November 30 In History

1215: The Fourth Lateran Council which had been led by Innocent III came a close. The Fourth Lateran Council made first official use of the term "transubstantiation," with reference to the Eucharist (Lord's Supper). The adoption of this concept would lead to anti-Semitic outbreaks based on charges that Jews had desecrated the Host i.e. the wafer that was seen as being the body of Christ.

1286: Pope Honorius IV sent a Bull to the Archbishops of York and Canterbury condemning the Talmud

1518: Maria Lopez and her daughter Isabel were sentenced to death by the Inquisition after having been charged with “juadizing.  (As reported by Renee Levine Melammed)

1631(5th of Kislev, 5932): Rabbi Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-levi Edels passed away.  Born in Cracow in 1555, Edels is known by the acronym Maharsha. He was known as outstanding Talmudist and master of dialectics whose commentaries were of such value that they were included in most editions of the Talmud.  Edels was a man of character as well as erudition.  “He attacked the misuse of rabbinic authority and the attempt made by wealthy individuals to monopolize communal offices.”

1670: Birthdate of John Toland, Anglo-Irish author and philosopher. In 1714, at a time when Jews were still considered to be outsiders by many Englishman, Toland wrote “Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews” in which he advocated “full citizenship and equal rights for the Jewish people.

1748(9th of Kislev, 5509): Mordecai ben Jacob Ẓahalon, a doctor and rabbi who was part of a famous Sephardic family, passed away today in Ferrara, Italy. Among his many books were Megillat Naharot," describing the miraculous rescue of the Jewish community of Ferrara from the inundation that occurred in 1707

1782: In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

1790: King Leopold II forwarded the petition from the Jews asking for full equality  with other citizens to the “chancelleries of Hungary and Moravia” to see if this change would be supported.

1790: Georgia Governor, Edward Telfair granted to Levy Sheftall, Cushman Pollock, Joseph Abrahams, Mordecai Sheftall, Abraham de Pas, Emanuel de la Motta, and their successors a charter of incorporation wherein they were declared to be "a body incorporates by the name and style of the 'Parnass and Adjuntas of the Mickve Israel at Savannah.'" This charter is still in the hands of the congregation and it is the document under which it operates to this day.

1803:  In New Orleans, Louisiana, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.

1805: In Chatham, Kent, England, Lazarus Magnus and Sarah Moses gave birth to Jacob Magus.

1845: Birthdate of Wisconsin Congressman Richard W. Guenther who worked with Congressman Ford during the 1880’s to conduct a series of hearing designed to exclude Jews from immigrating to the United States

1854: Between 300 and 400 people danced to the music of Dodsworth’s Band at the Hebrew Young Men’s Ball held in the New York City’s Chinese Assembly Rooms.  Procedes from tonight’s event will be be given to the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

1856(3rd of Kislev, 5617): Marcus Cone, a Jew who had been living in New York, passed away today in Abbersweiler, Germany, the city where he was born.

1856: The Manchester Guardianreported a "Great Fire" had taken place in Constantinople where 600 homes were destroyed, and another devastated Adrianople.

1858: Today’s City Intelligence column reported that the recent stories about the arrest of three Jews for their role in selling lottery tickets were in error.  At least one of those arrested was identified as being a rabbi when in fact he made no claim to being a clergyman.  Apparently he is the leader of a “Bet Hamidrash” or House of Instruction which is attended by recently arrived poor immigrant Russian Jews who speak little or no English.  In Europe, the sale of lottery tickets is legal and apparently the immigrants had no reason to think that this was not the case in the United States.  Those preparing the original report were unaware of the fact that the term “Reb” merely implies that one is a “master” or an “instructor” and not a clergyman.

1864: In Tennessee, Colonel Frederick Knefler commanded a brigade protecting the Union flank at the Battle of Franklin, one of the worst defeats suffered by the Rebels during the Civil War.

1870: E.B. Hart delivered the opening remarks at the Hebrew Charity Fair.  The lavish event was held to raise funds for the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  In his speech Governor Hoffman of New York said praised both institutions saying that the latter was indeed populated primarily by Jewish children but that the former served all members of the community, regardless of their religion.

1873: The Jewish Maternity Association, originally known as Ezrath Nashim (Helping Women) was founded in Philadelphia, PA.

1874:  Birthdate of Sir Winston Churchill, the British statesman, orator and author who served as prime minister during World War II.  Churchill’s official biographer was the famous Jewish historian Martin Gilbert. Churchill often spoke of his support for a Jewish homeland.  During the war, his government studiously supported the White Paper which effectively banned Jewish immigration to Palestine.  Churchill’s supporters explained this as being a wartime necessity meant to ensure Arab support for the Allied cause.  Even if one accepts this argument, it does not explain Churchill’s support for the ban on Jewish immigration after the Nazis had surrendered in May of 1945. For more about Churchill and his relationship with the Jewish people, see Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert.  Like all off Gilbert’s work it is well researched and highly readable.

1876: Rabbi Einhorn is scheduled to deliver the sermon at Temple Bethel’s Thanksgiving Services the first of which will be held at 10 AM followed by a second service at 11 AM.

1876: Rabbi Gottheil will deliver the sermon at this afternoon’s Centennial Thanksgiving Service at Temple Emanu-El. The service will include musical program by the congregation’s choir and a reading of the President’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.

1876: In Philadelphia, a ceremony was held today unveiling and dedicating a monument symbolic of Religious Liberty that was built with contribution from member of B’nai Brith from throughout the United States.

1876: It was reported today that the Ladies of the Forty-fourth Street Synagogue’s Hebrew Benevolent Society are seeking donations of goods and money for the fair they are holding during the last two weeks of December.

1878: Solomon A. Levy and Dilah Horner Levy gave birth to Henry Horner, the first Jewish governor of Illinois.

1879: C.J. Fishel of Mellis & Fishel read the opening prayer at the funeral of S.L. Lewis which was the first Jewish funeral to be held in the Sandwich Islands which we know as Hawaii.

1881: It was reported today that new regulations issued in Russia divided the Jews of Kiev into 8 different classes based on education and occupation.  Membership in a particular class determines your rights including where you can live in the area and for how long.

1881: It is reported today that at least one Jew in St. Petersburg has found a way to get around the government law forbidding Jews from changing occupations.  A Jew who began as a maker of ladies’ riding habits is now operating a counting house.  He just never changed the signage, something that everybody including the authorities is aware of

1882: It was reported today that the United Hebrew Charities has contributed one hundred dollars to the Charity Organization Society, an umbrella organization that investigates applicants for charities in New York Society to make sure that they are really in need.

1883: A violent quarrel, including fisticuffs and gunfire, broke out between Eli Frank and Jacob Block, two Jewish merchants living in Rushville, Indiana.

1885: It was reported today that an unnamed Jew from Pittsburg stole $475 from a co-religionist in Newark, NJ.

1885: It was reported today that New York Police Commissioner Stephen B. French, a Republican had several explanations for his party’s defeat in the recent election, including the fact that in Fourth Assembly there are “a great many Irish and a great many Hebrews.”  According to French, the Jews “are always nearly against” the Republicans and the Irish have reverted to voting Democratic after their apparent switch in the 1884 election. (Electoral post mortems are nothing new and misguided ones are certainly not.  Actually, in the post-Civil War United States, Jews in the North and Mid-West tended to vote for Republicans)

1886: The wife and daughter of a Polish Jew named Milkowski who has lived in Louisiana for the last 30 years took refuge in Lake Providence after a mob attacked their home in Caledonia.

1887: Based on information that first appeared in the London Truth, it is reported that there are no more than 100,000 Jews in France, but of the 86 prefectures (administrative chiefs) 60 are Jews.  Furthermore “Jews have the best places in the Treasury” and “merit was the last consideration when they were appointed.”  (Editor’s note: This sub-text of French anti-Semitism would play out in the Drefyus Scandal and continue into the darkest days of Vichy)

1887: It was reported today that the recently concluded conference of Reform Rabbis adopted a resolution introduced by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise to appoint a committee to “consider establishing a reformatory for Jewish children.”  According to Wise, there are more than 150 Jewish children in various reformatories and they are never visited by a Rabbi.

1887: It was reported that the next national meeting of The Jewish Ministers’ Association, an organization of Reform Rabbis will be held this Spring in Washington, D.C.

1888: It was reported today that there had been a record number of Jews attending Thanksgiving services and that the Thanksgiving Dinner served to 200 east side children by the United Hebrew Charities was further proof of Israelites enjoyment of this American holiday.

1893: Birthdate of author I.J. Singer. Israel Joshua Singer was the older brother of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Born in Poland, Singer gained fame as Yiddish writer.  He was the Polish correspondent for The Jewish Daily Forward.  He came to the United States in 1934.” Singer’s epic masterpiece Di Bruder Ashkenazi (The Brothers Ashkenazi) details Jewish industrial development before World War I.”

1895: Birthdate of Samuel Norton "Sam" Gerson, the Ukrainian born Jewish-American wrestler who won a Silver Medal at the 1920 Olympics and helped to organize Philadelphia's Maccabi Sports Club.

1900: Oscar Wilde passed away.  The Picture of Dorian Gray, possibly his most famous novel, includes a Jewish character named Isaacs, a theatre manager. The author stresses both his Jewishness and his ugliness describing him as “a hideous Jew,” a “horrid old Jew” who had “greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond … in the centre of a soiled shirt.”

1903:In a case of literary matrimony, Else Lasker-Schuler married George Lewin, the author who used he penname Herwarth Walden.

1910: Lucille Selig married Leo Frank.  Selig was the member of an “old” Atlanta Jewish family that had founded the city’s first synagogue.  Frank would come to a horrible end when he was lynched for a crime that he did not commit.

1913: Jacob H. Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home, presided at the dedication ceremonies of the new buildings at the institution located at Gun Hill Road and 210th Street, near Jerome Avenue.  The ceremonies included services at the synagogue located at the Montefiore Home.

1915: A large gathering of Rumanian Jews held a special memorial service at the Manhattan Lyceum  in honor of Dr. Solomon Schechter who had passed away on November 20.  While recognizing his leadership and scholarly skills, the Rumanians were also honoring one of their own and voted to name soon to be opened Jewish Home for Convalescents the “Professor Solomon Schechter Memorial.

1917: The Australian Light Horse, part of Allenby’s forces, took the offensive against the Turkish forces blocking the way to Jerusalem,  The Aussies captured 200 Turks and the rest fell back toward the City of David.

1917: As victorious British Imperial forces approached Jerusalem, the Turkish governor began to make good on the promise that there were would be no Jews in the city to welcome the British.  Forty American Jews living in Jerusalem and several Zionists of Ottoman nationality were expelled from the city.  A staff member of the German Consulate in Jerusalem said that the Jews were driven out on foot and beaten like criminals as they made their way towards Jericho.

1917:  The Germans captured a British brigade headquarters and ammunition dump at Masnieres and Les Rues Vertes, France. Among those taken prisoners was the Captain Robert Gee, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Gee managed to escape and organized a party of the brigade staff with which he attacked the enemy, closely followed by two companies of infantry. He cleared the locality and established a defensive flank, then finding an enemy machine-gun still in action, with a revolver in each hand he went forward and captured the gun, killing eight of the crew. He was wounded, but would not have his wound dressed until the defense was organized. Gee was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action.

1918(26th of Kislev, 5679): Seventy-two year old Jesse Lewisohn, the son of Leonard Lewisohn and the nephew of Adolph Lewisohn, all of whom made fortunes in the copper mining business fell victim to the infamous Spanish Flu Epidemic  and passed away today.

1924:  Birthdate of songwriter and humorist Allan Sherman author of the famous camp song that began, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

1926: Birthdate of Andrew V. Schally. Schally is a Polish-born American endocrinologist and co-recipient with Roger Guillemin and Rosalyn Yalow, of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Schally fled Poland with his family in 1939. Schally became a U.S. citizen in 1962.  He became senior medical investigator with the Veterans Administration in 1973. He was noted for isolating and synthesizing three hormones that are produced by the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus; these hormones control the activities of other hormone- producing glands. These accomplishments were the synthesis of TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), the isolation and synthesis of LH-RH (luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone), and studies of the action of somatostatin.

1929: In Phoenix, AZ, Pauline and Sylvan Ganz gave birth to Joan Ganz, who as Joan Ganz Cooney gained fame as the television producer who was one of the founders of the Children’s Television Workshop that created “Sesame Street.” She was the granddaughter of Emil Ganz, the German Jewish immigrant who served three terms as the mayor of Phoenix.

1930: At a meeting in London today, Dr. Chaim Weizmann “insisted…that he did not and would not accept the MacDonald Government’s White Paper.” While expressing his displeasure with the White Paper, the Zionist leader “cautioned the Zionists…against taking sides in politics, a reminder obviously directed toward the White-chapel by-election in the East End of London, where it is said the preponderant Jewish vote may make trouble for the Labor candidate.”

1933: Rabbi Jerome D. Folkman, of Temple Beth Israel, delivered the Thanksgiving sermon today at a joint service attended by Jews and Gentiles. The services were held in the First Baptist Church of which the Rev. Carl Winters is pastor. (JTA)

1935: Rosa and Avrom Shlavestein gave birth to their daughter Nina. in Berdichev in the Zhitomir District, USSR (today in Ukraine). Before World War II, Nina’s family lived in Moscow. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union Nina was vacationing in Klintsy in the Bryansk District of the Soviet Union, and was unable to return home because of the invasion. Nina perished during the Holocaust. Her mother Rosa survived and immigrated to Israel. Rosa submitted a Page of Testimony in Yiddish to commemorate her daughter Nina, probably in the 1950s. (As chronicled by Yad Vashem)


1936:  Birthdate of Abbie Hoffman.

1936: “An American flag, the gift of Mayor a Guardia of New York, was presented today to the municipality of Tel Aviv by the Maccabee soccer team” which had just returned from a tour of the United States.  “The Maccabee also presented a flag of New York Harbor to the new Tel Aviv port in ceremonies at the City Ha, where the athletes were officially welcomed after a parade.

1938: According to Michael Hesemann, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli – the future Pius XII – wrote a letter today urging Catholic archbishops throughout the world to apply for visas for "non-Aryan Catholics" and Jewish converts to Christianity who wanted to flee Germany

1938: Germany bans Jews from being lawyers

1940: Anti-Jewish laws are established in Tunisia.

1940: After the “Patriaincident,” General Wavell, Britain’s top military officer in the Middle East complains vehemently to Sir Anthony Eden protesting the decision to let any Jewish refugees remain in Palestine. He contends that the decision to let 1,900 Jews remain in Palestine will undermine British relations with the Arabs.  The Mufti, who is Berlin with Hitler, will be strengthened.  Nazi sympathizers in Syria will be encouraged.  And fifth-columnist in Egypt will find it easier to gain support for the Germans.  At least Wavell was honest.  For him as for so many less honest Englishmen (and others) it was all about keeping the Arabs happy.

1941: At the Riga Ghetto, 27,000 Jews were taken for execution by the Nazis.

1941: Jews began to arrive at Theresienstadt from Prague.

1941:  Haj Amin, leader of the Palestinians was “ceremoniously received by Hitler.”

1943(3rd of Kislev, 5704): Esther "Etty" Hillesum a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation died at Auschwitz. They were published posthumously in 1981, before being translated into English in 1983.

1943: All nine Palestinian Hebrew newspapers and the German-language daily issued at Tel Aviv re-appeared today after eleven days' suspension. “The suspension resulted from” the “simultaneous uncensored publication” by these papers “of identical accounts with uniform editorial comment on the search carried” out at a kibbutz named Ramat Hakovesh by British forces looking for arms.  The search turned violent resulting in the murder of one of the Jewish settlers. The articles in the newspapers had been part of the Jewish response which, among other things, continues to claim the right for Jews to be able to defend themselves.

1943: Italy's Interior Ministry orders the concentration of all Italian Jews in camps.

1944(14th of Kislev, 5705): Anna Dresden-Polak’s husband, Barend, died today Auschwitz. Anna, a member of the Dutch ladies’ gymnastic team that won the Gold Medal at the 1928 Olympics, had been killed the year before at Sobibor along with Eva, her six-year old daughter.

1944: More than 100,000 persons, more than half the population of the city, greeted Dr. Chaim Weizmann when he visited Tel Aviv today for the first time since arriving in Palestine two weeks ago. The demonstration was the greatest welcome ever given to anyone in Tel Aviv.  Weizmann responded by saying, “I never imagined my own people could have received me with such spontaneous joy.” When he went to Te Aviv to review 200 soldiers who where were serving in the new Jewish bridged of the British Army, he was greeted by crowds that were so large that they filled balconies, windows, lamp posts, trees, and telephone poles.  Weizmann saw a direct connection between the fate of European Jewry, these troops and the creation of a Jewish commonwealth.  He told the crowd that the “remnants of the European Jews” would received the Jewish brigade as “a harbinger of freedom and by the masses of Jewish soldiers serving in the Allied armies as a symbol of national unity.”

1944: Cordell Hull completed his service as U.S. Secretary of State, a post he had held since FDR’s inauguration in March, 1933. Hull’s wife, Frances Witz, was the daughter of an Austrian Jew, something he worked very hard to hide.  He may have won a Nobel Prize for helping to create the United Nations, but for Jews, his policy opposing the entry of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe, should have earned a large measure of contempt.

1946: Bombs are set off in Jerusalem.

1947: A day after the two-state solution is approved by the United Nations, Arabs begin attacking Jews in Palestine.

1947: Arab rifleman fired shots at an ambulance on its way to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus.

1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Arabs armed with machine guns and grenades attacked a bus traveling from the coast to Jerusalem killing four Jews including Jerusalemites Hirsh Stark and Hanna Weiss and twenty year old Shoshana Mizrachi Farhi who had been on her way to Jerusalem to get married.

1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): In another attack on a bus bound for Jerusalem, Arab gunmen killed Hehama Hacohen a pathologist at Hadassah Hospital.

1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Moshe Goldman, a twenty five year old from Jerusalem was shot dead at the Jaffa-Tel Aviv boundary.

1947(17th of Kislev, 5708): Ernst Lubitsch passed away. Born in 1892, he was a German-born Jewish film director.” His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch".”

1947: On the day after UN decree for Israel, Arabs attacked Jewish settlements. Even though the Jewish state would not officially declare its independence until May, 1948, this day marked the beginning of the Israeli War of Independence as a bus near Lydda (Lod) was attacked by Arabs killing five passengers. The Arabs proclaimed a general strike and attacked the commercial quarter near the Old City of Jerusalem. The Arabs, including those living outside of Palestine, were determined to destroy the Jewish homeland before the mandate officially ended.  Their efforts would include attacks on Jewish settlements throughout the Yishuv as well as a siege of the City of Jerusalem.  The Arabs were well armed and moved about with impunity.  The Jews were limited in their response by an international arms boycott and the presence of the British Army.

1947: Birthdate of David Mamet. Mamet is an American playwright, screenwriter, director and poet born to a Jewish family in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Mamet first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays in The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and American Buffalo. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for Glengarry Glen Ross. In 2006, he wrote The Wicked Son, an examination of self hating and assimilated Jews.

1948: Colonel Moshe Dayan of Israel and Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah el Tell of Transjordan Arab Legion sign cease-fire agreement.

1948: The American Council for Judaism asks Attorney General Tom C. Clark for a federal investigation of Menachem Begin’s U.S. activities.

1952: Birthdate of Semyon Mayevich Bychkov a Russian-American conductor who is the brother of the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, of blessed memory.

1952:  Birthdate of Mandy Patinkin.  Born Mandel Bruce Patinkin in Chicago, Illinois, Patinkin attended Kenwood High and the University of Kansas before beginning his Broadway career that playing Che Guevara in Evita and a leading role in Stephen Sondheim's Follies.

1953: Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Uganda is deposed and exiled to London by Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda. “Sir Andrew was from a distinguished Anglo-Jewish family. He was a descendant of Levi Barent Cohen, the founder of the oldest Ashkenazi family in Britain.”

1953: “Confessions of a Nervous Man” by George Axelrod which depicts a “playwright waiting anxiously in a theatre district bar for the newspaper reviews of his first play to hit the streets” was broadcast on the television drama show, “Studio One.”

1954: As Churchill celebrated his 80th birthday, Moshe Sharett (formerly Shertok), sent the aging British statesman a telegram praising him for his leadership again the Nazis during World War II and for his steadfast support of Zionism in general and the Balfour Declaration in particular.

1957: Eighty three year old Winston Churchill receives early Christmas presents – a case of Israeli oranges from Vera Weizmann, widow of Israel’s first President and long time friend of Churchill and a Virginia Ham from American Jewish financer Bernard Baruch.

1962: The United Nations General Assembly elects U Thant of Burma as the new UN Secretary-General. U Thant was the Secretary General who caved in to President Nasser’s demand to remove the UN peace keeping force from the Sinai.  The men in the Blue Helmets were the guarantee that Egypt would not remilitarize the Sinai.  U Thant’s spineless behavior, in violation of the understandings that had caused the Israelis to withdraw after the 1956 Sinai Campaign, set events in motion that would lead to war in June of 1967.

1962: Birthdate of actor Ben Stiller

1966: Barbados becomes independent from the United Kingdom. In 1667 “many Jews moved to Barbados to retain their British citizenship. Jews are believed to have been established in Barbados as early as 1628. In 1661, three Jewish businessmen requested permission to institute trade routes between Barbados and Surinam, which was still part of the British Empire. As will be seen repeatedly, even though the Jews had full legal citizenship and were allowed by the government to trade and conduct business, their success caused the other settlers to try to limit the scope of Jewish trade. British businessmen claimed the Jews traded more with the Dutch than the British, and the government did finally put limits on the Jews' ability to trade. They were not allowed to purchase slaves, and were required to live in a Jewish ghetto. By 1802, the colonial government in Barbados had removed all discriminatory regulations from the Jews living there. A Jewish community remained on Barbados until 1831, when a hurricane destroyed all of the towns on the island.” By the time Barbados gained its independence, there were approximately 80 Jews living in the country. In 1987, the Nidhei Israel Synagogue would be rededicated in a new location and the Old Jewish cemetery in Bridgetown would be restored. “The former Nidhei Israel building, which served as the synagogue, is today used for a library. The Jewish cemetery in Barbados is considered to be the oldest graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. A few of the graves date back to the 1660s and include Samuel Hart, son of Moses Hart, and Moses Nehemiah (the first Jew to live in Virginia). Today, approximately 40 Jews live on Barbados. It was the Jewish community of Barbados that initiated and maintains the Caribbean Jewish Congress.”

1975: WABC-AM is scheduled to broadcast Message of Israel with an address by Dr. Human Judah Schachtel.

1975: WBAI is scheduled to broadcast “A Hanukah Offering – Shtetl on the Hudson with Issac Bashevis Singer, Leonard Michaels and Jerome Charyn, writers who transformed the Jewish experience from the old country to New York

1975: WMCA is scheduled to broadcast a 2 hour program featuring an interview of playwright Dore Schary.

1975: WNBC is scheduled to broadcast the long-running Jewish radio series, Eternal Light, with an appearance by Harry Kemelman, author of “Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red.”

1975: New York Senator Jacob Javits, the state’s most prominent Jewish Republican, is scheduled to appear on a broadcast of Focus on Youth.

1978(30th of Cheshvan, 5739): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1979(10th of Kislev, 5740):  Zeppo Marx, one of the famed Marx Brothers, passed away.

1979: Ted Koppel becomes anchor of nightly news on Iranian Hostages (ABC)

1980:  Leonard Bernstein’s "West Side Story" closes at Minskoff Theater New York City after 341 performances

1985(17th of Kislev, 5746): Ninety-four year old Israeli artist Joseph Zaritsky passed away. A native of the Ukraine, he studied art in Kiev before making Aliyah in 1923. He moved to Jerusalem in 1929 and finally settled Tzova, a kibbutz near Israel’s capital city.




1988: As Israeli political leaders continue try and form a government following the election held on November 1, today the Labor Party decided to end coalition negotiations with Likud. At about the same time, its leader, Shimon Peres, vowed that if a measure redefining who is Jewish under the Law of Return were put to a vote in Parliament, every Labor member would ''vote clearly against it.''

1988: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. buys RJR Nabisco for $25.07 billion. All three of the takeover kings were Jewish.

1994(27th of Kislev, 5755): Eighty-six year old “Lionel Stander, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants whose gravelly voice and beetling brow made him a memorable presence on stage and screen and whose political beliefs in the era of the Hollywood blacklist earned him a long exile from American films, died today at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)


1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1997(1st of Kislev, 5758): Kathy Acker (née Karen Lehmann) “an American experimental novelist, prose stylist, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer” passed away.

1997: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including The Darkside of Camelot by Seymour Hersh and an essay by Alfred Kazin entitled “Missing Murray Kempton.”

2000(3rd of Kislev, 5761): Seventy-five year old Ilona Karmel, “literary chronicler of the Holocaust and author of An Estate of Memory, passed away.(As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archives)


2002(25th of Kislev, 5673): Channukah

2002(25th of Kislev, 5763): First Day of Chanukah; light second candle in the evening

2003: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special interest to Jewish readers including In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices From Wall Street to Washington by Robert E. Rubin and Jacob Weisberg, Secrets of the City by Anne Roiphe, Primo Levi: A Life by Ian Thomson and Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait by Midge Decter

2005: It is official. Former Labor chairman Shimon Peres announced that he was ending his political activity in the Labor Party and would support Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the upcoming March elections.

2006: Haaretz reported that a small room in Kibbutz Merhavia which was once home to Israel's first woman prime minister, Golda Meir, has been renovated and refurbished  in the style of the 1920s when Golda lived there. It will soon be opened to visitors seeking to learn a little about that period and the severe austerity that prevailed in the Meir household. The reconstructed room is in one of the kibbutz's old stone residential buildings.

2006(9th of Kislev, 5767): Poet, songwriter and journalist Eli Mohar who wrote the “Goings On Around Town” column in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha’ir passed away from cancer at the age of 58.

2006: Sasson Somekh, visiting professor in Jewish Studies, opened the Jews Among Arabs conference at Vanderbilt with a lecture based on his memoir Baghdad Yesterday. Somekh grew up in the Jewish community in Iraq in the 1930s and ‘40s. He pointed out that some 250 Muslim Iraqis died in 1941 while trying to defend their Jewish neighbors being attacked by a pro-Nazi mob. About 150 Jews were killed in the incident, which launched the decline of Jewish community in Iraq, which had thrived there for 26 centuries.

2007: John Strugnell, controversial Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, passed away.

2007: The Wall Street Journallisted Ramaz as one of the top schools for graduates entering the top eight universities in the country, with 10 out of a class of 100 (class of 2007) going to these schools. The Ramaz School is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school located on the Upper East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

2007: At The Sydney Jewish Museum an exhibition styled “Butterflies of Hope” comes to an end. “Butterflies of Hope” is a very special exhibition designed to raise awareness of the plight of children trapped in war.  Developed for children 10+ and their families, the exhibition introduces the Holocaust from a Child Survivors perspective.  The experiences of Sydney based child Holocaust Survivors will be highlighted, along with original objects and photographs.  Notably, original children’s drawings and a toy butterfly from the Terezin ghetto have been loaned from the Terezin Memorial Museum for the exhibition. A photographic exhibition of children caught up in recent genocides will also feature in the exhibition.  Children are invited to inscribe a message of hope for children affected by such atrocities, and place it within the exhibition in support of the right of every child to live in peace.

2007: The week long launch of "Operation: Last Chance” will continue with a press conference in Chile. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" is targeted to find and bring to justice at least some of the thousands of Nazis still hiding in South America 62 years after the end of World War II. It will probably be the final major effort to locate and bring to justice Nazis in hiding scattered around the world.

2007: The New York Timesreviewed The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father’s Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem.

2007(20th of Kislev, 5768): IDF Private Ma’ayan Rotenberg of Kibbutz Beit Haemek passed away as a result of an accident while training with a tank unit.  He died a week before his 19th birthday.

2008: The Orthodox Union's National Conference meeting, at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem comes to a close.  Participants included Rabbi Metzger, Rabbi Lau, Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Herschel Schachter. The Keynote address was given by British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

2008: The International Conference on Contemporary Issues and Halacha, opens at Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem. The conference which is being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Israel's first chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog of Blessed Memory features the theme: "They'll be there, will you?" "They" are 50 well-known personalities, including Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, along with their immediate predecessors Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron, IDF Chief Rabbi Avraham Ronski, Yitzhak Peretz, Chief Rabbi of Raanana, lawyers Dr. Yaacov Weinroth and Prof. Yaakov Neeman, MKs Rabbi Michael Melchior, Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Zevulun Orlev, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and retired Judge Zvi Tal.

2008: Four of eight soldiers wounded in terrorist attacks on the Nahal Oz Base Gaza crossing during the Sabbath remained hospitalized. Three of them are being treated for moderate to serious wounds in Soroka Medical center in Be'er Sheva. The fourth victim, Sergeant Noam Nakash, 21, of Beersheba, lost his leg in a mortar attack and is being treated in Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

2009: Amy Goodman, host of the radio and television program "Democracy Now!," discusses and signs her new book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

2009: The opening of the John Demjanjuk trial today in Munich had to

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