Friday, December 22, 2017

This Day, December 23, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 23

962: Byzantine troops led by Nicephorus Phocas defeated Moslem forces and seized Aleppo.  This temporary turn of events could not have been good for the Jews who had been living there since Biblical times because it was the Moslem conquest of the city in 636 that removed the disabilities placed on the Jews by the Byzantines

1312: Jacques Duèze, who as Pope John XXII would give into the wishes of his sister and ban the Jews from Rome, was named as a Cardinal today by Pope Clement V.
1420: The Pope banned conversion of Jewish children done without consent of their parents

1605: The Council of Worms issued further “ordinances regulating Jewish Affairs.

1736: In Peru, the last inquisition took place. Dona Ana de Castro, a former lover of the viceroy (among others) was accused of Judaizing and burned at the stake. It is probably that her execution had more to do with official embarrassment than with any religious devotion on her part

1772: Birthdate of “Polish Hebraist” Shalom ben Jacob Cohen

1777: Birthdate of the anti-Semitic Tsar Alexander I who promulgated a decree drafting Jewish 12 year olds into the Russian Arm

1780(25th of Kislev, 5541): First Day of Chanukah coincides with Shabbat

1791: Catherine II created the Pale of Settlement. Jews were squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia. Even within the Pale, Jews were excluded from certain cities and Crown Lands. The driving force behind the creation of the pale was the merchants in Moscow who demanded protection against Jewish competition. The Russian government followed the path of bigotry to the detriment of the nation.  Creating the Pale meant that the Jews would not be available to help create a vigorous middle class which was so critical to the success of other modern nation-states including the U.S., Britain and Germany. The Pale of Settlement was Russia's response to having acquired a large Jewish population as a result of the partition of Poland.  This upset what had been the Russian policy of trying to create a Russia without Jews. The Pale was on Russia's western frontier.  In event of an invasion by Prussia, Russia would have this buffer zone that would absorb the first shock and devastation while the Russian Army was being fully mobilized.  In one sense, the Jews of the Pale were the human shields of the Russian Empire. What is the “Pale” in the Pale of Settlement? “Pale” is the term for the fence boards. 

1791: Birthdate of Anton von Rosas, the Austrian ophthalmologist, who was one of the many who “were dismayed that the Jews were ‘taking over’ and ‘jewifying’ their culture” and who helped create an “anti-Semitic literature” that “had no equal…either for quantity or virulence.”
1792: In Bavaria, Asser Lion and Gitlé Loëw gave birth to Charlotte Aron, the wife of Alexandre Aron.

1799(25th of Kislev, 5560): Chanukah is observed for the last time in the 18th century.

1812: Jephtas Gelübde ('The vow of Jephtha') the first opera composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer, the German Jewish composer, had its first performance at the Hoftheater in Munich
1818(25th of Kislev, 5579): Chanukah

1820: Birthdate of Solomon Marcus Schiller-Szinessy “a Hungarian rabbi and academic who became the first Jewish Reader in Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature at the University of Cambridge.

1822(9th of Tevet, 5583): Rabbi Isaac Adler passed today depriving thirteen year-old Samuel Adler of both is father and teacher.

1837(25th of Kislev, 5598): Chanukah

1837: Birthdate of Isaac Seldner who served with the 6th Virginia Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

1844(13th of Tevet, 5605): Seventy-seven year old Salomon Heine, the Hamburg merchant and banker who was known as the “Rothschild of Hamburg” passed away today.  He was the uncle of Heinrich Heine.

1849: In Germany, Abraham Einstein and his wife, the former Helene Moos gave birth to August Ignaz Einstein.

1850:  Birthdate of Oscar Solomon Straus.  One of the Straus brothers who were noted merchants, public servants, philanthropists and leaders of the Jewish community from the second half of the 19th century through the Roaring Twenties.  Straus was ambassador to Turkey and the first American Jew to hold a cabinet post.  He was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Labor by Teddy Roosevelt.  He was active in the reform wing of the Republican party and became an advisor to President Woodrow Wilson.  Straus was the found of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the American Jewish Committee.  Among the books he authored was his autobiography Under Four Administrations.  He passed away in 1926.

1851: The Young Men’s Hebrew Benevolent Association is hosting a benefit at the Broadway Theatre tonight.  The entertainment includes a violin solo by Frederick Griebel and a performance of comedy, “All That Glitters Is Not Gold.”

1854: Birthdate of Hanover, Germany native Albert Steinfeld who came to New York City with his family at the age of eight where he was educated and worked in “a large dry-goods firm for two years” before moving to Denver where he went to work in a store owned by his uncle after which he found fame and fortune in Arizona.
1862(1st of Tevet, 5623): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; on the same that Jews celebrated the seventh day of Chanukah, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter of consolation to Mary Frances “Fanny” McCullough whose father William McCullough, a Lt. Col in the 4th Illinois Cavalry had been killed earlier in the month.

1864(24th of Kislev, 5625): As night falls, the Jewish troops with  General Sherman kindle the first light of Chanukah in  Savannah, GA.
1866: Birthdate of Boris Schatz, the native of Lithuania who “found the Bezalel School in Jerusalem.”
1867: Emancipation of the Jews of Hungary took place today when upper house of the legislature passed legislation supported by the Hungarian Prime Minister.  After the Prussians defeated the Austrians, the Austrians reformed certain aspects of their imperial system.  They created the dual monarchy so that the Austrian Empire became the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  The Hapsburgs tried this and other cosmetic reforms in an attempt to maintain control over their polyglot empire. 

1868(9th of Tevet, 5629): Jacob Disraeli, the son of Isaac D’Israeli and Mary Basevi, passed away today.

1870: It was reported today that many of the women who had worked to make the Hebrew Fair such a success are now helping out at the fair being held to raise funds to support the orphans of soldiers and sailors.

1871: Birthdate date of Charles Fleischer, the Breslau born American Reform Rabbi who in 1894 “succeeded Rabbi Solomon Shindler at Temple Israel in Boston” before founding “an independent religious institution, known as the “Sunday Commons” of Boston.
1871(14th of Tevet, 5578): Seventy-four year old Austrian banker Jonas Freiherr von Königswarter passed away in Vienna.

1875: It was reported today that the Hebrew Charity Fair which was held at Gilmore’s Garden has come to a close.  On the last evening the remaining items on hand were auctioned off for $542.  The fair raised almost $135,000.

1875(25th of Kislev, 5636): First Day of Chanukah

1876: In Zbąszyń, Poland, Jacobi and Thelka Bornstein gave birth to Siegfried Bornstein

1876: A fair that is designed to raise funds for Hebrew Charities is scheduled to take place tonight at the Masonic Hall in New York City.

1877(17th of Tevet, 5638): Yehuda Abraham Covo passed away.  Born in 1832, he was a Rabbinical Judge and head of the Asher Covo Yeshiva.

1878: It was reported today that the Board of Directors of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews did not hold its monthly meeting.  While no official announcement was made about the reason for this, it was assumed that board did not meet because of disagreement over whether or not to accept the donation from Mrs. Stewart that would necessitate the Jews accepting the money from Judge Hilton.

1878: A fair for the benefit of Shaare Rachmim which opened in Tammany Hall on December 9 is scheduled to come to an end this evening.

1879: An association of rabbis and prominent Jewish laymen was formed today with the goal of promoting a stricter observance of the Sabbath as proscribed by the Torah and other Jewish laws.

1882: Nineteen year old Annie Littlestein, a Jewish immigrant from Poland was rescued by James McCready after she jumped into the East River today.

1882: As New Yorkers wrestled with the Sunday Closing Laws, Superior Court Justice Arnoux rendered a decision “that the Penal Code prevents all persons including Hebrews who observe Saturday as ‘holy time’ from carrying on business on Sunday excepting for the sale of meats, fish, milk, drugs and food to be eaten on the premises where sold.”

1883: The first school of the Hebrew Technical Institute opened today at 206 East Broadway.

1883: Reverend R. Heber Newton preached a sermon on “The Traditions of Jacob” “the Hebrew Hercules who wrestled all night with an angel…and won a victory from his supernatural opponent.”

1883: The first school of the Hebrew Technical Institute opened today at 206 East Broadway in New York.

1884: In Philadelphia, PA,Simon and Florence Liveright gave birth to Rebekah  Liveright who became Rebekah Kohn when she married Irving Kohn.

1885(15th of Tevet, 5646): Alois Feigelstock, a well-known New York Jewish businessman appears to have taken his own life at New-Lots, a town on Long Island.

1888: “Very Little of a Christian” published today described the decision of a French Jew to convert so that he could obtain a government position.

1888; Laurence Oliphant, a British author diplomat and proto-Zionist passed away. Born in 1829, following a number of twists and turns, by 1879, Oliphant began working on a project to help Jews settle in Palestine. He raised money, vainly sought to obtain a lease on a portion of Palestine from authorities in the Ottoman capital and helped to settle one group of Jews in the Galilee.  He hired Naftali Herz Imber, the author of Hatikvah, as his secretary.

1888: “A Jewish Freethinker” published today provides a detailed review of Salomon Maimon: An Autobiography which provides the life story of Rabbi Salomon Maimon and a picture of 19th century life for the Jews of Poland.

1888: It was reported today that a recitation by Louis Aldrich will be part of the upcoming theatrical and musical benefit program sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1889: It was reported today that “the Imperial Academy of Arts has decided to exclude Jews from membership.”

 1889: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band led a procession of a thousand school children who were taking part in the cornerstone laying ceremony for the new public school located at the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 156th Street in New York City.

1889: Birthdate of Benjamin Marcus Pritcea, the Scottish born American architect who designed the Alhadeff Sanctuary of Seattle’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

 1889: It was reported today that the officers of the newly formed Montefiore and Lady Judith Hebrew Association are: Julius Harburger – President; Moses Mehrbach – First Vice President; Isaac Marx – Second Vice President; M.G. Landsberg – Secretary; H.C. Rosenzweig – Treasurer.  The Association was formed to protect and aid the tide of arriving Jewish immigrants from Czarist Russia.

 1891: In following up on series of bizarre robberies, police entered the apartment of John Weih where they found “three pulpits where were furnished according to the custom of Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant churches respectively with all the trappings and silverware which to belonged to each.”  Police cannot explain this interdenominational criminal activity.

1891: Among the articles published in The New York Weekly Times that appeared today was “An Indictment of Russia – The Massing of the Jews in the towns of the Pale”

1892: Seventy-one year old Paulus Stephanua Cassel, a Jewish convert to Christianity who major work was a history of the Jews from the destruction of the Jerusalem to 1847 passed away today.

1892: Hermann Stern, a thirty three year Jew from German employed as a foreign exchange clerk in the banking house of Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co (and who would later commit suicide) wrote a note today addressed to the coroner stating that “ My last wish is that everything I leave is left to the care and disposition of my beloved friend Carl Gutmman…who is now on his way from Europe.”

1893: The local assemblies of “Hebrew tailors” that had been organized by David De Leon voted leave the Knights of Labor and under the name of the newly formed Amalgamated Association of Clothing Cutters and Trimmers join the American Federation of Labor.

1893: “To Aid The Unemployed” published today described efforts by various New York charity organizations including the United Hebrew Charities to deal with “the general increase at the present time in this city of destitute men drawn hither by the hope of finding either employment or relief…”

1894(25th of Kislev, 5655): First Day of Chanukah

1894: “Hebrew, Israelite and Jew” published today relying on information that first appeared in the Rochester Tidings says that the “Jew refers to the religion which the Jews profess.  Hebrew refers to a language which they no longer speak and has no meaning at the present time. The Jews do call themselves Hebrews” except for “a few who do not know any better.”  “Israelite refers to a nation which they at one time formed” and only has significance “when reference is made to the ancient nation.”

1895: In “Mutual Respect the Common Ground for Christian and Jew” published today Dr. Joseph Silverman said that “No greater insult can be offered to the modern Jew than to convert him.” He called for the creation of “a non-sectarian commission consisting of Jews, Protestants and Catholics to be known as the Commission for Peace and Brotherhood who purpose should be to destroy religious prejudice and intolerance.”

1895: Wolf Avener and Isaac Falpe are scheduled to be examined for their role in a blackmail attempt targeted at Aris Lichtenstein, a Jew who converted and became a Minister.

1895: In a speech deriding “the Puritan Sabbath” which has led to a series of Blue Laws, Reverend Henry Van Dyke said that he did not know where the Puritans came up with this concept since the Jews, the first observers of the Sabbath, keep “the Seventh Day with feasting and social cheer.”

1897: It was reported from Prague, that “at a gathering of a ‘Czech Jewish Political Union’” held at Prague, may of the speakers said that “the leaders of ‘Young Czechs’ were” responsible for “the recent anti-Jewish disturbances” and they have decided to “leave the ‘Young Czech’ political party.”

1897: Birthdate of Herbert Parzen, the native of Poland who came to the United States in 1907 where hear a bachelors and masters at Columbia while being ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. (I have used the dates supplied by the American Jewish Archives which are at odds with another source)

1898: Birthdate of Grodno Gubernia native Irving Projansky, the three year forward on the City College of New York basketball whose stellar career was marred when “he scored a basket on the wrong basket against Cornell, a game which saw CCNY lost by a score of 21-20.”

1900: Viscount Herbert Samuel and Beatrice Miriam Samuel gave birth to Philip Ellis Herbert Samuel

1900: Dr. Samuel Schulman, the associate rabbi of Temple Beth-El delivered a sermon this morning on the subject of “Judaism’s Message of Peace and Good-Will.”

1904: Birthdate of Sir Charles Clore, the native of Mile End, London who “owned, through Sears Holdings, the British Shoe Corporation and Lewis's department stores (which included Selfridges)” and who “established Karen Clore (now the Clore Israel Foundation) to give grants to Israeli causes.”

1905(25th of Kislev, 5666): First Day of Chanukah

1905: It was reported today that “the fund for the relief of the persecuted Jews in Russia has reach a grand total of $1,200,311.66

1905: Today marked the final period of “strict mourning” that had been proclaimed by the Odessa Zionist Central Committee following “the four nights of slaughter” in Odessa during which “no help arrived from non-Jews.”

1907: Birthdate of Avraham Stern, the leader of Lehi, also known as the Stern Gang a group of Zionist who lost their moral compass, to put it mildly.  Others would say, that Zionists or not, the Stern Gang was a group of murderous thugs.

1907(18th of Tevet, 5668): Thirty-six year old John Paley, a native of Minsk who came to the United States in 1888 to pursue a career as a Yiddish newspaper editor and novelist passed away today in New York City.

1908: “Die geschiedene Frau (The Divorcée), an operetta in three acts by Leo Fall with a libretto by Victor Léon” opened today at the Carltheater in Vienna.

1909: Sir Mathew Nathan completed his service as Governor of Natal

1909: Birthdate of Herman Barron, the Port Chester, NY native who became the first Jewish golfer to win a tournament on the PGA Tour when he won the Western Open at Phoenix, AZ in 1942.

1909:  Birthdate of boxer Barney Ross.  Born Barnet Rasofsky in Chicago, this son of Rabbi turned away from his Jewish studies at the age of 14.  His father was killed in the family grocery store by robbers.  Ross moved into the shadowy underworld of the street before emerging as welterweight boxer at the age of 18.  Ross would become World Welterweight Champion of the Word during the 1930’s.  After retiring he became a successful restauranteur.  Although in his thirties at the outbreak of World War II, Ross enlisted in the Marines and earned the Silver Star during the campaign to take Guadalcanal. Ross’ successful battle with drug addiction provided the storyline for the film Monkey on My Back.  He passed away in 1967.

1911: Debut of Edmund Eyslter’s operetta Der Frauenfresser (The Woman-Eater).

1911: The London Outlook printed an “anti-Jewish editorial” today.

1911: “La mujer divorciada” the Spanish language version of “Die geschiedene Frau (The Divorcée), an operetta in three acts by Leo Fall with a libretto by Victor Léon” opened today in Madrid.

1913(24th of Kislev, 5674): For the last time the first light of Chanukah is kindled before the start of the deluge that began with WW I and continued through WW II.

1914: Based on information from Berlin, it was reported that “Russian court-martials in Poland have hanged numerous Jews.”

1914: The list of those contributing to the American Jewish Relief Committee published today included F.A. Rosenbloom, Austin, TX; I.C. Long, Greensboro, NC; the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Columbia, SC; J. Hecht, Charles City, IA; “Jews of Ft. Worth, TX” and “Jews of Natchez, Mississippi.”

1914: It was announced today at a meeting of the Board of Jewish Ministers at Temple Emanu-El that Governor-elect Whitman has stated that “he will appoint at least one Jew to each Board of Managers of the State hospitals.”

1915: Birthdate of Sidney Shapiro, “an American author and translator who has lived in China since 1947.”

1915: Memorial services marking the 38th anniversary of the death of Mrs. Clara Schiff, the mother of Jacob H. Schiff were held this afternoon in the Straus Auditorium of the Educational Alliance and “as it has been his annual custom ever since the alliance was established, Mr. Schiff addressed the girl members of the School of Religious Work and awarded a prize, named for his mother, for the best essay on a selected topic.”

1915: “The original Broadway production” of the Jerome Kern musical “Very Good Eddie” “opened at the Princess Theatre.

1916: The 26th Annual Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua Society continued to meet for a second day in New Orleans.
1916: During World War I, British Imperial forces (mostly ANZACs) captured the Turkish garrison during the Battle of Magdhaba on the Sinai Peninsula.  This victory was part of the British plan to move west and eventually take Palestine from the Turks. Jewish forces would play a role in the final battles to liberate Palestine from Turkish rule. 

1916: “The Women’s Proclamation Committee, a national organization for Jewish relief announced” today “that in 1917 it would conduct a ‘Life for a Life’ campaign for the collection of funds for Jews left destitute in the war areas of Europe.”

1916: The list of contributions made to the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War published today including $153 from Mt. Zion Congregation of Jersey City, NJ, $40 from Chevra Adas Volovisk of Brooklyn, $200 from the Committee in Calgary, Canada, and $28 from Dubuque, Iowa.

1917(8th of Tevet, 5678): Sixty-nine year old New Haven, CT native Toby Edward Rosenthal the award winning artist who spent most of his career in Europe, passed away today in Munich.

1917: At Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Samuel Schulman is scheduled to deliver a sermon entitled “The Jewish Soul On Trial.”

1917: At Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Joseph Silverman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Egoism and Altruism.”

1917: At Carnegie Hall, which is home to the Free Synagogue, Henry Morgenthau is scheduled to preside over a tribute to Rabbi Wise during which speeches will be given by Abram I. Elkus and Rabbi Louis Grossman.

1917: At the Mount Morris Theatre, which is home to the Institutional Synagogue, F.C. Hicks, “who returned from Europe last week” is scheduled to speak on “The War Conditions at Europe’s Front.”

1917: In Pittsburgh, PA, Jennie and Louis Friedman gave birth to Sophie Friedman who gained fame as Sophie Masloff, the first woman and the first Jew to serve as Mayor of Pittsburgh.

1917: Having successfully crossed the Auju River outside of Jaffa, “the 52nd (Lowland) and 54th (East Anglian) Divisions moved up the coast a further 5 miles (8.0 km), while the left of the advance reached Arsuf 8 miles (13 km) north of Jaffa, capturing key Ottoman defensive positions.”

1917: Having already met with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Colonel Storrs, the newly appointed British governor of Jerusalem, attended a gathering of Orthodox Ashkenazi rabbis.  The rabbis hoped to enlist Storrs’ support in their conflict with local Zionists.

1917: In Philadelphia, “Resolutions in favor of making Palestine a Jewish State to be populated by Jews from all parts of the earth where adopted today at a conference of Jewish labor organizations held under the auspices of the workmen’s wing of the Zionist movement.”

1917: “Thousands of New York Zionists packed Carnegies Hall” tonight and thousands more who could not get in “crowded the streets around building” where they sang songs in Hebrew and heard speakers including Dr. Schmarya Levin as part of a “celebration of the British promise to restore Jerusalem and the Holy Land to the Jewish people…”

1917: At a reception in the home of Henry Morgenthau attended by “100 members of the Joint Distribution Committee, the Central Jewish Relief Committee, the Jewish People’s Relief Committee, the Provisional Zionist Executive Committee and the Jewish Women’s Proclamation Committee” a silver tea service was presented to Dr. Otis A. Glazebrook, the former American Consul in Jerusalem and Mrs. Glazebrook “in recognition of their self-sacrifice and devotion in distributing the funds sent from America for the relief of the Jews in Palestine.”

1918: It was reported today that “Louis Marshall, Chairman of the American Jewish Committee said that Jews in America were doing little for Judaism or their synagogues” and “the Jews” in the United States “must be aroused.”

1919(1st of Tevet, 5680): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Seventh Day of Chanukah

1920: As British support for the Balfour Declaration waned, the 17th Earl of Derby, a prominent Conservative politician wrote Winston Churchill expressing his opposition to the Palestine Mandate in general and the Zionist cause in particular. 

1922: Four members of the Salonica Jewish community were elected to the Greek Assembly: Isaac Alhanati, Jonas Jamnelides, Joshua Laias and M. Levy.

1922:  Birthdate of Leonard Stern the successful television writer and producer,  two of his better known shows were comedies – The Phil Silvers Show and Get Smart.

1923: In New York City “Gertrude Himmelfarb, a scholar of Victorian era literature and “Irving Kristol, an editor and publisher who served as the managing editor of Commentary magazine, founded the magazine The Public Interest and has been described as the "godfather of neo-conservatism" gave birth to neo-conservative pundit, commentator and editor, Bill Kristol whose support of Republican candidates knew no bounds until he joined “the never Trump movement.

1923: In Madison, WI, economist Selig Perlman and Eva Perlman gave birth to economist Mark Perlman, the husband of Naomi Perlman
1923: In Brooklyn, William Okun and the former Leah Seligman gave birth to Milton Theodore Okun, “a producer and arranger who helped turn acts as diverse as Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver and Plácido Domingo into pop sensations, and who founded Cherry Lane Music Publishing, one of the world’s largest independent music publishers.” (As reported by Daniel E Slotnik)

1923: Birthdate of Meshulam Riklis, the Turkish born Israeli-American businessman

1924: Premiere of “The Last Laugh,” a German silent picture filmed by cinematographer Karl Fruend with a script by Carl Mayer.

1927: “Tell It To The Marines” a silent film that was a box-office success featuring Carmel Myers as “Zaya” was released today in the United States.

1927: A statement was issued today announcing the sale of the Daily Telegraph by Lord Burnham the grandson of J.M. Levy.

1927(29th of Kislev, 5688): On the fifth day of Chanukah, 89 year old Nathan Barnet, a native of Posen, who was a successful businessman and Mayor of Paterson, NJ, passed away today. He is scheduled to be buried at Mt. Neboh Cemetery in Paterson, NJ.

1928(10th of Tevet, 5689): Asara B'Tevet

1928: At Carnegie Hall, author James Waterman Wise, the son of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, told the congregation of the Free Synagogue that “we live in a Jewish world today, and the civilization of the world is a Jewish civilization.”

1929: “The Night Belongs to Us” starring Otto Wallburg as “Vater Bang” was released in Germany today.

1932: “Rasputin and the Empress” a biopic produced by Bernard H. Hyman and Irving Thalberg was released in the United States today.

1933(5th of Tevet, 5694): Parashat Vayigash

1933(5th of Tevet, 5694): Seventy six year old San Francisco native Henry Max Seligman, the son of Jesse and Henriette Seligman and the husband of Adelaide Seligman passed away today in New York City.

1933: Governor Herbert H. Lehman spoke at the annual Maccabean Festival at Madison Square Garden where he denounced the treatment of the Jews of Germany “whose loyalty an love for their country has been betrayed.  Dr. Albert Einstein was the guest of honor at the event which he described as a “demonstration of Jewish solidarity. Governor Lehman’s niece, Mrs. Benjamin J. Buttenweiser, was chairman of the event’s hostess committee.  The evening’s entertainment included “a dramatic and musical panorama of modern Jewish life in Palestine entitled ‘Reunion in Tel Aviv.’”\

1934: According to reports published today, “athletes throughout the country are training for the elimination finals which will be held here during February to choose the American Jewish team to complete in the second Maccabiah at Tel Aviv in April 1935.  The National Sports Board, whose membership includes Irving Jaffee, Nat Holman Abel Kiviat, Joseph Alexander and Pincus Sober, is headed by Benny Leonard.

1935(27th of Kislev, 5696): Rabbi Joshua Joffe who had retired in 1917 from JTS after 24 years of teaching and then returned to Germany passed away in Freiburg, Germany.  After his death, his wife and daughter returned to the United States.

1936: It was reported today that former Representative W.W. Cohen, head of the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidjan said that sufficient funds were available to pay for the settlement of a contingent Jews from Poland in that part of the Soviet Union based the fact that when the American contingent settled there in February of 1934 it had cost “$350 per family to cover transportation, admission and a beginning clothing allowance.”

1936: Tonight, “more than 800 persons attended a farewell dinner at the Manhattan Opera House honoring a delegation of six union leaders that includes Joseph Schlossberg, secretary-treasurer of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers’ Union; Max Zarlitzky, president of the United Hatters’, Cap and Millinery Works’ International Union; Isadore Nagler, general manager of the joint board of the Cloak, Suit and Reefer Makers’ Union; Reuben Guskin, president of the United Hebrew Trades’ and Samuel Perlmutter and Joseph Brislaw, vice presidents of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, who are sailing to Europe where they “will confer with experts in France, England and Poland on the Jewish labor movement in Palestine.”

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the British government denied that it was deliberately postponing the establishment of a new Palestine Commission which was to submit a plan for the partitioning of the country, as authorized by the League of Nations. Another Arab leader, Isouk Ayash, was shot in cold blood by an Arab gang in the village of Beit Immar, near Hebron.

1937: The British army begins a three day effort to suppress Arab bands in the Galilee.

 1937: In Mount Vernon, NY, Clara and Sol Trager gave birth to David Gershon Tagera, the federal judge in Brooklyn whose rulings were pivotal in a racially charged case in Crown Heights and in the first civil suit to challenge the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to countries that employ torture. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

 1938: Birthdate of Robert Elliot “Bob” Kahn, an American computer scientist who co-created the packet-switching protocols that enable computers to exchange information on the Internet. In the late 1960s Kahn realized that a packet-switching network could effectively transmit large amounts of data between computers. Along with fellow computer scientists Vinton Cerf, Lawrence Roberts, Paul Baran, and Leonard Kleinrock, Kahn built the ARPANET, the first network to successfully link computers around the country. Kahn and Cerf also developed the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which together enable communication between different types of computers and networks; TCP/IP is the standard still in use today.

1938: According an announcement by Joseph H. Biben, the editor and publisher of The American Hebrew, “the 1938 American Hebrew Medal has been awarded to President Roosevelt for outstanding serving in promoting better understanding between Christians and Jews.”

1939: Thirty-five German refugees, victims first of German anti-Semitism and then of the war, arrived here this afternoon on the Italian liner Conte di Savoia, ending a voyage that began at Italian ports more than two months ago

 1940: It was reported today that “the fall of France” has boosted the popularity of “The Last Time I Saw Paris” the first Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II song “whose words were written before the music.”

1940: Martha Sharp met 6 adults and 27 children including 14-year-old Eva Rosemary Feigl, all of whom were refugees from the Nazis, at the port of New York.

 1942: “The Thin Man,” a radio serial adaptation of Dashiell Hammet’s 1934 novel, produced by Himan Brown was broadcast for the last time with Woodbury Soap as the sponsor. (Brown was Jewish, Hammet was not)

1943: The Jewish community at Pinsk, Poland, is liquidated.
1943: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau is informed by his staff that, "when you get through with it, the [State Department's] attitude to date is no different from Hitler's attitude."

1943:  Birthdate of actor Harry Shearer whose credits include work with “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons.”1944: Agnes Steiner moved together with her mother and grandfather to the building where the  Neolog "Hevra Kadisha" of which her grandfather had been President, had been located.

1944: Birthdate of General Wesley Clark, NATO chief and unsuccessful Presidential candidate.  Late in life Clark learned the truth about his lineage.  His father was a Jewish lawyer living in Chicago.  He died when Clark was four.  His mother moved to Little Rock where she married Viktor Clark.  Clark adopted young Wesley and changed his name.  Clark’s Methodist mother hid Clark’s Jewish heritage from him because she was concerned about the KKK which was active in Arkansas

1945: Birthdate of Bernie Fine the long-term associate head basketball coach for Syracuse University who terminated following charges of sexual abuse.

1945:  Sumner Welles, chairman of American Christian Palestine Committee, advises that UN Trusteeship Council should establish Jewish commonwealth in Palestine with armed force to give security.

1946(30th of Kislev, 5707): Rosh Chodesh Tevet, Sixth Day of Chanukah

1946: Birthdate of Berlin native and filmmaker Aviva Kempner, the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival and The Ciesla Foundation

1946: It was reported today that “a group of Jewish children in the displaced-persons’ center in the French sector” celebrated Chanukah “with a couple of doughnuts, a few pieces of candy and a cup of hot chocolate.”

 1947(10th of Tevet, 5708): Asara B'Tevet

1947:  The transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories. The first three patents for the field-effect transistor principle were registered in Germany in 1928 by the Jewish physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld. At the time, they attracted little attention.  It would take two more decades of work in Germany and the United States before the giant step in miniaturization could take place.

1947(10th of Tevet, 5708): Frances Stern, social worker, nutritionist, educator, and pioneering dietician passed away.

 1948: Efforts of UN Truce Committee to arrange Israel-Egypt armistice conference break down.
1948: Israel attacks Egyptian troops near Gaza, Nirim, Rafah, and Khan Yunis.

1949(3rd of Tevet, 5710): 8th day of Chanukah

1949: Birthdate of Shimon Dotan, the native of Romania who moved to Israel in 1959 and became “an award winning Israeli film director, screenwriter, and producer.”

1949(3rd of Tevet, 5710): Arthur Eichengrün, the German Jewish chemist who claimed that he invented aspirin passed away.  Fifty years after his death, Walter Sneader of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow re-examined the case and came to the conclusion that indeed Eichengrün's account was convincing and correct and that Eichengrün deserved credit for the invention of Aspirin. Bayer continued to reject his claim.  Born in 1867, Eichengrün was one of the few Jews to survive the war even though he lived in Berlin until 1944 when he was shipped to Theresienstadt.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that David Ben-Gurion introduced a new Mapai-General Zionists-Progressive government coalition to the Knesset. Hapoel Hamizrahi was still considering an option whether to join the coalition. During a heated debate, Ben-Gurion complained that the absurd fragmentation of political factions was the root of all Israeli parliamentary troubles. 

1952: In Brooklyn, Dvora and Abraham Schneider gave birth to “singer and actress” Helen Leslie Schneider.

1953: Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who had directed the Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bombs used during WW II was notified that his security clearance had been suspended.

1954: The State of Israel Bond Drive sponsored the 3rd annual Chanukah festival which was held at Madison Square Garden tonight. 

1954: U.S. Premiere of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” the Disney version of the Jules Verne novel directed by Richard Fleisher and co-starring Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre.

1956: The French Jewish Community honored David Feuerwerker on the 20th anniversary of his service as a Rabbi.

1958: U.S. premiere of “The Geisha Boy” produced by the film’s star, Jerry Lewis, with music by Walter Scharf.

1962(26th of Kislev, 5723): On the second day of Chanukah Leivick Halpern, who used the pen name “H.Leivick” passed away today.  One of the best known works of the Yiddish author was “The Golem,” a “dramatic poem in eight scenes”

1965: “The Slender Thread” the first film directed by Sydney Pollack, written by Shana Alexander and starring Steven Hill and Ed Asner and featuring Jason Wingreen was released in the United States today.

1967: Final broadcast of “Twice a Fortnight,” a British comedy series co-starring Jonathan Lynn, a nephew of Abba Eban

1968: Pinchas Rosen resigned from the Knesset and retired from politics.

1968(2nd of Tevet, 5729): 8th day of Chanukah

1969: As part of the Cherbourg Project retired Israeli Admiral Mordecai Limon, Martin Siemm and Amiot met again to secretly sign contracts undoing everything they had signed the day before.

1969: Paratroopers airlifted an entire Soviet radar station out of Egypt and transported it back to Israel

1970(25th of Kislev, 5731): Chanukah

1970: “Little Young Man” starring Dustin Hoffman, whose ancestors were Jews from the Ukraine and Romania and Marin Balsam was released in the United States today.

1971: The 22nd national convention of the Farband opened in New York City.

1971: U.S. premiere of “Dirty Harry” directed and produced by Don Siegel with music by Lalo Schifrin

1971: In Toronto, Judy Haim, a Sabra and Bernie Haim gave birth to actor Corey Haim

1973(28th of Kislev, 5734): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1973(28th of Kislev, 5734): Seventy-two year old whose skill at creating and writing daytime soap operas earned her the title “Queen of the Soaps” passed away today.

1974: “Although he failed to win a seat,” Yigal Cohen “entered the Knesset as a replace for Ariel Sharon.”

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet approved the peace plan as prepared by Prime Minister Menachem Begin. This scheme, which was to be presented to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Ismailia, was prematurely leaked to the press. It reportedly contained, among other suggestions, a proposal for municipal autonomy for the Arab part of Jerusalem.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Cairo Egyptian officials described the Israeli security proposals, presented by Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann, as "extremely disappointing." The Egyptian view was that only very minor changes of the pre-1967 borders could ever be considered.

1977: It was reported today that the Chanukah holidays have spurred contributions from Jewish citizens to the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund. Among other donations, the fund has received a gift of $100 from the Henry and Nell Feder Foundation Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund.  A note accompanying the donation said that the “Jewish Communal Fund is dedicated to the support of the voluntary system of philanthropy and is happy to be of help to you in achieving your goals.”

 1979(3rd of Tevet, 5740): Art collector Peggy Guggenheim passed away.

1979(3rd of Tevet, 5740): Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz passed away. Born in 1902, “he was a member of the faculty of the Mirrer Yeshiva for more than 40 years, in Poland, Shanghai and Jerusalem, serving as Rosh yeshiva during its sojourn in Shanghai from 1941 to 1947, and again in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem from 1965 to 1979.”

1980: Seventy-six year old Berlin native Hans Wilhelm, a screenwriter who was forced to leave Germany after the Nazis came to power because of his “Jewish heritage” passed away today in Santa Monica, CA.

1982: In Sydney, the Israeli Consulate and a Jewish social club were bombed today.

1985: It was reported today that Biederman & Company has become the first ad agency for Tower Air, which flies its 747 aircraft primarily out of Kennedy International Airport and has regular service to Brussels and Tel Aviv.

1985: Time magazine describes the recently concluded UNESCO Conference held in Paris to honor the memory of the Rambam. “Maimonides was one of the few Jewish thinkers whose teachings also influenced the non-Jewish world; much of his philosophical writings in the Guide were about God and other theological issues of general, not exclusively Jewish, interest. Thomas Aquinas refers in his writings to “Rabbi Moses,” and shows considerable familiarity with the Guide. In 1985, on the 850th anniversary of Maimonides's birth, Pakistan and Cuba — which do not recognize Israel — were among the co­sponsors of a UNESCO conference in Paris on Maimonides. Vitali Naumkin, a Soviet scholar, observed on this occasion: “;Maimonides is perhaps the only philosopher in the Middle Ages, perhaps even now, who symbolizes a confluence of four cultures: Greco-Roman, Arab, Jewish, and Western.” More remarkably, Abderrahmane Badawi, a Muslim professor from Kuwait University, declared: “I regard him first and foremost as an Arab thinker.” This sentiment was echoed by Saudi Arabian professor Huseyin Atay, who claimed that “if you didn't know he was Jewish, you might easily make the mistake of saying that a Muslim was writing.” That is, if you didn't read any of his Jewish writings. Maimonides scholar Shlomo Pines delivered perhaps the most accurate assessment at the conference: “Maimonides is the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, and quite possibly of all time” As a popular Jewish expression of the Middle Ages declares: “From Moses [of the Torah] to Moses [Maimonides] there was none like Moses.”

1986: In what marked the beginning of perestroika which improved conditions for “refuseniks” Andrei Sakharov and his wife Elena Bonner returned to Moscow from internal exile.
1987(2nd of Tevet, 5748): 8th and final day of Chanukah

1987(2nd of Tevet, 5748): Seventy-two year old broadcast executive Aaron Rubin passed away.

1987: Premiere of “Good Morning Vietnam directed by Barry Levinson.

1988: Shimon Peres completed his service as the Foreign Affairs Minister.

1988: Moshe Arens began serving as the Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel.

1988: U.S. premiere of “Dominick and Eugene” produced by Marvin Minoff and co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Tony Curtis.

1988: U. S. premiere of “The Accidental Tourist” directed by Lawrence Kasdan who also co-authored the script.

1989(25th of Kislev, 5750): First Day of Chanukah and Shabbat

1989(25th of Kislev, 5750): Eight three year old Richard Rado the British mathematician who had been forced to leave his homeland by the Nazis and who was awarded the Senior Berwick Prize after having discovered the Rado graph, passed away today in Reading, UK

1992: U.S. premiere of “Scent of a Woman” directed and produced by Martin Brest with a script by Bo Goldman.

1993(9th of Tevet, 5754): Two Israeli men were killed in the West Bank by Palestinian gunmen today in a drive-by shooting that ended a 10-day lull in attacks by opponents of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The two Israelis, Meir Mendelevitch and Eliyahu Levine, both rigorously Orthodox men in their 20's, were said to have been driving home to Bnei Brak, outside Tel Aviv, when they were overtaken by a car of Palestinians and riddled with bullets. They had reportedly visited the West Bank settlement of Ofra, and were killed as they drove through Beituniya, an Arab village. Two Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for the attack -- the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, based in Syria, and the Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its acronym Hamas. Israeli officials said they presumed that it was a Hamas assault, a suspicion reinforced by a telephone call to a foreign news agency saying it was in retaliation for the killing of a Hamas commander by Israeli soldiers last month.

1993(9th of Tevet, 5754): Anatoly Kolisnikov, an Ashdod resident employed as a relief watchman at a construction site there, was stabbed to death by terrorists while on duty.

1994: “Legends of the Fall” a movie version of the book by the same name directed by Edward Zwick who also served as producer along with Marshall Herskovitz was released today in the United States.

1994: It was reported today that Lucy Kroll an agent for writers, playwrights and performers for more than 50 years, has given the Library of Congress a big gift: 110 boxes full of letters, manuscripts, albums, contracts and other memorabilia. Her clients have included Carl Sandburg, Ben Hecht, William Schuman, Martha Graham, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, James Earl Jones, Jerry Garcia and Barney Clark, the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart. Ms. Kroll, an octogenarian who sold her New York agency in October to Barbara Hogenson, who had worked for her, said: "For Christmas, I am divesting myself. Possessions are heavy, so instead of buying gifts, I am giving things that belong to me -- jewelry, books, clothes. I am also donating my 1940's couturier clothes to a university in Tel Aviv to train students how to design."

1995(30th of Kislev, 5756): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1995: Prime Minister Shimon Peres said today that Israel would be prepared to close its nuclear program if there was a regional peace in the Middle East, though he stopped short of confirming that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. Mr. Peres made his comments at a lunch with Israeli journalists in Tel Aviv, after one of them asked whether his new priorities include a change in nuclear policy. Yes," he said. "Give me peace and we'll give up the nuclear program. That's the whole story."

1996 James Steinberg completed his service as Director of Policy Planning and began serving as Deputy National Security under President Clinton.

1997(24th of Kislev, 5758): Kindle the first light of Chanukah in the evening

1997: “As Good As It Gets” an off-beat comedy directed and produced by James L. Brooks who also co-authored the script was released today in the United States.

1997: Woody Allen aged 62 married Soon-Yi Previn aged 27. The bride was the adopted daughter of Woody Allen’s long time paramour, Mia Farrow.  For all of those who point to Woody as a Jewish man of letters, they must assume that he skipped that day in Sunday School when they talked about forbidden marriages.

1997: Andrew Tobias publishes the “Jewish Parrot” Joke:

Meyer, a lonely widower, was walking home one night when he passed a pet store and heard a squawking voice shouting out in Yiddish, "Quawwwwk ... vus machst du ... yeah, du ... outside, standing like a schlemiel ... eh?"

Meyer rubbed his eyes and ears. He couldn’t believe it. The proprietor sprang out of the door and grabbed Meyer by the sleeve. "Come in here, fella, and check out this parrot."

Meyer stood in front of an African Grey that cocked his little head and said, "Vus? Ir kent reddin Yiddish?"

Meyer turned excitedly to the store owner. "He speaks Yiddish?"

In a matter of moments, Meyer had placed five hundred dollars down on the counter and carried the parrot in his cage away with him. All night he talked with the parrot in Yiddish. He told the parrot about his father’s adventures coming to America, about how beautiful his mother was when she was a young bride, about his family, about his years of working in the garment center, about Florida. The parrot listened and commented. They shared some walnuts. The parrot told him of living in the pet store, how he hated the weekends. Finally, they both went to sleep.

Next morning, Meyer began to put on his tefillin, all the while saying his prayers. The parrot demanded to know what he was doing, and when Meyer explained, the parrot wanted to do it too. Meyer went out and handmade a miniature set of tefillin for the parrot. The parrot wanted to learn to daven, so Meyer taught him how read Hebrew, and taught him every prayer in the Siddur with the appropriate nussach for the daily services. Meyer spent weeks and months sitting and teaching the parrot the Torah, Mishnah and Gemara. In time, Meyer came to love and count on the parrot as a friend and a Jew.

On the morning of Rosh Hashanah, Meyer rose, got dressed and was about to leave when the parrot demanded to go with him. Meyer explained that Shul was not a place for a bird, but the parrot made a terrific argument and was carried to Shul on Meyer’s shoulder. Needless to say, they made quite a sight when they arrived at the Shul, and Meyer was questioned by everyone, including the Rabbi and Cantor, who refused to allow a bird into the building on the High Holy Days. However, Meyer convinced them to let him in this one time, swearing that the parrot could daven.

Wagers were made with Meyer. Thousands of dollars were bet (even money) that the parrot could NOT daven, could not speak Yiddish or Hebrew, etc. All eyes were on the African Grey during services. The parrot perched on Meyer’s shoulder as one prayer and song passed - Meyer heard not a peep from the bird. He began to become annoyed, slapping at his shoulder and mumbling under his breath, "Daven!"


"Daven ... feigelleh, please! You can daven, so daven ... come on, everybody’s looking at you!"


After Rosh Hashanah services were concluded, Meyer found that he owed his Shul buddies and the Rabbi over four thousand dollars. He marched home quite upset, saying nothing. Finally several blocks from the Shul, the bird, happy as a lark, began to sing an old Yiddish song. Meyer stopped and looked at him.  "You miserable bird, you cost me over four thousand dollars. Why? After I made your tefillin, taught you the morning prayers, and taught you to read Hebrew and the Torah. And after you begged me to bring you to Shul on Rosh Hashanah, why? Why did you do this to me?" "Don’t be a schlemiel," the parrot replied. "You know what odds we’ll get at Yom Kippur?!"

1998: Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson completed his service as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

1999(14th of Tevet, 5760): Eighty-three year old author and satirist Felicia Lamport, the daughter of Samuel C. Lamport and Miriam (Dworsky) Lamport and the wife of Judge Benjamin Kaplan with whom she had two children – James Kaplan and Nancy Mansbach – passed away today. (As reported by William H. Honan)

2000(26th of Kislev, 5761): 2nd Day of Chanukah

2000(26th of Kislev, 5761): Fifty-five year old Susan Berman, “the daughter of Davie Berman, a Las Vegas mob figure” was murdered today, reportedly by her friend Robert Durst.

2000(26th of Kislev, 5761): Ninety one year old Victor Borge, the Danish born film actor and comedic pianist passed away. (As reported by Stephen Holden)

2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including The Healing Wound: Experiences and Reflections on Germany, 1938-2001 by Gitta Sereny and Indelible by Rachel Hadas

2003: New York Gov. George Pataki pardoned the late comedian Lenny Bruce for his 1964 obscenity conviction.

2005: “The Ringer,” a “sports comedy” directed by Barry Blaustein was released in the United States today.

2005: Jewish leaders in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria have called for tougher laws against incitement and racial hatred following the riots that swept Australia about 10 days ago. The community's security group has also warned that members of the white supremacist groups may attempt to take advantage of the lawlessness and attack Jewish property. Older members of the Australian Jewish community still vividly remember some of the pogroms suffered by Eastern European communities and the scenes of unrest in Sydney vividly reminded them of the riots in which Jews were attacked and killed and Jewish property set alight.

2005(22nd of Kislev, 5766): Eighty-five year old Selma Jeanne Cohen, publisher of the six volume International Encyclopedia of Dance passed away today (As reported by Jack Anderson)

2005: Release date for “Munich” the Steven Spielberg film about the Israeli program to hunt down the terrorists responsible for the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics.

2006(2nd of Tevet, 5767): Eighth Day of Chanukah.

2006: The Jerusalem Post reported on the preparation for Christmas Eve pilgrims coming to Bethlehem. Israel plans to ease security restrictions to make it easier for the expected 20,000 pilgrims to enter the city.  These pilgrims include residents of Gaza. Lt.-Col. Aviv Feigel, head of the District Coordination Liaison (DCL) office, acknowledged the risk but expressed confidence that the Palestinians will cooperate since Bethlehem is the biggest tourist attraction and hence source of tourist revenue they have.

2007: In Jerusalem, a screening of “Tehillim.” Set in present-day Jerusalem, in a religious neighborhood bordering a Haredi zone and a non-religious area it tells the story of sixteen-year-old Menahem Frenkel who would like to pave his future independently. His father, Eli, wishes to shape his son into a serious and faithful young man. When Eli disappears, Menachem discovers his true identity. “Tehillim” is a film of personal journeys, portraying the search for one’s self and one’s roots.
2007: The Sunday New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Henry James: The Mature Master by Sheldon M. Novick.
2008: Closing session of the AJS (Association for Jewish Studies) 40th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

2008: “Judge Judy Sheindlin shared juicy revealing secrets about her life on Shatner's Raw Nerve, in which she was presumptuously interviewed by William Shatner.”
2008:   Adam Goldstein, a celebrity disc jockey known as DJ AM, who survived a fiery Learjet crash in South Carolina has sued several companies and the estates of the plane’s pilots.

2008: President Bush pardoned Charles Winters. (As reported by Eric Lichtblau)

2008 (26 Kislev 5769): Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, a nationally prominent Reform rabbi known for his progressive, sometimes provocative public stances, including opposition to the Vietnam War, a speech at Yale accusing the university of a history of anti-Semitism and early political support for his neighbor Barack Obama, passed away  in Chicago at the age of 84.

2008: NYU “filed a lawsuit to recover $24 million lost in the Ariel Fund, Ltd and the Gabriel Corp claiming that the university was unaware that Ezra Merkin, who was the manager of the Ariel Fund “was actually turning NYU’s money to Bernie Maddoff.

2009(6th of Tevet, 5770): Eighty-six year old “Yitzhak Ahronovitch, the captain of the refugee ship Exodus, whose violent interception by the British Navy as it tried to take thousands of Jewish refugees to Palestine in 1947 helped rally support for the creation of the state of Israel the next year” passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2009: “Heroes” featuring the work of sculptor Ann Forman sponsored by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and Casa Argentina en Israel - Tierra Santa comes to a close at the IRWF in New York.

 2009: The Wednesday evening lecture series at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem presents a Guest Lecture: "Women and the book of Psalms," by Prof. Marc Z. Brettler of Brandeis University.

 2009: Mishkenot Sha'ananim presents the first in a seven-part lecture series entitled "My Jerusalem." The series includes seven encounters in which key Jerusalemite personalities from various fields talk about Jerusalem from a personal angle. The first lecture, entitled “Stones Weep in Jerusalem” presented is a collection of experience and memories presented by author Dan Benaya.

 2009: According to today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette “Tootsie Rolls are officially kosher.”
The Orthodox Union has added Chicago made Tootsie Rolls to the compendium of kosher confections that children can consume. “For years, consumers have been banging down the doors of the Orthodox Union asking when will Tootsie Rolls become certified,” says Rabbi Eliyahu Safran of the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest kosher certification agency.The certification covers Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Frooties and DOTS. Ellen Gordon, president of Tootsie Roll Industries, said the only thing that changes is the packaging, which will carry the stamp of approval in 2010. No announcement has been made about the status of Gatorade, which is always purportedly attempting to gain the Hechsher.

 2009: As of today, Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA, had raised almost $12 million for its new building. Officially known as the First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland, this Reform temple was found in 1875 and “is the oldest Jewish congregation in the East San Francisco Bay region.”

 2010: David Broza a musician who “personifies Israel at its finest,” is scheduled to perform at the 92nd Street Y.

 2010: A planned Seattle bus advertising campaign that accused Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip was rejected by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

A planned Seattle bus advertising campaign that accused Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip was rejected by King County Executive Dow Constantine today.

 2010: A memorial service was held today for Kristine Luken, the American stabbed to death by a terrorist, at Christ Church in Jerusalem.

 2011(27th of Kislev, 5772): Seventy-eight year old “Evelyn Handler, a cell biologist who, as the first woman to serve as president of Brandeis University, set off an acrimonious debate over the university’s Jewish identity when she secularized some campus traditions in hopes of attracting more non-Jewish students, died today in a pedestrian accident in Bedford, N.H (As reported by Paul Vitello)

 2011: The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.

 2011: Jazz For All, featuring Eyal Sela &The Orel Oshrat Trio, is scheduled to take place the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

2011: Today, right-wing lawmakers lashed at a statement attributed to Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and reported by Haaretz earlier in the day, according to which Israel should relinquish Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier.  

2011: President Obama signed a bill today to expand U.S. military assistance to Israel. The bill would have the U.S. provide additional support to the annual $3 billion for ten years that the U.S. is already committed to under the Memorandum of Understanding. Despite a tough economic climate and expected U.S. budget cuts - including drastic cuts in the U.S. military budget - U.S. lawmakers provided $236 million in fiscal 2012 for the Israeli development of three missile defense programs.

2012: Naftali Bennett, Head of HaBayit HaYehudi Party, is scheduled to speak at Federation Hall in Tel Aviv

2012: “Once I Entered a Garden” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. 

 2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Love, In Theory: Ten Stories by E.J. Levy.

 2012(10th of Tevet): Asarah BeTevet

2012(10th 0f Tevet): Yarhrzeit of Judith Sharon Rosenstein (nee Levin). Known to one and all as Judy, she truly was an Ashit Chayil, “A Woman of Valor.” A devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, faithful friend as well as daughter and sister extraordinaire, Judy is a gift to all who are fortunate enough to be part of her life. “And her children called her ‘Blessed’.” May her name always be remembered!

2012: Gaza Arab terrorists fired a rocket at Israel this evening, the first one since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November.

 2012: Almost half of the Israeli population supports a unilateral withdrawal from large sections of the Palestinian territories based on the pre-1967 lines, according to a poll conducted by Rafi Smith for the Blue White Future movement. The poll was released ahead of an election debate between the “Zionist parties” hosted by the movement today at Tel Aviv University.

2012: December 2012 continued to break precipitation records over the weekend, as heavy rainfall across central and northern Israel filled the Sea of Galilee, swelled rivers and streams and brought 60-70 centimeters of snow to the summit of Mount Hermon. The Sea of Galilee has now seen the largest December increase in the last 20 years, rising 18 centimeters over the weekend. The Israel Water Authority estimated that the level would rise a further 7 centimeters today from runoff, bringing the total level to 212 meters below sea level.

2012: Human rights activist Maikel Nabil was the first political prisoner in post-revolution Egypt. Today, the pro-Israeli dissident made his first public appearance in Jerusalem, calling for Arab-Israeli reconciliation and trying to draw attention to Arab peace activists across the region.

2012: Ninety-six year old author Klemens von Klemperer passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

2013: “Kidon” and “Apollonian Story” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Early this morning police sappers collected the shards of a Kassam rocket that Palestinians earlier fired from the Gaza Strip at the Hof Ashkelon area which landed near a bus stop used by schoolchildren.

2013: In the spirit of “The Big Lie” President Mahmoud Abbas released a Christmas greeting Monday, calling Jesus a “Palestinian messenger” and implying that Israel persecutes Christians. Abbas ignored the fact that there was no Palestine in the time of Jesus who was a Jew and that on the day he made the charges about persecution of Christians the JNF was completing it’s annual distribution of Christmas trees.

2013: An Arab terrorist stabbed an Israeli police officer this afternoon at the “Adam checkpoint north of Jerusalem.” (As reported by David Lev)

2013: Kenyon College and Indiana University officially withdrew their memberships from the American Studies Association today, joining the growing list of institutions pushing back against the academic body for its recently announced boycott of Israel.

2014: “Mr. Kaplan” and a Chanukah treat for the kids “Lady and the Tramp” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014: A memorial service for Louise Goldblatt, the wife of the late Leroy “Larry” Goldblatt and the moter of Laurie (Dr. Robert) Silber and Dr. Fred Goldblatt is scheduled to take place at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA

2014(1st of Tevet, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2024: In the evening, kindle the 8th Chanukah light.

2014: Heads of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria together with IDF representatives lit the eighth and final candle of Hanukkah tonight at the grave of Yehoshua Ben Nun (Joshua) - the disciple of Moshe (Moses) from the Torah - located in the village Kifl Hares just north of Ariel in Samaria.

2014: “The Antitrust Authority decided today to break up a deal allowing a consortium of two energy companies to develop Israel’s largest gas fields, in a dramatic move reversing an arrangement that had come under fire.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014: French police arrested a suspect who is connected with the firing a gun into one of the windows of the David Ben Ichay Synagouge in Belleville.

2015(11th of Tevet, 5776): Seventy-four year old Alfred Goodman Gilman who “shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2015: Israeli singer and songwriter Yonatan Gefen is scheduled to perform at the JCC in Manhattan.

2016: The final screening of “On the Map” which “tells the against-all-odds of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1977 European Championship” is scheduled to take place at the Cinema Village.

2016: The Temple Israel Family Tour is scheduled to arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport on EL AL Flight #208 on a trip that will last until January 1, 2017.

2016: In the wake of the U.S. presidential elections, the 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host Dick Simpson, professor of political science at the University of Illinois in Chicago speaking on “Winning Elections in the 21st Century.”

2016: “The Trump transition team announced today that Jason Greenblatt will leave his current job as executive vice president and chief legal officer of The Trump Organization to serve as the president’s special representative for international negotiations” which means “he is expected to manage the administration’s work on Israeli-Palestinian talks and on trade agreements, among other negotiations.”

2016: “Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration today allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.” (As reported by Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone)

2016: “The U.N. Security Council today passed a resolution demanding that Israel cease Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory in a unanimous vote that passed when the United States abstained rather than using its veto as it has reliably done in the past.” (As reported by Carol Morello and Ruth Eglash)

2017: The nation’s largest workshop/festival of Yiddish culture is scheduled to open today at the 14th St Y in Manhattan

2017(5th of Tevet, 5778): Parashat Vayigash; for more see




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