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.

 1939 | Dr. J. Louis Ransohoff, Rabbi Abraham Franzblau, Julius Holzberg, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus and Henry C. Segal establish what would become the Jewish Community Relations Council. 

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

Pins and Needles

Pins are of very ancient invention, as they were manufactured by the Egyptians in the time of the Pharaohs. Many of these useful articles were found in the tombs of her kings in the Pyramids. Some them were of quite elaborate manufacture, and must have been costly as they had gold heads and were six to eight inches in length. Needles are also supposed to be of great antiquity, and their introduction in Europe is said to have taken place at the time of the Saracen invasion and conquest of Spain.

Editor’s Note: Ancient pins like those mentioned here were quite common not only in Egypt but across Mesopotamia as well. Many of them have ornate heads and can be quite long. Given their extreme length, scholars have considered many different uses for these pins. They may have served as cloak fasteners, hair decorations, or even as decorative votives that may have been stuck into the walls of tombs. An example of some of these pins, from the Iranian province of Luristan and dating to the Iron Age, can be viewed in the Ancient Middle East gallery at the Cincinnati Art Museum. 


Re-Settlement of Virginia 

Every steamer that now reaches Norfolk from Europe brings large numbers of emigrants, a good share of which settle in Virginia. The Norfolk Journal has the following: 

An event of no ordinary character in the history of Norfolk occurred Monday. A British steamer landed more than ninety settlers for the South, fifty of them seeking homes in Virginia. 

And these fifty were no ordinary immigrants. Two-thirds of them came in cabin passengers, and their luggage exceeded in nearly every case the $500 allowed by law. And all were from England. 

Among them was a retired Colonel of the British army, with his accomplished wife and daughters, ladies who would grace any society, in the way of their new homes, already purchased within the morning shadow of the Peaks of Otter. 

No one could see these English settlers as they left the Moravian, with their bright intelligent faces and robust forms, without feeling that they could not be in any way inferior of those English settlers who more than a century ago peopled Virginia with a race, of whom descended the best, the bravest, and the most brilliant of American children. 

Quietly, but steadily, a stream of this fresh English blood is pouring into our old commonwealth, infusing her with new life and energy, and preparing her for that coming era when she shall again be peerless in the constellation of States.” 

— June 21, 1872


125 Years Ago

A Denial 

Hereby and herewith I deny and denounce as an unfounded falsehood, that statement that Isaac M. Wise and Isaac Leeser in 1860 shared the opinion of Dr. Raphael — as stated in the Jewish Chronicle of London (p.25) — that slavery was a divine institution, sanctioned by the Old Testament Scriptures, or that there is on record one paragraph to show that the said Isaac M. Wise ever was a proslavery man or favored the institution of slavery at any time. ISAAC M. WISE. 



-There are between three and four hundred Jewish lawyers in the city of New York. Some of them are very successful practitioners at the bar, and more than one of them has been elevated to the bench. 

-Turkey in Asia has no more than 125,000 Jewish inhabitants, most of whom live in Bagdad, Aleppo and Smyrna, almost all of them descendants of Spanish or Portuguese Jews. This does not include the Jews in Yemen and the interior of Arabia who are much more numerous, only they can not be counted, as no census was ever taken in Yemen. 

-A student of a Roman Catholic seminary in Poland, the son of a wealthy family, came to the conclusion that Judaism is the true religion. He left his country and his seminary, came to New York, was instructed by one Rabbi Hochstein and was accepted into the covenant of Israel, in the congregation of Sichru Thorath Mosheh — and no missionary received a cent for this conversion. 

— June 24, 1897


100 Years Ago

Harvard Faculty Silences Race Discrimination Cry by Denying Admission Board More Power

Boston, Mass. — The hubbub aroused over the alleged campaign against the admission of Jews to Harvard has been silenced for the time being at least, by the spiking of the guns of those behind the campaign. It is understood that the Harvard faculty has refused to grant the Admission Board the increased power that would have been necessary to make the alleged anti-Jewish drive effective. 

Editor’s Note: The phrase “spiking of the guns” refers to a method of disabling a cannon or muzzle-loaded gun by sticking a barbed spike into the vent at the rear of the weapon. 



-The Haham Bashi of Turkey has made a statement on the Greek reports that the Jews in the Ottoman State were threatened with persecution. He denied the Greek assertions and characterized the relations of the Jews and Turks as very cordial. 

-A number of Jews were wounded during anti-Semitic disturbances at Siedlece. At Lubin the Jews held a demonstration against the revival of anti-Semitic agitation in Poland. The first attempt to hold the meeting was upset by the local anti-Semitic students. 

-Eighty-eight thousand Jewish orphans under the age of fourteen are registered at the orphan bureau of the Joint Distribution Committee in Warsaw, of whom 38,000 were bereft of their natural protectors through the fortunes of war or the brutalities of the pogroms. 

-A page from the famous Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, dating back half a century before the discovery of America, has just been given to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by Martin C. Schwab. 

Editor’s Note: The Art Institute of Chicago still possesses this page of the Gutenberg Bible. The page itself came from a copy of the Bible that had been unbound and sold separately by the book dealer Gabriel Wells. The individual leaves were sold for about one hundred and fifty dollars (one thousand and five hundred dollars today). The decision to separate and sell the leaves of the volume separately was so that they could reach a larger market than a single bound volume.   

— June 22, 1922


75 Years Ago

Pope Receives JDC Aides

Rome (JTA) — Pope Pius XII received Moses A Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, and Jacob L. Trobe, its director in Italy. They discussed the general situation of the displaced and other Jews of Europe. The Pope expressed the hope that the problem of the 230,000 displaced Jews in Germany, Austria and Italy would be solved shortly.


 Many Organizations Aid in Contributions to Jewish Welfare Fund

Thirty-four organizations are listed by Maurice J. Sievers, Cincinnati Jewish Welfare Fund campaign director, as contributors in the current drive to raise $1,489,000 in Cincinnati, and it is expected that others will join the list. 

The largest contribution to be made by any of the organizations comes from the Keren Ami Fund of Cincinnati. Other organizations that lead the list in amount contributed, in order, are Jewish Care and Relief for the Tuberculous, Ohav Shalom Congregation, Burnet Avenue; B’nai B’rith Bowling League, and Jack Schenker Memorial Club. 


Cincinnati Social and Personal

-The Omega Sigma Phi sorority won its second successive baseball victory over O.V.O. sorority on June 8th. Sylvia Gidney, former vice president of Omega now residing in Florida, attended the game. 

After the game, members of both sororities had a swimming party. 

-Mr. And Mrs. Joseph C. Fogel, 326 Park Avenue, Newport, Ky., are giving a lawn party at their summer home in Melbourne, Ky., on Sunday, June 22nd, from 4 p.m. to 12, in honor of the graduation from grammar school of their daughter, Blanche. Among those attending will be many out-of-town guests and relatives.

-Mr. and Mrs. Jospeh Bernstein, Forest Avenue, announce the engagement of their daughter, Shirley, to Mr. Adolph Burke Kaplan, Cleveland, Ohio, and formerly of Indianola, Miss., and the late Mr. Dave Kaplan. 

— June 19, 1947


50 Years Ago

Kushnir Jewish Education Fund Scholarship Awards Announced

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Moseh and Dvorah Kushnir Jewish Education Fund, Mordchai Goldfarb and Nachum Eden presented scholarships for the summer of 1972 to the following: Henry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rosen; David, son of Mr. and Mrs. Irving Kutas; and Jesse, son of Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Cohen. 


Bar Mitzvah

Dr. And Mrs. Saul Bloomfield, 4110 Rose Hill Avenue, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Matthew Charles, June 24, at 9 a.m., at the North Avondale Synagogue, 3870 Reading Road. Rabbi I. S. Emmanuel will officiate. 

Matthew is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Morris Steinberg and Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Bloomfield, all of Montreal. 


Bas Mitzvah

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin M. Wick announce the Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Judith Helene, Saturday, July 1, at 10:45 a.m., at Wise Center, N. Crescent Avenue and Reading Road. 

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and to attend the Kiddush following services. 

Judith is the granddaughter of Mrs. Erich Hofmann of Cincinnati and the late Dr. Erich Hofmann and Mr. and Mrs. Peter E. Wick, of Milwaukee. 

— June 22, 1972


25 Years Ago

Flicker to head Board of Rabbis

The Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis elected new officers during its annual Rabbinic Kallah, on June 5. Rabbi Arthur Flicker will serve as president; Rabbi Sol Greenberg, vice president; and Rabbi David Weisberg, secretary-treasurer. 


Zelcer becomes Lilah president 

Fannie Zelcer was recently installed as the president of the Lilah Group of the Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah. Officers and board members of the group were also installed. 

For the first time, the Lilah and Szold Group officers and board members were installed together. “The Szold Group incoming president asked me if we could have joint installations. I thought it was a perfect opportunity for the two groups to meet,” Zelcer explained. 

Zelcer has been active in the Lilah group for more than 10 years. She became active after she retired from the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College, where she worked for 32 years. She also served on numerous Hadassah committees. 

— June 26, 1997


10 Years Ago

Peres calls for renewed peace talks in medal ceremony 

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres called for a renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians. 

“Israel and the Palestinians are ripe today to restart” peace talks, Peres said at the White House ceremony on Wednesday. “A firm basis already exists. A solution of two national states: a Jewish state — Israel. An Arab state — Palestine. The Palestinians are our closest neighbors. I believe they may become our closest friends.”


Israeli teens visit Cincinnati, local Boy Scout camp 

On June 20, eight 14-year-old scouts from Israel (three boys and five girls) will arrive in Cincinnati, taking part in an exchange program facilitated by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. The scouts will attend two one-week sessions at Camp Friedlander, an overnight Boy Scout Camp. 

— June 21, 2012

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