Thursday, December 1, 2016

This Day, December 2, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


 

December 2

127 CE: In a document drawn up on this date at a government office in Rabbatg, east of the Dead Sea, four date groves in Maoza were registered by their owner as part of a provincial census ordered by the Roman governor. The date groves abutted the property of Tmar, daughter of Thamous (Tamar, daughter of Thomas).  Record of this ancient document from an area the Romans called Palestine is proof that women did own property in their own right.  Who was Tamar?  Who was her father Thomas?  These are questions for which, as yet, we have no answers.

499: (Kislev, 4427): Ravina II (Bar Shemuel), the nephew of Ravina passed away.  According to tradition Ravina completed the final editing of the Talmud that had been begun by Rav Ashi about one year prior to this time.  According to some authorities, Ravina committed the Oral Law (the Talmud) to writing, despite protests that only the Bible should be written down. His death marked the end of the period of the Amoraim ushered in the period of the Savoraim.

1264: In Sinsig, Germany, a convert to Judaism was arrested for preaching Judaism. Although tortured he refused to recant his belief in Judaism and is burned at the stake.

1523: Giles of Viterbo, who provided a safe haven for Elias Levita with whom he studied Hebrew and who studied Zohar with Baruch de Benevento was installed as Bishop of Veterbo e Tuscania.

1684: Twenty-six year old Samson Wertheimer, a native of Worms who became the chief rabbi of Hungary and Moravia and “a court Jew “ arrived in Vienna today following which he became an associate of banker Samuel Oppenheimer/

1763: The Touro Synagogue opened in Newport, Rhode Island. Sephardic Jews in Jamaica, Surinam, London and Amsterdam sponsored the building of this first major center of Jewish culture in America.  It is the oldest synagogue in the United States.The new edifice introduced an important innovation in synagogue design. The women’s gallery of this traditional synagogue featured a low balustrade that offered women an open view of the rest of the sanctuary. Women’s galleries in other “new world” and “old world” synagogues generally were constructed with high or opaque barriers meant to keep women out of the sight of men within the sanctuary. The change in Newport represented less a reform of traditional practice than a reflection of colonial American expectations for female religious expression. The strong presence of women in colonial American churches was an important way in which women demonstrated the religious piety expected of them by their society. Observing the behavior of their non-Jewish neighbors, colonial American Jewish women seemed to understand that it was more important that they be seen in the space of public worship than had been the case in their previous communities. Early American synagogue records suggest that unmarried young women both attended and asserted their presence in the synagogue. The open gallery layout of the Newport synagogue demonstrates a changing consciousness of what women’s synagogue role should be. Moreover, the open plan was imitated by most of the early American synagogues that followed Newport.”

1790: In Hungary, “the Diet drafted a bill showing that it intended to protect” the rights of the Jews as they had requested in the petition submitted to King Leopold II.

1796: Ezekiel Hart, the first Jew to be elected to public office in the British Empire, and his brothers Moses and Benjamin went into partnership to establish a brewery in Trois-Rivières, the M. and E. Hart Company. By the terms of the agreement the three agreed to hold equal shares in the firm. They had the financial backing of their father. Ezekiel Hart later withdrew from the M. and E. Hart Company. Ezekiel sold everything to Moses, apparently soon after their father's death in 1800. Subsequently Ezekiel followed in the footsteps of his father, who was in every respect his model. He went into the import and export trade, kept a general store, never let a good business deal pass, and acquired property. Besides inheriting the seigneury of Bécancour, he bought a great deal of land, mainly at Trois-Rivières and Cap-de-la-Madeleine.

1807: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Jacob Suares officiated at the wedding of Hyam Moise to Cecilia Woolf, “the daughter of the late Solomon Woolf.”

1807: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Jacob Suares officiated at the wedding of Nathan Hart, a Charleston merchant and Rachel Hart, “eldest daughter of Daniel Hart.”

1820: Yitzchak Alter and Feigele Lipschitz gave birth to Nechemya Alter.

1824: Birthdate of Oswald Hönigsmann, the native Rzeszow, Austrian Galicia who “was a member of both the city and communal councils of Lemberg.

1825: Birthdate of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. An opponent of slavery and a comparatively tolerant man, he was tolerant of both Jews and Muslims. “when asked why there were no laws against” the Jews of Brazil he answered: ‘I will not attack the Jews, as the God of my religion came from their people.’”

1825: In Frankfort, literary critic Karl Ludwig Borne who had converted to Christianity delivered an address in memory of the recently deceased author John Paul Richter.

1834: In Baiersdorf, Erlangen-Hochstadt, Bayern, Germany, David Isaak Seligman and Fanny Steinhardt gave birth to Isaak Seligmann who gained fame as Isaac Seligman, the brother who was in charge of the London branch of the “Seligman banking empire” and a leader in the Anglo-Jewish community.

1834: Fifteen year old Jacques Offenbach’s name was struck from the roll of students at the Paris Conservatoire indicating he had “left of his own free will.”

1839(25th of Kislev, 5600): Chanukah

1848: Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria. Born in 1830, Franz Josef reigned until his death in 1916.  Most people think of him as the Austrian Emperor who declared war on Serbia in 1914 and started World War I.  From the Jewish perspective, the last of the Hapsburg monarchs was one of the better rulers under which to live.  Despite the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Josef saw himself as the protector of his Jewish subjects.  At one point he told his ministers, “I will tolerate no Jew-baiting in my empire!”  He described anti-Semitism as “an illness” whose “excesses were awful.”  He is reliably reported to have publicly walked out of a theatre when performers began a series of anti-Semitic songs.  In 1895, he moved to block the anti-Semitic rabble-rouser Karl Lueger (one of Hitler’s early role-models) from becoming burgomeister of Vienna. In 1869, Franz Josef visited Jerusalem where he met with a group of local Jews and contributed to the building of a new synagogue.  Austrian Jews spoke highly of the Emperor during his reign and at the time of his death.  But his enemies provided the full measure of the monarch’s attitude towards his Jewish subjects.  Behind his back, they called him the “Judenkaiser.”

1840: At Camden, SC, Dr. Lawrence L. Cohen of Charleston, SC, married Miriam Louisa De Leon, the daughter of Dr. De Leon of Camden.

1851: Baron von Königswarter became deputy of the Seine department in the legislature, holding this seat until 1863 when he was defeated by Jules Simon.

1851: French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.

1851: In France, Adolphe Crémieux was arrested and was imprisoned for his opposition to Louis Napoleon. 

1852: Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Napoleon III. In one sense, he was a comic opera figure who used his name to gain power, Napoleon was not as weak as his enemies thought nor as wily a politician as he himself thought.  He did not dabble in anti-Semitism and counted Jews among his friends and supporters, especially if they were wealthy and successful.  His relations with the House of Rothschild were strained by the fact that the Jewish bankers had supported one of his opponents.  But Napoleon overlooked this since he needed their financial support.  On the other hand, Louis Napoleon was the sole supporter of reactionary Pope Leo IX who pursued a number of anti-Semitic practices.  However, this was more a case of power politics than personally held beliefs.  In the end the greatest impact Louis Napoleon had on the Jews was tangential. Louis Napoleon led France to defeat in the disastrous Franco-Prussian War in 1870.  The French desire to avenge this humiliation and regain its lost provinces was one of the contributing factors to World War I.  And of course, World I begot World War II and the Holocaust. 

1852: Today, “Wilhelm Hoffman one of the royal Prussian court preachers at the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin, co-founded Jerusalem's Association (Jerusalemsverein), a charitable organization which helped Samuel Gobat, the second Protestant bishop of Jerusalem who did not spend time trying to convert Jews and Muslims but “spent it proselytizing among Christians of other, mostly Orthodox denominations.” (Gobat and his wife are buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem)

1855: Articles of Incorporation for the Judah Touro Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1857: The Melbourne Herald described the interment of 4 of the participants in the goldfields uprising at the Eureka Stockade including a German-born Jew, Edward (Teddy) Thoen.

1858: “The Papal Abduction” published today described the response of the American government to the Mortara Affair.

1859: Abolitionist John Brown was hung after his unsuccessful raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry that was intended to be the first step in an uprising that would free the slaves. Three Jews – August Bondi, Jacob Benjamin and Theodore Weiner – had fought alongside Brown in his first armed attack that took place at Osawatomie, Kansas.

1861(29th of Kislev, 5622): Meïir Eisenstädter “one of the greatest Talmudists of the nineteenth century; died at Ungvár” today.

1867(5th of Kislev, 5628): Sixty-four year old German poet Lesser Ludwig upon whom King Frederick William III conferred “the gold medal for art and science and who wrote One thing to Life you owe: Struggle, or seek for rest. If you're an anvil, bear the blow; If a hammer, strike your best” passed away today in Berlin.

1867: Birthdate of Paul Cohnheim, the native of Labes, Pomerania who was educated at the gymnasium at Stettin and went on to become a physician in Germany.

1868: Disraeli’s first British government resigns.  Disraeli’s father may have had him baptized, but Disraeli’s enemies would never let him forget his Jewish ancestry.

1869: Birthdate of Jonas Cohen German-born, English philosopher.

1877(26th of Kislev, 5638): Seventy-five year old Michelangelo Asson the Verona born “physician and medical” author passed away today in Venice

1877: Over 500 people attended the annual meeting of the Society of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews. Mrs. P.J. Joachimsen, the President of the society, chaired the meeting.  The unusually large turnout was precipitated by concerns over financial irregularities combined with the election of officers. In her annual report, the President expressed her concern over financial irregularities involving other officers and the home’s superintendent.  Despite request that she serve another term, Mrs. Joachimsen has decided to end her service due to the contention she has had to deal with. 

1877: It was reported today that The Board of Delegates of American Israelites and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations have met and agreed to unite their organizations.  The new organization will meet every three years. A committee with 30 members from all four sections of the country will be empowered to handle administrative matters.

1878: The New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals is scheduled to hand down a ruling today in the case of Erie v Dringer which is on appeal from Vice Chancellor Van Fleet. Erie is the Erie Railroad.  Dringer is an Austrian born Jew who came to the United States in 1867 and went from driving a junk wagon in New York to owning his own junk yard in Paterson. He invented a unique machine for cutting up old iron which made it possible for him to buy large amount of scrap and made him the largest scrap dealer in the United States.  Eventually some of his less successful competitors brought suit against him, claiming among other things that he was effectively stealing scrap metal from the Erie Railroad.  The trial court ruled in favor of Dringer and his co-defendants.  The Plaintiffs appealed and now that case has been argued, a decision is awaited by all parties.

1880: Plans for Sarah Bernhardt’s final performances New York and opening performance in Boston were published today.

1881: It was reported today that the government in Belgrade will introduce a Jewish emancipation bill in Parliament in March that will conform to the Treaty of Berlin and that will place Serbian Jewish on an equal footing “with Jews who are Austrian subjects.”

1881: The fair sponsored by Temple Israel was suspended for this evening because it was erev Shabbat.

1881: “Riotous Doings In Hungary” described an attack on the Jews of Zalalövő in south-west Hungary.

1882(21st of Kislev, 5643): Seventy-two year old Leopold Stein, the rabbi at Frankfort-on-the-Main, a leader of the Reform movement who “composed the song "Tag des Herrn," to be sung to the music of "Kol Nidre" on the eve of the Day of Atonement” passed away today.

1883: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Hoboken (NJ) hosted an evening of entertainment including singing and recitation entitled “Spartacus” as the Odd Fellow’s Hall.

1883: “Herr Stocker” published today described the hostile reception Adlolph Stocker, the Jew-baiting German clergyman received on his recent visit to England. He was greeted by hostile mobs that were primarily made up German Socialist living in London who regard him “as the typical representative of that military tyranny under which they say the Fatherland is groaning.”

1883: It was reported today that the Adloph Stocker, the anti-Semitic clergyman is disliked by the younger members of the German court including the Crown Prince who has snubbed him on more than one occasion and by Chancellor Bismarck, “who has no sympathy with his Jew hating proclivities” as can be seen by his confidential relationship with Jewish banker Gerson Von Bleichroeder.

1883: “He Has No Such Prejudices” published today contains a denial by Hugo O’Neill that ever told a Jew that “We don’t want any of your people in our employ” using as proof that he employs Jews some of whom were recommended to him by Rabbi D.H. Nieto of the 19th Street Synagogue.

1883: “Riotous Doings In Hungary” published a report of a pogrom in south-west Hungary that was thwarted when police fired on a mob of thirty peasants armed with axes and guns killing two and arresting two more who gave up the name of their leaders.

1884: In New York, Jacob Asch, a formerly successful businessman, met an acquaintance, Jacob Starker, coming out of coffee house on the bowery and “complained to him of his bad luck and said he was broke.

1885: Die Königin von Saba (The Queen of Sheba) an opera in four acts by Karl Goldmark premiered in the United States at the Metropolitan Opera.

1885(24th of Kislev, 5646): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle.

1885: Rabbi Kohut delivered a sermon “on the victory of the Maccabees” at the Chanukah service at Ahavath Chesed at Lexington and 55th Street.

1888: J. Harpman the Treasurer of Temple Shaari Tov in Minneapolis, was reported to have responded to questions about the distribution of money an “unknown New Yorker” sent for the benefits of destitute Jews living in Dakota by saying that “there is no longer any need for the money among the Jews” because their needs have been met but he did object to the fact that when there was need for this money it “was held by the authorities in Bismarck.”

1890: As the cloak manufacturers were reported today to be strengthening their Cloak Manufacturers’ Association, many of the cloakmakers want Joseph Barondess to resume his role as leader of their union.

1890: Birthdate of Bohemian born German-American author Hans Janowitz whose military service in WW I turned him into a pacifist and who gave up his career in movies for the oil business.

1891: Based on information that firs appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, Joseph Pennell the American artist and photographer attributed his deportation from Russia to his photographing of the Jewish quarter of Kiev and not “his sketching of the Jews and poking about the Jewish quarters” which the authorities didn’t like either.

1892: In Jaffa, Magdalena and Born Plato von Usino gave birth to their old child Jonah Freiherr von Ustinow, the British anti-Nazi agent who was the father of actor Peter Ustinov.

1893: Birthdate of Russian-born, American composer Leo Ornstein. He was one of the leading American experimental composers and pianists of the early twentieth century. Though he gave his last public concert around the age of forty, he continued to compose through his late nineties. He passed away in 2002.

1894: Among the “New Novels” listed today are Jewish Tales by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, translated from the French by Harriet Lieber Cohen.

1894: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon this morning at Temple Emanu-El entitled “Why Do We Still Remain Jews?” in which he “declared that Judaism was a philosophy and not a system of creeds.”

1895: In Vienna, police dispersed an anti-Semitic mob that had gathered in the Prater to protest, in part the Emperor’s rejection of the anti-Semitic Dr Luger as Burgomaster of Vienna.

1895: Birthdate of Harriet Cohen, the native of Brixton who was the niece of Rabbi F. L. Cohen and the cousin of Irene Scharrer who also worked to help refugees from Hitler’s Germany which led to her becoming a Zionist.

1896: At today’s session of the 15th Biennial Council of the American Congregations, delegates are scheduled to elect officers, discuss the future of the Hebrew Union College and in the evening attend a banquet at the Standard Club followed by a ball.

1897: L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, runs a story on the Dreyfus Affair explaining that Dreyfus' treason is only to be expected from Jews.According to the Catholic paper:"The Jewish race, the deicide people, wandering throughout the world, bearing with it everywhere the pestiferous breath of treason....  And so, too, in the Dreyfus case...it is hardly surprising if we again find the Jew in the front ranks, or if we find that the betrayal of one's country has been Jewishly conspired and Jewishly executed." (As reported by Austin Cline)

1897: Birthdate of Soviet economist Evsei Liberman, the husband of Regina Horowitz and the brother-in-law of pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

1900: Herzl First visit of the Turkish agent Eduard Crespi in Vienna.

1900(10th of Kislev, 5661): Thirty-two year old poet Ludwig Jacobowski passed away today “in Berlin from the effects of meningitis.”

Oh, our bright days

Glänzen wie wenige Sterne, Shining like a few stars,

Als Trost für künftige Klage As a consolation for future action

Glüh'n sie aus goldener Ferne. Glüh'n them golden distance.

Nicht weinen, weil sie vorüber! Do not cry because it over!

Lächeln, weil sie gewesen! Smile because they have been!

Und werden die Tage auch trüber, And also the gloomy days

Unsere Sterne erlösen! Our star redeem!


1902: In order to renew the connection with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber, Herzl sends him a copy of "Altneuland".

1903: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today the in Camden, Jews “are asking for contributions for the erection of a synagogue.”

1905: “A Polish Jew” published today provide a review of a “melodramatic” novel Children of Fate: A Story of Passion by Adolph Danziger that “traces the career of a young man named Joseph, a Jew of Jobrzyn, in Poland including his love for a Christian noblewoman.

1905: “What Do the Zionists Want?” which first appeared in London advises that “if the Jews really want to found some sort of Hebrew State” they should the “very needy Sultan…a good sum down and a handsome tribute” for “a portion of Palestine under his suzerainty provided they are prepared to handsomely compensate its inhabitants for the expropriation.”

1905: Birthdate of Moses ("Moe") Asch, the founder of Folkways Records. He was the son of Yiddish language novelist and dramatist Sholem Asch and the younger brother of novelist Nathan Asch.

1905: “German Liberty” published today provided a review of Poultney Bigelow’s History of the German Struggle Liberty, a volume that includes a description of “the arrest in Munich of Saphir, a witty Austrian Jews and his subsequent expulsion from Bavarian territotry.”

1905: “Christians Urged to Contribute” published today included a statement by Samuel Goldstein, who has contributed $10 for the “poor suffering Jews of Russia, that “if every Christian” living in the United States read the recently published letters of Sherva Sandelman and Aaron Sheftshik, two Jewish children trapped in Russia “the amount sent in for the Jewish relief fund will be increased thrice the amount already received.”

1906:  Birthdate of award-winning engineer, Peter Carl Goldmark.  Born in Hungary, Goldmark came to the United States in the 1930’s.  Goldmark is best known for his invention of the l.p. or long-playing record which revolutionized the recording industry.  He also help develop the first commercial color television.  He passed away in December of 1977.

1908: Daoud Effendi Molho, First Dragoman of the Imperial Divan, Constantinople was nominated to serve as a Senator in Turkey. The functions of the First Dragoman were mainly political; he accompanied the ambassador or minister at his audiences of the sultan and usually of the ministers, and was charged with the core of diplomatic negotiations

1910: A Jew, Jacob Effendi de Vidas, ex-Censor of the Jewish Press at Smyrna is appointed Inspector of Elementary Schools at Mitylene (Lesbos).

1911: In the Bronx, Julius and Ethel (née Loewy) Fleischl gave birth to Harriet Fleischl who gained fame as attorney Harriet Fleischl Pilpel “who served as general counsel for both the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.”

1911 Big Jack Zelig, a Jewish gangster murdered Italian gangster Julie Morrell at the Stuyvesant Casino. Zelig believed Jack Sirocco and Chick Tricker had hired Morrell to kill him so he struck first.  This killing was part of the fight by the Jewish dominated Eastman gang to control the Five Points section of New York.

1914: A committee headed by Joseph Barondess of the Board of Education met Solomon Rabinowitz who uses the pen name Shalom Aleichem when he and his wife and two children arrived in New York today from Copenhagen aboard the Frederick VIII.

1914: Lt. Hugo Gutman was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class today.

1914: “Appeal For Aid For Jews” published today described the appeal by the American Jewish Relief Committee for aid their co-religionist because “the disaster, in which the whole world shares, fall with disproportionate weight upon the Jewish people more than nine million of whom live in the countries at war and over six million of these in the actual war zone in Poland, Galicia and the whole Russian frontier.

1914: It was reported today that the officers of the newly formed American Jewish Relief Committee are Chairman Louis Marshall, Secretary Cyrus L. Sulzberger and Treasurer Felix M. Warburg.

1914: A Committee composed of Joseph Barondess, Charles J. Minikes and Joseph Fallen met Solomon Rabinowitz (Sholom Aleichem) today

1914: Birthdate of composer of Adolph Green.  With his partner Betty Comden, he wrote numerous hits, including "New York, New York" (the version from the musical On The Town) and the screenplay for the film Singin' in the Rain.

1915(25th of Kislev, 5676): Chanukah

1915: Second night of a “fete” featuring historical tableaux held for the benefit of the Spanish and Portuguese Sisterhood which is chaired by Mrs. Mortimer M. Meken. 

1915:  Albert Einstein published the general theory of relativity.

1915: Representative Meyer London plans on submitting his proposal for a peace resolution to Congress which will include a request for $100,000 to help the neutral nations provide mediation between the belligerents.

1915: It was reported today that of the $229,000 being sent to aid Jews suffering in the war zones, $80,000 will go to Russia, $70,000 will go to that part of Poland under German control, $50,000 will go to Galicia, $25,000 will go to Palestine and $5,000 will go to Turkey.

1916: The Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering through the War whose members include “Leon Kaimaiky, editor The Jewish Daily News; Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, Rabbi Meyer Berlin, Albert Lucas and Harry Fishcel” announced in a report made public today “that it has collected to date $1,455,132.96” with the money coming “from 26,321 separate sources.”

1916: Isaiah "Jacques" Pais married Kaatje "Cato" van Kleeff.  This union of a Sephardic Jew and Ashkenazi Jew produced a son named Abraham Pais, the famed Dutch born physicist.

1917: As the Battle for Jerusalem reached its final phase the British began to replace its weary front-line forces with fresh troops including sending in the XX Corps led by the 10th (Irish) Division to replace the XXI Corps.

1917: In New York Pauline (Weiss) Blagman and Abraham Blagman gave birth to Sylvia Blagman who gained fame as Sylvia Sims “one of the most admired pop-jazz singers of her generation.” (As reported by Stephen Holden)

1917: In Baltimore, MD, two meetings were held at the Hippodrome and Palace Theatres sponsored by the Baltimore Conference for Jewish National Restoration in Palestine heard an address by Jacob De Haas, a former secretary to Theodore Herzl, after which resolutions were “unanimously and enthusiastically approved” expressing support for “the declaration of the British Government, promulgated by Mr. Balfour, favoring the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.”

1917(17th of Kislev, 5678): In Shreveport, LA, sixty-eight year old William Winter, a member of the legislature, city council and school board passed away today.

1917: “The campaign by which $5,000,000 is to be raised in New York City by December 16 for the Jewis War Relief Committee and the Jewish Welfare Boarding, working among soldiers and sailors was opened” tonight “with a dinner given at the Astor by Jacob H. Schiff, the Chairman of the committee” for “the Captains and members of the forty-five teams” which will be in charge of raising this sum in the next two weeks.

1917: It was reported today that “the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society, the clearing house through which thousands of Jewish refugees in the war stricken countries and in other lands have received news of their relatives in America has” recently “received hundreds of letters from those seeking word of relatives” in the United States and “in a majority of cases the society” which is led by President John L. Bernstein and Jacob R. Fain, the General Manager “has been able to find those sought.”

1919: Former Kaiser Wilhelm II wrote to Field Marshal August von Mackensen, denouncing his own abdication as the "deepest, most disgusting shame ever perpetrated by a person in history, the Germans have done to themselves... egged on and misled by the tribe of Judah ... Let no German ever forget this, nor rest until these parasites have been destroyed and exterminated from German soil!" Wilhelm advocated a "regular international all-worlds pogrom à la Russe" as "the best cure" and further believed that Jews were a "nuisance that humanity must get rid of some way or other. I believe the best thing would be gas!" (The Kaiser and His Court by John Rohl)

1923: Arnold "Arnie" Horween “kicked a 35 yard field goal and his brother Ralph ran for a touchdown as the Chicago Cardinals beat the Oorang Indians 22 to 19.

1923:  Birthdate of Meshulam Riklis, chief executive of McCrory Corporation.  After serving in the military during World War II, Riklis majored in mathematics at Ohio State University.  He worked his way through college as a Hebrew teacher before starting out on his very successful business career.

1924(5th of Kislev, 5685): Seventy-one year old Sir Edward Elias Sassoon, 2nd Baronet, the younger son of Elias David Son and the father of Victor Sassoon passed away today.

1924: “Man Against Man” a silent drama with a script by Adolf Lantz was released today in Germany.

1924: Sigmund Romberg’s operetta “The Student Prince” opened at Jolson’s 59th Street where it ran for 608 performances, making it “the longest running Broadway show of the 1920’s.”

1928: In Berlin, world première of Arnold Schönberg’s the Variations for Orchestra, op. 31.

1929: Today, Irving Berlin “first published” “Puttin’ On the Ritz” a song he had written in May 1927 and made famous in the movie “Blue Skies.”

1930: “Annie Christie” a German language film based on the play of the same name starring Salka Viertel was released today in the United States by MGM.

1930: Birthdate of economist Gary Stanley Becker, the native of Pottsville, PA who “was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992 and received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

1931: In the Weimar Republic, premiere of “Emil and the Detectives,” a “German adventure film with a script by Billy Wilder.”

1932: “If I Had a Million” an anthology film produced by Emanuel Cohen and whose directors included Ernst Lubitsch, Norman Taurog and Lothar Mendes was released in the United States today.

1933: Release of “Dancing Lady,” a musical comedy that showed the Jewish involvement in the movied industry. It featured the Three Stooges (all Jewish) in one of their first film.  Louis Silvers provided the music and David O. Selznick coproduced this film that was distributed by MGM.

1934(25th of Kislev, 5695): Chanukah

1934: Birthdate of Salomon Gottlob, who at the age of seen boarded Convoy 25 that left Drancy for Auschwitz on August, 28, 1942

1936: “Compliments of Mister Flow” a French mystery directed by Robert Siodmak was released today.

1936: In Berlin, “the public learned further details today of the new exchange law empowering the Exchange Control Service to seize and administer the fortune and property of any citizens suspected of an intention to go abroad permanently” – a law that did not apply to Jews because for some time now, “Jews suspected of a desire to flee the Reich were ordered to deposit a certain percentage of their fortunes with a Reichsbank subsidiary” without the benefit of any legal protection.

1936: At a dinner honoring Dr. Arthur J. Brown, Chairman of the American Committee on Religious Rights and Minorities, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise “declared that the time is come for the public opinion of mankind, expressing itself either through the league of Nations at Geneva or through its great religious organizations to speak earnestly and solemnly with respect to the lawless violation of the rights of many minority peoples in Europe and most especially of Jewish minorities.”

1937: The Palestine Post reported that out of the three Arab constables ambushed and kidnapped by an Arab terrorist gang near Shfaram, two were "tried" and murdered. The third constable was released to inform the authorities of the murder and the "trial."

1937:  The Palestinian Post reported that scores of bullets hit the Haifa-Kiryat Haim bus, but no one was wounded. 

1938: “Flirting with Fate,” a comedy produced by David Loew and music by Victor Young was released today in the United States by MGM.

1938: “The first Kindertransport arrived in Harwich, Great Britain today bringing some 200 children from a Jewish orphanage in Berlin which had been destroyed in the Kristallnacht pogrom.”

1939: Birthdate of Yael Dayan. This daughter of Moshe Dayan has made a career in her own right including that of an Israeli politician.

1939: “The Return of Doctor X” a science fiction horror film directed by Vincent Sherman and co-produced by Hal Wallis and Jack Warner was released today in the United States.

1940: Prime Minister Churchill replied to General Wavell’s concerns about letting the survivors of the Patria remain in Palestine.  Churchill wondered if even the most militant of Arabs could find fault with what Churchill described as a humanitarian gesture.  He wondered if the Arab commitment to the cause of the fight against the Nazis was so slender that such an event as this could have such disastrous consequences.  At the same time, Churchill assured Wavell that there would not be a repetition of the Patria since all future illegal Jewish immigrants would be imprisoned in Mauritius for the duration of the war.

1940(2nd of Kislev): Fifty-five year old Rabbi Bernard Revel passed away. Born in Lithuania, he came to the United States after the Russian Revolution of 1905, entered NYU and received an MA in 1909. In 1915, he was named the first President of Yeshiva College, a position he held at the time of his death.  This blog cannot do justice to his life and contributions to the Jewish people.  You can begin to learn more about him at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/revel.html

1941: Release date for “Ball of Fire,” a comedic treatment of cloistered intellectuals produced by Samuel Goldwyn written by Billie Wilder.

1941: U.S. premiere of “All Through the Night” directed by Vincent Sherman, produced by Hal Wallis and Jerry Wald and based on a story by Leo Rosten with Phil Silvers play the “Waiter” and Peter Lorre as “Pepi.”

1942: Jews in 30 countries hold a day of prayer and fasting for European Jews.

1942: After being screened for the Office of War Information's Bureau of Motion Pictures today, George Cukor’s “Keeper of the Flame” “was disapproved by the Bureau’s chief, Lowell Mellet.

1942: The first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated in Chicago, Illinois. At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and his team achieved the world's first artificial nuclear chain reaction, in a makeshift lab underneath the University's football stands at Stagg Field. Work on the experimental pile had begun on 16 Nov 1942. It was a prodigious effort. Physicists and staffers, working around the clock, built a lattice of 57 layers of uranium metal and uranium oxide embedded in graphite blocks. A wooden structure supported the graphite pile. The chain reaction was part of the Manhattan Project, a secret wartime project to develop nuclear weapons, which initiated the modern nuclear age. This was a discovery that changed the world. 

1943: The first RSHA transport reached Birkenau from Vienna.

1943: In Toronto, Ontario MPP Allan Grossman and his wife gave birth to Larry Grossman who would follow his father into Parliament for what would be a 32 year stint of father/son legislative service.

1943:  One hundred Jews from Vienna arrive at Auschwitz.

1944: In Budapest, three Jews were killed when gangs attacked the building in which they were living even though it was under Swiss Protection. Some Swiss diplomats, like their Swedish counterparts, used the diplomatic concept of extra-territoriality to provide safe haven for Hungarian Jews.  Unfortunately, the various forces of anti-Semitism operating in the Hungarian capital did not always respect the niceties of international law.

1944(16th of Kislev, 5705):  Russian born painter and pianist Josef Lhévinne, whose birth name was Joseph Arkadievich Levin passed away in New York City just a few days before his 70th birthday.

1947: First day of a three-day general strike called by the Arab Higher Committee to protest the UN vote for partition.

1947: Birthdate of British businessman Michael Phillip Green who founded Carlton Communication with his brother David.

1947: Today “Joseph and Tilly Newman made their first trip to London their son’s MBE from the king who expressed his pleasure at being to acknowledge Isidore Newman’s gallantry in this way.”

1947: Bands of Arabs engage in violent protests and murderous attacks on the Jewish populace. Three Jews were shot dead in the Old City.  Hundreds of Arab youths marched towards Zion Square in the center of Jerusalem chanting “Death to the Jews.” Fighting broke out in Jerusalem’s Commercial Centre between marauding Arab mobs and Jews seeking to protect their property.

1947: On the second day of general strike called by the Arab Higher Committee 200 Arabs broke into the commercial center in Jerusalem, looting and burning Jewish owned shops.  The British troops made no effort to intervene.  They did prevent a platoon of Haganah troops from coming to the aid of the embattled Jews.

1948: The Iraq government “suggested” to oil companies operating in Iraq, that no Jewish employees be accepted.

1950: NBC broadcast the last episode of “The Hank McCune Show,’ a sit-com produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, the Iowa born lawyer turned film producer.

1951: "Borscht Capades" closes at Royale Theater in New York City after 90 performances.  Mickey Katz and his son Joel Grey both appeared in this short-lived musical.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported on the new Israeli peace initiative which urged the scrapping of all old UN resolutions and provided for negotiations based on the consideration of all security, territorial, refugee, economic and regional questions, as well as scientific, cultural and technical cooperation.

1953: Eugene Ferkauf opened the first of E.J. Korvette Stores in what had been a Long Island potato field.

1954: The U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to censure Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI) for refusing to cooperate with a Senate subcommittee that was investigating his finances. This was a backdoor way for the Senate to express its displeasure over the abusive investigative tactics of the Senator which many Jews opposed.  On the other hand, the Senator’s right-hand man was none other than Roy Cohn, the Jewish lawyer from New York.

1956: In Havana Lillian Samson Agostini, a schoolteacher whose father was a Jewish refugee from German and Esteban Echevarria gave birth to Esteban Ernesto Echevarría Samson who gained fame as actor Steve Bauer.

1957(9th of Kislev, 5718): Fifty-seven year old Dr. Manfred J. Sakel passed away.  Born in 1900, Manfred Joshua Sakel was a Polish born neurophysiologist and psychiatrist who introduced insulin-shock therapy for schizophrenics and other mental patients in 1927, while a young doctor in Vienna. Insulin-induced coma and convulsions, due to the low level of glucose attained in the blood (hypoglicemic crisis) improved the mental state of drug addicts and psychotics, sometimes dramatically. His findings indicated that up to 88% of his patients improved with insulin shock therapy. His method became widely applied for many years in mental institutions worldwide. He immigrated to the U.S. ahead of WW II. in 1936. "Sakel's Therapy" is still used in Europe, but in the U.S. it has been superseded by electroconvulsive therapy and other means of treatment.

1959: “Five Finger Exercise,” a play by Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway.

1962: Birthdate of David Levi, the native of Tel Aviv who played soccer for Hapoel Ramat Gan before becoming a professional poker player who “has won over $2.6 million in live tournaments.”

1962: Police estimated that a crowd of 25,000 mourners attended the funeral service for Rabbi Aaron Kotler held the synagogue of Congregation Sons Of Israel Kalwarier on Pike Street between East Broadway and Henry Streets.

1968: President Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor.  Kissinger was a surprise choice for the job for two reasons. He had supported Nelson Rockefeller and strongly questioned Nixon’s fitness for the job. And, as we have found out from the Nixon Tapes, Richard Nixon had an anti-Semitic streak that bordered on the paranoid. 

1968: In Arcadia, CA, Susan (née Franzblau), a psychology professor, and Martin Sofer, a Conservative Jewish rabbi gave birth to actress Rena Sofer who appears on the soap “General Hospital” and is “a descendant of Baal Shem Tov and of the Chasam Sofer through her father's family.”

1968: Madison Square Garden is scheduled to host one of the events marking the 125th anniversary of the found of B’nai B’rith

1970: Birthdate of comedic actress Sarah Silverman.

1971: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain form the United Arab Emirates.

1973: King Hussein of Jordan said that there could no peace in the area until Israeli forces had completely withdrawn from all lands taken in 1967 including all of Jerusalem

1973: French authorities forestalled a terrorists attack when they arrested 2 Palestinians, 1 Algerian and 1 Turk carrying weapons and explosive which had been brought into the country “for unknown purposes

1973: Yonatan Netanyahu wrote to his brother Benjamin: "We're preparing for war, and it's hard to know what to expect. What I'm positive of is that there will be a next round, and others after that. But I would rather opt for living here in continual battle than for becoming part of the wandering Jewish people. Any compromise will simply hasten the end. As I don't intend to tell my grandchildren about the Jewish State in the twentieth century as a mere brief and transient episode in thousands of years of wandering, I intend to hold on here with all my might.”

1974: As the Soviets crackdown on dissidents, including refusniks, author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was arrested in Moscow in the first step to his being deported and stripped of his citizenship.

1977:  In the aftermath of Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, Moshe Dayan and Hassan Tuhami, the Egyptian Deputy Prime minister held a second secret meeting in Morocco.  Dayan provided a proposal for the restoration of Egyptian sovereignty over the Sinai. Much to Dayan’s chagrin, Tuhami is less than thrilled with the offer.  It is obvious that there is big gap between Sadat’s spectacular flight to Jerusalem and his claims to want piece and the achievement of that stated outcome.

1977: Castle Hill, with a 59 room mansion designed by Chicago architect David Adler was placed on the National Register of Historic Places today.

1978: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" featuring Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand makes it to the top spot on the charts.

1981(6th of Kislev, 5742): Hershey Kay, American born composer and arranger, passed away

1982(16th of Kislev, 5743): Marty Feldman, the comedic actor featured in the film Young Frankenstein, passed away.

1983: Michael Jackson's Thriller, an American 13-minute music video for the song of the same name with music by Elmer Bernstein was released today,.

1983: Dr. Moisés Carlos Bentes Ruah and Catarina Lia Azancot Korn gave birth to Daniela Sofia Korn Ruah a Portuguese-American Jewish actress best known for playing NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye in the CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles.

1984: Him With His Foot In His Mouth and Other Stories by Saul Bellow and Lives of the Poets: Six Stories and a Novella by E. L. Doctorow are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1987(11th of Kislev, 5748): Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, a Soviet scientist who played a key role in the development of nuclear weapons in the U.S.S.R.  passed away.

1988: Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv, named Moshe Zanbar chairman and David Friedman managing director.

1988: A man carrying the passport of a former Israeli official linked to the Iran-contra scandal was killed in a plane crash, Government officials said today. The man was tentatively identified by a passport found on his body as Amiram Nir, said a statement from the Attorney General's office in the state of Michoacan. The statement said the passport was issued in Tel Aviv and contained a Mexican visa issued Nov. 25 by the Mexican Embassy in London. It said the passenger carrying the passport had given the name Pat Weber when he registered for the flight, prompting authorities to withhold positive identification. The plane, belonging to the Aerotaxis of Uruapan line, took off from Uruapan at about 3:30 P.M. on Wednesday and crashed in the village of Rio del Salto, near Ciudad Hidalgo, about 30 minutes later, the statement said. The pilot of the Cessna T210 also was killed in the crash Wednesday and two people were badly hurt, the Mexican statement said. It said engine failure may have been the cause. Mr. Nir, 38 years old, was an important liaison in secret arms deals involving the United States' sale of weapons to Iran. As special assistant for counterterrorism issues to Shimon Peres, then the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Nir directed the Israeli intermediary role in the arms sales to Teheran by which the Reagan Administration hoped to secure the release of American hostages held in Lebanon. Among Mr. Nir's many contacts was Vice President Bush, whom he met in Jerusalem in July 1986. A Bush aide who was present at the meeting, Craig Fuller, prepared a summary of the meeting which quotes Mr. Nir describing unmistakable arms-for-hostages arrangements, six months before Mr. Bush says he was aware that the goal of the arms sales was the release of hostages. Mr. Bush has maintained that he didn't fully understand Mr. Nir. Mr. Nir met often with Oliver L. North, who testified later that it was the Israeli official who conceived the idea of diverting profits from the arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras. Mr. Nir's death would not affect the prosecution of Mr. North or any other figures in the Iran-contra affair. The independent counsel in the Iran-contra matter, Lawrence E. Walsh, prepared his case against Mr. North without Mr. Nir's testimony because the Israeli Government refused to permit Mr. Walsh to interrogate him.

1988: “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” a police comedy directed by David Zucker, who wrote the script along with Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams was released in the United States today.

1990: The New York Times reported that Israel has undertaken an investment initiative designed to lure high-tech American and European companies to invest in its economy. The program was developed by Moshe Nissim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade.

1990(15th of Kislev, 5751): Ninety year old composer Aaron Copland some of whose best known works include Rodeo, Billy the Kid, Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring passed away today. http://www.milkenarchive.org/people/view/all/553/Copland,+Aaron


1990(15th of Kislev, 5751): Terrorist conducted a deadly attack on a bus in Tel Aviv.

1991(25th of Kislev, 5752): Chanukah

1993: “Slaughter of the Innocents” directed and written by American investment professional James Glickenhaus was released in the United States today by Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment.

1994: Jury finds Heidi Fleiss guilty of running a call girl ring

1994: Tonight, “with a rousing encore of Johann Strauss Sr.'s "Radetzky March" that had a stadium audience of 14,000 people chanting for more, Zubin Mehta put the finishing touch to a long-standing ambition: bringing the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to India, and better still to Bombay, the hometown Mr. Mehta left 40 years ago to begin his musical career. The orchestra's five concerts in Bombay and New Delhi broke a political taboo that had kept it from performing in India for three decades, since Mr. Mehta began his long association with this Tel Aviv-based symphony. The invitation the Indian Government had long blocked came after India and Israel opened embassies in each other's capitals two years ago and embarked on a rapid increase in economic and cultural ties. The concert's high point was a performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Itzhak Perlman as soloist. Like Mr. Mehta and the 120-member orchestra, Mr. Perlman took no fee for the tour, which was financed largely with commercial sponsorship. Some Indian writers have tried to explain Mr. Mehta's affection for the Israel Philharmonic, an orchestra he says he has been closer to than any other he has served as music director, in terms of the shared experience of persecution among Parsis and Jews. But Mr. Mehta said that this was not what bound him to the orchestra. "The Israel Philharmonic is something I do because I like the country so much," he said. "By bringing the orchestra here, I think we will make millions of Indians conscious of what Israel really is."

1997: MCI Center opens in Washington, DC, as the Wizards played the Seattle SuperSonics.  The Wizards are owned by Abe Pollin and the MCI Center, which helped to rejuvenate downtown Washington, was the product of this forty year fixture of the basketball and Jewish community.

1998: In Israel, one person is injured in a stabbing attack.

2001: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 2001 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks a physician and author raised as an Orthodox Jew.

2001(17th of Kislev, 5762):A suicide bombing on an Egged bus #16 in Haifa shortly after 12:00 kills 15 people. The victims: Tatiana Borovik, 23, of Haifa; Mara Fishman, 51, of Haifa; Ina Frenkel, 60, of Haifa; Riki Hadad, 30, of Yokne’am; Ronen Kahalon, 30, of Haifa; Samion Kalik, 64, of Haifa; Mark Khotimliansky, 75, of Haifa; Cecilia Kozamin, 76, of Haifa; Yelena Lomakin, 62, of Haifa; Rosaria Reyes, 42, of the Philippines; Yitzhak Ringel, 41, of Haifa; Rassim Safulin, 78, of Haifa; Leah Strick, 73, of Haifa; Faina Zabiogailu, 64, of Haifa; Mikhail Zaraisky, 71, of Haifa. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

2001(17th of Kislev, 5762): One person was killed when terrorist fired on a car “near Elei Sinai.”

2002(27th of Kislev, 5763): Seventy-eight year old Edgar Sherick the movie and television producer whose most lasting contribution to American culture was his role in the creation of “ABC’s Wide World of Sports, passed away today. (As reported by Bill Carter)

2004: A Broadway revival of “Pacific Overtures,” a musical written by Stephen Sondheim, opened at Studio 54.

2004: “The Syrian Bride” was released today in Israel.

2005(1st of Kislev, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2005(1st of Kislev, 5766): American painter Nat Mayer Shapiro passed away at the age of 86.

2005: Haaretz reported that thousands of Ethiopian immigrants gathered along the Sherover-Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem's Old City to celebrate Sigad - the Ethiopian Jewish holiday that for 2,500 years in exile marked the yearning for Zion.

2005: Nicholas F Taubman began serving as United States Ambassador to Romania.

2005: “60 years later, Task Force Baum succeeds” published today reminds of the events surrounding the attempt to rescue Lt. Col. John K. Waters, the son-in-law of General George Patton led by its namesake, Major Abe Baum.  (Baum was Jewish which was part of the risk for a mission that was going to work behind the Nazi lines)

2006: After 11 months, Kaddish is recited for the last time by the family of Judy Rosenstein, of blessed memory. 

2006: The Economist Magazine of this date reviewed Jonathan I. Israel’s Enlightenment Contested in which he contends that the Dutch led by Spinoza were the real “torchbearers of the enlightenment” and not the English of the time whom he describes as apologists for colonialism and enemies of equality.

2007: Jewish Book Month comes to an end.

2007: After 20 years of renovation work that cost US$20 million, and that was overseen by the non-profit Museum at Eldridge Street the Eldridge Street Synagogue reopened today to the public. It continues to serve as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, with regular weekly services on the Sabbath and Holidays, and is also the Museum at Eldridge Street offering informative tours that relate to American Jewish history, the history of the Lower East Side and immigration

2007: In Kensington, MD, children's author and illustrator Sallie Lowenstein, author of Waiting for Eugene and The Festival of Lights, discusses the evolving state of children's books. Lowenstein, also a keen book collector, will have a number of her treasures on display to help enliven the discussion.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section features reviews of books on Jewish topics and/or by Jewish authors including A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman by veteran underground cartoonist Sharon Rudahl, Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan one of the founders of the Actus Tragicus collective of Israeli cartoonists and I Killed Adolf Hitler by the Norwegian cartoonist known simply as Jason

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section lists the Books of 2007 including the following books on Jewish topics and/or by Jewish authors including Lost Genius, by Kevin Bazzana, The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein, by Martin Duberman, Einstein, by Jurgen Neffe, Calvin Coolidge, by David Greenberg, Ike, by Michael Korda, Opening Day by Jonathan Eig, Reality Show by Howard Kurtz, The Art of Political Murder, by Francisco Goldman, Power, Faith, and Fantasy, by Michael B. Oren, The Grand Surprise, edited by Stephen Pascal, Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks, A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories, by Primo Levi, Away, by Amy Bloom, Imposture, by Benjamin Markovits and The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon.

2008: As part of the Oud Festival sponsored by Confederation House, Violet Salameh will perform a program of works dedicated to the three great divas of the classical Arabic music world - Layla Morad, Asmahan and Oum Koulthoum at the Jerusalem Theater

2008: In New York, AFHUS Einstein Award Gala Honoring Bill Gates. Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson will is the guest speaker. Proceeds will benefit pioneering research at The Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, developing innovative solutions to feeding the world through sustainable agriculture.

2008: Hours after voting began this morning, the Labor party postponed the primary elections after computerized voting systems malfunctioned in several locales around the country. Initially party leader Ehud Barak wanted to postpone the primary by eight days, to December 10, but on Tuesday afternoon, the party's secretary general, MK Eitan Cabel, announced that the primary will be held on Thursday, December 4th.

2008: Throngs of mourners packed the funerals of the six Jews killed in last week's terror attack in India. The six died after gunmen struck the Chabad House, the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch movement, last Wednesday. After a two-day standoff, four Israelis, an American Jew and a Mexican woman were dead. The dead included Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, his 28-year-old wife, Rivka, 38-year-old Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum, 28-year old Bentzion Kruman and 50-year-old Norma Shvarzblat-Rabinovich.

2009: The trial of Heinrich Boere, a man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad  and has said that he was proud about being chosen to fight for the Nazis is scheduled to resume today.

2009(15th of Kislev, 5770): Sixty-four year old Eric Wolfson the multi-talented musician who “was born into a Jewish family, in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow and raised in the Pollokshields area” passed away today.

2009(15th of Kislev, 5770): Eighty-one year old “Harold A. Ackerman, a federal judge in New Jersey for three decades whose hundreds of cases included trials of crooked politicians, corrupt union officials and reputed organized crime chieftains, died today at his home in West Orange, N.J. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2009(15th of Kislev, 5770)L Eight-six year old Samuel Hirsch, the co-founder of the Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition and a life-long champion of civil rights and the rights of American workers passed away today.

2009: David Wessel, the economics editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of the Capital column, discusses and signs his new book, In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic, at the Arlington Central Library in Arlington, VA.

2009: Chabad and JCCNV present “Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition” featuring Laibl Wolf, noted Australian Mystic, author of “Practical Kabala” and originator of Mind-Yoga.

2010: Lynda Barry and Maira Kalman are scheduled to “show slides of their work, compare notes and talk about their experiences as creators in many genres” in a program entitled “Words and Pictures” at the 92nd Street Y.

2010: Jewish children's author Jacqueline Jules is scheduled to read from her book, The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2010: A huge brushfire was raging across the Carmel Mountains near Haifa this afternoon, resulting in the death of some 40 people and hurting dozens of others, among them prison guards and firemen. Firefighting crews were still battling with the flames into the evening hours and expressed no hope of controlling the fire soon. "We lost all control of the fire," said the Haifa firefighting services spokesman on Thursday. "There aren't enough firefighting resources in Israel in order to put out the fire," he said. The 40 individuals who died were students in the Prison Service's prison guard course who were being brought to the Damon Prison to aid in evacuating the prisoners there. According to an initial investigation of the events, a tree fell down in the middle of the road the bus was taking, trapping the bus between the flames. As a result, 40 of the 50 prison guards who were on the bus died from the flames. Seven individuals were evacuated from the scene in serious condition and transferred to Haifa hospitals. Firefighting forces have been working without success on putting out the flames since the afternoon hours, trying to battle the massive blaze which has already burned down at least 7,000 dunams of natural forest. Magen David Adom Director General Eli Bin defined the fire as "the worst disaster in Israel's history."

2010: Two Palestinian terrorists were killed on the Gaza border this morning, when IDF troops opened fire on a number of suspects on the northern end of the Strip. The terrorists were apparently trying to infiltrate a kibbutz on the Gaza border.

2010: In Gainesville, FL, The Lubavitch Chabbad Jewish Center celebrated the second of the eight day Hanukah holiday with a twelve foot Menorah filled with toys for hospitalized children

2010: Today marked the 30th anniversary the death of French-Jewish novelist Romain Gary,

2010: As Irving Picard sought to get control of funds related to the Madoff Ponzi Scheme non-profits targeted by clawback suits yesterday and today include the Joseph Persky Foundation, the Miles and Shirley Fitterman Charitable Foundation, and the Melvin B. Nessel Foundation. In all, over 20 charities and foundations were sued.

2011: The Heist Project is scheduled to perform works by Israeli choreographer Idan Sharabi

2011: David Skorton, the President of Cornell accompanied Billy Joel on flute, during Joel's rendition of "She's Always a Woman" at a concert at Cornell University's Bailey Hall

2011: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called on Israel today to take diplomatic steps to address what he described as its growing isolation in the Middle East

2011: Roni Fuchs and Zeev Frenkiel, the two Israeli businessmen sentenced to imprisonment in Georgia earlier this year for allegedly offering seven-million-dollars-worth of bribes to the Georgian deputy finance minister, returned to Israel today after being pardoned.

2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including  A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish by Joshua Eli Plaut, Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, A Ship Without a Sail: The Life of Lorenz Hart by Gary Marmorstein, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs by Michael Feinstein and Ian Jackman and We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Cohen

2012: Those attending the ECLC Barnes and Noble Book Fair scheduled to take place in Fairfax, VA, will have a chance to have their picture taken “with a special Chanukah Dreidel.”

2012: In Minneapolis, MN, the Sabes Jewish Community Center is scheduled to sponsor, How Do You Spell Chanukah?? This is “a unique evening of comedy, fun, music and dreidel spinning and a FUNdraiser for the 2013 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.”

2012: Ambassador Richard Schifter is scheduled to “speak about his childhood in Vienna, escape after the Nazi takeover, and his return to Europe as a Ritchie Boy” at today annual meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington  

2012: AFIPO is scheduled its annual Family Music Day!

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz decided today to confiscate the tax revenues that Israel collected for the Palestinian Authority during the month of November, and use it to offset the PA's debt to Israel's Electric Corporation.

2012: “In a game against the Miami Dolphins” Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots “broke his right foot and was placed on injured reserve”

2012: Holocaust survivors gathered in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem this morning to protest the Treasury’s handling of the budget allocated to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, which reimburses survivors’ annual medical expenses.

2013: “Jerusalem on a Plate” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The Center for Jewish Culture is scheduled to present “Welcome to America: Memories of a Bintel Brief.

2013: The Syrian war continues to spill over into Israel: IDF forces on the Golan Heights near the Syria border were shot at from a Syrian army outpost today. The IDF returned fire and identified a direct hit on a Syrian soldier. No IDF soldiers were injured. (As reported by Ari Yashar)

2013: “Seventy-five years after fleeing Nazi Germany for Britain the children of Kindertransport recall how they were saved from Hitler’s murder machine”

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this morning with Pope Francis at the Vatican and presented the pontiff with a copy of his late father’s book about the Spanish Inquisition. (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014(10th of Kislev): Yarhrzeit for the first mass of Jews who were murdered during the Rumbula Massacre near Riga, Latvia that would ultimately claim the lives of more than 25,000 Jews.

2014: On “Giving Tuesday” the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to seek support for the Opportunity Scholarships program which “helps to ensure that all students, regardless of school means, have the opportunity to learn the Museum’s message of universal tolerance.”

2014: The YIVO is scheduled to present a lecture-concert “Klezmer Influences in American Jewish Music.

2014: The House of Representatives passed the No Social Security Act for Nazis today which ” closed a loophole that had allowed ex-Nazis who lied about their past when immigrating to the United States — and been identified and deported by the Justice Department — to continue receiving Social Security and other benefits.”

2014: “France voted to recognize Palestine as a state, which the Israeli embassy in Paris says sends “the wrong message to leaders and people in the region.”

2014: “The ruling Likud faction has formally decided to vote in favor of opposition-proposed bills on the Knesset docket that would dissolve the Knesset and bring about early elections, party sources told The Times of Israel today.” (As reported by Haviv Rettig Gur and Ricky Ben-David)

2014: In Chicago, the Spertus Book Meetup is scheduled to discuss The Family by David Laskin.

2015: “Singer-musician Judith Berkson is scheduled to present arrangements of cantorial music from YIVO’s sound archives” at the Center for Jewish History.

2015: The Consulate General of Israel in New York and the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue are scheduled to host a reception and panel discussion commemorating “The Exodus of Jews from Arab Countries.”

2015: In Florida, Boca Raton Synagogue is scheduled to host Jeffrey Goldberg, the National Correspondent for The Atlantic speaking on “Battleground for Truth: Confronting Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.”

2015(20th of Kislev): Day two of the Rosh HaShanah of Chassidus

2015(20th of Kislev): Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner, the dean of the Chaim Berlin yeshiva in New York.

2016: “Hannah and the moonlit Dress” is scheduled to open at the 14th Street Y.

2016: The 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival is scheduled to continue this morning at the JCC Manhattan followed this evening by the New Israel Fund’s New Generations and JCC 20s + 30s Shabbat dinner featuring conversations with guest filmmakers.

2016: Marina Rustow, the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East at Princeton University, is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Fatimid State Documents, Serial Recyclers and the Cairo Geniza” at the Iowa Memorial Union on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

 

 

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