In the Beginning: 1855

Each week The American Israelite will print an item from the first years. For previous issues of From the Pages, click here.

JERUSALEM.— While other cities in the Turkish empire are falling to ruin and decay, being depopulated and barbarized, Jerusalem is rapidly springing up into new life. European manners and European wants are brining in civilization and enterprising industry. Good hotels are found to accommodate most travelers better than the Casa Nuova, so long the only shelter for the Frank pilgrim of whatever nation or religion. There are shops, where all kinds of European goods find a ready sale for their commodities; carpenters, watchmakers, blacksmiths, glaziers, tin men, dyers, laundresses, shoemakers, &c., exercise their various callings. There are three flourishing European tailors. The daily markets are supplied abundantly with good mutton; and poultry and eggs are cheap. Many hundred goats are kept for the sole purpose of supplying the city with milk; and of late cow’s milk is to be had. Fruit and vegetables are abundant; and good bread is made by several bakers. — Ch. Times. 

May 11, 1855


We request all our friends to let us know whatever transpires in Hebrew congregations, societies, lodges, schools, or whatever ay of our brethren are doing in public life. Every notice or communication of this kind is interesting. All elections in conregations, etc., should be publisehd, so also annual reports and special translations. It has an encouraging effect upon the officers elected, and exercises quite an influence upon ohters. By these communications the distant come near one another, and many a reader finds a lost friend. 


The Paxon Township ghost turns out a humbug. The demonstrations were those of a petulant boy, says the correspondent of a Cincinnati “daily,” to enlighten the community on the important subject, that in this case it was no real ghost which frightened poor, deluded people. That there are superstition person sin this world who believe anything if hit is only absurd enough, is natural; for whoever can believe the Christian story, ay also believe anything almost. If ever as many devils and demons were drive out of folks in Palestine, some of those poor devils may have straight clear out to Paxon Township, as a few thousand years and a few thousand miles are nothing to a ghost. But why the press must countenance the sensational humbug, without telling foolish people that they are fools, we can not say. We know we could not stand it. 

—May 9, 1873

PIcture feature a an ad for cold medicine. A man sits slumped, resting his head in his hand. The text reads "Doctor Fierce's Golden Medical Discovery: Cure Diseases of the Throat, Lungs, Liver, and Blood."



At the present moment, the  British empire sis fifty-three times the size of France, fifty-two times that of Germany, three and a half times that of the United States of America, thrice the size of Europe, with treble, the population of all the Russians. It extends over 11,000,000 square miles, occupies one-fifth of the globe, contains one-fifth of the human race, or 350,000,000 people, embraces four continents, 10.000 islands, 500 promontories, and 2,000 rivers. 


On April 17th it was fifty years since Pius IX ordained the demolition of the walls of the Ghetto in Rome; to remove the ancient wall between the Jews of Rome and the world about them. In these fifty years old Italy was rejuvenated, a new commonwealth rose, as it were, from the depths of the Adriatic, a new country grew out of the ruins of the old kingdoms and principalities, with the pyramids of freedom erected on the granite basis of justice and equality. The time of the ghetto and its prison walls san into oblivion, never to be revived. Babel is fallen with all the images of her gods. Italy is the clearest index to the progress achieved in this half century. 

— May 12, 1898



Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville, Va., will probably be acquired in the near future by a society created for the purpose, and kept in its original condition as a memoir to the immortal author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, and the wise sponsor for the religious tolerance act in Virginia, which was incorporated in the American Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was also the founder of the University of Virginia. Monticello is at present the property of Hon. Jefferson M. Levy, having been purchased in 1836 by his uncle, the late Commodore Uriah P. Levy, who is credited with having procured the abolition of flogging in the American navy. The purchase pice has not been given out, but it is understood that it is merely nominal. 


If the Israelite were to publish all the articles that are sent to it, good, bad and indifferent, articles that are prose, poetry, near poetry and far from poetry, articles length and articles brief, and above all, the long winded communications from the various overseas Jewish and other organizations that are mere propaganda, it might double its space and still not have room enough. The propaganda matter especially has become a nuisance to the editors of Jewish periodicals and most of it finds its way into waste-baskets. This is true, not only of Jewish organizations, but of any number of others, some of whose appeals are send out without any thought apparently, of their appropriateness for the periodical to which they are offered for publication. If the newspapers could publish in extensor all the propaganda matter which is sent to them, charge space rates and collect their bills, they would be a great deal more prosperous than most of them are. 

— May 10, 1923

Photo is an advertisement for Woodmansee's Ink, a writing fluid from the 1920s.


Cincinnati Social and Personal

Mrs. Lina Roth, who resides with her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Felix Spitz, 504 Forest Avenue, will observe her 89th birthday, Sunday, May 9th. 

Mrs. Roth came to the United States from Vienna 10 years ago, together wither children, Mr. and Mrs. Felix Spitz, Mrs. Roth has two sons, one daughter, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. 

One grandchild served in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II and was killed in action. 


Mrs. Harry Fram and sons of Roselawn have returned from a two-months vacation in the San Fernando Valley, Calif., where they visited Mrs. Fram’s sister, Mrs. Bernard Lerner and family. 

Heroine of French Underground to Speak at JWF Women’s Donor Luncheon 

Madame Paulette Oppert, an eloquent speaker for the United Jewish Appeal, will be the principal speaker at the $100-minimum luncheon of the newly organized women’s division of the Jewish Welfare Fund Campaign. 

The luncheon will e held Wednesday, May 19th, at the Netherland Plaza, according to plans announced by the co-chairmen, Mesdames Nathan Levine, David Polansky and Frederick Rauh. 

The Women’s Division is conducting an energetic program of organization in connection with its part in the drive to raise $2, 165,000 in Cincinnati fo th eUJA and more than 40 local and national welfare agencies and institutions. 

Madame Oppert was a leader of the French war-time resistance against the Nazis and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children by spiriting them away to hiding places. 

When the Blitzkrieg hit France, Mme. Oppert and her husband went underground. He was captured by the Nazis twice, the second time while carrying out a mission for the Maquis. Tortured to make him reveal his associates, M. Oppert died a hero’s death rather than betray their confidence. His wife, however, undeterred, carried on in the spirit in which he died, paying the Nazis back in full for their barbarism to her country and her people. 

— May 6, 1948


Bas Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry W. Bogdan announce the forthcoming  Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Lisa, on Friday evening, May 18, at 8:15 p.m. at Adath Israel Synagogue, Ridge and Galbraith Roads. 

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the reception immediately following services. 

Lisa is the granddaughter of Mrs. Eva Sick of Cincinnati and Bal Harbour, Fla., and the late Mr. Philip Sick, and Mr. and Mrs. Jack I. Bogdan of Cincinnati. 

Bar Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Neman are happy to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son Daniel Louis, Saturday, May 19, at 10:45 a.m., at Wise Center, Reading Road and N. Crescent Avenue. 

Friends and relatives are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following services. 

Daniel is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. B. Michael Plaut, and Mr. and Mrs. Louis I. Neman, all of this city. 


Mr. and Mrs. Edward Kaplan are pleased to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Philip Alan, on Saturday, May 19th, at 10:45 a.m. Please join us at the service and luncheon following at Temple Sholom, Ridge and Longmeadow Lane. 

Philip is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Miller and the late Dr. and Mrs. Jacob Kaplan. 

May 10, 1973


JCRC selects luncheon co-chariman 

Leslie Siegel Kleines and Richard A. Weiland have been appointed co-chairmen of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Annual Luncheon Meeting. 

“With these two dedicated and dynamic community leaders heading the event, we expect this luncheon to be one of our most successful,” said JCRC president Milton S. Schwartz. 

The Israel at 50 Children’s Choir on stage at Music Hall

By Phyllis Singer


The Israel at 50 Children’s Choir made the big time last week: It performed on stage at Music Hall before concerts by the world renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducts by Jesus Lopez-Cobos

The Israel at 50 Children’s Choir, directly by Robyn Lana, is comprised of more than 30 children in grades three to six from Cincinnati’s Jewish community,  40 members of the Bel Canto Choir, one of the three children’s choirs under the direction of Lana as part of the Greater Cincinnati Children’s Choir. 

— May 14, 1998


Adath’s first Shabbat Family Day a huge success 

Adath Israel’s first Shabbat Family Day, held on April 20 at Camp Kern, north of Cincinnati, was a day for families to spend quality time together and with other families while celebrating Shabbat in a fun and meaningful way. More than 80 people, with children ranging in age from four months to 18 years old, experienced Shabbat in a day planned by a committee of parents, chaired by Holly Wolfson and Ali Bernstein, along with Rabbinic Intern Brent Gutmann, Youth Task Force Chair Carol Ann Schwartz, and Youth and Family Coordinator Mollie Newman. They were joined by USYers Zak Lempert, Allison and Elana Schwartz, and Ethan Padnos, as well as the Cincinnati Chaverim, Tomer Flischer and Mor Ninio, who led some of the activities. “Family Day was such a great place to build stronger relationships. There was always something to do and it was great spending Shabbat outdoors,” Tomer recounted. 

Israel@65 collaboration: A great success 

Israel@65, the six-month, community-wide celebration of Israel’s 65 years of independence, came to a close with a week of events for all ages from April 14 – 21. In the culminating event, the Israeli Cultural Fest, over 1,000 attended and perused handcrafted artwork and Judaica from both local and Israeli artists, and participated in a communal art project depicting Jerusalem. Guests enjoyed Israeli food and wine, Dead Sea spa treatments, Henna tattoos, a Masada inflatable climbIng wall and kosher foods from local vendors. The Israeli Cultural Fest was headlined by one of the most dynamic singer-songwriter instrumentalists in the world, Israeli icon David Broza. The full- house free concert was brought to Cincinnati by the JCC Wolf Center for Arts & Ideas. The audi- ence was so engaged that Broza kept singing, for about an hour longer than planned! 

May 9, 2013