Nov. 26, 2013 — Singer Arik Einstein Dies


An aortic aneurysm kills singer/songwriter Arik Einstein at age 74 in Tel Aviv, leading thousands of fans to gather the next day in Rabin Square. A Tel Aviv native and star high school athlete, Einstein took up music during his military service. He blended folk and rock music across about 50 albums and was a driving force in the development of Israeli rock. In 2012 newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth called him Israel’s best singer ever.


Nov. 27, 1914 — JDC Is Founded


The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is founded with the merger of the Central Relief Committee and the American Jewish Relief Committee. The organization is a response to the distress caused to Jewish communities in Europe and Palestine by World War I. The primary objective is to aid Jews worldwide in a timely and collective fashion. The JDC puts out a call for donations from “all Jews of every shade of thought.”


Nov. 28, 1961 — Operation Yachin Begins


After a two-year ban on Jewish emigration from Morocco, Israel launches Operation Yachin to help Moroccans make aliyah via France or Italy. By the operation’s end in 1964, more than 97,000 members of the ancient Jewish community leave Morocco. Israel pays Morocco $500,000, plus $100 each for the first 50,000 emigrants and $250 each after that. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society contributes $50 million toward the effort.


Nov. 29, 1928 — Meretz Founder Aloni Is Born


Shulamit Aloni, a civil rights activist and politician who starts the left-wing Meretz party, is born in Tel Aviv (some sources say she is born in December 1927 or 1928). She starts working with David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party in 1959 and is first elected to the Knesset in 1965. She leaves Mapai’s successor, Labor, to start Ratz in 1973, then merges Ratz with Mapam and Shinui to form Meretz in 1992. She dies in January 2014.


Nov. 30, 1947 — Jews Are Attacked in Arab Cities


The U.N. partition vote the previous day not only sparks violence between Jews and Arabs in Palestine — the first phase of Israel’s War of Independence — but also leads to riots against Jews in such cities as Damascus, Cairo, Beirut and Aden. A 1,000-year-old Torah manuscript is badly damaged in an attack on Aleppo’s Great Synagogue. The leaders of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University declare a holy war against Zionists.


Dec.1, 1973 — David Ben-Gurion Dies

ben gurion

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, dies at the Tel HaShomer-Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv at 87 a few weeks after suffering a stroke. Born David Gruen, he made aliyah from Poland in 1906 and rose to lead the Jewish Agency and the birth of the modern state of Israel. An estimated 100,000 people visit his coffin at the Knesset before his brief funeral two days later. He is buried at Sde Boker beside his wife, Paula.


Dec. 2, 2010 — Carmel Fire Breaks Out


Israel’s deadliest forest fire begins in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa when a teenager discards a piece of charcoal from a water pipe outside the Druze village of Usfiyye. The fire consumes more than 8,000 acres and 5 million trees in four days and kills 44 people, including 37 prison service officers dispatched to evacuate Damon prisoners. Two dozen countries send Israel firefighters, aircraft and fire suppressant to stop the blaze.


Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.

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