Sept. 30, 1957 — Backdated Signature Facilitates Nuclear Program


September 30: Courtesy of: National Photo Collection of Israel. Photo by Yaron Mirlin

Former French Prime Minister Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury visits Israeli Finance Minister Levi Eshkol in June 1958, less than nine months after he approved French participation in Israel’s nuclear project at Dimona

French Prime Minister Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury backdates to today his signature on a letter granting Israel’s request for cooperation on a heavy-water nuclear reactor. He actually signs the letter Oct. 1, the day he is voted out of office, but he uses Sept. 30 to ensure the validity of his approval. The agreement emphasizes peaceful power-generating purposes, but the project is meant to facilitate weapons programs.



Oct. 1, 1981 — Aircraft to be Sold to Saudi Arabia


October 1: Courtesy of: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force’s AWACS aircraft upgraded Saudi Arabia’s ability to track enemy planes

President Ronald Reagan announces a plan to sell American F-15 fighter jets and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes to Saudi Arabia. Israel opposes the sale, but Reagan says, “It is not the business of other nations to make American foreign policy.” He says the sale is not a threat to Israel. Despite the opposition of fifty nine percent of Americans in a Harris Poll, the AWACS sale moves ahead, and the first planes are delivered in 1985.



Oct. 2, 1947 — Jewish Agency Accepts Partition Plan


October 2:

The U.N. Special Committee on Palestine presented this map for the division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem given a special international status

David Ben-Gurion, the chairman and Executive of the Jewish Agency, formally accepts the partition plan proposed by the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine, which a month earlier released its report recommending the division of the British Mandate of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Ben-Gurion says the three priorities of Palestine’s Jews are defense, a Jewish state and a resolution with the Arabs, in that order.



Oct. 3, 2005 — Choreographer Levy-Tanai Dies


October 3: Courtesy of: Israel Press and Photo Agency, Dan Hadani Collection, National Library of Israel, CC BY 4.0

Jerusalem native Sarah Levy-Tanai won the Israel Prize in 1973

Sarah Levy-Tanai, a choreographer who incorporated Mizrahi and Ashkenazi elements and won the Israel Prize in art, music and dance in 1973, dies at age 94 or 95 (the Jerusalem native was never sure whether she was born in 1910 or 1911). The daughter of Yemeni parents, she founded the Inbal Dance Theater in 1949 and directed it into the 1990s. As a teacher, she also wrote plays and composed songs and dances for kindergartners.



Oct. 4, 2003 — Suicide Bomber Strikes Haifa Restaurant


October 4: Photo by Gal Almog

A memorial to the Maxim victims stands next to the rebuilt restaurant in Haifa

A suicide bombing kills eighteen Jews and three Arabs and injures sixty others at Maxim restaurant in Haifa. The beachfront restaurant, co-owned by Jews and Christian Arabs, is known as a symbol of coexistence. Hanadi Jaradat, 28, detonates her explosive belt in the middle of Maxim, and metal fragments spray around the restaurant. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for the attack, the sixth female suicide bombing of the Second Intifada.



Oct. 5, 1941 — Louis Brandeis Dies


 October 5:

Louis Brandeis wrote in 1915 that “loyalty to America demands … that each American Jew become a Zionist”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish member of the high court, dies at age 84 in Washington. His embrace of Zionism made its support more acceptable among American Jews. Through his friendship with President Woodrow Wilson, he helped secure U.S. support for the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the British Mandate in Palestine in 1922. Brandeis visited Palestine in 1919 and inspired the Palestine Economic Corp.



Oct. 6, 1914 — Emergency Jewish Aid Reaches Palestine


October 6:

This telegram from Henry Morgenthau on Aug. 31, 1914, inspired American Jews, led by Jacob Schiff and Louis Marshall, to raise fifty thousand dollars for Jews in Palestine

Gold worth fifty thousand dollars, raised in two days by American Jewish leaders in response to a plea from Henry Morgenthau, arrives in Jaffa on the USS North Carolina to help the Jewish community in Palestine. Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, had visited Palestine and sent U.S. Jewish philanthropist Jacob Schiff a telegram on Aug. 31 about his concerns that World War I would cut off European support for the community.

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


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