Sunday, December 3, 2017

This Day, December 4, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 4

771: King Carloman dies, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the entire Frankish Kingdom.  Following the death of their father, King Pepin the Short, the two brothers had each ruled a portion of the realm.  The sharing was not a peaceful process.  For once the consolidation of political power in the hands of one monarch worked to the advantage of the Jewish people since Charlemagne was favorably disposed to his Jewish subjects even to the point of willingly defying the edicts of powerful prelates.

1075: Anno II, the Archbishop of Cologne passed away, an event reported to have been lamented by the Jews who lived in a Jewish Quarter first mentioned during his episcopate.

1110: The Syrian harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrendered to Crusaders.  The Crusader success would prove to be only temporary. Sidon was one of the original Phoenician trading cities and it is the same Sidon from which Hezbollah launched rockets into Israel in the summer of 2006. 

1197: During the Third Crusade, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymous of Worms were murdered and his was mortally wounded.  Born in 1165 in Germany, Rabbi Eleazar was “a Kabbalist, Halachic scholar and religious poet. In Sefer ha Hokhmah (The Book of Wisdom) he described the loneliness he felt after the death of his family and his teacher Judah he-Hasid.  He passed away in 1230, leaving behind a body of writings that has influenced Kabbalists down to our own times.   

1259: Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels. There was nothing positive in this for the Jews in this.  Louis IX attacked the financial well-being of his Jewish subjects, going so far as to expel them as a way of financing the Seventh Crusade. He also burnt 12,000 Jewish books including copies of the Talmud.  Henry also attacked the financial well-being of his Jewish subjects, milking them for all they were worth.  When the Jews sought to leave his kingdom, he stopped them as a way of protecting a valued source of tax revenue.

1334: John XXII, the second of the Avignon Popes passed away.  Sangisa, the sister of John XXII, urged her brother to ban the Jews from Rome.  At first he ignored her.  But finally, in 1321, He gave in and issued an order of expulsion. The Jews responded with fasting and “fervent prayers.  At a more practical level, they turned to King of Robert of Naples for support and sent a delegation to Avignon with 20,000 ducats for the Pope.  This combination of divine and temporal intervention worked since the Jews were allowed to remain in Rome.

1489: The Spanish army captured Baza from the Moors. The Battle of Baza was part of the lengthy conflict between the Catholics and the Moors.  Slowly but surely, they were driving the Moslems of Spain back across the Mediterranean to North Africa from whence they had come over seven hundred years before.    Within 3 years, the Moors would be driven from the Iberian Peninsula and Spain would be united as a Catholic Kingdom.  This would lead to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

1539(13th of Kislev, 5300): On December 4, the Ottoman Sultan known as Suleiman the Magnificent occupied Baghdad which meant an improvement for the condition of the Jews who had suffered during the Mongol period. During his reign Suleiman welcomed the Jews fleeing from the effects of expulsion from Spain and Portugal and encouraged them to settle in Palestine.  His rebuilding program in Jerusalem showed a sympathy and respect for Jewish history and culture.  His willingness to employ a Jew as his personal physician   and to use Don Joseph Nasi and Gracia Mendes Nasi as advisors demonstrated the extent to which Jews had found a haven and home in the lands of Suleiman, who for the Jews, was truly magnificent.

1642: Cardinal Richelieu, the “power behind the throne” during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV passed away.  The decrees issued in their name were probably the product of this churchman turned “chancellor” including Louis XIII reaffirmation issued in April, 1615 of the ban on Jews living in France and Louis XIV’s declaration granting the Jews of Metz the right to conduct business after the French took the city in 1632.

1655: Oliver Cromwell convened a gathering of English notables at Whitehall to decide if the Jews should be readmitted to England.  Cromwell was a strong proponent of readmission as were most of Cromwell’s military and government leaders. Members of the Millenarian and Sabbatarian sects also favored readmission.  Opposition came from the merchants and the mainline Christian clergy. When realized that he would be unable to gain the complete support for his plan to readmit the Jews to England so he dissolved the Council rather than suffer defeat.  The conferees did agree that that there was no legal reason not to re-admit the Jews since they had been expelled by royal decree and not by an act of Parliament. In the mean time, Cromwell accomplished his goals through a round-about manner and by 1657 there were enough Jews in London who felt confident in being able to practice their faith in public that they purchased a private home to be used as a synagogue.

1655: Middelburg, Netherlands forbade the building of a synagogue.

1674: French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette erected a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan, in present-day Illinois. His log cabin became the first building of a settlement that afterward grew to become the city of Chicago.  Chicago is of course, the home of one this country’s largest and most vibrant Jewish communities as well as some of the finest Jewish families around including that of my aunt and uncle, Dr. Jacob and Betty Levin and that renowned photographer and alum of the College of Jewish Studies, Harvey Luber and his wife.Just think, if it had not been for Marquette, there would not have been a home for Chagall’s Windows (the Art Institute) Sarah Lee Bakery or a Crate & Barrel (the latter two were founded by Jews in Chicago).

1679: Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher, passed away. Born in 1588, “Thomas Hobbes was foremost among the seventeenth century political philosophers who led the Western world across the fault line separating classical from modern political philosophy. In doing so, he, like his other colleagues, had to confront not only classical political philosophy but the Bible. From the first of his writings to the last he consistently confronted Scripture. Reading Hobbes reveals both the ambiguity and the ambivalence of his confrontation with the Bible. Hobbes wished to assault orthodox or conventional Christian belief but at the same time is drawn to the Hebrew Scriptures, not only because it is necessary for him to confront it for the sake of his argument or because of the Bible's own elemental and compelling power. His struggle foreshadows and is even paradigmatic of that of modern man. The most neglected aspect of Hobbes's attempt to solve the theological-political problem is his reliance on divine punishment of the iniquitous sovereign.”  He uses the murder of Uriah by King David to discuss this part of his political philosophy. In his writings, Hobbes elaborates a conception of the Messiah in his political treatises that is unusual because it seems to combine Jewish and Christian elements. He asserts that Jesus is the Messiah in the sense of being the earthly king of the Jews as well as the Son of God and king of heaven. To clarify Hobbes's position and to highlight its strangeness, it is compared with the views of Moses Maimonides and Blaise Pascal. Hobbes emerges from this comparison as a spokesman for a kind of "Jewish Christianity," whose purpose is not to return to the early Jewish sects that embraced Jesus as a new Moses but to humanize the Messiah and to redefine Christianity for a new age of secular happiness. Hobbes thereby inaugurates a new kind of biblical criticism which the Deists of the enlightenment era developed and which continues today. This incomplete entry about Hobbes reinforces the many different ways in which Jewish Culture as opposed to Jewish people influenced the development of Western Civilization.

1750: Birthdate of Henri Grégoire who as Abbé Grégoire who was “considered a friend of the Jews” because during the French Revolution “he argued that in this anti-Semitic society the supposed degeneracy of Jews was not inherent but rather a result of their circumstances.”

1762: Catherine II of Russia permitted foreigners to settle and travel in Russia "Kromye Zhydov." However Jews were still forbidden to settle there. Catherine II may have been the Great to some Russian nobles but she certainly was certainly.

1772(OS): Birthdate of Dov Ber of Mezeritch, known as the Maggid, the leading disciple of the Baal Shem Tov and his successor as leader Chassidic Judaism.

1779(25th of Kislev, 5540): Chanukah

1790: The citizens of Trnava, addressed a petition to the Diet in Hungary at the same time as the Jews did asking that their rights be upheld.  The Diet approved the petition of the Jews and sent word to King Leopold II.

1791: In London, the first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper was published. In 1891, Rachel Sasoon Beer, the granddaughter of David Sasoon and daughter of Sasoon David Sasoon  was named editor of the Observer making her the first female editor of a national newspaper. During her tenure as editor “The Observer achieved one of its greatest exclusives: the admission by Count Esterhazy that he had forged the letters that condemned innocent Jewish officer Captain Dreyfus to Devil's Island. The story provoked an international outcry and led to the release and pardon of Dreyfus and court martial of Esterhazy.”

1800: Solomon Levien married Harriet Salomons at the Hambro Synagogue today.

1805(13th of Kislev, 5566): Sixty-two year old German banker Philipp Samson, the founder of the Samson School in Wolfenbuttel passed away today.

1811 (18th of Kislev, 5572): Rabbi Baruch Mezhibuzher the son of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov’s daughter, Adel, and her husband, Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi passed away. He was born in 1753 in Mezhibuz, the town from which his illustrious grandfather led the Chassidic Movement. He was one of the Rebbes (Chassidic masters) in the 3rd generation of Chassidism, and had thousands of followers.

1817(25th of Kislev, 5578): Chanukah

1829: A fired destroyed the building housing Congregation Mikveh Israel in Savannah, Georgia.  The building had been consecrated in 1820 making it the first synagogue to be built in “The Peachtree State.” Fortunately, the congregation’s Torah Scrolls were saved from the fire.

1830; “The Alsatian Deputy Pierre Andre stated that before the Revolution had not been allowed to open vocational schools” – a statement that was challenged by those who said that “before the Revolution…Berr-Isaac Berr of Nancy had founded agricultural colonies in order to mitigate the charge that Jews were not productive.”

1836(25th of Kislev, 5597): Chanukah is celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

1839: Moses Joseph married Esther Samuel at the Great Synagogue today.

1839: In Charleston, SC, Jacob I. Moses of Columbus, GA married Rina Ottolengui, the daughter of Abraham Ottolengui.

1847: In New York, Abigail and Asher Kursheedt gave birth to Grace Eloise Kursheedt.

1852: Today’s edition of the Times of London devoted sixteen columns to the speech given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Benjamin Disraeli, on the subject of taxation.  The speech, which was well received, contained proposals to change the Tea Duties and the Income Tax. The lengthy article also included copies of the tables that Mr. Disraeli used.

1853: The "Shaare Zedek Hebrew National School," erected in the rear of the Henry-street Jewish Synagogue, was consecrated this afternoon. The congregation to which the School is attached has been in existence about sixteen years. The ceremonies began at 3 pm with religious services that included a sermon by Rabbi H.A. Henry who has been chosen to serve as the school’s superintendent. Services were followed by a “banquet” in one of the school’s room. Mr. Mendel Joseph, President of the Building Committee, addressed the attendees. The meal included the recitation of the proper Hebrew prayers both before and after eating.

1858: A crowd of 2,500 Christians and Jews gathered tonight in New York City to express their indignation over what has come to be called the Mortara Affiar.  The event was chaired by Jonas Phillips, the ex-President of the Board of Common Councilmen. Among the resolutions passed were ones that recalled the response of the United States government to the Damascus Affair in 1840.  The speakers all separated the actions of those involved in taking of the Mortara family from the Roman Catholic religion and stated their respect for their fellow citizens who were adherents of that religion. Among those in attendance was Mr. A.M. Phillips Levi from Montreal who had traveled from Canada to express that Jewish community’s solidarity with the other Jewish communities that had expressed their outrage and called for a return of the Mortara child to his parents. The speakers included leaders of the Jewish community as well as prominent non-Jews including Chauncey Shaffer, Esq. and Reverend Blair, a Methodist clergyman.

1860: Birthdate of actress and singer Lillian Russell, the native of Iowa who married the Anglo-Jewish composer Edward Solomon in 1884, two years before he was arrested for bigamy.

1861(1st of Tevet, 5622): Rosh Chodesh Tevet is observed for the first time during the American Civil War.

1864: Romanian Jews were forbidden to practice law.

1864: A meeting was held today in Philadelphia, PA that resulted in the establishment of Maimonides College, “the first Jewish theological seminary in” the United States. The school which was designed to train rabbis for the numerous synagogues opening this country began operating in 1867.  It closed its doors 6 years later in 1873 due to a lack of support.

1865: Birthdate of Edith Louisa Cavell, the British nurse who was defended by Sadi Kirschen when the Germans arrested her and charged her with treason.  There was little that her Jewish defense lawyer, who would flee the Nazis when they invaded Belgium in 1940, could do for her since she confessed to helping British and French soldiers escape and the Kaiser’s army was in no mood to show leniency.

1866(26th of Kislev, 5627: Evelina Gertrude de Rothschild passed away during childbirth. She was a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England. Her father Lionel assumed sponsorship of the first school for girls in Israel, opened in Jerusalem in 1864, renaming it the Evelina de Rothschild School.

1873: It was reported today that last month’s overflow of the Tiber River created a novel situation in Rome.  Some of the Jews whose homes were flooded have been temporarily lodged in the Covent of Ara Caeli one of the religious orders recently disbanded by the new, republican government of Italy.  In the new Italy, including the formal Papal States, there is no distinction of citizenship based on religion.

1875: Mr. Emanuel B. Hart appeared before a special meeting of the Board of Police to request that anti-lottery laws not be enforced in matters pertaining to the Hebrew Benevolent Fair.  Hart told the board that if the laws were strictly enforced the fair would not be able to raise the funds to support local charities.  The members of the Board denied the request saying that the police would halt any drawing that violated the lottery laws.

1877: Birthdate of Morris Alexander, the Cambridge University educated native of Zinn, Germany who was “admitted to practice as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Cape Colony where lectured on law, served on the city council and participated in Jewish communal life as an officer of the New Cape Town Congregation and the Jewish Philanthropic Society.

1878: Birthdate of Alwin M. (Max) Pappenheimer, the New York native who graduated from Harvard and Columbia Medical School, served in WW I and became a leading pathologist.

1878(8th of Kislev, 5639): Fifty two year old Danish banker and political leader David Baruch Adler was a partner in Martin Levin & Adler in London and D.B.Adler & Company in Copenhagen as well as the husband of Jenny Raphael the daughter of banker John Raphael, passed away today.

1878: It was reported today that Romanian leaders continue to oppose granting Jews full rights as citizens as promised by the Treaty of Berlin.  As non-citizens, Jews are not allowed to own land which means Romanian nobles can borrow money from Jews without fear of losing their estates when they default on the loans.  If Jews were citizens were made citizens, the nobles could no longer swindle them out of the money owed.

1880: It was reported today that in Germany, “The Jewish question continues to attract much public attention.  Newspapers are debating it, pamphlets are pouring forth, tumults are taking place among the students and an occasional fracas still occurs in the streets.”

1880: It was reported from Berlin that in light of the wave anti-Semitic agitation sweeping German, a large number of “eminent Jews” are meeting to consider ways of defending themselves including the establishment of a newspaper to support their position.

1880: It was reported that an article published in the Grenzboten seeks to refute that Chancellor Bismarck is sympathetic to the anti-Semitic movement championed by Court Chaplain Stoecker.

1880: Sarah Bernhardt is scheduled to give her last two performance in New York – a matinee during which “Hermani” will be repeated followed by an evening featuring “Frou-Frou,” “La Dame aux Camelias” and “En Passant.”

1881: The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published. Sam Zell bought the Tribune Company, including the LA Times, in 2007 making him the first Jewish owner of the paper.

1881: For unknown reason, the fair sponsored by Temple Israel in Brooklyn which opened on November 30 was scheduled to be closed this evening and to reopened tomorrow.

1882: U.S. Army Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr. a West Point graduate and hero of the Civil War was promoted to the permanent rank of Lt. Colonel.  He was brevetted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the last months of the Civil War “for distinguished served in the field…” For those of you who know anything about the U.S. Army, this means the rank was “temporary” and that for official purposes he returned to the rank of Major when peace arrived. Promotion in the peace time army was much slower.  This promotion does reflect the high esteem in which Mordecai was held as will be seen when reaches the rank of full Colonel.

1882(23rd of Kislev, 5643): Twenty-three year old Mortiz Zuckerman, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, hanged himself today apparently because he had lost his job and was unemployed.

1884: Mrs. Mandelbaum, the “fence” who disappeared from New York arrived at Oelan at three o’clock this afternoon with a package of lace that she tried to sell to several local “rich people.”

1884(16th of Kislev, 5645): An unidentified 5’9” Jew approximately 48 year in age committed suicide at 7 p.m. when he shot himself while sitting on a bench near the Farragut monument.

1888: In Romania, the lower house of the legislature defeated the bill which would have granted citizenship to businessman, banker and philanthropist Jacob Noisotz.

1888: Aline Caroline, daughter of Gustave Samuel de Rothschild and Sir Edward Albert Sassoon gave birth to Sir Philip Albert Gustave David Sassoon, 3rd Baronet, the grandson of Albert Abdullah David Sassoon.

1888: In Brooklyn the weeklong fair that is a fundraiser for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum will come to an end this evening.

1889: Commissioner Hermann von Wissmann, the leading German official in East Africa met the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and took it to Bagamoyo where a banquet of welcome was held. Emin Pasha was a Silesian born Jew named Isaac Edward Schnitzer who converted to Christianity and then to Islam so that he could further his career in the Ottoman Empire.

1889: In Johannesburg, Solomon Barnato Joel and Ellen (Nellie) Ridley gave birth to Doris Irene Kathleen Joel the wife of Arthur Walter.

1889: Members of a party of fifty Jews passing through Pittsburgh on its way to Jerusalem would not comment on the possible outcome of their “pilgrimage, saying that the future depends entirely upon the laws of the country, concessions which may be secured” and the desire for future settlement.

1890(22nd of Kislev, 5651): Fifty-six year old Isaac Shapira, the husband of Beyla Shapira and the son of Joshua Shapira passed away today in Petah Tikva.

1891: The Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway line reached Deir Aban (today's Beit Shemesh) as it made its way from the seacoast to the City of David.

1892: It was reported today that the Monetary Conference at Brussels is debating the plan presented by Albert de Rothschild.

1892: It was reported today that Charles Frohman will not be producing Lady Windermere’s Fan “the play of the season last year in London and has transferred it to another production company.

1892: It was reported today that those Jews who convert to Greek Orthodoxy in compliance with the Moscow Chamber of Commerce’s requirement for them to be able to do business in the city “will still be placed on probation for three years” and required to live in village five miles from Moscow.

1892: Birthdate of Francisco Franco. Whatever his other short-comings, Franco has a surprisingly positive record when it comes to the Holocaust.  For most of the war, he did not close the border with France to escaping Jews.  He did not return Jewish refugees to the Nazis and allowed many of his foreign legations to provide letters of transit making it possible for thousands to escape Hitler’s Henchmen.

1893(25th of Kislev, 5654): Chanukah

1893: It was reported today that Hebrew will be one of the languages the Professor Hughes will be teaching at the University of New York in a class “especially designed for missionaries intending to go to Turkey.”

1893: It was reported today that the German chancellor said that “anti-Semitism was the most dangerous form of Socialism” because “while pretending to attack only Jewish capitalists, it would menace eventually all capitalists.

1893: It was reported today that in Germany, Dr. Foerster interrupted a debate on the budget “to say that Anti-Semitism is not a passing phenomenon and would endure as long as the Hebrew race.”

1894: Alderman “Silver Dollar” Smith was arrested between 2 or 3 o’clock this morning on charges that he had attacked a saloonkeeper named August J. Gloisten. During his arraignment this morning Smith said that he had been born in Germany at which time he was named Charles Finkelstone. He got his nickname of “Silver Dollar” came from the fact that 1,000 silver dollar pieces were embeeded in the floor of his saloon at Essex Street.  “Silver Dollar” Smith was Charles R. Solomon a Tammany Hall leader of the 10th District.  His saloon “was one of the sites of operation for the Eastman Gang, run by Jewish gang leader Monk Eastman…and a member of the Max Hochstim Association, also known as the Essex Market Court Gang.” Besides the silver dollars, Smith was known for hosting Passover celebrations at the saloon.

1894: In New Orleans, Leo Levi of Galveston delivered the annual oration “at today’s meeting of the American Hebrew Congregations.

1894: “Among the passengers on the steamship Spree which is due here today is the noted German anti-Semitic agitator Dr. Ahlwardt of Berlin.”

1894: “Assaulted In Open Daylight” published today described an attack by a group of boys who beat up Benjamin Rosenthal on Fifth Avenue who hollered anti-Semitic epithets as they beat him.

1895: Hermann Ahlwardt the German anti-Semitic agitator from Berline is scheduled to arrive in New York today aboard the SS Spree.

1897: Today, at Temple Israel of Harlem, Rabbi Maurice H. Harris delivered a sermon that responded to the negative sermon delivered by Dr. Savage in which he attacked the “Old Testament” in general and “the God of the Old Testament” in particular.

1897: The merit examination for the position of official Supreme Court reporter in the First Judicial District, which requires a fluency in “Hebrew jargon” is scheduled to be given today. (Hebrew jargon refers to Yiddish)

1898: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum Band is scheduled to perform a fund raiser sponsored by the Ladies Aid Society at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1899: Dr. Isaac M. Wise, President of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati praised the late Baron Hirsch as ranking “among the greatest philanthropists of the century equaled only by his wife Baroness Hirsh.  He did all the good one millionaire could possible do, or ever did do, for the poor, neglected and persecuted.”  Wise was speaking in support of plans to build a statue in New York honoring Baron Hirsch.

1899(2nd of Tevet, 5660): Eighth of Chanukah, the end of the last celebration of the holiday during the 19th century.

1899(2nd of Tevet, 5660): Seventy-three year old Leopold Ullstein the founder and publisher of several successful German newspapers, including B.Z. am Mittag and Berliner Morgenpost passed away today.  The Nazis would take over his publishing empire in 1934 and his son Hermman Ullstein would flee the country in December of 1938.

1900: Birthdate  of Waldemar Levy Cardoso, the Algerian-Moroccan Jew born in Rio de Jenerio who became a Field Marshall in the Brazilian Army.

1902(4th of Kislev, 5663): Eighty-one year old Austrian Poet Heinrich Landesmann whose “first important literary production, Abdul, the Mohammedan Faust legend, in five cantos” was completed in 1843 and who was the brother-in-law of Berthold Auberbach, passed away today at Brno.

1903: Herzl reports in his diary: "The Russian members of the A. C., particularly Usshiskin, Jacobson, etc. are in open rebellion."

1903: In New York, Rabbi M.H. Harris preached a Friday night sermon on “Zionism and East Africa.”

1903: Birthdate of New York native Aaron Siskind, the school teacher turned documentary photographer.

1905: “The New York Board of Jewish Ministers and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of the United States and Canada have set aside” today “as a day of general mourning for the Jewish victims of the massacres in Russia.”

1905: Rabbi Joseph Silverman, Rabbi F. de Sola Mendes, Rabbi M.H. Harris, Rabbi Rudolph Grossman, Oscar S. Straus and Louis Marshall are scheduled to speak tonight at the memorial service being held at Temple Emanu-El.

1905: Rabbi Samuel Greenfield, Rabbi Henry S. Morais and Albert Lucas are scheduled to speak at tonight’s memorial service at Congregation Mount Zion on East 113th Street.

1905: Rabbis Joseph M. Asher, Bernard Drachman and M.M. Kaplan are scheduled to speak at the memorial service at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on East 85th Street.

1905: The Cantors’ Association of Mount Zion Congregation and Congregation Mickveh Israel are scheduled to take part in services held to honor the Jews who have been murdered in Russia.

1905: Rabbis Phillip Klein, H. Periera Mendes, Harris Maslinasky and Isidor Herschield are scheduled to speak at the memorial service being held at Congregation Ohav Zedek on Norfolk Street.

1905: The parade organized by the Jewish Defense Association in memory of the Jews murdered in Odessa is scheduled to start at noon today with Joseph Barondess serving as Marshall.

1905: Services memorializing the Jews who have perished in the Russian Massacres are scheduled to take place this afternoon and this evening at several locations on the Lower East Side.

1905: In Camden, NJ, Rabbi Gordon of Philadelphia and William spoke at the memorial services “for the murdered Jews of Russia” being held at the Synagogue of the Sons of Israel.

1905: Because the reports of the massacres of the Jews Russia have underestimated the suffering of their co-religionists, those attending a meeting a Temple Emanu-El tonight decided to issue an appeal for an additional million dollars in aid to go along with the one million dollars already raised.

1906: Birthdate of Manchester, UK native Sir Maurice Pariser, the Solicitor, WW II veteran and Laborite member of the Manchester City who was vice president of the Institute of the Jewish Studies and Knighted in 1965.

1908: Birthdate of Alfred Hershey, an American biologist who, along with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1969. The prize was given for research done on viruses that infect bacteria. This was the famous "blender experiment" (1956).  Hershey used an isotope- labeled phage to infect a bacterial colony and begin to inject their genetic material into the host cells. Then he whirred them in a blender to tear the phage particles from the bacterial walls without rupturing the bacteria. Upon examining the bacteria, Hershey found that only phage DNA, but no detectable protein, had been inserted into them. This showed that the DNA was sufficient to transfer to the bacteria all the genetic information needed to produce more phage. He passed away in 1997.

1910: The New York Times features a review of The Life of Benjamin Disraeli: The Earl of Beaconsfield by William Money.  This is the first volume of a multi-volume work covering the years 1804 through 1837.  The book sold for three dollars.

1911: The trial of the owner’s Triangle Waist Company, Max Blanck and Issac Harris who were represented by Max Steuer on charges of First and Second Degree Manslaughter began today.

1912(24th of Kislev, 5673): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1912: Fifty-year old Archibald Gracie IV, the last survivor to leave the Titanic who spent much of his time on the cruise discussing the Civil War with Isidor Strauss passed away today.

1912: Jacob A. Cantor of New York City was a delegate to the Ninth Convention of Rivers and Harbors Congress opening today in Washington, DC.

1912: Birthdate of David Amato, second son of Abraham Amato and father of Leah Amato Franco.  A graduate of George Washington University, Amato had a successful career the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Board before accepting a position with the American diplomatic corps to help the Mexican government in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

1913: Birthdate of Mark Robson the Montreal native who began his career as an editor in Citizen Kane and went on to direct thirty-four films including two war movies with a strange twist – The Bridges at Toko-Ri and Von Ryan’s Express.

1913: Birthdate of journalist Jesse Zel Lurie who wrote for the Palestine Post and the Jerusalem Post before spending 35 years as the editor of Hadassah Magazine “turning it from an 8 page newsletter into a nationally known Jewish” publication.

1914: U.S. State Department informs American Jewish Committee that it will not expel Russian Jews who sought refuge in Turkey, but will permit them to become naturalized citizens.

1914: According to a report supplied by “Dr. Arthur Levy, a rabbi serving with the German Army,” this evening during Friday evening Sabbath services, the Russian “Governor appeared in Petrikau (Piortikow) with the police, ordered that the Scrolls of the Law be removed from the Holy Ark, and the Ark be searched for secret telephones which the Jews were charged with hiding there.”

1914: “Victim of Yellow Journalism” published today provided the views of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle of the case of Leo M. Frank of which it said “the state of public feeling being what it was he never had a chance for a fair trial.  His case was for all practical purposes tried in the newspapers anda verdict of guilty assured before the first witness was sworn.”

1914: “In Glescow, 150 Jews were arrested as spies and dragged to Warsaw” by Russian authorities.

1915: It was reported today that “a new Jewish theological seminary” which will train Orthodox rabbis, making it the first of its kind in the United States will be opening in Manhattan.

1915: Lt. Hugo Gutmann was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class today.

1915(27th of Kislev, 5676): Third Day of Chanukah; Parashat Miketz

1915(27th of Kislev, 5676): Fifty-five year old New York political leader Andrew Freedman passed away today.

1915: In Bayonne, NJ, The Bayonne Zionist is scheduled to hold a Chanukah Ball this evening at the Bayonne Opera House Hall, “the proceeds of which will be used to build up the Zionist library.

1916: It was reported today that an additional $2,500 has been raised “for further work at the Hebrew National Orphan House” on Seventh Street with an annex on St. Mark’s Place.

1916: Judge Julian W. Mack’s description of the success enjoyed by the Federation plan used by the Jewish community in Chicago for the last 17 years was published today.

1917: British forces under General Allenby “launched an assault on Turkish positions all around Jerusalem.”

1917: Birthdate of Olympic fencing champion Daniel Bukantz, the decorated WW II combat veteran who also had a successful career as a dentist and who was one the five members on the U.S. foil team at the 1956 Olympics which was made up entirely of Jews

1917: The Jewish Ministers’ Association of American which was organized in March and is led by President Aaron Yudelowitz of Boston held the opening session of its first annual convention in New York City.

1917: A total of $389, 941.50 was raised today on the “second day of the campaign to raise five million dollars for Jewish war relief and welfare work in the army and navy” meaning that in just two days, the campaign had raised $1,509,910.00.
1917: Today, while addressing “an assembly of Orthodox rabbis at the convention of the Jewish Minister’s Association of America the Young Men’s Hebrew Association Building, Nathan Strauss “condemned a resolution adopted by the rabbis in which they had expressed their gratitude to the British Government for ‘publicly declaring its sympathy with the Zionist movement and pledging itself to use it best endeavors to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine” because he feared that “any Zionist agitation at the present time would tend to stimulate antagonism against Jews in any of the enemy countries” i.e. Germany and the Ottoman Empire

1917(19th of Kislev, 5678): Seventy-one year old Rabbi Jacob David Kallen passed away in Roxbury, MA.

1918: In Atlantic City, NJ, Rhea and Alfred Ettigner, 2 immigrant Jews, gave birth to Robert Chester Wilson Ettinger, a science fiction writer and physics instructor whose idea of freezing the dead for future reanimation repelled most scientists…and persuaded at least 105 game humans to pay $28,000 each to have their bodies preserved in liquid nitrogen at his Cryonics Institute in suburban Detroit…” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1919(12th of Kislev, 5680): In Chicago, Paul Bittermann, the husband of Jessie Bitterman and the father of Pauline and Dorothy Bitterman passed away today.

1921: It was reported today that Dr. Maurice H. Harris who has been the rabbi at Temple Israel for forty years of the fifty year old congregation said that he hoped his desire to see the new building fully paid for would not be seen as a lack of humility on his part but rather as what he would consider “the crowning glory” of his four decades of service.

1922: Birthdate of Isaac Neuman, the native of Zdunska Wola, Poland who survived the Holocaust who served as the rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign, Illinois and served as “spiritual leader for the Jewish community for 40 years.

1923: Sixty one year old anti-Semitic journalist August-Maurice Barres who wrote “That Dreyfus is guilty I deduce not from the facts themselves but from his race” passed away today.

1923: Premiere of Cecil B DeMille’s original version of the "Ten Commandments." 

1923: The Eveready Hour, which starred Nathaniel Shilkret as the conductor premiered today.

1924:”Greed” a silent film directed and co-produced by Erich von Stroheim who also co-authored the script and also co-produced by Irving Thalberg was released in the United States today.

1926: Einstein sent Max Born a letter today in which he said, Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice” (This is often paraphrased as “God does not play dice)

1927: Birthdate of John McCandlish Phillips Jr, The New York Times reporter who wrote one of the most famous articles in the newspaper’s history — exposing the Orthodox Jewish background of a senior Ku Klux Klan official, Daniel Burros. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1927: In Poughkeepsie, NY, “Philip Morowitz, a newspaper and magazine distributor, and the former Anna Levine” gave birth to biophysicist Harold Joseph Morowitz. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1928, Goldman Sachs launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. a closed-end fund with characteristics similar to that of a Ponzi scheme. “The fund failed as a result of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, hurting the firm's reputation for several years afterward.

1928:  Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn's musical "Whoopee" premiered in New York.  Kahn was one of a number of Jewish lyricists who created hit songs for Broadway and Hollywood

1928: Members of "Kvuzat HaHugim" and members of "Tnuat HaMahanot HaOlim" from Haifa and Jerusalem founded Beit HaShita, the kibbutz named after the biblical town of the same name, where the Midianites fled after being beaten by Gideon.  Eleven members of this idyllic Jewish community were killed during the Yom Kippur War meaning it lost “the largest number as a percentage of the population than any other community in Israel.”

1932: “Flying Gold,” a crime film directed by Steve Sekely who moved to Hollywood to escape the rise of fascism in his native country, was released today in Hungary.

1933(15th of Kislev, 5694): Emile Meyerson passed away.  Born in 1859, Meyerson was Polish-born French chemist and philosopher of science whose concepts of rational understanding based on realism and causalism were popular among scientific theorists in the 1930s. An anti-positivist, he argued, for example in Identity and Reality (1908) that scientific knowledge attempts to reach beyond mere descriptive and predictive laws to an understanding of the nature of the reality beyond appearances. The human mind seeks the permanent behind phenomenal change, the identity within diversity as exemplified in conservation laws, such as the law of inertia and the law of conservation of energy. And yet this identity which our reason apprehends (or perhaps constructs) cannot embrace the totality of reality, for there is also change.

1935: “With the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws,” eighty-five year old historian Ernst Bernheim lost his German citizenship today.

1936: The Palestine Post reported on the daily work of the Peel Commission and included the rumor that one or two of the Commissioners were starting to feel the pressure of their continuous and arduous work.

1936: “A list of 650 legal books by Jewish authors which are to be removed from all libraries in Germany and boycotted in the future has been withdrawn” because “several authors listed as Jews were found to be members of the National Socialist party” and “many writers who are really Jewish were not included.”

1937: In Norwich, CN, Asher and Annette Libo gave birth to Kenneth Harold Libo “a historian of Jewish immigration who, as a graduate student working for Irving Howe in the 1960s and ’70s, unearthed historical documentation that informed and shaped “World of Our Fathers,” Mr. Howe’s landmark 1976 history of the East European Jewish migration to America” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1938: Ghalib Budairi, a member of a prominent Arab family was found by British troops tonight lying wounded on a street in Jaffa, the apparent victim of Arabs who, as part of their uprising, have been attacking Jews, Englishman and Arabs who are not supporting their efforts.

1938: Father Charles Coughlin gave a national radio address in which he attacked the "Jewish international banking houses." (As reported by Austin Cline)

1938: Tehilla Lichtenstein first took the pulpit as the leader of the Society of Jewish Science in New York City, giving a sermon entitled “The Power of Thought.” Her topic reflected the Society’s idea, borrowed from Christian Science, that God’s healing power lies within each individual. With this service, Lichtenstein became the spiritual leader of the Congregation of Jewish Science in New York—the first woman to serve as the spiritual leader of any American Jewish congregation. Born in Jerusalem in 1893, Lichtenstein had left doctoral work in English at Columbia University to marry Morris Lichtenstein, a Reform rabbi, in 1920. Together, the Lichtensteins established the Society of Jewish Science in 1922. The Lichtensteins hoped to create a variant of Judaism that could offer the spiritual sustenance that they believed too many Jews were finding within Christian Science. They showed that through Judaism, as through Christian Science, one could emphasize spirituality, the goodness of God, and the effectiveness of prayer. Unlike Christian Science, Jewish Science did not deny the benefits of modern medicine. Rather, it attempted to harmonize Judaism with science. They believed that their program of meditation, affirmation and visualization would reveal that in its essence, Judaism was the highest of healing sciences. During the early years of the Society, Tehilla Lichenstein ran the Society religious school where she taught Hebrew and Bible and edited its monthly journal, the Jewish Science Interpreter. When Morris Lichtenstein died in 1938, Tehilla became the spiritual leader of the Society. Illustrating her view of Judaism as a practical religion, Lichtenstein’s early sermons included the topics “Seven Rules for Happy Living” and “When is War Justified?”. Although some of Lichtenstein’s teachings drew on her own experiences as a wife and mother and focused on interpersonal relationships, she also gave sermons taking up such issues as Soviet foreign policy and anti-Semitism in post-war America. In addition to her regular sermons, Lichtenstein continued to edit the Interpreter, taught classes in Jewish Science, and trained members of the Society to become spiritual healers. In the 1950s, she hosted a weekly radio program. She continued to preach from

1939: In Washington, DC, “the creation of an army of 200,000 Jews to be recruited in the United States, Palestine and other countries was urged tonight in a series of resolutions adopted at a conference called by Dr. Samuel Harden Church president of the Carnegie Institute and chairman of the new committee for a Jewish Army.”

1940: August Marian Kowalczyk, was arrested today while trying to cross the border with Czechoslovakia so he could join the Polish Army in France and sent to Auschwitz. (He would become the last survivor of the breakout attempt from that camp in June of 1942.

1941: Nazi ordinances placed the Jews of Poland outside protection of courts

1941: Himmler issued strict instructions to Frederich Jeckeln that no mass murders of deported German Jews were to occur without his express orders: "The Jews deported into the territory of the Ostland are to be dealt with only according to the guideline given by me and the Reich Security Main Office acting on my behalf. I will punish unilateral acts and violations.

1941: Betty Warner, the daughter of movie mogul Harry Warner and Milton Sperling gave birth to their first child Susan, today.

1942(25th of Kislev, 5703): Chanukah

1942(25th of Kislev, 5703): Fifty-nine year old Austrian “librettist, lyricist and writer” Fritz Löhner-Beda was murdered in Auschwitz III Monowitz concentration camp 

1942: During the Holocaust, two Christian women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz risked their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews in Warsaw.

1942: “Thunder Rock” a movie version of the 1939 play of the same name featuring Lilli Palmer with music by Mutz Greenbaum was released today in the United Kingdom today.

1943: During World War II, in Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile. Originally there had been two resistance movements in Yugoslavia – Tito’s which was multi-ethnic and included Jewish partisans and the Chetniks, led by a Serbian named Draza Mihailovich who would become an ally of the Axis and a practitioner of ethnic cleansing.

1943: In Manhattan, the former Bernice Landau and her husband, both of whom were “Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe” gave birth to Paul Jonathan Novograd the last owner of New York’s Claremont Riding Academy.

1944: The Kasztner transport carrying 1,361 Jews left Bergen Belsen heading for the Swiss border. For more see Gaylen Ross’ “Killing Kasztner”

1945: By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations.  This was a sign that the United States would not retreat into Isolationism as it had at the end of World War I.  More importantly, by joining the UN, the United States was able to support measures that ended the British Mandate in Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

1946: Guy M. Gillette, the former U.S. Senator from Iowa who is president of the pro-Zionist American League for a Free Palestine, denied charges by Rabbi Judah Magnes that “A Flag Is Born,” a play sponsored by the league, “makes an open appeal for funds for the purchase of arms for terrorist groups in Palestine.”  Gillette insisted that all funds raised by the Ben Hecht play go the Reparation Fund chaired by Hecht, Will Rogers, Jr. and Louis Bromfield.

1948: The UN General Assembly Political and Security Committee passes a British-Canadian plan for a council commission on Palestine to negotiate a final peace settlement. The plan calls for (1) commission members to be appointed by Big Five; (2) an international Jerusalem; (3) a small UN guard to protect commission; and (4) aid to refugees. (The plan will be dead on arrival since it does not recognized the realities on the ground and the continued unwillingness of the Arabs to accept the creation of the Jewish state,)

1949: In Norwalk, CT, Barbara Freedman Berg and Dick Berg gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Andrew Scott Berg.

1950(25th of Kislev, 5711): During the first winter of the Korean War, Chanukah

1950: In Passaic, New Jersey, Morris Goldberger and Edna Kronman gave birth to architect and Vanity Fair editor Paul Goldberger.

1951: Having survived the ghetto in Kielce, Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen, seventeen year old Thomas Buergenthal “emigrated from Germany to the United States” today where he pursued a legal education which led to him serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 2000 to 2010.

1951: Aaron Copland’s “Pied Piper," premieres in New York City.

1952: “Two’s Company” a musical revue with lyrics by Sammy Cahn, directed by Jules Dassin and choreographed by Jerome Robbins did not open on Broadway as scheduled due to the illness of one of the leading stars.

1952: “Million Dollar Mermaid” a biopic directed by Mervyn LeRoy was released in the United States today by MGM.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet approved the resignation of Lt.-Gen Yigael Yadin, the second chief of General Staff, and appointed Maj.-Gen. Mordechai Makleff as his successor. Yigael Yadin was one of those amazing figures who helped to form Israel in the early days of the Jewish state.  A sabra, born in 1917, Yadin was the son of the famed Eliezer Sukenik of Dead Scrolls fame.  Just prior to, and during the War for Independence, Yadin was the acting chief of staff of the Jewish military forces.  After the war he was the first chief of staff of the IDF and created the mold for the military that is followed to this day.  After leaving the military, Yadin pursued a career in archaeology which was so successful that almost overshadowed his military successes. He passed away in 1984.

1956: A month after opening on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre, “Fanny” a musical with lyrics and music by Harold Rome and a book co-authored by S.N. Behrman transferred to the Belasco Theatre.

1967(2nd of Kislev, 5728): Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” passed away.  The famed actor changed his from Lahrheim to Lahr.  He was the last of the Jews in his family line.

1968: “Where Eagles Dare” the film version of the novel produced by Elliot Kastner and Jerry Gershwin was released today in the United Kingdom.

1970: “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” a film version of the novel by the same name produced by Arthur Cohn and Artur Brauner was released today in Italy.

1971: Birthdate of American screenwriter and producer Adam Horwoitz, creator of the “ABC fantasy series “Once Upon a Time.”

1972(28th of Kislev, 5733): Seventy-seven year old Israeli political leader Kadish Luz passed away at Degania Bet.

1974: Birthdate of Irish cricketer Jason Molins the Dublin native who is a right-handed batsman

1975(29th of Kislev, 5736): Hannah Arendt passed away.

1976: In Israel, “three young Palestinian killed themselves while building a bomb.”

1976: In New York City, novelist Fred Waitzkin, the author of Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess and his wife gave birth to chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin.

1977: Neil Simon's "Chapter Two" premiered in New York City.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Anwar Sadat and the Egyptian government were disappointed by what they regarded as an insufficiently forthcoming Israeli response to Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem. Sadat was reported to be still expecting a 'dramatic' Israeli concession at the planned Cairo meeting which he hoped would advance the success of the reconvened Geneva peace conference. Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrived in Britain for a five-day official visit 'to renew the covenant signed by the British people and the Jewish people 60 years earlier on that unforgettable Lord Balfour Day, of November 2, 1917.'

1977: After 22 performances the curtain came down on Uncommon Women and Others the first play by Wendy Wasserstein.

1978: Dianne Feinstein is named the 1st female mayor of San Francisco.

1978(4th of Kislev, 5739): Samuel Abraham Goldsmith passed away.  Born in 1902, Goldsmith was a Dutch-born U.S. physicist who, with George E. Uhlenbeck, a fellow graduate student at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, formulated (1925) the concept of electron spin. It led to recognition that spin was a property of protons, neutrons, and most elementary particles and to a fundamental change in the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. Goldsmith also made the first measurement of nuclear spin and its Zeeman Effect with Ernst Back (1926-27), developed a theory of hyperfine structure of spectral lines, made the first spectroscopic determination of nuclear magnetic moments (1931-33), contributed to the theory of complex atoms and the theory of multiple scattering of electrons, and invented the magnetic time-of-flight mass spectrometer (1948).

1983: “Baby” the David Shire musical opened on Broadway today at the Ethel Barrymore Family.

1983: The Anatomy Lesson by Philip Roth, The Price of Power by Seymour M. Hersh and The Rosenberg File by Ronald Radosh are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review to the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1985: “Les Misérables” a musical version of the French novel with lyrics and book by Alain Boublil “transferred to the West End’s Palace Theatre” today where it became “the longest-running musical in West End history.

1986: Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" premiered in New York.

1988(25th of Kislev, 5749): The First Day of Chanukah; in the evening, kindle the second light

1988: The five Soviet citizens involved in the hijacking of an Aeroflot plane to Israel were sent back to the Soviet Union today in two Soviet planes.

1988: Israel's stock market in Tel Aviv was hit by a 24-hour strike by employees today, and share trading was halted. Israeli news reports said the market was expected to reopen today. The strike was called after contract negotiations stalled over who would arbitrate a dispute about seniority benefits, the Haaretz daily said.

1990: An Israeli military court sentenced 12 Palestinian guerrillas today to 30 years in prison for a foiled seaborne raid in May that prompted Washington to sever its contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians and captured 12 in the attempted speedboat raid on beaches near Tel Aviv. The captured men were convicted last month of membership in a terrorist group, illegal possession of arms and attempted murder. The Palestine Liberation Front, a P.L.O. faction led by Abul Abbas, was behind the assault.

1993: Daniel Schorr delivered the eulogy for the late composer Frank Zappa today on NPR.

1993: Talal al-Bakri's living came from selling vegetables in Hebron. His death came from traveling past this neighboring Jewish settlement. Someone in a group of Israelis waving submachine guns here today put a bullet in his head. Five Israelis have been arrested in connection with the case.

1994: Tony Kushner’s "Angels in America-Millennium Approaches" closes after 367 performances.

1995(11th of Kislev, 5756): Seventy-seven year old Jack Rotman, who played at Boston University from 1938-1940 where he was a two-time All-New England selection passed away today.

1995: The confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin suggested today that one of the slain Prime Minister's bodyguards had been an accomplice in the shooting. The killer, Yigal Amir, asserted that if he told everything he knew, it "would turn the country upside down." Mr. Amir spoke to reporters before the start of a hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court, where he was ordered held in custody for four more days. Police officers and the presiding judge, Dan Arbel, cut Mr. Amir off, as they have several times in the past, to prevent him from using the courtroom as a platform for his opinions. Israel Radio did not even carry Mr. Amir's voice in its news roundups today, referring to his statements only as "abusive language."

1996: “Oui” a French comedy costarring Dany Boon as “Wilfried” was released today in France.

1997: "Diary of Anne Frank" opens at Music Box Theater New York City.

1997(5th of Kislev, 5758): Joseph Wolpe passed away. Born in 1915, Wolpe was a South African-born American psychotherapist who helped usher in cognitive behavioral therapy during the 1960s; he devised a treatment to help desensitize patients with phobias by exposing them to their fears incrementally. He worked on systematic desensitization with a methodology designed to treat people with extreme anxiety about specific events, situations, things, or people. His approach involved developing a hierarchy of anxiety-provoking situations, learning relaxation techniques, then associating these situations with relaxation, beginning at the bottom, or least anxiety-provoking, part of the hierarchy. He founded the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and the Journal of Behavior Therapy.

1999(25th of Kislev, 5760): Chanukah

1999: Shanghai Jews were permitted to use Ohel Rache Synagogue for Chanukah services.

2001: The United States froze the financial assets of organizations allegedly linked to Hamas, the group that claimed responsibility recent deadly suicide attacks in Israel.

2001: Today’s search of the Home Land Foundation’s offices by the government led to a lawsuit with prosecutors claiming that the Judith Miller had queried the Islamic charity in such a way that it made the members aware of the planned searches.

2002: On the morning of the second Hanukkah lighting and party President Bush met with Jewish leaders in the Roosevelt Room.

2004: After only a week on the Job, Victor Bailovsky lost his job as Science and Technology Minister when his party left the governing coalition.

2004: Avraham Poraz completed his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

2004: Eliezer Sandberg completed his term as Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ousted Avraham Poraz from his position as Interior Minister. Poraz was a member of the Shinui party.  When Shinui voted against Sharon’s budget, he removed all members of the party from his government.

2005: During his talk SPORT show today Charles Wolf described Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who had been killed by an Israeli military bulldozer, as "scum." Ofcom would later rule this comment to be in breach of the "Generally Accepted Standards" section of the Broadcasting Code and stated it was "seriously ill-judged".

2005(4th of Kislev, 5766): Eighty-eight year old “German born Israeli woodcut artist and art collector” Jacob Otto Pins passed away today.

2005: Opening session of the Conservative movement’s biennial convention in Boston, MA where leaders will be unveiling a more a liberal and aggressive outreach program.

2005: In an interview with Time Magazine, movie director Steven Spielberg said his new film "Munich," the story of Israel's revenge for the killing of its athletes by Palestinian guerrillas at the 1972 Olympics, is "a prayer for peace."  The man who brought the world “Schindler’s List” and the “Shoah Project” is very proud of the fact that "Munich" doesn't demonize either the Israeli or Palestinian side.  Spielberg says that “the biggest enemy is not the Palestinians or the Israelis. The biggest enemy in the region is intransigence."  Such an evenhanded treatment does not seem to jibe with the facts.  Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic Village, seized the Israeli Olympic team and later murdered them.

2006(13th of Kislev, 5767): Arthur Shimkin, Grammy Award winning producer of children’s records passed away at the age of 84.  In one of those cultural ironies that are part of Jewish History, Shimkin produced the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer album sung by Jimmy Durante.

2006: While appearing on his late night television show, comedian Stephen Colbert jokingly took credit for the recent nuptials of two Jewish Democratic congressmen – Brad Sherman of California and Steven Rothman of New Jersey. Sherman married Lisa Kaplan, a State Department anti-Semitism expert.  Rothman found his new wife, Jennifer Beckenstein on  Jewish love- isn’t it grand?

2006: The Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA) “launched a Russian edition of their website to further reach out to members of that community.  The HFBA was established in 1888 as a free burial society for Jews living on the Lower East Side.  As Jews moved into other communities, the association widened its service area and today it is the largest burial society outside of the state of Israel.

2006: Dennis Prager continued to defend his contention that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress should be allowed to take the oath of office using a Koran because “the act undermines American Civilization” 

2007: Michael Korda appeared at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Michael Korda has written the first major single-volume biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, exploring a great general and an important president—a man who won the war and kept the peace. Korda’s previous books include Charmed Lives: A Family Romance, Queenie, Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero and Journey to a Revolution: A Personal Memoir and History of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

2007: The Center for Jewish History presents a special screening of “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation”, Brazil's Official Selection for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

2007: The Jewish Aggies, a student group at Texas A&M, lit the largest menorah in the state of Texas.

2008: Final night of the 2008 Oud Festival sponsored by Confederation House.

2008: At the Chabad House in Iowa City a genuine Simchah – the Brit Milah of the son of Avremel & Chaya Blesofsky

2008: The Labor Party is scheduled to hold its primary which was postponed after computerized voting systems malfunctioned in several locales around the country on December 2.

2008: A Kassam rocket landed near Sderot, causing no casualties or damage.

2009: “1943, A pause during the Holocaust” a film based on Angelo Donati’s rescue of 2,500 Jews trapped in Nice was “shown for the first

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a matinee presentation of A Matter of Size (Sipur Gadol).

2009: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Friday Night Services mark the start of the Third Season of Musical Shabbat.

2009: Police arrested a man from Baka al-Gharbiya for orchestrating an extorition attempt aimed at McDonald's of Israel.

2010: Shalshelet’s 4th International Festival at Congregation Ansche Chesed, New York City.

2010: “Gruber’s Journey,” “The Debt,” “Mary Lou” and “Phovidilia” are scheduled to be shown tonight at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2010: Gabe Finn was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2010: The 12th Jerusalem Film Festival opened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque

2010: Jerry Herman was among the five 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees who were feted at tonight's gala in Washington, D.C.

2010: In “'Candlelight': 2010's Hanukkah anthem” Monica Hesse traces the rise of the Maccebeats

The field of Chanukah music was  wide “open for the harmonizing Maccabeats, whose YouTube video of "Candlelight" (jauntily sung to the tune of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite") reached nearly 1 million views in less than eight days.

How a 14-Man A Cappella Group from Yeshiva University Created the Hanukkah Anthem of 2010:

Step 1: Flip your latkes in the air (sometimes)

"The whole message of Yeshiva University is that you can be an Orthodox Jew and participate in secular society," says Immanuel Shalev, who wrote the song's lyrics. The group had already covered Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," replacing the lyrics with Hebrew scripture. When Shalev found himself listening to Cruz singing "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes" and mentally replacing them with "I flip my latkes in the air sometimes, singing ay-oh, spin the dreidel," he knew he was onto something.

Step 2: Be resourceful

Uri Westrich, a medical student and Yeshiva grad, had made a video for the Maccabeats before - a rendition of "One Day" that reached a modestly successful 100,000 hits. The group asked him if he could direct their new idea. "I said, 'Let's add a reenactment! And let's add a Hanukkah party!' " He recruited three beefy friends to play the Greeks who battled the ancient Maccabees and rustled up some greenery for the Greeks' laurel wreaths.

"We basically wanted to hit our target audience of the Orthodox Jewish community in New York," Westrich says - the people who normally hired the Maccabeats for live performances. (From the Maccabeats Web site: "Having the Maccabeats is the perfect way to energize and enhance your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sheva Brachot, or simcha of any kind.")

Step 3: Achieve local, then national, fame

After the song was uploaded, Shalev was in the library when he noticed that everyone around him seemed to be whistling the song. He went to grab a slice of pizza, and the cashier congratulated him.

The video was widely blogged online, hitting influential ones like The Maccabeats were invited on CBS's "Early Show," and the video appeared on "Today." The chief rabbi of London phoned to see about a possible video collaboration. They heard from Jay Leno's people, but that's still up in the air.

Meanwhile, "Every four minutes, I'm getting another request," says Maccabeat director and singer Julian Horowitz. "They keep asking, 'When are you going to be in Israel on tour,' or 'When are you going to be in London?" says Horowitz, pointing out that the group won't be going anywhere but to final exams. "It's like they think we're the Rolling Stones."

Step 4: Win your elders' respect

"Last night, we opened up for Matisyahu, you know, the first celebrity Orthodox reggae artist," Shalev says. The Maccabeats are all fans, so this was a huge honor.

And although the Maccabeats were supposed to be just the opening act, "It was obvious," Shalev says modestly, "that the crowd was very, very excited about us."

2011: “The Kissinger Saga: Walter and Henry Kissinger, Two Brothers From Feurth,” is among the films scheduled to shown on the second day of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2011: The Temple Sinai Sisterhood Chanukah Bazaar is scheduled to take place a New Orleans’ largest Reform congregation.

2011: Soccer player Camille Levin, a graduate of the Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, CA set up the winning goal scored by her teammate which finally led to Stanford University winning the NCAA College Cup.

2011: “A commemorative plaque to Władysław  Szpilman in Polish and English was unveiled at 223 Niepodległości Avenue in Warsaw in the presence of his wife, Halina (Grzecznarowski) Szpilman, son Andrzej and Wilm Hosenfeld's daughter Jorinde Krejci-Hosenfeld

2011: As a sign of the vibrancy of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community Diane Handler and Robert Becker are scheduled to host Temple Judah’s first annual adult congregational cocktail party.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth and the Transformation of American Sports” by Mark Ribowsky, “Balzac’s Omeltte” by Anka Mulstein (the great-great-granddaughter of James de Rothschild) and “MetaMaus” by Art Spiegelman as well as three children’s books about Chanukah: “The Golem’s Latkes” by Eric A. Kimmel, “Chanukah Lights” by Michael J. Rosen and “The Story of Hanukkah” by David Adler.

2011:  The epicenter of an earthquake felt across northern Israel today was in the Hula and Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) area, the Geophysical Institute of Israel stated

2011: Israel’s decision to release frozen public funds to the Palestinians last week came after Germany insisted it did so as a condition for the completion of the sale of a submarine, a German newspaper reported today.

2011: A commemorative plaque to pianist and Holocaust survivor Władysław Szpilman in Polish and English was unveiled at 223 Niepodległości Avenue in Warsaw in the presence of his wife, Halina (Grzecznarowski) Szpilman, son Andrzej and Wilm Hosenfeld's daughter Jorinde

2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to honor Baron David de Rothschild at its 87th Annual Benefit Dinner.

2012: Professor Jonathan Sarna is scheduled to discuss “When General Grant Expelled the Jews with Jonathan Karp, Executive Director, American Jewish Historical Society at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. (A book and an evening not to be missed)

2012: Rabbi Bruce Aft of Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to lead a discussion of “A Century Catholic-Jewish Relations” under the auspices of the JCCNV.

2012(20th of Kislev): For Chabad Chasidim “the 20th of Kislev is like the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Just as the two days of Rosh Hashanah are considered a single “long day” (יומא אריכתא ) so the 19th and 20th of Kislev are considered a single long day marking the redemption of the Alter Rebbe and a turning point in the history of Chassidut. The 19th of Kislev was the day on which the Alter Rebbe was released from prison and acquitted of the charges against him. But, what happened on the 20th of Kislev? Historically, after the Alter Rebbe was released, he was taken to S. Peterburg to the house of a wealthy local Jew. It seemed all good and well, but that house was the house of one of the greatest mitnagdim, those who opposed the Chassidic movement and were responsible for the Alter Rebbe’s incarceration in the first place. And so, the Alter Rebbe had to stay with this Jew and his family for a few hours until he left his house on the 20th of Kislev. (From the teachings of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh)

2012: “Insular and Torn, Straight From Hasidic Brooklyn” published today provides a review of ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ playing at the Westside Theatre.

2012: French police today announced that they had arrested a man and a woman in connection with the Toulouse shootings in March, in which Mohammed Merah, a French-Algerian Islamist, killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school, several days after gunning down four French paratroopers in two separate attacks.

2012: Tzipi Livni, the head of the Hatnua (The Movement) party, today lambasted the government for its handling of the fallout from the Palestinians’ successful UN status-upgrade gambit, saying that its apparently punitive decision to construct thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including in the controversial E1 corridor between the capital and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, was detrimental to Israel’s security interests.

2013: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host its annual Chanukah Party.

2013(30th of Kislev, 5774): Ninety-two year old Lila Perl, “the award-winning children’s book Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story” passed away today.

2013: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor Light Up the Night: Community Menorah Lighting at Mosaic District

2013: “The Art of Spiegelman” and “Through the Eye of a Needle,” a film about Holocuast survivor and artist Nisenthal Krinitz is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Hezbollah accused Israel of assassinating Hasan al-Laqis “a top operative” and “one of the main commanders of its rocket division.  Hezbollah did not say how it had eliminated Suunis who are upset with its involvement in the Syrian Civil War or other Moslem groups with which it is at odds.

2013: A group of more than 20 Christian leaders from Norway will be coming to the Knesset today to ask for forgiveness for the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians that began in their capital.

2013: NGO Monitor will be awarded the prestigious Begin Prize, "For the organization's efforts exposing the political agenda and ideological bias of humanitarian organizations that use the discourse of human rights to discredit Israel and to undermine its position among the nations of the world." Founded in 2002 by Professor Gerald Steinberg and the Wechsler Family Foundation, NGO Monitor is an independent research institute based in Jerusalem and the primary source of expertise on activities and funding of political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict

2013: Today Warner Bros. revealed that Israeli actress Gal Gadot was cast in the role of Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

2013: In “Degenerate Hart and the Jewish Grandmother” published today Walter Laqueur described the events that led up to the discovery of an art collection that belonged to Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, “one of four dealers commissioned by the Nazis to sell their looted art abroad…”

2014: “Three FREE masterclass conversations for everyone interested in comedy: The Joys of Podcasting with Helen Zaltzman (Answer Me This) and Stuart Goldsmith (The Comedian’s Comedian) Understanding the Industry with Steve Bennett (Chortle) and a top comedy agent Comedy Formats: TV, Theatre and Social Media with Dan Patterson (Mock The Week) are scheduled to take place at the UK Jewish Comedy Festival

2014: Today marks the 70th anniversary of 1,361 Jews of the Kasztner transport release from Bergen Belsen.

2014: The Discovery Channel is scheduled to broadcast “Biblical Mysteries Explained” which will examine “new scientific theories that support the extraordinary tale of Exodus.”

2014: “After only a two-month hiatus from politics, former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar is reportedly considering running against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Likud party leadership next month, party sources said today.”

2014: “Over 80 people were treated for respiratory problems on both sides of the Israel-Jordan border this morning, amid warnings of an ecological disaster following a major oil spill overnight that flooded the highway leading into Eilat.” (As reported by Avi Lewis)

2015(22nd of Kislev, 5776): Seventy-five year old “long-term MK Yossi Sarid” passed away today.

2015: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila is scheduled it annual “Taste of Chanukah.”

2015: In Cedar Rapids, Shir Yehuda will lead Temple Judah in a “Musical Shabbat.”

2016: Israeli-born composer and musician Eyal Vilner is scheduled to return “to Eldridge Street with his swinging sixteen-piece band which will perform Vilner’s new compositions, original versions of jazz classics and music from the Big Band’s new project “Sacred Swinging Sounds!”

2016: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses and Liberation of Joan Rivers by Leslie Bennetts, The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History by Chris Smith, Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means by Michael Krasny, The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel by Steven Fine, Moses: A Human Life by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and Jerusalem: 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holocomb

2016: “Holy Zoo” and “Forever Pure” are scheduled to be shown at the 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival.

2017: “LA folk singer Cindy Paley will perform with Issac Sadigursky on accordion, Miamon Miller on violin, Zinovy Goro on clarinet, and guest artist from Poland Menachem Mirski are scheduled to perform this evening at Valley Beth Shalom.

2017: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a lecture by historian Jeremy Adelman on “Pariahs and Prophets: How Outsiders Help Insiders Think About the Wordl.”

2017: Global Jewish singer, superstar Yaakov Shwekey is playing live for one night only in London tonight as Mizrachi UK launch their “Israel 70 programme”

2017: Rabbi David Wolpe is scheduled to present the first session of “Lessons on Lust and Love From the Bible: Torah As A Dating and Relationship Manuel” at the Streicker Center.

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as Deborah Pessin whose works included History of the Jews In America, one of the first Jewish history books I ever read, continues today.






























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