Monday, December 4, 2017

This Day, December 5, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

December 5

63 BCE: Cicero read the last of his Catiline Orations which exposed Cataline’s conspiracy to overthrow the government of Rome. There is no record of how Cataline felt about Jews, but Cicero said that Judaism was a barbarous superstition whose adherents were born to be slaves. 

220 (22nd of Kislev, 3981): On the secular calendar Rabbi Judah Hanasi or Judah the Patriarch passed away.  Born in Eretz Israel in 138 (three years after the last rebellion against Rome) Judah, as the Nasi and head of the Sanhedrin, was both the religious and political leader of the Jewish community.    His greatest claim to fame was his role as the compiler of the Mishna. The Mishna is a compilation of Oral Law which would serve as the basis for both the Babylonian Talmud and Jerusalem Talmud. The Mishnah is divided into six "orders": Zeraim - Seeds, Mo'ed - Festivals, Nashim - Women, Nezikim - Damages, Kedushim - Holy Matters, Taharot - Purity. There are a total of 63 "tractates." It was compiled in Hebrew and intended to be memorized. It served and still serves as a code for regulation of all Jewish life. Some of his more famous sayings include: “Be as punctilious in observing a light as a weighty commandment, for your do not know their relative reward.”  “Contemplate three things and you will avoid transgressions:  above you (in Heaven) is an eye that sees, an ear that hears and all your deeds are faithfully recorded.”  And the favorite of all those who teach, “I have learned much from teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from pupils.” 

663: Fourth Council of Toledo takes place. Among the other things the council adopted stringent measures that should be used against baptized Jews who had relapsed into their former faith.

1349:  During the Black Death Riots 500 Jews were massacred at Nuremberg.

1443: Birthdate of Pope Julius II, the prelate who commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel.  Julius entrusted his health to a Jewish physician named Samuel Sarfatti.  “More importantly for Jews at large, the pope’s mind-set…did not include attacking Jews.  Benevolent neglect was indeed welcome.”

1484: Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputizes Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and leads to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history. Innocent VIII seemed to have a penchant for Inquisitions since he was successfully in getting the King of Portugal to establish one aimed at the Jews and Marranos who had fled Spain.  Those caught suffered long imprisonment or death by fire.

1496: King Manuel expelled the Jews from Portugal Manuel of Portugal befriended the Jews during his first year of reign, but his desire to unite the Iberian Peninsula through marriage to the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella changed all that. Four years after the expulsion of Jews from Spain, he ordered them expelled from Portugal within 11 months.

1497: King Manuel I proclaimed an Edict which demanded the Jews convert to Catholicism or leave the country. However, fearing most Jews would leave rather than convert, the Crown closed the ports, thus halting any potential Jewish sea escape.

1590: Niccolò Sfondrati was elected Pope and as Gregory XIV followed the comparatively benevolent policies of his predecessor Sixtus V including “allowing Jews to settle in the Papal States.

1633: In Bohemia, an order was issued “to the head of the administrative of the castle of Reichenberg: “The Bassewi Jews, who have the privilege to direct their business affairs in your town without any hindrance and a copy of whose privilege is in your possession, shall be supported and protected in the best way and shall have any support that they require to ensure their freedom.” (The Bassewi Jews refers to the family or followers of the “Prague banker and merchant Jacob Bassewi” who “was the first Jew in the former Austria to achieve the status of nobility.)

1757: “In Berlin, the head rabbi delivered a patriotic sermon of thanksgiving: following the victory of “the glorious King of Prussia over the united and far superior forces of the Austrians in Silesia.”

1768(25th of Kislev, 5529): Chanukah

1776(24th of Kislev, 5537): For the first time the Chanukah candle is kindled in the newly independent United States.

1776: Phi Beta Kappa, the first and most prestigious American scholastic fraternity was founded at William & Mary College. Some of the Jewish members of the honor society include Bernard Baruch, Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, Jonas Salk, Daniel Boorstin, Betty Friedan, Henry Kissinger, Arlen Specter, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Gloria Steinman, Robert Rubin, Nadine Strossen, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Bernanke, Eliot Spitzer and Daniel Pearl.

1782: Birthdate of Martin Van Buren, eighth President of the United States.  Van Buren intervened in the so-called Damascus Affair, seeking to use the good office of the Presidency to protect the lives and well-being of a group of Syrian Jews who had been falsely accused in another round of the “blood libel.”

1792: William Moultrie began his second term as Governor of South Carolina. Moultrie may have been the first Governor to attend the consecration of a synagogue.  In 1794, he was present for the consecration of the new synagogue housing Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.

1792: Samuel Raphael married Charlotte Levy at the Great Synagogue today.

1805: Today, “was proclaimed a day of general thanksgiving for Trafalgar” during which  “All the Churches and Chapels were crowded, all distinctions of sects were done away and Christian and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, all united in the expression of one feeling of piety and gratitude to the Almighty.” “The Chief Rabbi, Solomon Hirschell, and the Haham (spiritual leader of the Sephardim), Raphael Meldola, jointly prepared “The Order of Service and Special Prayer of the Hebrew Thanksgiving”, recited in all London synagogues.  Hirschell, whose normal vehicle was Yiddish, preached a commemorative sermon at the Great Synagogue that was subsequently translated into English and printed; Meldola delivered one at the Sephardi synagogue, Bevis Marks.”

1819: Joshua Poland married Esther Isaacs at the Great Synagogue today.

1844: Birthdate of Penrose Felisher, who upon passing away in 1931 would be buried at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Philadelphia.

1832: Birthdate of Hamburg native Ernst Jacob Oppert, a German merchant who “went Hong Kong in 1851…founded a business in Shanghai…and traveled through Korea” in the 1860’s.

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

1849(20th of Kislev, 5610): Baruch ben Judah Lob Lindau the native of Hanover who gained fame as a German mathematician passed away today in Berlin.

1854: Solomon and Jane Green were married today at the Great Synagogue.

1860: Herman W. Hellman who arrived with his brother Isias in Los Angeles in 1859, today left the “forwarding and commission business of General Banning” and went to work in the “book and stationary business.”

1861: The Grand Jury of Monmouth County returned a bill of indictment charging a man named Radski with the murder of a German Jew named Sigismund Fellner.

1861: A detachment of Union troops reportedly under the command Gabriel Netter, a French born Jew who had settled in Kentucky, seized a railroad bridge at Whippoorwill, KY that was held by Confederate forces and burned it.

1868: “La Périchole an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach” was first seen outside of France when it was performed today in Brussels.

1868: Isaac Phillips and his second wife Miriam Trimble Phillips gave birth to Naphtali Taylor Phillips a lawyer he held various political offices, e.g.: he was member of the New York state legislature, served on the judiciary and other committees and as a member of the Joint Statutory Revision Commission of that body (1900); and deputy comptroller of the city of New York (from 1902). He also was a trustee of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and of the New York Historical Society. He served as treasurer of the Jewish Historical Society and has contributed several papers to its publications. For fifteen years he was clerk of Congregation Shearith Israel. In 1892 Phillips married Rosalie Solomons, daughter of Adolphus S. Solomons. Mrs. Phillips was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

1875: An interview of the three men waiting to be hung for the murder of Abraham Weissburg, a Jewish peddler, was published today.

1875: It was reported today that an English missionary named Dr. Stern appeared before the Jews of Yemen claiming “that he was the bearer of happy tidings.”  The Yemini Jews accepted him as a co-religionist until he attempted to convince them that Messiah was the founder of the Christianity at which point they told him to leave their community.  The missionary complained to the Sultan who told the Jews “Listen ye Jehuds, you are a miserable people.  You pray in your synagogues that Allah may send you the Messiah and now when the good tiding is brought to you that he has come long ago, you ridicule the report as you have ridiculed and slandered our nebbi (prophet). In punishment for your conduct you shall pay double the head tax this year.” [The nebbi refers to Mohammed] This episode an unnamed Jewish teach to proclaim that God had ordered him to gather all the Jews and lead them Jerusalem.  Large numbers of Jews across Arabia flocked to his leadership and viewed him as the Messiah promised in the TaNaCh.  At the same, Yemen was conquered by Turkey and this unnamed Messiah gave up his leadership role rather than face the Ottomans.

1875: Abram Kurtz, William Lasser, William Meyers, Abram Dietz and Aaron Dietz were among the 278 people who perished in the Brooklyn Theatre Fire.

1878: In Boston, founding of the Hebrew Women’s Sewing Society which was “affiliated with the Federation of Jewish Charities.

1880: It was reported today that the library of the late Baron James De Rothschild of Paris will soon be sold at auction.

1880: It was reported today that Trubner & Co has just published Early Hebrew Life: A Study in Sociology by John Fenton

1881: It is reported today that Russian Jews are excited by the prospect of Count Schovaloff replace General Ignatieff as Minister of the Interior given the former’s enlightened attitude towards deal with the Jewish population.

1882: It was reported today that “five soldiers of a regiment of dragoons…have been condemned to 15 years at hard labor in the mines…for taking part in riots against the Jews.”

1882: A warrant procured by Bernard Jaworower of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society for the arrest of Hahal and Abraham Bronstein, two Jewish immigrants from Russia living at Ward’s Island was given to the Harlem Police so they could take them into custody.

1832: Birthdate of German-Jewish banker Ernst Jakob Oppert, the Hamburg natie  who opened up trading opportunities in Korea and other parts of the Orient

1884: “Virchow and Herr Stoecker” published today described the electoral contest between liberal democrat Rudolf Virchow, the renowned pathologist and “the Jew baiting Court Chaplain Adolph Stoecker” in which Virchow appears to have won thanks to the support of the Socialists.

1884: Mother Mandelbaum, the noted “receiver of stolen goods” and her son Julius arrived in Montreal tonight where they are staying with a Jewish family that used to live in Brooklyn.

1884: Customers at Kaplan’s Coffee House identified the man who shot himself in the park last night as Jacob Asch a native of Posen who came to the United States 20 years ago where he went into the millinery business, married, had four children and moved to Chicago. He had come back to New York in what proved to be a futile attempt to improve his fortune; a failure that apparently led to his death.

1887: Reverend E. D. Simons of New Bloomfield, NJ, is scheduled to read a paper today entitled “Why the Jews Crucified Christ”

1889: The Hebrew Free School Association held its annual meeting today at the house of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association

1889: It was reported today that Mayor Hugh Grant will preside at the official opening of the upcoming Hebrew Educational Fair in New York City.

1890: Birthdate of movie director Fritz Lang.

1890: Plans were published today for the upcoming meeting of The Hebrew Free School Association in Manhattan.

1890: Birthdate of Anglo-Jewish Painter David Garshen Bomberg, one of the “White Chapel Boys.”

1890:  Birthdate of painter, David Bomberg.  Bomberg was born in England, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants. The Jewish Educational Aid Society enabled him to go to the Slade 1911-13, winning the Tonks Prize for a drawing of fellow student Isaac Rosenberg.  During the 1920’s he lived in Palestine where he worked for the Zionists and furthered his painting career.  He founded the London Group and at one point in his career was a cubist.  He passed away in 1957

1891: Birthdate of Al Boasberg, the native of Buffalo career who began his career doing vaudeville with Jack Benny before pursuing a career writing scripts for films, the most of which might have been the Marx Brothers, “A Night at the Opera.”

1892: Jacob Gerber arrived back in Omaha, Nebraska after having spent the last 18 months in Siberian Exile to which he had been condemned when he returned to Russia to help his family leave the Czar’s domain.

1892: The secret documents that had been presented in camera at the libel trial of Hermann Ahlwardt which showed the 520 of the 939 Loewe rifles tested required repairs were read in open court today.

1892: Pasot Hermann Ahlwardt, an avowed anti-Semite, who is “on trial for slandering Herr Loewe, the Hebrew small arms manufacturer” was elected to Germany's Reichstag.

1894: The Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home held its first annual reception in the recital chamber of the Music Hall. The League’s purpose is to aid in raising funds for the Montefiore Home.

1894: “An enthusiastic and appreciative audience” representing some “of the best elements” of Jewish society attended the fundraiser hosted by the Monte Relief Society tonight at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1894: In New Orleans, LA, today’s session of the convention of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) a group of rabbis led by Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, the President of the Hebrew Union College protested the opening speech by Leo Levi Galveston in which he asserted that “reformed Judaism” was “endangering the very edifice of the Israelite faith.”

1895: Birthdate of David-Zvi Pinkas, the native of Sopron who was active in Zionist youth groups before making Aliyah in 1925 which led him to a political career that included service in the First Knesset and as the first Minister of Transport.

1895: Hermann Ahlwardt, a member of the Reichstag who is about to commence a speaking tour in the United States said that he stands “on the grounds of racial, not religious anti-Semitism” and the he is “striving to unite the working people and the artisans against the Jews” who “achieve nothing through their own honest efforts.”

1895: Dr. S. Solis Cohen of Philadelphia is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Judaism a Living Force,” the second in a series of talks sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association followed by a performance of the Amateur Philharmonic Orchestra.

1896: Oscar Altman and Rose Wachtel became engaged according to information she later included in her breach of promise suit filed against Altman.

1897: Birthdate of Gerhard Scholem, the German born Israeli-Jewish philosopher and author who gained fame as Gershom Scholem who served as the  firs t Professor Of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew University where he pursued his ground-breaking academic study of the Kabbalah.

1896: Birthdate of Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori who was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology, in 1947, which was shared with her husband, Dr. Carl F. Cori, and Dr. B.A. Houssay of Argentina. Austrian born biochemist.

1898: “Gen. Porter and the Dreyfus Case” published today contains Henri Rocherfort’s accusation that General Horace Porter, the United States Ambassador “recently said England had financed the Dreyfus syndicate with a view of dividing and weakening France” followed by Porter’s response that “that the statement was a fabrication, pure and simple.”

1901: In Chicago, Illinois, Elias and Flora Disney, gave birth to father of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck – Walt Disney whom some have accused of being an anti-Semite despite the fact that he “donated regularly to Jewish charities and “was named 1955 Man of the Year by the B’nai B’rith Chapter in Beverly Hills.”

1902: In Miskolc, Hungary,  Kálmán Pressburger, estate manager, and his second wife, Kätherina (née Wichs gave birth to Imre József Pressburger who gained fame as movie director Emeric Pressburger who won his only Oscar in 1942,for Best Writing for the original story of The Forty-Ninth Parallel.

1903: Leopold Greenberg and Herzl hold consultations about the line of activity to be pursued in England. Herzl has the impression that the British government is withdrawing the East African offer. Greenberg is to press once more for Sinai and El-Arish.

1905: Representative Goldfogle of New York introduced a resolution in the United States House of Representatives condemning the massacre of the Jews of Russia, expressing the sorrow of the House over these killing and asking the President to intervene with the Russian government.

1905: “In Perth Amboy, NJ, “at a meeting at Temple Shaarey Tefiloh, fifteen hundred friends of the victims of the Russian massacres became so wrought up by the addresses made that they threw watches and jewelry into the contribution basket when relief funds were asked for.”

1905: It was reported today that Louis Marshall told those attending a mass memorial service for the Jewish victims of Russian violence that “how in 685 communities within the Russian pale, 25,000 human beings had been trampled into the soil on which for five centuries their ancestors had dwelt, and 100,000 unfortunates had been maimed, disfigured and disgraced.

1905: It was reported today that in addition to all of the memorial services that had been held in synagogues in New York, the actor Jacob P. Adler spoke to those attending the Grand Theatre about the plight of Russian Jews.

1905: Mr. Simon Wolfe, the Jewish communal leader, sent a letter today to the National Committee working to relieve the suffering of the Russian Jews from Carl Schurz in which the famous German born American reformer wrote, “Let me congratulate you on the word you are doing for the Jews in Russia.  Nothing in modern times has been more terrible than their situation and to save them a fight has to be carried on not only against the barbarism of the Russian government, but, what is far worse, the barbarism of the populace.”

1905: “Camden Hebrews Memorial Service” published today described the service held the Sons of Israel Synagogue at 8th and Sycamore Streets to honor the Jews who had been murdered the Odessa Pogrom.

1905: It was reported today that the Sons of Israel in Camden, NJ has raised over $700 to be sent to the Jews in Russia who have suffered from a wave of pogroms.

1905: In “Wiznitz, Austria-Hungary (present-day Vyzhnytsia, Ukraine),” “Josefa (née Fraenkel) and Markus Preminger” gave birth to producer/director Otto Preminger whose credits include “Luara” and the film adaptation of Leon Uris’ best-selling novel, Exodus.

1908: Birthdate of ”Shobha Magdolna Friedmann Nehru, a Hungarian Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, married into India’s leading political family.” (As reported by Ellen Barry)

1909: Birthdate of New York native Harold Joseph Huberman who gained fame as Harold Huber the NYU graduate and began his career on Broadway with an appearance in “A Farewell to Arms” in 1930.

1909: Many of New York City’s most prominent Jewish leaders took part in a memorial meeting this afternoon in honor of the Rabbi Joseph Mayer Asher, Professor in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and rabbi of the Orach Chaim Synagogue, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 37 on November 9. It was held under the auspices of the Jewish Community of New York City in the auditorium of the Hebrew Charities Building, at Second Avenue and Twenty-First Street.

1910: In New York City, “Russian Jewish immigrants, Henry and Rebecca (née Rosoff) Polonsky gave birth to Abraham L Polonsky, an American born writer and director, whose political views led to him being blacklisted following World War II.  After being “rehabilitated” he made one of his most famous works, “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here.”

1911(14th of Kislev, 5672): Eighty year old Leopold Seligman, seventh of the eight Seligman brothers and co-founder of the Anglo-Californian bank and “who with his brother Isaac” headed “the well-known banking firm in London of Seligman Brothers” passed away today in the English capital city.

1911: Birthdate of Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman.  He worked as pianist for Polish radio in Warsaw until 1939.  He was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto where continued playing while helping to smuggle weapons into the ghetto.  When the rest of his family was sent to Treblinka, Szpilman escaped.  Eventually he was captured by the Germans.  However, thanks to Wilm Hoseneld, a Wermacht Captain who had become disillusioned with the Nazis, Szpilman survived the war. His autobiography became the source for the script of the 2002 film entitled “The Pianist.”

1911: Russian born painter and portrait artist Valentin Alexandrovich Serov passed away. For a display of his work including his self-portrait see

1912(25th of Kislev, 5673): Chanukah

1912(25th of Kislev, 5673): Forty year old Hoboken, NJ philanthropist A.E. Solomon passed away today at Jacksonville, FL.

1912: Birthdate of travel editor Kate Simon.

1912: Today, “Rabbi Schanfarber addressed the Jews of Michigan City” today “and “urged the formation of Sabbath School.

1912: The ninth convention of the Rivers and Harbors Congress which Jacob A. Cantor is attending as a delegate from New York continued for a second day in Washington, D.C.

1912: Birthdate of Senetta Punfud, the native of Fürth, Germany who gained married Giroa Yoseftal and gained fame as Israeli political leader Senetta Yoseftal, a founder of Kibbutz Galed and Knesset Minster.

1914: “War Hits Zionism, Says Zangwill” published today provides the views of the Israel Zangwill of the war on the Jewish people.  Among other things he believed “that the present war will for some years make it impossible to have German, English, Austrian and Russian Jews meet on a common basis, that the establishment of a national home in Palestine will not solve the problems of discrimination faced by most Jews and that at this time he will work to have Lord Gray, the British Foreign Secretary, pressure the Russians to improve the conditions of Russian Jewry.

1915: “A new Jewish theological seminary which is to be called the Rabbinical College that has been established by the Yeshibath Etz Chaim and the Rabbi Isaac Elchana Seminary” for the purpose of training Orthodox rabbis located at 9 and 11 Montgomery Streets” is scheduled to be formally dedicated this morning in New York City.

1915(28th of Kislev, 5676): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1915: A hoped for 5,000 volunteers were scheduled to take part in Zion Flag Day which was supported by numerous organizations including David Wolfsohn Zion Club in Manhattan, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association in the Bronx and the Young Judean Club in Brooklyn

1915: The New York Chapter of Hadassah is scheduled to host a Chanukah celebraton this eveing at the Hotel Majestic to raise money for the Emergency Fund providing aid to the suffering Jews of Palestine which will feature “a program of Hebrew and Yiddish Songs” and “a dramatic reading by Miss Jennie Mannheimer of Cincinnati.

1915: As previously decided by the Executive Committee of the Federation of American Zionists, Flag Day is scheduled to be celebrated today.

1915: It was reported today that in Russia “it is not feasible to replace coal with timber, which is abundant in the Russian forests, because the timber trade is exclusively in the hands of the Jews and they have been decimated by the most cruel pogroms or expelled from the west and the northwest which is the great forest land of Russia. (Given a choice between anti-Semitism or winning the war, it looks like the Czar preferred the former to the latter.)

1915: “Four hundred members of New York’s police force headed by Commissioner Arthur Woods attended the annual service in memory of their departed brothers of the Jewish faith at Temple Emanu-El where they were greeted by Chaplain Blums, heard music from the police band and the temple choir and listened to an address by Rabbi Joseph Silverman on “Our Duty to the City.’”

1915: “At the opening session of the seventh annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Farmers of America held in the auditorium of the Education Alliance Building” tonight “Jacob H. Schiff predicted that after the war there will be a tide of immigration of European Jews to” the United States “because of the persecutions they are undergoing in Russia and Poland” and “plans must be made to accommodate these people in” rural areas because the cities are already overcrowded with immigrants.

1915: Among those listed today as having made contributions to the American Jewish Relief Committee to provide funds for those living in the war zones include $104 from the Fargo, North Dakota, Association of Jewish Charities, $200 from the Calgary, Canada Jewish Relief Fund, $1,000 from the Des Moines, Iowa Jewish Community and $100 from the Jewish Conference of Minneapolis, MN.

1916: Birthdate of Hilary Koprowski the Polish-born Jewish virologist and immunologist, and inventor of the world's first effective live polio vaccine. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1917: As Imperial forces battled their way to Jerusalem, the advanced guard of the 53rd (Welsh) Division also known as Mott’s Detachment moved three miles north of Hebron under the cover of darkness.

1917: At a time “when the Turks under German control are deporting Jews wholesale from Palestine,” The Frankfurter Zeitung published an account supplied by Count Ernst Graf zu Reventlow “of a secret anti-Semitic movement which is collecting funds for a violent German campaign against Jews” which is “to open directly after peace is concluded.” (Reventlow was an anti-Semite who joined the Nazis)

1917: Rabbi Joel Blau of Rochester, NY delivered an address on “Israel After War” at the meeting of the Menorah Society in which he declared that “Jewish freedom can mean only one thing: not merely freedom everywhere, but a free Israel in its own land, Palestine.”

1917: The convention of the Association of American Jewish Rabbis that has been meeting at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association adjourned today after reaffirming its previously adopted motion express thanks to the British government for the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration.

1918: Lord Curzon chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Eastern Committee at which the status of Palestine was discussed.

1919(13th of Kislev, 5680):  Clara S. Kraus, the wife of Louis Kraus and mother of Muriel Kraus passed away today in Chicago where she was a member of Temple Sholom.

1919: Mortimer L. Schiff, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Jewish Welfare Board was among the passengers on board the SS Mauretania that set sail for Great Britain today. Schiff was accompanied by George W. Perkins, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the War Work Council of the YMCA.  The trip which representative of kind of inter-religious harmony unique to the United States, was the first step in assessing how the funds collected by these two organizations could best be used to alleviate the suffering in post-war Europe.

1919: A delegation of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Mrs. Joseph Fels, Louis Robinson and Bernard Flexner set sail from New York for London where they will meeting with leaders of other Zionist organizations, including the Zionist Political Committee.

1919: The Turkish Minister of War issues a decree releasing all Jews (as well as Greeks and Armenians) from obligation in the military.

1920: “Captain Anthony de Rothschild unveiled the War Memorial in the churchyard of All Saints Church at Wing, Buckinghamshire honoring his brother” “Evelyn who died of combat injuries suffered at the Battle of Mughar Ridge”  “and his Wing comrades killed in World War I.”

1921(4th of Kislev, 5682): Eighty-nine year old Austrian feminist Ottilie Bonday, the daughter of Johanna and Dr. Aloys Isidor Jeitteles passed away in Munich.

1922: At the Conference of Lusanne, Russia pursued its goal to control the Dardanelles which has had a long running effect on the Middle East, by demanded “the closure of the straits, in peace and war, to the warships and aircraft of all nations except Turkey.

1922: In London, Major Harry Louis Nathan, 1st Baron Nathan and Eleanor Joan Clara Nathan gave birth to Captain Roger Carol Michael Nathan, 2nd Baron Nathan

1922: Birthdate of Lois Ruth Mell, who would become known as Casey Ribicoff, the wife Abraham Ribiccoff a great liberal Democrat and decent man who served as U.S. Senator from Connecticut and Secretary of HEW.

1922(15th of Kislev, 5683): Benjamin Levinsky was shot and killed this morning “by William Lipshitz while entering a Broadway loft building where he was employed as a cutter for the Levinson Brothers. He had driven to work in a taxi with Benjamin Massauer, an ex-convict who had spent the night at his home, and who had told the driver to stop the cab when two shots were heard shortly after Levinsky entered the building. As a crowd gathered in front of the building, Lipshitz ran out from the doorway and into a patrolman who had arrived at the scene. When questioned, he denied any knowledge of the shooting and claimed to have been buying a suit when the murder took place. Both Lipshitz and Massauer were taken to the Mercer Street police station where they were further questioned by police. Lipshitz maintained he had no involvement in Levinsky's murder but was caught lying when he claimed to have no criminal record. He had been using the alias William Levine but admitted to being William Lipshitz when confronted with his photo in the precinct's Rogue's Gallery. A witness also claimed to have seen he and Levinsky fighting in the doorway when the shooting occurred. Lipshitz was eventually charged with Levinsky's death while Massauer was held as a material witness until paroled in the custody of lawyer Hyman Bushel who had been hired by Levinsky's family. Although police suspected his murder had been committed by a personal enemy, Bushel later issued a statement from the family claiming that Levinsky had been murdered as the result of a murder contract by businessmen. Benjamin Levinsky, who was born in 1893, was an American gang leader, labor racketeer and organized crime figure. Spending almost twenty years in and out of reformatories and prisons, Levinsky had a lengthy criminal record prior to the start of Prohibition. He was first arrested in 1902 for incorrigibility and sent to a reformatory asylum. He was caught pickpocketing five years later and was imprisoned on a variety of charges over the next decade including petty theft, grand larceny, felonious assault and vagrancy. He became involved in labor racketeering in Manhattan's Lower East Side and, prior to the third "Labor Slugger War", Levinsky reportedly became "a thorn in the side of clothing contractors". Due to his unionizing activities, he apparently became the target of assassination by certain business interests. Other sources claim he headed a gang of gunmen and thieves which began muscling in on the territory of other "labor sluggers” particularly that of newsboy and labor racketeer William Lipshitz.”

1924: In Baltimore, MD, “the former Florence Decker, an amateur painter” and her husband Gustave gave birth “comic-book artist” Samuel Joseph Glanzman. (As reported by Richard Sandomir)

1925(18th of Kislev, 5686): Yehuda Leib Levin, oldest of the Hebrew poets in Russsia, known for more than half a century under his pen name ‘Jahalel,’” passed away today in Kiev.  Born in Minsk in 1844, Levin studied Talmud, worked as a teacher before serving as a treasurer for local flour and sugar mills. The first collection of his poetry was published in 1871 under the title Sifte Raananim.”  In 1877, “Kishron Massech” his poem “devoted to a description of the social conditions of Russian Jews” was published.  In a case of Jew meets Jew, Levin translated Disraeli’s Tancred into Hebrew.

1926: Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin," debuted.  Eisenstein was a famed Russian director whose father was a Jewish architect.  As a “child of the Russian Revolution,” Eisenstein did not profess a belief in any religion.

1928: At the opening meeting of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, Dr. S. Parkes Cadman said “that he considered himself radio minister to Jews and Gentiles as the committee in charge of the programs was not confined exclusively to Christians.”

1930: The Baltimore Jewish Times reported that Cantor Abba Yosef Weisgal’s  Adolph Coblenz was his “first rabbi in Baltimore, MD.”

1930: “The Blue Angel,” a tragi-comedy directed by Josef von Sternberg who also co-authored the script with music by Friedrich Hollaender and Franz Waxman was released in the United States today.

1931(25th of Kislev, 5692): Chanukah

1932: Birthdate of Farhat Ezekiel Nadira, a member of a prominent Baghdadi Jewish family who gained fame as Nadria, a leading Indian movie actress.

1932: “German” physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa.  Einstein was the kind of German who had to use his visa to flee to the United States where he could continue his work and, more importantly, continue to stay alive.  To history he may have been a “German” but to the Germans he was one more candidate for the Final Solution.  As those who studied Jewish History on Monday nights at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids learned, “who writes history often determines what the history is.”

1932: In New York, Jewish immigrants Bella (Rubin) and Lewis Gluchovsky, a plumber gave birth to Sheldon Glashow who developed the Electroweak Theory and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979.

1933: Edith Frank-Holländer and her daughter Margot join their father Otto in Amsterdam. Her sister Anne will leave Germany and join them in February of 1943

1933: Utah becomes the 36th State to ratify the 21st Amendment marking the end of Prohibition at the federal level in the United States.

1935: Birthdate of Auckland, New Zealand native Maxwell Harold “Max” Gimblett the American artist and the husband of Canadian born scholar Barbara Kirsheblatt-Gimblett

1935: In Kansas City, MO, Edythe and Abe Trillin gave birth to Calvin Trillin, the journalist, humorist novelist and creator of comic verse, best known for his writing about cooking and food.  A few of his famous one-liners include: “Following the Jewish tradition, a dispenser of schmaltz (liquid chicken fat) is kept on the table to give the vampires heartburn if they get through the garlic defense.” “The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”

1936: It was reported today that Dr. Wildhagen, an Aryan who “sits on the bench of the Leipzig Supreme Court” was among those whose books were banned the National Socialist Party because they erroneously identified him as being Jewish.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Sir Alfred MacMichael, governor of Tanganyika since 1934, had been appointed to replace Sir Arthur Wauchope as the High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief of Palestine and the High Commissioner for Transjordan.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that in Jerusalem Abraham Perlman, 20, was shot dead and two young girls were wounded when they strolled together towards the King David Hotel.

1937: An article published today entitled "A Trio by the Thames" described the opening of a four week season of the Habima Players in London.  By November 19, at the end of the first of the four weeks, the Palestinian troupe had displayed "the Habima Method" in a faultless performance of the Dybbuk.

1938: Following Kristallnacht, 18 year old Helmut Newton fled Germany today with the intention of going to China but ended up in Singapore where he pursued his career as a photographer :first for the Straits Times and then as a portrait photographer”

1938: Birthdate of Stepney native and “footballer” Mark Lazaurs whose career reached a high point “when he scored the final goal for QPR against West Bromwich Albion in the 1967 League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.”

1938: As the Arab uprising intensified, Abd el Bader Abu Saleh, an Arab leader was shot dead by Arab terrorists.  Snipers attacked Jewish settlements as well as military and police installations in Gaza.  Damage done to the railroad running between Lydda and Tel Aviv was repaired within hours after having been discovered.

1938: “Germany: Ad Nauseam” published today proves the world was not ignorant of the fate of German Jewry.

How 62 prosperous German Jews were forced to run a bloody gantlet at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was reported last week in the Liberal News Chronicle of London. Two long ranks of Adolf Hitler's personal Schutzstaffel formed the gantlet, down which the 62 Jews were forced to run. "As they approached between the ranks, a hail of blows fell on them," said the News Chronicle. "As they fell, the Jews were beaten further. The orgy lasted half an hour. . . . Twelve of the 62 were dead, with skulls smashed. All the others were unconscious, some with eyes out and faces flattened in. ... Police, unable to bear the cries, turned their backs." This nauseating atrocity, whether or not the honest News Chronicle was correctly informed as to exactly what happened, is undoubtedly the truth in the sense that such atrocities do occur today in many parts of Germany, especially the countryside. The case for antiSemitism, as it appears to strong-stomached Nazis, was taken last week before the bar of German public opinion. It is to be kept there for many weeks, with more than 1,500 major anti-Semitic mass meetings, scheduled throughout Germany, plus countless anti-Semitic lectures—all under the showmanship of Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels. Dr. Goebbels is sometimes described in print as a barking, brawling, screaming propaganda maniac. Actually the Minister for Propaganda & Public Enlightenment is one of the great political orators of this century. He opens suavely, is restrained most of the time, mellifluent, knows how to whip a point over with the sting of humor, a trifle crude at times—or very crude if Dr. Goebbels is radiorating to the masses. The importance in Dr. Goebbels' mind of the "educative campaign" he was starting last week caused him to summon 2,000 of his picked Nazi stooge-orators to meet him in the Kroll Opera House. "I have never made anti-Semitic propaganda in the outside world," said Orator Goebbels softly. "The dear Jews have done that for themselves. . . . Anti-Semitism is latent among all peoples. The Jews awaken it. ... All we have done is to eliminate Jews from public life in Germany. Let the English say what they will, what we do is our business! . . . After five-and-one-half years of National Socialism, the Jews still have in Germany proportionately four-and-one-half times as much wealth as the Aryans!" From this Dr. Goebbels proceeded to an economic attack on the Jewish Question. According to him, if the average German owned as much as the average German Jew still owns today, the national wealth of the Reich would be not as at present some 200 billion marks but over 900 billion marks. As though for a Liberty Loan Drive, the Ministry for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment rushed to German "educative meetings" Dr. Goebbels' brand new "educational film" prepared weeks ago—Jewry Without The Mask. This was not all, by any means. With typical German thoroughness, Dr. Goebbels forced the Jewish Theatre of Berlin, which wished to remain closed, to re-open last week and ordered a Jewish director Fritz Wisten brought directly from a concentration camp to put on a comedy, The Wind And The Rain—or else. A policeman then noted in his little book and reported back to his Nazi superiors what was also noted by the Associated Press correspondent: The bedraggled Jewish audience "occasionally applauded" this comedy which they were obliged to sit through by Dr. Goebbels so that his 2,000 orators can "truthfully" tell the German people such things as this: "There is right now a Jewish theatre going full blast in Berlin and playing comedies at which the rich Jews laugh and applaud while poor Jews are starving!" Such despotic acts of State are the most effective form of 1938 streamlined propaganda, but Orator Goebbels of course uses many first-rate German orators—as well as his 2,000 regimented speakers. First-rate Orator Dr. Robert Ley, führer of the Labor front of 20 million German workers (who have to take him as their trade union boss whether they like him or not), declared last week: "The resurgence of the German people had three stages: first, unification under a Führer; second, the bursting of the Versailles bonds; third, exposure of the Jewish enemy and the battle with him."* Dr. Ley did not forget that he was addressing, among other German workers, many more or less devout Catholics, all of whom know that Pope Pius XI has taken the strongest stand against anti-Semitism and inferentially against Naziism (TIME, Aug. 14). Attacking His Holiness directly, Labor Front Ley blasphemed: "The Pope is wrong because he recognizes only one Catholic race. But Almighty God was not so papal as the Pope. He made differences among races! There are positive and negative elements in the human race and the negative can exist only as parasites—as witness the Jews!" Herren Hitler, Goebbels, Ley et al. are the remorseless leaders and directors of the Nazi program to liquidate the Jews. But the merciless hand of 185,000 who eagerly carry out their orders to the hilt and then some are the 185,000 bullyboys of the Reich—the Schutzstaffel, the vicious elite of the Nazi storm troops. Their organ, and that of the Gestapo (secret police) is Das Schwarze Korps. This Party paper recently stated it as a fact that international Jewry had declared war on Germany. Last week Das Schwarze Korps, descended from appalling generalities to particulars. It proposed this program to destroy Germany's Jews as follows: first impoverish them; this will end in the Jews' having no other means of livelihood than to descend to criminality; "at this stage of development we should therefore face the hard necessity of exterminating the Jewish underworld in the same fashion in which ... we exterminate criminals generally—by fire and sword. "Because it is necessary, because we no longer hear the world's screeching and because, after all, no power on earth can hinder us, we will now bring the Jewish question to its totalitarian solution," declared Das Schwarze Korps. "The program is clear. "The Jews must be quartered in streets and housing blocks where they will be among themselves and come into touch with Germans as little as possible." No one of the ghettos which would be Stage 1 of the Schtitzstaffel's plan had yet been set up in Germany last week. But the laws to put Jews outside Germany's social and economic life were being promulgated daily. No German Jew may enter any non-Jewish place of entertainment or education. No Jew may conduct any commercial business or service. The professions had not been entirely closed to them. That would come later. Meantime, blustering Reich Master of the Hunt Hermann Göring withdrew all Jewish hunting licenses. *Newshawks who few weeks ago reported that Germany's famed folk song, Heinrich Heine's Lorelei, had been banned because its author was a Jew, discovered that Dr. Ley had nonetheless named his newborn daughter Lore Ley.

1939: German authorities seize Jewish property in Poland. Items that are appropriated include businesses, homes, furniture and other household goods, currency and bank accounts, art, jewelry, and other valuables. Now economically helpless, the Jews have virtually nothing with which to sustain themselves.

1940: British government official Sir John Schuckburgh wrote that "the Jews have no sense of humor and no sense of proportion."

1940: “The Thief of Bagdad” a fantasy produced by Sir Alexander Korda, with contributions by Vincent and Zotlan Korda, the other two siblings of this fascinating trio of Hungarian born Jews was released in the United States today.

1941: “Jewish Army Urged To Win Just Peace” published today described plans for a volunteer force of 200,000 Jews that would be trained in Canada and receive equipment under lend-lease  that was supported by, among others, Colon John H. Patter, the English Commander of the Jewish Legion in World War I who “had long advocated the formation of a Jewish army because he knew it would help win the war and second because he believe that that without such an army there will be no just peace, no any true democracy after the war.”

1941: The Nazis collected 7,000 Jews in the town courtyard at Nowogrodek, Poland. After a night in the court yard, the Jews were selected to the left for work, or to the right for death. Five thousand of the Jews went to the right.

1941: Two days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, “Mr. Bug Goes to Town,” the film that ended the partnership between Max and Dave Fleischer had a limited release.

1942: Four days after his 38th birthday Czech journalist Josef Taussig and his parents – Otto and Frederike, née Federer, Taussig – and “at least five of his other relatives” were shipped to Theresienstadt.

1943: The New York Times reported today that 34 of the Jews arrested by the British during their search for arms at Ramat HaKovesh were released during the last weekend in November, 1943.

1945: Birthdate of Moshe Katsav, future President of Israel.

1946: “Till The Clouds Roll By” a musical biography of Jerome Kern, produced by Arthur Freed and featuring Dinah Shore was released in the United States today by MGM.

1947: Cartoonist and Chairman of Marvel Comics Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) married Joan Clayton Boocock today.

1947: The U.S. State Department announced that no arms will be sent to the Middle East. [This American arms embargo worked to the advantage of the Arabs who had standing, well-armed militaries the best of which was the Arab Legion, the Jordanian Army supplied by the British with equipment and officers.]

1947: “The Jewish Agency announced the call-up of all men and women between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five for national service.”  This was part of the Yishuv’s response to the immediate increase in Arab violence following the vote to adopt the UN back partition plan.

1948: “An Act of Murder” based on a novel by Ernst Lothar, an Austrian Jew who escaped the Nazis and a screenplay by Michael Blankfort was released in New York City today.

1948: At its meeting in Tel Aviv, the Knesset publicly declared the Jerusalem was the capital of the new Jewish state. 

1948: First day of Operation Assaf, a campaign by the IDF to secure the western Negev by dislodging the Egyptians who had invaded the area out the outbreak of the war. The first day was a success for the IDF which captured several Egyptian positions without sustaining serious casualties.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that it was decided to proceed with the release of accounts held by Arab refugees in banks in Israel. Arab states made no such offer of releasing funds of Jewish refugees held in Arab banks in such places as Morocco or Yemen. At the UN Britain joined Canada in urging the Arab states to enter into direct peace negotiations, without any preconditions, with Israel.

1954: Birthdate of music promoter Ruth Polsky,

1956: During the Suez Crisis, Golda Meir addressed the General Assembly. In part of her speech Mrs. Meir compared Israeli treatment of Jews who had been forced to flee from Arab countries with the pitiful conditions under which Arab nations forced the refugees in Gaza to live.  “While Israel ‘fed those babies and cured their diseases, the fedayeen were sent in to throw bombs at children in synagogues and grenades in baby homes.’”

1957: “Sayonara” a film adaption of the novel produced by William Goetz, with music by Franz Waxman and co-starring Red Buttons was released in the United States today Warner Bros.

1957: New York City passed the Fair Housing Practices Law making it the first city to legislate against racial or religious discrimination in the housing market. A decade after the Holocaust, it was still legal to keep a people from buying a house because they were Jewish.

1958(23rd of Kislev, 5719): Sixty-five year old Frampol, Russia native Aaron Maiberg who served with the 39th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and “was one of the first settlers of Shechumat Borochov” and who established his home at Idofit passed away today.

1959:  “Operation Petticoat” a comedy with a script co-authored by Stanley Shapiro, co-starring Tony Curtis and music by David Rose was released today in the United States.

1960: Jewish Ministers Cantor Association of America & Canada held its 60th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden.

1962: Comedian Lenny Bruce “was arrested at the legendary Gate of Horn folk club in Chicago.

1962(8th of Kislev, 5723): Thirty-six year old author Edward Lewis Wallant, whose best-known work may have The Pawnbroker which was made into moving film starring Rod Steiger, passed away today.

1963(19th of Kislev, 5724): “New Year of The Chassidim”

1963(19th of Kislev, 5724): Eighty-five year old Herbert H. Lehman, the former governor of New York passed away today.

1963” “Charade” a film based “The Unsuspecting Wife” by the screenwriter Peter Stone, directed and produced by Stanley Donen and co-starring Walter Matthau was released today in the United States.

1965(11th of Kislev, 5726): Joseph Erlanger passed away.  Born in 1874, Erlangerborn was an American physiologist who discovered that fibers within the same nerve cord possess different functions. In 1910 he accepted the chair of physiology at Washington University in St. Louis, which he held until his retirement in 1946. While his department became one of the major research centers in physiology in America, Erlanger continued his work on cardiovascular physiology. During WW I, he carried out research on the problem of shock. In 1921 he shifted his interests to neurophysiology, and began joint work, with colleague Herbert Gasser, on the amplification and recording of nerve action potentials with the cathode ray oscilloscope, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1944. 

1967: Poet Allen Ginsberg was arrested protesting Vietnam War

1968: “Jimmy Shine,” a play with music written by Murray Schisgal and starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role opened on Broadway today at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

1969: Four mid-eastern terrorists were arrested thwarting an attack on a plane the London airport

1969: Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh and the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II passed away. During World War II, “After the fall of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in September 1943, the German Army occupied Athens, where a minority of Greek Jews had sought refuge. The majority (about 60,000 out of a total population of 75,000) were deported to Nazi concentration camps, where all but 2,000 died. During this period, Princess Andrew hid Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and two of her five children, who sought to evade the Gestapo and deportation to the death camps.[40] Rachel's husband, Haimaki Cohen, had aided King George I of Greece in 1913. In return, King George had offered him any service that he could perform, should Cohen ever need it. Cohen's son remembered this during the Nazi threat, and appealed to Princess Andrew, who with Princess Nicholas was one of only two remaining members of the royal family left in Greece. She honoured the promise and saved the Cohen family.”

1973: U.S Premiere of director Sidney Lumet’s crime classic “Serpico”  co-produced by Martin Bergman with a script co-written by Norman Wexler and filmed by cinematographer Arthur Ornitz.

1976: “Bound for Glory” a cinema adaption of the autobiography of the same name produced by Harold Leventhal, filmed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler and featuring Bernie Kopell was released in the United States today.

1977(25th of Kislev, 5738): First Chanukah during the administration of Pres. Jimmy Carter.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's warning that if Israel wanted the previous month's mutual non-aggression pledge to stand, it had better bring a softened negotiating position to the planned Arab-Israeli talks in Cairo.

1977:  In response to the Declaration of Tripoli Egypt breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen. The Declaration of Tripoli was part of an Arab attack on Sadat for his visit to Israel and his willingess to recognize the Jewish state.

1979(15th of Kislev, 5740): Sonia Delaunay, one of the foremost painters of her day and one of the last survivors of the Parisian art world before 1914 died today in Paris at the age of 94. (As reported by John Russell)

1982: Rabbi Louis Stein officiated at the marriage of Debra Michele Freedman and Andrew William Sideman at the Westbury Hotel.

1982(19th of Kislev, 5743): Eighty-year old English critic, novelist, and journalist Carly Brahms passed away.

1982: Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally and Years of Upheaval by Henry A. Kissinger 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.

1983: For the first time NBC broadcast “Choices of the Heart” starring Melissa Gilbert as a nun who was brutally murdered “by a Salvadoran death squad.”

1986(3rd of Kislev, 5747): Seventy year old Moshe Baram who first served as an MK for Mapai and who served both as Minister of Labor and Minister of Welfare, passed away today.

1984: Beverly Hills Cop an American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest, co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and featuring Paul Resier as “Jeffrey” was released in the United States today.

1989: “Mencken Was Pro-Nazi, His Diary Shows” published today described the negative views author and columnist H.L. Mencken had where it came to Jews and Blacks.

1990: Responding to growing fear over a rash of Palestinian knife attacks on Jews, the police broadened surveillance of Arab workers in Israel today with spot checks, searches and a new network of roadblocks along the West Bank.

1991: "Catskills on Broadway" a comedic celebration of a slice of Jewish culture, opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City for the first of452 performances.

1991(28th of Kislev, 5752): Eighty-four year old Sir Raphael "Roy" Welensky whose father was a Jew from Lithuania and was “the second and last prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland” passed away today

1993(21st of Kislev, 5754): David Mashrati, a reserve soldier, was shot and killed by a terrorist attempting to board a bus on route 641 at the Holon junction. The Islamic Jihad Shekaki group claimed responsibility for the attack.

1993: Shylock: A Legend and Its Legacy by John Gross is among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review to the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1994(2nd of Tevet, 5755): Jacob Kaplan, the former Grand Rabbi of France, died in his home in Paris today. He was 99 years old. Rabbi Kaplan was known both for his openness to dialogue with the Christian churches of France and for his staunch support of Zionism. He spoke out during World War II against anti-Jewish measures adopted by the collaborationist Vichy Government. Rabbi Kaplan, who was born in Paris on Nov. 7, 1895, was wounded in action during World War I and received the Croix de Guerre. He completed his rabbinical studies after the war and served as a rabbi in Mulhouse in eastern France from 1922-29 and then in Paris. He became the Grand Rabbi of Paris in 1950, and was elected Grand Rabbi of France in 1955, serving as spiritual leader of France's 700,000 Jews until his retirement in 1981.

1994(2nd of Tevet, 5755): 8th day of Chanukah

1994(2nd of Tevet, 5755): Eighty-four year old “Academy Award-winning film designer” Harry Horner the father of Oscar winning composer James Horner, scenic designer Christopher Horner and pediatric immunologist Anthony Horner, M.D., passed away today.

1997: “Dedication of the Hanns Sachs Library at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society “on the 50th anniversary of his death” which “was also the 65th anniversary of his invitation to become” the society’s “first permanent training analyst.”

1999: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 1999 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including Reading the Holocaust by Inga Clendinnen and An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton
by Richard A. Posner.

1999: ABC broadcast “Tuesdays with Morrie” the movie version of Mitch Albom’s book based on “the time he spent with Professor Morrie Schwartz of Brandies University.

2001: A suicide bomber exploded a powerful bomb shortly after 7:30 AM on King David Street in Jerusalem. A number of people waiting at a nearby bus stop were lightly injured. The terrorist was killed in the blast. Police are investigating whether the bomb, packed with nails and shrapnel, went off prematurely. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

2001: A Villager article published today about Grand Street co-ops selling briskly after going market rate noted that Harold “Heshy” Jacob “prided himself on having operated the complexes without increasing carrying charges for nine years.”

2003: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) joins Adas Israel in honoring the memory of synagogue member Arthur Welsh (z'l), an aviation pioneer who flew for the Wright Brothers. The presentation in the Kogod Chapel will feature a rendition of “the relatively unknown story of Arthur Welsh's role as an aviation pioneer, his relationship with the Wright Brothers, and his life as a member of Washington, DC's Jewish community.” Welsh is buried in the synagogue's Alabama Street cemetery in Southeast Washington. The evening’s presentation will also “include a discussion of Welsh's life as a Jewish Washingtonian as well as the milieu of early aviation. Several never-before- seen photographs and mementoes of Welsh's work from the JHSGW archives, including a small black and white photograph depicting Welsh preparing for a two-hour test of the Wright military planes on June 3, 1912, will be on display.”

Welsh became interested in aeronautics after he observed Orville Wright's flights at Ft. Myer, VA, in 1909. In 1910, Orville and Wilbur Wright accepted him into their first flying class, where he worked closely with them, first as a student and, subsequently, as a pilot and instructor at the Wright Flight School in Dayton, OH. Among the people Welsh trained were Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, who later became a five-star general and U.S. Army Air Chief of Staff during WWII. In 1912, the Wrights sent Welsh to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in College Park, MD, to serve as a civilian test pilot for a new plane for the War Department. On June 11, 1912, Welsh, accompanied by Signal Corps Lt. Leighton W. Hazelhurst, was attempting to complete final military tests of the Wright Model C airplane when the airplane buckled under its 450- pound load. Both men were killed instantly, the first-ever fatalities at College Park. The Washington Times, Jewish Forward, and various aviation publications, including Fly and Aero: America's Aviation Weekly, covered Welsh's death.

2004:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Jews of Oudtshoorn, South Africa, celebrated the 120th anniversary of their town, which was known as the "little Jerusalem of Africa."

2004: The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with commentary by Robert Alter appears on the New York Times list of "100 Notable Books" of 2004 and the Washington Post listing of the "best books of 2004."  The Cedar Rapids Gazette had previously published a review praising this volume describing at as a great gift for either Christmas or Chanukah.  Considering the text itself and the nature of the commentary this is another reminder that despite oft repeated reports of the demise of the Jewish people, Am Yisroail Chai.    

2005(4th of Kislev, 5766): Five people were killed and 50 wounded after a suicide attack at a Netanya shopping mall. The five known dead are Eliyah Rozen, 39, of Bat Hefer, Daniel Golani, 45, of Nahariya, Haim Amram, 26, of Netanya, Keinan Tzoami, 20, of Petah Tikva and Alexandra Zarnitzki, 65, of Netanya.  Islamic Jihad proudly took credit for the attack on the northern seaside town.

2005: Frits Phillips, the former head of the Dutch electronics giant Philips, who helped save the lives of hundreds of Jewish workers during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, passed away at the age of 100. During the war years, when Philips supplied electronics to Germany, he secured positions at his factory in the Vught prison camp for as many Jews as possible, delaying their deportation to the Auschwitz death camp. Frits Philips was imprisoned by the Nazis after a strike during the war. He was awarded the Yad Vashem medal by Israel in 1995 for his efforts to save Jewish workers - almost 380 prisoners survived out of 496 who started work. He said he was no hero and that many others had helped to save lives. According to the staff at Yad Vashem, "Frits Philips, in risking his life to save Jews during the Holocaust, showed extraordinary courage in the face of terrible circumstances."

2005: A London production of “Once in a Lifetime” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman opened at the Royal National Theatre.

2006: Haaretz reported on the development of new flavors and styles of sufganiyot.  The original red jam filling has been replaced by a variety of baked and deep-fried “delicacies including ones filled with Roquefort cheese, chocolate and halva cream.  (Can chocolate chip latkes be far behind?)

2006(14th of Kislev, 5767): Chess grandmaster David Bronstein passed away at the age of 82.

2007: The Maymana dance troupe produces “Adraba” for its seventh Chanukah celebration at Heichal Hatarbut in Rishon Letzion.

2007: Eli Nissman and Ashdod’s municipal cultural organization put on the children’s song festival, “Yeled Pele” (Wonder Child) as part of the Chanukah celebrations in Ashdod.

2007:  Sixty one years after he was buried at a cemetery in southeast Washington, the exhumed remains of Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Theodor Herzl will be buried on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, thus finally joining his famous grandfather in his famous resting place.

2007(25th of Kislev, 5768): First Day of Chanukah

2008: At the Ma’ariv service being reciting הכרבל רטםו לט (Dew and rain) for a blessing.  Normally this is done at Ma’ariv on December 4, but when it is leap year on the civil calendar, then the change is made on December 5.  [Editor’s Note: I have not been able to find out why this change is tied to the civil calendar instead of the Jewish calendar.]

2008: Lital Levy, assistant professor of comparative literature at Princeton presents "Israel, Interrupted: When Arabs Write Hebrew and Jews Write Arabic as part of the Friday lunch works-in-progress seminar sponsored by the Princeton University Program in Judaic Studies.

2008: Palestinian rocket fire on the western Negev continued today, with five Kassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip throughout the day. One rocket landed in Sderot, and the other four landed in open areas near the city. No casualties or damage were reported in the attacks. Also today, two mortar shells fired from the northern Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol region. No casualties or damage were reported.

2008 (8 Kislev 5769): Richard Topus, a pigeon trainer in World War II, passed away at the age of 84.

2008 (8 Kislev 5769): A. Bernard Ackerman, a founding figure in the field of dermatopathology who trained a generation of doctors to recognize skin diseases under the microscope passed away today at his home in Manhattan at the age of 72. Dr. Ackerman was also a forceful voice on a wide range of subjects, including the causes of melanoma and the ethical issues that arise when doctors testify in court. In the 1960s he developed a diagnostic method that involved viewing skin tissue at low magnification until he saw a broad pattern, which he called a silhouette. Only later would he zoom in to the cellular level to refine the diagnosis. Dr. Ackerman trained a generation of doctors to use his method on an 18-headed microscope, through which they could view slides from dozens of cases at a sitting. He was a prolific researcher, the author of more than 700 papers and more than 60 books.,“He had his detractors and he had his sycophants, but everyone recognized that he was the force in his field,” said Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, managing director of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology, which Dr. Ackerman founded in 1999. He often argued for unpopular positions. Recently he expressed strong skepticism that exposure to sunlight causes melanoma, saying the case was not proved. He also lamented what he saw as a trend toward overtreatment of benign skin conditions. “There has been a mania for taking off these moles that are of no consequence,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “We’re talking about billions and billions of dollars being spent, based on hype.” As a resident at the University of Pennsylvania hospital, Dr. Ackerman was sent to work at Holmesburg prison, where inmates were paid to endure exposure to toxic chemicals. His experience there led to a lifelong preoccupation with medical ethics. After serving as an expert witness in more than 200 trials, Dr. Ackerman had a personal brush with the law in 2000, when he reluctantly reached a $2.7 million settlement in a malpractice suit in a skin cancer death in which he said there had been fraudulent medical testimony. In 2003, he started a Web site to expose expert witnesses whom he saw as unreliable; it can now be found at He founded two professional journals, The American Journal of Dermatopathology and Dermatopathology: Practical and Conceptual, as well as the medical publisher Ardor Scribendi. With his nephew Andy Zwick in 1999, he started, an online resource for the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases. Albert Bernard Ackerman was born on Nov. 22, 1936, in Elizabeth, N.J. He earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton and his medical degree at Columbia. His medical residency was interrupted by two years of service at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. In 1969, Dr. Ackerman was hired at the University of Miami, and in 1973, he joined the faculty of New York University Medical School, where he ran the Skin and Cancer Institute. His laboratory there was one of the first to screen for early signs of Kaposi’s sarcoma, a fatal skin cancer now understood to have been closely linked to the AIDS epidemic. In 1992, he moved to Philadelphia to teach at Jefferson Medical College. He returned to New York City in 1999 to found his own institute, the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology, one of the largest training centers for the diagnosis of skin diseases in the world; it is now part of Dermpath Diagnostics, which is owned by Quest Diagnostics. Dr. Ackerman recently endowed a professorship for the study of culture and medicine at Harvard University. This year, he donated his collection of antique microscopes to Massachusetts General Hospital. Asked to describe himself in an interview with a medical journal, Dr. Ackerman used the terminology of the microscope. He said he was “dogmatic and unyielding at scanning magnification” but “reasonable and accommodating at high power” and “humane and empathic up close.”Little escaped his keen diagnostic eye. One of the last papers he published bore the title, “An Inquiry Into the Nature of the Pigmented Lesion Above Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Left Eyebrow.”

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Saturday morning traditional minyan at Temple Judah is dedicated to Jewish Book Month.

2009(18th of Kislev, 5770): Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the second Rebbe of the Bostoner Chasidim (Boston Chassidic Sect) passed away today in Israel. According to some sources the Bostoner Chasidim are the first Chassidic organization to have started in the United States as opposed to having here from Europe.

2009: Mark Eliyahu and percussionist/clarinetist Daniel Yaakov Zol will be accompanying Wieder-Magen and the TCJ when they perform at Mishkenot Sha'ananim at 9 p.m.

2009: In Washington, D.C., the 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival includes screenings of “Camera Obscura,” a film about life among a colony of 19th century Argentinean Jews and “My Mother’s Courage,” in which the renowned Hungarian Jewish playwright, director and actor George Tabori who passed away in 2007, tells the true story of what happened to his mother Elsa (Pauline Collins), 50 years earlier during the deportation of the Hungarian Jewish community.

2009: Opening of the 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival. The opening gala honors Elliott Gould with 2009 IFF Lifetime Achievement Award; Donald Krim with the 2009 IFF Visionary Award; Paul Schrader with the2009 IFF Achievement in Film Award.

2010: "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm Home for the Holidays!," is scheduled to have its final performance in Charlotte, NC.

2010: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to presents its “Chanukah Extravaganza!”

2010: After the Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United is scheduled to have its DC premier at the 21st Washington Jewish Festival. “In 2004, Bnei Sakhnin was the king of Israeli soccer as the first team from an Arab town to win the country’s Cup and represent Israel in the European competition. Owned by an Arab and coached by a Jew with Arab, Jewish and foreign-born players, the team became a symbol of coexistence and a potential bridge between Israel and its 1.4 million Arab citizens.” This is but one in a day long series of films and events that range from a Chanukah celebration to Jews and Baseball that are scheduled at this major Beltway event.

2010: The LA Times includes a review of Job by Joseph Roth, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin. “Here are the tribulations, the Angela's ashes of Mendel Singer, a God-fearing man, a poor teacher in Russia at the precipice of World War II. You can picture him like a folded crow, his black frock coat flapping as he hurries home to his suffering wife and their four children. The two oldest, who are boys, go off to war—one defects, however, to America, where he becomes wealthy and writes for his family to join him. The third, a daughter, runs off with a Cossack and ends up in an insane asylum. The fourth, Menuchim, is crippled. His mother believes what the rabbi told her, that she must never leave him. When she goes with her husband and daughter to join their son in America, leaving Menuchim wailing on the threshold, she believes her sin has destroyed them. Like the story of Job, Mendel's life is one endless test, with a twinkling possibility for miracles. His god's capriciousness beats like black wings through the novel, driving the characters, scattering their fates. Yes, there is a moral here, but not necessarily the one on the marquee in the biblical tale.”

2010: The Washington Post features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman and The Witness House: Nazis and Holocaust Survivors Sharing a Villa During the Nuremberg Trials by Christiane Kohl.

2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including They Live by Jonathan Lethem

2010: The New York Times “100 Notable Books of 2010” list includes the following works by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Ask by Sam Lipsyte, Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick,  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Great House by Nicole Krauss,  The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2010 by Edward Hirsch, The Long Song by Andrea Levy, The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine, To The End of The Land by David Grossman, Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, Finishing The Hate: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim, Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic by Michael Scammell  and The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time by  Judith Shulevitz

2010: Cuban President Raul Castro celebrated Hanukkah today with Cuba's tiny Jewish community, a heavily symbolic act at a time when his government is holding a Jewish-American subcontractor on suspicion of spying. Neither Castro nor those assembled at Havana's Shalom synagogue mentioned the name Alan Gross during the gathering, which was broadcast on the state-television newscast this evening. 

2010: Shalshelet’s 4th International Festival at Congregation Ansche Chesed, New York City came to an end today.

2010(28th of Kislev, 5771): Ninety-one year old “Heda Margolius Kovaly, a Czech writer and translator whose memoir, “Under a Cruel Star,” described her imprisonment by the Nazis during World War II and her persecution by the Communists in the 1950s and became a classic account of life under totalitarianism, died today at her home in Prague.” (As reported by William Grimes)

2010: Evelyn Selig, 64, a Laredo retailer and widow and Irving Greenblum, an 81-year-old investor and retired furniture store owner plan to enjoy a Chanukah party with 50 other co-religionists at the conservative synagogue in Laredo, Texas.

2011: Tony Kushner, the Jewish Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and polarizing political voice, is scheduled to be awarded $100,000 for “Creative Citizenship” at The Nation Institute’s Annual Gala in New York. 

2011: The Tulane University Hillel Executive Committee is scheduled to meet at the Goldie & Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life.

2011: Today “Kraft announced that Irene Rosenfeld would stay on as chairperson of the $31 billion global snacking company, which will be called Mondelēz International, Inc.”

2011: “Through the Eye of the Needle,” “The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz,” “Letters Home” and Yizkor are four of the films scheduled to be shown today the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2011: Lebanon filed a complaint in the United Nations against Israel today for its retaliation to Katyusha rockets fired into Israel late last month, Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star reported.

2011: Israel's Education Ministry issued an unusual order today forbidding any school trips to take place around the southern Israeli city of Eilat, following warnings against a possible terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border, Channel 10 reported.

2011(9th of Kislev, 5772): Muriel Kadoorie, the widow of Lawrence Kadoorie, Baron Kadoorie passed away today.

2011: Today Kraft announced that Irene Rosenfeld would stay on as chairperson of the $31 billion global snacking company, which will be called Mondelēz International, Inc. making her one of the most powerful Jewish businesswomen in the world.

2012: Dalia Itzik announced she was “taking a break from politics.”

2012: Ya’akov Erdi, a member of Kadima, announced he would not be taking part in the upcoming elections.

 2012: Professor Bob Moore of the University of Sheffield is scheduled to deliver an address entitled “Integrating Self-Help into the History of Jewish Survival in Western Europe´ at the Weiner Library.  Moore is the author of 'Survivors: Jewish Self-Help and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied Europe'.

2012: The Joint Distribution Committee is scheduled to sponsor “Una Noeche: An Inside Look At Cuba’s Jewish Community” at the Maritime Hotel in New York City.

2012: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean & Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is scheduled to introduce “It’s No Dream: The Life of Theodore Herzl” before it is shown at The Jewish Center on West 86th Street.

2012: United Nations forces based inside Syria to monitor a longtime ceasefire between Syria and Israel will bring in armor to reinforce their security because of a threat posed by an influx of Syrian rebels, the UN peacekeeping chief said.

2012: Police appealed to the public today to help in locating a missing soldier amid fears he may take his own life. Liraz Benbenishti, 20, left his base near Gedera yesterday and police said he was seen on Medinat Hayehudim Street in Herzliya later that day. However, since then he has vanished without a trace.

2012: With polls indicating “Kadima either barely getting into the Knesset nor not even passing the threshold” in the upcoming elections Marina Solodkin announced that she would not be a candidate.

2013(2nd of Tevet, 5774): 8th Day of Chanukah

2013(2nd of Tevet, 5774): Eighty-five year old General Danny Matt, the native of Cologne who made Aliyah in 1934 and fought in five wars starting with the War for Independence and climaxing with the Yom Kippur War passed away today

2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present a lecture by Dr. Peter Hayes entitled “Antisemitism and Homophobia in Nazi Germany: Commonalities and Differences”  

2013: The Holocaust Education Program & Adult Jewish Education is scheduled to host the opening reception of “Raoul Wallenberg: Modern Day Hero.”

2013: Ohad Meromi is scheduled to present his recent video Worker! Smoker! Actor! (2012), for its debut screening in NYC, followed by a conversation with curator and artist Naomi Lev at the ICI Curatorial Hub.

2013: The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller.”

2013: NPR’s Larry Abramson is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion “Discovery and Recovery: Eyewitness Accounts” that looks at the retrieval “of water-logged treasures from Baghdad’s Jewish past.”

2013: Nelson Mandela passed away today.

2013: The Houston Rockets’ Omri Casspi, the first Israeli hoopster to ever play in the NBA, relished the honor of meeting US President Barack Obama today (As reported by Spencer Ho)

2013: A wet and cold winter storm hit Israel this morning, bringing welcome rain to much of the country and raising the Sea of Galilee by one centimeter in a matter of hours.

2014: Lewis Black is scheduled to appear at the Music Box in Atlantic City, NJ.

2014(13th of Kislev, 5775): Sixty-two year old “culinary historian” Gil Marks passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2014(13th of Kislev, 5775): Ninety-six year American photographer Arthur Leipzig passed away today.

2014: The UK Jewish Comedy Festival is scheduled to host “Friday Night Supper Club” where attendees “will learn how to improve their joke-telling skills and learn gags they'll be dining out on for months to come.”

2014; Gal “Mekel signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with the New Orleans Pelicans

2014: “Starting today, when Digital Einstein is introduced, anyone with an Internet connection will be able to share in the letters, papers, postcards, notebooks and diaries that Einstein left scattered in Princeton and in other archives, attics and shoeboxes around the world when he died in 1955.”

2014: “Reports indicated today that the Labor Party headed by Isaac Herzog and the Hatnua party led by former justice minister Tzipi Livni were considering running together in the March 2015 elections.”

2014: “Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, suspected of killing four people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum in May, was remanded in custody for another three months today, judicial officials said.”

2014: Talya Lavie’s “Zero Motivation” is scheduled to be shown at the Film Forum in New York.

 2015: In Alexandria, Beth El Hebrew Congregation is scheduled to host “Songs in the Key of Light” an evening of song with Cantor Jason Kaufman, Eric Schnobrick and Leo Morris.

2015(23rd of Kislev, 5776): Shabbat Va-yayshev

2016: “A.K.A. Nadia” and “Nazareth Cinema Lady” are scheduled to be shown at the 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival.

2016: The Center for Jewish History, Forward, American Jewish Historical Society, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Jewish Book Council are scheduled to host “Have I Got a Story for You: More than a Century of Fiction from the Forward,

2016: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Jewish Voice, “an annual event with readings by prominent Jewish poets and writers.”

2016: “Atlanta Collects” which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Breman Museum by highlighting diverse pieces from Jewish collectors in and around Atlanta” is scheduled to open today.2016(5th of Kislev, 5777): Yahrtzeit of Talmudic commentator Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Edeles (MaHaRSHA) who passed away on the 5th of Kislev, 5392

2016: The Marcus Foundation, established by Bernard Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot and his wife Billi said today “it would make a $38 million donation to a new Hillel staffing initiatives – Talent Grants.”

2017: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to offer the third part of Yitzhak Lewis’ “Introduction to Gershom Scholem”

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

2017: The USCJ Convention is scheduled to come to an end today in Atlanta.































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