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A collection of Jewish history and current Jewish events, in date format, updated daily in this Jewish history blog.

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    April 18

     383: The Roman Emperors ended the exemption Jewish religious leaders enjoyed from compulsory public service. "The order which Jewish men flatter themselves with and and which gives them immunity from the compulsory public services of decurions shall be rescinded. Not even the clergy are free to deal with divine service until they have dealt with municipal service.”

    1025: The Coronation of Bolesław Chrobry at Gniezno as King of Poland marks the beginning of Poland as an independent country. Boleslaw’s first contact with Jews may have come when he conquered the town of Przemysl in 1018. According to some records, the town was already home to a group of Jewish traders.  Jews were welcome to settle in Poland at this because the rulers so them as an economic and cultural asset.  Jews would find Poland a welcome refuge from the depredations that began with the Crusades 70 years after coronation of Poland’s first independent monarch.

    1165 (4 Iyar, 4925): Maimon ben Maimon and his family leave Fez for Eretz Israel.

    1279: Pedro III ordered his bailiffs to take control of the property of Jahuda Cavalleria until "proper heirs can be determined." Though in this case Jahuda's family ended up getting his estate, the Jews essentially owned nothing, and were essentially considered, "simply holding property for the Crown."

    1389:  A priest of Prague, hit with a few grains of sand by small Jewish boys playing in the street, insists that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.

    1521: At the Diet of Worms, German reformer Martin Luther proclaimed that a biblical foundation supported the theological position of his "Ninety-Five Theses." Luther ended his defense with the famous words: 'Here I stand! I can do nothing else! God help me! Amen.'  Luther had a profound effect on Western history in general and Jewish history in particular.  His inability to convert the Jews led him down the path of virulent anti-Semitism.  At the same, his split with the Catholic Church led to centuries of religious warfare and conflict that found the Jews caught in the middle. Luther is not considered infallible by the church that bears his name.  His attitude toward the Jews is not official doctrine of the Lutheran Church.  In Germany, the Lutheran Church proved to be an early opponent of Hitler.

    1577(1st of Iyar): Rabbi Nathan Shapiro of Horadno, author of Mevo Shearim passed away

    1590:  Birthdate of Sultan Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire. During his reign Solomon Eskenaz,i Avraham Levi Migas, and Naftali Ben Mansur all served as physicians at the palace.  When Solomon Eskenazi passed away, his wife, Buha Eskenazi replaced.  When Ahmed contracted small pox, a disease that was often fatal at this time, his regular physicians could not help. So he summoned Buha Eskenzai and she was able to save.  The Sultan passed away in 1617.

    1735(26th of Nisan): Rabbi Ephraim Navon of Constantinople, author of “Mahaneh Ephriam” passed away today

    1772: Birthdate of English economist David Ricardo.  Along with Malthus and Adam Smith, Ricardo was one of the Big Three of Classical Economists.  He was born and raised as a Sephardic Jew.  However, he fell in love with a Unitarian.  They eloped and he later converted to her religious beliefs.  

    1806(30thof Nisan, 5566): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1806(30thof Nisan 5566): Seventy-year old Doctor Jonas Mischel Jeitteles who was born in Prague and who was buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague after he passed away today. “He studied medicine in Leipzig and Halle. He became the public health officer of the Jewish community. He was nominated chief supervisor of the guild of Jewish healers in Prague. In 1784 he obtained from the emperor Joseph in Vienna permission that not only he himself but also other Jewish doctors could pursue unrestricted medical practice. He suffered from periodic depressive disorders with several exogenously provoked attacks.”

    1825(30th of Nisan, 5585): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1831: The University of Alabama is founded. The Psi chapter of ZBT founded in 1916 was the first Jewish organization on campus.  A Hillel chapter was founded in 1934. According to recent figures the schools graduate and undergraduate population of 28,000 students includes 450 undergraduates and 75 grad students.

    1845(11thof Nisan, 5605): Seventy-eight year old merchant tSimon Von Lämel, the native of Bohemia who was elevated to the hereditary nobility in recognition for his aid in provisioning the Austrian Emperor’s Army and lending him large sums of money, passed away today in Vienna, a city in which he and his family were among the legally limited number of Jewish residents.

    1848(15thof Nisan, 5608): As Jews observe the first day of Pesach, U.S. Forces under General Winfield Scott defeat the forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of Cerro Gordo during the Mexican-American War.

    1857: Birthdate of famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow.  One of Darrow’s most famous cases involved the Jewish thrill killers Leopold and Loeb.  Anybody who has seen “Inherit the Wind” has a pretty good understanding of Darrow’s view of religion and the Bible.  However, Darrow represented the ACLU and those it supported at a time when the cause of civil liberties was quite unpopular.  This work with the ACLU gave him a shared interest with many Jewish leaders of his day. He was a foe of anti-Semitism as could be seen by his signing of “The Perils of Racial Prejudice” which denounced “The International Jew” which was funded by Henry Ford.

    1860: Birthdate of Fernand-Gustave Gaston Labori, the native Rheims, France who courageously defended Emile Zola in 1898 and Alfred Dreyfus at the court martial in Rennes during which he effectively proved his client’s innocence and for which he was wounded by an assassin’s bullet.

    1866: Today, in Manhattan, Rabbi Adler laid the cornerstone for a new synagogue that will be the home of Adas Jeshurun.  The building is located on 39thStreet between 7th and 8th Avenues.  A tin box was placed in the cornerstone.  Among the items in the box were the Charter of the Congregation, a copy of the U.S. Constitution, a list of the congregational officers, copies of several papers including the New York World and the New York Times and photo of Moses Montefiore.

    1873(21st of Nisan, 5633): The New York Times reported that “the closing holiday of the feast of the Passover commenced yesterday evening.  Today and Saturday will be kept as strict holidays and at sundown tomorrow the festival will terminate.”  [Editors Note: Based on the Times story, the Orthodox observance was considered normative since it is describing the 7th and 8thdays of the festival.]

    1875: The New York Timesreported that “To-morrow evening the Israelites throughout the world will commence the celebration of the important festival of "Pesach," or Passover, also known as “Hag Hamatzos," or the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The festival was instituted by divine command to commemorate the miraculous deliverance of the Children of Israel from the captivity which, for hundreds of years, they had endured in the land of Egypt.”

    1875: An article entitled “The Feast of Passover: Interesting Religious Ceremonies” describes the celebration of Pesach including the fact that during the Seder “any Jewish servants in the employ of” a Jewish family “have on these occasions the privilege of sitting at the table on a footing of perfect equality with their employers.”

    1878(15thof Nisan, 5638): Pesach

    1880: It was reported today that the Governor of Morocco has ordered the destruction all houses belong to Jews facing Mosques.

    1880: An article published today about the nature of Armenians includes the following quip attributed to Lord Rothschild.  “Shut up all the Jews and all the Armenians of the world together in one exchange and within half an hour the total wealth of the former will have passed into the hands of the latter.”

    1881: In Indianapolis, Indiana, an unnamed Jewish citizen sent a basket of flowers to the Second Presbyterian Church with a note saying “that it was ‘a token of respect for the liberal sentiments that Reverend William A. Bartlett had expressed in a talk on “the Jewish question

    1881:   Birthdate of renowned painter Max Weber.  Weber was born in Russia and moved to Brooklyn with his family at the age of ten.  His early works were described as "fauvist and then cubist inspired."  From 1917 on he began introducing Jewish subjects into his work.  Starting in the 1920's his work became increasingly abstract and he included contemporary social themes as subjects for his painting.  Weber's can be found in leading galleries throughout the United States including the Whitney Museum and the Jewish Museum in New York City.  He passed away in 1961.

    1884: Theodore Hoffman was hung in New York today after having been convicted of murdering Zife Marks, a Jewish peddler whom he had robbed on the road near Port Chester.

    1886: In New York City, over 500 women came to Mrs. Rosendorff’s home on Eldridge Street to receive aid for the upcoming holiday of Passover.  Each of the women, many of whom were accompanied by children of all ages, was given a yellow ticket which they could exchange for supplies at local meat market. Mrs. Rosendorf is active in many causes designed to assist the less fortunate including membership in the Downtown Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society and the Passover Relief Society while serving as the Directress of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.

    1886: It was reported today that Lawrence Oliphant has discovered to ruined synagogues on the northeast shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

    1887(24thof Nisan, 5647): Hungarian teacher and author Ignaz Reich who taught for forty yeaers at the Jewish communal school for the blind and “a was the first Jew to translate the Bible into Hungarian passed away at Budapest.

    1890:  After 35 years of New York State officials overseeing the arrival of more than 8 million immigrants (many of whom were Jews from Eastern Europe) at Castle Garden the United States Government “assumed control of immigration” today “and Congress appropriated $75,000” to build the first facility at Ellis Island which would the entry point for untold numbers of Jewish immigrants.

    1892(21st of Nisan, 5652): Seventh day of Pesach

    1892(21st of Nisan, 5652): Seventy year old Isaac Hirsch passed away while visiting his daughter Mrs. Selig Meinhold in New York City.  A native of Germany, he had lived in Kingston, NY for the last 43 years where he was a successful paper dealer.  Hirsch had served in the same army company as famed reformer and political leader Carl Schurz.

    1892: The newly dedicated home of Temple Israel in Brooklyn was built in the style of “the famous Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople.” The ground on which the building sits cost $20,000 and the building itself cost $75,000. A.H. Geismar is the rabbi of what is considered to be Brooklyn’s leading reform congregation. 

    1892: The body of Jacob Marks, a peddler who had last been seen a month ago with Isaac Rosenswig and Harris Blank was found “beneath a pile of rubbish in a deserted barn with two bullets in the head” on Dutch Mountain

    1893 (2nd of Iyar, 5653): Abraham Pereira Mendes, a prominent English Rabbi, author and the father of two other Rabbis, Frederick de Sola Mendes and Henry Pereira Mendes, passed away.

    1893: Birthdate of Jessaja Granach, the native of Galicia who became the popular German film actor Alexander Granach during the 1920’s and early 1930’s.  Forced to flee with the rise of Hitler he spent the last years of his career playing “German bad guys” in several Hollywood films.

    1893: “Converts For Revenue Only” published today described the aggressive efforts by Protestants to gain Jewish converts and the indignant response of the Jewish community which object to the methods as much as it does the effort itself. For example Christian churches bribe “Jewish children to go to their ‘conversion’ schools by gifts of cake and candy…as well as with bribes of shoes and clothing” while workingmen are offered jobs in turn for conversion.

    1893(2ndof Iyar): Author Moses Eisman passed away today.

    1895: Dr. Maurice H. Harris delivered a lectured on Shylock at a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1895: As the price of beef continues to rise, it was reported that kosher butchers are charging fourteen cents a pound for chuck steak, a popular cut of meat that had had been selling for five or six cents a pound.  This has forced many of those living on the lower east side to turn to fish and eggs which are more plentiful and less expensive.

    1896: The late Leonard Friedman made the following bequests: $2,500 each to the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum and Mt. Sinai Hospital; $1,500 to the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids; $1,000 each to the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum and Sanitarium for Hebrew Children.

    1897: Israel Zangwill, author of Children of the Ghetto will deliver a lecture today in Jerusalem

    1897(16th of Nisan, 5657): Second day of Pesach

    1897(16thof Nisan, 5657): Rabbi Rudolph Grossman will officiate at the funeral of August Seligman who died of pneumonia.  Interment will be in Cypress Hills Cemetery

    1897: An article “Making Passover Bread” published today reports that three companies in New York “practically monopolize” the manufacture and sale of Matzoth in the United States.  While Matzah is baked in other cities, many Jews rely on the trustworthiness of the New York firms to manufacture a ritually acceptable product.  The demand has gotten to be so great that the firms start baking right after New Year’s in January and do not start until the start of Pesach.

    1898: Approximately 5,000 people attended the opening night of a fair at the Grand Central Palace which is being held “for the benefit of the building fund of Congregation Adath Israel of West Harlem.”

    1900: In his quest for governmental support for the creation of Jewish home, Herzl met with Grossherzog Friedrich of Baden receives Herzl. The Germans are reluctant to get involved but there is hope that the Austrians will help him get a an audience with the Sultan.

    1900: The first public meeting of the Sabbath Observance Association of New York was held this evening at Shearith Israel in New York. The newly formed group already has at 300 members.  It was formed to combat what its leaders view as a growing disregard for the observance of the Sabbath.  According to two of the speakers, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Dr. Mark Blumenthal, the observance of the Sabbath “has preserved Judaism though all the centuries of persecution” and has made “the Jewish home and the Jewish woman an emblem of sanctity and purity which has been held up to the admiration of people of every religion.” 

    1901: Birthdate of lyricist Al Lewis whose most famous work was “Blueberry Hill.”  Written in 1940, it gained everlasting fame when it was recorded by Fats Domino in 1956.

    1902(11th of Nissan, 5662): Birthdate of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as “the Rebbe” who was the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. [Editor’s Note: There is no way that any entry here could even begin to do justice to his gifts and accomplishments but readers are encouraged to the innumerable sources available to examine the life of this indomitable figures as well as to read his writings.  His most famous and long lasting impact may be his outreach program.  Anybody who has spent time with one of his “Lamplighters” such as Rabbi Pinchas Ciment will understand the meaning of this statement.]

    1902(11th of Nisan, 5562: Seventy-two year old German businessman and politician Marcus Wolf Hinrichsen passed away today in Hamburg.

    1903: Apparently “the bread of affliction” has taken on a new cache since The New York Times reports that “Matzo, or Passover bread” can be found in small piles in the city’s “bon-bon shops.”

    1905: Today is the last day on which the First American Romanian Congregation is scheduled to distribute Matzoth to the poor Jews living on the Lower East Side.

    1906: “San Francisco and the entire Bay Area was struck by an epic earthquake, followed by a fire which lasted almost three days and utterly destroyed most of the city. Consumed in the flames were more than 3500 souls and hundreds of millions of dollars in buildings and other property. The Jewish community lost Emanu-El's great Sutter Street synagogue building, which burned to the ground. In addition, much of Adolph Sutro's collection of Hebraica and documents of the Spanish era in California were destroyed. Among the Jewish institutions that responded to the city-wide emergency was Mount Zion Hospital, which was safely located beyond the perimeter of the fire in the Western Addition. Jewish doctors and nurses worked tirelessly in the days after the conflagration to help injured citizens. In Golden Gate Park, where tens of thousands of homeless citizens were temporarily housed in tents for months following the conflagration, a Jewish couple named Victor and Anna Rosenbaum won a city-wide award for having the tidiest domicile. Jewish merchants played a leading role in getting San Francisco back on its feet, setting up a new commercial district along Van Ness Avenue and making Fillmore Street a substitute for Market Street for several years while the Downtown District was rebuilt. The Chicago architect Daniel Burnham had proposed a progressive new street design for San Francisco, modeled after those of Paris and Washington D.C. But Jewish and other merchants were anxious to get back in business and the Burnham Plan was dropped. San Francisco's rabbis were tireless in their relief efforts, and the Jewish community pledged large sums to the city's reconstruction, figuring prominently in its fulfillment. The reconstruction of the San Francisco was also symbolized by the erection in 1912-1915 of a magnificent new Beaux Art neo-Renaissance City Hall, designed by Arthur Brown, who would later design the new Congregation Emanu-El in 1925. The legendary, long-serving Mayor "Sunny Jim" Rolph would attend and speak at the dedications of both buildings.

    1907: In San Francisco Jewish businessmen were among those celebrating this morning when the Ferry Building clock which had stopped at 5:12 a.m. a year earlier was started up again

     1911: Birthdate of Maurice Goldhaber, a physicist who delved into the intricacies of atoms and headed the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island for more than a decade. (As reported by Kenneth Chang)

    1913: “Jacob Furth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Seattle National Bank” was found guilty today of aiding and abetting in a conspiracy to accept deposits from a banker whose bank he knew to be insolvent.

    1915: “To-night’s the Night, a musical comedy composed by Paul Rubens” with two songs composed by Jerome Kern opened at the Gaiety Theatre in London for the first of 460 performances.

    1915: In New York, Joseph Davidman and Jeanette Spivack who had married in 1909, gave birth to “child prodigy” poet and author Joy Davidman

    1919: In London, Lithuanian refugee Rachel Litvin and her husband gave birth to Natasha Litvin who gained famed as pianist and author Natasha Spender the wife of Sir Stephen Spender.

    1921(10th of Nisan, 5681): French author and politician Joseph Reinach passed away. Born in Paris in 1856, he had two famous siblings - Salomon and Theodore – who would become well-known in the field of archaeology. After studying at the Lycée Condorcet he was called to the bar in 1887. He attracted the attention of Léon Gambetta by writing articles on Balkan politics for the Revue bleue, and joined the staff of the Republique française. In Gambetta's grand ministère, Reinach was his secretary, and drew up the case for a partial revision of the US Constitution and for the electoral method known as the Scrutin de Liste. In the République française he waged a steady war against General Boulanger which resulted in three duels, one with Edmond Magnier and two with Paul Déroulède. Between 1889 and 1898 he sat for the Chamber of Deputies for Digne. As a member of the army commission, reporter of the budgets of the ministries of the interior and of agriculture he brought forward bills for the better treatment of the insane, for the establishment of a colonial ministry, for the taxation of alcohol, and for the reparation of judicial errors. He advocated complete freedom of the theatre and the press, the abolition of public executions, and denounced political corruption of all kinds. However, he was indirectly implicated in the Panama scandals through his father-in-law, Baron de Reinach; as soon as he learned that he was benefiting by fraud, he made appropriate restitution. Reinach is best known as the champion of Alfred Dreyfus. At the time of the original trial he attempted to secure a public hearing of the case, and in 1897 he allied himself with Scheurer-Kestner to demand its revision. He denounced in the Siècle the Henry forgery, and Esterhazy's complicity. His articles in the Siècle aroused the fury of the anti-Dreyfus party, especially as Reinach was himself a Jew and accused by some of taking up Dreyfus's defence on racial grounds. He lost his seat in the Chamber of Deputies, and, having refused to fight Henri Rochefort, eventually brought an action for libel against him. Finally, when the "Dreyfus affair" was resolved and Dreyfus was pardoned, he wrote a history of the case, completed in 1905. In 1906 Reinach was re-elected for Digne. In that year he became a member of the commission of the national archives, and the following year a member of the council on prisons. Reinach was a prolific writer on political subjects. On Gambetta he published three volumes in 1884, and he also edited his speeches. For the criticisms of the anti-Dreyfusard press see Henri Dutrait-Croyon, Joseph Reinach, historien (Paris, 1905), a violent criticism in detail of Reinach's history of the "affaire."

    1926: Release date of “Madame Mystery” co-starring Theda Bara (born Theodosia Burr Goodman)

    1931(1stof Iyar, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1933: The Jerusalem YMCA, directly opposite the King David Hotel, was opened by Field Marshall Lord Allenby.

    1934: Reverend Dietrich Bonhoeffer appears to recognize the threat posed by the Nazis when he writes to a friend today that National Socialism has “brought an end to the church in Germany.’ 

    1935(15thof Nisan, 5695): Pesach

    1935: Birthdate of Paul A Rothschild record producer who helped to build the Elektra record label.

    1938: Today, Hadassah reported contributions totaling $60000 and pledges amounting to an additional $20000 had been made to the YouthAliyahFund

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that 16 Arab terrorists, including their leader, Aref Abdul Razzak, had been killed in a battle and scores were wounded. The fighting between the British soldiers and Arab terrorists lasted more than six hours in the notorious "Triangle of Terror" - the hilly region between Nablus, Tulkarm and Jenin. Four Arab prisoners were taken. Only one British soldier was slightly wounded.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that four young Jews, Joseph Rotblatt, 19, Abraham Danielli, 23, David Ben Gaon, 25, and Ze'ev Anav, 24, died in an Arab terrorists ambush attack, while returning in a taxi from Hanita to Nahariya.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a bomb was thrown into an Arab cafe in Haifa, one person had been killed and eight wounded.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Eliahu Dawer, 58, was hurt by a bomb thrown at him while leaving the synagogue in Rehov Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the new high commissioner, Sir Harold MacMichael, paid his first official visit to Tel Aviv.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the public and the press were highly enthusiastic about the visit and the series of festive concerts conducted by Arthuro Toscanini.

    1938: Superman, the creation of two Jews from Cleveland – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – appeared for the first time in Action Comics No. 1

    1939:  Anti-Jewish legislation in Slovakia defines Jews by religion.

    1939(29th of Nisan, 5699): Just four weeks before her 65th birthday, American Yiddish theatre start Bertha Kalich passed away today.

    1939(29th of Nisan, 5699): Seventy-seven year old Sir Matthew Nathan a British soldier and diplomat who  “served as the Governor of Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, Hong Kong, Natal and Queensland” passed away in Somerset, UK.

    1940: Birthdate of Joseph Leonard Goldstein, American molecular geneticist. Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Goldstein received his M.D. from University of Texas at Dallas, 1966. He worked as a biomedical researcher at the National Heart Institute and Washington University before returning to the Southwestern Medical School of the University of Texas at Dallas as professor. Goldstein and colleague Michael S. Brown researched cholesterol metabolism and discovered that human cells have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that extract cholesterol from the bloodstream. The lack of sufficient LDL receptors is a major cause of cholesterol-related diseases. In 1985, Goldstein and Brown were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

    1941: During World War II, the first British troops from India arrived at Basra.  They were part of the military force that would remove the recently installed pro-Nazi government in Iraq.  The rise of the pro-Nazi Arab government and the subsequent military action taken by the British would literally have deadly consequences for the ancient Iraqi Jewish community 

    1942(1st of Iyar, 5702): In the Warsaw Ghetto, 52 people on a wanted list were dragged from their beds and killed. This will become known as "The Night of Blood."

    1942: One thousand Jews who left the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Czechoslovakia, by train for a ghetto at Rejowiec, Poland, were diverted to the death camp at Sobibór

    1942(1st of Iyar, 5702): The death camp at Sobibor went into operation. To mark the opening 2,500 Jews from Zamosc were transported there and sent to their deaths. Only one was chosen to work and lived. 

    1942(1st of Iyar, 5702): Eighty-three year old Moses Montefiore Kursheedt, the husband of Jennie Kurdsheet and the son of Asher and Abigail Kursheedt passed away today.

    1942: Pierre Laval became Prime Minister of the French government of Vichy.  The Vichy Government was really little more than a German puppet state.  Laval like many associated with Vichy was an anti-Semite who was only too willing to turn French Jews over to the Nazis even before they asked for them.  Laval was executed at the end of the war.

    1943:  Word leaked into the Warsaw Ghetto of German plans for the ghetto's destruction.  This information enabled the ZOB leadership to marshal their pathetic defense force to meet the oncoming might of the Nazi military machine.

    1944:  Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins' ballet "Fancy Free" premiered in New York City

    1945: General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces telephoned Winston Churchill to describe the horrific sights that greeted his troops when they entered a concentration camp at Ohrdruf near Gotha. 

    1945: A list of 801 Jews, that came to be known as “Schindler’s List” was typed today. The people whose names were listed on the 13 page document were spared from a trip to the gas chamber.  In 2009, employees at the New South Wales State Library found the list in boxes containing German news clippings and manuscripts by the Australian author Thomas Keneally, who wrote the bestselling novel “Schindler's Ark,” which was the basis of the famous film about Oskar Schindler and his efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.

    1945:Robert Limpert, the leader of the anti-Nazi underground in Ansbach, was hung by the Germans for his attempts to get the garrison to surrender to the advancing Allied armies.

    1945:Following their liberation inmates Langenstein-Zwieberge, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp were taken by ambulance to Halberstadt where barracks had been turned into a hospital.

    1946:  The League of Nations dissolved itself.  Its services, mandates, and property were transferred to the newly founded United Nations.  Among the mandates transferred was the British Mandate of Palestine.  Dealing with the issues of Palestine would become one of the first major tests for the newly formed UN.  Within two years, the Mandatory Government of Palestine created by the defunct League of Nations would give way to the State of Israel and Arab zone governed by a variety of nations and groups including Egypt, Jordan and the PA.

    1947 (5thof Iyar, 5707): Natan Alterman, Israeli poet, playwright, and future winner of the Biliak and Israel prizes wrote,

    “Yes, the death cell soared that night.

     At its sight

     The heads of a conquering nation

    Caught y the light, like a mouse were drawn back into their holes

    Like a thief caught in the act.”

    1947: Birthdate of Karen Lehmann, who as Kathy Acker gained fame as author before her death in 1997. She was the  author of “Blood and Guts In High School”

    1947 (5thof Iyar, 5707): Boxer Benny Leonard passed away at the age of 51.  Born in 1896, Leonard was the lightweight boxing champion from 1917 to 1925.  This was the heyday of Jewish pugilism with as many as seven Jews holding the championship of different weight categories.  Leonard lost his fortune in the Stock Market Crash.

    1948:  Following a failed attempt by the Arab Liberation Army to isolate the Jewish community in the lower quarter of the town of Tiberius, the Haganah went on the offensive and secured the town for the as yet un-born Jewish state.  Most of the local Arab population left with the assistance of British troops and crossed into Transjordan.  The events in Tiberius are part of a tragedy that has been repeated over the decades in Eretz Israel.  Prior to the appearance of the Arab Liberation Army, the local Jewish and Arab populations had worked out a pattern of peaceful co-existence.  Today, commentators would say that outside militants sabotaged local efforts to maintain communal harmony

    1949(19th of Nisan, 5709): Leonard Bloomfield passed away.  Born in 1887, Bloomfield was a graduate of Harvard and the University of Wisconsin.  He began his career as Professor of German.  But he gained his greatest fame as a linguist, a field populated by a disproportionate number of Jews. His most famous work was “Introduction to Language” which was re-titled “Language” in subsequent editions.  For many decades, most linguists considered themselves disciples of Bloomfield even if they had not studied with him.

    1949(19th of Nisan): Mizrachi leader Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan passed away today

    1953: Birthdate of Actor Rick Moranis, star of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

    1953: A revival of the Rogers and Hart hit musical "Pal Joey" comes to a close.

    1954: Colonel Gamal Abdal Nasser seized power and became head of the government of Egypt.  Nasser had masterminded the coup that overthrown King Farouk.  Up until now Nasser had been content to play the role of the “power behind the throne” in the new government created by the military.  At this point in time, he was ready to complete his plans and make himself supreme ruler of Egypt.  He would never succeed in his ultimate goals of destroying Israel which would be his steppingstone to creating a Pan Arab “nation” that would stretch eastward from Morocco. 

    1955: Birthdate of banker Amschel Rothschild.

    1955(26th of Nisan, 5715): Albert Einstein passed away. Born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 but not for relativity rather for his 1905 work on the photoelectric effect.  In 1920 Einstein's lectures in Berlin were disrupted by demonstrations which, although officially denied, were almost certainly anti-Jewish. During 1921 Einstein made his first visit to the United States. His main reason was to raise funds for the planned Hebrew University of Jerusalem. However he received the Barnard Medal during his visit and lectured several times on relativity. During 1923 he visited Palestine for the first time.  Einstein had planned to come to Princeton in 1932 as visiting lecturer.  With the rise of Hitler, this became a permanent position.  Einstein sent his famous letter to Roosevelt in 1939 warning of the impact of the German's developing the Atomic Bomb.  The result was the Manhattan Project.  Einstein became a U.S. citizen in 1940.  In 1952, Einstein was offered the Presidency of the state of Israel, an offer he declined, in part due to his failing health. Einstein left his scientific papers to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a university which he had raised funds for on his first visit to the USA, served as a governor of the university from 1925 to 1928.  The week before he died, Einstein wrote to Bertrand Russell joining him in call for all nations to give up nuclear weapons.  Einstein saw himself as an advocate for international peace and understanding, not withstanding his support for building the bomb during World War II.

    1954(15th of Nisan, 5714): The Levin family observed its first Pesach as residents of Washington, DC

    1961: Birthdate of columnist John Podhoretz

    1963(24th of Nisan, 5723): Former New York Congressman Meyer Jacobstein passed away.

    1964: Sandy Koufax became the first pitcher to strike out the side on 9 pitches

    1964(6th of Iyar, 5724): Playwright and author Ben Hecht passed away.  Born in 1893 in New York to Russian Jewish parents, Hecht moved to Wisconsin where he went to high school.  Hecht then moved to Chicago where he worked for several newspapers.  His experiences provided the source material for his most famous work, The Front Page which has been made into a movie on three different occasions.  Hecht's criticism of British policies in Palestine and support of the Jewish resistance movement caused that his credits were removed from all films shown in England for some years. In his honor an illegal immigrant ship was named "Ben Hecht". A passionate believer in an independent Jewish state, Hecht advocated swift action to attain this. Hecht passed away at the age of 71.

    1965(16th of Nisan, 5725): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of Omer

    1965: A funeral will be held this morning in New York City for “Mendel Osherowtich, a prolific writer of books in Yiddish and a former city editor of The Jewish Daily Forward.”

    1966(28thof Nisan, 5726): Yom HaShoah

    1966: A fire was discovered at the Jewish Theological Seminary Library when smoke was seen pouring from one of the small upper windows of the JTS library tower at Broadway and 122nd Street in New York City.

    1970: “Spirit in the Sky” written and originally recorded by Norman Greenbaum “reached number three in the U.S. Billboard chart.

    1972: Birthdate of film director Eli Roth.

    1975:Basic Dresses In Sexy Prints And Washable” published today descried Diane Von Furstenberg latest triumph in the field of fashion.

    1978(11th of Nisan, 5738): On the Hebrew calendar, birthday of the Rebbe.

    1978(11th of Nisan, 5738):Education and Sharing Day was inaugurated today by President Jimmy Carter to honor the efforts of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s “efforts for education and sharing for Jews and non-Jews.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that in accordance with the Cabinet's decision, the foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, ordered Israeli envoys to explain that Israel regards the UN Security Council's Resolution 242 as a basis of negotiations with all Arab States, including Jordan.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that four soldiers were wounded when an Arab assailant threw a Molotov cocktail into a bus on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that “Holocaust,” NBC's new nine-and-half-hour TV drama series was reported to have captured the imagination of the American public.

    1982: “Two Decades of a Russian Giant” featured reviews of “Tolstoi in the Sixties” by Boris Eikenbaum and “Tolstoi in the Seventies” by Boris Eikenbaum.

    1983(5th of Iyar, 5743): Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1983: Hundreds of Polish policemen, gathering around the spot from which 400,000 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps in World War II, today blocked an unofficial march called to mark the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising. But more than 1,000 people gathered anyway at a nearby monument.

    1984(16thof Nisan, 5744): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer’

    1984(16thof Nisan, 5744): Seventy-eight year old French Torskyite Pierre Frank passed away.

    1986(9th of Nisan, 5746): Marcel Dassault passed away. Born Marcel Bloch to family of Jews from Alsatia, Bloch was a leader in the French aircraft industry.  During World War II Bloch refused to collaborate with the Germans.  He ans his family end up in German concentration camps.  After the war, the family is reunited.  Bloch changed his name to Dassault after World War II.  It was the nomme de guerre of his brother General Paul Bloch who was a distinguished fighter in the Resistance.  You may not know Dassult's name but you know at least of his planes, the famous Mirage which ironically was the backbone of the Israeli Air Force before 1967.

    1987: Annette Greenfield Strauss won a run-off to become the first elected woman mayor of Dallas, Texas.

    1987: Eighteen members of the pro-Iranian Shiite Moslem Party of God militia were killed early today when they tried to overrun a position jointly manned by Israel and its ally, the South Lebanon Army, north of Israel's border with Lebanon. Four Israelis were wounded in the incident.

    1988:  Barbra Streisand recorded "Warm All Over”

    1988: The trial of Ivan Demjanjuk which had begun in the Jerusalem District Court  on November 26, 1986, before a special tribunal comprising Israeli Supreme Court Judge Dov Levin and Jerusalem District Court Judges Zvi Tal and Dalia Dorner came to an end.

    1990:Following today’s Niebuhr Lecture at Elmhurst College, Franklin Littell wrote that 

    “Niebuhr's style as a churchman was vigorous: esteemed for his intellectual leadership, he also worked with labor leaders and liberal and Socialist politicians on many battlelines. He was the leading — and at some points the sole — American theologian to understand the crisis posed by Nazism and to intervene on behalf of the survival of the Jewish people. His sources in Germany — including strong contact with Dietnch Bonhoeffer, and in Europe — including close relations with Visser't Hooft, as well as his excellent network (in good part through his wife, Ursula) with British political and church leaders kept him well informed and deeply concerned. He interpreted the issues in the German Church Struggle (Kirchenkampf) and the Shoah as no other American of his generation, and did so along theological lines that are exciting participants in seminars and conferences fifty years later. He championed the creation of a Jewish state in 1943, publicly criticized the targeting of Jews for Christian conversion in 1958, and maintained lifelong friendships with Jewish peers such as Abraham Joshua Heschel.”

    1992(15thof Nisan, 5752): Pesach

    1993:Thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families, many of them sobbing audibly, observed the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising with a memorial service at Madison Square Garden that also honored the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi concentration camps.

    1994: Roseanne Barr filed for divorce today in Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

    1996:  During “Operations Grapes of Wrath” Israeli artillery mistakenly shells a UN position killing 102 Lebanese civilians.  The Israelis expressed regret for the loss of life which occurred during an operation intended to destroy Hezbollah bases from which rocket attacks had been launched against Israeli towns in the northern part of the country.

    1999; The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Mercy: Poems”by Philip Levine.

    1999: An exhibit styled “Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture”opens at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

    1999: The statue of Saint George fighting a serpent was re-erected in St. Stephen's Park. Many gathered under a sea of umbrellas for the unveiling, on the rainy Sunday morning. Speakers included Holocaust survivor and poet, Gyorgy Somlyo who was saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

    2001: On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Bush and his wife Laura toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    2001:At Colgate University Barry Strauss, director of peace studies and a professor of history at Cornell University delivered a talk titled "My Grandfather's First World War, and my search to rediscover it," which focuses on the Jewish experiences in the United States army and raise such issues as memory, identity and military service.

    2002: Judy Chicago's monumental sculpture "The Dinner Party" was acquired by the Brooklyn Museum.

    2003(16thof Nisan, 5673): Second Day of Pesach – 1st day of the Omer

    2003(16thof Nisan, 5673): Sixty-one year old French television executive Jean Drucker passed away at Mollégès, France

    2003: A display of Marshmallow Peeps at McCaffrey’s Supermarket in Southampton, PA, help to mark the 50th anniversary of this all-American confectionary concoction. Peeps, which originally were in the form of Easter chicks, are a product of Just Born, a candy company started by Russian Jewish immigrant Sam Born who was followed in the business by his son Bob Born and grandson Ross Born.

    2004: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including 'Stalin' by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

    2004: An exhibition entitled “Gate of Death” opens at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

    2006:  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with his Cabinet to decide on the response to the previous day suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.  The Israeli government response would have to be measured against the fact that the PA government is now controlled by Hamas, an organization that has publicly approved the attack.

    2006:  Six of the nine victims of the Tel Aviv terrorist bomb were laid to rest including:David Shaulov, 29, of Holon,. Philip Balasan, 45,. Benjamin Haputa, 47, of Lod, Victor Erez, a 60-year-old taxi driver from Tel Aviv, Lily Yunes, 42, of Oranit, and 31-year-old Ariel Darhi. The two Romanian victims of the bombing, Rosalia Basanya, 48, and Boda Proshka, 50, will be laid to rest in their native country. Their bodies will be returned to Romania after the Passover holiday. There are as yet no details on funeral arrangements for the ninth victim of the attack, named by Israel Radio as French tourist Marcelle Cohen, 75.

    2007: Haaretz reported today that Members of the Reform movement accused the former Sephardic chief rabbi of slander for allegedly stating that the Holocaust happened because of the activity of Reform Jews in Germany.

    2007: In Chicago,  WBEZ broadcast a program “billed as a vision of peace” but in which the participants engaged “in one-sided propaganda against Israel.”

    2008(13thof Nisan, 5768): William Frankel passed away.  Born in 1917, he was the editor of the “Jewish Chronicle and the author of several books including “Friday Nights’ and “Israel Observed.”

    2008: Ben Stein’s pseudo-documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” attacking Darwin’s Theory of Evolution arrives in movie theatres throughout the United States.  The film is being marketed by Motive Entertainment, the same company that promoted Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ.”

    2008: During his first papal trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI visited a synagogue led by a rabbi who survived the Holocaust. Benedict made a brief stop at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue, whose leader, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest and immigrated to the US in 1947. The pontiff, 80, is a native of Germany whose father was anti-Nazi. Benedict was enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a teenager against his will and then was drafted into the German army in the last months of the war. He wrote in his memoirs that he deserted in the war's last days. It will be the pope's second visit to a synagogue as pontiff. On his first papal trip abroad in 2005, Benedict visited a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, that had been rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Nazis.

    2009; In Maryland as part of the Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) - Seventeenth Season of Movies a screening of “Jellyfish” a Hebrew language film with English subtitles which was a prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival

    2009: The Metro Library Network Author Series presents “a conversation” with famed mystery writer, Sarah Paretsky, a native of Ames, Iowa who has talked about what it was liked to grow up Jewish in Kansas, at the Theatre Cedar Rapids in Lindale Shopping Center.

    2009(24th of Nisan, 5769):Louis Lowenstein, an influential business law professor and former corporate executive who for nearly three decades dissected the excesses of Wall Street and warned of the dangers of short-term investing, died at his home today at the age of 83. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2010: A Broadway revival of Jerry Herman’s “La Cage aux Folles” officially opened at the Longacre Theatre

    2010: “Alon Nechustan” (A Way In) a modern dance show, whose text and concept were inspired by the Kabbalistic story of the Orchard featuring members of the Avodah dance company, is scheduled to be performed at The LABA Festival 2010 at the 14th Street.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 by Kai Bird

    2010(4thof Iyar): M. Edgar Rosenblum, an arts executive who helped steer the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven to prominence in the American theater landscape, developing work that traveled to Broadway and elsewhere and that won Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards along the way, passed away today at the age of 78. (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2011: A Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council this afternoon. Warning sirens sounded prior to the rocket being landing.  No injuries or damage were reported.

    2011(14thof Nisan, 5771): Fast of the First Born; Erev Pesach; in the evening, the first Seder Zissen Pesach - זיססען פסח    Chag Samayach - חג שמח

    2011: The Immigrant Absorption Ministry will try to set a Guinness World Record tonight by organizing – together with charity Aviv Hatorah – the world’s largest Pesach Seder for some 1,300 recently arrived Ethiopian immigrants living in Tel Aviv.

    2011: Noble Energy has awarded the Expro company a $27 million contract to conduct well-testing and provide sub-sea services and equipment aboard the Transocean Sedco Express oil rig for the Tamar natural gas field – and for a deepwater exploration program for the Pride North America – Expro announced today.

    2012: Dr. Daniel Rynhold is scheduled to begin teaching Judaism and the American Legal Tradition at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning

    2012: “Standing Silent” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival followed by a Q&A with Phil Jacobs, Scott Rosenfelt and Gary Rosenblatt.

    2012: Miriam Kelemen Solis, who grew up in Budapest, Hungary during the 1930s, is scheduled to speak at tonight’s Yom HaShoah Service at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2012(26thof Nisan, 5772): Hila Bezaleli, a “20-year-old soldier from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion was killed this afternoon when a light rigging system collapsed onto soldiers rehearsing for the Independence Day celebration at Mount Herzl.

    2013: Voca People, the Israel based company, is scheduled to perform at Strathmore Music Hall in Rockville, MD.

    2013: Daniel C. Kurtzer, the career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to both Egypt and Israel is scheduled to speak at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation.

    2013: Adam Burstain, one of the finest young members of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community is scheduled to appear in the opening night performance of “Urinetown”

    2013: The IPO is scheduled to begin its “Patron Trip To Poland,” “an extraordinary musical and historical experience commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    2013: 75thanniversary of the first appearance of Superman, the man of steel created by two Jews from Cleveland.

    2013: Paula “Abdul appeared on the Top 5 results show of season 12 of American Idol to compliment contestant Candice Glover on her performance of Straight Up.”

    2013: “U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near” published today described “a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

    2013(8thof Iyar, 5773): Ninety-six year old “Orville Slutzky, who with his brother founded the Hunter Mountain ski resort in upstate New York, known in the 1960s for its celebrity clientele and in the 1970s and ’80s for its unmatched number of snow-making cannons” passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    2014: Penultimate day for The International Photography Festival at the Carmel Winery in Rishon Lezion

    2014: Etan Morel is scheduled to conduct  “Jerusalem of Gold” a walking tour of Israel’s capital inspired by the song of the same name.

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    April 19

    According to one web-site, April 19th is one of the blackest days on the Jewish calendar. From the 11th century (1014) through the 20th century (1943) this date is remembered for the atrocities which took place. Below are a few: )

    1014: During a civil war that had broken out between Arabs and Berbers in 1013, the Jews of Cordoba experienced their first massacre today.

    1283: Following an accusation of ritual murder (the blood libel) thirty-six Jews were murdered in Mayence (Mainz), Germany,

    1283:  On the second day of Easter which coincided with the penultimate day of Passover, a Christian mob attacked the Jews of Mayence (Germany) killing ten and pillaging their homes.  The mob was responding to the discovery of the body of a Christian child and acting out the consequence of the blood libel.  Archbishop Werner tried to stop the mob before they attacked.  His intervention kept the blood bath from being even worse.  The Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph, conducted an investigation into the affair, confirmed the judgment the mob had passed on the Jews and acquitted the citizens of Mayence of all blame.

    1306(4th of Iyar, 5066): The body of Rabbi Meir Ben Baruch was released by the authorities 13 years after his death so that he could receive a Jewish burial Maharam of Rothenburg

    1343: A massacre of the Jews in Wachenheim, Germany which had begun before Easter spread to surrounding communities.

    1506: During a service at St. Dominic’s Church in Lisbon, Portugal, some of the people thought they saw a vision on one of the statues. Outside, a newly converted Jew-turned-Christian raises doubts about the "miracle." He was literally torn to pieces and then burnt. The crowd led by two Dominican monks proceeded to ransack Jewish houses and kill any Jews they could find. During the next few days, countrymen hearing about the massacre came to Lisbon to join in. Over two thousand Jews were killed during a period of three days ending on April 21.

    1566:  Pius V issued “Romanus Pontifex.  After being in office for three months, Pope Pious rejected the lenience's of his predecessor and reinstated all the restrictions that Paul IV had placed on the Jews. These included being forced to wear a special cap, the prohibitions against owning real estate and practicing medicine on Christians. Communities were not allowed to have more than one synagogue and Jews were confined to a cramped ghetto.

    1539: Eighty-year old Catherine Zaleshovska was burned at the stake on the order of Bishop Gamrat and with the approval of Queen Bona Sforza for having denied the basic tenants of Christianity after having converted to Judaism.  She had been held as a prisoner for ten years before being murdered. (As reported by The History of the Jewish People)

    1670(29thof Nisan, 5430): Moses Samson Bacharach, the chief rabbi at Worms passed away.

    1670(29thof Nisan, 5430): Solomon Ben Isaac Marini, “the only rabbi at Padua who survived the plague of 1631” and who wrote a commentary to Isaiah entitled Tikkun Olam in 1652 and who was the brother of Dr. Shabbethai ben Isaac Marini, passed away today.

    1771: Maria Theresa granted two Sovereign Licenses to the Jews of Trieste, licenses that constitute real improvement in their economic conditions.

    1772:  Birthdate of economist David Ricardo.  Raised as a Sephardic Jew, Ricardo eloped with a woman who was a Quaker.  He later converted and became a Unitarian.

    1775:  The Battles of Lexington and Concord with the “Shot heard round the world” marked the start of the American Revolution. Besides the famous Hyam Solomon, “there were hundreds of Jewish soldiers and sailors who fought in the Revolution and patriots who supported it. There was Phillip Russell, a surgeon at Valley Forge; Col. David Franks an aide to George Washington; a “Jew Company, " which fought in South Carolina; Moses Myers, who fought in Virginia; the Sheftall family, which fought and were captured in Savannah. In Manhattan's Chatham Square cemetery, 22 Revolutionary Jewish soldiers lie. Many had sacrificed their lives for their new country. Just like the approximately 500 Americans who were killed or wounded during the three British assaults at Bunker Hill in 1775. (New evidence has surfaced that a Jewish soldier, Abraham Solomon, participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill as a member of Colonel John Glover's 21st Regiment from Gloucester.)”

    1776(30th of Nisan, 5536): Rabbi Jacob Israel Emden [Jacob ben Tswi] passed away.  Born at Altona, Germany in 1697 was a scholar and when it came to technology, a modernist since he owned a printing press which he used to print Jewish texts.  For a while he earned a living by deal in jewelry.  He finally agreed to become Rabbi for the community in Emden.  The town supplied his last name in the secular world.  Emden's real claim to fame has to with an inter-communal conflict that seems quite trivial by modern standards.  He passed away at the age of 78.

    1810(15thof Nisan, 5570): Pesach

    1819: Birthdate of S.L. Schwabacher, the future Rabbi of Odessa, Russia.

    1824: Lord Byron, the English poet, passed away.Byron and Isaac Nathan produced Hebrew Melodies,a both book of songs with lyrics written by Lord Byron set to Jewish tunes by Isaac Nathan as well as a book of poetry containing Byron's lyrics alone. It was published in April 1815 with musical settings; though expensive at a cost of one guinea, over 10,000 copies sold. In the summer of the same year Byron's lyrics were published as a book of poems. The melodies include the famous poems She Walks in Beauty, The Destruction of Sennacherib and Vision of Belshazzar.”

    1825(1st of Iyar, 5585): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1839: The Treaty of London establishes Belgium as a kingdom. Jews reportedly had first come to Belgium with the Roman Legions in the first century of the Common Era.  Written evidence dates backs to the 13th century. The community disappeared in the 14thcentury during the Black Death, only to return again in the 16thcentury when those fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition found refuge there.  Brussels and Antwerp were the main centers of Jewish settlement when Belgium gained its independence.  The guarantee of an independent Belgium was a given among European powers.  It would be the Kaiser’s disregard for Belgium’s independence that would seal British entry into World War I which…well we all know where that led.

    1848: Anti-Jewish violence broke out in Budapest, Hungary.

    1856(14th of Nisan, 5616): Shabbat HaGadol

    1859(15thof Nisan, 5619): Five weeks after the Dred Scott Decision strengthened the stranglehold of slavery in the United States, Jews observed Pesach.

    1861: 1861: A week after the Civil War began with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, "Joseph Friedenwald, a member of a leading Jewish family in" Baltimore, MD was among the six people arrested for attacking Union troops marching through the city on their way to Washington, DC.  Baltimore was a hot-bead of Southern supporters whose attacks on the troops verged on being a riot.

    1861: Colonel Henry K. Craig wrote to Major Alfred Mordecai that he "'thought well' of his request for a transfer."  Mordecai was a prominent Jewish officer serving in the U.S. Army who was born in the South.  He was seeking a way to stay in the Army without having to fight against his family and friends.  Before Craig could act, he fell ill and Mordecai's chance for a transfer would go no further.

    1864: Before recessing, the New York Assembly passed a bill “relative to the New-York Hebrew Benevolent Society.”

    1865: The Sephardim in New York held a special prayer for President Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated as he watched a play at Ford's Theater in Washington DC just five days earlier.

    1865: Rabbi Sabato Morais delivered an address at Mikve Israel in Philadelphia following the death of President Abraham Lincoln. “The stillness of the grave reigns abroad. Where is the joyous throng that enlivened this city of loyalty? Seek it now, my friends, in the shrines of holiness. There, it lies prostrate; there, it tearfully bemoans an irretrievable loss, Oh! tell it not in the country of the Gauls; publish it not in the streets of Albion, lest the children of iniquity rejoice, lest the son of Belial triumph. For the heart which abhorred wickedness has ceased to throb; the hand which had stemmed a flood of unrighteousness, is withered in death.´ (As reported by the Jewish Virtual Library)

    1865: Birthdate of Chaim Zhitlowsky, Russian born Jewish nationalist, author, critic and champion of Yiddish language and culture.

    1866: Jacob and Amalia Freud give birth to Alexander Gotthold Ephraim Freud, a younger brother of Sigmund Freud.

    1866: An article published today entitled “Laying the Corner Stone of a New Jewish Synagogue in Thirty-ninth Street” described the ceremonies that took place at the future home Adas Jeshurun, an 80 member congregation  which will be housed on a lot measuring 99 feet by 75 feet.

    1871: In New York, the Assembly passed an appropriations bill tonight designed to assist a variety of charitable organizations throughout the state including allocations of five hundred dollars each to the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Albany and  the Hebrew Benevolent Society of Brooklyn

    1872: Birthdate of Alice Salomon, German born pioneer social worker, who was forced to flee her native land because of her “German origins.”

    1872(11thof Nisan, 5632): Herman Frenkel, who served in the Galician Diet, passed away today.

    1872:Benjamin Franklin Peixotto, the U.S. Counsel wrote to the Secretary of State “tahat all the foreign representatives at Bucharest, except the Russians, had signed an address to the government of Prince Charles” expressing their displeasure with the fact that the several Jews had been severely punished while those “who were charged with the gravest excesses and crimes against the Jewish population of Vilcoon” had been acquitted.  “We see in this double verdict an indication of the dangers to which the Israelites are exposed in Romania”

    1873(21stof Nisan, 5633): Seventh day of Pesach – 6th day of the Omer

    1873(21stof Nisan, 5633): Forty-seven year old British actor and theatre manager, the father of August Harris passed away today and was buried in Brompton Cemetery, London

    1876(25th of Nisan): Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Zanz, author of “Divrei Chaim” passed away today.

    1880: It was reported today that the Rabbi Morias has published a paper in the April edition of Penn Monthly about the Falashas, “a small nation of Jews in Abyssinia who do not speak Hebrew.”

    1880: Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman was elected first lieutenant in the Veteran Corps of the First Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard was formed, Hyneman.  Three years later he would be promoted to the rank of Captain and serve as the quartermaster.

    1881: “His Strange and Great Career” published today traces the life of Benjamin D’Israeli starting with the Inquisition and Expulsion from Spain in the 15thcentury.

    1881: Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minster, 1st Earl Beaconsfield and famous novelist passed away.  Born Jewish, Disraeli was converted to Christianity by his father.  The elder Disraeli was angry with the Jewish community and marched his children to the baptismal font in protest.  The elder Disraeli did not convert.  Disraeli was proud of his Jewish heritage and certainly suffered many anti-Semitic attacks during his career.  In one exchange, he reminded a political opponent that while his ancestors had been drinking blood out skulls, Disraeli’s ancestors had been singing the Psalms of David in the Temple of Solomon.

    1882(30th of Nisan, 5642): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1882: Sarah Lavanburg, the daughter of Hannah (Seller) Lavanburg and Louis Lavenburg married Oscar Solomon Straus who as Sarah Straus would the life companion of one of the great leaders of pre-War Jewish community.

    1882 Rabbi Dr. Henry W. Schneeberger married Sarah Nussbaum in New York City. The couple had six children - Fannie, Sigmund, Charles, Philip, Josephine, and Irvin. Sigmund, Charles, Fannie and Josephine never married and were buried in plots adjoining their parents

    1882: In response to a suggestion from the Morning Post, large numbers of English men and women wore Primoses today as a way of marking the anniversary of the death of the Earl of Beaconsfield, better known as Benjamin Disraeli.  The flower was a favorite of the famous author and Prime Minister and it was a fitting way of paying tribute to his many contributions.

    1882: A private meeting in Berlin raised 70,000 marks which will provide assistance to Jews seeking to leave Russia.  The attendees were urged to show a sense of moderation in the resolutions they adopted on the subject since it appeared that meetings in New York and London held to support the Russian Jews had done “more harm than good.”

    1884: In Leadville, CO, Lottie, Eva and Abe Schloss participated in a production of “Patience” at the Tabor Opera House.

    1885: “Afghans and Their Home” published today asks if these Asiatic mountain warriors are descendants of the ancient Israelites.

    1886(14th of Nisan, 5646): Fast of the first born

    1886 (14th of Nisan, 5646): The City and Suburban News column reports that “the Jewish community throughout the world will this evening begin the celebration of Pesach, or the Feast of the Passover.  This festival is also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread…”

    1890: Immigrants, including thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe, arriving in New York began using the Barge Office as a processing center today

    1891: Ira Leo Bamberger defeated Ernst Nathan in an election for the presidency of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society of Brooklyn

    1891: It was reported today that the Hartford Theological Seminary has issued the new Practical Hebrew Grammar by Professor E.C. Bissell.

    1891: It was reported today that the Russian government is planning “a fresh campaign against the Jews.”

    1891: Based on material that first appeared in the Fortnightly Review, E.B. Lanin described the crumbling economic conditions in Russia.  In response to claims that Jews are at fault for the usurious rates paid by peasants, he writes “Who are the usurers?  The Jews?  They are not for the misery of the peasants is not with the accursed pale.”  The usurer “is not a Jew; he is as orthodox as the Metropolitan Isidore; as loyal as an official of the secret police.”  (The fact that the Jews were not responsible for the suffering of the peasants did not keep the Czar and his cadres from using them as scapegoats.)

    1892: As of today, the city of New York is legally bound to furnish water to the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society free of charge.

    1896: Herzl's The Jewish State was published.  This is the seminal piece of literature for the modern Zionist Movement.  Known to many by its more famous German title, Der Judenstaat(The Jewish State)is one of the seminal pieces of literature for the modern Jewish Zionist Movement.  "We are a people — one people."  "Palestine is our unforgettable historic homeland. . . Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who will it shall achieve their State. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and in our own homes peacefully die. The world will be liberated by our freedom, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind."

    1896: As of today most of the tickets for the upcoming concert being held for the benefit of the United Hebrew Charities at the Metropolitan Opera House have been sold.

    1896: The Union Hebrew Veterans’ Association met at the Grand Opera House in New York City.

    1897: The first of Boston Marathons was run. While many Jews have run in the race, none is more famous than the team from the Jewish Special Education Cooperative. Team JSEC ran in the 108th Boston Marathon.  Runners included Dan Rosen, Amira Rosenberg, Josh Rosenberg, and David Katz.

    1897: The Civil Service Commission is scheduled to conduct tests for foreign language interpreters including those fluent in Hebrew.

    1898: The new temple that is to be built by Congregation of Adath Israel of West Harlem will used plans drawn by Solomon D. Cohen.

    1903(22nd of Nisan, 5663): 8th day of Pesacj

    1903: Riots broke out after a Christian child is found murdered in Kishinev (Bessarabia). The mobs were incited by Pavolachi Krusheven, the editor of the anti-Semitic Newspaper Bessarabetz and the vice governor Ustrugov. Vyacheslav Von Plehev, the Minister of Interior supposedly gave orders not to stop the rioters. The Jews were accused of ritual murder. During the three days of rioting, 47 Jews were killed, 92 severely wounded, 500 slightly wounded and over 700 houses destroyed. Despite a world outcry, only two men were sentenced to seven and five years in prison, and twenty-two were sentenced for one or two years. This pogrom was instrumental in convincing tens of thousands of Russian Jews to leave to the West and to Eretz-Israel. The child was later discovered to have been killed by a relative.

    1908: The New York Times reported that the observance of Holy Week and Passover had cut into the city’s social season.  Activities had been limited to “affairs for charity, and some private bridges and luncheons.”

    1908(18thof Nisan, 5668): Sixty-nine year old Charles Hallgarten, one of the four principle partners at Hallgarten & Company passed away.

    1908: Organization of the Sons of Zion fraternal order

    1908: An article published today entitled “Ceremonies and Customs of the Easter Season” examines the origins and customs of Easter reminding its readers that “our Easter is a successor to the Jewish Passover.”  The article pointed out that “the two are the same in their root; but the opposition of the Christians to the Jews led to a change”  in the Christian celebrations.

    1911: On the day on which the completed portions of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine were consecrated The Board of Jewish Ministers sent a congratulatory telegram to Episcopal Bishop Grier. 

    1912: In New York events scheduled for tonight celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Free Synagogue are canceled as a sign of mourning for those who were died when the Titanic sank.

    1917: During World War I, as the maneuvering continued to try and gain British support for a Jewish homeland, Sir Ronald Graham wrote to Mark Sykes expressing his concern that the Zionist movement was relying too heavily on the hope that British would be annexing Palestine and making it part of the British Empire after the War. 

    1917: Founding of the Jewish Welfare Board which was designed “to meet the religious and cultural needs of Jewish personnel in the U.S. military

    1919: On the fifth day of Pesach which was also Shabbat Chol Hamoed, the Polish army occupied Vilna and attacked its Jewish community.

    1919: The Hebrew Scouts Movement is founded.

    1920: In New York City, Harry and Beatrice Kaplan Reinhardt gave birth to Sheldon Reinhardt and his twin brother, Burton “who as the detail-minded, taciturn television executive behind his more extroverted boss, Ted Turner, played a crucial role in the formative years of CNN and the 24-hour cable news cycle. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1920: Birthdate of Kazimierz Smolen, a Roman Catholic Pole who survived  Auschwitz survivor and who after World War II became director of a memorial museum at the site.

    1922: Birthdate of New York born American actress Marian Winters

    1924(15thof Nisan, 5684): Pesach

    1925(25th of Nisan, 5685):Sir David Lionel Goldsmid-Stern-Salomons passed away.  Born in 1851 he “was a scientific author and barrister.” The son of Philip Salomons of Brighton, and Emma, daughter of Jacob Montefiore of Sydney, he succeeded to the Baronetcy originally granted to his uncle David Salomons in 1873. He married Laura, daughter of Hermann Stern, 1st Baron de Stern and Julia, daughter of Aaron Asher Goldsmid, brother of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid by which he had one son and three daughters. He assumed the additional surnames and arms of Goldsmid and Stern in 1899. He studied at University College, London and at Caius College, Cambridge, gaining a B.A. in 1874. In the same year he was called to the bar at the Middle Temple. He went on to produce several scientific works and pamphlets. He was a J.P., D.L. and High Sheriff of Kent, mayor and alderman of Tunbridge Wells, County Councilor for the Tunbridge division of Kent for 15 years and J.P. for London, Middlesex, Sussex, and Westminster. His home north of Tunbridge Wells, Broomhill, is preserved as the Salomons Museum. It is also a part of Canterbury Christ Church University, and is a center for postgraduate training, research and consultancy”

    1928: Birthdate of William Klein, the New York of “an impoverished Jewish family” who gained fame as French photographer and filmmaker.

    1930: New York Yankee 2nd baseman Jimmie Reese played in his first major league baseball game.

    1933: As an expression of Nazi anger over Churchill’s speech warning that the Jews of Poland could suffer the same fate as the Jews of Germany, “a correspondent of the Birmingham Post reported from Berlin that ‘today newspapers are full with ‘sharp warnings for England’ with one headline referring to ‘Mr. Winston Churchill’s Impudence.’”

    1934: According to a report by Morton Rotehnberg, President of the Zionist Organization of America, 11,000 German Jewish refugees had entered Palestine from April 1, 1933 through January 1, 1934.  As co-chair of the United Jewish Appeal, Rothenberg is contributions totaling three million dollars to aid the refugees from Germany.”  At the same time, Dr. Arthur Hantke, director of the Palestine Foundation Fund reported that “there is no unemployment.”  There is an “insistent demand for workers” throughout the country meaning that the influx of immigrants will be a net economic gain.

    1936 (27th of Nisan, 5696): As Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Palestine Arabs killed nine Jews in Jaffa. Among the victims was Eliezer Bugitsky who was murdered by Sales Hassan and Abu Aabahi. The riots lasted until 1939.  The end product is the White Paper which was intended to put an end Jewish immigration and new land purchases.

    1937: Time magazine publishes an article an article about the origins and growth of Hart, Schaffner and Marx as the clothing firm marks its fiftieth anniversary.

    1939(30thof Nisan, 5699): Isaac Carasso passed away today in France.  Born in 1874, in what is now Thessaloniki but was then part of the Ottoman Empire, Carasso was part of a promienent Sephardic family.  He practiced medicine in Spain before beginning his studies of the effects of Yogurt on digestion.  In 1919 he founded the company that many Americans recognize as Danon Yogurt

    1939: The Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America raised $20,000 at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria

    1939: The Women’s League of Palestine raised $30,000 at a luncheon at the Hotel Astor.
    1940: In Sofia, Bulgaria, the governments of Bulgaria and Romania signed an agreement creating an airline which will operate between Sofia and Bucharest with connecting flights to Tel Aviv.

    1941: Robert F. Wagner, Sr. introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate stating that U.S. policy should favor the "restoration of the Jews in Palestine." The resolution was supported by 68 Senators.

    1943: Members of Belgium Jewish underground aided by Christian railroad men derailed a train filled with Jewish deportees bound for the extermination camps. Several hundred Jews were saved.

     1943(14th of Nisan, 5703 ) - PASSOVER, WARSAW Ghetto UPRISING; The Jews were determined not to be moved without giving up a fight. 2,100 Germans, fully armed, enter the Ghetto. The Jews fighting force consisted of about 700 men and women.  They were armed with 17 rifles, 50 pistols and several thousand grenades and Molotov cocktails.  A small group of Jewish fighters open fire on the entering German troops. After an hour of skirmishing, the Germans retreated. The final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto began on the Eve of Passover, April 19, 1943. The deportation did not come as a surprise. The Germans had amassed a military force to carry it out, but did not expect to engage in a confrontation that included street battles. Armed German forces ringed the ghetto at 3:00 a.m. The unit that entered the ghetto encountered armed resistance and retreated. The main ghetto, with its population of 30,000 Jews, was deserted. The Jews could not be rounded up for the transport; the railroad cars at the deportation point remained empty. After Germans and rebels fought in the streets for three days, the Germans began to torch the ghetto, street by street, building by building. The entire ghetto became a sizzling, smoke-swathed conflagration. Most of the Jews who emerged from their hideouts, including entire families, were murdered by the Germans on the spot. The ghetto Jews gradually lost the strength to resist. On April 23, Mordecai Anielewicz the ZOB commander wrote the following to Yitzhak Zuckerman, a member of the ZOB command who was stationed on the "Aryan" side: "I cannot describe the conditions in which the Jews are living. Only a special few will hold out; all the others will perish sooner or later. Their fate is sealed. None of the bunkers where our comrades are hiding has enough air to light a candle at night.... Be well, my dear, perhaps we shall yet meet. The dream of my life has risen to become fact. Self - defense in the ghetto will have been a reality. I have been a witness to the magnificent, heroic fighting of Jewish men of battle". The rebels pursued their cause, even though they knew from the outset that they could not win. The Jewish underground would continue to fight the Nazis until the middle of May. The Polish underground only gave minimal help because of anti-Semitism prevalent among many. Although the Allies will neither publicize events nor try to help, even before the war ended, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising became a symbol of Jewish resistance

    1943: The Bermuda Conference of Great Britain and the U.S., held in Hamilton, Bermuda, takes no meaningful action to help Jews in Europe. Before the meeting, representatives of both countries had agreed not to discuss immigration of Jews to their nations nor to ship food to Jewish refugees in German-occupied Europe.

    1943(14thof Nisan, 5703): Rabbi Menachem Ziemba conducted a Seder tonight in the Warsaw Ghetto days before he would be gunned down the Wehrmacht.

    1943(14thof Nisan, 5703):  Members of the military attended a Seder at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

    1944: Birthdate of Yehuda Weinstein, the Tel Aviv born lawyer who became the Attorney General of Israel.

    1945: General Bedell Smith, Ike’s Chief of Staff, telephones Churchill to describe the horror that American troops found when they liberated Buchenwald.  Smith assures Churchill that it was worse than the scenes Ike had described in his telegraph of the previous day.

    1945:For a second time, General Eisenhower cabledMarshall, Army Chief of Staff, with a request to bring members of Congress and journalists to the newly liberated camps so that they could bring the horrible truth about Nazi atrocities to the American public.

    1945: General Marshall received permission from the Secretary of War, Henry Lewis Stimson, and President Harry S. Truman for these delegations to visit the liberated camps

    1945: During an afternoon speech in the House of Commons, Churchill describes the horrors discovered by Allied troops at places like Buchenwald and calls for Parliament to send eight representatives to view the camps as the first step in bringing those responsible for these atrocities to justices.

    1945: The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" opened on Broadway.

    1945: Dr. Rudolf Kastner crossed the Swiss border today.

    1946: Bouquets of gladioluses and other flowers from Palestine were present to wounded American soldiers at Halloran General Hospital in Staten Island as a gift of Palestine war veterans in appreciation of the aid the American military gave in the liberation of Europe’s Jews.  The gift was timed to coincide with the Festival of Passover.” The flowers were grown in Mishmar Hasharon a settlement mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    1946: New York Yankees Pitcher Herb Karpel appeared in his first major league baseball game.

    1947:  This evening, The Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center opened its Warsaw Ghetto Commemoration week with a Yizkor service. 
    1948: A Palmach unit used Al-Kafrayn for a training base before blowing it up

    1949(20th of Nisan, 5709): Reform Rabbi and Zionist leader Stephen Samuel Wise passed away.

    1950: At speech given to the Commerce and Industry Association in New York City, Harry A. Shadmon, director of the export division of the Chamber of Commerce of Tel Aviv and Jaffa said that “Israel stands a good chance this year of doubling the $4,500,000 in exports which it sent to the United States in 1949.” The figure for 1949 is especially impressive considering the military challenges the Jewish state was facing for the first six months of that year.

    1952: St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Herb Gorman played in his first major league baseball game.

    1952(24th of Nisan): Yiddish poet Moses David Gisser passed away in Santiago, Chile

    1953(4th of Iyar, 5713): Yom HaZikaron

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that torches and ceremonies on Mount Herzl had signaled the start of Israel's sixth year of independence.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Yasha Heifetz, the world-famous violinist, whose countrywide concerts schedule included a Richard Strauss violin sonata, cancelled his next recital, as his right hand, struck by an unknown person who opposed playing Strauss and Wagner in Israel, had become painful. Prime minister, David Ben-Gurion expressed his deep regret over this unfortunate incident.

    1953: The Jewish Labor Committee adopted a comprehensive program for this year that included a greater effort to obtain fair employment legislation in states and cities, as well as intensified activity to achieve drastic revisions of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act.

    1961: In Manhattan, Borscht Belt comedian Freddie Roman and his wife gave birth to Alan Kirschenbaum a television producer and comedy writer who worked on such shows as "Raising Hope,""My Name is Earl" and "Yes, Dear" (As reported by the LA Times obit staff)

    1962(15thof Nisan, 5722): Pesach

    1965: Funeral services for the late Mendel Osherowitch are scheduled to take place this morning at 11 am in Manhattan.

    1966(29th of Nisan, 5726): Eighty-year old “prize-winning poet, author, translator, historian, and communal leader Emily Solis-Cohen” passed away.

    1967:The head of the Zionist Organization of America declared today that Israel's hope for increased Western immigration, particularly a large influx of technically skilled young American Jews, could be realized only if Israel "creates the social and economic conditions" to attract it.

    1967: Konrad Adenauer former Chancellor of West Germany passed away.  Born in 1876, Adenauer remained in Germany during the war.  He was imprisoned by the government for his anti-Nazi sentiments.  In 1949, he was named Chancellor of the democratically elected West German Government.  Adenauer worked to reshape the role of Germany which included accepting responsibility for de-Nazfication and the role that Germany had played during the war.  He agreed to a program of reparations for the Jewish people and worked to establish harmonious relations with the state of Israel.  He did this in the face of pressure from Arab governments that had a lot more to offer the struggling German economy.

    1972: The late Diane Arbus's photographs were chosen to appear in the Venice Biennale, marking the first time an American photographer was honored at the event.

    1973:  Barbra Streisand recorded "Between Yesterday & Tomorrow"

    1974(27th of Nisan, 5734): Yom HaShoah

    1974(27th of Nisan, 5734): Yigal Stavi was killed today when his F-4E Phantom II was shot down today by the Syrians.

    1974: Benny Kiryati was taken prisoner when his F-4E Phantom II was shot down today by the Syrians.

    1975(8thof Iyar, 5735): Seventy-six year old French author and historian Robert Aron passed  away on the night before he was scheduled to be formally inducted into Académie Française

    1976: Birthdate of Rivka Galchen “a Canadian-American writer and physician. Her first novel, ‘Atmospheric Disturbances, was published in 2008.’” She has served as an adjunct professor in the writing division of Columbia University's School of Art

    1978: Yitzhak Navron was elected 5th President of Israel.

    1978: Fourth and final episode of “Holocaust” an NBC miniseries was broadcast this evening.

    1978: Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon after Operation Litani, the South Lebanon Army (SLA) shelled NIFIL headquarters. 

    1978: Birthdate of James Franco “an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author and poet.”

    1981(15thof Nisan, 5741): Pesach is observed for the first time under President Ronald Reagan.

    1985: In a joint ceremony, President Ronald Reagan presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Elie Wiesel and on signed the Jewish Heritage Week Proclamation.

    1987: Lieutenant General Levi ended his term as IDF Chief of Staff.  The Tel Aviv native joined the army in 1954 and took part in the parachute drop into the Mitla Pass during the 1956 Sinai Campaign.  He passed away on January 8, 2008 (Shevat 1) at the age of 72.

    1993: Fifty years after the start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Lillian Lazar describes the fight against the Nazis.

    1994:In Riverside Park, as a small group gathered to remember the 51st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Ruth W. Messinger's thoughts turned to what was happening in Gorazde. "Remembering what happened in Warsaw helps us express our outrage at what is now happening in Bosnia," said the Manhattan Borough President, referring to the siege of the Bosnian town. Benjamin Meed, another New Yorker, was living just outside the ghetto walls when the rebellion began on April 19, 1943, a Jew with Aryan papers. "For weeks I saw the ghetto burn," said the man who is now the president of the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization in America. "It was terrible. I remember how I watched my neighbors go about their normal lives. There was a carousel outside the ghetto walls that kept going. I cannot forget the bystanders. Now, I cannot believe that after that the world could allow such a thing today." By the time the handful of ghetto fighters had mounted their valiant but hopeless uprising, there were 40,000 Jews left inside the ghetto facing the fatal deportation that had already carried hundreds of thousands to their deaths. Then, news of what was happening did not make its way easily from Warsaw. Word comes more speedily from Gorazde, where there are reportedly 65,000 people huddling in flight from Serbian forces advancing into the city, and United Nations officials have warned of a potential humanitarian catastrophe.

    1994: A Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street, New York City, NY was designated as a National Historic Landmark. “Built between the years 1863-1864, the tenement building at 97 Orchard Street is representative of the first surge in tenement construction in New York City propelled by the need to accommodate the large influx of immigrants that were settling in the Lower East Side during this period. The late nineteenth century saw a precipitous increase in Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe, many of whom settled in the Lower East Side. The building at 97 Orchard Street housed numerous ethnic groups including Germans, Irish, Greek and Spanish, however, the ethnic make-up of the tenement building between 1890 and well into the 1920s consisted entirely of Eastern European Jews. With its upper four floors remaining virtually untouched for sixty years, the building readily conveys to the present-day observer the harsh and confining living conditions experienced by many immigrants in New York City during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and Eastern European Jews in particular. During its period of highest use, as many as 10,000 people may have inhabited the tenement building at 97 Orchard Street.”

    1996: Boļeslavs Maikovskis, the Latvian Nazi collaborator who lived undetected in New York for 36 before fleeing back to Europe died today without ever answering for his crimes.

    1997: Amid a ballroom filled with local notables, and political dignitaries, the JewishChautauquaSocietyhonored former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford with its National Champion of Interfaith Award. For the JewishChautauquans, who promote public service and interfaith dialogue, the award was especially relevant. Wofford, a Democrat who represented Pennsylvania in the Senate, is the Clinton administration's standard-bearer for volunteerism, the chief executive officer of the Corporation for National Service.

    1998:In an article entitled “The World; 50 Years Ago in Israel: Trying to Imagine the Future,” Marc D. Charney traces the history of the Jewish state.

    1998: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including“The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision” by Henry Kamen,''The Discipline of Hope,'' by Herbert Kohl, and“Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women” by Elizabeth Wurtzel.

    2001(27th of Nisan, 5761): Ninety-year old Obie award winning playwright Lionel Abel “the son of Alter Abelson, a rabbi and poet, and of Anna Schwartz Abelson, a writer of short stories” passed away today.

    2001(27th of Nisan, 5761): Forty-five Ornan Yekutieli, a sixth-generation Israeli on his father's side and a second generation Holocaust survivor on his mother's side who was born in Haifa in 1955 and was head of Jerusalem Now faction in the Jerusalem City Council, passed away in New York while waiting for a liver transplant.

    2001: President and Mrs. Bush participated in the “Days of Remembrance” Observance in the U.S. Capitol. The President declared, “We are bound by conscience to remember what happened, and to whom it happened.” Mrs. Bush participated in the lighting of candles with a Holocaust survivor.

    2001: At Colgate University’s Saperstein Jewish center Barry Strauss, director of peace studies and a professor of history at Cornell University, delivers a talk entitled “Massacre and Memory," followed by a discussion of the 1914 massacre in a small Russian-Polish village, and its after-effects.

    2002:This afternoon 250 Jews and 350 Palestinians shouted at each other across Michigan Avenue in Chicago as the Arab-Israel conflict comes to the Windy City.

    2004(28th of Nisan, 5764): Yom HaShoah


    2004(28th of Nisan, 5764): Samuel Ralph "Subway Sam" Nahem a journey-man pitcher who began his career with Brooklyn in 1938 and finished it with the Phillies in 1948 passed away today at the age of 88.  Nahem came from a Jewish baseball family since his uncle was outfielder Al Silvera.

    2004: The Jewish Theological Seminary Board of Overseers organizes a fund raiser that features a rare exhibition of original copies of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, owned by Dorothy Tapper Goldman. Proceeds from the event will enable JTS to make new acquisitions.

    2006: Haaretz reported that a sixteen-year-old tourist from the United States who sustained critical wounds in Monday's suicide bombing was still in serious condition.The teenager was fighting for his life after doctors operated on him most of the night. His injuries were mostly to his stomach and internal organs and his aorta was torn, she said.The American boy's family did not want any details about him released to the media.

    2006(21st of Nisan, 5766): Members of Portugal's Jewish community said prayers in a downtown Lisbon square to mark the 500th anniversary of a massacre of thousands of Jews in the Portuguese capital's streets. Chronicles from the time recount that when Catholic crowds, incited by a small group of priests, ran amok for three days in 1506 at least 2,000 Jews were butchered and burnt alive. The violence was said to have broken out after a local Jew questioned the validity of a supposed miracle. Lisbon at the time was gripped by hunger amid a prolonged drought and was threatened by an outbreak of the plague. Locals, encouraged by the Inquisition, sought divine help. About 50 members of Lisbon's Jewish community, estimated to number around 1,000, gathered at dusk in a square next to the Maria II National Theater, which was built on the site of an old Inquisition court. Participants declined to speak to reporters, citing a religious prohibition. Portugal's King Manuel I forced all Jews in his country to convert to Catholicism in 1496. Some fled, but those who stayed were subjected to humiliating public baptisms. They were designated "New Christians" or "Marranos," Iberian slang for pigs. Even then, they remained at risk from religious persecution and lived in designated Jewish quarters. In 1988, Portugal's then-president Mario Soares formally apologized to Jews for the persecution.

    2007: The Israel Opera presents the season’s first performance of Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos.”

    2007: A four day long International Conference entitled “Children Hidden in Belgium during the Holocaust meeting in Israel comes to an end.

    2007: Rosh Chodesh Iyar, first day of the month of Iyar.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that a Bible that a condemned member of the pre-state underground gave to his British prison guard minutes before he and a fellow Zionist fighter killed themselves is to be returned by the guard's son in Jerusalem today, six decades later. The saga dates back to 1947, when Meir Feinstein, 19, and Moshe Barazani, 21, were sentenced to death by the Mandatory authorities. Feinstein, of the Irgun, was condemned for his part in the bombing of the Jerusalem train station, and Barazani, of Lehi (the Stern Gang), was arrested with a grenade in his pocket while attempting to kill the city's British military commander. The two men became friends in the Jerusalem Central Prison and decided to blow themselves up rather than be hanged. Feinstein and Barazani formed a connection with a British police guard at the prison, Thomas Henry Goodwin, whom they dubbed "the good jailer." Right before their deaths, Feinstein presented Goodwin with a personally inscribed illustrated Bible. The Hebrew inscription read: "In the shadow of the gallows, 21.4.47. To the British soldier as you stand guard. Before we go to the gallows, accept this Bible as a memento and remember that we stood in dignity and marched in dignity. It is better to die with a weapon in hand than to live with hands raised. Meir Feinstein" A separate, similar English inscription was written below. Minutes later, after asking the guard for a moment of privacy to say a few prayers - thereby saving his life - the two men killed themselves with two booby-trapped oranges they'd hidden in their cell. Goodwin only realized later that there was an inscription for him in the Bible. "There is no doubt that they did not want to injure the guard. This is unequivocal," said Underground Prisoners Museum director Yoram Tamir in Jerusalem. Goodwin returned to the United Kingdom after Israel gained its independence in 1948 and kept the Bible for the next half century. Before his death, he asked his family to return it to the Feinstein family. Several months ago, Goodwin's son Dennis contacted the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem seeking to track down Feinstein's family and return the Bible. The Underground Prisoners Museum was able to locate Meir Feinstein's nephew, Elazar Feinstein. Today, Dennis Goodwin will return the Bible to Feinstein at the museum. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the ceremony, which is conducted in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, and under the auspices of the Jewish Agency and the Prime Minister's Office. The Bible will be put on display at the Underground Prisoners Museum. Feinstein and Barazani are buried on the Mount of Olives.

    2008: Diversity of Devotion: Celebrating New York’s Spiritual Harmony, an exhibit of photographs on display at the Brooklyn Public Library celebrating Faith in its many forms comes to a close. The Brooklyn Public Library show includes a photograph of Rabbi Levy and Rabbi Eliyahu of Congregation Beth Elohim in Queens taken by photographer and Forward contributor Julian Voloj. The work was drawn from Voloj’s series of photos on black Jews in America.

    2008: Palestinian suicide bombers from Gaza drove three explosives-laden vehicles into the Kerem Shalom goods crossing on the border with Israel early today.

    2008(14th of Nisan, 5768): Just as it did 65 years ago, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising falls on the same day on both the secular and Jewish calendars.

    2008(14th of Nisan, 5768): In the evening, the first Seder marks the start of Pesach.

    2008:The last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising paid silent tribute to the young Jews who launched the doomed revolt against Nazi troops 65 years ago. Marek Edelman, 89, handed yellow tulips and daffodils to his grandchildren, Liza and Tomek. He watched as they placed them at the foot of the gray-and-black Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto, located in a barren square at the heart of the former ghetto. Accompanied by a crowd of a few hundred people in wet weather, Edelman, in a wheelchair, moved on to nearby monuments to leaders of the ghetto revolt, before ending in a square where the Nazis put more than 300,000 Jews on trains to Auschwitz and other death camps. At a separate ceremony, members of the Jewish community read out the names of some of those killed in the uprising and then formed a human chain in front of the ghetto heroes' monument, as sirens wailed and military guards fired three rounds of gunfire as a sign of mourning. The uprising was the first act of large-scale armed civilian resistance against the Germans in occupied Poland during World War II. The Nazis walled off the ghetto in November 1940, cramming 400,000 Jews from across Poland into it, under inhuman conditions. On April 19, 1943, German troops started to liquidate the ghetto by sending tens of thousands of its residents to death camps. In the face of imminent death, several hundred young Jews took up arms in defense of the civilians. They held off German troops for three weeks with homemade explosives and a cache of smuggled weapons. The uprising ended when its main leaders - rounded up by the Nazis - committed suicide on May 8, 1943. The Nazis then razed the ghetto, street by street. Today’s commemorations followed official events held Tuesday, to avoid coinciding with the Jewish Sabbath. President Lech Kaczynski of Poland and President Shimon Peres of Israel led those observances.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readings including “Shadow and Light” by Jonathan Rabbn, “How Free Is Free? The Long Death of Jim Crow” by Leon F. Litwackand the recently released paperback edition of “Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands” byMichael Chabon.

     2009: At NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish life people from all over New York City join in “Sing Out Israel,” an event featuring familiar Israeli and Jewish tunes.

    2009:A.B. Yehoshua, the award-winning Israeli author, reads from and discusses his most recent novel, “Friendly Fire,” and chats about his life as a writer and his thoughts on Israel in a conversation with Leon Wieseltier, at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2009:The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center opened today under rainy skies, with several thousand people seated beneath large tents, their enthusiasm shown in a standing ovation for survivors.

    2010: As part of its Graduate Seminar Program, The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a program entitled “‘Gentleman's Agreement’ and ‘Crossfire’:  Anti-Semitism at the Movies”

    2010: Terminal 5 is scheduled to host New York’s community-wide Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration honoring Israel's fallen and celebrating 62 years of independence at what is described as the largest Yom Ha'Zikaron/Yom Ha'Atzmaut gathering in the world outside of Israel!
    2010(5th of Iyar, 5770): Yom Hazikaron

    2010(5th of Iyar, 5770):Felicia Haberfeld, a native of Poland who fought to reclaim her husband's ancestral home in Auschwitz decades after it was seized by the Nazis, died today at the age of 98 in Los Angeles.

    2010: The State Department summoned the senior Syrian diplomat in Washington to accuse his government of "provocative behavior" in supplying scud ballistic missiles to Hezbollah.

    2011(15 Nisan, 5711): Second Day of Pesach

    2011: In the evening Second Seder.  Somewhere a person with roots in the Gibraltar Jewish Community will say “Todo el que tenga hambre, venga y coma, todo el que tenga menester, venga y pascue” (Anyone who is hungry come and eat; all who have need, come and celebrate) as they follow that community’s custom of reciting the Haggdah in Ladino for the Second Seder.

    2011: In the third such attack in Greece in less than 2 years, arsonists break into Corfu island synagogue and damage at least 30 prayer books.


    2011: Steve Soboroff was hired by Frank McCourt to be the Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. (Soboroff was Jewish)

    2012(27th of Nisan, 5772): Yom Hashoah

    2012: “Spoken Word and Music Performance” a Holocaust Remembrance Day observance co-sponsored by La Maison Francaise is scheduled to take place at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.

    2012: Holocaust survivor and Director of the ADL, Abraham Foxman is scheduled to appear at the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Yom Hashoah memorial event.

    2012:Yad Vashem will publish thousands of new documents today gleaned from national and KGB archives from the former Soviet Union on this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    2012:” Remembrance” a film that depicts a love story between a German Jew and a

    Polish Catholic that blossomed amid the terror of Auschwitz in 1944 is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: The world’s most wanted living Nazi collaborator is Laszlo Csatary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in its annual report today (As reported by Gil Shefler)

    2012:Left-wing extremists defaced three monuments to Israeli terror victims and fallen members of the security services in the Jordan Valley, police discovered today, just one week before Israel honors its war dead.

    2012: Irwin M. Jacobs “was named the W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 Executive of the Year, which honors change-making business leaders who serve as models for today’s business students”

    2012: Yad Vashem is scheduled to publish “thousands of new documents gleaned from national and KGB archives from the former Soviet Union on this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. The new archival material – totaling approximately one million new documents – is available following several international agreements made in the past four years with national archives and those with the KGB from the former USSR.”

    2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at a Shabbat Event at the University of Illinois sponsored by Chabad.

    2013: “No Place on Earth” is scheduled to premiere in Portland, Oregon and Chicago, Illinois.

    2013(9th of Iyar, 5773): Ninety-two year old Francois Jacob, the recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine passed away today.

    2013(9th of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-year old computer and math wizard Kenneth I. Appel passed away today.

    2013(9th of Iyar, 5773): Ninety-five year photographer turned actor Allan Arbus best known for his role as the quirky psychiatrist on “M*A*S*H,” passed away today.

    2013(9th of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-three year old children author and illustration E. L. Konigsburg passed away today.

    2013: A dinner to help raise funds for research on treating Glycogen Storage Disease, a rare Ashkenazi Jewish liver disorder is scheduled to be held at the Coral Springs Marriott.

    2013: On the secular calendar, 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    2013: A complex $10 billion arms deal in its final stages would strengthen two key Arab allies – the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - while maintaining Israel's military edge, US defense officials said today.

    2013: Following the public outrage over a debt arrangement between Bank Leumi and tycoon Nochi Dankner’s Ganden Holdings Ltd., the bank announced this afternoon that it was backing out of the arrangement.

    2014: “The Last Act of Lilka Kadison” is scheduled to have its final performance today at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank

    2014: In Poland, observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day which coincides with the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    2014: “Paris-Manhattan” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival.


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    April 20

    121:  Birthdate of Marcus Aurelius 16th Roman emperor.  The “Philosopher” Emperor reigned from 161-180 and he was a cut above those who came before and after him.  But he had a low opinion of the Jews, referring to them as “stinking and tumultuous” as “he rode through Judea.”  He reportedly preferred the company of the barbaric Teutons in the north to that of the Jews.  This attitude may have been shaped by the difficulty the Romans had in defeating the Jews during their successive rebellions against Rome.  Only 25 years before Marcus Aurelius came to power, it had taken the full force of the Roman Empire four years to finally defeat Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva.

    570: Birthdate of Muhammad or Mohammad, the founder of Islam.

    636:  At the Battle of Yarmuk the Arabs took control of Syria and Palestine away from the Byzantine Empire. It is considered by some historians to have been one of the most significant battles in the history of the world, since it marked the first great wave of Muslim conquests outside Arabia, and heralded the rapid advance of Islam into Christian Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.  The battle took place only four years after the prophet Muhammad died in 632.  Considering the way the Christians had been treating them, the conquest by the Arabs left the Jews in a comparatively better position.

    1096: Approximately 40,000 peasants led by Peter Hermit left Cologne on the start of what was called the “Peasants’ Crusade.”  This populist movement among the poor was the most ill-fated part of the First Crusade.  The peasants had nothing and trusted in God to provide for them. This meant living off of the land which would bode ill for those in their path including the Jews of the Rhineland.

    1191: Phillip II, who expelled the Jews from France in 1182 after extorting as much money as he could from them, arrived at Acre to perform his holy Christian obligation to take part in the Crusades.

    1192: As the Christians jockey for control over the Holy Land, Richard I of England gives his support to Conrad of Montferrat’s claim to be King of Jerusalem.

    1298:  In Rotttingen, a small German town in Franconia, a local noble named Rindfleish, accused the local Jews of profaning the host. He then incited the Burgher and local populace to join in the killing. Twenty one Jews were murdered. The killing soon spread to a hundred and forty communities in Bavaria and Austria. In all tens of thousands of Jews were either killed or wounded.  The killing stopped when the civil war raging through Germany ended.  Albrecht, the newly chosen Emperor, brought an to the end of the violence and even punished some the participants.

    1303: Pope Boniface VIII issues the bull creating The University of Rome La Sapienza. Considering the fact that Boniface believed in the concept that “Outside the Church, no Salvation” meaning that the key to salvation required membership in the Catholic Church, it is safe to assume that there were no Jewish students or faculty at the school.  Relations between the Jews and the school have obviously changed as can be seen by the “wide-ranging cooperation agreement” that was signed by Tel Aviv University and Rome's Sapienza University in March of 2010. The agreement, allows for exchanges of students and professors, as well as joint research projects and master's programs. The Italian economist Franco Modigliani and Zionst Ze'ev Jabotinsky were two of the most prominent Jews to attend the University of Rome during the 20th century.

    1314: Pope Clement V passed away.  Clement was the first of the “Avignon Popes. In the first year of his reign, 1305, he became the “first pope to threaten Jews with an economic boycott in an attempt to force them to stop charging Christians interest on loans.”

    1344(28thof Nisan, 5104): Levi Ben Gershon (the RaLBaG) also known as Gersonides passed away.

    1505: Philibert of Luxembourg expelled the Jews from Orange Burgundy. At this time Luxembourg is ruled by Phillip the Fair, King of Spain - where Jews had been expelled in 1492.  Phillip's mother was Marie of Burgundy.  In this case the Jews merely seemed to have gotten caught up in the dynastic swirl that was so much of European History prior to the French Revolution.

    1615:  Led by Dr. Chemnitz, the guilds of Worms "non-violently" forced the Jews from the city. Chemnitz was a lawyer and he devised a series of schemes where the Jews were deprived of food and the ability to leave and enter the city.  A deputation came to them on what was the seventh day of Pesach and gave them an hour to leave the city.  As the Jews left, the thousand year old synagogue and the adjacent burial grounds were attacked and desecrated by the "non-violent" citizens of Worms, Germany.

    1632(29th of Nisan): “Nicolas Antione, a convert to Judaism, was burned at the stake in Geneva

    1657:  After a battle of almost two years Asser Levy one of the original 23 settlers was allowed to serve on guard duty. Levy had been denied the right to serve, having been told to pay a tax instead.  This was the European Way of doing things.  Levy would have none of it.  Serving guard duty marked him as a full-fledged citizen.  It was an early indication that the New World would indeed be a new world for the Jews. Levy who was the ritual slaughterer of the town opened his slaughterhouse on what is now Wall Street. He further petitioned to be allowed the rights as a Burgher or freeperson on the town, which he received albeit reluctantly by the burgomasters of New Amsterdam.

    1728:The London Gazette reports that twelve individuals (including four Jews) who had been previously captured by Moroccan pirates are now released under a new peace treaty between England and the Emperor of Morocco. Rachel, David, and Raphael Franco along with Blanco Flora had been captured while en route from London to New York. The Gazettereports that they were returned to England on "His Majesty's Ship Monmouth." Interestingly enough, though the other victims are listed by name and nationality i.e. William Pendergrass/English, Joseph Patroon/Spanish, Alboro Tordaselas/Gibraltar— the four Jews (Rachel, David and Raphael Franco, and Blanco Flora), are listed as "Jews," under nationality. These events of 1728 preceded the era of Jew Bills and the civil and religious liberties of Jewish people were far from secure. They were indeed people without a country. Our research shows the Franco family to be of Portuguese/Sephardic extraction, who generations before undoubtedly fled the Inquisition of Portugal. Raphael Franco became a powerful merchant in the diamond and coral trade operating between India, Brazil and England.

    1772(17thof Nisan, 5532): Third day of Pesach

    1772(17thof Nisan, 5532): Israel Ben Moses Ha-Levi Zamosz, a Polish born Talmudist who wrote on both religious and secular subjects passed away today at Brody


    1777: At Kingston, NY, during the American Revolution the New York Convention voted to guarantee the free exercise of religion

    1799(15thof Nisan, 5559): Last Pesach of the 18th century.

    1799: In a proclamation, a copy of which is quoted below, Napoleon "promised" the Jews of Eretz Israel the "reestablishment of ancient Jerusalem", coupled with a plea for their support. This was the first promise by a modern government to establish a Jewish state. In 1799, the French armies under Napoleon were camped outside of Acre. Napoleon issued a letter offering Palestine as a homeland to the Jews under French protection. The project was stillborn because Napoleon was defeated and was forced to withdraw from the Near East. The letter is remarkable because it marks the coming of age of enlightenment philosophy, making it respectable at last to integrate Jews as equal citizens in Europe and because it marked the beginning of nineteenth century projects for Jewish autonomy in Palestine under a colonial protectorate. After the defeat of Napoleon, it was largely the British who carried forward these projects, which have in hindsight been given the somewhat misleading name of "British Zionism." Napoleon conquered Jaffa but retreated from Acco (Acre); Napoleon's Proclamation of a Jewish State was stillborn, and his declaration of equal rights for Jews was repealed in part in 1806.

    Letter to the Jewish Nation from the French Commander-in-Chief Bonaparte issued at General Headquarters, Jerusalem 1st Floreal, April 20th, 1799, in the year of 7 of the French Republic by BUONAPARTE, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMIES OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC IN AFRICA AND ASIA, TO THE RIGHTFUL HEIRS OF PALESTINE.

    Israelites, unique nation, whom, in thousands of years, lust of conquest and tyranny have been able to be deprived of their ancestral lands, but not of name and national existence!
    Attentive and impartial observers of the destinies of nations, even though not endowed with the gifts of seers like Isaiah and Joel, have long since also felt what these, with beautiful and uplifting faith, have foretold when they saw the approaching destruction of their kingdom and fatherland: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35,10) Arise then, with gladness, ye exiled!  A war unexampled In the annals of history, waged in self-defense by a nation whose hereditary lands were regarded by its enemies as plunder to be divided, arbitrarily and at their convenience, by a stroke of the pen of Cabinets, avenges its own shame and the shame of the remotest nations, long forgotten under the yoke of slavery, and also, the almost two-thousand-year-old ignominy put upon you; and, while time and circumstances would seem to be least favorable to a restatement of your claims or even to their expression ,and indeed to be compelling their complete abandonment, it offers to you at this very time, and contrary to all expectations, Israel's patrimony! The young army with which Providence has sent me hither, let by justice and accompanied by victory, has made Jerusalem my head-quarters and will, within a few days, transfer them to Damascus, a proximity which is no longer terrifying to David's city. Rightful heirs of Palestine! The great nation which does not trade in men and countries as did those which sold your ancestors unto all people (Joel,4,6) herewith calls on you not indeed to conquer your patrimony ;nay, only to take over that which has been conquered and, with that nation's warranty and support, to remain master of it to maintain it against all comers.
    Arise! Show that the former overwhelming might of your oppressors has but repressed the courage of the descendants of those heroes who alliance of brothers would have done honor even to Sparta and Rome (Maccabees 12, 15) but that the two thousand years of treatment as slaves have not succeeded in stifling it. Hasten!, Now is the moment, which may not return for thousands of years, to claim the restoration of civic rights among the population of the universe which had been shamefully withheld from you for thousands of years, your political existence as a nation among the nations, and the unlimited natural right to worship Jehovah in accordance with your faith, publicly and most probably forever (JoeI 4,20).

    1808: Birthdate of Louis-Napoleon.  A nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, he became Napoleon III, Emperor of France from 1852 to 1871. On July 19, 1870, Napoleon IIIdeclared war on Prussia in what is known as the Franco-Prussian War. A number of Jews, including Jules Moch and Leopold See, attained high rank in the French army. See later became Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior. The war also marked the beginning of Rabbis serving as chaplains in the German army. After the War the region of Alsace and part of Lorraine became annexed to Germany. Many Jewish families preferred to emigrate rather than be under German rule.

    1814(30thof Nisan, 5574): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1814(30thof Nisan, 5574): Thirty-four year old “Jewish writer, teacher, translator and publisher” Moses Philippson passed away today at Desau.

    1832: Congress established a park at Hot Springs, Arkansas when it designated itsfamous natural springs as a natural resource preserve as people from around the country flocked to the 143 degree water as a medical treatment for arthritis and other bone ailments. Jews were connected with Hot Springs from its earliest day.  Jacob Mitchell, a Jewish immigrant from Galicia, arrived in Arkansas in 1830 along with his two brothers.  Mitchell somehow acquired an old Spanish land grant to a portion of the springs, and he and his heirs spent the next forty years unsuccessfully fighting the federal government in court over their rights to the springs. Regardless of the status of the litigation, Mitchell became an active part of the city’s commercial scene when bought a hotel in Hot Springs in 1846 and opened a bath house.

    1837(1th of Nisan, 5597): Jews observe Pesach for the first time with Martin Van Buren as President of the U.S.

    1838:Charlotte Beyfus married German banker Abraham Oppenheim.

    1851(18thof Nisan, 5611): 4th day of Pesach

    1851(18thof Nisan, 5611): Isaac Erter, the native of Galicia who gained fame as a physician and satirist passed away today at Brody.

    1856(15th of Nisan, 5616): First Day of Pesach

    1861, Joseph *Seligman was vice president of a Union meeting held at Union Square on this date. His firm, J. and J. Seligman & Co., sold federal bonds in the astonishing sum of $200,000,000.

    1861: In Baltimore, MD, a pro-Southern mob attacked the printing shops that produced Der Wecker and Sinai, two "abolitionist publications.  Rabbi Einhorn, an out-spoken foe of slavery, felt threatened enough to agree to the request of his congregation that he leave the city.  Einhorn would move to Philadelphia where he would resume publishing the Sinai.

    1865: “An estimated 25 million Americans attended memorial services for Abraham Lincoln in Washington and around the country.” In New York several synagogues held well-attended services in memory of the recently assassinated President. At Shearith Israel, after the choir sang a variety of Psalms, Rabbi J.J. Lyons “delivered a short but eloquent address, in which he frequently” referred “to the qualities of the man and the unswerving loyalty and honesty of the statesman, whose loss they were…suddenly called upon to mourn.”  This was followed by a recitation of the Kaddish and “a special prayer for the recovery of Secretary of State Seward who had been wounded on the same night that Lincoln had been killed. The service ended with a prayer for “ the future prosperity of the country” and the chanting of psalms by the choir.  At B'nai Jeshurun, the chanting of Psalms was followed by a Dr. Raphael’s sermon in which he praised the virtues of the slain President.At the Broadway Synagogue, the chanting of opening hymns was followed by a prayer for the government before the opened Ark and a sermon by Rabbi S.W. Isaacs based on Genesis, chap. xv., v. 1: "Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield. Thy reward shall be exceedingly great.'' Services were also held at several other synagogues including the Norfolk Street Synagogue, the Greene Street Synagogue and Temple Emanu-El. The neat little synagogue of the Congregation Sheary Berochole, in East Ninth-street, was the scene of very impressive ceremonies. At noon, the building was filled to overflowing with a very respectable audience, mostly dressed in deep mourning, to participate in the services commemorative of the death of Mr. Lincoln arranged by the congregation. After reciting Psalms 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10, the Kadish, or prayer for deceased persons, was said, and the Minchah Prayer intoned, at the close of which Rev. H. WASSERMAN delivered the funeral sermon. His text was from Isaiah 44, 7: "For a small moment I have forsaken thee, and all forsook thee." The tenor of his discourse was the necessity of trusting to the goodness of God, however mysterious his providences may seem. He exhorted all to imitate the honesty, charity and good will to all men which had distinguished the life and character of our deceased President. The Hebrew prayer for a deceased father was then said, coupled with an exhortation for the recovery of the Secretary of State and his son was then said, and after the recitation of five psalms, the congregation dispersed.

    1866: In a plebiscite, Charles was elected in a near unanimous vote to serve as King of Romania. His government would not prove to be a protector of its Jewish citizens.

    1867(15th of Nisan, 5627): Jews living in Alaska celebrate Pesach for the first time as U.S. citizens since the U.S. had purchased Seward’s Folly 30 days ago.

    1871(29thof Nisan, 5631): Polish author Jacob Tugenhold who was born near Krakow and who founded a “modern Jewish school” in Warsaw, passed away today.

    1874:Di Yidishe Gazeten, first influential Yiddish newspaper in the United States began publication today.

    1875(15th of Nisan, 5635): Pesach

    1875: Birthdate of Edouard Alexandre de Pomiane, also known as Edouard Pozerski author of the 1929 epic “The Jews of Poland: Recollections and Recipes” who passed away in 1964

    1879: According to the report made by Superintendent Louis today, the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was home to 10 children, eight of whom were boys and two of whom were girls, ranging in age from three and half years to ten years.

    1882(1st of Iyar, 5642): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1882:  J. A. Engelbart presided over tonight’s meeting of a committee formed “raise money to feed and shelter Jewish refugees from Russia and to aid them in finding home in” in the United States.  The meeting was held at B’nai Jeshrun.  Among the attendees were Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs and Dr. Simeon N. Leo.

    1882: It was reported today that a dispatch from St. Petersburg “states that the persecution of the Jews continues” unabated.  At least 17,000 Jews have been left homeless after villages in Southern Russia were destroyed.

    1882: “Current Foreign Topics” published today described a private meeting that had been held in Berlin to provide assistance for Jews who wished to leave Russia.  The attendees pledged seventy thousand marks to assist in the endeavor.

    1883(13th of Nisan, 5643): Ninety-one year old Asher American, who had served as the Assistant Reader at congregations on Norfolk, Stanton and Sixth Streets passed away tonight.

    1883: It was reported today that The Cleveland Herald has been interviewing the city’s Jewish clergy on the possibility of Jews returning to Palestine.  Rabbi Hahn considers the idea as being impracticable and feels that “the Jewish people…are a great deal better off here than they could possibly be there.”  Rabbi Lane echoes these sentiments and “is most strongly opposed to …immigration schemes.”   The Herald believes “that these gentlemen speak the prevailing sentiment” of the Jewish people.

    1884: According to “The Relations of Animal Diseases to the Public Health and Their Prevention” by Frank S. Billings which was reviewed today’s New York Times, the author  “quotes the Hebrew legislator who forbade pork as food for the chosen people of the Lord.  Moses did this with a knowledge of its ‘non- hygienic character.”

    1884(25th of Nisan, 5644): Dr. Lyon Berhard, one of the oldest dentists in New York passed away today in Manhattan.  Born in Amsterdam in 1812 and a graduate of the Baltimore College of Dentistry, he came to New York 42 years ago.  He was a founding member of B’Nai  Israel and was an active member of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society.

    1884: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil, Rabbi Kaufman Kohler and Joseph Blumenthal were among the attendees at a reception given at the new building of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.  The building which is located at Avenue A and 87th Street was originally built for the use of the late John Jacob Astor.

    1886(15th of Nisan, 5646): First Day of Pesach

    1888: It was reported today that in Jacksonville, FL, Rabbi of Levy of Charleston, SC had presided at the marriage of Susie Jacoby of Charleston to Mose J. Ullman of Evansville, Indiana.

    1888:  The Jewish Messenger reports that Orach Chaim has contributed support for a New York City Chief Rabbi. "This action is the more significant as it is the first uptown congregation to join the downtown contingent and mostly composed of Germans while the other uptown orthodox congregations are mostly composed of the Polish element."

    1888((9th of Iyar): Russian born philanthropist Samuel Poljakoff passed away.

    1889: Birthdate of Otto Heinrich Frank, father of Anne Frank. Frank survived the Holocaust and passed away in 1980.

    1889: Birthdate of Adolph Hitler

    1889: Birthdate of Albert Jean Amateau,rabbi, businessman, lawyer and social activist.
    Born a Sephardic Jew in Milas, Turkey, Amateau attended the American International College in Izmir (Smyrna), Turkey. He immigrated to the United States in 1910. In the early 1920s, Amateau began a movement to bring more Jews into the workplace and government. He was also involved largely in the affairs of deaf people. After he returned from the Army (he served in World War I), Amateau was ordained in 1920 at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and he became the first rabbi of a congregation of the deaf. In 1941, Amateau developed the Albert J. Amateau Foreign Language Service, a business providing translators for lipsync dubbing for motion pictures. The business continued in operation until 1989. An ardent supporter of his homeland of Turkey, Amateau began various Turkish-oriented organizations while residing in the United States. In 1992, at the age of 103, he helped found the American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey and was named as its president. Amateau was also an advocate of peace, and in 1937, he assisted with negotiations between Jews and Arabs of Palestine. Amateau died in 1996 at the age of 106 years, 10 months.

    1890(30th of Nisan, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1890: It was reported today that strikers in Austria are trying to turn the labor unrest  “into an anti-Jewish crusade.  Many of the mill and mine owners in the region are Jewish and the Rothschilds own the largest iron and steel works at Witkowitz.  The strikers have turned their fury on the local Jewish merchants and their attacks have left several hundred Jewish families “camping in the fields in utter destitution.

    1891: A fire broke out in a tenement house at 194 Henry Street which is home to a large number of Russian Jews.

    1893(4thof Iyar, 5653): Dr. Wilhelm Lowenthal, “the Jewish scientist who had been invited to Argentina in 1890 to share his technological expertise on agricultural matters” and who “persuaded Baron de Hirsch to fund the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) to aid Jewish settlers in Argentina” passed away today.

    1894(14th of Nisan, 5654): An article entitled “Festival of the Passover” states that “Pesach, the Jewish festival of the Passover, begins the evening and continues for a week.”  Furthermore, “the households of the Orthodox and many of those who have accepted the modern or reformed” customs will host a Seder.

    1895(26thof Nisan, 5655): Joseph Heiman Caro, author of Ṭevaḥ ṿe-hakhen (טבח והכן: כל דני שחיטות ובדיקות) passed away today

    1895: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band performed at the Odd Fellows’ Home Fair which is being held at the Lenox Lyceum.

    1896: “A Precious Privilege Retained” published today described a declaration published by the anti-Semitic German “National” Students at the University of Vienna stating that “they would henceforth refust to accept challenges from the Jewish Students’ Corps, as they would think themselves defiled if they fought them.”  The Rector refused to respond to an appeal from the Jewish students asking that this declaration be overturned. According to some observers, the German students’ declaration is rooted in the fact that the Jews have defeated them whenever a challenge was made and accepted.

    1899: Testimony continues to be given before the Court of Cassation in the Dreyfus revision inquiry.

    1900: Max Nordau introduced Herzl to Alfred Austin who gives him a friendly letter to Lord Salisbury, the British Prime Minister. Herzl sought British support in his attempts to persuade the government at Constantinople to allow the development of a Jewish homeland. . Salisbury did not receive Herzl "on account of the war worries".

    1905(15thof Nisan, 5665): As Russia confronted its defeat by the Japanese and the violence of the Russian Revolution, the Jews observe Pesach.

    1908: Birthdate of Yisrael Yeshayahu Sharabi, a native of Sa’dah , Yemin, who make aliyah in 1929 and eventually became the fifth Speaker of the Knesset.

    1912: Birthdate of David Ginsburg, “a liberal lawyer and longtime Washington insider who helped found the Americans for Democratic Action and led the presidential commission on race relations whose report, in 1968, warned that the United States was ‘moving toward two societies — one black, one white, separate and unequal.’”

    1912: In the Bronx, a memorial service is to be held at the Montifore Congregation for the crew and passengers who died when the Titanic sank.

    1912: A banquet celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Free Synagogue hosted by Rabbi Stephen Wise was postponed as public mourning for those who lost their lives on the Titanic continues.

    1913: A general strike by 4,000 kosher bakers began today when 1,000 of them quit work in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Brownsville.  The strike had originally been scheduled to start on April 29. The early strike date really was of little significance since the bakers would have quite working tomorrow any way do the fact that Passover starts tomorrow evening.

    1913: Morris Siegel, known to his friends and family as “Morris the Apple Peddler” attended the the Brit Milah today for three boys – his three sons all of whom were born eight days ago.  The crowd of well-wishers grew even larger when the entire class of his 13 year old son Harry arrived at the event.

    1915: Birthdate of South African-born, American psychologist Joseph Wolpe.

    1915(6th of Iyar, 5675): Seventy-two year old Nathan Gratz, a well-known New York lawyer passed away today. He was the son of Jonathan and Rebecca Gratz (Moses) Nathan. “Mr. Nathan graduated from Columbia College in 1861. He engaged in practice in 1864 and was well known in Democratic political circles, clubs, and charitable societies. He was a member of New York law Institute, Columbia Alumni, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.”

    1915: Birthdate of journalist Israel Epstein

    1916: Birthdate of Wiera Vera Gran, the Polish born Jewish singer who first performed under the name Sylvia Green and who became the center of a controversy surrounding her survival of the Holocaust.

    1917:  As the Russian military position continued to deteriorate and Russian soldiers demanded immediate peace with the Germans, mutinies broke out.  In one instance an artillery officer named Khaust who had demanded that his fellow Russians lay down their armswas saved from an angry assembly of soldiers by a Jewish soldier known simply as Rom who intervened on their behalf.

    1918: “Banquet to Jewish Soldiers” published today described plans for an upcoming banquet being hosted by the Jewish Board of Welfare and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association  under the chairmanship of Benjamin Natal for the benefit the young Jewish men who are about to leave for Fort Dix to begin serving in the U.S. Army.

    1919: “The young women who worked as telephone operators at New England Telephone and Telegraph walked off the job. One of the strike leaders was Rose Finkelstein, a young Jewish worker, who had emigrated with her family as a young child from Kiev, Russia.”  (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)

    1920: “Chaim Weizmann arrived at the Hotel Royal in San Remo, two days after the San Remo conference had convened.”  Still smarting from the failure of the British to stop the riots aimed at the Jews of Jerusalem that had broken out earlier in the month, the usually reserved Weizmann, congratulates Phillip Kerr, Lloyd George’s private secretary, on the “first pogrom ever conducted under the British flag.”  The unusual outburst took place in the hotel lobby, a public denunciation that caught the British leader off guard and led to cooling off period for the Zionist leader.

    1920:  In the aftermath of World War I, Palestine ceased to be a part of the defeated Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).  The League of Nations made Palestine a British Mandate which meant recognition of the terms of the Balfour Declaration.

    1921: Birthdate of Marcos Moshinsky the Ukrainian born Mexican physicist who won the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Investigation in 1988 and the UNESCO Science Prize in 1997. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 87.

    1922: Philadelphia Athletics 2nd baseman Heinie Scheer appeared in his first major league baseball game.

    1924: Birthdate of Morris Edward Chafetz, the son of Jewish immigrants who played an important role in changing the public perception of alcoholism from social crime or personal failing to a disease requiring treatment.´ (As reported by William Grimes)

    1926: Warner Brothers, which was owned by the four Warner brothers and Western Electricannounced the creation of Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film. Vitaphone would be the sound system used in the making of “The Jazz Singer,” the first talking motion picture.

    1936: Jews repelled an Arab attack in Petach Tikvah. This attack was part of the Arab Uprising that lasted from 1936 until 1939.  The Arabs aim was to put an end to the dream of a Jewish homeland.  While they failed militarily, they were handed victory by a British decision to virtually put an end to Jewish land purchases and immigration.  This effectively slammed the door shut on the Jews of Europe on the eve of the Shoah.   Petach Tikvah or "Gateway of Hope" was originally founded by religious Jewish pioneers who had been living in Jerusalem.  What would eventually become a city, was a collection of mud huts built by 26 families on malaria infested piece of land seven miles east of what would one day become Tel Aviv.  Petach Tikvah took its name from a verse in Hosea "And I will give her...the valley of Achor for a gateway of Hope (2:17)."  The moshav would be abandoned for a brief period and then re-started with support from Baron Rothschild.  Petach Tikvah became a model and inspiration for the moshav movement.  Unfortunately, Petach Tikvah is no stranger to Arab violence.  During the 1920's, the defense of Petach Tikvah had helped to defeat an earlier Arab attempt to destroy the efforts by Jews to resettle and rehabilitate land that had been designated as “the Jewish Home.’ In the latest Arab Uprising, Petach Tikvah has been the scene of a suicide bombing in 2002 and the scene of a thwarted bombing in 2003. 

    1936(28th of Nisan, 5696): Zvi Dannenberg died today of wounds suffered on April 15 when he and Israel Khazahn were attacked by Arabs as they traveled from Nablus to Tulkarm.

    1936: Bronislaw Huberman, founder and organizer of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra announced that Arturo Toscanini has decided to include music by Mendelssohn on the first program he will conduct with the symphony. There is an element of political protest in this announcement since Mendelssohn has been banned by the Nazis.

    1938: Despite bomb throwing which has become a daily occurrence in Jerusalem, an enthusiastic crowd filled Jerusalem’s Edison Hall for Toscanini’s fifth concert Aprof the season with the Palestine Orchestra.

    1938: German planes fly over Austria on Hitler’s birthday dropping tiny Swastikas.  This is the “new” Austria after the Anschluss which had taken place in March of 1938.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that for the third night in succession bombs had been thrown in the center of Jerusalem, injuring Edwin Eisler, 18, and Banu Baland, 35. Forty "illegal" Jewish immigrants who had been in Palestine for many years, declared a hunger strike in order to persuade the mandate's authorities to change their status from "illegal" immigrants whom the courts failed to deport, to that of recognized permanent residents, so that they could bring here their families from abroad.

    1939:  On Hitler's fiftieth birthday, all Catholic churches in Greater Germany hoisted the swastika in celebration.

    1939: The Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt (WVHA; Economy and Administration Main Office) was upgraded. It was concerned with SS economic matters, particularly at concentration camps.

    1939: At a meeting of the British Cabinet’s Palestine Committee, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, ever the appeaser, stressed that it of ‘immense importance’ with regard to British strategy ‘to have the Moslem world with us.  If we must offend one side, let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs.’ This pronouncement was a complete violation of the Balfour Declaration and the terms of the Mandate.  It set the stage for the effective closing of Palestine to Jewish immigration in May of 1939; a policy that bought death for the Jews but failed to win the goodwill of the Arabs.  

    1941: German newspapers in Greece come out blaming Jews for ruining Germany after World War I.   During this same period in April, the Greek newspaper New Europe wrote in capital letters “DEATH TO THE JEWS.” The paper reported that the Jews were the cause of economic problems in Germany. Levy stated the Greek paper called for the destruction of the "Jewish race once and for all."

    1942: The Battle for Moscow comes to an “end.”  The war in the East will grind on.  But thanks to the gritty, desperate defense of the Soviet capital, the German Army has been stopped and what was to have been a lightning war turns into a war of attrition.  As bad as the Holocaust was, defeat at Moscow would have made it even worse.  The Soviet victory here, along with other Soviet victories later in the war caused General Douglas McArthur (of all people) to declare that the Red Army was the Hope of the World.

    1942: At Mauthausen, “forty-eight people were shot at two minute intervals as a present to Hitler on his birthday.”

    1942: At a birthday banquet for Hitler in East Prussia, Hermann Göring announced that he was responsible for the Reichstagfire of February 27, 1933, that set off Nazi reprisals against purported Communist subversion.

    1943(15thof Nisan, 5703): Pesach

    1943: On the second day of the Warsaw uprising the ghetto is bombarded with fire from, mortars and machine guns. Germans kill all the sick in the Czyste hospital. Then they set the hospital on fire. Jewish resistance was stubborn and organized.  The Nazis, who had swept France in a mere six weeks, could not believe that the Jews of all people were providing this kind of a fight.  According to one account, some of the Jews could not believe they were doing it either. 

    1945(7thof Iyar, 5705): During the night 20 children and at least 28 adults were hanged at Bullenhuser Damn, one of the satellite camps of Neuengamme. The Bullenhuser Damm Memorial is dedicated to the memory of these children, who were subjected to medical experiments in the Neuengamme concentration camp before being murdered, to the 4 prisoners who cared for them, and to 24 unidentified Soviet prisoners.(Based on information supplied by the Wiener Library)

    1945: Jerusalem’s District Commissioner, James Huey Hamilton Pollock, met with Arab leaders in an attempt to reach a solution as to how Jerusalem should be governed.  Jewish leaders had accepted a British proposal that would have the position of Mayor rotate among each of the three main religious groups in the city.  The Arabs had maintained that the mayor must be Muslim.  The compromise would allow for a partition plan. 

    1945: Prime Minister Churchill telegraphs his wife who is in the Soviet Union stating that “Here we are all shocked by the most horrible revelations of German cruelty in the concentration camps.”

    1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry completed its report, urging the British to end the land purchase restrictions imposed on the Jews as part  of the 1939 White Paper and to grant 100,000 Palestine certificates immediately.  The British rejected the proposal, reused to allow immigration on anything approaching that scale. 

    1946: “Five Yemenite Jews were killed when a three-inch shell exploded…in Nathanya” a town halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

    1948: On the eve of Pesach, "the last food convoy after Operation Nachson, made up of some 300 trucks brought provisions to Jerusalem.

    1948: A convoy that included Prime Minister David Ben Gurion set out from Tel Aviv to the besieged city of Jerusalem.  Ben Gurion wanted to spend Pesach in Jerusalem with the beleaguered defenders as a way of raising moral.  The trip was extremely dangerous because the Arabs controlled the high ground on both sides of the highway and had successfully beaten back several other such attempts.  While Ben Gurion, who was traveling in one of the lead vehicles, made it through, the rest of the convoy came under heavy attack and was forced to turn back after suffering heavy casualties.  This was only one of the many battles fought to open the road to Jerusalem.  Long after the war was over, travelers on the modern-four lane highway from the coast to Jerusalem could see the burned-out hulks of the Jewish vehicles that serve as constant reminder of the price the Jewish people paid for Jerusalem.

    1949: Twenty-five year old outfielder Cal Abrams plays in his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    1950: During a debate in the House of Commons Prime Minister Atlee’s Labor government announced that it would continue to refuse to sell arms to Israel while continuing to sells arms to Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.  According to sources in Tel Aviv, the British have said they would consider sales of weapons to Israel if she reaches a full settlement with the Arab states.  No such pre-condition has been attached to sales to the Arab states.

    1953(5th of Iyar, 5713): Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1958(30th of Nisan, 5718):Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1967: Birthdate of Mike Portnoy, drummer in the progressive metal band Dream Theatre.

    1970(14th of Nisan, 5730):Ta'anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

    1970(14th of Nisan, 5730): Poet and translator Paul Celan passed away.

    1970: Bruno Kreisky became the first Socialist and the first Jew to serve as Chancellor of Austria.

    1970: Pini Nahmani, an Israeli pilot being held in a Damascus prison, celebrated a Seder made possible by two Haggadot and some Matzah crumbs sent by the Chief Rabbi of Zurich. 

    1971: Barbra Streisand recorded "We've Only Just Begun"

    1974: South African Jewish professional association footballer Martin Cohen was part of the White XI that played their black counterparts today “in a racially charged match at Rand Stadium. After initially going down 1-0 to the black side (the goal was called off-side by referee Wally Turner), Cohen scored a crucial goal before Neil Roberts put the game away.”

    1975: Larry Blyden, a practicing Jew from Houston born Ivan Lawrence Blieden, co-hosted the  telecast of the Tony Awards.

    1976: Paula Hyman spoke about the history of Jewish women in America on New York radio station WEVD

    1977: Woody Allen's film "Annie Hall" premiered

    1978:The Jerusalem Postreported that Yitzhak Navon was elected the fifth president of the State of Israel on his 57th birthday. The minister of defense, Ezer Weizmann, was expected to leave for Cairo in another bid to renew the stalled Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations. In Washington, efforts were made to set the stage for another, possibly more promising, summit between Prime Minister Menachem Begin and US president, Jimmy Carter.

    1982(27thof Nisan, 5742): Yom HaShoah

    1986:An Irishwoman arrested in connection with an attempt to blow up a crowded Israeli airliner was freed tonight after two days of questioning with no charges brought against her, the police said. Anne-Marie Murphy, 32 years old, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport carrying explosives on Thursday as she was about to board an El Al flight to Tel Aviv. She carried a bag containing about 10 pounds of explosives stashed in a false bottom. The police said she may have been duped into taking the bomb onto the plane. Detectives are still questioning her fiancé, Nezar Hindawi, a 35-year-old Jordanian

    1986: World famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his Russian homeland. A non-observant Jew, this performance was one of his last before he went into his final retirement. "It's better to make your own mistakes than to copy someone else's.""My future is in my past and my past is in my present. I must now make the present my future."

    1987:Two Israeli soldiers and three Palestinian guerrillas were killed today in a shootout after the Palestinians cut through a Lebanon border fence and crossed into northern Israel, an Israeli Army spokesman said. The Israeli radio said three Palestinian guerrillas who slipped past Israeli troops in southern Lebanon and crossed the border near the Menara kibbutz ''were wiped out,'' but not before they had killed the two Israeli soldiers who had tracked them to their hiding place in an apple orchard 500 yards inside Israel. Al Fatah, Yasir Arafat's faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, took credit for the operation.

    1988(20thof Iyar, 5748) Yom HaZikaron

    1989(15thof Nisan, 5749): Pesach

    1991(6th of Iyar, 5751: Movie director Don Siegel passed away.  Born in Chicago in 1912 and educated in England, Siegel had a long and storied career. In 1945, two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and A Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director. Among his long list of film credits were a series of Clint Eastwood films including Coogan’s Bluff,Two Mules for Sister Sarah and the classic Dirty Harry.

    1993:At a solemn outdoor ceremony tonight at the place where several hundred poorly armed Jews battled the Nazis 50 years ago, the leaders of Poland and Israel hailed the valor of the uprising and called for a new beginning in the often difficult relationship between Jews and Poles.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of Rabin: Our Life, His Legacyby Leah Rabin and The Boys:The Untold Story of 732 Young Concentration Camp Survivors by Martin Gilbert.

    1999(4thof Iyar, 5759): Yom Hazkiaron

    1999(4thof Iyar, 5759): Eighty-four year old Baroness Bethsabée de Rothschild passed away in Tel Aviv

    2000(15thof Pesach, 5760): Pesach

    2000: In Shanghai, 100 Jews attended Pesach services at Ohel Rachel Synagogue.

    2002(8th of Iyar, 5762) :Border Policeman St.-Sgt. Uriel Bar-Maimon, 21 of Ashkelon was killed in an exchange of fire near the Erez industrial park in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces pursued the Palestinian gunman and killed him. An explosive belt was found on his body. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility.

    2002(8th of Iyar, 5762): Sgt. Maj. Nir Krichman, 22 of Hadera, was killed in an exchange of gunfire, when IDF forces entered the village of Asira a-Shamaliya, north of Nablus, to arrest known Hamas terrorists.


    2003: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including recently released paperback versions of “Sunday Jews, by Hortense Calisher in which she “explores the disparate fortunes of an extended Jewish family living on the Upper West Side after World War II” and “Be My Knife” by David Grossman.

    2003(18thof Nisan, 5763): IDF photographer Cpl. Lior Ziv, 19, of Holon, was killed and three other soldiers were wounded during an operation to destroy a Hamas smuggling tunnel in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

    2003(18th of Nisan, 5763): Biophysicist, Sir Bernard Katz passed away. Sir Bernard Katz was born in Germany in 1911.  He fled to Great Britain when the Nazis came to power.  Katz was noted for his work on nerve biochemistry.  He shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1970 with Julius Axelrod and Ulf von Euler. He was knighted in 1970.

    2004: The Public Law Department of the Buenos Aires University School of Law and the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation organized and presented The International Seminar "Diplomacy and the Holocaust.”

    2006(22ndof Nisan, 5766): Eighth Day of Pesach including recitation of Yizkor.

    2006: “President George W. Bush signed an official document declaring the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM)”

    2007: Haaretz reported that sixty-six civilians were killed in hostile actions since last Independence Day, mostly during the Second Lebanon War, bringing the number of civilians killed in terror attacks since the state's establishment in 1948 to 1,635, according to National Insurance Institute (NII) Director Dr. Yigal Ben-Shalom.

    2007: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had condemned as "hurtful" and "spurious" comments made by former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu that the victims of the Holocaust were made to suffer because of the sins of the Reform Movement. Olmert went on to praise the Reform Movement as an important element in the “House of Israel.”

    2008(15thof Nisan, 5768): First Day of Pesach

    2008:San Francisco chefs Gayle Pirie and John Cook are  a Slow Food spin on the Passover Seder for the second night of Passover. The Seder, held at Foreign Cinema is sponsored by Heeb and is the magazine’s inaugural "Slow Food Seder.”

    2008: The New York Times book section featured a review of “Dictation the most recent work of Jewish author Cynthia Ozick.

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of a biography of the Jewish poet Louis Zukofsky entitled  “The Poem of a Life”by Mark Scroggins and an interview with American poet Edward Hirsch whose grandfather was a stringer for a Yiddish newspaper who wrote poems and copied them into the backs of books.

    2008: The Sunday Chicago Tribune reported that two Torah scrolls were taken from Kenosha synagogue. Just days before the beginning of Passover, two Torah scrolls each worth an estimated $40,000 to $60,000, were reported stolen from a Jewish temple in Kenosha, officials said. On Tuesday, Rabbi Tzali Wilschanski of the Congregation Bnei Tzedek Chabad realized his laptop, which he had used during a class the night before, was missing. He checked to see whether the Torahs were safe, and discovered they were missing too. He said he last saw them April 5. Several valuable silver ornaments used to adorn the scrolls were not taken, leading Wilschanski to suspect that the robbery was not a garden-variety theft.
    "If this was a hate crime, it would explain why they took something that is so dear to us," he said.
    "If this was not a hate crime, it was the work of very sophisticated criminals who know that the Torah scrolls are much more valuable than the silver pieces." There were no signs of forced entryinto the temple at 1602 56th St., but a deadbolt lock was open, Kenosha police Sgt. Hugh Rafferty said. While police do not have any suspects in custody, they are following several leads, he said.

    2009:In Washington, D.C.,Adina Hoffman, a Jerusalem-based writer, critic and founder of Ibis Editions, discusses and signs “My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet's Life in the Palestinian Century, “her new biography of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali.

    2009: Opening session of “Durban II Counter at the Fordham University School of Law. The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists sponsor this counter-conference organized to address the real issues of "racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance." 

    2009:Human Rights Watch said in a new report issued today thatHamas security forces killed at least 32 Palestinian political rivals and those suspected of collaborating with Israel during and after the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. The report also said “unlawful arrests, torture and killings in detention” were making a mockery of Hamas’s claims to uphold the law in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, an Islamic group

    2009:TodayPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran used the platform of a United Nations conference in Geneva on combating racism to disparage Israel as a “cruel and repressive racist regime,” prompting delegates from European nations to desert the hall and earning a rare harsh rebuke from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    2009: Lord Hoffmann (Leonard Hoffmann) completed his terms as Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in South Africa.

    2009: Steve Reich was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music, on April 20, 2009, for Double Sextet

    2010(6thIyar, 5770): Yom Ha’Atzmaut

    2010: The US premier of “I Was There In Color,” is scheduled to take place as part the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration at the JCC in Manhattan.

    2010:Or Ashual, a 17-year-old student at the Kfar Saba Amana girls’ school, became the 2010 winner of the World Bible Quiz competition today, which took place on Israel’s 62nd Independence Day at the Jerusalem Center for the Performing Arts.

    2011(16thof Nisan, 5771): Second Day of Pesach

    2011:Beit Avi Chai, in collaboration with Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah, is scheduled to hold its second annual English speaking amateur theatre festival: "Stage One".

    2011:Two suspects were arrested today in connection with setting fire to a synagogue on the Greek island of Corfu a day earlier, Greek Police said. Arsonists set fire to a synagogue on the island early yesterday, damaging prayer books but causing no injuries, in the third such attack in Greece in less than two years, police said.

    2011: A Haggadah Fair sponsored by Kol HaOt and the Inbal Hotel will open today in Jerusalem.

    2011: One day after Steve Soboroff was hired to be the Vice Chairman of the LA Dodgers, Major League Baseball seized control of the team from Frank McCourt.

    2012: “In Darkness” a film about Polish sewer worker and Jews living in the Lvov Ghetto is scheduled to be shown in Iowa City under the sponsorship of Agudas Achim.

    2012: “Joanna” and “Life Is Too Long” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival

    2012: “The Man Behind the Curtain” provides a detailed review of Mr. Broadway: The Inside Story of the Shuberts, the Shows and the Stars by Gerald Schoenfield. 

    2013: “No Place on Earth” is scheduled to be shown for the first time in Claremont, CA.

    2013: Adam Burstain, the son of Todd and Jennifer Burstain - pillars of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community- is scheduled to appear in the final performance of Urine Town.

    2013: “Cabaret-Berlin: The Wild Scene” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival

    2013: “Dorfman in Love” is scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov won the gold medal in the European Men's Artistic Gymnastic individual Championships, held in Moscow today.

    2013: U.S Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will finalize a huge arms deal with Israel during his visit starting today, under which Israel will for the first time be permitted to purchase US aerial refueling planes and other ultra-sophisticated military equipment that could prove vital to any Israel strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities

    2014: “Igor and the Crane’s Journey” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival

    2014:Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights” an exhibition that has been on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to come to a close.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including No Book But The World by Leah Hager Cohen, Updike by Adam Begley and Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

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    April 21

    753 BCE: According to tradition, on this date Romulus and Remus founded Rome.  Considering the impact that Rome would have on the Jewish people this date is worth noting. 

    586: Ricard I became King the Visigoth King of Hispania.  “A year later converted from Arianism to Catholicism, which changed the nature of life in Iberia in the same way that Constantine's conversion had changed things in the Roman Empire. Recared approved the Third Council of Toledo's move in 589 to forcibly baptize the children of mixed marriages between Jews and Christians. Toledo III also forbade Jews from holding public office, from having intercourse with Christian women, and from performing circumcisions on slaves or Christians. Still, Recared was not entirely successful in his campaigns: not all Visigoth Arians had converted to Catholicism; the unconverted were true allies of the Jews, oppressed like themselves, and Jews received some protection from Arian bishops and the independent Visigothic nobility.”

    629: Emperor Heraclius marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army. Heraclius was head of the Eastern Roman Empire.  During the fifth and sixth centuries the Christian rulers tried to make life for Jews in Palestine as difficult as possible.  Heraclius was defeated by the Persians and the Jews sided with the Persians who were viewed as liberators.  The joy was short lived as the Christians re-took the land from the Persians and punished the Jews severely.  Ultimately all of this matter very little since the Arabs would soon appear in Palestine and Islam would become the dominate force.

    1073: Pope Alexander II passed away. In 1063, Pope Alexander II had given his blessing to Iberian Christians in their wars against the Muslims, granting both a papal standard and an indulgence to those who were killed in battle. This was another act in the battle between Moslems and Christians for control of Spain.  The Jews were caught in the middle and their fortunes fluctuated over the centuries.  In hindsight, this was really just one more step in the long path that led to the expulsion in 1492.

    1481(13thof Iyar, 5241): Jews of Seville burned at the stake

    1499: The New Christians, including those who had been forcibly baptized, are forbidden to leave Portugal.

    1506: Three days of anti-Semitic rioting ends in Lisbon, Portugal where two thousand Jews were killed by the mobs.

    1509: Henry VII, King of England passed away.  Henry negotiated the marriage between his son, the Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (the monarchs who had expelled the Jews from Spain).  One of the terms of the marriage was that the Jews would never be allowed to return to England.  If Henry had not agreed to this term, the marriage would not have taken place. 

    1585(22nd of Nisan, 5345): Sixteenth century Salonica born Rabbi Moses ben Joseph di Trani (Mabit) passed away in Safed.

    1649: The Toleration Act was passed by the Maryland Assembly. It protected Roman Catholics within the American colony against Protestant harassment, which had been rising as Oliver Cromwell's power in England increased.  Maryland had been founded under the Catholic Calvert family.  They were trying to create a refuge for English Catholics.  The Jews benefited from what was a clash between different branches of Christianity.

    1729: Birthdate of Catherine the Great, Tsarina of Russia from 1762 to 1796.   Under Catherine, Russia took part in the three-way partition of Poland which gave Russia its large Jewish population.  At first, her treatment of her new Jewish subjects was fairly tolerant.  She saw them as an economic asset.  But in her later years she succumbed to the demands of Christian merchants and began to tighten the noose around the neck of the Jews.  In the end, she laid the groundwork for the creation of what came to be known as The Pale of Settlement.

    1808: The name of Raphael Bischoffsheim was  on a list dated today that “included…the twenty-five foremost Jews” in the city of Mayence. The authorities were to chose the representatives for Napoleon’s Sanhedrin from the names on that list.  Born in 1773, at Bischofsheim-on-the-Tauber, he went to Mayence during the French Revolution, and from a small merchant became a purveyor to the army. Bischoffsheim was president of the Jewish community of Mayence prior to his death in 1814.

    1818(15th of Nisan, 5578): Pesach

    1822(30th of Nisan, 5582): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1833: In London James Graham Lewis and his wife gave birth to George Lewis who would become a successful lawyer known to posterity as Sir George Henry Lewis, 1st Baronet

    1836: Texans under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto which resulted in Mexican recognition of the Republic of Texas. Among the Jews who served with Houston was Dr. Albert Moses Levy, the Surgeon in Chief for this fledgling force.  Adolphus Sterne was a friend of Houston from their days in Tennessee and he helped raise funds for the Texans.

    1843:Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III (the one who lost the 13 colonies) who “became a Patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known as Norwood” and who supported legislation to remove “the civil liabilities of Jews” passed away today.

    1846: Formation of the United Order of True Sisters

    1858:As of this date, records show that the Association for the Free Distribution of Matzos to the Poor had spent a grand total of $691.87 to ensure that indigent Jews would have unleavened bread to celebrate the recently completed Passover holiday.

    1860: “From Southern Africa” published today reported that “The Jews of the Cape had subscribed £183 for the benefit of their suffering brethren in Morocco. Where is the place in the wide world to which the Jew does not penetrate?”

    1860: A letter to the editor published today from a former prizefighter recounts the history of pugilism in England and the United. It included the following positive description of Jewish skill in the ring. ‘”In spite of their muscle, their undoubted courage, and admitted pugnacity, no Irishman has ever long held a distinguished place in the Ring. The Jews, on the other hand, not famous for any of these qualities, have always, from the days of Menodoza and Aby Belasco, had a good position, and like their great countryman, Judas Maccabeus, have "made battles and been renowned in the uttermost part of the earth." [Mendoza is the 18thcentury British fighter Daniel Mendoza.  Belasco was a well known fighter in “the post Mendoza era.”]

    1861: It was reported today that in his study of the synchronisms of ancient Assyrian and Egyptian History, Sir Henry Rawlinson has discovered “the first clear account of a conflict between the Egyptians and the Assyrians occurs in the reign of Sargon, (B.C. 721- 702,) who was, as we know from the Bible, the King who carried away the Jews captives from Samaria.”

    1864(15th of Nisan, 5624); First day of Pesach

    1864: Isaac J. Levy, a Confederate Soldier serving with the 46th Virginia Infantry participated in a Seder at Adams Run South Carolina.  Levy would later admit that he was confused as to the date of the start of the holiday.  (As an example of the confusion that can take place in reporting events, Abraham Bloch described Levy as being a Union soldier)

    1864: Birthdate of Max Weber.  Born in Germany, Weber was one of the fathers of modern sociology.  He was also a noted economist and historian. "Weber was among those who believed that modern capitalism was the product of religious notions, variously termed the Protestant work ethic and the Calvinist salvation panic...He also believed that Jewish businessmen, like Calvinist ones, tended to operate most successfully when they had left their traditional religious environment."   Obviously, some of his ideas are open to debate based on historical evidence.  But he was an intellectual giant regardless of whether or not you agree with his theories.  He passed away in 1920.

    1865(21stof Nisan, 5625): Twenty-five year old Victorine Kann, the first wife of Sir George Lewis died today shortly after having given birth to their daughter Alice Victorine Lewis.

    1880: In New York, Matilde (de Perkiewicz) and Max Liebling gave birth to soprano Estelle Liebling, one of the most influential teachers of singing in America

    1880: Benjamin Disraeli completed his second and final term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

    1881(22nd of Nisan, 5641): 8th day of Pesach

    1881(22ndof Nisan, 5641): “Jurist, publicist and scholar, Wolfgang Wessely who had been born in Moravia in 1801 passed away today in Vienna.

    1882: Based on information first published in The Allegemeine Zeitung, it was reported today that troops in the Russian city of Balte joined in the plundering of the Jewish population instead of protecting it. Forty Jews were injured in the riots, an unknown number of which later died.  A thousand homes were destroyed and damage is estimated to be in excess of 4,500,000 rubles.

    1883(14th of Nisan, 5643): Shabbat HaGadol; Erev Pesach

    1884: Three men were arrested tonight in Nashville, TN on charges that they took part in the assault that left a Jewish citizen named Meyer Friedman beaten to death.

    1884: The Board of Estimate and Apportionment met today and awarded funds to a variety of charitable institutions including the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York ($8,500),   Mount Sinai Hospital and Dispensary (4,250) and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews (1,820).

    1884: The New York Times reported on the plans being developed by the Jewish community to celebrate the 100th birthday of Sir Moses Montefiore which will take place in October.  Leaders of the community are calling for the establishment of Home for Chronic Invalids named in the philanthropist’s honor.  In addition to raising funds to construct the building, the community will have to raise $20,000 a year to operate the home.

    1886: It was reported today that oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller has gone to New York to meet with those holding the mortgage on the University of Chicago.  Rockefeller has taken an interest in creating a course that will lead to solvency for the school provided that Professor H.L. Harper would be named President of the school. Harper’s area of academic expertise is the Hebrew language of which he is a professor.  At this point in America, the only people interested in Hebrew were a handful of Jews and academics teaching Biblical topics at Protestant dominated colleges.

    1886(16th of Nisan, 5646): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1889: A report published today described the transformation of a German Jewish intellectual named Emin Bey into Emin Pasha a Moslem leader ruling over a large swath of central Africa.  Much of the information was supplied by Henry Stanley, the same man who “found” Dr. Livingston.

    1890(1st of Iyyar, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1890: Lucie Hadamard, married Alfred Dreyfus.

    1890: Alfred Dreyfus is accepted at the Ecole Superiore de Guerre (Superior War College), the prestigious French military school designed to train the elite members of the French officer corps.  Dreyfus will graduate 9th in his class but his final evaluation will be marred by the entries of an anti-Semitic French general.

    1891: Rosa Gombesky a young Russian Jewish immigrant who jumped from a fires-escape to the street when the tenement at 194 Henry Street caught fire is being treated at Gouverneur Hospital for the serious injuries she has suffered.

    1892: “A Moorish Jew, Joseph MIzrachee” was sentenced to 10 years for shooting Henry Pereira Mendes, the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel.

    1892: “Typhus Among the Russian Jews” published today described efforts by the Germans from preventing infected Russians from crossing the border.

    1893: The Austrian Premier has informed the American government that it will not grant diplomatic recognition to Max Judd, the St. Louis Jew, whom President Grover Cleveland appointed as Counsel General for the United States at Vienna.

    1893: “Jewish Ministers Aroused” published today described the action being taken by Christian organizations to convert Jews and the response of the Jewish community including that of Temple Beth Israel’s Rabbi Lustiwig who said “The trouble is that we have provided sufficient instruction for our people in the Jewish faith. The introduction of Friday night and Sunday night lectures to take the pace of Saturday services has done no good to Judaism.  While it may be well enough to have lectures at other times than Saturdays, we should above all other things observe Saturday and all of our synagogues should be supplied with minsters who will impress upon the people the importance of Bible subjects.” (Editor’s note – This was from a reform rabbi at a Reform Temple)  

    1894(15thof Nisan, 5654): Pesach

    1895: Professor Felix Adler delivered a lecture on “The Ten Commandments: at Carnegie Hall” this morning

    1895: “The Trustees of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, which is controlled by the Hebrew Benevolent Society, held their annual meeting” this morning.

    1895: “Care of Hebrew Orphans” published today described the origins and growth of Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum which opened its doors fifteen years ago.

    1896(7th of Iyar, 5656): Baron Maurice de Hirsch passed away at his estate in Pressburg, Hungary.  While the name of Baron Hirsch may be unfamiliar to many living in the 21st century, he was one of the great philanthropists his time.  The Baron (and he really was a Baron) was part of an established, extremely wealthy family.  The Baron funded a variety of charities many of which were designed to provide relief for the sufferings Jews of Russia and Eastern Europe.  He donated great sums to establish agricultural communities in North and South America including Argentina, Canada and rural areas of the United States. 

    1896: Oscar S. Straus, who had served as U.S. Minister to Turkey told a reporter from the New York Times that “It was my good fortune to enjoy the personal acquaintance of Baron de Hirsch and my recollections of him, while tinged with sorrow at his sudden death, are of the pleasantest kind.

    1898: Spanish-American War began.  Fifteen of the sailors who died on the Battleship Maine were Jewish.  Approximately 5,000 Jews served as volunteers in the military during the war.  A sixteen year old Jewish trooper was the first casualty among Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

    1899: “Dreyfus Case Evidence” published today summarized the 24 columns of coverage  The Figaro devoted to the coverage of “testimony offered before the Court of Cassation in the Dreyfus revision inquiry” including the statement by Major Forzinetti who was the Director of the Chereche-Midi Prison in 1894 that “Dreyfus consistently and persistently protested his innocence” and declared “that his only crime was in having been born a Jew.”

    1903: Herzl arrived in London as he continued to his quest to get support from leading British political leaders and prominent English Jews for a Jewish homeland.

    1905(18th of Nisan, 5665):Meyer Kayserling a German-born rabbi who held pulpits in Switzerland and Hungary passed away in Budapest. Born in 1829, Kayersling was a noted historian and prolific author.

    1909(30th of Nisan, 5669): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1909(30th of Nisan, 5669): Eighty year old Edward Salomon, the 8th governor of the state of Wisconsin passed away today.


    1912: Rabbi Stephen Wise, assisted by Rabbi Emil Hirsch of Chicago, is scheduled to lead a memorial service at Carnegie Hall this morning honoring those who lost their lives when the Titanic sank.

    1912: In speaking about the sinking of the Titanic, Rabbi Joseph Silverman says, “"Not God was responsible for this great disaster but the imperfection of human knowledge and judgment."

    1913: Tonight Reverend Thomas M. Chalmers of the Jewish Evangelical Society refused to comment on his application “for a license to preach for the conversion of Jews to Christianity” on street corners in the sections of Manhattan, Brownsville and Brooklyn that have large Jewish populations or on tMayor William J. Gaynor’s letter rejecting his request.  In his letter rejecting the petition Gaynor wrote, “Do you not think the Jews have a good religion?  Have not the Christians appropriated the entire Jewish sacred scriptures?  Was not the New Testament also written entirely written by Jews?  Was not Jesus also born of the Jewish race, if I may speak of it with due reverence?  Did not we Christians get much or the most of what we have from the Jews?  Why should anyone work so hard to proselytize the Jew?  His pure belief in the one true living God …is one of the unbroken lineages and traditions of the world.  I do not think I should give you a license to preach for the conversion of the Jews in the streets in the thickly settled Jewish neighborhoods which you designate.  Would you not annoy them and do more harm than good?” Gaynor had studied in a seminary as a young man.  He was a pillar of the community who surprised everybody by standing up to the corruption of Tammany Hall. 

    1913(14th of Nisan, 5673):An article entitled “Feast of Passover Begins This Evening” published in the New York Times reports that at sunset this evening, the celebration of Pesach, the Feast of the Passover, will begin in the Jewish households throughout the world. Pesach is the Spring festival of the Jews, and was specially ordained to commemorate the providential deliverance of the children of Israel from the bondage in which they had been held for many years under the Pharaohs of Egypt.”

    1913(14th of Nisan, 5673):The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will be holding a seder tonight beginning at 7 o’clock which will be attended by many of the soldiers and sailors stationed at nearby forts and naval yards.

    1913(14th of Nisan, 5673): Sixty-nine year old Isaac Aronwitz was the youngest person and 109 year old Ettel Polansky was the oldest person at the seder held at the Home of the Daughters of Jacob on East Broadway.

    1915: Seventy Jews from Palestine arrived in Alexandria. They described the conditions in Jerusalem as terrible, with many people dying from starvation. An eyewitness account from the village of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem tells of the conditions:

    "My God…I never imagined that such wretched poverty really exists and that there really are such dark and filthy corners…. old men and women bloated with hunger. Children with an expression of horror, the devastation of hunger written on their faces…" This is an example of how the fate of the Jewish homeland was tied up in the game of international power politics.  Palestine was part of the Turkish Empire.  The Turks were at war with the Allies including the British who sought to take Palestine as a way to defend the Suez Canal; the French who wanted colonies in that part of the Turkish Empire that is now Syria and Lebanon; and the Russians who wanted to take control of the Dardanelles and the Black Sea away from the Turks. A large percentage of the Jewish population in Palestine had Russian origins.  While many of the Jews in Palestine were willing to fight on the side of the Turks, the Turks viewed the Jews as Russians or English sympathizers.  There was more than a little truth to the Turkish view of things.  At any rate, as the war dragged on, the Turks worked to make life miserable for the Jews and the Jews became more sympathetic to the Allied cause.

    1917: Birthdate of Emanuel Vardi.  Born in Jerusalem Israel, Vardi became a world-class violist who was featured with the San Diego Symphony from 1978 to 1982.

    1918: World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France. Despite rumors to the contrary, the Red Baron was not Jewish.  According to film based on his life, one of his close friends was a Jewish pilot named Friedrich Sternberg who was shot down and killed during the war.  This would have made Sternberg one of over a hundred pilots who flew for the Kaiser during the Great War. Ironically, Richtofen’s death would result in Herman Goering, the future Nazi Number, taking command of what was left of the famed Flying Circus.

    1918: Birthdate of Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Theodore Herzl.

    1922: Final publication of The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger.

    1924: Birthdate of MGM executive Daniel Melnick, who was producer of the television comedy hit, Get Smart

    1925: In Little Rock, AR, Jesse Heiman and his wife gave birth to Max Adolph Heiman, the brother of Rose Heiman and Robert Jesse Heiman.

    1927: Birthdate of Robert Brustein, Dean of the Yale School of Drama

    1930: Hank Greenberg made his major league baseball debut.

    1931: Brooklyn outfielder Max Rosenfeld made his major league baseball debut.

    1932: Birthdate of writer, director and comedian Elaine May.

    1932: Birthdate of “Daniel Melnick, a producer and studio executive who brought an innovative and often unconventional sensibility to films that included “Straw Dogs,” “All That Jazz” and “Altered States.”

    1932(15th of Nisan, 5692): On the first day of Pesach Rabbi Rosenbaum of Temple Israel and Rabbi Katz of Montefiore Hebrew Congregation tied the current economic crisis to the themes of Passover.  Katz said that today, the entire social and economic structure is falling and that a return to the Mosaic system offers a source of salvation.  After gaining their freedom, the Jews were taught that periodically “they must emancipate those elements in the population who, because of lack of foresight or ability lose their status as self-supporting and self-respecting men, who, in other words relinquish their freedom because of economic compulsion.”  We must adopt a modern version of the Mosaic codes which in ancient times called for periodic redistribution of  the land and those who sold themselves because of debt were freed.

    1933: The slaughter of animals according to the rules of Kashrut was banned by the Nazis in Germany.  Nazi propaganda portrayed Jewish slaughtering customs as treating animals in an inhumane way.  Yes, the people who would butcher six million of our co-religionists actually hid behind the animal rights’ movement.  There were many Jewish butchers who defied the law as long as possible and continued to supply kosher meat to their observant customers.

    1933: King Christian X of Denmark attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Crystal Synagogue in Copenhagen to demonstrate his sympathy for the Jews. This is the same King Christian who is the hero of a famous "urban legend."  According to the story he wore a Yellow Star during the war in support of his Jewish subjects.  While Christian showed great fortitude by staying with his people during the war and while the Danes protected their Jewish fellow citizens, the story of the star is a myth.  In fact, most of the Jews were not required to wear the star.  The important thing is the lengths to which the Danes went to protect the Jews.  If others had done as much, the Shoah would not have happened.

    1933:  “According to a cable message received today by The Jewish Morning Journal” in New York, “Baruch Schwartz, noted Jewish educator passed away at the age of 72 in Tel Aviv.  Born in the Ukraine, Schwartz was an early member of the Zionist movement.  His greatest contribution was his work to modernize the Hebrew language and the development of simplified methods of teaching what had been considered to be a “dead language.”  Schwartz made Aliyah in 1923 and had completed three volumes of his memoirs before he passed away. 

    1934:  Moe Berg, catcher for the Washington Senators, played his 117th consecutive game without an error, setting a record for his position.  Moe Berg is one of the strangest and most fascinating of all baseball players.  Born to Russian immigrant parents on the Lower East Side in 1902, Berg graduated from Princeton magna cum laude with the ability to speak seven languages.  He also played shortstop for the Tigers.  Berg played for five teams during a fifteen year career.  He was labeled good field, no hit and was considered a good journeyman player.  What made him unique were his intellectual feats and the legends that surrounded them. He bought numerous papers each day which insisted on being the first to read.  If you grabbed a section of one of his papers before he had read it, he cast the paper aside because it was dead.  In the 1930's, Berg joined an All Star baseball team that made a barnstorming trip to Japan.  Berg was a strange choice since he certainly was not a star.  Beg did not join in the carousing and went off to be by himself.  It was only later, during World War II that people found out what Beg had been doing.  He spoke Japanese.  He wondered around taking pictures of Japan and some of these photographs were used by the Doolittle Raiders in 1942 to help them find their targets when America bombed Japan for the first time.  And this is only the tip of the ice berg or should I say Moe Berg.

    1935:  Birthdate of actor and talk show host Charles Grodin.

    1936: In Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Arabs riot to protest Jewish immigration to Palestine.  This was the beginning of two years of violence that would not end until 1939. Contrary to popular misconception, these riots were not a spontaneous expression of Arab feelings.  Arab leaders called for a general strike and a rebellion against the Mandate and in an effort to prevent Jewish immigration. Initially 80 Jews were murdered and 308 wounded.  By fall of 1939, over one hundred Jews had been killed in Arab attacks. The official Zionist policy at the time was “Havlagah”(self-restraint). In other words, the Jewish forces acted in self-defense.  They did not go out after their attackers nor did they stage attacks on Arab villages or centers of population.  The Arabs would succeed in their efforts.  In 1939, just prior to the start of World War II, the British government violated the terms of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration by all but putting and end to Jewish immigration to Palestine and ending the purchase of land by Jews.  The British zealously enforced the ban on immigration which played a helpful role in the success of the Final Solution.

    1938: Germany issued a decree that effectively eliminated Jews from the nation's economy and provides for the seizure of Jewish assets.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that five Arab terrorists were killed when they attacked the Tel Amal police post and the neighboring Jewish settlement. One Arab constable was killed during the attack.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Switzerland demanded that all foreign nationals and in particular Austrian refugees leave the country. The acquisition of land, or even a substantial financial investment could not any more serve as a reason to obtain a permit to remain on the Swiss soil. (This was aimed at Jewish refugees who sought safe haven in supposedly neutral Switzerland.  It is only one example of how the Swiss betrayed the much touted moral high ground of neutrality to ingratiate themselves with the Nazis at the expense of the Jews of Europe.)

    1941 (24th of Nisan, 5701):  A mentally ill woman was forced by the sentries to dance by the barbed entrance to the Lodz Ghetto. When she was done they shot her dead. This unfortunate soul perished with no record of her name.  By mentioning the episode, she may remain nameless, but not unremembered. 

    1945: Robert Limpert who had been brutally hung in the Bavarian town of Ansbach for courageously trying to sabotage the Nazis in the waning days of WW II was buried today.

    1946 (20th of Nisan, 5706): On the 6thDay of Pesach, five Jews, each of them a concentration-camp survivor, motoring near Nowy Targ, Poland, were stopped at a mock police checkpoint and shot to death. The oldest victim was 35, one was 25, and the remaining three were 22.

    1946: The Palestine civil service strike gained new support when “municipal workers in Nazareth and employees of the Trans-Jordan railways walked out in sympathy with the other strikers.”
    1949(22nd of Nisan, 5709): 8th day of Pesach

    1951(15th of Nisan, 5711): As UN Forces fight the Chinese and the North Korean forces trying to conquer South Korea, the Jews observe Pesach.

    1953: Roy Cohn and G. David Schine, two of Senator Joseph McCarthy's chief aides, recommend the removal of 30,000 books from the libraries of the United States Information Service posts in Europe, including works by Dashiell Hammett, W. E. B. Du Bois, Herman Melville, John Steinbeck and Henry David Thoreau, calling them "pro-Communist.”  Not all Jews, even ones who were New York born lawyers, were liberals.  This also puts the lie to the notion that all Jews were Communists.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that on the occasion of Israel's sixth birthday, the President, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, ordered the release of eight prisoners and reduced the sentences of about a hundred others. Nazareth and Arab villages in Galilee were richly decorated with flags of the State. Arab and Druze notables participated in the Haifa march-past army parade and other celebrations.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that diplomatic steps were taken in an urgent effort to improve the deteriorating conditions on Israeli borders, troubled by a continued infiltration, murder, theft and sabotage.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel accused Egypt of an act of piracy when three Israeli fishing smacks were stopped and searched, in international waters, by an Egyptian corvette.

    1954: Danny Kaye was appointed UNICEF's Ambassador at Large, and made a 40,000 mile good-will trip, which resulted in the short, Assignment Children.

    1958(1st of Iyar, 5718):Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

    1961: “Israel: The Man in the Cage, an article published” by Time magazine described the events at the Eichmann Trial

    1964: Houston Third Baseman Steve Hertz appeared in his first major league baseball game.

    1968: Bernard Gersten, a man who served in many theatrical capacities married a dancer named Cora Cahan.

    1969: “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” co-authored by Jerome Lawrence (born Jerome Lawrence Schwartz) opened today for the first time at Ohio State University.

    1977(3rd of Iyar, 5737):Yom HaAtzma'ut

    1977(3rd of Iyar, 5737): Eighty-four year old Gummo [Milton] Marx passed away. Gummo was born on October 23, 1892 or 1893 depending upon which record you consult.  He was definitely the fifth son Minnie and Sam Marx.  He is the Marx brother most people do not remember.  Although he and Groucho were the original performers in the family, Gummo left show business join the Army.  He was replaced by Zeppo.  After the war, Gummo sold dresses and cloth.  He came back to show business, but not as a performer.  He was the agent for his famous brothers.  .

    1978:The Jerusalem Postreported that the Government and the Histadrut reached a mini-package anti-inflation deal, providing for a six-month freeze on taxes, prices and service charges, with an option to be extended for another six months.

    1978:The Jerusalem Postreported that Israeli authorities had recently been looking into the possibility of curbing what was termed as an increased partisan activity by the too inquisitive foreign diplomats in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    1984(19thof Iyar, 5744): Marcel Janco,Romanian and Israeli visual artist, architect, art theorist and cultural promoter, known as the co-inventor of Dadaism and a leading exponent of Constructivism in Eastern Europe passed away.

    1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Songwriter and music scout Irving Mills passed away.

    1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich passed away.

    1985(30th of Nisan, 5745):  Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1987: In today’s “Postscript” German historian Joachim Fest wrote "In its substance, the dispute was initiated by Ernst Nolte's question whether Hitler's monstrous will to annihilate the Jews, judging from its origin, came from early Viennese impressions or, what is more likely, from later Munich experiences, that is, whether Hitler was an originator or simply being reactive. Despite all the consequences that arouse from his answer, Nolte's question was in fact a purely academic exercise. The conclusions would probably not have caused as much controversy if they had been accompanied by special circumstances"

    1988(4thof Iyar, 5748) Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1988(4thof Iyar, 5748): Sixty-seven year old I.A.L. Diamond screenwriter whose work included “The Apartment” and “Some Like It Hot” passed away today.

    1993:Yiddish theater producer and advocate Dora Wasserman received the Order of Canada, the highest honor bestowed on civilians by the Canadian government.Born in Ukraine in 1920 [some sources say 1919], Wasserman studied at Moscow's Yiddish Art Theatre and acted with the Kiev State Theatre and Kazakhstan State Theatre before Stalinist repression closed down most Yiddish theatres in the Soviet Union. In 1950, she fled the U.S.S.R. with her husband and two young daughters. After stints in Poland and a displaced persons camp in Vienna, Austria, Wasserman and her family arrived in Montreal where she would spend the rest of her life. In Montreal, Wasserman at first taught drama to Jewish schoolchildren, many of them Yiddish-speaking refugees like her, and performed as a singer, pianist, and guitarist. After six years, she formed the Yiddish Drama Group, an adult amateur ensemble that later became the Yiddish Theatre and then was renamed the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. The Group's first production, The Innkeeper, was staged in 1957. Although her troupe was not made up of professional actors, Wasserman insisted on a high level of both performance and dedication and was rewarded with the loyalty of her actors and the high praise of critics and fans. The more than 70 plays she directed over four decades earned her the title of grande dame of the Yiddish theatre. Among the Yiddish Theatre's productions were classics by well-known Yiddish writers like Sholom Aleichem and Sholem Asch; modern works translated into Yiddish for her company, like Montreal playwright Michel Tremblay's classic Les Belles Soeurs (the Sisters-in-Law); and new works written especially for her troupe. The most successful of these was A Bintel Brief, based on immigrants' letters to the advice column of the Jewish Daily Forward. Tremblay called her production of Les Belles Soeurs the best interpretation in any foreign language. Wasserman's theatre reached an audience beyond the population of native Yiddish-speakers, which grew smaller with each passing decade. She believed that, "if [a play] is good, you will feel it. You don't need to understand the language on the stage." Still by providing supertitles in English and French, the Theatre's works became accessible to a wide audience in Quebec, and on tours in Israel, the United States, Austria, and Russia. In addition, Wasserman traveled frequently to Jewish schools to lead extracurricular programs designed to instill a love of both theatre and Yiddish. These programs reached some 3,000 students each year. In 1973, the troupe moved to the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal, where it is now the only permanent resident Yiddish theatre in North America. It is also one of only four Yiddish theatres in the world – the others are in New York, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv. Wasserman passed leadership of the theatre to her daughter, Bryna Wasserman, in 1996, after a disabling stroke. The elder Wasserman died in 2003. Her headstone in a Montreal cemetery reads, "with love and magic, Dora founded the miracle of Yiddish Theatre in Montreal, a bridge to the Jewish people's continuity."

    1994(10thof Iyar, 5754): Officer cadet Shahar Simani , age 20, of Ashkelon, was found stabbed to death near the roadside at the village of Beit Hanina , north of Jerusalem . He had been kidnapped while hitchhiking in the south.

    1996: The New York Times published an article entitled “Modern Holocaust Memorial: Thesis of Victim on Internet” that tells the story of Esther Hautzig’s very personal, very innovative efforts to insure that the life of her Uncle Ela-Chaim Cuzner will be remembered

    1999(5thof Iyar, 5759): Final Yom HaAtzma’ut celebration of the 20thcentury.

    2001(28thof Nisan, 5761):Dr. Mario Goldin, 53, of Kfar Sava, was killed when a terrorist detonated a powerful bomb he was carrying near a group of people waiting at a bus stop on the corner of Weizman and Tchernichovsky streets. About 60 people were injured in the blast. Hamas claimed responsibility.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently published paperback edition of “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount” by Gershom Gorenberg in which the “ senior editor and columnist for The Jerusalem Post examines the incendiary mix of religious groups -- Arab, Jewish and fundamentalist Christians -- that view the destiny of the sacred Temple Mount as crucial to their apocalyptic faith.”

    2002: Official end of Operation Defensive Shield, the Israeli response to Arab terrorism that culminated with the murder of 30 people during a Seder.

    2003: An Israeli intelligence officer identified only as “Colonel K” gave a lecture today predicting that Hezbollah had shore-to-sea missiles in its possession.

    2005:Ivri Lider performed in Tel Aviv where he was joined byRita, Berry Sakharof, and Assaf Amdursky. The show was recorded for the Live album.

    2005(12th of Nisan, 5765):  Fast of the Firstborn.

    2006(23rd of Nisan, 5766): The Brit of Joshua Larry Rosenstein, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Rosenstein and the grandson of Larry and Judy Rosenstein (of blessed memory) takes place in New York City.

    2006: President Bush proclaims May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

    2007: Sara Paretsky, creator of the V.I. Warshawski novels, takes part in a book reading and book signing in Forest Park, Illinois.  Ms. Paretsky is an outspoken critic of the powers the Patriot Act.  Despite threats from a variety of sources, she reported that she found the courage to speak out because of her Jewish heritage.  Silence had enabled those who made the Holocaust and she was not going to be threatened into silence.

    2007:  An exhibition entitled “Otot” featuring the works of Yosef Halevi opens at the Meirov Municipal Art Gallery in Holon. Halevi won the then-coveted Diezengoff Prize in 1962.

    2008(16th of Nisan, 5768): Second Day of Pesach, First Day of the Omer – 5768.

    2009(27th of Nisan, 5769): Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Holocaust Survivor Irene Furst speaks at Mt. Mercy College.Irene Furst, at 87, still travels the country to tell her story because it’s one she doesn’t want to be forgotten. Furst is a Holocaust survivor. She fears that as the survivors die, so, too, will their stories.
     “I don’t know what will happen when all the survivors will be gone,” Furst said. “My children’s generation would still probably remember and talk about it, but I don’t know what will happen after that. The Jewish people will not forget, but I don’t know about everyone else.”   Furst, a native of Poland, spent six years in three locations during the Holocaust. These included the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp. She celebrated her 18th birthday shortly after being detained in the first ghetto, in 1939, and wasn’t liberated until May 1945. After the war, she met her future husband, who had been imprisoned in Latvia. They came to the United States in 1947. Furst tells her story not only to keep the memories going but to help ensure the event won’t be repeated.
     “It should never happen again,” she said. “Germans wanted a final solution to the number of Jews. They wanted to kill all the Jews. “It’s important to know that one race can hate another so badly that they wanted to kill them,” she said.  Her visit to Cedar Rapids is funded through the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund.

    2009:  A Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) ceremony takes place this evening at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. The ceremony involves participants of different faiths and backgrounds, and includes a candle-lighting to pay tribute to the victims, liberators and rescuers of the Holocaust, as well as victims of other genocides. The event was organized in collaboration with the Sons of Jacob Synagogue of Waterloo.

    2009:Today, for the first time, Israel Kasztner, the man, who organized a train that saved 1,682 Hungarian Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis will be honored in a ceremony near the scene of the murder. Among those present will be the children and grandchildren of those he saved.


    2009:Saleh Bahman, a Kuwaiti journalist who will be running for parliament in next month's general election today called on the Gulf state to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel. "Israel is a reality and has international influence... Kuwait would benefit from Israel's influence if we establish relations with them."

    2009: In a statement issued in the House of Commons today, Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced that “in light of Operation Cast Lead and in line with” the British governments “obligations after a conflict” there would be “a review of extant export licenses for Israel” 

    2009: “The government filed a motion with the Sixth Circuit asking for the stay against deportation to be lifted, arguing that accused war criminal John Demjanjuk had sought the stay in order to provide an opportunity for the BIA to rule upon his motion to reopen the deportation order. Since the BIA denied the motion, the government argued, the basis for the Sixth Circuit's stay was no longer valid, and the stay should accordingly be dismissed

    2010:Centro Primo Levi and the Center for Jewish History are scheduled to present a Panel Discussion with Moshe Idel about his Book Old Worlds, New Mirrors: On Jewish Mysticism and 20th-Century Thought

    2010: Israeli authors Assaf Gavron and Eshkol Nevo are scheduled to read from their newest novels at Cornell University as part of a program entitled “Israeli Literature Today.”

    2010:Whitney Harris, one of the last of the prosecutors who brought high-ranking Nazi war criminals to justice at the Nuremberg trials and who, a half-century later, was a significant voice in the creation of the International Criminal Court, died today at the age of  97. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2011: “Rabies” an Israeli film about a psychotic serial killer, is scheduled to be shown today at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

    2011:Ten thousand Jewish worshipers gathered at the Western Wall Plaza today take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pessah.

    2011: Joining the likes of US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was named by Time Magazine today as one of the 100 most influential people of 2011.


    2011: The Haggadah Fair sponsored by the Kol HaOt organization and the Inbal Hotel featuring “the magnificent Haggadot of such internationally renowned artists as Avner Moriah, Maty Grünberg, David Moss, Eliyahu Sidi, Matt Berkowitz, Ya’akov Daniel and Ilya Gefter” came to an end today.

    2012:Former Ambassador Richard Schifter is scheduled to speak about Israel's relations with the international community, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and the American Rabbinate at Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. 

    2012: “Jewish Luck” is scheduled to be shown at the Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) 2012 - Twentieth Season of Movies.

    2012: “Retoration” and “Mabul” (The Flood) are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival. 

    2012:  “Avigdor Arikha: Works from the Estate” an exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer  and the recently released paperback edition of Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany by Frederick Taylor.

    2013: “Microcosms: Ruth Abrams, Abstract Expressionist” which opened in August, 2012 is scheduled to come to an end at Yeshiva University Museum.

    2013: Consultation on Conscience, Reform Judaism’s flagship social justice conference, is scheduled to open in Washington, D.C.

    2013: International conference “Being witness to the Holocaust. 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” is scheduled to open in Warsaw.

    2013: An exhibition of the work of Holocaust survivor Israel Bernbaum at the George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: Tiftereth Israel in Des Moines is scheduled to host a giant Israel Festival called “A Taste of Israel.”

    2013: Today the cabinet approved an Open Skies Agreement with the European Union, even as Israeli carriers grounded their fleets and hundreds of airline workers gathered outside the meeting in protest.

    2013: U.S. Secretary of Defense of Chuck Hegel arrived in Israel today vowing to provide Israel “with advanced weapons that will enhance its abilities to strike at Israel.

    2014(21stof Nisan, 5774): Seventh Day of Pesach

    2014: In Marionville, MO, a special meeting of the Board of Alderman is scheduled to be held to accepting the resignation of Jessica Wilson, an alderwoman who is giving up her position  in response to the endorsement of Mayor Daniel Clevenger’s endorsement of the views of Frazier Glen Miller, the anti-Semitic gunman who murdered three people when he attacked a Jewish community center and assisted living facility in Kansas City.


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    April 22

    404:Emperors Arcadius and Honorius limit the opportunities of Jews to serve the Empire when they issue the following:  "We decree that the Jews and Samaritans who flatter themselves with the privilege of being in the secret service will be deprived of all employment with imperial service."

    1073: Pope Gregory VII begins his twelve year reign.  While history may remember him for his role as a reformer and for his “battles” with the Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, others may also remember him as “The Jewish Pope” since he was reportedly “descended from an Italian Jew named Baruch” who started a bank in Rome and converted to Christianity in 1030.

    1213:Pope Innocent III issued the papal bull Quia maior, calling all of Christendom to join what became the Fifth Crusade. The Crusades were a period of intermittent disaster for the Jews of Europe and Palestine.

    1451: Birthdate of Isabella I of Castile, the queen who played a key role in the destruction of a seven century old civilization when she cruelly expelled the Jews from Spain 

    1490(1st of Iyar): Leo, Jewish court physician to Grand Duke Ivan II, was executed today.

    1509: Henry VIII ascended the English throne following the death of his father, Henry VII.  While Jews were officially banned from living in England, evidence exists that a small congregation of Marranos had settled in London by 1540.  Henry’s contact with Jews and Judaism was indirect but somewhat pivotal in the events surrounding his various wives.  Henry’s older brother had married Catherine of Aragon in a state marriage designed to guarantee peaceful relations between England and Spain.  When Henry’s older brother died, the English sought to keep the amicable relations alive by arranging a marriage between Henry and Catherine.  The English got the Pope to approve of the marriage by invoking the Biblical law concerning the Levirate Marriage.  Years later, Henry sought to have the marriage annulled so that he could marry Anne Boleyn.  He claimed that the marriage was a nullity because he had coveted his late brother’s wife and their marriage was a product of sin.  Henry sought support from those most learned in these matters, a group of Italian rabbis.  Regardless of the Halachah involved, the Italian rabbis were loathe to anger the Pope who was their “neighbor” in a clash with a monarch living in a distant land in which Jews were forbidden to live.  

    1585(23rd of Nisan): Rabbi Moses (Trani) of Safed, author of “Kiryat Sefer” passed away today.

    1593:  The first group of Marranos led by Jacob Tirado arrived in Amsterdam, Holland. This group was the first Jews to settle in Amsterdam after the Spanish Expulsion. Moses Uri Halevi soon joined them and helped arrange for prayer services.

    1610: Birthdate Alexander VIII.  During his papacy, Alexander was confronted with an unusual request.  Instead of demanding that Jews be banished from their town, the priors of Perugia appealed to Alexander to overrule Pope Innocent X and allow Jews to return to their city. The absence of Jews from the city’s fairs was a having a negative impact on the area’s economy.

    1625: Urban VIII issued “Sedes apostolica,” a papal bull concerning “heretical Portuguese Jews.”

    1724: Birthdate of German philosopherImmanuel Kant.  Kant may have been one of the giants of the Enlightenment, but from a Jewish point of view, he was an intellectual pygmy. As Michael Mack of Hebrew University wrote, “Kant consistently equated Jewish identity with a host of undesirable traits, including superstition, dishonesty, worldliness and even cowardliness.‘Every coward is a liar; Jews for example, not only in business, but also in common life,’ Kant noted in a lecture on practical philosophy… All the positive traits of Kantian philosophy (freedom, autonomy, reason) are formed by being contrasted with a negative image of unenlightened humanity, usually taking the form of an anti-Semitic or some other racist caricature. For Kant, motives could only be good if they were not aimed at any material benefit. He saw Judaism as an inherently materialist religion, based upon a quid pro quo between God and His chosen people .In order to fully define the formal structures of his philosophy (autonomy, reason, morality and freedom), Kant almost unconsciously fantasized about the Jews as it’s opposite. He posited Judaism as an abstract principle that does nothing else but, paradoxically, desire the consumption of material goods."

    1762: In Prague, Jonas Jeiteles and his wife gave birth to Talmudist Baruch Ben Jacob Benedict Jeitles, the father of Ignaz Jeiteles.

    1770(17th of Nisan): Israel Ben Moses Zamsoc of Brody, author of “Nezah Yisrael” passed away today.

    1777(15th of Nisan, 5537): Celebration begins of the first Pesach in the recently declared independent United States of America.

    1783: The Jews sent a petition to Emperor Joseph II which “expressed their gratitude…for his favors and reminding him of his principle that religion should not be interfered with, asked permission to wear beards.

    1792: Birthdate of Uriah Phillips Levy, Commodore of the United States Navy. Born in Philadelphia, his mother was a descendant from the Nunez family that arrived in Charleston in 1733.

    1834: Dr. Albert Moses Levy and his wife moved back to Virginia after he had completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania. After his wife’s death. Levy would make his way to Texas where he participate in the rebellion against Mexico and become a leading member of the new republic

    1842: Birthdate of Alexander Kohut the Hungarian born American rabbi and orientalist.

    1845(15th of Nisan, 5606): Pesach

    1850: Birthdate of anatomist and embryologist Gustav Born who was the father of Max Born.

    1853: In the House of Commons, following a third reading, the bill removing Jewish disabilities was carried by a majority of 58.

    1860: Dr. George B. Cheever delivered an anti-slavery speech tonight at The Church of the Puritans in which he compared slaveholders to the anti-Semitic King John of England who “who, to extort money from a Jew, pulled a tooth every day from out the Hebrew's head until he complied with his demands.”

    1863(3rd of Iyar, 5623): Gabriel Riesser the first Jewish judge in Germany and an advocate of the emancipation of the Jews in Germany passed away today.

    1863(3rd of Iyyar, 5623: Soro Chano Szatan, the mother of Chanokh Heynekh Lewin (Rebbe Reb Heynekh of Aleksander) passed away.  Born in 1779, her husband was Pinchas Lewin who passed away in 1837.

    1864(16th of Nisan, 5624): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1864: Captain Ezekiel Levy, his brother Isaac J. Levy and other Jews serving with the 46th Virginia Infantry observed Pesach at their camp in Adams Run, South Carolina, outside of Charleston. On the first day of the holiday they feasted on a “fine vegetable soup” which contained “new onions, parsley, carrots turnips and a young cauliflower … a pound and a half of fresh [kosher] beef, the latter article sells for four dollars per pound in Charleston.”

    1865: In Philadelphia, 16 German boys reportedly beat a Jewish named Bernadotte Glischman.  Following the beating, the boys took Glischman to his room where they stuck him with pins.  Glischman said the boys did this to him because he was Jewish and they said that the Jews had killed Christ.

    1868: Birthdate of Friedrich Münzer the “German classical scholar” known “for his demonstrations of how family relationships in ancient Rome connected to political struggles.”

    1870: Birthdate of Vladimir Lenin, who led the Bolshevik Revolution.  Contrary to popular misconception, Lenin was not Jewish. Also, Lenin and the Communists did bring down the Czar.  They overthrew the Kerensky government, the democratic socialists, who had actually ended the three hundred years of Romanov rule. Many people who were born Jews were followers of Lenin.  The most famous was Trotsky.  But Lenin’s impact on the Jewish people far transcended the presence of these individuals. History would prove that Communist Russia was no more hospitable for those who wanted to practice their Judaism than Czarist Russia had been. 

    1871(1st of Iyar, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1871: Bavaria grants equal rights to its Jewish citizens completing the process of emancipation in the German Empire.
    1872(14th of Nisan, 5632): Ta'anit Bechorot; Erev Pesach

    1872(14th of Nisan, 5632): “The Feast of Passover: Celebration of Israel’s Delivery From Bondage – Jewish Traditions and Observances” published today states that “At sundown today the people of Israel, wheresoever dispersed over the fact of the earth will begin the celebration of the feast of Pesach or the Passover, one of the most important festivals in the Jewish Calendar.”

    1880: In Leadville, CO, the Bush-Trimble Building collapsed.  The building Kaskel & Co, clothing business co-owned by Caesar J. Kaskel and Jacob Michaelis of New York City and managed by Julius W. Kaskel one of the first Jews to settle in Leadville.

    1881: It was reported today that an anonymous Jewish donor had sent a basket of flowers to Reverend William A. Barltett of Indianapolis’ Second Presbyterian Church as a token of appreciation for the speech he gave on “the Jewish question.”

    1881: Birthdate of Alexander Kerensky, the most prominent leader of the Provisional Government that replaced the government of the Czars.  Kerensky was not Jewish but the failure of the democratic forces that he led certainly had a major impact on the Jews of what would become the Soviet Union.  This short guide does not provide the space for further comment on this major episode in Jewish History.

    1881: Visitors at the Hebrew Cemetery at Cypress Hills on Long Island heard shots emanating from the house of the groundskeeper, Max Blecker.  Further investigation led to the discovery of Blocker’s body which had a large wound on the right side of his head and a revolver grasped tightly in his hand.  Reportedly, he had been in ill health and he “told his friends that he would be better off dead.”
    1881: It was reported today that Tunisia with a population of about 2 million is of little financial value to the French who seem determined to annex the territory.  The little commercial activity that does exist is primarily in the hands of the 25,000 Jews who make up about a fifth of the population of Tunis.

    1882: It was reported today, that in Berlin, a committee composed of leading citizens belonging to all religious denominations has raised 100,000 marks to provided assistance for Jews seeking to leave Russia.

    1882: It was reported today that reports have reached Vienna confirming the attacks on Jews in towns near Odessa.  In Balta, the riots lasted for two days leaving at least 2,000 Jewish families in ruin.  “The riots almost assumed the character of a struggle for the annihilation of the Jews…”

    1883(15th of Nisan, 5643): On the first day of Pesach an article entitled “The Feast of the Passover” reported that “the morning services at” the Jewish “places of worship…will be peculiarly interesting.”

    1884: In Nashville, TN, John Schoffner made a full confession to police concerning the murder of Meyer Friedman, a Jew living in Nashville.  According to Schoffner, Meyer Morris organized the killing and that Mrs. Friedman wanted her husband dead because “she did not love him” and he “treated her badly.”

    1884: Birthdate of Austrian-born psychoanalyst, Otto Rank. He wrote the first psychoanalytic book by a disciple of Freud. Rank moved to the United States in the 1930’s.  He died at the age of 55, one month after Freud passed away.

    1884: New York dentist and founding member of B’nai Israel Dr. Lyon Berhard was laid to rest at Cypress Hill this morning.
    1885:  Ninety-six year old Reverend Leonard Withington, the oldest Congregational Clergyman in the United States passed away today.  Withington was a scholar well versed in Hebrew who had written a book entitled “Solomon Songs.”  He was a prime example of the reality that in 19th century America some of the people who were the most knowledgeable about Hebrew as a language were Protestant ministers.

    1886: Jess Seligman presided over tonight’s celebration of the second anniversary of the Hebrew Technical Institute which was held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Among the dignitaries attending the event was Carl Schurz, the famous German-American journalist and social reformer who gave the evening’s main address. (The school would remain open until 1939)

    1887: It was reported today that two Englishman carrying an American flag recently imprisoned a Jewish merchant from Alcazar Morocco on charges of not paying a debt.  The prisoner was paraded through various towns in chains as hje was taken to Tangier.  The event, which took place during Passover, has been condemned by the leading Jews of Tangier who have sought the aid of  the local British, French and Portuguese Consuls

    1889: The Literary Notes column reported that “The Jew in English Fiction” by Rabbi David Philipson will soon be issued by Robert Clarke & Co of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Among the characters discussed are Marlowe’s Jew of Malta, Shakespeare’s Shylock, Cumberland’s Jew, Scott’s Jew in “Ivanhoe”, Dickens’ Jew in “Oliver Twist’ and “Our Mutual Friend”, Disraeli’s in “Coningsby” and “Tancred and George Eliot’s “Daniel Deronda”.  (At the time, Philipson was a young Reform rabbi from Wabash, Indiana)

    1889: At high noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000.

    1891(14th of Nisan, 5651): An article entitled “The Festival of Pesach: It will begin at Sunset To-Night and Last For A Week” reports that “all the reform temples and orthodox synagogues  will be open for services this evening…and appropriate sermons will be delivered by the spiritual heads of the communities.

    1893(6th of Iyar, 5653): Chaim Aronson passed away at the age of 77. Born in Lithuania in 1825 when it was part of Russia, Aaronson was a gifted linguist (Hebrew, German, and Russian) with a penchant for invention who went from being a clockmaker to developing a variety of machines including one for making cigarettes and one that was a prototype for a movie camera.  Aronson was a better scholar and engineer than he was a businessman since none of his work brought him commercial success.  His most long lasting contribution was a literary work entitled A Jewish Life under the Tsars: The Autobiography of Chaim Aronson, 1825-1888 that provides a picture of life in the final century of Czarist Russia.

    1893: Rabbi Raphael Benjamin delivered a sermon this morning on the subject of the recent blackballing of Theodore Seligman by the Union League.

    1893: “Max Judd Objected To” published today described the reasons that the government of Austria provided for refusing to recognize the appoint of Max Judd as Consul General for the United States at Vienna.  The Austrians claim that the refusal is based on that fact the Judd had been born in Austria and “is engaged in the emigration business.” The Austrians claim that the objection has nothing to do with Judd’s religion which is just as well because the U.S. government has said that Mr. Judd’s replacement will not be of Austrian descent, but he will be Jewish.

    1894: Hyman Blumenthal was arrested on charges that he had deliberately tried to burn down the tenement at 28 East Broadway.

    1894: Birthdate of Max Weinreich, the Russian born American linguist and a founder of the Yiddish Institue (YIVO) and author of  who was “the father of the linguist Uriel Weinreich, who edited the Modern Yiddish-English English-Yiddish Dictionary.”

    1894: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture at Temple Emanu-El in New York entitled “The Jewish Passover and Its Modern Message to Jews and Christians” in which he described that observing Passover was “the celebration of the anniversary of the Jewish Independence Day.”

    1895: It was reported today that the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is providing housing for 700 children at its building at 137thStreet and Amsterdam Avenue.  Trustees Theodore Seligman, Edward Lauterbach and Emanuel Leyman are considering a propels to raise $250,000 to expand the facility to meet increase demand for its services.
    1896 (9th of Iyar, 5656): Gustave May passed away today in New York City.  Born in Paris in 1845, he served as Quartermaster General with the forces fighting to protect the Commune at the end of the Fanco-Prussian War.  When the Commune forces were defeated he fled  to America with his brother where they started May Brothers, a firm of commission merchants that “was the first to import cigarette papers into the United States. Although born Jewish May saw himself as a “Freethinker” and was active in the French Exile community.  His brother Elie had served as a General in the forces of the Commune.

    1896: Herzl began a two day journey to Karlsruhe where he was received in audience by Grossherzog (Grand Duke) Friedrich of Baden.  Herzl was heartened by the meeting saying ("Jedenfalls nahm der Grossherzog meine Staatbildung von Anfang an vollkommen ernst." - "In any case, the Grand Duke took my proposed formation of a state quite seriously from the beginning.")
    1897(20th of Nisan, 5657): Sixty-seven year old Simon Alexander passed away today having lost his 9 month long battle with asthma and heart sickness.  He was an editorial writer for The Hebrew Journal and member of Temple Emanu-El

    1897:  In New York City, the world's largest Jewish daily newspaper, "The Forward," was first published. Abraham Cahan, 43, one of its founders, became editor of the paper in 1903, remaining until his death in 1951.  The Forward began as a Yiddish paper.  By the 1930's it was one of the nation's leading dailies with a readership of 275,000 supplemented by a radio audience listening to WVED.  One of its most famous features was the Bintel Briefs, a Yiddish Dear Abby.  The paper shifted its formant and became English weekly in the 1980's.  Later it added a Russian language edition for the new wave of Jewish immigrants.  For more information see

    1898(30th of Nisan, 5658): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1898(30th of Nisan, 5658): Simon Kayserling passed away. Kayserling was a German born teacher and author.  He was the brother of Meyer Kayserling.  Both brothers were historians.  But Meyer also pursued career in the Rabbinate while Simon followed a more secular career serving on the faculty of the Jewish Free School while writing or translating books about the history of Poland and the history of the Jews living in Spain and Portugal.

    1898: N.S. Roenau of the United Hebrew Charities was one of the speakers who addressed a group Yale University students studying Sociology under the direction of Professor William T. Blackman who visited New York City today.

    1899: The sixth annual reunion banquet of the Hebrew Technical Institute Alumni Association was held this evening at the Broadway Central Hotel.
    1899: Minnie Jacobs and her lawyer Joseph Moss appeared before William J. Youngs, Secretary to the Governor of New York to plead for a pardon for her father, Saul Jacobs.

    1889: At high noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000. ‘Jewish settlers began coming to Oklahoma and Indian Territory as early as 1875. The Jewish population grew as Oklahoma blossomed into a boom area, after the famous Land Run of 1889 and statehood in 1907. The early settlers came as peddlers and salesmen and later became shopkeepers and retail merchants. According to the American Jewish Year Book, there were 1,000 Jews in Oklahoma Territory in 1901.” (courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City)

    1900(23rdof Nisan): Author Louis Bein passed away.

    1902(15th of Nisan, 5662): On the first day of Passover The New York Times took exception to a letter that Mayor Seth Low had sent to Police Commissioner John N. Partridge advising him not to enforce “blue laws” on Sunday April 20 because Jews needed to shop and conduct such activities as killing chickens as they prepared for their holiday which would begin on Monday evening, April 21.  The Times said that the Mayor’s ruling “was uncalled for” and “was wrong in principle and conclusion. [Editor’s Note: Those of us living in the 21st century with its 24/7 schedule probably have difficulty that power of Sunday closing laws; laws that were enforced well into the closing decades of the 20th century.”

    1903: Herzl meets Lord Rothschild who tells him that Edmond de Rothschild is delighted with his plan.

    1904: Birthdate of Robert J. Oppenheimer.  Born in New York, Oppenheimer was the son of a prosperous German-Jewish textile importer and an artistic Baltimore Jewess who died when Oppenheimer was a child.  A renowned physicist, Oppenheimer bordered on the brilliant and enjoyed a wide range of intellectual pursuits.  His claim to fame is the Manhattan Project.  He was the scientific overlord of the American race to develop and build the Atomic Bomb.  After the war, Oppenheimer had reservations about additional military uses of science.  He opposed the building of the Hydrogen Bomb, a project that was brought to a successful conclusion by yet another Jewish scientist, Edward Teller.  Oppenheimer fell victim to the post-War Red Scare and lost his security clearance. Oppenheimer's security clearance was regained during the Kennedy years and his reputation was publicly rehabilitated.  He passed in 1967 at the age of 62.  As to the Jewish influence in his life, consider the following. Prior to the 1930's, Oppenheimer had led the cloistered life of the privileged and the scientist in his ivory tower.  During the 1930's Oppenheimer became involved in liberal and social justice causes.  According to him, the change came about, in part became, "I had had a continuing smoldering fury about the treatment of Jews in Germany,  I had relatives there, and was later to help in extricating them and bringing them to this country...I began to participate more fully in the life of the community." 

    1909: In Turin, Italy, Adamo Levi, an engineer, and Adele Montalcini, a painter, both Italian Jews who traced their roots to the Roman Empire gave birth to Rita Levi-Montalcini, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. (As reported by Benedict Carey)

    1910: Today Rabbi Haim (Henry) Pereira Méndez, President of the Union of Orthodox Congregations wrote a letter to New York Mayor William Gaynor on behalf of the Orthodox congregations in the United States and Canada thanking him for his letter rejecting the request of Rev. Thomas M Chalmers for a license to “preach for the conversion Jews” on street corners in some of the city’s most heavily “Jewish” communities.  Mendez expressed his appreciation for the tone of the letter which was sympathetic to the Jewish people and said that he would work with the Christian ministers to lift the level of modern society to a level closer to that expressed by Judaism and Christianity.

    1912: The Wage Earner's League for Woman Suffrage held a major rally at New York's Cooper Union. Clara Lemlich, Rose Schneiderman, and three others founded the League which sought to encourage working women to join the political process as well as to agitate for the right to vote. Lemlich, a shirtwaist maker, became the League's vice president. Drawing on their background in the Socialist movement, the founders of the Wage Earners' League emphasized the special concerns of working women. They argued in speeches and pamphlets that women needed the vote in order to secure basic human rights like safe working conditions. In doing so, League leaders came into conflict with both Socialist men and middle-class women. The men who counted on female allies in Socialist causes bluntly suggested that suffrage activists return to their kitchens. Middle-class women showed their class bias in suggesting that their wealth and education made them more capable activists than these working women. Wary of having their specific concerns sidestepped, League members agreed that any woman could join their group, but that only workers could vote, ensuring that working women would remain in control of the League's agenda and tactics. Today’s rally at Cooper Union brought together thousands of cheering women to listen to arguments for women's suffrage. The location was symbolic; Cooper Union was the site of the rally that had kicked off the "Uprising of the 20,000," one of the first and most influential strikes of industrial garment workers, just three years before. Despite a large and enthusiastic turnout at the rally, the League dissolved soon afterward. Lacking a full-time organizer and a steady source of funding, the League ceased to be active. Schneiderman went on a speaking tour for another suffrage organization; her colleagues likewise turned their energies to other groups. Ultimately, the fight for suffrage would depend on alliances across class and gender lines.

    1913(15thof Nisan, 5673): Pesach

    1916:  Birthdate of Yehudi Menuhin famed violin virtuoso and conductor. He passed away in March, 1999 at the age of 83.

    1918: Birthdate of Solomon Aaron Berson, the New York born physician who worked with Rosalyn Yallow on “major advances in clinical biochemistry.”

    1920: During the San Remo Conference, Chaim Weizmann has a private meeting with Lloyd George and Lord Balfour during which he presses the British leaders “for a civil administration in Palestine, run by the British under a League of Nations mandate.  This stood in stark contrast with the French leaders who did not want the Balfour Declaration to be part of the peace treaty with the Ottomans. 

    1922: The national board of Hadassah voted "no confidence" in the leadership of ZOA President Louis Lipsky.

    1928:  Birthdate of Aaron Spelling, TV executive producer who gave us “Charlie's Angels.”

    1928: Following Hadassah President Irma Levy Lindheim’s recent declaration that the administration of the ZOA was "not an effective instrument for the achievement of world Zionist aims for the up-building of Palestine" today the National Board of Hadassah registered a vote of no confidence in the leadership of ZOA President Louis Lipsky.

    1930: Release date for the all-star revue “Paramount on Parade” written by Joseph Mankiewicz and co-produced by Jesse Lasky, Adolph Zucker, Albert S. Kaufman and B.P. Schulberg.

    1931:JBI International was founded as the Jewish Braille Institute of America

    1933(26th of Nisan, 5693):  A Jewish merchant, Salomon Rosenstrauch was shot dead in Wiesbaden, Germany.

    1936(30th of Nisan, 5696): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1939: Birthdate of Uri Orr, the native of Kfar Haim who rose to the rank of general in the IDF before pursuing a political career that included serving as an MK and Deputy Minister of Defence.

    1939: “The Greek cattleboat Assimi which attempted to land 263 illegal Jewish immigrants” in Palestine “twelve days ago was ordered to leave Haifa tonight.”    When the police announced the decision, “the passengers tore off their clothing and screamed that they would rather be killed than be sent back to sea. Some prayed and recited psalms. When the Jewish residents of Haifa heard the screams and prayers aboard the Assimi” they spontaneously proclaimed a strike that took hold throughout the city.  Protesters carried signs reading ‘Open the gates to the Jewish illegals’ and ‘Down with the barbaric attitude toward illegals. The captain had been fined and imprisoned for his role in bringing the Jews to Palestine. To add insult to injury the captain had been fined and imprisoned for his role in bringing the Jews to Palestine.

    1940(14th of Nisan, 5700): The Sommer family sits down to their first Seder in Liechtenstein.  How this family of German Jewish refugees from Munich came to be there was chronicled by Susi Pugatsch-Sommer in an article entitled “A Pesach Miracle in Nazi Germany.”
    My family - my parents Binyamin and Friedl Sommer, myself (13) my sister Ella (10), my brother Alfred (7), and my grandmother, Rachel - lived in temporary quarters in Munich, after our home had been confiscated by the Nazi daily newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter in 1939. My father had been arrested and incarcerated in the Dachau Camp in 1938 for a short time. Once he was released, he realized that he and the family had to leave Germany as quickly as possible, but he could not find a way to get out. In November 1939, my father left home for a few days, and hid the forest near Munich, since he was informed that the Nazis would arrest all male Jews again and send them to a concentration camp. By chance, he met a man in the forest who identified himself only as an engineer. This man told him that he could arrange an entry permit into neutral Liechtenstein only if he had enough money to open a building materials factory and pay salaries to 100 workers, since unemployment was high in Liechtenstein. My father agreed immediately, since he had no other option to save our lives. Miraculously, we received visas for Liechtenstein in the beginning of April 1940, in the middle of World War II, our passes to relative safety. We had 14 days to leave Germany, and each person was allowed to take one suitcase and 10 reichmarks. We boarded the train in Munich three days before Pessah. We were frisked at the German border and after the Nazis didn't find anything forbidden, were allowed to cross the border to Liechtenstein on foot. We were completely exhausted when we arrived in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and went to sleep in a simple hotel. We did not know if there were any Jewish families in Liechtenstein, and we had no idea how we would keep Pessah properly and buy matzot. Then our next miracle happened. The following morning, as we wandered around town, a young girl stopped us and asked if we were Jewish and if she could help us. Immediately, she introduced us to her parents and some other Jewish families. The Schönwalder family invited us into their home, to their Seder and we continued to have all our meals and prayers there during the week of Pessah. We continued to reside in Liechtenstein for 10 years. At this time, only 40 to 50 Jews lived there. I met with the Schönwalders' daughter, Edith, almost every day, and she is still a very good friend of mine. Today, we both live in Israel. I'll never forget the miracle that happened to us - my father's chance meeting with the engineer, an emigration visa in the midst of the war, and the wonderful families who helped us celebrate Pessah as religious Jews.

    1940:  SS official Odilo Globocnik announced a plan to increase the use of Jewish forced labor and to establish separate work camps for Jewish men and women.

    1940: Detroit Tigers Pitcher Dick Conger appeared in his first major league baseball game.

    1940: Ten members of the staff of Ben Shemen Youth village, including the director are sentenced to serve prison terms of up to seven years. The British had raided Ben Shemen in January and found weapons belonging to the Haganah. The prison sentences were for their role in hiding the weapons.

    1941: Birthdate of Israeli Amir Pnueli an Israeli scientist who developed a “critical technique for verifying the reliability of computers.”

    1943: “We Will Never Die” was performed in Philadelphia's Convention Hall, with guest stars Claude Rains and Edward G. Arnold in the lead roles. More than 15,000 people attended--it was the largest Jewish public event in the city in many years — and it received extensive coverage in the local press.(As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

    1943:  The Nazis deported the Jews of Amersfoort, Holland.

    1943:  Birthdate of poet Louise Gluck.

    1945:  Six hundred of the remaining inmates at Jasenovac Concentration Camp rose up against their Croatian killers.  The Croatians killed over five hundred of them.  This camp was located in a breakaway republic from Yugoslavia called Coratia.  The Croatians ran the camp for their Axis allies and were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews.  For those of you who remember the fighting in the 1990's in Yugoslavia, you will now understand that genocide is no stranger to the Balkans. Only a thousand Jews and Serbs remained. Tens of thousands of them were killed over the past five years. Six hundred rose in revolt. The Germans killed 520 of them.

    1945:  The Soviet Army liberated the Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen in Germany.  The camp was about 35 kilometers from Berlin and was established in 1938.  Approximately thirty to thirty-five thousands people including Jews perished in the camp.

    1945: Birthdate of Donald E. Graham, the grandson of Eugene Meyer and the son of Katherine Graham

    1946: Opening of Kibbutz Beitar in Bruna.

    1946:  Composer Ezra Laderman was discharged from the U.S. Army today. He then studied composition under Stefan Wolpe of New York and Miriam Gideon of Brooklyn College where he earned his 1950. He then went on to study under Otto Luening of Columbia University where he earned his M.A. in 1952.

    1947(2nd of Iyyar, 5707): In Jerusalem’s central prison, Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein beat the hangman when they used a grenade smuggled into death row to blow themselves up. The two had planned to detonate the device when they were on the scaffold thus taking the British appointed executioner with them.  But when the Rabbi who visited them earlier in the day said he would return to be with them at the moment of execution, the two decide to act earlier so as to kill the Jewish cleric. 

    1947: Another 769 illegal Jewish immigrants arriving on board the Galata in Eretz Israel were trans-shipped to Cyprus.

    1948: Operation Misparayim (scissors) was launched by the Haganah as part of the Yishuv’s attempt to assume control of Haifa after British withdrawal and attacks had been made by Arab forces to control this port city.  By the end of the day, Haifa was in the hand of the mainline Zionist forces.


    1949: Writing in Haaretz, Arye Gelblum described immigrants from North Africa as dirty, disease ridden and prone to drunkenness and prostitution.

    1949: Hebrew University reopened in temporary quarters in west Jerusalem

    1950: Tonight, after the end of Shabbat, Israel began the celebration of her second year of independence.  In his address to the nation, President Weizmann called upon Israelis “to celebrate in joy and happiness the great salvation wrought to our people after centuries of exile and affliction.”  In Jerusalem, Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Knesset, lit a torch on Mt. Herzl which lit from fire provided by veterans of the Masada Battalion which had defended Jerusalem from attacks by Egyptians and Arab Irregulars during the dark days of the siege of the City of David. Similar festivities took place throughout the country including open air performances, torch light parades and the sounding of sirens by ships of many nations docked in Israel’s major ports.

    1951: Philadelphia Athletics first baseman Lou Limmer played in his first major league baseball game. 

    1952(27th of Nisan, 5712): Yom HaShoah

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the "past seven days was the bloodiest week along Israeli borders for a long time." Two Israelis were murdered at Mevuot Betar, the marauders were active in the South, in Galilee and Jerusalem. There was a general outcry when General Bennet L. de Ridder, the U.N. Chairman of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission refused to comply with the Israeli request to call an emergency meeting of the Commission to discuss the latest developments and, in particular, the murder of Zvi Genauer and his niece, Dvora, in Jerusalem. This incomprehensible U.N. decision was taken despite the fact that the tracks of the three marauders, responsible for this murder, were discovered by an U.N. observer and an Israeli officer who noted that they led to the Jordanian-occupied village of Beit Iksa. The General claimed that it was not the duty of his Commission to deal with incidents "of this type."

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's three-years-long land survey, conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, was almost completed.

    1953: Birthdate of Steve Bond.  Born in Haifa Israel, the actor gained fame in the soap opera General Hospital.

    1954: Leo Lerman, the Jewish editor and writer for such glossy fashion magazines as Vogue, Mademoiselle and Vanity Fairmet famed American author William Faulkner for the first time.

    1954:  The so-called Army-McCarthy Hearings began. These hearings, which helped bring an end to McCarthy’s abuse of power was triggered by two of his Jewish supporters.  One was the powerful Roy Cohn, the McCarthy Committee’s chief counsel.  The other was Cohn’s close friend, G. David Schine.  :

    1960: In Quebec, Dr. Harry J. Stern led the services dedicating the new home of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, the oldest Reform or Liberal congregation in Canada.

    1961: Lucille Ball collapsed while performing in “Wildcast” the musical with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and music by Cy Coleman.

    1963(28th of Nisan, 5723): Yom HaShoah
    1971(27th of Nisan, 5731): Yom HaShoah

    1973:Birthdate of Ofer Talker, the native of Ashdod who gained fame playing football for several teams the last of which was Hapoel Kfar Saba from which he retired in 2009.

    1974: Israeli political leader Amir Peretz was severly injured in accident at the Mitla Pass.

    1975:  Barbara Walters signed a five-year $5 million contract with the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), becoming the highest paid television newsperson.

    1977:  Shimon Peres became premier of Israel.

    1978:  In Paris, France, Izhar Cohen &;Alphabeta won the twenty-third Eurovision Song Contest for Israel by singing "A-ba-ni-bi".

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement was reached to end the 18-days-long El Al lockout which had already cost the national airline more than IL100m, and the tourist industry hundreds of millions more.

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time with an entry called "A-Ba-Ni-Bi". Israel scored 157 points, Belgium 121 and France 119.

    1979(25th of Nisan, 5739): Shamir Kuntar was part of a cell that raided the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, fatally shooting a civilian, Danny Haran, while his daughter Einat, 4, watched, then smashing the girl’s head, killing her as well. Mr. Haran’s wife, Smadar, hid with their 2-year-old daughter, accidentally suffocating her in an effort to stop her from crying out.

    1982(29thof Nisan, 5742): Eighty-two year old Irish film director and actor Harold Goldblatt passed away today.

    1984: In Israel Al HaMishmar published the first report of allegations that the hijackers of Bus 300 had been shot after being captured.

    1985: According to Israeli businessman Yaacov Nimrodi, today was the day when a chartered merchant ship, the Westline, was scheduled to leave Eilat filled with weaponry for Iran as part of a deal that Americans would come to know as Iran-Contra.

    1985: The United States Trade Representative and the Israeli Minister of Industry and Trade signed a Free Trade Agreement today that “eliminated all duties and virtually all other restrictions on trade in goods between” their two respective countries.

    1991:  Shalom America (Jewish cable network) was launched in Brooklyn & Queens.

    1993:  The Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C.  There is no way to do this justice.  For more information see

    1993: Miles Lerhman served as chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Museum from its opening today until 2000, eight years before his death in 2008 at the age of 88.

    1994: Dr. Lewis Barth, Professor of Midrash and Related Literature at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles delivered the 1994 Rabbi Max Nussbaum Memorial Lecture.

    1994:  Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States passed away.  Nixon's relations with Jews and the Jewish community ranged from uneven to stormy.  In his first campaign for the U.S. Senate, Nixon supporters smeared his opponent with the tar brush of anti-Semitism.  Nixon did have Jews working on White House Staff.  He  was frustrated by is inability to gain support among Jewish voters and some of his comments on the White House tapes about Jews are, to be charitable, less than complimentary.  At the same time, in 1973, he came through for Israel.  Thanks to Nixon, the Americans conducted a mammoth airlift of supplies that enabled the IDF to turn the tide after the Arab sneak attack and gain a military victory in the Yom Kippur War.

    1995:  Yagil Amir, who had sworn to kill Prime Minister Rabin, unsuccessfully tried to enter a hall in Jerusalem where Rabin was present as the guest of honor.

    1995(22ndof Nisan, 5755): 8th Day of Pesach

    1995(22ndof Nisan, 5755): Ninety-two year old Sir Horace Kadoorie, scion of the Kdoorie family that migrated from Baghdad to Mumbai to Hong Kong passed away today.

    1997(15th of Nisan, 5757): Pesach

    1999: In Manhattan, jurors awarded a patient of Dr. Pamela Lipkin, an East Side plastic surgeon $600,000 in damages.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving From a Big City to an Old Country Farmhouse by Michael Korda, Teacha!: Stories From a Yeshiva by Gerry Albarelli and Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestraby Shareen Blair Brysac.

    2001(29th of Nisan, 5761):Dr. Mario Goldin, 53, of Kfar Sava, was killed when a terrorist detonated a powerful bomb he was carrying near a group of people waiting at a bus stop on the corner of Weizman and Tchernichovsky streets. About 60 people were injured in the blast. Hamas claimed responsibility.

    2002:  “Mideast Turmoil: American Jews; Unusually Unified in Solidarity With Israel, but Also Unusually Unnerved” published today describes the feelings an action of the Jewish community in the wake of attacks on Israel and anti-Semitism in the United States.

    2002(10th of Iyar, 5762): Ninety-three year old Victor Frederick Weisskopf’ an Austrian-born Jewish American theoretical physicist, passed away today.

    2002(10thof Iyar, 5762): Twenty-two year old Sgt. Mag. Nir Kirchmann of Hadera was killed when the IDF entered a village north of Nablus to arrest Hamas terrorists.

    2004: In North Korea, a freight train exploded killing technicians from Syria who had come the country to take possession of fissionable material which they were to take home as part of nuclear program that could lead to the creation of warheads for the Assad regime

    2005: Jews of Omaha, Nebraska celebrate Israel’s 59th year of Independence as the Jewish Community Center hosts the Jewish Arts Festival and Yom Ha’Atzmaut activities designed for the whole family. This year’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration is a unique and exciting compilation of an Arts Festival with more than 25 vendors, plus the usual exciting assortment of carnival games, first-class entertainment, and delicious foods from a variety of Omaha restaurants.

    2006: On Shabbat, thousands of police were positioned around the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in east Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, hoping to prevent confrontations between various groups of worshippers making their way to the church on Saturday afternoon. Holy Saturday is the sacred day between Good Friday and Easter. Easter rites at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have been marked by violence in the past. Since the Crusades, three major denominations have controlled the church - Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and (Latin) Roman Catholic - with the rights and privileges of all of the communities protected by the Status Quo of the Holy Places set up in 1852. According to Dep.-Cmdr. Asher Ben- Atrzi, head of the Israel Police Interpol and Foreign Liaison Section, almost every year a dispute erupts between the Armenians and the Greeks over who enters the cave where Jesus is believed to be buried first. The different denominations also argue over prayer times. In the end, it is the police force of the Jewish state that keeps peace between the warring Christian factions.  The next time some Christian politicians wonders how Sunnis and Shiites can fight over religious matters from by-gone centuries, they might want to take a look at the antics of Christian groups in the so-called Holy Land.

    2007: At the Yeshiva University Museum the exhibition entitled “Reuben Kadish’s Holocaust Sculpture” comes to an end. “


    2007: Yom Hazikaron begins tonight in Israel with a special memorial ceremony at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times Book Section featured reviews of The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman, edited by Stephen Pascal, Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time by Chuck Schumer (the Jewish Senator from New York) with Daniel Squadron, Black and White a novel by Jewish author Dani Shapiro and The Lady Upstairs: Dorothy Schiff and The New York Post by Marilyn Nissenson. Schiff was the granddaughter of the German Jewish banking magnate Jacob H. Schiff.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post Book Section featured a review of The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein by Martin Duberman. This “rich and revelatory biography of one of the crucial cultural figures of the twentieth century” provides another example of an American Jew who has had a major impact on our culture.

    2008: Earth Day; Third Day of Pesach – suggested date for Street Seders designed to address the Global Climate Crisis.

    2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque presents “Refusenik” \ רפיוזניק”,  the first retrospective documentary to chronicle the thirty-year movement to free Soviet Jewry between the early 60s and the fall of the Iron Curtain.
    2009: At YaleHagai El-Ad, Israeli civil rights activist, founding director of Jerusalem Open House and director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, delivers a talk entitled “Civil Rights in Israel.”

    2009: The Tribeca Film Festival opens with the world premiere of Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works.”

    2009: Holocaust Survivor Irene Furst speaks at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2009: In Cedar Falls, Iowa, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum presents “The Holocaust and Contemporary Ethics: Legal, Religious, Political and Medical Ethical Implications of the Holocaust,” the inaugural address for the Norman Cohn Family Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture Series at the University of Northern Iowa. Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the historical development of films. He has written more than a dozen books, scores of scholarly articles and hundreds of journalistic pieces. His most recent books include “A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors” and “After the Passion Has Passed: American Religious Con sequences.” He also has received numerous awards for his work in film and journalism. Berenbaum was the former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Research Institute and president of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

    2009: “Author Jared Diamond Sued for Libel” published today described the litigation face by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author.

    2009: Five hundred Jews who were making their monthly visit to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus arrived at the shrine this evening and found that it had been subjected to anti-Semitic vandalism including being painted with swastikas.  According to the Oslo Accords, the tomb is under Israeli control, but that has been rendered as nothing more than a legal fiction since the outbreak of Arab violence in 2000.

    2010:Professor Jason Rosenblatt, author of Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden is scheduled to speak at the Washington DCJCC as part of the  Distinguished Scholar Series

    2010: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host the reception marking the opening of the Annual NoVa International Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:On the 41st annual Earth Day and the first anniversary of the BP oil spill Reform congregations and their rabbis are scheduled to implement “tried-and-true Earth Day ideas, innovative programs in education and advocacy, and ways to continue our service and commitment to the Gulf Coast” some of which had been presented in a workshop that featured Margo Wolfson of Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, NJ (a GreenFaith Pilot Program congregation), Stephen Fox of Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, CA, Rabbi Andy Koren, Temple Emanuel, Greensboro and Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Temple Hesed, Scranton, PA.”

    2011:The Maccabee Queen is scheduled to be performed 12 noon at Beit Avi Chai in Jerusalem. “Written and directed by Lauri Donahue, the play chronicles the rule of the last queen of Judea.”

    2011:The Beit Yisrael synagogue in Netanya has been pelted with rocks, allegedly by ultra-Orthodox youths waging a battle to scare the congregants into leaving.

    2012: Amy Irving, star of “Crossing Delancey” is scheduled to take part in a Q&A following a showing of this Jewish romantic comedy featuring “Sam, the pickleman” at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2012:The Iowa Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines are scheduled to host a special event to recognize and honor Iowa’s Jewish men and women who serve and have served in all branches of the United States military, during times of both war and peace.

    2012: Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Northern Virginia’s 2012 Holocaust Observance at Gesher Jewish Day Schoo
    2012(30th of Nisan, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
    2013:The American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University Museum are scheduled to present a performance by The Momenta Quartet featuring the music of Stefan Wolpe, Aaron Copland and Darius Milhaud.
    2013: “Portrait of Wally” and “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” are scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival.
    2013:” Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Fesitval.
    2013: Daniel Mendelsohn, author of the international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, is scheduled to join award- winning journalist Leslie Maitland, author of Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Love Story of War, Exile and Love Reclaimed in a discussion of their true stories of lives and loves lost in the Holocaust at the Washington DCJCC.

    2013: Twentieth anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

    2013: The Histadrut labor federation today threatened to shut down Ben-Gurion International Airport as a show of solidarity with Israeli airline employees, who are striking against Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's Open Skies agreement with the European Union that was approved by the cabinet yesterday

    2013: Jordan has allowed Israel to fly military drones over the country en route to Syria in order to monitor the situation there and, should the need arise, target chemical weapons caches in the civil war-torn country, the French daily Le Figaro reported today.

    2014: In New York, Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host the Yom HaShoah Screening of “No Place On Earth.

    2014(22ndof Nisan, 5774): 8th day of Pesach – Yizkor

    2014: In Serbia, Holocaust Remembrance Day

    2014(22nd of Nisan): Circumcision of Isaac (Rosh Ha-Shannah 10b)

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    April 25

    693: Opening session of the Sixteenth Council of Toledo which, before its close, would add more regulations that would prove oppressive to the Jews living under the Visigoths.  This Visigoth anti-Semitism would provide a major impetus for Jewish support of the Moors when they invaded Spain in the early decades of the next century.

    1211: Birthdate of Duke Frederick II the Quarrelsome who granted a privilegium to the Austrian Jews in 1244.

    1214: Birthdate of King Louis IX of France. According to one historian Louis “hated the Jews so thoroughly that he would not look at them.”  Considering the fact that Louis that Louis financed his Crusade from the wealth he stole from his Jewish subjects, the fact that he expelled them from his domain and that he burned 12,000 copies of the Talmud and other Jewish texts, one would have to say that there is more than just a little credence to this evaluation.

    1221(2ndof Iyar): Baruch ben Samuel, a leading Talmudist and author of religious poems  “who was one of the leading signatories of the Takkanot Shum, a set of decrees designed to deal with the problems facing Rhineland Jews in the wake of the Crusades passed away toay.

    1284: Birthdate of King Edward II of England Edward would be the first King of England since the Norman Conquest, to reign over a Kingdom that had no Jewish subjects.

    1295: King Sancho IV of Castile passed away. Among the Jews who served Sancho were the Kabbalist Todros Abulafia and the physicians of the Ibn Waqar family who were close enough to the king that they served as witnesses to his last will and testament.

    1367:  Poland's Casimir III "The Great" expanded the "privileges" of 1334 to include the Jews in Lesser Poland and Ukraine.

    1599:  Birthdate of Oliver Cromwell.  Most people remember Cromwell as one of the leaders in the revolt against Charles I that left the latter a beheaded monarch and the former Lord Protector.  To the Jews, he is the English leader who enabled the Jews to return to England after three and half centuries of exile.  Despite a great deal of opposition, Cromwell held fast to his commitment to the return of the Jews.  Although they came in secret at first, by 1657, one year before the death of Cromwell, the Jews of London felt confident enough in their position to purchase a building to be used as a Synagogue. Cromwell passed away in September, 1658.

    1607: During the Eighty Years' War, the Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.The Eighty Years' War, or Dutch Revolt, was the war of secession between the Netherlands and the Spanish king that lasted from 1568 to 1648. The war resulted in the Seven United Provinces being recognized as an independent state. The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or the Dutch Republic, became a world power for a time through its merchant shipping and experienced a period of economic, scientific and cultural growth.The region now known as Belgium and Luxembourg also became established as the Southern Netherlands, part of the Seventeen Provinces that remained under royal Habsburg rule.  The Spanish were Catholics.  The Dutch were Protestants.  More importantly, the Protestant Dutch were willing to provide a safe haven for the Jews.  In fact, the early Jewish community in the Netherlands was dominated by Sephardic Jews whose families had been driven out of Catholic Spain.  It was this Dutch victory over the Spanish that would mean that New Amsterdam would be Protestant and would be a haven for the first Jewish community in what would become the United States. 

    1792:Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed La Marseillaise (French national anthem). One hundred and eighty-one years La Marseillaise would become part of Jewish liturgy. On Shemini Atzeres, 5734/1973, before the fourth hakafa, the Rebbe stood on the edge of the bima and began to sing “Ha’aderes vehaemuna” to the tune of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.”Rebbe’s rendition of “Ha’aderes vehaemuna” to “La Marseillaise,” was related to the concept of “Napoleon’s March,” when the Alter Rebbe took the theme of victory from the March.

    1803: Wolf Breidenbach, a self-made man who used his wealth and influence in the cause of Jewish emancipation in Germany, succeeded today in having the Jewish "Leibzoll" abolished in Isenburg.  The "Leibzoll" was a tax levied on Jews when they entered a town in which they did not leave or in which the Jews had not been granted special priviliges.

    1808: Birthdate of Gustav Weil, the native of Sulzburg who eschewed a career as a rabbi and instead became one of the leading Orientalists of his time which, in those days meant a study of what today we call the Middle East including studies of the world of Islam and their leading prophet.

    1845: Today, the Herald of Freedom published an article entitled "The Jews and the Holy Land" in which Nathanial Peabody Rogers, a leading abolitionist from New Hampshire "expressed his views of Mordecai Noah's efforts at Jewish restoration in Palestine." Showing a complete lack of understanding of Jewish feeling for Palestine, Rogers expressed his opposition to "any American Jewish effort to rebuild a Jewish Palestine as a weakening of the struggle for justice and equal rights in the United States."

    1846(29th of Nisan): Rabbi Judah ben Joshua Heskiel Bacharach, author of “Nimukei Hagriv and a lineal descendent of Tobias Bacharach, passed away today

    1846:The United Order of True Sisters, the first independent national women's organization in America, held its first meeting. Organized at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, the United Order of True Sisters (UOTS) was conceived as a female counterpart to the male Jewish B'nai B'rith organization (founded in 1843), but functioning separately, UOTS claims to be the first independent national women's organization in the United States. Some of the Order's goals resembled those of earlier Jewish women's mutual aid and charitable societies. The Sisters sought "refinement of the heart and mind and moral improvement," and paid regular dues to be used for burial fees and material aid to members struck by illness or sudden poverty. Unlike earlier charitable women's organizations, however, the UOTS also had explicitly political goals. In the words of the group's 1864 constitution, the Order sought "particularly the development of free, independent and well-considered action of its members. The women are to expand their activities, without neglecting their obligations as housekeepers, in such a manner, that if necessary they can participate in public meetings and discussions." The structure of the lodge, with secret passwords, degrees of membership, and closely-guarded rituals, mirrored the organization of men's fraternal organizations like B'nai B'rith, the Masons, and the Odd Fellows.The members of UOTS were mostly middle-class German-Jewish women, as evidenced by the fact that meetings at most lodges were conducted in German until the end of the First World War. Many members were wives of B'nai B'rith members. The UOTS provided these women a place to exercise their leadership abilities and develop a role in the public sphere, without being subject to the authority of men. Although most probably did not fear material want, the system of mutual aid provided an unusual degree of security and independence. Initiated under the leadership of Henriette Bruckman, and founded with just ten other members, the original lodge counted over 100 members by 1851. In the same year, the UOTS established a Grand Lodge as an umbrella organization to connect lodges in different cities and to centralize authority. By the mid-1860s, lodges existed in Philadelphia, New Haven, and Albany as well as New York. Active in public life from the beginning, the UOTS established its own newspaper, Der Vereinsote, in 1884.Today, the UOTS continues to maintain chapters across the country, although its focus has changed and is no longer identified as an exclusively Jewish organization. Since 1947, the main activities of the Order have been raising money for cancer research and providing support to cancer patients. The most recent chapter was formed in Suffolk County, New York, in 1978.

    1848:  The new Austrian constitution guaranteed freedom of the Jewish religion.

    1850: Paul Julius Reuter used 40 pigeons to carry stock market prices.  Born Israel Beer Josaphat, Reuter had left his uncle's bank just two years before to establish what would become one of the world's greatest news gathering organizations.

    1852: Twenty-one Reform Jews formed Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington D.C.

    1859: Construction of the Suez Canal begins. The construction and operation of the canal became entangled in the European power politics and imperial conflicts between the French, who built the canal and the British who wanted to control it.  While serving as Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli bought a controlling interest in the company that owned the canal.  This “extra-legal” purchase was made possible by money from the House of Rothschild.

    1861: Birthdate of Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman, the influential politicaleconomist who became the head of the faculty of economics and sociology at Columbia University in New York City.

    1880(14th of Iyar, 5640): Pesach Sheni

    1880(14th of Iyar, 5640): Joseph Seligman, founder of Seligman Brothers passed away today in New Orleans.

    1880: In Ostrina, Russia, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Krensky gave birth to Harry Krensky who came to the United States at age 13 and who would return to Russia to facilitate his parents coming to America.  Krensky eventually settled in Waterloo, Iowa where he became a successful merchant.

    1880: “The Falashas –Remnants of Jews in Abyssinia” published today provides a brief history of the Jews of Ethiopia beginning with the generals who divided the empire created by Alexander the Great.

    1880:  It was reported today that a correspondent for the Jewish Messenger in Jerusalem has described the attempt to develop a Jewish agricultural movement near Safed has failed.  The farms have been abandoned and the would be-farmers have returned to live in Safed.

    1881: “Journeys in Asia Minor” published today includes a review of “The Land of Gilead with Excursions in the Lebanon” by Laurence Oliphant.”  According to the review the book describes Oliphant’s mission to the land ruled by the Ottomans which included what some saw as “nothing less than” an attempt to begin “a restoration of the Jews” in Palestine.

    1881:  A petition signed by 250,000 Germans was presented to the government requesting the barring of foreign Jews from admission into Germany. The petition bore no less than two hundred and fifty-five thousand signatures. This petition marked the opening of modern German anti-Semitism.

    1881: In what some say marks the start of “modern anti-Semitism” in Germany, “a petition signed by 250,000 Germans was presented to the government requesting the barring of foreign Jews from admission to the country

    1882 “The Persecuted Russian Jews” published today described a meeting that was held in Berlin attended by Sir Julian Goldsmid and Dr. Herman Adler from London, Mortiz Ellinger from the United States and several leading German Jews to decide the roles that various Jewish communities should play in aiding their c0-religiionists trying to escape the Czar’s oppression.  The Jews of London and Berlin will take care of raising funds for the efforts.  The Jews in the United States will be in charge of procuring employment for the immigrants as they arrive in America.

    1882: Tonight, in the Russian town of Kamentz, shops and houses belonging to the Jews were destroyed by a fire.  Losses are reported to total 500,000 rubles.

    1882: It was reported today that four hundred “Jewish mechanics” who had left Warsaw for the United Sates were stopped at the border between Russia and Germany because they did not have passports. Several of them escaped but most of them are being held by authorities and are waiting for a disposition of their cases. (The Russians did not want to keep the Jews but they did not want to let them leave either.)

    1884(30th of Nisan, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

    1886: Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7, Vienna.

    1887(1st of Iyyar, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

    1889: The coroner began an investigation into the death of a Jewish youngster named Tobias Hipper who had reportedly been killed by some other boys in his neighborhood.

    1890: It was reported today that Jews in Oregon are expected to support the Democrats because the Republican candidate had worked to unseat Joseph Simon as Chairman of the State Central Committee.  Simon was the law partner of Solomon Hirsch who was appointed as U.S. Minister to Turkey by President Harrison.

    1890: The first meeting of the working girls’ section of the Beth-El Society of Personal Service which would be known as the Pansy Club was held today.

    1892: It was reported today that D. Appleton & Co will be publishing The Jew at Home by Joseph Pennell based on the author’s first hand observations of life the Jews living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    1893: It was reported today that gentiles in Dennisville, NJ are organizing “a law and order society for the purpose of making the Jews from Woodbine, the Baron Hirsch colony, show proper respect for Sunday.” The people of Woodbine “trail their carts and wagons through Dennisville” which reportedly upset the villagers who are all “interested in church and temperance work.”

    1894: “The Samaritan Pentateuch” published today described the text from 1232 which is in the possession of the Lenox Library.  It contains thirty chapters of the Book of Genesis which are not found in the copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch in the possession of the British Library or the Vatican Library. The text is written in Hebrew and contains the Samaritan version of the Five Books of Moses.

    1895: “Boston's German-Jewish population establishes the Federation of Jewish Charities of Boston to help the Russian-Jewish immigrants adjust to life in America. Member organizations include the United Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Society, the Leopold Morse Home for the Aged and Infirm Hebrews and Orphanage, the Free Employment Bureau, and the Charitable Burial Association. Boston's Jewish population is estimated at 20,000, including 14,000 new immigrants.”

    1896:The Reverend William H. Hechler brought a very nervous Theodor Herzl to a private audience with the Grand Duke, Friedrich I of Baden, the uncle of Kaiser Wilhelm II, It was the first time that Herzl was able to share his vision of Political Zionism and his solution to the “Jewish Problem” with German royalty. The Grand Duke was very taken with Hechler’s eschatological predictions and with Herzl’s pragmatic solution to the Jewish problem through restoration of the Jews to Palestine. The Grand Duke became a lifelong advocate of Herzl and the Zionist cause. He used his office and his relationship with his nephew…to support Herzl and Zionism. Hechler was an English clergyman who fought against anti-Semitism and was an early and ardent supporter of Zionism in general and Herzl in particular.

    1896: Gustave May, a French born Jew who had taken refuge in the United States after the Franco-Prussian War was buried today.  May considered himself a “freethinker” and did not want a religious funeral.  His friend Columbia Professor Adolph Cohn delivered a eulogy in French.

    1896: Yesterday’s planned dedication of a new synagogue in Lancaster, PA did not take place because of an explosion caused by a gas leak.  Isaac Grootfield, the “shamas” was injured when struck by flying timbers.

    1897: Rabbi Silverman of Temple Emanu-El will officiate at the funeral of Simon Alexander Wolf the long-time writer for The Hebrew Journal.

    1897: Professor Felix Adler delivered an address on “The Debt of the American People to Ulysses S. Grant” at Carnegie Hall today.

    1897: It is estimated that the world’s Jewish population totals 7 million souls.

    1897: The annual meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum took placed at the asylum’s building at 136th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.  Emanuel Lehman who had recently donated $100,000 to the asylum was re-elected as President.

    1898: The newly elected officers of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society are: Emmanuel Lehman, President; Henry Rice, Vice President; Abraham Wolff, Treasurer and Meyer Stern, Secretary.  Dr. Herman Baar continues to serve as the superintendent.

    1898(3rd of Iyar, 5658): Michael Wromser, the son of a poor butcher from Lorraine, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was the sole possessor of an agricultural empire worth a quarter of a million dollars. 

    1899: The annual meeting of the Society for the Aid of Jewish Prisoners was held tonight at Temple Emanu-El

    1900: Birthdate of Wolfgang Ernst Pauli.  The Austrian born physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1945.  Pauli shows up on lists of Jewish scientists.  In reality, his father was born Jewish and his maternal grandfather was Jewish.  But like so many German and Jewish intellectuals of the time, conversion had taken him out of the House of Israel and only the blood laws of Hitler could have “brought him back.”

    1900: A two day crisis began in the Jewish Colonial Bank. Herzl called a meeting of the directors, and had the bank affairs reviewed by an accountant and a bank expert.

    1902: The New York Times reported that Rabbi Morris Schreiber died while being taken to Bellevue Hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack when he was leaving the East Tenth Street Ferry House. Rabbi Schreiber whose congregation was located on Bushwick Avenue was on his way to eat a Passover meal with relatives living in Manhattan.

    1902: The first step toward the creation of a permanent endowment fund for the United Hebrew Charities was taken today by William Guggenheim, a member of the Board of Directors, when he sent to the President of the organization. Henry Rice, a check for $50,000 for that purpose and a promise of $50,000 more upon the fulfillment of certain specified conditions.

    1903: Herzl returns to Paris as he continues to search for support for a Jewish home with the leaders of European government and business.  His approach would stand in stark contrast with the methods of the leaders of the Second Aliyah.

    1904: A mass meeting at Carnegie Hall the attendees who were “concerned with the plight of working children overwhelmingly supported the formation of the National Child Labor Committee one of the founding members of which was Felix Adler.

    1905: In Providence, Rhode Island, James Edward Ingham and Elizabeth Whelan gave birth to Martha Ingham Dickie who as Martha Sharp acted to save those at risk from Hitler and the Nazis for which she was honored by Israel as one of the righteous among the nations.

    1906: Birthdate of Joel Brand who gained fame for his role in negotiations with Adolf Eichmann in an attempt to save the Jews of Hungary. 

    1908: Birthdate of Edward R. Murrow.  Most of the world remembers him as Ed Murrow, the voice of CBS News. But before joining CBS, Murrow served as Assistant Secretary of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, which helped prominent German scholars most of whom were Jews deal with the effects of the Nazi rise to power.  When the committee issued its first report in 1934, Murrow compared the conditions with those reminiscent of “the explusion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.”

    1908: Joseph Dulberg, a leader of the Manchester Jewish Community, writes to Winston Churchill expressing sympathy for Churchill’s failure to win re-election and reiterating the strong support that Jews showed for him during the election.

    1911: Cornerstones were laid for new buildings at Hebrew Union college.

    1911:  Birthdate of Jack Ruby, the man who killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruby was Jewish.  Oswald was not.

    1911: As part of “The Case of Mendel Bellis,” two medical professors from Kiev University issued a second autopsy of the thirteen year old boy who had been killed in March of 1911.  The report “stated the victim had been almost been completely drained of blood…” and intimated that a ritual murder had been committed.  The autopsy was a fraud.  The two medical men had received a 4,000 ruble bribe from the Russian Ministry of Justice.

    1915: The Anglo-French invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula began.  Almost 30,000 men landed on the beach to fight the Turks for this strategic position.  Fighting with the British was a Jewish force known as the Zionist Mule Corp. The Zion Mule Corps was a supply unit that carried material from the beach up to the front lines.  The work was not glorious.  The founders of the corps had hoped to have a Jewish fighting force.  That would come later.  In the mean time, this was the first military unit composed of Jews who fought as Jews since the second century of the common ear.  Unbeknownst to the Jews serving with the Allies, the Turkish army had Jews fighting in Gallipoli at the same time.

    1918: Lieutenant General Sir John Monash described today’s  recapture of the town of Villers-Bretonneux as the turning point of the Great War. Monash, the son of Jewish immigrants, was the ranking member of the Australian Army serving on the Western Front.

    1919: Formation of Ha-Shomer ha-Za’ir

    1920: At the San Remo Conference, the Supreme Allied Council assigns mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine to Britain, and Syria and Lebanon to France. The Zionists scored a triumph since, when awarding the mandate to the British it was stated that “the mandatory would be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 8th November 1917 by the British government.”  In other words, “the Blafour Declaration was affirmed in an international treaty. 

    1920: As the San Remo Conference comes to an end, “Jewish and Arab delegations dined together in the Hotel Royal, toasting each other as the British looked on benevolently at the next table.”  Enmity between Zionists and Arabs was neither inevitable nor “present at the creation.”

    1920: “The Paris Peace conference formally confirmed the allocation of the Middle East’s Arab rectangle to Britain and France. The Allies’ final boundaries for their respective mandates in Palestine and Syria did not produce the viable frontiers the Zionists had anticipated for their National Home.” 

    1923: In Toronto Jacob Herman and Kate Weinberg gave birth to Mildred Hayden who gained fame as ballerina Melissa Hayden.

    1926: The first regular meeting of the recently created Department of Industrial Economics of the National Civic Federation was held at the Park Avenue Hotel.  Speakers for the evening included Louis D. Brandeis of the National Civic Federation and Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor.  As the last speaker of the evening, Gompers “reviewed the blessings which had come to the individual through organized labor and expressed the opinion that the beneficiaries would hardly agree to the proposition that association curtailed their liberty.  He said that labor could not depend upon the courts for protection citing the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in holding the ten-hour day for bakers unconstitutional.  ‘I suppose bakers will have to go back to the eleven and twelve hour and even longer day.  If they do I will urge them to strike.’”

    1929(15thof Nisan, 5689): Last Pesach of the Roaring Twenties.

    1930:  Birthdate of Paul Mazursky, director of “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.”

    1932: Rose Franken's "Another Language", premiered in New York City.

    1933:  The Law against the Overcrowding of German Schools and Institutions of Higher Learning set a Jewish quota of 1.5 percent of high-school and university enrollment, and stipulated a limit of 5-percent Jewish enrollment in any single school. Because a compulsory education law was in effect, Jewish enrollment in primary schools was not limited for the time being. However, growing numbers of Jews voluntarily moved to purely Jewish settings by 1938, when they were totally barred from general institutions. In autumn 1941, the Jewish schools were closed by administrative order. Ironically, extra-legal discrimination against Jews seeking admission to colleges and universities existed in the United States at this time.  These quotas would hang on until the later 1960’s.

    1933: Birthdate of songwriter Jerry Leiber.  Leiber teamed with another Mike Stoeller, “another Jewish white boy” who also loved Jazz and Boogie Woogie to create some of the greatest songs of the early days of Rock and Roll including Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, On Broadwayand most of the hits recorded by the Coasters.  If you recognize these classics, you are almost as old as the author and if you are scratching your because you never heard them, then you are young, very young and should be home practicing the Four Questions.
    1935: Birthdate of Edna Shavit the, “Emeritus Professor in the Drama department in the University of Tel Aviv, and Ha'Levi theatre prize winner for the year 2006.”

    1938: Associate Justice Louis Brandeis writes the majority opinion in the landmark case Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins.  Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo joins the majority in the 7 to 2 decision.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorist gangs murdered two Arabs who refused to hand over money and valuables in a village near Tulkarm.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that there were isolated shooting incidents in Jerusalem and Haifa.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arturo Toscanini, the famous conductor who had just given a series of concerts all over the country, and Bronislav Huberman, the great violinist and the founder of the Palestine Symphonic Orchestra, were granted the freedom of Tel Aviv.

    1943: As the Warsaw Uprising raged on, Germans continued their invasion of the ghetto by lighting fires to buildings. Escaping women and children were shot to death and burned.  Thus, the ancient Polish Jewish Community began its final descent from greatness into oblivion. As fires set by Germans consume the Warsaw Ghetto, a German Jew named Hoch desperately leaps from a fourth-floor window, breaking both arms and his spine.

    1943:  Composer Ezra Laderman was inducted into the U.S. Army where he served as a radio operator with the 69th Infantry Division during World War II. In describing his wartime experiences Laderman wrote "we were in Caversham, England poised to enter the war. It was here that I learned that my brother Jack had been shot down and killed in Germany. The Battle of the Bulge, crossing the Rhine at Remagen, liberating Leipzig, meeting the Russians at Torgau on the bank of the Elbe were the points in this constellation that was filled with tension and waiting, victory and grief. We became aware of the horror, and what we now call the 'holocaust,' while freeing Leipzig." During the weeks after the war was over, Laderman composed his Leipzig Symphony. This work brought him recognition within the army, and subsequently he was assigned as orchestrator of the GI Symphony Orchestra.

    1944: “Religious pioneers from Germany members of the Ezra youth movement and Agudat Israel founded a new kibbutz which was called Chafet Chaim.

    1944:  Joel Brand, a member of the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest, was summoned to a meeting with Adolf Eichmann, who presented him with an offer that would be known as "Blood for Trucks." Eichmann told Brand that the highest SS authorities had approved the terms, in which Eichmann would barter "a million Jews" for goods obtained outside of Hungary, including 10,000 trucks for civilian use, or, as an alternative, for use on the eastern front. The 1 million Jews would have to leave the country-since Eichmann had promised that Hungary would be Judenrein-and might head for any destination other than Palestine, since he had promised the Mufti of Jerusalem that no Jews would be allowed to emigrate there. To negotiate the effectuation of the deal, Eichmann let Brand leave Hungary. Although Brand was unaware of it at the time, the offer was evidently connected with an attempt by Himmler to drive a wedge between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, and to conclude a separate peace with the former. Brand did go to Ankara, Jerusalem, and Cairo, and he negotiated with American officials and leaders of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. However, he was arrested and imprisoned in Cairo, and the rescue scheme was never implemented.

    1945: Ten months after the Americans landed at Normandy they successfully completed their drive across Europe when they linked up today with Soviet troops on the Elbe River.

    1945: In Italy, a partisan uprising began that ended with the execution of Fascist Party dictator Benito Mussolini. Members of the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, an all Jewish fighting force in the British Army, was part of the Allied forced that helped liberate Italy.

    1946: The French ship Champollion brought 880 Jewish refuges with Palestine immigration certificates to Haifa today from Marseille.  Of the group, 500 were children, mostly orphans.”  Many of the immigrants were concentration camp survivors.

    1946: A force of Jewish fighters attacked a police station in northern Tel Aviv killing seven British soldiers and policemen while wounding two other Britons and nine Jewish civilians.  The Jewish fighters got away without suffering any casualties and have apparently escaped the security cordon created by the British.

    1946: Several thousand Jewish youth marched through the streets of Tel Aviv mourning the death of Braha Fuld who was killed during the attack on the Sarona police mobile force headquarters.  She was referred to as ‘a fighter for immigration’

    1948:  A reporter for The Times of London (the voice of the British establishment) described the efforts of the Jewish leaders in Haifa to convince the Arab residents to remain.  “The Jews wish the Arabs to settle down again to normal routine, but evacuation continues.”  While the Haganah was distributing leaflets urging the Arabs to stay, the Arab High Command based in Damascus was urging them to leave supposedly to avoid Arab casualties when Arab planes would bomb Haifa.  The planes never came, but the Arabs took flight and the “refugee problem” was born.

    1948:A comedic bit featuring funny man Don Wilson and opera singer Dorothy Kirsten generates what would become the longest laughter pause in the history of the Jack Benny Program.

    1950: Following the collapse of a building in Jaffa that killed nineteen and injured thirty mostly recent Jewish immigrants, Mayor Israel Rokah “called for the immediate evacuation of 1,700 people from unsafe houses in Jaffa”

    1949: Birthdate of Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn, a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party who became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).,

    1950: Mohammed Pasha Shureiki “formally notified the United Nations today that Jordan had annexed eastern Palestine and the old walled city of Jerusalem.”  This action is in complete violation of the United Nations partition resolution which called for Jerusalem and Bethlehem to be administered by the UN Trusteeship Council.  There was no motion of condemnation of the Jordanian action which was really the “ratification of facts on the ground” created by the invasion of Jerusalem in the winter of 1947/1948. 

    1950: Prime Minister David Ben Gurion addressed the Zionist General Council on the sixth day of its meeting in Jerusalem.  Ben Gurion told the leaders from around the world that “their financial and other aid to Israel did not entitle them to a voice in the affairs of Israel.”  While acknowledging the importance of aid and support from the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, Ben Gurion took the classical Zionist line that “only Zionists who came to Israel and assumed the responsibilities of citizenship were entitled to a voice in determining policy.

    1957: Birthdate of Bernard Rajzman, the native or Rio de Janeiro who became one of Brazil’s leading volleyball players

    1964:  Birthdate of actor Hank Azaria, voice of Moe and Comic Book Guy on “The Simpsons.”

    1966(5thof Iyar, 5726): Yom HaAtma’ut

    1967(15thof Pesach, 5727): Pesach

    1967:  Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders", premiered in New York City.

    1969: Birthdate of Israeli yachtsman Nir Shental. Shenatal and his brother Ran won a bronze medal in the 1995 the World 470 Sailing Class Championships.  Nir and Ran also represented Israel in the 1996 Olympics.

    1976(25th of Nisan, 5736):Markus Reiner“an Israeli scientist and a major figure in rheology” passed away. Reiner was born in 1886 in Czernowitz, Bukovina, then part of Austria-Hungary, and obtained a degree in Civil Engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna (Vienna University of Technology). After the First World War, he emigrated to Palestine, where he worked as a civil engineer under the British mandate. After the founding of the state of Israel, he became a professor at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa. In his honour the Technion later instituted the Markus Reiner Chair in Mechanics and Rheology. Reiner was not only a major figure in rheology, (the study of the flow of matter: primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force) he along with Eugene C. Bingham coined the term] and founded a society for its study. As well as the term rheology, and his publications, he is known for the Buckingham-Reiner Equation, the Reiner-Riwlin Equation, (now usually spelled Reiner-Rivlin), the Deborah number and the Teapot effect - an explanation of why tea runs down the outside of the spout of a teapot instead of into the cup

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that Myron Marcus, an Israeli prisoner in Mozambique, was released in a three-way prisoners exchange swap.

    1978:The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington the White House officials declared that the U.S. President Jimmy Carter, will not consider any compromise with Congress on the all-or-nothing aircraft package sale to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel that would change the number of planes involved. A group of outspoken critics of the Carter Administration published a full-page advertisement in the "New York Times" warning that any weakening of Israel was in effect, a weakening of U.S. in the Middle East.

    1979:  Peace treaty between Israel and Egypt went into effect.

    1979: In an article entitled “Camp David: Farseeing Diplomacy or Neocolonialism?”Daniel Pipes expresses his concerns about the newly signed peace agreement.

    1982:  The Sinai Peninsula was returned by Israel to Egypt, as part of the 1979 Camp David Accord.

    1984: “The weekly HaOlam HaZeh (This World), which had appeared with blank spaces the week before, published on its front page a blurred picture of a man being led away.”

    1985: Felipe Gonzalez sent a personal letter to the secretary general of the Arab League informing him of Spain’s plans recognize Israel.

    1986: Funeral services are scheduled to be held today for composer Harold Arlen at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan

    1988:  The popular ABC news program "Nightline" went on location to Jerusalem Israel.

    1988: In Israel, John Demjanuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.

    1993(4th of Iyar, 5753):Yom HaZikaron

    1996: In an article published today entitled “Germans, Jews and Blame: New Book, New Pain” Alan Cowell described the German reaction to the recently published"Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust" by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.  “The book's message is that the Holocaust was a result of a deep strain of specifically German anti-Semitism, growing from the 19th century onward, that sought the elimination of Europe's Jews and drew enthusiastic, willing support from possibly hundreds of thousands of ordinary Germans who physically took part in Hitler's deadly campaign against the Jews. The Holocaust, the book says, was a ‘national project.’ The German response, in a flurry of published articles, has been to condemn the book as lacking in scholarship, one-sided, derivative, downright wrong and willfully provocative.”

    1997: Launch of the INS Leviathan, a Dolphin class submarine.

    1997:Hagit Zavitzky, 23, of Kfar Adumim and Liat Kastiel, 23, of Holon were found stabbed to death in Wadi Kelt.

    1999: PGA golfer Bruce Fleisher won the Home Depot Invitational

    1999: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including The Lexus and The Oliver Tree by Thomas L. Friedman

    2000(20th of Nisan, 5760): Producer David Merrick passed away. Born in 1912 in St. Louis, Merrick's name was originally Margoulis.  He lived in what he described as a mid-western Jewish ghetto.  He had an extremely unhappy childhood.  He found solace and success working in stage production at The Young Means Hebrew Association where his uncle was the director.  Merrick married well, moved to New York where he disassociated himself from his Jewish origins and carved a successful career on Broadway.  Some of his more notable hits were Beckett and Hello Dolly.

    2002(2ndof Iyar, 5761): Yom HaZikaron

    2003: On the day after Pesach had come to an end it is reported that In a unique partnership between Chabad and the New York-based Manischewitz company, ten tons of Matzah reached Lithuania’s 6,000 Jews in time for Passover. Donated by The donation by Manischewitz was particularly meaningful in a country long part of the Soviet Union, where Matzot were baked clandestinely.

    “The largest amount of Matzah received since the independence of Lithuania, this donation literally assured Jews countrywide the ability to have a kosher Pesach,” says Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky, Chabad representative to Lithuania.The donation came through a business associate of Manischewitz and an acquaintance of Rabbi Krinsky’s, Mr. Armand Lindenbaum, whose grandfather Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel lived near Vilna in the early 20th century. When Krinsky approached him several months back about the possibility of making a donation to the Jewish community of Lithuania, Lindenbaum, who visited Vilna and was surprised to find a thriving Jewish community there, facilitated the initial contact between Chabad and The B. Manischewitz Company. From its perspective, Manischewitz, the leading manufacturer of kosher processed food products in the U.S., and the top provider of Matzah worldwide, feels the need and is honored to “give back to the Jewish community,” says executive vice president Steven M. Grossman.One thousand people participating at Chabad’s thirteen public Seders in Lithuania, partook of the Matzah, which was distributed in Lithuania’s major cities and remote towns. Even the five lone Jews living in Svencionys—a city whose pre-Holocaust Jewish population numbered 4,000—were not forgotten. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help in enabling us to conduct the Seders in Svencionys according to Jewish tradition and with kosher Matzah,” said one. According to Grossman, this was Manischewitz's first joint venture with Chabad, and Grossman sees the company’s relationship with Chabad as an “opportunity to make other contributions in the future.” The concerns of the general Jewish community, he says, are concerns of Manischewitz as well, and the company is pleased to contribute wherever it can.

    2004: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Alexander Hamiltonby Ron Chernow and A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967by Rachel Cohen

    2004:The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University sponsor a program entitled “Double or Nothing: Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage in the United States.

    2005:For the first time since the Expulsion in 1492, a public, rabbi led Passover Seder was celebrated in Piano Battaglia, Palermo by Rabbi Barbara Aiello.

    2005(16thof Nisan, 5765): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    2005(16thof Nisan, 5756): Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe passed away in Jerusalem.  Born in Berlin in 1914, he made Aliyah in 1946 and is remembered as the author of  Alie Shur

    2006: In “Grits and Gefilte: How did a southern Methodist college become a destination for America's Jews?” author Steve Stein explains the phenomenal growth in the number of Jews attending Atlanta’s Emory University.  Jewish students now compromise almost one third of the student body at a school once known primarily for its connection with Coca Cola.

    2006(27th of Nisan, 5766): Observance of Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    2007:“Makor Rishon started publishing daily. At the same time, HaTzofe (also owned by Hirsch Media) stopped publishing its daily edition, becoming instead a weekly religious insert in Makor Rishon” Shlomo Ben-Tzvi's Hirsch Media had purchased the newspaper in 2003. His wife is the editor of Segula, a magazine about Jewish history and culture that began publishing in 2012.

    2007: At the Leo Baeck InstituteBarbara Hahn, Distinguished Professor of German at Vanderbilt University, previously Professor of German at Princeton University, delivers a lecture entitled, “Kafka´s Wife - the Children of Bruno Schulz - On broken Traditions.”

    2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque features a screening of “The Decalogue” \ עשרת הדיברות.

    2009(1st of Iyar, 5769Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    2009(1st of Iyar, 5769): Beloved television and theater star Bea Arthur passed away today at her home in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. The 86-year-old was born Beatrice Frankel to a Jewish family in New York City and became a household name on such TV shows as "Golden Girls" and "Maude". Arthur began her career in the theater, where she won a Tony Award for the musical "Mame" and played "Yente the Matchmaker" in the Broadway premiere of Fiddler on the Roof. Arthur was perhaps most well known for her role as Dorothy Zbornak on the hit series Golden Girls. The show, which centered on the lives of four retired women living together in a house in Miami, Florida, was a hit for six seasons and won 10 Emmys, including one for Arthur in 1988. After Golden Girls ended its run, Arthur appeared in guest spots on TV, including a part as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Arthur was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008.

    2009:The David Bromberg Quartet at MerleFest

    2010: Agudas Achim in Iowa City is scheduled to host its annual “Mitzvah Day.”

    2010: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to offer “A Walking Tour of Downtown Jewish Washington” that will enable participants to visit the sites of four former synagogues while learning what it was like to live and worship as a Jew from 1850-1950 in the historic Seventh Street neighborhood, now known as Chinatown.

    2010:Wrestler Bill Goldberg and Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak were among seven inductees into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The five others inducted at the Hall of Fame in Commack, N.Y., were Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg; female judo champion Rusty Kanokogi; Penn State women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose; Achilles Track Club founder Dick Traum; and former NFL offensive lineman Alan Veingrad. Goldberg, an all-American defensive end at the University of Georgia, was taken in the 11th round of the 1990 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, but he turned to wrestling and martial arts three years after an injury ended his football career in 1994. During his seven-year career on the World Champion Wrestling circuit, World Wrestling Entertainment twice recognized Goldberg as the world heavyweight champion.In an often humorous and casually self-effacing speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Goldberg sought to tie his unconventional career choice in professional wrestling to Judaism."I wanted to try my best to give the Jewish youth something to look up to, someone who's persevered and somehow made a difference," Goldberg said. "What better way to help Jewish youth in dealing with adversity than to parade around the ring on national television in my underwear, demolishing every single person in my path?"Goldberg did not address recent rumors of a return to professional wrestling, instead saying that he wanted to focus on remaining on this season of NBC's reality television show "Celebrity Apprentice."  Lezak, a professional swimmer, came to national prominence as the unassuming hero of the U.S. 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay team that won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and set a world record. His dramatic final lap of the race made international headlines and helped teammate Michael Phelps notch a crucial victory on his way to a record eight gold medals at the Games. Lezak has won numerous Olympic medals, including an individual bronze at the '08 Games, and earned four gold medals at the Maccabiah Games in Israel last summer

    2011: “Twilight Becomes Night” is one of two documentary shorts scheduled to shown at Film Form in New York. The documentary examines the widespread closing of independently-owned businesses in New York City, and the significant impact this transformation has on the people who live here. Russ & Daughters, a multi-generational Jewish owned family business known for its quality and genial atmosphere, “is presented in the film along with interview clips with Niki Russ Federman and Russ & Daughters' longtime manager, Herman Vargas.”

    2011:Yael Hedaya, “an Israeli novelist, one of the head writers for In Treatment, the acclaimed Israeli TV series adapted for HBO” is one of the writers scheduled to appear at “PEN Speakeasy: Sex; Erotic Readings” on the opening day of the PEN World Voices Festival.

    2011(21 Nisan, 5771): Seventh Day of Pesach – holiday ends for Israelis and Reform Jews.

    2011:Politicians from left, right and center put aside their political differences this evening to join in the traditional Moroccan celebration of Mimouna marking the end of Pessah and the beginning of spring. During Mimouna, revelers feast on moufleta, an oil-rich crepe that serves as the first hametz to be eaten following the holiday. The Mimouna festival has evolved into an opportunity to acknowledge and honor Israel's Moroccan community, and Moroccan activists mark the event by hosting politicians in their homes. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attended a Mimouna celebration in Or Akiva. President Shimon Peres was the guest of honor at Jerusalem's main Mimouna festivity, attended by Mayor Nir Barkat and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Labor MK Isaac Herzog, who is running for head of the Labor party, said at the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry's Mimouna celebration in Rehovot that "Mimouna must be declared an official, national holiday." Earlier this month, Haaretz published a racist quote attributed to Herzog in a WikiLeaks document, claiming that he called MK Amir Peretz "aggressive, inexperienced and Moroccan," but that Labor's list for the Knesset had Ashkenazim that balanced out the Sephardim

    2011: In New York, Russ & Daughters is co-sponsoring a screening of The Vanishing City & Twilight Becomes Night, two documentaries that trace the changing face of the city and the reasons behind the morphing of Manhattan.

    2012: “Common Sense Media honored John David Leibowitz, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission as a Champion for Kids
    2012: Israeli newspapers reported today that Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has said economic and diplomatic pressures against Iran were beginning to succeed

    2012:  Filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman are scheduled to participate in a Q&A following a screening of “Between Two Worlds” at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
    2012:The Embassy of Israel, the Washington Jewish Film Festival and The Avalon Theatre are scheduled to sponsor a screening of the Israeli film "Ha'lahaka"
    2012:  Ninety-six year old Inge Elsas who gave an untold number of youngsters their first taste of Jewish education as the Kindergarten Teacher at Temple Sinai, passed away today.
    2012(3rd of Iyar): Yom Hazikaron –Israel Remembrance Day
     2013: In Columbus, Ohio, Congregation Tifereth Israel is scheduled to host a concert where the winners of the 2012 Justine Hackman Memorial Young Artist Competition will perform.
    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to a lunchtime event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the performance of “We Will Never Die” at Constitution Hall.
    2013: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled to present “The Human and the Inhuman: Writing in the Wake of the Holocaust”
    2013:Police today finished a probe of Rabbi Avraham Chaim Sherman, a judge on the Great Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem. Officers from the National Fraud Investigative Unit suspect Sherman of breach of trust, obstruction of justice and abuse of power in his ruling in a divorce proceeding. Today Police handed over the case to state prosecutors who will decide whether to pursue an indictment.
    2013: A court handed the Women of the Wall a significant legal victory in a decision released today, ruling that the state cannot arrest the women for their activities at the holy site.
    2014: In New York, the Centro Primo Levi is scheduled to host a presentation by David Meghnagi and Barbara Spadaro on “The Jews of Libya Between the 19th Century and the Colonial Era.” 

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    April 26

    121: Birthdate of Marcus Aurelius the Roman Emperor who described the Jews as being “stinking and tumultuous.”

    1478: The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence. The Pazzi were rivals of the Medici family. Lorenzo’s death was a setback for the Jewish community of Florence.  The Pazzi’s big claim to fame was their participation in the First Crusade. On the other hand Lorenzo de’ Medici had defended the Jewish community from expulsions and from the aftermath of the anti-Semitic sermons given by Bernardino da Feltre in which he whipped up the masses into a violent frenzy by demonizing the Jews as the Christ Killers.

    1654: The Jews were expelled from Brazil.  The city of Recife had been taken from the Dutch by the Portuguese.  As a Dutch city, Recife had been hospitable to the Jews. But Portugal meant the Inquisition, forced conversion or exile.  It was the Jews fleeing from Recife who ended up in New Amsterdam later in 1654 and thus began what would become the American Jewish Community.Professor Arnold Witzner, author of “Jews In Colonial Brazil” the Jews could have remained in Brazil if they had converted.  They chose not to which meant that “all openly professing Jews left Brazil” prior to this date. “A total of 16 ships transported the Jewish and Dutch colonists from Recife. Some claim as many as 5,000 Jews left Recife at this time. Most of these Jews returned to Holland; some relocated to colonies in the Caribbean. Twenty-three of the Jews aboard one of these ships eventually arrived in New Amsterdam (New Netherland/New York) on September 7, 1654. There are at least two versions of the story of how these Jews came to settle in New Amsterdam. One version is that the original ship was captured by pirates at one point. The Jews were subsequently taken aboard the French ship the St. Charles, and this ship brought them to New Amsterdam. According to Wiznitzer, there was no capture by pirates. Instead, the Jews were driven by adverse winds to Spanish-held Jamaica. From there they boarded the small French frigate, Sainte Catherine, which took them to New Amsterdam.”

    1655:  The directors of the Dutch West India Co. refused to grant permission to Governor Peter Stuyvesant to exclude Jews from New Amsterdam. This put an end to official efforts to bar Jews from North America. The Dutch West India Co. also specified that no restriction of trade be imposed upon the Jewish settlers. Thus it guaranteed not only the physical inviolability of the Jews but also their orderly economic development and progress. The only condition contained in the directive provided that "the poor among them shall be supported by their own nation." This gave further impetus to the growth of Jewish philanthropy in the New World.

    1721: A massive earthquake devastates Tabriz. There are records of a Jewish community in Tabriz dating back to the 12th century. The community must have been large and culturally diverse since it included bath Rabbanites and Karaites. In 1830, the Jews of Tabriz were massacred during a rise of Islamic fervor that also included the forced conversions of the Jews in Shiraz and Mashhad.

    1737:Without any warning, the King of Prussia ordered that the decree limiting the number of Jewish families allowed to live in Berlin be enforced. According to a document entitled “General privilege and regulations to be observed concerning the Jews in his Majesty's dominions,” issued in 1730, the King had granted the Jews the right to settle 120 families in the capital city. By 1737, the number of Jewish families had risen to 180 and the king wanted these additional sixty families to depart even if it meant a loss of tax revenue.

    1774(15th of Iyar, 5534): Moses Lindo passed away. Born in England he moved to South Carolina where he became a leading planter and merchant. “He did more than any other individual to encourage and advance the indigo industry of the colony, among the most important industries in South Carolina in prerevolutionary times. His transactions were enormous, and in 1762 he was appointed "Surveyor and Inspector-General of Indigo, Drugs, and Dyes," an office he resigned in 1772.

    1796: The Jews of Fossano escaped from a massacre which they commemorated by celebrating the Purim of the Bomb

    1792:Joseph ben Meir Teomim, the native of Galicia who served as a rabbi in Lemberg and Frankfurt an der Order and whose works include “Pri Megadim (פרי מגדים), a supercommentary on some of the major commentators on the Shulkhan Aruch passed away today.”

    1817: Joseph Freiherr von Sonnenfels the son of Perlin Lipman “who was baptized in his early youth” and went on to become a leading “Austrian and German jurist and novelist.”

    1826(19th of Nisan): Chaim (Hermann) Bloch, author of “Mavo ha-Talmud” passed away today

    1826: Birthdate of Civil War veteran and early homesteader Daniel Freeman.  Freeman was not Jewish.  He was the successful plaintiff in one of the first landmark cases that declared Bible reading and praying in public schools were unconstitutional.  Most of the landmark cases involving separation of church and state were brought by non-Jews.

    1829: French jurist and parliamentarian Pierre-Stanislas Bédard who opposed Ezekiel Hart taking his seat in Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada because he did not think Jew should sit in the legislature, passed away today.

    1850(14thof Iyar, 5610): Pesach Sheni

    1850(14thof Iyar, 5610): Sixty-nine year old, Leo Wolf, who was one of the founders of the “Temple’ (reform) in Hamburg passed away today.

    1853: Following a recent vote by the First Prussian Chamber to exclude Jews from public employment, today, thousands of Prussian citizens including  Alexander Von Humboldt, presented petitions to the Second Chamber urging it to reject the action of the First Chamber and adopt legislation allowing Jews to hold “civil offices” and allowing everybody full freedom of religious opinion.

    1854: Albert E. Hertz and Maria S. Solana, daughter of Mathew Solana were married today in St. Augustine, FL.

    1856: In Mannheim, Germany, Lazarus and Babette Morgenthau gave birth to Henry Morgenthau, Sr. the American lawyer and businessman who was best known as America’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

    1856: In Philadelphia, sixteen German boys have been charged with savagely beating a boy named Bernadotte Glischman.  After attacking him a barroom, they took the boy to his room where they stuck him with pins and covered his face with a pillow so he could not cry out.  According to the boy,  he was attacked because he was Jewish and the other boys were Catholics who wanted to punish him because the Jews crucified Christ.  The boys were being held with bail being set at $250 for 15 of them and $800 for the remaing defendant.

    1859: Odo William Leopold Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill, a British diplomat serving in Italy, wrote to Sir Moses Montefiore describing the progress he has made in attempt to present a petition to the Pope concerning the kidnapping of Edgaro Martoro 

    1860: The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada (originally named 2nd Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada) whose most famous Jewish member may have Benjamin “Ben” Dunkelman who led them ashore at Normandy and later turned down the opportunity to command the unit, was formed today.

    1860: As of 6 o’clock this evening the body of the unknown man, who was supposed to have committed suicide by shooting himself at Weehawken, NJ, had not been identified. For reasons that have not been disclosed, authorities believe him to be a German Jew from New York.

    1861:  The Jewish Messenger publishes the following editorial entitled “Stand by the Flag” which demonstrates the patriotic, pro-Union beliefs held by a majority of Jews living in the United States.

    “It is almost a work of supererogation for us to call upon our readers to be loyal to the Union, which protects them. It is needless for us to say anything to induce them to proclaim their devotion to the land in which they live. But we desire our voice, too, to be heard at this time, joining in the hearty and spontaneous shout ascending from the whole American people, to stand by the stars and stripes!

    “Already we hear of many of our young friends taking up arms in defense of their country, pledging themselves to assist in maintaining inviolate its integrity, and ready to respond, if need be, with their lives, to the call of the constituted authorities, in the cause of law and order.

    The time is past for forbearance and temporizing. We are now to act, and sure we are, that those whom these words may reach, will not be backward in realizing the duty that is incumbent upon them—to rally as one man for the Union and the Constitution. The Union—which binds together, by so many sacred ties, millions of free men—which extends its hearty invitation to the oppressed of all nations, to come and be sheltered beneath its protecting wings—shall it be severed, destroyed, or even impaired? Shall those, whom we once called our brethren, be permitted to overthrow the fabric reared by the noble patriots of the revolution, and cemented with their blood?

    And the Constitution—guaranteeing to all, the free exercise of their religious opinions—extending to all, liberty, justice, and equality—the pride of Americans, the admiration of the world—shall that Constitution be subverted, and anarchy usurp the place of a sound, safe and stable government, deriving its authority from the consent of the American People?

    “The voice of millions yet unborn, cried out, 'Forbid it, Heaven!' The voice of the American people declares in tones not to be misunderstood: `It shall not be!'

    “Then stand by the Flag! What death can be as glorious as that of the patriot, surrendering his life in defense of his country—pouring forth his blood on the battlefield—to live forever in the hearts of a grateful people. Whether native or foreign born, Gentile or Israelite, stand by it, and you are doing your duty, and acting well your part on the side of liberty and justice!

    “We know full well that our young men, who have left their homes to respond to the call of their country, will, on their return, render a good account of themselves. We have no fears for their bravery and patriotism. Our prayers are with them. G-d speed them on the work which they have volunteered to perform!

    “And if they fall—if, fighting in defense of that flag, they meet a glorious and honorable death, their last moments will be cheered by the consciousness that they have done their duty, and grateful America will not forget her sons, who have yielded up their spirit in her behalf.

    And as for us, who do not accompany them on their noble journey, our duty too, is plain. We are to pray to Heaven that He may restore them soon again to our midst, after having assisted in vindicating the honor and integrity of the flag they have sworn to defend; and we are to pledge ourselves to assume for them, should they fall in their country's cause, the obligation of supporting those whom their departure leaves unprotected. Such is our duty. Let them, and all of us, renew our solemn oath that, whatever may betide, we will be true to the Union and the Constitution, and STAND BY THE FLAG.”

    1865: Seventeen year old Henry Schneeberger, a student at Columbia was invited to deliver his first sermon at Rodeph Shalom in New York.  His discourse provoked a resounding round of approval from the congregants. (This may be an incorrect date since a source claims that this sermon was delivered on the second day of Pesach which fell on April 12)

    1865: Reuters, the news service created by Paul Julius Reuter, brought news of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in the United States to the European public, making it the first news service to provide the information to those on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean.

    1865: Edward Storm, a resident of Greenville, MS, was discharged from the Confederate Army having served in Company D of the 28th Mississippi Cavalry.

    1868: Today’s European Affairs column reported that “Thirty-one radical members of the Rumanian House have proposed the most Draconic laws against theJews, which, if put into effect, would result in an absolute expulsion of the unfortunate Hebrews.  England, Prussia and other Governments havemade the most energetic protests agains such foolish measures, and the cry of indignation thoughout Europe has already had so much effect as to cause of the signers of the bill to withdraw their signatures from it.”

    1869: Public school teachers and “scholars” living in and around New York City have reportedly been swindled by “an individual calling himself a converted Jew” and “a long-time resident of Palestine. He promises to take their photographs, asks that he be paid in advance and promises to return with the pictures “in a day or two”  Needless to say, he has not been returning with the pictures

    1871: It was reported today that Jacob Cohen is the publisher of a new Jewish newspaper, The Hebrew News.  The paper will be published weekly in Hebrew and English.

    1876: Judge McAdams officiated at the wedding of Marion W. Dibble and Eliza Emma Ottolengui both of whom live in Charleston, SC.

    1878(23rd of Nisan): Orthodox Rabbi David Duetsch of Budapest, author of “Goren David” passed away today

    1880: A letter from St. Petersburg that was first published in the London Times takes issue with the contention that the Jews dominate the Nihilist and revolutionary movements in Russia.

    1881: Pogroms spreading across the Ukraine, reached Kiev.

    1882: Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Louis L. Cohen of Atlanta, GA and Hortense Solomons which took place at the residence of her father, S.S. Solomons.

    1882: It was reported that the “poorer Jews” in Odessa, Russia, are marrying at the rate of 150 couples per day.  There is a belief that if they are married, they will be given free land in either the United States or Palestine.

    1883(19thof Nisan, 5643): Sixty year old author and philosopher Samuel Alexander Byk passed away today in Leipzig.

    1883(19th of Nisan, 5643): Rabbi Solomon Reimann was crushed to death tonight when he attempted to jump from a ferry on to the dock.  The distance was only three feet, but no reason was given as to why he attempted the jump in the first place. He leaves behind a widow and four adult children

    1884(1st of Iyar, 5644): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1884: A motion to grant convicted killer Edward Brice was denied today in Washington, DC.  The motion was based on the grounds “that one of the jurors” who was Jewish took the oath on a Christian Bible instead of on the Five Books of Moses.  The judge said that the objection should have been raised at the time of the swearing in and refused to consider it.

    1885: Phoenix, AZ suffers one of its worst fires during Emil Ganz’s first term as the city’s mayor.  Among the buildings burnt was the Bank Exchange Hotel which was owned by native of Germany who come to Phoenix by way of Georgia.

    1885:”Archaelogical Frauds In Palestine,” published today recounts the various sales of an inscription written in Greek that had supposedly been found in “an old Arab house near the Mosque of Omar.”  The inscription that read “Let no foreigner pass within the precincts of the temple.  Anyone found so doing will be guilty of his own death.”  Those who sold the relic claimed that it was a sign posted in the precincts of Herod’s Temple.

    1888: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, five Jews from two different synagogues faced a preliminary hearing on charges that they were leading a boycott of a Jewish butcher named Jacob Weisfeld.  Weisfeld claimed that the two congregations were boycotting his business because he refused to pay a tax of one half a cent per pound of meat sold to the rabbis. Weisfeld claimed that his refusal led to a whispering campaign that claimed his meat was not kosher. The defense tried to prove that Weisfeld, was in fact, guilty of not slaughtering his meat in a kosher fashion.

    1889: Birthdate of Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, an Austrian born professor of philosophy at Cambridge University.  Wittgenstein was not Jewish but his family was up until the beginning of the 19th Century when the road to wealth and social acceptability was opened to those who would trade the Magen David for the Sign of the Cross.

    1889: The Coroner’s Inquest that is trying to determine the cause of death a young Jewish boy named Tobias Hipper entered into its second day.  Dr. Stern and Deputy Coroner Jenkins have already testified as to the manner of death and two other witnesses have identified a couple of neighborhood boys as the culprits.

    1890: Henry Rice, President of the United Hebrew Charities, testified before the sub-committee of the Joint Congressional Committee on Immigration.

    1891: “Sir Pertinax Macpsycophant” published today provides a review of Charles Macklin by Edward Abbott Parry, a biography of the 18th century actor whose signature role was his portrayal of Shylock done in such a unique  manner that when “King George II saw the production” he “was so moved he could not fall asleep that night.

    1893: Abraham E. Pumpiansky, the rabbi at Riga, passed away today.

    1893: It was reported today the Prussian Supreme Court has declared “that to exclude Jews, qua Jews, from a Freemasons’ Lodge would be a violation of the Prussian Constitution. The case stemmed from the decision of a newly formed lodge of Freemasons to admit Jews which had been objected to other lodges that did not admit Jews because the “anti-Semitic members” did not want “to fraternize with Jews.”

    1895: Mayor Strong held hearings on the Hebrew Benevolent Home Bill which has already been passed by both branches of the Legislature.

    1896: Birthdate of Dr. Jules Stein.  Stein was an ophthalmologist by training. But he was also the founder of MCA which became the leading talent agency in the United States.  Stein joined forces with another Jew name Lou Wasserman to create the Universal entertainment empire.  Stein used his fortune for humanitarian purposes primarily in the field of research and treatment related to the eye.  He passed away in 1981 leaving behind such legacies as the National Eye Institute and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA.

    1896: It was reported today that Great Britain has “a national concern” as a result of the death of Baron de Hirsch’s death. The Baron had large investments in England and the death duties owed on these properties would “yield enough revenue to build three or four new” battleships which would help the UK in its naval race with Germany.  However, the Baron is an Austrian and the will be probated in Vienna. The fear is that this will make it difficult if not impossible for the British to collect any taxes on the estate.

    1896: A betrothal reception for Lucien L. Bonheur and Amelia Simon was held today the home of Miss Simon’s parents on East 56th Street.

    1896: David Wolffsohn visited Herzl and offers his cooperation. Wolffsohn had been a supporter of groups seeking to establish a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel.  Wolfffsohn provided Herzl with an entree into the German Hovevei Zion, Lover’s of Zion, organizations.

    1896: In the report of the Committee on the Hebrew Technical Institute which was presented at the meeting of Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society the necessity of creating a fund to provide assistance for the boys who were graduating but who had not started working was called to the trustees’ attention.

    1897: According to a report by Superintendent Herman Baar published today, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum is caring for 823 children.  Of these, 350 children attend Grammar School No. 43 while the balance attended classes at the asylum.

    1898: In Romania, Sara and Israel Freedman gave birth to radio gag writer David Freedman and author whose bestselling biography of Eddie Cantor was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

    1899: The list of the Board of Directors for the Society of Aid of Jewish Prisoners published today included “Jacob H. Schiff, William N. Cohen, Jacob A. Cantor, Samuel B. Hamburger, Dr. Joseph Wiener, A.S. Solomons, E. W. Bloomingdale and the Reverends Davidson and Harris. 

    1903: Herzl has a meeting with representatives of the I.A.C. in Paris who had read the report about the expedition to the Sinai Peninsula. The I.A.C. is the Jewish Colonization Association which was funded by Baron de Hirsch. The I.A.C. was established to set up agricultural settlements in places like Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States.  The settlements were supposed to provide places of refuge for Romanian and Russian Jews. Herzl sought enlist I.A.C. support for the establishment of agricultural colonies in the Sinai which would be a stepping stone to a Jewish home in Eretz Israel.

    1903: According to an article in today’s edition of the New York Daily Tribune,“the gang that would become the Eastman Gang (named for Monk Eastman, the turn-of the-century gangster who was its leader)  “first came on the scene in the early 1890s. They started out in the notorious Corlear's Hook section of the lower east side on Rivington street in the vicinity of Mangin and Goerck streets. Another gang of the era, the Short-Tail Gang, had its headquarters in this same area, making it entirely possible that the Eastmans grew out of the Short-Tails. Originally composed of gentiles from the local slums, the gang quickly became almost exclusively Jewish with the influx of Jewish immigrants into lower Manhattan and nearby Brooklyn. When Monk Eastman himself entered the gang is unknown, but the fact that several newspaper articles refer to him as hailing from Corlear's Hook indicates that it was probably during this early era”.

    1913: Mary Phagan comes to the pencil factory where she is given her pay for the week by Leo Frank.  According to the testimony in the trial, Leo Frank was the last person to see Mary Phagan alive.

    1914:Liberal Judaism here and abroad is gaining ground, according to Dr. Maurice H. Harris, President of the Eastern Council of Reformed Rabbis, which opened its Fifth Assembly tonight at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue and Forty-Third Street. He said that an international propaganda for Liberal Judaism had been started and that a conference on the plan and scope of the movement probably would be arranged in Europe in 1916.”

    1914: Rabbi Samuel L. Levinson officiated at the dedication of the new synagogue of Temple Beth Emeth, the second such building to be built in Brooklyn.  Dr. Stephen Wise, the rabbi of the Free Synagogue addressed the crowd who had come to the building which cost $40,000.

    1914: Birthdate of Lillian Rolfe, a courageous member of the Marquis who was murdered by the Nazis at Ravensburck concentration camp.

    1914:  Birthdate of author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Bernard Malamud.  While many think of him as a Jewish writer, one of his biggest hits, which Robert Redford later turned into a hit movie was The Natural - a book about baseball that has no Jewish characters.  Malamud passed away in 1986.

    1915:  As a corporal in the 1st Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, Issy Smith was engaged in the Second Battle of Ypres. Today, Smith, on his own initiative, recovered wounded soldiers while exposed to sustained fire and attended to them "with the greatest devotion to duty regardless of personal risk".  In August, 1915, Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave behavior.

    1917: As thousands of Jews fight for the Kaiser, “The Deutschvölkische Blätter, official publication of the anti-Semitic Deutschvölkische Partei (DVP), announced that it's time to declare war on Jews openly because of the Jewish opposition to World War I. Ferdinand Werner, chairman of the Deutschvölkische Partei spoke to the Reichstag and demanded that the government pass laws "against the Jewish race, which agitates for strikes and raises the price of food." (Yes, this 26 years before Hitler came to power)

    1918: Birthdate of Miriam Shinezon, the native of Vitebsk, Russia who gained fame as “Miriam Ben-Porat, the first woman to serve as a Justice on Israel’s Supreme Court…” (As reported by Isabel Kershner)

    1925:The New York Times featured a review of “My Portion: An Autobiography” by Rebekah Kohut with an Introduction written by Henrietta Szold. According to the review, the book describes “Kohut's Life Story of Social Service” and should appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike.

    1925: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Edna Ferber for So Big.  This Jewish author became famous for her sweeping novels that portrayed American history.  Showboat and Giantare two of her literary hits that went on to become cinematic successes.

    1929: In Jerusalem, there was a cornerstone laying ceremony to mark the construction of the building designed to house the Jewish National Fund.  The building was part of a construction project designed to provide space for several national institutions.

    1932: Birthdate of Anthony Ray Gubbay, “the former Chief Justice of the Supreme court of Zimbabwe.

    1933: In Munich Justine and Karl Penzias gave birth to Arno Allan Penzias, a “kindertransport kid” who won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

    1933: Hermann Göring established the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei; Secret State Police).

    1933: Hitler met with Bishop Wilhelm Berning of Osnabrück and Monsignor Steinmann, prelates representing the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. Hitler claimed that he is only doing to the Jews what the Catholic Church has already done to them for 1600 years. He reminded the prelates that the Church has regarded the Jews as dangerous and pushed them into ghettos. Hitler suggested that his anti-Jewish actions are "doing Christianity a great service." Bishop Berning and Monsignor Steinmann later described the talks as "cordial and to the point."

    1934:  Birthdate of actor Alan Arkin.

    1934: The third biennial Levant Fair opens in Tel Aviv.  According to Israel B. Brodie, “the fair is designed to attract trade to Palestine and also to draw attention to the importance of Palestine in reaching many of the Near Eastern markets.”

    1936: “As sporadic acts of violence by Arabs continued…a young Jew walking near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem was severly beaten by an Arab who escaped.  Buses in Jewish districts are stone by Arabs and attempts by Arabs to set fire to Jewish owned fields have been thwarted. 

    1936: In France, the first of two rounds of elections take place that will bring a Popular Front Government to power with Leon Blum serving as “the first authentically Socialist prime minister in French history.”

    1938: Austrian Jews were required to register property above 5,000 Reichsmarks.  This came as part of the Nazification of Austria after the Germans annexed Hitler's homeland.  After the war, the Austrians sought to portray themselves as the first victims of Nazi aggression.  The cheering throngs that greeted Hitler told a different story.

    1942: Leopold Müller and his wife Irene were marched on a roundabout route from a Gestapo gathering point in a small park in Würzburg through the city's streets to a train depot. There they left their luggage on the platform and boarded a train to the East and to their deaths.

    1944: Release date for “The Hitler Gang,” “a pseudo-documentary…which traces the political rise” of the German dictator.

    1945: Prisoner Karl Riemer fled the Dachau concentration camp to get help from American troops

    1945: “As the Americans approached Dachau about 7,000 prisoners, most of them Jews, were sent on a death march to Tegernsee.”

    1946: “Thousands of British paratroopers made a house by house search through north Tel Aviv today rounding up and question 1,200 suspected terrorists” following the attack on a British police station.  Tel Aviv is placed under a strict curfew.

    1947: IN Russia, Bluma and Yechezkel Yadlovker gave birth to David Ben-Shalom Yadlovker who made Aliyah 1960 and passed away when the INS Dakar sank in 1968.

    1950: Seventy-nine year old Irish archaeologist Robert Alexander Stewart Macalister who “was responsible for the excavations at Gezer” from 1902 to 1909 where the “Gezer calendar” was found passed away today.

    1954: For the first time, NBC broadcast “The Tony Martin Show” which showcased the talent of the San Francisco born singer who was the son of Eastern European Jews.

    1959: In “Ambassador at Large for a Nation in the Making” published today Walter Laquer reviewed Chaim Wiezman by Isaiah Berlin.

    1960: West German release date for “ I Married a Woman” directed by Hal Kanter with a script by Goodman Ace.

    1965:The World Zionist Congress tonight closed a two-day debate on Israel's security crisis after having heard new attacks on United States and Soviet policies

    1965:Composer Aaron Avshalomov passed away. Born into a Jewish family in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk Krai, then Russian Empire) in 1894, “he was one of highly qualified Jewish musicians (i.e., Alfred Wittenberg, Walter Joachim, Arrigo Foa, etc.), who fled pogroms and revolutions in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century, went to China (first arrived in Harbin, later moved to Shanghai). They entered the world of Shanghai's academia and trained a number of young Chinese musicians in classical music, who in turn became leading musicians in contemporary China. Aaron fled China in when the Japanese invaded in 1931 and moved to live in Portland, Oregon, USA. He was the father of composer Jacob Avshalomov, conductor of the Portland Junior Symphony (now called the Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra) from 1953-1994.

    1966: Arnold "Red" Auerbach retired as Boston Celtic's coach

    1967:  In what would turn out to be part of a diplomatic offensive leading to the Six Day War, the Soviet Ambassador to Israel protested to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol that Israel was planning on starting a war with Syria.  Ehskol denied the claim and offered to take the Soviet diplomat to the border so that he could see that troops were not being massed for attack.  The Russian declined to go, but the Syrians believed the Russian report increasing tension in the area.

    1967:"Hallelujah, Baby!" a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden,opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre

    1969: In Canada, the Bulletin published a list of the demands and goals made by a group of students at Shaar Hashomayim that were designed to show their respect for the synagogue while at the same time calling for “practices necessary for a renaissance in Canadian Jewish life.”

    1970(20th of Nisan, 5730): As part of a campaign to gain rights for Russian Jews, tens of thousands of Jews shared in a Passover “Exodus March” that began at the Soviet mission to the United Nations

    1976: For a second time, Pierre Goldman went on trial for his role in a robbery in which two pharmacists were killed.  This time he was acquitted.

    1978:In a New York Times profile Lillian Vernon was described as "the first lady of mail order catalogues," a designation she had earned through more than two decades of entrepreneurship and steady growth of her eponymous business.Born Lilly Menasche in Leipzig, Germany, in 1927, Lillian Vernon fled with her family first to Amsterdam and then to New York to escape Hitler. In the U.S., her father manufactured leather goods, which would become the base of Vernon's first foray into mail-order.Married and pregnant, Vernon began the business that would become Lillian Vernon, Inc., in 1951. She took $495 of her wedding gift money to place an advertisement for personalized belts and handbags in Seventeen. Her father's company manufactured the belts and bags, and Vernon embossed, packaged, and shipped them. The ad brought in over $32,000 worth of sales, and Vernon's company was born. She mailed her first catalogue two years later.Taking monogramming as its trademark, and catering mainly to women, Lillian Vernon mail-order grew rapidly, generating $200,000 in sales in 1956, the year Vernon opened her first manufacturing plant. By 1990, sales had risen to $238 million, and the mailing list had grown to 17 million names.After pioneering her successful mail-order business, Vernon continued to keep the company at the forefront of commercial changes. She began opening retail outlets in 1985, and went online a decade later. Hers was also the first woman-owned business to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. The company continues to introduce new catalogs regularly, and now produces special lines of items for children, teens, and gardening, as well as its traditional products for the home.Vernon has used her wealth to support over 500 charities, and has been recognized by, among others, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which awarded her its National Hero Award. She has also received the NAACP Medal of Honor, and has been inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame and the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 1997, she was named one of 50 leading women entrepreneurs by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. Though she no longer embossed items herself, Vernon was active as the CEO of her company and as its main spokesperson until 2006

    1987:At Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York Margaret Howell Hudesman, an interior designer, was married to Gabriel Levinson, an architect with Nadler, Philopena & Associates in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Rabbi Gunter Hirschberg performed the ceremony.

    1987(27th of Nisan, 5747): Yom Hashoah,

    1987: Israeli radio quoted sources in Prime Minister Shamir's office as saying Mr. Moshe Arens had succeeded in persuading Secretary of State Shultz to give up the idea of an international conference, a report that was promptly denied by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres's office. Foreign Minister Peres favors such a conference.  Shamir opposes it.

    1990: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, leader of the right-wing Likud bloc, was chosen to form a new government after Labor Party leader Shimon Peres failed in his attempt to form a coalition.

    1990(1stof Iyar, 5750): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1990(1stof Iyar, 5750): Ninety-five year old Irma (Seeman) Goldberg, the widow of Rube Goldberg passed away today.

    1992(27th of Nisan, 5747): Yom Hashoah

    1992:Appearing before 5,000 men, women and children gathered to mourn the Jews killed by the Nazis, Vice President Dan Quayle pledged the commitment of the Bush Administration to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and to Israel, which he said "was built upon the ashes of the Holocaust."
    1993(5thof Iyar, 5753): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1994: Seventy-one year old Rostam Bastuni, a journalist and politician who was the first Arab citizen to represent a Zionist Party (Mapam) in the Knesset.

    1996: According to a report published in the Bulletin, two days before Passover, the leaders of Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal found out the nature of the upcoming student demonstration that would confront the congregation.

    1999: Israel charged Avisahi Raviv, “a former undercover agent and right-wing radical today with failing to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish hard-liner.”

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany by Marion A. Kaplan, Killing the Dream: James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Gerald Posner and Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey by Ariel Dorfman.

    1998: An exhibit styled “An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine” opened at the Jewish Museum in New York City. “’Known as a "painter's painter,’ Soutine's work is characterized by his energetic, lively brushwork and bold use of color. This exhibition, the first major presentation of the artist in New York in nearly fifty years, brings together some of Soutine's most extraordinary works.” The exhibition focuses on exploring Soutine's reception by his patrons, supporters, and critics. The space of the exhibition will be organized according to three time periods--the 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1950s--when Soutine was being defined and redefined by his audience as an unschooled tragic genius, as a savior of traditional French painting, and as a progenitor of Abstract Expressionism and the avant-garde in America.

    2001(3rdof Iyar, 5761): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    2003: Thirteen people were injured during a bombing at the Kfar Saba train station for which the PFLP and Al-Aqsa claimed joint responsibility.

    2004: Two Palestinians were killed when suicide bomber coming from Gaza detonated himself “on the way to carry out an attack in Israel.”

    2005: Dr. Raul Hilberg, author of the three-volume, 1,273-page The Destruction of the European Jews regarded as the seminal study of the Nazi Final Solution was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    2006(28thof Nisan, 5766):  Yuval Ne’eman, founder of Israel’s space program and a key figure in Israel’s nuclear program passed away.

    2006: The family of real estate magnate and book lover Sami Rohr has created the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, an annual $100,000 prize for an "emerging writer whose work has demonstrated a fresh vision and evidence of future potential." The Rohr family said that the award hopefully will "encourage, promote, and support outstanding writing of Jewish interest." Fiction and nonfiction books in English (including translations) will be considered in alternate years—the inaugural prize in 2007 will be for fiction. Short story collections are eligible if 75 percent of the text was not previously published in periodicals or other collections. All nonfiction titles must concern Jewish themes and are limited to history, biography, contemporary Jewish life, Jewish scholarship, and current affairs.

    2006:  Haaretzreviewed Betabat Hahenek or In a Stranglehold by Uri Ben-Ari. 


    2006(28th of Nisan, 5766): Yuval Ne’eman founder of Israel’s space program and a key figure in Israel’s nuclear program passed away.

    2006: While delivering the James Fox Memorial Lecture today Robert S. Mueller, III, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation described a terrorist plot which included plans to blow up a synagogue in Los Angeles on Yom Kippur in 2005. When the would-be terrorists were caught, they also had lists of the addresses of the Jewish houses of worship in Los Angeles and the address of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles

    2008(21st of Nisan, 5768): Seventh Day of Pesach – Reform Jews recite Yizkor

    2008(21st of Nisan, 5768): Yossi Harel, who commanded four ships bringing Jews to Israel illegally, died at the age of 90 in Tel Aviv.Harel assisted 24,000 Jews in reaching Israel aboard four ships, including the famed SS Exodus, between 1945 and 1948. Great Britain, which controlled the region at the time, banned Jewish immigration due to Arab pressure. The other three ships were called Knesset Yisrael (Gathering of Israel), Atzma'ut (Independence) and Kibbutz Galuyot (Ingathering of the Exiles).The Exodus was made famous by a film of the same name. Born in 1919, Harel was the sixth generation in his family born in Jerusalem. At the age of 15 he joined the pre-state Haganah defense force. By the age of 28 he oversaw the clandestine immigration operations bringing Jews, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, to the Holy Land. Later on, Harel oversaw the IDF’s Unit 131, an intelligence unit that ran a spy ring in Egypt until the so-called Lavon Affair of 1954.Harel will be buried at the Caesarea-area kibbutz, Sdot Yam.

    2009: Final performance of “The Accomplices” at the Center Stage Theatre in Jerusalem.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer by Emanuel Levy and the recently released paperback edition of The Mayor’s Tongue a novel written by Nathaniel Rich.

    2009: First annual Mitzvah Day in Iowa City sponsored by Agudas Achim

    2009: Authorities fear a case of swine flu may have made it to Israel after a 26-year-old Israeli who just returned from a trip to Mexico today checked himself into the hospital reporting flu-like symptoms. Also today, the Foreign Ministry urged Israeli nationals in Mexico and certain parts of the United States to exercise caution after the deadly swine flu strain killed up to 81 people in Mexico. .

    2009: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids hosts its annual Big Dinner, one of the congregations oldest and most important fund raiser.
    2009(2nd of Iyar, 5769): Eighty­-six year old Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the Auschwitz death camp in World War II by winning fight after fight against fellow prisoners, to the delight of Nazi guards who had placed their bets on him, died in Israel today.

    2010: The Wedding Song, film about a Jewish girl and a Moslem girl, living in war torn Tunisia, is scheduled to be shown at the 2010 NoVA International Jewish Film Festival

    2010:Professor Gil Troy is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled "The 1975 Zionism is Racism Resolution: American Anger and British Appeasement" in Jerusalem sponsored by the Israel Branch of The Jewish Historical Society of England.

    2010: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Get Capone:The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster” by Jonathan Eig and “Ill Fares the Land” by Tony Judt.

    2010: The Los Angeles Times included a review of Three Chords For Beauty’s Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw by Tom Nolan that traces the transformation of Avraham Ben-Yitzhak Arshawsky from the son of immigrant Jews to one of the main players in the world of Swing and the Big Band sound.

    2011:“The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” by Diana B. Henriques, a book that “analyzes Mr. Madoff’s rise and fall” is scheduled to be published today.

    2011(22nd of Nisan, 5771): Eighth day of Pesach – Yizkor

    2011: The New York Times published a review of “A Book of Recipes Gathered From Holocaust Survivors” by June Feiss Hersh. Recipe books based on the memories of Holocaust survivors might seem to trivialize the horror. But Dr. Ruth Westheimer, one of the survivors featured in “Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival,” said that food represents identity for these people who did not have a real homeland. June Feiss Hersh interviewed more than 100 survivors and their relatives for the book, and recorded their stories, food memories and recipes, which she also tested. When the dish called for ketchup or canned tomato soup, that’s what the recipe included. This lavishly illustrated book is divided by geographic areas, including Greece, where there was a Jewish community on the island of Rhodes. Though the recipes from Polish survivors tend to represent traditional Jewish cooking (kugel, gefilte fish), there are plenty of new ideas to explore, including an Italian Sunday sauce, potato soup made with a browned roux, a cabbage pie wrapped in puff pastry and a feather-light chocolate roll of exquisite simplicity. The personal stories recount amazing coincidences and moments of luck that led to survival, often after internment at Auschwitz. The immigrant experiences in places like Cuba as well as the United States are also described, and indeed influence the food. Ms. Hersh added recipes from 26 chefs and professional cooks, but these are unnecessary and often irrelevant. The rich collection from the survivors needed no help, especially when you even have people like George Lang among the bona fide contributors.

    2011: Peter Shumlin appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show via telephone where he discussed health care reform in his state, his belief in health care for all and that "health care is a right, not a privilege".

    2012: “Lea and Darija” about the “Croatian Shirley Temple,” Lea Deutsch ,the Jewish star of a Zagreb song-and-dance troupe, and her gentile dancing partner Darija Gasteiger is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival
    2012: Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said today that the chances “appear low” that the Iranian government would bow to international pressure and halt its nuclear program
    2012: “In Darkness,” a film set in Nazi occupied Lvov, is scheduled to be shown for the final time as part of the Yom HaShoah commemoration in Iowa City, Iowa..

    2012(4thof Iyar, 5772):  Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Israel Independence Day

    2013: “No Place Earth” is scheduled to open in several cities across the United States

    2013: In New Orleans, Touro Synagogue is scheduled to host its 22nd annual Jazz Fest Shabbat

    2013: One hundredth anniversary of the start of events that would become known as “The Leo Frank Case,” the worst single outbreak of anti-Semitism in the United States.

    2013: Today, Bulgarian investigators staged a re-enactment of the bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists, the bus driver and the alleged perpetrator at the Burgas airport in July. The Europol-sponsored experiment, aimed to provide more details about the attack, was done at a police compound near the city of Ihtiman, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Sofia. Officials said the results confirmed the facts they had previously established.(As reported by AP & Times of Israel)

    2013: Lebanese media outlets reported this afternoon that the Israeli Air Force was conducting mock raids over southern parts of the country, one day after an unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by the IAF off the coast of Haifa

    2014: “The Zig Zag Kid” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Film Festival.

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    April 27

    399 BCE: Socrates drank hemlock as he carried out the death penalty that had been imposed on him by the government. For centuries to come some Jews would study Socrates and other Greeks, in many cases trying to find a harmony between Judaism and Greek philosophy.  Other Jews would view Socrates and the other Greeks as the mortal enemies of Judaism and go so far as to attempt to officially ban the study of their works.

    711: Tarik, a Moslem general attacked southern Spain from a place known as Jebel Tarik or Gibraltar. He soon defeated Roderic, last of the Visigoth kings, at the Battle of Xeres. Tarik was helped by both the Jews and the rebel Prince Witiza. After each city was conquered - Cordova, Granada, and Malaga - the Jews were often given positions of safeguarding Moslem interests.

    1296: During the First War of Scottish Independence, King Edward I defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar. The first written evidence of their presence dates from the last decade of the 12th century. However, nobody is sure when Jews first arrived in the land of Kilts and Pipes.  King Edward had already issued his edict of expulsion six years before the battle and it is thought that some of the Jews fleeing his realm went north to Scotland.

    1495: Birthdate Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire one of the most philo-Semitic rulers in history.  He built the walls around Jerusalem that impress tourists to this day.  He intervened with Pope to protect the Jews of Ancona.  He provided a haven for the Sephardim and Marranos fleeing the Inquisition.  He intervened on behalf of Dona Garcia and her nephew Joseph Nassi, bringing them to his capital from a Venetian captivity.  Nassi became a close advisor to the Sultan.  In 1564, the aging Ottoman leader gave Nassi the city of Tiberias so that Jewish refugees from Europe would have a place to settle. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

    1509: As part of what was really a temporal and not a religious dispute with the Doge, Pope Julius II places the Italian state of Venice under interdict. Fortunately for the Jews of his days, Julius was more concerned about art (he was the one who Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel) and power politics as can be seen with his on-going political and military confrontation with the Doge of Venice, among others. His lack of theology concerns meant that the Jews enjoyed a period of benign Papal neglect.  Furthermore, Julius II employed a Jew named Samuel Sarfatti as his personal physician. Life for the Jews living in Venice at this time was becoming increasingly precarious. Three years before this, several Jews died in violence brought on by a “blood libel” and seven years at this, the Jews would be confined to Ghetto Nuova an island containing a foundry (geto in Italian) which made it the original Ghetto

    1667: The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of “Paradise Lost” for £10. According to Elliot Rosenberg, “Milton wrote as Puritan in the England of Cromwell’s heritage, and from a Jewish perspective he was a good man.  He respected the Hebrew Bible, read it each morning until his vision failed, and as he aged, turned more and more to the precepts of Mosaic law.  In his more worldly capacity as Cromwell’s’ Latin secretary, he may had had a hand in the negations that led to the return of Jews to England.”

    1701(19thof Nisan,5461): Moses Germanus passed away.

    1727: Empress Catherine I ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the Ukraine.

    1737:  Birthdate of English historian Edward Gibbon, author of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.  In an attempt to blame Jews for anti-Semitism at least one writer has claimed that  Gibbon wrote “ that, while Jews were populous in Rome and suspected and resented by the Romans, Nero’s Jewish wife, the beautiful Poppaea Sabina, probably incited him, as a convert to her Judaism, against a relatively obscure sect, the Christians. Nero’s accusation that they had set the fires that ravaged Rome began centuries of Roman persecution of Christians.”  However, in Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion. -- Part IIof Gibbon’s classic, the historian seems to paint a picture of a Christianity’s efforts to distance itself from “Mosaic” doctrine when convenient and adopting its own version when it felt it would advance its cause.   

    1796(19th of Nisan 5556):The Jewish community of Fossano, Italy was miraculously saved from the hands of a murderous mob by a French bomb which landed just in time to scare away the attackers. This day was established as "Purim Fossano" in commemoration of the miraculous salvation.
    For the complete story, see Purim Fossano

    1820: Birthdate of Herbert Spencer, the English biologist who coined the term “Survival of the Fittest” which he took from the world of biology and applied it to world of human social development.  This concept stands in stark contrast with the Jewish concept of creating a society that calls for us to protect “the widow, the orphan and the stranger in our midst” i.e. the weakest
    1821: When the Greek Patriarch Gregory, head of the Greek Orthodox Church had been publicly executed, the Turkish Grand Vizier Benderli Ali Pasha was reportedly to have said to the Jews present, "Here hangs your enemy and ours."

    1821(25thof Nisan, 5581): Hungarian historian and poet Solomon Löwisohn passed away today.

    1822:  Birthdate of U.S. Grant, “savior of the Union” and President of the United States.  Grant did issue the infamous Order #10.  But at the same time, he had Jewish political allies and was a voluntary contributor to the building for Adas Israel, the famous Conservative congregation in Washington, D.C. A majority of Jews supported Grant’s election as President and this eulogy by Felix Adler adds additional proof to the fact that Grant’s Jewish contemporaries did not view him as an anti-Semite.

    1826(20thof Nisan, 5586): Sixth Day of Pesach

    1826(20thof Nisan, 5586): Seventy-one year old Austrian rabbi and author Eleazar ben David Fleckeles, author of “Olat Hodesh” passed away today in his hometown of Prague.

    1832: Benjamin Disraeli met his future wife “Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis at a soiree at Bulwer Lytton’s house today;” a meeting which he described : 'I was introduced by particular desire to Mrs Wyndham Lewis, a pretty little woman, a flirt and a rattle, indeed gifted with volubility I should think unequalled and of which I can convey no idea. She told me she liked silent, melancholy men. I answered that I had no doubt of it.'

    1835: Founding of the 11th Regiment of the New York State Militia which was commanded by Colonel Joachim Maidhof when it went off to fight in the Civil War
    1838: A huge fire destroyed the synagogue in Charleston, S.C. Moses C. Levy, who had been worshipping there for forty years, rushed to synagogue in an attempt to save the Torah scrolls. According to an eyewitness account, he was overcome by inconsolable grief at the sight of the conflagration.

    1845(20th of Nisan): Rabbi Ezekiel Panet, author of “Mareh Yehezkel” passed away today

    1857:  Establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria prohibited.

    1857: It was reported today that Baron Rothschild attended an auction on Rue Druot where he expressed a dismissive view of the items being offered.

    1859(23rd of Nisan, 5619): Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, English financier and the first Jewish baronet passed away. “Born in London on Jan. 13, 1778 “he was the son of Asher Goldsmid, and nephew of Benjamin and Abraham Goldsmid, the financiers. Educated at an English school in Finsbury square, he received a sound financial training in the technicalities of his father's business of bullion-broking. At a later period his association with Ricardo made him familiar with the leading questions of political science. He became in due course a partner in the firm of Mocatta & Goldsmid, bullion-brokers to the Bank of England and to the East India Company. His early ventures on the Stock Exchange were unfortunate, and, after losing on one occasion £16,000, he abandoned speculation and contented himself with steady business as a jobber. Goldsmid gradually rose to eminence as a financier, and ultimately amassed a large fortune. His most extensive financial operations were connected with Portugal, Brazil, and Turkey; and for his services in settling an intricate monetary dispute between Portugal and Brazil he was, in 1846, created Baron de Palmeira by the Portuguese government. Goldsmid was one of the founders of the London Docks. The main effort of his life was made in the cause of Jewish emancipation. He was the first English Jew who took up the question, and he enlisted in its advocacy the leading Whig statesmen of the time. Soon after the passing of the Act of 1829, which removed the civil disabilities of the Roman Catholics, he secured the powerful aid of Lord Holland, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Sussex, and other eminent members of the Liberal party, and then induced Robert Grant to introduce in the House of Commons a similar measure for the Jews. During more than two years from the time when Jewish emancipation was first debated in Parliament, Goldsmid gave little heed to his ordinary business, devoting himself almost exclusively to the advancement of the cause. He was one of the chief agents in the establishment of University College, London, purchasing at his own risk the site of the university. Goldsmid was a liberal supporter of the Reform synagogue and of all Jewish institutions (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

    1865: The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state’s land grant university. According to recent figures, Cornell has 13,800 undergrads, 5000 of whom are a Jewish.  It has 3000 graduate students of whom approximately 500 are Jewish.  The school offers sixteen courses in Jewish Studies.  Students may major or minor in the subject.

    1866: As another sign of how it has changed from a medical facility for indigent Jews to a community hospital, Officer Milcahy sent Herman Deutch to the Jews' Hospital after he had been stabbed with a carpenters chisel during a drunken brawl with Rudolph Schriever.

    1866: In New York City, Levi Morris was arrested today on charges that he had attempted to leave the store of David Valentine &Co with three pieces of silk, valued at more than sixty dollars, for which he had not paid.

    1868: Mlle. Janauschek gave a performance of "Deborah" tonight at the Academy in New York City where "she presented her enthusiastic conception of the ideal Hebrew maiden."

    1880: Obituary of Joseph Seligman expressed surprise at his sudden death and recounted his distinguished career.

    1881:Pogrom began in Elisabethgrad

    1881: Yesterday and todays attacks on the Jews of Kiev “were encouraged by the authorities” and “the promoters of the persecution of the Jews” acted with “impunity.” (As described by the Vienna correspondent for the London Telegraph)

    1882: “More Room for Patients” published today described the remodeling project at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    1884: Jesse Seligman, the President of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, gave his report at today’s annual meeting.  According to Seligman, the asylum served 361 boys and that the institution had total assets of almost three hundred thousand dollars.

    1885: In New York, a jury was chosen to hear the case in which Ferdinand Mayer, a Jewish businessman is charged with having committed perjury and is represented by Albert Cardozo.

    1886(22nd of Nisan, 5646): 8th day of Pesach

    1887: Certificates of incorporation for a Talmud Torah in Brooklyn were filed in the County Clerk’s office today.

    1890: “Mr. Delaney’s Little Scheme” published today described efforts by of one of the incumbent Tax Commissioners to thwart the plans of Mayor Nathan Barnett, the city’s first Jewish mayor, to appoint a new person to the position.

    1890: Based on testimony given to the sub-committee of the Joint Congressional Committee on Immigration it was reported today of the 25,000 Jewish immigrants who have come to the United States, 17,000 were Russians and Poles.  There are approximately 500,000 Jews living in the United States of whom 130,000 reside in New York City.

    1890: The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society held its annual meeting today.

    1890: Henry Seligman was re-elected President at today’s annual meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.  Seligman delivered the society’s 67th annual report which included the information that the Asylum had cared for 559 youngsters in the past year.

    1891(19thof Nisan, 5651): Fifty-eight year old Rabbi Joachim Oppenheim, the husband of Helen Pund and the father of Berthold Oppenheim passed away today in Berlin.

    1894: A circular describing the dangers of consumption and providing about ways to avoid contracting is being printed in several different languages, including Hebrew, in an attempt to reach New York’s large immigrant population

    1896: “A Large Betrothal Reception” published today described the engagement party held for Lucien Bonehur and Ameila Simon.  Bonehour is the President of the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home, Vice President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and Manager of the Educational Fair.  He is also the nephew of Rosa Bonheur, the famous painter. Miss Simon is the Secretary of the Young Ladies and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore Home.

    1897: “Jews Barred from Romania” published today described a reported given to the U.S. State Department “that the government of Romania has prohibited the entry of Jews into that country.”

    1901: On Shabbat, Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes delivered a sermon at Shearith Israel in which he described the work of the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

    1902: Henry Rice and other officers of the United Hebrew Charities expressed their confidence that members of the Jewish community would raise the $50,000 necessary to match the $50,000 gift from William Guggenheim.  Guggenheim’s contribution is contingent on the UHC raising a similar amount.

    1902: The New York Times reports that macaroons, an Italian delicacy, have become quite popular during the Passover holiday with Jews living on the Lower East Side

    1903(1st of Iyar, 5663): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1904:  Birthdate of Arthur F. Burns, economist and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

    1904: Mr. and Mrs. Rogers Pinner gave birth to Karl Pinner

    1908(26th of Nisan, 5668): Fifty-five year old Jacob Voorsanger, the native of the Netherlands who has been serving as the rabbi at San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El since 1889 passed away today.

    1908: Freud's early followers met together formally for the first time at the Hotel Bristol, Salzburg

    1909: Sultan of Turkey Abdul Hamid II is overthrown, and is succeeded by his brother - Mehemed V. Sultan Abdul Hamid II is famous for his refusal to allow Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, to settle Palestine with Jewish colonists.  But this does not mean that he was unsympathetic to his Jewish subjects or that Jews were kept from settling in other parts of Turkey. Abdul Hamid IIwas born in 1842 and died in 1918. During his reign, Turkey was defeated in a war with the Russians.  As a result of the Treaty of Berlin, the Turks lost a substantial amount of their holdings in the Balkans.  This triggered a migration of Turks and Jews into the remaining lands of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid made plans for an influx200,000 Jewish immigrants from Russia. Jews played an ever more active role in Turkish affairs.  Several Jewish leaders played prominent roles in the Parliament. Turkish Jews participated in special festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of their arrival from Spain. After the Alfred Dreyfus case, Herzl made three visits to Turkey (1898, 1901 and 1903) in attempt to see the Sultan.  It was on his third voyage that he was finally granted one through the intervention of the Chief Rabbi, Moshe Levy. The Sultan received him and Herzl tried to obtain a Jewish homeland under the protection of the Sultan under the same statutes as the Island of Crete.

    1909(6th of Iyar, 5669): Heinrich Conried, the Austrian born theatrical manager who became director of the Metropolitan Opera passed away today.

    1909: It was reported today that “The executors of the estate of the late Louis A. Heinsheimer of the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb Co., 52 William Street, will hold a conference in the near future to discuss whether it is possible to make available the $1,000,000 that Mr. Heinsheimer willed to six Jewish benevolent institutions on the condition that those institutions shall form a confederation.”

    1913:At 3:00 a.m. the police received a call from the factory's night watchman, Newt Lee, reporting the discovery of a dead girl who was in fact Mary Phagan

    1913: In Manhattan, Marcus and Celia Adler, two Jewish immigrants from Poland, gave birth to “Irving Adler, a former New York City teacher who became a prolific writer of books on math and science for young people after being forced from the classroom during the Red Scare of the early 1950s…” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1913:Dr. Samuel Schulman delivered his last lecture for the season today at the Temple Beth-El in New York. It was on the “Song of Songs.” He talked combined the themes of Passover and the ideal woman as presented in this book of the Bible.  “The love of nature, the love of woman, the love country and the love of god – that is what the book, the Songs of songs teach us.  That is every Passover the book Song of Songs is read.”

    1914: During the second day of the Fifth Assembly of the Eastern Council of Reformed Rabbis a luncheon was given in honor of Adolph Lewisohn, the founder of the Lewisohn Lectureship.

    1915: During the Gallipoli Campaign, the 300 men serving under  Colonel John H .Patterson in the Zion Mule Corps landed off the Dundernoon.  Despite having had only three weeks of training, the Mule Corps served with distinction.

    1915: Birthdate of Abraham Judah Klausner the native of Memphis, TN who was one of five children of Rabbi Joseph Klausner and Tillie Binstalk Klausner. After graduating from Hebrew Union College in 1941 he served as “a Jewish chaplain in the United States Army who arrived at the Dachau concentration camp a few days after its liberation in 1945 and a strong voice for thousands of Holocaust survivors who remained in displaced persons camps for years after the war…(As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1919: Else Lasker-Schüler’s her first and most important play, Die Wupper, was performed for the first time at the Deutsche Theatre in Berlin.

    1921: As part of the peace settlement ending World War I, Germany is ordered to pay 132 billion gold marks in reparations.  The economic dislocations that would be caused by these reparation payments are given as one of the underlying causes for the disintegration of the inter-war German economy and society and the rise of Hitler.

    1922: Birthdate of Manfred Gans. When he was 16 when his parents sent him to England, fearing for his life as a Jew in Nazi Germany, and when war broke out he clamored to join the British armed forces. Finally he was accepted, his fluency in German earning him a spot with a secret commando unit.”  As a Captain in the British Army, he helped free his hometown, the ancient walled city of Borken His house, on the outskirts of town, had been used as a Nazi headquarters; the wine cellar was a torture chamber. His parents, Moritz and Else Fraenkel Gans, had been taken away. Eventually Ganz was able to trace them Theresienstadt where they were re-united.

    1922:  Birthdate of Jack Klugman.  Born in Philadelphia, Klugman had a very successful career on the stage, film and television.  Like all good Jewish boys, he was a doctor - in this case Quincy, the Medical Examiner.  Many of you remember him as Oscar Madison in the Odd Couple.  The oddest thing about this television version The Odd Couple is that Tony Randall (born Leonard Rosenberg) was Jewish giving a whole new dimension to the term popularized by the Jewish playwright Neil Simon.

    1931: “The Budapest Rabbinate has proclaimed” today a “fast day in commemoration “ of the shooting earlier this month at the Great Synagogue in the Tabek Gasse during Emil Zatloka shot four Jews -- Tauglich, Ignatz Pinter, Leo Kera, and Eugen Roth (As reported by JTA)

    1932: The New Republic published “The Supreme Court and a Balanced Budget” by Felix Frankfurter.

    1933: The American Jewish Congress and other organizations continued preparations for a march to be held on May 10 in New York to protest Germany’s treatment of her Jewish population. At the same, the American Jewish Committee and its allies issued a statement opposing the upcoming event as “futile.”  “They serve only as an ineffectual channel for the release of emotion.”

    1933:  The German government prohibited the practice of ritual Jewish slaughter of animals for meat.

    1933:Denouncing the persecutions and discriminations practiced against Jews in Germany by the Hitler government, the American Jewish committee, acting in conjunction with the B'nai B'rith, Jewish fraternal organization, issued a statement today disapproving boycotts, parades and mass meetings as measures for bringing relief to the sufferers.

    1933: Otto Blumenthal, a German mathematician who converted to Christianity as young student,was arrested and detained. He had been denounced as a communist by the Aachen Student Association, certainly a false accusation, and after two weeks he was released but he was suspended from his teaching duties at the university. The official reasons were not racial, but rather cited his involvement with the German League for Human Rights and the Society of Friends of the New Russia.”  In other words he was not arrested because under German racial laws, he was a Jew because his parents were Jews.  
    1938:  The Palestine Post reported from Warsaw that the Polish Vice-Prime Minister, Professor Kwiatkowski, declared that his Government intends to pursue a vigorous policy of Polonization of cities and trade and will further the emigration of all non-Polish elements. This statement was seen as a call for a further intensification of the economic boycott and a direct threat to the existence of the three-and-a half million strong Jewish Polish community.

    1940:  British Foreign Office official H. F. Downie argued that the Jews are "enemies just as the Germans are, but in a more insidious way," and that "our two sets of enemies [Nazis and Jews] are linked together by secret and evil bonds."

    1940:  Himmler ordered the establishment of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

    1941:  German troops occupied Athens Greece.  This would be the opening act in a tragic drama that would lead to the demise of the very old, Greek Jewish Community, including the Jews of Salonika.

    1942:  Jews living in Belgium were forced to wear stars.

    1942:  Jews throughout Greater Germany were prohibited from taking public transport.

    1942:  One thousand Jews were deported from the Theresienstadt Ghetto to Izbica Lubelska, Poland; only one person survived - a woman who escaped after arrival. Other Theresienstadt deportees were sent to their deaths at the Sobibór and Belzec extermination camps.

    1942(10th of Iyar, 5702): The Nazis executed 60 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Among the victims were people suspected of being involved with the ghetto's underground newspaper.

    1942: The deportations continued as a thousand Jews were sent from so called show case ghetto of Theresienstadt to Izbica. Eventually these unfortunate souls would up Sobibor or Belzec.

    1942: After three days, the liquidation of the Wloclawek Ghetto was completed when the remaining Jews were sent to Chelmno.

    1943 (22nd of Nisan, 5703):Cantor Gershon Yitzchak Sirota ”was murdered with his entire family during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto on the last day of Passover.” Gershon Sirota was born in Podolia Guberne in 1874. When just a young child, he was already helping his father, a noted cantor, to conduct services in the local synagogue. Soon his parents moved to Odessa and Gershon's wonderful voice began to become well known. Yakovkin, cantor Yankel Seroka's choir director at the Shalashner Shul immediately offered the young Sirota a position in his choir. Shortly afterwards, Sirota was introduced to Baron Kalbos, the director of a Music Conservatory, and admitted on a scholarship. Gershon quickly made great stridges in his musical education and, as a result, was assigned larger solos in Yakovkin's choir. One Shabbat morning Sirota was asked to sing in the Shalashner Shul. After his magnificent performance he was appointed Assistant Cantor, with the salary of 100 rubels a month. It was not long before Yankel Seroka came complaining to Gershon's father that his young son ws trying to take away his position. Sirota resigned and accepted the Cantorial post at the Prikashtchikes Shul in Odessa.
    In 1896 Sirota became Cantor of the famous Vilna Shtat Synagogue, where he remained for nine years. There is choir directors were Yitzchak Schlossberg, Nathan Abramson and later Leo Loew. When Leo Loew became choir director, he arranged for a special concert, in which Cantor Sirota sang with the accompaniment of a large, newly founded choir. This concert was a tremendous success and the newspapers wrote enthusiastic reviews. He and Leo Loew began to receive invitations from Bialystok, Grodno, Minsk and other Russian cities to make new concerts. Sirota's appearances were so well received and praised that Svatopolk-Mirsky, the Russian Gubernator General decided to visit the Vilna Shtat Synagogue to hear Sirota. A few days later, the General sent a letter to the Czar's wife, Maria Feodorovna, highly praising the young cantor's talent. She requested that he perform at a concert sponsored for the benefit for the Vilna Institution for the Blind. Shortly arfterwards, Gershon Sirota was called to St. Petersburg to give a series of concerts before Czar Nicholas II. He was then asked to give yearly concerts in St. Petersburg, and Moscow by Imperial Command. The publicity of Sirota's name soon came to the attention of the major recording companies in Europe. In 1903, twelve records of Sirota's liturgical selections were released. This event achieved for him the great honor of being the first Cantor to record his voice of phonograph records. His recordings were distributed throughout Europe and later appeared in America. The medium of these records soon made Sirota's name world famous, even though he had not yet appeared in many of the countries which his records had already reached. Meanwhile, in Warsaw, the directors of the Tlomackie Synagogue were looking for a new Cantor. Gretzhandler, who had held the Cantorial post, was now old and the Synagogue needed a fitting successor to take his place. They offered Sirota the position because of his great popularity and Cantorial ability. He was thirty-one years old when he accepted the position, which he held for nineteen years. In February 1912, Cantor Sirota made the first of what was to be many concert tours of America. He appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Hippodrome, and the Academy of Music in New York before making tours to the other large cities.
    During 1913 he returned again on another concert tour, appearing at Kessler's Theatre, The New Star Casino, The Palace Garden, and Carnegie Hall.  His third American visit in 1921 began with an appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House, accompanied by Meyer Machtenberg's hundred voice choir. Arturo Toscanini and the famous Opera Star Joseph Schwartz were among the prominent celebrities who attended the concert. He then conducted services in many famous Synagogues, singing for the High Holy Days at the Kalvariah Shul in Harlem. During the seasons of 1924, 1925, and 1927, he also officiated in New York for the Yamim Noraim. When he returned to Europe (after conducting services at the Bronx Winter Garden for the Benefit of the Beit HaMidrash HaGadol of Harlem in 1927), the Tlomackie Synagogue had already chosen a Cantor to replace him. They took this action, because they were very disturbed about his constantly leaving them to daven elsewhere in America for the High Holy Days.In 1935, Sirota became Cantor of the Norzick Shul. That year, a concert was held in his honor at the Warsaw Coliseum and he also made a trip to Israel. There he conducted services for the High Holy Days at Magrabi Theatre.His last trip to America was made in 1938, when he davened for the Yamim Noraim in Chicago and during Succot in Milwaukee. He then returned to Europe, after receiving a telegram that his wife was critically ill in Warsaw. With the outbreak of the war, Sirota was imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto with his family and the other Jews of the city. He conducted High Holy Day Services in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1941

    1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising continued into its third week.  This is amazing when you consider that France with a modern Army surrendered to the Nazis after six weeks. By now thousands of Jews were being rounded up and marched away. But the Jews continued their counter attacks from rooftops above, doorways and windows. Jewish women and children huddled in buildings, staying with their armed protectors fleeing only when those structures were set on fire by the advancing Nazis.

    1943: Eminent American poet Ezra Pound continued his anti-Semitic broadcasts from Italy. He called the Jews "rats,""bedbugs,""vermin,""worms,""bacilli," and "parasites" who constitute an overwhelming "power of putrefaction."

    1943: "The United States Vice Counsel in Casablanca reported that 'it seems indubitable that there is a systematic persecution of the Jews by the Pasha of Beni-Mella.'  Jews had been expelled from their homes and shops for up to a week and 'arbitrary economic measures had been directed against them, including a ban on any Jewish trade in vegetables or poultry.  There had also been random arrests and beatings...David Cohen, who half-blind, was sentenced to six weeks in prison for not saluting a Muslim official." [For more on this see Gilbert's "In Ishmael's House" and Statloff's "Among the Righteous"]

    1944: Psychoanalyst Helene Deutsch published the first of two volumes of The Psychology of Women.

    1945:  Mussolini and his mistress were caught while trying to escape outside of Lake Como. They were executed and their bodies were brought to Milan where the next day they were hung up by their heels from lampposts, then cut down, and mutilated.  When Hitler heard of this, supposedly, he made his decision to take his own life and have his body burned.  He was afraid of being captured by the Russians and/or having his corpse savaged by those upon whom he had unleashed so much misery.

    1945: The British Parliamentary Delegation organized at the request of Churchill in order that they would have first hand, visual proof German atrocities reached Buchenwald where they saw a “half-naked skeleton tottering painfully along the passage as though on stilts” who “drew himself …smiled and saluted” as the delegates approached.

    1945: An original typescript of the Nuremberg Laws signed by Hitler was found today by the 203rd Detachment of the U.S. Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC), commanded by Martin Dannenberg, in Eichstätt, Bavaria.

    1945: 2nd Lt. William Robertson (U.S. Army) and Lt. Alexander Silvashko (Red Army) pose for a formal picture signifying the final link up of the two armies at the Elbe River.

    1946: In separate speeches the Premier of Iraq and Ahmed bey Shukairy head of the Arab Office in Palestine threatened unspecified action that “will not be word” should the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry recommend the admission of any additional Jewish immigrants to Palestine. The Iraqi premier promised action, not just on the part of his country, but on the part of the Arab League as well.

    1948: The British landed a tank battalion and an artillery regiment at Jaffa.  Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Minister, informed the British commanders that they must prevent the capture of Jaffa by the Jews ‘at all costs’.”  The British artillery shelled Haganah units and British aircraft attacked Jewish settlements in the area.  This is an example of the “even handed” policy pursued by the British during this period.

    1948:  The Arab Legion crossed the Jordan River on the “road bridge” near the town of Gesher, a Jewish settlement.  The Arab Legion was the name given to the army of what is now the Kingdom of Jordan.  It was trained, equipped and officered by the British.  It was the most effective fighting force in the Middle East.  The Jordanians crossed the river with intention of seizing a police fort and the town of Gesher.  The Jewish settlers were told evacuate within an hour and to turn the fort over to the Arab Legion.  The Jews refused to leave and the Legion attacked.  So confident were they of success that the heir to the Jordanian throne had come to watch what was sure to be a victorious battle.  However, when the smoke cleared, the Jews had held on and the Legion retreated back from whence they had come.

    1950: The modern state of Israel was officially recognized by the British government.

    1950: Britain recognized the annexation by King Abdullah of Jordan of all land west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea seized by his troops during the fighting that followed the partition vote of November, 1947.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem suffered a severe shortage of water because the Jerusalem Electric Corporation had withdrawn power from the water pumping stations until the municipality settles a debt of IL60,000.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel expressed regret at the resignation of General William D. Riley, as the Chief of Staff of the U.N. Truce Supervisory Organization. A further deterioration of the border situation was expected, as the appointment of General Riley's expected successor, General de Ridder, known for his one-sided decisions, was completely unacceptable.

    1953: Maud Gonne, the Irish born actress and revolutionary who was on “good terms with Marcel Habert” a known French anti-Semite, passed away today.
    1954:  The film White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, premiered.  Once again a signature piece of Americana bears a Jewish imprint.

    1954(24th of Nisan): Underground fighter and Yiddish poet Shmerke Katcherginsky died in a plane crash today

    1955(5thof Iyar, 5715): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1958: During an interview with Mike Wallach. Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr discussed several topics including anti-Semitism.

    1963: Rabbis used the upcoming 15th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel as a theme for their sermons. At New York’s Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Julius Mark said that “for a small nation to have achieved and maintained its independence for a decade and a half in these turbulent times is in itself no mean accomplishment…Of one thing we may be certain, Israel is here to stay.  While her constant plea is for peace, she will not shrink from war – may God forefend it – if her sovereignty is threatened.  Her citizens are determined not to be exterminated as were their fellow Jews in Hitler’s hell holes.  If Israel goes down, she will go down fighting.” At Congregation Tifereth Israel, Rabbi Kurt Klappholz said that “The successful experiment of the state of Israel will, in the words of Isaiah, be a ‘light unto the nations.’” He went on to praise Israel for her willingness “to share her scientific and technical edge as her educational know-how with the new emerging republics of the African continents.” 

    1963: Ambassador Katriel Katz, Consul General of Israel, spoke at Congregation B’nai Jershurun where he paid tribute to the late Izkhak Ben-Zvi, Israel’s second President and reviewed the accomplishments of the state of Israel over the past fifteen years.

    1964: Birthdate of Jennifer Burstain, physician par excellence, mother of four really neat sons and an asset for the Temple Judah Jewish community.

    1964: German bornJacob (Yaakov) Birnbaum whose family had escaped the Holocaust convened a meeting today at Columbia University that planned what would become the first public demonstration demanding freedom for the Jews of the Soviet Union.

    1965: Birthdate of Dr. Jennifer Burtstain, the wife of Dr. Todd Burstain and the mother of four of the neatest sons who are the pride of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community.

    1965:  Famed Broadcast Journalist Edward R Murrow passed away at the age of 57 after fighting a losing battle with lung cancer. Murrow gained fame for his coverage of World War II.  One of his most famous broadcasts came on April 15, 1945 when he described the Liberation of Buchenwald to the American listening public. Murrow was a staunch supporter of Israel.  When Teddy Kollek visited him in 1964, Murrow told him that once he had licked cancer he wanted to be the United States Ambassador to Israel.

    1966: After having served as head of the Air Department in the General Staff since 1961, Mordechai "Mottie" Hod became Commander of the IAF.  Hod led the Israeli Air Force through its most brilliant moment, the strikes that opened the Six Day. Hod served as the air commander until 1973, leaving office six months before the Yom Kippur War.

    1968: Birthdate of Todd Thalblum who would become the Rabbi of Temple Judah in 2010

    1973: An Italian clerk was killed when Palestinian terrorists attacked the El Al office in Rome.

    1973: A terrorist plot was foiled today when 3 Arabs carrying explosive were arrested before they could board a plane bounced for Nice, France. (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that two German volunteers were killed when Arab terrorists threw a bomb into a tourist bus, parked in the center of Nablus.

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan, and the U.S. Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, were reported to be unable to reach an agreement in their quest for peace in the Middle East, and awaited the arrival of the Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.

    1982(4th of Iyar, 5742) Yom HaZikaron

    1983(14th of Iyar, 5743): Pesach Sheni

    1984: A revival of “Hello Dolly” starring female impersonator Danny La Rue as Dolly came to a close at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London.

    1984: The daily Israeli newspaper Hadeshot was “was ordered to stop publishing for four days” for having reported that Minister of Defence Arens had set up a committee of inquiry, headed by Reserve General Meir Zorea to investigate facts surrounding what became known as the Bus 300 Affiar.

    1987:  The Justice Department barred Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.  Yes, Secretary General of the United Nations was soldier an officer in Hitler's army. 

    1993: In a story entitled “Museum Opens With Firm Grip On the Emotions,” Diana Jean Schemo described the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    1995(27thof Nisan, 5755): Yom HaShoah

    1996:  Operations Grapes of Wrath, the Israeli military incursion into Lebanon brought on by terrorist attacks and the inability of the Lebanese government to control its own borders, came to an end.

    1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Irving Berlin:Songs From the Melting Pot: The Formative Years, 1907-1914 by Charles Hamm, Streisand:A Biography by Anne Edwards and Locked in the Cabinet by Robert B. Reich.

    1998(1st of Iyar, 5758): Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

    2000: Jack Lang completed his second terms as a member of the French National Assembly for Loir-et-Cher.

    2002(15th of Iyar, 5762): Ruth Handler passed away at the age of 85, having provided America with a revered icon and piece of popular culture. Born in 1916, Handler was the youngest of 10 children in a Polish-Jewish immigrant family that settled in Denver.  In 1945, Handler's husband and a partner started what would become the Mattel Toy Company.  During the 1950's Handler invented the "Barbie Doll" which took its name if not its anatomy from her daughter, Barbara.  Barbie was joined by the "Ken Doll" named for Handler's son, Kenneth.  

    2002(15thof Iyar, 5762):Danielle Shefi, 5; Arik Becker, 22; Katrina (Katya) Greenberg, 45; and Ya'acov Katz, 51, all of Adora, were killed when terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms and combat gear cut through the settlement's defensive perimeter fence and entered Adora, west of Hebron. Seven other people were injured, one seriously. The terrorists entered several homes, firing on people in their bedrooms. Both Hamas and the PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack. (As described by theJewish Virtual Library)

    2003: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including recently released paperback versions of Elvis In Jerusalem: Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel by Tom Segev in which “the author maintains that Israel's connection to the United States is driving a transformation in the nation's cultural life, weakening social solidarity while boosting the role of the individual.”

    2003: In Champaign-Urbana, The fifth annual Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival closes.

    2004(6thof Iyar, 5764): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    2006:Rabbi Yona Metzger filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Israel to protest Mazuz's public declaration alleging that his image had been destroyed without a chance to tell his side of the story, and accusing Menachem Mazuz of engaging in "child-like" tactics.[

    2007: Dr. Jonathan Karp and Dr. Jonathan Schorsch present "Blacks and Jews in American Popular Music-The Business of Cultural Mediation" at theCenterfor Jewish History in New York City.

    2007:New York Mets star Shawn Green (currently sixth in National League hitting), along with teammates David Newhan, Scott Schoeneweis and Aaron Sele, reportedly paid a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Green, who called the visit “intense” and “educational,” found himself particularly moved by a display of victims’ shoes. Newhan, whose great-grandmother was killed during the purge of the Warsaw Ghetto, was also deeply moved. “It was pretty heavy,” he told the Journal News, “but something definitely worthwhile.” He said he planned to take his 2-year-old son when the time was right. Newhan, though bar mitzvahed at a Conservative synagogue, today considers himself to be a messianic Jew. Green and Schoeneweis are both Jewish; Sele is not. The Mets’ chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, who serves on the museum’s board, arranged the outing.

    2008: Eighth Day of Pesach, 5768 – Traditional (Orthodox, Conservative, et al) Jews recite Yizkor
    (Here is a suggestion for what do with the all the leftover Matzoth Butterfinger Comedy Network on Yahoo! Video.

    2008:TheRamle Conference 'Between Israel and the Nations' takes place.The Ramle Conference which deals with the relationship between the Jewish people and the non-Jewish minorities living in Israel is the first of its kind.

    2009(3rd of Iyyar, 5769): Phillip Stein, the musician who created the mural on the back wall of the Village Vanguard, passed away today at the age of 90.

    2009: At the JCC in Columbus, Ohio, Israel Memorial Commemoration features a remembrance ceremony with former IDF soldiers and screen the documentary film "A Hero in Heaven" about the life of Michael Levin (Z"L)

    2009:The Leo Baeck Institute presents multi-media event featuring a book and film both which are entitled “The Kissinger Saga, Two Brothers from Fürth.” “Evi Kurz, a journalist from Fürth where the Kissingers were born, has forged a family portrait of a Nobel laureate and a successful CEO. Through years of diligent research and respectful encounters, Ms. Kurz was able to earn the trust of both Walter and Henry, who rewarded her with a personal look into the family life of a German-Jewish family. The result is an award winning documentary film and a book.  As we accompany the Kissingers on visits to places of their childhood and youth, it becomes very clear how these formative years provide the context for much that comes later.

    2009:Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the former (now emeritus) president of George Washington University, discusses and signs Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education at Reiter's Scientific & Professional Books in Washington, D.C.
    2009(3rd of Iyyar, 5769):Yom Hazikaron events begin this afternoon with a ceremony at the Ammunition Hill battlefield in Jerusalem in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    2009: “The Confession of Eliot Spitzer” is the cover story for Newsweek magazine.

    2009: Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist “signed legislation removing the word ‘shylock’ from Florida’s criminal money-lending laws.”

    2010:"My Father's Microcosm, Tel Aviv", a photographic installation by Israeli photographer Yossi Guttmann is scheduled to have its final showing at the Williams Club of New York.

    2010:Dr. Ori Z. Soltes, Goldman Lecturer in Theology at Georgetown University, is scheduled to discuss “Famous Jewish Trials: From Jesus to Eichmann” at Northern Virginia focusing on the cases of Jesus of Nazareth, the “Blood Libel" cases during the Spanish Inquisition, the early twentieth century trials of Jews in Czarist Russian, the U.S. trial in the 1920's of Leo Frank, the Rosenberg trial in the 1950's, and the1961 Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann.

    2010(13th of Iyar, 5770):Doctor Stanley I. Greenspan, a psychiatrist who invented an influential approach to teaching children with autism and other developmental problems by folding his lanky six-foot frame onto the floor and following their lead in vigorous play, died today at a hospital in Bethesda, MD at the age of 68.

    2010: The Jewish Federation communities of the Commonwealth of Virginia “have written a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell asking him him to reconsider this decision that lifted a ban on Virginia State Police troopers referring to Jesus Christ in public prayers.

    2011:In preparation of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day),Detroit’s Congregation Beth Ahm is scheduled to screen “Hidden Poland”, a one-hour documentary film recounting the experiences of four people who were hidden children in Poland during the Shoah.

    2011:Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian movements, announced an agreement in principle today to end a years-long internal Palestinian schism.

    2011:Moroccan Jews who suffered under the Nazis and their allies during World War II will for the first time ever receive compensation from Germany, a Jewish group announced today.


    2011(23rd of Nisan, 5771): Sixty-year old Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan, a psychiatrist who documented the developmental milestones of early childhood and developed the widely used "Floor Time" method for teaching children with autism and other developmental disorders, passed away today.

    2011: In Mitzvah Tanks Roll Again,” Gabe Johnson and Tamir Elterman describe the reappearance of this unique Chabad invention.

    2012: “Love During Wartime,” a film about an Israeli Jewish woman in love with a Palestinian Moslem man, is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2012:Shabbaton Shira v’Kehilah, a Shabbat of Song and Community is scheduled to begin at the Kane Street Synagogue.

    2013: Therecently retired chief of Israel’s internal security agency said tonight that he had “no faith” in the ability of the current leadership to handle the Iranian nuclear threat, ratcheting up the criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak from the defense and intelligence communities. (As reported by Jodi Rudoren)

    2013: “Dancing In Jaffa” is scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    2013: In Livonia, Michigan, “Bookstock,” co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council is scheduled to come to an end

    2013: The National Park Service and the United States Military Academy are scheduled to host the official government ceremony commemorating the 191st anniversary of President Grant’s birth. While there are those who would paint Grant as an anti-Semite his Jewish contemporaries did not view him as can be seen by the fact that Jews overwhelming supported him when he ran for President and by this eulogy by Professor Felix Adler

    2013: A heat wave hit Israel today and caused several fires across Israel, ahead of Jewish holiday Lag Ba'Omer (bonfire night). Army Radio reported that one man was lightly injured today in a fire started from burning embers left by hikers.

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including I Pity the Poor Immigrant, Zachary Lazar’s “novel of spiritual discovery featuring Meyer Lansky, an American journalist and the murder of an Israeli poet,” Mount Terminus, David Grand’s novel about the early days of the movie industry featuring half-brothers Simon Reuben and Bloom Rosenbloom and In Paradise, “Peter Matthiessen’s novel about a Zen retreat at Auschwitz.”

    2014: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host “Downtown Washington,” a “tour of the historic 7th Street, NW neighborhood” that “includes four former synagogues.

    2014(27thof Nisan, 5774)): In the evening start of Yom Hashoah.  While the 27th of Iyar is the official date for Yom Hashoah, when the 27th of Nisan falls on a Sunday, the observance takes place on the 28th of Nisan (Monday) “to avoid adjacency with Shabbat.”

    2014: “Light and Shadows: The Story of the Iranian Jews” an “exhibition that tell the rich and complex history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities” is scheduled to come to an end at Yeshiva University Museum.

    2014: “The March of Life” under the title “Remembering, Reconciling and Shaping the Future in Friendship” is scheduled to come to an end in Hungary.

    2014: Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are being declared saints of the Roman Catholic Church today, the day that is also the eve of Yom Hashoah

    2014: In New Orleans “Philip Bialowitz, one of only seven survivors of the Sobibór  revolt at the Nazi death camp” is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Holocaust Memorial Program sponsored by the New Orleans Holocaust Memorial Committee.

    2014: “Golda’s Balcony” a one-woman show starring Tova Feldshuh as the Israeli Prime Minister is scheduled to be performed for the last time this evening at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

    2014: In Coralville, Iowa, Rabbi Jeff Portman has organized a memorable and meaningful series of Yom HaShoah events that are scheduled to include the Fourth Annual Music of Commemoration at Agudas Achim and a reading by Professor Lud Gutmann, MD from his book Richard Road: Fleeing the Holocaust and Growing Up In Rural America.

    2014: Holocaust Remembrance Week is scheduled to begin today.

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    April 28

    66: After stealing money from the Temple Treasury, the Roman Procurator Gessius Florus allowed his troops to “loot the Upper Market” of Jerusalem. He also unleashed his Cohorts on the crowds of Jews who gathered to protest the theft.  This would prove to be the precipitating event that would start the Great Revolt which would end in disaster for the Jewish people.

    70: Following an early repulse of his forces, the Roman Legions commanded by Titus retake and destroy Jerusalem’s middle wall. The Romans followed this victory by quickly building a wall that will surround the city, cutting off all shipments of food and causing increased starvation among the Jewish defenders.

    1192: Conrad I, newly crowned King of Jerusalem was assassinated in Tyre only days after ascending the throne.  According to one source, the assassins were Moslems who may have been in the pay of Conrad’s Christian enemies.  The whole affair of Conrad’s selection during the time of the Third Crusade points to the fact that these were not noble religious adventures at all.  This makes the treatment of the Jews during this period all the more despicable.

    1560(2nd of Iyar): Rabbi Kalman of Worms passed away.

    1758: Birthdate of James Monroe, leader of the American Revolution and fifth President of the United States.  During the Revolutionary War, Monroe was one of the many patriots who accepted “loans” from Haym Salomon.  This money enabled Monroe and the others to live in Philadelphia and carry on the war against the English.

    1775: Birthdate of Judah Touro. Born in Newport, Rhode Island Touro, who never married, was a famous merchant and philanthropist who supported many Christian and Jewish charities. He started as a merchant selling soap, candles and codfish, and would eventually become one of the wealthiest men in all of America. Touro's father was of Portuguese Jewish extraction, by way of Jamaica.

    1778(1st of Iyar, 5538): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1778(1st of Iyar, 5538): The eldest son of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Horowitz of Chortkiv,  Shmelke of Nikolsburg who was one of the earliest great Chasidic Rebbes from both the The Nikolsburg Hasidic dynasty and the Boston Hasidic dynasty passed away to in Nikolsburg.

    1788: Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States. By the time of the ratification, there are enough Jews living in Baltimore that the community can maintain its own burial site.  Among the families living in Baltimore are the Ettings, headed by the widowed mother Shina and her five children including two sons, Reuben and Solomon. Jews do not enjoy full civil rights at this point in time.  Under the spirit of the “Toleration Act” those are reserved for people who believe in Jesus Christ.  In 1797, Jews and their Gentile supporters make their first attempt to remove the religious test.  It failed along with all subsequent efforts until 1825 when the so-called Jew Bill passed in the Lower House by one vote.  It would not be until 1826 that the religious test for office would modified so that anybody declaring “his belief in a future state of rewards and punishment” could hold a position of public trust.

    1801: Birthdate of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury who was an early supporter of plans to populate “Greater Syria” (the name for the territory part of which became Palestine and finally the state of Israel).  In 1853, when he was President of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews wrote to Prime Minister Aberdeen that Greater Syria was "a country without a nation" in need of "a nation without a country... Is there such a thing? To be sure there is, the ancient and rightful lords of the soil, the Jews!"

    1834(19th of Nisan): In Mantua, philanthropist Samuel Trabotti passed away today.

    1838:  Birthdate of Tobias Michael Carel Asser a Dutch jurist, co-winner (with Alfred Fried) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 for his role in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first Hague peace conference (1899). He also advocated for the creation of an international academy of law, which led to the creation of The Hague Academy of International Law. He passed away in 1913.

    1854(30th of Nisan, 5614): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1854: Rabbi Solomon Jacobs officiated at the wedding of Henry Davis of Charleston, SC and Dinah Joel, the daughter of the late David and Catherine Joel of London, England.

    1859: Accompanied by Odo Russell, a British diplomat, Sir Moses Montefiore went to the Vatican where he met with Cardinal Antonelli with whom he discussed the Mortara Case and reasons for returning the boy to his Jewish parents.  The meeting proved to be a fruitless waste of time.

    1860: Sixty year old Amsterdam born poet Isaac De Costa whose prose works included Israel en de Volken, a multi-volume survey history of the Jewish people that was translated into English under the title Israel and the Gentiles passed away today. In 1822, De Costa converted to Christianity.

    1864(22nd of Nisan, 5624): As Jewish soldiers in the Union Army participate in the Wilderness Campaign in Virginia and follow Sherman on his march to Atlanta, they celebrate the 8th day of Pesach.

    1865: Birthdate of Adolph Bluthenthal, the native of Bavaria who settled in Pine Bluff, AR where his daughter Adele was born.

    1867: Today’s “Current Literature” column contained a lengthy expert from The Jew’s Revenge.

    1874:  Jacob Kraus, a papermaker, and his wife Ernestine, née KantorJacob Kraus, a papermaker, and his wife Ernestine, née Kantor gave birth to Karl Straus, Austrian writer and journalist.  Kraus converted to Catholicism in 1906 but left the church in 1923.  Freud found him so irritating that he referred to him as a “mad, half-wit.” He passed away in 1936.

    1875: Nathan Strauss married Lina Gutherz with whom he had six children, among them Sissie Strauss who would become the wife of Chief Judge Irving Lehman.

    1881:  In Kherson, Elizabethgrad, a tavern dispute over blood libels spawned massive outbreaks against the Jews (often joined by the soldiers) in Odessa and Kiev. In all, over a hundred and sixty riots occurred in southern Russia. Ignatiev, the Minister of the Interior, insisted that the Jews caused the pogroms. General Drenbien refused to endanger his troops "for a few Jews."

    1881: Czar Alexander III suggested to his ministers that outside agitators must have incited the mobs against the Jews, and that reports of policy and military laxity in quashing the pogroms were a disgrace. 

    1882: It was reported today that Jewish leaders in Berlin have received word from their co-religionists in Russia that “they will quit the country en masse if” their persecution continues. (This would be a triumph of at least part of the Russian one third policy.  The government  planned on solving its Jewish problem by having one third convert, one third immigrate and one third die.)

    1886: Bernhard Liebentahl, a young Jew from Schafenburg, Germany was among the passengers who arrived in New York today aboard the SS Main.

    1886:  Birthdate of photographer Erich Salomon.  Born in Berlin, Salomon worked as a carpenter and studied to be a lawyer before he found his true calling. He was a genius in the use of the then newly developed 35 mm camera.  He is considered one of the founders of photojournalism.  His fame as a photographer of the European leaders and celebrities spread beyond Germany.  One French politician joked that no conference could be considered important if Salomon were not there to take pictures.  His artistic skills did not save him and he died at Auschwitz at the age of 58 on July 7, 1944.  In one of those great ironies, the daily blurbs on many websites list him as "a German photographer" and simply give the date of his passing with no mention as to the place or its significance.

    1887(4th of Iyar, 5647): Fifty-six year old Isaac Hendricks passed away today at the home of his brother-in-law, H.S. Henry.  A retired businessman and part of a prominent Jewish family, Hendricks was a member of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society.
    1889: As churches and synagogues in New York held services observing the centennial of George Washington’s first inaugural (April 30, 1789) Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs spoke at an assembly of youngsters at B’nai Jershrun.  The students had been greet by a larger banner framing a portrait of Genereneral Washington that hung across the center door of the synagogue. The program included a program of patriotic music and recitations by the children.

    1890: It was reported today that the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society has a rejected a proposal from the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum that the two organizations consolidate.  The Brooklyn organization is caring for one hundred children while the New York organization is caring for 559 children. 

    1891: In Great Britain, The Pall Mall Gazette describes a plan to settle Jews living in Poland and parts of southeast Europe in uninhabited areas in Brazil and Australia.  Baron Hirsch is so supportive of the plan that he has pledged 15 million dollars to set the resettlement project in motion.  The plan could not come at a better time since the United States, which has been a haven for these Jews, is adopting laws designed to limit immigration.  According to the Gazette,“This decision comes at an opportune moment for England, for the new United Sates legislation against the immigration of destitute aliens might result in converting the United Kingdom into a dumping ground for all the Hebrew refugees of Europe.  They arrive here already at the rate of 18,000 annually.”

    1892: One hundred heads of Jewish families from Russia left Montreal for Oxlow in the Canadian Northwest where they plan to start an agriculture colony.  As soon as they have built houses, these farmers will be sending for their family members.  The colonization is part of the efforts of Baron Hirsch, the Baron Hirsch Colonization Alliance and the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society of Montreal.  If this initial settlement is successful, the Jews in Montreal plant to settle as many as 10,000 Russian Jews as farmers in Manitoba.

    1893: Dr. H. M. Harris delivered a lecture at Temple Israel in Harlem entitled “The Religious Rights of the Minority, Apropos of the Movement to Convert the Jews.”

    1894(22nd of Nisan, 5654): 8th day of Pesach

    1894: This evening 30 young Jewish girls will be featured performers at a benefit hosted by the Young Ladies’ Charitable Society at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

    1895: “A Free Art Exhibition” published today described an upcoming fundraiser to be held for the benefit of the University Settlement Society and the Hebrew Educational Alliance as well as providing a brief history of these organizations.

    1895: The convention of the B’nai B’rith is scheduled to open in Cincinnati, Ohio today where it is hoped that the members from Atlanta, GA will be able to report that the new building the Hebrew Orphans’ Home in their city has been completed.

    1896: German Historian and Reichstag Deputy Heinrich von Treitschke who became a leading anti-Semite starting in 1878 when he began attacking the Jews for failing to assimilate  as well as no longer being useful because the Aryans had learned the money management skills that had been the sole reason for allowing Jews to play a role in the German Empire.

    1897: Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Meyer were among those arrested in Brooklyn today for operating an illegal still.

    1903: In “The Jewish Massacre Denounced,” The New York Times reported that  "The anti-Jewish riots in Kishinev, Bessarabia, are worse than the censor will permit to publish. There was a well laid-out plain for the general massacre of Jews on the day following the Russian Easter. The mob was led by priests, and the general cry, "Kill the Jews," was taken up all over the city. The Jews were taken wholly unaware and were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120 and the injured numbered about 500. The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob. The local police made no attempt to check the reign of terror. At sunset the streets were piled with corpses and wounded. Those who could make their escape fled in terror, and the city is now practically deserted of Jews."

    1908:  Birthdate of Oskar Schindler, the Schindler of “Schindler’s List” fame.  He passed away in 1974.  While much has been written about how authentic the tale told in the film and book was, the reality is that he saved over 1,200 Jews, which is more than most people can say.

    1911: Council of Rabbis of Constantinople decides to establish a yeshiva for the training of rabbis for Sephardic Jewry.

    1911: Bedouins set fire to the synagogue at Tschebel (Tripoli, Barbary), entirely destroying the building which contained old and valuable manuscripts and books.

    1912: In an article entitled “How A Russian Girl’s Failure Was Turned To Success,” the New York Times describes the work of the successful, important work of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association and its fund raising drive that will enable it to enlarge its facilities.

    1918: During World War I, The Jewish Board of Welfare Work and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Camden (NJ), will host a dinner this evening for all of the Jewish young men who are about to begin their training at Fort Dix, NJ.

    1920: The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic came to an end today when it was replaced by the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic a product of the Red Army’s invasion under the direction of Lenin. The creation of the Soviet puppet state brought an end to Zionist activities in the region and  the banning of Jewish and Hebrew cultural activities. A few hundred Jews were able to leave for Palestine but the rest would remain trapped and would not have the opportunity for Aliyah until the 1970’s

    1922: The first edition of The American Hebrew appeared.

    1928:  Birthdate of Yves Klein, French artist, who, among other things, was a major figure in school of art known as neo-Dadaism.

    1929: Birthdate of Avigdor Arikha, the Israeli artist who learned the power of art as a boy during the Holocaust when he sketched scenes from a concentration camp onto salvaged scraps of paper. Arikha, a painter, draftsman and printmaker, became one of Israel's most important contemporary artists, imbuing his portraits and scenes of daily life — a red umbrella against a wall, an overflowing bookshelf, a jumble of bottles in a cabinet — with enigmatic, disconcerting beauty.The artist, who abandoned abstract art for figurative work in the 1960s, was well-known for portraits of subjects including Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and his close friend, writer Samuel Beckett. He also produced many probing portraits of himself and his wife, poet Anne Atik. "I paint not to get a copy of nature but to get with the brush what I see while I see it," he told The Times in 1987. "It's an act of observation by means of the brush. The instant cannot be repeated and the brushwork is organic. When you retouch it, you disorganize it. I can't bear to go back." Born in Romania, Arikha turned to drawing to cope when he was sent to a Ukrainian labor camp at age 12. Seventeen sketches survived the war: One showed a pile of corpses in a wagon and a woman's naked body being tossed into a grave. Arikha and his sister were rescued when his drawings came to the attention of the International Red Cross during a camp inspection. Arikha's father died in the Holocaust, and his mother learned that her children were alive in Palestine only after the war. Arikha lived on a kibbutz, studied at the Bezalel School and fought in the war over Israel's creation, during which he was wounded in 1948. Recognizing his talent, supporters in Israel insisted he go to Paris to study and financed him. He arrived in Paris in 1949 and built on the foundations of his Israeli studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Arikha's works are in collections around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He also wrote extensively about art and was named a knight in France's Legion of Honor in 2005. Arikha died at the age of 81 from complications of cancer at his home in Paris, where he spent most of his adult life.

    1929:  Birthdate of Carolyn Jones.  Born in Amarillo, Texas, Jones carved out a career on the stage, in films and television.  Her most famous role was as Mortica Addams, in the TV. hit, “The Addams Family.”  A convert to Judaism, Jones died tragically in 1983 at the age of 54, a victim of cancer.

    1929: Aaron Rabinowitz and Lieutenant Governor Herbert Lehman take title to the building that had housed the Hoe & Co print plant so that they could convert the property into a cooperative housing project similar to one already created under the aegis of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.

    1933: Birthdate of Dr. Allan Rosenfield, who as dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University will become a leading advocate for women’s health during the global H.I.V./AIDS epidemic.

    1937: When the seven day sale of the art collection of the House of Lionel Rothschild ended tonight at Sotheby’s Galleries the items auctioned brought in a total of 125,262 pounds.

    1938:  The Palestine Post reported on the arrival in Jerusalem of the four members of the new Palestine Commission, which was expected to study the situation and recommend to the British Government how to implement the country's partition. The Palestine Government welcomed the Commission and set it up at the Jerusalem's Government House. The Palestine Arab leadership objected to the Commission's presence and announced a total business strike. But only a fraction of the Arab-owned shops and businesses remained closed for a day.

    1943: During World War II, as British forces confronted the Axis Lance-Corporal John Patrick Kenneally single-handedly thwarted a planned attack by the Fascists when he charged down a slope at at Dj Arba, Tunisia, firing his Bren gun into the enemy formations. The enemy was so surprised that they broke and ran. Kenneally was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC).John Patrick Kenneally was an assumed name. He was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer in Manchester. His mother was an 18-year-old un-married daughter of a Birmingham pharmacist, who was disowned by her family.

    1944: “1,500 people suitable for labor were taken from the Kistarcsa internment camp to Osweicim” where “they were compelled to write encouraging notes to their relatives with datelines from “Waldsee” which “were brought by an SS-Courier to Budapest and were distributed by the Jewish Council.

    1945: Tonight,  “a secretly formed International Prisoners Committee to control of the main camp at Dachau after “Victor Maurer, a representative  of the International Red Cross negotiated an agreement to surrender the camp to U.S. troops.”

    1945: Lieutenant Colonel Arkadi Timor entered the heart of Berlin at the head of the Fourteenth Soviet Armored Battalion. At twenty-four he was one of the youngest officers to hold this rank in the Soviet Army. Despite the fact the Timor already knew that the Nazis had wiped out his entire family from his 2 year old sister to his 96 year old grandfather he refused to take revenge on the Berliners.  Instead, “he ordered his soldiers to hand out sop to the starving civilians” and he established the first kindergarten for German orphans.  After rising to the rank of Colonel, Timor whose interest in Judaism had been re-kindled was imprisoned in 1956.  His wife was told that he would never return from the Gulag.  But in 1960, thanks to secret negotiations, he was allowed to move to Israel where he provided invaluable assistance to the Israeli Ordinance forces as well as serving with valor in combat.

    1946: “Representative Emanuel Celler of New York declared that” the British “decision to hold all of the 180,000 Jews of Tel Aviv responsible for the killing of seven British soldiers…was ‘Hitler technique.’” “Mr. Celler said that he as well as other responsible and God-fearing Jews deplored the terrorist activities, but to hold the entire city responsible ‘is exactly the same kind of perverted law that the German military brought with when it occupied Europe.’”  Representative Celler assailed the British for taking “a page out of Himmler’s book.”

    1947: Birthdate of Robert Magnus who would serve as the 30th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.

    1948: Release date for “Letter from an Unknown Woman” based on story by Stefan Zweig and directed by Max Ophüls who also co-authored the script.

    1948: Pitcher Saul Rogovin appeared in his first major league baseball game as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

    1948: British troops pulled out of the last police fortress in their control in Upper Galilee, at Rosh Pinah in the valley immediately below Mount Canaan.  The fort was then occupied by the Haganah.

    1948: Approximately 50 children were evacuated from Kibbutz Gesher in the Jordan Valley.  The Jordanian Legion had attacked the kibbutz which was on the banks of the Jordan River in an attempt to seize the kibbutz’s bridge and an adjacent British police fortress.  Afer a lengthy and bloody battle the kibbutz members decided to transfer the children in the dead of the night to a safe haven.  The children were taken on a dangerous nighttime trek from the Kibbutz to Haifa and housed in an abandoned German monastery in the Bat Galim neighborhood adjacent to what is now the Rambam Medical Center.

    1949: Birthdate of Dorothea Miriam Bratu, who as Miriam Hansen, “introduced a new level of sophistication to film studies with her groundbreaking study of American silent film and research on cinema and the human senses.” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1952: Alfred W. Stern, a resident of Chicago who is a collector of Lincoln memorabilia presented the United States Library of Congress with “a scrapbook in which Lincoln” had “pasted newspaper account of his historic diabetes with Stephen A. Douglas.  The scrapbook was used as a printer’s copy for a book edited by Lincoln” entitled Debates which became a bestseller in 1860 when it reportedly sold 50,000. Thanks to the generosity of the his Jewish American, the library, and therefore the American people, own the only book ever written or edited by The Great Emancipator.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that for the second consecutive day the Jerusalem Labor Exchange closed after only 120 of Jerusalem's 2,000 jobless were willing to accept the offered forestation work. More than 450 were needed for this work daily, but the unemployed were reluctant to accept such jobs since the payment was set up according to production norms.

    1952:  The Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem was still short of water since the Municipality could not manage to settle the debt of IL60,000 owed to the Jerusalem Electric Corporation.

    1957(27th of Nisan, 5717):Yom HaShoah

    1963(4th of Iyar, 5723) יום הזכרון Yom HaZikaron Israel Remembrance Day

    1966: Simon Gerson sponsored the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner at the Sutton Ballroom of the New York Hilton. (Pretty spiffy for an event hosted by members of the Communist Party USA)

    1968:  Birthdate of Daisy Berkowitz, original guitarist with Marilyn Manson.

    1969: Dr. Farouk Shabtai and his two brothers were released after almost two years of imprisonment by Egyptian authorities.  Over four hundred adult Jewish males were seized by the Egyptians at the start of the Six Days War and held in what they claimed was a form of “protective custody.”

    1971(3rdof Iyar, 5731): Yom HaZikaron

    1971: Release date of Woody Allen’s “Bananas” co-starring Louise Lasser
    1982(5thof Iyar, 5742): Yom HaAtzma’ut

    1983(15thof Iyar, 5743): Eighty year old Hebraist Dr. Harry Blumberg passed away today.

    1985:  Several thousand people attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich.

    1987: Rabbi Arnold Resincoff deliver his prayer, “To Keep the Dream Alive,” at the National Civic Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.

    1987:Today, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir went to Paris in order, as he put it, to ''undermine European support for an international conference.'' This puts him at loggerheads with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and threatens to end the Likud-Labor coalition currently governing Israel.

    1991: The New York Timesreports that Israeli commemorative coins “appeal more to the heartstrings than to the purse strings.” Some examples of this are “the coins struck for Israel's 1991 Independence Day to commemorate the immigration of Jews from around the world, a process that is continuing with the arrival of Jews from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union. In 1950, the Israeli Parliament passed the Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to any Jewish immigrant. Since then, millions of Jews have immigrated. Previous surges of such immigration have strained the Israeli Government's resources, and the new surge's proportions are nearly overwhelming. To raise money for the new immigrants, Israel has been selling bonds and seeking donations. The Government Coins and Medals Corporation has minted three new commemoratives. The three coins are similar in design. Each shows immigrants alighting from a Boeing 747. Around the outside of the coin, in English and Hebrew, appears a phrase from the Book of Jeremiah: "I will gather them out of all countries." On the other side is a wide band running through the center of the coin with a large numeral -- the coin's value. The coins are available in one-shekel and two- and 10-sheqalim pieces. The smaller denominations are 92.5 percent silver, while the 10-sheqalim piece is 90 percent gold. The coins will have a limited mintage -- 15,000 of each silver coin and 6,000 gold 10-sheqalim coins. The silver shekel and the gold 10-sheqalim coin both weigh close to half a troy ounce, while the two-Shekalim coin is nearly a troy ounce of silver. The prices are $32 for the large proof silver two-Shekalim coin and $52 for both the brilliant uncirculated one-shekel and the proof two-Shekalim coins. The gold proof 10-sheqalim coin is $399. All are packaged in a presentation case. The coins may be ordered from the American Israel Numismatic Association.”

    1999(12th of Iyar, 5759): Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate passed away.

    2000: “Rabbi at end of 1800’s wasn’t really a rabbi” published today declared that Jacob Voorsanger, a leading 19th century rabbi who led Congregation Emanu-El  in San Francisco  was never ordained according to Visions of Reform: Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco 1849-1999 by Fred Rosenbaum.

    2000:  Birthdate of Jacob Levin.  A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. Levin is the most wonderful grandson in the world.

    2002: An exhibition entitled “New York: Capital of Photography” opens at The Jewish Museum in New York City.

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Master of the Senate by Robert Caro

    2003:Ira Herskowitz, the Brooklyn born American geneticist passed away in San Francisco.

    2004: Omer Golan made his international debut for the Israel national football team when he came on as a 74th minute substitute for Eyal Berkovich in a friendly against the Moldova national football team” today.

    2006(1stof Iyar, 5766): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    2006(1stof Iyar, 5766): Israeli composer Ben-Zion Orgad, the native of Gelsenkirchen, Germany who made Aliyah in 1933, passed away today in Tel Aviv.

    2007: The Cedar Rapids Gazette featured an article entitled “Temple Judah Plans for big crowd at Big Dinner.”  The article describes the preparations and purpose for this major event in the Jewish community that is scheduled for Sunday, May 6.  The article includes a large picture of Rugalach “a sweet pastry prepared by members of Temple Judah.”

    2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque presents a screening of:

    “We Who Remained Among the Living” and “Pizza At Auschwitz” 

    2008:The New York Timesreports thatSchindler’s 100th Birthday Is Private Affair for Survivors.”As he does every year on the birthday of Oskar Schindler, Nahum Manor will make a pilgrimage to the famed factory owner’s grave on Mount Zion. Manor, 85, met his wife while working in Schindler’s factory. “My life changed very dramatically when I started working at Schindler’s factory,” he said. “We moved from hell to a kind of paradise.” April 28 would have been Schindler’s 100th birthday, and around the world there will be scattered, locally inspired memorials to the factory owner who saved 1,100 lives during the Holocaust and was immortalized in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” In New Jersey, Sol Urbach, a Schindler survivor, will be at a small ceremony at the Kaplen Jewish Community Center in New Jersey that his daughter helps organize every year. In Krakow, Poland, last month, 30 Schindler survivors joined a march to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the city’s ghetto, winding from the ghetto to the concentration camp to remember the liquidation and honor Schindler. The march ended at the Palace of Art, where more than 500 photos of Schindler and his factory were on display. Many elements of Holocaust memorialization have become ritualized to intense levels of detail and organization. But Schindler has not yet earned any regular form of commemoration. The homegrown ceremonies that have sprung up around his birthday suggest the personal ways in which many Holocaust survivors are still dealing with their experiences of horror and heroism. “What we have seen recently is the routinization of Holocaust commemoration,” said Michal Bodemann, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written about Holocaust remembrance. Bodemann said the individualized commemorations of Schindler hark back to an earlier era. “From 1945 up to 1978, all commemoration was personal, out of the public eye,” Bodemann said. “It is important to see,” Bodemann added, “that the Schindler Jews have their own private way of celebrating Schindler that is very different from what is happening in public.” Schindler was born in 1908 in Svitavy, Austria-Hungary, which is now a part of the Czech Republic. Under his watch, his family’s business dissolved into near bankruptcy. But when the war started, he saw a business opportunity in following the German army into Poland. There, he used his connections to secure a factory in Krakow that made pots and pans and defective munitions for the German forces.Driven by profits, he used the cheapest labor around: Jews. But on March 12, 1943, Schindler changed his life, the life of his workers and history. Addressing his workers, he told them not to go home that night. The Krakow ghetto, he said, would be liquidated the next day. Schindler had witnessed the killings and decided he must protect his laborers. He built his own concentration camp as a satellite to Kraków-Plaszów, and his staff compiled the now famous list of workers he wanted transferred to his camp.Schindler’s dramatic change in character - from a self-absorbed playboy to a caring hero willing to risk his life to save others - attracted Thomas Keneally, the Australian author who wrote “Schindler’s Ark.” The book was later renamed “Schindler’s List,” and used in Spielberg’s movie. “You’d expect Oskar to be a perfect Nazi,” Keneally said from his home in Melbourne, Australia. “He was a good German lad. You’d think he’d be a pushover for the dominant propaganda about race, but he wasn’t. It is a remarkable legacy in that way.” Schindler’s story has become the core of many of the personalized efforts to commemorate the man. Lili Haber, whose father was on Schindler’s list, organized a symposium that will coincide with Schindler’s birthday, to take place in Ariel, Israel, on behalf of the Association of Krakovians in Israel. Haber hopes to fill the 400-seat auditorium with students. The symposium will include a panel discussion featuring a Holocaust scholar and 10 to 20 survivors. “It is important for young people to learn Schindler’s legacy,” Haber, said. “This way, we show young people Schindler’s great accomplishments and what he risked.” In New Jersey, rather than focusing on history, the Schindler admirers have designed a ceremony that will have more of a personal, religious bent. Families and members of the community will gather in the Kaplen JCC. The ceremony will begin with a playing of Itzhak Perlman’s music from “Schindler’s List.” The Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the deceased, will be recited, as will the “El Maleh Rachamim,” the prayer for the souls of the deceased. A candle lighting will take place, too, and a survivor will address the audience. “Schindler was a very personal hero,” said Barbara Urbach Lissner, Urbach’s 53-year-old daughter. “That is always acknowledged on a personal level, but as a community the focus is on the tremendous loss and the tremendous sadness.” For many survivors, the personal nature of the connection to Schindler means that remembering the man does not require his birthday or a ceremony. “I think of Schindler most of the time. I don’t have to wait for his birthday,” said the youngest member of Schindler’s list, Leon Leyson, who is 78 and lives in Los Angeles. “I could be spreading margarine on my toast,” Leyson said, “and I’ll remember having that little piece of margarine as part of the ration and remember that Schindler had given me bread and, at that time, that was as precious as you can imagine.” In Jerusalem, where Schindler is buried, there are always a number of people who congregate at his grave for his birthday, though not in any organized fashion. Manor said he was considering going to Krakow this year, but he did not need to return to remember. “It wouldn’t be right to say we are going back, because we are always back,” he said. “We never leave Krakow, nor Schindler, nor the war.”

    2008:Yossi Harel was be buried at the Caesarea-area kibbutz, Sdot Yam today. Harel, who commanded four ships bringing Jews to Israel illegally, died at the age of 90 in Tel Aviv. Harel assisted 24,000 Jews in reaching Israel aboard four ships, including the famed SS Exodus, between 1945 and 1948. Great Britain, which controlled the region at the time, banned Jewish immigration due to Arab pressure. The other three ships were called Knesset Yisrael (Gathering of Israel), Atzma'ut (Independence) and Kibbutz Galuyot (Ingathering of the Exiles).The Exodus was made famous by a film of the same name. Born in 1919, Harel was the sixth generation in his family born in Jerusalem. At the age of 15 he joined the pre-state Haganah defense force. By the age of 28 he oversaw the clandestine immigration operations bringing Jews, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, to the Holy Land. Later on, Harel oversaw the IDF’s Unit 131, an intelligence unit that ran a spy ring in Egypt until the so-called Lavon Affair of 1954.

    2009: “Picturing the Shoah,” a film festival sponsored by YIVO that explores how movies have represented the Holocaust from radical, provocative, and unexpected angles continues with an exhibition of “Lili Marleen.”

    2009 (4 Iyar): Yom Hazikaron – Israel Remembrance Day - Israel's National Memorial Day for the Fallen and the Victims of Terror

    2009(4 Iyar, 5769) Richard J. Pratt passed away. Born Ryszard Przecicki, in 1934 he “was a prominent Australian businessman, chairman of the privately owned company Visy Industries, and a leading figure of Melbourne society. In the year before his death Pratt was Australia's fourth richest person, with a personal fortune was valued at A$5.48 billion dollars. Pratt was appointed an Officer, of the Order of Australia; however he returned his awards in February 2008 after he was fined $36 million for price fixing.”

    2009:The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) welcomes Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party following the long time Republican Senator’s announcement today that he is “crossing the aisle.”  Specter becomes the 12 Jewish Democratic Senator.  The number will rise to 13 with the seating of Al Frankin from Minnesota

    2010: The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to sponsor “Daughters of Sara, Mothers of Israel: Jewish Women of Medieval Gerona,” the first of two lectures on the Jews of Catalonia. 

    2010:Israeli singer songwriter Danny Robas, one of Israel's most unique musicians in the last 20 years is scheduled to perform at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.

    2011: Rabbi Joseph Krakoff is scheduled to lead the discussion at Congregation Shaarey Tzedek’s “Tequila and Talmud” in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

    2011: Graveside services will be held today at Zion Memorial Park for Holocaust surivior Gora Hudesa Gora

    2011:A bomb killed 15 people including two Jews who were among 10 foreigners in Morocco's bustling tourist destination of Marrakesh, state television said today in an attack that bore the hallmark of Islamist militants. The Jewish woman was reportedly an Israeli citizen and pregnant. The blast ripped through a cafe overlooking Marrakesh's Jamaa el-Fnaa square, a spot that is often packed with foreign tourists. A Reuter’s photographer said he saw rescuers pulling dismembered bodies from the wreckage.

    2011: Wisconsin offensive guard Gabe Carimi was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.

    2012: Jacob Wertheimer, the son of former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali's daughter Khaliah Ali Wertheimer and her husband Spencer Wertheimer  had his Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia

    2012: “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life,” a film that tells “the story of a boy born to Russian-Jewish parents in Nazi-occupied Paris rising to international fame” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013(18th of Iyar, 5773):  33rd day of the Omer – Lag B’Omer

    2013(18th of Iyar, 5773): Eighty-eight year old world renowned cellist Janos Starker passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2013: Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski is scheduled to lead “Finding God: A Workshop” at the Skirball Center

    2013: Lubavitch of Iowa City is scheduled to host its annual Lab B’Omer BBQ this afternoon

    2013: The Jewish Food Festival is scheduled to be held at the River Market Pavilion in Little Rock, AR.

    2013: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen

    2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration sponsored by the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix.

    2013: “Steal a Pencil for Me,” the opera composed by Gerald Cohen with a libretto by Deborah Brevoorst will debut at Congregation Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale, NY.

    2013: Friends and family gather to celebrate the birthday of Jacob Levin

    2013: The Israel Air Force bombed two sites in the Gaza Strip early this morning in response to a Qassam rocket that was fired from Gaza into southern Israel last night.

    2013:While some in Israel are enjoying the first flush of summer of recent days, hitting the beach and packing out the cafes and boulevards, the unseasonably hot weather has brought the usual spate of wildfires and heatstroke cases as people celebrate Lag B’Omer

    2013: Israel will not tolerate a "drizzle" of rockets on its territory, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet today, explaining an IAF strike in Gaza hours earlier against a terror facility and weapons storage site in southern Gaza.

    2014(28thof Nisan, 5774): Yom HaShoah

    2014: Rabbi Sara Luria is scheduled to present the first in a three part lecture series “Jewish Spirituality Through Water: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition” at the Skirball Center.

    2014: Rob Reiner is scheduled to be honored tonight at the 41st Chaplin Award Gala by several notables including James Caan and Billy Crystal.

    2014: As part of The William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Roswenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History Yitschak Schwartz is scheduled to lecture on “How We Here: Judaism in America, 1654-2014

    2014: Lena Gilbert, a leading member of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, IA, is scheduled to deliver a lecture tonight at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon on her life as the daughter of Holocaust Survivors.

    2014: Friends and family prepare to celebrate the natal of Jacob Levin, whose academic, musical and Hebraic skills mark him as a budding “Renaissance Man” adding to the fact that he has already proven himself to be a Mensch par excellence.

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    April 29

    711: According to some sources the date on which an army led by Tariq ibn Ziyad landed at Gibraltar marking the start of the Moslem conquest of the Iberian Peninsula with all that would come to mean for the Jewish population during the next seven centuries.  

    1221: Honorius III issued “Ad nostram Noveritis audientiam” a Papal Bull obligating Jews  to carry a distinctive badge and forbidding them to hold public office.

    1280(21st of Iyar, 5040): French rabbi Issac ben Joseph of Corbeil, the son-in-law of Jeheil ben Joseph of Paris, passed away today.

    1614(20th of Iyar, 5374): Polish Halakhist and Talmudist Joshua ben Alexander HaCohen Falk, author of commentaries on Arba’ah Turim and Shulkhan Arukh passed away today.

    1624:  In France, Richelieu assumes as Prime Minister of Louis XIII. Although Louis had reaffirmed the expulsion of the Jews in a declaration issued in 1615, Richelieu would write a letter (which Louis would sign) in 1632 allowing the Jews of Metz to remain in that city.  There is no evidence that Richelieu was philo-Semitic.  Rather he realized that having just captured Metz, the city would lose some of its commercial value if the Jews were expelled.

    1659: In a dispute arising out of the business of trapping and shipping beaver pelts,  Asser Levy as attorney in fact for Abraham Cohen, "Jew at Amsterdam," appeared in the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens (Municipal Court) of New Amsterdam to demand from Cornelis Janss Plavier  the money he had received from Cohen. Plavier admitted the loan. Levy refused to accept a 460 guilder payment, and demanded imprisonment or public sale of Plavier's goods. The Court ordered the defendant to pay any balance due on the loan

    1679(17thof Iyar, 5439): Joshua da Silva, the Hakham of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London who was followed in office by Jacob Abendana passed away today.

    1699: In Paris the French Academy of Science holds its first public meeting at the Louvre.  While the Academy includes many Jewish members today, including David Baltimore and Israel Gelfand, this was not always the case.  For example, Madame Curie was denied admittance because she reportedly had at least one Jewish parent.  Poor Madame Curie – she was Polish and not Jewish but then facts never get in the way of bigotry.

    1769: According to some, the birthdate of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Others use the date of May 1, 1769.  Regardless of which date is used, Wellington comes up short of the mark as far as Jews are concerned because of his opposition to their emancipation when he was Prime Minister. 

    1774(18th of Iyar, 5534): Jews living in Colonial America celebrate their last Lag B’Omer as subjects of King George III.

    1793(17th of Iyar, 5553: Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau passed away.He was an influential authority in halachah (Jewish law). He is best known for the work Nodah bi-Yehudah,”by which title he is also known. Landau was born in Opatow, Poland, and attended yeshiva at Vladimir and Brody. In Brody, he was appointed Dayan (rabbinical judge) in 1734, and in 1745 he became rabbi of Jampol. While in Jampol, he attempted to mediate between Jacob Emden and Jonathan Eybeschütz in a debate - "The Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy" - that "had disrupted Jewish communal life for many years". His role in the controversy is described as "tactful" and brought him to the attention of the Prague community where he asappointed rabbi in 1755. He also established a Yeshiva there; Avraham Danzig, author of Chayei Adam,” is amongst his best known students. Landau was highly esteemed not only by the community, but also by others; and he stood high in favor in government circles. Thus, in addition to his rabbinical tasks, he was able to intercede with the government on various occasions when anti-Semitic measures had been introduced. Though not opposed to secular knowledge, he objected to "that culture which came from ", in particular Moses Mendelssohn’s translation of the Pentateuch. His main work entitled “Nodah bi-Yehudah("Known in Judah"), is one of the principal sources of Jewish law of his age. This collection was esteemed by rabbis and scholars, both for its logical discussion and for its independence with regard to the rulings of other Acharonim as well as its simultaneous adherence to the writings of the Rishonim. Other works include Dagul Mervavah on the Shulkhan Arukh and Tziyun le-Nefesh Chayah (abbreviated as Tzelach, named in reference to his mother, whose name was Chayah) on the Talmud.”

    1805: Eliza Aarons married Simon Levy, a merchant, in Charleston, SC.

    1819: Birthdate of Moses Angel who succeeded H.A. as Mast of the Talmud Torah Department at Jews’ Free School in 1840 before becoming Headmaster of JFS.

    1830: Birthdate Adolph Sutro the native of Aachen, Germany, the brother of Otto Sutro, the 24th mayor of San Francisco who was also the city’s first Jewish chief executive.

    1833: Birthdate of Michael Friedländer, a native of Posen who became principle of Jews’ College In London created one of the most popular English translate of Guide to the Perplexed by Maimonides.

    1835: In Charleston, SC Charlotte Lazarus, the youngest daughter of Marks Lazarus married Dr. De La Motta.

    1853: In the House of Lords, the Earol of Aberdeen moved the second reading of the Bill for removal of Jewish Disabilities and strongly  urged the removal of this most  interlating restriction on the civilie liberties of a section of British subjects.  The Earl of Shatesbury opposed the bill and moved it bread that six months.  He trembled at the consequences to Christianity if Jews were admitted on a cvil equality with Christians.  Such measures would expel Christianity from the ear but they might destroy it in Great Britain.  The Earl of Albermarle, the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of St. Davids supported the bill while the Bish of Salisbury, Early of Darnley, Earl of Harrowby and others, opposed it on religious grounds.  The bill was defeated with 115 voting for it and 164 voting against it.The Earl of Aberdeen has addressed the House of Lords telling them that he had changed his mind about the Jewish Disabilities Bill.  Two years ago he had voted against the bill.  Now he was prepared to vote for it because “he reagred the exclusion of the Jews from civil privileges as a remnant of the spirit of persecution which prevailed in former times throughout Christendom.”

    1861: Major Alfred Mordecai's letter repeating his request for a transfer reached Washington, DC where it is read by his new commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ripley.  Ripley refused the request on two counts.  First, he needed Mordecai, whom he considered one of his ablest subordinates to remain at the arsenal in New York so that he could produce the munitions desperately needed to fight the war.  Second, the army could not maintain the discipline it needed to fight a war if officers were allowed to dictate their term of services based on personal desires.  The U.S. Army's most prominent Jewish officer would have to choose between serving or resigning.

    1861:Maryland's House of Delegates votes not to secede from the Union. As was the case with their fellow citizens, Jews in Maryland were divided over the issues of slavery and secession.  It would seem that more of the Jews favored Union and opposed slavery than did not.  For example, the Lloyd Street Synagogue was a stop on the Underground Railway. Har Sinai’s Rabbi David Eihnorn was published Sinai, an abolitionist newspaper and Einhorn was forced to leave town by a mob that was threatening to tar and feather him.

    1861: Birthdate of Lajos Blau, a Hungarian scholar, educated at three different yeshivot, who became a teacher of the Talmud at the Landesrabbinerschule and later a professor of the Bible, the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, and the Talmud. He died in 1936.

    1861: Newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln appointed Abraham Jonas to serve as Postmaster of Quincy, Illinois.

    1864(23rd of Nisan, 5624): Author and translator of poetry David Samosch passed away.

    1865: It was reported today that a Jewish shoemaker named Godfrey J. Hyams was the first witness called to testify against William J. McDonald who is on trial in Canada on charges of “ making torpedoes, hand-shells, Greek fire, and other explosive missiles” to be used by Confederate agents against the United States.

    1865: P. J. Joachimsen delivered a eulogy honoring the late President Lincoln at the Jewish place of worship in New Orleans, LA.

    1870: The Baltimore Sun reports that the late Dr. George Frick, a resident of Baltimore, bequeathed $100.00 to the Hebrew Society of Baltimore.

    1871: Birthdate of German born philosopher and psychologist Louis William Stern.

    1875: In Kensington, London German-born Jewish stockbroker, Victor Rubens, and Jenny Rubens, née WallachPaul Alfred Rubens “an English songwriter and librettist for some of the most popular Edwardian musical comedies” who “suffered from consumptive disease for nearly his entire adult life” which did not keep his from contributing  to the success of dozens of musicals.

    1880(18th of Iyar, 5640): Lag B’Omer

    1881(30th of Nisan, 5641): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1881(30th of Nisan, 5641):  Sixty three year old French sculptor and photographer Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon passed away.

    1882: Pogroms returned to Ukraine with an outbreak of anti-Semitic violence at Balta in Podolia Province.

    1883(22nd of Nisan, 5643): 8th day of Pesach

    1883: The New York Times featured a review of Travels in Palestine: Egypt, Palestine and Phoenicia – A Visit to Sacred Lands by Philip Bovet
    1885:  Birthdate of Czechoslovakian writer and journalist, Egon Erwin Kisch.  Kisch was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  During World War I, he traded in his pen for a rifle in the Austrian Army.  He continued his writing career after the war including a stint in Berlin.  He was forced to flee the Nazis, first to Republican Spain and finally to Mexico where he spent the war.  He returned to Czechoslovakia after the war where he died in 1948 as the Communists were coming to power.  When the German magazine “Stern” founded a prestigious award for German journalism in 1977, it was named the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize in honor of Egon Kisch.

    1887: Horace J. Young was arrested on charges of having abandoning his wife Clara, the eldest daughter of Julius Praeger, a prominent New York Jewish businessman

    1889: The Young Women’s Hebrew Association will host a celebratory event this evening as part of the events marking  the centennial of George Washington taking the oath of office as the first President of the United States.

    1890: Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Hannah D. Moses, daughter of J.L. Moses and Thomas Moultrie  Mordecai at the Hasell Street Synagogue in Charleston, SC

    1891: An article entitled “Greeks Persecutes Jews” published today describes attacks by Greeks at Corfu on the Jewish population.  The body of a dead child had been found in the Jewish Quarters and the Greeks spread a report that that it was a Christian girl who had been murdered by the Jews for their Passover celebration. The dead child was the daughter of Jewish leader whom the Jews claimed was murdered by the Greeks to provide an excuse for their rioting and plundering.  The threat became so severe that the 6,000 Jews had to close their shops and take refuge behind a military cordon surrounding the Jewish Quarter.

    1891: In Philadelphia, PA The Society Hachnasath Orechim, or Wayfarers' Lodge which was organized in 1890 was chartered today.

    1892: As attempts are made to limit immigration, especially the immigration of Jews from eastern Europe, the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States on Immigration and Naturalization resumed its investigation at the Post Office Building.

    1892: As the first group of Russian Jews left Montreal to begin establishing farms in the Canadian Northwest, it was reported that if this group is successful Canadian Jews expect another 10,000 to eventually follow in their footsteps.

    1892: Among the bequests made by the late Hannah O. Beebe of Yonkers was one of $50 to Jacob Freshman to be used by him for “the relief of Jews as he deems best.”

    1893: “Bismarck on Anti-Semitism” published today provided a summary of an interview the German leader gave on his views toward the Jews.  Based on his education, he said he “was never a friend of the Jews” which helps to explain why he opposed emancipation in 1847.  His views changed in 1869 when Jewish leaders supported his programs for national development.  The current reappearance of anti-Semitism following the losses suffered during a period of speculation “is natural” because the people confuse “capitalism with Judaism.”

    1893: “Ahlwardt’s Baseless Charges” published today describe the conclusions of the Reichstag subcommittee that had examined the documents submitted by Hermann Ahlwardt, the leading anti-Semite, which he claimed proved that current and former officials were guilty of corruption. The committee said there was nothing in the documents to prove the accusation.  Ahlwardt’s real contention was that the Jews had corrupted the German political leaders.

    1894: In Quincy, Illinois, Council No 2 of the National Council of Jewish Women was formed with Mrs. J.H. Lesem as President and Mrs. Jeanie Nelke as Secretary

    1894: The Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital held a special meeting today adopted a special resolution expressing their sense of loss caused by the recent death of Jesse Seligman.

    1894: The Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum adopted a “Tribute to the Memory of its deceased President, Mr. Jesse Seligman” co-authored by Edward Lauterbach, Oscar S. Straus and Sigmund Bach.

    1895: Plans were published today about an upcoming meeting at Temple Emanu-El where the ladies of the congregation will discuss the upcoming benefit for the Hebrew Technical Institute and Educational Alliance.

    1895: Samuel Untermyer of Guggenheim, Untermyer and Marshal represented the Wall Paper Company before Justice Lawrence in the Supreme Court who was hearing a case involving injunctive relief by National Wall Paper Company.

    1898: Ali Ferruh Bey, the Ottoman Ambassador in Washington, "wrote to Istanbul in order to alert the Sultan that the aim of the Zionists was 'to establish an independent government in Palestine.' In his letter, he urged Sultan Abdul Hamid to 'take certain measures to rectify the error committed by his forefathers in allowing non-Muslim communities to settle in Palestine.' The Sultan took heed; measures were instituted to restrict the sale of land in Palestine to foreign Jews, and to oblige all Jewish visitors to leave cash deposits to ensure that they would leave the country after the visit."  [For more on this see Martin Gilbert's interesting work, "In Ishmael's House;"]

    1897: “New Publications” provided a detailed review of the New American Supplement to the Latest Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica which includes a section on “the story of Judaism and the history of the Jews” written by Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch.

    1901: An anti-Semitic riot broke out in Budapest.

    1910: The Jewish bank in Salonika authorized the creation of a loan fund for relief of families of Jewish soldiers.

    1912 In Danzig, Dr. Isaac Landau and Betty née Eisenstädt gave birth to Moshe Landau the fifth President of the Supreme Court of Israel.

    1912: A codicil was added to the will of Dr. Arthur Schnitzler required that his funeral be a simple affair without obituaries, guard of honor, funeral orations or the wearing of mourning attire.  The codicil also requires “that a needle be thrust through his heart to remove any doubt of his death.”

    1913: A strike by 4,000 kosher bakers, members of the Journeymen Bakers’ International Union was scheduled to begin today in New York.

    1917: During World War I, British forces under General Murray suffer a second defeat at Gaza. This defeat cost Murray his job and led to his replacement by General Allenby who would successfully prosecute the war against the Ottomans.

    1918: “Jewish Draftees Given Send-Off At Camden” published today described a dinner given for Jews boys who are about to join the Army which included an address by State Treasurer William T. Read who was representing Governor Edge and an address by Camden Mayor Charles E. Ellis who “lauded the patriotism of the Camden boys.”

    1919: The six-man German delegation headed by Foreign Minister Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau arrived at Versailles to take part in the negotiations that would mark the formal end of World War I.  The treaty would be attacked by the Nazis and tied to the Jews.  None of the negotiators were Jews but the facts never get in the way of anti-Semitism.

    1920: Birthdate of composer Harold Samuel Shapero.  Born in Lynn, Mass., one of Shapero's most famous works was the 9 Minute Opera. Shapero was an educator as well as composer. In 1951 Brandeis University hired Shapero to start its Music Department, and he was later chairman of the department and founder of its electronic music studio with the day's most advanced synthesizers. He taught at Brandeis until 1988 when he retired

    1922(1stof Iyar, 5682): Rosh Chodesh

    1922(1stof Iyar, 5682): Seventy-nine year old David Lindo Alexander, English barrister and a prominent member of the Anglo-Jewish community passed away. He was one of those who expressed “grave reservations” about what would become the Balfour Declaration and later joined “the anti-Zionist League of British Jews.”

    1923: Birthdate of movie director Irvin Kershner.  Born in Philadelphia, Kershner was a graduate of USC's film school.  Oddly enough, he began his career producing documentaries for the USIA about the Middle East.  Two of his most famous film credits were "Raid on Entebbe" and "Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back."

    1924: David S. Landes, who would become “a distinguished Harvard scholar of economic history” was born today “on the kitchen table of his parents’ home in the Seagate neighborhood of Coney Island in Brooklyn.” (As reported by Douglas Marin)

    1925: Dr. Florence Rena Sabin the first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists is elected the first woman member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

    1926: Birthdate of Paul Baran, the Polish born American Jewish “engineer who outlined one of the core principles of the Internet in the early 1960s and went on to become an entrepreneurial businessman.

    1926: Birthdate of Bob Tisch, CEO of Loews and owner of the NY (football) Giants
    1927: Birthdate of Abraham Jacob Nathan who would gain fame as Abie Nathan a pilot, entrepreneur, peace activist and founder of the groundbreaking "Voice of Peace" radio station, died Wednesday at Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital, the hospital said in a statement.

    1927: Birthdate of Gertrude Neumark Rothschild  “whose research helped improve light-emitting and laser diodes now used in many cellphones, flat-screen televisions and Blu-ray disc players, and who waged a successful copyright-infringement battle against some of the world’s biggest electronics companies that yielded tens of millions of dollars in settlements and licensing fees…”
    1927(27th of Nisan, 5687): Rachel Sassoon Beer passed away.She was the granddaughter of David Sassoon, editor of The Observer (1891–1904) and owner-editor of The Sunday Times (1893–1904). Rachel was born in Bombay to Sassoon David Sassoon, to the Sassoon family, who made their fortune in trade with the Far East. As a young woman, she volunteered as a nurse in a hospital before marrying Frederick Arthur Beer in 1887. Frederick soon suffered from an illness that changed his personality and led to his early death. Soon after her marriage to Frederick, Rachel began contributing articles to The Observer, which was then owned by the Beer family. In 1891, she took over as editor, becoming the first female editor of a national newspaper in the process.[1] Two years later, she purchased the Sunday Times and became the editor of that newspaper as well. Though "not . . . a brilliant editor], she was known for her "occasional flair and business-like decisions". It was during her time as editor that The Observer achieved one of its greatest exclusives: the admission by Count Esterhazy that he had forged the letters that condemned innocent Jewish officer Captain Dreyfus to Devil's Island. The story provoked an international outcry and led to the release and pardon of Dreyfus and court martial of Esterhazy. Frederick's death in 1903 triggered a breakdown in Rachel, with her erratic behavior culminating in a collapse. The following year she was committed and both newspapers were sold by her trustees. While Rachel subsequently recovered, she required nursing care for the remainder of her life. Rachel spent her final years at Chancellor House in Tunbridge Wells, where she died.She was interred in the Sassoon family mausoleum in Brighton. Among her relatives was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who was her nephew. In her will she left a generous legacy to Siegfried, enabling him to purchase Heytesbury House in Wiltshire, where he spent the rest of his life. In honour of her request, Siegfried hung an oil portrait of his aunt over the fireplace.

    1928: The New York Times published a report of a speech by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who had just returned to the United States from Palestine, in which he asserted that the effects of the economic depression of the last two years are about to be overcome and that Eretz Israel is about to enjoy “growth and prosperity such as it has not known” before.

    1929(19th of Nisan, 5689): Otto Jaffe, “a German-born British Jewish businessman who was twice elected Lord Mayor of Belfast passed away.


    1931: Birthdate of editor and publisher Robert Gottlieb

    1931: In Berlin,Max Auerbach, a patent lawyer, and Charlotte Nora Burchardt, who had trained as an artist gave birth the painter Frank Helmut Auerbach.  In 1939, Auerbach’s parents made arrangements for him to go to Great Britain as part of the Kindertransport.  They died in a concentration camp in 1942.  Their son became a British citizen in 1947.

    1934: “The president of the court that is trying three youths in the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, Jewish labor leader, visited the scene of the murder at Tel-Aviv accompanied by three associate judges and the prosecution and defense counsel.  The party then went to the vine-yard to which the murderers are supposed to have fled after the crime…The party also visited the grounds of the Jaffa prison and inspected the cell of Abdel Megid whose confession of the murder was produced by the defense in the preliminary investigation and then retracted by Abdel Megid.  The judges sought to ascertain how he could have had lengthy conversations with Abraham Stavsky, one of the three accused.  The prosecution alleges that Stavsky tried to arrange to have Megid take upon himself the guilt for the murder, whereas the defense counsel contends Megid was the murderer and that his confession was retracted under pressure by police.”  [Ed. Note, The murder of Chaim Arosoroff is one of the “stains” on the Zionist movement.  Unknown to many, the episode resurfaced when Prime Minister Rabin was murdered.]

    1936: Major Tulloch, a former army friend of Churchill’s living in Jericho wrote to the British political leader stressing that ‘the vast majority’ of the poorer Arabs were only too willing to live with the Jews ‘were it not for the way they are terrorized by their ‘leaders’ and told not to in the Arab papers.’”

    1936: Birthdate of Zubin Mehta.  Born in Bombay India Mehta became a world famous conductor including serving as director of the New York Philharmonic. He has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra since around 1970 and was named its music director for life in 1981.

    1936: Birthdate of Jacob Rothschild.  The official name of this member of the English branch of the House of Rothschild is Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the newly-arrived Palestine Partition Study Commission embarked on an extensive two-weeks-long tour of the country. The Commission had announced that it was offered the good offices of the High Commissioner to reside at the Jerusalem's Government House and that it was ready to receive, at any time, written statements from all persons who desired to place their views before them. Any persons wishing to appear before the Commission were asked to contact the Secretary at the High Commissioner's address.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a unit of Royal Ulster Riflemen found a huge arms store and arrested 31 Arab suspected terrorists at the Gilat ed Bahr village near Nablus. A curfew was imposed on the whole neighborhood.

    1938: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Vilna, Poland. The modern state of Poland was created at the end of World War I.  Unfortunately, during the period between the two World Wars, anti-Semitism was part of the Polish political and social landscape.  Apparently anti-Semitism was endemic to the Polish culture since there was a "min-pogrom" there after the Holocaust in 1946.

    1940: Rudolf Hoess arrived at Auschwitz to set up camp.

    1942: A German truck that refueled near the Lódz (Poland) Ghetto carried luggage belonging to "resettled" Jews who had already been murdered at the Chelmno death camp.

    1942: Jews were forced to wear a Jewish Star in Netherlands and Vichy-France.

    1943(24th of Nisan, 5703): Near Kraków, Poland, Jewish women attacked their male SS guards while being transferred from one prison to another. Two women escaped but most of the others are killed.

    1943(24th of Nisan, 5703): In Kraków Jewish Resistance fighters incarcerated since December 1942 were trucked to the concentration camp at Plaszów, Poland,. Most are killed after breaking out of the truck.

    1943:Rabbi Israel Goldstein, a leader of the Synagogue Council of America was quoted in the New York Times today saying of the recently concluded conference that was supposed to provide aid for Jewish refugees and victims of the Holocuast, "The job of the Bermuda Conference was apparently not to rescue victims of Nazi terror but to rescue our State Department and the British Foreign Office. Victims are not being rescued because the democracies don't want them."

    1944:Rose Warfman (née Gluck) was shipped to Auschwitz as part of Convoy 72. The transport consisted of 1004 Jews - 398 men and 606 women – as well as 174 children under the age of 18.  Among the Jews shipped to the death cap was Itzak Katznelson, the Polish born dramatist and author.

    1944: Kistarcsa, Hungary, was the site of the first deportation of Jews from Hungary to Birkenau Concentration Camp. 

    1945:  U.S. Troops entered Dachau, the first of the S.S.-organized camps. It was founded in March 1933. Dachau was infamous for its pseudo-scientific experiments by German doctors and scientists. The liberating troops from Seventh U.S. Army fond fifty train wagons filled with emaciated bodies. Near the crematorium another huge pile of bodies were found. Of the 33,000 survivors found at Dachau, only 2,439 were Jews. Very few Jews were left alive to liberate. In the next few weeks another 27,000 Jews from the hundreds of camps and sub- camps would still die due to illness, exhaustion and the irreversible effects of starvation. The Americans later used it as a prison camp for Nazi war criminals. Rabbi Abraham Klausner was “the father figure” for the more than 30,000 emaciated survivors found at Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, after it was and later for thousands more left in camps as the Allies tried to determine where they should go.

    1945: Jan Komski was among those who liberated today at Dachau. According to Mr. Komski, “the prisoners were told to remain indoors. It was strangely quiet. Then there was the sound of gunfire. Peering outside, he saw prisoners running through the barbed wire, which had been torn to pieces. ‘Then I see first one American, and then a second and a third. Within half an hour, the whole camp was decorated with flags of all nations, probably sewn together and hidden for a long time…’”

    1945: Eli A. Bohnen, a chaplain with the 42 Infantry Division entered Dachau today, giving him the dubious distinction of being the first rabbi to enter the German hell-hole.

    1945: Brigadier General Henning Linden led a group of reporters including Marguerite Higgins and a detachment of the 42nd (Rainbow) Infantry Division as the soldiers received the surrender of the camp commander, generating international headlines by freeing more than 30,000 Jews and political prisoners

    1945: “The advance scouts of the US Army's 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, a Nisei-manned segregated Japanese-American Allied military unit, liberated the 3,000 prisoners of the "Kaufering IV Hurlach"[54] slave labor camp.”

    1945: “An Office of Strategic Services (OSS) team (code name LUXE) led Army Intelligence to a "Camp IV" today where "they found the camp afire and a stack of some four hundred bodies burning... American soldiers then went into Landsberg and rounded up all the male civilians they could find and marched them out to the camp. The former commandant was forced to lie amidst a pile of corpses. The male population of Landsberg was then ordered to walk by, and ordered to spit on the commandant as they passed. The commandant was then turned over to a group of liberated camp survivors." (As described by Joseph Perisco)

    1945: Corporal Henry Senger of the 292nd Field Artillery Observation Battalion captured the commandant of Dachau today.

    1946: Forty year old Lt. Col. Martin Gottfried Weiss, the commandant at Dachau was hung today following his conviction during the “Dachau Trials.”

    1948: The Haganah captured the two Arab villages just east of Bat Yam, from which attacks on Jewish road traffic into Tel Aviv had frequently been launched.

    1948: Following the evacuation by British forces, the Haganah secured the police station at Zemach – a small town at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee, on the Haifa-Damascus road.

    1948: Haganah troops occupied the policed fortress at Gesher at the Jordan River crossing of the Haifa-Damascus road.  The Arab Legion attacked the fort and the nearby Jewish settlement at Gesher.  They were so confident of victory that Transjordan Crown Prince Talal came to witness the attack.  The Arab Legion failed to dislodge the under-strength, outgunned Jewish defenders and retreated across the Jordan River.

    1949(30th of Nisan, 5709):Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

    1950: In the only protest to Jordan’s annexation of what became known as the West Bank, Menachem Begin and two of his former aides called upon Israelis to resist this occupation of Eretz Israel by the Arab army.  [Ed Note: You will not find any mention of a Palestinian State, etc in any of the response at this time.]

    1951:Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein,an Austrian-British philosopher, passed away.  Although he was raised as a Christian, when “Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss; Wittgenstein” became “a citizen of the enlarged Germany and a Jew under the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws, because three of his grandparents had been born as Jews. The Nuremberg Laws classified people as Jews (Volljuden) if they had three or four Jewish grandparents and as mixed blood (Mischling) if they had one or two. It meant inter alia that the Wittgensteins were restricted in whom they could marry or have sex with, and where they could work.” The irony of all of this is at Wittgenstein had gone to the Realschule with Adolf Hitler. 

    1952: At Carnegie Hall in New York, Sarah Churchill, daughter of Winston Churchill, read a message of support from her father at an event celebrating the fourth anniversary of Israeli independence and the first meeting of the American Zionist Council, an amalgamation of eith leading Zionist organizations in the United States.  

    1952(4th of Iyar, 5712): Yom HaZikaron

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the planned new legislation, just placed before the Knesset, the exclusive jurisdiction of the Rabbinical Courts was to be limited to marriage, divorce and alimony. A new Tenants' Protection Bill, altered in several fundamental respects, was also in preparation.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jerusalem's acute water shortage continued after the Municipality failed to pay to the Jerusalem Electric Corporation the agreed upon immediate payment of IL27,000, on account of an IL80,000 debt.

    1953(14th of Iyar, 5713): Pesach Sheni

    1955: Birthdate of comedian Jerry Seinfeld who gained fame and fortune as the lead in the television series "Seinfeld."