September 16 In History

1380: King Charles V of France died.  Charles ruled during a very difficult time in French history – the 14thcentury – that included the One Hundred Years War and the Black Death.  For French monarchs, guile and deception were critical to keep the state afloat. Regardless of his reasons, the Jews of France fared better under him than they did under many of his predecessors and successors. When he assumed the throne in 1364, he continued to honor the promises he had made to the Jews during the Regency. The “Jews of Paris lived quietly in the district of St. Antoine, near the dwelling of Hugues Aubriot, the grand provost of Paris, who protected them” reportedly because “he was fond of the beautiful Jewesses.” He saw to it that Jewish children who had been baptized were returned to their families and that those who stole from the Jews, including members of the nobility, were punished. The Jews did have enemies including those who owed them large sums of money and members of the nobility.  These groups convinced Charles to issue a decree expelling the Jews; a decree he rescinded before it ever went into effect. “In 1370, when the king increased the general taxes, he solemnly confirmed the privileges that he had granted to the Jews, demanding of them only 1,500 francs. In 1372 he restored to them certain manuscripts which had been confiscated. But at the same time he did not lose sight of his own interests, and when he was in need of money, in 1378, he made an agreement with the Jews in accordance with which, in return for being exempted from all other imposts, they were to pay him 20,000 francs in gold, in four installments, and 200 francs a week  In 1379 he granted them an important concession in connection with the fairs of Champagne and Brie. On visiting the fairs the Jews were accustomed to take mortgages on the property of their creditors. But they could foreclose these mortgages only when solvent Christians acted as sureties, and they complained that, since they could not in general find anyone to act as surety, they always lost their claims. The king therefore decreed that Jews might in future be accepted as sureties. [Source – Jewish Encyclopedia;  for a highly readable account of life in 14thcentury France that will help you better understand the plight of the Jews see A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman.]

1498:  According to some sources, Tomas de Torquemada, head of the Spanish Inquisition which destroyed the Sephardic Community on the Iberian Peninsula, passed away.

1501: A decree was issued by the Portuguese Governor Nicolas de Oviendo which aimed at keeping Jews from entering the
New World

1638: Birthdate of Louis XIV.  Known as the Sun King, Louis reigned from 1643 until 1715.Louis’ dealings with Jews were of marginal historic interest.  During his reign, Jews were variously allowed to, and banned from, conducting trading activities in French colonies and in


. As Colbert, one of Louis’ ministers pointed, opposition by Christian merchants to Jewish business ventures was not based on religion.  Rather, the merchants were using the smoke screen of religion to eliminate competition.  Only at the end of his long, debauched life, did Louis show any interest in the religious dynamics of the issue.  Having grown pious as he faced death, Louis issued a decree banning Jews from


, including the


demanding that they leave and leave their possession behind.

1658: With the signing of the Treaty of Hadiach on this date, the Polish Crown elevated the Cossacks and Ruthenians to a position equal to that of Poles and Lithuanians in the Polish-Lithuanian Union, and in fact transformed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth into a Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth.  This led to a worsening situation for the Jews of Poland who had already suffered at the hands of the Cossacks for the last ten years.

1747:  Pope Benedict XIV prohibited Jewish converts to Christianity from giving their wives gittin(religious divorce).

1795: For the first time, during the Napoleonic Wars, British Forces occupied Cape Colony, South Africa, as way of keeping the valuable maritime choke point from falling in French hands. Although there is evidence that some non-observant Jews were living in the colony at this time, there was no organized Jewish community due to the fact that the Dutch East India Company, which controlled the colony, required all of its employees to be Protestants.  The British would leave in 1803 only to return in 1806 when they would establish a permanent colonial presence. Oddly enough, when the Dutch regained control they promulgated an ordinance allowing for the practice of all religions; an ordinance the British repealed in 1806 and did not reactivate again until 1820, at a time when Jews first began to settle as a community in South Africa.

1810: Mexico declares its independence from Spain. Spain would not recognize the independence until 1821.  At the time of the declaration


lacked an identifiable Jewish population thanks to the anti-Semitic policies of the government of


.  There were numerous Conversos living in


.  Jewish migration to


began in earnest in the middle of the 19th century. Today


has approximately 40,000 to 50,000 Jews living in the country.

1812(10th of Tishrei, 5573) Yom Kippur

1812: Rothschild observed Yom Kippur for the last time.  As an observant Jew, he walked to the synagogue, spent the day in prayer and returned home in the evening to break the fast.

1841(1st of Tishrei, 5602): Rosh Hashanah

1841: Lydia Maria Child, a non-Jew from Boston, attended Rosh Hashanah services at Shearith Isreal Synagogue in York City.  What follows are excerpts from a letter of she wrote after attending the sevice,

Shortly after entering, she and her female companion were "gruffly" moved from the front seats to the women's section "in the upper part of the house." Child then recorded her feelings of being in a Jewish house of worship. "The effect produced on my mind by witnessing the ceremonies of the Jewish synagogue was strange and bewildering; spectral and flitting; with a sort of vanishing resemblance to reality; the magic lantern of the past." As she underwent this religious experience, she was "solemnly impressed with recollections of those ancient times when the Divine was heard amid the thunders of Sinai, and the Holy Presence (Shekinah) shook the mercy seat between the cherubim." Carefully, she looked at the ark containing the "Sacred Law written on scrolls of vellum and rolled as in the time of Moses." However, she was dismayed when she realized that instead of a "brazen laver" for washing there was only "a common bowl and ewer of English delf." All male members of the congregation, even little boys, wore "fringed silk mantles bordered with blue stripes." What she found incongruous were "these mantles worn over modern broadcloth coats and fashionable pantaloons with straps." Even the dress of the "priest" as she labeled the chacham, was problematic for her. "His large white silk shawl, which shaded his forehead and fell over his shoulders, was drawn over a common black hat!" She did see this official at times "cover his face completely, as in the time of Moses, stoop and lay his forehead on the book before him." Apparently, Child had made this visit thinking the Jews of her day were representatives of biblical times. Since this was not the case for her, she wrote. "But through the whole, priest and people kept on their hats. My spirit was vexed with this. I had turned away from the turmoil of the Present, to gaze quietly for a while on the grandeur of the Past; and the representatives of the Past walked before me, not in the graceful oriental turban, but the useful European hat!" She was also critical of the shofar blowing, even as she compared it to the instrument that sounded on Sinai. "The trumpet," she wrote, "which was blown by a Rabbi with a shawl drawn over his hat and face, was of the ancient shape, somewhat resembling a cow's horn. It did not send forth a spirit-stirring peal; but the sound groaned and struggled through it."  (Editor’s note: I do not have the citation for this.  I hope the author will not think that I have ‘moved the boundary stones’ on his or her work.

1843(21st of Elul, 5603): Ezekiel Hart passed away. Born in 1767, he was a Jewish Canadian entrepreneur and politician, and the first Jew to be elected to public office in the British Empire. “He was elected three times by the voters of Trois-Rivières to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. Some members consistently prevented him from taking his seat by observing that as a Jew, he could not take the oath of office, which included the phrase ‘on the true faith of a Christian’.”

1847(6th of Tishrei, 5608): The poet Grace Aguilar died at Frankfort-on-the Main, at age 31. She was the oldest child of parents descended from Portuguese Marranos who sought asylum in


in the eighteenth century. A prominent poet and writer, her words graced Jewish journals around the world. She was a staunch defender of Judaism, and a Torah loving woman. "Her last words, spelled on her fingers, were, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him,'"

1849(29th of Elul, 5609): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1850(10th of Tishrei, 5611): Yom Kippur

1856: Birthdate of Moses Gaster, the native or Romania who become Chacham of the Spanish and Portugese Congregation in London as well as leading scholar at Oxford.

1858:Today’s Personal column reported that “a curious Hebrew publication has just issued from the Berlin press-a biography of Alexander Von Humboldt, written in the ancient tongue, and destined to extend the knowledge of the life and scientific labors of this celebrated man in the wide circle of the Russo-Polish and Asiatic Jews. The full title is, Alexander Von Humboldt: A Biographical Sketch, Dedicated to the Nestor of Wisdom on his 88th Birthday by S. Slominski.”  Alexander Von Humboldt was a Prussian born naturalist and explorer who was born in 1769 and died in 1859 at the age of 89.  He was not Jewish.

1859: A convention designed to "overcome evil with good" is scheduled to be held in Buffalo, NY.  The Jews were among those whom the public invitation should "consider themselves cordially invited."

1863(3rd of Tishrei, 5624): Tzom Gedaliah

1871(1st of Tishrei, 5632): Rosh Hashanah

1871: An article published today entitled “Commencement of the Jewish New Year” reported that “at sundown last evening the new Jewish Year, 5632 commenced.  The Jews do not inaugurate their ecclesiastical year with festivities; on the contrary, the Jewish year is commenced with ten days of atonement.”   According to the article the Jews keep the first part of year holy because they are remembering the receiving of the word from Mount Sinai. [Editor’s note – At least they got part of it right]

1876: B.F. Peixotto, the United States Consul at Bucharest, Romania, is scheduled to address the Young Men’s Hebrew Association at their meeting hall on the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue in New York City.

1877(9th of Tishrei, 5638): Erev Yom Kippur

1877: The following anti-Semitic canard was published today during the Russo-Turkish War “The Jews are indeed ubiquitous.  They are everywhere.  Their jeweled fingers are in everything.  The Russians cannot feed their troops without them.  The Turks borrow of them to clothe their armies.  No great event of any kind occurs unless they assist in it, both as principles accessories.

1877: It was reported today that Jews in the following cities have built synagogues in the past year: London & Bath (UK), Waadt (Switzerland), Rio de Jeneiro (Brazil), Linz (Austria), Bremen & Heilbrun (Germany), Ancona and Bologne (Italy), New York, Springfield & Petersburg (United States)

1877: It was reported today there 373 houses of worship in Rome, four of which are synagogues.

1877: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil will preach the sermon at Kol Nidre services this evening at Temple Emanuel in New York City

1877: Rabbi Adolph Huebsch will preach the sermon tonight at the temple on the corner of 55th Street and Lexington Avenue.

1877: Ten fires broke out tonight between 6 and 8 o’clock in places occupied by persons who are thought to be Jews.  Thanks to the swift response of the fire department none of the fires caused much damage.  The damage caused by all then fires was valued at approximately 500 dollars with individual losses ranging from “slight” to $300.

1878(4th of Tishrei, 5548): Tzom Gedaliah

1879: It was reported today that among those in Memphis who have recently contracted Yellow Fever are the Jewish brothers, James and Israel Peres, the sons of Jacob J. Peres who owns the brokerage firm of J.J. Peres & Company.

1881: It was reported today that “a disastrous fire” that has destroyed an “enormous” amount of fire has swept through Vitebsk, a major Jewish population center in the Pale of Settlement.  For more about Vitebsk see:


1882(3rd of Tishrei, 5643): Shabbat Shuva – no Fast of Gedaliah because of Shabbat

1888: It was reported today that “a peculiar and unprecedented schism has arisen among the Jews” of London.  “The Socialist Jews” have protested against the Day of Atonement by holding a banquet at the International Workingmen’s Club in Whitechapel.

1889: In Vienna, Rachel Goggmann Cenrobert and Austrian automobile entrepreneur Emil Jellinek gave birth to Mercédès Adrienne Manuela Ramona Jellinek.  She is the Mercédès in Merceds-Benz.  Yes, this quintessential German product was named for the granddaughter of the Chief Rabbi of Vienna.

1893: Birthdate of Hungarian native Sir Alexander Korda who became a leading figure in the British film industry where he worked as both a director and producer.

1898: Herzl is received by Graf Philip Eulenburg, the German ambassador in Vienna.

1898: Birthdate of prize-winning Israeli novelist Chaim Hazaz

1898: Birthdate of Hans Augusto Reyersbach, the native of Hamburg, Germany who gained fame as Hans Augusto "H.A." Rey is best known for his creation of the Curious George series.

1899: In a “Blood Libel Case’ a Hungarian jury convicted Leopold Hilsner of murder and the judge sentenced him to hang.  Following a public outcry and campaign, Hilsner would be retried, found guilty of acting as an accomplice to murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1900: Herzl meets Arminius Vámbéry in Budapest. ("He gave me his word of honor that the Sultan would receive me by May.")

1901(3rd of Tishrei, 5662):Tzom Gedaliah

1903: At its meeting today The Executive Committee of the Board of Education recommended to the Board of Education that it confirm the appointment of Miss Julie Richman as District Superintendent to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles Haskell.

1910: Jews of Salonica compel editors of Turkish paper that published anti-Semitic remarks to send a public retraction to every Turkish journal.

1912: “To Talk on Judaism” published today described the upcoming visit to the United States of Rabbi Israel Abrahams, the noted English scholar and author.  After delivering a series of lectures at Harvard on “Some Aspects of the Life and Faith of Israel from the Liberal Point of View, he will speak at various venues including Stanford, Yale and Columbia where he will speak on the theme of “A Justification of Liberal Judaism.”  (Liberal Judaism is another term for the Reform Movement)

1914:  Birthdate of Allen Funt, creator of the television hit “Candid Camera.”

1915: Albert Einstein visits


where he tells the French pacifist Roman Rolland that he was no longer hopeful about an early end to the war.  According to Rolland’s diary, Einstein described the German people as having an admiration of and belief in force and a firm determination to conquer and annex territories.

1916: The German Jewish industrialist Walter Rathenau, who had been urging European reconciliation and the mitigation of hatred, wrote a public letter to Field Marshall Ludendorff supporting the forcible deportation of 700,000 Belgian workers to


as part of the Hindenburg Industrial Program.

1916: Jewish baseball player Guy Zinn plays in his last major league game.

1917: (29th of Elul, 5677): Erev Rosh Hashanah,

1917: An article published today entitled “New Year of the Jews Begins at Sunset: Hashanah Will Be Celebrated This Evening All Over the World; Two Days of Festival Orthodox Jewish Community Devotes First and Second of Month of Tishri to Observance” reported that “The celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the festival of the New Year, by the Jewish people throughout the world will begin at sunset this evening.  The new year is 5678 in the Hebraic calendar and begins on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri, the month that is held to be of great importance as the festival of the New year, the fast of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement and the festival of Succoth, or Tabernacles, the harvest fest all occur during that month.

1917: During World War I, U.S. soldiers and sailors began their furloughs today so that they could participate in the observance of Rosh Hashanah.  The War and Navy departments had agreed to a request for the holiday furloughs that had been made by Jewish Board for Welfare Work.

1918(10th of Tishrei, 5679): Final observance of Yom Kippur during World War I.

1918: Sir John Monash, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Australian Army planned the allied attack on the German defenses known as the Battle of the Hindenburg Line, which began today.

1919: In a lengthy written memorandum, Adolph Hitler first expresses his hatred of the Jews describing them as a people that infect host nations with a kind of racial tuberculosis.  He called for measures that would eliminate them from all level of the nation’s cultural and economic life.

1922: The League Nations recognized the Jewish Agency as the organization authorized to act in concert with the British Mandate authorities with a view to “facilitating the Jewish immigration and fostering intensive settlement of Israelites on the soil of the country.”

1924: Birthdate of Lauren Bacall.  Born on
Staten Island
as Betty Joan Perske, Bacall is a relative of Shimon Peres.  She was married to Humphrey Bogart in 1945; a marriage that lasted until his death in 1957.  They co-starred in three film-noires of the 1940's - The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and
Key Largo

1924: Birthdate of Bess Myerson.  Bess Myerson was crowned Miss American in 1945.  She was the first (and only Jew) to win the honor.  It is strange that the first Jew to be named


’s national beauty queen came as Americans were basking in the victory over Nazi Germany and were learning of the horrors of the death camps. For many American Jews, her victory was a sign of the acceptance of Jews by the general population.

1925: Birthdate of Samuel Menashe Weisberg, who as Samuel Menashe, became “a Greenwich Village poet whose jewel-like, gnomic short verse won him an ardent following in Britain and belated recognition in the United States when the Poetry Foundation gave him its first Neglected Masters Award in 2004.”

1925(27th of Elul, 5685): Alexander Alexandrovich Friedman, Russian physicist who discovered the expanding-universe solution to the general relativity field equations in 1922, passed away.

1926: Dr. Isaac Landman, editor of The Ameircan Hebrew, presided over a memorial program dedicated to the late Israel Zangwill which was broadcast in New York and New England through the efforts of Stations WRNY, New York, and WMAF, South Dartmouth, Mass.

1927: Birthdate Peter Falk, “who marshaled actorly tics, prop room appurtenances and his own physical idiosyncrasies to personify Columbo, one of the most famous and beloved fictional detectives in television history.” Falk’s paternal ancestry was Jewish. He passed away in June of 2011.

1935: Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn the Zionist leader who worked to revive spoken Hebrew and helped found the Safah Berurah ("Plain Language") society in


passed away.

1935(18th of Elul, 5695): Isaac Loeb Goldberg, “one of the world’s foremost Jewish philanthropists and a founder of the modern Zionist movement passed away today at the age of 75.  A long time resident of Tel Aviv, he was in Zurich at the time of his death seeking medical treatment.  A native of Szaki, Lithuania (which was part of the Russian Empire), this son of poor merchants received “the usual Jewish educational training” before becoming the representative of a pharmaceutical company and finally a “contractor of medical goods for the Russian Army.”    In 1861, Goldberg was a founder of Chovevie Zion (Lovers of Zion), one of the forerunners of the modern Zionist movement.  In 1897 he was a delegate to the First Zionist Congress.  He was a founder of the Jewish Colonial Trust and editor of Haolom, “the official organ of Russian Zionism” which was published in Vilna, Lithuania. Following the failed Revolution of 1905, Goldberg was imprisoned for remarks in the paper that were critical of the government.  After being released, he served as President of the Russian Zionist organization from 1912 until 1914.  Throughout this period and during the World War, Goldberg was a generous, though often anonymous, benefactor to the Zionist cause.  In 1902, Goldberg donated “a large area of land on Mt. Scopus” to the Jewish National Fund which was that agency’s first acquisitions of territory in Eretz Israel. From 1903 until 1915, Goldberg served on the General Council of the World Zionist Organization during which time he founded Achiasaf, one of the great Jewish publishing houses.  Goldberg’s commitment to Hebrew language and culture was further exemplified by his founding of Haaretz and generous contributions to the Hebrew Institute for Culture and Language.  Goldberg made Aliyah in 1919.  As a resident of Tel Aviv he continued to serve as a director of the Jewish Colonial Trust, the Anglo-Palestine Bank and the Palestine Land Development Company.  Tragedy struck in 1929 when Mr. Goldberg’s son, Benjamin was killed during the Arab riots.  In April of 1935, the grieving father donated “28 dunams of thickly wooded land for a city park” to be built in Tel Aviv and to be named in his son’s memory.

1938: During the ongoing outbreak of Arab terror and violence the Rabbinate in Palestine “proclaimed today as a day of fasting for throughout the world because of the situation in” Eretz Israel.

1939: Salomon Gluck, a French doctor and future leader in the Resistance, returned from London and enlisted in the French Army today.

1940: Sam Rayburn becomes Speaker of the House of Representative.  A Democrat from rural


, Rayburn defied convenient stereotyping.  Rayburn was an internationalist and a supporter of the New Deal.  In 1941, isolationist forces attempted to end the newly enacted peacetime draft that was enabling the


military to build its forces prior to
Pearl Harbor
.  Rayburn turned back the attempt.  If he had failed the Army would have been reduced to a comparative handful of soldiers at the time of the Japanese attack and leaving American truly vulnerable to defeat at the hands of the Axis.  The consequences for Jews would have been disastrous.  In 1943, when a group of Four Hundred Rabbis marched on


to demand American action to help the Jews of Europe, Rayburn was one of the national leaders who publicly greeted them.  In 1948, unlike many Southerners, Rayburn supported


’s friend, Harry Truman, in his bid for re-election.



enacted laws establishing authority for the Aryanization of the country.

1941(24th of Elul, 5701): Jews from the town of Uman were brought to ditches at the airfield upon the excuse of taking a town census. SS officers systematically went down the line with pistols and shot each of the Jews - men, woman and children alike. The death toll was an estimated 22,000.

1942(5th of Tishrei, 5703): Six thousand Jews from Jedrzejów, Poland, are murdered at the Treblinka death camp.

1943:  More than 37,000 Italian Jews come under German rule.

1943:"The first consignment of two dozen Jews was shipped from a town in northern Italy to Auschwitz.  Among them was a six year old child who was gassed upon arrival."

1943: The Nazis deported the first Italian Jews from the town of

Merano With Mussolini

no longer running the Italian government;


had taken control of 95% of


. With the Nazis in direct control of


, conditions worsened for the Jews as can be seen from what would be the first of many deportations to the death camps of
Eastern Europe

1945(9th of Tishrei, 5706): Erev Yom Kippur

1945: British Prime Minister Clement Attlee harshly rejected President Truman’s plea that 100,000 Jewish displaced persons be admitted into



1948: George Hawkins and Frederick Sylvester, two British officials of the Jerusalem Electric Corporation went on trial for second time. They were charged with acts of espionage, including passing information to the Arabs

1948: Count Folke Bernadotte the "U.N. mediator on


" recommended that the Israel Negev "should be defined as Arab territory" and made part of
.  He also supported the unconditional or Arab refugees to the state of


.  He had previously recommended that the


should be placed under international control and turning control over Jewish immigration to the United Nations.   The following day Bernadotte was assassinated by members of a group founded by Lehi also known as the Stern Gang.  Following the shooting, the government ordered the disbanding of the Irgun and arrested 200 members of Lehi. This was not the first assassination by members of Lehi.  As can be seen by the arrests, the tactics of the Stern Gang were rejected by the Yishuv (the Jewish community).

1951: The Greater New York Committee for the Israel Bond Issue kicks off its fall campaign at Straus Square on the Lower East Side.  David Horowitz, director General of Finance of the Israeli government is a featured speaker.

1951: The 37th annual convention of Hadassah opens with 3,500 delegates in attendance.  Opening day speakers include Senator Hubert Humphrey and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett.

1951: Despite the on-going food shortages, Israel’s economy showed growth and vitality today “when Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion formally opened the new plant of the General Tire and Rubber Company” located near Petah Tkiva.  By the end of 1952 the plant is expected to producing 2,500 tons of tires annually which will be sufficient to meet local needs and leave extra product for export.  Ben-Gurion called on Israeli’s to show the same spirit in the developing the Jewish state as had been demonstrated by the American pioneers. Ben Gurion reiterated his dream of Israel becoming an industrial center capable of meeting the needs of nations in the near, middle and far East.

1956:  Birthdate of magician David Copperfield.

1959(13th of Elul, 5719): Harpsichordist and composer Wanda Landowska, who was credited with the 20th-century revival of harpsichord music, passed away.

1960:  Pitching in relief of starter Don Drysdale, Larry Sherry gains his 14th victory (Sherry was Jewish; Drysdale was not.  According to an oft repeated baseball tale, Drysdale pitched in place of Sandy Koufax who had taken off for Yom Kippur.  Drysdale did not have a good night and as he came off of the mound after an unsuccessful inning he turned to manager Walt Alston and supposedly said, “I bet that tonight you wish I was Jewish.”

1966: First baseman Mike Epstein made his major league with the Baltimore Orioles.

1969: Birthdate of Justine Frischmann, guitarist and daughter of a Holocaust survivor.

1972: Following the Munich Massacre, Israel launched Operation Extended Turmoil 4 against bases in southern Lebanon, containing an estimated 600 guerrillas. “Golani forces reached the Litani river in the east, while Paratroopers reached Juwaya just south of the river. Most of the guerrilla forces did not engage the Israelis and chose to retreat, although over 40 of them were killed.”

1977:  Moshe Dayan returned to


where he met with the Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister, Hassan Tuhami.  Tuhami made it clear that Sadat was prepared to negotiate directly with


, that he did not insist on a conference with other Arab States and that he would accept an Israeli withdrawal from Sinai in return for a peace treaty.  Sadat would not require settlement of any other issues as condition to signing the peace treaty.  This meeting set the stage for the
Camp David
negotiations that would take place in the following year.

1982: A meeting between U.S. diplomats and Israeli officials was held at the Ministry of Defense concerning the entry of Phalangists into the Shatila Refugee camp.

1985(1st of Tishrei, 5746): Rosh Hashanah

1988:Joan Micklin Silver's "Crossing Delancey," the story of love between a professional
Upper East Side
woman and a pickle seller from the
Lower East Side
, was released in theaters

1990: The New York Times reported that



, which has a large Jewish enrollment, and the College of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic institution in


, are teaming up in a comparative-religion study program that officials hope will promote understanding between students of the two faiths. The program is a result of a gift from Jacob Hiatt, a trustee at both institutions, and his daughter and son-in-law,


and Robert Kraft. The gift will endow a professorship at each of the institutions, which are about 45 miles apart. Brandeis will establish the Kraft-Hiatt Chair in Christian Studies as part of the school's Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department. At Holy Cross, the Kraft-Hiatt Chair in Judaic Studies will function as part of the Department of Religion. Officials at the institutions could not say whether such a venture had ever been undertaken anywhere else in the nation.

1991: A memorandum of this date provides proof that the “KGB intervened… to stop an investigation into” the fate of Raoul Wallenberg. “The  memorandum from the Swedish Embassy in Moscow cites the former head of the Soviet "Special Archive," Anatoly Prokopenko, as telling Swedish diplomats that the KGB instructed him to stop a search for documents by researchers working for the first International Wallenberg Commission.”

1992:On Black Wednesday George Soros became immediately famous when he sold short more than $10 billion worth of pounds, profiting from the Bank of England’s reluctance to either raise its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchanges.

1993(1st of Tishrei, 5754): The first observance of Rosh Hashanah after the signing of the Oslo Accords on September 13; an event that has cause many rabbis to change their high holiday sermons.

1993: As a result the signing of the Oslo Accords on September 13 Rabbi Shelton Donnell of Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, was scheduled to switch his Rosh Hashanah sermon from one discussing the use of time to a talk on the new prospects for peace.

1993:At the Conservative Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson is scheduled tell prayer-goers that if the Israelis and Palestinians can make peace, Americans can also overcome seemingly insurmountable problems of racism, homophobia and poverty.

1993:At Irvine's Orthodox synagogue, Beth Jacob, Rabbi Joel Landau is scheduled to speak about sacrifice, offering the peace accord as an example of "people sometimes making tough decisions in order to do what's right."

2001 (28th of Elul, 5761): Samuel Z. Arkoff, American film producer, passed away.

2002(10thof Tishrei, 5763): Yom Kippur

2004(1stof Tishrei, 5765): Rosh Hashanah

2005: The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz reported on the Ariel Sharon’s speech to the United Nations.  Sharon took the same take as two other soldiers turned Prime Minister, in proclaiming himself as a champion of peace in the Middle Easter, recognizing the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own.

2006: In the evening, Selichot Services, as Jews prepare for the High Holidays.

2006 (23rd of Elul, 5766): Helen Deschmaps Adams, member of the French Resistance during World War II passed away at the age of 85 at her home in Manhattan.  As Helen Deschmaps (Adams was the name of her American husband) “she saved American parachutists from capture…and helped Jewish families escape to Spain…She…posed as a secretary at the headquarters of the Milice…the force known as the French Gestapo. She stole the records of people marked for execution including Jews and resistance fighters…"  In one of her memoirs entitled Spyglass, this righteous person asks the question “If you had to renounce family, friends, and any kind of normal lifestyle to fight a fierce enemy, would you?”

2006: Jack Kirby was among the artists honored in the exhibition "Masters of American Comics" at the Jewish Museum in New York City. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor.

2006: In article entitled Faith changes in Banglatown, but our social enrichment stays the same” published today Rabbi Jonathan Sacks traces the recent history of the Jews of London.

Walking down Brick Lane in the heart of the East End of London it was hard to believe that it was once called Little Jerusalem because of the number of Jews living there. A century earlier it was full of Huguenots, refugees from persecution in France. Today it is known locally as Banglatown. The sights and sounds, dress and language, are Bangladeshi. A century from now it will be something else again as the next wave of newcomers make it their own. The faces change, the story stays the same. I was making a television programme to be shown just before the Jewish New Year. The theme dictated itself. This year British Jews have been celebrating the 350th anniversary of their readmission during the time of Oliver Cromwell, having been expelled by Edward I in 1290. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that all immigrant groups face the same challenges. Then it was Jews: now Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Looking back at those fraught beginnings, what eventually emerged was a story of hope. In the course of making the programme, Sir Martin Gilbert told me of the struggle that Jews had to win readmission. Their case was made by the gifted polymath from Amsterdam, Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel. His argument was a curious mix of the practical and the theological. The admission of Jews would, he said, be good for trade. It would also hasten the Messiah who would come, the Bible said, when Jews had been scattered to every land on Earth. Their absence from England was holding up redemption. To the English Puritans of the 17th century, this was not as strange an idea as it would be considered today. The Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, shared with me his thoughts about the 11 years that it took for the first Jewish MP, Lionel de Rothschild, to gain admission to Parliament. First elected in 1847, it was not until 1858 that he was able to take his seat without a Christian oath. The Speaker spoke movingly about the integrity of a man prepared to wait that long to be able to serve his country without denying his religious faith. Yet it was walking in Brick Lane, together with the historian Dr Anne Kershen, that past and present came together most vividly. A century ago Jews had to face the same suspicion and hostility that confronts other immigrant groups today. In 1911 one national paper was blunt about Jews: “We cannot consent longer to admit these thousands of undesirables” or “permit indefinitely the scum of Europe to be poured into our country”. It cautioned: “That way lies the moral and spiritual death of our race.” Yet within less than a century the “scum of Europe” had produced leading industrialists such as Arnold Weinstock, intellectuals like Isaiah Berlin, two of Britain’s last four lord chief justices, Nobel prizewinners, leading politicians, historians of the calibre of Martin Gilbert and Simon Schama, and television personalities from Alan Sugar to Robert Winston. What was the key factor? In retrospect one can only marvel at the foresight of the prophet Jeremiah who, in his letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon 26 centuries ago, told them: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jews throughout the generations have cared for their religious identity and taken great pains to pass it on to their children. Yet they also, under Jeremiah’s tutelage, cared for the country in which they lived. They loved Britain for its tolerance, its eccentricities, its respect for tradition. They were devoted to its institutions, above all the Royal Family. Jews had spoken Yiddish — a folk language that mixed medieval German with Hebrew and Aramaic — for a thousand years. Yet they gave it up so that their children would be forced to speak English. They knew how important social and cultural integration was. They also knew that you do not have to give up your religious identity in order to belong. Their ideal was to be good English men and women as well as good Jews. The programme will show a group of young Muslims, members of the City Circle, who are taking the same route. There is no alternative than to love your country and contribute to it while loving your faith and staying true to it.

2007((4 Tishrei, 5768): Fast of Gedaliah observed. Normally the Fast of Gedaliah is observed on the third of Tishrei.  But when a minor fast day falls on Shabbat, as it does this year, it is observed on the following day.

2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured reviews of The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life by Robert B. Reich, the Jewish economist who served as Clinton’s Secretary of Labor and  The Zookeeper’s Wife, a story about saving Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto from the Final Solution, by Diane Ackerman.

2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured reviews of The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt and James L. Kugel’s How To Read The Bible:  A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now which the author says “is intended as a guide to, and a tour through, the Hebrew Bible. In it, he has tried to write down most of what he knows about the Bible, its past as well as its present. That makes it a little different from other books on the subject.”

2007: “Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country” opens at the Jewish Museum of New York.

2007: At the Jewish Museum in

New York

an exhibition entitled, “The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend” comes to a close.

2008: Release of Indignation, Philip Roth's twenty-ninth book, a story of inexperience, foolishness, intellectual resistance, sexual discovery, courage, and error set in the early days of t

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