43 BCE: The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed. This power sharing arrangement would fall apart. Octavian would defeat Mark Antony and remove Lepidus leaving him as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Initially, Antony’s defeat and Octavian’s victory did not change the situation for the Jews living in Judea. Herod had made the mistake of backing Antony. So if Antony had won, Herod would have kept his kingdom. But Antony’s defeat did not cost Herod his kingdom. In one of the history’s greatest acts of political audacity, Herod went to the island of Rhodes where he met with Octavian. He admitted that he had supported Antony but convinced the young Caesar that this was a good thing because he now he would give Augustus the same level of support. Impressed by Herod’s audacity (and in need of allies) he left Herod on his throne. So the outcome for the Jews of Judea, in the short term, was the same no matter what. In the long run, the Jews probably did well with the victory of Augustus since he would follow the same kind of comparatively benevolent policies followed by his uncle Julius including exempting the Jews from emperor worship and respecting Jewish laws by exempting Jews from appearing in court after dark on Friday or on Shabbat.
1504: Queen Isabella I of Castile, the first Queen of united Spain passed away. Born in 1451, Isabella is one of history’s more fascinating monarchs. She was every bit as wiley, clever and effective as Queen Elizabeth of England, even though she does not get her share of credit for these traits. Isabella did have Jewish advisors, physicians and financiers. But in the end her devout Catholicism and need for funds to finance “crusades” against Moslems proved the undoing of her Jewish subjects.
1572: King Maximilian II expressed his intention “to expel the Jews of Pressburg (Bratislava), stating that his edict would be recalled only in case they accepted Christianity.”
1669: As events surrounding the blood libel that would lead to the death of Raphael Levi unfolded, two swineherds found the head and the neck of a child in the woods near Metz. Despite the fact that two surgeons testified that the body parts came from a recently killed person, officials decided that this was the body of the Christian child that had been reported missing and killed more than a month ago. These body parts would be used in the trial of Levi where he was found guilty. He was buried alive, protesting his innocence to the end. This blood libel was part of a series of persecutions aimed at the Jewish community of Metz and would end with their expulsion from the city.
1715(30th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Joseph ben Mordecai Ginzburg, author of Leket Yosef passed away today
1775: The American Navy began using chaplains within its regular service. However, Rabbis were not allowed to serve as Chaplains until 1862 when President Lincoln sponsored legislation allowing ordained Protestant, Catholic or Jewish ministers to serve as Chaplains.
1789: Once the United States had been established as an independent nation, President George Washington proclaimed a day of national thanksgiving for November 26, 1789. Congregation Shearith Israel held a service on that first Thanksgiving Day (and has continued to do so each year since), at which time Rev. Gershom Mendes Seixas delivered an address. He noted that the Jewish community had reason to rejoice "as we are made equal partakers of every benefit that results from this good government; for which we cannot sufficiently adore the God of our fathers who hath manifested his care over us in this particular instance; neither can we demonstrate our sense of His benign goodness, for His favourable interposition in behalf of the inhabitants of this land."
1800: Salomon Rothschild married 18 year old Caroline Stern, the only daughter of Jacob Stern a wine seller. As can be seen from the Ketubah (wedding contract) this was another beneficial marriage arranged by A.M. Rothschild.
1802: As the Jews of Maryland seek full equality On Nov. 26, 1802, a petition "from the sect of people called Jews" specifically stating their grievance, namely, "that they are deprived of holding any office of profit and trust under the constitution and laws of this state," was referred to the General Assembly, which read it and referred it to a special committee of five delegates, including the two Baltimore representatives, with instructions to consider and report upon the prayer of the petitioners for relief. A month later the petition was refused by a vote of thirty-eight to seventeen. The attempt to secure the desired relief was repeated at the legislative session of 1803; again proving unsuccessful, it was renewed in the following year.
1822: Seventy-two year old Karl August von Hardenberg who as Prime Minster of Prussia pursued many liberal policies including working to guarantee equal rights for the Jews, passed away today.
1835: In Baja, Hungary, Baruch Asher Perles and his wife gave birth to Rabbi Joseph Perles, whose works included essays on the lives of Nachmanides, and Shlomo be Aderet, the Spanish sage known as the Rashba.
1840: In Italy Marco and Giustina Luzzati gave birth to Annetta Luzzati who became Annetta Foa when she married Giuseppe Foa, the Grand Rabbi of Turino.
1840: Sixty-five year old anti-Semite Karl von Rotteck who “wrote in 1828 that ‘the Jews had to be de-Jewified” and who “rejected Jewish emancipation with the argument that their religion was…antisocial as well as anti-national” passed away today.
1840: In Sebes, near Eperies, Hungary, Isaac Rubovits and Salie Klein gave birth to Edward Rubovits, a teacher in Hungary and husband of Mathilde Kiss who was in the “book, stationary and printing business in Chicago” while also serving as “vice president of Zion Congregation and Isaiah Temple.”
1841: The Voice of Jacob published “Alleged Progress of London Jews Towards Christianity” which reported that “the attempt of a few gentlemen, of the West End section of the town, to form a synagogue there, with certain omissions from the established liturgy, and in contravention of the regulations of one of the London congregations, of which they have been and are yet members… These gentlemen are not known as a congregation, but as an association, deeming itself qualified to abrogate the customs which Israelites have observed for centuries… While the almost universal feeling condemns this movement as the presumptuous attempt of a handful of laymen, and while therefore there need be no apprehension of the evil spreading, the only wise policy would be to treat the attempt as neither formidable by numbers, by status (at least theological), nor otherwise possessing a single element of union.” The Voice of Jacob was published fortnightly and was the first publication that provided “real-time” reports on events in the Jewish community. The article refers to attempts to established London’s first Reform Congregation which became known as the West London Synagogue of British Jews
1842: The University of Notre Dame is founded as private Catholic University. Since 1992, Rabbi Dr. Michael Signer has filled the Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture and has served as the Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. “The Notre Dame Holocaust Project promotes educational opportunities about the destruction of European Jewry during World War II for the university community.” For more information about opportunities offered to Jewish students attending Notre Dame see http://campusministry.nd.edu/ecumenical-interfaith/jewish-resources
1843(3rd of Kislev, 5604): Seventy-one year old Hertz Salomon Schwarzschild, the son of Salomon Jacob Schwarzschild and Ester Maas passed away today.
1849(11th of Kislev, 5610): Julius Eduard Hitzig a German author and civil servant passed away. Born Isaac Elias Itzig) at Berlin in 1780, he was a member of the wealthy and influential Jewish Itzig family Between 1799 and 1806 he was a a Prussian civil servant, after which he became Criminal Counsel at the Berlin Supreme Court in 1815 and its director in 1825. In 1808 he established a publishing house and later a bookstore. He was very active in Berlin’s literary circles. Heinrich Heine, of all people, reportedly made fun of his name change.
1852: At the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Morris Raphall preached a sermon based on the opening words of the 92nd Psalm, “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord –to sing praise unto Thy name, O most high!”
1855: Adam Mickiewizc, a noted Polish poet and ardent nationalist died today in Constantinople while working with his friend Armand Levy, to organize a Jewish legion, the Hussars of Israel, comprising Russian and Palestinian Jews. The legion was supposed to join in the fight against the Russians during the Crimean War. Polish nationalists believed that a Russian defeat would help undermine the authority of the Czar and help lead to the liberation of Poland. [Mickiewizc was not Jewish and I have not been able to find an explanation why he was organizing a Jews for this fight.]
1858: James (Jacob) Seligman, the son of David and Fanny Seligman and Rosa Seligman gave birth to Jefferson Seligman
1858: In London, Barnett Abrahams, the principal of Jews’ College, and his wife gave birth to Israel Abrahams, the Jewish scholar whose works included A Companion to the Authorized Prayer Book and Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.
1858: The New York Times reported that Rabbi Isaac Leeser, head of Beth El Emet has written a series of articles about the Mortara Affair that have appeared in the Philadelphia Ledger and that “indignation meetings in reference to the Mortara Affair" have been held. For more about the Mortara Affair see:
1858: In New York, members of the Jewish community expressed their indignation over the tactics used by the police when arresting three of their co-religionists on charges of selling lottery tickets. Among other things they were protesting the fact that the police had arrested a rabbi who was leading his congregation in prayers. The three have posted $1,000 in bail
1859: In Philadelphia, David Hays Solis and Elvira Nathan Solis gave birth to Emily Grace Solis, who became Emily Grace Solis Solis-Cohen when she married her cousin Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen.
1861: During the Civil War, Samuel Alexander, who would later be killed in fighting at Dranesville, VA, completed a ninety day enlistment as an Assistant Surgeon with the 44th Regiment, part of the First Cavalry
1862: During the Civil War, Jonah H. Kaufman began his service as Assistant Surgeon with 151st Regiment of the Pennsylvania volunteers serving with the Union Army.
1862: Birthdate of Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Born in Budapest, Stein was a Hungarian Jewish archaeologist who became a British citizen. He was also a professor at various Indian universities. Stein was inspired by Sven Hedin's work, Through Asia.His travels and research in central Asia, particularly in Chinese Turkistan, revealed much about its strategic role in history. In 1906, Stein uncovered a group of mummified corpses near Loulan, in Central Asia. Their well-preserved bodies were clad in woolen garments and they wore tall felt hats decorated with jaunty feathers. The men were bearded and their facial features seemed European. Stein dated them to c.100 BC. When the Dunhuang Caves, China, closed for centuries, were reopened, he discovered 15,000 manuscripts (1907), including the Diamond Sutra, reputed to be the first dated printed book (868 A.D.). He passed away on October 26, 1943.
1863: Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November. While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it has it origins in the Bible. The Pilgrims were students of what they called The Old Testament. When they had enjoyed their first successful harvest at Plymouth, they looked to scripture for a way to express their joy. They found the answer in the holiday of Sukkoth – a celebration of in-gathering; a celebration of thanks that took place after the harvest was completed. There are reports that the first Thanksgiving was a week-long affair but I would avoid making any claim that this was intended to mirror the seven days of Sukkoth.
1868: On Thanksgiving Day, Rabbi Marcus Jastrow delivered a sermon at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1876: Birthdate of Isadore Bernstein, the New York native who wrote scripts for 65 films from 1914 through 1938.
1876: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charities and Purim Association plan to sponsor a Hebrew Charity Ball next month at the Academy of Music.
1879: “The Man With The Evil Eye” published today described the exploits of “Albert Lavergene, alias Abraham Levy, an Alsatian Jew” who confessed to having stolen $30,000 worth of diamonds while living in France two years ago and who is known to his wife’s relatives as “the Jew” or “the man with the evil eye” because of the way he used to beat her.
1880: Luther R. Marsh will deliver a lecture entitled “On the Power of the Alphabet” at meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at Lyric Hall. (Marsh was prominent New York lawyer who developed an interest in Spiritualism. He was not Jewish)
1880: “Disraeli’s Latest Novel” published today provided a detailed review of Endymion by the Right Honorable Earl of Beaconsfield.
1881: It was reported today that the influx of immigrants from Russia is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities. As many as 400 Jews have been arriving each week, most of whom are “destitute and helpless.”
1882: “Monmouth and the Wye” published today provides a brief history of medieval England that includes the reminder that “butchery of the helpless Jews at York, when the despairing wretches hurled their children from the battlements upon the howling murderers below and the slew each to the last man” “cannot drop from the memory of mankind….”
1883: The Baltimore Sun reported that the colony started for Russian Jewish immigrants in Middlesex County, Virginia has been abandoned.
1883: It was reported today that the current issue of the Nineteenth Century features Dr. Charles H.H. Wright’s Paper “The Jews and the Malicious Charge of Human Sacrifice” which “goes over the whole history of the recent outrages in Europe.”
1883: Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish Cape Town diamond dealer arrived in New York this evening aboard SS Servia of the Cunard Line.
1883: It was reported today that “David Phillipson…who graduated from Hebrew Union College” last July “has accepted a call from a congregation in Baltimore, MD.
1884: It was reported today that three prizes – a diamond ring, a bracelet and a face pin – were awarded to the ladies who had sold the most tickets to this year’s grand ball, a charity event sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.
1885: During Thanksgiving services a large throng listened to an address by Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler at Temple Beth-El that reviewed the principles adopted by the Reform Rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.
1885: Birthdate of Heinrich Brüning, German Chancellor from 1930 to 1932 who, for whatever shortcomings he may have had, worked to keep Hitler from coming to power a stance that led to his self-imposed exile to avoid being arrested by the Nazis.
1886: The New York Times featured a review of The Land the Book by William Thomson, a book that examines the material in the scriptures with the information gained by explorations in Palestine through 1880. While some of the information in the Old Testament is “not borne out by facts…many more points” in the Scripture “have been corroborated” that the results cannot have failed to find favor with Jews.
1888: As she went to visit her sister, eighteen year old Yetta Reiner, a Jewish girl who has been in the United States for two weeks, disappeared when she walked off with a Hebrew-speaking man on the corner of Norfolk and Hester Street who had offered “to get her a situation.”
1888: Leo Bamberger the master of ceremonies, introduced Moses May, the Chairman of the Fair Committee who introduced Brooklyn Mayor Alfred C. Chapin who officially opened the charity fair on Clermont Avenue that will raise funds of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1889: Police are expected to arrest Morris Kassofky who gave “a terrible beating” to Jacob Levy when the latter mistakenly tried to enter his apartment. They live in a building on Norfolk Street that is inhabited by Jewish immigrants from Poland.
1888: “The Hebrews’ Thanksgiving” published in the Washington Post notes that the Jewish Feast of Lights, this year Falls on the same date as Thanksgiving.
1888: It was reported today that the son of the “sexton who dwells in the basement of the synagogue” on 8th Street in Washington is suffering from typhoid fever.
1890: “Friends of the Exiles” described the rejection of request made Jews to help their suffering co-religionists in Russia by the New York Bureau of the Siberian Exile Petition Association because “the work of the association…was done by petition” and “the work for the relief of the Jews required a different kind of effort.”
1891 (25th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe passed away.
1892: “In the Czar’s Family” published today described the hope that by naming the Crown Prince as President of the Russian State Council “the repression of Jews…will eventually be relaxed.” (Things were always going to get better for Russian Jew – in the future!)
1892(7th of Kislev, 5653): Sixty year old Mortiz Wahrman the first Jew chosen to chosen a member of the Hungarian delegation and successful businessman who bequeathed 200,000 crowns to “benevolent societies and “600,000 crowns for the erection of a Jewish gymnasium (school) passed away today.
1893: “Seen in Ceylon” published today described the commercial life of this island state including “the keen-faced Jews with long, black ringlets” who “preside over stores of shining gems.”
1893: Professor Felix Adler “gave the second lecture in his series on religious leaders” entitled “Moses and the Prophets” to an overflow audience at the Music Hall in New York City.
1893: “Jews Expelled from Besieged Meililla” described the decision of the Spanish General to order all Jews to leave the Moroccan city as he battles against the Riffs -- a decision that is consistent with the behavior of "military commanders in Europe” who “rightly or wrongly” feel that the Jews are spies for their enemies.
1894: The will of Adolph Bernheimer which names his widow, his brother Lehman and William Rothschild as executors was filed for probate today.
1894: In Washington, DC, Solomon “Sol” Peyser and Eva Dux gave birth to Theodore Dux “Ted” Peyser who earned a law degree at the University of Virginia and served in WW I.
1894: Birthdate of “Ukrainian-born American trade unionist” Jacob Samuel Potofsky who served as president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America from 1946 until 1972.
1894: In Columbia, MO, Leo Wiener and Bertha Kahn gave birth to child prodigy and famed mathematician Norbert Wiener. Among his many accomplishments, Weiner is known as the discoverer of cybernetics. President Johnson awarded him with the National Medal of Science two months before his death in 1964.
1896(21st of Kislev, 5657): Joseph C. Wolf who was elected the State Assembly from the 16th District in 1892 and the State Senate in 1893 passed away today. Born in 1849, the native of Besancon, France and graduate of Columbia Law School enlisted in the Second New York Light Cavalry at the start of the Civil War serving with the Army of the Potomac.
1896: Temple Israel and the West End Synagogue will hold a joint Thanksgiving Service starting at 3 p.m.
1896: Temple Emanu-El will hold a Thanksgiving Service at 11 a.m.
1896: As part of day long holiday observance, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will hold a Thanksgiving Service at the synagogue on 11th Avenue and 151st Street.
1896: William Matthew Flinders Petrie married Hilda Urlin in London. This was the same year that he and his archaeological team were conducting excavations at Luxor when they discovered the “Israel’ or Merneptah Stele
1897: During the Dreyfus Affair, today the French minister of war “received the following anonymous letter: ‘Monsieur le Minstre: You will find in a chamber on the sixth story interesting document concerning the Dreyfus case’ signed “A Patriot”
1897: Through her lawyer Mr. Jullemier, Madame de Boulancy, cousin and former mistress of Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy, had decided to avenge her lover and debtor and sent to Senator Auguste Scheurer-Kestner letters from this officer, including the famous "letter of Uhlan". Scheurer-Kestner showed the letter to Pellieux, military commander of Paris, in charge of the administrative inquiry on Esterházy
1898: The Emperor and Empress of German arrive at Potsdam this morning on their return from Palestine where the Kaiser met with Herzl.
1899: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El on “Are We Children of the Ghetto, or Children of the World?” which was a play on words using the name of the drama now appearing at a New York theatre.
1899: In Roxbury, MA, founding of the Helping Hand Temporary Home for Destitute Jewish Children at the corner of Fort Ave and Beech Glen.
1899: “Rosebery On Cromwell” published today provided the remarks made by Lord Rosebery at the ceremony celebrating the tercentenary of Oliver Cromwell including his observation that Cromwell “was the first Prince who reigned in England who welcomed and admitted Jews” a fact of which Jews and Englishmen are equally proud of as can be attested to by the presence of Sir Samuel Montagu, Lord Rothschild and Benjamin Cohen on the platform at the banquet honoring his memory.
1899: In Roxbury, MA, founding today of Helping Hand Temporary Home for Destitute Jewish Children located at Fort Avenue and Beech Glen.
1903: Birthdate of Alice Herz-Sommer, also known as Alice Sommer-Hertz and Alice Sommer, “a Czech pianist, music teacher and survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp.”
1905: “The contributions to the fund for the relief of the Jewish sufferers from Russian massacres took another upward bound” today “under the impetus of additional collections from many cities, particularly Chicago, which by sending $20,000 more now leads in contributions outside of New York City, there have been forwarded from there in all $80,000.”
1905: It was reported today that the Jewish relief fund has raised $827,579 to help those suffering from the anti-Semitic violence sweeping Russia.
1909: Sigma Alpha Mu is founded in the City College of New York by 8 Jewish young men.
1909: Birthdate of Moe Mizler the London born boxer whos was the brother of “British lightweight champion Harry Mizler.
1911: Birthdate of Samuel “Sammy” Herman Reshevsky, the Polish born Jewish-American chess grandmaster who was a strong contender in the World Chess Championship competitions for a thirty year span.
1912(16th of Kislev, 5673): Eighty-four year old Baron George De Worms passed away.
1912: In Chicago, “the first regular meeting of the K.A.M. Auxiliary is scheduled to be held this after in the vestry rooms of the Temple where attendees will hear speakers present “A Practical Symposium on the High Cost of Living.”
1912: Simon Bloom was elected Mayor of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
1912: Birthdate of playwright Eugene Ionesco. There is dispute about Ionesco’s Jewish origins. According to a sizeable body of evidence, Ionesco’s mother was a Romanian of Sephardic Jewish origin.
1913: In a letter from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica to Prince Nicholas of Greece, the rabbi denies truth of charges of excesses committed by Greek soldiers, and declares he has not sought protection of powers for Jews of Salonica. Three months later the Greek Prime Minister, Venizelos, assured the Chief Rabbi that the rights of the Jews would be continued.
1913: Jesse Laksy forms The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in partnership with his brother-in-law Samuel Goldfish (later known as Sam Goldwyn) and his friend Cecil B. DeMille. The Squaw Man is the company’s first film and it is an instant hit. It is also the first movie filmed entirely in Hollywood, California.
1914: While fighting on the Western Front during WW I, Lt. F.A. De Pass, a Jewish officer from London “went forward to a sap-head in the front line to repair a parapet that had been damaged. Seeing a German sniper at work, he tried to shoot him, but was himself shot through the head and killed.” He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British equivalent of the American Congressional Medal of Honor, for his bravery in the face of the enemy.
1914: Harry Baff charged today that his father Barnett Baff had been shot dead “at the instigation of a clique of retail poultry buyers” referred to as the “kosher killers.”
1915: It was reported today that there were 300,000 starving Jews in Poland and that “5 cents a day would provide succor for one war victim.”
1915: “Isadore Hershfield of New York” the official representatives of Jewish relief societies of America arrived in Berlin today “on a mission of relief for the Jews in the war areas of Poland and Galicia.”
1916(1st of Kislev, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1916: The list of contributions received by The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War published today including $22 from the Congregation Sons of Israel in Frostburg, MD, and $76 from the Congregation Sons of Israel in Dallas, TX.
1916: In “Half of War-Stricken Poland’s Population Destitute” published today, Dr. Judah L. Magnes reported that in Poland, “there is no work that a Jew can do…and thousands are starving.”
1916: This afternoon, Harry H. Schlacht of the East Side Protective Association announced “arrangements for a great peace meeting” which will be held at Public School 4 and whose attendees will include Jacob H. Schiff.
1917: It was reported today that Adolph Lewisohn has donated his home at 881 Fifth Avenue to house the bazaar which be hosted next month by Temple Emanu-El to reduce expenses so that the maximum amount of money can “go to the relief of Jewish war sufferers and for welfare work among American soldiers and sailors.”
1917: Jan Kucharzewski who would tell an interviewer from “the Jewish press” that he was not an anti-Semite became Prime minister of Poland today.
1917: In Great Britain, the Manchester Guardian printed the text of the Sykes-Picot Agreement – the secret document that determined how the Ottoman Empire would be divided between the UK and France after World War.
1918: Dr. Solomon Oppenheimer, the Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum who has just returned from Palestine, gives a report on the condition of the Jews in Eretz Israel.
1918: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow wrote from France today, “There are so few Jewish workers here I regard it a duty to remain here as long as possible. It has not been possible to do much for” for those who suffered from the tribulation of the War.
1919: “Madame DuBarry” a silent film biopic directed by Ernst Lubitsch was released today in Denmark.
1921: The peace treaty between the United States and Austria which ended World War I between these two nations was registered with the League of Nations. The separate treaty was needed because the U.S. Senate, in a further act of the isolationism that would indirectly lead to WW II, had “refused to ratify the multilateral Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 1919.”
1922: In an article entitled “Palestine Industries Thriving Capital and Settlers Needed” Dr. Arthur Ruppin notes the changes that have taken place since Herzl called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland 25 years ago at the first Zionist Congress. While “towns of thousands houses have grown up on neglected ground” the need to develop irrigation projects and travel facilities represent the biggest challenge for future development as well as creating investment opportunities for foreign financiers.
1923: “The Wanters” a drama from the silent film ear directed by John M. Stahl, produced by Louis B. Mayer and co-starring Norma Shearer was released in the United States today.
1924: Birthdate of George Segal, sculptor lifelike mixed-media figures.
1925: Birthdate of pianist Eugene Istomin. He was an American pianist born in New York City of Russian-Jewish parents. He was famous for his work in the trio, with Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose, known as the Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, with whom he made many recordings, and particularly of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. He also played with them in orchestral music, with conductors such as Eugene Ormandy Bruno Walter and also as a soloist. He passed away in 2003.
1926: In an article entitled “Palestine Industry Thriving,” Arthur Ruppin describes the social and economic progress that has been in Eretz Israel in the 25 years following Herzl opened the founding Zionist conference in Basel, Switzerland.
1926: Birthdate date of Albert Maysles, the native of Boston, who teamed with his younger brother David to produce award winning documentary films.
1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that evidence presented during the trial of a “communist named Teichman” the Druze Rebellion against the French mandatory government in Syria received financial and moral support from Communist groups in Palestine.
1931: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Zionist leader, in a lecture today before the Keren Hajessod for the Rhineland and Westphalia on the present states of Jewry and Zionism, said the unhappy position of the Jews in Germany was really no different from their position everywhere in the world.
1933: In an article entitled "Two Contrasting Views of Palestine" Jacob Weinstein reviewed Modern Palestine: A Symposium edited by Jessie Sampter and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.
1933: In an article entitled “Two Contrasting Views of Palestine,” Jacob Weinstein reviews Modern Palestine edited by Jessie Sampster with a foreword by Albert Einstein and Beside Galilee: A First-hand Survey of Zionism and Modern Palestine by Hector Bolitho.
1934: Release date for the cinematic version of Fannie Hurst’s novel Imitation of Life directed by John M. Stahl and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr.
1935: The Nuremberg Laws which were aimed Jews “were extended to ‘Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring.’”
1936: Birthdate of Yitzhak Yitzhaky, the native of Tiberias, the founder of and director of “Idud, a village for intellectually challenged children” who was an MK.
1936: Nathan D. Perlman was “appointed as a justice of the Court of Special Sessions of the City of New York” today, a position to which he was reappointed in 1945.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Jews were wounded when Arab terrorists shot at a crowded bus, traveling from Nesher to Haifa, and escaped.
1937: In another example of the anti-Semitism that was endemic to European society, the Palestine Post reported that a large number of Jews were again attacked and beaten in various towns in Lithuania.
1938: “Angels with Dirty Faces” a gangster film with a twist directed by Michael Curtiz, produced by Samuel Bischoff and with music by Max Steiner was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.
1939: “Two Pioneers of Russian Music” published today provides Howard Taubman’s review of “Free Artist: The story of Anton and Nicholas Rubinstein by Catherine Drinken Bowen.
1939: Dr. Mordecai Soltes, Harry Grayer, Dr. Jacob I. Steinberg, Herman Z. Quittman and Nathan Seidelman are scheduled this afternoon’s meeting of the Order of Sons of Zion in Greater New York at the Hotel Astor.
1939: Dr. Henry G. Knight, Dr. Gabriel Davidson, Professor O.S. Morgan and Dr. Carl B. Woodward are scheduled to speak at the memorial service for Dr. Jacob Goodale at Temple Emanu-El.
1939: At Congregation Emanu-El in New York, Rabbi B. Benedict Glazer is scheduled to speak on “The Promise of American Life.
1939: At the Free Synagogue which holds services at Carnegie Hall, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is scheduled to speak on “Happiness and Character: Do They Destroy Each Other?”
1939: At Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York, Rabbi Israel Goldstein is scheduled to speak on “Information Please: A Jewish Intelligence Test.”
1939: At Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York, Ludwig Lewisohn is scheduled to speak on “The Answer to Israel’s Enemies.”
1939: At the West End Synagogue in New York, “Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel will review John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath at a lecture-forum service.”
1939: In New York at the Astor Hotel “a resolution” introduced by Herman Z. Quittman, executive director of the Sons Zion, “calling on the British Government to admit 50,000 Jewish refugee families from Eastern and Central Europe into Palestine in the next twelve months was unanimously adopted” this “afternoon by 200 delegates to the annual conference of Eastern leaders of the Sons of Zion, a national Zionist group” described the desperate plight of Jews living in Nazi Germany where there has been no organized immigration for Jews since last year and where mothers and wives do not know the fate of their sons and husbands. “Our people have been pushed back and forth over the borders. Palestine is the only country in the world where the arrival of Jewish refugees is greeted with rejoicing and festivities.”
1939: “The third week of the 1939 merged appeal of the New York and Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities was ushered in” tonight “with a dinner in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel attended by 1,200 representatives of the radio, music, refrigeration and allied industries including David Sarnoff, Arthur Murray and Benjamin Abrams.
1939: “1,000 Refugees on Vulcania” published today described the hopes of 1,000 German Jews fleeing the Nazis who have sailed from Genoa to settle in the United States.
1939: In Baltimore, MD, Miss Gisela Warburg, the niece of the late Felix Warburg, who has just returned from Europe where she helped with Youth Aliyah, told those attending the sixteenth annual convention of Junior Hadassah
1939: ‘More than a thousand members of the Jewish community of Teschen, Germany” have been given two more weeks to prepare for their deportation to Poland.
1939: “Death Decreed for Jews Who Fail to Wear Armbands or Ignore Curfew” published today described the edict issued in German occupied Poland that “any Jew leaving his home without a special permit between 5 pm and 8 am may be punished by death” and that Jews failing “to wear a broad yellow arm band” will also face the death penalty.
1939: “Cantor Kusewitsky Is Safe” published today brought word that Moijzez Kusewitsky, the chief cantor of Poland and the cousin of Mrs. Isior Achron has not been by the German bombing of Warsaw but has escaped with his family to Bucharest.
1939: “May Send Mail to Poland” published today described a cablegram from Arnold M. Kaiser, secretary of the Polish Fund of London that included the assertion that letters for those living in Upper Silesia and Danzig maybe sent through the federation which will forward them to Geneva before they reach their final destination in Poland.
1940: British Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Lloyd calls those who are working to save Jewish lives by illegally transporting them to Palestine "foul people who had to be stamped out."
1940: The Nazis forced 500,000 Warsaw Jews to live in walled ghetto.
1941: A fleet of six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo left Hitokapu Bay under strict radio silence. On December 7th, the world would find out that their destination was Pearl Harbor. The arrival of the fleet would usher in America’s entrance into World War II and all that would flow from that.
1941: The recapture of Rostov by Russian forces marked the first major setback suffered by Germany in World War II, 1941. The German blitz had moved unchecked across the Soviet Union since June of 1941. By stopping the Nazis at Rostov, the Soviets forced the German Army to suffer through a Russian Winter from for which it was ill-prepared. The Germans would resume their offensive in the Spring of 1942 but the Wehrmacht would have been depleted just enough that it would fail a year later at Stalingrad which would mark the beginning of the end for the German military. Unfortunately, none of these military setbacks would slow down the pace of the Final Solution.
1942: A ship called the Donau sailed from Oslo’s Pier 1 carrying 532 Norwegian Jews, now classified as prisoners all of whom would end up in Concentration Camps.
1942 Norwegian police forces under the direction of the Gestapo handed 532 Jewish prisoners to the SS at Pier 1 in Oslo harbor. The ship was under the command of Untersturmführer Klaus Grossmann and Oberleutnant Manig. Men and women were put in separate holds on the ship, where they were deprived of basic sanitary conditions and mistreated by the soldiers. Only 9 of the prisoners survived the Second World War.
1942: At dawn, in Norway, the Quisling police returned to the home of Isak Plesansky, the founder and proprietor of the Tonsberg Clothing School and arrested his wife, daughter and son. All of them would be gassed at Auschwitz within the month.
1942: ''Casablanca,'' starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York. The Jewish connections with this film classic are so numerous that this should only be considered a partial list. Jewish actors included Peter Lorre, S.Z."Cuddles" Sakall, and Leonid Kinskey. Conrad Veidt was not Jewish but his wife was. Michael Curtiz, a Hungarian Jew, was the director. The script was a product of Jewish writers Julius and Philip Epstein. The inspiration for the movie came from a play by Murray Bennett. Bennett got the idea after going to Vienna to help Jewish relatives after the Aunschluss in 1938. The score was written by Max Steiner…and that will have to do for now.
1942: Jews in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, who are lured from hiding places by Nazi promises of no retribution, are taken to a synagogue, locked inside, and subjected to random gunfire by Ukrainians.
1943: Birthdate of producer and director Bruce Paltrow, a native of Brooklyn, a graduate of Tulane University where he is a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity and a producer who was responsible for two of television’s best dramatic series - The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere. He also directed several episodes of Homicide as well as full length motion pictures. He died in 2002 after battling cancer.
1944: In an interview given today on the eve of his 70th birthday, Dr. Chaim Weizmann said that “any blueprint for the future of what is left of the Jewish people should include allowing at least 100,000 refugees settle in Palestine annually and that this “must be undertaken by the United Nations as a measure of historic justice. He said that this is the least that is owed to the Jewish people “whose agony in Hitler’s Europe during this war needs no elaboration.” When he used the term “agony” Weizmann could have included the loss of his son Michael who died while serving with the RAF.
1944: Government officials announced that “twelve more arrests were made today in Tel Aviv and Haifa during continued police searches for suspects connected with” what they described as underground political terrorist groups.
1944: As World War II entered its last phase, the Germans decided to hide all evidence of the mass murders. On orders from Himmler the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau were blown up.
1945: Jewish underground blows up police headquarters and several electric power stations.
1945: Mandatory government sends troops to search for arms in Jewish settlements in Sharon and Samaria.
1945: Soviet Union proposes submission of the Arab-Jewish problem to Big Five Conference.
1945: Polish Jews announce in Italy that they intend to proceed to Palestine by any means.
1946(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandson of Theodor Herzl, plunged to his death off a Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in Washington D.C. at the age of 28. During WWII, Norman had served as a Captain in the British Army. He visited Palestine in late 1945 and 1946. Severe depression brought on by the Holocaust and the plight of the Jews after World War II ended led to severe depression which led to his final moments.
1946: Birthdate of Roni Milo, future Mayor of Tel Aviv
1946: Jewish refugees in Haifa resist British attempts to ship them Cyprus.
1947: Louis Bromfield, cochairman of American League for Free Palestine, charges that Arabs have obtained surplus U.S. arms.
1948: Bulgaria recognized Israel.
1948: Hans Möser: Ex SS-Obersturmführer and commander of the Protective Custody Camp at Mittelbau-Dora who had been condemned to death on 30 December 1947 for his involvement in the executions of camp inmates was executed in Landsberg prison today.
1948: Sixteen more Spitfires in Czechoslovakia were awaiting “an opportunity to fly to Israel.”
1948: Menachem Begin visited New York Mayor William O’Dwyer
1948: Abba Eban tells a meeting of the UN Truce Mission that Israel will not let a large force of Egyptians surrounded by the Israelis in the Negev retreat until the Arab’s accept the Armistice Resolution.
1949: Pasha el Mulbi says that the Jerusalem must be held by the Arabs to protect the surrounding Arab sectors.
1949: Jordan rejected the plan for an internationalized Jerusalem.
1949: Birthdate of Roni Milo, Israeli MK and cabinet minister who served as Mayor of his hometown, Tel Aviv from 1993 to 1998.
1949: Birthdate of Shlomo Artzi an Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter and composer. Born in Moshav Alonei Abba he has sold over 1.5 million albums, making him one of Israel's most successful male singers matching the success of his sister Nava Semel the author of Kova Zekhukhit (Hat of Glass) which was the first published work in Israel that addressed topics of the children of Holocaust survivors
1950: Rabbi Theodore Friedman is scheduled to speak at a Youth Aliyah Dinner-Dance at the Henry Hudson Hotel sponsored by The North Hudson New Jersey chapter of Hadassah
1951: The Tales of Hoffmann “a British Technicolor film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann,” co-directed by Emeric Pressburger was released today in the United Kingdom.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that in the Knesset Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sharply attacked Mapam in the debate on the Prague trial, accusing it of duplicity and inability to face the truth about the Soviet regime. The Knesset, by an overwhelming majority, adopted a resolution expressing “its sense of shock at the trial now proceeding in Prague, which had struck at the Jewish people... and on the attempts to bring into disrepute the good name of the State of Israel.”
1952: “Time Out For Ginger” a comedy starring Melvyn Douglas (Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg) opened on Broadway today at the Lyceum Theatre.
1953(19th of Kislev, 5714): Seventy-nine year old Mary Grossmann Buxbaum, the daughter of Ignaz and Anna Rosenbaum Grossman and the wife of Louis Buxbaum passed away today after which she was buried in Mount Sinai Cemetery in Cuyahoga County, Ohi.
1954: Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, said that through the use of dense settlement and exploitation of natural resources Israel's southern Negev desert could be restored to its ancient prosperity.
1954: Birthdate of Rosalind "Roz" Chast, the Flatbush native who became an award winning cartoonist for The New Yorker.http://jwa.org/people/chast-roz
1956: Sixteen-year-old Ellery Schempp refused to listen or to participate in the mandatory Bible-reading exercise of his high school in the Abington School District outside of Philadelphia. According to one source, Schempp was disciplined for reading from the Koran during his high school’s mandatory Bible reading time. After being severely disciplined by the district administrators, Ellery and his family initiated a lawsuit that would ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The defendants were the authorities of the Abington School District. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that religious recitations and prayers of any kind were in violation of the Constitution of the United States if practiced in public schools. Schempp was raised as a Unitarian. “The minor rebellion led to a landmark Supreme Court case that (much to the relief of many Jewish students) outlawed school-sponsored prayer.
1958: Birthdate of David Asper, a Canadian businessman and lawyer who has served as the Executive Vice President of the Canadian media company CanWest Global Communications Corp and as Chairman of the National Post newspaper and a Professor at the Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Asper is the eldest son of the late Izzy Asper, founder of CanWest Global. He is the brother of Leonard Asper, current president of CanWest Global. In the mid-1980s, Asper represented David Milgaard, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1970. With Asper arguing the case before the Supreme Court of Canada, Milgaard's conviction was overturned in 1992. Asper endorsed Toronto Conservative candidate and former Global news anchor Peter Kent in the 2006 Canadian federal election. Asper is a former trustee of the Fraser Institute. Asper is also one of the main proponents behind building a new stadium for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. If his stadium proposal is accepted Asper will spend $100,000,000 of his own money to finance part of the stadium and build a shopping complex on the stadium grounds. In exchange he would become owner of the team, who are currently community owned. He is currently in negotiations with the football clubs board of governors over his stadium proposal. Asper is married to Ruth Asper and has a 2 sons and a daughter: Daniel, Rebecca, and Max.
1960: Birthdate of Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware
1961(18th of Kislev, 5722): Anglo-Jewish Zionist leader Israel Cohen who “from 1909 to the beginning of World War II Cohen directed the English department of the Zionist Central Office in Cologne and later in Berlin” and whose exciting life was chronicled in A Jewish Pilgrimage: The Autobiography of Israel Cohen passed away today.
1964(21st of Kislev, 5725): Sixty-one year old Herbert Solow the editor of the Menorah Journal who went from being a follower of Trotsky to an editor of Fortune passed away today.
1965: “My Ship Is Comin’ In” a song written by Joey Brooks was released today in the United Kingdom.
1966: NBC broadcast “Fame Is the Name of the Game” a mystery movie directed by Stuart Rosenberg.
1973: “Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It)” with Ellen Greene in the title role has its first pre-Broadway performance tonight.
1975: An ABC show titled "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell" was cancelled today.
1976: Lorne Michaels’ plans for a re-union of the Beatles on tonight’s broadcast Saturday Night Live fell apart when only one member of the “Fab Four” showed up.
1976: The Organizing Committee of the symposium on Jewish culture appealed to a number of international organizations and public figures with a call for support.
1980: Two months are premiering in the United States, “Without Warning” a sci-fi film co-starring Martin Landau was released in France.
1981: Boris Chernobylskii, who had previously been “detained on the street” and kept in the police station for two days “was arrested in Moscow” today after which the Moscow Municipal Court sentenced him to 12 months of imprisonment.
1982: Howard Cossell called his last fight after being disgusted by the Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb mismatch.
1986: The New Yorker Magazine published "The Way We Live Now" a short story about AIDS written by Jewish author Susan Sontag.
1986: U.S. premiere of “The Mosquito Coast” produced by Saul Zaenta and featuring Jason Alexander who would gain fame as “George Constanza” on “Seinfeld.”
1986: The trial of John Demjanjuk opened in the Jerusalem District Court today.
1987: Five people were injured in the bombing of a military bus stop in Israel.
1988(17th of Kislev, 5749): Seventy-six year old Werner Julius Seligmann, the son of Frantz Seligmann and Erna Seligmann and husband of Irma Seligmann passed away today in Notevideo.
1989: The New York Times included a review of The Jews In America: Four Centuries of an Uneasy Encounter by Arthur Hertzberg.
1992(1st of Kislev, 5753): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1992: FOX broadcast the final episode of “The Heights” a short lived “musical drama series” created by Eric Roth.
1992(1st of Kislev, 5753): Ninety-year old Bernard M. Baruch, Jr., the son of the fame financier passed away today.
1993(12th of Kislev, 5754): Eighty-two year old Brazilian born American composer Bernardo Segall, the nephew of painter Lasar Segall passed away today.
1994: CTV broadcast the last episode of “Robo Cop” the television series produced by Jay Firestone, the son of Esther Firestone, the first female cantor in Canada.
1996: Publication of The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York by Claudia Roden.
1997: “Alien: Resurrection” a sci-fi horror film co-starring Winona Ryder and Ron Perlman was released in the United States today.
2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District by Ben Katchor
2001(11th of Kislev, 5762): A Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and lightly wounded two Border Policemen at the Erez crossing point in the Gaza Strip.
2001: Eric Moonman “appeared at an ‘Executive Luncheon” hosted by the Centre for Counter Studies during which he said he thought the media had been, "highly responsible and supportive of U.S. and international efforts to root out terrorism" and that when it came to fighting terrorism “we can’t afford to abide by the Queensbury rules of war in the face of such a dangerous and unscrupulous threat."
2003(1st of Kislev, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
2003(1st of Kislev, 5764): Seventy-seven year old composer Myer Kupferman passed away today. (As reported by Allan Kozinn)
2005: Start of Jewish Book Month sponsored by the Jewish Book Council. According to its website, “The mission of the Jewish Book Council is to promote the reading, writing and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America. To carry out its mission, the Jewish Book Council sponsors a variety of activities and programs. The most widely known are the National Jewish Book Awards, established in 1948/9, and the Jewish Book Month. Its publications include Jewish Book Annual and Jewish Book World.”
2005: Sharon Fichman defeated Pemra Özgen to win the tennis tournament at Ashkelon.
2005(3rd of Kislev, 5707): Children’s author and illustrator Stan Berenstain passed away. He and his wife Jan are best known for creating the children’s book series, “The Berenstein Bears.”
2006: Juilliard instructor Samuel Zyman praises the talent of Jay “Bluejay” Greenberg during an interview on tonight’s broadcast of CBS News 60 Minutes.
2006: Just in time for Jewish Book Month, The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amdanda Vail.
2006: The Sunday New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of the Year” includes the following volumes by Jewish authors or about Jewish topics: Everyman by Philip Roth, Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore, Intuition by Allegra Goodman, A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua, Courtier and The Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World by Matthew Stewart. Greatest Story Ever Told: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn, Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide by Jeffrey Goldberg and Sweet and Low: A Family Story, by Rich Cohen.
2006: In Auckland, New Zealand, The Governor-General of New Zealand, gives a speech at event celebrating one hundred years of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society attended by Hon Judith Tizard; President of the Auckland Chevra Kadisha and Benevolent Society, Sonny Beder; President of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, Rabbi Jack Engel and former President, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.
2006(5th of Kislev, 5767): Eighty-eight year old Jeanne Lesser who had been married to Louis Lesser for more than 70 years passed away today.
2007: Holocaust denier David Irving and Nick Griffin anti-Semitic leader of the British National party are scheduled to speak at the Free Speech Forum sponsored by the Oxford Union. Britain’s defense secretary Des Browne, three British lawmakers and Labour Party leader Denis MacShane have all refused to appear before the group because of Irving and Griffin.
2007: In Jerusalem the Uganda Pub hosts an Ethiopian evening – music, films, food, lectures and even Ethiopian beer - followed by DJ and dancing.
2007: Premiere of “Boy A” starring Andrew Garfield as “Eric Wilson / Jack Burridge.
2007(16th of Kislev, 5768): Ninety-four year old comedy writer Mel Tolkin, “the man who made Sid Caser funny” passed away today.
2008: The OU Bicentennial Convention opens in Jerusalem.
2008: Premiere of “The Joy of Singing” a French film directed by Ilan Duran Cohen.
2008: The 92nd Street Y hosts an Israeli Folk Dance Thanksgiving Marathon.
2008: After months of delay, the Supreme Court is due to hear a petition regarding the 20,000 Subbotnik Jews of Russia, many of whom have found it increasingly difficult in recent years to get permission to make Aliyah
2008: Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz notified Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday that he planned to indict him on several criminal charges relating to the Rishon Tours affair.
2008(28th of Cheshvan, 5769): Bentzion Chroman, who survived an earthquake in China earlier this year, was killed when a terrorist invaded the Mumbai Chabad House where he had stopped briefly today for the afternoon minhah prayer. Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, who helped supervise kashrut was also killed in the attack. Other victims of the terrorist attack on the Mumbai Chabad House included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka and Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich.
2008: “Saul Steinberg: Illuminations,” a travelling exhibition, which will displayed original Steinberg works opened in London.
2008: “Milk” a biopic about Harvey Milk, the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, produced by Bruce Cohen with music by Danny Elfman was released in the United States today.
2009: At the Sixth & I Lunch & Learn Rabbi Ethan Seidel leads a class studying unsettling stories containing elements of relativism, confusion, acknowledgment of chaos, and distrust of authority.
2009: Tikvat Israel Synagogue in Rockville, MD, features an evening of Israeli folk dancing.
2009: Hamshushalayim, a three-weekend-long festival, opens in Jerusalem.
2009: Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat told Likud activists this evening that “I do not envy the prime minister because I know he is in distress. It isn’t easy to face an American President.” The Likud Minister was addressing a meeting of party activists in Be'er Sheva. Livnat was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s press conference earlier where he announced that the government would temporarily freeze construction for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. The official announcement came after several months of intense American pressure on Netanyahu to halt all Jewish development in Israel’s heartland. Livnat insinuated that the freeze will do nothing to advance the State of Israel’s interests but that the prime minister is being forced into the discriminatory policy by the government of the United States.
2009: This evening, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired five mortar shells toward the western Negev. The shells landed in an open field in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage.
2009: Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks gave his first speech in the House of Lords during which he “apid homage to Britan an said it was a sense of indebtedness to the country that drives Jews to make the vast contribution they make to society.”
2010: The New York Times Reviews Nora Ephron’s Last Book
2010: The National Museum of American Jewish History opens in Philadelphia, PA
2010: In Brussels, opening of Party Like a Jew a fun-filled weekend organized by the European Centre for Jewish Students (ECJS), the largest European organization for young adults in Europe.
2010(19th of Kislev, 5771): “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.” The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the "the New Year of Chassidus (Hasidism)." “It was on this date, in the year 1798 that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), was freed from his imprisonment in czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah. The public dissemination of the teachings of Chassidism had in fact begun two generations earlier. The founder of the chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760), revealed to his disciples gleanings from the mystical soul of Torah which had previously been the sole province of select kabbalists in each generation. This work was continued by the Baal Shem Tov’s disciple, Rabbi DovBer, the “Maggid of Mezeritch”—who is also deeply connected with the date of “19 Kislev”: on this day in 1772, 26 years before Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s release from prison, the Maggid returned his soul to his Maker. Before his passing, he said to his disciple, Rabbi Schneur Zalman: “This day is our yom tov (festival).” Rabbi Schneur Zalman went much farther than his predecessors, bringing these teachings to broader segments of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. More significantly, Rabbi Schneur Zalman founded the “Chabad” approach—a philosophy and system of study, meditation, and character refinement that made these abstract concepts rationally comprehensible and practically applicable in daily life. In its formative years, the chassidic movement was the object of strong, and often venomous, opposition from establishment rabbis and laymen. Even within the chassidic community, a number of Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s contemporaries and colleagues felt that he had “gone too far” in tangibilizing and popularizing the hitherto hidden soul of Torah. In the fall of 1798, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was arrested on charges that his teachings and activities threatened the imperial authority of the czar, and was imprisoned in an island fortress in the Neva River in Petersburg. In his interrogations, he was compelled to present to the czar’s ministers the basic tenets of Judaism and explain various points of chassidic philosophy and practice. After 53 days, he was exonerated of all charges and released. Rabbi Schneur Zalman saw these events as a reflection of what was transpiring Above. He regarded his arrest as but the earthly echo of a Heavenly indictment against his revelation of the most intimate secrets of the Torah. And he saw his release as signifying his vindication in the Heavenly court. Following his liberation on 19 Kislev, he redoubled his efforts, disseminating his teachings on a far broader scale, and with more detailed and “down-to-earth” explanations, than before. The nineteenth of Kislev therefore marks the “birth” of Chassidism: the point at which it was allowed to emerge from the womb of “mysticism” into the light of day, to grow and develop as an integral part of Torah and Jewish life.”
2010(19th of Kislev, 5711): Yahrtzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov
2010: Alice Herz-Sommer turned 107 today and is the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor, as well as being the second oldest resident of London, England.
2011: Pianist Taiyuan Stepanov and clarinetists Alex & Daniel Gurfinkel are scheduled to perform “Clarient with a French Flavor at the Eden Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem-Jerusalem.
2011: Penultimate performance of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall” sponsored by Theatre J (an arm of the DC Jewish Community Center) is scheduled to take place tonight in Washington, DC.
2011: A Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council area early today.
2011: The Israel Air Force struck two centers of terrorist activity in the southern and central Gaza Strip tonight in response to rocket fire into southern Israel, according to the IDF Spokesman's office
2012: David Siegel, the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles is scheduled to speak at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.
2012: A scheduled screening of “Killing Kasztner, The Jews that Dealt with the Nazis” at the Upper East Side Chabad will be followed by a discussion led by the film’s director and Dr. Joseph Berger, Holocaust survivor saved by Kasztner.
2012: Ehud Barak, who over a half-century career became Israel’s most decorated soldier and held the nation’s trifecta of top positions — chief of staff of the military, prime minister and, since 2007, defense minister — announced today that he would soon “leave political life,” withdrawing from elections scheduled for Jan. 22.
2012: The French Consulate in Jerusalem recently hosted as a guest of honor a Palestinian terrorist, Salah Hamouri, who was convicted of plotting to kill Ovadia Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, an Israeli newspaper reported today.
2013: Jewish Book is scheduled to come to an end today.
2013: Robert Levinson, “if he is still alive” today “become the longest held hostage in American history.”
2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “The Reconquest of Jewishness in Post-War America: Will Herberg and Irving Howe
2013: Rabbi Jonah Layman is scheduled to lead the Greater Olney Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Shaare Tefila.
2013: Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor who is the subject of “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” is scheduled to celebrate her 110th birthday
2013: Fifth anniversary of the Mumbai Massacre a terrorist attack on Westerner and Hindus and institutions that they used including the Naiman House, the Chabad Center where Jews, regardless of their affiliation could always find comfort and a meal. The victims included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka, Israelis Bentzion Kruman and Yoheved Orpaz, Brooklyn Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum and Mexican Jewess Norma Rabinovich.
2013(23rd of Kislev, 5774): Sixty-six year old Guiora Esrubilsky, “a prominent Argentinian businessman bas in Florida” who “presided over last summer’s Maccabiah Games” passed away today.
2013(23rd of Kislev): Seventy-four year old legendary Israeli performer Arik Einstein passed away today. (As reported by Elad Benari)
2013(23rd of Kislev): Ninety-year old Israel Prize Winner Bracha Kapach passed away one day before the 96th anniversary of the birth of husband Rabbi Yosef Kapach.
2013(23rd of Kislev, 5774): Eight-nine year old photographer Saul Leiter passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2014: In the UK The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to host “The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation?”
2014: In Melbourne, “The Israeli Code” and “Shtisel” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.
2014: “Interior Minister Gilad Erdan canceled the residency permit of the widow of one of the Har Nof synagogue killers today, effectively deporting her out of Israeli territory and stripping her of any financial or social benefits.” (As reported by Marissa Newman)
2014: “Torrential rains continued to sweep across much of Israel rasing the levels of the Sea of Galilee by 3.5 centimeters (1.37 inches) marking the highest one-day rise of the so for the the lake that is one of Israel’s key water sources. (As reported by Spence Ho)
2015: ”Less than two weeks since the bride’s father Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and her 18-year-old brother Netanel were shot dead in a terrorist attack as they drove on Route 60 in the southern West Bank on November 13” Sarah Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel were married this evening at the elevated plaza in front of Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. (As reported by Renee Ghert-Zand)
2015(14th Kislev, 5776): Sixty-five year old “Amir D. Aczel, a science writer who took readers on a mathematical mystery tour in “Fermat’s Last Theorem,” his account of how a famous 300-year-old problem in number theory was finally solved in the 1990s, and went on to write more than a dozen popular books on intriguing scientific ideas and discoveries” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)
2015: The Chaplains of the Oxford University Jewish Society are scheduled to host Thanksgiving Dinner in their home with a traditional Turkey dinner, pumpkin pie “and all of the trimmings.”
2015: In London, Professor Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Blood Fractions: The Octoroon and Other Fantasies” at the Jewish Museum.
2016(25th of Cheshvan, 5777): Parashat Chayei Sara; see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/
2016: “Monsieur Mayonnaise” and “Dark Diamond” are scheduled to be shown in Melbourne as part of the Jewish International Film Festival.