Monday, December 18, 2017

This Day, December 19, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 19

324: Licinius abdicates his position as Emperor leaving Constatine I, “the first Christian Emperor” in control of the Roman Empire much to the detriment of the Jewish people.

1154: Coronation of Henry II, King of England. With the restoration of order under Henry II, conditions of the Jews improved markedly. Within five years of his accession Jews are found at London, Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich, Thetford, Bungay, Canterbury, Winchester, Newport, Stafford, Windsor, and Reading. Yet they were not permitted to bury their dead elsewhere than in London, a restriction which was not removed till 1177. Their spread throughout the country enabled the king to draw upon them as occasion demanded; he repaid them by demand notes on the sheriffs of the counties, who accounted for payments thus made in the half-yearly accounts on the pipe rolls (see Aaron of Lincoln). Richard "Strongbow" de Clare's conquest of Ireland in 1170 was financed by Josce, a Jew of Gloucester; and the king accordingly fined Josce for having lent money to those under his displeasure. As a rule, however, Henry II does not appear to have limited in any way the financial activity of Jews. The favourable position of the English Jews was shown, among other things, by the visit of Abraham ibn Ezra in 1158, by that of Isaac of Chernigov in 1181, and by the resort to England of the Jews who were exiled from France by Philip Augustus in 1182, among them probably being Judah Sir Leon of Paris. When he asked the rest of the country to pay a tithe for the crusade against Saladin in 1186, he demanded a quarter of the Jewish chattels. The tithe was reckoned at £70,000, the quarter at £60,000. In other words, the value of the personal property of the Jews was regarded as one-fourth that of the whole country. It is improbable, however, that the whole amount was paid at once, as for many years after the imposition of the tallage arrears were demanded from the recalcitrant Jews. The king had probably been led to make this large demand upon English Jewry by the surprising windfall which came to his treasury at the death of Aaron of Lincoln. All property obtained by usury, whether by Jew or by Christian, fell into the king's hands on the death of the usurer; Aaron of Lincoln's estate included £15,000 of debts owed to him. Besides this, a large treasure came into the king's hands, which, however, was lost on being sent over to Normandy. A special branch of the treasury, constituted in order to deal with this large account, was known as "Aaron's Exchequer". In this era, Jews lived on good terms with their non-Jewish neighbours, including the clergy; they entered churches freely, and took refuge in the abbeys in times of commotion. Some Jews lived in opulent houses, and helped to build a large number of the abbeys and monasteries of the country. However, by the end of Henry's reign they had incurred the ill will of the upper classes. The anti-Jewish sentiment fostered by the crusades, during the latter part of the reign of Henry, spread the anti-Jewish sentiment throughout the nation.

1187: Clement III who was no friend of the Jews was elected Pope today.  In the aftermath of the First Crusaders violent march through the Rhine, Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor sought to allow Jews who had been forced to convert to return to Judaism.  Pope Clement III opposed Henry on this insisting that the Jews, no matter how they had come to the Church, could not leave it.  To his credit, Henry ignored the Pope.  He went so far as to find those who had killed his Jewish subjects and bring them to justice.  From the Jewish point of view, Henry was the exception to the norm among European Princes and Prelates.  We should remember him for this and not for shivering in the winter as he did penance before an arrogant prince of the Church.

1370: Pope Urban V passed away.  Urban issued a bull entitled “Sicuti judaeis non debet” that forbade the molestation of Jews and condemned the forced baptism of Jews.

1483: The first edition of Talmud Babli Berakot was published in Soncino, Italy by Joshua Solomon Soncino.  This is the tractate of the Babylonia Talmud that discusses the laws of Kriat Shema, Prayers and Blessing.

1483: The first edition of Talmud Betzah was published in Soncino, Italy by Joshua Solomon Soncino. Betzah is the tractate that deals rules concerning Festivals.

1488: The first edition of the Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol was published in Soncino, Italy. The Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol (The Great Book of the Commandments) was written by Rabbi Moses ben Jacob of Coucy'. Rabbi ben Jacob lived in the first half of the 13th century in Coucy, France. This work--usually designated by its acronym, the Semag—classifies Jewish law according to the traditional enumeration of 613 commandments. The work is divided into two sections. The first deals with the 365 negative precepts of the Torah, and the second with the 248 positive precepts. References to the Semag are by Section. The publishing of this and other such texts helped to enhance the culture of education that has been the hallmark of Judaism since its earliest days.  Guttenberg and his printing press were definitely “friends” of the Jews.

1521: John III was crowned King of Portugal in the Church of São Domingos in Lisbon, beginning a thirty-six-year reign that included negotiations with David Reubeni over the providing a fleet to help in his competition with the Ottomans in 1525 and the introduction of the Inquisition to his realm in 1536.

1523: Giles of Viterbo, who provided a safe haven for Elias Levita with whom he studied Hebrew and who studied Zohar with Baruch de Benevento was installed as Bishop of Veterbo e Tuscania.

1762: Birthdate of Ephraim Zalman Margolis the Galician born rabbi who was the brother of Hayyim Mordecai Margolioth and whose works including commentaries on parts of the Shulchan Arukh.

1777: Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter. Hanukkah at Valley Forge is a children’s book by Stephen Krensky about an event that took place during that fateful winter. On a cold December night during the height of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington surveys his weary troops at Valley Forge. He spies a soldier lighting a candle. Curious, he asks the soldier what he is doing. The soldier explains that he is celebrating the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. He goes on to relate a miraculous story—how long ago a ragtag army of Jewish soldiers defeated a much larger force of powerful Greeks, a tale that provides just the kind of inspiration General Washington needs. Stephen Krensky's fictionalized version of a poignant historical anecdote is brought vividly to life in Greg Harlin's brilliant watercolor illustrations.” The thirty two page book is designed for children from 4 to 7. While we may not know the names of all the Jews who spent the winter freezing in the Pennsylvania cold, we do know that Abraham Levy and Phillip Russell were among those who stuck it out. When the army marched out in the spring, some of the soldiers carried rifles supplied by Joseph Simon who crafted them at this forge in Lancaster, PA.

1781: Joseph II abolished Leibzoll (body tax) along with the "special law taxes, the passport duty, the night duty and all similar oppressive imposts which had stamped the Jews as outcasts."

1788: In Philadelphia, Michael Marks and his wife gave birth to Sarah Marks the future wife of Samuel Lyons

1807: Abraham Franklin married Miriam Aaron today.

1813: Barnet Franks married Jane Jacobs at the Great Synagogue today.

1821(25th of Kislev, 5582): Chanukah

1821: Birthdate of Dutch bibliographer Meyer Roest whose best known work is the two volume Catalog der Hebraica und Judaica aus der L. Rosenthal'schen Bibliothek

1828:Clari” an opera semiseria in three acts by Fromental Halévy “was first produced at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris” today.

1831: The Privy Council in England granted the Jewish community official recognition and equality on the island. Jews were then permitted to vote in the elections and, by 1849, eight of the 47 members of House of Assembly were Jewish, including the Speaker of the House. Jews became so prominent in society that in 1849, the House of Assembly did not gather on Yom Kippur.

1832(27th of Kislev, 5593): Third Day of Chanukah

1841: Birthdate of Russian-born Austrian “rabbinical scholar” Abraham Epstein author of the Ḳadmut ha-Tanḥuma, who passed away in 1918.

1844 (9th of Tevet, 5605): The Czar abolished all Kahals in the Russian Empire

1852: Birthdate of Russian native Albert A. Michelson who taught at the U.S. Naval Academy and calculated the Speed of Light for which he won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1907.

1854: Birthdate of Joshua Moses Levy, the “elder of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue” in London and member of the Board of Deputies who served on the Licensing Committee of the Board of Shechita and the “Committee of the Bread, Meat and Coal Society.”

1855(10th of Tevet, 5616): Aasara B’Tevet

1856: In Vienna, Simon Spitzer, the son of Moses Spitzer and his wife Marie Spitzer gave birth to Malvine Nawaski.

1856: The Huntington Trial a case being heard before Judge Capron was in recess today “because one of the jurors was a Jew and had conscientious scruples about working on his Sabbath…”

1857: Under a modification of the 1855 Naval Reform designed to remove superfluous officers, Uriah Phillips Levy began the first of three days before a Board of Inquiry that had been convened to see if he should be reinstated. Fifty -three character witnesses, including former Secretary of the Navy and historian George Bancroft, governors, senators, congressmen, bank presidents, merchants, doctors, and editors had already testified on his behalf before Phillips began testify. The most shocking statement had come from Bancroft who confirmed Levy had been purged "because he was of the Jewish persuasion."  The most moving part of the testimony came with the statement of Phillips, "My parents were Israelites, and I was nurtured in the faith of my ancestors." "I am an American, a sailor, and a Jew," At the end, there was a moment's silence before the explosion of cheers, the hats flung in the air, the wild applause.

1858: In Camden, New Jersey, Maurice Traubel and Katherine Grunder gave birth to essayist, poet and follower of Henry George, Horace Traubel who was the editor of The Conservator from 1890 until his death in 1919.

1859: Nine year old Israel Dov Frumkin emigrated from Russia to Jerusalem with his father, Alexander Sender Frumkin, mother and brother

1867: In Prague, Joseph and Julie Wolf gave birth to Siegfried Reginald Wolf.

1868: In Vienna, the Rudolphinum founded in honor of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria and funded by A.M. Pollak was dedicated today.

1870(25th of Kislev, 5631): First Day of Chanukah

1876: It was reported today that William J. Ree, “one of the most daring and expert swindlers and forgers” ever to operate in New York City, is among the many convicts paroled by Governor Tilden without informing the District Attorney or the criminals’ victims. Ree is reportedly from Denmark and a member of a wealthy Jewish who has two brothers who are successful merchants in London. He married the wealthy widow of the late Commodore Uriah P. Levy and proceeded to run through her fortune of $400,000. He also was the heir to a fortune left to him by one of his wife’s aunts – a fortune that he dissipated with equal speed which led him to turn to active swindling.

1876: A fair to raise funds for Hebrew Charities is to be held this evening at the Masonic Hall in NYC.

1878: It was reported today that most of the Jews of Cincinnati, Ohio, approved decision of the Hebrew Benevolent Societies decision to refuse the contributions offered by Mrs. A.T. Stewart.  They feel that the involvement of Judge Hilton makes it impossible for Jews to accept the money.  Several Jews have offered to make up any short-fall. A minority, including Louis Kramer and Henry Mack Southern, have expressed the opinion that charities have no right to reject contributions regardless of the source.  Jews have refused to do business with Hilton and his company since he banned Jews from being guests at his fashionable New York hotel.

1880: It was reported today that Mt. Sinai Hospital, which was opened in 1852 was the third private hospital opened that provided for New York City’s destitute.  St Vincent’s which was opened by the Roman Catholics in 1859 and St. Luke’s which opened in 1850 are the only two such institutions that are older than the facility funded by the Jewish community that is opened to all regardless  race or creed.

1880: In New York, Reverends John Cotton Smith, R. Heber Newton and L.D. Devan expressed their concern from their respective pulpits about the wave of “anti-Jewish agitation” currently sweeping Germany. (Compare this to the relative silence that one “heard” during the 1930’s)

1880: In Belz, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach and Basha Ruchama Twersky gave birth to Aharon Rokeach the fourth Rebbe of the Belz Hasidic dynasty who led the movement from 1926 until his death in 1957.

1880: “First Chandlery Factory In America” published today credited Jews who had come to Newport from Portugal between 1745 and 1750 with introducing this “lucrative…business” in which they had an advantage because they knew “the art of preparing the sperm for candles.” “Of the 16 people” originally “engaged in this business” three were Jews named Riveria, Lopez and Siexas.

1881: It was reported today that police in New York, Brooklyn Staten Island and Jersey City are all looking for thirty eight year old Louis Hammel, the Jewish foreman of J. Beck & Sons who has been reported missing by his relatives.

1881: Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, who would take an active role in determining and trying to ameliorate the conditions of the Russian Jews after the passage of the May Laws, began serving as Secretary of State under President Chester A. Arthur.

1881: In New York, Julius and Sarah (Adler) Goldman gave birth to Hetty Godman.

1881: In New York, Sarah and Julius Goldman gave birth to Hetty Goldman “a well know archaeologist who unearthed many new excavations that gave historians a better insight of the past in Greece” and who “was very active in sponsoring Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.” (As reported by Seymour Brody)

1882: In New York Superior Court, Judge Arnoux heard the argument of Abraham Meyer who is seeking an injunction that will restrain police from enforcing that part of the Penal Code that would force him to close on Sunday.  Meyer is Jewish and claims that under the law he can “sell goods on Sunday because he observes Saturday as his ‘holy time.’”

1882: Birthdate of Bronislaw Huberman, the Polish born violinist who founded the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra in 1936.  After the creation of the state of Israel, a year after Huberman’s death, the orchestra would change its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

1883: D. Wiley Travis, the attorney for Theodore Hoffman who was sentenced to death for murdering Jewish peddler Zife Marks, “will take the case to the Court of Appeals.”

1883: Madame Fanny Janauschek will appear in “Zillah, The Hebrew Mother” today at the Third Avenue Theatre.

1885: At least a thousand people attended tonight’s session of the fair being held to raise funds for the kindergarten and industrial schools of the Hebrew Free School Association.

1886: First meeting of the “Emin Pasha Relief Committee.” Mehmed Emin Pasha was the name of a German Jew Eduard Schnitzer had taken when he had converted to Islam to further his career in the world of the Ottomans. 

1886: Five hundred prominent Jews met at Temple Israel in Brooklyn, NY, this afternoon and formed the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1886: It was reported today that the Hebrew Fee School Association is now supporting a “Ladies Hebrew Seminary” in addition to its industrial branches for manual training and kindergartens.

1886: An auction will held today, the day after the close of the charity fair held to raise funds for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, which is expected to raise an additional $15,000. The fair raised $168,000 for the Home

1887: It was reported today that the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery, founded by Mrs. Deborah Alexander, is currently providing care “for 150 young boys and babies.”

1888: It was reported today that Benjamin F. Peixotto and James W. Moses were blackballed from the Republican Club on 5th Avenue because they “had enough Jews in the club at present.” Peixotto is a member of a distinguished Sephardic family that has served the United States for three generations. But Moses, a prominent member of the Cotton Exchange, is a Yankee from Maine without a drop of Jewish “blood in his veins.”

1888: “The Republican Club” published today described plans for this new organization which plans on blackballing Jews, a fact that the author is able to easily rationalize, but also is willing to accept contributions of Jewish money.

1888: It was reported today that the following have made donations to the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids: Lazarus Straus, $2,500; Louis Stern, $500, W.J. Cholle, $200; Henry Newman, $100 and M.W. Mendel and Jacob H. Schiff, $1,000 each.

1888:  Birthdate of Fritz Reiner, Hungarian born American symphony conductor who passed away in 1963.

1889: Louis and Clara Asia Parnes gave birth to Maxwell Parnes, the husband of Sarah Blumberg Parnes

1890: It was reported today that a St. Petersburg newspaper has responded to “English remonstrances against the treatment of the Russian Jews” by charging the English with having exterminated the natives of Australia and poisoned the Chinese with opium among other crimes.

1891(18th of Kislev, 5652): Parashat Vayishlach

1891(18th of Kislev, 5652): Sixty-eight year old Bavarian native Isaac Kohn, the son of Abraham and Bella Kuhn and the husband of Henrietta Kohn passed away today in Phildadelphia.

1891: “The coroner is making a searching inquiry” into events surrounding the death of Maxwell Castine, a Russian Jew whose body was discovered yesterday with his throat cut from ear to ear in a “flouring mill at Petersburg

1891: Ninety Russian Jews who have been brought to the United States by Baron Hirsch are staying at the synagogue in Fall River, MA until they begin working in the local mills.

1892: The State Board of Arbitration met in Camden, NJ tonight and decided to go to Woodbine and “get the facts regarding the cloakmaker’s strike” taking place at the Jewish colony.

1892: “Fifty Years A Temple” published today the jubilee celebration that has been taking place at Rodeph Sholom which were attended by a host of dignitaries including Judges Goldfolgle, Newberger and Lachman as well as Otto J. Wise, Charles S. Cohn, A.H. Berrick and Abram Stern.

1893: Henry Solomon, Lazarus Diamond, Max Rosenthal and Leah Blumental are among the saloonkeepers were being held on charges violating the excise law which forbids the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

1894: Judge Henry Mayer Goldfogle expressed his sympathy with the striking cloakmakers  who are faced with eviction and “asked the landlord to give their tenants an extension of time” – a request with which they complied so “no evictions were ordered.”

1894: The trial of Alfred Dreyfus began today at the Cheche-Midi Prison.

1894: Birthdate of Paul Dessau the native of Hamburg and grandson of Cantor Moses Berend Dessau, the composer and conductor whose works ranged from scores to Walt Disney moves to “the oratorio Hagadah shel Pessach after a libretto by Max Brod.”

1894: As of today the officers of the Jewish Historical Society are President--Oscar S. Straus; Vice Presidents – Dr. Charles Gross, Simon W. Rosendale, Paul Leicester Ford; Corresponding Secretary – Dr. Cyrus Adler; Recording Secretary – Dr. Herbert Friedenwald; Treasurer – Professor R.J.H. Gottheil.

1895: “Dr. Hermann Kahn will sell copies of Maritz Oppenheim’s paints of scenes from the life of the Israelites at tonight’s session of the charity fair which is a fundraiser for the Educational Alliance and The Hebrew Technical Institute

1895: “The Anti-Semites in Vienna” described the unpopularity of the Imperial Government’s decision to reject the election of a Jew baiter, Dr. Luger, to be Burgomaster of Vienna.”

1896: “Santa Maria,” an operetta by Oscar Hammerstein I closed at the Olympia Theatre after three months of performances.

1896: The University of Wisconsin football team led by first year head coach Philip King, a Jewish native of Washington, DC lost their last game of the season to Carlisle.

1898: Louis Samuel Montagu, the second Baron of Swaythling and his wife gave birth to Stuart Albert Samuel Montague, third Baron Swaythling who served with the Guards during World War I and who was the person “responsible for making rear lights compulsory on motor cycles.”

1898(6th of Tevet, 5659): Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, “who was famous for his disagreements with his father Rabbi Chaim Halbertam of Sanz on matters of halakha” who served as a rabbi in several towns including Shinova, passed away today.

1898: After the death of Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, today, his second son, Rabbi Moishe Halberstram succeeded his father as Rabbi of Shinova.

1898: Today, “an indenture was recorded by the Register of Deeds for Camden County, New Jersey for a property consisting of three lots at the southeast corner of South 8th Street and Sycamore Street to Congregation Sons of Israel, who were acquiring the property from George W. Jessup.”

1901: In Berlin, Else Preuss, the daughter of Carl and Antonie Lieberman and Dr. of Jurisprudence Hugo Preuss gave birth to Hans Helmuth Preuss

1902: ‘Lively Zionist Meeting” published today described a speech given by Jacob De Haas Secretary of the Federation of American Zionists which was supposed to be part of a debate between him and Rabbi Silverman, who was an opponent of Zionist.  The debate did not take place because Silverman failed to show up.

1902: Birthdate of British violinist and orchestra leader, Leonard Hirsch.  He was a conductor of the Royal Air Force Symphony Orchestra.

1903: Chaim Zelig Louban, a 27 year old student, attempts to assassinate Max Nordau at a Chanukah ball of the Paris Zionist society. He approaches Nordau, cries "Death to Nordau, the East African" and fires two shots. Nordau writes to Herzl: "Yesterday evening I got an installment on the debt of gratitude which the Jewish people owe me for my selfless labors on its behalf. I say this without bitterness, only in sorrow. How unhappy is our people, to be able to produce such deeds." This incident goes to show the depth of feeling surrounding the “Uganda Plan.”

1903: “Camden Hebrews to Have Synagogue” published today described the purchase of the church building at the southeast corner of Eighth and Sycamore streets for $2,300 by the city’s Jews which will hereafter be used as a synagogue.

1903: Herzl publishes an account of the Kharkov conference in "Die Welt", together with a declaration calling upon those who had voted for the ultimatum to surrender their mandates. In a subsequent issue a digest of the minutes of the Conference appears.

1903: The Williamsburg Bridge was opened in New York City. This was America's first major suspension bridge using steel towers instead of the customary masonry towers. It was built to alleviate traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge and to provide a link between Manhattan and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and was the second of three steel-frame suspension bridges to span the East River. Designed by Leffert L. Buck and Henry Hornbostel, it had taken over seven years to complete. The 1,600 foot Williamsburg Bridge was the world's longest suspension bridge until the 1920s. It had cost $24,100,000 for the land and construction. For Jews it meant a connection between the Lower East Side and what would become the thriving Jewish neighborhoods of 20th century Brooklyn.

1905: Frank F. Harding the principal of Public School 44 which is located in a neighborhood “almost entirely by Jews” discussed Christ during a Christmas entertainment in a manner that one student found objectionable and others saw as an attempt “to proselytize the children his charge.”

1905: In Manhattan, Mamie Friedman and Saul Kahn gave birth to Irving Kahn who would still be working as professional investor a hundred years later.

1905: It was reported today that “contributions to the fund for the relief of suffers by Russian massacres” including $329 from Congregation Shaari Zedek and its Sisterhood, $2,322 from the “Orthodox Jews of St. Paul, MN” and $157 from Athens, GA, the home of the University of Georgia.

1905: “Jewish World Congress” published today described the decision by “the central organization of the Zionists to hold a special congress” to deal with the violence being aimed at the Jews of Russia.

1906: Birthdate of David I. Arkin the American “teacher, painter, writer and lyrcist” who was the father of actor Alin Arkin.

1908(25th of Kislev, 5669): Chanukah celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Teddy Roosevelt.

1910: Birthdate of David Raziel, one of the founders of "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel" better known at the Irgun.

1912: Birthdate of “Judah Cahn, the founding rabbi of the Metropolitan Synagogue of New York and past president of the New York Board of Rabbis…” (As reported by David Bird)

1913: One of the last advertisements for “Shon the Piper” an historical drama starring Robert Z. Leonard which now considered a “lost movie” appeared today “announcing a showing at the Airdome in Durham, North Carolina.

1914(2nd of Tevet, 5675): Eighth Day of Chanukah

1914(2nd of Tevet, 5675): During WW I, Captain Cecil David Woodburn Bamberger, who “had attended University College School was killed while serving with the Royal Engineers.

1914: A letter received today in New York from a journalist in Jerusalem described “conditions in Palestine since the Turkish declaration of war: that “shows how serious the hardships brought upon the population are likely to be.

1915: Joseph Trumpeldor, who took command of the Zion Mule Corps after Lt. Col. Patterson became so sick he had to return to England, “was wounded in the left shoulder by a rifle bullet today but refused to ev evacuated” and chose to say with Jewish unit which by now had dwindled to five British officers, two Jewish officers and 126 enlisted men.”

1915: Today, “the Zionist Council of Greater New York “is scheduled to “celebrate it tenth anniversary at the Central Opera House” with events including a “musical concert” the issuance of “The Decennial” a souvenir period “containing articles by Louis D. Brandeis, Dr. Schmarya Levin and Dr. Stephen S. Wise.”

1915: Among those who were reported today to have made contributions to the Central Relief Committee for the Relief of Jews suffering through the war are Sioux City Religious Association, $218; Jewish National Organization of Minneapolis, $387; Jewish Committee of Knoxville, TN, $400 and the Hadassah Aid Society of Wilkes-Barre, PA Religious Committee, $180.

1916(24th of Kislev, 5677): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1916: The New York Times reported, “The celebration of the Jewish festival of Chanukah, or Feast of Dedication known also as the Feast of Lights, will begin this evening and will continue for eight days.

1917: Seventy-one year old Ernst Herter the German sculptor who” was present in New York when his Heinrich Heine memorial sculpture, known as the Lorelei Fountain, was unveiled in the Bronx, New York” after “Heine's city of birth, Düsseldorf “squelched” the project” due to the anti-Semitic sentiment that pervaded the German Reich at that time passed away today.

1917: The Organization for the Defense of Eastern Jewry was established today in London.

 1917(4th of Tevet, 5678): Seventy-four year old “communal worker” Michael B. Jonas passed away today in St. Louis.

1917: “Among the additional contributions to the $10,000,000 fund raised by the American Jewish Relief Committee published today were $5,000 from M.M. Travis of Tulsa, OK, $1,2500 from the Jewish Relief Committee of Spokane, WA, $1,100 from Jewish Relief Committee of Grand Forks, N.D. and $1,000 from the Jewish Relief Committee of Nashville, TN.

1918: “On the initiative of Chajjim Weiszburg, a leader of the Zionist movement, Uj Kelet, a Zionist Jewish newspaper in the Hungarian language whose writers included Rudolf Kastner, was launched as a weekly today.

1918: “The Private From the Bronx” published today praised the bravery of Abraham Krotoshinsky who earned the Distinguished Service Cross for the heroism displayed while helping to rescue the “Lost Battalion” during the fighting in the Argonne Forest.

1919(27th of Kislev, 5680): Third Chanukah

1919: “The Little Café” a comedy from the days of silent pictures based on the “1911 play ‘The Little Café’ by Tristan Bernard, directed by Raymond Bernard and starring Armand Bernard was released today in France.

1919: Birthdate of Sally Ann Lowengart, the native of Portland, Oregon who gained fame as civil rights activist Sally Lilienthal, found of the Ploughshares Fund.

1919: Victor Berger was elected for a second time to serve in the House of Representatives for a district in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The House had denied Berger the right to serve after having been elected in 1918 because he a convicted felon and opponent of the Great War.

1919: In New York, David Freedman an immigrant from Romania and his wife gave birth to “American novelist and mathematician” Benedict Freedman.

1919: Today, William Shemin was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross “for battle field valor druing the Aisne-Marne Offensive” during WW I.

1919: Zionist office opened in Constantinople for Jews wanting to move to Palestine.

1919: The SS Ruslam reached Jaffa with 671 people aboard. The ship was loaded with doctors, artists, and academics and had been called Israel’s Mayflower. Its arrival marked the period of what is known as the "Third Aliyah," which lasted four years. Approximately 50% of the 35,000 immigrants were from Russia and 35% from Poland. The "Third Aliyah" was idealistic and marked the time when the first Kibbutzim and Moshavim were established.

1920: Rabbi Max D. Klein of Adath Jeshuron Congregation in Philadelphia will address those attending today’s celebration of the organization of Congregation Beth-El in Camden, NJ.

1920:  In New York City, Benjamin and Frances Lear Susskind gave birth to David Susskind who was known primarily as movie, stage and television producer.  But during the late 1950’s he hosted one of the original late-night talk shows.  It was a high-brow event with no singers, no book pluggers and no comedy monologues.  The set would become wreathed in a haze of cigarette smoke as the guests discussed weighty and artsy issues of the day.  Susskind passed away in 1987.

1924:  Governor General Primo de Rivera of Spain offered all Sephardim the possibility of reacquiring Spanish nationality provided they acquired this nationality before December 31, 1930.

1925: Birthdate of Robert B. Sherman one half of the Sherman Brothers, “American songwriting duo” whose most famous contribution included “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

1926: Birthdate of Mina Arison Sapir, the native of Belz Bessarabia, Romania who is the wife Yekutiel Sapir and  the mother of Micky and Shari Arison. Her daughter is reported to be one of the richest women in the world.

1926: Herbert Milton "Herb" Stempel the disgruntled gameshow contestant turned whistleblower whose testimony touched off the “Quiz Show Scandal” that destroyed that genre.

1927(25th of Kislev, 5688) Chanukah

1927: Birthdate of Norman Lamm, the modern Orthodox rabbi best known for his services the Chancellor of Yeshiva University.

1927: “Showboat” a Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II musical based on Edna Ferber’s novel of the same name finished its “pre-Broadway tour.”

1928: Birthdate of Morris Isaac Charlap, the native of Philadelphia who gained fame as composer Mark “Moose” Charlap whose most famous effort was “Peter Pan.”

1929: In the Bronx, Samuel Harry Bell, a dentist who had changed his name from Bolotsky and the former Edith Yudell, a singer in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus gave birth to “Dr. Bertrand M. Bell, who was instrumental in reducing the grueling shifts worked by interns and residents being trained in American hospitals.” (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1931: “Lost Original of Maimonides’ Third Part of “guide to Perplexed” Written in Arabic Recovered and Presented” published today tells how “the lost original of Maimonides’ third part of the “Guide to the Perplexed”, written in Arabic, has been recovered and presented to the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, by Mrs. Nathan Miller, together with two other valuable manuscripts of unrecorded religious poems written in Spain in the sixteenth century.”

1932: The NBC Blue Network broadcast the fourth episode of Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel is a situation comedy radio show starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico.

1932: Having written “his Ph.D. thesis on the epistemology and metaphysics of the German philosopher Hermann Cohen” and having “passed his oral doctor’s examination” in 1930, Joseph B. Solveitchik  “graduated with a doctorate” today from Friedrich Wilhelm University.

1934: The projected Jewish republic in Biro-Bidjan, Russia, constitutes no menace to the Zionist movement, E.Z. Goldberg, associate editor of The Day, who recently returned from the Soviet, declared today. He was interviewed at 285 Madison Avenue, the office of the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in the U.S.S.R., of which he is a member. Mr. Goldberg said that the Soviet territory of Biro-Bidjan was an improvement over Palestine as a home for the Jews because it was three times larger than Palestine, “had no Arab problem” and benefited from support from the government.  At the same time he said that Biro-Bidjan would not be a homeland for all Jews since there would no place for Orthodox Jews “who are capitalistically minded” and can go to Tel Aviv to make money.

1934: Thomas Lovejoy, Vice Chancellor of Bristol, wrote to Churchill that he would not be able to help him in his quest to find any more places for German-Jewish medical students because “there had been a heavy rush on entry to the Faculty of Medicine that year and we have had to refuse applications for entry from all foreign counties and even from some of the Dominions.”  If the German-Jewish students could gain admission to the college than they could get out of Germany and gain entrance into the safe haven of Great Britain.a

1935: Birthdate of Sidney Alvin Field, the Hollywood native who gained fame as Syd Field, author of Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

1936: “Tribulations of the Persecuted Jews” published today provides a detailed review of Some of My Best Friends Are Jews by Robert Gessner.

1936: In Jerusalem, Yaakov Yehoshua, a member of long standing “Jerusalem family of Sephardi origin and  a scholar and author specializing in the history of Jerusalem and  Malka Rosilio, who immigrated from Morocco in 1932 gave birth to Abvraham B. Yehoshua known to the world as the renowned author A.B. Yehoshua.

1936: At a tea given in the Park Avenue home of Mrs. Clarence Y. Palitz “by members of the Women’s American ORT” Lord Marley, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, who was introduced by Mrs. Emily M. Rosenstein,said “the economic plight of Jews in Poland is growing progressively worse as the immigration of German Jews seeking escape from the Hitler regime continues”

1937: The Palestine Post reported that out of the three Arab constables ambushed by an Arab terrorist gang, two were "tried" and killed on the spot, while the third was released after he promised to report on the "trial" and undertook to leave the police force within the next three days. All three constables were robbed of all their belongings. A punitive fine of £500 was imposed on the Jureina quarter of Haifa, where Sheikh Khatib was murdered. Jewish and German Protestant residents were exempted.

1938: Tonight, in an address at “a banquet of the Cleveland Zionist Society” Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes “admonished wealth Jews to exercise extreme caution in the acquisition of their wealth and great scrupulousness in their social behavior” while also saying that “he felt that any American” like Henry Ford and Charles A. Lindbergh ‘who accepted a decoration from a dictator automatically foreswears his American birthright.”

1938: In France, Darius Paul Dassault (Darius Paul Bloch) was promoted from the rank of Corps General (général de corps d’armée) to the rank of Corps General (général de corps d’armée)

1939(7th of Tevet, 5700): Fifty-one American runner Alvah Meyer who “1914 he set a world record at 60 yards, and in 1915 he set a world record at 330 yards” and was “a Jewish member of the Irish American Athletic Club” passed away today.

1939: “Remember?” a comedy produced by Milton Bren and edited by Harold F. Kress was released today in the United States.

1939: The Nazi government officially gave Heydrich the responsibility for centralizing the implementation of his deportation plans.  This was one of the basic steps in creating the organization that would lead to the slaughter of European Jewry.  German efficiency and detailed planning was one of the hallmarks of the Final Solution.

1939: Three months after the German invasion of Poland, Chaim Weizmann meets with Winston Churchill who is now a member of the British Cabinet.  Weizmann thanks Churchill for his consistent support of the Zionist cause.  Churchill reiterates his support by agreeing that after the war he will support the Zionist “wish to have a State of some three or four million Jews in Palestine.” 

1940: Zygmund William “Bill” Birnbaum married Hilde Merzbach. The two had met in Seattle while both of them were involved in assisting Jewish refugees arriving from Europe.

1940: Birthdate of Phil Ochs, singer, songwriter and social activist.

1941: Adolf Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army. It is realties like this that put the lie to those who apologist who tried to separate the Whermacht from the Nazi death machine.

1942: After three weeks trapped in a synagogue by hostile Ukrainian troops, 42 Jewish men are marched to the Rakow Forest and ordered to dig ditches. They resist and are then shot. A few manage to escape. Later in the day, 560 more Jews are led from the synagogue to the forest and murdered.

1942: In Norway, new tenants moved into the home of the Isak Plesansky family who had already been shipped to Auschwitz.  Within three weeks the clothing of the Plesanksy family would be in the hands of the superintendent of the Berg Concentration Camp.  Needless to say, the heirs of the Plesansky family were never compensated for the loss after the war. 

1944(3rd of Tevet, 5705): Eighty three year old Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp passed away today.

1944: In New York City, Bernice (née Herstein) and Seymour Durst gave birth to real estate developer Douglas Durst, the President of the Durst Organization.

1944: Birthdate of Philadelphian Mitchell Feigenbaum, a mathematical physicist whose pioneering studies in chaos theory led to the discovery of the Feigenbaum constant. (Makes you wonder how many more Jewish boys named Mitchell were born in Philadelphia in December, 1944.)

1945: The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution on Palestine which had been approved by the U.S. Senate.

1945: In New York, Daniel Wildenstein and his wife, who had been forced to flee France after the Nazi occupation gave birth to “art deal and racehorse” aficionado Guy Wildenstein

1945: U.S. premiere of “Leave Her to Heaven” directed by John M. Stahl, with a screenplay by Jo Swerling and music by Alfred Newman.

1946: “The Return of Monte Cristo” the third in a series of films about the swashbuckler directed by Henry Levin was released in the United States today.

1946: Johan J. Smertenko, vice president of American League for a Free Palestine, is barred from England where he had planned to start British branch of organization. He says terrorism is justified.

1946: William B. Ziff declares that negotiation by Jewish Agency would be opposed by Palestinian underground groups. Revisionists say that Ziff had been expelled for breaches of party discipline.

1947: In an attempt to deal with the looming threat to its water supply, Jerusalem householders respond to a request by communal leaders to open and clean their cisterns “in preparation for water storage.”

1947: In New York City, premiere of “The Bishop’s Wife” a romantic comedy directed by Henry Koster, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with a script co-authored by Bill Wilder.

1948: During “Operation Velvetta” 12 more Spitfires were flown to Israel as part of the effort to create a modern air force in the heat of battle.

1950: As the Allies tried to integrate Germany back into the family nations and deal with the realities of the Cold War Foreign Ministers France, the UK and US declared at the end of their lengthy meetings “that among other measures to strengthen West Germany's position in the Cold War that the western allies would ‘end by legislation the state of war with Germany.’”

1951: Birthdate of Nikolay Mikhailovich Volkov, the Russian civil engineer who “is the former governor of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.”

1952: David Ben-Gurion’s government resigned due to a dispute with the religious parties over religious education.

1952: In the UK and USA, release date for “Hans Christian Andersen” produced by Samuel Goldwyn, directed by Charles Vidor, with a screenplay by Moss Hart and Ben Hecht and starring Danny Kaye. (So many Jews to immortalize a Dane – only in America)

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the resolution of the UN General Assembly's Political Committee urging direct Arab-Israeli peace negotiations was hindered by a sudden Philippine and Catholic Bloc countries' amendment demanding the implementation of all old UN resolutions, including the internationalization of Jerusalem. Israel complained to the US and Britain that they continue to arm the Arab states, despite their promise that there should be no arms race in the region.

1953: Two Unit 101 Squads led by Meir Harzion completed a night time attack during which they ambushed a car carrying Mansour Awad, “a Lebanese born doctor serving in the Arab Legion” who died during the attack.

1957: Aharon Remez, the second commander of the Israeli Air Force, resigned his seat in the Knesset.  He had been elected in 1955 as a member of Mapai and was followed in office by Amos Degani.

1957: “The Pride and The Passion” a big screen epic sent during the Napoleonic wars in Spain directed and produced by Stanley Kramer, co-starring Theodore Bikel as “General Jouvet” and with an opening title sequence designed by Saul Bass was released today in Sweden.

1961: U.S. premiere of “Judgment at Nuremberg” directed and produced by Stanley Kramer, with a script by Abby Mann and music by Ernest Gold, the native of Austria who moved to the U.S. after the Anschluss because his paternal grandfather was Jewish.

1961: Six days after its London premier, “The Young Ones” with music by Stanley Black and choreographed by Harold Ross was released across the United Kingdom.

1963: “Nobody Loves an Albatross” produced by Philip Rose, directed by Gene Saks and featuring Marian Winters as “Marge Weber” opened at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway.

1964: Twenty-one year old “film director, screenwriter and cinematographer” Peter Hyams, the grandson of impresario Sol Hurok and the stepson of “blacklisted conductor Arthur Lief” married George-Ann Spota whose children included director John Hyams.

1965(25th of Kislev, 5726): Chanukah

1967: Gertrude D.T. Schimmel was “promoted to Lieutenant” and “was assigned as Commanding Officer of the ‘Know Your Police Department’ program which was an information and community relations program for children.

1968(28th of Kislev, 5729): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1968: American Socialist Party leader and social critic Norman Thomas passed away. While he may have been a visionary liberal on many issues including the need to end racial segregation, his record regarding the Jews is more of a mixed bag.  During the 1930’s, Thomas actively opposed the United States entering World War II, a view that he changed after Pearl Harbor. Thomas campaigned…in favor of opening the United States to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in the 1930s. Thomas was also very critical of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Arabs in the postwar years (especially after the Suez Crisis) and often collaborated with the American Council for Judaism.

1968: MK Avraham Hirschson and his wife gave birth to their first son, Ofer.

1968: In Italy, premiere of “A Place for Lovers” produced by Arthur Cohn with music by Lee Konitz.

1969: After having first been released in France, “A Place for Lovers” produced by Arthur Cohn with music by Lee Konitz was released in Italy today by MGM.

1969(10th of Tevet, 5730): Asara B’Tevet

1969(10th of Tevet, 5730): Fifty-seven year old actress Sara Berner whose birth name was Lillian Herdan passed away today.

1969: During the War of Attrition, Israeli aircraft bombed “a group of Egyptian military bases about 30 kilometers from the Suez Canal.

1969:  Two pharmacists were killed in a bloody robbery. In 1974, Pierre Goldman, the illegitimate son of Jewish WW II Resistance Leader Alter Mojze Goldman, was given a life-sentence by the Paris cour d'assises, after being convicted of this crime. He denied having committed this robbery, although he admitted to three earlier robberies. He was finally acquitted of the murders that took place during the robbery, but condemned to twelve years in prison for the other three robberies

1971(1st of Tevet, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1971(1st of Tevet, 5732): James G. Heller an American composer and rabbi passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio. “James Gutheim Heller was born in New Orleans on January 4, 1892, to the famous Reform rabbi Maximilian H. Heller. He received an undergraduate degree from Tulane University, a graduate degree from the University Of Cincinnati College Conservatory Of Music, and was ordained a rabbi at Hebrew Union College. Heller was rabbi of Congregation Bene Yeshurun (Isaac M. Wise Temple) in Cincinnati from 1920-1952, and was involved with several organizations including the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Labor Zionist Organization of America, and the State of Israel Bonds Organization. He was an active Zionist, and introduced Youth Temple, which was designed to bring young individuals together for religious education. Heller was also a composer and musician who wrote program notes for the Cincinnati Symphony.”

1971: Stanley Kubrick's X-rated "A Clockwork Orange" premieres.

1972: “Across 110th Street” a crime film co-starring Yaphet Kotto was released in the United States today.

1973: “The Day of the Dolphin” a sci-fi thriller directed by Mike Nichols and produced by Joseph E. Levine was released in the United States today.

1975: Berlin born, American art dealer Frank Richard Perls who moved to the United States in 1937 underwent open-heart surgery today.

1977: The Jerusalem Post published details of Menachem Begin's peace plan which outlined a mutual Arab-Jewish right of settlement in Judea and Samaria and a united Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs were to enjoy "self-rule," their own administration and freedom to vote in Jordan. Israel was to retain full responsibility for internal and external security of the West Bank and Gaza, and recognized Egyptian sovereignty over all of Sinai. Israel was willing to consider, but not to initiate, a military defense pact with the US.

1979: “Being There” the film version of the novel of the same name by Holocaust survivor Jerzy Kosiński starring Peter Sellers, featuring Melvyn Douglas and Elya Baskin and with music by Johnny Mandel was released in the United States today.

1979: Newly minted Warrant Officer “Amy Sheridan earned her wings as an aviator for the US Army, making her the first American Jewish woman to gain aviator status in any branch of the Armed Services” (As reported by Jewish Woman’s Archives)

1979: Results of a comparison test of White Pekin Ducks published today it was reported that the Kosher Empire Duckling (frozen) had an “extremely mushy exterior, with skin broken in several areas.  It was poorly cleared with many pin feathers remaining.  The meat was very mush and flavorless. At $2.25 a pound it was by far the most expensive of the ducks in the test group. [Editor’s Note – as a consumer of Empire poultry, I can honestly say that this comes as a complete surprise.  In my experience, their products have always been first rate.

1980: In San Francisco, caterer Cindi (née Sussman) Sokoloff and podiatrist Howard Sokoloff gave birth to actress Marla Sokoloff.

1980: “Seems Like Old Times” a Neil Simon comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin and with music by Marvin Hamlisch was released in the United States today/

1981: Odessa refuseniks Yakov Mesh and Valery Pevzner, whose homes were recently searched by militia and books on Israel, Jewish culture and history as well as Hebrew textbooks were confiscated, were summoned to the local offices of the KGB, and told they will be put on trial.

1981: The Goldstein brothers, both of whom were refuseniks were kept from going go Moscow and were forcibly returned to Tbilisi.

1981(23rd of Kislev, 5742): MK Shabtai Daniel, born Shabtai Don-Yichye in 1909, passed away today.

1982: At Congregation Schomre Israel in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Rabbi Morris Bekritsky officiated at the marriage of Grett Evonne Singer and David Rapport Lachterman.

1982: Edward Rothstein reviewed the Carnegie debut of Israeli cellist Ofra Harnoy and the 92nd Street Y debut of pianist Sofia Cosma.

1984(25th of Kislev, 5745): First Day of Chanukah

1984: “The River” directed by Mark Rydell was released in the United States today.

1985: After opening in Australia in May, “Goodbye, New York” a comedy produced, directed, written by and starring Amos Kollek, the son of Teddy Kollek, was released today in the United States.

1986: U.S. premiere of “Little Shop of Horrors” directed by Frank Oz, produced by David Geffen, with a script by Howard Ashman and co-starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Green.

1987: As Congress tries to finish its business before adjourning for the holidays, the House holds a rare Saturday session which has made many members re-consider their travel plans including House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas who wonders if he will be able to make his scheduled Sunday evening flight for Tel Aviv.

1989: In Moscow, the Congress of Jewish Organizations and Communities in the U.S.S.R. continued for a second day.

1990: Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 18 Palestinians today during a strike to protest Israeli plans to expel four Arabs, residents said.

1991: Professor Avishair Margalist of the Hebrew University publishes a plan in the New York Review of Books suggesting a form of joint sovereignty whereby Jerusalem would be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian State.

1991:” Wagner, Israel -- and Herzl” published today

1992(24th of Kislev, 5753): Kindle the first candle of Chanukah in the evening.

1992(24th of Kislev, 5753): A Hamas terrorist kidnapped and murdered a policeman in Jerusalem.

1992(24th of Kislev, 5753): Eighty-five year old legal philosopher and Oxford professor H.L.A. Hart passed away

1993: The curtain came down on a revival production of “Conversation with My Father” by Herb Gardner featuring Judd Hirsch as “Eddie.”

1995: Roval Elimelech who lives in Kfar Saba, a suburban town north of Tel Aviv, found out that a new border had sprung up overnight not far from her doorstep. About a mile away, Palestinian policemen had moved into Qalqilya, a town on the West Bank's border with Israel, taking it over from Israeli soldiers who had withdrawn on Saturday night in keeping with an agreement signed in September on expanding Palestinian self-rule

1996(9th of Tevet, 5757: Sefton D. Temkin, an author and scholar of American Jewish history, passed away in his native Liverpool, England. He was 79 and a resident of Albany. Dr. Temkin, who was associate professor emeritus of Judaic studies at the university, was chairman of the department of Judaic studies in the 1970's and had continued his research at Albany since retiring a few years ago. Dr. Temkin was an expert on the life and work of Isaac Mayer Wise, who founded Reform Judaism in the United States in the nineteenth century and oversaw its spread across the country as the founder and longtime leader of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

1997(20th of Kislev, 5758): Physicist David Norman Schramm passed away at the age of 52. He had a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother.

1997: Release date for “Titanic” co-produced by Jon Landau

1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan completed her term as Prime Minister of Guyana.

1997: Janet Rosenberg Jagan began serving as President of Guyana.

1999(10th of Tevet, 5760): Last fast of the 20th century

1999(10th of Tevet, 5760): Seventy-three year old British physicist whose honors included the Faraday Medal and the Guthrie Medal passed away today.

1999: The New York Times book section includes a review of Mailer: A Biography by Mary V. Dearborn which tells “How a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn grew up to be you-know-who.”

2002: A revival of “Dinner at Eight,” a play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber opened at the Lincoln Center Theatre.

2004: The New York Times features a review of the paperback edition of American Music by Annie Leibovitz

2004(7th of Tevet, 5765): Herbert Brown passed away. He discovered organoboranes and received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1979. Brown was born Herbert Brovarnik in London to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. He moved to the United States at a young age and was educated at the University of Chicago, earning a B.S. and Ph.D. in 1936 and 1938, respectively. He became professor at Purdue University in 1947, a position he had held emeritus until his death.

2005: Having pulled out of Gaza, the Israeli government announced further measures to improve relations with the Palestinians. The IDF announced that Israel will ease access to Bethlehem during the upcoming Christmas celebrations in a "calculated risk" intended to let Christian pilgrims worship the holiday freely in the West Bank town. IDF Lt. Col. Aviv Feigel said pilgrims will not need permission from the army to enter the town, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. The military will try to speed the process by not checking every tourist bus, but conducting spot checks of random buses instead, he said. The Israelis are doing this despite the fact that half of the Israeli terror fatalities in 2004 came from attackers who entered Jerusalem from Bethlehem.

2006(28th of Kislev, 5767): The joy of Chanukah was marred as three yeshiva students belonging to the Lubavitch Hasidic sect were killed in a car accident on their way to light Hanukkah candles and distribute doughnuts for the holiday at Israel Defense Forces bases in the south of the country. Five other Lubavitchers traveling in the same vehicle were injured in the accident.

2007: Yonatan Dagan performs in his capacity as lead DJ of the J.Viewz proejcted, a ensenbmle that defies any clear musical classification at Jerusalem’s Yellow Submarine a venue for some of the most eclectic and innovative music styles available.

2007(10th of Tevet, 5768): Fast of the Tenth of Tevet

2007(10th of Tevet, 5768): Yarhtzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin)

2008: Temple Beth Rishon, in North West Bergen County, NJ, presents the Marvin Gastman Memorial Concert featuring "The Chanukah Story" sung by The Western Wind as part of its pre-Chanukah festivities.

2008: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the defense minister met at IDF headquarters in central Tel Aviv to approve Operation Cast Lead

2008:  Haaretz reported that a rare half shekel coin, first minted in 66 or 67 C.E., was discovered by 14 year-old Omri Ya'ari as volunteers sifted through mounds of dirt from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The coin is the first one found to originate from the Temple Mount.For the fourth year, archaeologists and volunteers have been sifting through dirt dug by the Waqf, the Muslim authority in charge of the Temple Mount compound, in an unauthorized project in 1999. The dig caused extensive and irreversible archaeological damage to the ancient layers of the mountain.

The Waqf transported the dug up dirt in trucks to another location, where it was taken to Emek Tzurim. 40,000 volunteers have so far participated in the sifting project, in search of archaeological artifacts, under the guidance of Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Yitzhak Zweig. The project is sponsored by Bar Ilan University and funded by the Ir David Foundation with the assistance of the National Parks Authority.  The half shekel coin was first minted during the Great Revolt against the Romans. The face of the coin is decorated with a branch of three pomegranates and ancient Hebrew letters reading "holy Jerusalem." On the flip side, the letters say "half shekel".  The coin that was found in the sifting project, though it was well preserved, showed some damage from a fire. Experts believe it was the same fire that destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Dr. Gabriel Barkay explained that "the half shekel coin was used to pay the temple taxes... The coins were apparently minted at Temple Mount itself by the Temple authorities."The half shekel tax is mentioned in the book of Exodus (Portion Ki Tisa), commanding every Jew to contribute half a shekel to the Temple every year for the purpose of purchasing public sacrifices. Dr. Barkay added that "this is the first time a coin minted at the Temple Mount itself has been found, and therein lies its immense importance, because similar coins have been found in the past in the Jerusalem area and in the Old City's Jewish quarter, as well as Masada, but they are extremely rare in Jerusalem."So far, some 3,500 ancient coins have been discovered in the Temple Mount dirt sifting, ranging from earliest minting of coins during the Persian era all the way up to the Ottoman era. An additional important archaeological discovery in the sifting project was another well preserved coin, minted between 175 and 163 B.C.E. by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, against whom the Hasmoneans revolted. This revolt brought about the re-dedication of the Temple after Antiochus seized the Temple's treasures and conducted idol worship in it. The coin depicts a portrait of Antiochus the Seleucid King.

2008: After serving since 2005, Allen Weinstein resigned today as Archivist of the United States after which he resumed his duties as a history professor at the University of Maryland in College Park.

2008(22nd of Kislev, 5769): Seventy-eight year old Carol Chomsky the noted linguist who was the wife of Noam Chomsky passed away today.

2009: Final performance of at Theater 3 of “Biography,” a play written by S.N. Behrman aka Samuel Nathaniel Behrman a native of  Worcester, Massachusetts, who was the third child of Joseph and Zelda Behrman, Jewish immigrants living on Worcester's East Side.

2009: (2 Tevet, 5770): Eighth Day of Chanukah

2009: Final night of the 5th Annual Sephardic Music Festival in New York.

2010:Shaloah Sunsets, a fund raiser for the Jewish Congregaton of Maui is scheduled to host a fund-raising event – Shaloah Sunsets- at the Four Seasons Resorts Waliea.

2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present “Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype” featuring Abe Foxman and Allan Chernoff.

2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of Digital Barabarism: A Writer’s Manifesto by Mark Helprin and Arthur Miller: 1915-1962 by Christopher Bigsby.

2010: The body of Kristine Luken, a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between was discovered around 6:30 a.m. today.  She was one of two women who were stabbed while were hiking in the wooded hills west of Jerusalem on Saturday.

2010: A crowd of approximately 200 people demonstrated outside the Silver Spring apartment of 34 year old Aharon Friedman demanding that he give his wife Tamar Epstein a “get.” The two have already received a civil divorce.  Friedman’s refusal to grant the “get” is reportedly tied to his dissatisfaction with the visitation rights granted by the courts.

2011: The third annual Latke Festival is scheduled to take place this evening, with attendees sampling the potato-pancake offerings of local restaurants like Kutsher’s Tribeca and Veselka and judges choosing the winning recipe.

2011: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC of Dutchess County/Upstate Film Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.

2011: Israel has offered to export natural gas to India, according to a report in today’s edition of the Indian daily Economic Times

2012: The Museum of Jewish Heritage is scheduled to present an evening with Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, author of A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish

2012: “No Man’s Land” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: The US prevented a UN Security Council condemnation of Israel today over a spate of settlement construction decisions, leading the other 14 countries on the 15-member council to issue separate condemnations of their own instead.

2012: Comedic actor Alan Alda is scheduled to discuss math and science with Steven Strogatz, author of  The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math from One to Infinity at the 92nd Street Y.

2012: Those who “sleep with rockets and amass large stockpiles of weapons” in southern Lebanon are “in a very unsafe place,” OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel said today.

2012(6th of Tevet, 5773): Leading figures from across the political spectrum closed ranks today in paying tribute to Israel’s 15th chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who died at age 68 at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem after a prolonged battle with leukemia.

2013: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres before going to the Yad Vashem where he will lay a wreath after which he will attend a luncheon hosted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

2013: In the central region, KKL-JNF foresters are scheduled to distribute Christmas trees in the
Cypress grove adjacent to the KKL-JNF offices in Givat Yishayahu

2013: The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner to one year in prison, after having convicted him of fraud, breach of trust, violation of proper management of Bank Hapoalim and illegal receipt of funds and loans, as part of a plea bargain agreement

2013: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on them during operations in the West Bank city of Qalqilya early this morning, the second such incident in several hours.(As reported by Lazar Berman)

2013: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to deny Iran the ability to produce nuclear weapons today, while meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang.”

2013; “The Draughtsman's Contract” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Festival.

2013: At the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, the curtain came down revival of Harold Pinters “Betryal” co-starring Rachel Weisz whose parents had been forced to flee Austria after the Nazis came to power.

2013(16th of Tevet 5774): Seventy-seven year old publisher Al Goldstein passed away today.(As reported by Andy Newman)

2014: In New Orleans Touro Synagogue is scheduled to sponsor its annual College Students Homecoming Lunch.

2014:”It was announced that Gina Gershon would guest star in Glee's sixth and final season as Pam, the mother of Blaine Anderson.”

2014: “The Big Trip” and “Samson and Delilah” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014: In Little Rock, AR, Chabad Lubavitch led by Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to host a Menorah Lighting ceremony complete with Latkes, Doughnuts and that warm holiday feeling that the Ciments have been bringing to the land of the Razorbacks for more than 2 decades.

2014: For the third time since the end of Operation Protective Edge “Palestinians in Gaza fired a Kassam rocket at an Israeli community in the Eshkol region near the Gaza Strip this morning.”

2014: “The Israel Air Force tonight struck Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip for the first time since the summer’s war.”

2014: Two weeks after having signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with the New Orleans Pelicans Gal Mekel was waived by the Pelicans today after appearing in just four games.

2015(7th of Tevet, 5776): Parashat Vayiggash

2015(7th of Tevet, 5776): Eighty-seven year old “Lord Greville Janner of Braunstone, the British Labour Member of Parliament and peer in the House of Lords” passed away today.

2015: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv’s Menora Mitvachim marking his first professional appearance in Israel.

2016: Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman and Israeli pianist Roman Rabinvoich are scheduled to perform with the Jupiter Chamber players at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church.

2016: Today’s issue of TIME has a cover picture of Person of the Year taken by Israeli photographer Nadav Kander.

2016: Today “on the Facebook invitation for a Hanukkah event at the University of Warsaw, Konrad Smuniewski inveighed against “Jew communists” and called Judaism a “criminal ideology” of “racism, xenophobia and hatred.”

2016(19th of Kislev): The "New Year" of Chassidism

2016: “The unemployment rate among Americans with college degrees was just 2.3 percent in November, a number that suggests employers are now competing for well-educated workers. Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, went to the University of Baltimore today to congratulate graduates on joining that fortunate group.”

2017(1st of Tevet, 5778): Seventh Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2017: The Maccabeats are scheduled to appear at a concert sponsored by Chabad of Larchmont and Mamaroneck at the Hampshire Country Club.

2017: The Washington Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host a screening of “Bang: The Bert Berns Story.”





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