Hi Everybody!! A special broadcast of Washington Jewish Radio is up on the website for your enjoyment!! In honor of Israeli Independence Day or Yom Ha’atzma’ut as it is known in Hebrew, we present a re-broadcast of a special program I prepared back in 1998 called “Israel At 50”. It is a special retrospective look at the turbulent saga of the creation of the modern State of Israel with rare and priceless archival, broadcast and commercial recordings, all culled from the family archive. Each year since, we have re-broadcast the program which we do again this year as Israel turns 70! It was originally aired on the now-defunct radio station WINX-AM in Rockville, Maryland. Here are the selections and highlights on the program:



1. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver announces the creation of the State of Israel to the United Nations on May 14, 1948.

2. One of the first known recordings of “Hatikvah” by the legendary opera star Alma Gluck and recorded for Victor in 1912. The first time the song is recorded by a star of such international stature.

3. “Aheim, Aheim” (To Home, To Home)-sung by Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt and recorded for Victor in 1923.

4. Hitler addresses the Reichstag and declares war on Poland, September 1, 1939, CBS radio network. Incidental translation by the legendary correspondent William L. Shirer, reporting on the scene.

5. The Reichstag sings after Hitler’s declaration of war is completed. They sing the German national anthem, “Deutschland Uber Alles” (Germany Over All) and a Nazi anthem, “Der Horst Wessel Lied” (The Horst Wessel Song). CBS radio network, September 1, 1939.

6. Belsen concentration camp is liberated by the British Second Army, April, 1945. Reverend (Rabbi) Leslie Hardman, Jewish Chaplain to the British Second Army, conducts a Jewish service for the liberated prisoners.

7. Liberated Jewish prisoners sing “Sim Shalom” and are interviewed by Patrick Gordon Walker of the British Broadcasting Corporation, April, 1945.

8. “Yisrolik, Kumt Aheim” (Jews Come Home)-Cantor Velveleh Rothstein. Sun Records, 1945.

9. “Eretz Yisroel Iz Unzer Land” (Translated then as “Palestine Is Our Home”). Columbia Records, 1946.

10. “My Home, My Home”. Mary Small, Apollo Records, 1947.

11. “Vi Ahin Zoll Ich Gehn” (Where Can I Go?). Leo Fuld with the Wardour Singers. British Decca, London, 1947.

12. Excerpt from “Operation Nightmare” broadcast on the CBS radio network on June 9, 1947 on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal starring Al Jolson. Jolson sings “Eli, Eli”.

13. The United Nations radio service broadcasts of the proceedings and vote of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

a. Statement by Hershel Johnson, United States representative.

b. Statement by Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Union representative.

c. The vote itself, conducted by Chairman Oswaldo Arranyo of Brazil, November 29, 1947.

14. Broadcast of the celebration of the passing of the Partition Plan by the United Nations in Mograbi Square in Tel Aviv, by correspondent Arthur Holtzman of the CBS and Mutual radio networks.


1. Mohammed F. Jamali, Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations, issues Iraq’s rejection of the Partition Plan, December, 1947.

2. “Palestina, Unzer Heim” (Palestine, Our Home). Jennie Goldstein, DeLuxe Records, January, 1948.

3. “Operation Nightmare, Chapter Two”, broadcast on the ABC radio network on April 19, 1948 on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal starring Al Jolson, Richard Widmark and George Jessel.

4. “Avinu Malkeinu” and reading from the Book Of Exodus.

5. Richard Williams of the BBC describes the withdrawal of British forces from Palestine as the British Mandate ends on May 14, 1948.

6. General Sir Alan Cunningham, last British High Commissioner of Palestine gives his farewell address as the British leave Palestine on May 14, 1948.

7. Special addition to the end of the film “Catskill Honeymoon” in honor of the new State Of Israel. Starring Irving Grossman, Bas Sheva and an all-star cast. They sing two great songs, “I’m Going Home” and “Sing, Israel Sing”. Taken directly from the soundtrack of the 1948 film.

8. The first news broadcast from the new State Of Israel, May 15, 1948. Arthur Holtzman, correspondent for the CBS and Mutual networks, describes an air battle over Tel Aviv.

9. ‘Ai Di Die Da”. Sung by Aaron Lebedeff. Columbia Records, June 1948.

10. “Di Nayeh Hora” (The New Hora). Sung by Cantor Moishe Oysher. Taken from a radio broadcast made on WEVD in New York in June, 1948.

11. “Home Again In Israel”. Sung by Benny Bell. Recorded for Bell Novelty Records, July, 1948.

12. “Israel” sung by Al Jolson with Lou Bring’s orchestra and chorus. From the June 10, 1948 broadcast of the “Kraft Music Hall” on the NBC radio network.

13. “Am Yisroel Chai” (The People Of Israel Live). Sung by Molly Picon at a rally for the new State Of Israel at Madison Square Garden in New York. Taken from a broadcast of the rally carried nationwide over the CBS radio network.

14. “Singt Alle Yidelach” (Sing All Jews). Malavsky Family. Tikva Records, 1949.

Well there it is. A line up of rare, poignant and priceless recordings that you can’t hear anywhere else but right here on Washington Jewish Radio. Don’t forget to spread the good word about the program and forward the website to everyone you can. Ben and I hope that you enjoy this very special broadcast. Am Yisroel Chai!! The People Of Israel Live!!