In the Beginning: 1855

Each week The American Israelite will print an item from the first years.

Another Attempt of the Missionaries to make Money

We must confess, that the apostate missionaries in this country are shrewd business men; they understand how to make money on a grand scale. Cunning, sharp, and hypocritical as they are, they try all ways to get out the dimes and dollars from the pockets of credulous church-members. Many an old maid and good-natured mother believe their pretensions to be true, and contribute their might to feed those lazy fellows who profess to convert the Jews, while in fact they scarcely speak to Jews once a month, and not once a year about religion. But the confidence of the people is lost to a great extent. No converts, absolutely no converts are made, Judaism flourishes, Synagogues, Schools, Benevolent Societies, Hospitals, Literary Clubs and other public institutions almost grow out of the ground before the eyes of the people; we have made more converts without any efforts than they ever made with money, cheats and efforts; we have three journals in this country to their one conversion sheet; hence people with common sense have lost confidence in that lazy clique, styling themselves missionaries.

— June 11, 1855

150 Years ago

Foreign News

– In Rio de Janeiro a society was organized called, “The Jewish Union of Brazil.” It is the first Jewish association in Brazil.

– The pupils of Jews’ college in London resolved to present a life-boat to the Society of Assistants in marine disasters.

– A great man in the city of Landsberg has discovered, and has published it in the Hamagid, that on holy days fire should be made by friction matches only. So he found the great secret in the book Amude Or. The man deserves a golden medal.

– In Italy a rumor is ripe that the Jesuits have established secret societies all over the country to overthrow the government, and the insurrection to take place simultaneously all over the country in August next. The government is supposed to know all about it.

– Baron Adolph Rothschield donated half a million of francs to build an asylum at Geneva for eye patients. Jews also, if getting blind, will be admitted. The lot was bought, on the right bank of the Rhone in Geneva, Switzerland, and the house to be finished within one year, will be placed under the care of Dr. Barde.

— May 30, 1873

125 Years ago


– According to the Baltimore “News,” the Board of Directors of Har Sinai Temple have received applications from twenty two gentlemen who desire to succeed Rabbi Schanfarber.

– At St. Louis, Mo., Ophelia Scharff and W.S. Altheimer, whose elopement about three years ago created such a sensation in that city and Pine Bluff Ark., have been divorced at the suit of the wife.

– About 190 of the younger members of the Zion Association of Chicago, who lately formed a military volunteer organization known as the “Guards of Zion,” have decided to join the First Illinois volunteer regiment under Col. McGrath, in which they will become companies I and M. All members are strong, healthy and enthusiastic young Jewish men.

Coney Island

Coney Island opened the season last Saturday in a blaze of glory. There were many special attractions including free band concerts, dancing in the new pavilions, a daring balloon ascension by a beautiful Cuban girl lately escaped from a Spanish prison, etc. The new improvements include a switchback railway, six splendid regulation bowling allies, new and novel swings, elegant new white pine floor in the dancing pavilion, new boats on Lake Como, etc.  Sunday, grand concerts were given afternoon and evening by the Cincinnati Military Band and this band will give concerts regularly every Sunday during the season. There will be free high class vaudeville in the Bijou Theater every afternoon and evening. Among the talented artists who are appearing this week are Stirk and Anita the world famous aerial duo; Etta Ashton the beautiful vocalist; Milo Rayo the charming and graceful acrobatic and contortion dancer; and Frye & Allen, the popular comedy duo. Boats will leave the foot of Vine Street every ninety minutes every day beginning at 9:30 a.m., the last boat leaving for Coney at 8 o’clock p.m.

— June 2, 1898

100 Years ago


– At the summer exhibition of the Royal Academy in London this year there is a large number of Jewish artists among the exhibitors, both as painters and sculptors.

– The Florida Legislature has voted to keep on whipping convicts, and has further proved its loyalty to the Christian religion by passing a resolution denouncing Darwinism — St. Louis Star.

– Our preacher is like an auger. He takes hold right away, cuts all the time, and quits when he gets through. — Western Christian Advocate. Yes— and probably all the time he is doing this he bores. — Ed. American Israelite.

– The Joint Exhibition sent out to Ur of the Chaldees by the British Museum and the University Museum, Philadelphia, has now concluded its first season’s work. Many inscribed clay tablets have been discovered that throw much light upon the history of the town which was the birthplace of Abraham.

Things That Make Life Worth Living

By Rabbi Leon Harrison, St. Louis, Mo.

What then are the things that make life worth living? What are the durable satisfactions of life that last and grow?

One surely is to live maximum lives; to be maximum men; to be the utmost that it is in us to be. It is a glorious thing to have plenty of the red-blood corpuscle, fullness of vitality, abundant reserve power. All this means health, the basis of happiness.

Without health, there is but a scanty life. Without it we are  stunted and diminished; we are only fractional men, cut off from the fountain-heads of cosmic energy; without creative spontaneity; without the free, conscious joy of life that is perhaps the keenest of earthly satisfactions.

And heath in the main is not an accident. You must earn it. You must seek it in the great Out-of-Doors. The love of Nature is a tributary thereto. Wholesome play leads to power; manly sports to soundness.

— May 31, 1923

75 Years ago

HUC To Award Honorary Degrees to Five This Saturday

When the Hebrew Union College, America’s oldest Jewish seminary, holds its 73rd rabbinical ordination exercises Saturday, May 29th, at 2:30 p.m., in the College Chapel in Cincinnati, President Nelson Glueck will confer honorary doctorates upon the following: Dr. William F. Albright, eminent archaeologist, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Maurie Jacobs, Philadelphia executive vice president, Jewish Publication Society of America.

Rabbi Abraham J. Klausner, who served as Displaced person liaison officer for the U.S. Army and as honorary chairman and director of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in Germany.

Dr. Joshua Loth Liebman, rabbi of Temple Israel, Boston, and author of “Peace of Mind.”

Charles P. Taft, Cincinnati president of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America and son of former President William Howard Taft.

Lester A. Jaffe, Cincinnati, is chairmen of the Board of Governors of the College.

NFTB Soon Will Move to Downtown Cincinnati

The National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods will move its headquarters from the Hebrew Union College campus to the first floor of 15 E. Eighth Street in Cincinnati in early June, S. Herbert Kaufman, president, Harrisburg, Pa., announced this week. NFTB, on the campus the past 2 1/2 years, formerly was in the Merchants Building, 34 W. Sixth Street, where it shared offices with its parent body, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Cincinnati Social and Personal

Mr. Charles Posner, director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, and executive secretary of the Indianapolis Community Relations Council, a non-sectarian organization, is one of 10 persons cited by the Race Relations Committee of the Church Federation.

He was cited for “contributions to better race relations and good will in the city.” The citation lauded him “for unselfish service as executive secretary of the Indianapolis Community Relations Council without salary.

Mrs. Louis Glicklich of Burnet Avenue is a sister of Mr. Posner.

— May 27, 1948

50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

– Mr. and Mrs. Sam Evans are happy to announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Ross Matthew, Saturday, June 9, at 9a.m. at Adath Israel Synagogue, Ridge and Galbraith Roads.

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following services. Ross is the grandson of Mrs. Fannie Evans of Cincinnati and the late Mr. William Evans, and the Late Mr. and Mrs. David Wechsler.

– Dr. and Mrs. Paul H. Ornstein announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Rafael David, Saturday, June 9, 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 to attend the Kiddush following services.

– Jeffrey B. Kutler, son of Dr. And Mrs. Stanley Kutler (Sandra Sachs) will be Bar Mitzvah Friday evening, June 8, at Temple Beth El, Madison Wisc.

Jeffrey is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sachs of Cincinnati, and Mrs. Robert Kutler, of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and the late Mr. Kutler.

— May 31, 1973

25 Years ago

Rabbi Julie Schwartz to speak at JFS annual meeting

Rabbi Julie S. Schwartz will speak to the challenge of “Beyond Survival: Creating Jewish Families for the Next Millennium” at the annual meeting of the Jewish Family Service on Sunday, June 14, at the Taft Museum.

Schwartz, Jay and Cindy Stein Director of Human relations, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, served as a Rabbinic Intern there prior to her ordination in 1986.

Subsequently she became the first woman rabbi to serve as an active duty chaplain in the military and was a staff chaplain at the Naval Hospital at Oakland for three years.

Five Temple Sholom women lead B’not Torah service

Lynn Mark, Kathy Resnick, Kathy Schwartz, Marna Street and Sandy Stein recently culminated a three-year study program with the celebration of their Adult B’not Torah service at Temple Sholom. The five women shared in the responsibilities of leading Shabbat worship and reading from the Torah for the first time in their lives.

Each student led one section of the Shabbat prayer service, offered a speech, and came forward to recite blessings and read from the Torah.

— June 4, 1998

10 Years ago

Wise members start summer with social action projects

Wise Temple members will begin the summer of 2013 by having the opportunity to volunteer for several WiseUP social action projects. WiseUP is the Wise Temple program to fulfill the mission of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, and to bring greater meaning to their lives and the lives of others. WiseUP social action projects provide congregants with opportunities to help those who are disadvantaged or in need.

Temple members will cook and serve lunch at the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen on Sunday, June 9, feeding over 150 Over-the-Rhine residents who look forward to this home-cooked meal. Project leaders Stacey Bie, joined by her son Reed Bie and Lewis Ebstein begin by purchasing all the groceries. They transport them downtown on Sunday morning when other temple volunteers join them. To feed such a large crowd, the volunteers need to begin cooking approximately two hours before serving. Wise Temple volunteers also put together a “bagged” lunch consisting of a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a cookie, which the guests can take home with them for a second meal.

— May 30, 2013