Theodore Roosevelt and the Jews

This year’s Presidents Day Treat presents a brief overview of the positive interactions of the 26th president and the Jewish people. The record of President Theodore Roosevelt’s…

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Musical Politicians in Victoria, B.C.

Lumley and Selim Franklin moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1858, during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. The Jewish community was just starting to grow, and the first…

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The Jewish Connection to the March of Dimes

On January 3, 1938, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was officially incorporated. The organization, which was run by Basil…

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B’shalach 5763-2003

"Bringing G-d Home" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'shalach, contains many historic and dramatic moments. The narrative describes the departure of the…

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Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Cute and cuddly, teddy bears today are made in all materials and styles. But, the original teddy bear design was actually a piece of velvet sewn into the shape of a bear with shoe button…

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A Day that will Live in Infamy

In one of the 20th century's most memorable and impactful speeches, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy,” due to the deadly…

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Evian!

Before Evian became a popular brand of natural spring water, the French resort of Evian was host to an international conference to address the mounting crisis of Jews seeking to escape…

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The Nuremberg Trials

On October 16, 1946, ten leaders of the Nazi party were executed after the first of the twelve Nuremberg Trials sentenced them to death. The trials of over 100 defendants took place in…

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A Diplomat to Romania

In July 1944, it was announced that a new Liberty ship under construction was to be named for Benjamin Franklin Peixotto  (November 13, 1834 - September 18, 1890). The descendant of…

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From Deadwood to Rapid City

Images of the Wild West are filled with swinging saloon doors, dusty main streets, and small, fenced-in cemeteries. One would not then expect to find a place called Hebrew Hill in…

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A Hero of Science

Today’s Treat presents the sad, brief biography of Edward Israel (1859-1884). The son of the first Jewish family to settle in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Israel had an avid interest in science…

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Sensitivity to Those with Disabilities

Isaac was vision-impaired, Jacob walked with a limp and Moses had a speech impediment, not to mention actress Marlee Matlin (hearing impaired), Stevie Wonder (vision impaired) and…

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Inauguration Oil

Elected U.S. presidents are inaugurated on January 20th. But, it wasn’t always that way. The Congress of the Confederation set March 4, 1789, as the date for “commencing proceedings” of…

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“A Day that will Live in Infamy”

In one of the 20th centuries most memorable and impactful speeches, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the previous day, December 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy” due to…

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The Thanksgiving Synagogue Service

While Thanksgiving is most certainly an American festival of gratitude, its founders prominently articulated its religious underpinnings, which ultimately find their source in Judaism.…

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Splitting the Atom

When asked to name a theoretical physicist, the first name to come to many young Americans would be “Sheldon Cooper,” the fictional lead character on the long-running hit show, “Big Bang…

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History for Everyone

Barbara Tuchman (January 30, 1912 - February 6, 1989) never earned a doctorate in history, but the books that she authored injected new life into the layman’s study and understanding of…

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Weekend

What are you doing this weekend? Actually, most people take their weekends for granted and forget that the five day work week was a victory won by the labor movement of the early…

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Using A Live Virus

Mention the polio vaccine and most people think of Jonas Salk. The fact is, however, that the polio vaccine used today is actually based on the work of another Jewish physician, Albert…

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The Thanksgiving Synagogue Service

While Thanksgiving is most certainly an American festival of gratitude, its founders prominently articulated its religious underpinnings, which ultimately find their source in Judaism.…

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The Right and Wrong Ways of Declaring Independence

On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, officially seceding from the British Crown. This year, July 4th falls during the week of parashat…

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The Jewish League of Woman Suffrage

In the early twentieth century, one of the critical political battles was the fight for women’s right to vote. Among the suffragist organizations of Great Britain, there arose a unique…

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Presidentially Approved

As the only territory completely under the control of the Federal Government, it is not surprising that Washington, D.C. is home to the only synagogue whose existence was enacted by an…

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Guilty By Association?

Historic references to David Salisbury Franks (c. 1740-1793) do not mention anti-Semitism. Franks had a far more serious cloud hanging over him--the unfortunate honor of serving as an…

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A Constitutional Congregation

What does the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania have to do with the oldest synagogue in that state? Congregation Mikveh Israel (Originally Kaal Kadosh Mickve Israel) was founded in the 1740s…

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Curly-Headed White Chief with One Tongue

On May 30, 1854, President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which officially defined the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and opened up a significant part of what became…

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In God We Trust

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution famously begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Known as “The…

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Bios

BiosRabbi Ephraim Buchwald – Director Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald is one of the leaders in the movement of Jewish return in…

Of Shamrocks, Snails and Survivors: the life of Rabbi Isaac Herzog

Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the State of Israel’s first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, passed away, at age 70, on this date - the 19th of Tammuz – sixty years ago, in 1959, corresponding to July 25th.…

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Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman was born on July 31, 1912 to Sara Ethel (Landau) and Jeno Saul Friedman, Carpathian Jewish immigrants living in Brooklyn, NY. As a child, his family relocated to Rahway,…

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