1141: As he journeyed towards Jerusalem, Yehuda Halevi set sail for Palestine today from Alexandria, Egypt. According to legend, Halevi was killed by an Arab horseman when as he reached his ultimate destination.
1288: Thirteen Jews in Troyes, France were burned at the stake by the inquisition
1316: Birthdate of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Charles viewed his Jewish subjects as “servi camerae” and issued numerous letters ordering that they not be harmed. The title of Holy Roman Emperor sounded grand but had very limited power so these letters went unheeded for the most part. However, when the Jewish community of Breslau was attacked, Charles ordered the killers to be arrested and punished for their crimes.
1483: Coronation of Charles VIII of France ("Charles l'Affable"). In the second year of his reign, following accusations of usury, the inhabitants of Marseilles, the port city of the recently acquired territory of Provence, attacked the Jewish neighborhoods pillaging them and killing numbers of Jews in 1484 and again in the early months of 1485, leading to an exodus of Jews from the city, especially to Sardinia which became home to about 200 Jewish families of Marseilles. However, King Charles VIII was not inclined to conform to the popular demand of expelling the Jews from Provence. He decreed that all Jews wishing to leave should be allowed to leave Marseillesunharmed on condition they had fulfilled all their engagements with the Christians. The city authorities, on the other hand, were not prepared to let the Jews leave Marseilleswith their property and took various measures in order to reduce their emigration, among others they organized an inventory of the Jewish property in Marseilles in 1486. The resulting protests of the Jews assured the royal intervention and a few additional years of protection. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 brought new Jewish inhabitants to Marseilles. In 1492 the Jewish community of Marseillesransomed 118 Jews of Aragon captured by the pirate Bartholemei Janfredi, having paid the sum of 1,500 écus, which it borrowed from a Christian. Renewed anti-Jewish attacks in 1493 eventually led to the general expulsion of the Jews from Marseilles three years after Charles passed away in 1498.
1572: Gregory XIII begins his papacy. “Gregory's policy toward the Jews cannot be distinctly characterized, since it swayed between relative favor and severity. Soon after his election, he protected the Jews in the ghetto of Rome who were in danger of being attacked by the soldiers. Further, an order issued by his notary threatened with hanging any non-Jew found in the ghetto or its vicinity without a valid reason. Gregory authorized once more moneylending with a maximum interest rate of 24%. He guaranteed the safe-conduct of Jews coming into Italy or passing through the country. Although Marranos were also able to benefit from this concession, Gregory nevertheless allowed the Marrano Joseph Saralbo, who had returned to Judaism in Ferrara, to be condemned to the stake in 1583. Gregory was also responsible for organizing regular compulsory missionary sermons, often with the collaboration of apostate preachers The Jewish community was compelled to defray the costs of this institution, as well as the expenses of the House of *Catechumens. The new prohibitions against Jewish physicians treating Christian patients contributed to the decline of medical science among Italian Jews. However, shortly before his death, Gregory intervened with the Knights of Malta to obtain the release of Jewish prisoners in their hands, even though the ransom he offered was lower than the sum demanded.” (As reported by Jewish Virtual Library)
1590: On this date the Sumptuary Laws were enacted aimed at the Jews of Casale (Italy). These were laws regulating what Jews may wear, how they may marry, what they may serve at a wedding, and all manner of what might be called social intercourse. These laws were commonplace in Europe and designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ
1637: The Jews of Venice were denied the right to practice law
1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. Louis reigned until his death in 1715. His record of dealing with the Jews was uneven, based primarily on financial needs and attempts by Catholic French merchants to use religion to oust their Jewish competitors. Five years before his death, he issued a final ban against Jews living in France, a ban that was not fully enforced.
1726(13thof Iyar, 5486): Rabbi Moshe Darshan, author of Torat Ahsam, passes away.
1803: Birthdate of Salomon Munk, the German-born French Orientalist. In his formative years he was a trained in Torah and Talmud before moving on to Berlin where he became well versed in the classical languages and cultures. He moved to France, because as a Jew, he could not be hired to work in his chosen profession. In France, he developed an expertise in the works of Aristotle and Maimonides.
1807: The newly created grand duchy of Baden recognizes “Judaism as an officially tolerated religion” mean they are “emancipated.” At the same time Jews are still exclude from being employed in the civil service.
1808: Birthdate of Leon Hyneman, a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania who settled in Philadelphia where he was a leading Mason and the father of eight children including Leona Moss who gained fame as an actress using the stage name of Leona Moss and Alice Hyneman, a noted author.
1824: The Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, meeting in Lancaster, a city that for one day in September, 1777 was capital of the nascent United States of America, "carefully perused and examined" the Constitution of the Jewish congregation known as Kaal Kadosh Mickve Israel (The Holy Congregation Hope of Israel) in Philadelphia which decrees that services in the Philadelphia synagogue shall always be according to the custom of the Portuguese Jews. The finding of Justices Tilghman, Gibson and Duncan was that this, and everything else in their proposed constitution, was lawful. It was a beautiful example of the novus ordo seclorum "the new order of the times" promised on the Great Seal of the United States. Let us strive to remember this in our day when this new order is under constant attack, both at home and abroad.
1832: Birthdate of Rudolf Lipschitz, the German mathematician who gave “his name to the Lipschitz continuity condition.”
1832: The premiere of “L'elisir d'amor” which would later be produced by Max Maretzek took place at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan
1847: Composer Fanny Mendelssohn passed away. She was the granddaughter of Moses Mendelssohn. Her grandfather was one of the founders of what would become Reform Judaism. Unfortunately, Fanny was not Jewish.
1853: Word reached the United States today, as reported in the New York Times, that Holy Week had seen outbreaks of violence in Jerusalem. Greeks and Armenians fought with each in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher while 24 “missionaries of the London Protestant Association” had “a scuffle with the Jews in the streets of Jerusalem.”
1853: According to reports published today, J. Lewis Levy Esq., who is Jewish, has been returned as guardian of the Cathedral City of Rochester (U.K.)
1853: The New York Timesreported that the Earl of Aberdeen has told the House of Lords 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.”
1854: The American Society for Meliorating the Conditions of the Jews celebrated its sixth anniversary with a meeting tonight at the Reformed Dutch Church in New York City. The organization is dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity. The Society is convinced that the Jews of the United States are ripe for conversion. However according to its own figures there are more than 40,000 Jews living in the United States and the society has successfully converted 79 of them.
1859: Mr. R. J. de Cordova, a well-known humorist is scheduled to give a lecture this morning at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. Mr. de Cordova is scheduled to give a lecture every third Saturday for the rest of the year.
1861: A copy of the War Department order announcing Major Mordecai's resignation reached the arsenal at Watervliet, NY which forced Mordecai to relinquish command to his subordinate before his unnamed replacement had arrived.
1864(8th of Iyar, 5624):Baron Salomon de Rothschild died in Paris today at the age of 29, only two years after his marriage and less than a year after the birth of his daughter, Helene. He was buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the family vault. Of his death, the Goncourt brothers wrote "Cabarrus, the Rothschild's doctor, told Saint-Victor that the young Rothschild who died the other day really died of the excitement of gambling on the stock exchange."
1864: Emma Mordecai had a dispute with her sister-in-law Rosina over reports of a victory by the Confederates under General Lee. Rosina, who was not Jewish, doubted the report. Emma, who was Jewish and was an ardent Southern patriot, insisted that the report must be true. Mordecai's outburst was intemperate since she was a refugee staying at her sister-in-law's Virginia farm
1865(18th of Iyar, 5625): Lag B’Omer
1867: Birthdate of Kurt Eisner, author and critic turned politician. Eisner opposed the Kaiser during World War I and became the first democratically elected leader of Bavaria after the war. He was assassinated in 1919.
1869(4th of Sivan, 5629): Sixty-five year old “Talmudist and bibliographer” Gabriel Jacob Polak, whose works include “Dibre Kodesh, a Dutch-Hebrew dictionary passed away in Amsterdam today.
1872: In response to a U.S. Senate resolution of March 28, today, President Grant sent to the Senate copies of all correspondence regarding “the persecution and oppression of the Israelites of Romania.” The correspondence consisted of a series of letters from Benjamin F. Peixotto, the American Consul at Bucharest and Hamilton Fish, the U.S. Secretary of State. In the correspondence, Peixotto described the attacks on the Jews and the failure of the government to punish the attackers. He also described the efforts made by the representatives of several European governments, except for the Russians, who attempted to intercede with the government of Prince Michael on behalf of the Jews. For his part, Secretary Fish wrote to Peixotto expressing his support for any action that might “avert or mitigate further harshness toward” toward the Jews living in Romania. [Editor Note – The Grant Administration’s support of the Jews of Romania is but one of several actions that would tend to show that Grant was not an anti-Semite and that the order of expulsion he issued during the Civil War was an aberration and a mistake he regretted rather than a sign of deep character flaw.]
1873(17th of Iyar, 5633): Seventy-six year old Gideon Brach the Austrian physician and surgeon who was the nephew of Moritz Steinschneider passed away today.
1873: The New York Timesreviewed Sketches of Jewish Life and History by Henry Gersoni which was published by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Printing Establishment.
1875(9th of Iyar, 5635): Seventy-five year old linguist and literary historian Gottfried Bernhardy passed away today.
1879: An article subtitled “Frenchmen of Foreign Origin: Distinguished Instances of Aliens Attaining Position in France” published today provides background information on several non-native Frenchmen who rose to prominence in France and who played key role in the life of the country. Of the Jews who fit into this category, the article mentions “the ancestor of the bankers Pereire [who] was a Portuguese Jew who introduced into France the teaching of the deaf and dumb; Bisschoffsheim, another banker is a self-made Jew…Bauer a Hungarian convert from Judaism [who] was court preacher to Napoleon III…Salomon Munk, another orientalist was a German Jew. So too was Jules Oppert, whose religion obliged him to seek a professorship in France.” [Editor’s Note – The references to Munk and Oppert are self-explanatory, although the column makes one mistake. It was Munk, not Oppert, who came to France because his religion precluded him from being hired in his native Germnay. Bauer probably refers to Abbe Bauer who reportedly trained as a Rabbi before converting to Roman Catholicisim. Bisschoffsheim is probably Raphael Louis Bischoffsheim, the banker whose philanthropy included the founding of the Nice Observatory. Pierre probably refers to Emile and Isaac Pierre the 19th century bankers of Sephardic origin, who were the sons of Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, who was “one of the inventors of a manual language for the deaf.”
1879: Mary Nolhes swore out a complaint in the Essex Market Police Court today “charging her husband, Joseph, a Polish Jew with abandonment.” The complaint was dismissed after the court determined that Joseph was “a henpecked husband” who had been abandoned by his wife. Gustav Diner, a “young and muscular man” who was the complainant’s brother, left the court with the couple. Once outside of the building, Diner, who apparently thought he could not be seen by anybody from the court “began to pound his brother-in-law unmercifully.” A police officer named Ryan “collared Ryan” and took him back to Court where he was jailed on charges of assault and battery.
1882: In Bloomington, Illinois several members of the Jewish community met at the B’nai B’rith hall to discuss the organization of congregation which would be founded later in the year as Moses Montefiore Congregation with Aaron Livingston as President.
1885: Birthdate of conductor and composer Otto Klemperer. Born in Breslau, Germany(now Wroclaw, Poland) Klemperer was a child prodigy taking his first music lessons at the age of four. Like so many of his generation, Klemperer had two lives. The first was in Germany, the second in the United States. His musical contributions to his native land were recognized by President Hindenburg who gave him the Goethe Medal "for his contributions to the advancement of German Culture." A few years later, in 1933, the Nazis confiscated his property and issued a warrant for his arrest. Klemperer came to the Klemperer came to the United States in 1934 with the reputation as a world-famous conductor. Over the years he led orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and was director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for six years. He also continued his distinguished career as a composer. He died in 1973 at the age of 88.
1889(13th of Iyar, 5649): Thirty-five year old Sophie Walter, the wife of Mortiz Walter and the daughter of Joseph and Babette Seligman passed away today.
1889(13th of Iyar, 5649):Samuel Hirsch, a major Reform religious philosopher and rabbi, passed away in Chicago, Illinois. Born in 1815 at “Thalfang, (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (formerly part of Prussia), he received his training at Metz. He attended the University of Bonn, the University of Berlin, and the University of Leipzig. He first became rabbi at Dessau in 1838 but was forced to resign in 1841 because he promoted a radically liberal form of Judaism, later to become known as classic German Reform Judaism. In 1843 he published his "Die Messias-Lehre der Juden in Kanzelvorträgen" and "Religionsphilosophie der Juden." In 1843 he was appointed chief rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by King William II of the Netherlands. During this period he published his "Die Humanität als Religion." He took an active part in the annual rabbinical conferences held at Brunswick (1844), Frankfurt am Main (1845), and Breslau (1846). In 1844 he published his "Reform im Judenthum." Having received a call from the Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1866, he resigned his post in Europe and moved to the United States. There he succeeded Dr. David Einhorn. From his arrival onward he became closely identified with, and an open advocate of, radical Reform. In 1869 he was elected president of the rabbinical conference held in Philadelphia, at which the principles of Reform Judaism were formulated. In that year he engaged also in numerous ritual and doctrinal controversies. Hirsch remained officiating rabbi of the Philadelphia congregation for twenty-two years, resigning in 1888, after having spent fifty years of his life in the ministry. Moving to Chicago, he took up his abode there with his son, Emil G. Hirsch. During his rabbinate in Philadelphia Hirsch organized the Orphans' Guardian Society, and was the founder of the first branch in the United States of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Hirsch is best known as the author of the "Religionsphilosophie," a work written from the Hegelian point of view, but for the purpose of vindicating the claim of Judaism to the rank denied it by Hegel, the rank of an "absolute religion." In this book he proved himself to be an original thinker (see "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1895, pp. 126 et seq.). His "Katechismus der Israelitischen Religion" was also constructed on original lines; he considered the Biblical legends to be psychological and typical allegories, and the ceremonies of Judaism to be symbols of underlying ideas. From this attitude his Reform principles are derived. He denied that Judaism is a law; it is Lehre ("teaching" or "lore") but is expressed in symbolic ceremonies that may be changed in accordance with historic development. He was the first to propose holding Jewish services on Sunday instead of the traditional Jewish Sabbath Shabbat. He contributed to the early volumes of The Jewish Times (1869-1878). His principal works were first issued in Germany, among them What is Judaism? (1838), sermons (1841), and Religious Philosophy of the Jews (1843).”
1891: Claims have were filed by many of the unsecured creditors of Levy Brothers & Co with the Sheriff today
1891: Solomon Crizar, a Polish Jew was still in custody today facing charges for setting fired to a tenement on Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn, NY
1891: A detachment of troops was sent from Athens to Corfu to restore order after an outbreak of violence that has resulted in the death of 2 Jews and all businesses owned by the Jews closed. At the same time the Prefect of Corfu has been summoned to Athens to explain the outbreak of violence
1892: In Germany, the liberal newspapers express the hope that the libel action brought by Loewe & Co against Rector Ahlwardt, the well-known Jew-baiter will put an end to his false claim that this Jewish firm supplied defective rifles to the army.
1892: Mrs. Schloss purchased a picture embroidered by a little girl from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum on the last night Actors’ Fund Fair.
1892(17th of Iyar, 5652): Fifty-two year Asher Simchah Weissmann, who in 1889 founded a German periodical, "Monatsschrift für die Litteratur und Wissenschaft des Judenthum," which was issued with a Hebrew supplement passed away today in Vienna.
1892: “Columbia Likely to Get More Books” published today described the successful efforts of Professor Richard Gottheil and E.R.A. Seligman to secure the books in the library of Temple Emnau-El for Columbia College. The school already has a Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages.
1893: Harold Frederic sent a cable from London “announcing that the exodus of Jews from Poland had actually begun and that the refugees were already arriving in America.”
1893: It was learned today that many of the Jews arriving at Ellis Island from Hamburg were not German Jews, but Polish Jews who had spent the winter the German port.
1893: “New Jersey Religious Bodies” published today provides a picture of denominational membership in the Garden State. There are 19 Orthodox congregations with 2,521 members and 5 Reform congregations with 1,755 members scattered through the state. The total number of Jews in the state is thought to be closer to 15,000 than the published 4,276. The discrepancy is created by the fact that most congregations tend to just count the head of the family instead of all family members.
1894: In Denver, CO, Council No. 6 of the National Council of Jewish Women was organized today with a membership of 98 led by Mrs. C.S. Benjamin as President
1894: The London correspondent of the New York Times reported today that the Jewish immigrants being forced to leave Russia face an additional challenge – an outbreak of Cholera which has spread from southwestern Russia to areas near Hamburg and Riga which are the ports of embarkation used by these emigrants
1895: Based on a review published today, “Oliver Twist” is no longer popular with New York theatre goers. Among other things, “the audience refused to take Fagin seriously” even though H. G. Carleton played the part with great skill. Apparently, a play featuring an evil Jew no longer has the allure it did when Dickens wrote the novel on which the play is based.
1895: Birthdate of Lew Lehr, the native of Philadelphia, PA comedian and writer in the pioneering days of film and radio whose works included Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One
1897(12th of Iyar, 5657): Seventy-five year old opera impresario Max Maretzek passed away at Pleasant Plains, New York
1898: “Stories of the Ghetto” published today provides a review of The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan.
1899: Reverend Madison C. Peters of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church gave the second lecture in his series “Justice to the Jew” in which he is trying to correct many of the inaccurate conceptions about this “race that has been maligned.”
1899: In Krefeld, chemist Friedrich Auerbach, the son of Leopold Auerbach and his wife gave birth to zoologist and geneticist Charlotte “Lottie” Auerbach.
1899: “Russian Plans Against Jews” published today described various anti-Semitic policies being pursued by the Czar’s government, the first of which was the prohibition of Jews being in St. Petersburg, the nation’s capital. The ban applies to foreign Jews including those from France, Russia’s primary military ally.
1902: Italian General Giuesppe Ottolenghi, a native of Lombardy was appointed Minister of War today.
1904: In Bern, Switzerland Albert Einstein and Mileva Marić gave birth to their second child and first son Hans Albert Einstein.
1904: Herzl writes to the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He reports on this audience with Agenor Goluchowsky, the Austrian Foreign Minister.
1908(13th of Iyar, 5668): Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach, a New York gangster was gunned down.
1910: A pogrom was perpetrated by a nationalist organization against the cultural institutions of the Russian Jews in Buenos Aires.
1912: The Tomb of Samuel Manasseh Ben Israel was restored at the Middleburg Portuguese Cemetery in Holland.
1913; New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller. Governor Sulzer enjoyed support among the Jewish community of New York City and signed The 1913 New York State Civil Rights Act into law.
1915: During WWI, the Alliance Israelite Universelle announced that it would continue all activities in its institutions in the Ottoman Empire.
1923: A check for $10,000 was handed by Mr. Felix Warburg to Dr. Chaim Weizmann just before the former sailed for Europe
1923: It was reported today that The Committee on Higher Degrees of Columbia University has accepted the dissertation of Dr. Mordecai Saltes entitled “The Yiddish Press As A Force in America.” (JTA)
1923: A radical change in money raising methods for National Jewish philanthropies was proposed at the National Conference of the Jewish Social Service which began its sessions this afternoon here at the Hotel Washington. The proposal, made by Mr. Samuel A. Goldsmith of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, New York, on behalf of the Committee of Nine appointed last year was that instead of these institutions obtaining their maintenance and other funds by direct, personal solicitation, a national budget be established based on the requirements of these institutions. (As reported by JTA)
1924: The first conference of the General Zionist movement concluded its meeting in Jerusalem. It decided to establish a General Zionist Federation to amalgamate all centrist factions in Palestine.1924: Establishment of the city of Bnei Brak. Bnei Brak is mentioned in the Bible as one of the cities of the tribe Dan. Later it was famous as the site of Rabbi Akiva’s academy. The city is mentioned in the Haggadah as the place where the all-night Seder of the Rabbinic sages took place. The modern city was founded by charedi Jews from Polandand is famous for its yeshivot and Chassidic communities. Bnei Brak is northwest of Tel Aviv.1925: Birthdate of Yuval Ne’eman founder of Israel’s space program and a key figure in Israel’s nuclear program. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/may/15/obituaries.guardianobituaries1926: Birthdate of Allen Mandelbaum, whose fluid, sensitive English version of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” stamped his reputation as one of the world’s premier translators of Italian and classical poetry (As reported by William Grimes)1928(24th of Iyar): Novelist Mordecai David Brandstaetter passed away today1929: In Winnipeg, Canada, Rebecca and John Weidman gave birth to Barbara Branden “who helped popularize Ayn Rand’s philosophy” but then upset her acolytes with an unauthorized biography of the “queen of self-interest.”1929: Birthdate of William Jay Adler, Brooklyn born author and editor whose works included What to Name Your Jewish Baby. (As reported by Douglas Martin)1930: In New York, Ruth and Sol Peterman gave birth to famed opera singer Roberta Peters http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/peters-roberta 1930: Dr. Leon Pazi, who has just returned from Palestine, cheered delegates to the Argentine Zionist Congress which opened here today, with an optimistic report of the work of the Jewish colonies in Palestine. Zionists from all parts of Argentine are in attendance. Assurance of the support and sympathy of the people of Argentine for Zionism was given the congress by Senator Molinari while reports on the work of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation during the riots in Palestine last Summer and on the aid being given Zionism by Zionists in Argentine were read to the delegates by the president of the Buenos Aires Zionist Federation. (As reported by JTA)
1931(27th of Iyar, 5691): Playwright and stage producer David Belasco passed away.http://www.broadway.tv/broadway-features-reviews/haunting-broadway-the-ghost-of-david-belascohttp://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Belasco.html1933(18th of Iyar, 5693): Lag B’Omer
1933: Indignation against the Hitler regime in Germany is not confined to British Jewry but is shared by the British public of all classes and opinions, Leonard Montefiore, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, told members of the Board of Jewish Deputies today
"We also enjoy the sympathy of the British Government, but the Government has other problems like disarmament and the World Economic Conference," he pointed out. "Nevertheless, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg realized the universal condemnation of British opinion."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to speak at a public meeting in London if it is arranged as really representative of the country, Mr. Montefiore announced
He declared the statement that Jewish soldiers in the war and Jews whose sons were killed in battle were exempt from dismissal from their positions in Germany was "pure camouflage. I met men possessing the Iron Cross debarred from the courts by administrative chicanery," he said
The Joint Foreign Committee, which was organized by the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association to conduct foreign affairs, was urged by Simon Marks, who has been prominent in Zionist fund-raising activities, to ask the aid of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, "in conducting the wider political work ahead." In reply, Nathan Laski declared that the Joint Foreign Committee had consulted Dr. Weizmann several times but that the organization cannot hand him the leadership, which, he said, would be abdication. He said the committee has also been in contact with Lord Reading and Sir Herbert Samuel (As reported by JTA)
1933: Boxer (and future mob boss) Mickey Cohen fought his last bout against Baby Arizmendi in Tijunana.1934: A natural disaster occurs in Tiberius when cloudbursts cause flooding and rockfalls. Homes are swept into LakeKinneret. 1935: A court in Bern, Switzerland, pronounces the German edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a forgery.
1936: Viscount Edmund Allenby passed away. As General Allenby, he led the Allied forces that liberated Eretz Israel, including Jerusalem, from the Ottoman Turks. Allenby’s victory gave practical meaning to the Balfour Declaration by creating facts on the ground. Furthermore, a Jewish Legion fought under Allenby’s command and played a central role in some of the fighting with the Turks.
1936: A large Jewish delegation met with the British High Commissioner and discussed the worsening conditions in the country brought on by continued Arab attacks and violence. The Mayor of Tel Aviv questioned the ability of the British to deal with the situations and leaders from Hederah said they could mobilize 150,000 men to protect the Jews and their interests. The High Commissioner praised the “exemplary Jewish behavior and self-control…He requested the Jews to fortify themselves with more patience.”
1937: The Government today rushed police reinforcements into the Polesia province as anti-Semitic rioting in the town of Brzesc (formerly known as Brest-Litovsk), which caused injuries to 50 Jews and an estimated $400,000 damage, gave signs of spreading to neighboring villages.
1937: Jews were forbidden today to give performances of Beethoven, Mozart and Goethe on the ostensible grounds that they must be allowed "to develop their own spiritual and creative genius."Explanation of the ban was offered by Hans Hinkel, Nazi Commissar for Jewish Cultural Affairs, who said: "Jews must be allowed to develop their own spiritual and creative genius. If they are unable to or show themselves so poor in spiritual endowments that they cannot develop their own culture, it is all the more necessary to show the world that we cannot allow them to become the masters of our cultural life." (As reported by JTA)
1938: Jean Martin Freud, Sigmund Freud’s son who was known as “Martin” left Austria for London today.
1940(4th of Iyar, 5700): Anarchist and feminist, Emma Goldman passed away. Born in Russia in 1869, she fled Russiain 1885 during a period of intense anti-Semitism. Over the years she became active in anarchist causes. Her anti-war political activities cost her U.S.citizenship and deportation back to Russia to experience the Communist takeover in that country. Goldman was anti-Communist and ended up escaping to Britain. For the rest of her life she devoted herself to trying to save the world through anarchy and feminism. She died in Toronto but the American government allowed her body to buried in Chicago, the city that had so influenced her life.
1940: As of today, the Kindertransport which had started in December, 1938, brought 7,500 Jewish children to Britain.
1941: The Nazis arrested more than 3,600 Parisian Jews and sent to them concentration camps. This marked the start of the roundup of Jews in the Occupied Zone of France (the area directly controlled by the Nazis as opposed to Vichy France. The roundup began with Polish Jews who had become naturalized French citizens but it did not stop here.
1941: Approximately 4000 Jews are deported from Paris, most to a camp at Pithiviers, France. “Pithiviers, near Orleans, was one of the infamous concentration camps where children were separated from their parents and imprisoned, while the adults were processed and departed to camps further away, usually Auschwitz.” This camp, like the one at Drancy, was operated by the Vichy French and their collaborators. Contrary to the image that the French have concocted about their behavior during World War II, French fascists, led by Petain and Laval, were active participants in the Nazi New World Order. As to the Jews, the French were already handing them over even before the Germans asked for them.
1941: The decision was made in Tel Aviv to establish the Palmach (Plugot Mahatz or ‘striking companies’ of the Haganah. “The Palmach had two primary aims: the defense of the Yishuv against the Arab bands which would inevitably harass the Jewish towns and settlements and engage in local rioting as soon as the British retreated from Palestine; and the defense of the country against the Axis invaders.” Yitshaq Sadeh, a Jew born in Russia in 1890, was the found and first commander of the Palmach. He passed away in 1952.
1941: The Nazis interned 3,600 naturalized Jews of Russian origin.
1942(27th of Iyar, 5702): Noted Jewish Viennese pianist Leopold Birkenfeld is murdered at the Chelmno death camp.
1945: The HMS Springer a British submarine that would be sold to the Israeli in 1958 and be renamed the “Tanin” was launched today
1946: The SS Max Nordau, a Haganah ship containing 1,750 men women and children (300 of whom were orphans) was intercepted by the British off the coast of Palestine. The refugees were shipped off for detention at Atlit while the crew was arrested and the ship confiscated by the British. The vessel joined other such ships, including the Enzo Sereni, the Tel Hai and the Orde Wingate at a dock in Haifa. The Palmach responded by simultaneously, blowing up eleven bridges that connected Palestine with surrounding countries. This spectacular event came at the cost of 14 Palmach lives.
1947: Birthdate of Brandies graduate and music critic Jon Landau.
1948(5th of Iyar, 5708): In one of the most stirring moments in Jewish history David Ben-Gurion led the ceremony establishing the State of Israel. The British Mandate actually ended on May 15, 1948. But that was a Saturday and the Jewish State would not be declared on Shabbat, so it was done the afternoon before. Herzl's prediction was off by one year.
1948: Rebecca Affachiner “the Betsy Ross Of Israel” unfurled her homemade flag which she had made from a cut-up bed sheet on which she had sewn a six-pointed blue star and two stripes colored with a blue crayon.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)
1948: Three resolutions were defeated at the United Nations by the Arabs and their allies to insure that Jerusalem would be an international city governed by the U.N. The Arabs insisted that Jerusalem must be an “Arab city” even though it had a Jewish majority. This lack of will on the part of the U.N. and Arab intransigence are the animating force by the refusal of Israeli governments to ever give up the city.
1948: Egyptian planes bomb Tel Aviv, the first time the city had been bombed since the Italians flew over in 1940
1948: The first broadcasts by Kol Yisrael, Israel's radio station. Kol Yisrael is Hebrew for the Voice of Israel.
1948: Jordan’s Arab Legion captured the Jewish settlement of Atarot
1948: In violation of the U.N. resolutions, Jordan's Arab Legion captured Atarot, north of Jerusalem. This was part of the Arab plan to cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the state of Israel.
1948: The United States became the first country to recognize the state of Israel.
1948: "The Egyptian Prime Minister, al-Nukrashi Pasha, decided to proclaim a state of emergency and arrest all Communists declaring that all Jews were potential Zionists and that all Zionists were in fact Communists." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1948: Sir Alan Cunningham drove out of Jerusalem, bordered a plane and flew to Haifa.
1948: When the Israeli flag was unfurled outside the Jewish Agency building in New York City, “throngs of Jewish youngster danced the hora outside and traffic on East 68thStreet came to a halt.”
1948: The bitter battle to keep the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem took a positive turn for Jewish forces as they occupied Beit Dagan the British police fortress. At the same time, the Arabs were poised to seize the vital airport at Lydda.
1948: Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, was appointed Minister of Police, a position he held until a month before his death in January 1967. He served in fourteen governments and making him the country's longest continually serving minister.
1948: David Ben-Gurion begins serving as Israel’s first Minister of Defense.
1948: David Remez was appointed Minister of Transportation in David Ben-Gurion's provisional government.
1948: Yehuda Leib Maimon was appointed at Israel’s first Minister of Religious Services.
1948: Maury Atkin, who had been employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, opened the first Israeli embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts, Avenue. Atkin served as executive officer and agricultural consultant to the new Israeli Embassy until April 1950
1948: Following yesterday’s massacre of the Jews at Kfar Etzion, the rest of villages at Gush Etzion surrendered following which the Jews were taken prisoner and their homes “plunder and burned.”
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the first visit to Israel of the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, who arrived, accompanied by a large entourage "for a frank exchange of views." Israeli leaders asked U.S.for a loan to meet their foreign currency debts which reached $70m., while another $40m. were due shortly. Dulles "was happy to be in Israel" and was certain that the talks will be "mutually beneficial."
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel received from West Germany $75m. on account of reparations.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 102 new immigrants arrived from Iran.
1953: “The first railway line built by the State of Israel – 28 and a half miles of track running parallel to the coast between Hadera and Tel Aviv – was dedicated by Mrs. David Remez, widow of Israel’s first Minister of Communications who conceived the line in 1948.” The opening of the rail connection will shorten the time it takes to travel between Haifa, Israel’s major port and Tel Aviv.
1955: On the seventh anniversary of Israel’s independence, a public memorial service is held at Carnegie Hall in honor of the late Albert Einstein.
1957(13th of Iyar, 5717): Seventy-two year old Sir Sidney Solomon Abrahams, the older brother of Harold Abrahams (“Chariots of Fire”) and the 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) passed away today.
1958: “I Married A Woman” directed by Hal Kanter and written by Goodman Ace premiered in Los Angeles.
1967(4th of Iyar, 5727): Yom HaZikaron
1967: Alfred Kazan and Nissim Ezekiel of the Bombay University were among the speakers at the six-day celebration of Henry David Thoreau sponsored by the Nassau Community College that came to an end today.
1967: According to statements made by Nasser in justifying the blockade of the Straits of Tiran, this is the day on which he discussed the Soviet report of the Israel’s planned invasion of Syria with the government in Damascus and formulated their military response.
1967: Israeli newspapers carried interviews with General Rabin, IDF chief of staff warning “Damascus” of the consequences that would arise from continued terrorist attacks.
1968(16th of Iyar, 5728): Seventy year old Dr. Theodore Werner, the Viennese born English Zionist was the godson of Theodor Herzl passed away today. (As reported by JTA)?
1969: Today marked the end of Abe Fortas’ tenure as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
1974(22nd of Iyyar, 5734):First Lieutenant Rami Zusman and Sergeant Reuven Brinenberg were killed just two weeks before Henry Kissinger negotiated a separation of forces agreement between the Syrians and Israelis.
1977:The first official images of the Merkava were released to the American periodical Armed Forces Journal
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported on the changed mood in the Cairo media which claimed that the deadlock in the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations moved the whole Middle East to the situation which preceded the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The Egyptian press warned that President Sadat's pledge of "no more war" would not be fulfilled, unless Israel dropped its refusal to relinquish all the territories it captured in the 1967 war.
1980(28th of Iyar, 5740): Yom Yerushalayim
1980: The full orchestral version of “Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards” an orchestral piece composed in 1979 by Steve Reich was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony at the War Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco
1982: Richard F. Shepard reviewed Max and Helen by Simon Wiesenthal
1983: It was reported today that Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger delivered a speech to the American Jewish Committee in which he said the Soviet government was “making a profound and dangerous mistake if it thought it could force the United States to abandon its commitment to Israel’s security.”
1983: A new advertising campaign created by Needham, Harper & Steers/Issues and Images, which will promote a friendliness and warmth of the Israeli people toward travelers with the new theme line: ''Come to Israel, come stay with friends'' premieres today with two new 30-second television and radio commercials.
1984: Birthdate of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame.
1986(5th of Iyar, 5746): Yom HaAtzma'ut
1986: The Institute for War documents published Anne Frank’s complete diary.
1987: As the IPO celebrates its 50th anniversary, Leonard Bernstein conducts the symphony for a second night.
1989: “Chu Chem,” billed as “the 1st Chinese-Jewish Musical” with Molly Picon comes to a close today after 68 performances on Broadway.
1996(25th of Iyar, 5756): Seventeen year old Yeshiva student David Bum was murdered by a terrorist who fired on students “as a hitchhiking post at Beit El.”
1998: Performance of the last episode of Seinfeld on NBC with commercials selling at $2 million for a 30 second slot.
2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Working Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II”
by Joshua B. Freeman and the recently released paperback edition of “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times columnist deploys a torrent of anecdotes and vignettes to probe the causes and effects of globalization and the transforming power of technology.
2000:“Requiem for a Dream,” an American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky premiered at Cannes today.
2000:Karl Jay Shapiro, a native of Baltimore who was appointed the fifth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1946 passed away in New York.
2003: Allan Kornblum was appointed as a federal magistrate for the northern district of Florida.
2003:Dorrit Moussaieff an Israeli-born British jewelry designer, editor and businesswoman married the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson,
2004:Peace Now led the 'Mate ha-Rov' ("majority camp") demonstration today in Tel Aviv, in order to pressure the Israeli government to adopt the Disengagement Plan
2004:Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh [ritual bath] and education center in Newton, Massachusetts, opened its doors. The opening was the culmination of over three years of work by a committed group of Boston-area women led by author Anita Diamant.
In addition to reclaiming and reinventing the mikveh, Mayyim Hayyim seeks to fulfill its mission through a variety of educational programs. By January of 2004, before the building even opened, Mayyim Hayyim estimated that its education programs had reached about 1,000 people. Since the opening of its building, the organization has sponsored art exhibits and public programs to engage the community. To mark its first anniversary, the group staged a performance of "Mikveh Monologues," modeled after Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," and featuring the stories of mikveh users. The script was written by Diamant and Janet Buchwald. Diamant noted in an interview that despite the seemingly narrow focus of the topic, "all religious rituals use water as a metaphor for change and transformation and purification...there's a potential for universal appeal.""Mikveh Monologues II," presented in March 2006, raised $200,000 for Mayyim Hayyim.
2006(16th of Iyar, 5766): American poet and two time Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz passed away.
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer" y David Cesaraniand the recently released paperback edition of “Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop” by Joseph Lelyveld which is a memoir of his “often painful Midwestern childhood” featuring his “warring parents: a literary mother and a political father, who was a Reform rabbi and a committed civil-rights activist.”
2006: On NPR's Weekend Edition, Daniel Schorr mentioned a meeting at the White House that took place with colleague A. M. Rosenthal and president Gerald Ford. Ford mentioned that the Rockefeller Commission had access to various CIA documents, including those referring to political assassinations. Although scolded at first for his television report by former CIA director Richard Helms, Schorr was vindicated by the text of the Pike Committee, which he obtained from an undisclosed source and leaked to The Village Voice. [Editor’s Note – Schorr and Rosenthal were Jewish. Ford and Helms were not.]
2007: The JCCin Manhattan presents a film screening “Be Fruitful and Multiply: What’s A Mother to Do?” followed by a panel discussion.“
2008:As US President George W. Bush lands in Israel for a three-day visit the IDF starts reducing its operations throughout the West Bank. The orders were delivered earlier this week to the IDF's Central Command by the political echelon.
2008:A shopping mall in Ashkelon was hit this afternoon by a long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip injuring around 90 people, four of them seriously. Two militant groups, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility. Among those seriously hurt are a 24-year-old mother and her infant daughter, both of whom were flown to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, for treatment.
2008(9th of Iyar, 5768): Eighty-six year old cartoonist and satirist Will Elder passed away today (As reported by William Grimes)
2009:The Foundation for Jewish Studies presents a free lecture with Dr. Robert Alter speaking on “The Challenge of Translating the Bible” at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center.
2009: The 92nd Street Y presents a lecture by Susanne Vromen entitled “Sanctuary from Hell: Belgian Nuns Who Saved Holocaust Children” in which this Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Bard College author of “Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis” shares the “riveting stories” of the Belgian Jewish children who were hidden in Roman Catholic convicts and orphanages starting in 1942.
2009:Today Jordan's king pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as the monarch pursued a sweeping resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel. King Abdullah II made the comments during a meeting in the Red Sea city of Aqaba with Netanyahu, who made an unannounced, lightning visit to neighboring Jordan.
2009(20th of Iyar, 5769):Beatrice Israel Muhlendorf, passed away today at the age 93 in Sheffield, Alabama. Mrs. Muhlendorf was a native of Worcester, Mass., and a member of Temple B'Nai Israel. She attended Florence State Teachers College and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936.She was the co-founder of the Rho chapter of Sigma Delta Tau sorority at the University of Alabama and served as president in 1935. a lifelong sustaining member of the Muscle Shoals District Service League, past board member of the YMCA of the Shoals and Northwest Alabama Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club and was past president of the Temple B'Nai Israel Sisterhood. She worked for the Navy department during World War II, where she met her husband, Jack, and married in 1942. She, along with her father and husband, co-founded Paper and Chemical Supply Co. in 1949, where she served as a chairman of the board until her passing. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Muhlendorf
2009: Sholom Rubashkin, the man who ran Agriprocessors, has been named in a new 142 count indictment that adds 70 new charges that include criminal acts related to bank fraud, money laundering and document fraud.
2010(1 Sivan, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Sivan
2010: Forty-six year old Jennifer Gorvotiz was named CEO of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation today making her “the first woman to head on the North American’s 20 largest Jewish Federations.” (As reported by Jweekly.com)
2010:Rabbi Shira Stutman and musician Sheldon Low are scheduled to lead a musical and interactive Shabbat at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
2011:Liliana Schulder is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest synagogue which was founded in 1867.
2011: The Cincinnati Art Museum is scheduled to present “A Jewish View of Cincinnati” will “explore art from ancient times that relates to Jewish history; paintings of biblical stories and themes, and works by Jewish artists.
2011: Pianist Menahem Pressler is scheduled to appear with the Jupiter Quartet as part of the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts in New York City.
2011: The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to depart for Paris on today, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first-class section of the jetliner, and immediately turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct, officials said.
2011(10th of Iyar, 5771): Ninety-year old Joseph Wershaba, the colleague of Edward R. Murrow who helped to expose Senator McCarthy, passed away today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2011(10th of Iyar, 5771): Eighty-nine year old Murray Handwerker, the man who turned Brooklyn based Nathan’s hot dog stand into a nationally known institution passed away today. (As reported by Reed Abelsson)
2012: At the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University is scheduled to survey 350 years of the American Jewish experience through the prism of National Museum of American Jewish located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall.
2012: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music is scheduled to present an evening of performances celebrating its Israeli alumni, students, and international collaborators
2012:Todd Hasak-Lowy author of Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction is scheduled to participate in A Dalkey Archive Translators Night as the McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City.
2012: Roberto Rodriguez and the Cuban Jewish All Stars are scheduled to perform at the Washington DCJCC.
2012: Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present “Bay mayn mames shtibele: The Women's Art of Yiddish Folksong.”
2012: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to hold a workshop for new recruits and experienced veterans of the Wiener Library’s Volunteer Translation Program. The program began with one translator in 2009.
2012: Offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz, a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, signed a four-year, $5.17 million contract with the team. Schwartz, a tackle from the University of California, Berkeley, was selected 37th overall in April’s draft. The Jewish player was among eight draft picks signed by the team today. His older brother Geoff is in his fourth season as an NFL player ( As reported by Mary Oster)
2012(22nd of Iyar, 5772): Nine-four year old “David M. Helpern, the business side of the husband-and-wife apparel design team known as Joan & David, who popularized elegant, comfortable — and non-high-heeled — shoes for working women in the 1960s before expanding their line internationally to include clothing,” passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2012: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times did not address the graduating class at Barnard College because she was pre-empted by President Obama.
2013: The refurbished Jerusalem Train Station is scheduled to host its first major event today.
2013: The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox, the doyenne of New York Times obituary writers goes on sale today.
2013: “Fire In My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh” is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
2013: As part of the observance of Shavuot, Bentlee Birchansky and Noah Thalblum will celebrate their Confirmation at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Editor’s Note – I had the pleasure of teaching both of these youngsters. They are two of the brightest, nicest, most diligent students I ever worked with in the last fifty years. They have much to be proud of and even more to look forward to.)
2013: On the secular calendar, 65thanniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel!
2013: The Jerusalem Post ranks Yair Lapid, the founder of Yesh Atid at the top of its list of most influential Jews followed by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew in second place.
2014(14th of Iyar, 5774): Pesach Sheini
2014(14th of Iyar, 5774):
2014: Nick Kotz, whose recent book, The Harness Maker's Dream, tells the story of his Jewish Ukrainian grandfather's journey to the United States and ensuing life in Texas is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion “A Nation of Immigrants: How They Have Shaped America.”
2014: In Danville, CA, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living is scheduled to host a special screening “American Jerusalem, “ a “documentary that tells the story of San Francisco Jews became Jews.”
0942(21stof Iyar, 4702): Saadia Gaon passed away. Born in 882, Saadia Gaon was the head of the Talmudic Academy of Sura (Babylonia). He was a recognized authority on the Talmud, and a profound student of philosophy and philology. Saadia was forced to deal with the challenge of assimilation of the upper-class Jews of Babylonia who were attractedto the Greek philosophers whose works had been translated intoArabic. Saadia wrote a philosophic work, The Book of Beliefs and Opinions, in magnificent flowing Arabic. In it, he defended the rational underpinnings of Judaism and showed logically that every rational Jew could believe in the Torah as well as Aristotle and Plato. He wrote the first Hebrew grammar book which explained how the holy language worked. He provided a Hebrew dictionary plus a compendium of rhyming words for Hebrew poets. He was the first to write an Arabic translation of the Bible. He included commentaries, explanations, and grammatical notes as well. His translation continues to be the authoritative Bible for Jews in Arab lands. He also led a successful fight against the Kararites, a sect which rejected Rabbinic commentary as law.
1165: Maimonidesand his familyarrived at Acre, Palestine.Having been forced to leave Spain because he would not convert to Islam, Maimonides and his family settled in Fez, Morocco. His work with Jews who had been forced to convert to Islam attracted attention of the local authorities and the family moved on to Palestine. Do to the poverty of the land and the uncertain conditions there, Maimonides finally settled in Egypt where he served both as a physician and leader of the Jewish Community.
1474:Minister Pacheco of Spain used an attack he organized against "new Christians" as a diversion in order to enable him to capture the citadel of Segovia (and maybe the King). Although the plot was discovered in time, the Marranos were attacked by the organized mob, and men, women and children were murdered.
1477: Abraham dei Tintori produced the first printed edition of the book of Job with a commentary by Levi ben Gerson was published today in Ferrara, Italy
1487: Joseph Solomon Sonciino produced the first printed edition of Seder Tahanunim at Soncino, Italy
1527: Florentines drove out the Medici for a second time and re-established a republic The recreation of the Republic led to the expulsion of the Jews. This event took place in the Jewish year 5300 (a year with Jewish mystical connotations), fueling messianic hopes helping to layer the ground for the rise of Solomon Molcho.
1573: Today Polish nobles elected Henry, as the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, the Lithuanian nobles boycotted this election, and it was the Lithuanian ducal council who confirmed his election. Poland elected Henry, rather than Habsburg candidates, partly in order to be more agreeable to the Ottoman Empire (a traditional ally of France through the Franco-Ottoman alliance), with which a Polish-Ottoman alliance was also in effect.. He owed his election to Solomon Ashkenazi, a “Rabbi” who was an advisor to the Sultan. He was in effect the Sultan’s foreign minister. In an unusually blunt statement, Ashkenazi wrote Henry “I have rendered you majesty most important service in securing your election; I have effected all that was done here.” The last statement refers to his behind the scenes work at the Sultans Palace. See Volume 4 p 605 0f Graetz
1611: Birthdate of Pope Innocent XI. During his papacy, “Innocent showed a degree of sensitivity in his dealings with the Jews within the Italian States. He compelled the city of Venice to release the Jewish prisoners taken by Francesco Morisini in 1685. He also discouraged compulsory baptisms which accordingly became less frequent under his pontificate; but he could not abolish the old practice altogether. More controversially in 1682 he issued an edict by which all the money-lending activities carried out by the Roman Jews were to cease. However ultimately convinced that such a measure would cause much misery in destroying livelihoods, the enforcement of the edict was twice delayed.”
1648: During the great Cossack uprising which brought death and destruction to hundreds of thousands of Jews, Bohdan Khmelnytsky's forces overwhelmed and defeated Commonwealth forces under the command of Stefan Potocki at the Battle of Zhovti Vody.
1669: Birthdate of “Dutch Christian Hebraist Campegius Vitringa author of a Commentary on Isaiah and De Synagoga Vetere Libri Tres.
1746(26th of Iyar, 5506): Moshe Chaim Luzzatto passed away. Born in 1707, this Italian rabbi known by the Hebrew acronym RaMChal was noted philosopher and student of kabbalah.
1754: Fire ravaged the Ghetto in Prague.
1775(16th of Iyar, 5535):Veitel-Heine Ephraim who served as “Jeweller to the Prussian Court and Mint Mast under the Prussian Kings Frederick William I and Frederick the Great for whom he played a critical role in financing the Seven Years War passed away today.
1785(7th of Sivan): Rabbi Chaim Abraham ben Moses Israel of Ancona, author of “Bet Avraham” passed away.
1789: Birthdate of Michael Creizenach, the native of Mainz who edited the Hebrew periodical “Zion” with I.M. Jost and who was the father of Theodor Creizenach who followed in his literary footsteps
1790: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Warsaw
1799: Birthdate of Alexander McCaul the Dublin born Christian missionary who spent a decade in Poland trying to convert the Jews but who was no anti-Semite since he opposed the accusations of the “blood libel.” He returned to England where “he became professor of Hebrew and rabbinical literature at King’s College.”
1801: Birthdate of William H. Seward who served as Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson (1861-1869). Shortly after he assumed office, Seward met with Henry I. Hart, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites and assured him that he would continue the push to end the discrimination practiced by the Swiss against American Jews. In 1863, Seward instructed American diplomats to do all that they could to stop the attacks on the Jews of Morocco.
1807(8th of Iyar): Joseph Abraham Stelicki, Ger Zedek of Nikolai passed away today
1823: Birthdate of Heymann Steinthal the brother-in-law of Mortiz Lazarus who taught at The Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies.
1826: Birthdate of Danish banker and Member of Parliament David Baruch Adler.
1828: In Frankfurt, Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild of Naples and Adelheid Hertz gave birth to Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild, who would become head of the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild banking empire.
1845: Birthdate of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, also known as Eli Metchnikoff. Born in the Ukraine, he was a Russian microbiologist best remembered for his pioneering research into the immune system. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, for his work on phagocytosis. He passed away in Paris in 1916.
1853: The New York Times provided more information about outbreaks of violence that had occurred in Jerusalem during Holy Week (Palm Sunday thru Easter). A group of English missionaries were forced to leave the Church of the Holy Sepulcher because “they behaved in an unseemly manner when the Procession of the Host passed on Good Friday.” One of the missionaries delivered a sermon outside of a synagogue while the Jews were attending services in which he used “invectives” in talking about the Talmud. One of the Jews reportedly threw a dead cat at the missionary and a fight broke between the rest of the missionaries and the Jews who sought to defend their religious beliefs.
1853: The New York Times reported that the recent defeat of the Jewish Disabilities bill in the House of Lords had bitterly disappointed supporters of the measure since they had anticipated that the Lords would follow their usual path and approve legislation that had been approved by the House of Commons. The action of the Lords, according to the Times, shows the great gulf between the aristocracy and the rest of the citizenry. Despite the prominence of such families as the Rothschilds, “the Jew in England is no better off than he was in the days of King John.”
1853: The New York Times reported that thousands of Prussians including Alexander Von Humboldt have petitioned the Second Chamber (one of the two houses of their bi-cameral legislature) demanding that Jews be allowed to hold government jobs and allowing for full freedom of religious opinion. The petitions were in response to vote by the First Chamber to exclude Jews from public employment.
1854(18th of Iyar, 5614): Lag B’Omer
1854: According to an article published today the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews reported that there are 17 synagogues in New York City that show a membership totaling 25,000. The last census shows that there are 46,000 Jews in the entire United States. The society believes that the census figure is a case of underreporting because it only records people as being Jewish if they self-report. “It is a well-known fact that one-half or more of the Jews in this country call themselves Frenchman, German, Poles, Hungarians and Englishman and never make themselves known as Jews in governmental connections.”
1859: In London, “the first meeting of the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor was held at the Great Synagogue Chambers
1863(27th of Iyar, 5623): Jonas Ennery passed away. Born in 1801 at Nancy he became head of the Jewish school at Strasbourg. He served as a Deputy in the French Parliament and compiled a Dictionnaire Général de Géographie Universelle, He was the brother of Marchand Ennery, the chief rabbi of Paris.
1864: Birthdate of Nathan Birnbaum the Austrian journalist, Jewish philosopher and founder of a Jewish nationalist organization "Kadimah." Kadimah was formed ten years before Theodor Herzl became the leading spokesman of the Zionist movement. Birnbaum is credited for coining the term "Zionism". He died in 1937.
1864: In New York, the "Open Board of Stock-Brokers" adopted its constitution. Among the signatories was Mendez Nathan, the son of Seixas Nathan.
1868: President Andrew Johnson was acquitted in his impeachment trial in the United States Senate. According to one source, Johnson made several virulent anti-Semitic statements during his political career prior to becoming President. Considering the fact that the “Tarheel Tailor” was illiterate until adulthood, his anti-Semitic statements may be more a case of ignorance than anything else.
1869(6th of Sivan, 5629): Shavuot is celebrated for the first time during the Presidency of U.S. Grant.
1875: The Board of Trustees of B’nai Jeshurun met today in New York City and approved a proposal to allow members of the opposite sex to sit together in the same pews during services. This put an end to the separate seating that had been the rule at the synagogue since its founding. The decision would be contested by Israel J. Solomon a member of the congregation who brought a suit in the Court of Common Pleas to over-turn the decision. His suit would fail.
1877: As the constitutional crisis in France came to a head, 363 parliamentary deputies passed a vote of no confidence in the new government championed by Royalist President Patrice MacMahon. The leaders of the opposition would be defended by Raphael Basch a liberal French Jewish political leader and journalist. Basch was the father of Victor-Guillaume Basch who would be murdered by the Vichy French in 1944.
1880(6th of Sivan, 5640): Shavuot
1881: Birthdate of Amy Loveman, a founding editor of the Saturday Review.
1881: “A comic melodrama entitled “Sam’l of Posen, or The Commercial Drummer” premiered at Haverly’s Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York.
1888(6th of Sivan, 5648): Shavuot
1890: It was reported today that former President Grover Cleveland, Oscar Straus and Joseph Blumenthal will be among those who have purchased boxes for the upcoming Strawberry Festival, a fund raiser sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
1891: It was reported today that among the bequests made by the late Nathan Littauer were$1,500 to Mt. Sinai Hospital for the permanent endowment of a bed in memory of his daughter Louise; $1,000 each to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews; $500 to the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities.
1892: Justice George C. Barrett officiated at the wedding of Albert Kohn and Sophie Kupfer. The nuptials which were one of the most fashionable events in the Jewish community, took place at the home of Henry Kupfer on east 78th Street.
1893: George Kennan, the explorer and newspaper man who has become a critic of the Czar and advocate for Russian democracy stated his belief that Polish and Russian Jews will be coming to the United States as a result of the edicts of expulsion issued by the Russian government.
1893: “Myer S. Isaacs, Chairman of the Trustees of the Baron Hirsh Fund for the aid of Russian Jews” in the United States said today that he and his associates “had not considered the question of an influx of Polish Jews” because they did not except any abnormal increase in immigration from that region. (Editor’s note – Based on contemporary reports there was a great deal of disagreement about Russian edicts of expulsion and the potential major influx of Jews from Poland and Russia)
1894: It was reported today that while Herman Rosenblatt stood in the smoldering ruins of his crockery store, a local ruffian pointed at the Jew and shouted “There is the man who set the fire” causing a mob yelling “Lynch him” to chase after Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt outran the mob and found sanctuary in the 47th Street Police Station.
1896: In a cable from London, Harold Frederic provided a scoop for the New York Times when he broke the news about Baron Hirsch’s grandchild, who is the daughter of the Baron’s son Lucienne and a French governess. As confirmed by a copy of the Baron’s will, the child will inherit a large portion of the Hirsch millions.
1898:The Daughters of Jacob are hosting a Strawberry Festival at Terrace Garden for the benefit of a Home for Aged Hebrews of the down-town east side. They have already sold 3,000 tickets at fifty cents each, and have received presents of large quantities of goods that will be sold at the festival.
1898: Joseph J. Corn, the Vice President Temple Culture Society spoke yesterday about the purpose of the society. He said “that in these days of cheap philosophy and what has come to be known as ethical culture there is a need for Jewish culture. In an effort to combat the notion that religious education ended with confirmation, the society is holding weekly meetings devoted to the study of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy. Among other things, the programs should help Jews answer the question “Why are you Jews in this Christian world and yet not of it?”
1899(7th of Sivan): Jewish historian Jacob Ezekiel passed away
1903: At a meeting held under the auspices of the English Zionist Federal a resolution was adopted “declaring that the establishment of a home in Palestine was the only practical solution of the Jewish question.” Israel Zangwill had given an impassioned speech in support of the motion during which he invoked the bloody images of the atrocities committed against the Jews of Romania and Kishineff.
1904: Herzl's diary breaks off with a report to Jacob Schiff. Schiff was a successful banker and financer. He was one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the 19th and early 20th century. He actively intervened on behalf of the Jews suffering in Tsarist Russia. Although he had reservations about Zionism, he was increasingly drawn to Herzl’s concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine as a practical way of lessening the suffering of Russia’s Jews.
1909: Birthdate of Yehiel Feiner whom the world would come to know as Yehiel De-Nur or Dinur, a survivor of Auschwitz who used his experience as the basis for several books including “The House of Dolls.”
1911: Masliach Effendi of the Turkish government ridicules the idea that Jews could become a menace to Turkey. He suggests appointment of committee to examine the whole question of Zionism.
1912: Birthdate of Rita Kanarek. In her senior year at N.Y.U. she married Alex Hillman founder and President of Hillman Periodicals. Mrs. Hillman became president of the Alex Hillman Family Foundation where she pursued her passions as an art collector and philanthropist. Among the beneficiaries of her largesse was the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in Manhattan. She passed away at the age of 95 in November, 2007.
1912: Birthdate of author, historian and broadcaster, Studs Terkel. “My family was Jewish but not religious. My mother went through the rituals; my father didn't. He was a freethinker.” He passed away at the age of 93.
1914 20th of Iyar): Isaac Halevy (Rabinowitz) author of “Dorot ha-Rishonim” passed away
1916: Birthdate of Ephraim Katzir, former President of Israel. Born Katchalski in Kiev, Katzir came to Palestine in 1925. A biophysicist, Katzir taught at Hebrew University and served as department hair at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. One result of his research was the creation of a synthetic fiber for internal surgery that can be dissolved by body enzymes. He served as Israel's fourth President(a largely ceremonial position) from 1973 to 1978
1916: As the French and the British negotiated the post-war disposition of Ottoman Empire, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey sent a letter to Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador to the Court of St. James ratifying Cambon’s version of the partition that would eventually be known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
1916: The will of Shalom Aleichem was published in the New York Times and read into the Congressional Record of the United States.
1918: Two Jewish French journalists – Landau and Goldsky—expressed their desire to address the court today after having been sentenced to prison on charges of treason yesterday.
1919: Sir Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson “was created 1st Viscount Burnham of Hall Barn in the County of Buckingham.”
1919:The first Estonian Congress of Jewish congregations which had been convened on May 11 to discuss the new circumstances Jewish life was confronting came to a close today. This is where the ideas of cultural autonomy and a Jewish Gymnasium (secondary school) in Tallinn were born. Jewish societies and associations began to grow in numbers. The largest of these new societies was the H. N. Bjalik Literature and Drama Society in Tallinn founded in 1918. Societies and clubs were established in Viljandi, Narva, and elsewhere. In 1920, the Maccabi Sports Society was founded and became well-known for its endeavors to encourage sports among Jews. Jews also took an active part in sporting events in Estonia and abroad. Sara Teitelbaum was a 17-time champion in Estonian athletics and established no less than 28 records. In the 1930s there were about 100 Jews studying at the University of Tartu. In 1934, a chair was established in the School of Philosophy for the study of Judaica. There were five Jewish student societies in Tartu Academic Society, the Women’s Student Society Hazfiro, the Corporation Limuvia, the Society Hasmonea and the Endowment for Jewish Students. All of these had their own libraries and played important roles in Jewish culture and social life. Political organizations such as Hasomer Hazair and Beitar were also established. Many Jewish youth traveled to Palestine to establish the Jewish State. The renowned kibbutzim of Kfar Blum and Ein Gev were set up in part by Jews from Estonia.
1923: Birthdate of economist Merton Miller, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Economics.
1923: Birthdate of Manuel D. Plotkin, the native of Chita, Russia who was appointed Director of the Census Bureau by President Carter in 1977.
1923 In New Canaan, CT, Jewish immigrants Morris Yudain and Berta Jaffe gave birth to their seventh child, Sidney Lawrence Yudain the journalist who created “Roll Call.”
1923: The first aerial display in Palestine took place at Ramleh today, a squadron of 14 aeroplanes of the British Royal Air Force participating. The exhibition program included flying, air races, a baloon hunt, mimic air fighting and a bombing demonstration. The aerial derby was over the circuit of Ramleh, Raselain, Jaffa, Ramle... Lieut. Martyn, flying a Vickers Vimy biplane, won the air race covering a distance of twenty-seven miles.
1926: Dr. James Simon will preside over today’s celebration marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, a “German Jewish organization founded in 1901 to improve social and political conditions of Jews in Eastern Europe and Orient.”
1927: It was reported today that four thousand six hundred and twenty-eight persons are now living in 41 settlements in Palestine created by the Keren Hayesod, according to the latest figures given out by the Department of Agricultural Colonization of the Palestine Zionist Executive. Sixty-five per cent of this population are workers, and the remainder children. (JTA)
1928:Three Jews, who are reported to be Communists, were scheduled to be deported from Palestine. One of the deportees “was found guilty in Jerusalem of belonging to an illegal organization” while the other two were being deported after having served short jail terms for participating in “May Day riots in Tel Aviv.”
1929: In Baltimore, MD, Arnold Rice Rich and Helen Gravely Jones Rich gave birth to Adrienne Rich, a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work — distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity — brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century. Her father was Jewish. Her mother was not. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1929:The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoring the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, in Los Angeles, California. The awards, popularly known as Oscars, were created by Jewish movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation.
1932: The Nazis are demanding the removal of Bernhard Weiss from his post as the Vice-President of the Berlin Police Force. Their objections are two-fold: Weiss is Jewish and he ordered the arrest of four Nazis for their role in attacking a former Nazi named Schotz who had left the party.
1935: “A convention of delegates from national Jewish youth organizations will meet tonight in room 327 of the Chanin Building, 122 East Forty-second Street, to consider the syllabi which will be presented to the seminars to be held on June 9 at the Metropolitan Conference of Jewish Youth Organizations. The meeting, under the auspices of the youth division of the American Jewish Congress, will consider such problems as anti-Semitism, boycott of the 1936 Olympics, Zionism, Jewish youth and economic discrimination and Jewish education.” (JTA)
1936(24th of Iyyar, 5696): A bomb thrown by Arabs kills three Jews at the Edison cinema in Jerusalem. The Haganah demands permission to retaliate, but Ben Gurion refuses. The Edison Cinema was not just a movie theatre. It was a “citadel of secular European culture in Jerusalem. It opened in 1932 with a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” sung in Hebrew. The Edison was the third largest cinema in the city and popular sport for British soldiers and officials.
1936: “Steel helmeted police maintained comparative quiet in the Holy Land today following” demonstrations that had broken out yesterday when the Arab campaign of civil disobedience officially began.
1937(6th of Sivan, 5697): Shavuot
1937: The Polish government launched two investigations into the attacks on Jews that took place last week in Brzesc, which was known as Brest-Litovsk, the site of the peace negotiations between the Germans and the Russians that resulted with the latter surrendering to the former.
1937: Dr. Bernhard Kahn and David J. Schweitzer, European director and vice-president, respectively, of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee issued a report today that described“the role of the cooperative credit system established by the American Jewish Joint Reconstruction Foundation in aiding some 500,000 Jews in eleven European countries by facilitating issuance of $28,000,000 in credits in nine months
1938: The Palestine Post reported on the continued fighting between the police and British army units in the Acre District. At least 23 terrorists were killed there and numerous arrests were made. Jewish settlements repulsed numerous terrorist attacks, but complained that they were supplied with insufficient arms and too small a number of supernumerary constables for a successful defense. The Iraq Petroleum Co. pipeline was again set on fire.
1938: After two and half weeks of touring the country, Britain’s Palestine Partition Commission began its first official session. Because of the continued Arab violence, the meeting was held “in camera under heavy guard.’ While Arab leaders continued to boycott the commission, Jewish leaders Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok and Dr. Bernard Joseph met with the British to discuss possible implementation of partition proposals.
1943: The famous Tolmatsky Synagogue of Warsaw was dynamited by order of General Jurgen Stroop. It marked the last German "major operation" in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
1943:SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop reports the final liquidation of the Jewish ghetto at Warsaw, although some Jews remain in hiding. The Germans reportedly lost 300 troops.Amazingly the Jewish resistance had proved fierce, by comparison than that of the French Army in 1940. The number of Jewish dead does not matter, since they would have perished in the showers and ovens any way. Death was not the question; the manner of death was the matter of choice. There were a few survivors of the Ghetto, one of them being the mother ofMarshaFensin, the former Cantor of Temple Judah
1943(11th of Iyar 11): Yiddish author Chaim Zhitlowsky passed away
1944: The first ofmore than 180,000 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz.
1948: In New York City, the American Zionist Emergency Council sponsored a celebration of the creation of the Jewish state at Madison Square Garden that was so well attended 75,000 people had to be turned away.
1948: Based on a telegram from David Ben Gurion and Moshe Sharett, Abba Eban and not Mordechai Elisah, is to be Israel’s chief spokesman at the the United Nations.
1948: Israel issued itsfirst postage stamps.
1948: Chaim Weizmann was chosen Chairman of the Provisional State Council of Israel which effectively made him the first president of the State of Israel.
1948: The Egyptian army suffered its first defeat at Nirim, in the Negev.
1948: The Egyptians entered Gaza. They would not “leave’ until 1967.
1948:At approximately one o’clock in the morning Syrian artillery began shelling Kibbutz Ein Gev. At dawn, Syrian aircraft attacked the Kinarot valley villages. Later in the day “Syrian aircraft made bombing runs on Masada, Sha'ar HaGolan, Degania Bet and Afikim.” This was the opening round in the Syrian attempt to sweep the Jews from the Galilee. To any one observing events of that day, it would appear that the victory would go to the Syrians with their tanks, artillery and combat aircraft.
1948: Christopher Mayhew, the future Lord Mayhew, an anti-Zionist ally of British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, writes in his diary, “I must make a note about Ernest’s anti-Semitism, which has come out increasingly sharply these past few weeks with the appalling crisis in Palestine. There is no doubt to my mind that that Ernest detests Jews. He makes the odd wise-crack about the ‘chosen people’ and declares that the Old Testament is the most immoral book ever written…” This view of Bevin is fascinating when his role in enforcing the White Paper and his opposition to a Jewish homeland is being considered.
1948: An article published today “JEWS IN GRAVE DANGER IN ALL MOSLEM LANDS; Nine Hundred Thousand in Africa and Asia Face Wrath of Their Foes” described the precarious position of the 900,000 Jews living “Arab and Moslem countries stretching from Morocco to India.” “There is a tendency” in some Moslem states “such as Syria and Lebanon” “to regard all Jews as Zionist agents and fifth columnists. There are indications that that the stage is being set for a tragedy of incalculable proportions” which the United Nations has done nothing to prevent. These fears are based in part on Arab League announcements that at some unspecified date, “all Jews except citizens of non-Arab states, would be considered ‘members of the Jewish minority state of Palestine.’ Their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine.’ Jews believed to active Zionists would be interned and their assets confiscated.” In Syria, “virtually all” Jewish civil servants have already been fired and in Iraq Jews are not allowed to leave the country without posting a $20,000 bond to guarantee their return. However bad conditions are now, it is predicted that in the event of an all-out war in Palestine, “the repercussions will be grave for Jews all the way from Casablanca to Karachi
1949: Milton Berle appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.
1950:Out of a large collection of 120 styles of knit fashions brought to this country from Israel, for merchandising, forty were shown this afternoon at the Plaza Hotel to buyers. The presentation, under the auspices of Service for Palestine, Inc., 2 Park Avenue, was its first show to promote Israel-made products in the American market.
1955: Birthdate of actress Debra Winger, the star of “Officer and a Gentleman.”
1955: Birthdate of Edgar Bronfman Jr., CEO of Seagram and Warner Music
1960: Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
1965: In Canada, Dr. Victor Goldbloom was the first guest to appear on “Cross Country Check-up,” a Sunday afternoon radio show whose hosts have included Moses Znaimer.
1967: General Fawzi, the Egyptian chief of staff, sent a message to the commander of the UN Emergency Force, General Rikhye of the Indian Army requesting the withdrawal of the UNEF from Egypt. The Egyptian Foreign Minister sent a cable to U Thant, UN Secretary General tell him that the Egyptian government ad decided to immediately terminate the presence of UNEF in Egypt and the Gaza strip.
1968(18th of Iyar, 5728); Lag B'Omer
1969(28th of Iyar, 5729): Yom Yerushalayim
1969: Barbra Streisand appeared at a Friars Club Tribute
1969: In the Soviet Union, Boris Kochubievesky, a “refusnik” is scheduled to “3 yards hard labor” at the end of sham trial where he was accused of slandering the Soviet regieme.
1973: Birthdate of actress Tori Spelling.
1973(14th of Iyar, 5733): Famed Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz passed away. His body was flown to Jerusalem for burial.
1974: Birthdate of Adam Richman who earned an undergrad degree from Emory and a Master’s from Yale before pursuing a career as an actor and television personality.
1974: Despite a terrorist attack the previous day on a school at Ma’alot, Prime Minister Golda Meir tells Secretary of State Kissinger that talks with the Syrians will continue. After a one day hiatus, she says, “We had all better back to peacemaking.
1974: “Dybbuk,” a ballet based on the Ansky’s play created by Jerome Robbins using the music of Leonard Bernstein debuted at the New York State Theatre, Lincoln Center.
1975(6th of Sivan, 5735): Shavuot
1977: "Boulevard Montmartre, in the Afternoon Rain," by Camille Pissarro the son of Frederick Pissarro, a Sephardic Jew, was sold today, at Christie's in New York for $275,000
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in his 28th Annual State Comptroller's Report Dr. Yitzhak Nebenzahl called for a "Ministry of Administration." He said that while there are many links that tie people to its government, in Israel the administration is the weakest link in this chain. "A government," he explained, "is like an automobile. No matter how fine the car is, it will not ride well unless all four wheels are intact." The Report claimed a massive maladministration, and was specifically highly critical of the Treasury.
1982: Final broadcast of the 7th season of “One Day At A Time,” starring Bonnie Franklin.
1984(14th of Iyar, 5744): Comedian Andy Kaufman passed away. Born in 1949, Kaufman is best remembered for his many appearances on ‘Saturday Night Live’ andfor his portrayal of Latka on thetelevision hit “Taxi.” He was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer and was 35 at the time of his death.
1984(14th of Iyar, 5744): Irwin Shaw passed away at the age of 71. Born Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in 1913 in the Bronx, his Jewish immigrants from Russia changed the family to Shaw and moved to Brooklyn. After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1934, Shaw wrote scripts for radio shows including Dick Tracey. After serving in the Army during World War II, Shaw produced his "great American war novel" The Young Lions, which became the basis for a successful film of the same name.Among other works by this highly prolific writer was Rich Man, Poor Man which became a hit t.v. mini-series.http://www.irwinshaw.org/
1987: For the third and final night Leonard Bernstein conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the IPO’s 50thanniversary celebration
1987: Birthdate of Can Bonomo, the Turkish born Jewish singer who “represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 at Baku.
1990(21st of Iyar, 5750): Multi-talented entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. passed away at the age of 64. Born in Harlem in 1925, began his show business career at the age of four. Davis was the son of a popular vaudeville entertainer. He learned how to dance from the legendary BoJangles. He begandancing with the Will Mastin Trio and moved on to asinging career that included opening for Frank Sinatra. Davis was part of theRat Pack and starred with them in the cult classic “Ocean’sEleven.”During the 1950's Davis was in an automobile accident in which he lost his eye. It was during this period of his life than he converted to Judaism.He will be remembered not just for his talent but for his support of the Civil Rights Movement as well. (As reported by Peter Flin)
1991: The Los Angeles Times featured a review of “Wartime Lies,” the first novel written by Louis Begley. "Wartime Lies is the story of a ‘lucky’ little boy. Lucky goes in quotation marks; the child went through terror and degradation. On the other hand, no one in his small family of well-to-do Polish Jews went to a concentration camp. Only two--his grandfather and grandmother--were killed; he, his father and his aunt survived and were able to prosper after the war, even before emigrating.”
1993: A third revival of “3 Men on a Horse” featuring Jewish thespians Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Jerry Stiller and Ellen Green closed today in New York City
1994(6th of Sivan, 5754) First Day of Shavuot
1994(6th of Sivan, 5754): Shaul Ben-Tzvi, the second commander of the Israeli Navy passed away today. Born Paul Hamah Schulman in Connecticut in 1922 he graduated from the U.S. Navy Academy and served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during WW II. Following his discharge he worked to bring Jews to Palestine during the mandate and then helped to establish a naval arm for the infant Jewish State.
1999: Angela Warnick Buchdahl was invested as the first Asian American cantor. Two years later, she became the first Asian American rabbi.
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Return of Depression Economics by Paul Krugman and recently released paperback editions Aharon Appelfeld’s “The Iron Tacks,” the “Israseli novel…about a concentration camp survivor who wanders through Austria buying sacred books and other remnants of the Jewish culture that once flourshedthere while searingfor the Nazi officer who murdered his parents” and “Bronstein’sChildren”by Jurek Becker, “anovel about the psychic aftershocks of the Holocaust in which an 18yearold German Jew stumbles onhis father and two other camp survivors as they torture a former Nazi Guard.”
2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of “Part of Our Time: Some Ruin and Monuments of the Thirties” in whichMurray Kempton re-evaluate “the radical movements and personalities of the 1930’s focusingon such ‘ruinsand monuments’ as Paul Robeson, Whittaker Chambers, Algers Hiss and …Walter Reuther.”
2006: Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard received the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony in Washington.
2006: A French politician and his sister sued France's state-run SNCF railway for transporting their father and three relatives to a wartime transit camp that sent Jews off to Nazi concentration camps. Alain Lipietz, a Greens European Parliament deputy, and his sister Helene accused the SNCF of organizing the transport of French Jews to the Drancy transit camp near Paris and billing the wartime government for its services. Of the 330,000 Jews living in France in 1940, 75,721 were deported to death camps and only about 2,500 returned alive. Alain and Helene Lipietz told the court their father Georges had been sent by train in mid-1944 from Toulouse in southwestern France to Drancy, usually the last stop for French Jews before they were put on trains to the death camps. He was freed from Drancy on August 18, only days before Paris was liberated by Allied forces. The SNCF billed the state for that transport which came two months after Allied forced had landed in Normandy, the two plaintiffs said. "The SNCF charged for third class tickets for people who were crammed 200 at a time in freight cars meant to transport 60 horses," Helene Lipietz said. "These were cars without water, food or toilets and they were able to pass through Allied lines even as French territory was being liberated and someone could have stopped these convoys," Alain Lipietz added. The SNCF's lawyer, Yves Baudelot, said the railway could not be held responsible for the transports because it had no choice but to cooperate with German occupying forces during the war.
2007: Thomas Cole, Rose Dobrof, Marc Kaminsky, Penninah Schram, Mark Weiss, and Steve Zeitlin present “Stories as Equipment for Living: Last Talks and Talesof Barbara Myerhoff” at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.
2007: (28th of Iyar, 5767) Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Reunification Day; Celebrating forty years of the return of Jerusalem to its rightful place as, one, undivided city serving as the capital of the Jewish state. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.”(Psalms 137:5-6)
2007(28th of Iyar, 5767): Rabbi Mordecai Simon, chief administrator of the Chicago Board of Rabbis for thirty two years and host of the Sunday morning television show “What’s Nu?” passed away in Highland Park, Il, at the age of 81.
2007: Richard J. Pratt was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Medal for Corporate Citizenship. This is given to is executives who, “...by their examples and their business practices, have shown a deep concern for the common good beyond the bottom line. They are at the forefront of the idea that private firms should be good citizens in their own neighborhoods and in the world at large”
2008: At the Channel Inn in Washington, D.C., as part of the monthly meeting/luncheon of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia, The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington marks the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel with a series of book talks by Laura Cohen Apelbaum on Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community (the companion to the award-winning exhibit of the same name) co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel and the B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum.
2008(11th of Iyar, 5768): Ninety-three year Middle East scholar J. C. Hurewitz, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2008: "Furo" is being performed for the first time in Israel, in a special temporary pavilion designed by Giora Porter on the Tel Aviv Port boardwalk.
2009: The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division struck down a lawsuit that sought to prevent the state of New York from using eminent domain to seize the property where Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project is being built.
2009: Ronald Radosh and his wife, Allis Radosh, discuss and sign their new book, “A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel” at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.
2009:At the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in Bethesda, Md. Rabbi Shefa Gold, a leader in Aleph: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and a composer of six albums of Jewish liturgical music, reads from and discusses her new book, “In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs” (with illustrations by Phillip Ratner) followed by a Havdalah Service.
2009(22nd of Iyar, 5769): Mordechai Limon, the first commander of the Israel Navy, passed away today at the age of 85. “During World War II, he volunteered for the British Merchant Marine, where he learned the art of naval commanding, and after the war he commanded ships that brought clandestine immigrants to the Land of Israel in defiance of the British mandatory authorities. Limon is best remembered for his role in the Cherbourg Affair, directing the operation that brought five warships from France to Israel that French President Charles de Gaulle sought to prevent Israel from receiving, even though they had been paid for. Limon was subsequently expelled from France and retired from the Navy, becoming a private businessman.”
2009: An Israeli entrepreneur, Shai Reshef, who has started what is believed to be the world's first tuition-free on-line university said today “he hopes the effort will expand education to less fortunate people around the world.
2010:Linda Levi, Director of Global Archives for The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is scheduled deliver a talk entitled “The JDC Archives: Resources for Genealogists” in New York City.
2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finding Chandra:A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz and Innocent by Scott Turow.
2011: “2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey,” a two day symposium focusing on the Jews of Morocco, sponsored by The American Sephardi Federation is scheduled to come to an end.
2011:Rabbi Matthew Kraus, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Cincinnati is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “The Nature of Jewish Life in America” in which he explores “the impact of the move to the suburbs on Jewish spiritual life--how Jews pray, how Jews practice, and how Jews relate to the Almighty”
2011: Rabbi Matthew Kraus, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Cincinnati is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “History of the JQC (Jewish Queen City)” which traces the history of Cincinnati’s Jewish community “from its humble origins to the glory days of Plum Street Temple and the Manischewitz Baking Company to the start of the Big Brothers organization at the turn of the century and so much more!”
2011:Tonight, the Great White Way of Broadway will light up as stars, including Dudu Fisher and Tovah Feldshuh, perform in “Broadway Sensation,” a benefit celebrating Israel’s future. The event, which will raise proceeds for the Jewish National Fund, the OR Movement and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, will be broadcast live in Times Square, and feature over 100 performers from popular shows including Wicked, The Scottsboro Boys and Next to Normal.
2011: Rahm Emanuel took the oath of office today to become Chicago’s 46th mayor and the first mayor of The Windy City.
2011: “Vidal Sassoon Interview” published today.
2012: A screening of “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio.
2012: Professor Steven Bowman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled Italian Hebrew Renaissance of the 10th-11th Centuries at Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio
2012: Movie critic Carrie Rickey is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled Untold Stories:The Films of Aviva Kempner Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.
2012: Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer is scheduled to perform at the Washington DCJCC.
2012: During an interview today, Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress said that his organization is urging European governments to quickly adopt measures to tackle anti-Semitism and the threat of right-wing extremist.
2012: David Levin beams with joy as Elizabeth Levin graduates from Columbia Medical School after which this accomplished young woman will begin a vascular surgery residency at UCLA.
2012: Pierre Moscovici began serving as Minister of Finance in France.
2013: The Weiner Library is scheduled to host Ray Farr’s film “A Different World” which “concentrates on the vibrant lives of Polish Jews before their arrival at the Third Reich’s killing centers.”
2013: As part of the Books That Shaped America Series, Professor Pamela Nadell, the recipient of the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award will lead a discussion of Jacob Riis’ How the Other Lives which among other thing presented an accurate picture of the Lower East Side, home to tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.
2013: The Poetry Festival at Metulla, Israel’s most northern town is scheduled to come to an end today.
2013: The annual Indigo Festival, a huge dance fest on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is scheduled to begin today.
2013(7thof Sivan, 5730): Second Day of Shavuot/ Yizkor
2013: Ademonstration staged by the radical Eda Haredit organization turned violent tonight, with haredi protestors throwing rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police, injuring at least eight officers, two of whom were taken to hospital in moderate condition.
2013: Michelangelo had it right. Most synagogues around the world have it wrong. The two tablets of stone, divinely inscribed with the 10 Commandments and bestowed upon Moses at Mount Sinai, did not have the rounded tops familiar from their depictions in most houses of worship and popular art since the Middle Ages. And the Chabad (Lubavitch) Hassidic movement is encouraging synagogues to correct the misrepresentation. Rabbi Menachem Brod, Chabad’s spokesman in Israel, noted today that the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, accurately depicted the two tablets as perfect squares as early as the 1940s, in writings for Chabad youth, and said many Chabad synagogues now feature the accurate artistic representations of the tablets. He said the image of the tablets had been skewed over the centuries in Christian tradition, and it was time for the Jews to reclaim the true representation of the two stones.
2014: A Shabbat Weekend Retreat in memory of Rabbi Betzalel Jacobson OMB 1stYarhrzeit is scheduled to begin in West Des Moines, Iowa.
2014: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled a talk by John Izbicki, author of Life Between the Lines: A Memoir during which he will talk about the horrors of Kristallnacht that he experienced at age 8 and his family’s escape to the U.K. in 1939.