In the Beginning: 1854

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

– Detroit, Mich. — The Rev. Mr. Adler, recently from Waldorf, Germany, has been elected minister of the congregation of this city. We congratulate the Detroit congregation on this happy choice; the Rev. Mr. Adler is fully competent to fill his post.

– Mr. Kurshedt in London — The London papers inform us, that Mr. Kurshedt has left the sum bequeathed for the Jews of Palestine by the late Judah Touro, entirely at the disposal of Sir Moses. Montefiore.

— September 8, 1854

150 Years ago


– Look to your Sabbath-schools and improve them.

– Let it be understood we must have the Union and the College.

– The story reported in the daily papers from San Fransisco concerning the Nathan murder and murderers, made by one who gives his name as John T. Irving, an accomplice in that crime, is so incoherent that there is no reliance to be placed in it. It looks like the confession of an insane man or a consummate scoundrel who has some base object in view.

– A.E. Frankland, Esq., for the Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Memphis purchased of Steinway & Sons a $1250 piano for the Cleveland Orphan Asylum, to be placed there at once. The ladies deserve all the credit and praise for the magnificent gift to the orphans, who will remember them forever in cheering melodies of gratitude.

– Los Angeles, Cal. — The congregation of this far west city has dedicated a new synagogue, August 8. The Daily Express publishes an eloquent report of the solemnity, which, it appears, was very impressive. Mr. I. W. Heldman is the President, Mr. Newmarks, Sr., Vice President, and Rev. A. W. Edelman, minister. The building is described as being very handsome. A voluntary choir assisted in the ceremonies. We wish our friends in Los Angeles that the spirit of the Lord may rest upon their new place of worship, and their hearts’ desires be satisfied in truth and love.

— September 5, 1873

125 Years ago

In Common with all of our fellow citizens we extend the glad hand of welcome to the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the survivors of the terrible struggle which marked the new birth of our Nation, who are now honoring our city with their presence. May their visit within our borders be as pleasant to them as it is to us and if in any way our hospitality should be less than that extended to them elsewhere, we trust they will believe that it happened so because our ability to honor them was not so great as our desire. May their visit to Cincinnati forever remain a pleasant memory for their declining years.

Editor’s Note: The editors refer here to the soldiers returning from the recently won Spanish-American war.


– The Washington Hebrew congregation dedicates its Temple Beth Elohim on Friday, September 9th. On the same day the new temple in Peoria will be dedicated. Our editor starts this evening for Peoria and will be present Sunday in Chicago at the laying of the corner-stone of Temple Isaiah.

– Mr. and Mrs. Moses Goodman have issued invitations to the marriage of their daughter Alice to Mr. John Weinstein, Wednesday evening, September 14th, at 3426 South Park Boulevard, Chicago.

— September 8, 1898

100 Years ago

Denies Jews in Anti-Klux Mob

Perth Amboy, N.J. — No Jews were injured nor were any Jews among the leaders of the crowd which Thursday night broke into a Ku Klux meeting and beat up many of its members. Chief of Police Tonnelson, according to the New York World, declared that the “leaders were known to him as members of local Hebrew organizations and the Knights of Columnubs.” Rabbi Nathan Colish of Perth Amboy, N.J., denies this, declaring a large part of the town population had witnessed the episode and naturally there was a fair sprinkling of Jews among them, but none of the leaders of the mob were Jews. Rabbi Colish points out that this is the second anti-Klan outbreak in Perth Amboy and on the first one which took place June 4, it was a Jewish banker, Isaac Alperin, who saved the Klan organizer, Rev. Heywood, from attack when a mob of Klan opponents rushed forward to apparently carry him off.


– At Detroit, Mich., a number of non-Jews were present at the public initiation of a number of new members of Pisgah Lodge B’nai B’rith. The occasion was a most interesting one and probably the first of its kind where there were any but Jews present.

– Very recently the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York purchased a very important collection of books in London. It was the library of Elkan Nathan Adler. This library alone consists of about four thousand valuable Hebrew manuscripts and about thirty thousand printed books. Together with the vast number of books and manuscripts which it already possesses, it will make the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary one of the largest in the world. Other important libraries of Jewish books and manuscripts are the Bodleian Library of Oxford and the Hebrew Union College library of Cincinnati. In the Hebrew Union College Library is deposited the Birnbaum Collection of Jewish Music, the greatest in the world. Its Spinoza Collection is perhaps second only to that of The Hague University Library.

— September 6, 1923

75 Years ago

Food, Clothing for Men, Women, Children Will Be Collected on Sept. 26

Clothing for men, women and children, infants’ layettes and canned foods of high protein content are listed by Mrs. Seymour Arenstein, SOS Collections chairman of Cincinnati, as the relief supplies most urgently needed to help Europe’s 1,500,000 surviving Jews during the coming winter.

The Cincinnati Jewish community seeks to collect at least 120,000 pounds of provisions in a house-to-house canvass Sunday, Sept. 26th, as part of the continuing nationwide campaign of the SOS (Supplies for Overseas Survivors) Collection of the Joint Distribution Committee. 

Cincinnati Social and Personal

– Mr. Harry Meiss Celebrated his 84th birthday Saturday, August 28th.

– Rabbi Morris W. Graff will lecture in philosophy at Hollins College, Roanoke, Va., this year.

He is widely known in Cincinnati where he graduated at the Hebrew Union College in 1930.

His wife is the former Miss Ruth Marx of Cincinnati. They have one son, Donald.

– Miss Madeline Herzog has returned after a three-week vacation in Chicago, Minneapolis, Glacier National Park, Banff and Lake Louise.

— September 2, 1948

50 years ago


Mrs. Norman L. (Sandra Davis) Berg has been selected an “Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America” for 1973.

Elementary teachers are selected annually for this award.

A native of Cincinnati, Mrs. Berg is on leave from Princeton City School District, where for three years she has been a reading specialist at Woodlawn-Riddle School.

During a four year residence in Kingston, Ontario, she was remedial teacher and summer fun director at Sunnyside Children’s center, residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children; classroom teacher with Kingston Public Schools; and Pre-school coordinator and lecturer at Queen’s University.

Bar Mitzvah

– On Saturday, Sept. 15th, at 9:30 a.m., at the Adath Israel Synagogue, Steven David Statman will be called to the altar to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah.

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with his family and to attend the Kiddush following Services,

Steven is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Quinn and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Staman of Cincinnati.

– Our son, Mark Steven, will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah Saturday, Sept. 8, at 9 a.m. at the Agudas Israel Synagogue, Golf Manor. Mark  is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Jack I. Weiss and Mrs. Sarah Goldman and the late Mr. Sam Goldman. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following the servies.

Joy and Len Goldman.

— September 6, 1973

25 Years ago

Biblical Garden of Peace opens at Cincinnati Zoo

By Phyllis Singer


The only biblical garden at an American zoo is now reality. Dedication of the biblical Garden of Peace at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens took place Sunday.

About 500 people gathered in the Zoo’s amphitheater in 90-degree heat for the dedication and profession to the garden that followed the program. The approximately 5,000 square-food garden was established by Cincinnati’s Jewish community and the Jewish Federation in commemoration of Israel’s 50th anniversary.

“If you will it, it is no dream,” said Arlene Katz, co-chairman of Sunday’s dedication ceremonies, quoting Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism.

“The Garden of Peace was also a dream. Now, this dream has become reality.”

— September 10, 1998

10 Years ago

Major donors get first look at Jewish Family Service’s Barbash Family Vital Support Center

A ten-year old dream to guide more people experiencing poverty toward self-sufficiency is coming true when Jewish Family Service opens its Barbash Family Vital Support Center in October. Major donors who led the way to fulfilling this dream got the first peek into the new Vital Support Center at a private cocktail reception Wednesday, August 21.

The Vital Support Center, located on the campus of Hebrew Union College in Clifton, will provide a wellness and recovery environment with comprehensive services for the people served by Jewish Family Service. This includes an expanded food pantry, case management, supportive counseling, socialization activities, classes, and Jewish culturally specific programming.

There will also be more opportunities for volunteering in the spirit of tikun olam (Hebrew for repairing the world).

JCC celebrates its fifth anniversary on Sept. 23

The Mayerson JCC is celebrating its fifth anniversary Under One Roof on Monday, Sept. 23. Festivities include a community Supper in the Sukkah (5:30 p.m.) followed by JCC news and annual meeting at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

For the Under One Roof celebration during Sukkot, the JCC will transform its entire courtyard into a giant sukkah and art display. Over 40 local organizations collaborated to design artistic panels to decorate the sukkah. Each panel visually describes what community means to their organization.

— September 5, 2013