Sunday, December 17, 2017

This Day, December 18, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 18

1271:  Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" ( yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China. Reportedly, Marco Polo found several influential Jews at the court of Kubla Khan. These Jews would have been descendants of Persian Jews who probably came to China the 11th century as merchants.  In the 13th century, Marco Polo, traveling in China spoke of meeting Jews or hearing about them during his travels in the Middle Kingdom. Polo recorded that Kublai Khan himself celebrated the festivals of the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.  Historical sources also describe Jewish communities at various cities, including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Yangzhou. Only the community in Kaifeng (Henan Province) survived since its founding around 240 BCE

1338: Pierre Roger, the future Pope Clement VI who in 1342 would have a portion of Sefer Milhamot Ha-Shem, ("The Wars of the Lord") by Levi ben Gershon (Gersonides) containing “an elaborate survey of astronomy” translated into Latin passed was created a Cardinal today.

1495: King Alphonso II of Naples passed away.  Both Alphonso and his father employed Isaac Abravanel the biblical scholar who was also a financial wizard.

1621: Today, the House of Commons affirmed the “Protestation of 1621,” a “reaffirmation of the right to freedom of speech” was drafted by John Selden ““the first Talmudist in England since the expulsion of the Jews…who recognized the humanness of Jewish marital law and found in Deuteronomy and the Talmud a model for the proper relationsip between the judicial and executive branches of government” and who wrote The Jewish Wife, a work “on the theory and practice of Jewish marriage and divorce law.”

1626: Birthdate of Christina, Queen of Sweden who became a Catholic and moved to Rome in December 1655 where she made Clement X prohibit the custom of chasing Jews through the streets during the carnival. In 1686 she issued a declaration that Roman Jews stood under her protection, signed la Regina – the queen.

1655: Oliver Cromwell presided over the fourth, and what he hopes will be the final, debate over allowing the Jewish people to return to England.  Much to his chagrin, Cromwell cannot get a majority to support the return of the Israelites despite his argument that “The pure (Puritan) gospel must be preached to the Jews, to win them to church. ‘But can we preach to them, if we will not tolerate them among us?’”  Cromwell closed the meeting and announced that he would decide the issue on his own.

1725: Birthdate of Johann Salomo Semler the biblical commentator and historian who“was the first to take due note of and use for critical purposes the opposition between the Judaic and anti-Judaic parties of the early church.”

1744: In Prague, Empress Maria Theresa banished the Jews. A few weeks earlier, Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked. At this point and then again January 7, Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due to the protests of the Jews and the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.  To put this in perspective, this happened five months before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  In other words, while the Old World was continuing to find ways to persecute Jews, the New World was about to enjoy a new birth of freedom that would include the Jews.

1775(25th Kislev, 5535): As Americans spend the first winter in rebellion against King George, Jews on both sides of the Atlantic celebrate Chanukah.

1787: New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Like many of the original thirteen colonies, New Jersey had religious restrictions for holding office that were not removed until the 19th century.  By the 1840’s Patterson, NJ, “launched a congregation” and in 1857, the Jews of Elizabeth began meeting for regular worship services. New Jersey’s Jewish experience would prove to be unique because of the success of the agricultural movement that began in 1882 when Michael Heilprin helped a group of European immigrants establish Carmel in southern New Jersey. 

1803: Fifty-nine Johann Gottfried Herder, the German philosopher who “argued that Jews in Germany should enjoy the full rights and obligations of Germans, and that the non-Jews of the world owed a debt to Jews for centuries of abuse, and that this debt could be discharged only by actively assisting those Jews who wished to do so to regain political sovereignty in their ancient homeland of Israel.[5] Herder refused to adhere to a rigid racial theory, writing that "notwithstanding the varieties of the human form, there is but one and the same species of man throughout the whole earth".

1804(17th of Tevet, 5565): Rabbi Yaakov Wolf Krantz, zt"l,  the Maggid (itinerant preacher) of Dubno, particularly known for the parables (meshalim) he employed in his sermons and writings passed away today.

1805(27th of Kislev, 5566): Third Day of Chanukah

1805(27th of Kislev, 5566): Seventy-two year old Machteld Mathilda Michela, the daughter of Jochem Jochanan Mozes Hannover and Anna Hindche Joseph Salomon Hannover the wife of of Liebman Liepman Elieser Arnsteiner and Meyer Samson Wolfenbuttel passed away today in Amsterdam.

1813: Birthdate of David Spangler Kaufman, the first Jew elected to the U.S. Congress from the state of Texas.

1813(25th of Kislev, 5574): Chanukah and Shabbat

1813(25th of Kislev, 5574): Fifty-one year old “Bohemian Talmudist and Hebraist” Baruch ben Jonah Benedict Jeiteles, eldest son of Jonas Jeiteles and father of Ignaz Jeiteles passed away today in his native Prague.

1816: Andrew Asher and Rosa Joseph were married today at the Great Synagogue.

1816: John Lyon Pyke and Dinah Joel were married today at the Great Synagogue.

1820(13th of Tevet, 5581): Moseh Sofer, the Chief Rabbi of Pressburg and Sarel Sofer gave birth to Rabbi Shimon Sofer

1849: Birthdate of Nahum Meir Schaikewitz, the Minsk born novelist and playwright who began by writing short stories in Hebrew who eventually moved to New York in 1888 where he wrote “over two hundred novels” in Yiddish.

1838: In Budapest, Caspar Schoney and Golde Ehrentreu gave birth to Lazarus Schoney, the husband of Theodosia Secor Fowler who trained as a rabbi and a doctor, served as surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War after which he served for ten years as a “professor of Pathology and Clinical Microscopy at New York Eclectic Medical College.”

1839: Birthdate of German physiologist Julius Bernstein

1843(25th of Kislev, 5604): Chanukah

1850(13th of Tevet, 5611): Daniel Meijer’s sister, Eva, passed away.  Daniel was the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands and one of the youngest members of the bar in that nation’s history.

1852: The New York Times described a recent major address by Chancellor of the Exchequer Benjamin Disraeli before the House of Commons on the Budget and plans to make make major revisions in the tax code.  The speech and proposals are so well received that the Times concluded by saying  that “”The Chancellor evidently wins new laurels at every fresh display of his truly remarkable ability.”

1856: Birthdate of Alfred Steckler, a graduate of Columbia Law School who served as a judge of the Fourth District Court of New York City and before serving on the Supreme Court of the First Judicial District  of New York County.

1857: The brother of P.T. Barnum the owner of Iranistan a Moorish Revival mansion in Bridgeport, Connecticut that was designed by Austrian born Jewish architect Leopold Eidlitz sent word that the mansion had effectively burned to the ground.”

1861: During the Civil War, 2nd Lt. Leo Charles who was the regimental adjutant with the 27th Regiment began his service in the Union Army.

1861: In Chicago it is reported that a young girl who had run away from her parents’ home in Maine to live with an uncle in Wisconsin now is in critical condition in Chicago following an attempted suicide.  While making her way back to Main, the young girl allegedly met young Jew named Laselle with whom she stayed at various hotels including the Tremont, the Stewart House and Sollitt House where “he effected her ruin.”  He then allegedly turned the girl over to another Jew named Stein who brought her “to an assignation house.”  Within half an hour the police “pounced” on the house arresting Stein and several others at which time the girl tried to kill herself.  The investigation is at a standstill until she recovers so that authorities can question her.

1862: At St. Pancras, London, Edward Levy-Lawson, 1st Baron Burnham and his wife Harriette Georgiana Webster gave birth to Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 1st Viscount Burnham.

1863(8th of Tevet, 5624): Jacob Miller, who had been serving with Company A of the 16th Regiment – Third Cavalry died today as a result of the wounds he had sustained while fighting at Mine Run, VA last month.

1864: Birthdate of Shropshire native Samuel Parkes Cadman, an American clergyman whose support of Jews can be measured by his appearance at a non-sectarian mass meeting in 1916 to raise funds for the relief of Jews in the war zones of Europe as well as by his calls to boycott the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.

1863(8th of Tevet, 5624): Thirty-eight year old Louis Schwarkopf, the husband of the former Dora Block, the son-in law of Daniel Block and one of the founders of Congregation B’nai B’rith in St. Louis.

1865: Slavery ended in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect. Yes there were Jews who owned slaves and yes there Jews who served with Confederacy.  But the majority of the Jews supported the Union and Jews played a role in the movement to gain freedom for slaves. For example a visit to the Lloyd Street Synagogue in Baltimore includes a demonstration of its role in the Underground Railroad.  This role was quite risky in a city in slaveholding Maryland.

1866: Birthdate of Alexander Protopopov who as Chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and Minister of the Interior, while working for the adoption of a new commercial treaty between his country and the United States in 1916 told Joseph Kruk in London that he did believe in “equal rights for Jews in Russia” and said that “regarding the Jews, I can say this much, that it is a shame for one to be a Russian if he is compelled through that to fear somebody.”

1867: In Frankfurt, Selig Meier Goldschmidt and Clementine Fuld gave birth to their youngest child Johanna Goldschmidt, the future wife of Adolph Stern.

1869: Julie and Adolph Marx Oppenheimer gave birth to Eugen Oppenheimer

1869(14th of Tevet, 5630): Forty year old Louis Moreau Gottschalk the son a Jewish businessman from London and a white Creole Haitian in New Orleans who was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano pieces passed away today in Rio de Janeiro.

1870: “The Jews in America” published today traces this people’s history with an special emphasis on religious practice starting with the earliest settlers, to the arrival the Germans as well as the role of such leaders as Rabbi Merzbacher and Rabbi Samuel Adler.

1872: George Geiger re-enlisted today and was attached to Troop H of the 7th Cavalry, the military unit that would be under the command Custer at the Little Big Horn.

1876: The Hebrew Charity Fair which is a fund-raiser for the Ladies’ Benevolent Society opened this evening at the Masonic Hall in New York.  Despite the inclement weather, the event was well attended.

1877: Sergeant George Geiger who earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of the Little Big Horn was discharged today “for medical reasons.

1878: Birthdate Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin recognized the state of Israel at the moment of its birth and he did allow the Czechs to sell fighter planes to the new-born Israeli Air Force.  But these measures were a reflection of his fight against British Imperialism and not a reflection of any love for the Jewish people. Stalin did employ Jews in his regime before and during the war. But he also conducted bloody purges aimed at the Jews.  Stalin did enjoy support among some Jews – those who were loyal party members and those who regarded him as a savior because the Soviet Army was the force that liberated much of Europe from Nazis.  The reality was that Stalin was an anti-Semite who began a series of murderous purges aimed at the Jews of the Soviet Union and that he died before he could carry out his own version of the Final Solution.

1878: “The editor of a prominent Jewish newspaper said this afternoon” that Jewish institutions including Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, have no choice but to reject donations from anybody tied to Judge Hilton who has banned Jews from staying at his hotel.

1878: It was reported today that the Jews of New York are planning on rejecting the donations made by Mrs. A.T. Stewart through Judge Hilton. The gifts included $500 for Mount Sinai Hospital, $250 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and $250 for the Hebrew Home for the Aged and Infirmed. These Jewish organizations have received donations from Mrs. Stewart in the past.  However, this year the notices of the donations were worded in such a way that it would have required Jewish leaders to come to Judge Hilton’s office to get the money.  Considering the fact that Judge Hilton has banned Jews from his hotel in Saratoga Springs, such an arrangement is totally unacceptable.

1878: Randolph Herr, a New York lawyer who was a partner of Judge Bloom, shot himself through the head today.

1879: Birthdate of Frieda Hesslein, who as Frieda Herzberg was shipped from Berlin to Terezin where she was murdered on October 19, 1942.

1881: Anti-Juif ,a weekly, was published for the first time in Paris.  This would be the first of four publications with this name all of which had a common anti-Semitic theme.

1881: It was reported today that an unnamed American who was performing in a circus at St. Petersburg received orders from the Russian government to leave the capital city because he was Jewish.  (This is part of the pattern of discriminating against American citizens because they were Jews that would be protested by President Arthur in his message to Congress)

1882: It was reported today that Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the “most imposing structures” in New York. It has a capacity to serve 160 patients and has added to new units in the last year – an eye and ear department and an “isolation house.”  While the hospital is almost totally dependent on the Jewish community for financial support, it provides services to one and all regardless of religious affiliation.

1882: “A Hebrew Colony Broken Up” published today described the demise of a colony that had been “established a year ago on Sicily Island in Concordia Parish by several families” of Jewish immigrants from Russia. According to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Association representative in New Orleans, so many of the colonists were stricken with swamp fever that they were unable to care for themselves let alone work at building the settlement.  After returning to New Orleans, the immigrants have been sent to either Chicago or New York.

1882: “Value of the Bible” published today provided some of the views of Reverend Richard Heber Newton, an Episcopalian minister and theologians, on the ancient text.  Among other things, that Bible did not included “the whole of Hebrew literature” because “many of the Hebrew writings had been lost.”  But the Bible contains “the best of the Hebrew writings” because it’s a sifted and winnowed library” that represented “the literature of a race whose religion grew until it became a universal religion for all men.”

1883: George Reeveys is in jail at Freehold, NJ because he has been charged with an attack on a Jewish peddler named Simon Holzman whom authorities fear may die from his wounds.

1883: In the Westchester County Court at White Plains, NY, Judge Pratt sentenced Theodore Hoffman to be hanged after he had been convicted of kill a Jewish peddler, Zife Marks.

1886: After two weeks, the fair that was raising funds for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids came to a close tonight.  The successful event was held in New York’s Central Park Garden.

1886: It was reported today that during the year, the Hebrew Free School Association had provided services to 2,698 students as compared to 2,046 students in 1885.

1886: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today.  During the meeting it was announced that prominent educator Julia Richman has been chosen to serve on its board of directors.  Ms. Richman along with Ms. Froelich are the first two women to serve on the board.

1887: Al Hayman, the partner of Charles Frohman, who managed the Baldwin and California Theatres in San Francisco left to New York today to return to “the city by the Bay.”

1887: The Ladies’ Deborah Nursery and Child’s Protectory held its Chanukah reception at 95 East Broadway. After the children sang in Hebrew, Mrs. Deborah Alexander distributed fruit and candy to the youngsters.

1887: Birthdate of Capt. Artur Carlos de Barros Basto, “a decorated Portuguese military officer, a hero of Portugal's 1910 revolution and World War I and leader of the open return to Judaism of the Crypto-Jews of Portugal. Barros Basto died in 1961, almost blind, a disappointed man. He has never been exonerated by the Portuguese Army of the decision of 1943 of the Minister of the War under the Fascist regime of Antonio Salazar who stripped him from the Portuguese Army Officer Corp for the simple fact of his being Jewish and being a defender of religious tolerance and of the Portuguese Crypto-Jews in particular. The attempts and efforts to rehabilitate him continue to this day. He was born in the Portuguese city of Amarante on December 1887, and was given a Catholic education. When he was nine years old his grandfather told him they were descendants of Jews forcibly converted in 1497. Raised by his mother in Porto, he attended the Portuguese Military Academy and participated in 1910 in the founding of the Portuguese Republic. He later commanded a battalion of the Portuguese Corps in World War I, as lieutenant on the Western front. There he met a French rabbi who likely further influenced him. Upon his return to Portugal from the war he began to study Judaism and Hebrew. Rebuffed by the Israeli community of Lisbon, he went to Tangier to formally return to normative Judaism, adopting the name of Abraham Israel Ben-Rosh. He married the daughter of a prominent Lisbon Jewish family and settled in Porto where in 1923 he created the Israeli community of Porto, still active today[4] Barros Basto became known as the "Apostle of the Marranos", the title of a short biography by noted historian Cecil Roth who met Basto in 1930 and described him as the most charismatic man that he had ever met. Basto had been recommended in 1926 by Lucien Wolf of the London Marranos Committee to be the recipient of funds to establish a Jewish school and lead the return of thousands of descendants of Jews forcibly baptized in 1497 (New Christian, Conversos, or Marranos, more politically correct known as "Anusim", Hebrew for "forced one"). Basto established "Rosh Pinah", described by him as a "theological seminary", the first Jewish school in 500 years. In 1929 the first stone of a new synagogue was laid. A magnificent art nouveau synagogue, Mekor Haim was inaugurated, in 1939, the year of Kristallnacht. Basto had led a successful international fund raising campaign from Jewish communities with historical connection to Portugal such as Amsterdam, London, New York, Hamburg and Paris. Paul Goodman, friend, and president of the Portuguese Marranos Committee attended; so did Moses Amazalak, president of the Lisbon Israeli community. Rabbi David de Sola Pool of New York was an avid supporter and a room in the synagogue is named after him. "Adonai (God) is with me and I will not fear"[5] was his motto, and he was not afraid to canvas the interior of Portugal to make surveys, the contacts, to defend the Jewish identity of the Crypto-Jews at the same time having the goal of returning them to modern Judaism. Upon his return to the city of Oporto, he established the Israelite Community in 1923, and was one of the founders of the synagogue of the city of Oporto in 1938. Given the difficulties that he found in Portugal, most of all financial, he left Portugal. In London the Committee of Portuguese Marranos was created, that raised £10,000 for the construction of a community centre with a synagogue and a reading room, and to hire a resident rabbi”

1888:  Birthdate of Robert Moses.  The son of Emanuel Moses, a department-store owner, and Bella Silverman Moses, the Moses family was part of the well-to-do circle of New York German Jews known as ''our crowd.''  Moses was public works planner who re-shaped New York and its environs.  Two of his more famous works were the Lincoln Center and Shea Stadium. He passed away in 1981.

1888: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs read the opening prayer at the dedication ceremonies marking the official opening of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids were held today. Isaac Eppinger, Chairman of the Building Committee then presented a ceremonial golden key to Jacob H. Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home.

1888: In Philadelphia, PA, the murder trial of Jewish businessman Mat Goldberger entered its second day.  He is accused of murdering Annie Schuleberg who fell to her death while trying to escape a fire that Goldberger had set to collect the insurance for his business which was on the ground floor of the building where Mrs. Schuleberg lived with her husband and eight children.

1889(25th of Kislev, 5650): Chanukah

1889: Birthdate of Margareta Hellerová who in 1942 was deported from Prague to Ujazdow where she was murdered by the Nazis.

1889: Three Russian Jewish shoemakers – Harris Elias, Solomon Elias and Abraham – are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation following a fire at their tenement on Eldridge Street.  The three were the only ones injured when the five story building went up in smoke (Fires like these were all too common and were run of the reasons that some Uptown Jews formed committees to look into conditions in these buildings that dominated the Lower East Side)

1889(25th of Kislev, 5650): Mrs. Martin M. Lewis (nee Lizzie Lazarus) passed away unexpectedly this evening.  Her husband is a prominent importer of woolen goods.  She was the daughter of Alfred Lazarus, the Secretary of the Third Avenue Railroad Company.  She is survived by her seven year old son and seven month old son and a sister-in-law, Mrs. Charles Lewis.

1890: Birthdate of Neville Jonas Laski, the younger brother of Harold Laski, who was a jurist and leader of the Anglo-Jewish community.

1890: Colonel George P. Clark will give a lecture this evening at 55th Street and Lexington sponsored by the Young Men’s Association of Congregation Ahawath Chesed.

1891: The body of a well-dressed man, thought to be a Russian Jewish immigrant was found in flour mill today at Petersburg, PA.

1892: Almost 1,500 people attended the third and final day of the celebration of Rodeph Shalom’s 50th anniversary which featured the 300 children attending the religious school under the direction of Benjamin Blumenthal.

1892:  Rabbi H. Rosenberg was expelled from Temple Beth Jacob in Brooklyn, for eating pork.

1892: The United Hebrew Charities Society has reportedly refused to give any more support to the striking cloakmakers because  the society “received a good deal of support from the cloak manufacturers and these men refused to give any more money to support the persons who were fighting against them.

1892: As gold leaves Europe for America and America moves to restrict the exportation of the precious metal, the Austrian government has reportedly “concluded a gold loan of 50,000,000 florins from a Rothschild Syndicate” in an attempt to stabilize its economy.

1892: Three hundred religious school schools under the direction of Benjamin Blumenthal were the center of attraction at today’s third and final day of celebrations marking the jubilee year of Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 63rd and Lexington in Manhattan.

1892: “The admissions by [Isidor] Loewe, the Jewish small arms manufacturer the offered to supply France with the machinery necessary for the manufacture of Lebel rilfles has caused renewed viruluence in the Judenhetze.” [German anti-Semites] They overlook the “open fact” that the Krupp, the great German arms manufacturer has continued to supply Russia with guns and ammunition, even when the two nations seemed to be on the verge of war.

1892: The Cologne Gazette attacked Loew’s offer to supply France “as strengthen the assertions of the anti-Semites that the Jews have no national feeling, that they never amalgamate with any people and that they are dominated by the idea that they are a privileged nation that may prey upon but be absorbed by other nationalities.  (These sentiments expressed by a prominent German paper pre-date Hitler by forty years providing more proof that German anti-Semitism was not a Nazi aberration but a part of the German social fabric)

1893: Twelve Jews were held at the Essex Mark Police Court “on charges of violating the law by keeping their places of business on Essex, Hester, Ludlow, Orchard, Rivington and Canal Streets open on Sunday.

1893: Must Have No State Aid published today described Rabbi Joseph Silverman’s views on public funds being used to support parochial schools.

1894: In Manchester, UK, David Rodker and his wife gave birth to John Rodker one of the “Whitechapel Boys” and a leading figure in the world of British literature.

1894: In defending a “closed court” in the trial of Captain Dreyfus Le Petit Journal wrote that the closed court is our impregnable refuge against Germany" and La Croix wrote that it must be "the most absolute closed court.”

1895: Antonio Cappel is being held by authorities today on charges that he assaulted a Jew named Max Shindler when Jewish and Italian pushcart peddlers clashed on Essex Street yesterday.

1895: Today is “Fraternity Day” at the two-week long charity fair which is raising funds for the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Technical Institute. Music was supplied by the band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Victor Herbert Orchestra.

1896: In Frankfurt am Main Ida and Karl Ferdinand Mortiz Flesch who held a Dr. of Jurisprudence degree gave birth to Hans Flesch

1897: Emmanuel Célestin Suhard, who would speak out against the treatment of the Jews by the Vichy government, was ordained as a priest today.

1898(5th of Tevet, 5659): Baron Ferdinand James de Rothschild, M. P., passed away on his 59th birthday.

1899: The McKinley administration submitted an agreement to Congress that had been negotiated by Oscar Straus, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, in which Sultan Abudul Hamid II promised to tell the Moros (Moslems living in the Philippines) not resist U.S. rule of the islands.

1902: Great Britain expressed support for the sending of a small commission to the Sinai Peninsula to report on conditions and prospects. This was part of plan to start a Jewish settlement in the Sinai which could eventually lead to a Jewish home in Palestine itself.

1902: In Bremen, Julius Biebow, “an insurance company director” and his wife gave birth to Hans Biebow the murderous chief administrator of the Lodz Ghetto whose attempt to escape punishment for his crime ended with his hanging in 1947.

1902: N. Taylor Phillips chaired a contentious meeting of Zionists and those opposed to Zionism at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

1903: Arnold Schonberg began composing “Natur” (Nature) op.8, No.1 today, a work which he would finish in March, 1904.

1903: In Łanowce, Podolia, Khanina Auerbakh and his wife Mania (nee Kimelman), gave birth to Rokhl Auerbach who “was one of the three surviving members of the covert Oyneg Shabes group led by Emanuel Ringelblum that chronicled daily life in the Warsaw Ghetto, and who initiated the excavation of the group's buried manuscripts after the war” passed away.  (Editor’s Note: For more on this see Who Will Write Our History)

1904: The New York Times reports that Lionel de Rothschild is building a 250 Horse Power auto boat as an entry for the Harmsworth Cup race to be held in July of 1905.

1905: Sarah Bernhardt and Mark Twain were among those who entertained today at the benefit matinee for the Jewish suffers in Russia which was held at the Casino in New York City.

1905: In New York, the Federation of American Zionists received official word that “the central organization of the Zionists in Europe has decided to hold a special international congress of Jews” which will “take action on the situation in Russia.”

1905: Based on letters from written from Russia in November that are now in the hands of those raising funds for the victims of the Russian massacres, “it appears that in many localities funds were at once raised locally to meet” the initial emergency which according to Jacob Schiff is a good signed because “it shows that there is recuperative power in the people in spite of their sore affliction.”

1906: The Czar approved a bill presented to him by the Russian Council of Ministers which purported to give greater liberties to Jews living in the 15 provinces of western Russia known as the Pale of Settlement.

1907: Today, Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa who as Pope Benedict XV denounced anti-Semitism in response to a petition by American Jews and who gave Nahum Sokolov an extended audience where he presented the case for a Jewish state in Palestine to the Pontiff “received the episcopal consecration from Pope Pius X.”

1908(24th of Kislev, 5669): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.

1908(24th of Kislev, 5669): Fifty-seven year old Benjamin Levy, the native of New South Wales, Australia who was the husband Zara Levy passed away today in London.

1908: Rabbi Panigel was forced to surrender his seals of the office of Hahambashi of Jerusalem. Rabbi Hiskia Shabbatai filled the office temporarily.

1910:  Birthdate of Abe Burrows.  Born in Brooklyn, this successful composer won a Tony in 1951 for the Broadway hit, “Guys and Dolls.”

1910: In New York City, Katie and Joseph Goodman gave birth to Thelma Goodman who gained fame as singer and actress Thelma Leeds who was the wife of comedian Harry Einstein and the mother of Albert Brooks, Bob Einstein and Clifford Einstein.

1911: Birthdate of Cleveland, Ohio native and cartoon animator David Hilberman.

1911: In Middletown, CT, Berthe Vogel and Samuel Dassin gave birth to director and victim of the Hollywood blacklist, Julius “Jules” Dassin.

1912: “Miss Henrietta Weber” is schedule to a “lecture on Faust, Lohengrin and ‘The Cricket on the Hearth’ this evening at the Chicago Hebrew Institute.

1912: La sorcière, an opera composed by Camille Erlanger, premiered in Paris.

1912: Founding of Temple Beth El in Muncie, Indiana.

1914(1st of Tevet, 5675): Sixth Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1914: Jacob Furth’s conviction on charges of financial irregularities related to a bank in La Conner, Washington, was over-turned today.  Furth was an Austrian born American businessman and banker who played a prominent role in the development of Seattle, Washington.  The removal of this blemish on his record was bittersweet since it came six months after he had passed away.

1914: Those listed today as contributors to the fund for “the relief of Jews through the war included the Hebrew Ladies’ Relief Association of Kansas City, The Dallas Texas Committee, the Salem Mass. Hebrew Ladies’ Association and Katz Rosenthal Company of Columbus, Ohio.

1914: “With the consent of the military censor,” today’s “Russkoe Znamen published the observation that ‘treason runs in the blood of the Jew, and no Jew can be trusted not betray the army even though the ranks may be full of volunteers” while also declaring “that being easily susceptible to fear and panic, the Jews by their flight create holes in the ranks of which the Germans are quick to take advantage.”  (Editor’s note: This represents an official, on-going policy of anti-Semitic attack on Russian Jewish soldiers fighting for the Czar’s empire)

1914: As of today it was reported that an additional $42,147.53 has been collected to aid the Jews of Europe suffering the effects of the war.

1914: “Poles In Need of Help” published today described plans to provide aid to those caught on what has become a battleground between German and Russian armies including a joint effort by the American-Polish Relief Committee and the committee that Felix Warburg had formed to aid Jews in Poland.

1915: It was reported today that “Israel Cohen, Secretary of the International Zionist organization and a British subject, who was interred in a detention camp at Ruhleben near Berlin” at the start of the war and was finally released at the start of this month, is planning on coming to the United where he plans on giving a series of lectures on “Jewish Suffering of the War.”

1915: It was reported today that Samuel Gompers has sent a series of resolutions adopted by A F of L including one that states “that the American Federation of Labor requests the Government of the United States to urge upon the governments of the nations of other countries to cease discriminations wherever they exist and now practiced against the Jewish people” to the National Workmen’s Committee of Jewish Rights.

1916: After ten months, the Battle of Verdun which claimed a total of 800,000 casualties on both sides came to an with neither the Germans or the French having anything to show for what has been described as “the longest, and possibly the deadliest, battle in history” which “could be judged the unnecessary battle in an unnecessary war.”  (Editor’s Note – the gruesome blood bath elevated Marshall Petain, the man who would lead Vichy, to a position of almost mythic proportion.  The monumental casualties would help to account for the failure of France to respond to the rise of Hitler in the 1930’s and the quick fall of France in 1940 which had such dire consequences for the Jewish population.)

1916: It was reported today that in the view of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, “since 1880 Jews had been steadily migrating from New York to Brooklyn and the poverty problem which once confronted the Manhattan organization had now crossed the East River.”

1916: “A motion endorsing the desire for peace and appointing a committee to draft appropriate resolutions was adopted” this morning “at the Fall of Assembly of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis” being held at Temple Emanu-El.

1916: At a dinner given tonight at the Hotel Biltmore, the guest of honor Felix M. Warburg, the Chairman of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies call for “a non-denominational, non-racial merger of activities for war relief based on a plan to raise one hundred million dollars for Europe’s stricken people.”

1916: Leon L. Waters presided over a dinner at the Hotel Astor at which Simon Bamberger, the Governor-elect of Utah, who was “the first Jew and non-Mormon to be selected as the executive of that State.”

1916: Tonight, “at the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El…Louis Marshall was elected president of the board, M.H. Moses was elected vice president” and Irving Lehman, Henry Fidenberg and Henry M. Toch were elected to the Board of Trustees.

1917: Major General, Charles-Arthur Gonse who refused to admit that Dreyfus was innocent and continue to work to keep him in prison even after being shown conclusive evidence of his innocence passed away today.

1917: Hermann Frenkel a partner of the Jacquier and Securius Bank was one of the founders of Universum Film which was established today in Germany as a direct response to foreign competition in the realm of film and propaganda.

1917: As British forces prepared for an assault across the Auju River which would make it possible to use the Port of Jaffa tonight “the 161st (Essex) Brigade from the 54th (East Anglian) Division and the Auckland and Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments, from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, moved into the front line replacing the 52nd (Lowland) Division.”

1917: During World War I, the American Joint Distribution Committee issues $50,000 for the Jews of Salonica, $25,000 for the Jews of Turkey living outside of Palestine and $3,500 for the Jews of Alexandria. These funds are to purchase wheat for the baking of Matzah for the upcoming Passover.

1917: It was reported today that British artillery did not respond to heavy shelling from the Turks during the battle for Jerusalem because the generals were afraid that shelling would damage the city.

1918: Birthdate of Daniel Mazia. He was an American a cell biologist who was notable for his work in nuclear and cellular physiology. His research centered on the broad question of cell reproduction, especially the division and regulation mechanisms involved in mitosis (the process by which the chromosomes within the nucleus of a cell double and divide prior to cell division). Mazia is best known for his isolation (1951, with Japanese biologist Katsuma Dan) of the mitotic apparatus, the structure responsible for cell division. This brought understanding of the mechanisms of cell division and intracellular motility. A study in the early '60s on centrosomal reproduction, until recently an unappreciated structure, led to Mazia's interest in this cell organelle and the publication of a seminal paper. He passed away in 1996.

1918: Birthdate of Savannah, GA, native Hal Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, and a director and producer whose career included writing for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directing Elvis Presley and creating a landmark 1960s TV series starring Diahann Carroll. (As reported by Dennis McLellan)

1919(26th of Kislev, 5680): Second Day of Chanukah

1919: It was reported today that in response to the government “taking measures to prevent any violent outbreak of anti-Semitism,” “the Pan German Press” has declared “that these measures are a violation of the political rights of citizens, since it asserts the anti-Semitic movement is merely political.”

1920: Jerusalem celebrated the third anniversary of its liberation by General Allenby during which “Sir Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner for Palestine and all the leaders of the various faiths participated in a review and service held in St. George’s Cathedral.

1922: In the Bronx, David Zimmer and Pauline Geller Zimmer gave birth to Esther Miriam Zimmer who gained fame as microbiologist Esther Lederberg who was ‘a pioneer in the field of bacterial genetics.”

1923(10th of Tevet, 5684): Asara B'Tevet

1924(20th of Kislev, 5685) California Republican Congressman Julius Kahn, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee dies paving the way for his widow Florence Kahn to begin her active political career in the same legislative body.

1924: “A protest again the attitude of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the  League of nations with regard to Jewish immigration into Palestine was adopted today the conference of the representatives of the Jewish settlements and communities which is in session in Tel Aviv for the purpose of creating better facilities for the arriving immigrants.” The conference also adopted resolutions “demanding immediate abolition of restrictions on Jewish immigration into Palestine” and the assignment funds to building inexpensive housing to accommodate those making Aliyah.

1926: Birthdate of actor Walter Lassally, the native of Berlin who was not Jewish but whose Jewish ancestry forced his family to flee to England just before the outbreak of WW II.

1926: Eighty-four year old Civil War veteran and Congressman John B. Weber who was motivated to serve “as one of the general agents of the Hirsch Fund” and to help straighten “out the kinks and snarls” at the Woodbine Colony which is the home to 500 people” after having visited Russia and seen the conditions under which the Jews live, passed away today.

1927: According to today’s New York Times, “The organization of two Jewish Fascist groups in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is reported in recent dispatches from Palestine to German newspapers.  It is averred that the self-assumed task of the new organizations consists in fighting Socialist and Communist ideas and the Yiddish jargon brought to Palestine by immigrants from Poland and Russia.  The Jewish Fascists insist that the use of Yiddish handicaps the establishment of Hebrew as the common language of Palestine Jews.”

1928: It was reported today “that Jews in South Africa had contributed $100,000 towards” supporting the efforts of ORT to supply training and supplies for the Jews in Russia.

1931: Birthdate of record producer and manager Allen Klein whose clients included Sam Cooke and the Rolling Stones. (As reported by Ben Sisario)

1931: In Manhattan, “fashion designer Jo Copeland and cigar manufacturer Edward J. Regensburg Jr. gave birth to novel Lois Gould the wife of psychiatrist Robert E. Gould and the mother of Anthony and Roger V. Gould.

1931: “My Leopold” a comedy starring Camilla Spira was released today in Germany.

1932(19th of Kislev, 5693): “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.”

1932(19th of Kislev, 5693): Eighty-two year old Eduard Bernstein a German social democratic political theorist and politician passed away today.

1934: Birthdate of Marcell David Reich, the Antwerp born commodity trader Marc Rich, the fugitive financier who purchased a Presidential Pardon from Bill Clinton.

1936: In Warsaw, Foreign Minister Josef delivered a speech to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate talked about the need to find an “outlet for Poland’s surplus population, especially the Jews” declaring “that Jewish problem in the whole of Eastern Europe presented great difficulties now because of the fact that a very large number of Jews who have been making their livelihood as middle-men and traders are now losing their means of support and have no possibilities of assuring work for the younger generation in view of changes in the economic structure of various countries.”

1936(3rd of Tevet, 5697): Dr. Henry Moskowitz, a leader in civil, political and labors circles” passed away at the age of 57 in his New York Home.  A native of Romania, Moskowitz graduated from NYC public schools and City College before moving to Germany where he earned his Doctorate. Moskowitz was active in the settlement house movement, an ally of Governor Al Smith and served as chairman of the Civil Service Commission and Commissioner of Public Markets. Moskowitz was active in Jewish affairs He was on the board of directors of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Social Service. His most notable achievement may have been being one of the founders of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP).

1937: On Shabbat (Saturday), Temple Shaaray Tefila continued with the dedication of its new facilities in New York City.

1937: After 289 performances the curtain came down on the original Broadway performance of “Babes in Arms” a “musical comedy with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart and book by Rodgers and Hart.”

1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): First Day of Chanukah; kindle the second light in the evening

1938: “Sheik Said el Khatib, who was a leader at the Mosque of Omar was shot dead by Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem this morning…  The killing eliminates another important Arab from the opponents of the exile Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini.”

1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): Chanukah

1938(25th of Kislev, 5699): “One Jew was killed and two were wounded when a Jewish-owned bus, traveling on the new coastal road between Haifa and Tel Aviv was fired on by “unidentified assailants” while an Arab woman was shot dead by another Arab in the Old City of Jerusalem.

1938: Birthdate of Bronx-born, Oscar winning song writer, Joel Hirschhorn. He and his partner Al Kasha won in 1972 for “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure and We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno in 1974.

1938: Thousands of Father Charles Coughlin's followers take to the streets of New York City, chanting, "Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!" and "Wait until Hitler comes over here!" Many Christian policemen are sympathetic to the Coughlinites. The protests will last until April 1939. They are opposed by other Catholic organizations and by leftists and liberals.

1939: Birthdate of Hartford, CT, native David Margolis ‘a brash and revered prosecutor who in more than 50 years at the Justice Department helped it navigate through some of its most difficult chapters…” (As reported by Eric Lichtblau)

1939:  Birthdate of Harold Varmus, an American virologist and co-winner (with J. Michael Bishop) of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1989 for their work on the origins of cancer - that cancer genes (oncogenes) can arise from normal cellular genes, called proto-oncogenes. Oncogenes are normal genes that control growth in every living cell, but which under certain conditions can turn renegade and cancerous. They believed that the growth of cancerous cells is not the result of an invasion from outside the cell, but rather a misuse of a normal gene by a retrovirus, as a result of exposure to some aggravating carcinogen, such as radiation or smoke. Their research in the mid '70s has led to great strides in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of cancers.

1940: Birthdate of Hadera native Eli Cohen the award winning Israeli actor and movie director.

1940: The South Shore Group of the Women’s League for Palestine is selling tickets for today’s matinee performance of “The Corn is Green” at the National Theatre as part of their efforts to raise funds for refugee relief.  Proceeds of the sale will “augment a $25,000 Emergency Refugee Relief Fund for young women refugees living the two homes of the Women’s League in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

1940: Hitler prepared his directive for war with Russia. He changed the name from Fritz to "Operation Barbarossa." Barbarossa was the mythic Emperor of Medieval Germany, destined to rise again and lead Germany in glory and victory. Hitler fixed May 15, 1941 as the date of invading Russia.  Because he had to rescue the Italians from their military misadventures in Greece, Hitler would not invade until June.  This month long delay cost the Nazis dearly.  Their offensive ground to a halt in the Russian winter and despite victories in 1942 never regained sufficient momentum for final victory.  Unfortunately for the Jews, Operation Barbarossa carried a companion piece that included sending liquidation squads in on the heels of the invading German Army.  Their mission was to murder Jews and Bolsheviks.  This was the first step in the plan to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Russian to create “living room” for Hitler’s Aryan Master Race.

1941:  Three months before the deportations of the Jews in France began in earnest, Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi Party’s chief ideologue and its leading plunderer, requested Hitler’s personal authorization to seize all the household effects and personal possessions belonging to Jews and to distributed parts of them among party members and the Wehrmacht staff.

1941: “H. M. Pulham, Esq” a movie version of the novel by the same name starring Hedy Lamarr was released today in the United States.

1941: An entry in Heinrich Himmler’s diary today read “What to do with the Jews of Russia” to which he later wrote was “exterminate them as partisans.”

1942(10th of Tevet, 5703): Asara B’Tevet

1942: When Jewish forced laborers at Kruszyna, Poland, refuse to board trucks, more than 100 of them are shot.

1942: British Ambassador to the Vatican Francis d'Arcy Osborne asserts that Pope Pius XII "does not see that his silence is highly damning to the Holy See." He had provided the Vatican with detailed information on the killings of Jews and pleaded for a clear denunciation of this horror in the Pope’s Christmas Eve broadcast to the world.

1943: In Neve Sha’anan, Malka and Israel Levin gave birth to Israeli dramatist Hanoch Levin

1945: Birthdate of Cantor Marsha Fensin.

1945: The father of Aryeh ben Eliezer, a former member of the American Committee to Save the Jews of Europe who was deported from Palestine to Eritrea in October of 1944, failed in his attempt gain his son’s freedom in suit brought before the high court in Jerusalem. 

1946: Sir William Fitzgerald, chief justice of Palestine, says Jerusalem will be divided into Jewish and Arab boroughs.

1946: An Arab landowner is assassinated because he sold land to Jews.

1947: Birthdate of “Eddie Antar, the Brooklyn-born man who created the chain of Crazy Eddie electronics stores only to watch it collapse when an underlying fraud was exposed.” (As reported by Niraj Chokshi)

1947: Arab guerilla forces that have been recruited in Damascus and Beirut gathered in the Syrian capital as they prepare to invade Palestine.

1947: Birthdate of Shabtai Kalmanovich

1947:  Birthdate of Steven Spielberg.  Born in Cincinnati, this famous director has given us everything from “ET”, to “Close Encounters,” to “Jaws” to fictional and documentary cinema about the Shoah.

1947: “Miracle on 34th Street” produced by William Perlberg and featuring Jack Albertson as postal service employee that begins at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and tells the tale of Santa Claus who among other things brings peace between Macy’s and Gimbel’s department stores was released today in Australia.

1948: During the “Operation Velvetta,” which was part of the clandestine movement to provide the new Jewish state with modern aircraft, a flight of Spitfires left Czechoslovakia for Israel but was forced to turn back because of “poor weather conditions.”

1948: UN mediator Ralph Bunche announces that a final solution to Palestine conflict is well on its way.

1949: The Palestine Post reported thirty-five men and women from 12 countries signed up for a three month class to become first-aid workers for the Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulance service. Instruction was in French, Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish.

1950: In New York, singer Jacqueline (née Gould) and Aaron Isaac Maltin, a lawyer and immigration judge’ gave birth film critic Leonard Maltin.

1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported from Sofia that the new Israeli Chargé d'Affaires, Gershon Avner, who presented his credentials, was assured that Bulgaria would not restrict Jewish emigration to Israel.

1953: Israel's first paper mills were dedicated today at Hadera, midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The enterprise, sponsored by investors from the United States, Brazil, Australia and Israel, is expected to meet most of Israel's current paper needs.

1953: Two Unit 101 squads let by Meir Har-Zion began an attack along the road running from Bethlehem to Hebron.

1955: Release in Asia today of sci-fi thriller “Lost Continent” co-starring Sid Melton.

1956: The IDF hoisted the Israeli flag on the purported site of Mount Sinai.  Actually, there are at least three places on the Sinai Peninsula that lay claim to being the location for the giving of the Ten Commandments. 

1956: New York premiere of “This is Baby Doll” a dark comedy starring Carroll Baker and Eli Wallach filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufamn.

1957(25th of Kislev, 5718): Chanukah

1958: U.S. premiere of “Some Came Running” produced by Sol Siegel with music by Elmer Bernstein and a script co-authored by Arthur Sheekman

1961(11th of Tevet, 5722): Sixty-four year old Leo F. Reisman, the popular 1920’s amd 1930’s bandleader whose orchestra launched the careers of co-religionists Eddy Duchin and Mitch Miller passed away today.

1963(2nd of Tevet, 5724): 8th Day of Chanukah

1963: U.S premiere of “4 for Texas” that included an uncredited appearance by Yaphet Kotto as well as one of the final appearances of the Three Stooges including Larry Fine and Moe Howard.

1968(27th of Kislev, 5729): Third Day of Chanukah

1968: Seventy-six year old Dorothy Garrod who “was the pioneer excavator of the famous Mount Carmel caves, where a long sequence of prehistoric cultures and human fossils was discovered” passed away today.

1969: Today marked the historic move of the original home of Adas Israel to its current location at Third and G Streets, NW. With help from the District, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and an Act of Congress, the Society relocated the building, now the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum. The first floor was too weak to survive a move, so the structure was severed horizontally and only the second and third floors (Sanctuary and Balcony levels) made the journey by flatbed truck.

1970: Eighty-nine year old Pastor Marc Boegner, the French resistance leader who in 1942 wrote to Marsh Petain protesting against the deportation of Jews and the inhuman manner in which orders for these deportations were being carried out” passed away today.

1972: Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” produced by Emanuel Azenberg, directed by Alan Arkin, with Sam Levene as Lewis and Jack Albertson as Clark, premiered on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre.

1973: “Cinderella Liberty” the cinematic treatment of the novel by the same name directed and produced by Mark Rydell and starring James Caan, Eli Wallach and Allan Arbus was released in the United States today.

1976: "A Star is Born," with Barbra Streisand, premieres

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin, upon his return from the US, prepared himself to leave for Egypt, in response to the direct invitation by President Anwar Sadat. Begin, who presented a new Middle Eastern peace proposal to Washington, was now expected to bring it with him to Cairo.

1977: In Boston, “Jacqueline (née Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, a writer and former aide to President Bill Clinton and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” gave birth to author and journalist Max Blumenthal whose works include Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.

1977: The Post described in great detail the emotional moments for Israelis who spent their first Shabbat in Cairo. There was riotous, joyful welcome for the Israeli negotiating team outside the Cairo synagogue. In his address in Tel Aviv, President Ephraim Katzir, revealed a $100m. oil deal with Mexico.

1977: “The World’s Greatest Lover” directed, produced and written by Gene Wilder who also starred in the comedy that featured Elya Baskin was released in the United States today.

1979: Amy Sheridan, who would go on to be “the first American Jewish woman to gain aviator status in any branch of the Armed Services” earned her bars as a Warrant Officer One at the United States Army Aviation Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

1980(11th of Tevet, 5741): Ninety-eight year old Fanny G. “Henka” Pofcher, the husband of Elias Harry Pofcher passed away today after which she was interred at the Imas-Roxbury Lodge Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA.

1981: “Absence of Malice” a legal melodrama directed and produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Paul Newman and Bob Balaban was released in the United States today.

1982: At Ohev Shalom Talmud Torah Congregation in Washington, rabbi Hillel Klavan officiated at the wedding of Barbara Eileen Cohen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jay J. Cohen of Bethesda, MD and Andrew Mark Hutter, son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert V.P. Hutter of Livingston, N.J.

1982: Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz officiated at the wedding of Linda Rachel Nass, daughter of Edna Kadin Nass of New York and the late Samuel Nass and Dr. Brian Lloyd Tell, son of Frieda Tell of Jamaica Estates, Queens, and Lake Worth, Fla., and the late Dr. Meyer Tell.

1984(24th of Kislev, 5745): Kindle the first Chanukah light in the evening.

1984: Christopher Lehmann-Haupt reviewed Albert Speer: The End of a Myth by Matthias Schmidt

1985: “Out of Africa” the cinematic treatment of the novel of the same name (and a must see movie) directed and produced by Sydney Pollack was released in the United States today.

1987: The Jewish National Fund New Leadership of Greater New York is sponsoring ''A New York Chanukah'' at the Crystal Pavilion, 805 Third Avenue near 49th Street.

1987:  A federal judge sentenced Ivan F Boesky to 3 years in jail for insider trading. 

1987: “Ironweed” the movie version of the novel of the same named directed by Héctor Babenco and co-starring Carroll Baker was released in the United States today.

1987: Israeli troops kept a tight lid on the occupied Gaza Strip today, but scattered demonstrations broke out in Palestinian refugee districts and towns in the West Bank and the Arab sector of East Jerusalem. A Palestinian shot as he stabbed an Israeli soldier in the Gaza border town of Rafa died today, bringing the death toll to at least 14 Palestinians shot by the army in the current round of violence.

1988: Israel's political leaders continued to flounder today in their nearly seven-week effort to form a new government. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's hard-line Likud supporters said he was ready to abandon efforts to form another government with his Labor Party rivals. They said the Prime Minister was prepared to enlist several small religious parties in a narrow rightist government, a development that could add strains to Israel's relations with Washington and with American Jews.

1988: In “American-Jewish Writers: On Edge Once More,” published todayTed Solotaroff, author of A Few Good Voices In My Head examines the changes in American Jewish literature over the last quarter of a century

1989: Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said today that his ministry authorized and paid for meetings between relatives of Israeli soldiers captured during the invasion of Lebanon and representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1989: A Congress of Jewish Organizations and Communities in the U.S.S.R. opened today in the Moscow Cinema Center.

1990: The former New York City Mayor, Edward I. Koch, was hit in the head and slightly hurt today when a stone was thrown at him as he strolled through the Arab Quarter of the Old City. Mr. Koch and Jerusalem's Mayor, Teddy Kollek, were walking to the Western Wall without a police escort when the stone was thrown.

1991(11th of Tevet, 5752): Seventy year old Samuel “Sam” Deitchman who “played guard, forward, and center at CCNY from 1940 to 1942 when the team made repeat appearances at the NIT, the premier college basketball tournament of that period, passed away today.

1992(23rd of Kislev, 5753):  Seventy-seven year old television producer and game show creator Mark Goodson passed away. Born in 1915, his stable of creations included Beat the Clock, The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth and that Sunday favorite, What’s My Line? (As reported by Bill Carter)

1993(4th of Tevet, 5754): Parashat Vayigash

1993(4th of Tevet, 5754): Seventy-four year old actor, director and WW II veteran Samuel “Sam” Wanamker, the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants who was a victim of the  infamous “blacklist” passed away today.

1994(15th of Tevet, 5755): Seventy-year old Heinz Bernard, the German born British actor, director and theatre manager passed away today.

1995(25th of Kislev, 5756): Chanukah

1995 (25th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Chaim Pearl passed away.  Born in England in 1919, Rabbi Pearl’s first pulpit was in Birmingham England.  He came to the United States after World War II and officiated at a Conservative Synagogue in New York.  He retired in the 1980’s and moved to Jerusalem where he lived at the time of his death. Rabbi Pearl published numerous articles in the Anglo-Jewish press. He also authored a number of books, including a translation of Sefer Ha-Aggadah, A Guide to Jewish Knowledge, and The Medieval Jewish Mind: Studies in the Religious Philosophy of Isaac Arama, as well as two volumes on Rashi. In addition, he edited the sermons of Rabbi Abraham Cohen, who was his predecessor in Birmingham; produced a number of pamphlets; and served as associate editor of The Jewish Bible Quarterly.

1995(25th of Kislev, 5756): Chanukah

1995 (25th of Kislev, 5756): Eighty-six year old physicist Nathan Rosen passed away. Born in 1909, he was a U.S.-born Israeli theoretical physicist who in 1935 collaborated with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky on a much-debated refutation of the theory of quantum mechanics; he later came to accept the theory. The famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen critique of quantum mechanics was published in the 1935 Physical Review. (A New York Times obituary described The Physical Review as "one of the most impenetrable periodicals in the English language.") Rosen founded the Institute of Physics at Technion in Haifa Rosen was also the father of Dr. Joe Rosen a noted-physicist in his own right, a Renaissance Man in the truest sense of the word and a real mensch.  

1996: “Marvin’s Room” the movie version of the play with the same name directed by Jerry Zaks, featuring Bitty Schram as “Janine” and music by Rachel Portman was released in the United States today.

1998: Release date for “You’ve Got Mail,” a comedy produced and directed by Nora Ephron with a script by Nora and Delia Ephron.

2001: In Tampa, Florida, the funeral is held for Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist of the band Death. 
2002: “Two Week’s Notice” a comedy co-starring Kevin Klein but not Mark Feuerstein because his scenes were deleted was released today in the United States.
2002: In “Art Institute looks at houses of David Adler” published today Blair Kamin examines the life and career of the Jewish architect who “passed himself off as Protestant and designed in a thoroughly eclectic manner that was catholic with a small ‘c’”.

2005: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to hospital in Jerusalem after suffering a minor stroke and briefly losing consciousness. His doctors later said that the prime minister was in a stable condition and was undergoing tests. Sharon's long-time personal physician, Dr. Boleslav Goldman, said several hours later that the "prime minister is fully conscious. He is talking freely, moving and joking. He underwent a mild stroke."

2005: Israeli Holocaust survivor Lea Fuchs Chayen sends her e-mail address to Iowan David Cmelik so that they could communicate in a more direct, personal manner.  Cmelik is the son of Frank Cmelik who was a rifleman in the 84th Division of the Ninth Army.  The 84th Divisions was recognized a a liberating unit by the United States Holocaust Museum and the United States Army.  Cmelik had been searching for Chayen because she was one of the girls his father had mentioned that he had helped to liberate when his unit entered the Salzwedel Labor Camp in the spring of 1945.  His father was finally being awarded the Bronze Star that he had earned as part of the liberation effort.  In her e-mail and subsequent correspondence, Chayen described the details of her liberation and her gratitude for what Frank Cmelik and his fellow soldiers had one.

2006: The "Local Testimony" photography exhibition opens in Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, in commemoration of Lior Ziv, an IDF Spokesman photographer who was killed during an Israel Defense Forces operation in 2003. The exhibition, held for the fourth consecutive year, shows Israeli photographic journalism of the past year. The dozens of photographs on display have been chosen from some 4,500 entries to the Local Testimony competition. This year's winners include the following Haaretz photographers: Uriel Sinai came first in the category of series of photographs documenting the results of Katyusha rocket landings in Haifa; David Bachar came third in the category of series of portraits; Nir Keidar came second in the category of series of sports photographs and Nir Kafri came first in the culture and art category.

2007: Internet voting, sponsored by The Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Company, designed to choose the stamp to be used to mark Israeli’s 60th Independence Day, comes to an end. 

2007: Today, Marc “Trestman was named head coach for the CFL Montreal Alouettes whom he led to the Gray Cup in 2008.

2007(9th of Tevet, 5768): Eighty-three year old mathematician Samuel Karlin passed away. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2007: David Rubenstein purchased the last privately owned copy of the Magna Carta at Sotheby's auction house in New York for $21.3 million

2007: Naftali Tzi Weisz, the 59-year-old Grand Rabbi of Spinka, and Gabbai Moshe E. Zigelman, 60, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were named in a federal grand jury's 37-count indictment in Los Angeles. The indictment claims that Weisz and Zigelman promised to secretly refund up to 95 percent of millions of dollars of contributions to several Spinka charities. The contributors could claim the full amount for tax deductions, even though they gave as little as five percent of the amount declared on federal income tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

2008: In its final evening, The 10th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival features a screening of the 1920 classic, “The Golem.”

2008: In New York, as part of the “18 Nights of Inspiration lecture series “Dov Waxman, professor of political science at Baruch College, discusses the main issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prospects for peace in a talk entitled "Is Peace Possible?"

2008: The largest and most hi-tech movie theater in the South is opening in Beersheba's ONE center today. Globus Max invested NIS 56 million in building the 21-theater complex, which includes a VIP theater with fancy leather seats and a snack bar. The cinema will also host an IMAX theater that will offer IMAX films and 3D movies. The cinema's lobby is designed in a Hollywood theme with plasma screens showing film trailers

2008: Members of an Australian trade union that accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” joined Jewish officials at a Chanukah celebration. A candle lighting ceremony today at union headquarters in New South Wales included members of the Maritime Union of Australia.

2008: Hamas officially declared this evening that it would not extend the six-month-old truce between Gaza factions and Israel. The announcement appeared to be anti-climactic since 11 Kassam rockets and five mortar shells had already pounded southern Israel by mid-afternoon.

2008(21st of Kislev, 5769): Centenarian Scottish sculptor Hannah Frank the daughter of immigrants from the Pale of Settlement passed away today in Glasgow.

2008: Today “the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in New York announced it had acquired Norman Jaffe's architectural archives” which include architectural drawings, presentations and photographs from Jaffe's professional practice and covers more than 80 projects from the 1960s to the 1990s.

2009: In New York, as part of the Concert Masters Series, the Baruch Performing Arts Center presents as an evening with Roman Spitzer, Principal Violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

2009(1 Tevet, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2009: In the evening, light the eighth Chanukah candle, 5770

2009: A Las Vegas teacher has been told to stay home while district officials investigate a claim that she denied in class the Holocaust happened, a newspaper reported today. Clark County schools spokesman Michael Rodriguez said Northwest Career and Technical Academy teacher Lori Sublette was assigned to remain home, and appropriate action would follow an investigation. Student Katie Piranio told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Sublette said during a Nov. 25 class that history books were inaccurate and Nazis in World War II lacked the technology to kill millions of Jews. Sublette did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press seeking comment. The Review-Journal said she did not answer when a reporter reached her Thursday and asked if she had denied the Holocaust happened. Sublette said she was not in a position to respond and would have to talk to her principal. Sublette is a full-time gym teacher. The district says she was teaching a 30-minute weekly class designed to prepare students for life after high school.

2009: Amjal Kasab, a Pakistani man standing trial for his role in the terrorist attack on Mumbai last year that included the murder of Jews at the Chabad House, recanted his earlier confession in court today saying he been framed by the Indian police.

2009: According to police reports, the infamous iron sign over the gate to the Auschwitz memorial site with the cynical phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” – German for “Work Sets You Free” was stolen this morning between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. when museum guards noticed that it was missing and alerted police.

2009: U.S. release date for “Avatar” the epic sci-fi thrill co-produced by Jon Landau

2010: Hazak Shabbat -The United Synagogue has designated this Shabbat as HaZaK Shabbat, to recognize the older adults' groups of Conservative congregations. 

2010: “Shabbat Chazak” – Finished reading Bereshit or Genesis. This is “one of the four Shabbats when we complete one of the books of the Torah (the fifth time is on Simchat Torah); just as we complete the weekly Torah reading Shabbat morning, the entire congregation rises and together calls out “Chazak, Chazak, V’nitchazaik” –“Be strong. Be strong. Let us strengthen ourselves!” Just as we have completed one of the books of the Torah, God will help us be strong and complete all of the loose end of our lives, physically and spiritually. The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that there is a superiority to the “chazak of Parashat Vayechi in that it is the first one. (The Rhinebeck Jewish Center)

2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present “Wiesel in Concert: Memories & Melodies of My Childhood” during which the “renowned scholar, teacher and advocate, with orchestra and choir, is scheduled to sing songs from his youth for a new generation—a review of Jewish melodies from the shtetl to today.

2010: Oy Vey in a Manger is scheduled to open at Theatre J in Washington, DC.

2010: An article entitled “Jerusalem Rejuvenates C.R. Native” published today,  describes the spiritual and professional  journey made by Abbie Silber, the daughter of Dr. Robert and Laurie Silber,  from growing up in Cedar Rapids to studying and performing in Jerusalem.

2010: On Saturday, two women were stabbed in a forest near Beit Shemesh. Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and her American friend Kristine Luken were hiking in the wooded hills west of Jerusalem. 

2010(11th of Tevet, 5771): French scholar Jacqueline de Romilly, a specialist on ancient Greece, a prolific writer and one of the first women to join the prestigious Academie Francaise, died today at the age of 97. (As reported by Cecile Roux)

2010(11th of Tevet, 5771): Eighty-three year old “Morris L. Cohen, a book lover who shunned the practice of law because it was too contentious and became one of the nation’s most influential legal librarians, bringing both the Harvard and Yale law libraries into the digital age, died today at his home in New Haven.” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “In The King’s Arms,” Sonia Taitz’s first novel about a Yeshiva-schooled and Vassar-scrubbed, 21-year-old New Yorker named Lily Taub and “Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World” by Richard Rhodes. Unbeknownst to most of her fans, Hedy Lamar a Viennese born Jewess whose birth-name was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler.

2011: The Union for Reform Judaism Biennial is scheduled to come to an end.

2011: London’s Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host a family-friendly Chanukah Party this afternoon.

2011:”Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Cinema Mississippi Chanukah Event in Jackson, MS.

2011: The Jewish Community Center Wide Chanukah Concert with Craig Taubman is scheduled to take place at the Uptown JCC in New Orleans, LA.

2011: Viewers of ION-TV are in for a musical treat as Meaghan Reider, daughter of Sue and Ronald Reider, pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community is scheduled to perform a cantorial role this morning.

2011(22nd of Kislev):  Yahrzeit of Dulcina, the wife of Eleazar Rokeach and his son Jacob and his daughters, Belat and Hannah. They were killed in 1196 by two crusaders who broke into Eleazar’s home while he was working on a commentary on “Bereshit.” Born in 1176, this native of Mainz (Germany) was also known as Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymus. A leading Talmudist and author his works included “Ha-Rokeah” (Perfumer) “a halachic guide to ethics and Jewish Law for the common reader. The title derives from the numerical value of the word הרקח, which corresponds to that of אלעזר. The book is divided into 497 paragraphs containing halachot and ethics; first published at Fano, 1505.” The title of the book probably was the source of his “last name.”  He played a critical role in devising legislation that helped the Jews of the Rhineland survive the devastation of the Crusades.  He passed away in 1238.

2011: Today, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill that would allow Jewish couples to register for marriage with any rabbinate bureau in the country, irrespective of where they live.

2011:   Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger criticized the segregation of men and women on public transportation, in an interview with Army Radio. According to Metzger, the haredi community does not have the right to impose its practices on public bus lines.

2011: An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed today, the 10th such attack this year, but no fire erupted because the line that runs through North Sinai was already disabled, a security source said..

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

2012: Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion with Julia Moskin of The New York Times, Stephanie Pierson – author of Brisket Book, Daniel Delaney of Brisket Town, Noah Bernamoff of Mile End and butcher Jake Dickson entitled “Let’s Brisket” in which they will discuss what was once considered to be the quintessential Jewish cut of beef.

2012: Tthousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls went online today with the launch of a new website by Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority, part of a move to make the famed manuscripts easily available to scholars and casual web surfers.

2013: Rev. Canon Jack E. Lindquist is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Holocaust and Churches in Nazi Germany: Examples of Complicity and Resistance” at the Coronado Library.
2013: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish” and “David” by Director Joel Fendelman.

2013: “Fill the Void” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, weather permitting.

2013: It was reported today that Israeli fashion model Esti Ginzburg's f”ather was suing her for allegedly failing to pay him money owed for a house he sold her and her husband.”

2013: A 22-year-old man was killed and six more were injured when the IDF exchanged fire with Palestinians during an operation in the West Bank city of Jenin tonight.

2013: The Justice Ministry unveiled the draft of a proposed bill today that will ultimately completely restructure the legal regime and sovereignty principles governing the country’s coastal waters. (As reported by Sharon Udasin and Yonah Jeremy Bob)

2013: In contrasting decisions handed down today Germany says it won’t return two paintings once owned by a Jewish businessman who fled the Nazis, even as the western city of Cologne agreed to hand back almost a dozen other valuable drawings to heirs in two separate cases.

2013: The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court today sentenced Rabbi Mordechai Elon to six months of community service, as well as a 15-month suspended jail term, rejecting the prosecution’s demand that he be sent to prison for fondling a minor. Elon, once a celebrated mentor of Israel’s religious Zionist movement, was also ordered to pay the victim NIS 10,000 ($2,850) in compensation. (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2014: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to host its annual Festival of Lights this evening at the Center for Jewish History.

2014: The Washington, DC Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host “Authors Out Loud” featuring Boris Fishman whose latest work is A Replacement Life: A Novel.

2014(26th of Kislev, 5775): 2nd day of Chanukah

2014(26th of Kislev, 5775): Eighty-nine year old Harold Schulweis, the long term rabbi at the Valley Beth Shalom synagogue in Encino, CA passed away today.

2014(26th of Kislev, 5775): Seventy-year old Mandy Rice-Davies “the showgirl” who played a key role in the Profumo Affair that brought down the government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and who later converted to Judaism and made Aliyah, passed away today.

2014: In Iowa, Chabad led by Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky is scheduled to light the menorah this evening at Coral Ridge Mall.

2014: Israeli pianist Daniel Gortler is scheduled to perform at the Jewish Museum.

2014: “In the decision released today the Supreme Court ruled against a motion from lawyers representing Yonit Erez, whose conversion to Judaism in 2000 was revoked by Israel’s rabbinical courts. The rabbis took the radical step after concluding that Erez had misled them in promising to lead an Orthodox life.” (As reported by Amanda Borschel-Dan)

2014: “President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and generations of Mossad chiefs participated in a ceremony today held at the president's residence in Jerusalem, where citations of excellence were awarded to outstanding Mossad agents.”

2014: Of the four Hamas terrorists who reportedly were taking part in a military exercise near the Egyptian Border one was killed and three were injured following an explosion near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

2014: A memorial service for Rabbi Isaac Neuman is scheduled to be held this evening at Sinai Temple in Champagne, Illinois.

2015: Rabbi Jennie Rosenn is scheduled to speak at Temple Emanu-El as part of Human Rights Shabbat.

2015: “Son of Saul” an “acclaimed Hungarian drama set in Auschwitz” and the “winner of the Grand Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival” is scheduled open at The Film Forum in Manhattan.

2016: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Thanks You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman and The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis that examines the research of Hebrew University professors Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. \\

2016: WQXR is scheduled to host “a family Chanukah celebration in The Greene Space’ featuring “Parent’s Choice Award winners “The Bossy Frog Band” playing Chanukah favorites.”

2016: The Ethiopian Jewish Community’s seventh annual Sigd celebration is scheduled to come to an end today.

2017: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to present an “interfaith conversation” between Ahmed Omar the Deputy Director of MALA who is a Somalilander American of Muslim heritage and Richard Sassoon, an Iraqi-American of Jewish heritage who graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and studied at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding on the subject of “overcoming extremism.”

2017: In Newark, NJ, the Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Prudential Central following the NJ Devils NBA game.

2017(30th of Kislev, 5778): Sixth Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet






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