In the Beginning: 1855

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

The Zion College

Let us have a Jewish seat of learning! Has been proclaimed by no less a man than by the Rev. Dr. Wise, who is as zealous in the cause and welfare of Israel as he is learned and able to assist in establishing such an institution. Let us have a Jewish seat of learning! Has been spoken to ears, that are inclined to hear, hearts, that like a well cultivated field, are willing and ready to give a hundredfold return for the seed they have received.

Editor’s Note: 20 years after publishing this plea for a Jewish school of higher learning, Isaac M. Wise would found Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. 

— June 8, 1855

150 Years ago


– A new synagogue will be dedicated in Hoboken, N.J. on the 9th of June.

– A number of New York Israelites have formed a society for the purpose of giving picnics to the poor children of that city. A most commendable proceeding and worthy of imitation.

– Alexandria, La., Rochester, N.Y., and Little Rock, Ark., are the only places of a large population where every subscriber of The Israelite has paid in full up to date. In Rochester, only one has yet to settle. We hope soon to be able to report so from all other places.

– Out of the eight prominent men represented in Carpenter’s celebrated picture of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, only two are now living — Gideon Wells and Montgomery Blair. President Lincoln, Stanton Bates, Caleb B. Smith, Seward, and Chase have all passed away.

– Innocence is not virtue, and those who fancy it is make a fatal mistake. Innocence is simply the ignorance of evil; virtue knows it, appreciates it, rejects it. Infancy is lovely in its innocence, but life, with its stern realities, demands the strong, ripened vigor of manly virtue to resist its evil, to protect its good, to build of character, and to bless the world.

— June 6, 1873

125 Years ago

One of our readers suggested a pocket edition of the Bible (Old Testament) in English and Hebrew would be an appropriate present to every Jewish volunteer in the army or navy. This would be an excellent work for the Jewish Publication Society of America to undertake. Ample funds for the purpose could no doubt be raised if an appeal to the public were made.


– Marietta, O., dedicated a Jewish cemetery on May 29 and celebrated the event by a banquet and jollification in the evening.

– A very timely publication is that of a special navy supplement by the “Scientific American.” It has 40 pages and 50 illustrations and contains practically all there is to know about our navy. It can be had of the publishers or at news stands for 25 cents.

Editor’s Note: The publication is timely because the United States military, and primarily its navy, was involved in the Spanish American War. The conflict would continue until August 12, 1898, when a Protocol of Peace between the US and Spain was singed in Washington.

– A pleasant incident at Huntsville Ala., was presented by two little ones, Fannie Lee and Jerome Klaus Levy, who in a charming little letter to the President of the congregation, sent the pennies they had saved, 50 cents in all, as a contribution for the fund for creating a new temple.

— June 9, 1898

100 Years ago


– Under the auspices of the Jewish Sabbath Alliance of America, the first conference of Sabbath Observing Lawyers was held in New York City recently.

– A recent report says that the German and Austrian holdings in the Bagdad Railway have been purchased by a group of British and Swiss bankers, headed by the Rothschilds, which gives them control over what is to be the great trunk line from Europe to the Near East.

– The hottest election fight ever staged in Minneapolis, Minn., is now being waged. Mayor George E. Leach, fortunately a born fighter, is running for re-election, his opponent being openly backed by the Ku Klux Klan, which secured his nomination. The campaign is a mudslinging one and personal attacks are being freely made.

– The new B’nai Israel Synagog, Pittsburgh, when completed will be among the handsomest ecclesiastical structures in the United States. So far as is known it will be the only circular synagog in the country, and has attracted considerable attention among the architects in Pittsburg and elsewhere. The design of the proposed building has been exhibited in the Carnegie Institute Galleries at Pittsburg, and at the Architectural Lease Exhibition in New York, where it evoked much favorable comment.

– Vincente Blasco Ibanez, famous Spanish writer, foresees an almost continuous state of conflict for Europe and envisages a mighty struggle within a decade unless the people’s hearts change. “I am most pessimistic,” he says, “but I do not believe there is any solution of the European problem. The evil is too deep. It is in the hearts of the people. They are full of hatreds and bitterness. Politicians are thinking in terms of frontiers, territories, prestige and trade. We shall never have peace as long as that state of mind exists. The great war only heightened the feeling and made it more bitter. I think we shall have other ways — many of them. There are all the possibilities. Look at Russia. Look at Germany. Look at France. Look at England.”

— June 7, 1923

75 Years ago

Jews and Arabs Accept United Nations Plea for 4-Week Armistice

Israel Sets Truce Hour, Conditioned on Same Action by Adversary

With the Old City of Jerusalem in Arab hands, the Jews strove this week to hold their foe from the rest of the holy city and to stand off a threat against Tel Aviv.

Developments in the Holy Land included:

(1) The Jews reported that the Arabs were contemplating use of gas warfare.

(2) The warfare in Jerusalem had taken a heavy toll of life and of priceless religious objects there.   

(3) One rabbi reported that he had a sharp difference of opinion with an Irgun leader as to the advisability of surrender.

(4) One Associated Press dispatch questioned the staying powers of the Jewish warriors on the ground that they would be going against Arab “regulars” instead of less competent “irregulars” met in the early battles.

(5) Jewish airmen bombed Amman, Transjordan, a few hours before Arab League leaders met Tuesday, June 1st, in that city to consider a ceasefire proposal.

Writing in The New York Times, Hanson W. Baldwin said that a climax seems near in the political as well as the military aspect of the struggle.

Shavuos Festival to Be Held

Maccabiad, Booth Fair, Music Festival To Be Among Attractions

The annual Maccabiad, or Jewish Youth Olympics, will be held this Sunday, June 6th, at 10 a.m. at the Walnut Hills High School Stadium, with three trophies and a hundred championship medallions at stake.

The athletic festival will be started by the relay of runners bearing the Maccabiad Torch from the Avondale Synagog to the stadium where the Maccabiad light will be kindled. This ceremony, followed by the Maccabiad pledge by the competitors, led by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach, is similar to that followed by the Maccabiad held in peace times in in Tel Aviv.

— June 3, 1948

50 years ago

Bas Mitzvah

Dr. and Mrs. Allen Litwin are proud to announce the forthcoming Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Elise, on June 15, 1973, at Northern Hills Synagogue, 715 Fleming Road, at 8 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family on this happy occasion and to attend the Oneg Shabbat immediately following the service.

Elise is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Berger of Hallandale, Fla., and Dr. and Mrs. Morris J. Litwin of Amberley Village.

No Cards. 

Bar Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Richter announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Mark Alley, Saturday, June 16th, at 10:45 a.m., at Isaac M. Wise Temple, Eighth and Plum Streets.

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

Mark is the grandson of Mrs. Zelda Vigran and the late Mr. Sol Vigran and of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Richter, all of this city.

— June 7, 1973

25 Years ago

Keep Golf Manor memories alive by buying bricks

Long or short-term residents of Golf Manor may have fond memories of living there. Such as, being a first house, meeting special friends and neighbors, and swimming in the pool when it was brand new.

Golf Manor Vice Mayor Ethel Mitzman is asking members of the neighborhood to keep those memories alive by buying a brick that will be put in the entrance of Volunteer Park on Wiehe Road.

JVS offers new service for seniors

Jewish Vocational Service moved to its new home in Blue Ash in February 1998 with ample space for its newest program, Adult Day Services. The program, which opened in April, offers disabled senior citizens opportunities for leisure activities, involvement in their local senior centers or paid light assembly work.

— June 11, 1998

10 Years ago

JCC professionals win arts awards

Two inspiring and creative JCC professionals recently received arts awards in music and dance. In an attempt to perfect their art and challenge themselves, Allie Weiner and Bonnie Loftspring embarked upon individual endeavors in the arts, relating to their positions at the Mayerson JCC. Through this type of continued growth, they are able to inspire their students to reach further and develop in their own areas of interest.

Northern Hills focuses on prayer at Chavurat Shabbat service

On Saturday, June 8, Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham will hold another in its popular series of Chavurat Shabbat programs, enriching the Shabbat morning service with special programming parallel to the regular service. This time, the theme of the program will be “Prayer: On the Bima and in the Pews.” The program is part of Northern Hills’ participation in the community Israel@65 observance.

— June 6, 2013