Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Day, December 1, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


December 1

500: (Kislev 4428): This is the traditional date of the closing of the Talmudic era and the beginning of the Saboraic era. Saboraim is “the title applied to the principals and scholars of the Babylonian academies in the period immediately following that of the Amoraim.  The Saboraic Era lasted for approximately 200 years.

800: Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican. Fourteen years later, with the crown firmly on his head Charlemagne would issue his Capitulary for the Jews.


During his papacy, Leo III “introduced public disputations between Jews and Christians, resulting in forced conversions to Christianity.”

1081: Birthdate of Louis VI of France. “During his reign jurisdiction over the Jews (and their revenues) gradually passed from royal control to the hands of the Church. The Abbey of Saint-Denis, in 1112, obtained from the king judicial control over the Jews in the town. In 1119 Louis ceded half his income from the Jews of *Tours to the Abbey of Saint-Martin there; and in 1122 he granted five houses belonging to Jews to Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis.” (As reported by Bernhard Blumenkranz)

1145: Pope Eugenius III issued “Quantum praedecessores” a papal bull calling for the Second Crusade – another disaster for the Jews of Europe and Palestine.

1135: Henry I of England passed away. During Henry's reign (1100–1135) a royal charter was granted to Joseph, the chief rabbi of London, and all his followers. Under this charter, Jews were permitted to move about the country without paying tolls, to buy and sell goods and property, to sell their pledges after holding them a year and a day, to be tried by their peers, and to be sworn on the Torah rather than on a Christian Bible. Special weight was attributed to a Jew's oath, which was valid against that of 12 Christians, because they represented the King of England in financial matters. The sixth clause of the charter was especially important: it granted to the Jews the right of movement throughout the kingdom, as if they were the king's own property (sicut res propriæ nostræ).  Henry died without a direct male heir.  The result was civil strife that was bad for England in general and the Jews in particular.  Peace would only come when Henry’s grandson, Henry II, took the throne.

1145: Pope Eugene III sent a papal bull to the French King, Louis VII, proclaiming the Second Crusade. Led by Louis and Emperor Conrad III from 1147 to 1149, the crusade failed to accomplish its goal.

1516: Jerusalem surrendered to Selim I, the Ottoman Sultan

1521:  Pope Leo X passed away. Leo was one of those Italian Popes whose pursuit of other interests left him “no time to think of torturing Jews.” Bonet de Lates, a Jew from Provence served as Leo’s physician and unofficial advisor.  He was more of an aristocrat than man of the cloth who was more concerned about navigating among the competing temporal powers than matters of religion. His leniency towards the Jews may have stemmed from an attitude summed up by his statement that “It is well known how useful this fable of Christ has been to us and ours!”

1652: Manuel Fernando de Villa-Real, a distinguished Marrano who "conducted the consular affairs of the Portuguese court at Paris" was seized in Lisbon, gagged and executed.

1573(Kislev, 5334): This date marks the death of Solomon Luria who was born in 1510 at Brest-Litovsk.  Luria is known as the "Rashal" or the Maharshal. A contemporary of Salomon Shakna, he represented an opposing view in Talmudic study, believing in plain but lucid methods. He was also the author of the Yam Shel Shlomo (Sea of Solomon), a commentary on several volumes of the Talmud, and Chokmat Shlomo (Wisdom of Solomon) in which he corrected many faulty readings in the Talmud, Rashi and the Tosophot.

1626: Ibn Farukh (Governor of Jerusalem) was deposed after harshly persecuting the Jews.

1652(Tevet, 5413): Portuguese Jewish statesman Manuel Fernando de Villarreal was executed by the Inquisition.

1676: Aaron Samuel Kaidanover the Chief Rabbi of Cracow, who lost two of his two daughters and had all his possession stolen during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, passed away today “while attending the Vadd HaGalil of Krakow.”

1742: The Jews living in “Great Russia” were expelled by order of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great and Catherin I.

1742: Suleiman Pasha of Damascus ended the siege of Tiberias

1762: Lob Kann’s son, Moses Kann, the chief rabbi of Hesse-Darmstadat, passed away today.

1820(25th of Kislev, 5581): Chanukah

1820: Hayman and Almeria Levy gave birth to their oldest child, George Levy

1825: Czar Alexander I passed away.  This anti-Semitic Russian monarch’s death coincided with a temporary cessation of the forced re-settlement of Jews in the Pale of Settlement.  The cruel re-settlement policy would be quickly reinstituted by his son and successor, Nicholas I. Prayer for the Czar: May the Lord keep the Czar…far away from the Jews.

1825: Nicholas I, the incompetent, reactionary Czar who led his nation to defeat in the Crimean War and promulgated a series of anti-Semitic decrees that included drafting under-age Jewish boys for 25 years of military service, the banning of Yiddish and the banning of Jews from several cities including Kiev.

1834: Birthdate of Joseph Blumenthal, the native of Munich who became a successful New York businessman who served in the State Assembly and was instrumental in bring down the Tweed Ring.

1841: In Charleston, SC, Emanuel Nunes Carvalho married Caroline A. (Woolf) Carvalho.

1843: Birthdate of Leopold Lowenstein a German rabbi born from Gailingen, Baden. The son of a rabbi, he would eventually serve as the Rabbi for three districts located in his native Baden.

1844: In an election for Chief Rabbi of the British Empire Jacob Adler received 121 votes, Hirsch Hirschfeld 12, and Samson Raphael Hirsch 2.

1848: Birthdate of Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, or Sonnenfeld, who was the Chief Rabbi and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis, Haredi Jewish community in Jerusalem, during the years of the British Mandate of Palestine. 

1852: A British ship, the Fitzjames under the command of Captain arrived at the Quarantine area in New York tonight.  Among the passengers were two Jews – a man named Drestner from Poland and Augustine Behr from Germany.  Apparently when the ship was about thirty miles from Sandy Hook (off the coast of New York) the two Jews had a discussion about religion that became so heated that Behr stabbed Drestner with his knife.  Drestner was taken to the hospital on Staten Island.  While the police are holding Behr in jail, U.S. authorities say they have authority in the case since the attack took place on British vessel in international waters.  The British Counsel has been notified and may send Behr back to England for a hearing.

1855: The U.S.S. Minnesota, on which Adolph Marix would serve in 1880, was launched today.

1859: In New York City Simon and Rosa Marx (the future Rosa Bloom) gave birth to Samuel Marx

1860: It was reported today from Jamaica that “an Anti-Jewish feeling is brewing in the community, and I am very much afraid that, politically -- that is, speaking daggers, but using none, for we can never come to that -- a war of races will have to be fought. The colored classes who constitute the education, the planters who represent the wealth, and the blacks who have the force of numbers, are not going to rest satisfied while the Government and the patronage of Government are given up to the Jews, who are clannish enough to employ them to their own use, and to the detriment of all other classes. This is the state of things at present; but the difficulty is far from being settled, and I am afraid the Governor will, at the long run, be forced to retire.”

1861: E. Delafield Smith, the U.S. District Attorney, wrote a letter of introduction to President Lincoln on behalf of Rabbi Fischell “who has been appointed by the Board of Delegates of the Israelites of the U.S. to urge the modification of the laws in relation to chaplains, so far as they affect the practice, though I doubt not unintended exclusion of clergymen of the Jewish faith from acting in that capacity, even in regiments composed of persons of that faith. This class of our citizens has evinced loyalty to the Government, and I need not say is entitled to at least a hearing on this subject. Dr. Fischell is a gentleman of great worth and intelligence.”

1867: Birthdate of Ignacy Mościcki who in 1935 as President of Poland and despite the growing anti-Semitism in the country appointed Biblical scholar, historian and Jewish community leader Moses Schorr to serve in the Senate.

1868: Disraeli completed his first term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and became the leader of the Opposition.

1870: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charity Fair under the chairmanship of E.B. opened to a full house with a program that included a speech by the Governor of New York.

1870:  Attendance at the second day of the Hebrew Fair for the benefit of Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was less than on opening night, but was robust enough to raise an additional $7,000.  When this total is added to the over $51,000 raised the first night, it means that in only two days the fair has already raise almost $60,000.

1870: Professor Singler’s Orchestra provided the music at tonight’s second annual ball of the Hebrew Young Men’s Literary Association which was held at the Apollo Hall in New York.

1871: The Hebrew Young Men’s Literary and Benevolent Association is scheduled to host an evening of entertainment at the Irving Hall.

1871: It was reported today that children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum enjoyed a “splendid” Thanksgiving meal filled with “holiday pleasure.”

1871: It was reported today that in Brooklyn all businesses were closed for Thanksgiving except for “saloons and Jew clothing-stores.”

1876: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charity Ball will be held on December 21 at the Academy of Music.

1876: It was reported that Rabbi George Jacobs delivered the invocation at yesterday’s ceremony in Philadelphia, PA during which a monument dedicated to Religious Liberty financed by the B’nai Brith was presented to the Centennial Committee chaired by A.L. Singer.

1877: The Hebrew Free School Association in New York is providing services to 701 students.

1878: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association was held today at the schoolhouse located at Number 96 Bowery. As of this date, the association operates five schools, employs 17 teachers and serves 1,045 students.

1879: The Paula Markham troupe including Josephine Sarah Marcus, the future wife of Wyatt Earp arrived by stagecoach in Tombstone, supposedly on the same day that Wyatt and his brother arrived in the Arizona town

1883: In Rushville, Indiana, Jewish merchant Jacob Block is suffering from the after effects of having been slashed with a razor by the son of his competitor Eli Frank while his is son is under arrest for fatally shooting Eli Frank.

1883: In the early morning hours, just after midnight, a troop of peasants from Budas armed with guns and axes attacked Jews living at Zala Lovo in southwestern Hungary.

1885: The new home of Congregation B’nai Jershurun on Madison between 64th and 65th Streets is scheduled to be dedicated today

1886: The Wife and daughter of a Polish Jew named Milkowski who has lived in West Carroll Parish came to Lake Providence, LA to report that a mob made of people who owed him money had destroyed the family home and outbuildings at Caledonia.

1887: D. Burkmann, a Polish Jew arrived in New York aboard the Steamship State of Indiana along with Perl Cajesky who had promised him that her husband would repay him for her ticket as soon as they arrived.

1888: Mr. Harpman said today that $500 has been turned over to the committee for the benefit of destitute Jews in Dakota and “there is no longer any need for the money among the Jews” because “they are abundantly supplied” and he feels compelled “to request that nothing further be shipped.”

1891: “Benjamin Berensen Disappears” published today described how Berensen, a Boston Jewish “dry-goods jobber” defrauded his co-religionist out cash and goods valued at $10,000 to $15,000 by using an elaborate check-kiting scheme before skipping town.

1892: Officials of the New York Health department were alarmed yesterday at the reappearance of typhus five months after dealing with the last epidemic which had begun with a group of infected Russian and Polish Jews who had arrived on the SS Massila,

1893: Birthdate of German expressionist playwright Ernst Toller who would be memorialized by W. H. Auden's poem "In Memory of Ernst Toller."

1893: It was reported today that among the dignitaries who had served Thanksgiving Dinner to the children at the United Hebrew Charities’ Industrial School were H.S. Allen, Dr. H.P. Mendes and Mrs. Louis Mendes.

1894: New Yorker A. M. Huntington has purchased University of Chicago Professor William I. Knapp’s 6,000 volume library that included the Ferrara Bible of 1443 which is known as the “Jews Bible.

1895: It was reported today that the Harmonie clubhouse at 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues “has already been the scene of some excellent affairs” and that “the club is deeply interested in the success of the Hebrew fair” which means the club “will not give any of its larger affairs until late December.”

1895: It was reported today “that mint sauce, the accompaniment of roast lamb is a survival of the Jewish custom of eating the Passover lamb with bitter herbs.”

1895: “Dr. Silverman On Armenia” published today provided a summary of the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El on  “the Turkish persecution directed against the Armenians” as well  the Turkish persecution against Christian missionaries, and against those Americans residing in the Ottoman Empire. Silverman believes that Jews, given their own history of persecution, have an obligation to speak out when others persecuted.

1896: The Fifteenth Biennial Council of the American Hebrew Congregations opened today in Louisville, KY, with a business meeting in the gymnasium of the Yong Men’s Hebrew Associations and ending with a “musicale” at Liederkranz Hall.

1897: Moritz Rosenthal is scheduled to “give his first piano recital…at the Academy of Music.”

1897: Le Figaro published a letter from Zola entitled “Le Syndicat” “in which the novelist defended the position of the Dreyfus faction.”

1898: The United States Consul at Beirut wrote a report today “The Jews in Palestine” which opened by saying “In view of the impetus given the Zionist movement by the second Zionist congress held at Basel in September and also by the Palestine journey of Emperor Wilhelm II, the present status of Jews in Palestine becomes a matter of general interest.”

1900(9th of Kislev, 5661): Parashat Veyetzei

1900(9th of Kislev, 5661): Joshua Ḥayyim ben Mordecai ha-Levi Epstein also known as "Reb Joshua Ḥayyim the Sarsur" who authored a “novella on the Midrah Rabbot” passed away today in his native Wilna.

1901: Birthdate of Budapest native and world class violinist Ilona Fehér who escaped a concentration with her daughter, fought with the partisans and made Aliyah in 1949 where she resumed and expanded her career which is forever memorialized by the foundation created in her name.


1901: The St. Louis World’s Fair which included a display of Conrad Schick’s final model, in four sections, each representing the Temple Mount as it appeared in a particular era, came to a close today.

1901: The St. Louis World’s Fair which included nine of the works of Moshe Maimon which were on display at the Russian Exhibition came to a close today.

1905: A review of The White Terror and The Red: A Novel of Revolutionary Russia by Abraham Cahan said that “he revolutionary outbreaks in Russia, and particularly the rioting and massacre of Jews in Odessa seem to have been foretold in Abraham Cahan’s dramatic novel of revolutionary Russia in which the vivid pictures of the mob looting houses and assailing men, women and children while the gutters ran with liquor and the streets were strewn with household goods, affords a realistic idea of actual present conditions in the present centers of disturbance in Russia.”

1905: As of today it was reported that the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York is caring for over 1,030 children.

1905: As of today the national committee collecting funds for the relief of the Jews being attacked in Russia totaled $970,130 included contributions of $217 from the Community of Baton Rouge, LA, $510 from the “Israelites and friends of Augusta, GA and $158 from Congregation Mt. Zion in Jersey City, NJ.

1907(25th of Kislev, 5668): Chanukah

1907: In Alpena, Michigan, the community’s Jewish women formed the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society.

1909: The first Kibbutz, Degania, was established in pre-state Israel. Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), one of its founders, was considered the "Apostle" of the kibbutz movement. Each colony was independent and democratically governed. Membership was voluntary and all earnings and expenses were shared.

1912: Miss Kate Block is scheduled to perform as the soloist at the Seventh Sunday afternoon concert hosted by the Institute in Chicago.

1913: Crete, having obtained self-rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, is annexed by Greece. “The Jews of Crete are first mentioned in 2 Maccabees and appear to have had a community at Gortys.”  “Toward the end of the 19th century, Crete was made into an independent republic under a Greek prince regent. A parliament was established, with several Jewish representatives, who managed to claim their constitutionally guaranteed seats with great difficulty. After Crete was formally annexed to Greece in 1913, Jewish emigration continued until, by 1941, there were only 364 Jews in Hania, 1 in Rethymnon, and 7 in Herakleion.”

1913(2nd of Kislev, 5674): Sixty-seven year old Rosa (Kahn) Hirschel, the daughter of Samuel and Henriette Kahn passed away today in Schopfen.

1914:  It was reported today that the “lack of adequate schools in the rural” areas of the United States “was given as the chief reason why more Jews did not take up farming” – a reality that is being overcome by some daring individuals including “Isaac Neleber the 25 year old owner of a 120 acre in Connecticut.”

1914: A list of contributors to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews suffering through the war published today included I.L. Greenblatt, San Francisco; Congregation Augdas Achim, Little Rock, AR; Congregation Agudas Achim, Bessemer, Alabama; Congregation Agudas Achim, Braddock, PA; Congregation B’nai Zion, Farrell, PA and Congregation Eitz Chaim in Ellwood City, PA

1914: In Hlinski. Otto Taussig and Frederike, née Federer Taussig gave birth to Czech journalist Josef Taussig and “amateur trombonist” who used his musical skills to survive for almost two years at Theresienstadt before being shipped to Auschwitz and ultimately dying at Flossenburg.

1914: “Frank Appeals to Highest Court” published today provided a complete of the pleadings made by the attorneys representing Leo Frank before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

1916; “The Executive Committee of the Federation of Jewish Farmers was instructed by a resolution adopted” today “at the Convention of the organization held in the Education to petition President Wilson and Congress asking that no restriction be placed upon immigration” because “there is a dearth of farm labor at present which is a decided handicap to those who are operating farms.”

1916: Italian government declares an Italian, and not a native, be appointed as rabbinate in Tripoli. Arabs are in charge of local courts of justice and deal unjustly against Jews.

1917: In furious fighting at Nebi Samwill, Imperial forces repulsed numerous counterattacks by the Ottoman Seventh Army.

1917: As the British fought the Turks in and around Jerusalem, it was reported today that one Turkish airplane “was driven down out of control and one was damaged” when five enemy planes attacked three Allied aircraft.

1917(16th of Kislev, 5678): Just 28 days before his 63rd birthday Dr. Henry M. Leipzieger, whose twenty-five year career in New York City education culminated with his service as Supervisor of Lectures of the Board of Education passed away today.

1917: A fund raising campaign led by Jacob Schiff is scheduled to begin today in New York City.

1917:  The Bolshevik Armistice Commission, with two Jews, Adolf Jofee and Leo Kamenev (Trotsky’s brother in law) as chief negotiators left Petrograd for peace talks with the Germans at Brest-Litovsk.

1917: It was reported today that the “Turko-German artillery again made its objective the mosque erected on the traditional sit of the tomb of the Prophet Samuel” resulting in the destruction of the minaret “by this bombardment.”

1918: “The French expelled Harry Besslau from Stasbourg because he was a ‘militant-pan Germanist.’”

1918: Following the incorporation of Bessarabia and Bukovina, Transylvania united with Romania to form what will become known as Greater Romania. Greater Romania gained its legitimacy as a result of the Versailles Peace Conference that end World War I, during which 882 Jewish soldiers died defending Romania (and 825 were decorated). This enlarged state had an increased Jewish population. Based on treaties signed after the war, the government of Romania agreed to change its policy towards the Jews, promising to award them both citizenship and minority rights, the effective emancipation of Jews. The 1923 Constitution of Romania sanctioned these requirements, meeting opposition from Cuza's National-Christian Defense League and rioting by right-wing students.

1918: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.  The redrawing of the map of Europe by the Allied Powers following WW I was intended to break up the old European imperial system recognizing the aspirations of a variety of nationalities throughout central and eastern Europe.  The process may have looked very tidy in the drawing rooms of London and Paris.  But it was quite messy for those having to live it out and this very true for the Jews of the Balkans.  For a primer on the early days of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities in the political invention called Yugoslavia read the following: http://www.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/02_goldstein.pdf

1918: Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom. Jews were not officially allowed to reside in Iceland until 1855 when the parliament complied with the request of the Danish king to allow Jews to enter the little island and trade under the same terms as had been adopted in Denmark. By the end of 19th there were a small number of trading agents which represented firms owned by Danish Jews but there is no record as to how many of them, if any were Jewish.  A Jewish Danish merchant named Fritz Heyman Nathan moved to Iceland and pursued a successful business career in Reykjavik in the first two decades of the twentieth century.  He moved returned to Copenhagen to pursue his business interest, having found that Iceland was a hard place to follow a Jewish way of life.  Today, the Jewish population of Iceland is miniscule.

1921: In South Philadelphia, Morris Wolinsky and the former Sadie Pincus gave birth to Sylvia Wolinsky who gained game as actress Sylvia Kauders. (As reported by Sam Roberts)


1921: Following an investigation into Sir Edgar Speyer's wartime conduct held in camera by the Home Office's Certificates of Naturalization (Revocation) Committee, his naturalization was revoked by an order issued today.

1924: “Lady, Be Good” a George and Ira Gershwin musical “premiered on Broadway at the Liberty Theatre tonight.”

1924: In Indianapolis, funeral services are scheduled to be held for 14 year old William Hayes Block, the grandson of William H. Block, president of the William H. Block, after which he will be interred in the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation Cemetery.

1925: Mr. and Mrs. Abraham J. Cahan arrived in New York today aboard the SS Majestic.  Mr. Cahan is editor of the Forwards. They were returning from a month long visit to Palestine where Mr. Cahan had spent most of his time investigating the growth and development of the newly created city of Tel Aviv

1925: Birthdate of Martin Rodbell, an American biochemist who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery in the 1960s of natural signal transducers called G-proteins that help cells in the body communicate with each other. He shared the prize with Alfred G. Gilman, who later proved Rodbell's hypothesis, by isolating the G-protein, which is so named because it binds to nucleotides called guanosine diphosphate and guanosine triphosphate, or GDP and GTP. Prior to Rodbell's research, scientists believed that only two substances--a hormone receptor and an interior cell enzyme--were responsible for cellular communication. Rodbell, however, discovered that the G-protein acted as an intermediate signal transducer between the two.  [Ed. Note: I have note a clue as to what this really means.]

1927: Birthdate of Mordkhe Schaechter, a leading Yiddish linguist who spent a lifetime studying, standardizing and teaching the language.

1927: Birthdate Abraham Goodman, the native of Philadelphia who grew up in East Pittsburg and went to become American film writer and producer Abby Mann best known for his work on controversial subjects and social drama. His most famous work is the drama Judgment at Nuremberg, which was initially a television drama aired in 1959. Stanley Kramer directed the 1961 film adaptation, for which Mann received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his acceptance speech, he said: "A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives." Mann later adapted the play for a 2001 production on Broadway, which featured Maximilian Schell from the 1961 film in a different role. Working on television, he most notably created the television series Kojak, starring Telly Savalas. Mann was executive producer, but was credited as a writer also on many episodes. His other writing credits include the screenplays for the television films The Marcus-Nelson Murders, The Atlanta Child Murders Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story, and Indictment: The McMartin Trial, as well as the film War and Love. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 80

1927: “The False Prince” a film set in post-World War I Germany produced by Lothar Stark was released in the Weimar Republic.

1928: “Dream of Love,” a silent film featuring Carmel Myers as “The Countess” was released in the United States today by MGM

1928: Birthdate of actor Malachi Thorne

1929: Eleven months after premiering in Germany, “Pandora’s Box” featuring Siegfried “Sig” Arno opened today in New York City.

1929(28th of Cheshvan, 5690): Seventy-Nine year old German pharmacologist Louis Lewin who in 1886 “published the first methodical analysis of the Peyote cactus, a variant of which was named Anhalonium lewinii in his honor” passed away today in Berlin.

1929: Journalist Emil Ludwig (born Emil Cohn) interviewed Mustafa Kemel Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state.

1930: Birthdate of Joachim Hoffmann, the German military historian, who contended that the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust, was in the thousands and not the millions and who testified on behalf of Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf.

1930: The “so-called matzoh trust trial” where “the question to be answered was whether or not Horowitz Brothers & Margareten, Inc. of New York and B. Manishewitz Company of Ohio constituted a combination in restraint as charged by Rabbi Moses Winberger, Inc.” opened today.

1931: Twenty-five year old Eduard Strauch who would convicted as War Criminal for his role in the mass murder of the Jews of Riga became a member of the SS.

1931: Birthdate of Mervyn Taylor, the native of Dublin who became a solicitor and leader of the Irish Labour Party.

1933: Birthdate of Sir James David Wolfensohn the Australian who was the ninth president of the World Bank Group.

1934: In the Soviet Union, Leonid Nioleav murdered Sergei Kirov, the head of the Communist Party in Leningrad providing Stalin with an excuse to start the five year long purge known as The Great Terror the first victims of which were two Jewish leaders, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev.

1935:  Birthdate of Woody Allen

1936: “Dr. Isaac Herzog, the chief rabbi of Dublin, Ireland, was elected chief rabbi of Palestine today by a council of seventy elders, which is the modern equivalent of the Hebrew Sanhedrin.

1936: “At today’s session of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Palestine, Moshe Shertok, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency told of the work being done in European countries to prepare prospective immigrants for pioneer tasks in Palestine” the aim of which is to “forge both muscles and spirit so as to change university students and shopkeepers in farmers, artisans and manual laborers.”

1936: On behalf of “the Brooklyn lodge of B’nai B’rith, the largest Jewish fraternal organization in the United States” Postmaster Albert Goldman “presented an award” tonight “to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle as the metropolitan New York City newspaper that had done most this year to promote ‘inter-racial amity and comity as well as good-will among the people of the United States.”

1937: This date marks the seventh anniversary of the Palestine Post, which would later become the Jerusalem Post.

1937: “The original Broadway production of ‘Hooray for What!’ with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg opened at the Winter Garden Theatre.

 1937:  The Palestine Post reported that two members of a police patrol, a British sergeant and an Arab constable were killed by an Arab terrorist gang at Wadi Malak, near Haifa. A Public Works Department store was sabotaged and burnt out at Tulkarm.

1938: Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Haining, the General Officer Commanding British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan, reported secretly to the Cabinet that "practically every village in the country harbors and supports the rebels and will assist in concealing their identity from the Government Forces."

1938: Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht travels to London to propose to George Rublee, of the Intergovernmental Committee for Political Refugees, an extortionate scheme: German Jews could emigrate if they put up cash assets that would be transferred to the Reich upon emigration. This Schacht-Rublee plan will be abandoned in January 1939, when Schacht will be dismissed by Hitler after Schacht objects to the high cost of Germany's rearmament.

1938: The British Cabinet allows 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children into Britain in an action called the Kindertransport. (Britain, however, refuses to allow 21,000 more Jewish children into Palestine.) The rescued children come from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia with the help of British, Jewish, and Quaker welfare organizations. Because of the Holocaust, most of the children will never see their parents again, and many of the Jewish children will be converted to Christianity. 

1939:  This date marked the final deportation of Jews from Poland to the Soviet Union. The Jews had been marched from Chelm to Hrubieszow, Poland.  Then 1800 Jews set off marching from Hrubieszow, Poland to the Soviet border. More than 1,400 were killed on December 4 on or near the Russian border.

1939: German Field Marshal Johannes Blaskowitz, commander-in-chief of the German Army Group East, reports that many Jewish children in transport trains are arriving at their destinations frozen to death.

1939: The Lipowa camp at Lipowa Street in Lublin, Poland, is established. It is initially an assembly point for Polish-Jewish POWs, and it will later be a Jewish work camp.

1939: Lódz (Poland) Ghetto administrator Friedrich Übelhör notes that ghettoization of Jews is only temporary. The final goal is to clean Jews out of Lódz, to "utterly destroy this bubonic plague."

1939: Publication date of Desert Democracy by Roy L. Smith, “the story of ancient Jews and how their struggles for freedom contributed to modern democracy.”

1940: Inside the Warsaw (Poland) Ghetto, Polish-Jewish historian Emanuel Ringelblum begins work on a secret diary of ghetto life.

1941: Lew Zickman left Japan today aboard the Tatsuma Maru which was bound for the United States.

1941: The German Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories decrees that the destruction of Jews shall continue irrespective of economic considerations; i.e., the allure of unpaid Jewish labor will be ignored.

1941: During the murder of 5000 Jews at Novogrudok, Belorussia, 200 Jews resist and kill 20 Nazis before being gunned down.

1941: “Himmler issued strict instructions to Frederich Jeckelin that no mass murder of Jews shipped from Germany to the ghetto in Riga were take place without his express orders”

1941: Ten thousand Jews deported from Odessa, Ukraine, are murdered at camps at Acmecetka, Bogdanovka, and Domanevka, Romania.

1941: Mass murders of Jews in the Ukraine and Volhynia region of Poland are slowed when the frozen ground prevents the digging of execution pits.

1941: Fur coats belonging to Jews in eastern Germany are confiscated by the Nazis. They'll be used by German soldiers on the Eastern Front.

1941: The Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica, published in Rome under strict Vatican supervision, reminds Catholics that the Jews are supposedly those primarily responsible for murdering God and that the Jews repeat this crime by means of ritual murder "in every generation."

1941: For the next three days and nights, seven thousand Jews from Novogrudok, Belorussia, are forced to stand all day and night in frigid temperatures outside the municipal courthouse. Five thousand are taken away to their deaths on the 6th; the remaining 2000 are impressed into forced labor at suburban Pereshike

1941: According to an Einsatzkomando Report only 15% of Lithuanian Jews were left alive less than six months after the Nazis had invaded the Soviet Union.

1941: The German established a ghetto in Losice forcing all the Jews from surrounding areas to move there.

1941: Himmler issued “strict instructions that no mass murders of deported German Jews were to occur without his express orders.

1942: Birthdate of New Yorker world shotput champion Gary Gubner who switched to weightlifting and finished fourth at the 1964 Olympic Games.

1942: Ayn Rand, novelist and creator of Objectivism, delivered the completed manuscript of her novel The Fountainhead to her publisher

1942: Four hundred laborers were killed at Karczew a town near Warsaw

1942: Members of the Siemiatycze (Poland) Group of Jewish resisters kill a Polish peasant and his entire family as retribution for the peasant's capture and betrayal to the Nazis of three Jews.

 

1942: Nazis lock 1000 Gypsies in a Lithuanian synagogue until the prisoners starve to death.

1942 Ghetto resistance is organized at Czestochowa and Kielce, Poland.

1942: At Brody, Ukraine, Jewish resistance is led by Solomon Halberszstadt, Jakub Linder, and Samuel Weiler.

1942:  Jewish resistance at Chortkov, Ukraine, is led by Heniek Nusbaum, Mundek Nusbaum, Reuven Rosenberg, and Meir Wasserman.

1942: Jewish Resistance leader Dr. Yeheskel Atlas, a young Polish physician, is mortally wounded by Nazi troops in a battle at Wielka Wola, Poland.

1942: The Jewish ghetto at Lvov, Ukraine, is liquidated.

1942: The SS shuts down extermination activities at Belzec.

1942: A Sonderkommando plan to escape from Auschwitz is discovered, and the inmates are gassed.

1942: A forced-labor camp is established at Plaszów, Poland.

1942(22nd of Kislev, 5703): Partisan leader Hirsch Kaplinski, survivor of an August 1942 massacre of Jews at Diatlovo, Belorussia, is killed in combat during a German attack on the Lipiczany Forest.

1942: Roosevelt and Churchill issued a joint public statement revealing the dire facts of the Nazi extermination program aimed at the Jews and issuing a solemn warning that individuals engaged in it would ultimately would be tried as war criminals.

1943: Mussolini ordered the arrest of "all Jews living on the national territory."  As a result Italian police and carabinieri arrested thousands, who were promptly delivered to the Germans and deported to Auschwitz. Within Italy, 200 Jews were murdered by German Nazis and their Italian Fascist collaborators. “However, by now, many Italians did not follow Il Duce's bidding and 40,000 Italian Jews survived the war while another 8,000 died.

1943: United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau instructs assistants Randolph Paul and John W. Pehle to investigate the State Department's handling of the Jewish refugee issue.

1943: The Daman Yankee, a B-17 piloted by Bruce Sundlun was damaged by flack during a bombing run over Solingen, Germany.  The plane was so badly damaged that crew was forced to bail out over Jabbeke, Belgium.  Before bailing out, Sundlun turned the plane to make sure it crashed harmlessly into a turnip field instead of landing in the town, an act of derring-do that earned him the designation of honorary citizen in 2009. (Sundlun would serve the war and eventually served as the second Jewish governor of Rhode Island) 

1944: After three months' work at Lieberose, Germany, Nazis suspend slave labor on a vacation complex for German officers. They instead evacuate the Jewish workers 100 miles on foot northwest to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany. Of the 3,500 who began the march, only 900 arrived at the destination. Several hundred sick inmates who were unable to begin the march were shot in their beds.

1944: Birthdate of Eric Bloom of “Blue Oyster” fame.

1944:  American pollster Elmo Roper warns that anti-Semitism has infected the U.S., most strongly in and around cities.

1945:  Anti-Semitic Poles murder 11 Jews in the town of Kosow-Lacki, Poland, which is located less than six miles from the site of the Treblinka extermination camp.

1945: Oliver Cox, an American sociologist, concludes that Christians in the United States regard the Jew as "our irreconcilable enemy within the gates, the antithesis of our God, the disturber of our way of life and of our social aspirations."

1945: Birthdate of singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler. Midler was born in Honolulu to Jewish parents from New Jersey.  After graduating from the University of Hawaii, she got her start singing in the Continental Baths, a New York City bathhouse.  Her piano accompanist at the time was Barry Manilow.  Manilow produced Midler first hit album entitled The Divine Miss M.

1946: Birthdate of the multi-talented Jonathan Paul Katz.

1946: Anglo-Jewish teacher Esther Cailingold, who would die while defending the Old City from the Arab Legion in 1948, arrived in Jerusalem where she would teach English at the Evelina de Rothschild School.

1947: In response to the partition vote, the Arab High Committee declared that November 29 was henceforth to be “a day of mourning” and that it marked the beginning of the struggle against the Partition. 

1947: The Arab League plans to meet and discuss ways to resist the partition of Palestine into two states.

1947: Emanuel Neuman, President of the Zionist Organization of America, sought formal recognition of the Jewish volunteer defense units as being the Jewish militia in Palestine.

1947: In Cluj in Transylvania, Romania, Shmuel Grunzweig and his wife Olga who was a survivor of Auschwitz gave birth to Emil Grunzweig who made Aliyah in 1963 and after serving in several wars with the IDF became a teach and “a peace activist affiliated with ‘Peace Now.’”

1948: U.S. premiere of the “Adventures of Don Juan” a swashbuckler directed by Vincent Sherman and produced by Jerry Wald with music by Max Steiner.

1948: The Arab Congress names Abdullah of Trans Jordan, King of Palestine.  Abdullah earned this title because the Jordanian Army (known as the Arab Legion) had successfully crossed the Jordan River and seized what is now called the West Bank and the eastern section of Jerusalem. Under the partition plan, the area of the West Bank should have been part of an Arab State.  Apparently the Arabs saw things differently since they awarded it to Abdullah as “spoil” for his part in the war against the Jewish state.  Since it now held land on both sides of the Jordan, Trans-Jordan would officially change its name to Jordan.  Please note, there was no attempt to create an independent Palestinian state on this land for the almost twenty years it was occupied by the Jordanian Army.

1948: Riots break out in Damascus in response to King Abdullah of Transjordan being proclaimed king of Palestine at a meeting of central Palestinian Arabs in Jericho and Syrian premier Jamil Mardam Bey and his cabinet resign.

1949: The UN General Assembly's Political Subcommittee recommends an international Jerusalem despite objections of Israel and Jordan.

1950: Ten boxes containing thousands of documents describing life in the Warsaw Ghetto collected by Oyneg Shabbos which was part of what we call the Ringelblum Archive, name in honor of historian Emanuel Ringelbum who gave a whole new depth of meaning to the Biblical command “Zachor… Remember let you forget” was unearthed today. (For more see Who Will Write Our History by Samuel D. Kassow)

1956: The Dutch Kingdom officially recognized the Jewish community of Aruba.

1958: “The Buccaneer” a biopic about Jean Lafitte that made no reference to rumors of his Jewish origins co-starring Clare Bloom, written by Jesse Lasky, Jr. and with music by Elmer Bernstein was released today in the United States.

1959: U.S. Premiere of “The Fugitive Kind” directed by Sidney Lumet, produced by Richard Shepherd and filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman.

1961: Jean-Marie Gaétan Déry began serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

1962(4th of Kislev, 5723): Sixty-nine year old Jona von Ustinov, the native of Jaffa “who worked for MI5 during the time of the Nazi regime” passed away today.

1962: Ninety-two year old William Stiles Bennet, the member of the House of Representatives who in 1915 worked to help Jews raise funds to aid their brethren in war torn Europe passed away today.

1965: Although he lost his seat in the November elections, Fritja Zoaretz “returned to the Knesset as a replacement for Shabtai Daniel.”

1966: In response to competition from W & S an automated bagel factory that had begun operating in metropolitan New York, “the bagel bosses” presented baker’s union with a list of “radical demands,” including a 40% pay cut, a decrease in the number of paid holidays and a 50% cut in the number of bakers on each shift.

1966: Yad Vashem officially recognized Father Père Marie-Benoît as a Righteous Among the Nations for helping thousands of Jews to reach Switzerland and Spain from the South of France and continuing his work after escaping to Rome where he was pursued by the Gestapo.

1968: Near Amman, Jordan, Israeli commandos destroy four bridges.

1968(10th of Kislev, 5729): While on his way to the airport in Istanbul forty-seven year old musician and actor  Darío Moreno who began his career by singing at Bar Mitzvah in the Turkish Sephardic community suffered a heart attack and passed away.

1968: “Promises, Promises” a Burt Bacharach musical with lyrics by Hal David and a book by Neil Simon produced by David Merrick premiered today on Broadway at the Schubert Theatre.

1968: It was reported today that “Tel Aviv is building a huge five-level bus terminal with local and out-of-town platforms, shops and movie theatres. The terminal will be the world’s largest surpassing even the Port Authority Terminal in New York City.”

1969: NBC broadcast the 12th episode of “My World and Welcome to it” created by Melville Shavelson, produced by Sheldon Leonard and Danny Arnold and co-starring Harold J. Stone.

1970: In Manchester, NH, Beth Ann O'Hara and Donald Silverman gave birth to Sarah Kate Silverman of SNL fame.

1970(3rd of Kislev, 5731): Ninety-five year old David de Sola Pool the native of London who served as the rabbi of New York’s Congregation Shearith Israel — often called the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue which is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

1971: Jeff Goldbulum was part of the chorus when “the Broadway production of Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Mel Shapiro opened at the St. James Theatre, where it ran for 614 performances and won two Tony Awards.”

1971: Birthdate of Berkley, CA native and Peabody Award winning write Akiva Schaffer, “a member of the comedy group The Lonely Island.

1973(6th of Kislev, 5734):  David Ben-Gurion, First Prime Minister of Israel, passed away.  There is no way that a short blurb can do justice to one of the greatest Jewish leaders in modern times.  Regardless of what one might think of his flaws, and he did have them, without Ben-Gurion there would have not been a modern state of Israel.  He was a walking contradiction:  an idealist and a pragmatist; a secular Jew who was an expert on the Bible and biblical history; a man whose hands were hardened from manual labor on a kibbutz who taught himself English and classical Greek; a seemingly autocratic political figure who believed in democracy even when the process when against him.    No matter how the revisionists work at it, nobody can take away his most monumental achievement – the Jewish homeland.  To paraphrase what was said about Maimonides, from David (the king) to David (Ben-Gurion) there was none like David.

1973: “A small notice in the local newspapers announced Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) starring Ellen Greene would be closing tonight, prior to its official opening.”

1974: “In the Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, published today, the Holy See's Commission recalled that "the step taken by the Council finds its historical setting in circumstances deeply affected by the memory of the persecution and massacre of Jews which took place in Europe just before and during the Second World War". Yet, as the Guidelines pointed out, "the problem of Jewish- Christian relations concerns the Church as such, since it is when "pondering her own mystery" that she encounters the mystery of Israel. Therefore, even in areas where no Jewish communities exist, this remains an important problem".

1975: Over 300 British doctors appealed for the release Dr. M. Stern who was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment by the Soviets.

1975: “Felix Dektor, co-editor of samizdat magazine “The Jews in the USSR”, was expelled from the Writers’ Union” today.

1976: “Funeral services” are scheduled to “be held for 85 year old Philip R. Alstat, a leading Conservative Rabbi, “columnist for the Jewish Week and former chaplain of the Manhattan House of Correction.”

1977: Birthdate of guitarist Bard Delson.

1977: Three weeks into the Sadat peace initiative, the Carter administration had offered only the faintest approval for the Egyptian president’s visit to Jerusalem, and had not yet abandoned its support for Geneva in favor of the bilateral Egyptian-Israeli process that Sadat, Begin and Dayan were actively proposing.

1980: Yosef Mendelevich, the last of the Jewish prisoners form the First Leningrad trial who is still in prison, begins a hunger strike.

1980: During November, 1980, 789 Jews had left the Soviet Union.

1983(25th of Kislev, 5744): Chanukah

1983: “Scarface” a crime film produced by Martin Bergman, with a screenplay by Oliver Stone whose father was Jewish and featuring Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfieffer, Richard Belzer and Mark Margolis premiered in New York City today.

1984: Three people were injured when grenade throwing terrorists attacked a bus in Jerusalem.

1985: In an article entitled “First A State, Then A Nation,” Paul Johnson reviews Israel The Partitioned State: A Political History Since 1900 by Amos Perlmutter.

1985: In “Quarrying History In Jerusalem” Thomas Friedman described the impact of the excavations at Zedekiah’s Cave.

1985: Zvi Kanar, an internationally known mime who survived six concentration camps “drew upon his experiences of the Holocaust in ‘Run Jacob, Run’ an autobiographical mimetic drama” while performing this afternoon at the Dramatis Personae Theatre at 25 East Fourth Street in New York.

1987: One Israeli soldier was injured by a terrorist crossing into Israel from Egypt.

1988(22nd of Kislev, 5749): Seventy-eight year old Gwendolyn Cafritz a leading Washington hostess often referred to as “the Jewish Pearl Mesta) and the widow of real estate magnate Morris Cafritz passed away today. (As reported by Susan Heller Anderson)

1988: Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz gave birth to Zoe Kravitz.

1988: As Israeli politicians struggle to form a new government after the elections which were held on November 1, Shimon Peres signed a coalition agree with Agudat Israel even though his Labor Party and this Orthodox political party held different views on attempts to redefine who is Jewish under the Law of Return.

1988: Israeli and American women joined together and attempted to pray as a group at the Western Wall for the first time today.

1988: Israeli and American women joined together and attempted to pray as a group at the Western Wall for the first time. More than 70 women attended the women’s service, which included a Torah reading, at the remnant of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem often called the Western Wall and sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall. These women had gathered for the first International Congress for the Empowerment of Jewish Women and decided to go pray as a group at the Wall. Bonna Haberman, one of the women present on that day, suggested that a women’s prayer group meet at the Wall every Rosh Chodesh (the Jewish new moon observance). Local Congress attendees followed through, and the group Women of the Wall was born. Since that first service, Women of the Wall has gathered to pray at the Western Wall every Rosh Chodesh. From the very first gathering, the group has confronted hostile responses including physical assaults and thrown stones, chairs, and dirty diapers. Assertion of their right to pray together as women out loud and to conduct a public Torah service has led not only to physical struggles but also to a protracted legal confrontation. While members of the ultra-orthodox community attempted to pass laws that would entail a seven-year prison sentence for women who conducted Torah services at the Wall, the Israeli Supreme Court mandated in April 2003 that authorities needed to make some provision for women to conduct services in the Wall area. In the summer of 2004, the government opened an alternative prayer space adjacent to the ancient Temple wall uncovered by archaeologists, but far removed from the area called the Wailing Wall. Although Women of the Wall has reluctantly moved its Torah service to this space, the women continue to use the traditional prayer plaza for the rest of their Rosh Chodesh worship.

1991: Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory by Lawrence L. Langer, Maus: A Survivor's Tale II. And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman and Wartime Lies by Louis Begley are among the ten books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year

1991: After 469 performances at the Booth Theatre, the curtain came down on the original Broadway production of “Once on This Island,” a “musical with a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.

1992(6th of Kislev, 5753): Eighty-three year old Rabbi Eli A. Bohnen passed away today.

1993(17th of Kislev, 5754): Shalva Ozana, age 23, and Yitzhak Weinstock, age 19, were shot to death by terrorists from a moving vehicle, while parked on the side of the road to Ramallah because of engine trouble. Weinstock died of his wounds the following morning. Iz a-Din al Kassam claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was carried out in retaliation for the killing by Israeli forces of Imad Akel, a wanted HAMAS leader in Gaza.

1994: “A Christmas Carol” the musical version of the Dickens’ classic with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens who co-authored the book was performed for the first time at the Paramount Theatre

1994(28th of Kislev, 5755): An ax-wielding Islamic militant killed an Israeli soldier in a northern Israeli town today, officials said. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, vowing that his peace efforts with the Palestinians would continue despite a surge of guerrilla attacks, said the killer belonged to the Islamic resistance movement Hamas. The Prime Minister said no responsibility for the attack could be attached to Palestinian self-rule authorities because the guerrilla had come from a part of the West Bank still under Israeli control.

1995: Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, today denied suggestions that he had acted with the approval of a rabbi, and insisted that he had decided on the killing alone after careful deliberation. Mr. Amir, 25, had asserted that he was required to kill Mr. Rabin under religious law because the Prime Minister was betraying Jewish lives and land to the enemy. Suspecting that Mr. Amir may have received a rabbinic authorization, the police interrogated four rabbis this week to determine whether they had declared Mr. Rabin a "pursuer" under Jewish law -- a deadly assailant who can be legally killed.

1995: It was reported today that Alfred Lerner, the son Russian-Jewish immigrants and one of America's wealthiest men, with a net worth of $1 billion gained in real estate and banking has donated 25 million dollars to Columbia University in New York City.

1995: “Wild Bill” a biopic about the 19th century lawman co-starring Ellen Barkin as “Calamity Jane” was released in the United States today.

1996: In “Shulberg Tackling Fitzgerald Play Anew” published tidat Meryl Spiegel described his interview with Budd Schulberg in this last of “the living links to F. Scott Fitzgerald, talked about ''The Disenchanted,'' his fictional tale of their cataclysmic collaboration on a film script. Having lost favor with the literary world of the 1930's, the ''laureate of the Jazz Age'' was a shadow of his former self, Mr. Schulberg recalled. Deeply in debt, physically ill and desperately trying to stay sober, Fitzgerald grabbed the screenwriting job just to pay his bills and finance a return to his own work. The film, called ''Winter Carnival,'' was written in 1939, two years before the writer died nearly penniless at the age of 44. ''The Disenchanted'' was first written as a novel, published in 1950, and was later transformed into a play that opened on Broadway in 1958. Mr. Schulberg, 82, is probably most famous today for writing the screenplay for ''On The Waterfront,'' starring Marlon Brando, and for his first novel, ''What Makes Sammy Run?'' He has published many other novels, however, several works of nonfiction, and has seen his plays produced on Broadway.”

1996: Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw who converted to Judaism gave birth to Destry Allyn Spielberg.

2001(28th of Kislev, 5755): Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in back-to-back explosions at a downtown Jerusalem pedestrian mall, killing 11 bystanders.

2001(28th of Kislev, 5755): Eleven people including Assaf Avitan, 15; Michael Moshe Dahan, 21; Ya'akov Danino, 17; Yosef El-Ezra, 18; Sgt. Nir Haftzadi, 19; Yuri (Yoni) Korganov, 20; Golan Turgeman, 15; Guy Vaknin, 19; Adam Weinstein, 14; and  Moshe Yedid-Levy, 19 were killed and about 180 injured when explosive devices were detonated by two suicide bombers close to 11:30 P.M. Saturday night on Ben Yehuda Street, the pedestrian mall in the center of Jerusalem. A car bomb exploded nearby 20 minutes later. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including One World: The Ethics of Globalization by Peter Singer, The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945 by Michael Beschloss and Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan.  The last two may seem like general history texts but they deal with events that had a unique impact on the Jewish people

2002: Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education, stepped down, after 15 years as the president of the Carnegie Institution, a major national scientific research center.

2002(26th of Kislev, 5763): Ninety-three year old British bridge grandmaster Boris Schapiro passed away.

2004: “Or” a film directed by Keren Yedaya was released to theatres in RAnce.

2004(18th of Kislev, 5765):  Dr. Jonathan A. Goldstein, former professor at the University of Iowa passed away. Among his scholarly works were his translations and commentaries on the Books of the Maccabees as part of the Anchor Bible.  He will be missed by all those who knew him. 

2005: A new defense system designed for civilian planes passed it its final test. The new anti-missile protection system is designed to defend passenger jets from shoulder-held missile attacks. El Al will begin installing the systems as early as next week.  The development of the systems came as a result of attacks on Israeli civilian airliners flying in Africa by terrorists armed with shoulder held missiles.

2005: The Maryland/Israel Development Center and The Trendlines Group co-sponsored a conference in Tel Aviv on raising money for Israeli homeland security companies.

2005: In France, Jean-François Copé began serving as Mayor of Meaux.

2006: “The Jews Among Arabs Conference” at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies comes to an end. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/news/lectures/2006/12/1/lecture-sasson-somekh-speaks-at-jews-among-arabs-conference-nov-30

2006(10th of Kislev, 5767): Songwriter and journalist Eli Mohar passed away at the age of 58, of cancer. Mohar, considered one of Israel's best songwriters, was best known as the veteran columnist in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha'ir, which published his weekly column "Goings on Around Town."

2006(10th of Kislev, 5767): Character actor Sid Raymond passed away at the age of 97. The NYU dropout was famous for being the face people remembered but did not connect with any given character he portrayed. He was also “known” for being the voice of the cartoon character Baby Huey

2007(21st of Kislev, 5768): Ninety-five year old “Moses M. Weinstein, a Queens Democrat who served in the State Assembly, with stints as majority leader and acting speaker in the 1960s, and nearly two decades as a trial and appellate judge of the State Supreme Court, died on today at Memorial Hospital in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

2007: The Ninth Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival opens at the Jerusalem Cinematheque with the showing of Etz O Palestine, The Tribe, The Powder and the Glory, Toots, O Jerusalem and Song of David.

2008: The 92nd Street Y presents  "Radical Islam and the Nuclear Bomb: Understanding Contemporary Genocidal Anti-Semitism" - A conversation featuring Dr. Charles Small, founder and director of the Yale University Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, and Bret Stephens, a writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal

2008 CSI star Marg Helgenberger has separated from her husband of nearly 20 years, actor Alan Rosenberg who is Jewish.

2008: Archbishop of Lublin, Josef Zycinski participates in a symposium entitled "Confronting a New Reality: The Polish Catholic Church, the Jews, and Israel." The symposium is being sponsored by The Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI), The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, The Polish Council of Christians and Jews, and Laboratorium Wiez in the framework of Polish Year in Israel 2008-2009. Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, will also take part



2009: Michael Rosen reads from What Else But Home, “a strikingly honest portrait of his unusual (Jewish) identity” at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, IA.

2009: Journalist Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time magazine and currently CEO of the Aspen Institute, discusses and signs his new book, American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane, at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.

2009: At Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, former Israeli Ambassador Asher Naim delivers a speech entitled “Ethiopian Jews then and now-from Operation Solomon-1991 to Israel 2009.”

Asher Naim has been the Israeli ambassador to Japan, Finland and Korea, is multilingual and has been active in working with Arab-Israeli relations.

 2009: Knesset Member Ayoub Kara (Likud), who also is Deputy Minister for Development of the Galilee and Negev, is scheduled to tour the Dead Sea area this morning, accompanied by representatives of the Megilot Regional Council. He is promoting the Dead Sea as one of the 28 finalists in the contest for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, sponsored by the New Seven Wonders Fund.

2010: Dalia Tsuk Mitchell, a Professor of Law and History at The George Washington University, and author of a biography of Felix Cohen is scheduled to present a program entitled “Felix Cohen, Father of Federal Indian Law” at the Interior Department in Washington, DC.  Felix Solomon Cohen's experiences as a Jewish American deeply influenced his career and legal philosophy, helping shape his reworking of federal Indian law in the 1930s. Come learn about this influential legal scholar in the beautiful New Deal-era auditorium at the Department of the Interior, where Cohen worked in the Solicitor's office.

2010: Editor and writer Robert Gottlieb and New Yorker writer Judith Thurman are scheduled to speak at the 92nd Y in a program entitled “The Life of Sarah Bernhardt”

2010(24th of Kislev, 5771):  This evening Jews all over the world will be lighting the first Chanukah candle.

2010(24th of Kislev, 5771): Eighty-one year old Harold Elkins, the producer best known for “Oh! Calcutta!” passed away today.

2010: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) is scheduled to light the first Chanukah candle at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron this evening. The event, which is partially sponsored by the Knesset’s Land of Israel Caucus, is part of a plan to bring MKs to various places of historic significance in the West Bank during the holiday, caucus chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said. Hebron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder said Rivlin’s intended visit makes an important statement about the Jewish significance of Hebron, at a time when the international community was trying to deny the city’s Jewish roots.

2010: In a world where the inmates seem to be running the asylum, today is the final day for students at Princeton to cast their ballot on a referendum that would allow brands of hummus other than Sabra to be sold in university stores. Sabra is half-owned by The Strauss Group, which has publicly supported the IDF and provides care packages and sports equipment to Israeli soldiers. The referendum was initiated by Princeton Committee on Palestine, which is led by Yoel Bitran, an American-born Jewish student who moved to Chile and returned to the U.S. to attend Princeton. It is part of larger program supported by the Philly BDS, which calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against companies that support the Israel Defense Forces. 

2010: “Comedian Conversation Falls Flat at 92nd Street Y” published today provides Felicia R. Lee’s description of Deborah Solomon’s interview with Steve Martin

2010: Today Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended his policies against opposition claims that he had not kept his promises in regard to the peace process.

2010: Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron wished "Hanukkah Sameach" to the millions of Jews around the world who prepared to light the first candle of the Jewish festival of lights.

"I want to pass on my very best wishes to the Jewish community here and around the world for a happy and peaceful Hanukkah," Cameron said. "The story of Hanukkah continues to be an inspiring message of the power of hope to sustain people through the toughest of times, and the strength that we can find when we come together and focus on building a brighter future," he added. "I wish you and your families a Hanukkah sameach,” Cameron said. The eight-day Jewish holiday, known as the Festival of Lights due to the ritual of lighting candles, commemorates the re dedication of the Second Temple and marks the narrative of the miracle of the oil lamp, in which oil that should have lasted for one day to light up the temple, lasted for eight days. British Foreign Secretary William Hague also recorded a special Hanukkah greeting saying "it's a great pleasure to send warm good wishes to the Jewish community in Britain and all over the world as you celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights." "Hanukkah is about courage," he said. "It is about hope, looking forward of course to the future and we certainly hope for peace and for continuing to strive for peace in a region that so desperately needs it."

2010: Still Hilfe, or Silent Aid, an organization which provides help for Third Reich fugitives of justice, is funding the defense of Klass Faber, a Dutch Nazi living in Germany, the Daily Mirror reported today. 

2010: At Princeton University, the referendum on whether to ask the university's dining services to provide an alternative brand of hummus came to an end.  The referendum is anti-Israel championed by The Princeton Committee on Palestine, which is led by Yoel Bitran, an American-born Jewish student in attempt to dislodge Sabra brand hummus from the campus.

2010: In “Small-City Congregations Try to Preserve Rituals of Jewish Life” published today  Jane Levere described the effort of the Jewish Community Legacy Project to help cities like Laredo, Texas; Sumter, SC; and Marion, Indiana deal with “an economic and social decline, shrinking synagogue membership and the eventual end of cemetery oversight.” http://jclproject.org/

2011: After about three months of operation Jerusalem’s light rail is scheduled to begin charging passengers today

2011: The 22nd Washington Jewish Film is scheduled to open with a screening of “Mabul” and a reception at the Avalon Theatre.

2011: The seventh annual Hamshoushalayim event begins today in Jerusalem

2011: Israel's Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch today condemned the recent "delegitimization campaign" carried out against the Supreme Court, saying Israeli politicians are responsible. Speaking at a conference of the Israeli Association of Public Law at the Dead Sea, Beinisch warned against the incitement directed toward Israel's Supreme Court

2011: “al-Qaeda claimed to be holding Warren Weinstein” a contractor who had been kidnapped while working in Pakistan.

2012: Clarinetists Alex and Daniel Gurfinkel are scheduled to perform at The Best of Chamber Music concert in Jerusalem

2012: The JCCNV is scheduled to host its 32nd Annual Fundraising Gala.

2012: Today, Amram “Mitzna joined Tzipi Livni's new centrist party, Hatnuah.”

2012: In Cedar Rapids, the traditional minyan observes Solidarity Shabbat, marking the 65th anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 181, celebrating 65 years of American support for the Jewish state and memorializing those who were killed during the recent attacks on Israel

2012: Representatives of Jewish communities in Spanish-speaking countries are today and tomorrow in Miami to discuss the effects of recent political shifts on Jewish life in the Americas and Iberia.

2012: Today, Tzipi Livni’s newly founded Hatnua (The Movement) party began filling its ranks, ahead of next week’s deadline for submitting Knesset lists.

2013: The New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of 2013” includes the following books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem, The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, Half the Kingdom by Lore Segal, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff, The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt. Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel, After the Music Stopped by Alan S. Blinder, The American Way of Poverty by Sasha Abramsky, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass, The Boy Detective by Roger Rosenblatt, Miss Anne In Harlem by Carla Kaplan, My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox, The Town by Mark Leibovich,  and Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb and American Strategy by Kenneth M. Pollack

2013: In Little Rock, Chabad Lubavitch is scheduled to present “Latkes and Laughter” with Mike Niehaus (and if the Latkes are prepared by Mrs. Ciment, everybody is in for a real treat)

2013: “The Magic Flute” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host an evening of Sephardic songs set to tango entitled “SepharTango.”

2013: “LOX & VODKA the Washington, DC based Klezmer band” is scheduled to perform in Alexandria, VA.

2013: “The Temple Mount was closed to Jews today after a fight between Jews and Muslim worshippers broke out on the plaza. According to police, the scuffle began after Muslims took exception to a group of Jews at the site singing Hanukkah songs, Israel Radio reported.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2013(28th of Kislev, 5774): Seventy eight year old “French-born American author, publisher and socialist passed away today in Paris.  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

2013: Israel’s Prime Minister took part in the candle-lighting ceremony at the Great Synagogue in Rome.

2013: The water bill for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upscale Caesarea house amounted to some NIS 72,000 (about $20,435) in 2012, and the cost of gardening services reached NIS 22,000 ($6,245), according to a report published by a government watchdog group today

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a screening of “Commissar” followed by a discussion led by Dr Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

2014: The Crescent City Jewish news is scheduled to co-host Walter Issacson’s reading from his latest book – The Innovators – at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center on St. Charles Avenue.

2014: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to announce his decision on whether or not to “call for early elections” today.

2014: Sidney A, Katz began serving as a member of the Montgomery County Council from District 3.

2014: Rudy Wax is scheduled to perform at the UK Jewish Comedy Festival.

2014: Israeli television broadcast a documentary featuring Rafi Etian who covered a wide range of topics of which he had first had knowledge including Adolf Eichman and Jonathan Pollard. (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

2014: Labor MK Hilik Bar has proposed the adoption of “the Declaration of Independence with its call for equality for all citizens as part of Israel’s quasi- constitutional Basic Laws.” (As reported by Haviv Rettig Gur)

2014: Yehoshua Lorch, an Israeli woman, was stabbed south of Jerusalem by 22 year old Amal Taqatqa an “affiliate” with the Fatah movement who “tried to stab

 a soldier at the same location” in 2011.  (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014: “Sendak’s Estate: Debating Where the Things Go” published today.

2015: Nolan Altman, Vice President for Data Acquisition and Coordinator of the Online Worldwide Burial Registry project for Jewish Gen. is scheduled to talk about “JewishGen's Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and the Importance of Jewish Burial Records.”

2015: An exhibition of new works by Michal Nachmany is scheduled to go on display at the gallery on 14th Street in New York.

 2015(19th of Kislev):  On the Hebrew calendar birthday of Avraham Elimelech ben Yosef Dov

2015(19th of Kislev): On the Hebrew calendar “Yahrzeit of the Maggid of Mezrech, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov,

2015(19th of Kislev): The "New Year" of Chassidism

2016(1st of Kislev, 5777): Rosh Chodesh Kislev; for more see http://downhomedavartorah.blogspot.com/

2016: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble which ”will perform Beethoven’s "Ghost" Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No.1, Schubert’s Fantasie for violin and piano D934, and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in C minor.”

2016: “Philip Sutton, reference librarian at the Schwarzman Building’s Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History, and Genealogy, is scheduled to provide an orientation to family history source materials in the various research divisions of the Schwarzman Building sponsored by the Center for Jewish History.

2016: In New York, “Harmonia” is scheduled to be shown on the opening night of the 10th Annual Other Israeli Film Festival.

2016: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education is scheduled to host a screening of “the Emmy Award winning documentary ‘A Walk To Beautiful.’”

2016: The morning news shows are scheduled to continue discussing Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees including Steven Mnuchin is slated to become Secretary of the Treasury in the new administration.