Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This Day, November 29, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 29

800: Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. Leo and Charlemagne were allies.  Charlemagne would exonerate Leo of the charges and Leo would crown Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  This was “good for the Jews” since Charlemagne was protective of his Jewish subjects at a time when many were using the sword of Constantine to advance the cause of the Cross of Christ.

1268: Pope Clement IV, who in 1264 “renewed the prohibition of the Talmud promulgated by Gregory IX, who had it publicly burnt in France and in Italy” and who “ordered that the Jews of Aragon submit their books to Dominican censors for expurgation” passed away today

1314: Although he would not be officially crowned un 1315, Louis X, who overturned the decision of his father, Phillip the Fair, to ban Jews from his realm began his reign as King of France.

1378: Sixty-two year old Charles VI, “the first King of Bohemia to also become Holy Roman Emperor” whose classification of the Jews in Frankfort as “vassals of the emperor” was not enough to halt the 1349 Pogrom in that city passed away today.

1378: Wenceslaus IV who as Emperor failed to continue the Imperial protection of the Jews of Luxembourg which led to their expulsion in 1391 began his reign as King of Bohemia today.

1394: Massacre of the Jews of Augsburg Germany.

1424: According to some sources, Anti-Pope Benedict XIII passed away.  In an attempt to curry favor and consolidate his position, Benedict conducted an aggressive program of forced conversion among Jews that included the issuance of a Bull that prohibited study of the Talmud, banned Jews from holding public office, practicing medicine, engaging in crafts, trading or bathing with Christians, wear a red or yellow badge and compelled them listen to at least three sermons a year during Advent.

1655: The Brazilian/Dutch Jews of New Amsterdam make an application for a license to enter the fur trade.  It was later denied

1777: San Jose, California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. Jews began to play an active role in the affairs of San Jose at the time of the Gold Rush in 1849.

 http://www.sanjose.com/history/jews/  San Jose History - San Jose's Jewish Community

1790: The Jews of Hungary handed a petition, in which they presented their claims to equality with other citizens, to King Leopold II at Vienna.  Written in Latin, probably at the behest of the Rosenthal family, “it read, in part ‘At long last, permit us to be citizens useful taxpayers of the fatherland.  In the whole world, outside Hungary we have no fatherland, no other father than the King…no other brothers than those with whom we live and die one society.’”

1793(25th of Kislev, 5554): As the citizens of Philadelphia recover from a yellow fever epidemic that took the lives of 5,000 and France coped with the Reign of Terror and Jews experience life under two “Georges” (George Washington and King George III) Jews on both sides of the Atlantic celebrate Chanukah

1797: Seventy-four year old Reverend Samuel Langdon, the former President of Harvard College passed away today. As can be seen by a sermon he preached in the New Hampshire Legislature “The Republic of the Israelites an Example to the American States” who believed that the Old Testament and the ancient Hebrews provided the foundation of the democracy being championed in the newly formed United States.  He saw “Moses as a destroyer of tyranny” and the seventy men appointed chosen to assist Moses as the prototype for a “Senate.”

1803” Birthdate of Gottfried Semper who the German architect who designed a synagogue built in Dresden between 1838 and 1840 known as the “Semper Synagogue” that contained a “a silver lamp of eternal light” that caught the “fancy” of Cosima and Richard Wagner who spent a lot of money “to have a copy” of the lamp made.

1806: Napoleon wrote to Minister of the Interior Champagny, “[It is necessary to] reduce, if not destroy, the tendency of Jewish people to practice a very great number of activities that are harmful to civilization and to public order in society in all the countries of the world. It is necessary to stop the harm by preventing it; to prevent it it is necessary to change the Jews. [...] Once part of their youth will take its place in our armies, they will cease to have Jewish interests and sentiments; their interests and sentiments will be French.”

1807: Birthdate of Jonas Warburg, the husband of Bernhardine Wetzlar.

1809(21st of Kislev, 5570): Moses Seixas passed away.  Born in New York in 1744, the eldest son of Isaac Mendez Seixas was one of the founders (1795) of the Newport Bank of Rhode Island, of which he was cashier until his death. He addressed a letter of welcome in the name of the congregation to George Washington when the latter visited Newport, and it was to him that Washington's answer was addressed.

1812: Isaac Isaacs married Elizabeth Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

1812: Napoleon's Grand Army crossed the Berezina River in its retreat from Russia which marked the beginning of the end for Napoleon and therefore also marked the beginning of the end of new found freedom that Jews had begun to experience in most of Germany, Italy and Russia when the French Armies marched across these lands bringing the message of “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality”  on the tips of their bayonets.

1820:  In New York City, first publication of Israel Vindicated by an anonymous author who styled him or herself as “An Israelite.”   “The work was ‘a refutation of the calumnies propagated respecting the Jewish nation; in which the objects and views of the American Society for Ameliorating the Condition of the Jews are investigated.’” The original subtitle also contained the additional words “‘and reasons assigned for rejecting the Christian religion.’” In his monograph entitled “The Freethinker, the Jews and the Missionaries,” Professor Jonathan Sarna contends that the book was the work of a freethinker named George Houston who was assisted by a Jewish printer named Abraham Collins.

1830: The November Uprising also known as the Cadet Uprising begins in Warsaw when a group of Polish non-commissioned officers began an unsuccessful attempt to throw off the yoke of Russian rule. Josef Berkowicz, whose father had commanded a Jewish legion in the 1794 Uprising and who had fought alongside his father in the Battle of Kock, was a leader in what would prove to be another failed attempt to gain Polish independence.

1832: In Camden, SC, Hayman Levy, the son of Solomon and Rebecca Eve Levy, and his wife Almeria Levy gave birth to Rebecca Hendricks Samuel

1841: Birthdate of Josiah Cohen, the native of Plymouth England who became a successful American lawyer and Republican Party leader who was “appointed judge of the orphans’ court in Allegheny County (PA)” in 1901.

1845(29th of Cheshvan, 5606): Parashat Tolodot

1845: After having been invited to address the congregation, Dr. M. Lilienthal, who had only recently arrived in the United States delivered a sermon in German at the Henry Street Synagogue in New York City after having been invited to address the congregation.

1851(5th of Kislev, 5612): Parashat Toldot

1851(5th of Kislev, 5612): Jacob Lyon, the native of Poland who came to Richmond, VA, at the 18th of century where he became a successful merchant and whose third wife was Eliza White passed away today.

1853: Reverend Francis N. Vinton, D. D delivered a lecture entitled "The Merchant, or the Progress and Influence of Commerce" during which he stated that the Jews had invented the first bills of exchange in 1160.  This invention was so important that soon it would be impossible to transact business without using them.  Furthermore, the Jews created one of the first banks, at Boscoe, but it was used merely as depository for Gold. (Boscoe was probably a city in Italy.)

1854: In Charleston, SC, at the Hasell Street Synagogue, Rabbi Mayer officiated at the wedding of Israel Ottolengui to Rosalie C. Moise the youngest daughter of Mrs. R.C. Moise.

1855: Most of the Jews of New York City celebrated Thanksgiving today by “eating hearty dinners” and giving thanks “in private.”

1855: During his Thanksgiving Day sermon, Rabbi Morris Raphael rebuked New York’s Governor Clarke for issuing a proclamation inviting “only patriots and Christians to keep Thanksgiving.” At the same time, he commended Mayor Wood for inviting “all the people” to join in observing the holiday.

1855: Rabbi S.M. Isaacs delivered the sermon during Thanksgiving Day services at Shaaray Tefillah, the synagogue on Wooster Street.

1856: A pro-Zionist meeting was held in Great Britain at the Great Assembly Hall of Miles End. There was a "great rush into the building" with most seats taken quickly. The meeting was presided over by Dr. M. Gaster, Chief Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation, and among those present were Sir Francis Montefiore.

1858: It was reported from Boston that the Jews of that city have a held a meeting to express their outrage over what has happened in Bologna. “The theft of the child is an outrage of the worst kind and shows there are men in the old Church ready to go as far as did their predecessors of the old days, when the Inquisition was a great fact, and a very disagreeable one, too.”  [This refers to the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara which had taken place in Bologna and became known as the Mortara Affair.]

1859: Lazarus Simon, the son of English coal merchant Simon Magnus accepted a commission as a Captain in the newly formed 4th Corps of the 1st Brigade of the Kent Voluntary Artillery

1859: In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Abraham Printz and Rose Wohlgemuth Printz gave birth to Bert H. Prinz who came the United States in 1864 and opened several stores in Pennsylvania and New York before opening "Printz Company Men's Clothing and Furnishing in Youngstown, Ohio which became the headquarters of his commercial enterprises.

1860: In San Francisco, “The Episcopalians, the Roman Catholics and the Jews, all opened their churches…” for the celebration of Thanksgiving.  The Jewish Church is probably a reference to Congregation Sherith Israel and Congregation Emanu-El. Sherith Israel which was founded in 1849 had about 110 members and consecrated its first synagogue which was located on Stockton Street in September of 1852. Emanu-El which followed the Reform minchag had about 260 members and dedicated it sanctuary in 1854.

1861: In New York Leopold and Kate gave to attorney David Gerber who became a partner of Judge A.J. Dittenhoefer. 

1862: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Louis and Emma (Goodhart) Heinsheimer gave birth to Stella Heinshier.  In 1894 she married J. Walter Freiberg, a partner in Frieberg and Workum, Distillers.  As Stella Heinshier Frieberg she pursued her two passions – “helping the arts flourish in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, and furthering the growth of Reform Judaism—and the role of women in it—in the United States and Western Europe..” (As reported by Laura Lieber)

1862: Phoebe Yates Levy Pember wrote a letter to her sister indicating that she was “to take charge of one of the hospitals at Richmond.” In December 1862, she reported for duty at Chimborazo, a hospital for the care of Confederate soldiers in Richmond, Virginia, reputed to be the largest military hospital in the world up to that time. Pember oversaw nursing services in one of the hospital's five divisions. In this role, she was responsible for the medical and dietary needs of over 15,000 men. Pember had grown up in a prosperous and acculturated family in Charleston, South Carolina. Along with her siblings, she was strongly identified with the Confederate cause and received the invitation to serve as matron of Chimborazo Hospital from the wife of the Confederate secretary of war. In A Southern Woman's Story: Life in Confederate Richmond, published in 1879, Pember described daily life at Chimborazo, detailing the poor state of the Confederate medical facilities. Despite resistance to her authority, Pember's spirit and determination overcame many obstacles. At the end of the war in April 1865, Mrs. Pember stayed at her post so that her patients might be cared for during the transition from Confederate to federal control. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

1867: Future Medal of Honor winner George Geiger “reenlisted with Troop M, of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, November 29, 1867 in St. Louis, Missouri.”

1872: George Gieger completed his enlistment and was discharged at Unionville, SC

1869(25th of Kislev, 5630): First Day of Chanukah; for the first time Jews celebrate the Festival of Lights under President Grant, who received a majority of the Jewish vote.

1870: It was reported today that Governor Hoffman will deliver an opening address at the upcoming Hebrew Fair designed to raise funds for Mount Sinai Hospital and Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1870: In New York, Henry Hissig, a German-born Hebrew went on trial for violating New York’s new seduction law.  He is accused of having seduced his cousin, Ida Schwab.

1873: Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr. begins serving as a member of the New Cavalry Outfit Board.

1873: It was reported today that members of Adas Jeshrun and Anshi Chesed, two Jewish Temples in Manhattan, have been meeting to discuss the possibility of consolidation. Anshi Chesed has over 100 members while Adas Jeshrun has approximately 300 members. Some of the sticking points revolve around finances with Anshi Chesed being in $110,000 in debt from the construction of a new sanctuary. The other points of contention revolve around ritual. Adas Jeshrun is not in favor of many of the reforms adopted by other Temples.  Prayer is in Hebrew and heads are covered during services.  Anshi Chesed favors reform.  Services are held in German and there is a movement to begin using English.  And heads are uncovered during services.

1874: “Influences of Judaism on Early Christianity” published today shows that acknowledging the Jewish origins of Christianity becomes a negative in the conflict between Protestants and Catholics.  “There is no question that the earliest Christian Church was a Hebrew Church. There is also no question that it was an offshoot from this Hebrew Church which planted itself with exceptional vigor at Rome; and that hence Roman Christianity from that time to this, has been strongly tinctured with Jewish elements, has blazed with Jewish intolerance, delighted in Jewish gorgeousness, and fallen a victim to Jewish realism; while Pauline or Augustinian or Protestant idealism has struggled manfully…to overcome the deep weight of these lower ingredients…and to assert for intelligence and freedom their true place in the Church.”

1874: The New York Times defended itself charges leveled in the Jewish Messenger that the paper’s use of the term “Jew” was one of derision or insult.  The Times contended that it was merely using it as an identification of national origin or ancestry in the same way that that it uses the term to American or Englishman.  The Times identifies lawbreakers as Jewish and does not do so with Christian lawbreakers, because absent the statement of distinction, it is assumed the criminal is a Christian.

1877: Birthdate of Ira Solomon Wile, the native of Rochester, NY who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1902 and “practiced as a pediatrician at Mt. Sinai Hospital” in New York City.

1878: It was reported today that government of Romania has continued to fail to honor its pledges concerning the treatment of Jews given to the Great Powers when they met in Berlin. “Unless the some of the treat power can be induced” to take direct action “It is likely that the Romanian Jews will be no better off in the immediate future they have been in the past.

1879(14th of Kislev, 5640): Mr. S.L. Lewis passed away today in the Sandwich Islands. (This may be the first reported death of a Jew in what is now Hawaii).

1880: It was reported today that “a petition has been presented to Prince Bismarck to restrict the civil rights of the Jews and repeal the absolute equality enjoyed by them with German.” The petition sent to the Chancellor is filled with complaints that Jews “are rapidly getting rich as merchants, landed proprietors and capitalists” and that if left unchecked within a generation Jews “will be lording it over the Teutons” i.e. the true Germans. 

1881: It was reported today that I. Albert Engelhart is the President of the newly incorporated Hebrew Society for the Improvement of the Sanitary Condition of the Poor.  Uriah Hermann and Alfred Steckler are the vice presidents of the society which is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the immigrant and poor in New York.  Among other things, the society will work for the construction of “good tenements” that will be healthful home and to “prevent the adulteration” of their food.

1883: Miss Lillie Bernheimer treated 170 children attending the Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities to turkey dinner in honor of Thanksgiving.

1884(11th of Kislev, 5645): Fifty-seven year old, Levi Goldenberg  A native of Frankfort, he came to the Baltimore, MD in 1845 before eventually moving to New York where he became a leading lace merchant, as one of the principles of Goldenberg Brothers &Co.  Goldenberg was a noted philanthropist and was a founding member of Temple Beth-El

1885: It was reported today that there has been a clash between a band of Austrian Gypsies and Jews living in village in Bessarabia.

1885: A review of The Religion of Philosophy or The Unification of Knowledge by Raymond S Perrin published today points out that the “Hebrew Religion has a chapter to itself.”

1886: It was reported today that there are approximately 6,300,000 Jews in the world today, two and a half million of whom live in the European part of the Russian Empire.  There are 63,000 Jews living in France while there are 562,000 Jews living in France.  Ironically, 39,000 of them live in Alsac-Lorraine which means the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War reduced France’s Jewish population by about one third.

1887: It was reported today the Reverend E. D. Simons of Bloomfield, NJ, will present a paper entitled “Why the Jews Crucified Christ” next week.

1887: A national meeting of Reform Rabbis came to a close in New York City today. 

1887: Seventy-eight year old Dr. Samuel Adler, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-El “gave a dissertation on the benedictions with which ritual is interspersed “tracing them back “Ezra and the return from the Babylonian Capitivty.”

1888(25th of Kislev, 5649): For Jews a double header – first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving

1888: At Temple Beth-El in New York, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler will deliver a sermon entitled “What does America owe to the Jews and what the Jew to America at today’s Thanksgiving Services

1888: It was reported today that the late Mrs. Jette Lissauer named the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum as two of her beneficiaries in her will provided that the patients and students say Kaddish on her Yarhtzeit. 

1888: It was reported today that Yetta Reiner, an 18 year old Jewish girl who arrived in the United States two weeks ago was last seen on November 26 talking to a man on the corner of Hester and Norfolk Streets who promised to find her a job.

1888: It was reported today from Vienna, that “Baron Hirsch has made a donation of $5,000,000 for schools for Jews in Galicia and Bukovina.”

1889: It was reported today that one of “little girls” under the care of the United Hebrew Charities read a poem to Samuel D. Levy yesterday “congratulating him on having his birthday on Thanksgiving Day, so that he could celebrate with Turkey.”

1889: It was reported today that the new synagogue being built on 67th Street between Lexington and Third avenue “will be known as the Ephraim Memorial in honor of the late Ephraim Weil,” whose sons have contributed heavily to the building fund.  In Hebrew, the congregation is called Zichron Ephraim.(The congregation lives on today as Park East Synagogue. The orthodox congregation is led by Rabbi Bernard Drachman.

1889: It was reported that the 600 children at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum “ate about six hundred pounds of turkey at their Thanksgiving dinner” and consumed “enough cake and ice cream and candy to freight a ship. (The reference to Turkey and ice cream makes wonder about the Kashrut at this esteemed institution supported by such Jewish luminaries as Jesse Seligman and Oscar Straus)

1892: In France, during the investigation of the scandal surrounding the failed attempt to build the Panama Canal the Chamber of Deputies heard testimony that Charles de Lesseps had said that among those whom he paid to influence the price of his company’s stock were the Jews who “offered to assist when new issues were announced” because they were “able to praise or decry according to the sums received.”  ( Frenchmen were always willing to blame Jews every time one of their financial bubbles burst and the public’s view of Jews as conniving manipulators was instrumental in creating the environment that gave birth to the Dreyfus affair).

1893: Plans were published today for the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities Society.

1894(1st of Kislev, 5655): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1894: Thanksgiving

1894: “Three hundred and fifty little girls and boys pupils of the Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities were entertained today at a Thanksgiving dinner at the schoolhouse on 85 St. Mark’s Place

1894: “To Humanity,” the new Hamilton place wing of the Montefiore Home was dedicated today in New York.  The Montefiore Home had been dedicated ten years earlier as part of the Centennial Celebration honoring Sir Moses Montefiore. Among the speakers were Jacob Schiff and Charles S. Fairchild who noted “how appropriate it was to have the celebration on Thanksgiving Day.”

1895: According to evidence presented today at the Harlem Court, Solomon Riens a resident of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews right to vote was challenged by Eugene Frayer because the institution received tax money which meant he was a public charge and this not eligible to vote. The unanswered question is why the other 12 residents of the Home were allowed to vote without any challenge.

1895: Twenty-seven year old Daniel Ryan and 36 year old Daniel Healy were charged with “Jew baiting” in Essex Market Court after the police observed them striking at every Jew they passed on East Broadway.

1895: It was reported today that attendance of the Girl’s Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities averages 250 students a day.

1896(24th of Kislev, 5657): Kindle the first Chanukah Candle

1896: Several trustees of the Baron de Hirsch Fund visited the agricultural colony established by the fund at Woodbine, NJ for Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1896: The Jewish settlers at Woodbine, NJ dedicated their new house of worship this evening.

1896: James Loeb will deliver a lecture at the Hebrew Institute on “Civic Life in Greece.”

1896: The funeral for former State Senator Joseph C. Wolff will take this place this morning at Temple Ahawath Chesed at Lexington and 55th.

1897: Birthdate of Alfred K. Stern, the Fargo, ND, native who marred Martha Dodd Stern, the daughter of William E. Dodd FDR’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. She became a foe of the Nazis and fascism and he joined her in her efforts which led to them being named as suspected spies for the Soviet Union.

1897: Herzl outlines his ideas for the "Jewish Colonial Bank" in a letter to Max Nordau.

1897: “Jews In United States” published today included information in the recently issued sixth publication of the American Jewish Historical Society that featured an article by Philadelphian David Sulzberger entitled “Growth of the of the Jewish Population in the United States.”

1898: The outbreak of measles among the children of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which began on November 5 “has been checked” according to Superintendent Baar.

1898: Birthdate of C.S. Lewis

1898: Birthdate of Morris Dicker who would be buried in the Agudas Achim Cemetery in Iowa City.

1902:  Birthdate of Italian painter and novelist Carlo Levi.

1905(1st of Kislev, 5666): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1905: On its editorial page, the New York Times published “the letter by a worthy Christian with a heart and soul full of sympathy” for the “poor suffering Jews of Russia” signed simply “W.H.S.”

1905: Jacob H. Schiff, the Treasurer of “the National Relief Committee which is collecting funds for the sufferers from Russian massacres” received a letter from Baron Horace Gunzberg which provided “the first word” of how the funds will be distributed once they get to Russia which he said will go to the Jews and those who have suffering by helping to protect the Jews.

1905: The Koinigsberf Hartugnsche Zeitung,  a German newspaper that is “usually reliable” printed “dispatch from Minsk” today  saying that a planned massacre of the Jews had been “averted through negotiations between the Jews and the priest who leads the anti-Semitic element” but that in reality, “the massacre has merely been postponed until next week.”

1905: Today, in Paris, “prices on the Bourse were feeble at the opening, but strengthened on a report that the Russian laws aimed against the Jews had been abrogated.”

1905: It was reported today that so far $920,000 has been collected by the National Committee for the Relief of the Sufferers from the Russian Massacres including $545 from Congregation Beth-El in Alexandria, VA, $114 from Temple Emanu-El in Vancouver, British Columbia and $43 from the “Jewish Community of Enid, Oklahoma.”

1905: “Russian Poles and Jews” who are seeking employment in Canada and “who were captured by the Japanese arrived” in Victoria, British Columbia aboard “the steam Iyo Maru” today.

1905: It was reported today that in Russia “all train service has been stopped so there is no means for the Jews to escape the slaughter” but “when the trains are running again the Jews will emigrate by the thousands and come to America.”

1905: It was reported today that four thousand Jews gathered at a mass meeting in Berlin where “strong resolutions were adopted” protesting against the violence in Russia.

1905: It was reported today that a committee consisting of Isidor Straus, Marcus M. Marks, Edward Lauterbach, Arthur K. Kuhn, Abraham Erlanger, Albert Stiglitz and Gustav Lindenthal will make an appeal to the public for additional funds on behalf of the Educational Alliance which is facing an “increased demand” for its services in “Americanizing the ignorant and destitute immigrants who are coming to” the United States in ever increasing numbers because of the “persecution now going on in Russia.

1907: Birthdate of Italian-born British geneticist Guido Pontecorvo.

1908: Birthdate of Harry Wagreich, the Professor of Chemistry at CCNY and brother of Dr. Samuel Wagreich and Dr. Paul Wagreich.

1910: Birthdate of Austrian born Anglo-Jewish scholar Walter Ullman who specialized in “medieval political thought and legal theory.”

1912: In Chicago Rabbi Katkoff and Cantor Millar are scheduled to lead Friday night services at the Institute.

1912: Yiddish theatre stars Jacob P. Adler, Leon Blank and Francis Adler are scheduled to perform tonight at the Haymarket in Chicago this evening.

1914(11th of Kislev, 5675): Sixty-four year old Gittel “Catherine” Helvich Schubert, the wife of the late David Schubert with whom she had six children passed away today after which she was buried in Salem Fields Cemetery.

1914: Borough President Marcus M. Marks the delegates attending the sixth annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Farmers of America which is meeting in the Education Alliance building “that they ought to avail themselves of the free markets” thereby helping to reduce the cost of living among Jews living on the Lower East Side.

1914: A committee of 100 formed at a meeting of the Educational Meeting is scheduled to meet Solomon Rabinowitz who uses the pen name Sholom Aleichem when he arrives in New York today aboard the Frederik VIII from Copenhagen where he has staying “since his escape from Berlin.”

1914: The Day published an editorial entitled “Russian Promises and Polish Pogroms” by Herman Bernstein.

1914: It was reported today that “in Janow and Krasmk the Jews were accused of setting mines to destroy Russian soldiers” which was the justification for destroying the two towns and hanging Jews including children from telephone poles.

1914: “Poles Killing Jews” published today provides a summary of the attack first published in The Day “by George Brandes, the Danish critic on the anti-Jewish agitation in Poland.

1914: It was reported today that a brief will be presented to the Supreme Court that will include a challenge to the conviction of Leo Frank by on a suggestion “by Mr. Justice Homes that there was a denial of due process of law through the presence of hostile mob.”

1915: Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, the commander of the Zion Mule Corps fell ill and had to be evacuated to Alexandria and thence to London “leaving Joseph Trumpeldor in command.”  (Jewish Virtual Library)

1915(22nd of Tevet, 5676): Meyer London a native of Wolkovishk, Russia who came to the United States 47 years where he became so successful at baking “unleavened bread” that he was known as the Matzah King passed away today at this home on East Broadway.

1915: Mrs. Etta Fine the “President of the association of 1,200 mother who support and manage” the Jewish Day Nursery facilities which serve “fatherless children” was quoted today as saying that “it will take $25,000 to run the branches on Henry Street and East 107th Street.”

1916: Fifteen hundred of the six thousand Jews in the United States who have gone in for farming sent delegates” today “to the opening session of the eighth annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Farmers of America” where “they were welcomed by Louis Marshall, the President of the American Jewish Committee, eighty year old Simon Wolf of Washington, Rabbi Judah L. Magne and Cyrus Sulzberger.

1916: Jacob H. Schiff is among those who have been asked to address the “great peace meeting” scheduled to be held at P.S. 4 this evening whose supporters included Harry Schalacht of the East Side Protective Associaton.

1917(14th of Kislev, 5678): Forty-one year old Dr. Sigmund Deutsch, a member of the army medical reserve corps passed away today in New York City.

1917: The Jewish National Workers Alliance of America which had been organized in 1912 held its annual conference today in Trenton, NJ.

1917: As the British continued their offensive to take Jerusalem, a combined force of the British and Australian Nos. 1 and 111 Squadrons, attacked the Tul Keram aerodrome in the morning and again in the evening “after German planes bombed the Julis aerodrome and hit No. 113 Squadron's orderly room.”

1917: Thanksgiving

1917: President Wilson received a pledge of the support of the Jews of the United States in his prosecution of the war at a Thanksgiving service of the Institutional Synagogue where “Representative Isaac Siegel…said that the pacifist views attributed to certain elements of the Jewish people did not represent the general attitude of the Jews of this country” since “there are 62,000 loyal Hebrews in the Army,” four thousand of whom “are already with General Pershing in France.”

1917: Standing on a platform at Cooper Union draped with the Stars and Stripes and the flag of Zionism Baruch Zuckerman, the General Secretary of the Peoples Relief Committee presided over a meeting tonight “of Zionist who are Socialists” and are celebrating the declaration of the British Government expressing support for “allowing the Jews to establish their national home in Palestine

1918(25th of Kislev, 5679): First Day of Chanukah and the first Chanukah celebrated after four years of World War.

1918: “Julian W. Mack, the President of the Zionist Organization of America and Louis Marshall, the President of the American Jewish Committee, issued a joint statement” today in which they said that the organizations they represent have received from authoritative and unprejudiced sources in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London and the Hague explicit cablegrams substantiating reports of pogroms in Galicia and various parts of Poland and Rumania.

1918: It was reported today that Dr. Stephen S. Wise will serve as chairman of the delegation that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is sending to Europe to deal with “many questions concerning” the Zionist movement that have arisen in Europe.  The delegation includes Mrs. Joseph Fels, Louis Robinson, Dr. Shmarya Levin and the Chicago attorney Bernard Flexner. (This delegation was being sent as the world prepared for the Peace Conference at Versailles which was intended to formally end the World War and lay the groundwork for a new world order based on Wilson’s 14 Points. Among other things, the Jews wanted to make sure that the victors honored the promises of the Balfour Declaration and took measures to protect the Jews living in the former Austrian, German and Russian empires.

1919: In Montreal, Louis and Anna Weider gave birth to Josef Weider who gained fame as bodybuilder Joe Weider the creator of “an empire of muscle magazines, fitness equipment, doubtful dietary supplements and Olympic-style contests featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

1920: In New York City Richard Wolff, “a mechanical engineer” and the former Estelle Cohn gave birth to Robert Alfred Wolff, the sportscaster whom I first heard as the voice of one of the worst teams in baseball – the Washington Senators – and whom none of my friends at the time knew was Jewish.

1921: “In the town of Soroke in Bessarabian Romania,” Rokhl and Elkhonen Gendler gave birth Arkady Gendler who became the “icon and paragon of the Yiddish Revival Movement.:

1921: Eighty-five year old Augustus Hopkins Strong the author of Systematic Theology: The Doctrine of of God which “which presented an alternative explanation of all the alleged inaccuracies reflected in the Hebrew Bible” passed away today.

1923: Charlie Phil Rosenberg, a product of the Jewish Lower East Side in New York, met future Bantamweight World Champion Eddie Martin for the first of their three bouts today.

1924: Birthdate of Jane Niederhoffer the Flatbush native who gained fame as landscape artist Jane Freilicher.

1925: In Washington, DC, the Hebrew Home for the Aged dedicated a new 35 bed facility.

1926: In responding to publication of the report of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who asserted that the movement to colonize Palestine with Jews is ""unfortunate and visionary," Congressman Emanuel Celler maintained that Dr. Pritchett went to Palestine to find a flare and was surprised to find success.  He said that disparage Palestine now was ‘childish,’ that it has been sanctioned and encouraged by the League of Nations. ‘To call the Jews an egotistical nation without capacity of cooperation, with the rest of the world, is akin to insult and belies the history and tradition of the Jews.’ [Editor’s Note:  An early version of anti-Zionism meets anti-Semitism.

1926: At tonight’s meeting of the Jewish National Fund at Cooper Union, Bernard A. Rosenblatt responded to “the adverse report of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett on Zionism in Palestine…declared that the fundamentals of economic prosperity exited in Palestine and they would be fully developed.”

1928: Thanksgiving

1928: “In a Thanksgiving address at Temple Ansche Chesed,” Senator Royal S. Copeland “traced the origins of Thanksgiving Day to the Jews of Biblical times saying: ‘I have no doubt that Elder Brewster and the Pilgrim Fathers consulted the Book of Books in preparing for the first Thanksgiving Day.’”

1928: In Manhattan, Irving Kaufman, a CPA and the former Sophie Smith gave birth to Charles Kaufman, the holder of a doctoral degree in musicology who “saved” the Mannes College of Music. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1928: Birthdate of Shulamit Aloni an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.

1929: ‘The Love Parade,” a musical comedy directed and produced by Ernst Lubitsch and co-starring Lillian Roth was released today in the United States.

1930: In Randfontein, South Africa, Eli and Olga Goldblatt whose parents had fled European persecution gave birth to photographer David Goldblatt.

1930: This evening “a prominent member of the Revisionists’ Central Committee…said that Jabotinsky’s party would not agree to negotiate with the British Government on the basis of the present white paper. The Revisionists also will not negotiate with the Arabs as long as they continue to demand the abolition of the Balfour Declaration, revocation of the Palestine mandate and the denial of right Jews to repopulate Palestine as a national homeland.

1930: In Upper Clapton, London Jacob Edward "Jack" Cohen, the founder and owner of Tesco, and Sarah "Cissie" (née Fox), the daughter of a master tailor gave birth to Shirley Cohen who gained fame as Dame Shirley Porter, a leader of the Conservative Party in the UK and who “helped established the Porter Centre for Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University, which opened its iconic LEED Platinum-graded building in 2014.”

1931: In Philadelphia, PA the former Rose Schwartz and Harry Rosenberg gave birth to Allen Perry Rosenberg the Olympic rowing coach. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1933: Birthdate of Dr. David Reuben author of Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex

1934: “While the rest of the team was playing in Omiya, Moe Berg “the intellectual baseball player turned spy’ went to Saint Luke's Hospital in Tsukiji, ostensibly to visit the daughter of American ambassador Joseph Grew but instead sneaked onto the roof of the hospital, one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, and filmed the city and harbor with his movie camera. (These pictures would later be used by the Doolittle Raiders when they attacked Tokyo in 1942.)

1936: Germany's Minister of Agriculture, Walther Darré, declared that democracy and liberalism were invented by the Jews and that “communism would not fail because of its theories but solely because it was Jewish.”

1936: It was announced today that “Governor Herbert H. Lehman and leading educators from parts of the country will participate in a series of meetings designed to ‘honor and evaluation scholarship in the fields of religion and Hebraic learning’ under the auspices of the Semi-Centennial Committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.”

1936: “The British Royal Commission now in Jerusalem inquiring into the administration of the Palestine mandate was asked today” through a “resolution adopted by the National Council for Palestine” which is composed of Jewish” leaders in the United States, “to embody in its findings the policies of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which pledged Great Britain to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.”

1936: Tonight in Moscow at the All-Union Congress of Soviets Premier Molotoff attacked fascism, declared Soviet democracy was superior to bourgeois democracy” and emphasized that equality of races was guaranteed in the Soviet Union” where “active anti-Semitism was punished by death” while “Chancellor Adolf Hitler used Jews as scapegoats for everything that went wrong in Germany.”

1936: “Air Minister Herman Goering…declared that Germany was now a stronger power than she was in 1914.” (See the above and the outlines of WW II become obvious as to why there were Jews who supported the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.)

1936: The National Council for Palestine adopted a resolution which was sent today to the British Royal Commission now meeting in Jerusalem ask that it “it embody in its findings the policies of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which pledged Great Britain to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.”

1937(25th of Kislev, 5698): First day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the second light.

1937: Birthdate of Zuzana Goldmannová who in 1942 was deported from Prague to Ujazdow where she was murdered by the Nazis.

1937: Today’s edition of Time magazine describes the fate of Arnold Bernstein at the hands of his Nazi jailers.

Greying Arnold Bernstein, 47, son of an old-time Saxon shipper, served with distinction as a German artillery officer during the War, was decorated with the Iron Cross, First Class. Back in Germany after the War he evolved the scheme of fitting modern freighters with automobile elevators so that U. S. cars could be exported to Europe uncrated and unscratched. So successful was this that Bernstein "floating garages'' have long carried over 60% of all U. S. automobile exports, made enough money for sole Owner Arnold Bernstein to allow him to buy out the American-Belgian-British Red Star Line and incidentally bring into Nazi Germany thousands of dollars yearly in much needed foreign exchange. Bernstein passenger agents find their boats are "very popular with intellectuals who object to the snobbishness of Cabin Class." Partly because of his personal popularity and War record, Shipper Arnold Bernstein was left in control of his business much longer than most Jewish tycoons. Finally last January, Nazi extremists forced the Government's hand. Arnold Bernstein and four of his managers (three Jewish), were clapped into jail, charged with "economic sabotage" through infringing German foreign exchange regulations. While he sat in jail Bernstein's 21-month-old Palestine Shipping Co. went into receivership "because the Jews deserted me," says Prisoner Bernstein, and Japanese bought for $150,000 its auctioned steamer Tel Aviv. Last week in Hamburg the trial of Arnold Bernstein began. Of all the eight charges in a 88-page indictment against Shipper Bernstein the gravest was that several years ago he set aside in Manhattan banks a fund from the Arnold Bernstein & Red Star Lines' profits to be held for a rainy day of the two lines (whose two chief creditors are the Erie R. R. and Chemical Bank & Trust Co.). This entire sum was returned to Germany some months ago. Hamburg lawyers scoffed at news stories that Bernstein "faces death," expected him to get anything from a five-year jail sentence to pardon. Since the arrest of Arnold Bernstein, Herman Kollmar, the director of his Red Star Line and his executor, has been in amicable contact with Minister President & Economic Director Hermann Goring, seeking a pardon, showing Ford and Studebaker company letters urging clemency. Mr. Kollmar denied rumors that the German Government has taken or plans to take over the Bernstein Line, admitted these rumors have caused many cancellations.

1937: The Habima Hebrew Players open their third week of their season at London’s Savoy Theatre with a performance of “The Wandering Jews.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a police tender was ambushed and a British constable was killed near Nazareth. A Jewish worker was wounded when a bus was shot at near Nahalal, at the same spot where two Jewish shepherds were murdered and their flocks stolen a year earlier.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that there were very favorable, frequently enthusiastic reports on the series of performances given by the Habimah theater troupe on its visit to London. In the midst of Arab terrorism the Jewish community to develop its artistic, social and political institutions.

1938: Establishment of the 29th “tower and stockade” kibbutz, Mishmar Zevulun which would be moved to a new site in 1940 and renamed Kfar Masaryk in honor of the first President of Czechoslovakia.

1939: “Mrs. Roosevelt Charges Intolerance Drive Against Refugees and Seeks Fund Sources” published today

1939: “American numismatist,” Eric Pfeiffer Newman, the son of Samuel Elijah Newman and Rose Pfeiffer Newman married Evelyn Edison who “had two children, Linda N. Schapiro and Andrew E. Newman.”

1939: Heydrich commented on the first stages of the Final Solution declaring that "The factor determining the pace of the evacuation is the Evacuation Plan."   Nothing would slow down the ultimate march to the Death Camps.

1939: SS chief Heinrich Himmler orders the death penalty for German Jews who refuse to report for deportation.

1939: Thanks to the “intervention by the United States and British consul execution of the order by the authorities in Kaunas that Maurycy Orezch, the correspondent for the Daily Forward returned to the German-occupied territory of Poland has been stayed and the British consul said he was ready to grant Orzech a visa to England if Estonia, Latvia and Sweden would grant transit visas.”

1939: “Premier Wladilas Sikorski of Poland issued a statement” in Paris tonight “vigorously protesting Nazi ‘atrocities’ in the western part of Poland” which have been incorporated into the German Reich.

1940: Levie (Louis) Hillesum, the father of Esther (Etty) Hillesum was dismissed as classics teacher and deputy headmaster of the gymnasium in Deventer “by the occupation government imposed by Nazi German following the invasion of The Netherlands.”

1940: On his own initiative, Dutch Physicist Leonard Ornstein withdrew his membership in the Dutch Physical Society

1940: “The Bank Dick” a comedy featuring Shemp Howard with music by Charles Previn was released in the United States today.

1941: Fredrich Jecekeln  held a final planning session with is senior commander where he told them that “the extermination of the Jews was their patriotic duty” and that nobody would be excused from participating in the upcoming liquation of the ghetto.

1941: Karl Heise met with the Protective Police and told them of their role in tomorrows “resettlement of the Jews in the Riga Ghetto, a term they all knew meant a mass killing.

1941: The Latvian militia and police received their final instructions as to their role in the upcoming liquidation of the ghetto. (The Nazis could always count on local accomplices during the Shoah)

1941: In Riga, as of this morning “the Nazis had finished segregating the able-bodied men into the small ghetto.”

1941: In Riga, “while the columns of 1,000 were formed this morning, they were later dispersed, causing relief among the inhabitants, who believed that the entire evacuation had been cancelled

1941: “After returning from work today, Max Kaufman and his 16 year old son, did not return to the large ghetto, but were housed instead in a ruined building on Vilanu Street in the small ghetto

1941: The first transport of German Jews from Berlin arrived in Riga today.

1941: Jan Peerce (b. Yakob Perelmuth) “made his much acclaimed debut at the Met” at the same time when his brother-in-law Richard Tucker was trying to start a small business and working at Temple Adath Israel in the Bronx.

1941: Kovno Massacre of the Ghetto. Estimated 10,600 people would be killed over the next few days.

1942: The Jewish Fighting Organization of the Warsaw Ghetto assassinated the economic head of the Jewish Council who was an active German collaborator

1942: The U.S. Drum, a submarine serving in the Pacific, began its fourth war patrol with future Admiral Maurice Rindskopf serving as Torpedo and Gunnery Officer.

1942: Dr. Erich Blumenthal, a resident of Berlin who was born in 1883 was deported today and finally murdered in Auschwitz. (As reported by YNet)

1942: Helen Blumenthal, a resident of Berlin who was born in 1888 was deported today and finally murdered in Auschwitz. (As reported by YNet)

1942: Friedrich Rehmer, a member of the Red Orchestra, who was in the Brietz military hospital recovering from a severe war wound sustained on the Eastern Front was arrested today and taken from the hospital. Eventually, he would be killed for his role in the resistance.

1943: “50,000 Kiev Jews Reported Killed” published today provides a firsthand account of the slaughter at Babi Yar and the attempts to cover it up by the Nazis.  It is worth reading in its entirety because it puts the lie to the notion that people did not know about the slaughter of the Jews until after the war was over.

1946: British Court in Palestine rejects a petition to prevent deportation of Jews to Cyprus

1946: Today, Rabbi Ferdinand Isserman delivered a tribute in memory of Dr. Solly Baron, the rabbi who had fled Nazi Germany and who passed at the age of 72 two days earlier in St. Louis.

1946: Szapsel (Shabtai) Rotholc, the Polish-Jewish boxer, “was expelled from the Jewish community for a period of two years; his civil rights in the community were rescinded for a further three years.” (As reported by Uri Talshir)

1947: In one of the most historic moments in Jewish history, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to accept the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).  UNSCOP recommended the partition of Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab with Jerusalem to governed by an international authority.  The vote was thirty-three in favor, thirteen against and ten abstentions.  In a rare moment of Cold War solidarity, both the United States and the Soviet Union supported the UNSCOP plan which guaranteed the creation of the state of Israel in May of 1948.  One other recommendation of the UNSCOP plan was the opening of a port on February 1, 1948 to Jewish immigrants.  Almost three years after the ovens of the Holocaust had cooled, boatloads of displaced persons would finally have a final destination.  When news of the partition vote reached the public, “there were celebrations in New York, in Palestine, wherever Jews lived.  Traffic stopped in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as people danced in the streets until the early hours of the morning.”  In the words of Rabbi Isaac Herzog, “After a darkness of two thousand years, the dawn of redemption has broken.”  Arabs say they are not bound by decision and charge that U.S. and Soviet Union coerced smaller countries to vote for partition.[ Starting on the next day, the Arabs responded with violence that would continue until the end of the mandate and unfortunately has continued literally to this day in the 21st century]

1947: Edis De Philippe mounted a gala performance of selections from operas, which was soon followed by a full production of Thaïs in which she performed the title role (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

1947: Despite having virtually no Jewish population or tie to the Yishuv, Iceland is among nations voting for the Partition Plan creating a Jewish state.

1947: The annual convention of Junior Hadassah, the young women's Zionist organization of America, at its concluding session today, received from Dr. Chaim Weizmaiin, former president of the World Zionist Organization, a call for young men and women, "who are nurtured in western methods and standards" to "further the building of the (Jewish) state."

1948: Israel applied for admission to the United Nations.

1948: Stanton Griffis was appointed Director of the UNRPR.

1949: In Chicago, Illinois, print shop owner Irving Shandling and his wife pet store proprietor Muriel Estelle (née Singer) Shandling gave birth to Garry Emmanuel Shandling who was raised in Arizona and gained game as comedian Gary Shandling.

1949: Israelis pause to celebrate anniversary of the United Nations partition resolution.  Zipporah Porath, a nurse working in Haifa, wrote to her parents living in the United States describing the proud parade of Israel’s newly minted soldiers.

1950: Birthdate of Hideo Levy, the son of a Polish-American mother and a Jewish father who “was honored with a Japan Foundation Special Prize in 2007 “for his contributions to the introduction of Japanese literature to foreign readers.”

1950(20th of Kislev, 5711): Sixty-five year old Czernowitz native Frederick Zelnik the prominent producer and director of silent movies in Germany who took refuge in the United States with the rise of Hitler passed away today in London.

1953: As the holiday season begins, which in America means a meshing of Christmas and Chanukah, International Records has released “Holiday Time,” a record combining music from both holidays. The record is designed “to promote better human relations through an understanding of the general cultural significance of Christmas and Chanukah” while avoiding mentioning the theological differences between the two holidays.

1953: Birthdate of Moshe Igvy, the native of Casablanca, who has become one of Israel’s leading directors and actors.

1953: It was reported today that Kinor Records has released “Chanukah Music Box” just in time for the holiday season.  Designed as a participation record for children, it features music written and sung by Shirley R. Cohen, with narration by Eli Gamliel and musical accompaniment by Helen Schraeter.

1954: Birthdate of Joel Coen. Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers, are Jewish-American film director best known for their quirky comedies such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, as well as for darker film noir dramas such as Fargo and Blood Simple. The brothers write, direct and produce their films jointly, alternating top billing for the screenplay. Until recently, Joel received sole credit for directing the films, and Ethan for producing, but the two brothers work so closely together and share such a strong vision of what their films are to be that actors report that they can approach either brother with a question and get the same answer. The brothers are known in the film business as "the two-headed director."

1954: On this cold and rainy night Esther Borenstein was on duty when a "mosquito" plane was hit by lightning and crashed while landing. Esther ran towards the burning plane, rescuing the badly injured navigator. Although ammunition on the plane began to explode, Esther did not hesitate and ran in again to rescue the pilot, Ya'akov Shalmon. When they reached a hiding spot, the entire plane blew up. Esther was awarded a Badge of Courage for this operation by Moshe Dayan, then Highest in Command of the IDF. Esther was born in Bulgaria, and during the Second World War, her family was ousted to Italy. As early as her childhood, Esther always loved the Land of Israel, and at age 11, left her home in an attempt to come to Israel. At 16, she indeed arrived, with her brother, and shortly afterwards, in spite of her early age, joined the Israel Defense Forces.  She joined the Air Force, completed a medic's course, and viewed army service as an honor and not a duty. After completing her army service, Esther continued to work as a nurse with the Israeli Red Cross, and was the first female ambulance driver in the country. Later, she looked for a job that would express her love for the country and chose to be a tour guide. At that same time, the 6-Day War broke out, and Esther joined the paratroopers, where under constant fire and shelling, she tended to injured soldiers, receiving the nickname "Angel of the Paratroopers". She volunteered during the Yom Kippur war as well, and in 1973, she received the Medal of Honor for saving the pilot. In February 2003, she passed away during a trip to Italy, and was buried there at her family's request. In February 2005, Bridges of Viewpoint was built in memory of Esther Borenstein on a quiet corner on the banks of the Jordan River, opposite the basalt arches of the 2,000 year old Roman-era bridge.

1956(25th of Kislev, 5717): Chanukah

1956: The original Broadway production “Bells Are Ringing” with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, produced by Jerome Robbins and starring Jerome Robbins opened at the Shubert Theatre.

1956:  Birthdate of actor and comedian Howie Mandel

1957(6th of Kislev, 5718): Composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold passed away. Korngold was born in an assimilated Jewish home in Brno, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic), the son of the music critic Julius Korngold, and studied music under Alexander von Zemlinsky and Robert Fuchs. Gustav Mahler, upon meeting the young Erich, called him a "musical genius." He had success in Europe with his opera Die tote Stadt (1920) among other pieces before moving to the United States in 1934, where he wrote a number of highly regarded film scores. He continued to write concert music in a rich, Romantic style, with a violin concerto among his notable later works. In 1943, Korngold became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He died in Hollywood, California.

1957(6th of Kislev, 5718): Fifty-four year old Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl “a rabbi and shtadlan” who worked “to save the Jews of Slovakia” from extermination during the Shoah passed away at Mt. Kisco, NY.

1957:  The three-day dedication program of the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue, the Baron Hirsch Synagogue of Memphis, starts today.

1959: Birthdate of Rahm Emanuel the son of a former member of the Irgun and civil rights activist who went on to represent  the Fifth District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives  and serve as White House Chief of Staff under  President Barak Obama before being elected Mayor of Chicago.

1959: “Fiorello!” a Pulitzer Prize winning musical about the Yiddish speaking New York Mayor with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, a book by Jerome Weidman and co-starring Tom Bosley and Howard Da Silva opened on Broadway today at the Broadhurst Theatre.

1960: Birthdate of Jaqueline Laura Hoffman, the native of Queens, NY who gained fame as muti-talented comedian and actress Jackie Hoffman.

1962: Larry Blyden served as the director of “Harold” when it began its Broadway run towday.

1962(2nd of Kislev, 5723):  Rav Aaron Kotler famed Orthodox Talmudic scholar passed away.

1963: Today’s issue of Life magazine “published about thirty frames of” Abraham Zapruder’s film of the Kennedy Assassination “in black and white.”

1963: “Rabbi Silver Dies; A Leading Zionist” published today provides a summary of the life Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, of blessed memory.

1969(19th of Kislev, 5730): Yakov Grigorevich Kreizer, a general in the Soviet Army passed away today at the age of 64.  His promotion to the rank of general “apparently made him the highest ranking Jewish military figure in the Soviet Union since Leon Trotsky organized the Red Army after the Bolshevik Revolution.”  Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Kreizer took command of the 1st Moscow Motorized Infantry and fought forces under Heinz Guderian to a virtual stand-still giving other Soviet forces a chance to regroup. He was designated a Hero of the Soviet Union for his efforts.

1969: In Massachusetts, the Marblehead School Department has banned all religious reference to Christmas and Hanukah in the town’s public school. The decision prohibits the exchange of gifts and any decorations in connection with either holiday.  The policy comes in response to complaints by the American Civil Liberties Union about the religious aspects of the Christmas activity and numerous complaints from Jewish parents protesting their children’s involvement in school holiday activities.

1972: A Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” the creation of Geroge S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, was broadcast by NBC today.

1973(4th of Kislev, 5734): Eighty-nine year old Hungarian producer Josef Somlo who escaped to Great Britain when the Nazis came to power passed away today in Switzerland.

1974: “Ben-Gurion House,”  “an historic house museum in Tel Aviv which served as one of the residences of David Ben-Gurion between 1931 and 1968 was opened to the public today where visitors can take guide tours and participate in symposiums about the early days of Zionism.

1975(25th of Kislev, 5736): Ze’ev Beret was killed when his F-4E Phantom II Jet spun out of control and crashed.

1975(25th of Kislev, 5736): First Day of Chanukah; light the second candle in the evening

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that in reply to President Anwar Sadat’s appeal, Israel named Eliahu Ben-Elissar and Meir Rosenne as members of the Israeli negotiating team to the proposed Cairo Conference, which was expected to prepare ground for the reconvened Geneva Peace Conference. Israel joined the fervent Egyptian appeal to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon for their participation, but they uniformly rejected Sadat’s initiative. The US continued to study the Egyptian invitation.

1978(29th of Cheshvan, 5739): Seventy-five year old Newport News, VA, native Mark Peyser Friedlander, the son of Charles Friedlander and Blanche Peyesr passed away today after which he was buried in the Hebrew Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

1979(9th of Kislev, 5740): Zeppo Marx, one of the Marx Brothers, passed away.

1980: Twenty-five year old Simon Shnirman a refusenik from Zaporozhye, was released after completing a two and a half year prison sentence on charges of evading military conscription.

1981(3rd of Kislev, 5742): Fredric Wertham, German-born, American psychologist passed away.  During the 1950’s, in what seems like a laughable episode half a century later, many Americans became convinced that comic books were the cause of juvenile delinquency.  “This anti-comic book sentiment led in the spring of 1954 to the publication of The Seduction of the Innocent, based on Jewish psychologist Frederic Wertham's seven-year-long study of the effects of comic books on America's youth. Dr. Wertham condemned most of the genre--especially crime and horror comics--for having contributed to juvenile delinquency. As the outcry following the publication of Seduction of the Innocent grew, so did the call for government intervention. The Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Committee on the Judiciary opened in Manhattan federal court on April 21, 1954.” (Ed. Note: I must confess that my brother and I were eager consumers of comic books during this period.)

1984: Gotthard Günther German born, American philosopher passed away.  Günther was not Jewish but he was married to the Jewish psychologist Dr. Marie Günther-Hendel.  Together they made their way out Nazi Europe before WWII and finally made their way to U.S. 

1986: In Canada, CTV network began broadcasting “Sword of Giedon” a four hour miniseries “about Mossad Agents hunting down terrorists associated with the 1972 Munich Massacre  based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas,

1989(1st of Kislev, 5750): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1989(1st of Kislev, 5750): Robert W. Schleck, a former foreign service officer, teacher and research analyst who was second secretary at the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv during the Suez crisis in 1956 passed away today.

1993: At a press conference held today. Amos Schoken announced the closure of Hadashot, a daily newspaper that he had begun in March of 1984.

1993: A revival production of “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” which had been directed by Elmer Rice in its initial Broadway production opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

1993: Richard Danzig began serving as Undersecretary of the Navy.

1994: The New York Times featured a review of A Chosen Few by Mark Kurlansky.

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Isaiah Berlin: A Life by Michael Ignatieff, The Crisis of Global Capitalism Open Society Endangered by George Soros and Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony by Arnold Steinhardt

2000: At the New York Public Library, a presentation by Marion Kaplan entitled “Friendship on the Margins: Jewish Social Relations in Imperial Germany” that asks the question, “With whom did the German Jews spend their leisure time?” This lecture examines the spectrum of friendships available to Jews in Imperial Germany (1871-1918), looking at extended families, friendships among Jews, and relationships with non-Jews. Those friendships could be intense or distant, intimate, or burdened by social and political anti-Semitism. Marion Kaplan is a social and cultural historian, with an emphasis on women’s history. Dr. Kaplan’s writings include Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany, which won the National Jewish Book Award for 1998.

2001(14th of Kislev, 5762): Samuel Miloshevsky, 45, of Herzliya, Yehiav Elshad, 28, of Tel Aviv and Yehiav Elshad, 28, of Tel Aviv were murdered today and nine more people were injured this evening when a terrorist from either Fatah or Islamic Jihand (they both claimed credit) set off a bomb aboard an Egged bus traveling between Nazareth and Tel Aviv as it passed through the town of Pardes Hanna-Kaurkur.

2001: “In Jenin, about 3,000 Palestinians marched and celebrated the bombing an Egged bus.”

2002(24th of Kislev, 5763): In the evening, Kindle the first Chanukah light

2003: Danny Elfman married Bridget Fonda. (He was Jewish, she was not)

2004*16th of Kislev, 5765): All-Star catcher Harry Danning, whose brother Ike played for the St. Louis Browns, passed away today in Indiana.

2004: Victor Brailovsky completed his term as Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs.

2004: Victor Brailovsky replaced Ilan Shalgi as Minister of Science and Technology.

2004: “The Émigré:  The farewell broadcast of a voice from the past by Janet Malcolm

2005: “Havoc” a crime film directed by Barbara Kopple, filmed by cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau and featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Shapiro was released in the United States today.

2005(27th of Cheshvan, 5766): Forty-seven year old Wendie Jo Sperber lost her battle with Breast Cancer today.

2005: The Seattle Reconstructionist congregation Kadima which, according to its Web site, “welcomes members from all backgrounds, including multicultural, gay, and lesbian households,” now is welcoming Ariel Sharon's adoption of its name. "[We] wish Prime Minister Sharon the very best with his new party name," Kadima Executive Director Susan Davis told The Jerusalem Post via email. "It is a huge responsibility to use a name as progressive as Kadima." Kadima means "forward" in Hebrew. Two other entities using the name Kadima were not nearly as accepting.  The city fathers of Kadima, a town in the Sharon section of Israel, expressed their displeasure with the name chosen for Sharon’s new party. Kadima is also the name of a left-wing political party with headquarters in Beersheba. Party leaders are petitioning the government to force Sharon to use a different name since they feel that they own it for purposes of political party nomenclature.

2006(8th of Kislev, 5767): Seventy-seven year old “Leonard Freed, a prominent photojournalist and member of the Magnum Photography Collective who was known primarily for his in-depth coverage of African-Americans in the era of the civil rights movement” passed away. (As reported by Philip Gefter)

2006: A Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy “Company” opened today at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre

2006: In Jerusalem, The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies awards the 10th Liebhaber Prize for Religious Tolerance to Deborah Goldman Golan, Director of the Bamidbar Center for Pluralistic Jewish Studies in Yeroham.

2007: A tribute was held in New York City in anticipation of poet Philip Levine's 80th birthday. Among those celebrating Levine's career by reading Levine's work were Yusef Komunyakaa, Galway Kinnell, E. L. Doctorow, Charles Wright, Jean Valentine, and Sharon Olds. Levine himself read several new and interesting poems. He thanked his students and asked them to refrain from asking for any more letters of recommendation.

2007: At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, television star Sarah Silverman, headlines “Comedy without Borders” a fund-raiser for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the ecological and coexistence center located at Kibbutz Ketura, near Eilat.

2007(19th of Kislev, 5768):  Ninety three year old “Victor Erlich, a path-breaking scholar of Russian literature, passed away today (As reported by Marissa Brostoff)

2007: USCJ International Biennial Convention opens in Orlando, FL.

2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that “Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni failed in attempts to set up meetings in Annapolis or Washington with colleagues from the Arab world, even though the summit was designed to show international support for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations… Israeli officials interpreted this as evidence that the Arab world had not changed its fundamental policy that there would be no warming of relations with Israel until after a deal, and that normalization was one of the Arab world's major bargaining chips.”

2007: Sixty one years after he was buried at a wind hilltop cemetery in southeast Washington, Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Theodor Herzl was exhumed as the first step of trip that will lead to his burial in Israel.

2008: On this Shabbat when we recite “Av harachameem,” there will be special poignancy to the words as we mourn the passing Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai. “The Father of mercy who dwells on high in His great mercy will remember with compassion the pious, upright and blameless the holy communities, who laid down their lives for the sanctification of His name. They were loved and pleasant in their lives and in death they were not parted.They were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions to carry out the will of their Maker, and the desire of their steadfast God. May our Lord remember them for good together with the other righteous of the world and may He redress the spilled blood of His servants as it is written in the Torah of Moses the man of God: "O nations, make His people rejoice for He will redress the blood of His servants. He will retaliate against His enemies and appease His land and His people". And through Your servants, the prophets it is written: "Though I forgive, their bloodshed I shall not forgive When God dwells in Zion" And in the Holy Writings it says: "Why should the nations say, 'Where is their God?'"Let it be known among the nations in our sight that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants. And it says: "For He who exacts retribution for spilled blood remembers them. He does not forget the cry of the humble". And it says: "He will execute judgement among the corpse-filled nations crushing the rulers of the mighty land; from the brook by the wayside he will drink then he will hold his head high".

2008: This afternoon authorities announced that the family of one of Israeli victims of the attack on the Mumbai Chabad House had identified her as being Yocheved Orpaz, aged 60. Another woman was identified as a Jewish resident of Mexico, whose name has not yet been released.

2008: U.N. Israel Partition Day – 61st anniversary of this momentous moment in Jewish history. “Three minutes that changed two thousand years of wandering.”

2009: In Jerusalem, the opening of Whiskey Month at the Mia Bar featuring whiskey tastings and special winter dishes which go well with whiskey.

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel and the recently released paperback edition of Friendly Fire: A Duet by A. B. Yehoshua.

2009: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta.

2009: Beachwood, Ohio declares today “Hudesa Gora Day” to mark the 100th birth of this holocaust survivor who ran a successful fur business in Cleveland for many years.

2010: Roz Chast, Al Jaffee and Robert Mankoff are scheduled to participate in a program entitled “The Cartoonist Chronicles” at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

2010: Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Mossad veteran Tamir Pardo as his choice as the new head of Israel's spy agency, to succeed Meir Dagan.  Pardo served in senior positions in the Mossad for many years, as well as in various operative units. He left the agency in 2009, before which he served as deputy Mossad chief.

2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771):  Sixty seven year old  “Steven N. Posner, who with his father, Victor, was caught up in a major corporate raiding case that led to the convictions of Ivan F. Boesky and Michael R. Milken, died today in a high-speed boat collision on Biscayne Bay, Fla. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2010: At the 92nd Street Y in New York, Deborah Solomon interviewed actor Steve Martin about his new novel, An Object of Beauty, which is set in the art world. In response to emails received in real-time by the Y staff from viewers of the interview, a note was dispatched to Solomon on-stage, telling her to shift the conversation from art to Steve Martin's film career

2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771): Ninety year old “Richard N. Goldman, a San Francisco civic leader and philanthropist best known for co-founding the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is given to six grass-roots environmental activists every year, died  today at his home in San Francisco. (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)

2010(22nd of Kislev, 5771): Seventy year old “Stephen J. Solarz, a nine-term Democratic congressman whose concerns went beyond traffic lights and beach erosion in his Brooklyn district to nuclear weapons, the Middle East and his revelation that Imelda Marcos owned 3,000 pairs of shoes, died today in Washington. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2011: David Kalender, the Senior Rabbi of Olam Tikvah in Fairfax, Virginia, is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures on The Book of Ruth.

2011: In honor of the 10th anniversary of the JCC in Manhattan, the JCC is scheduled to screen the audience’s favorite film.

2011: “Sara Hurwitz, an Open Orthodox Jewish spiritual” from South Africa who was raised in Boca Raton, FL and “who received ordination from Rabbi Avi Weiss” was “featured in Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance's (JOFA) Mission Statement YouTube video uploaded” today in which she said “JOFA is trying to shape the young minds of children, to a gender sensitive curriculum that I worked on many years ago.

2011: The Tulane Hillel Board Meeting is scheduled to take place at Goldie & Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life.

2011: In New Orleans, Rabbi Alexis Berk is scheduled to lead the Touro Synagogue Interfaith Chavurah Group in a discussion of “The December Dilemma.”

2011: Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan said in a television interview today that if Israel attacks Iran, it will be dragged into a regional war. According to Dagan, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will respond with massive rocket attacks on Israel.

2011: It was announced earlier today that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan will lead a group that will endeavor to immediately alter the system of government in Israel. Maariv reported today that the group is operating without much publicity, backed by a group of leaders in the fields of business, culture and law that has already begun to raise funds. Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, businessman Gad Zeevi and Herliya Interdisciplinary Center President Professor Uriel Reichman have already joined the new group.

2012: Yeruham Scharovsky is scheduled to conduct the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in a gala concert featuring young piano artists. (In a tribute to the courage and resiliency of the Jewish people, the flyer announcing this event went out at the same time that rockets were being filed on the capital city of Israel)

2012: Pianist Bill Charlap was the real piano player at the television wedding of “Liz Lemon,” a leading character on “30 Rock.”  He is a descendant of 16th century Italian Talmudist of Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph

2012: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Jew in the Warsaw Rising” followed by a Q & A with the film’s director Anna Ferens.  (This is a film about the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and not the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943)

2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present an evening with Montreal writer Julija Šukys, the author of  Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė, “which beckons back to life this quiet and worldly heroine, a giant of Holocaust history (one of Yad Vashem's honored Righteous Among the Nations) and yet so little known.”

2012 Sixty-fifth Anniversary of the UN vote approving the creation of Jewish state in Palestine with independence to come within six months. Am Yisrael Chai. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEGUPlhtMWQ

2012: Sixty-five years to the day after the UN voted for the partition of mandatory Palestine – a move the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected – the same body overwhelmingly voted today to grant the Palestinian delegation the upgraded status of non-member observer state.

2012: Labor members went to the polls today to elect the party’s list for the 19th Knesset, in a vote that will show how much influence party leader Shelly Yacimovich has, as opposed to the growing opposition within Labor led by MK Amir Peretz.

2013(26th of Kislev, 5774): Second Day of Chanukah

2013(26th of Kislev, 5774): Seventy-seven year old Pulitzer Prize winning historian Michael Kammen passed away today. (As reported by Matt Schudel)

2013: “Moses Montefiore: The Man Behind the Windmill,” an international conference at Mshkenot Sha’annaim is scheduled to come to a close.

2013: The Maccabees Festival near Modi’in, the site of the original Chanukah story, is scheduled to open today.

2013: “Closer to the Moon” a dark comedy based on the “exploits” of the Ioanid Gang “had its world premiere at the Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema Festival at the Lincoln Center” today.  (This is one of those must see flics)

2013: Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon expressed outrage at the incident reported in Israeli media that three Druze IDF soldiers were delayed entry to the Dimona nuclear reactor while there Jewish fellow soldiers were admitted. (As reported by JPost)

2013: An editorial published by the Washington Post today claims that “the White House is omitting key facts about the nuclear deal signed with Iran” (As reported by JPost and Washington Post)

2014: In Melbourne, “The Last Mentsch” and “Zero Motivation” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014(7th of Kislev, 5775): Sixty year old Hillel Oscar of Ashdod died today at the hospital after beig his by the ball “while refereeing a cricket matching in the Israeli coastal city.”

2014: A fire broke out this evening in Jerusalem’s Pat neighborhood on the grounds of Hand in Hand a dual Hebrew and Arabic language school in southern Jerusalem, sparking suspicion of politically motivated arson.

2014: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a performance by the Amaya Trio.

2014: Shabbat Va-yaytzay

2015(17th of Kislev, 5776): Seventy-nine year old David Cohen, former president of Common Cause and voice for ethics in government passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2015: “Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case”  an “800 square foot exhibit that examines the historical context surrounding 13-year old Mary Phagan's murder at the National Pencil Company as well as Jewish superintendent Leo Frank's trial, appeals, and eventual lynching that has been on display at the Southern Museum at Kennesaw, GA, is scheduled to close today.

2015: The National Appeal for Tzedakah, the major fund raising campaign of the Jewish Federation of France (FSJU) is scheduled to start today after having been postponed because of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

2015: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Complete Works of Primo Levi, a 3 volume work edited by Ann Goldstein and the recently released paperback editions of We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler and Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion by Harold Holzer

2016: As part of the “Meet The Author Series” Alice Hoffman is scheduled to “discuss her career, her novels and her latest book Faithful at the Skirball Center

2016: According to a report from Israel Radio. “a ceremony is scheduled to held tonight in the British Parliament tonight to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

2016: According to the Anti-Defamation League, today “the Huffington Post’s Arabic-language edition” contained “a blog post claiming a Jewish woman poisoned the Prophet Muhammad with arsenic.”

2017: The Illinois Holocaust Museum is scheduled to host an “Intimate Concert with Jam Band Mr. Blotto: paying “tribute to iconic rock and roll producer and Holocaust survivor Bill Graham.”

2017: Followed by “a meal of burgers and hot dogs” (who knew the English ate such stuff) the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a screening of “Love Actually” as part of the popular “Movie Night.”

2017: Today, “in Norfolk, VA, the JWB Chaplains Council, a signature program of the JCC Association of North America” is scheduled to dedicate a Torah in memory of World War II” Army Air Corps “veteran Jacob Kamaras aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford.

2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host an evening of schmoozing with Joy Behar, Gretchen Carlson, Maureen Dowd and Jill Kargman.

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as Howard M. Sachar whose works included the classic “A History of the Jews in the Modern World” and “A History of the Jews in America” which might be the single best piece of Holocaust literature, continues today.
2017: Seventieth Anniversary of the General Assembly of the United Nations vote to accept the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) which provided the international legal legitimacy for the State of Israel. 
























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