In the Beginning: 1854

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

The Method of our Know-Little. — The Jewish Know-Little organ of Philadelphia, unable to depress any longer its rage about the rapid pores of the Israelite, is down on it, slandering and abusing it in the most severe terms at the command of its unhappy editor; because, as it is stated there, the Israelite, gave publicity to two well written articles on a Bible version of the above editor.

It is true, things not worth a man’s time, must not be taken under consideration; and a Bible version, almost every page of which shows, that the unfortunate author belongs to the band of Know-Little, certainly belongs to this category.

Still we are supposed to have a right to do as we please in this respect, and our readers will censure us, if they deem the subject too dry to bring it before them. 

As regards the unfortunate editor of the Philadelphia Know-Little paper, we have to call to his mind a passage of a Prophet, “But the wicket are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicket.” (Isaiah Lvii. 20.21.)

— October 13, 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.

Editors Note: This brief note from Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise was included in last week’s “From the Pages,” originally appearing in the October 3, 1873 issue. Accordingly, there is no material to share from October 10, as Dr. Wise did indeed take this week off to catch up on his work.

— October 10, 1873

125 Years ago

All honor to Judge Utley of Worcester, Mass. Two young roughs, about 21 years of age, were brought before him for disturbing the worship in the synagog of that city and assaulting the congregation with stones as they come out. Judge Utley neglected to give the hoodlums the customary lecture of religious liberty as guaranteed by the constitution, but as he gave them eight months each in the House of Correction, nobody will blame him.


– There are in the city of Buenos Ayres, Argentina, five Jewish congregations, three of German and French immigrants, one Sephardic and one Russian.

– The Jewish population of the cities of Palestine has increased largely, so that Jerusalem, with a population of 60,000 has a Jewish population of 41,000; Joppa, 35,000, has 7,000; Tiberias, 4,000, has 2,6000; Safed, 25,000, has 13,000. Although the Jews are in the majority in three cities, they are in the minority in the whole country; they form barely ten per cent of the population of Palestine.

– At Birmingham, Ala., the Y.M.A., I.O.B.B. lodge and the Youth’s Auxilliary thereto have very sensibly joined their forces to have a winter of intellectual activity as well as social pleasures.

— October 13, 1898

100 Years ago

Hebrew Union College

Dr. Julian Morgenstern, President of the Hebrew Union College, is in New York City in the interest of the Hebrew Union College School for Teachers, which is being established in New York City under the auspices of the Hebrew Union College. The school is being organized for the purposes of training teachers for the religious schools.

Regular Saturday afternoon divine services will be held in the Chapel of the College at three o’clock. The sermon will be preached by Senior Philip Bookstaber, and the services read by Student Eugene Blachschleger, of the Collegiate Department. The public is cordially invited to attend.


– When a man, pointing a revolver, entered a Philadelphia haberdashery story, the proprietor, Samuel Liss, ran out to call a policeman and left 17-year-old Henry Goldberg to face the problem. In the face of the revolver and the man’s threat to loot the place the lad brought the man’s attention to collars and actually sold him a dozen, for which he paid and disappeared. — Special Dispatch to Cincinnati Enquirer.

– Germany may be able to settle the reparation question, re-establish on a satisfactory basis her political relations with other nations, but she has alienated for a long time to come what little sympathy there was for her by her political assassinations and by her violent anti-Semitism.

– It has come to the knowledge of Henry Ford, the Jew-baiter, and his colleagues that there is a society of Jews in Cleveland that lends money to necessitous Jews, and in some cases even Christians, and asks no interest. Of course, this is astounding news to Mr. Ford, and it will probably surprise him still more to learn that societies of this kind operate in every city of the whole world where they are needed, and not only the wealthy Jews but even to a greater extent those who have but little more than they actually need from day to day, supply the necessary capital, usually in the form of annual contributions, which increases the available amount from year to year. It can, also, be truly stated that these organizations pay no salaries and have little or no overhead expenses. The work is all done by volunteers and desk room is given without charge. But, of course, it is useless to hope that the obtaining of information of this kind will in the least abate Mr. Ford’s malignity.

— October 11, 1923

75 Years ago

Carl E. Pritz Mourned

Carl E. Pritz, of Cincinnati, a national lay leader in the fields of Reform Judaism and philanthropy, passed away Saturday, Oct. 9th, at the age of 70.

A native Cincinnatian, Mr. Pritz was former president of the Strauss-Pritz Distillers.

He was an honorary member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College. For many years he had served as a member of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Mr. Pritz was a past president of Wise Temple and Big Brothers Association.

Mr. Pritz was a founder of the Jewish Vocational Service, its president in 1939-43 and honorary president from 1943 until his death.

SOS Drive Successful, Community Generous

Five van loads of canned foods, clothes and shoes destined for European Jews rolled out of Cincinnati Wednesday, October 6th.

Donated by the Jewish Community through SOS (Supplies for Overseas Survivors), the cargo is on its way to JDF warehouses in the East where it will be sorted and boxed for overseas shipment.

Mrs. Seymour Arenstein, collections chairman of the recent drive, said the campaign was “extremely successful and the response by  the community was admirable.

Distribution to destitute Jews will be made in time for Hanukkah.

— October 14, 1948

50 years ago

Bar Mitzvah

Our son, Yehoash Rahm, will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah, on Sabbath morning, the twentieth of October, nineteen hundred and seventy-three, at nine o’clock. Our family will enjoy having you worship with us and join us for the Kiddish following services at Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Jewish Community Center, 1580 Summit Road.

Yehoash is the grandson of Mrs. Rickie Ceasar of Albany, N.Y., and Mr. & Mrs. Milton Enzer of Scarsdale, N.Y. He is the great grandson of Mrs. Mary Hofflich of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Laura and Charles Enzer. 

— October 11, 1973

25 Years ago

How well do you know this week’s sedra? Take this quiz.

By Phyllis Singer


In this week’s paper, The American Israelite, in cooperation with the Cincinnati Community Kollel, begins a new educational feature about the Torah portion of the week.

“Test Your Knowledge,” provided by the Kollel, presents a series of questions and answers about the weekly sedra (selection).

The American Israelite and the Kollel hope that this new feature — in combination with The Israelite’s ongoing feature “Sedra of the Week” — will enhance the community’s understanding of the weekly Torah portion and the role that the Torah plays in the life of the Jewish people.

— October 15, 1998

10 Years ago

New Skirball Museum Interim Director brings energy, original exhibits

Abby S. Schwartz, the new Interim Director of the Skirball Museum on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, isn’t wasting any time bringing fresh exhibitions and energy to the institution.

When Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, Dean of the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), announced the appointment of Schwartz on July 1, he said, “Abby Schwartz brings extraordinary talent, energy, and experience to the Skirball Museum and our entire College-Institute community. As our Skirball Museum grows and develops, we look forward to her assuming this leadership role. I have every confidence that Abby Schwartz will raise the profile of the Skirball Museum in our community and beyond, enhance its programs, and increase its contribution to the cultural life of our region.”

Cincinnati teens invited to attend March of the Living

In April, 2014, a group of Jewish teenagers from Cincinnati will make the choice to march into Auschwitz. Why? Because they can. For them it’s a choice. For their ancestors, it was not. It’s about showing the world that those who sought to destroy the Jewish people, couldn’t. It’s about joining with Jewish teens from around the world and proclaiming in a voice 10,000 strong… NEVER AGAIN!

— October 10, 2013