OCTOBER 28 In Jewish History

97: Emperor Nerva is forced by the Praetorian Guard, to adopt general Marcus Ulpius Trajanus as his heir and successor. Trajan would not become Emperor until Nerva died in January of the following year. Trajan will be remembered as the ruler who was on the throne during the revolt in the diaspora referred to as “The Revolt Against Trajan” that took place between 115 CE and 117 CE.  It was the second of three Jewish revolts against Rome – the first being the Great Revolt that ended with the destruction of the Second Temple and the third being Bar Kochba’s revolt.

312: Roman emperor Constantine, 32, defeated the army of Maxentius, a contender to the throne, at Milvian Bridge, after trusting in a vision he had seen of the cross, inscribed with the words, "In this sign conquer." Constantine was converted soon after and became the first Roman emperor to embrace the Christian faith.  This was the turning point for Christianity in Europe.  With the support of the imperial government, Christianity was able to establish itself THE religion in Europe.  It marked a downhill slide for the Jews of Europe

1348: As the Black Death made its way across France, the authorities began arresting “the Jews of the bailiwick of Amont (Haute-Saôte)” and confiscating their property. to arrest the Jews of the bailiwick of Amont (Haute-Saôte)

1516: Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza at the Battle of Yaunis Khan. Jews fared poorly under the rule of the Mameluks. Without going into details about the conflicts within Islam in general, and the role of the Mameluks in particular, suffice it to say that what was “bad news for them” was “good for the Jews.”

1636: Harvard University is established in colonial Massachusetts. Harvard certainly has had it share of Jewish students, graduates and faculty members.  But the Jewish relationship with Harvard has had its darker moments. “During and after World War I, American Jewry became the target of anti-Semitism by a variety of social groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and various immigration restriction advocates. Ivy League universities were no exception, and several of these venerable schools moved to restrict Jewish enrollment during the 1920s. Some Jewish students at Harvard, the bellwether in American education, did not take admission restrictions lying down. Nativism and intolerance among segments of the white Protestant population were aimed at both Eastern European Jews and Southern European Catholics. In higher education, Jews were particularly resented. By 1919, about 80% of the students at New York's Hunter and City colleges were Jews and 40% at Columbia. Jews at Harvard tripled to 21% of the freshman class in 1922 from about 7% in 1900. Ivy League Jews won a disproportionate share of academic prizes and election to Phi Beta Kappa but were widely regarded as competitive, eager to excel academically and less interested in extra-curricular activities such as organized sports. Non-Jews accused them of being clannish, socially unskilled and either unwilling or unable to “fit in.” In 1922, Harvard's president, A. Lawrence Lowell, proposed a quota on the number of Jews gaining admission to the university. Lowell was convinced that Harvard could only survive if the majority of its students came from old American stock. Lowell argued that cutting the number of Jews at Harvard to a maximum of 15% would be good for the Jews.  He contended that limits would prevent further anti-Semitism. Lowell reasoned, “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing, and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews. If their number should become 40% of the student body, the race feeling would become intense.” The fight against Jewish quotas at Harvard was led by Harry Starr, an undergraduate and the son of a Russian immigrant who established the first kosher butcher shop in Gloversville, New York. As president of the Menorah Society, Harvard's major Jewish student organization, Starr organized a series of meetings between Jewish and non-Jewish students, faculty and administrators to discuss Lowell's proposed quota. The meetings were frequently heated and painful. As Starr recalled in an account published in 1985, which can be found at the American Jewish Historical Society, “We learned that it was numbers that mattered; bad or good, too many Jews were not liked. Rich or poor, brilliant or dull, polished or crude - [the problem was] too many Jews.” Starr insisted that there could be no “Jewish problem” at Harvard or in America. Starr observed, “The Jew cannot look on himself as a problem.... Born or naturalized in this country, he is a full American.” If admitting all qualified Jews to Harvard meant a change in the traditional social composition of the student body, so be it. Starr refused to hear any hokum about 'pure' American stock as a way to limit Jewish admissions to Harvard. “Tolerance,” he wrote in the Menorah Journal, “is not to be administered like castor oil, with eyes closed and jaws clenched.” Lowell received a great deal of public criticism, particularly in the Boston press. Harvard's overseers appointed a 13-member committee, which included three Jews, to study the university's “Jewish problem.” The committee rejected a Jewish quota but agreed that “geographic diversity” in the student body was desirable. Harvard had been using a competitive exam to determine who was admitted, and urban Jewish students were scoring highly on the exam. Urban public schools such as Boston Latin Academy intensely prepared their students, many of whom were Jewish, to pass Harvard's admissions test. The special committee recommended that the competitive exam be replaced by an admissions policy that accepted top-ranking students from around the nation, regardless of exam scores. By 1931, because students from urban states were replaced by students from Wyoming and North Dakota who ranked in the top of their high school classes, Harvard's Jewish ranks were cut back to 15% of the student body. In the late 1930s, James Bryant Conant, Lowell's successor as president, eased the geographic distribution requirements, and Jewish students were once again admitted primarily on the basis of merit. Harry Starr, who lived until 1992, became a national Jewish communal leader, including a term of service as a trustee of the American Jewish Historical Society. Professionally, he became the director of the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, which was established by a Jewish congressman from Gloversville and which over the years has given many generous gifts to Harvard. Harry Starr held no grudges against the university which in 1922 he lovingly battled on behalf of his fellow Jews.

1700: In the same year that he published his second tract which he hoped would cause Jews to convert to Christianity, Cotton Mather wrote in his diary today about the conversion of Shalom Ben Shalomoh who had joined a Congregational Church in London. Cotton Mather differed from other Christian leaders.  He believed that the Jews practice a theological incorrect religion which is why sought to convince them to convert.  But reason rather than the lash or the burning stake was his method.  "As a humanitarian...he demanded that Jews should be free from religious persecution."

1784:  Birthdate of Sir Moses Montefiore. Born in Leghorn (Italy) Montefiore was raised in London where he became a successful merchant and married into the House of Rothschild.  In 1824, he "retired" from business and devoted his life to public office and philanthropy.  He was the first to hold numerous political and civic positions in Great Britain.  He was a leader of the Jewish Community in England and throughout Europe.  He was an early supporter of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel.  Montefiore’s Windmill is a famous landmark in Jerusalem.  His 100th birthday was celebrated as a holiday in Jewish communities in the British Isles and the Continent.  He passed away in 1885.

1805: Birthdate of dramatist and lawyer, Jonas B. Phillips.  The son of Benjamin J. Phillips, this native of Philadelphia, PA produced plays including “Cold Stricken,” “Camillus,” and “The Evil Eye.”  After studying law, he became the assistant district attorney for New York County.

1840: Sir Moses Montefiore had an audience with the Sultan. Among the topics discussed were the blood libel accusations on the island of Rhodes and in Damascus. The Sultan later issued a public firman exonerating Jews from anything to do with ritual murder accusations.

1844: Birthdate of Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the native of Richmond, VA who was the first Jew to attend Virginia Military Institute.  After serving with the Confederate Army, he became renowned sculptor

1853: An article published today entitled “Russia.; Delivered before the Hebrew Young Men's Literary Association” described Rabbi Raphall’s appearance before the Hebrew Young Men's Literary Association at Academy Hall, No. 663 Broadway, at which time he delivered a lecture enititled “Russia” The speaker was introduced by Isaac Seligman, the who was serving as chairman. Raphall described the gains in power that Russia has made in the last 150 years and the territorial aspirations of the current rulers.  He also described the history and the plight of the Jews living in that land.  Mr. Mosely Lyon followed Rabbi Raphall to the lectern where he delivered an address on the purpose of the Hebrew Young Men’s Literary Association.

1857: An article published today entitled "Defaulting Farmers" takes issue with the notion that the farmer is not only possessed of "sturdy virtues that enoble humanity" but also the backbone of the national economy. In fact, the "western farmer has no more nobleness of soul than a Wall Street stock gambler or a Chatham street Jew." The term "Chatham street Jew" was extremely derisive.  It referred to the fact that the lucrative trade in used clothes on Chatham Street on the Lower East was dominated by Jews where Christians were sure that they were being victimized by the sharp business practices of "the Tribe of Judah."

1858: At least a thousand people attended tonight’s banquet and ball which was a fundraiser for the Jew’s Hospital.Benjamin Nathan, the President of Hospital Board provided over the event which was attended by Mayor Tilman.  Rabbi J.J. Lyon recited the blessings before the meal began and Rabbi Kramer chanted the Grace After Meal. Mr. Nathan told the attendees that the hospital had treated 747 patients since its opening, all but 73 at no charge and that the treasury was now empty. Lionel Goldberg read the list of donations which totaled $12,000.

1867: Maimonides College “the first Jewish theological seminary in America” opened today in Philadelphia, PA.  Isaac Lesser, Sabato Morais, Marcus Jastrow, Aaron S. Bettelheim, L. Buttenwieser and William H. Williams were the members of the faculty with Lesser doubling as the school’s provost. The school closed in December of 1873, reportedly due to lack of financial support which may be explained by the economic hard times that the country was suffering a the time.

1870: President Jacob Pisa presided over tonight’s meeting of the Young Democratic Jews’ Association of the Second Assembly District in New York.  During the meeting which was held on Mott Street, the Jewish political organization endorsed the local and state candidates supported by “the Young Democracy, but did not make any endorsement of Congressional candidates.

1873(7th of Cheshvan, 5634): Immanuel Oscar Menahem Deutsch, a German oriental scholar, passed away today.  Born in 1829 at Neisse, Prussian Silesia (now Nysa, Poland) he studied theology and Talmud at the University of Berlin. “In 1855 Deutsch was appointed assistant in the library of the British Museum. He worked intensely on the Talmud and contributed no less than 190 papers to Chambers' Encyclopaedia, in addition to essays in Kittos and Smiths' Biblical Dictionaries, and articles in periodicals. In October 1867 his article on The Talmud, published in the Quarterly Review, made him known. It was translated into French, German, Russian, Swedish, Dutch and Danish. He died at Alexandria on 12 May 1873.His Literary Remains, edited by Lady Strangford, were published in 1874, consisting of nineteen papers on such subjects as The Talmud, Islam, Semitic Culture, Egypt, Ancient and Modern, Semitic Languages, The Targums, The Samaritan Pentateuch, and Arabic Poetry

1874: Rabbi Benjamin Artom officiated at the wedding of Mr. Isaac Abecassis of Lisbon and Miss Helena Ben Saude of the Azores.  Among the many guests were J.O. Bradford, Paymaster General of the U.S. Navy and his wife.

1881: It was reported today that “the question of Jewish emigration to America is still a subject of concern to the Russian government.” To that end the government will make another attempt “to turn the Jews into peasant farms and settle them in the provinces of Kherson and Ekaterinoslav.”

1883: The 9th annual meeting of the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities was held this morning at a house on St. Mark’s Place.

1884: It was reported today was held that a reception was held at Ramsgate yesterday to honor Sir Moses Montefiore on his 100th birthday; “an anniversary that was celebrated throughout Europe.”

1885: It was reported today that Jonas Loeb, a prominent Jewish merchant in Georgia is insolvent since he has liabilities of $64,000 and assets of $10,000.  Litigation has already been threatened by his creditors.

1886: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland. The Jewish poetess Emma Lazarus wrote "The New Colossus" in 1883 for an art auction "In Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund." While France had provided the statue itself, American fundraising efforts like these paid for the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. In 1903, sixteen years after her death, Lazarus' sonnet was engraved on a plaque and placed in the pedestal as a memorial.

“The New Colossus”

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

1886: Social reformer and future Presidential candidate addressed the United Hebrew George Club.

1888: Rabbi Leon Harrison delivered an address entitled “Is it a Misfortune to be a Jew?” at Temple Israel on Greene Avenue in Brooklyn.

1888: The New York Times reviewed a new biography about Benjamin Disraeli entitled Life of Lord Beaconsfield by T.E. Kebble.

1888: “The Jewish-Americans” published today cites information that originally appeared in the Jewish Messenger to question why New York City has not produced a “distinctly American-Jewish congregation.  The city has all manner of synagogues for Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, etc. Jews but none that is uniquely American.

1889: The United Hebrew Charities held its 15thannual meeting at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

1889: Edwin Booth, the great Shakespearian actor played Shylock and Helena Modjeska played his daughter Portia in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Broadway Theatre.

1897: Birthdate of Edith Claire Posener, the daughter of Max Posener and Anna E. Levy, the Searchlight, Nevada who would gain fame as award winning fashion designer Edith Heath. During her long career in Hollywood, Head’s costumes won her 35 Oscar nominations.  She won 8 of the bronze statuettes.  She died in October of 1981.

1898: Kaiser William II (Prussia) visited pre-state Israel and met with Herzl. At this time Eretz Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire.  The Kaiser was trying to gain the Turks as an ally.  He also sought to make himself the European protector of Jerusalem.  Herzl was disappointed by the lack of commitment on the part of the Kaiser. Much of this was due to the opposition of German Liberal Jews, bankers, and his foreign minister Bernhard von Bulow to the Zionist movement.

1902: Opening of the Zionist Annual Conference at which The Anglo-Palestine Company is sanctioned. It will begin operations in summer 1903.

1903: The engagement of Israel Zangwill to Edith Aryton was made public.  Edith Aryton’s father is one of the best known electrical engineers in England. Her mother is a noted scientist in her own right and the daughter of Levi and Alice Marks, a Jewish family from Portsea.

1912:  As the election campaign of 1912 comes to an end, Oscar Straus sends a telegram denying that he had ever been connected with R. H. Macy or Abraham and Straus.

1913: Mendel Beilis was acquitted. The Beilis Trial (Russia) took place after a Christian boy was found dead near a brick factory in which Mendel Beilis worked. On
June 22, 19
11 he was accused of ritual murder by the government. The only evidence was the word of a drunken couple who claimed they saw a man with a black beard walking with the child. The Russian government actively took up the case after the assassination of Stolypin by a Jewish revolutionist. Professor Sikowsky, a neurologist, "proved" that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes. Beilis's lawyers, Margolin and Grusenberg, fought the government for two years until diplomatic pressure forced the Russians to drop the charges. Beilis then settled in the United States, where he died after a long illness in 1934.

1914:  Birthdate of Dr. Jonas Edward Salk, the American medical researcher who developed the first vaccine against polio.  In one of those ironic twists of fate, both the first and the second polio vaccines were developed by Jewish Doctors.

1914: Ileana Schapira, the daughter of Mihail Schapira, a prominent Jewish industrialist was born in Bucharest, Romania.  As Ileana Sonnabend, she became a legendary gallery owner who had an eye for the art that nobody else wanted.  She died in 2007 at the age of 92.

1916: In the Bronx, Louis and Libby Galenson gave birth to Dr. Eleanor Galenson, “a psychoanalyst whose research demonstrated that children are aware of sexual identity in infancy, even earlier than Freud had propounded…” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

1918: Birthdate of Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the Salk Vaccine

1918:  Czechoslovakia gains its independence. There were almost four hundred thousand Jews living in the part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that became Czechoslovakia.  This meant Jews were about 2.5% of the new republics population.  The Jewish population in that part of Czechoslovakia known as Bohemia traced its roots back to the tenth century.  Most of the Jews of the Central European nation would perish in the Holocaust.

1919: The Congress voted to override President Wilson’s of the Volstead Act, the law which would give the United States “Prohibition.”  One of the families to profit from this was the Bronfmans, the Canadian liquor barons.

1922:  Birthdate of Gershon Kingsley a Jewish German-American composer, most famous for composing the early electronic pop song Popcorn. He led the First Moog Quartet and was the first person to use the Moog synthesizer in live performance.

1922: Italian fascists led by Benito Mussolini march on Rome and take over the Italian government with the assistance of the Catholic Church; pope Pius XI declares that "Mussolini is a man sent by divine providence." According to Michele Sarfatti’s new book, The Jews in Mussolini’s Italy as reviewed in The Forwards Jews were so well integrated into Italian society that by 1922 when Mussolini took power, they were in every branch of government, including the military, and were represented all across the political spectrum. There were Jews who at first adhered enthusiastically to Mussolini’s program, others were among the first to organize antifascist activities, as well as many who hoped to remain neutral. The range of activities of Italian Jews extended from academics and professionals all the way to shop keepers and panhandlers. What emerges is a heterogeneous population that professed varying degrees of religious identity and many different levels of assimilation. But anti-Semitic sentiment in Italy, as Sarfatti shows, can be traced far back. As he argues, the leftovers of the medieval Catholic anti-Judaism provided fertile grounds for anti-Jewish nationalism, which in turn fed Fascist anti-Semitism. In 1934, Benito Mussolini famously declared that “there has never been anti-Semitism in Italy.” A mere four years later, after abandoning his Jewish mistress of 27 years, he passed his infamous racial laws. The rise of an anti-Semitic ideology escalated with Italy’s colonial war in Abyssinia of 1935. The Fascists first developed the concept of “Difesa della razza” (“defense of the race”) in dominating the black population of the African colony. At this early stage, this doctrine had parallels only in Nazi Germany and was completely absent in the rhetoric of Fascist movements, from Spain to Hungry, Romania and Poland. Based on newly discovered documents and an abundance of statistical data, the book demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, Mussolini’s policies toward the Jews were independently conceived and implemented, and not — as some have argued — a late concession to Hitler’s war against the Jews. Despite Il Duce’s alliance with Hitler, “only” about 7,000 Italian Jews (16.3% of the Jewish population) died in Nazi death camps. Moreover, documented instances of Italians risking their lives to save Jews abound—a fact that reinforced the perception of Italians as “brava gente” (“good people,” the kind who helped preserve Jewish lives). Sarfatti maintains that the seeds of anti-Semitism were present in the Fascist regime since its inception, though anti-Semitism was not yet official policy. With a multitude of documented examples, the book follows the anti-Semitic crescendo in both official political discourse and practice. As early as 1934, the office of the Interior Ministry pressed for the replacement of Ferrara’s mayor: “It has been brought to our attention that the local citizenry feels displeasure to have a mayor of the Israelite religion at the head of the city’s administration. Therefore, it is desirable that he be replaced with a Catholic mayor.” In 1938, the Italian dictator passed and enforced the racial laws, in many respects even more restrictive than anti-Jewish legislation in Nazi Germany, and Italy became an officially anti-Semitic country. Sarfatti stresses that Mussolini was never pressured by Hitler regarding racial policies. Italians on the whole did not protest the laws until their lethal consequences became clear. By 1943, the Fascists began confiscating Jewish property and rounding up Jews for deportation, and abruptly many of those who had not protested against anti-Jewish laws rushed to save Jews.

1928(14th of Cheshvan, 5689): “Theodore Rieanch, famous French Jewish lawyer, historian and archaeologist, one of the foremost authorities on comparative religion and Hellenic literature” died at today in Paris at the age of 68. “He was a brother of Solomon Reinach, President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Among his many literary works were “a history of the Jews from the Dispersion to our times,” Short History of Christianity and a French translation of the works of the Josephus, the first century Jewish historian.

1937, The Palestine Post reported that some 50,000 out of the 400,000 trees in the Balfour Forest were burnt by Arab arsonists who used cotton-waste bombs, soaked in paraffin.  From a historic point of view, this was no mere act of arson.  By the end of the 19th centuries vast swaths of Eretz Israel were treeless waste or swamps.  The JNF made reforestation a major part of its plan.  In burning these trees, the terrorists were not just starting a forest fire.  They were showing a determination to reject improvement and modernization.

1937:  The Palestine Post reported that the two chief rabbis, Dr. Isaac Herzog and Rabbi Jacob Meir, issued a manifesto asking for a national moderation and discipline on the part of Jews in responding to the intensified Arab terror campaign.  The manifesto was issued in response to reports of Jews attacking Arabs during this attempted “reign of terror.”

1937: As Arab violence continued, 12 shots were fired a police patrol car in Lydda shattering the windshield wounding three Arab policemen.

1938: Germany expels “some 18,000” Jews with Polish citizenship to the Polish border. Poles refuse to admit them; Germans refuse to allow them back into Germany. Seventeen thousand are stranded in the frontier town of Zbaszyn, Poland.

1940: Mussolini’s Italian army cross Albania and invades Greece. The Greek army included 12,000 Greek Jews which fought fiercely and stopped the Italian advance. Between 510 and 615 Greek Jewish soldiers from Salonica were killed.

1940: German occupiers in Belgium pass anti-Semitic legislation.

1941: In Kovno, Lithuania, 27,000 Jews who were assembled in Democracy Square must pass before an SS officer named Rauca, who signals life or death for each. 9200 of the Jews - 4300 of them children - are sent to their deaths at pits at the nearby Ninth Fort.
1941: Eichmann noted "in view of the approaching final solution of the European Jewry problem, one has to prevent the immigration of Jews into the unoccupied area of France."

1942: 2,000 elderly and sick Jews were deported from Plonsk to Auschwitz. Three more transports, each carrying 2,000 Jews, left from Plonsk for Auschwitz in the next six weeks

1942: Jewish Warsaw Ghetto leaders ask Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic working for the underground, to tell the Polish and Allied governments: "We are helpless in the face of the German criminals....The Germans are not trying to enslave us as they have other people; we are being systematically murdered....Our entire people will be destroyed...."

1942: The SS issues a secret directive that mittens and stockings confiscated from Jewish children at death camps be gathered and sent to SS families.

1942: The Nazis deported 2,000 children and 6,000 adults from Cracow for shipment to Belzec.

1942: SS directive orders all children's mittens and stockings to be sent from the death camps to the SS families.

1942: Sixteen thousand Jews are murdered at Pinsk, Poland.

1942: Mieczyslaw Gruber, a Jewish former soldier in the Polish Army, escapes with 17 others from a Nazi POW camp on Lipowa Street in Lublin. The group will later establish a partisan group in the forest northwest of the city.

1944: An article entitled “Hippopotamus: Profile of a Great Custodian by Nathan Ausubel described as “the true story” of the late Abraham Solomon Freidus, “the man who built up the Jewish Room of the New York Public Library” was published in today’s Morning Freiheit Magazine Section.

1944: The last transport train from Theresienstadt arrived at Birkenau with 2,038 Jews. Of them 1,589 would find their fates in the gas chambers. Also 164 Jews from Bolzano arrived at the same time and 137 of them would be gassed immediately.

1944(11th of Cheshvan, 5705): A train from Bolzano, Italy, reaches Auschwitz with 301 prisoners. Of these, 137 are immediately gassed.

1944:  Birthdate of actor Dennis Franz, known best for his role as Detective Sipowicz on NYPD Blues.

1945:  Birthdate of Sandy Berger, National Security Advisor to President Clinton

1945: With only eight days left before voters go to the polls to elect the Mayor of New York, Judge Johna H. Goldstein, the Republican-Liberal-Fusion nominee trails the favored candidate, William F. O’Dwyer. Goldstein had been a lifelong Democrat and according to some, his candidacy was based on the belief that he could draw Jewish votes away from O’Dwyer, the Democrat Party candidate and thus improve the chances of the third candidate, Newbold Morris. (Hey it can’t all be Talmud and Torah)

1946: More than two thirds of the 300,000 eligible voters participated in today’s election in Palestine for the 79 delegates to the 22nd World Zionist Congress scheduled to open on December 9 in Basle, Switzerland.

1947: During an interview in New York, Moshe Pomrok, a member of the Palestine Maritime League, described the steps taken to establish a maritime industry in Palestine in the eleven years since the Arabs closed the harbor of Jaffa as part of their “down to the sea” movement.  Accomplishments have included the building of a harbor at Tel Aviv, establishment of a maritime training school at Haifa, and attempts to develop interest among Jewish youth in being part of the fishing industry.  The league is now trying to gain support for a New York to Haifa shipping line based on a potential annual booking of 50,000 to 80,000 passenger a year plus a large import trade

1948: In the evening, Operation Hiram, which was designed to secure the Upper Galilee began. Named after the biblical King Hiram of Tyre, the goal was to secure the Upper Galilee as far as the northern boundary of the Palestine Mandate.   The IDF is facing a Palestinian military force that does not consider itself bound UN Truce Agreements as well as regular Arab troops including units of the Syrian Army. The sixty hour operation was successful in securing part of Israel’s border

1948: Israeli forces clear the Egyptians from the Mediterranean coastal plain to an area south of Yad Mordechai.

1948: The flag of Israel was adopted by the government, five months after the country’s establishment. However, the flag, which depicts a blue Star of David on a white background between two horizontal blue stripes, first appeared some 50 years before becoming a national symbol.,At the core of the flag is the Star of David, which can be traced back to the medieval era where it was used for decorations, ornaments and protective amulets. Not until the 17th century did the hexagram begin to represent the Jewish community as a whole. In fact, the Jewish quarter of Vienna was formally distinguished from the rest of the city by a boundary stone having the Star of David on one side and the Christian cross on the other.,In the 18th century, the Star of David represented the Jewish people in both religious and political contexts. It was only a century later that it became an international symbol when in 1891, the Zionist Movement used the Star of David to create a flag almost identical to the one we are familiar with today. During the first Zionist congress in 1897, which discussed the establishment a homeland for Jews in Palestine, several flags were considered to represent the Jewish people internationally. One of them was Theodor Herzl’s design which had seven gold stars and represented the 7-hour work quota. Another design was put forward by Morris Harris, a member of the Zionist group Hovevei Zion, who used his awning shop to design a suitable banner and decorations for the reception. His mother Lena Harris sewed the flag. It was made with two blue stripes and a large blue Star of David in the center. Ultimately, Herzl’s design failed to garner support and the latter was adopted instead as the official Zionist flag during the second international Zionist congress in 1898. Regarding the design of the flag, at the time, the Star of David seemed to be the obvious choice. However, the blue stripes were inspired by those of the Talit, the Jewish prayer shawl. Some controversy has surrounded the meaning of these stripes with certain people arguing that they secretly represent the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, the borders of the Promised Land as described in the Bible. However, all relevant sources indicate that the Talit was the sole inspiration behind the “stripes.” In a turn of events, the flag with the symbol that was once used to identify Jews during the Nazi era at its core, has recently become the largest national symbol in the world.  In 2007, a flag measuring 660 by 100 meters and weighing 5.2 tons, was unfurled near the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, breaking the world record for the largest flag. (As reported by Daniel Bensadolin)

1950: The Jack Benny Show starring Jack Benny aired for the first time on television.   The show ran for 15 years which is an exceptionally long run in the world of television.  Thus the Jewish comedian Jack Benny proved to be a star in all entertainment medium – radio, film and t.v.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that John Blandford of UNRWA admitted that 881,600 Palestine refugees were eating out of the relief money planned for development and there was little progress in resettlement. The US, Britain, France and Turkey asked the UN for additional funds to be added to the sums already allocated. The Arab states worked diligently to create the “Arab Refugee” problem.  While Israel was busy absorbing refugees from all over the world (including Arab states), the Arabs kept the brethren penned up in camps in Gaza and other border areas.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that a well with a capacity of 88,800 gallons of water per hour was discovered near Beersheba. This is the same Beersheba where wells were dug in Biblical times.  The discovery of an additional water source in the Negev was big news.

1953: Anna Malin conveyed title to the Temple Israel property in Leadville, CO, to Steve J. and Anna Malin

1955: “After a border incident with Egypt around the Auja al-Hafir demilitarized zone, Golani was tasked with leading Operation Volcano, an attack on the Egyptian army in the area and the largest military operation at the time since the 1948 war”

1956: The University of Miami Orchestra performed “New England Triptych” a symphonic composition by William Schuman for the first time.

1956: Having exhausted all other options, the Israeli Cabinet agrees that IDF forces will cross the Egyptian border and attack in the Sinai Peninsula.

1957(3rd of Cheshvan, 5718): Ernst Gräfenberg a German-born physician and scientist who is known for developing the intrauterine device (IUD), and for his studies of the role of the woman's urethra in orgasm, passed away today in New York City.

1958: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli becomes Pope and takes the name Pope John XXIII. John XXIII had worked to save Jews during the Holocaust.  As Pope he worked to improve relations with the Jewish People.

1965: Birthdate of Jami Gertz who plays Muff on Square Pegs

1965: Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of the alleged killing of Jesus, reversing Innocent
’s declaration from 760 years ago. In short, Pope Paul VI announces that ecumenical council has decided that Jews are not collectively responsible for the killing of Christ.

1973: Rabbi Max Hausen officiated at the wedding of Rachela Lea Subel and Joseph Saul Solomon at the Main Line Reform Temple.

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that the US had bluntly told the Arab States that Israel had demonstrated significant flexibility on procedures for the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference that it is now up to the Arabs to respond in kind.

1982: In “Operetta: ‘Shulamth’ by Goldfaden” published today, the author notes that “it is just 100 years ago this year that Yiddish theater opened in America, according to its historians, and that the one Yiddish theater that is celebrating it is doing so most appropriately with a performance of Abraham Goldfaden's operetta ''Shulamith,'' first performed here in 1882, with Boris Thomashevsky.


1995: During an opposition rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, a photographic montage was circulated showing Rabin in a Nazi uniform.

2000: The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act introduced by Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky became law. .

2001: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special Jewish interesting including The Death of Comedy by Erich Segal and The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chairby Sam Roberts.

2001(11th of Cheshvan, 5762): Listening to the horror unfold over his cellphone, Asher Kilgor heard the staccato fire of Palestinian gunmen cutting down his fiancée, Sima Menachem, on her way home from work today.

2003: Illinois attorney Stuart Levine is the guest of honor at a lavish reception hosted by the “Friends of Israel Defense Force.”  In 2008, Levine will plead guilty to a variety of charges and became a key witness in a major political bribery trial.

2003: The incumbent mayors of most cities and towns were voted back into office in today's municipal elections, but the Likud lost control of several important cities, including Bat Yam, Rosh Ha'ayin, Dimona, Hod Hasharon, Eilat and Kiryat Malachi.  The Labor Party lost control of Beit She'an, where Likud-backed Jacky Levy, son of Likud MK David Levy, won 60 percent of the votes - defeating incumbent mayor Pini Kabalo, who is identified with Labor.

2003: The BBC Reports that an organization in Israel has gained rabbinical approval to train pigs to guard Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Until now, Jewish settlements have been guarded by men with guns and also by guard dogs. But a new idea - guard pigs - has been thought up by an organization called The Hebrew Battalion. The man in charge, Kuti Ben-Yaakov, insists it is a serious proposal. "Pigs' sense of smell is far more developed than that of dogs," he said. "The pigs will also be able to identify weapons from huge distances, and walk in the direction of the terrorist, thereby pointing him out. 'Nonsense' Under some interpretations of Jewish law, the pig is seen as an unclean animal, so Mr Ben-Yaakov has had to seek special approval from rabbis in order to begin training his hoped-for legion of guard pigs. "It's clear that in a case like this, the ban that was imposed on raising pigs in the Land of Israel doesn't apply," said Daniel Shilo of the Yesha Rabbinical Council. BBC Middle East correspondent James Reynolds says that some settlers have dismissed the idea. "Spare us from this nonsense," one settler spokesman told the BBC. "It will never happen."

2004: The World Jewish Film Festival, the first of its kind in Israel and the Jewish world opens in Tel Aviv.

2005: Newspapers reported that response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has been uniformly negative.  The Secretary General of the United Nations, the European Union, the British Prime Minister, an Austrian Catholic action organization and many more have come to Israel’s defense.  Even some of Israel’s harshest critics have said that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is no excuse for destroying Israel or for this kind of rhetoric.  While talk may be cheap, it certainly has a different sound than was heard twenty-five years ago when the international community was condemning Zionism as racism and applauding Yassar Arafat when he spoke at the U.N.

2005: As part of the Plame Affair Lewis Libby vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, is indicted by federal prosecutors. Libby resigns later that day. Valerie Palme and Lewis Libby are both Jewish.

2006(6th of C

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