763: Thirteen years after coming to power, the Abbasids defeated the Alids at the Battle of Bakhamra, ending this challenge to their Caliphate. The Abbasid Dynasty lasted for approximately 500 and ruled an area extending from Central Asia on the east to North Africa on the west which meant they controlled all of the Jewish communities outside of Europe. They built Baghdad and according to some, power in the Jewish world shifted to those living in this new Moslem power center.
1188: After hearing Archbishop of Tyre Josias describe Henry II Plantagenet of England and Philip II of France set aside their differences and agree to “take up the cross” The monarch impose a “Saladin Tax” (one tenth of earnings over the next 3 years) which can be avoided by those who join the Crusade. Of course for the Jews, there is no escape so they will be despoiled by the monarchs as well as by the marauding Crusaders. 1189: Philip II, Henry II and Richard Lion-Hearted began gathering the forces for The Third Crusade. The Third Crusade took an exceptionally harsh toll on the Jews of England. Although the third crusade became famous in song and fable, it was a failure. Unfortunately, it did not end the crusading spirit. More crusades would follow which meant more misery for the Jews of Europe and the Middle East.
1306: Phillip the Fair of France issued secret orders today for his officials to prepare for the expulsion of his Jewish subjects and the confiscation of their property. Phillip found that his treasury had been depleted by his wars with the Flemish and he saw this as a way of replenishing his treasury. Under the terms of the expulsion any Jews found after the July 22, 1306 (10thof Av) were to be executed
1393:The Jews of Majorca were guaranteed protection by the governor who “issued an edict for their protection, providing that a citizen who should injure a Jew should be hanged, and that a knight for the same offense should be subjected to the strappado.”
1495:Isaac ben Judah Abravanel and King Alfonso sailed from Naples to Mazzara near Sicily. The city of Mazzazra was given as a gift from Ferdinand of Spain to Alfonso. While there, news reached both Abravanel and Alfonso that Charles VIII had taken Naples. The French rioted against and looted the Jewish community almost wiping it out. Many Jews were sold as slaves, and many were forced to convert to Christianity. Abravanel later wrote, "My entire enormous wealth was stolen."
1527: Jakob van Hoogstraten, the Dominican priest who burned Hebrew books belonging to Johannes Reuchlin, a friend of the Jews, passed away today.
1596(21st of Shevat): Rabbi Judah Leib Hanlish author of Vaygash Yehuda, passed away
1727(28thof Tevet, 5487): Abraham de Fonseca the native of Hamburg who “graduated in medicine from Leyden University” and was the son of Joseph ben Joshua de Fonseca passed away today.
1749: Birthdate of Chaim Volozhin, a disciple of the Valna Gaon. Also known as Reb Cahim he was the founder of the Volozhin Yeshiva, which provided the “template” for similar academies throughout much of what was at that time part of Poland and the Russian Empire.
1793: Prussia and Russia signed a treaty that portioned Poland. All of a sudden, Russia had a large Jewish population, something which her rulers had not bargained for and did not want.
1812: Birthdate of Moses Hess, Born in Germany, Hess, was an author, socialist and forerunner of the Zionist movement. In his book Rome and Jerusalem published in 1862, he expressed the belief that German anti-Semitism was based on race and nationhood. He advised Jews to accept the fact and revive their own state in Eretz Israel. Hess, a socialist, had worked with Marx and Engels. He grew disillusioned with the idea that a "progressive society would eradicate anti-Semitism." He passed away in 1875.
1829: In Prague, Abraham and Judith Eidlitz gave birth to Markus Eidlitz who emigrated to the United States in 1846 where he gained fame as Marc Eidlitz, a leader in the New York construction industry.
1831 (7th of Shevat, 5591): Author Achim von Arnim passed away. Von Arnim was not Jewish but he incorporated the Golem into his works thus helping this Jewish myth to move into the general European culture.
1841: Birthdate of Edward Rosenwasser, the native of Bohemia, who gained fame as Edward Rosewater the Republican Party leader and editor of the Omaha (Nebraska) Bee. Rosewater played a minor role in one of the great moments of U.S. History – the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. While serving as the telegrapher at the White House, he was the one who actually sent President Lincoln’s words out over the wires to the world.
1847: Birthdate of Lionel Jonas Cohen, oldest brother of famed musician Frederic Hymen Cowen.
1858: Birthdate of Joseph Krauskopf, the native of Prussia who came to the United States in 1872 and enrolled in the first class of Hebrew Union College in 1875.
1860: Punch reported that a dispute has broken out between two Jewish businessmen – Lazarus Simon Magnus and Henry Guedalla – over control over the Great Eastern Steamship Company. In one exchange of letters, Mr. Magnus challenged Mr. Guedalla to a duel.
1861: David Levy Yulee, the first Jew elected to the United States Senate withdrew from that body when Florida seceded and joined the Confederacy. Yulee, who married a Christian and raised his children in the faith of his wife, then joined the Confederate cause as a Senator.
1863:Union General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck wrote to Grant to explain the rescission of the order #11, stating that "The President has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which, I suppose was the object of your order; but as it in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it." Captain Philip Trounstine of the Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, being unable in good conscience to round up and expel his fellow Jews, resigned his army commission, saying he could "no longer bear the Taunts and malice of his fellow officers… brought on by … that order." The officials responsible for the United States government's most vicious anti-Jewish actions ever were never dismissed, admonished or, apparently, even officially criticized for the religious persecution they inflicted on innocent citizens. 1864: Birthdate of Israel Zangwill the noted Anglo-Jewish author and Zionist whose literary career in the United States was launched when he wrote “Children of the Ghetto.
1864: Apparently Jews were a significant part of the population of Utah since in a report from Great Salt Lake City, it was noted that “there are two subjects…which Jew and Gentile..consider of more than ordinary importance” when it comes to legislative action – bills concerning mining claims and general corporation.
1868: Birthdate of “German poet, writer and publicist” Ludwig Jacobowski.
1871: It was reported today that a popular Jewish peddler named Frank who sold to customers throughout Queens County, New York, has died of wounds inflicted by an unknown assailant who shot him while traveling to his home in Flushing. Since nothing has been found missing, authorities assume that the motive was not robbery but no suspects are in custody at this time.
1871: Establishment of Emanuel Jewish Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa. The site is adjacent to the northwest corner of WoodlandCemetery at Woodland and Harding, just northwest of downtown Des Moines.
1874(3rdof Shevat, 5634): Daniel Joseph Jaffe died in Nice, France. Jaffe had settled in Belfast in 1852 where he had become a successful businessman. He was the father of Otto and Martin Jaffe. Martin bought a plot Belfast’s City Cemetery for his father’s internment. This plot was the origin of the city’s Jewish Cemetery.
1877: The 25th annual meeting of the B’nai Brit of the United States began in Cincinnati, Ohio with 100 delegates in attendance.
1878:Birthdate of Simon Glazer, the native of Lithuania who served as the Rabbi for Congregation Bnai Israel in Des Moines, Iowa from 1902 to 1905 before moving on to congregations in Toledo, Montreal, Seattle, Kansas City and New York City. He passed away in 1938.
1882: The BILU Movement took root in Russia. The Russian students at the University of Khrakovformed their own Zionist group called BILU (initials for House of Jacob Let Us Rise and Go) which called for active settlement of the Eretz Israel by agricultural pioneers. The first group of 14 arrived July 6 the next year, hiring themselves out as agricultural laborers. They believed it was possible to start a worldwide movement to encourage settlement in Eretz Israel.
1883(13th of Shevat): Rabbi Eliezer Landau, author of Dammesek Eliezer passed away
1884: Birthdate of Roger Baldwin, the protégé of Louis Brandeis who was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that has been of immeasurable importance to Jews over the decades.
1885: Rabbi David Levy presided at the marriage of J.S. Pinkussohn and Miss Ray Foot of Newberry, SC.
1887: Henry M. Stanley left London for Cairo as he prepared to lead “The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.”
1887(25thof Tevet, 5647): Alfred Alvarez Newman, the London born founder of the Old English Smithy whose “collection of Jewish prints and tracts was exhibited at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition and who fought to save the old Bevis Marks synagogue because of its historic significance passed away today.
1887: Birthdate of Wolfgang Kohler. “Kohler was the only non-Jewish psychologist who ever protested against Germany and the Nazis. He was not afraid to make his thoughts about them very public which could have cost him his life at a very early age. He was lucky that he was not thrown into a prison and killed off for the things he said about Germany and the Nazis”
1890(29th of Tevet, 5650):Rabbi Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler put on his tallit and t’fillin, aided by Joseph Vangelder, his faithful servant for twenty years. He said the Sh’ma with a clear and unhesitating voice and at 8.45 am breathed his last. Born in 1803, he was the Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the British Empire from 1845 until his death and one of the most prominent 19th century rabbi in the English-speaking world. (As reported by Rabbi Raymond Apple)
1891: It was reported that “there are not many Jews in the prisons or reformatories” of New York City. But based on the request from a board of local rabbis, a “salaried officer” will be hired to provide for the “spiritual care” the Jews that have been incarcerated.
1891: It was reported that “Abraham Tabber, Treasurer of a Hebrew Lodge and Cemetery Association in Elizabeth, NJ” has disappeared along with the funds in his care.
1891: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt and her company will be sailing from the French port of Havre for an upcoming performance in New York City.
1891: Louis May chaired a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El where the death of Lazarus Rosenfeld, its vice president was announced. Rabbi Gustav Gottheil “was appointed as a special committee of one to draft suitable resolutions expressing the sentiment and sympathy of the board” which will “be published in the American Hebrew, the Jewish Messenger, The New York Times and The New York Herald.
1892: A large number of paintings by Thomas Hicks whose works include copies of two portraits of Jews by Rembrandt hanging in the National Gallery of London are scheduled to be auctioned off this evening at the American Art Galleries on Madison Square. (There were those who mistakenly thought that the great Dutch painter was Jewish)
1892: As the battle over immigration in the United States intensifies, certain unidentified labor leaders said today “that protests of workingman were directed not against the Jews, in particular, but against further immigration” by any group such as the Chinese “as being hurtful to the welfare of the working classes.”
1893: “German-American Reformers” which was published today described the activities of the German American Association, an organization that worked to re-elect President Grover Cleveland which included efforts to attract the support of Russian and Polish Jews. Translations of letters by Carl Schurz and Grover Cleveland that had been addressed to Jews were printed in Hebrew in a quantity of one hundred thousand. Additionally, the association sent Jewish, Russian and German speakers to New York’s east side to address the immigrant voters.
1894: Based on information that first appeared in The Westminster Gazette, it was reported today that Sydney Grundy’s new play, “The Old Jew” which opened at the Garrick Theatre in London “seems to be a failure and is “one of the author’s worst plays.
1894: “A Great Education Work” published today described the twice a week evening lecture series inaugurated by the Board of Education in 1889 as an invaluable resource for elevating the known of the working class, especially among recently arrived immigrant’s. When attendance began to fall, the program was placed under the control of Dr. Henry M. Leipziger , the “well known…lecturer, educator and Director of the Hebrew Technical Institute.” “Since then, under his able supervision, the courses of lectures have prospered marvelously in popularity.”
1894: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt will perform in New York for six weeks following a six week stint by Eleonora Duse.
1894: It was reported today that the Rothschilds are forming schools to provide primary technical education for Jews immigrating to Palestine.
1895: Solon P. Rothschild represented Annie Winterman on charges that she had defrauded two men who were patrons of her matrimonial bureau.
1896: Oscar S. Straus, the former United States Ambassador to Turkey, delivered a lecture on “Religious Liberty” at a meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.
1897: It was reported that Mr. and Mrs. Moses May led the grand march that opened the 14th annual ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society. May, the society’s President, was fiiling in for May Wurster who had been originally expected to fill this role.
1898: Abraham Schlesinger is scheduled to be buried today at Cypress Hills following a funeral at his residence on East 53rd Street.
1896: It was reported today that Russian-American Hebrew Association adopted a resolution expressing support for the “patriots of Cuba” struggling to free themselves from “degrading…corrupt rule of the Spanish Government” while expressing “the opinion…that the United States…should not deviate from its policy of strict neutrality…but should take immediate steps to recognize the Cubans as a belligerent power.” (The Russian American Jews emotionally identified with the Cubans as another oppressed people but were savvy enough to know the dangers of expressing belligerency. All of this would be resolved two years later with the Spanish American War.)
1898: As ant-Semitic mobs continue to move through the streets of Paris, 500 angry students demonstrated in front of Emile Zola’s house.
1898: In Algiers, the troops have cleared the streets of anti-Jewish rioters and made 300 arrests in an attempt to restore law and order.
1899: Reports are published that Leopold de Rothschild was hurt when a branch hit his face, breaking his nose and injuring an eye, while the newly elected Member of Parliament was taking part in a hunt.
1899: Opel manufactured its first automobile. In 1931, General Motors acquired 100% ownership of the German automobile company.In 1998 General Motors hired historian Henry Ashby Turner, Jr. to investigate the wartime activities of Opel, its German subsidiary, which a group of Holocaust survivors was suing. His research led to the book General Motors and the Nazis: The Struggle for Control of Opel, Europe’s Biggest Carmaker published in 2005. Mr. Turner concluded that although Opel had made the morally dubious decision to produce engines for the Luftwaffe in 1938, by the time the war began General Motors had lost control of the company and therefore had no say in its production of military vehicles or its use of slave labor.
1899(10thof Shevat, 5659): Seventy-one year old Sarah Joseph Ullman the wife of Solomon Ullmann passed away today in Plymouth, UK.
1901 :Legendary American humorist Mark Twain addressed members of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls at their Annual Meeting on the issue of female suffrage. Speaking to a packed audience at Temple Emanu-El, Hebrew Tech’s then-President Nathaniel Myers introduced Twain, starting the ceremony off with an update about the school’s ongoing expansion efforts and an explanation of its unique purpose as the single society in New York City offering a vocational education to Jewish girls. Explaining women’s role in society as vulnerable in comparison to men’s, President Myers declared the work of the school to be vital in a world where girls were too often forgotten. When Twain took center stage, he said that he had been an advocate of women’s rights for many years and that he saw in this school "a hope for the realization of a project [he had] always dreamed of.” Women, he felt, were equally competent to vote. He went on to say that women had been making great progress in their crusade against discriminatory laws, but that what was needed next was for women to be the makers and enforcers of laws. As he saw it, men’s corruption in party politics was a disgrace to democracy, but he said he believed that if women were given the ballot, they would use their strength to vote down unworthy candidates and restore the morals on which states are built. Optimistic about the movement’s progress, Twain insisted that if he lived long enough that he would surely see women receive their voting rights and use them to enact positive change.” (As reported by the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women)
1903: Harry Houdini escaped from the police station Halvemaansteeg in Amsterdam.
1903: Herzl traveled to Paris.
1904: Birthdate of Latvian Nazi collaborator who hid out in Mineola, NY for almost forty years after WW II who was “brought to Justice by Israeli historian, author and Director of the Public Policy Center at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies” Zev Golan.
1907(6thof Shevat, 5667): Seventy six year old Italian linguist Graziadio Isaia Ascoli who in 1860 “was appointed professor of linguistics at the Accademia scientifico-letteraria in Milan and introduced the study of comparative philology, Romance studies, and Sanskrit” passed away today.
1908: Birthdate of Mordechai Surkis, the first mayor of Kfar Saba.
1910: The Angel Island Immigration Station opened today. Prior to the opening of the Immigration Station, immigrants landed directly in San Francisco. Jews immigrated through Angel Island primarily in two waves: in the 1920s from Russia to escape the Bolshevik revolution, and between 1938 and 1940, when German and Austrian Jews crossed Asia to flee the Nazis. In some ways, Angel Island was the Ellis Island of the West. But because of the politics and laws of its time, unlike Ellis Island, many immigrants were detained on Angel Island for weeks or months at a time, particularly Chinese and other Asian immigrants. According to Judy Yung, a retired professor at U.C. Santa Cruz and co-author of a new book about Angel Island’s history, Jewish immigrants had it better. The average stay for Russians and Jews on Angel Island was two to three days, and less than 2 percent were deported.“Overall, the Russian and Jewish experiences on Angel Island were very similar if not better than those of their counterparts on Ellis Island, where their rejection rate was almost twice as high,” she writes. “For the overwhelming majority who were coming to escape religious or political persecution, Angel Island was truly a gateway to the promised land of freedom and opportunity.” However, it wasn’t an easy gateway to pass through. Many immigrants — including Jews — were detained. In some instances, representatives from Jewish and Hebrew benevolent societies felt compelled to come to Angel Island to testify on behalf of Jewish detainees. In 1915, for example, one such representative spoke to immigration officials, telling them that “we always take steps to see that Jewish boys obtain work and do not become beggars.” After this, officials released eight Jewish detainees, according to Yung’s book. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society also stepped in to help, opening a Pacific Coast branch in San Francisco in May 1915 mainly to advocate for the increased number of Jews coming through Angel Island. In 1916, for example, when 17 Jews refused to eat the food served to them in the Angel Island dining hall during Passover, HIAS provided the immigrants with matzah and kosher-for-Passover food they could eat in their rooms. And in 1933, when a 54-year-old widower traveling with his two sons was detained on the island because officials thought he was “emaciated and frail looking,” HIAS offered a hand. HIAS helped round up $1,000 from other family members, and the father, who spent two months on Angel Island, was finally released. In another instance, a shoe-store owner from Vienna and his wife were held overnight because they were suspected of being an LPC, a “likely public charge,” meaning they would need government support to get by. They had come from Shanghai with just $22 to their name. But because they had the foresight to leave Germany with two fur coats worth over $2,000 — the Nazis allowed them to take goods but not money — they were able to convince the officials of their financial stability. “I was really struck by the resourcefulness of the Jewish immigrants,” Yung said during a phone interview. 1912: Birthdate of Konrad Bloch. The noted biochemist earned a Nobel Prize in 1964 for his studies of cholesterol
1912: “Y.M.H.A.” Dedicates Heinsheimer Annex” published today described the meeting of the National Young Men’s Hebrew Association where the Louis A. Heinsheimer Memorial Building which was a gift from Felix M. Warburg was dedicated along with the unveiling of a tablet memorializing the late Percival S. Menken “which has been placed at the west end of the swimming pool.
1913: At the request of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 156 women from 52 congregations around the country met in Cincinnati, Ohio, to create the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS). While local women's groups had been formed in individual synagogues in the 1890s, the NFTS was the first national body to bring these groups together. Though NFTS was initially envisioned as a federation of all synagogue sisterhoods, sisterhoods from Conservative and Orthodox synagogues formed their own national organizations within a decade, leaving the NFTS as a body of Reform Judaism. Differentiating itself from the National Council of Jewish Women and other social service groups, the NFTS focused from the beginning on women's roles in the synagogue. Early projects included sponsoring children's Chanukah and Purim parties in synagogues, beautifying synagogues for holidays, and supporting religious schools. The NFTS also raised money for rabbinical school scholarships, and played a leading role in creating the National Federation of Temple Youth. Though the NFTS usually sought to stay out of politics, sisterhood members were concerned from the beginning with the changing role of women in Reform Judaism. Leaders encouraged women to sit on synagogue boards, and instituted Sisterhood Sabbaths, when women could lead the service in some congregations. From an initial membership of 9,000 in 49 local chapters, the NFTS grew to 100,000 members in six hundred affiliates across the U.S., Canada, and twelve other countries by 1995. In recent decades, NFTS extended its earlier mandate beyond the domestic sphere to take a public role in such issues as civil rights, child labor legislation, capital punishment, and abortion rights. In 1993, NFTS was renamed Women of Reform Judaism, reflecting a desire to be seen not only as an auxiliary group, but as an organization that puts its members and their interests at the center of Reform Judaism.
1913: The annual meeting of the United States Chamber of Commerce opened in Washington, DC with S.S. Brill of St. Louis, MO in attendance as a delegate.
1914. Birthdate of Myer Samuel Kripke, the Toledo, Ohio native who served as the Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, Nebraska, and became friends with Warren Buffet.
1914(23rd of Tevet, 5674): Adolph Krakauer, a pioneer Texas merchant died of a heart attack today in El Paso. Born in Fürth, Bavaria, in 1846, this son of Joel and Babette (Elsasser) Krakauer was educated in the Latin schools and graduated from the Royal Commercial College of Fürth in 1862. He immigrated to New York in 1865 and was employed as a clerk there. In 1869 he moved to San Antonio, Texas, where he went to work for Louis Zork, a leading merchant. He married Zork's daughter Ada and became a member of the firm. Though he was presumably well established, he chose to move to El Paso in 1875, at a time when the town's population was listed as seventy-five Mexicans and twenty-five Anglos. There he clerked in the firm of Sam Schutz and Son and became manager when the business was sold; later he became a partner. In 1885 he sold his interest in the firm and organized the firm of Krakauer, Zork, and Moye with his brother-in-law, Gustave Zork. The company became a leading wholesale hardware dealer in the Southwest, with a branch in Chihuahua, Mexico. Krakauer also became president of Two Republic Life Insurance Company, the Krakauer-Zork Investment Company, and the Mountainside Realty Company and director of the First National Bank and the Rio Grande Valley Banking and Trust Company. He also owned extensive real estate in El Paso. He served as county commissioner and alderman and was elected mayor as a Republican after a bitter election campaign in 1889. He never assumed the office, for it was discovered he had not taken out his final citizenship papers. Krakauer was a leader in Jewish community activities and served as president of Temple Mount Sinai. He spoke fluent Spanish.
1915: As of today, the American Jewish Relief Committee for Suffers from the War has collected $320,097.36
1915: “Final arrangements were made today for the public hearing President will host on the Immigration Bill tomorrow in the East Room of the White House where the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Hebrew League of Boston will be among those speaking in opposition to the proposed legislation.
1915: In Chicago, at today’s final session of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Committee on General welfare “reported than 400,000 Jews are serving in the various armies of Europe.”
1916: In Paris, Jacques Henri Bloch and Suzanne Levi-Strauss gave birth to Denise Madeleine Bloch who worked as agent with the French Resistance and SOE before being captured and murdered by the Nazis at Ravensbruck.
1918(8th of Shevat, 5678): Sixty-four year old Emil Jellinke, the highly successful Austrian businessman who put the “Mercedes” in Mercedes Benz, passed away today.
1918:Following the lead of Reform Jewish sisterhoods, and at the behest of Solomon Schechter, Conservative synagogue sisterhoods joined together to form the National Women's League of the United Synagogue. The founding president of the League was Schechter's wife, Mathilde Roth Schechter. Mathilde Schechter, born in Silesia and educated in Breslau and London, had married Solomon Schechter in 1887 and came to the U.S.in 1902, when Solomon was appointed president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The Women's League was just one in a line of significant projects for Mathilde Schechter. Before establishing the League, she had helped to establish a Jewish vocational school for girls on the Lower East Side of New York, and had helped to publish a hymn book called Kol Rina — Hebrew Hymnal for School and Home. The Women's League's mission was to promote traditional Judaism in homes, synagogues, and communities. In line with that goal, one early project was the establishment of a kosher boarding house for Jewish students in New York City. Other projects included publications providing guidance on domestic religious ritual as well as traditional recipes and music. In addition, the League became involved with social action from an early date, taking an especially active role in the Jewish Braille Institute. The League, now called the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, has grown from an original one hundred women in 26 sisterhoods to 150,000 members in 700 sisterhoods. As it has since the beginning, the League continues to be involved in public policy issues, including women's health, literacy, and foreign policy. Since 1972, the League has also helped to support sisterhoods in Masorti(Israeli Conservative) congregations.
1919:Submission of the Tentative Report of the Intelligence Section of the American Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference
1920: Having escaped from the clutches of the “Whites” in Odessa Sholom Schwartzbard arrived back in Paris today.
1921: King Constantine donates 10,000 Drachmae for the relief of Jewish sufferers of the fire in Salonica.
1921: Birthdate of Barney Clark. Clark was the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart, an operation that was performed at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky.
1923: Birthdate of Annemarie Dinah Gottliebova, the native of Brno, Czechoslovakia, who was shipped to Auschwitz with her mother where she bartered her services as a portrait painter for her life and her mother’s life. After the war, as Dina Babbit, she spent the past several decades trying to retrieve her paintings from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1924(15thof Shevat, 5684): Tu B’Shvat
1924: Birthdate of comedian Benny Hill. “Roses are reddish, Violets are bluish If it weren't for Christmas, We’d all be Jewish.”
1924: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin Russian leader died of a stroke at the age of 54. Lenin’s death brought a power struggle between Stalin and Trotsky to a boil. Stalin would triumph and anti-Semitism would become as much of a staple for the Commissars as it had been for the Czars.
1927: Two funeral services were held today for famed philanthropist Lee Kohns. Bishop Thomas F. Failer of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Tennessee conducted the first service at the family’s Manhattan home. Dr. Samuel Schulman of Temple Beth-El presided over the grave side service in Beth-El Cemetery at Cypress Hills.
1927: Bernard Baruch is among the members of a delegation representing the Board of Directors of City College’s Alumni Association that is attending today’s funeral of Lee Kohns who graduated in 1884.
1927: At 10:30 this morning, classes were halted for five minutes at City College in memory of Lee Kohns.
1927: The will of Lee Kohns was filed for probate this afternoon after having been read at his funeral. The estate is worth about $3,000,000. While the will the leaves generous bequests to charity, the bulk of the estate will go to his wife and their children.
1928: While serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill receives a request from Chaim Weizmann for a loan intended to assist the Jewish population in Palestine in a manner consistent the aims of the Mandate. The loan would gain the support of Lord Balfour but would be rejected by the Cabinet in a move that had a whiff of anti-Semitism.
1931 (3rd of Shevat, 5691): Composer and pianist Felix Blumenfeld passed away at the age of 67 in the Soviet Union. Born in 1863 Blumenfeld taught Vladimir Horowitz. Blumenfeld’s work was
primarily a product of pre-revolutionary Russia. 1931: Isaacs Isaacs, the first Jew to serve as Chief Justice of Australia completed his term of office. He was the third person to fill this position.
1933: Birthdate Itzhak Fuks, the Israeli El Al captain who would die when his plane crashed in Amsterdam 1992.
1934: The New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem suggests that “the division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab canton with each of these peoples living as a separate entity” would be “a solution to the Arab Jewish problem.” Based on reports from other sources, the Arab canton would include Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa while the Jewish canton would be limited to Tel Aviv, which virtually an all-Jewish city any way, and a narrow strip of land stretching from Betsian to Tiberias to the swamps around Lake Huleh.
1938: The Romanian government strips Romanian Jews of their citizenship.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that an Arab from Hebron, sentenced to death by the Military Court, confessed that he participated, 11 days earlier, in the murder of John Starkey, one of the most distinguished archaeologists working in Palestine.
1938, fifteen of the San Fernando Valley’s 100 Jewish families (15/100 = 15%) met in a private home and, to put together religious services and establish a Sunday school for kids and a social club for adults, founded the Valley Jewish Community Center
1941: Birthdate of Plácido Domingo the Spanish tenor “who spent three years” in Tel Aviv “in the early 1960’s…where “he learned the basic tenor repertoire before embarking on an international career.
1941: After observing a three-day anti-Semitic rampage in Bucharest by the SS-supported Iron guard in Romania, the Romanian Jewish writer Mihael Sebastian wrote, “The stunning thing about the Bucharest bloodbath is the quite bestial ferocity to its…the butchered Jews were hanged by the neck on hooks normally used for beef carcasses. A sheet of paper was stuck to each corpse with the notation “Kosher Meat.”
1941: In Rumania, the Iron Guard raided thousands of Jews, destroyed hundreds of shops, and looted or burned twenty five synagogues. In addition, 120 Jews were cruelly tortured and killed.
1941: Bulgaria enacted its first anti-Jewish measures.
1942: In the Vilna Ghetto, the Jews established the United Partisan Organization (Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye, FPO), the only organization in the ghettos that included all the Zionist youth movements.
1942: U.S. premiere of “Nazi Agent” an American spy film directed by Jules Dassin.
1943: In Warsaw, the Germans opened fire in the ghetto. Resistance was given by Jews seizing weapons and firing from rooftops with only 10 pistols. The Germans retreated after twelve were killed.
1943: “After seizing 5,000-6,500 ghetto residents to be deported, the Germans suspended further deportations.”
1943: Over the next four days, two thousand Jews from
Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, are deported to Auschwitz. Some 1760 are gassed on arrival, including patients from the Jewish mental hospital at Apeldoorn, Holland, as well as about 50 of the hospital's nurses who accompany the patients to lessen their terror. 1944: Birthdate of Professor Stefan Reif the distinguished academic from Edinburg who was the founding director of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit
1945: Ninety-six Hungarian Jews interned at Auschwitz and working at a quarry at Golleschau, Germany, are sealed inside a pair of cattle cars labeled "Property of the SS." Half of the prisoners freeze to death as the train travels aimlessly for days. At Zwittau, Germany, the cattle cars are detached from the train and left at the station. Manufacturer Oskar Schindler alters the bill of lading to read "Final Destination--Schindler Factory, Brünnlitz." After unsealing the cars at his factory, Schindler frees the Jews;
1945: Birthdate of Andrew Stein, President of the New YorkCity Council.
1945: As Soviet troops approached, Arno Lustiger left Blechhammer, a subcamp of Auschwitz as part of the “death march” that was supposed to end at Gross-Rosen Concentration camp in Lower Silesa.
1948:Golda Meir's speech to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds helped raise $50 million for the Haganah at a critical moment in Israel's fight for independence.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported on the worsening security situation along the country's borders, especially the Jordanian-Israeli no-man's-land dividing Jerusalem. This security deterioration, infiltration and frequent robberies may have been directly influenced by an intensified anti-Israeli activity of the Arab states at the UN General Assembly. Jordanprevented any cement or building materials from being transported to the Israeli enclave on MountScopus, urgently needed there to repair damaged buildings, claiming that Israel wished to fortify the enclave. The 9,000-ton British cruiser, HMS Kenya, steamed into HaifaPortfor a three-day unofficial visit.
1954: Letters of administration were granted to Richard Samuel because his father Bernard Samuel, the former mayor of Philadelphia, passed away without leaving a will. The estate of the man who served as mayor from 1941 until 1952 is worth approximately $50,000.1954: The U.S.S. Nautilus, America’s first nuclear powered submarine is launched at Groton, Conn. Admiral Hyman Rickover is considered to be the godfather of the nuclear Navy.
1954: During a cabinet debate over Egypt’s decision to bar ships going to Israelfrom using the Suez Canal, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden is able to make a case for the Arab state’s behavior.
1959 (12th of Shevat, 5719): Film pioneer Cecil B. DeMille passed away, His father was an Episcopalian. His mother, Matilda Beatrice Samuel, was the daughter of parents of “German Jewish heritage.” For most Jews he is the man who gave the world Moses in the guise of Charlton Heston.
1961: At the Ambassador Theatre in New York, after 102 performances, the curtain came down on “The 49th Cousin” featuring Marian Winters as “Tracy Lowe.”
1964(7th of Shevat, 5724): Austrian born American actor Joseph Schildkraut passes away at the age of 68. He won an Oscar in 1937 as Best Supporting Actor. Younger audiences may remember him as the father in “Diary of Anne Frank.”
1968: Simon & Garfunkel released the Original Soundtrack to “The Graduate,” which quickly went to #1 on the pop charts and which will bring Paul Simon a Grammy for Best Original Score.
1971: Twenty one year old Annie Leibovitz’s photograph of John Lennon appeared on today’s issue of Rolling Stonemagazine.
1974(27th of Tevet, 5734): Lewis L Strauss passed away at the age of 78. Strauss was a Republican which was unusual at that time and he headed the US Atomic Energy Commission under President Eisenhower from 1953 until 1958.
1976: In France, premiere of “Assassination in Davos” film based “on the assassination of the Swiss Nazi Wilhelm Gustloff by David Frankfurter in 1936.”
1979: Final performance of “The Girl From Tel Aviv” starring Israeli singer Mary Soreanu took place at the Hotel Diplomat in New York. Surprisingly, this Israeli play is written Yiddish with only a few words of Hebrews. The show was written by Moshe Tamir, with music by Shaul Berzowski
1982: In one of those reminders of the prominent role Jews have played in the world of the Broadway musical a revival of “Little Me” a musical written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh opened today at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre.
1983:TheBollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Anthony E Hecht.
1985: Ronald Reagan is publicly inaugurated for his second term as U.S. President. January 20 was a Sunday, so the public ceremony was delayed for twenty-four hours. During his second term Reagan awarded Elie Weisel with a Medal of Freedom. Much to the dismay of Weisel and other Jews, during his second term he also visited Bittberg Cemetery where SS Soldiers were buried. Last but not least, the Iran-Contra Affair which involved Israel in some rather strange arms deals took placed during Dutch’s second term.
1989(15thof Shevat, 5749: Tu B’Shevat
1990: Shimon Peres, the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, arrived in Prague today on the first visit to Czechoslovakia by an Israeli minister since ties between the two countries were cut in 1967.
1991:Orders to stay home from work were canceled for the rest of Israel today, but not for Tel Aviv, which appears to be the main Iraqi target. Scud missiles came down here Friday and Saturday with miraculously little effect and no deaths thus far; one hit the only vacant lot for blocks, another an empty bomb shelter.
1991: Topol, who left his starring role as Tevye the milkman in the Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof," to return to Israel explained the reasons for his decision today. “Speaking by telephone from his home in Tel Aviv, where his son and daughter were visiting, said: ‘I really felt I should be where my heart is, with my friends and family and all the people I grew up with. I hope I can contribute something to the Israeli morale.’"
1992: Yuval Ne’eman, a Likud MK, completed his terms as Minister of Science and Technology.
1992: Israeli physicist Yuval Ne’eman completed his term as Minister of Energy and Water Resources.
1992: William Caldwell Harrop, who was appointed to his post by President Bush, presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
1993: Mervyn Taylor completed his service as Minister for Labour.
1993: In Ireland, Mervyn Taylor began serving as Minister for Equality and Law Reform.
1994: The future of the New England Patriots was settled in New England's favor when Robert Kraft, a Jewish Boston businessman who bought the team's Foxboro Stadium six years ago, won a bidding war that included a nominally higher bid from a group that hoped to move the team to St. Louis.
1997: Steve Grossman began serving as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
1999 (4th of Shevat, 5759): Actress and author Susan Strasberg passed away at the age of 60.
2000:Maria Paasche, who helped Jews escape from Nazi Germany on the back of her motorcycle and whose father and brothers conspired to kill Hitler, died today in a San Francisco nursing home. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Black, White and JewishAutobiography of a Shifting Selfby Rebecca Walker.
2001: One day after leaving the White House, former President Bill Clinton said that Jack Quinn, a former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore and a former counsel to President Clinton, had persuaded him to grant pardons to Marc Rich and Pincus Green, but he did not elaborate and he referred questions to Mr. Quinn. Mr. Quinn referred calls to Robert F. Fink, a partner in the Manhattan law firm Piper, Marbury, Rudnick & Wolfe who said he believed the president had been convinced that the criminal charges against the men had not been justified.
2002: As Arab violence continued the Associated Press reported that the governor of the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Izzedine Sharif, said today that about 100 tanks and armored personnel carriers took part in a raid on his town making it the largest raid on a Palestinian town in 16 months of fighting. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
2003:Today at Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic played with its namesake from Israel for the first time in more than 20 years, and Lorin Maazel conducted Mahler's First Symphony, with the New York and Tel Aviv musicians sharing desks.
2003:Edward Gene "Ed" Rendell began his first term as Governor of Pennsylvania.
2004: David Appel, a prominent real estate developer with ties to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was indicted today. He is charged with having tried to bribe Mr. Sharon starting in the 1990’s when Sharon was the Foreign Minister. Specifically, the Israeli court indicted the real estate developer on charges of paying roughly $700,000 to Mr. Sharon's son, Gilad, in the hope of bribing Mr. Sharon.The indictment raises potentially serious legal and political issues for Mr. Sharon and prompted political opponents to call for his resignation.
2004(27thof Tevet, 5764): Eighty seven year old Hedi Stadlen an “Austrian Jewish philosopher, political activist, and musicologist who was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka” passed away today.
2006:Hundreds of Venezuelan intellectuals expressed "shock and consternation" in a public condemnation of allegedly anti-Semitic remarks made recently by President Hugo Chavez. "These dangerous tendencies must be denounced and combated before our society loses its humanity," the group of 250 intellectuals, writers, artists, journalists and others said in a full-page letter published in the major Venezuelan daily El Nacional. Chavez in a Christmas Eve speech last month said: "The world has enough for all. But it turned out that some minorities, descendants of those who crucified Christ, descendants of those who threw Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, there in Colombia, a minority took the world's riches for themselves
2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section opened with a review of Power, Faith And Fantasy:America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren. Oren is a prolific author who received a Ph.D. from Princeton. He served as Director of Inter-Religious Affairs under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and is currently a Senior Fellow at the ShalemCenter in Jerusalem. The Sunday edition of the Washington Post book section also featured “a conversation” with Norman Mailer discussing The Castle in The Forest, excerpts from the late Art Buchwald’s Too Soon To Say Goodbye, the last literary work of the humorist “dictated from his hospice chair” and the latest excerpt from the novel Jezebel’s Tomb by David Hilzenrath.
2007: The SundayNew York Times book section featured a review of Norman Mailer’s The Castle In The Forest“a remarkable novel about a young Adolph Hitler and his family.”
2007: The London Sunday Times book section featured a review of Rome & Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman in which the author asks “Was there anything intrinsic in Jewish and Roman society,” he asks, “that made it impossible for Jerusalem and Rome to coexist?”
2007: The Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times featured reviews of Mailer’s The Castle in the Forest and Daniel Hurwitz’s Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics.
2008: In Manhattan, screenings of “His Wife’s Lover” which was billed as the “first Jewish musical comedy talking picture,” staring popular stage comedian Ludwig Satz in his only screen performance and “Santa Fe” a film depicting the plight of exhausted Jewish immigrants desperate to begin a new life who arrive on a ship in New York harbor in 1940.
2008: As part of plans to celebrate the efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton to save Jewish children from Czechoslovakia at the outbreak of WW II, plans for the “Train Prague-London Project” were announced today.
2009(25th of Tevet, 5769):Charles Hirsh Schneer, a noted film producer who for a quarter-century helped the Oscar-winning special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen lay waste to Washington, San Francisco, Rome and many other places, passed away today in Boca Raton, Florida at the age of 88.(As reported by Margalit Fox)
2009 The Jewish community will be represented in the Prayer Service at National Cathedralby Reform Rabbi David Saperstein, Conservative Rabbi Jerome Epstein and Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York.
2010(6thof Shevat, 5770):Lawrence Garfinkel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who helped design landmark studies that linked smoking to lung cancer, died today in Seattle. He was 88. (As reported by Denise Grady)
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York Premiere of “Human Failure,” a documentary directed by Michael Verhoeven “that reveals the expropriation and sale of Jewish assets that benefited innumerable citizens of the Third Reich.
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Ultimatum,”
“a tense melodrama adopted from Valérie Zenatti's 2006 novel” that “authentically recreates the eerie wartime mood that consumed Israeli society in January 1991.”
2010:Authorities say a misunderstanding about a Jewish prayer ritual led to the diversion of a US Airways flight to Philadelphia today. City police Lt. Frank Vanore said a 17-year-old boy on the plane was using tefillin. Tefillin is a set of small black boxes attached to leather straps and containing biblical passages. One box is strapped to the arm; the other box is placed on the head. Vanore said the crew on US Airways Flight 3079 questioned the teen, who explained the ritual. Still, the pilot decided to land in Philadelphia. The flight had left La Guardia airport in New York this morning bound for Louisville, Kentucky. It landed without incident in Philadelphia around 9 a.m. Vanore said the teen has been very cooperative with law enforcement.
2010: The Washington Post features a review of Koeslter: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic by Michael Scammel, a biography of Arthur Kosetler.
2011: At Bloomfield, Michigan, The Jewish Community Center is scheduled to host a concert performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host a Tu B'Shevat Seder Dinner with Karina where attendees can celebrate the birthday of the trees while welcoming Shabbat.
2011: In Washington, DC, Theater J Middle East Festival is scheduled to present “Argentina Reading.” Argentina is a new work by Boaz Gaon in which “the Israeli daughter of a ‘disappeared’ Argentinean Jew visits the former Ambassador to Argentina hoping to discover what became of her father 20 years earlier during the junta’s rise to power.”
2011: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was moved from the University Medical Center in Tucson to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, Texas where she can continue her rehabilitation following her nearly fatal shooting two weeks ago.
2011:The funeral for Sonia Peres is scheduled to be held on today at 11:00 am at the Ben Shemen Youth Village cemetery.
2012: “Daas” – a period drama that explore the influence Jacob Frank, the false messiah -- is scheduled to have its U.S. premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2012:Comedian Dave Goldstein is scheduled to appear at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Baton Rouge (LA) Film Festival and the Polo Grill and Bar/ The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in Lakewood Ranch, FL.
2012: “Mahler on the Couch” is scheduled to be shown at the Las Vegas (NV) Jewish Film Festival.
2012: IAF aircraft struck a site in the southern Gaza Strip this morning, after three mortar shells were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
2012: A soldier guarding a military post at the Susya settlement in south Mount Hebron fired warning shots in the air after a Jewish resident approached the post without identifying himself. 2012: This afternoon a Palestinian man stabbed a Border Guard officer near the Shufat Refugee Camp in north-east Jerusalem. 2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed former Communications and Welfare Minister Moshe Kahlon as the new chairman of the Israel Land Authority.2013: On the eve of the elections in Israel, “Well-Meaning Idiots” is scheduled to be shown at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.2013: Anthony Russell, Anthony Coleman, & Michael Winograd are scheduled to present a medley of Hebrew, Yiddish, Yemenite, and African-American songs in a Contemporary Jazz Setting at the JCC in Manhattan2013: In what may seem like some kind of political symbiosis, President Obama takes the office of office publicly as Israel prepares to choose a new government.2013:When Dan Margalit, the top commentator at the daily free sheet Israel Hayom, opened the newspaper this morning, he was likely surprised to see that the commentary he had written the night before did not appear in its usual spot on the front page. Nor did it appear on the second page or the third. In fact, he had to rifle through the paper quite a bit to find his commentary – on page 37. According to some reports, this was as a result of criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu (As reported by Barak Ravid)2013: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dangled the prospect of cheaper housing in front of voters in one of his last press conferences before tomorrow’s election. 2014:The Lawrence Family JCC is scheduled to host “The Poetry of Hayyim Nahman Bialik” an evening in which “Gabriella Auspitz Labson will discuss selected poems by Israel's national poet, Hayyim Nahman Bialik. Eileen Wingard will play some melodies to which Bialik's poems have been set.”
2014: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to “attend a joint meeting of the Israeli and Canadian governments before accompanying Prime Minister Netanyahu to Yad Vashem
2014: “The Women Pioneers” and “Before the Revolution” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2014: In an interview published in the New Yorker magazine, President Obama said that "The Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as Arab anti-Semitism dog reconciliation between Arab nations and Israel, even in the face of a common threat from Iran.” (As reported by JTA)
2014: Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party said today that Prime Minister Netanyahu “appreciates the wisdom of making peace with the Palestinians” but does not have the “guts” to seal the deal.
2014: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has close ties to Egypt’s Salafi movement, claimed that it was behind the rocket attacks that struck Eilat yesterday.
2015(1stof Shevat, 5775): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
2015: “The Battle of Algiers” and “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: Yivo and the Museum of the City of New York are scheduled to present “Behind the Lens: New York Jews between the Wars.”
2015: “The Counterfeiters” which tells the story of Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch” is scheduled to be shown at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA.
2015: In Little Rock, Lubavitch of Arkansas led by Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to offer “The Art of Parenting.”
1167(23rdof Shevat, 4927): Ibn-Ezra passed away at the age of 78 in Calahorra which was on the border between Navarre and Aragon. There is no way that any entry could do justice to this Sephardic writer, philosopher, scientist and most important of all, world traveler.
1521: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opens the Diet of Worms. The Diet of Worms would vote to declare Luther an outlaw, banning his literature, and requiring his arrest” and require that he be punished as a heretic. Ultimately this would lead to warfare between Charles and the rebellious Germanic princes who supported Luther. This outbreak of fighting would determine who “the real Charles was” when it came to dealing with Jews. Charles wore two hats or should we say, crowns. As King of Spain, he was the grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, following in the footsteps, the monarchs who brought the inquisition to Spain and expelled the Jews in 1492. But as Holy Roman Emperor “he had issued a letter of protection for Germany’s Jews” and “did not tamper with the privileges extended by previous Emperors to his Jewish subjects. When the fighting broke out, Spanish troops came to Germany to support Charles against the rebellious Protestant princes. When the Jews complained that the Spanish troops were treating them in the “Spanish manner,” the Emperor issued an order to end the molestation of the Jews. So in this instance Charles worse his “German Hat” and ironically it was a better deal for the Jews of that time and place.
1561: Birthdate of Sir Francis Bacon. According to one “myth” the Earl of Leicester was Bacon's actual father and he had as his physician the magician and Jew Dr. Frederigo Lopez who was the insipiration for “the Jew of Malta.”
1621: William Prynne, the English jurist and political leader who opposed allowing the Jews to return to England graduated from Oxford with a B.A.
1648: Rabbi Shabbetai ben Meir ha-Kohen completed the manuscript for Nekudat ha-Kessef
1689: As the British wrestled with the issue of whether or not James II was still their ruler, the Convention Parliament met today. By now Jews had been re-admitted to the kingdom but their numbers were small and they played no active role in the meeting. But the ultimate outcome certainly had an impact on their future as citizens of the United Kingdom.
1729: Birthdate of Gotthold Lessing, German poet, philosopher and playwright. Although a strong believing Christian, he advocated religious tolerance. His plays, such as “Die Juden” which appeared in 1749, portrayed the Jews as decent, admirable people. Lessing was a close friend of Moses Mendelssohn, who provided the inspiration for the character of Nathan in “Nathan the Wise” a play whose sympathetic portrayal of the Jews earned it the distinction of being banned by 18th century Christians and 20th century Nazis.
1752(6th of Shevat): Talmudist Rabbi David ben Joseph of Breslau, author of Shoresh Yosef, passed away
1755: Birthdate of Abraham Flesch, father of Moravian born businessman Joseph Flesch who “translated several of the writings of Philo into Hebrew.”
1755: Marshal Oscar von Lubomirski demolished the Jewish homes built on the outskirts of Warsaw in a community called “New Jerusalem”. After the demolitions were completed, all of the Jews were expelled from Warsaw
1775: Pope Pious VI reinforces all existing anti-Jewish legislation as part of his campaign against liberalism. He passed away in 1781.
1780: In Nemyriv, Ukraine, Chaya Lane and Rabbi Naphtali Hertz Sternhartz gave birth Nathan Sternhartz, known as Nathan of Breslov, “the chief disciple and scribe of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
1814(1st of Shevat, 5574): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1814(1st of Shevat): Rabbi Eliezer ben Joseph of Alton, author of Mishnat de Rabbi Eliezer passed away today
1814(1st of Shevat, 5574):Raphael Bischoffsheim passed away Mayence. A merchant and prominent philanthropist, he was born at Bischofsheim-on-the-Tauber in 1773. He went to Mayence during the French Revolution, and from a small merchant became a purveyor to the army. Bischoffsheim was well thought of by his co-religionist and served as was president of the Jewish community of Mayence.
1818(1th of Shevat, 5578): Tu B’Shevat
1832: Birthdate of Alonzo Barton Cornell, who while serving as 27th Governor of New York appointed Meyer Isaacs to serve as a Justice of the Marine Court.
1837(Shevat 15): Rabbi Jacob Simon Sofer of Cracow, author of Maor Shemesh passed away.
1840: British colonists reach New Zealand. According to Maria Weiss, Jewish merchants began arriving in New Zealand in the 1830’s. By 1840, there were approximately 30 Jews living in the colony including David Nathan who helped found the Jewish community in Aukland and Abraham Hort who helped found the Jewish community in Wellington.
1855: In Schweidnitz, “well known Jewish physician Dr. Mortiz Neisser” and his wife gave birth to Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser a German physician who discovered the causative agent (pathogen) of gonorrhea, a strain of bacteria that was named in his honour (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).”
1856:Twelve Bavarian, Dutch, and Portuguese Jews, who “had originally organized in 1855 as the United Brethren Society, a benefit society that provided members with medical and burial assistance” met today in Brooklyn to discuss plans for the incorporation of their group as a synagogue. Their efforts would bear fruit in March of 1856 with the founding of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes. (בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַנְשֵׁי אֱמֶת, "House of Israel – People of Truth"), the first synagogue formed on Long Island and “the oldest continuously operating synagogue in Brooklyn.” Today Baith Israel is “commonly known as the Kane Street Synagogue, an egalitarian Conservative synagogue on Kane Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
1861: The New York Tribune expressed its displeasure with the decision of Hiram Ketchum and Professor Samuel F.B. Morse to invite Rabbi Raphael to deliver an address saying that “when men are out of money they go to the Jews but we never would have expected to find” them “so short of speech as to be obliged to ask Rabbi Raphael to speak for them.”
1863: The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement was to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth from Russian occupation.It is estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 Jews participated in the uprising. Approximately 400 of them lost their lives while several hundred more were exiled to Siberia by the Russians when the uprising failed.
1864(14thof Shevat, 5624): In Berlin, 70 year old Baruch Auerbach “the founder and life-long director of the Jewish Orphan Asylum” who believed that "Orphans are not merely poor children, but children without parents; to raise and bring them up, an orphan asylum should give those children not merely bread and a shelter, but parental love also, and practical training” passed away today.
1870: Rabbi Lewin conducted the first Shabbat morning service at the newly formed Temple Israel. Services were held in the building owned by the YMCA in Brooklyn. Dr. Samuel Adler of Temple Emanu-El delivered the sermon. The service was conducted in English and the sermon was delivered in German.
1871: Birthdate of composer Leon Jessel. Jessel died at the hands of the Gestapo in 1942.
1874: New Jersey authorities took Abraham Levy off of the Hamburg steamer Silesia before it sailed this afternoon. The Jewish businessman has been accused by his partner of stealing $2,200 from their Baltimore, MD business.
1875: Ferdinand Hitzig, the German student of the Bible who spent 28 years writing commentaries published separately on The Psalms (1835–1836; 2nd ed., 1863–1865), The Minor Prophets (1838; 3rd ed., 1863), Jeremiah (1841; 2nd ed., 1866), Ezekiel (1847), Daniel (1850), Ecclesiastes (1847), Song of Solomon(1855), and Proverbs (1858) and who contended that the 5thand 16th chapters of Isaiah were written by the prophet Jonah mentioned in the Book of Kings passed away today. 1876: In Brooklyn, Balbina Rahner (née Bugel) and Gebhard Rahner gave birth to Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner who gained fame as Bess Houdini, the stage assistant and wife of the great Houdini.
1878: A Jew named William Yandaw was held as a material witness after he accused Annie Walker of stealing $35 from him.
1880(9thof Shevat 5640): Abraham Ashkenazi, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine whom the Sultan named “Hakam Bashi” and who was decorated by Emperor Frank Josef when he visited Jerusalem, passed away today.
1883: In Seligman, Missouri, named for Joseph Seligman, “a fire broke out at the Exchange Hotel which destroyed it completely along with a large part of the town.”
1890(1st of Shevat, 5650): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1891: Baron Hirsch signed a deed of trust in the presence of the Consul General of the United States in Paris and the Vice Consul that gave control of $2,400,000 to a group of prominent New York Jewish community leaders who would use the funds to aid recent Russian and Romanian immigrants to the United States.
1891: Birthdate of painter Moise Kisling. Born in Poland, he moved to France in 1910. Here he developed his style and gained fame and popularity. Kisling was decorated by the French for heroism during World War I. He passed away in 1973.
1892: In Paris, Noemi Allatini Bloch and Adolphe Bloch gave birth to Marcel Bloch, the great French airplane designer who changed his name to Marcel Dassault after suffering the vicissitudes of World War II
1892: “Too Much Immigration” published today described the impact of foreign workers arriving in the United States including that in New York, the Russian Jews “had practically crowed the Germans out of the clothing industry by working for lower wages” but who were no in turn were being crowded out by the Italians who were willing to work for even less and that in New England Jews were crowding the “Cannuks” out of the mills by working for less just as the Canadians had crowded out the Irish.
1893(5th of Shevat): Seventy-four year old historian David Cassel who was active in “Wissenschaft des Judentums or Jewish Studies which refers to a nineteenth-century movement premised on the critical investigation of Jewish literature and culture, including rabbinic literature, using scientific methods to analyze the origins of Jewish traditions, passed away today.
1893: It was reported today that Temple Emanu-El has donated “over 3,500 books, pamphlets and manuscripts” to Columbia to serve as the foundation for the schools “library of Hebrew literature, philology and religion.”
1893: John Edelmann, the socialist-anarchist architect who had worked for Dankmar Adler addressed a meeting at the Hebrew Institute in New York City held to protest the Panama Scandal now rocking France
1893: Birthdate of actor Conrad Veidt who is remembered for his role of Major Strasser in the famous World War II film, “Casablanca."
1894(15thof Shevat, 5654): Tu B’Shevat
1894: Professor Knapp of Barnard College was scheduled to give a lecture this evening at the Hebrew Institute.
1894: As economic conditions continued to worsen R.H. Macy & Co which was owned by the Straus family sent $1,355.85 to the Charity Organization in New York for the second week in a row.
1895(26th of Tevet, 5655): Edward “Teddy” Solomon passed away today six months before his 40th birthday. An accomplished pianist and conductor, Solomon was a noted composer of comic operas in the manner of Gilbert and Sullivan.
1896: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn hosted its 13th annual charity ball which was held this evening at the Academy of Music.
1897(19thof Shevat, 5657): David Orbansky, Civil War veteran and winner of the Medal of Honor passed away today following which he was buried in Columbus, Ohio.
1898: A meeting of anti-Dreyfus and anti-Zola demonstrators is scheduled to be held in Paris’ Latin Quarter today.
1898: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered an address about “Jewish Immigration” at dinner tonight at Delmonico’s that celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the Legal Aid Society in New York City.
1898: “Barnato: The Man’s Life and His Fortune in Diamonds” published today provides a review of Barney Barnato: A Memoir by John Ward.
1899: It was reported today that J. Ernest G. Yalden is Superintendent of the Baron de Hirsch Technical Schools and A.S. Solomons is the general manager of the school.
1899: Founding of the English Zionist Federation
1899: It was reported today that the Baron de Hirsch Technical Schools, which has limited admission to Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrants are now accepting “Jews of all nationalities.”
1899: Birthdate of Czech born American historian Guido Kisch who specialized in the history of the Jews during the Middle Ages.
1899: The Federated Hebrew Trade Unions sent delegates to today’s meeting of a newly formed labor organization known as the Central Federated Union.
1899: It was reported today that John T. O’Brien who had been supplied with a job and card for free lodging by the United Hebrew Charities claimed that he been the victim of a “badger game”’; a charge for which there was no evidence. (O’Brien had not been asked to provide any proof that he was Jewish when he applied for assistance, indicating that the Jewish charity supplied people who were not their co-religionists.)
1901: King Edward VII followed his mother Queen Victoria to the British throne. Edward counted several Jews among his friends and “inner circle,” something that did not sit well with much of the British aristocracy. Even more important, was Edward’s willingness to intervene on behalf of the Jews of Russia. In a state visit, he approached his cousin, Czar Nicholas II, about the matter. Cousin Nicky ignored “Bertie.” English political leaders expressed dismay at the King’s behavior. But for the Jews, Edward would become a hero. His all too short reign came to an end in 1910.
1901: Following the death of Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill writes to his mother speculating on what changes will take place in the behavior of the Prince of Wales now that he is king. Churchill wonders if King Edward will “scatter his Jews or will Reuben Sassoon be enshrined among the crown jewels and other regalia?” The King would keep his Jewish friends including “the Baghdadi-born Jew Reuben Sassoon.”
1901: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacob and Bertha Mack gave birth to Richard Jacob Mack.
1904: Herzl is received by Rafael Merry del Val the Papal Secretary, who promises to take into consideration the matter of supporting the Zionist aspirations.
1905: The Sunday New York Times Magazine publishes the first three chapters of an unfinished novel by the late Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield.
1905: Birthdate of Karola Bloch, the German architect, left-wing political activist and wife of Ernst Bloch.
1907: Salome, Op. 54, an opera in one act by Richard Strauss which he dedicated the opera to his friend Anglo-Jewish financier Sir Edgar Speyer had its New York City premiere.
1908: Birthdate of physicist Lev d Landau who won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
1909: Sleah Merrill, the clergyman who worked as an archeologist for the American Palestine Exploration Society, excavating the second wall of Jerusalem and served as the United Counsel in Jerusalem three times between 1882 and 1907 passed away. “A virulent anti-Semite” he opposed Jewish settlement in Palestine, a view which was adopted by many in the United States State Department.
1911:At the annual meeting of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society several speakers including Jacob Schiff and Judge Leon Sanders condemned the Gardner Immigration bill, which proposed to add an educational test clause to the exclusion laws and severely criticized the special boards of inquiry on Ellis Island.
1911: In New York City Agnes Elizabeth Meyer, who was Lutheran and Eugene Meyer, who was Jewish gave birth to Florence Meyer who gained famed as Florence Meyer Homolka, the noted photographer who was the wife of actor Oscar Homolka.
1911: Birthdate of Bruno Kreisky, the first Jewish Chancellor of Austria. He died in 1990.
1912:Dr. Benzion Mossinsohn, a representative of the Gymnasium of Jaffa, spoke to a very large audience at Cooper Union tonight on the work of that school, the first strictly Jewish school to be established in Palestine for 2,000 years. Dr. Mossinsohn was given an enthusiastic welcome when he was introduced by Dr. Harry Friedenwald of Baltimore, Honorary President of the Federation of American Zionists. The lecture was in Yiddish.
1913:The new Hebrew Union College buildings were dedicated at Cincinnati, Ohio.
1915: Birthdate of Samuel J. Popeil, inventor of the Veg-O-Matic.
1915: It was reported today that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has selected Washington, DC to be the site of their 1917 national meeting.
1915: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the Hebrew League of Boston and a delegation of Jews from New York are among those who will be attending the meeting in the East Room of the White House where President Wilson will hear the pros and cons of the proposed immigration bill which the Jews oppose because of the literacy test.
1915: The trial of Dan H. Lehon, C.C. Tedder and Arthur Thurman who have been indicted for subordination of perjury in matters related to the case of Leo Frank which was supposed to have begun today has been postponed.
1915: “Turks and Germans Expelling Zionists” published today described the apparent intention of “Djemel Pasha, the Turkish commander in chief of the army intended for the attack on the Suez Canal” to systematically destroy “the entire of work of Jewish colonization built up by the labors of thirty years and the expenditure of millions of pounds.”
1915: It was reported today that more than 5,000 refugees from Jaffa and other parts of Palestine are in Alexandria where they could be joined by almost 80,000 mostly Russian Jews whom the Central Powers seem determined to drive out of the country.
1915: According to tonight’s announcement “by the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs of which Louis D. Brandeis is Chairman” about 4,000 Jewish refugees from Jerusalem, Jaffa and Beirut have “fled to Alexandria” with about “5,000 more on their way.” 1915: Leo Frank was scheduled to be hung today. (The execution would not take place thanks to a write issued by the U.S. Supreme Court following arguments by Louis Marshall)
1918: Birthdate of Idea Weiner, the wife of Manfred Erich Swarsensk who after being imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp came to the United States in 1940 where he served as “Rabbi for Temple Beth El, a Reform congregation in Madison, Wisconsin.
1918: In Vienna, Ida and Siegfried Reginald Wolf gave birth to Elfriede Julie Wolf
1918: Moishe Zilberfarb completed an 18 month stint as Deputy-Secretary of Jewish Affairs in the General Secretariat of Ukraine, the main executive institution of the Ukrainian People's Republic.
1922: Pope Benedict XV passed away. During World War I in response to the request of American Jews to alleviate the suffering of Polish Jews, Benedict issued a letter which was published in “Civilta Cattolica” denouncing anti-Semitism. In 1917, he spent 45 minutes with Zionist Nahum Sokolov discussing the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1923: The Golden Jubilee Convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations opened at the Hotel Astor in New York City.
1924: When the Labor Party in Great Britain formed its first government, Josiah Wedgwood was named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.
1926: The House of Representatives District Committee which effectively governs the District of Columbia “decided not to report” the Kosher Law proposed by Congressman Samuel Dickstein which is similar to a law in his home state of New York.
1928: In "Homeland of Habima,"published today, William Schack described the current state of theatre in Palestine. According to him "Palestine is as poor as east side tenement" with a population divided into three linguistic groups speaking English, Arabic and Hebrew. In the past year, the only English performances were by amateurs who stage a few "ace actors." During the same period, the only Arabic offering was a performance of Carmen. Other than that, Schack has not hear of "any Arabic theatre in Palestine."
1929: Yehudi Menuhin is scheduled to receive “a Stradivatius and Tourte body” from Henry Goldman, a member of Goldman, Sachs and his wife. (As reported by JTA)
1929: Birthdate of Lotte Therese Newman, the Frankfurt born British physician who “became the first woman and the first Briton to serve as President of the International Society of General Practice” and President of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
1930: In Winnipeg, Cantor and Mrs. Alexander Steinberg gave birth to Ben Steinberg, the noted Canadian musician who served as director of music at the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.
1931: Sir Isaac Isaacs, the son of a British tailor, was sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia.
1931: Silent screen star Alma Rubens, whose father was Jewish and whose mother was not, passed away.
1933: Birthdate of basketball star Leonard Robert "Lennie" Rosenbluth, who played forward on the North Carolina team that won the NCAA Championship in 1957 and went on to a pro career with the Philadelphia Warriors.
1934: In the Bronx, Hannah (née Kleiman) and Joshua Charles Azenberg gave birth to Emanuel “Manny” Azenburg, the Bronx native who gained fame as a theatrical producer who worked with playwright Neil Simon for over three decades.
1935: Today when the High Commissioner for Palestine, Brig. Gen. Sir Arthur Wauchope, opened a valve that inaugurated the British section of the gigantic enterprise, crude oil that had been pumped 600 mile through the new desert pipe line from the Iraq oil fields flowed into a tanker moored in the Bay of Acre off the coast of Palestine.
1935: Birthdate of American actor Seymour Cassel.
1938:An appeal for continued support of the Jewish colonization movement in Palestine in a time of renewed persecution of Jews in Rumania, Germany and Poland was voiced in Washington tonight by speakers before the National Conference for Palestine, meeting in observance of the completion of twenty years of Jewish settlement in the Holy Land.
1941: “Drive Slows Down” published today that the “fall off in donations for the $60,000 campaign of the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal is causing grave anxiety on the part of the campaign executives including Councilor Max Seigler.
1941:Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal adviser to the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the executive body that is cooperating with the British Government asserted that Jews in Palestine “are facing the paradox of supporting Prime Minister Churchill's war effort completely and yet being at odds with British administration” over issues related to the establishment of Jewish homeland including immigration and land ownership.
1941: The British army has renewed its recruiting efforts aimed at Palestinian Arabs and Jews. The new recruits will be used for sentry and other similar guard duties which would release other British infantry regiments for use in active combat roles in North Africa.
1941: In Lublin, Poland; Hans Frank told his fellow Nazis, "We...cannot be asked to have any consideration left for the Jews."
1941: The Iron Guard revolt in Rumanialed to the first massacre of Jews there during World War II.
1941: The Law for the Defense of the Nation is imposed by Bulgaria, forcing Jews to give up public posts and forcing Jewish doctors, lawyers, and other professionals to forfeit their jobs. Also, a selective tax is imposed on Bulgaria's Jewish shops and homes. 1943: This was Rivka Libeskind first Shabbat in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The women, who had just recently arrived at the camp, lit candles and sang Shabbat melodies. Women who had lived there for years wept and joined the prayer session 1943: During Operation Tiger in Marseilles, France, Nazis seized more than 4000 Jews for deportation over a four day period. At nearby Les Accates, 29 Jewish children were seized at La Rose Orphanage. Their guardian, Alice Salomon, insisted on remaining with them. Marseilles had had a reputation as being the Jerusalem of the Mediterranean.
1943: The Jewish ghetto at Grodno, Belorussia, is liquidated
1943: A death train that originated in Grodno, Poland, on January 17 erupts in violence at the Treblinka death camp when 1000 Jews armed with boards, knives, and razors attack guards. By morning thousands of Jews who had been on the train are dead, killed by Treblinka SS troops armed with machine guns and grenades
1944: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9417, establishing the War Refugee Board. The Board is committed to enforcing the policies of the U.S. government regarding the rescue and relief of victims of persecution.
1945 (8th of Shevat, 5705): Seventy-five year old Else Lasker-Schüler passed away in Jerusalem (As reported by Sigrid Bauschinger)
1946: Birthdate of Malcolm McLaren, the British born manager of the musical group “The Sex Pistols.”
1946: Following the “blasting of a British installation” the British imposed a stern, tight sunrise-to-sunset curfew on the entire Hadera district of the Palestine coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
1947(1st of Shevat, 5707): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1947: At Dachau the Flossenburg War Crimes Trial came to an end with “all but 5 of the defendants were found guilty, 15 of whom were condemned to death, 11 were given life sentences, and 14 were jailed for terms of 1 to 30 years.
1947: Léon Blum completed his term as the 128th prime minister of France.
1947: The British government decided today that it would turn the Palestine Problem over to the United Nations since it could not get the Jews and Arabs to accept a common solution.. However, the British would not make their decision public for another six weeks.
1948: Birthdate of London born historian Bernard Wasserstein, who studied with Anna Freud and whose works include The British in Palestine and Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945.
1948: Birthdate of Brooklyn born conductor Sir Gilbert Levine.
1949: During a debate in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, leader of the Opposition, attacked Foreign Minister Bevin for his “astounding mishandling of the Palestine problem” that could only be described as “gross and glaring.”
1951(15thof Shevat, 5711): For the first time during the Korean War, observance of Tu B’Shevat.
1953: The Arthur Miller drama ''The Crucible'' opened on Broadway
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that East Germany had started probing the 'Jewish descent' of its officials and public figures and that the National Zeitung, an organ of the East German National Democratic Party, warned Jews that they would be punished if they 'ally themselves with American warmongers.' In Moscow the New Times accused Zionists of being the enemies of the Russian people who sought world domination and claimed that the officials of the American Joint Distribution Committee were 'the lackeys of American imperialism.'
1954(18thof Shevat, 5714): Twenty-nine year old English painter Theodore Garman, known simple as “Theo” passed away today.
1957: Under massive pressure from the United Statesand the Soviet Union, Israeli forces withdrew from most of Sinai after the Sinai Campaign. The threat of economic sanctions by the United Statespresented to great a threat for the Israelis not to give ground. President Eisenhower and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, gave new life to President Nassar of Egypt. Nasser repaid their support by tying the cause of the Arabs even more tightly to the Soviet Bloc. The promises that the U.N. gave to effect the withdrawal were not honored. And like all other dishonorable acts of peace, war would again be the result.
1960: In a Jewish comedic double header, Mort Sahl and Eddie Cantor who was making his last television appearance appeared on NBC’s “The Future Lies Ahead.”
1963(26thof Tevet, 5723): Eighty-nine year old Lily Montagu one of the first women to take a leading role in the Reform Movement in the UK passed away today.
1964(8th of Shevat, 5724): Marc Blitzstein, American composer whose works included “Cradle Will Rock,” passed away at the age of 58
1967 (11th of Shevat, 5727):Robert David Quixano Henriques passed away. Born in 1911, he was a British writer, broadcaster and farmer. He gained modest renown for two award-winning novels and two biographies of Jewish business tycoons, published during the middle part of the 20th century.The following year, he wrote 100 Hours to Suez, and it was around this time, in his late forties, that Henriques began to take an active interest and pride in his Jewish identity. He was won over by the Zionist cause, and made frequent trips to Israel where he bought a small property. In the 1960s, Henriques wrote two biographies. The first one charted the life and career of his wife's grandfather Marcus Samuel, the great oil pioneer and leader of the Jewish community, and the second one described the life of Sir Robert Waley-Cohen
1967: Simon & Garfunkel performed live at Philharmonic Hall in the Lincoln Center, New York City. The recording would not be released until July 16, 2002.
1970(15thof Shevat, 5730): Tu B’Shevat
1973: President Lyndon B Johnson President passed way at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas at the age of 64. One of LBJ’s closest advisors was Abe Fortas who considered himself “a nominal Jew.” When LBJ nominated him to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court, Fortas, who was one of the few people who could speak candidly to the tall Texan, told him that the Jews would not consider this a Jewish nomination. As President, Lyndon Johnson had the courage (both political and personal) and the skill to enact the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also enacted many measures such Head Start and Medicare which had a great deal of support among Jewish voters. At the same time, his support of the Viet Nam War cost him a lot of support among these same Jewish voters. More to the point, he supported Israel in the Six Day War of 1967. Among other things, he kept the Soviets from interfering on behalf of their Arab clients and forced the Russians to quit threatening Israel. Long after he had left the White House, The Associated Press published more information about LBJ’s “personal and often emotional connection to Israel” which is worth reading in its entirety.
Based on newly released tapes of the president’s conversations, the news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969) “the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.” LBJ is quoted in one conversation, “"I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel." Further reports reveal the full extent of Johnson’s actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Indeed, the title of “Righteous Gentile” is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan. Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war.Butfew know about LBJ’s actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews 30 years earlier, actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail. The Texascongressman’s district had only 400 Jews, but clearly the Johnson family’s Christian teachings had given him a strong affinity for Jews and their return to the Holy Land. Five days after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the “Dixiecrats” and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the U.S. Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his live. That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend that European Jews faced annihilation. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw. But that wasn’t enough. According to historian, James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle “hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. … Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration…. Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.” On June 4, 1945, Johnson visited the Dachau concentration camp. According to historian Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that “when her husband returned home, he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized, and ‘bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen.’” As President, Johnson met with Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and undertook to replace the recalcitrant France as Israel’s principal arms supplier, providing Patton tanks and Skyhawk jets and Phantom jets. Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin once asked Johnson why the United States supported Israelwhen there are 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis. “Because it is right,” responded the straight-shooting Texan.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who a week earlier instructed his delegation to break off the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations held in Jerusalem, had now announced that he was leaving the door open for renewed talks, but on certain conditions. He demanded that, before any concrete peace negotiations may continue, Israel must agree to a total withdrawal to the pre-1967 frontiers and recognize the Palestinian rights to self-determination. The USsought a new format for political negotiations and urged Israel to resume military talks held in Cairo and postponed by Premier Menachem Begin. Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan warned that Sadat's conditions would lead to a dead end and offered no opportunity for progress.
1980(4th of Shevat, 5740): Ninety-two year old German-born Israeli historian and an expert in medieval Spanish Jewish history Yitzhak Baer passed away.
1984: The New York Times features Paul Johnson’s review of The High Walls of Jerusalem: A History of the Balfour Declaration and the Birth of the British Mandate for Palestine by Ronald Sanders.
1988: The police imposed a curfew tonight on A-Tur, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem, invoking special emergency powers in this city for the first time since East Jerusalem was captured from Jordan in 1967.
1991:El Al Israel Airlines and Tower Air are still flying to Tel Aviv. Sheryl Stein, the manager of public relations for El Al, said it was continuing daily service from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Tel Aviv. She said that the carrier had not reduced its schedule and that it had 17 flights yesterday in and out of Tel Aviv to other parts of the world. In addition, she said the airline was bringing in immigrants daily from Hungary and Romania.
1991: After a Scud slammed into a two-story apartment building in a Tel Aviv suburb today, 260 Israelis were forced to move into hotels. Almost 1,000 Israelis, most of whom live in Tel Aviv have already lost their homes because of attack by Iraqi Scuds.
1994 (10th of Shevat, 5754): Irving B Kahn inventor of the teleprompter passed away at the age of 76
1995: In central Israel, two suicide bombers from the Gaza Strip blew themselves-up at a military transit point killing 19 Israelis. This was just one of the many acts of terrorism that took placed after Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. Despite, them the Israelis would make a variety of territorial concessions. The terror would continue.
1996(1stof Shevat, 5756): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1996 (1st of Shevat, 5756): Yisrael Eldad, member of the Stern Gang and leader of right wing political groups after the creation of the state of Israel extremist politician, died at the age of 85
1996:When the top awards in children's publishing were announced today, the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults went to Judy Blume in recognition of lifetime achievement in the field.
1997 (14th of Shevat, 5757): Irwin Levine, composer of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” passed away at the age of 58.
1998: “A Price Above Rubies” directed and written by Boaz Yakin and co-starring Julianna Margulies was shown for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival.
1999(5thof Shevat, 5759): Eighty year old George Lachmann the Berlin born British educated historian who began teaching at the University of Iowa before moving to the University of Wisconsin where he made his mark on the academic world.
1999: Steven Grossman completed his chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee
2000(15th of Shevat, 5760): Tu B'Shevat celebrated for the first time in the 21st century
2001: In talks today Israeli officials unexpectedly revived the idea of some form of joint or international administration for the historic city center of Jerusalem and its holy sites. This trial balloon was simultaneously punctured by the Palestinians, who reiterated their demand for sovereignty over all Arab districts and religious sites in East Jerusalem, and by the Israeli opposition, which objected to any plan for limiting Israeli rule in the city.
2002:A Palestinian gunman carried out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s central shopping district, raking the area with semiautomatic gunfire that killed two and wounded 20 before being shot dead by the police
2004: Sicor becomes the wholly owned subsidiary of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
2004:Two Israeli cabinet ministers said today that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would have to resign if a bribery investigation eventually leads to his indictment.
2004: “A Match Made In Heaven” published today traces the relationship of sculptor Ilan Ashkenazi and his second wife Tirza Moussaieff, the sister of Shlomo Moussaieff.
2005: The Washington Post published an op-ed column by Samuel Pisar entitled “Will We ‘Never Forget’?” An international lawyer and author of Of Blood and Hope, Pisar survived Auschwitz. Pisar expressed his concern that as the survivors reach the autumn of their lives, the world has not learned from the horrors of their experiences nor will they really remember what happened in a meaningful manner.
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Between You and Me: A Memoir by Mike Wallace with Gary Paul, Maimonidesby Sherwin Nuland, The Poems of Charles Reanikoff: 1918-1975, edited by Seamus Cooney and Nicholas Miraculous a biography of Nicholas Murray Butler. Regardless of how history views him (and the picture is none too flattering) Butlerearns low marks in the American Jewish Experience. As the reviewer says of Butler, “His most creative involvement with the undergraduate college seems to have come in searching for ways to keeps its Jewish enrollment down. He considered having applicants take physicals that would ‘find grounds to eliminate socially unappealing Jews smart enough to have passed the entrance examination,’ and throughout the 1930's he funneled Jewish students into an affiliated two-year college in Brooklyn. Its courses were "taught largely by junior faculty members from MorningsideHeights," and the dropout rate was enormous. When it closed after 10 years, Butlerat last gave up on ‘the Hebrew problem.’"
2006: The New York Times reported on the “four founding mothers of a large chunk of today’s Ashkenazi Jewish population” in an article entitled “Loy you, K2a2a, Whoever You Are” by Amy Harmon, a “direct descendant” of one of these four “bubbes”
2006:The S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program hosted a career fair at the Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem to demonstrate how a Yeshiva University education can benefit them.
2007: Representative Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving the U.S. Congress moved “to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 52) paying tribute to Reverend Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp for their recognition by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority as Righteous Among the Nations for their heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust.”
2007: Stephen Arnoff contended that the future of Jewish survival in the United States, depended, in part on older leaders of the Jewish community paying attention to the generation of young Jewish leaders who created projects like Hadar, Storahtelling, Zeek, jewschool, Hazon, Jdub Records and similar Jewish enterprises
2007:Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz agreed to appoint Major General (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi as the 19th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
2008(15thof Shevat, 5768): Tu B’Shevat
2008 (15th of Shevat, 5768): Miles Lerman, the Nazi Camp survivor who helped found the U.S. Holocaust Museum, passed away. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi
2009: The International Astronomical Union named a crater on the moon after American physiologist Joseph Erlanger.
2009:.The final five nominees for the Oscar for best documentary are scheduled to be announced today. Among those being considered is,“Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”
2009:In Germanythe scheduled date for the nationwide release of Adam Resurrected which follows the story of Adam Stein, a charismatic patient at an asylum for Holocaust survivors in Israel, in 1961 starring Jeff Goldblum as Adam.
2009: The Centro Primo Levi and the Yeshiva University Museum present a lecture by Eva Forgacs on the life and work of István Farkas.István Farkas (1887-1944), a modernist of the École de Paris, whose elusive landscapes fascinated writers and painters alike, returned in 1932 to his native Hungary where his mysterious works ultimately presaged his own death at Auschwitz.
2010: Mishkenot Sha'ananim is scheduled to present a second round of "A Shortcut In Time," part of series of lectures delivered over the course of seven months by the Weizmann Institute's Professor Illem Gross that place “scientists ranging from Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking under the microscope.”
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story,” a “chronicle of the endlessly surprising life of the charismatic newspaperman, Vegas icon and real-life Zelig
2011: The New York Premiere of “Miss You”(Te extraño) is scheduled to take place at The New York Jewish Film Festival. The film depicts the travail of a middle class Jewish Argentinean family and Javier, a 15-year-old boy who left his home because of the political situation in 1970s Argentina.
2011: Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present the Sixth Annual Comedy Night featuring Dan Adhoot
2011(17thof Shevat, 5771): Frank Lieberman passed away. A native of New York, Lieberman moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. He parlayed his work as an entertainment reporter for the Herald-Examiner into a public relations career where he developed a special relationship with Elvis Presley and represented such show business notables as Sammy Davis, Jr., Phyllis Diller and Tony Orlando.
2011:The 2011 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival is scheduled to present “In Rehearsal – a one woman show by Alison Vodnoy.”
2011(17th of Shevat, 5771):Ninety-one year old Tullia Zevi, a pillar of Italy's Jewish community and an ardent anti-fascist who spent the war years in exile in Switzerland, France and the U.S. passed away today.
2012: Awkward Moment Productions is scheduled to present “Circumference” written and performed by Amy Salloway at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of “The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Jonathan Schneer.
2012: YIVO is scheduled to present the world premiere of “When Our Bubbas and Zeydas Were Young.”
2012: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) will resign from Congress this week, she announced in a video message posted today
2012:Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) threatened today to hold up the defense budget until the issue of soldiers traveling on trains is resolved. Today, a new arrangement between the IDF and Israel Railways came into effect, eliminating free rides on most trains between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. on Sundays. The arrangement is expected to save the IDF money and to reduce overcrowding during those hours. Mofaz criticized the new arrangement, saying it is unacceptable to turn IDF soldiers into "second-class" commuters in order to save money, speaking with Israel Radio.
2012:Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to open an investigation into Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein for incitement after he was recorded quoting a passage by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Hadith that calls for the killing of Jews..
2012: A day after announcing her intention to resign from Congress, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) completed the "Congress on Your Corner" event that was cut short more than a year ago when a gunman opened fire on her and her constituents in a Tucson parking lot. She and a dozen others were injured in the attack; six people were killed.
2013(11thof Shevat, 5773): Ninety-one year old real estate mogul Sherman Cohen passed away. (As reportedby Charles V. Bagli)
2013: As Israelis are scheduled to vote in today’s election, “the Association of Craft and Industry in Israel is calling for the abolition of the Election Day work holiday, saying it will cost small industrial businesses at least NIS 100 million.”
2013: The JCCNV is scheduled to take representative to Richmond, VA as part of Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day.
2013: Meir Ariel’s Election Tour is scheduled to be shown as part of “Election Day at the Cinematheque.”
2013:Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the big winners today were the country's malls, restaurants, beaches, and parks – with nearly all filled to capacity as Israelis took advantage of a rare weekday off, not connected to a religious celebration, with stores, businesses, and places of entertainment wide open.
2013: In the elections that were held today the Jewish Home won 12 seats
2013: An unlicensed therapist who is a respected member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn was sentenced today to 103 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing a young woman, beginning the attacks when she was 12.
2014:The next SermonSlam is scheduled to be held at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York
2014: Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom is scheduled to end his trip to the United Arab Emirates where he has been attending the World Future Energy Summit. (As reported by Stuart Winer)
2014: “Up The Wrong Tree” and “Ukraine Brides: 13 Years Later” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2014(21stof Shevat, 5774): Ninety five year old Mary Gordon Shulman who had been married to author Max Shulman, the creator of Dobie Gillis, for 24 years until his death in 1988 passed away today.
2014(21stof Shevat, 5774): Centenarian Psychoanalyst Martin S. Bergmann passed away today.
2014: Adina Bar-Shalom, whose father Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was the Shas spiritual leader for over three decades until his death in November 2013, is putting out feelers to see how much support she would have in a bid to replace President Shimon Peres when his term in office ends this year, Maariv reported today. (As reported by Stuart Winer)
2014: “The Israeli Air Force launched an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun early this morning, killing two men, said by Israel to be terrorists behind some of the missile attacks on southern Israeli towns and communities. The air force said it carried out the strike to stop an imminent attack.”
2014: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled “to tour Christian sites in Israel’s north before attending a ceremony at Tel Aviv University, where he will receive an honorary doctorate.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)
2015: In Cedar Rapids, Brit Milah ceremony for Amasai Burt, son of Rodney & Queen Burt is scheduled to take place this afternoon.
2015: “The Zionist Idea” and “Above and Beyond” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
393: Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his nine year old son Honorius co-emperor. “Under the rule of Theodosius and his sons… the Christian church consolidated its position as the sole power in the empire,” became less tolerant and the Jews “suffered in inverse proportion to the strength of the emperor’s personality.”
1002: Otto III, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire passed away. No, Otto was not Jewish. But his passing offers an instructive note when studying history, especially Jewish history. A thousand years ago, Otto was the “George Bush” of his day, a major political and military leader. Otto lived in the same century as Rashi, a guy who sold wine in a small town in France. We remember Rashi. Rashi still speaks to us today infusing our lives in ways in which we are not aware. Who remembers Otto?
1199: Birthdate of Almohad ruler Abu Yusuf who ordered the Jews of the Maghreb to wear dark blue garments with long sleeves and saddle-like caps. His grandson Abdallah al-Adil made a concession after appeals from the Jews, relaxing the required clothing to yellow garments and turbans.
1295: Boniface VIII consecrated as Pope. During his Papacy he will issue “Unam Sanctam” a Bull that “declares there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church” which means that all Jews are denied a portion in “the world to come.”
1235: False accusations of Ritual Murder at Baden, Germany resulted in a massacre of the Jewish population.
1490: At Naples, the first printed edition of the Ramban’s “Sha’ar ha-Gemul,” The Gate of Reward, was published by Joseph ben Jacob Gunzenhauser. Gunzenhauser and his son Azriel had moved from southern Germany to Italy where “they produced various books, including a Hagiographa with rabbinical commentaries, Avicenna's medical Canon, and Abraham ibn Ezra's commentary on the Pentateuch.” Jacob passed away in 1490, the same that they published the Ramban’s seminal work.
1492: At Brescia. Italy, Gershon Soncino produced the first printed Chumash with Megilot.
1571: The Royal Exchange opens in London. The first Jewish broker was admitted to the Royal
Exchange in 1657; the same year a piece of land was purchased for a Jewish cemetery in London.
1579: The Union of Utrecht forms a Protestant republic in the Netherlands. The treaty that created the union guaranteed religious peace under article 13. As a consequence this, the persecuted Jews of Spain and Portugal turned toward Holland as a place of refuge.
1634: Trial of the men implicated in the 'Complicidad Grande' (Great Complicity). Seventeen arrests were made by the Inquisition after a man turned another man in for being "unwilling to make a sale on Saturday," and for not wanting to eat bacon. The man’s possessions were confiscated, more people were implicated, and eventually a total of 81 persons would be locked up and their possessions sequestered. These men were prominent businessmen of the Lima(Peru) community, and their arrests and led to a "widespread commercial crisis" and failure of the community bank.
1639 In Lima, Peru, at an Auto Da Fe, more than eighty New Christians were burned, including Francisco Maldonna de Silva (Elia Nazareno), after the Inquisition discovered that they were holding regular Jewish services. De Silva spent 12 years in prison, during which time he managed to write two books using a chicken bone and charcoal. Each book was about 100 pages. He succeeded in putting together a rope out of corn husks but instead of escaping he used it to visit other prisoners urging them to believe in Judaism.
1656: French Philosopher Blaise Pascal published the first of his Lettres provinciales. Pascal did not radiate the anti-Semitism typical of so many European intellectuals. Over 300 years ago, when King Louis XIV of France asked, the great French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: "Why, the Jews, your Majesty -- the Jews." The best proof of the supernatural that Pascal could think of was: "The Jews."
1719: Creation of the Principality of Liechtenstein which reportedly provided a refuge for 240 Jews fleeing the Nazis during the Holocaust.
1719(8thof Shevat, 5479): Sarah Ashkenazi, the wife of Zebi Hirsch Ben Jacob Ashkenazi and “the daughter of Meshullam Zalman Mirels Neumark, chief rabbi of Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck” passed away today.
1765: Birthdate of Anton Von Schmid who served as an apprentice to the court printer Joseph Edler von Kurzbeck who provided him with the initial training that enabled him to become a leading printer of Hebrew books.
1789: In Washington, D.C., Georgetown becomes the first Catholic college in the United States. Today approximately 650 of Georgetown’s 6,000 are Jewish and a thousand of its 6,000 graduate students are Jewish. The school offers 35 Jewish studies courses and students can major in Jewish Studies. The university also has an active Hillel Chapter.
1793: Prussia and Russia sign a treaty that is known as the Second Partition of Poland. Each of these partitions resulted in Russia acquiring large chunks of Poland, which she wanted, and large numbers of Jews which she did not want.
1854: In London, Louis and Rachel Greenbaum gave birth to Samuel Greenbaum who would serve three years as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division in New York.
1855: In New York City, a complaint was entered today in "The Mayor's Little Black Book" stating that on Chatham Street "a Jewish drummer is stationed in front of his store insulting passengers as they pass along. The latter nuisance is glaring and intolerable...and calls for intervention of the proper authorities." Chatham Street was the heart of the second-hand clothing “industry” and was equated with Jews in a most uncomplimentary way.
1864(15th of Shevat, 5624): Tu B’Shevat
1871(1st of Shevat, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1873: A large crowd braved a snowstorm to hear a lecture at the Beeckman Street Church by Jewish humorist Raphael De Cordova entitled “The New Clergyman.”
1878: Marcus J. Waldheimer, a partner in the firm of Townsend & Waldheimer, denied reports that his father-in-law, Leopold Bamberger, had disappeared. Waldheimer said that Bamberger who has been holding funds in trust that are related to a messy bankruptcy case, has “merely left…temporarily for recreation.”
1879: It was reported today that a revised edition of “Hebrew Men and Times from the Patriarchs to the Messiah” by Joseph Henry Allen will be reissued by Roberts Brothers
1883: Fifty-one year old French artist Gustave Doré who illustrated “The Wandering Jew” passed away today.
1884: The first four page edition of the Financial and Mining News founded by Harry Marks which became the Financial News appeared today
1888(10thof Shevat, 5648): Max Hoffheimer, a member of the board of Hebrew Union College passed away today.
1888: In Breslau, Jewish businessman Max Bernstein and his wife Franziska Altmann gave birth to Arnold Bernstein, the German-American shipower who was stripped of his assets and imprisoned by the Nazis before making his way to the United States in 1939.
1889: French painter Alexandre Cabanel, who taught and was the greatest influence on the work of, Jewish painter Solomon Joseph Solomon, passed away.
1891: Birthdate of Jonas Bernanke. Born in Boryslav, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he eventually made his way to Dillon, South Carolina where he owned a drug store and raised a son named Ben who would become Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
1891: The funeral of Lazarus Rosenfeld who had served as Vice President of Temple Emanu El and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum are scheduled to be held at his home at 139 Madison Avenue starting at 9:30 a.m,
1892: It was reported today that the Russian government is taking a variety of measures to avert the repetition another famine including postponing “the enactment of the laws” aimed at the Jews.
1893: The New York Times featured a review of A Visit to Wazan: The Sacred City of Morocco by Robert Spence Watson. Watson used a letter of introduction from Sir Moses Montefiore to the Chief Rabbi of Morocco “as a passport to meeting Jews” wherever he went. Watson reported that Montefiore’s efforts on behalf of the Moroccan Jews had improved their condition including the comment that “the children of the better class of Jews of Tangiers are taught in English” and use English textbooks.
1893: “Heine in his Family Life” published today provides a detailed review of The Family Life of Heinrich Heine written by his nephew, Baron Ludwig von Embden.
1893: It was reported today that while Richard Mansfield’s depiction of Shylock vividly portray “his hatred, his vindictiveness” and “his implacable cruelty in the pursuit of revenge” “he is much more successful than any other actor…in this day, in denoting the affection of the Jew for his kind and the intense mental agony he suffers over Jessica. His portrayal is deemed as “less theatrical and more human than others.” (Over the centuries, the portrayal of Shylock has reflected the skill of the actors and, more to the point, the view of Jews in current society.)
1893: It was reported that Emma Goldman spoke at a meeting of anarchists who call themselves the Pioneers of Liberty
1894: It was reported today that the “stores and fuel yards” that have been provided by Nathan Straus during the current Depression have been “besieged” by the poor and needy.
1895: In Brooklyn, at the Academy of Music Mr. and Mrs. Moses May led the grand march at the charity ball attended by 2,000 people that raise over $10,000 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1895: In New York, the Young Ladies' and Gentlemen's League of the Montefiore Home sponsored a grand ball to raise funds for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids. The successful fund raiser was attended by members of “the best circles of Jewish society.” The dances for the Montefiore Home have replaced the Purim Balls which up until two years ago were the great fund raising and major winter social events of these prosperous Jewish citizens
1895: It was reported today that “Congregation Shearith Israel has abandoned the idea of selling the synagogue property on 19th Street between 5th& 6th Avenues.
1896: It was reported today that the officers of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society are: Moses May, President; Abraham Abraham, Vice President; Herman Newman, Treasurer.
1896: Notorious German anti-Semitic agitator Hermann Ahlwardt addressed a meeting at Proesser’s in Jersey City, NJ.
1897: It was reported today that Scribner’s is ready to publish Professor Charles F. Kent’s second volume of the History of the Hebrew People.
1898: An anti-Dreyfus/anti-Zola demonstration was scheduled to take place on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
1898: Ant-Semitic riots continued today in Algiers when “the mob invaded the Jews quarter and pillaged the shops in the Rue Babaoum, driving the Jewish merchants into the streets.”
1898: It was reported today that Selah Miller, a Congregationalist Minister from Massachusetts has been reappointed to by the President as U.S. Consul at Jerusalem. He had served in that capacity from 1882 to 1886.
1898: The annual meeting of the Mount Sinai Hospital Society was held today in the Dispensary building on east 67th Street.
1898: “A Man Fasts For Twenty Years” published today describes the regiment followed by Morris Fox, a forty year old Jew from Russia who has been living in London for the last twenty years. During that time he has lived exclusively on a diet of six pints of milk, three pints of beer and half pound of Demerara sugar. Physicians in Konigsberg provided this “fast” which has proven to be the only way to cope with effects of an illness that “entirely destroyed his digestive organs.”
1898: Birthdate of Sergei Eisenstein. The Russian, film maker worked in the United States before returning to the Soviet Union. One of his most famous films was the “Battleship Potemkin.”
1898: It was reported today that the ant-Dreyfus riots at “Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseilles” and other cities outside of Paris “are frankly anti-Semitic…The mobs have a single purpose which is to outrage, plunder and kill in the Jewish quarters.” Their cries against Zola are based on their belief that he is a “hired champion” of the Jews. (More for 2014)
1898: It was reported today that American correspondent does not think that Sarah Bernhardt will enjoy a successful season this winter when she performs in Paris.
1898: It was reported today that Justice J.J. Cohen, Isaac N. Seligman and Jacob Schiff were among those who attended Legal Aid Society’s 22nd annual dinner at Delmonico’s. (More 2014)
1898 (29th of Tevet, 5658): Yehoshua Yehudah Leib Diskin passed away. Born in 1818, this important rabbi, Talmudist and Biblical commentator was also known as the Maharil Diskin,. He served as a rabbi in Łomża, Mezritch, Kovno, Shklov, Brisk and finally Jerusalem after moving there in 1878, where he became the spiritual leader of a part of the Yishuv haYashan. He was part of a family of rabbis. His father, Binyamin Diskin, served as rabbi in Grodno, Volkovisk and later Łomża. His son was Rabbi Yitzchok Yeruchem Diskin.
1899: Henry Herzberg delivered a lecture at Temple Beth-El tonight in New York entitled “The Soul of Judaism.
1899: The Baron de Hirsch Trade Schools are scheduled to move into a new facility on East Sixty Fourth Street. The school had outgrown its old facility on East 9th Street that it had occupied for the last five years
1899: It was reported today that newly created Central Federate Union which has replaced the old Central Labor Union refused to admit delegates from the Federated Hebrew Trades Unions because “they represented a central body and not individual unions.”
1899: In Albany, New York state senator Elsbeg introduced a bill that would the Hebrew Infant Asylum of New York to the list of institutions that are entitled to receive public money.
1902(15thof Shevat, 5662): Tu B’Shevat
1904(6thof Shevat, 5664): Sixty-two year old Flaminio Ephraim Servi who had been serving as chief rabbi at Casale-Monferrato (Italy) since 1872, passed away today.
1904: Herzl was received by the Italian King, Vittorio Emanuele III. The king showed a serious interest in Zionism. But under the Italian political system, the king reigns but does not rule so it will be to Foreign Minister Tittoni to gain political support in Constantinople. Tittoni asked for a memorandum and promised to write to the Italian ambassador in Constantinople.
1909: Birthdate of Simon W. Gerson, a leader of CPUSA and editor for The Daily Worker.
1909: Birthdate of Richard David Barnett, the British academic who was “an authority on archaeology of the ancient world” who also served as President of the Jewish Historical Society of England and Chairman of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society.
1910: The Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital held their annual board meeting today at the hospital on 100th Street and Fifth Avenue. During the reading of the annual report Isaac Stern, the President, announced that the plan to establish a federation of the larger Jewish charitable institutions of the city, a plan for some time in contemplation, had failed. Mr. Stern said that there were certain disadvantages to the creation of such a federation without the guarantee of “any permanent advantages.” Therefore, the directors considered it “in the best interest of the community not give their consent” to such a plan. Mr. Stern announced that the children of the late Mayer Lehman had donated $78,528 which was to used to add two stories to the Dispensary Building as a memorial to their late father. In the past year, almost 89% of the nearly 9,000 patients admitted to the hospital were treated without paying a fee. The hospital’s expenditure of $399,170 exceeded income by almost $15,000. Jacob Schiff, who apparently favored the creation of the federation, gave a speech in which he thanked the board and the medical staff for their efforts in the last year. The board’s decision about joining a federation of charitable institutions doomed the idea at a cost of one million dollars. That was the amount that the late Louis A. Heinsheimer had set aside in his will for such an organization, if and when, it should be created.
1912: Hugo Doblin and Herwatch Walden served as best men at the wedding Erna Reiss, a medical student and daughter of a wealthy factory owner to Bruno Alfred Döblin whose works including Berlin Alexanderplatzpublished in 1929
1913(15thof Shevat, 5673): Tu B’Shevat
1913: The annual meeting of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC which S.S. Brill of St. Louis attended as a delegate came to an end.
1913: The 3 day ceremonies marking the dedication of new buildings at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, came to an end today.
1914:Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson will appear for the last time on the New York stage when he plays the starring role in “The Merchant of Venice” at the Manhattan Opera House.
1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the Red Cross fund of which Jacob H. Schiff is Treasurer is Congregation B’Nai Israel of Natchez, Mississippi.
1915: “The American Jewish War Relief Committee of which Louis Marshall is President and Felix M. Warburg is a Treasurer issued a statement today showing that since December 13 the committee has sent $200,000 to Europe and Palestine” and that to date “the committee’s relief fund” now totals “more than $378,000.
1918: In New York Bertha Cohen and Robert Elion, DDS, gave birth to Gertrude Belle Elion. Elion graduated from Hunter College and then earned a Master in Science from N.Y.U. in 1941. In a classic case of sex discrimination, she was unable to obtain a graduate research job which meant she could not earn a Ph.D. Thus the 1988 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine ended up working as a lab assistant and high school teacher.
1918: The Chief Rabbi of Algeria plans a community building which will contain a yeshiva, an assembly hall, a library, shelter for strangers, a mikvah and a bakery for matzah.
1919: In Mannville, Alberta, Max Goffman, and his wife, Ann (née Averbach) gave birth to Frances Goffman who gained fame as character actress Frances Bey who played Fonzi’s grandmother on “Happy Days.”
1919: General Lyautey, the resident General of Morocco visits the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and urges the Jews to contribute towards its sanitation and enlargement.
1921: In Shanghai, Rabbi W. Hirsch consecrated The Ohel Rachel Synagogue for worship. This marked the culminating achievement of Shanghai's First Wave of Jewish immigrants and it was built to accommodate the community of Baghdadi Jews which at its peak numbered 700.
1923: Birthdate of Dina Gottliebova, the native of Brno who gained fame as Dina Babbit who survived Auschwitz by drawing portraits of Dr. Josef Menegle
1923 (6th of Shevat, 5683): Max Nordau passed away at the age of 73. http://www.herzl.org/english/Article.aspx?Item=531
1924: In Paterson, NJ, Sam and Mollie Lautenberg gave birth to Frank Lautenberg who rose to be a United States, a support of the down-trodden and a leader in the Jewish community
1929: Birthdate of Myron Sidney Kopelman, who, as Myron Cope, would become an American sports journalist, radio personality, and sportscaster best known for being "the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers."
1931: Sir Isaac Isaacs was sworn in as the first Australian born Governor General.
1931: Ninety-one year old Catholic theologian and author of anti-Semitic polemics August Rohling whose work included Der Talmudjude published in 1871 “which bean a standard work for anti-Semitic authors and journalist” passed away today in Salzburg.
1932: Chief Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo of the Court of Appeals was formally endorsed for associate justice of the United States Supreme Court to fill the seat recently vacated by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes at tonight’s closing session of the annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association at the Hotel Astor
1933: Birthdate of composer Joel Spiegelman.
1936: Sir Isaac Isaacs, a native born Australian who was the son of Polish Jews, completes his term as the 9th Governor-General of Australia.
1937: In Moscow, 17 leading Communists went on trial. They were accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders. Stalin combined Trotsky’s Jewish parentage with traditional Russian anti-Semitism to demonize Trotsky and destroy those opposing his authoritarian rule. Having branded the “Jew, Trostky” as an enemy of the revolution, or the Communist Party and/or the Soviet Union, Stalin would feel to move against the Jews of the U.S.S.R when it fit his needs or his demonic spirit.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that two Arabs, implicated in the murder of J.L. Starkey, a noted archaeologist who was excavating in Palestine, were hanged at Acre. The Motza brick and burnt-tile factory was completely gutted by fire. Arson by Arab terrorists was suspected. Ephraim Brin, 19, and Aziz Jacob, 17, both of Jerusalem, were the first Jews to be sentenced, under the newly created Military Courts, to five years' imprisonment for carrying a pistol and a few rounds of ammunition.
1941: Charles Lindbergh testified before the U.S. Congress and recommended that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler. For those who are perplexed by Roosevelt’s response to the plight of European Jewry, this entry should give you a clue as to the kind of the environment in which he was operating. “The Lone Eagle” was a national monument and, as the leader of the America First Movement, he saw WW II was a European measure. He would only grudgingly give ground on his opposition to war once the bombs were falling on Pearl Harbor. Opposition of this magnitude fashioned all of FDR’s decisions about the war, including how to deal with the Shoah. It is only with the warmth of the myth of America’s Greatest Generation that the United States seems like an ant-fascist monolith in WWII.
1941: “Lady in the Dark” a product of “3 Jewish Musketeers” - music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book and direction by Moss Hart – opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York
1942(5th of Shevat, 5702): In Novi Sad, Hungary, 550 Jews and 292 Serbs were driven onto the ice and then shelled. All drowned. [Ed. Note: Who says Kaddish for these people?]
1942(5th of Shevat, 5702): Paul Levinstein was killed in Hadjerat M'Guil a Nazi concentration camp built in remote part of the Sahara Desert in 1941. Upon hearing of their son's death his parents committed suicide in Britain.
1942: Hungarian military units began “cleaning up” the region of captured Yugoslavia which included the massacre of the local Jews.
1943: Italian authorities refuse to cooperate with Germans in deportations of French Jews living in zones of France under Italian control
1943: Marcia Davenport, the daughter of Bernard Glick and Alma Gluck was a panelist today on a radio panel show “The People’s Platform: when one of the other panelist had a heart attack and passed away.
1944: "Ode to Napoleon" by the Jewish composer Arnold Schoenberg premieres in New York City
1945: Birthdate of Bruce Ratner. Appointed by Ed Koch to the position of Commissioner of Consumer Affairs for New York City in 1978, he became a real estate developer in 1982. He is now the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, his net worth now several hundred million dollars. Ratner is the developer charged with building the New York Times Tower. He is a member of the board of the Jewish Heritage Museum.
1947: U.S. premiere of “Johnny O’Clock” directed by Robert Rossen, featuring Lee J. Cob and providing Jeff Chandler (Ira Gorssel) with his appearance in a major motion picture.
1949: At the Hollywood Athletic Club the first Emmy Awards are presented. A year later, two Jewish stars would dominate the Emmy Awards. The Texaco Star Theatre starring Milton Berle and The Ed Wynn Show starring Ed Wynn would walk off with top honors while Berle and Wynn would each earn awards in their own right.
1950: The 3rd edition of Famous 1st Facts by Jewish trivia expert Joseph Kane is published
1950: Israeli Knesset resolved that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
1952: Birthdate of Jeanette Ingberman, the Brooklyn born daughter of Holocaust survivors who became a founder of the New York cultural center Exit Art, a hotbed of avant-garde work by artists from around the world. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported from New York that the Soviet Union was about to break diplomatic relations with Israel. The first five tons of the copper ore, excavated from Timna mine in the Negev, were sent for industrial tests to Europe.
1959(14thof Shevat, 5719): Terrorists killed a shepherd from Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan.
1960: Israeli General Yitzhak Rabin sends an aerial reconnaissance across the Suez Canal to ascertain the position of Nasser’s advancing troops. When the troops cannot be found, Rabin correctly assumes they have crossed the Canal. It turned out that the bulk of Egyptian army was almost at the border with Israel where they would only be opposed by force of twenty or thirty tanks.
1963: The latest installment of the memoirs of Ilya Ehrenberg which describe the Soviet response to the invasion of June, 1941, appeared today. Ehrenbeg depicted a hesitant Stalin whose ever—present picture disappeared from view for months and who did not speak to the nation until November of 1941. This installment also describes how Stalin mobilized Soviet Jews including Ehrenberg, Sergei Eisenstein and Solomon Mikhoels to make broadcasts abroad to gain support for the Soviets in their fight against the Nazis. [After the war, Stalin, like Pharaoh, would know not the Jewish contribution and murdered many of them included Mikhoels.]
1964: Arthur Miller's "After the Fall" premiered in New York City.
1968: Mapai, Ahdut HaAvoda and Rafi merged into the Israeli Labor Party and ceased to exist as individual entities.
1972: In Caen, France Dr. Jacques Drucker and his wife Martine gave birth to French actress Léa Drucker
1973(20thof Shevat, 5773): A Palestinian terrorist murdered Baruch Cohen in Madrid.
1975: "Barney Miller" starring Hal Linden premiered on ABC TV.
1977(4th of Shevat, 5737): Bernard "Toots" Shor passed away. “Toots Shor, a bulky Jewish street kid from Philadelphia, who made and gambled away several fortunes in the big town, was in a sense the original insult comic—crass, coarse, jesting jibes being the prime ingredient of pal ship among all those heavy hitters.” Shor was the premier Saloonkeeper and his New York restaurant was a thing of legend.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the cabinet decided to postpone the military talks held with Egypt in Cairo, after the Egyptian delegation broke off political negotiations with Israel, held in Jerusalem. It was expected that this step might influence Egypt to moderate its demands, in tone as well as in contents. The US expressed its disappointment with Israel's sharp reaction to President Anwar Sadat's demands for a total withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the recognition of the rights of the Palestinians. Four hundred and twenty-five Israelis flew to the US under the 'Friendly Force' program designed to promote peace through personal contacts.
1978 (15th of Shevat, 5738): A hundred thousand trees were planted on Tu Bishvat by the Jewish National Fund.
1986: "Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood" opens at Ritz Theater New York City.
1987: Meir Heth, was appointed today as the new chairman of Bank Leumi L'Yisrael, Israel's biggest commercial bank. The former head of the Tel Aviv stock exchange, Heith was criticized over a 1983 collapse of bank shares. A commission of inquiry last year criticized Mr. Heth for failing to prevent the country's four major banks from manipulating their shares.
1988: As the Arab uprising called the Intifada brings an increase in violence the representative of the Arab League and three other Arab diplomats met with a senior State Department official today to complain about what they considered inadequate United States pressure on Israel to halt the violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
1990(26thof Tevet, 5750): Eighty-five year old Nathan N. Rosen, a graduate of Yeshiva University and Columbia College who served as an Army Chaplain during World War II before beginning a 25 year career as a chaplain at Brown University where he founded the Hillel chapter, passed away today.
1991. At a briefing this morning, Israeli officials appeared to play down the deaths that occurred when an Iraqi Scud missile evaded two American Patriot air-defense missiles and slammed into a Tel Aviv suburb on Tuesday night, leaving 3 people dead and 96 wounded emphasizing that the three victims had suffered heart attacks.
1991: "Seinfeld" debuts on NBC-TV
1997(15thof Shevat, 5757): Tu B’Shevat
1997: Madeleine Albright became the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State. During her term as Secretary of State, Albright found out for the first time that her family was Jewish.
2000: The New York Times includes a review of The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker, 1849-1999 by Niall Ferguson.
2001: This afternoon, two Tel Aviv restaurateurs and an Israeli Arab friend sat down for a late lunch in Tulkarm, a battle-scarred town rarely visited by Israeli Jews since the West Bank erupted in riotous protests nearly four months ago. The three were seized by armed men who later let the Israeli Arab go, but shot the two Israeli Jews at point-blank range, Israeli officials said. Hamas, the militant Gaza-based Islamic movement, took responsibility for what it called an ''execution'' and said the shooting had been videotaped.
2001: The killing of two Israeli civilians by Palestinian militants earlier today interrupted a new round of peace negotiations here, with Prime Minister Ehud Barak condemning the slayings as ''horrendous'' and ordering the three cabinet ministers in the talks to return to Jerusalem.
2001: Today, in a talk with high school students on the campaign trail, Ehud Barak appeared to disavow proposals for relinquishing control of the ancient city core of Jerusalem. ''Under any settlement, the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the Mount of Olives, and what is called the holy basin, will remain under Israeli sovereignty,'' Mr. Barak said.
2002(10th of Shevat, 5762): Bernard Rothman passed away. Cause of death was a stroke. He was better known as Benny Rothman, “a UK political activist, most famous for his leading role in the Mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932. He was born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, in 1911. He is family was so poor that he had to start work at the earliest opportunity rather than take full advantage of a scholarship that he had won. Working as an errand boy in the motor trade, he studied geography and economics in his spare time while his Aunt Ettie introduced him to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and the works of Upton Sinclair. Increasingly committed to the causes of socialism and communism, Rothman lost his job after getting into some trouble with the law while selling copies of the Daily Worker. During a period of unemployment, with the help of a bicycle salvaged from spare parts, he discovered the nearby wilderness regions of the Peak District and North Wales. The combination of his political activism and interest in the outdoors led to his participation in the mass trespass of 1932, an enterprise that resulted in a spell in prison and further employment difficulties. In 1934, Rothman went to work at Avro in Newton Heath and instantly became an officer of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU). At Avro's, he met and married fellow communist Lily Crabtree but his political views became increasingly visible to his employer and he was dismissed. Rothman was active in working with Jewish groups in Manchester to oppose the campaigns of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. In 1936, he started work at Metropolitan Vickers at Trafford Park and was again soon an AEU official.”
2002: Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and subsequently murdered in Karachi, Pakistan. Based on the tape of his murder, Pearl was killed because he was a Jew.
2003 (20th of Shevat, 5763): Actress Nell Carter passed away. She had converted from Catholicism to Judaism in 1982.
2003: The 12th annual Jewish Film Festival comes to an end in New York.
2003: As of 10 pm, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, the holy man of unknown but tremendous age, who was scheduled to visit the Hall of Moses synagogue and then a candlelit graveyard in this Tel Aviv suburb tonight for a rally that mixed mystic ritual with all the grit of Chicago ward politics had failed to make an appearance and the police were forced to disperse the disappointed crowd
2004(29thof Tevet, 5764): German born photographer Helmut Newton passed away. (As reported by Suzy Menkes)
2004: U.S. premiere of “The Butterfly Effect” featuring Logan Lerman which was distributed in Israel by Forum Film.
2005: The Squid and the Whale, an American comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach featuring Jesse Eisenberg as “Walt Berkman” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
2005: Stanley Fischer, a widely respected American economist and banker, has agreed to leave the United States and a job as a vice chairman of Citigroup to become governor of the Bank of Israel.
2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including recently published paperback editions of Horse People: Scenes from the Riding Life by Michael Korda and Unsettled: An Anthropolgy of Jews, Melvin Konner’s sweeping study that follows a roughly historical outline, from the earliest pre-biblical days to the establishment of the state of Israel, and tracks down far-flung Jewish communities in China, India and Afghanistan.
2006: The Andrew Carnegie Medal for best children's video was given to the producers of Mordicai Gerstein's "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers," winner of the Caldecott in 2004. Mordicai Gerstein was born in Los Angeles in 1935. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Yard Harris, who is also an illustrator, and their daughter, Risa. The award winning illustrator, painter and graphics artist has collaborated on numerous books for children including many with a Jewish motif including Queen Esther the Morning Star, Noah and the Great Flood and Jonah and the Two Great Fish
2006(7th of Tevet, 5766): Andrea Bronfman, the wife of Jewish Canadian billionaire Charles Bronfman, was killed in a traffic accident in New York Monday.
2007: “Attorney-General Mazuz announced that he would consider charging Katsav with rape, sexual harassment, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, harassment of a witness and fraud.”
2007(4th of Shevat, 5767): Aharon Uzan passed away at the age of 82. Born in Tunisia in 1924, he made Aliyah in 1949 where he became active in a variety of left-wing political parties. He served in the Knesset and held a variety of cabinet posts included Minister of communications and Minister of Agriculture.
2007: "Two Hands” a short documentary on Leon Fleisher by Nathaniel Kahn was nominated for an Academy Award for best short subject today
2007: Israel’s “Sweet Mud” and Holland’s “Black Book,” a movie about a Jewish woman serving in the Resistance against the Nazis are among 61 foreign language films that may be nominated for an Oscar.
2007: Rabbi Andrew Bossov successfully received a kidney from Methodist minister, Reverend Karen Onesti.
2008: It was announced today that Randy Lerner had donated £5 million to the National Gallery, the largest single donation that it has ever received, which may accounted for the fact that the ground floor galleries will named “The Lerner Galleries.”
2008: The third and final episode of “The Jewish Americans” airs on PBS. The three episode series traces the history of the Jews in America starts with the arrival of the first 23 Sephardic Jews in New Amsterdam in 1654 and “ends with Maisyahu, the Chasidic hip-hop star, one of about six million Jews in America today.” For more information see http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/jewishamericans/
2008: The New York Jewish Film Festival presents “Labyrinths of Memory, a documentary that draws parallels between two very different women united by a search for identity: Maite Guiteras, Mexican born, adopted at birth, and raised in Cuba; and the film’s director, born in Costa Rica to East European Jewish parents and raised in Mexico. Each defies ethnic and geographic boundaries to travel to her ancestral home to claim a place in the world”; “The Unkosher Truth a short documentary in which the filmmaker must muster the courage to tell her father, an Orthodox rabbi and U.S. Army general, that her boyfriend is German and gentile”; “Film Fanatic, in which Ultra-Orthodox Jew Yehuda Grovais rebels against his religious community, and battles the secular cultural establishment in Israel to make Hollywood-style blockbusters on a budget.”
2008: In a night time attack, two armed Palestinians affiliated with Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades infiltrated a yeshiva at Kfar Etzion wounding three civilians. The two had just been released from an Israeli prison.
2008 (16th of Shevat, 5768): Rami Zuari, a 20 year old Border Police officer was killed during a terrorist attack at an East Jerusalem checkpoint. Border Police officer Shoshana Samendayev sustained moderate to serious injuries in the same attack.
2008: The New York Times featured a review of The Forger: An Extraordinary Story of Survival in Wartime Berlin, the autobiography of Cioma Schonhaus.
2009: “Lansky,” a one-man play about Meyer Lansky starring Mike Burstyn opens in an off-Broadway production. “Acclaimed American/Israeli actor Mike Burstyn stars as Meyer Lansky in the New York premiere of a new play by Richard Krevolin and Joseph Bologna about the life of the “little man,” known as the “brains behind the mob,” and his efforts to become an Israeli citizen.
2009: Final showing of “Zion and His Brother,” a family drama set in Tel Aviv, at the Sundance Film Festival.
2009: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids hosts another creative Musical Shabbat Service.
2009: In article entitled “The End of a Chicago Tradition: Is absolutely nothing sacred?”, Susan Berger reports on the demise of the Best Kosher Sausage Company while documenting the history of a small slice of Chicago-based Jewish Americana.
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York premiere of “Eyes Wide Open,” a film whose protagonist is an ultra-orthodox butcher living in Jerusalem.
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present a screening of “Protektor,” “a smart, stylish psycho-thriller about a Prague journalist and his part-Jewish wife whose lives are ravaged by the outbreak of WWII.”
2010: Israel is looking into adopting Haitians orphaned by January 12's earthquake, Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog told The Jerusalem Post today. "We see this as part of Israel's humanitarian outreach," Herzog said, referring to the IDF medical operation and the Israeli rescue efforts in the Caribbean nation. "Haiti was one of the countries that supported us on November 29, 1947, [in the UN vote on the establishment of the state], and now it's our turn to support them," he said.
2011: Adam “Richman appeared on Food Network's Iron Chef America as a judge for a battle with Gruyère cheese as the theme ingredient”
2011: Israeli cellist Amit Peled and pianist Eli Kalman are scheduled to perform this afternoon at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
2011: The 2011 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival is scheduled to present “Laughter Yoga Workshop with Molly Dworsky” and “An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein.”
2011: The Los Angeles Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski
2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein and the recently published paperback editions of A Strange Death by Hillel Halkin and Where The God of Loves Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.
2011(18th of Shevat, 5771): Rabbi Nachum Zev Dessler, a leader at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland for more than 60 years and a nationally known leader in Orthodox education passed away today at the age of 89. Dessler, the school's first principal in 1944, pressed the Jewish Federation of Cleveland to back the school, and it became the first federation in the country to subsidize a full-day Jewish school in 1948. At the end of 2010, the school had nearly 800 students on three campuses in Cleveland and its suburbs, and nearly 6,000 alumni. Over the years, the school has accepted children from families with all degrees of observance, children of former Soviet Jews who had moved to Cleveland, as well as those with special needs. “His vision was focused on providing every Jewish child, regardless of religious orientation or ability to pay, a quality Jewish and secular education,” said Ivan Soclof, a past president of the school. "Each child was truly an individual and was treated like he or she was the most important person in the world," wrote Louis Malcmacher, the Hebrew Academy's current president. "As a child of Holocaust survivors, my parents came to this country with literally nothing. And as part of Rabbi Dessler's greatness, the doors to The Hebrew Academy were opened to every Jewish child, no matter what their background was or their ability to pay." Dessler was born in Lithuania, raised in London, and traveled through Siberia and Japan to reach the United States during World War II, a route similar to that traveled by another recently deceased Orthodox rabbi and educator, Menachem Zeev “Wolf” Greenglass. Dessler arrived in Cleveland in 1941 with students and rabbis to re-establish the Telshe Yeshiva of Lithuania. Dessler came from a line of rabbis; His father was Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler. Nachum Zev Dessler also was instrumental in building Torah Umesorah, an organization of nearly 700 Orthodox schools. (As reported by The Eulogizer)
2011(18THof Shevat, 5771): Ninety-year old Stanley Frazen “a longtime film and television editor who was a member of the Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit during World War II,” passed away today at his home in Studio City
2012: “Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story” is scheduled to shown this evening at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2012: At Wolfson College, Oxford, Penguin Books celebrated the golden jubilee of The Dead Scrolls in English by Géza Vermes
2012: Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to perform Schubert's celebrated Piano Trio in B-flat Major and the Beethoven "Gassenhauer" Trio at Good Shepherd Church in NYC.
2012: On the secular calendar, 10th anniversary of the kidnapping of Danny Pearl.
2013(12thof Shevat, 5775): Eighty-eight year old investment banker Edward M. Kresky passed away today. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
2013: L'ayla Women's Initiative is scheduled to present a lecture by “The Shmuz” also known as Rabbi Bentzion Shafier.
2013: The final performance “The Winter’s Tale” sponsored by the Association of Americans and Canadians In Israel is scheduled to take place this evening in Jerusalem.
2013: The Republican Jewish Coalition is scheduled to sponsor an evening with Lela Gilbert and Jennifer Rubin – “The Real Israel: An American Christian’s Perspective” – at the Park East Synagogue.
2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set out his principles for forming a new government Wednesday, issuing a brief statement in which he listed the needs for a more equitable distribution of the national burden, affordable housing and changing the system of government as his would-be coalition’s three top priorities.
2013: Following the Knesset elections, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio today the US government remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. He also said that Washington looks forward to continued cooperation with the next Israeli government.
2014: Artist Dasha Shishkin is scheduled to provide commentary to “Chagall: Love, War and Exile” at the Jewish Museum.
2014: As part of the JPS/Skirball Series, Salo Aizenberg is scheduled to introduce his new book, Hatemail: Anti-Semitism on Picture Postcards.
2014: The United Nations Department of Public Information is scheduled to present “The 70th Anniversary of the Deportation of the Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust” during which “the participants will learn how the German Security Police worked with Hungarian authorities to systematically deport Jews from Hungary in May of 1944.”
2014: In an appearance that was not listed on the Mayor’s public schedule, Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an unannounced speech at a Manhattan gala of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, assuring its members that “part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel.”
2014: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today laid out the dilemma facing his administration when it comes to the Palestinian conflict — the imperative to avoid a binational state encompassing Israel and the Palestinians, but also to prevent a future Palestinian state from becoming an Iranian proxy. “Half of Palestinian society is dominated by Iran’s proxy,” he said in an apparent reference to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. (As reported by Lazar Berman and Adiv Sterman)
2014: The New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2014(22ndof Shevat, 5774): Sixty-three year old Tatyana (Tanya) Edelstein, the wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, to whom she had had been married for 33 years, passed away tonight.
2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present the next in the “Excellence-The Future Generation Series” featuring performances by Hanan Becher, Piano, Netta Karni, Piano, Liel Kaplyushnik, Piano, Daniel Fenings, Violin, Salmon Markman, Violin,Yael Koldobsky, Piano, Yael Koldobsky, Piano, Lior Greenwald, Violin, Tom Zalmanov, Piano and Alon Mamo, Piano
2015: In Cedar Rapids, the first Musical Shabbat of 2015 is scheduled to begin this evening.
2015: “Judy Berlin” is scheduled to be shown at the 92nd St Y as part of the Women on Top series.
41: Roman Emperor Caligula is murdered by the Praetorian Guard. Caligula’s treatment of the Jews does not qualify him as an anti-Semite since he was “a certifiable nut case” who murdered several of his family members, reportedly had incestuous relationships with at least of on his sisters and planned to name his favorite horse as a Counsel of Rome. Caligula believed he was a divinity who was to be publicly worshipped. A delegation of Jews from Alexandria, including the famous Philo, went to Rome to plead the Jewish case before Caligula. At first Caligula was hostile to the Jews, but in the end he reportedly dismissed the delegation saying, the Jews are “just a poor, stupid people unable to believe in my divinity.” The real threat came when Caligula took steps to install a statute of himself in Jerusalem that was to be worshipped. Agrippa, King of Judea and Petronious Publius, the Roman governor of Syriawere able to stall the Emperor whose subsequent assassination rendered the point moot.
76: Birthdate of Publius A Hadrianus 14th Roman Emperor. Hadrian reigned from 117 through 138. Hadrian banned Torah study, Synagogue worships and led the Romans in the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt.
1059: Nicholas II who “condemned the persecution of the Jews and who…expressed” his opposition to “compulsory baptism” began his Papacy.
1436: In Aix-en-Provence, a riot ensued after a crowd felt that a Jew who insulted the Virgin Mary received too light a sentence
1517: Selim I defeated the Mamluks at the Battle of Ridaniya giving the Ottomans control over Egypt leading to “radical changes in the affairs of” Egyptian Jewry including the abolition of the office of nagid, the creation of independent Jewish communities including the one in Cairo head by David ibn Abi Zimra and the appointment of Abraham de Castro as the master of the mint..
1656: Dr. Jacob Lumbrozo, the first Jewish physician in what would be the United States arrived in Maryland
1678(1st of Shevat): Rabbi Solomon Lichtenstein of Bialystok, author of Kokhmat Shelomo, passed away
1704: In Metz, France Abraham Schwab found a yeshivah that became the Seminaire Israelite de France
1712: Birthdate of Frederick II, King of Prussiafrom 1740 until 86. Known as Frederickthe Great, the Prussian king’s treatment of Jews was, to say the least, uneven. He did grant special rights to some, including Mendelssohn. However for the most part, he treated them as an exploitable economic commodity. But what can you expect from a man who wished to be buried with his greyhounds, the only living creatures he really loved.
1729: Frederick William I ordered the elders of the community to appoint Moses Ben Aaron as the chief rabbi of Berlin, a move which upset the Jewish community because they felt he was too young.
1803(1st of Shevat, 5563): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1804: Presbyterian minister and poet Joseph Fawcett passed away. In 1785, he began a series of Sunday evening lectures at the Old Jewry meeting house the popular meeting house for a Presbyterians that took its name from the fact that the area had been the Jewish quarter or ghetto in the days before Edward expelled them at the end of the 14th century. There is no record of how these Christians felt about occupying the territory used by the people they had been persecuting and to whom they still denied the full rights of British citizens.
1814: Birthdate of John William Colenso, the native of Cornwall who while serving as Bishop of Natal translated three books of the TaNaCh into Zulu and was convicted of heresy for publicly denying “the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch” and declaring “that Jeremiah was the author of the Book of Deuteronomy.”
1823: In Frankfurt am Main, Zerline Beyfus (Worms) and Meyer (Mayer) Levin Beyfus gave birth to Sigismund Beyfus.
1828: Birthdate of Ferdinand J Cohn, German botanist. He is considered a founder of the science of bacteriology. From his early studies of microscopic life he developed theories of the bacterial causes of infectious disease and recognized bacteria as plants. He aided Robert Koch in preparing Koch's famous work on anthrax. Cohn's writings cover such diverse subjects as fungi, algae, insect epidemics, and plant diseases.
1828(8thof Shevat, 5588): Seventy-three year old Abraham Flesch, “the Rabbi at Rausntiz, Moravia, who was the father of Joseph Flesch passed away today.
1830: Birthdate of Jules Worms, the Paris born physician served the French Army as a surgeon during the Crimean War and was on the staff at Rothschild Hospital from 1865 to 1875>
1844: The Second Annual Benevolent Ball of the Israelites of Philadelphia raised $489.79 today.
1848: James Marshall finds gold at mill that is being built for John Sutter near San Francisco, CA. According to historian Hubert Howe Bancroft this event brought “a medley of races and nationalities, including the ubiquitous Hebrews." According to Stephen Mark Dobbs there were thirty Jews at a Rosh Hashanah services in San Francisco and the number grew to fifty for Yom Kippur. Jews mined for gold but they mined the commercial opportunities and by 1853 their number had grown to 3,000 in San Francisco alone.
1850: “The House of Rothschild made a fifty million franc loan to Pope Pius IX on condition that” the walls of Rome’s Ghetto would be taken down. Not only did the Pope fail to remove the walls, he “re-imposed restrictions on Jews living in the Papal States…brought pressure against other rulers to revoke Jewish rights granted in 1848” and ruled that the kidnapped Jewish Edgar Mortara should be raised as a Catholic.
1851: In Cayuga County, NY, Albert Baham was hung for his role in the murder of the Jewish peddler Nathan Adler. After the execution, Albert’s brother John confessed his role which resulted in his death sentence being commuted to life in prison. In point of fact, he was pardoned by the governor after having served 8 years in prison for his part in the crime.
1856 (17th of Shevat, 5616): Rabbi Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Polish Hasidic leader passed away. (Ed. Note: This comparatively lengthy note is intended to provide those with limited background an introduction to the richly textured, multi-dimensional world of Chassidic Jewry.) Born in 1755, he was the founder of the) Modzitz or Modzhitz Chassidim. This is the name of a Chassidic group that derives its name from Modzice, one of the boroughs of the town of Dęblin, Poland, located on the VistulaRiver. Followers of this group are known as Modzitzer Chasidim and they are now based mainly in Bnei Brak and Jerusalemin Israel where their Rebbe lives. They also have a smaller following in Brooklyn, New York. The rabbis who lead them have come from a family by the name of "Taub". Rabbi Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir established yeshivas and a type of Hasidic teaching that was similar to that of the Seer of Lublin, and distinct from the Hasidism of Ger and Kotzk. Upon his death, his son, Rabbi Eliyahu Taub of Zvolin, Polandsucceeded him. He excelled in Torah scholarship and creating Hasidic songs. He was called Menagen mafli pla'os Hebrew for "a wondrous musical talent". His first son Rabbi Moshe Aaron succeeded him as Rabbi of Zvolin. His second son Yisrael went on to found the actual Modzitz Hasidic dynasty. Rabbi Yisrael Taub was born in 1849 and in 1891 founded the Modzitzer Hasidic movement in Modzitz, Poland. He created many melodies that are still sung by Hasidim today. When he passed away on November 24, 1920, he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub. Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub was born on October 20, 1886. He guided his Hasidim until 1938 when he fled Polanddue to Nazi persecution. He made his way to Lithuania, then to Russia, then to China, and then to Japan. Eventually, with the help of some Modzitzer Chassidim, he and some family members reached the shores of San Franciscoand then moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1940. It was during his stay in Brooklynthat Rabbi Shaul became popular and helped rebuild Modzitz. He was a gifted songwriter and wrote over 1000 Hasidic melodies. He constantly talked about the coming of the State of Israel. He was unable to see his prediction come true and he passed away on November 29, 1947, the day the UN voted to create the state of Israel. He was succeded by his son Rabbi Samuel Eliyahu Taub. Rabbi Samuel Eliyahu was born in Lublin, Poland on February 9, 1905. Rabbi Shaul and his son Rabbi Samuel were on a trip to the then British Mandate of Palestinein 1935. While they were there Samuel fell in love with Palestineand asked his father if he could stay there. His father agreed and within a year Rabbi Samuel's wife and their child came over to Israel. In 1947 he succeeded his father and became the Modzitzer Rebbe to be known as the Imre Aish ("Words of Fire") as Samuel Eliyahu is called, and continued the traditions of Modzitz both as a composer and Torah scholar. He passed away on May 6, 1984, when he was succeeded by his son Rabbi Dan Israel Taub. Rabbi Israel Dan was born in 1928 in Warsaw, Poland. He came with his mother to Palestine in 1936 to meet up with his father Rabbi Samuel. For a number of years he headed the Modzitz Chasidim in the city of Tel-Avivwhere his father had lived. He moved to a new building in Bnei Brak, Israel on Lag Ba'omer 5755 (May 18. 1995). Like his predecessors he also composes Hasidic melodies and many of them have are sung regularly in Hasidic synagogues. His opinion is highly regarded. The Modzitz Hasidim are well-known for their uniquely inspiring melodies and their devotion to serious learning of Torah and Talmud.
1862: Bucharest was proclaimed capital of Romania. The Jewish population of Bucharest had grown from 127 families in 1820 to 5,934 persons in 1860. By the turn of the century, the Jewish population would exceed 40,000 people making them almost 15% of the city’s total population.
1874: Nathan W. Lyman appeared at the Jefferson Market Police Court today and withdrew his complaint that he had been swindled out of $7,000 by a Hungarian born Jew, Dr. Gabor Naphegyi.
1876: Leaders of several New York congregations met at Temple Emanu-El met tonight to discuss the possibility of establishing a college for Jewish students. A committee was established to contact congregations throughout the United States to gain support for the endeavor. Louis May, President of Temple Emanu-El was selected as chairman and Meyer S. Isaacs was selected as Secretary.
1879: Rosa Sonneschein founded "The Pioneers," a Jewish women's literary club in St. Louis, Missouri. “The club, which met in Sonneschein's home, was modeled after similar Christian women's clubs and was devoted to general literary subjects rather than specifically Jewish literature. Perhaps inspired by this literary circle, in the 1880s Sonneschein began publishing stories in Jewish magazines. She also worked as a correspondent for the German-language press in the U.S., a position for which she was prepared by both her German upbringing and her social status as the wife of a prominent St. Louis rabbi. In 1895, after divorcing her husband, Sonneschein moved to Chicago and founded a magazine specifically addressed to American Jewish women, the American Jewess. Though the magazine ran only until 1899, it was the first English periodical specifically addressed to Jewish women. It sought to document and inspire the activism of an emerging network of Jewish women's organizations that expanded upon the model established by the Pioneers.”
1880: Birthdate of New York political leader and Congressman Meyer Jacobstein.
1888: President Moritz Loth chaired a special meeting of the Executive Board at 1:30 p.m. where resolutions were adopted praising Max Hoffheimer, the board member who passed away unexpectedly yesterday.
1888: Birthdate of Austrian writer, Hedwig (Vicki) Baum. Vicki Baum is considered one of the first modern bestselling authors, and her books are reputed to be among the first examples of contemporary mainstream literature. She attended Vienna Conservatory to study the harp, later playing the harp professionally and teaching music for several years in Darmstadt. After a number of novels in German, a breakthrough novel, Menschen im Hotel, was turned into a play and then at the instigation of producer Irving Thalberg into the highly successful film Grand Hotel directed by Edmund Goulding. The story details one weekend in a posh hotel in minute detail -- Baum had taken a job as maid to yield realism. The film won Best Picture Oscar. Her time in the United States made her realize it was time to leave Germany, emigrating in 1932. From that point Baum wrote many of her novels in English and took citizenship in 1938. Residing in California, she lived in Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, and then Hollywood, where she died of leukemia in 1960. Among two of her most pithy sayings are, "Pity is the deadliest feeling that can be offered to a woman" and "To be a Jew is a destiny.” (Jewish Women’s Archives)
1888: In New York City, over a thousand people attended a benefit performance of "King Solomon" at the Roumania Opera House. The event was organized by Mrs. M. Rosendorff who will use the funds to buy meat for needy Jews at Passover time. This is not Mrs. Rosendorff's first foray into fund raising. In 1887, she hosted a ball at the the Webster Hall that paid for meat Passover time.
1891(15thof Shevat, 5651): Tu B’Shevat
1891: Sarah Bernhardt is scheduled to sail from Harve today so that they can begin performing at the Garden Theatre in New York at the beginning of February.
1892: It was reported today that as the famine worsens in Russia Czar Nicholas II has decided to devote all of his energies to dealing with the crisis which means he has “indefinitely postponed” all of the measures aimed against his Jewish subjects.
1892: It was reported today that the upcoming Hebrew Charity Ball is the last major festivity of the social season in Philadelphia, PA.
1892: It was reported today that in addition to persecuting the Jews, the Czar is now persecuting the Stundists, a Christian sect founded in the 1850’s.
1893(7th of Shevat, 5653): Russian author and Hebraist Isaac Mayer Dick passed away today.
1895: “A Dance For Charity” published today described the dances sponsored by the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s League of the Montefiore home which have replaced the annual Purim Ball as the leading social event “in Jewish social circles.” The change took place two years ago but has not had any effect on the ability to raise funds for the charities that benefit from these social events. (more for 2015)
1895: The officers of the Montefiore Home were today reported to be: President – Jacob H. Schiff; Vice President – Louse Gans; Treasurer – Isidor Straus; and Honorary Secretary – Raphael Ettinger.
1896: It was reported that while giving President Kreuger was giving a sermon during the ceremonies dedicating a synagogue in Johannesburg, he said “And so I consecrate this building to the worship of the Triune God.” While some Jews minimized this reference to the Trinity, “others maintain that the building has been desecrated and they have built another synagogue…”
1896: It was reported today that in Jersey City, forty or fifty Jews who were sitting in the audience during a speech being given by Herman Ahlwardt, the German anti-Semite “threatened to kill him and burn the hall” when he “made some particularly bitter references to them.” The Jews “were ejected by the police and order was restored.”
1897: Berlin Zionists Willy Bambus and Theodor Zlocisti address a letter to Herzl.
1897: Dr. Lyman Abbott delivered a sermon today on the books of Esther, Daniel and Jonah “all of which he said were fictitious although the book of Esther was based on historical facts and was derived from court records.”
1898: It was reported today that for the year ending November 30, 1897, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York treated 2,996 patients with a mortality rate of 9.04 percent. (More for 2014)
1898: It was reported today that leaders of the Jewish community in Algiers have advised their co-religionists to remain indoors and stay away from their businesses following attacks by anti-Dreyfus/ant-Semitic mobs.
1898: A mob of approximately 3,000 people surged through the streets of Algiers shouting “Down With the Jews.”
1898: An anti-Jewish riot took place today in St. Malo, a town in Brittany.
1898: “A dispatch received from Algiers late tonight says that at 11 o’clock perfect tranquility prevailed” with the troops having cleared the street of anti-Semitic rioters including 300 of whom have been arrested.
1899: “The Zionist Movement” published today provided a summary of the report prepared by the U.S. Consul at Beirut that concluded by “saying that the prospects are brighter than ever before for the Jews in Palestine and for the country itself.”
1899: Sarah Ullmann, the wife of Solomon Ullmann, was buried today at the Edmonton Western Jewish Cemetery
1899: It was reported today that Henry Herzberg believes “that there never was a period in the world’s history when more potent reasons existed why the essential teachings of Judaism should be faithfully observed. Amid the forces of modern civilization…there is vital need for constructive thought which feeds the moral springs of action.”
1899: It was reported today that the population of Palestine is 200,000 of which 40,000 are Jews. This is an increase of 26,000 Jews in the last twenty years. There are 22,000 Jews living in Jerusalem “half of whom” have come from Europe.
1900(24th of Shevat, 5660): Seventy-year old Isaac Artom “Italian patriot, diplomat, financier and author” passed away today at Rome.”
1901: The Industrial Removal Office was formally created as part of the Jewish Agricultural Society at the Society's Executive Committee meeting. The Society rented a store at 34 Stanton Streetin New York and named it "The Industrial Removal Office." The philosophy behind the IRO was to assimilate the immigrants into American Society, both economically and culturally. In 1901, following anti-Semitic decrees by the Romanian government, a large wave of Romanian Jews fled to New York. The Rumanian Committee was quickly formed in New York to distribute the immigrants to other towns where they might find employment. B'nai B'rith lodges in these towns and cities assisted the refugees upon their arrival. The Romanian Committee rapidly evolved into the Industrial Removal Office, which took over the work on a much larger scale and opened its availability to any unemployed Jewish immigrant, regardless of their origin. The process of procuring work for immigrants was done through traveling agents, who also obtained the cooperation of local Jewish organizations. Local committees, organized primarily by B'nai B'rith, obtained orders for workers and assisted the immigrants on their arrival. The New York bureau noted requests received from the traveling agents and local committees and matched up opportunities from their applicant lists. In the first year of the Industrial Removal Office's existence, nearly 2000 individuals were sent to 250 places throughout the United States.
1902: Birthdate of economist Oskar Morgenstern. Morgenstern enjoyed a successful career in Europe until the coming of the Nazis forced him to flee to the United States, where he pursued his career.
1903: The New York Times reports on the growth and development of the Jewish Theological Seminary including the securing of a $500,000 endowment and the election of Justice Greenbaum, the New York state jurist, to the Board of Directors.
1905(18thof Shevat, 5665): Sixty-two year old Edward Einstein, the native of Cincinnati, Ohio who “was elected a Republican from New York’s 7th Congressional District and who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor passed away today.
1905: Henry S. Morais, journalist, educator and rabbi, writes a letter praising Benjamin Disraeli to the New York Timesentitled “Why the People of the United States Should Cherish His Memory” in which he reviews Disraeli’s support for the Union during the Civil War when other English leaders including Gladstone “were known to be in sympathy” with the Confederates and which concludes with the statement that this “scion of the famous Israelis of Jewish history…the offspring of a people as old as the ages, will live in the minds and in the hearts not alone of his own, but in those of a liberty loving humanity.”
1907(9thof Shevat, 5667): Ninety year old Moritz Steinschneider passed away in Berlin.
1908(21stof Shevat, 5668): Leopold Wallach a distinguished New York lawyer who is the father-in-law of Max Morgenthau, Jr. passed away today.
1908: In Leipzig, Hans von Halban Sr. a professor of physical chemistry and his wife gave birth French physicist Hans Heinrich von Halban.
1911: Founding of Merchaviya the first Jewish settlement in Emek Yizra'el (JezreelValley). Ten years after its founding, Merchaviya would be joined by its most famous member, Golda Meir. The future Prime Minister of Israel would tend chickens
1913: Birthdate of Mark Goodson, TV game-show producer
1913: Franz Kafka stopped working on "Amerika"; it will never be finished
1915: “Jacob H. Schiff while speaking today at the annual meeting of the Hebrew Free Loan Society to which he and members of his family have been among the largest contributors said he believed there was no other institution who work among Jews was so far reaching and urged that steps be taken to broaden its scope and capital
1915: A mass meeting sponsored by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society to express opposition to the Smith-Burnett Immigration Bill is scheduled to be held this evening at Cooper Union.
1915: David I. Seiffer will serve as Chairman of the mass meeting scheduled to be held at Adas Jeshurun this afternoon for the purpose of raising funds for the “war suffers in Kalisch, Russian-Polan which has been laid waste and is now in the hands of the Germans.”
1916: Chinka Chana Zaid and Yosef Yechiel Zaid, HaKohen gave birth to their daughter Miriam Meir.
1917(1st of Shevat, 5677): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1918: The Gregorian calendar introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective from February 14(NS). This change is one of the impediments to pinpoint accuracy in dating events in Russian history. Events are marked in different places by Old Style and New Style dates. Unfortunately, some sources do not tell which they are which leads to added confusion. (Yes, this is an excuse for some of the inaccuracies in this document.)
1922: Eskimo Pie patented by Christian K Nelson of Iowa. (Nelson was not an Eskimo and he was not Jewish. But those of who live in Iowa don’t get to brag very often, so just laugh and move on. There is a Jewish connection between Iowa and Ice Cream. Many of the products manufactured by Blue Bunny Ice Cream which is located in La Mars, Iowa, are kosher and delicious)
1922: Professor Louis Ginzberg presented a paper on “The Question of Fermented Wines in Jewish Religious Observances” to members of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary who meeting in an executive session today. Following a lengthy and lively discussion the consensus of opinion was that unfermented grape juice may be used for sacramental purposes. This decision will be forwarded to the American Jewish Committee which is collecting information on the acceptability of using grape juice instead of wine when reciting Kiddush, etc. Ginzberg’s belief that the use of unfermented grape juice could be used put him at odds with the writings of Rabi Abraham Klausner. Currently, nobody produces grape juice that meets the standards of Kashrut so adoption of Ginzberg’s view would require the start of a new business venture. [For those of you unacquainted with American History, this issue arose with the start of Prohibition and its attempt to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the U.S.]
1924: Birthdate of Chaim David ha-Levi, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv.
1924: Birthdate of character actor Marvin Kaplan.
1924: Max L. Pine, Secretary of the United Hebrew Trades was the opening speaker at meeting attended by representatives of 136 Jewish labor organizations where plans were made to oppose the Johnson Immigration Bill which Congressman Fiorello LaGuardia said was not an “immigration program” but an “immigration pogrom” (JTA)
1924(18th of Shevat): “Z’ev Jawotz, founder of the Mizrachi movement passed away.
1932(16thof Shevat, 5692): Sixty-four year old Paul M. Warburg, the brother of Felix Warburg, passed away at 6:30 this evening at his home in Manhattan. At the time of his death he was chairman of the boards of the International Acceptance Bank of New York and the Manhattan Company. A native of Hamburg, and a member of one of the most prominent banking family, he was instrumental in providing many of the ideas that culminated in the creation of the Federal Reserve. He was married to Nina Loeb, the daughter of the late Solomon Loeb of the famed financial firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co.
1932: Celebration of the 70th anniversary of the birth of author Sigmund Dische in Czernowitz, Romania.
1932: Dr. Abraham Schwardon’s gift to HebrewUniversity was described today as being “A Great Collection of Autographs and Portraits Assembled by the Labors of a Galician Chemist.”
1933 Jüdisches Museum zu Berlin(1933–1938, opened on Oranienburger Straße a street in central Berlin that was the in the heart of Berlin’s Jewish community before the rise of the Nazis
1933(26th of Tevet, 5693):Charles "King" Solomon a Boston racketeer born in 1884 who controlled New England's bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling during Prohibition was killed in Boston's Cotton Club by rival gunmen. http://www.onewal.com/w-solomo.html
1934: A Lutheran minister (name unknown) opposed to the ReichChurchis beaten by Nazi thugs.
1935: In Haifa Matilda and Yehuda HaCohen gave birth to Nisim Cohen, a crewman on the ill-fated INS Dakar.
1936: Jewish band leader Benny Goodman and his orchestra record "Stompin' at the Savoy" on Victor Records
1938: The Palestine Post reported that a meeting of the General Council (Va'ad Leumi) of Palestine Jews published a manifesto calling for the immediate opening of the gates of the country to the millions of suffering Diaspora Jews.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that one Jew was severely wounded when Arabs shot at a group of workers returning from the Givat Shaul quarry to Jerusalem.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that according to the new Romanian law, all Jews had to appear before the courts in order to prove their citizenship rights.
1939: Hermann Goring, Hitler’s #2, formally appointed Reinhard Heydrich as head of Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration and ordered him to speed up the process
1940: Final day of an Aktion begun on January 18 during which 255 Jews were arrested in Warsaw and then murdered in the Palmiry Forest.
1940: As the Nazi plunder of Polandcontinues, General Gouvernment ordered registration of all Jewish property.
1941: Birthdate of Dan Schecthman, the Tel Aviv native who is a professor at the Technion and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
1943: During the past three weeks, fifteen trains reached the Auschwitz from Belgium, Holland, Berlin, Grodno and Bialystok. Of the new arrivals, 4,000 were sent to the barracks and 20,000 were killed before their luggage could be sorted. To accommodate the rate of killing, four new crematoriums were constructed.
1943 One thousand Jews from Jasionowka were rounded up and deported to Treblinka.
1943: The Nazis incinerated Jewish patients, nurses and doctors at Auschwitz-Birkenau
1943: Hitler ordered Nazi troops at Stalingradto fight to death. This militarily stupid command helped seal the fate of the German army and marked the beginning of the end for the Nazi juggernaut.
1944: The SS Meyer London was launched today. This “liberty ship” was named for the American Jewish leader who was one of only two Socialist Party members to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was sunk by a torpedo off the cost of Lybia.
1944: Birthdate of singer Neil Diamond
1944: Birthdate of David Gerrold [Jerrold David Friedman] author of the World of Star Trek. There has always been a strange affinity between Jewish writers and science fiction. Maybe it comes from those Biblical chariots of Elijah, Ezekiel and Isaiah.
1947: Birthdate of Warren William Zevon, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant and a Scottish/Welsh Mormon who became a noted singer, song writer and musician
1948: Julius Ochs Adler was promoted to Major General in the United States Army.
1948: Birthdate Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State and foreign policy expert.
1949: France recognized Israel.
1951: Birthdate of Soviet-born American comedian Yakov Smirfnoff
1959(15th of Shevat, 5719): Tu B'Shvat
1959: "Party with Comden & Green" closes at John Golden New York City
1962: Brian Epstein signed a contract to manage The Beatles
1964: Bob Hope hosted an hour-long TV version of “The Seven Little Foys” which had been written by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson.
1965: In Damascus, Syrian police arrested Kamel Amin Th’abet on charges of being an Israeli spy. After being tortured he was hung in a pubic execution. Th’abet was Eli Cohen who successfully penetrated the highest level of the Syrian government and provided intelligence of immeasurable value.
1965: Winston Churchill died in Londonat age 90. Churchill supported the Balfour Declaration. He led the fight against Hitler. At the same time, he stood by and did virtually nothing to rescue the Jews of Europe. And he continued to enforce the White Paper after there was no military reason to do so. Martin Gilbert, his biographer, is Jewish and has written a slim, fascinating volume entitled Churchill and the Jews.
1973: Hussein Al Bashir, he Fatah representative on Cyprus was killed tonight when a bomb “plant under his bed was remotely detonated.’
1974(1st of Shevat, 5734): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1975: Larry Fine, actor, comedian and member of the Three Stooges passed away
1976(22ndof Shevat, 5736): Seventy-one year old Pinchas Lavon passed away
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin told the Knesset that he might reconsider his previous decision, and would send a delegation to the Cairo-held military talks, but warned that this would not happen if Egyptcontinued to issue statements offensive to Jewish dignity. Begin explained that Egypt broke off the political talks held in Jerusalem despite the fact that President Anwar Sadat was well aware, in advance, of Israel's stand on the Rafiah Sinai salient and on the future of Palestine's Arab people. In Cairo Egypt confirmed that the political peace talks had been frozen, but not terminated. The US insisted that both Egypt and Israel should embark on a useful process that should resume whenever possible.
1983: Director George Cukor passed away at the age of 83 after a stroke and a heart attack.
1986: In Eilat Laura (née Ehrenkranz), a teacher, and Brian Ullman, a printer gave birth to Ricky Ullman who moved to the United States after his first birthday and became a successful actor and musician.
1988: After the Israeli Cabinet met today Police Minister Haim Bar-Lev told reporters that reports to contrary, there is no policy to beat Palestinians to stop protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He said that the using the word beatings “is an unfortunate term.”
1990: An Israeli court jailed for life plus 40 years a Palestinian known as the ''Tel Aviv Strangler,'' who claimed to have killed seven people to prove he was not a collaborator with the Israelis. Four of his victims were Jews and three were Arabs. Mohammed Halabi, 32 years old, was sentenced today for the murders in October of five women and two men. The Tel Aviv District Court jailed him for 40 additional years for two attempted murders. The police said Mr. Halabi confessed to all the charges.
1991: Israel said it would not carry out an immediate retaliatory strike against Iraq despite the missile attack on Tel Aviv that killed three people. After that decision, another Iraqi missile was destroyed by one of the American Patriot missiles stationed in Israel over the weekend. And it was disclosed that a Patriot had clipped the missile that hit Tel Aviv.
1991: Mayor David N. Dinkins, who has repeatedly criticized the American effort in the Persian Gulf, said today that he would travel to Israel next week in a symbolic gesture of support for Israelis and for American troops. In the tender world of the city's ethnic politics, the visit could prove awkward. It would appeal to Jewish supporters and strengthen his pro-Israel stance, but it might appear too hawkish to some of his anti-war constituents, including many blacks, who still form the base of his support.
1991: In the currency market, the dollar's recovery today, which was partly technical, followed comments by Israel's Ambassador to the United States, who said Tel Aviv would be ready to join in regional arms control efforts and possible peace talks with the Palestinians once the Persian Gulf War ended.
1992: In “A Physical Approach For an Israeli 'Hamlet'” Mel Gussow reviews Rina Yerushalmi's provocative adaptation of "Hamlet" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
1993: A “travel advisory” issued to reported that the American Jewish Congress will be sponsoring 4 “family tours of Israel” this year ‘that include the opportunity to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and at the Zealot's Synagogue in Masada”
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or topics of special interest to Jewish readers including Primo Levi:Tragedy of an Optimistby Myriam Anissimov, The Conversion by Aharon Appelfeld and Reporting Live by Leslie Stahl.
2000: RADWARE Ltd., of Tel Aviv is prepared to make an equity offering 2.5 million shares this week.
2001: As the controversy surrounding the pardon of Marc Rich continues to grow, Jack Quinn, former White House counsel under President Clinton, who is now Mr. Rich's lawyer said in an interview today that the president had given every indication in their conversations on January 19th that he had read the petition and piles of testimonials that had been sent the previous month and that he was eager to discuss the case on its merits. Their conversation was strictly about the “legal merits.” There were no questions about party affiliations or the role of Denis Rich, Mr. Rich's former wife, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser and close friend of the Clintons. But now with the pardon drawing so much criticism, Mr. Quinn acknowledged making mistakes and said that President Clinton had every right to be angry with him. ''He should be upset,'' Mr. Quinn said. ''I'm upset.'' Mr. Quinn faulted himself for failing to go public sooner with the rationale for the pardon. Mr. Clinton has been widely criticized for pardoning Mr. Rich, a financier who lived a wealthy exile life in Switzerland for the last 17 years instead of returning to face charges of tax fraud and trading with Iran in violation of sanctions. ''I didn't anticipate well enough the reaction to this,'' Mr. Quinn said. Beyond his kindling a firestorm of criticism more searing than that surrounding any of Mr. Clinton's other last-minute pardons, Mr. Quinn said he was distressed by the perception that he had used connections gained in the years when he was chief of staff to Al Gore and White House counsel to Mr. Clinton to obliterate much of the case against Mr. Rich.
2001: Today, Mr. Bush appeared to be directing attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian talks and toward major Arab countries by placing telephone calls to four leaders: King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan.
The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, described the calls as an effort to ''underscore the strong relations the United States has with these nations.'' He said they were ''introductory'' in nature and declined to be specific about substance.
2001: In France, premiere of Origine Contrôlée a French comedy starring Ronit Elkabetz the Israeli actress in her first French film.
2001: The cabinet decided tonight Israel will return to peace talks with the Palestinians here on Thursday, after a nearly two-day suspension prompted by the killing of two Israeli civilians in the West Bank.
2001: Peter Mandelson completed his term as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
2002: In New York, the 11th annual New York Jewish Film Festival comes to a close.
2004(1stof Shevat, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
2004: An exhibition entitled “What Does It Mean To Be Jewish?” opens at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam.
2005: In an article entitled “A Bright Diaspora Star Fails to Dazzle Israel,” Steven Erlanger describes the Israeli reaction to American economist and banker Stanley Fischer becoming Governor of the Bank of Israel.
2005: At Columbia University, the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim “compared Herzl’s ideas to Wagner’s; criticized Palestinian terrorist attacks but also justified them; and said Israeli actions contributed to the rise of international anti-Semitism.” (JTA)
2005: Daniel Barenboim discusses music as a bridge for peace in the Middle East.
2006: During the Presidency of Robert A. Iger, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction
2006: The Los Angeles Times published a column by Joel Stein under the headline "Warriors and Wusses" in which he wrote that it is a cop-out to oppose a war and yet claim to support the soldiers fighting it. "I don’t support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism..."
2006: Ehud Olmert, in his first major policy address since becoming Israel's acting prime minister, said at the Herzliya Conference that he backed the creation of a Palestinian state, and that Israel would have to relinquish parts of the West Bank to maintain its Jewish majority.
2006: The Antiquities Authority recommended the Meggido Prison be transferred to a new location, after the remains of an ancient church were discovered on the facility's grounds four months ago
2007: In what some considered as a major breakthrough in the history of the Holocaust, Haaretz reported that Khaled Abd al-Wahab, a well-to-do Tunisian farmer who died in 1997, was the first Arab to be named as a candidate for a Righteous Gentile award from Yad Vashem. The nomination was based on testimony of Anny Boukris, a 73-year-old Jewish woman from Los Angeles who survived the Axis occupation of North Africa. In a letter sent to the authorities at Yad Vashaem, she described how Abd al-Wahab rescued her and 24 relatives from their hiding place and hid them on his farm until the end of the German occupation. Boukris, who was 11 at the time, related that al-Wahab risked his life when he stopped a German officer from raping her mother.
2007, Moshe Katsav held a press conference at which he accused journalists of persecuting him and judging him before all the evidence was in.
2007: In a talk scheduled minutes after Katsav's speech, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on him to resign from the presidency.
2007: At the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, an exhibition entitled “Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited” comes to a close. By 1966, kingmaker-critics had anointed Morris Louis, the great Washington abstractionist, the greatest painter since Jackson Pollock.
2008: The New York Jewish Film Festival comes to an end with showings of Orthodox Stance a documentary about “Dmitry Salita a twenty-something Russian immigrant equally devoted to the seemingly disparate worlds of professional boxing and Orthodox Judaism”; Villa Jasmin, a film about “Serge, a Tunisian-born Jew living in Paris, who takes his wife to see the country he remembers fondly from his childhood. It is based on a novel by Serge Moati, also explores Serge’s parents’ courtship and his father’s activities with the anti-fascist movement in the 1930s”; The Film Fanatic and The Unkosher Truth a short documentary, in which the filmmaker must muster the courage to tell her father, an Orthodox rabbi and U.S. Army general, that her boyfriend is German and gentile.”
2009: The 5th annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival continues with Noodle, a comic drama about an El Al flight attendant and a 5-year-old Chinese boy left behind when his illegal immigrant mother is deported. Though they have no language in common, the two build a bond as they search for his mother.
2010:Final performance of the The Kosher Cheerleader by Sandy Wolshin at the Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.
2010: “From Verse to Universe: Reading the People’s Torah” is scheduled to open at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum.
2010:An exhibition entitled: “Hyman Bloom: A Spiritual Embrace at the Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to come a close.”
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the United States premiere of the restored print of Bar Mitzvah, a classic of Yiddish cinema, in which a mother miraculously survives a shipwreck and shocks the family by appearing at her son’s bar mitzvah. The film features “the legendary Boris Thomashefsky in his only film performance.”
2010: The 10th annual Atlanta Jewish Festival is scheduled to present the East Coast Premiere of “The Yankles,” which tells the story of ex-con who is forced to coach an “upstart Orthodox baseball team” as part of the community service sentence imposed by the Judge for a drunk driving conviction.
2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Listener by Shira Nayman
2010: 2010: The Los Angeles Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.
2011: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to present a program entitled “2011: Challenges and Opportunities for American and World Jewry” during which Malcolm Hoenlein and John Batchelor are scheduled to lead “a candid discussion of the dangers and issues facing the Jewish community in the coming year, from delegitimization to the peace process to Iran globalization.”
2011: The U.S. Premiere of “Convoys of Shame” / “Les Convois de la honte” is scheduled to take place at the New York Jewish Film Festival. “This incisive documentary examines how the SNCF (the French national rail company) used its trains and its extensive infrastructure to transport tens of thousands of Jews, Roma, and members of the resistance from France to Nazi concentration camps from 1940 to 1944.
2011: Today, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar defended his decision to approve the military conversions which are undertaken according to orthodox Jewish law.
2011: Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the Feb. 22 mayoral ballot because he does not meet the residency standard, according to a ruling issued by a state appellate court today. Emanuel told a news conference he would appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court and would ask for an injunction so his name will appear on the mayoral ballot.
2011(19thof Shevat, 5771): David Frye, whose wicked send-ups of political figures like Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey and, above all, Richard M. Nixon, made him one of the most popular comedians in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died today in Las Vegas (As reported by William Grimes)
2012: “Dressing America: Tales From The Garment Center” – a documentary that explores the post-World War II heyday of the garment district in Manhattan” and “pays tribute to the Jewish immigrant roots of the garment industry” – is scheduled to have its New York Premiere at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2012: YIVO is scheduled to present a lecture by Cur Leviant entitled “The Works of Chaim Grade” one of the 20th century’s leading Yiddish authors.
2012: In Mt. Vernon, Iowa, Holocaust survivor and education Irving Roth is scheduled to speak at Cornell College as part of “Standing With Israel Event.”
2012: Israel carried out four airstrikes on the Gaza Strip overnight after Palestinian militants fired about six rockets and mortars over the border over the past week, an Israeli military spokesman said today
2012: Conflicting reports emerged tonight about an alleged Iranian plot against Israeli and Jewish targets in Azerbaijan
2013(13thof Shevat, 5773): Eighty-four year old Richard G. Stern, “the best American author of whom you have never heard” passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2013: Professor Dan Michman is scheduled to deliver a lecture “Jewish ‘Headships’ and Nazi Anti-Jewish Policies” at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London.
2013: Leo Baeck Institute and Center for Jewish History are scheduled to present a screening of “Kinderbloch 66: Return to Buchenwald”
2013: Gerhard Loewenberg, University of Iowa professor emeritus and former dean, is scheduled to read from his new memoir, Moved by Politics, at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City.
2013: The Wicked Wit of the West featuring Hank Rosenfield on the subject of Irving Brecher is schedule for performance at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival
2013: Four former Border Policemen, accused of abusing a petrified Palestinian man who appeared to be mentally challenged, were in court today to hear the legal arguments over whether or not their actions constituted abuse, Channel 2 reported.(As reported by Stuart Winer)
2013: The nationalist Jewish Home party has risen to become the fourth-largest Knesset faction, with 12 seats, after officials finished counting the votes of soldiers and others this afternoon. The party had been predicted to take 11 seats before the last votes were counted.
2014 Harris J. Weingarten Tennis Weekend is scheduled to begin at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, TX.
2014: Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is scheduled to host its first Musical Shabbat of 2014.
2014: “Tatiana (Tanya) Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was brought to rest this afternoon at the Gush Etzion Cemetery.”
2014: Sixty-three year old Tatiana (Tania) Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein who passed away last night was laid to rest this afternoon in the Gush Etzion cemetery
2014(23rdof Shevat, 5774): Eighty-five year old Shulamit Aloni passed away today.
2015: “The Naked City” and “A Child of the Ghetto” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: “Hannah’s Journey” is scheduled to be shown at the Brooklyn Israel Film Festival.
2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to present “The Essence of Schubert” featuring Eliyahu Schulmann, Shmuel Magen and Shlomi Shem Tov.
41: Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate. “Claudius rescinded Caligula’s provocative decrees affecting Judean and reaffirmed Jewish rights throughout the rest of the Roman world.” Claudius supported the cause of the Jews when they were attacked in separate incidents by the Greeks of Alexandria and the Samaritans. He maintained a life-long friendship with the Agrippa the last Jewish king in Eretz Israel.
681: The Twelfth Council of Toledo which approved several canons aimed at punishing the Jews including on that prohibited conversos from returning to Judaism and allowed for the confiscation of Jewish owned goods came to a close.
749: Birthdate Leo IV (the Khazar). He was Byzantine emperor from 775 through 780. He was known as “the Khazar” because his mother was a Khazar Princess. If the Khazars were Jewish, does this mean that at least one Byzantine emperor was Jewish?
1138: Anacletus II passed away. Known as Pietro Pierleone before his elevation to the Papacy in 1130, Anacletus II was referred to as the Jewish anti-pope because he came from a family that had converted from Judaism to Christianity. “One of his great-great grandparents, Benedictus, maybe Baruch in Hebrew, was a Jew who converted into Christianity.” The appellation of anti-pope is one that is hung on several popes who were elected under controversial circumstances.
1327: Edward III becomes King of England. During his reign King Edward III would re-apply the Edict of Expulsion of 1290 because there were reports of “secret Jews” or conversos who had remained in England and were practicing “the faith of their fathers.”
1494: Alfonso II became King of Naples. Alfonso continued to rely on the services of Don Isaac Abravanal the refugee from the Spanish expulsion who had acted as an advisor to his predecessor on the throne, King Ferdinand. Alfonso also continued the policy of his predecessor of allowing Jews fleeing the Inquisition to settle in his kingdom.
1533: Henry VIII of England secretly marries his second wife Anne Boleyn. Henry had failed in his attempt to enlist the support of Italian rabbis in his futile attempt to get the Pope to annul his first marriage. His marriage to Anne helped move England into the Protestant camp which proved to be beneficial in the Jews’ attempt to return to the British Isles.
1554: Founding of São Paulo, Brazil. As was the case in so many other parts of Latin America, the first Jews to inhabit Sao Paulo were New Christians or Conversos. The first openly Jewish residents of the city arrived from Alsace-Lorraine in the 19th century. Today São Paulo is home to the largest Jewish community in Brazil with about 130,000 people,
1569: Phillip II of Spainissued the order to set up an inquisition in the New World. Mexicowould be the first five years later.
1648: The Khmelnytsky or Chmielnicki Rebellion against the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania began in earnest when Bohdan Khmelnytsky brought a contingent of 300-500 Cossacks to the Zaporizhian Sich and quickly dispatched the guards assigned by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth to protect the entrance. His defeat of the counterattacking Commonwealth forces coupled with is oratorical skills brought thousands of rebels including the Ruthenians to join his uprising. Jews, who served as the middle-man and administrators for the absentee Polish landlords were an easy target for the rebels. The bloody uprising will mark the long, slow disintegration of the Polish state. The slaughter of the Jews was so great that it would not be surpassed until the time of the Nazis.
1782(10th of Shevat): Rabbi Shalom Sharabi Kabbalist, author of Emet ve-Shalom passed away today
1844:Congregation Shaarai Shomayim u-Maskil el Dol was chartered today in Mobile, Alabama. “Israel I. Jones (1810–1877), a London Jew who arrived early in the 1830s, was president of the congregation for most of his life; one of his daughters married the well-known New Orleans rabbi, James Koppel Gutheim (1817–1886). An auctioneer and tobacco merchant, Jones was active in politics, served as an alderman, was president of the Mobile Musical Association, and introduced streetcars to Mobile”
1849: The West End Synagogue of British which had been formed by Jews who left Bevis Marks in 1841 dedicated its new facility in Upper Berkeley Street.
1852: Achille Fould resigned as the French Minister of Finance.
1852: French political leader Achille Fould was appointed as a Senator and later rejoined the government as a Minister of State.
1854(25th of Tevet, 5614):Filosseno Luzzatto passed away. Born at Trieste in 1829; he was an Italian Jewish scholar; son of Samuel David Luzzatto. His name is the Italian equivalent of the title of one of his father's principal works, "Oheb Ger," which was written at the time of Filosseno's birth. “He showed from childhood linguistic aptitude, and having mastered several European languages, he devoted himself to the study of Semitic languages and Sanskrit.” At the age of thirteen he deciphered some old inscriptions on the tombstones of Padua which had puzzled older scholars. Two years later, happening to read D'Abbadie's narrative of his travels in Abyssinia, he resolved to write a history of the Falashas. In addition to writing several original works, he “translated into Italian eighteen chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, adding a Hebrew commentary. Luzzatto contributed to many periodicals, mostly on philological or exegetical subjects.”
1854: “The Will of Judah Touro,”published today described the terms of the late philanthropist and businessman’s final testamentary document. The will was dated January 6, 1854, 7 days before his death. The will appointed four executors, three of whom were to receive $10,000 and a four, R.D. Shepperd who is the “residuary legatee. Touro bequeathed approximately $450,000 to different Jewish and non-Jewish institutions and charities. Among them were $20,000 left to the Jew’s Hospital Society of New York; $10,000 left to the New York Relief Society for Indigent Jews in Palestine; $50,000 left for the agent of “a society dedicated to ameliorating the condition of the Jews in the Holy Land and the securing the enjoyment of their religion” as well as bequests left to Jewish congregations throughout the United States including, but not limited to $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Boston, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Hartford, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in New Haven, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in New York, $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Charleston and $5,000 to a Jewish congregation in Savannah
1854: Sir Henry Rawlinson wrote to from Baghdad today that “a number of clay cylinders taken from the ruins of what is ‘Ur of the Chaldees’ of Genesis disclosed the fact that a few years” prior “to the fall of Babylon, Nabonnedus had associated his son Bilsharuzur, the ‘Belshazzar’ of Scripture with him in the government” “thus showing the harmony between the Biblical narrative and secular history.”
1858:The Wedding Marchby Felix Mendelssohn becomes a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia. Felix Mendelssohn is the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn. Felix Mendelssohn was born to Jewish parents in 1809, Felix’s father, Abraham, had the famous composer baptized as aLutheran in 1816.
1861: Charles Dyte laid the foundation stone for the historic Ballarat Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue on the Australian mainland.
1861: In a letter that an unidentified resident of New Orleans, LA, wrote to a friend in Boston, he described the voting patterns of various groups in the recent election. If you believe his description, most groups voted for one of the Unionist or Compromise candidates. Only "The Jews voted for secession."
1865: Dr. William H. Thomson read a paper entitled "What we have to learn in the East" at tonight’s meeting of the American Ethnological Society. A long time resident of Syria, who traveled extensively in throughout the Middle East, Dr. Thomson reported on “the importance of extensive investigations among the innumerable mounds” found in the area. Examination of similar mounds has provided information about early inhabitants including the Hebrews, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. [Ed. Note – What the doctor was describing are the innumerable “tels” that would become the focal point of archaeological interest in modern day Israel.]
1868(1st of Shevat, 5628): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1872: The United States confirmed M.A. Shaffenburg as U.S. Marshall for the Territory of Colorado.
1870: The New York Times published an editorial defending itself against charges by “a Jewish newspaper” that the paper is paying too much attention to the “Reform party within the ancient sect.” The editorial cites the creation of Temple Israel in Brooklyn as proof of that there is a significant segment of the Jews that “are anxious to make great and fundamental changes in their doctrines and faith.” The editorial finished by saying that it would publish information about any sect within Judaism that are based on “facts.” [Editor’s note: It is significant that a leading metropolitan daily was publishing stories about Jewish culture and religion that were generally informative at a time when the Jewish population was a rather infittesimal part of the general population
1874: “The second constitutional convention of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith” opened today in Chicago, Illinois at the Kingsbury Music Hall. Simon Wolf of Washington, D.C. was elected President. During the afternoon session, a massive gold medal was presented in memory of A.E. Frankland, the Memphis, TN, Jew who worked to ameliorate the suffering in that city’s Yellow Fever Epidemic.
1874: Reverend Samuel Alman was installed today as the pastor of the Second Mission Baptist Church. Before converting, Alman had been a member of the Stanton Street Jewish Congregatio
1879(1stof Shevat, 5639): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1879: The Pioneers, a St. Louis literary club for Jewish women, meet for the first time today.
1881: Birthdate of Emil Cohn the native of Breslau who gained fame as journalist and author Emil Ludwig who specialized in writing biographies and who re-identified as a Jew when Walther Rathenau was murdered in 1922.
1882 (5th of Shevat): Bilu was founded at Kharkov
1885: Herman Ahlwardt wrote a letter today in he said, "Antisemitism is illogical; I have always condemned it, and shall continue to condemn religious intolerance until my last breath." (Ahlwardt would change his views when he failed to find political success among the Conservatives and become notorious anti-Semitic pamphleteer, agitator and member of the Reichstag.
1887: Birthdate of Berl Katznelson the Russian native who “ was one the intellectual founders of Labor Zionism, instrumental to the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and the editor of Davar, the first daily newspaper of the workers' movement.”
1891: Rabbi Gustav Gustav Gottheil delivered an address entitled “An Earnest Word To Christians” at Temple Emanu-El in New York.
1891: Based on information that first appeared in the London Daily Telegraph it was reported today that Baron Hirsch has donated £500,000 for education of “indigent Jews” in various parts of Austria, including Lemberg and Czernowitz. Although intended to provide education for Jewish children, “the Hirsch school will...be open to Christian children” as well.
1892: It was reported today that the delegates from the Hebrew Trades Union would join with others in calling for all labor organizations in the United States “to send delegates to an international labor congress” scheduled “to be held in Chicago in 1893.”
1893: In Arras (Pas-de-Calais) Protestant mining engineer Paul-Louis Weiss and Jeanne Javal a member of an Alsatian Jewish family gave birth to “Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.”
1894: Isaac Bergman, a 30 year old homeless tailor was arrested and imprisoned after he attempted to commit suicide today at the offices of the United Hebrew Charities because he had been told “that there was no work” available for tailors.
1895: The Young Ladies and Gentlemen's League of the Montefiore Home hosted a ball at the Carnegie Music Hall to raise fund for the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids.
1895: The Monte Relief Society, a charitable and social organization founded by a small group of Jewish women under the leadership of Mrs. Sofia Monte-Loebinger two years ago, is scheduled to host a party at the Terrace Garden designed to raise funds to relieve “distress among the Hebrew poor.”
1896: A sub-committee of Board of Alderman in New York met today to discuss whether or not to accept a fountain dedicated to the memory of Heinrich Heine.
1897: Starting today, and lasting for the rest of the week Civil Service examinations were administered in New York for the position of Court Interpreter. Hebrew was one of the six languages in which applicants could be tested. (The test for Hebrew would seem to have been a misguided attempt to cope with the large surge of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In reality, most of these immigrants spoke Yiddish, not Hebrew.)
1898: Cleveland, Ohio, liquor dealer Saul Jacobs was convicted of larceny in the first degree for his part in a scheme to swindle Max Bernstein.
1898: It was reported today that troops were called out to help the police respond to anti-Jewish riots in St. Malo. (This was part of the on-going anti-Dreyfus violence sweeping France)
1898: It was reported today that in Algiers, “the Governor General narrowly escaped a chair which was thrown at him” as he tried to disperse anti-Jewish mobs. The mob now included “a number of natives” whose only interest was looting and pillaging.
1898: At least one hundred people went trial today for their part in the anti-Jewish riots in Algiers, the capital of Algeria which was a French colony. “Eighty of the rioters were condemned to terms of imprisonment varying from three months to year…One who was caught in the act of pillaging was sentenced to five years in prison.”
1899(14th of Shevat, 5659): Eighty-seven year old Adolphe d'Ennery the French dramatist who converted some of his plays into successful novels passed away today in Paris.
1899: Birthdate of Goodman Ace. Born Goodman Aiskowitz, Kansas City, Missouri, he was a writer and comedian who created Easy Aces. The scripts for this long running radio hit would be the source for television shows in the 1970’s. He also created the “You Are There,” the pseudo-news show that helped to launch the career of Walter Cronkite.
1901(5th of Shevat, 5661): Seventy-two year old Baron Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild the son of Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild of Naples and the husband of Mathilde Hannah von Rothschild, the second oldest daughter of Anselm von Rothschild, a chief of the Vienna House of Rothschilds passed away today in Frankfurt where he was head of the Frankfurt House of Rothschild.
1902:Herzl proposes to Franz Oppenheimer the creation of a model cooperative colony in El Arish.
1904: Herzl met Pope Pius X and tried to convince him to support the vision of Zionism without any success. The pope totally rejected the idea that Jerusalemwould be in Jewish hands. (The papacy still clings to this notion.)Herzl is received by Pope Pius X, who declares, he cannot support the return of the infidel Jews to the Holy Land. ("If you come to Palestineand settle your people there, we want to have churches and priests ready to baptize all of you.")
1909: German composer Richard Strauss' opera “Elektra” receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera. Strauss was born in 1864 and passed away in 1949 which means that his last years as an active composer coincided with the rise and fall of Hitler and the Nazis. Many have been critical of his close association with the Third Reich. His defenders claim that Strauss’ behavior was determined by his need to protect his son and daughter-in-law who was Jewish, In fact, the couple was arrested in Vienna during the war and it took all of Strauss’ best efforts to save them.
1912: The Savannah Section withdraws from the Council of Jewish Women.
1913(17th of Shevat, 5673): Wilhelm Bacher, a Hungarian rabbi and scholar passed away in Budapest. Born in 1850, he was “a major contributor” to the “Jewish Encyclopedia” as well as close friend of many Jewish intellectuals notably Chaim Nachman Bialik
1915: A list of contributors to the Hebrew Free Loan Society provide President Julius J. Dukas published today included Jacob Schiff, $1,000; Mortimer L. Schiff, $1,000; Felix M. Warburg, $1,500; Adolph Lewisohn, $500 and Maxwell Guggenheim $100
1915: “Fulton Brylawski, of counsel of Leo M. Frank, under sentence of death for murder in Atlanta, today moved in the Supreme Court of the United States for the advancement of argument in Frank’s appeal for a writ of habeas corpus.”
1915: The trial of Dan H. Leon, the southern representative of the W.J. Burns Detective Agency, C.C. Tedder and Arthur Thurman who have been indicted for subordination of perjury that resulted in false testimony being given in the case of Leo Franks is scheduled to begin in Atlanta, GA.
1918: In New London, Annie Rifkin and Barnett Lubow gave birth to Sylvia Lubow who became Sylvia Lubow Rindskopf when she married future Admiral and decorated war hero Maurice Rindskopf.
1918:Vilmos Vázsonyi, the Hungarian leader who fought to gain “official recognition for the Jewish religion” began serving his second term as Minister of Justice.
1919: Birthdate of NBC newsman Edwin Newman.
1919: Awni Abdul Hadi and Ahmad Qadri met with an unnamed Zionist representative at the Hotel Meurice
1919: The League of Nations was founded. British control over Palestine would take its legal form from a Mandate by the League of Nations. The failure of the League to halt the aggression of Japan in China, Italy in Abyssinia and the fascists in Spain is listed as one of the causes of World War II and therefore the Shoah. The League failed as a peace keeper, in part, because the United States refused to join, a mistake it would not repeat at the end of WW II when it joined the United Nations.
1921: In Brooklyn, Lazarus and Jenny Cohen gave birth to Samuel Theodore Cohen, the Father of the Neutron Bomb.
1922: A committee chaired by Rabbi Louis Feinberg of Cincinnati, Ohio, will deliver a report to Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) on the acceptability of using unfermented grape juice for sacramental purposes.
1922: Temple Beth El held its 10th Annual Ball at the Elmwood Music Hall in Buffalo, New York.
1925: The former Hahambashi of Turkey, Rabbi Haim Nahoum was elected Chief Rabbi of Cairo, Egypt.
1925: Birthdate of John Livingston Weinberg, American banker and businessman.
1927(22nd of Shevat, 5687): Forty-three year old, Dr. Julius Lawrence “Mortimer” Mogulesko, a graduate of Columbia University School of Medicine and specialized in the field of Bacteriology passed away today.
1927: Birthdate of Yitzhak Hofi, the native of Tel Aviv who began his career as a member of the Palmach, reached the rank of General in the IDF before serving as the head of Mossad.
1928: Birthdate of Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder the Birmingham Temple in suburban Detroit in 1963. He also was the driving force behind the creation of the Society for Humanistic Judaism in 1969. He died in auto accident at the age of 79 in 2007.
1929: Birthdate of Robert Faurisson who denies the suffering of Elie Weisel, the Diary of Anne Frank and the reality of the Final Solution.
1932: “Warburg a Leader in Banking Reform” published today provided a detailed account of the financier’s life and accomplishment including his criticism of “the present orgies of unrestrained speculation” months before the Crash of 1929 and his role as trustee of Tuskegee College, the “all black college” which was an educational beacon of hope to African-Americans in the days of Segregation.
1932: Degrees were awarded to 13 graduates at the first commencement exercises of Hebrew University which was opened in 1925.
1934: In Tarnow, Galicia, Israel Mendel Keller and his wife gave birth to Naphtali Keller the short-lived author who wrote in Hebrew.
1938: In “Miami’s Anti-Semitic Jews” published today Robert Gessner describes a resort where “eighty-percent of all its hotels are owned and operated by Jews” and where “it’s almost impossible for a Jewish boy to get a job.”
1940: Birthdate of Lt. Col. Avraham "Avi" Lanir one of the most accomplished and bravest pilots in the IAF. On the first day of the Yom Kippur War, Lanir joined with Colonel Oded Marom flew their Mirage jets to the Golan where they engaged four MiGs, shooting down one a piece. Tragically, Colonel Lanir would be shot down by the Syrians who tortured him to death.
1940: The Nazi decreed the establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland
1942: Hungarian military units under the command of General Feketehalmi-Zeisler, General Bajor-Bayer and Captain Zoldi completed “cleaning up the southern region captured from the Yugoslavs” which included the murder of 1,500 Jews in Novisad.
1944: Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland, notes in his diary that approximately 100,000 Jews remain in the region under his control, down by 3,400,000 from the end of 1941.
1945: U.S. premiere of “The Thin Man Goes Home” with a story by Harry Kurnitz and Robert Ruskin who also co-authored the screenplay.
1945: U.S. premiere of “I Love A Mystery” directed by Henry Levin.
1945: Labor camp prisoners from Blechhammer began their five day march to Bergen-Belsen during which about 20% of them died.
1945: The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Stutthof concentration camp. In yet another Death March prisoners are sent westward in the middle of driving snow storm. Many would die from freezing. Others were shot or thrown into the icy Baltic Sea.
1948: Mishmar, a paper first published by Hashomer Hatzair in 1943, changed its named to Al HaMishmar (On Guard) today.
1948: In Vancouver, British Columbia, Congregation Schara Tzedeck which had been founded in 1907 as “Benei Yehuda” dedicated its new facility which had been completed in September of 1947.
1949: Nathan Yellin-Mor and Matityahu Shmuelevitch both of whom were members of Lehi were found guilty of having been leaders of a terrorist organization today.
1949: On the same day that he was found guilty Lehi leader Nathan Yellin-Mor, the founder of the Fighters List, was elected to the first Knesset
1949: Ben-Gurion's Mapai party was the top vote getter in Israel’s first election after the creation of the Jewish state. However, the party only gained 35.7% of the vote which translated into 46 seats in the Knesset leaving Ben-Gurion 15 seats short of the majority he would need in the parliament that has 120 seats. This would necessitate the formation of a coalition. This would set the stage for a joining of strange bedfellows which some see as detrimental to the long term stability of the Jewish state.
1954: In Jerusalem, Michaella and Yitzhak Grossman gave birth to Israeli author David Grossman whose work included Her Body Knows, a collection of two novellas.
1956: The West End production of “Plain and Fancy” a musical comedy with a book by Joseph Stein opened at the Theatre Royal in London.
1958: In New York City, actress, director, and writer, Lee Grant (née Lyova Rosenthal), and screenwriter Arnold Manoff gave birth to actress Dinah Manoff
1959: Pope John XXIII proclaims Second Vatican Council. This would lead to the greatest improvement in relations between the Church and the Jewish People since the days of Constantine.
1959: Contributions of $132 were received by the annual appeal of the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund from the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.
1960: Yitzhak Rabin flew to IDF Southern Headquarters to ascertain the military situation as Egyptian forces stood on the border with Israel. The crisis would pass since neither side was prepared for war. But the crisis of 1960 did help to set the stage for Israel’s response to Egypt’s next foray into the Sinai in 1967.
1960: David Susskind produced and Henry Kaplan directed two plays by August Strindberg – “Miss Julie” and “The Stronger” – as part of the Play of the Week.
1961 (8 Shevat 5721): Bar Mitzvah of Yissachar Dov Rokeach. Born in 1948 he is the fifth and present Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Belz. He has led Belz since 1966.
1962: In London, June Flewett and Sir Clement Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud gave birth to UK broadcaster and social commentator Emma Vallency Freud
1965: Sheldon Cohen began serving as Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
1966(4thof Shevat, 5726): Seventy-seven year old Dr. Saul Adler, the expert on parasites who translated Darwin’s The Origin of Species into Hebrew, passed away today in Jerusalem.
1968: Last transmission is received from the Israeli submarine, Dakar
1971: Idi Amin led a coup deposing Milton Obote and became Uganda's president. In his younger days, Amin was favorably disposed towards the Israelis who trained him as a paratrooper. However, in 1976, he would prove himself to be a strong supporter of the PLO as he gave refuge to the terrorists who landed their high jacked aircraft at Entebbe.
1975: Birthdate of Canadian actress Mia Kirshner, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and the daughter of a Canadian Jewish journalist.
1976(23rdof Shevat, 5736): Eighty-four year old German-born English historian Victor Ehrenberg, the brother of Hans Ehrenberg and the nephew of Victor Ehrenberg passed away in London.
1981: In “Words of a Fallen Soldier,” Hillel Halkin reviewed Self-Portrait of a Hero: The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976).
1983: Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia
1985: Release date for “The Falco and the Snowman” directed by John Schlesinger, the product of a middle-class Anglo-Jewish family.
1987: Neil Diamond sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXI.
1987: Seventy-four year old composer and conductor Henry Krips whose “father was a Jewish convert to Catholicism” which made him Jewish under Nazi racial laws and thus gave him reason to flee his native Austria after the Anschluss, passed away in Australia his haven from the Holocaust.
1988: As the latest round of Arab terrorism escalates, Yehuda Genyan, a tailor, seems to be expressing the frustration of many Israelis when he said today of the terrorists, “They walk around here like kings, but a Jew goes to pray at the wall and he gets stabbed.'' In the wake of international criticism over Israel’s response to Palestine protesters, Prime Minister Shamir seems to echoing Genyan when he states, ''We are not allowed to kill, we are not allowed to expel, we are not allowed to beat,'' Prime Minister Shamir said. What are Jews allowed to do - Only to be killed, only to be wounded, only to be defeated.''
1992: Singer Ofra Haza and the Amka Oshrat Yeminite Dance Troupe appear in concert as part of “Israel: The Next Generation.”
1993: The New York Times reported that a United States Senator from Hawaii, the Brooklyn-born chief rabbi of an Israeli West Bank community, and an organization of disabled Israeli war veterans will receive the 10th annual Defender of Jerusalem Awards. The $100,000 prize that will be divided among the recipients will be presented by the Jabotinsky Foundation Thursday at the Plaza Hotel. The foundation is named for Vladimir Jabotinsky, a Zionist, philosopher and mentor of many Israeli leaders. Being honored this year are Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, founder of the settlement of Efrat on the West Bank, where he is described as a peace-keeper and arbitrator between Jews and Palestinians, and the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, which operates two sports, rehabilitation and social centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa and is building a facility in Jerusalem. The purpose of the prize, said Eryk Spektor, founder and chairman of the Jabotinsky Foundation, "is to honor people who have stood up in the defense of Jewish rights."
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Hitler’s Banker: Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht by John Weitz and Shadows on the Hudson by Isaac Bashevis Singer; translated by Joseph Sherman.
1999:Yitzhak Mordechai completed his service as Minister of Defense.
2000: U.S. premiere of “The Songcatcher” a fascinating movie about the Hill people of North Carolina and their music co-starring Emmy Rossum as “Deladis Slocumb.”
2001: Israel's state-owned power utility said today that it planned to buy more than half of its $3 billion supply of natural gas over the next decade from Egypt, after receiving an offer that was 20 to 30 percent lower than domestic prices.
2001:After a 48-hour hiatus, Israelis and Palestinians resumed their peace talks today still hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough, though increasingly dubious about a full-fledged agreement before the Feb. 6 election in Israel.
2002:A Palestinian suicide bomber wounded more than two dozen people when he blew himself up today in a pedestrian mall in a Tel Aviv neighborhood of populated largely by immigrant workers.
2002: In response to today’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, “an Israeli F-16 attacked the Palestinian security headquarters in Gaza located near Yasser Arafat's compound.”
2003:On the first day of his trial, an Israeli Arab student denied that he had tried to hijack an El Al jetliner and force it to slam into a skyscraper in Tel Aviv. Tawfiq Foqara, 23, told the court that during the November 17 flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul he had a dispute with a flight attendant who yelled at him.
2003: The Guardian published an article entitled “Solzhenitsyn breaks last taboo of the revolution; Nobel laureate under fire for new book on the role of Jews in Soviet-era,” in which Nick Paton reviews Two Hundred Years Together by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
[Ed. Note: The article is reproduced in its entirety to provide a sense of what one of the most acclaimed writers of the 20th century had to say about Jews. He seemed to comprehend the fact that Communists like Trotsky had rejected Judaism and to remind us that for Jews, Russia is a good place “to be from” regardless of who is in charge]
“Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who first exposed the horrors of the Stalinist gulag, is now attempting to tackle one of the most sensitive topics of his writing career - the role of the Jews in the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet purges. In his latest book Solzhenitsyn, 84, deals with one of the last taboos of the communist revolution: that Jews were as much perpetrators of the repression as its victims. Two Hundred Years Together -a reference to the 1772 partial annexation of Poland and Russia which greatly increased the Russian Jewish population - contains three chapters discussing the Jewish role in the revolutionary genocide and secret police purges of Soviet Russia. But Jewish leaders and some historians have reacted furiously to the book, and questioned Solzhenitsyn's motives in writing it, accusing him of factual inaccuracies and of fanning the flames of anti-Semitism in Russia. Solzhenitsyn argues that some Jewish satire of the revolutionary period” consciously or unconsciously descends on the Russians" as being behind the genocide. But he states that all the nation's ethnic groups must share the blame, and that people shy away from speaking the truth about the Jewish experience. In one remark which infuriated Russian Jews, he wrote: "If I would care to generalize, and to say that the life of the Jews in the camps was especially hard, I could, and would not face reproach for an unjust national generalization. But in the camps where I was kept, it was different. The Jews whose experience I saw - their life was softer than that of others.” Yet he added: "But it is impossible to find the answer to the eternal question: who is to be blamed, who led us to our death? To explain the actions of the Kievcheka [secret police] only by the fact that two thirds were Jews, is certainly incorrect.” Solzhenitsyn, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, spent much of his life in Soviet prison camps, enduring persecution when he wrote about is experiences. He is currently in frail health, but in an interview given last month he said that Russiamust come to terms with the Stalinist and evolutionary genocides - and that its Jewish population should be as offended at their own role in the purges as they are at the Soviet power that also persecuted them.” My book was directed to empathize with the thoughts, feelings and the psychology of the Jews - their spiritual component," he said. "I have never made general conclusions about a people. I will always differentiate between layers of Jews. One layer rushed headfirst to the revolution. Another, to the contrary, was trying to stand back. The Jewish subject for a long time was considered prohibited. Zhabotinsky [a Jewish writer] once said that the best service our Russian friends give to us is never to speak aloud about us.” But Solzhenitsyn's book has caused controversy in Russia, where one Jewish leader said it was "not of any merit". "This is a mistake, but even geniuses make mistakes," said Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Russian Jewish Congress. "Richard Wagner did not like the Jews, but was a great composer. Dostoyevsky was a great Russian writer, but had a very skeptical attitude towards the Jews. "This is not a book about how the Jews and Russians lived together for 200 years, but one about how they lived apart after finding themselves on the same territory. This book is a weak one professionally. Factually, it is so bad as to be beyond criticism. As literature, it is not of any merit." But DM Thomas, one of Solzhenitsyn's biographers, said that he did not think the book was fuelled by anti-Semitism. "I would not doubt his sincerity. He says that he firmly supports the state of Israel. In his fiction and factual writing there are Jewish characters that he writes about who are bright, decent, anti-Stalinist people." Professor Robert Service of OxfordUniversity, an expert on 20th century Russian history, said that from what he had read about the book, Solzhenitsyn was "absolutely right”. Researching a book on Lenin, Prof Service came across details of how Trotsky, who was of Jewish origin, asked the politburo in 1919 to ensure that Jews were enrolled in the Red army. Trotsky said that Jews were disproportionately represented in the Soviet civil bureaucracy, including the cheka."Trotsky's idea was that the spread of anti-Semitism was [partly down to] objections about their entrance into the civil service. There is something in this; that they were not just passive spectators of the revolution. They were part-victims and part-perpetrators.
"It is not a question that anyone can write about without a huge amount of bravery, and [it] needs doing in Russia because the Jews are quite often written about by fanatics. Mr Solzhenitsyn's book seems much more measured than that." Yet others failed to see the need for Solzhenitsyn's pursuit of this particular subject at present. Vassili Berezhkov, a retired KGB colonel and historian of the secret services and the NKVD (the precursor of the KGB), said: "The question of ethnicity did not have any importance either in the revolution or the story of the NKVD. This was a social revolution and those who served in the NKVD and cheka were serving ideas of social change "If Solzhenitsyn writes that there were many Jews in the NKVD, it will increase the passions of anti-Semitism, which has deep roots in Russian history.”
2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power by George Soros, Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates, Collect Poems by Paul Auster and a newly released paperback edition of A Saint, More or Less by Henry Grunwald.
2004:Today Israel's high court suspended for 30 days the state's efforts to expel the Palestinian father of an Israeli soldier, pending a hearing on granting him the right to remain in Israel.
2004: Elyakim Rubinstein completed his service as Israel’s Attorney General.
2005(15th of Shevat, 5765): Tu B'Shevat
2005:French debut of “To Take a Wife” (VeLakahta Lekha Isha) co-directed by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz who also co-authored the script
2006:The Tenafly Jewish community has won a six-year battle with local officials over the right to place symbolic plastic strips on utility poles to create an enclosure that would allow them to perform certain restricted activities on the Sabbath.
2007(6th of Sh'vat, 5767):Sydney Simon Shulemson, DFC, died today in Florida. Born in 1915, he “was a Canadian fighter pilot, and Canada's highest decorated Jewish soldier, during World War II .Growing up in Montreal, Shulemson attended McGill University. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on September 10, 1939, and graduated from flight school in 1942. He joined RCAF 404 Squadron in Wick in Scotland, flying a Bristol Beaufighter. Shulemson downed a German flying boat on his first sortie. He pioneered techniques for rocket attacks on Axis ships in the North Atlantic. After the war, Shulemson located aircraft and recruited pilots for Israel's growing Israeli Air Force.”
2007: In Derby, UK, Holocaust Memorial Day Service
2007: Speaker of the Knesset Dalia Itzik became acting President of Israel when President Moshe Katzav took a three month long leave of absence.
2008: In Iowa Cityfuneral is held for orthopedic surgeon Dr. Webster B. Gelman, recipient of the 1985 University of Iowa Alumnae Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award who passed away at the age of 89.
2008: First Musical Shabbat Service at TempleJudah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2008: Rami Zuari, a 20 year old Border Police officer killed during a terrorist attack at an East Jerusalem checkpoint was buried in the military cemetery at Be’er Sheva, his home town.
2008: In Great Britainat Friday Prayers the community of Ahmadi Muslims in the UKsay the following prayer in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. "Sunday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day in UK. We pray that people learn to recognize, accept and respect their differences. People of all races and faiths are God’s people. May everyone accept this truth so that the world can look forward to a peaceful future. May God enable people to remain close to their Creator, follow His teachings of peace, and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Amen."
2009: Politics and Prose Bookstore hosts a reading from Words that Burn Within Me: Faith, Values, Survival, a collection of notebooks by Hilda Stern Cohen containing poetry and recollections of life in 1930s Germany, which was discovered by her husband, Werner Cohen, after her death in 1997.
2009: Canadian Sharon Fichman defeated her American opponent in a clay court match at Lutz, Florida
2009: The 5th annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival closes this evening with a showing of “Children of the Sun,” written and directed by Ran Tal and the winner of Israel's Academy Award for Best Documentary..
2009: The New York Timesincludes reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Benjamin Disraeli by Adam Kirsch and Ballet’s Magic: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925by Akim Volynsky; edited and translated by Stanley J. Rabinowitz. Akim Volynsky was the pen name of Chaim Leib Flekser who was born in 1861 into an Orthodox Jewish family of booksellers in Ukraine.
2009: The New York Timesreports that the kosher symbol, intended to show consumers that the contents adhere to Jewish dietary laws, was mistakenly left off 14 million boxes of Thin Mints, the variety that accounts for roughly 25 percent of Girl Scout cookie sales, said Raymond Baxter, president and chief executive of Interbake Foods, the parent company of ABC Bakers of Richmond, Va., one of two approved manufacturers of the cookies. Proofreaders missed the mistake. But a customer noticed in November that the symbol — a circled U accompanied by a D for dairy — was missing, said Brian Crawford, an executive at the Scouts’ New York headquarters. (Some troops sell cookies in the fall, though most sales are held January through March.) ABC Bakers quickly sent letters explaining the oversight (and showing proof of kosher certification from the Orthodox Union) to Scout councils. Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein of the Orthodox Union, who has fielded perhaps a half-dozen calls about the cookies, said he hoped the letters would “obviate any concerns.” Thin Mints, the rabbi said, are his favorite Girl Scout cookie.
2009 (29 Tevet 5769):Rabbi Leon Klenicki, a pioneer in interfaith relations passed away today according to an announcement from the Anti-Defamation League, where he served as director emeritus of interfaith affairs. A leading figure in efforts to promote Jewish-Christian understanding, Klenicki was made a Papal Knight by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 in recognition of his historic contributions to improving relations between Catholics and Jews. He worked for the ADL for 28 years before his retirement in 2001. Klenicki, a renowned scholar and theologian, wrote numerous books and articles on Catholic-Jewish issues. A native of Argentina, Klenicki was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati. He was a member of an Argentine government commission to investigate Nazi activities in Argentina from 1933 to 1945.
2010: The 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York premiere “Leap of Faith,” a documentary about the difficulties that four families face when they abandons their traditions and embrace Judaism.
2010: The Brooklyn Israel Film Festival is scheduled to close this evening with a screening of the 2008 Israel Academy Award for Best Documentary, ‘Children of the Sun.”
2010 (10th of Tevet): Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneersohn, sixth Rebbe of the Chabad Lubavitch movement who was also known as the Friediker Rebbe or "Previous Rebbe."
One year later, to the day, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe assumed the leadership position of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
2010: At the Sundance Festival the first screening of “A Film Unfinished.”
2010: The week after Miep Gies, passed away, Elie Wiesel wrote the following about her in Time magazine.
Miep Gies entered history without wanting to. She did what many others were too afraid to do: she risked her freedom, her life, in her determination to save Jews from deportation and death.From 1942 to '44, Gies, who died Jan. 11 at 100, helped shelter and feed Anne Frank and her family in an attic in Amsterdam, where at that time Jews were being branded, humiliated and condemned just because they were Jews. Her life remains a moral example for millions to follow. I met Gies much later and was impressed by her sincerity, the simplicity of her comments and the moving quality of her smile. Calm, soft and reserved, she radiated nobility and strength of character. She talked little and quietly, reflecting on the significance of every word. When speaking of the past, she seemed to relive it. Naturally, I knew much about her life. Anne's immortal diary, which Gies found and gave to Otto Frank after the war, was filled with praise for her devotion and sacrifice.I asked her where she had found the courage to defy the Gestapo during the dark days of the occupation, and she protested. "I did nothing heroic or extraordinary," she said. "Human beings were in peril, and I had to care for them." But for the Franks, she represented all that is good and generous. She was the incarnation of hope.
2011: The New York Premiere of Black Bus, which “tells story of two young women who chose to leave their close-knit Haredi communities in Israel and are, as a consequence, estranged from their families” is scheduled to take place at The New York Jewish Film Festival.
2011:David Makovsky and Ghaith al-Omari with Jane Eisner are scheduled to lead a discussion entitled “Israelis and Palestinians: Poised Between Crisis and Opportunity” at the 92nd Street Y.
2011:To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2011, the Wiener Library is scheduled to hold a special lecture by Prof Clare Ungerson on The Kitchener Camp, a largely forgotten camp established in 1939 for 4000 male Jewish refugees situated near Sandwich in East Kent.
2011: Police Commissioner David Cohen said today that he was concerned by the possibility of ideology-based murders against public officials in Israel.
2011: The international department of the prosecution services failed to obtain the extradition from Peru of former judge Dan Cohen, wanted in Israel on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice, the government informed the department today.
2011:After a preliminary hearing today determined that the issue should be handled in the courts, the Jerusalem Labor Court will be deciding over the next few months whether rabbinic ordination should be recognized as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, vis-à-vis the Civil Service Commission’s prerequisites for the position of a supervisor in the haredi educational system.
2011:Nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards, announced this morning, were good for the Jews. Shoo-ins Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) got Best Actress and Actor nods, respectively. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, also scored a Best Actor nod for his role in “127 Hours.” “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky earned a Best Director nomination, along with “True Grit” helmers Joel and Ethan Coen. “The Fighter” director David O. Russell, son of a Jewish father and Italian-American mother, also got a Best Director nomination. Jews also ruled the screenwriting categories. Debra Granik scored a nod in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for the brutal “Winter’s Bone,” while Hollywood vet Aaron Sorkin earned his for Facebook docudrama “The Social Network,” as did fellow A-lister Scott Silver for scrappy Boston epic “The Fighter.” In the same category, the Coen Brothers won the Academy’s attention for their highly acclaimed adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel “True Grit.” British improv-drama icon Mike Leigh was nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category for “Another Year,” his sobering look at happiness — and the lack thereof — among the British chattering classes. And British-born, Long Island-raised David Seidler got his first Oscar nomination — in the Original Screenplay slot — for “The King’s Speech”. Semites didn’t fare as well in the Best Supporting Actor or Actress categories, though 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld — reportedly the daughter of a Jewish dad and black/Filipino mom — got a nod for her widely lauded turn as vengeful tween Mattie Ross in “True Grit.”
2011:Misaskim reported that Nazi-era RIF soap was handed over to the organization for burial.
2011:Twenty-three year old Jason Bailey, a Jewish hockey player, has sued the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks for religious discrimination and harassment based on religion. Jason Bailey, 23, in a lawsuit filed today in California's Orange County Superior Court, accused the coaches of one of the Ducks' affiliate teams of making anti-Semitic remarks and harassment. Bailey said he was subjected to "a barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks regarding his Jewish faith" by Martin Raymond, head coach of the Bakersfield Condors. The suit says assistant head coach Mark Pederson also made anti-Semitic remarks about Bailey.The suit claims that Bailey was the victim of religious discrimination, harassment based on religion, intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation. It asserts that he lost income, benefits and suffered humiliation, according to CNN. Bailey was drafted by the Ducks in 2005, but has not played in the NHL. He was traded last year and now plays right wing for the Binghamton Senators, a farm team for the Ottawa Senators. (As reported by JTA)
2011(20th of Shevat, 5771): Ninety-one year old Daniel Bell, the writer, editor, sociologist and teacher who over seven decades came to epitomize the engaged intellectual as he struggled to reveal the past, comprehend the present and anticipate the future, died today at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 91. (As reported by Michael T. Kaufman)
2012: The David Harris & David Harris Comedy and Variety Show with Special Guests, The Chosen Few are scheduled to appear at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: At the New York Jewish Film Festival “The Silent Historian” is scheduled to have its U.S. Premiere and “Joann Sfar Draws From Memory” is scheduled to have its World Premiere.
2012(1st of Shevat, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
2012:Palestinian Authority officials said today that a fifth meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman scheduled for later in the day would be the final meeting
2012: Hackers attacked the websites of two Israeli hospitals today, managing to bring down the sites for several hours in the latest round of the ongoing cyber war between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian hackers
2012: Representative “Gabby” Giffords officially resigned from the House of Representatives.
2013:The Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm officially announced that Jeffrey Jacob “J.J.”Abrams would be the director and producer of Star Wars Episode VII, the latest entry in the Star Wars film saga
2013: “Yossi,” a sequel to Eytan Fox’s “Yossi and Jagger” is scheduled to open in New York City.
2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at Old Town Hall in Fairfax, VA.
2013: As an indication of the vitality of Yiddishkeit in the Heartland, the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Hadassah Chapter is scheduled to sponsor a Tu B’Shevat Seder and Soup Supper preceding Shabbat Services at Temple Judah.
2013(14th of Shevat, 5573): Ninety-two year old American diplomat Max Kampelman passed away today. (As reported by William Yardley)
2013:Austrian parliamentarians and invited guests gathered today to watch the premiere of an opera depicting how Nazis methodically killed mentally or physically deficient children at a Vienna hospital during World War II.
2013:Rabbis in Winnipeg have criticized a decision by the Jewish community center in the Canadian city to open earlier on Shabbat.
2014: The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston is scheduled to host the Houston Choreographers X6 Concert.
2014: In Rockville, MD, Congregation Tikvat Israel is scheduled to show “Hunting Elephants” as part of its Israeli Film Festival.
2014:Dozens of residents of the city of Lod protested today against the slashing of some 15 car tires in a religious neighborhood in the city over the weekend.
2014:Boxes containing pigs’ heads were sent to the Israeli embassy in Rome and the city’s synagogue, Italian media reported today
2014: “According to two Israeli researchers” – Dr. Eran Elhaik and Professor Dan Grauer – “the first human walked on earth 209,000 years ago; 9,000 years earlier than what scientists previously thought.”
2015: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel by Anita Shapira and Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud.
2015: “Judy G. Russell, well-known as The Legal Genealogist, is scheduled to speak about the ethical considerations underlying genealogy, from privacy issues-how to handle family secrets, what to say about living people - to the courtesies we should extend to other researchers.”
2015: “The Green Prince” is scheduled to be shown at Brooklyn Israel Film Festival.
2015: “Cry of the City” and “Forbidden Films” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: “To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camps and Holocaust Memorial Day, the Jewish Museum of London” is scheduled to host Zdenka Fantlova who will speak about her experiences after the Nazis invaded her native Czechoslovakia in 1939.
2015: In Atlanta, GA, the Breman Museum is scheduled to host a workshop that explores “the work and techniques of Maurice Sendak.”
1531: Three tremors shake Portugal and numerous houses are destroyed in Lisbon by an earthquake which the Pope and others believe confirm the prediction of suffering made by Solomon Molcho who was seeking relief for Jews and Marranos.
1654: MAJOR DATE IN THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY. With the capture of Pernambuco (Recife) from the Dutch, Portugalretook Peru and Brazil. The Jews, (numbering approximately 5,000) having fought on the side of the Dutch, fled for the most part to Amsterdam. Hundreds also escaped to North America, with 23 eventually arriving in New Amsterdam
1654: “It was stipulated in the capitulation protocol of this date,” dictated by the Portuguese, “that all Jews, like the Dutch, were to leave Brazil within three months and had the right to liquidate their assets and to take all their movable property with them” (Jewish Virtual Library)
1664(28th of Tevet): Rabbi Berechiah Berakh ben Isaac Shapiro of Cracow author of Zera Beirakh passed away
1689:Jean Racine's "Esther" premieres in Saint-Cyr.Racine's last plays, “Esther” (1689) and “Athalie” (1691), each of which were based on Biblical figures were commissioned by King Louis XIV's wife.
1736: As the Kingdom of Poland continues to unravel, Stanislaus I abdicated his throne during a period of increasing anti-Semitism. Twenty eight years after the abdication, the Austrians, Prussians and Russians would begin to partition Poland much to the detriment of the Jewish people who had originally been “invited” to settle in Poland.
1755 (14th of Shevat, 5515): Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk Katz passed away. Born in 1680, he was the author of the Talmudic work "P'nei Yehoshua." He served as rabbi of Lemberg (Lvov) in 1718, Berlinin 1730, Metz in 1734 and Frankfurt in 1740.
1761(21st of Shevat): Rabbi Judah Navon, author of KIryat Melekh Rav passed away.
1788: The British First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson, Australia with the goal of establishing the first permanent English settlement in “the land down under.” According to at least one source there 15 Jews on board including Esther Abrahams.
1804: Birthdate of Eugane "Marie Joseph" Sue France, novelist and author of The Wandering Jew. It is a tale of good and evil. This time the villain was a Jesuit clerk, Rodin, who is after the Wandering Jew's treasure, which has been gathering interest over the centuries. The descendants of a man, who once aided the cursed wanderer, are summoned to Paris to receive the fortune. Rodin represents the oppression of Church, the Jew stands for dispossessed laborers and his female counterpart Herodias for downtrodden womankind.
1808: In Australia, the Rum Rebellion began today when troops under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston deposed Governor William Bligh. Esther Abrahams, who had come to the land down under as part of the First Fleet was Johnston’s common-law wife. (Bligh was the captain of the infamous HMS Bounty)
1814: Edmund Kean opened in the role of Shylock at Drury Lane Theatre rousing “the audience to almost uncontrollable enthusiasm.”
1820: Birthdate of Nikolay Girs, the Foreign Affairs Minister who served the anti-Semitic Alexander III and negotiated the Franco-Russian Alliance that would lead to the Alliance that would confront the Central Powers in WWI with all that that would mean for the Jews of Eastern Europe.
1837: Michigan is admitted as the 26th state in the Union. By the time Michigan joined the union, Jews had been living there for at least three quarters of a century. The first known Jewish settler, Ezekiel Solomon arrived in what is now Mackinaw city in 1761. Chapman Abraham arrived in Detroit a year later. Abraham was a Loyalist who fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War. Other early Jewish residents of what would become the Wolverine state were Louis Benjamin who suffered a loss during Detroit’s great fire in 1805 and Frederick E. Cohen, the portrait painter, who had arrived in Michigan by 1837. In reality there were only a handful of Jews living in Michigan at the time of statehood. . The real growth of the Michigan Jewish community began in the 1840’s with the arrival of German Jews the most prominent group of which was the forty-eighters. The first synagogue would be formed in 1850, as Congregation Beth El. For more about the Michigan Jewish community you might consider reading Jews In Michigan by Judith Levin Cantor.
1841: British forces occupy Hong Kong. Hong Kong would not formally become a possession of the crown for another year at which time Jewish merchants including members of the Sassoon and Kadoorie families, opened offices and established a community that would build a Jewish Club and the Ohel Leah Synagogue.
1851(23rd of Shevat, 5611): Leon Vita Saraval passed away. Born at Triest in 1771, he was a bibliophile and author whose “entire library” was purchased for the Breslau seminary in 1853.
1856: “Charitable Bequest of the Late Baron Rothschild” an article published today described the fortune of the Rothschild family, paying special attention to the spending habits and will of the late Amschel Mayer Rothschild, the second child and oldest son of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founding father of the banking dynasty. While Rothschild’s personal habits “were extremely simple” he shared his wealth with Jews and Gentiles. During his life time he distributed at least 50,000 florins per year to 2,600 Christian families. While his mother was alive, he visited her daily in the original family home on “The Street of the Jews’; a home he was never able to convince her to leave so she could take up residence in a dwelling more fitting with her economic status . The Baron’s will which was written in 1849, was intended to dispose of a fortune calculated at sixty million florins when he passed away in 1855. Among other bequests, he left 1,200,000 florins for the establishment of a foundation for the poor of Frankfort intended “to keep up the weekly distribution of alms at the ‘Old Rothschild ‘ house in the Street of the Jews,” 25,000 florins for Jewish hospitals, 5,000 florins for Jewish schools and 20,000 florins “for various Christian charitable institutions.” Two of his bequests have special meaning for those aware of Jewish laws and customs. In an apparent attempt to follow the rules of Maimonides on charity he gave 10,000 florins “to the society for encouraging Jewish traders and workmen. And in an echo of the morning prayer which says that “participating in making a wedding” is one of the things to be done while waiting for the World-to-Come, he bequeathed the interest on 50,000 florins to be used as perpetual fund “to furnish dowers to Jewish maidens.” Baron Rothschild was not the only member of his family to know financial success. According to the article, Baron Charles left an estate of 17 million florins and Baron Solomon left an estate of 48 million florins.
1862: An Imperial ukase was published in St. Petersburg, Russia, “permitting Jews to enter every branch of the State service; permitting Jewish merchants to reside anywhere, and granting other concessions to the Jews.”
1863(6thof Shevat, 5623): A. Robinson, a soldier serving with the 15thGeorgia passed away today. His passing was later commemorated by the Hebrew Ladies Memorial Association of Richmond, VA.
1868(2nd of Shevat, 5628): Jacob Raphael De Cordova, Texas land agent and colonizer passed away.
1881: In Leadville, CO, Morris and Rosa Altman were married.
1881: In Charlestown, SC, Rabbi David Levy officiated the wedding of Jacob Baum from Georgetown, SC and Emma Brown, the eldest daughter of Charlestonian Henry Brown.
1884: Birthdate of Edward Sapir, German-born anthropologist and linguist. He was on the faculty of the University of Chicago and Yale until his death until 1939.
1890: The annual convention of the Grand Lodge of District No. 1, of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith will open this morning at New York in Vienna Hall (more for 2014)
1891: It was reported today that a story persists that the Jews’ desire to buy the Vatican’s copy of the Hebrew Bible goes back to the 16thcentury. In 1512, the Jews offered to buy the book from Pope Julius for a sum equivalent to $100,000 and may have recently made an offer of $200,000 for the holy book. (
1891: Birthdate of Ilya G Ehrenburgprolific Russian writer and journalist. Born into a middle class Jewish family living in Kiev, Ehrenburg was able to navigate the treacherous waters of the Soviet Union pursuing his career even during the days of Stalin’s anti-Semitic outbursts and dying peacefully in 1967.
1891: It was reported today that Rabbi Gustav Gottheil had delivered an address in which he noted “the absence of any united effort on the part of Christendom…to prevent…the persecution of the Jews of Russia.”
1892: A charity ball sponsored by the Jews of Philadelphia, PA is scheduled to take place tonight. The ball is the third and final of the city’s annual charity balls and “has for years been marked by the lavish display of feminine finery and jewelry of the most gorgeous description.”
1892: Four thousand people attended the ball sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
1892: “To Aid Russian Refugees” published today described efforts by the Jews of Pittsburg to form a branch of the New York Relief Association which is connected to the Baron Hirsch Fund. The Jews in Pittsburgh plan on collecting sums ranging from $10 to $20 which will help to create a fund to help settle Jewish immigrants in “Western cities” away from New York.
1893: The members and patrons of the Hebrew Technical Institute held their annual meeting tonight at Temple Emanu-El.
1894: “The committee appointed by the Trades and Labor Conference to make arrangements for the upcoming mass meeting at Madison Square Garden’ which will be addressed by Samuel Gompers on the subject of find work for the unemployed during the current economic depression” is scheduled to meet today.
1894: Isaac Bergmann, an unemployed tailor, is being held today after tried to slit his own throat
1895: During his speech at the monthly meeting of the Democratic Club of the City of New York, Senator David B. Hill acknowledged the growing importance of Jewish voters when in his call for party unity he included “Hebrew Democrats” among the other ethnic groups making up the party’s coalition including the Irish, the Italians, the Germans and those living in Harlem.
1896: The members of the Hebrew Infantile Asylum Association met today at the synagogue on east 86th Street.
1896: It was reported this week that Sarah Bernhardt who is returning to the New York stage is “still the same great actress.”
1896: It was reported today that Sarah Bernhardt will play the role of Marguerite in an upcoming theatrical production in New York.
1896: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered an address this morning at Temple Emanu-El entitled “The Safe Monroe Doctrine.”
1896: New York University Law School professor Isaac Franklin Russell delivered a lecture to members of the Russian-American Hebrew Association at the Hebrew Institute.
1896: “Another Heine Chapter” published today described the History of the Heine Memorial Fountain which has been rejected by “the cities of Mayence and Dusseldorf…for political reasons” and may now be denied a “home” in New York’s Central Park. At least one opponent, Paul Dana denied that “Heine’s works or religion ever figured” in the opposition.
1898: It was reported today that in Algiers a mob attacked Jews who were riding on an omnibus.
1898: It was reported today that Mrs. Saul Jacobs fainted outside of a New York court room following her husband’s conviction for having been part of scheme to swindle Max Bernstein out of $13,192.75 by passing off a load of painted brass as gold from Siberia.
1899(15th of Shevat, 5659): Final celebration of Tu B’Shevat in the 19th century.
1902: Andrew B. Davidson the Professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages in New College, University of Edinburgh whose first major public work was on the book of Job and who played a major role in creating the first “Bible Dictionary” passed away today.
1904(9th of Shevat, 5664): Fifty-five year old Austrian born novelist Karl Emil Franzos passed away.
1904: Theodor Herzl had an audience with Pope Pius X in the Vatican to seek his support for the Zionist effort to establish a Jewish state in Palestine
1905: The New York Times publishes a letter from Henry S. Morias reminding readers of Benjamin Disraeli’s support for the Unionduring the Civil War. Rabbi Morias, the son of Sabato Morais was a well-known Jewish journalist who served in the pulpits of numerous east coast congregations.
1906: Suzanne Jeanne Wohlwill married Jean Albert Richard.
1907: A law establishing national quotas in the 515 seat Austrian Parliament would lead to five Jewish deputies (4 Zionist and 1 Jewish Democrat) being chosen in the next national elections.
1908: The funeral for Leopold Wallach, who studied law at Harvard, was a “senior member of the law firm of Wallach & Cook and the husband of Theresa Lichtenstadter is scheduled to take place at his resident at 9:30 this morning.
1912:Aaron Hahn, a delegate from CuyahogaCounty to Ohio Constitutional Convention, suggests a provision be made in the state constitution for prohibition of sectarian religious instruction. A Rabbi named Aaron Hahn had served as the spiritual leader of Cleveland’s Tifereth Israelbut we can find no verifiable evidence that these are one and the same person.
1913: In Boston, Anshe Slavita dedicated a new facility.
1913: The New York Times reviews The Romance of the Rothschilds by Ignatius Balla a book which the great bankers whose name adorns its title-page allegedly are endeavoring to suppress in Englandand which shortly will be published in this country by G.P. Putnam's Sons. According to Balla, “A passion for old coins and skill as a chess player formed the basis for the most colossal fortune ever conceived in the brain of a romancer or recorded among the facts of history.”
1914: In New York, Louis and Kate (née Lautkin) Wolkind gave birth to Phoebe Wolkind who married Henry Ephron in 1934 and gained game as writer Phoebe Ephron the mother of Nora, Delia, Hallie and Amy Ephron.
1915: In “German Chancellor Sees Guile in Grey” Dr. Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg disputed claims by the British Foreign Minister that the Allies were defending civilization by citing a series of actions that would seem to prove otherwise including the adoption by the Russians of “a police terrorism barely equaled in history” aimed at many of its subjects including the Jewish people.
1915: As of today, the American Jewish Relief Committee has raised $390,026.49.
1915: Birthdate of French Marxist Maxime Rodinson whose parents died in the Holocaust, a fate he avoided because he had been sent to Damascus before the German occupation began.
1916: In Leeds (UK) Lithuanian immigrants Tilly Cohen Newman and Joseph Newman gave birth to Isidore “Izzy” Newman who served with SOE in WW II.
1916: In New York, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Finkelstein gave birth to “Jerry Finkelstein, who made a fortune in business, real estate and newspapers, including The New York Law Journal and The Hill, and for many years was a self-styled Democratic power broker” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
1916: Jewish Socialist political leader Morris Hillquit was part of a three person delegation to President Wilson to advocate part of the Socialist Party's peace program, which proposed that "the President of the United States convoke a congress of neutral nations, which shall offer mediation to the belligerents and remain in permanent session until the termination of the war." [Editor’s note: For those of you not acquainted with U.S. history, at this point the United States was not a participant in the Great War and most of her citizens wanted it to stay that way. In the fall, Wilson would be re-elected on a platform of He Kept Us Out of War. It was only after America entered the war and during the Red Scare of 1919 that what Hillquit and others like him expounded would come to be consider ‘un-American’ or treasonous.)
1917: Seventy-five years after the opening of the Burton Street Synagogue, The Jewish Chronicle said today that “virtually all the bitterness of the Reform controversy has – Heaven be praised! – passed”, but added a sting in the tail that “Reform has made no important constructive contribution to the religious life of the community”.
1917: The Italian government sent twelve thousand Lire ($2,400) to the Governor of Tripoli for the Jewish poor.
1918: Birthdate of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Regardless of his other "shortcomings" from a Jewish point of Ceausescu is memorable for his refusal to break diplomatic relations with Israelafter the June, 1967 War. Romania was the only Eastern European country to defy the Soviets which had ordered all of her client states to break relations with Israel.
1918: Birthdate of Malka (Mala) Zimetbaum, the Polish born Jewess who escaped from Auschwitz with her Polish boyfriend, Edek Galinski, in stolen SS uniforms and after being captured bled to death on her way to the crematorium where the Nazis decreed that she be burned alive.
1919: In Poland, Jewish parties receive about 10% of the votes during the election for the constituent assembly. But the under the electoral system in use, they get only 11 out of 394 seats
1920:Amadeo Modigliani's mistress jumps out of a window
1921: Austrian born violinist Erika Morini made her American debut in New York City.
1923: Final session of The Golden Jubilee Convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations was held at the Hotel Astor in New York City.
1924: Birthdate of Houston native Annette Strauss who would become the first Jewish female mayor of Dallas, Texas. She was the second woman elected to the position and the second Jew to serve in that capacity.
1925: Birthdate of actor Paul Newman. Newman’s father was Jewish. His mother wasn’t
1926: Birthdate of Stuart Etz Hample, a humorist who entertained children (and adults) as an author, playwright, adman, performer and cartoonist
1928” Birthdate of “American Editor and publisher” Jason Wolkow Epstein who in 1963 co-founded The New York Review of Books with his wife Barbara Zimmerman.
1928: In Trieste, Italy, an insurance executive named Ottocaro Weiss and the former Ortensia Schmitz, a violinist and a niece of the novelist Italo Svevo, gave birth to Piero Weiss. Weiss fled fascist Italy and came to America in 1940 where he gained fame as a concert pianist and recording artist before turning to musicology where he became an author and co-author of books in the field, including a widely used textbook, and founded the music history department at the Peabody Conservatory. (As reported by James R. Oestreich
1929(15thof Shevat, 5689): Final Tu B’Shevat celebration of the “roaring 20’s.” (For the next 15 years the holiday would be observed in a period of Depression and World War)
1929: Birthdate of cartoonist and writer Jules Feiffer. Jules Feiffer's cartoons ran in Playboy and The Village Voice for decades. Feiffer's work appeared often in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Nation, and was nationally syndicated. In 1986, Feiffer won a Pulitzer Prize for political cartoons, and from 1997-2000 he drew monthly op-ed comics in The New York Times.
1930: Birthdate of A. N. Solomons chairman of Singer & Friedlander.
1932: In Manhattan Yudel Marowitz, who was known as Harry, and the former Tillie Rosenkrantz, Jewish immigrants from Poland who worked in the garment industry, gave birth to “director, playwright, teacher and critic” Charles Marowitz. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
1933:The Jack Benny Program is broadcast for the last time on CBS Radio.
1934: Germany and Poland sign a ten-year nonaggression pact. This was one of the first steps of acceptance of the Hitler regime by the governments of Europe. Five years later, the Poles would find out that Germans did not really mean it.
1934: Birthdate of Soviet Gold medal Olympic volleyball player Georgy Mondzolevski
1934 Josef Pilsudski signed a ten-year peace pact with Hitler. That same year the Warsaw authorities, observing the impotence of the League of Nations in dealing with the German problem, decided to repudiate the Minorities Treaty signed under duress at Versailles.
1935: In a speech before 3,800 people at the MeccaTemple, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Zionist Revisionist leader urged his listeners to put the development of a Jewish national state in Palestineahead of all other issues related to economic and political development.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that Mordecai Uhana, the sole Jewish resident of Ramallah, a cobbler who lived had there for 34 years, was shot while at work and badly wounded. The driver and a passenger of a Givat Shaul bus were shot and hit on their way to Jerusalem. Nissim Dorani, a lorry driver, was killed by a bomb, thrown at him at Km. 5 on the Jaffa-Jerusalem Road. Twenty children, eight women and two men, all of them Jewish, were arrested as illegal immigrants at Safed. Three Arab terrorists were executed at Acre.
1939: In light of the news that German scientists in Berlinhad split the uranium nucleus, Leo Szilard wired the British Admiralty, the keeper of his 1935 patent on chain reactions, to disregard his earlier letter telling them to cancel his patent.
1940: At a prison camp in Siberia, Isaac Babel is found guilty of belonging to an anti-Soviet Trotskyite organization and with spying for France and Austria after a twenty minute trial. He is condemned to death and will be shot tomorrow.
1940: Nazis denied Polish Jews the right to travel on trains. One cannot help but see a note of irony in this decree.
1942(8thof Shevat, 5702): Seventy-three year old German mathematician Felix Hausdorff, his wife and his sister-in-law Edith Pappenheim committed suicide “by taking an overdose of veronal” after having been ordered to move to the Endenich camp which would he knew would only lead to a worse fate.
1942 (8th of Shevat, 5702): At Stari Becej, Hungary, 200 Jews and Serbs were slaughtered. At Titel, 35 Jews killed. At Teofipol, 300 Jews marched naked for three miles and then are shot.
1943:230 women of the French Resistance began “began their internment at Birkenau, the main women’s camp at Auschwitz” (For more see A Train In Winter by Caroline Weber)
1944: Birthdate of Denise Eisenberg who gained fame as Denise Rich who played a key role in obtaining the “mid-night” pardon for her ex-husband Marc Rich by donating millions to charities controlled by William Jefferson Clinton.
1945: In England, Derek and Iris du Pré gave birth to classical cellist Jacqueline Mary du Pré who married Daniel Barenboim at the Western Wall.
1945(12th of Shevat, 5705): Abba Berditchev was murdered by the Nazis. A native of Romania, he was detained by the British when he entered Palestine illegally. He volunteered for service in the British army and he “parachuted into Yugoslavia with Chana Senesh, Reuven Dafni and Yonah Rosen. Berditchev’s mission was to assist the Jews, gather intelligence and help rescue members of the air forces who were captured or had parachuted into Romania. . After two months of fighting in the mountains, Berditchev was captured by the Germans and transferred in December 1944 to Mauthausen along with other captives, where he was brutally tortured before he was murdered by the Nazis.” (As reported by Yad Vashem)
1945: The Virgin Island Daily News reported that Peter de Hemmer Gudme, journalist, Oriental scholar and author of two philo-semtic tomes “From Nebuchadnezzar to Hitler” and “A Sketch of the History of Zionism” died while in the hands of the Gestapo in Copenhagen. Born in 1897, he was the brother of Sten Gudme who has been working in London on behalf of the Free Danish government. [Ed note: The Gudmes were not Jewish; they were just decent human beings.]
1945: One thousand Jewish women interned at the Neusalz, Poland, slave-labor camp are set on a month-and-a-half-long forced march to the concentration camp at Flossenbürg, Germany, about 200 miles to the southwest. Along the way, 800 are beaten and shot.
1946: Birthdate of noted Anglo-Jewish historian Jonathan Irvine Israel.
1946: Birthdate of movie critic, Gene Siskel. He was part of the t.v. duo of Siskel and Ebert.
1947: Joseph B. Levin was assigned to the Office of Opinion Writing at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Levin had joined the SEC in 1942 while it was still located in Washington, DC. At the time of his appointment, the Commission had not returned to Washington from its wartime headquarters in Philadelphia, PA.
1948(15th of Shevat, 5708): Tu B’Shevat
1948 (15th of Shevat, 5708): Composer, Ignaz Friedman passed away at the age of 65. Born in 1882, Ignaz Friedman (also spelled Ignace or Ignacy) was a Polish pianist and composer famous for his Chopin interpretations
1949: Switzerland recognized Israel.
1951: Temple Beth Israel of Meridian, Miss. became the first Jewish congregation to allow women to perform the functions of a rabbi.
1952: In Cairo, the main Cicurel Department Store was destroyed by a fire set either by the Muslim Brotherhood or militant nationalists. The store was part of chain started in 1909 by Moreno Cicurel an Egyptian Jew who was both active in Jewish and Egyptian community affairs.1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the unexpected delay in the ratification of the Reparations Agreement with West Germany upset the Ministry of Finance budget calculations. 1954: Prime Minister Churchill urges the members of his cabinet to support a policy of open navigation through the Suez Canal, which is another way of saying he was calling on the British government to support all measures to force the Egyptian government to open the waterway to ships traveling to and from Israel.
1954: David Ben-Gurion steps down as Minister of Defense, a position he had held since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
1954: Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir completed his term as Deputy Minister of Welfar.
1954: Pinchas Lavon becomes the second person to hold the position of Minister of Defense
1968 (25th of Tevet, 5728): The British Admiralty reported the Dakar, an Israeli submarine, was missing and gave the last known position as 100 miles (160 km) west of Cyprus
1976: Israel opened the "Good Fence" to Lebanon.
1976: David Mamet's "American Buffalo" premiered in New York City.
1976: Birthdate of William “Willie” Adler, guitarist who played with the Lamb of God.
1978: In Cairo, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced that serious negotiations were going on behind the scenes on the stalled peace talks and that the US officials expressed hope that the current rift with Israel will soon be over.
1980: Israeland Egypt established diplomatic relations
1981:Finance Minister Yigal Hurvitz and two other Likud members of the Knesset broke away from the Likud to form Rafi - National List.
1986: Nine days after Spain and Israel established full diplomatic relations, Jerusalem designated Shmuel Hadas, “its unofficial envoy in Madrid to become its first ambassador to Spain.” The Madrid government had already designed Pedro Lopez Aguirrebengoa, its former ambassador to Greece “to head the new Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv.”
1986:''Between the Wars: The Bronx Express, a Portrait of the Jewish Bronx'' comes to a close at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
1991: Flaws are becoming apparent in the Patriot air defense system deployed against Iraqi Scud missiles, with some warheads exploding and wreaking damage even though the missiles themselves are shot down. Those flaws were evident today, after Iraq fired four more Scud missiles at Tel Aviv and Haifa. The Israeli military said that Patriot defense missiles destroyed the four Scuds, but that at least one Scud warhead survived the midair collisions and exploded on the ground, causing some damage and slightly wounding two Israelis.
1992: Final performance of in Rina Yerushalmi's adaptation of "Hamlet" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
1996: “Rent” with Idina Menzel in the role of Maureen Johnson, moved from the New York Theatre Workshop (off-Broadway) to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre “due to its popularity.”
1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People by Gary Greenberg and The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheimby Richard Pollak and Girls Onlyby Alex Witchel.
1997: The New York Times published “The Antagonist as Liberator” by Amos Elon
1997: In “The Man He Always Wanted to Be” Susan Boxer provides a detailed review of The Creation of Dr. B: A Biograph of Bruno Bettelheim by Richard Pollak.
1998: During what will become known as the Monica Lewinsky ScandalU.S. President Bill Clinton appeared on national and denied having had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
2001:''Voyages'', Emmanuel Finkiel's film that deals with the Holocaust opens today at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.
2001(2nd of Shevat, 5761): Eighty-one year old American political scientist Murray J. Edelman passed away. (As reported by Paul Lewis)
2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush by David Frum, AMERIKA (The Man Who Disappeared) by Franz Kafka; translated by Michael Hofmann. An Amazing Adventure: Joe and Hadassah's Personal Notes on the 2000 Campaignby Joe Lieberman and Hadassah Lieberman with Sarah Crichton and newly released inpaperback Einstein’s’ Unfinished Symphony: Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time, by MarciaBartusiak. The author, a freelance science writer with a breezy yet careful style, tells of the efforts by scientists to detect and measure gravitational waves, which Einstein predicted would ripple through the fabric of space-time. Her account is ''informative and easy to read,'' DavidGoodstein wrote here in 2000. ''When a gravity wave is first detected, the reader of this book will feel like a participant in the great event.''
2006: As part of events leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day observances in Poland, Holocaust survivors mixed with the young at the memorial to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto.
2006: The Fifteenth Annual Jewish Film Festival comes to an end in New York.
2006: Hamas, an organization committed to the creation of a Palestinian state in all of the territory stretching from the Jordan to the Mediterraneanwon 76 of the 132 seats in the first parliamentary elections held in the PA in ten years. The Hamas victory means that the terrorist organization can form a government without any coalition partners. For many Israelis who had continued to look for an Arab partner for peace, the election results seemed to doom any hopes of peace.
2006: The board of directors of Hudson’s Bay Co., Canada’s largest chain of department stores, agreed to sell the venerable institution to Jerry Zucker. Born in Israel, Zucker graduated with a triple major from the University of Florida. He is a resident of Charleston, South Carolinaand ranks #346 on the Forbes Four Hundred List of Richest Americans.
2007: In a sign of growing acceptance of an expanded role for Israelis in international organization, The Jerusalem Post reported that Dr. Margaret Chan, the new director-general of the World Health Organization, has invited Israeli health professionals to contribute their experience and skills to the UN organization. The Chinese born, Canadian educated Chan told the Post that she welcomes from any member country including Israel.
2007: A reading of “Bar Mitvah Boy” a musical created by the Jewish Triple Header of Jack Rosenthal, Don Black and Jule Styne was held at the Chelsea Studios in New York.
2008: Shabbat Yitro – The Giving of the Ten Commandments
2008: In New York City, the 92nd St Y hosts Israeli Folk Dance: Winter Marathon, an “all-night dancing, guaranteed to chase your winter chills away” as part of the Israel at 60 Celebration.
2009:The American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History present:
“Stella in the Bois de Boulogne” a dramatic reading of a new play by Jane Wood and Tara Prem that brings alive the historic conflict between Stella Adler of the influential Jewish-American Adler acting dynasty and the controversial artistic director Lee Strasberg, and her subsequent meetings in Paris with Russian director Constantine Stanislavsky in 1934.
2009: Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5769.
2009: Sports Illustratedreports that Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban was fined $25,000 for what the NBA called “improper interactions with Denver Nuggets players” during and a game on January 13. Cuban has been fined 14 times by the league for fines totaling almost $1.5 million.
2009:Faced with a decline in their operating budget and a shrinking endowment, the trustees of Brandeis University voted unanimously today to close the Rose Art Museum and sell its collection to help shore up the university’s finances.
2009:Brazilian Jack Terpins was unanimously re-elected president of the Latin American Jewish Congress. A longtime activist in Brazil, Terpins, 61, recently finished his term as president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, Brazil's Jewish umbrella organization.
2009: In an Agriprocessor Doubleheader Leah Rubashkin, 36, wife of former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin, testified in a bail appeal hearing that cash found in their home during a search was used for living expenses, not to escape the country while Soglowek Nahariya Ltd an Israeli food company has made a $40 million offer for the Postville kosher meatpacking company, which became mired in legal and financial troubles after an immigration raid in May snared about one-third of its work force.
2010: The 92nd Street Y in New York is scheduled to present a program entitled “The Future of Islam” featuring John L. Esposito and Mahmoud Mamdani.
2011: The U.S. Premiere of “Inventory,” a film that tells the story three explorers, who painstakingly deciphered inscriptions on gravestones in the lushly overgrown Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, is scheduled to take place at The New York Jewish Film Festival.
2011:In Columbus, Ohio the Cultural Arts Committee Meeting of Tifereth Israel is scheduled to meet at the home of Cantor Chomsky.
2011: “Adam Richman hosted Travel Channel's The Traveler's Guide to Life, which debuted today.
2011: Historian Lisa Jardin appeared in a BBC documentary investigating her the life of her father Jacob Bronowski the history of science in the 20th century.
2011:Today, the Jerusalem District Police released details regarding its investigation into a cell of Palestinian militants suspected in two murders and 19 other security incidents since 1997. 2012: “Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort” is scheduled to have its world premiere on the closing night of the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2012: Comedian Jeff Applebaum and Ari Hoptman are scheduled to appear at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: Israeli hackers brought down Iran's Press TV website and two websites belonging to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education today.
2013: “My Australia” is scheduled to be shown at the 9th annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival
2013: Rabbi Sim Glaser is scheduled to entertain audiences at the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival with “Material I Can’t Use In Sermons.”
2013(15thof Shevat, 5773): Tu B’Shevat
2013: Six incoming members of the 19th Knesset will have to give up their foreign citizenship before they are sworn in as new MKs on February 5.
2013(15thof Shevat, 5773): Two Ashdod refinery workers were killed this morning after they were exposed to a lethal dose of highly toxic gas.
2014: Meretz chairman and former Education Minister Shulamit Aloni who passed away on January 24 will be laid to rest this morning at the cemetery in Kfar Shamaryahu (As reported by Tova Dvorin)
2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Why I Read by Wendy Lesser, My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel and Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus
2014: “The Light Ahead,” a 1939 cinematic version of Fishke der krumer by Mendele Moyker Sforim is scheduled to shown at the Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles.
2014: In New York Temple Israel is scheduled to host “The Complete Guide to the Arab Israeli Conflict” presented by Jonathan Cummings.
2014: If her health permits, Clair Moncreif will appear in “Golda’s Balcony” at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré which will be a benefit for the Jewish Foundation of Louisiana. (As reported by the Crescent City Jewish News)
2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “America’s Enduring Cantorate” featuring Cantors Jack Mendelsohn and Barbara Ostfeld-Hortowitz.
2014 “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not intend to uproot Jewish settlements anywhere in the West Bank, and will not force any settlers to leave, even under a permanent peace deal with the Palestinians, a well-placed official in the Prime Minister’s Office told The Times of Israel today” (As reported by Raphael Ahren)
2014: An Israeli documentary, “The Green Prince” (directed and written by Nadav Schirman), won the Sundance Film Festival award in the category of Audience Award for World Cinema: Documentary in Park City, Utah today.
2014: Video footage captures anti-government protestors shouting “Juif, la France n’est pas a toi”—“Jew, France is not yours”–at a demonstration in Paris. (As reported by Stephanie Butnick)
2015: Ceremonies “marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz” organized by the European Jewish Congress are scheduled to begin today.
2015: “The House on 92nd Street” and “The Zionist Idea” are scheduled to be shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: Menach Feuer of Toronto’s York University is scheduled to deliver a lecture “The Schlemiel: A Broken Saint?” at the Jewish Museum of Florida.
2015: Guy Ben-Aharon’s “Israeli Stage” is scheduled to present “Never Ever” by Sivan Ben Yishai.
98: Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva. The second of the three Jewish revolts against Roman authority took place at the end of Trajan’s reign. This second revolt took place in the Diaspora. It started in 115 and lasted until 117. The revolt began in Egypt and then spread to other parts of North Africaincluding Libya, Cyrenaica and the Island of Cyprus. The revolt angered Trajan because it took place while he was campaigning in the East and he saw it as an act of treachery aimed at his rear. Just as the Jews of the Diaspora remained passive during the two revolts that took place in the land of Israel, so the Jews of Israel took no part in this bloody action which resulted in the destruction of the Cypriot Jewish community and the start of the decline of the Egyptian Jewish community.
661: The Rashidun Caliphate ends with death of Ali,the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. Begun in 632, the Caliphate marked a period of conquest that gave Islam control over a large swath of North Africa, the old Persian Empire and the modern Middle East. It was during this period that the forces of Islam defeated the Byzantines thus giving them control over Jerusalem.
681: The 28 canons adopted by the Twelfth Council of Toledo which contained a series of “diverse measures against the Jews” were read for the fir time in the Church of Santa Maria in Toledo, Spain.
1164(1st of Adar): Poet and philosopher Abraham ibn Ezra passed away
1186: Henry VI, the son and heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, married Constance of Sicily. During Henry’s reign Jews would be massacred from the Rhine districts all the way to the Vienna.
1197(6th of Adar): Rabbi Samuel ben Natronai, a tosafist, was broken on the wheel and martyred today.
1343: Pope Clement VI, who had portions of Levi ben Gershon’s (Gersonides) Sefer Milhamot Ha-Shem, ("The Wars of the Lord"), translated into Latin today “issued the Bull Unigenitus Dei filius to justify the power of the pope
1349: The Jews were driven out of Burgundy and escorted as far as Montbozon.
1449: New Christians or Conversos were the targets of a riot in Toledo, Spain. The Conversos especially the wealthy ones, were attacked during a revolt against taxation. Three hundred of them decided to band together and defend themselves. During the attack one Christian were killed. In response, 22 Marranos were murdered and numerous of their houses were destroyed.
1659: Cornelis Janss Plavier and his wife Geertje Andriesz, who were about to leave for New Amsterdam borrowed 1625 guilders, insurance included, from Amsterdam merchant Abraham Cohen Henriquez. The loan was to be repaid with the sale of beaver shipped in the autumn to Amsterdam. Merchandise and bills of lading for the beaver were to be kept by Asser Levy, or in his absence by Joseph d' Acosta, until proper security could be given by the couple for the shipment for which they were obligated. The borrowers were not Jewish; the others involved were.
1695: Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul on the death of Amhed II. Ahmed II had been born in 1643. During his reign he imprison Doctor Hayati Zadi in the Yedikule prison where he died. During the reign of Mustafa II, Belgrade was reconqured and the Jews were allowed to return to the city in 1690. Also, Doctor Nuh efendi, Doctor Levi, Doctor Tobias Cohen and Doctor Israel Koenigland were appointed palace doctors. Mustafa ruled until 1703. 1773: Birthdate of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the 6th son of George III who(the one who lost the 13 colonies) who “became a Patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known as Norwood” and who supported legislation to remove “the civil liabilities of Jews” passed away today.
1781: As the United States garnered allies in its fight for independence, British Admiral Sir George Rodney was informed that Britain was now at war with the United Provinces (Holland) and recommended as "first objects of attack St. Eustatius and St. Martin” attacks that would lead to the worst outbreak of anti-Semitism during the American Revolution
1785: Founding of the University of Georgia. According to the January, 2005 issue of “The Jewish Week,” the University of Georgiais emerging as one of the new “hot campuses” for Jewish students. “In 1993 the state of Georgia began paying full tuition to students with a 3.0 average or better in high school who kept a B average or better in college. So now the University of Georgia, which the Chronicle of Higher Education said had been considered a party school 10 years ago, is now a popular destination for in-state Jewish students. It’s 58th on this year’s U.S. News and World Report ranking of state schools for undergraduates, right below Maryland. Now the University of Georgia Hillelgets as many as 130 students at a Shabbat dinner, according to its director Shawn Laing.”
1788: “The first of England’s flotilla of convict transports dropped anchor at Sydneyharbor, New South Wales.” There were eight Jews among the eight hundred prisoners one of whom was sixteen-year old Esther Abrahams of London, sentenced to an Australian penal farm for stealing a piece of lace.
1790: In France, active citizenship was extended to the "well born" Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux, who promptly bowed out of the fight for equal rights. They looked upon their poorer brothers in Alsace-Lorraine with contempt.
1791: The National Assembly grants civil rights to the Jews of Alsace and Lorraine completing the process of emancipation for French Jews.
1806: Birthdate of “German philologist and lexicographer” Wlhelm Freudn.
1808: Jerome Bonaparte granted full civil rights to the Jews of Westphalia
1813: Birthdate of Heinrich von Friedberg who became a Protestant and enjoyed a successful legal career in Prussia.
1814: Fifty-one year old Johann Gottlieb Fichte the German philosopher who in 1793 “singled out Jews and Judaism as constituting a ‘state-within-a-state’ that was ‘predicted on the hatred of the entire human race’ and ‘spreading thought almost all lands of Europe and terribly oppressing its citizens” yet whose Addresses to the German Nation shows “few traces of such Jews-hatred.”
1824: Birthdate of Dutch painter Jozef Israëls. “Descended from a poor Jewish family, Jozef Israëls started taking drawing lessons in 1835 at the Academy Minerva in Groningen….In addition to fishermen scenes and portraits, he expanded his subject matter with peasant scenes, and later in his career he returned to the subject of death and old age, as well as treating Jewish and biblical themes.He traveled extensively and was much honored at home and abroad. Israëls was the most acclaimed Dutch painter in his time, eagerly sought after by collectors in Great Britain, the United States, and other countries. Hailed as a second Rembrandt, he participated in many exhibitions, and his work was disseminated through reproductions.”
1836: Birthdate of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch the Austrian author whose works included Jews and Russians and New Jewish Stories. “He faithfully described the manners of the Polish Jews but he feared that his affection for them might give the impression that he was an Israelite.”
1842: During the consecration of the first Reform Synagogue in London, Rabbi David Woolf Marks shocked the traditional Anglo-Jewish community by declaring. “We solemnly deny that a belief in the divinity of those traditions written in the Mishnah and the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud is of equal obligation to the Israelite with the faith in the divinity of the Laws of Moses… These books are human compositions; and, though we are content to accept with reverence, advice and instruction from our post-biblical ancestors, we cannot unconditionally accept their laws. For Israelites there is but one immutable Law – the sacred volume of the Scriptures commanded by God to be written down for the unerring guidance of His people until the end of time.” Every Hebrew congregation must be authorised to take such measures as shall bring the divine services into consonance with the will of the Almighty, as explained to us in the Law and in the Prophets.”
1850: Birthdate of Samuel Gompers, first president the American Federation of Labor. When asked what does the American working man want, Gompers responded, “More!”
1859(22nd of Shevat): Rabbi Menahm Mendel of Kotsk passed away
1859: Birthdate of Kaiser Wilhelm II who served as German emperor from 1888 until his abdication in 1918. Wilhelm played many complex roles in the lives of the Jews of Europe. He missed one opportunity to alter Jewish history by not supporting Herzl when he sought the Kaiser’s help in creating a Jewish state in Eretz Israel. Despite the thousands of Jews who fought and died in his Army, Wilhelm was an anti-Semite who blamed the Jews for Germany’s defeat helping to give rise to the canard about Germany having been defeated by “the stab in the back,” a stab delivered by the Jews.
1860: Birthdate of Sir Charles Solomon Henry, an Australian merchant and businessman who lived mostly in Britain and sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons from 1906-1918.
1863: Edward Robinson, the American biblical scholar who is considered the “Father of Biblical Geography” passed away. The American Protestant journeyed to Palestine with Reverend Eli Smith where they identified many of the sites described in the Bible. Among them was the tunnel dug during the reign of King Hezekiah. An arch dating back to Herod’s rebuilding of the Second Temple was named Robinson’s Arch in his honor. In 1839, Robinson became the first person to describe Tell el-Hesi., a site later excavated by Flinders Petrie.
1864:During the American Civil War, the Richmond (VA) Examiner published an article today about those who have are deserting the southern Confederacy for the safety of the North with Jews being the only group identified by their religion. According to the paper, a “great underground route to the North is now open through to Washington, D.C, via the track of the York River Railroad. This route, so generously left open by the Confederate Government, is patronized daily by scores of the principal of substitutes in search of more healthful localities -- Jews and blockade-runners carrying out gold and running in goods…” 1869: Twelve year old Jacob Bibo, the younger brother of Isaac R. Bibo, who had been placed in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in March 1867 after his mother died, “left the institution” today “and went to work with a pawnbroker on the Bowery.1873: In Russia, the recently promulgated Ukase concerning recruiting sailors and soldiers for the Czar’s military went into effect. Among the change in the new law was the termination of the exemption from service that had been given to Jews who had converted to Christianity. This is one of dozens of exemptions that were terminated. Now an exemption may be purchased upon payment of 800 silver rubles to the government.1876(1st of Shevat, 5636): Rosh Chodesh Shevat1878: President Henry S. Herman presided over the opening session of District Grand Lodge No. 1 of the Independent Order of the B’nai Brit which was being held at the Nilsson Hall in New York City. District 1 includes New York States, all the states of New England and the Dominion of Canada.1879: A Commission of Investigation was established to examine charges of immoral contact by Monsignor Thomas John Capel. Capel’s behavior would lead to his being sent to the United States where he became a popular speaker who delivered an address on patriotism to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.1879(3rd of Shevat, 5639): Schiee Jaffe, the native of Gnesen who was the son of Samuel and N.N. Jaffe passed away today in Berlin1880(14th of Shevat, 5640): Eighty-five year old German born pianist Jacques-Simon Herz passed away today. 1885: Birthdate of Jerome (David) Kern, one of America's foremost composers of music for the theatre and screen. He is best known as the composer of Broadway musicals like The Cat and the Fiddle (1931) and Roberta (1933). http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/C67
1885: Birthdate of musician and composer Harry Ruby.
1886: In Atlanta, GA, Joseph L. Loeb of Charleston SC, married Stella Jackson the “youngest daughter of the late J.J. Cohen of Rome, GA” at the “residence of her brother, L.L. Cohen.”
1887: Henry M. Stanley, the leader of the expedition to save Emin Pasha, the apostate Jew turned Christian, turned Moslem, arrived in Cairo.
1888: Birthdate of mineralogist and petrologist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt
1888: Birthdate of Sacki Gustav one of the many German Jews from Kleinseinach who died while serving in WW I.
1890: In St. Louis, Rabbi Rosentretter presided at the wedding of Fannie Miller, the daughter of A.A. Miller and Morris Elman.
1890: In Albany, NY, Davis S. Mann, a Jewish teller, was denied a promotion to cashier of the Albany County Banks.
1891(NS): Birthdate of Russian and later Soviet author, journalist and activist, Ilya Ehrenburg.
1891: Joseph Kline, the President of a Hebrew Cemetery Society “was put on trial” today “in the Union County charged with larceny and obtaining money under false pretenses from John Leece
1892: Birthdate of Ernst Lubitsch “a German-born Jewish film director” whose “urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director” which led critics to say that his films had “the Lubitsch touch".
1892: It was reported today that the recent charity ball hosted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music raised approximately $6,000 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1893(10thof Shevat, 5653): Russian journalist Nachum Cohen author of “In A Dull Townlet” which “appeared in book form in 1895” passed away today.
1893: It was reported today that the average attendance during 1892 at the Hebrew Technical Institute was 138. Seventy-five percent of the 32 students who graduated “have obtained desirable positions.
1894: Approximately 200 delegates attended the opening session of the annual meeting of District Lodge No. 1 of B’nai B’rith a the Lexington Avenue Opera House where they heard an address from the retiring President, Judge Goldfogle of the Fifth Judicial District.
1895: It was reported today that the 2,000 people who attended a charity ball in Brooklyn last week raised over $10,000 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1895: Birthdate of Joseph Rosenstock, the native of Cracow who conducted orchestras in Poland, Japan, Germany and the United States.
1895: “The Navigator Prince Henry” published today provides a detailed review of Prince Henry The Navigator: The Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery in which the author C. Raymond Beazly draws on the accounts of Benjamin of Tudela.
1896: It was reported today that Mrs. Wallenstein has been re-elected as President of the Hebrew Infantile Asylum Association. Mrs. Reiser has been re-elected as Vice President.
1896: Sarah Bernhardt appeared in the role of Marguerite in “La Dame aux Cemelias” at the Abbey Theatre.
1897: Opening session of the Fifth Annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society took place in Baltimore, MD.
1897: The Jewish Messenger published a complete report about Henry Herzberg’s speech, “The Soul of Judaism.”
1897(24thof Shevat, 5657): Dr. Solomon Deutsch, a leading philologist, passed away today in New York. Deutsch was born in Silesia in 1816 and came to the United States in 1857 after completing his education. He served as a rabbi in several cities including Philadelphia and Hartford before retiring to purse an academic career that included the authorship of Hebrew Grammar, Medical German and Biblical History.
1897: The Hebrew Union Veteran Association held its annual reception at the Lenox Lyceum in New York City.
1897: “Condition of the Poor” published today included Superintendent N.S. Rosenau’s of the United Hebrew Charities description of the “suffering among the poor Jewish people on the east side” which is made all the worst with the combination of bad weather and economic depression. The Jewish fund is “broke” having provided half a million dollars to the destitute “In the three years from October 1893 to the close of 1896.”
1897: During today’s debate on the proposed Immigration Bill being considered by the House of Representatives, Ohio Congressman Henry Grosvenor said “he would not vote for a measure framed specialty to restrict the Russian Jews” because such a vote would leave him open to charges that he had voted “against a man on account of his religion.”
1898: It was reported today that a lady was wounded by accident when a Spaniard fired at a French non-commissioned officers during today’s anti-Jewish riots in Algiers.
1899: A trial opened in the Assize Court in Paris today Mme. Henry, has sued Joseph Reinach, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and the editor of the Republic Fracaise for libeling her late husband by calling him “a traitor.” Mme. Henry is the widow of the late Lt. Col. Henry who committed suicide after having confessed to forging documents used against Alfred Dreyfus.
1899: In Detroit, Leo Franklin “preached his first sermon as Rabbi of Bethel at the Washington Boulevard Temple” today.
1900: Birthdate of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. Rickover was the father of the atomic and later nuclear powered Navy. He, more than any other single individual, was responsible for the creation of the submarine fleet that gave Americaits strategic edge over the Soviet Unionduring the Cold War.
1901: Birthdate of Abraham Cantarow, the native of Hartford, CT, who served on the faculty of Jefferson Medical College.
1902: Birthdate of Yosef Sapir, the native of Jaffa who served as mayor of Petah Tikva , an MK and a member of the government that guided Israel through the Six Day War.
1904: Herzl received a telegram from Leopold Greenberg that described a definitive offer from the British Government that would allow for a Jewish homeland in Nandi, a territory in the colony of Kenya. Greenberg advised immediate acceptance and the sending of an expedition. Greenberg was a British Zionist and publisher of the Jewish Chronicle.
1912: In New York City, President Taft attended a ball sponsored by the Daughters of Jacob, an organization established in 1895 to fund a home for aged Jewish citizens.
1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee were the Sewing Circle of Memphis, TN, the B’nai B’rith Lodge of Meridian, Mississippi, the House of Israel, Hot Springs, Arkansas and Temple B’nai Israel, Natchez, Mississippi
1917: As World War I drags on for a third year it is reported that not one home in the Jewish quarter of Belgrade remains standing undamaged. Large numbers of Jews have immigrated to Greece from various areas in the Balkans. The Americans sent $55,000 to help with relief in Serbia and Greece, after receiving a cablegram for help from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica, Jacob Meir.
1917(4thof Shevat, 5677): Eighty year old Rabbi Moses Samuel Zuckermandl, a student of Samson Raphael Hirsch, passed away today in Breslau.
1924: Birthdate of Harvey Irwin Shapiro, the Chicago born poet who became an editor of the New York Times (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1926: Birthdate of journalist, broadcaster and humorist Fritz Spiegl. Born and educated in Austria, Spiegel and his family fled when the Nazis annexed Austria. He settled in England where he lived and worked until his death in 2003.
1929: Birthdate of Richard Ottinger, a New York Democratic Party leader who served in the House of Representatives and then pursued a career with the Pace University School of Law.
1930: According to reports published today, “there are more than 213,000 volumes in the Hebrew University Library.” During 1929, 22,000 volumes were added to the library’s collection. The library includes the ‘only medical library of note in the entire region.’” The Library has expanded its locations as well as it collection. Based on the demand of physicians in Palestine, the library has established a branch medical library at the Nathan Straus Health Center in Jerusalem and another such facility in Tel Aviv.
1931: Birthdate of author Mordecai Richler. A native of Montréal many Americans know him as the author The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz which was later turned into a film of the same name. His first novel, The Acrobats (1954), is about a young Canadian painter in Spain with a group of expatriates and revolutionaries. Richler was a sharp cultural critic, and his books The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), St. Urbain's Horsemen (1971), and Joshua Then andNow (1980) all deal with greed and success. He wrote a collection of humorous essays titled Notes on an Endangered Species and Others (1974), and a series of children's books. He said, "Coming from Canada, being a writer and Jewish as well, I have impeccable paranoia credentials."
1938: The Palestine Postreported on the plight of the Jews in Romania. Under the new restrictions over 200,000 Jews had lost their trading licenses and one hundred thirty Jewish lawyers at Yassy had been expelled from the bar.
1938: The Palestine Postreported that Tel Aviv Mayor Israel Rokach opened a picturesque garden on the seven-dunam oval island at Zina Dizengoff Circle.
1940(17th of Shevat, 5700): Based on information that became public in the 1990’s, today is the day on which author Isaac Babel was shot to death after being found guilty of belonging to an anti-Soviet Trotskyite organization and with spying for France and Austria during a 20 minute trial that had been held the day before. Babel had been arrested by Stalin’s NKVD in 1939 and shipped off to a Siberian labor camp. Two of Babel’s more famous works were Red Cavalry based on his experiences as a cavalry officer fighting against the Whites and Odessa Tales which describes the richly textured Jewish society of Odessa. Babel was rehabilitated in the 1950’s by Khrushchev.
1941: The fund raising campaign of the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal is scheduled to come to a close tonight.
1943: Members of the 'Amitié Chrétienne’ held an emergency meeting at the home of Swiss Protestant pastor Roland de Pury to try and find a way to warn Jews that the Gestapo was watching the offices of the Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF),where they were going to get false documents. They decided to have Germaine Ribière pose as a cleaning lady, who, while cleaning the stairs would warn the Jews not to end the building. Germaine Ribière was a Catholic member of the French Resistance who was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for her efforts to save Jews from the Nazis. The 'Amitié Chrétienne’ was founded in Lyon, France, in 1941 with the goal of saving Jews and others from the Nazis and the Vichy Governments
1944:SS Morris Hillquit, a liberty ship named after the Jewish Socialist who opposed the United States entering World War I, was launched today. Like so many other supply vessels that survived the war, it would be sold to a private entity in 1947 and finally be scrapped in 1968. Not bad for a ship that was built in 34 days.
1945: The Soviet army entered Auschwitz and liberated more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were mostly ill and dying. It is estimated that at minimum 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered
1945: The Red Army entered Birkenau and found it almost entirely empty of human inhabitants. One survivor found in the hospital was Anne Frank's father, Otto. Anne had died there months earlier from decease. (Otto would return to Amsterdam to find the famed diary.) Though most of the storage facilities were already destroyed, the Russians discover 836,255 women's dresses, 348,000 sets of men's suits and 38,000 pairs of men's shoes.
1945: After Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz today Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the death camp by winning fight after fight against fellow prisoners, began searching other liberated camps for any family members who might have survived. During the search he found Marta Yechiel, a girl from his home in Greece. The two moved to Palestine, married and raised a family that included four children and 12 children at the time of his death.
1946:Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle to attend the wedding of Holocaust survivors Lilly and Ludwig Friedman’s wedding. Lily wore a wedding gown that had been created from a parachute acquired from a former Nazi pilot by an unknown seamstress. For Lilly “the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness.” The dress would eventually go on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
1947: As part of “Aliya Bet,” the Chaim Arlozoroff set sail from Trelleborg, Sweden, carrying 664 survivors of the European death camps. Most of those on board, who were labeled illegal immigrants by the British, were women. When the ship finally arrived in Haifa, a struggle ensued at the end of which the British transferred the former camp inmates to detention camps at Cyprus.
1952: Birthdate of Brian Gottfried, Baltimore born tennis star who won the Wimbledon Doubles in 1976
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that over 2,000 frightened refugees, including many Jews, escaped the purges in East Germany and crossed over from East to West Berlin. Israel got an urgently needed one-year loan of $16 million from an American group of banks, headed by the Bank of America.
1955:At the Boston Medical Library an exhibit of Jewish medical leaders, including medieval manuscripts and awards presented to Jewish physicians.
1955: “Plain and Fancy,” a musical comedy co-authored by Joseph Stein opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre for the first of 461 performances.
1956: U.S. release date for “The Court Jester,” a musical comedy starring Danny Kaye
1957(25th of Shevat): Yiddish poet Zishe Weinper passed away
1958: Birthdate of Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams.
1959: Birthdate of Keith Olbermann former TV sportscaster and former MSNBC host.
1961: "Sing Along with Mitch" featuring Mitch Miller premiered on NBC TV
1964: Red Buttons married Alicia Pratt, his third and last wife today.
1964(13th of Shevat, 5724): Lieb Glantz, famed chazzan and composer, passed away at the age of 65
1965:Up the Down Staircase, a best-selling novel written by Bel Kaufman was published today. Writing must be in her blood since she is the granddaughter of Shalom Aleichem, something not mentioned in any of the education classes that I took where this book was mandatory reading. 1965
1968: A radio station in Nicosia, Cyprus, received a distress call on the frequency of the INS Dakar's “emergency buoy, apparently from south-east of Cyprus, but no further traces of the submarine were found.”
1968: Congregation Shaar Hashomayim begin the dedication of its new chapel with a Sabbath Service.
1969(8th of Shevat, 5729): Nine Jews were publicly executed in Damascus Syria
1970(20thof Shevat, 5730): Eighty-three year old Maurice Samuel Calman, the Romanian born American oral surgeon who served on the Board of Alderman passed away today.
1971(1st of Shevat, 5731) Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1972(11thof Shevat, 5732): Eighty four year old mathematician Richard Courant, co-author of What is Mathematics? who was forced to flee Germany even though he had fought for the Kaiser, passed away today. (As reported by Harry Schwartz)
1973(24th of Shevat, 5733): Actor John Banner passed away. Best known for his portrayal of Sgt. Schultz in the television hit “Hogan’s’ Heroes,” Banner was born on this date in 1910.
1977: Broadcast of the first episode of “Lanigan’s Rabbi” based on the novels of Harry Kemelman featuring the character of “Rabbi David Small.”
1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that Egypt embarked on a massive diplomatic effort to explain why it had broken off peace talks with Israel.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jerusalem Municipality had begun the installation of a sewerage network at the Anatot Refugee Camp, despite UNRWA's objections that this would violate the camp's protected status as a "refugee camp of implicitly temporary nature." UNRWA had previously objected to the installation of such a network, despite the 1970 cholera outbreak. (This should provide a slightly different slant on the "refugee problem" and how these poor souls are being exploited.)
1982: In an example of “The Bible on Broadway,” "Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat" opened at the Royale in New York City for the first of what would be a total of 747 performances.
1986(17th of Shevat, 5746): Eighty-one year old American artist Edward Biberman passed away.
1991:In the midst of Iraqi attacks on Israel 74 year old Alexander Goldberg, a retired aeronautical engineer from Hempstead, Long Island, will join more than 100 other Americans, both Jews and Christians, for a flight tonight to Israel, where they will be put to work at army bases, hospitals and collective settlements, or kibbutzim. Some will pick fruit or help maintain army tanks; others will work in a factory that makes protective gear for chemical warfare. In the midst of Iraqi attacks on Israel
1992:Singer Ofra Haza and the Amka Oshrat Yemenite Dance Troupe appear in concerted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
1993: During the Intifada, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian terrorist.
1994(15th of Shevat, 5754): Tu B'Shevat
1994: The second season of “Homicide: Life on the Street” produced by Barry Levinson and co-starring Yaphet Kotto and Richard Belzer came to an end this evening.
1995: U.S. premiere of “Miami Rhapsody” written and directed by David Frankel with a cast that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Mazursky, Jeremy Piven and Ben Stein.
1996(6thof Shevat, 5756): Eighty-six year old Israel Eldad the native of Galicia who became a leading member of the Irgun and winner of the Bialik Prize passed away.
1996: Germany observed its 1st Holocaust Remembrance Day
1997: It was revealed that French museums had nearly 2,000 pieces of art that were stolen by the Nazis.
1999: Moshe Arens begins serving as Defense Minister.
1999: An e-mail sent today that “ultimately reached White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal” detailed “a Dartmouth College Jewish studies professor’s defense of” charges that President Clinton had committed adultery because “According to classical Jewish law, President Clinton did not commit adultery; adultery is defined as a married man having intercourse with a married woman, and Monica Lewinsky is single,” (As reported by Lazar Berman)
2001:Survivors of Auschwitz have gone on a poignant march past the gas chambers which claimed their fellow prisoners as Europe marked Holocaust Memorial Day. Today, Shabbat, 700 people, including camp survivors and local Jewish leaders, walked from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp's Gate of Death to its giant memorial wall, past the remains of the gas chambers and the crematoria. The Nazis killed 1.5 million people in Auschwitz, the highest number at any camp, before hastily retreating from an advancing Soviet army which liberated Auschwitzon January 27, 1945. The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, regarded as the world's largest Jewish burial ground, now houses a museum and is little changed from the day Red Army troops freed its last inmates. Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek told the participants in a letter that they were the "guardians of this tragic heritage of mankind." Ceremonies from Londonto Lithuania marked the 56th anniversary of the Auschwitz death camp's liberation. Britain and Italy held their first-ever Holocaust memorial days, while survivors, spiritual leaders and politicians across the continent pledged to remember a grim historical lesson about the consequences of intolerance.
"Not everyone who survived has the strength to share," said Auschwitz survivor Hedi Fried, speaking at a forum in Stockholm, Sweden. "We who can have an extra obligation. We owe it to our murdered parents, the 6 million Jews, 500,000 Gypsies and countless homosexuals, Russians and Poles who died."Britainobserved its first national Holocaust Memorial Day with ceremonies across the country and a London service that also honours victims of other 20th-century genocides. The guest list for the memorial at Westminster Central Hall in Londonincluded Prince Charles, Prime Minister Tony Blair, the archbishops of Canterbury and Westminsterand Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks. The ceremony included tributes to survivors of violence in Cambodia, Bosniaand Rwanda. In Germany, where a sharp rise this year in violent attacks on minorities gave the annual Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism added resonance, Parliament president Wolfgang Thierse issued a warning about the dangers of neo-Nazism. Germans must show "commitment to democracy and against raging right-wing extremism," he told Deutschland Radio. "This isn't about remembrance without consequences."
Six million Jews and five million others, including communists, homosexuals, gypsies and the mentally retarded, perished under the Nazi regime. Italy also marked Holocaust Memorial Day for the first time, with a ceremony in Milanorganised by Italian unions and a moment of silence during evening soccer games. Padua, in northern Italy, was honoring Giorgio Perlasca, a butcher credited with saving more than 5,000 Italian Jews by pretending to be a Spanish diplomat. Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi acknowledged Italy's blame in the Holocaust, calling Benito Mussolini's racial laws a betrayal of the country's founding principles.
"But numerous Italians knew how to further the demands of their conscience against the violence of the dictator," he said. About 7,000 Jews were deported from Italy during the Holocaust, and 5,910 of them died. Lithuanian Jews gathered in Vilniusto mark the anniversary, and in Sweden, Prime Minister Goeran Persson was attending a ceremony at a Stockholm synagogue. The Jewish Museum planned a lecture, music and a reading from Anne Frank's diary.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was to give the keynote speech in Sweden on Monday at an international conference on ethnic and religious intolerance.
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish author and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Responseby Bernard Lewis and Beyond the LastVillage:A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wildernessby Alan Rabinowitz.
2002:In Great Britain, a Holocaust event, organized by the Holocaust Education Trust, takes place in Bridgewater Hall. Extracts of the event will be broadcast by the Granadagroup of television companies during the week following the event. The second UK Holocaust Memorial Day takes place in Manchesterinvolving the participation of survivors from the Holocaust and victims of contemporary racism and prejudice, young people and a range of community representatives.
2003: In the United Kingdom the main Holocaust Memorial Day event took place in Edinburgh with a theme of “Children and the Holocaust.
2003:Polls published today affirmed that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel is likely to retain his post in elections on Tuesday, and then to face the complex challenge of assembling a durable coalition from a fragmented Parliament.
2004: An event establishing January 27 as memory day for Greek Jews and Holocaust victims was held at the Athens Concert Hall's convention center today, under the auspices of the foreign ministry.
2004:Israel honored 9 Greeks for their efforts to save Jews during WWII. Today, Israel’s ambassador to Athens presented that country’s influential “Righteous Among the Nations” award to nine Greek nationals who saved persecuted Jewish compatriots during the Nazi occupation of Greece (1941-44). Ambassador Ram Aviram presented the awards the same day as the recently enacted Greek Holocaust Memorial Day (Jan. 27), with a relevant event held at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) as well. According to a press release by the Israeli embassy in Athens, the “Righteous among the Nations” awards are given by “Yad Vashem”, an institute created by the Israeli state to perpetuate the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust. They are bestowed to individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during the Second World War. More than 200 Greek citizens have been honored by the Yad Vashem Institute, including the late Archbishop of Greece during the occupation, Damaskinos, the Greek chief of police at the time, Angelos Evert, the Metropolitans of Zakynthos and Dimitrias at the time, Chrysostomos and Loakeim, respectively, the one-time mayor of Zakynthos, Loukas Karrer, and many other unsung Greek heroes of World War II. This year’s awardees are Dimos and Theodora Vevelekos, Michalis and Eleni Mavridis, Smaragda Sarafianou, Ioannis and Tasia Spentzos as well as Ilias and Angeliki Kazantzis. The president of the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities, Moses Konstantinis, also participated at the ceremony.
2004, Modena Municipality, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, the Istituto Storico di Modena and the Jewish Community of Modena and Reggio Emilia organized a Study Convention in memory of Angelo Donati and an exhibition with photos
2005: The Fourteenth Annual New York Jewish Film Festival comes to an end.
2005: Arno Lustiger, the historian who documented “Jewish resistance under Nazi rule” and Wolf Bierman whose father was a member of the resistance who was murdered because he was Jewish spoke before the German Bundestag.
2005: At a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the former Foreign Minister of Poland Władysław Bartoszewski delivered a speech in which he paid honor to Jan Karski when he said, "The Polish resistance movement kept informing and alerting the free world to the situation. In the last quarter of 1942, thanks to the Polish emissary Jan Karski and his mission, and also by other means, the Governments of the United Kingdom and of the United States were well informed about what was going on in Auschwitz.” (While his comments about Karski are true, there are those who would say he provided a distorted picture of the Polish Resistance movement’s treatment of the Jews.)
2005: Holocaust Memorial Day in Great Britain. Holocaust Memorial Day is a national event in the United Kingdom dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. It was first held in January 2001, and has been hold on 27 January every year since. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945. This year’s major event took place in London with a theme of “Survivors, Liberation and Rebuilding Lives.
2006: The following column in the Jerusalem Post explains the importance of the First annual "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
Last November the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as an annual "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust." With 104 co-sponsors, including Israel, the historic UN resolution selected that date as it is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. During the 1950s the Knesset debated which date to establish as Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Chief Rabbinate had already designated the 10th of Tevet - an existing fast day marking the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem that culminated in the destruction of the Temple - as the date of "General Kaddish" for Holocaust survivors who did not know the date of death of their fallen family members. The ultra-Orthodox rabbinate suggested adding - as had been done to signify the destruction of Jewish communities by marauding Crusaders - additional piyyutim (liturgical poems) relating to the Holocaust to the lamentations recited on Tisha B'Av itself, the solemn fast day commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples. While incorporating the Holocaust within existing fast days marking national calamities reflected the traditional view that the Holocaust was yet another chapter in a long story of Jewish suffering through the ages, others argued that the Holocaust needed to be commemorated on its own.After long debate, the Knesset established the 27th day of Nisan as "Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevura," literally "Holocaust and Heroism Day." The date marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which in fact began on the 15th day of Nisan (April 19, 1943). Since the actual beginning of the uprising coincided with Pessah, the Knesset, as a compromise, chose a date that falls a week after the end of Pessah and a week before Yom Hazikaron, our Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, and Independence Day - but within the span of the nearly month-long uprising. As a further compromise, the legislation provided that if the 27th day of Nisan impinged upon Shabbat (i.e. fell on a Friday or a Saturday), the commemoration would be moved to the following Sunday. In effect, both sides of the debate in Israel in the 1950s wanted to place the Holocaust within an established context, either the traditional suffering of the Jew or the heroic Zionist model of the "new" Jew. Neither wanted to face the enormity and senselessness of the tragedy, especially in the first decade after World War II.In its infancy, Israel could not bear the image of Jews as victims being "led like sheep to the slaughter" and, accordingly, latched on to the heroic (if doomed) resisters in the Warsaw Ghetto as the proper "Israeli" model on which to base Holocaust remembrance. Moreover, the placement of Holocaust Memorial Day as a prelude to Independence Day conveyed the "Israel-centric" message that the Holocaust was a stepping stone in the founding of the State of Israel, the proverbial "darkness before the light" of national redemption. But this focus on the perceived heroic aspects of the Holocaust to fit our tough (but vulnerable) sabra self-image, together with the implicit message that the Holocaust's true significance lies in its happy ending - Israel's establishment - has had unfortunate repercussions. Sadly, most Israelis don't mark Yom Hashoah in any meaningful way.
For its part, the ultra-Orthodox community has always opposed, on halachic grounds, the imposition of a day of mourning during the joyous month of Nisan, which commemorates the birth of the Jewish nation and its exodus from bondage in Egypt. Sandwiched between Pessah and, to most Israelis, the more significant Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Independence Day, Holocaust Memorial Day has traditionally not been given the undivided attention it deserves. The Holocaust deserves to be viewed honestly and in depth as a unique historic event. Adopting January 27 as Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day would:
signify Israel's appreciation of the unusual step taken by the UN; ensure that the worldwide Holocaust Memorial Day will not be a passing fad since Israel's annual ceremonies can serve as the focus of global attention and as a model for other national commemorative events; indicate that Israel has "grown up" since the 1950s to appreciate that Jewish victimhood in the Holocaust is not something shameful that must be obscured in the celebration of Jewish heroism; unite the Jews in Israel, both observant and secular, to commemorate, discuss and ponder in an unhurried and thoughtful manner the manifold aspects of a tragedy that does not easily fit into any previous category of Jewish or world history. The UN has finally acknowledged the global historical significance of the Holocaust. Israel should support this development for its own good as well as that of the world.
2006: In Poland, as part of Holocaust Memorial Day observances a 1940’s tram marked with the Star of David - like the ones that used to travel through the ghetto - is seen again on the streets of Warsaw. It is empty, with nobody getting on or off. It will be empty. Nobody will get on or off.
2006:Rick Recht takes Cedar Rapidsby storm as he leads the Jewish Community in a celebration of “Shabbat Alive.”
2007: “Dirty Girl,” a play based on the experiences of Ronnie Koenig, the former editor in chief of Playgirl Magazine, finished its initial run in New York City.
2007: In the UK, the main National Holocaust Memorial Day event is hosted at Newcastlewith a theme of “The Dignity of Difference.”
2008: In “The Capa Cache,” published todayRandy Kennedy describes the fate of “the suitcase — actually three flimsy cardboard valises — that contained thousands of negatives of pictures that the Hungarian born Jew Robert Capa, one of the pioneers of modern war photography, took during the Spanish Civil War before he fled Europe for America in 1939, leaving behind the contents of his Paris darkroom. Capa assumed that the work had been lost during the Nazi invasion.” The negatives were in fact“hidden for more than half a century until last month… they made what will most likely be their final trip, to the International Center of Photography in Midtown Manhattan, founded by Robert Capa’s brother, Cornell.”
2008: The New York Timesfeatures reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Alfred Kazin: A Biography by Richard Cook
2008: International Holocaust Memorial Day – light a light, kindle a candle – Holocaust Memorial Trust website http://www.hmd.org.uk/
2009: In Manhattan’s EastVillage, third part of a four part series“The Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships”featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson
2009:As part of Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Centro Primo Levi, the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian academic institutions in NY under the auspices of the United Nations present Giorno della Memoria (Day of Memory)including areading the names of the Jews deported from Italy and the Italian territories on Park Avenue at 68th Street in front of the Consulate General of Italy and a discussion of the Fascist Racial Laws and the socio-political conditions, the indifference, and collaborationism that allowed their promulgation in 1938.
2009: In his new book We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Avraham Burg advocates commemorating the Holocaust three times during the year. “By observing it on January 27, the international day of Holocaust remembrance, Israelis would never lose sight of the fact that the Shoah was a crime against humanity, not just against the Jews, and that preventing further genocide is the business of the entire world. Commemorating it May 9, the day on which the former Soviet republics — and Israel’s immigrants from those countries — mark the victory over Nazi Germany, would symbolically embrace the many immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are not Jewish under Jewish law. Finally, celebrating it on the Ninth of Av would express the Jewish particularity of the genocide, while incorporating the Shoah into that day’s remembrance of the destruction of the Templeswould place it within the historical continuum of Jewish suffering rather than consider it wholly unprecedented.
2009:The Massachusettsattorney general’s office said today that it planned to conduct a detailed review of BrandeisUniversity’s surprise decision to sell off the entire holdings of its RoseArt Museum, one of the most important collections of postwar art in New England. The decision to close the 48-year-old museum in Waltham, Mass., and disperse the collection as a way to shore up the university’s struggling finances was denounced by the museum’s board, its director and a wide range of art experts, who warned that the university was cannibalizing its cultural heritage to pay its bills
2010: Sara Hurwitz was given the title of “rabbah,” (sometimes spelled “rabba”) the feminine form of rabbi
2010: Dorit “Beinisch was moderately hurt when a 52-year-old man named Pinchas Cohen hurled his sneaker at her during a hearing on medical marijuana, hitting her between the eyes, breaking her glasses and knocking her off her chair.”
2010:The recently discovered 29 blueprints depicting the layout of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in chilling detail, with gas chambers, crematoria, delousing facilities and watch towers drawn to scale are scheduled to go on display in Jerusalem today.
2010:Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to be at Auschwitz to take part in a ceremony marking the 65th liberation of the death camp by the Soviet Red Army.
2010: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Hadassah Book Club is scheduled to meet at Temple Judah where attendees will discuss Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. De Rosnay's novel is set against a backdrop of the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, and then transported to Auschwitz.
2010: International Holocaust Memorial Day.
2010:Bundled tightly against the cold and snow, elderly Auschwitz survivors walked among the barracks and watchtowers of Auschwitz and Birkenau on today, many clad in scarves bearing the gray and blue stripes of their Nazi prison garments decades ago
2010(12 Shevat, 5770):J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died today at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.
2010 (12 Shevat, 5770):Howard Zinn, historian and shipyard worker, civil rights activist and World War II bombardier, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” a best seller that inspired a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history, died today in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass.
2011: The Seventh Annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival is scheduled to open tonight “with three episodes from Season 2 of Srugim, the very popular Israeli television series about the lives and loves of five young Jewish singles living in the hip Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem, as they navigate the frequently contradictory worlds of contemporary Israeli romance and traditional observance.”
2011: ASF is scheduled to present “Behind the Scenes: An Intimate Video Visit to Morocco”which is part of the year-long series, "2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey", presented Under the High Patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, and made possible through the generous support of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.
2011:A program entitledThe Holocaust and Justice: How Do You Prosecute Unprecedented Crimes is scheduled to be held at the University of Iowa Law School. The program will included a screening of the film “Night and Fog” followed by a discussion by UI Law Professor Mark Osiel
2011: International Holocaust Memorial Day
2011: In Italy, observance of Giorno della Memoria (Day of Memory)
2011: Holocaust Memorial Day (UK)
2011:The memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II was honored around the world today, the day which marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day. German President Christian Wulff paid his respects on a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the biggest Nazi concentration camp, where about a million Jews were murdered during the war, accompanied by World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder and his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski. "On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Jewish community and the survivors of the Shoah welcome the fact that President Wulff - who has only been in office for a few months and has already been to Israel - is visibly giving the issue of the Holocaust remembrance such a high political priority,” Lauder declared ahead of the ceremonies in Auschwitz and Birkenau2011: “Copenhagen”a (high) drama with considerable comedy concerning the two Nobel physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg and Bohr's wife Margrethe, opened tonight at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The play features performances by Steve and Barbara Feller, pillars of the Temple Judah community.
2011:Four hundred rabbis will submit a letter today, demanding Fox News sanction host Glenn Beck for his repeated airing of Nazi and Holocaust imagery, and for putting on his show attacks on WWII survivor George Soros, Reuters reported.
2011:In excerpts of Ehud Olmert’s new memoirs that were published today, the former Jewish leaders says that he and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, were very close to a peace deal two years ago, but Mr. Abbas’s hesitation killed the deal. According to Olmert, at their last meeting, Abbas “said that he could not decide and that he needed more time.” (As reported by Ethan Bronner)
2011(22nd of Shevat, 5771): Ninety-year old Joseph Lefkowoitz a native of Patterson, NJ, a World War II veteran who had retired from the Social Security Administration passed away today in Crossville, TN.
2012: “With a French Flavor” featuring the wind and string Ensembles from the Buchmann Mehta Music School at Tel Aviv University is scheduled to begin at noon in the Ein Kerem Music Center.
2012: Jack Lew completed his service as Director of the OMB began serving as the 25th White House Chief of Staff
2012: Today, "I Honor Wall" - Online virtual event on Yad Vashem's Facebook page, invites people to honor the Righteous Among the Nations. When particpants agree to attend the online event, their names and Facebook profile pictures will be automatically connected to the name and story of a Righteous Among the Nations.
2012: International Holocaust Memorial Day
2012:Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today the world must quickly stop Iran from reaching the point where even a "surgical" military strike could not block it from obtaining nuclear weapons
2012:Israeli officials and academic experts think that Iran’s threats of retaliation to a possible strike against it are a bluff, the New York Times reported today
2012: Today, authorities leveled additional charges against a teenager accused in the fire-bombings of two New Jersey synagogues, saying he had plotted a similar attack on a Jewish community center and had conducted Internet searches for building Molotov cocktails and instructions on blowing up buildings.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said investigators found multiple Molotov cocktails this week in a wooded area near the Jewish Community Center of Paramus, and they traced the evidence to a foiled attack they said suspect Anthony Graziano was planning for January 7. Graziano, 19, was charged today with aggravated arson, bias intimidation and other charges for the planned attack on the Paramus Jewish community center.
2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Insurgents: David Patraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan and the recently released paperback edition of Shalom Auslander’s first novel, Hope: A Tragedy
2013(16th of Shevat, 5773): Eighty-seven year old Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)
2013: “The Jews of Algeria,” an exhibition that retraces the history of the Algerian Jews since Antiquity, is scheduled to come to a close at the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme
2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to sponsor “Superman at 75: Celebrating America’s Most Enduring Hero” who was the creation of Joe Shuster and Jerry Seigel.
2013:In Recognition of the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to present “I’m Not Leaving: The Power of Presence, Our Most Valuable Weapon.”
2013: Rabbi Sidney Kleiman of Congregation Adereth El in Murray Hill turned 100
2013: The World Zionist Organization’s Department for Activities in Israel & Countering Anti-Semitism is scheduled to mark the International Day for Countering Anti-Semitism (International Day for Commemorating the Holocaust) with a special conference on countering Anti-Semitism which will take place at the Mediatheque Theater in Holon.
2013: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
2013: In the UK, observance of Brent Holocaust Memorial Day.
2013:The IDF confirmed the deployment of Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the North today, amid an escalation in the Syrian civil war and concerns over Syria’s sizeable chemical weapons falling into radical Islamic hands.
2013: Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi triggered outrage from Italy's political left today with comments defending fascist wartime leader Benito Mussolini at a ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust. Speaking at the margins of the event in Milan, Berlusconi said Mussolini had been wrong to follow Nazi Germany's lead in passing anti-Jewish laws but that he had in other respects been a good leader.
2014: While she celebrates the arrival of her grandchild, the friends and family of Debbie Rosenbloom including her husband David Levin celebrate the natal day of the Director of Programs for Jewish Woman International
2014: As it has every year since 2006, the United Nations is scheduled to remember the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
2014: As part of the 2014 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust” is promoting “The Path to Nazi Genocide” a film “using rare footage that examines the Nazi’s rise and consolidation of power in Germany and explores their ideology, propaganda and persecution of the Jews.
2014: “Documents from the Nuremberg Trials recently found in a flea market in Israel are to go on display at the Chabad Jewish Educational Center in Berlin as part of events marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” (As reported by JTA and Times of Israel)
2014: “The largest ever delegation of Knesset members will convene overseas, on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau, together with Holocaust survivors, for a historic gathering on combating anti-Semitism and preservation of death camps.
2014: “Hackers attacked Israeli computers, including one used by the Defense Ministry department dealing with civilians in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli data protection expert said today.”
2014: “The UN commemorated the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, with honorees such as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, and filmmaker Steven Spielberg speaking before the United Nations assembly.” (As reported by Yitzhak Benhorin)
2015: As record snow covers her east coast stomping grounds, Debbie Rosenblum’s friends and family (including her husband David Levin) send her the warmest of best birthday wishes.
2015: “Voices of Auschwitz” is scheduled to air on CNN
2015: The Czech Republic observes Memorial Day for the Victims of the Holocaust and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity
2015: German observes Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism
2015: In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to show “Liberation and Return Life” a film that “shows liberation and its immediate aftermath through the eyes of the American soldiers who first entered Nazi concentration camps in the spring of 1945, and amateur footage that shows the rebuilding of the personal, political, and religious lives of Holocaust survivors in displaced persons’ camps."
http://www.yadvashem.org/27th/index.aspthe 10th anniversary of t
814: Charlemagne passed away. The grandson of Charles Martel was one of the greatest European rulers during the Dark Ages. There was nothing Dark about his treatment of the Jews. For the most part, he ignored canon law and the wishes of the Pope and treated the Jews of his realm rather decently.
1077: As a result of an event called the “Walk to Canossa,” Pope Gregory VII lifted he excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor. This was part of the struggle between the Church and the temporal rulers as to who would be the final voice of authority in Europe. Jews could not have taken comfort in this apparent success of Gregory over Henry. Gregory was hostile to Jewish interest. This can be seen in his letter to King Alfonso forbidding Jews to hold public office or to “have power over Christians.” Furthermore, he ordered the King to have the Jews pay special “Jew Taxes” throughout his kingdom. Henry was protective of his Jewish subjects. He issued charters to the Jews of Speyer and Worms allowing them to trade in these cities and to practice their religion according to their laws and practices. Furthermore, during the Crusades, he defied Christian doctrine and the Pope, by supporting the right of Jews who had been forced to convert “to disregard their baptism and return to Judaism.”
1167(4927):Poet and philosopher Abraham Ibn Ezra, hero of the golden age of Spain, passed away. There is some disagreement about when this sage actually passed away. Some say he passed away in 1164. Others say that he passed away on January 23. Although specificity as to the date of his death may not be possible, there is no doubt about his greatness. This brief blog cannot do him justice so here are two sites where you can at least gain a nodding acquaintance with the life and work of this sage.
1225: Birthdate of Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic Saint who expressed his views on Jews in a “Letter on the Treatment of Jews” written in 1271.
For more, see Aquinas and the Jews by John Y.B. Hood and Thomas Aquinas on the Jews Steven C. Boguslawski
1547: King Henry VIII of England passed away. When seeking to divorce his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn, Henry sought to make use of Biblical law in his fight with Rome. He thought that Rabbis, learned in the matter, might be of some help. Since Jews were not supposed to be living in England, Henry was forced to seek out Rabbis living in Italy. While the Rabbis offered some help, they were loathe to give too much assistance to a monarch in faraway England lest they offend and anger the Pope who could make miserable for the Jews of Italy.
1573: Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland. The primary beneficiaries of the document were competing Christian groups – Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox. Jews continued to enjoy the benefits of The General Charter of Jewish Liberties known as the Statute of Kalisz that had been promulgated at the end of the 13th century.
1594(5354): Seventy-nine year old Elia Levita who was “also known as Elijah Levita, Elias Levita, Eliahu Bakhur ("Eliahu the Bachelor") and “was a Renaissance-period Hebrew grammarian, poet and one of the first writers in the Yiddish language” passed away today in Venice. He was the author of the Bovo-Bukh the most popular chivalric romance written in Yiddish, which, according to Sol Liptzin, is ‘generally regarded as the most outstanding poetic work in Old Yiddish.’”
1668: Pope Clement IX canceled the humiliating forced races known as the Palio. During the Plaio near naked Jews were forced to run through the streets of Rome during carnival time. In return for the revocation the Jews of Rome had to pay a special cancellation tax of 200 ducats. This tax was paid for almost 200 years.
1717: Birthdate of Mustafa III. During his reign, the Ottoman Empire continued to decline as a world power and became less accepting of non-Moslems. Mustafa personally helped to enforce the decrees regarding clothing that could be worn by his subjects. “In 1758, he was walking incognito in Istanbul and ordered the beheading of a Jew and an Armenian seen dressed in forbidden attire.”
1721: A fire broke out in the Judengasse at Frankfort which destroyed over a hundred homes. Christian looters took advantage of the situation and it took the intervention of Emperor Charles VI for the Jews to be compensated for their losses. The fire gave Jews a chance to legally live outside of the Ghetto for 8 years. By 1729, they had all been forced back into their narrow confines.
1789: Lieutenant Colonel David Salisbury Franks, one of the highest ranking Jewish officers to serve in the American Army during the revolution was granted four hundred acres in recognition of his military service. Franks was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of Revolutionary war veterans.
1790: The French National Assembly granted full and equal citizenship to the Portuguese and Avignonese Jews. The Jews of Alsace would have to wait until 1791 to be granted these same rights. France was the first European country to pass such liberal legislation.
1790: When Joseph II revoked the decrees protecting the Jews, “the citizens of Pesth, Hungary, took measures to expel the Jews because they were business competitors.
1793: Lord George Gordon, the English nobleman who converted to Judaism and took the name Yisrael bar Avraham Gordon was returned to his prison cell today because would not accept his character witnesses at the hearing where he should have been freed because they were Jewish.
1800 (2nd of Shevat, 5560): Chasidic Master Rabbi Meshulam Zusha of Anipoli passed away. While there is much to say about this sage, most know him because of the following story or one of its variants. “Reb Zusha was on his deathbed surrounded by his disciples. He was crying and no one could comfort him. One student asked his Rebbe, "Why do you cry? You were almost as wise as Moses and as kind as Abraham." Reb Zusha answered, "When I pass from this world and appear before the Heavenly Tribunal, they won't ask me, 'Zusha, why weren't you as wise as Moses or as kind as Abraham,' rather, they will ask me, 'Zusha, why weren't you Zusha?'”
1803: In Frankfurt am Main Caroline Stern and Freiherr Salomon Mayer von Rothschild gave birth to Anselm Salomon von Rothschild the founder of the Viennese bank Creditanstalt.
1809: Birthdate of Theodor Benfey, “the son of a Jewish trader from Nörten in Lower Saxony who chose a career as a philologist over being a doctor.
1810: Birthdate of Aron Mendes Chumaceiro, the native of Amsterdam who became Ḥakam of Curaçao, Dutch West Indies
1814(7th of Shevat, 5574): Rabbi Dovid of Lelov passed away. He was the first Grand Rabbi of the Lelover Dynasty. The Lelovers moved from Poland to Jerusalem in the late 1840’s or early 1850’s.
1849:Isaac Noah Mannheimer delivered a speech in the Austrian Reichstag on the abolition of capital punishment.
1851: Emma and Philip Salomons gave birth to Sir David Lionel Goldsmid-Stern-Salomons, who gained fame as an author, scientist and barrister.
1851: Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in the state of Illinois. For our family, the two most famous graduates of Northwestern are Dr. Jacob Levin of blessed memory who earned his masters and Ph.d. from the Evanston institution and Betty Levin.
1856: Birthdate of Russian painter Isaac Lvovich Asknazi whose works included “The Poet Jehuda Halevi,” “Sabbath Eve,” “The Bridegroom Examined by the Rabbi” and “Bad News,” “a picture of Jewish life.”
1860: The community of Kingston, Jamaica, “which is composed chiefly of Jews” have been making contributions for the relief of their suffering brethren of Morocco. They have managed to collect large sums in spite of the prevailing poverty.
1860: “Relief of the Jews in Austria” published today reported that “from Austria, amid the echoes of Hungarian dissatisfaction, and Tyrolese boldness, come the reports of promised reform. It is stated as a certain fact that in a few days the Emperor will issue a decree, relieving the Jews from many disabilities under which they now lie. The law which forbade a Jew to have a Christian servant is already repealed; and the emancipated Israelite can now rejoice in the possession of a cook who hasn't a conscientious objection to getting up and making a fire, of a Saturday morning. The expected decree will abolish the old law, by which no one of the three witnesses required for a Christian's will could be a Jew -- a blind provision, which has been the source of more trouble to Christians than Jews. Then the rule, still on the statute-books in Austria, that a Jew's evidence in a civil case against a Christian should be considered as "doubtful," will be done away; as also the present prohibition, which prevents any but a Christian from filling the office of Notary. This last provision is no older than 1855. Before that year Jews were allowed to be Notaries, and it is said that there is a Jewish Notary in Prague, who was appointed under the old law, and holds his office still. It is proper that the Government should concede these rights to an oppressed class; but one cannot but notice how, through these reforms, it hopes to escape more pressing and important demands from its subjects. Hungary demands her constitutional rights, and the Emperor grants a couple of reforms to Venice. Tyrol desires her ancient and guaranteed privileges, and he emancipates the Jews at Prague! No matter -- the day is coming.”
1862: Birthdate of Hannah Bachman Einstein, an activist for child welfare in both Jewish and secular settings. Einstein “was raised in New York City's Temple Emanu-El, a German Reform congregation. As an adult, she remained active in the Temple, and in 1897, she became president of the sisterhood, a position she held for twenty-five years. One of Einstein's activities as sisterhood president was visiting the homes of recent immigrants. She soon became convinced that the private relief provided by the Temple would never be sufficient to alleviate the problems of this group. Only government action, she decided, could address the myriad social problems that immigrants and other impoverished people faced. Joining with other activists, Einstein lobbied the New York State legislature for widowed mothers' pensions, which would enable widowed women to care for their children without working outside the home. In 1913, she was appointed chair of the state committee to investigate the issue. Her committee wrote what became the Child Welfare Law of 1915, which became the national model. By 1920, nearly all the states had passed similar legislation. In the wake of her committee's success, Einstein became president of the New York State Association of Child Welfare Boards, served as the first woman on the board of the United Hebrew Charities, and helped found the National Union of Public Child Welfare Officers. Einstein died in New York City in 1929.
1865(1st of Shevat, 5625): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1865: Birthdate of Emma Eckstein, the native of Vienna who was a patient of Sigmund Freud and who became the first female psychoanalyst.
1867(22ndof Shevat, 5627): Seventy year old Philip Salomons, the eldest son of Levi Salomons passed away today. A resident of Brighton, he married Emma Montefiore, the daughter of Jacob Montefiore, one of the leaders of the Sydney Jewish community.
1871: Leo Frankel was among those serving as a member of the National Guard when Paris surrendered to the Prussians today….. This marked the end of the Franco-Prussian War. From the point of view of history, this was the first of a three act play. The second act was World War I and the third act was World War II, including the Holocaust.
1873: Lewis J. Cohen and Henry Lehman, the Jewish proprietors of a store on Chatham Street, were sentenced to a month in the Blackwell’s Island Penitentiary after having been convicted of verbally abusing a visitor to their shop named Robert J. Quinlan.
1873: B’nai B’rith held its annual meeting at Masonic Hall in Manhattan tonight. According to the treasurer’s report, the society has $58, 961.76 in assets. Founded 14 years ago, the society has 6,096 members.
1874: Rabbi S.M. Isaacs officiated at the wedding of Jacob Schnizter and Cordelia Menken, the daughter of the late Solomon Menken.
1874: In Chicago, Illinois, The B’nai B’rith adjourned the third day of its national convention at 7 o’clock this evening.
1874: In Chicago, Illinois, delegates to the national B’nai B’rith convention attended a banquet at the Sherman House.
1875: Gratz Nathan, a prominent 30 year old New York lawyer who had served as the Assistant Corporation Attorney, attempted to commit suicide in his office tonight. Nathan gained a certain kind of unwanted notoriety when his uncle, Judge Cardozo, was impeached.
1876: Birthdate of Irving Lehman, New York lawyer and jurist.
1877: The New York Times featured a review of John Peter Lange’s “Commentary of the Holy Scriptures” which focuses on the period of Persian rule when the exiles returned from Babylonia. The commentaries are tied to the books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.
1878: The annual convention of the District Grand Lodge No.1 of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rit came to a close today after a second day of meetings. The delegates will attend a banquet at Nilsson Hall this evening to mark the end of the event.
1880(15thof Shevat, 5640): Tu B’Shevat
1880: Birthdate of Herbert Max Finlay Freudnlich, the German chemist who served the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry from 1919 until his forced retirement in 1933. His father was Jewish. His mother was not. He passed away in 1941 in Minneapolis, MN.
1887: Birthdate of pianist Arthur Rubinstein
1888(15thof Shevat, 5648): Tu B’Shevat
1890: Rabbi Mendes of Shearith Israel officiated at the wedding of Corinna Friedman, the daughter of Colonel Max Friedman to Leo Strassburger, the son of the former Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama.
1890: Rabbi Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El officiated at the wedding of Belle Strouse, the daughter of Abraham Stouse and Hugo H. Hahlo which took place this evening at Delmonico’s.
1890: Several hundred thousand dollars in deposits, including $180,000 belong to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company will be withdrawn from the Albany County Bank today in response to the Board of Directors decision to choose a local lumber deal over Davis S. Mann as Cashier of the bank. Mann has worked for the bank and his supporters attribute his rejection to the fact that he is Jewish.
1890: It was reported today that David Saltzman, a Jew who converted to Christianity, refused to A.A. Miller’s demand that he leave his daughter’s wedding. The enraged father responded by beating him with his fists and his cane.
1891: In New Jersey, the trial of Joseph Kline, the President of a Jewish cemetery society, who is charged with larceny and obtaining money under false pretenses entered into its second day.
1893: Birthdate of Abba Hillel Silver, the native of Lithuania, who became a leading Reform Rabbi, Zionist and champion of the rights of the American working man.
1894: The annual meeting of District Lodge No.1 of B’nai B’rith was scheduled to end today.
1894: It was reported today that the new officers for B’nai Brith are: President – Samuel D. Sewards; First Vice President – Joshua Kantrowitz; Second Vice President – Bernard Metzgar; Treasurer – Solomon Sulzberger.
1894: A musical competition designed to raise money for charities including the United Hebrew Society that will include John Phillips Sousa’s band will take place today at the Madison Square Garden.
1896 “Bernhardt as Marguerite” published today described Sarah Bernhardt’s performance in “La Dame Aux Camelias” as “a veritable triumph….Bernhardt has rarely given a more careful or more inspired portrayal in this great role.”
1896: “New Theatrical Bills” published today described the successful performance of “A Woman’s Reason” produced by Charles Frohman which is now appearing at the Empire Theatre in New York.
1897: It was reported today that Mindel Brown, acting on behalf of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Corps, has presented a set of colors to the Hebrew Union Veteran Association.
1897: It was reported today that the newly elected officers of the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society are
President – Morris Goodhartz; Vice President – Maurice A. Herts; Treasurer – Isaac K. Cohn;
1897: “Oldest Benefit Society” published today provides a brief history of the early Jewish community in New York and the Hebrew Mutual Benefit Society which was organized in 1826 when there approximately 300 Jewish families living in the city most of whom “lived below Canal Street and east of the Bowery.”
1897 The closing session of the Fifth Annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society to place today in Baltimore, MD.
1897: Using information that first appeared in The Hebrew Journal, “Too Much Reform” published today described what is seen as a retreat from “the work of iconoclasm” by the reformers and turn towards “preaching and teaching what they consider good and praiseworthy in rabbinical Judaism.”
1899: Governor Theodore Roosevelt addressed today’s meeting of the University Settlement Society today. During his speech TR said that “there is nothing better than the way in which the Jew and Gentile…are striving together to accomplish just such things as this society set out to accomplish.” Roosevelt’s positive view of Jews stands in stark contrast with the European experience (anti-Semitic riots in France and the anti-Jewish policies of the Czar) and are all the more significant since within the next couple of years he would be Vice President and then President of the U.S.
1899: It was reported today that in his recently published Story of France, Thomas Watson includes a description of the Christian massacre of the Jews in response to “the frightful ravages of the bubonic plague in 1348.”
1899: It was reported today that Monsieur Guerin, the President of the Ant-Semite League led a mob that entered the Place Dauphine at the back of the Palace of Justice where the libel trial brought by Mme. Henry was being heard. The mob roared with shouts of “Death to the Jews!” After being dispersed by the police the mob re-formed on the Place du Chatelet where it howled “Spit on the Jews!” (All of this stemmed from the attempts to reverse the conviction of Dreyfus)
1899: A proposal was made today in the Chamber of Deputies “to have the Dreyfus Cased heared by a Supreme Court of Appeals, with all three chambers sitting jointly.”
1901: Count Ioseif (Joseph) Gurko, who while serving as the military commander of the region around Warsaw in the 1890’s sought permission to expel the Jews from the western zones of Poland, passed away
1903: Herzl appoints Leopold Kessler as leader of the commission "for the exploration of the feasibility of settling in the northern half of the Sinai Peninsula.
1904(11thof Shevat, 5664): Fifty-five year old Austrian novelist Karl Emil Franzos, passed away today.
1905: Birthdate of Barnett Newmann, an American artist who is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionism and one of the foremost of the color field painters
1912: A description of President Taft’s appearance as guest of honor at The Daughter of Jacobs Ball was published today. The President was greeted by a throng of between 12,000 and 15,000 who had come together to raise funds for the Infirmary of the Daughters of Jacob on East Broadway. In his speech, Taft praised the Jewish people for “their perfect system of charitable institutions to look after their poor and infirm.” The President left the ball as the band played Boola-Boola.
1912: Birthdate of comedian “Professor” Irwin Corey.
1914(1st of Shevat, 5674): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1915: “The Reverend C.B. Ragsdale testified today that he signed a false affidavit in which he swore he overheard the negro “Jim” Conley confess to killing Mary Phagan; that after signing this affidavit $200 was paid to hum through Arthur Thurman and C.C. Tedder and that a voice over the telephone, ‘like the voice’ of Dan S. Lehon promised him $10,000 more ‘if the thing went through.’”
1915: An act of Congress merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service creating the United States Coast Guard. Some of the Jews were members of, or associated with this valiant force were: musician and vocalist, Mel Torme,; Arthur Fiedler who “volunteered during the early days of World War II for the Temporary Reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard and was later a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary” and comedian and television star Sid Caear who joined the Coast Guard in 1939. This proved to be a boon to his carrer. Assigned to play in military shows, he caught the attention of producer Max Liebman, who was impressed by his ability to make other musicians laugh. Liebman took him out of the orchestra and cast him as a comedian, jump-starting his career upon release from the Coast Guard in 1945. And the rest is show biz history. When Sid Caesar was celebrating his 80thbirthday, The Coast Guard presented him with a public service award that read as follows:
"The Commandant of the United Stated Coast Guard takes great pleasure in wishing a joyous 80th birthday to Coast Guard veteran Sid Caesar and presenting to him this Coast Guard Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition of his public support of the Coast Guard, most notably in the early days of his career as an actor, musician and comedian and more recently as public spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Caesar joined the Coast Guard in 1939, after studying saxophone at the Julliard School of Music and playing in a number of prominent big bands. In the Coast Guard, he was assigned to play in military revues and shows, such as "Tars and Spars," but he showed a natural penchant for comedy by entertaining other band members with his improvised routines, prompting show producer Max Liebman to move him from the orchestra and cast him as a stand-up comedian to entertain troops, jump-starting his career upon his release from the Coast Guard in 1945. After leaving the Coast Guard, Mr. Caesar went on to perform his "war routine" in both the stage and movie versions of the revue, and continued under Liebman's guidance after the war, in theatrical performances in the Catskills and Florida, but he never forgot the service that launched his career. Mr. Caesar's performance distinguished the Coast Guard as an honorable and valuable service. Friends and acquaintances say he always kept the Coast Guard close to his heart, especially its hardworking enlisted members. Each and every time the Coast Guard asked Mr. Caesar for a favor, he came through for us, whether it was speaking before the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association or recording audio public service announcements for Coast Guard recruiting campaigns. His respect, admiration and fondness for our service shines bright. Mr. Caesar's years of generosity, concern and dedication to the Coast Guard family are deeply appreciated and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and public service."
1916: President Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis D. Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Brandeis was the first Jewish member of the court. Although there was opposition to a Jewish justice in some quarters, Brandeis was followed by two more distinguished Jewish Supremes - Benjamin Cardozo and Felix Frankfurter. Brandeis was an active member of the American Jewish Community. He was an early an ardent Zionist. Unfortunately he did not live to see the creation of the modern state of Israel.
1917: James Malcom, an Armenian businessman and advocate for an independent Armenian state, introduces Chaim Weitzman to Sir Mark Sykes. Sykes is a protégé of Lord Kichner and a dominant, if not the dominant, force in forming British policy in the Middle East. Weitzman is seeking Sykes’ support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine after World War I
1917(5th of Shevat, 5677): Rabbi Avraham Eliezer Alperstein the native of Belarus who was of the teachers at REITS and was one of the founders of Agudath Harabbonim passed away today in New York.
1918(15th of Sh'vat, 5678):Tu B'Shvat
1918 In Jerusalem, the cornerstone is laid for Hebrew University.
1918: Leon Trotsky (born Lev Davidovich Bronstein) became leader of “the Reds.”
1922:The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Govan in Glasgow launched the SS Athenia, the first British passenger vessel sunk by a German U-boat in World War II which counted among the survivors was Kalmen Kaplansky.
1923: The First "Reich’s Party" (NSDAP) forms in Munich. These are the Nazis.
1926(13th of Shevat, 5686): Kaufman Kohler, the German born American leader who was one of the great leaders of Reform Judaism, passed away today in New York at the age of 83.
1928: Birthdate of Hal Prince, American stage producer and director.
1929: The British government is reportedly planning on building a road to the Megiddo Excavation which is being funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
1934 (12th of Shevat, 5694): German Chemist Fritz Haber passed away at the age of 65. Haber won the Nobel Prize in 1918.
1938: Collier’s magazine published “The Fall in America 1937” H.G. Wells laudatory article about “I’d Rather Be Right “a musical with a book by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and music by Richard Rodgers.
1938: The Palestine Post published a major study on the extent of the 'Octopus of Nazi Propaganda in Syria.' There were two major German propaganda centers in the Middle East: one in Cairo for Egypt, Sudan, Palestine and Transjordan, and the second in Baghdad, for Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Germans proved to be masters in the art of propaganda and anti-Semitic incitement spread by their well-trained agents and maintained a number of exclusive, influential clubs in major cities. Large bribes were handed over for the 'Arab victims of the Jewish aggression in Palestine.
1939(8th of Shevat, 5699): Louis Cohen a New York mobster who murdered labor racketeer "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan and was an associate of labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter was killed today shortly before he was to testify against Buchalter.
1939: U.S. premiere of “They Made Me A Criminal” starring John Garfield, with music by Max Steiner and produced by Benjamin Glazer and Hal Wallis
1939(8thof Shevat, 5699): Irving Friedman, alias Danny Field, a New York mobster, was murdered shortly before he was testify against Louis “Lepke” Buchalter as part of deal with D.A. Thomas Dewey.
1941: Edward L. Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and one of the “fathers of modern public relations,” writes a letter to the New York Times opposing a proposal by Dr. Harwood L. Childs of Princeton University that the U.S. should create a national propaganda ministry.
1943: Over the next 3 days, ten thousand Jews from Pruzhany, Belorussia, are deported to Auschwitz.
1944Leonard Bernstein's "Jeremiah" premiered in Pittsburg.
1945: The weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board, states that the United States would permanently close its War Refugee office in Turkey. The outgoing representative stated, "Inadequate sources of information and communication channels render impossible the orderly organization or direction from Turkey of any rescue activities...."
1947: Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel gave birth to Dr. Peter Gabel the associate editor of Tikkun.
1948: Birthdate of Shimon Ullman the Jerusalem born professor of computer science and co-founder of Orbotech
1948: Birthdate of Laurence Moody, the Cambridge graduate who became an English television director.
1949: Israel was recognized (diplomatically) by Australia, Belgium, Chile, Great Britain, Holland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand.
1950: Birthdate of Barbara Klein who gain fame as Barbi Benton, friend of Hugh Hefner, Playboy Bunny and regular on the television country comedy hit, “Hee Haw.”
1950 (10th of Shevat, 5710): On the secular calendar the date on which Joseph Isaac Schneersohn (Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn or Friyerdikker Rebbe ("Previous Rebbe" in Yiddish) or Rayatz) passed away. There is no way that this blog can do justice to his life of accomplishments.
1952(1st of Shevat, 5712): Rosh Chodesh Shevat1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Soviet-controlled Hungarian regime was deporting Jews to work camps in a Soviet-inspired anti-Semitic campaign, resembling that of the Nazi era. In a similar manner Czechoslovakia started purging Jewish doctors in order 'to prevent the threat of a repetition of the murder of Soviet leaders.' The Knesset approved vastly increased customs duties on a series of commodities, including the food parcels sent to Israelis by their relatives from abroad. This increase was expected to cover at least a part of the budget deficit, which stood at IL 5.6 million, as claimed by the government, or IL 25m. as claimed by the opposition
1958:Dore Schary's "Sunrise at Campobello" premieres in New York City
1959: Sixty-two year old Johannes Kleiman, “one of the Dutch citizens who helped hide Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Nethrlands” passed away today in Amsterdam.
1959 (19th of Shevat, 5719): Joseph Sprinzak Speaker of Israel Knesset from 1949 until 1959 passed away. A dedicated Labor Zionist Sprinzak was one of the unsung founders of the early Zionist movement who dedicated their lives to creation of the Jewish homeland.
1965: Three days after the death of Winston Churchill, “Halina Neuman, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, wrote to The New York Times” expressing her feelings about Britain’s war time leader. To Neuman, for those trapped in the darkness of Nazi Europe, Churchill’s speeches and the sound of his voice were a light, a beacon of hope and proof “that the world was not coming to an end.”
1967(17thof Shevat, 5727): Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, the native of Tiberias who was the only Sabra to signed the Israeli declaration of independence and served as the Minister of Police from 1948 until he passed away today.
1967(17thof Shevat, 5727): Forty-five year old virologist Alick Issacs passed way today
1968: Following yesterday’s Shabbat services, the new chapel at Shaar Hasomayim was formally dedicated today.
1968: Ya’acov Ra’anan, commander of the INS Dakar, had wanted to enter his home port today but was told to stick to the original schedule and dock the boat on January 29 as planned.
1969: In the ever shifting sands of Israeli party politics, the Labor Party and Mapam created a political alliance called the Alignment.
1984: A month-long show featuring 43 painting by expressionist Chaim Soutine is scheduled to come to an end at the Galleri Bellman in New York City.
1986 (18th of Shevat, 5746): The space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members: flight commander Francis R. "Dick" Scobee; pilot Michael J. Smith; Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka; Judith A. Resnik; Gregory B. Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. “Among the seven crewmembers killed was Judith Resnik, the first American Jewish astronaut in space. Resnik joined the space program in 1978 after graduating from Carnegie-Mellon with a B.S. in electrical engineering and the University of Maryland with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Prior to the 1986 Challenger tragedy, Resnik served as the mission specialist on Discovery's maiden voyage in 1984, logging 144 hours 57 minutes in space. Resnik was the second American woman in space (after Sally Ride) and the fourth worldwide. Before joining the space program, Resnik worked in the radar division of RCA, as a biomedical engineer in neurophysics at the National Institute of Health, and finally for the Xerox corporation. She was accepted into the NASA program, along with five other women, in 1978. An Akron, Ohio, native, Resnik was a classical pianist and a gourmet cook, and also enjoyed running and bicycling. She was active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the IEEE Committee on Professional Opportunities for Women, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of University Women.”
1987: Valerian Trifa, the Iron Guard leader who later served as archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in America and Canada died today. Trifa was exposed and brought to justice thanks to the efforts of Zev Gola
1991: Iraq fired another missile with a conventional warhead at Tel Aviv tonight, the seventh attack in 12 days. But this time the army said the Scud was defective and disintegrated as it fell back to earth. No one was hurt, and there was no property damage. The missile had fallen apart even before any Patriot air-defense missiles could be fired at it.
1992: As part of “Israel: The Next Generation,” a performance is given of “‘Jabar’s Head,a cabaret show presented in Arabic, Hebrew, and English by the Beit Hagefen Theatre”
1992(23rd of Shevat, 5752): Nahman Avigad, Israeli archaeologist, passed away at the age of 86. Avigad led the team that found the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter.
1993: At New York’s Plaza Hotel, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, which operates two sports rehabilitation and social centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa and is building a facility in Jerusalem, receive the 10th annual Defender of Jerusalem Awards from the Jabotinsky Foundation.
1993(6th of Shevat, 5753): Fifty-two year old Hannah Wilke an American painter, sculptor, photographer, video artist and performance artist passed away today in New York.
1996 (7th of Shevat, 5756): Jerry Siegel noted cartoonist and creator of Superman passed away at the age of 81. Whether it is highbrow (see next entry) or lowbrow, there always seems to be a Jew somewhere creating American Culture.
1996(7th of Shevat, 5756): Joseph Brodsky passes away at the age of 55. Born in Russia in 1940, the famed poet would survive persecution in his native and exile to the United States to win the 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature and become Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991.
1996: A revival of David Merrick’s “Hello Dolly” closed at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre after 116 performances.
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Newest Place in the World by Suzanne Ruta, Rethinking the Holocaust by Yehuda Bauer and the Jewish Confederates by Robert N. Rosen.
2002(15th of Shevat, 5762) Tu B'Shevat
2002(15th of Shevat, 5762):Today Mark Sokolow, who escaped without injury from the second tower of the World Trade Center during the attack on September 11, was walking with his family in the scarred central shopping district here when a Palestinian bomber set off an explosion that resounded throughout Jerusalem, killing herself and an 81-year-old man and wounding 113, most of them slightly. ''I was a lot luckier last time,'' Mr. Sokolow, a 43-year-old lawyer from Woodmere, N.Y., said as he recovered in a hospital here from shrapnel wounds to his face and leg. ''This one involved my whole family.'' After a frantic search for his wife and two of his daughters, he learned at the hospital that most of their wounds were also slight, though one girl, Jamie, 12, had shrapnel in her right eye. She was likely to retain her sight, doctors said. The blast scattered burning body parts across Jaffa Road and sent a cloud of swirling dust and circling pigeons into the air, witnesses said. The attack was steps from where a Palestinian gunman raked the area with semiautomatic gunfire last week, killing two and wounding 20 before being shot dead by the police. If the bomber in the attack today intended to die, she would be the first female suicide bomber to strike in Israel since such attacks began here in 1994, the police said.
2003: Ariel Sharon emerges victorious in Israeli elections today which included the defeat of Amram Mitzna, the leader of the Labor Party. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his rightist party, Likud, crushed Israel's Labor Party in parliamentary elections, as voters vented their doubts about any prompt, secure end to the bitter conflict with the Palestinians.
2004: In northern Greece, in the presence of US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, Nobel peace prize winner Elie Wiesel and representatives of the city's political and cultural sectors, the memory day for Greek Jews who lost their lives in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau was honored by the Jewish community in Thessalonica.
2005: “Barenboim Comments Sparks Anger As Controversy at Columbia” published today described the behavior of Argentine-Israeli conductor Barenboim and the environment which some Jewish students have to deal with at Columbia University.
2006(28th of Tevet, 5766): Kabbalah sage Rabbi Yitzhak Kedouri passed away at the Bikur Holim hospital in Jerusalem. His precise age was unknown, but estimated to be somewhere between 106 and 113 years old. Rabbi Kedouri was born in Iraq at the turn of the 20th century. He began his studies in Jewish mysticism in his youth, before coming to Israel in 1923. Kaduri, known as "the senior Kabbalist," is the last of a generation of Sephardic Jewish mystics. His close circle of friends and family say he was one of the few known living Kabbalist who used "practical Kabbalah," a type of Jewish magic aimed at affecting a change in the world. More rational schools of Judaism are skeptical about Kaduri's powers. Nevertheless, few doubted Kaduri's righteousness and vast knowledge of both conventional and more esoteric Jewish thought and law. For most of his life Kaduri was unknown to the general public. He led a modest life of study and prayer and worked as a bookbinder. During the past decade and a half he served as the head of Nahalat Yitzhak Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Bukharan quarter.
2007: Maccabiah U.S.A. (MUSA) held its annual meeting in Newark, New Jersey.
2007: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Presentby Michael B. Oren.
2007: The Washington Postfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for Godby the late Carl Sagan.
2007: Raleb Majadele was appointed Minister without Portfolio making him Israel’s first Muslim cabinet officer.
2007:The Los Angeles Times book section featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Little Book of Plagiarism byJudge Richard A. Posner.
2007: The Times of London featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including of Imposture by Benjamin Markovits.
2008: In Seattle, Washington, the final performance of “The Westerbork Serenade.” “The Westerbork Serenade” is a one-person play which tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held by the Nazis in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork. From 1942-1944, some of Berlin's greatest stars performed at Westerbork, thereby delaying their transport to death camps. Most, however, were killed before the end of the war. The play contains period songs, sketches and accounts. “The Westerbork Serenade” is the title of an acerbic love song about camp life written by Dutch singing duo, Johnny and Jones, in 1944, just months before their deportation to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen death camps.
2008: U.S. News & World Reportfeatures an article entitled “New Taste for Kosher Food” that begins “Not only Jews look for the kosher symbol on food these days. In a surprising turn of events, "kosher" has become the most popular claim on new food products, trouncing "organic" and "no additives or preservatives," according to a recent report. A noteworthy 4,719 new kosher items were launched in the United States last year—nearly double the number of new "all natural" products, which placed second in the report, issued last month by Mintel, a Chicago-based market research firm. In fact, sales of kosher foods have risen an estimated 15 percent a year for the past decade. Yet Jews, whose religious doctrine mandates the observance of kosher dietary laws, make up only 20 percent of those buying kosher products. What gives? "It's the belief among all consumers that kosher food is safer, a critical thing right now with worries about the integrity of the food supply," says Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior analyst at Mintel a Chicago based market research firm.2008: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama saidPalestinian refugees belong in their own state and do not have a "literal" right of return to Israel. "The outlines of any agreement would involve ensuring that Israel remains a Jewish state.” His statements of support for the Israeli position on refugees came on the heels of scurrilous charges that Obama is secretly a Muslim who received a radical Wahabi education. 2008: Israeli officials said today that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak held talks in Paris last week with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf even though their countries have no diplomatic relations. The two men first met by chance in the hotel where Barak was staying and spoke briefly, a spokeswoman from his ministry told AFP. 2008 (21 Shevat, 5768): In Iowa City Dr. Michael Balch, Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Iowa and a longtime member of the Jewish community passed away. Michael earned a BS in Engineering Science from Pratt Institute in 1960 an MS from New York University in 1962 and a PhD in Mathematics from New York University in1965. His areas of expertise were Economic behavior under uncertainty and Theories of deterrence, arms control, and war.
2009: Jack Lew began serving as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.
2009:The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research presents a lecture by Yedid Kanfter entitled:“The Lodz Towers of Babel: Industry and Religious Politics in Lodz Before the First World War” in which the Yale University professor explores the link between Lodz and religious infrastructure, between industry and Orthodox politics. 2009: The Jerusalem Conference “the unique annual forum co-sponsored by Arutz Sheva for the discussion of Israel's national priorities, social values, and aspirations” hosts its concluding session. 2009: “Stumbling Stone,” a documentary study of the artist Gunter Demnig and his continuing Holocaust memorial project is shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival. 2009: “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh” opens today in Manhattan.
2009:Israel's chief rabbinate severed ties with the Vatican today to protest a papal decision to reinstate. Bishop Richard Williamson, who told Swedish TV in an interview broadcast last week that evidence "is hugely against 6 million Jews being deliberately gassed." He said 300,000 Jews were killed at most, "but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber."
2010: In New York City, closing day of "Laba’s Guests" at Laba Gallery, New York
2010: Walter Isaacson is scheduled to discuss and sign his new book, American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane, at Barnes & Noble in Bethesda, Md.
2010: Novelist Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season and Wickett's Remedy, is scheduled to “chat” about "The Story Behind the Stories" at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. This event, co-sponsored with George Washington University, is the launch of the JCC's new series, "Authors Out Loud."
2010: Elisa New is scheduled to discuss and sign her new memoir, "Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore," at Barnes & Noble in Rockville, Md.
2010:Israeli drip irrigation giant Netafim opened a new factory in Turkey today despite recent diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
2010(13th of Shevat, 5770)Seymour Bernard Sarason, professor emeritus of psychology at Yale University passed away in New Haven, Connecticut, at the age of 91. (As reported by William Grimes)
2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to host its Shababa Bakery where children of all ages can “squish, roll and braid” their own challah to take home and bake for Shabbat.
2011: Ezra Rosenfeld is scheduled to lead a guided tour of “the amazing mountain palace and fortress of Herodion” that many consider King Herod's "Piece de Resistance."
2011: Rabbi Edward Feld, the senior editor of the new Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative) High Holy Day Mahzor was not able to deliver his lecutre about “Why Words?”—a discussion of how we relate to words in a prayer book at Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax, VA because of a snow storm and power outage.
2011:Paraguay joined a string of South American nations in recognizing an independent Palestinian state.
2011(22nd of Shevat, 5771):Gerry Faier, a longtime gay activist in New York who returned to Jewish practice in her later years, passed away today at 102. http://jwa.org/weremember/faier-gerry
2012: “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber” is scheduled to be shown at the Brotherhood Film Festival sponsored by Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York and the Virginia Peninsula Jewish Film Festival in Williamsburg, Va.
2012:Rachel Feinstein is scheduled perform on the final night of the Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival.
2012: In Iowa City, IA, Agudas Achim is scheduled to host “Support Mitzvah Day 2012” a fund raiser sponsored by the Tikkun Olam Committee.
2012:Opposition leader and Kadima party head Tzipi Livni called for tougher sanctions against Iran today, saying that it is the responsibility of the entire world to stop Tehran’s quest for the bomb.
2012:Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said today that “Israeli intransigence” was behind the failure of the January Israeli-Palestinian talks in Jordan.
2012(4th of Shevat, 5772): Fifty four year old Steven Leiber, a San Francisco art dealer and collector who became an expert in artists’ ephemera and built an archive that became an important resource for scholars and curators” passed away today. (As reported by Roberta Smith)
2013: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present “Laughing All the Way to Freedom” featuring Professor Emil Draitser, author of Taking Penguins to the Movies.
2013: This evening “a suspicious object” was found on the road leading to Erfat, which turned out to be “a fake bomb” that “had been planted on the road.
2013: Jerusalem expressed "surprise and astonishment" today at a decision by Iran and Argentina to set up a "truth committee" to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people.
2014: “When You Listen to a Witness, You Become a Witness,” an exhibition that “documents the experiences of students while visiting the former Nazi concentration camps established in Poland during WW II, is scheduled to open at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library
2014:“Yitzhak Bergel, the 47 year-old Jerusalem resident who allegedly spied for Iran on behalf of extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, was sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court
today to 4.5 years in prison.” (As reported by Tova Dvorin) 2014: Twenty-three year old Abur Sara and 30 year old Abu Nagma were indicted today on charges that they “were planning a terror attack on Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem and the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.” (As reported by Aris Yashar)
2015: Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism in collaboration with the Institute for Historical Research, supported by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London are scheduled to present “Remapping Survival: Jewish Refugees and Rescue in Soviet Central Asia, Iran and India.”
2015: The United Nations commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day which had been postponed due to predictions of an unprecedented snow storm which had cause the Mayor to “close down” New York is scheduled to take place today.
2015: A celebration of the release of “Toyznt tamen: A Thousand Flavors, a new recording by Yiddish singer and songwriter Miryem-Khaye Seigel” is scheduled to take place the Museum at Eldridge Street.
2015: A verdict is expected to be rendered today in the case of three defendants who are trial for an arson attack on the Wuppertal Synagogue last July. (As reported by JTA)
904: Sergius III began his papacy during which Jews first began settling at Mayence, Germany in 906.
1421(17th of Shevat, 5181):The Jews of Sargossa, Spain were spared from slaughter at the hands of King Alfonso V , thanks to the fact that a handful of synagogues beadles had acted on the advice given to them by the Prophet Elijah in a dream shared by each of them. The resulting salvation on the 17th of Shevat was celebrated by Saragossan Jews, and dubbed "Purim Saragossa." A Hebrew Megillah (scroll) was penned, describing the details of the miraculous story. To this day, this scroll is read in certain communities on Purim Saragossa.
1478: “The Washington Haggadah,” the creation of Joel Ben Simeon was completed today. “In addition to the full text of the Passover night liturgy, the Washington Haggadah features stunningly intricate illuminated panels and a series of Passover illustrations that include depictions of "The Four Sons,""The Search for Leaven," and "The Messiah Heralded." The enduring popularity of Joel ben Simeon's miniatures is reflected in the many reproductions of his work that have appeared over the years in anthologies of Jewish art and manuscript painting. In 1991, the Library of Congress published a facsimile edition of the Washington Haggadah, accompanied by a companion volume with a detailed scholarly description, analysis, and assessment of the manuscript.”
1482: Pope Sixtus V addresses a “severe letter” to Ferdinand and Isabella censuring the conduct of the Inquisition. “In this letter the pope admitted that he had issued the bull for the institution of the Inquisition without due consideration.”
1581: Baptism of Sir Rowland Cotton, the English MP who learned Hebrew from Hugh Broughton.
1676(OS): Tsar Alexis I of Russia passed away. “During his reign a considerable number of Jews lived in Moscow and the interior of Russia. In a work of travels, written at that time, but published later, and bearing the title, Reise nach dem Norden the author states that, owing to the influence of a certain Stephan von Gaden, the czar's Jewish physician, the number of Jews considerably increased in Moscow. The same information is contained in the work, The Present State of Russia by Samuel Collins, who was also a physician at the court of the czar. From the edicts issued by Alexis Mikhailovich, it appears that the czar often granted the Jews passports with red seals (gosudarevy zhalovannyya gramoty), without which no foreigners could be admitted to the interior; and that they traveled without restriction to Moscow, dealing in cloth and jewelry, and even received from his court commissions to procure various articles of merchandise. Thus, in 1672, the Jewish merchants Samuel Jakovlev and his companions were commissioned at Moscow to go abroad and buy Hungarian wine.” Another edict “instructed a party of Lithuanian Jews to proceed from Kaluga to Nijni-Novgorod, and as a protection they received an escort of twenty sharpshooters.” The Czar’s attitude towards the Jews was a mixed bag as can be seen from his expulsion of “the Jews from the newly acquired Lithuanian and Polish cities” – Mohilev, Wilna, and Kiev. Altogether, taking into consideration the hatred of foreigners among the Russian population of his time, it is evident that Alexis was kindly disposed toward the Jews.”
1689: The Convention Parliament adopted a resolution declaring England to be “a Protestant Kingdom” and that only a Protestant could be King. This effectively removed James II from the throne and paved the way for William and Mary to come to the throne. The Jews had already returned to the British Isles, but the Protestant monarchs would prove to be sympathetic to their cause which helped with the peaceful growth of the nascent Anglo-Jewish community.
1735: Sixty-eight year old George Granville, the British playwright adapted “The Merchant of Venice” into the “Jew of Venice” in 1701 passed away today.
1790: "The Jews of Paris obtained a certificate, couched in most flattering terms, and testifying to their excellent reputation, from the inhabitants of the district of the Carmelites, where most Jews dwelt at this time.”
1791: During the French Revolution, a Jewish delegation dressed in their uniforms as National Guardsmen and bearing certificates of ‘good behavior’ from the Christian citizens of Paris appeared before the Commune seeking support for their demand to be granted full rights as citizens of France.
1794: Ezekiel Hart, one of the early leaders of the Canadian-Jewish community married Frances Lazarus. She was the niece of Frances Noah and her husband Ephraim Hart, a successful New York merchant.
1803(6th of Shevat, 5563): Jonas Phillips passed away. Born in Germany in 1736, he was the first of the Phillips family to settle in America. A founder of Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, Phillips was the father of twenty-two children and the grandfather of Uriah Phillips Levy, the first Jewish Commodore in the United States Navy.
1803: Birthdate of Anselm Salomon von Rothschild, who was an Austrian banker, and a member of the Vienna branch of the Rothschild family, born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany to Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild and his wife Caroline.
1808: Ezekiel Hart was elected to the Canadian parliament but was prevented from taking his seat because as a Jew he could not take the oath "on the true faith of a Christian." Though reelected in May 1808, and in April 1809, he was again prevented from being seated. Only in 1832 was legislation passed allowing Jews to hold public office and giving them full civil rights. Born in 1767, Hart passed away in 1843.
1817(12thof Shevat, 5577): Sixty year old Abraham Furtado, the President of the Assemblee des Notables and assistant of the Mayor of Bordeaux passed away in Bordeaux.
1819: Sir Stamford Raffles establishes at a post at Singapore. By 1830, there at least 9 Jewish traders living at the British outpost and by 1840, the Sassoon family with all that that meant for the growth of the colony and the Jewish community.
1820: King George III, whose life had been saved by a Jew in 1800 and who had his first conversation with a Jew when he spoke to boxer Daniel Mendoza passed away
1830: The date for the congregation charter for Nidce Israel, in Baltimore which became the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
1832: In St. Petersburg, Maria Ivanovna Maltsova and Captain Pavel Nikolayevich Ignatyev gave birth to Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev who was appointed Minister of the Interior by Alexander III who fomented pogroms and who was the driving force behind the issuance of the infamous May Laws.
1843: In Niles, Ohio, William and Nancy (née Allison) McKinley gave birth to William McKinley, Jr. who appointed Oscar Straus to serve as United States Minister to the Ottoman Empire.
1848: In a speech at the annual Thomas Paine Dinner, suffragist and anti-slavery activist Ernestine Rose declared "superstition keeps women ignorant, dependent, and enslaved beings. Knowledge will make them free."http://jwa.org/thisweek/jan/29/1848/ernestine-rose
1849: Isaac Noah Mannheimer delivered a speech in the Austrian Reichstag where he called for the abolition of capital punishment.
1852: Birthdate of Frederick Hyman Cohen, the native of Kingston Jamaica, who would gain fame as the Composer, Conductor, and Pianist, Sir Fredrick H. Cowen.
1856: Queen Victoria institutes the Victoria Cross. Frank de Pass was the first Jew to be awarded Britain’s highest award for valor. He earned it for action on the Western Front on November 24, 1917. The award was made posthumously since he was killed the next day.
1859 (24th of Shevat, 5619):Passing of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. Born in 1787, he was renowned Chassidic leader, and forerunner of the "Ger" Chassidic dynasty.
1860: Birthdate of Russian author Anton Chekhov. Unlike other Russian literary lions, Chekhov fully opposed anti-Semitism. He was a supporter of Dreyfus, publicly declaring his innocence and supporting Zola when he came to the defense of the French Colonel. When Alexsi Suvorin, his long time friend and literary colleague, attacked Zola as an agent of the Jews, Chekhov ended their professional and personal relationship.
1861: Kansas became the 34th state of the Union. One of the unique aspects of the history of the Jews of Kansas was the Jewish agricultural colonies that were established on the High Plains during the 1880’s. The Jewish Agriculturists' Aid Society of America seven Jewish agricultural colonies in places with such Biblical and or Jewish names as Beersheba, Montefiore, Lasker, Leeser, and Touro, Gilead and Hebron. For more about this interesting attempt to create what Zionist would come to call The New Jew in America’s heartland see "Jewish Farming Communities Enriched Kansas Cultural Heritage" at http://www.kshs.org/features/feat1201.htm. Today there is a thriving Jewish Community in Kansas, much of it centered in Overland, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb.
1877(15thof Shevat, 5637): Tu B’Shevat
1877: After studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary at Breslau, David Kaufmann was ordained as a Rabbi. He had received his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig 3 years before his ordinated.
1877: It was reported today that according to an unconfirmed rumor, the Ottoman government is so desperate for money that it has offered to sell the Pashaluk of the Holy Land, which is effectively Palestine, to any candidate acceptable to the Jews in return for a loan. If the Jews are not interested, the Turks might make a similar offer to Brigham Young since agents of the Mormon have been reported making similar inquiries during the past year.
1878: Birthdate of Dr. Alexander Marx, the native of Elberfield, Germany who became the director of libraries and Jacob H. Schiff Professor of History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
1882: Seventy-one year old General Alfred von Henikstein, “the youngest son of the Jewish banker Ritter Joseph von Henikstein, who was baptized as a child” and who was” chief of staff before the battle of Königgrätz in the Austro-Prussian War” passed away today.
1890: It was reported today that Professor Felix Adler officiated at the wedding of Gertrude Hiller and Gustave Leve in New York City.
1890: Forty year old Mrs. Basche Gersohnfeld a Russian Jewess and her four children ranging in age from eleven to two arrived at Castle Garden where she was met by her husband Moses who had come to American before her with their son Joseph and was working as butcher.
1890: Commissioner Stephenson denied Basche Gershonfeld and her young children the right to leave Castle Garden because even though her husband Moses was earning $12 a week as a butcher and her son Joseph was earning $9 a week he was not sure that they would not become public charges.
1891: It was reported today that the 200 year old Wells Mansion which is believed to be the oldest house still standing in Boston, MA, has been purchased by a Jewish millionaire named Ratchesky. (This may be Abraham “Cap” Rashesky who founded the A.C. Ratchesky Foundation.
1892(29thof Tevet, 5652): Sixty three year old Benjamin Russak, a partner in Harris & Russak, a “fur-manufacturing house” passed away today. A native of Posen, he came to the United States in 1848 and opened a retail hat, cap and fur store with his brother-in-law, Henry Harris. The firm prospered and was one of the first to enter into the fur-seal trade. Russak was active in several organizations including the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the United Hebrew Charities and the Hebrew Technical Institute.
1892(29thof Tevet, 5652): Eight year old Liebmann Adler, the native of Lengsfeld, Germany who came to the United States in 1854 to lead a congregation in Detroit, MI, before becoming the Rabbi at the Ḳehillath Anshe Ma'arabh ("Congregation of the Men of the West"), of Chicago in 1861 passed away today.
1892: Birthdate of German –born American director Ernst Lubitsch.
1895: It was reported today that the mid-year exams, including tests in Hebrew, will begin this week at Columbia College in New York,
1896: It was reported today that the American Jewish Historical Society will be holding its fourth annual meeting in Philadelphia.
1897: Captain Ferdinand Forzinetti, the commandant of military prison, who was “one of the first to be convinced of the innocent of Dreyfus” received a letter of commendation from the Ministry of War “for having taken part in a panel that reviewed the regulations concerning the serving of military justice.” Later in the year, he would be relieved of duty when his support for Dreyfus became a matter of public record.
1897: “Our Jewish Population” published today included a summary of paper presented by Philadelphian David Sulzberger at the annual meeting of the American Jewish Historical Society which described the growth of Jewish population in the United from 3,000 in 1812 to its present level of 500,000 “of whom 140,000” live in New York City.
1897: Rabbis Kohler and Kleeberg will co-officiate today at the funeral of Dr. Solomon Deutsch, the author of Essays on the Talmud
1898: Lucien Millevoye delivered an anti-Dreyfus speech tonight in Bordeaux.
1898: “Fortunes in Antiquity” provided a review of The Art of Getting Rich in which Henry Hardwicke uses the story of Cain and Able as evidence that “the first occupations of mankind were sheep industry and tillage.” Furthermore, as can be seen from the fact that “the wealth of the patriarchs…consisted principally in their flocks” the “pastoral life…seems to have been more…profitable among the Hebrews than tillage.”
1899: “Homer and Jewish Rites” published today noted the similarity between the Jewish rituals concerning the washing of the hands and the prayer uttered in the Iliad, “Now pray to Jove what Greece demands: Pray in deep silence and with the purest hands.”
1899:The meeting of the Zionist Actions Committee in Vienna came to an end.
1899: Mr. Green introduced a bill in Albany today that would exempt “the real property of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New York City from all taxes commonly known as ‘land taxes.’”
1899: It was reported today that Governor Theodore Roosevelt has chosen Jastrow Alexendar to serve as State Inspector of Gas Meters. “In Mr. Alexander, the Governor believed he had found another Maccabee – a Jews who had come to this country from Germany while a young man, had become thoroughy imbued with the American spirit, had enlisted when the civil war broke out, and by reason of conspicuous courage had been advanced to be an Adjutant General.”
1903: Herzl and the Actions Committee in Vienna work out the outline of a Charter which is taken to Cairo by the expedition and delivered to Leopold Greenberg.
1903: Birthdate of Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the Riga born intellectual who made Aliyah in 1935 and whose career both in depth in breadth is beyond my ability to even begin to describe.
1904: In Warsaw Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, the originator of Esperanto and his wife gave birth to their youngest daughter Lidia Zamenhof who died in Teblinka.
1905: Carl Jung made an entry in the records of the Burgholzli Hospital in which he described his treatment of Sabina Spielrein whom he described as “oriental” and “voluptuous.” The young Jewess went from being a patient of Freud and Jung to being a pioneer in the field of psychoanalysis. (As reported by Karen Hall)
1913: The British Consul in Jerusalem, P.J.C. McGregor wrote a dispatch assuring his government that he had talked to one of the leading Zionists in Palestine who denied reports in some British papers that the Palestinian Jews were pro Turk and pro German. This un-named leader assured the British diplomat that the Zionist sought the protection of the Union Jack since it was the only force that would support their goal of a Jewish home in Palestine.
1913: Birthdate of Nina Zimet Schneider. A native of Antwerp, Belgium, Schneider grew up in the United States where she combined forces with her Husband Herman to write dozens of books for children “that deftly explained the intricacies of stars, plants, the human body and even the networks of pipes and cables below the city streets…”
1913: Churchill sends a letter to the Reform Club announcing his resignation because Baron de Forest, his Jewish friend and Member of Parliament had been blackballed in his bid for membership.
1915: “With the evidence of the negro Jim Conley, the principle witness against Leo M. Frank when the latter was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan and that of Herbert Hass, of counsel for Frank, Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, late this afternoon rested the case of the State against Dan S. Lehon, C.C. Fedler, and Attorney Arthur Thurman, representatives of the W.J. Burns Detective Agency, who are accused of subornation of perjury in the effort to get a new trial for Frank.”
1916: The opposition in the Senate yesterday to the nomination of Louis D. Brandeis of Boston to the Supreme Court of the United States appears to have been softened overnight. One Democratic Senator, who is especially well placed for knowing the drift of sentiment on the subject, said today that twenty-four hours ago he would have estimated that two-thirds of the Senate was against Mr. Brandeis.
1916: In Argentina, premiere of “The Miracle” a British silent film treatment of Max Reinhardt’s play of the same name.
1917(6thof Shevat, 5677): Esther Kantrowitz, the mother of Meta Itskowitz, who raised her grandson Eddie Cantor from the time he was two because both of his parents had passed away died today.
1918: Hugo Guttman, a German-Jewish Lieutenant in the Kaiser’s Army began serving as “Adolf Hitler’s direct superior.”
1918: Two days before his death, Zionist leader Dr. Jechiel Tchlenow wrote a letter to the convention of the English Zionist Federation which was to take place four days later in which he stated that the convention was of the greatest historical importance; that Great Britain is the traditional friend of the small nations and that history would record in letters of gold the English promise to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national homeland in Palestine.
1921: Birthdate of Eugene V. Klein the American businessman, supporter of candidates as varied as Pierre Salinger and Richard Nixon whose sport’s endeavors include ownership of the Seattle Supersonics and San Diego Chargers.
1923: Birthdate of writer Paddy Chayevsky. Chayevsky created works both for the big screen and television. Some of his more famous efforts included Marty, Hospital and Network. “Television is democracy at its worst.”
1924(23rdof Shevat, 5684): Seventy-nine year old Frederick Salomon van Nierop a Dutch lawyer who was Chairman of the Supervisor Board of the Amsterdam Bank, a member of the Amsterdam Main Synagogue and President of the Committee of the General Affairs (a Jewish communal organization) passed away today.
1928: The New York Times reported on improving economic conditions in Palestine. For example, at Petakh Tikvah, an additional fifty Jewish workers have been hired and “the Arab lessees of local orange groves have promised to take on 200 more Jews within the next few days.”
1929: U.S. premiere of “The Case of Lena Smith” directed by Josef von Sternberg, produced by Jesse L. Lasky, filmed by cinematographer Harold Rosson based on a story by Samuel Ortiz.
1929:Birthdate of Richard Lawrence Ottinger who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York before he went on to pursue a career as a law school professor.
1928: When asked by an interviewer in an article published two days before his 80thbirthday “When should one commence giving?” Nathan Straus replied, “As soon as one has a little more than he actually needs. At first it is hard. But afterwards it grows into a pleasure and there is nothing more satisfying, nothing to make one happier than to give in order to relieve the distress of others.” By “others” Mr. Straus means “men women and children of all races and creeds.” He has “the deep seated feeling that all humanity is one blood whatever the accident of birth or the circumstances of religious faith. We are all brothers and should help each other to the full extent of the opportunities that the one God of all mankind gives to each of us.
1932: In New York City, the Julien Levy Gallery owned by Julien Levy hosted “the landmark multi-media Surrealist exhibition of the work of Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and the introduction of Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory owned by Levy who “also championed the surrealist work of Leon Kelly.”
1932: French premiere of “Comradeship” the Franco (La Tragédie de la mine)-German(Kameradschaft) film starring Alexander Granach as “Kasper.”
1932: The American Hebrew appeared for the last time. It would merge with the New York Jewish Tribune and re-appear as American Hebrew and Jewish Tribune
1932: In London, England, celebration of the 80th anniversary of the birth of famed composer, conductor and pianist Sir Frederic H. Cowen.
1933: Paul von Hindenburg, President of Germany appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. The Nazis did not come to power through a coup or putsch. They came to power legally, using the German political and electoral processes.
1937: American release date of “The Good Earth” the cinematic treatment of Nobel Prize winning author Pearl Buck’s novel of the same name starring Jewish actor Paul Muni. The Jewish connection continued with Luise Rainer winning the Oscar for Best Actress and Karl Freund winning the Oscar for Best Cinematography.
1941(1st of Shevat, 5701): Rosh Chodesh Shevat
1941(1st of Shevat, 5701): At the Lodz Ghetto, Bluma Lichtensztajn committed suicide and painter Maurycy Trebacz died of hunger. (He was one of five thousand Jews who will die of hunger over the next six months.)
1943: Germans execute 15 Poles at the village of Wierzbica for aiding three Jews. One of the victims is a two-year-old girl.
1944: In Trieste, the Nazis conduct a roundup of Jews aimed the old and sick people including those living in facilities for the aged.
1944: A Nazi court in Kraków, Poland, sentences five Poles to death for aiding Jews. One of the accused, Kazimierz Jozefek, is hanged in the public square.
1944: In Lithuania, Soviet led partisans including Jews from the Kovno and Vilnius ghettos attacked Koniuchy which was later described a pro-Nazi town from which Germans launched attacks against partisans. According to various reports several civilians were killed in the action which has led to it being described as a “massacre.”
1945(15thof Shevat, 5705): Tu B’Shevat
1945: Birthdate of Paysach J. Krohn, rabbi, mohel and author of the “Maggid” series of books for ArtScroll.
1947: Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" premiered in New York City
1948: Birthdate of Canadian Gerald Barry Falovtich who gained fame as singer-songwriter Yank Berry, “the philanthropist who along with his friend and partner Muhammad Ali has fed over 954,000,000 documented meals to the needy around the world over the last twenty years.”
1948: The colleagues and friends of Dr. Alexander Marx will hold a reception in the reading room of the JTS Library so that they can celebrate his 70thbirthday and congratulate him on his 45 years of service to the academic institution which is the flagship of Conservative Judaism.
1948: At its annual meeting in the Commodore Hotel, the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College approved an $8,000,000 "Blueprint for the Future."
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Mapam, by a vote of 228 to 22, expelled from the party one of its veteran Zionist leaders, Dr. Moshe Sneh. According to the Post's leading article there was no room in Mapam for two groups which justified the new Soviet anti-Semitic policy and this explained why Sneh, and his more extreme "Left Faction," were expelled. They were expected to join the Communists.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Juan Peron said that the gates of Argentina stood wide open to any Soviet Jew who wished to find shelter there. The offer was also valid for Jews from other Soviet-dominated countries.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Ministry of Interior closed the Communist daily Kol Ha'am for 10 days for publishing articles threatening the public peace.
1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that arson damaged the Russian bookshop in Jerusalem.
1954: Dr. Robert Oppenheimer sent a telegram requesting a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission which had suspended his security clearance in response to charges that he was untrustworthy because of associations with Communists.
1959: Marian Winters began playing the role of “Myra Solomon” in the stage production of “Tall Story.”
1962: Violinist Fritz Kreisler passed away. According to at least one source, Kreisler’s father was Jewish, but he was not. Reportedly Kreisler’s wife was an Austrian anti-Semite whose reactions to Kreisler’s ethnic origins have helped to cloud the issue. At least one of Kreisler’s brothers is reported to have said that he was Jewish but the same could not be said of Fritz.
1964(15th of Shevat, 5724): Tu B'Shevat
1964: Birthdate of Ruhama Avraham, the Sephardi native of Rishon LeZion who was first elected to the Knesset in 2003.
1964: Premiere of Stanley Kubrick's anti-war dark comedy, "Dr Strangelove"
1967 "Let's Sing Yiddish" closed at Brooks Atkinson in New York City NY after 107 performances.
1968(28thof Tevet, 5728): Eighty-five year old J. B. S. Hardman, born Jacob Benjamin Salutsky who was a leader of the Jewish Socialist Federation of the Socialist Party passed away today.
1969: Birthdate of Dov Charney CEO of the garment company American Apparel.
1969(10th of Shevat): Max Weinrich a founder of the Yiddish Institue (YIVO) and author of History of the Yiddish Language passed away
1970(22ndof Shevat, 5730): Areyh Ben-Eliezer, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, a member of several pre-state organizations including Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, The American League for a Free Palestine and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, passed away
1970: Gideon Patt, a sabra born in Jerusalem during the British Mandate, began serving in the Knesset following the death of Areyh Ben-Eliezer.
1975: Alan King hosted the First Annual Comedy Awards of the Year. Considering the number of Jewish comedians going back to the early days of vaudeville, the choice of the Jewish King is doubly appropriate.
1975: Birthdate of actress Sara Gilbert. Sara is the younger sister of Melissa Gilbert who starred in “Little House on the Prairie.” Sara starred in the sitcom “Roseanne” a twentieth century version of the family unit which provides an interesting counterpoint to the 19th version of the family shown on Little House on the Prairie.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin had reversed his earlier decision and recommended to the cabinet that the Israeli military delegation return to Cairo to resume negotiations. He hoped that the joint Egyptian-Israeli Political Committee would eventually resume its meetings in Jerusalem. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made a direct appeal to US Jewry and complained "that the behavior of the Israeli government had been negative and disappointing." Egypt, according to its Foreign Ministry statements, would never bargain over its territory and will always defend the rights of the Palestinians.
1983(15thof Shevat, 5743): Tu B’Shevat
1983: Birthdate of Ethiopian born Israeli fashion model Esti Mamo.
1989: It was reported today that a Holocaust museum is to be built on the National Mall in Washington, DC has received thousands of artifacts, including letters, diaries, arm bands and secret coded communications between inmates.
1989: It was reported today that a Jewish institute plans to donate $100,000 for training black South African medical workers. The grant will be presented to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
1990: Yuli M. Vorontsov, the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, met with the head of Israel's consular delegation in Moscow, Aryeh Levin. Mr. Vorontsov was quoted as saying, ''We oppose any use of citizens' leaving the Soviet Union, at great risk to them, to push Palestinians off land belonging to them.'' Soviet displeasure over the settlement debate is also threatening an agreement reached between El Al and Aeroflot for direct flights between Moscow and Tel Aviv. The head of the Soviet consular mission in Israel, Georgi Martirosov, told reporters on Monday that ''recent Israeli statements have hindered any possibility of moving this process forward.''
1991: After several days of growing frustration over the slow pace of allied efforts to eliminate Iraq's Scud missile launchers, Israeli officials warned today that Israel may not wait much longer before it attacks. An Israeli television interviewer offered a sentiment common among Israelis when he told Defense Minister Moshe Arens this evening: "The Americans keep bombing launchers but haven't been terribly effective. Meanwhile, Americans are watching the Super Bowl, and Israelis are sitting in shelters and sealed rooms." Mr. Arens responded: "The situation you described isn't going to continue -- not two months, and not a month. I simply estimate that a situation in which we'll be neutral or not active, and their ability to launch missiles against us isn't eliminated, it won't continue for a long time."
1991: In a meeting with a visiting French politician today, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is reported to have said that Israel wants to play an active role in the battle against Iraq but is constrained by limits imposed by the United States. Mr. Shamir said he hoped the limits would be lifted soon. Iraq has fired 26 missiles at Haifa or Tel Aviv on seven occasions over the last 12 days, killing four people and wounding nearly 200. More than 2,000 apartments have been seriously damaged or destroyed. Elementary schools remain closed because there are too few teachers to help children put on gas masks quickly when the missile alert sounds. Productivity in business and industry is off. Much of the nation is traumatized. For the first time, Israel is under attack and unable to respond.
1991: Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman will share a stage in New York today when they team up to honor Zubin Mehta. The three violinists will appear at the annual lunch that benefits the orchestra. Last week, Mr. Mehta turned around en route to New York from Europe and flew to Tel Aviv on the eve of the war in the Persian Gulf as a show of support for Israel, where he is musical director of the national orchestra.
1992: Gila Almajor, performed a one-woman play entitled “The Summer of Aviya” which she wrote as part of “Israel: The Next Generation.”
1992: The daughter of Abie Nathan the Israeli philanthropist and peace campaigner, Sharona Nathan El Saieh, accepted the Abraham Joshua Heschel Peace Award from the Jewish Peace Fellowship today on behalf of her father because Mr. Nathan is in prison in Israel
1993: Feeling bolstered by a seal of approval from the country's High Court of Justice, Israel renewed its diplomatic offensive today to stave off United Nations sanctions over its deportation of more than 400 Palestinians to Lebanon.
1999: “Shakespeare In Love” co-produced by Harvey Weinsten and Edward Zwick co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow premiered in the U.K. today.
2000(22nd of Shevat, 5760): Harold H. Greene a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia who was nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 passed away.
2001: Eric Edelman completed his service as U.S. Ambassador to Finland.2001: Prime Minister Ehud Barak campaigned inside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, where he spoke to a small group of disabled Israelis and some youth advocates.
2002: In the battered center of Jerusalem, beefed-up police squads guarded sidewalks and street corners today as weary shopkeepers opened for business and workers repaired the stores damaged by a bomb set off yesterday by a Palestinian woman. Along the main street, Jaffa Road, where two terrorist attacks in six days have killed three Israelis and wounded dozens, the routines of daily life became a test of bravery. Shmuel Kapash waited for customers in his empty shoe shop as an employee peered warily out the front door. Going back to work this morning was no easy matter, they said. ''I'm scared, but I have to make a living,'' Mr. Kapash said. ''I can't stay home, but I think twice before going out of the store for some fresh air. I try not to step out.'' After yesterday’s attack, the Israeli Merchants Association demanded that the government give shopkeepers in urban centers that have been targets of attacks tax breaks similar to those granted to businesses in communities along Israel's borders. In downtown Jerusalem, the disappearance of tourists and many shoppers has drastically cut sales. At the Freiman & Bein shoe store, a Jerusalem institution for more than 50 years, Yoach Freiman stood in the debris left by the bomb, which went off just outside the front door. The store has functioned continuously on Jaffa Road, through war and peace, since 1947, and it was not about to close now, Mr. Freiman asserted. ''We don't have the right to close down or to be frightened by such incidents,'' he said of the latest bombing. ''We owe it to our customers, who have been coming here for four generations. The principle is to continue our normal lives.''
2004(6thof Shevat, 5764): “Eleven people were killed and more than 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously, in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus #19 at the corner of Gaza and Arlozorov streets in Jerusalem. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, naming the bomber as Ali Yusuf Jaara, a 24-year-old Palestinian policeman from Bethlehem. The victims: Avraham (Albert) Balhasan, 28, of Jerusalem; Rose Boneh, 39, of Jerusalem; Hava Hannah (Anya) Bonder, 38, of Jerusalem; Anat Darom, 23, of Netanya; Viorel Octavian Florescu, 42, of Jerusalem; Natalia Gamril, 53, of Jerusalem; Yechezkel Isser Goldberg, 41, of Betar Illit; Baruch (Roman) Hondiashvili, 38, of Jerusalem; Dana Itach, 24, of Jerusalem; Mehbere Kifile, 35, of Ethiopia; and Eli Zfira, 48, of Jerusalem.”
2004: As she was returning to her home in Rehavia after having left her child at kindergarten, award winning-Israeli author Zeruya Shalev was severely injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a near-by bus. Shalev is the daughter-in-law of Israeli playwright Aharon Megged and the cousin of award winning author Meir Shalev. [Meir Shalev’s latest literary effort is “Beginnings,” a must read for anybody interested in the TaNaCh and Jewish philosophy and history]
2004: Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah carried through with their deal to exchange prisoners and war dead today, in a trade greeted in Israel by a spare ceremony for three fallen soldiers and in Lebanon by a day of national celebration. Besides the soldiers -- Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Sawayed -- Hezbollah also freed an Israeli businessman, Elhanan Tannenbaum, kidnapped by Hezbollah in October 2000. Unlike the returning Lebanese, Mr. Tannenbaum, who said he had been treated well in captivity, did not receive a hero's welcome. He was permitted a brief reunion with his family at the airport, and was then taken away for a medical check and questioning by the Israeli authorities about possible illegal activities, Israeli officials said.
2004: The Thirteenth Annual New York Jewish Film Festival comes to an end.
2005(19thof Shevat, 5765): Eighty- year old Ephraim Kishon passed away
2006: A day after International Holocaust Memorial Day, the new Chancellor of Germany met with the acting Prime Minister of Israel. In one of those amazing turnabouts in history German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany would have no contact with Hamas until it disavowed terrorism and recognized Israel and all agreements signed with it. This declaration comes in the face of the recent electoral victory by Hamas, an organization dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel and death to the Jewish people.
2006: “An estimated 300,000 people took part in Yitzchak Kaduri’s funeral procession today which started from the Nachalat Yitzchak Yeshivah and wound its way through the streets of Jerusalem to the Givat Shaul cemetery near the entrance to the city of Jerusalem.”
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including American Vertigo:Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocquevilleby Bernard-Henri Lévy
2007: Haaretz reported that according to the Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism this past year saw a substantial rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian countries. In an annual press conference, the forum explained that 2006 was characterized by escalation in the number and violent nature of attacks on Jews, proliferation of Holocaust denial and increased comparison of Israel to the Nazi regime.
2007(10thof Shevat): A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip blew himself up today inside a bakery in the Israeli resort city of Eilat, killing all three people inside. The two owners of the bakery, Amil Elimelech, 32, and Michael Ben Sa'adon, 27 were killed in the attack as well as one of their employees, Israel Samolia, 26. Elimelech was married with two children while Ben Sa'adon was married with one child. Samolia was an immigrant from Peru. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, each took credit for the bombing.
2008: In New York City, the 92nd St Y hosts “Commando Krva Maga: Israeli Self Defense” where attendees learn defense skills developed by the Israeli military, now popular with civilians.
2008: In Iowa City, the funeral is held for Dr. Michael Balch, Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Iowa and a longtime member of the Jewish community. Michael earned a BS in Engineering Science from Pratt Institute in 1960 an MS from New York University in 1962 and a PhD in Mathematics from New York University in1965. His areas of expertise were Economic behavior under uncertainty and Theories of deterrence, arms control, and war. He passed away on January 28, 2008 (21 Shevat, 5768).
2008: Barnard College named as its next president Debora L. Spar, a Harvard Business School professor who has written about the economics of the human fertility industry and the evolution of the Internet but has not previously been affiliated with a women’s college. Professor Spar, 44, whose appointment is effective July 1, will succeed Judith R. Shapiro, president since 1994, the college announced on Tuesday morning. “We never expected to have anybody until March or April or May, but she was too good to pass up,” said Helene L. Kaplan, a Barnard trustee and one of two leaders of its presidential search committee. “She’s bright, she’s lively, she’s young and she’s very energetic.”
2009:Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the former (now emeritus) president of George Washington University, discusses and signs Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Educationat the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md.
2009: An American appeals court today dismissed a lawsuit by Holocaust survivors who alleged the Vatican bank accepted millions of dollars of their valuables stolen by Nazi sympathizers. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court ruling that said the Vatican bank was immune from such a lawsuit under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally protects foreign countries from being sued in U.S. courts2009: “The Wedding Song,” Karin Albou’s story of a friendship between a Muslim man and a Jewish woman, set in Tunisia during the Nazi occupation is featured tonight at the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2010: An exhibition entitled Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin is scheduled to have its final showing at the JCC in Washington, D.C. Siona Benjamin is a painter originally from the Bombay Jewish (Bene Israel) community now living in the United States.
2010:The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem is scheduled to celebrate Tu Bishvat from a bit of a different angle, with parents and children and having a chance to learn about the connection between planting trees and global warming.
2010: The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Chapter of Hadassah is scheduled to sponsor a Tu B'Shevat Seder and Shabbat Services at Temple Judah.
2010:US President Barack Obama's national security adviser cited a heightened risk that Iran will respond to growing pressure over its nuclear program by stoking violence against Israel. The adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, said today that history shows that when regimes are feeling pressure they can lash out through surrogates. He said that in Iran's case that would mean facilitating attacks on Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas
2010: Pei Xiong provides a description of the academic efforts of Jane Eisner in “Jane Eisner ’77 Teaching a New Generation of Writers.”
2011: A screening of The Matchmaker directed by Avi Nesher is scheduled to take place at the Seventh Annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival.
2011:Internationally recognized rising star, Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman is scheduled to join Orpheus for the first time in a performance of Prokofiev’s hauntingly beautiful second violin concerto at Carnegie Hall.
2011: “A Musical Mitzvah Evening” the Mitzvah Day fundraiser for Agudas Achim is scheduled to take place in Iowa City, IA.
2011: Israel watched fearfully today as anti-government unrest roiled Egypt, one of its most important allies and a bridge to the wider Arab world. The Israeli prime minister ordered government spokesmen to keep silent. Officials speaking anonymously nonethless expressed concern violence could threaten ties with Egypt and spread to the Palestinian Authority. 2011:An official at Cairo International Airport said today that El Al was trying to arrange a special flight Saturday to take roughly 200 Israeli tourists out of Egypt. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.
2011: At Coe College in Cedar Rapids, the final performance of “Copenhagen” in which Barb Feller played Margrethe Bohr and her husband Steve played Niels Bohr
2011: Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
2012: “The Religion Thing” is scheduled to have its final performance at Theatre J in Washington, D.C.
2012: A display featuring a selection of 32 Chanukah lamps selected by Maurice Sendak is scheduled to come to a close today at the Jewish Museum in New York.
2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at the Boulder JCC in Boulder, CO.
2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Ida” by Gertrude Stein, “Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition” by Gertrude Stein, “Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition” by Marni Davis, “The Street Sweeper” by Elliot Perlman and “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World.”
2012:An Israel Defense Forces Heron-class drone crashed in central Israel, Army Radio reported today, with no injuries reported.
2012: Anger and despair gripped many residents of the town of Harish today, the day after a local synagogue was found completely gutted by a fire that broke out early yesterday morning on Shabbat. While police said today they are sure the fire was caused by an electrical short, some residents say they believe it was intentionally set by unknown assailants looking to threaten the Breslov hassidic community that worships at the synagogue.
2013: In London, The Wiener Library’s Young Volunteers are scheduled to host a special interactive discussion workshop for 16-25 years during which they will discuss the advantages and disadvantages in using Social Media to raise awareness and promote learning about the Holocaust and Genocide.
2013: “Numbered,” a film directed by Urial Sinai and Doan Doron is scheduled to be shown at the JCC in Manhattan
2013(18th of Shevat, 5773): Ninety-six year old Louis Lesser, chairman of Louis Lesser Enterprises passed away today.
2013: Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today that he will step down as Israel's central banker on June 30, two years before the end of his second five-year term.
2014: The Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at NYU is scheduled to present its inaugural Fritzi Weitzmann Owens memorial lecture with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, titled "Dignifying Difference: The Next Generation of Multifaith Leadership."
2014: “The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a bill that would enhance the already close U.S.-Israel defense relationship. The bill initiated by U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the top two members on the committee’s Middle East subcommittee, passed unanimously today. (As reported by JTA)
2014(28thof Shevat, 5774): Eighty-nine year old sociologist Lewis Yablonsky passed away today.
2014(28thof Shevat, 5774): Eighty-five year old psychologist Theodore Millon passed away today, (As reported by Benedict Carey)
2014: “The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted today a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years.
2015: “Felix and Meira” and “The Go-Go Boys: The Inside story of Cannon Films” are scheduled to be shown on the final day of the New York Jewish Film Festival.
2015: In New York City, the 16th Street Book Club is scheduled to discuss Hope: A Tragedy, a novel by Shalom Auslander
2015: The Thaler Holocuast Memorial Programming Committee chaired by Dr. Bob Silber is scheduled to meet today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.