In the Beginning: 1854

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

A journal, having as interesting an object in view as the discussion of the affairs, past and present, of the Hebrew people, will be doubtless welcomed by every friend of literature, and lover of truth, especially will be sought after by every Jew, who is desirous of having his time honored faith defended from the numerous attacks made on it, and the scandals uttered against it by those fanatics, who least comprehend its merits (merits that ages of civil, political, and ecclesiastical persecution have fruitlessly striven to misrepresent or keep in abeyance.)

The Paper will be under the supervision of the undersigned, aded by an efficient corps of assistants, and arrangements have been made through able correspondents for the early publication of every transaction in Europe and American, of interest to the Jewish public — the columns of the paper will moreover be open for the free, open, and fair discussion of any topic, tending to elevate Hebrew religion, literature, &c., but no article will be inserted knowing to contain personalties — the object of the Journal being to advance, enlighten, and to improve — all its means and all its efforts must be used to those ends solely.

Much can be presented through the medium of such a Paper as “The Israelite” proposes to be, and the hope is entertained that the children of the Mosaic faith widely scattered as they are through this vast continent — may learn in the pages of this Journal more of their revered faith, more of the piety of the martyrs who have suffered in its defense, more of the biography of its sages, its rabbis, its prophets and its commentators — be awaked to as sense of their mission, know and feel its glorious tendency, and be thus tough to know themselves, and be drawn nearer and nearer in communion with their creator.


— July 28, 1854

150 Years ago


– No country in Europe has advanced more rapidly than Hungary during the last quarter of a century. No city in Europe, and very few in American, has made such stride as Peth has made in the same time. So says the London Times.

– Some people scorn to be taught; others are ashamed of it, as they would be of going to school when they are old; but it is never too late to learn what it is always necessary to know; and it is no shame to learn so long as we are ignorant — that is to say, as long as we live.

– What We Want. — We want an atmosphere of pure, solid truth. We want preachers who will tell what they think without reserve. We want physicians who will disclose the laws of health in the simplest words. We want lawyers who will execute law with a leaning all the time to justice and morality. We want politicians who love our republican institutions and sincerely desire to preserve and improve them; who will not falsify, or allow others to do so in their behalf without instant correction. If we can have these things, our liberties are assured forever. If we can not, they are endangered every day.

— July 25, 1873

125 Years ago


– The other day twenty Congregational clergymen out of a convention of some sixty or seventy, I think, refused to give in their adhesion to the doctrine of eternal punishment. This is looked upon by commentators as evidence of the extremely liberal tendencies of the age. And so it is, but in a hundred years or even less people will wonder that there was such a large majority to believe in a doctrine so terrible. When one considers the intelligence of this age in other things it is hard to understand how it is that the various Christian reeds still have so many ostensible Christian followers.

– In Frankfort-on-the-Main there led last month, at the age of seventy-eight years, Rabbi Seligman Fromm, one of the most celebrated Talmudists of Western Germany, and of the last pillars of orthodoxy in that part of the world. He was a good man besides being a great man in his somewhat narrow sphere of life.

Names of Warships

United States war vessels of the first class are named after states, those of the second class after rivers, those of the third after the principal cities and towns and those of the fourth as  the President may direct.

— July 28, 1898

100 Years ago


– “The American Banker,” a periodical that cannot truthfully be charged with being swayed by sentiment, claims that the result of a questionnaire made recently in Bridgeport, Conn., concerning the church-going tendency of that towns financial leaders, reveals that 74 per cent are habitual church-goers; 9 per cent stay away; 75 per cent of successful men habitually go to church; 95 per cent believe that people should go every Sunday. — Catholic Columbian.

– Far-reaching changes and improvements in the Government’s imitation policy are recommended in an exhaustive research report on “The Immigration Problem in the United States,” which was released for publication by the National Industrial Conference Board. The report, undertaken by the board’s research staff in co-operation with many private and government agencies both here  and in Europe, includes a survey of the 3 per cent law in which it finds room for extensive reform.

Move Announced to Bar Ku Klux

Albany, N.Y. — Action will begin immediately in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the incorporators of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Inc., and the Kamelia, Inc., from exercising powers as a corporation in New York state on the ground that they made material changes in their certificate of incorporation after it was approved by Supreme Court Justice George E. Pierce of Buffalo, it was announced today. Attorney General Carl Shran, who made the announcement after a conference with the Secretary of State James. A. Hamilton, said he would also ask that the court issue an order cancelling the papers filed by the organizations in the Secretary of State’s office. The Klan and the Kamelia, women’s auxiliary organization, filed papers of incorporation under the Walker bill, passed at the last legislative session, which provides that secret fraternal organizations must file membership constitution and bylaws with the Security of State. The two organizations, it was charged, presented the documents to Justice Piece for approval, then made material changes in the certificate of incorporation.

— July 26, 1923

75 Years ago

Cincinnati To Be Host To the Freedom Train On 2-Day Stop, Aug. 7-8

Cincinnati will be host to the Freedom Train Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7th and 8th. The train will be at the Pennsylvania Freight Station on Court Street between Reading Road and Gilbert Avenue.

The public is invited to visit the train and to see the historical records of American liberties.

Editor’s Note: The Freedom Train was a special exhibit that traveled the contiguous 48 states and featured historical material documenting the history of the United States. The Freedom Train’s first exhibition ran from 1947-1949. A second Freedom Train ran from 1975-1976 and celebrated the US Bicentennial. The inaugural 1947 Freedom Train was controversial, as the train itself would travel through southern states in the US where rail passengers were segregated. The exhibition inspired Langston Hughes’ poem “Freedom Train.”

President Truman’s administration announced that the Freedom Train would be desegregated, but the train’s stops in several southern cities were canceled when local administrators insisted Black visitors remain segregated during visiting hours.

— July 22, 1948

50 years ago

Social News

Dr. Leon Goldman has been asked to serve a chairman of a session on recent developments in the use of lasers in medicine at the Aug. 28 meeting of the Society of Photooptic Instrumentation Engineering in San Diego.

He is director of the Laser Laboratory of the UC Medical Center and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the College of medicine.


Jewish Hospital births include: Mr. and Mrs. Larry Zakem (Gail Diamond), 9044 Eldora Drive, a son, David Aaron Wednesday, July 11, at Hospital.

Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Stanely Diamond of Omaha and Mr. and Mrs. William Zakem of Cincinnati.

Great grandparents are Mr. Sam Eurove of Cincinnati and Mr. and Mrs. Nate Ferer of Omaha. Great great grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ike Kaplan of Omaha.

– Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Stout (Roberta Ervin), 2026 Snowhill Drive, announce the birth of a daughter, Sandy Lynn, Saturday, July 14, at Bethesda Hospital. The infant has two brothers, Michael Allen and David Ben, and a sister, Cindy Sue.

Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Marion E. Stout and the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Linville.

– Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Klein, 6219 Graceland Avenue, announce the birth of a daughter, Sharon Lynn, Wednesday, July 18, at Bethesda Hospital. The infant has a sister, Danielle Suzette.

The grandparents are Mrs. Sheppard I. Klein and the late Mr. Klein of Cincinnati, and Mr. and Mrs. Wesley A Riley of Ridgewood, N.J.

— July 26, 1973

25 Years ago

Spicehandler chosen as rabbi of B’nai Tzedek

By Brian L. Meyers

Staff Writer

Congregation B’nai Tzedek is welcoming a new rabbi to its pulpit.

Though not quite a rabbi yet, fifth-year rabbinical student Judith Spicehandler, 46, has accepted the position of spiritual leader of the congregation, filling the role recently vacated by Edward Boraz, who accepted the position of Hillel director at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

This Shabbat, Spicehandler, who expects to be ordained in June at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will become the first woman to serve as sole rabbi at a congregation in Cincinnati.

Ohav Shalom to hold Torah Walk to new synagogue

Ohav Shalom will hold a Torah Walk on Sunday, Sept. 13, announced Michael Smolin, congregation president.

The Sifrei Torah will be carried from the old synagogue on Section Road to the new synagogue on Cornell Road. Members of the congregation will be asked to share in the honor of carrying a Torah part of the way. When the Sifrei Torah arrives at the new site, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration.

— July 30, 1998

10 Years ago

Teens learn about historic Jewish Cincinnati before traveling to Israel

Cincinnati is well known for its rich history built upon many cultures — most notably for its German and Irish roots — but did you know that Cincinnati is also home to over 200 years of Jewish history?

On June 13, 51 Jewish teens had the rare opportunity to take a bus tour around the city to learn about “Jewish Cincinnati.” The tour was part of the Israel HERE program, a post-trip engagement program developed by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati for recipients of Israel Travel Grants from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. The goal of Israel HERE is to help the students process their experiences in Israel, strengthen their own personal Jewish identity and explore and expand their relationships with the local Jewish community.

To conclude the program, participants help plan and coordinate the community’s Yom HaAtzmaut celebration.

— August 1, 2013