In the Beginning: 1854

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

– Quick Passage. — The Jewish Chronicle bearing the date London, August 25th, was in our office September 8th.

– Jerusalem, July 30. — On the 26th inst., the first Jewish hospital, situated opposite the still existing wall of the Temple, was consecrated by Dr. Albert Cohn, President of the Israelitish Consistorial Committee, and of the German benevolent association at Paris, in presence of the Austrian, Prussian, French, and English Consuls.

— September 15, 1854

150 Years ago

Success of a Cincinnati Artist

Through inadvertentence we have failed heretofore to notice editorially the grand success of this city, at the Michalbeer competition for the best original ideal statuary in relievo. The award was made on Sunday, August 3rd, at the Royal Art Academy in Berlin, from which institution Mr. Ezekiel graduated with high honors about a year ago. Fifteen hundred thalers was the prize won by him.

It is stated that never until this year have foreigners have been allowed to compete for the prize. The Senate of the Academy decreed in this instance that the exception should not be made, and the result is that a foreigner and an American immediately walks off with the prize. It is a triumph for America, and for Cincinnati, especially.

Mr. Ezekiel’s work is entitled, “Israel, or the Wandering Jew.” It is a relief, eight feet in length by six feet in height, and in its conception rather an historical poem without a name. In the centre a strong male figure represents “Israel” in an attitude of complain and despair, with the right arm over the head, the left hand bound on the back, with his eyes upraised to heaven beseechingly, while his right food rests upon the demolished golden calf of Idolatry. On the left a female figure, bowed in grief and abandoned, with a demolished wall-crown upon her head, represents Jerusalem.

— September 12, 1873

125 Years ago


– Preparations are being made for the celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for the benefit of soldiers of the Jewish faith in the military camps near Lexington, Ky.

– Miss Ruth Vidaver, who was recently married in Paris to P. Henry Fontaine, an immensely wealthy mine owner, is a sister of Attorney Nathan Vidaver of Scranton, and daughter of the rabbi of a New York synagog. She had spent the past eighteen months in Europe cultivating her voice for the opera.

– Adjutant General Corbin of the U.S. Army has issued orders that 4,000 Jewish volunteers should receive furloughs, to enable them to participate in the celebration of the coming holidays.

— September 15, 1898

100 Years ago

Engelhardt Boasts Jewish Mayor

Toronto, (JCB). – Engelhardt, Ontario, has re-elected David Korman Mayor. It is perhaps worth mentioning that Engelhardt boasts only six Jewish families, of whom the Kormans are naturally the leaders.


– Jewish colonists from South Russia are represented in the Russian agricultural and industrial exhibition in Moscow. The colonists have a pavilion of their own.

– All copies for the “Tag,” the Yiddish newspaper of New York, were confiscated by Polish government agents. An order has also been issued forbidding the bringing of this Jewish daily by mail into Poland. No reason is cited for the ban.

– The dedication of the new Beth Shalom Synagogue, at Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, took place Sunday, September 2. The new completed building is a three and a half story edifice, fronting 50 feet on Beacon Street, with a depth of 95 feet occupying the westerly portion of a larger plot which has a frontage of 136 feet on Beacon Street.

– Rabbi Abram Bloch, Chief Rabbi of Belgium since 1891, died August 31. A scholar of distinction, the rabbi, who presided over the Jewish Community for 32 years, rose to prominence in Europe by his resistance of the German Occupation authorities during the war. He refused to sign a document demanded by Germany that the Belgian Jews would obey the occupation authorities. Later he was  sentenced by a German Military Tribunal to six months’ imprisonment for preaching a patriotic sermon.

– The Delegation of Palestine Arabs which is now in London in its fight against the present British policy in Palestine and particularly against Zionism, will visit America to attempt to mould public opinion in America in harmony with their ideas. Kazim Pasha, who is now in London, will head the delegation. The latter has been requested by the Arab Executive Committee to remain on its propagandizing mission in America until the reconvening of the British Parliament, when it will return to London.

— September 13, 1923

75 Years ago

North Avondale Synagog Formed by Two Groups; Rabbi Kalchman Leader

The newly merged Congregations Had Charutzim and Tiferes Israel, forming North Avondale Congregation with its own building at 3870 Reading Road, near Lenox Place, announces the preparation for the opening Saturday, Oct. 2nd, have been made.

Rabbi Bernard I. Kalchman has been engaged as spiritual leader. Rabbi Kalchman comes highly recommended from Hamilton, Ohio, where he was rabbi of the Beth Israel Congregation for more than 13 years.

Ducky Shear Is Named New Lounge Leader of 65th Step

Don “Ducky” Shear has been named lounge leader of the 65th Step, announces Ted Bader, director of the Immediate activities.

“Ducky” is a senior in the college of Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati, where he is a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu social fraternity and the Hillel Counselorship.

Don and Walter Bortz, both committee chairmen, report that the high school lounge committee are planning some big affairs for the coming season.

A few of them are: first year anniversary lounge party, Jewish Center theme song contest and bridge tournament.

— September 16, 1948

50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. David Doctrow, of Lexington, Ky., wish to announce that their son, Matt Douglas, was Bar Mitzvah Sept. 1st. He is the grandson of Mrs. Hannah Doctrow of Cincinnati.

Bas Mitzvah

– Dr. And Mrs. Paul Dragul, of Englewood, Colo., and formerly of Cincinnati, are happy to announce the Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Tamara Lynne, on Friday, Sept. 14, at Congregation Rodef Shalom, Denver.

Tamara is the granddaughter of Mrs. Ruth Dragul of this city and the late Mr. Benhamin Dragul, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Harry Freid.

– Our daughter, Elizabeth Anne (Buffy), will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah Friday, Sept. 21, at 8:30 in the evening, at Fairmount Temple, Beechwood, Ohio.

Buffy is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Finer of Hollywood, Fla., and Mrs. Moses J. Eisenberg, Chestnut Hill, Mass., and the late Dr. Eisenberg.

We would be honored to have friends and relatives worship with us and join us for an Oneg Shabbat following the services.

Rabbi Fred and Helen Eisenberg.

— September 13, 1973

25 Years ago

Rockdale buries the past for future’s sake

By Phyllis Singer


K. K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple — the oldest continuing congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains — opened its 175th anniversary celebration Sunday by burying a time capsule commemorating the occasion.

“We are celebrating a significant milestone in American Jewish history,” said Temple President Dr. Edward Herzig.

“Each member is a part of a congregation whose history is distinguished and honorable. As members of K. K. Bene Israel, we are connected to the 5,000-year-old-tradition of the Jewish people.

“We dedicate this time capsule to the memories of those who have gone before us and to our future,” Herzig concluded.

“We are part of a miracle,” noted Rockdale’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Mark Goldman. “Part of the miracle of life, part of the miracle of Jewish tradition…”

Addressing students from Rockdale’s religious school, Goldman concluded: “When you come back to this spot 25 years from now, may there be no more war, may there be no more strife…May the world be one happy family.”

With the recitation of the Shecheheyanu prayer, the time capsule was passed among representatives from all classes of the religious school and then lowered into the ground by Herzig and Goldman.

— September 17, 1998

10 Years ago

Hebrew classes for everyone

Have you ever wanted to learn and speak Hebrew, but were worried about the level you were at? Do you know little to no Hebrew? If you’re interested in taking Hebrew classes, there are beginner to advanced classes available.

There will be an open house for people interested in joining beginner, intermediate and advanced Hebrew classes on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockwern Academy, 8401 Montgomery Road – Room 138.

Starting Oct. 3, Zahava Rendler is teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced Hebrew classes at Rockwern Academy. This class will happen each Thursday beginning Oct. 3 to Nov. 21; continuing Dec 5 through the 19th (11 classes). Mrs. Rendler has been teaching various Hebrew classes in the Cincinnati Jewish community for over 30 years. She teaches children and adults, anyone who wants to learn Hebrew.

Jay Price to receive AJC award Oct. 9

Jay Price will receive the Community Service Award of American Jewish Committee’s Cincinnati Regional Office at the Initial Gifts Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center.

“We selected Jay Price for this honor because of his outstanding professional and civic accomplishments,” notes Rick Michelman, AJC Cincinnati president. “Jay is devoted to strengthening community organizations, generously providing strategic advice, leadership, and wise counsel to so many agencies.”

— September 12, 2013