12.03.2009

December 1-3: Jewday

I've begun sending out a daily celebration of Jewish history. If you'd like to be included, send your e-mail address. Here are the first three entries:

Dec. 1
Woody Allen turns 74 today.

“We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter
hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the
wisdom to make the right choice.”
—“My Speech to the Graduates,” New York Times, 1979



Dec. 2
On this day in 1763, 80 Sephardic Jews and their guests in Newport, Rhode island witnessed the dedication of the Touro Synagogue, the first synagogue built in America. Thirteen years later, Newport was captured by the British; the building survived the American Revolutionary War as a hospital for British soldiers.

“The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy . . . For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance . . . requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens . . .”
— Letter from George Washington to the congregation of the Touro Synagogue in 1790



Dec. 3
On this day in 1655, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, declared that he would permit Jews to live in the land from which they had been thrown out by decree of King Edward I 365 years earlier (1290).

“Although this sounds surprising – even unbelievable – [King Edward I’s] edict has not been cancelled and is still listed among British legal documents. . . . All that needs to be done is for the queen to sign a contradictory decree, and this has never been done. I wonder when the Israeli government will appeal to the UK to have Queen Elizabeth II sign such a decree and revoke the edict issued by one of her forefathers.” —Ori Katzir, Israeli historian

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Great Stuff! Keep it coming. Thanks.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Three days into Jewday and I'm already hooked. It's the first thing I read in my inbox each morning.

8:01 AM  

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