In the Beginning: 1855

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

Miss Antoniette L. Brown. — Madam, ignorant of your residence, we take this method to ask you for the name of the “Artful Dodger — the Old Jew,” whom you mention in your communication to the N.Y. Daily Tribune, June 13th. We request you to inform us, in which court of justice the old Jew was convicted in his pick-pocket capacity, or whether he is a mere production of your brilliant genius, like the Jew of Fanny Fern, in her “Ruth Hall?” We expect of you particulars of that notorious character, or a plain confession, that you either imagined this character; or heard something of somebody, who was informed by some one else, that somebody had said to have heard some one say, etc., hence this piece of information suffices you to stigmatize the Jew.

If it is not below your dignity, please inform us of the true state of things.

With due respect,

Ed. Is.

— June 22, 1855

150 Years ago


– No newspaperman of any experience expects to please everybody, nor does he try. He just sails along in his own way — making his paper the vehicle of his own thoughts, at the same time seeking to represent the best interests of his community — coming in antagonism with whoever and whatever stands in his way, and leaving those who are offended to stop their paper, or start another to their liking.

– Every man is a missionary now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intents or designs it or not. He may be a blot, radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society; or he may be a blessing, spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world, but a blank he can not be. There are no moral blanks, there are no neutral characters. We are either the sower that sows and corrupts, or the light that splendidly luminates, and the salt that silently operates; but being dear or alive every man speaks.

– There are in Odessa 250,000 inhabitants and among them nearly 80,000 Hebrews. Dr. Trochenberg, in Wilna, was decorated by the Russian Emperor.

— June 20, 1873

125 Years ago

It may now be safely asserted that political “Zionism” has practically ceased to exist. The handful of zealots who are still preaching it with Dr. Herzl at their head are quarreling among themselves and are losing in numerical strength every day. The Judenstaat “had ceased to be a thing hoped for and the dream of re-establishing a Jewish theocracy in Palestine under the aegis of Turkey has dissolved into mist. What is left of “Zionism” has for its object to help Jews to leave the countries whose people they can not assimilate and to settle in Palestine as agriculturalists and to help them there until they are able to help themselves. This means of course the unfortunates of those countries where active persecutions are going on, viz: Russia and Roumania. This kind of Zionism will recommend itself to every good man and all who can spare even a little should contribute to it. Should any measure of success attend the efforts of its adherents, good will after all have come out of Herzl’s folly.


– At Akon, O., Miss Bettie Leopold of that city and Mr. Adolph Hirsch of Cuyahoga Falls were married on June 15, in the Temple.

– The Evansville, Ind., branch of the council of Jewish Women, through their secretary Mrs. J. J. Scholem, have sent the Red Cross Society $125, the proceeds of a strawberry festival. 

— June 23, 1898

100 Years ago

Evolution Approved — Conditionally

The Presbyterians refused to become panic-stricken over evolution, even though as eminent a man as William Jennings Bryan championed a resolution which would bar schools teaching the hypotheses of evolution from the use of church funds. The General Assembly adopted a substitute resolution pressed by John Willis Baer, of Pasadena, California, and a former moderator, to the effect that official approval was withdrawn from schools “where any teaching or instruction was given which seeks to establish a materialistic evolutionary philosophy of life or which disregards or attempts to discredit the Christian faith.” On that platform, practically all earnest Christians can unite. Evolutions can be interpreted in two ways: in a materialistic, agnostic, atheistical, and religiously destructive manner, or in a developmental, theistical, and Christian line of doctrine. The General Assembly recognizes this diversity of views, condemning the anti-Christian course, but refused to stamp all evolution as being of the devil. — Western Christian Advocate.


– Dr. Baeran, member of the German party and of the Parliament of Czecho-Slovakia arch anti-Semitic, and editor of an anti-Semitic sheet in Bruenn, capital of Moravia, was sentenced to four years imprisonment for treason. His son is a fugitive from justice.

– The Teachers’ Institute of the Hebrew Union College is conducting Summer School for teachers in Cleveland, Ohio, from the 16th to the 28th of June. Professor Henry Englander and Professor Jacob Mann are the instructors. The Jewish Normal School of the Euclid Avenue Temple (Rabbi Wolsey) and The Temple (Rabbi Silver) held its graduation exercises last Friday. Dr. Henry Englander delivered the baccalaureate address to forty graduates.

— June 21, 1923

75 Years ago

I500 Rabbis Will Attend Convention of CCAR at Kansas City Next Week

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Some 500 rabbis will gather here in Kansas City for the 59th annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis which will open Tuesday evening, June 22nd, at the Hotel Muehlbach, with the presidential address by Dr. Abraham J. Feldman of Hartford.

Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, the Adolph S. Ochs professor of Jewish History at Hebrew Union College, is program chairman.

Dr. Klausner Named to Post at HUC

Dr. Abraham J. Klausener, widely known in the Untied States and Abroad for his role in the rescue of many dispelled persons, has been appointed to the executive post in charge of public relations, finance, and alumni and community relationships of Hebrew Union College.

Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the College, announced Dr. Klausner’s appointment today.

Cincinnati Social and Personal

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Koch attended the Harvard graduation exercises Thursday, June 10th, when their son, Kenneth, graduated cum laude. He has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, honorary scholastic society.

— June 17, 1948

50 years ago

Bas Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. Herschel B. Miller announce the Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Bonnie Phyllis, on Friday, June 22, at 8:15 p.m., at Isaac M. Wise Temple, Reading Road and N. Crescent Avenue.

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

Bonnie is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Barnet Grand and the late Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Miller.

No cards.

Bar Mitzvah

– Mr. and Mrs. Howard Spahn announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Kenneth E., on Saturday, June 23, at 10:45 a.m., at Rockdale Temple.

Friends and relative are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following the service.

Kenneth is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Max Cahn and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Spahn, great grandson of Mrs. Louis Borinstein, all of this city.

– Dr. and Mrs. Alvin Goldey are pleased to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jonathan, Saturday, June 23, at 9 a.m., at Congregational Ohav Shalom, 1834 Section Road.

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

Jonathan is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Klayman and the late Mr. and Mrs. Is Goldberg. He is the great grandson of Mrs. O. Mallin.

— June 21, 1973

25 Years ago

Israelite wins two Rockower awards

The American Israelite won two Simon Rockower Awards for Excellent in Jewish Journalism in the annual competition sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association.

Staff writer Joan Porat won second place for excellent in comprehensive coverage or investigative reporting for her series on Messianic Judaism. Editor Phyllis Singer won honorable mention for excellence in spot news reporting for her article on the closing of patient services at Jewish Hospital in Avondale.

— June 25, 1998

10 Years ago

UC’s Department of Judaic Studies brings students to Israel and Jordan

With so many programs available, it is hard to imagine an innovative approach to experiencing Israel. Innovative, however, most aptly describes the travel-study course for University of Cincinnati students entitled, “Ancient and Modern Encounters: Israel and Jordan.” Sponsored by the Department of Judaic Studies and UC International, the trip was organized and led by Matthew Kraus, assistant professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Rarely does a diverse group of students travel the country together. Rarely does a group compare and contrast how ancient and modern regularly meet in Israel and Jordan: Old City/New City, Tel-Aviv/Yafo, Wadi Rum/Amman, Netanya/Caesarea, poetry/papyri, taxis/camels and Qumran/Eliezer ben Yehudah. For three weeks, from the end of April through mid-May, Professor Kraus and the students traversed both countries, visiting antiquities such as Masada, Petra, and Gamla and the contemporary sites of Yad Vashem, Kibbutz Lotan, the heart of Amman, and the Hula Nature reserve, to name a few. One UC student, Maggie Rivera, described the course thusly, “at the end of each day, it was hard to imagine how the next day could be even more amazing, and yet it was.”

Enjoy an evening with Peter Sagal at the JCC

On Sept. 17–Constitution Day –at the Mayerson JCC, Sagal will give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Constitution USA,” his acclaimed four-part PBS documentary on the U.S. Constitution and how it is lived, and being fought over today. He’ll discuss his meetings with scholars, experts, medical marijuana activists, gun enthusiasts, the plaintiffs in the current same sex marriage case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the day he brought MinnieJean Brown, one of the Little Rock Nine, back to Little Rock Central High School.

— June 20, 2013