December 17 In History

1141 (Tevet, 4902): After leaving Cairo, Jehuda Halevi arrived at the port of Damietta where he was warmly received by his old friend Abu Said Chalfon.

1187: Gregory VIII, the Pope who called for the disastrous Third Crusade, passed away. Each of the crusades was a disaster for the Jewish people in way or another.  On top of everything else, the Third Crusade removed the protective hand of King Richard from England and left the Jews to suffer under the anti-Semitic Prince John.

1398: Tamerlane, also known as Timur, defeated the armies of Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's in Delhi. This battle was part of the war between the Persians and the Mongols.  According to one source, Timur brought Persian Jews to his kingdom so that they could help develop the textile industry.  For more on this subject see Tamerlane and the Jews by Michael Shterenshis

1490: Yucef Franco went on trial today charged with  “trying to attract conversos to Judaism as well as having participated in the ritual crucifixion of a Christian child on Good Friday.”

1531: A Bull was issued by Pope Clement
establishing the Inquisition in Portugal. Frei Diogo da Silva was made Inquisitor General.

1538: Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. Henry had reportedly sought support from Italian rabbis in making the Biblical case for his annulment.  The Italian Jews were fearful of the Pope among whom they lived than they were of a distant monarch who did not let Jews live in his kingdom.  The excommunication led to a weakening of the Church and the strengthening of the Protestant Reformation which helped to contribute to the Jews return to England in the 17th century.

1600: King Henry IV of France married Marie de' Medici. She is most famous as the mother of Louis XIII in whose name she reigned for seven years as Queen Mother and regent.  During that time she defied the ban on Jews living in France by retaining Elijah Montalto as court physician. To gain his services Marie agreed to let him practice his religion and not to have to work on Shabbat.  When Louis came of age he reverted to the practice of his predecessors and reaffirmed the ban on Jews living in his kingdom.

1728: Congregation Shearith


purchased a lot on

Mill Street

in lower


, to build

New York

's first synagogue.

1791(21st of Kislev, 5552): Chief Rabbi David Tevele Schiff passed away. He was the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the rabbi of the Great Synagogue of London from 1765 until his death. He was the son of Solomon Schiff, member of a famous and learned family from Frankfurt am Main. Tevele Schiff was educated in the schools of Rabbis Jacob Poper and Jacob Joshua Falk. He served as maggid in Vienna. He also was head of the Beth Midrash in Worms, and later Dayan in Frankfurt.

1794:William Moultrie completed his second term in office as Governor of South Carolina. In 1794, during his final year in office, Moultrie attended the consecration of Congregation Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC.

1819: Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela). Jews served in Bolivar’s army and provided him with the financial backing that was necessary for his ultimate success.

1839: Birthdate of Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild an English politician and art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild family of bankers. He would pass away exactly 59 years later on his birthday.

1830: Simon Bolivar, the liberator of




known as the “George Washington of
South America
” passed away. “Simon Bolivar found refuge and material support for his army in the homes of Jews from Curaçao. Jews such as Mordejai Ricardo and the brothers Ricardo and Abraham Meza offered hospitality to Bolivar as he fought against the Spanish, thus establishing brotherly relations between Jews and the newly independent Venezuelan republic. Several Jews even fought in the ranks of Bolivar's army during the war.” “The Jews of Curacao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from
distinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.”

1833: In Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin and Harriet Marx Etting gave birth to Frank Marx Etting who became Paymaster of the United States Army during the Civil War.

1851: In Baltimore, MD, Members of the Kaschurn Lodge, No. 3, a Jewish fraternal organization, met with Lajos Kossuth, the exiled Hungarian leader.  They gave him seventy-five dollars.  They also gave him three banners.  The largest one had three full length pictures of Moses, Washington and Kossuth.  Moses represented Asia; Washington represented America and Kossuth represented Europe.  The two smaller banners contained the statement, in both Hebrew English, “Thy enemies shall come against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.  In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

1852: Benjamin Disraeli finished serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He will be replaced by Gladstone.  This is the first of three times that Disraeli will hold this office in the English government.

1859: British political leader Henry Fitzroy, the husband of Hannah Rothschild and the son-in-law of Nathan Mayer Rothschild passed away.

1859: During his sermon at the Greene Street Synagogue, Rabbi Raphall delivered “a fervent appeal on behalf” of the Jews who had been forced to seek refuge at Gibraltar because of the war between Spain and Morocco.  The Jews fled because of their justified fear of attacks by the enraged native population.  Several thousand had been forced to leave all of their possessions behind and were now living in tents provided by the British colonial government and eating food provided by funds from the Jews of England.  The congregation responded by immediately raising several hundred dollars to aid their suffering co-religionists.

1859: It was reported today that “From Austria, amid the echoes of Hungarian dissatisfaction, and Tyrolese boldness, come the reports of promised reform. It is stated as a certain fact that in a few days the Emperor will issue a decree, relieving the Jews from many disabilities under which they now lie. The law which forbade a Jew to have a Christian servant is already repealed; and the emancipated Israelite can now rejoice in the possession of a cook who hasn't a conscientious objection to getting up and making a fire, of a Saturday morning. The expected decree will abolish the old law, by which no one of the three witnesses required for a Christian's will could be a Jew -- a blind provision, which has been the source of more trouble to Christians than Jews. Then the rule, still on the statute-books in Austria, that a Jew's evidence in a civil case against a Christian should be considered as "doubtful," will be done away; as also the present prohibition, which prevents any but a Christian from filling the office of Notary. This last provision is no older than 1855. Before that year Jews were allowed to be Notaries, and it is said that there is a Jewish Notary in Prague, who was appointed under the old law, and holds his office still. It is proper that the Government should concede these rights to an oppressed class; but one cannot but notice how, through these reforms, it hopes to escape more pressing and important demands from its subjects. Hungary demands her constitutional rights, and the Emperor grants a couple of reforms to Venice. Tyrol desires her ancient and guaranteed privileges, and he emancipates the Jews at Prague! No matter -- the day is coming

1860: An article entitled “Affairs in France” published today described the conflict between the French Empress and Achille Fould, the Jewish financier and political leader whom she used to value as an advisor.  The Empress has changed her view of Fould due to the influence of the Catholic clergy.  Fould is not bothered by the possible loss of the Pope’s temporal power while the clergy and the Empress are greatly distressed by such a possibility. It is rumored that the Empress has said she will not return from England until Fould has been dismissed from office.

1862: General Grant, in issuing his infamous Order 11, ordered all "Jews as a class" expelled from his lines. In

New York City

7000 Jews marched in protest against his decision.


rescinded his order.  Grant never explained the order.  Grant had shown something of a nativist streak in the 1850’s when he reportedly supported the Know Nothing Party.  As President, Grant maintained cordial relations with Jewish leaders.  After leaving the Presidency, Grant lent his name to petitions protesting the treatment of Russian Jews and he made a contribution to the newly formed Adas Israel Congregation in its formative years!

1870: This evening will mark the close of the Hebrew Fair which has been held for several days at the 22nd Regiment Armory in New York City.

1874: At today’s meeting of the Board of Alderman in New York, the resolution submitted a t a previous meeting in favor of permitting the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Society to sublet their premises” which is property own by the city “was called up and laid over.”

1875: The three men convicted of killing a Jewish peddler named Abraham Weissburg are scheduled to be executed today in New York.

1875: It was reported today that in the Hebrew Charity Fair’s contest for most popular minister Dr. Einhorn is in first place with 43 votes followed by Dr. Isaacs with 37 votes.  This is just part of the many activities connected with this pre-Chanukah fundraising fair.

1875: P. Nathan Rubenstein was identified as the man who had bought the knife that was used in the murder of Sarah Alexander. The same witness said she had not sold this unique item to Lewis Rubenstein, Nathan’s brother.  Both of the young men are Jewish.

1878: Garnier and Schaefer will play tonight at the Hebrew Fair in Tammany Hill.[ Garnier and Schaefer were locally famous billiard players and this match must have been part of the fair’s fundraising activities.]

1881(25thof Kislev, 5642): Chanukah

1882: It was reported today that Herr Belchman has come to the conclusion that there are both blond and dark haired people among the Jews living in Western Russia.  Furthermore, they have “narrower chests” and “shorter heads” than their non-Jewish counterparts.

1882: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil had testified before Senators Boy and Browning who are investigating “corner and futures and the effect… they have on commerce and public morals.” The Rabbi said he could not speak about  the business aspect of the topic.  But as to the moral implication he cited the Jewish prohibitions against allowing a man who engaged in gambling to serve as a Judge as a witness.  Furthermore, the lure of gambling misled young man and was comparable to putting a stumbling block before the blind.

1883: Madame Fanny Janauschek will appear in tonight’s production of “Zillah, the Hebrew Mother” at the Third Avenue Theatre in New York

1883: A Jewish peddler named Simon Holzman was assaulted and nearly killed near Eatontown, NJ.

1885: It was reported today that among the four men arrested for planning to blow up several California’s leading citizens was Julius C. Koosher, a Russian Jew who came to this country after his business was destroyed in his native land because of his religion.  After arriving in the United States Koosher worked as a land agent but was cheated out the money owed to him by the railroad tycoon Henry Villard

1888: In Philadelphia, PA, Mat Goldberger went to trail today for the murder last April of Mrs. Annie Schuleberg

1888: The Republican Club of 450 5th Avenue blackballed Benjamin F. Peixotto and James W. Moses this evening

1889: Mrs. Martin M. Lewis took a leading part in the activities at today’s Hebrew Fair.

1889: A fire broke in a tenement on Eldridge Street that housed several Jewish owned businesses as well as a synagogue and school used by Jewish immigrants from Russia.

1889: Anton Solki, an itinerant Jewish dentist will be arraigned today in Yorkville for having attacked Dr. C.H. de Lamater, after the latter had treated him for a dental problem.  The accused does not remember the attack and can give no reason for having done what he is accused of doing.

1891(16th of Kislev, 5652): Benedict Zuckermann, an observant German-Jewish mathematician and astronomer passed away today.  He was a colleague of Henrich Graetz and a support of Zacharis Frankel.

1892: Birthdate of American biochemist Edwin Cohn.  In 1940 the hard-driving Harvard biochemist Edwin Cohn broke plasma down into its different proteins — and saved millions of soldiers' lives Most fatalities in World War I occurred not from the direct physical damage of bullet wounds but from loss of blood. In the spring of 1940, as another war seemed inevitable, finding a way to replace lost blood became a medical priority. Edwin Cohn, a Harvard biochemist, took on the problem of breaking down blood plasma to isolate a protein called albumin that could be stored for long periods without spoiling, shipped efficiently and used easily on a battlefield to save lives. Patriotic blood drives yielded whole blood from which a small inventory of albumin had been accumulated by

December 7, 19
. It was rushed to
Pearl Harbor
where it proved enormously successful in the first battlefield setting.  Cohn headed up a government effort to oversee the production of albumin. His work throughout the war to improve the process and the consequent successes of blood products on the battlefield were one of the keys to victory for the Americans in World War II. He passed away in 1953.

1893: Birthdate of Erwin Piscator. The German born Piscator has been described as one of the most renowned figures of modern theater famous for his avant-garde productions at the Epic Theater in



and his innovative contributions to the American stage.

1894:  Birthdate of Arthur Fiedler.  Fiedler gained fame as the conductor of the Boston Pops which he turned into an American institution.  He passed away in 1979.

1901: Birthdate of Lee Strasberg.  Strasberg was an actor and a director.  But his greatest fame came from teaching others to act.  He passed away in 1982.

1903 (28th Kislev): On the fourth day of Chanukah The Wright Brothers made their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. According to some, the success of the Dayton bicycle men was based on early work by Otto Lielenthal who died during a flight test seven years before.  Arthur L. Welsh, a young Jew from


, was one of the early pilots who were taught to fly by the Wright brothers. When Welsh died in 1912 during a test flight, he was the only pilot employed by Wrights who were close friends as well as his mentors.

1904: T.C. Evans reviewed “he Life of Lord Beaconsfield” by Walter Sichel, a “biographical study of the remarkable man, wit, statesman, novelist, the celebration of whose centenary is now at hand.”

1906: Oscar Straus become the third U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

1909: Muslims in Tunis protested when Jews were going to be put under French jurisdiction. Muslims stated that this was discriminatory and a violation of treaties, even though it was the Muslims the French were going to protect the Jews from.

1913: Birthdate of American business man Sol Linowitz. He served as Chairman of the Board of Xerox Corp and negotiated the return of the
Panama Canal

1914:  The Turks expelled the Jews of Tel Aviv, sending them to


.  Many of the Jews were native Russians.  Since




were enemies during World War I, the Turks saw these Russian Jews as potential enemy agents or worse.

1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Eighth Day of Chanukah

1917(2nd of Tevet, 5678): Dov Ber Borochov, one of the founding fathers of the Labor Zionist movement, passed away.

1917: Birthdate of Jacob Landau, the native of Philadelphia who gained fame as an artist “known for his evocative works on the human condition

1928: Aaron Copland is part of a group participating in a musical event at the New School for Social Work.
1929:  In New York City, Oliver C. and Ida Panish Safir gave birth to William Safire.  Unique among the Jews of his generation, Safire was a conservative Republican who was a speech writer for President Nixon.  He spent almost three decades as a political columnist for The New York Times.

1930: According to reports published today, Arabs have failed to stop Jewish settlers from plowing their land at Hedera after they lost a lawsuit designed to keep the land from the Jews.  After the police intervened, the Arabs agreed to await the outcome of the appeal before taking any further action.  The Arabs said that they understood the recently issued White Paper to mean that all land in Palestine belonged to them.

1931: In Manhattan, Blanche and Milton Frankfurt gave birth to Stephen Owen Frankfurt “an advertising executive who helped lead the transformation of television commercials from straightforward sales pitches in the 1950s to sophisticated, art-designed productions”  (As reported by Leslie Kaufman)

1931: The meeting of the World Islamic conference came to an end in


.  The conference agreed to deny Jews access to the al-Akso Mosque as a first step to undermining efforts of the Zionists to live peacefully side by side with their Arab neighbors.

1935: Based on votes counted so far, Meier Dizengoff trails Laborite Joseph Aronowitz in the Tel Aviv mayoral election held on Sunday.

1937:Temple Shaaray Tefila began a weekend of services dedicating their reconstructed sanctuary. The Temple had been the victim of an arsonist’s fire in March necessitating this rebuilding projects.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that three Arabs were killed when British troops and police fought a large Arab gang near Tulkarm.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish boy of 16 was killed when a Polish hooligan shot him and threw a bomb at a shop in the village of Czarna, near Warsaw, completely demolishing it. Polish officials were reported to be planning to deport, with French approval, some 30,000 Jewish families, 120,000 persons to


, within the next six years. France demanded that the refugees be supplied with sufficient capital to make their planned farms profitable.

1940: Thanks to the efforts of Marge Iverson, the wife of Phillip Iverson, The St, Johnsbury Jewish Woman’s Club held its first meeting in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

1940: Drunken SS guards at the Sachsenhausen labor camp awaken Jews during a frigid night and order them to roll in the snow.

1941: The slaughter of the Jews of Skede, which began on December 15, came to an end. German security police and Latvian police marched almost three thousand Jews to a ditch, forced them to strip and then shot them in groups of ten.  For those who doubt the truth, Yad Vashem has a photograph that was taken by one of the German or Latvian killers.


1941: German Christian church leaders of Saxony, Nassau-Hesse, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstei, Anhalt, Thuringia and Lubeck announced that the “severest measures” should be taken against the Jews, who should be expelled from German territories.

1941(27th of Kislev, 5702): Dr. David Dubslo and two of his colleagues died of spotted typhus while treating Gypsies who had been sent to the


ghetto.  The Gypsies lived in a special section of the ghetto and had no doctors of their own.

1942: Dr. Samuel Goldenson is scheduled to officiate at the funeral services for David M. Bressler at Temple Emanu-El

1942: The Yishuv announces a 30-day period of mourning to commemorate the tragedy of the Jews in

1942: Pressure from members of Parliament, from Jewish groups in


, from the Anglican Church, from the British press, and from the Polish government-in-exile persuades the Allied governments to publish their first official recognition of atrocities in


. The Allied nations--

Great Britain


United States


Soviet Union













, and the French National Committee--officially condemn the Nazis' "bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination." They vow to punish those responsible. Several U.S. State Department officials try to block this declaration. All previous and following declarations neglect to mention Jews.

1942: Accepting the

United States

government position that the Jews being massacred by the Germans can be helped only by a total and unconditional Allied victory over


, the American press continues to treat the Holocaust as just another war story, and is unwilling to discuss the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Given the Allied governments' knowledge of the Holocaust at this time, waiting until the Allied Armed Forces have achieved a total victory over the Germans indicates that the Allied governments have accepted the probability that the majority of European Jews will be killed before the Germans can be stopped.

1942: Jewish inmates at the labor camp at


, near


, attack guards with knives and fists. Six prisoners are killed and four escape.

1942: The Allies issued a statement saying Jews were being taken to tBirkenau, the part of Auschwitz devoted to extermination and killed.

1943: Transport 63 departed with a cargo of French Jews being sent to Nazi-Germany

1943: Jews are executed at


, as reprisal for an escape of several Jews from the ghetto.

1944(1stof Tevet, 5705): Rosh Chodesh Tevet coincides with the 2nd day of the Battle of the Bulge.

1945: U.S. Senate votes for Wagner-Taft resolution calling for free entry of Jews into Palestine and establishment of Jewish commonwealth. Wagner is Senator Robert Wagner, a New York liberal Democrat. Taft is Senator Robert Taft a conservative Republican from Ohio.  This shows the bipartisan support the measure had.

1946: Land purchases and budgetary matters were discussed at a meeting of the World Zionist Congress.

1946: Birthdate of Eugene Levy.  A native of



, this writer and comedic actor is best known to Americans for his role in “American Pie.”

1947: Birthdate of Eddie Antar.  He was the cofounder of the electronics retail chain Crazy Eddie, Inc. He fled to


in February, 1990 to avoid. Later, he was extradited and convicted of securities fraud and racketeering.

1947: In the face of mounting violence and fearing that worse was to come, the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem opened a blood bank with goal of producing 1000 doses of plasma.

1947: The U.S. State Department expressed its fears that the Soviet Union is supplying arms to both sides of the Palestine conflict.

1947: The Arab League Council announced it will stop the proposed partition of Palestine by force and begins raids on the Jewish communities in Palestine.

1947: The State Department reported that the Arab League Council had begun buying weapons to implement its policy of thwarting the partition of Palestine.

1947: Moshe Shertok, Jewish Agency political head, charges that British are obstructing partition and that British administration does not protect Jews from Arab attacks, yet they prevent Jews from defending themselves. Dr. Nahum Goldmann,

1947: The Jewish Agency executive, reports Jewish plans for Swiss-like neutrality.

1948: Four thousand, one hundred Jews set sail from Yugoslavia for  Israel.

1952: According to a report issued today by Moshe Kol, co-treasurer of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and chairman of the Youth Aliyah management committee in Israel twenty million dollars has been expended by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, on its Youth Aliyah (youth immigration) activities in Israel in the last eighteen and a half years.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the new Mapai-General Zionists coalition won 73 seats in the Knesset.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that in

New York

, more than 19,000 persons, attending the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, at the




, purchased $2,575,000 worth of Israel Bonds.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that officers and men of the Jerusalem Area Police Force contributed IL 136 to the Post's Hanukkah Toy Fund, the largest amount given by any organized group of workers, and assisted the newspaper's volunteers in the distribution of toys and sweets in the Jerusalem Corridor's outlying ma'abarot.

1956: Time magazine “panned" Jewish playwright’s “Night of the Auk” saying “that a good case of actors…were unhappily squandered on a pudding of a script…that sounded like cosmic advertising copy.”

1959: “The fourth Knesset started with David Ben-Gurion's Mapai party forming the ninth government” today.

1959:Israel Bar-Yehuda completed his term in office as Internal Affairs Minister.

1959:Yisrael Barzilai completed his term in office as Communications Minister.

1959: Haim-Moshe Shapira begins serving as Internal Affairs Minister.

1964: Nobel Prize winner Victor Francis Hess passed away.  A native of


, the non-Jewish Hess fled his native country because his wife was Jewish.

1965: Astronomer David H. Levy began his search for comets

1974: Birthdate of super chef Duff Goldman.

1974: Release date for “Front Page,” the cinematic adaptation of Ben Hecht’s play made possible by the writing team of I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder.  (The latter also served as the director.

1978: Channel 2 (WCBS) broadcasts “Lamp Unto My Feet – Chanukah in Romania” at ten o’clock this morning.

1978(17th of Kislev, 5739: Eighty-year old Irving Jacobson, a star of the Yiddish theatre who made the successfully transition to the world of American film and legitimate theatre passed away today.

1982: Opening of “Tootsie,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

1982: Israeli born cellist Ofra Harnoy, a winner of the 1982 Concert Artists Guild Award, made her debut this evening at the Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of 17.

1988: Abdeen Jabara, the 45-year-old president of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, an American citizen, was barred from entering Israel today.  According to a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry the decision was based on Jabara’s record which includes “activities as a lawyer defending terrorists, attempts to prevent the collection of money for Israel, trying to legally prevent the entry of Prime Minister Shamir into the U.S., and an F.B.I. investigation against him.''

1989: The New York Times reviewed “Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy” by Israeli lawyer Carmel Shalev.

1991(10th of Tevet, 5752): Asara B'Tevet

1992:After more than 18 months of racial and ethnic unrest, Jews and blacks joined hands tonight in an emotional session at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater to recall their past alliances and pray for future healing. The reason for the gathering was the showing of a documentary on the black soldiers who liberated Jews from Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II. But the real drama occurred on the great stage of the Apollo after the house lights came up and Jews and blacks hugged, wept, held hands and vowed to put their differences behind them.

1992: As violence from Palestinian terrorist escalated 415 terrorist leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were flown to Israel’s northern border and deported to Lebanon.

1995:”Vatican Reaffirms Its Policy on Jerusalem” published today takes issued with Leah Rabin’s description of the Pope’s comments about the Israeli capital city.


1995: The New York Times featured a review of the recently published paperback edition of Yehoshua Kenaz’s The Way To The Cats, an “Israeli novel that presents old age with all its ravages” as seen through the life of its protagonist “Yolanda Moscowitz, 76, who is recuperating from a broken leg in a rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, where she hopes that her dignity won't go the way of her beauty.

1996(7th of Tevet, 5757): Song writer Irving Caesar passed away.  Born in 1895, he was originally known as Isidor Caesar.  He wrote lyrics for "Swanee," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Crazy Rhythm," and "Tea for Two," one of the most frequently recorded tunes ever written.

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about subjects of Jewish interest including Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boomby Bob Woodward, Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision by Louis Breger, Schmidt Delivered by Holocaust survivor Louis Begley and Sex and Power by Susan Estrich.

2000: In an article published today entitled “A Haunting Legacy in Provence” Michael Frank provides a brief informative view of the history of a French Jewry.


2005: On SNL, Andy Samberg co-starred in the Digital Short "Lazy Sunday", a nerdcore hip hop song performed by two Manhattanites on a quest to see the film The Chronicles of Narnia.

2006: The Times of London names Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (translated by Sandra Smith) as number one on its list of “The Best Books of 2006.” This recently discovered volume written by a French Jewish author describes life in


in the early days of World War II.  The book was written as Nemirovsky fled from the Nazis.  She perished in the death camps before she had a chance to complete the work or edit it.

2006: The Jewish people should develop a long-term strategic planning mechanism to address the threats that endanger all Jews, according to recommendations submitted at today’s cabinet meeting. According to former US envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross "The nature of the threats to the Jewish people put a premium on better planning," Ross is chairman of the board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jewish Agency think tank presenting the recommendations to the cabinet in the framework of its third annual assessment of the state of the Jewish people.

2006: In


, WGBH-FM (89.7) airs "Chanukah: A Time for Superheroes" The radio special is about the connection between superheroes and Judaism. It has input from Stan Lee, "Spiderman" director Sam Raimi,


Singer of the X-Men movies, and Michael Chabon, an author who dissects comics and Judaism in his book "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

2006: The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) opened its 38th Annual Conference,

San Diego


2006(26th of Kislev, 5767): Dodger Pitcher Larry Sherry, who with his brother Norm formed the only all brother, all Jewish battery in baseball history that led a team (the 1959 Dodgers) to a World Series Championship, passed away.

2007: In

Chevy Chase

, historian Walter Isaacson discusses his most recent book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, at the






2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a chief rabbinical chaplain is servicing the spiritual and religious needs of Jewish soldiers in


's armed forces and various security services.  The position is currently being filled by thirty four year old Rabbi Aharon Gurevich.

2007: The owners of the

2nd Avenue

Deli “literally cut the salami and officially welcomed hungry patrons to its new address on

33rd Street


Third Avenue



. Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, is the new proprietor. Once again we can savor the best tongue sandwich and meat knishes in the known world.

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