November 8 In History

30: Birthdate of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, the Roman Emperor who changed the way in which the special tax on Jews was collected so that would not be the humiliating experience created by his Flavian predecessors.

641: “Jews were permitted to continue to reside in Alexandria by the treaty that sealed the Arab conquest of Egypt.” Jews had been living in Alexandria its founded in 332 BCE

1223: Louis VIII of France declared that the interest on Jews' debts should no longer hold good. At the same time, he ordered that the capital should be repaid to the Jews in three years and that the debts due the Jews should be inscribed and placed under the control of their lords. The lords then collected the debts for the Jews, doubtless receiving a commission. Louis furthermore ordered that the special seal for Jewish deeds should be abolished and replaced by the ordinary one.

1576: During the Eighty Years War, leaders of the provinces of the Netherlands sign the Pacification of Ghent which committed them to a joint effort to drive the Spanish from their soil.  The Dutch Protestants would prove triumphant and they would create a haven for Sephardic

1602: The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened to the public. Today “The Bodleian Library holds what is probably still regarded as the best collection of Hebrew manuscripts in the world, alongside an extraordinarily rich collection of early Hebrew and Yiddish printed books. All fields of traditional Hebrew scholarship are represented in the collection... The earliest manuscript accessions in Hebrew were received in 1601 and in the first catalogue of the library (1605) there are 58 books with titles in Hebrew script. They are mostly of Venetian origin, where Hebrew printing was then in its prime. The Library’s founder, Thomas Bodley, took a personal interest in them and, at the end of the catalogue, he added his own corrections in Latin of some misprints in Hebrew. After Bodley’s death, the Library continued to enrich the Hebrew collections. In 1692 it purchased the collections of Dr Robert Huntingdon and Professor Edward Pococke, the Regius Professor of Hebrew. Among the 212 manuscripts in the Huntingdon collection is the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (1155-1204) with the author’s signature (MS. Huntingdon 80), attesting that the text had been corrected against the original. The acquisition in 1817 of the manuscript collection which had belonged to the Venetian Jesuit, Matteo Luigi Canonici, represented the largest single purchase ever made by the Library. The collection contains over 110 valuable Hebrew manuscripts, chiefly on vellum. In 1829 the Bodleian bought the Oppenheimer Library, thought to be the most important and magnificent Hebraica collection ever accumulated. Rabbi David ben Abraham Oppenheimer (1664-1736) was the Chief Rabbi of Prague and during his lifetime he had amassed 780 manuscripts and 4,220 printed books in Hebrew, Yiddish and Aramaic, many of which are the only surviving copies. Further significant collections of Hebrew manuscripts were added in 1848 and 1890. In 1848 the Library purchased the library of Heimann Joseph Michael, numbering 862 volumes and nearly 1,300 separate works. The most recent acquisition of Hebrew manuscripts of major international importance was the purchase of fragments from the Cairo Genizah, beginning in 1890. A genizah is usually a room attached to a synagogue used for storing texts which were worn out and had become unusable; in this case the genizah was in the attic of the Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo. An enormous number, over 200,000, of fragments in Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic and Yiddish were kept there, which are now dispersed in over 25 public and private libraries across the world. Cambridge, with over 150,000 has the majority of them, while 25,000 are in New York, 10,000 in Manchester and 5,000 each in the British Library and the Bodleian. Although Yiddish became the spoken language of most Jews in Europe and beyond, historically it had an inferior status to Hebrew and was chiefly used to address women, children and males ignorant of Hebrew; significantly, the first book printed in Yiddish (Cracow, 1534) is a translation of difficult phrases in biblical Hebrew. For the same reason, early books in Yiddish were badly printed and ephemeral, and so have survived, if at all, in very few copies. One of the few bibliophiles to collect these objects systematically was Rabbi David Oppenheimer (see above) so the Bodleian finds itself with a very important collection of early Yiddish printed books, in many cases holding the only surviving copy. Later, because of its proletarian status, Yiddish was the natural choice of language for the propagation of socialism. The donation in 1981 of the library of the US daily Yiddish newspaper Morning Freiheit, founded in 1922 by the Jewish section of the American Communist Party, gave the Bodleian an extensive representation of the rich Socialist literature of the later nineteenth-century and the first half of the twentieth.”

1703 (30th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Joseph Samuel of Frankfor, author Mesorat ha¬Shas, passed away

1801: Élie Halévy’s first poem, "Ha-Shalom", a hymn composed while negotiations were being conducted at Amiens, was sung in the synagogue of Paris, in both Hebrew and French.  The treaty would bring a temporary end to the war between the French Republic and the United Kingdom.

1811: Birthdate of Georg Friedrich Heinrich Hitzig, a member of the famous Itzig family.  A successful architect, he converted to the Lutheran religion.  He passed away in 1881.

1818: In Hamburg, the lay leaders of the Jewish community met with the leaders of the Hamburg Temple and asked them to stop using their new (Reform) prayerbook since "it did not agree with the ritual accepted by all Jewish communities."  The Hamburg Temple rejected the request out of hand.  The Hamburg Temple received an unexpected vote of support in a letter from Lazarus Riesser who praised the innovations in the prayer-book and labeled the opponents as "sanctimonious hypocrites."

1825(27th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Raphael Ashkenazi, author of Mareh Einayim, passed away.

1837:  Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later becomes Mount Holyoke College. According to latest available published reports there are 100 Jewish students among the school’s 2,300 undergraduates.  The Mount Holyoke Jewish Student Union serves as the campus Hillel. At Mount Holyoke, the Jewish studies program is interdisciplinary in orientation and scope. The study of Jewish culture draws on a wide variety of disciplines, including English, German, gender studies, history, international relations, and religion. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, Jewish studies provides students with opportunities to cross intellectual boundaries and to make connections across diverse cultural phenomena. Religion and theology, Middle East politics, the history of Jews throughout the world, literature and languages, the Holocaust, contemporary American culture, the history and role of women--all these and more are bound up with the study of the Jewish people, their history and culture.

1852: An article entitled “Letting the Cat out of the Budget” published today reported on the efforst of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Benjamin Disraeli, to balance the budget.  The author predicts that the Disraeli will soon move to remove the duty on French wine based on reports that he told his win merchant that the price of Claret was “too dear…too dear.”  The assumption is that the price of Claret is too high and the only way to reduce it is to cut the tarrif on it.  The author also gives Disraeli for always arriving at his desk early as he pursues his duty indicating that he does not overimbibe while the House is sitting.

1854: Over 200 people gathered in the City Assembly Rooms on Broadway tonight to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the German Benevolent Society.  Joseph Seligman, President of the Society presided over the event.  Last year’s dinner raised $5,000 of which $4,400 was given to the needy and $500 was contributed to the Hospital Fund.  This year’s dinner has raised at least $4,000 in contributions.

1855: The U.S. agreed not to protest against Swiss discrimination against American Jews.  Apparently it was the price of completing a trade agreement with the Swiss.  Obviously America has changed in the way it fights for the rights of its Jewish citizens.

1855: The United States ratified a commercial treaty that permitted the Swiss to discriminate against U.S. citizens who are Jewish

1864: On election day, August Belmont was not allowed to vote because he was charged with having bet on the election by an official at the polling place.  According to George Templeton Strong, a New York attorney who witnessed the event, “Belmont went off in a range.”  Bystanders, most of whom were Union sympathizers “chuckled over his discomfiture.”  Belmont, who was born Jewish, had supported Democratic candidates and was identified with the new class of money-men.

1876: David Mathew Levy (Davitchon Effendi) was elected to the Ottoman parliament.

1878: It was reported today that Sir Henry Drummond Wolff has been named England’s Consul-General to Romania and Mr. William Gifford Palgrave has been named England’s Consul-General to Bulgaria.  Both men are the sons of Jewish converts. Sir Henry’s father, Joseph Wolff was the son of a Rabbi from Wellersbach. Palgrave’s father is Sir Francis Palgrave who was the son of Meyer Cohen, a London stock broker. The Palgrave name came from a relative of Sir Francis’ wife.

1879: An editorial published today that being “events determine little men and great men determine events” identified the late Rabbi David Einhorn as an example of the latter. It praised him for becoming a voice for the Reform Judaism when that movement was in its infancy as well as becoming a spokesman for liberal ideas including the abolition of slavery.

1879: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment met in the Mayor’s office where it adopted a resolution of pay bills for charitable institutions for the support of children committed by the Police Magistrates including $646 for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1879: It was reported today that Fischl Hirsch has “discovered a very rare Hebrew book,” a Machzor printed by Abraham Corat in Mantua (Italy) in 1840.  The Machzor follows the worship patterns of the Roman Jewish community. [A resident of Halberstadt, Germany, Hirsch devoted himself to the collection and sale of Hebrew books and manuscripts.  He became a recognized expert in this field who played a role in the Hebrew book and manuscript collections in the British Museum, The Bodleian Library and the Rosenthal Library at Amsterdam.]

1880(5th of Kislev, 5641): Aaron Samuel Liebermann died today in Syracuse, NY

1883: In New York City, the 99thbirthday of Sir Moses Montefiore was observed at the Hebrew Home for the Aged and Infirmed. As part of the celebration Rabbi Lavien led the gathering in the “daily service” with special prayers added in honor of the famed philanthropist. Rabbi Koehler of Temple Beth-el gave a special address in which he praised Montefiore’s great generosity.
1883: The 99th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore was observed today at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews in New York City. Today was the 8thof Cheshvan which was the date on the Hebrew calendar when the Anglo-Jewish philanthropist was born.

1883: As the British celebrate the 99th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore, there are numerous stories circulating among the English “illustrative of his great benevolence.” Among them is the tale of how he responded to Edwin Arnold’s request to help build a hospital for the poor people in Jerusalem. When asked for money the reply was “What will you have, £50? £500? £5,000?  Only name the sum.” The hospital was built but the hospital was eventually demolished because of a quarrel between the Greeks and the Turks.

1884: Congratulatory addresses from synagogues throughout the United States and the British Empire will be presented to Sir Moses Montefiore today on his 100thbirthday, as marked on the Hebrew Calendar.

1885(30th of Cheshvan, 5646): Just weeks short of his 57thbirthday, Albert Jacob Cardozo passed away. A practicing lawyer, he was a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, a leader of Congregation Shearith Israel and the father of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo.

1885: In New York City, funeral services are scheduled to take place for Jonas Strauss, who was a partner and brother of Levi Strauss, the man who gave us “Levis.”

1886: It was reported today that The Modern Jew – His Present and Future by Anna Laurens Dawes is now available for purchase at a cost of $.50. (Dawes was the daughter of a Republican political leader who served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.  I cannot find out why this prolific author chose this particular topic for a book.)

1887: The Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will host a benefit at the Terrace Garden under the guidance of Miss Ray Leszynsky, Secretary of the Board of Managers.

1887: A benefit performance for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for Children is scheduled to take place this evening by the Thalia Theatre Company at the Lexington Avenue Opera House in New York City.

1888: An auction is scheduled to be held this evening for seats at the new school that is being opened by Zichron Osher in New York City.

1889:  Montana is admitted as the 41st U.S. state. In Montana, from the last decade of the 19th century through WW I the leading female occupation after housewife was ‘fancy lady or madam.’ In Butte Ida Lev operated on of the leading houses in the red light district.  A Jewish hooker demonstrated her ethnic pride by taking the professional name of Jew Jess.  She must have been well connected since she was often arrested but rarely convicted.  And you thought it was all about peddlers turned mercantile merchants.

1891: In New York, The Hebrew Institute’s new building which is located at the corner of Jefferson and East Broadway was dedicated today.  The building will house The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, The Hebrew Free School Association and the Aguillar Free Library.  All three of these organizations share in the common goal of Americanizing the growing number of Jewish immigrants arriving in New York City.

1892: Grover Cleveland was elected President for the second time.  Cleveland is the only two-term President to have his terms separated by the election of another President.  This split always causes confusion in counting American Presidents.  During his second term in office, Cleveland vetoed an immigration bill that contained a literacy test.  The bill was aimed at keeping immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe out of the United States.  Its enactment was opposed by many Jewish leaders because it would have trapped the Jews of such places as Czarist Russia in their increasingly anti-Semitic homelands.

1896: Herzl accepts the invitation of the "Austrian Union of Israelites", a middle class anti-Zionist organization. His speech is well received.

1904: President Theodore Roosevelt defeated defeats Alton B Parker.  TR had become President when McKinley had been assassinated.  This was his chance to gain office on his own. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to appoint a Jew to a presidential cabinet. In 1906 he named Oscar S. Straus Secretary of Commerce and Labor. Theodore Roosevelt was also the first President to contribute his own funds to a Jewish cause. In 1919, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts while President to settle the Russo-Japanese War, Roosevelt donated some of his prize money to the National Jewish Welfare Board.

1905: U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco wrote a letter describing the treatment of the local Jews. He stated, "Concurrent testimony positively affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Musselmans. Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions."

1909(24th of Cheshvan, 5670): Sir Benjamin Louis Cohen, Baronet a British businessman and Conservative politician passed away after a long illness at his home in Hyde Park Gardens, London, at the age of 64. “He was the son of Louis Cohen, a stockbroker, and his wife Rebecca Keyser. After a private education, he entered his father's firm. Apart from his business activities he was involved in public and political works and in supporting Jewish charities. In particular he served on the committees of the Stepney Jewish Schools, the Jews' Orphan Asylum and the Home for Aged Jews.mIn 1887 his brother, Lionel Louis Cohen, president of the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor, died. Benjamin succeeded him in the post, holding the office until 1900. During his term he was very successful in raising large sums of money for the charity. He also altered the board's constitution, allowing women to be members. In the 1880s he was involved in the resettlement of Russian Jews, and supported proto-Zionist groups seeking to settle in Palestine.  In 1889 he was elected as one of the members of the first London County Council, representing the City of London for the Conservative-supported Moderate Party. He retained the seat until 1904. His brothers, Alfred and Nathaniel, were also members of the council. At the 1892 general election he was elected to the Commons as Unionist Member of Parliament for Islington East. He held the seat for eleven years, until he was defeated in the Liberal landslide of 1906. In 1905 he was created a baronet "of Highfield in the parish of Shoreham and county of Kent".”

1913: The Arab newspaper Falastin (Palestine) printed a poem by Sheikh Suleiman al-Taji, a founder of the Jaffa based Ottoman Patriotic Party entitled "The Zionist Danger."   Falstin, an anti-Zionist newspaper, was first published in 1911.

1917: The British bombed the German air field at El-tine destroying 11 planes on the ground and frightening the Turkish garrison in to fleeing

1918: In Germany, Jewish political leader Kurt Eisner leads his followers in a peaceful takeover of the Bavarian Diet.

1921: Birthdate of Director Gene Saks whose credits include Cactus Flower, Bye Bye Birdie and Brighton Beach Memoirs.

1922: Dr. Arthur Ruppin, said to be the foremost authority on the economic situation in Palestine, declared tonight at the Hotel Astor in his first address to American Zionists that Palestine now offers sound investments with opportunities for profit - capital Is safe there and investors are assured of good returns.

1923: Adolf Hitler launched his first attempt to seize power with a failed coup in Munich, Germany, that came to be known as the Beer-Hall Putsch.  Hitler would be imprisoned for this failed attempt at revolution.  While he prison, where he was treated like a celebrity, he wrote Mein Kampf.

1927: Birthdate of business man Peter Mun, founder of Barric Gold.

1928: Birthdate of Edward René David “widely known as Teddy Goldsmith, an Anglo-French environmentalist, writer and philosopher.”

1929: With the removal of the curfew, residents of Jerusalem are free to move about the city at night for the first time in three months.  The curfew had been put in place in response to a wave of Arab violence that had begun in August and included attacks on the ancient Jewish communities at Hebren and Safed.

1929: The British Commission of Inquiry canceled its hearings scheduled to be held in Jerusalem today and instead took an auto trip to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

1931: Winston Churchill published an article in the Sunday Chronicle about Moses that reflected his fascination with Jewish history and the concept that Jews’ monotheism and ethics were a central factor in the evolution and maintenance of modern civilization.

1932: New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency.  Roosevelt’s New Deal would prove a boon and tonic for large segments of the American Jewish Community.  His election and his New Deal prevented the rise of fascism and communism in the United States, neither of which would have been good for the Jews.

1932: As teachers continued their protest in an attempt to secure back pay, the Mizrachi organization approved the resignation of Hechsel Farbstein from the Jewish Agency Executive at a “stormy meeting” this evening.  “Mr. Farbstein was joined in his resignation by Emanuel Neumann of New York.”  Both were protesting against budget cuts.

1935: American labor leaders formed the
or Congress of Industrial Organizations.  The leaders of the
championed militant organizing efforts on an industry by industry basis.  This was contrary to philosophy of the more conservative AF of L which was organized along the craft union model. Founding fathers of the
included Sidney Hillman, head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, David Dubinsky, President of the ILGWU and Max Zaritsky, President of the Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers

1936: The Maccabees, the champion soccer team from Palestine, plays the final contest of their U.S. tour today at Yankee Stadium.  The game is the 11th contest of the tour which has left the Jewish team with a record of 6, 2 and 2.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a new wave of anti-Jewish excesses was reported from various parts of Poland. In Vilna Jewish students were beaten by their gentile colleagues.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that after a heated debate, the Hadassah Convention in Atlantic City adopted a resolution demanding that the Zionist Executive should negotiate with the British government to affect a constructive policy for the complete implementation of the Palestinian Mandate over an undivided Palestine. Many Zionists and supporters of Israel were opposed to the partition of Palestine.  As far as they were concerned, the British had already partitioned Palestine when it created the nation of Trans-Jordan from the Mandatory land.  Since the Arabs had this state, these Jews felt that the British should honor the spirit of the Balfour Declaration leave those living in the Yishuv with the rest.

1937: The Eternal Jew' exhibition opened in Nuremberg.  It portrayed the Jew as the leaders of international Bolshevism, dedicated to destroying Germany.

1938: In Great Britain, the Woodhead Report which opposed the creation of independent Jewish and Arab states in Palestine was submitted to Parliament

1938: Wilfred Israel called on the British Embassy in Berlin in an attempt to repudiate Hirsch Grynszpan's actions.

1938: Henry Horner, Governor of Illinois, suffered a major health setback while listening to the election results at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.

1941: A Jewish ghetto at Lvov, Ukraine, is established.

1942: The Jews from Drancy, France, arrive by train at Auschwitz, where 227 are assigned to forced labor and 773 are gassed.

1942: During World War II, Allied Operation Torch landings took place on the Algerian coast and incidentally ensure the safety of 117,000 Algerian Jews. Algerian-Jewish resistance, armed by the United States, helped limit the impact of the Vichy French response to the Allied landings.

1942: In Tripoli, Libya, German occupiers pressed 2600 Jews into forced labor to build military roads.

1944: The Stern Gang assassinates Lord Walter Moyne, Britain's minister of state in the Middle East. The Stern Gang was named for its founder Avraham Stern.  The Stern Gang was in 1940 by former members of the Irgun.  They were opposed to the Irgun’s decision to join with the Haganah which meant setting aside the fight with the British to fight the Nazis. Stern was killed by British security forces. The Stern Gang negotiated with the Nazis offering to work with the Germans in a fight against the British if the Nazis would support the creation of a Jewish state.  But they assassinated Lord Moyne, Britain’s leading official in Egypt because of his association with anti-Semitic Arab groups.  The Stern Gang was branded as terrorists by the Yishuv.  On the other hand, Yitzchak Shamir, a member of the Stern Gang would follow Begin as Prime Minister in Israel.

1944 Germans initiate a death march of Jews from Budapest to the Austrian border. Raoul Wallenberg's intervention saved thousands of Jews but thousands more continue the trek that would lead to Auschwitz.

1944 John W. Pehle, head of the War Refugee Board who has delayed for months a request that Auschwitz be bombed, changed his mind. He argued that bombing would destroy the gas chambers as well as German factories and soldiers in the area, encourage resistance, and free prisoners. Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy rejected Pehle's reasoning, erroneously arguing that bombing Auschwitz will hinder the war effort.

1944: Nazi collaborator Karoly (Charles) Zentai murdered a Jewish teenager named Peter Balazs in Budapest. Zentai served in a unit of the Hungarian army that was active in hunts for Jews in Budapest in the fall of 1944 when the fascist Arrow Cross came to power. Balazs was murdered because Zentai caught him riding on a streetcar in Budapest without the required yellow star sewn on his coat. Balazs and Karoly grew up in the suburb of Budafolk, so Zanti knew that the teenager was Jewish and violating Nazi law.

1944: The U.S.N. Drum (SS-228) a submarine under skippered by Commander Maurice H Rindskopf completed its 11th war patrol which was spent “In enemy controlled water of the Luzon Straits in the Philippines.”  Rindskopf, who rose to the rank of Rear Admiral, was awarded the Navy Cross for his gallantry shown during the dangerous mission dudring which he sunk 20,000 tons of enemy shipping.

1945: General Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham is appointed high commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan.

1945: Dr. Izzat George Tannous, head of Arab Office in London, says Truman's recommendation for Jewish immigration to Palestine was made without consulting Arabs and denounces Zionism.

1948: It was announced today that “Jack Benny has accepted new contract terms proposed by the National Broadcasting Company, with the result that he will continue to be heard on the NBC network at 7 P.M. Sundays. The network submitted the proposals after the Columbia Broadcasting System sought to induce the comedian to shift the base of his activities to the CBS network on Sundays.”

1948:  Following the first census by the government of Israel, the Jewish homeland was found to contain 712,000 Jews and 68,000 Arabs.

1949: This date marks the beginning of Operation Magic Carpet, which was one of the great moments of modern Jewish history.  At the moment of its birth, Israel immediately established itself as haven for Jews throughout the world. Operation Magic Carpet was the name given to the Israeli Airlift that flew 60,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel.  Golda Meir, who would eventually become Prime Minister of Israel, would go out to the airport and greet Israel’s newest citizens.  She said she marveled at their courage and endurance.  She asked one elderly chap if he had ever seen an airplane before. He told her had not.  She asked him if was afraid.  He said he was not afraid.  After all, this had all been foretold in the Book of Isaiah. “They shall mount up on wings of eagles.”  And then he stood there and recited the entire passage from Chapter Forty of the Book of Isaiah.  Part of this is found in this week’s haftarah, “But they that wait upon the Lord she all renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles…”  If you can ever read this haftarah again without getting a lump in your throat, you are a better person than I am.

1949: The New York Herald Tribunerevealed that tens of thousands of Jews had been moved dramatically from Yemen to the then British colony of Aden, and were flown to Israel from there. The operation bore the legendary name "Magic Carpet." The immigrants themselves prefer to describe the event with a biblical image: "On the wings of eagles." Israel's military censor only permitted publication of the operation's details once they were published abroad. The scoop belonged to U.S. reporter Ruth Gruber, who had been invited to join one of the flights from Yemen as the guest of the Joint Distribution Committee. A disagreement arose as to whether she had been invited to write "for publication," or only "for background" information.

1949: Republican Stanley M. Isaacs was elected to the New York City Council

1958: Republican Stanley M. Isaacs, was elected to the New York City Council where he serve as the Minority Leader.

1960:  In one of the closest elections on record, John Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become President of the United States. Support of Jewish voters was critical to electing America’s first Roman Catholic to the White House. Kennedy named two Jews to his cabinet - Abraham Ribicoff as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Arthur Goldberg as Secretary of Labor. Kennedy was the only President for whom a national Jewish Award was named. The annual peace award of the Synagogue Council of America was re-named the John F. Kennedy Peace Award after his assassination in 1963.

1962(11th of Cheshvan, 5723): On the day after celebrating his 83rd birthday MK Mordechai Nurock passed away.  An ordained Rabbi who earned a Doctorate in Psychology, he was Israel’s first Minister of Postal Services which is now known as Minister of Communication.

1962: Shalom-Avraham Shaki, the native of Yemen who made Aliyah in 1914 became an MK for the first time, replace the late Mordechai Nurock.

1966(25th of Cheshvan, 5727): Seventy-five year old Dr. Bernhard Zondek passed away. Born in German, the pioneer in modern endocrinology, made Aliyah in 1934 and won the Israel Prize in medicine in 1958.

1975(4th of Kislev, 5736): Esther Vilenska passed away. Born at Vilnius in 1918, she made Aliyah in 1938. Vilenska became a “communist politician, journalist and author who served as a member of the Knesset for Maki between 1951 and 1959 and then again from 1961 to 1965.”

1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that after the Katyusha bombing of Nahariya in which two local residents were killed, Israeli gunners blasted Palestinian terrorist strongholds in South Lebanon.  This is an example of the inability of the government of Lebanon to control its borders.  The PLO set up a state within a state in southern Lebanon.  It was these conditions that would finally force the Israelis to cross the border in the early 1980’s and eventually set up a buffer state on the border with Lebanon.

1988: Nita M. Lowey was elected to Congress where she is currently serving her 8th term. She is a leading proponent of educational opportunity, health care reform and biomedical research, stricter gun control and public safety laws, environmental protection, and women's issues. She is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Lowey was the first woman to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, leading the organization from 2001 to 2002. She has served as Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus and the House Pro-Choice Caucus, and has been called "the most prominent abortion right advocate in Congress" by the Washington Post. Before being elected to Congress, Lowey served as Assistant Secretary of State for the State of New York.

1988: Gov. Madeline M. Kunin of Vermont won a third two-year term, defeating Michael Bernhardt, the state House minority leader.

1997: North Carolinians came together today, to honor one the state’s civic leaders and pathbreaking women. Born in 1913 in Virginia, Hannah Block (née Solomon) studied music at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. After completing her studies, Block ventured to New York City where she forged her way as a jazz singer and performed in some of Manhattan’s most popular night spots. While in New York, Block met her future husband Charles Morris Block. After they married, the couple settled in Wilmington, N.C. where Charles was a partner in a manufacturing company. Block embraced her new home with verve and spirit. During World War II, she became the first woman to serve as head lifeguard at Carolina Beach, where she taught swimming and lifesaving courses for the Red Cross. The attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 inspired Block to become more involved with the war effort. Bringing new life and depth to her jazz career, she volunteered her time performing for troops at the local USO. Block organized and trained a group of 60 young women who visited and entertained soldiers on nearby military bases before their deployment overseas.Towards the war’s end, Block enlisted volunteers to welcome GI’s back to the U.S. and to help them readjust to life as civilians. One friend fondly dubbed Hannah Block “Mrs. World War II Wilmington.” After the war, Hannah Block remained active in civic life. She served twice as president of the local American Legion Auxiliary and organized many pageants, turning them into, as she put it, “more than a swimsuit contest on the beach.” In her late 40s, she became the first woman to serve on the Wilmington City Council, and later, the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor pro tempore. Block also led efforts in Wilmington to preserve and restore buildings of historical significance. One of these buildings was the USO center Block has performed in decades earlier. The building, which had served as Wilmington’s Community Arts Center since 1973, was renamed in 1997 in honor of Block. That same year on November 8th, the Community Arts Center in the “Hannah Block Historic USO” put on a jazz and cabaret review to honor Block. At the event, Block was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina’s highest honors recognizing service to the state. (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archive)

1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family by Stephen J. Dubner, Work In Progress by Michael D. Eisner, with Tony Schwartz and The Book of Job translation, introduction and notes by Raymond P. Scheindlin

2002: Linda Lingle, Hawaii’s governor-elect, has made news for the 50th state and for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. She is Hawaii’s first woman governor, its first Jewish governor – and the only chief executive of a state to become a life member of Hadassah at her own initiative. Hours after her election, Lingle said: "I am aware of the wonderful work accomplished at Hadassah Hospital and am very proud of being a life member. I recently had a meeting with the Israel Consul General during his trip to Hawaii, and he extended to me an invitation to visit Israel. I look forward to doing so in the near future and to finally have the opportunity to visit Hadassah Hospital and meet the physicians and dedicated people responsible for making it so successful." Lingle, the former mayor of Maui, is also Hawaii’s first Republican governor in 40 years. Four years ago, a member of the Hawaii chapter made a one-time gift of annual membership to Lingle. Last year, the chapter was delighted to receive a check from Lingle that upgraded her status to life member, according to Sharon Goodhart, then-Vice President of Membership. According to the 2001 edition of the American Jewish Yearbook, there are approximately 7,000 Jews in Hawaii. Hadassah Hawaii, which counts some 200 members, is understandably proud of one of their own becoming governor. “We are thrilled and enormously proud of Linda on her election to governor of our state. We support her completely in her continued effort to bring about a new beginning for Hawaii," said chapter President Phyllis Donlin.

2004:  First Day of Jewish Book Month. Check out the library at your local Temple or Synagogue.

2005: An overwhelming majority of adult Israelis are satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. While 82 percent are happy, 52 percent of the population believes their lives will improve in the coming years. The third annual survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics found that 47 percent of adults are satisfied with their financial situation. About 41 percent believe their financial situation will improve in the coming years.

2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that “containers for ritual offerings, weapons and jewelry are among the finds uncovered after builders in Jerusalem’s Vayit Vagan neighborhood stumbled upon a 4,000 year old Canaanite cemetery.

2007: At the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington 38th annual Book Festival, Rabbi Harold Kushner discusses his latest work, Overcoming Life’s Disappointments.

2007:  In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Suzanne and Bert Katz Fund of the Temple Judah Foundation presents “The Case for Israel” with Professor Alan Dershowitz at Sinclair Auditorium on the campus of Coe College.

2007: Spain's Constitutional Court ruled that Holocaust denial will not be punishable by imprisonment, due to the fact that it falls within freedom of speech. Spanish law had mandated a sentence of up to two years in prison for Holocaust denial, but the court, which deliberated on the case following the trial of a neo-Nazi activist, ruled that such a punishment was unconstitutional.

2008: In Highland Park, Il, Dana Levin, daughter of Gigi Cohen and Michael Levin is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.

2009: Rabbi Simcha Weinstein discusses his book Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero at the Walters Art Museum, Graham Auditorium.

2009(21st of Cheshvan, 5770): Ninety-three year old “Vitaly L. Ginzburg, the Russian physicist who helped develop the first Soviet hydrogen bomb and went on to win the Nobel Prize, passed away today. (As reported by Michael Schwirtz)

2009: Closing session of Union for Reform Judaism's 70th Biennial Convention in Toronto, Canada.

2009 (21st Cheshvan): On the Jewish calendar, Yahrzeit Chanah (Hanah) Senesh (Sznes) who was executed 65 years ago today on the 21stof Cheshvan, 5705.

2009: New York Times bestselling author Neal Bascomb discusses his riveting new book Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi at the Fourth Annual JCCNV Jewish Book Festival.

2009: Distinguished educator Dr. Erica Brown, author of Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism, explores how boredom manifests itself within Judaism and the cultural impact on a faith structure that advises sanctifying time, not merely passing it at the JCCGW 40th Annual Book Festival

2009: Students from three Israeli high schools garnered top honors at the seventh annual International Student Film Festival Hollywood (ISFFH), which concluded today. The Israeli entries won four out of six awards given to non-English-language films at the event.awards in various categories.

2010: The Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present “Josh Waletzky: Boiberik and Beyond Yiddish Songs for the 21st Century.”

2010(1st of Kislev, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2010(1st of Kislev, 5771): Ninety five year old Jack Levine, an unrepentant and much-admired realist artist whose crowded history paintings skewered plutocrats, crooked politicians and human folly” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

2011: Dan Byman author of “A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism” and Jennifer Griffin and Greg Myre co-authors of “This Burning Land: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” are scheduled to take part in Panel Discussion at the JCC of Northern Virginia’s Book Festival

2011: Sharon Steinberg, the cantor at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures that provide “An Overview of Jewish Liturgical Music.

2011: “Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism” is scheduled to begin tonight. Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism

2011: In St. Louis, MO, the scheduled Community Krisallnacht Program will feature Hannie J. Voyles, author of “Storming The Tulips.”


2011: Today, Knesset Speaker Reuven released his speech for the upcoming memorial session, during which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) were scheduled to speak. Rivlin plans to slam “price tag” vandalism, calling it “Jewish terrorism,”

2011: The Religious Services Ministry placed burdensome restrictions today on the Tzohar Rabbinical Council, which provides a legal and religious alternative to weddings performed outside the framework of the Rabbinate.

2011(11th of Cheshvan, 5772): Sixty-eight year old Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yehsiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem passed away today.

2012: Larry Tye Author of Superman: The High Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero is scheduled to speak at JCCNV Jewish Book Festival in Fairfax, VA.

2012: “My Dad is Baryshnikov” is scheduled to shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival this evening.

2012: Tesa Cohen, one of Temple Judah’s younger congregants, is scheduled to appear in the opening performance of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach.”

2012: Bentlee Birchansky and Lincoln Ginsberg, students at Temple Judah Religious School, are scheduled to appear in the opening performance of “Guys and Dolls.”

2012: Prior to their scheduled performance at the Engler Theatre in Iowa Cit, The Klezmatics are scheduled to give a lecture and demonstration on Klezmer music.

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