Each week The American Israelite will print one milestone related to the history of the Cincinnati Jewish community over the last 200 years, provided by the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial. Each milestone weaves Jewish history within the greater context of our community’s development, and our country at large.
1989 | Mayerson Hall is dedicated on the campus of HUC to house the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems and provides a multipurpose auditorium and conference room.
Learn even more about the history of Jewish Cincinnati at https://www.jewishcincy200.org/historical-milestones
This Jewish Bicentennial ad is sponsored by The American Israelite
150 YEARS AGO
Victor Hugo’s works are reported to have brought his publishers to bankruptcy.
Henry Ward Beecher owns dogs and writes twaddle about them for the New York Ledger.
Editor’s Note: The Beecher family resided in Cincinnati, Ohio for a time. Henry Ward Beecher was a Congregationalist pastor who was known for his abolitionist views and for an adultery trial that took place in 1875. His affair was outed publicly by his own sister, Isabella Beecher Hooker, who was an advocate of free love, which her brother opposed. Seeing his behavior as unforgivable hypocrisy, Beecher Hooker published it in her weekly paper. The story was published on November 2, 1872, not long after this item about Ward Beecher was written in the Israelite. The dogs to which the Israelite’s writers refer are unknown, but the quote which is perhaps tacitly referenced here is “The dog was created specially for children. He is a god of frolic.”
It is a fact that we have no literary talent of note among our American rabbis. But it is no less a fact, that most of our people do not care about it.
Prince Charles of Roumania, on a certain festive occasion pardoned fifty criminals, among also the Hebrews unjustly accused and barbarously condemned, to please a lawless mob.
The dedication sermon of Rev. Dr. Schlesinger, laid aside last week by mistake appears in this week's columns. It is a well written paper which deserves particular perusal.
An unfortunate mother in New York having lost three of her daughters by attacks of insanity, and seeing finally also her youngest daughter, taken to the lunatic asylum, committee suicide by cutting her throat, dying ten minutes after the commission of the horrid deed.
The Star of the West, and the Protestantische Zeitblaetter are the only liberal papers in Cincinnati teaching Christianity; and these are exactly the sheets which are carefully ignored by the entire press of this city though both are ably edited and well provided with a respectable portion of well written original matter. We must confess that we read them with a good deal of pleasure.
—September 27, 1872
125 YEARS AGO
A Card to Friends
On behalf of my family as well as for myself I hereby thank the many kind friends who have remembered us with congratulations and good wishes upon the Rosh Hashanah. They are too numerous to be replied to individually, but as we regard the Israelite as a personal message from ourselves to each and every one of our readers, we hope that this will be deemed an acknowledgement of our appreciation and gratitude. We trust that the year just begun will be one of prosperity, health and happiness to each and every one of them and that we may all be here at its close to greet each other again.
-Isaac M. Wise
A map of Jerusalem, in mosaic, over 1,500 years old, is reported to have been found at Madaba, in Palestine. It is said to have been discovered in uncovering the ruins of an ancient church about to be rebuilt. The entire pavement of the old church was a mosaic map of Palestine, many parts of which had been worn away or broken off. That part containing the city of Jerusalem was more or less perfect, only a part of the wall at the southwest corner being missing. The well-known scholar and archaeologist M.J.Lagrango, who lives in Jerusalem has just written a description of the mosaic.
Editor’s Note: The map is part of the floor mosaic in the Byzantine church of St. George in Madaba, Jordan. It is the oldest cartographic representation of the region, especially Jerusalem, dating to around the sixth century CE. It is speculated that the mosaic was made for the Christian population of Madaba. The mosaic was uncovered when a Greek Orthodox Church was built on the site. Large parts of the map have been damaged since it was found, but several archaeologists began restoration of the remaining pieces of it in 1965.
— September 30, 1897
100 YEARS AGO
Ur of the Chaldees
It was out of Ur of the Chaldees that Abraham came. And with him came Sarai. They became the parents of a mighty race.
But the old records which we have perused through the centuries are vague and dim with references to the star-gazer of the deserts and the fair mother of the Hebrew people. To know more intimately the story of their lives while yet they lived in that realm which lies behind the known record would be a satisfaction and pleasure beyond compare.
And it is likely that we shall know of these things in the not distant future. For Ur of the Chaldees, the ancestral home of the Patriarch Abraham, is to be explored down through the accumulated dust of the ages by men who have learned how to decipher the most ancient of scripts, experts of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Actual digging will be begun early in October. Southern Mesopotamia awaits the coming of the scholars. England now holds a Mandate over Mesopotamia, and for the first time the men of science will go to work unimpaired by Moslem prejudice and obstructions.
What will be found down below the century-shifting sands of the Mesopotamian deserts? We soon shall know. Whatever wealth of ancient knowledge is discovered will become the property of the world, for the two museums will share equally in all finds, none of the treasures will go now to Constantinople.
Editor’s Note: The site discussed in this article is Ur, a Sumerian city-state located in southern Iraq. The site dates to about 3800 BCE and is critical to modern understandings of the development of ancient urban cultures, art, and commerce. No evidence has been found to link it to any biblical narrative.
The author of this piece also celebrates the lack of “Moslem prejudice and obstruction” and the fact that the finds will not go to Constantinople. This is a reference to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, after which the Middle East and other Ottoman territory was divided between Great Britain, France, Belgium, and other western countries.
— September 28, 1922
75 YEARS AGO
Staff Preparing Adult Program
Numerous adult activities are in the process of formation and will begin soon, members of the Adult Staff of the Jewish Center reported early this week.
Classes will be held in a variety of popular subjects, including those which have been on the Center’s schedule for several years as well as a new number of classes to meet new needs.
Persons interested in participating in a particular group are asked to contact Mrs. Leon Felson, assistant Adult Activities Director, at the Center, UN 7800.
Bond Hill Roselawn Group Announces Deal Closed for New Home
The closing of the deal by which the Bond Hill-Roselawn Hebrew School (Hebrew Institute - Beth Am) came into possession of its own home, Elizabeth Place at Reading Road, took Place Friday, Sept. 19th, in the law offices of Stanley Silversteen.
— September 25, 1947
50 YEARS AGO
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin B. Blatt cordially invite you to share their happiness in the Bar Mitzvah celebration of their younger son, Brandon, Sunday, October 8, 9:45 a.m. at Congregation Ohav Shalom, 1834 Section Road.
Ethyl and Edwin Blatt would like their friends and relatives to attend a luncheon and reception immediately following the ceremony at their home, 7900 Rollingknolls Drive.
Brandon’s paternal grandparents are Mrs. Clara Blatt and the late Mr. Rudolph Blatt. Brandon’s maternal grandparents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Sher.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Roth are happy to announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, David Alan, on Oct. 7th at 9 a.m., at Adath Israel Synagogue.
Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend Kiddush following services.
David is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Weiss, Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Bartel, all of Cincinnati and Mr. Louis Roth of California.
Mrs. Robert Litwin, 2664 Vera Avenue, announces the forthcoming Bart Mitzah of Scott Howard Litwin, the son of the late Mr. Robert F. Litwin, on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m. at Ohav Sholom Synagogue, 1834 Section Road.
Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend the Kiddush following the services. No cards.
Scott is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Kaplan and Mrs. Jacob Litwin, and the late Mr. Jacob Litwin.
—September 28, 1972
25 YEARS AGO
Boymel gift to house Kollel staff
Sam and Rachel Boymel recently purchased two apartment buildings in Golf Manor, which will be the new home for the staff at the Cincinnati Community Kollel.
The properties, on Elbrook Avenue, are adjacent to the Sam and Rachel Boymel Campus of Cincinnati Hebrew Day school, and were chosen for the central location in the Jewish neighborhood in Golf Manor.
“We routinely build bridges over impassable places; however, can one build a bridge from an impossible place?“ comments Steve Rosedale, president of the Kollel. “Such a place was the concentration camp. Sam Boymel not only built a bridge from that horrendous past to the present, but is building bridges from the present to the future,” Rosedale continued
“Sam and his wife, Rachel, have been champions of Jewish education for many years, ensuring that institutions in their hometown, such as Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, Yavneh Day School and RITSS Girls High School, as well as educational institutions around the world , will continue to thrive on solid foundations.
— October 2, 1997
10 YEARS AGO
New joint graduate program in Judaic Studies expands UC’s strategic partnerships
Judaism and its rich cultural traditions spanning more than 3,000 years will be explored through a groundbreaking new program in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Judaic Studies. This certificate will usher in an era of strategic collaboration with Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC- JIR), thereby expanding UC and HUC resources and providing students with a unique introduction to graduate learning and research in the vast field of Jewish Studies.
This first-of-its-kind collabora- tion between UC’s Judaic Studies Department and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion explores new ways to offer students in-depth and comprehensive learning experiences.
“The joint graduate program will cast an ideal mold by creatively interfacing the missions and visions of a public and a private institution,” says Gila Safran Naveh, head of the Judaic Studies Department.
—September 27, 2012