Thursday, December 12, 2019

This Day, December 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z"L

December 13

522 BCE: Darius I, the Persian monarch who allowed the Jewish people to re-build the Temple at Jerusalem strengthened his hold on his kingdom when he defeated Nebuchadnezzar III in a battle at the Tigris and that at the Euphrates.

519 BCE: According to some sources this is the day that, the foundations for the Second Temple were laid during the second year of the reign the Persian ruler, Darius with the support of Haggai and Zachariah. It would take four years to complete the project.

1124: End of the papacy of Callixtus II who issued an updated version of Sicut Judaeis, the papal bull that reiterated the need for protecting the Jews of Europe “in the wake of the persecutions of the First Crusade”

1250: Frederick II passed away.  During his reign as Holy Roman Emperor Frederick created a secular government in Palermo, feat without parallel in the middle ages, with a written constitution that guaranteed the rights of his subjects, be they Christian, Arab, or Jew, and the religious freedom that went along with it.” When he founded the University of Naples in 1224, “he took care that its faculty included Christians, Muslims and Jews, and that all of these languages were taught, together with the laws and literature of these cultures. Equally remarkable considering the times was Frederick's edict ordering religious toleration for Christians, Muslims and Jews throughout his realm.” During the Sixth Crusade, he dealt with the issues through negotiations and not military action.  His rule of Jerusalem was marked by a period of “religious toleration for Muslims, Christians and Jews.”

1360: “Emperor Karl IV confirmed the right of the Austrian dukes to keep Jews in all places in their dominion, and made a treaty with the dukes of Austria, in his capacity as king of Bohemia, that neither party would allow Jews who had left their country to settle in that of the other.”

1521: Fifty-two year old Manuel I the Portuguese monarch who released all the Jews imprisoned by his predecessor John II and during whose reign Levi ibn Habib, also known as HaRaLBaCh, was “compelled to submit to Baptism” passed away today.

1495: The reign of Manuel I the Portuguese monarch who released all the Jews imprisoned by his predecessor John II came to an end today.

1521: King John III succeeded his father as King of Portugal.  Like his predecessors, John III maintained the ban on Jews living in his kingdom and persecuted conversos and marranos alike.  The only time he wavered in this policy came in 1525 when he was negotiating with David Reubeni, the Jewish adventurer who was seeking a fleet and an army from the monarch so he could fight Selim I.

1521: Manuel I, the Portuguese monarch who “decreed that all Jews had to convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children passed away. In 1496, he “exiled thousands of Jews to São Tomé, Príncipe, and Cape Verde.”

1521: Birthdate of Sixtus VI, who from the point of the Jews, was one of the better Popes.  He issued a bull that lifted the restrictions his predecessors had placed on the Jews.  He gave them permission to live in all of the cities in the Papal States. He ordered the Knights of Malta to stop enslaving Jews traveling by sea to and from the Middle East.  He allowed Jews physicians to treat Christian patents and made provision for new printing of the Talmud. 

1532(Tevet, 5293): Solomon Molcho, ("Solomon His Angel"), originally Diogo Pires, passed away.  He was a "New Christian" who converted back to Judaism, declared himself the Messiah, and was burned at the stake for apostasy. Molcho was born a Christian to Marrano parents in Portugal about 1500. His baptismal name probably was Diogo Pires. He held the post of secretary in one of the higher courts of his native country. When the Jewish adventurer David Reubeni came ostensibly on a political mission from Khaibar (Peshawar) to Portugal, Molcho wished to join him, but was rejected. He then circumcised himself, though without thereby gaining Reubeni's favor, and emigrated to Turkey. Intellectually talented, a visionary and believer in dreams, he studied the Kabbalah with Joseph Taytazak and became acquainted with Joseph Caro. He then wandered, as a preacher, through the Land of Israel (then a province of the Ottoman Empire), where he achieved a great reputation and announced that the Messianic kingdom would come in 1540. In 1529 Molcho published a portion of his sermons under the title Derashot, or Sefer ha-Mefo'ar. Going to Italy, he was opposed by prominent Jews including Jacob Mantino ben Samuel who feared that he might mislead their co-religionists, but he succeeded in gaining the favor of Pope Clement VII and of some Judeophile cardinals at Rome. He is said to have predicted to the pope a certain flood which inundated Rome and various other places. After his many cabalistic and other strange experiments, Molcho felt justified in proclaiming himself the Messiah, or his precursor. In company with David Reubeni, whom he came across in Italy, he went in 1532 to Ratisbon, where the emperor Charles V was holding a diet. On this occasion, Molcho carried a flag with the Hebrew word Maccabi, the four letters מכבי which also signify an abbreviation for Exodus 15:11 "Who among the mighty is like unto God?". The emperor imprisoned both Molcho and Reubeni, and took them with him to Italy. In Mantua an ecclesiastical court sentenced Molcho to death by fire. At the stake the emperor offered to pardon him on condition that he return to the Catholic Church, but Molcho refused, asking for a martyr's death.

1545: The Council of Trent which produced The Tirdentine Mass begins. The Tridentine Mass, a Latin ritual the rubrics of which were set by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The mass reflected the traditional Christian goal of converting Jews to Jesus including “praying on Good Friday that God "lift the veil" from "Jewish blindness.”  This changed at the time of Vatican II, with the declaration "Nostra Aetate," which condemned the idea that Jews could be blamed for the murder of Jesus, and affirmed the permanence of God's Covenant with Israel. The "replacement" theology by which the church was understood as "superseding" Judaism was no more. Corollary to this was a rejection of the traditional this version of the Mass would be discontinued as the Catholic Church affirmed a more positive view of Judaism and the Jewish people. The Vatican would reintroduce the Tridentine Mass in 2008 with Catholics praying that God "enlighten" the hearts of Jews "so that they recognize Jesus Christ, Savior of all mankind."

1585(Kislev, 5346): Eliezer (Lazer) ben Elijah Ashkenazi who first became a rabbi in Egypt before making his way to Europe via Cyprus where he led congregations in Cremona and Posen before moving to Cracow where he passed  away today.

1619: “Under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it was decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In consequence, the position of Jews differed greatly between cities In those towns where they were admitted, they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.” (As reported by The History of the Jewish People)

1642: A Dutch explored named Abel Janszoon Tasman reached New Zealand. Jews would not reach New Zealand until the 1830’s when it was under British control.

1663: Mattahthias Calahora, “a renowned physician” was “accused by Friar Servatius of ‘blaspheming the virgin.’ Although there was no testimony aside from the Friars, he was tortured and burned at the stake. His ashes were dispersed to prevent him from having a proper Jewish burial. Despite this, enough of his remains were found for a burial to take place” (As reported by The History of The Jewish People

1748(22nd of Kislev 5509): Mozes Marcus Mordechai Drukker passed away in Amsterdam and was buried in the Muiderberg Cemetery.

1754; Mahmud I, Ottoman Sultan passed away. During his reign, two Jewish doctors, Isaac Tchelebi and Hekim Joseph were appointed to serve at his palace. In 1739, Mahmud signed the Treaty of Belgrade that gave citizenship rights to the Ottoman Jews. Austrian Jews were so impressed with the grant of rights that many of them applied for citizenship in Mahmud’s empire.

1756: Birthdate of Muehlbach native Loeb Jacob Fleischer, the husband of Hindel Seligmann and the father of David Loeb Fleischer.

1762(27th of Kislev, 5523): Third Day of Chanukay

1762: In German Juettle and Jakob Weil gave birth to Frommet Weil, the wife of David Hirsch Lindauer and the mother of Jakob, Bessie and Mayer Lindauer.

1765(1st of Tevet, 5526): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1769: Dartmouth College founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock.  Today Dartmouth has approximately 450 Jewish students out of an undergrad population of over four thousand students.  There are approximately 100 Jewish students among its 1,300 grad students.  Dartmouth offers ten courses in Jewish studies. Dartmouth also has a special Hebrew Studies semester transfer credit arrangement with the Hebrew University and with Oxford University.

1770(26th of Kislev, 5531): Second Day of Chanukah

1770: As Jews prepared to kindle the third light of Chanukah, in Boston, the four civilians accused of killing Americans during the Boston Massacre were tried today and later found not guilty.

1773(28th of Kislev, 5534): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1773: As Jews prepare to kindle the fifth Chanukah candle, Americans are making plans for the “Boston Tea Party” which will take place in three days

1774(10th of Tevet, 5535): Asar B’Tevet

1774: As Jews fasted on the 10th of Tevet, Paul Revere rode to Portsmouth, NH to warn the patriots that the Britsih were coming which led to the Colonials seizing Fort William and Mary the next day and distributing its military supplies among various units of what would become the Minute Men who faced the British the following year to start the American Revolution.

1775: In Buchau, Helena Neuburger and Heinrich Maendle gave birth to Rosalie Maendle.

1776(3rd of Tevet, 5537): In London on a day of national fasting proclaimed by King George III the Portuguese and Spanish Congregation offered a special prayer in they “implored forgiveness for our sins” and asked for “divine assistance” to help our forces on sea and land to “restore peace and prosperity to these kingdoms” followed by a sermon given by Moshe Cohen d’Azevdeo.

1778(24th of Kislev, 5539): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle.

1778: On the same day that Jews prepared to celebrate Chanukah, with the Revolution entering into its fourth year Abigail Adams wrote her husband John, a future President of the United States, that “this year has not been a very glorious one to America” but that “our Enemies however have nothing to boast of since they have not gained one inch of territory more than they possessed a year ago.”

1779(4th of Tevet, 5540): Zipporah bat. Menahem, wife of Issachar ben Abraham 'from the Holy Congregation of Edinburgh' passed away today.

1791: Esther Lucka and Benjamin Wolf Bondi gave birth to Elias Bondi, the husband of Caroline Lichtenstadt.

1797: In Dusseldorf, Peira (known as "Betty"), née van Geldern and Samson Heine, a textile merchant gave birth to the first child author and poet Heinrich Heine. The German author converted in 1825.  Heine said, “The baptismal certificate is an admission ticket to European culture.”  Unfortunately for Heine, things did not work.  Christians saw him as an opportunist.  Jews saw him as a turncoat and in the end, he supposedly regretted his decision.  “It is extremely difficult for a Jew to be converted, for how can he bring himself to believe in the divinity of another Jew?”  “Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.”  “The Jews trudged around with the Bible all through the Middle Ages, as with a portable fatherland.”  And in words that almost seem to foretell the coming of the Nazis he wrote, “Where men burn books, they will also burn people.”

1797: In the first attempt to remove the qualification that office holder’s in Maryland had to be Christians, a petition signed by Solomon Etting, Bernard Gratz, and others was presented to the General Assembly at Annapolis; the petitioners averred "that they are a sect of people called Jews, and thereby deprived of many of the valuable rights of citizenship, and pray to be placed upon the same footing with other good citizens." The petition was read and referred to a committee of three persons, who upon the same day reported that they "have taken the same into consideration and conceive the prayer of the petition is reasonable, but as it involves a constitutional question of considerable importance they submit to the House the propriety of taking the same into consideration at this advanced stage of the session." This summary disposition of the petition put a quietus upon further agitation for the next five years. (As reported by Cyrus Adler and J. H. Hollander)

1800(26th of Kislev, 5561): 2nd day of Chanukah; Shabbat; kindle three candles in the evening

1800(26th of Kislev, 5561): Saul ben Meir Margolith who was a rabbi at Zbaraz, Galicia, Komorn, and Lublin and was the father of Zebi Hirsch, passed away at Lublin today.

1807: Birthdate of Levi Bodenheimer, the native of Karlsruhe who served as a rabbi at Krefeld and Hildesheim.

1807: Birthdate of Charleston, SC, native Philip Philipps who opposed nullification while practicing law in his home town, moved to Alabama where practiced law and served as a member of the U.S. House Representatives before finally settling in Washington, D.C. where he resumed his practice of law.

1807: Thirty-four year old Joseph Philipson, opened his general merchandising store and permanently settled in St. Louis. Joseph was reportedly the first Jew to settle in St. Louis, He was the first Jewish merchant to settle in St. Louis and the first American merchant to establish a permanent store in St. Louis. In 1808, Joseph's brother Jacob arrived in St. Louis and established his own store. Their remaining brother Simon remained in Philadelphia, traveling occasionally to St. Louis. Until 1816 the Philipsons were the only Jews known to live in St. Louis. Jacob died about 1858, buried in the City Cemetery

1813: Birthdate of David Spangler Kaufman.  Kaufman was the first Jewish Congressman from Texas. He died in 1851.  Kaufman County, Texas and the city of Kaufman, Texas are named for him.

1815: Birthdate of Arthur Stanley, the Dean of Westminster who wrote “Lectures On The History of the Jewish Church”.

1816: In Gehaus, Germany, Jacob Mandelbaum and Bella Epstein gave birth to their third child, David Mandelbaum.

1819(25th of Kislev, 5580): As the Unites States endures its first peacetime major economic and financial crisis, known as the Panic of 1819, Chanukah is observed.

1820: Michael Moses married Julia Davis today at the Great Synagogue.

1821: In Tomaszów Lubelski, Kingdom of Poland, Simchah Pinsker, a Hebrew language writer, scholar and teacher and his wife gave to Leon Pinsker, a physician by training and a “lover of Zion” best known for writing “Auto-Emancipation.”

1845: In Sulzburg, Samuel and Hina Henritte Kahn gave birth to Rosa Kahn who after her marriage became Rosa Hirschel.

1847: The Portuguese congregation of New Orleans held its first annual meeting.

1852: Birthdate of Moravian native Emanuel Schriber, the Hungarian and German educated Rabbi who filled several pulpits in the United States including one in Little Rock Arkansas from 1889 to 1891 before finally settling in at Congregation Emanu-El in Chicago

1855: During the thirty-fourth session of the United States Congress, a special act was passed, which provided that all the rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore granted by the law to the Christian churches in the city of Washington be and the same hereby are extended to the Hebrew Congregation of said city.”

1856: Birthdate of Albert Hessberg, the native of Albany, N.Y. who became a partner in the law firm of Peckham, Rosendale and Hessberg and who served as president of the Albany Jewish as well as Recorder of Albany for two terms.

1856: Birthdate of Abbott Lawrence Lowell, who served as President of Harvard from 1909 to 1933. Thanks to reforms Lowell made in the admission policies where merit was the driving factor, Jewish enrollment rose from 6% in 1908 to 22% in 1922.  Lowell had not intended for his reforms to bring this many Jews to his university and he worked vigorously and successfully to institutionalize other criteria that drove down the Jews representation to the point that when he left in 1933 Jews made up less than 10% of the undergraduate student body.  Lowell also was an outspoken critic of Wilson’s decision to nominate Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court.  Like so many of his ilk, Lowell did not limit his bigotry to Jews – he had no use for African-Americans or homosexuals either.

1857: In Berlin, Paul Alexander Franz* von Mendelssohn and Marie Antoinette Enole Mendelssohn gave birth to Robert Georg Alexander von Mendelssohn,

1860(4th of Tevet, 5654): Seventy-year old Hanna Bodenheimer, the widow of Emanuel Bodenheimer passed away today after which she was at the Durbach Jewish Cemetery in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

1860: The New York Times reported that “A private letter from Jerusalem states that an American Jew at New Orleans has bequeathed £10,000 for the building and endowment of almshouses for infirm and destitute Israelites in the Holy City. An agent had already arrived to carry out the bequest, and the houses intended to be used for the purpose mentioned are expected to be ready for occupation before the expiration of the coming winter.”

1861(10th of Tevet) Asara B’Tevet

1862: During the Civil War, Army of the Potomac suffered one of its worst defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg where they were commanded Ambrose Burnside. Company C of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment which had been formed by a group of Jewish volunteer soldiers under the name of the Concordia Guards was one of the units engaged in the battle. The regiment would be commanded by Colonel Edward S. Salomon, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, who may have been Chicago’s first Jewish lawyer and was the alderman for the Sixth Ward when the war broke out. Among other Jews serving during the battle was Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a native of Richmond, who was a solider with the Union Army and was wounded at Fredericksburg.

1862: Nineteen year old Richmond born Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, the resident of Philadelphia who had been serving with Company G of the 119th Regiment was wounded today during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1863(3rd of Tevet, 5624): Eighth Day of Chanukah

1865(25th of Kislev, 5626): Chanukah is celebrated for the first time in four years without the sound of cannons and the hollering of the wounded and dying.

1866: Birthdate of Philadelphia native Olga Simon, the wife of Solomon Grinsfelder with whom she had two children – Joseph and Flora Grinsfelder.

1869: In Lida, Russia, Bernard and Aida Pollock gave birth to David B. Pollock the “editor and manager of Zion Messenger, the official organ of the Knights of Zion” in Chicago, Illinois, who organized the Junior Knights of Zion Military Band of Jewish Boys to provide “a musical education for Jewish children without means.

1873: It was reported today that most of the Jews of Paris attended the funeral of French banker and philanthropist Louis Raphael Bischoffsheim which was held last month.  The large filled the synagogue and then followed the coffin to the cemetery. A native of Germany, this highly successful financier founded schools for Jewish children, established hospitals and asylums for the general population and supported soup kitchens every winter.

1874: Birthdate of Joseph Arkadievich Levin, the Russian pianist who gained fame as Josef Lhévinne, a name given to him by his manager.

1877: In “Chernihiv, Ukraine, Chana and Naphthalia Hertz Shiplacoff gave birth to Abraham I. Shiplacoff, the husband of “Yetta Ettle Itta ‘Henrietta’ Shiplacoff who moved to the United States where he became a labor leader and the first Socialist to be elected to the New York State Assembly.

1880: A charter was granted today marking formally incorporation of Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, MS.  Twenty-five to thirty families had been acting as a congregation since 1870 going so far as to hire a Charles Rawitzer of Memphis as their Rabbi.  HUC built their first temple in 1881 and hired Joseph Bogen as their Rabbi. In 1962 H.U.C. was the largest Jewish congregation in the state of Mississippi with almost 200 families. At last report, the Temple is home to about 50 Jewish families in the area.

1881: A Pogrom begins in Warsaw that leaves approximately 1,500 Jewish homes, shops and synagogues in ruins.

1882: Jacques Damala left for North Africa today after his wife, Sarah Bernhardt told him she would no longer support his dissolute life-style. He left her to pay off his debts that arose from, among other things, gambling and drugs.

1885(5th of Tevet, 5646): Sixty-eight year old “Russian Talmudist” and author Mathias Strashun who “spent a great part of his considerable fortune in collecting a magnificent library” and whose “house became a rendezvous for scholars and students from all parts of Europe” passed away today.

1885: Birthdate of Romanian born University of Michigan Professor of Economics Max Handman who had earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1917 after which served as a professor of sociology and economics at several universities including Texas and Minnesota

1885: It was reported today that the funeral of Wolfgang Strassmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family who was the President of the Municipal Council in Berlin “was made the occasion of a demonstration against Jew-baiters.” Thirty thousand people attended the funeral and the Emperor sent two wreaths. (The Emperor would seem to be somewhat conflicted since one of his court chaplains was a leader of the anti-Semitic forces)

1885: The New York Times published a review of The Rabbi’s Spell: A Russo-Jewish Romance by Stuart C. Cumberland

1886: As police are arresting merchants selling goods on Sunday in violation of the Sunday Closing Laws, the question is asked how can a Jewish peddler “arrested on the Sabbath” who pleads that he has kept the previous day holy, be punished under a law that allows a businessman “to select the one day out seven on which to abstain from business.”

1888: Telemachus (Telemaque) Thomas Timayenis, the author of The Original Mr. Jacobs: A Startling Exposé, ‎ was charged with grand larceny by Mrs. Emma Dickson his partner in the Minerva Publishing Company. (Timayenis denied reports that he was Jewish and his books were decidedly anti-Semitic in nature.

1889: It was reported today that the B’nai B’rith has taken a leading role in the education fair currently taking place at the American Institute Building in New York City.

1889: Moritz Ellinger, editor of the Hebrew Standard delivered a lecture entitled “A New Departure” in New York City

1890: The “juvenile orchestra” of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to perform at the Teachers’ Fair today.

1890: Rabbi Jacob Joseph delivered a sermon at the Beth Hamedrasch Hagol, an Orthodox synagogue on Norfolk,  in which he addressed “the persecution of the Russian Jews and said that necessary steps should be taken to urge the United States Government to use its influence with the Czar for the cessation of the persecution.

1890: Rabbi Kaufman Kohler, a leading Reform rabbi, delivered a sermon at Temple Beth EL, in which he said “that Jews had proved that they were the equals of the highest races of the age in all countries except Russia where they had been subjected to the greatest hardships.”

1891: Jacob Rubino, a New York Life Insurance policy holder filed suit again a trustee of New York Life who is also a member of the Finance Committee seeking the return of “exorbitant commissions.”

1892: In Duluth, MN, founding of Congregation Tifereth Israel whose members included Jacob Levine, Joseph Oreckovsky, Henry Caploiv, William Goldstein and Isidra Lieberman.

1892: Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Straus and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lauterbach and their daughter were among those who attended a meeting of the Nineteenth Century Club where they listened to a lecture on “The Significance of the New-England Transformation.

1893(4th of Tevet, 5654): Raphael Dreyfus, the father of Alfred Dreyfus passed away today.

1893: Justice Ryan of the Essex Market Police court committed “three destitute little children” ranging in age from 7 to 2 to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society because their mother Sarah Polskie could not care for them.

1894: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn won a competition among all the orphanages in Brooklyn and New York sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany of Brooklyn by 700 votes which means it will receive “100 dressed dolls and other toys.”

1894: This evening members of the University Settlement Society heard the report of Helen Moore, the librarian at Guild House in which she noted that the young Jewish readers show “discrimination” “always wanted the best literature.  They always have the library’s 83 histories of the United States checked out but they “show a passion for stories about…patriotism and fairy tales. (The purpose of the society is “to being men and women of education into closer relation with the laboring classes so that they might meet on a common ground for education purpose.”)

1895: In Chicago, “three drunken poles” attacked Abraham Mar, a Jewish vegetable peddler, and hung him three times with a clothes line, threatening him each time with death unless “he prayed according to the Christian fashion.”

1895(26th of Kislev, 5656): Second Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle three candles

1895: Two days after she had passed away, Sarah Davis, the wife of David Marcus Davis and the father of Alice and Ernest Davis was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1895: Today’s session of the Educational Fair sponsored by the Jewish community opened at 2:30 this afternoon and closed at 5 p.m. because this evening is the start of the Sabbath.  Although it was only open for 2 and one-half hours, the fair was so well attended that the total receipts for the fair has now risen to over one hundred thousand dollars.

1895: It was reported that during this past month the average attendance in the industrial school supported by the United Hebrew Charities was 238 girls who produced 175 garments while learning sewing and dressmaking.

1896: Four days after he had passed away, Elias Mocatta, who was married twice, first to Augusta Goldsmid and then to Rachel Goldsmid was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1898: Privates James W. Rosenberger and Taylor H. Rosenberger of Winchester were among the members of Company who were mustered out of U.S. Service after having served with the 2nd Virginia Volunteer since May of 1898.

1899: Birthdate of publisher Harold Guinzburg founder of Literary Guild and head of Viking Press.

1899(11th of Tevet, 5660): “Commerzienrath Julius Isaac” passed away today at Berlin.

1899: Thirteen year old Michalina Araten was kidnapped and taken to convent in Cracow where she was raised as a Catholic

1900: In Ograda, Romania, Victor Perlea and Margarethe Haberlin gave birth to conductor Jonel Perlea who spent part of WW II at the Mariapfarr Concentration Camp.

1900: Birthdate of New York native and composer Arthur Herzog, Jr. who collaborated with the legendary Billie Holiday on several songs including “God Bless the Child and was the father of author Arthur Herzog III and grandfather of playwright Amy Herzog.

1900: Birthdate of Budapest native László Radványi whose escape from Nazi Europe led to his becoming a labor activist and university professor in Mexico.

1903(24th of Kislev, 5664): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah

1903: At today’s meeting of the United Zionists of Greater New York a resolution was adopted that expressed opposition to trying to establish a Zionist colony in Uganda.  The 250 delegates expressed their dissatisfaction with Israel Zangwill and expressed their support that the Zionist dream could only be fulfilled in Palestine

1903:  Isidor Strauss read the eleventh annual report at tonight’s meeting of the Educational Alliance.  Andrew Carnegie attended the meeting and engaged in light-hearted banter with Strauss, who is the President of Alliance.

1903: In New York, the B’nai Zion is holding its “annual ball in Tammany Hall.

1903: Four hundred guests attended the Carmel Chanukah dinner tonight which sponsored by the Carmel Wine Company.  The sponsors of the dinner were trying to develop support for the Jews who are working to establish agricultural settlements in Palestine.  Professor Richard Gottheil and Cyrus L Sulzberger were among the speakers at the event.

1905: “Russian City Burning: Jews Being Massacred” published today described the attacks on the Jews of Odessa and Elzabethgrad.

1905: In London, “The Times, this morning published a long letter signed by Israel Zangwill, the President of the Jewish Territorial Organization and other officials of the organization in which they reply to the recent letter of Lord Rothschild and others relating to Jewish colonization.”

1905: It was reported from St. Petersburg that “the League of Leagues has passed a resolution demand equal rights for the Jews.”

1905: It was reported today that William Ellis Corey, President of the United States Steel Corporation “has already given $20,000 to the persecuted Jews of Russia” but plans on donating an additional $100,000 to the Jewish Relief Fund.

1905: It was reported today that the Pope has described as “excesses, unworthy of a civilized people” the “massacres of Jews which are condemned and detested by evangelical law.”

1908: In Austria, Gershom Bader, the son of Izaak Moyzesz Bader and Helene Bader and Etta (Joanna) Bader) gave birth to Milton Bader

1908: Birthdate of Berlin native Wolfgang Reinhardt who was “nominated for an Academy Award for Original Screenplay in 1962 for the film Freud.”

1909(1st of Tevet, 5670): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1909(1st of Tevet, 5670): Thirty-nine year old Ezra Hurwitz, the Lithuanian born son of Nachum and Freida Leah Hurwitz and the husband of Bertha Hurwitz passed away today in New York City.

1910: Four days after she had passed away, “Rachel Mocatta” the daughter of Alexander Goldsmid and Eliza Israel and the wife of Elia Mocatta with whom she had one child – Percy Mocatta – was buried to at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1910: Birthdate of Sol Saks, who is most famous for writing the first episode of the highly popular sitcom “Bewitched.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1910: In Boston, Katie Silverman and Arthur Rutstein gave birth to Lillian Rutstein who gained fame as the actress and singer Lillian Roth, who would convert to Catholicism in 1948 although “she later said she could really forget her Jewish heritage.

1912(3rd of Tevet, 5673): “Mrs. Minna Glaser, the wife of the late Julius Glaser of New York City” with whom she had three children was interred today Washington Cemetery following her funeral.

1913(14th of Kislev, 5674): Abraham J. Laredo a prominent Gibraltar merchant passed away.

1914(25th of Kislev, 5675): Chanukah

1914: Birthdate of Larry Park, the native of Joliet, Illinois  who starred in the film biography of Al Jolson before falling victim to the Hollywood Black list.

1915: Birthdate of Vilnius native Yitzhak Zuckerman, a deputy commander  of the ZOB who survived the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, helped smuggle refugees in Palestine  founded two kibbutzim with his wife Ziva and other survivors, testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann and was the grandfather of Roni Zuckerman, “the Israeli Air Force's first female fighter pilot.”(Please read the items below.  There is no way for me to do justice to this man)

1916: In Philadelphia, Jacob da Silva Solis-Cohen, Jr married Marion Gimbel Labe with whom he had two daughters, Mary and Ann Solis-Cohen Rosentahl the wife of Charles Rosenthal.

1917: In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, textile company owner Abraham Shapior and his wife, “the former Jrena Fromberg, a founder of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America,” gave birth to Rhoda Shapiro who gained famed as children’s author Rhoda Blumberg. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1917: The Bazaar sponsored by Temple Emanu-El which was being held to raise money for the fund providing relief for “the Jewish war sufferers and for welfare work among American soldiers and sailors” continued for a second day at the Manhattan mansion of Adolph Lewisohn.

1917: “Jacob Schiff, Louis Marshal, Jacob Wertheim, Cyrus Sulzberger” and the other leaders of the campaign to raise five million dollars for Jewish war relief gave “three cheers for the labor unions of the east side” today following the announcement that the Jewish labor unions have agreed to contribute one day’s pay to the fund which will mean a total contribution of $1,250,000.

1917: After meeting with officials of the State Department yesterday, “Henry Morgenthau, the former Ambassador to Turkey announced” today “that American consular officers were to be sent at one to Jerusalem to supervise the distribution of relief funds collected by American Jews for their coreligionists in Palestine.”

1918(10th of Tevet, 5679): Asara B’Tevet

1918: Jacob H. Schiff received a cable today from Rabbi Sternberg in Vienna describing “attacks made on Jews in Western and Central Galicia” in which “the Jewish population has been murdered, robbed and the women ravished.”

1918: Dr. I Edwin Goldwasser, the direct of the Jewish Relief campaign said tonight he especially appreciated the services of the volunteer workers – “both Jews and non-Jews” --- who have been untiring in the efforts and asking “nothing but a chance to help.”

1919: Per the instructions of the British government, as described Andrew Bonar Law, the British Military Mission in Russia is doing call it can do “in its power to prevent” further attacks on the Jews like the ones the Pogrom carried out by the Cossacks outside of Kiev.

1920: Rabbi Naftali Riff “submitted his intentions papers in the Common Pleas Court of Camden County, NJ to become a U.S. citizen” today which “stated that he was 5’ 8” tall, weighed 115 pounds, had black hair and brown eyes and lived at 507 Mt. Vernon Street in Camden.

1920: Today, the House of Representatives ignored the objections of Congressman Isaac Siegel and his allies and passed the Johnson Immigration Bill by a vote of 293 to 41.  (Editor’s note -  Those engaged in the immigration debate of the 21st century, especially Jews, might find it instructive to study the history of this legislation.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

1921: An order was issued by King George V for Sir Edgar Speyer to be struck off the list of the Privy Council.

1921: “One of the largest charity social affairs of the season” is scheduled to take place this evening at the Astor Hotel, when the New York Section Council of Jewish Woman host a concert and dance with the proceeds going to the organization’s Americanization work.

1922: Professor Frederick Starr of the University of Chicago is scheduled to deliver a lecture on Japan at the Washington Boulevard Temple.

1922: For a third night in a row the Jewish People’s Institute offered assistance to those filing papers seeking to help relatives gain admission to the United States.

1922: In Des Moines, Harry Levine, a butcher and his wife gave birth to Bernard Levine, the WW II veteran and husband of Ruth Nagorner who owned and ran two Ben Franklin variety stores.

1922: “A Jewish Manifesto to the Arabs” published today contains the second statement by the Jewish National Council of Palestine in which it pleads for a peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

1923: This evening, an anti-Jewish open air meeting was held by Royalist students in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Copies of "L' Action Francaise", the Royalist Organ, were on sale. The speakers denounced the Jews as the chief obstacle to the restoration of the Monarchy in France. The Jews, they declared, were Communists; the Jews were the counselors of President Wilson and were responsible for his Fourteen Points, which had brought about the isolation of France. The first step towards the destruction of the Republic must be the annihilation of the Jews. (As reported by JTA)

1923: Birthdate of William Bernard Kannel  a cardiovascular epidemiologist whose work helped to identify and sought to rout the culprits behind heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1923: “Two Jews Innocently Imprisoned in France Seven Years” published today described the fate of two Jews who were falsely imprisoned during World War I.

1924(16th of Kislev, 5685):  Samuel Gompers, the famed American labor leader, passed away.

1925(26th of Kislev, 5686): Eighty-year old Caroline von Gomperz-Bettelheim, the sister of Anton Bettelheim and the wife of Julius Ritter von Gomperz who was an “Austrian court singer and member of the Royal Opera in Vienna, passed away today.

1925: Birthdate of painter Itshak Holtz, the son of a Polish “hat maker and furrirer who made Aliyah in 1935 and who “has stated that his artwork, which primarily but not exclusively depicts scenes of Jewish spirituality and tradition, is driven by his Orthodox Jewish beliefs”

1926: “Shave Cost Homes” published today described how “the management committee of Sharrei Hesed ,a Jewish suburb of Jerusalem has instructed its tenants to eject from their premises ‘all occupants having shaven chins or shorn sidelocks or committing similar offences against strict orthodoxy.”

1927: In Philadelphia, Joseph Needleman, a furniture salesman and “former Sonia Shupak…who family owned a pickle business” gave birth to Herbert Leroy Needleman, the doctor who sounded the alarm when it came to children’s exposure to lead. (As reported by Benedict Carey)

1928: “Catholics, Jews and Protestants joined in a good-will meeting” tonight “at Temple Emnau-El under the auspices of the Congregation’s Men’s Club which was the “final meeting in the old Temple at 5th Avenue and 66th Street.

1928: George Gershwin's musical work ''An American in Paris'' had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

1929: Ted “Kid” Lewis won his bout tonight on a TKO.

1929: “Katharina Knie” a silent film featuring Vladimir Sokoloff was released today in Germany.

1930(23rd of Kislev, 5691): Parashat Vayeshev

1930: At City Hall this afternoon, Mayor Jimmie Walker welcome Professor Albert Einstein and gave him the keys to the city.

1931: Author and journalist Emil Ludwig (born Emil Cohn) interviewed Joseph Stalin.

1931: After a week of celebration, festivities marking the 10th anniversary of Congregation Beth El in Camden, NJ came to a close with a banquet this evening.

1932: “Dr. Arthur Kraus, an instructor in philosophy at City College’ was scheduled to continue his hunger strike begun two days ago “in protest against the apathy of intellectuals toward anti-Semitic excess in Polish universities.”

1933: In a foretaste of what was to come in Hungaryd, Zoltan Mesko and Count Alexander Festetis, leaders of rival Hungarian Nazi sections, attacked Premier Goemboes in Parliament today for an anti-Nazi statement in a speech yesterday at a meeting of the Governmental party.

1934: “Music in the Air” a movie “based on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Broadway musical of the same name” directed by Joe May was released in the United States today

1935: “Para Vigo me voy” (Say Si Si) with English lyrics by Al Stillman was record today.

1935: Birthdate of St. Louis native and University of Wisconsin educated “real estate developer” Lewis N. Wolff, the holder of an MBA from Washington University who used his wealth to buy the Oakland Athletics and who was the husband of Jean Wolff with whom he had “three children.”

1935: Jews were excluded from the medical profession in Germany.

1935: “Your Uncle Dudley” with a screenplay by Dore Schary was released today in the United States.

1936: Andy Devine appeared on the Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky) where he scored the longest laughter pause in the history of the program.

1936: It was reported today that Rabbi Harry Halpern of the East Midwood Jewish Center will deliver a talk entitled “The Significance of Chanukah” at the upcoming meeting of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America.

1936(29th of Kislev, 5697): Fifth Day of Chanukah

1936: “More than 1,000 members or guests of the Jewish Education Association attended the fifteenth annual Chanukah dinner held” tonight “at the Hotel Astor” where they “heard Supreme Court Justice Samuel I. Rosenman urge a ‘rebirth of interest’ in Jewish religious education” and “Mark Eisner, chairman of the Board of Education called for the mobilization of all ‘Jewish forces in America, to give Jewish education its proper status in relation to the life of the whole American community.’”

1936: After leaders in the effort to provide financial relief for European Jewry meeting at the Hotel Astor “heard speakers describe the plight of Jews in foreign lands” the “five hundred delegates from 25 states voted” today “to increase the 1937 quota of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to a figure ‘much higher’ than the $3,500,000 set as the goal of the campaign ending this month.”

1936: At Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “How a Big City Tests Characters.”

1936: At Temple Rodeph Sholom, Rabbi Louis I. Newman is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Divorce, Remarriage, the Church and the State: Are New Morals Possible Today?”

1936: At Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Rabbi Israel Goldstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Courage to Be Yourself.”

1936: This morning at the Free Synagogue in Carnegies Hall, Dr. Abram Leon Sachar is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “Five Patterns of Jewish Life.”

1936: At the Jewish Science Society, Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein is scheduled to deliver a sermon on “The Source of Jewish Energy.”

1936: The Women’s League for Palestine is scheduled to hear an address this evening by Henry Schorr at their meeting in Carnegie Hall.

1936: “The Metropolitan Conference of Temple Brotherhoods” is scheduled to “hold its tenth annual Hanukkah dinner” this “evening in the Hotel Pennsylvania.”

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Solomon Baum, 23, a student at the Hebrew Teachers' Seminary, was seriously wounded by an Arab assailant in the Beit Hakerem quarter of Jerusalem. British troops and police fought a gang of 50 Arab terrorists in Galilee. The same gang was reported to have murdered and robbed an Arab villager living in  Kafr Kara who refused to hand over the requested sum of money.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that n Paris the Council of German Jews, headed by Viscount Samuel, announced that during the first half of 1937, 3,641 Jews left Germany, including 1,363 for Palestine. Four hundred of them made their aliya on the strength of the "capitalist" category immigration certificates, obtained by the committee.

1938: One hundred deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

1938(20th of Kislev, 5699): Just 13 days before his 84th birthday, Leopold (Lehmann) Schloss, the husband of Karoline Schloss was murdered today in Wurzburg, Germany

1939(1st of Tevet, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1939(1st of Tevet, 5700): In the evening, kindle the 8th Chanukah light

1939(1st of Tevet, 5700): In New York, Joseph Josephs passed away.

1939: Hans Frank issued order of the establishment of Jewish councils in Polish Jewish communities over 10,000. Jews referred to these councils as the “Judenrat.”

1940: U.S. premiere of “Comrade X” a American spy-spoof co-starring Hedy Lamar, filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg with a script co-authored by Ben Hecht and Herman J. Mankiewicz.

1941: For two days 14,300 Jews were killed in the Crimean city of Simferopol by the Einsatzkommando.  The killing started on December 13 and ended on the 15th.

1941: The last six Jews living in Warendorf, Germany, are deported to Riga, Latvia, and killed.

1941: Jews living in Muenster, Germany were deported to the Riga Ghetto in Latvia today.  [A photo of this is part of the Yad Vashem archives]

1942: Borough President Edgar J Nathan Jr., Jacob O. Zabronsky, J. David Delman, and Rabbi Leo Jung spoke at the annual Chanukah celebration of the National Council of Young Israel at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

1942: German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels complains in his diary about Italy's halfhearted persecution of Jews.

1942: “My Sister Eileen,” a comedy written by Joseph A. Field and Jerome Chodorov and produced by George S. Kaufman which had opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre, transferred to the Broadway Theatre where it opened tonight.

 1943: As the SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimir-Volynski, Poland, they were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force. The remainder fled to the forests to join the partisans.

1943: In Greece, Nazis murder all males over age 14 in the village of Kalávrita.

1943: Birthdate of Victor G. Kac, a Soviet and American mathematician at MIT, known for his work in representation theory. Kac received a Sloan Fellowship in 1981 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.

1944(27th of Kislev, 5705): Third Day of Chanukah

1944(27th of Kislev, 5705): Sixty-six year old Gustav Cohn, the German born son of Sophie and Seligman Lazarus Cohn and husband of Henriette Cohn passed away today in Buenos Aires.

1944: “The bestknown production staged by the Bernard HartJoseph Hyman team was “Dear Ruth,” which opened at Henry Miller's Theater today” and  “played more than 700 performances during the next two years.

1945: Thirty-six of the 40 defendants in “the Dachau Camp Trials” were sentenced to death today “including the former commandant Martin Gottfried Weiss and the camp doctor Claus Schilling.”

1946: Jewish political leader Léon Blum was chosen French premier.

1946: Future Nobel Prize winner Joshua Lederberg married Esther Miriam Zimmer today.

1946: Cessation of hostilities between the United States and Germany was announced by US President Truman

1946: Moshe Sneh, the reputed head of Haganah, repudiates activities of Irgun and Stern Group. He calls for a responsible resistance. He urges Zionists to stay away from London conference.

1947(30th of Kislev, 5708): Parashat Miketz; Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1947(30th of Kislev, 5708): Seventy year old Austrian born David Alter the “publisher of Jewish weekly magazines in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Youngstown and Toledo” passed away today in Pittsburgh, PA.

1947: The Jewish Agency, representing a majority of Palestinian Jewry denounced the rising tide of Irgun reprisals, calling them spectacular acts to gratify popular feeling.

1947: Several Irgun members driving in two cars near the Damascus Gate bus station hurled two bombs into the crowd and opened fire with automatic weapons killing five Arabs including a fourteen year old boy.

1947: The Arab League tells U.S. and Britain that partition would be considered a hostile act toward Moslems.

1947: The Zionist Organization of America urges that the U.S. provide ships for Jews going to Palestine and help arm Jewish Agency defense forces.

1948: The Transjordan Parliament authorizes King Abdullah to accept sovereignty over Arab Palestine and Transjordan defying a warning by council of Ulemas (a group of scholars and highest spiritual authority in Moslem

1949: Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capitol to Jerusalem.

1950: James Grover McDonald, the first U.S. Ambassador to Israel, left his post today.

1951: Foreign Service Officer John S. Service, who was not Jewish fell victim to the right wing anti-Communist witch hunt that destroyed the careers of so many Jews in several fields of endeavors, when he was dismissed today “from the Department of State following a determination by the Civil Service Commission’s Loyalty Board that there was “reasonable doubt” concerning his loyalty to the United States.”

1951: Movie producer Walter Wanger shot his wife’s agent and lover today.

1952(25th of Kislev, 5713): First Day of Chanukah

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the government announced an ambitious settlement program ­ the establishment of some 100 new villages within one year.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that ten infiltrators from Jordan crossed the border, wounded the guard of a defense post and stole arms and ammunition. Elsewhere, on the same border, two marauders were killed and 26 arrested within one week. Israel demanded an emergency meeting of the Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission.

1953: Birthdate of economist Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

1954: Eighteen year old Michael Rabin made his first London today when he played the Tchaikovsky Concerto in D at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

1955(28th of Kislev, 5716): Third Day of Chanukah

1955(28th of Kislev, 5716): French author Leon Werth, the son draper Albert Werth and Sophia Rauh, who had a son name Claude with his wife Suzanne and was the inspiration for The Little Prince passed away today.

1955: A cinematic version “Richard III” produced by Alexander Korda, co-starring Clair Bloom and filmed by cinematographer Otto Heller was released today in the United Kingdom.

1956: “The Rainmaker,” the movie version of the Broadway play by N. Richard Nash (Nathan Richard Nusbaum), produced by Hal Wallis and with an Oscar nominated score by Alex North (Isadore Soifer) was released today in the United States.

1957: “Peyton Place” the movie version of the novel of the same name directed by Mark Robson, produced by Jerry Wald, with music by Franz Waxman was released today in the United States.

1961: Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein.  Yes, there is a Jewish connection to Ringo, Paul, John, et al.

1961: In London, world premiere of “The Young Ones” a musical choreographed by Hebert Ross whose suggestion to have Barbra Streisand star in the film was rejected by

1961: In Jerusalem, prosecuting attorney Gideon Hausner demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann

1965: “A Thousand Clowns” the movie version of the Broadway play featuring Martin Balsam as “Arnold Burns,” Barry Gordon as “Nick Burns” and Gene Saks as “Leo ‘Chuckles the Chipmun’ Herman and filmed by cinematographer Arthur Ornitz was released today in the United States.

1967: In Canada, premiere of “The Fox” directed by Mark Rydell with music by Lalo Schifrin.

1968: “Urban Picaresque” published today provides a review of Murray Schisgal's Jimmy Shine,33009,839680,00.html

1970: Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in New York NY

1970(15th of Kislev, 5731): Eighty-three year old Baruch Zuckerman, a long time Zionist leader who was one of the founders of Yad Vashem passed away today in Jerusalem.

1971(25th of Kislev, 5732): Chanukah

1971: “Nicholas and Alexandra” a film version of the novel produced by Sam Spiegel with a screenplay by James Goldman and co-starring Janet Suzman was released today in the United Kingdom.

1971: Milton Glick, 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno, became a father for the second time when his wife Peggy gave birth to his son Sandy.

1971: Two months after opening in the United Kingdom, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” a musical fantasy with a score by Robert and Richard Sherman was released today in the United States.

1972(8th of Tevet, 5733): Seventy-two year old cellist Maurice Eisenberg suffered a mortal heart attack at the Juilliard School.

1975: As the Russians continue their offensive against the refuseniks, “the French Communist Party challenged the Soviet authorities to deny the existence of forced labor camps for political prisoners in the USSR.”

1976: Release date for “Victory at Entebbe” a made for television movie based on the raid that had taken place in July of 1976.

1977(3rd of Tevet, 5738): Seventy year old Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons graduate Dr. Alvan Leroy Barach, the so-called “father of oxygen therapy” and the husband of “the former Fredrick Pisek” with whom he had two children – Jeffrey and John Paul – passed away today.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that a top-level Israeli team, leaving for Cairo, was told by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt expected, and had to gain, an early success in the forthcoming negotiations. An 82-man Arab delegation left the Gaza Strip for Cairo while their mayor, Rashid Shawwa, said that Sadat ought to be praised for strengthening moderate Arabs. However, US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance failed to persuade King Hussein of Jordan to join the planned Israeli-Egyptian conference in Cairo

1979: Roger and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!" opens at the Palace Theater in New York City for the first of 301 performances.

1984: In a seemingly never ending fight to nibble away at the doctrine of the separation of church and state which is critical to the Jewish community in the United States, Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department filed a friend of the court brief in support the state of Alabama in Wallace v Jaffree, a case that would decide the mandated moment of silence at the start of each school day.  The Supreme Court would declare the Alabama statute unconstitutional because it violated the “first prong of the Lemon Test i.e., that the statute was invalid as being entirely motivated by a purpose of advancing religion.

1985(1st of Tevet, 5746): Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1985(1st of Tevet, 5746): Eighty-four year old Washingtonian and featherweight Wilburn Cohen who fought a seemingly amazing 130 bouts passed away today.

1987(22nd of Kislev, 5748): Eighty-one year old Yonah Ephraim Caplan, the Montreal born son of “Shlomo Chaim Caplan and Chaya Bluma Routtenberg” and the husband of Lena Herman passed away today in New York.

1988: Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman, is to be the main speaker today when the U.N. General Assembly holds its first meeting in Geneva.

1991: “Bugsy” a movie based on the life of Jewish gangster Bugsy Siegel directed and co-produced by Barry Levinson and featuring Elliot Gould, Harvey Keitel and Bebe Neuwirth was released in the United States today.

1991: Birthdate of Jay "Bluejay" Greenberg composer of “Overture to 9-11.”

1992: In a daring challenge to Israel's authority in the occupied territories, Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip. The abductors' deadline passed tonight with their demand unmet, but there was no sign that they had carried out their threatened slaying.

1992: The New York Times published the following letter from Rabbi Harold M. Kamsler of Phoenixville, Pa. entitled “It May Help to Be Jewish to Love Turkey” which claimed that the word “Turkey,” the fowl of Thanksgiving fame was rooted in Hebrew.

May I add another linguistic note to the colorful "One Strange Bird" by Margaret Visser (Op-Ed, Nov. 26)? The concurrence of the voyages of Columbus and the expulsion from Spain of its Jewish population after centuries of mutually advantageous co-existence has been widely aired in this 500th year of commemoration of both events. One of the key personnel making the first voyage was Luis de Torres, employed by Columbus as an interpreter since he had wide knowledge of Chaldean and Arabic, the languages of the areas they expected to reach. A "Converso," one of the Jews who had converted to Catholicism under the pressure of the Inquisition but remained a secret adherent of his own faith, de Torres also knew Hebrew well. It was natural that de Torres was in the first boats sent to shore on Oct. 12, 1492. In a letter written to a friend in Spain, he described the strange bird seen in this new land. As Ms. Visser notes, during the courting season the bird gobbles, struts and puffs, and his tail feathers display in the manner of a peacock. De Torres gave it the name that appears in the biblical book of I Kings, 10:22, the Hebrew word for peacock: tuki. Surely there is a much more direct line to "turkey" than the various other speculations at hand.”

1992: Islamic militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier today and threatened to kill him unless the army quickly released the imprisoned founder of a dominant Muslim group in the Gaza Strip. Today’s pre-dawn kidnapping of Sgt. Maj. Nissim Toledano in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, was likely to increase the sense among Israelis that they are under siege.

1994(10th of Tevet, 5755): Asara B'Tevet

1994(10th of Tevet, 5755): The day before his 84th birthday labor historian and professor Philip Sheldon Foner passed away today. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

1995(20th of Kislev, 5756): Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, a scholar on religious and governmental issues who was a Marine Corps chaplain during the battle of Iwo Jima, died at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was 85. He was the first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn was rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Boston, where he served from 1953 to 1977. From 1936 to 1953, he served the Central Synagogue of Nassau County in Rockville Centre, L.I. He was awarded three combat ribbons for his service with the Fifth Marine Division on Iwo Jima. His sermon at the dedication of the division's cemetery, titled "The Purest Democracy," attracted wide attention and was read by many radio and television announcers during and after the war. In February, Rabbi Gittelsohn gave the benediction at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the landing. Rabbi Gittelsohn was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to a committee studying civil rights issues. Later, he studied and lectured on United States involvement in Vietnam, and on euthanasia, Israeli politics and family relationships. He wrote numerous articles and books on civic and religious issues. He was president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis from 1958 to 1960; president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1969 to 1971, and president of the Association of Reform Zionists of America from 1977 to 1984. A native of Cleveland, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1931. He studied at Columbia University and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and was ordained in 1936.

1996: The president of Reform Judaism's synagogue organization has called for expanding the movement's small presence in Israel, to develop a liberal religious alternative within a nation overwhelmingly dominated by secular and Orthodox Jews. In a prepared speech he gave in Los Angeles today to trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, its president, said, ''We intend nothing less than to bring into being a new Israeli Judaism, which will draw Israelis with irresistible force to a renewal of practice and belief.''

1996: “The Preacher’s Wife” a movie version of Robert Nathan’s novel and with music by Hans Zimmer was released today in the United States.

1997: A revival of “Chips with Everything” a play by Arnold Wesker came to a close at the Royal Nation Theatre.

1998(24th of Kislev, 5759): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah.

1998(24th of Kislev, 5759): Ninety-one year old Lew Grade who went from being Lithuanian immigrant Louis Winogladsky to being media mogul and impresario The Right Honorable Lord Grade passed away just days short of his 92nd birthday.

1998: An historic and emotion-filled event took place in Jerusalem on the eve of the first day of Hanukkah. The restored synagogue of Shimon Hatzadik (Simon the Righteous) in the Jewish neighborhood of Shimon Hatzadik in eastern Jerusalem was rededicated in the presence of former residents of this and surrounding neighborhoods. According to tradition, the high priest, who was among the last members of the Great Assembly, was buried in a cave built into these sloping Sheikh Jarrah hills, where dozens of Hassidim can be found praying and learning throughout the day. The land surrounding the burial caves had lain barren of inhabitants for almost two millennia. The graves, however, were continuously visited by Jewish pilgrims. In modern times, Jews started this neighborhood in 1895 and lived there until they were evicted by the British army during the Arab riots in 1947, says a source in Lomdei Shalem, an organization responsible for the renewed Jewish presence in the area. In the interim, the Jordanian government took over the land and permitted Arab families to move into the Jewish homes, where many still remain. After acquiring power of attorney from the Sephardic Community Council, the original owner of the property, MK Benny Elon shepherded a group of young yeshiva students to the old synagogue. They cleaned it up and began to study there regularly. The rededicated synagogue has also become a kollel, where men study Torah on a daily basis.

1998: The New York Times book section included a review of Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds by Donald Harman Akenson.

2000: Al Gore who received 79% of the Jewish vote conceded defeat to George W. Bush in the most contested Presidential election in U.S. history.

2000: In a seemingly never ending fight to nibble away at the doctrine of the separation of church and state which is critical to the Jewish community in the United States, the city of Elkhart, Indiana in Elkhart v Brooks was told today by the U.S. Court of Appeals said that the city had acted unconstitutionally when it accepted a Ten Commandments Monument from the Elks.
2001(28th of Kislev, 5762): Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist of the band Death passed away as a result of a rare form of cancer.
2001: Hollywood premiere of “A Beautiful Mind” the academy award winning film co-produced by Brian Grazer, with a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman and featuring Judd Hirsch.
2002: Three months are premiering at the TIFF, “Evelyn” co-starring Julianna Margulies was released in the United States today.
2002: “Drumline” produced by Wendy Finerman and Jody Gerson who fourteen years later would be “honored as one of Universal Music Group’s female executives named to Variety’s Power of Women L.A.”
2004: “The obituary and photograph” of Harry Danning who “played his entire Major League career as a catcher for the New York Giants” appeared in today’s Sports Illustrated.

2005: Israel's consul-general in Los Angeles criticized Steven Spielberg's "Munich," saying that the new film drew an incorrect picture of the Mossad's hunt for the PLO terrorists who carried out the 1972 Olympic massacre, and taking the legendary director to task for morally equating the Israeli agents and their Palestinian terrorist targets.

2006: Sotheby’s annual sale of Judaica in New York includes a collection of the 18th century ritual silver objects from the Jewish community of Amsterdam and an 18th century decorated manuscript honoring physician and poet Dr. Isaac Luzzato.

2006: The Sci Fi Channel broadcast the final episode of “The Lost Room,” a min-series co-starring Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson.

2006: Prime Minister Ehud Omert met with Pope Benedict XVI during the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Europe.

2007:  In Jerusalem, a screening of The Jews in the Warsaw Uprising. This 57 minute long documentary explores the subject of the Jewish involvement in the struggle and includes Interviews with witnesses that are enriched by the archive materials and the historian reports.

2007: In New York City, the 92nd Street Y hosts cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Kirill Gerstein as part of the Distinguished Artist Series.

2007: Greek historian Costas Plevris was sentenced to 14 months in prison for inciting racial hatred with the publication of The Jews: The Whole Truth, a book that denies the Holocaust took place. 

2008: Jeff Marx “premiered a new song he wrote, ‘White Kwanzaa,’ on the CNN show D.L. Hughley Breaks the News”

2008: Itzhak Perlman plays chamber music at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

2008: The 10th Annual Jerusalem Film Festival opens. Highlights of this year's festival include:
Daniel Burman's new film, “The Empty Nest,” a premiere screening of the acclaimed PBS series, “The Jewish Americans,” and a tribute to Meyer Levin, the American-Jewish journalist and filmmaker who made “The Illegals” and “My Father's House.”.

2008: In Washington, D.C. the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (formerly the home of Adas Israel), hosts Shalshelet's 3rd International Festival of New Jewish Liturgy.

2008 (16 Kislev 5769) Ann Gilbert (Chana Zylberstajn), 84, of Cedar Rapids and Los Angeles passed away in Cedar Rapids at the age of 84. Ann is survived by her husband of 62 years, Fred; a son, Jack Gilbert of Albany, Calif.; and two daughters, Doris (Gary) Gilbert-Stieger of San Francisco and Lena Gilbert of Springville. She was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers and sisters, who all perished during World War II. Ann was born in Szydlowiec, Poland, to Josek and Laja Zylberstajn. Ann was a Holocaust survivor. She spent over four years in concentration camps and was liberated in April 1945. She married Fred Gilbert (Felek Gebotszrajber) on Jan. 2, 1946, in Scwabisch Hall, Germany. Ann was a consummate homemaker, an accomplished seamstress, and devoted to her family. She and Fred lived in Cedar Rapids from 1949 to 1986, where she was an active member of Temple Judah and in the community. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah. From 1986 to 2003, Ann and Fred lived in Los Angeles, where she was a much sought after seamstress to film and motion picture stars. Ann and Fred were also very active in the survivor community. They were regular speakers at the Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. She and Fred lectured frequently about their experiences. In 2003, she and Fred returned to Cedar Rapids to be near to Lena. Ann remained a constant source of inspiration and will be greatly missed.

2009: In Iowa City, the Agudas Achim Players present ”Zayda Was A Cowboy” which, along with a catered Latkes dinner adds to the enjoyment of the third night of Chanukah.

2009: Adele Steiner read from her work as part of the Iota Poetry Series held at the Iota Club & Café in Arlington, Virginia.

2009: Closing night of the 20th Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival includes a showing of “The Gift of Stalin” and a Chanukah Party.

2009: The 24th Annual New York Israeli Film Festival comes to a close with the screening of several cinematic offers including “Jaffa,” the featured closing night film.

2009: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Why The Dreyfus Affair Matters by Louis Begley and Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews From the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance by Michael Goldfarb.

2009: Wonderland Express Hanukkah Dinner and Concert featuring the local Jewish band Spirit Orchestra takes place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois

2009: In Philadelphia Chana Rothman, Naomi Less and Sarah Aroeste are the featured musicians in Lights Ignite Change at the World Café.

2009: At the Sephardic Musical Festival it is Ladino Night featuring Rivka Amado & Elie Massias at the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue.

2010: Damon Linker is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders” at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2010: Mollie Berch is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “American Jews and the Great Depression” in Silver Spring, MD.

2010: Lord Sacks’ retirement as Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom was announced today

2010: In a story entitled “Faith in The Game,” Sports Illustrated reviews Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, “a new film that illuminates the Jewish to the national pastime.”  Written by Ira Berkow, narrated by Dustin Hoffman the film includes a rare interview with Dodger great Sandy Koufax and Al Rosen, the Cleveland all-star third basemen who spoke frankly about dealing with anti-Semitism.

2011: “Grace Paley: Collect Shorts” is scheduled to be shown at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.

2011: “Tea and Talmud” sponsored by the Touro Synagogue Sisterhood is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, LA.

2011: Anat Hoffman, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center in Jerusalem for the past ten years, is scheduled to deliver a talk on the struggle for equality and women’s rights in Israel at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, VA.

2011: Jerry Abramson “took office as the 55th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.”

2011: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency discussion with Israeli defense officials today, following an attack by right-wing activists on an IDF base in the West Bank.

2012: “Susan Sontag – The Glamour of Seriousness” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival today.

2012: Under the leadership of Lena Gilbert, a Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony is scheduled to take place in Springville, Iowa.

2012: In what is the third and final public menorah lighting in North Dakota, this ceremony is scheduled to take place tonight at Bismarck, the state capital.

2012: Violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng are scheduled to perform in Palm Beach, FL at a benefit sponsored by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

2012(29th of Kislev, 5773): Fifth Day of Chanukah

2012: “UCLA announced that David Geffen had donated another $100 million in addition to his 2002 donation of $200 million, making him the largest individual benefactor for the UC system.”

2012(29th of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-three year old French mountain climber Maurice Herzog passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

2012: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied that he was guilty of charges brought by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein that he was guilty of fraud and breach of the public trust.

2012: The border policewoman who fatally shot a Palestinian teen in Hebron today is content with how she performed her duty, even as it emerged that Muhammad al- Salaymeh was armed only with a toy pistol. Nobody has explained why he was carrying a toy pistol, let alone why he would point it at the Border Police. (As reported by the Jerusalem Post)

2012: President Obama is scheduled to host a Chanukah party in the White House. Per the request of the President, “a 90-year-old menorah from a temple on Long Island that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy will be displayed at a Hanukkah party…as a symbol of perseverance and hope for the holidays.” (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

2013: In Iowa City, Penfield Books is schedule to host a reception for several local authors including three members of Agudas Achim: Arthur Canter for his World  War  II memoir, Flap Dog: A World War II Odyssey of a Communications Interceptor, Miriam Canter for her newly revised cookbook Dazzling Desserts and ,and Vida Brenner author of the book for children The Magic Music Shop.

2013 The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is scheduled to perform at the UIHC.

2013: In keeping with its annual tradition, Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National

Fund (KKL-JNF) is scheduled to start distributing Christmas trees at Ras El E'ain next to Kfar Rama (Wadi Salama)

2013: “Copying Beethoven” and “Bethlehem” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013(10th of Tevet): Asarah B'Tevet,

2013(10th of Tevet, 5774): Yarhrzeit Judith “Judy” Rosenstein (nee Levin) a woman of valor – gone too soon but always remembered

2013(10th of Tevet, 5774): Eighty year old Hugh Nissenson whose “books were immersive journeys that often explored religion, particularly Judaism” passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)

2013: US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin this morning in Jerusalem amid a severe winter storm which has left thousands without power and stranded hundreds of travelers on roads leading to and from the capital.

2013: Jerusalem experiences a “White Shabbat”

2014: Shabbat Va-yayshev

2014(21st of Kislev, 5775): Ninety-five year old photographer Phil Stern passed away today.

2014: The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio is scheduled to perform at the 92nd Street Y.

2014: At NYU’s Kimmel Center The Workmen’s Circle is scheduled to host its Annual Winter Reception where it will honor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “distinguished professor, scholar, author, and Program Director of the brand-new Core Exhibition at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.”

2014: “The Israeli bridge delegation won the gold medal at the Sportaccord World Mind Games in Beijing today. This is the first time in the history of the games that Israel has won first place, and the delegation beat out some of the best card players in the competition.” (As reported by Roi Yanovksy)

2014: “A Palestinian driver slammed his car into a concrete barrier at a hitchhiking post popular with IDF soldiers near a military post in the southern West Bank.”

2015(1st of Tevet, 5776): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

2015(1st of Tevet, 5776): Eighty-nine year old “Donald Weinstein, one of the pioneering postwar American historians who made the Italian Renaissance a premier area of study” passed away today in Tucson, Arizona

2015: In North Bethesda, MD, B’nai Israel Congregation is scheduled to host a meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington which will included a presentation by Barry Nove on “The Ellis Island Immigrant Experience.”

2015: US, Canadian, and Israeli envoys in Budapest joined a crowd of Jewish organizations today protesting the erection of a statute of Balint Homan “ an interwar period historian and politician, known for his eight volume history of Hungary, the drafting of the anti-Jewish laws adopted in Hungary, and his support of the German invasion of the USSR in 1941.

2015: Stage 48 is scheduled to host Dor Chadash and Hadag Nahash - one of Israel's most popular hip-hop bands - for an unforgettable Chanukah party!

2015: The 47th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies is scheduled to open at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, MA.

2015: Donald Burris is scheduled to deliver an address on “Unresolved Issues of the Twentieth Century - The Quest for the Repatriation of Nazi-Looted Art” at the 55th annual meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

2015: “In a lecture-concert, Orin Grossman (Fairfield University) and the artists of the Sidney Krum Concert Series are scheduled to explore three giants of American music and the Jewish influences on their work: Aaron Copland (1900-1990), George Gershwin (1898-1937), and Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).”

2015: Curator Shiri B. Sandler, U.S. director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, is scheduled to present a gallery talk in conjunction with the visiting exhibit A Town Known as Auschwitz at the Yiddish Book Center.

2016: The YIVO Institute is scheduled to present “The Yiddish Theatre in America and Poland Between the Two World Wars” during which “Scholar-in-Residence, Alyssa Quint, will share her impressions of YIVO’s vast Esther Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Archive and will offer insights about the colossal achievement of the trans-Atlantic interwar Yiddish stage, focusing on the most important theater centers in New York, Warsaw, Lodz, and Vilna.”

2016: The Foundation for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Historical Society are scheduled to present a screening of “Bulgarian Rhapsody,” that tells “a story of teenage love and friendship told against the backdrop of the Holocaust, which was Bulgaria's submission for the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film” as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2017: Janet Yellin , “the first woman to serve as the head of the Federal Reserve Board” is scheduled to preside over the Board’s “last meeting of the year.”

2017(25th of Kislev, 5778): As rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel, observance of the first day of Chanukah

2017(25th of Kislev, 5778): Eighty year old Bette Howland, a “recently re-discovered author” who was a protégé of Saul Bellow passed away today. (As reported by Neil Genzlinger)

2017(25th of Kislev, 5778) Eighty-four year old historian and author Gerald Tulchinsky passed away today in Kingston, Ontario.

2017: Ninety year old New Orleans born producer Martin Ranshoff who was responsible for one of the best movies ever – “The Americanization of Emily” – as well as some of the corniest sit-coms passed away today.

2017: Six13 and The Maccabeats are among the groups scheduled to perform at Temple Emanu-El Chanukah Party

2018: Thanks to support of the Stravinsky Institute Foundadtion and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Unique Voices: Songs and Piano Trios”  featuring the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

2018: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to host “The Holocaust and North Africa, during which “Dr. Boum, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCLA, and a native of Morocco, will discuss this little known, yet pivotal episode of the Holocaust, as it unfolded off the European continent across North Africa.”

2018: Prof. Anita Norich (2018-19 NEH Senior Scholar at CJH, University of Michigan) is scheduled to deliver keynote lecture, “If Not Now, When? Turning to Gender in Jewish Studies” as a part of the colloquium “The Gender Turn in Jewish Studies” at the New School.

2008: The world premiere of Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s new play, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, is scheduled to take place this evening at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre in New York this evening.

2018(5th of Tevet, 5779): Ninety-two year old “Noah Klieger, a journalist for the Yedioth Ahronoth daily and an Auschwitz survivor who wrote for decades about the Holocaust” passed away today.

2018: As Jews arise this morning, they can contemplate the dizzy events of the last twenty-four hours that included burial of “an infant boy” who had been delivered prematurely after his mother had been wounded in terrorist attack last weekend, the sentencing of Michael Cohen and the declaration by the rioters in France that Jews are the cause of all their woes (except in Salzburg where a Islamist gunman attacked the city’s famed Christmas market).

2019: In Boston, “the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative is scheduled to host “Growing up Jewish Indian: A Shabbat Experience with Siona Benjamin.”

2019: In Chicago, this evening, the URJ Biennial is scheduled to include Kabbalat Shabbat, followed by Shabbat Dinner and Song Session.

2019: In Boston, “Shabbat at TimeOut Market” is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

2019: It was reported today, that yesterday, Gurbir Grewal, the New Jersey Attorney General has said the attack on the kosher market in Jersey City “is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.”