Sunday, January 3, 2021

January 4

41: The Praetorian Guard killed the Roman Emperor Caligula.  Caligula is one of those vile figures whose behavior is dismissed as the acts of crazy person.  As far as the Jews are concerned, Caligula had no use for them as a people.  His attempts to have them worship his image led to anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria, among other places. His death avoided a collision between the Jews and Rome because Caligula had ordered that the Jews begin worshipping him as god at their Temple in Jerusalem.

1034: According to Yahia of Antiochia the port of' Akko fell dry for an hour and there was a Tsunami at Jaffa.

1248: Alfonso III whose mention of the Jews of Faro in the municipal establishes the antiquity of the community replaced Sancho II as King of Portugal.

1278(2nd of Shevat, 5038): Rabbi Isaac Males was burned at the stake by order of the Inquisition. A Jew who had converted to Christianity returned to Judaism.  When he died, he was buried in a Jewish cemetery by the Rabbi.  The Church felt the need to severely punish Males as a part of deterring converts to Judaism and encouraging those who had converted to Christianity to remain faithful to their new faith.

 1361: The aljama of Barcelona was pardoned by the king after it had "persuaded" a Muslim to convert to Judaism.  An aljama was the name given to self-governing Jewish communities in the kingdoms of Christian Spain.

1361: The aljama of Barcelona was pardoned by Peter, the King of Castile and Leon after it had "persuaded" a Muslim to convert to Judaism.  An aljama was the name given to self-governing Jewish communities in the kingdoms of Christian Spain.

1361): The aljama or “self-governing Jewish community” of Barcelona was pardoned by Peter, the King of Castile and Leon after it had "persuaded" a Muslim to convert to Judaism.  Peter’s rivals who favored pogroms and forced conversions ridiculed by call him “King of the Jews” – a term that must have had some reality since he executed “the anti-Jewish leaders of some of these riots.”

1559: The first critical edition of Hovot ha-Levavot by Rabbi Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquada was published in Mantua, Italy

1729(4th of Shevat, 5489) Hebrew poet Meir Bacharach, the brother of Michael Bacharach passed away at Presburg.

1754(10th of Tevet, 5514): Asara B’Tevet

1760(11th of Tevet, 5520): Abraham Joseph passed away today in London.

1766: In Germany, Madele Mathes Landau and Elias Guttman gave birth to Matthes Gutman, the husband of Hindle Rosenheim with whom he had six children.

1767: In Buchau, Rebekka and Joseph Einstein gave birth to Leopold Einstein, the husband of Roesle Salomon Joseph with whom he had had eleven children

1776: Aaron Hart, one of the earliest leaders of the Jewish community in Canada wrote Colonel James Livingston at Quebec wishing him “a happy new year” and asking his help in retrieving merchandize that has been stored with Edward Harrison.

1777(25th of Tevet, 5537) Parashat Shemot

1777: As Jews observe Shabbat, Americans get to bask in the glory of the victories at Trenton and Princeton which rejuvenated the Patriot Cause when it appeared to be doomed to defeat.

1786 (5th of Shevat, 5546): Moses Mendelssohn passed away at the age of 56.  Born in 1729 at Dessau Germany, Mendelssohn was leader of the movement to emancipate the Jews of Europe.  He argued for the separation of church and state.  At the same time he sought to prepare Jews for entrance into German society.  This included efforts to replace Yiddish with German as can be seen by his translation of the TaNaCh into German.  Mendelssohn himself was an observant Jew for his entire life.  Some view him as one of the fathers of what would become Reform Judaism. Mendelssohn’s descendants would forsake the religion of Mendelssohn and convert to Christianity as they sought acceptance in the world of German culture.

1794: In Philadelphia, Susanna Dunwoody and Daniel McKaraher gave birth to Elizabeth McKaraher who had five children with her first husband Louis Bomeisler after which she married George Murray.

1796: “Solomon Etting's name appears in the Advertiser as one of five persons authorized ‘to receive proposals in writing for a house or suitable lot’ for a bank to be established in Baltimore Town.”

1797: In Berlin, Jacob (Jehuda) Herz Beer and Amalie Beer gave birth to Wilhelm Wolff Beer

1802: In Paris, Chazzan Élie Halévy and his wife gave birth to Léon Halévy the French intellectual who converted so he could “marry the daughter of the architect Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and become assistant professor of French literature at the Ecole Polytechnique,

1803(10th of Tevet, 5563): Asara B’Tevet

1811: Hannah Jones and Samuel Phillips gave birth to Benjamin Samuel Phillips, the husband of Rachel Faudel and father of George Faudel-Phillips.

1813: One day after he had passed away, Abraham Isaacs was bried at the Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.

1814: Samuel Marx and Michle Brisac gave birth to Caroline Gungenhiem, the wife of Max Gungenheim

1821: In Rheinberg, Germany, Lehmann (Asher) Meyer Glückstein and Helena "Lena" Samuel Gluckstein gave birth to Samuel (Isaac) Henry Gluckstein, the husband of Hannah Coenraad Gluckstein and the brother of Henry Gluckstein with whom he began a cigar making business in England which he later turned into a cigar manufacturing jointly run with his son Isidore and Montague.

1822: Birthdate of Eugenia Pavia Gentilomo Fortis, the native of Milan who composed poetry in Italian and translated “medieval Hebrew poems” into Italian.

1822(11th of Tevet, 5582): Fourteen days before his 24th birthday, Baruch Jonas, the Devon, England born son of Annie Ezekiel and Benjamin Jonas the husband of Teresa Barbarin passed away today in New Orleans, LA.

1824: In Cincinnati, Ohio a group of approximately 20 Jews met “to consider the advisability of organizing a congregation.

1824: In London Sarah Nathan and Lazarus Samuel gave birth to Aaron Samuel, the husband of Phoebe Levy with whom he had twelve children.

1824: Two days after he had passed away, 31-year-old Samuel Emanuel was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.”

1826: Simon Simmons married Catherine Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

1830:  In Cincinnati, Ohio, a preliminary meeting was held by a group of Jews to consider the advisability of organizing a congregation.

1832: In Charleston, SC, Solomon Benjamin married Catherine Woolfe, the daughter of Rebecca Woolfe.

1838: Birthdate of Isabella Ascher, the wife of Portuguese native Abraham Bensabat and mother of Leonora and Evelina Bensabat.

1840: The first edition of Der Orient, “a German weekly founded by Julius Furst” was published today in Leipsic.

1840; In Kent, Ann Crawcourt and Reuben Alexander gave birth to Rachel Alexander.

1843: Birthdate of Prussian native Bernhard Daniels, the husband of Julia Kaatz Daniels with whom he had five children – Max, Julius, Minnie, Samuel and Hattie.

1843: Birthdate Bialystok native Kayhim, a resident of Jerusalem who “was a pioneer of the Yiddish press in Eretz Israel.”

1844: In Middlesex, Rebecca Hyams and Samuel Joseph gave birth to Bluma Joseph, the wife of Louis Joseph and the mother of Miriam, Isidore, Benjamin and Blanche Joseph.

1846: Birthdate of Fritz Emanuel Kohnstamm, the native of Bavaria who settled in London.

1847: Elizabeth Levi and Abraham Abrahams gave birth to Frances Jane Abrahams.

1850: Birthdate of Frederick Kohn, the native of Prague better known as the French author Paul d’Brest who married Fannie Sulzer, the wife of Viennese cantor Salomon Selzer in 1877.

1850: Birthdate of Joseph Haiem Donnenberg who was buried at the Happy Valley Jewish Cemetery in Hong Kong just days after his 64th birthday.

1855: Birthdate of Edward S. Rothschild, the native of Louisville who “is believed to have built the first sizable office building in San Francisco after the…earthquake” and who served as President of two New York banks – the Public National Bank and the Chelsea Exchange Bank formerly known as “The Bank of the Theatre.

1854: Shortly after Nathaniel Rothschild’s bar mitzvah in 1853, his mother, Charlotte today described her son as “being shy and nervous” which means he “is not appreciated in Society” and praised the “zeal” he had shown in studying for his Bar Mitzvah and for his study of German which she hoped would carry over into his study of French and English.

1857: In London, Rebecca Crawcour and Aaron Hart gave birth to Rosina Hart who was living in Australia at the time of her death.

1858: The New York Times published a very detailed article describing “the ‘jahrszeit’ or mortuary services” on the 4th anniversary of the death of Judah Touro held at the Green-street Synagogue “which were performed by the Gemelth Chased Society.” The article noted that “every man, woman and child Israel knew that…the anniversary of parent’s decease should be observed with prayer and fasting by his kindred.”  Since Touro had no children he would be denied such honor would be denied him; a reality that was offensive given the virtue and generosity of this self-made millionaire. So the community gathered to honor his memory with a service that included a sermon by Rabbi Raphall that included a biography of this wealthy businessman who had fought at the Battle Of New Orleans and who was a generous benefactor to a variety of Jewish and gentile causes and charities.  The service concluded with the Dr. Ritterman chanting in Hebrew, “a prayer for the soul of the deceased.”

1858: French author Mario Uchard wrote a letter to Victorien Sardou describing the final hours of the Rachel Felix, the Franc-Jewish actress known as Mademoiselle Rachel.

1858: Birthdate of Victor Léon the Jewish Austrian-Hungarian librettist best known for his work on the romantic operetta “The Merry Widow.

1860: In Stettin, Germany, “Carl and Marie (Neumann) Pietsch gave birth University of Chicago Professor Karl Pietsch, the husband of Elizabeth Pietsch and father of Ewald and Peter Pietsch

1861: Members of the New Orleans Jewish community heard an address delivered by Rabbi Bernard Illowy in Baltimore which resulted in their offering him a position in the Crescent City.

1861: As the storm clouds of the Civil War gathered, Morris J. Raphall, the Rabbi at B’Nai Jershrun in New York gave a sermon entitled “The Bible View of Slavery” in which he argued that the Bible did permit slavery.  This statement was popular with pro-slavery forces and erroneously stamped Raphall as being pro-slavery since he personally opposed what Southerners called “their peculiar institution.”

1862: Rabbi Arnold Fischel wrote a letter today describing his efforts to get Congress to pass legislation that would Jews to serve as Chaplains in the Union Army. The bill would remove the requirement that a chaplain be “of a Christian denomination” but will instead say the "the Chaplains must be of a religious denomination", which will open the office to Jews without offending the religious sensibilities of the Christians. He also asked that this news not be shared with the general public or with the newspapers since the matter has not been voted on by Congress.

1863: Today Congressman John A. Gurley arranged a meeting between Cesar J. Kaskel, and Abraham Lincoln regarding an order issued by Gen. Grant expelling Jews from Military Department of Tennessee. Bertram W. Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War

1863: Following the instructions of President Lincoln, General Halleck sent a telegram to General Grant calling for the immediate revocation of General Order 11.

1863: One day after she had passed away, 59 year old Priscilla Davis, the wife of Joel Davis and the mother of Murray Joel Davis was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.”

1865: The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City. The NYSE was founded in 1791.  Three Jews, Benjamin Mendes Seixas, Ephraim Hart and Alexander Zuntz, were among the original founders.

1867: Philadelphian Myer Asch, who had reached the rank of Colonel while serving with the Union Army during the Civil War was elected Post Quartermaster of the George G. Meade Post, Number 1, Grand Army of the Republic.

1867: One day after she had passed away, Rachel Angel, the wife of Daniel Angel with who she had had five children, was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1868: In Louisville, KY, Moses and Eleanor Bensinger gave birth to Benjamin Edward Bensinger, the husband of Rose Frank Bensinger and the father of Robert and Benjamin Bensinger.

1869: Baron George de Worms and Louisa de Samuel gave birth to Baron Anthony Denis Maruice George de Worms.

1869: La Périchole, “an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach” was performed in New York City for the first time today at Pike’s Opera House.

1872: In Baltimore, Rose Laura Sutro and Ottilie Sutro gave birth to their second daughter Ottilie who along with her sister Rose “were notable as one of the first recognized duo-piano teams.”

1875: “A Disappointed Russian wrote to the London Times to denounce last year’s proclamation of amnesty issued by the Russian government was a fraud.  Under the terms of the declaration anybody who not took part in an assassination plot were eligible to return.  The author’s only crime was leaving the country without a passport.  However, his application to return home was denied because, according to the Russian official in London, he was Jewish.  Furthermore, the Russian Consul asked the writer not to disclose the facts of the case.

1877: It was reported today that the Austrian Government will probably take decisive steps to ameliorate the suffering of Jews in Romania because some of the suffering Jews may actually be subjects of the Austrian Empire.

1878: Birthdate of Zvi Nishri, the native of Russia who made Aliyah in 1903 and became one of the “founding fathers” of modern physical education programs in Israel.

1878: A report published today that described the conflict between the Turks and the Russians described a plan being put forth by business leaders in London to check “Russian progress toward the Mediterranean” by having the Jews purchase Syria and Palestine from the Turks which would lead to “the establishment of a Jewish Kingdom or Republic under the guarantee of England and France.”  Reportedly the Jews of London and “several eminent Christians” support the idea. “The restoration of the Jews with the aid and under the patronage of a financial company, would at least be in keeping with the utilitarian spirit of the age.”

1880(20th of Tevet, 5640): Yaakov Abuhatzeira, also known as the Avir Yaakov and Abu Hasira,” a leading Moroccan Rabbi” passed away today in Egypt while on his way to Palestine. 

1882: Members of the Baruch family of Alexandria Egypt were released from jail and exonerated from ritual murder charges in the Fornaraki affair

1882: British political leader Ralph Bernal Osborne, the eldest son of an Anglo-Sephardic Jew who converted to Christianity, passed away today.

1883: Twenty-one old Israel Cowen, the Houston born son of “Bennett and Bertha (Semel) Cowen, the graduate of the Union College of Law began practicing today in Chicago, fourteen years before he Alma M. Desenberg.

1884: The Fabian Society is founded in London.  The society advocated socialist reform but by gradual, not revolutionary means.  Leonard Woolf an English Jew was one of the early members of this society of intellectuals derisively referred to as Parlor Pinks by left wing activists.

1889: Birthdate of Jacob Urdang, “a 1911 graduate of Long Island Hospital in Brooklyn, an intern at Sydenham Hospital from 1911 to 1913, a member of the orthopedic department of the United States Army from 1917 to 1919 and a member of the orthopedic staff of the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn from 1923 to 1940.”

1889: Twenty-three-year-old Charles Werner, the Polish born son of Aaron and Bessie Werner and MGM executive who made his home in St. Louis married Edna Korn today.

1890(12th of Tevet, 5650): Thirty-two-year-old Austrian physiologist Joseph Paneth, a friend of Sigmund Freud, passed away today in Vienna.


1891: “Matters We Ought To Know” published today provides a detailed review of How The Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York, the seminal work on this topic by social reformer Jacob A. Riis.  (When one considers the large number of Jews who would live in these tenements during the next three or four decades, the importance of this work to Jewish people should be self-obvious)

1892: R.D. MacLean played the role of Shylock the Jew in a performance of The Merchant of Venice produced by the MacLean-Presscott Company in New York.  The Merchant of Venice was the first play by Shakespeare performed in the Thirteen Colonies and its continued performance attests to the popular enjoyment of a play that portrays the Jew as the “moneylender.”

1892: The funeral for retired businessman and Jewish communal leader Jacob Goldsmith who is the stepfather of Alan L. Sanger is scheduled to be held at Temple Emanu-El.

1892: In New Orleans, LA, Rabbi Maximilian Heller and Ida Annie Heller gave birth to James G. Heller, the Tulane alum who gained famed as a musician and reform rabbi.

1894: “A special meeting of the Board of Alderman will be held today” to deal with the death of Adolph L. Sanger, the President of the Board of Education.

1894: Birthdate of Vicksburg native Samuel Lasker Erhman, the Columbia University trained lawyer and member of the Intercollegiate Menorah Association who served as President of Temple B’nai Israel in Little Rock, AR.

1894: It was reported today that one hundred Jews who have converted to Christianity have signed a protest that they will present to the New York Presbytery over the refusal to ordain Hermann Warszawiak.  Warszawiak is a convert and the petitioners express their displeasure he should be subjected to persecution and attack by Christians…from whom only brotherly love and kindness were due.”

1894: A reporter for the New York Times visited the headquarters of the United Hebrew Charities on Second Avenue in search of a reaction to Oliver Sumner Teall’s report that was highly critical of the work being done by charities in New York.

1894: “Want The Jewish Sabbath Observed” published today described efforts by rabbis in New York to improve the observance of the Jewish day of rest.  They plan to publish a list of all Jewish businesses that observe Shabbat so that those in search of work can know where they should go for a job if they are “observant.”  Among those take a leading role in the movement are Stephen S. Wise, Aaron Wise, Max Cohen, Moses Oettinger, Simon M. Roeder, Joan Weil, David M. Pizer and Abraham Neumark.

1896: Utah becomes the 45th state to join the Union.  According to Ralph Tannenbaum, Jews have been in Utah from its earliest days. “Julius and Gerson Brooks came to Salt Lake in July 1853 from Illinois, and their millinery establishment became the first Jewish business in the area. The earliest record of Jewish religious observance in the area is the celebration of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in 1864 at the home of one of the Jewish merchants. High Holyday (Rosh Hashonah [New Year] and Yom Kippur) services in 1867 were observed in the Seventies Hall at the invitation of Brigham Young. The Passover observance of 1876 was reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, which noted that the Jewish congregation of Salt Lake numbered some forty families. Jewish men were active in public life. Louis Cohn was elected as a member of the city council in 1874 and was reelected in 1882. The formation of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce in 1887 records the names of J.E. Bamberger, M.H. Lipman, Fred H. Auerbach, and several other prominent Jews. Although Moses Alexander of Idaho was elected as the first Jewish governor in the United States, it is still surprising to learn of the election two years later of Simon Bamberger as the governor of Utah in 1916. Governor Bamberger was the first non-Mormon governor of Utah.”

1896(18th of Tevet, 5656): In Philadelphia, PA, 45-year-old Levi Harris and 30 year old Marks Feinberg died in a fire at a tenement house on 3rd and Gaskill Streets.  Harris suffocated while marks died in the hospital from internal injuries suffered while trying to escape the burning building.

1896: Jacques Ochs, a Romanian Jew was arrested in Chicago today on charges that he had masterminded a swindle that had earned him over $50,000.

1896: Speaking in Russian and Hebrew, Dr. Adolph Rodin addressed a meeting of the City Vigilance League which was held at the Hebrew Institute. 

1896: At the Oakland Club in Chicago, Rabbi Joseph Stoltz officiated at the first services of Reform Congregation of Isaiah Temple

1896: It was reported today that McMillan & Co will be publishing Jewish Ideals and Other Essays by Joseph Jacobs which include chapters on “the Jewish diffusion of folks tales, the London Jewry, Mordecai of Daniel Deronda as typical Jews, Browning’s theology of the Jewish point of view, the solution other Jewish questions, the legends concerned with little St. Hugh of Lincoln and the poet Jehuda Halevi.

1897: It was reported today that those taking the competitive civil service examinations that will be given for the post of court interpreter may be fluent in any one of six languages including Hebrew (but not Yiddish).

1897: Two days after she had passed away, 61-year-old Esther Martin, the wife of Morris Martin, was buried today at the “Plashet Jewish Cemetery” in London.

1897: The Hebrew Technical Institute began using its new building today although the formal dedication will not take place until Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12.

1898(10th of Tevet, 5658): Asara B'Tevet

1898: It was reported today that State Supreme Court Judge William N. Cohen will speak at the upcoming meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1900: In a formal flag raising ceremony the United Kingdom assume the administration of Nigeria home to the Igbo Jews and Yoruba Jews, also known as the B’nai Ephraim.

1901: “The Bank of Berkley, a private institution conducted in Berkley by R.L.W. Brooks since 1897” which “was patronized largely by the small Jewish merchants of Berkley and South Norfolk” failed to open its doors today. (Editor’s note – this means the bank failed and the depositors probably lost all of their money in a pre-FDIC world.)

1902: After 128 performances on Broadway, “The Messenger,” a musical with “additional material and numbers by Paul Rubens” came to a close.

1902(25th of Tevet, 5662): Parashat Shemot

1902: “Religious News and Views” published today described the upcoming celebration the 25th anniversary of Rabbi F. De Sola Mendes’ service as the leader of Shaarai Tefillah Congregation, The West End Synagogue founded in 1869.

1902(25th of Tevet, 5662): Sixty-one-year-old Rabbi Adolph Moses passed away today in Louisville, KY.

1903: Herzl ends a four day visit to Edlach, his hometown.

.1903: In Wurttemberg, Ludwig Elser and Maria Muller gave birth to carpenter George Elser who was executed at Dachau after his plan to assassinate Hitler in 1939 failed.

1904: “Russian Consul Saves Jews” published today described how the intervention of the Russian Vice Counsul saved the Jews of Urmia from an attack by the Persian population

1904: Four days after he had passed away, Lewis Abraham, the Westminster, London, born son of Victor Abraham and Rebecca Levy, was buried today at “The Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery” in Cincinnati, OH.

1905: It was reported today that “Max Magilzinsky, or Max Magill, “who was at one time a Rabbi but has since join the Dowie Society, a Christian sect, has been sentenced to six months in jail after having been found guilty of a charge of general vagrancy and who had been accused of “carrying on a wholesale begging business through the mails.

1906: Telegrams received in London today announced that ninety thousand Russian Jews have emigrated to England “since the massacres began.” (Editor’s note: The massacres referred to are the pogroms that began with the revolution of 1905.)

1906: “According to the newspapers” in St. Petersburg “the government has forbidden the Jewish committees to distribute the relief funds without official supervision.”

1906: It was reported today that “the pupils of the public schools of New York City have contributed $3,484.33 for the relief of the sufferers from the Jewish massacres in Russia.”

1907: Birthdate of Krivozer, Russia native Yssak Gladstone who gained fame as an American “cantor, radio and concert singer.”

1908(1st of Shevat, 5668): Parashat Vaera; Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1908: “Jew Baiting in New York” published today commented on Rabbi Emil Hirsh of Chicago’s speech triggered by “attacks made upon Hebrews in Chicago” by saying that “there are some streets of this big, civilized and enlightened (New York) City where a Jew of the old school dare not  to pass without having his hat dented or crushed in, or spat on or suffer worse insults” and that “Jew, who has endued suffering and persecution of the last two thousand years, is averse to kill and thus be avenged upon his tormentors.

1908: “Although it is four weeks tonight, to a day since the Mount Royal sailed from Antwerp” for the port of St. John, Canada “with 804 Jewish immigrants” on board nothing has been heard of her and the officials of the line “fear that the vessel is drifting about the Atlantic in a helpless condition.

1909: The funeral of Louis A. Heinsheimer, who passed away on January 1st is scheduled to take place today at 9:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

1911: Eugene Foss, one of those who would speak publicly in favor of Leo Frank, was began serving as the 45th Governor of Massachusetts.

1912: In Muskegon, Michigan, Zara Strong and Harry J. Warner gave birth to Harriet Warner who gained fame as Riette Kahn, the author, artist and wife of author Albert Kahn.

1912: Thirty-year-old New York native Arthur Siegman, “a manufacturer of men’s neckwear” married “Beatrice Rosenzweig of Brooklyn: with whom he raised two daughter – Roselle and Dorothy.

1913: In Cologne, German, Boruch Chaim Dunner and Selma Dunner gave birth to the hared rabbi Josef Hirsch Dunner also known as “Harav Yosef Tzvi Halevi Dunner.”

1913(25th of Tevet, 5673): Eighty-year-old Werner D. Amram, the husband of Ester Hammerschlag and the father of Carrie Amram and attorney David W. Amram passed away today in Philadelphia, PA.

1913: It was reported today that in the wake of the announcement by Russian authorities that the Jews of Kiev are being expelled from that city, “the Jews of Kiev have transferred most their cash balances to Rmanian and Austrain banks so that an immediate effect of their expulsion would be two flood Moscow and Lodz manufacturers with bad debts involving thousands of smaller firms in the retail trade.”

1914: Today, in Carnegie Hall, at the Free Synagogue Dr. Stephen S. Wise delivered a sermon on “Ar the Morals and Manners of Our Time Decadent?” in which said, “My objection to so-called modern dancing arises out of the belief shared by many that it is only a phase of the widespread social deterioration which see about us” and that “one objects not merely to the new dancing, but to the very atmosphere of this newest type of so-called amusement or recreation which seems to be morally polluted.”

1914: Mrs. Charles H. Israels, head of the Committee on Amusement Resources for Working Girls said that “the tango is a beautiful dance, if it is danced beautifully.”

1915: “Duties of American Jews” published today provided Louis D. Brandies’ view that with “half the entire Jewish population of the world in the western zone of the European war” “the people of Israel are now suffering the greatest calamity since 1492” and that American Jews have “two obligations – to give quickly and generous to the aid of the war sufferers and to live up to the highest ideals of American democracy.”

1915: “Louis Marshall, Chairman of the American Jewish Relief Committee received a telegram from Secretary of State Bryan” today “saying that the expulsion program recently adopted by Turkey applies to Russian Jews who do not renounce the Czar and become Ottoman subjects and that Ambassador Morgenthau had cabled that while Jews in Turkey, who had not become Ottoman subjects had suffered no ill treatment.”

1915: A letter to the American Jewish War Relief Committee was made public today that came from Wolf Glucksin of Alexandria saying that “the fund for Jewish relief was being expended carefully and that that the authorities were warned from Constantinople to touch nothing that belongs to the American Fund.”

1915: “Jacob H. Schiff made public” today “a letter from the Jewish Relief Committee in Petrograd saying that the Petrograd committee was collecting funds: and that the public was responding satisfactorily.

1915: As of today, the American Jewish Relief Committee of which Felix M. Warburg has raised $276,566.35

1915: “British Dominions Pray For Victory” published today described how all denominations included the Jews have responded to King George’s call for special prayers of “intercession on behalf of the empire and its allies in this time of war.”

1915: In Ben Shemen, Itzhak Elazari Volcani and Sarah Krieger gave birth to microbiologist Benjamin Elazari Volcani who “discovered life in the Dead Sea.”

1915: Democrat Moses Alexander, 62, was sworn in as governor of Idaho. He was the first elected Jewish governor in the U.S.  He served two terms (1915-19).

1915: It was reported today that there were 300,000 Jews serving in the Russian army and ‘a total of 600,000 Jews” in all “the warring armies.”

1916(28th of Tevet, 5676): Seventy-year-old Tarnow, Austria native William Durst who served aboard the USS Monitor when she fought the CSA Merrimack at Hampton Roads, in the first naval battle fought by ironclads passed away today in Philadelphia.

1916: In New Haven, CT, Luba Newman and her husband gave birth to American conductor, pianist, and film and television composer Lionel Newman part of a distinguished family including brothers Alfred and Emil Newman and nephew Randy Newman.

1916: In Chicago, officers are scheduled to be elected at this afternoon’s business session of the Knights of Zion Convention

1916: In Vienna, the “West Austrian, Galician and Bukowinean Zionist Central Committee” adopted “resolutions expressing the hope that the Jewish question will be discussed at the Peace Congress…”

1916: The American Jewish Relief Committee received actual cash payments tonight totaling $798,007 and another $209,886 in pledges meaning that $1,007, 893 has been raised meaning another four million dollars has to be raised if the committee is to reach its goal of raising five million dollars to aid the Jews suffering in the European war zone.

1916: It was reported today that “The People’s Relief Committee” and “The American Committee” are planning another Tag Day because bad weather on the first Tag Day limited the amount collected.

1917(10th of Tevet, 5677): Asara B’Tevet

1917: Rabbi Moses Hyamson and Morris Engleman, the Financial Secretary of the Central Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers returned today to New York from Kansas City where they attended the wedding of Abraham J. Lewis and Sarah Appleman, during which the guests gave $7,000 “for Jewish War relief.”

1918(20th of Tevet, 5678): Seventy-nine-year-old “communal worker” Solomon Sulzberger passed today in New York.

1918: “The Zimreh Yoh Society” (Songs of God) “a new musical organization” with sixty members who have “assembled for the purposed of the rejuvenation and revival of the ancient lore” is scheduled to make its first appearance today in New York.

1918: In Zwolle, “the Netherlands Zionist Federation adopted a resolution expressing gratitude to British Government for its sympathetic attitude toward Zionism” and for the Balfour Declaration.

1918: “The Jewish Correspondence Bureau at the Hague” was informed that the German Zionist Conference adopted a resolution stating that “The German Zionist Association greets with satisfaction the fact that the British Government has recognized in an official declaration the right of the Jewish people to a national existence in Palestine.”

1918: Today, the Jews of Lithuania presented a memorandum to the Central Committee on relations between Jews and Letts” which included a call for “the recognition of the national rights of the Jewish minority…”

1918: In Leeds, the Vilna Synagogue was consecrated today.

1919: A memorandum dated with today’s date signed by Faisal said that he will agree to the implementation of the Balfour Declaration in Palestine provided that he is named ruler of Syria. Faisal wrote that any deviation from the agreement would nullify it in its entirety.

1919: Birthdate of Lester L. Wolfe a Democratic politician who represented two different Congressional districts from New York.

1920: French forces stationed at a fort near Metulla retreated northward after being attacked by Bedouins. With the defeat and retreat of the French army, the 120 members of the settlement of Metulla, all of whom were Jewish, fled to Sidon where they boarded a ship to Haifa.  Metulla was the northern most Jewish town in Eretz Israel having been settled in 1896. Since it was close to the border with Lebanon, which was under French control at the time, the retreat of French military forces would have left the Jews to the “tender mercies” of local, armed Arabs.

1921: Henry Solomon of New York City was re-elected as a member of the State Commission of Prisoners at Albany.

1921: Leon C. Wienstock of New York City was elected to serve as a member of the  State Commission of Prisons at Albany today.

1923: In Brooklyn, Abraham Kahan, a worker in the garment industry and his wife, the former Sylvia Brahinsky gave birth to Miriam Kahan who gained fame as Miriam Bienstock, the co-founder of Atlantic Records. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1923: As part of the Association of Reform Rabbis’ Lecture Series, Dr. Nathan Stern will speak on “The Exile to the Destruction of the Second Temple” at West End Synagogue in Manhattan.

1923: As part of the Association of Reform Rabbis’ Lecture Series, Dr. Rudolph Grossman will speak on “Hanukah and Purim” at the West End Synagogue.

1924: “What Is American Music?” published today described plans for Paul Whiteman’s upcoming concert at the Aeolian Hall which, according to the article, would include the works of two Jewish composers – a jazz concerto by George Gershwin and a “syncopated tone poem” by Irving Berlin.

1925: In Chicago, Maxwell Abbell, the Lodz, Poland born son of Morris and Frieda Abbeell, and his wife Fannie Abbell gave birth Sammy Harris Abbell

1928: “A Ship Comes” a film about immigrants coming to America with a script co-authored by Sonya Levien and starring Rudolph Schildrkraut” was related in the United States today.

1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Lord Burnham, the grandson of J.M. Levy, has sold the Daily Telegraph to the Berry Newspaper Group.

1931: In the United Kingdom, the first meeting of the executive committee of the newly formed United Hebrew Congregation met today.

1932: Establishment of the Harry Fischel Foundation which was later renamed the Harry and Jane Fischel Foundation.

1932 (25th of Tevet, 5692): Alexander Moses, former Governor of Idaho passed away at the age of 78,

1932: “The Pride of Company Three” a comedy starring Anton Walbrook and Eugen Burg was released in Germany today.

1933: As he moved to consolidate his power, Hitler and former Prime Minister Franz von Papen meet secretly to discuss Hitler’s future in the German government.

1934 (17th of Tevet, 5694): Samuel Sakier, a pioneer Jewish farmer in Palestine, where he took part in the student agrarian movement of the Biluim forty years ago, passed away.

1935: Pierre Laval, the French politician who will be the driving force behind Vichy France, met with Benito Mussolini for the first time

1936: Birthdate of American born Israeli computer scientist Shmuel Winograd whose many accomplishments including serving as the director of the Mathematical Sciences Department at IBM.

1936: “Diego von Bergen, Nazi Germany's ambassador to the Vatican, wrote a letter to German foreign minister Constantin von Neurath describing Pope Pius XI’s complaints about German violations of the Concordat with the Vatican.”

1937:  Solomon Levitan took office today as state treasurer of Wisconsin.

1937: In Berlin, “today the government disclosed that “all Jews were ousted from country clubs just before Christmas” and that “German Jews have been barred from Nazi golf clubs.”

1937: Senator Copeland of New York who came to Providence to “address Rhode Island Jewry regarding the situation in Palestine which he investigated last Summer” “charged that Great Britain has failed to make the Holy Land safe for the Jews because it ‘doesn’t suit her purpose’ in the Near and Far East.”

1937: “At the closed session of the Royal Commission of Inquiry…Lieut. Gen. J.G. Dill, commanding the British Forces in Palestine, submitted the plan for maintaining public security in the country in the event of further disturbances.” The commission is popularly known as the Peel Commission.

1937: Toscanini conducted a concert in Jerusalem for the second time.

1937: In Tacoma, Washington, Claire (née Portnoy) Friesen and Ben Friesen gave birth to Samile Diane Friesen, who gained fame as actress Dyan Cannon, the fourth wife of actor Cary Grant.  She was the mother of Grant's only child.  Thus the great matinee idol's sole offspring is Jewish.  Only in America!

1938: A decree issued today by “Adolf Hitler defines a Jewish business as one where: Jews own it, dominate it, or if form a majority on the corporate board” and starting next month “such companies will be ineligible for government contracts.”

1939(13th of Tevet, 5699): Max Joachim, the husband of Pauline Joachim and the father of the three “Ritz Brothers” passed away today.

1939: Hermann Goering appointed Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration.  This is a charming euphemism for moving Jews to what would be the chain of ghettos and death camps that would be known as the Final Solution.

1940: Birthdate of Brian D. Josephson winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973.

1940(23rd of Tevet, 5700): Lewis Cohen the native  Nagle, Germany native who at the age of 16 came to the United States where he “enlisted and served bravely with a New York regiment” during the Civil War, “engaged in the manufacture of cigars and settled in Bloomsberg, PA with his wife, “Flora (Alexander) Cohen” where they gave birth to Alexander, Lena, Esther, Eugene, Isadore and Joseph, the “physician and surgeon” as well as two youngster “who died in infancy” passed away today.

1940(23rd of Tevet, 5700): Producer and distributor Charles B. Mintz, the husband of Margaret J. Winkler and head of Winkler Pictures two of whose short subjects were nominated for Oscars passed away today.

1941(5th of Tevet, 5701): Eighty-one year old French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson and Nobel Prize winner passed away today in Paris.

1942 (15th of Tevet, 5702): At the age of 70, composer Leon Jessel was murdered by the Gestapo.

1943: Armed with only one gun and knife members of the Jewish Fighting Organization at Czestochowa resisted a ‘selection.' As a reprisal, the Germans shot 25 men. Czestochowa is a town in Poland famous for the “Black Madonna” and is scene of annual religious pilgrimages.  Sometimes, the Jewish view is a little different than the non-Jewish view of places and events.

1943 (27th of Tevet, 5703): Young members of the Jewish Fighting Organization are rounded up in Czestochowa, Poland. Its leader, Mendel Fiszlewicz, uses a hidden pistol to wound the German commander of the Aktion. Fiszlewicz and 25 other men are immediately shot, and 300 women and children from the group are deported to the Treblinka death camp and gassed.

1943: The SS administrative office instructs all concentration-camp commandants to send human hair taken from Jewish women to the firm of Alex Zink, Filzfabrik AG at Roth, Germany, near Nuremberg, for processing.

1944: “What’s Up” the “first Broadway collaboration of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner closed after only 63 performances.

1945 (19th of Tevet, 5705): Fritz Elsas, the Jewish mayor of Berlin until his arrest for alleged resistance activities in 1933, was executed at Sachsenhausen, Germany, after 12 years of imprisonment.

1945: Twenty-two-year-old U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Isadore Seigried, while serving with Company B, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment was mortally wounded today “while saving his company from annihilation at Flamierge, Belgium – an action for which he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, a joint British and American committee composed of six Americans and six Englishmen that was charged with examining the “political, economic and social conditions in Mandatory Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein” met in Washington, DC today.

1947: "Show Boat" closes at Ziegfeld Theater New York City NY after 417 performances.

1947: “The Shocking Miss Pilgrim” with songs composed by George and Ira Gershwin, produced by William Perlberg and music by Alfred Newman and David Raskin was released today in the United States.

1948: It was reported today that in Portsmouth, NH, the Unitarians and Universalists have accepted the offer by Temple Israel to use their building for worship services for their next three months while a new heating unit is being installed in their church.

1948: It was reported today that the United Palestine Appeal which spent $73,817,132 in 1947 will need almost 285 million dollars to carry out its mission in 1948 due to the decision of the United Nations to create an “independent Jewish state in Palestine.”

1949: Today, “the United Nations summoned its Chief True Supervisor, Brigadier General William E. Riley of the U.S. Marine Corps” to return to New York from Palestine so he could “make a complete report on the renewal of fighting in Palestine.”

1949: Today while the Egyptians are asserting the Gaza and Faluja and “other main Egyptian bases” are under Israeli attack, “the Israelis steeling are keeping battle news from this front secret.”

1949: “Israel Seeks Visitors, Especially Americans” published today described how “despite war conditions which prevailed during most of last year, Israel has kept its eye on the future and made very provision for possible for business visitors who are sure to come in large numbers when peace is assured.”

1950: “Israel’s Knesset gave the government a 62 to 28 vote of confidence on foreign policy tonight” which effectively gives approval to “peace negotiations with Jordan that would provide for recognition of Jordan’s sovereignty over the Arab-held part of Jerusalem and eastern Palestine.”

1955: The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold its first 1955 session at 3 p.m today where it will take up Israel’s complaint that Egypt is interfering with shipping in the Suez Canal to the determinate of Israel and those wishing to do business with her.

1955(10th of Tevet, 5715) Asara B’Tevet

1956: Announcement appeared today in the Seattle Times: “The first new Jewish congregation in Seattle in more than a generation will be launched with a service Friday evening...”

1958(12th of Tevet, 5718): Parahsat Vayechi

1958(12th of Tevet, 5718): Fifty-six-year-old self-taught painter and designer Barnette Freedman, the London born “London, the son of Louis Freedman, a journeyman tailor, and Reiza Ruk, Jewish immigrants from Russia” whose first “major commission” had a Jewish connection since it was to
design and illustrate Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon, son of Alfred Sassoon part of the Baghdad Sassoon clan, passed away today.,-1946/barnett-freedman

1959: Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Halpern of New York announced the engagement of the daughter Libby Shana Halpern, a junior at Barnard to Columbia trained engineer Alan Noel Miller, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Z. Miller.

1960: “The Closing Door” produced by David Susskind with George Segal in the role of “Don” was broadcast today as The Play of the Week.

1961: Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger who “in 1935, after extensive correspondence with Albert Einstein, proposed what is now called the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment” passed away. In 1934, he left Germany because “he disliked the Nazis’ anti-Semitismi” but recanted his position when the Nazis annexed Austria, an act for which he personally apologized to Einstein, after he fled Austria and was beyond the grasp of the Germans.

1962: Today, Doubleday will issue “The Man Who Played God,” a novel about a man who bargains with the Nazis for a few thousand Jewish lives and is tried for collaboration after the war.

1963: Levi “Oland joined the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr at a poll tax rally at the Fair Park Auditorium

1964: In a series of first Pope Paul VI became the first Pope to fly in a plane, the first Pope to leave Italy in more than a century and the first Pope to visit “the Holy Land” when he began his trip to Israel and Jordan today.

1964: Birthdate of Michael Brenner, the German born son of Holocaust survivor and award-winning historian specializing topics related to Jews and Israel.

1965(1st of Shevat, 5225): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

1966(12th of Tevet, 5726): Seventy-four-year-old French attorney and supporter of Charles de Gaulle Henri Torres, the son of Berthe Torres and the grandson of Isaiah Levaillant, the founder of “the League for the Defense of Human and Civil Affairs during the Dreyfus Affair, the decorated WW I veteran who defended Samuel Schwartzbard in his historic 1927 murder trial and was forced to flee France during the Second War passed away today.

1968(4th of Tevet, 5728): Fifty-eight-year-old State Supreme court Justice and longtime chairman of the King’s County Republican organization Theodore D. Ostrow, the Brooklyn born son of Simon and Mamie Ostrow and St. John’s Law School trained attorney who “led state investigations of abuses by cemetery operators and black marketing of cigarettes during World War “and who with his wife Marcia had two sons – Marc and Steven -- passed away tonight of an apparent heart attack.

1969: After 756 performances the curtain came down on “You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running” with cast that, over time, included Martin Balsam and Larry Blyden.

1970: Abba Eban published an appeal for peace between Israel and the Arab states in the London Sunday Times following an Arab summit in the Moroccan city of Rabat.

1972: Having left the HaOlam HaZeh – Koah Hadash political movement in 1971, today Shalom Cohen began sitting as in independent in the Knesset. Born in Baghdad in 1926, Cohen made Aliyah in 1946 where he joined kibbutz Nahshonim. “During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War he was part of the Samson's Foxes commando unit in the Givati Brigade.” In 1950, Cohen and Uri Avnery bought the HaOlam HaZeh weekly magazine, which he remained an editor of until 1971. “He joined the Black Panthers in 1971 and served as their secretary general until 1977. Between 1971 and 1977 he was also a member of the Histadrut's executive committee. In the 1977 elections he ran as part of the Hofesh party together with Yehoshua Peretz. However, it failed to cross the electoral threshold. He later worked as a journalist for the French language paper Le Matin. He died in 1993.”

1972: Rose Heilbron became the first woman judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London. The daughter of a Jewish hotelier, Rose Heilbron was born in Liverpool on August 19, 1914, and educated at Belvedere School and Liverpool University, where she took the top First in Law. Called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1939, she began practicing on the Northern Circuit from chambers in Liverpool. Dame Rose Heilbron was one of the most celebrated defense barristers of the post-war years; no woman before her enjoyed anything like her success rate at the criminal Bar, and she later became only the second woman to be appointed a High Court judge. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 91.

1973: “The Grand Music Hall of Israel” is scheduled to open at the Felt Forum.

1974(10th of Tevet, 5734): Asara B'Tevet

1974: “Twenty-eight Jews from Vilnius” sent a “letter to the Supreme Soviet” demanding passage of a “law guaranteeing the right unhindered emigration.”

1974: Howard Metzenbaum began serving as a U.S. Senator from Ohio.

1975: A Broadway revival of “Gypsy” closed at New York’s Winter Garden Theatre.

1975: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers” a sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns.

1975(22nd of Tevet, 5735): Eighty-eight-year-old Russian born and Fordham University trained physician Dr, Samuel Silveberg, the retired president of the Sterling Magnesia Company and former Chairman of the Jewish Socialist Farband who was the husband of Sarah Silverberg and father of Dorothy Weber was passed away today in Tucson, AZ.

1975 (22nd of Tevet, 5735): Seventy-two-year-old Carlo Levi, the Turin born son Dr. Ercole Lev and Annetta Treves and nephew of socialist leader of Claudio Treves the Italian writer and painter who was trained as a doctor and was an anti-Fascist leader in Italy during the 1930’s passed away today.

1976: “Home Sweet Homer” a Mitch Leigh musical opened this afternoon at the Palace Theatre and became one of the biggest flops on Broadway when “the closing notice was posed as soon as the curtain” came down on the production.

1978: When PLO official Said Hammami was shot and killed today in London, those suspected of responsibility were Mossad and the Abu Nidal Organization.

1979(5th of Tevet, 5739): Eighty-one-year-old Hungarian born English director, Vincent Korda, the younger brother of Alexander and Zoltán Korda passed away today.

1981 In New York at The Jewish Museum of Andy Warhol: Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century comes to a close.

1981(28th of Tevet, 5741): Yehuda L. Rabin, an aircraft company executive and one of the founders of the Israeli Air Force, died of a heart attack today while seeing a friend off at Kennedy International Airport. He was 64 years old and lived in Manhattan.

1983 (19th of Tevet, 5743): New York Congressman Benjamin Stanley Rosenthal passed away.

1985: As of today, since November 20, 1984, 6,500 Ethiopian Jews have secretly made their way to Israel as part of Operation Moses.

1987: In “The Istanbul Synagogue Massacre” published today Judith Miller described the inter-locking terrorist networks that were responsible for the attack on the Neve Shalom Synagogue.  The Arab terrorists killed 22 worshippers before setting the building ablaze by detonating grenades. [Reading this article for 35 years later makes it clear that authorities knew a lot about terrorists and terrorism which means that 9/11 should not have as such a surprise.]

1987: An Israeli gunboat stopped a Cypriot ferry bound for Lebanon today. The officials in the Lebanese port of Junieh said the ferry, the Empress, was stopped off the Lebanese coast. The Israeli gunboat allowed it to proceed after being told that only crewmen were aboard, they said.

1988(14th of Tevet, 5748): Ninety-four-year-old award winning harpist passed away today in Paris.

1989: In Los Angeles, Mike and Wendy Pillar gave birth to All-American college baseball player Kevin Pillar who began his Major League career as an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013.

1991: With most tourists staying away from Israel because of the Persian Gulf crisis, the country's two major museums have had to lay off employees and cut back operations. "There are almost no tourists coming to Israel," said Nissim Tal, the deputy director of the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. Mr. Tal said the number of tourists visiting the museum was only a fifth of the usual number. As a result, the museum has dismissed 15 percent of its employees, including a few tenured staff members, to help reduce its $4.2 million budget. "We hope the situation will stabilize shortly," Mr. Tal said.

1991(18th of Tevet, 5751): Eighty-one-year-old screenwriter Richard Maibum passed away today.

1991(18th of Tevet, 5751): Eighty-seven-year Louis Cohen, the old rare books expert and founder of the Argosy Book Shop passed away today. (As reported by Stephanie Strom)

1995(3rd of Shevat, 5755): Eighty-seven year old Sol Tax, the Milwaukee  born son of Morris and Kate Tax who earned a Doctorate from the University of Chicago, founded “Current Anthropology”  and received the Franz Boas Award from the American Anthropological Association passed away today.


1995(3rd of Shevat, 5755): Eighty-one-year-old “Victor Riesel, the crusading syndicated labor columnist who was blinded by an acid attack in 1956, died today at his home in Manhattan. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

1998: The New York Times book section featured a review of Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha C. Nussbaum who would become a Bat Mitzvah ten and a half years later in August, 2008.

1999: “Gunmen opened fire this morning on a van transporting Jewish settlers in Hebron, wounding two Israeli women as two dozen bullets riddled the vehicle.”

2000: In “A New Armageddon Erupts Over Ancient Battlefield; Archaeological Finds Challenge Chronologies of the Israelites,” published today John Noble Wilford describes how work at this ancient site is being used by Dr. Israel Finkelstein and his associate to challenge the timelines presented in the Bible as well as the historic accuracy of the Biblical narrative.

2001: “The authorities raided a Brooklyn community center today run by followers of Rabbi Meir David Kahane, the Israeli politician assassinated in 1990, whose movements are designated as foreign terrorist groups by the State Department.”

2002: The MV Karine A, a Palestinian ship loaded with 50 tons of arms including rockets and missiles which the Israeli Navy had seized during the intifada was brought to Eilat.

2002: The Israeli Army said today that it had seized a ship carrying 50 tons of rockets, mines, antitank missiles and other munitions meant for Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority, even as the Bush administration's envoy met with Mr. Arafat in the hope of strengthening his declared cease-fire with Israel.

2003(1st of Shevat, 5763): Rosh Chodesh Shevat

2003(1st of Shevat, 5763): Seventy-nine-year-old violinist Yfra Neaman, the Lebanese son of Jewish parents from Palestine, passed away today.

2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Hegemony or Survival America's Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky and a newly release paperback edition of Welcome to Heavenly Heights, by Risa Miller which tells the story of an Orthodox couple from Baltimore, responding to their longing for the holy city of Jerusalem who relocate to a heavily guarded settlement in the West Bank, where they confront the vast abyss between contemporary Israel and the ideals of their spiritual life.

2004: The funeral of 90-year-old Joseph Nathan Polstein, the father of Ernest Polstein and Meri Grumbacher and the brother of Ruth Sirota of Jerusalem is scheduled to take place this afternoon in Hewlett, NY.

2005: It was announced today that Mark Lehrman has been appointed director of YU’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. Mr. Lehrman has been at the university’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Israel since 1995 where he was most recently assistant director of admissions. In the past decade, he has led YU’s recruitment efforts in Israel and has helped bring about a significant increase in enrollment in the Israel Program

2005: Joshua Shaprio began serving as a “Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 153rd District” today.

2005: The 2-day international "Bridge Between Judaism and Islam" conference held at Bar-Ilan University comes to a conclusion. 

2005(23rd of Tevet, 5765): Eighty-five-year-old American economist Robert Heilbroner, the author of some twenty books, best known for The Worldly Philosophers published in 1953, which is a survey of the lives and contributions of famous economists, notably Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes passed away today.

2006, Rabbi Yaaqov Medan and Rabbi Baruch Gigi were officially invested as co-roshei yeshiva alongside Rav Amital and Rav Lichtenstein, with an eye toward Rabbi Amital's intention to retire.

2006 (4th of Tevet, 5766): Milton Himmelfarb who coined the aphorism on the Jewish community's political persuasions: "Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans” passed away at the age of 87 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

2006: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage at Havat Shimim and collapses into a coma.

2006: Ehud Olmert assumes the duties of the Prime Minister after Prime Minister Sharon suffered his second stroke.

2007: Representative Bob Filner began serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

2007: The 108th Congress is sworn in. Of the 43 Jewish members of Congress, there is only one Jewish Republican in the House and two in the Senate The number of Jews in the Senate will rise from 10 to 11. The number of Jews in the House of Representatives will remain at 26.

2007: Max “Kampelman served as a motivating forced the op-ed ‘A World Free of Nuclear Weapons’ published today in the Wall Street Journal

2008: Israeli officials reported that they they had uncovered an arms cache in the West Bank city of Nablus last night that contained explosives, military equipment and materials for manufacturing rockets. At least one rocket was found in an early stage of production.

2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman and Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds by Joel L. Kraemer

2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers that have recently been published in paperback editions including: Linda Grant’s The Clothes on Their Backs in which the protagonist is a London woman whose parents, Hungarian Jewish refugees, have always been secretive about their past Ehud Havazelet’s Bearing the Body in which a medical resident, accompanied by his father, a grumpy Holocaust survivor, travels to San Francisco to investigate the life and death of his older brother, a drug-addicted former ’60s radical and Suzanne Braun’s Bella Abzug, an oral history of “the feisty feminist New York congresswoman.”

2009: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” a new musical stage reinvention of the classic film, completed a limited engagement on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre in New York City.

2009: An exhibition at the Jewish Museum titled “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World” comes to an end.

2009: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia arrived Sunday in Israel to show solidarity with Israel’s besieged southern residents. The three men are scheduled to tour the rocket-battered cities of Sderot and Ashkelon today.

2009: Helen Suzman, who spearheaded the battle against apartheid in South Africa's parliament, was buried in a private Jewish ceremony at Johannesburg's Westpark Cemetery.

2009: Three men charged with involvement in a deadly synagogue bombing in Tunisia went on trial today in Paris in a case expected to highlight the reach and complexity of al-Qaida-linked networks in North Africa.

2009(8 Tevet 5769): Sergeant Dvir Emmanueloff, 22, was killed during a firefight in northern Gaza's densely populated Jabalya refugee camp today. He was the first fatality suffered by Israel since it launched the ground operation on Saturday. Emmanueloff, who served in the Israel Defense Forces Golani infantry brigade, was a resident of Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem. He was laid to rest late Sunday at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery. Emmanueloff was a graduate of a Jewish seminary in the southern town of Netivot. He had been set to complete his compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces in six months' time. The 22-year-old had recently been serving as an instructor at the IDF academy for squad leaders, away from the front, and had fought to rejoin the Golani infantry brigade in order to participate in operations.

2009(8 Tevet 5769): Gregory Sher, a Private serving in the Australian Army was killed in a rocket attack on a military compound southwest of Kabul. Sher is the eighth Australian soldier, and the first of the country's reservists, killed in Afghanistan since Australia sent forces to aid the United States-led coalition against the Taliban and al-Qaida in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He is believed to be Australia's first Jewish military casualty at least since the Vietnam War.

2010: Three Palestinian men were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a stabbing attack. The men, from Hebron, were arrested today near the Jaffa Gate with a knife in their possession. They told police later that they planned to stab a security officer or a Jewish person. Also today, two Palestinians carrying knives were stopped at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, according to the Israeli army. They were detained for questioning. 

2010: In New York Israeli violinist Sergey Ostrovsky and Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, together with the Jupiter musicians, perform the Janacek Concertino and Dvorak’s beloved “American” String Quartet. 

2010: Yisrael Bar Kochav's new book Shmu'ot (Rumors) is celebrated at Mishkenot Sha'ananim.

2010: Beit Avi Chai's Music on Monday’s series presents Guitar virtuoso Ofer Amar in a wonderful acoustic performance that combines world music, flamenco, and ethnic jazz.

2010: Yitta Schwartz of Kiryas Joel in New York was buried this morning. The 94-year-old Holocaust survivor left behind at least 2,500 descendants. She had five generations of descendants. Schwartz survived Bergen Belsen, leaving the concentration camp with her family intact when World War II ended in 1945. Schwartz, her husband and six children moved to Antwerp and then Belgium before settling in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the Times Herald-Record reported. The Schwartzes had 11 more children following the war. Her husband died 33 years ago. Schwartz, who reportedly was reluctant to talk about the Holocaust, had about 170 grandchildren -- and knew all their names.

2010: In Israel, the National Insurance Institute reported today that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped four percent in December. 

2011: Prof. Howard N. Lupovitch is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Hillel’s World” at Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield, Michigan

2011: In “Calling Steven Cohen. No, Not That One” published today, Joseph Berger sought to distinguish between some of the many men with that common Jewish name, including Steven A. Cohen, Steven M. Cohen, Stephen F. Cohen and more.

2011: The Jerusalem Theatre is schedule to present “Sheindale,” an “Amnon Levy and Rami Danon play about the ultra-Orthodox society, its fine line between tradition and profess and its attitude towards women.

2011: Israeli greenhouses on a farm near Ashkelon sustained damage from a terrorist rocket fired from Gaza today, and the Air Force responded by bombing a Hamas training base.

2011: About 20 Israeli suppliers will help build the first modern Palestinian city in the West Bank but only after promising they will not use products or services from Israeli settlements, the project’s developer said today. The announcement angered Israeli residents of the West Bank, who accused the suppliers of caving in to an international boycott of settlement goods and businesses.

2012: “When Jews Lived in the Muslim Quarter,” an English Walking Tour that will help participants to discover what life was like when Jews lived in the Muslim Quarter is scheduled to begin at 9:30 this morning.

2012: A comedy entitled “The Religion Thing” is scheduled to have its world premiere at Theatre J, part of the DCJCC.

2012: Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) warned that ties between Jews in the Diaspora and their Israeli counterparts are weakening, in today’s meeting with US Senator Joe Lieberman in Jerusalem. Livni cited recent "radical legislation" in the Knesset, religious extremism causing discrimination against women, Jewish violence against IDF soldiers and "price tag" attacks carried out by right-wing activists as reasons for the tension. These events, she explained, "make it difficult for [Jews in the Diaspora] to defend Israel."

2012: Police arrested two terrorists at different locations this morning and prevented intended attacks on Be’er Sheva residents.

2013: Rabbi Joshua Plaut and cantorial soloist Leah Tehrani as scheduled to lead “Golden Shabbat” services at Metropolitan Synagogue which are inteneded to honor “elder members” of the community.

2013: Gesher City is scheduled to sponsor “SPY Shabbat”

2013(22nd of Tevet, 5773): Ninety-year-old philanthropist Celeste Bartos, who with her husband Armand Phillip Bartos, shaped the cultural landscape of New York, passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2013: “Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: The Reform movement's international umbrella announced plans to open a large community center in Kiev later this year.

2013: “Into the Wilderness” published today provided a detailed review of The Barbarous Years by Bernard Baylin.

2013: Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a mass shooting in her Arizona district two years ago, met with Newtown officials on Friday afternoon before heading to visit with families of the victims of last month’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre

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2014: B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim on Lake Cook Road is scheduled to host a free concert featuring “local band Shakshuka and Kol Echad, an a capella group” made up of students from Boston University.

2014:”Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey” an example that “seeks to illuminate Herod’s story – his reign and his role in the history of the region – through a display of the archaeological remains of the architecture he created and the art and artifacts that surrounded his royal life” at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is scheduled to come to an end today.

2014: In Jerusalem, the Eden-Tamir Music Center a musical “New Year’s Celebration.”

2014: “Last Vegas” and “Enough Said” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2014: After Shabbat, Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids is scheduled to host a special performance by members Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

2014: “Happy New Year Shabbat” marks the start of the 13th consecutive year of the Traditional Shabbat Monthly Minyan at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids – an event that owes its creation to the vision of Deb Levin

2014: Efforts continued today despite the fact that it was Shabbat to find developer Menachem Stark the Hasidic millionaire real estate developer “who was reportedly kidnapped outside his Brooklyn office.”

2014: “Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards reaching a framework peace agreement, but they are not there yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters” today. (As reported by Eilor Levy)

2014: The funeral for Menachem Stark, the Hasidic millionaire whose body had been found in a dumpster yesterday after he had been kidnapped was held at Lodiner Bais Medrash on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Falling Out of Time by David Grossman and Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman

2015: In Atlanta, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is scheduled to host Holocaust Survivor Henry Friedman as part of its “Bearing Witness” program.

2015: The Jewish Museum of London is scheduled to host a screening of 'Abram Games: Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means'

2015: “An alarm system that will detect incoming mortar fire will be installed in Gaza border communities within three to six months, Channel 10 reported today.” (As reported by Marissa Newman)

2015: “Investigators pursuing a major fraud scandal involving key members of the Yisrael Beytenu party found NIS 13 million ($3.3 million) in the bank account of lobbyist Yisrael Yehoshua a close acquaintance of party leader Avigdor Liberman, Hebrew-language media reported today.” (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2016: Funeral services are scheduled to be held this morning at Agudas Achim for Kent Braverman

2016: “La Condanna” and “The Tenor” are scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

2016: American Airlines last flight from the United States to Israel is scheduled for today when a plane takes off from Philadelphia bound for Tel Aviv.

2016: Atri Michael Signer, who had to deal with a murderous White-Supremacist/Neo-Nazi March was elected by the Charlottesville City Council today to serve as the city’s mayor.

2016: Yael, “a French/Israeli singer/songwriter and her Argentinian partner are scheduled to perform at Radegast Hall in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

2017: “Macy’s announced that it would closing its store at Hayden Run, a mall developed by Taubman centers.

2017: Just days after the last glow of the Chanukah lights, in Memphis, TN, Temple Israel is scheduled to begin rehearsals for its annual Purimspiel.

2017: At Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Adam Benzine is scheduled to discuss the making of “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah.”

2017: In Cedar Rapids, IA, the Hadassah Book Club is scheduled to discuss The Jazz Palace, a novel set in Chicago of the 1920’s by Mary Morris.

2017: Israelis are making reportedly making alternative travel plans due to “a one-day ‘warning strike’” called by Histadrut for today as well as scheduled closure of train lines today “due to infrastructure work.”

2018(17th of Tevet, 5778): Eighty-five-year-old Romanian born Holocaust survivor Aharon Appelfeld, the world class Israeli novelist passed away today in Petah Tikvah. (As reported by Joseph Berger)

2018:  Paul G. Weintraub is scheduled to offer another session of “Introduction to Judaism” at the Streicker Center.

2019: As the United States government continues to endure a “partial” shutdown with workers not being paid, the U.S. Holocaust Museum is scheduled to be open today. (Editors’ note – the matter of not paying workers would seem not to be in sync with Leviticus 19:13)

2019: In Rochester, NY, the Jewish community is scheduled to offer a fun-filled day starting with Challah Baking at Temple Emanu-El followed by the JULIETS (Jewish Unforgettable Ladies Interested In Eating And Talking) “casual drop-in lunch at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center.

2019(27th of Tevet, 5779): On the Jewish calendar Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch

2020(7th of Tevet, 5780: Parashat Vayigash;

2020: Tulane University, the home of Tulane Department of Jewish Studies and Dr. Brian Horowitz, is scheduled to play in today’s Armed Forces Bowl

(Editor’s note: This makes into the blog because, much to the dismay of the university, the author of this meager effort actually graduated from the home of the Green Wave.)

2020: Lincoln Square Synagogue and Congregation Shearith Israel are scheduled to present a screening of “Children of the Inquisition,” a film about the experiences of Sephardi Jews after the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions, followed by a talk by Rabbi Marc Angel, author, director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals and rabbi emeritus of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.

2020: “The eighth annual Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Temple Judah Preview Concert is scheduled to take place this evening.

2020: Today, on the same day that funerals are being held in Baghdad for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and his allies for whom Hamas has offered its “sincerest condolences” Israel has reportedly closed the Mount Hermon ski resort in the wake of Hezbollah’s call for “resistance the world over.”

2021: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present “discussion of the political system of modern Russia and its significance to the world by Russian politician and economist Grigory Yavlinsky. Yavlinksy will address the history of how and why Russia came to be as it is now, the current Russian political system and how it works, and the future of autocracy in Russia.”

2021: Temple Judea’s Book Club led by Marah Kurh is scheduled to meet over zoom to discuss George O’Keefe: A Life by Roxana Robinson, Georgia by Dawn Trip and Foursome: Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Strand and Rebecca Salisbury.

2021: In Cedar Rapids, at Temple Judah, deadline “to register for Together and Apart: The Future of Jewish Peoplehood.”

2021 Rabbi Daniel Sherman is scheduled to officiate at the graveside funeral service for ninety-seven-year-old Myra Soboloff, the Minneapolis born holder of a M.A. from The Tulane School of Social Worker and widow of Dr. Hyman R. Soboloff who was a longtime, dedicated member of Temple Sinai and recipient of “the Hannah G. Solomon Award from the National Council of Jewish Women.

2021: Israelis are confronted with mixed Pandemic messages as the media reports that the country leads the world in per capita inoculations while “the heads of hospitals in Israel” are “expressing concern over the rise in hospitalization for COVID-19 patients” and urging “the government to take further health mitigation measures.” (As reported by Adir Yanko)