In the Beginning: 1854

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

NOTICE. — We have sent the Israelite to a number of persons, who we thought, would take sufficient interest in such a paper to become subscribers, many of whom have already signified their intention to that effect.

We shall send numbers 8, 9, and 10 as heretofore, but after the Tenth number, no paper will be sent to any but an actual subscriber.

Those who wish to become subscribers will therefore please signify the same to us immediately either by mail, or through on of their friends in this city. The subscription price, $3 per annum, can be sent to us through the Post Office in any bank note current at the place of mailing.

Our advertising terms will be found on our outside page.

The Israelite daily receives assurances that it is well received, and favorably thought of, by our people at large, it already circulates in every state of the Union, and we shall use every effort to make it all its friends could wish.

Editor’s Note: The $3 subscription fee amounts to $109 after adjustment for inflation.

— September 1, 1854

150 Years ago


– Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.

– A Superintendent of Police made once an entry in his register from which the following is an extract: “The prisoner set upon me, called me an ass, a precious dolt, a scarecrow, a ragamuffin, and idiot — all of which I certify to be true.”

– The stone of Moab, to the discovery and importance of which M. Ganneau, formerly of the Consulate of Jerusalem, was the first to direct public notice, has been purchased for 20,000 francs, and will be deposited in the Louvre.

Editor’s note: The object referred to here as “the stone of Moab” is now more commonly known as the Mesha Stele. The stele, or monumental inscription, is about three feet tall. It describes the victory of King Mesha and his Moabite people over the Kingdom of Israel who had, according to the inscription, subjugated the Moabite kingdom. Archaeologists have dated the inscription to about 840 BCE. Found in Dhiban, Jordan in 1873, the stone was essential to scholars’ understanding of Semitic languages. It is also one of the few sources outside the Hebrew Bible that refers to the Kingdom of Israel, and especially the “House of Omri.” It is possibly the earliest mention of the Hebrew name of G-d as well, though its interpretation and connection to the Hebrew Bible is disputed. The stele is still on display at the Louvre as of 2023, though Jordan has been calling for its return for some time. Some approximation is required to determine the exact price paid for the stone by the Louvre, but based on the gold standard in 1873, the converted price of 20,000 francs from that year is about 333,000 USD in 2023.

— August 29, 1873

125 Years ago

Trouble in the Colony

Vineland, Aug 16. — Alliance, a Hebrew colony near here, has been thrown into a great excitement by a religious war. When the Jewish inhabitants last Saturday heard the machinery at the Morris Company’s coat factory, they congregated in groups, marched to the factory and ordered the men to stop work. The workmen refused, and the Israelites then commenced to bombard the building with stones. Some of the missiles struck Isaac Miller, of Philadelphia, one of the workmen, on the head, and wounded him. Miller seized an axe and ran after Joseph Brod, who, it is said, was one of the attacking party, but failed to catch him. Work was temporarily suspended, and a constable was summoned. Brod was arrested yesterday and held for court.

The Gentile workmen object to the operation of the factory on Sunday. It is not known whether the company will again attempt to operate the factory next Saturday, but they may do so as there is a hurry to finish Government orders.

Editor’s Note: The Alliance colony was founded in 1882 in Salem County, New Jersey. It began with a group of 43 settlers, but eventually expanded to almost 70 families.


– The Rabbinical seminary in the city of Rome closed its sessions and its doors August 1st, not to be opened again. Financial difficulties are the cause. It is generally supposed that another Rabbinical school will be opened at Florence under the superintendency of the learned Rabbi Dr. Margolies, whose reputation is national.

– The editors of the ISRAELITE are very busy men. They are always ready, however, to serve our subscribes are far as lies their power. But they have neither time nor space to spare for those who do not subscribe for the ISRAELITE. They will not, except for special reasons, reply to letters from non-subscribers, or take any other notice of their communications. Any non-subscriber wanting anything from this office will therefore find it necessary to send a year’s subscription with his letter if he wants any notice taken of it.

— September 1, 1898

100 Years ago


– “The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually…. Here is the final challenge to our churches, to our political organizations, and to our capitalists — to everyone who fears God or loves his country. Shall we not all earnestly co-operate to bring in the new day?” — Woodrow Wilson.

Except for the few Protestant publications that have construed “spiritually” in a purely sectarian religious sense, this statement by Mr. Wilson is very generally accepted as a concise and correct diagnosis of the chief trouble besetting mankind in this day and generation.

– If anyone contemplates a visit to the ancient Holy Land, he will find that among other modern improvements and appliances there are qualified and reliable guides, whose services may be obtained by applying to the “Bezalel,” Jaffa Road, Jerusalem, opposite the Post Office, Telephone No 354. There is in addition a post office box and a telegraphic cable called “Madrich.” Apparently the only things ancient in Palestine are the Holy Places.

– If all the Jews in the world were gathered in the United States, they would still form a very small minority, far out-numbered, of course, by the Protestants, even by the number of those affiliated with the churches of the various Evangelical denominations, which, by the way, includes only about one-half of those of Protestant parentage. They would, also, be outnumbered by the Catholics. Besides, the Jews as a body can never be counted upon for united action on any political question. They are practically evenly divided in their affiliation between the two leading political parties. The handful of Socialists among them, mainly in New York City, form a negligible factor. As it is, the Jews today form not more than three per cent of the American population and to speak of them as being a menace to our institutions, as the anti-Semites would have us believe, is a palpable absurdity. It would be a clear case of the tail trying to wag the dog.

— August 30, 1923

75 Years ago

Coney Island

The girl on the flying trapeze will be among the headliners of the annual Sky Revue and Fireworks Carnival, a free attraction at Coney Island, Cincinnati, beginning Friday, Aug. 27 and continuing through Labor day.

Aerial daredevils, performing high above the heads of their audiences, will be featured daily at 4 and 9 p.m.

The fireworks show will feature every night, under the direction of Arthur Rozzi, Coney’s fireworks expert.

Warren J. Heldman President of JVS

The Board of Directors of the Cincinnati JVS at a luncheon meeting, Thursday, Aug. 19th, elected Warren J. Heldman, former vice president, to the presidency of the organization. He succeeds Thomas A. Freiberg, who reclined to accept a position with the May Co. in Los Angeles.

— August 26, 1948

50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

– Our son, Jeffrey, will read a portion of the Haftorah on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah at Northern Hills Synagogue, Saturday morning, Sept. 1st at 9:30 a.m.

We would be honored to have our friends and relatives worship with us and join us for the Kiddish following the service.

Jeffrey is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Katz or Forest Hills, N.Y., and Mrs. Ruth Cohen of Brooklyn, N.Y., and the late Samuel Cohen.

Lola and Don Cohen

– Our son Nathan will chant the service and be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, Sept. 8th, at 9 a.m., at Ohav Shalom Synagogue, 1834 Section Road.

We would be honored to have relatives and friends worship with us and join us for the Kiddish folioing the services.

Nathan is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Mendel Feuererg, of Cincinnati, and Mr. and Mrs. Anshell Rendler, of Haifa, Israel.

Zahva and Samuel Rendler.

— August 30, 1973

25 Years ago

Maxwell to be honored Sept. 11

Bill Maxwell will be presented with the John H. Straus Distinguished Service Award during Temple Sholom’s Leadership Shabbat Services, on Friday, Sept. 11.

The Award was established in 1988, in honor of Temple Sholom member John Straus, and was presented to him that year.

Maxwell is the fifth recipient of the honor, which is given to one whose actions have exhibited extraordinary dedication to temple life.

According to Rabbi Gerry H. Walter, “Maxwell is a devoted Jew, a deeply religious man, a leader in our congregation and a model for the generations of leaders to come. He is a wonderful human being.”

JFC women start Acharai Division

The Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati plans to initiate a new division: Women’s Acharai.

“Women’s Acharai has been something we have needed for a  long time to attract young women to the Federation,” said Linda Hochberg and Anita Schneider, 1999 annual campaign co-chairmen.

— September 3, 1998

10 Years ago

Jewish Foundation invests in congregation-based Jewish education

As the High Holidays approach, the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati announced a significant new investment by providing — for the first time ever — grant funding to local congregations. The Foundation’s initial investment will focus on synagogue-based education.

“The Cincinnati Jewish community we see today is built upon a history of strong and vibrant congregations, which have provided many of Cincinnati’s most influential Jewish leaders,” said Jewish Foundation President Michael R. Oestreicher. “At the beginning of the Foundation’s new era, our Trustees articulated a strategic vision for this community in which congregational life thrives. This initial investment represents a first step for us to assist in fulfilling that vision, and will also help ensure that the individual members of our community continue to have a diverse array of excellent choices for congregational education and engagement.”

Young families prepare for a special Rosh Hashanah celebration at Wise Temple

Your children may not be ready for full High Holiday services just yet and you may be seeking an age-appropriate meaningful experience for your family. At Isaac M. Wise Temple, a YoFI Rosh Hashanah service and celebration is for young families (those with children ages 0-5 and their older siblings, parents and grandparents) to experience joy and community at this High Holiday season. YoFI stands for “Young Family Involvement.”

— August 29, 2013