas. He was 75. Mr. Eitan was a war hero whom Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called "a comrade-in-arms and a friend." But Mr. Eitan's reputation, like Mr. Sharon's, was blighted by the killing of hundreds at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut while Israeli forces stood by. Mr. Sharon called Mr. Eitan's life "the story of this country." Mr. Eitan, known as Raful, was born in 1929 in Tel Adashim, a communal farm, and at 16 he joined the Palmach, an elite fighting force of the Haganah that later became the foundation for the new state's army. A paratrooper and pilot, he fought in all of Israel's wars and was wounded four times. He was appointed chief of staff in 1978.Mr. Eitan was known as a blunt talker and strict disciplinarian who would always meet his troops returning from night raids against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon. He also established programs to bring poor youths into the army to integrate them better into Israeli society. In civilian life, Mr. Eitan was a carpenter and olive farmer. He was also a politician of the right who formed a hard-line party, Tzomet, when he left the army. He opposed withdrawal from Sinai and other interim peace deals with the Palestinians, whom he once called "drugged cockroaches in a bottle." He was elected to Parliament many times and served as agriculture minister, environment minister and deputy prime minister in various governments. His party later joined Likud, which Mr. Sharon currently leads. Mr. Eitan left politics to work in his olive grove and build rocking horses at his wood shop in his birthplace, and in recent years had gone back to work as an adviser and construction coordinator for the Ashtrom company, which is improving the breakwater at the port in Ashdod. This morning about 7, Mr. Eitan was examining storm damage at the breakfront and talking to the company on a cellphone when he was apparently swept off the breakwater by the sea, the police said. He was found by police and naval personnel aided by a helicopter, but paramedics were unable to revive him. (As reported by Steven Erlanger)

2005: Labor Party MK Ophir Pines-Paz completed his service as Minister of Internal Affairs.

2005: Major General (Ret) Matan Vilnai completed his term as Science, Technology and Space Minister

2005: Ariel Sharon began his second term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

2005: Shimon Peres completes his term in office as Vice Prime Minister.

2005: Dalia Itzik, who will become the first women to serve as Speaker of the Knesset, completed her term as Communications Minister of Israel.

2005: Isaac Herzog completed his term as Minister of Housing and Construction.

2005: Eli Ben-Menachem completed his term as Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction

2005: A decision by a Federal appeals court opens the way for settlement payouts for Austrian Jews. Deferring to US foreign policy interests, a federal appeals court has tossed out a class-action lawsuit by Austrian Jewish victims of the Nazi regime in a ruling that may clear the way for payouts from a 2001 settlement fund.  In a 2-to-1 ruling Tuesday, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said it was "particularly mindful" of the federal government's statement that dismissing the case would advance its relations with Austria, Israel and Western, Central and Eastern European nations. The lawsuit was the final case holding up implementation of an agreement with Austria that established a fund to compensate Austrian Jews whose property was confiscated during the Nazi era and World War II, the appeals court said. Distributions from the Austrian compensation fund were contingent on dismissal of the case. The fund included $150 million to cover certain property claims

2005: The IDF unveiled the tombstones of five soldiers including two American volunteers, who fell in a battle for Latrun in the War of Independence at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery after positively identifying their remains which had been resting in a mass grave. The five soldiers being honored were Pvt. Menachem “Mendel’ Math, Cpl. Shlomo Berber, Pvt. Yehuda "Jerry" Kaplan, Pvt. Ya'akov Shnawiss (who changed his name to Sheleg Lavan), and Pvt. Moshe Hessman. Math and Kaplan were members of MACHAL.” During the War of Independence, some 3,500 volunteers from 37 different countries rallied to Israel's defense. These young men and women, Jews as well as non-Jews, were known as MACHAL (Mitnadvei Chutz-La'Arets) - the Hebrew acronym for overseas volunteers. Many of the volunteers had been members of Jewish underground movements in Palestine and abroad before the State was proclaimed, or had served as crew members on Aliya Bet ships running the British naval blockade to bring Holocaust survivors to the shores of the Land of Israel. Most overseas volunteers were veterans of World War II; their skills and expertise were crucial - often decisive - for the newly-formed Israel Defense Forces, on land, at sea and in the air. These men and women fought valiantly and served with distinction in every branch of the IDF, including infantry, artillery, armor, the air force, the navy, the medical corps and the signals corps, often in key positions. Overseas volunteers came with a high sense of purpose and a shared feeling of pride and privilege in knowing they were helping to create and to defend a Jewish homeland. After the war, most returned to their home countries, but about 500 settled in Israel and raised families. One hundred and nineteen overseas volunteers lost their lives in Israel's struggle for independence: four of them were women; eight were non-Jews. Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, said: "The participation of...men and women of other nations in our struggle cannot be measured only as additional manpower, but as an exhibition of the solidarity of the Jewish people...without the assistance, the help and the ties with the entire Jewish people, we would have accomplished naught...some of our most advanced services might not have been established were it not for the professionals who came to us from abroad..."

2006: Americans gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday is based on two traditions: the English Harvest Home and the Biblical Sukkoth.  The Pilgrims were a deeply religious people who saw themselves as modern Israelites fleeing their own Pharaoh so they could worship their One true God.  The New World was synonymous with the Promised Land.  So it was only to be expected that when looking for a way of expressing thanks for a bountiful harvest, they would turn to the Bible and fashion a week long holiday in the manner of Sukkoth.

2006(2nd of Kislev, 5767): Betty Comden passed away at the age of 89.  She was a writer, who with longtime collaborator Adloph Green created the lyrics and the librettos for some of the most celebrated musicals of stage and screen

2007: In Jerusalem, as part of the International Oud Festival, violinist and singer Sameer Makhoul performs with French double bassist Joelle Leandre.

2008: In a visit sponsored by Alive Productions, Randy Newman performs in Tel Aviv's Hamishkan Leomanuyot Habama (performing arts house).

2008: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, following a dinner, Rabbi Lane Steinger, Regional Director, Union for Reform Judaism, Midwest Council, facilitates a discussion will concerning interfaith families and the challenges they may face with the upcoming winter holiday season.

2008: In Chicago, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, the Spertus presents a lecture entitled “Calvin and the Jews” in which Dr. Dean Bell, Chief Academic University at Spertus, explores Calvin’s and his impact on Christian/Jewish Relations.

2008: At the Shirlington Branch Public Library, journalist Michaele Weissman discusses and signs her new book, God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee.

2008: The New York Times featured a review of a biography of the Jewish born creator of the Follies entitled Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Business by Ethan Mordden.

2008: The Washington Post book section included reviews of the latest addition to the Holocaust Literature genre, The Journal of Hélène Berr, translated from the French by David Bellos and two books that recount “the making of modern Hebrew”: Resurrecting Hebrew by Ilan Stavans and Yehuda Amichai” The Making of Israel's National Poet by Nili Scharf Gold.

2009 Lord Nigel Lawson became chairman of a new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a registered education charity

2009: The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and the Moline Public Library sponsor an address by Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim who will speak on “The Behind the Scenes Story of Operation Solomon: The Exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel”. Author, humanitarian, and retired Ambassador Asher Naim will speak about his work on behalf of Ethiopian Jews during his distinguished diplomatic career. From 1990-1991, Asher Naim served as Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia. He was instrumental to the success of Operation Solomon, which ensured the rescue and resettlement of Ethiopian Jews. For his efforts in Operation Solomon, and his current work with Ethiopian Jews in Israel, Ambassador Naim was recently presented with the “2009 Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award” from the American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia.

2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Eighty-year old Fred Silberstein, a survivor of Auschwitz who gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials passéd away today in New Zealand. Silberstein, who was 14 when he was taken to Auschwitz in 1943, spent much of his life educating people in New Zealand about the horrors of the Holocaust and the subsequent dangers of racism. The president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, Stephen Goodman, described him as a righteous person. “For 60 years he worked tirelessly bearing witness to the horrors of the Holocaust,” Goodman said. “He was a modest and humble man.” Silberstein survived operations by Nazi “doctor” Josef Mengele, called the “Angel of Death,” and avoided near-certain death by telling camp guards he was 15 and able to do manual labor. His evidence at the Nuremburg Trials in 1946 helped to convict Nazi leaders such as Hermann Göring and Rudolf Heß. He moved to New Zealand in 1948.

2009 (6 Kislev, 5770): Ninety-one year old Max Eisen, a Broadway press agent from the days when feeding tidbits of gossip to columnists like Walter Winchell and staging stunts were standard practice for stirring up a bit more box-office appeal, passed away today.  (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2009: Israeli author Naomi Frenkel is to be laid to rest on Kibbutz Beit Alfa at 2 p.m. today three days after dying at Sheba Medical Center on her 91st birthday.  Frenkel catapulted to fame with her triumphant trilogy, Saul and Johanna (1956-67), which tells the story of two young men who grow up in assimilated Jewish families in Germany before the Holocaust and find freedom through Zionism.  "I don't know what need it met; it's still a mystery to me," Frenkel told The Jerusalem Post's Esther Hecht in 1998 when asked to explain its phenomenal success. She returned to her native Germany briefly after receiving an Anne Frank Foundation scholarship to write the second part of the trilogy.  Born in Berlin to an assimilated family herself, Frenkel was spirited out of Nazi Germany on a boat in 1933 by her guardian after both her parents had died.  She attended Havat Halimud Lebanot, an agricultural school for girls in Jerusalem, studied Jewish thought at the Hebrew University and moved to Kibbutz Beit Alfa, where she married a teacher, Yisrael Rosenzweig, and had a daughter, Idit.  According to Frenkel, she had a falling out with the kibbutz when it wrongly accused her of pocketing reparations from Germany.  "It was character assassination, one of the methods the Left uses," she charged. In any case, she left the kibbutz and when her husband died and remarried journalist Meir Ben-Gur. In 1969, she helped Meir Har-Zion, the hero of Ariel Sharon's legendary Commando 101, edit his autobiography. She worked for the Israel Navy from 1970-8, doing highly classified work and earned the rank of major. Frenkel later revealed that she had edited protocols of the navy and army before and after the Yom Kippur War, and the material that passed through her hands shocked her deeply. "I saw a country that was corrupt, a party that was corrupt, generals who acted out of personal interest," she said. In her later years, Frenkel's political views swung from the Left to the Right, she became religiously observant and settled in Kiryat Arba with her family in 1982. Although she was ostracized by the left-leaning arts community, Frenkel - who had always considered herself an outsider - finally felt at home. "I felt I had found what I was looking for," she said. "I had found my place. I found what it means to be a Jew. I will never leave Hebron, under any circumstances." After the terrorist murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass in Hebron in 2001, she wrote, alluding to the Hebrew meaning of the baby's name: "Despite the murder, the flame will never be extinguished. We have returned to our land, and we live now in the city of our forefathers." Last year, she sent a much-publicized message of support to families who returned to the Amona outpost after it had been violently evacuated in 2006, saying: "I bless you in the laying of the cornerstone of your new home. If they destroy it, build it again!" Frenkel won several prizes for her books for children and adults - many of which were translated into German and English - including the Ruppin and Levy Eshkol prizes as well as the Ussishkin, Neumann and Press awards. Her most popular books include My Beloved, My Friend (the story of a young woman who is treated as an ugly duckling when she arrives on a kibbutz) Wild Flower, A Boy Growing Up on the Banks of the Assi, Racheli and the Little Man, Morning Star, Barkai, (which traces the history of a Sephardi family in Hebron), and Preda (her last book published by Gefen in 2003 which is the story of two very different friends: Malchiel, a member of the Old Yishuv, and Yoske, his commander in the Palmach and the Israeli of modern times). Several of Frenkel's books were turned into radio dramas and television movies. She never cut ties with Kibbutz Beit Alfa, especially because it was the birth place and home of her daughter, and requested that she be buried there.

2010: Kathleen Straus is scheduled to be honored with the Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award by the Detroit American Jewish Committee.

2010: Dwight Garner’s list of the “Top 10 Books of 2010” included books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “ Simon Wiesentahl: The Life and Legends”  by Tom Segev, “Letters” by Saul Bellow; edited by Benjamin Taylor, “Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance” co-authored by Nouriel Roubini, “Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, “Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory” by Ben Macintyre, one of the most successful disinformation operations of the 20th century which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu, a leading member of the UK’s Jewish community.

2010: This afternoon at JFK airport in New York City, a Holocaust survivor was reunited with the Polish man who rescued her from the Nazis, after not having seen one another for 65 years. Wladyslaw Misiuna, 85, from Poland, and Sara Marmurek, 88, from Canada had not seen each other since the war.

2010(16th of Kislev, 5771): Seventy three year old Ingrid Pitt, long celebrated as the first lady of British horror cinema, who starred in sanguinary classics of the 1970s like “The Vampire Lovers,” “Countess Dracula” and “The House That Dripped Blood,” died today in London. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2011: The Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon is scheduled to begin at 9 pm at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

2011: Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Director at Rabbis for Human Rights is scheduled to be the  guest speaker at the first session of the Adult Education series at the West London Synagogue.

2011: The IDF identified Beduin smugglers on the southern border trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, and a firefight erupted between the two sides tonight. No IDF soldiers were injured in the clash. The two smugglers attempting to penetrate the border into Israel were identified by an IDF force who, according to regulations, fired at their legs.

2011: Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall. Israel's Antiques Authority announced today that the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) alongside Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel challenges the conventional archaeological perception that Herod built the wall in its entirety, saying it is now evident that construction was completed at least 20 years after Herod's death (believed to be in 4 BCE). The excavations, directed by IAA archaeologist Eli Shukron with assistance from Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, revealed three clay oil lamps of a type that was common in the first century CE as well as seventeen identifiable bronze coins. The clay oil lamps and bronze coins were found when archeologists sifted through soil removed from inside the sealed mikveh. According to Dr. Donald Ariel, curator of the IAA numismatic collection, the latest four coins were struck by the Roman procurator of Judea, Valerius Gratus, sometime around 17 or 18 CE – about 20 years after Herod's death. "This bit of archaeological information illustrates the fact that the construction of the Temple Mount walls and Robinson’s Arch was an enormous project that lasted decades and was not completed during Herod’s lifetime," said the IAA, adding that the find confirms descriptions by the Jewish historian Josephus, which state that it was only during the reign of King Agrippa II (Herod’s great-grandson) that the work was finished."

2011: The threat of another political murder exists in Israel, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told the Knesset today. Aharonovitch's statement came in response to a query from MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) following the repeated harassment of activist Hagit Ofran and the Peace Now organization. Recently, death threats were sprayed on the apartment building of Ofran, a Peace Now activist, and Peace Now offices in Jerusalem were vandalized in suspected "price tag" attacks.

2012: “Oy Vey! The Play” a comedy about a wealthy widow, her three daughters, her son, her Rabbi is scheduled to be performed at The Lion Theatre in New York City.

2012(9th of Kislev, 5773): Seventy-four year old Devorah Krinsky “ the wife of Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, secretary to the late Lubavitcher rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson” whom she married in 1957 passed away. (As reported by JTA)

2012: "Seeds of Resiliency," a new film directed and produced by Susan Polis Schutz, the granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants is scheduled to open tonight at the Quad Cinema in NYC.

2012: Memorial services were held for Art Ginsburg, the American television chef known as Mr. Food, “were held at B'nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston” after which he was buried at Beth David Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Florida

2012: National Yiddish Theater Presents "The Golden Land" at the Baruch Performing Arts Center

2012: Rain fell from the North to the Negev today morning with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms forecasted to continue throughout the day.

2012: Hamas Islamists enforced a fragile two-day-old truce on today by evacuating Palestinians from a "no-go" border zone after IDF gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian and wounded several others.

2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host a performance of the Klezmer Nutcracker Holiday Concert.

2013: As part of the Murray Blackman Memorial Weekend, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman delivers a Shabbat sermon “What is the Most Important Verse in the Torah?” followed by an afternoon talk “The Two Happiest Days in Judaism – What are they? A Taste of Talmud” (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)

2013: Israeli soldiers “fired rubber bullets at a group of Palestinians who were throwing stones at them during a day in which three Arabs were arrested by Israeli forces near the security barrier separating the Jewish state from the Gaza after they had snuck across the border near Kibbutz Be'eri. (As reported by Gil Roen)

2013(20th of Kislev, 5774): Seventy-seven year old philanthropist and businessman Dov Lautman lost his battle with ALS today.

2013(20th of Kislev, 5774): Eight year old Peter B. Lewis, the former Chairman of Progressive Insurance Company passed away.

2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris’ “novelization of the Dreyfus affair” and Memories of a Marriage by Louis Begley.

2014: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to present “Poetry & Prose Workshop” with Willa Schneberg.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “No One Remembers Alone: Memory, Migration, and the Making of an American Family.”

2014: Eighteenth annual UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

2014: The Chabad Partners Conference is scheduled to be held at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel

2014: A live broadcast from the Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, a group that includes Rabbi Pinchas Ciment who has been a lamplighter par excellence in Arkansas for over two decades, is scheduled to take place this afternoon.

2014(1st of Kislev, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2014(1st of Kislev, 5775): Sixty-five year old Allan Kornblum, the founder of Coffee House Press passed away today.

2014: By a vote of 14 to 6 “the cabinet approved a controversial proposal today to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people in a constitutional Basic Law.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2014: “Riots follow Sakhnin’s 1:0 victory over Beitar in soccer match.

2015: In Potomac, MD, Congregation Har Shalom is scheduled to host a lecture by Rabbi Reuven Hammer on “Akiva: Living and Dying for Love.”

2015: The New England Patriots football team observed a minute of silence before its game tonight in memory of 18 year old Sharon, MA native Ezra Schwartz who was murder by a terrorist while distributing food packages soldiers to Israeli soldiers. (As reported by Raoul Wootliff and Marissa Newman)

2015: In London, The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a talk by curator Joanne Rosenthal on the exhibition “Blood” which “draws together manuscripts, prints, Jewish ritual and ceremonial objects, art, film, literature and cultural ephemera to present a rich exploration of how blood can unite and divide, reflecting on over 2,000 years of history.”

2016: “The Tenth Man” and “The Last Laugh” are scheduled to be shown in Melbourne, Australia as part of the Jewish International Film Festival.

2016: “The Settlers” and “Alone in Berlin” are scheduled to be shown in Sydney, Australia as part of the Jewish International Film Festival.






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