Thursday, December 21, 2017

This Day, December 22, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 22

69: Emperor Vitellius is captured and murdered by the Gemonian stairs in Rome. Vitellius was the third of The Four Emperors.  He would be succeeded by Vespasian, the man who put down the rebellion in Judea that began 2,000 years of exile. 

244: Birthdate of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor who ordered all of his subjects to accept his divinity and offer sacrifices to him. He exempted the Jews from this decree.  According to Meir Holder, “his regime was comparatively favorable to the Jewish people

1095: Birthdate  of Roger II whose reign over the Kingdom of Sicily was unique for it religious tolerance which allowed native Jews, Byzantine Greeks, Muslim Arabs, Normans, Longobards and "native" Sicilian peoples to live in harmony. (As reported by Luigi Mendola)

1135: Coronation of Stephen as the King of England during whose reign Jewish communities were established in Norwich, Cambridge and Oxford.

1603: Mehmed III Sultan of the Ottoman Empire passed away. Born in 1566, Mehmed III continued the Turkish practice of taking advantage of the skills of his Jewish subjects. He appointed a Jew named Gabriel Buonaventura as ambassador to Spain which may seem counter-intuitive considering that Spain had expelled her Jews a century earlier. Two Jewish doctors named Benveniste and Korina were in palace service. In 1597 a Morrano named Alvaro Mendez who had taken the Turkish appellation Solomon Abenyaes prepared a treaty of alliance with England aimed at King Philip of Spain.

1603: Ahmed I becomes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire following the death of Mehmed III. During his reign, Sultan Ahmed I caught small pox, a highly fatal disease.  When his palace physicians could not help him, Ahmed sought help from Buha Eskenazi, the widow of Solomon Eskenazi who had been one of his doctors. The widow Eskenazi was able to affect a cure and she remained in the Sultan’s service. 

1639:  Birthdate of French dramatist Jean Racine.  Racine chose two very different Jewish women as topics for two of his plays both of whose names provided the title for the respective works. In 1689, he wrote Esther.  In 1689, he wrote his last play Athalie based on the life of the wicked Queen Athalia, daughter of Jezebel.

1653: Nethaneel ben Benjamin ben Azriel Trabot the Rabbi of Modena who was the uncle of Solomon Graciano, and the author of “the collection of response entitled ‘Kenaf Renamin’” passed away today.

1696: Birthdate of James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of Georgia.  “In July, 1733, a month after Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe, forty Sephardic Jews arrived in Savannah.” A year later German Jews arrived in the colony.”  The trustees of the colony wanted to discourage the Jewish settlement.  Oglethorpe had the courage and good sense to ignore their wishes.

1723: Seventy year old Normandy native Jacques Basnage de Deauval, the Protestant minister and author whose works included L'Histoire des Juifs (History of the Jews) which the author said is "a survey of all that pertains to the religion and the history of the Jews since Herod the Great” passed away today. (Editor’s note- other sources show 1725.  I have not been able to resolve the disparity.)

1769: Jacob and Abigail Pinto gave birth to Thankful Pinto who had been named after Jacob Pinto’s first wife.

1793(19th of Tevet, 5554): “Mistress Heneli Sarah bat Moses from Lohzin passed away today after which she was buried at the “Alderney Road (Globe Rd) Jewish Cemetery.”

1808: Abraham Jacobs married Rachel Raphael at the Great Synagogue today.

1810(25th of Kislev, 5571): Chanukah

1813: William Collins married Priscilla Marks at the Western Synagogue today.

1819: Zadock Jessel married Mary Harris at the Great Synagogue today.

1822: In Berlin, Samuel Bleichröder, founder of the banking firm of S. Bleichröder in 1803 and his wife gave birth to Gerson von Bleichröder who followed in his father’s footsteps.

1823: Birthdate of Chaim David Lippe, the Hungarian born cantor he moved to Vienna where he opened a Jewish publishing house.

1830: In Bavaria, Abraham Feineman and Sibila Oswald gave birth to B.A. Feineman, the husband of Bettie Binswanger, the President of the congregation in St. Joseph, MO for several years and the congregation in Kansas City, MO for seventeen years who was also a vice president of banks in Kansas City and a member of the City Council in Kansas City for two years.

1833: In Prussia, a prohibition was issued prohibiting Hews from assuming the “names of Christian saints as first names.”

1841: Joel Jewell married Mary Solomon at the Great Synagogue today.

1841: La reine de Chypre,(The Queen of Cyprus) “a grand opera in five acts composed by Fromental Halevy was  first performed today at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra

1842: In New York, Benjamin Bloomingdale and Hannah Weil gave birth to their third child, Joseph Bernard Bloomingdale who along with his brother Lyman founded Bloomingdale’s Department Store.

1849: The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is called off at the last second. The Russian author had been imprisoned for his involvement with a “liberal intellectual literary group” feared by the Tsar Nicholas I.  Whatever their political and intellectual differences Dostoyevsky and the Czar had at least one thing in common, they were both anti-Semites.  Dostoyevsky believed that “Jews were behind just about every attempt to disrupt Europe’s order.”  As he wrote, “The Jews have everything to gain from every cataclysm and coup d’état…and profit from anything that serves to undermine gentile society.” 

1852(11th of Tevet, 5613): Solomon ben Akiba Eger who first served as the Rabbi of Kalish before succeeding his late father as the rabbi in Posen, a position he held when he passed away today.

1855: "Mr. Gottschalk Soiree" published today reviewed the performances of Louis Moreau Gottschalk saying that "in Mr. Gottscahlk we have an artist who doubly claims our attention and our respect.

1867: The lower house of the Parliament adopted a bill favoring the emancipation of the Jews today.

1878: Naphtali Herz Imber, (1856-1909) a Hebrew poet, wrote the words for Hatikvah. The poem eventually became the national anthem of the State of Israel.

Hatikva התקווה "The Hope"

כל עוד בלבב פנימה
נפש יהודי הומיה,
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה

עין לציון צופיה -
עוד לא אבדה תקותנו,
התקוה בת שנות אלפים
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו

ארץ ציון וירושלים.
Kol 'od balevav P'nimah -
Nefesh Yehudi homiyah
Ulfa'atey mizrach kadimah
Ayin l'tzion tzofiyah.
'Od lo avdah tikvatenu
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim:
Li'hyot am chofshi b'artzenu -
Eretz Tzion Virushalayim.
As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward toward the East,
An eye still watches toward Zion.
Our hope has not yet been lost,
The two thousand year old hope,
To be a free nation in our own homeland,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

1871(10th of Tevet, 5632): Asara B’Tevet

1871: Birthdate of Sophie Grünbaum one of the last Jewish inhabitants of Kleinsteinach who was deported in 1942.

1871: It was reported today that B.L. Solomon & Sons (a partnership of Barnet L., Solomon B. Judah H. and Simon B. Solomon) has a “superb store” in the 600 block of Broadway which offers a “stock of furniture” that includes the most “’costly and luxurious” furniture and materials for decorating the home.

1871: French orientalist Dr. Joseph (Naftali) Derenburg,  the son of Hartwig (Ẓebi-Hirsch) Derenburg, the grandson of Jacob Derenbur and the younger brother of French attorney Jacob Derenburg  was elected a member of the  Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres today.

1873: It was reported today that in England, there has been some talk of making Sir Moses Montefiore and Baron Rothschild “peers of the realm.” Before this happens, the Oath of Allegiance taken by members of the House of Lords will have to be modified as has already happened with the House of Common.  The current oath requires all knew members of Lords to swear “on the true faith of a Christian.” Dropping these words was what made it possible for Rothschild to finally take his seat in the House of Commons.

 1873: In Great Britain, Ellen Cohen Montague and Samuel Montague, the founder of Samuel Montagu & Co gave birth Lilian Helen Montagu, the sister of Louis and Edwin Monatgu.

1875(24th of Kislev, 5636): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1875: This evening when the Hebrew Charity Fair comes to a close in New York City, all unsold items will be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

1876: It was reported today that New York Governor Samuel Tilden, New York City Mayor William Wickham and Mayor-elect Smith Ely, Jr. had attended the Hebrew Charity Ball at the Academy of Music.  The ball, which raised funds for Jewish and non-Jewish charities, was sponsored by the Purim Association and marked the start of the fashionable ball season in New York.  The Purim Association is one of the oldest of such Jewish organizations in the city.  The society used to sponsor a annual masquerade ball but has not done so since 1871 due to the enactment of the Masquerade law which made it impossible to sponsor such events.

1878: In Wien, Austria, Gustav Przibram, the son of Salomon and Marie Przibram and Charlotte Przibram   gave birth to Professor Karl Przibram

1878: Per the request of the deceased, Reverend A. J. Lyman, pastor of the South Congregational Church officiated at the funeral of the late Randolph Herr who had taken his own life.  Reverend Lyman chose passages from the Old Testament for the service.  Mr. Herr’s brother tried to stop the funeral proclaiming that his brother was Jewish and he should be buried as Jew.  The widow and the former partner of the deceased assured the brother that Lyman was there because this was a request of the late Mr. Herr. After the ceremony, Mr. Herr was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  No reason was given for this apparently odd request.

1878: The Board of Directors of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital held a lengthy meeting today during which they agreed to reject the five hundred dollar donation offered by Mrs. Stewart through Judge Hilton.  There was no question that the board would reject the donation.  The only matter up for discussion was how strongly to word the letter of rejection. The Directors will make up the shortfall resulting from the rejection of the donation.  Rejection was a matter of pride since a large segment of the Jewish community had expressed their opposition to accepting money from the man who banned them from being guests at his fashionable hotel in Saratoga Springs.  If the board had accepted the money, several of the donors who contribute to the institutions annual budget of ten thousand dollars would no longer support the hospital.

1878: It was reported today that the Jewish Messenger has issued a called for a “united effort” to provide religious training for the city’s poor Jewish children. The Messenger said that “there should be 10,000 children attending the Jewish free schools instead of only 1,000.” The paper took the community to task for arguing about “the length of a prayer or the position of a seat” while Christian missionaries are busy converting these young Jews.

1879: An anonymous correspondent wrote to the Jewish Messenger of New York that: “Mr. S. L. Lewis . . . died on Saturday, November 29th [1879] . . . funeral . . . the following day with Jewish rites, Mr. C. J. Fishel, of the firm of Mellis and Fishel, opening the services by reading a prayer. . . . Deceased carne here about fourteen years ago and has resided here ever since.  Mrs. Rebecca Green, wife of Mr. Mark Green, of the firm of Phillips and Company, [died] on the 8th [of December, 1879]. Mr. J. Hyman opened the services. . . . The deceased was born in San Francisco, Cal., and was the daughter of Mr. I. Salomon, a wealthy merchant. Her body will be sent to San Francisco for interment.”  These are believed to be the first Jewish funerals that took place in what was then known as the Sandwich Islands, or as we know them today, the Hawaiian Islands, our 50th state.

1879: It was reported today that “The Jews, Their Customs and Ceremonies” by E. M. Myers is now available in New York.

1880:In New York Rebecca Goldsmith and actor “Joseph Frankau, a cousin of London cigar importer Arthur Frankau” gave birth to pioneering Broadway designer Aline Bernstein.

1880: Mary Anne Evans, who was better known by her pen-name George Eliot, passed away. “Daniel Deronda” was her last novel. Published in 1876, it presented a presented a positive view of Jews and was sympathetic to the cause that would later be labeled as Zionism.

1882: It was reported today that in Russia, the legislature “has decided to accede to the request of certain Jewish chemists to rescind the order…forbidding Jews from keeping chemists’ shops outside of those part of the empire set aside for Jews to reside in.”  (This is an example of the crazy-quilt of regulations with which Jews coped with during the 19th century.  There never was a sense of permanence to any of the gains made by Jews since the government was autocratic and the society was dominated by ant-Semities.)

1883: William Goldsmidt found the body of his father Isidor in his room at the home they shared on 2nd Avenue in New York.  Based on notes that were found and the examination by the coroner, it was deduced that he had died of a self-induced overdose of laudanum.  It would appear that he had never gotten over the death of his wife which was soon followed by the death of his daughter.

1885: In Great Britain, the first passenger train ran through the Mersey Railway Tunnel which had been built under the superintendence of Samuel Isaacs.

1886(25th of Kislev, 5647): Chanukah

1886: The first passenger train ran through the Mersey tunnel owned by Samuel Isaac

1886: A review of “Leah the Forsaken” panned the performance of Margaret Mather in the title role.  On the other hand, Milnes Levick performed the role “bore the role of the apostate Jew with dignity and skill of a sound experienced actor.”

1888: It was reported today that the Seligman Solomon Society will be providing an evening of entertainment at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum later this month.

1888: “Members of the highest of London’s Jewish circles” attended the reception that followed the marriage of “Brandon Thomas, one of the best known of the younger actors on the English stage and Marguerite Blanche Leverson, the beautiful daughter” diamond merchant James Leverson and his wife Henrietta” who had previously opposed the marriage on religious grounds.

1888: Among the allocations made by the Brooklyn Board of Estimates were $134.39 to the Hebrew Benevolent Association of Brooklyn and $703.49 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.

1889: It was reported today that the Hebrew Educational Fair, a fund raiser for several Jewish charities in New York City raised $125,000

1889: Birthdate of avant garde Russian artist Nathan Altman who decades long career spanned the Czars and the Commissars.

1889: The Montefiore and Lady Judith Hebrew Association was formed by a group of Jews who met tonight at the Florence Building in New York City.

1889: It was reported today that during the month of November, the United Hebrew Charities had provide aid to 2,77i adults and children who comprised 639 families

1889: It was reported today that Henry Rice is the President of the United Hebrew Charities and that I.S. Isaacs serves as secretary of the organization.

1889: It was reported today that the newspapers are filled with “reminiscences” of Robert Browning who passed away earlier this month.  These include articles which “tend to support the theory that he is of Jewish descent.”  His father was a clerk in the employ of the Rothschild at a time when their bank “employed scarcely any but Jews.”  The name “Bruning” (a Germanic form of Browning) was very common among Jewish families in North Germany.”  He was a friend of Emma Lazarus and “both his verse and private correspondence show that he kept an interest in the” persecution of the Russian Jews.

1891: Founding of Congregation Kenesseth Israel in Minneapolis, MN.

1891: Sixty-four year old Paul Anton de Lagarde who “argued that Germany should create a "national" form of Christianity purged of Semitic elements and insisted that Jews were "pests and parasites" who should be destroyed "as speedily and thoroughly as possible".

1891: The NYPD police station on East 22nd Street appeared to a monument to ecumenism since it was filled with three carloads of loot stolen from Churches and Synagogues by a thief who styled himself as “Pastor John Weih.”

1892: In a move that will have an impact on Russian Jews trying to reach the United States, Secretary of the Treasury Charles Foster has told the Secretary of State that officials at Hamburg are prepared to let ships sail for the United State even though a few cases of Cholera have been reported and recommended that German officials be told that ships would not be admitted to the United States until cholera was no longer presence in Hamburg.

1893: A representative of the United Hebrew Charities was among those who signed a letter addressed to the Mayor calling on him to help provide more relief for all the newly unemployed who have lost their jobs as a result of the Panic of 1893.

1893: In Osterholz-Scharmbeck, “merchant and cigar manufacturer Bernhard Reemtsma” and his wife gave birth to Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma, “the tobacco industrialist” whose son Jan described Phillip’s art collection as “stolen” and who has been part of the work to return art to its rightful Jewish owners who were forced to part with it during the Nazi era.

1894: On the last day of the Dreyfus Court Martial his defense attorney Edgar Demange “spent three hours arguing that the very contents of the bordereau showed that it could not be the work of Dreyfus” while prosecutor Brisset abandoned “the moral proofs” presenting an emotional appeal the Judges.

1894: In France, The Dreyfus affair moved to a new level when Alfred Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of treason.

1894: At Shabbat morning services in New York, erev Chanukah, “rabbis earnestly and vigorously pleaded for the better observance of the Sabbath.”

1894: Today’s announcement “that the whole village of Halberton in Cumberland Country, New Jersey has been sold by the Sheriff” provides the public with proof that another of the Russian Jewish colonies in the state has failed.

1895: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a sermon today at Temple Emanu-El entitled “On What Basis Can Christian and Jews Unite?”

1895: Wolf Avener of Philadelphia and Isaac Falpe were arraigned today before the Magistrate at the Centre Street Court on charges of trying to blackmail Aris Lichtenstein, a Jew who converted to Christianity.

1895: Birthdate of Viennese native Trude Fleischmann, the noted American photographer. (Editor’s note – thanks to Cedar Rapids photographer par excellence Steve Eckert for helping to increase our awareness of Jewish photographers and the role of Jews in photography.)

1895: Based on reports published today the charity fair sponsored by the New York Jewish community for the last couple of weeks has raised more than $150,000, two thirds of which will go to the Education Alliance and one third to the Hebrew Technical Institute.

1897: In Charleston, SC, Dr. Mendes of Savanah officiated at the marriage of Isabelle Nathan and Benjamin Mantoue.

1897: In London, Rabbis Marks and Joseph officiated at the wedding of George Frederick Hart, “the eldest son of the late Neville Hart” and Emily Frances, the daughter of the Late Michael Abrahams of Regent’s Park.

1900: Emil Jellinek, delivery of the first new Mercedes which had been sold to racecar driver Baron Henry de Rothschild at the railway station in Nice.  [The car was called Mercedes in honor of the Jewish automobile developer’s daughter. Somehow, this naming convention escaped the notice of the Nazis who were proud to ride in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.]

1905(24th of Kislev, 5666): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1905: A special matinee performance of “La Tosca” starring Sarah Bernhardt, who along with Mark Twain, had appeared earlier in the week at a benefit performance for the fund for the suffering Jews of Russia, is scheduled to take place this afternoon at the Lyric Theatre.

1905: An additional $3,367.41 was added to the fund for the relief of the persecuted Jews in Russia today.

1905: The Novoe Vremya published a series of articles alleging that the Jews are at the bottom of the whole revolutionary movement” in Russia and “would alone benefit from it.”

1909(10th of Tevet, 5670): Asara B’Tevet

1909: A fare-well banquet in honor of Rabbi Martin A Meyers was held tonight at the Hotel Premier in New York City. The 31-year old Meyers has been serving as the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Brooklyn.  He is moving to San Francisco to begin serving as the Rabbi at Temple Emanuel, the Pacific Coast’s largest Jewish congregation.  Rabbi De Sola Mendes served as Toastmaster at the event which was attended by 22 rabbis including Stephen Wise, Joseph Silverman, Alexander Lyons, and Rudolph Grossman.

1910(21st of Kislev, 5671): Fifty-three year old David Günzburg the 3rd Baron de Günzburg, a noted orientalist and leader of the Jewish community in Russia passed away today in St. Petersburg

1911: Mrs. Leopold de Rothschild was awarded the Order of Mercy.

1911: At Cape Town, the council of the university, confirmed its “resolution to include Hebrew among the optional subjects in its syllabus for matriculation.”

1911: Anglo-American Archeologist Charles Waldstein resigned the Slade of Professorship of Fine Arts at Cambridge University.

1912: Report that in response to joint representations by foreign Ambassadors, the Turkish government repeals order expelling Italian subjects, majority of whom are Levantine Jews.

1912: In Philadelphia, founding of Adath Zion.

1912: Rabbi Schanfarber officiated at the weeding of Henry Horwitz of Cleveland, Ohio and Mrs. Carrie Baldauf of Oskaloosa, Iowa. (Editor’s note – you have to be a real Hawkeye to understand this one.)

1912: Bernard Jadwin of New York married Adeline Horwich at the Ashland Club today in Chicago.

1912: In Chicago, Rabbi Julius Rappaport officiated the wedding of Milton E. Kauffer, the son of “Mr. and Mrs. Jonas Kauffer of Milwaukee, WI” and Marie Unger, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Unger.

1912: Birthdate of Joseph Wulf, the native of Chemnitz who was a resistance fighter in the Krakow Ghetto and a survivor of the Auschwitz death marches and as an award winning historian in the post-war fought to make the site of the Wannsee Conference “into a Holocaust memorial and document center.

1914: The American Jewish Relief Committee has raised a total of $222,122.06 as of today.

1914: Following the outbreak of WW I, General John Monash, who had “acted as censor for four weeks” “before being appointed to command the 4th Infantry Brigade of the Australian Imperial Force” set sail for Egypt where it would join the forces fighting the Ottomans and protecting the Suez Canal.

1914: The Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs remitted $26, 144.42 to various entities in Palestine.

1914: A group of 300 citizens from Waco, TX submitted a petition to Georgia Governor John M. Slaton listing seven reasons why they “believe that the verdict of the jury, of the death penalty based upon the evidence was not justified” and that “it would be a blot on the escutcheon of the fair State of Georgia to permit Leo M. Frank to executed.”

1915: At the headquarters of the Campaign Committee working to raised five million dollars before the end of 1916 for the millions of Jews suffering in Europe due to the work, and in the offices of Felix Warburg, the clerks were busy all day today “opening letters offering help in tie and money and answering telephone calls from persons who wanted to work on the drive and contribute to the fund.

1916: More than 1000, members of the Hebrew Retail Kosher Butchers’ Association of the East Side met today and voted to boycott the beef offered by the local slaughter houses since the price has continued to rise.  In the last month, chuck has gone from 12 and a half cents a pound to 17 and a half cents a pound.

1916: Herbert H. Lehman, Treasurer of the Joint Distribution Committee representing the American Jewish, Central and People’s Relief Committees announced today that his work of tabulating the contributions and pledges from the mass meeting in Carnegie Hall on December 21 had gone far enough to prove that predictions about having raised three million dollars were accurate.

1916: It was reported today that “the publishers of the Jewish Daily Forward” had promised to contribute the gross income of their issue of April 22, the value of which is estimated to be between ten and fifteen million dollars, to the ten million dollars fund being raised for Jewish War Relief.

1916: The 26th Annual Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua Society opened in New Orleans today.

1917(7th of Tevet, 5678): Parashat Vayigash

1917: Dr. Samuel Schulman is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Beth-El.

1917: “Word was received at the headquarters of the Jewish War Relief Committee” on New York’s fifth avenue “that the bulk of the subscriptions obtained by Adolph Zukor” one of the founders of Paramount Pictures, totaling more than $50,000” were ready to be turned over the committee’s Treasuer.

1917: Marcus Loew reported to the Jewish War Relief Committee that he and his managers had collected approximately $42,000 from “actors, directors, musicians and” others in the entertainment industry with whom they do business.

1917: Today, in discussing the impact on Zionism of the capture of Jerusalem by the British at Temple Israel in Harlem, Dr. Maurice H. Harris said “There will be less need now of a Jewish homeland because the days of Jewish persecution are over” and that “the Jew who bends his steps to Judea today will be the idealist who feels that ‘not on bread alone doth man live’ seeking to “got there not to make money but because it is the Holy City” with all that the name Jerusalem conjures up.

1917: Vice Chairman Mrs. Leopold Stern presented “an illuminated book of old Italian design…to Jacob H. Schiff at reception…this afternoon at Delmonico’s” given in honor of the women who worked on the campaign to raise five million dollars for the war relief fund.

1917: Colonel Ronald Storrs, the newly appointed British Military Governor of Jerusalem toured the city for the first time meeting with wounded Turkish soldiers being treated at the Grand New Hotel and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Kamel al-Husseine, the spiritual leader of the city’s Muslims.

1917: Formal peace negotiations begin at Brest-Litovsk between the Germans and the Russians whose chief delegate is Adolf Joffe, a Jewish born Bolshevik.

1917: Having crossed the Auju River, outside of Jaffa the British position was made even more secure when the 54th (East Anglian) Division captured Bald Hill to the right of the 52nd and in doing so the Ottoman defenders lost fifty-two killed and forty-four more were taken prisoner.

1917: Isaac Steinberg began serving as People’s Commissar for Justice of the RSFSR

1917: In the newly independent Finland, Parliament approved an Act concerning "Mosaic Confessors."  Under the Act, Jews could for the first time become Finnish nationals, and Jews not possessing Finnish nationality were henceforth in all respects to be treated as foreigners in general.

1918: “A gold medal was presented to Felix M. Warburg” tonight” at a dinner at the Hotel Biltmore by a group of the division heads and workers, who under his leadership have just completed a successful campaign for $5,000,000 for Jewish war sufferers.”

1919:  The United States deported 250 alien radicals, including anarchist Emma Goldman.

1919(30th of Kislev, 5680): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1920(11th of Tevet, 5681): Sixty-nine year old Rabbi Abram S. Isaacs who edited The Jewish Messenger and published several books including A Modern Hebrew Poet: The Life and Writings of Chaim Luzzatto passed away today in Paterson, NJ.

1921: Future State Supreme Court Justice Alfred Frankenthaler married Martha Lowenstein today in New York.  The couple had three children – Marjorie, Gloria and Helen.

1921: Birthdate of Lee Wolff Wattenberg the cancer fighting doctor. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1922(3rd of Tevet, 5683): 8th and final day of Chanukah

1922: What is described by the bankers as the first Jewish bond issue in history was announced for today by Harvey Fisk & Sons, Inc.  The bond issue is valued at 75,000 pounds and is issued by the city of Tel Aviv which plans to use the funds for public works projects including the construction of sewage systems, streets and roads and installations to produce electricity.

1922: In Lynn, MA, Mary Pauline (née Gold) Roman, a dancer and Abraham Roman, a barker in a family owned carnival gave birth to Ruth Roman, the sister of Ann and Eve Roman.

1922: Birthdate of Heinz Bernard, the son of the Hazzan of the Orthodox Synagogue in Nuremberg who as Heinz Bernard Lowenstein gained fame in the UK as an actor and director.  The name change came about after his natural father died when the boy was two years old and he was adopted Max Lowenstein.

1923(14th of Tevet, 5684): Parashat Vayechi

1923: President Ben Altheimer, presided over a meeting at Temple Beth-El this afternoon where it decied to honor Rabbi Samuel Schulman with a life time appointment in honor of his twenty-five years of service to the congregation.

1924: The Institute of Jewish Studies of the Hebrew University is opened in Jerusalem, although the university has not yet officially opened.

1924: “The Wonderful Adventure” a silent film directed by Manfred Noa and written by Robert Liebmann was released today in Germany.

1924: Birthdate of attorney Jack Greenberg, the Brooklynite son of Jewish immigrants, who argued many of the land mark Civil Rights cases

1925: Birthdate of financier Lewis Glucksman, a trader with Lehman Brothers and CEO of Kuhn Loeb.

1925(5th of Tevet, 5686): Sixty-five year old Paul Nelke, the Berlin-born British stockbroker who was a senior partner in Nelke, Phillips and Bendix and who was the father of socialite and patron of the arts Maude Julia Augusta Nelke, passed away today.

1925(5th of Tevet, 5686): Eighty year old Benjamin W. Fleisher, the husband of Ida Maria Fleisher passed away after which he was buried at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.

1926: Part I of “Queen Louise” a biopic produced and written by Max Glass was released in Germany today.

1927(28th of Kislev, 5688): 4th day of Chanukah

1927(28th of Kislev, 5688): Eighty-nine year old Dr. Jacob Da Silva Solis-Cohen, founder of laryngology in the United States passed away today.

1928: The American Advisory Committee of the Hebrew University announced today that the archaeological department had sent to the Newark Museum  a collection of potsherds and other other material from the excavations at  tel el Jerish, a Middle Bronze Age, mound north of Tel Aviv.  Dr. Eleazar Sukenik, field archaeologist of the university recently cleared a cave in the Wady-en-Nar.  A number of ossuaries with Hebrew inscriptions were removed.  Of particular intnerest is an ossuary bearing the name Shamai be Jehosaf.  The fragments have been added to the university collection.

1928: Felix Warburg, Chairman of the American Advisory Committee announced today that Societies of Friends of the Hebrew University had been formed in Boston under the chairmanship of Dr. Milton J. Rosenau of Harvard Medical School and in New Haven under the chairmanship of Colonel Isaac M. Ullman.

1928: Bing Crosby and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (who were not Jewish) recorded “Makin Whoopee!” the Eddie Cantor hit with lyrics by Gus Kahn

1929: Anita Pollitzer, the South Carolina feminists and patron of the arts and her husband were photographed today at Muir Woods.

1929: U.K. flyweight fought his final bout of the year – a bout which resulted in a loss.

1930: “The Royal Family of Broadway” the cinema version of the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, directed by George Cukor and with a screenplay by Herman Mankiewicz was released today in the United States today.

1930: Kosher Prime Butchers Corporation was among the business that was incorporated today in the state of New York.

1932: Premiere of “The Rebel,” a German historical film directed by Curtis Bernhardt and Edwin H. Knopf and co-produced by Joe Pasternak.

1932: “The Mummy” a horror film directed by Karl Freund and produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr. was released in the United States today.

1932: Seventy-six Major General Erwin von Heimerdinger, the father of Gertrude von Heimerdinger  was employed in the German Foreign Office as assistant Chief of the Diplomatic Courier Section. An anti-Nazi, she secretly arranged for special passes to enable diplomat Fritz Kolbe (the main Allied source of intelligence) to make frequent trips to Switzerland to pass on information to Allen Dulles, head of American O.S.S.

1936: “Balalaika” a musical play co-authored by Eric Maschwitz opened today in London at the Adelphia Theatre where it ran for 569 performances.

1936(8th of Tevet, 5679): Sixty eight year old Milton S. Florshiem, the founder and chairman of the board of Florsheim Shoe Company passed away today.

1936: At a dinner at the Hotel Commodore attended by 1,000 guests in honor of British Labor leader Lord Marley, “the project to settle oppressed Jews in the autonomous territory of Birobidjan in the Soviet Union” appeared to move forward with the announcement that “the U.S.S.R. had authorized admittance of 2,000 families and 500 individuals from Poland for 1937.”

1937: The Palestine Post reported no fewer than 16 terrorist attacks over the weekend. An Arab police inspector, Sa¹ad al-Arab, was killed in Haifa. A second victim of the attack on the Haifa-Nahalal bus, Aaron Sloverson, died in a hospital. Isaac Orphali, 26, was badly wounded when an Egged bus was shot at near Motza.

1938: “The United States abruptly rejected a sharp protest the German Government sought to deliver to the State Department in which the Boys from Berlin complained about a speech by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes which he “had criticized Henry Ford and Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh for having accepted decorations from Germany and then had trained his guns on Germany” for persecuting the Jews.

1939: “Everything Happens at Night” an espionage mystery featuring Maurice Moscovitch as “Dr. Hugo Norden” was released in the United States today.

1940(22nd of Kislev, 5701): Author Nathanael West dies in auto accident at the age of 37. In his short career West produced Miss Lonely Hearts, Cool Million and The Day of the Locust.

1941: Massacres of the Jews of Vilna ended leaving 32,000 dead Jews.

1941: Ten days after Romania declared war on the United States the former U.S. ambassador died at Bucharest before he could return to the U.S.

1941: Over the next eight days, more than 40,000 Jews are murdered at Bogdanovka in the Transnistria region of Romania.

1942:  The Jewish Fighting Organzation (JFO) lead by Aharon Liebeskind attacked Nazi troops gathered at Cyganeria, a coffee house in Kraków, Poland, killing several SS officers.

1942: Franz Boas, “father of modern Anthropology” passed away.  Born in 1858, Boas never converted to Christianity, but he was one of those German Jews who saw himself as a German first and foremost.  Of course the last decade of his life might have caused him to re-think that concept.

1943(25th of Kislev): 5704): First day of Chanukah, a holiday that was celebrated in the Lodz Ghetto this year with a party according to a photo provided by Yad Vashem

1943: Rabbi Louis Wefel, the “flying Chaplain” spends his last Chanukah in Casablanca leading services. A few days later, Werfel would become one of only 6 Jewish chaplains to actually die in combat in World War II.

1943: After the family of Adolfo Kaminsky had been interned in Drancy, which was a prelude to deportation to the death camps, the family was freed today and moved to Paris thanks to the “support from the Consul of Argentinia…”

1943: The Gestapo discovered 62 Jews hiding in a cellar of a building on Krolewska Street in Warsaw. All are murdered.

1943: Birthdate of Paul Wolfowitz, a sub-cabinet official in the Bush Administration who was named President of the World Bank, a  position from which he was forced to resign in disgrace.

1943: United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau confronted U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long, telling him to his face that "the impression is all around that you, particularly, are anti-Semitic!"

1943: As Jews light the second Chanukah candle, the Women’s League for Palestine takes over tonight’s performance of Carmen Jones in New York City with the proceeds to be used to support their centers in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv which feed needy children.

1944: Modi Alon, completed his RAF flight training at a base in Rhodesia. Four years later, Alon would become the first member of the fledgling IAF to score an aerial victory.

1944: “Winged Victory” the cinematic adaptation of Moss Hart’s stage play was released today in the United States.

1944: Together Again” a film based on a story co-authored by Herbert J. Biberman and directed by Charles Vidor was released today in the United States.

1945: The American Displaced Persons Act makes it easier for Nazi war criminals to immigrate to the United States. It particularly benefits Balts, Ukrainians, and ethnic Germans--many of whom had engaged in a "high level of collaboration" with the Germans. The act discriminates against Jewish refugees. When the bill is debated, many congressmen and members of the Departments of State, Justice, and Interior express their anti-Jewish feelings indirectly and in private.

1945(18th of Tevet, 5706): Otto Neurath an Austrian philosopher of science, sociologist, and political economist passed away. “Before he was forced to flee his native country for Great Britain in the wake of the Nazi occupation, Neurath was one of the leading figures of the Vienna Circle.”

1945: Today Colliers magazine published “I’m Crazy” a story by J.D. Salinger “that contained material later used in The Cather in the Rye.”

1947: The new leader of the Jewish Community (Dr. Ghingold) appeared at the residence of the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Alexandru Safran, bearing words from the government that he must leave Romania within two hours! The expulsion of Dr. Safran from the country, and his replacement by Rabbi Moses Rosen represented a turning point in the life of the Jewish community in Romania"

1948: Mordechai Hod was among a group of IAF pilots who flew several Spitfires and Messerschmitts from Czechoslovakia to Israel.  The planes, which were war surplus clandestinely purchased in Czechoslovakia, were some of the first modern warplanes acquired by the infant Jewish state.

1948: At night, Operation Horev began with an attack by the IDF against Hill 86, an Egyptian position overlooking the Gaza-Rafa Road.

1948: Syria banned Life and Newsweek because of “their increased Zionist propaganda”

1949: “East Side, West Side” a film based on a novel by Marcia Davenport (Marcia Glick) and directed by Mervyn Leroy was released today in the United States today.

1950: Eighty-eight year old conductor and arranger Walter Damrosch whose father was Lutheran but whose grandfather was Jewish (a common German sequence) passed away today

1952: “The Member of the Wedding” directed by Fred Zinnemann and produced by Stanley Kramer was released today in the United States.

1952: Beginning of the national syndication of Ding Dong School. Created by and starring Frances Horwich, it was one of the first television shows to offer quality educational programming for young children. It appeared locally on the NBC affiliate in Chicago beginning in the fall of 1952. 2. The Chicago Tribune estimated that 2.4 million preschoolers and their mothers were watching the daily program by January 1953. Ding Dong School ran nationally for four years, until December 1956. It continued on a Chicago station for two years and ran in syndication until 1965. Equipped with an old-fashioned brass school bell and simple props, Horwich—whom viewers knew as "Miss Frances"—addressed her young audience directly, asking questions, telling stories, and leading them in simple games and activities. Through crafts and movement, she encouraged children to participate rather than passively watch. Her respect for children's abilities was a crucial aspect of Horwich's philosophy and of her program. In a 1966 interview, she commented that "too many programs on television rob children of their own ideas, without giving them a chance to create and think for themselves." Horwich, who left a position as head of the education department at Roosevelt College to appear on the show, became NBC's Supervisor for Children's Programming in 1955. In the meantime, Ding Dong School won a Peabody Award in 1952; the citation called the show "simple, sincere, and unpretentious." The Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored Horwich with a "Silver Circle" award for lifetime achievement in June, 2001. She died in Scottsdale, Arizona, later that month, at age 94.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the UN General Assembly failed to give the needed two-thirds majority to its Political Committee¹s resolution, which required that the Arab states enter into immediate and direct peace negotiations with Israel, and without any preconditions. The vote was 24 for, 21 against and 15 abstentions.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that a Negev settler, Yosef Yairi, 24, of Sde Boker, was killed by marauders. Infiltrators stole 80 sheep and irrigation equipment from the kibbutz. Israel protested that meat purchased in Ethiopia was seized by Egyptian authorities in Port Said.

1953: Yitzhak Pundak was appointed head of the IDF’s Armored Corps.

1955: “The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell” a movie based on the life of the air power advocate who proved you cannot be a prophet in your own time directed by Otto Preminger, produced by Milton Sperling who also co-authored the script and with music by Dimitri Tiomkin was released in the United States by Warner Bros.

1955:Lola Montès,” an epic historical romance film and the last completed film of director Max Ophüls   and featuring Anton Walbrook as “Ludwig I, King of Bavaria” was released in France today.

1956: After six months, the curtain came down on the Broadway production of “New Faces of 1956” produced by Leonard Sillman.

1956: Oswald Rothuag, the Nazi jurist who perverted justice for the sake of the Reich and“who presided over the trial of Leo Katzenberger” and ordered “his execution for ‘racial defilement’” was released on parole today after his life sentence was reduced to twenty years of which he served less than ten.

1960: “Two Women” which was released today in Italy produced the Oscar Winning Actress thanks to the “the heavy promotions by its North American distributor Joseph E. Levine.”

1959: In one of those only in America moment NBC broadcast “Christmas Startime” a “musical Christmas special that featured conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein.”

1961: In today’s issue of The Jewish Chronicle, editor William Frankel led with the story of Rabbi Louis Jacobs’ resignation from the staff of Jew’s College due to the Chief Rabbi’s ongoing opposition and then followed a week later with an editorial expressing “regret” at “the loss of another spiritual leader followed by the pointed comment that “a religious revival will never be brought about prohibitions and denunciations, by exclusive claims to authenticity, or by mutual recriminations between different sections of the community.”

1961: In Washington, DC, Carl and Joan Fastow gave birth to Andrew Fastow, a key figure in the Enron debacle who pleaded guilty and went to jail for his part in the Enron’s demise.

1962(25th of Kislev, 5723): Chanukah

1964: Release date for “Kiss Me Stupid” a comedic film written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder and produced and directed by Billy Wilder.

1964: Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted on obscenity charges.

1964: In Israel, Levi Eshkol formed the 12th government today.

1964: As the 11th government gives way to the 12th government Golda Meir continues to serve as Foreign Minister.

1965: Birthdate of David Samuel Goyer, “an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, and comic book writer.”

1965(28th of Kislev, 5726): Fourth day of Chanukah

1965(28th of Kislev, 5726): Sixty-four year old Al Ritz, the oldest of the Ritz Brothers passed away today in New Orleans.

1968(1st of Tevet, 5729): Rosh Chodesh Tevet and the 7th day of Chanukah

1969: As part of the Cherbourg Project, retired Israeli Admiral Mordecai Limon met in Paris with Martin Siemm and Amiot. The owner of the Cherbourg shipyard signed a contract with Limon canceling the original sale of the boats to Israel. Amiot then signed a contract with Siemm selling the boats to the Norwegian for the same price. Copies of the contracts were immediately dispatched to the relevant French authorities.

1969(13th of Tevet, 5730): Sixty-five year old Austrian-born, American movie director Josef von Sternberg passed away toda.

1970: The S.S. commander of Treblinka was sentenced to life imprisonment. 

1971: Kurt Waldheim was elected Secretary General of the UN. Waldheim became a controversial figure after being exposed by the Austrian Weekly Profile and the New York Times. Although he denied any Nazi past, the World Jewish Congress contended they had proof that he had been a member of the S.A. and Army group E that was involved with deportation of Greek Jews and Yugoslavian partisans. Despite the WJC’s proof that the United Nations War Crimes Commission had wanted Waldheim for murder, he denied any direct involvement with such actions. Although he did not succeed in his bid for a third term, he was elected President of Austria in May 1986. Waldheim was denied entry to the U.S. and many diplomats refused to call on him. A notable exception was the Pope who received him in 1987.

1973(27th of Kislev, 5734): Sixty-five year old Philip Rahv, born Ivan Greenberg, the co-founder of “The Partisan Review” passed away today.

1974: An American child was injured today in Jerusalem during a terrorist grenade attack on a bus.

1976: Yose Burg, a member of the National Religious Party, completed his term as Internal Affairs Minister.

1976: In Israel, the government head by Yithak Rabin resigned today “after ministers of the National Religious Party were sacked because the party had abstained from voting on a motion of no confidence, which had been brought by Agudat Yisrael over a breach of the Sabbath on an Israeli Air Force base.”

1977(12th of Tevet, 5738): Eighty-three year old Leo Perper, the native of Odessa who became the President of the Roger Kent clothing-store chain passed away today.

1979(2nd of Tevet, 5740): Parashat Miketz; 8th and final day of Chanukah

1979: Darryl Zanuck passed away.  Zanuck was not Jewish. He is the movie mogul who produced “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” the 1947 film about anti-Semitism that Jewish movie makers all turned down.

1981: In his review of “Elephants” a play now appearing at the Jewish Repertory Theatre which tells the story of “an otherwise upstanding, aging janitor in a Chicago synagogue who steals cocaine from a children's hospital in order to finance a trip to Tel Aviv to visit his dying sister” Mel Gussow describes David Rush’s dramatic effort as being “about as far-fetched a play as one could imagine.”

1982(6th of Tevet, 5743): Robert Weltsch an important European Zionist passed away.

1985: Richard F. Shepard described an exhibition at the Bronx Museum “Between the Wars: The Bronx Express a Portrait of the Jewish Bronx.”

1985: “Capturing the Holiday Spirit” by Moshe Brilliant published today describes the unique celebration of Christmas in Israel.

1985: John Koenig published a review of Jesus and Judaism by E.P. Sanders.

1987(1st of Tevet, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1987: Hundreds of thousands of Arabs inside Israel joined others in the occupied territories today in a general strike protesting Israel's handling of a wave of protests.

1988: After numerous appeals by Dr. Herman D. Noether, the eldest son of Professor Fritz M. Noether who had been convicted of being a German spy in 1938, today “the Plenum of the USSR Supreme Court passed a decree No. 308-88 which determined that Professor Fritz M. Noether had been convicted on groundless charges and voided his sentence, thus fully rehabilitating him."

1988: Likud's Yitzhak Shamir formed the twenty-third government including the Alignment, the National Religious Party, Shas, Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah in his coalition, with 25 ministers

1988: The Labor Party gave final approval today to a new coalition government led by the Likud party.

1988: Ezer Weizman replaced Gideon Patt as the Science and Technology Minister of Israel

1988: Yithak Shamir, a member of Likud, completed his service as Internal Affairs Minister.

1988: Areyh Deri, a member of Shas, began serving as Internal Affairs Minister.

1989: During the American invasion of Panama the United States Embassy in Panama reported that Mike Harari, a 62-year-old retired agent of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad was an American ''prisoner of war.''

1990 (5th of Tevet, 5751): Seventy-eight year old “Gershom G. Schocken, an influential Israeli journalist who was the editor and publisher of the daily newspaper Haaretz for half a century, died on Saturday at Shiba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv, where he lived.” (As reported by Peter B. Flint

1990: The New York Times reported today on a sudden surge in the number of Soviet Jewish immigrants arriving in Israel this month may well bring the total of Jews settling here this year to more than 200,000, making it perhaps the largest influx of immigrants in 40 years.

1990: An Israeli ferry capsized killing 21 US servicemen.

1990: While taping an interview with a crew from Tele 5, the Spanish television station, President Hussein says Tel Aviv would be Iraq's first target whether or not Israel joins the war effort against Iraq.

1991: Ninety-two year old Helen P. Silvermater, the wife of Nathan Silvermaster both of whom were alleged to have been spies for the Soviet Union passed away today.

1992(27th of Kislev, 5753): Third Day of Chanukah

1992(27th of Kislev, 5753): Eighty-one year old Polish born English actor, director and writer Milo Sperber, the brother of Manes Sperber passed away today.

1992: “The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has issued a statement detailing the criteria for eligibility of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution for German Government compensation under an agreement concluded in November. (As  reported by David Binder)

1993: Eliahu Levin and Meir Mendelovitch were killed by shots fired at their car by terrorists from a passing vehicle for which Hamas claimed responsibility.

1993: “Italian Fascism Didn’t Practice Anti-Semitism” published today described Louis Jay Herman’s view on Mussolini and the Jews.

1993: Two were left dead following a shooting attack near Ramallah.

1993: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators worked in secret today on a compromise plan for control of border checkpoints between Israel and parts of the occupied territories where Palestinians are soon to have autonomy. Shortly after midnight, Uri Savir, director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, emerged from the talks to say that both delegations would leave Versailles this morning and "a statement would be issued." He seemed discouraged but declined to elaborate on how the talks were progressing.

2000: “The Family Man” a romantic comedy directed by Brett Ratner, co-produced by Howard Rosenmen with a script co-authored by David Weisman and music by Danny Elfman was released today in the United States.

2001(7th of Tevet, 5762): Parashat Vayigash

2001(7th of Tevet, 5762): Eighty-six year old WW II Captain Leonard “Len” Maidman, the NYU forward and member of the 1935 National Championship team who was described by University of California head coach Nibs Price as, "the best player I've seen around”  and who “practiced medicine until his retirement in 1985” passed away today.

2002: Yael Weiss, a pianist, and Mark Kaplan, a violinist, who met at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival in the summer of 1999 were married at the Americas Society in Manhattan to strains of Bach.

2002: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Analyzing Freud: Letters of H.D., Bryher, and Their Circle edited by Susan Stanford Friedman, Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder: A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler, and Kafka Goes to the Movies by Hanns Zischler; translated by Susan H. Gillespie.

2004(10th of Tevet, 5765): Asara B'Tevet

2005: An immigration judge order John Demjanjuk deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine.

2005: Israeli Harry Potter fans have something to be in high spirits about this Hanukah. The Hebrew version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, JK Rowling's sixth book in her magical series hits the bookstores just two days before the first night of Chanukah.

2006(1st of Tevet, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Tevet, 2006: Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni announced that Italy’s Holocaust Museum will be located in Rome at the Villa Torlonia.

2006: Alan G. Hevesi completed his term as State Comptroller for the State of New York.

2007: Chazak Shabbat observed by Conservative Synagogues across the United States.  Chazak Shabbat always falls on the Shabbat when Vayechi is the weekly portion.  Congregations honor members who are fifty-five years and older and the special programs designed to encourage their continued participation in the Jewish community.

2007: The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that "the head of the largest branch of Americana Judaism is urging members of the movement to do more to observe Shabbat.  Rabbi Eric  Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism told those attending the group's Biennial convention that stressed out families need a day when they can stop running around long to see what God is doing.  Among other things, Yoffie urged Reform Jews to make a commitment to attend Saturday morning worship

2008: Eric Alterman “announced that his blog Altercation would be moving to The Nation's website in 2009, and would appear on a less regular basis than its previous Monday through Friday schedule.[

2008: The AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) Women’s Caucus Breakfast and The Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus Lunch are held on the second day of the AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) 40th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

2008: Happy Birthday “Hatikvah” – 130th anniversary of the creation of the poem “Hatikvah” by Naphtali Herz Imber.

2008(25th of Kislev, 5769): First Day of Chanukah

2008: Jewish Book Month comes to an end.

2008: Gaza gunmen fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the security fence near the Sufa crossing late this afternoon, seemingly refuting reports of a 24-hour ceasefire.

2008: The suspected murderer of Yemeni Jew Moshe Yaish Nahari told a court on today that he had warned Jews to convert to Islam or leave the country and that if they didn't, he would kill them..

2008: The scandal at Agriprocessors makes Time magazine’s list of Top 10 Religion Stories in 2008.  At #9, “When Kosher Wasn’t Kosher – A raid on a kosher-meat-processing plant in Iowa highlighted unethical practices.”

2008: Time quotes Ehud Olmert’s reaction to Jewish attacks in Hebron. “As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs.”

2009: In Washington, D.C. at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue students in the conversion class at Tifereth Israel Congregation share their stories and celebrate their first December holiday season as Jews in America in a program entitled “Journeys to Judaism: Jews by Choice Tell Their Stories.”

2010: “Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City,” an exhibition sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to come to an end today.

2010: The Coen Brothers’ version of “True Grit” is scheduled to be release today.

2010: Jamal Hussein Ahmad, a 49-year-old tailor, who was charged with trying to bomb a synagogue in the heart of Cairo, is scheduled to go trial today.

2010: The president of Austria’s tiny Jewish community wrote a letter today to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressing a feeling of “betrayal” and “outrage” at deputy minister Ayoub Kara’s current visit to Vienna at the invitation of the right-wing Freedom Party, formerly the political home of Jorge Haider.
Ariel Muzicant said that the Likud’s Kara, the deputy minister for Galilee and Negev development, “officially honored and praised” individuals of the party as well as their political program. He said the party had been founded by surviving Austrian Nazis; had representatives over the decades who had praised the Nazis, made anti- Semitic remarks and engaged in Holocaust denial; and organized meetings of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi European parties in Austria.

2010: Master classes at the Stage-Center International Theatre in Tel Aviv which are being taught by Michael Mayer, the director who has become the toast of Broadway with his megahit musicals Spring Awakening and American Idiot begin today.

2010: Tensions were rising today between Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian political factions, over a leaked American diplomatic cable and ongoing accusations by each side regarding the other’s arrests, plans and statements.

2010: A stage adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel, “The Life Before Us” (“La vie Devant Soi”), about an orphaned Arab boy’s devotion to a terminally ill Auschwitz survivor and ex-prostitute, featuring Myriam Boyer was broadcast across Europe today.

2011: In New Orleans, Gates of Prayer is scheduled to host its Sisterhood Chanukah Dinner

2011: In New Orleans, Touro Synagogue is scheduled to host its Sisterhood Chanukah Family Dinner

2011: Moshav, Soulfarm & DeScribe are scheduled to perform at the Highline Ballroom as part of the Sephardic Music Festival.

2011: In San Francisco, the Contemporary Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a Houdini-themed Hanukkah concert, with Leonard Cohen tunes performed by all-male musical group, Conspiracy of Beards

2011: The final weekend of Hamshoushalayim is scheduled to begin today in Jerusalem with activities especially geared for families.

2011: In Linn County, the first area wide Chanukah Candle Lighting Ceremony is scheduled to take place in Springville, Iowa under the leadership of Lena Gilbert

2011: Hamas has moved to join the Palestine Liberation Organization - a key step toward unifying the long-divided Palestinian leadership, the Associated Press reported today. Israel has rejected the reconciliation efforts, refusing to negotiate with a government including Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

2011: Today, Defense Minister Ehud Barak criticized statements made by Israel's Foreign Ministry, which said the "bickering" of European Union members of the UN Security Council over Israeli settlement was making them "irrelevant."

2012: “Aya” is schedule to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2012: “World’s second-oldest Bible fragment posted online” published today described the posting online of thousands of pages from fragile religious manuscripts including a 2,000 year old copy of portions of the 10 Commandments and the Shema by Cambridge University (As reported by JTA)

2012: “Dreaming in Yiddish,” a concert in tribute to singer, teacher, feminist and activist Adrienne Cooper featuring the leading artists in the Yiddish music world  is scheduled to  take place at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.

2012: The head of the nationalist Jewish Homes Party denied calling for insubordination in the army tonight, rebuffing accusations that he endorsed refusing orders when he said two days earlier that he would not evacuate settlements

2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon, The Empty Chair by Bruce Wagner and The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies by Josef Joffe.

2013: “The Escape,” a movie about eight young Israelis from different backgrounds who retrace the routes of those trying to escape the Holocaust, is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The Jerusalem Municipality and the Jewish National Fund are scheduled to distribute free Christmas trees to Christian residents of Jerusalem today between 09:00 am and 12:00 pm at College Des Freres - De La Salle High School, 20 Bab El-Jadid Rd.

2013: A bomb exploded on a bus in Bat Yam this afternoon, but nobody was injured because an alert passenger had spotted the device and the bus driver had ordered the vehicle evacuated.

2013: Police are investigating an attempt by three Palestinian Authority Arabs to stab officers, this evening at a police roadblock at the Mishor Adumim Junction, next to the eastern Jerusalem suburb of Ma'alei Adumim. (As reported by Gil Roen)

2014: The Washington DC, Jewish Community Center is scheduled to present “World Music for Chanukah with Avram Penga” the “Greek-born guitarist and bouzouki virtuoso.

2014: “Night of Fools” and “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014 The public Chanukah lighting is scheduled to take place at Cosenza.

2014: In London, “Rabbi Santa Comedy Night,” consisting entirely of Jewish comedians, an evening organized by Bennett Arron, is due to open today.

2014: “Less than a week after the National Insurance Institute published statistics saying that 1.65 million Israelis lived under the poverty line in 2013, umbrella aid group Latet released its own report today, claiming nearly a million more Israelis — totaling a third of the country — are living in poverty.

2014: “Two hundred and twenty-six immigrants, 76 of which are children, landed this afternoon in Israel on a special flight from Ukraine.”

2015: “Apples from the Desert” a tale of tradition versus modernity is scheduled to be shown for the last time at the UK Jewish Film Festival.

2015(10th of Tevet, 5776): Yahrzeit of Judy Levin Rosenstein, gone too soon but never forgotten.

2015: “Twelve selected pieces from the Valmadonna Trust Library — an unrivalled library of some 300 handwritten Hebrew documents and 13,000 rare printed Hebrew books, with some dating as far back as 1,000 years — is scheduled to go on sale in New York today.

2015(10th of Tevet, 5776): The Tenth of Tevet is a communal fast day, commemorating the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem in the era of the First Beis HaMikdash, the Holy Temple.

2016: The Temple Israel of Memphis Family Tour of Israel is scheduled to leave the United States today.

2016: Jonathan Brent, YIVO’s Executive Director, is scheduled to host a panel discussion on “YIVO, Liberalism and the Jewish Response to Fascism.

2016: Rachel Freirer, a mother of six and former lawyers who practiced commercial and residential estate law “officially became the first Chasidic women to be sworn in as a Judge in New York State” when she “was sworn in today as the Civil Court judge in Kings County’s 5th judicial district.”

2016: Lipa “Schmeltzer sang "God Bless America" in Yiddish (as "Gott Bensch Amerike") in Brooklyn Borough Hall at the inauguration of New York Civil Court Judge Rachel Freier.

2016: In Coralville, IA, The Augdas Achim is scheduled to discuss The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature edited by Ilan Stavans.

2017: A special exhibition “The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann” is scheduled to come a close at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2017: In Jerusalem, Hansen House is scheduled to host “Context with Mindy  Weisel.

2017(4th of Tevet, 5778): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Joshua Isaac Shapira

2017(4th of Tevet, 5778): Yahrzeit of Yiddish playwright Solomon Ettinger who passed away on the 4th of Tevet, 5617.



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