Saturday, December 16, 2017

This Day, December 17, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 17

520 BCE (24th of Kislev): “The foundation-stone of the Temple was laid” (As reported by Jewish Encyclopedia)

1141 (Tevet, 4902): After leaving Cairo, Jehuda Halevi arrived at the port of Damietta where he was warmly received by his old friend Abu Said Chalfon.

1187: Gregory VIII, the Pope who called for the disastrous Third Crusade, passed away. Each of the crusades was a disaster for the Jewish people in way or another.  On top of everything else, the Third Crusade removed the protective hand of King Richard from England and left the Jews to suffer under the anti-Semitic Prince John.

1398: Tamerlane, also known as Timur, defeated the armies of Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's in Delhi. This battle was part of the war between the Persians and the Mongols.  According to one source, Timur brought Persian Jews to his kingdom so that they could help develop the textile industry.  For more on this subject see Tamerlane and the Jews by Michael Shterenshis

1490: Yucef Franco went on trial today charged with “trying to attract conversos to Judaism as well as having participated in the ritual crucifixion of a Christian child on Good Friday.”

1531: A Bull was issued by Pope Clement VII establishing the Inquisition in Portugal. Frei Diogo da Silva was made Inquisitor General.

1538: Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. Henry had reportedly sought support from Italian rabbis in making the Biblical case for his annulment.  The Italian Jews were fearful of the Pope among whom they lived than they were of a distant monarch who did not let Jews live in his kingdom.  The excommunication led to a weakening of the Church and the strengthening of the Protestant Reformation which helped to contribute to the Jews return to England in the 17th century.

1595: In Lima, Peru, ten people were accused of violating the law by practicing the Jewish religion including Francisco Rodriguez who was later burned at the stake.

1600: King Henry IV of France married Marie de' Medici. She is most famous as the mother of Louis XIII in whose name she reigned for seven years as Queen Mother and regent.  During that time she defied the ban on Jews living in France by retaining Elijah Montalto as court physician. To gain his services Marie agreed to let him practice his religion and not to have to work on Shabbat.  When Louis came of age he reverted to the practice of his predecessors and reaffirmed the ban on Jews living in his kingdom.

1261: Pope Clement IV, who in 1264 “renewed the prohibition of the Talmud promulgated by Gregory IX, who had it publicly burnt in France and in Italy” and who “ordered that the Jews of Aragon submit their books to Dominican censors for expurgation” was “created” as a Cardinal by Urban IV

1728: Congregation Shearith Israel purchased a lot on Mill Street in lower Manhattan, to build New York's first synagogue.

1775: Moses Dobruška a cousin of Jacob Frank, the founder of the Frankist sect, “converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith and took the name of Franz Thomas Schönfeld.”

1791(21st of Kislev, 5552): Chief Rabbi David Tevele Schiff passed away. He was the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the rabbi of the Great Synagogue of London from 1765 until his death. He was the son of Solomon Schiff, member of a famous and learned family from Frankfurt am Main. Tevele Schiff was educated in the schools of Rabbis Jacob Poper and Jacob Joshua Falk. He served as maggid in Vienna. He also was head of the Beth Midrash in Worms, and later Dayan in Frankfurt.

1794: William Moultrie completed his second term in office as Governor of South Carolina. In 1794, during his final year in office, Moultrie attended the consecration of Congregation Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.

1806: Birthdate of German historian Theodor Hirsch who like a certain segment of Jewish society at this time converted to Christianity in order to further his career and/or gain greater social acceptance.

1807: In Charleston, SC, Caroline Lazarus and Aaron Phillips gave birth to Philip Phillips a lawyer who served as Representative from Alabama’s First Congressional District before the American Civil War.

1808: Today, “a central consistory for the Jews in Holland was authorized by royal decree.”

1819: Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela). Jews served in Bolivar’s army and provided him with the financial backing that was necessary for his ultimate success.

1822(3rd of Tevet, 5583): Joseph Aguilar the husband of his first cousin Grace Aguilar and the grandfather of author Grace Aguilar passed away today.

1823: Solomon Levitt married Ann Isaacs at the Great Synagogue today.

1830: Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Venezuela and Columbia known as the “George Washington of South America” passed away. “Simon Bolivar found refuge and material support for his army in the homes of Jews from Curaçao. Jews such as Mordejai Ricardo and the brothers Ricardo and Abraham Meza offered hospitality to Bolivar as he fought against the Spanish, thus establishing brotherly relations between Jews and the newly independent Venezuelan republic. Several Jews even fought in the ranks of Bolivar's army during the war.” “The Jews of Curacao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from Curacao distinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.”

1833: In Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin and Harriet Marx Etting gave birth to Frank Marx Etting who became Paymaster of the United States Army during the Civil War.

1832(25th of Kislev, 5593): Chanukah

1836: In Dover, UK, the Dover Telegraph reported that "Mr. Danofsky, of King Street, St James, Westminster, has married Mrs. Hughes, widow of the late Mr. Moses Hughes formerly of Albion Hotel, Dover.”

1839(10th of Tevet, 5600): Asarah BeTevet                                                

1839(10th of Tevet, 5600): Joseph Flesch, the son of Abraham Flesch, whose accomplishments included translating the works of Philo into Hebrew, passed away today in his native Moravia.

1839: In Paris, Baron Anselm von Rothschild and Charlotte von Rothschild gave birth to their second son, Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild an English politician and art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild family of bankers who would pass away exactly 59 years later on his birthday.

1846: In Vienna, Moritz Pollak and Julia Benjamin gave birth to Emile Pollak, the husband of Carrie Benjamin who “came to Cincinnati in 1865” where he became President of the Block-Pollak Iron Company and a leader of the Jewish community as can be seen by his membership on the board of directors of Hebrew Union College and the United Jewish Charities.

1851: In Baltimore, MD, Members of the Kaschurn Lodge, No. 3, a Jewish fraternal organization, met with Lajos Kossuth, the exiled Hungarian leader.  They gave him seventy-five dollars.  They also gave him three banners.  The largest one had three full length pictures of Moses, Washington and Kossuth.  Moses represented Asia; Washington represented America and Kossuth represented Europe.  The two smaller banners contained the statement, in both Hebrew and English, “Thy enemies shall come against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.  In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

1852: Benjamin Disraeli finished serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He will be replaced by Gladstone.  This is the first of three times that Disraeli will hold this office in the English government.

1857: Iranistan, a Moorish Revival mansion in Bridgeport, Connecticut designed by the Austrian-American architect Leopold Eidlitz caught on fire tonight.

1859: British political leader Henry Fitzroy, the husband of Hannah Rothschild and the son-in-law of Nathan Mayer Rothschild passed away.

1859: During his sermon at the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Raphall delivered “a fervent appeal on behalf” of the Jews who had been forced to seek refuge at Gibraltar because of the war between Spain and Morocco.  The Jews fled because of their justified fear of attacks by the enraged native population.  Several thousand had been forced to leave all of their possessions behind and were now living in tents provided by the British colonial government and eating food provided by funds from the Jews of England.  The congregation responded by immediately raising several hundred dollars to aid their suffering co-religionists.

1859: It was reported today that “From Austria, amid the echoes of Hungarian dissatisfaction, and Tyrolese boldness, come the reports of promised reform. It is stated as a certain fact that in a few days the Emperor will issue a decree, relieving the Jews from many disabilities under which they now lie. The law which forbade a Jew to have a Christian servant is already repealed; and the emancipated Israelite can now rejoice in the possession of a cook who hasn't a conscientious objection to getting up and making a fire, of a Saturday morning. The expected decree will abolish the old law, by which no one of the three witnesses required for a Christian's will could be a Jew -- a blind provision, which has been the source of more trouble to Christians than Jews. Then the rule, still on the statute-books in Austria, that a Jew's evidence in a civil case against a Christian should be considered as "doubtful," will be done away; as also the present prohibition, which prevents any but a Christian from filling the office of Notary. This last provision is no older than 1855. Before that year Jews were allowed to be Notaries, and it is said that there is a Jewish Notary in Prague, who was appointed under the old law, and holds his office still. It is proper that the Government should concede these rights to an oppressed class; but one cannot but notice how, through these reforms, it hopes to escape more pressing and important demands from its subjects. Hungary demands her constitutional rights, and the Emperor grants a couple of reforms to Venice. Tyrol desires her ancient and guaranteed privileges, and he emancipates the Jews at Prague! No matter -- the day is coming

1860: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Henry S. Jacob officiated at the weeding of Daniel S. Hart and Priscilla Lopez, “the only daughter of David Lopez.”

1860: “Affairs in France” published today described the conflict between the French Empress and Achille Fould, the Jewish financier and political leader whom she used to value as an advisor.  The Empress has changed her view of Fould due to the influence of the Catholic clergy.  Fould is not bothered by the possible loss of the Pope’s temporal power while the clergy and the Empress are greatly distressed by such a possibility. It is rumored that the Empress has said she will not return from England until Fould has been dismissed from office.

1862(25th of Kislev, 5623): Chanukah

1862: Birthdate of Moriz Reosenthal, the native of Lemberg who became a world renowned pianist and composer.

1862: General Grant, in issuing his infamous Order 11, ordered all "Jews as a class" expelled from his lines. In New York City 7000 Jews marched in protest against his decision. Lincoln rescinded his order.  Grant never explained the order.  Grant had shown something of a nativist streak in the 1850’s when he reportedly supported the Know Nothing Party.  As President, Grant maintained cordial relations with Jewish leaders.  After leaving the Presidency, Grant lent his name to petitions protesting the treatment of Russian Jews and he made a contribution to the newly formed Adas Israel Congregation in its formative years! (For more see When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna , a “must read” and Jews and the Civil War edited by Johnathan Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn)

1863: Eleven year old Frederic Hymen Cowen gave “his first genuine public recital at the Bijou Theatre of the old Her Majesty’s Opera House.

1864: La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen), an operetta by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto co-authored Ludovic Halévy “was first performed at Paris's Théâtre des Variétés” today.

1870: This evening will mark the close of the Hebrew Fair which has been held for several days at the 22nd Regiment Armory in New York City.

1874: At today’s meeting of the Board of Alderman in New York, the resolution submitted a t a previous meeting in favor of permitting the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society to sublet their premises” which is property own by the city “was called up and laid over.”

1875: The three men convicted of killing a Jewish peddler named Abraham Weissburg are scheduled to be executed today in New York.

1875: It was reported today that in the Hebrew Charity Fair’s contest for most popular minister Dr. Einhorn is in first place with 43 votes followed by Dr. Isaacs with 37 votes.  This is just part of the many activities connected with this pre-Chanukah fundraising fair.

1875: P. Nathan Rubenstein was identified as the man who had bought the knife that was used in the murder of Sarah Alexander. The same witness said she had not sold this unique item to Lewis Rubenstein, Nathan’s brother.  Both of the young men are Jewish.

1878: Garnier and Schaefer will play tonight at the Hebrew Fair in Tammany Hill.[ Garnier and Schaefer were locally famous billiard players and this match must have been part of the fair’s fundraising activities.]

1880: Ernst Henrici delivered a speech propagating his anti-Semitic ideas at the Imperial Hall.

1881(25th of Kislev, 5642): Chanukah

1882: It was reported today that Herr Belchman has come to the conclusion that there are both blond and dark haired people among the Jews living in Western Russia.  Furthermore, they have “narrower chests” and “shorter heads” than their non-Jewish counterparts.

1882: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil had testified before Senators Boy and Browning who are investigating “corner and futures and the effect… they have on commerce and public morals.” The Rabbi said he could not speak about the business aspect of the topic.  But as to the moral implication he cited the Jewish prohibitions against allowing a man who engaged in gambling to serve as a Judge as a witness.  Furthermore, the lure of gambling misled young man and was comparable to putting a stumbling block before the blind.

1883: Madame Fanny Janauschek will appear in tonight’s production of “Zillah, the Hebrew Mother” at the Third Avenue Theatre in New York

1883: A Jewish peddler named Simon Holzman was assaulted and nearly killed near Eatontown, NJ.

1885: Julius C. Koosher, a Russian Jew who came to this country after his business was destroyed in his native land because of his religion and who worked in the United States worked as a land agent but was cheated out the money owed to him by the railroad tycoon Henry Villard, was being held by authorities after having been arrested yesterday for trying to murder 20 prominent Californians and blow up Chinatown

1887: In Chicago, Charles and Mary Haas, gave birth to Rose Alice Alschuler, the child educator and Zionist who was the wife of Alfred Samuel Alschuler, Sr.

1887: Simplicius, a story of the Thirty Years' War, with a libretto by Victor Léon was produced at the Theater an der Wien today.

1888: In Philadelphia, PA, Mat Goldberger went to trail today for the murder last April of Mrs. Annie Schuleberg

1888: The Republican Club of 450 5th Avenue blackballed Benjamin F. Peixotto and James W. Moses this evening

1889: Mrs. Martin M. Lewis took a leading part in the activities at today’s Hebrew Fair.

1889: A fire broke in a tenement on Eldridge Street that housed several Jewish owned businesses as well as a synagogue and school used by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1889: Anton Solki, an itinerant Jewish dentist will be arraigned today in Yorkville for having attacked Dr. C.H. de Lamater, after the latter had treated him for a dental problem.  The accused does not remember the attack and can give no reason for having done what he is accused of doing.

1890: The Auxiliary Society of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is scheduled to host a reception at Terrace Garden this evening.

1891: “Under Cover Of Her Child’s Right” published today described the case of Hannah Bocks a Russian Jewess who will be allowed to stay in the United States because her child was born here and “the law will not permit her to be separated from her child” who is an American by birth.

1891: Alexander Becce, a Russian Jew living in San Antonio, TX filed suit today in Federal court against the Hamburg-American Packet Company for $5,000 in damages after the company refused to honor the tickets it had sold him or to refund his money.

1891(16th of Kislev, 5652): Benedict Zuckermann, an observant German-Jewish mathematician and astronomer passed away today.  He was a colleague of Henrich Graetz and a supporter of Zacharis Frankel.

1892: Birthdate of American biochemist Edwin Cohn.  In 1940 the hard-driving Harvard biochemist Edwin Cohn broke plasma down into its different proteins — and saved millions of soldiers' lives Most fatalities in World War I occurred not from the direct physical damage of bullet wounds but from loss of blood. In the spring of 1940, as another war seemed inevitable, finding a way to replace lost blood became a medical priority. Edwin Cohn, a Harvard biochemist, took on the problem of breaking down blood plasma to isolate a protein called albumin that could be stored for long periods without spoiling, shipped efficiently and used easily on a battlefield to save lives. Patriotic blood drives yielded whole blood from which a small inventory of albumin had been accumulated by December 7, 1941. It was rushed to Pearl Harbor where it proved enormously successful in the first battlefield setting.  Cohn headed up a government effort to oversee the production of albumin. His work throughout the war to improve the process and the consequent successes of blood products on the battlefield were one of the keys to victory for the Americans in World War II. He passed away in 1953.

1892: Rabbi David Cahn conducted services this morning as Rodeph Shalom continued the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary which included a sermon, delivered in German, by Rabbi Wise entitled “Retrospective Glances” that traced the history of the congregation

1892: In an attempt to exercise better control over the Jews, “the Russian Senate has promulgated a law requiring that Jewish artisans shall only reside in places where official boards of trade exist.”

1892: Samuel Muhr a leading Philadelphia Jewish merchant and Mayer Sulzberger a prominent Jewish Philadelphia lawyer were among the dignitaries who attended a dinner at the Art Club in Philadelphia honoring the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who was also the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee.

1892: The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Rodeph Sholom continues today with services starting at 9:30 a.m.

1893: Birthdate of Erwin Piscator. The German born Piscator has been described as one of the most renowned figures of modern theater famous for his avant-garde productions at the Epic Theater in Weimar Berlin and his innovative contributions to the American stage.

1893: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon on “Shall We Give State Aid to Denominational Schools?” this morning at Temple Emanu-El

1893: In “France and Autocracy” published today Gabriel Monod of The Contemporary Reviews writes “we cannot go on feigning ignorance” of the persecution of the Jews by the “Russian autocratic government.”

1894:  Birthdate of Arthur Fiedler.  Fiedler gained fame as the conductor of the Boston Pops which he turned into an American institution.  He passed away in 1979.

1895: “The Sweat-Shop Problem” published today described the growth of the clothing industry which “has been built up…largely on the cheap labor of poor Jews who have sought refuge here from oppression in other countries.

1895: The New York Life Insurance Company made a donation of $500 to the Hebrew Educational Fair which was conveyed to Oscar Straus in the form of a check from its president, John A. McCall.

1895: Max Schindler was injured today when he tried to stop a fight between Italian and Jewish pushcart peddlers on Essex Street which was being repaved.

1897: New Yorkers who were contributing to American kolel “incorporated today as ‘The American Congregation, Pride of Jerusalem.’”

1898(4th of Tevet, 5659): On his 59th birthday, Liberal MP Ferdinand James Anselm, Freiherr von Rothschild who had become a British citizen, endowed the Evelina Hospital for Sick Children in Southwark, south London in memory of his wife who had died in childbirth and held leadership position in the Anglo-Jewish community including Warden of the Central Synagogue and Treasurer of the Jewish Board of Guardians passed away today.

1900(25th of Kislev, 5661): First Chanukah of the 20th century

1900: British soldier and diplomat Sir Matthew Nathan began serving as the Governor of the Gold Coast.

1900: New buildings were opened on Ellis Island as it returned to operation following fire which had meant that immigrants, including tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants, had been processed at the Barge Office.

1901: Birthdate of Lee Strasberg.  Strasberg was an actor and a director.  But his greatest fame came from teaching others to act.  He passed away in 1982

1903 (28th Kislev, 5664): On the fourth day of Chanukah The Wright Brothers made their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. According to some, the success of the Dayton bicycle men was based on early work by Otto Lielenthal who died during a flight test seven years before.  Arthur L. Welsh, a young Jew from Dayton, was one of the early pilots who were taught to fly by the Wright brothers. When Welsh died in 1912 during a test flight, he was the only pilot employed by Wrights who were close friends as well as his mentors. Finally, Hart O. Berg played a critical role in helping the Wright Brothers promote their aircraft on their first European tour and his wife was one of their first, if not the first woman to fly with the Wrights

1904: T.C. Evans reviewed “he Life of Lord Beaconsfield” by Walter Sichel, a “biographical study of the remarkable man, wit, statesman, novelist, the celebration of whose centenary is now at hand.”

1905: “After weeks of anxious waiting the national committee which is raising the relief fund for the victims of the Russian massacres” today received from “Sir Samuel Montague and Lord Rothschild the first reports concerning the distribution of the $1,000,000 already sent” from the United States and Jews in western Europe.

1905: It was reported today the relief fund for the Jews suffering from the massacres in Russia totaled $1,172,639 including $424 from the “Orthodox Hebrews of Jacksonville, Fla.

1905: A map published today “shows at a glance where…massacres of the Jews have occurred “in Russia.

1906: Oscar Straus became the third U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

1909: Muslims in Tunis protested when Jews were going to be put under French jurisdiction. Muslims stated that this was discriminatory and a violation of treaties, even though it was the Muslims the French were going to protect the Jews from.

1912: In Chicago, Sinai Temple is scheduled to host the Chicago Woman’s Aid for Opera Day this afternoon.

1912: The funeral for Ernest J.D. Rappaport, the eighteen year old son of Rabbi and Mrs. Julius Rappaport is scheduled to take place this afternoon.

1913: Birthdate of American business man Sol Linowitz who served as Chairman of the Board of Xerox Corp and negotiated the return of the Panama Canal.

1913: It was reported today that Judge Leonard S. Roan who had presided over the original Leo Frank trial and refused to grant a new trial “said that he personally was not absolutely convinced of the accused’s guilt or innocence.”

1914(29th of Kislev, 5675): Fifth day of Chanukah

1914: At Clark University, the school’s president gave the after-dinner address at the first banquet of the Menorah Society.

1914: “Albert Lucas, Secretary of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America announced today that he had received a letter from the Secretary of the Jews’ Temporary Shelter in London saying ‘If you can see your way of further assisting us in our extremely heavy outlay by making a grant to our funds you can be sure that the money will be put to the best possible purpose, especially for food and lodging for the Yiddish-speaking and refugees from Belgium.’”

1914: It was reported today that Senator Ellison Smith the South Carolina bigot and racist who was Chairman of the Committee on Immigration expressed his opposition to any change to the immigration laws that might be of benefit of Jews Russia.

1914: In New York, Herbert L. Satterlee “announced that he had completed arrangements with Felix Warburg who was at the head of the committee for the relief of the Jews in Poland, whereby the Polish American Relief Committee and the Polish American Relief Committee and Mr. Warburg’s committee would work in unison in relieving the distress of the Poles.”

1914:  The Turks expelled the Jews of Tel Aviv, sending them to Egypt.  Many of the Jews were native Russians.  Since Russia and Turkey were enemies during World War I, the Turks saw these Russian Jews as potential enemy agents or worse.  

1914: This “afternoon Bedouin police raided the Ghetto at Jaffa, arrested 1,600 persons and drove them at the point of the bayonet” While being forced aboard the already overcrowded Florio, “sever of the men resenting the brutalities to their wives were thrown overboard by boatmen and drowned before the eyes of the women.” (Editor’s note – these Jews were transported to Alexandria where they found temporary refuge at the Hotel Metropole)

1915(10th of Tevet, 5676): Asara B’Tevet

1915(10th of Tevet, 5676): Seventy-one year old Imperial Councilor Adolf Schrmack passed away today in Vienna.

1915: Today “The National Workmen’s Committee on Jewish Rights, a body representing 500,000 Jewish workers organized ‘to assist in obtaining rights for Jews in countries of the present war zone where they are deprived of their rights,’ received a letter …from Samuel Gompers which included a set of resolutions adopted by the American Federation of Labor at its recent convention in San Francisco in which the federation took steps to co-operate with the committee.”

1916: “The Joint Distribution Committee which is led by Chairman Felix M. Warburg and Treasurer Herbert H. Lehman continued to receive “large contributions from all parts of the country” including $5,500 from the Baltimore Committee and $2,000 from the Omaha Committee.

1916: It was reported today that the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War of which Harry Fischel is the Treasurer received $225 from the committee in Sioux City, Iowa, $124 from Rokeach and Sons and $35 from the committee in Marshalltown, Iowa.

1916: At tonight’s annual meet of the Brooklyn Federated Jewish Charities, Edward Lazansky the former Secretary of the State for New York was President of the organization succeeding Benjamin H. Namm who had held the job for the past four years.

1916: Tonight, “a recommendation that the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis representing more than 1,000,000 Jewish in the Eastern and New England States, officially indorse the German peace proposals and a pleas that a federation of synagogues be formed at once to check the spread of Jewish religious indifference were made…by Rabbi Joseph Silverman at Temple Emanu-El in his Presidential message to eighty rabbis assembled for the Autumn conference of the council” which was chaired by Justice Irving Lehman.

1916: Today, 750 person heard a sermon delivered by Rabbi Jesse Bienfeld at the dedication of “Judah Halevi Temple, a $30,000 white brick structure at 106th Street and Morris Avenue” which was atteneded by Judge Otto Rosalsky and Charles Eno.

1916: Felix M. Warburg, the President of the Manhattan Federated Jewish Charities and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise expressed their support for the “amalgamation” of the Brooklyn and Manhattan federations.

1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Eighth Day of Chanukah

1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Sixty-four year old Julia Matilda Cohen, the daughter of Jacob and Matilda Waley and the wife of Nathaniel Cohen who was the longtime president of the Union of Jewish Women and author whose works included The Children’s Prayer Book…with a Prayer Book for Home Use in Jewish Families, Infants’ Bible Reader and Addresses to Children, passed away today.

1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Thirty-six year old Dov Ber Borochov, one of the founding fathers of the Labor Zionist movement, passed away.

1917: Birthdate of Jacob Landau, the native of Philadelphia who gained fame as an artist “known for his evocative works on the human condition.

1917: “According to the Messaggero, the Pope has addressed a circular to all Bishops in the belligerent countries declaring that if any Christian State aids the Turks in an attempt to retake Jerusalem it will be condemned by the Hoy See.”

1918: Release date for “Carmen” a 1918 German silent drama film directed by Ernst Lubitsch

1919(25th of Kislev, 5680): Chanukah

1920: It was reported today ant one-eighth of the 2,000 students attending the University of Chicago are Jewish.

1921: In Chicago, Morton David Cahn, the son of Joseph and Miriam Cahn, and Julia Elizabeth Cahn gave birth to Alan Hofeller Cahn

1923: Early in his career, Sid Terris fought a future Lightweight Boxing Champion “to a ten round draw at Madison Square Garden” in New York City.

1924: Birthdate of Yohai Ben-Nun, the sixth commander of the Israeli Navy.

1928: Aaron Copland was part of a group participating in a musical event at the New School for Social Work today.

1928: New York Municipal Court Justice Panken presided over a meeting of the American Ort tonight at the Pennsylvania Hotel where he said today “anti-Semitism runs rampant” in Russia and Nathan Chanin of the Jewish Socialist Federation said “Jewish children were discriminated against in Russian vocational schools” while “Jews were prohibited from buying food in the Soviet cooperatives” which meant they “were obliged to deal directly with farmers who exacted exorbitant prices.”

1929:  In New York City, Oliver C. and Ida Panish Safir gave birth to William Safire.  Unique among the Jews of his generation, Safire was a conservative Republican who was a speech writer for President Nixon.  He spent almost three decades as a political columnist for The New York Times.

1930: According to reports published today, Arabs have failed to stop Jewish settlers from plowing their land at Hedera after they lost a lawsuit designed to keep the land from the Jews.  After the police intervened, the Arabs agreed to await the outcome of the appeal before taking any further action.  The Arabs said that they understood the recently issued White Paper to mean that all land in Palestine belonged to them.

1931: “Tonight or Never,” a comedy directed by Mervyn LeRoy, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, with music by Alfred Newman and co-starring Melvyn Douglas was released in the United States today.

1931: In Manhattan, Blanche and Milton Frankfurt gave birth to Stephen Owen Frankfurt “an advertising executive who helped lead the transformation of television commercials from straightforward sales pitches in the 1950s to sophisticated, art-designed productions”  (As reported by Leslie Kaufman)

1931: The meeting of the World Islamic conference came to an end in Jerusalem.  The conference agreed to deny Jews access to the al-Aksa Mosque as a first step to undermining efforts of the Zionists to live peacefully side by side with their Arab neighbors.  

1933: In today’s Advent sermon Michael von Faulhaber, the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich “spoke to the "People of Israel" about the "Old Testament" and declared "This treasure did not grow in your own garden... this condemnation of usurious land-grabbing; this war against the oppression of the farmer by debt, this prohibition of usury, is certainly not the product of your spirit!". (Editor’s Note: Guenter Lewy concludes: "It, therefore, is little short of falsification of history when Faulhaber's sermons in 1933 are hailed by one recent Catholic writer [Yves Congar] as a 'condemnation of the persecution of Jews)

1935: Based on votes counted so far, Meier Dizengoff trails Laborite Joseph Aronowitz in the Tel Aviv mayoral election held on Sunday.

1936: Governor Herbert H. Lehman is scheduled to deliver the opening address at the Jewish Theological Seminary in what will be the first in a series of programs designed to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the institution.

1937: Temple Shaaray Tefila began a weekend of services dedicating their reconstructed sanctuary. The Temple had been the victim of an arsonist’s fire in March necessitating this rebuilding project.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Arabs were killed when British troops and police fought a large Arab gang near Tulkarm.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish boy of 16 was killed when a Polish hooligan shot him and threw a bomb at a shop in the village of Czarna, near Warsaw, completely demolishing it. Polish officials were reported to be planning to deport, with French approval, some 30,000 Jewish families, 120,000 persons to Madagascar, within the next six years. France demanded that the refugees be supplied with sufficient capital to make their planned farms profitable.

1938: After almost two weeks of terrorist activities in Haifa during which three Arabs and four Jews have been killed, Haifa enjoyed a third day “of tranquility.”

1939(5th of Tevet, 5700): Fifty-seven year old Congressman William Irving Sirovich passed away today.

1940: Thanks to the efforts of Marge Iverson, the wife of Phillip Iverson, The St, Johnsbury Jewish Woman’s Club held its first meeting in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

1940: Drunken SS guards at the Sachsenhausen labor camp awaken Jews during a frigid night and order them to roll in the snow.

1941: Presidential Executive Order 8982 created the Board of Economic Warfare among whose employees was Raphael Lemkin the Polish lawyer who created the term “genocide” in 1944.

1941: The slaughter of the Jews of Skede, which began on December 15, came to an end. German security police and Latvian police marched almost three thousand Jews to a ditch, forced them to strip and then shot them in groups of ten.  For those who doubt the truth, Yad Vashem has a photograph that was taken by one of the German or Latvian killers.

1941: German Christian church leaders of Saxony, Nassau-Hesse, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstei, Anhalt, Thuringia and Lubeck announced that the “severest measures” should be taken against the Jews, who should be expelled from German territories.

1941(27th of Kislev, 5702): Dr. David Dubslo and two of his colleagues died of spotted typhus while treating Gypsies who had been sent to the Lodz ghetto.  The Gypsies lived in a special section of the ghetto and had no doctors of their own.

1942: Celebration of the 80th birthday of Moriz Rosenthal.

1942: “Random Harvest,” the film version of the novel with the same name directed by Mervyn LeRoy and filmed by Joseph Ruttenberg was released today.

1942: Dr. Samuel Goldenson is scheduled to officiate at the funeral services for David M. Bressler at Temple Emanu-El

1942: The Yishuv announces a 30-day period of mourning to commemorate the tragedy of the Jews in Europe.

1942: Pressure from members of Parliament, from Jewish groups in England, from the Anglican Church, from the British press, and from the Polish government-in-exile persuades the Allied governments to publish their first official recognition of atrocities in Poland. The Allied nations--Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee--officially condemn the Nazis' "bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination." They vow to punish those responsible. Several U.S. State Department officials try to block this declaration. All previous and following declarations neglect to mention Jews.

1942: Accepting the United States government’s position that the Jews being massacred by the Germans can be helped only by a total and unconditional Allied victory over Germany, the American press continues to treat the Holocaust as just another war story, and is unwilling to discuss the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Given the Allied governments' knowledge of the Holocaust at this time, waiting until the Allied Armed Forces have achieved a total victory over the Germans indicates that the Allied governments have accepted the probability that the majority of European Jews will be killed before the Germans can be stopped.

1942: Jewish inmates at the labor camp at Kruszyna, Poland, near Radom, attack guards with knives and fists. Six prisoners are killed and four escape.

1942: The Allies issued a statement saying Jews were being taken to tBirkenau, the part of Auschwitz devoted to extermination and killed.

1943 Sixty year old German actress who was forced to divorce her Jewish husband actor Fritz Spira by the Nazis and was the mother of Camilla Spira whom she saved from the Weterbork transit camp (a first stop on the trip to death in the East) and actress Steffie Spira passed away soon after hearing that Fritz had died in a concentration camp in Yugoslaia.

1943: Transport 63 departed with a cargo of French Jews being sent to Nazi-Germany

1943: Jews are executed at Kovno, Lithuania, as reprisal for an escape of several Jews from the ghetto.

1943: Birthdate of Barbara Berman who as Barbara Berman Dobkin, the wife of Eric Dobkin became “the pre-eminent Jewish feminist philanthropist of the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century.”

1944(1st of Tevet, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Tevet coincides with the 2nd day of the Battle of the Bulge.

1944: On the second day of the Battle of the Bulge Sergeant Roddie Edmonds who refused to tell the Germans which of his troops were Jewish saying definitely that “We are all Jews here” ate his last meal.

1945: U.S. Senate votes for Wagner-Taft resolution calling for free entry of Jews into Palestine and establishment of Jewish commonwealth. Wagner is Senator Robert Wagner, a New York liberal Democrat. Taft is Senator Robert Taft a conservative Republican from Ohio.  This shows the bipartisan support the measure had.

1945: Birthdate of Novisibrsk native Ariye (Arik) Paz (Feingold) who parents Zelda and Simcha immigrated to Israel in 1948 where he served on the Submarine Dakar which was lost on January 25, 1968 at the age of 22.

1946: Sylvia Fine and Danny Kaye gave birth to their daughter Dena,

1946: Land purchases and budgetary matters were discussed at a meeting of the World Zionist Congress.

1946: Birthdate of Hamilton, Canada native Eugene Levy the writer and comedic actor is best known to Americans for his role in “American Pie.”

1947: Birthdate of Russian violinist Zakhar Bron.

1947: Birthdate of Eddie Antar who was the cofounder of the electronics retail chain Crazy Eddie, Inc. He fled to Israel in February, 1990 to avoid. Later, he was extradited and convicted of securities fraud and racketeering.

1947: In the face of mounting violence and fearing that worse was to come, the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem opened a blood bank with goal of producing 1000 doses of plasma.

1947: The U.S. State Department expressed its fears that the Soviet Union is supplying arms to both sides of the Palestine conflict.

1947: The Arab League Council announced it will stop the proposed partition of Palestine by force and begins raids on the Jewish communities in Palestine.

1947: The State Department reported that the Arab League Council had begun buying weapons to implement its policy of thwarting the partition of Palestine.

1947: Moshe Shertok, Jewish Agency political head, charges that British are obstructing partition and that British administration does not protect Jews from Arab attacks, yet they prevent Jews from defending themselves. Dr. Nahum Goldmann,

1947: The Jewish Agency executive, reports Jewish plans for Swiss-like neutrality.

1947: Pinchas Ben-Porat, a pilot with Sherut Avir, the air arm of Haganah, boarded his single engine RWD-13 and flew a medical doctor to the small town of Beit Eshel.

1947: After completing his flight to Beit Eshel, “Ben-Porat was assigned a support role to Nevatim, a Jewish settlement in the Negev desert. When Nevatim came under attack by Arab irregulars, Ben-Porat flew an RWD 13 or Auster to Nevatim. Upon arriving, he removed the right door of the plane and set up a Bren gun and gunner with several hand grenades. Ben-Porat and his gunner flew a half-hour of close air support. The tactic was emulated by many Jewish pilots and crew in the Israeli War of Independence.” Once he completed that leg of the mission Ben-Porat was supposed to fly to Nevatim, but learning that 200 Arabs were assaulting it, he removed the doors of his aircraft to install a Bren Gun, and with a volunteer gunner and some hand grenades, took off for the village

1948: Four thousand, one hundred Jews set sail from Yugoslavia for Israel.

1949: Today marked the final performance of the original Broadway production of “Regina” a Mrc Blitzstein opera based Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” conducted by Maurice Abravanel, choreographed by Anna Sokolow and starring Brenda Lewis “Birdie.”

1950: Actress Ruth Roman, the daughter of Lithuanian-Jewish parents, married Mortimer Hall.

1951: In Chicago, Bernard Meltzer, “a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials” and his wife gave birth to Daniel Julius Meltzer, the Harvard Law School Professor who was an adviser to President Obama.

1952: According to a report issued today by Moshe Kol, co-treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and chairman of the Youth Aliyah management committee in Israel twenty million dollars has been expended by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, on its Youth Aliyah (youth immigration) activities in Israel in the last eighteen and a half years.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the new Mapai-General Zionists coalition won 73 seats in the Knesset.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that in New York, more than 19,000 persons, attending the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, at the Madison Square Garden, purchased $2,575,000 worth of Israel Bonds.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that officers and men of the Jerusalem Area Police Force contributed IL 136 to the Post's Hanukkah Toy Fund, the largest amount given by any organized group of workers, and assisted the newspaper's volunteers in the distribution of toys and sweets in the Jerusalem Corridor's outlying ma'abarot.

1956: In London, Conservative politician Nigel Lawson, and his first wife socialite Vanessa Salmon gave birth to journalist Dominic Lawson

1956: Time magazine “panned" Jewish playwright’s “Night of the Auk” saying “that a good case of actors…were unhappily squandered on a pudding of a script…that sounded like cosmic advertising copy.”

1958: In Cedar Rapids, IA, George and Joyce Skinner gave birth to Kevin Skinner, a loyal member of Temple Judah.

1959: “The fourth Knesset started with David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party forming the ninth government” today.

1959: Haim-Moshe Shapira replaced Israel Bar-Yehuda as Internal Affairs Minister.

1959: Yisrael Barzilai completed his term in office as Communications Minister.

1959: Rabbi Ya'akov Moshe Toledano returned to his position as Minister of Religions.

1960(28th of Kislev, 5721): Fifty-nine year old Bella Weretnikow Rosenbaum, the first Jewish female attorney in the state of Washington, passed away today.

1960: After 488 performances the curtain came down on “Take Me Long” a musical whose book was co-authored by Joseph Stein and with lighting by Jean Rosenthal.

1963(1st of Tevet, 5724): Seventh Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet observed for the first time during the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson

1964: Nobel Prize winner Victor Francis Hess passed away.  A native of Austria, the non-Jewish Hess fled his native country because his wife was Jewish.

1965: Astronomer David H. Levy began his search for comets.

1966: “El Dorado” a western co-starring James Caan was released today in Japan.

1966: Birthdate of Aryeh Judah Schoen Nusbacher, the New York native who “became a Senior Lecturer at Sandhurst, a captain in the Territorial Guard and Baal Koreh at the Guilford Synagogue” and who has been Lynette Nusbacher “since her gender change in 2007.”

1968(26th of Kislev, 5729): Second day of Chanukah

1968: It was reported today that the announcement of the rescinding of the order of expulsion of the Jews by Ferdinand and Isabella took on an additional significance because it also marked “the opening of the first synagogue built in Spain in 600 years.

1969: A planned attack by two British national on an El Al plane in London was “forestalled” today.

1970: “Alex in Wonderland” a comedy directed and written by Paul Mazursky and featuring future Oscar winner Michael Lerner was released today in the United States.

1972: Release date for “Avanti!” a comedy produced and directed by Billy Wilder with a screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A. L. Diamond

1972: “The Heartbreak Kid” a comedy directed by Elaine May, written by Neil Simon and Bruce Jay Friedman and co-starring Charles Grodin and Jeannie Berlin was released in the United States today.

1973: Arab terrorist killed 32 passengers when they tried to attack a Pan American jet at the Rome airport.

1973: At the Rome airport Arab terrorist hijacked a Lufthansa jet and flew to Kuwait 12 live and one dead hostages were released and the Kuwaitis released the terrorist to the PLO after refusing to extradite them to Italy.

1974: Birthdate of super chef Duff Goldman.

1974: Release date for “Front Page,” the cinematic adaptation of Ben Hecht’s play made possible by the writing team of I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder who also served as the director, starring Walter Matthau and featuring Harold Gould as “The Mayor” and Allen Garfield as “Kruger.”

1976(25th of Kislev, 5737): Chanukah for the last time during the Presidency of Gerald Ford

1977: “Capricorn One” a Mars based mystery directed by Peter Hyams, with music by Jerry Goldsmith and starring Elliot Gould was released in Japan today.

1978: Channel 2 (WCBS) broadcasts “Lamp Unto My Feet – Chanukah in Romania” at ten o’clock this morning.

1978(17th of Kislev, 5739: Eighty-year old Irving Jacobson, a star of the Yiddish theatre who made the successfully transition to the world of American film and legitimate theatre passed away today.

1980(10th of Tevet, 5741): Asar B’Tevet

1982: Opening of “Tootsie,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

1982: In the U.K. and U.S. opening of Frank Oz’s “The Dark Crystal.”

1982: “Best Friends” with a script by Barry Levinson and co-starring Goldie Hawn and Ron Silver was released in the United States today by Warner Brothers.

1982: Israeli born cellist Ofra Harnoy, a winner of the 1982 Concert Artists Guild Award, made her debut this evening at the Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of 17.

1984: Three people were injured when terrorists hurled grenades at a Tel Aviv bus stop.

1986: “The Name of the Rose” a medieval murder mystery featuring Ron Perlman as “Salvatore” and Elya Baskin as “Severinus” was released in France today.

1988: Abdeen Jabara, the 45-year-old president of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, an American citizen, was barred from entering Israel today.  According to a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry the decision was based on Jabara’s record which includes “activities as a lawyer defending terrorists, attempts to prevent the collection of money for Israel, trying to legally prevent the entry of Prime Minister Shamir into the U.S., and an F.B.I. investigation against him.''

1989: The New York Times reviewed “Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy” by Israeli lawyer Carmel Shalev.

1991(10th of Tevet, 5752): Asara B'Tevet

1992: After more than 18 months of racial and ethnic unrest, Jews and blacks joined hands tonight in an emotional session at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater to recall their past alliances and pray for future healing. The reason for the gathering was the showing of a documentary on the black soldiers who liberated Jews from Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II.

1992: As violence from Palestinian terrorist escalated 415 terrorist leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were flown to Israel’s northern border and deported to Lebanon. 

1992: At the Apollo Theater in Harlem, another screening of “Liberators,” directed by Williams Miles and Nina Rosenblum, was held before an audience of 1,200 prominent Jews and blacks, hosted by three influential politicians: Congressman Charles Rangel, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and Jesse Jackson. Elie Wiesel, who didn’t appear in the film, sent a videotaped message of support, and the event was broadcast on WNET. (As reported by Mark Schulte)

1993: Today Judith Rodin became the first graduate of the University of Pennsylvania to serve as the president of that school and she became the first woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university.

1993(3rd of Tevet, 5754): Fifty year old actress Janet Margolin lost her battle with ovarian cancer and passed away today.

1993: “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” a comedy directed, produced and written by Mel Brooks and co-starring Richard Lewis was released in France today.

1994: In Los Angeles, “jazz pianist Michael Wolff and actress Poll Draper” gave birth to actor and music Nathaniel Marvin Wolff, the older brother of singer/songwriter Alex Wolff.

1995:”Vatican Reaffirms Its Policy on Jerusalem” published today takes issued with Leah Rabin’s description of the Pope’s comments about the Israeli capital city.

1995: The New York Times featured a review of the recently published paperback edition of Yehoshua Kenaz’s The Way To The Cats, an “Israeli novel that presents old age with all its ravages” as seen through the life of its protagonist “Yolanda Moscowitz, 76, who is recuperating from a broken leg in a rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, where she hopes that her dignity won't go the way of her beauty.

1996(7th of Tevet, 5757): Song writer Irving Caesar passed away.  Born in 1895, he was originally known as Isidor Caesar.  He wrote lyrics for "Swanee," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Crazy Rhythm," and "Tea for Two," one of the most frequently recorded tunes ever written.

1966: “Unlike Agnel” a Christmas made-for-television movie featuring Eli Marienthal as “Matthew” was broadcast for the first time by CBS.

1998:Parade,” “a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown” “premiered on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.”

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom by Bob Woodward, Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision by Louis Breger, Schmidt Delivered by Holocaust survivor Louis Begley and Sex and Power by Susan Estrich.

2000: In A Haunting Legacy in Provence” published today Michael Frank provides a brief informative view of the history of a French Jewry.

2001(2nd of Tevet, 5762): Ninety-four year old Jeanne Mandello the Jewish photographer who fled from Germany and France to escape the Nazis and who finally found refuge in Uruguay passed away today.

2002: The money that South African businessman Cyril Kern had lent to the campaign of Ariel Sharon was returned to him today.

2003: It was reported today that “Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters” will honor “Mark Canton with the Sydney J. Rosenberg Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th Annual Dinner & Auction Gala” being held at the Century Plaza Hotel next month.

2005: On SNL, Andy Samberg co-starred in the Digital Short "Lazy Sunday", a nerdcore hip hop song performed by two Manhattanites on a quest to see the film The Chronicles of Narnia.

2006: Sir Arnold Wesker, the Jewish dramatist was the castaway on Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4

2006: The Times of London names Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (translated by Sandra Smith) as number one on its list of “The Best Books of 2006.” This recently discovered volume written by a French Jewish author describes life in France in the early days of World War II.  The book was written as Nemirovsky fled from the Nazis.  She perished in the death camps before she had a chance to complete the work or edit it.

2006: The Jewish people should develop a long-term strategic planning mechanism to address the threats that endanger all Jews, according to recommendations submitted at today’s cabinet meeting. According to former US envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross "The nature of the threats to the Jewish people put a premium on better planning," Ross is chairman of the board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jewish Agency think tank presenting the recommendations to the cabinet in the framework of its third annual assessment of the state of the Jewish people.

2006: In Boston, WGBH-FM (89.7) airs "Chanukah: A Time for Superheroes" The radio special is about the connection between superheroes and Judaism. It has input from Stan Lee, "Spiderman" director Sam Raimi, Bryan Singer of the X-Men movies, and Michael Chabon, an author who dissects comics and Judaism in his book "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

2006: The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) opened its 38th Annual Conference, San Diego, California.

2006(26th of Kislev, 5767): Dodger Pitcher Larry Sherry, who with his brother Norm formed the only all brother, all Jewish battery in baseball history that led a team (the 1959 Dodgers) to a World Series Championship, passed away.

2007: After only 3 months with the team, punter Josh Miller was released by the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.

2007: In Chevy Chase, MD, historian Walter Isaacson discusses his most recent book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, at the Friendship Heights Village Center.

2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a chief rabbinical chaplain is servicing the spiritual and religious needs of Jewish soldiers in Russia's armed forces and various security services.  The position is currently being filled by thirty four year old Rabbi Aharon Gurevich.

2007: The owners of the 2nd Avenue Deli “literally cut the salami and officially welcomed hungry patrons to its new address on 33rd Street near Third Avenue in Manhattan. Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, is the new proprietor. Once again we can savor the best tongue sandwich and meat knishes in the known world.

2008: “The Wrestler,” a sports movie directed and co-produced by Darren Aronofsky and with a screenplay by Robert Siegel “was released in a limited capacity” today in the United States.

2008: In New York, Chamber Music at the Y features acclaimed Jerusalem born pianist, Benjamin Hochman

2008: The rocket that shattered the front windshield of Pinchas Cohen's bright yellow hatchback this evening narrowly missed his wife and son. So as he stood with his arms folded in front of him in the dark parking lot outside the Victory supermarket in Sderot  this evening, Cohen thanked God for saving his family. He turned his eyes in the direction of the sky. "Who else but God could have saved them?" he asked. This was the second time his family had been spared. Only last year, he said, a rocket fell meters from his Sderot home while he, his wife and their three children were vacationing in Jerusalem.

2008: Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, announced today that it had invested $90 million with Bernard Madoff, who has been charged with securities fraud. This means that “The Madoff Scam” may cost Hadassah the entire ninety million dollars.

2009: The Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and the Potomac Chapter offer a program entitled “Harry Truman and the Founding of Israel” featuring Allis and Ronald Radosh, authors of A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel.

2009(30 Kislev, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Kislev.

2009: The third annual Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism comes to a close today in Jerusalem.

2009: Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, an American lawyer and blogger also known as Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, who is the grandson of Yeshayahu Leibowitz also known as Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, “pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully disclosing five Secret level FBI documents in April 2009, to a blogger, who then published information derived from those documents on the blog.”

2009: Germany announced today that it was donating 87 million dollars to a new endowment for Auschwitz-Birkenau to preserve barracks, gas chambers and other evidence of Nazi crimes at the former death camp.

2010(10th of Tevet, 5771): Yarhtzeit of Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin)

2010(10th of Tevet, 5771): Fast of the Tenth of Tevet

2010: "A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell" is scheduled to open at Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan

2010: A traditional Friday Night Shabbat services with MesorahDC complete “with soulful melodies, contemporary insights, and stories followed by a three-course dinner is scheduled to take place at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

2010: The Los Angeles Times published David Ulin’s list of the ten top books of 2010 which included three works by Jewish authors – Almost Dead by by Assaf Gavron, Freedom by by Jonathan Franzen and The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg.

2010(10th of Tevet, 5771: Mary Jane “M.J.” Bear, a journalist and Internet pioneer who built websites around the world, died today at the age of 48. Bear, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, worked for TV and radio stations. At National Public Radio she became a vice president. She also worked for Online, Radio Free Europe in Prague and Microsoft, in Vienna, Austria. She launched websites for Microsoft in Greece, Poland, Israel and Turkey, as well as TV programming in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia. During her illness from leukemia, Bear created a website on Caring Bridge, which provides free and private websites “that connect people experiencing a significant health challenge to family and friends.” The site is now filled with touching tributes from friends and family. Bear took an active role in Jewish communities in every city in which she lived, and was a founding board member of the Online News Association, which is establishing an endowment fund in her name for young journalists.

2010: In an article published today entitled “Beneath the Dead Sea, Scientists Are Drilling for Natural History,” Isabel Kershner, describes how “an an international team of scientists has been drilling beneath the seabed to extract a record of climate change and earthquake history stretching back half a million years.”

2011: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, CA.

2011: The third weekend of Hamshoushalayim is scheduled to come to an end.

2011: Havdalah, Board Installation and Centennial are scheduled to take place this evening at the Union Of Reform Judaism Biennial.

2011: Opening night of the 13th annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival 

2012: The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue is scheduled to host “Living A Serious Jewish Life” which will examine what it mean to be an “observant Jew’ using The Observant Life as the basis for the presentation.

2012: Director Mariano Wainsztein is scheduled to discuss his film “The Mitzvah makers which premieres tonight at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

2012: “Jud Süss” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Dorit Beinisch, the first female President of the Supreme Court of Israel became an Officer at The French "National Order of the Legion of Honour

2012: A memorial service was held today for director, writer, actor and impresario Isaiah Sheffer

2012: Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the spiritual leader of one of the largest congregations in London and a former chief rabbi of Ireland, was named Britain's chief rabbi-designate today.

2012: The state informed the High Court of Justice today that it will evacuate the two Jewish families living in four rooms in Hebron’s Beit Ezra building.

2012: Funeral Services were held today for six-year old Noah Pozner, the youngest victim of the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the only Jew who was killed

2013: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “David” directed by Joel Fendelman and “Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish.”

2013: Weather permitting, the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to show “Jews for Sale” which tells the story of “the sale of Jews of Romania to the State Israel starting with WW II and climaxing during the rule of Nicolai Ceausescu.

2013: After having been indicted on charges of “obstruction of justice, child endangerment, failure to report child abuse and conspiracy” the Dauphin County Judge ruled that Graham Spanier’s attorneys “would not be allowed to call to the stand Cynthia Baldwin” the attorney for Penn State who had testified against him before the Grand Jury as part of a guarantee for immunity. (Spanier was the child of Holocuast survivors who served as the head of Penn State who was charged with not fulfilling his duties during the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation.)

2013: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to arrive in Israel tonight for a high-profile visit, which is expected, for the first time, to focus on political issues such as Iran and the peace process in addition to efforts to foster economic cooperation. (As reported by Raphael Ahren)

2013(3rd of Tevet. 5583): Eighty year old Dr. Robert Neuwirth, “a pioneering gynecologist” passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

2014: “Tito’s Glasses” and “Closer to the Moon” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014(25th of Kislev, 5775): Chanukah – one hundred years ago Jews in Vienna provided provisions for Jewish refugees who fled the battlefields held by the Russians to help them celebrate the holiday.

2014: “Canada and Australia announced that they would not attend a Geneva Convention conference hosted by Switzerland on the situation in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem today.’ (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014: “O live oil was used in the Land of Israel as early as 8,000 years ago, archaeologists working at an antiquities site in the Lower Galilee said today, heralding the earliest evidence for use of the staple in the country and possibly the entire Middle East.” (

2014: “American Alan Gross has been released from a Cuban prison after five years, as part of an agreement that also includes the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States.”

2015: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host Jeffery Gorsky, author of Exiles in Sepharad: The Jewish Millennium in Spain as he talks about “the incredible arc of the dramatic 1,000-year history of Spanish Jewry.

2015: Andy Sandberg served as host at the Emmy Awards

2016(17th of Kislev, 5777): Parashat Vayishlach 

2016:  The Brotherhood Synagogue is scheduled to host is “Annual Eyal Vilner Big Band Concert followed by continuous vodka and latkes.”

2016: The 14th Street Y is scheduled to host the penultimate performances of “Hannah and the Moonlit Dress.”

2016: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel is scheduled to host “Pankcakes and Prayer.”

2017: The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Iowa, is scheduled to host a screening of “I’m Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” a comedy “set entirely in a Chinese restaurant.”

2017: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Promise at Dawn: A Memoir by Romain Gary, The Kites by Romain Gary, Girls Trip by Tiffany Haddish, a former “energy producer at Bar Mitzvahs” and the recently released paperback edition of Judas by Amos Oz.

2017: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a special Chanukah party that includes events for history buffs, artists and music lovers of all ages.

2017: Matisyahu, Neshama Carlebach and Eli Schwebel are among the artists scheduled to perform at today’s concert at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York which is “a benefit concert to support JQY or Jewish Queer Youth.”

2017: In London, JWE3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Menashe,” the first Yiddish-language feature film that has been made in several years.

2017: Kosher Cajun restaurant is scheduled to “be frying up tons of fried chicken and latkes” for this afternoon’s annual community Chanukah celebration at the Jewish Community Center on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans.

2017(28th of Kislev, 5778): Fifth Day of Chanukah





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