1215: The Fourth Lateran Council which had been led by Innocent III came to a close. The Fourth Lateran Council made first official use of the term "transubstantiation," with reference to the Eucharist (Lord's Supper). The adoption of this concept would lead to anti-Semitic outbreaks based on charges that Jews had desecrated the Host i.e. the wafer that was seen as being the body of Christ.
1286 Pope Honorius wrote to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, reaffirming the decision of the Lateran Councils. He enlarged on the evils of relations between Christians and Jews and warned of the pernicious consequences of the study of the Jews’ Talmud going so far as to issue a bull condemning the Jewish text.
1518: Maria Lopez and her daughter Isabel were sentenced to death by the Inquisition after having been charged with “juadizing. (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)
1631(5th of Kislev, 5932): Rabbi Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-levi Edels passed away. Born in Cracow in 1555, Edels is known by the acronym Maharsha. He was known as outstanding Talmudist and master of dialectics whose commentaries were of such value that they were included in most editions of the Talmud. Edels was a man of character as well as erudition. “He attacked the misuse of rabbinic authority and the attempt made by wealthy individuals to monopolize communal offices.”
1654: Sixty-nine year old John Selden an English jurist and student of Jewish law whose writing included a 1646 treatise on marriage and divorce among the Jews entitled Uxor Ebraica, passed away today.
1654: Sixty nine year old English jurist and scholar John Selden, “the first Talmudist in England since the expulsion of the Jews…who recognized the humanness of Jewish marital law and found in Deuteronomy and the Talmud a model for the proper relationsip between the judicial and executive branches of government” and who wrote The Jewish Wife, a work “on the theory and practice of Jewish marriage and divorce law” passed away today.
1670: Birthdate of John Toland, Anglo-Irish author and philosopher. In 1714, at a time when Jews were still considered to be outsiders by many Englishman, Toland wrote “Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews” in which he advocated “full citizenship and equal rights for the Jewish people.
1725: Today Felix de Castro, a Spanish physician living at Agramunt “was condemned by the Inquisition for life for Judaizing.
1726: In Dusseldorf, Lazarus Eliezer Leiser Joseph van Geldern and Sara Lea van Geldern gave brith to Dr. Gottschalk van Geldern.
1748(9th of Kislev, 5509): Mordecai ben Jacob Ẓahalon, a doctor and rabbi who was part of a famous Sephardic family, passed away today in Ferrara, Italy. Among his many books were Megillat Naharot," describing the miraculous rescue of the Jewish community of Ferrara from the inundation that occurred in 1707
1774: Pamphleteer Thomas Paine whose opposition to Monarchy was based in part on his reading of the Bible where the Israelite kings had a propensity for leading their subjects into the evils of idolatry, arrived in Philadelphia on the eve of the American Revolution.
1782: In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).
1790: King Leopold II forwarded the petition from the Jews asking for full equality with other citizens to the “chancelleries of Hungary and Moravia” to see if this change would be supported.
1790: Georgia Governor, Edward Telfair granted to Levy Sheftall, Cushman Pollock, Joseph Abrahams, Mordecai Sheftall, Abraham de Pas, Emanuel de la Motta, and their successors a charter of incorporation wherein they were declared to be "a body incorporates by the name and style of the 'Parnass and Adjuntas of the Mickve Israel at Savannah.'" This charter is still in the hands of the congregation and it is the document under which it operates to this day.
1803: In New Orleans, Louisiana, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
1805: In Chatham, Kent, England, Lazarus Magnus and Sarah Moses gave birth to Jacob Magus.
1813: In Paris, Alkan Morhange and Julie Morhange, née Abraham gave birth to Charles-Valentin Morhange, the descendant of Ashkenazi from Metz who gained fame as French pianist and composer Charles-Valentin Alkan.
1813: William VI, the future King William I who would play an active role in the reorganization of the Dutch Jewish community arrived at Scheveningen.
1817: Birthdate of German scholar and political leader Theodore Mommsen who denounced the anti-Semitic campaign being led by his colleague Heinrich von Treitschke and who descried the “position and influence of Jews in the Roman Empire” in his multi-volume History of Rome.
1823: Birthdate of German botanist Nathanael Pringsheim who “in 1882 established the German Botanical Society, which in twelve years included over 400 German botanists, and of which he was annually elected president until his death.”
1831(25th of Kislev, 5592): Channukah
1836: Today, “Mr. Danofsky, of King Street, St. James, Westminster married Mrs. Hughes, the widow of the late Mr. Moses Hughes at Margate.”
1845: Birthdate of Wisconsin Congressman Richard W. Guenther who worked with Congressman Ford during the 1880’s to conduct a series of hearing designed to exclude Jews from immigrating to the United States
1840: Birthdate of Ludovic Trarieux, the supporter of Dreyfus who founded the League of Human and Civil Rights
1852: Birthdate of Hermann Gollancz the Professor of Hebrew at University College.
1854: Between 300 and 400 people danced to the music of Dodsworth’s Band at the Hebrew Young Men’s Ball held in the New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms. Proceeds from tonight’s event will be be given to the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.
1856(3rd of Kislev, 5617): Marcus Cone, a Jew who had been living in New York, passed away today in Abbersweiler, Germany, the city where he was born.
1856: The Manchester Guardian reported a "Great Fire" had taken place in Constantinople where 600 homes were destroyed, and another devastated Adrianople.
1858: Today’s City Intelligence column reported that the recent stories about the arrest of three Jews for their role in selling lottery tickets were in error. At least one of those arrested was identified as being a rabbi when in fact he made no claim to being a clergyman. Apparently he is the leader of a “Bet Hamidrash” or House of Instruction which is attended by recently arrived poor immigrant Russian Jews who speak little or no English. In Europe, the sale of lottery tickets is legal and apparently the immigrants had no reason to think that this was not the case in the United States. Those preparing the original report were unaware of the fact that the term “Reb” merely implies that one is a “master” or an “instructor” and not a clergyman.
1864: In Tennessee, Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded a brigade protecting the Union flank at the Battle of Franklin, one of the worst defeats suffered by the Rebels during the Civil War.
1864: Private Abraham Greenawalt, Company G, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, served with such valor at the Battle of Franklin that he would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for capturing the “corps headquarters flag” of the Confederates.
1867(3rd of Kislev, 5628): Fifty-two year old Wolf Alois Meisel, the Chief Rabbi in Budapest passed away while preaching a sermon that was “later published by Simon and Wilhelm Bacher under the title Die Brunnen Isaak's”
1870: E.B. Hart delivered the opening remarks at the Hebrew Charity Fair. The lavish event was held to raise funds for the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. In his speech Governor Hoffman of New York said praised both institutions saying that the latter was indeed populated primarily by Jewish children but that the former served all members of the community, regardless of their religion.
1871(17th of Kislev, 5632): Thirty-five year old Gaston Cremieux who along with fellow Jew Adolphe Carcassone headed the Revolutionary Commission of the Département Bouches-du-Rhône was condemned to death and executed today for his role in the revolt that had followed the Franco-Prussian War in November 1871, the only one among the leaders of the Commune.
1873: The Jewish Maternity Association, originally known as Ezrath Nashim (Helping Women) was founded in Philadelphia, PA.
1874: Birthdate of Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, orator and author who served as prime minister during World War II. Churchill’s official biographer was the famous Jewish historian Martin Gilbert. Churchill often spoke of his support for a Jewish homeland. During the war, his government studiously supported the White Paper which effectively banned Jewish immigration to Palestine. Churchill’s supporters explained this as being a wartime necessity meant to ensure Arab support for the Allied cause. Even if one accepts this argument, it does not explain Churchill’s support for the ban on Jewish immigration after the Nazis had surrendered in May of 1945. For more about Churchill and his relationship with the Jewish people, see Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert. Like all off Gilbert’s work it is well researched and highly readable.
1876: Rabbi Einhorn is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Bethel’s Thanksgiving Services the first of which will be held at 10 AM followed by a second service at 11 AM.
1876: Rabbi Gottheil will deliver the sermon at this afternoon’s Centennial Thanksgiving Service at Temple Emanu-El. The service will include musical program by the congregation’s choir and a reading of the President’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.
1876: In Philadelphia, a ceremony was held today unveiling and dedicating a monument symbolic of Religious Liberty that was built with contribution from member of B’nai Brith from throughout the United States.
1876: It was reported today that the Ladies of the Forty-fourth Street Synagogue’s Hebrew Benevolent Society are seeking donations of goods and money for the fair they are holding during the last two weeks of December.
1878: Solomon A. Levy and Dilah Horner Levy gave birth to Henry Horner, the first Jewish governor of Illinois.
1879: C.J. Fishel of Mellis & Fishel read the opening prayer at the funeral of S.L. Lewis which was the first Jewish funeral to be held in the Sandwich Islands which we know as Hawaii.
1881: It was reported today that new regulations issued in Russia divided the Jews of Kiev into 8 different classes based on education and occupation. Membership in a particular class determines your rights including where you can live in the area and for how long.
1881: It is reported today that at least one Jew in St. Petersburg has found a way to get around the government law forbidding Jews from changing occupations. A Jew who began as a maker of ladies’ riding habits is now operating a counting house. He just never changed the signage, something that everybody including the authorities is aware of
1881: In Brooklyn, the fair sponsored by Temple Israel will open today and last until December 10.
1882: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities has contributed one hundred dollars to the Charity Organization Society, an umbrella organization that investigates applicants for charities in New York Society to make sure that they are really in need.
1883(1st of Kislev, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1883(1st of Kislev, 5644: In Rushville, Indiana, a violent quarrel, including fisticuffs and gunfire, between Jewish merchants Eli Frank and Jacob Block turned fatal when Frank was shot to death by Block’s son.
1883 In Zalal Lovo, Hungary, a peasant woman informed a Jewish merchant named Kohn
that “some bands had collect in the neighboring villages and that they “planed “an attack upon him tonight. Kohn warned the Mayor who “strengthened the night watch” and the Jews prepared themselves for the worst.
1885: It was reported today that an unnamed Jew from Pittsburg stole $475 from a co-religionist in Newark, NJ.
1885: “Le Cid” a four act opera with a libretto co-authored by Adolphe d’Ennery was performed for the first time at the Paris Opera.
1885: It was reported today that New York Police Commissioner Stephen B. French, a Republican had several explanations for his party’s defeat in the recent election, including the fact that in Fourth Assembly there are “a great many Irish and a great many Hebrews.” According to French, the Jews “are always nearly against” the Republicans and the Irish have reverted to voting Democratic after their apparent switch in the 1884 election. (Electoral post mortems are nothing new and misguided ones are certainly not. Actually, in the post-Civil War United States, Jews in the North and Mid-West tended to vote for Republicans)
1886: The wife and daughter of a Polish Jew named Milkowski who has lived in Louisiana for the last 30 years took refuge in Lake Providence after a mob attacked their home in Caledonia.
1887: Based on information that first appeared in the London Truth, it is reported that there are no more than 100,000 Jews in France, but of the 86 prefectures (administrative chiefs) 60 are Jews. Furthermore “Jews have the best places in the Treasury” and “merit was the last consideration when they were appointed.” (Editor’s note: This sub-text of French anti-Semitism would play out in the Drefyus Scandal and continue into the darkest days of Vichy)
1887: It was reported today that the recently concluded conference of Reform Rabbis adopted a resolution introduced by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise to appoint a committee to “consider establishing a reformatory for Jewish children.” According to Wise, there are more than 150 Jewish children in various reformatories and they are never visited by a Rabbi.
1887: It was reported that the next national meeting of The Jewish Ministers’ Association, an organization of Reform Rabbis will be held this Spring in Washington, D.C.
1888: It was reported today that there had been a record number of Jews attending Thanksgiving services and that the Thanksgiving Dinner served to 200 east side children by the United Hebrew Charities was further proof of Israelites enjoyment of this American holiday.
1888: Birthdate of Frank T. Fleisher who did not live to see his second birthday.
1891: Benjamin Berensen, a leading member of the Boston Jewish community disappeared.
1891(29th of Cheshvan, 5652): Seventy-three year old Edwin de Leon, the native of Columbia, South Carolina who while serving as U.S. consul-general to Egypt during the Franklin Pierce administration “rendered conspicuous services in protecting American Missionaries in Jaffa,” passed away today.
1892: The Hebrew Orphans Asylum band – 45 boys under the direction of Martin Cohen – will perform at this evening’s session of the American Institute Fair,
1893: Birthdate of author I.J. Singer the older brother of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Born in Poland, Singer gained fame as Yiddish writer. He was the Polish correspondent for The Jewish Daily Forward. He came to the United States in 1934.” Singer’s epic masterpiece Di Bruder Ashkenazi (The Brothers Ashkenazi) details Jewish industrial development before World War I.”
1893: “Three hundred children will be given a Thanksgiving dinner of Turkey, cranberry sauce and trimmings at the Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities today at noon.”
1893: In the Reichstag, “toward the end of the budget debate” Dr. Foerster declared that “anti-Semitism was not a passing phenomenon” and that “it would endure as long as the Hebrew race.”
1894: Birthdate of Columbus, Ohio, native Donald Ogden the Academy Award winning screenwriter who during the 1930’s was Chairman of the Hollywood Ant-Nazi League “the first American anti-Nazi organization that was not overtly linked to American Jews” and that “served as the focal point of the film industry’s anti-Nazism from 1936 through 1939.”
1894: “Dedicated to Humanity” published today provided a description of the Montefiore Home’s new additions which is a five story edifice that includes a new synagogue on the ground floor that will accommodate 500 worshippers as well “a vast kitchen and laundry in the basement” and quarters for servant
1894: As of today, there are “3,383 children between the ages of eight and fourteen years enrolled in the afternoon classes sponsored Hebrew Free School Association ; children who must attend public schools in the morning to able to take these classes in Hebrew and “religious subjects.”
1895(13th of Kislev, 5656): Parashat Vayishlach
1895: Birthdate of Samuel Norton "Sam" Gerson, the Ukrainian born Jewish-American wrestler who won a Silver Medal at the 1920 Olympics and helped to organize Philadelphia's Maccabi Sports Club.
1895: In New York, Daniel Ryan and Daniel Healy were each fined $10 for “striking at every Hebrew they passed on Broadway” which the court described as “Jew baiting.”
1895: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon entitled “One Touch of Nature, our Appeal in Behalf of Armenia” at Temple Emanu-El during Friday night services.
1896(25th of Kislev, 5657): For the last time during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, first day of Chanukah
1896: Prior to the tomorrow’s start of the 15th Biennial Council of the American Hebrew Congregation in Louisville, KY, the Executive Committee met and chose temporary officers.
1897: “Ethnic Politics” published today described the difficulties that the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, which is polyglot multi-national domain is having in creating a national identity as can be seen even in Vienna where political lines “are drawn between Jews and Jew-baiters.” The rise of Jews in Viennese culture has been matched by a rise in Anti-Semitism which is opposed by the Emperor.
1897(5th of Kislev, 5658): Just 12 days before his 65th birthday Abraham Carl (A.C.) Wertheim, a partner in the Dutch banking house of Wertheim & Gompertz, the husband of Rosalie Marie Wertheim who was a member of States-Provincial for twenty and a leader of the Jewish community passed away today.
1897: Rabbi “Backowitz” (Berkowitz) of Philadelphia is scheduled to deliver a speech this evening at Temple Emanu-El in New York entitled “Jews’ Gifts to Humanity.”
1898: Leo M. Franklin an 1892 graduate of Hebrew Union College who was the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Omaha, Nebraska, “became the 11th rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Detroit, a position he would hold for the rest of his life.”
1898: As the measles epidemic at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum comes to an end 15 children ranging in age from 6 to 11, remain in isolation at the hospital
1898: Private Will Hu Freudenstein of St. Louis finished his military service when Light Battery A, Missouri Volunteers was mustered out at Jefferson Barracks, MO.
1899: One thousand pounds of turkey was consumed by the children under the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society. The daylong celebration included band music, a speech by Dr. Kaufman on the meaning of Thanksgiving and an afternoon of play preceded by the receipt of “a masquerade costume” for youngster.
1899: Four hundred children attended the 19th annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Industrial School of the Hebrew Charities Society.
1899: One hundred children who attend the kindergarten sponsored by the Shearith Israel Sisterhood were provided with a free Thanksgiving Dinner.
1899: In Branchville, SC, Julius and Etta Karesh Levin gave birth to Sidney Levin, the future husband of Tina Levovitz Levin.
1899: Seventy-five year old philosopher and psychologist Mortiz Lazarus, “son of Aaron Levin Lazarus” celebrated “the fiftieth anniversary of receiving his doctorate.”
1900: Oscar Wilde passed away. The Picture of Dorian Gray, possibly his most famous novel, includes a Jewish character named Isaacs, a theatre manager. The author stresses both his Jewishness and his ugliness describing him as “a hideous Jew,” a “horrid old Jew” who had “greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond … in the centre of a soiled shirt.”
1903: In a case of literary matrimony, Else Lasker-Schuler married George Lewin, the author who used the penname Herwarth Walden.
1905(2nd of Kislev, 5666): Forty-two year old chess champion Samuel Lipschutz passed away today.
1905: It was reported today that the massacre of Jews in Minsk that was originally supposed to take place on November 26th will now take place on December 3.
1905: Jacob Schiff presided over “the great celebration in honor of the 250th anniversary of the settlement of the Jews in the United States… held in Carnegie Hall” this afternoon which “included the reading of a letter from President Roosevelt and “the singing in Hebrew of ‘Adon Olam’ by fifty members of the Downtown Cantors’ Association of New York accompanied by 250 members of the Choral Union and the New York Symphony Orchestra.”
1905: “John Hoar, an American jockey who has been riding for Prince Louborinski in Russia arrived “in New York today and described “the sights he witnessed” which “were so awful that he fainted” that included the gutters in that “ran red with blood.
1905: It was reported from Paris today that prices on the Bourse “have firmed” now that it has been confirmed that laws aimed at restricting the Jews have “been abrogated.”
1905: The Orphan Hebrew Asylum observed Thanksgiving and the 250th anniversary of the settlement of the Jews” in North America with a reading of a sketch by Harry Schneidermann on the history of the Jews in the United States followed by a dress parade and concert by the 400 member Cadet Corps and ending with a dinner for 1,030 children “provided by Emanuel Lehman.”
1905: Jacob Schiff presided at the Thanksgiving Day Services held at the Montefiore Home.
1905: Today, on Thanksgiving, “Mrs. Daniel Guggenheim gave dinners to the 272 resident of the Montefiore Home in honor of her son Robert’s wedding.”
1905: “The 1,245 immigrants detained on Ellis Island,” many of whom were Jewish enjoyed a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings followed by an evening of song that ended with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
1905: “A copy of a manifesto issued by the Odessa Zionist Central Committee” describing the murderous events in that city and the plans for a response was received in New York City today.
1905: It was reported today that to date the National Committee collecting funds to helping Jews being massacred in Russia has raised, $942,548.17 including $100 from the Societe Israelite Francais, $100 from Elihu Root, $543 from the Hebrew Benevolent Association of Binghamton, NY, $250 from Herbert Lehman, $100 from the Jews of Millville, NJ and $100 of Congregation Beth-El in Jersey City, NJ.
1908: Birthdate of Bernard Bernstein, the economist who rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army during WW II where he “served as a financial adviser to General Eisenhower” until the Morgenthau Plan was rejected as post war policy for the treatment of Germany.
1909(17th of Kislev, 5670): Seventy-one Bavarian born, New Orleans businessman Isidore Newman who founded the Newman Training School which became a leading private school and supported numerous secular and Jewish charities including Turo Infirmary and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association passed away today
1910: Lucille Selig married Leo Frank. Selig was the member of an “old” Atlanta Jewish family that had founded the city’s first synagogue. Frank would come to a horrible end when he was lynched for a crime that he did not commit.
1912(20th of Kislev, 5673): Parashat Vayeshev
1912: Rabbi Weil is scheduled to lead services at Temple B’Nai Jehoshua this morning in Chicago.
1912: Dr. A.B. Yudelson is scheduled to lead services this morning at the South Side Hebrew Congregation.
1912: Rabbi Abram Hirschberg is scheduled to lead services this morning at Temple Sholom in Chicago.
1912: In Chicago, Rabbi Israel Klein is scheduled to speak at this afternoon’s Shabbat Children Service at the Institute.
1912(20th of Kislev, 5673): Seventy-five year old Joseph Felsenthal, a Confederate veteran and communal leader passed away today in Brownsville, TN.
1912: Yiddish actors Leon Blank, Francis Adler and Jacob Adler are scheduled to perform at the Haymarket Theatre this eveing.
1913: Jacob H. Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home, presided at the dedication ceremonies of the new buildings at the institution located at Gun Hill Road and 210th Street, near Jerome Avenue. The ceremonies included services at the synagogue located at the Montefiore Home.
1914: “To Meet Jewish Mark Twain” published today described the arrival of Solomon Rabinowitz, the author known as Sholom Aleichem, his wife and six children in New York who were making the second trip to the United States; the first coming in 1906 when they were escaping the Kiev massacres.
1914: It was reported today that Sholom Aleichim will be lecturing in New York “on the part the Jews are taking in the Great War.”
1914: “Contributions to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews suffering through the war reached a total of $28, 098.52” today.
1914: “Counsel for Leo Frank, who is under sentence for the murder of Mary Phagan, a factory worker at Atlanta, GA, last year will ask the United States Supreme Court at noon today for leave to file a petition for a writ of error which, if it should be granted would lead to a retrial of the case” and if it is denied it will be up to the Governor Slaton of Georgia to save this victim of a wave of anti-Semitism and lynch mob mentality that has swept the Peachtree State.
1914: At today’ session of the sixth annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Farmers being held in the Educational Alliance, “it was suggested’ that Jewish famers with holdings close to New York City should cooperate that they could ship their produce to the city at a lower rate and would then enable them to charge less when making sales on the Lower East Side.
1914: In response to an appeal for aid from Ambassador Morgenthau, at Constantinople the American Red Cross cabled $3,000 from its reserved contingent fund for relief work Mr. Morgenthau” the prominent Jewish American businessman and diplomat.
1915: It was reported today that several million rubles, much of which was donated by Jewish organizations, have been given to support the 250,000 to 350,000 destitute people living in war-torn Warsaw.
1915: A large gathering of Rumanian Jews held a special memorial service at the Manhattan Lyceum in honor of Dr. Solomon Schechter who had passed away on November 20. While recognizing his leadership and scholarly skills, the Rumanians were also honoring one of their own and voted to name soon to be opened Jewish Home for Convalescents the “Professor Solomon Schechter Memorial.
1915: It was reported today that Meyer London’s matzah bakery which had originally been located on Bayard Street starting in 1871 is now located at 494 Grand Street in New York.
1916: “While the majority of the London and provincial newspaper” have kept silent “on peace topics, “the Northcliffe press today made its chief feature a denunciation of Jacob H. Schiff’s American Neutral Conference Committee.” A lengthy article by D. Thomas Curtin represents Schiff as “a deadly enemy of the Allies” and “an arch-intriguer on behalf of Germany” while “detailing his financial connections” with Kuhn, Loeb and Co which gives him access to Paul Warburg whose “membership in the Federal Reserve Board confers on Kuhn, Loeb at Washington an influence on government policy and national finance enjoyed by no other banking institution.”
1916: It was reported today that following the defeat of the Rumanians at Pitechti, a town sixty-five miles northwest of Bucharest, that while the majority of the wealthy residents fled, the town’s Jews “who are professedly friendly to the Germans” remained but did close their stores.
1916: It was reported today that Harry H. Schlacht of the East Side Protective Association has asked that any upcoming peace conference should have an “adequate representation of Jews” to ensure their religious, civic and political liberty “even if the Christian nations could not be induced to allow them re-establish an independent nation in Palestine.”
1917: According to an AP dispatch from Alexandria, Egypt, a German court-martialed hanged leaders in Jaffa after having used confessions obtained through torture to convict them of espionage
1917: The Australian Light Horse, part of Allenby’s forces, took the offensive against the Turkish forces blocking the way to Jerusalem resulting in the capture of 200 Turks while the remainder fell back toward the City of David.
1917: In Bieltsi, “two thousand Bolsheviki troops, deserters and Black Hundreds” began three days of looting Jewish owned shops.
1917: In Ostrog, gangs carried out attacks on Jews and their shops
1917: In reply to a deputation of Jews who asked him to use his influence to put an end to the pogroms, Leon Trotsky said “that as in Internationalist he sees no reason to defend the Jews.”
1917: Walter J. Finlay, an American engineer who has spent the last four years in Palestine and Syria arrived in New York today where he said that when he had “left Jerusalem in the early part of September” there was no coal to be had I the city, the cost of food and clothing had increased by five hundred percent and “that the small loaf of common bread that cost one cent in normal times is now selling for twelve cents” while “a can of kerosene costs $30.”
1917: As victorious British Imperial forces approached Jerusalem, the Turkish governor began to make good on the promise that there were would be no Jews in the city to welcome the British. Forty American Jews living in Jerusalem and several Zionists of Ottoman nationality were expelled from the city. A staff member of the German Consulate in Jerusalem said that the Jews were driven out on foot and beaten like criminals as they made their way towards Jericho.
1917: The Germans captured a British brigade headquarters and ammunition dump at Masnieres and Les Rues Vertes, France. Among those taken prisoners was the Captain Robert Gee, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Gee managed to escape and organized a party of the brigade staff with which he attacked the enemy, closely followed by two companies of infantry. He cleared the locality and established a defensive flank, then finding an enemy machine-gun still in action, with a revolver in each hand he went forward and captured the gun, killing eight of the crew. He was wounded, but would not have his wound dressed until the defense was organized. Gee was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action.
1918: All Night” a “silent comedy-drama film” co-starring Carmel Myers the San Francisco born daughter of an Australian rabbi and Austrian Jewish mother was released today in the United States.
1918: In New York, violinist Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. and soprano Alma Gluck gave birth to actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. who was baptized as a child in the Episcopal Church.
1918(26th of Kislev, 5679): Seventy-two year old Jesse Lewisohn, the son of Leonard Lewisohn and the nephew of Adolph Lewisohn, all of whom made fortunes in the copper mining business fell victim to the infamous Spanish Flu Epidemic and passed away today.
1919(8th of Kislev, 5680): Forty-nine year old Sir Lionel Barnett Abrahams the son of Mordecai Abrahams and the nephew of Barnett Abrahams, the civil servant, economist who worked with John Maynard Keynes and historian whose work included Jews from England in 1290 passed away today.
1920(19th of Kislev, 5681): Seventy-two year old Arthur Strauss, the British MP whose son George was a served as an MP for 46 and whose other son Victor was killed in 1916 while serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.
1924: Birthdate of songwriter and humorist Allan Sherman author of the famous camp song that began, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”
1924(3rd of Kislev, 5685): Fourteen year old William Hayes Block, the son of Meir S. Block and Carly Pierson Block passed away today in St. Louis.
1924(3rd of Kislev, 5685): Twenty seven year old Hannah Schnur passed away today.
1924: “Forbidden Paradise,” a silent film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and produced by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky was released in the United States today.
1925: Josephine Bloomingdale Sperry married Walter David Yankauer today.
1926: Birthdate of Andrew V. Schally. Schally is a Polish-born American endocrinologist and co-recipient with Roger Guillemin and Rosalyn Yalow, of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Schally fled Poland with his family in 1939. Schally became a U.S. citizen in 1962. He became senior medical investigator with the Veterans Administration in 1973. He was noted for isolating and synthesizing three hormones that are produced by the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus; these hormones control the activities of other hormone- producing glands. These accomplishments were the synthesis of TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), the isolation and synthesis of LH-RH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone), and studies of the action of somatostatin.
1928: “10 Religious Groups Meet” published today described the “community Thanksgiving service” that had been held in Carnegie Hall that included participants from the Free Synagogue, the Central Synagogue, Temple Israel, Tremont Temple, Congregation Rodeph Sholom and the West End Synagogue.
1929: “It’s You I Have Loved” a German film compared by some to “The Jazz Singer” with a script by Walter Reisch was released today.
1929: In Phoenix, AZ, Pauline and Sylvan Ganz gave birth to Joan Ganz, who as Joan Ganz Cooney gained fame as the television producer who was one of the founders of the Children’s Television Workshop that created “Sesame Street.” She was the granddaughter of Emil Ganz, the German Jewish immigrant who served three terms as the mayor of Phoenix.
1930: At a meeting in London today, Dr. Chaim Weizmann “insisted…that he did not and would not accept the MacDonald Government’s White Paper.” While expressing his displeasure with the White Paper, the Zionist leader “cautioned the Zionists…against taking sides in politics, a reminder obviously directed toward the White-chapel by-election in the East End of London, where it is said the preponderant Jewish vote may make trouble for the Labor candidate.”
1933: Rabbi Jerome D. Folkman, of Temple Beth Israel, delivered the Thanksgiving sermon today at a joint service attended by Jews and Gentiles. The services were held in the First Baptist Church of which the Rev. Carl Winters is pastor. (JTA)
1934: “The Private Life of Don Juan” a British comedy directed and produced by Alexander Korda and with music by Ernst Toch was released in the United Kingdom today.
1935: Rosa and Avrom Shlavestein gave birth to their daughter Nina. in Berdichev in the Zhitomir District, USSR (today in Ukraine). Before World War II, Nina’s family lived in Moscow. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union Nina was vacationing in Klintsy in the Bryansk District of the Soviet Union, and was unable to return home because of the invasion. Nina perished during the Holocaust. Her mother Rosa survived and immigrated to Israel. Rosa submitted a Page of Testimony in Yiddish to commemorate her daughter Nina, probably in the 1950s. (As chronicled by Yad Vashem)
1936: Birthdate of Abbie Hoffman.
1936: In Jerusalem, while testifying before the Royal Commission on the question of Jewish immigration especially as it pertained to laborers, Moshe Shertok, the head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, “indicated that far from overcrowding the labor market, the lasts group of immigrants, accompanied as it was by new Jewish capital for investment…increased opportunities for Arab laborers” who “are far better paid in Palestine than in any neighboring country.”
1936: “An American flag, the gift of Mayor a Guardia of New York, was presented today to the municipality of Tel Aviv by the Maccabee soccer team” which had just returned from a tour of the United States. “The Maccabee also presented a flag of New York Harbor to the new Tel Aviv port in ceremonies at the City Ha, where the athletes were officially welcomed after a parade.
1937:The Arab owner of a house in Nazareth where “two bombs and nineteen rounds of ammunition were found” yesterday remains under arrest today while awaiting trial “in the military court at Haifa.”
1938: According to Michael Hesemann, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli – the future Pius XII – wrote a letter today urging Catholic archbishops throughout the world to apply for visas for "non-Aryan Catholics" and Jewish converts to Christianity who wanted to flee Germany
1938: Germany bans Jews from being lawyers
1938(7th of Kislev, 5699): Mrs. Jessie Fox Mack, the wife of Judge Julian Mack of the United States Court of Appeals passed away today “after an illness of several months.” (JTA)
1939: Just months after having divided Poland with its Nazi ally, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in hopes of scoring another quick victory that would re-establish Russian control of what was viewed as breakaway province from the old Imperial System. The attack would further confuse the military and political situation in Europe during the period of the Phony War.
1939: Three months after the start of World War II, the Soviet Union invades Finland marking the start of the Winter War in which 204 Finnish Jews fought for the country with 27 being killed.
1939(18th of Kislev, 5700): Seventy-seven year old Reuben Brainin, the Russian born Jewish journalist who was a delegate to the first Zionist Congress passed away today.
1939: It was reported today that “there are already 45,000 Jews in the Lublin” ghetto” and that “more than 200,000 Lodz Jews will be sent there now that the center of the Polish textile industry has been incorporated into the Reich.
1939: It was reported today that “fifty thousand Jews have already been driven from their homes in Warsaw” and that while “Polish schools have been reopened” “Jewish schools are still closed.”
1939: In Paris, “Jewish circles are informed from Warsaw that the Nazis suggested the abolition of ghettos for” a payment of “1,000,000,000 zlotys” – an offer “Jewish leaders declined fearing the Nazis would not keep their promise.”
1940: “Lady with Red Hair,” a biopic directed by Curtish Bernhardt and produced by Jack Warner was released in the United States today.
1940: Anti-Jewish laws are established in Tunisia.
1940: “Bernhard Lichtenberg…the single most well-known Catholic cleric who openly disagreed not only with the persecution of baptized Jews but of Jews in general” said today “that the idea of Volksgemeinschaft (a racially bound community) was unchristian and that the Holy Spirit goes wherever it wishes irrespective of whatever Volk.”
1940: After the “Patria incident,” General Wavell, Britain’s top military officer in the Middle East complains vehemently to Sir Anthony Eden protesting the decision to let any Jewish refugees remain in Palestine. He contends that the decision to let 1,900 Jews remain in Palestine will undermine British relations with the Arabs. The Mufti, who is Berlin with Hitler, will be strengthened. Nazi sympathizers in Syria will be encouraged. And fifth-columnist in Egypt will find it easier to gain support for the Germans. At least Wavell was honest. For him as for so many less honest Englishmen (and others) it was all about keeping the Arabs happy.
1941: Start of the Rumbula Massacre, the liquidation of the Riga Ghetto, a killing spree exceeded only by Babi Yar.
1941: The first group of Jews from Berlin were the first group of Jews to die during the Rumbala Massacre - a crime that that the Nazis would later describe as “1,000 Berlin Jews had been ‘disposed of.’”
1941: Eduard Strauch “participated, with 20 men under his command, in the murder of 10,600 Jews of Riga in the Rumbula forest near the city for which he was promoted to commander in Sipo and the SD and transferred to Belarus.”
1941: Jews began to arrive at Theresienstadt from Prague.
1941: “Two-Faced Woman” a romantic comedy directed by George Cukor, produced by Gottfried Reinhardt, with a script by S.N. Behrman and Salka Vertel, filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg and co-starring Melvyn Douglas was released in the United States by MGM.
1941: Haj Amin, leader of the Palestinians was “ceremoniously received by Hitler.”
1942: Bernhard Bästlein “gave the Gestapo a written statement explaining why he had been and would remain a Resistance fighter.”
1943(3rd of Kislev, 5704): Esther "Etty" Hillesum a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation died at Auschwitz. They were published posthumously in 1981, before being translated into English in 1983.
1943(3rd of Kislev, 5704): One of two dates given for the death of 65 year old movie actor Paul Otto who committed suicide along with his wife in Berlin when his Jewish origins were discovered.
1943: All nine Palestinian Hebrew newspapers and the German-language daily issued at Tel Aviv re-appeared today after eleven days' suspension. “The suspension resulted from” the “simultaneous uncensored publication” by these papers “of identical accounts with uniform editorial comment on the search carried” out at a kibbutz named Ramat Hakovesh by British forces looking for arms. The search turned violent resulting in the murder of one of the Jewish settlers. The articles in the newspapers had been part of the Jewish response which, among other things, continues to claim the right for Jews to be able to defend themselves.
1943: Italy's Interior Ministry orders the concentration of all Italian Jews in camps.
1944(14th of Kislev, 5705): Anna Dresden-Polak’s husband, Barend, died today Auschwitz. Anna, a member of the Dutch ladies’ gymnastic team that won the Gold Medal at the 1928 Olympics, had been killed the year before at Sobibor along with Eva, her six-year old daughter.
1944: More than 100,000 persons, more than half the population of the city, greeted Dr. Chaim Weizmann when he visited Tel Aviv today for the first time since arriving in Palestine two weeks ago. The demonstration was the greatest welcome ever given to anyone in Tel Aviv. Weizmann responded by saying, “I never imagined my own people could have received me with such spontaneous joy.” When he went to Tel Aviv to review 200 soldiers who were serving in the new Jewish bridged of the British Army, he was greeted by crowds that were so large that they filled balconies, windows, lamp posts, trees, and telephone poles. Weizmann saw a direct connection between the fate of European Jewry, these troops and the creation of a Jewish commonwealth. He told the crowd that the “remnants of the European Jews” would receive the Jewish brigade as “a harbinger of freedom and by the masses of Jewish soldiers serving in the Allied armies as a symbol of national unity.”
1944: Cordell Hull completed his service as U.S. Secretary of State, a post he had held since FDR’s inauguration in March, 1933. Hull’s wife, Frances Witz, was the daughter of an Austrian Jew, something he worked very hard to hide. He may have won a Nobel Prize for helping to create the United Nations, but for Jews, his policy opposing the entry of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe, should have earned a large measure of contempt.
1946: Bombs were set off in Jerusalem today
1947: A day after the two-state solution is approved by the United Nations, Arabs begin attacking Jews in Palestine.
1947: Arab rifleman fired shots at an ambulance on its way to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus.
1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Arabs armed with machine guns and grenades attacked a bus traveling from the coast to Jerusalem killing four Jews including Jerusalemites Hirsh Stark and Hanna Weiss and twenty year old Shoshana Mizrachi Farhi who had been on her way to Jerusalem to get married.
1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): In another attack on a bus bound for Jerusalem, Arab gunmen killed Hehama Hacohen a pathologist at Hadassah Hospital.
1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Moshe Goldman, a twenty five year old from Jerusalem was shot dead at the Jaffa-Tel Aviv boundary.
1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Fifty-five year old director, actor, writer and producer Ernst Lubitsch passed away. Born in 1892, his urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch".”
1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Sixty-nine year old Ukrainian native William Edlin who came to the United States in 1891 where attended Stanford University where he acquired many of the Socialist ideas that would influence his career as a journalist, author and activist who “helped to found the Workmen’s Circle’ and serve as “president of the I.L. Peretz Yiddish Writers Union” passed away today.
1947: On the day after UN decree for Israel, Arabs attacked Jewish settlements. Even though the Jewish state would not officially declare its independence until May, 1948, this day marked the beginning of the Israeli War of Independence as a bus near Lydda (Lod) was attacked by Arabs killing five passengers. The Arabs proclaimed a general strike and attacked the commercial quarter near the Old City of Jerusalem. The Arabs, including those living outside of Palestine, were determined to destroy the Jewish homeland before the mandate officially ended. Their efforts would include attacks on Jewish settlements throughout the Yishuv as well as a siege of the City of Jerusalem. The Arabs were well armed and moved about with impunity. The Jews were limited in their response by an international arms boycott and the presence of the British Army.
1947: Birthdate of David Mamet. Mamet is an American playwright, screenwriter, director and poet born to a Jewish family in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Mamet first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays in The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and American Buffalo. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for Glengarry Glen Ross. In 2006, he wrote The Wicked Son, an examination of self-hating and assimilated Jews.
1948: In Philadelphia, comedian and late night television host Joey Bishop and Sylvia Rzga gave birth to Larry Bishop who partnered with high school chum Rob Reiner, the son of Carl Reiner before pursuing a solo career in director, writing and acting.
1948: Colonel Moshe Dayan of Israel and Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah el Tell of Transjordan Arab Legion sign cease-fire agreement “which included provision for a fortnightly convoy to Mount Scopus.”
1948: The American Council for Judaism asks Attorney General Tom C. Clark for a federal investigation of Menachem Begin’s U.S. activities.
1949: Birthdate of Matti Caspi, the member of Kibbutz Hanita who became a leading force in the Israeli pop music world.
1950(21st of Kislev, 5711): William Ackerman, the rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi passed away opening the way for his widow, Paula Ackerman to become “the interim spiritual leader” of the congregation. (Jewish Women’s Archives)
1950: Birthdate of Danny Sanderson, the native of Kfar Blum, who began his musical in 1971 after leaving the IDF by recording "The Left-handed Octopus" with the Egyptian-born musician Zouzou Moussa and the orchestra of Israel Radio Arabic.
1952: Birthdate of Semyon Mayevich Bychkov a Russian-American conductor who is the brother of the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, of blessed memory.
1952: In Chicago, “Doris "Doralee" (née Sinton), a homemaker, and Lester Patinkin, who operated two large Chicago-area metal factories, the People's Iron & Metal Company and the Scrap Corporation of America” gave birth to Mandel Bruce Patinkin who gained fame as Mandy Patinkin who attended Kenwood High and the University of Kansas before beginning his Broadway career that playing Che Guevara in Evita and a leading role in Stephen Sondheim's Follies.
1953: Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Uganda is deposed and exiled to London by Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda. “Sir Andrew was from a distinguished Anglo-Jewish family. He was a descendant of Levi Barent Cohen, the founder of the oldest Ashkenazi family in Britain.”
1953: “Confessions of a Nervous Man” by George Axelrod which depicts a “playwright waiting anxiously in a theatre district bar for the newspaper reviews of his first play to hit the streets” was broadcast on the television drama show, “Studio One.”
1954: As Churchill celebrated his 80th birthday, Moshe Sharett (formerly Shertok), sent the aging British statesman a telegram praising him for his leadership again the Nazis during World War II and for his steadfast support of Zionism in general and the Balfour Declaration in particular.
1954: The Alma Trio including pianist Adolph Baller, whose hands were crushed by the Nazis in 1938 after which his fiancée, Edith Strauss-Neustadt helped him to escape to the United States, performed the first of three Beethoven concerts tonight at Town Hall in New York City.
1955: Birthdate of Kiev native Peter Fishman who became a leading sculptor and painter.
1955: “Pipe Dream” the seventh Rogers and Hammerstein musical opened on Broadway today at the Shubert Theatre.
1956(26th of Kislev, 5717): Second Day of Chanukah
1956(26th of Kislev, 5717): Seventy-eight year old Budapest native Jean Schwartz, the songwriter who came to the United States at the age of 13 who wrote “Mr. Dooley” – a song “which was sung by the title character in The Wizard of Oz” passed away today.
1957: Eighty three year old Winston Churchill receives early Christmas presents – a case of Israeli oranges from Vera Weizmann, widow of Israel’s first President and longtime friend of Churchill and a Virginia Ham from American Jewish financer Bernard Baruch.
1959: Today’s broadcast of the Play of the Week featured the David Susskind production Sartre’s “Crime of Passion” translated by Lionel Abel, the Brooklyn born son of author Anna Schwartz Abelson and Rabbi Alter Abelson whom “Sartre called the most intelligent man in New York City.”
1960: Birthday of Hiam Abbass, the Israeli Arab actress and director born in Nazareth.
1961(22nd of Kislev, 5722): Ninety-one year old Louis Parnes, the chairman of the board of the Paul Parnes Corporation and a founder of the Brooklyn Jewish Center and the Louis Parnes Foundation passed away today.
1962: The United Nations General Assembly elects U Thant of Burma as the new UN Secretary-General. U Thant was the Secretary General who caved in to President Nasser’s demand to remove the UN peace keeping force from the Sinai. The men in the Blue Helmets were the guarantee that Egypt would not remilitarize the Sinai. U Thant’s spineless behavior, in violation of the understandings that had caused the Israelis to withdraw after the 1956 Sinai Campaign, set events in motion that would lead to war in June of 1967.
1962: Birthdate of actor Ben Stiller
1964(25th of Kislev, 5725): first day of Chanukah
1964: In Mexico City, actor and producer Muni Lubezki and his wife gave birth to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern.
1964: “The Diamond Ring” a song written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levine was recorded today.
1965: Ninety-four out the 100 prominent Washingtonians whom Charles E. Smith had invited to a dinner at the Mayflower listened to his vision of what would become a campus on Montrose Road in Rockville that would include the Wasserman Residence, the JCC and the Charles E. Smith Day School
1966: Barbados becomes independent from the United Kingdom. In 1667 “many Jews moved to Barbados to retain their British citizenship. Jews are believed to have been established in Barbados as early as 1628. In 1661, three Jewish businessmen requested permission to institute trade routes between Barbados and Surinam, which was still part of the British Empire. As will be seen repeatedly, even though the Jews had full legal citizenship and were allowed by the government to trade and conduct business, their success caused the other settlers to try to limit the scope of Jewish trade. British businessmen claimed the Jews traded more with the Dutch than the British, and the government did finally put limits on the Jews' ability to trade. They were not allowed to purchase slaves, and were required to live in a Jewish ghetto. By 1802, the colonial government in Barbados had removed all discriminatory regulations from the Jews living there. A Jewish community remained on Barbados until 1831, when a hurricane destroyed all of the towns on the island.” By the time Barbados gained its independence, there were approximately 80 Jews living in the country. In 1987, the Nidhei Israel Synagogue would be rededicated in a new location and the Old Jewish cemetery in Bridgetown would be restored. “The former Nidhei Israel building, which served as the synagogue, is today used for a library. The Jewish cemetery in Barbados is considered to be the oldest graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. A few of the graves date back to the 1660s and include Samuel Hart, son of Moses Hart, and Moses Nehemiah (the first Jew to live in Virginia). Today, approximately 40 Jews live on Barbados. It was the Jewish community of Barbados that initiated and maintains the Caribbean Jewish Congress.”
1966: Birthdate of Leonard “Lenny” Abrahamson, the native of Dublin whose films have twice won the IFTA award for best film.
1968: “The Shakiest Gun in the West” a comedy written by Everett Greenbaum was released today.
1969: In New York City, “actress Susan Kohner and Berlin-born novelist/menswear designer John Weitz” gave birth Christopher John Weitz who “is best known for his work with his brother Paul Weitz” for their work on the films “American Pie” and “About a Boy.”
1971: In Montreal, Toby Gilsig who is Jewish and his wife Claire gave birth to actress Jessalyn Sara Gilsig who had a Jewish wedding when she married Bobby Solomon.
1974(16th of Kislev, 5735): Seventy four year old Bert Gordon (Barney Gorodetsky) whose career spanned the golden age of radio (Eddie Cantor Program) to the golden age of television (Dick Van Dyke Show) passed away today.
1974: In northern Israel, one Muslim was killed and another was wounded during a home invasion at Rihaniya.
1975: WABC-AM is scheduled to broadcast Message of Israel with an address by Dr. Human Judah Schachtel.
1975: WBAI is scheduled to broadcast “A Hanukah Offering – Shtetl on the Hudson with Issac Bashevis Singer, Leonard Michaels and Jerome Charyn, writers who transformed the Jewish experience from the old country to New York
1975: WMCA is scheduled to broadcast a 2 hour program featuring an interview of playwright Dore Schary.
1975: WNBC is scheduled to broadcast the long-running Jewish radio series, Eternal Light, with an appearance by Harry Kemelman, author of “Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red.”
1975: New York Senator Jacob Javits, the state’s most prominent Jewish Republican, is scheduled to appear on a broadcast of Focus on Youth.
1976(8th of Kislev, 5737): Eighty-five year old Philip Reis Alstat, the native of Lithuania and graduated of Columbia University and Jewish Theological Seminary who was a leading rabbi in the Conservative movement, ardent Zionist and author for 40 years of “Strange to Relate,” a weekly syndicated newspaper column passed away today.
1977: In South Africa, Harry Schwarz began serving as “Shadow Minister of Finance.”
1977: U.S. premiere of Neil Simon’s “The Goodbye Girl” directed by Herbert Ross, co-starring Richard Dreyfus in his Oscar winning performance as “Elliot Garfield.”
1978(30th of Cheshvan, 5739): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1979(10th of Kislev, 5740): Zeppo Marx, one of the famed Marx Brothers, passed away.
1979: Ted Koppel becomes anchor of nightly news on Iranian Hostages (ABC)
1980: Leonard Bernstein’s "West Side Story" closes at Minskoff Theater New York City after 341 performances
1980: “For the second successive Sunday police prevented Moscow refuseniks from attending the unofficial scientific seminar in the apartment of Victor Brailovsky.”
1985(17th of Kislev, 5746): Ninety-four year old Israeli artist Joseph Zaritsky passed away. A native of the Ukraine, he studied art in Kiev before making Aliyah in 1923. He moved to Jerusalem in 1929 and finally settled Tzova, a kibbutz near Israel’s capital city.
1988(21st of Kislev, 5749): Amiram Nir, who “was said to have been in Mexico on avocado business” “boarded a one-engine Cessna on a flight from Uruapan to Mexico” which ended “when the plan went down in the mountains” killing Nir.
1988(21st of Kislev, 5749): Seventy-four year old Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter (née Rothschild) the daughter of Charles Rothschild, a patron of Jazz and bebop passed a way today.
1988: As Israeli political leaders continue try and form a government following the election held on November 1, today the Labor Party decided to end coalition negotiations with Likud. At about the same time, its leader, Shimon Peres, vowed that if a measure redefining who is Jewish under the Law of Return were put to a vote in Parliament, every Labor member would ''vote clearly against it.''
1988: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. buys RJR Nabisco for $25.07 billion. All three of the takeover kings were Jewish.
1994(27th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty-six year old “Lionel Stander, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants whose gravelly voice and beetling brow made him a memorable presence on stage and screen and whose political beliefs in the era of the Hollywood blacklist earned him a long exile from American films, died today at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder
1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Kathy Acker (née Karen Lehmann) “an American experimental novelist, prose stylist, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer” passed away.
1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Darkside of Camelot by Seymour Hersh and an essay by Alfred Kazin entitled “Missing Murray Kempton.”
1998: Michael Dobbs examines the interaction between major American companies and the Nazis in “Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration” published today.
2000(3rd of Kislev, 5761): Seventy-five year old Holocaust survivor Ilona Karmel who was remembered as the author of the novel, An Estate of Memory passed away today. It is considered one of the most significant novels in English to address the experiences of Jewish women during World War II. Born in Cracow in 1925, Karmel was interned along with her mother and sister in three different labor camps after the Nazi occupation of Poland. She sustained severe leg injuries during the war and required years of recuperation before immigrating to the United States in 1948. Within four years of arriving in the United States, Karmel graduated from Radcliffe College, won a fiction-writing contest sponsored by Mademoiselle Magazine, and completed her first novel, Stephania. Stephania focused on the physical and spiritual recovery of a young woman who had survived the Nazi concentration camps. In 1969, Karmel published An Estate of Memory, which was reissued by the Feminist Press in 1986. Reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, it was one of the earliest significant literary treatments of Jewish experience in the Nazi camps and remains one of the most significant novels to address Jewish women's experiences during the Holocaust. Karmel taught creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for many years where an annual writing prize that she established has been renamed in her honor.
2000: Time of Favor (Ha-hesder) Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's 2000 debut film, starring Aki Avni was released in Israel today.
2000(3rd of Kislev, 5761): Seventy-five year old Ilona Karmel, “literary chronicler of the Holocaust and author of An Estate of Memory, passed away. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)
2001(15th of Kislev, 5762): Ninety-three year old Syracuse native Robert P. Jacobs who served as the Rabbi at Temple Adas Emuno and Temp Beth Ha-Tephila before founding the Hillel House at Washington University in 1946 which he served as director until 1972, passed away today in St. Louis, MO.
2001: South African businessman Cyril Kern gave Gilad Sharon a loan to help cover the shortfall in the contributions being raised for his father’s campaign.
2002(25th of Kislev, 5763): First Day of Chanukah; light second candle in the evening
2003: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special interest to Jewish readers including In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices From Wall Street to Washington by Robert E. Rubin and Jacob Weisberg, Secrets of the City by Anne Roiphe, Primo Levi: A Life by Ian Thomson and Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait by Midge Decter
2005: It is official. Former Labor chairman Shimon Peres announced that he was ending his political activity in the Labor Party and would support Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the upcoming March elections. Peres stated that Sharon was the appropriate person to head a coalition of peace and security. He said he was supporting Sharon as the person who had the best chance of restarting the peace process with the Palestinians. "In my opinion, the appropriate person to head the coalition that will bring peace is Arik Sharon," he said at a special press conference that he convened. "My party activities have concluded," he added. This ended the almost fifty year long relationship between Peres and the Labor Parrty (or its antecdents). In 1959 Peres entered the Knesset as a member of Mapai. He left Mapai to join David Ben-Gurion’s Rafi Party. In 1968, Rafi and Mapai merged to form the Labor Party.
2006: Haaretz reported that a small room in Kibbutz Merhavia which was once home to Israel's first woman prime minister, Golda Meir, has been renovated and refurbished in the style of the 1920s when Golda lived there. It will soon be opened to visitors seeking to learn a little about that period and the severe austerity that prevailed in the Meir household. The reconstructed room is in one of the kibbutz's old stone residential buildings.
2006(9th of Kislev, 5767): Poet, songwriter and journalist Eli Mohar who wrote the “Goings On Around Town” column in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha’ir passed away from cancer at the age of 58.
2006: Sasson Somekh, visiting professor in Jewish Studies, opened the Jews Among Arabs conference at Vanderbilt with a lecture based on his memoir Baghdad Yesterday. Somekh grew up in the Jewish community in Iraq in the 1930s and ‘40s. He pointed out that some 250 Muslim Iraqis died in 1941 while trying to defend their Jewish neighbors being attacked by a pro-Nazi mob. About 150 Jews were killed in the incident, which launched the decline of Jewish community in Iraq, which had thrived there for 26 centuries.
2007: John Strugnell, controversial Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, passed away.
2007: The Wall Street Journal listed Ramaz as one of the top schools for graduates entering the top eight universities in the country, with 10 out of a class of 100 (class of 2007) going to these schools. The Ramaz School is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school located on the Upper East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.
2007: At The Sydney Jewish Museum an exhibition styled “Butterflies of Hope” comes to an end. “.
2007: The week long launch of "Operation: Last Chance” will continue with a press conference in Chile. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" is targeted to find and bring to justice at least some of the thousands of Nazis still hiding in South America 62 years after the end of World War II. It will probably be the final major effort to locate and bring to justice Nazis in hiding scattered around the world.
2007: The New York Times reviewed The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father’s Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem.
2007(20th of Kislev, 5768): IDF Private Ma’ayan Rotenberg of Kibbutz Beit Haemek passed away as a result of an accident while training with a tank unit. He died a week before his 19th birthday.
2007(20th of Kislev, 5678): Ninety-three year old Isaac Cohen who served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1958 to 1979 passed away today.
2008: The Orthodox Union's National Conference meeting, at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem comes to a close. Participants included Rabbi Metzger, Rabbi Lau, Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Herschel Schachter. The Keynote address was given by British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
2008: The International Conference on Contemporary Issues and Halacha, opens at Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem.
2008: Four of eight soldiers wounded in terrorist attacks on the Nahal Oz Base Gaza crossing during the Sabbath remained hospitalized. Three of them are being treated for moderate to serious wounds in Soroka Medical center in Be'er Sheva. The fourth victim, Sergeant Noam Nakash, 21, of Beersheba, lost his leg in a mortar attack and is being treated in Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.
2009: “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza” a play panned by The Sunday Times, condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and described as “a blood libel” by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic opened at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon
2009: "Pray for You" a song written by Joel Brentlinger & Jaron Lowenstein and recorded by American singer Jaron Lowenstein was released today.
2009: Amy Goodman, host of the radio and television program "Democracy Now!," discusses and signs her new book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.
2009: AJWS and its President, Ruth Messinger join Congregation Emanu-El, Congregation Emanu-El’s Young Adult Community, Congregation Beth Sholom, Congregation Sherith Israel, Taube Center for Jewish Life at the JCCSF, The Hub of the JCCSF, The SF Bay Area Darfur Coalition and Congregation Sha’ar Zahav to cosponsor an advance screening of Reporter the new documentary featuring Nicholas Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist. Reporter documents Kristoff’s efforts to write about the gut-wrenching conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2009: The opening of the John Demjanjuk trial today in Munich had to be delayed by over an hour because of the flood of visitors - including Holocaust survivors - who wished to observe what might be the last prosecution of an alleged Nazi war criminal.
2010: "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm Home for the Holidays!," is scheduled to have its first performance in Charlotte, NC.
2010: The 92nd Street Y in New York apologized for the way Deborah Solomon had conducted her interview of Steve Martin along with an offer to refund their money.
2010: The Shin Bet has arrested three Palestinian militants suspected of carrying out a shooting attack against two Israelis in late September, it emerged today The three Palestinians belong to the Abu-Moussa group, a splinter faction of Fatah; the head of the cell received his military training in Syria and Lebanon.
2010(23rd of Kislev, 5771): Eighty-four year old Cleveland native Lawrence E. “Larry” Gelfand, Professor-Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Iowa and husband of Miriam Ifland passed away today in Irvine, CA.
2010: Norman Lebrecht reviews “Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World.”
2010: “Through the Gale,” the third album of Asaf Avidan & the Mojos was released in Israel today.
2011: The Chabad Jewish Center in Metairie, LA, is scheduled to host its monthly Rosh Chodesh event which this month is entitled “Impression & Expression: The Essential Woman.”
2011: In New Orleans, Temple Sinai is scheduled to host its final session of this month’s Adult Education Series, “The Major Message of the Minor Prophet!”
2011: David Schmahmann is scheduled to discuss his new novel “The double Life of Alfred Buber” at the final event of the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore’s Jewish Book Month.
2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top cabinet ministers approved the handover of $100 million in tax money to the Palestinian Authority today, despite the vocal opposition of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
2011: An errant volley of projectiles landed in the vicinity of a top Israel Defense Forces officer today, in what preliminary reports say was a severe mishap during a large-scale drill in Israel's south. IDF chief Benny Gantz stopped the drill after the projectiles exploded near GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi..
2012: Adi Neuhaus, first prize winner of the “Voice of Music Young” Artist Competition is scheduled to perform at noon today in Jerusalem.
2012: “A Late Quartet,” Israeli director Yaron Zilberman's engrossing drama about an illustrious string quartet, is scheduled to shown at several cinemas in New York City.
2012: “A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer” published today described the career of Andy Statman.
2012: In a clever combination of Mitzvot (Tzdekah and Shabbat) the Young Professionals Network is scheduled to host a Shabbat dinner where the attendees will make contributions toward the B'nai B'rith's Disaster Relief Fund for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
2012: Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who delivered a supportive speech of Israel at the UN before its vote yesterday on the Palestinian statehood, said today "the bottom line is we will not let the Jewish people and the State of Israel stand alone when the going gets tough."
2012: At a meeting of the Saban Forum, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the Palestinians for the collapse of the peace talks in 2000, when she said, “I don’t care how many people try to revise that history, the fact is [Arafat] said no at Camp David.” “The Palestinians could have had a state as old as I am if they had made the right decision in 1947,” she said. “They could have had a state if they had worked with my husband and then-Prime Minister Barak at Camp David. They could have had a state if they’d worked with Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni.”
2013(27th of Kislev, 5774): Shabbat Chanukah
2013: Scheduled opening of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.
2013: A Palestinian was shot to death this morning by Border Guard volunteers, who were searching after illegal aliens in the area of Yarkon Cemetery in Petah Tikva. The Border Guard stated that a policeman shot the Palestinian after the latter attempted to stab him. (As reported by Hassan Shaalan)
2013: Beduin Israelis and their supporters throughout the country staged protest demonstrations today against the controversial Prawer resettlement plan.
2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Modeling the Flood Story – from Ancient to Modern Times.”
2014: As part of UK Jewish Comedy Festival, LOCO and JW3 are scheduled to present “Time Travel” with Woody Allen
2014: In Melbourne, “King of the Jews” and “Magic Men” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.
2014: Thirty-one year old Gill Rosenberg, “an Israeli-Canadian woman who traveled to Syria to fight alongside the Kurds there earlier this month has been abducted by Islamic State fighters, Hebrew media reported today, citing Syrian jihadist-linked media
2014: According to a report published today in Haaretz, Jerusalem’s “is plumbing new depths to devise funerary solutions to Israel’s shortage of space, and has broken ground on two experimental crypts near the entrance to the city.
2014: “Rafi Eitan, the head of the Bureau of Scientific Relations in November 1985 that ran Jonathan Pollard confirmed Sunday for the first time that the prime minister Shimon Peres and defense minister Yitzhak knew full well that Israel had a spy within the US armed forces” who was in fact Jonathan Pollard.
2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including George Marshall by Debi and Irwin Unger with Stanley Hirschon and an essay “To Russia, With Tough Love” by Marsha Gessen
2015: Friends and family of Dr. Fred Goldblatt, whose incomparable contributions to the Cedar Rapids Jewish community include a willingness to share his considerable musical skills, prepare to celebrate his natal day.
2015(18th of Kislev, 5776): “Janet Wolfe — gleeful gadabout, archetypal Gothamite and the longtime executive director of the New York City Housing Authority Symphony” passed away today at the age of 101. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2015: Seventy-one year old Sheldon Silver “the son of a hardware store owner on the Lower East Side” who rose become “one of the most feared politicians in New York State was found guilty…of federal corruption charges” today.
2015: “Righteous Among Us: Two Who Defied the Nazis,” a film about how Waitsill and Martha Sharp worked to save Jews from the Shoah in 1939 is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, Illinois
2016: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to host a memorial tribute for Elie Wiesel this evening.
2016: “For the first time in three months, Israeli jets reportedly struck targets in Syria early this morning, hitting a Bashar Assad regime military base and a Hezbollah convoy en route to Lebanon, according to foreign media.”
2016: “Army reported” today that “several leading rabbis have decided to campaign against moves by the IDF to further integrate women into combat units and plan to advise religious male soldiers to avoid orders relating to mixed-gender activities.”
2016: During an interviews on CNBC today, future Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that the Trump administration’s job is to “make sure that the average American has wage increases and good jobs” and “his priority was getting a sustained growth of GDP of 3% or 4%.”
2016: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present “We Were Neighbors: Remembering Middle Eastern Jewish Communities” which will include “scholarly, first-person reflections by award-winning writers Lucette Lagnado (The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World) and André Aciman (Out of Egypt)
2017: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a noon-time “chill and chat” with Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler who also will be leading an “in-depth text-based Gemara learning” session before the weekday evening meal.
2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host Peter G. Weintraub’s first session of “Introduction to Judaism.”
2017: The Jewish Music Forum is scheduled to host a lecture by historian Daniel Jütte on “Gustav Mahler: Jewish Identity and Nineteenth-Century Musical Culture” followed by a concert featuring Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Riehn’s chamber orchestra arrangement of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)
2017: “The Jstyle Winter Premiere Party” is scheduled to take place at the StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights, Ohio.
2017: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education is scheduled to host “An Evening of Unity”
2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as David Fromkin whose works included the must-read A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East continues today.