In the Beginning: 1854

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

The Called Meeting

On another column of to-day’s Israelite, the reader finds a call for a general meeting of all the Israelites of this city, for the purposes of consulting on what measures are the most efficient and practicable to establish a university in this city on the plan of similar German institutions, of which the theological faculty should all be Jewish.

The scheme is both grand and honorable, deserving the consideration and hearty co-operation of every intelligent man. We, therefore, expect to see at that meeting the Israelites of Cincinnati in a body, considering calmly and profoundly the different plans on the subject which will be exposed to their judgement. There is no imaginable cause why we should be disappointed in this expectation.

— October 6, 1854

150 Years ago

Local and Domestic

– It is impossible to bring out the ISRAELITE and DEBORAH next week; the editor is too much behind hand with his work; he can not catch up unless he is given one week’s recess. The reader will lose nothing, as the complete numbers of the year (52) will be published anyhow.

– Destruction of a Synagogue. — On the 27th of September, the Israelites of Murfreesboro, Tenn., suffered the loss of their synagogue by fire. The synagogue was situated in the second story of a business house, the third story being occupied by an Odd-Fellows Hall. The entire building was destroyed, and all the contents lost, including the Scrolls of the Law, and other necessary adjunct for holding divine service. The Yom Kippur service was held in a temporary place of worship. We are informed that the congregation, although a small one, will soon erect a synagogue of their own. We wish them the best of success.

— October 3, 1873

125 Years ago


– A synagog and religious school have been established by the Jewish community of Brookton, Mass.

– Last week in Chicago, Mr. Charles Weose became a convert to Judaism and subsequently married Miss Bessie Lobel, daughter of Mr. J. H. Lobel of 1913 W. Harrison Street. 

– There is a great deal in the newspapers just now about the deadly stiletto of the Italian, which it is claimed was the instrument of 5,380 homicides during 1897. An association has been formed to alter this state of affairs, both by creating a proper public opinion and by legislation. We have not the statistics at hand, but we very much fear that our own ready revolver is responsible for as shocking a state of affairs in America as exists in Italy. It is even worse in one respect, and that is the murder or attempt to murder goes unpublished, or practically so, as often as not. Here is an excellent opportunity for a great reform movement.

— October 6, 1898

100 Years ago

President Appeals for Aid to Schools

Recommends State and Local Cooperation to Make More Effective the Facilities of the Country.

Washington, Sept. 30. — President Coolidge issued a proclamation today calling for observance of the week beginning Nov. 18 as National Education Week. “Every American Citizen,” the President said, “is entitled to a liberal education. Without this there is no guarantee for the permanence of free institutions, no hope of perpetuating self government. Despotism finds its chief support in ignorance. Knowledge and freedom go and in hand.” Education Week is held each year under the joint auspices of the National Education Association, the United States Bureau of Education and the American Legion, co-operating with more than a hundred other national organizations, the pros being to bring the people closer to their schools. 


– Ground is to be broken at once for a new addition to the Cleveland, O., Orthodox Orphan Asylum, which has moved to 879 Parkwood Drive.

– The clock tower in old Jerusalem erected by former Kaiser William of Germany is to be removed and the old Jaffa gate restored its final style.

– In New York City the printing presses of the American Bible Society are running twenty-four hours a day to supply the earthquake-stricken cities of Japan with 500,000 copies of the Bible in Japanese, Bibles being what the earthquake and flood victims who have lost their shelter and clothes and being without food, most urgently need.

— October 4, 1923

75 Years ago

Dr. Jacob Marcus To Open Lecture Series Offered By Council for Judaism

NEW YORK CITY (Spl) — Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, who holds the Adolph S. Ochs Chair of Jewish History at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, will deliver the first of a series of seven monthly lectures on “The Story of Emancipation” at Freedom House, 20 West 40 Street, New York City, tonight (Thursday, October 7th) at 8:30 p.m.

“Out of the drama of the French Revolution rose a fresh concept of men, a new pattern of life for civilization,” said the Council’s  announcement introducing the lecture series. It is these new patterns of life which freed Jews from the ghetto and profoundly affected all mankind with which these discussions will be concerned.

Cincinnati Social and Personal

– Dr. David Philipson, rabbi emeritus of Rockdale Avenue Temple, is chairman of the board of directors of the Citizenship Council of Cincinnati, which observed its 30th anniversary last week.

– Two local study groups heard College of Home Economics speakers from the University of Cincinnati this week. Speakers will be Mrs. Sidney Rauh, substituting for Mrs. Jeannette McDermott, and Mrs. Nathan Ransohoff. Mrs. Ransohoff and Mrs. McDermott are lecturers on child care and training in the UC college.

Mrs. Sidney Rauh spoke on “Story Telling” before the Westwood Child Study Club Tuesday, Oct. 5th, at the home of Mrs. George Eyrich, 3277 Pickbury Drive.

The combined child study classes of the PTA’s of Lincoln and the McKinley Schools heard Mrs. Nathan Ransohoff Wednesday, Oct. 6th, on “The Young Child at Home and at School.”

— October 7, 1948

50 years ago

Rare Medical Books, Artifacts given to Jewish Hospital

Recent gifts from private collections have greatly enhanced the Jewish Hospital Medical Library’s store of rare and valuable medical books and journals, it was announced today.

Mrs. Julien E. Benjamin Sr. has presented virtually the complete library of valuable and rare books, collected by her husband, the late Dr. Benjamin.

It is estimated to be worth many thousand of dollars but “is actually almost priceless,” according to Mrs. Kay Barkley, medical librarian.

Dr. Hiram B. Weiss, long time chairman of the Medical Staff’s Library Committee, recently presented 40 books on Physical Diagnosis from his personal library, and has given many other interesting and valuable books and artifacts.

Dr. Weiss’s collection of early stethoscopes is in the Medical Library.

Mrs. Abe Berman To Be Honored at Donor Luncheon on Nov. 5th

Members and friends of Esrath Nashim will honor Mrs. Abe Berman for service, at the annual donor luncheon Monday, Nov. 5, at 12 noon, at the Jewish Community Center.

Mrs. Berman, a member 48 years, has served two terms as president, 1942-1947 and 1964-1974. A native of Cincinnati and now residing in Dayton, she has been active in Hadassah, Roselawn Synagogue Sisterhood, Mizrachi, Brandeis, and Ort. She is a past president of Adath Israel Sisterhood.

— October 4, 1973

25 Years ago

David to Lead Downtown Synagogue

Downtown Synagogue has appointed Rabbi Yosef A. David to serve as the spiritual leader of its congregation. An open house reception welcoming David and introducing him to the commuting will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. hosted by Manny Mayerson at his offices at 312 Walnut St. on the 36th floor. A light dairy lunch will be provided. A number of new programs will also be introduced.

David, his wife Miriam and children Yonah and Rochel recently moved to Cincinnati so he could assume the position at the Downtown Synagogue and be a faculty member of the Cincinnati Community Kollel.

JCC offers new general memberships for teens

The JCC is offering a new one year general memberships for teenagers age 13 and older.

The Jewish Community Center has many sports, fitness and social programs of interest to teens. Social sports opportunities include co-ed sports mixers, volleyball, and ping pong. Teens who seek friendly competition may sign up for racquetball and tennis challenge ladders, challenge courts and all racquetball leagues.

— October 8, 1998

10 Years ago

Grand opening celebration of center to help families in need

The community is invited to the Grand Opening Celebration of the Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center 9:30 – 11 am Sunday, October 27, 2013 on the campus of Hebrew Union College in Clifton.

The Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center provides a comprehensive approach to tackling the hardships that accompany poverty, hunger, and mental illness.

“A 2008 community survey identified 1,100 low-income Jewish households in Cincinnati, and another 1,625 households that are just one car repair, one job layoff, or one health setback from descending into poverty. Along with poverty, hunger, and mental illness, come the hardships of homelessness, fear, isolation, stress and despair,” said Beth Schwartz, Jewish Family Service Executive Director.

JCC and Rockwern preschoolers celebrate Sukkot together

On Monday, September 23, four year olds from the JCC Early Childhood School and Rockwern Academy joined together with their families to celebrate Sukkot and enjoy a meal in the sukkah.

“We were so proud to host the luncheon in our community sukkah for students and their fam- ilies from both Rockwern and the JCC Early Childhood School. It was an excellent opportunity to bring together young members of our community, and showcase the fantastic artwork that was on display as part of our Community Sukkah – Under One Roof. Facilitating this sort of collaboration is what the JCC is all about,” said Marc Fisher, CEO of the Mayerson JCC.

— October 3, 2013