Wednesday, November 7, 2018

This Day, November 8, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 8

30: Birthdate of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, the Roman Emperor who changed the way in which the special tax on Jews was collected so that would not be the humiliating experience created by his Flavian predecessors.

641: “Jews were permitted to continue to reside in Alexandria by the treaty that sealed the Arab conquest of Egypt.” Jews had been living in Alexandria since its founding in 332 BCE

1223: Louis VIII of France declared that the interest on Jews' debts should no longer hold good. At the same time, he ordered that the capital should be repaid to the Jews in three years and that the debts due the Jews should be inscribed and placed under the control of their lords. The lords then collected the debts for the Jews, doubtless receiving a commission. Louis furthermore ordered that the special seal for Jewish deeds should be abolished and replaced by the ordinary one.

1226: Louis IX, whose “attitude toward the Jews was characterized by implacable enmity” as can be seen such his seizure in 1234 of “one third of the debts owe to the Jews, failure to protect the Jews from “would-be crusaders” in 1236 and his burning of cartloads of Jewish” began his reign as King of France today.

1414: Sigismund of Luxemberg, the future Holy Roman Emporer who “drained the Jews of their wealth whenever he could” was crowned King of Germany today.

1576: During the Eighty Years War, leaders of the provinces of the Netherlands sign the Pacification of Ghent which committed them to a joint effort to drive the Spanish from their soil.  The Dutch Protestants would prove triumphant and they would create a haven for Sephardic

1602: The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened to the public. Today “The Bodleian Library holds what is probably still regarded as the best collection of Hebrew manuscripts in the world, alongside an extraordinarily rich collection of early Hebrew and Yiddish printed books. All fields of traditional Hebrew scholarship are represented in the collection... The earliest manuscript accessions in Hebrew were received in 1601 and in the first catalogue of the library (1605) there are 58 books with titles in Hebrew script. They are mostly of Venetian origin, where Hebrew printing was then in its prime. The Library’s founder, Thomas Bodley, took a personal interest in them and, at the end of the catalogue, he added his own corrections in Latin of some misprints in Hebrew. After Bodley’s death, the Library continued to enrich the Hebrew collections. In 1692 it purchased the collections of Dr Robert Huntingdon and Professor Edward Pococke, the Regius Professor of Hebrew. Among the 212 manuscripts in the Huntingdon collection is the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (1155-1204) with the author’s signature (MS. Huntingdon 80), attesting that the text had been corrected against the original. The acquisition in 1817 of the manuscript collection which had belonged to the Venetian Jesuit, Matteo Luigi Canonici, represented the largest single purchase ever made by the Library. The collection contains over 110 valuable Hebrew manuscripts, chiefly on vellum. In 1829 the Bodleian bought the Oppenheimer Library, thought to be the most important and magnificent Hebraica collection ever accumulated. Rabbi David ben Abraham Oppenheimer (1664-1736) was the Chief Rabbi of Prague and during his lifetime he had amassed 780 manuscripts and 4,220 printed books in Hebrew, Yiddish and Aramaic, many of which are the only surviving copies. Further significant collections of Hebrew manuscripts were added in 1848 and 1890. In 1848 the Library purchased the library of Heimann Joseph Michael, numbering 862 volumes and nearly 1,300 separate works. The most recent acquisition of Hebrew manuscripts of major international importance was the purchase of fragments from the Cairo Genizah, beginning in 1890. A genizah is usually a room attached to a synagogue used for storing texts which were worn out and had become unusable; in this case the genizah was in the attic of the Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo. An enormous number, over 200,000, of fragments in Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic and Yiddish were kept there, which are now dispersed in over 25 public and private libraries across the world. Cambridge, with over 150,000 has the majority of them, while 25,000 are in New York, 10,000 in Manchester and 5,000 each in the British Library and the Bodleian. Although Yiddish became the spoken language of most Jews in Europe and beyond, historically it had an inferior status to Hebrew and was chiefly used to address women, children and males ignorant of Hebrew; significantly, the first book printed in Yiddish (Cracow, 1534) is a translation of difficult phrases in biblical Hebrew. For the same reason, early books in Yiddish were badly printed and ephemeral, and so have survived, if at all, in very few copies. One of the few bibliophiles to collect these objects systematically was Rabbi David Oppenheimer (see above) so the Bodleian finds itself with a very important collection of early Yiddish printed books, in many cases holding the only surviving copy. Later, because of its proletarian status, Yiddish was the natural choice of language for the propagation of socialism. The donation in 1981 of the library of the US daily Yiddish newspaper Morning Freiheit, founded in 1922 by the Jewish section of the American Communist Party, gave the Bodleian an extensive representation of the rich Socialist literature of the later nineteenth-century and the first half of the twentieth.”

1604: Baptism of Edward Pococke, the Anglican minister who was the chair of Hebrew at Oxford and whose works included the Porta Mosis, extracts from the Arabic commentary of Maimonides on the Mishnah

1616: In Amsterdam an ordinance championed by the States General was implemented that prohibited Jews from “speaking publicly against the Christian religion or publishing anything against it, and forbidding them to mar Christians.”

1665(30th of Cheshvan, 5426): Ephraim Hezekiah Bueno “a distinguished Dutch physician” and who “in 1650, in conjunction with Jonah Abravanel, published several liturgical works, among which were a Spanish translation of the Psalms, entitled "Psalterio de David, en Hebrayco Dicho Thehylim, Transladado con Toda Fidelidad Verbo de Verbo del Hebrayco," passed away today in Amsterdam.

1687: The reign of Mehmed IV the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire during which Safed, the home to numerous Jewish mystics and sages “was destroyed by Arabs” and the Jews of Yemen were banished to Mawza Desert came to an end.

1703 (30th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Joseph Samuel of Frankfor, author Mesorat ha¬Shas, passed away

1744: Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked, this time with the help of Austrian and Hungarian soldiers.

1761: Birthdate of Akiva Eger, the Hungarian-born Rabbi and nephew of Rabbi Wolf Eger, whose works include “Tosafot Rabbi Akiva Eiger” and “Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger”

1801: Élie Halévy’s first poem, "Ha-Shalom", a hymn composed while negotiations were being conducted at Amiens, was sung in the synagogue of Paris, in both Hebrew and French.  The treaty would bring a temporary end to the war between the French Republic and the United Kingdom.

1808: In Charleston, SC, this evening, Rabbi Jacob Suares officiated at the wedding of Israel Solomons to Esther Ottolengui.

1811: Birthdate of Georg Friedrich Heinrich Hitzig, a member of the famous Itzig family.  A successful architect, he converted to the Lutheran religion.  He passed away in 1881.

1811: Birthdate of Samuel Strauss, the husband of Rosalia Drucker and the father of Arthur Strauss the Conservative MP “who later joined the Labour Party.”

1815: Lewis Adolphus Hollander married Sally Rachel Gompertz at the Hambro Synagogue.

1815: Abraham Solomons married Percelia Moses at the Hambro Synaogue.

1818: In Hamburg, the lay leaders of the Jewish community met with the leaders of the Hamburg Temple and asked them to stop using their new (Reform) prayer book since "it did not agree with the ritual accepted by all Jewish communities."  The Hamburg Temple rejected the request out of hand.  The Hamburg Temple received an unexpected vote of support in a letter from Lazarus Riesser who praised the innovations in the prayer-book and labeled the opponents as "sanctimonious hypocrites."

1825(27th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Raphael Ashkenazi, author of Mareh Einayim, passed away.

1827: “Le Roi et le batelier (The King and the oarsman) is a one-act opéra comique by Fromental Halévy was first performed today at the Opéra Comique in Paris.”

1828(2nd of Kislev, 5589): Fifty-six year old Salomon Oppenheim Jr., the founder of Sal. Oppenheim who created his own banking dynasty through the 12 children he had with wife Therese passed away today.

1831(3rd of Kislev, 5592): Twenty days before her 79th birthday, Grace Mendes Seixas, the daughter Lisbon native Isaac Mendes Seixas and London born Rachel Franks Levy passed away today in New York City.

1837:  Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later becomes Mount Holyoke College. According to latest available published reports there are 100 Jewish students among the school’s 2,300 undergraduates.  The Mount Holyoke Jewish Student Union serves as the campus Hillel. At Mount Holyoke, the Jewish studies program is interdisciplinary in orientation and scope. The study of Jewish culture draws on a wide variety of disciplines, including English, German, gender studies, history, international relations, and religion. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, Jewish Studies provides students with opportunities to cross intellectual boundaries and to make connections across diverse cultural phenomena. Religion and theology, Middle East politics, the history of Jews throughout the world, literature and languages, the Holocaust, contemporary American culture, the history and role of women--all these and more are bound up with the study of the Jewish people, their history and culture.

1837: In Charleston, following her marriage today, Caroline Jacobs, the eldest daughter of Colonel Jacobs became Caroline Lazarus.

1838(20th of Cheshvan, 5599): Eighty year old author and teacher Peter Beer passed away at Prague.

1840: Baron Lionel de Rothschild) and Baroness Charlotte de Rothschild (née von Rothschild), gave birth to their eldest son Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, known as “Natty”

1846: In Wollstein, Germany, Henry Rosnosky and Selda Schmule gave birth to Isaac Rosnosky, the husband of Henrietta Verdonoer who served multiple terms as a member of the Boston Common Council and was the “first Jew” be elected to the Boston City government and the Massachusetts State Legislature while also serving as President of Temple Ohabei Shalom and District No. 1 of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.

1847: Twenty-five year old Baltimore native Phineas Horowitz who had graduated from the University of Maryland in 1845 with a Doctor of Medicine degree was appointed Assistant Surgeon.

1852: “Letting the Cat out of the Budget” published today reported on the efforts of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Benjamin Disraeli, to balance the budget.  The author predicts that the Disraeli will soon move to remove the duty on French wine based on reports that he told his win merchant that the price of Claret was “too dear…too dear.”  The assumption is that the price of Claret is too high and the only way to reduce it is to cut the tarrif on it.  The author also gives Disraeli for always arriving at his desk early as he pursues his duty indicating that he does not overimbibe while the House is sitting.

1854: Over 200 people gathered in the City Assembly Rooms on Broadway tonight to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the German Benevolent Society.  Joseph Seligman, President of the Society presided over the event.  Last year’s dinner raised $5,000 of which $4,400 was given to the needy and $500 was contributed to the Hospital Fund.  This year’s dinner has raised at least $4,000 in contributions.

1855: The U.S. agreed not to protest against Swiss discrimination against American Jews.  Apparently it was the price of completing a trade agreement with the Swiss.  Obviously America has changed in the way it fights for the rights of its Jewish citizens.

1855: The United States ratified a commercial treaty that permitted the Swiss to discriminate against U.S. citizens who are Jewish.

1857: In Marysville, CA, where “a Hebrew benevolent society” had been functioning since 1852, Congregation B’nai B’rith was organized and by August of 1860 was serving a Jewish community that included “23 families” and “105 bachelors.

1860: Two days after he had passed away, 84 year old Simeon Samson, the husband of the former Catherine Davis and father of Rosetta Samson, was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1864: Abraham Lincoln was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Georgia B. McClellan, the unsuccessful Union general.

1864: On Election Day, August Belmont was not allowed to vote because he was charged with having bet on the election by an official at the polling place.  According to George Templeton Strong, a New York attorney who witnessed the event, “Belmont went off in a range.”  Bystanders, most of whom were Union sympathizers “chuckled over his discomfiture.”  Belmont, who was born Jewish, had supported Democratic candidates and was identified with the new class of money-men. 

1864: Philadelphian Lyon Levy Emanuel, the brother of Louis Manly Emanuel and a Major in Compnay A of the 82nd Regiment completed his three year enlistment during the Civil War.

1868: In Breslau, Louis Hausdorff and his wife gave birth to German mathematician who would die a tragic death during the Holocaust

1871: Mayer Woolfson married Julia Phillips at Farnham, UK.

1874: Rabbi Rubin officiated at the wedding this evening of Emile Nehimer of Sheldon, SC and Fannie Rothstein of Providence, R.I.

1876: David Mathew Levy (Davitchon Effendi) was elected to the Ottoman parliament.

1878: Sixty-three year old Hermann Ottomar Friedrich Goedsche the anti-Semitic author who used the pseudonym Sir John Retcliff and provided much of the material that later was in the infamous “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” passed away today.

1878: It was reported today that Sir Henry Drummond Wolff has been named England’s Consul-General to Romania and Mr. William Gifford Palgrave has been named England’s Consul-General to Bulgaria.  Both men are the sons of Jewish converts. Sir Henry’s father, Joseph Wolff was the son of a Rabbi from Wellersbach. Palgrave’s father is Sir Francis Palgrave who was the son of Meyer Cohen, a London stock broker. The Palgrave name came from a relative of Sir Francis’ wife.

1879: An editorial published today that being “events determine little men and great men determine events” identified the late Rabbi David Einhorn as an example of the latter. It praised him for becoming a voice for the Reform Judaism when that movement was in its infancy as well as becoming a spokesman for liberal ideas including the abolition of slavery.

1879: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment met in the Mayor’s office where it adopted a resolution of pay bills for charitable institutions for the support of children committed by the Police Magistrates including $646 for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1879: It was reported today that Fischl Hirsch has “discovered a very rare Hebrew book,” a Machzor printed by Abraham Corat in Mantua (Italy) in 1840.  The Machzor follows the worship patterns of the Roman Jewish community. [A resident of Halberstadt, Germany, Hirsch devoted himself to the collection and sale of Hebrew books and manuscripts.  He became a recognized expert in this field who played a role in the Hebrew book and manuscript collections in the British Museum, The Bodleian Library and the Rosenthal Library at Amsterdam.]

1880(5th of Kislev, 5641): Aaron Samuel Liebermann died today in Syracuse, NY.

1880: Two days after he had passed away way, 50 year old John Hart was buried today at the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1881: Samuel Shrimski completed his term as a Member of the New Zealand Parliament for Waitaki.

1883: The 99th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore was observed today at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews in New York City. Today was the 8th of Cheshvan which was the date on the Hebrew calendar when the Anglo-Jewish philanthropist was born.

1883:  In New York City, the 99th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore was observed at the Hebrew Home for the Aged and Infirmed.  As part of the celebration Rabbi Lavien led the gathering in the “daily service” with special prayers added in honor of the famed philanthropist.  Rabbi Koehler of Temple Beth-el gave a special address in which he praised Montefiore’s great generosity.

1883: “Queen Victoria, Albert Edward Prince of Wales, and many hundreds of Sir Moses Montefiore’s most distinguished fellow citizens sent telegrams of congratulation” “as he entered his 100th year.”

1883: As the British celebrate the 99th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore, there are numerous stories circulating among the English “illustrative of his great benevolence.” Among them is the tale of how he responded to Edwin Arnold’s request to help build a hospital for the poor people in Jerusalem. When asked for money the reply was “What will you have, £50? £500? £5,000?  Only name the sum.” The hospital was built but the hospital was eventually demolished because of a quarrel between the Greeks and the Turks.

1884: Congratulatory address from synagogues through the United States and the British Empire will be presented to Sir Moses Montefiore today on his 100th birthday, as marked on the Hebrew Calendar.

1885(30th of Cheshvan, 5646): Just weeks short of his 57th birthday, Albert Jacob Cardozo passed away. A practicing lawyer, he was a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, a leader of Congregation Shearith Israel and the father of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo.

1885: In New York City, funeral services are scheduled to take place for Jonas Strauss, who was a partner and brother of Levi Strauss, the man who gave us “Levis.”

1886: It was reported today that The Modern Jew – His Present and Future by Anna Laurens Dawes is now available for purchase at a cost of $.50. (Dawes was the daughter of a Republican political leader who served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.  I cannot find out why this prolific author chose this particular topic for a book.)

1886: Philip Zalig Phillips, the son of Joseph Phillips and Charlotte Mozely, was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1887: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will host a benefit at the Terrace Garden under the guidance of Miss Ray Leszynsky, Secretary of the Board of Managers.

1887: A benefit performance for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children is scheduled to take place this evening by the Thalia Theatre Company at the Lexington Avenue Opera House in New York City.

1888: An auction is scheduled to be held this evening for seats at the new school that is being opened by Zichron Osher in New York City.

1889:  Montana is admitted as the 41st U.S. state. In Montana, from the last decade of the 19th century through WW I the leading female occupation after housewife was ‘fancy lady or madam.’ In Butte Ida Lev operated on of the leading houses in the red light district.  A Jewish hooker demonstrated her ethnic pride by taking the professional name of Jew Jess.  She must have been well connected since she was often arrested but rarely convicted.  And you thought it was all about peddlers turned mercantile merchants.

1889: Joseph Kemp Toole who would lay the cornerstone for Helena’s Temple Emanu-El in 1890, began serving as Montana’s first elected governor

1890: In Philadelphia, PA, Judge Hare heard a case in which Morris Stein a young Jew from Camden was trying to re-unite with his wife Annie Stein whose Roman Catholic family was trying to invalidate the marriage.

1892: “Emil Jeremias Abraham,” the son of “Jehuda Leib Abraham” and “Katalin Bohm” married “Fannie Belf”, the daughter of Jakob Moses Belf today in Budapest.

1891: In New York, The Hebrew Institute’s new building which is located at the corner of Jefferson and East Broadway was dedicated today.  The building will house The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, The Hebrew Free School Association and the Aguillar Free Library.  All three of these organizations share in the common goal of Americanizing the growing number of Jewish immigrants arriving in New York City.

1892: Republican William Warner, who lost the Jewish vote due to the anti-Semitism of State Committeeman Blake, was defeated by William J. Stone in his bid to become Governor of Missouri.

1892: Grover Cleveland was elected President for the second time.  Cleveland is the only two-term President to have his terms separated by the election of another President.  This split always causes confusion in counting American Presidents.  During his second term in office, Cleveland vetoed an immigration bill that contained a literacy test.  The bill was aimed at keeping immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe out of the United States.  Its enactment was opposed by many Jewish leaders because it would have trapped the Jews of such places as Czarist Russia in their increasingly anti-Semitic homelands.

1893: The Abbey Theatre which would be acquired by Theatrical Syndicate headed by Charles Frohman in 1896, opened today.

1894: A report published today claimed that Jacob A. Cantor had lost his bid to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District because of a rumor that he was engaged to be married to a professional dance, Loie Fuller.  When Cantor, whose wife passed away in 1891, did not respond to the rumor the women in the district banded together to gain support for the Republican Philip G. Low. (One has to wonder at the nature of the smear since Fuller was not Jewish and Cantor depended on Jewish votes for his election.  Cantor would remarry and would be elected to Congress in the next decade)

1894: In New York, The Hebrew Institute is scheduled to host a lecture on Switzerland.

1896: Birthdate of Samuel Adelberg, one of the passengers aboard the SS St. Louis, who found refuge in Belgium and survived WW II.

1896: Three days after he had passed away, 74 year old Charles Levy, the husband of Louisa Levy with whom he had eight children,, was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1896: Herzl accepted the invitation of the "Austrian Union of Israelites", a middle class anti-Zionist organization. His speech is well received.

1897: “Twenty-one families of Russian Jews left San Francisco for the Wymore Ranch near Dayton, Nevada to begin working the land for which they had made down payment of $14,000.

1897: The House Committee of the Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum met this afternoon.

1897: In Paris, “a man named Dreyfus who is believed to be a cousin of Captain Dreyfus, the deported artillery officer imprisoned on an island off the coast of French Guiana; his wife, formerly Rebecca Fortado Abraham, an American their three daughters” aged 13, 11 and 7 “were found dead this morning at their residence on the Avenue Marceau.” (As tragic as this entry is, it is interesting to note how they describe the man who was at the center of one of the major scandals in pre-War France.)

1897: The two thousand people were reported today to have attended the New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association banquet included toastmaster Abraham Levy Judge John Henry McCarthy, Judge Joseph E. Newburger, Judge H.M. Goldfolge, Julius Harburger and John McIntyre.

1897: “In Memory of Lewis May” published described the memorial service held at Temple Emanu-El for the distinguished Jewish leader who passed away unexpectedly in July.

1898: In Charleston, SC, this evening, Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the wedding of Montague Triest and Addie Israel, the daughter of Morris Israel.

1898: Second Precinct leader Patrick Divver told Tammany Leader Richard Croker that the reason he was having trouble getting enough voters to turn out today was because “the Hebrew vote was lacking” to which Croker, who relied on Jewish voters as part of his base of support, replied that “if the Hebrews were not in the Democratic ranks” he should have been told about it two weeks ago when it could have done some good.

1900: In Adelaide, Australia, “George Solomon Lewis, an accountant from England, and his South Australian-born wife Ré Lewis, née Isaacs, an elocution teacher” gave birth to Sir Aubrey Julian Lewis “the first Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and a driving force behind elevating the level of the profession in the Post WW II world.

1901: Dinah Cassell, the daughter of Solomon Nathan and Hannah Abrahams and the wife of Bennett Cassell was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery.”

1904: President Theodore Roosevelt defeated Alton B Parker.  TR had become President when McKinley had been assassinated.  This was his chance to gain office on his own. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to appoint a Jew to a presidential cabinet. In 1906 he named Oscar S. Straus Secretary of Commerce and Labor. Theodore Roosevelt was also the first President to contribute his own funds to a Jewish cause. In 1919, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts while President to settle the Russo-Japanese War, Roosevelt donated some of his prize money to the National Jewish Welfare Board.

1905: U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco wrote a letter describing the treatment of the local Jews. He stated, "Concurrent testimony positively affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Musselmans. Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions."

1905: “The Jewish Defense Association met” tonight “ in the assembly hall of the Educational Alliance and decided to turn over to Mr. Schiff the funds raised under its auspices for the relief of the Jewish suffers in Russia and those who befriended the Jews” so he would see to it that they were used accordingly.

1905: A letter written from Odessa, Russia concluded “by saying that the distress is alarming” since “people are dying from starvation and exposure” while “many prosperous Jewish merchants are reduced to beggary.”

1905: The Bucharest correspondent of the Daily Mail says that “the towns of Urbat and Calarisz have been burned and all the Jews perished in the flames.”

1905: “To insure united action in giving financial aid to the victims of the outrages in Russia, a call to the Jewish people of America was issued in Chicago tonight by Adolph Kraus, President of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith who has been in telegraphic correspondence with the leaders of all the Jewish organizations in the United States and was authorized to sign the call on behalf of each organization.”

1906: Birthdate of Nettie Konigsberg, the mother of Allan Stewart Konigsberg, better known as Woody Allen

1907: In New York, Max Abrahams and Fannie Danovitch gave birth to Dr. Elias “Ely” Abrahams, a dentist who practiced in New York but lived in Brooklyn and was “the husband of the former Violet Dreishpoon and father of Paul Abrahams.

1909(24th of Cheshvan, 5670): Naftali Freidberg passed away today.

1909(24th of Cheshvan, 5670): Sir Benjamin Louis Cohen, Baronet a British businessman and Conservative politician passed away after a long illness at his home in Hyde Park Gardens, London, at the age of 64. “He was the son of Louis Cohen, a stockbroker, and his wife Rebecca Keyser. After a private education, he entered his father's firm. Apart from his business activities he was involved in public and political works and in supporting Jewish charities. In particular he served on the committees of the Stepney Jewish Schools, the Jews' Orphan Asylum and the Home for Aged Jews.mIn 1887 his brother, Lionel Louis Cohen, president of the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor, died. Benjamin succeeded him in the post, holding the office until 1900. During his term he was very successful in raising large sums of money for the charity. He also altered the board's constitution, allowing women to be members. In the 1880s he was involved in the resettlement of Russian Jews, and supported proto-Zionist groups seeking to settle in Palestine.  In 1889 he was elected as one of the members of the first London County Council, representing the City of London for the Conservative-supported Moderate Party. He retained the seat until 1904. His brothers, Alfred and Nathaniel, were also members of the council. At the 1892 general election he was elected to the Commons as Unionist Member of Parliament for Islington East. He held the seat for eleven years, until he was defeated in the Liberal landslide of 1906. In 1905 he was created a baronet "of Highfield in the parish of Shoreham and county of Kent"

1911: Birthdate of Tel Aviv native Yair Sprinzak who served in the Knesset from 1988 to 1992.

1911: Lord Rothschild celebrated his 71st birthday.

1912: “Jack A. Dryfoos, a wealthy hosiery manufacturer who was also the treasurer of a paper novelty manufacturing company” and his wife gave birth to Orville Eugen Dryfoos the husband of “Marian Sulzberger and the publisher of The New York Times from 1961 until he passed away in 1963.

1913: The Arab newspaper Falastin (Palestine) printed a poem by Sheikh Suleiman al-Taji, a founder of the Jaffa based Ottoman Patriotic Party entitled "The Zionist Danger."   Falstin, an anti-Zionist newspaper, was first published in 1911.

1913: Birthdate of New York native Robert Strauss whose most memorable performance may have been as “Animal” in the POW classic “Stalag 17”

1914: In Ohio, Olga Landesco and Alexander A. Landesco, the Romanian born graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, founder of Mohawk State Bank of Ohio and longtime employee of Lazard Feres and Company gave birth to their older son, Alexander A. Landesco, Jr.

1915: “3,000,000 Jews Ruined” published today quoted Rabbi Maurice H. Harris, the president of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis as saying there are three million Jews in Poland “who have been economically ruined while the number of Jewish casualties in that section of the war zone can be placed at about 100,000.”

1915: It was reported today that more money was raised for the 600 victims of the Kishinev Pogroms than have been raised to help the suffering Jews in Eastern Europe.

1915: Louis D. Brandeis addressed the members of the Crotona Lodge of the Independent Order of the B’rith Abraham…on Zionism and the condition of the Jews today in the warring countries” where “he said that 7,000,000 Jews in Europe were homeless and starving and that after the war the Jews would be even worse off than the Belgians.”

1916: The “Warheit” a Jewish newspaper, said today “that the Jewish vote had been five to one for President Wilson and that “the best indication that the Jewish vote went for the President was contained in the returns from the Twelfth Congressional District where the proportion of Jewish voters is to be the heaviest.”

1917:In the wake of the Bolshevik revolt against the Kerensky government, Herman Bernstein, the Jewish newspaper who had been in Petrograd during the riots last July said “he was confident that Trotsky was only the agent of Lenin” who had been “directed the revolt from hiding” and that they “can’t win because Lenin and Trotsky are both extremely unpopular.”1917: The British bombed the German air field at El-tine destroying 11 planes on the ground and frightening the Turkish garrison in to fleeing.

1917: As the British “Egyptian Expeditionary Force” continued its southern offensive in the Sinai and Palestine, The Desert Mounted Corps, the Australian Mounted Division and the 5th Mounted Brigade capture a series of “water holes” as they pursued the retreating Ottoman forces.

1917: As of this evening “all of the Ottoman positions of the Gaza to Beersheba line had been captured the Ottoman 8th Army was in full retreat.”

1917: On the second day of the Russian Revolution which would have such a great impact on the Jews the Second Congress of Soviets “elected a Council of People's Commissars with Lenin as leader as the basis of a new Soviet Government” and began arresting members of opposition parties.

1918: As WW I staggered to an end German authorities left Warsaw opening the way for the creation of a truly independent Poland – which would prove to be a blessing and then a curse for millions of Jews.

1918: In Germany, Jewish political leader Kurt Eisner ler his followers in a peaceful takeover of the Bavarian Diet.

1918(4th of Kislev, 5679): Second Lieutenant Thomas Maurice Cummins of Johannesburg passed away today.

1918(4th of Kislev, 5679): Lieutenant Sonneberg of South Africa passed away today.

1918: In San Francisco, Roland Schiller, “a clothing manufacturer” and the former Lucille Bloch gave birth to Emmy award winning writer Robert Achille Schiller who wrote for radio and television in the “golden age” of both entertainment mediums.

1920: The seventh annual convention of the Mizrachi Organization of the United States and Canada is scheduled to open in Baltimore today.

1920: The second day of the Triennial Convention of the Jewish Women “will be largely devoted to the regular business of the convention.

1920(27th of Cheshvan, 5681): Shloyme Zanvl Rappoport, the Russian Jewish playwright and author who used the pseudonym S. Ansky passed away today.

1921: Beatrix (née Lewkowitz) and Morris J. Saks gave birth to Director Gene Saks whose credits include Cactus Flower, Bye Bye Birdie and Brighton Beach Memoirs.

1921: In the aftermath of WW I ratifications were exchanged today in Vienna of the U.S. – Austrian Peace Treaty which had been made necessary by the Senate’s rejection of the treaties that had negotiated in 1919 to end the war.

1921: Birthdate of New York native and Oscar winning producer Walter Mortimer Mirisch.

1922: Dr. Arthur Ruppin, said to be the foremost authority on the economic situation in Palestine, declared tonight at the Hotel Astor in his first address to American Zionists that Palestine now offers sound investments with opportunities for profit - capital Is safe there and investors are assured of good returns.

1923: Adolf Hitler launched his first attempt to seize power with a failed coup in Munich, Germany, that came to be known as the Beer-Hall Putsch.  Hitler would be imprisoned for this failed attempt at revolution.  While he prison, where he was treated like a celebrity, he wrote Mein Kampf.

1925(21st of Cheshvan, 5686): Sixty-two year old Prague native Rosa Volk, the daughter of Leopold and Sofie Sara Pick, the “wife of Alexander Volk” and “the mother of Margarete Volk” passed away today in Vienna.

1926: Featherweight Harry Blitman fought and won his sixth straight bout.

1927: In Manhattan, Mitzi (née Epstein) and Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr., the founder of Advance Publications gave birth to Samuel Irving "S.I." Newhouse Jr who along with his brother managed and grew the publication empire created by his father.

1927: In Budapest, Katharina Adler Munk and Lajos "Louis" Munk gave birth to Peter Munk one of those who escaped aboard the “Kastner Train” who founded Barrick Gold, “the world’s largest gold-mining company.”  (As reported by Ian Austen)

1928: Pinky Silverberg lost to “Kid Chocolate” a future Featherweight Champion in ten round bout at New York’s St. Nicholas Arena.

1928: Birthdate of Edward René David “widely known as Teddy Goldsmith, an Anglo-French environmentalist, writer and philosopher.”

1929: With the removal of the curfew, residents of Jerusalem are free to move about the city at night for the first time in three months.  The curfew had been put in place in response to a wave of Arab violence that had begun in August and included attacks on the ancient Jewish communities at Hebren and Safed.

1929: The British Commission of Inquiry canceled its hearings scheduled to be held in Jerusalem today and instead took an auto trip to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

1929: Birthdate of Bertrand “Bert” Russell Berns the native New Yorker who was a prominent songwriter and record producer.

1930: “The White Horse Inn” an operetta based on a comedy by Oscar Blumenthal that was created by Ralph Benatzky who was not Jewish but who had two Jewish wives, premiered today in Berlin.

1931: In Toronto, Ontario, two Jews from Austria, “Anna (née Cohn) and Max Safer, an upholsterer” gave birth to popular, long time CBS correspondent Morley Safer.

1931: Winston Churchill published an article in the Sunday Chronicle about Moses that reflected his fascination with Jewish history and the concept that Jews’ monotheism and ethics were a central factor in the evolution and maintenance of modern civilization.

1932: U.S. premiere of Kameradschaft, a film about German miners rescuing French miners co-starring Alexander Granach.

1932: New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency.  Roosevelt’s New Deal would prove a boon and tonic for large segments of the American Jewish Community.  His election and his New Deal prevented the rise of fascism and communism in the United States, neither of which would have been good for the Jews.

1932: Herbert Lehman was elected governor of New York.

1932: Socialist Candidate Morris Hillquit placed third in the New York City mayoral election.

1932: As teachers continued their protest in an attempt to secure back pay, the Mizrachi organization approved the resignation of Hechsel Farbstein from the Jewish Agency Executive at a “stormy meeting” this evening.  “Mr. Farbstein was joined in his resignation by Emanuel Neumann of New York.”  Both were protesting against budget cuts.

1934: In France, Georges Mandel began serving as Minister of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones.

1935: American labor leaders formed the CIO or Congress of Industrial Organizations.  The leaders of the CIO championed militant organizing efforts on an industry by industry basis.  This was contrary to philosophy of the more conservative AF of L which was organized along the craft union model. Founding fathers of the CIO included Sidney Hillman, head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, David Dubinsky, President of the ILGWU and Max Zaritsky, President of the Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers

1935: “Mutiny on the Bounty” produced by Irving Thalberg with music by Walter Jurmann was released in the United States today by MGM.

1936: The Maccabees, the champion soccer team from Palestine, plays the final contest of their U.S. tour today at Yankee Stadium.  The game is the 11th contest of the tour which has left the Jewish team with a record of 6, 2 and 2.

1936(23rd of Cheshvan, 5697): Fifty-one year old Isidore Pinckowitz, the Romanian born butcher who parlayed selling hot dogs into the creation the iconic Kosher Company, Hebrew National passed away today after which he was interred at Mount Hebron Cemetery.

1936: Two hundred thousand people are expected today’s “congress” of “the Jorga-Cuza anti-Semitic groups in Bucharest for which the government reportedly issued free railway tickets to bring supporters to the city.

1936: “About 200,000 persons, mostly peasants, were brought” to Bucharest “today by special trains with the government's approval, to take part in an anti-Semitic and pro-Fascist demonstration arranged by the National Christian party, which is an amalgamation of the Fascist and anti-Semitic groups of Octavian Goga and A.C. Cuza.”

1936: Harry “Newman lateraled for both of Brooklyn's touchdowns and kicked both extra points in a 15–14 loss to the Cleveland Rams.”

1936: In address at a dinner marking the “opening of the 20th annual campaign of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, Governor Lehman said that in his “opinion nothing could be more unsound or dangerous than the belief” that government through social security or relief activities could ever take the place of private welfare agencies.”

1936 “The celebration of the anniversary of Hitler’s beer-hall putsch was opened tonight with a reunion of the ‘Old Guard’ in the historic Buergerbraeukeller” and speech by the Chancellor that included at least two attack lines on the Jews.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a new wave of anti-Jewish excesses was reported from various parts of Poland. In Vilna Jewish students were beaten by their gentile colleagues.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that after a heated debate, the Hadassah Convention in Atlantic City adopted a resolution demanding that the Zionist Executive should negotiate with the British government to affect a constructive policy for the complete implementation of the Palestinian Mandate over an undivided Palestine. Many Zionists and supporters of Israel were opposed to the partition of Palestine.  As far as they were concerned, the British had already partitioned Palestine when it created the nation of Trans-Jordan from the Mandatory land.  Since the Arabs had this state, these Jews felt that the British should honor the spirit of the Balfour Declaration leave those living in the Yishuv with the rest.

1937: The Eternal Jew' exhibition opened in Nuremberg.  It portrayed the Jew as the leaders of international Bolshevism, dedicated to destroying Germany

1938: In Great Britain, the Woodhead Report which opposed the creation of independent Jewish and Arab states in Palestine was submitted to Parliament

1938: Georg Elsner’s attempt to kill Hitler today, which is the subject of the movie “13 minutes” failed.

1938: Doctors struggled to save the life of Ernst von Rath, the junior level German embassy official who was under Gestapo investigation for pro Jewish activity when he was shot yesterday by Herschel Grynszpan

1938: Wilfred Israel called on the British Embassy in Berlin in an attempt to repudiate Hirsch Grynszpan's actions.

1938: Henry Horner, Governor of Illinois, suffered a major health setback while listening to the election results at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. 

1939: “Life With Father” the comedy produced by Oscar Serlin which became “the longest-running non-musical play on Broadway” opened at the Empire Theatre today.

1939: Maurice Duplessis who as Premier of the Province of Quebec issued the warrant which empowered the provincial police to raid “the cultural section of the Canadian Labor Circle, a Jewish fraternal organization” during which they removed “eight hundred books of the 950 volume library maintained by Jewish cultural circle” completed his service as the 16th Premier of Quebec.

1939: “Two months after Germany invaded Poland, Georg Elser, a young Bavarian carpenter” who had become “convinced that the top Nazi leadership had to be eliminated to end the war” placed a bomb behind a lectern in a beer hall where Hitler was scheduled to speak. Hitler escaped injury because he left the hall early but seven others were killed. For more see the film “Elser: 13 Minutes.”

1940: “The Mark of Zerro” which “was nominated for an Academy Award for Best original score” thanks to composer Alfred Newman was released today in the United States.

1941: A Jewish ghetto at Lvov, Ukraine, is established.

1941: In Manhattan, attorney Jacob Goldsmith and his wife, grade school teacher Dorothy Markowitz gave birth to Susan Jane Goldsmith who gained fame as political scientist Susan Tolchin

1942: The Jews from Drancy, France, arrive by train at Auschwitz, where 227 are assigned to forced labor and 773 are gassed.

1942: During World War II, Allied Operation Torch landings took place on the Algerian coast and incidentally ensure the safety of 117,000 Algerian Jews. Algerian-Jewish resistance armed by the United States, helped limit the impact of the Vichy French response to the Allied landings.

1942: Lt. Commander Arthur M. Erhsler served “as pilot of plane in Escort Scouting Squadron Twenty-Nine attached to the U.S.S. Santee when the “assault on the occupation of French Morocco” began today.

1942: José Aboulker “led the occupation of the main strategic points in Algiers by 377 members of the Resistance (315 of them were Jewish), seizing the central police station, with his deputy Bernard Karsenty and the help of Guy Calvet and Superintendent Achiary.”

1942: In Tripoli, Libya, German occupiers pressed 2600 Jews into forced labor to build military roads.

1944: The Stern Gang assassinates Lord Walter Moyne, Britain's minister of state in the Middle East. The Stern Gang was named for its founder Avraham Stern.  The Stern Gang was in 1940 by former members of the Irgun.  They were opposed to the Irgun’s decision to join with the Haganah which meant setting aside the fight with the British to fight the Nazis. Stern was killed by British security forces. The Stern Gang negotiated with the Nazis offering to work with the Germans in a fight against the British if the Nazis would support the creation of a Jewish state.  But they assassinated Lord Moyne, Britain’s leading official in Egypt because of his association with anti-Semitic Arab groups.  The Stern Gang was branded as terrorists by the Yishuv.  On the other hand, Yitzchak Shamir, a member of the Stern Gang would follow Begin as Prime Minister in Israel.

1944 Germans initiate a death march of Jews from Budapest to the Austrian border. Raoul Wallenberg's intervention saved thousands of Jews but thousands more continue the trek that would lead to Auschwitz.

1944 John W. Pehle, head of the War Refugee Board who has delayed for months a request that Auschwitz be bombed, changed his mind. He argued that bombing would destroy the gas chambers as well as German factories and soldiers in the area, encourage resistance, and free prisoners. Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy rejected Pehle's reasoning, erroneously arguing that bombing Auschwitz will hinder the war effort.

1944: Nazi collaborator Karoly (Charles) Zentai murdered a Jewish teenager named Peter Balazs in Budapest. Zentai served in a unit of the Hungarian army that was active in hunts for Jews in Budapest in the fall of 1944 when the fascist Arrow Cross came to power. Balazs was murdered because Zentai caught him riding on a streetcar in Budapest without the required yellow star sewn on his coat. Balazs and Karoly grew up in the suburb of Budafolk, so Zanti knew that the teenager was Jewish and violating Nazi law.

1944: The U.S.N. Drum (SS-228) a submarine under skippered by Commander Maurice H Rindskopf completed its 11th war patrol which was spent “In enemy controlled water of the Luzon Straits in the Philippines.”  Rindskopf, who rose to the rank of Rear Admiral, was awarded the Navy Cross for his gallantry shown during the dangerous mission during which he sunk 20,000 tons of enemy shipping.

1945: General Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham is appointed high commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan.

1945: Dr. Izzat George Tannous, head of Arab Office in London, says Truman recommendation for Jewish immigration to Palestine was made without consulting Arabs and denounces Zionism.

1947: The University of Michigan, led by Dan Dworsky who played “linebacker, fullback and center” defeated the University of Indiana for their seventh straight win of the season

1947: According to eyewitness reports The Pan Crescent and the Pan York which are carrying a total of 12,000 emigrants are preparing to sailing from Turkey to Palestine in what would be the “largest unauthorized transports of Jewish refugees to Palestine.

1948: It was announced today that “Jack Benny has accepted new contract terms proposed by the National Broadcasting Company, with the result that he will continue to be heard on the NBC network at 7 P.M. Sundays. The network submitted the proposals after the Columbia Broadcasting System sought to induce the comedian to shift the base of his activities to the CBS network on Sundays.”

1948:  Following the first census by the government of Israel, the Jewish homeland was found to contain 712,000 Jews and 68,000 Arabs.

1949: Beginning of Operation Magic Carpet, which was one of the great moments of modern Jewish history.  At the moment of its birth, Israel immediately established itself as haven for Jews throughout the world. Operation Magic Carpet was the name given to the Israeli Airlift that flew 60,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel.  Golda Meir, who would eventually become Prime Minister of Israel, would go out to the airport and greet Israel’s newest citizens.  She said she marveled at their courage and endurance.  She asked one elderly chap if he had ever seen an airplane before. He told her had not.  She asked him if was afraid.  He said he was not afraid.  After all, this had all been foretold in the Book of Isaiah. “They shall mount up on wings of eagles.”  And then he stood there and recited the entire passage from Chapter Forty of the Book of Isaiah.  Part of this is found in this week’s haftarah, “But they that wait upon the Lord she all renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles…”  If you can ever read this haftarah again without getting a lump in your throat, you are a better person than I am. 

1949: The New York Herald Tribune revealed that tens of thousands of Jews had been moved dramatically from Yemen to the then British colony of Aden, and were flown to Israel from there. The operation bore the legendary name "Magic Carpet." The immigrants themselves prefer to describe the event with a biblical image: "On the wings of eagles." Israel's military censor only permitted publication of the operation's details once they were published abroad. The scoop belonged to U.S. reporter Ruth Gruber, who had been invited to join one of the flights from Yemen as the guest of the Joint Distribution Committee. A disagreement arose as to whether she had been invited to write "for publication," or only "for background" information.

1949: Republican Stanley M. Isaacs was elected to the New York City Council

1949: U.S premiere of “All The King’s Men” produced, directed and written by Robert Rossen with music by Louis Gruenberg.

1950: “The Lady’s Not for Burning” co-starring Claire Bloom opened at the Royale Theatre.

1951: “Quo Vadis” a big screen biblical epic directed by Mervyn LeRoy, produced by Sam Zimbalist with a script by S.N. Berhman and Sonya Levien was released in the United States today.

1956: Six Israelis were wounded when gunmen opened fire on a train, attacked cars and blew up wells, in the North and Center of Israel.

1957: “The Story of Mankind” the film version the book by the same name, directed, produced and written by Irwin Allen was released in the United States today.

1958: Republican Stanley M. Isaacs, was elected to the New York City Council where he serve as the Minority Leader.

1958(25th of Cheshvan, 5719): Parashat Chayei Sara

1958(25th of Cheshvan, 5719): Seventy-nine year old CCNY and NYU Law School graduate Dr. Gabriel Davidson, the “former managing director of the Jewish Agricultural Society, author of Our Jewish Farmers and an active member of the Jewish community as can be seen by his membership in the American Jewish Historical Society and the American Friends of the Hebrew University” whose wife Anna passed away in 1947 succumbed to “a heart ailment” today at Parsons Hospital.

1960: In Montreal, David Libman and Goldie Araonovitch gave birth to architect turned politician who served as a mayor and as a member of the National Assembly of Quebec and who has three children – Kevin, Daniel and Jonathan – with his wife the former Joanne Shapir.

1960:  In one of the closest elections on record, John Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become President of the United States. Support of Jewish voters was critical to electing America’s first Roman Catholic to the White House. Kennedy named two Jews to his cabinet - Abraham Ribicoff as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Arthur Goldberg as Secretary of Labor. Kennedy was the only President for whom a national Jewish Award was named. The annual peace award of the Synagogue Council of America was re-named the John F. Kennedy Peace Award after his assassination in 1963.

1962(11th of Cheshvan, 5723): On the day after celebrating his 83rd birthday MK Mordechai Nurock passed away.  An ordained Rabbi who earned a Doctorate in Psychology, he was Israel’s first Minister of Postal Services which is now known as Minister of Communication.

1962: A remake of “Mutiny Bounty” directed by Lewis Milestone and produced by Aaron Rosenberg was released in the United States by MGM.

1962: Shalom-Avraham Shaki, the native of Yemen who made Aliyah in 1914 became an MK for the first time, replace the late Mordechai Nurock.

1966(25th of Cheshvan, 5727): Seventy-five year old Dr. Bernhard Zondek passed away. Born in German, the pioneer in modern endocrinology made Aliyah in 1934 and won the Israel Prize in medicine in 1958.

1966: “Madame X” a film version of the French play by the same name produced by Ross Hunter was released today in the United States.

1972: Birthdate of Yavilah McCoy, the African-American Jew educated in Crown Heights and the founder of “Ayecha.”

1973: “In the Boom Boom Room” directed by Joseph Papp and co-starring Madeline Khan opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in New York.

1974: “Cinderella Liberty” an off-beat comedy-drama directed and produced by Mark Rydell and starring James Caan and Eli Wallach was released in Finland.

1974: Soviet Jewish emigration to Israel declined by 37% to 14,822 in the first 10 months of 1974 compared with the same period in 1973, according to the Committee for European Migration, Geneva. 

1975(4th of Kislev, 5736): Esther Vilenska passed away. Born at Vilnius in 1918, she made Aliyah in 1938. Vilenska became a “communist politician, journalist and author who served as a member of the Knesset for Maki between 1951 and 1959 and then again from 1961 to 1965.”

1977: Having defeated incumbent Mayor Abraham Beame in the Democratic primary, Ed Koch was elected Mayor of New York today.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that after the Katyusha bombing of Nahariya in which two local residents were killed, Israeli gunners blasted Palestinian terrorist strongholds in South Lebanon.  This is an example of the inability of the government of Lebanon to control its borders.  The PLO set up a state within a state in southern Lebanon.  It was these conditions that would finally force the Israelis to cross the border in the early 1980’s and eventually set up a buffer state on the border with Lebanon.

1978: In Belize, Frances Imeon Myvette and Dean Barrow, gave birth to Jamal Michael Barrow, the rapper known as Shyne who legally had his name to changed Moses Michael Levi.

1978:”Magic” the cinematic version of the book by the same name written by William Goldman who also authored the script which was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine with music by Jerry Goldsmith was released in the United States today.

1978(8th of Cheshvan, 5739): Seventy-six year old Latvian born American “poet, critic and educator” Eli Siegel, the founder of Aesthetic Realism passed away today.

1979(18th of Cheshvan, 5740): Sixty-three year old English actor Sydney Tafler passed away today after which he was buried at the Golders Green Jewish Cemetery in London Borough.

1981: “The Leningrad KGB did not allow students studying Hebrew to enter the apartment of their teacher Yakov Rabinovich who had been told to stop teaching or he would face arrest”

1985: “Transylvania 6-5000” a comedy-horror film starring Jeff Goldblum and featuring Norman Fell was released today in the United States.

1985: The trial of former Yale University lecturer Vladimir Sokolov on charge that “he willful concealed his activities as a Nazi collaborator who wrote articles calling for the annihilation of Jews” continued for a second day.

1986: In Chicago Susan and Robert Swartz gave birth to computer programmer Aaron Swartz founder of “Demand Progress.”

1988: Nita M. Lowey was elected to Congress where she is currently serving her 8th term. She is a leading proponent of educational opportunity, health care reform and biomedical research, stricter gun control and public safety laws, environmental protection, and women's issues. She is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Lowey was the first woman to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, leading the organization from 2001 to 2002. She has served as Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus and the House Pro-Choice Caucus, and has been called "the most prominent abortion right advocate in Congress" by the Washington Post. Before being elected to Congress, Lowey served as Assistant Secretary of State for the State of New York.

1988: Gov. Madeline M. Kunin of Vermont won a third two-year term, defeating Michael Bernhardt, the state House minority leader.

1995: “An Appeal for Forgiveness published today contained the full text of an apology issued by the family of Yigal Amir, “the confessed assassin of Prime Minister Rabin.

1996: “Mad Dog Time” a “crime comedy” directed and written by Larry Bishop (the son of comedian Joey Bishop) starring Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barken and Rob Reiner was released in the United States today.

1996: “Ransom,” based on adaptation of “Fearful Decision” by Richard Maibaum the New York native who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa in 1931 and earned a masters from the Speech and Dramatic Arts Department and produced by Scott Rudin and Brian Grazer was released in the United States today.

1997: North Carolinians came together today, to honor one the state’s civic leaders and pathbreaking women. Born in 1913 in Virginia, Hannah Block (née Solomon) studied music at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. After completing her studies, Block ventured to New York City where she forged her way as a jazz singer and performed in some of Manhattan’s most popular night spots. While in New York, Block met her future husband Charles Morris Block. After they married, the couple settled in Wilmington, N.C. where Charles was a partner in a manufacturing company. Block embraced her new home with verve and spirit. During World War II, she became the first woman to serve as head lifeguard at Carolina Beach, where she taught swimming and lifesaving courses for the Red Cross. The attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 inspired Block to become more involved with the war effort. Bringing new life and depth to her jazz career, she volunteered her time performing for troops at the local USO. Block organized and trained a group of 60 young women who visited and entertained soldiers on nearby military bases before their deployment overseas.Towards the war’s end, Block enlisted volunteers to welcome GI’s back to the U.S. and to help them readjust to life as civilians. One friend fondly dubbed Hannah Block “Mrs. World War II Wilmington.” After the war, Hannah Block remained active in civic life. She served twice as president of the local American Legion Auxiliary and organized many pageants, turning them into, as she put it, “more than a swimsuit contest on the beach.” In her late 40s, she became the first woman to serve on the Wilmington City Council, and later, the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor pro tempore. Block also led efforts in Wilmington to preserve and restore buildings of historical significance. One of these buildings was the USO center Block has performed in decades earlier. The building, which had served as Wilmington’s Community Arts Center since 1973, was renamed in 1997 in honor of Block. That same year on November 8th, the Community Arts Center in the “Hannah Block Historic USO” put on a jazz and cabaret review to honor Block. At the event, Block was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina’s highest honors recognizing service to the state. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family
by Stephen J. Dubner, Work In Progress by Michael D. Eisner, with Tony Schwartz and The Book of Job translation, introduction and notes by Raymond P. Scheindlin

1998: In “The Specter of Hitler in the Music of Wagner,” published today, Joseph Horowtiz re-examines the issues surrounding the German composer and the anti-Semitism of the Nazis.

1999: “Jewish Chapel’s 50th Anniversary Marked” published today described the gathering at Ada Ari El Synagogue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the David Familian Chapel.

2000(10th of Cheshvan, 5761): Noa Dahan, 25, of Moshav Mivtahim in the south, was shot to death while driving to her job at the Rafah border crossing in Gaza.

2000: The BBC broadcast “The Body of the Queen” the 7th episode of “A History of Britain is a documentary series written and presented by Simon Schama.”

2001: “Michael Steinhardt’s Voyage Around His Father” published today tells the true story of the hedge fund manager his father Sol Frank “Red” Steinhardt.

2002: Linda Lingle, Hawaii’s governor-elect, has made news for the 50th state and for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. She is Hawaii’s first woman governor, its first Jewish governor – and the only chief executive of a state to become a life member of Hadassah at her own initiative. Hours after her election, Lingle said: "I am aware of the wonderful work accomplished at Hadassah Hospital and am very proud of being a life member. I recently had a meeting with the Israel Consul General during his trip to Hawaii, and he extended to me an invitation to visit Israel. I look forward to doing so in the near future and to finally have the opportunity to visit Hadassah Hospital and meet the physicians and dedicated people responsible for making it so successful." Lingle, the former mayor of Maui, is also Hawaii’s first Republican governor in 40 years. Four years ago, a member of the Hawaii chapter made a one-time gift of annual membership to Lingle. Last year, the chapter was delighted to receive a check from Lingle that upgraded her status to life member, according to Sharon Goodhart, then-Vice President of Membership. According to the 2001 edition of the American Jewish Yearbook, there are approximately 7,000 Jews in Hawaii. Hadassah Hawaii, which counts some 200 members, is understandably proud of one of their own becoming governor. “We are thrilled and enormously proud of Linda on her election to governor of our state. We support her completely in her continued effort to bring about a new beginning for Hawaii," said chapter President Phyllis Donlin.

2002: After premiering at the Venice International Film Festival two months ago, “Far From Heaven,” a film that looks behind the façade of mid-20th century suburbia with music by Elmer Bernstein and filmed by cinematographer Edward Lachman was released today in the United States.

2004:  First Day of Jewish Book Month. Check out the library at your local Temple or Synagogue.  Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids has just built a new, modern library.  This is also a good time of the year to make donations of books or funds to the library.  Finally, since Kislev (the month with Chanukah) actually starts in November this year, why not look for some books for Chanukah gifts.  After all, we are "the people of the book."

2005: An overwhelming majority of adult Israelis are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. While 82 percent are happy, 52 percent of the population believes their lives will improve in the coming years. The third annual survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics found that 47 percent of adults are satisfied with their financial situation. About 41 percent believe their financial situation will improve in the coming years.

2005: The trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel which was scheduled to begin today but was postponed when the Judge rule that his lawyer “Horst Mahler whose license to practice as a lawyer was withdrawn in 2004 and who, in January 2005, was sentenced to nine months in prison for inciting racial hatred, could not be part of the defense team.”

2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that “containers for ritual offerings, weapons and jewelry are among the finds uncovered after builders in Jerusalem’s Vayit Vagan neighborhood stumbled upon a 4,000 year old Canaanite cemetery. 

2007: Jon Lovitz “had the grand opening for his new comedy club ‘The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Aubergine’ in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, CA.

2007: At the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington 38th annual Book Festival, Rabbi Harold Kushner discusses his latest work, Overcoming Life’s Disappointments.

2007:  In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Suzanne and Bert Katz Fund of the Temple Judah Foundation presents “The Case for Israel” with Professor Alan Dershowitz at Sinclair Auditorium on the campus of Coe College.

2007: Spain's Constitutional Court ruled that Holocaust denial will not be punishable by imprisonment, due to the fact that it falls within freedom of speech. Spanish law had mandated a sentence of up to two years in prison for Holocaust denial, but the court, which deliberated on the case following the trial of a neo-Nazi activist, ruled that such a punishment was unconstitutional. Nonetheless, the court did rule that imprisonment is a constitutional punishment for any individual convicted of justifying the Holocaust or any other genocide for that matter.

2008: In Highland Park, Il, Dana Levin, daughter of Gigi Cohen and Michael Levin is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.

2008: John Key, the son of Austrian-Jewish mother completed his service as leader of the loyal opposition following the electoral victory of the New Zealand National Party.

2009: An exhibition of the works of Gustav Metzger at the Serpentine Gallery in London that “included the installation Flailing Trees, which consists of 15 upturned willow trees embedded in a block of concrete, symbolizing a world turned upside down by global warming” came to an end today.

2009: Rabbi Simcha Weinstein discusses his book Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero at the Walters Art Museum, Graham Auditorium.

2009(21st of Cheshvan, 5770): Ninety-three year old “Vitaly L. Ginzburg, the Russian physicist who helped develop the first Soviet hydrogen bomb and went on to win the Nobel Prize, passed away today. (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

2009: Closing session of Union for Reform Judaism's 70th Biennial Convention in Toronto, Canada.

2009 (21st Cheshvan): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit Chanah (Hanah) Senesh (Sznes) who was executed 65 years ago today on the 21st of Cheshvan, 5705.

2009: New York Times bestselling author Neal Bascomb discusses his riveting new book Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi at the Fourth Annual JCCNV Jewish Book Festival.

2009: Distinguished educator Dr. Erica Brown, author of Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism, explores how boredom manifests itself within Judaism and the cultural impact on a faith structure that advises sanctifying time, not merely passing it at the JCCGW 40th Annual Book Festival

2009: Students from three Israeli high schools garnered top honors at the seventh annual International Student Film Festival Hollywood (ISFFH), which concluded today.

2010: The Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present “Josh Waletzky: Boiberik and Beyond Yiddish Songs for the 21st Century.”

2010(1st of Kislev, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2010: “Jazz singer and WWII USO champion Hannah Block is awarded North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine.”

2010(1st of Kislev, 5771): Ninety five year old Jack Levine, an unrepentant and much-admired realist artist whose crowded history paintings skewered plutocrats, crooked politicians and human folly” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2010: Mark Helprin “was awarded the 2010 Salvatori Prize in the American Founding by Clarmont Institute.

2011: Dan Byman author of “A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism” and Jennifer Griffin and Greg Myre co-authors of “This Burning Land: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” are scheduled to take part in Panel Discussion at the JCC of Northern Virginia’s Book Festival

2011: Cantor Sharon Steinberg, the cantor at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures that provide “An Overview of Jewish Liturgical Music.

2011: “Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism” is scheduled to begin tonight. Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism

2011: In St. Louis, MO, the scheduled Community Krisallnacht Program will feature Hannie J. Voyles, author of “Storming The Tulips.”

2011: Today, Knesset Speaker Reuven released his speech for the upcoming memorial session, during which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) were scheduled to speak. Rivlin plans to slam “price tag” vandalism, calling it “Jewish terrorism,” during a special Knesset session in memory of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to be held tomorrow.

2011: The Religious Services Ministry placed burdensome restrictions today on the Tzohar Rabbinical Council, which provides a legal and religious alternative to weddings performed outside the framework of the Rabbinate.

2011(11th of Cheshvan, 5772): Sixty-eight year old Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yehsiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem passed away today.

2011: Release of “Haver Hadash” (“New Boyfriend”) a single by Elisha Banai and the Forty Thieves was released today.

2012: Larry Tye Author of Superman: The High Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero is scheduled to speak at JCCNV Jewish Book Festival in Fairfax, VA.

2012:My Dad is Baryshnikov” is scheduled to shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival this evening.

2012: Tesa Cohen, one of Temple Judah’s younger congregants, is scheduled to appear in the opening performance of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach.”

2012: Bentlee Birchansky and Lincoln Ginsberg, students at Temple Judah Religious School, are scheduled to appear in the opening performance of “Guys and Dolls.”

2012: Prior to their scheduled performance at the Engler Theatre in Iowa Cit, The Klezmatics are scheduled to give a lecture and demonstration on Klezmer music.

2012: A well dating from 8,500 years ago, with the bones of two prehistoric people inside, was uncovered during recent excavations in the Jezreel Valley, the Israel Antiquities Authority said today.

2012: Three mortar shells landed across Israel’s border with Syria in the Golan Heights this morning, in what security officials said was likely a spillover from fighting between government forces and rebels in the ongoing Syrian civil war

2012: IDF soldiers exchanged gunfire with Palestinian terrorists from Gaza today. According to initial reports, a work crew came under fire near Kibbutz Nirim on the Gaza border and the soldiers returned fire. (As reported by Ron Friedman)

2012: Yale University announced that 54 year old Peter Salovey would be the new president three months after Richard C. Levin announced the he would be leaving the position “at the end of the academic year.

2012: Danish premiere of “The Act of Killing,” a documentary about the Indonesian killings directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.

2013: “Swastikas, Slurs and Torment in Town’s Schools” published today describes allegations of anti-Semitism in the Pine Bush Central School District.

2013(5th of Kislev, 5774): Ninety-one year old Holocaust survivor Saul Kagan, the founding director of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

2013: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a noon-time Grand Master Recital.

2013: Tina Sutton, author of The Making of Markova: Diaghilev’s Baby Ballerina to Groundbreaking Icon is scheduled to speak this morning at the San Diego Jewish Book Fair.

2013: Shepard, former Editor-in-Chief of Business Week and Lynn Povich author of The Good Girls Revolt are scheduled to appear at The San Diego Jewish Book Fair’s Lunch & Talk

2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged US Secretary of State John Kerry today “not to rush to sign” a deal with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. (As reported by Times of Israel Staff)

2013: US President Barack Obama marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht today saying that the 1938 pogrom in which Nazis burned synagogues and murdered Jews across Germany serves as an example of what silence in the face of hatred can bring.

2014: Shabbat Va-yayra

2014: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the convention center in Denver.

2014: “The Divorce” and “Samuel-613” are scheduled to be shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival.

2014: In Sydney, “A Place in Heaven” and “Zero Motivation” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014(15th of Cheshvan): “Yahrtzeit of Matityahu, the leader of the Maccabees in their fight against the Syrian-Greeks, as recorded in the Chanukah story.” (As reported by Aish)

2014(15th of Cheshvan): Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Avraham, the Chazon Ish, the Vilna born scholar who made Aliyah in 1933. (As reported by Aish)

2014: “Clashes between police and Palestinian rioters raged tonight in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem as tensions remained high in the capital.”

2014: “Tens of thousands of Israelis, most members of Israeli youth movements, gathered in central Tel Aviv tonight to mark the 19th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.”

2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Not In God’s Names: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan Sacks, 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik and The Crime of Silence by Anna Bikont

2015: In Orlando, Florida, the biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism is scheduled to come to an end.

2015: The author of Murder of a Mafia Daughter: The Life and Tragic Death of Susan Berman appeared on FOX News to discuss Susan Berman’s “relationship with Robert Durst

2015: Approximately, 3,000 arrived in Washington for the opening session of the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

2015: Following a rocket attack, tonight, the “IAF launched an airstrike against a terrorist infrastructure belonging to Hamas in southern Gaza.”

2015: “The Last Mentsch” is scheduled to be the final movie shown at the annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival.

2015: The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is scheduled to host “Confronting Extremism: The State of Hate Today.”

2015: The Jewish Arts & Film Festival of Fairfield County is scheduled to host a “post festival encore” – Commemorating Kristallnacht: Varian Fry, The American Schindler.

2015: The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host a workshop followed by a lecture by Ken Sutak on “Cinema Judaica: The Wars.”

2015: At The York Theatre the curtain is scheduled to come down on the final performance “Rothschild & Sons.”

2015: The annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America is scheduled to open today in Washington, D.C.

2016(7th of Cheshvan, 5777): Yom HaAliyah

2016(7th of Cheshvan, 5777): Seventy-nine year old Holocaust survivor and historian Yaffa Eliach passed away today. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

2016: Today, “the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) carried out a highly unusual raid on the Ramat Gan offices of iTrader, a company that offered binary options and forex trading to the Israeli public” and arrested “seven of its top managers and salespeople.” (As reported by Simona Weinglass and David Horovitz)

2016: Forty-two year old Republic Eric Greitens a Rhodes Scholar a Navy SEAL whose decorations included the Bronze Star became the first Jewish governor of Missouri today when defeated his Democratic opponent in the general election.

2016: In Pennsylvania, Democrat Josh Shaprio was elected state Attorney General.

2016: Professor Sara B. Horowitz is scheduled to moderate a debate on “the place and value of literary approaches to Holocaust memory” as part of HEW (Holocaust Education Week) in Toronto.

2016: Glenn Dynner, a Professor of Religion at Sarah Lawrence is scheduled to deliver a lecture that will focus on JDC’s generous aid to Jewish traditionalists (Orthodox and Hasidic Jews) entitled “"The Fountain of Judaism": JDC Aid to Traditionalist Jews in Interwar and Nazi-Occupied Poland” at The Center for Jewish History.

2016: “Primary Colors” and “Weiner” are scheduled to be shown at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival.

2016: Among those planning on voting in today’s Presidential election is centenarian “Menia Perelman of South Florida who arrived in the United States at the age of 84” and  who became a U.S. citizen so she could vote in this election. (As reported by JTA)

2016: Among the candidates on the ballot today is Mindy Finn who, in Utah, is running for vice president as an independent on a ticket headed by a Mormon – a ticket that has the blessing of Mitt Romney, the influential Mormon who was the Republican Nominee for President in 2012.

2017: The Streicker Center is scheduled to host an evening with “Bernard-Henri Lévy for a discussion on why Jewish values, traditions and memory are modern saving graces for the Jewish people.”

2017: As part of its “Titans of Industry” program, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host an evening with Jeffrey G. Gural, Chairman of GFP Real Estate and Barry M. Gosin, CEO of Newmark Knight Frank.

2017: Yeshiva University Museum, the Center for Jewish History and the American Sephardi Federation are scheduled to host “To Be A Scribe In Italy: A Century Old Legacy” during which Rav Amedeo Spagnoletto the recently appointed chief rabbi of Florence, who has become a keeper of the Italian tradition handed down for centuries will discuss the history, art, and halakhic norms that converge in the making of handwritten Hebrew text.”

2018: “Remember the Kindertransport: 80 Years On,” an exhibition that allows visitors to “discover the stories of the child refugees in their own words” is scheduled to open at the Breman Museum.

2018: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Kristallnacht: 80th Anniversary Commemoration,” “featuring remarks by historian Marion Kaplan (NYU), the premiere of a short documentary featuring individuals sharing their memories of 1938, reflections by radio personality and author Martin Goldsmith, and a musical performance by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

2018: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “What’s New In Jewish Genetics” during which “computational geneticist Itsik Pe’er (Columbia University) and moderator Nathan Pearson ( explore what our genomes say today...and may reveal in the future.”

2018: The 12th Annual Other Israel Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end today.

2018: “Working Woman” is scheduled to be shown as part of the Opening Night Gala marking the start of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

2018(30th of Cheshvan, 5779): Rosh Chodesh Kislev; for more see





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