Friday, December 30, 2016

This Day, December 31, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


December 31

335: End of the Papacy of Sylvester I “who convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem.”

535: Byzantine General Belisarius took the city of Syracuse which marks the completion of the conquest of Sicily. In 536 he would march into Rome itself. This military action was part of Emperor Justinian’s plan to take back what had been the Western Roman Empire and recreate the Roman Empire of the Caesar’s with the capital at Constantinople. Belisarius’ victory probably did not over-joy the Jews living in the "Giudecche" or Jewish Quarters of Sicily since it brought with it Justinian’s Code. Amongst other things the code “prohibited Jews from building synagogues, reading the Bible in Hebrew, assemble in public, celebrate Passover before Easter, and testify against Christians in court.”

1229: James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma, Spain) thus consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Majorca. Following his victory, James “gave the Jews a quarter in the neighborhood of his palace for their dwellings, granted protection to all Hebrews who wished to settle on the island, guaranteed them the rights of citizens, permitted them to adjudicate their own civil disputes, to kill cattle according to their ritual, and to draw up their wills and marriage contracts in Hebrew. Christians and Moors were forbidden, under severe penalties, to insult the Jews or to take earth and stones from their cemeteries; and the Jews were ordered to complain directly to the king of any act of injustice toward them on the part of the royal officials. They were allowed to charge 20 per cent interest on loans, but the amount of interest was not to exceed the capital. In case a Jew practiced usury, the community was not held responsible. The penalty for lending money on the wages of slaves hired out by their masters was loss of the capital. Jews could buy and hold houses, vineyards, and other property in Majorca as well as in any other part of the kingdom. They could not be compelled to lodge Christians in their homes: in fact, Christians were forbidden to dwell with Jews; and Jewish convicts were given separate cells in the prisons. If the slave of a Jew or Moor adopted Judaism or Mohammedanism, he had to be set free and was required to leave the island.”

1349: By the end of this month, the Black Death had reach Cologne just four months after the pogrom that took place on the night of Saint Bartholemy had devastated the Jewish community.

1378: Birthdate of Callixtus III the Pope who issued “Si ad reprimendos” the Bull that confirmed “Dudum ad nostram audientiam” which forbade Jews to live with Christians or to hold public office.

1492: One hundred thousand Jews were expelled from Sicily.

1539: In Poland, King Sigismund I “ordered the Jews of Cracow, Posan and Lemberg (Lvov) to buy 3,350 Jewish books from the Printing house of the apostate Helitz brothers. The Jews bought the books as ordered - and then destroyed them all.” (As reported by “The History of the Jewish People)

1599: The British East India Company is chartered. Joseph Salvador was the first Jewish director of the British East India Company. The Salvador family would become involved with the settlement of Georgia.  Francis Salvador, Joseph’s great-grandson would become one of the heroes in the American War for Independence, a rebellion against King George III.  Ironically, when King George III ascended the British throne, Joseph had arranged an audience for the seven-man delegation that officially congratulated the king on behalf of the Jewish community. (Ed. Note – some sources give the date as 1600, not 1599)

1678: By the end of this month, Jews were living “in the communities of the Surb valley” in accordance with a resolution that had been adopted earlier in the year by the Tagsatzung, “the legislative and executive council of the Swiss Confederacy.”

1780: The French Consulate in Salonica signed a document stating that Abraham Samuel Covo, Chief Rabbi of Salonica is under his protection.

1791: Empress Catherine of Russia issued a ukase restricting the right of Jewish residence in Russia which marked the start of the Pale of Settlement.

1794: Birthdate of Jacques-Simon Herz, the native of Frankfort-on-Main who studied piano in Paris, “played and taught in England” until he returned to Paris in 1857 where he composed “two violin sonatas, a horn sonata and a waltz.”

1795: As of today in the population of Amsterdam totaled 217,024 of which 20,052 were Jewish.

1817: The marriage of Benjamin Moise and Recca Levy took place in their hometown of Charleston, SC.

1826: In Charleston, SC, John Drummond and his wife gave birth Elizabeth Drummond to whom the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Charleston would present “a handsome testimonial for unobtrusive but signally useful charity bestowed upon a poor Jewish family heavily visited with the fever last summer.

1827: In Philadelphia, French born American Jew Elias Mayer and his wife Abby gave birth to Adolph Henry Mayer.

1829: Birthdate of “Italian patriot, diplomat, financier and author” Isaac Artom “the first Jew to sit in the Italian legislative body.”

1830: Birthdate of Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt whose career was closely linked to the building of the Suez Canal.  After the canal was opened in 1869, Ismail’s efforts “to encourage outsiders to settle in the country as a way of developing its economy” included setting aside “the age old restrictions and humiliations of the dhimmi status…Those Jews who responded to the Khedive’s call were granted special privileges in return for their skills and expertise.”

1831: Birthdate of Aristide Felix Cohen, the native of Marseilles and brother of composer Jules Cohen who became a leading French author.

1834: In Trieste, Graziadio Treves, the rabbi for the community and his wife, the former Lia Montalcini gave birth to journalist Emilio Treves

1841(18th of Tevet, 5602): Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro of Dynov passed away. Born in 1783, he was the author of the Chassidic work B'nei Yissachar.

1844: The right to collect a tax ("basket tax") on all traditional Jewish clothing, including head coverings as well as a tax on kosher meat and other Jewish necessities was auctioned to the highest bidder in Poland-Lithuania. It was still in force until the 20th century.

1845: District Rabbi Jonas Wiesner married Estra (Therese) Wiesner

1848: In New York City, the constitution of Ahawath Chesed, a congregation primarily made up of Ashkenazi Jews, was adopted and signed by 31 members.

1848: Dov Beresh Meisels was elected to the Austrian Parliament. He was also elected to the Municipality of Cracow in the same year. An outspoken supporter of Jewish rights, he aligned himself with radicals because "Juden haben keine rechte" (Jews have no rights)

1852(20th of Tevet, 5613): Dr. Zacharias Wertheimer, the native of Vienna who “was involved in fighting the typhoid epidemic that had broken out on the Hungarian border before becoming a physician at the Zachar Hospital in Vienna, passed away today

1853: The partnership of Gustav Christian Schwabe, his father-in-law, Benjamin Rutter, and Adam Sykes which was known as the merchant company Sykes, Schwabe and Co, was dissolved today. Schwabe was born Jewish in 1813.  However, his family was forced to convert to Lutheranism and Gustav was baptized in 1819.

1854: As of the year ending today, there were forty one Jewish families living in Pilsen made up of 118 males and 131 females.

1858: Jacob and Amalia Freud gave birth to Anna Freud.

1860: Birthdate of German chess master Berthold Lasker.

1862: During the Civil War, Jacob C. Cohen of the 27th Ohio Infantry, wrote a letter describing conditions at Parker’s Crossroad, TN which was part of the Confederacy.

1862: The 79th Indiana under the command of Colonel (later General) Frederick Knefler are part of the Union Army that meets the Confederates as the Battle of Stone River begins.

1862: General in Chief Henry Halleck read the telegram from several prominent Cesar Kaskel, Julius Kaskel, Daniel Wolff, Marcus Wolff and Alexander Wolff protesting General Order No. 11.  Not knowing who the men were or the circumstances under which it was written, Halleck, ever the cautious political general took no action saying he needed more information.

1862: President Abraham Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union. “The first official Jewish settlement in West Virginia was at Wheeling where a Jewish cemetery and informal congregation was established in 1849. At the time it was still the state of Virginia as West Virginia did not become a state until 1863. Jews lived and traded in West Virginia prior to 1849, and as early as the late 18th century, but the official community did not get its start until Congregation L'Shem Shomayim was established in Wheeling in 1849. An earlier Jewish cemetery was established in Charleston in 1836, but the B'nai Israel Congregation in Charleston was only informally organized in 1856 and legally chartered as the "Hebrew Educational Society" in 1873.”  This quote is from the website of West Virginia Jewish History and Genealogy Jews- they are everywhere and darn proud of it.   

1863: As of this date, Louis H. Mayer, the native of Cincinnati who had first enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 at the age of 16 when Lincoln made his initial call for volunteers had been honorably discharged so that he could “accept a position as Assistant Paymaster in the United States Army at Memphis, TN.

1864(2nd of Tevet, 5625): For the last time during the Civil War, Jews finish celebrating Chanukah

1864: Kalmus Calmann Levy and Pauline Levy gave birth to Gaston Michel Calmann-Lévy

1866: Birthdate of Adolph Schwartz, a native of Germany who found fame and fortune as a merchant and civic leader in El Paso, TX.

1869: In Lida, Russia, Bernard and Aida Pollack gave birth to David Pollock, who became the Superintendent of Zion Hebrew Sabbaths Schools in Chicago as well as the editor of the Zion Messenger.

1871(19th of Tevet, 5632): Fifty-six year old Samuel Benjamin Sofer, the son of the Chasam Sofer and a leading Hungarian rabbi passed away. 

 1872(1st of Tevet, 5633): On the last day of 1872, Jews kindle the Chanukah candles for the last time

1872(1st of Tevet, 5663): Rosh Chodesh Tevet – the last day of the year is the first day of the month!

1873: Horace Porter, the Civil War General and personal secretary of President Grant who was also U.S. Ambassador to France during the attempts to exonerate Captain Dreyfus, resigned from the U.S. Army today.

1876: It was reported today that “the American churches have been showing their patriotism during the year by joining in the celebration of the nation’s Centennial anniversary including the Jews who have contributed a statue commemorating religious liberty.

1878(6th of Tevet, 5639): Thirty-seven year old German born American poet Minna Cohen, the wife of Rabbi Kleeberg whose collection of poems Gedichte was published in 1877 passed away today.

1880: Anti-Jewish riots broke out on New Year ’s Eve in Berlin which were, in part, “attribution to Ernst Henrici’s” anti-Semitic speeches.

1880: It was reported today that Samuel Hirsch seeking $5,000 in damages from Isaac Moses a rabbi and newspaper publisher in Milwaukee for describing him as a liar and a thief.

1880: Birthdate of George C. Marshall one of America’s unsung heroes.   As U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Marshall deserves much of the credit for the Allied victory in World War II. United States.  As Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State under President Truman, he was a leading architect of the American policy that checked Stalin’s imperial designs.  He did oppose the partition plan in 1947 and 1948.  His fear was that American troops would end up having to intervene to save any newly created Jewish state and he knew that America did not have the men to match the mission.  Although he disagreed with Truman on this issue, much to his credit, he did not resign his post.

1881: Birthdate of Jacob Israel de Haan, Dutch poet and writer. Israel de Haan was an “ultra-Orthodox leader who was working to establish the Orthodox community as a separate entity distinct from the Zionists.”  He was willing to enlist the support of non-Jews hostile to Zionism in to advance the cause of ultra-Orthodoxy.  In one of the most regrettable episodes in modern Jewish history, de Haan was assassinated in 1924 before he could continue his meetings with British authorities. 

1881: It was reported today that “the disorganization of society in Russia” can be seen “by the violent and murderous attacks on the Jews.”  The riots in Kiev resulted in property damage valued at twenty four million dollars while the property damaged at Ellisabetgrad was valued at $1, 600,000.

1882: New York Governor Alonzo B. Cornell who had appointed Myer Samuel Isaacs Justice of the Marine Court, possibly making him the first Jew to hold that position, completed his term in office today.

1882: Birthdate of David Cohen, Dutch historian and Chairman of the Jewish Council.

1882: “Delegates from the lodges of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, the Independent Order of the Free Sons of Israel and the Order of Kesher Shel Barzel met” this afternoon in New York to considering the benefits of “uniting the three orders.”

1884: In the report that F.N. Owen made to the Tenement House Commission today on conditions 968 houses sheltering 8,811 families he noted that “in houses occupied by Polish Jews…ashes are rarely found in the cellars but are in their rooms.”  (This strange notation may indicate that each dwelling had its own coal burning stove as opposed to the central heat we connect with apartment dwellings)

1885: Jacob Platzky reportedly stole $500 worth of goods from store at 27 Allen Street that specialized in hosiery and fancy goods.

1886: Israel Rokach, the future mayor of Tel Aviv was born in Neve Tzedek, which, at the time, was part of Jaffa.

1886: Birthdate of Henry Pearlman, the native Kovno, who earned an LL.B. from NYU and served as the Director of the Jewish Community House.

1887: It was reported today that “higher government authority has rejected the proposal of the Imperial Commission to permit Jews to reside in any village in Russia.”

1888: In Paris, Adolphe and Noémie Bloch gave birth to René Georges Bloch

1888: It was reported today that Jewish bankers in Europe are pleased with the successful offering of the loan needed by the Russian government.

1888: In Brooklyn founding of the Lawrence Club which meets on the first and third Sundays of each month.

1888: It was reported today that a children’s choir under the director of Sigmund Sabel provided part of the entertainment at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum’s annual holiday party.

1888(27th of Tevet, 5649): Samson Raphael Hirsch passed away. Born in 1808, he was a “German rabbi best known as the intellectual founder of the Torah Im Derech Eretz School of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. Occasionally termed neo-Orthodoxy, his philosophy, together with that of Azriel Hildesheimer, has had a considerable influence on the development of Orthodox Judaism. Hirsch was rabbi in Oldenburg, Emden, was subsequently appointed chief rabbi of Moravia, and from 1851 until his death led the secessionist Orthodox community in Frankfurt am Main. He wrote a number of influential books, and for a number of years published the monthly journal Jeschurun, in which he outlined his philosophy of Judaism. He was a vocal opponent of Reform Judaism and similarly opposed early forms of Conservative Judaism.”

1889: It was reported today that Myer Silberman, an immigrant Jewish jeweler, had left a suicide note blaming his death on Max Kantrowitz whom he claim had stolen his money and diamonds. He also asked that the death benefit due him as a member of Raphael Lodge be sent to young daughter who is still living in Europe with family members.

1889: According to census figures, as of today the total population of Amsterdam was 408,061 of whom 54,479 were Jewish including 49,946 Ashkenazim and 4,533 Portuguese Jews” also called Sephardim.

1890: The funeral for 65 year old Henry S. Henry the native of Ramsgate who came to the United States in 1848 where he became a successful commission merchant is scheduled to take place at his West 25th Street home.

1891(30th of Kislev, 5652): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1891: The Barge Office ended its role as the entry point for immigrants, including tens of thousands European Jews, coming through the port of New York.

1892: A dispatch from Paris published today said that the secret way that Corneilus Herz was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor is proof that it was done “in the interest of the friends of the Panama” Canal Scandal, supposedly the worst financial scandal to hit 19th century France.

1892: A new structure built from Georgia Pine opened today on Ellis Island to serve as an immigration depot. Hundreds of thousands of Jews would pass through Ellis Island including approximately 140,000 in 1914 which was the year that saw the largest influx of Eastern European Jews arriving in the United States.

1892: “It almost took Europe’s breath away this morning to read in the dispatches from New York” that 1892 “has been one of unexampled prosperity in America” since just the opposite is true in Europe as can be seen from six hundred million dollars lost by the English “investing and small income classes” which comes after losses for four hundred million dollars in 1891.  The disparity in economic conditions helped to explain the wave migration to American including the hundreds of thousands of Jews who made the trek (Editor’s Note – by this time in 1893, the United States would be suffering its worst economic downturn until 1929 which would heavily on the newly arrived Jewish immigrants)

1893: Based on reports published today of the additional 2,172 families that have applied to the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor from December 1 thru December 23, 110 are Jewish.

1894: A French court rejects Dreyfus’ appeal of his conviction.

1894(4th of Tevet, 5655): David Rosin a German Jewish theologian born at Rosenberg, Silesia, in 1823, passed away. Having received his early instruction from his father, who was a teacher in his native town, he attended the yeshibah of Kempen, of Myslowitz (under David Deutsch), and of Prague (under Rapoport); but, wishing to receive a regular school education, he went to Breslau, where he entered the gymnasium, and graduated in 1846. He continued his studies at the universities of Berlin and Halle (Ph.D. 1851) and passed his examination as teacher for the gymnasium. Returning to Berlin, he taught in various private schools, until Michael Sachs, with whom he was always on terms of intimate friendship, appointed him principal of the religious school which had been opened in that city in 1854. At the same time Rosin gave religious instruction to the students of the Jewish normal school. In 1866 he was appointed Manuel Joël's successor as professor of homiletics, exegetical literature, and Midrash at the rabbinical seminary in Breslau, which position he held till his death.

1895: “Disraeli in 1867” published today relies on information from The Table-Talk of Shirley in which Sir John Skelton described the future Earl of Beaconsfield as being “unlike any living creature one ever met with his olive complexion and coal black eyes and the might dome of his forehead (no Christian temple to be sure” Shirley prophetically wrote, “England is the Israel of his imagination and he will be the imperial Minster before he dies.”

1896: Morris Goodhart, the son-in-law of Judge Phillip J. Joachimsen, was operated on today for an abscess. (Complications from this operation would eventually prove fatal.)

1897: It was reported today that among the papers presented at the final session of this year’s meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society were “New York Jews During the Struggle for American Independence” and “Some Early American Zionist Projects” Max J. Kohler.

1898: Dr. Herman Baar delivered his last address as superintendent during Saturday morning services as the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1898(6th of Tevet): Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, known as the Shinever Rov (Rabbi of Sieniawa), the eldest son of the Divrei Chaim, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz passed away today after which he son Rabbi Moishe Halberstram succeeded him as Rabbi of Shinova.

1898: Frank Black, who appointed Jewish political leader and philanthropist to the state board of charities in 1897, completed his term as the 32nd Governor of New York.

1899: By the end of this month, Children of the Ghetto written by Israel Zangwill had been performed for the last time at Herald Square Theatre.

1899: Fifty-eight year old Alsace native Elie Scheid who served for sixteen as the inspector for the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (Committee for Charity and Support for the Palestinians) during which he made annual trips to examine the progress being made by the settlers in Palestine retired today with a pension provided by Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

1900: The New York Times reported that city authorities have decided to locate the Baron and Baroness de Hirsch memorial at the eastern edge of Central Park at the Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street Gate.

1901: The Fifth Zionist Congress ends its meeting at Basil, Switzerland.

1903(OS):  Birthdate of Russian-born American violinist Nathan Milstein.

1903 Dutch jurist Aaron Adolf de Pinot who had been appointed justice of the Supreme Court in 1876 was name vice president of that court today.

1904: Following the recent death of his father Clarence Charles Minzesheimer head of the banking and brokerage house of Charles Minzesheimer & Co which had been founded in 1860, reformed the business with two new partners

1905:  Birthdate of American song writer Jules Styne.

1906: Thirty-year old Otto A Rosalsky completed his service on the General Sessions having been appointed by the Governor to “fill the unexpired term of” of  the incumbent who had moved on to the State Supreme Court.

1906(14th of Tevet, 5667): Julia Goodman née Salaman a British portrait painter, passed away.

1908:  Birthdate of Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

1908: Birthdate of Lillian Klein Pollack, the Brooklynite who was active in the Jewish Child Care Association, Federations of Jewish Philanthropies and Hadassah and who was the wife of Milton Pollack.

1908: Louis A. Hensheimer, a member of the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company was operated on today for appendicitis.

1912: A Russo-U.S. trade treaty, originally ratified in 1832, was abrogated by President Taft because of Russian discrimination against Jews who were American citizens.

1913(2nd of Tevet, 5674): Eight Day of Chanukah (Editor’s note – the last time the holiday would observed before WW I which found English, French and Russian Jews fighting against Jews from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire)

1913: By the time the copyright of the opera “Parsifal” expired today, it had been performed 43 times since first performed under the direction of Heinrich Conried who began managing the Met in 1903.

1913: In New York, Julius Harburger completed his term as Sherriff.

1914: “In a letter to Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, the State Department informs him that there was much exaggeration in the cabled report published a few days ago to the effect that a large number of Jews in Jaffa had been summarily expelled from that city and summarily expelled from that city and transported to Alexandria, and that they had suffered from violence and insult at the hands of Turkish officials.” (Editor’s note - one wonders why the State Department decided to whitewash what was an effect a pogrom)

1914: It was reported today that when the ship sponsored by the American Jewish Relief Committee sails from New York “it will carry relief, not only to the Jewish sufferers of Palestine but to the constituencies of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, the American Missionary Board and The Christian Herald.

1914: “The Provisional Executive Committee for general Zionist affairs…announced “today” that the Turkish Post Office has prohibited the use of all languages except Turkish, Arabic, French and German” which will present a problem for Jews writing to Palestine because most of them write in Yiddish, Hebrew and/or Russian.

1914 It was reported today that among those contributing to the fund for the relief of the Jews of Russia, Poland and Galicia were Camp Zion of Des Moines, Iowa and Temple Emanuel of Helena, Montana

1914: “Denver Jews To Aid Frank” published reported that “the Jews of Denver ask only for a fair trial for Leo Frank – a trail free from prejudice and the menace of hissing, howling mob outside the courtroom.”

1914: It was reported today that Dr. Leon Harrison of St. Louis believes that the Leo Frank case “shows that the prejudice again the Jews has been entirely removed” and it shows “that the Jew is born to suffer.”

1914: Martin H. Glynn, the 40th governor of the state of New York completed his term in office. Five years later he would come to the defense of the Jews of post-World War Europe in an article entitled “The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop!” Since he was a Roman Catholic who never ran for office after leaving the statehouse, we can only assume that his article was written out of personal conviction.

1914: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee has sent fifty thousand dollars to the Jewish Colonization Association at Petrograd for distribution to the needy

1914: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee has collected $262,067.97.

1915: The commander-in-chief of the BEF gave orders that Solomon Joseph Solomon should be given the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel so that he can begin the work of setting up “a team to start the production of camouflage materials in France.

1915: “Jacob R. Fain, representing the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Society of America arrived” in Seattle “from New York today to assist in caring for Jewish refugees from the Russian war zone.”

1915: Three days after the order had come for the disbandment, “at the last parade” today Joseph Trumpeldor addressed the men in Hebrew saying “‘We are leaving tonight; our work is done. We have a right to say; well done … we and the Jewish people need never be ashamed of the Zion Mule Corps!’”

1915: It was reported today that the American Jewish Relief Committee had received a telegram from Isidor Herschfield, who was traveling in war torn Eastern Europe on behalf of the committee and HIAS that described the need for shoes, food, clothing, fuel and “enormous sums” in Bialystock, Peski, Ross and Vilna.

1915: “The American Jewish Relief Committee which is attempting to raise $5,000,000 before the end of 1916 for the benefit of Jews suffering the war announced” today at the office of the Treasurer, Felix Warburg the receipt of $1,200 from non-Jews” including ex-Senator W. A. Clark, $1,000; R. Fulton Cutting, $100 and Paul D. Cravath, $100.”

1915: “Dr. Felix Adler warned the member of the Society for Ethical Culture at the meeting held” this “morning in Carnegie Hall that there are crises pending in the world and that it behooved the educated class to organize for the purpose of meeting them” and “he especially urged upon the society the advisability of taking a united stand in all matters pertaining to the social and moral status of the people.”

1915: Louis D. Brandeis and Dr. Schmarya Levin are scheduled to be the guests of honor at the 19th annual convention of the Knights of Zion opening today in Chicago.

1915: In writing today about why the United States should join the Entente powers, Isaac Don Levine said that, among other benefits would be a shortening of the war and providing support for “oppressed nationalities including Jews, Poles and Armenians.”

1916: Birthdate of Leo Kahn, whose success in pioneering big-box, warehouse-style supermarkets led him to join with another entrepreneur in 1986 to start Staples, the retail chain that calls itself the “office superstore…” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1916: “Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Gideon of Boston” are scheduled to “give a recite of Jewish music this evening…for the Sunday Evening Forum of the Free Synagogue. (Gideon was the author of Jewish Hymnal for Religious Schools.)

1916: Among the contributions listed today by the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering through the War were $100 from the Jewish Alliance of Hamilton, Canada, $500 from the Ontario, Canada, Committee and $20 from the Chevra Kaddisha in Rockland, Maine.

1916: Extracts from a speech delivered in the Russian Duma by Deputy Friedman were made public today the American Jewish Committee in which he said “The Jewish people are deprived of the right to have their own press and recently of the right to have prayer books, textbooks and reference books in their own language” and “as before hundreds of Jewish youths are not admitted to the educational instutions.”

1916:  In Constantinople, Arthur Ruppin, a German born Zionist wrote in his diary, “Apparently the war is gradually coming to a close.  Probably, it will still take some time, but 1917 will bring us peace.”

1917: Nathan D. Perlman completed his two year term as a member of the New York State Assembly from 6th district in New York County.

1917: Today, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Mitchell Mark “had the sold right to use the ‘The Strand’ for a movie theater.”  Starting in the 1890’s Mark became one of the first entrepreneurs to dominate the field of movie distribution. In 1914, Mitchell and Moe Mark opened the million dollar Mark Strand Theatre in New York City, which “may have been first real movie palace, specifically built only to show motion pictures…The New York Times favorably reviewed the opening of this theater, helping to establish its importance.” Having spent that kind of money (a million dollar was big money in the second decade of the 20th century), it is understandable that Mark would take steps to keep others from encroaching on the fame of his new theatre.

1917: It was reported today that eighteen year old Max Rosen, the son of Rumanian immigrant and Bowery barber shop owner Benjamin Rosen, has returned to New York from Europe where he has been studying and performing to adoring audiences for the last five years is scheduled to make his debut in January with Philharmonic Orchestra in Carnegie Hall next month.

1917: Tonight, Albert Lucas announced that today “more than $750,000 was paid into the treasure of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds For Jewish War Suffers” which meant that Julius Rosenwald would pay an additional $75,000 into the fund based on his promise to give ten percent based on the total of all money received by December 31, 1917.

1917: Resolutions were passed today at the fifth annual convention of the Intercollegiate Menorah Association meeting at Columbia University “expressing the gratitude of the association to the British Government for its declaration favoring the establishment of a national home for Jews in Palestine and pledging the whole-hearted support of the association to the United States Government in the war.”

1917: It was reported today that the 85 organizations affiliated with the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies have spent $3,980,962 so far this year and are requesting $4,685,362 for 1918.

1917: Colonel Storrs, the newly appointed British Military Governor of Jerusalem “received New Year’s greeting from all the city’s communities – Muslim, Christian and Jewish.”  The Jewish community sent two greetings, one from the Ashkenazi Community Council and one from the City Council of Jerusalem Jews.

1918: Birthdate of Antonio Yosef Ben-Jochannan the Puerto Rican born historian and prolific author whose best known work may be Abu Simbel to Ghizeh: A Guide Book and Manual

1918: Charles S. Whitman, who as Governor-elected “had stated” that he would “appoint at least one Jew to each Board of Managers of the State hospitals” completed his service as the 41st Governor of New York.

1920: Abram I. Elkus completed his service on the New York Court of Appeals.

1922: A delicatessen dinner and reception are scheduled to be held at the Brooklyn Jewish Center on Eastern Parkway.

 1922: The Alumni Association of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society hosted a bazzar at the Central Jewish Institute in NYC from noon until midnight.

1922: Birthdate of Marek Edelman, Jewish-Polish political and social activist, cardiologist, and one of the last living leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

1923: Birthdate of Arthur Siegel, the classically trained musician who gained fame as an American songwriter.

1923: “Kid Boots” starring Eddie Cantor opened on Broadway at the Earl Carroll Theatre.

1924: Birthdate of Dutch born American economist Hendrik Samuel “Hank” Houthakker.

1924: Deadline set by Governor General Primo de Rivera of Spain offering all Sephardim the possibility of reacquiring Spanish nationality. Very few Jews took him up on this offer.

1925: Arthur Kober, the Brody-born American author and playwright Lillian Hellman married today.

1927: Henry Ford ended publication of the Dearborn Independent after having written “a public letter to ADL president Sigmund Livingston recanting his anti-Semitic views.

1931: Birthdate of “Irish journalist, novelist and feminist” June Levine

 1931: Jewish author Emil Ludwig interviews Joseph Stalin.  The interviews will provide material for his biography on the Soviet dictator.

1933: According to reports published today, Erika Morini, the Jewish violinist from Vienna, will be coming to the United States during the Fall of 1934 for her fifth tour in this country. Morini is considered a real child prodigy.  Born in 1904, she made her concert debut in 1917.

1933(13th of Tevet, 5694): Hungarian born American rabbi, scholar and author George Alexander Kohut passed away today

1934: By the end of the month, movies goers in the United Kingdom had a chance to “The Man Who Knew Too Much” a mystery produced by Michael Balcon and starring Peter Lorre.

1934: As of today, Otto A. Rosalsky was scheduled to complete his fourteen year service on the General Service bench, having been elected to a fourteen year term with Republican and Tammany Hall support.

1935: Under the leadership of Seymour Weiss, in New Orleans, the Roosevelt Hotel made a major upgrade with the opening of the Blue Room, which for decades, was one of the leading, if not the leading and classiest place to spend an evening in “the city that care forgot.

1935: The last Jews remaining in Germany's civil service are dismissed by the government.

1936: Leonard Stein, the local adviser to the Jewish agency in London testified for almost three hours today before the Royal Commission in a last ditch effort by the Zionists to prevent Great Britain from changing the terms of the mandate which had been “granted for the express purpose of establishing a Jewish national home” to a new interpretation that would favor the Arabs.

1937: Birthdate of Avram Hershko Israeli biologist who won 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.

1937: The Palestine Post reported from London that a number of influential British Cabinet members recommended an entirely new policy in Palestine. They demanded the abandoning of the Lord Peel Partition plan, and the overthrow of the idea of the Jewish National Home as conceived in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and offered an alternative of a permanent Jewish minority in an all-Arab Palestine state; so much for the concept of British honor.

1937: Birthdate of German journalist and businessman Paul Spiegel

1937(27th of Tevet, 5698): Yehiel Ephroni, 33, was fatally wounded by shots fired by an Arab terrorist gang at an Egged bus at Km. 16 of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road.

1937: The Bucharest Stock Exchange crashed when Romanian Jews started to liquidate their assets, fearing the new government’s anti-Semitic policy.

1937: “Stage Door” the movie of the Edna Feber and George Kaufman stage play with the same name produced by Pandro S. Berman was released in the United Kingdom.

1938: Five hundred Jews attended a New Year’s Eve dance at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.  According to John Martin, the Secretary of the Peel Commission, a female reveler broke into the room of Sir Horace Humboldt, the official who called the Jews of Palestine an “alien race’, blew a small trumpet to awaken him and then proceeded to tell him the ‘he was the ugliest member of the commission and various other home truths while he cowered helpless beneath the counterpane.”

1939: Kibbutz Usha, Rachel (Rushka) and Shmuel Pazi gave birth to war hero and Paralympic Medalist, Igal Pazi.

1939(19th of Tevet, 5700): Eighty-two year old Georg Wertheim who “joined the department stored founded by his father Abraham” which employed 10,000 in its pre-World War I heyday but was lost to the family when the Nazis came to power passed away today in Berlin.

1939: As World War II began 1,210 Jews boarded the river boat Uranus, looking to be transported to Palestine.

1940: On New Year’s Eve, at Dachau, Fritz Grunbaum who was gravely ill with tuberculosis put on his last show as he entertained the prisoners in the camp infirmary.

 1941: A New Year’s Eve costume party was held in Riga, Latvia.

 1941: Hitler approved Alfred Rosenbeg’s request to plunder the French Jews and distribute their property to Nazi party members and members of the Werhmacht staff.  The fact that the Werhmacht profited from this should be an indicator that the German General Staff was aware of what the fate of the Jews from the early days of the war. 

1941:  In Washington, DC, on “New Year’s Eve in the dead of night, the National Gallery loaded seventy-five of its best works and secretly slipped them out of town” as they began their trip to “safety” in North Carolina in what was part of the effort to protect America’s value historical documents and art which was part of an activity that was the first move in what would eventually become the work of “the Monuments Men.”

1941: In the dark days of the European Night, this was an attempt to strike a match and bring a flicker of hope to the desperate. On this night, Abba Kovner uttered some of the most meaningful lines of the 20th century.  On New Year’s Eve, Abba Kovner spoke out at a meeting of Zionist Youth hiding in a convent outside of Vilna.  He asserted that Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews and called for armed resistance with his famous words. "Let us not go as sheep to the slaughter."  As a result of the meeting and his stirring call to action, the Jews formed the United Partisan Organization.  Kovner’s revolt failed and he became part of a partisan unit.  Later, he was active in smuggling Jews into Palestine.  After fighting in the War for Independence, he settled down on a kibbutz with his wife and pursued a career as a poet.  He was one of the witnesses against Eichmann when the Nazi butcher was brought to trial in Jerusalem

1942: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead was delivered to her publisher.

1942: By this date, the German Reich has deported more than two million Jews to death camps. Hundreds of thousands more Jews have been murdered by Einsatzgruppen and police battalions.

1942: In Petah-Tikva, Simcha and David Mizrahi gave birth to Yehezckel Mizrahi who perished aboard the Submarine Dakar.

1942: At a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Churchill asked if would be possible for the RAF to undertake two or three heavy raids on Berlin in January.  In addition to dropping bombs on the German capital, the planes would drop leaflets warning them of the fate that awaited them at the end of the war and that the attacks were reprisals for Nazi persecution of Poles and Jews.  Sir Charles Portal, the Chief of the Air Staff “warned that any such raids avowedly conducted on account of the Jews would be an asset to enemy propaganda.”  The RAF and the USAAF had at least one thing in common. Neither military unit was going to exert any effort to slow down the impact of the Final Solution.

1943: U.S. premiere of “Destination Tokyo” produced by Jerry Wald and Jack L. Warner, co-starring John Garfield with music by Franz Waxman and a script co-authored by Albert Maltz.

1944: Hungarian Arrow Cross members storm a Swiss-sponsored "safe house" in Budapest and attack residents with machine guns and hand grenades. Three Jews are killed but the rest are saved by a Hungarian military

1944(15th of Tevet, 5705): Josephine Sarah Marcus passed away.  Born to German immigrant parents in Brooklyn, NY, in 1861, Marcus grew up in San Francisco. Enchanted by a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, she ran away from home at age 18 to join the theatre. On tour in Tombstone, Arizona, she met and married Wyatt Earp, then a deputy U.S. Marshall for the Arizona Territory. In 1881, Wyatt Earp won lasting fame when he and his brothers fought a gun battle with their political rivals the Clanton gang at the O.K. Corral. Fleeing indictment for murder in the aftermath of the shootings, Wyatt and Josephine moved to Colorado. Wyatt's and Josephine's marriage lasted another forty-eight years, until his death in 1929. During these years, they moved frequently around the American west, following gold, silver, and copper mining, until they settled in Southern California. There, they invested in real estate and racehorses, wrote Wyatt's autobiography, and drafted a screenplay based on his exploits. After Wyatt's death, Josephine contributed to published and film portrayals of his life, helping to establish an enduring American legend. Josephine Marcus-Earp was buried beside her husband in a Jewish cemetery in Northern California, where their graves are today the primary local tourist attraction.

 1945: Birthdate of Leonard Max Adleman a theoretical computer scientist and professor of computer science and molecular biology at the University of Southern California. He is known for being a co-inventor of the RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) cryptosystem in 1977, and of DNA computing. RSA is in widespread use in security applications, including digital signatures. He won the ACM Turing Award in 2002.

1945: In Pittsburgh a gang of seven Italian American robbers killed a Jewish restaurant owner.  The Pittsburgh Jewish Community Relations Council “made a point of downplaying the role of group antagonism as a motivation for this tragic event in order not to harm Jewish-Italian relations.”

1946: Another combined military and police search for the terrorists responsible for Thursday night's explosions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa was carried out in the slum area of Jerusalem this morning. More than 400 persons were detained for interrogation.

1946: In Brussels, Leon (Lipa) Halfin and Holocuast survivor Lilane Nahmias, gave birth to Diane Simone Michelle Halfin who gained fame as fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg

1947: Following an Arab attack on the refinery at Haifa where they killed 47 Jews, members of the Palmach launched an attack on Balad al-Shaykh, Haifa.

1947: Because of constant attacks from Arabs and the siege of Jerusalem, Hebrew University was forced to end all courses and close its doors.

1947: Darius Paul Dassault, the French military leader who had changed his name from Darius Paul Bloch was serving with the Resistance was promoted to the rank of Army General (général d'armée)

1948: “Words and Music” a biopic “based on the creative partnership of the composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart who provided the score for the show which was directed by Norman Taurog and produced by Arthur Freed was released today in the United States.

1948: In response to a British ultimatum, Ben-Gurion dispatched the order for Israeli forces to evacuate the Sinai and return to the Negev. A Jewish brigade was on the brink of capturing the Egyptian city of El Arish.  Despite pleas from Yigal Allon, who was in command of the forces, Ben-Gurion refused to change his mind. Ever the realist, Ben Gurion knew he needed a successful conclusion to fighting with the Arabs; not a widening war with the British.

1948: U.S. President Harry Truman cabled Ben-Gurion demanding that Israeli forces evacuate the Sinai or face the possible loss of U.S. support.  Truman did not know that Ben-Gurion had already issued orders for such an evacuation.  There are those who think Truman was moving to shore up the British whose support he needed in dealing with the threat of Soviet Imperialism. 

1948: “While flying a Spitfire (White 15) on a patrol over the Sinai” Danny Wilson “spotted an Egyptian aircraft - an Italian Fiat (Macchi) - coming back to its airfield at Bir Hama” which he shot down and from which the enemy pilot escaped when the pilot bailed out.

1949: The curtain came down “Born Yesterday” starring Judy Holliday today after 1,642 performances.

1949: Birthdate of American author Susan Schwartz.

1950(22nd of Tevet, 5711): Sixty-eight year old Vilna native Jacob Billikopf, Ph.B., L.L.D who was a nationally known figure in social work, Jewish philanthropy and labor arbitration passed away today. Billikopf had a long and distinguished career in public service work. He served as superintendent of the United Jewish Charities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Kansas City, Missouri, before becoming the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, chairman of the National Labor Board for the Philadelphia region during the first years of the New Deal. He served as impartial chairman of both the Ladies' Garment industry and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in [Philadelphia]. He later represented the department stores of Philadelphia in their labor relations. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the New School for Social Research, and president of the board of trustees of Howard University. In 1937 and 1938 he dedicated himself fulltime to bringing European Jewish refugees into the United States. Following World War II he served on the Clemency Board in Washington which was established to review court martial sentences.

1951: Seventy-five year old Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet leader whose greatest accomplishment may have been his ability to survive Stalin’s paranoia and anti-Semitism passed away today.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset passed the first reading of the War Invalids Bill, submitted by the Minister of Labor, Mrs. Golda Meyerson (Meir).(This is the same Golda Meir who would become Foreign Minister and Prime Minister in the 1970's in time for the Yom Kippur War.)  The bill assured veteran rights, the same as provided to the casualties of the Israel Defense Forces, to the invalids of the World War II Palestinian units of the British Army, and to the invalids of the Haganah. Pensions were also granted to partisans who fought Hitler. The bill was attacked sharply by Herut Knesset members on the grounds that it discriminated against the fighters of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (Lehi). (The Labor Zionists did not the Irgun or the Stern Gang as legitimate parts of the IDF and this was their way of rejecting them and their behavior once and for all.)

1952: In the wake of the “Red Scare” Rutgers University fired Moses Finley even though the Special Faculty Committee had issued a report “stating there should be no charges against…Finley and the University should take no further action in the matter.”

1952: “The Stooge” a comedy directed Norman Taurog and co-starring Jerry Lewis, Polly Bergen and Eddie Mayehoff, the son of Russian immigrant Jew was released today in the United States.

1953: In Boston, MA, Elizabeth Mary and S. Roy Remar, an attorney gave birth to American actor William James Remar whose “paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants” who name was originally “Ramarman.”

1954: Jacob K. Javits completed his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 21st District.

1955(16th of Tevet, 5716): Forty-two year old Sid Grossman, the WW II veteran and photographer who taught the art to several budding youngsters passed away today.

1955(16th of Tevet, 5716): Seventy-three year old novelist and translator Ludwig Lewisohn, one of the original members of the faculty at Brandeis university passed away today.

1956:  Birthdate of Dr. Martin Joseph Fettman.  An astronaut, Fettman was a Payload Specialist

1957: David Ben-Gurion resigned as Prime Minister “over the leaking of information from ministerial meetings.

1958: In Princeton, NJ, Sydney Anne and Lee Paul Neuwrith gave birth to actress Beatrice “Bebe” Neuwirth

1958: The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, commonly known by its Hebrew acronym PICA, which had been established in 1924 “agreed to vest its right to land holdings in Syria and Lebanon to the state of Israel. 

1959: Isidore Dollinger resigns as a member of the House of Representatives from New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

1961: Having led the New York Giants to the Eastern Conference Champion, Coach Allie Sherman suffered a lost to Green Bay in today’s NFL Championship Game.

1962: “40 Pounds of Trouble” a comedy starring Tony Curtis and Larry Storch was released in the United States by Universal Pictures.

1962: Max Goberman who conducted “the original productions of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘On the Town’ and West Side Story’” passed away today.

1962: Lesser Enterprises the real estate development firm led by Louis Lesser announced its first cash distribution – 21 cents a share -- today

1963: Israel's first desalination plant opened at the port of Eilat. 

1963:  Birthdate of Scott Ian. Born Scott Rosenfeld, Ian is known as a guitarist for Anthrax.

1966: Kitty “Carlisle made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, as Prince Orlofsky in Strauss's Die Fledermaus.”

1968(10th of Tevet, 5729): Asara B’Tevet

1968: In an essay entitled “On Not Being a Jew” Edward Hoagland “complained that he was ‘being told in print and occasionally in person that I and my heritage lacked vitality because I could field no ancestry who had hawked copper pots in a Polish shtetl.’”

1969:  Five unarmed Israeli gunboats arrived in Haifa tonight ending a 3,000-mile journey from Cherbourg, France. Their arrival did little to unravel the mystery of their departure, which when the story became public, sounded like something out of an Ian Fleming novel.

1970(3rd of Tevet, 5731): Arnold Reuben, a German immigrant who founded Rebuen’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, one of the delis that claimed to be the home of The Reuben (sandwich), passed away in Palm Beach at the age of 87.

1971: “A group of people who wanted to create a warmer, more intimate, and more democratic Reform temple” founded Temple B’Nai Sholom in Albany, NY which held its first service on this date.  Within a month the congregation was incorporated. The congregation met in a church until its present building on 5 ½ acres of Whitehall Road was dedicated in 1979. In 1998, an educational wing was added and existing space was reconfigured to beautify the sanctuary and add a library, lounge and meeting room.

1971: ‘’Diamonds Are Forever” the seventh of the “James Bond” films produced by Harry Saltzman, with a screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz and featuring Marc Lawrence as “Rodney” premiered in the United Kingdom today.

1973: Elections which had been scheduled to be held in October and were delayed by the Yom Kippur War took place. Likud a new political party won 39 seats in the Knesset.

1974: Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom, a Reform synagogue located in Louisville, Kentucky, was added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

1974: Mikhail Stern, a victim of the Soviet Union’s anti-Zionism went on trial at Vinnitsa.

1975: Isidore Dollinger completes his career as a Justice on the New York Supreme Court.

1975: Cornell student Sue Fishkoff landed in Leningrad today. Within hours of her arrival she found herself “in a Jewish apartment within hours” of her arrival, plucked out of the crowd by a young Jewish member of the Komsomol group sent to greet” those arriving at the airport. “The table was spread with a lavish repast -- mushrooms in cream sauce, pickled vegetables, carrot salad, all kinds of smoked fish.” She “learned later how long the family had scrimped to put together that holiday meal. People crowded around her, eager to ask questions about America. Was there really so much street crime? What did people think of the pullout from Vietnam? Had she ever been to Israel? Then two young men dragged out a book and thrust it into her lap. It was an English-language edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica they had opened to the page on Chanukah. One of them pointed to a drawing of the nine-branched Chanukiyah and asked her to explain its use.Thinking he was joking, she smiled. These were university educated people. This was the 20th century. He had to be pulling her leg. He wasn’t. And she’ll always remember her shock and sadness as she realized it.”

1976: Iris Origo who had risked her life by providing assistance to Jews, downed Allied pilots and anti-fascists partisans in Italy during World War II, was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Overseas and Diplomatic List. The Anglo-Irish writer also helped tEo save Jewish children through the kindertransport including the painter Frank Helmut Auerbach.

1977: Ed Koch completed his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 18th District.

1978: After having served in the position for twenty-four years, Arthur Leavitt, Jr. completed his sixth and final term as New York State Comptroller.

1978: After 1,920 performances the curtain came down on “The Magic Show” “a one-act musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

1980: A Jewish owned hotel in Nairobi Kenya was bombed killing 18.

1980: A department store that had been built on the site of the Praška Street synagogue burned to the ground.  The synagogue had been demolished without the consent of the Jews in 1941.  After the war, the communist regime confiscated all religious property including the land of the synagogue.

1981: Iraq said today that two Israeli fighter planes had penetrated 30 miles into southwestern Iraqi airspace near the Saudi Arabian border but had been intercepted by Iraqi planes and forced to withdraw. The Israeli military command in Tel Aviv refused comment on the statement.

1986: In Washington, DC, Len and Marjorie Freiman gave birth to major league baseball player Nathan Samuel "Nate" Freiman

 1987(10th of Tevet, 5748): Asara B’Tevet

1987: In “Early Neil Simon, ‘Come Blow Your Horn’” Mel Gussow reviewed the playwrights semi-autobiographical drama.

1987(10th of Tevet, 5748: Forty eight year old Leo Steiner, the restaurateur best known as the co-owner of the Carnegie Deli passed away today – which is sort of strange; a man who sells “Jewish” food for a living dies on a Jewish fast day.

 1987: The police said today that 10 identical letter bombs had been mailed from Turkey to several locations in Israel. Two residents of Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv, were slightly wounded by one of the bombs, but the others were defused, the police said.

1987: ''A People in Print: Jewish Journalism in America.'' a major exhibit celebrating the freedoms of speech and religion at the National Museum of Jewish History comes to an end. In the following article entitled History of “Jewish Journalism On Display in Philadelphia” the author provides interesting highlights into this little studied topic.

1988: An Off-Broadway revival production of “Godspell” a Stephen Schwartz musical which had opened at the Lamb’s Theatre in June came to an end today.

1989: Today, Prime Minister Shamir said he had dismissed Ezer Weizman from the cabinet for violating Israeli law by maintaining contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Shamir accused Mr. Weizman of giving advice to the P.L.O. on how to respond to Mr. Shamir's plan for elections in the occupied territories

1989: After 1,420 performances the curtain came down on a Broadway revival of “Me and My Girl” featuring George S. Irving in “his Tony nominated performance as Sir John” at the Marquis Theatre

1989: Ed Koch completed his service as New York’s 105th Mayor

1990:  Garry Kasparov retains holds his title by winning the World Chess Championship.

1990: According to reports published in today’s New York Times, “Israeli military experts are virtually unanimous that in the event of war, Iraq would launch at least 20 missiles against Israel armed with conventional or chemical warheads, and that some of those missiles would be certain to penetrate Israeli defenses.

1991(24th of Tevet, 5752): Felicja Blumental, a Polish-born Brazilian pianist who was known for her performances of 19th-century rarities and music by contemporary composers, died today in Tel Aviv, where she was attending a recital by her daughter, Annette Celine Blumental, a soprano. She was 80 years old and lived in Monte Carlo. She died of heart failure, said her husband, Markus Mizne. Miss Blumental was born in Warsaw on Dec. 28, 1911, and studied composition with Karol Szymanowski and piano with Zbigniew Drzewiecki and Joseph Goldberg at the Warsaw Conservatory. During the early years of World War II, she hid in France and Luxembourg but was able to leave in 1942 when her husband, who had escaped to Brazil, obtained a performer's visa for her. She became a Brazilian citizen and lived in Rio de Janeiro until 1962, when she moved to Milan, Italy, and in 1973 to Monte Carlo. Her early performances in Brazil impressed that country's best-known composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, who composed his Piano Concerto No. 5 for her in 1954. The Polish composers Witold Lutoslawski and Kzysztof Penderecki also wrote for her. Miss Blumental was well known in the 1960's for her adventurous approach to the 19th-century repertory. Although she performed and recorded much of the standard repertory, she also revived neglected works by Hummel, Czerny and Clementi. Her daughter lives in New York.

1991(24th of Tevet, 5752): Benjamin Joseph Buttenwieser passed away. Born in 1900 he was an American banker, philanthropist and civic leader in New York. Buttenwieser entered Columbia College at age 15 and graduated in 1919. He eventually became a partner of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and director of many companies, including Revlon; Benrus Watch; Tischman Realty and others. Buttenwieser married Helen Lehman Buttenwieser in 1929. She was the niece of Governor Herbert Lehman and an attorney for Alger Hiss. Their activism landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents. The Buttenwieser Professorship at Columbia University was established in 1958 with a gift to the University from Buttenweiser, a longtime University Trustee and clerk of the Trustees, in honor of his father, Joseph. He was also a trustee of Lenox Hill Hospital and the New York Philharmonic. He was also a president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

1991: An Arab woman from Bethlehem was preparing an explosive charge in a toilet in the Mahane Yehuda market, the main Jewish market of West Jerusalem, when the charge exploded killing her and no one else.

1991: All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.  There is so much that is positive about this for the world in general and Jews in particular.  The demise of the Soviet Union open the flood gates and made it possible for the long-suffering Jews living in the various Soviet republics to make Aliyah

1992: Amnon Rubinstein, a member of Meretz, completed his service as Science and Technology Minister.

1992: Czechoslovakia is dissolved, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Jews will always have a warm spot in their hearts for Czechoslovakia.  In 1948, when faced with an arms embargo and the invasion by well-armed Arab armies, the Czechs sold the Israelis their first combat aircraft.  Ironically, these were surplus ME-109’s – the fighter plane that had been the pride of the Nazi Air Force.  These fighter planes, one of which was flown by Ezer Weizmann played a key role in halting the Egyptian drive to seize Tel Aviv.

1992: Amnon Rubenstein completed his term as Minister of Science and Development.

1993: Elizabeth Holtzman completed her term as the 40th Comptroller of New York City.

1993: G. Oliver Koppel completed his service as a member of the New York State Assembly where he had begun serving in March, 1970.

1993: Robert Abrams completed his service as New York State Attorney General, a position he had held since 1979.

1993: Entertainer Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years, singing to a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

1993: Formally recognizing each other after decades of diplomatic aloofness and centuries of frequent Jewish-Catholic rancor, Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement today to establish diplomatic relations.

1993: G. Oliver Koppel completed his service as a member of the New York State Asssemly.

1993: Chaim Weizman and David Bizi were found after being murdered by terrorists in a Ramle apartment. ID cards of two Gaza residents were found in the apartment, together with a leaflet of the Popular Front 'Red Eagle' group, claiming responsibility for the murder.

1994(28th of Tevet, 5755): Leo Fuchs Polish born U.S. Yiddish actor passed away at the age of 83.

1994: Gabriel Oliver Koppell completed his terms as the 61st New York State Attorney General.

1995: In writing about the “Emotional Overload and Emotional Lift” captured by television in 1995, Walter Goodman cites the tragic events that occurred in Israel. “The shock at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister was to some extent alleviated by the immediate surge of revulsion, expressed on television both in the United States and in Israel, over violent political language as well as acts of violence. At the widely covered funeral, the tributes of so many heads of state were heartening, with the pictures of an obviously moved King Hussein of Jordan carrying special force. Even amid the anxiety over the future, it was a historic and consoling moment: an Arab leader showing personal sorrow for the death of an Israeli leader.”

1997:  Marv Levy retired as coach of Buffalo Bills.

1997: Despite American calls for a ''timeout'' in settlement building, Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai of Israel shoveled cement into a hole today for a new extension of this Jewish settlement in the hills north of the Palestinian-ruled town of Ramallah.

1998: The United States Ambassador to Israel ordered the American Embassy in Tel Aviv closed today after what embassy officials called a ''direct and credible'' threat of a terrorist attack against the building. 

1999: The last commercial flight out of Kennedy International Airport for 1999 took off at 10:17 p.m. for the 10-hour nonstop flight to Tel Aviv with a mere 12 paying passengers on board.

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism by George Soros, The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Language and Culture by Ruth R. Wisse and Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture by Robert Alter.

2001: Alan Hevesi completed his term as New York City’s 41st Comptroller.

2001: After seven years, Michael Applebaum completed his service as  Montreal City Councillor for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

2002: Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education, stepped down after 15 years at the helm of the Carnegie Institution.

2003(6th of Tevet, 5764): Gerald Yael Goldberg the native of Cork born in 1912 who became the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Cork in 1977 passed away.

2003: German-born American physicist Arthur R. von Hippel passed away.  Von Hippel was not Jewish but his wife was.  Von Hippel was an opposed to the Nazis.  For these two reasons, Von Hippel left Germany and eventually made his as to the United States where he spent the rest of his life.

2004(19th of Tevet, 5765): Israeli Poet and playwright Elisheva Greenbaum passed away. In June of 2003, at the Metulla Festival of Poetry, Elli was awarded the prestigious "Tevah" prize in poetry. Earlier, in 2002, Elisheva was awarded The Prime Minister's prize for poetry.

 2005: Premier of “Six Actors in Search of a Plot" a new bilingual Arabic-Hebrew written by the Palestinian playwright Mohammad el-Thaher.

 2005(30th of Kislev, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2005: In the evening, Havdalah and New Year’s coincide. How ironic that "2005" separates itself from our lives on the evening when the Jew separates the day of rest from the week of work

2005: Jimmy Young the long-term “caretaker and chief custodian” at Adas Israel in Washington, DC retired today having become an “institution” at city’s venerable Conservative synagogue.

2005:  Neil Diamond appeared on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006.

2005: A Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Sweet Charity came to a close today after 279 performances.

2005: In “Hiram Bingham: Heroism Beyond Diplomacy” published today Rafael Medoff, the Director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies described the life-saving activities this American diplomat.

2006(10th of Tevet, 5767):Asara B'Tevet

2006(10th of Tevet, 5767): Yahrzeit of Judith “Judy” Sharon Rosenstein (nee Levin).

2006: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World by Kati Marton.

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World by Kati Marton, Emma Lazarus by Esther Schor and Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amanda Vaill.

2006(10th of Tevet, 5767): Seymour Martin “Marty” Lipset “the most revered analyst of American society and democracy since Alexis de Tocqueville” passed away at the age of 84.

2006: At the Jewish Museum in New York an exhibition styled “Ours to Fight For: American Jews During the Second World War” comes to an end.

2007: The New Republic magazine featured a review of The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan.  

2007: Rabbi, Naftali Tzi Weisz, 59, and his assistant, or gabbai, Moshe E. Zigelman, 60 spent some of the time studying Hebrew books and reciting psalms while waiting to appear in court having been charged in an indictment that alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud U.S. government agencies, to operate a underground money transfer system and to launder money through an Israeli bank.

2007(22 Tevet 5768): Rabbi Arnold G. Kaiman, 74, rabbi at Congregation Kol Ami on the Near North Side for 21 years, died of lung problems, in a West Bloomfield, Mich., hospital. He moved to West Bloomfield after his retirement from Congregation Kol Ami in 1994. Rabbi Kaiman was known for denying and conformity. The longtime Congregation Kol Ami rabbi liked incorporating popular music into his services and conducted many interfaith marriages. Believing that love and commitment trumped religious background, Rabbi Kaiman presided over many interfaith marriages during 36 years as a Reform rabbi. Born in 1933, Rabbi Kaiman grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household in Omaha. He remained Orthodox through his undergraduate years at Yale University and at the University of Cincinnati, where he did his graduate work. It was as a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati that he shifted to Reform Judaism, attracted by the movement's modern ideas and lack of reliance on ancient ritual, his daughter said. Rabbi Kaiman served congregations in Philadelphia, Larchmont, N.Y., and Los Angeles. Rabbi Kaiman came to Chicago in 1973 and maintained a high profile for much of his two decades in the city. He hosted the "Ask the Rabbi" radio show and, in the late 1980s, the TV show "Of Cabbages and Kings.” He volunteered as a chaplain for inmates in Illinois prison and for the Chicago Police Department, and he was a member of the city's Interfaith Council under the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. For Jews seeking a spouse outside the faith, Rabbi Kaiman was the go-to guy. He was one of only a handful of rabbis who would administer interfaith marriages, and he traveled throughout the Midwest to perform such nuptials in addition to the many he conducted in Chicago. "He just felt really strongly it was about love, it wasn't about religion," his daughter said. "He just felt it shouldn't be so limiting. For many Jewish parents, Rabbi Kaiman's actions kept the door open for their children to maintain ties to the faith, said Shom Klaff, executive director of Congregation Kol Ami. "I had so many families come to me and say, 'He saved our kids for Judaism,' " Klaff said. Rabbi Kaiman's services at Kol Ami, held in Water Tower Place since 1976, were spiced with popular music, an attention-getting device he started using while an Air Force chaplain. Selections included everything from "Wind Beneath My Wings" to "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow." In a 1990 Tribune story, Rabbi Kaiman acknowledged his methods were alienating to some. "Let me put it in my bluntest way. You either love me or you hate me," he said. "That's OK. I don't want to be a rabbi who is so conformist that he's accepted."

2008: In “Striking Deep Into Israel, Hamas Employs an Upgraded Arsenal” published today Mark Mazzetti described the increased power of the group governing Gaza.

 2008: An exhibition entitled "From Distant Places to Dubuque's Shores: 175 Years of Jewish Life"   at the National Mississippi River Museum& amp; Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa comes to a close.

2008: The Village Voice, which had regularly published Nat Hentoff's commentary and criticism for fifty years, announced today that he had been laid off

2008: The Maltz Museum offers museum guests an opportunity to toast in the New Year at a 7 p.m. function before moving on to other holiday parties. A brief snapshot of this treasure trove of Judaica provides a valuable reminder that Jewish culture thrives in places outside of New York and Los Angeles. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, in the eastern Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, opened in late 2005. It is a beautiful, 24,000-square foot building made of Jerusalem limestone that tells the story of the Jewish community in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio -- from the 18th century to the present -- with exhibits, interactive computer displays, and video oral histories. The Maltz Museum is the brain-child of Cleveland media mogul, Milton Maltz and his wife Tamar. They conceived the project after seeing a similar museum in Amsterdam and contributed well over half of the funds as well as the ideas for its creation. The results are spectacular. The 24,000-square foot, elegant building, made from Jerusalem limestone and glass is a stunning tribute to Cleveland's Jewish citizens, past and present -- as well as to the Maltzes.

2008: Haaretz reported that Katyusha rockets fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip exploded in Be'er Sheva region, 37 kilometers from the coastal territory, which was the furthest point eastward which a Palestinian projectile has managed to reach.

2008: Two Israelis were lightly wounded when they were shot by a group of men in a mall in Odense, Denmark this afternoon. The Israelis were selling Dead Sea cosmetics at a stand in the mall - a job many young Israelis pursue, usually following military service, in order to save money for their future and to continue their travels. The shooting took place at the Rosengaard mall in Odense, 170 kilometers west of Copenhagen.

2008: Judith Smith Kaye the first woman to hold the position of  Chief Judge of New York completed her service in that position today.

2008: The New Republic magazine featured a review of “Adam Resurrected,” a film based on the novel by Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk starring Jeff Goldblum as the protagonist, Holocaust survivor Adam Stein.

2009: Final session of Limmud in the United Kingdom.

2009: President Barack Obama named Amanda Simpson to the position of Senior Technical Adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce making her the first transgender woman appointed by any administration and the first transgender individual to hold an executive branch position.

 2009: At the Center for Jewish History an exhibition entitled “Stars, Strikes, and the Yiddish Stage: The Story of the Hebrew Actors' Union, 1899-2005” comes to an end. “Founded in 1899, the Hebrew Actors' Union (HAU) was the first union for actors in America. Its membership included the most famous actors and actresses of the Yiddish stage. Throughout its existence, the HAU championed actors' rights to fair wages and decent working conditions.”

2009: “Publishing in Exile: German-Language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s” a joint exhibition of The Goethe-Institute New York and Leo Baeck Institute, sponsored in part by the New York Council for the Humanities comes to an end.
 
2009: On New Year’s Eve, Off The Wall Comedy Empire presents David Kilimnick, Israel's ‘Father of Anglo Comedy,' whose monologue “brings on new complaints” as he “addresses the issues of what really makes the right resolution”  for the New Year. Israelis know him as the “creator of the 'The Aliyah Monologues,' 'Find Me A Wife,' 'HaOleh HaChadash' and 'Frum From Birth'”.

2009: Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip exploded in a southern Israeli town.The two Grad type rockets, which have a range of about 13 miles, hit the Israeli town of Netivot late today. No one was hurt.

2009: The last H&H bagel of the year which was sold at the company's 80th Street store was a poppy seed bagel purchased moments before midnight by Ezra Millstein, of West 73rd Street.

2009: Hamas activist, Ibrahim Za’arah, 44, was arrested with two bombs on his person weighing 6-7 kilograms, as well as detonation devices as he tried to enter Israel.

2010: In New York, The Peridance Capezio Center is scheduled to host the first in a series of GAGA Master Classes with Ohad Naharin. “Gaga is a movement language developed by Ohad Naharin in Israel to help dancers (and non-dancers alike) reconnect to the way they move. Already a renowned choreographer, Ohad Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company in 1990. 

2010: Jehuda Reinharz is scheduled to end his 16 years as President of Brandeis University today.  He will be succeeded by Frederick Lawrence who will become President on January 1st.

2010: Bezalel Fair, the largest arts & crafts fair of its kind in Israel where all work displayed in handmade Israeli art, is scheduled to open in Jerusalem at 9 a.m.

2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to host “A Champagne New Year's Eve with Sharon Isbin the world famous guitarist who is a native of St. Louis Park, MN.

2010(24th of Tevet): On the Hebrew calendar, Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of died on the eve of the 24th of Tebet, at approximately 10:30 pm, shortly after reciting the Havdalah prayer, which marks the end of Shabbat.

2010(24 Tebet): On the Hebrew calendar, Yahrzeit for the four thousand Jews of Safed and the one thousand Jews of Tiberias who were killed in the 1837 Galilee Earthquake.

2010: Kathe Goldstein led Friday night services at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Since Shabbat and New Year’s Eve coincide, Jews and non-Jews will be celebrating in the same manner.  Both will be wearing hats, consuming alcohol, singing festive songs and enjoying special treats. Regardless of how or what you celebrate, may everybody enjoy themselves and return safely to their homes.

2010: The winner of “Jerusalem in 2111” competition, featuring science fiction clips depicting the city in 100 years, was announced today. The winning video, Secular Quarter #3, directed by David Gidali along with cameraman Itay Gross, two Israeli students studying at the prestigious AFI Film school in Lost Angeles, was chosen among dozens of videos entries from all over the world. .

2010: Palestinian Authority terrorists attempted to murder a Jewish shepherd this morning, according to a report from the Samaria Regional Council. The terrorists opened fire on the shepherd as he tended his flock near Maaleh Shomron. The intended victim managed to take shelter and call for help. The attackers fled before IDF forces reached the scene.

2010: KlezKlamp, proof of the revitalization of Klezmer, the Yiddish language, comes to an end.

2011: The riotous Sandra Bernhard is scheduled to perform on New Year’s Eve at Joe’s Pub

2011: Party diva Lori Brizzi and DJ Nelson “Paradise” Roman are scheduled to host the New Year's Eve Millennium Dance Party at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

2011: Jackie Hoffman starred as Grandmama in the Broadway musical The Addams Family, which closed today after an 18 month run at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre.

2011: Over a thousand ultra-Orthodox men assembled tonight in Jerusalem’s Kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square), in protest of what they termed the exclusion of Haredim, a response to the recent outrage over the exclusion of women in Beit Shemesh and elsewhere.

2011: The curtain came down on the original Broadway production of The Addams Family starring Bebe Neuwirth as “Morticia Addams.

2012: “The Garden of Eden,” a documentary about the Sakhne National Park and resort, is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: The Muslim authority managing the Temple Mount yesterday dumped tons of unexamined earth and stones excavated from the holy site into a municipal dump, in violation of a High Court injunction, Maariv reported today.

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized late today to a top government official who received a firing notice via email. 

2012: After having served as editor of the Boston Globe for the last 11 years where the paper earned a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the priest driving sexual scandal,  Martin “Marty” began serving as the editor of the Washington Post, a position he would hold until January of 2013 when he was promoted to Executive Editor.

2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to usher in the New Year with a special Klezmer concert with acclaimed band, Machaya.

2013: “Like Father, Like Son” and “When Harry Met Sally” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Gabriel Oliver Koppell completed his service as a member of the New York City Council from the 11th District.

2013: New Year’s Eve in Israel

2014: “The Rover” and “Sofie” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

 2014: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host a friendly family afternoon Klezmer Concert where families can usher in the New Year. 

2014: “After years of financial trouble, Israel’s Channel 10 is scheduled to stop broadcasting today.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2015: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to welcome the 2016 with the Third Annual First Night Klezmer Concert featuring the “acclaimed band, Machaya.”

2016(2nd of Tevet, 5777): Parshat Miketz; Seventh Day of Chanukah, for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2016: Shabbat and New Year’s Eve coincide just as they did seventy-five years ago when Abba Kovner uttered the words of resistance "Let us not go as sheep to the slaughter”

2016: In Little Rock, Chabad Lubavitch under the leadership of Rabbi PInchas Ciment is scheduled to host “the time ever in Arkansas Chanukah Menorah Car Parade.”

2016: “Art School, HaMidrasha Faculty of Arts at Seventy” is scheduled to come to an end in Tel Aviv.

 

 

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