Saturday, December 24, 2016

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


December 25

0337(14th of Tevet, 4098): Earliest possible date on which Christmas was reported to have been celebrated on December 25th. 

496: Baptism of Clovis I, the Frankish ruler who united all the tribes of Gaul (France) under one ruler. His adoption of Catholicism had little no impact on his Jewish subjects who mingled freely with their Christian and pagan brethren until King Dagobert tried to expel them in the 7th century.

800: Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.  Charlemagne supported most of the policies and edicts Pope Gregory the Great and Pope Stephen IV.  However, he ignored their edicts concerning Jews.  For the most part, Jews were allowed to participate in the economic and social life of the Empire within the limits of Medieval Society.  The Jews of Narbonne (France) supported Charlemagne’s father Pepin in his war with the Moslems and Charlemagne remembered this. Unfortunately, Charlemagne’s policies toward the Jews died with him in 814.

1000: At the start of the 11th century, Hungary was established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.  In this case, Christian means Roman Catholic.  Religious belief aside, Stephen used Catholicism as an instrument of national unification as he established his rule over pagans and those of his subjects who sought support from the Byzantine (Eastern Orthodox) Empire.  Based on archeological evidence Jews had probably been living in what was now Hungary since the third century.  The first written mention of Jews living in Hungary is found in a letter from the end of 10th century written by the famous Sephard, Hasdai ibn Shaprut. There were enough Jews living in Hungary by the end of the 11th century that at the council of Szabolcs, the Church prohibited marriages between Jews and Christians, work on Christian festivals, and the purchase of slaves. At the same time, the Hungarian King Kolman took measures to protect Hungarian Jews from Crusaders passing through the kingdom.

1066: Coronation of William the Conqueror as king of England.  There is no record of a Jewish community in England before Norman conquests.  A group of Jews arrived from Rouen (France) in London at the start of William’s reign.  There is no record as to why William allowed this and his immediate successors followed policies that were inimical to Jewish interests.

1100: Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.  This is one of those events loaded with subtle irony.  This coronation was the culmination of the First Crusade, during which the Christian warriors drove the Jews from the City of David. In other words, if Jesus had been alive for Baldwin’s coronation, he wouldn’t have been able to attend the event.   Please note, Baldwin and his successors were not laying claim to the throne of King David

1137: Birthdate of Saladin, the Moslem leader who drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem and whose family physician was reported to be Maimonides. (As reported by Austin Cline)

1194: In Palermo, coronation of Henry VI as King of Sicily, during whose reign anti-Semitic riots took place all along the Rhine but not in southern Italy.

1312: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Judenburg and Furstenfeld, Austria

1369: King Frederick III of Sicily issued a decree requiring all Jews to wear a special identification badge.

1406: In Toledo 25 year old Henry III, the King of Castile and Leon who employed a Moses Zaral, a converso as a physician passed, away today.

1406: John II, whose birth was commemorated by poem written by Moses Zaral his father’s physician, began his reign as King of Castile and Leon today.

1480: Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin, both Dominican friars arrived in Seville. Seville’s population included a significant number of New Christians, who enjoyed the comparative quite of the city.  That ended with the arrival of the friars who brought the Inquisition with them.

1564: Birthdate of Johannes Buxtorf “a celebrated Hebraist, the Professor of Hebrew for 39 years at Basel, known by the title “Master of Rabbis” and author of Synagoga Judaica which docments “the customs and society of German Jewry.”

1565: “Pius IV who issued a bull that improved the conditions of the Jews began his papacy today. The allowed them to stop wearing their yellow cap, buy land up to the value of 1,500 ducats and to trade in things other than old clothes. While they could speak with Christians, they could not have Christian servants. He also allowed the Jews to publish the Talmud as long as they did not use that word in the publication.

1559: Today, Giovanni Angelo Medici was elected Pius IV, the Pope “who relaxed a variety of restrictions on Jewish life that had been imposed by his predecessor, Paul IV, but were restored by Pius V.

1599: Portuguese settlers establish the village of Natal in Brazil.  At this time, the only Jews living in Brazil were New Christians or Conversos.  Dutch forces would occupy Natal from1633 to 1654, a period during which Jewish communities flourished under the religious toleration brought from Holland.  

1659: Thomas Violet, a London goldsmith appealed to the Judges asking they overturn the dispensation the late Oliver Cromwell had given the Jews to build a “Portuguese synagogue” that had “opened in 1656.”

1777(28th of Kislev, 5538): As the remnants of Washington’s Army shiver at Valley Forge, observance of Chanukah

1777:Isaac and Esther Baze gave birth to Abraham Montel the husband of Naumy Vidal-Naquet.

1790: In London, “The Times described” John “King, with heavy-handed sarcasm, as “without any matter of doubt one of the most respectable characters in this country, and until the later attack on him, the breath of infamy never blew on his reputation. In all his dealings with mankind he has been the strict, upright, honest man. He never took advantage of the distresses of a fellow creature , in order to rob him of his property – he never extracted exorbitant interest for discounting a bill – he was justly paid every debt he contracted to the uttermost farthing; and in a domestic line of life has proved himself a fond – faithful – loving husband – a tender affectionate and praiseworthy parent, and a feeling steady and sincere friend. Chaste in all his actions – virtuous in every sentiment – and unsullied in his reputation as a Man, a Money Lender, a Jew, and a Christian.”   (Editor’s Note:  John King was born Jacob Rey who was the son of Moses Rey and was called by “Jew King” even though he was never considered to be a leader of the Anglo-Jewish Community.  For more see “The Chequered Career of ‘Jew’ King: a Study in Anglo-Jewish Social History” by Todd M. Endelman.)

1796(25th of Kislev, 5557): Chanukah

1805(4th of Tevet, 5566): Isaac Satanow, the Polish native who settled in Berlin where he developed his intellectual and writing skills under Daniel Itzig and David Friedlander passed away today.

1808: In the seemingly never ending intrigue swirling around the German prince and his Jewish financier, sixteen year old Jacob Rothschild, son of A.M. Rothschild arrived in Prague with a chest full of papers belonging to Wilhelm, the exiled Landgrave.

1824(1st of Tevet, 5582): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1824(1st of Tevet, 5582): Eighty year old Sir Sampson Gideon, 1st Baron of Eardly whose father had been denied his rightful honors because he was a practicing Jew, passed away today.

1825: Birthdate of Jindřich Opper, the native of Blovice, Bohemia who gained fame a French journalist Henri Blowitz who predicted the French defeat during the Franco-Prussian War, turned a diplomatic post with the government of the Third Republic and scored a journalist coup when “he obtained a copy of the Treaty of Berlin” and published it ahead of his competitors.

1831: Birthdate of Salomon Lefmann the native of Westphalia who became a leading Jewish philologist.

1834(23rd of Kislev, 5595): Eighty-four year old David Friedländer, a German Jewish banker, writer and communal leader passed away.

1836: In Schleswig-Holstein, Salomon M. Salomon and Caroline Salomon gave birth to Edward S. Salomon, the Chicago lawyer who married Sophie Greenhut who was an officer in the 24th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War rising to the rank of Brigadier General, appointed Governor of Washington Territory by President Grant before becoming the District Attorney in San Francisco.

1839(23rd of Kislev, 5595): Fifty-four year old Meyer Israel Bresselau “a founding member and chairman of the Hamburg Temple” passed away today.

1839(23rd of Kislev, 5595): David Caro a devotee of Me’assefim who “under the pseudonym "Amittai ben Abida Achitzedeq" he defended the Hamburg Reform Temple in Berit Emit (Covenant of Truth)” passed away today.

1849: In London, Marks Kolsky, a tailor and his wife gave birth Morris Kolsky who gained fame as cinematographer Richard Fryer.

1849: In Minsk, Hodie Goldberg and Isaac Schaikewitz gave birth to Nahum Mayer Schaikewitz, the editor and publisher of The Jewish Puck who also wrote fifty plays in Yiddish some of which were performed in Odessa and 205 novels in The Convict, Last Jewish King and A Spark of Judaism.

1853(24th of Kislev, 5614): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1856: Evidence continued to be presented today in The Huntington Trial a case being heard before  Judge Capron which had recessed on the previous Saturday “because one of the jurors was a Jew and had conscientious scruples about working on his Sabbath…” despite the fact that the case has to be completed by December 31. The eleven Christian jurors did not request a postponement because today is Christmas.

1860: “Suicide of A Patient At The Jew’s Hospital” published today reported that “Elias Kemp, an old man, who, for nearly a year past, has been an inmate of the Jews' Hospital, No. 140 West Twenty-eighth-street, under treatment for spinal disease, died today in consequence of a razor-wound in his throat, which he had inflicted last Sunday with the object of taking his life. The fact that his disease had recently assumed unfavorable symptoms, and the physician had pronounced him incurable, led him to commit the act. Coroner O'Keefe held an inquest upon the body. Deceased was a native of Poland.

1861: In Krementshug, Poltava, Russia, Samuel David Spivakovsky and Deborah Adel Dorfman gave birth to Hayem David Spivakovsky, who as Charles D. Spivak earned an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, married Jennie (Gittel) Charsky following which he taught at several medical schools while teaching at the Hebrews Education Society in Philadelphia and founding the Jewish Alliance of America in Philadelphia.

1863: Birthdate of Regina Margareten who came to the U.S. as a young bride in 1883. With her husband and her parents, she helped to open a grocery store on New York's Lower East Side. The first year in New York, the family members baked Passover matzo for themselves. The second year, they made enough to sell in the store, and the matzo business soon became the family's sole occupation. After Regina's husband died in 1923, she was formally named treasurer of Horowitz Brothers & Margareten Company and became one of the company's directors. She held these positions for the rest of her life. Margareten also acted as the company's quality control department, tasting every batch of matzo. By 1932, Horowitz Brothers & Margareten Company was using 45 thousand barrels of flour and grossing over one million dollars per year.In addition to her work at the business, Margareten was the matriarch of an extended family of over 400 members. Her obituary, which described her as the "matriarch of the kosher food industry," also reported that she was a member of over 100 charitable organizations. Throughout her life, she played an important role in the family business, working in her office daily until two weeks before her death in 1959 at age 96

1866: Birthdate of Avraham Mordechai Alter also known as the Imrei Emes after the works he authored. He was the third Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger, a position he held from 1905 until his death in 1948. He was one of the founders of the Agudas Israel in Poland and was influential in establishing a network of Jewish schools there. It is claimed that at one stage he led over 200,000 Hasidim.

1867: Birthdate of Alfred Kempner, the native of Breslau who, as Alfred Kerr, became an influential theatre critic.

1870(1st of Tevet, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1872(25th of Kislev, 5633): As President Grant basks in the glow of his recent re-election, the Jews observe Chanukah.

1876: In Krakai, Lithuania, Nechemiah and Judith Schlesinger gave birth to Benjamin Schlesinger who served as the editor of the Daily Forward and President of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.

1878: Birthdate of Joseph Michael Schenck, the native of Russia who came to the United State in 1893 where he became a major figure in the American motion picture industry

1879: It was reported today that a group of Rabbis and prominent laymen have formed an association to promote a stricter observance of the Sabbath, which for the Jews falls on Saturday.  It is predicted that the association will not find much success among the eighty to ninety thousand Jews living in New York since strict observance of the Sabbath would cost them two day’s worth of business since they would still be bound by the general populace’s Sunday observance.  Failure because of business considerations is not unique to Jews since attempts to have Christians return to the observance of the Sabbath in the spirit of the Puritans failed for this very reason.

1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Union will be held this evening at 607 Fulton Street.

1880: It was reported today that “many Jews residing in Berlin” are “avoiding appearing in public…and many Jewish families are preparing to emigrate to Belgium, France and England.

1881: At today’s “annual meeting of the patrons and members of Mount Sinai Hospital”  “ the following officers were re-elected: President – Hyman Blum; Vice President – Isaac Wallach; Treasurer- S.M. Schafer.”

1881: Anti-Jewish riots began in Poland. In Warsaw twelve Jews were killed, many others were wounded and some women were raped. Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.

1881: It was reported today by a recent visitor to North Africa that 25,000 Jews dominate the coastal trade in Tunisia and Algeria. 

1881:Birthdate of Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill who was knighted in 1937 following his year of service as the General Officer Commanding British Forces in Palestine.

1882: “Jewish Antiquities” published today reviews  Henrietta Lee Palmer’s Home Life In The Bible “which provides extensive information respecting the domestic life of the ancient Jews, the construction of their dwellings, their furniture, dress and ornaments” and much, much more.
http://books.google.com/books?id=XYUMAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

1882: “Doing Good” published today decried the attempts of Salmi Morse, a Jewish theatrical producer, to produce The Passion Play.  According to the article only Jew bent on making money would seek to produce a playing that insults “the decent part of the community” and blasphemes “all that Christians hold sacred.

1883: Birthdate of Samuel Hugo Bergmann, the Austro-Hungarian native who was a “schoolmate of Franz Kafka” and who made Aliyah in 1920 after which he founded the Brit Shalom movement with Martin Buber.

1884: Birthdate of Nathaniel Phillips, the native of Kalwaria, Poland who came to the United States in 1885 and after graduating from CCNY worked as a lawyer and civic leader who served on the Mayor’s Commission on Americanization and the National League for American Citizenship.

1884(7th of Tevet, 5645): Eighty-three year old Salomon Herxheimer the chief rabbi of Anhalt-Bernberg and the husband of Lea Susskind passed away today.

1884: It was reported today that while the Russian government battles against Nihilism which “is more dangerous than ever, the persecution of the Jews is as fierce as it was a few years ago when the European press boiled with indignation at the anti-Semitic outrages which disgraced Russia.”  (In terms of cause and effect, this is an example of the cause whose effect could be seen in the teeming masses of the Lower East Side)

1885: Alois Feigelstock , a Jewish businessman who took his life in a fit of temporary insanity brought on by his grief over the death of his daughter will be buried in Cyprus Hills Cemetery.

1885: It was reported today that the recently completed census in Germany contained some “curious facts” in its responses as can be seen by one where the head of the family described himself as a Jew, described his wife as a Catholic and described his children as being “brought up in the evangelical faith.”  (And you thought the American Jewish community in the 21st century had strange familial arrangements)

1886: Birthdate of Franz Rosenzweig.  Born in Germany, Rosenzweig was “an existential philosopher.”  According to one description of The Star of Redemption, his seminal philosophic work Rosenzweig “sees the world as consisting of three elements – man , the universe and God, which enter a relationship through revealing themselves to one another.  The three points form a triangle, which intersect with a second triangle of creation, revelation and redemption.  Their relations become historical forces” which in one case is Judaism – hence the star.  Revelation, which is a continuing process of good, leads to redemption.  Man helps to bring the universe to redemption by converting his love for God into his love for his fellow man.  Rosenzweig pioneered the construction of a Jewish-Christian relation without polemic, which became the basis for postwar interfaith dialogue.”  In his personal life, Rosenzweig fought crippling paralysis with the assistance of his wife.  He passed away in 1929.  According to a poll conducted by Commentary Magazine in 1965, Rosenzweig was “the most influential modern Jewish thinker.”  Quotes from Rosenzwewig: “Jewish prayer means praying in Hebrew.” (This from a man who translated the entire Bible into German)  “We owe our survival to a book – the only book of antiquity that is still in living use as a scroll.”  “Asked, ‘What does Judaism think about Jesus?” he answered ‘It doesn’t.’” 

1887(10th of Tevet, 5648): Asara B’Tevet

1887: At Temple Beth-El in New York City, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler delivered a lecture entitled “Charity – Religious not Sectarian.”

1887: President Hyman Blum presided over Mount Sinai Hospital’s annual meeting which held at the medical facility on the corner of Lexington and 65th Street.

1887: It was reported today that a trial is being held behind “closed doors” in St. Petersburg where 8 Nihilists are facing charges that they tried to murder the Czar during his recent visit to the Don Cossack Country. The group’s leader has been identified as a Jew named Boris Orshis.

1887: Based on information that first appeared in the Toronto Globe, it was reported today that an Orthodox Jew living in Canada has warned his English co-religionists against worshipping Reform which he described as “Organ; pews; Christian choir; hats off; microscopic Prayer Book; abolition of the use of Hebrew; pork and oysters; Chanukah Christmas; intermarriage; the Sunday Sabbath; no God; no Judaism.”

1888: In Vienna, 44 year old Dr. Arnold Heinrich Bodek (Aaron Chaim) married Malwine Malva Bodek.

1888: In Panimunik which was in the Lithuanian part of the Russian Empire Julius and Fanny Opesken gave birth to Sara Opesken who gained famed Oscar winning American screenwriter Sonya Levien.

1889(2nd of Tevet. 5650): Eighth day of Chanukah

1889: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today at the headquarters of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association on Lexington Avenue and 58th Street.

1889: Birthdate of Naftule Schüldkrau, the New York born musical child prodigy known as Nat Shilkret whose musical family included pianist Lew Shilkret, Jack Shilkret, Harry Shilkret who financed his medical school education by playing the Trumpet and Nathaniel Finston, his violinist brother-in-law.



1889(2nd of Tevet, 5650): Eighty-nine year old Valentine Koon, the native of Stuttgart who came to the United States in 1842 where he found success in manufacturing shoes during the Civil War and in New York real estate, passed away today. In October, 1843, Koon and 11 other Jews founded the Order of the B’nai B’rith.

1891(24th of Kislev, 5652): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1892: Samuel Marks, the friend and landlord for Hermann Stern, the German Jewish bank clerk could supply no reason for his suicide unless it was done “in a sudden fit of insanity” since he had no known financial problems or “love affair.”

1893: “Trouble Over Master Workmen” published today described the Knights of Labor losing three locals of clothing cutters and trimmers with a total membership of 2,400 to the American Federation of Labor.  Most of these workers were Jewish and Daniel de Leon, a Jewish socialist had failed to keep them from leaving the Knights for the AF of L headed by Samuel Gompers.

1893 “Caprivi Scores the Anti-Semites” published today relying upon information from the London Daily News described Chancellor Leo Von Caprivi’s  response to the remarks by Herr Zimmerman, the anti-Semitic leader in which he denounced “the agitation against the Jews” and warned that anti-Semites attack on “Jewish capital” would lead to an “attack on capital in general. The repeated attempts by the anti-Semites to interrupt his speech, “were the best proof of that he was hitting the nail squarely on the hand.

1893: German anti-Semitism was described to as the persecution of “everybody whose father or mother or any ancestor was Jewish.  This new anti-Semitism united racial anti-Semitism with religious anti-Semitism.

1894(27th of Kislev, 5655): Third Day of Chanukah

1894: As part of a Chanukah celebration, 700 Jewish children who are “recent immigrants from Russia and Romani” and “who are pupils at the Baron de Hirsch Schools saluted the flag” today “with an ardor that awakened the patriotic feelings of the men and women who had assembled to witness the ceremony at the Hebrew Institute.”

1894: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association was held this morning in the schoolrooms of the Temple Emanuel at Fifth Avenue and Forty-Third Street. Julia Richman was chosen to serve as a member of the board of directors for the upcoming year. During the meeting Ms Richman presented the report of the Discipline Committee.  It showed that 3,283 children between the ages of eight and fourteen years were enrolled as of November 30.  Children are required to attend public schools as a condition to participating in the afternoon classes devoted to religious subjects and instruction in Hebrew.  The Association offers a total of sixty one classes.

1894: According to reports published today, the German Embassy in Paris “has issued a note denying that anybody connected with it had direct or indirect relations with Captain Dreyfus” which is seen as “the German government’s answer to the sentencing of Dreyfus for the alleged betrayal of French plans to the embassy in Paris and to the violent attacks made upon the embassy by the Paris press. (Editor’s note – What Jews sometimes lose sight of is that part of the Dreyfus affair was born of the deep animus the French had for the Germans following the humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine.)

1894: Birthdate of Yetta Zwerling, the sister of Bessie and Mamie Zwerling who sang together in the Yiddish theatre before she became a film start.

1895: Birthdate of Abraham "Abe" Landau the chief henchman for New York gangster Dutch Schultz. Landau was Schultz's most trusted employee, often given tasks that required coolness and cunning rather than gunfire and brutality. According to some sources, “It is very likely that he never actually killed anyone during his gang years.” 

1895: The national convention of the Hebrew Anarchists began today “on the top floor of the American Star Hotel” on 165 East Broadway in New York.

1895: On this date, Herzl wrote in his diary “I was just lighting the Christmas tree for my children when Rabbi Moritz Güdemann arrived. He seemed upset by the "Christian" custom. Well, I will not let myself be pressured! But I don't mind if they call it the Chanukah tree - or the winter solstice.” Guidemann was the Chief Rabbi in Vienna who believed in Jewish nationalism but considered the Jewish religion as an integral part of Jewish identity. As far back as 1871, however, he had strongly protested against the proposal of the Jewish community of Vienna to strike from the prayer-book all passages referring to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and had even gone so far as to threaten to resign from the board of trustees if his protest should remain unheeded. But in 1897, when Herzl’s Zionist movement was in its infancy, he wrote against the tendencies of Zionism to lay more stress on the national than on the religious character of Judaism, for which he was severely attacked by the friends of the Zionist movement. When you consider the complexity of his views, you can understand his consternation at seeing Herzl lighting a Christmas tree.

1898: Herzl publishes his article "Französische Zustände" - "French States of Affairs" about the Dreyfus Affair.

1898: Birthdate of Russian native Abraham Barshofsky who changed his name to John Barsha while in high school and went on to become an all-star football player at the University of Syracuse before pursuing a legal education which financed by money he earned playing “professional with the Syracuse All-Stars.”

1898: Birthdate of Lena Goldman, the wife of  David Wilentz, the Attorney General of New Jersey who prosecuted Bruno Hauptmann and the mother of Robert Wilentz, the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1979 to 1996 and Norma Hess, the “wife of Leon Hess, founder of Hess Corporation.”

1899: Birthdate of Morris “Moe” Barney Dalitz, Bostoh born Nevada casino owner who “was often refrred to as ‘Mr. Las Vegas.’”

1899: Birthdate of Russian born American painter Moses Soyer.

1900: Birthdate of Martin Konigsberg, the husband of Nettie Konigsberg who was a bookkeeper at her family’s delicatessen and the father of Allan Stewart Konigsberg who gained fame as Woody Allen.

1902(25th of Kislev, 5663): Chanukah

1905: It was reported today that in Philadelphia, the police did not interfered with a meeting being held “to protest against the massacres of Jews in Russia” despite a complaint that had been lodged that at least one of the speakers denounced President Roosevelt.

1905: It was reported today that Professor Israel Friedlander said that the Russian Massacres were another argument in favor Zionism and cited the need for a Jewish Palestine as last refuge for the Jews in a time of persecution especially now when “the Christian world is preaching the Gospel of peace and good-will to man but the Christian world knows neither peace nor good-will in dealing with Jews.”

1906: In Tokmak, Taurida Governorate, Russian Empire to Isaak and Olga Winogradsky gave birth to Lev (Louis) Winogradsky gained fame as Lew Grade the performer, turned talent agent, turned television and movie mogul who created Baron Grade in 1976.

1906: Birthdate of Clark M Clifford.  Clifford is best known as the ultimate Washington lobbyist and Mr. Fix-it and as the US Secretary of Defense who changed Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War policy.  But Clifford said that his proudest moment was the role he played in the United States recognition of Israel.  In 1948, Clifford was a White House aide to Harry Truman.  He supported Truman in this decision despite the advice from the “striped pants boys” at the State Department that this was not a wise thing to do.

1907: Birthdate of Sheindel Reznick, the wife of Hyman Reznick and mother of Naomi Blumberg.

1910: In Canada, Sarah and Moishe Grossman gave birth to their seventh child Allan Grossman who served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada for 20 years.

1913: In San Francisco, CA, Hattie and Edward Morris gave birth to Alvin Morris, the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who gained fame as Tony Martin who was successful as a singer and film start.

1913: In New York, D. Samuel Gottesman, “a pulp and paper magnate and financier who helped the Central National Bank in New York and the former Jean Herskovits gave birth to Celeste Ruth Gottesman who married Armand Phillip Bartos and gained fame as philanthropist and patron of the arts Celeste Bartos. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1913: Otto Philip and Matilda (Davidson) Caplin gave birth to Elliot Caplin, the creator of the comic strip  “The Heart of Juliet Jones” and the younger brother of Al Capp, creator of “Li’l Abner.”

1914: Messrs. Brooks, Rotan, Jenkins, Williamson, Rowe and Nash of Waco, TX sent a letter to the New York Times containing a copy of a petition signed by approximately three hundred gentile citizens sent to the Governor of Georgia listing the reasons why he should commute Leo Frank’s death sentence and pardon him “if he is innocent.”

1914: “Asks Aid For Jews” published today described the desperate plight of the Jewish refugees arriving in Alexandria from Jaffa and plans to ask Ambassador Morgenthau to forward some of the funds sent to him by American Jews from Constantinople to Egypt.

1914: “Asks Report About Jaffa” published today described U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan doubts about the credibility of reports of “the ill-treatment of Jews in Jaffa.”  (Editor’s note: Were Bryan’s doubts based on the caution of a diplomat worried about war time propaganda or were they based on the anti-Semitic views and behavior he had demonstrated earlier in his career?)

1915(18th of Tevet, 5676): Due to a quirk of the calendar Jews and Christians are both celebrating today since Shabbat and Christmas coincide.

1915: “Alluding with gratification to Bishop Greer’s recent utterance at Carnegie Hall that the Church and civilization owed a debt to the Jew, Rabbi Ephraim Frisch of the New Synagogue on West 86th Street spoke to his congregation on “The Debt the World Owes to Christianity.”

1915: Birthdate of Alfred M. Lilienthal “an American Jew, who was a prominent critic of Zionism and the state of Israel.”

1915: “The Women of the Hour Committee of the American Jewish Relief Committee which is raising $5,000,000 for the Jewish sufferers from the war was formally organized” today.

1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the war are $75 from the Ladies Aid of Devils Lake, ND; $69 from Muscatine, Iowa; $47 from B’rith Shalom of Philipsburg, PA; and $26 from Fort Smith, AR.

1915: In St. Louis, MO, the Jewish Chautauqua Society met for a second day.

1915: More than 3000 people attend the opening session tonight of “the second annual conference of Young Judeans, an organization formed to foster Zionism” in the United States which was held “in the auditorium of the Young Women’s Hebrew Session.”

1916(30th of Kislev, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1916: In New York, premier of “Joan the Woman” a silent film about the famous French saint produced by Jesse Lasky.

1916: Birthdate of Allen Adler, the son of Yiddish theatre manager Adolph J. Adler, the grandson of Yiddish theatre great Jacob Adler and Sonya Adler and the nephew of Luther and Stella Adler. A veteran of World War II, Adler co-authored the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet” and in 1957 “Mach One,” his science-fiction novel was published. Adler fell victim to the infamous Red Scare and was blacklisted.  He passed away in January of 1964.
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=FB0A17FB3E5415738DDDA80894DA405B848AF1D3

1916: “A Life for a Life” which is interpreted to mean “that prosperous, protected lives in America shall save pauperized persecuted lives in Europe and Asia” was adopted today as the slogan for the Women’s Proclamation Committee’s campaign to assist in raising ten million dollars for the relief of Jews suffering from the war by the end of 1917.

1917(10th of Tevet, 5678) Asara B’Tevet

1917: Mass celebration took place in Washington D.C. marking the British taking Jerusalem from the Turks during World War I in which it was noted that Jewish units of the British Army took part in the fighting. 

1917: At the Belasco Rabbi Abram Simon was among the clergymen who addressed an interfaith meeting celebrating the British capture of Jerusalem and he to the throng “that the basis of civilization was to be found in the worship of one God and that upon that basis, Jew, Gentile and Moslem might stand together.”

1917: The observance of Christmas Mass by British forces in Jerusalem and Bethlehem is punctuated by “desultory Turkish artillery fired from the north and the east.”

1918: Hyman Gerson Enelow, who had been in France since July representing the Overseas Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board wrote today that it would not be necessary for him to take charge of the newly created center established by the Jewish War Board, “since more workers” are coming to Europe making it unnecessary to fill the post and freeing him for other tasks.

1921: Rose Finkelstein married Hyman Norwood in a “wedding gown… made the Boston WTUL’s dress shop. Rose Finkelstein Norwood was a leading labor organizer who among other things was President of the Boston Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL)

1921: In Szczercow, Poland, Samuel and Kreindel (Piotrkowska) Brajtbart gave birth to Moryc Brajtbart (later Morris Breitbart) the brother of Rosa and Bronia Brajtbart. He would survive the Holocuast, become a dentist and immigrate to the United States in December, 1949

1921: In an interview with the New York Times, Henry Ford said that in 1915 he abandoned “This Peace Ship” his attempt to end WW I because “he learned that the Jews were behind the war and would continue the war as long as it was profitable.”

1921: Sixty-five year old Vladimir Korolenko, “one of the few Russian writers who create apositive Jewish images in his work,”  “condemned the Kishinev pogrom” and wrote articles in defense of Menachem Mendel Bellis passed away today.

1921: As of today 25 year old Harry Moss who had joined Moss Bros. in 1909 and was the nephew of Alfred Moss, was serving as the director of the company which he would one day lead.

1921: “The Little Minister” the movie version of the novel, produced by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky was released today in the United States.

1921: “Rose Finkelstein married Hyman Norwood, the love of her life, in a wedding gown made in the dress shop of the Boston Women’s Trade Union League.” (Jewish Women’s Archives)

1924:  Birthdate of Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone.  Born Jewish, Serling converted for the sake of domestic tranquility

1925: Birthdate of Geula Cohen, the Tel Aviv native who belonged to Irgun and Lehi and who was elected to the Knesset for the first time in 1973.

1925: Birthdate of Yaffa Abramaov, the Tel Aviv native who gained famed as Yaffa Yarkonki, the Israeli singer whose first husband was killed while fighting with the Jewish Brigade in WW II and whose most beloved song may have been “Bab el Wad,” “an ode to the Israeli fighters who died in ambushes while driving convoys to Jerusalem during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war” passed away today.(As reported by Isabel Kershner)

1925(8th of Tevet, 5686): Karl Abraham passed away. Born in 1877, Abraham was the German psychoanalyst who studied the role of childhood sexual trauma in relation to the symptoms of mental illness. He was initiated into psychoanalysis by Carl Gustav Jung (1904). He first met Freud in 1907, and subsequently became one of his most reliable collaborators. Covering a wide range, Abraham's papers include work on depression, mania, autoerotism, repressed hate, as well as others on applied psychoanalysis that include papers on the Day of Atonement and a major one (1909) in which he connected myths with dreams and viewed both as wish-fulfillment fantasies. Abraham founded the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society (1910). He made pioneering efforts in the psychoanalytic treatment of manic- depressive psychosis.

1926: U.S. premiere of “Flesh and the Devil, a “romantic drama silent film” produced by Irving Thalberg with a script by Benjamin Glazer.

1928(12th of Tevet, 5689): Fifty year old Alfred W. Fleischer passed away today after which he was interred at Philadelphia’s Mount Sinai Cemetery.

1930(5th of Tevet, 5691): Eugene Goldstein passed away. Born in 1850, Goldstein was the German physicist who discovered and named canal rays (1886) which emerge through holes in the anodes of low-pressure electrical discharge tubes (later shown to be positively charged particles). Earlier, he coined the term "cathode ray" (1876) emitted from a cathode. He was the first to see that they could cast a shadow, and were emitted at right angles to the surface. He also investigated the wavelengths of light emitted by metals and oxides when canal rays impinge on them. When the Berlin Urania, opened in 1889 it had five scientific departments and a "science theatre", it was Goldstein who had recommended the "hall of physics in which the visitor could experiment on his own". Students of his that continued his work included Wien and Stark.

1933: “Roman Scandals” a film based on a story by George Kaufman, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, starring Eddie Cantor and with music by Alfred Newman during the filming of which Arthur Sheekman met his future wife, was released today in the United States.

1935: Birthdate of author and feminine activist Anne Roiphe.  Born Anne Roth, she is best known for writing Up the Sandbox.

1936: A month after premiering in the U.K. “Rembrandt” a biopic directed and produced by Alexander Korda was released in the United States today.

1925: “The help of Irish American in establishing the Irish Free State and the aid of American Jews in establishing a Jewish national homeland in Palestine were likened to each other today by Miss Sulasmith Schwarts at the opening session of the annual convention of Junior Hadassah” in Washington, DC which is being attended by approximately “1,000 delegates and guests from more than forty states.”

1940(25th of Kislev, 5701): Chanukah

1940: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Pal Joey" premiered in New York at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

1940:  The British government; suspended the quota for legal immigration to Palestine for three months.  The Zionists saw this as punishment for illegal immigration activities in general and specifically, the events surrounding the Patria. There is a positive correlation between the British attitude towards Jewish immigration during and after World War II and the violent activity of the Irgun.

1941: George Beurling, the Canadian born pilot who died in 1948 while on training flight with the infant Israeli air force, flew his Spitfire on his first combat today.

1941: “Banjo Eyes,” a musical adaptation of “Three Men on a Horse” with a cast that included Eddie Cantor and Lionel Stander, opened at the Hollywood Theatre on Broadway.

1941: During World War II, the Battle of Hong Kong ends as the forces of British Empire were defeated by those from the Empire of the Rising Sun thus beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong. Jews had begun settling in Hong Kong when the British took control in 1842.  However most Jewish merchants preferred mainland communities such as Shanghai.  During the 1930’s as the Japanese forces took control of more of mainland China, these same Jewish businessmen and many Jews who had found fled the Nazis, moved to Hong Kong. No matter how distasteful Japanese rule might have been, for the Jews, it was better than having fallen into the hands of the Nazis. Of course, this does not in any way provide expatiation for the treatment of the Chinese population at the hands of their harsh Japanese occupiers.

1942 (17th of Tevet, 5703): Nazi forces in Cracow capture and murder Aharon Liebeskind leader along with Heshek Bauminger, of the Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO).  Bauminger will be captured and killed in March of 1943.

1942: U.S. premiere of “Reunion in France” directed by Jules Dassin, produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz with music by Franz Waxman.

1942: Birthdate of Barry Joseph Goldberg, the Chicago native who became a songwriter and record producer.

1943: Trucks carrying naked Jewish women make regular trips to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Any woman who leaps from a truck is immediately shot down.

1943(28th of Kislev, 5704): Shabbat Shel Chanukah

1943: The U.S. government sent a telegram informing Adina Werfel that, while returning from conducting a Hanukah service for American soldiers in Casablanca, the small plane carrying her husband, Rabbi Louis Werfel (the “flying rabbi”) had crashed into the Algerian mountains due to limited visibility caused by bad weather. Werfel was an Orthodox Rabbi serving as Chaplain with the United States Army Air Force.

1943: Birthdate of Israeli historian Moshe Zimmermann.

1944: In an Upper Silesia Labor Camp, the Nazis selected 60 Jews to be shot because they no longer were able to work.

1945 Today, Sergeant Benjamin Ferencz “was honorably discharged from the Army” in what would be only a temporary leave of absence from government service a few weeks later he was recruited to serve as prosecutor under Telford Taylor the chief of the team dealing with the “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials.

1945: Birthdate of Evelyn "Eve" Pollard (Evelyn, Lady Lloyd), OBE an English author, journalist and a former editor of several tabloids.

1945: U.S. premiere of “Road to Rio” with a script co-authored by Jack Rose

1946(2nd of Tevet, 5707): 8th & final day of Chanukah

1947: “A Double Life” directed by George Cukor, featuring Shelley Winters and Philip Loeb was released today in the United States.

1947:  “The Voice of the Turtle” directed by Irving Rapper was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1947: “Daisy Kenyon” the movie version of the novel of the same name produced and directed by Otto Preminger was released today in the United States.

1947: “Captain from Castile” a costume drama featuring Lee J. Cobb and Marc Lawrence with music by Alfred Newman was released today in the United States.

1947: Two British soldiers were killed and at least three more were wounded tonight when gunmen from the Stern Gang \fired on a group of Tommies who were celebrating Christmas in a Tel Aviv cafe.

1947: In Brooklyn, NY, Loa Schleifer and Morris W. Wasserstein gave birth to Bruce Wasserstein, t”he Wall Street investment banker who helped pioneer the hostile takeover in the 1980s and reshaped the mergers and acquisitions business into a high art…” (As reported by Sorkin and de la Merced

1948: After passing through Jewish and Arab checkpoints, Christian pilgrims are allowed to enter Bethlehem.

1948:U.S. premiere of Abraham Polonsky’s “Force of Evil” starring John Garfield with music by David Raskin.

1949: “Real estate mogul Abraham Hirschfeld” and Zipora Teicher Hirschfeld gave birth real estate developer, producer and art collector Elie Hirschfeld, the husband of  “Sarah J. Schlesinger, a physician, researcher and associate professor of clinical investigation at Rockefeller University.”

1949: “My Foolish Heart” a movie based on a short story by J.D. Salinger produced by Samuel Goldwyn and with a script by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein premiered today in Los Angeles.

1949: Israel and Jordan ease armistice restrictions so pilgrims can attend Christmas services in Bethlehem. Most people in Holy Land are UN personnel and diplomats, because Jordan prohibits other pilgrims from returning directly to Israel.

1950: Birthdate of Yehuda Poliker “an Israeli singer, songwriter, musician, and painter. Poliker's father, Jacko, tells the story of his escape from Auschwitz in the 1988 film "Because of That War" (Biglal Hamilhamah Hahi), which features music by his son. The film includes interviews with Yehuda Poliker and Ya'akov Gilad, whose Polish Jewish parents also survived Auschwitz.”

1950: “Vendetta” from which Max Ophuls was fired as the director was released today in the United States.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Hapoel Hamizrahi and Mizrahi finally resolved to join the Mapai-General Zionists-Progressives government coalition.

1952: The town of Hatzor is founded in the Galilee, developing from the Ma'abarah located there. The immigrants came from the camp in Rosh Pinah where the living conditions were described as “poor.”

1952: The French press was highly critical of Lebanon, which had turned down the Israeli offer to enter the Lebanese territorial waters in order to save the French liner S.S. Champollion, which sank in a heavy storm, having split on reefs off Sidon on the Lebanese coast. All but 26 of the 328 passengers and crew lost their lives, mostly while trying to swim the 200 meters separating them from the shore. According to the French press all passengers, crew and the ship could have been saved, had Lebanon accepted the prompt Israeli assistance offer.

1953(19th of Tevet, 5714): Eighty-two year old Levi “Lee” Shubert “the eldest of seven siblings of the theatrical Shubert family passed away today

1955(10th of Tevet, 5716): Asara B'Tevet

1955(10th of Tevet, 5716): Psychoanalyst Barbara Low, “the sister of Sir Maurice and Sir Stanley Low and aunt of Ivy Litvinov,” a founding member in 1919 of the British Psychoanalytical Society, prolific author and lecturer who “attracted wide attention when she spoke on the “Psychoanalysis of Nazism” passed away today.

1955: “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” a biopic about actress Lillian Roth who converted to Catholicism from Judaism directed by Daniel Mann and produced by Lawrence Weingarten was released in the United States today.

1957: “The Enemy Below” a WW II war movie in which Theodore Bikel, whose family escaped Austria, played the second command of the Nazi submarine was released in the United States today.

1957: U.S. premiere of Stanley Kubrick’s subtly anti-war film “Paths of Glory” starring Kirk Douglas.

1961(18th of Tevet, 5722): Otto Loewi passed away. Born in 1873, Loewi was the German-born American physician and pharmacologist who shared the 1936 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (with Sir Henry Dale) "for their discoveries relating to the chemical transmission of nerve impulses." Sadly, just two years later he was a victim of Nazi persecution, imprisoned for being Jewish. As ransom for his life, he was forced to hand over his possessions, including his Nobel Prize money, and Loewi escaped to England. From there he moved to America in 1940. His research showed that it was the release of a certain chemical (the transmitter) acetylcholine that enabled the transmission of nerve impulses. Loewi also investigated action of drugs able to blockade or assist nerve impulse transmission.

1961: After a year on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, “Do Re Mi”  a musical with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, transferee to the 54th Street Theatre today.

1963: “Love with the Proper Stranger” a delightful off-beat comedy written by Arnold Schulman, featuring Herschel Bernardi and with music by Elmer Bernstein was released today in the United States.

1964: U.S. premiere of “The Pleasure Seekers” with music by Lionel Newman

1964: “Six and the Single Girl” with a script by Joseph Heller and starring Tony Curtis and Lauren Bacall was released in the United States today.

1969: The French discover that the berths that had been holding five embargoed Israeli missile boats are empty. The absence of any announcement about the embargo's termination prompted media inquiries, which failed to elicit convincing explanations. "Where are they?" asked a banner headline in a local newspaper. “The boats were indeed on the run. Battered by towering waves as they crossed the Bay of Biscay, they dropped anchor in a Portuguese cove alongside an Israeli freighter fitted out as a refueling ship, one of several support vessels deployed along the 5,150-km. escape route. When the boats entered the Mediterranean, British maritime monitors on Gibraltar signaled "What ship?" A Lloyd's helicopter circled the silent vessels but saw no identity numbers or flags. The British monitors, guessing the boats' destination from the media reports, flashed "bon voyage" in salute to Nelsonian flair. Stung by Israel's audacity, French defense minister Michel Debre called for the air force to interdict the vessels which had been spotted off the North African coast racing east. Prime minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas refused. Near Crete, IAF Phantoms roared low overhead protectively and waggled their wings. The boats would sail into Haifa harbor on New Year's Eve, 1970, to cheers for a bravado display of high-stakes hutzpa. For Israel's navy, however, the flight from Cherbourg was no lighthearted caper but a matter of life or death - its own. These missile boats were part of decade long development project designed to give Israel a naval capability that would help the Jewish state meet the nautical threat posed by  its Arab neighbors who were being supplied by their Soviet  and East Bloc patrons.

1970: After ten days, “The First Leningrad Trial ends with Jewish and non-Jewish defendants --Mendel Bodnya, Israel Zalmanson, Silva Zalmanson, Anatolii Altman, Leib Khnokh, Boris Penson, Wulf Zalmanson, Iosif Mendelevich, Alexey Murzhenko, Yurii Fedorov-- accused of “hijacking” an airplane to escape the Soviet Union and reach Israel, sentenced 4 to 15 years while Mark Dymshitz and Eduard Kuznetsov received the death sentence, which was eventually commuted to 15 years.

1973: “The Sting” the Oscar award winning film starring Paul Newman, featuring Harold Gould and with a marvelous score by Marvin Hamlisch was released in the United States today.

1974: U.S. premiere of “The Sting” starring Paul Newman with an amazingly memorable musical score created by Marvin Hamlisch.

1974(11th of Tevet, 5735): Seventy-four year old Irish painter Harry Aaron Kernoff passed away today.

1975: “The Hindenburg” an epic about the airships disaster with music by David Shire and featuring Alan Oppenheimer, a cousin of J. Robert Oppenheimer was released in the United States today.

1977: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat met in Ismailia, Egypt. During negotiations, Sadat tells Begin that there can be no separate peace between Israel and Egypt.  To gain peace with Egypt, Israel must agree to the pre-1967 boundaries and recognize the right to Palestinian self-determination.  Rather than lose momentum or stop the negotiations, Begin and Sadat established several working committees to examine different aspects of the peace process.

1977: U.S. premiere of “High Anxiety” directed and produced by Mel Brooks who co-authored the script along with Barry Levinson and co-starred in it along with Madeline Kahn.

1977(15th of Tevet, 5738): Comedian Charlie Chaplin died at age 88.

1978(25th of Kislev, 5739): Chanukah

1980: Today, over 1,200 people “representing members of Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform, synagogues” attended the founding conference of the New Jewish Agenda

1980: U.S. premiere of “Altered State, a sci-fi thriller adapted from a novel of the same name written by playwright Paddy Chayefsky who used the pen-name “Sidney Aaron” when he wrote the script and co-starring Bob Balaban as “Arthur Rosenburg” and produced by Daniel Melnick.

1980: U.S. premiere of “First Family” written and directed by Buck Henry (Henry Zuckerman)

1983: In  “Israel’s Founding Father,” published today James Feron reviewed Ben-Gurion: Prophet of Fire by Dan Kurzman.

1984(1st of Tevet, 5745): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1985: U.S. Premiere of “Murphy’s Romance” a charming comedy co-starring Corey Haim with music by Carole King.

1985: A small bomb concealed in a loaf of bread was found at a bus stop near Tel Aviv University today, the police said. A passer-by discovered the suspicious-looking loaf and informed explosives experts, a police spokesman said. The device was safely dismantled. No arrests were reported.

1987: Three Palestinian guerrillas infiltrated a short distance into Israel from Jordan tonight and were captured alive by Israeli troops after a shootout.

1987: “Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night,an American animated fantasy adventure film featuring the voice of Edward Asner as “Scalawag the Raccoon” was released in the United States today.

1988: In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper published, Egyptian President Mubarak was quoted as saying he would go to Israel if the visit would help achieve peace. Prime Minister Shamir has said he would welcome a visit by Mr. Mubarak.

1989: During the American invasion of Panama the United States Embassy in Panama recanted its previous report that Mike Harari, a 62-year-old retired agent of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad was an American ''prisoner of war.''

1990: After premiering in Beverly Hills five days ago, “Godfather III” co-starring Eli Wallach was released in theatres throughout the United States.

1990: Hadash lost one of its four seats in the Knesset when Charlie Biton broke away to establish Black Panthers as an independent faction

1991: In the United States, limited release of “Grand Canyon” directed and co-produced by Lawrence Kasdan with a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan.

1993: “Shadowlands” in which Debra Winger portrays the life of Joy Davidman, the Jewish poet who converted to Christianity was released in the United States today.

1993: Eleven people were injured when a bomb went off in an Israeli ship at Eilat.

1994: In the United States, general release of “Little Women” starring Winona Ryder as “Jo”

1994(22nd of Tevet, 5755): Near the Binyanei Hauma (Jerusalem International Convention Center) thirteen Israeli soldiers and civilians were wounded when a Hamas sponsored suicide bomber tried to board their bus at the entrance to the city, but was foiled they managed to close the door.  The terrorist succeeded in blowing himself up.

1994: A Palestinian suicide bomber carrying a pack of explosives blew himself up here near a bus full of Israeli soldiers today, wounding 13 people and killing himself. The blast ripped through a bus stop, throwing bystanders into the air and showering a main road with twisted metal and shattered glass. Two of the 13 were seriously wounded in the explosion, near Jerusalem's convention center and central bus station, but most escaped serious injury when the bomb apparently went off prematurely.

1994: Shimshon Moshe’s kiosk was torn apart by a blast from a suicide bomber standing at a bus stop, across from Jerusalem International Convention Center. The bomb exploded prematurely, wounding 13 and killing the suicide bomber.  Moshe survived the attack and rebuilt his kiosk, which did a brisk business selling sandwiches, drinks, and snacks to travelers heading out of the city. Tipping his hat to fate, he ironically renamed his kiosk “Pitzutz Shel Kiosk” or “Blast of a Kiosk.” Seventeen years later, Moshe’s kiosk would again be the center of a bus bombing in Jerusalem.

1995(2nd of Tevet, 5756): 8th Day of Chanukah

1995(2nd of Tevet, 5756): Ninety-year old Emmanuel Levinas a Talmudic scholar who was one of the major philosophic minds of the twentieth century and whose work was greatly influenced by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig passed away today.

1995: The Israeli Government approved sweeping changes today requiring the country's powerful banks to sell substantial parts of their assets, a Treasury spokesman said. .

1996: Premiere of “Mother” directed and written by Albert Brooks who also starred in the comedy, produced by Scott Rudin with music by Marc Shaiman.

1996(15th of Tevet, 5757): Sixty-four year old economist Michael Bruno, the former head of Israel’s central bank passed away today in Jerusalem. (As reported by Peter Passell)
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/31/world/michael-bruno-64-economist-and-israel-s-banking-chief.html

1997: Jerry Seinfeld announced that this is the final season of his TV show.

1997: U.S. premier of “Wag the Dog” directed and produced by Barry Levinson, with a script by David Mamet, starring Dustin Hoffman and featuring Hope Garber “as the Albanian grandmother.”

1997: U.S. premiere of “Kundun” including a score create by Philip Glass.

1998: “The Thin Red Line” the movie version of the WW II novel with music by Hans Zimmer and edited by Israeli Saar Klein was released in the United States today.

1998: U.S. premiere of “Patch Adams” co-produced by Marvin Minoff with music by Marc Shaiman.

2000: BBC Radio 4 broadcast an adaptation of “The Man Who Came To Dinner” the dramatic creation of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (Yes, the Jews provided the entertainment for Englishmen on Christmas)

2001(10th of Tevet, 5762): Asara B'Tevet

2001: “Ali” a sports biography directed and co-produced by Michael Mann who also co-authored the screenplay along with Eric Roth co-starring Ron Silver and filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and edited by Stephen Rivkin was released in the United States today

2001(10th of Tevet, 5762): Fity-year old “Mari Kajiwara, an American modern dancer of stunning quality who mesmerized audiences as a leading member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Ohad Naharin Dance Company and the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, passed away in Tel Aviv (As reported by Anna Kisselgoff)

2003(30th of Kislev, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2003(30th of Kislev, 5764): Adva Tzippora Fisher, 19, of Kfar Saba; Cpl. Rotem Weinberger, 19, of Kfar Saba; Staff Sergeant Noam Leibowitz, 22, of Elkana and Cpl. Angelina Shcherov, 19, of Kfar Saba were murdered today and 16 others were wounded when suicide bomber from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine “detonated an explosive device near a bus stop at the Geha Interchange.”

2004: According to reports published in today’s The Cedar Rapids Gazette the Israel Museum has announced that "an ivory pomegranate long touted by scholars as the only relic from Solomon's Temple is a forgery..."  The collector alleged to have been involved in this forgery was the same person who claimed to have found a burial chest containing the bones of James the brother of Jesus.  The pomegranate is actually about 3,500 years old and comes from the Bronze Age that pre-dated the time of the Temple.  But the inscription tying it to the Temple was of more recent origins.

2004: “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” a comedy produced by Scott Rudin, with a script co-authored by Noah Baumbach and co-starring Jeff Goldblum was released in the United States a month after opening in Los Angeles.

2004:  For the first time since the latest wave of Arab violence, a Palestinian leader attended Christmas observances in Bethlehem.  As a sign of possibly improving relations, 15,000 tourists were in Bethlehem on Christmas Day.  This was the largest turnout since the latest wave of terror began in 2000.

2005: At Eilat, fourth and final day of the Red Sea Classical Festival.

2005: “The New World” a historic drama filmed by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and edited by Saar Klein was released today in the United States.

2005: Bensiyon Morisbhai Songavkar an Indian professional cricketer represented Saurashtra when it played Goa today.

2006: Haaretz reported that Journalist Uri Dan, 71, died yesterday from cancer. Dan, who wrote for Ma’ariv, the Israel Defense Forces magazine Bamahaneh and the New York Post, was a close friend of former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

2006: In “The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs” published today, Nate Bloom provides the following Jewish connections to the ASCAP’s list of the 25 most popular Christmas songs:

“Winter Wonderland” was co-authored by Felix Bernard, a Brooklyn born Jew

“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"was written in 1945 by Mel Tormé (1925-1999) and Robert "Bob" Wells (born 1922)--both of whom are Jewish. Tormé, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, is most famous as a jazz vocalist, but he did write about 250 songs, mostly with Wells. Tormé wrote the music for "The Christmas Song" and Wells penned the lyrics.

“Sleigh Ride” was the product of lyricist Mitchell Parish(1900-1993), who was a Lithuanian born Jew named Michael Hyman Pashelinsky whose family took him to Shreveport, LA when he was an infant.

"Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" was written in 1945 by the Jewish songwriting team of lyricist Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) and composer Jule Styne (1905-1994).

“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, the non-religious Jew who was the son of a rabbi.

"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" and “Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” are both products of Jewish song writer Johnny Marks

"It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" co-authored by George Wyle (1917-2003), born Bernard Weissman in New York City, who got his start playing piano in the Catskills

"Silver Bells" co-authored by Livingston and Evans. Jay Livingston, who wrote the music, and Ray Evans (1915-2007), who wrote the lyrics, were a famous Jewish songwriting team with many big hits to their credit. Livingston (1915-2001) was born Jacob Levinson in a small industrial suburb of Pittsburgh. Evans was born in 1915 in Salamanca, a small city not that far from Buffalo, N.Y. He went to the University of Pennsylvania, as did Livingston, and the two met when they joined the university dance band. They formed their songwriting partnership in 1937 and it endured until Livingston's death. (By all accounts, these two guys were like brothers and Evans was absolutely devastated by Livingston's death.) According to ASCAP the most popular version of "Silver Bells" is the one by saxophonist Kenny G, who is Jewish.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” co-authored by Walter Kent, Buck Ram (who were Jewish) and Kim Gannon (who was not Jewish) Kent (1911-1994) was born Walter Kauffman in New York. He was a practicing architect, an orchestra leader, and a composer. Most of his composing was for films. His other big hits were "The White Cliffs of Dover" and "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die." He is buried in a Los Angeles area Jewish cemetery. Ram (1907-1991) was also born in New York. His real fame came as a rock n' roll music writer and producer in the '50s, most notably with the Platters, a group he created. He is credited as the writer of such hits as "The Great Pretender," "Only You," "The Magic Touch" and "Twilight Time."

2006: Shas MK OferHugi was convicted of various charges related to forgery and fraud and was later sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a 12,000 shekel fine.

2006: On the anniversary of his birth BBC Radio 2 transmitted the second of two special one tribute programs celebrating the life of Lew Grade.

2006: “Notes on a Scandal” the movie version of the novel by Zoe Heller whose father was Jewish with a soundtrack by Philip Glass and produced by Scott Rudin was released in the United Kingdom today.

2007: At the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa, CA, a screening of “The Impossible Spy.” This riveting film tells the incredible but true story of Elie Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew and top Israeli intelligence recruit whose obsession with his mission as a double agent drove him to his death. Cohen, an accountant with a photographic memory, left his pregnant wife to join the Mossad’s Syrian section in 1959 and quickly infiltrated the highest ranks of the ruling Syrian Baath party. On the eve of his nomination as Syria’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Cohen was uncovered and executed in Damascus in 1965. Two years later, Israel achieved victory in the Six Day War, defeating the Syrian Army as a direct result of the information Cohen provided.

2007: A group of 40 new immigrants from Iran touched down at Ben-Gurion International Airport , the largest since the fall of the Shah and Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. A total of 200 Iranian Jews have immigrated to Israel in 2007, compared to only 65 in 2006.

2008: In Downtown Manhattan’s East Village Simon Jacobson facilitates the Chanukah Drum Circle and Menorah Lighting featuring special Holiday Melodies

2008: MK Uri Ariel of Tkuma left The Jewish Home, a right-wing party formed by the merger of Moledet, Tkuma and the National Religious Party.

2008: U.S. premiere of Marley & Me directed by David Frankel and co-starring Alan Arkin.

2008: Tkuma MK Ariel left Jewish Home and joined the Union

2008: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” a film that received thirteen Oscar nominations with a script by Eric Roth was released in the United States today.

2008: The Maltz Musuem sponsors the Third Annual Chinese Food and a Movie. From noon to 4 p.m. visitors to the Museum can  experience “Maccabees: The Original Superheroes” — dress up and have photos taken, watch short movies and vintage superhero films, make Hanukkah candles and join in candle lighting and songs, as well as enjoy egg rolls, latkes, donuts and holiday songs.


2008: In Washington, D.C. closing session of USY International Convention. This marks the forty-seventh anniversary (December, 1961) of the USY convention where Danny Siegel launched his career on a national stage and taught at least one attendee how to smoke cigars.

2008: Opening session of the Hazon Jewish food conference in Pacific Grove, California.

2009: From 11am to 3pm those in New York City can enjoy “A Special Day of Free Events”” at Yeshiva University Museum.

2009: The Rosenbloom Owings Mills (MD) JCC holds a day of Relaxation, Creation and ReJEWvenation where, among other things, families can make their own challah; children can make their own Shabbat kits, complete with centerpieces, tzedakah boxes, Kiddush cups and Havdalah kits and everybody can enjoy an appearance by ShinShinim, a teen Klezmer band from Ashkelon, Israel. 

2009(8th of Tevet, 5770): Morris E. Lasker, a federal judge in New York and Massachusetts for four decades who struck down squalid, often brutal conditions in New York City jails and upheld prisoners’ rights perhaps more than any other jurist of his era, died today in Cambridge, Mass at the age of 92. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

2010(18th of Tevet, 5771): Yahrzeit of Huna Mori bar Mor Zutra, The Exilarch ("Resh Galuta") of Babylonian Jewry who “, was executed in Pumpeditha by order of the Persian emperor.”

2010(18th of Tevet, 5771): Yahrzeit of Rav Mesharshia bar Pekod

2010(18th of Tevet, 5771): Yahrzeit B'nei Yissachar, Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro of Dynov (1783?-1841), author of the Chassidic work B'nei Yissacha who passed away in 5602 (1841).

2010: The 3 day-long Gateways Winter Retreat with Rabbi Mordechai Becher, Mrs. Debbie Greenblatt, Dr. Chaim Presby, Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, Mrs. Chaya Reich, Rabbi Mordechai Suchard and Rabbi Yonason Shippel is scheduled to enter into its second day at the Hanover Marriot in New Jersey.

2010: On Shabbat, Jews all over the world begin reading the Book of Shemot or Exodus.

2010: The Master Classes taught by American director Michael Mayer at the Stage-Center International Theatre Workshop in Tel Aviv come to an end.

2010(18th of Tevet, 5771): Bud Greenspan, award-winning filmmaker, writer, character and, arguably, the world's No. 1 fan of the Olympics, passed away today at the age of 84. (As reported by Mike Kupper)

2011: The 61st USY International Convention is scheduled to begin in Philadelphia, PA

2011: The Gateways Chanukah Retreat is scheduled to come to an end in Somerset, NJ.

2011: “Minus 16,” a work by Ohad Naharin, Israel’s most famous choreographer is scheduled to have its final performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center.

2011: Community Mitzvah Day sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans is scheduled to take place today.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ‘Man Seeks God: My Flirtations With the Divine’ by Eric Weiner, ‘Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights 1750-1790’ by Jonathan I. Israel and the recently released of paperback edition of ‘In The Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief’ by James Kugel.

2011: Today the Ministerial Committee for Legislation delayed a vote on bills aimed at combating discrimination against women. The two pieces of legislation, one proposed by Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely, and the other by Kadima MK Orit Zuaretz, would reduce the dismissal of pregnant women, or those undergoing fertility treatment, and ensure that women who want to breastfeed during work hours are able to do so.

2011: Residents of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Beit Shemesh called Israel police officers “Nazis” today, after they removed a sign ordering the separation of men and women in a street in that neighborhood.

2011(29th of Kislev, 5772): Eighty-seven year old “Andrew Geller, an architect who embodied postwar ingenuity and optimism in a series of inexpensive beach houses in whimsical shapes, many of them in the Hamptons, and who helped bring modernism to the masses with prefabricated cottages sold at Macy’s” passed away today. (As reported by Fred A. Bernstein)

2011(29th of Kislev, 5772): Sixty-five year old “Adrienne Cooper, an American-born singer, teacher and curator of Yiddish music who was a pioneer in the effort to keep the embers of that language smoldering for newer generations” passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

2012: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform this evening at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is schuedled to sponsor the “Fiddler on the Roof Sing-Along.”

2012: In New York, the Aish Center is scheduled to host Discovery 2012 a Jewish educational program that boasts having a quarter of a million attendees worldwide.

2012: “The Smoking Room” is scheduled to shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Today Turkish police arrested four men in the coastal city of Adana on suspicion that they tried to sell a purportedly 1,900-year-old Torah scroll.

2012: Sources close to both Hatnua chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that the two parties are investigating the possibility of working together in the next government.

2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host JFest, a Family Fun Day featuring Israeli Dancing and a screening of “Hava Nagila”

2013: The American film classic “Casablanca” which has a “raft” of Jews before and behind the camera is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Eleanor “Bron appeared on BBC One in an adaption of The Tractate Middoth.”

2013: Today, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome missile interception battery to the area near the southern town of Sderot, amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians following a string of attacks against Israeli civilians, police officers and soldiers. (As reported by Ilan Ben Zion)

2013: Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said today that the "terror attacks in Judea and Samaria are the result of incite, instigated by the Palestinian Authority, which teaches hatred of the State of Israel. We will know how to handle it." (As reported by Yoav Zitun)

2014: On this day, reading “Real American Jews write Christmas Music” should provide a Jewish connection with events being celebrate each year on December 25th.

2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host J Fest including a screening of “The Frisco Kid.”

2014: “Bottle Shock” and “Winter Sleep” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

2014: “Archaeologists conducting excavations in the town of Magdala, situated on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, exposed a public structure from the Roman period, it was reported today. The structure's grandeur led researchers to conclude that the site contained the ruins of an ancient synagogue. "We're still at an early stage of unearthing the structure," they said. "We found parts of the structure, fragments of columns, parts of benches, the threshold of a door and pottery fragments." (As reported by Itay Blumenthal)

2014: Eleven year old Ayala Shapira was seriously injured in a firebomb attack this evening while riding with her father Avner.

2014: “The High Court of Justice has ruled that Israel must evacuate and dismantle the of Amona, the largest illegal outpost in the West Bank's Binyamin Region Council, within two years and work to find alternative housing for the settlers currently living there.” (As reported by Aviel Magnezi)

2015: In Fairfax, VA, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host J Fest including a free screening of Barbra Streisand in “Yentl.”

2015(13th of Tevet, 5776): Ninety-five character Jason Wingreen passed away

2016(25th of Kislev, 5777): First Day of Chanukah; in the evening, kindle the second light

2016: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host a screening of “The Innocents.”

2016: The 5th Annual Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Memorial Concert which this year “will honor Yiddish poet Irena Klepfisz” is scheduled to place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2016: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently release paperback edition of Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor.

 

 

 

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