Monday, January 1, 2018

This Day, January 2, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

January 2

438: Empress Eudocia, the wife of Byzantine Emperor Theodius II, who spent the last years of her life in the Holy Land  allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and pray at the site of the Temple at the same time her husband was “announcing legislation to exclude Jews from all political and military functions” in his Empire. Aelia Eudocia, a pagan Greek aristocrat who converted to Christianity in 421 when she married the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, was declared ‘Augusta’ by her husband on this date in 423, a title that elevated her power in the royal court. In 438, Eudocia Augusta journeyed to Jerusalem, where she would ultimately live the final years of her life after being banished by Theodosius five years later. On this first visit, while he was back home announcing legislation to exclude Jews from all political and military functions in lands under Byzantine rule, she arranged for Jews to be able to pray at the site of the Jerusalem Temple for the first time since its destruction by Rome in 70 CE. Her action, however, encouraged the migration of several thousand Jews to Jerusalem in hope of seeing the city resurrected as a Jewish homeland. They were subjected to stoning and stabbing by Christian monks, who killed several of the Jews. The eighteen monks who were brought to trial were acquitted when witnesses testified that the killing stones had fallen from heaven. “At her palace in Bethlehem and in Jerusalem,” according to De Imperatoribus Romanis, “[Eudocia] continued to receive petitions and sought to alleviate the persecution of the Jews, in spite of the unpopularity of such a stance. With her wealth she endowed the city of Jerusalem with a new set of walls and erected numerous other buildings throughout the Near East.” “Byzantine history offers few so strange or picturesque stories as that of the little pagan Athenian who, after having been mistress of the civilized world, ended her days as an ardent mystic, almost a nun, by the tomb of Christ. Eudocia wrote much poetry. As empress she composed a poem in honour of her husband’s victory over the Persians; later at Jerusalem she wrote religious verse…”

1012: Jewish mourners were attacked at a funeral in Egypt.

1235: In Germany “a Christian body was found between” Lauda and Tauberbischofsheim which resulted in three days of attacks by mobs in both cities during which “eight leaders from both towns were put on trial, tortured, convicted and executed. (As reported by “The History of the Jewish People”)

1412: Paul of Burgos, the Jewish convert to Catholicism drafted an edict as the Spanish chancellor which was promulgated in the name of the regent, the widowed queen mother Catherine of Lancaster, at Valladolid today, was the conversion of the Jews through twenty-four articles which “was designed to separate the Jews entirely from the Christians, to paralyze their commerce, to humiliate them, and to expose them to contempt, requiring them either to live within the close quarters of their ghetto or to accept baptism.:

1481: An edict was handed down in Spain calling for all persons to aid in apprehending and accusing suspects who are guilty of heresy. This was said to be issued because persons of nobility in Andalusia were not true to the teachings of the Church.

1481: The officers of the Inquisition issued an edict to the governor of Cadiz and other officials to seize the possessions of the Marranos and to turn these conversos over to them or suffer excommunication, confiscation of their goods and deprivation of public office.

1481: After having established “their court in the Dominican convent of St. Paul of Seville “issued their first edict by which they ordered the rest of several “New Christians as they were styled, who were strongly suspected of heresy and the sequestration of their property, denouncing the pain of excommunication against those who favored or abetted them.”

1492: The Reconquista was completed as the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrendered to the forces under the command of Ferdinand and Isabella. The fall of Granada added even more Jews to Catholic Spain. Under the terms of surrender, the Jewish inhabitants were promised protection by the King and Queen. Within a few months these most Catholic Monarchs would break their word when Ferdinand ordered “the razing of the Jewish quarter. Nine months from the fall of Granada, the Sephardim will be banned from their ancestral homeland.

1554: A mandate promulgated today ordered that the Jews should leave the territory of Lower Austria at the end of six months.

1661(2nd of Shevat): Rabbi Menahem Mendel ben Abraham Krochmal, author of Zemah Zedek passed away

1642: Birthdate of Mehmed IV during whose reign as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Safed, the home to numerous Jewish mystics and sages “was destroyed by Arabs” and the Jews of Yemen were banished to Mawza Desert. At the same time he appointed Moses Beben as ambassador to Sweden and when Moses passed away, the Sultan appointed his son Yehuda to serve in his place.  At the time, Sweden was a major European power.  Mehmed is also the Sultan who dealt with Sabbait Zivi, giving him the choice of conversion or death.

1712: Clement XI issued “Salvatoris nostri vices,” a Papal Bull that transferred the work of catechumens to Pii Operai (Holy Works). [Pii Operai was an offshoot of The College of Neophytes, a Roman Catholic College founded for training Jewish converts]

1744: Birthdate of Jacob I. Cohen, the native of Bavaria who came to the United States in 1773 and “by 1781 had formed a partnership with his fellow militia man Isaiah Isaacs, one of Richmond’s earliest known Jewish residents whose land business led them to hire Daniel Boone as a surveyor.

1745: Maria Theresa threatened Moravian Jewry with expulsion but rescinded her order, permitting them to remain for another ten years.(As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library

1768: In New York, Eva Esther Hendricks and Uriah Hendricks gave birth to Hannah de Leon.

1770: The Crown Prince of Brunswick "expressed his admiration" for the "great tact and high degree of humanitarianism" that Moses Mendelssohn had shown in responding to the writings of Charles Bonnett that had been sent to him by Johann Lavater.

1782: The Tolerance Edict (Toleranzpatent) guaranteeing existing rights and obligation of the Jewish population, was enacted by Joseph II of Austria, the son of Maria Theresa. Joseph II was influenced by Wilhelm von Dohn, a friend of Mendelssohn's and beginning with this edict, followed a generally enlightened attitude toward the Jews. The Edict (with the final edict less liberal than the original), received mixed reviews by Jewish leaders including Ezekiel Landau and Moss Mendelssohn. They realized that the real intention of the edict was not the emancipation of the Jews but their assimilation. As further proof the new freedoms being granted to the Jews of Austria, Emperor Joseph II "permitted Jewish wholesale merchants, notables and their sons to wear swords" and "insisted that Christians should behave in a friendly matter towards Jews."

 1788: Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  A year later, Georgia became the third state to remove religious discrimination from the political process.  According to one reliable source, Jews had “held public office in Georgia even before the revision of the oath which included the words ‘upon the faith of a Christian.’”  Jews had been a part of Georgia from the earliest colonial settlement with the first families arriving in July of 1733.  Two years before the ratification vote, the Jewish community of Savannah had stabilized enough to re-organize Congregation Mikve Israel, elect officers and rent a house from Ann Morgan to be used as a synagogue. 

1801: Birthdate of Jonas Ennery a native of Nancy who was affiliated with the Jewish school at Strasbourg for twenty-six years.

1816: Birthdate of Shmuel Salant, the native of Bialystok, who “served as the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem for almost 70 years.”

1820: Lewis Durlacher married Susannah Levy at the Western Synagogue today.

1822: Birthdate of Bernhard Felsenthal, the German-born American Rabbi who was a leader in the Reform Movement and served as the leader of Zion Congregation in Chicago from 1864 to 1887.

(As reported by Adler & Stolz)

1822: the Jewish Censorship Committee under the Chairmanship of Ludwik Chiarni, “the author an anti-Talmud diatribe” began meeting with a staff consisting of Adam Chmielewski, Abraham Stern and Jacob Tugenhold, among others.

1829(27th of Tevet): Rabbi Samuel Austerer of Brody, author of Ketav Yosher passed away

1830: Abraham Geiger preached his first sermon.

1836:  Birthdate of Mendele Mocher Sforim (מענדעלע מוכר ספֿרים) "Mendele the bookseller," is the pseudonym of Sholem Yakov Abramovich, Jewish author and one of the founders of modern Yiddish and Modern Hebrew literature. He was born to a poor family in Kopyl near Minsk and lost his father, Chaim Moyshe Broyde, shortly after he was bar mitzvahed. He studied in yeshiva in Slucak and Vilna until he was 17; during this time he was a day-boarder under the system of Teg-Essen, barely scraping by, and often hungry. He next travelled extensively around Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania at the mercy of an abusive beggar named Avreml Khromoy (Avreml would later become the source for the title character of Fishke der Krumer, Fishke the Lame). In 1854 he settled in Kamenets-Podolskiy, where he got to know writer and poet Avrom Ber Gotlober, who helped him to learn secular culture, philosophy, literature, history, Russian and other languages. His first article, "Letter on Education", appeared in first Hebrew newspaper, Hamagid, in 1857. At Berdichev in the Ukraine, where he lived in 1858-1869, he began to publish fiction both in Hebrew and Yiddish. Having offended the local powers with his satire, he left Berdichev to train as a rabbi at the relatively theologically liberal, government-sponsored rabbinical school in Zhitomir, where he lived in 1869-1881, and became head of traditional school (Talmud Torah) in Odessa in 1881. He lived in Odessa until his death in 1917. He initially wrote in Hebrew, coining many words in that language, but ultimately switched to Yiddish in order to expand his audience. Like Sholom Aleichem, he used a pseudonym because of the perception at the time that as a ghetto vernacular, Yiddish was not suited to serious literary work — an idea he did much to dispel. His writing strongly bore the mark of the Haskalah. He is considered by many to be the "grandfather of Yiddish literature"; his style in both Hebrew and Yiddish has strongly influenced several generations of later writers. While the tradition of journalism in Yiddish had a bit more of a history than in Hebrew, Kol Mevasser, which he supported from the outset and where he published his first Yiddish story "Dos Kleine Menshele" ("The Little Man") in 1863, is generally seen as the first stable and important Yiddish newspaper. Sol Liptzin writes that in his early Yiddish narratives, Mendele "wanted to be useful to his people rather than gain literary laurels". [Liptzin, 1972, 42] "The Little Man" and the unstaged 1869 drama Die Takse ("The Tax") both condemned the corruption by which religious taxes (in the latter case, specifically the tax on kosher meat) were diverted to benefit community leaders rather than the poor. This satiric tendency continued in Die Klatshe (The Dobbin, 1873) about a prince, a stand-in for the Jewish people, who is bewitched and becomes a much put-upon beast of burden, but maintains his moral superiority throughout his sufferings. His later work became more humane and less satiric, starting with Fishke (written 1868-1888) and continuing with the unfinished Masoes Beniamin Hashlishi (The Wanderings of Benjamin III, 1878), something of a Jewish Don Quixote. As with Fishke, Mendele worked on and off for decades on his long novel Dos Vinshfingeril (The Wishing Ring, 1889); at least two versions preceded the final one. It is the story of a maskil—that is, a supporter of the Haskalah, like Mendele himself—who escapes a poor town, survives miserable to obtain a secular education much like Mendele's own, but is driven by the pogroms of the 1880sfrom his dreams of universal brotherhood to one of Jewish nationalism. His last major work was his autobiography, Shlome Reb Chaims, completed shortly before his death in 1917.

1852: In Paris gave Kalmus Calmann Levy and Pauline Levy birth to Bertha Calman-Levy who became Bertha Propper when she married Siegfried Propper.

1854(2nd of Tevet, 5614): 8th Day Chanukah

1856: Aaron Senior Coronel married Rebecca Coelho in Amsterdam today.

1856: “What the Jews Think of New Year’s” published today reported that “in the opinion of our Jewish fellow-citizens New Year’s day and its accompanying custom of giving presents is a blessed institution. “ According to the author, being able to give gifts to their children on New Year’s, makes it possible for Jewish parents to avoid gift giving at Christmas while still being able to bring joy to their youngsters.  Oddly enough, the more recently arrived German Jews still cling to the habit they developed in Europe of gift giving on Christmas.  “The Jewish families of long standing in” New York “universally” prefer the New Year’s gift giving celebration.  The article concludes by reminding readers that ‘our New Year’s, of course, does not correspond with the commencement of the Hebrew year.  That falls in the month of Tishrei, which comprises a part of our September and October, and is celebrated, besides religious ceremonies, by magnificent entertainments and a general wish of ‘Happy New Year.’”

1857: Birthdate of Lake County, Ohio native Frederick Burr Opper the cartoonist for “Frank Leslie’s Weekly and “Puck” and husband of Nellie Barrett who created “Happy Hooligan,” “Alphonse and Gaston” and “And Her Name Was Withheld.”

1858: Towards midnight, Rachel Felix, who was dying awoke from her sleep and said she wanted to write a letter to her father.  Since she did not have the strength to do so, she began dictating the letter "which contained her last wishes."

1858: In Kingston, Jamaica, Rabbi Alexander B. Davis and his wife gave birth to Ernest Lawton Davis, who was Chairman of the Sydney (Australia) Stock Exchange from 1899 through 1901, Director of the Sydney Jewish Sabbath School, Director of the Sydney Jewish Education Board and the husband of Alic Moss, the youngest daughter of Moses Moss.

1858: Pauline Hirschfeld, the daughter of Simon and Rachel Ausch and the wife of Dr. Jacob Jacques Heinrich Hirschfeld gave birth to Victor Léon

1858: Birthdate of Bernard Sachs the Harvard trained neurologist who is the “Sachs” in “Tay-Sachs

1861: Wilhelm I became King of Prussia.  His repeated clashes “with the liberal Chamber of Deputies” forced legal scholar Ferdinand Lassalle “to make public addresses dealing with the nature of the constitution and its relationship to the social forces within society.”

1862: Corporal Leon Berkowicz began his service with company H of the 59th regiment of the Second Cavalry in the Union Army.

1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel wrote a letter from Washington, DC to Henry Hart in New York updating him on the progress he was making in having the law changed so that Rabbis could serve as Chaplains in the Union Army.  Fischel also asked Hart to send him the smallest sized prayer book and Tehillim for the use of the Jewish soldiers serving in the Union Army.  He asked for an immediate shipment of 50, the smaller the better since they have to fit into the packs carried by the soldiers.  Fischel said that Joseph Seligman had assured him that the members of Temple Emanu-El would contribute a large sum of money for such a project was would the Jews at the Stanton Street Synagogue.  Finally, Fischel asked Hart to apologize on his behalf to Rabbi S.M. Isaacs for having not written but he, Fischel had been dealing with a bout of Cholera.

1863: The Battle of Stones River in which Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded the 79th Indiana Infantry came to an end with the Rebels being forced to withdraw. 

1863(11th of Tevet, 5623): The Battle of Stones River, in which Major Adolph G. Rosengarten was serving with a cavalry unit from Philadelphia, PA lost his life passed away today.

1863(11th of Tevet, 5623): Shlomo Zalman, the son of Shalom Charif Ullmann, who had been born in 1792, passed away today.

1873: It was reported today that an Imperial ukase or proclamation of the Czar has been issued today concerning the rules and regulations surrounding the recruiting program for the navy and army. Among other things, in that part of Poland ruled by Russia, Jews who have converted to Christianity will no longer be exempted from military service.  These converts, like others who have lost their exemption, can purchase one by 800 silver rubles to the government. [Considering the treatment of Jews in the Russian Army, conversion may have seemed like the lesser of two evils, especially for those who were too poor to be able to leave the country.]

1874(13th of Tevet, 5634): David Stern, husband of Fanny and brother-in-law of Levi Strauss, passes away.

1878: “The Merchant of Venice In 1652” which was published today and which was based on information that first appeared in the London Athenaeum speculated on the possibility that the republication of Shakespeare’s play featuring the infamous Shylock was released as part of the campaign against readmitting Jews to England which championed by Cromwell but opposed by a large segment of the population including the merchants in London, the clergy and such notables as William Prynne.

1879: It was reported today that The Hebrew Book Union has issued a prospectus for a new “Lexcicon to the Talmud, Targum and Midrash” compiled by Dr. F. De Sola Mendes.  It will be issued in four parts and will be the first such work published with an English translation. 

1884: Sir Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 1st Viscount Burnham “married Olive de Bathe, daughter of General Sir Gerald Henry Perceval de Bathe, 4th Bt and Charlotte Clare.”

1884: Birthdate of Ben-Zion Dinaburg, who studied to be a rabbi before moving to Palestine in 1921 where he gained fame as Ben-Zion Dinur where he served as head of the Jewish Teachers’ Training College and as an MK in the first Knesset.

1886: Alice le Strange, the wife of English philo-semite Laurence Oliphant passed away today after having contracted a fever while traveling along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Oliphant, who had also contracted the fever, was too sick to attend her funeral.  Oliphant was in Palestine to pursue his dream of helping large numbers of Jews to settle in their ancient homeland.

1886: Birthdate of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern one of “the most innovative and ironic of the modernist Yiddish poets.

1887: The Jewish Theological Seminary Association, the educational and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism opened under the leadership of Saba Morais. Morais, a Rabbi of Congregation Mikve Israel in Philadelphia, sought to train Rabbis who would help preserve Jewish traditions which he felt were being eroded by the “reformers” and their Pittsburgh platform. In 1902 Solomon Schechter reorganized the Seminary and changed the name to JTS or the Jewish Theological Seminary. it was at this point that it became the central foundation for the Conservative Movement, a role that it plays to this day.

1890(10th of Tevet, 5650):Asara B'Tevet

1890: It was reported today that the Beth Israel Hospital Association, which was recently formed to build a hospital on the Lower East Side for the burgeoning immigrant population has 180 members who have raised $1,200 in pledges and $500 in cash contributions.

1892(2nd of Tevet, 5652): Parashat Miketz and 8th day of Chanukah

1892(2nd of Tevet, 5652): Jacob Goldsmith, a trustee of Temple Emanu-El and director of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, passed away today. Born in Germany in 1821, he moved to the United States at the age of 15.  He successfully operated dry goods stores in Shreveport, Portland and San Francisco.  Finally, he sold his interest in a petroleum refining company to Standard Oil and moved to New York where owned a stationary business.

1893: It was reported today that Professor Cyrus Adler of Johns Hopkins University acquired a rare manuscript while in Constantinople that related to Columbus and the New World.

1893: It was reported today that Henry S. Morais is preparing a publication that will cover the history of “the Jews of Philadelphia from the earliest settlements until the present.” 

1893: As the outbreak of typhus that began on December 1st continues to work its way through the city, Henry Mazinsky, an eleven year old Jewish boy, who had been under the care of the Ladies’ Deborah Nursery fell victim to typhus today.

1894: Birthdate of Robert Gruntal Nathan an American novelist and poet whose works included The Bishop’s Wife which became a hit movie starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young.

1895: Birthdate of Count Folke Bernadotte.  Bernadotte was a member of a prominent Swedish family and well-known diplomat.  His negotiations with Himmler during World War II saved the lives of thousands of Jews.  As a U.N. representative, Bernadotte negotiated the first truce between the Arabs and the Israelis in 1948.  During the truce, Bernadotte visited Israel where he proposed a peace plan that would have been detrimental to Jewish interests.  In one of the most dastardly deeds in Jewish History, members of the Stern Gang assassinated Bernadotte.  Most Jews were so revolted by the act that the members of the gang were hunted down by authorities and the Stern Gang was forced to disband.  Unfortunately, the leadership of the Stern Gang gained respectability after the war.  Yitzchak Shamir, a prominent Sternist, would later serve as Prime Minister of Israel.

1895: Sir Matthew Nathan “was created a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for his services” “as secretary of the Colonial Defense Committee.

1895(6th of Tevet, 5655): A mother and her two children were burned to death at fire in the tenement house on Pitt Street.  The dead were, Lena Leiman (24), Sadie Leiman (2) and Henry Leiman (2 months)

1896: It was reported that Hirsh Leavitt, a Russian Jew hired by William Rubin as a night watchman for his building on 19th Bleecker Street had suffered a broken leg which would heal and not require amputation.  Leavitt, who speaks no English, had been injured when police mistook him for a burglar.

1896: Birthdate of Bialystok native David Abelevich Kaufman who gained fame as “Soviet pioneer documentary film and newsreel director” Dziga Vertov whose “Man with a Movie Camera” was voted “the 8th best film ever made” according to a poll taken in 2012.

1897: Jacob A. Riss delivered an address at a dinner hosted by the Reform Club in which he described the tenement system as “an invention of Satan” which had the power to overwhelm the scruples of its tenants including Jews as well as Roman Catholics.

1897: It was reported today that “Morris Goodhart, President of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society and…the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society is dangerously ill” as a result of “an abcess in the peritoneal cavity.”

1897: “Good-Will to Men” which was published today and which relies on information that first appeared in The Jewish Messenger, notes that “the trend of thought today among our Christian brethren of any culture and enlightenment is against bigotry and hatred for the greater glory of God.”

1898: “My Interview with the Wandering Jew” by John Denison Champlin was published today.

1898: It was reported today that “an explosion of accumulated gas wrecked the entire first floor of” Israel Cohen’s bathhouse at 23 Hester Street.

1898: It was reported today that a the two existing “Jewish colleges” – Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and Jewish Theological Seminary in New York – are about to be joined by a third school located in Philadelphia that will be funded, in part by a legacy created by the late Hyman Gratz which yields $5,000 per year.

1899: The Noah Benevolent Widows and Orphans’ Association is scheduled to “celebrate its golden jubilee” this “afternoon and evening with a banquet and reception at the Terrace Garden.”

1899: Mrs. Bertha Morgenstern told a reporter that she had celebrated her 106th birthday yesterday drinking “a pint of beer” and eating “three hearty meals” which is how she spends each and every one of her days at the Hebrew Sheltering Home.

1901: In New York Florence (née Lowenstein) Marshall and Louis Marshall gave birth to their third child, Robert "Bob" Marshall “an American forester, writer and wilderness activist.”

1903: Publication of the first edition of The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger.

1903: British minister Joseph Chamberlain “found” a wonderful piece of land in East Africa for Jewish settlement.

1904: The Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society which had offices in Denver was organized today but would not be incorporated until June.

1904: Manya Shochat the “Russian Jewish politician and the "mother" of the collective settlement in Palestine, the forerunner of the kibbutz movement” joined her brother Nachum Wilbuszewicz the founder of the Shemen soap factory “on a research expedition to some of the wilder places of Palestine.

  1905:  Japanese General Nogi received from Russian General Stoessel at 9 p.m. a letter formally offering to surrender, ending the Russo-Japanese War. The Russian defeat led to an uprising against the Czar and Pogroms aimed at the Jews.  In an attempt to gain support, Czar Nicholas II agreed to popular elections for the Duma (Russian Parliament).  The reforms were short lived and produced limited results.  Even more significantly, the Russians were unable to reform their military establishment.  This meant that the Russians were ill-suited to fight the Germans in World War I which would break out five years later.  Jews would suffer during World War I and would suffer even more when the Bolsheviks came to power at the end of World War I. As we have discovered in our studies in Cedar Rapids, Jewish History is entwined with the history of all of the civilizations in which they live and have lived. That is part of the challenge and half of the fun.

1905: Birthdate of Russian mathematician Lev Schnirelmann.

1906: “Alliance Work Thriving” published today described the work of the Educational Alliance whose real function was the “Americanizing” of recently arrived Jewish immigrants and which had received donations of $25,000 from Jacob H. Schiff and Louis Stern’; $20,000 from Benjamin Altman; $10,000 from William Saloman and Isidor Straus and $25,000 from Andrew Carnegie.

1906: The 9th Duke of Marlborough, a cousin of Winston Churchill, expressed his dissatisfaction with a review of Churchill’s newly published biography about his father Randolph by threatening “to administer a good and sound trouncing to that dirty little Hebrew,” Harry Levy-Lawson, the Jewish manager of the paper in which the review appeared. The two cousins had very different views of Jews and the Jewish people.

1909(9th of Tevet, 5669): Russian born British artist and illustrator Henry Ospovat passed away today.

1909(9th of Tevet, 5669): Louis A. Heinsheimer passed away. He died as result as complications from recent operation for appendicitis. Born in 1859 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he worked for sixteen years at the investment banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company before being made a partner in 1894 Heinsheimer was the nephew of one of the firm's founders, Solomon Loeb. He never married and was survived by his mother, brother and two sisters.  A renowned philanthropist, Heinsheimer served as the Treasurer for the United Hebrew Charities. Shortly before his death he completed building a summer home called Breezy Point at Far Rockaway, New York. The estate would be used by by the Maimonides Institute for Exceptional Children until it burned down in 1987.

1912: Newly-elected Sheriff Julius Harburger announced “that he would appoint a number of women deputies.”  Only was it later discovered that such appointments were against the law.

1913(23rd of Tevet of 5673): Fifty-six year old Buffalo, NY attorney Moses Shire passed away today.

1913: The Intercollegiate Menorah Association which had offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was organized today.

1913: Birthdate of English actress Anna Lee was the seventh wife of poet Robert Gruntal Nathan (He was Jewish.  She was not)

1915(16th of Tevet, 5675): Karl Goldmark Austria-Hungarian composer passes away at the age of 84.

1915: It was reported today that of the $1,000,000 that has been collected by the Jewish National Fund, three fourths of it has been “invested in farm land in Palestine.”

1915: Philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company ‘was indicted in Chicago for a failure to file a personal property tax schedule” following a dispute with the Tax Board of Review over the valuing of his assets – a dispute that would be resolved “in March of 1915 when Rosenwald’s attorneys convinced the Court that the section of law which provided for prosecution of such cases had been repealed.”

1915: James Creelman, the New York American’s Berlin correspondent who had covered the Dreyfus trial and “toured Russia investigating the persecution of the Jews” set sail today for the Nazi capitol.

1916: Birthdate of Edmund Leopold de Rothschild.

1916: Dr. J.L. Magnes is scheduled to continue his speaking tour by appearing at a mass meeting in Baltimore where he will describe the need to provide aid for the three and half million Jews suffering in Russia.

1916: Tonight, in Baltimore, a mass of seven thousand Jews gathered at the Hippodrome and Palace Theatre where one hundred thousand dollars in cash was donated to the American Jewish Relief Committee with an additional five million dollar in pledges made to the organization raising funds for the suffering Jews in Russia.

1916: In Chicago, at the 19th annual convention of the Knights of Zion, President Nathan D. Kaplan reported that “in the last year 1,500,000 pounds of foodstuffs were shipped to Palestine for the relief of destitute Jews.”

1916: The Overseas News Agency reported that according to sources in Stockholm “orders have been given to all Jewish refugees at Petrograd to depart immediately.”

1916: In Chicago, this morning’s business session of the Knights of Zion Convention is scheduled to be followed by a kosher banquet for 600 delegates and guests.

1916: In Baltimore, MD, it was estimated that between $50,000 and $75,000 were raised tonight for the relief of Jews stricken by the war at meetings attended by about 5,000 people.

1916: It was reported today that Congressman Meyer London initiated his party’s effort in behalf of the Jews of Europe when he recently introduced a join resolution asking for a congress of neutral nations” that would remove the political and civic disabilities of the Jewish people wherever such disabilities exist.

1916: In Camden, NJ, : Rabbi Max Klein of Philadelphia's Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, Rabbi Bernard Levinthal, Philadelphia's renown Orthodox Jewish leader, Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen, Rabbi Samuel S. Grossman and Rabbi Abraham Nowak of New York City were scheduled to appear at a mass meeting at the North Broadway Theater at Broadway and Kaighn

1916: “Rabbi Joseph Silverman, preaching at Temple Emanu-El said” today “that the 100,000 Jews fighting in the European armies were a living refutation of the slander that Jews lacking in patriotism.”

1916: Birthdate of Zypora Tannenbaum who gained fame as Zypora Spaisman. Born in Lublin, she was a Polish-American actress and Yiddish theatre empresaria. She emigrated to the United States in 1954 where she helped keep the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre in NYC alive for 42 years (along with Morris Adler), before helping to found the Yiddish Public Theater following a dispute with the Folksbiene's new management

1917: In Montreal, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies which was founded in 1916, today “launched its first fundraising campaign under the slogan ‘Unity is Strength.’”

1918: A telegraph received in Chicago tonight from Jacob Billikopf of New York said that as of January 1, the Jewish War Relief had received $8,500,000 and that “since Julius Rosenwald’s matching offer” was based on the “cash on hand by that date” his contribution should be $850,000 although, if there is additional cash in the possession of offices in other cities, his contribution would rise accordingly.

1920: Birthdate of Isaac Asimov.  Born to middle class Jewish parents, Asimov’s family moved to the United States in 1923.  Asimov became one of the 20th century’s greatest science fiction writers.  He also wrote guides to the Bible and Shakespeare.

1920: Rabbis in Jerusalem arranged to have special prayers recited at the Western Wall for the Jews in Damascus who are threatened with violence.

1920: “In a speech in Sunderland…Churchill described Bolshevism as a ‘Jewish movement.’”

1921: Jacob A. Dolgenas who began serving as the Rabbi at Congregation Gates of Prayer in Brooklyn yesterday is scheduled to be formally installed this afternoon.

1921: “The first dance and open meeting of the Bronx Jewish High School Youth” is scheduled to “be held this afternoon at the Community Building Auditorium.

1922(2nd of Tevet, 5682):  8th Day of Chanukah

1927: According to published reports, two plans are being developed for the electrification of Palestine.  One plan “contemplates pumping the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean over a low ridge of mountains between the Palestinian coast and the Jordan Valley, and then through turbines into Lake Tiberius and the Dead Sea.” The other, a more modest plan, calls for using the flow of the Jordan to create mechanical power which could then generate an affordable supply of electricity. 

1927 (28th of Tevet, 5687): “Asher Ginsberg, whose pen name was Achad Ha’am passed away 5 o’clock this morning at Tel Aviv.” Born in 1856 near Kiev, Ginsberg lived in England from 1906 until 1921 when he made Aliyah. While living in England, managed a tea shop owned by one his literary admirers and worked with Chaim Weizmann to create the document known as the Balfour Declaration.  In 1889, Ginsberg caused a stir with “the publication in the Russian Jewish periodical Ha-Meliz of his frist article dealing with the Zionist movement and the future of the Jews.”  Over time he would develop the concept of Cultural Zionism which espouses a belief “in the development of Palestine as intellectual and moral homeland for the Jewish people throughout the word, as well as a place of physical refuge.”  His most famous literary work was a three-volume work called Al Parshat Derachim or The Parting of the Ways.

1928: The municipality of Tel Aviv is scheduled to start paying the principle on a 75,000 pound bond issue that was offered in December of 1922.

1931: At the Mansfield the curtain came down on the final performance of the original Broadway production of “The House of Connelly” starring Stella Adler, Morris Carnovsky, J. Edward Bromberg and Clifford Odets which was staged by Lee Strasberg and “was the inaugural production of the Group Theatre.

1932: In reply to a letter of this date from H.E. Wilder, editor of the Israelite Press written to Dr. Hiram Vineberg of New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, the latter wrote “I am the Dr. Hiram Vineberg who practiced in Portage la Prairie area in 1881, 1882 and 1883. Although I was the only Jew in town I soon acquired the leading practice. There were four other physicians in the town. I was appointed Board of Health Officer. I was on intimate terms with the ministers (4 or 5) especially the Reverend Mr. Fortin, Minister of the Episcopal Church. I did not encounter any prejudice whatever, and there was no doubt as to my religion from the very first. (When Dr. Hiram N. Vineberg of Cornwall, Ontario, came to practice medicine at Portage la Prairie in 1878 there was only 33 Jews in the province of Manitoba, 21 of whom lived in Winnipeg.)
On the eve of my departure a dinner was tendered to me at which most of the leading citizens were present. Many complimentary and flattering speeches were delivered. All expressed the wish that I would return soon to resume practice there. I went abroad for a year visiting the leading European clinics and then settled in New York City."

1932: Maurice J. Karpf was elected President of the American Association of Schools of Social Work.

1933: NBC’s Blue Network the 6th episode of “Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel” starring Groucho and Chico Marx.

1933(4th of Tevet, 5693): Belle Moskowitz the political advisor to New York Governor Al Smith who managed his 1928 presidential campaign died unexpectedly as a result of complications from a fall on the steps in front of her house.

1933: The death of Mrs. Henry (Belle) Moskowitz came as a great shock to those gathered in Albany for today’s inauguration ceremony.  Both Governor Herbert Lehman and former Governor (1928 Presidential candidate) Al Smith were taken aback by the loss of their friend and political ally.

1933: Birthdate of author Leonard Michaels whose works included Sylvia and The Men’s Club.

1934: New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was among the many prominent civic, academic and religious leaders who attended today’s funeral for Dr. George Alexander Kohut which was held at the deceased’s Park Avenue Home. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the Free Synagogue and a life-long friend of the Dr. Kohut conducted the service and delivered the eulogy. Internment followed the service at the Linden Hill Cemetery.

1934: Birthdate of Wael Zwaiter a member of Black September who was alleged to have played a role in the Munich Massacre.

1935: “First Message in Hebrew Sent over Telegraph” published today described how Israel Amicam overcame the official objection to his plan for using Hebrew to transmit telegrams because officials said “that it was not feasible to send messages in Hebrew characters over wires and that a heavy expenditure for special machinery would necessary.”

1936: On his 75th birthday, Philadelphian Samuel Bloom announced that he was contributing 3000 pounds for the establishment of a home for “vagrant children” in Tel Aviv.

1937(19th of Tevet, 5697): Parsasaht Shemot

1937: At Temple Emanu-El Rabbi B. Benedict Glazer was scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Making Bricks Without Straw.”

1937: Rabbi Nathan Stern is scheduled to deliver the sermon today at West End Synagouge.

1937: At Rodeph Sholom Synagogue Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon “I am who I am: Who is the God of Israel?”

1938: It was reported today that Poland has increased the number of guards along its border with Romania in response to an expected mass of Jews from that country into Poland.

1938: Today, in “an address at the Free Synagogue” meeting at Carnegie Hall, Ludwig Lewisohn declared that “if the Jewish people are to be saved it will not be by blind, mass adherence to any political or religious doctrine but by the great majority of Jewish individuals findings themselves and cooperating as free souls.”

1938: The Palestine Post reported from London that the British Zionist Federation launched a movement, led by Lady Reading, Lord Melchett and Rabbi Perlzweig, for the inclusion of the Jewish National Home in Palestine within the British Empire. They stressed the common ideals and interests in Palestine of both Great Britain and the Jewish people. The High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, paid an official visit to Tel Aviv and assured Mayor Israel Rokach that the government would approve a £175,000 loan for the building of a new town hall and other essential developments.

1939: Time magazine names Adolf Hitler “Man of the Year, 1938.”  (This was not a vote of approval; merely acknowledgement of his importance.)

1939: Roman Dmowski, an anti-Semitic Polish politician who co-found the National Democracy movement which sought to counter what it considers unfair “Polish-Jewish economic competition with Catholic Poles” passed away. (Polish anti-Semitism was homegrown which helped to account for why there was no refuge for the Jews of Poland when the Nazis invaded.)

1939:  Solomon Levitan served his final day in office as state treasurer of Wisconsin

1940: In Poland, Jews were forbidden to post obituaries by the General Gouvernment

1941: “In the Netherlands, Jews are prohibited from visiting cinemas.”

1941: “The executive committee of the British Zionist Federation today stated that the death of Tel Aviv’s Deputy Mayor Dov Hos was “a terrible tragedy for the Jewish people.” (JTA)

1941(3rd of Tevet, 5701): Forty-two year old pianist Mischa Levitzki died suddenly of a heart attack in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey.

 1942: Truckloads of deportees were driven around Chelmo, gassed and then buried. The first of 5,000 Gypsies were brought to Chelmo and gassed.

1945: Seventy-one year old Dr. Solly Baron, the Berlin born rabbi who had fled Nazi Germany with his wife arrived in the United States today from Halifax, Canada  thus completing a an ocean trip aboard the S.S. Cavina which originated in Liverpool, England.

1945: Abba Eban ended his tour of duty at the Ministry of State.

1945: Abba Eban is betrothed to his future wife Suzy.

1946: Holocaust survivors Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn) Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) were married in Scwabisch Hall, Germany.

1946: At a press conference, British General Frederick Morgan, the director general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Europe, disclosed that "thousands of Polish Jews were coming into the U.S. Zone of Occupation assisted by an unknown secret Jewish organization." He further stated that Jewish Holocaust survivors were being forced by that organization to immigrate to Palestine. He clarified this accusation, intimating that most of the survivors preferred to emigrate elsewhere. The organization was Bricha.  But the claim by the British general must be measured against the fact the British government was still committed to the White Paper which barred Jewish immigrants from entering Palestine.

1946: Ruth Seid, writing under the ethnically neutral and gender-ambiguous pen name Jo Sinclair, won the $10,000 Harper Prize for new writers

1946: The Women’s League for Palestine holds an open meeting and tea to plan a campaign for raising funds for enlarging and maintain the league’s other homes in Jerusalem and Haifa.

1946: Eleanor Florence Rathbone, a member of the British House of Commons and advocate for the rights of women passed away.  In the House of Commons, the courageous Eleanor Rathbone attacked the British government for the defeatist attitudes expressed at the Bermuda Conference and noted that the Allies are responsible for the deaths of any Jews if they refuse to help.

1947(10th of Tevet, 5707): Asara B'Tevet

1947: Jewish underground staged bombings and machine gun attacks in five cities. Casualties were low. Pamphlets seized warned that the Irgun had again declared war against the British.

1947: “Admiral Nakhimov” a Russian made biopic starring Aleksei Dikiy was released today in the Soviet Union.

1948: Birthdate of Tony Robert Judt who went from being an ardent Zionist to one who was so critical of the Jewish state that he might classified as an anti-Zionist.

1948: In New York City, nightclub owner Bill Miller and his wife gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning writer and FOX commentator Judith Miller.

1949: In the aftermath of the War of Independence, the last Israeli troops left the Sinai Peninsula completing a withdrawal that had been worked out between Ben Gurion and Britain.

1949: In an example of what difference a year makes, two Israeli Spitfires attacked an Egyptian train traveling in violation of the withdrawal agreement. 

1949: An Egyptian plan flew over Jerusalem injuring seven people when it dropped its bombs.

1949: As part of Bill Paley’s “great raid” the Jack Benny Program returned to CBS radio where it will remain until its last broadcast in 1955.

1951: The North American tour of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra sponsored by the American Fund for Israeli Institutions began with a concert in Washington, D.C. conducted by Dr. Serge Koussevitzky,

 1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that on the first day on which price control was lifted from poultry, prices rose from IL 2 to IL 6 a kilo. The Norwegian S.S. Rimfort passed through the Suez Canal, and arrived with a cargo of 150 tons of meat from Ethiopia, assuring the distribution of the monthly meat ration. The Ministry of Commerce started planning further substantial meat purchases from Brazil and Argentina

1953: Birthdate of Egyptian born American author Andre Aciman who wrote the autobiographical Out of Egypt.

1954: Herman Wouk’s "Caine Mutiny" premiered in New York City.

1954: After 344 performances on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre, the curtain came down “My Three Angels,” “a comedy play by Samuel and Bella Spewack” with “scenic designs by Boris Aronson.

1955:  Arab militant gunmen attacked and killed 2 hikers in the Judean Desert.

1955: First broadcast of “The Bob Cummings Show” for which Stanley Frazen served as Supervising Editor.

1956: Sydney Fine resigned from his position as member of the House of Representatives for New York’s 22nd congressional district so that he could join the New York Supreme Court.

1957(29th of Tevet, 5717): Six-eight year old Isaac Nachman Steinberg passed away.

1960(2nd of Tevet, 5720): Parashat Miketz and 8th Day of Chanukah

1960: Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Kennedy was quite popular with a significant segment of Jewish voters.  Unlike others, Jews had no problem supporting a Catholic running for President.  As President, Kennedy appointed Jews to his Cabinet and to the Supreme Court.  He also supported the state of Israel when the survival of the Jewish state was still at risk

1961(14th of Tevet, 5721): Eighty-one year old Constance Amberg Sporborg, the widow of attorney of William Dick Sporborg, who served was a leader of “the New York City and State Federations of Women’s Clubs, the National Council of Jewish Women’s Clubs and the National Council of Jewish Women” passed away today.

1961: Birthdate of Representative Rob Wexler, who represented Florida’s 19th congressional district starting in 1997.

1962: Look magazine features photographs of JFK and his family which were the work of photojournalist Stanley Tretick

1964: Israeli footballer Mordechai “Motaleh” Spiegler “made his international debut for Israel today against Hong Kong.

1965: Gary Lewis and the Playboys’ version of “This Diamond Ring” a song written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levin charted first, #101 on today’s Billboard "Bubbling Under" chart

 1966: First native Jewish child was born in Spain since the expulsion in 1492

1966: “The Trefa Banquet” published today described the famous dinner given in Cincinnati in 1883 which proved to be a decisive moment in the separation of the Reform movement from traditional Judaism.

1967: Yisrael Yeshayahu replaced Eliyahu Sasson as Communications Minister.

1967: Eliyahu Sasson replaced Bechor Shalom Sheetrit as Minister of Public Security.

1967: An exhibition of the works of Gertrude Schaefler began today at the Bodley Gallery in New York City.

1969: Opening of “The Fig Leaves Are Falling” with script and lyrics by Allan Sherman

1970: In Operation Double Bass 10, The Golani Brigade took part in a retaliatory raid on Kfar Kila in response to the kidnapping of an elderly guard from Metula by Fatah two days earlier.

1970: During the War of Attrition, Hagi Zamir, together with two other soldiers - including Aharon Danziger - were hurt while entering the island of Shaduan with Zamir’s wounds resulting in the amputation of his left leg. Zamir, a native of Kibbutz Zikim, overcame his loss by turning to volleyball where he took part in seven Paralympic Games.

1971: A team of Israeli scholars announced the discovery in Jerusalem of a 2,000-year-old skeleton of a crucified male. Found in a cave-tomb, it was the first direct physical evidence of the well-documented Roman method of execution.

1971(5th of Tevet, 5731): A family of new immigrants from England – David and Pretty Arroyo and their two babies, Mark and Abigail - visit Gaza. They park their car in a main street and a minute later a terrorist throws a hand grenade through the open rear window. The babies are killed on the spot and their mom is severely wounded. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of Staff Bar Lev assign Ariel Sharon, Head of the Southern Command, to eliminate the terror in the Gaza Strip.

1972: Opening of “Fun City,” the first Broadway play by--and starring--Joan Rivers.

1974: Diplomatic sources in Moscow said the USSR allowed a record 34,750 Jews to emigrate in 1973 as opposed to 31,500 in 1972” but these “emigrants were mainly from Southern Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic States and Georgia” with few Jews from Moscow or Leningrad receiving exit permits.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that during the current Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations, Mustafa Amin, a well-known Egyptian journalist, described Prime Minister Menachem Begin as a "Shylock," determined to get his pound of flesh from his people. Residents of the Yamit area were "more disappointed than ever" by the government decision to allow Egyptian sovereignty over the entire Rafiah Approaches.

1979(3rd of Tevet, 5739): Seventy-seven Lithuanian born Rabbi Chaim Leib Halevi Shmuelevitz passed away today in Jerusalem.

1981: As of today Helen Reddy and Jeff Wald “had separated with Wald moving into a Beverly Hills rehad facility to treat an eight-year addiction to cocaine.”  Reddy had “converted Judaism before marrying Wald.”

1981: “Nadezhda Mandelstam, widow of Osip Mandelstam, the poet who died in a Stalinist purge, was buried today on the outskirts of Moscow” (As reported by Anthony Austin)

1985: Funeral services are scheduled to be held in Chicago today for food importer Max H. Ries, the founder of Reese Finer Foods.

1987(1st of Tevet, 5747): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1987: During the Intifada,  Israel stopped another Junieh-bound ferry, the Sunny Boat, and turned it back to Larnaca after the Cypriot captain refused an Israeli demand that he hand over Palestinian passengers suspected of being terrorists.

1989: In  “Israel, Hardly the Monaco of the Middle East,” published today Abba Eban explained why Israel must negotiate with the Arabs and why her “friends” must not be alarmed at this turn of events.  Since Eban may be considered as “the dean of Israeli foreign policy and one of those who got it more right than most, the article is worth reading in its entirety.

1990: The Likud and Labor parties averted a breakup of their governing coalition today with a compromise under which Ezer Weizmann, the independent-minded Labor Party Science Minister, would keep his post but be suspended from the Government's decision-making core.

1990: In “From Letter Writer to Starting Forward,” published today Jack Cavanugh described the unique approach followed by Nadav Henefield as he transitioned from being one of the best basketball players in Israel to a scholarship and starting role with the University of Connecticut.

1992: Tonight, Israel announced that it would expel 12 Palestinians who were involved with known terrorists following the murder of a Jewish settler.

1992: Jerusalem struggled with its worst snowstorm in four decades. Across the Israeli capital, tree branches, and even entire trees, snapped with rifle-shot cracks under the heavy snow.

 1993: The New York Times published the following letter to the editor from David L. Gold; President of the Association of the Study of Jewish Languages disputing early claims that that the word “turkey” had a Hebrew root.

“Harold M. Kamsler's attempt to trace English "turkey" to Hebrew "tuki" (letter, Dec. 13) makes etymology seem as easy as finding like-sounding words in other languages.

To set the record straight: The English word is a shortening of "Turkey-cock" and "Turkey-hen," which were originally the names of the guinea fowl (so called because the guinea fowl was sometimes imported into Europe through Turkey). Because people misidentified the turkey with the guinea fowl or mistakenly considered it to be a species of that bird, these English names came to designate the turkey. Furthermore, the word "Turkey-cock" is not attested until 1541, that is, almost a half-century after Columbus's voyages. "Turkey-hen and "turkey" are not attested until even later. Rabbi Kamsler's explanation, not original with him, is an old yarn spun in uninformed Jewish circles. Along with countless other pseudoscientific claims about supposed Hebrew influence on English and other languages, the myth of the Hebrew origin of "turkey" was quietly exploded in volume 2 of Jewish Linguistic Studies (1990).”

1994: “A Coat of Many Colors: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada” comes to a close today at the Jewish Museum in NYC

1994: Final day for showing "A Coat of Many Colors: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada" at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

1994: “Jane’s House” a made for television dramatic film with a teleplay by Eric Roth, music by David Shire and produced by Aaron Spelling was broadcast for the first time tonight on CBS.

1994: At the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, the curtain came down on a revival production of “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” which had been directed by Elmer Rice in its initial Broadway production

1994: The last in a series of three family tours sponsored by American Jewish Congress are scheduled to come to an end.

1996(10th of Tevet, 5756): Asara B’Tevet

1997: The governor of Colorado appointed Michael Bender to serve as an associate Justice of the Colorado State Supreme Court He was the son of basketball legend and former U.S. Attorney Lou Bender,

1997(23rd of Tevet, 5757): Eighty-six year old Moshe Vilenski, the native of Warsaw who is considered a pioneer of Israeli music and who wrote the music for “Kalaniyot” passed away today.

1997(23rd of Tevet, 5757): Forty-five year old Randy California (Randy Craig Wolfe) “a guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the original members of the rock group Spirit” passed away today in Hawaii.

 1998: In “Are yeshiva students dumb?” published today author Jonathan Rosenblum quoted the following story in explaining why yeshivot are important to the survival of the Jewish people. “At the cornerstone-laying of Ponevezh Yeshiva, nearly 50 years ago, many were surprised by the presence of Mapai stalwart Pinhas Lavon. Asked what an avowed secularist was doing there, Lavon replied in all seriousness, 'The leaders of the Jewish people have always come from the yeshivas. If we have no yeshivas, where will the leaders come from?"

1998(4th of Tevet, 5758): Ninety-two year old writer and lyricist Max Coplet passed away today

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including And the Sea Is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969 by Elie Wiesel, Arthur Kosetler: The Homeless Mind by David Cesarani and The Multiple Identities of the Middle East by Bernard Lewis.

2001: Yasir Arafat was scheduled to meet with President Clinton this afternoon following Arafat’s emergency flight to Washington from Gaza coming in the wake of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day.

2003: Today Israeli soldiers found the charred body of a 73-year-old Israeli man near a West Bank village hours after his family had reported him missing. The grisly discovery came after the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group linked to Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, issued a statement declaring it had killed an Israeli in the Jordan Valley near Tubas.

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Catastrophe: Risk and Response by Richard A. Posner and the recently published paperback editions of Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder: A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler, Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s by Gerald Nachman, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? by Bernard-Henri Levy; translated by James X. Mitchell and A Mighty Heart The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl by Mariane Pearl with Sarah Crichton.

2005: In “Shalom, y’all a smile from South’s Jews” published today the Chicago Tribune reported on “an archive opening soon in South Carolina that salutes 300 years of immigrants’ history.” The archive located on the campus of the College of Charleston will shed light on Jewish Southern history and its role in society.  The focus will be the Jews of Charleston which was once the leading port of entry for Jews coming to the United States.

2006: In “Satire That Spares Nothing, Not Even God and Country” published today Dina Kraft described Israel's hit spoof news show, "A Wonderful Country" which drew inspiration in part from "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

2007: Police Inspector - General Karadi has decided to appoint a special national police task force to combat the attacks and threats against Israeli mayors.

2007(17 Shevat 5767): Teddy Kolleck, Jerusalem’s most famous mayor, passed away.

2008: In Buenos Aires, Argentina the 11th Annual Maccabiah Games came to an end.

2008: The Film Forum in Manhattan started a sixteen day showing of 23 of the films of producer-director Otto Preminger.  The Viennese born refugee from Hitler’s Europe, Preminger’s accomplishments transcended those of a movie mogul.  The crusading liberal challenged racism by directing “Porgy and Bess” and “Carmen Jones.”  He challenged McCarthyism and the Red Baiting Right Wing by hiring Dalton Trumbo one of the jailed Hollywood 10 as the writer screenwriter for the film “Exodus.”

2008: The New York Times features a review of Richard Cook’s Alfred Kazin a biography of the literary critic who was “a proud Jew” and “a champion of writers like Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.”

2008: Representative Tom Lantos a California Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that he will not seek re-election because he has cancer of the esophagus.  Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the U.S. Congress.

2009: As the impact of Bernard L. Madoff’s con game spreads, the management of the Bank Medici, the small Austrian merchant bank that emerged as one of its largest victims resigned making room for a government appointed accountant to temporarily take over day-to-day management of the bank’s operations.  The bank, based in Vienna, had invested $2.1 billion in client funds with Madoff.

2009: As Jews around the world prepared for Shabbat, the following names would be added to the Yahrzeit Lists read at more than one synagogue or temple:

December 27, 2008 (30 Kislev 5769): Beber Vaknin, aged 57, was killed by missile in his hometown Netivot when he went out of his house on Saturday morning.

December 29 2008 (2 Tevet 5769): Irit Shitrit, a 36 year old mother of four who had sought shelter in a bus station was killed by a rocket in downtown Ashdod

December 29, 2008 (2 Tevet 5769): First Staff Sgt. Lutfi Nasraldin, 38, from the Israeli Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel was killed when two mortar shells landed in the brigade headquarters near Nachal Oz.

December 29, 2008 (2 Tevet 5769) : Hani al Mahdi a 27-year-old construction worker, from the Bedouin village of Aroer was killed when a Palestinian Grad missile exploded near a construction site in the coastal town of Ashkelon.

2010:  Jews around the world complete the reading of Bereshit (Genesis) – one down, four to go.

2010: Jerusalem native Dan Aran, leads the Dan Aran Trio, as it performs at The Bar Next Door in New York.

2010: In Cedar Rapids, the traditional Saturday Morning Minyan at Temple Judah entered its ninth year. Despite sub-zero temperatures and the New Year’s weekend, our small congregation produced a number in excess of the basic prayer quorum. Per the request of our youngest attendee, Gabriella Thalblum Deb Levin saw to it that we had Pizza as part of the Kiddush following services. 

2010: A hacker attacked Jewish Web sites in Boulder, Colo., posting anti-Semitic messages. The Web sites of two Boulder synagogues, Bonai Shalom and Har HaShem, were defaced today. The messages compared the Jewish community to a terrorist organization, a company that maintains the Web sites told the Denver Post. According to the report, the Web site of the Boulder Rabbinic Council also was attacked. The hacker called himself Waja (Adi Noor). It took about five hours to restore the sites. "This is not all that different from painting a swastika on the wall of a building," Jeff Finkelstein, who maintains the sites, told the Denver Post. He said he is trying to trace the hacker.

2010(16th of Tevet, 5770): David Gerber, an Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning television producer who brought forward-thinking series like “Police Story” and “Police Woman” to prime time in the 1970s and produced more than 50 television films and mini-series during a four-decade career, died today in Los Angeles at the age of 86. (As reported by Anita Gates)

2011: A Judaica book sale -- the largest of its kind in the Greater Washington area -- with an estimated 1,600 titles is scheduled to take place at Congregation Tikvat Israel in Rockville, Md.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt

2011: The funeral of Rabbi Yissachar Meir, who passed away on Shabbat, was held today at Netiviot, Israel.

2011: In the week ending today the London, Broadway, and both North American touring productions of “Wicked,} the Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman musical “simultaneously broke their respective records for the highest weekly gross/”

2011: Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh is one of two winners of Israel’s Media Watch’s 2011 award for media criticism, the organization announced today. The right-wing satirical news site Latma was a co-winner of the award. The Jerusalem Post's Senior Contributing Editor Caroline B. Glick is the founder and editor in chief of Latma, which achieved a great deal of publicity last year when a satirical video it released in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid titled, "We Con the World," racked up over five million views. Both Latma and Abu Toameh will receive a $5,000 cash prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony to be held by IMW in February

2011: As of today, Deborah Shapiro and Michael Rieber who have been friends, political allies, and fellow members of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston for several years enjoy another distinction. Together, they form the Republican minority on the five-person Livingston Township Council.

2012: In Jerusalem, local talent is scheduled to have a chance to shine at Open Mic Night at Mike’s Place

2012: Rabbi Chaim Sabato and Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein are scheduled to appear at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue in a program is in celebration of the recently published book "Mevakshay Panecha" by Rabbis Sabato and Lichtenstein.  “Adjusting Sites” and “Aleppo Tales” by Chaim Sabato are available in English and are a must read for everybody.

2012: The Knesset approved today in second and third readings the so-called Grunis bill, which is expected to pave the way for Supreme Court Justice Asher Dan Grunis, a conservative judge popular with right-wing politicians, to be named the next court president.

2012: The IDF General Staff forum has decided to adopt a special committee's recommendation to excuse religious soldiers from informal events which include women's singing, Ynet learned today. The committee, which is headed by IDF Personnel Directorate chief Major-General Orna Barbivai, also determined that religious soldiers should not be allowed to leave an official event where women are invited to perform.

2013: “Aya” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: “Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize will honor American, German and Austrian scientists as well as an architect from Portugal this year, the Wolf Foundation announced today.” (As reported by Michal Shumlovich)

2013: Ruth Goodman, Yossi Almani and the Hilulim team from Israel featuring Gadi Bitton, Yaron Ben Simchon, Yaron Carmel are scheduled to lead an evening of Israeli Dancing at the 92nd Street Y.

2013(20th of Tevet, 5773): Ninety-two year old scholar and author Gerda Lerner passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2013: Clashes broke out for the second day running between Palestinians and settlers outside the West Bank outpost of Esh Kodesh near the Shiloh settlement this morning, Army Radio reported.

2013: The IDF Prosecutor today filed an indictment against the alleged “mastermind” of the Tel Aviv bus bombing which injured 24 passengers during Operation Pillar of Defense with the West Bank Military Court of Yehuda.

2014: “Sage of a Photo” and “Behind the Candelabra” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014(1st of Shevat, 5774): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

2014: Menachem “Max” Stark “a Jewish Chassidic American real estate developer in New York City. Stark was abducted outside his office at 331 Rutledge Street in Brooklyn” today.

2014: “An internal Palestinian Authority document” “whose contents were reported by…Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Radio this morning” predicted a “third intifada” if the Kerry Peace talks fail.

2014: A 16-year-old Gaza terrorist, who was trying to destroy the security fence, was shot in the leg by the IDF today after he refused orders to desist. (As reported by Ari Yashir)

2014: The IDF expects Israeli born Seton Hall basketball player Tom Maayan to return to fulfill his military obligation.

2014: The gag order was removed on Shin Bet’s arrest of “14 terrorists some from the Islamic Jihad organization, on suspicion that they were involved in the bombing of a bus in Bat Yam two weeks ago.” (As reported by Gil Ronen)

2015: In Washington, DC, the historic sixth and I synagogue is scheduled to host a “Good Soul Shabbat” featuring Rabbi Scott, Kevin Snider of DeLeon, percussionist Guy Irlander, and Michal Bilick

2015: “Several settlers hurled rocks at personnel from Jerusalem’s US Consulate near an illegal West Bank outpost.” (As reported by Itmar Sharon)

2015: The IDF arrested Mohammed al-Ajlounin, an East Jerusalem resident “on suspicion that he was behind dthe stabbing of two Border Police officers last week in Jerusalem’s Old City.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2015(11th of Tevet, 5775):  Ruth Popkin, the former Hadassah President and President of the Jewish National Fund passed away today at the age of 101.

2015: Marc Weisman, Iowa’s “Hebrew Hammer” played his final college football game.

2016: This evening, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the fourth annual Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Recital featuring a performance of selections from “La Traviata.”

2016: “A Brief History of Humankind” an exhibit based on Sapiens: A Brief History by Yuval Noah Harari is scheduled to come to a close at the Israel Museum.

2016: “The Kid” and “Rust and Bones” are scheduled to be shown at The Jerusalem Cinematheque 

2016(21st of Tevet, 5776): Shabbat Shemot – Start of the New Year coincides with the start of the second book of the Torah. 

2016(21st of Tevet, 5776): Seventy-nine year old television host Stanley Siegel passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts.)

2017: As they recover from ringing the New Year, friends and family Judith Miller are scheduled to celebrate the birthday of the Pulitzer Prize winning FOX commentator.

2017: “Israeli police investigators questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for three hours at his official residence this evening on suspicion of receiving illicit gifts and favors from business executives.”

2017: Friends and family mourn the death of 19 year old Israeli Lian Zahar Hassan who was murdered by a terrorist as she celebrated the New Year in Istanbul.

2017: “Angeliquca Tompkins, 19, and Matthew Terry, 20 and a female juvenile charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespassing in connection with the vandalism of the headstone of a Jewish couple buried in the cemetery of Scottsburg, a small Indiana town” (JTA)

2017: This evening in Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host the fifth annual Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Recital featuring “principal singers from Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliaceci.”

2018: Night Spectacular Sound and Light Show is scheduled to illuminate the walls of the Citadel in Jerusalem.

2018: In Jerusalem, the First Station is scheduled to host a calorie burning Zumba Party.

2018: In New York, the Jewish Museum is scheduled to host several tours “of the exhibition Modigliani Unmasked.”






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