Sunday, December 10, 2017

This Day, December 11, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


321: A letter from Emperor Constantine the Great regarding special taxes of this date provides the first evidence of Jews along the Rhine.

361: Emperor Julian, referred to as Julian the Apostate, entered Constantinople as the sole ruler of the Empire. The appellation was affixed to him because unlike his predecessors he did not embrace Christianity and was willing to see a return to previous pagan practices.  His “toleration” of other religions would be seen in 363, when, on his way to find the Persians, he announced that the Jews would be allowed to re-build their Temple.  The plan was thwarted by an earthquake in the Galilee and by his untimely death at the hands of an assassin.

1474: The Reign of Henry IV as King of Castile, during which “the condition of the Spanish Jews was one of comparative peace and comfort, came to an end today when he passed away at the age of 49.

1475: Birthdate of Pope Leo X.  To the Christian world, Leo was one of the Popes criticized by Luther for selling indulgencies and perpetuating other non-spiritual practices.  To others he was a patron of the arts and one of the Renaissance Popes.  In fact, Leo “fostered tolerance of Jewish learning as another aspect of the Renaissance cultural scene.”  During a dispute over the Talmud, Leo refused to have the Talmud burned.  Instead he had a Christian printer published the text in its entirety without censorship.  “Leo confirmed privileges accorded Jews in French papal territory despite protests from the local bishops.” He ended the wearing of Jew Badge in French papal territories and did not enforce the requirement in Italy.

1751: Birthdate of Christian Wilhelm von Dohm a friend of Moses Mendelssohn, “a staunch advocate for Jewish emancipation, who published On the Civil Improvement of the Jewish.

1758: Birthdate of German composer and music teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter whose students included Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny Mendelssohn and Gioaccomo Mayerber, an unlikely trio given their ethnic background and the conditions in Germany at that time.

1761(15th of Kislev, 5522): Moses L.I. zur Kahn, the son of Rabbi Lob Issak zur Kahn and the husband of Sara Wertheimer, who was the daughter of Samson Wertheimer and Frumet Brülle passed away today.

1762(25th of Kislev, 5523): Chanukah

1789: The University of North Carolina is chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly. The first Jewish student group, the Hebrew Culture Society, appeared on campus in 1912. Despite objections, the secretary of the YMCA, Frank Porter Graham, gave them meeting space in his building. In 1936, Jewish community leaders and students organized the Hillel Foundation, one of eleven across the nation. Jewish students began their own fraternities because the existing organizations excluded them. The first Jewish fraternity at Carolina was Tau Epsilon Phi, organized in 1924. By 1926, it had twenty-one members. Notable among them was Harry Schwartz, who starred on the football team, and Emanuel J. Evans, who competed on the track, basketball, and debate teams. Zeta Beta Tau appeared on campus in 1928. In 1951, Evans was elected mayor of nearby Durham, the first Jew to hold that office in North Carolina. Carolina students in 1958 elected their first Jewish student body president, Eli Evans of Durham, whose father had attended the university during the 1920s. Evans published a memoir, The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South, in 1973. According to recent figures 1,000 of Carolina’s 16,000 undergrads are Jewish and 200 of the 10,000 graduate students are Jewish.  The school offers approximately 30 Jewish studies courses including a minor in Jewish studies.  From a personal point of view, the school’s greatest claim to fame is that Larry Rosenstein, of blessed memory met Judy Levin, of blessed memory while they were both attending Carolina.  They married and produced three sons all of whom are proud Tar Heels.

1803: According to the JCR-UK Jewish Communities & Records, birthdate of Nathan Marcus Adler, who served as Chief Rabbi from 1845 to 1890.  (The Jewish Encyclopedia shows January 15, 1803 as the birthdate)

1807: In Bremerhaven, Marcus and Henritte Hertz Schwabe gave birth to Johanna Schwabe who married David Mortiz Goldschmidt who gained fame as Johanna Goldschmidt the leader in the fight for women’s right who was the mother of Otto Goldschmidt and the mother-in-law of famed singer Jenny Lind.

1809: Birthdate of Theodore Griesinger, a German clergyman, author and leading anti-Semite.

1813: In the Netherlands coronation of King William I who “began to regulate the Jewish community's internal affairs, by effectively disbanding the Netherlands kehilla, instituting compulsory secular education for Jewish children and waging “a determined battle against Yiddish, which resulted in the Jews' widespread adoption of Dutch.” The efforts of the government were aided by those of the Dutch maskilim, who were of course in favor of integration. (Jewish Virtual Library)

1816: Indiana became the 19th state to join the Union. “In Indiana, towards the end of the 1840’s, there were small organized communities in Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Evansville.  The first congregation was organized in Indianapolis in 1856.” During the Civil War, over five hundred Jewish Hoosiers fought for the Union.

1817: Sixty five heads of families joined The New Israelite Temple Society (Neuer Israelitischer Tempelverein in Hamburg) which was founded today.

1826: Birthdate of William Henry Waddington, the future Prime Minister of France, who as Foreign Minister provided Laurence Oliphant with a letter of recommendation he could take to the Sultan to further his plan to settle  large numbers of Jews in Palestine.

1828: Birthdate of George Lewis Lyon, the native of Portsea, England who served as the secretary of the Portsmouth Hebrew Benevolent Institution and then moved to London where he “secretary of the Jews' and General Literary and Scientific Institution.”

1830(25th of Kislev, 5591): Chanukah

1833: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Cohen officiated at the wedding of Ziporah Cohen and Joseph Soria of New York City.

1835: Birthdate of Adolf Stoecker, the Lutheran theologian and Court Chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm II who became an outspoken leader of the anti-Semitic movement in Germany.

1838:  Birthdate of Emil Rathenau.  A German industrialist, Rathenau was cofounder of the German Edison Company which later became the electrical and telephone giant AEG.  He was the father of Walter Rathenau, the famous German statesman from the World War I era.

1839: Alexander Solomon married Alice Barnett at the Great Synagogue today.

1840: In Charleston, SC, Esther G. Barrett Poznanski and Reform Rabbi Gustavus Poznanski, Sr. gave birth to Isaac B. Poznanski the violinist and composer and brother of Joseph, Sarah and Gustavus Poznanski, Jr. who died while serving as a private on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War.

1843: In Furth, Bavaria, Mina Gerstle and Anton Pickert gave birth to Lehman Pickert, the husband of Bertha Kaufman, who came to the United States in 1858 where he first settled in Cincinnati before finally settling in Boston in 1875.

1854: A Jew named Rosenthal was arrested in Louisville, KY today on charges that he had obtained goods valued at $60,000 under false pretenses while in Philadelphia, PA. He left for Philadelphia today in the custody of law officer who had been dispatched from the City of Brotherly Love.

1856: Joseph Cohen married Catherine Joseph at the Great Synagogue today.

1860: Birthdate of Louis Ostheim, the Philadelphia native and son of Philip Ostheim who was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy in 1878.

1861: “Jewish Chaplains” published today reported that Rabbi Arnold Fischel, of New York, “had an interview today with the President, to urge the appointment of Jewish Chaplains for every military Department, they being excluded by an act of Congress from the volunteer regiments, among whom there are thousands of Israelites. In the meantime the Doctor will take charge of the spiritual welfare of the Jewish soldiers on the Potomac. The President assured him that the subject will receive his earnest attention, and expressed the opinion that this exclusion was altogether unintentional on the part of Congress.”

1861: In his own words, Rabbi Arnold Fischel “called this morning at ten o’clock at the White House where hundreds of people were anxiously waiting for admission, some of whom told me that they had been for three days awaiting their turn. I was, nevertheless, at once invited to his room and was received with marked courtesy. After having read the letter of the Board and delivered to him several letters of introduction, he questioned me on various matters connected with this subject and then told me that he fully admitted the justice of my remarks, that he believed the exclusion of Jewish chaplains to have been altogether unintentional on the part of Congress, and agreed that something ought to be done to meet this case. I suggested that he might do for the Jewish what he had done for the Christian volunteers and take upon himself the responsibility of appointing Jewish chaplains for the Hospitals. He replied that he had done that at a time when Congress was not in session deeming the subject to require immediate attention, but that after the Meeting of Congress he would not be justified in taking the responsibility upon himself. Finally, he told me that it was the first time this subject had been brought under his notice, that it was altogether new to him, that he would take the subject into serious consideration, that I should call again tomorrow morning and if he has five minutes to spare he would receive me and let me know his views. I thanked him for his kind reception, and expressed to him my best wishes for his welfare. In the course of my remarks, I gave him clearly to understand that I came to him not as an office seeker but to contend for the principle of religious liberty, for the constitutional rights of the Jewish Community and for the welfare of the Jewish volunteers, which he seemed fully to appreciate.”

1861: Levy Duis married Phoebe Neuberger today in Amsterdam, Holland.

1862: Union troops including the 59th New York Volunteer Regiment which had been formed by Lt. Colonel Phillip J. Joachimsen began crossing the Rappahannock River at the start of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the military disaster led by General Ambrose Burnside.

1866(3rd of Tevet, 5627): Hirsch Kolisch, the philanthropist from Nikolsburg who established a school for deaf-mutes passed away today in Vienna.

1872: Philadelphia native Myer Asch who was taken prisoner while fighting with his cavalry unit “in front of Richmond” and was “brevetted Major of United States Volunteers” was elected for a third time to serve as Senior Commander of the George G. Meade Post Number 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic today.

1875: Birthdate of religious leader Yehuda Leib Maimon who served as an Israeli cabinet minister

1875: Edward Levy, who had assumed by Royal license of Lawson in addition to and after Levy making him Edward Levy-Lawson, today legally changed the name of his to Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson

1875: According to today’s issue of the British Medical Journal, The Jews’ Deaf and Dumb Home which “was founded in 1863 by Baroness Mayer de Rothschild as a school where resident Jewish children could learn to speak” has been moved from its original location in White Chapel to Walmer Road, Notting hill.

1876: It was reported today Boston police have arrested several notorious female shoplifters included a Lena Nugent a Jewess known as “Black Lena.”  Nugent and one of her accomplices, an English woman named Tilly Miller are wanted by authorities in Brooklyn, NY on charges of shoplifting and jail breaking.

1876(25th of Kislev, 5637): First day of Chanukah

1876: The Hebrew Charity Ball is scheduled to take place tonight at the Academy of Music in New York City.  The Executive Committee responsible for this fundraising activity includes H.S. Allen, Henry Rice, J.F Bamberger, L.S. Levy, M.H. Moses, S.B. Solomon, C.C. Allen, Joseph Koch and J.S. Isaacs.

1880: Birthdate of Berlin born “theater critic, author and co-founder of the Jüdischer Kulturbund” Julius Bab who fled the Nazis and finally settled in New York City in 1940.

1880: A fair that will raise funds for the Ladies’ Lying in Relief Society and the Forty-fourth Street Synagogue is scheduled to open at the Metropolitan Concert Hall in New York City.

1881: In Poland, Jacobi Bornstein, the son of Aron and Sara Bornstein, and his wife Tehelka Bornstein gave birth to Elise Besser

1882: “Literary Notes” published today contains a brief review of Jews of Barnow by Karl Emil Franzos. “This collection of Jewish stories” based on life in Eastern Galicia  “is certainly one of the most valuable contributions made during this century”  in helping us to understand the customs of Polish and Russian Jews.

1882: It was reported today that several ministers in New York have spoken out on the subject of the Sunday Closing Laws. Reverend Charles H. Eaton spoke of the need to remember the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law. “The Jew who closed his store on Saturday kept his Sabbath according to his conscience and it would be wrong to compel him by force to change the Sabbath of his faith. (Strangely enough, this comes at a time when leaders of the Reform movement were trying to substitute Sunday services for the traditional Shabbat Saturday morning service.)

1882: A fire in Kingston destroys Spanish and Portuguese and Ashkenasic synagogues along with many other buildings

1882: In Bresalu, Gretchen Kauffmann and Gustav Jacob Born gave birth to Max Born, pioneer in the field of quantum mechanics.  The German born physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1954, with Walther Bothe of Germany, for his statistical formulation of the behavior of subatomic particles. His studies of the wave function led to the replacement of the original quantum theory, which regarded electrons as particles, with a mathematical description He also won the Max Blanc Medal and the Hughes Medal. He passed away in 1970. Born was a Jew who converted to the Lutheran faith in 1914.

1882:  Birthdate of Fiorello H. La Guardia, Republican Congressman and three term mayor of New York City.  The flamboyant reformer had a Jewish mother and an Italian father. At one point in his career, the Democrats ran a Jewish candidate against La Guardia.  According to legend which may be fact, La Guardia countered by insisting on debating his opponent in Yiddish.  While the “Little Flower” was conversant in the tongue of Eastern European Jewry, his opponent had to beg off since he wasn’t.

1884: In New York, the Sixth Precinct Station House was filled with a variety of clothing, haberdashery and furnishings that had been taken from the house of Marx Cohen a Jew is, “an alleged receiver of stolen goods.”

1885: “Victoria’s Fifty Years of Reign” published today says that if the celebration of the British Monarch’s time on the throne is to be “a Jubilee” it should follow the pattern of the Jubilee described in Leviticus.  Based on the words of the ancient Israelites the celebration should be a year-long affair that should actually begin with the 49th year of her ascension to the throne. (Another example of the indirect impact that Jewish culture has had on the world)

1886: Birthdate of Nice native Marcel Lattès the French movie composer who was murdered at Aushwitz.

1887(25th of Kislev, 5648): Chanukah

1887: In St. Louis, MO, Caroline and Joseph Lazarus Kranson gave birth to Willie Lewis Kranson

1887: Judge M.S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association in New York City.

1888: Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler officiated at the wedding of Miss Fannie Foster, the daughter of Myer Foster and Jonas F. Emanuel in New York City.

1888: This evening, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler officiated at the wedding of Miss Ophelia V. Herman daughter of Simon Herman and Leon Sonneborn.

1889: It was reported today that the actor M.B. Curtis will be appearing a newly written and as yet unnamed comedy in which he will a Jewish matchmaker who marries one of his clients when he is unable to find her a match.  (Curtis is no stranger to playing Jewish roles since he began his career playing a Polish immigrant traveling salesman in “Sam’l of Posen. As reported by Harley Erdman)

1890(29th of Kislev, 5651): Fifth Day of Chanukah

1890: According to reports published today a committee has been organized to convey the views of several prominent Englishmen including Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Argyle, the Duke of Westminster and Lord Ripon concerning the treatment of the Jews to the Czar. They declare “that the renewed sufferings of the Jews in Russia from the operation of the sever and exceptional edicts against them and the disabilities placed upon them are deeply to be deplored and that in this last decade of the 19th century religious liberty is a principle which should be recognized by every Christian community as among natural rights.”

1890: Among those who arrived at the Barge Office aboard the SS Noordland today were three Russian Jews, Moses Winterstein,  his “18 year old wife and 22 year old daughter” who were destitute be who claimed that any of Winterstein’s other three children who were already in this country would vouch for them.

1890: “Russian Anti-Jewish Laws” published described new anti-Jewish laws that will be promulgated in 1891 including the extension of provisions already in place in Poland that prohibit the selling, leasing or mortgaging to Jews of any real estate in any part of the empire and that dispossess the Jews of any real estate they may already hold.

1890: Simon Ascher who employed Maximillian as “a confidential clerk” said that that Maximillian Lasker probably committed suicide because of “overwork.”

1890(29th of Kislev, 5651): Sixty-one year old Henry Nordlinger, the native of Wurtemberg who came to New York about 40 years ago where founded the importing firm of Henry Nordlinger & Co. along with his brother J.D. Nordlinger died suddenly while along Chambers Street.  He was a supporter and/or member of the Harmonie Club, Temple Emanu-El the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Hebrew Technical Institute, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, Mt Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home, the United Hebrew Charities and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children.

1892: Members of the Hebrew Free School Association elect officersed at the annual meeting this morning after discussing Jacob H. Schiff’s plan for “consolidating all the branches of the Hebrew educational system in the Educational Alliance.”

1892:  Birthdate of Leo Ornstein.  Born in Russia, the son of a Cantor, this composer’s early works showed the influence of Jewish liturgical music as well as the influence of Armenian chants.

1892: Reports published today claimed that embezzler Louis Weinschenk, the prominent member of the Chicago business and Jewish communities has fled to New Orleans as he tries to make his way to Mexico City where he hopes to avoid the consequences of his “extravagant living.”

1892: Four hundred people had signed up for the new singing classes at the Hebrew Institute at Jefferson and Broadway organized by Frank Damrosch.

1892: It was reported today that a meeting of the Conservative members of the Reichstag turned “itself into a frenzy of Jew-baiting zeal” where “too much Judaism” was blamed for the lack of success of people living in rural areas.

1892: It was reported that approximately “1,500 people mostly wealth and all well-educated and refined” will be affected by the new royal decree calling for the immediate of Jews from Moscow unless they agree to be baptized in the Orthodox Church.

1892: It was reported today “that the Russians will do their best to foment the anti-Semitic outcry in Paris” in retaliation for the refusal of the Rothschilds to take up a new loan desired by” Minster of Finance Sergei White.

1892: It was reported today that “the anti-Semitic propaganda in Austria has received fresh energy” as can be seen by “a mass meeting recently held at the Vienna Town Hall” where Prince Alois Lichtenstein advised a crowd that included 2,000 working people “to boycott Jewish tradesmen.”

1892: It was reported today that “Sarah Bernhardt me with a cool reception in Moscow because she is a Jewess” and that season-seat holders offered their tickets for her series at any price.

1893: “The Proposed Tax On Bourse Transactions Approved by the Masses” published today described the willingness of the Reichstag to pass new, increased taxes on Bourse transactions because most people are not affected by them and because those who will suffer the greatest loss will be “the Jews who dominate the Frankfort and Berlin Bourses.”

1893: “Enemies of Judaism” published today provided Rabbi Gustav Gottheil view that the two greatest threats to the survival of the Jewish people came from missionaries who “desired to close the doors of the synagogue and make it a church” and “Jews who have reached a lofty position” and say that “this religion might been all right once, but it is not now.”

1894: “The body of Abraham Keyser, a retired grocer, was found in the Hutchinson River, near Pelham Bay Park in Westchester County” New York today.

1895: The attendance at the today’s session of the Hebrew Fair “was much larger than on the previous day” and the receipts collected almost eclipsed the total collected on the opening night of the event being held at Madison Square Garden.

1898(27th of Kislev, 5659): Third Day of Chanukah

1898(27th of Kislev, 5659): Seventy-nine year old Max Grünbaum, a German orientalist who specialized in Ladino and Yiddish literature passed away today in Munich.

1898: During the winter social season, Baron Hirsch leads hunting parties at his estate in Norfolk.

1899: The crisis between the Neue Freie Presse and Herzl comes to an end. Herzl is paid the highest salary at the "Neue Freie Presse" and is given the exclusive editorship of the entire literary section.

1899: In Denver, the first patient, “a Protestant Swedish woman from Minnesota,” entered the National Jewish Hospital for Treatment of Consumptives one day after it had opened.

1899: In Charleston, SC, Etta Goodman married Jacob J. Goldstein of New York City.

1903: It was reported today that Baron Arthur de Rothschild, who had died while visiting Monte Carlo was a Parisian residing at Cornay-la-Ville, Department of Seine-et-Oise, France.

1903: Herzl asks for an interview with the Austrian Foreign Minister Agenor Goluchowsky. He writes to Wenzel von Plehve and repeats his request that the Russian ambassador in Constantinople be directed to give his support to the Zionist demands. He also pursues his efforts to open a branch of the Jewish Colonial Trust in St. Petersburg.

1904: In Hanover, Germany Rahel and Philipp Nussbaum gave birth to “surrealist painter” Felix Nussbaum. Unfortunately, being the son of a German patriot and a veteran of the Kaiser’s WW I Army did not save Felix from death at Auschwitz

1905: Birthdate of award winning Anglo-Jewish author Robert David Quixano Henriques

1905: Establishment today of Russkoye Znamya, a newspaper “notoriously known for its anti-Semitic bias which was the organ of the Union of the Russian People

1905: Workers in Kiev rise in revolt and issue a manifesto that among other things calls for “national emancipation of …Jews” and “the immediate end to the Jewish pogroms, which embarrasses our people.”

1905: Today, “at Ellis Island…500 Russian refugees” including “Jews…who had hidden in the darkest corners of Odessa to escape certain persecution or probable death” “told the United States immigration officials” “of the horrors they had seen and declared that the conditions were so terrible that no news dispatch could have possibly exaggerated the actual situation.”

1905: Representative Sulzer introduced a resolution in Congress today condemning and deploring “the cruel outrages, the unspeakable brutalities, and the unwarranted and wholesale assassinations of Russia’ Jewish citizens” and calling for an immediate end to them.

1905: “The reports of the terrible conditions prevailing in the Czar’s domain and the frightful massacres of the Jews by the mobs” were all verified today by the five hundred Russian Jewish immigrants who arrived in New York yesterday.

1905: It was reported today that in response to a request for “small change contributions” in one evening the Janitors’ Society, most of whose members lived on the Lower East Side, raised $150 to provide relief for the Jews trying to survive during the current wave of massacres in Russia.

1906: Two hundred and twenty-five retail kosher meat butchers went on strike because of the increase in the price of beef. There were more meat riots tonight in the Brownsville district of Brooklyn and several butcher shops were destroyed. Additional police had to be called out to deal with the mob.

1907: Birthdate of Berlin born lawyer Axel Rosin who came to the United States when the Nazis rose to power where he married Katharine Scherman, rose to the presidency of the Book-of-the-Month Club and became head of the Scherman Foundation.

1908: Birthdate of Ruth Weiss, the native of Vienna who moved to China where she witnessed World War II, the end of Chiang Kai-Shek, the rise of Mao Zedong and the Communist takeover.

1908: In New York, Paula (née Schoenberger) Eilers, who was Jewish and her husband Hio Peter Eilers who was Irish gave birth to actress Sally Eilers.

1909(27th of Kislev, 5670): Ludwig Mond, German-born, British chemist and industrialist who was the founder of Mond Nickel Company, the husband of Frida Lowenthal and the father of Robert and Alfred Mond passed away today.

1909: At the Reichstag, a debate on the budget gave way to a discussion of a speech Ambassador Bernstorff had delivered in Philadelphia which was attacked by Herr Zimmerman, of the Anti-Semites, who expressed displeasure at disparaging remarks about the Pan-German movement.

1912(1st of Tevet): Seventh Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet observed for the last time during the Presidency of William Howard Taft, the only person to serve as President of the United States and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1912: In San Francisco, founding of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1913: Two days after he passed away Franco-Jewish composer and pianist Elie-Miriam Delaborde “was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery today.

1914: Hahambashi Nahum calls upon the Ottoman government in Palestine to protect the Jews in the face of an anti-foreign movement.

1915: After having been notified today by “Russian military authorities that he must present himself at once for” military training, pianist Aaron Kaufman and 10 other men left for America via Siberia after having gone home and discussed the matter with his wife Etta who urged him to flee, packed his bags and slipped their live savings into his pocket while he was kissing his son Joseph good-bye.

1915: It was reported today that violinist Mischa Elman played a concert “for the benefit of the Jewish sufferers from the war” which raised “a considerable sum” thanks to “the sale of lowers, programs and souvenirs.”

1916: The St. Louis branch of “the Women’s Proclamation Committee, the national women’s organization for Jewish war relief of which Mrs. Samuel Elkeles is President” held a bazaar today which enabled them to send the national committee “a draft for $1,000.”

1916: While the Senate was debating an immigration bill “which specifically barred Japanese immigration” Senator Gallinger asked whether this could lead to Jews being barred from immigrating to the United States, Senator Reed said, “The Jews by race and by blood have been civilized for thousands of years.  They spring from the race that gave us our religion and the fundamentals of our laws….It is plain that we should make an effort to protect our citizenship of undesirables and keep out all not capable of thorough amalgamation.”  (Editor’s Note – In fact future immigration bills would effectively bar most Jews from coming to the United States.)

1917(26th of Kislev): Second Day of Chanukah

1917: Mrs. Hannah Solomon and Mrs. Israel Cowan are scheduled to speak today at “the third regular meeting of the K.A.M. Auxiliary” which meets in “the vestry rooms of the Temple.”

1917: British troops under General Allenby make their way into Jerusalem, defeating the Ottoman Turks and liberating Judea. The whole city turned out to greet the General, as did the Chief Sephardic and Ashkenazi Rabbis. The Jaffa Gate was opened after years of disuse to enable Allenby to enter on foot and also to enable him to enter into the city without making use of the gap in wall created for Kaiser William in 1898.

1917: Henry Morgenthau wrote today, “The fall of Jerusalem…is surely an event of the greatest significance to us all” and that “for the whole civilized world the 10th of December, 1917, will be remembered as a day of profound historical interest, and, I hope also of large meaning for the future.”

1917: Corporal Louis Isaac Salek, a Gallipoli veteran from New Zealand, flew the first Jewish flag ever to fly over Jerusalem since the city’s fall to the Romans 2000+ years ago.” The flag was made by an Egyptian-Jewish department store owner named Moreno Cicurel with the assistance of a tailor from Alexandria named Eliezer Slutzkin. Unlike Israel’s present flag, Salek’s version was blue and white, the top half blue, the bottom half white with a Magen David in the center, but within the triangles there were rounded edges. Salek planted Moreno’s flag “atop the Tower of David - the Citadel - where it flew for 20 minutes before being removed by the British who had just conquered Palestine from the Turks.”

1917: On the second day of Chanukah, the Atlanta Constitution headline read, "Jerusalem Falls into the Hands of British Troops; Jerusalem Is Freed from Turk after Virtually we Centuries - British Capture the Holy City.

1917: “Although the campaign for the five million fund for Jew war relief and welfare work in the army and navy brought in $266,700” today “with a total of $2,866,000” having been raised today, the leadership was not satisfied because even with the promise of anonymous donation of one million dollars the drive will have to take in over $400,000 a day and currently the average daily collection has been a little under $300,000.

1917: The Times of London “says it understands” that “no attempt will be made to define the future position of Jerusalem until a general peace comes” and that the in the meantime the city wll be treated as in British military occupation and will be under martial law.”

1917: “A committee of the American Union of Rumanian Jews” including Dr. P.A. Siegelstein, the President, Leo Wolfson, Counselor Abraham L. Kalman, Executive Secretary Edward Herbert, Philadelphians Dr. M.Y. Belder and A.B. Goldenberg and Washingtonian Reuben Fink met with President Wilson today “and asked him to use his good offices with the present Rumanian Government to obtain civil rights for the Rumanian Jews.”

1917: “A Hanukah musicale and dance” is scheduled to “be given in Earl Hall” today “by the Council of Jewish Societies of Columbia” University in New York City.

1917: On the same day that it reported on the fall of Jerusalem to the British, the Atlanta Constitution carried a story entitled "Jerusalem's Fall Brings Happiness to Atlanta Father" which told of how Abraham Amato now believes that "he will be able to bring his wife and children" who are living to Jerusalem to the United States.  Amatao was a Sephardic Jew born on the isle of Rhodes, who had lived in Jerusalem before coming to Atlanta.

1918: “Felix M. Warburg, the Chairman of the Campaign Committee for the Jewish Relief drive” which has a goal of raising five million dollars “announced tonight that that the close of the day, $2,203,300 had been raised.”

1919: “Andrew Bonar Law, the spokesman for the Government, announced in the House of Commons today that dispatches had been received corroborating a report that Cossacks and a volunteer corps had carried out a pogrom in which several hundred Jews were killed in the suburb of Podol when the Bolsheviki evacuated Kiev” in October.

1920: Birthdate of Austrian born American violinist Eric Rosenblith.

1920: Birthdate of Frank Blaichman (Ephraim Blaichman), the native Kamionka, Poland who fought to save Jews during WW II and was the leader of at least one group of partisans.

 1921: The Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee met today.

1922: This evening a dinner in honor of the national president and officers of the Council of Jewish Women is scheduled to held at the Standard Club as part of National Council Day when President Rose Brenner of Brooklyn addressed an afternoon meeting at the Sinai Social Center.

1922: “Professor Owen R. Lovejoy of New York” is scheduled to speak on “The Child and Progress: A Study in Modern Civilization” this evening at Temple Sinai in Chicago.

1922: In the Bronx, Isaac and Manya Ridnyik Goodside gave birth to Grace Goodside who gained fame as   Grace Paley, author, feminist and "somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist,” She has written three highly acclaimed collections of short fiction including Later the Same Day (1985) and Enormous changes at the Last Minute (1974), as well as three poetry collections. She contributes fiction to many prominent periodicals. She has taught at City College of New York as writer-in residence, as well as at Sarah Lawrence College. Raised in a socialist family by parents who had been arrested by the Russian czarist regime, Paley's progressive stances and concern for the underdog often emerge in her writing. Her political activism as an adult began with her work with the PTA at her children's school. She has been and remains actively involved in anti-war, anti-nuclear and feminist movements. Her more controversial activities include a visit to North Vietnam in 1969 and her role in co-founding the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation of the Left Bank and Gaza in 1987. Paley has been the recipient of many grants and awards including a Senior Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of her life-time contribution to literature in 1987. In 1986, Governor Mario Cuomo named Paley as the first official New York State Writer.

1923: Birthdate of pianist Menahem Pressler. A native of German, he immigrated to Palestine in 1939 before finally settling in the United States where, among other accomplishments, he help to found the Beaux Arts Trio.

1925: Birthdate of Paul Greengard. Greengard is American neurologist who was awarded a share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Arvid Carlsson of Sweden and Austrian-American Eric R. Kandel) for their discoveries concerning how drugs affect the brain and recognizing drug addiction as a brain disease. Greengard traced the biochemical reactions that occur in nerve cells in response to neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Abused stimulants, such as methamphetamine, alter nerve cells' exposure or reactions to neurotransmitters, which produce feelings of pleasure and leads to addiction. Greengard's continuing research on how cocaine and amphetamine change neurotransmitter function may make possible medications to prevent or treat the addictive effect.

1928: Joseph C. Hyman, the secretary of the Joint Distribution Committee who has just returned to New York this week from a trip to Berlin and Moscow said today “help must be obtained in America if the relief societies for Jews in Russian cities and towns are to remain active.”

1928: One thousand men and women who had paid “$100 a couple for their seats” for a dinner at the Hotel Astor tonight heard Mayor Jimmy Walker “praise the public spirited work of the Jews in New York” who have supported “the Bronx Home of the Daughters of Jacob” which provides care for the destitute aged.”

1929: In the Bronx, Irving Sperling, a Broadway ticket broker and Peggy Sperling, a milliner, gave birth to Donald Seymour Engel “a lawyer who helped pop stars like Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer and the Dixie Chicks wrest greater control of their careers from their record companies.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1931 In Camden, NJ, Rabbi Grayzel was the guest services at Friday night services during which Congregation Bethel continued the celebration of its “tenth anniversary.”

1931: In Providence, Rhode Island Madeline (Talamo) and David Dworkin gave birth to legal scholar and philosopher Ronald Dworkin.

1933: Following the death of the incumbent mayor, the city council named Sam Frank as Mayor of Reno, Nevada, a position held for two years while also serving as the manager of the Reno Municipal Airport. Frank was the first Jew to serve as Mayor.

1933: In Providence, Rhode Island, Madeline and David Dworkin gave birth to Ronald Dworkin, the legal scholar and philosopher of Jurisprudence.

1933: “Counsellor-At-Law” a film about poor Jew from the East Side who became a successful lawyer directed by William Wyler, produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. and with a screenplay by Elmer Rice was released today in the United States.

1933: Birthdate of Louis Lentin, the Irish “theatre, film and television director’ who was the husband of Ronit Lentin, a Sabra who moved to Ireland in 1969.

1936(27th of Kislev, 5697): Third Day of Chanukah

1936: “Pagliacci” a film adaptation of the opera produced by Max Schach, starring Richard Tauber with music by Hanns Eisler was released today in the United Kingdom

1936: “The annual ‘Who’s Who” issue of The American Hebrew published today listed 299 Jews and six non-Jews who had distinguished themselves for their efforts toward better understanding between Christians and Jews for citation including Supreme Court Justice William T. Collins, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Albert Einstein, civic leader Harry F. Guggenheim, producer Max Gordon, Governor Herbert H. Lehman, actor Paul Muni, actress Alla Nazimova, clubwoman Mrs. William Dick Sporborg, philanthropist Felix M. Warburg and author Edna Ferber.

1936: In a statement issued today, “the New York Board of Jewish Ministers…urged the support of the people of all faiths in a campaign now being carried on to aid oppressed Christian exiles from Germany.”

1937: At Yeshiva College, Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan speaks at the opening session of a two-day national conference of Jewish organizations which is attended by more than 600 delegates.  Dr. Bernard Revel, President of Yeshiva College also addresses the delegates.

1938: In West Vancouver, British Columbia Ethel (nee Frankel) and Sol Horowitz gave birth to Michael Horowitz who has the dubious distinction of being “a former lose associate of Timothy Leary” and is the father of Winona Ryder and Uri Horowitz.

1939: All Jews living within General Government of Germany were held liable for two years of forced labor.

1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.  This has to rate as one of the topic strategic blunders in history.  Under the terms of the Axis treaty, the Germans did not have to declare war on the United States.  But Hitler was so “angry” with the United States and so convinced of his own invincibility that he blundered into war with America. If it had not been for Hitler’s hubris, the United States would have found itself fighting only Japan. 

1941: A Jewish ghetto is established at Lutsk, Ukraine.

1941: Over the next two days, more than 14,000 Jews are murdered by Einsatzkommandos in Simferopol, Ukraine.

1942: In Paris, Etienne began a multi-day auction of “the George Via Impressionists” which was attended by Nazi occupation officials who were in the business of confiscating art, much of it owned by Jews, for collections in the Reich.

1942: Jewish inmates of a labor camp at Lutsk, Ukraine, are informed by a Christian woman that the camp is about to be liquidated. The Jews quickly planned a revolt.

1943(14th of Kislev, 5704): Thirty-nine year old Ricardo Reuven Pacifici, the Italian Rabbi who refused to desert the Jews of Genoa was murdered at Auschwitz today after betrayal led to his capture by the Nazis.

1944(25th of Kislev, 5705): Chanukah

1944: As Jews kindle the candle for the second night of Chanukah, the 1,361 Jews aboard the Kasztner transport found refuge in Caux, Switzerland.  For more see Gaylen Ross’

1944: Yehuda Amital, the Romanian born rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Minister without Portfolio, arrived in Palestine after having survived a Nazi concentration camp.

1944: The surviving 2,000 Jews of Monowitz, also known as Auschwitz III, lit candles on Chanukah in remembrance of the 12,000 who perished.

1945: The Palestinian Arab Council (Higher Committee) announces opposition to the Anglo-American inquiry into Palestine. Arab League has offered cooperation.

1946: Dr. Emanuel Neumann, vice president of Zionist Organization of America says Jews of Palestine will have to rely on U.S. and armed strength since they cannot rely on the British.

1947: “Ten Jews were killed when their convoy, carrying food and water to the Etzion Bloc settlements, was ambushed just south of Bethlehem.”

1947: The British government announces its intention to terminate its responsibility under mandate on May 15, 1948.

1947: Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones of Britain appeals to UN to speed up its partition plans.

1947: In a six hour battle, Haganah troops fought off a major Arab attack on the Old City of Jerusalem, home to 2,500 Jews.

1948: The UN General Assembly established the Palestine Conciliation Commission with primary responsibility for preparing for the international governance of Jerusalem.  Of all the lame committees, panels and commissions created by the UN this had to be one of the lamest.

1948: King Farouk of Egypt and Syrian foreign minister disclose that they had warned King Abdullah of Transjordan not to annex Palestine.

1948: Elias Sasson, an Israeli representative at the ceasefire negotiations, “met Abdullah el-Tell and Shawkat al-Sati “King Abdullah's confidant and personal physician”

1949(20th of Kislev, 5710): J. Isaac Friedman, a native of Natchez, Louisiana, the son of Samuel and Caroline S. Friedman and the brother of Leon Friedman with whom he served the Louisiana State Legislature passed away today.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported after the festive Knesset inauguration ceremony, President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was made a Freeman of Jerusalem. The new president signed pardons for 25 prisoners, all of whom had nearly completed their sentences.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that 184 new students had been admitted to the new Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. The majority were Israelis who had previously studied medicine abroad and graduates of Israeli secondary schools.

1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Post’s Toy Fund started the distribution of Hanukkah toys and sweets at over 100 ma’abarot and new-immigrant centers throughout the country.

1955: Operation Olive Leaves which was designed to put an end to Syrian shelling attacks on Israelis in around the Sea of Galilee began this evening with an artillery barrage “elements of the 890th Paratroop Battalion, augmented by units of Aharon Davidi's 771 Reserve Paratroop Battalion as well as units from the Nahal and Givati Brigades commenced” “a complex two pronged attack” “on Syrian emplacements along Kinneret’s northeastern shoreline.”

1957: “Wild is the Wind” directed by George Cukor, produced by Hall B. Wallis, written by Arnold Schulman and with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin was released today in the United States.

1957: Birthdate of Orly Silbersatz Bania, the Israeli singer and actress who has won two Ophir Awards.

1957: “Peyton Place,” a movie version of the novel directed by Mark Robson, produced by Jerry Wald and with music by Franz Waxman premiered in Camden, two days before being shown in the rest of the United States.

1958(29th of Kislev, 5719): Fifth Day of Chanukah

1958(29th of Kislev, 5719): Eight-six year old London born Sephardic Jew and author Samuel Levy Bensusan, the husband of Marian Lallah Prichard who served as Press Chief of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and “is best known for the 24 books and 6 plays that he wrote about the Rural marshland area of Eastern Essex surrounding Mote Cottage” passed away today in “a nursing home at St Leonard's on Sea in Sussex.”

1958: “J.B.” a three-act play based on the Book of Job with sets designed by Boris Aronson and which won the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1959 Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Direction premiered today at the ANTA Playhouse in New York City.

1961:  Melvin Calvin, the son of Jewish immigrants was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studies related to the process of photosynthesis.

1961: Adolf Eichmann was found guilty.

1963(25th of Kislev, 5724): Chanukah observed during the national mourning for John F. Kennedy.

1964: In Jerusalem, Leonard and Ricki Waldman gave birth to author Ayelet Waldman, the wife of Michael Chabon.

1967(13th of Kislev, 5728): Eighty-four year old Sir Adolphe Abrahams, the brother of Harold Abrahams (of Chariots of Fire fame) and husband of Adrienne Walsh who was the medical adviser to the International Athletic Board and the British Olympic team as well as president of the British Association of Sports and Medicine passed away today.

1968: A French adaptation of Man of “La Mancha” with a book by Dale Wasserman and music by Mitch Leigh premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées today.

1970: Premiere of “The Aristocats” a Disney animated film with music by Richard and Robert Sherman.

1970:  Birthdate of actress Jennifer Conelly who won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film A Beautiful Mind.

1971:  The Libertarian Party of the United States was formed.  According to The Libertarian Party News, Irv Rubin, leader of the Jewish Defense League, signed up with the party in 2000.

1972: In New York, premiere of Man of La Mancha a film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, directed by Arthur Hiller and co-produced by Hiller and Saul Chaplin.

1973: After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, “The Hourglass Sanatorium” the movie version of the novel by Bruno Schultz was released today in Poland.

1974(27th of Kislev, 5735): In Tel Aviv, one person was murdered and 66 others were injured when a terrorist set off a bomb in movie theatre.

1976(19th of Kislev, 5737): Sixty-seven year old Major-General Sir Henry Joseph "Harry" d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 2nd Baronet the decorated war hero who severed as an MP alongside his younger brother James passed away today.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Ephraim Katzir proclaimed the opening of the 30th anniversary of Israel's independence.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said that the preliminary talks between Egypt and Israel should be expanded to foreign ministers’ level. Sadat warned the PLO that their recent, hard-line Tripoli conference canceled the resolution of the 1974 Rabat talks which called for peace negotiations. This, in Sadat's opinion, could affect PLO status as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Jimmy Carter said he would be willing to come to the Middle East to support the current peace initiatives. Cairo sources revealed that King Hessian of Morocco had played an active role in promoting Sadat’s historic visit to Israel.

1978: NBC broadcast the miniseries “A Woman Called Moses” produced by Henry Jaffe and Michael Jaffe today.

1979:Funeral services were held today for Joseph Wohl, founder and president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America’s Universal Brotherhood Movement” who “for 27 years had been a member of the Seminary’s Board of Directors and in that capacity had chaired major committees in the areas of finance, development, real estate and building.”

1979(21st of Kislev, 5740): Sixty-one year old historian and rabbi Bertram Korn who led Congregation Keneseth Israel in Philadelphia for thirty years while rising to the rank of Rear Admiral while serving as a chaplain in the United States Navy passed away today In Israel.

1980(4th of Tevet, 5741): Eighty-four year old Belarus native Rabbi Gershon Hadas who was one of the organizers of the Rabbinical Association in Kansas City in 1939 passed away today after which he was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Raytown, MO.

1981: Release date of “Buddy Buddy” a film “loaded with Jews” including director Bill Wilder, co-star Walter Matthau and writer I.A.L. Diamond. The film was based on a screenplay by French writer Francis Verber whose father was Jewish.

1981: U.S. premiere of “Pennies From Heaven” directed by Herbert Ross with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

1982(25th of Kislev, 5743): Chanukah

1984: “Airlift to Israel Is Reported Taking Thousands of Jews from Ethiopia” published today described the resettlement of Ethiopia Jews in Israel saving them from famine, war and prejudice.

1984: The funeral of Luther Adler, a stage and screen actor who starred in ''Fiddler on the Roof'' on Broadway, was scheduled to take place this afternoon at the Riverside Chapel in New York City

1984: German-born American literary scholar, poet, and writer of children’s stories, Oskar Seidlin, passed away

1986:  The Jewish National Funds Annual Tree of Life Awards are held at Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

1988: In “On the Red Sea, Israel’s Answer to Key West,” published today it was reported that Eilat is to Israel what Key West is to the United States - a hot, lazy, bohemian and (to be honest) tawdry little resort town at the nation's southern tip, physically and emotionally far removed from the commotion to the north. Eilat has no Arab community and no significant religious population, facts the city's boosters like to point out. ''This is a resort area; the religious, they like to stay in the center of the country,'' Mayor Avi Hochman says. That removes any possibility for the two greatest sources of tension here - Arab versus Jew, religious versus secular. ''We're tolerant here,'' said Rina Maor, head of the state tourism office. ''If people want to go to the synagogue it's O.K.; if people want to go topless it's O.K.'' Most female visitors seem to choose the latter option.” (As reported by Joel Brinkley)

1988: The New York Times featured reviews of the following books written by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers which were recently released in paperback edition including Hitchcock and Selznick: The Rich and Strange Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick in Hollywood by Leonard J. Leff and Café Nevo by Barbara Rogan which is set in a Tel Aviv bistro during the war in Lebanon.

1990: Dr. John Strugnell, a Harvard divinity professor whose verbal attacks on Jews, Judaism and Israel included statements describing Judaism as “racist,” and “not a higher religion” and saying that that the state of Israel “is founded on a lie” led to his dismissal as chief editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the celebrated documents illuminating the evolution of Judaism and the origin of Christianity, scholars and others close to the controversy said today.

1991: “Hook” film tied to the tale of Peter Pan directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role was released in the United States today.

1991(4th of Tevet, 5752): Robert Q. Lewis passed away at the age of 71.  Born Robert Goldberg, this son of Jewish immigrants gained fame on radio and television primarily as a game show host. His dark black glasses and gravelly voice provided him with two distinctive trademarks.

1992: U.S. premiere of “A Few Good Men” the film based on Aaron Sorkin’s play of the same name directed by Rob Reiner with music by Marc Shaiman.

1992: U.S. premiere of “Forever Young” written by J.J. Abrams with music by Jerry Goldsmith.

1992: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany issued a statement detailing the criteria for eligibility of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution for German Government compensation under an agreement concluded in November. In the newer, detailed statement, issued today to Jewish newspapers, the conference noted that the agreement provides funds for "severely persecuted Jewish Nazi victims who received no compensation or only minimal indemnification." (As reported by David Binder)

1995: In “Thousands Pay Tribute to Rabin And Listen to Appeals for Unity” published today Carey Goldberg described the rally at Madison Square Garden that featured speakers from the U.S. and Israel including Yitzchak Rabin’s widow, Leah.

1996: Presentation of the 14th Annual Harold U. Ribalow Prize

1997:  Neil Simon’s "Sunshine Boys" opens at Lyceum Theater in New York City.

1998: After having premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival “A Simple Plan,” the movie version of the novel of the same name directed by Sam Raimi and music by Danny Elfman was released today.

1998: “The Parent Trap” an inane comedy directed by Nancy Meyers who also co-authored the script was released in the United Kingdom.

1998: “Jack Frost” a comedy produced by Irving Azoff and Mark Canton, with music by Trevor Rabin and featuring Eli Marienthal as “Spencer” was released in the United States today.

1999(2nd of Tevet, 5760): Eighth Day of Chanukah marking the last time the holiday is celebrated in the 20th century.

2000(14th of Kislev, 5761): Seventy year old Don Devlin (born Donald R. Siegel) who made the transition from actor to writer/producer whose most famous effort was the screenwriter “Harry and Walter Go to New York” starring two Jewish actors – James Caan and Elliot Gould.

2001: The DVD of “The Mists of Avalon,” a mini-series co-starring Juliana Margulies was released today.

2000(14th of Kislev, 5761): Eight-seven year old N. Richard Nash (born Nathan Richard Nusbaum) the author, playwright and screenwriter whose work included “The Rainmaker” passed away today.

 2002: Barry Strauss published “What, You Consider Ant-Semitism? How Very One-Sided” which provides an interesting view of Jewish treatment on college campuses.

2002:  In Bucharest, an International Symposium entitled "Jewish identity and anti-Semitism in Central and South Eastern Europe sponsored by the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities, the "Goldstein-Goren" Hebrew Studies Center, Bucharest University and Bucharest History Museum came to an end.

2003(16th of Kislev, 5764): “Three people died and up to 18 were injured today in an explosion at a money-changer's shop in a crowded Tel Aviv business district” which police attribute to local criminals and not terrorists.

2004: The Sixth Annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival features a screening of the film שיחה מקומית/ Local Call/ Quittez Pas!

2005: In a reversal of what happened during the Hitler people period, German church leaders spoke out in defense of the Jewish state. The Jerusalem Post website reported that German church leaders joined international protests against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand that Israel be moved to Europe and his statement doubting whether the Holocaust happened. Roman Catholic Cardinal Karl Lehmann said he was "outraged," and urged Ahmadinejad to show respect for other nations and religions. Lutheran Church leader Wolfgang Huber said the international community needed to take action against Iran, but he did not elaborate. "Whoever denies the historical fact of the murder of millions of Jews during the Third Reich in Germany and denies Israel's right to exist has committed incitement."

2005: In the tops-turvy world of Israeli politics, Shaul Mofaz ended his attempt to lead Likud, left the party and joined Kadima, the new political party started by Ariel Sharon.

2006: End of a two day conference sponsored by the government of Iran designed to support the Iranian contention that the systematic killing of some 6 million Jews a "myth" and "exaggerated."

2006: Despite David Stern’s support for a new basketball, the NBA announced today that it would in fact switch back to the leather ball starting on January 1, 2007

2007: Six days of performances including productions of “The Jester” and “The Mutual Note” come to an end at The Orna Porat Theater in Tel Aviv.

2007: Haaretz reported on a study that finds Maine has the highest intermarriage rate in the United States. According to the study, which was conducted by Ira Sheskin, the director of the Jewish Demography Project at the University of Miami, 61% of couples in married Jewish households are interfaith.

2007(2nd of Tevet, 5768): 7th Day of Chanukah

2007(2nd of Tevet, 5768): Eighty-four year old theatrical agent and producer Freddie Fields passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2007: After a little more than a month, Robert Rubin stepped down as acting Chairman of Citigroup.

2007: David “D'Or released Live Concert, an album for which he composed most of the songs including "Kiss from a Rose" (in English), "Sri Lanka" (instrumental), and an Arabic song

2007: The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proposed by Israel. The UN passage of an Israeli resolution on agriculture is the first time a nonpolitical Israeli resolution has been adopted by the international body, and signifies a breakthrough in Israeli-UN history.

2008: In one of those anomalies that is unique to the American cultural scene, Jewish composer Marvin Hamlisch conducts the National Symphony Orchestra’s Pops Happy Holidays concert in Washington, D.C.

2008: Allen Weinstein, archivist of the United States, chats with journalist Daniel Schorr, whose career has spanned decades at both CBS News and National Public Radio, about his recent collection of essays, Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium, as part of the "American Conversation" series at the National Archives. Schorr holds the unique distinction of being the only American reporter to have been kicked out of the Soviet Union and been on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

2008: Bernard Madoff, who founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on alleged fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday on its Web site. Charges against Madoff allege that he told senior employees on Wednesday that the firm was "a giant Ponzi scheme" after trying to distribute the "couple of hundred million dollars" he had left before turning himself in, according to the Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. The alleged scheme involved tens of billions of dollars, the newspaper reported.

2008 (14th Kislev, 5769): Robert Chandler, a Creator of the ’60 Minutes’ Format, passed away at the age of 80.

2008(14th of Kislev, 5769): Forty-eight year old “voice actress” Maddie Blaustein passed away unexpectedly from “acute stomach failure.”

2008: In response to the humanitarian crisis in Postville, Iowa the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines establishes Postville Relief Fund to which concerned Jews and non-Jews can send contributions at Postville Relief Fund, Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, 910 Polk Boulevard, Des Moines, IA   50312.

2008: Today, Australian cricketer Michael Klinger, known as “the Jewish Bradman”  “posted his highest individual score in one day cricket, with an unbeaten 133 off just 128 balls” which “guided South Australia to victory in their high-scoring match against the Tasmania Tigers at the Adelaide Oval.”

2009: As Jews light the first candle for Chanukah, Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, hosts its annual Chanukah Pot Luck Dinner and Latke extravaganza.

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a screening of “The Imported Bridegroom” and “Black Over White.”

2009: President Barak Obama and first lady Michelle Obama extended warm wishes to Jews around the world who are observing Hanukkah. Obama said the story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed is a reminder that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain people through difficult times and help them overcome great odds. President Obama says Hanukkah's lessons should inspire everyone to be thankful for what they have.

2010: Daniel Burman is scheduled to receive the WJFF Visionary Award at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival. A screening of Lost Embrace is scheduled to be part of the special ceremony. The award “recognizes and pays tribute to courage, creativity and insight in presenting the diversity of the Jewish experience through the moving image.”

2010: “Expectations,” a piece of video art by Shahar Marcus is scheduled to be shown at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn.

2010: In Columbus, Ohio, Congregation Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host Minyan Chadash, an alternative service featuring lots of singing, congregant participation, interactive learning, and a sense of Shabbat ruach! 

2010(4th of Tevet, 5771): Mark Madoff, the older of Bernard L. Madoff’s two sons, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment today, the second anniversary of the day his father was arrested for running a gigantic Ponzi scheme that shattered thousands of lives around the world.  “Mark Madoff took his own life today,” Martin Flumenbaum Mark Madoff’s lawyer, said in a statement today. “This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy.”  One city official said that the first notification, via 911, was at 7:27.18, this morning, and the call was for a, “possible suicide.” The call came from a fourth-floor, private house at 158 Mercer Street – a 13-story building.

2010(4th of Tevet, 5771): A 30-year-old Israeli man was pronounced dead today after being hospitalized with swine flu. The man, a resident of east Jerusalem, was checked into the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center on Thursday suffering from severe flu symptoms, after a blood test revealed the potent flu virus strain was present in his blood stream. The man was quarantined by hospital personnel while he was treated intensively for the disease, but despite their best efforts, the man passed today.

2010: Rabbi Chaim Brovender will discuss: "Why Couldn't Yosef 'Hold Back' (Hitapek)?" and talk about his activities at ATID and WebYeshiva at a shiur and reunion in Silver Spring, MD.

2010: Diane Kaplan showcases material from her latest album, Like an Olive Tree, at the Jacob’s Ladder Festival at its Nof Ginosar venue by the Kinerret.

2011: Temple Judah is scheduled to host it annual Chanukah Potluck Dinner where they will enjoy Latkes prepared under the supervision Linn County Latke Maven Brian Cohen

2011: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Jerusalem: A Biography” by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

2011: Closing night of the 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2011: One person was injured in southern Lebanon today when a rocket apparently fired towards Israel hit a Lebanese border village, security sources in Lebanon said.

2011: Iran's ruling clerics could use nuclear weapons to strengthen their grip on power and the world must urgently impose crippling sanctions to prevent them from building such arms, Israel's defense minister said today. Ehud Barak also predicted that Syria's ruling Assad family could fall within weeks and that this would be a "blessing" for the Middle East.

2012: “Oded the Wanderer” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

2012: Vanessa Paloma and the Lev-Yulzari Duo are scheduled to perform at Congregation Shearith Israel as part of the Sephardic Music Festival.

2012: Kevin Youkilis signed a one year contract with the New York Yankees for $12 million to play third base.

2012: “Punk Jews,” the “documentary film that follows an underground Jewish community expressing their identity in unconventional ways that challenge stereotypes and break down barriers” is scheduled to have its world premiere at the JCC of Manhattan

2012(27th of Kislev): Yahrzeit of Harvey David Luber who will be remembered as long as people laugh and take pictures.

2012: The IDF has acquired tens of thousands of doses of a drug used to combat nerve agent chemical poisoning and will distribute them to all combat medics in the coming months, according to a report in the new issue of the army’s Bamahane weekly magazine

2012: Israeli students from all sectors of society registered dramatic increases in test scores in all subjects, the Education Ministry announced today.

2013: The Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to open in San Diego, CA

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

2013(8th of Tevet, 5774): Eighty-four year old Barbara (Weidman) Branden, the novelist, author of The Passion of Ayn Rand and wife of Nathaniel Branden, the lover of Ayn Rand, with whom she wrote Who is Ayn Rand? passed away today.

2013: The Lawrence Family JCC is scheduled to the opening reception for “smART: The Art of Jewish Educators.”

2013: “Heavy amounts of rain drenched the Galilee, the Sharon region and the Gush Dan…cause Lake Kinneret’s water level to rise by centimeter this morning (As reported by Sharon Udasin, LIdar Grave-Lazar and Ben Hartman)

2013: Ian Paul Livingston, Baron Livingston of Parkhead began serving as Minister of State for
Trade and Investment

2013: According to the Wall Street Journal and Israel’s Channel 2 “former Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer is the top choice to become vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank” which would mean that the two top slots at the Fed would be held by Jews.

2014: Scholar Eddy Portnoy is scheduled to team up with puppet theater company Great Small Works to present a reinterpretation of the scripts of Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler, who in the 1920s formed Modicut, a bitingly satirical Yiddish puppet theater troupe as part of YIVO’s Artists and Scholars Series.

2014: LBI is scheduled to present “From the Shtetl to the Lecture Hall: Jewish Women and Cultural Exchange.”

2014: “France’s upper house of parliament today urged the government to recognize Palestine as a state, following a similar and highly symbolic vote in the lower house.

2014: “The Palestinian Authority will freeze security cooperation with Israel in the wake of the death of a senior Palestinian official after a clash with Israeli troops, a top aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas said today.”

2015: In Coralville, IA, Alex Cicelsky: "The Pied Piper of Sustainable Living in Israel" Founder Center for Creative Ecology at Kibbutz Lotan is scheduled to talk about Jews and Arabs collaborating together during an Oneg Program at Congregation Agudas Achim.

2015: The second season of “Transparent” starring Jeffrey Tambor premiered today.

2015: Harry Pregerson assumed the status of Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today.

2015: “When President Reuven Rivlin met” today “with leaders of America’s three main Jewish denominations at an event hosted by UJA-Federation of New York” “both Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union of Reform Judaism and Rabbi Steven Wernick of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism called on Israel to grant equal rights to non-Orthodox Jews on matters concerning marriage, divorce, conversion and worship at the Western Wall.” (As reported by Uriel Heilman)

2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax, The Resistible Rise of Benjamin Netanyahu by Neill Lochery, A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East by George J. Mitchell and Alon Sachar, Looking For “The Stranger”: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic by Alice Kaplan and Judas by Amos Oz

2016: The Symphony Chorus of New Orleans is scheduled to host a performance of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus at Temple Sinai with Cantor Joel Colman, Betsy Ushkrat, Monika Cosson and Jonathan Yarrington appearing as the featured soloists for the work.

2016: At Iowa City, former Congressman and U. I. Law Professor Jim Leach who in the 1990’s “held four years of unprecedented hearings on Holocaust theft issues after new evidence identified Swiss banks as intermediaries for Germany during World War II, and how they benefited from Nazi policies” is scheduled to lecture on "Where Greed Reigned: An Inquiry Into a Shadowy Corner of the Holocaust."

2016: “Anigina Pectoris” a satire “about an Israeli Defense Minister who finds himself in need of a heart transplant” is scheduled to be performed at Symphony Space.

2016: B’nai Emunah Congregation, Tulsa’s Conservative Jewish synagogue, yearlong celebration of its centennial is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016(11th of Kislev, 5777): Eighty-two year old record executive Bob Krasnow passed away today. (As reported by Ben Sisario)

2016: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present the Annual Chanukah concert featuring Yiddish folk and theatre songs, a Chanukah sing-along and “a special story read by Emmy-Award winning actress Ellen Gould.”

2016: Ninety-six year old Marion Pritchard, a Dutch national who risked her life to save Jews during the Holocaust passed away today.

2016: At the 56th annual meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, “celebrity chef Pati Jinich of Pati's Mexican Table (WETA) is scheduled to speak about her Jewish-Mexican roots and her new book, Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens.

2017: “The submission period for the 2019 Natan Book Award” “which is run in partnership with the Jewish Book Council” is scheduled to open today

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as Franz Kafka whose works included The Metamorphosis and The Trial continues today.










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