Rapist Benny Sela Escapes

November 24

November 24, 2006 Benny Sela, convicted in 2000 of being the “Tel Aviv serial rapist,” escapes while being transported to a court hearing in Tel Aviv. While handcuffed, he eludes two police guards and scales a 7½-foot fence. His escape is an embarrassment for the police and the prison service, and Internal Security Minister Avi […]

Israeli Spymaster Rafi Eitan Is Born

November 23

November 23, 1926 Rafi Eitan, whose intelligence career ranges from the high of capturing Adolf Eichmann in Argentina to the low of handling U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard as a spy, is born on a kibbutz in Ein Harod. He joins the Haganah at age 12 and enlists in the elite Palmach after graduating from […]

Actress Hanna Maron Is Born

November 22

November 22, 1923 Hannele Meierzak, who as Hanna Maron becomes known as “the first lady of Israeli theater,” is born in Berlin. As a child, she appears in many plays and films, including an uncredited role in the Fritz Lang classic “M.” After the Nazis win power in 1933, her Polish/Hungarian parents move the family […]

Operation Moses Begins to Bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel

November 21

November 21, 1984 Israel launches Operation Moses, the first of several covert missions to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The collaboration among the Mossad, the CIA and Sudanese State Security uses more than 30 aircraft to carry almost 8,000 people from refugee camps in Sudan to Israel via Brussels. The Ethiopian Jews, known as the […]

Nazis Kill Palmach Paratrooper Haviva Reik

November 20

November 20, 1944 Haviva Reik and two other paratroopers from British Mandatory Palestine are among about 40 Jewish fighters executed by the Nazis after the suppression of an uprising in Slovakia. Reik, who was born Emma Reik in the Slovakian village of Radvan, made aliyah in 1939 and enlisted with the Haganah’s elite Palmach. She […]

Singer Ofra Haza Is Born

November 19

November 19, 1957 Singer Ofra Haza, the youngest of nine children, is born in Tel Aviv to a family who had emigrated from Yemen. Haza grows up in the impoverished Hatikvah Quarter, where she is surrounded by music, including a mother who was a singer in Yemen. Haza joins her school choir. and at age […]

Rock Star Yoni Rechter Is Born

November 18

November 18, 1951 Yoni Rechter, considered one of Israel’s greatest musicians, is born in Tel Aviv. He is the son of architect Ya’akov Rechter and stepson of actress Hanna Meron. He pursues music as a boy and joins the Artillery Corps band during his military service. Rechter joins the band Kaveret as a keyboardist in […]

Gangster Yaakov Alperon Dies in Car Bombing

November 17

November 17, 2008 Organized-crime leader Yaakov Alperon, 53, a suspected murderer who has survived as many as three assassination attempts, is driving home from a court hearing for two of his sons in Tel Aviv when he is killed by a remote-controlled bomb in his car. He is survived by wife Ahuva and three children, […]

Haim Bar-Lev Is Born

November 16

November 16, 1924 Haim Bar-Lev, an Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, is born in Vienna, Austria. His family moves to Yugoslavia before settling in Palestine in 1939. He studies at the Mikveh Israel agricultural school and intends to become a veterinary surgeon, but instead he is drawn to service in the Haganah’s elite Palmach […]

Pianist/Conductor Daniel Barenboim Born

November 15

November 15, 1942 Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim is born in Buenos Aires to Russian-Jewish immigrants. At age 5, he begins taking piano lessons from his father, who remains his teacher. He moves to Israel with his family in the early 1950s. He studies piano all over the world, including Salzburg, Paris and New York. […]

Hamas Military Chief Killed as Pillar of Defense Begins

November 14

November 14, 2012 Ahmed Jabbari, the Hamas military chief, is killed in an Israel Defense Forces airstrike on Gaza that marks the start of Operation Pillar of Defense. The strike comes in response to an increase in rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli goal is to destroy rocket launchers by targeting weapons warehouses. […]

Shagar Is Born

November 13

November 13, 1949 Rabbi Shimon Gershon Rosenberg, known by the acronym Shagar, is born in Jerusalem to Reb Shalom Zelig and Sasi Rosenberg, both Holocaust survivors. Shagar is recognized as a rabbi, a philosopher of modern Zionism and a community leader offering a religious response to postmodern trends. He helps create a new Orthodox approach […]