Monday, December 11, 2017

This Day, December 12, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 12

456 BCE (1st of Tevet, 3305): Ezra opened convocation on the problem of intermarriage.

627: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh at the Battle of Nineveh. This meant that The Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire regained control of the Middle East, including Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor did not keep his promise to his Jewish allies to give them control of David’s City and its environs.

1098: During the First Crusade, Christian forces breach the walls of Ma'arrat al-Numan in Syria and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. Some view this is as a “dress rehearsal” of the massacres that took place when the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem and slaughtered the Jewish and Moslem inhabitants

1204(20th of Tevet, 4965):  Maimonides passes away. His name says it all.  Nothing that can be said here would do him justice.   Maimonides followed the Rabbinic injunction that a man should have a job and study Torah unlike some who today insist that their “studying’ exempts from having to earn a living. “From Moses to Moses, there as none like Moses”  

1254: Alexander IV, the prelate “responsible for launching the Inquisition in France” began his papacy today.

1474: Isabella crowns herself queen of Castile and Aragon in what will become a milestone on the road to end of the Jewish Community in Spain in 1492. Ironically two of the people who would help her come to power and/or consolidate her crown were Don Isaac Abravanel and Don Abraham Senior.

1479: The Jews were expelled from Schlettstadt, Alsace by Emperor Frederick III

1484: At Soncino, Italy, Joseph Solomon Soncino printed the first copy of “Beḥinat ha-'Olam” (The Examination of the World) by Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi a Jewish poet, physician and philosopher. Born in 1270 at Béziers, he was the son of Abraham Profiat, another French-Jewish poet. He passed away in 1340. Beḥinat ha-'Olam (The Examination of the World), called also by its first words, "Shamayim la-Rom" (Heaven's Height), a didactic poem written after the banishment of the Jews from France (1306), to which event reference is made in the eleventh chapter. The 37 “chapter” poem concludes with an expression of Bedersi’s admiration of Maimonides.

1505: In Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, ten Jews were tortured and killed after being accused by a local shepherd of killing a local girl. Years later on his deathbed, the shepherd confessed that he made up the whole story.

1524:  Pope Clement VII approved the organization of a Jewish Community in Rome

1561: According to a document of this date, Nahum Pesakohovich, a Jew living in Pinsk filed a complaint against Grigori Grichia, the estate owner in the district of Pinsk for failure to honor the terms of their mortgage agreement.

1574: Selim II, Ottoman Sultan, passed away. During his reign, Selim appointed Joseph Nassi as the Duke of Naxos.  He appointed his physician Solomon Nathan Eskenazi to serve as ambassador in Venice where he participated in negotiations for a treaty between the Turks and the Spanish. When Turkish forces took Cyprus, Selim had five hundred Jewish families settle on the island.  This was a way of improving the economic environment on the island while ensuring the presence of a loyal local population.

1626: Inquisitional authorities arrested Francisco Maldonado de Silva, after his sister (a devout Catholic) turned him because he told her he believed in Judaism, as their father had. His passion for Judaism came after studying a book written in 1391 by the Bishop of Burgos. The Bishop, a convert Jews who was born as Solomon Halevi, wrote the book to defend the Catholic faith. Halevi's words put doubt into Francisco's mind about Catholicism, and brought him closer to Judaism-the religion Francisco's father had already been following. In the end Francisco went to his death January 23, 1639 for his faith in Judaism.

1653: The Short Parliament was dissolved today leaving Oliver Cromwell, who held the title of Protector of the Realm, as the king-like ruler of England.  This may have actually helped Manasseh ben Israel in his effort to gain readmission of the Jews since Cromwell, unlike some of his allies, actively supported the Jews attempts to return to the British Isles.

1670: Today the Sephardic Jewish community of Amsterdam acquired the site to build a synagogue

1762: In Philadelphia, Mordecai Moses Mordecai and Zipporah "de Lyon" Mordecai gave birth to their first daughter Esther who became Esther Mordecai Russell when she married Dr. Philip Moses Russell in 1780.

1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Religious qualifications for holding state and local office were abolished in 1790.  Jews had been part of Pennsylvania even before the coming of William Penn.  The community had its start with Jewish traders who operated in what would be the southeastern corner of the soon to be founded colony.  Mikveh Israel (Hope of Israel) the Philadelphia’s first synagogue was established in the 1740’s.  When an enlarged Mikveh Israel, under the leadership of Gershom Mendes Seixas was dedicated in 1782, a wide variety of public officials attended.  Jews were earlier settlers of Lancaster where a Jewish burial plot was established in 1747.  The size of the Jewish population was exaggerated due to that fact that the English confused Yiddish speaking Jews with the German speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. 

1805: Birthdate of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, a collection of whose papers are found at Brandeis University.

1806: Birthdate of Rabbi Isaac Lesser, one of the most important leaders of the 19th century American-Jewish community whose accomplishments included completing the first translation of the Bible from Hebrew in English published in the United States.

1809: Lewis Gompertz married Ann Hollaman in London today.

1821: Birthdate of Gustave Flaubert, the French author whose works included “Herodias” set in the court of Antipater in which the author writes “The Jews were tired of Herod’s idolatrous ways.”

1827: Eliezer ben Moshe HaCohen married Yacht bat Moses Israel at the Western Synagogue today.

1827: Abraham Moise of Charleston, SC, married Caroline Agnes Moses, “the third daughter of Isaac C. Moses.1831: In Jamaica, a tankard was presented to Moses Delgado in recognition of his work on behalf of Jewish rights.

1832” Birthdate of Sophie Schriesheimer Waldstein, the German born wife of Henry Waldstein with whom she had four children.

1832: Birthdate of Abraham Carel Wertheim, the native of Amsterdam whose role as banker, politician and leader of the Jewish community can be seen in his partnership in Wertheim & Compertz, membership in the Dutch Senate and “presidency of the Jewish community.”

1837: Birthdate of Rabbi Moritz Framer, the native of Rybnik, Prussian Silesia who wrote numerous articles and served as the editor of a Jewish literary magazine while leading congregations in Thorn and Magdeburg.

1838(25th of Kislev, 5599): Chanukah

1841: Jacob Frankfort arrived in Los Angeles as part of the Rowland-Workman party.  Frankfort, one of the earliest Jewish settlers in New Mexico had been living in Taos when he hurriedly left town because authorities believed he was part of a group of Texans seeking to take control of the territory.  He and some of his confederates joined a scientific expedition and traveled with them to California. 

1851: An article entitled “Interesting Hebrew Relic” published today reported that in Washington, DC, Colonel Lea, the Commissioner of Indian affairs has in his possession “four small rolls or strips of parchment, closely packed in the small compartments of a little box or locket of about an inch cubical content.  On these parchments are written, in a style of unsurpassed excellence, and far more beautiful than print, portions of the Pentateuch, to be worn as frontlets and intended as stimulants to the memory and moral sense.”  The item was brought to Washington from the Pottawatomie Reservation on the Kansas River by a man named Dr. Lykins. Lykins got them from a member of the tribe name Pategwe who had gotten them from his aged grandmother.  Originally there had been two boxes, but one of them had been lost long ago when the Indians were crossing some river rapids.  The Indians believed that the lost box contained a description of the creation of the world.  Nobody seems to know how the boxes first came into the possession of the Indians.  They cannot remember a time when they did not have them in their possession.  The article concludes, “The question occurs here, does not this circumstance give some color to the idea, long and extensively entertained, that the Indians of our continent are or less Jewish in their origin?”

1853: Rabbi Raphall delivered the last in a series of lectures on “The Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews” in New York City.

1855(3rd of Tevet, 5616): 8th and final day of Chanukah

1861: At today’s regular meeting of the Board of Councilmen the report in favor of donating $30,000 to the Hebrew Benevolent Association was finally adopted.

1862:  Twenty-eight year old Louis Manly Emanuel who had graduated as M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1860 went from Assistant Surgeon to Surgeon while serving with 82nd Regiment during the Civil War.

1866: Birthdate of Dr. Edward Alsworth Ross, who had been fired by Stanford University for his racist views when it came to Chinese and Japanese immigration, stirred up similar controversy at the University of Wisconsin when wrote magazine articles attacking the Jews including “Jews of Eastern Europe in America” which contains the charge that Jews in America “are the greatest criminals.”

1872: In Paris, Ludovic Halevy, who had turned his back on his family proud Jewish tradition when he became a Protestant and his wife gave birth French historian Daniel Halevy.

1872: Today “French law introduced the system of universal suffrage in the election of the consistories, “the bodies governing the Jewish congregations of a province or of a country”

1874: It was reported today that it appears Russian government has ordered to the managers of the nation’s railway companies to fire all of the Jews in their employ and not to hire any Jews in the future.

1875: During the past week, the Hebrew Charity Fair raised $66, 421.19 for Mt. Sinai Hospital.

1875(14th of Kislev, 5636): Pesach N. Rubenstein, the husband of Elke Rubenstein of Jerusalem, “murdered Sara Alexander in a cornfield” in what “is now a portion of the 26th ward.”

1878: Joseph Pulitzer begins publishing "St Louis Dispatch."  Pulitzer’s father was Jewish.  His mother was Roman Catholic.

1880(10th of Tevet, 5641): Asara B’Tevet

1880(10th of Tevet, 5641): Fifty-year old Hyman Vollenburg, a Jewish tailor was found dead in his room on Baxter Street in New York.  He was said to be so observant that he refused to accept anything which had been purchased from Jews who worked on Shabbat.

1880: It was reported today that among Mrs. Jacob Hess, Mrs. A.H. Allen, Mrs. J.J. Bach, Miss Alice Solomon and Miss Essie Content (who portrays the Biblical Rebecca at the well) are among the young ladies the Mrs. Isaac Phillips has enlisted to work during the ten day long Hebrew Charity Fair in New York.

188!: In the Polish part of the Russian Empire, Benjamin Wonsal and Pear Leah Eichelbaum gave birth to Hirsch Moses Wonsal who came to the United States in 1889 where he gained fame as Harry Morris Warner, one of the Warner brothers who formed the film studio of Warner Brothers.

1881: According to reports published today the burial of the victims of the theatre fire in Vienna that claimed the lives of 580 people was public ceremony that began with speeches by a Rabbi, a Catholic Prior and an Evangelical Provost. The Jewish victims were the first to be buried with their ceremonies beginning at daybreak.

1881: In Krasnosielc, “a village a short distance from Warsaw” Benjamin Wonsal, a shoemaker born in Krasnosielc, and Pearl Leah Eichelbaum gave birth to Hirsch Moses Wonsal who gained fame as Harry Morris Warner, one of the Warner brothers who created Warner Bros. a major studio during the early days and golden era of motion pictures.

1882: Sarah Bernhardt had a major marital row with her husband Jacques Damala during she which she would no longer support his dissolute lifestyle.  This marital breakup came while she was starring in the hit play Fedora by Victorien Sardou.  Sardou refused to let him have a part in the play so Sarah let him serve as manager of the theatrical company, a position that he was totally unfit to hold.  Following his dismissal he turned to drugs and humiliating her at every turn.  The role of “Mr. Sarah Bernhardt” was one that he could not play.

1882: The settlers at Rosh Pina experienced “their first significant rainfall of the year which meant they could now sow their first crop.”  Some use this date as marking the founding of Kibbutz which is not totally accurate because an earlier attempt had been made 1878.

1882:  Birthdate of famed chess player Akiba Rubenstein.

1884: In New York, Marx Cohen, who has already been charged with receiving “$7 worth of goods” stolen from Bates, Reed & Cooley, is expected to be charged with more serious crimes today.  According to the police, is a Fagan-like figure who organizes youngsters into gangs of thieves and then fences the stolen merchandize.  The Jewish store owner has denied all allegations.

1884: It was reported that in Russia, the Minister of Interior, Count Tolstoi, “has ordered the expulsion of all Jews living in Odessa, Kiev and other cities” if they hold foreign passports and do not have special permits from the government.  This has caused a great deal of concern for Jews doing business in this city who are afraid the new rules will force them into liquidation.

1884: It was reported today that fighting has broken out among Jewish and anti-Semitic university students in Vienna

1885: In New York, Rabbi S. Schocher, of Russ, a city near Memel, Prussia gave a lecture at Or Chaim in the classical style of the old-fashioned Derashot.

1886: In New York, four undercover officers arrested for Polish Jews for selling dry goods in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws.

1887: Philip Stein and Matilda Beave of Manchester gave birth to Leonard Jacques Stein OBE “a British Liberal Party politician, writer, barrister and President of the Anglo-Jewish Association.”

1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association which had been providing services to 520 students in 1876 had grown to providing 2,581 students ten years later (1886).

1887: It was reported today that the Hebrew Free School Association had chosen new officers for the following year including: President – M.S. Isaacs; Vice President – Uriah Herman; and Treasurer – Newman Cowen.

1888: Birthdate of Lieutenant General Sir Philip Neame who served as Commander of the Palestine Command “which was formed with objective of controlling all British forces in Mandatory Police from 1940 to 1941.

1888: “Four Couples Made Happy” which was published today reported that two Jewish couples were among what was described as the four “fashionable weddings” that occurred in New York City.

1889: Birthdate of Phillip Carl Katz, the San Francisco native who earned the Medal of Honor while serving as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army

1889: Poet Robert Browning passed away.  Browning wrote “Rabbi ben Ezra.” The poem is based on the life Abraham ibn Ezra. Ibn Ezra lived from 1092 until 1167 and was a leading figure in what was known as the Golden Age in Spain.  Ibn Ezra was second only in fame to Rashi as Torah commentator.  He was the first two attribute that the last section of Deuteronomy describing the death of Moses was written by Joshua.  He was also the first two attribute the last 26 chapters of the Book of Isaiah to a different writer now known as the Second Isaiah.  The poem begins with the famous line “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be…”  The belief that “Jewish blood coursed in his veins” was so common that a biography written two years after his death began by disproving this theory which was based on Browning’s “interest in Hebrew language and literature and his friendship for many members of the London Jewish community.”

1890(1st of Tevet, 5651): Rosh Chodesh Tevet, sixth day of Chanukah and erev Shabbat.

1890: In New York, The Board of Estimates and Apportionment appropriated $12,700 the work of converting the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building into a school.

1890: As Americans seek a way to register their displeasure with Russian treatment of the Jews, several prominent Jews met at the home met at the home if Rabbi Jacob Joseph where “it was suggested that instead of hold a mass meeting, a meeting of the leaders of the synagogues and Jewish benevolent intuitions should be help to consult as to the best means to adopt to put a stop to the persecutions.”

1890: The eldest of Moses Winterstein’s children who were living in New York came to the Barge Office and agreed to assume responsibility for his Russian Jewish father and his family so that they could enter the country instead of being denied entrance because they would become “public charges.”

1892: When Treasury agents searched a ship appropriately named the Wandering Jew in Boston today they found boxes of cigars and opium.

1892: A list of the newly elected officers of the Hebrew Free School Association published today includes President Albert F. Hochstadter, Vice President Henry Budge and Treasurer Newman Cowen

1892: “Curious Novel of Jewish Life In London” published today provided a review of Children of the Ghetto: Being Pictures of a Peculiar People by Israel Zangwill.

1893:  In Bucharest, Sarah (née Guttman) and Morris Goldenberg gave birth to Emanuel Goldberg known to American movie audiences as Edward G. Robinson who came to the United States in 1902 and gained early fame playing in gangster movies including the classic Little Caesar and Key Largo but whose worst performance is oddly enough when he portrays the grumbling Jew in “The Ten Commandants.”

1894: At the convention of the American Federation of Labor in Denver, President Samuel Gompers “announced the committees on Resolutions, Organization, Grievances and Local Federated Bodies.

1895(25th of Kislev, 5656): Chanukah

1895: In New York, the Hebrew Fair continued to draw “immense crowds” and enjoy three days of increasing financial success.

1895: Rector Herman Ahlwardt, “who is proud of his German title of anti-Semitic agitator” dodged eggs as he delivered his first address at Cooper Union where among other things he referred to the Jews as “a disease.”

1895: Policemen carried Louis Silverman out of Cooper Union and locked him up in the East Fifth Street Police Station after he threw eggs at Herman Ahlwardt, the German anti-Semite who was speaking at Cooper Union.

1895: The investigation into charges of voter fraud brought by Eugene Frayer, a member of the Good Government Club that revolved around the residents of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews resumed today.

1897: Anti-Jewish violence broke out in Bucharest, Romania. 

1901: Birthdate of Howard E. Koch, playwright, screen writer and victim of the Hollywood Blacklist.

1901 Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the wedding of Ida Maude Mose, the “youngest daughter of the late B.F. Moise” and “Moise De Leon of New Orleans, LA at the home of the bride’s mother in Charleston.

1901: In New York City, Katherine (nee Moden) and artist Frederick William Menken gave birth to Helen Menken

1902(12th of Kislev, 5663): Seventy year old Edwin Warren Moise passed away in his native South Carolina. 

1903(23rd of Kislev, 5664): Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb &Co., passed away this evening in New York City at the age of 74.

1904: Birthdate of Nicolas Louis Alexandre, Baron de Gunzburg the Parisian native who served as editor at Vogue, Harper’s Bazar and Town & Country.

1904(9th of Tevet, 5665): Sixty-nine year old Jacob Caro the German Jewish historian who wrote extensively about the history of the Jews Poland passed away today at Breslau where he been serving as history professor at the University of Breslau.

1904(9th of Tevet, 5665): Fifty-four St. Petersburg native Emanuel Schiffers who became a leading Russian chess master passed away today in his home town

1905: Birthdate of Manès Sperber an Austrian born French novelist, essayist and psychologist who also wrote under the pseudonyms Jan Heger and N.A. Menlos. He was also the father of Italian historian Vladimir Sperber and French anthropologist and cognitive scientist Dan Sperber.

1905: Birthdate of Iosif Solomonovich Grossman who gained fame as Soviet author and journalist Vasily Semyonovich Grossman.

1905: A dispatch from the Neue Freie Presse today reported that “the town of Elizabethgrad, Russia, has been burning and that a mob has been killing and plundering in the Jewish quarter.”

1905: Most of the five hundred Jews who recently arrived in New York after escaping Russia are expected to be admitted into the United States today.

1906(25th of Kislev, 5667): First Day of Chanukah

1906(25th of Kislev, 5667): Sixty-five year old Italian musician and composer Frederico Consolo, the author of “Libro dei Canti d’Israele” passed away today in Florence. (There is some confusion about the date of his death.  Source is The Year Book of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.)

1906: The Brownsville Retail Kosher Butcher’s Association was meeting at the same time that the women of Brownsville were holding a mass meeting designed to gain support for a boycott of the Beef Trust. The mass meeting was chaired by Israel Reichman. There were 350 butchers at the Kosher Butcher’s meetings, 100 of whom have closed their shops in support of the attempts to end the Beef Trust.

1906: Leopold Greenberg, owner of a successful British advertising agency, publisher of “The Jewish Yearbook” and an ardent Zionist writes Jacobus Kann, his friend a Dutch Zionist, that “The Jewish Chronicle” is for sale and he has begun negotiating for its purchase.

1909: Birthdate of Hans Alex Keilson, “a Jewish German/Dutch novelist, poet, psychoanalyst, and child psychologist who wrote about traumas relating to what happened in Europe during WWII. In particular, he worked with traumatized orphans. Some of his novels deal with the same time period, though his first one was published in 1934. He was also active in the Dutch Resistance. Francine Prose has called him one of ‘the world’s very greatest writers.’" (As reported by William Grimes)

1911: The Council of Jewish Women, which was organized in September, 1893 and is led by President Marion L. Misch, the husband of Caesar Misch of Providence, R.I. held its sixth triennial convention doay in Philadelphia, PA.

1911: During the days of the British Empire, Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India. Shalom Aaron Cohen who came to India from Aleppo in 1790 was one of the first Jews to settle in Calcutta.  The arrival of Jews from Baghdad during the 19th century marked an upturn in their economic and social power that lasted until the power World War II rise of Indian nationalism.

1911: Dr. Gustav Steinbach who had passed away at the age of 63 on December 6 was laid to rest today.

1912(2nd of Tevet, 5673): Seventy-seven year old Baltimore, MD merchant Isaac Strouse passed away today.

1912: James Creelman, the national famous American journalist and Vice President of the Citizens’ Committee to Protest Against Russia’s Discrimination said today, in response to Russia on-going refusal to recognize the passports granted to American Jews said today “Russia has got to come to a decision very soon in agreeing to a new treaty which makes no discrimination against citizens of the United States, regardless of where they were born or what their religious views.”

1912: Mrs. Joseph Fish presided over this afternoon’s meeting of the Deborah Woman’s club whose attendees included Miss Marion Stadcker.

1913: Hebrew language officially used to teach in schools located in Eretz Israel.

1914(24th of Kislev, 5675): Parashat Vayeshev

1914(24th of Kislev, 5675): In the evening Jews kindle the first Chanukah light during World War I.

1915: Birthdate of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra “may have been one of America 's most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting life-long commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel . Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940s, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine” rally (1947). He sat on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center. (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.) As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries. Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, by serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war. The Copacabana Club, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York Mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York. The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the back door with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier. The origins of Sinatra's love affair with the Jewish people are not clear, but for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (Years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender. Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather. As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could not arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra  again -- threatened to punch him in the nose. Sinatra famously played the role of a Jewish pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's War for Independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth, and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film. Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 45-minute featurette he made in which he sang "In the Still of the Night "and "Without a Song". He also starred in "The House I Live In" (1945), a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.”

1916:No vote will be taken on the bill limiting immigration to the United States, which if passed would have a negative impact on Jews, who after the World War, will seek to escape the persecution being suffered in various parts of Europe by coming to the United States.

1917: Four days after the British arrival in Jerusalem, Dr. Yaakov Thon, convened a meeting of Jewish leaders with an eye toward establishing a City council of Jerusalem Jews.

1917: While working in the Judean hills to build a temporary breastwork “enjoyed fresh meat, bread, vegetables, and rum” for the first time in a long time. 

1917: It was reported today that Al Jolson told the leaders of the drive to raise five million dollars for Jewish war relief and welfare work in the army and navy that “he remembered enough of his early life in Shrednik near Kovno to realize how much the money was needed” and then closed by telling William Fox that he was raising his contribution from one thousand dollars to two thousand dollars.

1917: A bazar “given under the auspices of Temple Emanu-El” which is designed to raised fund to go to the “relief of Jewish war sufferers and for welfare work among American soldiers and sailors is scheduled to open tonight at the home of Adolph Lewisohn at 881 Fifth Avenue – a location made possible do to Mr. Lewisohn’s generosity which means none of the funds raised will have to be spent on renting a hall for the activity.

1917: With only two days to go, the committee trying to raise five million dollars for Jewish war relief suffered its worst day for collections today when it raised only $161,900 which means they have raised $3,048, 252 leaving them almost two million dollars short of their goal.

1918: “Reports of the team Captains and workers at the headquarters of the Jewish War Relief, in the Hotel Biltmore indicated that” as of tonight, “almost one of the five million dollars sought for the suffering Jews in Europe had been raised.”

1918: It was reported today that the Y.M.H.A. of Washington Heights had raised $1,143 to aid the suffering Jews of war torn Europe while a soldiers’ committee at Camp Hancock had raise an additional $108.35 for the same cause.

1919: Victor Cross winner Leonard Maurice Keysor who had enlisted in 1914 and served in Egypt and Gallipoli before fighting on the Western Front was discharged today.

1919: Birthdate of Abraham Hirschelf, the native of Tarnow, Poland, who became a successful real estate investor, producer and New York City political candidate.

1920: Over a year after premiering in Germany, “Madame DuBarry” a bio-pic directed by Ernst Lubitsch opened in the United States.

1920: “The Seventh Annual Flag Day of the Jewish National Fund” is scheduled to be held today.

1920: Dr. Wise is scheduled to deliver an address on “Breathes There a Jewish With Soul So Dead” at “the Union Maccabean Service of the Free Synagogue.”

1920: The Union of American Hebrew Congregations are scheduled to sponsor “two big mass meetings” this evening, one in Brooklyn and one in New York, for the purpose of bringing “the message of Judaism in its modern aspects to the Jews…”

1920: Terese L. Nathan, the daughter of New Yorker Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Nathan is scheduled to marry Joseph M. Sydeman after which the couple will honeymoon “on the Continent and the Far East.”

1920: The Histadrut Ha-ovdim (General Labor Federation) was founded in pre-state Israel. Its founder, Berel Katznelson, a disciple of Ber Borochov, combined various labor groups to form a federation.

1921: Birthdate of Anita Nathan Bayer the mother of Carole Bayer Sager Daly and Grandmother of Christopher Elton Bacharach.

1922: Ralph E. Heilman, the Dean of the Northwestern School of Journalism is scheduled to “give his first of a series of lectures on ‘The Newer Ideas in Business and Industry’” today “at the first monthly tea sponsored by the Educational Department of the Chicago Woman’s Aid.”

1922: Sisterhood President Mrs. Gerson B. Levi is scheduled to oversee an exhibit and sale of work made the blind at B’nai Sholom Temple Community House in Chicago.

1924: In the Bronx, Yetta (or Joyce, née Silpe) and Louis (Leib) Koch, immigrants from Uscieczko in Eastern Galicia gave birth to Edward Irving “Ed” Koch who served as Mayor of New York City from 1977 to 1989.

1924: In Berlin, Alexander Israel Helphand, the man who negotiated with the German’s during World War I to gain Lenin’s return to Russia from Switzerland which brought about the Communist Revolution and took Russia out of World War I passed away.  

1925: Birthdate of Russian composer Vladimir Shainsky.

1925: The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia. The new Shah removed “removed restrictions on Jews and other religious minorities.’  He prohibited the mass conversion of Jews and “Jews were allowed to hold government jobs.”  But the Shah’s sympathetic view of Nazi Germany, along with an under-current of anti-Jewish sentiment, left the community with a sense of discomfort.

1928: In Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Alfred Frankenthaler and his wife Martha gave birth to abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler

1931: Dr. Alexander Rosenfeld, vice president of the World Maccabee Association, spoke this afternoon over WLPH from the Lyric Theatre, Brooklyn.  He talked about the forthcoming Maccabee Jewish Games which will be held in Tel Aviv in March, 1932 and in which more than 3,000 Jewish athletes from all parts of the world are expected compete.

1932: “Biography” a play written by S.N. Behrman premiered on Broadway at the Guild Theatre.3.

1932: The NBC Blue Network broadcast episode number three of “Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel” starring Groucho and Chico Marx,

1933: In Strasbourg, Polish born Rabbi Oscar (Ovadia) Eisenberg and his wife gave birth to French television producer Josy (Yossef ) Eisenberg.

1934: In New Orleans, the sale of the Roosevelt Hotel to The New Orleans Roosevelt Corporation headed by Seymour Weiss was finalized today.

1935: Heinrich Himmler begins the Lebensborn Project.

1936(28th of Kislev, 5696): Parashat Miketz; Fourth day of Chanukah

1936: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Nathan Perilman is scheduled to deliver a sermon “A Strange Call to Arms.

1936: At West End Synagogue, Rabbi Gustave Falk is scheduled to deliver a sermon “Synagogues, Old and New.”

1936: At Temple Rodeph Sholom, Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “What Is Worth Dying For?”

1936: At Temple Israel, Rabbi William F. Rosenblum is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “One Drop of Blood and Many Drops of Water.”

1936: In Chur, Switzerland, Dr. Eugence Curti, the attorney for David Frankfurter who has been charged with murdering the leader of the Nazi Party in Switzerland, delivered his summation which included a plea for mercy saying that “the sentence of eighteen years demanded by the prosecution was ‘too severe’ and pleaded with the court of ‘justice and humanity.’”

1936: U.S. premiere of Camille, “an American romantic drama directed by George Cukor and produced by Irving Thalberg and Bernard H. Hyman.

1937: Jewish writer Arch Oboler caused more controversy with his script contribution to today’s edition of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. In Oboler's sketch, host Don Ameche and guest Mae West portrayed a slightly bawdy Adam and Eve, satirizing the Biblical tale of the Garden of Eden. On the surface, the sketch did not feature much more than West's customary suggestive double-entendres, and today it seems quite tame. But in 1937, that sketch and a subsequent routine featuring West trading suggestive quips with Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy cause a furor that resulted in West being banned from broadcasting and from being mentioned at all on NBC programming for 15 years.

1937: The Palestine Post reported numerous assassinations, attempted murders, hold-ups and robberies perpetrated by Arab terrorists all over the country. In Haifa, Elimelech Gromet, 13, the victim of a terror attack in the Hadar Hacarmel quarter, died of his wounds. Sheikh Khatib, an Arab notable, and his bodyguard were murdered in the town's Arab quarter. In Jerusalem all gates of the Old City, except for the well-guarded Jaffa and Damascus gates, were closed from early in the evening until late the following morning.

1937: The Polish Dombrowski Brigade (part of the 13th IB) formed a Jewish Company from the 2nd PalafoxBattalion (Palafox was a Spanish patriot from the Napoleonic invasion), called The Botwin Company, today at Tardadientes, and named after Naftali Botwin (a famous Polish Jewish radical, executed in 1924 for assassinating a Polish Secret police agent).

1938: Friedrich Münzer, the German classical scholar who had lost his teaching position and most of his friends after he was classified as a Jews and who would eventually die at Theresienstadt wrote to his colleague Ronald Syme at Oxford University “that the changed situation ‘deeply depressed’ him, but that he still considered himself better off than many others.”

1938: Birthdate of David Gurfinkel, the Tel Aviv native who became a leading Israeli cinematographer.  

1939: In eastern areas of Greater Germany, two years of forced labor is made compulsory for all Jewish males aged 14 to 60.

1939: Jews are expelled from Kalisz in the Warthegau region of Poland; many flee to Warsaw.

1940: The Salvador, a ship that set out from Varna, Bulgaria, a month ago, with 350 Jewish refugees aboard sinks in the Sea of Marmora with 250 Jewish refugees, including 75 children being drowned. T. M. Snow, head of the British Foreign Office's Refugee Section, notes that "there could have been no more opportune disaster from the point of view of stopping this [Jewish refugee] traffic [to Palestine]."

1941: “The Wolf Man,” a horror film written by Curt Siodmak was released today.

1941: Adolf Hitler announced plans for the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery

1941: In the second action in two weeks, the Germans killed another estimated 12,000 inhabitants of the Riga Ghetto.

1941: The German Army of Occupation began a house to house search in Paris looking for Jews.

1941: The SS Struma set sail from Constanţa, on the Black Sea

1941: Romania declared war on the United States.

1942: MGM released “White Cargo” starring Hedy Lamarr to the cinematic audience.

1942: The Jews of Volhunia revolt against a German round-up.

1942 Jewish prisoners at a labor camp in Lutsk, Ukraine, armed with knives, bricks, iron bars, acid, and several revolvers and sawed-off shotguns, revolt against Germans and Ukrainians. The uprising is crushed.

1942: The U.S. Army Medical Corps established an evacuation hospital at Tlemcen, the Algerian city whose “most important place pilgrimage of all religions was the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town.”

1943: The chairman of the Jewish Council in Wlodzimierz Wolynski, Poland, the site of street massacres in 1942, assures the remaining ghetto residents that they will be safe

1943(15th of Kislev, 5704): The day after his 57th birthday, Nice born, French composer Marcel Lattès was murdered at Auschwitz today.

1943: Birthdate of Hana Spitzer, the native of Kfar Pines who gained famed as Rabbi Hanan Porat, Israeli educator and MK.

1943(15th of Kislev, 5704): Thirty-six year old Wanda Abenaim Pacifici, the wife of Riccardo Reuven Pacifici who was murdered at Auschwitz, was murdered today at the same death camp.

1944(26th of Kislev, 5705): Second Day of Chanukah

1944(26th of Kislev, 5705): Forty-two year old Regina Jonas, the Berlin native who was “the first woman ordained as a rabbi, was murdered at Auschwitz today.

1944: “After sustaining very heavy casualties from enemy artillery fire and the cold weather,the entire First Division,” including Samuel Fuller of the 16th Infantry Regiment “was sent to a rest camp today.”

1945: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of U.S. aid to open Palestine to Jewish refugees.

1946: Arabs call for a general strike to protest the alleged abduction of an Arab in Salame, Palestine by the Haganah.

1946: Two illegal Arab Armies were merged by the Arab High Committee into the Arab Youth Movement. 1946: Birthdate of Steve Goldsmith, Harvard professor and former mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana.

1947: Gordon P. Merriam, chief of Division of Near Eastern Affairs, refers Dr. Irving E Medoff of New Jersey to the United Nations after he had written to the U.S. State department concerning his interest in organizing an air force group to operate in Palestine.  Merriam’s referral is based on the U.S. view that matters pertaining to Palestine are under the control of the UN.

1947: Birthdate of Irving Azoff, the native of Danville, Illinois who went from booking bands while in high school to being named the “most powerful person in the music history” in 2012.

1947: King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia promised that the Arabs will protect and maintain American oil operations at the same time expressing the hope that the U.S. will correct its “mistake” on the issue of Palestine Partition

1947: British foreign minister Ernest Bevin asks the Jews for a moratorium on “illegal immigration” while the mandate is still in power.

1947: UN Trusteeship Subcommittee announces that internationalized Jerusalem will only have a police force which can call on UN Security Council if more order is needed. Legislature is legally "rigged" so a minority group will keep a balance of power between Jewish and Arab factors.

1947: The Arab League voted to provide funds, weapons and volunteers for an impending Palestine war designed to thwart the United Nation’s partition vote.  An Arab Liberation Army under the command of an Iraqi staff officer named Ismail Safwat Pasha established its headquarters outside of Damascus and gave field command to Fawzi al-Qawujki a veteran terrorist leader of the uprisings during the 1930’s.

1947(29th of Kislev, 5708): An Arab gang stopped a BOAC truck leaving Lydda Airport.  The Arabs told the Arabs on the truck to run away.  The three Jews – Yitzhak Jian, David Ben Ovadia and Joseph Litvak - were then shot dead.

1948: Israel and Transjordan let Christians travel to Bethlehem for Christmas pilgrimages

1948: “Less than two weeks after the signing of the final cease-fire, the ‘Valor Road’ was opened by Ben-Gurion as a secure by-pass for travel from Jerusalem to the coast.  The road replaced the famous ‘Burma Road’ and made it possible for Jews to travel the fifteen miles from the Judean hills to the coastal settlements without having to brave Arab sniper attacks.

1949: The U.S. asks Israel and Jordan not to do anything which would disrupt relations with other Arab states or the Vatican.

1949: Birthdate of Anglo-Jewish historian David Samuel Harvard Abulafia who is married to another famous historian Anna Sapir Abufia. (Can you imagine what a Shabbat dinner would be like at their house?)

1950: Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi after her husband, who was the congregation's rabbi, passed away. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

1951:  Yosef Sprinzak, the Speaker of the Knesset became acting President of Israel when Chaim Weizman became so ill he could not fill the position.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly passed, by 32 votes to 13, with 13 abstentions, a strongly-worded resolution calling for direct Arab-Israeli negotiations.

1952: As HUAC continued its investigation of Rutgers Professor Moses Finley, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution declaring "It shall be cause for immediate dismissal of any member of faculty or staff to fail to cooperate with government inquiries.”

1952(24th of Kislev, 5713): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1953: Birthdate of Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

1955(27th of Kislev, 5716): Third day of Chanukah; kindle 4th candle in the evening.

1955: “The Rose Tattoo” a film version of the play by the same name written by Hal Kanter, directed by Daniel Mann and produced by Hal Wallis was released today.

1955(27th of Kislev, 5716): Operation Olive Leaves, under the command of Ariel Sharon came to a successful conclusion with the destruction of all the Syrian gun emplacements attacked by the IDF. Among the casualties were ten wounded including Rafael Eitan and six dead including Yitzchak Ben Menachem, a hero of Israel's War of Independence “who was killed by a Syrian hand grenade.”

“Casualties in the operation included Rafael Eitan (wounded in his stomach) and Yitzhak Ben Menachem (surnamed “Gulliver” because of his height), an Independence War hero who had replaced Motta Gur as Company Commander.

1962: U.S. premiere of “Freud: The Secret Passion,” an “American biographical film drama based on the life of the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud” with music by Jerry Goldsmith and featuring David Kossoff as “Jacob Freud.

1963:  Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom. Jews began to settle in Kenya in the early years of the 20th century. In 1904, The Nairobi Hebrew Congregation was established in 1904 and the 20 families living in Nairobi built the country’s first synagogue in 1913. The community saw some growth after World War II. In 1955, “Israel Somen, the president of the Board of Kenya Jewry, was elected mayor of Nairobi.” A small Jewish community has continued to exist which has not been always been the case of former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Israel and Kenya continue to enjoy positive relations.

1963: “The Cardinal” the movie version of the novel with the same name directed by Otto Premininger, with music by Jerome Moross and promotional posters by Saul Bass was released in the United States today.

1964: “Casablan,” or “Kazablan” a film adaptation of a play of the same name that substitutes Ashkenazim and Sephardim for Montagues and Capulets, premiered in New York.

1966: A 27 year member of Local 338 writes to the national union headquarters expressing his despair over the deteriorating conditions in the bagel industry which are leading to cuts in pay, benefits and the number of jobs available for bakers.

1966: “A Man for All Seasons” the film version of the Broadway play directed and produced by Fred Zinnemann was released in the United States today.

1970(14th of Kislev, 5731): Parashat Vayishlach

1970(14th of Kislev, 5731): Just days before his 81st birthday “Russian and Soviet avant-garde artist, Cubist painter, stage designer and book illustrator” Nathan Isaevich Altman passed away today.

1970: Birthdate of Jennifer Connelly who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress 2002 for A Beautiful Mind and the 2002 Golden Globe 2002 for same role.

1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.

1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): David Sarnoff, CEO of RCA and founder of NBC, passed away. Born in Russia 1891, Sarnoff reportedly studied to be a rabbi before joining the Marconi Wireless Company as a telegraph operator.  He became the leading figure in the creation of RCA.

1971(24th of Kislev, 5732): Sixty-two year old philologist and linguist Yechezkel Kutscher, the native of Sloavkia who made Aliyah in 1931 and pursued a career which earned him the Israel Prize in 1961 passed away today.

1973: “The Last Detail” featuring Gilda Radner and with music by Johnny Mandel was released today in the United States.

1974: Thirteen people were injured lightly or moderately In Jerusalem whenan explosive device went off in Ben Yehuda Street

1974: “The Godfather Part II” featuring Less Strasberg, James Caan and Abe Vigoda and edited by Peter Zinner premiered in New York City.

1975:  In San Diego, CA, Barry Bialik and Beverly Winkelman gave birth to actress Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom Russo on “Blossom” and Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang.”  “Hayim Nahman Bialik, Israel's national poet, was Mayim Bialik's great-great-grandfather's uncle”

1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): 8th day of Chanukah

1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): One person was killed and 25 were injured during a grenade attack at Beersheba.

1977(2nd of Tevet, 5738): Eighty-six year old French filmmaker Raymond Bernard passed away today/

1978(12th of Kislev, 5739): American painter Norman Raeben died of heart attack in the lobby of his apartment.  Born in Russia in 1901, he was “the youngest of the six children of Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem.” “The pen-name 'Raeben' is probably derived from his family-name 'Rabinowitz'.  Raeben moved to New York City with his family in 1914. He studied painting from Robert Henri, George Luks and John French Sloan, who all belonged to the Ashcan School. His studio was on the 11th floor of Carnegie Hall. His students include Bob Dylan, Bernice Sokol Kramer, Carolyn Schlam, Andrew Gottlieb, Janet Cohn, John Smith, Diana Postel, Lori Lerner and Rosalyn (Roz) Jacobs. Raeben's mission was to teach the art of painting through intuition and feeling, instead of through conceptualization.”

1979(22nd of Kislev, 5740): Elka de Levie, the only Jewish gymnast of the triumphant 1928 Dutch ladies’ gymnastics team, which won the Olympic title in Amsterdam in 1928 to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, passed away.

1986: “¡Three Amigos! “ a spoof the Magnificent Seven directed by John Landis, produced by Lorne Michaels who wrote the script along with Randy Newman who in turn created the music along with Elmer Bernstein was released in the United States today.

1986: Frank Rich’s review of “Dream of a Blacklisted Actor” Conrad Bromberg’s play about his father, Edward Bromberg whose career was destroyed during the McCarthy era was published today.

1988: Foreign Minister Shimon Peres urged the Palestine Liberation Organization today to direct its diplomacy toward Israel rather than the United States.

1988: European countries are pressing the Palestine Liberation Organization and its Arab allies to moderate plans to seek United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state, diplomats said today.

1989: In “Soviets Trying to Become Team Player in Mideast” published today, Alan Cowell describes the change in Russian Middle East policy from one of confrontation to “partnership with Washington in the diplomacy of the region.”

1990(25th of Kislev, 5751): Chanukah

1990: A fund-raising dinner and dance is held at the Pierre to further the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side.  The event also honors the founders of the Eldridge Street Project, who include Brooke Astor, Joan K. Davidson, Simon Rifkind and Joanna and Daniel Rose.

1990: The 1991 fund-raising campaign of the UJA-Federation of New York opens with the Lawyers Division annual Proskauer Award Dinner during which Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner in the New York law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, receives the award.

1990: The Young Professionals of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University sponsor a concert at Steinway Hall to raise money to help replace the instruments Soviet émigré musicians in Israel could not take from the Soviet Union. The pianist Dina Joffe and her husband, the violinist Mikhail Vaiman, and the pianist Byron Janis, an officer of American Friends, are among those who help to provide the evening’s entertainment.

1991(5th of Tevet, 5752): Israeli artist Moshe Elazar Castel, the native of Jerusalem born in 1909 and son or Rabbi Yehuda Castel and his wife Rachel passed away today.

1993: Today Mr. Rabin and Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, agreed in Cairo that they needed more time to resolve complex security issues before self-rule could begin in roiling Gaza and placid Jericho, and they gave themselves at least another 10 days.

1993: Rabbi Helene Ferris officiated at the wedding of Robert Stanley Bannister and Celia Ingrid Farber, the freelance author who wrote extensively about HIV and AIDS and is the daughter of radio talk show host Barry Farber.

1993: Under attack by some political leaders for dealing far less firmly with Jews who commit acts of violence than with Palestinians, the Israeli Army today ordered soldiers to take "strong action" against law-breaking settlers in the occupied territories, including possible arrests and curfews.

1994(9th of Tevet, 5755): Yosef Harmelin, the native of Vienna who came to Israel as a teenager in 1939 and served two tours as director of Shin Bet passed away today.

1994: Israel and Jordan fleshed out their new peace treaty some more today, opening temporary embassies in each other's country and saying they would exchange ambassadors next month. For the first time, an Israeli flag flew openly in Amman, and in a separate ceremony a few hours later, the Jordanian flag was raised in Tel Aviv, where almost all countries put their missions to Israel. Both embassies are in hotels for now, until permanent locations are found. Israel has yet to name its ambassador to Jordan, which on Oct. 26 became the second Arab country, after Egypt, to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Amman has appointed Marwan Muasher, a former spokesman for the Jordanian delegation to peace talks in Washington, as its ambassador, but he will not begin his assignment for several more weeks.

1995(20th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Moshe-Zvi Neria, the native of Łódź who became an Israeli educator and MK passed away today.

1995(20th of Kislev, 5756): Eighty-seven year old David Saul Marshal “a politician and lawyer from Singapore who served as Singapore's first Chief Minister from 1955 to 1956” passed away today in Singapore.

1995: Israeli PM Shimon Peres addressed both houses of the US Congress.

1996: “After only 14 months at Disney, Michael Ovitz was fired” today.

1997: “Hugo Pool” a comedy featuring Richard Lewis was released in the United States today.

1997: “Deconstructing Harry” a comedy directed and written by Woody Allen, co-produced by Letty Aronson and starring Bob Balaban, Richard Benjamin, Billy Crystal, Amy Irving and Julia Louis-Dreyfus among others was released today in the United States.

1997: John Marks, the former Berlin bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report wrote an essay cautioning against letting the hunt for the stolen assets hoarded by the Swiss and other European dangers overshadow the reality of the primary villain of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany.  “’No one would argue that German evil absolves Swiss cupidity or French collaboration.  But it would be a very odd paradox indeed if the partial eclipse of German culpability became a permanent historical fixture” as the heirs of the Holocaust seek to regain the property of their progenitors.

1999: The New York Times book section includes a review of Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership by Naomi W. Cohen.

1999(3rd of Tevet, 5760): Author Joseph Heller passed away.  He is best remembered as the author of Catch-22. a book whose title has entered the English language (As reported by Richard Severo and Herbert Mitgang)

2000: “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” featuring Michael Rosenbaum was released in the Uited States today.

2001: Yasser Arafat bowed to long-standing Israeli demands by ordering the closure of the offices of the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  The supposed closing had no effect in ending the terrorism which enjoyed Arafat’s continued support.

2001: Four people were injured when at Neve Dekalim as a result of Hamas bombing.

2001: Irv Rubin, JDL Chairman, and Earl Krugel, a member of the organization, were charged with conspiracy to bomb private and government property. The two allegedly were caught in the act of planning bomb attacks against the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and on the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who is Arab-American. The two were arrested as part of a sting operation after an FBI informant named Danny Gillis delivered explosives to Krugel's home in L.A

2001(27th of Kislev, 5762): Three terrorists attacked a #189 Dan bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades, and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel in Samaria at 6:00 p.m. Ten people, including two teenagers, were killed and 30 others were injured. The victims: Yair Amar, 13, of Emmanuel; Esther Avraham, 42, of Emmanuel; Border Police Chief Warrant Officer Yoel Bienenfeld, 35, of Moshav Tel Shahar; Moshe Gutman, 40, of Emmanuel; Avraham Nahman Nitzani, 17, of Betar Illit; Yirmiyahu Salem, 48, of Emmanuel; Israel Sternberg, 46, of Emmanuel; David Tzarfati, 38, of Ginot Shomron; Hananya Tzarfati, 32, of Kfar Saba; Ya’akov Tzarfati, 64, of Kfar Saba. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

2002: Austria failed in its attempt to block a lawsuit by an 86-year-old American citizen who fled the Nazis in 1942 and whose uncle owned the works. In a promising ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that Austria was not immune from a suit in American courts when the interests of justice outweigh the inconvenience to a foreign country.

2003: “Something’s Gotta Give” a delightful if improbable romantic comedy directed, produced and written by Nancy Meyers with music by Hans Zimmer was released in the United States today.

2003: Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, president of the European Union, proclaimed the body’s deep concern at the increase in instances of anti-Semitic intolerance and strongly condemns all manifestations of anti-Semitism, including attacks against religious sites and individuals.”

2003: Irwin Cotler, Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election was sworn into Cabinet today.

2004: The New York Times features a review of A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz; translated by Nicholas de Lange

2004(29th of Kislev, 5765): One hundred-one year old “Bernada Bryson Shan, the widow of painter Ben Shahn” passed away today.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2005: Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. honored Gerald Schoenfeld and four city leaders at his annual Jewish Heritage celebration today. The event was co-sponsored with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC) and The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. 

2005: The Israeli government voted to increase financial help for needy Holocaust survivors.  The aid comes in the form of increased rent subsidies and 75% discount on drug purchases.

2006: Germany hosts a Holocaust conference in Berlin featuring Raul Hilberg, considered one of the leading experts on Holocaust studies who wrote the comprehensive multi-volume book, "The Destruction of European Jewry."

2007: As part of Chanukah festivities, the last of 18 performances of “Around the World in 80 Days” directed Yaron Kafkafi takes place at the Nokia Stadium in Yad Eliahu.

2007: Opening session of the 46th Assembly of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) in San Diego, California.

2007: Union for Reform Judaism 2007 Biennial Convention opens in San Diego, CA.  On the eve of the conference, Meir Azari, rabbi of the Beit Daniel synagogue in Tel Aviv, expressed his concern over the future of relations between the Reform Movement in the United States and Israel.

2007: The New York City Police arrested ten individuals suspected of carrying out an anti-
Semitic attack against four Jewish students on the previous Friday night, the fifth night of Chanukah.

2008: “Nothing Like the Holidays” co-starring Debra Messing was released in the United States today.

2008: USA Network broadcast the final episode of “The Starter Wife” starring Debra Messing who was Bat Mitzvahed in 1981.

2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah Friday Night Services features, the Second Musical Shabbat of the 2008-2009 Season.

2008: “Adam Resurrected” which follows the life former Berlin magician and circus impresario Adam Stein opens at the Quad City Cinema in New York City. A highly theatrical performance by Jeff Goldblum, traces the life of Stein an enthralling, enigmatic patient at the Seizling Institute, a remote Israeli rehabilitation outpost for Holocaust survivors.

2008: The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation based in Salem, Mass., shut its doors after saying it had lost all its money -- $8 million -- by investing with Bernard Madoff self-confessed creator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history

2008: Reacting to an increasingly perilous economic outlook, the leader of the Reform movement proposed that some of the movement's synagogues could consider merging with Conservative congregations as a cost-saving measure.

2009 (25 Kislev, 5770): First Day of Chanukah.

2009: The estate of songwriter Jack Lawrence which includes memorabilia from S.S. Andrea Doria which sank off the coast of Nantucket in 1956 with the kind of fanfare connected to the sinking of the Titanic is scheduled to go on sale today.

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a screening of “The Wedding Song,” a film that tells the story of two adolescent girls – one Jewish, one Moslem – living in Tunis in 1942 when the Nazis occupy the city.

2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival features screenings of “A Matter of Size” and “Adam Resurrected” starring American actor Jeff Goldblum

2009: Opening night of the Sephardic Music Festival in New York City.

2009: The Hub of the JCCSF and San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum present “Super 8 Hanukkah Festival.”

2009: Five Hamas men were arrested today, while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit bills, according to the announcement.  During the arrest, two of the operatives were wounded.

2009: A tour to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Les Misérables the tuneful version of the 19th century novel with music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, French lyrics by Alain Boubil and English Lyriscs by Herbert Kretzmer began today, at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

2010: The Women's League Convention 2010 is scheduled to hold its opening session at the Marriott Waterfront located in Baltimore, MD.

2010: Andy “Samberg and the other members of the Lonely Island debuted their next digital short, titled "I Just Had Sex."

2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding.

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 edition of Ayn Rand and The World She Made by Anne C. Heller.

2010: “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen, .Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, “Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, ­Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes

by Stephen Sondheim are listed  on The New York Times list of the 10 Best Books of 2010

2010(5th of Tevet, 5771): Eighty-eight year old “Dan Kurzman, who wrote military histories that illuminated little-known incidents in World War II and an exhaustively reported account of the first Arab-Israeli war, passed away today Manhattan. (As reported Daniel E. Slotnik)

2010(5th of Tevet, 5771): Eighty-two year old “Jacob Lateiner, a concert pianist renowned for his interpretations both of Beethoven and of 20th-century music, passed away today in Manhattan. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

 2011: Gabriel Bass, Rabbi Joanne Heiligman and Nina Bonos are scheduled to participate in “Objects and Spaces that Influence Jewish Memory” a panel discussion presented by Shaare Tefila in Olney, Maryland.

20111(16th of Kislev, 5772): Seventy-eight year old Bert Schneider who produced such hits as “Easy Rider” “Five Easy Pieces” and “The Last Picture Show” passed away today.

2011: The Israeli daily Israel Hayom reported that Rabbi YonaMetzger had received an offer to serve as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs ends his term of office in 2013.

2011: “A Happy End” Israeli playwright IIddo Netanyahu’s play that follows acclaimed Jewish physicist Mark Erdmann, head of the atomic lab at the University of Berlin, and his wife Leah through the arduous decision of whether or not to leave Germany following the notorious elections of 1932 is scheduled to be performed at the Martin E.. Segal Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

2011: Israel's new ambassador to Egypt arrived in Cairo today, Egyptian airport officials told the Associated Press, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy in the Egyptian capital.

2012: In New York, Jonathan Karp, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present “Culture Brokers’ Music Produces and Labels” a program that “traces the history of small independent record labels that pioneered new forms of popular music from the 1960s to today, including rock & roll, Latin pop, and hip-hop.

2012: A public menorah lighting is scheduled for the Ped Mall in Iowa City, Iowa

2012: Sufganyot and latkes will be served at the scheduled pubic menorah lighting at the Grand Cities Mall in Grand Forks, North Dakota

2012: “Football is God” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. (Attention American readers – this is a movie about you call soccer, not the pigskin game)

2012: Mika Karney and the Kol Dodi Ensemble, Zion80 + Hasidic New Wave & Yakar Rhythms are scheduled to perform at the Sephardic Music Festival’s closing event.

2012: Pedro Hernandez “pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping the case of Etan Patz.

2012: “Settlement ends bitter battle over Mel Simon Estates” published today”

2012: King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan would host Israeli-Palestinian meetings in February with the backing of the European Union and the United States, a leading Arab daily reported today.

2012: Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday condemned two “price-tag” vandalism acts carried out overnight in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

2013: The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to sponsor a discussion led by Professor Mary Fulbrook and Professor Jane Caplan entitled “A Small Town near Auschwitz – Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust.”

2013: Five U.S. families who were victims of the Iran-backed suicide bombing that took place on Ben Yehuda Street in 1997 were “awarded $9 million in federal court.”

2013: “Ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran was on rogue mission for CIA, officials say” published today provides an update on the status of Robert Levinson.

2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present a panel discussion “Do Words Kill?  Hate Speech, Propaganda & Incitement to Genocide”

2013: “The Herd” and “Guilt by Fire” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Today’s meeting of the URJ Biennial is scheduled to end with a Biennial Music Festival that will include performances by Larry Milder and Rocky Mountain Jewgrass at Taste and Thirst and Rick Recht and Max Jared performing at the Old Spaghetti Factory

2013: The 20-state council of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research that operates the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss- French border, voted unanimously tonight to accept Israel as a full member. (As reported by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)

2013: As snow falls in Jerusalem, Arab youth find a way to turn it into a terrorist event by throwing snowballs wrapped around a stone at Jews. (As reported by Gil Ronen)

2013: Due to “snow and the danger of skidding” “Highways 1 and 443, which connect Jerusalem to the coastal plain, were closed today by police to traffic in both directions until 6:00 a.m. (As reported by Gil Ronen)

2014: Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which is scheduled to open in movie theaters across the United States today “will include, most famous of all biblical miracles: the parting of the Red Sea. But its depiction will look quite different from the one in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 classic “The Ten Commandments.” (As reported by Bruce Parker)

2014: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present a performance by The Singers of the Israeli Opera’s Meitra Opera Studio.

2014: The Museum of Jewish Heritage is scheduled to “Birth of a Neighborhood: The History of Battery Park City”

2014: “Seven people, including a family of five with young children, were lightly wounded in the West Bank this afternoon when a Palestinian man hurled acid into their car, before being shot and seriously wounded.”(As reported by Itmar Sharon)

2014: “Unidentified assailants opened fire on the Israeli embassy in Athens with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the early hours this morning but no injuries or damage were reported.”

2014: “Monologues from the Kishke,” a Yiddishpiel Theater musical celebrating Eastern European food and culture “is scheduled to be performed at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfusot.

2015: In Arlington, VA, Congregation Etz Hayim is scheduled to host Ein Lanu Z’man, the official band of Agudas Achim and Jewish radio rock star Hannah Spiro.

2015: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host a new tour “Women of the Holocaust”

2015: Stage 48 is scheduled to host Dor Chadash and Hadag Nahash - one of Israel's most popular hip-hop bands - for an unforgettable Hannukah party!

2015: A memorial service is scheduled to held for today in honor of Christopher Duggan, the author of Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy

2015(30th of Kislev, 5776):Parashat Miketz, 6th day of Chanukah,  Rosh Chodesh Tevet I 

2015(30th of Kislev, 5776): Seventy-one year old former school teacher, “Evelyn Lieberman, who was the first woman to serve as deputy chief of staff to a president” passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

2016: Israel received the first shipment of the advanced F-35 which is part of the on-going to American commitment regardless of administration to help the Jewish state maintain a technological edge over its hostile neighbors.

2016: At the JCC in Manhattan, Lorraine Aronowitz Danzig is scheduled to facilitate a “stimulating, breezy discussion of Hell and Good Company (The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made) by Richard Rhodes

2016: Congress is scheduled to “formally end its session” this afternoon “without taking acting on a bill targeting campus anti-Semitism” which had been unanimously passed by the Senate but which Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, “chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary did not advance…through his committee.”

2017(24th of Kislev, 5778): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah – Party On!

2017: Dikla Katz is scheduled to deliver a noon-time lecture at The Simon Dubnow Insitute.

2017: Janet Yellin is scheduled to preside over the Federal Reserve’s penultimate meeting of 2017.

2017: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to offer the fourth and final part of Yitzhak Lewis’ “Introduction to Gershom Scholem”

2017: Jewish Book Month is scheduled to come to an end today.  (Editor’s note – There is no better way to end this event than by considering the works of Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez the authors Foxbats over Dimona which provided a unique view of the Six Day War.  Their latest work, The Soviet-Israeli War 1967-1973 takes advantage of their unique understanding of the Soviet and Middle East cultures and the documents made available due to the fall of the Soviet Union to create a thought-provoking tome which proves that just when you think you know all there is to know about a subject, somebody comes along and opens a new window.)















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