This Day, December 4, In Jewish History by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z"L


December 4

771: King Carloman
dies, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the entire Frankish Kingdom.  Following the death of their father, King
Pepin the Short, the two brothers had each ruled a portion of the realm.  The sharing was not…

December 4

771: King Carloman dies, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the entire Frankish Kingdom.  Following the death of their father, King Pepin the Short, the two brothers had each ruled a portion of the realm.  The sharing was not a peaceful process.  For once the consolidation of political power in the hands of one monarch worked to the advantage of the Jewish people since Charlemagne was favorably disposed to his Jewish subjects even to the point of willingly defying the edicts of powerful prelates.

1075: Anno II, the Archbishop of Cologne passed away, an event reported to have been lamented by the Jews who lived in a Jewish Quarter first mentioned during his episcopate.

1110: The Syrian harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrendered to Crusaders.  The Crusader success would prove to be only temporary. Sidon was one of the original Phoenician trading cities and it is the same Sidon from which Hezbollah launched rockets into Israel in the summer of 2006. 

1197: During the Third Crusade, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymous of Worms were murdered and his was mortally wounded.  Born in 1165 in Germany, Rabbi Eleazar was “a Kabbalist, Halachic scholar and religious poet. In Sefer ha Hokhmah (The Book of Wisdom) he described the loneliness he felt after the death of his family and his teacher Judah he-Hasid.  He passed away in 1230, leaving behind a body of writings that has influenced Kabbalists down to our own times.   

1259: Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels. There was nothing positive in this for the Jews in this.  Louis IX attacked the financial well-being of his Jewish subjects, going so far as to expel them as a way of financing the Seventh Crusade. He also burnt 12,000 Jewish books including copies of the Talmud.  Henry also attacked the financial well-being of his Jewish subjects, milking them for all they were worth.  When the Jews sought to leave his kingdom, he stopped them as a way of protecting a valued source of tax revenue.

1334: John XXII, the second of the Avignon Popes passed away.  Sangisa, the sister of John XXII, urged her brother to ban the Jews from Rome.  At first, he ignored her.  But finally, in 1321, He gave in and issued an order of expulsion. The Jews responded with fasting and “fervent prayers.  At a more practical level, they turned to King of Robert of Naples for support and sent a delegation to Avignon with 20,000 ducats for the Pope.  This combination of divine and temporal intervention worked since the Jews were allowed to remain in Rome.

1489: The Spanish army captured Baza from the Moors. The Battle of Baza was part of the lengthy conflict between the Catholics and the Moors.  Slowly but surely, they were driving the Moslems of Spain back across the Mediterranean to North Africa from whence they had come over seven hundred years before.    Within 3 years, the Moors would be driven from the Iberian Peninsula and Spain would be united as a Catholic Kingdom.  This would lead to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

1539(13th of Kislev, 5300): On December 4, the Ottoman Sultan known as Suleiman the Magnificent occupied Baghdad which meant an improvement for the condition of the Jews who had suffered during the Mongol period. During his reign Suleiman welcomed the Jews fleeing from the effects of expulsion from Spain and Portugal and encouraged them to settle in Palestine.  His rebuilding program in Jerusalem showed a sympathy and respect for Jewish history and culture.  His willingness to employ a Jew as his personal physician   and to use Don Joseph Nasi and Gracia Mendes Nasi as advisors demonstrated the extent to which Jews had found a haven and home in the lands of Suleiman, who for the Jews, was truly magnificent.

1629(29th of Kislev, 5390): Madeira Island native Jacob Israel Belmont, who along with “Jacob Tirado and Solomon Palache” was “one of the founders of the Portuguese-Jewish Community of Amsterdam and husband of “Simḥah (Gimar) Vaz” passed away today,

1642: Cardinal Richelieu, the “power behind the throne” during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV passed away.  The decrees issued in their name were probably the product of this churchman turned “chancellor” including Louis XIII reaffirmation issued in April, 1615 of the ban on Jews living in France and Louis XIV’s declaration granting the Jews of Metz the right to conduct business after the French took the city in 1632.

1647(17th of Kislev, 5408): Madeira Island native Jacob Israel Belmont, the husband of Simha (Gimar) Vaz and the father of Moses Belmont who came to Amsterdam in 1614 where he helped to found the Portuguese Jewish community with Jacob Tirado and Solomon Palache passed away today.

1655: Today, “following the arrival in London of Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel from Amsterdam and his petition to the Council of State on behalf of the ‘Hebrew Nation,’ a conference was begun at Whitehall to discuss the readmission of Jews to England after a supposed absence of 365 years.”

1655: Oliver Cromwell convened a gathering of English notables at Whitehall to decide if the Jews should be readmitted to England.  Cromwell was a strong proponent of readmission as were most of Cromwell’s military and government leaders. Members of the Millenarian and Sabbatarian sects also favored readmission.  Opposition came from the merchants and the mainline Christian clergy. When realized that he would be unable to gain the complete support for his plan to readmit the Jews to England so he dissolved the Council rather than suffer defeat.  The conferees did agree that that there was no legal reason not to re-admit the Jews since they had been expelled by royal decree and not by an act of Parliament. In the meantime, Cromwell accomplished his goals through a round-about manner and by 1657 there were enough Jews in London who felt confident in being able to practice their faith in public that they purchased a private home to be used as a synagogue.

1655: Middelburg, Netherlands forbade the building of a synagogue.

1674: French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette erected a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan, in present-day Illinois. His log cabin became the first building of a settlement that afterward grew to become the city of Chicago.  Chicago is of course, the home of one this country’s largest and most vibrant Jewish communities as well as some of the finest Jewish families around including that of my aunt and uncle, Dr. Jacob and Betty Levin and that renowned photographer and alum of the College of Jewish Studies, Harvey Luber and his wife.Just think, if it had not been for Marquette, there would not have been a home for Chagall’s Windows (the Art Institute) Sarah Lee Bakery or a Crate & Barrel (the latter two were founded by Jews in Chicago).

1679: Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher, passed away. Born in 1588, “Thomas Hobbes was foremost among the seventeenth century political philosophers who led the Western world across the fault line separating classical from modern political philosophy. In doing so, he, like his other colleagues, had to confront not only classical political philosophy but the Bible. From the first of his writings to the last he consistently confronted Scripture. Reading Hobbes reveals both the ambiguity and the ambivalence of his confrontation with the Bible. Hobbes wished to assault orthodox or conventional Christian belief but at the same time is drawn to the Hebrew Scriptures, not only because it is necessary for him to confront it for the sake of his argument or because of the Bible's own elemental and compelling power. His struggle foreshadows and is even paradigmatic of that of modern man. The most neglected aspect of Hobbes's attempt to solve the theological-political problem is his reliance on divine punishment of the iniquitous sovereign.”  He uses the murder of Uriah by King David to discuss this part of his political philosophy. In his writings, Hobbes elaborates a conception of the Messiah in his political treatises that is unusual because it seems to combine Jewish and Christian elements. He asserts that Jesus is the Messiah in the sense of being the earthly king of the Jews as well as the Son of God and king of heaven. To clarify Hobbes's position and to highlight its strangeness, it is compared with the views of Moses Maimonides and Blaise Pascal. Hobbes emerges from this comparison as a spokesman for a kind of "Jewish Christianity," whose purpose is not to return to the early Jewish sects that embraced Jesus as a new Moses but to humanize the Messiah and to redefine Christianity for a new age of secular happiness. Hobbes thereby inaugurates a new kind of biblical criticism which the Deists of the enlightenment era developed and which continues today. This incomplete entry about Hobbes reinforces the many different ways in which Jewish Culture as opposed to Jewish people influenced the development of Western Civilization.

1748: Birthdate of German native Judith Haimann, the wife of Moyses Einstein and the mother of Basilika, Elias, Vernoika, Leopold and Simon Einstein.

1750: Birthdate of Henri Grégoire who as Abbé Grégoire who was “considered a friend of the Jews” because during the French Revolution “he argued that in this anti-Semitic society the supposed degeneracy of Jews was not inherent but rather a result of their circumstances.”

1755(30th of Kislev, 5516): Rosh Chodesh Kislev; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1762: Catherine II of Russia permitted foreigners to settle and travel in Russia "Kromye Zhydov." However, Jews were still forbidden to settle there. Catherine II may have been the Great to some Russian nobles, but she certainly was certainly not

1771(27th of Kislev, 5532): Third day of Chanukah

1772(OS): Birthdate of Dov Ber of Mezeritch, known as the Maggid, the leading disciple of the Baal Shem Tov and his successor as leader Chassidic Judaism.

1773: Reyna Levy and Isaac Moses gave birth to Moses Levy Moses who passed away in New York in 1843.

1779(25th of Kislev, 5540): Parsashat Vayeshev; First Day of Chanukah observed as the British prepare send a task force from New York that includes 8,500 to attack Charleston SC during the American Revolution.

1787: Reyna Levy and Isaac Moses gave birth to Sarah (Sally) Moses, the sister of Moses Levy Moses

1790(27th of Kislev, 5551): Parashat Miktetz and Shabbat Shel Chanukah

1790: The citizens of Trnava, addressed a petition to the Diet in Hungary at the same time as the Jews did asking that their rights be upheld.  The Diet approved the petition of the Jews and sent word to King Leopold II.

1791: In London, the first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, was published. In 1891, Rachel Sasoon Beer, the granddaughter of David Sasoon and daughter of Sasoon David Sasoon was named editor of the Observer making her the first female editor of a national newspaper. During her tenure as editor “The Observer achieved one of its greatest exclusives: the admission by Count Esterhazy that he had forged the letters that condemned innocent Jewish officer Captain Dreyfus to Devil's Island. The story provoked an international outcry and led to the release and pardon of Dreyfus and court martial of Esterhazy.”

1795: One day after he had passed away, 52 year old “Jacob Yechiel” was buried today at the “Lauriston Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1798(26th of 5559 Kislev): Second Day of Chanukah

1800: Solomon Levien married Harriet Salomons at the Hambro Synagogue today.

1802: In Bavaria, “Jacob Hirsch Kann and Jetta Kann gave birth to Jennette Kann who became Jeannette Goldschmidt when she married Benedict Hayim Salomon Goldschmidt.

1804: Birthdate of London native Elias Mocatta who married Rachel Goldsmid after the death of Augusta Goldsmid the mother of Constance August Mocatta. 

1804: Birthdate of Prussian native Joseph Aub, one of the first “liberal rabbis” in Germany who delivered his sermons in German and whose rabbinic career led him to Berlin where he served from 1865 until 1880.

1805(13th of Kislev, 5566): Sixty-two-year-old German banker Philipp Samson, the founder of the Samson School in Wolfenbuttel passed away today.

1809(26th of Kislev, 5570): Second Day of Chanukah

1810: In Charleston, SC, David and Rachel Benjamin Lewis gave birth to future St. Louis resident Alexander Lewis, the husband of Rebecca Lewis and Esther Philipson Lewis.

1811 (18th of Kislev, 5572): Rabbi Baruch Mezhibuzher the son of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov’s daughter, Adel, and her husband, Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi passed away. He was born in 1753 in Mezhibuz, the town from which his illustrious grandfather led the Chassidic Movement. He was one of the Rebbes (Chassidic masters) in the 3rd generation of Chassidism and had thousands of followers.

1816: Three days after he had passed away. “Nachman bar Aaron” was buried today at the “Colby Gate Jewish Burial Ground in Great Yarmouth.”

1817(25th of Kislev, 5578): Chanukah

1825(24th of Kislev, 5586): The First Chanukah Candle was kindled for the first time during the right of Czar Nicholas I.

1826: In London Frances Cohen and Joel Benjamin gave birth to George Benjamin.

1828(28th of Kislev, 5589: Fourth Day of Chanukah observed the day after electors cast their votes in their respective state capitals during the highly contentious election between John Q Adams and Andrew Jackson

1829: A fired destroyed the building housing Congregation Mikveh Israel in Savannah, Georgia.  The building had been consecrated in 1820 making it the first synagogue to be built in “The Peachtree State.” Fortunately, the congregation’s Torah Scrolls were saved from the fire.

1830; “The Alsatian Deputy Pierre Andre stated that before the Revolution had not been allowed to open vocational schools” – a statement that was challenged by those who said that “before the Revolution…Berr-Isaac Berr of Nancy had founded agricultural colonies in order to mitigate the charge that Jews were not productive.”

1836(25th of Kislev, 5597): Chanukah is celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

1836: Two days after he had passed away, “Alexander Schomberg” was buried at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery” today.

1839: Moses Joseph married Esther Samuel at the Great Synagogue today.

1839: In Charleston, SC, Jacob I. Moses of Columbus, GA married Rina Ottolengui, the daughter of Abraham Ottolengui.

1840: Frances and Horatio Etting gave birth to Edward Johnson Etting II, the husband of Maria Etting and the father of Thomas Etting and Frances Marx Landreth

1846” In Furth, Bavaria, Louis Loew Leopold Affelder, the Bavarian born son of Samuel Lazarus Affelder and Nanni Affelder, and his wife Regine Rosalia Affelder gave birth to Moritz Affelder

1847: In New York, Abigail and Asher Kursheedt gave birth to Grace Eloise Kursheedt.

1847: In London, Hester and L.M. Rothschild gave birth to Emma Dinah Rothschild, the wife of Ludwig Goldschmidt.

1849: In Canterbury, Fanny Nathan and Joel Abrahams gave birth to Benjamin Abrahams.

1850(29th of Kislev, 5611) Fifth Day of Chanukah

1852: Today’s edition of the Times of London devoted sixteen columns to the speech given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Benjamin Disraeli, on the subject of taxation.  The speech, which was well received, contained proposals to change the Tea Duties and the Income Tax. The lengthy article also included copies of the tables that Mr. Disraeli used.

1852: On his 48th birthday, Joseph Aub “joined the rabbinate in Mainz” today where, when the community split, he led the liberal congregation that used an organ and where sermons were delivered in German.

1853: The "Shaare Zedek Hebrew National School," erected in the rear of the Henry-street Jewish Synagogue, was consecrated this afternoon. The congregation to which the School is attached has been in existence about sixteen years. The ceremonies began at 3 pm with religious services that included a sermon by Rabbi H.A. Henry who has been chosen to serve as the school’s superintendent. Services were followed by a “banquet” in one of the school’s room. Mr. Mendel Joseph, President of the Building Committee, addressed the attendees. The meal included the recitation of the proper Hebrew prayers both before and after eating.

1854(13th of Kislev, 5615): Sixty-four-year-old Hetty (Esther) Seixas, the Newport, RI born daughter of Jochabed Levy and Moses Mendes Seixas passed away today in New York.

1855(24th of Kislev, 5616): The first Chanukah Candle is kindled as the Governor of Kansas received a communication from Col. Edwin Sumner, the command of Ft. Leavenworth “to us all power under his command to enforce the laws” in dealing with pro-slavery forces during the Wakarusa War.

1855: In Lancaster, PA, Yetta Gump and Simon Erlanger gave birth to  “clothing merchant” Abraham Erlanger, the President of the Society of the Jewish Deaf” and a supporter of the National Farm School who had begun his career in 1869 as “a clerk in Iowa.”

1858: A crowd of 2,500 Christians and Jews gathered tonight in New York City to express their indignation over what has come to be called the Mortara Affiar.  The event was chaired by Jonas Phillips, the ex-President of the Board of Common Councilmen. Among the resolutions passed were ones that recalled the response of the United States government to the Damascus Affair in 1840.  The speakers all separated the actions of those involved in taking of the Mortara family from the Roman Catholic religion and stated their respect for their fellow citizens who were adherents of that religion. Among those in attendance was Mr. A.M. Phillips Levi from Montreal who had traveled from Canada to express that Jewish community’s solidarity with the other Jewish communities that had expressed their outrage and called for a return of the Mortara child to his parents. The speakers included leaders of the Jewish community as well as prominent non-Jews including Chauncey Shaffer, Esq. and Reverend Blair, a Methodist clergyman.

1860: Birthdate of actress and singer Lillian Russell, the native of Iowa who married the Anglo-Jewish composer Edward Solomon in 1884, two years before he was arrested for bigamy.

1861(1st of Tevet, 5622): Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1861: Today, Sir George Grey, who hired Samuel Joseph, an Anglo-Jew from London as his interpreter” began serving his second term as Governor of New Zealand

1862: Rosa Gottschalk, the Stuttgart, Germany born daughter of Joseph and Sarah Ullman, and her husband Albert Gottschalk gave birth to  Lillie Gottschalk, who became Lillie Fleischmann when she married Ernst Fleischmann with whom she had two son – Edwin and Albert.

1864: Romanian Jews were forbidden to practice law.

1864: A meeting was held today in Philadelphia, PA that resulted in the establishment of Maimonides College, “the first Jewish theological seminary in” the United States. The school which was designed to train rabbis for the numerous synagogues opening this country began operating in 1867.  It closed its doors 6 years later in 1873 due to a lack of support.

1865: Birthdate of Edith Louisa Cavell, the British nurse who was defended by Sadi Kirschen when the Germans arrested her and charged her with treason.  There was little that her Jewish defense lawyer, who would flee the Nazis when they invaded Belgium in 1940, could do for her since she confessed to helping British and French soldiers escape and the Kaiser’s army was in no mood to show leniency.

1866(26th of Kislev, 5627): Second Day of Chanukah

1866(26th of Kislev, 5627: Evelina Gertrude de Rothschild passed away during childbirth. She was a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England. Her father Lionel assumed sponsorship of the first school for girls in Israel, opened in Jerusalem in 1864, renaming it the Evelina de Rothschild School.

1868: Two days after he had passed way, 93-year-old “Henry Mordecai,” the father of “David Mordecai,” was buried today at the “Lauriston Road Jewish Cemetery.”

1871: In New York, Isaac Ottenberg, the son of Rosina and Meyer Ottenberg and his wife Regina Ottenberg gave birth to Henry Ottenberg, the future resident of Los Angeles.

1873: In San Francisco, Abraham and Marie (Lazarus) Lachman gave birth to University of California and University of Munich trained Chemist Arthur Lachman, the husband of Bertha Nathan and the author of the Spirit of California who settled in Berkley, CA where he was a research associate at the University of California.

1873: It was reported today that last month’s overflow of the Tiber River created a novel situation in Rome.  Some of the Jews whose homes were flooded have been temporarily lodged in the Covent of Ara Caeli one of the religious orders recently disbanded by the new, republican government of Italy.  In the new Italy, including the formal Papal States, there is no distinction of citizenship based on religion.

1875: Mr. Emanuel B. Hart appeared before a special meeting of the Board of Police to request that anti-lottery laws not be enforced in matters pertaining to the Hebrew Benevolent Fair.  Hart told the board that if the laws were strictly enforced the fair would not be able to raise the funds to support local charities.  The members of the Board denied the request saying that the police would halt any drawing that violated the lottery laws.

1876: Three days after she had passed away, “Priscilla Rees,” the daughter of Moses and Phoebe Davis and the wife of Daniel Rees was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.

1876: Today twenty-two-year-old Moses Alexander, the German born son of Emma and Nathan Alexander Moses who in 1878 came to the United States where he served as a member of the city council and Mayor of Chillicothe, MO, the Mayor of Boise and Governor of Idaho married Helena Kaestner Alexander, the father of Leah Alexander Spiro and a member of the B’nai B’rith in Boise, Idaho.

1877: Birthdate of Morris Alexander, the Cambridge University educated native of Zinn, Germany who was “admitted to practice as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Cape Colony where lectured on law, served on the city council and participated in Jewish communal life as an officer of the New Cape Town Congregation and the Jewish Philanthropic Society.

1878: Birthdate of Dr. Alwin M. (Max) Pappenheimer the Columbia trained pathologist who was on the faculty at Columbia and who was the father of Dr. Anne P. Forbes, Dr. John R. Pappenheimer and Dr. Alwin M. Pappenheimer, Jr. of NYU who followed in his father’s footsteps.

1878(8th of Kislev, 5639): Fifty two year old Danish banker and political leader David Baruch Adler was a partner in Martin Levin & Adler in London and D.B.Adler & Company in Copenhagen as well as the husband of Jenny Raphael the daughter of banker John Raphael, passed away today.

1878: It was reported today that Romanian leaders continue to oppose granting Jews full rights as citizens as promised by the Treaty of Berlin.  As non-citizens, Jews are not allowed to own land which means Romanian nobles can borrow money from Jews without fear of losing their estates when they default on the loans.  If Jews were citizens were made citizens, the nobles could no longer swindle them out of the money owed.

1880: It was reported today that in Germany, “The Jewish question continues to attract much public attention.  Newspapers are debating it, pamphlets are pouring forth, tumults are taking place among the students and an occasional fracas still occurs in the streets.”

1880: It was reported from Berlin that in light of the wave anti-Semitic agitation sweeping German, a large number of “eminent Jews” are meeting to consider ways of defending themselves including the establishment of a newspaper to support their position.

1880: It was reported that an article published in the Grenzboten seeks to refute that Chancellor Bismarck is sympathetic to the anti-Semitic movement championed by Court Chaplain Stoecker.

1880: Sarah Bernhardt is scheduled to give her last two performance in New York – a matinee during which “Hermani” will be repeated followed by an evening featuring “Frou-Frou,” “La Dame aux Camelias” and “En Passant.”

1880: In Chicago, Adolph Loeb, the German born son of Ester and Jakob Loeb and his wife Johanna Loeb gave birth to Eva Lawton, the wife of Samuel Tilden Lawton

1881: The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published. Sam Zell bought the Tribune Company, including the LA Times, in 2007 making him the first Jewish owner of the paper.

1881: For unknown reason, the fair sponsored by Temple Israel in Brooklyn which opened on November 30 was scheduled to be closed this evening and to reopened tomorrow.

1882: U.S. Army Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr. a West Point graduate and hero of the Civil War was promoted to the permanent rank of Lt. Colonel.  He was brevetted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the last months of the Civil War “for distinguished served in the field…” For those of you who know anything about the U.S. Army, this means the rank was “temporary” and that for official purposes he returned to the rank of Major when peace arrived. Promotion in the peace time army was much slower.  This promotion does reflect the high esteem in which Mordecai was held as will be seen when reaches the rank of full Colonel.

1882(23rd of Kislev, 5643): Twenty-three-year-old Mortiz Zuckerman, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, hanged himself today apparently because he had lost his job and was unemployed.

1882: In Aurich, German, Moses Jakob Cohen and Minkel Minka Cohen gave birth to Jakob Moses Cohen, the husband of Hanna Cohen with whom he had five children and who died in the Minks Ghetto during the Holocaust.

1884: Mrs. Mandelbaum, the “fence” who disappeared from New York arrived at Oelan at three o’clock this afternoon with a package of lace that she tried to sell to several local “rich people.”

1884(16th of Kislev, 5645): An unidentified 5’9” Jew approximately 48 year in age committed suicide at 7 p.m. when he shot himself while sitting on a bench near the Farragut monument.

1885(24th of Kislev, 5616): Kindle the first Chanukah Candle

1885: Birthdate of New York City native and CCNY graduate Nathaniel Altholz, the husband of “the former Gertrude Simpson, with whom he had two children – Edgard and Helen – and the director of commercial education in the New York City School System from 1929 to 1952.”


1886(7th of Kislev, 5647) Parashat Vayetzie

1886: Rabbi Leon Harrison who was installed yesterday evening, is scheduled to lead Sabbath services this morning at The Temple Israel “which claims to be the only unorthodox synagogue in this city."

1888(30th of Kislev, 5649): Sixth Day of Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1888: In Romania, the lower house of the legislature defeated the bill which would have granted citizenship to businessman, banker and philanthropist Jacob Noisotz.

1888: Aline Caroline, daughter of Gustave Samuel de Rothschild and Sir Edward Albert Sassoon gave birth to Sir Philip Albert Gustave David Sassoon, 3rd Baronet, the grandson of Albert Abdullah David Sassoon.

1888: In Brooklyn the weeklong fair that is a fundraiser for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is scheduled to come to an end this evening.

1889: Commissioner Hermann von Wissmann, the leading German official in East Africa met the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and took it to Bagamoyo where a banquet of welcome was held. Emin Pasha was a Silesian born Jew named Isaac Edward Schnitzer who converted to Christianity and then to Islam so that he could further his career in the Ottoman Empire.

1889: In Nevada, MO, Alex S. and Rose (Levy) Greditzer gave birth to Washington University Medical trained urologist Harry G. Urologist who lived in University City, MO with his wife Rae Pereira while pursuing a career in St. Louis that saw him serving as the assistant urologist at the New Jewish Hospiital and serving as an instructor at his alma mater.

1889: In Johannesburg, Solomon Barnato Joel and Ellen (Nellie) Ridley gave birth to Doris Irene Kathleen Joel the wife of Arthur Walter.

1889: Members of a party of fifty Jews passing through Pittsburgh on its way to Jerusalem would not comment on the possible outcome of their “pilgrimage, saying that the future depends entirely upon the laws of the country, concessions which may be secured” and the desire for future settlement.

1890(22nd of Kislev, 5651): Fifty-six-year-old Isaac Shapira, the husband of Beyla Shapira and the son of Joshua Shapira passed away today in Petah Tikva.

1891: In Budapest, merchant Michael Amar and Regina Strakosch, who came from North Macedonia. Gave birth to prize winning violinist Licco Amar who was forced to flee to France when the Nazis came to power before settling in Turkey.

1891: The Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway line reached Deir Aban (today's Beit Shemesh) as it made its way from the seacoast to the City of David.

1892: It was reported today that the Monetary Conference at Brussels is debating the plan presented by Albert de Rothschild.

1892: It was reported today that Charles Frohman will not be producing Lady Windermere’s Fan “the play of the season last year in London and has transferred it to another production company.

1892: It was reported today that those Jews who convert to Greek Orthodoxy in compliance with the Moscow Chamber of Commerce’s requirement for them to be able to do business in the city “will still be placed on probation for three years” and required to live in village five miles from Moscow.

1892: Birthdate of Francisco Franco. Whatever his other short-comings, Franco has a surprisingly positive record when it comes to the Holocaust.  For most of the war, he did not close the border with France to escaping Jews.  He did not return Jewish refugees to the Nazis and allowed many of his foreign legations to provide letters of transit making it possible for thousands to escape Hitler’s Henchmen.

1893(25th of Kislev, 5654): Chanukah

1893: It was reported today that Hebrew will be one of the languages the Professor Hughes will be teaching at the University of New York in a class “especially designed for missionaries intending to go to Turkey.”

1893: “God and Futurity “published today provides the views of Professor Felix Adler

1893: It was reported today that the German chancellor said that “anti-Semitism was the most dangerous form of Socialism” because “while pretending to attack only Jewish capitalists, it would menace eventually all capitalists.

1893: It was reported today that in Germany, Dr. Foerster interrupted a debate on the budget “to say that Anti-Semitism is not a passing phenomenon and would endure as long as the Hebrew race.”

1894: Alderman “Silver Dollar” Smith was arrested between 2 or 3 o’clock this morning on charges that he had attacked a saloonkeeper named August J. Gloisten. During his arraignment this morning Smith said that he had been born in Germany at which time he was named Charles Finkelstone. He got his nickname of “Silver Dollar” came from the fact that 1,000 silver dollar pieces were embeeded in the floor of his saloon at Essex Street.  “Silver Dollar” Smith was Charles R. Solomon a Tammany Hall leader of the 10th District.  His saloon “was one of the sites of operation for the Eastman Gang, run by Jewish gang leader Monk Eastman…and a member of the Max Hochstim Association, also known as the Essex Market Court Gang.” Besides the silver dollars, Smith was known for hosting Passover celebrations at the saloon.

1894: In New Orleans, Leo Levi of Galveston delivered the annual oration “at today’s meeting of the American Hebrew Congregations.

1894: “Among the passengers on the steamship Spree which is due here today is the noted German anti-Semitic agitator Dr. Ahlwardt of Berlin.”

1894: “Assaulted In Open Daylight” published today described an attack by a group of boys who beat up Benjamin Rosenthal on Fifth Avenue who hollered anti-Semitic epithets as they beat him.

1895: Hermann Ahlwardt the German anti-Semitic agitator from Berlin is scheduled to arrive in New York today aboard the SS Spree.

1895: Birthdate of Syracuse, NY native Nathan Wesley Markson, the husband of “Maybelle Grody Markson” and the father of Lois and Audrey Markson who served as the “director of the Jewish Home for the Aged.”

1895: Reverend Henry Yates Saterlee, who in 1903 delivered a sermon in which he said, “The Jews are preserving the home and family better than we Christians are doing” and that while “I do not know how to account for this, but I do know it to be fact” was elected to serve as the First Episcopal Bishop of Washington.

1897: Today, at Temple Israel of Harlem, Rabbi Maurice H. Harris delivered a sermon that responded to the negative sermon delivered by Dr. Savage in which he attacked the “Old Testament” in general and “the God of the Old Testament” in particular.

1897: The merit examination for the position of official Supreme Court reporter in the First Judicial District, which requires a fluency in “Hebrew jargon” is scheduled to be given today. (Hebrew jargon refers to Yiddish)

1898: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum Band is scheduled to perform a fund raiser sponsored by the Ladies Aid Society at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1899: Dr. Isaac M. Wise, President of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati praised the late Baron Hirsch as ranking “among the greatest philanthropists of the century equaled only by his wife Baroness Hirsh.  He did all the good one millionaire could possibly do, or ever did do, for the poor, neglected and persecuted.”  Wise was speaking in support of plans to build a statue in New York honoring Baron Hirsch.

1899(2nd of Tevet, 5660): Eighth of Chanukah, the end of the last celebration of the holiday during the 19th century.

1899(2nd of Tevet, 5660): Seventy-three-year-old Leopold Ullstein the founder and publisher of several successful German newspapers, including B.Z. am Mittag and Berliner Morgenpost passed away today.  The Nazis would take over his publishing empire in 1934 and his son Hermman Ullstein would flee the country in December of 1938.

1900: Birthdate of Waldemar Levy Cardoso, the Algerian-Moroccan Jew born in Rio de Jenerio who became a Field Marshall in the Brazilian Army.

1900: Forty-seven-year-old Jacob Treiber, the German born son of Morris Trieber and the former Blume Brodek was nominated “to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas” by President McKinley.

1901: “The last Broadway production to be staged in New York’s Lyceum of which Gustave Froman was one of the builders, began its run.

1902: The “dean of the New York dance teachers” Louis H. Chalif who was “ballet master of the Government Theatre in Odessa” before coming to the U.S. in 1905 and founding the Chalif Normal of School while raising six children – Edward, Selmer, Amos, Vitalis, Helen and Frances – with his wife, former Sarah Katzhof of Odessa whom he married today.

1902(4th of Kislev, 5663): Eighty-one-year-old Austrian Poet Heinrich Landesmann whose “first important literary production, Abdul, the Mohammedan Faust legend, in five cantos” was completed in 1843 and who was the brother-in-law of Berthold Auberbach, passed away today at Brno.

1903: Herzl reports in his diary: "The Russian members of the A. C., particularly Usshiskin, Jacobson, etc. are in open rebellion."

1903: In New York, Rabbi M.H. Harris preached a Friday night sermon on “Zionism and East Africa.”

1903(15th of Kislev, 5664): Sixty-seven-year-old Alfred L. Cohen passed away today in London.

1903: Birthdate of New York native Aaron Siskind, the schoolteacher turned documentary photographer.

1904(26th of Kislev, 5665): Second Day of Chanukah observed on the same day that Arthur Balfour, of “Balfour Declaration” fame completed his services as Prime Minster of the United Kingdom.

1904: In Jacksonville, FL, Clare Water Bernstein and Emil Bernstein a partner in the “Stuart Bernstein Company which sold hats, clothing and furnishing goods in the Benedict Building on 14 West Bay Street” gave birth to decorated Naval Academy graduate Henry Emil Bernstein.

1905: “The New York Board of Jewish Ministers and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of the United States and Canada have set aside” today “as a day of general mourning for the Jewish victims of the massacres in Russia.”

1905: Rabbi Joseph Silverman, Rabbi F. de Sola Mendes, Rabbi M.H. Harris, Rabbi Rudolph Grossman, Oscar S. Straus and Louis Marshall are scheduled to speak tonight at the memorial service being held at Temple Emanu-El.

1905: Rabbi Samuel Greenfield, Rabbi Henry S. Morais and Albert Lucas are scheduled to speak at tonight’s memorial service at Congregation Mount Zion on East 113th Street.

1905: Rabbis Joseph M. Asher, Bernard Drachman and M.M. Kaplan are scheduled to speak at the memorial service at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on East 85th Street.

1905: The Cantors’ Association of Mount Zion Congregation and Congregation Mickveh Israel are scheduled to take part in services held to honor the Jews who have been murdered in Russia.

1905: Rabbis Phillip Klein, H. Periera Mendes, Harris Maslinasky and Isidor Herschield are scheduled to speak at the memorial service being held at Congregation Ohav Zedek on Norfolk Street.

1905: The parade organized by the Jewish Defense Association in memory of the Jews murdered in Odessa is scheduled to start at noon today with Joseph Barondess serving as Marshall.

1905: Services memorializing the Jews who have perished in the Russian Massacres are scheduled to take place this afternoon and this evening at several locations on the Lower East Side.

1905: In Camden, NJ, Rabbi Gordon of Philadelphia and William spoke at the memorial services “for the murdered Jews of Russia” being held at the Synagogue of the Sons of Israel.

1905: Because the reports of the massacres of the Jews Russia have underestimated the suffering of their co-religionists, those attending a meeting a Temple Emanu-El tonight decided to issue an appeal for an additional million dollars in aid to go along with the one million dollars already raised.

1906: Birthdate of Manchester, UK native Sir Maurice Pariser, the Solicitor, WW II veteran and Laborite member of the Manchester City who was vice president of the Institute of the Jewish Studies and Knighted in 1965.

1906: It was reported today that while the Educational Alliance “contemplated a loss of $15,575 for the coming year,” it’s Women’s Auxiliary “had been able to return $3, 500 from its funds.

1907(28th of Kislev, 5668): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1907: It was reported today that Professor Franklin Giddings of Columbia had told a group attending a lecture at the People’s Institute in Cooper Union that he favors “the recent movement by the Jews to keep Christian ceremonies out of the public schools” and that while “he favored the Zionist movement, he feared that could not be made attractive to the Jews to be successful.

1908: Birthdate of Alfred Hershey, an American biologist who, along with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1969. The prize was given for research done on viruses that infect bacteria. This was the famous "blender experiment" (1956).  Hershey used an isotope- labeled phage to infect a bacterial colony and begin to inject their genetic material into the host cells. Then he whirred them in a blender to tear the phage particles from the bacterial walls without rupturing the bacteria. Upon examining the bacteria, Hershey found that only phage DNA, but no detectable protein, had been inserted into them. This showed that the DNA was sufficient to transfer to the bacteria all the genetic information needed to produce more phage. He passed away in 1997.

1908: “Report Jews’ Land Seized” published today reported that the Government of Ekaternoslav, a province in Russia has confiscated the farm land which Jews who were moving to Argentina had sold to their co-religionist in violation of the land law passed in 1840.

1909(21st of Kislev, 5670) Parashat Vayeshev

1909(21st of Kislev, 5670): Sixty-seven-year-old Italian attorney and political leader who was the first Jewish Prime Minister of Italy passed away today.

1910: The New York Times features a review of The Life of Benjamin Disraeli: The Earl of Beaconsfield by William Money.  This is the first volume of a multi-volume work covering the years 1804 through 1837.  The book sold for three dollars.

1910: Birthdate of Chester, PA native Isadore Soifer who gained famed as Alex North, the often Oscar nominated composer who wrote scores for such films as Spartacus and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

1911: The trial of the owner’s Triangle Waist Company, Max Blanck and Issac Harris who were represented by Max Steuer on charges of First and Second Degree Manslaughter began today.

1912(24th of Kislev, 5673): In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah light

1912: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Edward Fields, the Manhattan rug designer and manufacturer.

1912: Fifty-year old Archibald Gracie IV, the last survivor to leave the Titanic who spent much of his time on the cruise discussing the Civil War with Isidor Strauss passed away today.

1912: Jacob A. Cantor of New York City was a delegate to the Ninth Convention of Rivers and Harbors Congress opening today in Washington, DC.

1912: Birthdate of David Amato, second son of Abraham Amato and father of Leah Amato Franco.  A graduate of George Washington University, Amato had a successful career the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Board before accepting a position with the American diplomatic corps to help the Mexican government in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

1913: Birthdate of Mark Robson the Montreal native who began his career as an editor in Citizen Kane and went on to direct thirty-four films including two war movies with a strange twist – The Bridges at Toko-Ri and Von Ryan’s Express.

1913: Birthdate of journalist Jesse Zel Lurie who wrote for the Palestine Post and the Jerusalem Post before spending 35 years as the editor of Hadassah Magazine “turning it from an 8 page newsletter into a nationally known Jewish” publication.

1914: U.S. State Department informs American Jewish Committee that it will not expel Russian Jews who sought refuge in Turkey but will permit them to become naturalized citizens.

1914: According to a report supplied by “Dr. Arthur Levy, a rabbi serving with the German Army,” this evening during Friday evening Sabbath services, the Russian “Governor appeared in Petrikau (Piortikow) with the police, ordered that the Scrolls of the Law be removed from the Holy Ark, and the Ark be searched for secret telephones which the Jews were charged with hiding there.”

1914: “Victim of Yellow Journalism” published today provided the views of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle of the case of Leo M. Frank of which it said “the state of public feeling being what it was he never had a chance for a fair trial.  His case was for all practical purposes tried in the newspapers anda verdict of guilty assured before the first witness was sworn.”

1914: “In Glescow, 150 Jews were arrested as spies and dragged to Warsaw” by Russian authorities.

1915: It was reported today that “a new Jewish theological seminary” which will train Orthodox rabbis, making it the first of its kind in the United States will be opening in Manhattan.

1915: Lt. Hugo Gutmann was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class today.

1915(27th of Kislev, 5676): Third Day of Chanukah; Parashat Miketz

1915(27th of Kislev, 5676): Fifty-five-year-old New York political leader Andrew Freedman passed away today.

1915: In Bayonne, NJ, The Bayonne Zionist is scheduled to hold a Chanukah Ball this evening at the Bayonne Opera House Hall, “the proceeds of which will be used to build up the Zionist library.

1916: It was reported today that an additional $2,500 has been raised “for further work at the Hebrew National Orphan House” on Seventh Street with an annex on St. Mark’s Place.

1916: In New York, architect Ely Jacques Kahn and his wife gave birth to Harvard educated writer Ely Jacques Kahn whose first byline appeared in the New Yorker for 1937 and would run for five decades and who was the husband of Eleanor Munro and the sister of mystery editor Joan Kahn.

1916: Judge Julian W. Mack’s description of the success enjoyed by the Federation plan used by the Jewish community in Chicago for the last 17 years was published today.

1917: British forces under General Allenby “launched an assault on Turkish positions all around Jerusalem.”

1917: Birthdate of Olympic fencing champion Daniel Bukantz, the decorated WW II combat veteran who also had a successful career as a dentist and who was one the five members on the U.S. foil team at the 1956 Olympics which was made up entirely of Jews

1917: The Jewish Ministers’ Association of American which was organized in March and is led by President Aaron Yudelowitz of Boston held the opening session of its first annual convention in New York City.

1917: A total of $389, 941.50 was raised today on the “second day of the campaign to raise five million dollars for Jewish war relief and welfare work in the army and navy” meaning that in just two days, the campaign had raised $1,509,910.00.

1917: Today, while addressing “an assembly of Orthodox rabbis at the convention of the Jewish Minister’s Association of America the Young Men’s Hebrew Association Building, Nathan Strauss “condemned a resolution adopted by the rabbis in which they had expressed their gratitude to the British Government for ‘publicly declaring its sympathy with the Zionist movement and pledging itself to use it best endeavors to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine” because he feared that “any Zionist agitation at the present time would tend to stimulate antagonism against Jews in any of the enemy countries” i.e. Germany and the Ottoman Empire

1917(19th of Kislev, 5678): Seventy-one-year-old Rabbi Jacob David Kallen passed away in Roxbury, MA.

1918: In Atlantic City, NJ, Rhea and Alfred Ettigner, 2 immigrant Jews, gave birth to Robert Chester Wilson Ettinger, a science fiction writer and physics instructor whose idea of freezing the dead for future reanimation repelled most scientists…and persuaded at least 105 game humans to pay $28,000 each to have their bodies preserved in liquid nitrogen at his Cryonics Institute in suburban Detroit…” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1918: Birthdate of Milton Charles Calechman, the “brother of Harold Calechman.”

1919(12th of Kislev, 5680): In Chicago, Paul Bittermann, the husband of Jessie Bitterman and the father of Pauline and Dorothy Bitterman passed away today.

1920(23rd of Kislev, 5681): Parashat Vayeshev

1920: “The Palestine Department of Antiquities, which has charge of the exploration work being carried out in the city of Ashkelon announces the discovery of some huge marble pillars and statutes says a dispatch from Jerusalem today.”

1921: It was reported today that Dr. Maurice H. Harris who has been the rabbi at Temple Israel for forty years of the fifty-year-old congregation said that he hoped his desire to see the new building fully paid for would not be seen as a lack of humility on his part but rather as what he would consider “the crowning glory” of his four decades of service.

1922: Birthdate of Isaac Neuman, the native of Zdunska Wola, Poland who survived the Holocaust who served as the rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign, Illinois and served as “spiritual leader for the Jewish community for 40 years.

1922(14th of Kislev, 5683): Centenarian Abraham Manning “the oldest Jewish resident of” Utica New York and a 25-year veteran of “the Russian Army” who “gained the unusual distinction of being made a member of the Russian Emperor’s body guard” passed away today.

1923(26th of Kislev, 5684): Second Day of Chanukah

1923(26th of Kislev, 5684: Sixty-eight-year-old Rachel Cardozo, the unmarried daughter  of Sarah Moor Paixotto and Abraham Hart Cardozo passed away today after which she was buried at the Beth Olom Cemetery in Ridgewood, NY.

1923: Sixty-one-year-old anti-Semitic journalist August-Maurice Barres who wrote “That Dreyfus is guilty I deduce not from the facts themselves but from his race” passed away today.

1923: Premiere of Cecil B DeMille’s original version of the "Ten Commandments." 

1923: The Eveready Hour, which starred Nathaniel Shilkret as the conductor premiered today.

1924: “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a popular song with lyrics by Gus Kahn was recorded today.

1924: “Greed” a silent film directed and co-produced by Erich von Stroheim who also co-authored the script and also co-produced by Irving Thalberg was released in the United States today.

1924: In the Bronx, “Harry Weinberg and Helen Jordon Weinberg” gave birth to Melvin Weinberg, the conman who was a key player in the Abscam Scandal. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

1925(17th of Kislev, 5686): One day before his 104th birthday, Aaron Rochinger who had been a resident of the Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the last 11 years and who was the father of two surviving daughters, Mrs. Jennie Wudendahl and Mrs. Gussie Rochlinger, passed away today.

1925: It was reported today that Mary C. Van Cott who had died on November 19 left a bequest of $1,000 to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum

1925(17th of Kislev, 5686): Polish born peddler Harry Miller, husband of Raizel Miller and the father of Sarah Miller Fishbein and the father-in-law of Louis Fishbein passed away today after which he was buried at the Agudath Achim Cemetery in Wodurn, MA.

1926: Einstein sent Max Born a letter today in which he said, Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice” (This is often paraphrased as “God does not play dice)

1927: Birthdate of John McCandlish Phillips Jr, The New York Times reporter who wrote one of the most famous articles in the newspaper’s history — exposing the Orthodox Jewish background of a senior Ku Klux Klan official, Daniel Burros. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1927: In Poughkeepsie, NY, “Philip Morowitz, a newspaper and magazine distributor, and the former Anna Levine” gave birth to biophysicist Harold Joseph Morowitz. (As reported by Sam Roberts)

1928, Goldman Sachs launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. a closed-end fund with characteristics similar to that of a Ponzi scheme. “The fund failed as a result of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, hurting the firm's reputation for several years afterward.

1928:  Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn's musical "Whoopee" premiered in New York.  Kahn was one of a number of Jewish lyricists who created hit songs for Broadway and Hollywood

1928: Members of "Kvuzat HaHugim" and members of "Tnuat HaMahanot HaOlim" from Haifa and Jerusalem founded Beit HaShita, the kibbutz named after the biblical town of the same name, where the Midianites fled after being beaten by Gideon.  Eleven members of this idyllic Jewish community were killed during the Yom Kippur War meaning it lost “the largest number as a percentage of the population than any other community in Israel.”

1929: It was announced today that “The annual Who's Who issue of the American Hebrew, which will appear tomorrow, will include four Christians among those listed as having performed outstanding work for the Jewish people in 1929 and will account for public benefactions by Jews amounting to about $51,000,000 this year…”

1929: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jesse Judah Oppenheimer, the Vancouver born son of Cecilia and August Isaac Oppenheimer gave birth to Lawrence Edwin Oppenheimer

1929: Dr. Berkovitch, “a prominent member of the Hadassah physicians’ group” who “is the sixth Jewish physician wounded since the riots in August” ais reported to be in serious condition after having been “fired upon” yesterday “by Arabs.”

1930: “Charging that Jews are being discriminated against in the granting of permits for sacramental wine, rabbis representing virtually all the orthodox Jewish congregations in New York today asked for a revision of the present system of distribution.”

1930: It was reported today that after a wedding trip to Europe the former Barbara Wechsler Schiff and Mason Mack will live in New York.

1931(24th of Kislev, 5692): Kindle the first Chanukah Candle

1931: It was reported today that annual “Who’ Who” list selected by the American Hebrew that listed 127 New Yorkers included Alfred Goldsmith, Carl Laemmle and Louis Weitzenkorn from the Motion Picture Industry and Musicians and Composers, Jerome Kern, Yehudi Menuhin and George Gershwing.

1931: Montefiore Kahn was indicted today “on a charge of embezzlement of $100,000 from Oil Shares, Inc. of Jersey City of which he was vice president.

1932: “Flying Gold,” a crime film directed by Steve Sekely who moved to Hollywood to escape the rise of fascism in his native country, was released today in Hungary.

1933(15th of Kislev, 5694): Emile Meyerson passed away.  Born in 1859, Meyerson was Polish-born French chemist and philosopher of science whose concepts of rational understanding based on realism and causalism were popular among scientific theorists in the 1930s. An anti-positivist, he argued, for example in Identity and Reality (1908) that scientific knowledge attempts to reach beyond mere descriptive and predictive laws to an understanding of the nature of the reality beyond appearances. The human mind seeks the permanent behind phenomenal change, the identity within diversity as exemplified in conservation laws, such as the law of inertia and the law of conservation of energy. And yet this identity which our reason apprehends (or perhaps constructs) cannot embrace the totality of reality, for there is also change.

1934(27th of Kislev, 5695): Third Day of Chanukah

1934(27th of Kislev, 5695): Simon Pincus who was a nineteen-year-old was shot in the right leg at the Battle of Fredericksburg which resulted in the amputation of his leg in 1930 passed away today.

1935: “With the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws,” eighty-five year old historian Ernst Bernheim lost his German citizenship today.

1936: The Palestine Post reported on the daily work of the Peel Commission and included the rumor that one or two of the Commissioners were starting to feel the pressure of their continuous and arduous work.

1936: “A list of 650 legal books by Jewish authors which are to be removed from all libraries in Germany and boycotted in the future has been withdrawn” because “several authors listed as Jews were found to be members of the National Socialist party” and “many writers who are really Jewish were not included.”

1937: In Norwich, CN, Asher and Annette Libo gave birth to Kenneth Harold Libo “a historian of Jewish immigration who, as a graduate student working for Irving Howe in the 1960s and ’70s, unearthed historical documentation that informed and shaped “World of Our Fathers,” Mr. Howe’s landmark 1976 history of the East European Jewish migration to America” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1938(11th of Kislev, 5699): Fifty-three-year-old Morton James Luchs, the son of Fanny and Joseph Luch, the husband of Ernestine Luchs and father of Frank Joseph Luchs who 1906 was the co-founder of Shannon and Luchs one of the leading real estate firms in the Washington metropolitan area in the 20th century passed away today.

1938: Ghalib Budairi, a member of a prominent Arab family was found by British troops tonight lying wounded on a street in Jaffa, the apparent victim of Arabs who, as part of their uprising, have been attacking Jews, Englishman and Arabs who are not supporting their efforts.

1938: Father Charles Coughlin gave a national radio address in which he attacked the "Jewish international banking houses." (As reported by Austin Cline)

1938: Tehilla Lichtenstein first took the pulpit as the leader of the Society of Jewish Science in New York City, giving a sermon entitled “The Power of Thought.” Her topic reflected the Society’s idea, borrowed from Christian Science, that God’s healing power lies within each individual. With this service, Lichtenstein became the spiritual leader of the Congregation of Jewish Science in New York—the first woman to serve as the spiritual leader of any American Jewish congregation. Born in Jerusalem in 1893, Lichtenstein had left doctoral work in English at Columbia University to marry Morris Lichtenstein, a Reform rabbi, in 1920. Together, the Lichtensteins established the Society of Jewish Science in 1922. The Lichtensteins hoped to create a variant of Judaism that could offer the spiritual sustenance that they believed too many Jews were finding within Christian Science. They showed that through Judaism, as through Christian Science, one could emphasize spirituality, the goodness of God, and the effectiveness of prayer. Unlike Christian Science, Jewish Science did not deny the benefits of modern medicine. Rather, it attempted to harmonize Judaism with science. They believed that their program of meditation, affirmation and visualization would reveal that in its essence, Judaism was the highest of healing sciences. During the early years of the Society, Tehilla Lichenstein ran the Society religious school where she taught Hebrew and Bible and edited its monthly journal, the Jewish Science Interpreter. When Morris Lichtenstein died in 1938, Tehilla became the spiritual leader of the Society. Illustrating her view of Judaism as a practical religion, Lichtenstein’s early sermons included the topics “Seven Rules for Happy Living” and “When is War Justified?”. Although some of Lichtenstein’s teachings drew on her own experiences as a wife and mother and focused on interpersonal relationships, she also gave sermons taking up such issues as Soviet foreign policy and anti-Semitism in post-war America. In addition to her regular sermons, Lichtenstein continued to edit the Interpreter, taught classes in Jewish Science, and trained members of the Society to become spiritual healers. In the 1950s, she hosted a weekly radio program. She continued to preach from

1939: In Washington, DC, “the creation of an army of 200,000 Jews to be recruited in the United States, Palestine and other countries was urged tonight in a series of resolutions adopted at a conference called by Dr. Samuel Harden Church president of the Carnegie Institute and chairman of the new committee for a Jewish Army.”

1940: August Marian Kowalczyk was arrested today while trying to cross the border with Czechoslovakia so he could join the Polish Army in France and sent to Auschwitz. (He would become the last survivor of the breakout attempt from that camp in June of 1942.

1941: Nazi ordinances placed the Jews of Poland outside protection of courts

1941: Himmler issued strict instructions to Frederich Jeckeln that no mass murders of deported German Jews were to occur without his express orders: "The Jews deported into the territory of the Ostland are to be dealt with only according to the guideline given by me and the Reich Security Main Office acting on my behalf. I will punish unilateral acts and violations.

1941: Betty Warner, the daughter of movie mogul Harry Warner and Milton Sperling gave birth to their first child Susan, today.

1942(25th of Kislev, 5703): Chanukah

1942(25th of Kislev, 5703): Fifty-nine-year-old Austrian “librettist, lyricist and writer” Fritz Löhner-Beda was murdered in Auschwitz III Monowitz concentration camp

1942: During the Holocaust, two Christian women, Zofia Kossak and Wanda Filipowicz risked their lives by setting up the Council for the Assistance of the Jews in Warsaw.


1942: “Thunder Rock” a movie version of the 1939 play of the same name featuring Lilli Palmer with music by Mutz Greenbaum was released today in the United Kingdom today.

1943: During World War II, in Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile. Originally there had been two resistance movements in Yugoslavia – Tito’s which was multi-ethnic and included Jewish partisans and the Chetniks, led by a Serbian named Draza Mihailovich who would become an ally of the Axis and a practitioner of ethnic cleansing.

1943: In Manhattan, the former Bernice Landau and her husband, both of whom were “Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe” gave birth to Paul Jonathan Novograd the last owner of New York’s Claremont Riding Academy.

1944: The Kasztner transport carrying 1,361 Jews left Bergen Belsen heading for the Swiss border. For more see Gaylen Ross’ “Killing Kasztner”

1945: By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations.  This was a sign that the United States would not retreat into Isolationism as it had at the end of World War I.  More importantly, by joining the UN, the United States was able to support measures that ended the British Mandate in Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

1945(29th of Kislev, 5706): Forty-seven-year-old Philadelphia born lawyer Sylvan Hobson Hirsch, the holder of BS in economic from the University of Pennsylvania where he was the head cheerleader in 1919 who was a member of the USNR and the husband of Ruth Bulter, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hyman Henry Butler passed away today.

1946: Guy M. Gillette, the former U.S. Senator from Iowa who is president of the pro-Zionist American League for a Free Palestine, denied charges by Rabbi Judah Magnes that “A Flag Is Born,” a play sponsored by the league, “makes an open appeal for funds for the purchase of arms for terrorist groups in Palestine.”  Gillette insisted that all funds raised by the Ben Hecht play go the Reparation Fund chaired by Hecht, Will Rogers, Jr. and Louis Bromfield.

1947: “The Judges' Trial ended in Nuremberg” with “10 of the 15 German jurists and lawyers on trial being found guilty of Nazi war crimes and given prison sentences of varying lengths, including life for four of them.”

1947: “The Egyptian government banned public demonstrations in Cairo after police clashed with 15,000 marchers protesting against the partition of Palestine.”

1948: The UN General Assembly Political and Security Committee passes a British-Canadian plan for a council commission on Palestine to negotiate a final peace settlement. The plan calls for (1) commission members to be appointed by Big Five; (2) an international Jerusalem; (3) a small UN guard to protect commission; and (4) aid to refugees. (The plan will be dead on arrival since it does not recognized the realities on the ground and the continued unwillingness of the Arabs to accept the creation of the Jewish state,)

 1949(13th of Kislev, 5710): Seventy-four-year-old English born David D. Doniger, the founder and President of David D. Doniger & Co, manufacturers of McGregor Sportswear and a co-founder of ZOA who with his wife Florence raised two sons a daughter passed away today.

1949: “Aubrey S. Eban, permanent delegate of Israeli to the United Nations, declared today that the economy of Israel was basically sound, otherwise it never could have sustained the simultaneous burdens of military defense and mass immigration.

1949: In Norwalk, CT, Barbara Freedman Berg and Dick Berg gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Andrew Scott Berg.

1950(25th of Kislev, 5711): Chanukah

1950: In Passaic, New Jersey, Morris Goldberger and Edna Kronman gave birth to architect and Vanity Fair editor Paul Goldberger the Pulitzer Prize winner who is the husband of Rutgers University trained attorney “Susan L. Solomon, the co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation.”

1951: Having survived the ghetto in Kielce, Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen, seventeen-year-old Thomas Buergenthal “emigrated from Germany to the United States” today where he pursued a legal education which led to him serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 2000 to 2010.

1951: Aaron Copland’s “Pied Piper," premieres in New York City.

1952: “Two’s Company” a musical revue with lyrics by Sammy Cahn, directed by Jules Dassin and choreographed by Jerome Robbins did not open on Broadway as scheduled due to the illness of one of the leading stars.

1952: “Million Dollar Mermaid” a biopic directed by Mervyn LeRoy was released in the United States today by MGM.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet approved the resignation of Lt.-Gen Yigael Yadin, the second chief of General Staff, and appointed Maj.-Gen. Mordechai Makleff as his successor. Yigael Yadin was one of those amazing figures who helped to form Israel in the early days of the Jewish state.  A sabra, born in 1917, Yadin was the son of the famed Eliezer Sukenik of Dead Scrolls fame.  Just prior to, and during the War for Independence, Yadin was the acting chief of staff of the Jewish military forces.  After the war he was the first chief of staff of the IDF and created the mold for the military that is followed to this day.  After leaving the military, Yadin pursued a career in archaeology which was so successful that almost overshadowed his military successes. He passed away in 1984.

1953: Eighty year old Russian born NYU Law School graduate Alice Petluck, “the first woman lawyer to practice in the Federal District Court in the Southern District of New York and the first of her sex to argue a case in the Appellate Division, First Department who co-founded the Bronx Women’s Bar Association after the Bronx Bar Associated rejected her “because she was a woman and who was the husband of Dr. Joseph Petluck with whom she had three children – Charles, Ann and Robert – all of whom became lawyers passed away today.

1955(19th of Kislev, 5716): Seventy-one-year-old banker Benedict Joseph Lazar passed away today.

1955: Announcement of the engagement of Ruth Frances Ephriam, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Ephriam to Peter Charles Freudenthal, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Freudenthal

1956(30th of Kislev, 5717) Rosh Chodesh Tevet; Sixth Day of Chanukah

1956(30th of Kislev, 5717): Eighty-four-year-old Charles Garfunkel, the husband of Lina Adler Garfunkel and he father of Sylvan and Benjamin Garfunkel passed away today.

1956: A month after opening on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre, “Fanny” a musical with lyrics and music by Harold Rome and a book co-authored by S.N. Behrman transferred to the Belasco Theatre.

1959: “The Stranglers of Bombay” a horror movie written by David Zelag Goodman was released today in the United Kingdom.

1960(15th of Kislev, 5721): Seventy-four-year-old Austrian born City College alum and WW I Army veteran Jacob Field “a tax consultant, former I.R.S. revenue officer” and “regional director of the American Joint Distribution Committee in Minsk” who was the husband of “Mrs. Minna Field, the author of Patients Are People: A Medical-Social Approach to Prolonged Illness passed away today.

1960(15th of Kislev, 5721): Fifty-seven-year-old composer and conductor Walter Goehr who was forced to leave Germany, like so many of his contemporaries because he was Jewish passed away today “in City Hall, Sheffield, United Kingdom, today immediately after conducting a performance of Handel's Messiah.”

1961(26th of Kislev, 5722): Second Day of Chanukah

1967(2nd of Kislev, 5728) Ninety-year old Columbia graduate and American diplomat Lewis Einstein, the New York born son of the former Caroline Fatman and “wool magnate David Lewis” who counted Judah P. Benjamin among his relatives passed away today.

1967(2nd of Kislev, 5728): Seventy-two year old Bert Lahr, the New York City born son of German Jewish immigrants Augusta and Jacob Lahrheim and actor best known for his role the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” passed away today while filming “The Night They Raided Minsky’s.”

1968: “Where Eagles Dare” the film version of the novel produced by Elliot Kastner and Jerry Gershwin was released today in the United Kingdom.

1970: “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” a film version of the novel by the same name produced by Arthur Cohn and Artur Brauner was released today in Italy.

1971: Birthdate of American screenwriter and producer Adam Horwoitz, creator of the “ABC fantasy series “Once Upon a Time.”

1971: Today, in honor of Sol Hurok’s “influence on American music…he was awarded the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit.

1972(28th of Kislev, 5733): Fourth Day of Chanukah

1972(28th of Kislev, 5733): Seventy-seven-year-old Israeli political leader Kadish Luz passed away at Degania Bet.

1973: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today at Temple Emanu-El for seventy-year-old “apparel manufacturer” whose philanthropic activities were of such a magnitude he was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Truman.

1974: Birthdate of Irish cricketer Jason Molins the Dublin native who is a right-handed batsman

1975(29th of Kislev, 5736): Hannah Arendt passed away.

1976(12th of Kislev, 5737): Parashat Vayetzei

1976(12 of Kislev, 5737): Sixty-four-year-old Brooklyn born, New York Medical College graduate Dr. Irving Innerfield, “research professor of medicine at New York Medical College and a pioneer in the medical field of inflammation” and husband of “the former Jean Pozefsky” with whom he raised four children passed away today.

1976: In Israel, “three young Palestinian killed themselves while building a bomb.”

1976: In New York City, novelist Fred Waitzkin, the author of Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess and his wife gave birth to chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin.

1977: Neil Simon's "Chapter Two" premiered in New York City.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Anwar Sadat and the Egyptian government were disappointed by what they regarded as an insufficiently forthcoming Israeli response to Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem. Sadat was reported to be still expecting a 'dramatic' Israeli concession at the planned Cairo meeting which he hoped would advance the success of the reconvened Geneva peace conference. Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrived in Britain for a five-day official visit 'to renew the covenant signed by the British people and the Jewish people 60 years earlier on that unforgettable Lord Balfour Day, of November 2, 1917.'

1977: After 22 performances the curtain came down on Uncommon Women and Others the first play by Wendy Wasserstein.

1978: Dianne Feinstein is named the 1st female mayor of San Francisco.

1978(4th of Kislev, 5739): Samuel Abraham Goldsmith passed away.  Born in 1902, Goldsmith was a Dutch-born U.S. physicist who, with George E. Uhlenbeck, a fellow graduate student at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, formulated (1925) the concept of electron spin. It led to recognition that spin was a property of protons, neutrons, and most elementary particles and to a fundamental change in the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. Goldsmith also made the first measurement of nuclear spin and its Zeeman Effect with Ernst Back (1926-27), developed a theory of hyperfine structure of spectral lines, made the first spectroscopic determination of nuclear magnetic moments (1931-33), contributed to the theory of complex atoms and the theory of multiple scattering of electrons, and invented the magnetic time-of-flight mass spectrometer (1948).

1981: “Reds” with a historical film that included a portrayal of Julius Gerber, the Russian born American Socialist, and with music by Stephen Sondheim was released today in the United States

1982(18th of Kislev, 5743): Parshat Vayishlach

1982(18th of Kislev, 5743): Eighty-one-year-old Harry Mordecai Freedman, the Russian born son of Barnett Freedman and Beila Henah and husband of Rebecca Ginsberg who served as a rabbi in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States while establishing a reputation as a great Hebrew scholar passed away today in Melbourne.

1983: “Baby” the David Shire musical opened on Broadway today at the Ethel Barrymore Family.

1983: The Anatomy Lesson by Philip Roth, The Price of Power by Seymour M. Hersh and The Rosenberg File by Ronald Radosh are among the twelve books chosen by the New York Times Book Review to the best books published in the country during the preceding year.

1985: “Les Misérables” a musical version of the French novel with lyrics and book by Alain Boublil “transferred to the West End’s Palace Theatre” today where it became “the longest-running musical in West End history.

1986: Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" premiered in New York.

1988(25th of Kislev, 5749): The First Day of Chanukah; in the evening, kindle the second light

1988: The five Soviet citizens involved in the hijacking of an Aeroflot plane to Israel on Friday were sent back to the Soviet Union today in two Soviet planes.

1988: Israel's stock market in Tel Aviv was hit by a 24-hour strike by employees today, and share trading was halted.

1989: Today, The Baltimore Evening Sun published excerpts from the “previously secret diary” of H.L.Mencken in which he “discloses virulent anti-Semitism, racism and pro-Nazi leanings…”

1990(17th of Kislev, 5751): Sixty-eight-year-old Hungarian born and survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald Eugen “John” Heimler who after the communists took over his native land escaped to England “where he trained as a psychiatric social work,” eventually became Professor of Human Social Functioning in Calgary while writing several tomes including Night of the Mist that describe his survival of the Holocaust.

1990: An Israeli military court sentenced 12 Palestinian guerrillas today to 30 years in prison for a foiled seaborne raid in May that prompted Washington to sever its contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians and captured 12 in the attempted speedboat raid on beaches near Tel Aviv. The captured men were convicted last month of membership in a terrorist group, illegal possession of arms and attempted murder. The Palestine Liberation Front, a P.L.O. faction led by Abul Abbas, was behind the assault.

1993: Daniel Schorr delivered the eulogy for the late composer Frank Zappa today on NPR.

1993: Talal al-Bakri's living came from selling vegetables in Hebron. His death came from traveling past this neighboring Jewish settlement. Someone in a group of Israelis waving submachine guns here today put a bullet in his head. Five Israelis have been arrested in connection with the case.

1994: Tony Kushner’s "Angels in America-Millennium Approaches" closes after 367 performances.

1994(1st of Tevet, 5766): Seventh Day of Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet

1994(1st of Tevet, 5766): Seventy-three-year-old British political and constitutional historian and Regius Professor of Modern History Sir Geoffrey Elton, the son of “son of Jewish scholars Eva Dorthea Sommer and Victor Ehrenberg, the husband of Sheila Lambert and brother physicist Lewis Elton who was best known for his studies of the Tudor period passed away today.

1995(11th of Kislev, 5756): Seventy-seven-year-old Jack Rotman, who played at Boston University from 1938-1940 where he was a two-time All-New England selection passed away today.

1995: The confessed assassin of Yitzhak Rabin suggested today that one of the slain Prime Minister's bodyguards had been an accomplice in the shooting. The killer, Yigal Amir, asserted that if he told everything he knew, it "would turn the country upside down." Mr. Amir spoke to reporters before the start of a hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court, where he was ordered held in custody for four more days. Police officers and the presiding judge, Dan Arbel, cut Mr. Amir off, as they have several times in the past, to prevent him from using the courtroom as a platform for his opinions. Israel Radio did not even carry Mr. Amir's voice in its news roundups today, referring to his statements only as "abusive language."

1996: “Oui” a French comedy costarring Dany Boon as “Wilfried” was released today in France.

1997: "Diary of Anne Frank" opens at Music Box Theater New York City.

1997(5th of Kislev, 5758): Joseph Wolpe passed away. Born in 1915, Wolpe was a South African-born American psychotherapist who helped usher in cognitive behavioral therapy during the 1960s; he devised a treatment to help desensitize patients with phobias by exposing them to their fears incrementally. He worked on systematic desensitization with a methodology designed to treat people with extreme anxiety about specific events, situations, things, or people. His approach involved developing a hierarchy of anxiety-provoking situations, learning relaxation techniques, then associating these situations with relaxation, beginning at the bottom, or least anxiety-provoking, part of the hierarchy. He founded the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and the Journal of Behavior Therapy.

1998: The Yogi Berra Museum, which would be the site of the 1999 reconciliation meeting between the former Yankee All Star Catcher and Manager and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, opened today in Little Falls, NJ

1999(25th of Kislev, 5760): Chanukah

1999: Shanghai Jews were permitted to use Ohel Rache Synagogue for Chanukah services.

2000: It was reported today that Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman is the most enthusiastic supporter for Al Gore to pursue the case in Florida courts that could decide the election most remembered for “hanging chads.”

2001: The United States froze the financial assets of organizations allegedly linked to Hamas, the group that claimed responsibility recent deadly suicide attacks in Israel.

2001: Today’s search of the Home Land Foundation’s offices by the government led to a lawsuit with prosecutors claiming that the Judith Miller had queried the Islamic charity in such a way that it made the members aware of the planned searches.

2002(29th of Kislev, 5763): Fifth day of Chnaukah

2002: President Bush met with Jewish leaders in the Roosevelt Room. Jay Lefkowitz, an observant Jew who was chief of the president's Domestic Policy Council, remembered that one participant stood up and said that some 60 years earlier, his father had been part of a delegation of Jewish leaders who sought to meet with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to urge that the U.S. bomb railroad tracks to impede the Nazis' ability to kill Jews in concentration camps. The Jewish leaders never got a meeting, and Roosevelt never took action to thwart Hitler's genocide. He said it would divert resources from the effort to win the war. "Mr. President," the man said to Bush, "I think I can speak for everyone in this room when I say that if you had been president, there would be millions more of us alive today."

2003: “In an unusual alliance, 32 prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have started lobbying the Bush administration and Congress to intervene more actively in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by pressing the peace plan known as the ''road map.''

2003: “Israeli officials have concluded that the Islamic movement Hamas has suspended its suicide bombing campaign in recent months, a senior Israeli military officer said today, citing that as one reason Israel has not suffered any deadly bombings in the past two months.”

2004: After only a week on the Job, Victor Bailovsky lost his job as Science and Technology Minister when his party left the governing coalition.

2004: Avraham Poraz completed his term as Minister of Internal Affairs.

2004: “Christmas at Water’s Edge” co-starring Tom Bosley was released today in the United States.

2004: Eliezer Sandberg completed his term as Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ousted Avraham Poraz from his position as Interior Minister. Poraz was a member of the Shinui party. 

2005: During his talk SPORT show today Charles Wolf described Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who had been killed by an Israeli military bulldozer, as "scum

2005(4th of Kislev, 5766): Eighty-eight-year-old “German born Israeli woodcut artist and art collector” Jacob Otto Pins passed away today.

2005: Opening session of the Conservative movement’s biennial convention in Boston, MA where leaders will be unveiling a more a liberal and aggressive outreach program.

2005: In an interview with Time Magazine, movie director Steven Spielberg said his new film "Munich," the story of Israel's revenge for the killing of its athletes by Palestinian guerrillas at the 1972 Olympics, is "a prayer for peace."  .   

2006(13th of Kislev, 5767): Arthur Shimkin, Grammy Award winning producer of children’s records passed away at the age of 84.  In one of those cultural ironies that are part of Jewish History, Shimkin produced the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer album sung by Jimmy Durante.

2006: While appearing on his late-night television show, comedian Stephen Colbert jokingly took credit for the recent nuptials of two Jewish Democratic congressmen – Brad Sherman of California and Steven Rothman of New Jersey. Sherman married Lisa Kaplan, a State Department anti-Semitism expert.  Rothman found his new wife, Jennifer Beckenstein on  Jewish love- isn’t it grand?

2006: The Hebrew Free Burial Association (HFBA) “launched a Russian edition of their website to further reach out to members of that community.  The HFBA was established in 1888 as a free burial society for Jews living on the Lower East Side.  As Jews moved into other communities, the association widened its service area and today it is the largest burial society outside of the state of Israel.

2006: Dennis Prager continued to defend his contention that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress should be allowed to take the oath of office using a Koran because “the act undermines American Civilization.” 

2007: Michael Korda appeared at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Michael Korda has written the first major single-volume biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, exploring a great general and an important president—a man who won the war and kept the peace. Korda’s previous books include Charmed Lives: A Family Romance, Queenie, Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero and Journey to a Revolution: A Personal Memoir and History of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

2007: The Center for Jewish History presents a special screening of “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation”, Brazil's Official Selection for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

2007: The Jewish Aggies, a student group at Texas A&M, lit the largest menorah in the state of Texas.

2008: Final night of the 2008 Oud Festival sponsored by Confederation House.

2008: At the Chabad House in Iowa City a genuine Simchah – the Brit Milah of the son of Avremel & Chaya Blesofsky

2008: The Labor Party is scheduled to hold its primary which was postponed after computerized voting systems malfunctioned in several locales around the country on December 2.

2008: A Kassam rocket landed near Sderot, causing no casualties or damage.

2009: “1943, A pause during the Holocaust” a film based on Angelo Donati’s rescue of 2,500 Jews trapped in Nice was “shown for the first

2009: The 20th Washington Jewish Film Festival features a matinee presentation of A Matter of Size (Sipur Gadol).

2009: At Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, Friday Night Services mark the start of the Third Season of Musical Shabbat.

2009: Police arrested a man from Baka al-Gharbiya for orchestrating an extorition attempt aimed at McDonald's of Israel.

2010: Shalshelet’s 4th International Festival at Congregation Ansche Chesed, New York City.

2010: “Gruber’s Journey,” “The Debt,” “Mary Lou” and “Phovidilia” are scheduled to be shown tonight at the 21st Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2010: Gabe Finn was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA.

2010: The 12th Jerusalem Film Festival opened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque

2010: Jerry Herman was among the five 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees who were feted at tonight's gala in Washington, D.C.

2010: In “'Candlelight': 2010's Hanukkah anthem” Monica Hesse traces the rise of the Maccebeats

The field of Chanukah music was wide “open for the harmonizing Maccabeats, whose YouTube video of "Candlelight" (jauntily sung to the tune of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite") reached nearly 1 million views in less than eight days.

How a 14-Man A Cappella Group from Yeshiva University Created the Hanukkah Anthem of 2010:

Step 1: Flip your latkes in the air (sometimes)

"The whole message of Yeshiva University is that you can be an Orthodox Jew and participate in secular society," says Immanuel Shalev, who wrote the song's lyrics. The group had already covered Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," replacing the lyrics with Hebrew scripture. When Shalev found himself listening to Cruz singing "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes" and mentally replacing them with "I flip my latkes in the air sometimes, singing ay-oh, spin the dreidel," he knew he was onto something.

Step 2: Be resourceful

Uri Westrich, a medical student and Yeshiva grad, had made a video for the Maccabeats before - a rendition of "One Day" that reached a modestly successful 100,000 hits. The group asked him if he could direct their new idea. "I said, 'Let's add a reenactment! And let's add a Hanukkah party!' " He recruited three beefy friends to play the Greeks who battled the ancient Maccabees and rustled up some greenery for the Greeks' laurel wreaths.

"We basically wanted to hit our target audience of the Orthodox Jewish community in New York," Westrich says - the people who normally hired the Maccabeats for live performances. (From the Maccabeats Web site: "Having the Maccabeats is the perfect way to energize and enhance your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sheva Brachot, or simcha of any kind.")

Step 3: Achieve local, then national, fame

After the song was uploaded, Shalev was in the library when he noticed that everyone around him seemed to be whistling the song. He went to grab a slice of pizza, and the cashier congratulated him.

The video was widely blogged online, hitting influential ones like The Maccabeats were invited on CBS's "Early Show," and the video appeared on "Today." The chief rabbi of London phoned to see about a possible video collaboration. They heard from Jay Leno's people, but that's still up in the air.

Meanwhile, "Every four minutes, I'm getting another request," says Maccabeat director and singer Julian Horowitz. "They keep asking, 'When are you going to be in Israel on tour,' or 'When are you going to be in London?" says Horowitz, pointing out that the group won't be going anywhere but to final exams. "It's like they think we're the Rolling Stones."

Step 4: Win your elders' respect

"Last night, we opened up for Matisyahu, you know, the first celebrity Orthodox reggae artist," Shalev says. The Maccabeats are all fans, so this was a huge honor.

And although the Maccabeats were supposed to be just the opening act, "It was obvious," Shalev says modestly, "that the crowd was very, very excited about us."

2011: “The Kissinger Saga: Walter and Henry Kissinger, Two Brothers From Feurth,” is among the films scheduled to shown on the second day of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

2011: The Temple Sinai Sisterhood Chanukah Bazaar is scheduled to take place a New Orleans’ largest Reform congregation.

2011: Soccer player Camille Levin, a graduate of the Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, CA set up the winning goal scored by her teammate which finally led to Stanford University winning the NCAA College Cup.

2011: “A commemorative plaque to Władysław Szpilman in Polish and English was unveiled at 223 Niepodległości Avenue in Warsaw in the presence of his wife, Halina (Grzecznarowski) Szpilman, son Andrzej and Wilm Hosenfeld's daughter Jorinde Krejci-Hosenfeld

2011: As a sign of the vibrancy of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community Diane Handler and Robert Becker are scheduled to host Temple Judah’s first annual adult congregational cocktail party.

2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth and the Transformation of American Sports” by Mark Ribowsky, “Balzac’s Omeltte” by Anka Mulstein (the great-great-granddaughter of James de Rothschild) and “MetaMaus” by Art Spiegelman as well as three children’s books about Chanukah: “The Golem’s Latkes” by Eric A. Kimmel, “Chanukah Lights” by Michael J. Rosen and “The Story of Hanukkah” by David Adler.

2011:  The epicenter of an earthquake felt across northern Israel today was in the Hula and Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) area, the Geophysical Institute of Israel stated..

2011: Israel’s decision to release frozen public funds to the Palestinians last week came after Germany insisted it did so as a condition for the completion of the sale of a submarine, a German newspaper reported today.

2011: A commemorative plaque to pianist and Holocaust survivor Władysław Szpilman in Polish and English was unveiled at 223 Niepodległości Avenue in Warsaw in the presence of his wife, Halina (Grzecznarowski) Szpilman, son Andrzej and Wilm Hosenfeld's daughter Jorinde

2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to honor Baron David de Rothschild at its 87th Annual Benefit Dinner.

2012: Professor Jonathan Sarna is scheduled to discuss “When General Grant Expelled the Jews with Jonathan Karp, Executive Director, American Jewish Historical Society at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. (A book and an evening not to be missed)

2012: Rabbi Bruce Aft of Congregation Adat Reyim is scheduled to lead a discussion of “A Century Catholic-Jewish Relations” under the auspices of the JCCNV.

2012(20th of Kislev): For Chabad Chasidim “the 20th of Kislev is like the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Just as the two days of Rosh Hashanah are considered a single “long day” (יומא אריכתא ) so the 19th and 20th of Kislev are considered a single long day marking the redemption of the Alter Rebbe and a turning point in the history of Chassidut. The 19th of Kislev was the day on which the Alter Rebbe was released from prison and acquitted of the charges against him. But, what happened on the 20th of Kislev? Historically, after the Alter Rebbe was released, he was taken to S. Peterburg to the house of a wealthy local Jew. It seemed all good and well, but that house was the house of one of the greatest mitnagdim, those who opposed the Chassidic movement and were responsible for the Alter Rebbe’s incarceration in the first place. And so, the Alter Rebbe had to stay with this Jew and his family for a few hours until he left his house on the 20th of Kislev. (From the teachings of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh)

2012: “Insular and Torn, Straight From Hasidic Brooklyn” published today provides a review of ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ playing at the Westside Theatre.

2012: French police today announced that they had arrested a man and a woman in connection with the Toulouse shootings in March, in which Mohammed Merah, a French-Algerian Islamist, killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school, several days after gunning down four French paratroopers in two separate attacks.

2012: Tzipi Livni, the head of the Hatnua (The Movement) party, today lambasted the government for its handling of the fallout from the Palestinians’ successful UN status-upgrade gambit, saying that its apparently punitive decision to construct thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including in the controversial E1 corridor between the capital and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, was detrimental to Israel’s security interests.

2013: In Coralville, Iowa, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host its annual Chanukah Party.

2013(30th of Kislev, 5774): Ninety-two-year-old Lila Perl, “the award-winning children’s book Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story” passed away today.

2013: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to sponsor Light Up the Night: Community Menorah Lighting at Mosaic District

2013: “The Art of Spiegelman” and “Through the Eye of a Needle,” a film about Holocuast survivor and artist Nisenthal Krinitz is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

2013: Hezbollah accused Israel of assassinating Hasan al-Laqis “a top operative” and“one of the main commanders of its rocket division.  Hezbollah did not say how it had eliminated Suunis who are upset with its involvement in the Syrian Civil War or other Moslem groups with which it is at odds.

2013: A group of more than 20 Christian leaders from Norway will be coming to the Knesset today to ask for forgiveness for the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians that began in their capital.

2013: NGO Monitor will be awarded the prestigious Begin Prize, "For the organization's efforts exposing the political agenda and ideological bias of humanitarian organizations that use the discourse of human rights to discredit Israel and to undermine its position among the nations of the world." Founded in 2002 by Professor Gerald Steinberg and the Wechsler Family Foundation, NGO Monitor is an independent research institute based in Jerusalem and the primary source of expertise on activities and funding of political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict

2013: Today Warner Bros. revealed that Israeli actress Gal Gadot was cast in the role of Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

2013: In “Degenerate Hart and the Jewish Grandmother” published today Walter Laqueur described the events that led up to the discovery of an art collection that belonged to Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, “one of four dealers commissioned by the Nazis to sell their looted art abroad…”

2014: “Three FREE masterclass conversations for everyone interested in comedy: The Joys of Podcasting with Helen Zaltzman (Answer Me This) and Stuart Goldsmith (The Comedian’s Comedian) Understanding the Industry with Steve Bennett (Chortle) and a top comedy agent Comedy Formats: TV, Theatre and Social Media with Dan Patterson (Mock The Week) are scheduled to take place at the UK Jewish Comedy Festival

2014: Today marks the 70th anniversary of 1,361 Jews of the Kasztner transport release from Bergen Belsen.

2014: The Discovery Channel is scheduled to broadcast “Biblical Mysteries Explained” which will examine “new scientific theories that support the extraordinary tale of Exodus.”

2014: “After only a two-month hiatus from politics, former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar is reportedly considering running against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Likud party leadership next month, party sources said today.”

2014: “Over 80 people were treated for respiratory problems on both sides of the Israel-Jordan border this morning, amid warnings of an ecological disaster following a major oil spill overnight that flooded the highway leading into Eilat.” (As reported by Avi Lewis)

2015(22nd of Kislev, 5776): Seventy-five-year-old “long-term MK Yossi Sarid” passed away today.


2015: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila is scheduled it annual “Taste of Chanukah.”

2015: In Cedar Rapids, Shir Yehuda will lead Temple Judah in a “Musical Shabbat.”

2016(2nd of Kislev, 5777): Ninety-two-year-old Jacob “Jack” Rudin, the New York City born son of the former May Cohen and Samuel Rudin, who was a Bronze Star winning WW II veteran, real estate developer and member of Congregation Sheartih Israel passed away today.'

2016: Israeli-born composer and musician Eyal Vilner is scheduled to return “to Eldridge Street with his swinging sixteen-piece band which will perform Vilner’s new compositions, original versions of jazz classics and music from the Big Band’s new project “Sacred Swinging Sounds!”

2016: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses and Liberation of Joan Rivers by Leslie Bennetts, The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History by Chris Smith, Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means by Michael Krasny, The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel by Steven Fine, Moses: A Human Life by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and Jerusalem: 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holocomb

2016: “Holy Zoo” and “Forever Pure” are scheduled to be shown at the 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival.

2017: “LA folk singer Cindy Paley will perform with Issac Sadigursky on accordion, Miamon Miller on violin, Zinovy Goro on clarinet, and guest artist from Poland Menachem Mirski are scheduled to perform this evening at Valley Beth Shalom.

2017: The Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present a lecture by historian Jeremy Adelman on “Pariahs and Prophets: How Outsiders Help Insiders Think About the Wordl.”

2017: Global Jewish singer, superstar Yaakov Shwekey is playing live for one night only in London tonight as Mizrachi UK launch their “Israel 70 programme”

2017: Rabbi David Wolpe is scheduled to present the first session of “Lessons on Lust and Love From the Bible: Torah As A Dating and Relationship Manuel” at the Streicker Center.

2017: Jewish Book Month, an annual event that provides us with a chance to contemplate Jewish books and the lives of authors such as Deborah Pessin whose works included History of the Jews In America, one of the first Jewish history books I ever read, continues today.

2018(26th of Kislev, 5779): Second Day of Chanukah

2018(26th of Kislev, 5779): Ninety-six year old Selma Wynberg one of the last two survivors of the Sobibor uprising passed away today. (As reported by Katharine Q. Seelye)

2018: The Temple Emanuel Streicker Center is scheduled to host “Jewish Lives, Jewish Legacies” during eight biographers discuss the lives of several prominent Jews including Rabbi Akiva – Sage of The Talmud; Barry W. Holtz, Professor of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Barbra Streisand who redefined Beauty, Femininity and Power;Neal Gabler, award-winning journalist and historian; David Ben-Gurion – Father of Modern Israel; Anita Shapira, winner of the Israel Prize for History; Louis D. Brandeis – American Prophet; Jeffrey Rosen, President & CEO of the National Constitution Center; Emma Goldman for whom Revolution was a Way of Life; Vivian Gornick, celebrated critic and essayist; Hank Greenberg, America’s leading Jewish athlete; Mark Kurlansky, award-winning author of 32 works of fiction and nonfiction; Peggy Guggenheim;Francine Prose, award-winning author of 20 novels; Yitzhak Rabin – Soldier, Leader, Statesman and Itamar Rabinovich, Rabin’s ambassador in Washington and president of the Israel Institute

2018: Thousands of women are expected to take to the streets today to protest government inaction in addressing violence against women; cities including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Be'er Sheva and Jerusalem and many companies and organizations pledge support to campaign. (YNET)

2018: The Yiddish Book Center is scheduled to host Gerri Chanel in an “author talk” in which she talks about “Saving Mona Lisa.”


2019: In New Orleans, The Hillel at Tulane University, of which the author of this blog was once President, is scheduled to hold its board meeting.  (“History is what the people writing the history say it is.” Anonymous):

2019: In San Francisco, at Green Apple Books, Jewish author Michael Franks is scheduled to discuss his new novel What is Missing.

2019: In Oakland, CA, Temple Sinai is scheduled to present “Teaching Israel on Campus: the Cal Experience” during which “UC Berkeley professor Ron Hassner discusses Israel, Zionism and anti-Semitism at U.S. colleges, with a focus on his campus.”

2019: The American Sephardi Association, the World Jewish Congress and JIMENA are scheduled to co-host “Jewish Refugee Commemoration at the United Nations,” “Israel’s official day to commemorate Jewish refugees from North Africa and the Middle East.”

2019: The Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host a “Toast the Term” celebration.

2019: The Streicker Center is scheduled to present “Rebecca Traister on the Power of Women’s Anger.”

2020: In Manhattan, the Marlene Myerson JCC is scheduled to host a second day of the Other Israel Film Festival which will featuring a “Shabbat Night Dinner program with a screening of My Dearest Enemy followed by a Q and A.

2020: Based on information made public yesterday, as of today “Israel is now due to receive two shipments of two million doses each, which are expected to arrive either by the end of December or the start of January.”

2020: the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the Jaxson Magazine are scheduled to co-host a celebration of  the contributions of Jacksonville’s Jewish community and its connections to renowned businessman and national philanthropist Julius Rosenwald through a screening of Aviv Kempner’s documentary film “Rosenwald.”

2020: Temple Israel of Boston is scheduled to present online the start of its Burstein Scholar-in-Residence weekend with Robert Putnam.

2020: The Contemporary Jewish Museum is scheduled to host a talk about Levi Strauss’ journey to the West, his role in founding a new Jewish community and his philanthropy, by Lynn Downey, author of a 2016 book about Strauss.

2020: In Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Temple Judea is scheduled to host a Chanukah Drive By Event For Adults with Rabbi Yaron, Rabbi Feivel, and Cantorial Soloist Abbie Strauss.

2020: In Columbus, OH, the Tifereth Israel Congregation is scheduled to complete its study of How to Read the Jewish Bible.

2021: 2021: In partnership with Menemsha Films, The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County is scheduled to host a screening of “A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto” as part of the Hanukah Film Festival.

2021: The Eden Tamir Center is scheduled to host “The Glorious Sound of the Piano” featuring “Shubertiade in 4 Hands.”

2021: In Iowa, YAD is scheduled to host a community Channukah party.

2021: The French Cultural Center of Boston is scheduled to present online a conversation with journalist and author Anne Sinclair as she discusses her latest book, In the Shadow of Paris which is both a memoir and an historical document in which the author “takes us on a journey to find answers in this age of rising antisem­itism worldwide, answers about the life of her grandfather Léonce Schwartz.”

2021: In Columbus, OH, Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host Chanukah Under The Stars in its parking lot complete with a musical Havdalah and concert, s’mores, sufganiyot and a whole lot more.

2021(30th of Kislev, 5782): TRIPLE HEADER SHABBAT – Parshat Miketz; Shabbat Shel Chanukah; Rosh Chodesh Tevet.

2022: The Stone at The New School is scheduled to host a special free concert during which the acclaimed Saxophonist and Composer, Uri Gurvich, and his Quartet invite the Bergamot String Quartet for a unique collaboration, presenting global jazz at its best.”

2022: In New Orleans, Rabbi Daniel Kripper, author of Living Fully is scheduled to give a one-day workshop based on his work and his book.

2022: The Mandel Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host its "Meet the Latkes" family event in Beachwood, OH.

2022: Bob Silber and Jonathan Lachman are scheduled to co-host a Zoom meeting “If My Parents Were Alive: Lessons Learned From Two Holocaust Survivors.”

2022: Itzhak Perlman, reigning virtuoso of the violin, is scheduled to present his collection of traditional klezmer music, In the Fiddler’s House with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

2022: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finale: Late Conversations With Stephen Sondheim by D.T. Max and The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man, a memoir about Pau Newman by David Rosenthal

2022: The ASF Institute of the Jewish Experience and the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “From Middle Eastern North African Jewish Refugees to Israeli Cultural Renaissance,” an “an international conference featuring speakers from Canada, Israel, the Netherland, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S.

2022: The National Library of Israel is scheduled to host a “conversation between Arun Schaechter Viswanath - ‘Harry Potter' Yiddish translator, and Gili Bar-Hillel Semo, 'Harry Potter' series Hebrew translator.”

2022: President Isaac Herzog is scheduled to take off today for an official visit to Bahrain at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

2022: In Metairie, LA, Chabad Jewish Center, Metairie, PJ Library and Whole Foods Market are scheduled to host “Latke Cooking at Whole Foods Market!”

2023: My Jewish Learning is scheduled to present the second lecture by Rudy Namdar on Talmudic storytelling.

2023: In Petaluma, CA, Chabad of Petaluma is scheduled to host a pre-Chanukah floral resin menorah making workshop and women’s social.

2023: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled to recognize various artists' lifetime achievements including Billy Crystal.

2023: Temple of Israel of Boston is scheduled to host its third annual concert featuring Cantor Alicia Stillman and Cantor Emeritus Roy Einhorn.

2023: The Jewish Education Project is scheduled to present “Meeting the Moment: Israel + Jewish Peoplehood Education in a Time of War.”

2023: Politics/foreign policy consultant John F. Rothmann is scheduled to discuss current events in Israel and the Middle East in an event co-sponsored by Congregation Beth Emek and CCJCC.

2023: The JWI Women to Watch Luncheon is scheduled to take place today in Washington.

2023: The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear “arguments on the legality of the Purdue Pharmacy Bankruptcy Plan” in which “in exchange for giving up ownership of drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma and for contributing up to $6 billion to fight the crisis, members of the wealthy Sackler family would be exempt from any civil lawsuits” and  “at the same time, they could potentially keep billions of dollars from their profits on OxyContin sales.”

2023: The Streicker Cultural Center is scheduled to host “50 YEARS of MS. More Than A Magazine: A Movement.”

2023: As December 4 begins in Israel, the menace to Israel is increasing based on yesterday’s attacks by the Houthis on shipping in the Red Sea and Hezbollah’s continued shelling in the north which has forced the evacuation of the civilian population while in response to international pressured the IDF has “updated” and “amended” is operational plans to do even more to minimize civilian casualties even as the rest of the Hamas held hostages begin day 59 in captivity.  (Editor’s note: this situation is too fluid for this blog to cover so we are just providing a snapshot as of the posting at midnight Israeli time)









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