Wednesday, December 5, 2018

This Day, December 6, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin



1060: Béla I of Hungary is crowned king of Hungary. In 1061 Bela changed the Market Day from the traditional Sunday to Saturday which may have been part of an attempt to remove the Jews from the commercial activity of the kingdom.  Given the anti-Jewish decrees of his immediate successors, there is reason to believe such was the case.

1185: Alfonso I the Conqueror, king of Portugal passed away at the age of 76.  Alfonso’s connection with Jewish history is indirect.  Until he proclaimed himself king, Portugal was part of Spain.  Alfonso’s successful secession came only after bitter fighting between him and the Spanish.  This delayed the attempts by the Spanish monarchs to drive the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula. Also, Portugal offered a haven for Jews and Conversos in 1492.  This haven proved to be short-lived but sometimes any port in a storm is better than no port at all.

1285: Birthdate of King Ferdinand IV of Castile who would earn the enmity of the Dowager Queen for employing a Jew as his treasurer and close advisor.

1352: Pope Clement VI who in 1342 had had a portion of Sefer Milhamot Ha-Shem, ("The Wars of the Lord") by Levi ben Gershon (Gersonides) containing “an elaborate survey of astronomy” translated into Latin passed away today.

1424: Don Alfonso V of Aragon grants Barcelona the right to exclude Jews.

1496: Isaac Abravanel completed "Ma'yene ha-Yeshu'ah" (Sources of Salvation)

1570: The Council of Worms issued ordinances “regulating Jewish affairs” today.

1576: “King Stephen Bathori relieved the Jews of Brest from all taxes on account of serious losses sustained by them through fires.”

1672: King John II Casimir of Poland passed away. King John allowed the Jews to continue living in the fortified city of Kamnets where they had taken refuge during Khmelnytsky (Chmielnicki) Uprising. He also granted the Jews of Szydlowiec several privileges including the right to make and sell whiskey.

1675: Seventy-three year old John Lightfoot, the English minister who studied with Hebraist Sir Rowland Cotton “and became the best Hebrew scholar in his nation without speaking to a Jew” passed away today.

1766: Sampson Gideon, the grandson of West India merchant Rowland Gideon and the son of Sampson Gideon, the successful financier who had  “ceased all connection with the Portuguese synagogue at Bevis Marks in 1753 but never join the Christian church,” married “the daughter of Chief-justice Sir John Eardley Wilmot” whose surname he assumed so that he could be elevated to a peerage.

1776(25th of Kislev, 5537): As Washington’s army freezes in Pennsylvania having escaped across the Delaware River from the British, first day of Chanukah


1792: In The Hague, King William I of the Netherlands and Wilhelmine of Prussia gave birth to William II who followed in his father’s footsteps when became king of not abrogating the rights of the Jews gained while the French ruled the Netherlands.

1793(3rd of Tevet, 5554): 8th Day of Chanukah

1806(25th of Kislev, 5567): Chanukah and Shabbat

1808: Issachar ben Baruch married Sarah bat Ephraim Gumprich today at the Western Synagogue.

1812: Birthdate of Hezekiah Linthicum Bateman, the Baltimore born American actor and manager. Bateman was the manager of Henry Irving when the British actor gained his greatest success by playing Mathias in “The Bells” a play based on a translation of “The Polish Jew.”

1815: Emperor Frederick William III of Prussia closed the first Reform Temple in Berlin

1817 (27th of Kislev, 5578): Rabbi Chaim of Tchernovitz, a disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch and of Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov passed away on the third day of Chanukah which was also Shabbat Shel Chanukah.  He authored Be'er Mayim Chayim ("Well of Living Waters"), a commentary on Torah.

1818: In Hanover, Germany, Gershon Hirsch Treuenfels and Rachel Treuenfels gave birth to Abraham Treuenfels the husband of Bertha Budge.

1820: US President James Monroe re-elected.  In 1850, a U.S. Senate Committee investigated the role played by Chaim Solomon during the American Revolution.  According to a report issued by the committee James Monroe was one of several leaders of the Revolution who received financial assistance from Solomon.  Like the other leaders listed, Monroe did not repay Solomon proving that while some may have talked about “pledging their fortunes” to the cause of liberty, Solomon actually did give his fortune.

1823: In Dessau, Germany, lyric poet Wilhelm Muller and the former Adelheid von Basedow gave birth to German linguist and Oriental scholar Friedrich Max Müller who challenged the claim of Nicolas Notovitch, a Russian Jew, that the Life of Issa” was a legitimate work depicting the life of Jesus (Issa) which had Him leaving the Galilee and studying with Buddhists and Hindus in India before returning to Judea.

1827: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi S.C. Peixotto officiated at the marriage of Hyam Cohen and Mrs. Esther Moise.

1834(4th of Kislev, 5595): Dutch lawyer Jonas Daniel Meyer passed away at the age of 54.  In Amsterdam, the Jonas Daniel Meyer Square was the center of the Jewish religious life.  

1834: Birthdate of Dr. Hermann Senator the medical professor who was a native of Gnesen.

1840: Birthdate of S.H. Friendly, the New York who moved to California in 1863 before settling in Eugene, Oregon where his success in business led to his being chosen President of the Board of Trade, Mayor and eventually a member of the Board of Regents for the University of Oregon.

1843: Jacob Hyman married Fraces Phillips today at the Great Synagogue.

1844(25th of Kislev, 5605): Chanukah observed for the last time during the Presidency of John Tyler, the first Vice President to take office after the death of the President.

1849: Simon Hyam married Rebecca de Pass today at the New Synagogue.

1852(25th of Kislev, 5613): Chanukah

1852: In Jersey City, Jersey, the committee that had been appointed to make arrangements for the lectures of Mr. Matthew A. Berk on “The Conditions of Jews” decided that they would begin this week.  There will be no charge for admission but a voluntary collection will be taken to support the lectures. In 1846, Berk published The History of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity to Present the Present Time.

1854: Birthdate of Jacob Aaron Cantor, New York attorney and political leader who served in the U.S. Congress for one term from 1913 through 1915.

1854: In Australia, three days after the Eureka Stockade Massacre , Charles Dyte and Henry Harris both of whom are members of the Ballarat Hebrew Congregation took part in drafting “the Eureka Resolution.”

1855(28th of Kislev, 5616): Amschel Mayer Rothschild, the second child and eldest son of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, passed away. On the death of Mayer Amschel in 1812, Amschel Mayer succeeded as head of the bank at Frankfurt-am-Main, which was the original Rothschild house in the House of Rothschild.

1855: Birthdate of Nina Morais Cohen—the daughter of Sabato Morais, a prominent Orthodox rabbi and a leading exponent of traditional Judaism— who established her own strong voice as an advocate for women's rights within Judaism and American society. Born in Philadelphia where her father served the congregation Mikveh Israel, Nina Morais grew up very involved in her father's work and concerns. As a young woman she published widely on the subject of women's rights and roles in Judaism in both the Jewish and secular press. After her marriage to attorney Emanuel Cohen in 1885, she moved to Minneapolis, where she became a leader in the woman suffrage movement and in the Jewish community. She participated in the 1893 Jewish Women's Congress in Chicago and returned to Minneapolis to found a local section of the newly formed National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) in 1894. She served as section president until 1907. For 13 years she drew upon her extensive Jewish education to lead study sessions for local NCJW members in her home on Saturday afternoons (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

1856: In Navahrudak, Hrodna Province, Belarus, Tsvi Hirsch Lamport and Esther Lamport gave birth to Nathan Lamport, the husband of Sarah Lamport and the father of Arthur Lamport.

1858: The second session of the 35th United States Congress in which Philadelphian Henry Myer Phillips served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives opened today in Washington, DC.

1859: Rabbi A. Fishcell presented a paper entitled “The History of the Jews in America” at tonight’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the New York Historical Society.  He traced their history from the expulsion from Spain in 1492 to their settling in New Amsterdam.  He concluded by reading the letter from George Washington to the Jews of Newport Rhode Island in which he praised the Jews for their patriotism.

1861: Birthdate of Sigmund Berliner, the husband of Paula Berliner with whom he had eight children before passing away in 1919.

1862: In Davenport, IA, the members of Congregation B’nai Israel which had been formed in 1861 accepted and approved a constitution and by-laws.

1864: A meeting was held in Philadelphia “which resulted in the establishment of the first Jewish theological seminary in America. The need of such an institution was strongly felt, as there were numerous synagogues in the country, but few persons capable of filling the rabbinical office. The seminary was established under the joint auspices of the Hebrew Education Society and the Board of Delegates of American Israelites, and was named Maimonides College." The school began operating in 1867 with Isaac Leeser as its provost. The school ceased operations in 1873 due to lack of support and funds.

1870: It was reported today that the Hebrew Fair has raised $75,000 so far and the sponsors are sure that they will reach the goal of $100,000. Over 450 items have been raffled off so far including a $200 silver service.  Mrs. Joseph Steiner won a canvas on which Constant Meyer will paint the winner’s portrait.

1871: “In Schweinfurt, Germany, Philipp Salzer and Lina Fuchs gave birth to Gustave Salzer, the husband of Hedwig Gtunbaum.”

1873: According to a report published today there were 73,265 Jews living in the United States in 1870 as compared with 34,412 living in the U.S. in 1860 and 18,871 living in the U.S. in 1850. These figures come from a religious census that reported on the religious preferences of 21,665,062 people living in the United States in 1870 out of a total population of 38,555,983 as tabulated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

1873: In Paris, Alfred and Jeanne Neymarck gave birth to Auschwitz victim Henriette Neymarck who became Henriette Mayer when she married Germain Lucien Mayer.

1874: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Free School Association was held today at Metropolitan Hall in New York. The association supports five afternoon and evening schools with 519 students, 375 of whom were boys and 144 were girls.

1874: Mrs. P.J. Joachimsen was elected President at today’s annual meeting of the Society of the Home for the Aged and Infirm Hebrews located on Lexington Avenue. The number of residence has increased from 300 to 700 in the last year.  The total assets of the society are $18,361.39.  The President expressed the hope that before the lease has expired on the current facility the society will have built a suitable building of its own.

1875: A fund raiser for the benefit of Mount Sinai Hospital is scheduled to be held today at Gilmore’s Garden.

1875: The Hebrew Charity Fair, a fund-raiser for Mt. Sinai Hospital opened tonight at the Hippodrome, the pleasure palace erected by P.T. Barnum in Manhattan.

1875: The sister of Abram and Aaron Dietz identified their burned bodies at the City Morgue today.  The two Jewish men were among the victims of yesterday’s Brooklyn Theatre Fire which claimed the lives of 278 people.

1876(20th of Kislev, 5637): Isaac Elijah ben Samuel Landau who began serving as a rabbi and a dayyan at Wilna in 1868 passed away today.

1877: First publication of The Washington Post.  In 1933, The Post would be purchased in a bankruptcy auction by Eugene Meyer, who restored the paper's health and reputation. Philip L. Graham, Meyer's son-in-law, would work his way up to become publisher upon Graham's death in 1959.  After Graham’s death, his widow Katherine would take over the paper and the communication conglomerate that would include Newsweek Magazine the Washington affiliate of CBS.

1877: Birthdate of New York native and surgeon Dr. Henry M. Kalvin, the husband of Pauline Kalvin with whom he had one son who served “as a physician in the Army induction center at Grand Central Station” and “who hobby was capturing wild animals with a lariat.”

1877: Fifty-nine year old German poet and historian Theodore Creizenach, who converted to Christianity in 1854 passed today in Frankfurt.

1878: At 11:30 this morning, a fire broke out in the basement of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York.  The fire was quickly extinguished by the staff.  None of the 50 children in the building at the time were in any danger and little damage was sustained to the structure.

1878(10th of Kislev, 5639): Sixty-four year old Dutch born French economist Louis Jean Königswarter who founded the "Prix Königswarter" (1,500 francs), to be given every three years by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques for the best work on the history of law” passed away today in Paris.

1880: It was reported today that at a meeting hosted by Socialists in New York City where the speakers were all refugees from political oppression in Germany, Carl Welki enumerated a list of grievances including Prince Bismarck’s support of the attacks on the Jews.

1880: Sarah Bernhardt is scheduled to begin performing at the Globe Theatre in Boston, MA.

1880: It was reported today that in Germany, “the Provincial School Commission has recommended the Government to dismiss two teachers for displaying animosity against the Jews.”

1880: “The German Anti-Jewish War” published today described the decision of the Provincial School Commission in Germany to recommend the dismissal of two Jews “for displaying animosity against the Jews.”

1880: In New York, “Max Mansfeld, editor of the Hanover Tageszeitung, delivered a lecture” this evening at Steinway Hall on the modern persecution of the Jews in Germany.”

1881: Today “Diamond broker” Ernest David Leverson married Ada Esther Beddington who gained fame as the author Ada Leverson.

1882(25th of Kislev, 5643): Chanukah

1882: Mrs. Abraham Bronstein remained in the custody of the Harlem Police today after having been arrested yesterday.  Her husband, whom the police were still seeking, remained at large.  The Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society had requested the police take the couple into custody because they refused to leave the barracks at Ward’s Island despite the fact that Mr. Bronstein had a job and could have provided for his family without further assistance from the Jewish charity.

1883: Among the organizations receiving funds today to cover expenses for the month of October were The Hebrew Shelter - $2,628. 29 and Ladies’ Deborah - $2,047.14

1884: Rabbi Louis Grossman gave his inaugural sermon at Temple Bethel in Detroit, a congregation he would serve for 14 years.

1884: Mother Mandelbaum, the New York “fence” who has fled to Montreal is trying to reach Germany

1884: Birthdate of Rose Schneiderman who served as New York State Department of Labor Secretary from 1937 through 1944.

1885(28th of Kislev, 5646): Sixty-four year old German physician and political reformer Wolfgang Strassmann passed away.

1886: Birthdate of Chicago native and member of the Hyde Park High football and basketball teams, Robert S. Harris who played under legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg at U. of Chicago before join the Army in WW I where he served “as captain with the Rainbow Division” and retired as Colonel after WW II.

1887: Sigismund Schloss, the husband of Rebecca Mocatta with who he had three children and the husband of Catherine Elkin with whom he had two children was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemtery.”

1888: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs was among the clergymen who met with New York Mayor Hewitt to plan the religious component of next year’s celebration of the Centenary of the Innauguaration of George Washington as President of the United States.

1889: Jacob Adler and Dinah Shtettin gave birth to Celia Feinman Adler “an American Jewish actress known as the ‘first Lady of the Yiddish Theatre.’”

1890(24th of Kislev, 5651): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1890: Birthdate of Boston native and New York University educated teacher Harold Fields the WW I Army veteran whose activities in the field of immigration including helping “to frame the National Origins Act of 1924,” participating in two conferences of Governor Roosevelt on immigration and working as a “consultant” on the topic for the famous trial lawyer Clarence Darrow.

1890: Plans for the upcoming performance of “Ein Konigreich um ein Kind” sponsored by the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum were published today.

1890: The New York Times reported that Baron Hirsch is considering a plan to settle Russian Jews in agricultural settlements in Argentina. Hirsch has sent a commission to the South American republic to investigate the feasibility of the plan to which he is reportedly willing to spend $20,000,000 to bring it to a successful conclusion.

1891: In Eisenheim, Bavaria, Karoline and Leopold Scholoss gave birth to Bruno Henry Sloss

1891: Some Tales of Two Cities” published today described common threads between New York City and Charleston, S.C. including the move of New York literary critic Rufus Griswold following his second marriage to Charlotte Myers, a wealthy and prominent Jewess with whom he “enjoyed” a tempestuous relationship.

1892: The trial of Pastor Hermann Ahlwardt, the leading anti-Semite who is charged with slandering Herr Loewe, the Jewish arms manufacturer, continues today. A representative of the army testified that while some the new Loewe rifles required repair, the number was not unusual for such weapons contrary to Ahlwardt’s charge that the Jews had bribed the army to accept faulty weapons.

1893: “The Walsh School Plan” published today described a proposal that would have allowed a certain amount of the funds intended for the public schools to be diverted to parochial schools where the money would be used to fund the teaching of secular subjects. 

1894: According to reports published today the fund raiser at the Lexington Avenue Opera House raised $2,000 for the Monte Relief Society.

1894: Today the twelve Jewish members – Max J. Lessauer, Jacob H. Schiff, Simon Sterne, James Speyer, Isaac H. Klein, Julius Sternberg, Julius J. Frank, E.W. Bloomingdale, A.C. Bernheim, Dr. A. Jacobi, Henry Rice and Professor E.R.A. Seligman -  of the Committee of Seventy, a political reform group that took on the Tweed Ring, “sent regrets to the Committee of the Union League Club which had invited them to attend tonight’s reception for the Governor-elect and the Mayor-elect.

1895: “Young Men’s Hebrew Association” published today described the latest lecture sponsored by the Jewish organization delivered by Dr. Solis Cohn on “Judaism, a Living Force.”

1895: Birthdate of Max Kadushin, the native of Minsk who became a successful American Rabbi in the Conservative Movement.

1895: Two days after he had passed way, Abraham Abraham, the son of Victor Abraham and Rebecca Levy was buried today at “The Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.”

1895(19th of Kislev, 5656): Abraham Frederick Ornstein, the son of Phineas Ornstien and the father of Philip Ornstein  who was the rabbi at the Portsea (Portsmouth) Congregation and the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation passed away today in Cape Town, South Africa.

1895: Today, New Yorkers displayed “no excitement over the fact that” Hermann Ahlwardt “the zealous anti-Semitic agitator had come to their city where “he has awakened no interest and cause no stir.

1895: In his sermon today, Dr. W.W. Rainsford of St. George’s Church preached a sermon in which he sought “to correct some grave misconceptions as to the condition of the Jews at the coming of Christ” saying they “were not a nation of ignorant, irreligious and immoral people” and that they “were always religious and patriotic” “given to high ideals of morality and civic virtue.”

1896:  Birthdate of Ira Gershwin.  The brother of George Gershwin, Ira carved out his own career as a lyricist for Broadway and Hollywood musicals.  He passed away in 1983.

1897: The defense by Dr. Maurice H. Harris of Harlem’s Temple Israel the concept of God presented in what Christians called the Old Testament published today ended with the statement that “the essential idea of God as against the earlier beliefs – that He is just and not partial, that He is the ‘power making for righteousness’ and that therefore, morality is inseparable from religion – these vital truths were caught and for all time by the prophets of Israel.”

1898: When the Reichstag convenes today it will have to deal with several contentious issues and factions including “the anti-Semites” who “are clamoring for measures against the Jews.”

1898:  Birthdate of  West Prussia native Alfred Eisenstaedt, “father of photojournalism" who was one of the first to use the 35mm camera and came to the United States in 1935.

1904: Birthdate of Regina Alsterova, who was transported from Prague to Terezin in 1942 and then to Auschwitz in 1944 where she was murdered at the age of 39.

1905: It was reported today that the Jews of Perth Amboy, NJ, have raised more than $1,200 for the relief fund that is provided assistance to the Jews suffering from the most recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in Russia.

1905: The resolution aimed at seeking relief for the Jews of Russia introduced by Congressman Goldfogle which was published today ended with “Be it further resolved that the President of the United States is hereby respectfully requested, if he finds it not incompatible with the public interests, to use such good and friendly offices with the Russian Government as the traditional and unbroken friendship between the two nations may justify as may secure such by the Russian Government as may tend to prevent recurrence of such outrages in the future.”

1906: Abraham “Abe” Reuef the political boss of San Francisco was indicted today.

1908: In Milan, Ing. Nino Sacerdoti and Margherita Donati, daughter of Lazzaro Donati, gave birth to “Italian insurer and university professor” Piero Sacerdota.

1909: Morris and Rose Gershwin gave birth to Frances “Frankie” Gershwin, the younger sister of George, Ira and Arthur Gershwin and the wife of Leopold Godowsky, Jr.

1909: In response to the complaints by the Alliance Israelite Universelle on behalf of the Jews in Fez, the Sultan calls for the chief rabbis, then tells them the Jews will never again have to suffer injustice again, and that Sabbaths and festivals will be respected.

1910: Birthdate of Jersey City native Mortimer Taube, the holder of a B.A. from U. of Chicago and Ph.D from UC, Berkley the innovator in the field of information who was listed as one the “100 most import leaders” in his field during the 20th Century.

1911: With the passing of Leopold Seligman, it was reported today that Isaac Seligman, the head of the London branch of the family business and James Seligman of J & W Seligman & Co. are the two surviving brothers of the banking clan that played a key role in helping the Union afloat financially during the darkest days of the Civil War.

1911: Birthdate of Jersey City native Walter “Walt” Wallace Singer who played football and baseball at Syracuse University with is twin brother Milton before going to a career in the NFL with the New York Giants.

1912(26th of Kislev, 5673): Second Day of Chanukah

1912(26th of Kislev, 5673): Rabbi Abraham J. Schiff passed away today in New York.

1912: In Washington, DC the Ninth Convention of Rivers and Harbors Congress which Jacob A. Cantor has been attending as a delegate from New York came to a close.

1912: Rabbi Rappaport is scheduled to deliver the sermon tonight at services at the Chicago Hebrew Institute led by Cantor Millard with the assistance of “a trained choir.”

1915(29th of Kislev, 5676): Fifth Day of Chanukah

1915(29th of Kislev, 5676): Sixty-nine year old Sarah (Sally) Maness Ritterband, the fifth child of Benvenida Solis and Leon Ritterband passed away today in New York City.

1915: A Denial of charges there is discrimination against Jews at the West Point Military Academy was made in a letter written by Secretary Garrison to Representative Walter M. Chandler of New York.

1915: The evening, an open forum will be held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance on “The Second Generation in Jewish Farming.”

1916: Dr. Cyrus Adler who had succeeded Dr. Solomon Schechter as head of the Jewish Theological Seminary after his unexpected demise in 1915, “delivered as short address” after Kaddish had been recited in Schechter’s memory at a synagogue located at JTS on West 123rd Street.

1917: “A contribution of $100,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation topped the list of pledges turned in” today by those “who are raising the five million dollars fund for Jewish war relief and welfare work among Jewish soldiers and sailors.

1917: During World War I, British forces entered Hebron as Allenby continued his advance on Jerusalem.

1917: Birthdate of ice cream mogul Irvin Robbins, the back part of Baskin & Robbins. According to family legend the Canadian born entrepreneur used money from his Bar Mitzvah to fund the start of the legendary “31 Flavors.”

1917: Finland declares independence from Russia. With the establishment of an independent state of Finland, Jews living in Finland were finally granted rights of full citizenship, something that had not been possible under Swedish and Russian rule.

1918: Based on reports received by the Jewish Press Bureau today in Stockholm, so far “956 victims of the anti-Jewish outbreak in Lemberg, Galicia have been buried.

1918: The committee of inquiry appointed by the Polish Liquidation Committee to examine the events surrounding the riots in Galicia “has arrived at a full agreement with the Jewish Council as regards” to the procedures it will follow.

1919(14th of Kislev, 5680): Parashat Vayishlach

1919: In Albany Park (Chicago), the bazaar sponsored by the Sisterhood of Temple Israel is scheduled to begin this evening.

1919: Birthdate of Philadelphia native television producer Jerome Toobin, the husband of television news anchor Marlene Sanders and the father of CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

1919: Birthdate of Paul de Man, the Belgian born literary critic who, after his death, we found to have been a Nazi collaborator and an anti-Semite.

1920(25th of Kislev, 5681): Chanukah

1920(25th of Kislev, 5681): Eighty-eight year old Ottilie Bondy, the wife of Ignaz Israel Bondy and daughter of Alois and Johnanna Jeiteles passed away in München, Bayern, Deutschland.

1920: Twenty-two year old Edwin Herbert Samuel, the eldest son of Sir Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner to Palestine married Hadassah Grosovsky who was born and educated in Palestine.

1920: Birthdate of American Jazz great Dave Brubeck, the non-Jew who created “The Gates of Justice.”

1921: Birthdate of George Frederick Beurling, Canada’s leading pilot during WW II, who lost his life in a plane crash in 1948 while flying as a volunteer for the Israeli Air Force.

1922:  Birthdate of Benjamin Gilman of New York who served in the House of Representatives from 1973 through 2003.

1922: The Sinai Center Players are scheduled to perform “The Magic Touch,” a two act play this evening at the Sinai Social Center accompanied by the Sinai Symphony Orchestra.

1922: Birthdate of Abdallah Hay Simon, the Baghdadi born Jew who became the longtime chairman of the Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company was a commanding figure in the American wine trade and a leading importer of fine Bordeaux to the United States.

1923: In today’s General Election, Liberal MP Edward Albert Lessing won his seat in the Commons.

1927: Birthdate of Chicago born, Yale educated James Emanuel “Jim” Fuchs the winner of bronze medals in shot put at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics passed away today in New York.

1928: Sir Harry Charles Luke completed his service as the acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine. He had previously served as Assistant Governor of Jerusalem and was appointed a member of the Haycraft Commission which was established by Herbert Samuel to investigate the cause of the riot which started in Jaffa in May of 1921.

1929: In Brooklyn, garment workers Julius Silverstein and the former Lee Lastfogel gave birth to “Emmy Award-winning documentarian”  Morton Silverstein. (As reported by Anita Gates)

1929: “The annual Who’s Who issue of the American Hebrew” that lists those who have performed outstanding for the Jewish People in 1929 includes names you would expect including Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Bernard Baruch, Sidney Hillman and David Sarnoff and others you would not expect like John D. Rockefeller who was “cited for his activity in financing a School of Religion at the University of Religion at the University of Iowa where Professorships of Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism have been established.”

1931: A World Islamic Conference opened in Jerusalem under the Mufti who had succeeded in characterizing the Jews as the enemy of Islam in Jerusalem.

1931: In its Sunday edition, the New York Times reported on plans by Jews throughout the world to celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the birth of Baron Maurice de Hirsch on Wednesday, December 9.

1933: Amid waving Nazi flags, Dr. Hans Luther, the German ambassador to the United States addressed 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden attending a Nazi propaganda event “German Day.”

1933: U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey rules that the novel Ulysses by James Joyce was not obscene.  The novel features Leopold Bloom a Jewish advertising agent. 

1936: Nearly one thousand people attended the at the Hotel Biltmore celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Central Synagogue where Governor Herbert H. Lehman told the attendees that he deplored “the present age as one of ‘expiring faith and religious indifference’” and “called upon American Jewry to take a leading part in a revival of faith in God that, couple with the scientific advances of today, would ‘effect a solidarity in human society expressed in terms of universal justice and peace.’”

1936: “Hats Off” which marked Samuel Fuller’s “first credit as a screenwriter” was released in the United States today.

1936: While speaking at a dinner tonight “marking the 25th anniversary of the Mizrachi Organization of America” Senator Royal S. Copeland “sharply criticized” Great Britain “for failing to suppress Arab demonstrations against Jews in Palestine.”

1936: Seventy year old to John Dickson-Poynder, the first Baron Islington who in 1922 and 1930 condemned the mandate in Palestine because he said it favored the Jews whom he described as “undesirable” passed away today.

1937: The Palestine Post reported on the visit to Damascus of the Nazi German youth leader Baldur von Schirach, accompanied by a large entourage. There was little doubt that the Syrian Arab youth seemed to be particularly vulnerable to this latest Nazi effort to spread their propaganda throughout the entire Middle Eastern area. Shots were fired at the Beit Alfa and Kfar Baruch settlements.

1937: The Jerusalem Post’s leading economists found it rather strange that while the Palestine government's highly satisfactory yearly budget of £6,900,000 was due in most part to the participation of Jewish capital and investment, the official policy was marked by apathy and an almost total lack of encouragement for further progress in investment and economy. On the contrary, the government was slowing down further successful development by a continuous curtailment of the Jewish immigration and a half-hearted struggle against the Arab terror.

1938: William Cooper of the Yorta Yorta tribe and members of the Australian Aborigines League were denied entry to the German Consulate where they had come to protest the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.

1938: Prime Minister  Fumimaro Konoe,  Foreign Minister  Hachirō Arita,  Army Minister  Seishirō Itagaki,  Naval Minister  Mitsumasa Yonai, and  Finance Ministry  Shigeaki Ikeda decided to prohibit the expulsion of the Jews in Japan, Manchuria and China despite the growing alliance with Nazi Germany.

1938: Fourteen year old Ernest Stock and his ten year old sister leave Frankfurt to stay with friends in Alsace, France.  Ernest’s mother sent the children out of the country following Kristallnacht, a night which was made double horrific for the Stocks because Ernest’s father was arrested and taken to Buchenwald. In response to the worsening situation in Germany following Kristallnacht, the mother of 14 year old Ernest Stock sent her son and his 10-year-old sister Lotte to family friends who lived in Alsace, France.

1939: As an example of its policy of blocking all Jewish escape routes in Central Europe, the British Foreign Office warns Bulgaria that if it ships its Jews to Palestine, the British will "expect the Bulgarian government to take the immigrants back."

1939: Ernest Gruening began serving as the 7th Governor of the Alaska Territory; a job he would hold for fourteen years.

1939: Israeli pioneers including members of “Kvutzat Krit” enjoyed a holiday to celebrate Kibbutz Kfar Menahem.

1940(6th of Kislev, 5701): Seventy-one year old  artist and author Ernest Peixotto, the scion of San Francisco Sephardic Jews who used his artistic skills while serving with the AEF during WW I passed away today.

1940: In Chicago Hyman Reznick and Sheindel Reznick gave birth to Naomi (nee Reznick) Blumberg

1941(16th of Kislev, 5702): Jews read Parshat Vayishlach on what would prove to be the last Shabbat before the United States entered WW II and the world changed forever.

1941: The Final Solution comes to Tunisia as French President Petain allows the Germans to take control of this section of North Africa.

1941: As a Japanese task force steams towards Pearl Harbor Jews gather in their synagogues to hear Parashat Vayishlach

1941: At West Side Institutional Synagogue, Rabbi Emanuel Lifschitz reassured his congregation that although “World society is standing at the crossroads in the grip of a titanic struggle raging between the forces of good and evil, it is most heartening to know that in the midst of such tension throughout the nation, men and women and children of every faith, color and creed from every walk of life will rededicate themselves – their very souls – to the Bible.” 

1941: At Temple Rodeph Sholom, Rabbi Hyman J. Schachtel “asserted that the finding of the Gallup poll that interest in religions was declining was ‘misleading, because many are religious who are uninterested in the institutions of religion.’”  But they would also hear sermons relating to the war being fought in the rest of the world; but a war in which the United States was not involved, because as the isolationists told us, we were protected by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans which created a giant moat.

1941: At Shaare Zedek, Rabbi Morris Goldberg asserted, “We must not pause in our struggle until we ourselves are willing to be a blessing unto those very forces against which we are fighting. While at the Montefiore Synagogue Rabbi Jacob Katz forecast, “From the present world war will come equality of nations and there not be too much difference in the standards of living amongst all the nations of the world.  Judeo-Christian ethics will not be the object of destruction because they will have become the object of international social legislations. 

1941: At Temple Ansche Chesed, Rabbi Joseph Zeitlin spoke approvingly of the economic sanctions on Japan:

1941: At the West End Synagogue Rabbi Louis Newman stuck a strident note when he declared that “to restore the ‘good old days’ ‘we must work and if need be, die in the combat to protect and regain the liberties of freeman, the people of Israel included, if not for ourselves, then for our posterity.” 

1942: Today, “. A group of villagers from around Ciepielów near Radom including Piotr Skoczylas and his 8-year-old daughter Leokadia were burned alive by a police battalion” because they had sheltered Jews.

1942: Today, “another barn full of people was set on fire in nearby Rekówka, and 33 Poles saving Jews were burned alive including the families of Obuchiewicz, Kowalski, and 14 Kosiors”

1942: The Germans locked 23 Poles suspected of helping Jews in a cell. They then burned it to the ground.

1942: In Parczew, Poland, the Germans undertook a four day manhunt for hidden Jews.

1942: Germans in Salonica steal all the marble tombstones so they can line a swimming pool for their soldiers.  

1942: In New York City, premiere of “Cat People,” a horror film produced by Val Lewton whose Jewish parents had converted to Christianity and edited by Mark Robson.

1943: Birthdate of Richard Anthony Goldman, the adopted son of Charles and Tillie Goldman, “whose investor’s eye for spotting battered neighborhoods prime for rejuvenation led him to help revive SoHo in Manhattan in the 1970s and South Beach in Florida in the ’80s.” (As reported by Leslie Kaufman.

1943: In one of the last major Italian deportations, 212 Jews from Milan and Verona were sent to Auschwitz. In all, out of a population of 35,000 before the war, approximately 8500 Jews were killed. An estimated 2000 Jews fought with the partisans, five of them winning Italy’s highest medals for bravery.

1944: A Liberty ship bearing the name of the late Isaac Mayer Wise was launched this afternoon at the St. John's River Shipbuilding Company yards, with his son, Rabbi Jonah B. Wise of the Central Synagogue of New York City, as the principal speaker on the christening program.

1944: Birthdate of Arnon Milchan, the native of Rehovot, Israel whose multi-faceted career led him to become one of Hollywood’s leading movie producers.

1945: In London, premiere of “The Rake’s Progress” a comedy starring Lili Palmer

1945: In a speech delivered at the commencement exercises of Hebrew University, Dr. Judah B. Magnes, president of the university, “declared that the aims of Jews in Palestine, namely the establishment of a national home, could not be achieved by acts of terrorism.  He urged passive resistance rather than the resort to force.”

1945: Former Iowa Senator Guy Gillette, Judge William S. Bennet of New York and Representative Andrew L. Somers of Brooklyn, leaders of the American League for A Free Palestine held a press conference during which they expressed the belief that the committee’s approach to solving the problem of displaced Jews in Europe and the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had had a positive effect on changing British policy.  In discussing their aims they stated that “The Hebrews of Europe must be saved at once.”

1947: Members of the Haganah and Arab soldiers clash

1948: On the second day of Operation Assaf carried Israeli forces captured another important position, thus completing all the operation's objectives. However, the Israelis met stronger resistance at another position (which was not captured) and were forced to stop their advance when they hit a minefield in another location. On the same day, the Egyptians counter-attacked the captured positions from their main positions in the west, with an infantry battalion, a tank company and some accurate artillery. The attack came very close to breaking the Israeli defenders, but broke off at dusk. The IDF’s Operation Assaf was designed to clear Egyptian troops from the Western Negev.

1948: Representatives of Israel and Iraq sign a cease-fire agreement. The Iraqi troops were the largest contingent of troops from an Arab state with no contiguous border with Israel to take part in the war aimed at crushing the Jewish state.  The Iraqi failure to defeat the Jews of Israel led to their attacking their own Jewish population forcing them to flee.  Most of the refugees came to Israel.

1949: Demobilised Palmach soldiers founded Gan Yoshiya, a moshav near the Green Line.  It was named in honor of the Anglo-Jewish leader Josiah Wedgewood.

1951(7th of Kislev, 5712): Forty-seven year old Joseph Edward Bromberg, the movie and stage actor passed away today “not long after the Hollywood blacklist had destroyed his career.

1953: Laura Kugler, the wife of Victor Kluger – one of those who helped who helpd to hide Anne Frank and her family – passed away today

1953: Mordechai Maklef completed his service as Chief of Staff of the IDF.

1953: After five years, “Nabokov finished” his masterpiece Lolita which Baron George Weidenfeld, “ a life-long Zionist” published in the United Kingdom.

1953: At Ben-Gurion’s insistence, Moshe Dayan was appointed Chief of Staff of the IDF.

1953: Thanks to a “major addition” the Hebrew Home for the Aged expanded its capacity to 165 while the “medical panels provides care at no charge to residents.”

1954: In Highland Park, Illinois, Newton Minow, and his wife, Josephine (Baskin) Minow gave birth to Martha Minow the 12th Dean of Harvard Law Schol.

1955: New York psychologist Joyce Brothers won "$64,000 Question" on boxing

1956(2nd of Tevet, 5717): 8th day of Chanukah

1956(2nd of Tevet, 5717): Eighty-two year old French economist Albert Aftalion who co-founded the academic journal Revue économique in 1950 passed away today.

1956: “Hollywood or Bust” a comedy produced by Hal B. Wallis, starring Jerry Lewis and featuring Maxie Rosenbloom was released today in the United States.

1961: “El Cid” a sweeping historic epic set in medieval Spain produced by Samuel Bronston with a screenplay premiered in London this evening.

1962: Birthdate of journalist and professor of communications Anya Schiffrin the wife of Nobel Prize-winning economist and author Joseph E. Stiglitz.

1965(12th of Kislev, 5726): Sixty-nine year old “Rose Pesotta (1896–1965) was an anarchist, feminist labor organizer and vice president within the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union passed away today.”

1966: Zvi Dinstein was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense.

1967: In Flushing, Queens, real estate developer Maury Aptatow and the former Tamara “Tami” Shad, the daughter of music producer Bob Shad gave birth to director/producer Judd Apatow.

1967: In Eugene, Oregon Danna (née Wilner), a writer and instructor at Portland Community College, and Dr. Benson Schaeffer, a child psychologist gave birth to actress Rebecca Lucile Schaeffer.

1967: When Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz removed the heart of a brain-dead baby and implanted it into the chest of a baby with a fatal heart defect, he became the first doctor to perform a human heart transplant in the United States.

1968(15th of Kislev, 5729): Eighty-eight year old Rabbi Eliezer Premesky, the Lithuanian born son of Yaakov and Pearl Predmesky and husband of Esther Premesky with whom he had three children who had been the “spiritual leader of the Bronx Tremont Hebrew School, a member of the presidium of the Rabbinical Board of New York” and executive vice President of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada passed away today. Most important of all, he was among those who marched in Washington in 1943 in a public demonstration demanding government action to “help save the Jews of Europe.”

1974(22nd of Kislev, 5735): Two Israelis were injured when terrorists raided Rosh Hanikra Kibbutz.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s declaration that as peace with Israel was forthcoming, he was not concerned about being isolated in the Arab world. Consequently Egypt had severed diplomatic ties with Syria, Iraq, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen.

1977: In London, Prime Minister Menachem Begin announced that while Israel would refuse to consider the establishment of a PLO-dominated state on the West Bank, it wished to solve the problem of the Palestine Arabs “in justice and dignity.”

1981: Philip C. Habib, President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, arrived in Israel tonight from Saudi Arabia. The Government said he would meet Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Jerusalem on Monday.

1981: Birthdate of Haifa native and mentalist Lior Suchard.

1981: Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number by Jacobo Timerman and Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review to the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1982: It was reported that “The U.S. failure to start negotiations for the withdrawal of Israeli, Syrian and Palestinian forces from Lebanon is worrying senior Reagan Administration officials. They said that because of the impasse it was now virtually impossible that the troops would leave by the end of the year, the date set by the State Department.”

1982: It was reported that “Israel cleared a close Lebanese ally of any involvement in the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut last September. The state commission investigating the massacre said it had no evidence that forces of Maj. Saad Haddad, leader of a Lebanese Christian militia, had participated in the killings.”

1983(30th of Kislev, 5744): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1983: A bomb planted on a bus in Jerusalem explodes, killing 6 Israelis

1985: In Santa Monica, California to Jody and Taylor Kasch film and t.v. actor Joseph Maxwell “Max Kasch.

1985: “Spies Like Us,” a comedy directed by John Landis, co-produced by Brian Grazer, with a screenplay by Lowell Ganz and music by Elmer Bernstein was released in the United States today by Warner Bros.

1987: “On the eve of a Gorbachev-Reagan summit 250,000 marched in support of Soviet Jews.  Among themr were 50,000 Jews from the Washington area’s Jewish community. (As reported by Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington)

1987: The Counterlife by Philip Roth, The Embarrassment of Riches An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age by Simon Schama and More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year

1988(27th of Kislev, 5749): Yigal Cohen, the native of Tel Adashim and a member of the Palmach’s first brigade who was a Likud MK passed away today.

1988: Yassar Arafat meets with “prominent American Jews” in Stockholm, Sweden.

1990: “The End of Innocence” directed by Dyan Cannon who co-starred in the film along with Rebecca Schaeffer was released in the United States today.

1990: In Los Angeles, premiere of “Edward Scissorhands” co-starring Winona Ryder and Alan Arkin with music by Danny Elfman

1991(29th of Kislev, 5752): Seventy-four year old Hungarian political leader György Aczél (born Henrik Appel) passed away today in Vienna.

1991: “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” directed by Nicholas Meyer who co-wrote the screenplay and co-starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was released in the United States today.

1991(29th of Kislev, 5752: Charles A. Levine, who became aviation's first trans-Atlantic passenger in 1927 when he sponsored an attempt to beat Col. Charles A. Lindbergh to Europe, died today at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. He was 94 years old and had moved to Washington from New York City this fall. Mr. Levine flew into history with Clarence D. Chamberlin at the controls of a monoplane designed by Giuseppe Ballanca and owned by Mr. Levine, then a millionaire businessman. Their 225-horsepower craft, named Columbia, had been ready for weeks. But the race to be the first to fly the Atlantic was lost to Colonel Lindbergh when a suit filed by one of Mr. Chamberlin's would-be co-pilots, Lloyd Bertaud, marooned the Columbia in its hangar at Roosevelt Field on Long Island. Mr. Levine got a sheriff's attachment quashed hours after Lindbergh, in the Spirit of St. Louis, lifted off from the same airfield. Lindbergh's arrival in Paris on May 21 astounded the world and overshadowed the Chamberlin-Levine venture. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

1991: Four months after premiering in the United Kingdom, “Young Soul Rebels” a film that marking the acting debut of future Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo was released in the United States today.

1992: Kissinger: A Biography by Walter Isaacson is among the nine books chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best books published in the country during the preceding year

1993(22nd of Kislev, 5754): Mordechai Lapid and his son Shalom Lapid, age 19, were shot to death by terrorists near Hebron. Hamas publicly claimed responsibility for the attack

1995(13th of Kislev, 5768): Seventy-eight year old Georgia Tech Melvin Krazenberg who specialized in the history of technology passed away today. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder);query=;brand=default

1995: Today, Dennis Ross, the chief Middle East mediator in the United States State Department, held talks with President Hafez Assad of Syria to assess his reactions to initiatives for peace talks made by Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Mr. Ross returned to Jerusalem later in the day to talk with Mr. Peres. Details were not immediately known, though the Israeli coordinator of talks with the Arabs, Uri Savir, cautioned at the outset that "there is curiosity, but I wouldn't say any great expectations at this stage."

1995: Prosecutors filed charges of premeditated murder against Yitzhak Rabin's confessed assassin today as Israel marked the end of the 30-day mourning period for the slain Prime Minister. In addition to the murder charge against Yigal Amir, indictments filed by the District Attorney at Tel Aviv District Court also charged Mr. Amir's brother Hagai and their friend Dror Adani with conspiring to kill Mr. Rabin and to attack Palestinian Arabs. The only other charge brought so far was against a soldier, Sgt. Arik Schwartz, who was indicted by a military court on Monday for supplying stolen arms and ammunition to the Amirs.

1996(25th of Kislev, 5757): Chanukah

1996(25th of Kislev, 5757): Eighty-one year old Alex Schoenbaum, the Ohio State University football player who founded Shoney’s Restaurant chain passed away today.

1998: The New York Times list of the Best Books of 1998 contains the following works about Jewish related subjects or by Jewish authors including Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow and To End A War by Richard Holbrooke.

1998: The New York Times book section featured a review of Hot Seat: Theater Criticism for the New York Times-1993 by Frank Rich.

1999: Ninety-four year old Martha Dickie Sharp Cogan “the guardian angel of European children” during WW II and one gutsy lady, passed away today.

2000: Emmy award winner Werner Klemperer passed away.  Oddly enough, Klemperer gained his greatest fame as Col. Klink, the German head of a POW Camp on the television hit Hogan’s Heroes.

2001: A fire and subsequent fire-fighting efforts severely damaged the roof, ceiling, mural paintings and decorative plasterwork of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in New York City.

2001(21st of Kislev, 5762): Ninety-five year old Brooklyn native Alexander Sidney “Sid” Roth, the “All-American guard” on the 1938 Cornell football team and varsity lacrosse player who is the namesake for “the Sid Roth Award” given annually to Cornell’s “most valuable lineman” passed away today.

2002: Actress Winona Ryder (born Winona Laura Horowitz) was sentenced to community service as part of a probationary term for stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills.

2002: U.S. premiere of “Analyze That” directed by Harold Ramis, co-produced by Barry Levinson and co-starring Billy Crystal and Lisa Kudrow.

2004:  As a result of a law suit growing out of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, a federal jury ruled in favor of developer Larry Silverstein giving him an additional $1.1 billion from nine insurers, declaring the attack to be two "occurrences"

2004:  “In Good Company” a comedy in which experience triumphs over youth directed, produced and written by Paul Weitz was released today in the United States.

2005: Malcolm Rifikind completed his service as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

2005: The United States Ambassador to the United Nations announced that Algeria prevented the release of a statement by the UN Security Council condemning Monday's suicide bombing in Netanya. Algeria objected reportedly because the proposed condemnation mentioned that the instructions for the attack came from Damascus. Earlier in the day, a senior Islamic Jihad figure in Gaza City denied that the organization had offices in Syria, claiming that their secretary general Ramadan Shalah left the country months ago. However, the Islamic Jihad, who took responsibility for the bombing openly admitted that it received its orders from Syria.

2006: A panel of rabbis gave permission today for same-sex commitment ceremonies and ordination of gays within Conservative Judaism, a wrenching change for a movement that occupies the middle ground between orthodoxy and liberalism in Judaism.

2006(15th of Kislev, 5767): Photojournalist Leonard Freed passed away at the age of 77. Born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, Freed often chose subjects related to his Jewish ancestry, including a study of Orthodox Jews around the world published in 1980.

2006(15th of Kislev, 5767): Robert Rosenblum, an influential and irreverent art historian and museum curator known for his research on subjects ranging from Picasso to images of dogs, passed away at the age of 79 at his home in Greenwich Village.

2006: Jerry Stiller entertains at the Center for Jewish History’s Board of Overseers and Board of Governors dinner.

2006: The New York Times publishes Alex Witchel’s latke recipe.

2006: CBS broadcast the 1st episode of the 9th and final season of “The King of Queens” co-starring Jerry Stiller.

2007: As part of Chanukah festivities, the Givatayim Theatre stages a festival of children’s plays including “Stories of Itamar and of Ruthie” and a new musical, “Puss in Boots” directed by Adi Leviathan 

2007(26th of Kislev, 5768): Eighty-four year old “Murray Klein, who helped transform Zabar’s from a typical Jewish delicatessen on the Upper West Side of Manhattan into a culinary and cultural landmark, died today in Manhattan. (As reported by Julia Moskin)

2007: Israel’s Radio Kol Chai reported today, that in response to a request by France’s Chief Rabbi Yosef Sitruk, Shimon Peres has agreed to keep Shabbat this week (for the first time in his life) as part of an outreach campaign by European rabbis. The initiative was started by Rabbi Yosef Sitruk to try and unite Jews all over the world to preserve that Sabbath day. Even more incredibly, Peres announced he will officially call upon all Jews worldwide to observe Shabbat preceding Israel’s Independence Day, and to pray for peace.

2008: In Cedar Rapids, Jewish Book Month Shabbat at Temple Judah is usurped by a gas leak that causes those who braved the snow flurries and frigid temperatures to go home early.  It was the first time in the history of Cedar Rapids that more than a minyan gathered and the Torah was not read.

2008 (9 Kislev): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch, the son of and successor to the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman·of Liadi.

2008: In Washington, D.C., Itzhak Perlman performs with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

2008: Tonight Arabs fired rockets into Ashkelon and Sderot.  IAF aircraft then carried out two air-strikes against Palestinian rocket-launching squads in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources reported that two terrorists were injured in the second attack, one of them critically. Over 20 Kassam rockets and mortar shells pounded the western Negev over the weekend as Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip intensified their attacks on Israel.

2008: Today, Egyptian police found a massive arms cache in Sinai, according to the Falastin al-Youm news Web site.  According to the report, Egyptian troops found two weapons caches in the north and center of the peninsula, one of which, buried deep underground, contained more than 250 kilograms of dynamite. In the other cache, 211 anti-aircraft missile shells were discovered. The weapons were in all likelihood intended for the Gaza Strip, and the smugglers who hid them in the desert were still at large.

2008: Today, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned that Gaza's severe cash shortage might cause local banks to collapse. The warnings came in response to Israel's continued refusal to allow Palestinian banks to transfer cash to their Gaza branches. The cash shortage means thousands of Palestinian civil servants may not be able to withdraw their salaries before the Id el-Adha holiday this week. Monetary officials estimate Gaza banks hold less than a quarter of the cash needed to pay government wages.

2009(19th of Kislev): Ninety-seven year old attorney and WW II veteran Leonard Rubenfeld passed away today.

2009 (19 Kislev): The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the "Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism." It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the "inner soul" of Torah. For more about the Lubavitch view of their leader see

2009 (19 Kislev): Yom Hillula (יום הילולא) of the Maggid of Mezritch, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch passed away in December of 1772.  For more see or

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival includes screenings of a documentary entitled “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist” and “Filmed by Yitzhak,” a documentary composed of hitherto unseen 8mm movies filmed by Yitzhak Rabin during the 1960’s that include images from his years as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.

2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival includes screenings of “A History of Israel Cinema, Part I” and “Adam Resurrected” starring Jeff Goldblum.

2009: Ensemble a la Carte, featuring bassoonist Robin Gelman, holds its fifth annual concert, at Congregation Sha'are Shalom, in Leesburg, Virginia.

2009: Writer, composer, actor, director, and producer Mel Brooks is among those who receives 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors this evening in Washington, D.C.

2009: The Israeli Cabinet voted to appoint Yehuda Weinstein as the next Attorney General of Israel.

2009: David Mamet's "Race" opened tonight at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York.

2009: After 12 previews and 65 performances a revival production of David Mamet’s two character play “Oleanna”closed at Broadway’s John Golden Theatre.

2010: American Sephardi Federation and Yeshiva University Museum in collaboration with the Sephardic Music Festival are scheduled to present a program entitled Sepharad: Voices From Across the Strait as part of the Sephardic Music Festival Scholar Series. “As a part of the sixth annual Sephardic Music Festival, this evening provides an opportunity to explore aspects of Sephardic musical culture through performances by singer and scholar, Vanessa Paloma, and the d'Safi Takht Ensemble, performing North African and Jewish music in a contemporary way. An audience-interactive panel discussion follows with the artists, led by ethnomusicologist and curator, Samuel R. Thomas.

2010: Ezra Klein, The Washington Post and Newsweek economics and domestic affairs columnist, is scheduled to speak at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.

2010: The Jewish Study Center of Washington is scheduled to offer a course entitled “Biblical Themes in Literature, Opera, Art and Film” which will trace the use of biblical themes across a wide variety of Western cultural masterpieces, old and new, with examples including John Milton's poetic drama "Samson Agonistes" (1671), Rembrandt's painting "The Binding of Isaac" (1635), Arnold Schoenberg's opera "Moses und Aron" (1932) and Cecil B. DeMille's movie "The Ten Commandments" (1956).

2010(29th of Kislev, 5711): Lester Ziffren, 85, an attorney and civic leader who was devoted to his alma mater, UCLA, and many other causes, died today of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family said. “After earning his law degree in 1952 from UCLA, Ziffren served as a deputy attorney general from 1953 to 1959 under California Atty. Gen. Pat Brown.

Ziffren then formed a law firm with two brothers, Leo Ziffren, an entertainment lawyer, and Paul Ziffren, who would chair the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. (Paul died in 1991 at 77.) Later, Lester Ziffren became a partner in the prominent local firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. An administrative corporate attorney, he continued practicing law until a few years ago. Born in 1925 in Davenport, Iowa, Ziffren was the youngest of six children. His mother, who spoke only Yiddish, ran the family's grocery store.  During World War II, he did intelligence work in Paris for the Army, said Mimi Ziffren-Adams, his only child. He also received his bachelor's degree from UCLA, where he later chaired the National Advisory Council of the Neuropsychiatric Institute. Ziffren also served on the board of the UCLA Foundation and UCLA's School of Medicine and Center on Aging. In 1971, he became the youngest president elected to head Temple Israel of Hollywood, The Times reported at the time. He was a founding board member and benefactor of the Skirball Cultural Center and served in leadership roles on boards affiliated with Hebrew Union College, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Los Angeles Opera.

2010(29th of Kislev, 5711): In Cedar Rapids, IA, Rose Becker passed away at the age of 92.

2010(29th of Kislev, 5711): Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said "you were always on the front line," in remarks at  Tomer's funeral in the military cemetery in Haifa. "It's unbelievable that I'm standing here, saying farewell," continued Yahav. "You were assertive and you showed love, living up to your name Ahuva (beloved)." The Israel Police are in mourning over Haifa Police Chief Asst.-Cmdr. Ahuva Tomer, who succumbed to her severe burns injuries, 4 days after rushing into an inferno in the Carmel mountains to try and rescue passengers on-board an Israel Prison Service bus that had been trapped in the flames near Kibbutz Bet Oren.  Tomer was being laid to rest at the Haifa military cemetery, and was accompanied by hundreds of police officers, relatives and friends

2010: A 14-year-old resident of Usfiya was arrested today on suspicion of throwing a piece of charcoal from a water pipe into a forest clearing near the village on Thursday morning, witnessing the ignition of a large fire and running away. Police suspect the boy’s actions led directly to the Carmel forest inferno.

2010; At Temple Reyim in Newton, MA, Amy Eilberg met for the first time with Sally Priesand, the first Reform female rabbi, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first Reconstructionist female rabbi, and Sara Hurwitz, considered by some to be the first Orthodox female rabbi. They and approximately 30 other women rabbis lit Chanukah candles and then spoke about their experiences in an open forum

2010: Brian Emanuel Schatz  begins serving as the 11th Lt. Gov. of Hawaii.

2011: The New Orleans Jewish community is scheduled to kick off Jewish Book Month today with a noon-time program at the Uptown JCC.

2011: “Who Shot My Father? The Story of Joe Alon” a documentary about the Israeli Air Force Attaché who was murdered in 1973, is scheduled to be shown at the 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival

2011:  Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz welcomed an announcement that discussions between medical residents and the Finance Ministry had produced positive results and a final draft agreement had been drawn up.

2012: The Center for Jewish History and the Jewish Book Council are scheduled to present “Culture Brokers: Publishing – The Book Trade” in which a distinguished panel explores “Jewish participation in the dramatic changes that transformed the book publishing industry in the post-War era from a sleepy "gentlemen's club" into a dynamic and tumultuous industry.”

2012: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present a speech byNoted Holocaust scholar and Northwestern University faculty member, Dr. Peter Hayes entitled "What Took So Long?  The Wrangle Over Holocaust Restitution Since 1945."

2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor “Wine While We Wrap,” a fundraiser that lowers the holiday stress level by allowing shoppers to enjoy a l’chaim while Chanukah helpers wrap their gifts.

2012: Sources in the European Union today played down a report in the Hebrew daily Maariv that Europe was seeking to pass a series of harsh sanctions against Israel following Jerusalem’s announcement last week of plans to expand settlement construction.

2012: Coming out of a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and Netanyahu had “agreed to disagree” on the issue of West Bank settlements.

2013: The Edent-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a noon-time concert featuring the Young Master Pianists of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance Conservatory.

2013: The day after he passed away, eighty-five year old Major General Danny Matt “was buried at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv.”

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

2013: Temple Judah hosts its popular Musical Shabbat featuring Shir Yehuda.

2013: Submission deadline for The #MakeItHappen micro-grants initiative (As reported by JTA)

2013: Ninety-five year old Irish cricketer Louis Jacobson who was “a right-handed batsman from Dublin” passed away today.

2013: Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are committed to continuing peace talks, despite grumblings over a lack of visible progress in almost five months of negotiations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said today

2014: The Jewish Folk Arts Festival Chanukah Concert Dedicated to Human Rights is scheduled to take place at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, MD.

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

2014: The Hava Nagiggle & JW3 Jewish Comedian of the Year Competition 2014 are scheduled to take place this evening at the UK Jewish Comedy Festival.

2014: Shabbat Va-yishlach

2014: According to a poll published today by Channel 2 “almost two-thirds of Israelis do not want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the next government.

2014: “A plane flying from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia was forced to make an emergency landing in Rome today after two passengers and 11 members of the crew were taken ill.”

2015: The funeral for “former Mertz leader, long-term MK and journalist Yossi Sardi” is scheduled to take “place at 3 p.m. at the cemetery in Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.”

2015: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host The Ruth Spector Memorial Maj Jong Tournament.

2015: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a lecture by theatre scholar Wendy Arons on “Exile in the Spotlight: Kurt Hirschfeld and German- Language Theater at the Schauspielhaus Zurich.”

2015: The Chicago YIVO Society is scheduled to celebrate “the memory of music teacher Sarah Lazarus with a concert featuring multi-instrumentalist Michael Alpert

2015: For the second time in two days, today, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired at an IDF vehicle along the strip between the Jewish state and the “Hamas-controlled territorty.”

2015: Jewish Book comes to and end for 5776/2015

2015: In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light.

2015: In Cedar Rapids, members of Temple Judah are scheduled to gather this evening to usher in Chanukah by eating the creations of the “Latke King” – Brian Cohen

2015: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The 613 by Archie Rand, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik and Dietrich & Riefenstahl:  Hollywood, Berlin and a Century in Two Lives by Karin Wieldand

2015: The New York Times list of the 100 most notable works for 2015 published today included The Complete Works of Primo Levi, edited by Ann Goldstein, The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman, Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs and Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron

2016: In cooperation with the Center for Jewish History, the American Joint Distribution Committee is scheduled to host “The Flavor of Jewish Life: An Exploration of Cooking, Culture and International Connection” featuring Danielle Rehfeld, the chef and founder of The Inherited Plate.

2016: “The 90 Minute War” and “Land of the Little People” are scheduled to be shown at the 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival.

2016: Despite the objection of some Jewish groups and leaders, “Richard Spencer who recently railed against Jews at an alt-right conference in Washington, DC during which audience members gave Nazi salutes” is scheduled “to speak at a private event on the Texas A&M Campus today” – an event that the school said it had no choice but to allow to take place even though a spokesman “said that the university did not agree with Spencer’s views. 

2016: Today, the Israeli military “posted a map of southern Lebanon to Twitter on which it marked Hezbollah positions, infrastructure and armaments along a section of the Israeli border.”

2016: In Memphis, TN, Temple Israel is scheduled to host “We’re All In This Together: The Art of Embracing Life While Preparing for the End of Life” which will include a discussion of Jewish burial and mourning customs as well as views on reincarnation, resurrection and the afterlife.

2017: In Cedar Rapids, IA, the Hadassah Book Club is scheduled to discuss Don’t Ever Look Back by Daniel Friedman.

2017: In Mexico, Claudia Sheinbaum completed her service as Mexico’s “Chief of delegation of Tlalpan” today.

2017: Lisa Heineman is scheduled to lecture “on the subject of Holocaust memorials in German, Polish and Israeli settings” at the University of Iowa.

2017: The URJ Biennial is scheduled to open today in Boston, MA.

2017: The Maccabeats are scheduled to appear at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ.

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as James Kugel whose works included the innovative How to Read the Bible and In The Valley of The Shadow, continues today.

2018(28th of Kislev, 5779): Fourth Day of Chanukah

2018: “Yiddish New York, an annual, month-long celebration of Yiddish music, language and culture, is proud to collaborate with City Lore on this year’s art exhibition, which is scheduled to begin today.

2018: Authors Lauren Groff and Jonathan Lethem are scheduled to talk about new books tonight at the 92nd Street Y.

2018: “The Young Friends of the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and award-winning

filmmaker Yoni Brook are scheduled to host “an evening of shorts, latkes, and vodkas” featuring screenings of “The Love Letter,” “The Outer Circle,” “Shabbos Kallah” and “Who Sank Your Ships?”

2018: The Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series is scheduled to present “Sweet Is Thy Voice: The Song of Songs in Concert.”

2018: In Iowa City, Rabbi Avremel and Chaya Blesofsky are scheduled to host Chabad’s Community Chanukah Party.





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