Wednesday, December 6, 2017

This Day, December 7, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


43 BCE: The famous orator Marcus Tullius Cicero died.  Cicero was a Patrician, member of the Senate and opponent of Julius Caesar.  Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Anthony and Octavian executed those whom they viewed as enemies of the state.  Cicero fell into that category.  Based on his public utterances, Cicero had no use for the Jews. "The Jews belong to a dark and repulsive force. One knows how numerous this clique is, how they stick together and what power they exercise through their unions. They are a nation of rascals and deceivers."  While serving as defense counsel at the trial of Flaccus, a Roman pro-consul accused of diverting one hundred pounds of gold bound for the Temple in Jerusalem, Cicero described the Jews as a people born to slavery who had become far too intrusive in the affairs of Rome. Was Cicero an anti-Semite?  Or was he merely a member of the old order who resented the changes in society (sort of a Roman version of Henry Adams or Gore Vidal); a person who demonized Jews because they were different?  Regardless of the cause, the statements speak for themselves.  1158: Abraham Ibn Ezra, under the influence of an inspiration or vision he had on that Shabbat day, decided to defend the traditional reckoning of the Jewish holidays and Sabbaths against the trend to begin them only at day break rather than the previous night. Immediately after the Sabbath he began to write his Iggeret Shabbat ("Shabbat Letter") in which he used both religious and astronomical sources to defend his position. He wrote it while visiting England, making it one of the few Hebrew works composed there prior to the expulsion of the Jews in 1290.

1237(Kislev, 4998): Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon the son of Maimonides aka the Rambam who followed his father as the leader of the Egyptian Jewish community passed away.

1254: Pope Innocent IV passed away. During his papacy, Innocent “denounced the Blood Libels as unfounded.”  In 1247, Innocent agreed to grant a request from the Jews by issuing a declaration stating “that the Talmud was an absolute necessity for the Jews, if Judaism were to continue to exist as a separate religion, and that the burnings of the Talmud were to cease.” These actions certainly make him stand out from many of those who served as the Vicar of Christ in Rome.

1383: Wenceslaus IV who as Emperor failed to continue the Imperial protection of the Jews of Luxembourg led to their expulsion in 1391 began his reign as Duke of Luxembourg today.

1626: In Stockholm, Gustavus Adolphus and Mary Eleanora of Brandenburg gave birth to Christian Augusta the philo-semitic Queen of Sweden.

1279(O.S.): King Boleslaus V of Poland passed away.  In 1264, Boleslaus V issued a charter that allowed for Jewish residence and protection, hoping that Jewish settlement would contribute to the development of the Polish economy. This charter was similar to one that had been granted to the Jews of Austria in 1244.  While Jews were not granted the same degree of protection as other citizens and while Jews were excluded from privileges afforded Christian merchants and burghers, the charter did  include recognition of legal testimony of Jews, fines for harming Jews or Jewish property, prohibition of blood libels, and equal commercial rights.  Even though the charter was not always followed, it marked a major improvement over conditions that Jews were living under in other parts of Europe and helped encourage a major eastward migration of the Children of Israel.

1742: Talmudist Judah Lob Mokiach, the son of Mordecai Mokiah the father of “David Berlin (Mokiach) and Isaiah Berlin (Mokiach), known also as Isaiah Pick” passed away today in Pressburg.

1701(6th of Kislev, 5462): Joshua de Fonseca, a physician in Hamburg and the son of Hakam Abraham de Fonseca passed away today.

1776(26th of Kislev, 5637): As Jews observe Shabbat and prepare to kindle candles for the third night of Chanukah, Washington’s Army successfully finishes crossing to the south bank of the Delaware River, thus escaping destruction by the British who chased the revolutionary army from New York down the entire state of New Jersey.

1787: Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  Delaware abolished religious tests for public office in 1792.  For more about the history of the Jews of the “first state” see

1793(4th of Tevet, 5554): Herz Cerfbeer of Medelsheim the military contractor and philanthropist passed away today at Strasbourg.  Born Naphtali Ben Dov-Beer at Alsace in 1730, he was granted citizenship rights by Louis XVI in 1775. A spokesperson and supporter of the Jewish community he published rare Hebrew books including Lechem Setarim by Solomon Nissim Algazi the 17th century Talmudist who served as a rabbi by Smyrna and Jerusalem.

1795(25th of Kislev, 5556): Chanukah

1796: Elias Jacobs married Elizabeth Lazarus at the Great Synagogue today.

1802: Birthdate of German poet and editor Lesser Ludwig who wrote, “One thing to Life you owe: Struggle, or seek for rest. If you're an anvil, bear the blow; If a hammer, strike your best” and who was supporter of the Reform movement.

1815 Birthdate of Louis Bernheim the husband of Emma Simon and father of German historian Ernst Bernheim and father-in-law of Amalie ("Emma") Henriette Jessen.

1819: Today’s “report of the Privy Council of relates that Joseph L. Friedländer came to Bautzen in March 1813 and in the year 1819 had already left his birthplace Mühlendorf in Hungary 46 years earlier.  Concerning his family, it further relates that his “child is weak and not more than 2½ years old,” and his wife is pregnant.  The Bautzen city administration found a place for the Jewish family to reside because it had work for Friedländer in translation service for 1813-1816.”

1822(23rd of Kislev, 5583): Rabbi Yosef ben Moshe Mammon, the native of Morocco who taught at the Yeshiva in Safed before settling in Burkhara in 1793 because the people needed strong Jewish leadership, passed away today.  Among his descendants is the Dorit Moussaieff, the First Lady of Iceland.

1822: In Breslau, Amalie Kempner and Salomon Silberstein gave birth to Emma Silberstein, the future wife of Louise Loewe and the father of James Loewe.

1823: In Liegnitz, Silesia, Isidor and Johanna (née Prausnitzer) Kronecker gave birth to German mathematician Leopold Kronecker

1830: Birthdate of Judah Leib (Ben Asher) Gordon, the native of Vilnius also known as Leon Gordon, who became a leading Hebrew poet of the 19th century.

1833: Birthdate of Louis-Norbert Carrière the anti-Dreyfusard “government commissioner who successfully pled at Rennes for Dreyfus’s second conviction even if it meant misrepresenting evidence.

1841: Michael Solomon Alexander, a convert from Judaism was ordained as Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem at Lambeth Place.  He would arrive in Jerusalem in the first month of the following year

1842: The New York Philharmonic gave its first performance.  Numerous Jewish musicians and conductors have been involved with the Philharmonic in its 163 year history.  One of the most famous Jews connected with the Philharmonic was not a musician.  In 1909, Minnie Utermyer, wife of prominent businessman and lawyer Samuel Untermey led a group of philanthropist in guaranteeing the future financial solvency of this great American musical institution.

1844: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (a Singspiel in three acts by German-Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was first performed today at the Hofoper, in Berlin.

1847: Birthdate of Solomon Schechter.  “Solomon Schechter was born in Rumania in to a Chabad Chassidic family. His Chassidic upbringing did not satisfy him, however, and, in 1879 he went to study at the Berlin Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums and at the University of Berlin. In 1882 Schechter was invited to be a tutor in Rabbinics in London. He quickly rose to prominence as a rabbinic scholar and spokesman for Jewish traditionalism. In 1890 he was appointed lecturer in Talmudics and in 1892 reader in Rabbinics at Cambridge University. In 1899 he also became professor of Hebrew at University College, London. He gained international fame as a scholar when he discovered and brought back to London more than 100,000 pages of rare manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza. Beyond sorting and filing the documents, Schechter wrote on the newly-found Ben Sirach materials, unknown until then. Schechter accepted the invitation to become president of the Jewish Theological Seminary and succeeded in attracting an outstanding group of scholars to teach. The Jewish Theological Seminary became a recognized center of Jewish learning. In 1913 Solomon Schechter was instrumental in founding the United Synagogue of America, the umbrella organization of all Conservative congregations. Though a staunch traditionalist, Schechter admitted that there could be change in modern Judaism. However, he felt that changes should not be introduced arbitrarily or deliberately. Rather, ‘the norm as well as the sanction of Judaism is the practice actually in vogue. Its consecration is the consecration of general use—or, in other words, of Catholic Israel.’ Although it may be apocryphal, my favorite quote from Solomon Schechter is, ‘Gentlemen, in order to be a success in the American rabbinate, you must be able to talk baseball.’"

1849: In Freudental, Germany, Simon and Babette Horkheimer gave birth to Morris Horkheimer, the husband of Cecilia Horkheimer with whom he had four children.

1852: Reverend Edward Robinson, DD read a lengthy paper based on his recent visit to the Holy Land at the regular monthly meeting of the New York Historical Society. After Reverend Robinson finished his presentation Dr. Adams said that to some such a detailed report of such a distant place “was not the most appropriate for the New York State Historical Society.  But on reflection every man should feel that Palestine was not a strange land to us. It was our home, ‘Jerusalem is the mother of us all.’ …They therefore felt thankful to the Doctor for his laborious research.”  [This is an early manifestation of philo-Semitism that would be beneficial to the Zionist movement.]

1857: The first session of the 35th United States Congress in which Philadelphian Henry Myer Phillips served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives opened today in Washington, DC.

1859: Lewis Emanuel married Mary Sampson at the Great Synagogue today.

1860: A column published today entitled “The Commercial Relations Between the North and South,” reviews the impact that Southern Secession would have on the business operations in what has been the United States of America using the ability of Jews and Christians to engage in commercial activities as its template:

“How, then, is New-York to lose its Southern trade? If at all, from political considerations alone; South Carolina says, "I do not like your political sentiments, and will have nothing to do with you." She is not as tolerant as the Jew who would buy and sell with the Christian, but not eat or drink with him. But will, or can she deliberately persist in any course in violation of her own interest? No! The thing is impossible. It has not an example in all history. If there be a law unerring in its action, and firmly engraved upon the popular mind, it is that "men will sell in the dearest market and buy in the cheapest," and will always take the shortest and most convenient method to accomplish their ends. South Carolina can no more stay away from us than matter can refuse to obey the laws of gravity, which is not a whit stronger in its way than is the law of self-interest with the individual.”

1871(24th of Kislev, 5632): Light the first Chanukah candle.

1871(24th of Kislev, 5632): Seventy-three year old Orthodox German rabbi Jacob Ettlinger passed away today at Altona, Prussia.

1873: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Rebecca and William Jacob Mack gave birth to Millard William Mack, the husband of Lydia Mack and father of William Jacob Mack – all part of the Cincinnati Mack dynasty.

1873: Birthdate of Olga Lehmann who was transported from Berlin to Terezin in 1942 and from Terezin to Auschwitz in 1944.

1875: Today’s session of the Hebrew Charity Fair raised over $12,000 for the Mount Sinai Hospital.

1875: “The Society for Providing a Home for Aged, Infirm and Destitute Israelites in the city of Albany, NY” which meets on the second Sunday of each month, was incorporated today

1875: It was reported today that the bodies of Abram and Aaron Dietz, William Meyers, Abram Kurtz and William Laser who died in the Brooklyn Theatre Fire which claimed the lives of 278 people were taken from the City Morgue by representatives of the Brooklyn Young Men’s Hebrew Benevolent Society and taken to Temple Israel.  The bodies were so badly charred that identification of the victims has been so slow and difficult

1878: In Brooklyn, Harris Alexander and his wife gave birth to David Alexander the graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College who served as the rabbi of Temple Israel in Paducah, Kentucky.

1879: Based on information that originally appeared in an article entitled the “History of Money” by famed numismatist Sir John Lubbock, it was reported today that the ancient shekel is one of the most popular coins among collectors possibly because of its Biblical connection.  However, it is the most frequently counterfeited ancient coin and “of so-called shekels found among collectors, over three-fourths of them are forgeries.

1879: “The Prussian Press and Bismarck” published today describes the government’s control of the content of newspapers in Germany which is under the direction of a Privy Councilor named Hahn, who is a convert from Judaism. (This will not be the last time that the Jews are accused of controlling the media in Germany or elsewhere)

1879: President Abraham Oettinger chaired the 15th annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association. The association operates 5 schools and is planning to open a sixth.  The school employs twenty teachers, five of whom are women. The association serves 1,129 students. All of the students must attend public school during the day since the association’s schools are intended to supplement and not supplant public education offerings.  Two of the association’s schools conduct Saturday morning services which draw approximately 600 worshippers.

1879: The formal incorporation of Or Chaim takes place in New York City with the adoption of its constitution and by-laws at its first meeting attended by two of its first members, Sigmund Arnstein and Marcus J. Cohen.

1880: “Modern Persecution of the Jews” published today described the outbreak of anti-Semitism sweeping across Germany.  It is based on the premise that a million and half Jews are trying to control the lives of forty million Germans. German nationalist hate Jews because they do not engage in manual labor while the Socialists hate them because they are all millionaires.  The outbreak of anti-Semitism coincided with the economic downturn that came after the bubble created the victory over France came to an end.

1880: It was reported today that German Jews do not serve in the army because they are prevented from rising above the rank of 2nd lieutenant.

1880(5th of Tevet, 5641): Seventy-nine year old Lob Oppenheimer, the husband of Bina Oppenheimer and the son of Rachel and Abraham Oppenheimer passed away today.

1880: It was reported that German Jews do not serve in the German navy or the merchant marine because they have no hope of ever serving as captain of a vessel.  This based on “an old German superstition that a Jewish Captain would sink his vessel.”

1881: A four-act version of “The Tales of Hoffmann an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach with recitatives was staged at the Ringtheater today”  

1881: It was reported today when Chester A. Arthur sent his Presidential message to Congress he took note of the fact that the Senate resolutions expressing condolence at the time of the assassination of Czar Alexander II had been sent to the Russian government which he hoped would improve the treatment of American Jews visiting that empire.  The Russians, Arthur wrote, had a tendency to treat American Jews in the same manner they did Jews living under the Czar

1882: During the Tiszaeszlár Affair, a Hungarian blood libel, the body found in Tisza was exhumed and reexamined by three professors of medicine from the University of Budapest.  They would conclude that the original autopsy “had no scientific basis” and showed “grows ignorance” on the part of the examiners.

1882: Marianne Trenel and Rabbi Simon Debré gave birth to French pediatrician Robert Debré

1884: According to reports published today L’Académie française has admitted its first Jewish member, Ludovic Halévy who has agreed to focus only on writing novels from now on.

1884: The list of Holiday Books published today included Our Young Folks Josephus: The Antiquities of the Jews and Jewish Wars simplified by William Shepard which is a simplification of the works of Josephus with illustrations by Dore.

1885: In an attempt to thwart the efforts of the members of St. Bernard’s Church to stop construction of a side track on Van Rensselaer Street on Sundays, the attorney for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company says he will hire eight Jews “to test the question  whether a Jews breaks the Sabbath by working on Sunday.”

1886: According to reports published today, a society has been formed at Minden, Germany to promote marriages “between Christians and Jews.

1887: A Polish Jewish immigrant named Burkmann was pulled from the water when he attempted to kill himself by jumping off the pier at Castle Garden.

1887: Birthdate of Austrian composer Ernst Toch whose works ranged from the classical to the Hollywood musical scores, the most famous of which was for the 1937 classic Heidi.

1888: In a case of Jew versus Jew, 19 year old Ernestine Nolfen sued Noach Soenfeld in Minneapolis, MN for “breach of promise.”

1888: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs was reported today to have been among the clergymen who met with Mayor Hewitt today to discuss plans for the celebration of the Centenary of the Inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States which is scheduled to take place on April 30, 1889.

1888: It was reported today that Rabbi Wolf Berger of Anshe Chesed has sued the brothers of the late Mr. Kingsburgh who owned a stationary and tobacco store near the local post office for twenty five dollars.  Berger claims he is owed the money for teaching the decedent’s sons the appropriate prayers for mourning their father and for composing the inscription on his tombstone.

1890(25th of Kislev, 5651): Chanukah

1890: M.S. Isaacs presided over the annual meeting of The Hebrew Free School Association, an organization dedicated to “Americanizing” Jewish immigrants.

1890: “Baron Hirsch To Send Jews To The Argentine Republic” published today described plans that Baron Hirsch has for settling some of the half million Jews expelled by Russia in the South American country; a plan for which he is ready to spend twenty million dollars and which has the support Argentine President Carlos Pellegrini who has a Jewish brother-in-law.

1890: It was reported today that Dr. George Allan Heron’s “”newly- published work on the communicability of consumption dwells on the well-ascertained  immunity from tuberculosis of carefully-conforming Jews whose meat is inspected in a manner which would require the rejection of an entire carcass if any speck of tubercle were discovered.” (In other words he is making a positive connection between the observance of Kashrut and immunity from Tuberculosis.  At the same time, opponents of immigration in the United States demonized Jews as carriers of TB.)

1891: In New York, seven Russian Jews – Hirsch Bachletsky, Susman Wilkisky, Elias Chyot, Benjamin Soldofsky, Adolph Baum, Solomon White and Jacob Schwartz – “appeared before the British Consulate on State Street and made formal charges against a foreman of the cattlemen employed on the steamship France after having tried to report their theft and abuse to the local police and the United States Commissioner.

1892: Birthdate of Max Michaelis Ehhrlich, the multitalented Berlin born entertainer who would be murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in 1944.

1892: As a result of a campaign led by Joseph Barondess Governor Fowler pardoned cloakmaker Frank Rheingold who had been convicted of 2nd degree burglary as a result of actions taken during the cloakmaker’s strike at Benjamin & Caspary.

1892: In Washington, DC, the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations came to an end with a report by the financial committee that the Union has raised $26,539 with $22,804 going to support the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1892: During Hermann Ahlwardt’s trial for slandering a Jewish arms manufacturer the presiding Judge fined self-professed anti-Semite’s counsel 100 marks when he attempted to resign following rulings from the bench that he did not liked

1892: In describing the changing population mix in New York, Reverend William T Elsing was quoted today as saying that the east side below Houston Street has become “a great Hebrew center.”

1892: Eighty-four year old Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, whose work provide one of the “earliest surviving records of the lands of the east Mediterranean including Palestine and Jerusalem passed away today.

 1894: Silver Dollar Smith, the Jewish Tammany politician and saloon keeper is scheduled to appear in court today where he must answer charges that he assaulted August J. Gloistein, the operator of another nearby saloon.

1894: Max Lissauer explained that the Jewish members of the Committee had not attended the reception at the Union Club for Mayor-elect William Strong, even though they had “worked as hard as they could for his election” because they did not feel comfortable at the Union Club which refused membership to a co-religionist, Theodore Seligman who had been blackballed because he was Jewish.

1895: Birthdate of Peretz Davidovich Markish, the Russian poet whose language of choice was Yiddish whose wife Esther and his sons, literary scholar Shimon Markish and prose writer David Markish sought to redeem his reputation after he was murdered in the Stalin purge “Night of the Murdered Poets.”

1895: Financier Henry Clews who organized the “Committee of 70” was quoted today as saying that “the best thing that” German anti-Semite Hermann “Ahlwardt can do is to go home.”  “The Jews as a class are good citizens.  They respect the laws and benefit business and society.” Ahlwardt, “may as well understand that he is a most unwelcome visitor.”

1898: In Chicago the fair and bazaar sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association which is raising funds for Michael Reese Hospital and the United Hebrew Charities is scheduled to come to an end.

1899: Vanity Fair magazine published a picture of Bohemian born Jewish journalist Henri Blowitz.

1899: As a result of his participation in today’s Battle of Anguillan, Dr. Joseph M. Heller who served as surgeon with the 24th U.S. Infantry during the Philippine Insurrection received a Silver Star Citation

1903: The first New York Company of the Boy’s is scheduled to meet today for the first time at rooms provided by B’nei Zion under the leadership of Drill Instructor Lebensohn

1905: In a letter to the editor published today, Lucien Wolf replied “to the allegation that the massacre at Odessa originated with the provocative attitude of the Jews and that had they not been armed and organized the efforts of the reactionaries and local authorities to stir up the populace against them would have failed.”

1905(9th of Kislev, 5666): Eighty-two year old Julius Freiberg, the husband of Duffie Frieberg and father of UAHC president Julius Walter Freiberg, passed away today in Cincinnati.

1905: Birthdate of Leonard Goldstein who would become President of the American Broadcasting Companies in 1968.

1905: According to reports received today in Vienna at least 8,000 people of have been killed in Odessa since the attacks on the Jews began in that Russian city.

1907: In Chicago, Leon Oboler and Clara Oboler, Jewish immigrants from Riga, Latvia, gave birth to Arch Oboler an American actor, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, and director who was active in radio, films, theater, and television.

1907: Birthdate of Frija Zoaretz, the native of Lybia who made Aliyah in 1949 and served “as a member of the Knesset for the National Religious Party between 1955 and 1969.

1907: Birthdate of Fred Rose.  Born Fred Rosenberg in Lithuania, Rose moved to Canada where he gained fame as a labor organizer and Canadian communist politician.

1907: The Trustees, Faculty, and students of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America gave a "surprise party" to Dr. Solomon Schechter, the President of that institution, in celebration of his sixtieth birthday. Dr. Schechter has only been in this country five years, having been summoned by the Trustees of the seminary from his position as Reader in the Rabbinic in Cambridge University, England, and Professor of Hebrew in the University of London.

1910(6th of Kislev, 5671): Fifty-five year old Rabbi Hirsch Hildesheimer, the son of Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer and Henriette (Jettchen) Hildeshiemer and the husband of Rosa Therese Hildesheimer passed away in Berlin

1910: Birthdate of Richard Franko Goldman conductor, educator, author, music critic, and composer who was the son of Edwin Franko Godman.  The son followed the father as conductor of the Goldman Band of New York City.

1911(16th of Kislev, 5672): Seventy-eight year old Sir George Lewis passed away.

1911: Cambridge University conferred an honorary LL.D. degree on Lord Rothschild.

1911: Arthur M. Myers were re-elected to serve as a “member for Auckland City, East New Zealand.”

1912: It was reported today that Adolf Kraus, President of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith has received an urgent appeal by cable from the President of the Grand Lodge in Turkey requesting speedy financial assistance to aid Jewish sufferers from war and cholera” as well as a similar appeal from the President of the Grand Lodge of Romania on behalf of the Jews of Bulgaria.

1912: Rabbi Tobias Schanfarber is scheduled to speak to the “children of the Sabbath School at the Hebrew Institute this afternoon.

1914: The Federation of Oriental Jews organized the Oriental Jewish Community of New York. They plan to establish and maintain their own institutions, burial grounds, Talmud-Torahs, etc., and to care for the poor and sick Ladino speaking community.

1915: Abraham Shalom Yahuda of Madrid is appointed ordinary professor "Catedratico numberario" of rabbinic literature at the Central University. The appointment came despite the fact that there no synagogues in Spain and that there had not been one in the country since 1492.

1915: The seventh annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Farmers being held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance building on East Broadway goes into its third day with a morning discussion on “educational and social problems on the farm,” an afternoon business session and a dinner in the evening at the Broadway Central Hotel.

1915:  Birthdate of actor Eli Wallach. Of all his roles one of his best was as the Mexican outlaw leader in The Magnificent Seven.

1916: Birthdate of Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, a psychiatrist who was a co-owner of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, makers of the controversial painkiller OxyContin, and whose lavish gifts to the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University made him one of New York City’s most prominent benefactors. (As reported by Bruce Weber

1916: During World War I, David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister and forms a new government. Lloyd George re-invigorated the British War effort and helped ensure the Allied victory over the Kaiser.  Lloyd George was the Prime Minister when the Balfour Declaration was issued and continued to fight for the Zionist cause after the World War when other British leaders were determined to break their war-time commitment to the Jewish people.

1916: Herbert Louis Samuel (the Viscount Samuel) completed his first term as Home Secretary in the UK.

1917: As the Egyptian Expeditionary Force of the British Empire on one side and the Yildirim Army Group of the Ottoman Empire and German Empires prepare for the climactic fight for control of Jaffa, “three infantry divisions of the British XXI Corps, under the command of Lieutenant General Edward Bulfin, began moving their units into position on the coastal plain.”

1917: The U.S. government, which had declared war on Germany in April, declared war today on its ally the Austro-Hungarian Army.

1917: The 53rd (Welsh) Division of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, also known as Mott’s detachment, which was supposed to cut the road between Jerusalem and Jericho captured “Solomon’s Pools to the south of Bethlehem” this evening.

1917: “The forty-six teams which are collecting subscriptions for the five million dollar fund for Jewish war relief and welfare work in the army” stopped their work tonight at sunset tonight because the start of the Sabbath but will resume their activity tomorrow afternoon.

1917: Supreme Court Justice Irving Lehman, Chairman of the Jewish Welfare Board said that “the Jews of America have furnished the army and navy 50,000 of their finest young men” and the Jews “who cannot serve it as fighters” owe to their country to contribute so that their spiritual needs can be met – in the same that the supports of the YMCA and Knights of Columbus have already done.

1917: In Kostroma, the Jews formed a “self-defense corps.”

1917: In Odessa, “the general in command of” the city’s “garrison announced that he would suppress attempts to attack Jews” while “a large part of the garrison openly declared its ‘neutrality’ in events of a pogrom.”

1917: Pogroms took place in “Belgorodsk, Skuria and Rezev.”

1917: On the Western Front, the Battle of Cambrai in which the German forces that included Carl Anker, drove back a British forced led by the Mark IV Tank.

1918:  As Allied troops march into Germany and establish zones of occupation under the terms of the Armistice signed on November 11, German born Zionist Arthur Ruppin wrote in his diary, “Never indeed, in the history of the world has a people been confronted with such terrible armistice terms and admitted its complete defeat, although no enemy has yet set foot on its soil and on the contrary, its armies are still deep within the territories of its enemies.  The simple man in the street cannot understand what has happened so suddenly and feels completely lost.”

1918: Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI, writes a letter to Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Vatican Secretary of State, apparently complaining about what he considered the disproportionate power of Jews in Poland. "There are about 600,000 Protestants and about 2 million Jews, but their religious importance is negligible, outside of the fairly frequent conversions to Catholicism.  But by contrast their economic, political, and social importance (especially that of the Jews) is large and indeed tremendous." (As reported by Austin Cline)

1918: “Camden Jews opened the great drive of the Federation of Jewish Charities of Camden with a mass meeting at the Towers Theatre” tonight.

1919: In Albany Park (Chicago), the bazaar sponsored by the Sisterhood of Temple Israel is scheduled to come to an end today.

1919: Mrs. Morris S. Rosenwald is scheduled to perform for the Symphony Concert at the Chicago Hebrew Institute.

1921: The graduation of the nursing class from Hadassah hospital, which had been postponed due to Arab attacks in November, took place.  The graduation address was given by Dr. Eder, a distinguished British Jew and member of the Zionist Executive who spoke in English.  Dr. Eliezer Ben Yehuda, one of the pioneering fathers’ of Modern Hebrew, walked out in protest.

1922: Professor George L. Scherger is scheduled to lecture on “George Bernard Shaw” this evening at the Sinai Social Center in Chicago, Illinois.

1922: In Manhattan, Walter and Marion Pollak gave birth to Louis Heilprin Pollak, “a federal judge and former dean of two prestigious law schools who played a significant role in major civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1923: Birthdate of Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg who became Regius Professor of the Practice of Medicine at the University of Glasgow

1924: In Frankfurt am Main Gustav and Toni (née Koch) Fleischmann gave birth to Ernest Martin Fleischmann who fled the Nazis and eventually became “imperious impresario who ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nearly three decades, helping to elevate its stature to that of an orchestra of the first rank.”

1925: Birthdate of Brooklynite Max “Slats” Zaslofsky the St. John’s college basketball player who played for “the Chicago Stags of the newly organized Basketball Association of America, the forerunner of the National Basketball Association” after which he coached “for two seasons in the American Basketball Association with the New Jersey Americans/New York Nets.”

1925: In Great Britain, movie mogul G.B. Samuelson and his wife gave birth to Sir Sydney Wylie Samuelson who was appointed as the first British Film Commissioner in 1991 and the first President of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

1926: Author Alfred Döblin and his wife gave birth to their third son Stefan

1928: Birthdate of Noam Chomsky.

1928: The annual Who’s Who issued of the American Hebrew Magazine published today revealed that John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who contributed $500,000 toward Jewish colonization in the Soviet Union was one of “four Christians among the twenty-six persons who have merited special distinction because of achievements in spheres of mutual endeavor among Jews and Christians in American during the year 1928.”

1929: “Glorifying the American Girl,” a musical comedy with songs by Irving Berlin and featuring a cameo appearance by Eddie Cantor was released in the United States today.

1930(17th of Kislev, 5691): Edward David Cowen, the newspaper man whose articles and life were chronicled in Newspaper career of E.D. Cowen, with biographic sketches by Charles A. Murray, Slason Thompson, R.E.M. Strickland, C.E. Arney, Hugh Hume, Frank M. Dallam, Jr passed away today.

1930: Pauline “Koner's first choreographed piece was presented today] at the Guild Theatre.”

1931: Although Beth El in Camden, NJ, had been organized in 1920, the tenth an­niversary was celebrated by Sisterhood at a special meeting” today which was held in conjunction with Hadassah and Council of Jewish Women and featured Dr. Israel H. Leventhal of New York's Brooklyn Jewish Center, the son of Philadelphia's "Chief Rabbi", Bernard Leventhal, as the guest speaker.

1933: Premier of the cinematic version Elmer Rice's play 'Counsellor-at-Law”' starring John Barrymore. Rice was Jewish.  Barrymore was not.

1936: Birthdate of Robert Belinsky, the native of New York’s Lower East Side who gained fame as major league pitcher Bo Belinsky who was better known for his off the field antics than his on the mound skills.

1936: It was reported today that Senator Royal S. Copeland declared that “the British Government’s lack of any definite policy in administering its League of Nations mandate in Palestine was responsible for the Arab rioting” and that because of a special treaty with Great Britain, the United States “is under a solemn obligation to see to it that Great Britain carries out its duties.

1937: Pianist and composer Alexander Tansman married Colette Cras, a pianist of repute who was the daughter of the composer Admiral Jean Cras and the mother of his two daughters, Mireille and Marianne.

1940: In Brooklyn, Sol Frank Steinhardt and his wife gave birth to Michael Steinhardt the hedge fund manager who founded Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co.

1941: A ship from Lisbon arrives at Ellis Island arrives carrying Wanda Landowska.

1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, an act that led to America's entry into World War II.  Approximately 500,000 Jews served during World War II.  This was about ten per cent of the Jewish Population in the United States, which would have made it higher than the average for other ethnic groups.  The numbers put the lie to the anti-Semitic slur that Jews were nothing but black market profiteers.  Approximately 52,000 of the Jewish service personnel were decorated during the war. 

1941: Time Magazine correspondent Theodore White dropped slips of paper down twenty-nine floors to the street from Time offices at Rockefeller Center to inform bewildered Christmas shoppers below that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. This young Jewish Harvard graduate would go on to write The Making of the President 1960, a classic which would change the nature of political literature while helping to create the Kennedy Legend and the Concept of Camelot.

1941:  SS and Latvian firing squads began a slaughter of the Jews of Riga.  Between December 7 and December 9, 1941, 25,000 Riga Jews were put to death by firing squads. Combined with previous actions by the SS and their Latvian allies, only 20% of original Jewish population in Riga now remained. This ghetto was now ready to house German Jew deportees. Among the victims is a preeminent Jewish historian, 81-year-old Simon Dubnow.

1941: While “writing bulletins for The Times’s radio affiliate, Lester Bernstein was the first staff member to report the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”

1941: At Pearl Harbor, Ensign Nathan Asher, a graduate of the Naval Academy took command U.S.S. Blue since the skipper was ashore and in a harrowing trip lasting one and half hours guided the ship out to open waters and safety while Ensign Milton Moldane, a graduate of Washington University Law School “took charge of the forward machine guns” fighting off the attacking Japanese aircraft.

1941(17th of Kislev, 5702): During the attack at Pearl Harbor, Radio Mechanic 3rd Class Rosenthal gave his life aboard the U.S. S. California.

1941(17th of Kislev, 5702): Private Louis Shleifer, a native of Newark, NJ, serving with the U.S. Army Air Corps was mortally wounded as he helped his comrades move planes into hangars to avoid having them be destroyed by attacking Japanese aircraft.

1941(17th of Kislev, 5702): Lee Goldfarb, a native of Jersey City, NJ, serving as a 3rd Class radioman aboard the U.S.S. Oglala lost his life when a Japanese torpedo struck and sunk his ship.

1941: The attack at Pearl Harbor brings the U.S. into WW II during which approximately 200 Jews from Utah would serve in the various branches of the Armed forces.

1941: According to the Glenn Flower, German-Dutch landowner Johannes Steel who fled to the United States after the Nazis came to power was one of the few who “predicted the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor a week before it occurred.”

1941: The Tatsuma Maru whose passengers included Lew Zikman, which had left Japan on December 1st bound for the United States, turned around today and returned to Yokohaman.

1941: The Nazis begin gas-van extermination operations at the death camp in Chelmno, Poland

1942( 28th of Kislev, 5703): Eighty-three year old Hannah Greenebaum Solomon the celebrated founder of the National Council of Jewish Women which was the first national association of Jewish women and also an important force for reform in Chicago around the turn of the twentieth century” passed away today. (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)

1942: Today, “during the pacification action around Ciepielów, a group of 14 Christian Poles were shot by the gendarmes for hiding Jews including Wojciech Skrzak, Marianna Skwira, Barbara Stefanek, the Wdowiak family including Benedykt (58), Aleksandra (17) and Marianna (94); as well as the Wojewódka family with Ignacy (50), his wife Marianna (45) and children Wacław, Jan, Stanisław, and Józef, age 7. (Editor’s note – The price for being a “righteous gentile” was high, a grim reality that should be factored in when studying the response to the Nazis and their allies during WWII)

1942: In the United Kingdom, premiere of “Went the Day Well?” a British war film directed by Michael Balcon, the youngest son of “Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

1942: German troops enter the Polish village of Bialka and murder 96 villagers suspected of shielding Jews fleeing the anti-Jewish Aktion in the nearby Parczew Forest.

1942: United States State Department official G. Robert Borden Reams, an "expert" on the Jews in the Division of European Affairs, advises that the United States government remain silent concerning details of the Holocaust.

1942: British official John Cecil Sterndale Bennett is upset because Bulgarian Jewish children may be allowed into Palestine.

1944 (21st of Kislev, 5705): Satmar Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum rescued. The Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), was rescued from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, along with 1,368 other Jews, through the efforts of Rudulf Kastner, head of the Zionist rescue operation in Hungary (an earlier transport of 1,686 Jews had been rescued on Av 29). The Satmar community celebrates the 21st of Kislev as a day of thanksgiving.

1944: USS Drum (SS-228) a Gato-class submarine which has been under the command of Maurice H. Rindskopf set out on 12th war patrol

1944: The Kasztner transport’s 1, 361 Jews who had left Bergen Belsen on December 4 crossed the border into Switzerland today. For more see the work of Gaylen Ross at

where you can order a copy of “Killing Kasztner)

1945: Irvine Robbins opened his first ice cream store -- called Snowbird because he couldn't think of anything else – on the day after his 28th birthday. Robbins used $2,000 he saved and cashed a $4,000 insurance policy his father had given him at his bar mitzvah at Seattle's Temple DeHirsch Sinai to finance the venture. Robbins had 21 flavors then, and his cousin bought $39 of the first day's $53 total ice cream sales.

1946: U.S. Secretary of state James “Jimmy” F. Byrnes said endorsed the creation of a Jewish state when he said that partition was the best solution to the Palestine Problem.

1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1947: During a meeting of the Jewish World Congress, it was charged that anti-Jewish incidents are taking place in Iran

1947: Sir Alan Cunningham, the British High Commissioner asked David Ben Gurion to meet with so that he could tell him that the British "had decided to evacuation Palestine as soon as possible." 

1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): Eighty-one year old French author and lawyer Tristan Bernard whose health was broken during his imprisonment at Drancy passed away today,

1947(24th of Kislev, 5708): Pessia Lev, a nineteen year old student nurse was killed by Arab snipers when the eight bus convoy she was riding in was attacked as it made its way to Jerusalem.  Lev was going home to celebrate Chanukah with her family.

1948: Birthdate of Hartford, CT native and winner of the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Mark Kurlanksy whose works include Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea.

1948: President Truman announced that he would ask Congress for money for the Palestinian refugees.  This would appear to be at odds with the British who want to furnish supplies and money for the refugees from UN working capital funds

1948: The Transjordan cabinet gives its consent to crowning of King Abdullah as king of united Palestine and Transjordan.  [In other words, having crossed the Jordan River, seized what is called the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jordanians were staking their claim to the land as opposed to turning it over to the Palestinians for a state of their own.]

1948: On the third and final day of Operation Assaf, the Egyptians prepared to counter-attack and drive the Israelis back. “However, Israeli Air Force reconnaissance revealed the Egyptian preparations in the morning. The Israeli assault battalion was sent to the Egyptian's north (left) flank and stormed their forces southwards, then chased the retreating Egyptians westward, eventually stopping in face of strong anti-tank Egyptian positions.” With the end of Operation Assaf, the Israelis cleared the area of mine’s and built defensive lines in case the Egyptians came back, before being withdrawn to take part in Operation Horev. 

1950(28th of Kislev, 5711): Sixty-six year old, the Labor Zionist leader “served as the secretary of the World Union of Poalei Zion” passed away today in Haifa.

1951: An instrumental version of “Charmaine" co-composed by Lew Pollack reached the top spot on Billboard today.

1952: Yigael Yadin resigned today, over disagreements with prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion about cuts to the military budget, which he argued should be at least one third of the national budget

1952: Mordechai Maklef became the I.D.F.’s Chief of Staff

1953(1st of Tevet, 5714): Sixth Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1953: Comdr. Hugo Frankberger, (USN Ret) a native of Charleston, W.VA, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy is scheduled to buried this morning at Arlington National Cemetery after funeral services at Fort Myers, Va.

1953: To the amazement of the Israeli public, Ben-Gurion resigned as Prime Minister and retired to the small farming community of Sde Boker in the Negev.

1957: NBC broadcast the last episode of “Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion” produced by Harry Saltzman

1959: The Broadway production of “Saratoga” Harold Arlen’s musical adaptation of Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber “opened at the Winter Garden Theatre where it ran for 80 performances.”

1959: David Susskind produced “Simply Heavenly” on The Play of the Week.

1967(5th of Kislev, 5728): Eighty-seven year old “former New York Supreme Court Justice Meier Steinbrink, who served as chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith from 1946 to 1952” passed way today. (JTA)

1967: “Rabbi Jay Kaufman, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith, charged today that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) had permitted its facilities to be used to “subvert minds and poison hearts” against Israel in its “desire to remain acceptable to the host Arab countries.” (JTA).

1967: How Now, Dow Jones a musical comedy by Academy Award winner Elmer Bernstein, Tony Award nominee Carolyn Leigh and Max Shulman opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

1969(27th of Kislev, 5730): Third Day of Chanukah

1969(27th of Kislev, 5730): Seventy-eight year old New York born, Harvard grad Howard Joseph Sachs, an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs passed away today.

1970(9th of Kislev, 5731): Cartoonist Rube Goldberg passed away. The winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for cartooning made his name synonymous with complicated ways to perform simple tasks.

1972(2nd of Tevet, 5733): Eighty-nine year old German born composer and conductor Klaus Pringsheim, Sr. the father of “Klaus Pringsheim, Jr., who attended Bunce Court School, a German-Jewish refugee school in Kent, England during World War II” and the brother-in-law of Thomas Mann passed away today in Tokyo.

1973(12th of Kislev, 5734): Seventy-three year old Benn Wolfe Levy, the playwright and Member of Parliament passed away today.

1976(15th of Kislev, 5737): Odessa native Boris Pragel, who partnered with his younger brother Alexander to become a leading dealer “in uranium and other radioactive elements and who was the husband of painter Alexandra Pragel passed away today.

1977(27th of Kislev, 5738): Peter Goldmark passed away.  Born in Hungary in 1906, Goldmark was an engineer who played a major role in the development of the long-playing record and the first commercial color television.

1979(17th of Kislev, 5740): Eighty-one year old Edward “Eddie” Gottlieb the native of Kiev for whom the NBA Rookie of the Year Trophy is named and whose dominate role in the early days of the National Basketball Association earned him  election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame passed away today.

1981: Philip C. Habib, President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Jerusalem today.

1983: “Romantic Comedy” the movie version of the play by the same name, directed by Arthur Hiller, co-produced by Walter Mirisch with music by Marvin Hamlisch and co-starring Ron Leibman was released in the United States today.

1984: “City Heat” a crime film directed by Richard Benjamin and co-starring Madeline Kahn was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1984: In his review of the new four hour made for television film version of “The Sun Also Rises” John J. O’Connor reminds us that “the anti-Semitism in Hemingway’s work clearly remains a problem” as can be seen by the depiction of the fictional “Robert Cohn.”  He is “the New York Jew who is never quite swell enough to be fully accepted into…the special inner circle of” Jake Barnes and who “emerges as an obnoxious whiner with a pronounced streak of nastiness.” (Hemingway is but one of a series of noted American writers whom critics felt dabbled in anti-Semitism, something that was not mentioned when Pappa was busy “fighting fascism” during the Spanish Civil War.)

1986: Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land by David K. Shipler is among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1986: NBC broadcast the first of the two part series “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna” written by James Goldman and co-starring Amy Irving.

1987: About 10,000 Israelis held a rally today to demand that the Kremlin open the gates for Soviet Jews to emigrate.

1988: President-elect George Bush announced the appointment of Thomas B. Pickering who has served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel since 1985 to be the next United States representative to the United Nations. Mr. Pickering has condemned what he considered violations of human rights, particularly since widespread unrest by Palestinians began almost a year ago in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. A member of the political inner circle of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has called Mr. Pickering ''a hostile ambassador of a friendly state.'' Mr. Pickering's greatest frustration in Israel has been the refusal of Mr. Shamir to cooperate in a peace initiative by Secretary of State George P. Shultz that would involve an international conference on the Israeli-Arab conflict.

1988: Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.  Given what transpired afterwards including the Second Intifada, he must have had his fingers crossed.

1990: In “Abroad at Home; A Broken Dream” published today Anthony Lewis described the anguish of Yuval Neria, a decorated war hero and poet who became a clinical a psychologist and author the semi-auto-biographical bestselling novel entitled “Fire.”

1991(30th of Kislev, 5752): Parashat Miketz; Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1991(30th of Kislev, 5752): Seventy year old Brooklynite and movie producer Herb Jaffe who began his career as literary agent for such notables as Paddy Chayefsky, Reginald Rose and Joseph Heller, passed away today.

1992(12th of Kislev, 5753: Hamas murders three Israeli soldiers and proclaims the killings to be acts of heroism.

1993(23rd of Kislev, 5754): Palestinian gunmen killed a Jewish settler and his son today and wounded three other sons near the West Bank town of Hebron, apparently in revenge for the weekend killing of an Arab by settlers.

1994: In a sign of Washington's mounting frustration with Yasir Arafat and his Palestinian Authority, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said today that Israel cannot be expected to withdraw its army from the occupied West Bank until Palestinian attacks on Israelis come to an end

1997: Inbal Segev, a world-renowned female cellist who grew up in Israel, made her Carnegie Hall debut today where she performed the Carnegie Hall premiere of Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher for solo cello by Henri Dutilleux

1997: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 1997 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including American Pastoral by Phillip Roth and The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick.

1998: “Louis B. Mayer: Lion of Hollywood” published today provides Budd Schulberg’s view of the movie mogul and the world he created.

1998: In “Beauty Queen,” published today, Grace Mirabella described how Estee Lauder “turned cosmetic into a big business”

1998(18th of Kislev, 5759): Dr Martin Rodbell an American biochemist who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine passed away. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

2003: The New York Times book section featured books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including The Complete Lyrics of Frank Loesser Edited by Robert Kimball and Steve Nelson

2004: In his talk, "The Royal Court Preacher and the Hebrew Book: Early Enlightenment and Hebrew Publishing in Prussia, 1700-1750," Menachem Schmelzer examined the role of an influential figure in the Prussian court, the Christian theologian and scholar D.E. Jablonski, who founded the Hebrew press in Berlin in 1690.

2004: “An IDF soldier of the Oketz canine unit was killed by a bomb, along with his dog, when a booby-trapped chicken coup exploded northwest of the Karni Crossing. Four soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire while evacuating him. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.”

2005: Two days after the murder of five Israelis at a shopping mall, an IAF helicopter destroyed the car carrying a PRC leader.  The PRC is part of Hamas.  The attack is part of a targeted response designed to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank.

2006:  Zachor? Who will remember that today is the 65th anniversary of “The Day that Will Live Infamy”?

2006: The House of Representatives gave final passage to a bill aimed at forcing the Palestinians' ruling Hamas government to accept Israel and join negotiations toward a Palestinian state in formerly Israeli-occupied territory.

2007(27 Kislev, 5768): Harvey David Luber, 71, son of Nathan and Anne Luber, passed away today. Born July 20, 1936 in Chicago, IL, he shared 52 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Elaine Roberta Barg, and was blessed with 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Jackie Luber; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Mark Mackey; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and Steve Mink; and son, preceded in death, Sheldon Luber. While Harvey was justifiably proud of being graduate of Northwestern University with a double major in Chemistry and Biology with a minor in Humanities and he was even prouder of having earned MSJS (Master of Science in Judaic Studies) from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, Illinois. As a member of Temple B’Nai Israel and previously Congregation Agudith Achim, Harvey devoted 40 years of his life to educating young people and serving in many board positions within the community. He also served as Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas for many years. He believed in education as a way to understand one another, speaking to schools about the Holocaust and church groups about comparative religion. He shared his love and knowledge of photography and Judaism by teaching at the Arkansas Art Center and UALR. He was an outstanding teacher, role model and friend and touched many people’s lives of all ages. He was my friend, a chever in the truest sense of the term.  As long as a camera shutter clicks, his students open books or one of us chuckles over the memory of unique “Harvey moment” he will always live amongst us.

2007:  As a testament to the strength and creativity of small town Judaism in the 21st century, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah hosts a Shabbat Chanukah potluck complete with latkes and apple sauce.

2007: On Friday, the fourth day of Chanukah, four Jewish subway riders were approached by a group of ten people who offered holiday greetings.  When the Jews responded with greetings of Happy Chanukah, they were pelted with anti-Semitic remarks before being beaten.

2008:  The First Annual Goldstein Lecture in memory of Jonathan Goldstein is presented by David Schoenbaum on Sunday afternoon at Agudas Achim. Schoenbaum’s topic is "Fiddlers on the Roof: How They Got Up There, and How They Got Down.” Professor Jonathan Goldstein was a long time member of Agudas Achim and had a joint appointment in the UI History Dept and Classics Dept. He was an ordained rabbi and his research was in Jewish Studies. He was considered the expert on the Hasmonean period.

2008: Barbara Streisand is among those honored by the Kennedy Center for her contribution to Arts in America.

2008: In The Washington Post, critic Jonathan Yardley’s list of the fifteen best books he reviewed in 2008 include For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder That Shocked Chicago, by Simon Baatz and The Spies of Warsaw by Jewish author Alan Furst.

2009(22nd of Kislev, 5770): Roy Solomonoff, a pioneer, in Artificial Intelligence, passed away today. (As reported by John Markoff)

2009: Poets and writers from Israel and all over the world come together in Jerusalem at Beit Avi Chai and  Mishkenot Sha'ananim, for the opening session of the third annual Kisufim Conference,  which aims to "encourages encounters between Israeli creativity - in Hebrew and other languages - and world Jewish creativity that is both multilingual and multicultural," according to the organizers.

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a screening of “Human Failure,” a film that “documents the bizarre competition that developed between bureaucrats as to how to organize the robbery of the German Jews before they were ever expelled or sent to their deaths.”

2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes a screening of “The Voice of Jerusalem,” a documentary that examines the city’s “glorious feature” and “bleak future.”

2009: Galilee police arrested two additional suspects in an attempt to extort millions of shekels from McDonald's Israel.

2009: A four day conference entitled "A Century of Yiddish: 1908-2008" opened in Jerusalem

2009. The third annual Kisufim Conference opened at Beit Avi Chai and at Mishkenot.

2009: Ambassador Michael Oren addressed a breakfast session at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's biennial convention during which he "bashed" J Street as being "out of the mainstream."

2010: Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis have signed on to a religious ruling that forbids renting homes to gentiles, and more specifically to Arabs.  The ruling, which became public today, comes less than two months after leading rabbis in the northern Israeli city of Safed signed on to a letter drafted by the city's chief rabbi calling on Jews not to rent to non-Jews in the northern Israeli city, as well as a month after rabbis in the haredi Orthodox Israeli city of Bnei Brak issued a religious ruling forbidding residents to rent apartments to African refugees, echoing a similar ruling for southern Tel Aviv.

2010: The Jewish Study Center is scheduled to present a program entitled The Military Siddur — and Soldiers’ Prayers in which Michael Bloom will look at the special prayer book for Jewish members of the Armed Services and the unique prayer for and about military personnel and our national security.

2010(30th Kislev, 5711): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2010: Eighty-seven year old Dr. Samuel I Mintz, a Fulbright Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow who was Professor Emeritus of English at CCNY and CUNY Graduate Center passed away today.

2010(30th Kislev, 5711): Eighty-six year old “Arnold Hans Weiss, who fled to the United States from Nazi Germany as a 13-year-old and returned as an American soldier during World War II, becoming a principal in the investigation that led to the discovery of Hitler’s last will and political testament, died today in Rockville, Md. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2010: A farewell ceremony was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem today for the international firefighting forces that assisted Israel in putting out the recent fire in the Carmel Forest region. Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon spoke at the ceremony and gave each delegation a certificate that a tree was planted on their behalf by the Deputy Foreign Minister.

2010: Former European Union Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein said that Jews have no future in the Netherlands and recommended that they emigrate to the US or Israel, Dutch magazine Elsevier reported today.

2011: The Israeli documentary “I Shot My Love” is scheduled to be shown tonight at the 22nd Annual Jewish Film Festival in Washington, DC.

2011: The Northern Virginia Legislative Reception complete with “light kosher buffet” is scheduled to take placed at the JCC of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, VA.

2011: The post-Chicago national tour of Nora and Delia Ephron’s “Love, Loss and What I Wore” began today.

2011: Seventieth Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.  How many will remember “the day that will live in infamy”?

2011: Israel's Yav Vashem Holocaust memorial said today it has received its largest private donation ever - a $25 million gift from U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

2011: Today, a representative body of medical residents voted in favor of a draft deal with the Finance Ministry to end a months-long labor dispute.

2011: Moshe “Katsav arrived at Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla to begin serving his seven-year sentence.”

2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor “First Friday Book Group.”

2012: In Fairfax, VA, Gesher Jewish Day School is scheduled to sponsor a Sheldon Low Concert

2012: “Human Rights Shabbat” is scheduled to start this evening at Adat Reyim in Springfield, VA.

2012: Jewish Book Month comes to an end.

2012: Roei Fridman, Elyasaf Bashari, Netanel Lesser, Yishai Ben Yaaov and Yishai Tsarfaty are scheduled to perform “Hamshushalym” at the Eden-Tamir Music Center.

2012: 71st anniversary of “The Day of Infamy.”

2012: Two IDF soldiers and a border policeman were injured lightly this afternoon when a group of about 40 Palestinian protesters threw stones in their direction in the northern West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum.

2012: As Israeli politicians shift alliances as part of the current election campaigns, her two neighbors conduct politics in a different style.  The world watches and wonders about the possible use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons on its own citizens in a civil war that has claimed the lives of mostly innocent civilians.  At the same time, mobs in Egypt clash over President Morsi’s new Islamist constitution and his granting to himself (temporarily of course) of sweeping powers that make his actions immune from judicial review.

2012: “Anarchy in the U.S.A.” published today provides a review of Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich

2012(23rd of Kislev, 5773): Seventy-three year old Saul Steinberg the Wharton graduate who tried to use Leasco as the base on which to build a financial empire based on a series of acquisitions passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2012(23rd of Kislev, 5773): Eighty-two year old Table Tennis champion Marty Reisman passed away today (As reported by Douglas Martin)

2013: JOFA’s 8th International Conference of Feminism and Orthodoxy is scheduled to open this evening at John Jay College in New York.

2013: The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present “An Evening in Honor of Yehuda Amicahi.”

2013: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present “Jackie Hoffman’s A Chanukah Charol.”

2013: The IDF said today that an Israeli military vehicle damaged by a bomb attack set off by Syrians on the Golan Heights was the first “targeted bombing of Israeli forces” since the start of the Syrian civil war. (As reported by Reuters and Forwards)

2013: The Traditional Shabbat Minyan remembers those who answered the call to service as it observes “Pearl Harbor Shabbat” at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2013: Kansas-raised Jew Paul Rudd is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live this weekend. (As reported by Jordan Hoffman

2013(4th of Tevet, 5774): Eighty-three year old Jack Fishman “who helped develop naloxone, a powerful medication that has saved countless people from fatal overdoses of heroin and other narcotics” passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

2013(4th of Tevet, 5774): Eight-two year old Olympic gold medal winning coxswain and rowing coach Allen Rosenberg passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2013: Germany’s Bild newspaper reported today that “German has signed a multimillion arms deal with Israel” which will provide the Jewish state with two guided missile destroyers that can be used her natural gas pipelines. (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)

2013: Acclaimed Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin is scheduled to be granted Israeli citizenship in a special ceremony this evening in Jerusalem.

2014: In Bethesda, MD, Ruth Marcus, “an op-ed columnist and member of the editorial board of The Washington Post” is scheduled to speak at the 54th annual meeting of Congregation Beth El.

2014(15th of Kislev, 5775): One hundred year old William “Billy” Salomon the former head of Salomon Bros. passed away today.

2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host The Ruth Spector Memorial Mah Johngg Tournament.

2014: The UK Jewish Comedy Festival is scheduled to “Comedy Club 4 Kids.”

2014: The funeral for Gil Marks is scheduled to take place today.

2014: On day after the story of Dinah is read as part of the weekly sedrah, Lifetime is scheduled to broadcast the first in a two part series based on The Red Tent, a novel that “took the shards of Dinah’s story, told in a fairly short chapter of Genesis, and recast them as a layered tale of sisterhood, friendship and love.” (As reported Debra Nussbaum Cohen)

2014: “Prominent Israeli authors Amos Oz, David Grossman, and A.B. Yehoshua were among 800 Israeli signatories to a letter sent to the Belgian parliament today, calling on it to recognize a Palestinian state.”

2014: Israel did not respond to charges by Syria of air attacks the IAF, which according to other sources were an attack on a weapons cache destined for Hezbollah. (As reported by Ave Issaccharoff)

France’s interior minister vowed today to make the fight against anti-Semitism a “national cause” after a couple was attacked apparently because the man was Jewish.”
La Scala’s gala season premier “Fidelio” today marks Daniel Barenboim’s final opening-night bow as musical director as Italian opera enters one of its most tumultuous seasons in memory.”

2014: The New York Times list of “100 Notable Books of 2014” published the following works by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: American Innovations by Rivka Galchen, Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich, The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman, A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon, Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murder by Bettina Stangneth, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein, Thirteen Days In September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein and World Order by Henry Kissinger.

2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a screening of “The Unvanquished” the 1945 film was the first Soviet cinematic depiction “of the mass murder of Jews and one of the first ever Holocaust films” which “includes scenes of mass executions that were filmed on location in Babi Yar” followed by a discussion led by Anna Shternshis, University of Toronto and Olga Gershenson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

2015:  The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education is scheduled to offer special incentives marking National Human Rights Month.

2015: Librarians at the Martin Luther King Librarians and staff from U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum are scheduled to work with “citizen historians to research how Washington, DC area newspaper reported on several events during the Holocaust.”

2015: In what was later described as “just a joke,” Rick Kriseman, “The Jewish mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida made it known today that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was unwelcome in his city, following Trump’s suggestion the same day that the United States prevent all Muslims from entering the country.” (As reported by Renee Ghert-Zand)

2016: “The a-Sham Arab Food Festival in which 45 leading chefs from the Arab (Muslim, Christian and Druze) and Jewish sectors will showcase the culinary treasures of the region passed down through generations, but with modern twists” is scheduled to open in Haifa today.

2016: “Big: The Musical” featuring music by David Shire and with a book by John Weidman, the son of Jerome Weidman is scheduled to open at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.

2016: “Beyond the Mountains and the Hills” and “Sand Storm” are scheduled to be shown at the 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival.

2016: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor Emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary and President Emeritus of LBI, who will discuss his new biography of Leopold Zunz, “a key figure in the 19th-century development of the academic study of Judaism.

2016: On the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor we remember those who fought there on that seemingly long-ago Sunday morning including Philadelphians Alex Sherman on board the U.S.S. New Orleans, Ben Lichtman on board the U.S.S. West Virginia and Irvin Greben serving at the Naval Air Station in Kaneohe Bay as well as Stan Levitt from Overland Park, Kansas on board the U.S.S. Rigel and Bernard Rubien from Rancho Mirage, CA serving at Hickam Field. (Courtesy of Florida Atlantic University)

2017: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host the final session of David Wolpe’s “Lessons on Lust and Love from the Bible.”

2017: The Breman Museum is scheduled to host a “tour of the Fox Theatre and learn about founder William Fox, born Wilhelm Fuchs and his imprint on the entertainment business.”

2017: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to lecture by Dr. Gideon Grief, the author of We Wept Without Tears on “Confronting Murder: The Jewish Sonderkommando of Auschwitz Birkenau.

2017: The URJ Biennial is scheduled to continue for a second day in Boston.

2017(19th of Kislev, 5778): CALENDER COINCIDENCE – December 7, 2017 the anniversary of the Attack on Pearl, coincides with the 19th of Kislev this year on the Jewish calendar which is the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.”

2017: The American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History are scheduled to host a ‘book talk to launch…the new English translation of Ruby Namdar’s The Ruined House.

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as David Schoenbaum whose works included The United States and The State of Israel, continues today.






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