In the Beginning: 1855

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

The Jewish Chronicle and the Hebrew Observer 

We pay our respects to the London publication and apprize them of our intention to co-operate with them in defending and expounding Judaism, and advocating the interests of our people. Friendly relations will always be cultivated on our side and we expect of them the same kindness. 

The Israelite is the fifth and youngest daughter of English-Jewish talents, and is desirous of obtaining an honorable and useful position by the side of her sisters. We offer our hand in peace, fraternity and justice; but if war should be waged against us, we will be found ready to defend ourselves manly and efficiently. 

Editor’s Note: This excerpt is drawn from the very first issue of The American Israelite, then simply “The Israelite.” Volume 1, Number 1 of this paper was published July 15, 1854, right here in Cincinnati, OH. Other topics in the paper include a recap of Jewish Cincinnati Institutions, a plea for more organizations to send the paper information about themselves, a copy of Dr. Wise’s Fourth of July address to K.K. Benai Yeshurun, a barbed commentary on the intolerance of the English Parliament, and many other facets of Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise’s vast mind that were now about to be put to print. The paper has been published continuously, every week, since this date. 

— July 15, 1854

150 Years ago


– Few are aware of the vast number of people that can be placed in a small space. When we speak of millions of men we are apt to picture to ourselves an almost boundless area of humanity; yet a million of people if standing together, each person occupying four square feet, could be placed on a patch but little more than a third of a mile square. 

A square mile would accommodate 6,965,600. The whole population of the United States would hardly cover two miles and a half a square, and the population of the entire world could be easily accommodated on a track twelve miles long and twelve wide — less in extent than some townships. 

– It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery, but the friction. Fear secrets acids; but love and trust are sweet juice. 

Local and Domestic

– Cincinnati: — The Mayor of Cincinnati has appointed Charles Cahn, Jr. Esq., one of the commissioners of the ire department. Although Mr. Cahn at first refused to serve on account of business, he was persuaded to accept the position, and he will render excellent services to the city. 

– Among this year’s graduates of our high schools, there are again a considerable number of Jewish students of both sexes. 

— July 11, 1873

125 Years ago

Yellow journalism is bad enough, but as a writer in “Printer’s Ink” observes, “it is better than stagnant, stupid journalism. In one there is growth, but in the other there is nothing but sluggishness and decay.” Heaven protect us from the papers whose sole idea of decency is dullness, and which in the name of respectability supply their readers with the namby-pamby, wishy-washy slush, fit only for the consumption of old maids and old women in intellectual capacity. Aside from the matter furnished by the press associations, there is not enough virility in some of the daily papers to prevent the suspicion that they are edited by a staff of tea-dipsomaniacs. Yellow is a bad color for a newspaper, but no color at all is worse still. 

Editor’s Note: Yellow journalism is a style of reporting that focuses on sensational headlines without the robust development of actual facts within the story presented. It is often compared to tabloid journalism. There is some speculation that yellow journalism provoked the Spanish American war, however many media historians reject this simple explanation for complex military engagement. 


– Dr. Cornelius Herz, one of the principal rascals concerned in the notorious Panama Canal swindle, died at Bournemouth, England, on July 6. Herz was born of Jewish parents, but was considerate enough to become a Roman Catholic a number of years ago and thus relieve Judaism of the responsibility for his misdoings. 

– A telegram from Algiers states that a Jew, named Aaron, made a murderous attack with a knife on M. Bloch, Grand Rabbin of Algiers (not Algeria, as mentioned in the telegram), and injured him so severely that his life is despaired of. 

– Speaking of the general ruin that is being brought upon Algiers by the continued disturbances caused by the Jew-baiters, a correspondent says: “Those who know this color best see no hope for it except in the appointment of a Military Governor, the abolition of its parliamentary representation, and a special law for the press. 

— July 14, 1898 


100 Years ago

Palestine News Agency Launched

Jerusalem, (JTA). — Palestine is to have its own news agency. The “Palestine Telegraphic Agency” which proposes to provide a general news gathering service for the Holy Land has been officially registered by the government. 


– In a report of the rush of immigrants to American ports on July 1, of some of the quotas of those coming from several countries being filled at once. Among the countries thus named is Palestine. It would be interesting to know how large this emigration from the Holy Land is and what causes it. 

– Morris Rosenfeld, the Yiddish poet of New York’s East Side, passed away and ten thousand persons came to pay the last tribute at his funeral. He is dead and in a decade of years, or two at most, will be practically forgotten. When his time shall have passed there will be very few readers of Yiddish in the United States and the English translation of Rosenfeld’s production gives no adequate idea of the beauty, the force and the pathos of the original. 

– A conference is gathering where everybody expects the other fellow to make concessions. 

— July 12, 1923

75 Years ago

An Editorial: Our 95th Year

With this issue, The American Israelite enters upon the 95th year of service to the American Jewish community. 

In a spirit of humility and gratitude, those who are associated with this publication warmly thank the thousands upon thousands of persons who, by their interest and confidence, have made possible this enterprise to this day. We are happy to note, in many cases, the third consecutive generation of readers.

In this special field of journalism — as in the secular press — the rule of the profession, “accuracy and fair play,” deserves to be recalled and underlined especially in this day. 

We shall seek now, as in the past, to print the news — fairly, accurately, unsalted and objectively. That means, of course, that in controversial matters, each side must receive a fair “hearing.” 

For if a publication fails to serve the cause of truth and fairness, it ill deserves the name “newspaper” or the right  to enjoy the American privilege of freedom of the press.  

— July 8, 1948 

50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

– Shalom. We are proud to announce that our son Mark Alan became “Bar Mitzvah” by “putting on” the Tephillin at our home on his thirteenth birthday, Sunday, July 8, 1973. In the winter he will conclude the Bar Mitzvah ceremony by reading from The Torah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. 

Suzanne and Gary Schreiber 

– Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Shapiro are happy to announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Marc Aaron, on Saturday, July 14, at 9 a.m., at Roselawn Synagogue. 

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and to attend the Kiddush following the service. Marc is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Cohen and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Shapiro. 

He is the great grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hertzman and Mr. And Mrs. Sam Stekof of Rochester. 

– My son, Barry Jay, will read a portion of the Haftorah on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah, at Northern Hills Synagogue, 715 Fleming Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, July twenty-first, at nine-thirty in the morning. 

Barry is the son of the late Charlotte Rosen and the grandson of Mrs. Bertha Fisher and the late Mrs. Rose Schultz. 

I would be honored to have you worship with me on this occasion and join me for Kiddush after the services. 

Allen Rosen

— July 12, 1973

25 Years ago

JCRC at annual meeting

By Phyllis Singer


Thomas L. Conlan Jr. and Dr. Jules I. Klein were honored at the Jewish Community Relations Council recent annual meeting. 

Conlan received JCRC’s Peace of the City Award and Klein received a special Community Service Award at last month’s meeting at the Omni Netherland Plaza Hall of Mirrors. 

Discovery Center invites all to ‘Farby’

The Jewish Discovery Center recently intensified its already ongoing question and answer Farby Learning Forum with the Jewish Community in Cincinnati. 

The ongoing weekly Farbrengin (gathering), fondly known as a “Farby,” takes place Tuesday evenings at various homes throughout the city. The Learning Forum affords the entire Jewish community the opportunity to intensify their study on a vast variety of Torah subjects in a mellow, casual atmosphere. 

Chairing the project is Avner Chriqui, proprietor of Blue Star Graphcis, and Shimon Ben-Hur, propriety of G.S. Handy. Both Chriqui and Ben-Our have strong ties in the Jewish community and are themselves the visionaries behind the Farby concept. 

— July 16, 1998

10 Years ago

Rabbi Meredith Kahan joins the professional staff at Rockdale 

Rabbi Meredith Kahan joined the professional staff of K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple as Assistant Rabbi of the Amberley Village congregation. Rabbi Kahan will also serve as Director of Life Long Learning, coordinating all aspects of the synagogue’s continuing education programs including Kehal Kodesh—the Sunday school program for Pre-K through eighth grade, the Tuesday Hebrew School and Rockdale’s Adult Education programs. She will also work closely with the Board of Directors of Kulanu—The Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School. 

“Rabbi Kahan brings her wealth of experiences to Rockdale,” says Senior Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran. Rabbi Kahan completed her Rabbinical studies at the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. During her final two years at HUC, she served as Rockdale’s Rabbinic Intern.

Hold fast to this flowering staff 

The 130th Ordination Class from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion celebrated Shabbat with Friday night services at Cincinnati’s Rockdale Temple on June 7. Rabbi Gary Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archive, addressed the Rockdale congregation, the future rabbis, their families and other dignitaries visiting for the ordination events. 

— July 11, 2013