Wednesday, December 20, 2017

This Day, December 21, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 21

69: The Senate acknowledged Vespasian as emperor. This marked the end of the so-called The Year of the Four Emperors during which four individuals - Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian – held the position of imperial leadership.  This period of apparent anarchy was very unsettling for the Romans and part of Vespasian’s acceptance as emperor stemmed from the fact that he would be able to provide an imperial heir and stability for the emperor.  In Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations, Martin Goodman ties the destruction of the Temple to the unsettling events of the Year of the Four Emperors and Vespasian’s determination to prove that he could bring order to the Empire.

640: As the forces of Islam sweep across North Africa in a wave that will end with the conquest of Spain seventy years later, Muslims capture the Babylon Fortress in the Nile Delta after a seven month siege

1140: Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg. Seven years later, Conrad would be one of the leaders of the Second Crusade during which the Jews of Mainz, Cologne and Worms were all attacked.

1361: As Christian forces continued their attempt to drive the Moslem from Iberia, forces from the Kingdom of Castile (Catholic) defeated forces from the Emirate of Granada ((Islam at the Battle of Linuesa, part of the Reconquista that when concluded would result in the expulsion of the Jews from Spain more than a century later

1375: Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio passed away.  No, Boccaccio was not Jewish but Jews play an important part in his literary life. Boccaccio wrote about the “corruption and decadence” that were part of the Church in the 14th and 15th centuries. “In his classic work, Decameron, a Jew by the name of Abraham is convinced by a Christian friend to visit Rome in the hope that he will be so impressed that he will convert to Christianity. Abraham returns disgusted and reports: ‘I say this for that, if I was able to observe aright, no piety, no devoutness, no good work or example of life or other what did I see there in any who was Churchman: nay lust, covetise, gluttony and the like and worse ... And as far as I judge, meseemeth your chief pastor and consequently all others endeavor with all diligence and all their wit and every art to bring to naught and to banish from the world the [values of the] Christian religion ...’” Boccaccio and others like him help lay the groundwork for the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century

1733: Despite the efforts of some Englishmen to overcome Oglethorpe’s decision to allow Jews to settle in his Georgia colony Jews from the Suasso, Salvador and Da Costa families were among those who received conveyance of town lots, garden and farms that were executed today.

1753(25th of Kislev, 5514): Chanukah

1761(25th of Kislev, 5522): Chanukah is observed for the first time during the reign of King George III of the United Kingdom.

1772(25th of Kislev, 5533): Chanukah is celebrated for the first time following the first partition of Poland.

1777: Jacob and Abigail Pinto gave birth to Isaac Pinto, the husband of Maria Pinto.

1781: Birthdate of West Indies native Leach Rachel De Leon, the wife of Abraham Quixano Henriques with whom she had had nine children

1782: In the United Kingdom, circumcision of Solomon Jones aka, Reuben ben Jonathon HaCohen

1791(25th of Kislev, 5552): Chanukah

1795: Birthdate of German historian Leopold von Ranke, author of Universal History: The Oldest Historical Group of Nations and the Greeks in which speaks highly of Moses’ presentation of The Decalogue which makes “no distinction …between religion, moral laws and civil institutions” which means that “under the immediate protection of God individual life enjoys those rights and immunities which are the foundation of all civil order.”

1804:  Birthdate of Benjamin Disraeli.  Disraeli was born Jewish but his father had him baptized.  The baptism resulted from a dispute that the father had had with the local Jewish community.  The change in religion opened the doors to a political career for Disraeli that resulted in him serving two terms as Prime Minister.  Disraeli was the victim of anti-Semitic remarks and was also quite proud of his Jewish heritage.  He passed away in 1881.

1820: Birthdate of Heungseon Daewongun, the Regent of Korea whom German Jewish businessman Ernst Jakob Oppert attempted to blackmail in an to remove “Korean trading barriers.”

1828: Birthdate of Albert Cardozo, the Philadelphia native who became a prominent New York State jurist and was the father of Benjamin Cardozo, the second Jew to serve on the U.S Supreme Court.

1829(25th of Kislev, 5590): Chanukah

1832; “Louis Samuel a watchmaker of Liverpool and his wife Henrietta Israel, daughter of Israel Israel of Bury Street, St. Mary Axe, London” gave birth to Montagu Samuel who changed his name to Samuel Montague a British banker who founded the bank of Samuel Montagu & Co and eventually became the first Baron Swaythling.

1834: Birthdate of Adolf von Sonnenthal, the Budapest born actor who was well known for playing “Nathan” in Lessing’s “Nathan der Weise

1836: Isaac Maurice Bloom married Rebeca Jacobs at the Great Synagogue today.

1841: Samuel Strauss, a merchant and Rosalia Drucker gave birth to Heinrich Alphons Strauss, the brother of MP Arthur Isidor Strauss and Sigmund Ferdinand Strauss.

1846: Birthdate of infamous German “Jew baiter” Hermann Ahlwardt was the co-founder of the Anti-Semitic People’s Party.

1849: In London, Samuel (Isaac) Henry Glucksteinand and Hannah Coenraad Gluckstein gave birth to Bertha "Betsy" Koppenhagen, the wife of Julius Ferdinand Koppenhagen

1851: Birthdate of weightlifter Edward Lawrence Levy, the native of London, the winner of the First British Amateur Weightlifting Championship and the first World Weightlifting Championship and who was “a member of the International Weightlifting Jury at the “first modern Olympics” held at Athens in 1896.

1853: In Budapest, Moritz Jellinek and his wife gave birth to Heinrich Jellinek de Haraszt who “succeeded his father as president of the Budapest Tramway Company” where “he introduced electric traction, and extended the system to the environs of Budapest, establishing the branches Budapest-Szent-Endre and Budapest-Haraszti.”

1859: Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, the future Anglican Bishop of China whose parents had expected him to be a rabbi before he converted “arrived in Shanghai aboard the SS Golden Rule.

1859:  Birthdate of Gustave Kahn. The French Symbolist poet wrote works on a variety of topics including Zionism.  This theme was the inspiration for “Terre d'Israël” published in 1933.  He passed away in 1936.

1860: Birthdate of Henrietta Szold, American Jewish leader; founded Hadassah.  Among other things she was responsible for the Youth Aliyah that brought European Jews to Palestine before the war and saved them from the final solution.  She passed away in 1945, three years before her dream of Jewish state came true.

1861: Birthdate of Behrendt Pick, the native of Posen who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1884 and was appointed a lecturer on numismatics at the University of Jena but whose distinguished career did not protect him the consequences of the Nazis rise to power which drove him to suicide in 1940/

1861:  The Congressional Medal of Honor was created at the start of the Civil War.  Six Jews were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.

1863: Mendez Nathan, the son of Seixas Nathan, was one of the signatories of the agreement to form a public stock exchange, to be known as the "Open Board of Stock-Brokers" which was made public today.

1867: The Austrian constitution abolished discrimination based on religious differences.  This did not mean the end of anti-Semitism in Austria. 

1864: The Mayor of Savannah presented the key to the city to the General commanding the leading column of the Union forces marking the successful conclusion of “Sherman’s March to the Sea” in which Company C of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, an all Jewish Unit from Chicago participated.

1870: The Hebrew Charity Fair came to a close tonight marking the end of the three week long successful fund raising event.  The fair raised almost $155,000 which will divided between Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  The hospital will get 75% of the money and the orphanage will get 25%. The funds will enable Mount Sinai to complete its new hospital and the orphanage to build a new industrial school.

1872: In New York, “impresario and composer” Oscar Hammerstein I and his first wife Rosa (Rose) Blau gave birth to bricklayer turned theatre manage and composer Arthur Hammerstein, the brother of Willie Hammerstein, the husband of Dorothy Dalton and the father of actress Elaine Hammerstein.

1872: It was reported today that the human remains found on the shore of Oneida Lake in New York were not those of a farmer named Blodgett but were probably those of Jewish peddler who was known to carry large amount of money when he travelled through this area. It is thought that the peddler was attacked by a local gang and killed during the robbery

1876: Prior to this date Albert Lavergne, alias Abraham Levy, who “confessed to having absconded with $30,000 worth of diamonds from France” “was employed as a salesman by the firm of Les Fils de C Oulman, diamond doing business at No. 2 Rud Drouot, Paris” which also employed his brother-in-law George Oulman.

1876: Birthdate of Anna Wiesen, the native of Manasse who was shipped from to Berlin to Terezin and then to Treblinka in 1942 where she was murdered.

1876: Albert Lavergne, alias Abraham Levy, who had stolen $30,000 worth of diamonds from his employer Les Fils de C Oulman, diamond brokers at No. 2 Rud Durot, left Paris for London from which he planned to board the Anchor Line steamer bound for New York.

1876: The Hebrew Charity Ball took place tonight at the Academy of Music.  The ball is a fundraiser for the United Hebrew Charities, an organization devoted to taking care of the poor Jews of New York that has been so successful it is a model for similar non-Jewish organizations.  Last year the ball raised more than $13,000.

1878(25th of Kislev, 5639): First day of Chanukah

1878: 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 was ordained today.

1879:  Birthdate of Joseph Stalin.  As head of the Communist Party and Prime Minister of the Soviet Union Stalin gave vent to his anti-Semitic beliefs on more than one occasion.  At the same time he was the head of the Soviet nation that fought the Nazis and whose forces liberated several concentration camps.  His decision to recognize the state of Israel at the moment of its birth may be been one of the facts that prodded the U.S. to take the lead in the recognition race.  Also, Stalin’s support of Israel at its moment of birth, made it possible for Israel to acquire much needed arms in Communist dominated Eastern Europe, including the first combat aircraft of the IDF.  This may be one an example of the Rabbinic admonition that Yetzer Ha-Rah (the evil inclination) can produce a positive result.

1880: “The Hebrew fair for the benefit of the Forty-fourth Street Synagogues and the Ladies Lying-in Relief Society’ which is taking place at the Metropolitan Concert Hall is scheduled to come to an end today.

1880: In New York, The Thalia Theatre Company will give a benefit performance at the Terrace Garden as a fundraiser for the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Yorkville.

1883(22nd of Kislev, 5644): Isidor Goldsmidt, a native of Bavaria who came to New York where he developed “a prosperous millinery business” passed away today.

1883: The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army were formed. According to the Jewish Canadian Military Museum “members of the Jewish community have participate in every significant conflict that has involved Canada” since 1759 when Jews fought in the forces of General James Wolfe. These conflicts have included the Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and various “peacekeeping activities” since 1953.

1884: Count Tolstoi, the Minister of the Interior has struck “a blow against the Jews” with his announcement that effective with New Year’s 1885, the Russian Imperial Government “will monopolize the business of pawn-broking” an enterprise, at least in the popular mind, dominated by Jews who charge unreasonable rates of interest.

1885: Isaac Sekel Bamberger the son of Rav Yitzchak Dov Halevi Bamberger, The Würzburger Rav and Kela Bamberger and Julie Judith Bamberger gave birth to Selka Ochseman

1885: The Ladies’ Fair, a fund raiser for the Hebrew Free School Association will come to an end tonight with an auction followed by a ball.

1886: “Leah: The Forsaken” a five act play by German-Jewish playwright Salomon Hermann Mosenthal opened at the Union Square Theatre in New York City. The play deals with issues of confronting 17th century Jews living in Germany and intermarriage.

1889: After two weeks the Hebrew Educational Fair, a joint fundraising effort by several NYC Jewish organizations, came to an end

1890: In New York City, Joseph Muller who was Catholic and Frances Lyons who was Jewish gave birth to Hermann Joseph Muller whose method for recognizing spontaneous gene mutation led to his discovery of a technique for artificially inducing mutations by means of X rays that has since had broad theoretical and practical application. For this discovery he was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

1891:”Aid For Jewish Refugees” published today described the first ever appeal by the Jewish residents of the United States “to the American people, irrespective of creed or religion for assistance in a work of charity” i.e. funds to help with resettlement of Russian Jews in New York City to other places in the United States, a project already funded by Baron de Hirsch.

1891: The will of Deacon Josiah W. Cook of Cambridge filed for probate today including a bequest to the Hebrew Academy.

1891(20th of Kislev, 5652): Sixty-four year old Jacob Hecht, one of the leading Jewish citizens in Baltimore, MD, passed away leaving behind seven sons and two daughters.

1892: Two fresh outbreaks of Cholera in Hamburg today have given rise to fears that this “will strengthen the movement in America to shut out immigrants” especially among Russian Jews are thought to be carriers of the disease.

1893(12th of Tevet, 5654): Seventy-four year old Charles Dyte, the son of David Moses Dyte and Hannah Lazarus and the husband of Evelina Nathan passed in Ligar St, Bllarat, Victoria, Australia.

1894: Birthdate of David T. Wilentz, the native of Dvinsk who as Attorney General of New Jersey “successfully prosecuted Bruno Hauptmann in the Lindbergh kidnapping trial” and father Robert Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and Norma Hess.

1894: The Dreyfus Court Martial held its penultimate session.

1895: An article tracing the use of saffron published today points out that to this day, the cooking of “the Jews of Spanish descent” derives some of its unique character, from the “use of saffron in their dishes.”

1895: The charity fair sponsored by the Jewish community for the benefit of the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Technical Institute came to an end today with an auction of all of the previously unsold items just before midnight.

1896: A laparotomy was performed today on Morris Goodheart, President of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society “for the removal of an abscess in the peritoneal cavity.

1896: “Santa Maria” an operetta composed by Oscar Hammerstein I opened at the Alvin Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA.

1897: In Bedford, England, Benjamin Tisinbom and the former Esther Cohen gave birth to a daughter today.

1898: “Rev. Dr. Baar to Resign” published today described the decision of Dr. Herman Baar, who has been serving as the Superintendent of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York for the past 22 years to retire next Spring.

1902(21st of Kislev, 5663): Forty-six year old Russian painter Isaac Lvovich Asknazi whose award winning works included "Abraham Expelling Hagar with Her Son Ishmael" and "The Publican and the Pharisee" passed away today.

1903(2nd of Tevet, 5664): 8th and final day of Chanukah

1904: In an article simply entitled “Benjamin Disraeli,” the New York Times takes note of the fact that this date is the exact centenary of the birth of the English statesman.  The Times reminds its readers that despite the fact that he had been named Earl of Beaconsfield, he will always be known to posterity by his given name or by the nickname of “Dizzy.”

1905: Today “a dispatch from Sam Remo announced the death there of Henry Harland” the author who began his career “by writing clever stories of Jewish life” under the name of “Sidney Luska” which led readers and critics to assume that he was Jewish.

1906: It was reported today that Dr. Schmarja Levin, a former member of the Duma which has been dissolved by the Czar, had denounced a recent bill promulgated by the Russian Council of Ministers while visiting the New York home of Dr. J. Leon Manges, the Secretary of the Federation of American Zionists. Levin said that the bill did not give the Jews living in the Pale of Settlement any new rights and actually discriminated against Jews living in or trying to do business in other parts of Russia.

1907: Klara Hitler who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was treat by Dr. Eduard Bloch, the Jewish physician whose patients included her young son Adolf, passed away today.

1909(9th of Tevet, 5670): Israel Abbe Schneider passed away today.

1911(30th of Kislev, 5672): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1911(30th of Kislev, 5672): Seventy-seventy year old Benjamin F. Jonas, the third Jew to serve in the United States Senate and the second Jew to represent Louisiana in the “Upper House” passed away in New Orleans.

1912: U.K. premiere of “The Miracle” a British silent film based on a play by Max Reinhardt.

1912: In Warsaw, Rabbi Nathan Mileikowsky and his wife gave birth to Israeli mathematician Elisha Netanyahu who was the brother of historian Benzion Netanyahu and the uncle of Benjamin Netanyahu

1913: It was reported today that the Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue will holding their annual Chanukah Ball at the Astor.

1914: “A conference held today” in Chicago resulted in the issuance of a call for “men of all creeds and races to join in the movement” “to save Leo Frank from death” by attending a mass meeting as part of the efforts on behalf of this talented and much wronged young man.”

1914:  The first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance" was released.  Charlie Chaplin was one of the three stars in this feature film.

1914: “Jews Starving in Jerusalem” published today warned that “there is grave danger of pestilence as well as famine” in the city “unless steps are taken at once to provide a regular supply of food and free medical services”  -- an effort for at least $100,000 a month will be need while the present crisis last.

1914: The list of contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee for War Sufferers published today included The Hebrew Ladies’ Relief Society of Harrison, First Galician Society, Jews of Wilmington, N.C. Jews of Nacogdoches, Texas, the Wide Awake Circle, the society of Peru, Indiana and the First Konstantiner Benevolent Society.

1915: The Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York has named Dr. Cyrus Adler who is currently President of Dropsie College, as acting President of JTS following the death of Dr. Solomon Schechter.

1915: The American Jewish Relief Committee launched its campaign to raise funds in 1916 for the relief of war sufferers in Europe at a mass meeting tonight at Carnegie Hall which will be chaired by Louis Marshall which “persons in the audience spontaneously contributed more than $700,000 in money, jewelry and pledges deposited in baskets and thrown upon the stage in one of the greatest responses to an appeal every recorded.”

1915: The second round of talks between the French and the British concerning the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire after the World War opened today with Sir Mark Sykes representing the British and Francois-Georges Picot representing the French.  The final product would be known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

1916(26th of Kislev, 5677): Sixty-one year old Harry Hananel Marks, the founder of the Financial News and a leader of the Anglo-Jewish community passed away today.

1916: Jacob H. Schiff presided at a meeting this evening at Carnegie Hall which launched the campaign to raise ten million dollars “for the relief of Jewish war sufferers” and which featured speeches by Louis Marshall, the funds temporary chairman, Rabbi Judah Magnes and New York Mayor Mitchell.

1917: In what has become a daily occurrence, another fifty to seventy-five Jews were to the Jewish hospital today in Warsaw “on the verge of death” as a result of “starvation.”

1917: In Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg): “Jewish communal elections were postponed on account of the chaotic state of affairs.”

1918: In a cable message made public today. “President Thomas G. Masaryk of the Czechoslovak Republic informed the Zionist Organization of America that he had directed the cancellation of the recently promulgated order regarding the deportation of Jews” and had assigned them place in “domiciles for refugees.

1917: As British forces sought to secure a supply from Jaffa, they completed their crossing of the Auju River and were able to hold “a line from Hadrah to Tel el Rekkeit 2 miles north of the river and construct bridges that allowed the artillery to cross the river and join the cavalry and infantry.”

1918: A cablegram was received in New York today from Lithuania saying that arrangements had been made for Jews to participate in the new Lithuanian Government and that Jews held the positions of “Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Under Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and State Minister for the Department of Jewish Affairs.”

1919(29th of Kislev, 5680): Fifth Day of Chanukah

1919: In New York, “a tri-city-get-together” proposed by Louis H. Levin is scheduled to meet for a second day in Baltimore where plans will be discussed of the upcoming meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Social Service.

1919: Emma Goldman, along with 248 other radical "aliens," was deported to the Soviet Union on the S.S. Buford under the 1918 Alien Act, which allowed for the expulsion of any alien found to be an anarchist. Emma Goldman, born in Kovno, Lithuania (then Russia) in 1869, came to the United States in 1885 at age 16. By the time of her deportation, she had made a name for herself as a leading anarchist, public speaker, and crusader for free speech, birth control, and workers' rights. Goldman first became interested in radical politics in Russia, where she came into contact with populists and political organizers. In the U.S., she was disappointed to learn that instead of streets paved in gold, workers were subject to gross economic inequality and inhuman working conditions. The defining moment for Goldman came in 1886, when eight anarchist radicals were convicted, on flimsy evidence, of setting off a bomb at Chicago's Haymarket rally causing a riot in which several police officers were killed. Convinced of the defendants' innocence, Goldman resolved to learn all she could about anarchism, and soon became active in the anarchist movement. Unfortunately for Goldman, the decades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were difficult ones in which to be an anarchist in America. Federal anti-anarchist laws restricted Goldman's ability to give public speeches and subjected her to frequent harassment and arrests. Still, she had a profound influence on American political activism. Mother Earth, the journal she founded in 1906 and ran until 1917, provided an outlet for the writings of radical thinkers. Roger Baldwin, who heard Goldman speak on free speech in 1908, went on to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Margaret Sanger, a prominent birth control activist, looked on Goldman as her mentor. Although Goldman was not a pacifist, she believed that governments had no right to wage war, and actively opposed U.S. involvement in World War I. She argued that the war was an imperialist venture that aided capitalists at the expense of workers. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, her anti-conscription activism was considered a threat to national security, and she spent 18 months in federal prison. On her release, she was immediately re-arrested and sentenced to deportation under the 1918 Alien Act, which authorized the deportation of any alien found to be an anarchist. At first excited by the chance to see the workers' republic of Soviet Russia, Goldman was soon disillusioned by the Bolshevik regime. Barred from returning to the U.S., she spent the last two decades of her life wandering through Europe and Canada, giving speeches on radical politics. When she died in Toronto in May 1940, her body was returned to Chicago, where Goldman was buried near the Haymarket anarchists who had first inspired her.


1920: “Sally” a Jerome Kern musical opened on Broadway today at the New Amsterdam Theatre

1921: In Milwaukee “Esther (née Ottenstein) Lubotsky who was a childhood friend of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Meyer Lubotsky, a retail tire business owner” gave birth to Miriam Lubotsky the older sister of Charlotte Rae Lubotsky who was better known as actress Charlotte Rae,

1921: “The Senate Committee on Immigration met today take up the proposed temporary exclusion act” which most Jews opposed because it was seen as another attempt to limit, if not completely end, the immigration of Jews to the United States.

1922: In New York City, Solomon Wilchinsky, a tailor and the former Clara Fuchs gave birth to Paul Wilchinsky who gained fame as Paul Winchell, an accomplished ventriloquist who, during the 1950’s starred on television with his two “wooden friends” - Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smith.

1922(2nd of Tevet, 5683): Seventh Day of Chanukah

1922(2nd of Tevet, 5683): The former Winifred Lichtenauer, the daughter of banker Joseph Lichtenauer  who had married Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler in 1906 passed away today.

1922: In the Soviet Union, the first edition of Bezbozhnik an anti-religious newspaper that “alleged that some rabbis in the tsarist government's pay had helped organize anti-Jewish pogroms,” and “criticized the Jewish holiday of Passover as encouraging excessive drinking, because of the requirement of drinking four glasses of wine, while Prophet Elijah was accused of being an alcoholic who got "drunk as a swine” was published today.

1923: In Baltimore, MD, Fannie Hirsch Flom and Itak Flom gave birth to Joseph Harold Flom, pioneering corporate lawyer who helped build Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the nation’s leading law firms. (As reported by Jonathan D. Glater)

1925: In Newark, NJ, Sara Lasser and Martin Kurtz gave birth to Paul Winter Kurtz “a philosopher whose advocacy of reason ahead of faith helped define contemporary secular humanism.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1925: Premiere of Eisenstein's movie “Potemkin” in Moscow.

1925: “The Girl With a Patron,” a silent comedy directed by Max Mack was released today in Germany.

1926: Birthdate of Arnost Lustig, an acclaimed Jewish Czech author who drew on his own harrowing experiences as a teenager in World War II to produce novels and short stories laced with tales of young people who survive the Holocaust. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi

1928: The New York Philharmonic Symphony performs Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Bloch’s “America.”

1930(1st of Tevet, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1930: “The Princess and the Plumber” a comedy directed by Alexander Korda was released in the United States today by Fox Film Corporation.

1931: Birthdate of Ysrael Abraham Seinuk, the native of Havana, Cuba, “a structural engineer who made it possible for many of New York City’s tallest new buildings to withstand wind, gravity and even earthquakes.”

1934: Churchill wrote the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, expressing his support for the practice of collective punishment – in the form of fines – aimed at terrorists who burned groves of fruit trees “in a thirsty land.” The fruit trees had been planted by Jewish pioneers; those burning them were Arabs taking part in the armed revolt organized by the Grand Mufti.

1935(25th of Kislev, 5696): Chanukah

1935(25th of Kislev, 5696): Forty five year old journalist, author and WW I veteran of the German Army Kurt Tucholsky passed away today in Sweden.

1935: The 75th birthday of the pioneering Zionist Henrietta Szold was celebrated with a radio address broadcast across the United States. It included addresses by the President of Hadassah, Rose Jacobs and by the President of the World Zionist Organization, Chaim Weizmann. Hadassah chapters hosted local celebrations and numerous Shabbat sermons across the United States were reportedly devoted to Szold's life story and achievements.

1935: The British High Commissioner announces to Arabs and Jews the British intention of setting up a Legislative Council in Palestine.

1935: Sir Grenfell Wauchope, High Commissioner of Palestine, summoned Arab leaders today and presented to them a memorandum outlining the features of the proposed Legislative Council of Palestine. The preface to the memorandum states that in view of the fact that municipalities are now functioning smoothly the time is ripe for the establishment of the Council.

1936: Helmut Hirsch, the German Jew who actively worked to carry out a plan to murder Hitler was arrested by Gestapo agents in Stuttgart.

1936: “Well informed Italian circles expressed rather naïve surprise this evening at what they term the ‘unnecessary fuss made by the world’s Jewish press’ over the flogging of two Jews in Tripoli and the imprisonment of another for three months for refusing to keep their open Saturdays” which in reality was part of a plan to force the Jews of that city to leave the new city and return to the older, less commercially attractive old part of the city.

1936: Dr. Charles M. Sheldon, a Congressional minister from Topeka, Kansas and author of In His Steps tonight proposed “a merger of all Protestant, Catholic and Jewish churches” as a way of averting war.

1936: Rabbi J.Z. Dushinsky, representing Audath Israel, told the Peel Commission, "The holy Torah has promised the Holy Land to the people of Israel, but is by the very Torah that we are commanded not to occupy the country by force...but we are confident that to the extent that the returning exiles to Zion will fulfill the will of god, as revealed in the torah, and will make the national home the abode of the torah in all branches of economic and cultural endeavor...

Sir Horace Rumbold questioned him:

Q. There should be a proportion of members of Audath Israel employed in the posts and in the railways, but you also object to their working on Saturdays?

A. Yes

Q. do you not see what that leads to?...The railways certainly are an important element in the economic life of the you not thinking that is going to make it rather difficult?

A. They will be run by Arabs on Saturday, by non-Jews.  On Saturdays the work can be done by non Jews

1936: “Vicious Circle” published today provided a review of Some of My Best Friends Are Jews by Robert Gessner.

1937: In a debate over the visit of Lord Halifax, the British Foreign Secretary, to Berlin, Churchill spoke out against the Nazi treatment of the Jews.  “It is a horrible thing that a race of people should be attempted to be blotted out of the society in which they have been born.” He further expressed his fear that the British were negotiating from a point of weakness and that the Halifax meeting would result in German acquiring the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia.

1937: Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” which animator David Hilberman helped to create premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

1938: As British, Zionist and Arab leaders prepared to meet at a conference in London designed to bring the 2 year long Arab uprising end, Lord Halifax, the British Foreign Secretary, stress “that the forthcoming conference…must be co conducted to ensure that the Arab States would be friendly to us.”  In other words, the British government was poised to turn its back on the promises of the Balfour Declaration and close Palestine to the Jews.

1939: Hitler named Adolf Eichmann leader of "Referat IV B"

1939: Premiere of “Tevye” a Yiddish language film based on the Sholem Aleichem character, directed, produced and starring Maurice Schwartz, who also wrote the script.

1940: Birthdate of Frank Zappa, composer of the controversial, satirical song “Jewish American Princess.”

1941: Immediately after the arrival of the first group of Eretz-Israeli residents who were trapped in Nazi occupied Europe at the outbreak of WW II and who have been exchanged for Germans living in Palestine, Haaretz published a story about a woman who had left Palestine with her daughter before the war to visit her hometown and family in Poland. "Our little town did not even have a cemetery in ordinary times," the unnamed woman was quoted as saying, "but now the Germans have established one, and it contains hundreds of graves of local Jews and of others deported there from the big cities."

1942(13th Tevet, 5703): Eighty-four year old Franz Uri Boas the native of Minden who is known as the “Father of American Anthropology” passed away in New York City.

1943(24th of Kislev, 5704): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1943: Hersz Kurcweig, a Jew, and Stanislaw Dorosiewicz, a non-Jew, escape from Auschwitz after killing an SS guard.

1943: U.S. premiere of “The Song of Bernadette” a cinematic treatment of the life of St. Bernadette based on a novel by Franz Wefel, produced by William Perlberg and music by Alfred Newman.

1944(5th of Tevet, 5705): Eighty-three year old Alfred Leopold Delgado, who is buried in the Falmouth Jewish Cemetery in Jamaica passed away today.

1944: Bandleader Kay Kyser (who was not Jewish) recorded "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" a popular song with music by Harold Arlen

1945: The United States and Great Britain announced that the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine will open hearings January 7, 1946.

1945: The original Broadway production of “Billion Dollar Baby,” a Betty Comden and Adolph musical with a score by Morton Gould opened at the Alvin Theatre where it “ran for 220 performances.”

1946: Arabs in Palestine refuse to pay taxes if money is used for Jewish immigration.

1946: Birthdate of Josh Mostel.  Mostel followed in the thespian footsteps of his famous father, Zero Mostel.

1946: Morton Gould's "Minstrel Show" premieres in Indianapolis

1946: Today, The New Yorker published J.D. Salinger’s “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” featuring “Holden Caulfield” who gained fame in Cather in the Rye

1946: Rabbi Jonah B. Wise declared at the centennial celebration of Central Synagogue that "Reform Judaism looks forward to the union of all Jewish religious groups in a great synthesis with freedom for all."

1947: Arabs plan to win full control of Palestine and set up an all-Arab state

1947: Estelle Scher, the actress known as Estelle Getty, married Arthur Gettlemen with whom she had two children – Carl and Barry Gettlemen.

1947(8th of Tevet, 5708): Forty-four year old journalist and producer Mark Hellinger passed away in Los Angeles.

1948: Birthdate of Barry Gordon the American performer who served as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1988 to 1995 making him “the longest-serving president.”\1948: “Act of Violence” a cinema noir directed by Fred Zinnemann was released today in the United States

1948: Birthdate of Zev Yaroslavsky a Los Angeles County politician who served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1975 until 1994, when he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He was preceded in both offices by Edmund D. Edelman.

1949: New York premiere of Samson and Delilah, “Biblical Epic” starring Hedy Lamer, with a screenplay co-authored by Jesse Lasky, Jr. based on a “film treatment” by Vladimir Jabotinsky, the late Zionist leader.

1950(12th of Tevet, 5711): Eighty-six year old Elgin, Illinois native Harriet Wile, the daughter of Leopold and Rose Adler and he wife of David Jacob Wile passed away today in Chicago.

1950: In New York, stockbroker Walter Katzenberg and his wife Anne, an artist, gave birth to Walt Disney Studios Chairman and Democratic party kingmaker Jeffrey Katzenberg, the husband of the former Marilyn Siegel with whom he had twins – Laura and David.

1951: Larry Blyden played Hector and Howard Da Silva played Dupont-Dufour Sr. in “Thieves’ Carnival” this week’s offering on “The Play of the Week.”

1951: Yitzhak Gormezano Goren, aged ten and accompanied by his parents, left his home on Rue Delta in Alexandria to rejoin his two brothers who had already moved to Israel.

1951: “Decision Before Dawn” a WW II espionage movie directed and produced by Anatole Litvak with music by Franz Waxman released in the United States today by 20th Century Fox.

1952: Paul Celan married graphic artist Gisèle Lestrange over the opposition of her parents.

1952(3rd of Tevet, 5713): Eliyahu Hacarmeli an early Zionist leader, who served in the first Knesset, passed away.

1952: Shlomo Hillel entered the Knesset today as a replacement for the deceased Eliyahu Hacarmeli.

1952: Near tragedy struck the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America when fire destroyed the headquarters at 1380 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, New York. Fortunately, complete tragedy was averted because of the diligence of some members of the brotherhood residing in the area and who were nearby at the time of the fire. They prevailed upon the firefighters to saturate the office area with water, thus averting any major destruction of the records.

1953: Birthdate of András Schiff, the native of Budapest and the child of two Holocaust survivors who gained fame as a “British classical pianist and conductor.

1953: As claims resurfaced that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer was a Communist, Lewis Strauss told “Oppie” that “his security clearance had been suspended.”  Oppenheimer refused Strauss’ suggestion that he resign and demanded a hearing on the charges.

1954: Composer Morton Gould and his wife gave birth to this fourth and youngest child, Deborah, today.

1954: Congregation B’nai Jeshurun marked it 130th anniversary as the second oldest Jewish congregation in New York by staging a Chanukah celebration in its Community Center on West 88th Street. B’nai Jeshurun is the oldest Conservative Congregation in the United States.  Rabbi Israel Goldestein opened the festivities by lighting the “torch of freedom” which had been flown to New York from Israel last week 

1956, the Metropolitan Opera premiered a new version of La Périchole  an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halévy that included interpolations from other scores and turned the speaking role of the Old Prisoner into a singing role for a comic tenor.

1957: A terrorist attack to place in a field near Kibbutz Gadot.

1958(10th of Tevet, 5719): Asara B'Tevet

1958(10th of Tevet, 5719): Seventy-four year old German born American author Lion Feuchtwanger,  passed away while living in his Los Angeles. Born in 1884, and writing under the pseudonym, J.L. Wetcheek, Feuchtwanger’s life reads like something out of suspense thriller as he fled Nazi Germany, took refuge in the Soviet Union and France before escaping to the United States under a secret program run by Varian Fry.  Of course, he was a significant author in his own right to boot.  At the same time, there is something depressingly repetitive about his life – one more European Jew forced to take it on the lamb before finding a final refuge in the United States, England or Israel where he or she then enriches the culture, science or business communities of their place of refuge.

1959: Shimon Peres, a member of Mapai, began serving as Deputy Defense Minister.

1961: “Take Her, She’s Mine” a “Broadway comedy written by Henry Ephron and Phoebe Ephron opened at the Biltmore Theatre.

1961: In Patterson, NJ, Isaac Weiner and his wife gave birth to Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

1961: In New York City, Elain Terner Cooper and Robert E. Mnuchin “a partner at Goldman Sachs in charge of equity trading, a member of the management committee and the founder of the Mnuchin Art Gallery gave birth to Steven Terner Mnuchin, the Yale University graduate, former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund investor who has been named by President-elect Trump to serve as Secretary of the Treasury.

1962: U.S. premiere of “In Search of the Castaways” with songs by Richard and Robert Sherman – The Sherman Brothers.

1962: “The Trial,” a movie version of the novel by Franz Kafka was released today in the United States.

1964: Despite supportive testimony from a bevy of performers and authors, Lenny Bruce was sentenced to four months in jail for using “obscene” language in his nightclub act.

1965: After premiering in Tokyo, “Thunderball,” four film in the James Bond series featuring Leonard Sachs was released today in the United States.

1966: “Grand Prix,” a movie about international road racing directed by John Frankenheimer whose father was Jewish but who was raised as a Catholic and filmed by cinematographer Saul Bass, who used his skill to created unique racing footage, was released today in the United States by MGM.

1967(19th of Kislev, 5728): Chabad celebrates

1967(19th of Kislev, 5728): Louis Washkansky, a Lithuanian born Jew and  the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, after living for 18 days after the transplant.

1967: Release date for “The Graduate,” a film classic directed by Mike Nichols, co-produced by Joseph E. Levine and co-starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role. (Oh yes, the music is courtesy of Paul Simon)

1968(30th of Kislev, 5729): Parashat Miketz; Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah\1968: “Once Upon a Time in the West” featuring Lionel Stander was released in Italy today.

1969: Former Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, who was serving was ambassador to the United States, was summoned from Washington to Jerusalem to give his views on an American response to a change in Israeli policy that would include in-depth bombings of Egyptian positions beyond the Nile in response to Nasser’s policy of bombarding Israeli positions. 

1969: Three Lebanese nationals were detained when an attempt to hijack a TWA plane was thwarted at the airport in Athens.

1970: “They Call Me Trinity,” a spaghetti western produced by Joseph E. Levine was released in the Italy today.

1970: Six days after opening in the United States “There’s a Girl in My Soup” a comedy co-starring Goldie Hawn and Peter Sellers premiered in London today.

1971: UN Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim as 4th Secretary General.  Naming a former Nazi officer did nothing to engender Israeli or Jewish confidence in the world organization. 

1971: “Such Good Friends” a comedy by on a novel by Lois Gould, directed and produced by Otto Preminger, with a screenplay by Esther Dale (pseudonym for Elain May and starring Diane Cannon (Samille Diane Friesen) was released in the United States today.

1972: “Up the Sandbox” the movie version of Anne Roiphe’s novel directed by Irvin Kershner, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and starring Barbra Streisand was released today in the United States.

1973: Representatives of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US and USSR met in Geneva.

1975: A Broadway revival of the Jerome Kern musical “Very Good Eddie” opened at the Booth Theatre where it ran for 304 performances.

1976: A scheduled “unofficial symposium on Jewish culture in the USSR was banned by authorities” today.

1976: Richard F. Shephard described “the third network raid-on-Entebbe production” which will be aired on NBC next month following the telecast of the Super Bowl.

1976: “Voyage of the Damned” a film based on a story “inspired by true events concerning the fate of the MS St. Louis ocean liner carrying Jewish refugees from Germany to Cuba in 1939” directed by Stuart Rosenberg, with music by Lalo Schifrin and co-starring Lee Grant was released in the United States today.

1976(28th of Kislev, 5737): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1976(28th of Kislev, 5737): Pinchas Kehati, an Israeli bank teller and the author of Mishnayot Mevuarot (literally "Clarified Mishnayos"), popularly known as "the Kehati Mishnayot") which is a commentary and elucidation on the entire Mishnah which was “written in Modern Hebrew” and translated into English in 1994, passed away today.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo that the Israeli and Egyptian peace negotiating teams were near an agreement on Israel's continued presence along the Jordan River.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that 3,700 government employees in the Tel Aviv area would be transferred to Jerusalem.

1978: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” a sci-fi horror film directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy was released today in the United States.

1979(1st of Tevet, 5740): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Seventh Day of Chanukah

1979: It was reported today that “12 case of latkes – a donation from Empire Kosher Poultry of Miflin, PA – were delivered earlier this week to Manhattan’s Town Hall, where audiences were offered the potato pancakes and kosher wine after matinees this week of ‘”Rebecca – the Rabbi’s Daughter.’  They were also invited to join in a Chanukah blessing by a leading lady, Mary Soreanu, who is starring in the production at the concert hall – which leads to another reason for the celebration at the hall.  The production marks the return to Broadway of Yiddish theatre after a 10-year absence.”

1979: “The London Connection” featuring David Kossoff and Wolfe Morris was released in the United States today.

1980(14TH of Tevet, 5741): Ninety-two year old Leon Leo Solomon Hexter, the son of Max and Sara Hexter and the husband of Rachel Schwartz passed away today in his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio.

1981(25th of Kislev, 5742): Chanukah observed for the first time during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

1983: Sixty-four year old Paul de Man the “Belgian born literary critic” whose anti-Semitic views expressed during WW II did not become known until after his death, passed away today.

1984: “Protocol” a comedy directed by Herbert Ross with a script by Buck Henry based pm a story by Nancy Myers and starring Goldie Hawn was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1984: “Johnny Dangerously” a parody directed by Amy Heckerling was released today in the United States.

1987(30th of Kislev, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1988(13th of Tevet, 5749): Eighty-two year old British historian, author and WW II veteran Philip Montefiore Magnus-Allcroft, the son of Laurie and Dora Marian Magnus and the husband of Jewell Allcroft passed away today.

1988: Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's agreement on a new coalition government with the Labor Party barely survived a challenge early today from hard-line members of his own Likud party led by Ariel Sharon.

1988: “Beaches” co-produced by Bette Midler who co-starred in the film along with Barbara Hershey and featuring Marc Shaiman was released today in the United States.

1988: Sixteen crew members 243 passengers and 11 bystanders on the ground were murdered today when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie when a bomb planted by terrorists exploded. At the time Muammar Gaddafi of Libya was blamed for the attack although several other terrorist groups claimed credit for the attack.

1988: An Israeli court today postponed a lawsuit by the Bankers Trust Company of New York to break up troubled Koor Industries, Israel's largest industrial concern, over a $20 million debt. The Tel Aviv district court judge rejected Koor's request to have the suit dismissed but agreed to delay the hearing for five weeks. He ruled that Koor would be allowed to continue normal operations until the next court session, Jan. 22. The decision had the effect of reopening vital credit lines from local banks, closed under Israeli law since Bankers Trust filed the suit on Oct. 9. Koor, which reported a record loss for 1987 of $250 million, owes foreign banks $405 million. Bankers Trust is the largest foreign creditor, with $135 million in outstanding loans.

1989: In “Deserted Synagogue of 1919 Sets Off Boston Tug-of-War” published today, Constance L. Hays described the struggle over the fate of the Hub City’s Vilna Shul.

1989: A Congress of Jewish Organizations and Communities in the USSR that had begun on December 18 met for the last time today in the Moscow Cinema Center having established the Vaad, “an umbrella organization of Jewish Cultural bodies chaired by Mikhail Chlenov from Moscow, Yosif Zissels from Chernovtsy and Shmuel Zilberg from Riga.”

1991(14th of Tevet, 5752): Parashat Vayehi

1991(14th of Tevet, 5752): Ninety-five year old “painter and printmaker” Minna Citron passed away today. (As reported by Roberta Smith)

1991: El Sayid Nosair was acquitted of killing Meir Kahane.

1992(26th of Kislev, 5753): Ukrainian born violinist Nathan Milstein passed away.

1992(26th of Kislev, 5753): Actress Stella Adler passed away.  Born in 1902, Stella Adler was the daughter of the famous actor, Jacob Adler.  Hers was an acting family.  In 1939 there were 15 fifteen members of the Adler family contributing to the Yiddish Theater and the Group Theater in New York.

1993: A family tour of Israel that include the opportunity to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and at the Zealot's Synagogue in Masada sponsored by the American Jewish Congress is scheduled to begin today.

1994: Federated Department Stores announced the acquisition of R H. Macy & Co the mercantile establishment made famous by the owners Nathan and Isidor Straus.

1994: Limited release of “Little Woman” starring Winona Ryder as “Josephine ‘Jo’ March.”

1994: U.S. premiere of “Mixed Nuts” directed by Nora Ephron who wrote the script along with her sister Delia featuring Kahn as “Mrs. Blanche Munchnik”, Robert Klein as “Mr. Lobel”, Rob Reiner as “Dr. Kinsky”, Adam Sandler as “Louis Capshaw”, Liev Schreiber as “Chris” and Garry Shandling as “Stanley.”

1995: Israel barred entry today to seven American Jews, including a New York rabbi whom the Government considers to be a security risk in light of the assassination last month of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The Interior Ministry said Rabbi Abraham Hecht, 73, of New York, had given a religious justification for the killing of Mr. Rabin only months before it occurred -- though he later apologized in a letter to Mr. Rabin days before the assassination.

1995: The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control as part of the peace process begun at Oslo.  Unfortunately there was no peace to go with the process.

1996(11th of Tevet, 5757): Margaret Rey passed away at Cambridge

1997(22nd of Kislev, 5768): Sholom Schwadron, “the Haredi rabbi and orator known as the ‘Maggid Jerusalem’” passed away today.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Bible As It Was by James L. Kugel and Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler.

1998: NBC broadcast the final episode of “Conrad Bloom” a sitcom starring Mark Feuerstein, Steve Landesberg and Lina Lavin

1999: Shortly before the end of his term as Mayor of Philadelphia, Ed Rendell resigned to take up the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC

2000: Four Israeli soldiers were injured when a Palestinian rammed a truck into a West Bank checkpoint.

2001(6th of Tevet, 5762): Sport’s journalist Dick Schaap passed away.

2001: Following a Hollywood premiere a week ago, “A Beautiful Mind” the academy award winning film co-produced by Brian Grazer, with a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman and featuring Judd Hirsch was released in the United States

2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including There Are Jews In My House by Lara Vapnyar, Sephard by Antonio Muñoz Molina; translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, Wise Men and Their Tales: Portraits of Biblical, Talmudic, and Hasidic Masters by Elie Wiesel and The Roaring Twenties: A New History

of the World's Most Prosperous Decade by Joseph E. Stiglitz.

2003: In “Rabbi Finds Antimaterialism A Tough Pitch in Hollywood” published today, Amy Wallace

2006: The annual report put out by Israel's intelligence agencies was presented to the prime minister prior to discussion of it by the security cabinet.

2006: U.S. premiere of “The Good Shepherd produced by Jane Rosenthal with a script by Eric Roth.

2006: In Boston, JDub records and Heeb magazine cohost a "Jewltide Hanukkah Bash" at T.T. the Bear's. Headliners are the LeeVees, a duo featuring Adam Gardner (of Guster) and Dave Schneider (of the Zambonis), whose songs include "How Do You Spell Channukkahh" and "Goyim Friends," a tune about gentile pals. The show also features Golem, SoCalled, and Shtreiml 

2007: Release date for “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” a music comedy written b Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan.

2007: U.S. premiere of “Charlie Wilson’s War” directed by Mike Nichols with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.

2007: It was reported today that Rite Aid founded by Alex Grass had suffered record-breaking losses in despite the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd chains

2007: Today Shari Ellin Redstone, president of National Amusements, vice-chairman of CBS Corporation and Viacom, became chairman of Midway Games (a position she would subsequently relinquish in December 2008 when her father Sumner Redstone sold all his stock in the company).

2007: President Shimon Peres apologized for the Kafr Kasim massacre of 1956, in which Border Police officers killed 48 of the village's residents.

2007: “A feature film adaption of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ was released today with Sacha Baron Cohen as ‘Signor Pirelli.’”

2008: Opening session of the AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) 40th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

2008: Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies will present research at the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies in Washington, demonstrating that while some American Jewish leaders such as Rabbi Stephen Wise were firmly pro-British and opposed aliya on the eve of the Holocaust, others including Louis Brandeis recognized the need for emergency measures to rescue Jews from Europe and were willing to take a more hard-line position,

2008: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States by Jonathan Engel and The Hanukah Mice by Steven Kroll; Illustrated by Michelle Shapiro.

2008(24th of Kislev, 5769): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah Candle

2008(24th of Kislev, 5769): Ninety-four year old Tony Award winning playwright Dale Wasserman whose works included “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest” and “The Man of La Mancha” passed away toda.

2008: A British tourist working in an archaeological dig in Jerusalem today unearthed a treasure of 264 gold coins from 1,300 years ago. Archaeologists called the find "one of the most impressive deposits ever found in the capital."

2008: “Shaul Ladany: The long walk through horrors of 20th century” published today

2009: Theatre Company Jerusalem presents "The King and the Magician," a tale of a soothsayer king, Balak ben Zippor, and a great magician, Bilam ben Beor. This is unique adaptation of the Biblical story, for children - story about curses and their disadvantages and blessings and their advantages.

2009: Habima Theatre presents "His Whole Life Ahead of Him," a new adaptation of Roman Gary's novel Emil Ajar.

2009: Today archaeologists unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus’ childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of around 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood. Archaeologist Stephen Pfann, president of the University of The Holy Land, noted: “It’s the only witness that we have from that area that shows us what the walls and floors were like inside Nazareth in the first century.” Pfann was not involved in the dig.

2009: Polish police detained five men today for stealing the metal sign that hung over Auschwitz, the former Nazi death, and said they were common thieves not neo-Nazis.

2009: In article published in Sports Illustrated entitled “Welcome the King of Israel,” Lee Jenkins describes the life of “Sacramento rookie Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA” who is “a modern extension of the league’s Jewish roots.”

2010: Rabbi Yosef Edelstein of MesorahDC is scheduled to lead “Food for Thought: Digesting Ethics, Mysticism, and Philosophy” at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2010: Dulce Pontes, the famous Fado singer from Portugal, is scheduled to appear in Tel Aviv.

2010: A Qassam rocket struck the Ashkelon beach early today exploding in an open field near a kindergarten and lightly wounded a teenage girl in a nearby building.

2010: A high-level priest on the morning show of the largest television station in Greece blamed world Jewry for Greece's financial problems on today. The Metropolite of Piraeus Seraphim also blamed world Jewry for other ills in the country during his appearance on Mega TV. Mixing Freemasons with Jewish bankers such as Baron Rothschild and world Zionism, the Metropolite said that there is a conspiracy to enslave Greece and Christian Orthodoxy. He also accused international Zionism of trying to destroy the family unit by promoting one-parent families and same-sex marriages.

2010(14th of Tevet, 5771): Seventy-two year old “Marcia Lewis, an actress and singer known for bringing a comic brassiness to Broadway revivals of “Grease” and “Chicago,” died today in Nashville.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2010: Today, the Queen created Fiona Sara Shackleton the daughter of “Jonathan Charkham, an adviser to The Bank of England and economist, and Moira Elizabeth Frances Salmon, daughter of Barnett Alfred and Molly Salmona “ “a life peer as Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, of Belgravia in the City of Westminster.

2011(25th of Kislev, 5772): First Day of Chanukah

2011:  The band Girls in Trouble led by Alicia Jo Rabin is scheduled to perform this evening at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

2011: Dan & Aviva and Drory Yehoushua are scheduled to perform at The Spanish Portuguese Synagogue as part of the Sephardic Music Festival.

2011: Yad Vashem is scheduled to posthumously honor a Polish man who saved the lives of Jews during World War II by hiding them in his attic. The Holocaust Museum will bestow the title of righteous gentile upon Wojciech Wołoszczuk, a farmer who let Frances Schaff, nee Feiga Bader; her brother, his family and two other Jews secretly stay in his house to avoid persecution by the Nazis and their allies. Food was scant during the war and Schaff's brother was shot dead while trying to forage food for his family outside the house. His wife and children survived the war but were murdered by Polish peasants in its immediate aftermath. Schaff, the sole survivor of her family, grew up in an orphanage in Israel. She later emigrated to the US In 2009 Schaff submitted a request to honor Wołoszczuk, who died in 1963, after visiting Poland with her family. His daughter, Janina Wołoszczuk, will come from Poland to accept the medal and certificate of honor on his behalf.

2011: Today, the Knesset Finance Committee allocated an additional NIS 780 million to Israel's defense budget, which came at the expense of other government offices such as welfare and housing.

2011: The situation in Syria is unstable and the IDF needs to keep a watchful eye on daily developments along its northern front, Commander of the Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan said today.

2011: The US Senate approved $211 million for Iron Dome in new $633 billion defense bill

2012: Three solid days of rainfall across the country has water authority officials calling the winter of 2012-13 the wettest since 2004

2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear today that he has no intention of losing any more ground to his right wing challenger Naftali Bennett, giving a TV interview in which he slammed the Jewish Home party’s chairman for his apparent justification of insubordination

2012: Ensemble Dmama is scheduled to perform at the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Jerusalem.

2012: “The Shortest Day” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: Talia's Steakhouse & Bar, the only full dine-in Glatt Kosher (under OU Supervision) steakhouse on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, offers a pre-paid Friday night dinner where diners can enjoy their challah and have wine for Kiddush.

2013: The Eden Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host “The Best of Chamber Music – The Romantic Clarinet.”

2013: “Dancing in the Rain” (Ples v dezju) is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Today the Arab League rejected the US proposal, by which IDF soldiers would remain in the Jordan Valley for a 10 year period as part of peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). (As reported by Ari Yashar)

2013: “IDF forces foiled a terror attempt from Gaza on Saturday, shooting and wounding a 22 year old terrorist who was trying to place an explosive on the border.” (As reported by Ari Yashar)

2013(18th of Tevet, 5774): Eighty-four year old Edgar M. Bronfman passed away today. (As reported by Jonathan Kandell)

2013: On the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie Bombing Israeli sources provided evidence the Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command was responsible for downing Pan Am Flight 103.(As reported by David Horovitz)  [Editor’s note: After you read about enough of these groups you almost feel like these guys are good at two things – murder and coming up with unbelievable names for their organizations]

2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author/and or of special interest to Jewish readers including Isabel’s War by Lila Perl, The Brotherhood of Book Hunters by Raphaël Jerusalmy, The Norton Anthology of World Religions Volume II: Judaism, Christianity, Islam edited by Jack Miles, David Biale, Lawrence S. Cunningham and Jane Dammen McAuliffe, The Wall by H.G. Adler and Living The Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions by Phil Zuckerman

2014: “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers & Peacemakers” and “Felix and Meira” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014: Chabad is scheduled to host the “Chanukah Bowl” at Colonial Bowling Lanes.

2014: Final performance of “On the Other Side of the River” is scheduled to take place today.

2014: Shaare Tefila is scheduled to hold its annual Chanukah Party, Dinner and Talent Show.”

2014: “Four anti-assimilation activists affiliated with the Lehava organization were arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence today, and four others were brought in for questioning”

2014: “The Syrian army said today that it shot down an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle over Quneitra, media in Syria and Lebanon reported.

2014: “IDF paratroopers' hearts went out to two Palestinian children who approached their post today asking for food.”

2015(9th of Tevet, 5776): On the Jewish calendar Yahrzeit of Ezra.

 2015: The Historic 6th and I Synagogue is scheduled to host a fun run sponsored by the Running Club this evening.

2015: Israeli and U.S. officials declared a new medium-range missile interceptor fully operational today, ending years of development and testing for the key component of Israel’s defense array.

2016: Prof. Isaiah Gafni, The Sol Rosenbloom Professor Emeritus of Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is scheduled to deliver a special Chanukah lecture’ “The Hasmonean Episode: From Rebellion to Kingdom” in which he will examine the two chapters of the holiday story – “The rebellion under Mattathias and his sons, followed by the emergence of an independent state and kingdom.”

2016: “Jewish worshipers in Ukraine were teargassed and the grave of Hasidic Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was defiled with fake blood and a pig’s head in an attack tonight at the popular pilgrimage site visited by tens of thousands of Jews every year.”

2016: “Former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav was released from Ma’asiyahu Prison today after the State Prosecution said it would not appeal Sunday’s parole board decision to free him. He had served five years of a seven-year jail sentence.”

2016: Rabbi Berel Lazar was the keynote speaker when approximately 6,000 people arrived at a government compound in Moscow to celebrate Chanukah, “twenty-five years after the Kremlin hosted its first-ever Jewish event.”

2016: On the occasion of his 70th birthday, violinist and champion of Jewish music Yuval Waldman is scheduled to play a recital-lecture of works by Jewish composers which he commissioned or gave the premiere performance of including “Thoughts and Feelings, a never before heard work by Joachim Stutschewsky which Stutschewsky wrote in 1981 at the age of 90, Variations on "Hatikvah" by Yehiel Goyzman, Waltz from an Unknown Country by Paul Alan Levi (U.S. Premiere), the world premiere of a new work by Alex Weiser, and Fantasy on "Jerusalem of Gold" by Yuval Waldman himself.”

2017: As part of its Historic Jewish Atlanta Tours, The Breman Museum is scheduled to host a trip to the Fox Theatre.

2017: The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center is scheduled to host Peter Weintraub presenting an “Introduction to Judaism.

2017(3rd of Tevet, 5778): On the Jewish calendar, third of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz





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