Thursday, December 15, 2016

This Day, December 16, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


December 16

1316: Öljaitü, the eighth Ilkhanid dynasty ruler in Tabriz, Iran, whom the former vizer Rashid-al-Din Hamadani the Jewish convert to Islam was found of guilty of trying to poison, passed away today.

1431: King Henry VI of England named King of France following the death of his grandfather, Charles VI, King of France. Charles VI was the French king who expelled the Jews from France.

1485: Birthdate of Catherine of Aragon, future wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England.  This daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella failed to produce a male heir which changed the religious face of Christian Europe.  As for the Jewish view, Henry’s father had to promise his future Spanish in-laws that Jews would not be permitted to live in England as a condition for marriage to Catherine.

1584: Birthdate of John Seldon the English scholar and jurist who developed an interest in an Jewish laws and customs that led to the development of a “theory of international law” based on seven Noahide Laws as well as a “treatise on marriage and divorce among the Jews entitled “Uxor Ebraica.”  For more see Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden by Jason P. Rosenblatt http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/12/john-selden-as-an-early-modern-maccabee/ and http://jcpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/john-selden.pdf

1653: Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.  Regardless of what others may have thought of him, Cromwell did work to allow the Jews to return to England.

1684: The first room for prayer meetings of was opened in Copenhagen which was the home of the newly founded Ashkenazi community

1737(23rd of Kislev, 5498): Anna Channa Isaac Brisker the  wife of Itsak ben Simon Shamash and daughter of Isaac Itsak Brisker and Sara Samuel Brisker who gave birth to her in Amsterdam in 1702 passed away today.

1741: Birthdate of Nathan Adler, a German Kabbalist from Frankfurt, who passed away in 1800 and is not to be confused with the British rabbi of the same name.

1750: Birthdate of David Friedländer “the son-in-law of banker Daniel Itzig, and a friend, pupil, and subsequently intellectual successor of Moses Mendelssohn, who occupied a prominent position in both Jewish and non-Jewish circles of Berlin.”

1760: Jacob Pinton the son of Abraham and Sarah Pinto and his first wife, Thankful Pinto, gave birth to William PInto

1769: Dr. John Sequeyra, scion of a distinguished Sephardic family of physicians in England, treated George Washington's daughter "Patsy" who was ill. Patsy was actually his step-daughter, the child of his wife, Martha who was a widow when he married her.  Patsy’s untimely death was a great personal blow to Washington.  The “Father of our Country” had no children of his own.

1750: Birthdate of David Friedländer, (Friedlander) a German Jewish banker, writer and communal leader.

1776: In Great Britain, declaration of an official fast “to wish success against the rebels in America.”

1778: Birthdate of Liepmann Levin, the brother of Rahel Levin, who converted and gained fame as German dramatist Ludwig Robert.

1786(25th of Kislev, 5547): Chanukah and Shabbat

1790: Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf gave birth to their youngest son Leopold, the First King of the Belgians who counted among his friends and advisors Senator J.R. Bischoffsheim, the father-in-law of Baron Maurice de Hirsch.

1805(25th of Kislev, 5566): Chanukah

1815: In the UK, the Western Synagogue purchased the site for the Brompton Jewish Cemetery for £400.

1818: Birthdate of Moritz German, the native of Nikolsburg who from 1844 until his death in 1892 was the “cantor of the synagogue in Wroclaw” and who was the father of “industrialist Felix German.”

1819: Birthdate of Simon von Winterstein, the native of Prague who was a successful businessman, member of the Imperial Council and a leader of the Vienna Jewish Community.

1832: Birthdate of French painter and illustrator Jules Worms who “made his debut at the Salon of 1859 with his painting “Dragoon Making Love to a Nurse on a Bench in the Palace Royale” followed by “Arrest for Debt.”


1835: L'éclair (The Lightning Flash), an opéra comique in 3 acts by Fromental Halévy was premiered today by the Paris Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse with an orchestra that included Jules Offenbach (born Jakob Offenbach) as a cellist.

1847: In Paris, General Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy and his wife gave birth to Ferdinand Esterhazy, the French officer who was a spy for the German and “the perpetrator of the acts of treason for which Captain Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted.

1847: A bill was introduced in the House of Commons that would have changed the oath of office so that Lionel de Rothschild could take his seat in Parliament.

1851: Birthdate of Julius Newman the long time Rabbi at the Montefiore Congregation at Thomas and North Robey Street in Chicago, Illinois.

1854(25th of Kislev, 5615) Chanukah.

1857: In Buetthard, Bavaria, Simon Sichel and Malie Hirsch gave birth to Portland, Oregon Police Commissioner Sigmund Sichel, the Vice President of the First Hebrew Benevolent Association, Grand President of B’nai B’rith’s District 4 and husband of Sarah Solomon.

1858: Birthdate of Yiddish singer, actor, and composer Sigmund Mogulesko.

1858: “Gen. Cass and the Mortara Affair” published today examined the American response to the Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and the Pope’s refusal to return the child to his parents. “Gen. Cass” is Lewis Cass, the American military leader who carved out a successful political career that including serving as Secretary of State under James Buchanan starting in 1857.  According to the article, Cass conceded that an injustice had been done but that the United States could not be expected to officially interfere any time a matter of injustice in a foreign land was brought to its attention.  According to Cass “The President full participates in the public  feeling and he cannot refrain from expressing equal surprise and pain that, in this advanced age, such unnatural practices should be ascribed to any part of the religious world and such barbarous measures resorted to.”  Regardless of the President’s personal feelings, he still cannot bring himself to join the protests of other governments including England, France, Sardinia Holland and Austria.  The author of the article wonders if Cass would intervene if the Jews were suffering at the hands of the inquisition.  [Considering the international clamor that arose over the issue, President Buchanan’s reluctance may seem a little mystifying to some especially when you consider that one of August Belmont was reported to be one of his major supporters.  For those who know anything about the days leading up to the American Civil War, Buchanan’s behavior is not a matter of anti-Semitism but merely another reflection of a President who had no will to act no matter what the cause.]

1863: Birthdate of George Santayana the philosopher and writer best known for the quote “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Witty though he may have been a reading of Chapter 25 of George Santayana: A Biography by John McCormick entitled “Moral Dogmatism: Santayana as Anti-Semite gives one a different view of the famous Spaniard. While it would appear that his negative view of Jews was a slowly evolving one, starting in the late 19th century it took full form during the 1930’s as can be seen from his reading of and comments about Lecole des Cadavres written by “the pro-Hitler, Jew-baiting fascist Louis-Ferdinand Celine."

1864: On the second and final of the Battle of Nashiville , Colonel Frederick Kneifler and his brigade of Hoosiers turned a possible defeat into victory by charging the on-coming Rebels, “forcing them to retreat” in such confusion that they left much of their equipment on the field of Battle.

1870: Birthdate of Eugene Hugo Paul, the native of Jersey City, NJ, who became a “banker and clothier in New York City as well as an officer with the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Young Folks League for Aid to Hebrew Infants.

1870: Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of American Reform Judaism, preached the dedicatory sermon at the laying of the cornerstone of the Central Synagogue, Lexington and Fifty-Fifth Street.

1874: “Property Exempt From Taxes” published today described the decision of Judge Van Brunt exempting a lot adjacent to the Hebrew Free School from taxes even though the school is only renting the property and does not own it.

1875: “The National Assembly nominated” Auguste Scheurer, a future ardent defender of Dreyfus, “as a permanent Senator.”

1875: The children from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum were taken to the Hebrew Charity Fair, which is now in its second week. So far, the fair has raised nearly $100,000. 

1875: The H.M.S. Malabar set sail from Egypt, bound for Portsmouth, England, with a precious cargo stored in seven zinc boxes: 176,602 shares of stock in the Suez Canal Company, recently sold by the Khedive of Egypt. The buyer was the British Government, bolstered by a timely advance of 4 million [pounds] from N.M. Rothschild & Sons in London. Spiced with intrigue and flush with flamboyant figures, the affair has all the flair of a thriller. There have been bigger real-estate bonanzas -- notably the $15 million deal that won the Louisiana Purchase from France and the $7 million payment that wrested Alaska from Russia. But none have had quite the elegance, speed and daring of the Suez Canal transaction. It briefly established the House of Rothschild as a sovereign state on a par with -- or perhaps even slightly ahead of -- Her Majesty's Government.  Two decades earlier, the British were strangely myopic about the value of a proposed canal that would unite the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. Benjamin Disraeli, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, dismissed the notion: ''The operation of nature would in a short time defeat the ingenuity of man.'' For the greatest maritime power on earth, this would prove a grave miscalculation, ceding construction of the canal to French capital and engineers, backed by Egyptian forced labor. By the time the canal opened in 1869, it had redrawn the map of the British Empire. The sea journey that had stretched 10,800 nautical miles from London to its imperial jewel, India, was slashed to 6,300 miles. Luckily for the British, the Khedive provided the British with a chance to remedy their blunder only six years later. A profligate borrower, addicted to luxury and Pharaonic projects, Isma'il Pasha became hopelessly indebted and could stave off his creditors only by selling his controlling stake in the Suez Canal Company. Very likely it was Lionel de Rothschild, head of the British bank, who tipped off Disraeli to the historic opportunity. The Prime Minister had to act with maximum secrecy and dispatch, sending his private secretary to sound out Lord Lionel on the huge advance of 4 million [pounds]. As legend has it, the reserved and circumspect Rothschild asked, ''What is your security?'' ''The British Government,'' the secretary replied. The tale has been embellished with other, possibly fanciful, details -- the most common being that the financier savored muscatel grapes as they talked, spitting out pits between rejoinders -- but the moment needs no apocryphal adornment. With a nod, Lord Lionel had conferred upon the British crown mastery of one of the world's principal crossroads. In retrospect, the feat represents a high-water mark of banker power. For its services, N.M. Rothschild exacted a steep and controversial fee: a 2 1/2 percent commission on the advance, plus 5 percent annual interest. The Rothschilds defended these terms, noting that they had put a considerable portion of their capital at risk during the perilous interval before Parliament voted for payment. Hobbled by the lumbering pace of politics and fearing a leak of information, Disraeli, like other 19th-century statesmen, employed an elite private bank as a screen behind which to conduct secret statecraft. The deal held up for a remarkable 81 years, binding together the outposts of the British Empire until President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, in a blaze of rhetoric, nationalized the Suez Canal Company in July 1956. In a rear-guard defense of colonial privilege, the British, the French and the Israelis pounced on Egypt in a brief but abortive invasion that only underscored the limits of Western influence in the region. The advent of larger vessels has somewhat diminished the canal's importance. Supertankers now economically ship oil by the traditional route around the Cape of Good Hope. Even so, the hundred-mile canal remains the pivot of much Middle East commerce and diplomacy.

1877: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs of the 34th Street Synagogue officiated at the funeral of Jacob Grau, the impresario. The Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society had attended the body before the ceremony which was attended by a large throng. Burial was at the Washington Cemetery.


1878: Sixty-seven year old German author Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow an advocate for the emancipation of the Jews in his writings including “Uriel Acost” his play that would “later become the first classic play to be translated into Yiddish and became a longtime standard of the Yiddish theatre” passed away today.

1878: Max Blatt and his wife gave birth to Joseph Blatt the graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College who served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Columbus, GA.

1879(1st of Tevet, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1879: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted a Chanukah reception at the Academy of Music.
The evening included a series of tableaux that depicted the Jewish victory over the Syrians, singing by a choir  made up of 100 boys and girls from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum followed by an evening of dancing.

1880: It was reported today that the Union Presbyterian Church of Alexandria, VA which does not have a building in which to hold services has accepted the offer of a local synagogue to use its facility.

1880: Frank Leslie’s illustrated published a woodcut of Chanukah celebration hosted by Young Men’s Hebrew Association at the Academy of Music in New York.


1881: It was reported today that the tableaus on display at the ball sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association that “reproduced some of the most famous scenes in the Biblical story” “were selected by Rabbis H.P. Mendes and Henry S. Jacobs” and “carried out under the supervision of Messrs. I. and B. Kiralfy.

1881: It was reported today that the Commissioners of Emigration have sent 200 of the 250 Jewish immigrants from Russia who arrived aboard the SS Suevia to Ward’s Island. The rest of them will be sent there in a day or two.

1882: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El testified before a committee headed by Senators Boyd and Browning that was investigating “the subjects of corners and futures and the effect which they have upon commerce and public morals.”

1883: It was reported today that “Mme. Janauschek” will be starring in an upcoming performance of “Zillah, the Hebrew Mother

1883: “Shall Jews Marry Christians” published today summarized the views of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise on the subject on intermarriage of which he spoke approvingly.  To what extent the fact that one of his daughter married an Irish Catholic influenced his attitude is unknown.

1883: In Rochester, NY, members of Berith Kodesh are scheduled to vote today on adopting the new English ritual for their services which they began using at Shabbat services this past weekend.

1883: Birthdate of French film pioneer, Mix Linder.

1883: “Revision” published today described some of the changes that can be found in the latest translation of the Old Testament  Among them is changing the garment that Jacob gave to Joseph from a “coat of many colors” to “a tunic with long sleeves.”

1883(17th of Kislev, 5644): Sixty-six year old Maximilien Charles Alphonse Cerfberr of Medelsheim, “a French journalist, writer and government official” passed away today.

1884: It was reported today that vice cases were treated differently based on religion as could be seen by the fact that, Herman Schneider, a 28 year old Jew, was indicted and held without bail on the same charge for which the light haired and fair skinned Frank Snyder was allowed to post bail.

1885: It was reported today that the Ladies’ Fair being held at the Metropolitan Opera House has already raised $10,000 which will got to the Kindergarten and Industrial Schools of the Hebrew Free School Association

1885: In San Francisco, Julius C. Koosher was one of four men arrested today on charges that they planned to assassinate 20 prominent Californians including Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker and then blow up the city’s Chinatown. Koosher, who is also known by the name Kowalski is a Jew who escaped Russia after suffering unspeakable persecutions and came to the United States where he became an agent of the Jewish Relief Society. His animosity towards the railroads stemmed from being swindled by railway magnet Henry Villard who had promised to pay me $600 for every family that helped become homesteaders.

1886: In Detroit, a dispute erupted at the Commercial National Bank between insurance man William Parkinson a Jew named Weinberger over $75 that the former owed to the latter.

1887: Lieutenant Louis Ostheim, the Philadelphia native and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy was detached to take charge of Fort Myer in Virginia.

1889: Dr. Anton Zolki, a Jewish “journeyman dentist” attacked Dr. C. H. De Lamater while the being treated for a dental problem.

1889: A large contingent from the B’nai B’rith is expected to attend the events this evening at the “Hebrew educational fair” being hold at the American Institute Building.

1889: “Foreigners In The Trades” published today reiterates the stereotypes among immigrants including “the Chinamen who seem to be able to do little else besides washing lines” and Jews who continue to involve themselves “in callings in which compound interest figures prominently.” (Another way of calling Jews moneylenders and usurers)

1891: Plans were published today for the construction of a new synagogue to be built at Plainfield, NJ to serve the Jews of that town as well as the Jews living in North Plainfield, Bound Brook and Somverville.

1892: Rabbis Theodore Guenzburg, David Chan and Henry S. Jacobs led services this evening which part of the jubilee exercises celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rodeph Shalom in New York City which featured a sermon by Dr. Gustav Gottheil, the Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El.

1892: "How They Regard Ham. Views of Local Rabbis on Mr. Rosenburg's Expulsion” published today described the results the Brooklyn Eagle found when it visited local rabbis after “Hyman Rosenberg was expelled as rabbi of Beth Jacob synagogue for eating ham.” “While George Taubenhaus, rabbi of Beth Elohim stated, "I do not believe my congregation would expel me if I ate ham", Baith Israel's rabbi Friedlander responded, "While there are some differences between the reform and orthodox Jews, I do not think it is the place for any Jewish minister to eat ham. The reformers do not so strictly observe the old Mosaic law, but it does not seem to me a good example for a rabbi to set to his congregation."

1894: At Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Silverman “gave the third of the series of sermons on ‘Answers to Jewish and Christians Inquirers,’” entitled “The Essential Basis for a Religion of Humanity.”

1894: A list published today of the officers of the New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association included M.D. Michaels as President and Philip Benjamin as Treasurer.

1894: Funeral services were held today for Abraham Keyser, a retired grocer who had originally been buried in a grave without a marker because nobody knew who he was when he mysteriously passed away.

1894: It was reported today that Sir Julian Goldsmid, “a member of the House of Commons for the South Division of St. Pancreasa” presided at a meeting of the Russo-Committee where “communications” were shared that the Czar had taken steps to modify “actions taken under the May Laws” and the laws regarding the expulsion of Jews from Russian

1895: After being closed yesterday, the Educational Fair, a fundraiser sponsored by prominent New York Jewish families re-opened today. So far the fair has raised almost $100,000.

1895: It was reported that a near riot broke in front of the Thalia Theatre where a concert given by “The Hebrew Mechanics’ Association under the management of Max Hirsch’s dramatic agency.

 

1895: It was reported today that the opening night of the second season of concerts at the Arion Society’s concert hall included Louis Blumberg playing “Max Bruch’s transcription of the old Jewish prayer, Kol Nidre.”

1896: Solomon Schechter left England bound for Egypt and Palestine so he could study Hebrew manuscripts including those in the Geniza at Cairo. Although there were reports of the Geniza dating back to the 1750’s, Agnes and Margaret Smith, known as the Westminster Sisters, were the ones who saw it in 1896 and told Schechter about what would become the greatest literary treasure trove found in Jewish history. Schechter’s involvement would vault him to a leading spot among Jewish intellectuals which led to his becoming the President of the Jewish Theological Seminary; a position from which he would try to rescues Judaism from the extremes of radical reform and stultifying orthordoxy

1898: In London, Emma and Karl Kirchberger gave birth to their daughter author Amy Blank, the wife of Rabbi Sheldon Blank, the Nelson Glueck Professor of Bible at HUC and the editor of the Hebrew Union College Annual for six decades, as well as the author of books like Jeremiah: Man and Prophet and Prophetic Thought

1900: Last day on which the Barge Office was used as the processing station for immigrants, including tens of thousands of Jews, entering the United States through the port of New York. This was the second time that the Barge Office was used for this purpose. It had been temporarily re-opened due to a fire at Ellis Island, the place most people think of as the entry point to America.

1901: Birthdate of American anthropologist Margaret Mead.


1901: Arnold Schonberg began serving as the Music Director of Berlin’s "Überbrettl" today.

1903: As of today, the balance in the account of The Educational League for the Higher Education of Orphans with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio which had been organized in 1896 whose members included Rabbi Moses J. Gries of Cleveland, Rabbi Leo M. Franklin of Detroit, Michigan, Rabbi Tobia Schanfarber of Chicago, Illinois, Rabbi Abram Simon of Washington, D.C. and Rabbi Louis Wolsey of Little Rock, Arkansas stood at $5,989.69.

1905: In Kiev, the Czar’s forces crush the four day old Shuliavka Republic whose founders had called for an end to pogroms aimed at Jews.

1905: It was reported today that “many wealthy Jews are leaving” Warsaw because “of the raids on their residences by bands of revolutionary coreligionists” who call themselves “Anarchist.”

1905: A review Balthasar Huebmaier – The Leader of the Anabaptists by Henry C. Vedder published today noted that while he served as “preacher in the Cathedral of Regensburg” he “took part in persecuting the Jews.”

1905: “Arnold Kohn, Vice President of the State Bank and a member of the National Committee which is raising the two-million dollar fund for the relief of the suffers by Russian massacres” today “received a number of letters” including ones from Messrs. Perelmutter and Kligman providing the “details of the atrocities” at Kishinev.

1905: In Salonika which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire Isaac Carasso and his wife gave birth to Daniel Carasso who founded what would eventually become Dannon Yoghurt.

1909: Confirmation of Rabbi Chaim Bidjarano’s election as Chief Rabbi of Adrianople.

1909(4th of Tevet, 5670): Seventy nine year old Lina Morgensten, the German feminist activist who was the wife of Theodor Morgenstern and the mother of Olga Morgenstern passed away today.

1911(25th of Kislev, 5672): Chanukah

1911: Educational institutions in Jaffa raise funds for the Ottoman Navy League.

1911: Celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first Jewish colony in Argentine.  The colony was made up of 200 families from Constantinople.   By mid-1917, Ashkenazim made up 80% of the Jews in South and Latin America, the other 20% being Sephardim.

1913: Birthdate of Lipa Zabrowsky, the native of Vilnius who made Aliyah in 1920 and gained famed as Aryeh Ben-Elizer, the member of Irgun who became an MK.

1913: The Supreme Court of Georgia heard the appeal of Leo Frank for a new trial following his conviction for murdering Mary Phagan.

1913: Charlie Chaplin began his film career at Keystone for $150 a week.

1913(17th of Kislev, 5674): Sixty-six year old Albert Wolfson, the son of jurist Isaac Wolfson, a liberal lawyer who was courageous enough to defend Friedrich Geffcken, an opponent of the Iron Chancellor and who was denied a seat in the Hamburg Senate because he was Jewish, passed away today.

1914: “The Senate’s debate today on the Immigration was largely devoted to the question of Jews from Russia, specifically an amendment offered by Senator Thomas of Colorado, suggested by Louis Marshall., “intended to extend the exemption to those not literally persecuted because of their religion but simply discriminated against in the statutes of their countries.”

1915: Albert Einstein published his "General Theory of Relativity.”

1916(2st of Kislev, 5677): Parashat Vayeshev

1916: In response to a request made by the Joint Distribution Committee sermons are scheduled to be delivered in every synagogue and temple throughout America “exhorting the congregants to support the plans for the relief of Jewish war sufferers” that are being made for 1917.

1917(1st of Tevet, 5678): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Seventh Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the eighth candle

1917: Tonight, Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein told members of the International Synagogue meeting at the Mount Morris Theatre that “The men who fought under Judas Maccabean have left their descendants among us at Yaphank at every other” Army “camp in the United States, on the soil of France or wherever else a good Jew may find himself.  From them the Jews of the world look for a good, a glowing and a glorious report.”

1917: At Temple Emanu-El, Dr. Joseph Silverman” predicted “that the fall of Jerusalem would probably cause a change in the ancient Jewish ritual of worship” because “the holidays of the Jewish calendar are of the joyous sort.  With the possible exception of the observance held by the orthodox Jews on the anniversary of the fall of Jerusalem, there is not a melancholy note in our ritual.  Now that the ancient city has been captured by the British forces, I imagine that this melancholy ceremony will now be and abandoned and the occasion turned into one of praise and thanksgiving.” (Editor’s note – One wonders what term he would use to describe Yom Kippur.)

1917(1st of Tevet, 5678): During World War I, Naaman Belkind was hung by the Turks as a spy. Naaman Belkind was born in 1889.  The nephew of Bilu founder Israel Belkind and the son of Bilu pioneer Shimshon Belkind, Naaman Belkind was born in Eretz Yisrael. Bilu was founded in 1882 and was a pre-Herzl Zionist movement. Bilu is an acronym based on a verse from Isaiah (2:5), "Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Ve-nelkha/Let the house of Jacob go!" BILU's founders believed that the time had come for Jews not only to live in Israel, but to make their living there as well.  He grew up in the Bilu community of Gedera, and was later employed in the wine cellars of Rishon LeTzion. Along with his cousin Avshalom Feinberg and his brother Eytan, Belkind joined the Nili espionage group, which was formed in 1915 to assist the British against the Turkish authorities. The group encountered much opposition to its operations, in part from the British themselves, but largely from the members of the Yishuv, who regarded the espionage as subversive and endangering Jewish settlements. Nili's independence from mainstream Zionist politics also lent it a controversial nature, but the group maintained its activities. In September, 1917, Belkind set out for Egypt to look into the circumstances regarding Feinberg's death earlier that year. Caught by Bedouin in the Sinai, he was handed over to the Turks and brought to Damascus. Shortly after, the principal Nili figures were arrested and the group incapacitated. Belkind was convicted of spying and was hanged along with Nili leader Yosef Lishansky. He was later re-interred in Rishon LeTzion.

1917: In London, Herbert Samuel one of the highest ranking Jews in the British political firmament   wrote a letter to his son stating that “The fall-or rather the liberation-of Jerusalem has caused much emotion in this country.  I have received dithyrambs from all sorts of people, mostly strangers.”

1917: The New York Times reported Jacob Schiff’s announcement that The New York Jewish community had just successfully completed its first $5 million campaign for Jewish war relief, its share of a $10 million national campaign. In making the announcement Schiff commented, “Fifty-two years ago, when I came to this country, I don’t believe the combined wealth of American Jewry was equal to $5,000,000. See where we have arrived; see where our unity and strength have brought us.”

1917: The Un-Christian Jew a story of Jews in the United States, by Lawrence Sterner was among the books found on today’s “Latest Publications” list.


1917: It was reported today that “many inquiries have been received by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America from Jewish refugees in the countries along the Eastern front asking for news or relatives and friends in” the United States and that many of them have been located and are now in communication with relatives and friends in Europe.”

1917: It was announced tonight “that the 150 Jews in Sing Sing Prison had contributed $200” to the five million dollar fund being raised for Jewish war relief and that they “wished to give their earnings for the rest of the year” to the fund, a move that Rabbi Samuel Buchler, the visiting chaplain at Sing Sing will seek to get approved by the State Superintended of prisons.

1917: In Baltimore, MD, two hundred leaders of Zionist organizations from the United States and Canada including the Canadian Federated Zionist Societies, presided over by Rabbi Stephen Wise began to make plans for “the re-assimilation of the promised land that will include the creation of $100,000,000 fund” a million of which was raised in pledges this evening.

1918: In Philadelphia, at a meeting of the American Jewish Congress, plans were formulated to send a delegation of Jews to the Versailles Peace Conference which will push the claims of the Jews for full civil and political right in all lands.

1918: Rabbi Hyman Gerson Enelow wrote today from LeMans, that he is charge, for the present, of the center for the Jewish Welfare Board that has been established in the French city which “is going to be known as embarkation camp” through which a large number of Jewish soldiers will pass through on their way back to the United States.

1919(24th of Kislev, 5680): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1919: It was reported today that “with the coming of sunset this evening will begin…the world world-over, the celebration of Chanukah or the Festival of the Dedication.  Although rated in the traditional calendar as a minor festival, Chanukah, which is also known as the Feast of Lights is of major significance, as it commemorates one of the most heroic and far-reaching victories for the fatherland and the faith.”

1920: President Morris Handle and Recording Secretary Herman Natal send out invitations inviting their co-religionists to “attend the celebration of the organization of Congregation Beth-El in Camden, NJ.

1922(26th of Kislev, 5683): Sixty-four year old Eliezer Ben-Yehuda the father of the Modern Hebrew Language succumbed to TB in Jerusalem today. 

1922: SS Albert Ballin was an ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line which was named after Albert Ballin was launched today.

1922: Lord “Curzon decided that he would remain at the Conference of Lausanne over the Christmas holiday in order to expedite the conference’s conclusion

1922: Gabriel Narutowicz, President of Poland was assassinated by a right-wing nationalist.  The right-wingers derided him as the “President of the Jews.”

1922: Birthdate of Isidore Cohen, the native of Brooklyn who became a world renowned violinist who was a member of both the Juilliard String Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio.

1923: Birthdate of Menahem Pressler a German-born pianist who fled to Palestine before settling in the United States where among other things he has spent 60 years on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

1924: Birthdate of Nissim Ezekiel, the native of Bombay who was an Indian Jewish poet, playwright, editor and art-critic.

1927: In Germany, premiere of Family Gathering in the House of Prellstein starring S.Z. Sakall, Sig Arno, Ilka Grüning, Fritz Spira and Max Ehrlich.  The latter two would not be able to escape the Holocaust.

1930: An Arab mob attempted to prevent Jewish settlers from plowing land near Herzlia. British police came from Tel Aviv and arrested the Arabs at which point the Jews went back to their farm work.

1930: “Six Jewish laborers were sentenced today to three weeks’ imprisonment for participation in an unruly unemployment demonstration at Ness Ziona, near Jaffa.”

1931: As German spirals into political chaos the Social Democratic Party (SPD) with the Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, the Reichsbanner and workers' sport clubs formed The Iron Front an anti-Nazi, anti-monarchist paramilitary organization designed to “counter the right-wing Harzburg Front.”

1932: “Narcotics” co-starring Peter Lorre and directed by Kurt Gerron who along with his wife would gassed at Auschwitz in 1944 was released today in Germany.

1932: “The Half-Naked Truth” a comedy produced by Pandro S. Berman, with music by Max Steiner was released in the United States by RKO.

1933: In address at the fourth annual Maccabean Festival held in Madison Square Garden to celebrate Chanukah, Samuel Untermeyer charged the German Ambassador, Dr. Hans Luther, with “insincerity and hypocrisy.”  “Mr. Untermyer said the activities of the Friends of New German and other Nazi organizations constituted a ‘criminal conspiracy against the sovereignty and neutrality of our country’ and that the purpose of these organizations was to propagate German national socialism which that ‘American citizens are to propagate on American soil the disenfranchisement of Jewish American citizens.”

1933: In Washington, DC, Philip Sylvan Peyser and Helene Hattendorf gave birth to Charles Alan Peyser.

1934: In Camden, NJ, Congregation Beth-El hosted its annual dinner and installation of congregational officers’ ceremony.

1935: Having lost his job as a mathematics professor in German because he was Jewish, sixty year old Issai Schur was invited to the Mathematical Seminars Conference in Zurich.

1936: Magistrate Jeannette G. Brill will deliver an address entitled “Everyday Problems” at the annual luncheon of the metropolitan branch of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America being held today at the Hotel Commodore in New York City.

1936: The Pope created Emmanuel Suhard, who would write “a public protest against the deportation of the Jews of Paris in 1942” was created Cardinal Priest of S. Onofrio.

1936: “The Catholic bishopric of Berlin” protested today against the libeling of the Church and its clergy by the official National Socialist Party newspaper, the Angriff which published an article that said that “Jews and Catholics are in league to combat racial purity” and showed “a photograph of a meeting of rabbis and Protestant pastors in Riverside Memorial Church.”

1936(2nd of Tevet, 5697): 8th Day of Chanukah

1937: Stan Francis, the Program Director the Associated Broadcasting Company Limited in Toronto wrote Louis Herman asking him to come to Francis’ office so that discuss the recording of his radio company.

1937: The Palestine Post reported from London that the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, told the House of Commons that in Palestine leading Arab notables were murdered by Arabs, which was "terrorism of Arabs by Arabs."  This form of Arab violence has continued down to our own times. In many ways, the current Arab leadership are the survivors of their own intra-communal violence.

1937;  The Palestine Post reported that Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem were surprised when ordered to pay for the costs of the 20 supernumerary constables appointed to guard them from frequent attacks by their Arab neighbors. Talk about adding insult to injury.  This was almost as bad as when the Jews had to pay for cleaning up the broken glass after Kristallnacht. 

1937: Birthdate of Morris Dees Jr., co-founder of the Southerner Poverty Law Center. Dees is not Jewish but his father Morris Seligman Dees Sr. was named after a Jewish Merchant in Montgomery whom Grandpa Dees admired. Joe Levin (no relation) who is Jewish was the other Co-Founder of Southern Poverty Law Center.

1939: Girls in Lodz were seized to clean a latrine using their own shirts. When done, the Nazis wrapped the woman's faces with these same shirts. By this time Jewish population of Warsaw and Lotz has risen to over 1,000,000.

1939:  The Nazis excluded the Jews from all employment benefits.

1939: Jewish girls in Lódz, Poland, who have been impressed for forced labor, are forced to clean a latrine with their blouses. When the job is complete, the German overseers wrap the filthy blouses around the girls' faces.

1940: It was reported today that Willie Rubenstein had scored ten points for the New York Jewels when they went down to defeat in an American Basketball League game against Philadelphia.

1941: Isidore Newman who was training with the SOE “received a postcard from the Jewish Chaplain congratulating him on his promotion” to 2nd Lieutenant

1941: In Romania, the government dissolved the Federation of the Unions of the Jewish Communities

1941: Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland, notes in his diary that some 3,500,000 Jews live in the region under his control.

1941: The second of the three day murder of Jews in Skede, Latvia in which almost 3,000 Jews, mostly women and children were murdered.

1942: A Jewish ghetto is established in Kharkov, Ukraine.

1942: Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.

1942(8th of Tevet, 5703): David M. Bressler, who was widely known for his activities in Jewish, State and municipal relief and in charity organizations, died this afternoon at the office of his physician to which he had been taken from his office at 75 Maiden Lane after he had suffered a heart attack. Mr. Bressler, son of Julius and Sarah Rothenberg Bressler, was born in Germany on May 1, 1879, and came here in 1884. He rendered service to thousands of immigrants whom he helped to settle throughout the country. Outstanding was his work as director of the Industrial Removal Board during the first decade of the century. He directed immigrants from the Eastern States to communities in the South and Middle West and provided them with the opportunities for their Americanization. By his plan, as he described it himself, he avoided over-crowding of New York and other large Eastern cities, and organized the Jewish community of America to divert the stream of Jewish immigration. The Removal Office thus was a clearing house for Jewish immigrants and prevented congestion at the port of entry. Among the many charity drives which he conducted was the United Jewish campaign of New York that raised more than 56,000,000 in 1926. After a campaign that lasted but a little more than a month, the goal was exceeded by $656,000. Another drive conducted by Mr. Bressler as national chairman was the Allied Jewish campaign of 1930. The plan, commended by President Hoover, was conceived in Washington, where Mr. Bressler was one of 800 representative Jews from all parts of the United States, who mapped out the details of the campaign. Mr. Bressler's philanthropic and social service career covered more than forty years. During that time he served many agencies. He extended his chief field of Jewish activities, to State-wide efforts when Governor Lehman appointed him a member of the New York State Planning Board in 1934, and when he became a director of Sydenham Hospital. Previously, Governor Lehman had made him a member of the Appeal Board of Unemployment Insurance, and in 1931 he was named vice chariman of the National Council of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, of which Felix M. Warburg was chairman. Mr. Bressler attended City College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the New York Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1900, and from 1900 to 1917 was general manager of the Industrial Removal Board. While he centered his business interests on insurance, he also served in a voluntary capacity as board member of the American Hebrew Congregations, the American Jewish Committee, the Palestine Economic Corporation, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies and the National Refugee Service. As a member of a survey commission appointed by the Joint Distribution Committee, Mr. Bressler went to Europe in 1922 and 1929 to study the situation of Jews there, and published several reports on his observations. He was chairman of the New York War SufferersCampaign in 1922 and 1926, and served in 1930 as national co-chairman of the Allied Jewish Campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He was a Mason and a member of B'nai B'rith and the Metropolitan Club.

1943: Birthdate of producer Steven Boncho, creator of several hit shows including Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue.

1943: In an example of Himmler’s belief in the “final solution to the Jewish question, he told a group of Kriegsmarine commanders today, “I have basically given the order to also kill the wives and children of these partisans, and commissars. I would be a weakling and a criminal to our descendants if I allowed the hate-filled sons of the sub-humans we have liquidated in this struggle of humanity against subhumanity to grow up.”

1944(30th of Kislev, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; in the evening light 7 Chanukah candles

1944(30th of Kislev, 5705): Fifty-five year old Philip Guedalla the British barrister, author and unsuccessful candidate for Parliament died today while serving as a Squadron Leader with the RAF. "History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other."

1944: As part of Ben-Gurion’s plan for breaking the power of the Irgun and the Stern Gang, Eliahu Golomb who had called the clash between the Yishuv and these groups “a struggle between Zionist democracy and Jewish Nazism” held a secret meeting with Nathan Friedman-Yellin one of the leaders of the Stern Gang.  Friedman-Yellin would only agree to halt attempts to assassinate Churchill and not much more.

1944: As the Battle of the Bulge began, Captain Bert Katz, who would become a leader of the Cedar Rapids Jewish and business committees, was one of those facing the unexpected onslaught of Hitler’s Panzers. Among other Jewish soldiers who faced down Hitler’s last gasp attack was J.D. Salinger and Leste Milton Bornstein the father of author and Ambassador Michael Oren.

1944(30th of Kislev, 5705): Fifty-five year old Philip Guedalla, author, barrister and extremely unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the House of Commons passed away today. He served as a squadron leader in the RAF during WWII making him one of the oldest people, I would guess, to hold that rank.  He was also noted for his quick wit, a few examples of which can be found below.

1946(23rd of Kislev, 5707): Award winning 83 year old American artist Albert Sterner, the London born son of Julius and Sarah Sterner passed away today.

1946: It was reported today that Lazarus Joseph said it was “the duty of every American citizen, Christian or Jew, black or white” to help in “the rehabilitation of 1,500,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

1946: In France, Leon Blum named Premiere.

1948: Egypt charged that the Jews announced a new attack on the garrison at Faluja.

1949: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced that Jerusalem will be become the capital of Israel on January 1, 1950.

1950: Birthdate of “Claudia Lynn Cohen, a high-profile gossip reporter for television and newspapers who was a frequent subject of the gossip columns herself, partly because of her marriage to, and remunerative divorce from, the billionaire businessman Ronald O. Perelman”.(As reported by Margalit Fox)

1952: Yitzhak Ben-Zvi “assumed the office of President of Israel and continued to serve in the position until his death on April 23 1963.

1952(28th of Kislev, 5713): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1952(28th of Kislev, 5713): Seventy-six year old Etta Karesh Levin, the wife of Julius Levin and the mother of Sidney L. Levin passed away after which she was buried in KKBI Cemetery in Charleston, SC.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the extraordinary meeting of the Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission broke down with each side accusing the other of border violations. Israel accused infiltrators of firing at the guards, and stealing arms and ammunition. Jordan complained that Israel had laid mines and attacked the Arab Legion post in the Mount Scopus area.

1952: Birthdate of Susan Estrich, graduate of Harvard Law, and “liberal” foil on FOX News.

1954: “There's No Business Like Show Business” produced by Sol C. Siegel, with songs by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Phoebe and Henry Ephron was released in the United States today by 20th Century Fox.

1955 After 888 performances the curtain came down at the Belasco Theatre on the original Broadway production of “Fanny” a musical with a book by S.N. Behrman and lyrics and music by Harold S. Rome.

1957: “In a letter dated today, the "Steering Committee of Temple Sinai," a small group of Temple Emanuel members who felt that the close family atmosphere of the Temple had been lost and that religious observance had become more conservative over the years, informed the secretary of the board of Temple Emanuel that they intended to create a second Reform congregation in Worcester.

1959: U.S. premiere of “The Gazebo” produced by Lawrence Weingarten featuring Carl Reiner as “Harlow Edison,” Mabel Albertson as “Miss Chandler,” Martin Landau as “The Duke” and Robert Ellenstein as “Ben.”

1959: “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” a film adaptation of the novel by the same name directed by Henry Levin, with a script co-authored by Walter Reisch and music by Bernard Hermann was released today by 20th Century Fox.

1960: “Wildcat,” a musical with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music Cy Coleman opened at the Alvin Theatre.

1966(3rd of Tevet, 5757): Eighty-one year old Alexander Trachtenberg  the native of Russia who earned a Master’s from Yale and was a leader in the Socialist Party of America as the CPUSA as well as the founder of International Publishers passed away today.

1968: Birthdate of Peter Orszag, an American economist, who was VP with Citigroup and Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

1968: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” with songs by the Sherman Brothers – Richard and Robert --  was released in the United Kingdom today by United Artists.

1968: The Spanish government officially voided the order of expulsion of 1492.

1969: Release date for “Cactus Flower” a film that would not have been made if it weren’t for the Jews – director Gene Saks, writers Abe Burrows and I.A.L. Diamond, actor Walter Matthau and actress Goldie Hawn.

1969: Elimelekh Rimalt began serving as Communications Minister.

1969: Release date for the film version of “Hello Dolly” starring Walther Matthau and Barbra Streisand and written and produced by Ernest Lehman with music by Jerry Herman.

1970: U.S. premiere of “Puzzle of a Downfall Child direct by Jerry Schatzberg who also co-authored the script.

1970: The movie version of Erich Segal’s novel Love Story directed by Arthur Hiller was released in the United States today.

1971: “Never Underestimate Power of a Woman Even at Princeton” published today described the life at an Ivy League elite school experienced by future civil rights attorney Abby Rubenfeld, the daughter of Milton Rubenfeld, the WW II war hero who in 1948 was one of the founders of the IAF.

1973: “Papillion” a French prison film co-starring Dustin Hoffman and with music by Jerry Goldsmith was released in the United States today.

1975: CBS aired the first episode of “One Day at a Time” the popular sit-com starring Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano that lasted for nine years.

1978: In Jerusalem, 22 people including five Americans were injured by a bombing on a bus.

1979:  More than 800 guests attend special ceremonies to mark what Mayor Edward I. Koch has proclaimed as "Congregation Orach Chaim 100th Anniversary Day.”

1981: Defense Minister Ariel Sharon flew to the newly annexed Golan Heights today for a meeting with military commanders amid reports of Syrian troop alerts across the border.

1981: Eighty-one year old Victor Kugler, one of those who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family passed away today.

1982: Sofia Cosma, a Jewish concert pianist who defied long odds to rebuild her career after seven years in Soviet prison camps played pieces by Chopin, Haydn and Rachmanioff at first concert at the 92nd Street Y.

1984: “Diamonds” a revue with music by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green opened Off Broadway at the Circle in the Square Downtown theatre today.

1984: William G. Blair described a rent strike that is continuing at 4-6 East 65th Street, properties which had formerly belonged to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations are across the street from Temple Emanu-El

1986: In “Altheimer Praised for Fostering Study in Agriculture Field” Bruce Kinzel described the contribution of Benjamin Joseph Altheimer Sr. the Pine Bluff born Jew to the activity which has historically been the economic backbone of the Razorback state.

1987(25th of Kislev, 5748): Chanukah

1987: U.S. premiere of “Broadcast News” directed, produced and written by James L. Brooks co-starring Albert Brooks.

1989: “Lesléa Newman publishes the groundbreaking children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies


1990: The New York Times reported that last week, Dr. John Strugnell, a Harvard divinity professor, was dismissed as chief editor of the scrolls after having called Judaism "a horrible religion" in an interview published in November in a Tel Aviv newspaper. Several colleagues, who said they were horrified at the remarks, attributed them to Dr. Strugnell's "mental condition" and to a drinking problem. A spokesman for Harvard said Dr. Strugnell, a Roman Catholic, was being treated in a hospital, but he wouldn't say where or why.

1991: The U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a 111-25 vote.

1992: The body of IDF Sergeant Nissim Toledano, who had been kidnapped by Hamas, was found today.   Toledano had been stabbed to death while his hands were bound.

1992: The Bangor Daily News reported that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told a stunned and angry nation…that he would “strike pitilessly” against Muslim fundamentalists who kidnapped and killed and Israeli trooper.  But he promised Israel would not abandon the U.S. – sponsored Mideast peace talks.

1992: Israel ordered deportation of 415 leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the West Bank and/or Gaza after escalating terrorist activity.

1992 (21st of Kislev, 5753): Simon M. Jaglom, a New York businessman and financier, died today at New York University Medical Center. A Manhattan resident, he turned 96 last Saturday. A native of Ukraine, he moved to what was then the Free State of Danzig, where he became general director of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. He went to London in 1937 to establish a business and came to this country two years later. He became president and later chairman of the New York Commodities Corporation and the Overseas Barters Corporation and continued to head both concerns until last month. He was a longtime supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. He was a past president of the American-European divisions of the United Jewish Appeal and of the Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training. He and his wife donated a wing to the Tel Aviv Museum.

1993: The New York State Legislature elected G. Oliver Koppell “to fill the unexpired term of New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams.

1993: The West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” transferred to the Lyttleton Theatre.

1994: Tower Airlines, which has several flights from New York to Tel Aviv reported today that that someone, probably an employee, had cut electrical wires on three cargo planes and two or three passenger planes at Kennedy International Airport in October and early November, disabling monitoring systems.  Terrorist activity, which would be of special concern to those on flights to Israel, has been ruled out as a cause.

1994: “Speechless” a comedy with music by Marc Shaiman was released today in the United States today.

1995: Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel officiated at the wedding of Ruth Goldestein Israels and William Rosenwald.  The bride is an 82 year old graduate of Hunter College.  The groom is the 92 year old son Julius Rosenwald, the longtime chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Company

1997: Janet Rosenberg was elected President of Guyana, making her the first American-born woman to be elected president of any country. Although she had been involved in the country's governance for over half a century, she was only elected president after her husband's death. Rosenberg is considered by many in Guyana to be the mother of the nation. A documentary film, Thunder in Guyana, has been made about her life. Rosenberg was born in Chicago in 1920. In 1943, she married Cheddi Jagan, a Guyanese dental student. When Rosenberg was 23, the couple moved to the then-colony of British Guiana. Together, in 1950, the couple founded the People's Progressive Party, the colony's first modern political party. In 1953, Guyana held its first universal election. Rosenberg was elected minister and deputy speaker of parliament, the first woman to hold those positions. Although Jagan was elected prime minister, his government was deposed by Winston Churchill after only 133 days. Both Jagan and Rosenberg were at times jailed and placed under house arrest. Jagan was elected as prime minister in both 1957 and 1961, but intervention by the U.S. and Britain kept him out of office until free and fair elections were held in 1992. Jagan was again elected to lead Guyana, and served as Guyana's president until his death in 1997. Following Jagan's death, Rosenberg was elected as President, a position she held until resigning due to ill health in August 1999. She is considered by the Guyanese as the mother of their nation.

1998: “The Prince of Egypt,” an animated film based on the Book of Exodus and the life of Moses, co-produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, with a screenplay co-authored by Nicholas Meyer, music by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz and featuring Jeff Goldblum as “Aaron” and Ofrz Haza as “Yocheved” was released in the United States today.

1999: “Letter to an Expecting Parent” by Yehuda Lev published today provides advice for Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

2001(8th of Tevet, 5646): Helmut Flieg the German-Jewish writer who used the pseudonym of Stefan Heym passed away.

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including The Hidden Hitler by Lothar Machtan; translated by John Brownjohn. Notes translated by Susanne Ehlert, Heidegger’s Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse by Richard Wolin, One Scandalous Story: Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism by Marvin Kalb and Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub.  (Yes one of the best Christmas stories ever written has a Jewish author.)

2004(4th of Tevet, 5765): Louis J. Herman, the son Canadian Cantor Samuel Herman, who became the Cantor of Congregation Beth El at Camden, NJ, in 1957, passed away today – a death that was mourned by, among others, his son David who is “a Rabbi in Baltimore MD, and is the executive director of Maryland Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem, a school for disadvantaged youth in Israel.”

2005: After premiering at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival in May, “Free Zone” directed by Amos Gitai and starring Natalie Portman was released today on a limited basis in the United States.

2005: The US House of Representatives passed a resolution that conditioned future financial aid to the Palestinian Authority on the exclusion of Hamas from the upcoming parliamentary elections next month.

2005: Representative Henry Waxman announced “he would introduce a bill to the U.S. House of Representatives that would lift the ban on federal money for subway tunneling in his congressional district.”

2005: Soer Trondelag became the first province in Norway to bar the purchase of Israeli goods when the provincial board voted to impose a boycott.  A board representative from the far-left Red Electoral Alliance said she hopes the boycott will spread to other Norwegian provinces.  The Norwegian national government has not imposed or called for any such boycott.

2006(25th of Kislev, 5767): First Day of Chanukah

2006: In Boston on the first day of Chanukah, Rob Tannenbaum and his pal David Fagin, who fronts the New York band the Rosenbergs, came to Boston with his latest Jewish-themed act, “Good for the Jews.” The duo performs songs such as the sarcastic "Good to be a Jew on Christmas" and "Jdate," an ode to the popular dating website.

2006(25th of Kislev, 5767): Rabbi Yehosuha Yagel, who headed the Midrashiyat Noam Yeshiva High School since its founding in 1945 passed away at the age of 91. Midrashiyat Noam, located in Pardes Hannah, was the first yeshiva high school in the country and has become on of the flagship yeshivas of religious Zionism in Israel.  Yagel received the President’s Prize for life achievement in education in 1998.

2007: The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) opened its 39th annual conference.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics related to Judaica including a marvelous text entitled How To Read The Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now by Professor James L. Kugel, The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs, Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert and Henry James: The Mature Master by Sheldon M. Novick.

2007: The Sunday New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics related to Judaica including Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle by Alan Weisman, Love Falls by Esther Frued great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud and Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black by South African author Nadine Gordimer, both of whose parents were Jewish.

2007: The New York Times features an article on conflicts surrounding Gerard Schwarz’s tenure as conductor of the Seattle Symphony where he “is known for his fund-raising and civic involvement, but where he has made enemies and generated ill will among the players.”

2007: Julius Shulman attended a showing of his architectural photography at the Los Angeles Public Library.

2008: Mort Gerberg presents “Last Laughs: Cartoons About Aging, Retirement...and the Great Beyond” at the Washington DCJCC. Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Mort Gerberg has assembled an all-star cast of gifted and popular cartoonists including George Booth, Roz Chast, Frank Modell, JB Handelsman, Sidney Harris and Jack Ziegler to join him in this exclusive collection confronting, illuminating and celebrating the inevitabilities of life. Everything from cloning to cryogenics and more is tackled with humor and pathos. Mort Gerberg’s cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy and The Huffington Post, as well as in syndicated newspaper features and on television. He has written, illustrated or edited nearly forty books, including his textbook, Cartooning: The Art and the Business, More Spaghetti, and Joy in Mudville: The Big Book of Baseball Humor. 

2008 (19 Kislev, 5769): Celebration of Yud-Tes Kislev, the 19th of Kislev.  “The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism. It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia. For Chassidim this event is more than a personal liberation.  They see this as a watershed event heralding a new era in the revelation of the ‘inner soul’ of Torah. This is also the celebration of the birthday of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov, the Coca Chef.

2008: Award winning Israeli-born photographer, Michal Chelbin delivers a lecture at New York’s School of Visual Arts Amphitheater followed by a book signing

2008: Andy Statman joined the Flecktones in a concert at the Kimmel Center in Phildelphia. The venue was named in honor of Sidney Kimmel.

2008: The Israeli version of “Big Brother,” a reality show alternately beloved and reviled by Hebrew speakers, wrapped up today in exactly the manner in which it was broadcast all season: as a ratings juggernaut.

2008: After having lost three million dollars in Ascot Partner, The New York Law School filed a suit against Ascot partners and Ezra Merkin charging him with “recklessness, gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duties” contending that Merkin was running “a feeder fund” for Bernie Madoff

2009: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Hadassah Book Club meets at the home of Charlene Wolf to discuss Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner.

2009: Professor Ari Y. Kelman discusses his new book, "Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States," as part of the Nextbook series' 2009 season being held at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. 

2009: Jonathan Sheehan of UC Berkeley is the Keynote Speaker at workshop entitled "The Bible and Secularism" at The Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia, PA.

2009: Iran test-fired its most advanced ballistic missile, capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe.

2009: US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was name Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2009 today.

2009: Today Jon Scheyer “scored 24 of a career-high 36 points in the first half to lead Duke past Gardner-Webb. He shot 11-of-13 and hit a career-best seven 3-pointers while grabbing eight rebounds and getting nine assists.”

2009: The third annual Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism opens today in Jerusalem.

2009: Britain’s Supreme Court declared today that it was illegal for a Jewish school that favors Jewish applicants to base its admission policy on a classic test of Jewishness – whether one’s mother is Jewish.

2009:  Today approximately 400 El Al passengers had to wait for almost seven hours in a grounded airplane in a U.S. airport due to a fuel leak. 

2010: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present the” Chamber Music of Barber, Britten and Brahms” featuring the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

2010: Janis Spindel is scheduled to present a program entitled “Men and the City: Where Are all the Men in New York?” at the 92nd St Y in, of course, New York City.

2010: A judge has ordered members of the family that owned a kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa to pay more than $2 million after defaulting on financial agreements with one of their former banks.

2010(9th of Tevet, 5771): Ninety year old violinist and concert master Eric Rosenblith passed away.
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2010/12/21/eric_rosenblith_90_violinist_of_acclaim_tireless_teacher/

2010(9th of Tevet, 5771): Irwin M. Abrams, a longtime professor of history at Antioch College, a pioneer in the field of peace research and a global authority on the Nobel Peace Prize, died today at the Friends Care Center, just a block away from the house on Xenia Avenue where he had lived for almost 60 years. He was 96. Irwin was born in San Francisco in 1914. He graduated from Lowell High School in December 1930 at the age of 16. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree and PhD from Harvard University. In 1936–37, Irwin traveled to Europe to do research for his dissertation. It was a formative experience. He met many outstanding leaders and scholars of the international peace movement and delved into previously unknown source materials.

2010: Starting today the Galilee will be hosting its first annual international ornithological festival. The result of a joint effort and a million-shekel investment by all of Israel’s nature protection organizations and Galilee promoting bodies, the new festival seeks to attract bird and nature lovers from across the country and the world in an aim to maintain the birds’ natural habitats.

2010: Judith Malina’s production of “Korach” “a new play based on the Biblical account of Korach, ‘the first recorded anarchist in history,’ opened at The Living Theatre in New York.

2011: A brunch honoring Rabbi Eric Yoffie is scheduled to take place at today’s session of the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial.

2011: Andrew Fastow, the CFO of Enron, was released from prison camp today where he had been serving time for the financial chicanery that destroyed the company and, among other things, so distorted the economy in California that brought about a recall election that paved the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger to become that state’s chief executive.

2011: Before delivering the keynote address at the Union for Reform Judaism conference in Maryland today, President Obama met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

2011: President Obama told a gathering of Reform Jewry not to let anyone challenge his record of support for Israel, which he said was "unprecedented."

2011: The High Court of Justice ruled today to reject a petition asking to delay the second stage of the prisoner exchange deal brokered with Hamas to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
2011: In an interview published today, “renowned Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt says that American and Israeli politicians who invoke the Holocaust for contemporary political purposes are engaging in ‘Holocaust abuse,’ which is similar to ‘soft-core denial’ of the Holocaust.”
2012: Monni Must, acclaimed photographer and author of Living Witnesses: Triumph Over Tragedy, a portrait book trilogy that captures the lives and experiences of over 400 Holocaust survivors is scheduled to appear at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
2012: The Third Israeli-Russian & International Russian Émigré Film Festival sponsored by the Russian American Cultural Center is scheduled to take place in New York City.
2012: The last performance of “Bad Jews” a comedy by Joshua Harmon is scheduled to have its final performance at the Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theater. (As reported by Charles Isherwood)

2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World by Howard Pollack and The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon
2012: Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel in Newtown is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of six year old Noah Pozner, the first grader who was the youngest person killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School
2012: “Amour” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.
2012: The JCNVV is scheduled to present a performance of “Clever Rachel,” a Moses Goldberg’s dramatic adaptation of a book by Debby Waldman.

2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman formally submitted his resignation from the government to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning, ending a turbulent term as the country’s top diplomat.
2013: MoMA is scheduled to host the North American premiere of “Footsteps in Jerusalem.”

2013: The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to host The Holocaust & Churches in Nazi Germany: Examples of Complicity & Resistance

2013: Weather permitting, the “Stranger by the Lake” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: IDF Master Sgt. Shlomi Cohen a resident of Afula who was killed “in a cross-border attack” from Lebanaon yesterday, was buried in Haifa today.

2013: “An association of American professors with almost 5,000 members has voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities, the group announced today, making it the largest academic group in the United States to back a growing movement to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.”

2014(24th of Kislev, 5775): In the evening kindle the first Chanukah light.

2014: Arthur and Shirley Sotloff, the parents of Steven Sotloff, an American-Israeli journalist murdered by the Islamic State in September, are scheduled to celebrate the first night of Hanukah this week by lighting the Chabad center’s outdoor public menorah-lighting in Miami. (As reported by Justin Jalil)

2014: The 16th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to start today.

2014: In Coralville, IA Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a Chanukah Party – the last one under the leadership of Rabbi Jeff Portman.

2014: US Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to assist in the lighting this year of the Hanukkah menorah on the ellipse in front of the White House. (As reported by JTA)

2014: Police Benzi Gopstein, “the head of extreme anti-assimilation group Lehava” and nine others this morning “amid suspicions that they incited violence and acts of terror. (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2014: Israel’s channel 10 news reported tonight that tomorrow, the EU is “temporarily” removing “Hamas from its list of designated terrorist organizations.”

2014: “The Central Elections Committee announced today that the budget allocated for the March 17 elections would stand at NIS 242 million ($62.04 million), NIS 5 million ($1.28 million) less than for the run-up to the polls in January 2013.”

2014: American actress Sarah Silverman is scheduled to attend the 16th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

2015(4th of Tevet, 5776): On the Jewish calendar “Yahrzeit of Rabbi Joshua Isaac Shapira, a leader of 19th century European Jewry known by the nickname Reb Eisele Charif.”

2015(4th of Tevet, 5776): On the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit of HaRav Moshe Zev of Bialystock, zt”l, author of Marot Hatzovot and Agudat Aizov and “the founder of Gemilat Chassadim Beit Medrash, Bialystok’s most prominent Torah center.”

2015: It was reported today that “the billionaire casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson is behind the mysterious purchase of The Las Vegas Review-Journal for $140 million”

2015: Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to host a screening of “Stateless” a moving about Soviet Jews who were stranded in Italy in 1988 “followed by a Q&A with Producer/Director Michael Drob and Kiev-born human rights and LGBTQ activist Yelena Goltsman, who stars in the film.”

2016: “On the Map” a film that “tells the against-all-odds story of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1977 European Championship, which took place at a time when the Middle East was still reeling from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1972 Olympic massacre at Munich, and the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv” is scheduled to be shown for the last time at the Cinema Village.

2016: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host Human Rights Shabbat with “civil rights advocate Roberta Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor in “the landmark Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor that resulted in DOMA being declared unconstitutional.”

 

 

 

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