Thursday, November 24, 2016

This Day, November 25, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 25

2348 BCE: According to Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, the Great Deluge ("Noah's Flood") began on this date.

407 BCE: Yedanaiah petitioned Bagohi, the governor of Yehud to rebuild the Jewish Temple at Elephantine.

1120: The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.  The sinking of the ship would lead to chaos since William was Henry’s only male heir. When Henry, who treated his Jewish subjects well, passed away civil war broke out between the claimants to the throne. The crown went to King Stephen who was opposed by the Empress Matilda. Both monarchs raised cash from the Jews. Matilda had placed a levy on the Jews of Oxford and, on seizing the city, King Stephen demanded a levy three and a half times that of Matilda. The king forced payment by the simple expedient of burning the Jews’ houses one by one until the full sum was paid. On the other hand, King Stephen did protect his Jewish subjects from those who were going off to join the Second Crusade.  Things would improve for England and the Jews of England as well, when Henry I’s grandson, Henry II finally took the throne.

1177:  Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeats Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.  The Crusader victory was one of their last in the Holy Land and only delayed the inevitable return of Jerusalem to Moslem control.  For Jews, Moslem control was comparatively better than Christian control.

1277: Nicholas III began his papacy. “During his brief reign Nicholas displayed a considerable zeal for the conversion of the Jews. His bull Vineam sorce encouraged conversion through "sermons and other means." Copies of the document were sent (1278–79) to the *Franciscans and provincial priors of the *Dominicans in various provinces. Concurrently, however, he renewed the decisions of his predecessors forbidding the forcible baptism of Jews and protecting them from attacks by Christians. Nevertheless, several *Church councils and synods legislated against the free intercourse of Jews and Christians. It is not clear whether it was the supposed hostility of Nicholas or his mildness toward the Jews which prompted Abraham b. Samuel *Abulafia to announce his intention of visiting the pope to demand the release of captive Jews. (When he arrived, however, the pope was already on his deathbed.)” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

1357: Charles IV issued an edict protecting the Jews of Strasbourg. Two years later, amidst rumors about well-poisonings, 1,000 Jews would be burned and the remainder forcibly baptized.  Rumor trumped Royal Protection

1420: Pope Martin V favorably reinstates old privileges of the Jews and orders that no child under the age of twelve can be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

1489:  A work popularly referred to as “Abudarham's Siddur” was published for the first time in Lisbon.  Actually the book was untitled by its author David Abudarham, a Jewish scholar who lived in Seville (Spain) in the first part of the 14th century.  He modestly referred to his work as “Ḥibbur Perush ha-Berakot we-ha-Tefillot."  In fact it was a commentary on the various prayers tracing their origins and providing information about their liturgical significance.  This volume proved to be so popular that it went through nine editions the last of which appeared in Warsaw in the middle of the 19th century.  The printer was Eliezer Alantansi who used a lion rampant on a shield as his printer’s mark. “In his first publication, the Tur Orah Hayyim (1485), it is framed in red; in his second book, the Tur Yoreh Deah (1487), the frame is black; in his third book, the undated Pentateuch [1487-88], the lion appears without a frame. The designer and cutter is probably Alfonso Fernandez de Cordoba, who, no doubt, created the beautiful types and ornaments for Alantansi's books.”

1491:  The siege of Granada last Moorish stronghold in Spain began. When the siege is over, Spain will be united as a Catholic nation and Jews will be confronted with the choice of conversion or expulsion.

1491: Muley Abdu-Abdallah, the last Moorish ruler of Granada signed a secrety treaty with Ferdinand and Isabella, in which he agreed to surrender the city and its surrounding territory at a future date (January, 1492).  Included in the terms was a provision that Jews were to be allowed the same rights of protection that were being extended to the Moors.  However, "relapsed Marranos" were given one month to leave the city.  After that time they would be turned over to the Inquisition.  Also, the Moorish King made the incoming Christian monarchs promise that no Jew would serve as an "officer of justice, tax-gather, or commissioner" if holding that position would mean that the Jew would have authority over any Muslim.

1622:  "Christian IV, King of Denmark, addressed a letter to the Jewish Council of Amsterdam asking them to encourage some of their members to settle in his state.  He promised them freedom of worship and other favorable privileges."

1626: Sixty year old Edward Alleyn the English actor who was the first to play the title role of “Barabas” in Marlowe’s “Jew Of Malta” passed away today.

1707(1st of Kislev, 5468): Jente Opennheimer passed away today in Vienna.

1738: Birthdate of German mathematician Thomas Abbt who in 1763 entered a competition that was sponsored by the Berlin Academy for an essay on the application of mathematical proofs to metaphysics that was won by Moses Mendelssohn whom Abbt “yearned” to have as “his close friend” and to whom he “poured out…the deepest meditations of his troubled soul.”

1744: Austrian soldiers killed an untold number of Jews in Prague.

1761(1st of Kislev): The first Jewish social and civic club in North America was founded in Newport, RI

1769: Lazarus Eliezer Leiser Joseph van Geldern the son of Joseph Jacob Juspa van Geldern and Braeunle Brunella van Geldern passed away in Duesseldorf where he had been born in 1695.

1783: American forces retake New York from the British. Jews who had fled the British were able to return. Jews who were loyal to the Crown left along with other Loyalists making their homes in Canada or returning to England. Many of the Jews had taken refuge in Philadelphia, including Raabi Gershom Mendez Seixas who returned to the pulpit at Shearith Israel.

1795:  Stanislaus August Poniatowski the last king of independent Poland, is forced to abdicate and is exiled to Russia.  This marks the last act in the third and final partition of Poland.  “Polish” Jews now live in Austria, Germany and Russia.  As a result of the partition of Poland, Russia ended up with millions of Jews.  The Czars had worked long and hard to make and keep their empire “Jew free.”  Their greed for Polish land created their “Jewish problem.”  The shift from Poland to Russia dealt a mortal blow to the welfare of the Jewish people for the duration of the 19th century and on into the 20th century.

1799(27th of Cheshvan, 5560): In Frankfurt am Main, Benedict-Benedikt Moses Worms and Schönche Jeanette Worms gave birth to Zerline Worms who became Zerline Beyfus after her marriage.

1802: In Prague gave Michael Klapp, the son of Wolf Klapp and his wife Sara gave birth to Abraham Klapp

1806: Birthdate of French financier Isaac Pereire who was the grandson of Jacob Rodrigues Pereire. During the 19th century, the Pereires were financiers on a par with the Rothschilds.  Unlike the Rothschilds, the Piereires were Sephardim who traced their ancestry to Portugal. (As reported by Meyer Kayersling, Isidore Singer and Jacques Kahn) 

1818: Today’s “report of the Administration of the Margraviate of Saxony shows that it intended to expel Joseph Friedlander” effective November 1, 1819.

1823: Birthdate of Francis Joseph Schuster, the Frankfurt born merchant and convert to Christianity who moved to Manchester in 1866 to continue his career

1829: In Zerbst, Jakob Hirsch, a merchant, and Bertha Elkisch Bendix gave birth to Jenny Hirsch wrote for the Bazar under the pseudonym J. N. Heynrichs until 1864 when she became active in the cause of women’s rights.

1830: Birthdate of Lina Morgenstern, the wife of Theodore Morgenstern whom she married in 1850 and who was a noted author, feminist, pacifist and a member of the German Peace Society.

1850: Abraham Einstein and Helene Moos gave birth to Jakob Einstein a younger brother of Hermann Einstein.

1852: A banquet celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Hebrew Benevolent Society began at 8 pm in New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms on Broadway.  The evening raised over $5,000 in donations which ranged in amounts from $10 to $150.

1853: The New York Times reported that yesterday, which was celebrated as day of Thanksgiving by the people of New York, "the Jews laid the cornerstone of a new hospital for people of their persuasion."

1853: “The Jews In Europe” published today focused on the treatment of the Jews by the government of Austria. Reports “that the Austrian Government has revived the system of intolerance against the Jewish subjects” were misleading because “there was no need of a revival of the system of intolerance, because the Austrian Government have at all times been cruel and malicious against the unfortunate Jewish inhabitants.”

1856 (27th of Cheshvan): Danish philanthropist Simon Aaron Eibeschuetz passed away

1858: Birthdate of Paul Haupt, the German born American Assyriologist who “projected and edited the Polychrome Bible, a critical edition of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and a new English translation with notes” and published critical texts of the following with notes: Canticles (1902), Koheleth (1905), Ecclesiastes (1905), Nahum (1907), Esther (1908) and Micah (1910)

1863: Max Maretzek, the Moravian born American-Jewish maestro conducted the first performance of "Faust" in America

1864: British statesman Benjamin Disraeli declared in a speech: 'Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.'  Disraeli had been baptized at his father’s insistence.  Disraeli was proud of his Jewish heritage and often vilified for it by his political enemies.

1865: In Cleveland, Ohio, founding of the Ungarischer Frauen Unterstutzungs Verein which meets on the “third Sunday of the month” and “pays a sick benefit.”

1869: New York businessman Daniel McFarland fatally shot New York Tribune reporter Albert Deane Richardson in front of Daniel Frohman, Jew from Ohio who was working as a clerk at the paper and would go to become a famous theatrical and film director.

1871: “The Bells, a play in three acts by Leopold Davis Lewis opened today at the Lyceum Theatre in London for the first of 151 performances.  “The Bells is a translation by Leopold Lewis of the 1867 play Le Juif Polonais (The Polish Jew) by Erckmann-Chatrian.”

1871: A pair of pantaloons which had been left hanging in front of a Jewish clothing store at No. 6 on Main Street in Brooklyn was stolen tonight.

1873: Birthdate of Russian born “Israeli engineer and businessman” Moshe Novomeysky who “was an early developer of the Palestine Potash Company.”

1874: Carol Schurz delivered a lecture at the Steinway Hall in New York as part of a course sponsored by the Hebrew Young Men’s Association.

1877: “Joseph II and the Jews” published today traces the history and impact of The Toleration Edict promulgated by the Austrian monarch.

1880: Rabbi de Sola Mendes delivered a talk in which he uses the “Passion Play” as an example of what he calls “Religion Out of Place.”

1880: In London, Marie (nee de Jongh) and Solomon “Sidney” Rees Woolf gave birth to author, publisher and civil servant Leonard Sidney Woolf, the husband of fellow author Virginia Woolf.

1880: It was reported today that Arthur Lieberman, the Jew who committed suicide in Syracuse was a Nhilist from Russia. He fled the country to avoid arrest after having written a pamphlet espousing his beliefs.  Apparently he shot himself because he was despondent over having to leave his family.

1881: Alexander and Ida Kursheedt gave birth to Jessie Millier

1881: Birthdate of Jacob Fichman the Moldavian born Hebrew writer who twice won the Biliak Prize and was awarded the Israel Prize for literature in 1957, a year before his death.

1881: Birthdate Angelo Roncalli.  Roncalli would enter history as John XXIII, the Pope of Reform who tried to improve relations between the Church and the Jewish People

1881: “A large number of” Jewish immigrants from Russia were among the 1,338 passengers who arrived at Castle Garden aboard the SS Silesia.

1883: “Peace in Galilee” published today described a visit to Bukeia, “an interesting community of Jews who maintain that they are the descendants of families who were not dispersed and that they are the only Jews in the whole of Palestine whose direct ancestors inhabited the same spot and cultivated the same land prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.”

1883: Pere Hyacinthe delivered a talk on “Catholic Reform in France” at New York’s Presbyterian Church during which he said that “Judaism is recognized in France and I am glad of it.”

1884: The Brooklyn Academy was the scene for tonight’s Grand Ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1885: It was reported today that there are 70 boys enrolled in the Hebrew Technical Institute on Crosby Street.

1886: Mrs. Tillie Bernheimer (or Miss Lillie) provided Thanksgiving Dinner for the children at the United Hebrew Charities’ Industrial School on St. Mark’s Place.

1887: It was reported today that Dr. Joseph Silverman preached a Thanksgiving Day sermon at Temple Emanu-El entitled “Religious Liberty” in which he said “We meet today as Jews and Americans…as Jews in religion and as Americans in citizenship.”

1888: It was reported today that the Industrial School sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities plans to provide a Thanksgiving dinner at the school this year.

1889: Jacob Levy, a recent Jewish immigrant from Poland was beaten today when he mistakenly opened the door to the wrong apartment.

1890: Dr. H. M. Leipziger presented the claims of the Jews in Russia at today’s meeting of the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association a non-denominational group whose Executive Committee included Jacob H. Schiff.

1890: The funeral for Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, the daughter of Juliana and Mayer de Rothschild was held at the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

1890: In Bristol, England, Barnett (Dovber) and Hacha Rosenberg, native of Dvinsk gave birth to British poet Isaace Rosenberg who while serving as a Private in the 11th (Service) Battalion of The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regimentwas killed on the Western Front at the age of 27 on April 1, 1918.  He was the author of Poems from the Trenches which are considered by some to be among the most outstanding poems written during the First World War. “In The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell's landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg's Break of Day in the Trenches as ‘the greatest poem of the war.’"

Break of Day in the Trenches

The darkness crumbles away.

It is the same old druid time has ever,

Only a live thing leaps my hand,

A queer sardonic rat,

As I pull the parapet’s poppy

To stick behind my ear.

Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew

Your cosmopolitan sympathies.

Now you have touched this English hand

You will do the same to a German

Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure

To cross the sleeping green between.

It seems you inwardly grin as you pass

Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes

Less chanced than you for life,

Bonds to the whims of murder,

Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,

The torn fields of France.

What do you see in our eyes

At the shrieking iron and flame

Hurled through still heavens?

What quaver - what heart aghast?

Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins

Drop, and are ever dropping;

But mine in my ear is safe,

Just a little white with the dust.

He was killed on April 1, 1918 while fighting on the Western Front. His self-portrait hangs in the British National Portrait Gallery.

1893: Herman Lottmann who has owned a saloon for years in Brooklyn “announced today that he intended to quit the liquor business because “I am a Jew” who has been harassed by a gang of Irish ruffians for the past year and the courts have been no help.  “Lottmann said his wife had threatened to leave him if he had license renewed.

1894(10th of Kislev, 5716): In Berlin, fifty year old Dr. Arnold Heinrich Bodek, “also known Aaron Chaim” the husband of Malwine Malva Bodek, passed away today.

1895: Herzl begins a two days visit Colonel Goldsmid, leader of the British Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) Movement, in Cardiff, Wales.

1896: After his return to Vienna, Herzl reworks the "Rede an die Rothschilds" and a new work finally emerges: Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage or in English The Jewish State: An Attempt at a Modern Solution of the Jewish Question. “Theodore Herzl's pamphlet Der Judenstaat, The Jewish State, heralded the coming of age of Zionism…. In The Jewish State, Herzl envisioned that diplomatic activity would be the primary method for attaining the Jewish State and he called for the organized transfer of Jewish communities to the new state. Of the location of the state, Herzl said, ‘We shall take what is given us, and what is selected by public opinion.’ Herzl's The Jewish State included social innovations such as the seven-hour working day. In general, he was interested in an economy where free enterprise and state involvement went hand-in-hand. It was to be a modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced and Europeanized society. The Jewish State established Herzl as the leader of Zionism, and the "father of the Zionist Idea." Zionist also provoked considerable opposition, in particular from the assimilationst Jews of Central and Western Europe. The book became required reading for all Zionists and was taken as the basic platform of political Zionism. In conclusion, he wrote: ‘And what glory awaits those who fight unselfishly for the cause! Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity.’” 

For more information about The Jewish State and complete copy of the text see, click on the icon “Israel” scroll down to Zionism, and then go to  Excerpts From Herzl's The Jewish State.

1897(30th of Cheshvan, 5658): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1897: Dr. Gustav Gottheil will deliver a sermon entitled “The Most Religious Day of the Year in America” during Thanksgiving Services at Temple Emanu-El which begin at 11 a.m.

1897: At New York’s Agudath Yesharim(Jersharim), Rabbi J.P. Solomon will officiate at the Thanksgiving Services starting at 3 p.m.

1897: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will lead Thanksgiving Services at Temple B’Nai Jeshrun beginning at 3 p.m.

1897: “The children of the Industrial and Sabbath Schools of the United Hebrew Charities will have a Thanksgiving Dinner today at 58 St. Mark’s Place at noon.

1897: The Cadet Corps of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum provide a full dress parade as part of the today’s Thanksgiving celebration.

1897: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum on Amsterdam will hold services 3 pm.

1897: Emile Zola addressed a letter to Le Figaro that might have been called “The Injustice of French Justice” since the author “intimated that he believed Dreyfus was innocent” and that he had the proof for this belief.  The letter ended “The truth is on the way; nothing can stop it.”

1897: “To Begin Its Receptions” published today described plans for a series of upcoming functions hosted by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum.

1898: Birthdate of Regina Gotlop, the native of Tarnow, Poland who was part of Convoy 25 that left Drancy for Auschwitz on August 28, 1942

1898: “Former Counsel General…Opposes Expansion” published today provided the view Simon Wolf, the former United States Counsel to Egypt on how this country should deal with Cuba and the Philippines, countries that were part of the Spanish Empire until the recent U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War.  Wolf is opposed to annexation.  He thinks that we should develop a special relationship with both of them, in the way that England has with Egypt.  But he believes that we must make them independent and not annex them.  (The disposition of former parts of the Spanish Empire including Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines was “a hot political topic” at the end of the 19th century and is interesting that a leading Jewish statesman would take the stand for individual and national liberty as opposed to imperial expansion.)

1899: The final performance of “The Children of the Ghetto” will take place tonight at the Herald Square Theatre.

1899: Mme. Nevada’s final performance this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House was a fund-raiser for the benefit of the Hebrew Infant Asylum which is need of help to pay for the “recent heavy expenditures” resulting from the modernization and enlargement of its facility on Eagle Avenue and 161st Street.

1899(23rd of Kislev, 5660): Eighty-seven year old Jewish merchant and philanthropist Marcus Nordheim whose assets amounted to 10 million marks part of which were used to establish the Nordheim Foundation, passed away today.

1900: At Cape May, NJ. Meyer S. Isaacs presided over the ceremonies held to dedicate De Hirsch Hall, the new dormitory of the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural and Industrial School at Woodbine.  Woodbine an agricultural colony founded 12 years ago.  With a population of 1,000, it is the most successful De Hirsch funded colony in New Jersey.

1901: It was reported today Marks Arnheim has spent the last three days looking for the person who has printed and distributed circulars urging a boycott of his tailoring shop on the corner of Broadway and 9th Street in New York.

1902: Birthdate of Morris Lapidus, the Russian-born American architect who was responsible for the design of resort hotels in Miami and Miami Beach in the 1950’s.

1904(17th of Kislev,5665): Seventy-four year old Henry Strauss, a native of Alsace who served in the 10th Mississippi Infantry and was buried in the Beth Israel Cemetery, passed away today.

1905: Today, President Dabney of the University of Cincinnati spoke at Hebrew Union College during the celebration marking “the 250th anniversary of the settlement of Jews in America.”

1905: After 3 months, “Catch of the Season,” a two act musical produced by Charles Frohman was performed for the last time at Daly’s Theatre in New York.

1905: Mr. Arnold Kohn said today “that although the contributions at the State Bank” deposited into the fund for the Russian Jews “came mostly from the poor” $20,000 has been deposited in to the account.

1905: Jacob H. Schiff received a letter today from Jacob G. Schurman, the President of Cornell University in which he enclosed his check “for the fund in relief of the suffering Jews of Russia whose terrible condition appeals to the universal heart of mankind.”  Schurman, a native of Canada whose family came from the Netherlands wrote, “The atrocities of the Russian mob have been beyond all description or imagination.  Such an exhibition of bigotry, intolerance and racial hatred has seldom if ever, disgraced the history of the mankind.  And to crown the horrors of it, the fiendish mob invoke the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who preached good will to men…”

1907: The Neu-Isenburg orphanage for Jewish girls (Mädchenwohnheim Neu-Isenburg) founded by Bertha Pappenheim began operation today.

1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1908(1st of Kislev, 5669): A.M. Edelweiss passed away in Cuba.

1909: Turks resolve to grant all requested privileges to Jewish soldiers, except kosher food

1910: Birthdate of Léon Poliakov, the Russian born French historian whose field of expertise was Holocaust and anti-Semitism. In November 1950, Poliakov wrote "The Vatican and the 'Jewish Question' - The Record of the Hitler Period-And After," in the influential Jewish journal Commentary which was the first article to consider the attitude of the papacy during World War II and the Holocaust.

1912(15th of Kislev, 5673): Sixty-two year old Isidor Raynor who represented the Fourth Congressional District of Maryland from 1887 to 1889 and 1891 to 1895 and served as U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1905 until today, passed away.

1912: ‘The next regular meeting of the Junior Auxiliary of the Mother’s Aid of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and Dispensary is scheduled to be held at 2 o’clock this afternoon in the vestry rooms of  Temple Isaiah in Chicago, Illinois.

1912: The following article entitled “Daughters of Jacob Honor Ida Straus” described the memorial ceremony commemorating the life of this Jewess who went down with her husband on the Titanic.

 In the presence of an audience of 600 persons, including all of the members of the Straus family, a memorial tablet in honor of Ida Straus was unveiled yesterday at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob, an institution for aged men and women at 301 and 303 East Broadway. Impressive services marked the official dedication of the tablet, which has been mounted upon the wall of the large auditorium to the right of the main entrance.The large bronze casting bears the raised profile of Mrs. Straus upon the centre, directly under the inscription; “The Ida Straus Memorial of the Home of the Daughters of Jacob.” On one side are the words “Her life was beautiful” and the date in the Hebrew calendar of Mrs. Straus’s birth, “Shebat 14, 5609.” On the other side is the inscription “Her death was glorious,” and the date of the Titanic disaster, “Nisan 28, 5672.” Below the profile are the words:To the everlasting memory of Mrs. Ida Straus, one of the noble and heroic daughters in Israel, the hospital wards of this home are dedicated. She perished on the high seas in the Titanic disaster, together with her husband, Isidor Straus, statesman, philanthropist, and merchant, persistenly [sic] refusing to be saved that she might remain to cheer the last moments of her life’s companion.

Beneath is this quotation:

Where thou Diest Will I Die, and There Will I Be Buried. RUTH

The Rev. Dr. Nathan Abramson opened the dedication services with a hymn, in which he led a selected chorus of sixteen voices. The Rev. H. Pereira Mendes delivered the opening prayer, in which he expressed the hope that the example of the heroic and devoted wife in whose memory the tablet was erected and to whose lasting fame the wards of the hospital were dedicated might be forever an inspiration to the women of her race and ancient creed.  Dr. Henry Fleischman, President of the Educational Alliance, made the principal address. He lauded the modest charity and kindliness of Mrs. Straus and the great unselfish works of her husband in the public service. Other speakers were Joseph Barondes of the Board of Education, the Rev. Dr. Schulman, pastor of the Congregation of Beth-El; the Rev. H. Masliansky of the People’s Synagogue, and Gustavus A. Rogers, who acted as Chairman. The most impressive incident of the dedication occurred when the 186 inmates of the home, led by Supt. Albert Kruger, filed slowly into the auditorium and took their seats in the front rows. The oldest of the feeble and decrepit men and women was said to be almost 108, and the youngest in the procession more than 70 years old. Just before the close of the exercises they arose and with quavering voices chanted aloud in unison a prayer for the eternal happiness of their departed benefactress. Among those seated on the platform were Mr. and Mrs. Percy Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar S. Straus, Mrs. Nathan Straus, Herbert Straus, Jesse I. Straus, Mrs. Weil, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Kohns, and Mr. Lee Kohns. At the close of the exercises the members of the Straus family group, together with a few intimate friends, made a tour of inspection of the new hospital wards of the home.

1913: Birthdate of Robert Friend, the American born “poet and translator” who made Aliyah and became “a professor of English literature at Hebrew University.”

1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London, and an Indian soldier faced German machine-gun fire for two hundred yards, to bring in a badly wounded Indian lying in No-Man’s Land.

1914: “Zangwill Lauds Schiff” published today defends Jacob Schiff saying this his proposal “for a conference to end Prussian Militarism” does not make him a “mouthpiece of Berlin” but shows him as one who draws on his Jewish background and “speaks…with the voice of Jersualem.

1914: “Britain Will Protect Jews” published today provides the response of the British Ambassador to questions about the British protecting the rights of German Jews in lands they may conquer by saying that “Jews of all nationalities who may come under British control can of course count on the same protection and liberal treatment which England has always extended to them.”

1914: “For the Relief of Jews” published today provided a list of contributors to the fund including Rabbi J.S. Levy of Waco, TX , Joe Matz of Pocahontas, VA and Mrs. Charles Fryer of Muscatine, IA.

1915: According to a dispatch from the Associated Press the Russians dynamited much of Brest-Litvosk, destroying three quarters of the houses before retreating from the Polish city and leaving a mass of refugees most of whom were Jewish and were forced to seek refuge in the swamps where many of the “died of malignant diseases.”

1915: Max Meyerson, Commissioner of Education Isadore M. Levy, Magistrate Samuel D. Levy and Abram I. Elkus were among the speakers at the Thanksgiving exercises held by the Hebrew Sheltering Immigrant Aid Society tonight during which they explained “the newcomers what reasons they had for being thankful” including the fact that they were not being exposed to the “horrors in war-ridden Europe.”

1915: On Thanksgiving, Jacob H. Schiff spoke to the 450 inmates at the Montefiore Home and Hospital for Chronic Invalids many of whom who “could not leave their cots “and asked them to be thankful that America was enjoying peace.”

1915: Philip Watenberger of the Bronx, presided over a meeting at McKinley Casion where “some 3,000 persons” heard “an appeal for aid for the suffering Jews of Poland, made homeless because of  the war.”

1915: Months after Leo Frank was taken from the Milledgeville prison, members of the Knights of Mary Phagan burned a gigantic cross on top of Stone Mountain, reportedly inaugurating a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The group was led by William J. Simmons and attended by 15 charter members and a few aging survivors of the original Klan.

1915: It was reported today that among those being considered to replace the later Dr. Solomon Schechter as President of the Jewish Theological Seminary are “Dr. Buchler, head of the Jews’ College in London and Dr. Toznanski of the Jewish Institute in Petrograd.”

1915: In London, The Times publishes a letter from Israel Zangwill takes issue with an interview it had published with Jacob Schiff in which its correspondent apparently made it seem like Schiff spoke for Germany.  Zangweill contends that he is “noblest of millionaires” engaged in “philanthropic work” who is one of the most patriotic Americans I have ever known.”  “Descended from a long-line of Jewish rabbis and scholars (one of his ancestors was Chief Rabb of the Great Synagogue of London in the eighteenth century) Jacob Schiff himself might sat to Lessing for a portrait of ‘Nathan der Wise.’”

1915: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel, the member of a prominent Anglo-Jewish family succeeded Winston Churchill as the Chancellor of the Duchy Lancaster in the government headed by Prime Minister Henry Asquith

1915(18th of Kislev, 5676): Eighty-three year old Michel Jules Alfred Bréal, the French philologist who was responsible for the marathon being part of the first modern Olympics passed away today.

1916(22nd of Cheshvan, 5677): Parashat Chayei Sara

1916: Synagogues on New York’s east side are scheduled hold memorial services honoring Austrian Emperor Franz Josef who passed away earlier this week.

1916: The replacement of Boris Stürmer an anti-Semite “suspected of being pro-German” as Prime Minister in Russia with Alexander Trepov “was hailed by liberals” and those who were worried about Russia continuing the war against Germany.

1916: In Berlin, “during the course of the discussion of the budget before the committee of the Reichstag” it was suggested that Germany employ Jews in Poland while also looking using “the population of occupied territories for work in Germany.”

1917: The New York Section of the Council of Jewish Women dedicated the first shelter for “homeless and friendless” Jewish women discharged or paroled from New York City and New York state jails. Speakers at the dedication included the prominent rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Deaconess Young, who directed another home for “friendless women” in the same neighborhood. Although the home was founded to serve Jewish women, the president of the New York Council section affirmed that “no unfortunate woman of any race, creed or color would be refused aid if she needed it.”

1917: The Provisional Zionist Committee, chaired by Stephen S. Wise, “sent a cable message of greetings and congratulation to the Zionist mass meeting what held in London” celebrating the adoption of the Balfour Declaration. 

1917:  A mass meeting of Zionists attended by Lord Walter Lionel Rothschild, Chaim Weitzman, President of the British Zionist Federation and Rabbi Moses Gaster was held in London this evening designed “to celebrate the promise by the British Government ot support the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.

1917: A contribution of $200 from Witty Brothers, the New York men’s clothing store was among those listed today by the American Jewish Relief Committee.

1917: Among the contributions listed today by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering through the War included $1,436 from the committee in Dubuque, IA, $236 from the committee in Iowa City, IA, $135 from the committee in Keokuk, IA, $300 from the committee in Mason City, IA, $301 from the committee in Muscatine, IA and $286 from the committee in Ottumwa, IA.

1924(27th of Cheshvan, 5685): Ninety-two year old Jules Worms, the French painter and engraver who was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1876 passed away today after which he was “buried in Paris Montparnasse Cemetery , Section 5.

1925: In Moscow, silent film actress Rachel Messerer-Plisetskaya and Mikhai “Misha” Plisetski, a diplomat, engineer and mine director, gave birth to ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress Maya Plisetskaya.

1926: In Brooklyn “Jewish immigrants Irene (Sperling) and Abraham Schisgal, a tailor, gave birth to playwright and screenwriter Murray Schisgal whose hits include Luv and Tootsie.

1927(1st of Kislev, 5688): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1927(1st of Kislev, 5688): Morris Ganss, who had been born in Maryland in August of 1865 and was the husband of Helen Peyer and father of Harold Ganss passed away today after which he was buried in the Hebrew Cemetery at Washington, D.C.

1927: Yehudi Menuhin was the soloist with New York Symphony Orchestra today where he played the Beethoven Violin Concerto. His performance won audience approval and critical acclaim and marked the start of tours through the United States and Europe.

1931: According to figures released by the census authorities, of the 1,035,154 inhabitants of Palestine, 387,525 live in Palestine’s major cities including 90,526 in Jerusalem, 51,876 in Jaffa, 46,109 in Tel Aviv and 50,869 for Haifa.  “There is an almost equal number of men an women in nearly all the urban localities, the total being 197,307 males and 190,218 females.” Since the last census conducted in 1922, “purely Arab areas showed less than a 1 per cent increase in population…while the mixed Arab-Jewish residential localities showed a 30 per cent rise indicating a higher measure of prosperity during the past decade.”

1932: U.S. premiere of “Rockabye” a drama directed by George Cukor and produced by David O. Selznick.

1933(7th of Kislev, 5694): Seventy-three year old Sarah Hexter, a native of Brandeburg, German who was the wife of Max Hexter with who she had three children passed away today in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1933: Max Born received a letter from Werner Heisenberg in which he said he had been delayed in writing due to a “bad conscience” that he alone had received the Nobel Prize “for work done in Göttingen in collaboration — you, Jordan and I.” Heisenberg went on to say that Born and Jordan’s contribution to quantum mechanics cannot be changed by “a wrong decision from the outside.” Jordan was Pascual Jordan a physicist who joined the Nazi party and became a Brown Shirt. Heisenberg was an “Aryan” who stayed in Nazi Germany.  Born was a Lutheran who was classified as a Jew under Nazi Racial Law and would win his Nobel Prize in 1954.

1934: John Kenmuir reports that “not since the period immediately following the World War have so many new places claimed attention from mapmakers as in the last few months. Towns have seemingly appeared out of nowhere…”  Included in this category is Tel Aviv, “the second largest city in Palestine a country of age-old town.  This thriving metropolis of 70,000 did not even exist in 1909, its site being then a deserted area of rolling sand dunes north of Jaffa.

1935: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel who lost his seat in the elections of 1935 ended his leadership of the Liberal Party today.

1936: Tonight, the police “stormed Warsaw University in order to clear the buildings occupied for two day by several hundred Fascist student” who were demanding that Jewish students be segregated from the rest of the student body.

1936: Dr. Chaim Weizmann began his testimony before the Peel Commission by dwelling “first on the tragedy of at least 6,000,000 superfluous Jews in Poland, Germany, Austria and other countries who before the war found an outlet in emigration to the United States and South Africa but who now find all gates barred to them” which “lends grave importance to the question of a Jewish national home in Palestine, the only spot in the world where Jews can turn their eyes with the hope of being saved from moral, cultural and economic stagnation” not to mention death.

1936: Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty that will be the basis of the Axis alliance.  The treaty is another step towards World War II and the Final Solution. At the time, the treaty seemed to be one more diplomatic victory for Hitler, but the Japanese actually outsmarted the Little Corporal.  The treaty did not commit the Japanese to take military action against the Soviets.  Hitler fully expected the Japanese to attack Russia when he invaded the Soviet state forcing Stalin to fight a two front war.  The Japanese never budged.  Hitler was left to fight the Soviets on his own and it was this Soviet ability to have face only the Germans that helped chew up the divisions of the Wermacht. [If the Japanese had really been such dedicated anti-communists you would have thought they would have joined the Nazis in attacking the leading communist state of the time, the Soviet Union.  Of course the Japanese did not having been bloodied by the Soviets in the late 1930’s.  Even strange bedfellows do not always sleep together]

1936: Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, the Archbishop of Muich, informed the Bavarian bishops that he had promised Hitler that the bishops would issue a new pastoral letter in which they condemned "Bolshevism which represents the greatest danger for the peace of Europe and the Christian civilization of our country." In addition, Faulhaber stated, the pastoral letter " will once again affirm our loyalty and positive attitude, demanded by the Fourth Commandment, toward todays form of government and the Führer. "

1936: Fifty-five year old Sir Leon Levison, the son of Rabbi Nahum Levison, whose conversion to Christianity and service as the first President of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance did not prevent him from raising 200,000 English pounds to relieve the suffering Jews during the World War or being “a fierce opponent of the Nazis” passed away.,%20August%207/2%20Sir%20Leon%20Levison%20at%20High%20Leigh%201931%20by%20kai-kjaer%20hansen.pdf

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the first death sentence was passed, under the recently promulgated Defense Regulations, by a military court on Sheikh Farhan e-Sadi, leader of a terrorist group, who was found guilty of carrying firearms and ammunition. The Arab Defense Party appealed for clemency.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews had been attacked and beaten in riots in Memel, Shavli and Wilkomir in Lithuania. This outburst of anti-Semitism took place two years before the outbreak of World War II.  This is an example of the inherent European anti-Semitism that helped to make the Holocaust possible and provided the Nazis with willing accomplices in completing the Final Solution.

1938(2nd of Kislev, 5699): Fifty-five year old Jessie Sampter who made Aliyah in 1919 which led her to work with Yemenite Jews and the establishment of “a vegetarian convalescent home at Kibbutz Givat Brenner” passed away at Beilinson Hospital where she was being treated for malaria and heart disease.

1938: “Submarine Patrol” a pre-war Naval adventure film written by Jack Yellen was released today in the United States.

1939: There were 1,000 German Jews aboard the SS Vulcania as it left Italy tonight bound for New York City.

1939: Today is the deadline for the Jewish population of Teschen to leave the city.

1939: It was announced today that American “with relatives in the Upper Silesia and Danzig areas of Poland may send me to them through the Federation of Polish Jews in America at 225 West 34th Street” in New York City.

1939: Birthdate of economist Martin Feldstein winner in 1977 of the John Bates Clark Medal.

1939: In New York, Dr. Samuel H. Goldensohn is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “The Sacrifices of Thanksgiving” on Saturday morning at Congregation Emanu-El.

1939: In New York, Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “How Would Your Rewrite the Bible” on Saturday morning at Temple Israel.

1939: In New York, Rabbi Nathan Stern is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “I Have Everything” on Saturday morning at West End Synagogue.

1939: In Baltimore, MD, “more than a thousand delegates to the Junior Hadassah convention passed by acclamation today a resolution condemning the British White Paper on Palestine and calling upon the British Colonial Secretary, ‘for the sake o the honor of Great Britain,’ to abandon it.”

1939: Mrs. David De Sola Pool of New York, national president of Senior Hadassah, Miss Nell Ziff of New York, president of Junior Hadassah and Rabbi Isadore Breslau, director of the American Zionist Bureau in Washington addressed today’s session of the Junior Hadassah Convention.

1939: In New York Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “Changing Our Name and Changing Our Character” on Saturday morning Congregation Rodeph Sholom

1939: The government in Bucharest published “the result of an investigation concerning the citizenship of the Jews” living in Rumania according to which only 63.5% of the Jews living in the country were really citizens.

1939: “Mrs. Isidor Achron of 45 West Eighty-first Street” said today she had received word from her aunt in London that her cousin Moijzesz Kusewitsky, chief cantor Poland who had been reported killed by a German bomb during the Nazi capture of Warsaw “had escaped with his family to Bucharest, Romania.

1940: The Patria, a steamer carrying illegal Jewish immigrants sank in Haifa port killing 250 of the passengers. The Patria was a French steamer chartered by the British to ship illegal immigrants who had previously made it to Palestine to detainment camps on the British island of Mauritius. This removal of the Jewish immigrants was part of a British campaign to placate the Arabs.  The plan was in violation of the terms of the Mandate.  The plant was also a violation of basic human decency since the Jews were seeking a safe haven from the advancing Nazi armies.  However, nobody has ever accused the British Foreign office or the Arab leaders of that time of having an over abundance of human decency when it came to dealing with Jews.  The explosion on board the Patria was caused by the Haganah who were attempting to disable the ship and force the British to let the refugees land.  Almost two thousand of the Patria’s human cargo would end up staying in Eretz Israel while another similar number would end up in internment camps.  This was but one small event in the combined British-Arab attempt to strangle the Yishuv.

1941: German Jews were shipped east to Kovno.  This gave the SS new targets for their killing raids. In one day the Einsatzkommando reported the deaths of 1,159 men, 1,600 women and175 children. Four days later they reported killing another 693 men, 1,155 women and152 children.

1942: In the evening and continuing into the next day, the SS and Norway’s State Police began rounding up all woman and children. In all, 532 Jewish women and children in Norway are arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Although more than 700 Norwegian Jews were eventually sent to Auschwitz, about 930 found refuge in Sweden.

1942: Jews hiding in Piotrkow (Poland) were offered a chance to stay in the ghetto legally if they came out of hiding. Some did, and they were killed by Ukrainians upon doing so.

1943: World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina is re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People's Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1943(27th of Cheshvan, 5704): One of two dates given for the suicide of 65 year old actor Paul Otto in Berlin after his Jewish ancestry was discovered.

1944: Crematorium II at Birkenau was dismantled by the Nazis and its remains were buried in attempt to hide the evidence of the Final Solution. 

1944:  Birthdate of actor, self-styled political commentator and game show host Ben Stein

1944: According to some sources Himmler was responsible for the issuance today of a “general prohibition…concerning the further killing of the Jews” – a claim which would seem to fly in the face of the facts that an untold number of Jews continued to perish under the most brutal of conditions.

1944: Warner Brothers release “Arsenic and Old Lace” comedy that includes murder and mental illness produced by Jack Warner with a score by Max Steiner and a screenplay by Julius and Philip G. Epstein.

1945: Jewish underground attacks Palestinian coast guard; blows up two coast guard stations in retaliation for capture of Greek schooner Demetrios which brought 200 illegal immigrants to Palestine.

1946(2nd of Kislev, 5707): Ninety-year old Henry Morgenthau, Sr. the United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during WW I whose grandchildren included historian Barbara Tuchman and long-time NY DA Robert M. Morgenthau passed away today.

1947: The House of Representatives overwhelming vote to approve citations for contempt of Congress citations against the Hollywood Ten for the “defiance” of the mis-named House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”

1947: Following yesterday’s overwhelming vote to cite the Hollywood Ten for Contempt of Congress, the Hollywood studios blacklisted them. “Of the Hollywood Ten, six - John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz and Samuel Ornitz — were Jews.”  (As reported by Jennifer Lipman)

1947: “The Gangster” based The Low Company a 1937 novel written by Daniel Fuchs who wrote the screenplay and with music by Louis Gruenberg was released today in the United States today,

1948: Arabs announce they will not negotiate with Israel except through UN.

1948: UN mediator Ralph Bunche recommends to Political Committee that UN try another strong appeal for Israel and Arabs to get together. He urges Israel's admittance to UN.

1948: Israel's Provisional Government Council announces it will hold first general elections on January 25. Persons aged 18 years or more will be eligible to vote.

1948:  Birthdate of French born, American educated, film director Jonathan Kaplan

1949: Israel turns down the UN Palestine Conciliation Committee's plan for an international Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett says Jews favored UN control of Jerusalem at one time. They oppose it now, because if they lose Jerusalem they will have to rescue it from Arabs. They recommend that Jerusalem's old city be internationalized. Modern Jerusalem's holy places will be accessible to people of all faiths.

1959: Birthdate of Yaakov Edri, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1959, earned two degrees from the University of Haifa and pursued a political career that including service as an MK and in several ministerial posts.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that fear for the safety of 2,500,000 Jews behind the Iron Curtain was voiced in the Knesset by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett when he read the government¹s statement on the Prague trials of former leading Communists, accused of Zionism and espionage, which he called “a farce in the form of a trial.”

1952: Premiere of Hans Christian Andersen produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with a script by Moss Hart and starring Danny Kaye.

1953: “The Fake” a “British crime film” with music by Matyas Seiber was released today in the United Kingdom.

1955: “The Big Knife,” the film version of the 1949 play by Clifford Odets and co-starring Shelly Winters was released in the United States today.

1955(10th of Kislev, 5716): Fifty year old U.S. Chess Champion and International Master Herman Steiner passed away today.

1956: In Boston, Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy addresses a dinner honoring Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister.

1957: U.S. premiere of “Bernadine” directed by Henry Levin with music by Lionel Newman.

1957: Today, CBS broadcast “Beyond This Place,” an adaptation of the novel of the same name directed by Sidney Lumet, produced by David Susskind and co-starring Shelly Winters.

1960: Today, CBS news broadcast “Harvest of Shame” a ground-breaking documentary about migrant farm workers directed by Fred W. Friendly.

1961: Negotiations between representatives of the Israeli government and King Hassan of Morocco came to an end with an understanding that would make it easier for the Jews to leave for Israel.

1963: Following the assassination of President Kennedy, “the Jewish Community Council held a memorial service at Washington Hebrew Congregation that included “a tribute delivered by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.”

1967: After 463 performance the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “The Apple Tree,” a musical with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, produced by Stuart Ostrow, directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Larry Blyden.

1969: Birthdate of Israeli actress and comedian Orna Banai

1970: “A Promise at Dawn” the film version of the 1960 novel by Romain Gary who co-authored the script with Jules Dassin who also directed and produced the movie and starring Assi Dayan, the son of Moshe Dayan, was released in the United States today.

1973: Three Arab terrorists hijacked a KLM jumbo jet headed for New Delhi and forced the pilot to land at Abu Dhabi.

1973(30th of Cheshvan, 5734): Forty-five year old debonair actor Laurence Harvey whose on screen persona was so different from what one would expect from Lithuanian born Jew named Hirsch Moses Skikne passed away today.
1974: Anppeal in behalf of Soviet Jewish prisoners, signed by over 600 politicians, academics, musicians, writers, stage and film actors was published in The Times in London.

1974: About 200 Riga Jews organized a pilgrimage to Rumbuli on the anniversary of the liquidation of the Riga ghetto.

1975: Suriname, a Dutch colony on the Northeast coast of South America gains its independence from the Netherlands. According to The Virtual Jewish Library, “the Jewish community of Suriname is one of the oldest in the Americas. Jews apparently arrived from Brazil (or Holland) and settled in Suriname as early as 1639, and there is an extant ketubbah, marriage contract, signed by a rabbi in 1643.”  For part of its history, the Jewish community was quite active and wealthy. By the end of the 20th century “200 Jews live in Suriname with the Nederlands Portugees Israelitische Gemeente overseeing the community's activities. The two 18th century synagogues in the capital, Paramaribo, have been restored. Neve Shalom is considered to be Conservative, and both synaggoues hold weekly Shabbat services. The Ashkenazi synagogue has a sandy floor, which is symbolic of the 40 years in the desert, and was also supposed to have hidden the footsteps of the Conversos. Kosher food is available in Suriname and there is a community newspaper, Sim Shalom that is printed in Dutch.
 For more information see  

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced that his government had adopted the policy of promoting communications with Israel in order to establish a comprehensive Middle Eastern peace settlement. It was suggested that the proposed Israeli-Egyptian dialogue would be held in the UN Sinai buffer zone.

1978: Prime Minister Menachem Begin met German Ambassador Klaus Schuetz. This was the first time Begin had personally conferred with any German representative.  During the 1950’s Begin had been a vocal opponent of accepting reparations from the Bonn government.

1979: Robert Strauss completed his service as Special Envoy for the Middle East for President Carter

1979: Birthdate of Gerson Levi-Lazzaris,a Brazilian archaeologist, descendent of Italo-Slovenian immigrants. Most of the Lazzaris are from Forno di Zoldo, Veneto, from where most of them emigrated during the end of the XIXth century, and also after the Second World War to Argentina, Australia, Brazil and United States.

1979: As part of the Camp David Accords, Israel surrendered the Alma oilfields

1981(28th of Cheshvan, 5742): Seventy four year old actor Jack Albertson passed away.  Born to immigrant parents in 1907, this Bay State native was a multi-talented entertainer. Some of his more famous roles include a bit part as a postal worker in Miracle on 34th Street, a starring role in the Broadway hit The Sunshine Boys and as the cantankerous elderly Anglo in Chico and the Man.

1983: Syria and Saudi Arabia announced cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.  There are a number of people who blame Israel for all of the problems in the Middle East.  There is a growing chorus on the both the Left and the Right in America who blame America’s problems in that region on United States support for Israel.  The Civil War in Lebanon is a reminder that turmoil and violence exist in that region without regard to the existence of Israel.  In fact the argument can be made that Arab violence against Israel is merely another manifestation of on-going Arab versus Arab conflicts.

1987: Eighty-six year old Genevieve Brown, who had been marred to All-American football player and Coach Ralph Horween (Ralph Horwitz) for 64 years passed away today.

1987(4th of Kislev, 5748): Terrorist who “flew” into Israel aboard hang gliders from Lebanon killed 6 Israeli soldiers, would 6 more soldiers and on civillian

1987: U.S. premiere of “Three Men and a Baby” directed by Leonard Nimoy, photographed by cinematographer Adam Greenberg, co-starring Steve Guttenberg with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

1989(27th of Cheshvan, 5750): Ninety-four year old Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron, who was recognized as one of the century's great historical scholars for his sweeping multivolume history of the Jews passed away today. (As reported by Peter Steinfels)

1990(8th of Kislev, 5751): Four Israelis were killed and 26 more were wounded by an “Egyptian crossing the border.”

1990(8th of Kislev, 5751): Ninety-year old clinical psychiatrist Bettina Warburg Grimson, the graduate of Bryn Mawr and Cornell Medical School who was the wife of the musician Samuel B. Grimson passed away today in Manhattan.

1992: The Czechoslovakia Federal Assembly votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993. “After the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia in 1992, Slovakia gained its independence on January 1, 1993. Since Slovakia’s independence, such organizations as Maccabi and B’nai B’rith have become active in the communities… During the immediate post-Cold War period, the Czech Republic reopened diplomatic ties with Israel and Czech President Vaclav Havel became the first leader from a previously Soviet controlled Eastern European country to travel to Israel.”

1992: U.S. premiere of “Aladdin” an animated musical fantasy with Scott Weinger providing the voice of “Aladdin” and music by Alan Menken.

1992: “The Bodyguard,” a “romantic thriller written and co-produced by Lawrence Kasdan was released in the United States today.

1994: John Charles Walker, “an American agricultural scientist “and winner of the Wolf Prize an Israeli award funded by Dr. Ricardo Wolf, the former Cuban ambassador to Israel

1998(6th of Kislev, 5759): American philosopher Nelson Goodman passed away at the age of 92.

1998: “Very Bad Things” a very sick comedy directed by Peter Berg and co-starring Jeremy Piven was released in the United States today.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry by Sheila Isenberg, The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalem by Kanan Makiya, In The Shape of a Boar by Lawrence Norfolk and Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics by Edward Teller with Judith L. Shoolery

2002(20th of Kislev, 5763): Seventy six year old “Karel Reisz, a Czech refugee who became a leading director of the British New Wave before making "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and other Hollywood dramas” passed away today. (As reported by Rick Lyman)

2002: Theo Epstein was appointed General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. In less than two years (2004) the Sox would beat the hated Yankees for the American League Pennant and then win the World Series thus breaking “the curse.”  The youthful Jewish executive would be hailed as part of a new generation of baseball executives.

2002: In a review of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Dvesti let Vmeste (Two Hundred Years Together) the first of two volumes devoted to the history of Jews in Russia from the third partition of Poland in 1795, when Russia, until then effectively without Jews, suddenly acquired one million Jewish subjects, Daniel Pipes discusses the Russian author’s attitude toward Jews and the role of Jews in Russian history.

2005: “The Ice Harvest” directed by Harold Ramis which premiered at the Deauville American Film festival was released in the United States today

2005: “One Six Right: The Romance of Flying” a “film about the general aviation industry” starring Sydney Pollack and Hal Fishman was released in the United States today.

2005: In a reminder that even in the hell of the Holocaust, there were righteous people who did the right thing, Ruth Greiner, a Holocaust survivor and Joanna Zalucka, her Polish protector were re-united. Sixty-one years ago, Joanna Zalucka hid a young Jewish girl in her bedroom for eight months, saving the child from the Nazi killing spree in their native Poland.The girl survived, was reunited with her parents, and moved to Brooklyn in 1953. Ruth Gruener - now 72 with two grown sons - was reunited with her old friend from Poland, finally returning a lifesaving favor by hosting her World War II benefactor for two weeks. "It is just so wonderful that no words can describe how I feel," said Gruener, who was sobbing as she and Zalucka hugged in an emotional encounter before reporters, camera crews and photographers. Although the two have corresponded over the decades, they hadn't seen one another since 1944. "It's a miracle," Zalucka said in Polish shortly after arriving at Kennedy International Airport from her homeland. The flight was only the second time she had been on an airplane. Gruener's survival in their hometown of Lvov, Poland, was a miracle as well; she and her parents were the only ones from an extended family of 300 who survived the Holocaust. Her father smuggled her out of the ghetto under his overcoat and placed her with Zalucka's family because he expected to be slaughtered. Ukrainian nationalists had already begun ransacking Jewish homes at night. Families disappeared in waves, presumably taken away to concentration camps. "I heard screams every evening," Gruener said. "To a child's ears, it was just horrible." Ruth spent most of her eight months at Zalucka's home just sitting in a chair, afraid to even look out the window from Joanna's bedroom. Joanna, then 18, was in charge of keeping an eye on the girl. When visitors came, the 8-year-old would hide under Joanna's bed or duck into a trunk. Ruth spent so much time silent and immobilized that she had to relearn how to walk and speak normally. After eight months, Ruth was brought to the home of another Christian family that hid her parents for another two years. Ruth and her family went to Munich and then to Brooklyn after the end of World War II  Ruth eventually married another Holocaust survivor, Jack Gruener, and started a family. Jack's path to freedom was more traumatic. His parents were murdered in the Krakow ghetto when he was 13. He then spent time in a series of concentration camps before being liberated at Dachau in 1945. None of his other relatives lived. "To this day, I can't figure out how I survived," he said. For the next two weeks, Zalucka will spend time with Gruener and her family, a turnabout that was a long time coming. She cried and embraced Gruener when they met on Friday. "You look so young," she said. Zalucka would likely have faced the death penalty if she had been caught harboring a Jew during the war. The family was never found out, but Zalucka herself was later imprisoned, first by the Germans, then by the Soviets, as a suspected member of the Polish underground. The pair was reunited by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which was created in 1986 to provide assistance to non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. The foundation has been providing Zalucka with a pension and helping her pay for medical care.

2006: The Jerusalem Quartet takes center stage marking the first time that Jerusalem Music Center musicians have abandoned the safety of their lofty haven and descended to the level of the man in the street by performing at the local YMCA auditorium. Breaking what some consider a chain of snobbery they perform their superb New Chamber Concert Series, entitled "YMCAMERI" in honor of the venue at prices the average Israeli can afford.

2006: In “A Torah for the Next Generation” published todayThe Washington Post reported on the efforts of members of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to write an entire Torah in time for the 150th anniversary of the congregation which was founded in 1857.

2007: The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra with conductor, Daniel Kossov, soprano, Keren Hadar, tenor, Yotam Cohen, and pianist, Yoni Fahri performs Humperdinck`s Hansel und Gretel: Vorspiel, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Mozart’s Symphony in A Major, no. 29, performs a special benefit concert.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Canadian born Jewish commentator and social activist Naomi Klein.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of A Pigeon and A Boy by Israeli author Meir Shalev, Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore and Dough: A Memoir by Jewish author Mort Zacht

2008: In Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y presents a program entitled, “Rabbi David Wolpe in Conversation with Safran Foer” during which “Rabbi Wolpe, one of today’s leading voices of contemporary religion, discusses his personal journey through life-threatening illness, from the depths of darkness to the illuminating light of faith.

2008: David Korn-Brzoza’s documentary “L'affaire Finaly” which examined the effort to have two Jewish children who had been hidden by Catholics returned to the their parents by David Korn-Brzoza, was also broadcast by France 2, today.

2008: Israel closed its cargo crossings with Gaza today because of Palestinians fired at least one rocket into Israel, just a day after Israel had allowed vital humanitarian supplies to shipped into Gaza

2008: Premiere of “The Nutty Professor” produced by Jerry Lewis, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein and starring Jerry Lewis.

2008(27th of Cheshvan, 5769): Eighty-four year old Gerald Schoenfeld the chairman of the powerful Shubert Organization, the largest and most important theater owner on Broadway and in the United States passed away. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2009: At the Jerusalem Music Center, the final performance "The Bald Soprano": a chamber opera by Israel Sharon, based on a play by Eugène Ionesco.

2009: “The Jazz Baroness,” a documentary about Nica Rothschild by her great-niece Hannah Rothschild airs on HBO at 8 pm.

2009: In Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chai presents "One Spring for Me": The love story of Leah Goldberg.

Among the poems that will be part of the performance are “Shir ha-haflaga,” “Ve-lo haya beinenu ela zohar,” “Ani halakhti az,” “At telkhi ba-sadeh,” “He-halil,” “Laila,” “Selihot,” “Ha-har ha-yarok,” and many more.

2010: In Jerusalem, comedian David Kilimnick is scheduled to present his Thanksgiving Special, ‘My Family Made Me in America'

2010: The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, today strongly denounced a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, the iconic holy site and place of Jewish worship in the Old City of Jerusalem, describing the report as “reprehensible and scandalous.”  

2011: Downtown Shabbat, a Carlebach-inspired service led by Cantor Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner is scheduled to be held at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2011: While tens of thousands of protesters are amassing in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the Sinai Peninsula is heating up. Egyptian security forces today raised the alert level to an unprecedented level in the al-Arish area in northern Sinai after they received information that Jihad members are planning on carrying out an attack on the local security headquarters, the Ma'an news agency reported today.

2012(111th of Kislev, 5773): Eighty-four year old “writer, composer, jazz fanatic and sweetheart” Sol Weinstein passed away today.

2012: The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) is scheduled to bestow an honorary degree on Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (As reported by the Canadian Jewish News)

2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Far From the Tree Parents: Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe,1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum and Saul Steinberg: A Biography by Deidre Bair.

2012: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Family Stories at the Center: Young Historians.”

2012: “Hava Nagila” is scheduled to shown tonight at the close of the Jewish International Film Festival in Australia.

2012: Syrian fire pierced Israel for the second time in a day Sunday night, as bullets fired from across the border struck next to a military vehicle near the border.

2012: More than 123,000 Likud members have the power today to shape the face of their party’s list for the 19th Knesset, and political analysts say they will use it to move the party further to the right.

2013 In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the community-wide Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service.

2013: The Black Institute, in partnership with Bend the Arc, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc. (RCCMB), is scheduled to host a forum to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in support of Jewish civil rights in the Soviet Union.

2013: “A remarkable archaeological find in the Judean lowlands southwest of Jerusalem includes a six-millennia-old cultic temple and a 10,000-year-old house. The ancient sites were located in routine archaeological digs conducted ahead of a planned expansion of Route 38, the main access road to Beit Shemesh. The building is the oldest ever found in the area, and constitutes remarkable “evidence of man’s transition to permanent dwellings,” researchers said today.” (As reported by Hativ Rettig Gur)

2013: “President Shimon Peres awarded his Presidential Medal of Distincition to author Elie Wiesel today in New York City.” (As reported by JPost)

2014: In Melbourne, “Life as a Rumor” and “The Dove Flyer” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014: In a speech Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered this moring to the Sderot Conference for Society, he “slammed Likud saying the ruling party was ‘so detached that they are leading to us to completely pointless elections.’”

2014: Amir Benayoun, “a popular Israeli singer was disinvited today “from an upcoming event at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem after he released a song many saw as expressing racist sentiment against Arabs.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014: “Israel received a short reprieve from a wet, stormy week this morning, with more rain and wind expected throughout the rest of the week.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2015: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to host its annual Israeli Folk Dancing Thanksgiving Marathon this evening.

2015: The Israel Antiquities Authorities announced today that it had granted eight year old Itai Halpern a certificate of honor for “discovering the head of a statue from the First Temple period and giving this important archaeological discovery to the Antiquities Authorities’ officals.

2015: “An IDF soldier was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack at the Fawwar junction near Hebron shortly before noon today.”

2016: “The People vs. Fritz Bauer” and “Sand Storm” are scheduled to be shown at Melbourne as part of the Jewish International Film Festival.

2016: Sabra Éyal Hai is scheduled to perform at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg.

2016: Untold thousands of Israelis have been forced to flee in the face of raging wildfires.




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