In the Beginning: 1854

Each week The American Israelite will print an item from the first year of our publication, 1854. 


Letter-Box of the Israelite 

We request some of our friends who write for the paper to drop the editorial privilege “we,” and write in the first person singular number so that the editor may not be made to issue any statements but his own.


November 10, 1854







An Israelite in Pittsburg, Pa., has been granted two patents for the following inventions: The first sounds rather small. It is an improvement in manufacturing and packing shoe-blacking; but we are reliably informed, it is a source of considerable profit to those who manufacture the article, and by this invention are enabled to sell the ounce at four cents, including the box, which is ingeniously replaced. The second is of great importance. It is an apparatus, in case of a conflagration, to rescue persons and property from any height in a building, and, if required, to bring persons up, without danger, to any window of a burning house. The inventor, Mr. Charles Herold, No. 60 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburg, Pa., will explain the patents to anybody who wishes to know the particulars. 



It is estimated that there are at least fifty thousand commercial travelers in the United States. 


Sandal-wood ear-rings are very fashionable now, and are made out of the soles of old worn-out sandals.


Over a hundred men subsist in London by sharpening knives. 


Why does a freight car need no locomotive? Because the freight itself makes the cargo. 


Prof. Haydn writes to the Secretary of the Interior that the survey of the Yellowstone region this year has been very successful; that every step has been one of scientific advancement, and that he will return to Washington laden with treasures in the way of choice mineral specimens. 

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November 8, 1872 


President McKinley’s Thanksgiving proclamation is as little objectionable as a document of this kind can possibly be. It is entirely free from sectarianism. We do not believe it to be within the province of the government to establish any religious holiday, but if it is done, nevertheless, it should be done in a manner to include all creeds in the invitation. This President McKinley has certainly accomplished. 

Editor’s Note: McKinley’s 1897 proclamation made Thanksgiving Day a national day of prayer which, according to the statement, “all of the people are invited to observe with appropriate religious services in their respective places of worship.” The Israelite praised McKinley’s inclusivity, as the day of prayer was not limited to the Christian religion. 



The Chandler & Rudd & Co., the great Cleveland grocery house, finds it profitable to advertise in the “Jewish Review” and likewise in the “Hebrew  Observer,” the merits of their “Sweet Clover hams and bacon” and “Sweet Pickled Pork.” At least, as they are doing so, the presumption is that it must pay them. 



It is reported from Russia that the Czar has granted full pardon to 200 Lutheran pastors of the Baltic provinces, who on a variety of charges, have been deprived of their churches and deported to other parts of the Empire. Among the charges has been that of administering Lutheran baptism to the children of Lutheran fathers and mothers who had married members of the Greek Church. This is another indication that the rigid role of the famous procurator of the Holy Synod M. Pobedonostsev has passed away. 

— November 11, 1897




Writers Disagree About Columbus 

With the Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Jews and the Armenians all claiming Columbus, the controversy about the discoverer of America is keener today, 430 years later, than it has been in any of the intervening years. 

The purpose of the voyages of Columbus are also burning subjects of controversy. Columbus was seeking only islands a short distance from the Cape Verde Island and had no notion of finding a new continent, or the coast of Asia, according to the American diplomat, Henry Vignaud, one of the foremost Columbian students, who shortly before his death published the finals results of more than sixty years of research on the subject. After discovering America, Columbus invented the theory that he had always intended to discover it, according to Vignaud, and also adopted the theory that the world was round. 



Census figures for the months of May, June and July show that Jewish immigration in Canada is decreasing. In the Argentine however, 50,000 Jews have arrived in the last six months. 


Among the passengers of the S. S. Lithuania, recently arrived in New York, were nearly 300 Jews, 42 of whom are Jewish orphans from the Ukraine. These children were brought over here through the efforts of HIAS, which organization intends to take care of them until their relatives are located. 


Temple Israel at Salt Lake City is to receive a splendid ten section organ, the gift of Louis Marcus, the local manager of the Famous-Lasky players. The new organ will be dedicated on November 10. The gift was the result of a conversation which took place between Rabbi Adolph Steiner of the Temple and Mr. Marcus at a luncheon at which Rabbi Steiner was Mr. Marcus’ guest. 


— November 9, 1922

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$350,000 Building Expansion Proposed for Rockdale Congregation


The Rockdale Avenue Temple Congregation in Cincinnati will meet in special session Monday, Nov. 17th, at 8 p.m., in Rockdale Annex to act on the congregational board’s proposal for a $350,000 building expansion program. The proposal includes: 

  1. A new Religious School building for the eight primary grades. 
  2. An enlarged, fireproof, sound proof and air-conditioned dining room to increase seating capacity by one-third. 
  3. Increased kitchen space and new rear Annex stains. 
  4. Creation of a Chapel, air-conditioned, and for use in summer for Friday evening and Saturday morning services and for Sunday morning services by the High School Department Junior Congreation. 
  5. Provision for Sisterhood and Brotherhood Room. 
  6. Modernization of present building's school section for housing of High School Department, Chapel, Brotherhood and Sisterhood rooms and Library. 
  7. Enlargement of stage at rear of Annex and addition of stage facilities. 
  8. Modernization of all rest rooms. 

Dr. Leon Saks is president of the congregation. Other officers are Charles N. Ascheim, vice president; Randolph Trager, secretary; and Warren J. Heldman, treasurer. 

Dr. David Philipson is rabbi emeritus, having served the congregation 59 years. 



Cincinnati Social and Personal


Cub Pack 117 thanks Mrs. Sidney Deutsch for turning over her garden to the Cub Scout Halloween paty, and C.E. Israel, P. Adler, S. Malman, B. Workum, A. Kirchanblatt, Den Mothers and parents for making it a success. 


Former Mayor Murray Seasongood has been elected national president of the National Association of Legal Aid Societies for this third successive term. 


— November 6, 1947




4 Cincinnatians Receive Honor 


Four Cincinnatians have been honored by the Chapel of Four Chaplains for “outstanding service to all people regardless of race or faith” at an awards service at the chapel in Philadelphia. 

The award went to Nathan Kaplan, immediate past president, Bureau of Jewish Education; Dr. I. C. Sharon, bureau president Rabbi Fishel J. Goldfeder of Adath Israel; Rabbi Albert A. Goldman, of Wise Temple. 

The award commemorates the heroic epic of the chaplains of Jewish, Protestant and Catholic faiths who gave their lives during the Second World War. 



Bas Mitzvah

Drs. Helena and Joseph Costantini, 7084 West Aracoma Drive, Amberley, announce the forthcoming Bas Mitzvah of their daughter, Michele Toni, Friday evening, Nov. 10th, at 8:15 p.m., at Temple Sholom, Ridge and Longmeadow Roads, Amberley. 

Friends are cordially invited to worship with the family and attend Oneg Shabbat following services 


Bar Mitzvah


Mrs. Donna M. Schiff announces the Bar Mitzvah of her son, Scott David, on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Temple Sholom. Friends and relatives are cordially invited to worship with the family at 11 a.m. 

Scott is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Frankel and the late Mr. William V. Misrach, of this city, and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Schiff, of Yonkers, N.Y. He is the great grandson of Mr. Joseph Becker, of this city and Mrs. Stella Weintraub, of Miami. No cards. 


Dr. and Mrs. Jakob Petuchowski announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jonathan Mayer, Saturday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m., at New Hope Congreation. 

Friends are cordially invited to attend the service and the Kiddush following the service. 

Jonathan is the grandson of Mrs. Alfred Mayer of London, England.  

November 9, 1972




Synagogue loses historical designation

By Brian L. Meyers

Staff Writer

The City Planning Commission voted 3-2 last week to recommend that Cincinnati City Council not give historical designation to the Sherith Israel, “lost synagogue” building. 

In all likelihood, the move will clear the way for the building’s owners to act on a pending sale of the building to a San Francisco development firm who may demolish the building. 

The old synagogue, located at 624 Ruth Lyons Lane, downtown, was “rediscovered" by Rabbi Abie Ingber in 1989. It served as a home for the Sherith Israel Congregation between 1861 and 1882. It is reported to be the fourth oldest building downtown and the oldest existing synagogue building west of the Allegheny Mountains. 

Discussions between Ingber, who hopes to save the building and the building’s owner, Joseph Sandler, represented by his son, Randy, came to a head about a year ago, when the building was threatened with demolition to make room for the Backstage Entertainment District. 

Editor’s Note: The synagogue  building still stands today and houses condominiums. 

— November 13, 1997




Memorial honors Jewish WWII victims 

Jewish Family Service and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education have been working for over a year to bring to reality the dream of many: The creation of a permanent memorial to honor all Jews who lost their lives to the Nazi regime. This includes all Jewish soldiers, partisans and innocent victims. The community is invited to attend the dedication of a WWII memorial at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov.9, at the Mayerson JCC. 

Schott Monuments donated the stone for the memorial. The Mayerson JCC is providing the public location and facilitated the establishment of the marker. 


Interfaith trip returns from Israel 

By Phyllis Singer

Contributing Columnist 

Twenty-nine tired but exhilarated travelers returned to Greater Cincinnati Airport Sunday after 10 days touring Israel as participants in the “Building Bridges at Any Age” Interfaith Mission. The mission was sponsored by the Jewish Community’s Cedar Village and the Otterbein United Methodist Senior Lifestyle Community in Lebanon, Ohio. 

The 30 travelers included eight residents from Cedar Village and five from Otterbein plus staff members from both homes. A few participants had been to Israel before, but most had not. Many told The American Israelite that they had always wanted to visit, but, somehow, had never made the trip. The mission provided an opportunity they could not pass up. 



November 8, 2012

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