In the Beginning: 1854

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

IMPORTANCE OF THE ISRAELITE. — We receive numerous communications in praise of the Israelite. Many of our friends inform us of their belief, that a new period of Jewish literature will commence with our humble endeavors; others are of the opinion that our voice will arouse the last friends of lethargy and shake off the dust of indifference from the leaders of congregations and societies. Again others suppose that we will succeed in bringing in circulation a better set of ideas and views. All this is very fair, and we are under lasting obligations to our friends for their good opinion of our enterprise. But the best demonstration in favor of the Israelite, and most satisfactory to its publisher, are the numerous subscriptions which we have received weekly since our first number was published. This proves to us that the voice of the people is in our favor, and this will enable us to carry out our intention to concentrate in the Israelite the talent and energy necessary to cause it to continue to be sought after.   

— August 11, 1854


150 Years ago

Local and Domestic 

– We refer our readers to the advertisement in to-day’s ISRAELITE, of J.H. Goodhart & Co., cotton factors of this city. They are agents for mills manufacturing the best of flax bagging made in this country, and offer the same for sale at factory prices. 

– Charleston, W.Va. — Mr. J. Shields, President of the Harmonic Debating Society, was recently presented with a large German Bible, translated from the originals by Martin Luther and published in Germany in 1642. It is a magnificent volume, being 17 1/2 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 5 1/2 inches thick, and weighs 2/12 pounds. It is in the German language, with Hebrew, Greek and Latin references in the body and on the margins. It has several hundred elegant cuts. It is a rare volume, and highly prized by Mr. Shields.

— August 8, 1873 


125 Years ago

Coney Island 

This is a patriotic week at Coney. The amusements are interspersed with many patriotic features and there are a number of patriotic outings booked. Thousands of people are anticipating an enjoyable time at Coney next Friday, that being Army and Navy Day. The Coney Island Company has prepared a magnificent program of special attractions, including a beautiful display of fireworks at night. Next Saturday, the combined lodges of the Knights of Pythias will be holding an outing at Coney for the benefit of the Maine Monument Fund. In the afternoon there will be a grand competitive drill and the winning company will be presented with a beautiful three hundred dollar slide flag. In the evening there will be a thrilling naval display on Lake Como. 


– Arrangements are being made to have divine services held for the Jewish soldiers at Chickamauga during the coming holidays of New Year and Day of Atonement, under the auspices of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbis, singers for the choir, and others who want to take part in the proposed service in the said camp are politely requested to let us know as soon as possible. Address: Office AMERICAN ISRAELITE, Cincinnati. 

– One of the Vienna papers gave publicity to the following hoax: The question was raised somewhere in Western Russia, whether it be lawful for a Jew to ride a bicycle on Sabbath. The rabbis in Russia could not agree in deciding this important question and it was placed before some very wise rabbi in Berlin, and he declared it unlawful to ride a bicycle on the Sabbath day. This is certainly a poor hoax, as every rabbi in Russia or elsewhere knows that riding on Sabbath is not prohibited per se anywhere in the rabbinical codes. It is forbidden to ride on horseback, because the rider might cut a switch from a tree or shrub, which it is forbidden to do. As far as walking on Sabbath not being prohibited goes, it can make no difference, whether the feet step on the ground, or the pedals of the bicycle. No rabbis could disagree on that question. 

— August 11, 1898 


100 Years ago

The Growth of Intolerance

From time to time we have had occasion since the end of the great war to call attention to the growth of the spirit of intolerance in the United States. This spirit assumes more than one aspect. It relates not only to religion, but to social and economic condition and affects the opinions and the large masses of the people in matters of general public policy, altogether separate and apart from those associated with partisan political questions. 

Such an outlaw organization as the Ku Klux Klan is merely an expression of an anti-social and un-American spirit which exists in less repulsive form in other organizations, and is fostered by the kind of propaganda represented by anti-Catholic publications, as well as by anti-Jewish journals such as the unspeakable Dearborn Independent, the fruit of ignorance, bigotry, and malevolence. 

True Americanism which made this country the “sweet land of liberty” is as far removed from the intolerance represented by the movements and tendencies to which we have referred, as truth is from debased falsehood. It is a matter of grave concerns to America that the serpent of iniquity should rear its ugly head on American soil. 

It is the duty of all true Americans to oppose this influence and to defeat its evil designs against the peace, security, and happiness of millions of loyal citizens, as well as the law-abiding strangers within our gates. One thing is certain. No nation can thrive and realize its highest possibilities when the voice of intolerance and fanaticism prevails in the land, nullifying the high promise of liberty and justice. — Jewish Exponent. 

— August 9, 1923


75 Years ago

Hanoar Children Will Present Program for Their Parents Tomorrow

By Margie Plaut 

The sixth week of Camp Hanoar will come to an end tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 6th) with a program, the theme of which is “Camp Days,” This program will begin at 2:15 p.m. and all the parents are invited to visit Hanoar where they will see a presentation given by their children as well as have an opportunity to visit the separate bunk rooms and talk with the counselors. 

Two Chest Chairmen Accept Posts 

James N. Heldman, 7063 East Lawn Drive, and Robert I. Westheimer, 83 Central Terrace, have accepted the posts of chairmen for District H, the Avondale area, for the 1949 Community Chest campaign. 

The two served as co-chairman for that district last year and both have had previous campaign experience. Mr. Heldman served as a solicitor before the war and after the war was a team captain. Mr. Westheimer was a zone captain for many years. 

Cincinnati Social and Personal

Mr. Joseph Wise, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Wise of 823 Blair Avenue, has left for the West Coast to visit his brother, Rabbi Aaron Wise. Rabbi Wise is the spiritual leader of the Valley Community Center, North Hollywood, Calif. 

— August 5, 1948


50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

– Jeffrey Michael Blatt will be called to the Torah to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah., Saturday, Aug. 18, at 9 a.m. His parents Mr. and Mrs. Sol J. Blatt would be happy to have you worship with them on this joyous occasion at Ohav Shalom Synagogue, 183 Section Road. 

Jeffrey is the grandson of Mrs. Sol Krumbein of Cincinnati and the late Mr. Krumbein, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Morris Blatt. 

– Mr. and Mrs. Albert Loeb are happy to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Pat, on the 11th of August, at 9 a.m., at Golf Manor Synagogue, 6442 Stover Avenue. 

They would be honored to have friends and relatives worship with them and join them for the kiddish following the service. 

– Our son, Martin Bennett, will read a portion of the Haftorah on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah at Adath Israel Synagogue Saturday morning, Aug. 11, at 9:00 a.m. We would be honored to have our friends and relatives worship with us and join us for the Kiddish following the service. 

Martin is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Morris Gordon and the late Mr. and Mrs. Jack J. Cohan. 

Sylvia and Leonard Cohan. 

— August 9, 1973


25 Years ago

Three Cincinnati families fulfill dreams, make aliyah

By Phyllis Singer


As Israel’s population increased by hundreds of immigrants last week, three Cincinnati families joined the millions of Jews who call Israel home. 

On Aug. 4, as part of the jubilee celebration marking Israel’s 50th anniversary, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the quasi-governmental organization in charge of immigration, sponsored Aliyah Day, bringing approximately 900 immigrants to the Jewish state. 

Among them were two Cincinnati families — Sam and Shuli Kamin and their four children and Michael Hattin and Rivka Epstein and their two sons. 

And one day later, another family with deep Cincinnati roots — Rabbi Stanley and Jo Ann (Pastor) Peerless and their four daughters began their new lives as Israeli citizens. (Actually, Rabbi Peerless and his oldest daughter Shoshana, had arrived early July, while Jo Ann and the couple’s other three daughters arrived Aug. 5.) 

For each of the families, making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) fulfilled a longtime dream.  

— August 13, 1998


10 Years ago

Aaron Panken, a pilot who will head Reform rabbinical school, eyes horizon 

By Uriel Heilman 

Jewish Telegraphic Agency 

NEW YORK – If you want to lead a major Reform Jewish organization, here’s a piece of advice: Go to the Westchester Reform Temple. 

With this week’s announcement that Rabbi Aaron Panken will be the new president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the temple in suburban New York now has produced two major Reform leaders in two years. (The other is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who two years ago ceded the pulpit of the Scarsdale synagogue to become president of the Union for Reform Judaism.) 

Local teen wins gold with USA men’s open gymnastics team at the 19th Maccabiah games 

By Gabrielle Cohen 

Assistant Editor 

At the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel July 17 – 30, 2013, Jake Paul, 18, competed along with five other members of the USA Men’s Open Gymnastics team. By the end of the competition, they were coming back to the states with a gold medal in their hands. 

“When we heard them announce that USA won the gold, we were all speechless. It was an indescribable feeling,” Jake Paul said. He claims this to be the best experience of his life. Not only did he compete, he also met a lot of great people from different countries. This is the first time Paul has participated in a competition like this and can’t wait to do it again. 

— August 8, 2013