Sept. 23, 1920 — Shas Rabbi Ovada Yosef Is Born

Ovadia Yosef, a Sephardi rabbi, politician and community leader, is born in Baghdad. He moves to Jerusalem at age 4. He is ordained at 20 and becomes Cairo’s chief rabbi at 27 before returning to Israel, where he becomes chief rabbi in 1973. He becomes the spiritual leader of Shas when the party forms in 1983. He supports trading land for true peace. Nearly seven hundred thousand people attend his funeral in 2013.


Courtesy of: Israeli Government Press Office. Photo by Moshe Miller

President Shimon Peres joins a celebration at the home of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (center) in Jerusalem in February 2011



Sept 24, 1950 — Operation Magic Carpet Concludes

Two planes carrying one hundred seventy seven Jews to Israel from Aden mark the final flights of Operation Magic Carpet, the airlift of Jews from their ancient community in Yemen. Nearly fifty thousand Yemeni Jews are flown to Israel during the fifteen-month operation, also known as On the Wings of Eagles. The operation took advantage of a change in Yemeni law that allowed Jews to emigrate as long as they sold their homes and property first.



Courtesy of: National Photo Collection of Israel. Photo by Teddy Brauner

Yemeni Jews make the flight to Israel during Operation Magic Carpet in October 1949


Sept. 25, 1982 — Israelis Protest Massacre in Lebanon

An estimated four hundred thousand protesters in Tel Aviv answer the massacre of four hundred to thirty five hundred Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon with a demand for an investigation into Israel’s role. The demonstration, organized by 4-year-old Peace Now, involves roughly ten percent of Israel’s population. The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia, an Israeli ally, carried out the massacre Sept. 16 to 18.


Courtesy of: National Photo Collection of Israel.Photo by Miki Shuvitz

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Sept. 25, 1982, demand an official investigation into Israel’s responsibility for the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon



Sept. 26, 2002 — Rabbi Warhaftig Dies

Rabbi Zerach Warhaftig, a founder of the National Religious Party and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies at 96 in Jerusalem. A native of Belarus, he became involved in religious Zionism as a teen in Poland. He went to Lithuania at the start of World War II and was part of a delegation that persuaded Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara to issue exit visas for thousands of Jews. Warhaftig made aliyah in 1947.


Courtesy of: National Photo Collection of Israel. photo by Teddy Brauner

Rabbi Zerach Warhaftig, shown as a Knesset member in late 1951, helped found the National Religious Party



Sept. 27, 1955 — Egypt Announces Czech Arms Deal

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser reveals that Czechoslovakia will supply his nation large Soviet weaponry, including tanks, MiG-15 fighter planes and heavy bombers. The Czechs were crucial arms suppliers for Israel in the 1948 war, and the switch to Egypt influences Israel’s decision to go to war in 1956. The deal represents eight-five percent of all foreign weapons sent to the Middle East between 1951 and 1956.



Courtesy of: National Photo Collection of Israel. Photo by Moshe Pridan

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser is depicted next to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion during Tel Aviv’s Adloyada parade at Purim in 1956


Sept. 28, 1995 — Interim Palestinian Deal Is Signed

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sign the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, known as Oslo II, at a White House ceremony attended by Jordan’s King Hussein as well as President Bill Clinton. The deal establishes the Palestinian Authority as an elected, self-governing body and says neither side should take unilateral action on the status of the West Bank or Gaza Strip.


Courtesy of: Israeli Government Press Office. Photo by Ya’acov Sa’ar

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat shake hands in front of President Bill Clinton after signing the Oslo II agreement Sept. 28, 1995. Jordan’s King Hussein applauds them.



Sept. 29, 1947 — Arab Committee Rejects U.N. Partition Plan

The Arab Higher Committee for Palestine formally rejects the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine’s partition plan, which calls for separate Jewish and Arab states and an international zone around Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency accepts the plan days later. The United Nations created the committee at the request of Britain, which found its mandate challenged by violence between Jews and Arabs and against the British.


The U.N. partition plan called for an international zone around Jerusalem and a smaller Jewish state than emerged after the War of Independence.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details. 


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