Thursday, November 8, 2018

This Day, November 9, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 9

694: Opening meeting of the Seventeenth Council of Toledo during which the Visigoth Catholic monarch, King Egica publicly charged the Jews with planning to "exterminate and [destroy] their homeland."  This charge was the excuse for the enactment of some of the most stringent laws aimed at the Jews of Iberia.  The Jews and their property essentially became the possession of the crown, allowing the King to dispose of them as he saw fit.  Furthermore, any Christian found helping Jews would be punished.  These laws represented the climax of more than a century's worth of anti-Jewish laws.  Is it any wonder that the Jews greeted the Moors with open arms when the invaded Spain in 711?

1382:  Publication date for the Cambridge Yiddish Codex, “the oldest surviving document written in Yiddish

1389: Consecration of Boniface IX who gave the Jews of Rome the legal right to observe Shabbat, protection from local oppressive officials, a reduction in their taxes, and assurance that they would be treated as Roman citizens.

1491: Azriel Günzenhäuser printed “Avicenna Canon” at Naples Italy. Azriel Günzenhäuser was a 15th century German printer who was also known as the “Ashkenazi.”

1494: The Family de' Medici expelled as rulers of Florence. According to Rebecca Weiner, “The fate of the Jewish community was tied to the fate of the Medici family in Florence. Lorenzo il Magnifico defended the Jewish community from expulsions and from the aftermath of vitriolic sermons given by Bernardino da Feltre. A Catholic theocracy was installed in the 1490's under the Dominican friar Girolama Savonarola, who decreed that both the Jews and the Medici family be expelled from Florence. A loan from the Jewish community to the republic postponed the expulsion for a short period of time. The Medicis returned to power in 1512 and the Jewish ban was lifted, until the next Medici expulsion in 1527. Alessandro de Medici regained influence as a duke, in 1531, and abolished anti-Jewish acts. In 1537 Cosimo de’Medici gained power in the Florentine government. He sought the advice of Jacob Abravanel, a Sephardic Jew living in Ferrara. Abravanel convinced Cosimo to guarantee the rights and privileges of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, and other Levantines who settled on his borders. This was the start of the growth of the Sephardic Jewish community in Florence. Refuge was given to Jews from other papal states who left due to Pope Paul IV’s anti-Jewish measures, which were not enacted in Florence. Once Cosimo received the title of grand duke of Tuscany, his policies toward the Jews changed for the worse. He forced Jews to wear badges in 1567, closed the Tuscan border to non-resident Jews in 1569, shut down Jewish banks in 1570 and established a ghetto in 1571

1526: The Jews were expelled from Hungary after being falsely accused of aiding the Turks in the war against Hungary.  This is an example of the Jews being caught up in the cross currents of European Religious Wars.  Most of Hungary had come under the control of the Turks (yes the Islamic Ottoman Empire penetrated that far into central Europe a fact not lost on radical Islamists today).  The Hungarians were all that stood between the Turks and the Germanic Holy Roman Empire.  But Charles V, the Emperor was not supplying aide for reasons of his own, so the Jews ended up being scapegoats for the newly enthroned Hungarian King’s inability to dislodge the Turks. 

1526: Jews of Pressburg (now Bratislava) were expelled by order of Queen Maria.

1571(21st of Cheshvan): Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn Abi Ziimra (Radbaz) passed away

1621: A 16 year old New Christian, Moses Simonson (or Symonson) arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the ship Fortune. He came from Leyden, Holland.

1656(21st of Cheshvan): Rabbi Moses ben Isaac Judah Levy, author of Helkat Mehokek passed away

1683: Birthdate of King George II for whose coronation Handle wrote “Zadok the Priest,” an anthem based on Kings 1:38-40 which has been sung at every coronation since 1727.

1713: Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi and Moses Hagiz, the son of Jacob Hagiz were “formally placed under a ban” by the Portuguese community in Amsterdam.

1720: The Rabbi Yehuda Hasid Synagogue in Jerusalem, which later became known as the Hurva Synagogue was set afire.  Rabbi Yehuda Hasid and a small group of a few hundred followers arrived in Eretz Israel. The rabbi purchased the courtyard in the Old City for the synagogue, and construction of the facility was started after his death, but was never completed. Due to the non-payment of a loan taken by Jews from Arabs for the construction of the synagogue, Arabs burned down the site, desecrating its 40 Torah scrolls. The destruction wrought at the time became the root of the name of the "Hurva" (ruin) synagogue, and building recommenced in the late 1830s, by Perushim followers of the Vilna Gaon. After its completion in 1864, the Hurva loomed as a cultural and religious symbol in Eretz Israel and Jerusalem. The Hurva retained its status as Jerusalem's leading synagogue, and public gatherings and celebrations were held in it. Among other events, a prayer gathering to mark the coronation of King George V was held at the Hurva. Two days after the Jewish Quarter fell to Jordanian legionnaires during the 1948 war; the Jordanians blew up the Hurva. The Jordanian commander on the scene reported to his superiors: "For the first time in 1,000 years, there's not a single Jew left in the Jewish Quarter, and not a single building that hasn't been damaged. This will make the return of Jews here impossible." After the 1967 Six-Day War, the Hurva became a memorial to the fall of the Jewish Quarter in 1948. A large square was created around the site of the Hurva; and visitors could measure the dimensions of the synagogue which once stood at the locale. An arch was built at the site which rose to about half the height of the destroyed building, which is as high as the top of the synagogue's dome. In 2002, the Israeli government adopted a NIS 28 million plan to restore the Hurva synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. The restoration should take four years.

1757: The local bishop at Kamienice who had side with the Sabbatians and was responsible for the burning of “huge numbers of copies of the Talmud” being burned starting in October died today, which “which the rabbinic Jews recognized as divine vengeance” but which struck such “fear in the hearts of the Sabbatians” “that many of them fled to Turkey.

1780: Birthdate of Nicolai Wergeland, the Norwegian anti-Semite who sought to ban Jews from his country because “it would incompatible with Judaism to deal honestly with Christians.”

1803: Nathan Joseph Magnus married Simony Solomon today.

1815: Birthdate of Anton Ree, the son of a Hamburg banker who started as a teacher at the Jewish Free School in 1838 and became its director in 1848.

1828: In Philadelphia, PA, Isaac Phillips and his wife, the former Sarah Moss, the daughter of John Moss gave birth to Barnet Phillips, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, husband of Jospehine Myers of Savannah and a writer for the New York Times starting in 1872 who also wrote several books including The Struggle and Burning Their Ships.  (Isidor Levi shows the birthdate as November 7, 1827)

1829(13th of Cheshvan, 5590): Sixty-five year old Rebecca Levy, the wife of Solomon Levy and the daughter of Uriah and Eva Esther Hendricks passed away today.

1832: One day after she had passed away, 6 year old “Rita b Hayim” was buried today at the “Ipswich Old Jewish Cemetery.”

1837: British philanthropist Moses Montefiore, 52, became the first Jew to be knighted in England. Montefiore was a banking executive who devoted his life to the political and civil emancipation of English Jews.

1841: The Creole, a brig whose cargo of slaves had seized the ship sailed into the harbor at Nassau in what would be the next “act” in an international incident that would result in litigation in which Judah P. Benjamin “represented insurance companies being sued.”

1845: The original Jewish Publication Society was established in Philadelphia today. Abraham Hart was its first president. The society owed its existence to Isaac Leeser. It published eleven works, including two by Grace Aguilar.

1847: Birthdate of Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria and King from 1901 to1910.  As Prince of Wales, “Bertie” had several Jewish associates and friends including the Rothschilds and the Sassoons.  Such friendship did not meet with universal approval of the British aristocracy.  Those who thought that Edward’s philo-Semitism was limited to the wealthy were confounded by Edward’s pronouncements on the subject of the Russian Jews. Edward insinuated himself in foreign relations, a field limited to the politicians, by trying to convince Czar Nicholas II to improve the condition of his Jewish subjects.  For a man portrayed as vapid, vain and empty-headed, he showed himself to be of stout heart in a matter of major importance to the Jewish people.

1849: Daniel Webster wrote a letter to M. M. Noah today expressing his regrets that he will not be able to attend the anniversary dinner of the Hebrew Benevolent and German Hebrew Benevolent Society to be held later this month in New York City.   In the letter he expressed his on-going "respect and sympathy" for the Jewish people whose "scriptures I regard as the fountain from which we draw all we know of the world around us, and of our own character and destiny as intelligent, moral and responsible beings."  What Webster did not say in the letter that he had to turn down the invitation due to health problems.

1850: Birthdate of Louis Lewin, the German pharmacologist who “published the first methodical analysis of the Peyote cactus.

1853: Moses Moss married Sophia Levy at the Great Synagogue today.

1853: “Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews” published today described the “first in a series of lectures on the Sacred Poetry of Hebrews” delivered by Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphill of B’nai Jeshurun also known as the Greene Street Synagogue in which among other things he “divided the poetry of the Hebrews into four periods” – “antediluvian” through the Joseph; “Moses to David;” “David to the death of Solomon; “the Prophetic Poetry from the subdivision of the Hebrew Monarchy down to the return after the Babylonian captivity.”

1854:  Morris Simeon Oppenheim, the London born of “son of Simeon Oppenheim, secretary of the Great Synagogue” “was admitted as a student to the Middle Temple” today which was the first step to his being “called to the bar in1858.”

1855: Rabbi Nathan Adler founded Jew’s College

1856: In Pittsburgh, Congregation Rodef Shalom was charted today listing among its primary objectives “the furtherance of the cause of Religion” and “the establishment of a good school in which the young shall be instructed in the principles of the Hebrew Religion as well as general branches of knowledge.”

1858: “Abduction of a Christian Duty” published today traces the history of the Mortara Affair in which an Italian Jewish boy was effectively kidnapped by the Pope himself.  According to the article, the Pope’s behavior puts him at odds with many of the governments of Europe and jeopardizes the rights of all Protestants (as well as Jews and Moslems) that visit any of the papal domains.

 1861: In New York City, Pauline Sondheim and Emanuel Lehman, the co-founder of Lehman Brothers gave birth to Philip Lehman would gain fame as investment banker and art collector.

1862: In Warsaw, Pauline and Feibisch Jolles gave birth to Dr. Adolf Jolles

1864: Phillip Levy, who risen to rank of Sergeant in Company G of the 193rd Regiment completed his military service today

1865: In Vincennes, Indiana, Adam Gimble who had come to the U.S. from Bavaria in 1835 and his wife gave birth to Ellis A. Gimbel, Sr. the department store owner, co-founder of the Pennsylvania Broadcasting Company and philanthropist

1866: Birthdate of Salt Lake City native, Florence Pag Kahn. Six years after the passage of the 19th amendment, Calvin Coolidge was in the White House, prohibition was still on the books, and newly widowed Florence Prag Kahn became the first Jewish woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress on February 17, 1925. As the wife of the U.S. Congressman from San Francisco, Kahn had developed her own public voice by writing a column for her hometown newspaper about Washington doings. When her husband died in 1925, she won a special election that made her only the fifth woman to serve in Congress. Kahn served twelve years until 1937, a strong Republican voice for Bay Area public works projects and the rights of Chinese women and Native Americans. The next Jewish woman to serve in Congress was New York's Bella Abzug who was elected in 1970. Kahn argued that "there is no sex in citizenship and there should be none in politics." She made this point in a slightly different way in the context of a newspaper interview that noted her refusal to lose weight or tend to her hair in order to please others. When asked later in the interview why it was that she received more than twice as many votes as her late husband ever got, she responded, "sex appeal!"

1871: Birthdate of Florence Rena Sabin an American medical scientist. As a pioneer for women in science she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. In her retirement years, she pursued a second career as a public health activist in Colorado, and in 1951 received a Lasker Award for this work. She passed away in 1953.

1873: Three days after he had passed away, 73 year old “watch and clockmaker” Lewis Lyon, the husband of Mary Phillips with whom he had nine children, was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1874(29th of Cheshvan, 5635): Israel Bak, the man who created the first Hebrew printing press, passed away. Israel Bak was a native of Berdichev in the Ukraine who came to Safed in 1831. In his native city, he had published some thirty books. He reestablished his publishing operations in Safed. First off the press, in 1832, was a Sefardi prayer book, the first Hebrew book printed in the Holy Land after a hiatus of 245 years. This was followed in 1833 by the Book of Leviticus, with the commentaries of Rashi and Hayim Joseph David Azulai, a favorite of Sefardi Jews. No traces remain of either Genesis or Exodus, if indeed they were ever published, but it is possible that they were destroyed during the peasant revolt against Muhammad Ali in 1834, in which Bak's press was destroyed and Bak himself was wounded. More likely only Leviticus was published, the first of a projected five-volume edition of the Pentateuch, because it was the custom to begin instruction of the Chumash in the schools not with Genesis but with Leviticus. The school year began in the spring, when the Book of Leviticus was being read in the synagogue, and it made good sense to synchronize Bible study in the school with Bible reading in the synagogue. Bak turned to agriculture but continued printing, even after the earthquake of 1837 devastated his shop. The Druze revolt in 1838 destroyed both his farm and press, and Bak departed for Jerusalem where, in 1841, he once again established his press, the first Hebrew press in Jerusalem.

1878(13th of Cheshvan, 5639): Abraham Dob Bär Lebensohn passed away. Born in Vilinius between 1789 and 1794, he was a rabbi known for his poetical works including Shir Habibim. He was the father-in-law of Rabbi Joshua Steinberg, who worked with the Russian government as an educator and who wrote works in English, Hebrew and German.

1879: The service at Temple Beth-El in memory of the late Rabbi David Einhorn began at 4 o’clock this afternoon.  The sanctuary was completely filled and late arrivals had to be turned away.  Rabbis Kohler, Gottheil, Hirsch and Jacobs delivered eulogies.  Einhorn’s funeral had taken place on November 6.

1879: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture today entitled “Struggle of Free Religion in the United States” which was “a glowing and eloquent tribute” to the late Rabbi David Einhorn, even though it did not specifically mention the Jewish leader by name.

1879(23rd of Cheshvan, 5640): Abraham Aub passed away.  He has served as President of the Orphan Asylum of Cleveland since it was established by the B’nai Brit and is a past President of the Jewish Hospital and Hebrew Relief Association.

1880: At today’s meeting of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment funds were allocated to a variety of charities including $1,898.28 to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society

1880: David Belasco using the stage name of “Walter Kingsley” opened with the cast of “The Legion of Honor” when it opened at the Park Theatre in New York City.

1880: In Leadville, David May and Rosa Shoenberg who were married today received a “china chamber set” as wedding gift from Jacob Schloss and his son-in-law Morris D. Altman both whom were “prominent merchants in the liquor business” and leaders in the Jewish community.

1881: Specifications were filed today at the Bureau of Inspection of Buildings for a new building to be occupied by the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.

1881: In Paris, “The Eleventh Correctional Chamber finished up today the first act of a suit for swindling” in which “the plaintiffs are a couple of Dutch Jews” named Vandenborg who are in the business of buying and selling old clothes as well as moneylending.  (This combination of businesses was not unusual, as those successful in the first often leveraged into the latter.)

1881: It was reported today that the Jewish “bears” have lost three hundred thousand francs on speculation surrounding the Union General.

1882: “Co-Operation In Alms-Giving” published today described efforts to promote cooperation among charities in New York City including the participation of all Jewish congregations in the United Hebrew Charities.

1883: “Sir Moses Montefiore’s Birthday” published today described the celebrations of the distinguished Anglo-Jewish philanthropist who Rabbi Kaufman Kohler said “was the same kind of benefactor to Jewish people that Peter Cooper had been to the American people.”

1883: “The Duel At Temesvar” published today described the duel fought between Dr. Jules Rosenberger, a prominent Jewish Hungarian lawyer and Comte Etienne de Battyany over the love of a woman – Hona de Schossberger.  Rosenberger, the young woman’s husband, mortally wounded his royal rival when the Count refused to end the duel when he was wounded during the first round of gunfire.

1884: A fire broke out today at a building on Cannon Street in Manhattan that house the workshops of several Jewish tailors and cigar-makers

1884: It was reported today that John H. Bird will play Shylock, the Jew, in an upcoming performance of the “Merchant of Venice.”

1885: The Auckland Synagogue was opened.

1886: Birthdate of Ed Wynn. Wynn was one of a long list of Jewish entertainers who enjoyed successively successful careers in vaudeville, film, radio and television.  Wynn starred on comedy variety programs during the 1950’s.  One of his signature props was a piano that was configured as part of tricycle.  Others remember him for his portrayal as one of the zany characters in the Disney film Mary Poppins.  He passed away in 1966.

1888: “Verestchagin’s Paintings” published today described the wide variety of canvases produced by the “globe-trotting” Russian painter Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin whose works included pictures of Palestine and local  Jews.

1889: It was reported today that the Harlem Glee Club will be performing at an upcoming benefit concert that is a fundraiser for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1889: It was reported today Professor Edwin R.A. Seligman of Columba College will address an upcoming meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1890: “Austrian society” is impressed by the Prince of Wales’ weeklong visit to Baron Maurice de Hirsch. Given the view of Jews in European High Society, the idea that the heir to the British throne would travel such a great distance to spend a week with a Jew was almost beyond their comprehension.  The Baron is the son of a Bavarian banker and is now worth above 20,000,000 English pounds.

1890: Annie Stein, who had been erroneously advised by a Roman Catholic priest that her marriage to her Jewish husband Morris Stein was not valid and had left him for that reason, has returned to him now that the Judge has explained to her that in the eyes of the law she was indeed married and she had been given bad advice.

1891(8th of Cheshvan, 5652): Sixty-eight year old Simon Bacher the Hungarian poet who wrote in Hebrew and whose son posthumously published “a selection of his works” “under the title Sha’ar Shim’on.

1891: In Brooklyn, violinist Mark N. Isaacson and Amelia Isaacson gave birth to Charles David Isaacson, the nephew of Barney Isaacson, a court violinist to Queen Victoria, who was a newspaper music critic, opera company manager and a radio broadcasting pioneer serving as the innovative director at Stations WRNY and WGL.

1892: After helping build the main line of the Jaffa to Jerusalem railroad, engineer George Franjieh today proposed a tramway in Jerusalem, which would connect it to Ein Kerem and Bethlehem—only six weeks after the line's official opening.

1892: Birthdate of Erich Auerbach

1893: Lewis May presided at tonight’s “mass meeting” of young Jews at the building belonging to the Retail Grocers’ Union where plans were made to raise money to build a new home for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1893: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band performed at the Lenox Lycuem.

1893: The will of the late Louis Arnheim was filed for probate today.

1894: In New York under the consolidated charter, the Hebrew Benevolent Society receives $79,000 and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society receives $32,000 for the year.

1894: The American Hebrew celebrated its 15th anniversary today by printing a special memorial issue.

1896: Julius Harburger, the Excise Commissioner of New York City, addressed a meeting of the Boston chapter of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, of which he is a Grand Master.

1896: Four days after she had passed away, eighty year old Rachel, Countess d’Avigdor , “the second daughter of Sir Isaac Lyon and Isabel Goldsmid, the wife of Count Salamon Henri d'Avigdor, son of the d'Avigdor who was a member of the Great Sanhedrin assembled by Napoleon, with whom she had three sons and one daughter was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1896: Dr. Wendell C. Phillips will deliver a lecture on “Prevention of Germ Diseases” tonight at the Hebrew Institute which is sponsored by the Education Alliance.

1897: The Apprenticing Committee of the Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum is scheduled to meet this morning at Hamilton House in London.

1897: The Library Sub-Committee of Jews’ College is scheduled to at the office of the Chief Rabbi at Finsbury Square.

1897: In what was one of the major events of the social season, Dr. Joseph Silverman, the assistant Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El officiated at the weeding Miss Ray Baumgartern, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Moses Baumgarten to Adolph Levy at the Madison Square Garden Concert Hall

1897: Police believe today that a cousin of Captain Dreyfus and his American born wife Rebecca Fortado Abraham committed suicide by inhaling charcoal fumes.  In a letter addressed to his business partner and his mother-in-law, Dreyfus wrote that “It is better for the children to die with their parents, as their mother has also elected to commit suicide” which would seem to be the justification for their killing their three young daughters.

1898: Theodore Herzl began his two day journey to Naples aboard the "Regina Margherita".

1898(24th of Cheshvan, 5659): Private George C. Hahn, from Putnam who had been serving with Company G of the 1st Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry passed away toay.

1898: Reliable sources were saying tonight that Richard Croker was one of the Tammany district leaders who would be replaced in the wake of the electoral defeat because he had failed to deliver the Jewish vote in New York County.

1899: Texan Andrew Moses who had been serving as 2nd Lieutenant in the 7th Artillery was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the 3rd Artillery

1903: Birthdate of Dr. Gregory Goodwin Pincus: Father of "The Pill." Dr. Pincus and Dr. M.C. Chiang, his collaborator, developed the first practical oral contraceptive birth-control pill after being persuaded to do so by Margaret Sanger, a leader in the American birth-control movement, and Katherine Dexter McCormick, an heir to the International Harvester fortune.

1905: The National Committee for the Relief of Suffers by Russian Massacres met at the United Hebrew Charities Building to organize relief efforts for those who have suffered during the last ten days of violence in Russia.  While most of the victims were Jews, it was decided that aid would be distributed to all who have suffered regardless of their religious affiliation

1905: An appeal for aid for the suffering Jews in Russia entitled “To the Jews of America” published today read in part “The victims of the awful riots and massacres in Russia re not all numbered with the dead.  The living, starving survivors who have lost their breadwinners and the maimed mutely appeal to a pitying world for aid.  Therefore each community is hereby requested to organize at once and without further notice for the purpose of raising fund to aid these destitute living victims. Funds when collected by may forewarned to Mr. Jacob H. Schiff of New York for proper distribution.

1905: “It is reported from St. Petersburg that” “the Jewish population is panic-stricken” because “there are signs in that city of preparations to massacre the Jews.”

1907: In St. Thomas, Isaac and Rebecca Kushner Paiewonsky gave birth to Ralph Moses Paiwonsky, “the second person of Jewish heritage to serve as the governor of the Virgin Islands.

1907: In New York City Eugene E. Sperry and Rosalie Stanton Bloomingdale gave birth to Lucy Bloomingdale Sperry.

1909(25th of Cheshvan, 5670): Forty year old Miss Chasse Stikan passed away today.

1909(25th of Cheshvan, 5670): Rabbi Joseph Mayor Asher, Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, an “erudite Talmudic scholar” and Rabbi at Or Chayim Synagogue since 1906 passed away at the age of 37.

1911: I.N. Bloom of Louisville, KY, was appointed by the Governor to serve on the committee arranging the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial Building in Hodgeville, KY.

1912(29th of Cheshvan, 5673): Parashat Toldot

1912(29th of Cheshvan, 5673): Isaac Levy, a merchant, passed away today in Columbus, Ohio.

1912: It was reported today that “the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland has awarded this year’s gold medal for highest marks at their license examinations to Mr. Joel Green of Dublin.”

1912: It was reported today that “Dr. Meyer has been appointed senior tuberculosis officer by the municipality of Hull, England.”

1912: It was reported today that “a son of the editor of the Hebrew paper Haor, published daily in Jerusalem, has been arrested for having written an article” that spoke “of the Turkish government in unfavorable terms.”

1912: In New York City, Adolph and Rose Brodkin gave birth to the youngest of their six children, Herbert Brodkin who produced shows for the high quality dramatic television program “Playhouse 90.” (As reported by Eleanor Blau)

1913: Arnold Schönberg “completes the orchestral song "Seraphita", op. 22, No. 1.

1914: Birthdate of William Lewis Abramowitz, the 1935 MIT graduate and “plastics company executive” who was the husband of “the former Lena Epstein, with whom he had four children – Kenneth, Susan, Ava and Gail.

1914: In Vienna, Lemberg born bank director Emil Kiesler and pianist Gertrud Lichtwitz gave birth to Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler who would gain fame as actress Hedy Lamarr.

1914: When Liberal MP Herbert Samuel asked Sir Edward Grey about a homeland for the Jewish people, the Foreign Secretary replied “that the idea had alwas had a strong sentimental appeal to him and he would be prepared to work for it if the opportunity arose.”

1914: Four days after Britain’s declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire “Zionism was first discussed at a British Cabinet meeting” after which David Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (and future Prime Minister) assured fellow cabinet member Herbert Samuel that "he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine."

1915: Joseph Kornfeld of Columbus, Ohio, was re-elected member of the Board of Education.

1915: “7,000,000 Jews Starving” published today included the description by Louis Brandeis of the plight the Jews in war-torn Europe as well as “the success of the Jewish colony in Palestine which…is becoming stronger and stronger every day.

1915: “Correspondence of the Frankfurter Zeitung from Jerusalem says…twenty thousand Russian Jews requested Turkish citizenship which was granted without the payment of the ordinary taxes.

1915: “A plea for Americanism as above Zionism was made by Jacob H. Schiff before a large audience at the joint meeting of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis and the Jewish Religious School at Temple Emanu-El” tonight during which he “denounced Zionism or any other movement that tended to emphasize the question of race or nationalism as foreign to the best interests of the Jewish people,”

1916: It was reported today that victory of Meyer London, the Socialist candidate running for the House of Representatives from the 12th Congressional District was due to large support among Jewish voters but the large Jewish vote for President Wilson was not enough for him to carry Manhattan.

1917:  During World War I, Australian and New Zealand forces under the command of General Allenby were within twenty miles of Latrun which is the western entrance to the hills on the road to Jerusalem.  Yes, this is the same Latrun that Jewish forces tried to seize during the War for Independence to open the road from the coast to Jerusalem.

1917: British aircraft continued to bomb and strafe Turkish forces retreating from Beersheba.

1917: In London, the British Government made public the letter sent a week earlier which is known as the Balfour Declaration.  Herbert Samuel spoke at a thanksgiving rally at Covent Garden in which he finished by intoning, in Hebrew, the age old declaration, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” The declaration was published in the Jewish Chronicle.  According to one source, the government had deliberately delayed the public announcement so that it would appear for the first time in a Jewish paper.

1917: “A German aircraft was shot down in flames near the Wadi Hesi, as Australian aircraft attacked Ottoman and German installations and ammunition dumps

1918: “Oppose Zionist Plan” published today described a meeting of 500 Syrians at a Brooklyn hotel where they adopted a resolution calling on the Allies to oppose any settlement by Jews in Palestine – an opposition may have been more of the desire for the development of “Greater Syria” which was a goal of some Arab leaders following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

1918: As World War I was coming to an end Prince Max Baden, the Chancellor, announced the abdication the Kaiser and then later that day found himself forced to resign – creating the chaos that would later lead to the “stabbed in the back myth.”

1918: As Germany falls into social and political chaos at the end of World War I, Kurt Eisner, Provisional National Council Minister-President, declares Bavaria to be a republic. Kurt Eisner was born at Berlin on May 14 1857, of Jewish parents, his parental name being Kamonowsky. Eisner was the name he took when he began to write, and that name he adopted in his work for Social-Democracy.

1918(5th of Kislev, 5679): Sixty-one year old Albert Ballin, the owner and manager of the Hamburg America Line passed away.

1920: In Denver, CO, The Triennial Convention of Jewish Women continued to meet for a third day at the Brown Hotel.

1920: In Baltimore, MD, the seventh annual convention of the Mizrachi Organization of the United States and Canada continued for a second day.

1920: This evening Dr. Edwin Slosson of Columbia University, the author of Major Prophets of Today and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is scheduled to deliver an address on “Jewish Achievement in Science” to members “of the Auxiliary of Central Synagogue.”

1922: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards Albert Einstein the Nobel Prize for Physics.

1924: In Zurich, Switzerland, Rosa and Hermann Frank gave birth to cinematographer and photographer Robert Frank.

1924: “He Who gets Slapped” a silent drama produced by Irving Thalberg and co-starring his future wife Norma Shearer was released in the United States today.

1925: In Kurenets, Belarus, Miriam Kremer and Mendel Kremer who would be murder by the Nazis in 1943 gave birth to Emma Eshke Greisdorf.

1927: Birthdate of Salo Linder the native of Berlin whose family made Aliyah in 1933 and as Shlomo Lahat rose to the rank of Major General in the IDF and served for terms as Mayor of Tel Aviv.

1928: CCNY basketball star Nat Krinsky and his wife Hilda gave birth to Paul L Krinsky, the honor graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Company who served at sea with both the Merchant Marines and Navy who pursued a career that led to serve as the “Superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with the rank of Rear Admiral.

1928: In Chicago, “Dr. Schmarya Levin, a member of the World Zionist Executive Board and head of the largest Hebrew publishing house in Palestine today expressed sharp disagreement with Julius Rosenwald, the Chicago capitalist and philanthropist on the experiment of colonizing Jews in Russia.”

1929: Birthdate of Hungarian Holocaust survivor Imre Kertesz recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature.

1929(6th of Cheshvan): “Rabbi Joseph Leib Bloch, dean of the Yeshivah at Telz passed away

1931: Birthdate of Marvin Kessler, the Brooklyn native “who spent more than half a century in basketball as a player, a coach, a scout and, most prominently, a camp instructor who molded young athletes like Patrick Ewing and Stephon Marbury…” (As reported by Richard Goldstein)

1932: One hundred teachers invaded the offices of the Jewish Agency Executive this morning, occupied them, stationed guards at the exits, and announced that they would permit no member of the Executive to leave the building until arrears in salary from May to August were paid.

1932: In Des Moines, IA, Harry and Bessie Stein gave birth to Arnold “Arny” Davidson, a graduate of the University of Iowa and husband of Brenna Persellin who “was the owner and president of Globe Financial Services in Iowa City where he was a member of Agudas Achim.

1934: In Brooklyn, Sam Sagan, an immigrant garment worker from Russia and Rachel Molly Gruber gave birth to Carl Sagan, American astronomer and television personality – a man who brought science to the mass American audience.

1934: “Holiday Land,” one of the nominees for the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, produced by Charles Mintz was released in the United States today.

1934: “Woman in the Dark” a film version of a short story directed by Phil Rosen and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was released in the United States today.

1934: In Cape Town, South Africa, Isobel (née Pepper) and Isaac Horwitz gave birth to Ronald Horwitz who moved to London in 1951 to pursue his acting career where he changed his surname to Harwood and gained fame as Ronald Harwood the author of “The Dresser” a play which he turned into an Oscar winning movie.

1935: Charles and Hylda Wolfson gave birth to David Wolfson, the future Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale

1936: Josef Beck, the Foreign Minister of Poland is scheduled to begin two days of meetings with Sir Anthony Eden where he plans to bring up the subject of Jewish immigration from his country to Palestine.

1936: In Warsaw, “several Jews were beaten, one seriously, in street fighting on the anniversary of battles between Jews and Polish university students” last year.

1936: Birthdate of folk singer Mary Travers.  She is the Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary.

1937(5th of Kislev, 5698): Five members of the Gordonia group working on a Jewish National Fund afforestation project near Kiryat Anavim were ambushed and murdered by Arabs.

1938: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today in Paris for sixty-sixty year old Dr. Leo Motzkin the “noted Jewish statesman who “fought earnestly for his conception of the Jews as a national minority with their religious and cultural development safeguarded by international treaties and obligations.” (As reported by JTA)

1938: British troops and Arabs clashed twice in revolt-torn Palestine today. Two soldiers were killed and five were injured. Arab casualties were not learned. “Troops were ambushed on the Tel Aviv-Haifa road and Arabs staged a surprise attack on a garrison at a village near Tul Karm.

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


1938: Hitler mentions to Hermann Göring that he would like to see all German Jews forcibly resettled on the island of Madagascar. Opportunistically chosen by the Nazi leadership, the date of the pogrom is of great symbolic importance. It coincides with two important national holidays, the Nazi Blood Witness Day of November 9 and Martin Luther's birthday of November 10. Blood Witness Day commemorates the Nazi "martyrs" who died for their cause. Martin Luther advocated the destruction of Jewish homes and synagogues as well as the impoverishment, forced labor, exile, and death of Jews.

1938: Ernst von Rath, the third secretary to the German embassy in Paris died from wounds inflicted by Hershel Grynszpan, a seventeen year old Jewish refugee on November 7. Grynszpan's parents were among the 12,000 Polish-Jewish refugees who had been living in Germany who were transported to the Polish frontier a month earlier. The killing was a protest against the harsh treatment of these suffering, stateless Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

1938: Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) occurs across Germany and Austria. Ninety-one Jews are killed; others are beaten. Thirty thousand male Jews are sent to concentration camps, though most will be released in a few weeks. 267 synagogues are desecrated and destroyed (almost all of the synagogues of Germany and Austria). SS Security Service chief Reinhard Heydrich instructs security agencies to burn the synagogues unless German lives or property are endangered. Jewish businesses are looted and destroyed.

1938: “During the November Pogrom” known as Kristallnacht, in Berlin, “the Neue Synagoge was broken into, Torah scrolls desecrated, furniture smashed and other combustible furnishings piled up and set on fire.

1938: During Kristallnacht, the Leipzig synagogue which had been “built in 1855 by the German Jewish architect Otto Simonson was destroyed tonight.

1938:  On Kristallnacht, “the Jewish men of Karlsruhe including Opa Oppenheimer,” the grandfather of future Monuments Men Harry Ettlinger “were rounded up and put in Dachau and the hundred year old Kronenstrasse Synagogue “was burned to the ground.”

1938: In Vienna, two Gestapo agents entered the apartment of 17 year old Roy Rogers with the intent of arresting his father who was not at home.  When asked how old he was, his mother lied about his age thus saving the future British soldier from a trip to a concentration camp.(As reported by Ed Lion)

1938: Twelve days after all of the Polish Jews living in Karlsruhe were forced to go to the Polish border for deportation; the synagogues in this southwestern German city were destroyed.

1938(15th of Cheshvan, 5699): On what would become known as Kristallnacht, Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister called von Rath's murder "a Jewish conspiracy" and the German government organized a nation-wide pogrom.  Fifty thousand Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps; five hundred synagogues were destroyed, and the Jewish community was forced to pay one billion Reich marks ($4,000,000) for the damage.  In point of fact, Kristallnacht was part of the Nazi effort to redistribute wealth in Germany without impacting the German upper classes. 

1938: In the following article entitled “Why did Nazis protect rabbi on Kristallnacht?” Nadav Shragai explores the unique story of Rabbi Avraham Kuperstock and an alternative theory as to the origin of Kristallnacht

On the night between November 9 and 10, 1938 - Kristallnacht - while synagogues across the German Reich were set ablaze and Jews and their property became victims of state-initiated pogroms, a strange sight took place in the heart of Berlin. German police rushed to 25 Mintz Street, where they used their bodies as shields to protect the synagogue housing the yeshiva headed by Rabbi Avraham Kuperstock from rioters seeking to harm the rabbi, his family, students or property. This remarkable story was brought to light by Prof. Meier Schwarz, 83, a researcher who lost his entire family in the Holocaust and today runs "Ashkenaz House," a Jerusalem-based organization dedicated to conducting research and preserving the heritage of German Jewry. Kuperstock and his synagogue were saved thanks to the assistance he provided German authorities during World War II. But his story begins much earlier, in 1914 Warsaw, when the city was still under Russian control. The Russians were recruiting young people across the region, Jews and Poles alike. Among those conscripted were some of the rabbi's yeshiva students. Two of them deserted the army, were caught and sentenced to death and were hung by the Russians in the city square to deter other students from following their example. Kuperstock was made to stand beside the gallows while the grim sentence was carried out. The rabbi never forgot the experience and vowed to one day avenge the injustice the Russians had visited upon his yeshiva. As World War II dragged on, Germany fought on two fronts, to the West against the British, Americans, Canadians and their allies and, to the East, against the Soviet Union. The Third Reich diverted the bulk of its resources toward the eastern front, but struggled against the tough topographic conditions and the Russians' sophisticated line of virtually impenetrable fortifications. In 1941, in Operation Barbarossa, the German army suddenly penetrated the Soviet lines, smashing through its adversary's fortifications and paving a path to the East. In his research Prof. Meier Schwarz found that Kuperstock, as revenge for the death of his two students, had transferred intelligence to the Germans on the Russian fortification system, including secret pathways allowing the bulwarks to be breached. The revelation was confirmed by Kuperstock's neighbors, who had heard of the arrangement from the rabbi himself. They said in exchange for the information, Kuperstock was granted the status of "protected Jew," and during the darkest days of the Holocaust sold the Germans leaven his community had thrown out during Passover. Additional confirmation came from a relative of the rabbi now living in Australia. What remains unclear, however, is how was Kuperstock able to obtain the Russian documents, and whether he had acted alone. While the war was in full swing, Kuperstock and his students were transferred to East Berlin, where the authorities provided them with accommodations for living, praying and studying on Mintz Street. The rabbi was promised a pension for the rest of his life, German citizenship and financial support of the yeshiva. When President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor in 1933, the rabbi's special status was registered. Unlike other Polish Jews residing in Germany, Kuperstock and his students were not transferred to Poland, but in 1941, after the rabbi died, his students were sent to the death camps in the East. Last year Ashkenaz House published a study on the events leading up to Kristallnacht. Key among these was the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old German Jew of Polish extraction. The traditional account of the shooting holds that Grynszpan acted after his family and 17,000 other Jewish families with Polish roots were ordered to leave Germany for Poland. However, Prof. Schwarz believes vom Rath was actually killed by an envoy of Adolf Hitler himself. "The Germans, and not Grynszpan, were the ones who murdered vom Rath, but they blamed the Jews. Vom Rath, who seemed to have been seriously wounded, was transferred to hospital, where he was 'treated' by Hitler's personal doctor, who made sure he died," he said. "Kristallnacht had been planned two months before the second week of November 1938."

1938: Al Capp, the Jewish cartoonist of Lil' Abner creates Sadie Hawkins Day.

1939: Five hundred Jewish families were deported from Lublin, Poland.

1939: Lodz was officially annexed to the Reich, a step followed by an intensification of the German terrorization of the Jews and Poles.

1939: “Life With Father,” produced by Oscar Serlin opened today “at the Empire Theatre” and ran for 3,213 performances.” (Editor note – NYT says the 9th.  Wiki says the 8th)

1939: MGM released “Ninotchka” produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch, with a script by Billy Wilder, co-starring that Georgia (USA) born Jew, Melvyn Douglas.

1941: A photograph was taken of Jews working in Bakery #3 in the Lodz Ghetto.

1941: Having finished murdering the Jews of Minsk on November 6, the Nazis began moving thousands of German Jews into the town.

1941 (19th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Abraham Zevi Kama, head of the Yeshivah of Mir, was among the 1,500 Jews of Mir killed by the Nazis today.

1942: While serving with Escort Scouting Squadron Twenty-nine aboard the U.S.S. Santee, an escort carrier, today Lt. Cmdr. Arthur M. Ershler, “distinguished himself today when at grave risk to his personal safety he attacked a hostile convoy of trucks during which his plane was materially damaged by gunfire leaving him nauseated from the gasoline fumes which did not keep him from flying “to a hostile airdrome where he scored a direct hit on a hangar, damaged several planes on the ground and strafed numerous machine gun emplacements.

1942: Following yesterday’s Allied landings at Algiers which were facilitated by Jose Aboulker and his predominately Jewish resistance group, “the XIXth Army Corps of the Vichy Government tried to mobilize to oppose the Allied landings, but concentrated its efforts on the Resistance fighters led by Aboukler and others who decided to evacuate their positions since their mission had been accomplished and they wanted to avoid having Frenchman fight Frenchman.

1942: More than 700 Greek born Jews from Salonica living in Paris were deported.

1942: Germans deport Jews from Paris to Birkenau death camp. These Jews were Greeks from Salonica who went to France thinking it would be a safe haven.

1942: The Nazis opened another death camp named Majdanek Four thousand Lublin Jews already deported to two other concentration camps, were sent to open Majdanek. Majdanek joined Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec as factories of death.

1943: Two hundred Jews from Venice, Italy, are deported to Auschwitz. Four hundred Jews from Florence and Bologna, Italy, are deported to Auschwitz.

1943: At the Theresienstadt, the Council of Elders head Jacob Edelstein and three other Jews are accused of saving 55 of the ghetto's Jews from deportation by falsifying population reports.

1943: U.S. Senator Guy Gillette, Representative Will Rogers, Jr. (son of the great comedian and social commentator) and Representative Joseph Baldwin introduce a resolution into Congress calling upon the president to establish "a commission of diplomatic, economic, and military experts to formulate and effectuate a plan of action to save the surviving Jewish people of Europe." This resolution will serve as the basis of the War Refugee Board (WRB).

1943: Four hundred Jews were deported from Florence and Bologna to Birkenau.

1945(4th of Kislev, 5706): Sarah Lavanburg Straus the widow of Oscar Straus passed away today.

1945: Birthdate of Zevulun Orlev, an Israeli politician and a former leader of the National Religious Party. He was Minister of Welfare & Social Services (March 2003 - November 2004), and is currently a Member of the Knesset for the The Jewish Home party. Orlev is a decorated war hero who received the Medal of Distinguished Service in the Yom Kippur War.

1945: “The House I Live In,” “a ten-minutes short film written by Albert Maltz, and directed and produced by Mervyn LeRoy” “made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II” which “received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946” was released in the United States today by RKO.

1946: “Using the Potomac Shipwrecking Co. of Washington, D.C. as its agent, the Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah bought SS President Warfield from the WSAand transferred control of it to Hamossad Le'aliyah Bet, the branch of the Haganah that organized Aliyah Bet activities.” The Warfield would gain fame as the SS Exodus.

1946: As part of growing wave of terror caused by Britain failing to honor its war time promise to allow Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel and increasing repressive measure aimed at the Jews of the Yishuv, four British policemen were killed when a booby-trap bomb exploded while they were searing a house for hidden explosives.

1946: “Mr.Hex” a Bowery Boy comedy starring Leo Gorcey and featuring his brother David Gorcey was released in the United States today.

1946: Warner Bros. released “Never Say Goodbye,” a romantic comedy based on a story by Ben and Norma Barzman with a script co-authored by I.A. L. Diamond featuring famed character actor S.Z. Sakall as “Luigi”/

1947: In Pittsburg, PA, “Robert N. Nathan, the former chairman of the planning commission of the War Production Board, told 135 Jewish communal leaders here today that the resettling in Palestine of 150,00 Jews from European camps of displace person in the next two years would cost about $400,000,000.”

1948:  During the War of Independence Operation Yoav comes to a successful close.  Operation Yoav was part of the campaign to secure the Negev from the invading Egyptian forces.  Yigal Allon one of the true heroes of the creation of the Jewish state was the commander of the venture.

1948: The IDF launched Operation Shmone to capture the Tegart fort in the village of Iraq Suwaydan. The fort's Egyptian defenders had previously repulsed eight attempts to take it, including two during Operation Yoav. Israeli forces bombarded the fort before an assault. After breaching the outlying fences without resistance, the Israelis blew a hole in the fort's outer wall, prompting the 180 Egyptian soldiers manning the fort to surrender without a fight. The defeat prompted the Egyptians to evacuate several nearby positions, including hills the IDF had failed to take by force. Meanwhile, IDF forces were met with stiff resistance in Iraq Suwaydan itself, losing 6 dead and 14 wounded

1948: Israeli forces ended the Arab siege of Negbah

1948: Leon Frankel, one of the American volunteers who helped create and flew with Israel’s air force during the War for Independence returned to the United States today.

1948: “101 Squadron moved south to Chatzor to take a position closer to the southern front, where it flew most missions. One advantage of the more southerly location was that it was further along the route that the daily shuftikite flew and so gave more time for an intercept.”

1948: Joseph Zaritsky chose “an abstract still life” to show at the “New Horizons” exhibition that opened today in Tel Aviv.

1949: The biennial convention of the American Jewish Congress opens in New York City.

1949:  Democrat Herbert H. Lehman defeated Republican John Foster Dulles, the future Secretary of State who back Nasser over Israel in 1956 in a special election for a seat in the Senate which would later be filled by Jacob Javits who was a liberal, Jewish Republican. 

1949: Yaakov Dori completed his terms as the first Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Born Yakov Dostrovsky in the present day Ukraine in 1899, his family emigrated to Ottoman Palestine following the anti-Jewish pogrom in Odessa in 1905. Upon completing high school at the Hebrew School in Haifa, he enlisted in the Jewish Legion of the British Army during World War I. He later joined the Haganah and adopted the underground name of "Dan". In Haganah he was the commander of the Haganah Forces of Haifa. In 1939, Dori was appointed Chief of Staff of the Haganah, a position he held until 1946. As Haganah’s Chief of Statt, it was Yaakov Dori's duty to take the Haganah from a diffuse self-defense organization to a model army. From 1946 to 1947 he also headed the Palestinian Jewish delegation sent to purchase arms in the United States. When the IDF was formed, Dori took over as its first Chief of Staff. Yet, despite his good command and organizational skills, he was already suffering from failing health, and had difficulty commanding his troops during Israel's War of Independence, and was forced to rely heavily on his deputy, Yigael Yadin. After he completed his term as Chief of Staff, Dori retired from the military. He was succeeded by his deputy, Yadin. Even after his release from the army, however, he continued to wear the officer's pin he was awarded when he first became a second lieutenant. Upon leaving the IDF, Dori was appointed chairman of the Science Council, attached to the Prime Minister's office. He was later made president of the Technion in Haifa, a position he held until 1965. He passed away in 1973.

1950:  Birthdate of Dr. Yosi Ben-Dov, the Haifa, who after a successful career in business “became the Headmaster and managing director of The Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.”

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

1951(10th of Cheshvan, 5712): Sigmund Romberg passed away in New York City. Born Romberg Zsigmond in Hungary, Romberg gained fame as the creator of numerous operettas including The Student Prince and The Desert Song.

1952(21st of Cheshvan, 5713):  Chaim Weizmann First President of Israel and Zionist statesman passed away. There is no way that any blurb here could do justice to one of the giants of the Zionist cause. Would there have been an Israel had there been no Weizmann?  Who knows?  The creative chemist pursued Herzl’s dream with unparalleled zeal, playing a key role in the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, creating the Yishuv after World War I and lobbying American leaders including Harry Truman for their vital support of the unborn Jewish state.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, while others of his generation were abed enjoying the material rewards of the scientific genius, he was in the field fighting for the creation of Eretz Israel at a time when it was not “the in thing to do.”

1952: Yosef Sprinzak began serving as interim President, a post he would hold until the inauguration of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi thirty days later.

1953: Ibn Saud, the Saudi King who expressed his disdain for the Jews when he met with President Roosevelt in 1945, who declared war on Israel in 1948 and who squandered his nation’s oil wealth rather than use it to help his less fortunate “Arab brothers” in other lands died today.

1954: “The Divided Heart” a movie about three year old boy in Germany during WW II filmed by cinematographer Otto Heller and starring Yvonne Mitchell was released in the United Kingdom today.

1956: Sixty-one year old Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazi art thief passed away having survived the war with a secret stash of art that he had acquired for his fellow Nazis.

1959: “A Month in the Country” produced by Lewis Freedman and Henry Weinstein co-starring Luther Adler was broadcast as The Play of the Week.

1959: “I, Don Quixote,” a non-musical play to which Mitch Leigh would add music and make “Man of La Mancha” was broadcast on CBS television tonight.

1962:”The Came From Everywhere: Two Who Helped Modern Israel” by Robert St. John went on sale today.

1962: In Philadelphia, architect Louis Kahn and Harriet Pattison gave birthdate to filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn whose works include “Two Hands” and “My Architect,” a film about his father.

1964(4th of Kislev, 5725): Felix Weltsch passed away Born in 1884 he was a German-speaking Jewish librarian, philosopher, author, editor, publisher and journalist. A close friend of Max Brod and Franz Kafka, he was one of the most important Zionists in Bohemia.

1965: A funeral service for New York realtor and leader of the Jewish community Leopold  Philipp is scheduled to be held this morning at Temple Israel which is “now meeting in All Souls Unitarian Church” in Manhattan.

1965:  The New York Times features a review of Biography of An Idea: Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel Edward L. Bernays by Edward L. Bernays.

 1967: “Custer of the West” a biopic about the 19th cavalry officer directed by Robert Siodmak was released in the United States today.

1967: In the first issue of Rolling Stone published today critic Jon Landau “compared Jimi Hendrix and his debut album, Are You Experienced, to Eric Clapton and Cream's debut album, Fresh Cream.”

1970: Charles DeGaulle, former French President and leader of the Free French during World War II passed away. The imperious De Gaulle told the Israelis not strike first against the Arabs in 1967.  After the June War, De Gaulle made derogatory remarks about the Jewish state; withheld military equipment from the IDF that Israelis had paid for and pursued an unabashedly pro-Arab line.  Those who remembered De Gaulle as the lone French voice willing to stand against the Nazis in World War II shook their collective heads and opined that some men stay in the public eye beyond their days of mental competence.

1972: Avraham Lanir scored his second aerial kill today, downing a Syrian MiG-21 while flying Mirage 72

1973: Ofer Tsidon was killed in action when his F-4E Phantom Jet was shot down by an Egyptian SAM.

1973: Gideon Shefer was taken prisoner today when his F-4E Phantom Jet was shot down by an Egyptian SAM.

1973: “The Mackintosh Man,” “a cold war spy movie” starring Paul Newman and featuring Wolfe Morris as “Malta Police Commissioner” was released today in the United Kingdom.

1974: Materials about the persecution of Jews in Minsk, letters of the Jews to various state institutions, and notebooks which were discovered when Anatoly Sharansky and Anatoly Malkin were detained in Minsk were confiscated by authorities.

1974: Vladimir Davidov was detained in Sverdlovsk following which documents describing the situation of Jews in Novosibirsk and notebooks were taken.

1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat startled the world by announcing his intention to go to Jerusalem.

1979: “The Rose” a biopic about Janis Joplin directed by Mark Rydell, produced by Aaron Russo, with a screenplay by Bo Goldman and music by Paul A Rothchild was released in the United States today.

1980(1st of Kislev, 5741): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1980(1st of Kislev, 5741): Eighty-one year old silent movie star Carmel Myers passed away.

1984: “No Small Affair,” comedy directed by Jerry Schatzberg and featuring Jeffrey Tambor was released in the United States today.

1986(7th of Cheshvan, 5747): Seventy-three year old A. James Speyer, the Pittsburg born “son of Stella (Tillie) Speyer and Alexander C. Speyer and graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology who was one of the “leading experts on contemporary American and European art” passed away today.

1988: “Child’s Player” a horror film featuring Dinah Manoff was released in the United States today.

1988(29th of Cheshvan, 5749): Ninety-two year old Jacob “Jake” Friedman, the native of Bridgeport who played three games for the Hartford Blues, an early NFL team passed away today.

1989: Today, Sony Corporation acquired Guber-Peters Entertainment Company, which up until September of 1989 had been known as Barris Industries, Inc. an American game show production company that was founded by Chuck Barris

1991(2nd of Kislev, 5752): Parashat Toldot

1991(2nd of Kislev, 5752): Ralph Moses Paiwonsky, “the second person of Jewish heritage to serve as the governor of the Virgin Islands passed away on his eighty-fourth birthday.

1992; Two days before the nationwide PBS broadcast of “Liberators,” the world premiere was held at New York City’s Lincoln Center before an audience of prominent Jewish and black Americans, including Mayor David Dinkins, Lena Horne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Harvey Meyerhoff, the chairman of the US Holocaust Memorial Council. The event was sponsored by WNET/Channel 13, the film’s chief financial backer and PBS’s affiliate in New York City, and the Holocaust Council, the federal organization established in 1980 to build and operate the nation’s Holocaust Museum in Washington. (As reported by Mark Schulte)

1993(25th of Cheshvan, 5754): Salman 'Id el-Hawashla, age 38, an Israeli Bedouin of the Abu Rekaik tribe who was driving a car with Israeli plates, was killed by three armed terrorists driving a truck hijacked from the Gaza municipality, in a deliberate head-on collision

1994(6th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty-four year old New Orleans native Louis Boasberg, a member of the 1931 Tulane football team that went 11-0 in the regular season and barely lost to USC in the Rose Bowl and founder of the New Orleans Novelty Company passed away today.

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: Inside Oracle Corporation by Mike Wilson.

2001(23rd of Cheshvan, 5762):Hadas Abutbul, 39, of Mevo Dotan in northern Samaria was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists on Friday afternoon as she drove from work in nearby Shaked.

2002(4th of Kislev, 5763): Sgt.-Maj. Madin Grifat, 23, of Beit Zarzir was killed when a mine exploded during a routine patrol northeast of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. The Givati Brigade company commander was wounded. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

2003: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interest including Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars by Yaacov Lozowick, The Case For Israel by Alan Dershowitz and Horse People: Scenes From the Riding Life by Michael Korda

2004: Chabad filed its lawsuit against the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication, the Russian State Library, and the Russian State Military Archive, asserting violations of international law and seeking the return of its collection of sacred, irreplaceable religious books and manuscripts.

2004: Today “after Ariel Sharon declined the NRP's demand to hold a national referendum regarding the disengagement, Zevulun Orlev and the party resigned from the coalition and the government, vowing to pursue general elections in an effort to replace Sharon with a right-wing prime minister.

2005: Amir Peretz, the former chairman of the Histadrut trade union federation, defeated Shimon Peres in the primary elections for the Labour leadership today.

2005: On Election Day voters chose Jewish political leader Loretta Weinberg to serve the remaining portion of Jewish New Jersey State Senator Byron Baer's four-year term of office, which ends in January 2008.

2005: “Joyeux Noël” a cinematic treatment of the Christmas truce in 1914 (which is fully described in Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub) one of whose major character is “Lt. Horstmayer, the German Jewish officer of the 93rd Infantry” and featured Dany Boon was released today. (Editor’s Note – Personally I think this is a marvelous, must-see film.)

2005: Hussam Fathi Mahajna, 36, an Israeli Arab businessman from Umm al-Fahm, was among 57 people murdered and 300 wounded in simultaneous attacks by suicide bombers in Amman, Jordan at three luxury hotels. Mahajna was a guest at a wedding held at the Radisson Hotel, known to be popular with Israeli tourists. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attacks.

2005:  Kristallnacht Remembrance Day.

2005: In New York, Novel Jews monthly literary series presents a Henry Roth Tribute.

2006: The 10th Annual UK Jewish Film Festival comes to a close.

2006(18th of Cheshvan, 5767): Eighty-three year old East German spymaster Markus Wolf, the son Friedrich Wolf, the politically active physician who took his family to Moscow when the Nazis came power, passed away today.

2006: As “Jews throughout Germany mark the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht” the Munich Jewish community dedicated “a major new synagogue that symbolizes the city’s ongoing effort to realize the elusive goal of normalcy in its relationship with the Jewish community…The synagogue is part of a larger complex of three Jewish communal buildings that includes a Jewish museum and community center, complete with a day school, a library and a kosher restaurant”  that will be known as the “Jakobsplatz Jewish Center.” Munich is home to Germany’s second largest Jewish community. German businessman Herbert Burda contributed $1.3 million to building the community center.  Burda’s father was a Nazi who profited from “The War Against the Jews.” Herbert Burda has “received the Leo Baeck Prize in recognition of his efforts to repair the wrongs committed by the preceding generation.”

2006: An exhibit of photographs by Julian Voloj, titled “Forgotten Heritage: Uncovering New York’s Hidden Jewish Past” opened at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at New York University.

2007: Premier of Joel and Ethan Coen’s ‘No county for Old Men.’

2007: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Friday Evening services are dedicated to a Remembrance of Kristallnacht with a talk by Fred Rogers a former resident of Frankfurt who was spared from the Shoah.  Fred is long time, leading member of the Jewish community.  When he speaks we hear the voices of all the Fred Rogers’ who did not survive.  When he speaks we hear the voices of all the future Fred Rogers’ that were lost in the smoke of The Night. When he speaks we hear the voice of a mensch.  When he speaks, “the Murder of the Six Million” takes on the dimension of personal loss.

2007: “Birds,” an exhibition of the paintings of Audrey Berner, on display at the Bernard Gallery in Tel Aviv comes to a close.

2007: U.S. premiere of “Lions for Lambs” co-starring Andrew Garfield and Peter Berg.

2007: IDF troops shot two Palestinians who were crawling near the security fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel on Friday night, apparently planting an explosive device, the army said.

2007: Natavia Lowery is arrested and charged with the killing of Linda Stein, the 62 year old New Yorker who had gone from manager of punk rock musicians to real estate broker.

2008: In New York City, the 92nd Street Y presents “Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Chip Kidd: Sandman 20th-Anniversary Celebration” during which “The New York Times best-selling Jewish born author, Neil Gaiman, discusses Sandman, the acclaimed comic book series widely considered to be one of the most original and artistically ambitious series of the modern age. Sandman is a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven. Gaiman is the author of children’s and adult titles including, The Graveyard Book, American Gods, Coraline, Neverwhere and Stardust. (Editor’s note: Considering the Jewish origins of Superman, one would wonder if the evening’s presentation might include an inquiry to any special relationship between Jews and Comic Books.)

2008: Final Chicago area performance of Jake Ehrenreich’s “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn at the North Shore Center For the Performing Arts.

2008: The 20th meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews opened today in Budapest.

2008: “God On Trial,” the made-for-TV movie that depicts a trial at Auschwitz in which God is charged with Breach of Contract for allowing the Nazis to torture and murder Jews aired on PBS.

2009: Kristallnacht Remembrance

2009: At the Hudson Institute, Norman Podhoretz, a former editor in chief of the journal Commentary, discusses and signs his newest book, Why Are Jews Liberals?

2009: Israel and Jordan conducted a joint earthquake drill today in the Beit She'an Valley, practicing techniques in evacuation and treatment procedures, according to IDF Army Radio.

2009: The recent decision of Mahmoud Abas not to seek re-election as President of the Palestine Authority was one of the main topics of discussion in today’s meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held at the White House.

2010: The New York Times featured a review of Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine by Robert Coram.  Unbeknownst to most people the famous general was the son of Russian Jews.  “He lied about this heritage, claiming he was raised an Episcopalian. Perhaps he was only attending to reality. At the time, the author points out, the Marine Corps was “a veritable witches’ brew of racism and discrimination.” But General Krulak went further than he had to, essentially disavowing his parents and family back home in Denver for the rest of his life.

2010: Publication of the paperback edition of Lauren Grodstein’s A of the Family today.

2010: Toronto’s 30th Annual Holocaust Education Week which began on November 1 is scheduled to come to an end today.

2010: Rodale Publishing released America the Edible: A Hungry History from Sea to Dining Sea by Adam Richman.

2010: Kristallnacht Remembrance Day is observed at a time when word comes that Samuel Willenberg and Kalman Taigman, 87-year-old Israelis, who are believed to be the last two survivors of the most chillingly efficient killing, machine of the Nazi Holocaust: the Treblinka extermination camp in occupied Poland are now devoting their final years trying to preserve the memory of the 875,000 people who were systematically murdered at Treblinka in a one-year killing spree at the height of World War II.

2010: Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research are scheduled to present a program entitled “16mm Postcards: Home Movies of American Jewish Visitors to 1930s Poland.”

2010: Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested several suspects charged with defrauding a German government fund that had been established to provide help to survivors of Nazi persecution. Over 16 years, the suspects used fake identification documents, doctored government records and a knowledge of Holocaust history to defraud the fund of more than $42 million, according to an indictment unsealed today by the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara. In all, 17 people were indicted.

2011: Ellen Futterman is scheduled to moderate the Fiction Panel at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival.

2011: The 31st Annual Holocaust Education Week sponsored by Toronto’s Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre is scheduled to come to end.  The theme for Holocaust Education Week

2011 has been “Accountability” in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the trial of Adolf Eichmann and the 65th anniversary of the first Nuremberg Trials.

2011: Kristallnacht Remembrance

2011: A conference focusing on Romania's Holocaust-era war crimes in Ukraine and Moldova called on Romania to acknowledge and apologize for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews.  The conference, which ended today, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, was convened to bring the full scope of World War II Romania’s fascist state-sponsored genocide to light.

2011: The Palestinian Authority said today that it was weighing its next steps in wake of reports that the UN Security Council has failed to reach consensus on the Palestinian application for membership in the international organization.

2011: The Penn State Board of Trustees announced tonight that Graham Spanier had resigned and head football coach Joe Paterno had been fired--in both cases, effective immediately as part of the child sex abuse scandal brought on by Jerry Sandusky.

2011: Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman “was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

2012(24th of Cheshvan, 5773): Seventy-six year Isaiah Sheffer passed away. (As reported by Douglas Martin

2012: John Gaultier, a member of the 71st Division Infantry Division and one of the soldiers who liberated Gunskirchen Lager Concentration Camp is scheduled to speak this evening at Temple Judah’s Shabbat eve services commemorating Kristallnacht and celebrating Veteran’s Day.

2012: In Greensboro, NC, Temple Emanuel is scheduled to host the URJ Southern Region Shabbaton

2012: As Israel prepared for a stormy, wintry weekend, the airport in Eilat, the country’s usually sunny southernmost city, was closed this afternoon due to heavy rains which caused flooding on its landing strips. As a result, two flights from Eilat to Tel Aviv were delayed.

2012: The New York Times featured a review of Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück

2012: “Unidentified persons uprooted 11 memorial plaques commemorating local victims of Nazism in the German city of Greifswald today, the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, The Jews of Greifswald were among those targeted throughout Germany on Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass, on November 9, 1938. Synagogues and businesses were destroyed, and Jews throughout the country were murdered and arrested en masse.” (As reported by Jerusalem Post staff)

2013: “Open House Jerusalem” is scheduled to come to a close.

2013: Marion Grodin, author of Standing Up: A Memoir of a Funny (not Always) Life and

Fred Stoller author of Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star are scheduled to speak at the San Diego Jewish Book Fair.

2013: 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. While remembering the evil it is good to remember the righteous such as Ernst Leitz, the head of the Leica Camera Company his daughter Elsie Kuehn-Leitz who saved hundreds of Jews with the Leica Freedom Train.

2013: According to a statement issued released by IsraAID today, the team that it is sending to the Philippines to help in the aftermath of a powerful typhoon that hit the multi-island nation yesterday “will work primarily in Tacloban City in Leyte. (As reported by Times of Israel staff)

2013: Former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said today that while he respected the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court unanimous decision to acquit former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman of fraud and breach of trust charges, the “truth doesn’t always come out” in courts of law.

2013: Sampson Gordon "Sam" Berns, an American who suffered from progeria and helped raise awareness about the disease, “dropped the ceremonial first puck” as a guest of the Boston Bruins.

2014: At Melbourne, “Transit and “Night Will Fall” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a conference on “World War I and the Jews.”

2014(16th of Cheshvan): Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Elazar M. Shach, dean of the Ponevitch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.”

2014: General Assembly of the Jewish Federation is scheduled to begin today

2014: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host “Kristallnacht Remembered” and a screening of “A Voice Among the Silent: The Legacy of James G. McDonald.”

2014: “A ministerial committee gave the go-ahead today for a bill that would force the IDF’s Central Command to issue military directives for Israelis in the West Bank that match civil laws passed in the Knesset.” (As reported by Tamar Pleggi)

2014: “An Israel Navy ship fired at a suspicious Palestinian vessel returning to the Gaza Strip from the Sinai Peninsula late tonight.” (As reported by Lazar Berman)

2014: “World War and the Jews” a conference marking the centenary of the start of World War One opened today at the Center for Jewish History.

 To mark the centenary of the start of World War I the Center for Jews hosts

2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein, Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch and In Real Life by Cory Doctorow.

2014: “According to the Channel 2 TV documentary Uvda (“Fact”), portions of which were broadcast tonight” “there is an ‘unprecedented rift’ between the Shin Bet and the IDF” over the amount of warning given before the most recent war in Gaza.

2015: “The Romance and Tragedy of Soviet Yiddish Culture” a four week long course is scheduled to come to an with a lecture “From Heymland to a Non-Jewish Jewish Autonomous Region (1953-present)” presented by David Shneer, the Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History at the University of Colorado Boulder.

2015: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Washington, DC today.

2015: “A painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early-20th-century Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani sold tonight for $170.4 million.” (As reported by Robin Pogrebin and Scott Reyburn)

2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a reception marking the opening of a new exhibition “After the War: Recovery, Relief and Return, 1945-1949” during which “Atina Grossmann, author of Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany will discuss the varied experiences of the surviving remnant of European Jewry in the immediate postwar period.”

2015: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is scheduled to host citywide memorial “Kristallnacht: The Spark That Ignited the Holocaust” that will feature “5 distinguished cantors: Benjamin Warschawski, Pavel Roytman, Rachel Rosenberg, Faryn Rudnick, Laurie Akers, Cantorial Soloist

2015: In Toronto, Holocaust Education is scheduled to come to an end with an exploration “of how synagogues destroyed during Kristallnacht are brought to life in contemporary Germany through digital media” and “a candle-lighting ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht.”

2015(27th of Cheshvan, 5776): Ninety-five year old American fencer Byron Lester Krieger who represented the United States in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics passed away today.

2016: Seventy-eighth anniversary of Kristallnacht.

2016: Holocaust historian and author of the award-winning book FDR and the Jews, Richard Breitman, is scheduled to speak at the Kristallnacht Memorial Service sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center where he will examine the U.S. government response to the November Pogrom.

2016: Hannah Lessing, the Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria and the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism, as well as the Fund for the Restoration of the Jewish Cemeteries in Austria who is also the daughter of Holocaust survivor and photographer Erich Lessing is scheduled to speak on “Bringing the Rimonim Home: A Personal Restitution Journey” at the closing event of HEW (Holocaust Education Week) in Toronto.

2016: Beit Sefer is scheduled to present “Kristallnacht Remembrance at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines, Iowa.

2016: “Germans and Jews” and “Family Commitments” are scheduled to be shown at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival.

2017: “The 9th of November,” by Rachael Cerrotti was published today in Commentary.

2016: “Alda’s Secrets” and Return to the Fatherland” are scheduled to have their Chicago premier at the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema.

2017: The 21st UK International Jewish Festival is scheduled to begin today “at venues across the United Kingdom.”

2017: The 37th Annual Neuberger Holocaust Education Week” came to an end in Toronto at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre.”

2017: The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to host a screening of “From Brooklyn to Beirut, in which Rola Khayyat explores the landscape of belonging for the community of Lebanese Jews in New York – along with the fragilities and complexities associated with a politicized identity.”

2017: In Des Moines, IA, the Jewish Federation is scheduled to co-host “The Moment That Changed Everything,” “a community program for Kristallnacht.”

2017: The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Jewish Community Relations Council Community Partners are scheduled to co-host “Commemoration: Kristallnacht A Night of Broken Glass, Shattered Dreams.”

2017: Yeshiva University Museum, the Center for Jewish History and the American Sephardi Federation are scheduled to present a lecture by Rav Amedeo Spagnoletto on “Traditions of Roman Jews: Life and Religion.”

2018: In Coralville, Iowa, following Friday night services Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a lecture by Ari Ariel on “Becoming Yeminitie/Becoming Israel.”

2018: The UK Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to host a screening of “An Act of Defiance.”

2018: Eightieth Anniversary of Kristallnacht

2018(1st of Kislev, 5779): Rosh Chodesh Kislev; for more see



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