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.

Letter-Box of the Israelite 

We beg our correspondents to remember the words of Polonius, who says that “Brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.” So we say to them, let your communication be concise, and to the point, our space is valuable and we wish to oblige all our friends. 

Our foreign friends are respectfully informed that, anxious as we are to insert all their communications, we are constantly compelled to reject many from the impossibility of getting the true meaning of them. Such of our friends, as are not sufficiently conversant with the English language, should get some friend on the spot to revise their correspondence. 

— May 18, 1855



– There are more people led to crime and prison by idleness than by rum. The next compulsory law should be — if we have such laws — to compel boys to learn mechanical trades or industrial callings. The civil service system would be a good thing, if no man could be appointed to office till he had served seven years at some business, profession, or calling and could give a certificate from unquestioned authority of performing in that vocation. 

– In the City Council of Frankfort-on-the-Main, there are among the fifty-three members, eight Israelites.

– In the Academy of Rhelms, the Archbishop established a chair of the Hebrew, registered as a student of the department, and presented each student thereof with a Hebrew lexicon. 

– Rabbi Joseph Gabriel Adler, of Burg-preppach, in Bavaria, died in March last, seventy-four years old. He was one of the old rabbis coming from the schools, as established in the last century, to which he faithfully adhered to the last.

The Popular Science Review for January, speaking of a “Mechanical Means for preventing Hay-ricks from Heating,” which has just been adopted in the late Prince Consort’s farm, says: “The use of perforated tubes for preserving grain, meal, &c., in storehouses, granaries, and in barrels, is an American invention, and has long been in use in the Untied States.” The use of perforated tubes for preserving grain is first met with in the Bible. Among the directions for the building and arrangement of the Tabernacle is one that the shew-bread, which was exhibited on the Golden Table for a week, should be supplied with “purifying tubes” to prevent it becoming stale: and through these tubes the air passed. So this is not an American invention.” — Jewish Chronicle.

— May 16, 1873

ad from 1873 for a clothes wringer


Rosalie Loew

The Rabbi’s Brilliant Daughter

A young woman who stands in a peculiar relation to the New York poor, and is a subtly helpful influence in the ghetto and its vastly German and Italian contingent, is Miss Rosalie Loew, acting assistant attorney of the Legal Aid Society. 

There are deaconesses and missionaries, trained nurses and Red Cross disciples, working daily in this vortex of humanity, but no one of them can give just the help that the deputy of the Legal Aid Association is empowered to offer. Spiritual and physical needs the organized charities care for without stint, but the hurts of injustice, hurts that rankle deep and embitter the victims against the very land that harbors them, are of another sort; these are soothed and set right by the society that gives to the penniless man a competent lawyer to fight his claims for him, without money and without price. 


– From Waco, Texas, we learn that Rabbi Harry Weiss was unanimously re-elected Rabbi of that congregation. We congratulate. 

– A nation which is continually boasting of its honor and pride seems a good deal like a woman who is always talking of her virtue. Too much protesting always raises a doubt where none existed before. 

– The inventor of the double turrets and rapid loading mechanism for big guns, etc. is Lieutenant Joseph Straus of Lexington, Ky. The members of the ordinance department at Washington speak of Lt. Straus as a remarkable genius, and say “that if he continues to make improvements, the American Navy will be far and away ahead of any other in the matter of rapidity of action, etc.” 

— May 19, 1898

ad from 1898 for a ladies' tailor


Anti-Semitism in European

No description of university life in Central Europe would be complete without a reference to anti-Semitism. That ugly specter, a bequest from days of medieval superstition, still stalks through academic halls in Central Europe. In Cracow, the former rector was mobbed by the students and the present rector barely escaped a similar attack, merely because there was Jewish blood in their veins. In Rumania, the universities have been closed, because of anti-Jewish riots. In Prague, the German students of the university struck for several weeks because the newly-elected rector was a Jew. The movement spread to Germany, where students at the University of Jena issued orders that the front seats in all classes should be reserved for students of pure Germanic blood. 

It is, however, not for America to point the finger of scorn at Central Europe in this matter. Even with the present anti-Semitism, the Central European universities have probably more Jews upon their faculties in high positions and the professors themselves are more tolerant towards Jews, than is the case of American universities. Anti-Semitism in American universities works furtively and by extra-legal means, but it is none the less powerful and widespread. — Current History.


The Shehitah question also came up for discussion in the British Parliament last week when the bill for the manner of slaughtering animals was brought up for the second reading. It was, however, declared that the bill will contain a special provision making an exception with regard to the Jewish method of slaughter. 

— May 17, 1923


British Mandate to Expire Saturday, Holy Land Is Astir 

Civil war, Invasion, New State, UN Intervention Seen As

With the Red Cross as intermediary, Jews and Arabs interrupted — and possibly cancelled — their battle for Jerusalem, following representations by United Nations representatives and leading churchmen of various faiths, notably in the United States.

The primary question this week was: “What will happen after the expiration of the British mandate on Saturday, May 15?”

Among the predictions were: 

(1) Full-scale civil war between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. 

(2) Invasion of Palestine by Arab armies. 

(3) Declaration of a Jewish state.

(4) Intervention by United Nations forces — provided Russian troops can be denied participation.

Boris Smolar of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in his column, “Between You and Me,” recorded reports that the U.S. State Department was urging the Jewish Agency to refrain from a declaration of establishment of state. 

The State Department’s argument, he said, follows:

“If you declare a Jewish state, you may involve yourself in a war with King Abdullah of Transjordan. We know that Soviet Russia and her allies will support you, but we may be compelled to support the Arabs. Thus a third World War may develop, for which the Jews would be blamed.”

Not until the eve of the mandate’s expiration will a decision be reached as to whether or not a Jewish state is to be established, Mr. Smolar added — and that decision rests with the Jewish Agency leaders in Palestine. 

Editor’s Note: David Ben-Gurion would declare the establishment of the Jewish State in Eretz-Israel on May 14, 1948. Concerns about the fallout from the end of the British mandate would be justified, however, as war immediately broke out between Arabs and Israelis in Palestine. The war would last until July 20, 1949, and would end  with the Kingdom of Jordan annexing the West Bank, Egypt capturing the Gaza Strip, and Israel retaining the rest of the land. 

— May 13, 1948


Bar Mitzvah

– Mr. and Mrs. Ronald White are proud to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Gary Bruce, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene White, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Abe Levy, Saturday, May 26th, at 10:45 a.m., at Rockdale Temple. 

– Mr. and Mrs. Robert Berg announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Douglas Eliot, on Saturday, May 19, at 9 a.m., at Adath Israel Synagogue, Ridge and Galbraith Roads. 

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

Douglas is the grandson of Mr. Hyman Elfenbaum and the late Mrs. Ann Elfenbaum, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Harry Berg. 

– Mr. and Mrs. Mark H. Berlin announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son Allan on Saturday morning, the 19th of May, at 10:45 a.m., at Rockdale Temple. Friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddish. Kiddish will be at home immediately following the service: 549 Hickory Hill Lane, Wyoming. No Cards. 

— May 17, 1973


Israelite wins Excellent In Journalism awards

The American Israelite won two awards in the annual Excellence in Journalism competition sponsored by the Queen City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Staff writer Joan Porat won second place for a series for non dailies for her articles on Messianic Judaism. Editor Phyllis Singer won second place for her spot news for non-dailies for her article on the closing of patient services at Jewish Hospital on Burnet Avenue. 

Judges praised Porat’s articles as “an interesting series that explains the religious underpinnings and implications of the Messianic Judaism espoused by city council member Phil Heimlich.” 

They characterized Singer’s “coverage of the closing of a Jewish hospital in Cincinnati” as “comprehensive and well written under tough deadline pressure.” 

Although The American Israelite has won numerous awards for excellence in Jewish journalism in the annual competition sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association, these are the first awards the paper has won in SPJ’s competition. 

— May 21, 1998


Committee selects Daniel Libeskind to create Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial 

Members of the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Artist Selection Committee met on Monday, May 6 to select an artist to design a Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. 

Daniel Libeskind’s design, of Studio Daniel Libeskind in New York City, was chosen by the committee, whose members include representatives from government, the arts and the Jewish community. 

Young leaders integral to Community Campaign success 

The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is proud to announce that young adult giving to the 2013 Cincinnati’s Community Campaign has increased 21 percent from 2012. A total of 200 young adults, ages 21-45, have made a gift to this year’s Campaign. Thirty-one donors have made new gifts this year. 

This success is largely due to the leadership of the two Young Adult Division (YAD) Campaign Chairs, Ariella Cohen and David Wise. 

Jeff Blumental, YAD director, said, “It’s been a pleasure working with Ari and David on my first Community Campaign. Their passion and commitment to the community is evident in the success they’ve already achieved with this year’s Campaign.”

— May 16, 2013