September 19

335: Dalmatius is raised to the rank of Caesar by his Uncle Constantine I who had turned the Roman Empire into a Christian entity.  Following the death of Constantine, his successor Constantius II reportedly had Dalmatius murdered along with other members of his family whom he considered a threat to his rule.  Constantinus consolidation of power was not a good thing for the Jewish people because he was responsible for a whole series of laws and regulations that were “explicitly anti-Jewish.”

1356: The English decisively defeated the French, led by King John II at the Battle of Poitiers.  The English captured the French king and held him for ransom.  The Dauphine, the future King Charles V, served as regent during his father’s imprisonment.  He authorized the return of the Jews to France “in order to use the taxes to enable him to pay his father's ransom.”  When he assumed the throne, Charles V would continue to honor the promises he had made to the Jews during his regency.

1590:Today three years before he passed away, Moshe Alshich granted simichah to Chaim ben Joseph Vital.  Alshcich was born in Turkey in 1508 but settled in Safed where he was a disciple of Rabbi Joseph Caro.

1657: During the Swedish invasion of Poland, a period called the Deluge, the Polish king gives up his claims over Prussia in return for aid in fighting the forces of Charles X, the Swedish monarch. This was a period of great suffering for the Jews of Poland who treated badly by the invading Swedes and treated even worse by the various Polish military forces.

1777: During the American Revolution, the First Battle of Saratoga begins.  The victory at


was critical because it brought the French into the war on the side of the Americans. Colonel David Salisbury Franks, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the American Revolution distinguished himself during this pivotal battle in American history.

1798(9th of Tishrei, 5559): As the naval forces of the Second Coalition assert their control over the Mediterranean in their on-going fight with Napoleon, Jews on both sides hear the chanting of Kol Nidre this evening.

1812 (13th of Tishrei, 5573): A.M. Rothschild passed away.

1847(9th of Tishrei, 5608): Jews living in California hear Kol Nidre for the first time this evening as citizens of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

1849(3rd of Tishrei, 5610):Tzom Gedaliah

1857: The New York Times reports on the dedication of a “House of Israel,” a new synagogue in Baltimore, MD “where the ladies of the congregation established a free school for religious instruction.”

1859:George Bush “an American biblical scholar, pastor, abolitionist and Christian Restorationist academic” passed away. Bush, who is reportedly related to the two Americans of that name “published a book entitled ‘The Valley of Vision; or, The Dry Bones of Israel Revived’” in 1844. “In it he denounced “the thralldom and oppression which has so long ground them (the Jews) to the dust,” and called for “elevating” the Jews “to a rank of honorable repute among the nations of the earth” by re-creating the Jewish State in the land of Israel. This, according to Bush, would benefit not only the Jews, but all of mankind, forming a “link of communication” between humanity and God. “It will blaze in notoriety...". “It will flash a splendid demonstration upon all kindreds and tongues of the truth.”

1861(15th of Tishrei, 5622): Sukkoth (I can find no record of a Sukkah being built by either Union or Confederate troops.)

1862:Federal forces under the command of Lt. Colonel Gabriel Netter clashed with a much larger force of Confederates near Owensboro.  Netter refused to surrender and was killed during the ensuring clash. Netter was one of the many Jews who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

1863:  During the Civil War,
and Rebel forces clash at the Battle of Chickamauga. Frederick Kneffler was cited for bravery at the battle of


. This Jewish resident of


, attained the rank of Major General while commanding the 79th


1864: A citation awarding the Medal of Honor to Corporal Isaac Gause, was issued today for his valor on the battlefield on September 13. The citation was issued to the Jewish trooper serving with Company, 2nd Ohio Cavalry “Capture of the colors of the 8th South Carolina Infantry while engaged in a reconnaissance along the Berryville and Winchester Pike.”  This would have meant that Gause was serving in the Army of the Shenandoah under the command of General Philip Sheridan.  The campaign successfully drove the Rebels from the Shenandoah Valley which was a key source of supply for the Confederate Army.  Capturing another unit’s colors was the epitome of success and called for unusual bravery because in those days military units fought ferociously to avoid having their flags captured.

1866(10thof Tishrei, 5626): Yom Kippur

1866: An article entitled “Yom Kippur” published today states that “Yesterday at sunset began the most important of all Jewish” festivals “that of the ‘Yom Kippur,' or Day of Atonement--a feast which is more generally observed by the Hebrew race throughout the world than any other of their numerous festivals.”

1870: The Italian Army laid siege to Rome, the capital of the Papal States.  The one day siege would prove successful.  Rome would become the capital of a newly unified Italian nation.  And Italy would go from one of the worst places in Europe for Jews to live to one of the best.

1875: An article published today entitled “Whitewashing Shylock” provides a refreshingly different view of the famed character from the “Merchant of Venice.”  The real villains are Antonio, the Merchant of Venice who was “humbug and a tuft-hunter” who falsely portrayed himself as a man of wealth and Bassanio.  They sought to cheat Shylock and use the fact that he was a Jewish moneylender to their advantage. The only weapon left to Shylock was cunning which “he sharpened up for this occasion.

1876(1st of Tishrei, 5637): As the United States celebrates its centennial, Jews observe Rosh Hashanah1879(2nd of Tishrei, 5640): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

1881: It was reported today a committee of Jews representing communities all over Russia has arrived in St. Petersburg with the hopes of meeting with the Minister of Interior. They plan to present him with a petition asking for “an official public declaration of liberty for all creeds and suspension…of the laws sanctioning the expulsion of Jews from certain localities.

1881: President James Garfield dies from an assassin’s bullet.


was shot by a disgruntled office seeker named Charles Guiteau.  This brought the long simmering battle over political patronage jobs in the federal government to a boil.  Garfield’s death provided the impetus for the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.  The Pendleton Act created a system of federal service positions that were filled based on merit not political patronage.  This civil service system based on ability would provide career opportunities to future generation of Jewish professionals.

1881: In Schenectady, NY “Isaac Levy, wholesale liquor dealer, and Lewis Behr, tailor, draped their shops in black for the fallen president.”  Jews had already expressed their sorrow by holding special prayer services at Gates of Heaven when the President had been shot. (As reported by the Schenectady County Historical Society)

1884(29thof Elul, 5644): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1884(29thof Elul, 5644): In Leadville, CO, Rabbi Sachs, a recent graduate of Hebrew Union College led the services dedicating the new building that would house Temple Israel.

1884: One of the major wholesale houses in the clothing trade – Rindskopf Brothers & Co – failed today.  Simon Rindskopf, Morris Rindskopf, Raphael Buchman and Jacob Rosenthal, the company’s partner “filed an assignment in the County Clerk’s office for the benefit of their creditors.”

1885(10th of Tishrei, 5646): Yom Kippur

1885: Rabbi Gottheil will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at Temple Emanu-El

1885: Rabbi H. P. Mendes will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at the 19thStreet Synagoue.

1885: Rabbi De Sola Mendes will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at Shaary Tefila

1885: Rabbi Kohut will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at Ahavas Chesed

1885: Rabbi Henry S. Jacob will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at the Madison Avenue Synagogue.

1885: Rabbi I.C. Noot will deliver the Yom Kippur sermon at B’nai Israel on east 4th Street in New York City.

1886: Three hundred Romanian Jews arrived in New York aboard the SS Egypt.

1887(1stof Tishrei, 5648): Rosh Hashanah

1887: Rabbi Gottheil is scheduled deliver the Rosh Hashanah sermon at Temple Emanu-El

1887: Rabbi H. P. Mendes is scheduled to deliver the Rosh Hashanah sermon at the 19thStreet Synagogue

1887: Rabbi De Sola Mendes is scheduled to deliver the Rosh Hashanah sermon at the 44thStreet Synagogue

1887: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to deliver the Rosh Hashanah sermon at the Madison Avenue Synagogue. The sermon will be based on the text “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

1887: Rabbi Kohut is scheduled to deliver the Rosh Hashanah sermon at Ahavas Chesed.

1889: “A Library’s Record” published today provides a description of the success enjoyed by the Maimonides Library which was established by B’nai B’rith in New York.  In the past year, the library has acquired 2,781 volumes bringing its total collection to 32,326 books.  The percentage of books in circulation has increased from 32 per cent to 37 per cent.

1899(15thof Tishrei, 5660): Jews observe the last Sukkoth of the 19th century

1901:  Birthdate of Hungarian born, American movie producer Joseph Pasternak. His more than ninety movies include Anchors Away and Date With Judy.

1904(10th of Tishrei, 5665): Yom Kippur

1904: Birthdate of Avot Yeshurun, a Ukrainian born “Israeli poet who wove Arabic and Yiddish idiom into a unique and influential form of Hebrew verse.”

1906(29thof Elul, 5666): Erev Rosh Hashanah

1908: Birthdate of Victor Frederick Weisskopf an Austrian-born Jewish American theoretical physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and then later worked to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

1911: An agreement was reached that ended the strike of garment makers guaranteeing that high fashioned clothing will be available for the fall and winter seasons.  The employers were represented by Julius Henry Cohen and the workers were represented by Meyer London.  Men of the quality of Louis Brandeis and Louis Marshall will serve on the Board of Arbitration established by the settlement.

1911: In London, England the Behtnal Green Board of Guardians reverses its previous decision to reject the bid of Jewish contractors, but the Jews decided not to accept the contract.

1917(3rd of Tishrei, 5678): Tzom Gedaliah

1917: Anti-Jewish riots in Tunis cause five Jews to be injured, and their shops pillaged and vandalized.

1917: Furloughs granted to U.S. soldiers and sailors so that they could observe the Jewish New Year came to an end.

1918: The British under General Allenby began the last major offensive against the Turks in that part of the Ottoman Empire that would later include the state of Israel.  The Jewish Brigade would play an active role in this campaign, which would include the conquest of the land east of the


and all the way to



1923(9th of Tishrei, 5684): Erev Yom Kippur

1929: New York attorney Jonah Goldstein and his wife arrived in Palestine aboard the SS Bremen.  Goldstein had been sent by Jewish organizations in the United States to assess the philanthropic needs of the community in Eretz Israel and to report on the real facts behind the Arab violence including the behavior of the British mandatory government.

1929: According to the Jerusalem correspondent of the London Financial News, the total amount of damages from the recent Arab inspired violence in Palestine will exceed five million dollars.  Damages in Hebron are reported to be in excess of three quarters of a million dollars.

1929: In an article telegraphed tonight, “the Jerusalem correspondent of The Daily Mail reports that continuance of peace ‘hangs by a slender thread.’”  Furthermore the situation is so tense, that the only guarantee of security lies with the presence of a British military presence.



outfielder and slugger Hank Greenberg refuses to play on Yom Kippur.

1934: Birthdate of Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles.

1936: Seventy-five year old Meier Dizengoff, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, is stricken with pneumonia. The illness will prove fatal.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Palestine Arabs welcomed the statement made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Butrus Ghali Pasha, expressing firm opposition to the country's partition. The Arabs declared that they might boycott the new League of Nations Commission which was expected to come to


for an ad-hoc inquiry on how to effect and determine details of such partition.

1939: German forces occupied the Polish city of


and began killing the local Jews.

1940: Nazi decree forbidding non-Jews to work for Jews in their homes or businesses was promulgated.  This ban included forbidding gentile women from working in Jewish homes, which seems a little odd given the conditions under which the Jews were living by 1940.

1941: Birthdate of Cass Elliot.  Born Ellen Naomi Cohen in


, she changed her name to Cass Elliot and moved to

New York

to seek fame and fortune on Broadway.  She would later gain fame as Mama Cass singing with the Mamas and the Pappas.





. This military victory opened one of the darkest chapters of the Holocaust.

1941(27th of Elul, 5701): Thousands of Jews are murdered at Zhitomir, Ukraine

1941: As per the Nazi decree of

September 1, 19
, the Jews of Slovakia,


, and


are required to wear identifying Yellow Stars.

1942: Three thousand Jews of Tuczyn were ordered into a ghetto. Five days later Germans and Ukrainians raided the ghetto. As resistance is put up by a small band of Jews armed with axes and petrol resisted the attack. Two thousand Jews made their escape to the forests. One thousand of them were found and shot. Three hundred starving women and children came back to the ghetto. In all, only 15 would survive the war.

1942: Today, as captured on film, the local police deported the Jews from Hollerich, Luxemburg.


1944(2nd of Tishrei, 5705): Rosh Hashanah II

1944(2nd of Tishrei, 5705): Almost the entire population of the Klooga Camp was killed in the German attempt to silence the witnesses. The number included 1,500 Jews and 800 Russian prisoners-of-war.

1945: Birthdate of musician David Bromberg. Bromberg grew up in

New York

. Inspired by the music of Pete Seeger and the Weavers, among others, he began studying the guitar at age 13. After graduating from


High School

, he enrolled at



intent on a career as a musicologist. According to one critic, the man who backed up Bob Dylan “fits no pigeonholes. He is part of everything contemporarily musical. He is a product of blues, country, jazz, folk, and classical music. From his early success as a guitar virtuoso, Mr. Bromberg has developed into a brilliant entertainer.”

1948: Laurence Steinhardt completed his service as U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

1951: The Israeli Cabinet approved an submitting an offer to sign non-aggression pacts with her four Arab neighbors to the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission meeting in Paris.

1951: The 37th annual convention of Hadassah comes to a close in Atlantic City, NJ.  During the convention, Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, national president of Hadassah, presented “an analysis of the future role of the Zionist movement and the stand taken on various controversial issues that were discussed at the World Zionist Congress.”  Mrs. Halprin had led the 32 member Hadassah delegation to that recently held meeting.

1951: According to a survey conducted by the government of Israel that was released today, ‘rationed and other available supplies constituting Israel’s austerity food basket in 1950 provided adequate nourishment…However, part of the public faced malnutrition because it could not afford buy all the supplies to which it is entitled or because it rejected part of the austerity diet because of food habits.”  The team used the consumption of 2,400 calories as the baseline and a quarter of those interviewed in the sample consumed 2,400 or fewer calories per day.  [Ed. Note: For those who have only known Israel as prosperous nation with a reasonably high standard of living, it may come as a shock that economic privation was the order of the day during much of state’s early years of existence.]

1952: The Jerusalem Post announced that Dr. E.F. Shinnar, who led the Israeli delegation to the reparation talks at

The Hague

, was expected to accept the post of the head of the Israeli Reparations Purchasing Mission in


. He had just completed successful negotiations with British oil companies concerning regular oil deliveries to


from German sterling credits placed at


's disposal for the next two years.

1952: The US bars Charlie Chaplin from reentering the country after a trip to England

1963:  The Dodgers' regular rotation called for Sandy Koufaxto work the last game. But Koufax refused because he does not pitch on the Jewish holidays.

1971: William F. Albright passes away at the age of 80. This American Methodist archaeologist was Professor of Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins for nearly 30 years, he penned over 1,000 articles and books, and led several Near Eastern expeditions which excavated the biblical sites of Gibeah,




. Albright was not Jewish, but his work has certainly had its impact on our understanding of how the ancient Israelites might have lived.

1972(11th of Tishrei, 5733): A parcel bomb sent to Israeli Embassy in London kills one diplomat.

1976(24th of Elul, 5736): Proving that some people never really retire, Rabbi Moses J. Shragowitz of Congregation Knesset Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, N.Y., passed away today in Glenville, Conn., while conducting a memorial service. He was 81 years old and had served the
Port Chester
congregation since 1937.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that fund-raisers abroad agreed to help Prime Minister Menachem Begin to finance housing for 45,000 Israeli families living in sub-standard flats. Begin asked the UJA contributors to double their efforts in honor of the state's 30th anniversary.

1977: At a meeting between President Carter and Foreign Minister Dayan in


, Carter renewed his opposition to any more settlements on the
West Bank

1981: Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a concert in New York City's Central Park.

1982(2nd of Tishrei, 5743): Second Day of Rosh Hashanah



launched its first satellite for secret military reconnaissance.

1993(4th of Tishrei, 5754): Since the 3rd of Tishrei fell on Shabbat Tzom Gedaliah is observed today.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs at the End of the Century by Itamar Rabinovich, The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and Tougher Standards by Alfie Kohn and A Joyful Noise: Claiming the Songs of My Fathers by Deborah Weisgall. In this case the father was “her father, the modernist opera composer Hugo Weisgall, who was born in Bohemia but grew up largely in America; like so many European Jews, he lost family during World War II, but he also served as an American G.I. and bore specific scars from helping to liberate Terezin.”

2003: In a letter of this date, Kenneth Jacobson, Associate National Director Anti-Defamation League reported the acceptance of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s apology for his comment that Benito Mussolini was a benign dictator and expressed regret for the pain it caused the Jewish community.

2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates, My Old Man by Amy Sohn and an essay by Philip Roth entitled “The Story behind the Plot against America.”

2005: Sixty years after the end of World War II, German elections took a strange twist.  In reporting on the elections held over the weekend, Haaretz quoted assurances by both of the major candidates that they would maintain positive relations with


and work to fight any outbreak of anti-Semitism in

2005:President Moshe Katsav laid the foundation stone for


's first synagogue since the Holocaust when the Nazis boasted there was not a single Jew left in the Baltic nation. Katsav also laid a wreath at the site of the Klooga concentration camp deep in the Estonian forest. Klooga was closed in 1944 after the SS shot the last of its prisoners, who included Jews from Estonia and elsewhere in Europe. "At this place, on this day, Jews from Vilnius, Poland and other countries were killed," Katsav said in a ceremony at the Klooga site attended by Estonian President Arnold Ruutel, 40 students from Tallinn Jewish school and local Jewish leaders. Today, around 3,000 Jews live in Estonia. Their chief rabbi, Shmuel Kot, told Reuters at the Klooga ceremony that the local Jewish community now wanted to look ahead. "We are looking to the future and part of the future is the visit of the president of Israel to Estonia and the laying of the foundation stone for the first synagogue since 1944," he said. Katsav, who spent the day in Estonia as the first leg of a Baltic tour also taking in Latvia and Lithuania, said he did not see any residual anti-Semitism in Estonia.

2006: At a
an official ceremony took place in Bordeaux’s Jewish cemetery, attended by senior dignitaries from the local Jewish community as well as Israeli representatives during which the bodies of Herzl’s children Hans and Pauline Herzl were removed from the cemetery and taken to Israel for reburial.

2006: In a sad commentary on the 21st century, Yale University announced the creation of the first university based center in North America dedicated to the study of anti-Semitism.  Yale cited a growing number of anti-Semitic episodes around the world as the driving force behind this.  In the announcement Yale officials did not say whether they considered the admission of an official of the Talbian as a student at Yale one of these harbingers of a growth in anti-Semitism.

2007: The Tenth Annual Israeli Music Celebration ends with a piano concerto by Paul Ben Haim, performed by Gila Goldstein and the Jerusalem Symphony at the Jerusalem Theater's Henry Crown Hall.

2007: In

New York

as part of the Jews & Justice Program, The Center for Jewish History & American and the Jewish Historical Society present “Jewish Lawyers in the Civil Rights Movement” which features a prestigious panel that explores the Jewish community's involvement in this important historical movement in the

United States


2007: A bill protecting travelers from denial of life insurance simply because they travel to


cleared the U.S. House of Representatives in a 312-110 vote. The measure now needs to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.

2007: The secretary of the ministerial committee wrote to the lawyer representing Neta Shoshani, informing him that 10 days earlier the committee had extended the ban on publication of some of the documents and photos pertaining to Deir Yassin for five more years, until 2012.

2008: At The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival Georgetown University Professor Jacques Berlinerblau discusses Thumpin' It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today's Presidential Politics

2009 (1 Tishrei, 5770): Rosh Hashanah – 5770 טובה לשׁנה

2009 (1 Tishrei, 5770): Ninety four year old Milton Meltzer, noted historian and author, passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)


2010: A screening of “Jaffa” is scheduled to take place at 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas (TX).

2010:Israel is ready to enter peace negotiations with Syria "right away," Shimon Peres told the United Nations General Assembly. In his address today in New York to the international body's annual meeting -- the Nation's Millennium Development Goals summit -- Peres also said he believed that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only "peaceful alternative," adding, "and I believe that we shall succeed."

2009 (1 Tishrei, 5770): Eighty-four year old Stuart Hample, who brought laughter to people of all ages, passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)


2010: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Jonathan Schneer

2010: On the day after Yom Kippur, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers “hit a two-run homer, accounting for all of Milwaukee’s runs in a 9-2 loss. Braun had played on Yom Kippur when he went 3 for five to help his team defeat the San Francisco Giants. (As reported by Ron Kaplan)

2010: In a surprising turn of event, Prime Minister Netanyahu will fly to Washington, DC today.  The visit follows a meeting held at Sharm el-Sheikh with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas where discussions were held concerning “core issues” a term that “refers to Israeli concessions, including the status of Jerusalem and the holy sites within it, as well as final borders and the Arab demand that descendants of Arab residents who fled decades ago be allowed into Israel.”

2011(20thof Elul): Yahrzeit of Dr. Jacob  Levin, of blessed memory, beloved husband of Betty, loving father of Michael (Gigi Cohen) Levin, Stephen (Dian Garton) Levin, Sharon (Philip) Wein and Lawrence (Sandra Morrison) Levin and proud Zaide to a whole tribe of grandchildren.   To his brother Joe, he was the incomparable “Yaenkel” and to me his was my wonderful Uncle Jack – living proof that good guys finish first.

2011: A Middle East Forum sponsored by The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington featuring Elliot Abrams, David Makovsky and Amos Yadlin is scheduled to take place tonight at the JCC of Northern Virginia.

2011: The Amerigo Trio – Inbal Segev, cellist; Glen Dicterow, violinist; Karen Dreyfus, violist – is scheduled to perform at the 2011 New York Chamber Music Festival

2011: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - who is scheduled to fly to the US tomorrow evening – said tonight that he would like to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York. "I call on the PA chair to open direct negotiations in New York, that will continue in Jerusalem and Ramallah," Netanyahu said.

2011:A 26-year-old man from the West Bank settlement of Eli was arrested on today on suspicion of being involved in a vandalism and sabotage attack on an IDF base earlier this month.

2012(3rdof Tishrei, 5773): Fast of Gedaliah

2012: “In the Shadow of Memory: Legacies of Lidice” is scheduled to be shown in Washington, DC, as part of the film series “Docs in Salute” which focuses “on interesting personalities who have been touched by Jewish themes.

2012:Team Israel is scheduled to play South Africa in the opening round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC)

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