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

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    February 10

    1163: Baldwin III, the first so-called King of Jerusalem to have been in “the Holy Land” passed away.  None of these Crusader monarchs were rightful heirs to the crown worn by David, Solomon and their successors. His successors would so bungle things that 25 years later Saladin would take the city which was a boon for the Jewish people.

    1258: Mongols overran Baghdad, burning it to the ground and killing 10,000 citizens. This marked the beginning of the Il-khan (Mongol) Dynasty in Persia.  The Dynasty lasted until 1335. With the conquest of Baghdad by the grandson of Genghis Khan, the Mongol dynasty replaced the Abbasids. The Mongols were for the most part tolerant of Judaism. An Arab writer reported that on the eve of the Mongolian invasion there were 36,000 Jews living in the city and that they supported 16 Synagogues. Most of the city was destroyed during the siege. It is during this period that Judeo-Persian literature flourished specifically the poetry of Shahin whose most famous work was Sefer Sharh Shain al Hatorah.

    1660(28thof Shevat, 5420): Saul Levi Morteirapassed away.  Born in 1596, he was a Dutch rabbi of Portuguese descent. In a Spanish poem Daniel Levi de Barrios speaks of him as being a native of Germany ("de Alemania natural"). When in 1616 Morteira escorted the body of the physician Elijah Montalto from France to Amsterdam, the Sephardic congregation Bet Ya'aḳob elected him ḥakam in succession to Moses ben Aroyo. Morteira was the founder of the congregational school Keter Torah. He taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy to the older students. He had also to preach three times a month.. Among his most distinguished pupils were Baruch Spinoza and Moses Zacuto. Morteira and Isaac da Fonseca Aboab (Manasseh ben Israel was at that time in England) were the members of the bet din which pronounced the decree of excommunication ("ḥerem") against Spinoza. Some of Morteira's pupils published Gibeat Shaul a collection of fifty sermons on the Pentateuch, selected from 500 derashot written by Morteira.

    1763: The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement marking the end of the Seven Years War which those living in North America called the French and Indian War.  As part of the agreement, France ceded Quebec to the British.  This opened the way to Jewish settlement in Canada since French law had prohibited Jews from settling the colony.  Under “the law of unintended consequences,” the war left Britain with a debt that it looked to the North American colonies to help pay off.  The taxation levied on the 13 colonies was a cause of the American Revolution which helped to create the nation that has become home to one of the leading Jewish communities in our history.

    1755: Sixty-six year old French author and political philosopher Charles Louis De Secondat Montesquieu, simply known as Montesquieu passed away.  A product of the Age of Reason, the optimistic Montesquieu’s most famous work is De l'esprit des loiswhich is known in English as The Spirit of the Laws, published in 1748.  Montesquieu did not just believe in religious toleration.  He believed that the state had a responsibility to see to it that religious groups leave each other in peace.  In the Spirit of Laws he writes, “’I cannot help remarking by the way how this nation (the Jews) has been sported with from one age to another: at one time their effects were confiscated when they were will to become Christians; and at another, if they refused to become Christians they were ordered to be burn.’” He described the Jews as a “’a mother that brought forth two daughters who have stabbed herewith a thousand wounds.’”  As befitted his optimistic views, Montesquieu believed “’the Jews are at present safe; superstition will return no more, and they will no longer be exterminated on conscientious principles.’” Unfortunately, History would prove him wrong.

    1767: In Berlin Esther Bamberger and Liepmann Meyer Wulff gave birth to Amalie Beer the mother of Giacomo Mayerbeer.

     1779: Jews were granted right of residence in Stuttgart, Germany(As bad as all the bad things that happened to the Jewish people were, one often considers some of the good things also bad - Anon). The Jewish experience in the Germanic states was a mixed bag.  Emancipation and anti-Semitism co-existed in an uneasy alliance that produced great culture but ended in the ashes of the Shoah.

    1791: Birthdate of Reverend Henry Hart Milman who published History of The Jewsin 1829, which was the first work by an English clergyman that “treats Jews as an Oriental tribe.”  Milman based his work on “documentary evidence” and minimized the mythological approach that was used in earlier such works. In a world where the Bible and Science were clashing, his view was upsetting to many Christians and delayed the advancement of his career.

    1795: Birthdate of Dutch born French painter Ary Scheffer.  Scheffer was not Jewish but one of his famous paintings “Ruth & Naomi” is based on the Book of Ruth.

    1799: Duke Karl Eugene decreed that no Jew should be deprived of the right of residence in Stuttgart, Germany

    1800(15th of Shevat, 5560): Tu B’Shevat

    1800(15th of Shevat, 5560): Benjamin Cohen - the maternal grandfather of Jonas Daniel Meijer, the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands – passed away. Born in 1725, Cohen was a successful businessman, Jewish teacher and supporter of William V, Prince of Orange-Nassau, the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.

    1802: In London Isaac D’Israeli married Maria Basevi, the daughter of Anglo-Jewish merchant whose family originally came from Italy.  This union produced five children the most of which was Benjamin, the future Prime Minister and Earl Beaconsfield.

    1804: Birthdate of Joseph Zender, the German Jewish bibliographer who became librarian of the Hebrew department of the British Museum in 1845.

    1824: Simon Bolivar named dictator by the Congress of Peru. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Jews of Curacao became involved with Simon Bolivar and his fight for the independence of Venezuela and Colombia from their Spanish colonizers. Two Jewish men from Curacao distinguished themselves in Simon Bolivar’s army, while another supplied moral and material support to Bolivar, as well as refuge for him and his family.

    1829: Leo XII, the Pope who in 1826 order that the gates of the Ghetto at Ancona be replaced and that the “old time persecutions” be resumed, passed away today.

    1831: Birthdate of Dr. Isaac Rülf, a German rabbi who supplemented his income as a newspaper editor and became an early supporter of the Zionist cause.

    1836: Dr. Albert Moses Levy completed his service chief surgeon in the Texas Volunteer Army that had fought against Mexico.

    1840: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Three years before the wedding Victoria had “knighted Moses Haim Montefiore” and a year after her marriage she made Isaac Lyon Goldsmid a baronet, making him the first Jew to receive a hereditary title. According to one source, “Prince Albert may have had a Jewish father.”  According to this report, “Albert's mother was dismissed from the court of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha for having an affair with the Jewish chamberlain, the Baron von Mayern.”

    1852: "The Revolution in Northern Mexico" published today reported that the Mexican revolutionaries are opposed by foreign merchants in Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico.  They are led by an English Jew named Charles Uhde a man with major business interests "south of the border" and who is the editor of the Brownsville Flag.

    1853: Birthdate of Victor Mordechai Goldschmidt, German mineralogist. Goldschmidt made important studies of crystallography. His books The Index of Crystal Forms and The Atlas of Crystal Forms are considered classics of mineralogy.

    1858: Lord John Russell's bill that would modify the oath of office so that Jews could serve in Parliament was "debated and read for a second time" in the House of Commons.

    1862: “The Lily of Killarney” an operetta in three acts by Julius Benedict premiere at Covent Garden Theatre in London.

    1868(17th of Shevat): Rabbi Chaim ben Jacob Polani author of Lev Chaim passed away

    1869: Twenty-seven year old Myer S. Isaacs, who would go on to become a distinguished jurist and President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, married Marie Solomon, the daughter of B.L. Solomon. 

    1869: Twelve years after founding The Jewish Messenger with his father and seven years after being admitted to the Bar, 27 year old Myer S. Isaacs married Marie Solomon, the daughter of New Yorker B.L. Solomon. She would pass away in 1888 leaving him with six children including I.S. Isaacs and Louis Isaacs.  He would on to become a judge and President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund.

    1874: Baron Mayer Amschelm de Rothschild, late Member of Parliament for Hythe was laid to rest this morning at the Jewish Cemetery at Willesden.  According to an article in the Pall Mall Gazette,“the funeral cortege consisted of a hearse drawn by four horses followed by thirty mourning coaches and a large number of private carriages.”

    1876(15thof Shevat, 5636): Tu B’Shevat

    1876: In Kings County, the trial of P.N. Rubenstein who is charged with the murder of Sara Alexander, was scheduled to resume this morning at 10 o’clock.

    1877: It was reported from Belgrade that the Serbians have refused to discuss granting equal rights to the Jews and Armenians living in their realm.  The opposition is led by merchants in Belgrade who do not want any new business competitors.

    1879: Dr. William M. Taylor will deliver a lecture on “Walter Scott” to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association who are holding a social at the Chickering Hall. 

    1879: Joseph G. Wilson, the United States consul at Jerusalem approved the plan of the American Jews in Southern Syria to organize their own kolel saying that “a responsible agency for the distribution of their charities may be the means of great and lasting good," and promised cooperation to the best of his power.

    1880(28th of Shevat, 5640): Adolphe Crémieux, a French statesman and leader of the Jewish community, passed away. A lawyer and political leader he championed the rights of the less fortunate in general and the Jews in particular. Born before the first French Revolution, he came to power following the Revolution of 1830. He fought to end the death penalty for political offenses and the abolition of slavery in France’s colonies. Crémieux worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of the Jewish community.  “In 1827, he advocated the repeal of the More judaico, legislation stigmatizing the Jews left over from pre-revolutionary France. He founded the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris in 1860, becoming its president four years later. In 1866 Crémieux traveled to Saint Petersburg to successfully defend Jews of Saratov who had been accused in a case of blood libel.”

    1881: “La Civilta Cattolica, an official Jesuit publication founded by Pope Pius IX and published under the direct control of the papacy, publishes an article in a 36-part series of anti-Semitic pieces. Father Giuseppe Oreglia di Santo Stefano, one of the journal's founders, argues that pogroms against the Jews are a natural consequence of Jews demanding too much liberty”

    1888: In the Ukraine, Adel and Akiva Brodetsky, the beadle of the local Synagogue, gave birth to Selig Brodetsky, a “British Professor of Mathematics, a member of the World Zionist Executive, who served as the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and was the second president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.” He passed away in 1954.

    1890: Birthdate of Boris Pasternak, the Russian Nobel Prize-winning novelist and poet, author of Dr. Zhivago

    1890: The Grand Lodge, No. 1 of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel met for a second day at Webster Hall. Among the attendees were David Keller, S.B. Hamburger, Aaron Stern, Harry Jacobs, Gabriel Marks and Benjamin Baker.

    1890: It was reported today that Edward Lauterbach delivered a speech eulogizing the late Seligman Solomon, the Jewish philanthropist who was the driving the force behind the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. The memorial service is an annual event held at the asylums building on Tenth Avenue.

    1891: Birthdate of Lessing Julius Rosenwald, an American businessman who was the son of Julius Rosenwald of Sears & Roebuck fame.

    1891: It was reported today that very few of the Jewish immigrants from Russia who have received assistance from a fund established by Baron Hirsh settle in the southern United States.  Many of them settle in the West, while smaller numbers settle in the Middle Atlantic States or New England.

    1891: According to the first paragraph of trust agreement signed by Baron Hirsch which was made public today, his reason for establishing a charitable fund is that he has “observed with painful interest the suffering and destitution of the Hebrews dwelling in Russia and Rumania where they are oppressed by severe laws and unfriendly neighbors, and have determined to contribute to the relief of such of my brethren in race who have emigrated or shall emigrate from these inhospitable countries to the Republic of the United States of America.”

    1892: “A New Loan Commissioner” published today described the appointment of Edward Jacbos to the position of Loan Commissioner in New York by Governor Roswell P. Flower.  A native of Buffalo, the 38 year old Jacobs is a lawyer who has never held office but is a member of the Tammany Society (Ed. Note – Yes the Jewish lawyer belonged to the Irish Catholic political organization) Jacobs is an active member of several Jewish charities and social organizations including the Hebrew Sanitarium, the Sons of Israel and B’nai B’rith.

    1892(12thof Shevat, 5652): Henry Adler passed away today.

    1894: Meyer Markowitz remained in custody on charges that he had broken the lock off of an icebox and tried to steal the contents to feed his family.  Markowitz is a tailor who has been out of work for several months due to the Depression.  He had exhausted all other sources of assistances, including asking for aid from the United Hebrew Charities. The arresting officer was sympathetic to his plight but the law against theft had to be reinforced.

    1895: “Charity and Pleasure” published today traces the history of the Purim Association which was formed in 1862 by ten young Jewish men – Moses H. Moses, Herman H. Stettheimer, A. Henry Shutz, Solomon B. Solomon, Joseph A. Levy, Louis G. Schiffer, Solomon Weill, Adolph Sanger, Lionel Davies and Myer S. Isaacs.  The men decided to combine the celebration of the holiday with fundraising by hosting an annual ball that would provide funds for a growing listing of agencies that now includes Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, United Hebrew Charities, the Russian Emergency Fund and many, many more.

    1895: “For Sick Poor Children” which was published today provides a history of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children. The organization grew out of a meeting in the Spring of 1877 at which Dr. S.N. Leo and John J. Davis decided that the children of Jewish parents would benefit from a series of outdoor excursions each summer.  The first excursion took place in August of 1877 and provided a riverboat excursion for between 700 and 800 children and their mothers. These events have become part of the summer time activities for underprivileged New York youngsters thanks to the fundraising activities of Jewish leaders including Abraham Ettinger, Leonard Lewinson, Mrs. A.M. Kohn and Mrs. Julius Hart.

    1896: Herzl reads Auto-Emancipation by Leon Pinsker.  Leon Pinsker was a Russian born physician who became a Zionist years before Herzl had his “vision of a Jewish state. ’Auto-Emancipation was a pamphlet Pinsker published in 1882 “in which he urged the Jewish people to strive for independence and national consciousness.”

    1897:  Freedom of religion granted in Madagascar.  This “liberal sounding statement” was actually the product of French imperialism. France conquered the island in 1895 and the Chamber of Deputies voted to annex it in 1896.  The extension of Freedom of Religion, including securing the rights of French Jews who might settle there, was part of the law of unintended consequences.  Madagascar would enter into Jewish history as the site where the Nazis offered, before World War II to deposit the Jews.  This was the so-called Madagascar Plan.

    1898: Birthdate of French journalist and author, Joseph Kessel

    1898: Birthdate of German aircraft designer and journalist whose 1929 article in The World Stage exposing the creation of “a secret German Air Force in violation of the Treaty of Versailles” was ignored in the West but earned him an 18 month prison term in a German prison for treason and espionage.  (Editor’s note: This warning came four years before Hitler came to power putting the lie to the contention that German re-armament was strictly a Nazi affair)

    1901:  Birthdate of actress and teacher of thespians, Stella Adler.  Adler was part of a major theatrical family.  She began her career on the Yiddish stage before making the transition to Broadway.  Her fame as an actress was exceeded only by her fame as an inspiration for aspiring actors and actresses at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in New York City.  She passed away in 1992 at the age of 91.
    1901: Birthdate of German born American mathematician Richard Dagobert Brauer.
    1903: Herzl writes to Lord Rothschild, reports about the commission and asks for a meeting in Paris.
    1903: Birthdate of Russian born composer, Matvey Isaakovich Blatner.
    1910: Forty-nine year old Jules Guérin the anti-Semitic journalist who helped to found the Antisemitic League of France and was active in the campaign to smear Captain Dreyfus passed away today.

    1911(12th of Shevat, 5671): Madame Fakima Modiano, a prominent philanthropist from Salonica, passed away.

    1911: At the request of the Hahambashi, the Turkish Minister of War directs his officers in every Army Corps to provide money for Jewish soldiers to buy Matzah and kosher food during the 8 days of Passover.

    1912: De Witt Seligman saw his brother Washington Seligman, both of whom were the sons of James Seligman founder of J & W Seligman & Co, for the last time today at the brokerage firm of Post & Flagg noting that his brother “appeared to be in the best of spirits at that time” and giving no hint that he was about to commit suicide.

    1912: Birthdate of Herbert Baum, “the Jewish member of the German resistance against National Socialism who was either hanged or decapitated by the Nazis in Moabit Prison

    1912: Birthdate of Heinrich Josef Krips, the son of a Jewish-born convert to Catholicism, who gained game as conductor Henry Krips.

    1912(22nd of Shevat, 5672):Sydney James Stern, 1st Baron Wandsworth the eldest son of Viscount David de Stern, senior partner of the firm of Stern Brothers, and Sophia, daughter of Aaron Asher Goldsmid passed away today leaving “estate of 1,555,984 pound sterling most of which was bequeathed to charity, over a million being given to found an orphanage in his name which was actually used to found Lord Wandsworth College.”

    1913: Birthdate of Charles “Charlie” Thompson a native of Brookline, MA who helped to smuggle three surplus B-17 Bombers into Israel as she prepared to fight for her independence.. The story of how he and Al Schimmer did this sounds like the stuff of a fictional spy-thriller but it really happened.  These three planes were the only heavy bombers the Israelis had during the war with the invading Arab armies who were supported by modern aircraft.  He was imprisoned by the U.S. for 18 months for doing this but was pardoned posthumously by President Bush in 2008

    1914: The completion of the first English translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew by a body of Jewish scholars representing all shades and schools of Jewish thought and learning was celebrated at a dinner in the great hall of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America tonight. Jacob H. Schiff gave the main address praising the work of the translators.

    1914: Birthdate of one of the world’s greatest harmonica players, Baltimore native Lawrence "Larry" Cecil Adler.

    1914: Birthdate of Wausau, Wisconsin native Benjamin Walter Heineman, the “lawyer and corporate leader who took over railroads, created one of the nation’s first conglomerates and became a close confidant and adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson…”(As reported by Denise Grady)

    1915: “Denies Pogrom Stories” published today described claims by Russia’ Foreign Minister that reports of attacks on Jews organized by the Russian government are untrue saying that the suffering of the Jews came because so many of them lived in Poland and those parts of Russia where war was being waged and that these reports were being spread by “the German Ambassador in American…in an attempt to create a feeling hostile” to the Russians.

    1915: As he left today on a trip to the South, Adolph Lewishon said that “The question of equal rights for Jews, and also of Palestine will not doubt arise at the future peace conference and I believe that the Jewish question will be treated with more sympathy and friendship by the nations than at any other time” because of the ardent patriotism shown by the Jews.

    1915: The list of the officers for District 1 of the International Order of B’nai B’rith published today included Herman Asher, Grand President; Abraham K. Cohen, First Vice President; Joseph Rosenzweig, Second Vice President; Solomon Sulzberger, Treasurer and Dr. Bernard M. Kaplan, Grand Secretary.

    1915: In New York, Percy St. Straus, head of R.H. Macy & Co. and President of the Dry Goods Association told those attending the dinner marking the final night of the convention of National Dry Goods Association that “the department store men can afford to see a minimum wage law enacted without making any protest. (Editor’s note – 100 years later, in the United States, the battle is being waged over raising the minimum wage – the more things change the more they stay the same)

    1917(18th of Shevat, 5677): Raphael “Al” Hayman, the business partner of Charles Frohman with whom he established the Theatrical Syndicate, the dominant theatrical booking agency of its day passed away. Frohman, one of three Jewish brothers from Ohio who made it big in the world of New York entertainment, has died two years earlier when he was on board the RMS Lusitania.

    1918:  Abdul Hamid II Ottoman Sultan passed away.  Sultan Abdul-Hamid II's is famous for his refusal to allow Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, to settle Palestine with Jewish colonists. Herzl offered to buy up and then turn over the Ottoman Debt to the Sultan's government in return for an Imperial Charter for the Colonization of Palestine by the Jewish people.   Herzl probably thought that he was offering the Sultan a bargain, knowing that the Sultan's dearest wish was to rescue the empire from the indebtedness it had fallen into as a result of easy European loans.  While some saw this as a form of anti-Jewish bias others contend that Abdul Hamid’s response was based on internal nationality problems that were already troubling the empire.  Hamid had enough problems with indigenous groups without bringing a new nationality problem to his tottering empire.

    1923: Birthdate of Brooklynite Alex ‘Allie Sherman who was best known as head coach of the NFL’s New York Giants.

    1923: Texas Tech University was founded as Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas. Today, Texas Tech boasts a small, but vibrant Hillel about which you can find out more by seeing

    1925(16th of Shevat, 5685): Jacob “Jay” Pike, the brother of Lipman Pike, passed away today. Lipman was a famous baseball player. Jay played in only one major league. In 1877, he got a hit while playing in the outfield for the Brooklyn Hartfords who on that day beat the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

    1927: Birthdate of Austrian born British novelist, story-writer and memoirist Jakov Lind author of Landscape in Concreteand Ergo.

    1928: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported today the District Court of Jaffa ruled that “compulsory Sabbath observance is in contradiction with Article XV of the Palestine Mandate that states: “The mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals are assured to all.  No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language.  No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.”   The District Court was overruling a decision by a Tel Aviv magistrate who had fined a Jewish shopkeeper named Altschuler for violating the city’s ordinance regarding the observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

    1929: Birthdate of Jerry Goldsmith the prolific composer who wrote hundreds of film scores and television theme songs, including music for the films Patton and Basic Instinct and television's The Twilight Zone. He passed away at the age of 75 in 2004.

    1929: Birthdate of Elaine Edna Kaufman, founder of owner of Elaine’s, the famed restaurant on the Upper East Side that she made into a New York landmark.

    1930: In Manhattan, Beulah and Adolph Lobl gave birth to Elaine Lobl who gained fame as award winning children’s author E.L. Konigsburg. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1932(3rd of Adar): Yiddish author Mordecai Rabinowitz (Ben-Ammi) passed away today.

    1936: With the unification of the police and the SS, the Gestapo became the supreme police agency of Nazi Germany. Gestapo Law was enacted in Prussia, giving them exclusive right to make arrests, and entitled to investigate all activities considered hostile to the state. The same law gave the Gestapo complete independence from the courts.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported from London that the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, made a clear reaffirmation of the British desire to proceed with the partition, as recommended by the Peel Report and the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations. Gore repeated that partition was the best means to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a British Army sergeant was killed by an Arab terrorist near Tulkarm.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the final allocation of 31 seats at the Jerusalem Community Council was: Labor 10, Revisionists four, Hapoel Hamizrahi and Sephardim three each, and the rest were divided between nine smaller parties. The total number of votes cast was 9,368.

    1939: Pope Pious XI passed away.  The Pope earned high marks from the B’nai B’rith which featured him on the cover of its monthly magazine in 1939 hailing for his stag against fascism and racism. In 1939, The Jewish National Monthlydescribe him as "the only bright spot in Italy has been the Vatican, where fine humanitarian statements by the Pope have been issuing regularly".

    1939: Jewish converts were banned from Evangelical-Lutheran churches in Thüringen

    1940(1st of Adar I, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Adar I

    1942(23rdof Shevat, 5702): Thirty seven year old Baruch Kremer, the husband of Batia Kremer and father of Joshua Kremer was murdered by the Nazis in his hometown of Kurenets.

    1942: As of today, “the approximate ghetto and concentration camp populations of German Jews in Riga and the vicinity were: Jungfernhof concentration camp, 2,500; the German ghetto: 11,000; Salaspils: 1,300. Of the Latvian Jews, about 3,500 men and 300 women were in the Latvian ghetto.”

    1944 (16th of Shevat, 5704): Dr. George Bernhard, exiled editor and political economics of pre-Nazi Germany who had been living in the United States since February, 1941 passed away today at the age of 68 from the effects of pneumonia. A native of Berlin, Bernhard was part of a Jewish family that had lived in Germany for centuries.  Bernhard’s enjoyed a successful business career before devoting his time to government service and the publishing industry.  “Dr. Bernhard’s Pariser Tageblatt was considered the world’s first anti-Nazi daily” and “was read all over the world by German speaking Nazis” before the Nazis took control of it in 1936.  Bernhard stayed one step ahead of the Nazis, publishing in Paris until it fell in 1940 and then moving on to Marseilles before had to leave Vichy France in 1941.  Dr. Bernhard who had been a deputy member of the Agency for Palestine as a representative of the German Jews and was a member of the executive committee of the Jewish World Congress was a member of the staff of the Institute of Jewish Affairs from the time he arrived in the United States until his demise.

    1944(16thof Shevat, 5704): Yiddish author Israel Joshua Singer brother of two other Yiddish writers, Esther Kreitman and Isaac Bashevis Singer, passed away.

     1944: The first ship to break the British blockade of Palestine arrives in Eretz Israel. Worldwide publicity of "illegal" immigration of Jews to Israel was an important factor in England's ultimate decision to give up the mandate. Most of you know the story the “Exodus” which Leon Uris used as basis for novel of that name that later was a big screen Hollywood event.  The story was based on an actual event that took place in 1947.  However, it was only one a series of blockade runners seeking to bring Jews from Europe to Palestine despite the White Paper banning immigration and the military might of the British Royal Navy.

    1944: Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt was honored today for her work in helping to rehabilitate 40,000 refugee children in Israel. More than 1,000 persons attended the meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where she received the first citation and cash award given for humanitarian work with children by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, in memory of the late Henrietta Szold, founder of the organization.

    1944: Birthdate of Georffrey Alderman the British historian whose works include The Jewish Community in British Politics and Modern British Jewry. He is the father of British authoress Naomi Alderman who was born in 1974.

    1944: U.S. premiere of “Lady in the Dark” the film version of the Broadway musical created by Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin and Moss Hart.

    1947: Following the Paris Peace Conference of 1946, the Paris Peace Treaties were signed between the victorious Allied Powers and Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland.

    1947: Dov Rosenbaum, Eliezer Kashani and Mordecai Alkoshi were convicted by a British court of carrying firearms.

    1948: The Central Committee of the Communist Party indicted Dimitri Shostakovich and other leading Soviet composers as "formalists," enemies of the people. This bogus charge and all that flowed from it caused one critic to describe 1948 as “the worst year of Dmitri Shostakovich's life;” a year in which the Stalinist government would fire him from two teaching positions, ban his works and take away his livelihood.  Shostakovich, who was not Jewish, responded to all of this travail by setting eleven texts from "Jewish Folk Poetry" -- a collection of Yiddish folk poems published the year before in Russian translation -- for soprano, alto, tenor and piano. This musical work would gain fame as "From Jewish Folk Poetry." Shostakovich's orchestration of the cycle would not be heard in public until 1955, two years after Stalin’s death. [Ed. Note: Shostakovich was not Jewish and I do not know why he chose this way of thumbing his nose at Stalin at a time when the Soviet dictator’s anti-Semitism was reaching a new crescendo]

    1949: Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opened at Broadway's Morosco Theater.  How Jewish was Arthur Miller?  He was Jewish enough that when Marilyn Monroe married him she converted to Judaism.

    1949: Lehi Leader Nathan Yellin-Mor was sentenced to 8 years in prison after having been guilty of being part of the leadership of a terrorist organization for his role in the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte.

    1950: Seventy-seven year old, French sociologist Marcel Mauss, the nephew of Émile Durkheim, passed away today in Paris.

    1950: Birthdate of Mark Spitz, Olympic Games swimming gold medalist.

    1951: Birthdate of Robert "Bob" Iger, “the president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company.”

    1950(23rd of Shevat, 5710): French anthropologist and sociologist Marcel Mauss passed away.  Mauss was the nephew and intellectual heir of Émile Durkheim.  His most famous work is The Gift.1952: Birthdate of Zvika Greengold the native of the Kibbutz of the Ghetto fighters who earned Medal of Valor for his heroics during the Yom Kippur War.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that a strong explosion shook the Soviet Legation building in Tel Aviv, injuring three members of the staff. Israel expressed "horror and detestation" at this cowardly act. The owner of a Soviet bookshop in Jerusalem was threatened. This violence came as a wave of anti-Semitism swept across the Soviet Union. 

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The Haifa Technion opened a faculty of agricultural engineering.

    1954: Birthdate of Peter Wennik Kaplan, the Manhattan born Harvard graduate who spent 15 exciting years as the editor of the New York Observer. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1962: Ray Lichenstein’s first solo exhibition which included the canvas “Look Mickey” opened today.

    1963: In Montreal, Ray and Moishe Applebaum gave birth to their third child, Michael Mark Appelbaum, the future mayor his native city.

    1965(8th of Adar I, 5725): Fifty year old screenwriter Arnold Manoff who was a victim of the blacklist passed away today.

    1966(20th of Shevat, 5726): Billy Rose composer and band leader passed away. Born William Samuel Rosenberg in New York City, he began his career as a lyricist.   Two of his most famous efforts were "Me and My Shadow" and “It’s Only a Paper Moon." 

    1970(4thof Adar I, 5730): Three Arab terrorists attacked an “airport bus head for an El Al plane at the Munich airport” killing 1 Israeli passenger and wounding 8 others including actress Hanna Maron who had to have her leg amputated after being injured in the grenade blast.

    1970(4th of Adar I, 5730): Just 4 months shy of his 100th birthday, Rabbi Tobias Geffen, “the Coca Cola Rabbi” passed away in Atlanta, GA.

    1971: “The House of Blue Leaves,” directed by Mel Shapiro, opened today Off-Broadway at the Truck and Warehouse Theatre, where it ran for 337 performances with a cast that included Harold Gould,

    1974: Birthdate of Ivri Lider, one of Israel’s most popular pop rock singer-songwriters.

    1977: In the Bronx Yehonathan Netanyou Lane was named in honor of the Bronx-born Israeli soldier who died freeing hostages in Entebbe Raid in 1976.  Netanyou was the only Israeli soldier to die in the daring rescue mission.  His brother would build a political career based on the fame garnered from being Jonathan’s surviving brother

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Menachem Begin rejected the US position that the Jewish settlements in the administered areas are illegal and an obstacle to peace. He said that Israel offered Palestinians a local autonomy which was "more than anything they had been offered by the Arab states which ruled them in the past ­ Jordan and Egypt."

    1979(13thof Shevat, 5739): Sixty-two year old Rephoel Baruch Sorotzkin, the Rosh Yehsiva of the Telz Yeshiva in Clevland, the husband of Rochel Bloch, passed away today which was the same date on the Hebrew calendar on which he was born.

    1980(23rdof Shevat, 5740): Nathan Yellin-Mor, the leader of Lehi who had been born at Grodno in 1913 and whose political transformation led him to become “a radical pacifist who support negotiations with the PLO” passed away today.

    1983: Peace Now held a demonstration in Jerusalem.

    1983(27thof Shevat, 5743): “Right-wing activist Yona Avrushmi” murdered IDF veteran and teacher Emil Grunzweig and injured nine others including Abraham Burg and Yuval Steinitz when he threw a grenade at a peace rally in Jerusalem.

    1990(15thof Shevat, 5750): Tu B’Shevat

    1990: The New York Times reported that based on a poll created by Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York, and by the study's sponsor, the Israel-Diaspora Institute, a Tel Aviv-based public policy center that deals with relations between Jews in Israel and elsewhere officials of American Jewish organizations, although highly distrustful of the Palestine Liberation Organization, say that Israel should talk to the P.L.O., a national survey has found.

    1990: On Off-Broadway revival of “The Rothschilds,” a musical based on Frederic Morton’s biography opened at the American Jewish Theatre.

    1991: An American official said today that Air Force F-15's had destroyed a Scud surface-to-surface missile launcher in western Iraq, but it was not the one that lobbed another projectile into Tel Aviv, Israel, wounding 26 people.

    1991: During Desert Storm, the Israeli Army allowed some West Bank and Gaza Palestinians to return to their jobs in Israel today for the first time in three weeks.

    1994 (29th of Shevat, 5754):Naftali Sahar a citrus grower, was killed by blows to his head. His body was found in his orchard near Kibbutz Na'an.

    1995: Eli Rosenbaum has been named director of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Jo Ann Harris, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, announced today. OSIis the unit of the Criminal Division that identifies and takes legal action against those who participated in persecutory activities of the Nazi regime during World War II.  "

    1996(20th of Shevat, 5756): Seventy-five year old Haskell L. Lazere, who was executive director of the New York chapter of the American Jewish Committee from 1969 to 1989 and helped found various human rights coalitions in New York City, passed away at his home on the Upper East Side.(As reported by Wolfgang Saxon.

    2001: Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" was presented to a crowd of 18,000 men and women at Madison Square Garden.

    2001(17th of Shevat, 5761):  Abraham “Abe” Beame, first Jewish Mayor of New York City passed away. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently published paperback edition of James Atlas” Bellow: A Biography, the encyclopedic portrait of the writer Saul Bellow  in which the author beat all the bushes to trace his personal life and achievements, drawing on more than a decade's worth of research.

    2003(8th of Adar I, 5763): Ron Ziegler, Press Secretary for Richard Nixon during the Watergate Scandal passed away. (As reported by Tina Kelley)

    2003(8th of Adar I, 5763): Antoinette Feuerwerker, a French jurist, veteran of the WW II Free French forces and the wife of Rabbi David Feuerwerker, passed away today in Jerusalem at the age of 90.

    2005 (1st of Adar I, 5765):  Playwright Arthur Miller passed away. (As reported by Marilyn Berger)

    2006: In “Beating Swords Into Photographs” published today, Menachem Wecker reviews the wrong of David Seymour.

    2006:  Sheloshim ends for Judy Rosenstein (nee Levin) of blessed memory.

    2006: An animated film, Curious George, based on the character created by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey featuring Will Ferrell as the voice of the originally unnamed Man With the Yellow Hat, was released. (The Reys are Jewish- Ferrell is not)

    2007: “Musical Genius” Chen Halevi performs together with five musicians from the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble in a Classical-Romantic-Modern program featuring works by Mozart, Dvorak and Paul Ben-Haim at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times featured a review of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Againby Jewish author David Frum.

    2008: The Sunday New York Times featured a pre-Valentine’s Day interview with Ben Karlin, Wisconsin alum and former member of Hillel based on his book Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me

    2008: Jerusalem Post on-line reported that “anger boiled over in Sderot on as residents took to the streets, demanding that the government take stronger steps against the rocket fire from Gaza following a Kassam strike that shattered one local family's Shabbat.

    2008: At the Tucson Jewish Film Festival in Tucson, AZ a showing of “Samuel Bak:
    Painter of Questions,” a documentary that explores Bak's work and life through the lens of his childhood experiences.

    2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings of “Sallah Shabati,” “Souvenirs,” “Operation Mural: Casablanca 1960,”The Jews of Lebanon” (le Petite Histoire des Juifs de Liban) and “My Love (Aviva Ahuvati).”

    2009:Adelphi University Cultural Events Lecture Series presents a presentation a lecture entitled “Israel and the United Nations”  by Ambassador Danny Carmon, Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations followed by a Q & A session.

    2009: In Little Rock, Arkansas, the Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life, under the dynamic leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment, presents a lecture on the power of prayer by Dr. Lisa Aiken, entitled, “Dear G-d, is anyone listening?”

    2009:  Israelis go to the polls in the only free, democratic elections (in the western sense of that that term) held in that part of the world. Kadima captures 28 seats and Likud captures 27 seats in the inconclusive race to control the 120 seat Israeli Parliament.

    2009: Eighty-nine year old Leo Alan Orenstein, who directed and produced over 150 television shows at the CBC will be laid to rest today at Mount Pleasant emetry

    2010: Maggie Anton, author of the outstanding trilogy about Rashi’s Daughters, is scheduled to speak at Milken JCC in West Hills, CA.

    2010: The 14th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to present the New York Premiere of “Azi Ayima” (Come Mother), “a story of transition, cultural crisis, social survival and also lots of faith, optimism, joy and dignity, told for the first time by Moroccan women of the first generation to immigrate to Israel.” 

    2010(26thShevat, 5770): First-Sgt. Muhammad Ihab Khatib, 26, was stabbed to death at the Tapuah junction on this afternoon by Mahmoud Hattib, a Palestinian Authority police officer from Yabed.  Khatib was waiting in his Sufa jeep in a queue of traffic when he was stabbed in the chest through an open window. In the soldier's attempt to speed away, the vehicle overturned. Khatib was evacuated to Petah Tikva's Beilinson Hospital, where he succumbed to the knife wounds. The soldier is survived by a father, a mother, two brothers and three sisters. Several years ago, his uncle was killed in action. In the Second Lebanon War, his aunt was killed when a Katyusha rocket fired by Hizbullah hit her house.

    2011: “Five Brothers,” “The Loners” and “There Were Nights” are scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Opening night of the Jewish Film Festival in San Diego, CA.

    2011: Laura Cohen Apelbaum, Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and Archivist Wendy Turman are scheduled to present an illustrated lecture of Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City, detailing Civil War-era personalities and events in Washington and Alexandria.

    2011: Dr. Nathan Abrams is scheduled to deliver an illustrated lecture entitled “(Jewish) men and (gentile) women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way” based on romantic comedy, “When Harry Met Sally.”

    2011: At a ceremony for the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told an audience today in the United Nations General Assembly hall that “an independent, strong, thriving and peaceful State of Israel is the vengeance of the dead.”

    2011: It was announced today that three authors who attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop are among five finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize in fiction for Jewish Literature. They are Allison Amend for “Stations West,” Julie Orringer for “The Invisible Bridge” and Austin Ratner for “Jump Artist.”   Top prize is $100,000 and a $25,000 Choice Award will be given to the first runner-up. Established in 2006, the annual prize honors the contribution of contemporary writers in the exploration and transmission of Jewish values. It is intended to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest in the future. Fiction and non-fiction books are considered in alternate years. Other finalists, announced by the Jewish Book Council, are Nadia Kalman for “The Cosmopolitans” and “Joseph Skibell for “A Curable Romantic.” Finalists will meet with the judges March 15 in New York, and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter. The 2011 award ceremony will be held in New York City on May 31.

    2011(6thof Adar I, 5771): Tel Aviv University Professor Michael Harsegor, one of Israel's most-prominent historians, passed away today at the age of 87. For decades Harsegor taught history at Tel Aviv University and was considered an expert on Late Middle Ages European History. He was most well-known to the Israeli public for hosting the long-running Army Radio program "historical hour". Harsegor was a native of Romania, but moved to Israel in 1949 at the age of 25. In Romania, he was sentenced to 20 years hard labor for being a member of the HaShomer HaTzair Zionist youth movment, but was released in 1944.After arriving in Israel, following a short imprisonment by British forces in Cyprus, Harsegor became a member of Kibbutz Zikim, and also gave the kibbutz its name. (As reported by Ben Hartman)

    2012: In New York, an exhibition of the work of Ilan Averbuch, an Israeli artist who creates sculpture using wood, stone, copper and steel is scheduled to come to an end.

    2012: The 92nd Street Y is scheduled to host a Tu B’Shevat Dinner this evening.

    2012: Jews around the world can participate in the International Young Israel MovementMishloach Manot Campaign 2012 starting at 10:AM 

    2012: Israel's Defense Ministry said this morning that it had conducted a successful test of the Arrow 2 missile defense system.

    2012: The Knesset's Judicial Selection Committee approved Justice Asher Grunis as the new Supreme Court President today.

    2012: A general strike in Israel's public sector will continue today, after negotiations between the Histradrut Labor Federation and the Finance failed to resolve the gap between the two sides late yesterday

    2013: In Washington, DC final scheduled day for “Matzah Without Dogma: Four Centuries of Secular and Humanistic Judaism” featuring Rabbi Adam Chalom, North American Dean of the IISHJ

    2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to present “The Queen of H Street, a one-woman show that tells the true life story of Anna Shulman, her arrival in the U.S. and in Washington, and her impact on the H Street neighborhood, home to Jewish merchants in the 1920s and 1930s

    2013: At the Grammies, “The Jewish Canadian singer Drake won an award for Rap Album of the Year and the indie pop band “fun” whose leader singer Antonoff is Jewish won the Song of the Year with “W Are Young.” (As reported by JTA and The Jewish Press)

    2013: The Baltimore Zionist District and United Against a Nuclear Iran are scheduled to join forces today with more than a dozen other organizations — Jewish and non-Jewish --  in front of the Baltimore Convention Center during the Motor Trend International Auto Show to call upon auto manufacturers to stop doing business with Iran.

    2013: “Orchestra of Exiles” a film about Bronislaw Huberman, the man who saved 1,000 musicians, their families and their friends, is scheduled to be shown in Iowa City, Iowa.

    2013: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Posen Foundation are scheduled to present: “Jews and Words: A Celebration of Jewish Writing, Language, and Expression” – a series of panel discussion including such literary luminaries as Jonathan Sarna and Dora Horn.

    2013: Four hundred police officers and 200 private security guards were on hand at Teddy Stadium in the capital as Beitar Jerusalem played a high-tension match against Arab squad Bnei Sakhnin tonight.

    2013: Barack Obama will be making his first presidential visit to Israel next month primarily in order to tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in person to hold off on any military intervention in Iran, it was reported today

    2013: 2013: A float satirizing local politicians dressed as Nazis holding canisters of Zyklon B gas is to take part in a carnival parade in the Belgian city of Aalst which is scheduled to take place today. (As reported by JTA and Forward)

    2014: A version of “Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue” based on the exhibit at the Walter’s in Baltimore is scheduled to come to a close at Yeshiva University.” (As reported by Menachem Wecke)

    2014: The Tulane University Jewish Studies Department led by its chair Dr. Brian J. Horowitz is scheduled to host a lecture by Jennifer Richard entitled “Passover and Politics: Remember the Jewishness of Hannah Arendt.”

    2014: “Putzel” is scheduled to be shown at the 14th annual the David Posnack JCC Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Five Hours from Paris” is scheduled to be shown for the first time at UK Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported today that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife were the most generous American philanthropists in 2013, with a donation of 18 million shares of Facebook stock valued at more than $970 million to a Silicon Valley nonprofit.”


    2014: Abraham H. Foxman announced today that he would be stepping down as head of the Anti-Defamation League in July of 2015.

    2014:”A red alert sounded in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council early this afternoon after a rocket launched from within Gazan territory was detected.”

    2014: “The crisis at Hadassah’s two Jerusalem hospitals intensified today as nurses and administrative employees joined doctors in a strike that has been going on since last Tuesday.” (As reported by Aron Donzis)

    2015: Florida International University is scheduled to host a lecture by Dr. Juan Gil on “Conversos in Seville and the Empire, From the Coast of Africa to the Indies.”




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    February 11

    55: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome clearing the way for Nero to become Emperor Would things have been better or worse if Britannicus had ruled instead of Nero?  Nobody can say for sure since there is no record of his views on the Jewish people, Judea or Jerusalem. . Nero’s record regarding the Jews is a mixed bag (at least he did blame them for burning down Rome), he did appoint four inept governors to rule over Judea and appointed Vespasian to put down the Jewish Revolt when it began in 66. Given the rest of Nero’s behavior, the world (including the Jewish world) would have been better off with Britannicus.

    1147 (24 Adar): The Jews of Wurzburg were attacked without warning by a band of Crusaders.  “More than twenty among them met a martyrs death including Rabbi Isaac ben Eliakim…The humane Bishop of Wurzburg assigned a burial place in his own private garden for the bodies of the martyrs and sent the survivors to a castle near Wurzburg.”

    1201: In Worms, the Jews took up arms to fight alongside the city's non-Jewish residents against an attack by Otto. At that time, Jews were still permitted to bear arms in various cities in Germany, although this privilege was soon to be abolished

    1250: During the Seventh Crusade, the three day Battle of Al Mansurah comes to an end with the French forces under the command of the anti-Semitic King Louis IX suffering a crushing defeat.

    1349: Jews of Uberlingen, Switzerland were massacred.

    1482: By a Papal order, seven new Inquisitors were nominated, among them Tomas de Torquemada who led the Spanish Inquisition that brought an end to the fabled Spanish Jewish community.

    1490: In Spain it was declared that no Jew or convert ever be allowed to rule over any Muslims. This was part of Spanish/Muslim negotiations leading up to the eventual surrender of Granada, the last Muslim territory in Iberia.

    1491: Isaac ben Judah ibn Katorzi produced the first printed copy of at Naples the Sefer ha-Shorashim a lexicon by Rabbi David Kimhi, known as RADAK.

    1531: King Henry VIII is recognized as head of the Church of England, thus helping to unravel papal control of the British Isles, weaken the control of the Catholic Church and help the forces of what might be loosely called Protestant Christianity.  Over the long haul, this was beneficial to the Jews since the rise of Protestants in the Netherlands and England would prove to be beneficial to their acceptance and provide escape from the Church approved Inquistion that had driven them out of Iberia and kept them from New World Settlements in Latin America and French controlled Canada.

    1535: Birthdate of Niccolò Sfondrati who as Pope Gregory XIV followed the comparatively benevolent policies of his predecessor Sixtus V.

    1673: In England, According to the Conventicle Act of 1664 any prayer meeting of more than five persons not according to the Book of Common Prayer would be considered seditious. The act had been originally designed as a device against the Puritans but soon Jews were prosecuted as well. The Jews requested from the King to either allowed freedom of worship or be allowed to leave the country with their possessions. Charles II ordered the Attorney General to desist from prosecuting the “offenders”.

    1689(21st of Shevat): Rabbi Moses ben Galante of Jerusalem, author of Zevah ha-Shelamim passed away

    1772: Birthdate of Lew Way, the English clergyman who in 1808 found he London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews  and who “traveled at his own expense through Holland, Germany, and Russia, in order to study the condition of the Jews, ameliorate their social and political status, and urge the Christians to missionary work among them”

    1795: “Sheva, the Benevolent,” an adaptation of English playwright Richard Cumberland's “The Jew; or the Benevolent Hebrew”, the first English language play to feature a Jewish moneylender as the benevolent hero of a stage comedy had its American premiere in Philadelphia, PA.

    1802(9thof Adar I, 5562):Joel Löwe the Biblical commentator “who was a follower of Moses Menedlssohn” and “biurists” – that group of commentators who helped to lay “the foundation of a critical historical study of the TaNaCh” passed away today.

    1811: Birthdate of French banker and booklover Aaron Euryate Felix Solar.

    1812(28th of Shevat, 5572): Rabbi Joseph David Sinzheim passed away.  According to The Jewish Encyclopedia,Sinzheim was born in 1745.  He was the son of R. Isaac Sinzheim of Treves and brother-in-law of Herz Cerfbeer and the first rabbi of Strasburg. He was the most learned and prominent member of the Assembly of Notables convened by Napoleon I. He was entrusted with task of answering the questions laid before the assembly by the imperial commissioner; a task which he accomplished in such an admirable fashion that he won the approval of the Emperor himself.

    1814: Norway's independence is proclaimed, marking the ultimate end of the Kalmar Union, the union of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  As part of its declaration of independence, Norway acquired its first constitution. “This document was relatively liberal, but in §2 it stated that the official state religion was Lutheran Protestantism and that Jews and Jesuits were forbidden from entering the kingdom. The lobbying to change this paragraph was led by the national poet, Henrik Wergeland. In 1851 the ban was indeed reversed, six years after the Wergeland's death.”

    1826: University College London is founded under the name University of London. As the first university to open its doors to Women, Roman Catholics and Dissenters, UCL was also the first to admit Jewish students. This traditional link of the College with the Anglo-Jewish community is very much alive today.University College London houses the largest department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Europe. The department is the only one in the UK to offer a full degree course and research supervision in Jewish Studies at the BA Honours, MA, MPhil and PhD levels in every subject of Hebrew and Jewish Studies - philology, history, and literature - covering virtually the entire chronological and geographical span of the Hebrew and Jewish civilization from antiquity through the Middle Ages to the modern period. Degrees can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

    1833: Birthdate of Auguste Scheurer-Kestner he became an ardent defender of Dreyfus going so far as to take up the case with Minister of War Jean-Baptiste Billot and President Felix Faure.

    1837: Eliezer Eduard Hirschel Kann and Hyacintha Kann gave birth to Dorothea Jacobson.

    1841: Hannah Weil and Benjamin Bloomingdale gave birth to Lyman Gustavus Bloomingdale the co-founder of Bloomingdale’s Department Store.

    1842: Birthdate of Ludwig Barnay, “the son of the secretary of the Jewish congregation in Budapest who went on to become a leading German actor.

    1846(15thof Shevat, 5606): Tu B’Shevat

    1851: In Sarrebourg, Lorraine, France thirty-one year old Kalmus Calmann Levy (Calmann Levy) married Paulin Levy.

    1859: The New York Times reported that Jews of San Francisco were scheduled to hold a meeting to express their feelings over the kidnapping of “the Mortara child” and the refusal of the papal authorities to return him to his parents. [The Mortara Affair had a galvanizing effect on Jewish communities throughout the world, especially in Western Europe and the United States.  The public displays and attempts to get governments to act on behalf of Jewish victims, which is commonplace today, was almost unheard of one hundred and fifty years ago.]

    1859: Heidenheimer, TX, which was named in honor Sampson Heidenheimer who along with his brother  Isaac owned grocery stores in Galveston was located along the Santa Fe railway which was chartered today to join Atchison and Topeka, Kansas, with Santa Fe, New Mexico 

    1861: Edwin Booth appeared as Shylock for the first time at The Winter Garden in New York City. According to the reviewer, “first to last, Mr. Booth preserved with thorough faithfulness the varying passions which from time to time usurped the heart of the Jew.”  In playing Shylock, Booth was following in the footsteps of his father Junius Brutus Booth who had previously this creation of Shakespeare’s pen.  

    1865(15th of Sh'vat, 5625) Tu B'Shvat

    1868: Birthdate of Nachman Syrkin, the Russian-born American Zionist leader.  He may have been the only American to have attended the First Zionist Congress and the Versailles Peace Conference. He was an early advocate of what became the Kibbutz Movement.

    1868: In Savannah, GA, Mikveh Israel, a synagogue that had followed the Sephardic Minchag began its shift from the Orthodox to Reform Judaism today “with the addition of a musically-accompanied choir and the elimination of observance of the second day of festivals.”

    1869: Jeannette and Aaron Schüler gave birth to Jewish German poet and playwright Else Lasker-Schüler

    1874: Birthdate of George Alexander Kohut an Hungarian-born American writer and bibliographer. He was educated at the gymnasium in Grosswardein, at the public schools in New York, at Columbia University (1893–1895), Berlin University, and the Berlin Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums (1895–97). In the year 1897 he became rabbi of the Congregation Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas, a post which he occupied for three years. In 1902 he became superintendent of the religious school of Temple Emanu-El in New York, and was assistant librarian of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Kohut was the author of: The Index to the Italian words in the "Aruch,""Early Jewish Literature in America,""Sketches of Jewish Loyalty, Bravery, and Patriotism in the South American Colonies and the West Indies,""Martyrs of the Inquisition in South America," and “A Memoir of Dr. Alexander Kohut's Literary Activity," and many other monographs on historical subjects and on folklore. He also edited "Semitic Studies in Memory of Dr. Alexander Kohut". Kohut established a library of Judaica at Yale in 1915, an important collection made by his father, Alexander Kohut, and the "Kohut Endowment" to maintain and improve the "Alexander Kohut Memorial Collection". He passed away in 1933.

    1874(24thof Shevat, 5634): Eleanor Ezekiel passed away in Philadelphia, PA

    1874: Dr. Jacob Da Silva Solis Cohen a Sephardic Jew who served with Union forces during the Civil War before returning to Philadelphia signed the death certificate of Eleanor Ezekiel.

    1875: Abraham H. Keinski, a Polish Jew, was arraigned at the Yorkville Police Court on charges that he was responsible for burning down a hat store that he owned which was located on Third Avenue. The prisoner was released after posting $5,000 in bail.

    1880(29thof Shevat, 5640): Asher Bijur passed at 4 o’clock this afternoon at his home on West 53rd Street at the age of 54.  He was born at Posen in 1825 and came to the United States when he was 20 years old.  He began his business career by manufacturing cigars and then moved into the leaf tobacco trade. He leaves behind a widow and two sons.

    1881: Mr. Arbuckle, a pianist who had been engaged to play a benefit performance at the Park Theatre for the benefit of synagogue in Brooklyn explained his side of the conflict with another pianist named Joseffy.

    1881: Birthdate of Louis Ginsberg.  Born in Russia, he came to the United States at the age of 22.  After working in West Virginia and Illinois, he settled in Marietta, Ohio, where he established the Producers’ Supply and Tool Company and became a pillar of the community serving as Secretary of B’Nai Israel, President of the Local Jewish War Suffers’ Society, Director of the Hebrew Immigration Society and a generous supporter of the Red Cross.

    1884(15thof Shevat, 5644): Tu B’Shevat

    1885: Birthdate of Sir Sidney “Solly” Solomon Abrahams the native of Birmingham who served as the 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon.

    1886: A charity ball sponsored by the Purim Association will be held this evening at the Metropolitan Opera House.

    1889(10th of Adar I, 5649): Simon Mussina, merchant, newspaper editor, and attorney passed away. [This lengthy entry is intended to provide a sense of what American Jewish life was like for those who lived outside of a few major metropolitan areas.] Born in 1805, to Zachariah and Nancy Mussina in Philadelphia, PA, Simon learned the mercantile business from his father. In 1821 Simon and his father took a business trip to Mobile and Clark County, Alabama, where Zachariah drowned while crossing a swollen creek. The family fortune of gold disappeared in the drowning, and Simon was left to support his mother and several younger brothers and sisters. He set up a mercantile store in Clark County, then moved to Mobile, where he developed one of the largest mercantile businesses in the South. Before 1836 a fire burned his savings, and that year he moved to Matagorda, Texas, with his family. He bought the Matagorda Bulletin and edited it until 1840, when he moved to Galveston, where he edited the National Banner to advertise his vast holdings of West Texas lands. When Austin became the state capital, Simon sold the Banner and returned to Matagorda to assume editorship of the Bulletin. He subsequently moved to Galveston, where he established a large drugstore. When the Mexican War started he went to Matamoros, bought land at Point Isabel on the Rio Grande, acquired controlling interest in a Matamoros newspaper, the American Flag, and developed it into one of the most popular newspapers of the time. At the end of the war he served as one of the surveyors who laid out the town of Brownsville. Mussina became a close friend of Sam Houston, who encouraged him to become the chief plaintiff against Judge John C. Watrous, charged with corrupt decisions on land claims in and about Brownsville. The litigation lasted most of Mussina's life. In 1868 he moved to Austin and began proceedings for the La Vega land grant, an eleven-league grant that embraced a part of eastern Waco. This case, too, stayed in litigation. In his sixties Mussina became a member of the State Bar of Texas and established himself as one of the most astute land attorneys in the state. From 1870 to 1873 he served as president of the board of trustees for the state blind and insane asylums and in 1871 he served as alderman for the city of Austin. Mussina never married, but he reared his father's family.” His sister, who had married a Presbyterian minister of Galveston, buried him from that church in Galveston.

    1890: Isaac Jacobs was fired from his job as a janitor at Etz Chaim (The Tree of Life), a Hebrew School of which Isaac LIbermann and Hermann Rothstein are the trustees.

    1890: A meeting took place at Temple Beth El this evening during which the young people discussed ways of helping the city’s poor Jews many of whom “live on the east side between 42nd and 86th streets from 5thAvenue to the River.”

    1890: Among the recipients of the theatrical license fund which was distributed today was the United Hebrew Charities which received $1,500 out of total of $38,200.

    1890(21stof Shevat, 5650): Solomon Eppinger passed away today.

    1890: This and final day of the annular meeting of Grand Lodge, No.1 of the Independent Order of Free Sons Israel. The Jewish fraternal order’s newly elected officers are: Grand Mater – Louis B. Franklin; First Deputy Grand Master – Joseph Steiner; Grand Treasurer – Raphael Lehman; Grand Secretary – H.I. Goldsmith.

    1892: In New York, the authorities expressed their concern today “over the worst outbreak of typhus…that has occurred since the organization of the Health Department.”  The outbreak was most severe among recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Russia.

    1893: In his lecture on the history of Morocco and Gibraltar delivered today, Professor Albert S. Bickmore reported that the population of Tangier totaled about 15,000 people of whom 4,000 were Jews.

    1894: Birthdate of Isaac M Kolthoff, the Dutch born chemist who was considered by some to be the “Father of Analytical Chemistry.”  He passed away in Minnesota in 1993 a month after his 99th birthday.

    1894: It was reported today that the fifth and final volume or Ernest Renan’s History of the Jews “has had a unique reception in Paris.  “In an interview, Pere Henri Didon speaks tenderly of Renan, and almost approvingly of this closing work” which was published posthumously.

    1894: “Diminutive Bride and Groom” published today described the nuptials of Maurice Bear and Bertha Levy, a leading member of the Birmingham, Alabama, Jewish community, both of whom are no more than four feet tall.

    1894: Rabbi Joseph Silverman delivered a talk on “The Mistakes of Ingersoll About Moses” at Temple Emanu-El.

    1895(17thof Shevat, 5655): Mrs. Hannah Steinberger, the wife of William Steinberger who teaches Hebrew and German, was found dead “in the miserable quarters” she occupied with her three children in a tenement on the Lower East Side.

    1898:  Birthdate of Physicist Leo Szilard.  Born in Hungary, Szilard was a refugee from Hitler’s Europe who first sounded the alarm about the need to build an Atomic Bomb.  He worked with Einstein on the letter that Einstein would take to FDR in 1939.  This effort led to the Manhattan Project.

    1898: During the trial of Emile Zola, Lt. Col George Picquart “described his mission to Tunis” which he made under the orders of General Leclerc “when the Dreyfus began afresh.

    1902: Birthdate of Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect and designer.

    1903: In a letter to the Grand Vizir, Herzl summarizes his proposal – the Ottomans will allow Jewish colonization in Palestine in exchange for a loan of 2 million Turkish pounds.

    1904: Birthdate of Koppel Shub Pinson the native of Postaway who came to the United States in 1907 who in 1945 “was appointed Director of Education and Culture for Jewish Displaced Persons in Germany and Austria by the Joint Distribution Committee” which enabled him continue his work of providing aide for Holocaust survivors.

    1904: Florence Lowenstein, the daughter of Sophia Mendelsohn Lowenstein and Benedict Lowenstein and Louis Marshall gave birth to economist George Marshall whose interest in conservation led him to be
    an early leader of both The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club. His role in the civil rights movement led to him serving three months in prison after having been cited for Contempt for Congress when being investigated by the infamous and inappropriately named House Committee on Un-American Activities.

    1905: Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer nos.Vehementer Nos was a papal encyclical by the French law of 1905 providing for the separation of church and state, it denounced the proposition that the state should be separated from the church as "a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error". It is safe to assume that what Pius really meant was that there could be no separation of state from the Catholic Church since he only recognized the validity of the Catholic Church. His view towards Jews can be seen in his response to Herzl’s 1904 request for Papal support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine Pius X responded: We are unable to favor this movement …. The Jews have not recognized our Lord; therefore, we cannot recognize the Jewish people.”

    1909: Birthdate of writer and movie director Joseph L Mankiewicz

    1909: Birthdate of Max Baer, American boxer.  Baer was a heavyweight fighter who knocked out Max Schmeling, the German champion and symbol of Hitler's Germany, in 1933.  Baer had a Mogen David sown on his shorts.  However, he may really not have been Jewish.  According to some, his mother was a Christian and his father was only "a nominal Jew."  For more on the subject of Max Baer, and Jews in sports, you might want to read Ellis Island to Ebbets Field.

    1910: The Turkish Council of State approves statutes, which will allow a Jewish bank to be opened in Salonica.

    1910 (2nd of Adar I, 5670): Moshe Leib Lilienblum, Russian born scholar, teacher and philosopher passed away. Following the pogroms that began in 1881, Lilienblum took the unusual stance, for an Orthodox rabbi, of supporting the settlement of Palestine by the Jewish people as the only realistic course of action if Jews were ever to be safe.  This is yet another example of Zionism that pre-dated Herzl.

    1911(13th of Shevat, 5671): Baron Albert von Rothschild of the Austrian branch of the House of Rothschild passed away at age 66.

    1912(23rd of Shevat, 5672): Fifty-six year old Washington Seligman, the “son of James Seligman who founded the banking firm of J&W Seligiman & Co and brother of Mrs. Benjamin Guggenhieim and Jefferson and De Witt Seligman” took his own life today.  He left a note saying “I am tired of being sick all my life” – a reference to the illnesses that he has confronted over the last quarter of a century.

    1914(15th of Shevat, 5674): Tu B’Shevat celebrated for the last time before the start of World War I which opened a four decades of world-wide cataclysm

    1914: Menucha and R’Shneur Zalman gave birth to Rabbi Yisroel Shimon Kalmanson.

    1914:Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel completed his first term as Post-Master General in the cabinet of Prime Minister Asquith

    1915: As of today the American Jewish Relief Committee has collected $468,792.05

    1915: “The prediction that the present war will do away with anti-Semitism altogether in Germany and the assurance that by ‘lessening the power of the nobility and democratizing the people’ it already has removed most of the anti-Semitic prejudices are expressed in a statement given by the German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff, to Dr. S. Melamed of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung published in that paper” today.

    1915: The Red Cross Fund of which Jacob H. Schiff is the treasurer received an additional $162.50 today bringing the total collections to $457,583.86.

    1915: “The Jews in Serbia” published today contains the assessment by Mabel Grouitch, the American born wife of Serbian diplomat Dr. Slavo Grouitch of the Jewish condition in Serbia which she says “is the one country in the world next to England and America where people of the Hebrew race enjoy the fullest of religious and civil rights.

    1916: Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control

    1916: Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel completed his second term as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.  His replacement would be Edwin Samuel Montagu, another prominent member of the Anglo-Jewish community.

    1917: In Chicago, Natalie Marcus and Ascher “Otto” Schechtel, a jewelry store manager gave birth to Sidney Schechtel who gained fame as author Sidney Shelton wjp won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in1947 for writing The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a Tony Award in1959 for his musical Redhead, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on I Dream of Jeannie, an NBC sitcom. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 89.

    1917: At the Halkett Hotel, Jersey, Catherine Jacobs and W.A.R. Hill gave birth to their daughter Elizabeth Annette.

    1918: Ronald Storrs, the British governor of Jerusalem, approved a plan put forth by British army engineers designed to alleviate the water shortage in Jerusalem.

    1920: Birthdate of King Farouk I.  Farouk was the last king of Egypt.  He was the king who led Egypt into its ill-fated war with Israel in 1948.  There are those who say that if Egypt had refused to join the other Arab states, there would never have been a war in 1948.  When Farouk was ousted in 1952, the Israelis thought the new reform government would want to end hostilities.  Unfortunately, the leader of the “Colonel’s Revolt,” Nasser, made destroying Israel the rallying cry for his Pan-Arab Movement.

    1925: The White Star liner Olympic with Chiam Weizmann and Bernard Rosenblatt on board, arrived today from Southampton and Cherbourg twenty-four hours late because of the fog off the American coast.

    1927(10th of Adar): Fifty-eight year old Composer Joel Engel passed away. Born at Berdyansk in 1868 he moved from Berlin to Palestine where he became “"the true founding father of the modern renascence of Jewish music."

    1929: Dedication of the Nathan and Lina Straus Health and Welfare Center in Jerusalem.

    1929: “Pope Pius XI signs a Concordat and Lateran Treaty with fascist Italian leader Benito Mussolini. The pope agrees to discriminate against Jews and Protestants while gaining the assurance that Catholicism would remain the sole and official religion of Italy.”  (Pious was, if anything, not consistent in this matter.  Later he would condemn fascism and racism and support efforts to rescue Jews.)
    1932: Birthdate of pianist Jerome Lowenthal.

    1933:The national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) together with the Stahlhelm and the Agricultural League today once again formed a united Kampffront Schwarz-Weiß-Rot ("Struggle Front Black-White-Red" named after the colours of the German Empire) in an attempt to counter the Nazis which had outsmarted them during their march to power.

    1935: Birthdate of Emanuel Zisman the native of Bulgaria who made Aliyah in 1949 and returned to his native land as Israel’s Ambassador to Bulgaria in 2000.

    1936: Eighty-four year old William “Coin” Harvey author of the novel A Tale of Two Nations, “the most notable example of Populist anti-Semitism.”

    1936: Richard Tucker married Sarah Perelmuth, the only daughter of Levi and Perelmuth who were also the parents of Yakob Perelemtuh who would gain fame as Jan Peerce.

    1937: George Gershwin performed his Piano Concerto in F in a special concert of his music with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of French maestro Pierre Monteux” during which he “suffered coordination problems and blackouts during the performance” which were symptomatic of the brain tumor that would claim his life a few months later in June of 1937.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that an agreement was signed in Geneva providing for the status of German refugees who were to be furnished with travel documents, resembling Nansen passports, allowing them to work in the countries where they had been living for more than five years.

    1938: The Palestine Post published a special Reporter's Report, a reproduction of a broadcast made on the Palestine Radio by Gershon Agron, the founder and editor of this newspaper, on the tragic situation of Jews in Romania where an authoritarian, anti-Semitic regime was deeply entrenched and had the solid backing of the king.

    1939: Birthdate of Gerald “Gerry” Goffin the American lyricist and husband of Carole King.

    1939:  Physicist Lise Meitner and her nephew Otto Fritisch published a paper on nuclear fission in the hour “Nature.”  Her work contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Meitner was the daughter of a Viennese Jewish family.

    1941: Birthdate of Avraham Hirchson, an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud and Kadima between 1981 and 1984, and again from 1992 until 2009. “He also held the posts of Minister of Communications, Minister of Finance and Minister of Tourism. He resigned following allegations of corruption, and was ultimately convicted of stealing close to 2 million shekels from the National Workers Labor Federation while he was its chairman.”

    1941: A pitched-street battle took placed between the NSB, a pro-Nazi Dutch movement and Jewish self-defense groups on the Waterloopein, a square in the center of Amsterdam.

    1942 (24th of Shevat, 5702): Flight Lieutenant Michael Weizmann of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, the 25 year old son of Chaim Weizmann, was shot down over the Bay of Biscay.  His body was never found.

    1943(6thof Adar I, 5703): Sixty-seven year old Bess Houdini, the widow of Harry Houdini suffered a heart attack and passed away today in Needles, CA while aboard an eastbound train traveling from Los Angeles to New York City.

    1943: The Nazis deported 123 children under the age of twelve without their parents from Paris to the chambers of Birkenau.

    1947: Birthdate of Derek Victor Shulman, the native of Glasgow, the lead vocalist for the band Gentile Giant which included his brothers Phil and Ray, who became a Scottish musician and singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record executive.

    1948: Birthdate of Dr. Arthur Gould Schatzkin, “an epidemiologist whose investigations into the connections between diet and cancer yielded new analytic tools and led to the discovery that eating fiber did not prevent the recurrence of polyps in the colon.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1948(1st of Adar I, 5708): Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein passed away.

    1948(1st of Adar I, 5708): Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs GCB GCMG QC passed away, Born in 1855, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he was an “Australian judge and politician, the third Chief Justice of Australia, ninth Governor-General of Australia and the first born in Australia to occupy that post. He is the only person ever to have held both positions of Chief Justice of Australia and Governor-General of Australia. He also was an anti-Zionist.

    1948: Oral arguments in the case of U.S. v Paramount Pictures, Inc, which had begun on February 9 came to a close.

    1952(15thof Shevat, 5712): Tu B’Shevat is observed for the last time under the Presidency of Harry S. Truman.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 19 persons were detained in Tel Aviv in an intense hunt for culprits responsible for the bombing of the Soviet Legation.

    1953: The Soviet Union broke diplomatic relations with Israel.  The Soviet Union competed with the United States to be the first to recognize the fledgling state of Israel in 1948.  Stalin hoped the new Jewish state would help to undermine the power of the British Empire in particular and Western democracy in general.  Also, there were some in the Soviet Union who thought that Israel's socialists would lead the new nation into the Eastern Bloc.  Since nobody really can say with total certainty what propelled Stalin and his associates behavior, we can only assume that the decision to break relations in 1953 was a combination of the anti-Semitism which was running rampant in the Soviet Union and/or the realization that the Arabs and not the Israelis would be a better foil to foster Soviet imperialism in the Middle East.

    1953:  President Eisenhower refused clemency appeal for convicted spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

    1958: Seventy-year old Alfred Ernest Jones a British neurologist who was the first the first English-speaking practitioner of psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud’s biographer passed away. In 1919 he found marital bliss when he wed Katherine Jokl “a Jewish economics graduate from Moravia” who had been a classmate of Freud’s daughters.

    1958(21st of Shevat, 5718): Terrorists killed a resident of moshav Yanov who was on his way to Kfar Yona, in the Sharon area.

    1960(13th of Shevat, 5720): Victor Klemperer passed away.  Born in 1881, he “was a businessman, journalist and eventually a Professor of Literature, specializing in the French Enlightenment at the Technische Universität Dresden. His diaries detailing his life, successively, in the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and in the German Democratic Republic were published in 1995.”

    1961: The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem

    1968: Border fighting broke out between Israeli and Jordanian forces.

    1970: In a sign of how the “poor food of eastern European Jewish immigrants” has become chic and trendy, bagels, seedless light rye and “a new marbled bread combining twists of black and regular pumpernickels  are among 113 different varieties of breads, from nine Old-World-Style bakers, at Bloomingdale's Bread Basket, which opens today in the delicacies department.

    1975: When asked in Parliament by a National Party MP if he supported Enthoven's liberal positions, Harry Schwarz replied "I make no secret of it. I am my brother's keeper".

    1976 (10th of Adar I, 5736): Actor Lee J Cobb passed away at the age of 64.  Some of Cobb’s most famous roles were in 12 Angry Men, On the Waterfront and Death of a Salesman.

    1976: Adlene Harrison became the first Jewish female mayor of a major American city when she was appointed mayor of Dallas.

    1979:Under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi is swept from power with the success of the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini. When Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi held power, Iran was the world's biggest buyer of Israeli arms. The Islamic fundamentalist government which succeeded the Shah militantly damned Zionism up and down and hung a prominent Iranian Jew for "spying for Israel." In 1980, however, when the Iraq-Iran war began, Iranian representatives met in Paris with Israel's deputy defense minister and worked out a "Jews for arms" deal. Iran permitted Jews to emigrate and Israel sold Iran ammunition and spare parts for Chieftain Tanks and US-made F-4 Phantom aircraft. Channeled through a private Israeli arms dealer, this particular agreement appropriately ended in 1984, when Iran was slow in paying its bills.  At the same time, under the Ayatollah and his successors, Iran would arm and train Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.  Nothing is ever straight forward in the swirl of the Middle East.

    1979: “They're Playing Our Song,’ “a musical with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and music by Marvin Hamlisch’ opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre.

    1981: Birthdate of Michael Andrew “Mike” Seidman who played tight end for UCLA, the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

    1986:  Having been released from imprisonment by the USSR, Anatoly Sharansky leaves the country and begins his journey to Israel.

    1988(22nd of Shevat, 5748):Rabbi Israel Raphael Margolies, “who spoke out on a variety of social issues and was a longtime civil rights advocate, died of complications from hypoglycemia” at his home in Teaneck, N.J. at the age of 72. Rabbi Margolies grew up in the Williamsburg and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn and graduated from the Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan, a seminary for the education of conservative and reform rabbis He served at Temple Emanu-el in Engelwood, N.J., from 1937 until 1953 and at Beth Am The People's Temple in Manhattan, from 1953 to 1981 From his pulpit, Rabbi Margolies frequently called for equality for minority group members and for women. He was a supporter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and once marched alongside him in a civil rights parade in Englewood Rabbi Margolies was often quoted for his opposition to the Vietnam War and for his belief in peaceful protest, and he was a founding member of the New Jersey chapter of SANE, a Washington-based organization that opposes nuclear weapons.”

    1989 (6 Adar I):Rabbi Shmaryahu Gurary ("Rashag") passed away. He was born in 1898. His father, a wealthy businessman and erudite scholar, was a leading Chassid of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn. In 1921, Rabbi Shmaryahu wed Chanah Schneersohn, the oldest daughter of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn.When Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak passed away in 1950, there were those who saw Rabbi Shmaryahu -- an accomplished Chassidic scholar and the elder of the Rebbe's two surviving sons-in-law -- as the natural candidate to head of the movement; but when the younger son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, was chosen as Rebbe, Rabbi Shmaryahu became his devoted Chassid. Rabbi Shmaryahu served as the executive director of Tomchei Temimim, the world-wide Lubavitch yeshiva system -- a task entrusted to him by his father-in-law -- until his passing on the 6th of Adar I in 1989.

    1991: Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Arens, in a hastily arranged one-day visit to Washington, told President Bush today that Israel was suffering heavy "destruction" from Iraqi missile attacks and that its willingness to refrain from retaliating was wearing thin. In a 30-minute meeting with the President in the Oval Office, Mr. Arens reportedly detailed the effect of Iraq's missile attacks on Israel, telling reporters later, "We see sights of destruction in Israel that have not been seen in a Western country since World War II. Mr. Bush responded by reiterating his longstanding position that the United States appreciated Israel's restraint. The President also stressed how important this restraint was for the anti-Iraq coalition and expressed the hope that Israel would continue its policy. While Mr. Arens, vividly described the costs to Israel of the missile strikes, he made no aid request in his meeting with the President. While Mr. Arens's was meeting with President Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and other top Middle East experts, he was handed a note that another Iraqi Scud missile had landed in central Israel.

    1991: This evening Iraq fired a scud aimed at Tel Aviv. It was the 12th attack against Israel since the start of the Persian Gulf War.  Debris from the attack appeared to fall harmlessly in an unpopulated area causing no injuries or property damage.

    1993: The Oslo Talks, which were being conducted in strictest secrecy, were resumed for another two days.  Yossi Beilin sent Dr. Ron Pundak and Dr. Yair Hirschfeld  “to a second round of talks at Sarpsbourg, Norway.

    1994(30th of Shevat, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1994: Sheldon Silver assumed office as the 119thSpeaker of the New York State Assembly.

    2001(17th of Shevat, 5761):Screenwriter, author and producer Sy Gomberg passed away at the age of 82. Born in New York City, he received an Oscar Nomination in 1951 for the script he wrote for “When Willie Comes Marching Home.” He also wrote and produced “The Law and Mr.Jones,” a legal sit-com in the 1960’s. Gomberg organized a Hollywood contingent to march with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights protests. 

    2001: The Chicago Tribune published “Holocaust Suit, Book Claim IBM Aided Nazis.”

    2001: In the following article entitled IBMTechnology Aided Holocaust, Author Alleges”

     Michael Dobbs describes the efforts of Edwin Black to connect IBM to the Final Solution in IBM and the Holocaust
    2002: Israel attacked Palestinian security headquarters in Gaza City in response to unprecedented Palestinian rocket fire and a shooting attack on Israeli civilians.

    2002: French premiere of The Heidi Chronicles a made-for-television film by Wendy Wasserstein based on her play of the same name.

    2004: In what may be an explanation for the poverty suffered by Palestinians, “French prosecutors reveal that they had opened a money-laundering probe into the transfers of millions of dollars to accounts held by Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It had been discovered that nearly $1.27 million had been transferred with some regularity from Switzerland to Mrs. Arafat's accounts in Paris.”

    2005:  The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that playwright Arthur Miller had passed away on February 10 at the age of 89.  The Gazette, along with several other newspapers, was able to report on the life of this famous dramatist without once mentioning that he was Jewish.  This despite the fact that one of Miller's first dramatic works dealt with the topic of anti-Semitism and that Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism when she married Miller.  (They always mention the Monroe part.)

    2007: The synagogue of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva “the first to be entirely renovated by the Jewish community of Poland since World War II, was reopened” today.

    2007: Woodwind player Ned Rothenberg, whose newest release is “Inner Diaspora,” on the Tzadik label, performs at the New Art Center in Newtonville, Massachusetts.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section features a review of Arianna Franklin’s A Mistress of the Art of Death, a novel set in Medieval Cambridge where the Jews are accused of killing Christian children and an Italian female doctor must discover the truth.

    2007: “Wonder Wheel” recorded by the Klexmatics competed for a Grammy for best world of music album.

    2007: The Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism is scheduled to convene today with an address by the Foreign Minister in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

    2008 (5th of Adar I, 5768): Eighty-year old Tom Lantos the only Holocaust Survivor to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives passed away. (As reported by David Herszenhorn)

    2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings of “Mortgage”(Mashkanta)followed by the New York premiere of “Black Over White.”

    2009: Tel Aviv born magician Uri Geller “purchased the uninhabited 100-meter-by-50-meter Lamb Island off the eastern coast of Scotland, previously known for its witch trials, and beaches that Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have described in his novel Treasure Island”

    2009:The Department of Academic Affairs offers an exclusive seminar with Dr. Asher Susser, past director and senior researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University.

    2009: Gaza terrorists fired three mortar shells at the Eshkol region

    2009:Jewish students at York University in Toronto were forced to take refuge in the Hillel office tonight as anti-Israel protesters banged on the glass doors, chanting, "Die, bitch, go back to Israel," and "Die, Jew, get the hell off campus."

    2010: The first class of the David Project which is designed to educate and equip people with knowledge about the Arab/Israeli conflict is scheduled to begin at Beit Shalom Synagogue, the Jewish Congregation of Maui.

    2010: The 14th New York Jewish Sephardic Festival is scheduled to come to an end with New York premiere of “Children of the Bible,” a film about the “complex situations facing Ethiopian-Israeli youth.”

    2010:Ihad Khatib, the IDF officer who was stabbed to death yesterday by a member of the Palestinian Authority, was laid to rest in his Druze community of Maghar today. Khatib, 28, a non-commissioned logistics officer in the elite Kfir Brigade, was attacked at Tapuach Junction, south of Nablus. Hundreds of people attended the funereal, including Major Tomer Levi, Khatib's direct commander, as well as the commander of the Kfir Brigade, Colonel Oren Abman.

    2010:After a media blackout was lifted today, the defense establishment revealed that the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) had foiled a Hamas attempt to kidnap an IDF soldier in December, 2009 when five Hamas men were arrested while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit bills, according to the announcement. 

    2011(7th of Adar I, 5771):Ninety-two year old Roy Gussow, an abstract sculptor whose polished stainless-steel works with swooping contours gleam in public squares and corporate spaces, died today in Queens. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi

    2010: An exhibition entitled “Our Struggle: Responding to Mein Kampf” opened today at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco.

    2011: Release date for “Just Go with It” with a screenplay co-authored by Allan Loeb starring Alan Sandler who also co-produced this remake I.A.L. Diamond’s “Cactus Flower.”

    2011: “Surviving Hitler: A Love Story” and “Ingelore” are two documentaries scheduled to be shown at The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: “Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment” is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Temple Judah is scheduled to host a Musical Shabbat in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    2011:In initial statements, Jewish groups congratulated Egyptians on ousting Hosni Mubarak today and expressed hope for continued peace with Israel.


    2011: The last in a series of three concerts featuring the works of John Cage and Morton Feldman took place at Carnegie Hall. They were a unique duo – a Jew from New York a California transplant who dabbled in all sorts of eastern religions.

    2011: U.S. premiere of ‘Just Go With It” a comedy produced by and starring Adam Sandler based on I.A.L. Diamond and Abe Burrows’ “Cactus Flower” with a script by Allan Loeb.

    2012: In Olney, MD, Shaare Tefila Congregation is scheduled to host a Community Erev Shira in Celedbration of Tu B’Shevat.

    2012: The Anat Cohen Quartet, featuring works by Israeli woodwind virtuoso Anat Cohen, is scheduled to make its debut performance at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre in New York City.

    2012: IAF aircraft struck four terror targets in the Gaza Strip tonight, in response to a Kassam rocket that was fired from Gaza a few hours earlier at the Eskol Council area.


    2012:As the body count rises in Syria, a group of activists held a candlelight vigil tonight outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv to protest Moscow’s defense of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

    2013: Temple Shaaray Tefila is scheduled to host “The Feminine Face of Spirituality” which will explore essays and poetry that will help to “reveal the feminine voice (bat kol) embedded in Jewish traction.” 

    2013: Speaking in the Knesset for the first time since becoming an MK, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid lambasted the ultra-Orthodox community, saying the country’s Haredi minority can’t hold the rest of the country hostage.

    2013(1st of Adar, 5773): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2013: Four veterans of the battle for Jerusalem ensured a monthly female prayer service, complete with prayer shawls, went ahead undisturbed at the Western Wall for the first time in 24 years. Then the former fighters departed, and the women were arrested (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

    2014: The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El is scheduled another lecture by Dr. Daniel Rynhold on “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy.

    2014: “Aftermath” and “Brave Miss World” are scheduled to be shown at  the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s 24thannual Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Medieval Aquamanile.

    2014: “The president of the largest Reform Jewish organization in the world welcomed MK David Rotem’s full apology for reportedly saying the movement is “not Jewish.”

    2014: “The filming of “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” based on the book by Israeli author Amos Oz, began today in the Nahalot neighborhood. Portman, who appears as Oz’s mother, is making her debut as a director.” (As reported by JTA)

    2014: “The Jerusalem District Court granted Hadassah hospitals’ request for a stay of proceedings today, temporarily protecting them from creditors, and appointed two trustees to formulate a rehabilitation plan for the hospitals, which are currently struggling with a deficit of NIS 1.7 billion ($482 million.” (As reported by Spencer Ho)

    2014: “Scientists from the Technion and Hebrew University are this year’s winners of the Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research, given out by the Technion’s Rappaport Institute. Prof. Yair Reisner of the Weizmann Institute of Science will be recognized for his work in bone marrow transplant therapy, while Dr. Yaakov Nahmias of Hebrew University will receive the award for identifying a grapefruit molecule that can block viruses.” (As reported by David Shamah)

    2014: “The Israeli Air Force attacked targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after two rockets launched from the Hamas-controlled territory landed in the southern part of the country earlier in the day.”

    2015: Gail Sherman, Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, is scheduled to lead a discussion about Nathan Englander's powerful short story, What We Talk About when We Talk About Anne Frank at theOregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

    2015: Lucinda Franks, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and the widow of Robert Morgenthau, is scheduled to speak about TIMELESS: Love, Morgenthau and Me

    2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Joseph Bau; From Schindler’s List to Syria.”



    2015: In London, Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King's College, London, is scheduled to speak about Love in the context of the current exhibition “Your Jewish Museum: Love.”





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    February 12
    553: Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the public reading of the Greek translation to Parshat Hashavuah (weekly Torah portion) on Shabbat morning and prohibited Rabbis from giving drashot on the Torah portion.

    1049: Beginning of the papacy of Leo IX, one of the major players in the creation of the Schism of 1054 that would result in the official split of Christianity into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.  Over the next several centuries, Jewish communities would get caught in the cross-fire between these completing Christian sects resulting in death and destruction.  One example was the Great Cossack Uprising that would pit Eastern Orthodox Ukrainians against their Polish Catholic masters.  The worst example is World War I which started, in part, when the Tsar saw himself as the protector of the Serbs who were Orthodox against the Austrians who were Roman Catholics.

    1130: Innocent II was elected Pope. He presided over the Second Council of the Latern which did not issue any canons aimed at the Jews.  But it did issue one that forbade Christians from lending money for interest which would have a long-range impact on the Jews.

    1481: The first Auto de Fe took place in Seville, Spain. Six Morrano men and six women were burned for allegedly practicing Judaism. These practices could include not eating pig - for whatever reason, washing hands before prayer, changing clothes on the Sabbath, etc. Over two thousand Inquisitions are said to have taken place in the Iberian Peninsula and its colonies. The number of victims in Spain alone is estimated at 39,912.

    1486: Over 750 people would be mandated to participate on this very cold day as prisoners in an auto-de-fe in Toledo. They were forced to march barefooted and bareheaded through the streets. Many people came from the countryside to howl and scorn at the prisoners. Among some of the many stipulations of punishment, was the fining of 1/5 of their property, to which the funds went to battle the Muslims in Granada, as well as public self-flagellation over six consecutive Fridays.

    1541: Santiago, Chile is founded by Pedro de Valdivia. One of those accompanying de Valdivia was a Converso named Rodrigo de Orgonos. Any “Jews” settling in the lands of the Inquisition would have been Conversos so lineage can be a difficult thing to establish.

    1663: Birthdate of Cotton Mather the famous Puritan minister who wanted the Jews to convert to his brand of Christianity but who was not an anti-Semite willing to use secular power to bring this about.

    1689: The Declaration of Rights which had been drawn by the Convention Parliament was finalized today.  The Declaration created the legal fiction that would protect the rights of Protestants in England and pave the way for William and Mary to ascend to the throne.  The latter event was in the best interest of England’s fledgling Jewish population.

    1699: A committee consisting of António Gomes Serra, Menasseh Mendes, Alfonso Rodrigues, Manuel Nunez Miranda, Andrea Lopez, and Pontaleão Rodriguez signed a contract with Joseph Avis, a Quaker, for the construction of a building that would serve as a new synagogue in London at a cost of £2,750. Avis would later decline to collect his fee, on the ground that it was wrong to profit from building a house of God. In 1698 Rabbi David Nieto had taken charge of a congregation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews or Sephardim who met in a small synagogue in Creechurch Lane. A significant growth in the Jewish community had made it necessary to find larger quarters for the congregation.  The result of this quest was this new construction which would eventually take place on a tract of land at Plough Yard in a section called Bevis Marks; hence the synagogue came to be known as the Bevis Marks Congreaton.

    1753: Birthdate Bernhard Eskeles, the Viennese son-in-law of Daniel Itzig who established the banking house of Arnstein and Eskeles with his brother-in-law Nathan Arnstein and who provided financial guidance to “Emperors Joseph II and Francis II.”

    1768: In Tuscany Emperor Leopold I and Maria Luisa of Spain gave birth to Frederick II, the last of the Holy Roman Emperors and Fredrick I, the first of the Emperors of Austria.

    1737: Prince Carl Alexander, the duke of Württemberg, declared in a decree today "that the privy councillor of finance Joseph Süß Oppenheimer was a faithful servant of his prince and of the state, and was intent in every way upon the welfare of both, for which he deserved the thanks of all. Since instead he was persecuted by envy and ill-will to such an extent that attempts were even made to bring him into disfavor with the duke, the latter accorded him his especial protection and expressly forbade the continuation of such attacks." This was the Duke’s way of protecting Oppenheimer.  The protection would end with the Duke’s death.


    1762: In London, Hirschel Levin, the Chief Rabbi of London and his wife gave birth to Solomon Hirschell who served as Chief Rabbi of Great Britain from 1802 until his death in 1842.

    1798(26th of Shevat, 5558): Johann Jacob Rabe, who translated both the Babylonian and Jersualem Talmuds into German passed away today.

    1804: German philosopher Immanuel Kant passed away. Like many other philosophers of the Enlightenment Kant had less than positive things to say about the Jews. While this should not be the full measure of the man he did “note in a lecture on practical philosophy, ‘Every coward is a liar; Jews for example, not only in business, but also in common life.’"  In “German Idealism and the Jew, Michael Mack, a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argues there is a deep affinity between modern anti-Semitism and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, perhaps the greatest thinker to emerge from the Enlightenment.”  According to Mack, “for Kant, motives could only be good if they were not aimed at any material benefit. He saw Judaism as an inherently materialist religion, based upon a quid pro quo between God and His chosen people. In order to fully define the formal structures of his philosophy (autonomy, reason, morality and freedom), Kant almost unconsciously fantasized about the Jews as it’s opposite. He posited Judaism as an abstract principle that does nothing else but, paradoxically, desire the consumption of material goods.”

    1809: Birthdate of Charles Darwin, the naturalist who developed The Theory of Evolution.  For the most part Jewish leaders have been able to harmonize Darwin with the Bible. One of the exceptions is Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who opposed the theory of evolution and issued rulings forbidding the reading of text on evolution

    1809: Birthdate of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States. Jews made up a comparatively miniscule part of the American population during the Age of Lincoln.  When Lincoln was born there were approximately seven million people living the United States of whom approximately 2,000 were Jewish. By 1850, when Lincoln’s political career was extremely active, there were approximately 50,000 Jews living among a population of over 23 million Americans.  In Illinois, the Jewish population could not have numbered much more than 200, most of whom lived in Illinois.  By the time Lincoln was elected President, there were approximately 150,000 Jews living among 31,000,000 Americans.  Of the 1,700,000 people living in “the Land of Lincoln,” approximately 1,500 were Jewish.  Given these comparatively miniscule numbers, there was a surprising close connection between Lincoln and the Jewish people on both a personal and communal basis. At the personal level, Abraham Jonas of Quincy, Illinois, the brother of Joseph Jonas, the first Jewish settler of Cincinnati was one of Lincoln’s closest friends and earliest supporters.  According to the City of Quincy Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Jonas arrived in Quincy I838 and was the town’s first Jewish citizen. The friendship between Jonas and Lincoln began that same year and was to last for the next quarter of a century.  Their personal bond was cemented by a politics when the two served together in the Illinois legislature during the 1840’s. Jonas and Lincoln were early members of the Republican Party and Jonas “handled arrangements for his friend’s arrival for the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debate in Quincy.”  Jonas and his law partner, Henry Asbury, may have been the first two to “float” Lincoln’s name as Presidential candidate.  When Horace Greely, the powerful New York newspaper publisher spoke in Quincy in December of 1858, the two proposed that the eastern powerbroker might want to consider Lincoln as candidate for the top spot on the Republican ticket in 1860.  Jonas did go to the Republican convention in 1860 where “he worked the floor to help secure the nomination” for his long time personal and political friend. Louis Naphtali Dembitz a twenty-eight year old lawyer, civic leader and prominent member of the Louisville, KY. Jewish community was one of the three delegates who placed Lincoln’s name in nomination at the Republican Convention held in Chicago. Dembitz was the uncle of Louis Dembitz Brandeis who was four at the time of the convention and who would become the first Jewish Justice to sit on the Supreme Court.   Abraham Kohn, City Clerk of Chicago, was another Jew who was an early supporter of Lincoln and who worked at the Republican Convention to secure his nomination.  After Lincoln’s nomination, Kohn gave him a flag that included the following verse from the Book of Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Other early, ardent supporters of Lincoln included the philanthropist Moses Dropsie, founder of Dropsie College and Sigmund Kaufman a German-Jewish newspaper publisher in New York “who worked furiously and successfully to deliver the German immigrant vote to Lincoln.”  Kaufman also served as one of the electors for the State of New York and as such helped turn Lincoln’s popular vote lead into an Electoral College victory.  In 1863, following the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lincoln visited the hospital bed of the mortally wounded hero Lt. Col Leopold Newman, and personally presented him with his commission of appointment as a brigadier general in the Union Army. At the communal level, Lincoln was the first President to make it possible for Rabbis to serve as military chaplains. He signed the 1862 Act of Congress which changed the law that had previously barred all but Christian clergymen from being chaplains. Lincoln showed his support for Jews in the face of European anti-Semitism.  He appointed a Jew to serve as Counsel in Zurich as a way of letting the Swiss know that the United States government would not tolerate discrimination against American Jews doing business in Switzerland and that the United States Government did not look favorably on the discriminatory treatment of Swiss citizens who were Jewish. But Lincoln’s most famous moment in dealing with the Jews came when he countermanded Grant’s infamous Order #11. The vast majority of Jews were loyal supporters of the Union even in those dark days when the Copperheads and their allies called upon Lincoln to “let our wayward sisters depart in peace.”  Of course, Lincoln came to be viewed as an American Moses who led the African-American Slaves to freedom. Ironically, Lincoln was killed during Pesach, the Jewish holiday of freedom that provided so much of the liberation motif for the work of the Great Emancipator.

    1815: Birthdate of Hermann Ottomar Friedrich Goedsche the anti-Semitic author who wrote under the pseudonym Sir. John Retcliffe.

    1818: Bernardo O'Higgins signs the Independence of Chile near Concepción. According to the Virtual Jewis Library“The Inquisition was abolished with the establishment of Chilean independence in 1818. Many Jewish citizens or descendants of Converso families were involved in the country's struggle for independence, including General Jose Miguel Carrera, who traced his lineage back to Diego Garcia de Caceres. Carrera was nominated to be the first president of Chile, although Manuel Blanco Encalada actually became the Chilean leader. Diego Portales, father of the 1833 Chilean constitution, also claimed descent from Caceres. Many non-Jewish leaders of the revolution had close ties with Jewish individuals. The first president of the Republic of Chile, Bernard O'Higgins, spent time in the home of Juan Albano Peyreyra, possibly of Jewish ancestry.”

    1826: Birthdate of German Chemist Moritz Traube whose work was sought after by many leading scientist of the time and whose marriage to Bertha Moll in 1855 produced chemist Wilhelm Traube and mineralogist Hermann Traube.

    1829: Birthdate of Leonce Cohen, the Parisian musician who received the "Prix de Rome," in 1851 “and became soon afterward one of the violinists at the Thétre Italien at Paris.”

    1837(8thof Adar I, 5597): Fifty-year old Karl Ludwig Börne the German author and political philosopher who had changed his name from Lion Baruch when he became a Lutheran, passed away today.

    1842: Birthdate of Henri Jean Baptiste Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu author Les Juifs et l'Antisémitisme; Israël chez les Nationswhich was translated as Israel Among the Nations: A study of the Jews and Antisemitism by Frances Hellman and published by Putnam andL'Antisémitisme in 1897.

    1849: An article published in Wetumpka Daily Standard published was critical of Judge Solomon Heydefeldt's plan to put an end to "unlimited slave immigration" in Alabama.  Heydefeldt  was no abolitionist. He was afraid that "the state would become impoverished through the uncontrolled 'dumping' of slaves in Alabama."  His critic claimed that the Judge's plan would cause the price of slaves to soar and would deprive "the poor who hoped ... to become slave owners of any expectation of economic advancement.

    1855: Birthdate of Yankev P. Adler, a native of the Russian Empire who, as Jacob Adler would gain fame as an actor and a star of the Yiddish Theatre in Odessa, London and New York City.

    1855: Michigan State University was established. According to recent figures, MSU has 3,000 Jewish undergrads out of a total of 36,000 students and 500 Jewish grad students out of a total of 10,000 graduate students.  MSU offers approximately 25 Jewish Studies courses as well as a Major in Jewish Studies. The university offers a study program in Israel and is home to a Hillel chapter.

    1860(19thof Shevat, 5620): Seventy-one year old Isaac Baer Levinsohn, the Russian leader of the Haskalah whose seminal work was Bet Yehuda published in 1837, passed away today.

    1862: After having been arrested and imprisoned at Warsaw  in November, 1861 for activities construed supportive of the Polish Revolution, Talmudist Marcus Jastrow was released because he was a Prussian after which he was deported.


    1864: During the Civil War, "the Confederate Congress voted in secret to create "bodies for the capture destruction of the enemies' property."  Officially known as the Bureau of Special and Secret Service, the unit was funded by the Department of State which was headed by Judah P. Benjamin who now "took on the most dangerous assignment Jefferson Davis had given him, that of spymaster."

    1870: Women gained the right to vote in Utah Territory. At this time, the Watters family, Ichel and his new bride Augusta were active members of the community.  According to one account, “Augusta thrived on the challenge of frontier life, becoming a hardy pioneer and eventually a mainstay of the Salt Lake City Jewish Community.

    1873(15thof Shevat, 5633): Tu B’Shevat

    1874: The Young Ladies’ Charitable Union is scheduled to host a fund raiser at the Lyceum Theatre for the Home for Aged Hebrews.

    1877: It was reported today that the Ottoman government “will not press its condition regarding the treat of the Jews of Serbia.”  [Editor’s note: This has little to do with the Jews and everything to do with the Great Powers jockeying for control over the Ottoman Empire.  In an attempt to discredit the Constantinople Conference at which the great powers began slicing up the European portions of the empire, the Turks announced the adoption of a constitution that included a declaration of equal rights for all religious minorities in the Islamic Empire.  This brief statement, which proved to be true, was the Porte’s way of saying that the Christians of Serbia would not have to grant equal rights to the Jews which the Sultan hoped would be a way of guaranteeing Serbian loyalty.]

    1880(30th of Shevat, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1882: It was reported today that the Times of London has published an article written by a mysterious Russian woman known as “O.K.” in tone that offers an apology for the treatment of the Jews living in Russia. The veracity of this author is questionable since she also extols the virtues of Siberia which she described as a land of promise which will soon be over-run by Russian emigrants seeking to live there.

    1883: The United States State Department sought Adolphus Simeon Solomons’ advice and assistance regarding the distribution of charity funds to Americans in Ottoman Palestine. Solomons was as a Sephardic Jew born in New York in 1826 who moved to Washington, DC where he made several influential friends and was important enough to have been offered the position of Governor of the District of Columbia by President U.S. Grant.  Solomons did not accept the offer.

    1884(16th of Shevat): German author and religious reformer Aaron Bernstein passed away

    1884: Birthdate of Max Beckmann, German-born post-modernist painter

    1885: Birthdate of vicious anti-Semite Julius Streicher, the Nazi leader who created such publications as Der Strumer

    1886: Ha-Yom, the first Hebrew daily newspaper was published in St. Petersburg

    1890: A summary of the activities of the United Hebrew Charities for the month of January published today described the aid given to 963 families containing 4.4042 members for the month.

    1890: “Among the East Side Hebrew Poor” published today described a meeting at Temple Beth-El attended by a large number of young Jews as well as prominent leaders including Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler and Mark Ash of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association where “plans were formulated “ to create an organization to aid the Jews living “on the east side between 42nd and 86thStreets and from Fifth Avenue to the River.”

    1890: It was reported today that Rudolph Grossman, the assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth El has been elected president of newly form organization designed to bring aid to the poor Jews of the East Side from their wealthier coreligionists.  Charles S. August has been elected Secretary.

    1892: As New York public health officials start to deal with an outbreak of typhus it was reported that some of the first victims were fifty-seven Jewish men, women and children who had been “driven out of Russia” who finally made their way to Marseilles where they board the SS Massilia.  They arrived in New York after twenty nine days at sea.  These public health officials connect the outbreak of typhus with conditions aboard the ship and debilitated conditions of the immigrant passengers.

    1893: It was reported today that at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Jastrow has begun teaching a special course in Hebrew designed primarily for (Protestant) clergyman.  (Editor’s note: Professor Jastrow is Morris Jastrow, Jr., who the librarian-in-chief at the school and the son of Marcus Jastrow, the rabbi at Philadelphia’s Rodeph Shalom.)

    1893: “Priests and Pigeons” published today described a humorous episode during a Sunday school lesson being taught to youngsters about Haggai and Zachariah.


    1893: “Interesting News From Other Schools And Colleges” published today described newly created Harvard Semitic Museum which included Hebrew “rolls of the law and rolls of the prophets” as well as “some translation of the Hebrew Bible into Arabic.

    1894: Sixty-four year old musical leader and reputed anti-Semite Hans von Bulow passed away today

    1894: “Ingersoll Praised and Censured” published today summarized the disagreement that Rabbi Joseph Silverman has with agnostic Robert Ingersoll over the latter’s views on Moses. Silverman does not blame Ingersoll for his mischaracterization of the Jewish sage because “The spirit of the Hebrew Scriptures can never be translated.  A man, to read the Bible rightly must hot only understand the language in which it was written, but he must know the customs and traits of the people.”

    1895: The Purim Association will sponsor a performance of Verdi’s “Falstaff” at the Metropolitan Opera House. The associated has been sponsored an event like this each at Purim time since 1868.  Since 1874 each of these events has raised on the average of $15,000 in net proceeds which go to a variety of charities including Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. 

    1895: The district of B’nai B’rth that includes the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia opened its annual convention in Atlanta, GA today.

    1896: Herzl writes a "Literary Testament".

    1897: During today’s dedication of the new building belong to the Hebrew Technical Institute; Joseph B. Bloomingdale presented the key to the building to James H. Hoffman, President of the Institute.

    1897: In the course of his talk at the dedication exercise of the Hebrew Technical Institute, Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt explained that he had a duty to see to it that Herr Alwardt, the German anti-Semite could speak publicly and that he was fully protected by the police.  To that end, Roosevelt “selected a cordon of forty officers to preserve the peace, and they were all Hebrews, and what is more, they did preserve the peace.” (Editor’s Note: This year, an episode of “Blue Bloods” a television show featuring Tom Sellick as the NYC Police Commissioner drew on this event to resolve part of it plot line.)

    1897: Birthdate of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter. Known as "Czar Lepke," Buchalter was a product of the Brooklyn underworld.  During the 1920's he formed the notorious gang called "Murder Incorporated."  The gang specialized in the protection racket.  They began with furriers and leather goods and eventually branched out into the entire garment industry.  During the 1930's, Murder Incorporated was being a small fortune by the movie studios in Hollywood.  Lepke's two decade long reign of terror came to an end when Thomas Dewey went after a variety of gangsters during the late 1930's and 1940's.  Lepke was convicted of murder and electrocuted in March, 1944.  Yes, there were other Jewish gangsters.  But they were a small part of the Jewish population and their criminal activities were never a source of pride.

    1897: It was reported today that Secretary Edward T. Devine has said that “The Department of Charities finds no material increase of destitution this year…except among the” Jews because so many of them worked in the garment making industry which is in a slump.  The Department sends all of the “destitute” Jews to the United Hebrew Charities which takes care of them.  (These comments came during a debate about the advisability of providing free food to the poor, something Devine and others opposed)

    1897: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El delivered the opening prayer at today’s dedication of the new building that will be part of the Hebrew Technical Institute on Stuyvesant Street.

    1898: Professor C.H. Toy delivered the second in a series of lectures on “The Dawn of Literature” entitled “The Dawn of Literature in Babylonia and Egypt” which included numerous comparisons between these two cultures and the literature created by the Jews that is preserved in the Bible.

    1899: Among the bills introduced in the New York State Legislature seeking tax exemptions was one brought forward by Mr. Sanders, “exempting the real estate now owned or which may hereafter be acquired by the Beth Israel Hospital Association in the City of New Yorkk”

    1901: Herzl meets Lady Battersea, Rothschild's cousin in the apartment of Israel Zangwil.

    1903(15thof Shevat, 5663): Tu B’Shevat

    1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded. Henry Moskowitz a Jewish physician, and civil rights activist, was one of the six co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Jewish attorney Jack Greenberg played a prominent role in one of the most famous moments in the history of the N.A.A.C.P. He was Assistant Counsel from 1949 to 1961 for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and then, from 1961 to 1984, he succeeded Thurgood Marshall as Director Counsel. Greenberg was one of the attorneys who argued Brown v. Board of Education before the United States Supreme Court as co-counsel for the plaintiffs with Thurgood Marshall.


    1912: Arrangements were made today by the family of Washington Seligman to move his body from the Hotel Grand where he had shot himself to Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue.

    1912(24thof Shevat, 5672): Louis Heilprin, the Hungarian born historian and encyclopedia editor who was a follower of Lajos Kossuth passed away.  He was part of an intellectual family including his brother Angelo, his grandfather Pinchas and his father Michael who was an editor for the American Cyclopedia and a contributor to The Nation.

    1915: Birthdate of Canadian actor Lorne Greene.  Greene’s most famous role was that Ben “Pa” Cartwright on Bonanza.  Considering the fact that Little Joe was also played by a Jewish actor, half of America’s favorite cowboy family were MOT- “The Ponderosa” as western homeland for the Jews.

    1915: Joseph Zimmerman was award the Pell Gold Medal for the student who ranks highest in all the studies of the year and the Prager Memorial Prize for the student who ranks highest in the senior year at today’s commencement exercise for the College of the City of New York today.

    1915: A list of contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee published today included the Jewish Charities of Cleveland, Ohio, Calgary J.R.C., Lafayette Indiana Orthodox Jews, and the Young Russian Friends Association.

    1916: Birthdate of Dutch born actor Max Geldray.  Born in Holland and living in France and touring under such names as "Mac Geldray and his Mouth-Accordion Band", Van Gelder fled to England during the early days of WWII and was injured participating in the Normandy landings in 1944. Tragically, his sister died in a concentration camp during the war. After the war Geldray continued his career as a jazz harmonica player. He was part of the original cast of the 1950's radio show The Goon Show sharing the stage with Peter Sellers.  He stayed on the show for its entire run of nine years. Afterwards, he retired to California, playing at gigs in Reno and Los Angeles, later volunteering at the Betty Ford Center and similar institutions.  He passed away in 2004. 

    1918: In New York City, Belle (née Rosenfeld) and Benjamin Schwinger, a garment manufacturer, gave birth to Nobel Prize winning American theoretical physicist Julian Seymour Schwinger

    1922: Achille Ratti is formally installed as Pope Pius XI. Early in his papacy, Pius did sign concordats with various fascist governments.  But he must have had a change of heart.  By the time he died he spoken out against fascism and racism and called for measures to protect Jews.

    1923: Twenty-five year old Gene Barry (born Eugene Klass) married Betty Claire Kalb

    1924: George Gershwin's ''Rhapsody in Blue'' premiered in New York City.

     1924: George Kaufman's "Beggar on Horseback" premiered in New York City.

    1924: The Eveready Hour was the first commercially sponsored variety program in the history of broadcasting which featured repeated appearances by conductor Nathanial Shilkret on WEAF Radio in New York.

    1925:”The Estonian government passed a law pertaining to the cultural autonomy of minority peoples. This was a logical step forward in the national policies of the Estonian Republic. The Jewish community quickly prepared its application for cultural autonomy. Statistics on Jewish citizens were compiled. They totaled 3,045, fulfilling the minimum requirement of 3000 for cultural autonomy. In June 1926 the Jewish Cultural Council was elected and Jewish cultural autonomy was declared. The administrative organ of this autonomy was the Board of Jewish Culture, headed by Hirsch Aisenstadt until it was disbanded in 1940.”

    1925: After arriving in New York yesterday, Dr. Chaim Weizmann reports on the vibrant condition of the economy in Palestine and of “the numerous business opportunities of which Americans may take advantage.”  Weizmann said that while in the United States he will be seeking a loan of $2,000,000 at seven per cent interest designed to pay for development in Tel Aviv and four large near-by settlements.  The government in Palestine had already given its approval for Weizmann to try and raise the funds.

    1926(28thof Shevat, 5686): Fifty-six year old René Worms, a scion of the distinguished French family whose accomplishments including the establishment of the"Revue Internationale de Sociologie”,  the "Bibliothèque Sociologique Internationale," the Institut International de Sociologie and the Société de Sociologie de Paris which earned him being named a chevalier of the Legion of Honor, passed away today.

    1929: “The Christian and the Moslem communities of Palestine were urged to lend their best cooperation to the efforts of the Jewish people in the rebuilding of the Holy Land by John Haynes Homes, pastor of the New York Community church, was the guest of honor at a reception given to him today by the municipality of Tel Aviv at City Hall.


    1929: Birthdate of Gyorgy Braun, the native of Mateszalka, Hungary, who survived the Holocaust and made a new life for himself in Los Angeles as George Brown

     1930: Birthdate of Arlen Specter, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.  During the twentieth century, most Jewish office holders were Democrats.  Specter was unusual because he rose to prominence as a Republican.  Today, there are a record number of Jews serving in the U.S. Senate.  For most Americans, Jewish public officials are such an accepted fact of life that both Senators from California are Jewish.  And places like Minnesota, hardly a state with a large bloc of Jewish voters, elect Jews to Congress (As reported by Peter Jackson)

    1932: Birthdate of economist and author Julian Simon.

    1932: Birthdate of pianist Jerome Lowenthal.

    1935: The first Palestine-owned ships of modern times will start service here today, restoring to the Jewish people a profession in which they have had little part since the ancient Phoenicians.  Two new ships Mount Zion and Tel Aviv sail between Palestine, Constananza and Trieste.  While the ships are of “British naval design” they will have Jewish skippers and crews.

    1936: Birthdate of American actor Paul Shenar described as being of Turkish and Jewish ancestry. Count this as a maybe.

    1936(19th of Shevat): Yiddish historian and journalist Peter Wiernik passed away

    1936: Birthdate of Binyamin Fuad Ben-Eliezer, a native of Iraq who made Aliyah in 1950.  He served in the IDF from 1954 through 1984 and then entered into a successful political career that included service as the Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister.

    1937: U.S. Premiere of “On the Avenue,” with a story and songs by Irving Berlin and Samuel Pokrass, co-starring the Ritz Brothers.

    1937: Wilhelm Zoellner resigned as head of the Confessing Church “after the Gestapo had denied him the right to visit some imprisoned pastors.”

    1938: German troops entered Austria in an event known as the Anschluss.  After the war, Austrians tried to present themselves as the first victims of the Nazis.  The cheering crowds that greeted Hitler at that time tell a different story.  The Austrians were quick to adopt the German attitude toward Austrian Jews. 

     1938: Birthdate of author Judy Blume. “Her most famous book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; focused on an 11-year-old girl being brought up by Jewish and non-Jewish parents, and the difficulties she faced in trying to decide which religion to follow.” Blume grew up with two Jewish parents in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    1938: Hitler met with Chancellor Schuschinigg of Austria, claiming that the acts of Austria were treasonous. Hitler put forth extreme written demands designed to make way for Nazism in Austria. Hitler threatened to end a civil relationship between their two countries.

    1939: Birthdate of Leon Richard Kass the Chicago born son of “Yiddish speaking, secular, socialist” Jewish immigrants whose exciting life has included everything from Civil Rights Summer with his wife Amy Apfel to serving as chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics during the George Bush’s first term in the White House.

    1940: The British War Cabinet discussed the 1939 White Paper to limit Jewish land purchase in Palestine.  Despite a protest from Churchill, the land limitation regulations would be put into force.

     1941: The Nazis established the JewishCouncil for Amsterdam under Abraham Asscher, prominent Amsterdam businessman and David Cohen, a professor of ancient history at the Municipal University of Amsterdam.

    1941: In Amsterdam, German soldiers, assisted by Dutch police, encircled the old Jewish neighborhood and cordoned it off from the rest of the city by putting up barbed wire, opening bridges and putting in police checkpoints which meant that this neighborhood was now forbidden for non-Jews effectively making it a Ghetto.

    1941: Occupation Police arrested the "Jewish Foursome"1942(25th of Shevat, 5702): The Nazis rounded up and murdered 3,000 Jews in the Ukrainian town of Brailov. The Jewish community in the Shtetel of Brailov can be traced back at least to the start of the 17th century. After the war Brailov was the subject of a 52-minute documentary called “Judenfrei: A Shtetl Without Jews.”

    1942: Birthdate of Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel.

    1942(25th of Shevat, 5702): Avraham Stern was killed after being captured by British authorities in Tel Aviv.  Stern was the leader of Lechia Hebrew acronym for Lohamei Cherut Israel, "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel", לח"י - לוחמי חירות ישראל) also known as the Stern Gang.  The Polish born Stern had become progressively more violent as he moved from the Haganah, to the Irgun, to his own Stern Gang.  Stern reportedly approached the German and Italian regimes offering to swap helping them in defeating the British for the creation of a Jewish state.  Needless to say, the leaders of the Yishuv disowned Stern and his gang, labeling them as terrorists operating in a way unacceptable to the Jewish community. 1943: Aizik Feder smuggled a letter out of Drancy, France, to his wife. "Tomorrow I am leaving. . . Courage! Courage! Courage!" The next day he is one of 1,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz. He and 311 others were tattooed with a number. The rest were killed. Only 20 of the 311 would survive the war.

    1944: Incendiary bombs that exploded simultaneously in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv tonight damaged immigration offices in all three cities.  The bombings were thought to be the work of those who sought to destroy the buildings where the anti-Jewish immigration policies are given practical application.  “Responsible Jewish” leaders expressed their disapproval of the “criminal methods of fighting the immigration issue.”

    1947(22nd of Shevat, 5707): Dr. Kurt Lewin, German born social psychologist, passed away.  A believer in Gestalt psychology, Lewin, a veteran of the Kaiser’s Army, came to United States in 1933 and became a U.S. citizen in 1940.

    1947(22nd of Shevat, 5707): Moses Gomberg passed away. Born in Russia, he was educated in the United States and became a chemistry professor at the University of Michigan. “In 1896–1897 he took a year's leave to work as a postdoctoral researcher with Baeyer and Thiele in Munich and with Victor Meyer in Heidelberg, where he successfully prepared the long-elusive tetraphenylmethane.”

    1949: An unidentified aircraft bombed Jerusalem.  Based on various sources the plane might have been Egyptian or British.

    1950: Albert Einstein warned against the building of the hydrogen bomb.

     1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that 20 persons were injured in the course of a Communist demonstration held in Tel Aviv by the Israel-USSR Friendship League. Skirmishes broke out, outside the previously bombed Soviet Legation, between Communists and Israelis outraged by the recent vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli Soviet campaign. The Soviet Ambassador, Mr. Pavel Yershov, received Mr. S. Mikunis and Dr. Moshe Sneh, in the presence of reporters, an unusual diplomatic occurrence. Israeli police arrested 27 persons in connection with the bombing of the Soviet Legation. Moscow radio accused Israeli police of a "clear connivance" in the bombing.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in his address to UN officers, Syrian Colonel Ghassan Shabib, a senior Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission delegate had declared, "This country has no room for both peoples. There should be either Jews or Arabs."

    1956: Birthdate of Paula Zahn, CNN news anchor

    1956(30thof Shevat, 5716): Forty-six year old German born Israeli journalist Ezriel Carlebach died of a heart attack. There is no way that this blog can do just to the fascinating life of this man, whom if you did not know he was real, would swear that Ian Fleming or David Baldacci, had created for one of their novels.

    1964: The Beatles performed at a sold-out concert in Carnegie Hall arranged by impresario Sid Bernstein who repeated the same success later with the Rolling Stones.

    1966: Birthdate of Mario Javier Saban, the native of Buenos Aires who “who is descended from Spanish Jews who took refuge in the Ottoman Empire” and is the author of the best-selling Converted Jews.

    1969(24thof Shevat, 5729): Sixty-one year old James Joseph Packman, the native of Biala who came to the United States in 1910 and carved out a career as a “banker, journalist and publicist passed away today.

    1969: In Brooklyn, public school teachers Charlotte and Abraham Aronofsky, who are Conservative Jews of Ukrainian Jewish descent gave birth to film director Darren Aronofsky

     1973(10th of Adar I, 5733): British composer Benjamin Frankel passed away at the age of 67.  Born to Polish parents who had moved to England,  the first major work to bring Frankel to wider public attention was the Violin Concerto dedicated " In memory of the six million'", a reference to the Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the US Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, called on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the administered areas and dismantle the existing ones in the Rafiah salient.

    1979(15thof Shevat, 5739): Tu B’Shevat

    1980(25th of Shevat, 5740):Muriel Rukeyser, poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism, passed away. “Her poem To be a Jew in the Twentieth Century(1944), on the theme of Judaism as a gift, was adopted by the American Reform and Reconstructionist movements for their prayer books, something Rukeyser said ‘astonished’ her, as she had remained distant from Judaism throughout her early life.”

    1982: U.S. premiere of “Making Love,”  “one of the earliest films to deal with homosexuality” directed by Arthur Hiller, co-produced by Daniel Melnick with a story by A. Scott Berg.

    1986: After spending eight years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, human rights activist Anatoly Scharansky was released. The amnesty deal was arranged by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a summit meeting three months earlier. Scharansky was imprisoned for his campaign to win the right for Russian Jews, officially forbidden to practice Judaism, to emigrate from the USSR. Convicted of treason and agitation, Soviet authorities also labeled him an American spy. After his release, he immigrated to Israel, where he was given a hero's welcome. Later, as a member of Israel's parliament, he was an outspoken defender of Russian Jews.

    1990: Vanities on the Bonfire published today described the fall from financial grace of Peter Cohen, Chairman of Shearson Lehman Hutton.

    1990: In the following article entitled “As Jerusalem Labors to Settle Soviet Jews, Native Israelis Slip Quietly Away,” Joel Brinkley describes Israel’s attempts to deal with the challenge of Yoradim.

    1991: In the early morning hours Iraq carried out its 13th Scud attack. The Scud was hit by the Patriot over a populated section of Tel Aviv and flaming missile parts slammed into the city. At least seven people were lightly injured. The Army reported extensive damage to houses and businesses. Rescue workers, firemen and ambulance crews rushed to the scene and set up barricades to keep curious neighbors away from the damaged area. The light injuries were typical of those sustained by hundreds of Israelis in three weeks of Scud missile attacks by Iraq. Most people have been hurt by shrapnel, flying glass, falling furniture or shock. One man was killed when his house collapsed during an early Scud attack, and three elderly Israelis died of heart failure during another assault

    1991: The first Lincoln Prize, funded by Lewis Lehrman, was awarded today to “film-maker Ken Burns for his Civil War Series on PBS” that was narrated by Shelby Foote.  (Lehrman and Foote were Jewish; Burns was not)

    1991: The Knesset passed a law whereby a Knesset member who changed political parties while still able to serve and vote in the Knesset itself, could not be made a Minister or a deputy minister and could not be promised a seat in the next Knesset.

    1993: U.S. premiere of “Groundhog Day,” the classic comedy directed by Harold Ramis who also co-authored the script.

    1994(1stof Adar, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1998: Yehuda Lev writes about “The Truth About the Media and Jews.”

    2002(30thof Shevat, 5762): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2002(30thof Shevat, 5672): One hundred eleven year old Theresa Bernstein, the Krakow native who became a leading American artist passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)






    2004: Mattel announced the split of Barbie and Ken. Barbie and Ken were named for the children of Jewish businesswoman Ruth Handler, the guiding light behind Mattel who gave the world these iconic toys.

    2006: Professional Indian-Jewish cricketer played for Saurashtra in their match against Maharashtra

    2006: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Lovers & Players by Jackie Collins (Jewish father, Anglican mother)

    2007: Bar-Ilan University is resisting pressure to fire history professor Ariel Toaff for writing a book arguing that there is a factual basis to some of the blood libels against the Jews in Europe in the Middle Ages, university president Moshe Kaveh's media consultant said today.

    2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings “Italian Jewish History & Identity,” two programs of documentaries, television shorts, and fiction films exploring little-known aspects of Italian Jewish history and identity presented by Centro Primo Levi

    2008:James L. Kugel, a professor of Hebrew at Harvard University from 1982 to 2003, discusses How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.

    2008: The social component of the Oscar award season kicked off for Beaufort with a screening and reception sponsored by the Israeli consulate and the entertainment division of the Jewish Federation.

    2008: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted this afternoon to designate as a landmark what is believed to be the oldest structure in Queens built as a synagogue. Estée Lauder once worshiped there, and Madonna once lived at a former yeshiva nearby. The synagogue, Congregation Tifereth Israel, at 109-18 54th Avenue in Corona, was built in 1911, when only 20,000 or so of New York’s 1.5 million Jews lived in Queens, according to a report by Kathryn E. Horak, a researcher at the commission. Designed by Crescent L. Varrone, the two-story, wood-frame synagogue combined Gothic and Moorish design with Judaic ornament: pointed-arched windows, a roundel with a Star of David in colored glass, and a gabled parapet. The original wood stoop and railing have been replaced with a brick porch with an iron railing, and the wood clapboard siding has been covered with stucco. The congregation, established in 1906 or 1907, primarily served Jews who had moved to Queens from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and its design mimicked that of synagogues in the neighborhood, which had been shoehorned into narrow tenement lots, similar in scale and material to neighboring tenements and commercial buildings, and featured symmetrical tripartite facades, with a central entrance and corner towers. According to Ms. Horak, there were two Jewish neighborhoods in Corona in the early part of the 20th century: an older and poorer one along Corona Avenue, where Jews managed shirtwaist factories, and a newer and more prosperous one along Northern Boulevard. Josephine Esther Mentzer, later known as Estée Lauder, the cosmetics pioneer who died in 2004 at age 97, was a member of Congregation Tifereth Israel as a young woman. An affiliated yeshiva, on 53rd Avenue, closed in the 1970s and was converted into a residence and music studio; Madonna lived there from 1979 to 1980. The synagogue continued to be used by a dwindling number of congregants until the 1990s, but fell into a state of disrepair, although a small community of Bukharan Jews from the former Soviet Union began meeting there in the mid-1990s. In 2002, the synagogue was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Estée Lauder once worshiped at Tifereth Israel and Madonna once lived at a former yeshiva nearby.

    2009: The American Friends of Tel Aviv University present a lecture by Professor Asher Susser, one of Israel's foremost policy analysts and a director of Tel Aviv University's Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies entitled "After the Vote: What's Next for Israel?"

    2009: Eric Weissberg joined the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College orchestra and chorus, along with the Riverside Inspirational Choir and NYC Labor Choir, in honoring Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday at the Riverside Church in New York City. Under the direction of Maurice Peress, they performed Earl Robinson's "The Lonesome Train: A Music Legend for Actors, Folk Singers, Choirs, and Orchestra" in which Weissberg was the banjo player

    2009: By a voice vote, the New York State Senate confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Lippman as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

    2009:One Hundred Years Ago today, WEB Dubois, Julius Rosenthal, Lillian Wald, Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, Stephen Wise and Henry Malkewitz formed the NAACP

    2010: The Winter Olympics are scheduled to open in Vancouver, Canada. Israel will field a team of three in Vancouver: Mykhaylo Renzyhn, an alpine skier originally from Latvia, and the brother-sister duo Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky, born in Belarus, who compete in ice dancing. Chicago native Ben Agosto, a 2006 Olympic silver medalist, is returning to compete in the ice-dancing pairs. Steve Mesler, a bobsledder from Buffalo, N.Y., is back for his third Olympics.  Laura Spector, 22, had qualified for the U.S. Olympic biathlon team that will be competing this month in Vancouver.

    2010: Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim an exhibition featuring the work of Tel Aviv native Dror Benshtrit is scheduled to open at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

    2010:The Israel Defense Forces thwarted an attempted stabbing attack by a Palestinian in Hebron today.

    2010: IDF soldiers opened artillery and gun fire on a group of four Palestinians rigging explosives near the Gaza border.

    2010: Anders Hogstrom was arrested today in Stockholm for allegedly ordering the theft of the metal sign reading “Arbeit macht frei” from the front gate at Auschwitz.  He was reportedly acting as angent for an unnamed British Nazi sympathizer who wanted to own the sign.

    2010(1 Adar, 5770):  Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2010(1 Adar, 5770): Seventy-one year old Allan Kornblum, who helped steer the F.B.I. into the post-J. Edgar Hoover era by drafting guidelines for its surveillance operations in the 1970s, and whose testimony helped convict the murderer of a black man in a celebrated civil rights case revived nearly 40 years after the event, died  today in Gainesville, Fla. (As reported by Patricia Sullivan)

    2010: The Art Market Monitor reported that The Jewish Museum in New York went shopping in London last week, where it bought a 1913 painting by Vuillard at Christie’s. The museum paid $464,430 for the painting, well above its $288,554 high estimate. The money was provided by a patron who wishes to remain anonymous.

    2011:The Matchmaker, “enchanting coming-of-age drama that tells the story of a relationship between an Israeli teen and a Holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages and has been nominated for 7 Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Film, is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: “The Yankles” and “Army of Crime” are scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:Egypt's ruling military reassured its international allies today that there would be no break in its peace deal with Israel following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak

    2011(8th of Adar I, 5771): Ninety-six year Sofia Cosma the concert pianist who survived the Gulag, passed away today.

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “All The Time In The World: New and Selected Stories” by E. L. Doctorow.

    2012: “Ahead of Time” and “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” are scheduled to be shown at the Athens Jewish Film Festival in Athens, GA.

    2012: As we celebrate the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, Edmon Rodman, has suggested that we take some time to remember Alfred W. Stern a Jewish clothing manufacturing executive who was “one of the greatest private collectors of works about Abraham Lincoln. (As reported by Edmon J. Rodman for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

    2012:A man was killed and three others were injured in an attack by the Israeli Air Force on tunnels and a weapons depot in the Gaza Strip today.

    2012:The Israel Air Force may stop the production of the Iron Dome and David Sling missile interception systems in 2012 as a result of insufficient funds, a military budget breakdown revealed today.

    2013: A multi week-course entitled “The Supreme Court in the Age of Holmes and Brandeis” is scheduled to begin this afternoon. How the scion of a prominent New England family and Kentucky-born son of Jewish immigrants came to make common bond on the High Court should make for a fascinating trip through the legal and social history of the United States.

    2013: “The Final Journey of King Herod the Great” is scheduled to open today at the Israel Museum. (As reported by Jessica Steinberg)

    2013: Prisoner X,” who hanged himself in an Israeli jail in 2010, was an Australian citizen who worked for the Mossad but apparently committed a heinous crime, perhaps treason, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported today.

    2013: Emergency services were in Jerusalem were placed on high alert today due to intelligence reports of a terror threat to the capital.

    2014: The Center For Jewish History is scheduled to present “Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue.”

    2014: “Zaytoun” and “Aftermath” are scheduled to be shown at the 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center

    2014: “The Eleventh Day – The Survivors of Munich 1972” – a documentary in which the seven Israeli Olympians who survived the massacre tell their own story – is scheduled to be shown at San Diego’s Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: “Some of France’s most esteemed culinary artists, including the head chef at the official residence of the French president, are scheduled to join the kitchens of some of Israel’s most popular restaurants, from Haifa to Beersheva, for a week of special menus and fusion cuisine.”

    2014: One hundred fifth anniversary of the founding the NAACP, America’s leading Civil Rights organization whose founding 6 members included Dr. Henry Moskowitz

    2014:’Israeli pairs skaters Evgeni Krasnopolsky and Andrea Davidovich finished the free skate finals in 15th place in the Sochi Winter Olympics today.”

    2014(12thof Adar I, 5774): Ninety-one year old comedian and early giant of live nighttime television Sid Caesar passed away today.

    2014(12thof Adar I 5774): Eighty-four year old New York real estate developer William Zeckendor, Jr. passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    2015: In Skokie, Illinois, Lyric Opera Orchestra is scheduled to perform chamber music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, composer of The Passenger at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

    2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz which was re-scheduled from January 27.

    2015: The Legacy Council at the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host The History of Matchmaking in the Jewish Community with Dr. Ruth Westheimer

    Hosted by the Legacy Council at the Center for Jewish History
    The History of Matchmaking in the Jewish Community with Dr. Ruth Westheimer

    Hosted by the Legacy Council at the Center for Jewish History
    The History of Matchmaking in the Jewish Community” with Dr. Ruth Westheimer

    2015: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host a Night of Israeli Cinema.

    2015: Observance of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the 16th President of the United States who is the subject of the soon to be published Lincoln and the Jews: A History by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell which should be as informative and interesting as Sarna’s previous Civil War efforts Jews and the Civil War and When Grant Expelled the Jews.


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    February 13

    515 BCE (3rd of Adar, 3245): Completion of the construction of the Second Temple at Jerusalem.

    1130: The Papacy of Honorius II came to an end. Honorius took no action that directly affected the Jewish people.  However, he did take an active role in the affairs of Eretz Israel as the ultimate leader of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Crusader-established entity that the Christians used to control the homeland of the Jews.

    1195: This day marked the Speyer (German) ritual-murder libel.  Although there was no proof of any wrongdoing, the Rabbi's daughter was dismembered and her body was hung in the market place for a few days. The rabbi, along with many others, was killed and their houses burned.

    1349: Jews were expelled from Burgsordf, Switzerland.

    1349: During the Black Plague, the newly chosen Town Council of Strasbourg, gave orders to arrest all the Jews in the city so that they could be put to death.

    1469: Birthdate of Elia Levita, early Hebrew grammarian and Yiddish author.

    1633: Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome so he can stand trial before the Inquisition for heresy. According to at least one source this episode highlighted a basic difference between Judaism and the Roman Catholic Church “There is no scientific fact regarding the natural world that in itself stands against any of the principles of Judaism.” (As reported by

    1689: William and Mary are proclaimed joint sovereigns of Great Britain following the Glorious Revolution. By now, Jews had officially returned to Great Britain. According to some sources, Jewish financiers provided support for the cause that brought the new monarchs to the throne.  Eleven years after they began their reign, the Act for Suppressing Blasphemy which made practicing Judaism legal, was enacted.  King William would knight Solomon de Medina making him the first Jewish peer of the realm.

    1728: Cotton Mather passed away.  Like many Puritans, he saw his people as the modern day Israelites.  For more on this see Cotton Mather and the Jews by Lee Friedman and “The Three Jewish Children At Berlin: Cotton Mather’s Obsession” by Linda Munk

    1776: A decree was issued forcing Jews who had moved out of the Ghetto of Frankfort to return

    1810: Birthdate of Naphtali Frankfurter, the native of Oberdorf who was the rabbi at the Reform temple in Hamburg and who was a member of the Hamburg Parliament.

    1815: Birthday of critic and anthologist Rufus Wilmot Griswold whose marriage to South Carolina Jewess Charlotte Myers in 1845 was either unusual or scandalous depending on which version one chooses to believe.  In a day before the term “cougar” was in use, the 33 anthologist’s marriage to the 42 year well-to-do matron raised eyebrows.

    1824: The will of Samuel Simons, a Jew living in Charleston, SC, was "proved today."  He left most of his estate "to relatives and institutions in London."  The one exception was “a bequest to his 'House Keeper Maria Chapman, a free woman of Colour" in the amount of "fourteen hundred dollars, two Negroes...with the issue and increase of the females and also two bedsteads bedding and chairs."  According to Sarna and Mendelssohn, a bequest of this size and nature would indicate that she was his mistress and not just a servant.

    1824: In London, Mr. and Mrs. Zakok Aaron Jessel, gave birth to Sir George Jessel an influential jurist who was the first Jew to serve as the Master of Rolls, the most senior judge in England and Wales with the exception of the Lord Chief Justice

    1829: Birthdate of Edmund Burke Wood the Canadian lawyer  who made a famous summation after presiding over the case of Kieva Barsky, one of a large group of Jewish refugees who had settled in Winnipeg in 1881 and 1882 after fleeing persecution in Russia. Barsky had been the victim of a vicious anti-Semitic attack while working on the Canadian Pacific Railway, narrowly escaping death when a certain Charles Wicks attacked him with an iron bar. Wood spoke of the contribution of the Jewish people to human history and said that it “...was wholly out of keeping with Canadian justice and surely not in keeping with the asylum that should be offered to persecuted Jewry” that this sort of act should be tolerated

    1833(24th of Shevat): Rabbi Ezekeiel Feivel be Ze’ev Wolf, the Maggid of Vilno author of Musar Haskel passed away

    1841: Birthdate of Heinemann Vogelstein a German rabbi who was a leader of the Reform Movement and the father of Hermann, Ludwig and Theodor Vogelstein and of Julie Braun-Vogelstein.

    1847: Sharon Turner the English historian and friend of Isaac D’Israeli passed away today.  It was Turner who provided the advice to the Anglo-Jewish intellectual that led to the baptism of his children including the future Earl of Beaconsfield.

    1847(27th of Shevat): Rabbi Zundel, author Kenaf Rananim passed away

    1849: Birthdate of Lord Randolph Churchill, the father of Sir Winston Churchill.  Unlike many of his class, according to the great historian Martin Gilbert, Churchill “was noted for his friendship with individual Jews.” Lord Randolph had so many Jewish friends that he was the butt of jokes at his clubs. Of course the Jews with whom Churchill associated were men of his economic and social class such as the Rothschilds and Sir Ernest Cassel, a close personal friend of the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward). According to Gilbert who was Sir Winston’s official biographer, the younger Churchill’s Jewish friendships were originally an attempt to show support for his father and gain the paternal approval he so longed for.

    1851:Charles VI “an 1843 French grand opera in five acts with music composed by Fromental Halevy” was performed for the first time in German in Hamburg.

    1860(20thof Shevat, 5620): Seventy-one year old Isaac Baer Levinsohn “a notable Russian-Hebrew scholar, satirist, writer and Haskalah leader who was called ‘the Russian Mendelssohn’” passed away today.

    1862: Birthdate of musician Karel Weis who composed “The Polish Jew.

    1864: Union General Benjamin Butler responded to a second letter from N.S. Isaacs in which he had complained about the General’s negative characterization of Jews, stating that they were smuggling supplies to Confederates in Louisiana and then describing them in classic anti-Semitic terms. In defending himself, the General wrote, “I admit that my experience with men of the Jewish faith or nation has been an unfortunate one. Living in an inland town in Massachusetts before the war, I had met but few…”

    1865: Private Abraham Greenawalkt, Company G, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, U.S. Army was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courageous service at the Battle of Franklin in November, 1864.

    1866: Birthdate of Lev Isaakovich Schwarzmann, the Russian born philosopher who gained fame as Lev Isaakovich Shestov.  He was forced to flee after the October Revolution and found refuge in France where he died in 1938.

    1870: In a town near Wilno, Anna and Maciej Godowsky, gave birth to pianist and composer Leopold Godowsky.

    1871: In Omaha, Nebraska, Leah and Edward Rosewater gave birth to Victor S. Rosewater who followed in his father’s footsteps as editor and publisher of the Omaha Bee and a leader in Republican Party politics.

    1874: It was reported today that Glad Tidings, a Jewish journal is being printed every Friday in Calcutta using “the Arabic language and Hebrews characters.”

    1875(7th of Adar I, 5635): Rabbi Zacharias Frankel passed away.  The scion of a rabbinic family from Prague, Frankel “was the founder, in Germany, of Historical Judaism, the forerunner of Conservative Judaism in America. A member of the first generation of modern rabbis, Frankel fashioned a multifaceted career as pulpit rabbi, spokesman for political emancipation, critic of radical religious reform, editor, head of the first modern rabbinical seminary, and historian of Jewish law.”

    1876: An article published today tracing the history of cremation from ancient times to the present reported that “the early Christians followed the custom of the Jews, which was bury, not to burn the dead.  The Rabbis gave the text, ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return’ as a reason for burial and refused to burn the deceased members of the community.”  The great historian Tacitus was apparently well acquainted with Jews and their customs since he noted that among the Jews, “it is their practice – ‘corpora condere quam cremare’---‘to bury rather than to burn.’ (Tacitus, History, Volume 5)

    1876: In a testament to futility, it was reported today that Abraham Joseph Levy who is currently in Cincinnati, Ohio working to convert Jews to Christianity visited approximately 600 hundred Jewish families in 1875 and succeeded in converting one family of six to Christianity.

    1880: 1st of Adar, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1880: The funeral of Asher Bijur, a prominent New York tobacco merchant and leader of the Jewish community is scheduled to take place at his home on West 53rdStreet followed by burial at Cypress Hill.

    1881: The synagogue in Neustettin burned down today, a few days after Ernst Henrici had delivered an “anti-Semitic diatribe.” While the Jews thought it was anti-Semitic inspired arson the authorities thought differently and five members of the Jewish community convicted on charges of arson so they could get the insurance money.  The verdict was overturned on appeal.

    1881(14th of Adar): Rabbi Gershon Tanhum of Minsk author of Elano d’Hayei passed away

    1881: Rabbi E.B.M. Browne of Atlanta, GA, delivered a lecture at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City on the subject of “The Talmud” during which he explained the origins and history of this compendium of Jewish law while dispelling many of the myths surrounding it.  Browne wore many hats and served several pulpits.  Browne was the founder and editor of The Jewish South, “a weekly edited first in Atlanta and later in New Orleans” which he described as “the only Jewish Journal this side of the Mason and Dixon Line.”

    1882: It was reported today that the annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association will taking place on the evening of March 2nd.

    1882 In London, Anglo-Jewish author Benjamin Farjeon and his wife Maggie who was not Jewish gave birth to award-winning author Eleanor Farjeon.

    1883: Seventy-nine year old composer Richard Wagner passed away.

    1884(17thof Shevat, 5644): Seventy-one year old Aaron David Bernstein “a German Jewish author, reformer and scientist” whose “translation of the “Song of Songs” and “his publication of Young Germany established his reputation among the literary critics of Berlin.”

    1885: In the UK, the Mersey Tunnel, which was built under the leadership of Samuel Isaac, opened today.

    1885(28thof Shevat, 5645): Seligman Solomon passed away.

    1887: Rabbi Alexander Kohut of Ahawath Chesed left for Baltimore this afternoon where he is scheduled to marry Rebekah Bettleheim.

    1889: Birthdate of Leontine Schlesinger, the Austrian born actress and director the world would know as Leontine Sagan.

    1890: The Russian Jews, who arrived in New York yesterday from Hamburg on board the SS Rugia, will probably be placed in quarantine at a building on Clinton Street which the Board of Health uses for emergency purposes.  The Jews are suspected of having contracted typhus fever which has an incubation period of from 18 to 21 days.

    1890: It was reported today that the brass band from the Hebrew Orphan Asylum under the direction of Mr. Wiegand will perform “Philadelphia March” in its premiere performance at the upcoming reception hosted by the Seligman Solomon Society.

    1891: The will of Philadelphian Ellen M. Philips who had passed away on February 2 was admitted to probate today.

    1892(15thof Shevat, 5652): Tu B’Shevat

    1893: Charles Frohman’s comedic performers are appearing at the Standard Theatre in New York in “The Girl I Left Behind Me.”

    1895: The Hebrew Institute hosted a meeting where the issues of tenement house improvements and “the single tax” were discussed.

    1895: It was reported today that an autopsy will need to be held to determine the cause of death for Mrs. Hannah Steinberger whose friends claim she took he own life.  They blamed her action on the cumulative mistreatment of her by her husband who was arrested last October for assaulting his wife.

    1895: In Atlanta, GA, a grand ball will be held this evening in Concordia Hall, for the delegates attending the district convention of B’nai Brith. (Editor’s Note – The Concordia Association was formed by Hungarian and German Jews in 1867 and was the site of Atlanta’s first Jewish wedding.  The Association morphed into the Standard Club in the 1900’s)

    1897: It was reported that Theodore Roosevelt, President of the Board of Police Commissioners delivered the main address at the dedication Hebrew Technical Institute’s new facility which had been held on Lincoln’s Birthday even though the building was actually ready for use on January 4.  Other speakers included Max Lowenthal who “delivered an address for the alumni of the institute and …Professor Morris Loeb, Chairman of the Instruction Committee.”

    1897: Dr. E.G. Hirsch of Chicago conducted Shabbat morning services today at Temple Beth-El in New York; the congregation served by Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler.

    1898: “The Dawn of Literature” published today summarized the views of Harvard Professor C.H.Toy’s regarding the relationship between Egyptian and Babylonian literature and Hebrew literature. He contends that the account of the flood was “engraved on clay tables about 2000 B.C,, long before the Hebraic account was written and…the Biblical account was founded on the Babylonian.”  He also said that he Jews took the stories of Ruth, Jonah and Esther from the literature of the Egyptians.

    1899: The Union of Judæo-German Congregations which had been founded in 1869 was officially incorporated today.

    1901: In Vienna, Sophie and Robert Lazarsfeld gave birth to sociologist Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, the founder of Columbia University's Bureau for Applied Social Research.

    1910(4th of Adar): Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, founder of the Yeshiva in Telz Lithuania passed away today.

    1911: Despite his continued involvement with Friede Kunke, “at the urging of his family” novelist Bruno Alfred Döblin “was reluctantly engaged” to his future wife Erna Reiss.

    1912: “W. Seligman Kills Himself In A Hotel” published today described the events surrounding the suicide of Washington Seligman, the son of banker James Seligman, who had made an unsuccessful attempt to take his life in May of 1903 by slashing his throat with a razor.

    1913: The Council of Jewish Women in Los Angeles, California opened a day nursery for children of working mothers of all nationalities.

    1913(6th of Adar): Author Yehiel Michael Pines passed away

    1914: Sixty year old Alphonse Bertillon who testified as a “handwriting expert” which he was not that “Alfred Dreyfus had written the incriminating document (known as the "bordereau") which resulted in condemning an innocent man to a disgraceful discharge and life sentence at the French penal colony of Devil’s Island.

    1915: It was reported today that a group of porters and drivers, many of whom were Jews were forced to leave the fortress at Przemysl and sought refuge in the Russian lines where they said the garrison’s only meat ration was horseflesh

    1915: U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniel today wrote to Herman Bernstein, editor of The Day, that he had discussed the request of the Jewish Relief Committee with President Wilson and that he would be willing to naval vessels, (in this case the U.S.S. North Carolina and the U.S.S. Scorpion, carry “food and medicines for the sick and starving in the Holy Land” as long as the quantities were limited to the space available and the supplies were loaded without delaying the sailing of the vessels.

    1915: It was reported today that “the Committee on Unemployment among Jewish Girls of which Mrs. Alexander Kohurt is Chairman has arranged with the War Relief Committee to sell milk at a cent a glass to the 600 girls in the 7 workrooms that to the generosity of Mrs. Charles Oppenheim who has made up the deficit in the cost of the milk.

    1916: In Nuremberg, Marianne Rath and Julius Heydecker gave birth to Joe J. Heydecker whose secretly made photographic record of the Warsaw Ghetto provide a record of the Nazi atrocities.

    1917: In Hudson, NY, Russian Jewish refugees Isaac and Ella Miler Slutzky gave birth to Orville Andrew Slutzky “who with his brother founded the Hunter Mountain ski resort in upstate New York, known in the 1960s for its celebrity clientele and in the 1970s.” (Paul Vitello)

    1918:  The Kaiser told “a War Council…that there was a world-wide conspiracy against Germany, the participants in which included…’international Jewry’…He made no mention of the fact that as many as ten thousand Jews…had already been killed fighting in the ranks of the German Army..”

    1920: “The Jewish Chronicle” published an article taking exception to Winston Churchill’s characterization of a Jewish relationship to Bolshevism in an article he had published in the “Illustrated Sunday Herald.” 

    1923: Birthdate of Yifrah Neaman, the Lebanese born British violinist.

    1930(15thof Shevat, 5690): First Tu B’Shevat of the Great Depression

    1931: “A huge flood…burst” the “Zero Canal” devastating the first power plant “to create electricity for the entire north of Palestine.” (As reported by Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am)

    1931: In the wake of a British white paper aimed at limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, today Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald wrote the famous “Macdonald Letter” to Chiam Weizmann. 
    The limitation on immigration had been brought on by violent Arab riots in 1929.

     1934: In Great Neck, NY Fannie Blanche Segal (née Bodkin) and George Segal, Sr., a malt and hop agent gave birth to actor and some-time banjo player George Segal.

    1937: While various branches of Christianity tried to decide how to deal with the Nazis, “The Minister of Church Affairs” told a group of churchmen, that “Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle's Creed .... [but] is represented by the Party .... the German people are now called ... by the Führer to a real Christianity .... The Führer is the herald of a new revelation.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that two Arab brothers were shot and killed by Arab terrorists near Nablus. The Haifa-Kantara-Cairo train was delayed by sabotage attributed to Arabs taking part in the uprising.

     1939:  Gone with the Wind director George Cukor was fired by Producer David O. Selznick. Selznick objected to the slow pace of filming, and star Clark Gable had personal conflicts with Cukor. Cukor was replaced the next day with Victor Fleming, who won that year's Academy Award for Best Director for the film. If you have trouble going to sleep, instead of counting sheep, try counting the Jews involved in the making of “Gone With the Wind.”

    1939: In “German: Reactions to Hitler” Time magazine reported that Every time Fiihrer Adolf Hitler gets ready to make a speech the world gets scared. Every time he gets through making a speech the world is relieved that he has not immediately plunged it into war. Much the same sense of relief was evident last week after the Dictator finished his annual Reichstag address. Because he announced no troop movements, made no mention of forthcoming invasions and delivered his address in rather more subdued tones than usual, many correspondents, editorial writers, even statesmen called the speech "mild." Those who took the trouble to wade through the long, formless address, however, discovered that it was actually one of the most sensational and threatening talks ever made by the head of a State. Excerpts:

    > "Surely no one can seriously assume that, as in the case of Germany, a mass of 80,000,000 intelligent persons, can be permanently condemned as pariahs or be forced to remain passive forever by having some ridiculous legal title [to colonies], based solely on former acts of force, held up before them."

    > "In time of crisis one single energetic man outweighs ten feeble intellectuals."

    > "Europe cannot settle down until the Jewish question is cleared up."

    > "If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

    > "We shall protect the German clergy in their capacities as God's ministers, but we shall destroy clergy who are enemies of the German Reich."

    > "Let us thank Almighty God that He has granted to our generation and to us the great blessing of experiencing this period of history and this hour."

    Remarks like these gave Neville Chamberlain "the impression that it was not the speech of a man who was preparing to throw Europe into another crisis." Not a few other popular spokesmen on both sides of the Atlantic failed to share this view. Said Commentator Dorothy Thompson of the New York Herald Tribune: "Hitler never delivered a more ominous speech or one more cunningly calculated to befuddle his opponents and create dissension in democracies. The speech boils down to a declaration of intention to reapportion the distribution of the world's wealth among nations." James G. McDonald, chairman of President Roosevelt's Committee for Refugees, thought the speech was a threat to peace, that it heralded the Nazis' use of the Jews for expansion purposes. Osservatore Romano, semi-official organ of the Roman Catholic Church, challenging the Fiihrer's statement that no religious persecution exists in Germany, declared that "liberty has lost all meaning in the ecclesiastical and religious fields in the Third Reich."

    1941: Nazi leaders attacked the Dutch Jewish Council.

    1942(25th of Shevat, 5702): In the Minsk Ghetto, Germans killed the leaders of the Jews deported from Hamburg.

    1943: The father of Henri Krasucki, Izaak Krasucki who had been arrested on charges of sabotage was deported from Drancy today and sent to Birkenau “where he was gassed upon his arrival.”

    1943: Twelve young Jews who had escaped from the Bialystok ghetto deportations attacked a German police unit at Lobpowy Most.

    1943: Jews in Salonica were prohibited from walking on the street at night, nor using any telephone, private or public.

    1943: Pianist Władysław Szpilman was able to escape from the Warsaw Ghetto.

    1944: Birthdate of Sheldon Silver the graduate of Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School and Yeshiva University who began serving as Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1994.

    1944:  Birthdate of sometime politician and disreputable television host, Jerry Springer

    1945(30th of Shevat, 5705): Henrietta Szold, American-Jewish women's leader and the founder of Hadassah, who had been seriously ill in Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus since December, died today at the age of 84.

    1945: On the day before the night bombing of Dresden, Victor Klemper assisted in delivering notices of deportation to some of the last remaining members of the Jewish community in Dresden. Fearful that he too would soon be sent to his death he used the confusion created by Allied bombings that night to remove his yellow star, join a refugee column, and escape into American-controlled territory.”

    1945: During World War II, the Red Army takes Budapest, Hungary from Wehrmacht forces. Reportedly 100,000 Jews were still alive when the Soviets freed the city from Nazi control. 

    1946: Birthdate of Richard Blumenthal, an American lawyer and Democratic politician who has served Attorney General of Connecticut.

    1950: Dr. Serge Koussevitzky, the 75 year old conduct emeritus conduct of the Boston Symphony arrived in Israel where he will be giving 16 concerts between now and March 27.

    1952: Birthdate Irene Dische, an American writer born and raised in New York's Washington Heights district. Her parents were Viennese Jews, and the neighborhood was home to so many German Jews that it was known as "the Fourth Reich." That German Jews would refer to their new surroundings in this way explains, in part, Dische's unusual world view, which sees isolated individuals living in a shadow realm of confounded cultural identities. Her works include Strange Traffic and The Empress of Weehawken.

    1952(17th of Shevat, 5712): German born musicologist Alfred Einstein passes away at the age of 71.  Einstein is one of a long list of intellectuals who fled Hitler’s Germany and made their home in the world of American Academia.

    1954: Birthdate of sportscaster Howard “Howie” Rose the “voice” of the Mets and the Islanders.

    1955 Israel acquired four of the seven Dead Sea scrolls. Between 1947 and 1956 thousands of fragments of biblical and early Jewish documents were discovered in eleven caves near the site of Khirbet Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea. These important texts have revolutionized our understanding of the way the Bible was transmitted, and have illuminated the general cultural and religious background of ancient Palestine.

    1959: Mattel began selling the Barbie doll.  Ruth Handler, President of Mattel, was the major force behind the creation and marketing of this American cultural icon.

    1960(15thof Shevat, 5720): Tu B’Shevat 

    1965: The Italian government prevented a private theatre in Rome from staging a production of Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” which deals with Pope Pius XII’s response to the murder of the Jews.

    1969: Joseph Rosenstock closed out his 8 year career at the Met today when he conducted “Die Meistersinger.
    1975(2nd of Adar, 5735): Seventy-seven year old silent screen actress Dagmar Godowsky passed away on the 105th anniversary of the birth of her father Leopold Godowsky.

    1987: U.S. Premier of “84 Charing Cross Road” produced by Mel Brooks.

    1991(29th of Shevat, 5751): Bernard Sauer Yiddish actor suffers a fatal heart attack at the age of 67. “He appeared on Broadway in 1966 in "Let's Sing Yiddish," starring Ben Bonus. He also performed in "Light, Lively and Yiddish" and in "Sing Israel Sing." He was also part of a Yiddish repertory company that performed in 1971 at the Anderson Theater in Manhattan. He was the president of the Hebrew Actors Union for the last five years and a board member of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance. He was born in Buenos Aires and attended drama school there. His first theatrical appearance was in 1945 in Joseph Buloff's "Yoshke, the Musician."”

    1994 (2nd of Adar, 5754):Noam Cohen, age 28, a member of the General Security Service, was shot and killed in an ambush on his car. Two of his colleagues who were also in the vehicle suffered moderate injuries. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

    1994: The New York Times announces the reissuing of two classics: the intriguing, elegantly narrated Freud’s Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi in which the author, a historian, analyzes Sigmund Freud's book Moses and Monotheism, arguing that despite its unorthodox approach, the work can still be read as a celebration of Judaism and , in paperback, A History of the Jews in Americaby Howard M. Sachar

    1996(22nd of Shevat, 5756):  Actor Martin Balsam passed away at the age of 76.

    1997:  In what some might see as Jewish musical chairs Janet Yellin was confirmed to replace Joseph Stiglitz as Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

    2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingEmpires of the Sand The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923by Efraim Karsh and Inari Karsh and The Mysteries Within: A Surgeon Reflects on Medical Mythsby Sherwin B. Nuland

    2003(10th of Adar I, 5763): Walt Whitman Rostow, U.S. economist, and one of the famous Rostow brothers who served as foreign policy advisors to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, passed away. (As reported by Todd S. Purdum)

    2004: Grace Brothers stores were rebranded as Myer. Myer, the largest department store chain in Australia, was started by Sidney Myer a Russian Jew who came to Melbourne in 1899.

    2005: A revival production of Arthur Laurents’ “Hallelujah Baby” is scheduled to come to a close at the Arena Theatre.

     2005: The Chicago Tribune reported that the descendants of the Frieder Brothers and those saved from the Holocaust through their efforts related the stories of survival during a public program at the Plum Street Temple in downtown Cincinnati. The Frieder Brothers were Cincinnati Jews who ran a family-owned cigar factory in the Philippines where they helped Jews from Hitler's Germany and Austria take refuge.  They enlisted the help of the first Philippine President Manuel Quezon and the U.S. High Commissioner of the Philippines Paul McNutt in their efforts to save thousands of Jews.  Quezon and McNutt were also being honored for their efforts.  Details of this self-less act of courage can be in found in Ephraim's Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror, a book that chronicles their rescue efforts. The Frieder family was very modest.  My sister, Judy Levin Rosenstein (of blessed memory) went to college with Judy Frieder where they began a life-long friendship.  “Frieder” nor any of her family members ever mentioned this episode. 

     2005:  The Chicago Tribune reviewed The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life by Tom Reiss, a biography of Lev Nussimbaum, one of those fascinating, colorful characters who populate the periphery of history.

     2005:  The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers includingRight Turns: Unconventional Lessons From a Controversial Lifeby Michael Medved and My Guardian Angel by Sylvie Weil.  Written for children, this historical novel describes the events that surrounded the arrival of the Crusaders at the town of Troyes, France in 1096.  The tale is told through the eyes of a twelve year old girl named Elvina who is the granddaughter Rashi.  We all know about Rashi's daughters and grandsons.  Here is a chance to learn about his granddaughter and the fate of the Jews of France and Germany during the time of the First Crusade.

    2006(15thof Shevat, 5766): Tu B’Shvat

    2006: Naomi Blumenthal, a Likud MK, was convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 8 months in prison, a ten month suspended sentence and was fined 75,000 shekels.

    2007: Gabi Ashkenazi became the Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Born in Hagor in 1954, he joined the army in 1972 as a member of the famous Golani Brigade and saw his first combat in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

    2007: “In the Loop” published today described the comings and goings in the federal government including the hiring of Dan Shapiro by Timmons and Company.

    2007: Richard Pearlstone, a member of the prominent philanthropic Meyerhoff family, has been nominated to a possible eight-year term as chair of the Jewish Agency's board of governors, beginning in June. The Meyerhoff family of Baltimore donates millions of dollars a year to various charitable institutions in the U.S. and Israel. Pearlstone himself is affiliated with dozens of institutions and is former national chair of the UJA. He is also former chair of the Agency's budget and finance committee. The Meyerhoff family owned Monumental Life Insurance Company was bought by the AEGON, a Dutch insurance conglomerate. 

    2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival continues with showings of “The Last Jews of Libya,” the U.S. Premiere “Leaving Paradise: The Jews of Jamaica,“ the New York premier of “Ladino – Five Hundred Years Young,” and the North American premier of “Goodbye Mothers” (Adieu Mères).

    2008:Israeli author Amos Oz and former U.S. vice president Al Gore are among the recipients of this year's Dan David Prize for influential scientific, technological, cultural or social achievements, the prize administrators announced in Tel Aviv.
    2008: In a dinner speech given at a meeting of members of France’s Jewish community President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that beginning next fall, every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust

    2009:Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center today, a week after surgery to remove a tumor on her pancreas, the court announced.

    2009:IAF aircraft struck in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis this afternoon after two Kassam rockets were earlier fired at southern Israel.

    2009:Amy Siegel won first place at the third annual Manischewitz Cook-Off with her Marvelous Mediterranean Sliders. At the Third Annual Simply Manischewitz Cook-Off six finalists, amateur cooks whose recipes were selected from among thousands of submissions whipped up their easy-to-make dishes at the Marriot Marquis in New York as they competed for the $25,000 grand prize

    2010: The JCC On the Palisades is scheduled to host an evening with Nachum Heiman, recipient of the 2009 Israel Prize for Music.

    2010: Dan Naturman, Tommy Savitt, Gregg Rogell, Sunda Croonquist and Joe Marks are scheduled to appear in The Raging Jews of Comedy at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

    2010:"Zubin and I" is scheduled to broadcast this evening, as part of the Cultural Heroes series. “Zubin” is Zubin Mehta. “I” is producer Uri Sivan. It is Israeli. But it is not about war, or Yiddishkeit or any of the other mundane items that seem to grab the headlines and mistakenly define what it means to be Jewish.

    2010: In an article describing how  people coped with the record snowstorms in the Washington metropolitan area entitled “Churches, worshipers also feel storms'” Michelle Boorstein writes about Tamara Miller, 62, who was expecting to go to synagogue on Wednesday, the third anniversary of her father's death, to say the mandatory annual prayer for the dead. Miller knew the synagogue would have the quorum of 10 Jews required under Jewish law for certain obligations, including the reciting of the mourner's prayer. When she saw the blizzard, however, she thought of the 1990s TV show "Northern Exposure," about a Jewish doctor living in Alaska, and the episode in which residents of the mostly American-Indian community scatter across a vast area to help him get the quota -- called a "minyan" -- so he could pray for his dead uncle. Miller, who has lived in her Northwest Washington neighborhood for a couple years, sent a plea via the listserv of her 300-unit condo building. Within minutes, she had a few replies. One was from a neighbor who was in Philadelphia, saying he was also in mourning and offering to recite the prayer on her behalf at a synagogue there. By sundown, she had 11 people in her living room-- the 10 required Jews and one non-Jewish neighbor with a cheesecake. "Perhaps our paths will never cross again. Maybe, just maybe, we shared a moment of faith on the worst blizzard in a hundred years," Miller, a rabbi and spiritual counselor, wrote in a letter of thanks. "The act of giving is an act of faith."

    2010:A bomb that was detonated this evening in a crowded café in Pune, India, killed nine people and injured 57 was likely meant for the nearby Chabad House, Indian authorities said. The bakery is located several dozen yards from the city's Chabad house. Pune is 125 miles southeast of Mumbai, where in November 2008 a major terrorist attack in the city at several sites simultaneously, including the Chabad house, killed 179 people, with them six Jewish victims at the Jewish center.

    2010(29th of Shevat, 5770):Robert J. Myers, an actuary who helped to create the Social Security program and to set America’s official retirement age at 65, died today at his home in Silver Spring, MD at the age of 97. (As reported by Mary Williams Walsh)

     2011:  Among the films scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival are “Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray,” “Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny” and “100 Voices: A Journey Home.”

    2011: “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story” is one of several movies scheduled to shown today at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including J.D. Salinger:A Life by Kenneth Slawenski and In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief by James L. Kugel.

    2011: Ninety-year old “Raymond D’Addario, an Army photographer whose images of Hitler’s top henchmen during the Nuremberg war crimes trials put their faces before the world as it became increasingly aware of Nazi atrocities passed way today. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    .2011:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz as the Israel Defense Forces' 20th chief of staff.

    2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): General Al Ungerleider passed away today at the age of 89

    2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): Alan F. Segal “a leading scholar known for his comparative studies of how religions view the afterlife” who had retired as the Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College in December of 2012, passed away today at the age of 65.

    2011(9th of Adar I, 5771):Irving Schlossenberg, the oldest living Marine Corps combat correspondent at the time of his death, and a newspaper photographer who once goaded President Franklin Roosevelt at a baseball Opening Day, died today at 92 in Overland Park, Kansas. Schlossenberg rejected his initial 4F classification, underwent foot surgery, and made it into the Marines as a combat correspondent in World War II. He took part in five major campaigns, four of which were first wave landings, was awarded four bronze stars and became a Master Sergeant. Schlossenberg never received some of the medals he earned for his service, including a Presidential Unit Citation presented to his division for operations in the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. Last November, his son and nephew obtained the medals, which were delivered two days before Schlossenberg's death. Prior to the war, he was a photographer at the Washington Post. On Opening Day of the 1940 baseball season, Schlossenberg convinced FDR to throw out the Opening Pitch a second time, so he could get a better shot. The resulting wild pitch smashed Schlossenberg’s camera. Schlossenberg was born in Baltimore and raised in Washington. He became a copy boy at the Washington Post and then a photographer. After the war he sold Encyclopedia Britannica and eventually became executive assistant to the company president. He was a founder of Temple Kol Ami in Prairie Village, Kansas.

    2011(9th of Adar I, 5771): Herschel W. Leibowitz, a Penn State University psychologist who was among the first scientists to explore how the mind can misinterpret what the eye sees at night, a phenomenon that contributes to traffic accidents passed away today in State College, PA at the age of 85 (As reported by Benedict Carey)

    2011: In “Jews in U.S. Are Wary In Happiness For Egypt” Laurie Goodstein described the mixed feelings that American Jewish leaders have concerning the current political upheaval in the Land of the Pharaoh

    2012: Nathan Englander, author “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” a work of fiction that reportedly has nothing to do with the life of one of the Holocaust’s most famous victims, is scheduled to appear at the Historic 6th& Synagogue in Washington, DC.

    2012(20th of Shevat, 5772): Ninety-four year old “Lillian Bassman, a magazine art director and fashion photographer who achieved renown in the 1940s and ’50s with high-contrast, dreamy portraits of sylphlike models, then re-emerged in the ’90s as a fine-art photographer after a cache of lost negatives resurfaced” passed away today. (As reported by William Grimes)

    2012: “The Cantor’s Son” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in Atlanta, GA

    2012: At 34 Ben Yehuda, David Kilimnick’s Off the Wall Comedy Club is scheduled to host Open Women’s Open Mic Night

    2012: People of faith throughout the world have been asked to recite psalms and prayers for the recovery of Yisrael be Chana Tzirel

    2012:The wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded today when a car bomb exploded outside of Israel's embassy in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Also today, a Georgian worker employed by the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi alerted police after noticing a strange object attached to a car assigned to the Israeli envoy to the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran and its client Hezbollah were behind both attacks as well as other recent thwarted attacks on Israeli officials working abroad.

    2013:Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present: “It's a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond.”

    2013: American Jewish Historical Society to present “The Sixties and Jewish Celebrity”

    2013: Leon Wieseltier, noted writer and literary editor of The New Republic, is one of five recipients of the 2013 Dan David Prize, the foundation committee announced.

    2013: The exposure in the Australian media this week of alleged former Mossad agent Ben Zygier, who reportedly committed suicide in Ramle’s Ayalon Prison two years ago, could have very dramatic repercussions for ongoing Mossad operations, Israeli media reported tonight.

    2013: Today Israel’s state prosecution asked the Jerusalem District Court to sentence a man dubbed the “Jewish terrorist” to two back-to-back life sentences plus 70 years’ imprisonment for his crime of double murder, saying society should to take away Jacob (Jack) Tytell’s freedom “until the end of his days.”

    Tytell, an American-born Israeli Jew who was convicted in January of murdering two Palestinians and wounding two Israelis in a series of violent acts, “trampled, in his actions, every possible value human society is founded upon,” prosecutor Sagi Ofir explained during the sentencing hearing

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Loyalty Betrayed: Jewish Chaplains in the German Army during the First World War” during which Peter Applebaum will discuss the role of the 30 Jewish chaplains who ministered to the 100,000 Jewish soldiers fighting for the Kaiser.

    2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to host “Hard Talks: Is Psychoanalysis a Hoax?” moderated by author and communications scholar Liel Leibovitz, featuring Daphne Merkin, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and Tablet Magazine and Ben Kafka, Associate Professor of Media Theory and History at New York University

    2014:  In “Israel: Life on the Kibbutz – Past, Present & Future,” Ido Rakovsky is scheduled to talk about his life on Kibbutz Ein Hashoftet” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust,” a roundtable discussion about the challenges facing Litvaks in the 21st century.

    2014: The IDF fired on two Palestinians who had entered a restricted zone near the Gaza border and attempted to sabotage the Israeli security fence, killing one and injuring the other. (As reported by Adiv Sterman)

    2014: “A technical problem caused the credit card payment system in Israel to fail this morning for five hours, with hundreds of companies and stores reporting that they were unable to accept credit payments, and tens of thousands of Israelis affected. “ (As reported by Stuart Winer)

    2014: “Prospect of Spanish Citizenship Appeals to Descendants of Jews Expelled in 1942

    2015: “For Richer For Poorer: Weddings Unveiled,” an exhibition that tells “story of Jewish weddings in Britain” is scheduled to open at the Jewish Museum of London.

    2015: In preparation for Valentine’s Day, the Oxford University Jewish Society is scheduled to host “Shidduch Friday Night” with the disclaimer that they “do not guarantee that you will find your future spouse.


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    February 14

    842:  Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German languages. The two monarchs were grandsons of Charlemagne making them cousins. Charles, like the other Carolingian monarchs he refused to enforce the anti-Jewish decrees promulgated by the Church. This was a matter of economic reality; not a an example of philo-Jewishness.

    1014: Henry II who was already King of Germany and King of Italy was crowned as Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor.  The first serious persecution of the Jew in Germany began at the start of the 11th century under the reign of Henry.  Among other things, Henry issued a decree expelling the Jews from Mayence because they refused to be baptized.  Some of Henry’s enmity towards the Jews may be traced back to the conversion of Wecelinus, the chaplain to Duke Conrad to Judaism.  Conrad was a relative of Henry’s and Christian nobility did not take kindly to such changes.  The poet Simon ben Isaac and Gershom ben Judah both composed dirges to mark this sad turn of events.

    1076: Pope Gregory VIIexcommunicates Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor.  This dispute between Pope and Royal Ruler was one of many struggles that ranged between Princes of the Church and Temporal Princes for political power.  This one did not involve the Jews but it did affect them.  For his time, Henry treated his Jewish subjects well.  He challenged the anti-Semitism of the many church officials by claiming his Jewish subjects as “belonging to our Chamber.”  In other words they came under his jurisdiction and protection.  Seeing the economic benefit of allowing the Jews to play an active role in his realm, Henry exempted the Jews from “custom duties in imperial towns and they enjoyed trade and travel privileges throughout his empire.”  History may remember the penitent Henry shivering in the snows outside the Papal Palace.  For the Jews, he is was a bright beacon in world growing ever darker under the menace of crusader mobs.

    1130: “The Jewish Cardinal” Pietro Pierleone was elected Pope under the name of Anacletus II.  The Church counts him as one of the anti-popes. According to at least one source, Anacletus II was a member of one of the most powerful and wealthiest senatorial families in Rome.  At the same time, the family was reported to have Jewish roots and had supposedly amassed its fortune through money lending. Apparently the Church’s difficulty in knowing how to deal with Jewish converts was not just a 20th century phenomenon. 

     1349: In Strasbourg, a riot ensued in the town after corn prices fell. The Jews were accused (despite the protests of the city council) of a conspiracy. The entire Jewish population (2000) were dragged to the cemetery and burned to death. Only those who accepted Christianity were allowed to live. A new council was elected which voted that Jews could not return for 100 years and their property and possessions were divided among the burghers. Twenty years later, the Jews were readmitted.

    1546: Three days before his death, Martin Luther preached his final sermon. “The subject of his final sermon…is ‘obdurate Jews’ and the urgency of expelling them all from German lands. According to Martin Luther, ‘we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert, [but they are] our public enemies ... and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do.’ Thus the expulsion or even killing of Jews can be viewed by Christians as form of self-dense. This is exactly the excuse given by anti-Semites in Europe for centuries to come…”

    1556: Thomas Cranmer who named Archbishop of Canterbury by Henry VIII was condemned as a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church.  Whatever his difference with Rome, Cranmer took a pretty traditional view of things when it came to Jews. Citing St. Augustine, Cranmer declared that even if “Jews…do good works” like clothing the naked, feeding the poor and performing “other good works of mercy” they will be lost because they do not believe in Jesus.

    1623: Moshe Zacut who is buried in the Portuguese cemetery in Altona and who may have been the father of Rabbi Moshe Zacut known as the “Remez” passed away today.

    1667: The end of the practice known as “Black Monday.” Prior to this date, the Jews of Rome had been subjected to a humiliating medieval practice of running a race in the Roman carnivals, scantily clad, amid insults and blows. This practice of "Black Monday" named for the day of the week during the Carnival Season on which it took place was not practiced after 1667.

    1670: Leopold I ordered Jews to be expelled from Vienna within a few months. Although Leopold was reluctant to lose the large amount of taxes (50,000 Florins) paid by the Jews, he was persuaded to do so by his wife Margaret, the daughter of the Phillip IV Spanish Regent, and a strong follower of the Jesuits Margaret blamed the death of her firstborn on the tolerance shown to the Jews.

    1674: Barbados passed a law granting the Jewish community the permission they requested. In the 1660's the Jewish community of Barbados became established and of considerable importance. The Jewish community, however, had a decided disadvantage in that their testimony was not admissible in court cases due to their refusal to take an oath on a Christian Bible. In October 1669 the Jewish community presented the king a petition requesting permission to take be able to take oaths on the Five Books of Moses, the Jewish Bible’

    1685(10th of Adar): Rabbi Joseph Chajes of Lemberg, author Ben Porot Yosef passed away today.

    1727: Benedict XIII issued Emanavit nuper, a Papal Bull, dealing with “the necessary conditions for imposing Baptism on a Jew.”

    1743: Henry Pelham, a member of the Whigs, became British Prime Minister. In 1753 Pelham “brought in the Jew Bill of 1753, which allowed Jews to become naturalized by application to Parliament.” The House of Lords approved the bill.  But the Tories in the House of Commons tried to defeat it claiming it was “an abandonment of Christianity.” However Pelham and the Whigs prevailed and the bill passed and then was approved by the crown.

    1766: Birthdate of economist Thomas Malthus whose theories were examined by Gertrude Himmelfarb in The Idea of Poverty. (She was Jewish, he was not)

    1859: Oregon admitted as the 33rd U.S. state. By the time Oregon joined the Union, Portland already boasted an active Jewish community which “launched its first congregation” in 1858.  Despite their comparatively small numbers, several Jews have held public office in Oregon including Senators Joseph Simon and Richard L. Neuberger and Governors Julius L. Meier and Neil Goldschmidt. (Senator Neuberger’s wife who was also a Senator from Oregon was not Jewish; hence she is not listed.)

    1861: During the session of the New York State Legislature, Mr. Woodruff introduced a bill today to appropriate $35,000 out of the State Treasury to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New-York City, for a building, as soon as $20,000 has been expended by the Trustees.

    1862(14th of Adar I, 5622): Purim Katan

    1864: Birthdate of Israel Zangwill. Zangwill is a name known to few today, but in his time he was an intellectual power.  Zangwill was born in London and achieved fame by writing a number of novels many on Jewish themes including Children of the Ghetto, Ghetto Tragedies and The King of Schnorrers.  Zangwill first met with Herzl in 1896 and attended the First (and all successive) Zionist Congress. He supported Herzl's Uganda plan and following its rejection, led the Territorialists out of the Zionist organization in 1905. He established the Jewish Territorialists Organization (ITO) whose object was to acquire a Jewish homeland wherever possible. Following the securing of the Balfour declaration, the ITO fell into decline and by 1925 it was officially dissolved. Zangwill supported Zionist efforts in Eretz Israel calling for a radical approach both as regards the demand for the early establishment of a Jewish State and the solution of the Arab question. He passed away in 1926

    1864: Birthdate of Samuel Schulman the Russian born rabbi who served as the spiritual leader of Montana’s first synagogue, Temple Emanuel before eventually moving to New York where he succeeded Kaufman Kohler as head of Temple Beth-El and then served as the rabbi for Temple Emanu-El when it absorbed his former congregation.

    1871: During the Franco-Prussian Adolphe Crémieux, a leading member of the French Jewish community, along with several of his parliamentary colleagues, resigned their positions in the government France

    1872: In Bucharest, members of the diplomatic corps, united in demanding that Prince Charles von Hohenzollern who is King Carol I of Romania, provide protection for his Jewish subjects.  [The issue of Romania’s Jews would plague European affairs up to WW I.]

    1877: In Berlin, gynecologist Leopold Landau and Johanna Jacoby, a member of the famous Jewish banking Jacoby family gave birth to Edmund Georg Hermann Landau the famed mathematician.

    1878: Mrs. Hyam Benjamin hosted a musical evening in a Mayfair (London) drawing room.

    1881: Birthdate of German psychologist Otto Selz.  Selz’s works were suppressed by the Nazis.  According to some, Selz was a major influence on his students including Sir Karl Raimund Popper who was one of the major figures in the world of 20th century philosophy.

    1881: The New York Timesfeatures a review of “Hours with the Bible: From Creation to the Patriarchs by Dr. Cunningham Geikie.

    1881: It was reported today that an altercation had taken place during a Paris musical between Gaetan de Monticlin, a socially prominent Frenchman and Arthur Meyer owner of Le Gaulois. According to de Monticlin, he had been mocked in an article published in Meyer’s newspaper.  Meyer was a Catholic who was the grandson of a rabbi and who would support those who did not believe in the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus

    1882: Birthdate of composer and pianist Ignaz Friedman.

    1882: Dr. John Lord delivered a lecture on “Moses” this morning at Chickering Hall to a “fashionable and cultured” audience. Lord told his audience that the moral code of Moses “is of the most importance, and rests on the fundamental principles of morality, and has been generally accepted as the basis of moral obligation.  The primary principle of this code is the sin of idolatry and the recognition of the one God who created and rules the world.”

    1887: Alexander Kohut, the rabbi of Congregation Ahawath Chesed married Rebekah Bettleheim in Baltimore, MD. She was the daughter of Rabbi Albert Bettelheim.  Her marriage not only made her a wife it made her an instant wife since Kohut was a widower who had 8 children, six of whom were under the age of 13.

    1891: It was reported today that the late Ellen M. Phillips has bequeathed $113,000 to various charities most of which were Jewish.  The bequests ranged from $1,000 to $15,000 “including $5,000 to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  Ms. Phillips lived in Philadelphia, PA

    1892: It was reported today that a Conference of the Russian-American Hebrew Agricultural Fund Association will take place this week in New York City.

    1892: As New York City deals with its latest outbreak of typhus the President of the Board of health said that to have all of the Russian-Jewish passengers who arrived on the SS Masilia  placed in quarantine on North Brother Island.  An undetermined number of the passengers have shown symptoms and this is a way of preventing the spread.  (Please note – the Jewish passengers were not singled out.  The source was thought to lie in Russia, and it so happened that all of the Russian passengers were Jewish)

    1894: Birthdate of Benjamin Kubelsky, better known as Jack Benny. The cry of Rochester saying, "Mr. Benny, Mr. Benny" in that gravely desperate tone was a signature of Jack Benny's humor in movies, radio and television.  Benny loved to clown around with the violin and he created the self-portrait of a "miser."  In one of his most routines, Benny is being held up at gunpoint.  When the robber says "Your money or life" Benny pauses and using his great sense of comedic timing ponders his response.  When the frustrated thief repeats his demand, Benny responds, "Wait a minute, I am trying to make my mind."  (It is a lot funnier when you heart it or see it.)  I must confess I am a fan of Jack Benny’s but I do not think I have been too lavish in my praise.  Benny passed away at the age of eighty in 1974

    1895:Birthdate of philosopher and sociologist Max Horkheimer

    1895: In New York City, Isaac Newton and Greta (Loeb) Seligman gave birth to Margaret Seligman who gained fame as Margaret Lewisohn after she married Sam A. Lewisohn in 1918.

    1895: It was reported today that lawyer and economist Simon Sterne expressed his opposition to the Single Tax Plan and in favor of tenement improvement programs in New York City

    1896 Theodor Herzl published "Der Judenstaat" which outlined his vision for a Jewish State.  For a complete copy of the text in English

    1897: Grand Master M. L. Sexias presided over the opening of the annual convention of District Grand Lodge, No.1, Independent Order Free Sons of Israel which is being held at the Lexington Opera House.

    1898: “Hebrew Charities Building Bill” published today described that the purposes of legislation that would incorporate The Hebrew Charities Building in New York to allow for the erection, establishment and maintenance of a building in which Jewish charitable organizations could have their headquarters. It would also allow for the building to house a public library “with a special department in Judaica.”

    1902: Herzl and Joseph Cowen arrive in Constantinople with hopes of starting negotiations to further the project of creating a Jewish homeland in Ottoman controlled in Palestine.

    1903: US Department of Commerce & Labor established. Oscar Straus was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Labor in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt and he served in the position until 1909.  Straus was the first Jew to serve as a cabinet secretary.

    1904: In South Carolina, Rabbi J. J. Simenhoff officiated at the wedding of Morris Finger to Sarah Plesskin.

    1904(28th of Shevat, 5664): Seventy-five year old George Lewis Lyon, the founder and the editor of The Jewish World, passed away today.

    1910: Herbert Samuel completed his first term of service as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the cabinet of Prime Minister Asquith. (Samuel was Jewish; Asquith wasn’t)

    1910: Herbert Samuel succeeded Sydney Buxton as Post Master General in H.H. Asquith’s cabinet.  This would be the first of two times that Samuel would serve in this position.

    1911(16th of Shevat): Rabbi Shalom Mordecai, author of Da’at ha-Torah, passed away

    1912: Arizona is admitted to the Union becoming the 48th and last contiguous state to become on the United States. Jews had been a part of the Arizona landscape from its earliest territorial days.  According to Pioneer Jews, Nathan Benjamin Appel, a native of Hochstadt Germany, was an early pioneer of the Arizona Territory serving as a delegated to the First Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1863 as well as the Tucson chief of Police from 1883 to 1884.  According to the 1880 census, there were approximately 316 Jews living in such places as Tucson, Phoenix and Tombstone. William Zeckendorf and Zadock Staab opened a Tucson based mercantile operation in May of 1878.  The business had its ups and downs, finally failing in 1883 as a result of market fluctuations and competition from less expensive goods being brought in by the railroads.  As can be seen from the successful career of Michael Wormser, a native of Lorraine who settled in Arizona, Jews engaged in agriculture as well as mercantile pursuits.  By the time he died in 1898, his “agricultural kingdom” was worth $250,000, a considerable sum in those days. Samuel Barth was another of the colorful Jews who helped to settle Arizona.  He worked as a miner, pony express rider and sutler.  While trading with the Indians, he claims to have signed a treaty that “granted him title to nearly all of the northern Arizona Territory, including the Grand Canyon.”  Barth, and his brothers Nathan and Morris, founded St. Johns where they damned parts of the Little Colorado River so that they could farm and raise livestock. Jews were not adverse to risk when it came to gunfighting as can be seen by the career of Louis Ezekiels who served as the Deputy Sheriff of Pima County and Jim Levy, the Irish born gambler and gunfighter, who ironically was shot by an angry gang who caught him when he “was not packing.” These early Jews worked hard to mainitain their Jewish identity.  “Anna and I.E. Solomon, who found Solomonville in Arizona’s southeastern corner, refused to let their daughter Lillie marry a non-Jewish lawyer with whom she had fallen in love. Mother Solomon stepped in, put an end to the relationship and arranged for Lillian to marry a “Hebrew haberdasher from Globe. Anna Solomon is prime example of the Jewish matriarchs he stood shoulder to should with their husbands in establishing successful business enterprises while striving to maintain Jewish heritage and identity in the inhospitable desert of the Southwest. Two of early Arizona’s most famous Jewish citizens were Josephine Sarah Marcus who was the paramour of Wyatt Earp (because of Earp, is buried in a Jewish cemetery)  and Mike Goldwater, the merchant king whose family, in later generations would give up the faith of their fathers as can be seen by the career of Barry Goldwater.    

    1913: Birthdate of Mel Allen. The mellow-toned sportscaster who was the voice of the New York Yankees was born Melvin Allen Israel in Birmingham, Alabama.

    1915: “A mass meeting will be held at Congregation Shearith Bnai Israel this afternoon under the auspices of the Young Israel of Harlem to help raise funds for Jews suffering because of the war.”

    1915: “Dr. J.L. Magnes, Chairman of the Jewish National Fund Bureau of the America and Louis D. Brandeis, Chairman of the Provisional Executive Committee for the General Zionist Affairs issued a statement today explaining the situation brought about by the proposed forced auctioning off at this trime of the Jewish Institute of Technology at Haifa.”

    1915: According to figures compiled by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America there are officially 143,000 Jewish communicants in the United States but that number, in keeping with Jewish custom is really only the number of heads of households and “that the total number connected with Jewish congregations is 700,000.” (Editor’s note: This figure is strange since it is estimated by some that by the start of WW I, two million Jews had come to the United States from Eastern Europe.)

    1915: In “Danger to Jewish Religion” published today provides Dr. Samuel Schulman’s belief that his nationality is “American” and when it comes to religion he is “a Jew” and that the future of the Jewish people lies in remaining “part and parcel of the western world” since “there is nothing to be gained in setting up a small nation in Asia among other small nations.”

    1915: The correspondent for The London Daily Mail who was traveling from the front lines to Warsaw had to “bump” his “way through an endless convoy of Jews where huddled in wagons with all their furniture and worldly belongings” which “was the result of a stern order which had been issued requiring the Jews to move to a distance fifty miles from the front” because of doubts about their loyalty.

    1915: It was reported today that “the Bund, the Committee of Lithuanian, Polish and Russian Jews living abroad has published an appeal to the civilized world in regard to the treatment of the Jews by the Russian government” which “begins by saying that, in spite of statements made to the contrary, the legal situation of the Jews in Russia is unchanged; they are still confined to the Ghetto and subject to all the same disabilities as before the war.”

    1915: “Outlook Good For Jews” published today provided the views of banker and philanthropist Adolph Lewisohn on a post war peace conference for which “all the great Jewish organizations of American need to get together now and work out a plan for Jewish representation at the time of peace negotiations” because he believes that the United States government “will take a special interest in the question of equal rights for all Jews” regardless of where they live.

    1915: Herman Bernstein, editor of The Day, announced today that a limited amount of space will be made available aboard the Vulcan to carry supplies to the suffering people living in the Holy Land.

    1915: “To Take Aid To Palestine” published today described plans approved by Secretary of the Navy Daniels to ship supplies from the Jewish Relief Society for the starving residents of that region aboard the United States collier Vulcan which will be sailing to the eastern Mediterranean with coal for armored cruisers North Carolina and Tennessee.

    1915 Congregation Shearith Israel abolishes family pews from its synagogue.

    1915: Jules Hurert, who authored Sarah Bernhardt, a biography of the famous Jewish performer passed away.

    1916: A telegram sent today from American Embassy at London to the U.S. State Department stated that the British had turned down the request to allow the shipment of whole wheat to be used for the making of unleavened bread for the upcoming holiday of Passover by Jewish agencies in the United States through neutral Holland to Jews in Germany and Austria and countries occupied by their armies because “it appears that the supply of flour at present in German is amply sufficient to furnish pure flour when required for special purposes.”
    1917: Birthdate of Herbert A Hauptman, a mathematician who shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with the chemist Jerome Karle for their development of revolutionary methods for determining the structure of molecules vital to life. (As reported by William Grimes)

    1918: Birthdate of Yosef A.A. (Alfredo Antonio) Ben-Jochannan an Ethiopian born American historian. “According to his own biographical sketches, Ben-Jochannan was born to a black Puerto Rican Jewish mother and an Ethiopian Jewish father who were both black.”  “Ben-Jochannan, also known as ‘Dr. Ben’, is the author of numerous books, primarily on ancient Nile Valley civilizations and their impact on Western cultures. Dr. Ben-Jochannan claims to be fluent in ‘over a half dozen languages.’ In his writings, he states that the original Jews were Black Africans from Ethiopia, while the ‘white Jews’ later adopted the Jewish faith and its customs.

    1919(14th of Adar I, 5679): Purim Katan

    1919: Birthdate of Fred Gilbert.  A native of Warsaw, Mr. Gilbert would enter the first of 19 concentration camps at the age of 20.  He stayed alive by serving as the chief barber for German officers at a concentration camp. He would meet his wife Ann, who had also been a prisoner at Dachau, on liberation day.  They raised three children – Lena, Jack and Doris.  Fred and Ann would become active in the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance.  Fred would spend his final years living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    1922: Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent“abruptly” ended publication of article on the “Jewish Problem” that included portions of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

    1927: Birthdate of Jerry Wolman, the native of Shenandoah, PA who owned both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Flyers.

    1927: Mortimer L. Schiff appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. Schiff, the only son of Jacob Schiff, was a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Co and active leader of the Boy Scouts of America.

    1929: “Nathan Straus received a cablegram today from Meir Dizengoff, Mayor of Tel Aviv and Chaim Nachmann Bialik, the famous Hebrew poet both of whom had participated in the dedication of the Nathan and Lina Straus Health and Welfare Center in Jerusalem at which John Hyanes Holmes of the Community Church of New York was one of the principal speakers.  “Following elated words regarding your high aspirations and great enterprise for the benefit of your national and the land of your forefathers in the presence of your envoy, Mr. Holmes and representatives of all creeds, the assembly expresses feeling of veneration and great love to the great man and Jew, Nathan Straus, and sends you and your wife blessings and wishes for a long and happy life.”

    1929: In the Bronx, Jean (née Kress) and Harry Morozoff, an electrical engineer, gave birth to Victor Morozoff who gained fame as actor Victor “Vic” Morrow whom many remember for his portrayal of Sgt. Sanders in the WW II based television series “Combat!”

    1929: It was alleged, but never proven, that the trigger men at today’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre were supplied by the Jewish dominated “Purple Gang.”

    1934: Birthdate of Harriet Gasway.

    1935(11th of Adar I, 5695): Joseph Simon, the first Jewish U.S. Senator elected from Oregon, passed away.

    1937: The New York Times features a review of Palestine at the Crossroads by Ladislas Farago based on the journalist visit to Palestine in 1936.

    1937: “Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Bavaria delivers a sermon in Munich in which he explains how the signing of the Concordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany substantially increased Hitler's prestige around the world.”

    1938: The Palestine Post quoted the text of Colonel R. Meinertzhagen's letter to The Times of London in which he wrote that both the former British Prime Minister Lloyd George and Mr. Balfour envisaged the whole of Palestine as a future Jewish sovereign state. In Meinertzhagen's view the partition recommended by the Lord Peel Committee only complicated the issue, insofar as it had crystallized Arab opposition. The colonel called for continued Jewish determination to achieve this goal, not only for the Jews, but also in a direct British interest. 

    1941: In Amsterdam Hendrik Koot a member of the pro-Nazi NSB movement died of the wounds he sustained when and he his fellow thugs in the WA attacked the Jews who, much to their surprise, fought back.  (The Jewish “victory” would be short-lived and in the next few days over four hundred Jews would die)

    1942:  Birthdate of millionaire businessman and Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.

    1942(27th of Shevat): Yiddish poet Menachem Bareisha passed away

    1943: In an article entitled “Visitor from Shangri-La” Theodore Strauss described the visit of veteran British actor H.B. Warner to New York where, among other things he his promoting “Hitler’s Children” an anti-Nazi film that has broken all records at the theatres in which it has been shown.  Warner said that he is using the personal appearance tour to promote his own ant-fascist views.

    1943: The Soviets drove the Nazis out of Rostov-on-Don. While the city was under German control thousands of Jews were murdered including 13,000 on August 11, 1942. Immediately after the liberation, the Jews were allowed to use the former Soldier’s Synagogue with Shaia-Meier Aronovich serving as rabbi starting in 1944.  In the postwar years, the community suffered as Stalin adopted increasingly anti-Semitic policies.

    1944:The national board of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, yesterday cabled $100,000 to Hadassah's founder, Miss Henrietta Szold, head of the youth immigration bureau of the Jewish Agency for Palestine in Jerusalem, as its part of an international celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Youth Aliyah (immigration) movement.

    1944: Birthdate of Carl Bernstein, one of the two journalists who broke the Watergate Scandal.

    1945: Henrietta Szold, of blessed memory, was buried today at 3 pm on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.  Among the attendees were representatives of the 12,000 Jewish refugees whom she helped to rescue through Youth Aliyah.  As a sign of mourning all Jewish institutions flew their flags at half-mast and all of the Jewish newspapers were published with black borders on their front page. (As reported by JTA)

    1945: President Franklin Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud where they discussed the future of the Jews and settlement in Palestine.  Churchill received a full report of the meeting, but the report was kept secret from the rest of the world.  Among other things Ibn Saud expressed his total opposition to Jewish settlement in Palestine and said that Holocaust survivors should be returned to their countries of origin.  FDR expressed his essential agreement with the King’s position.

    1947: Foreign Minster Bevin “announced that he was referring the entire Palestine imbroglio to the United Nations.”

    1948: “The young Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin who was among those Churchill asked to scrutinize the text of volume one of his memoirs” sent the former Prime Minister a proposal about changes in content with a reminder that “You did, I recollect, order me to quite candid.” Berlin praised Churchill’s handling of the “tremendous story of the Rise of Hitler.”

    1948: Archbishop Conrad Gröber who opposed the Nazis passed away.

    1949: Russian-born English chemist and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, 74, was elected first president of the newly restored modern state of Israel.

    1949 (Tu B’Shevat, 5709): The Knesset opened its first session.  Political democracy has been part of the Jewish state since before its official founding.  The Knesset is a unicameral legislature that many critics agree is quite unwieldy.  The political party system is based on proportional representation which leads to coalition governments.  Israel's critics like to forget that about ten percent of the members of the Knesset are Arabs.  During the days of the Cold War, Israel's detractors liked to point out that members of the Communist Party were elected to the Knesset.  What they forget to mention that Israel, unlike the Arab states, held free elections so of course it was the only country in the Middle East to have elected Communist officials.  It was the only country in the Middle East to have democratically elected officials of any kind.  Also, with approximately ten per cent of its members being Arabs, the Knesset also boasts the largest number of democratically elected Arab legislators in the Middle East.

    1951: The door was opened for the elections for the second knesset when the government resigned today after the Knesset had rejected the Minister of Education and Culture's proposals on the registration of schoolchildren

    1951: In Dublin, Elaine and Reuben Shatter gave birth to Irish political leader Alan Joseph Shatter

    1952: Premiere of Le Plaisir, also known by its English title House of Pleasure, a French comedy-drama anthology film directed by Max Ophüls

    1952: The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America established the Lena and Henry J Perahia Scholarship Foundation Award as a permanent endowment

    1952: Comedian Joey Adams marries gossip columnist Cindy Heller

    1954: In “Sharp Eyes for the Multiple Things” published today, William Barrett reviews The Hedgehog and The Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History by Isaiah Berlin.

    1955: The cover of Time features Carl Jung, the one-time follower of Freud who split with his master and reportedly enjoyed an “unconventional” relationship with one of his Jewish patients.

    1958: In a move to counter the newly created UAR which joined Egypt and Syria, Jordan and Iraq formed a union which created “a unified military command.” (Editor’s note – any move that created unified military commands among the Arab states posed an additional threat to Israel.  At the same time, it should be noted that much of jockeying and hostility in the Arab world came from Arab fears of the fellows and had nothing to do with Israel.)

    1961: Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, accused the government of Morocco of bias against Jews and appealed to the Human Rights Commission of the United States to urge the Moroccan Government to stop what it termed “repressive action” including police brutality.

    1962: Philanthropist Nehemiah M. Cohn, founder of the Giant Grocery Chain in Washington, D.C. stated that “Giving to those less fortunate than we are...brings us contentment and true happiness. The Talmud says that a man’s greatness is measured not by how much money he can acquire, but rather how much he can part with. Cohen’s view of philanthropy is carried on through the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation.

    1967(4th of Adar I, 5727):Francis Benedict Hyam Goldsmith, a British Conservative Member of Parliament and luxury hotel tycoon in France and the United Kingdom, passed away. “Born Franck Adolphe Benedict Goldschmidt in 1878 in Frankfurt, Germany, he was the son of Adolphe Benedict Hayum Goldschmidt, who permanently moved to London in 1895, already a multi-millionaire, and Alice Emma Moses Merton (1835-98), daughter of Joseph Benjamin Moses aka Moses Merton. Benedict Hyum Goldshmidt who was a millionaire in his own right, moved to London in 1895. Goldsmith’s “grandfather was Benedict Hayum Salomon Goldschmidt, a  banker and consul to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, founder of the B.H. Goldschmidt Bank.” He grew up on his family's 2,500 acre country estate in Suffolk. Educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, he gained an honours degree in law and was called to Bar by the Inner Temple in 1902. In 1903 he was elected to Westminster City Council, remaining a member for four years. In 1904 he was elected a member of London County Council representing St Pancras South with W.H.H. Gastrell as municipal reformers, having defeated both George Bernard Shaw and Sir William Geary, who were standing as Progressives. From 1904 to 1910 Goldsmith was active on many committees showing great interest in education and special schooling, becoming whip of the Municipal Reform Party. He was also involved in many Jewish charities, assisting in the organizations involved in the emigration of Jews from the Russian Empire and became a member of the emigration committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians. In 1910 Goldsmith was elected Conservative M.P. for Stowmarket, close to his family home of Cavenham Park. Although remaining an M.P. until 1918, his political career was ended by anti-German hysteria during World War I. During the war he served in Gallipoli and Palestine with the Suffolk Yeomanry. After the war Goldsmith moved to France where he set up a hotel business. He married Marcelle Moullier in June 1929. Goldsmith eventually built up a portfolio of 48 hotels including the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the Carlton in Cannes and the Lotti in Paris. He was director of the Savoy Hotel company for many years and one of the founders of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He was Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.”

    1968(15th of Shevat, 5728): Tu B’Shevat

    1973: U.S. premiere of “The World’s Greatest Athlete” with music by Marvin Hamlisch.

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that hundreds of Lebanese men, women and children in southern Lebanon demonstrated in an open space at the "Good Fence," an open Israeli-Lebanese crossing point, demanding that Syrian army leave the Lebanese territory.

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that Israeli officials in Washington noted that US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's hardening stance and his assertion that the settlements in the occupied areas "should not exist" was a deliberate shift of US policy, arrived at only after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visited Washington and influenced US President Jimmy Carter in this direction.

    1982(21stof Shevat, 5742): Seventy-seven year old William Lee Wilder “the Austrian-born American screenwriter, film producer and director who was the older brother of Oscar winner William “Billy” Wilder.

    1983: Manchem Begin replaced Ariel Sharon as Minister of Defense.

    1985: The U.S. Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism announced their decision to begin accepting women as rabbis.

    1988(26th of Shevat, 5748): Composer Frederick Lowe passed away.  The Austrian native teamed with Alan Jay Lerner to create a number of hit musicals including “Brigadoon,” “Paint Your Wagon” and most famous of all, “My Fair Lady.” (As reported by Stephen Holden

    1989 ( 9th of Adar I): Rabbi Sheldon Haas Blank, a professor of Bible who was a faculty member at the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for more than 60 years, passed away at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. He was 91 years old and lived in Cincinnati.

    1989:In  “Fossil Findings Fan Debate on Human Origins” published today, John Noble Wilford reported that “new fossil discoveries” in caves in Israel “and genetic evidence have fueled a resounding debate among anthropologists over the timing and circumstances of the last major event in human physical evolution, the emergence of the anatomically modern Homo sapiens.

    1991:Today, a victim of last Saturday's missile attack on a Tel Aviv suburb -- military censors do not permit publication of his name -- held a prayer service in the yard of his damaged house. He and several friends prayed and danced with Torah scrolls as a bulldozer sat poised to push the building down. As soon as they finished singing Hatikvah, the national anthem, the bulldozer driver raised his shovel, pushed forward and leveled the remains of the house.

    1992:The McCrory Corporation, the financially troubled parent of a chain of five-and-dime variety stores, said today that it would miss a debt payment and hinted that it might file for bankruptcy court protection.McCrory is part of the Riklis Family Corporation, a privately held concern headed by Meshulam Riklis, an Istanbul native who came to America from Tel Aviv in 1947. Other Riklis holdings have included the Samsonite Corporation, Elizabeth Arden, the Culligan International Company, Martha White Foods Inc. and Botany 500.

    1996(24th of Shevat, 5756): Judith Kaplan Eisenstein, daughter of Mordechai Kaplan and the first bat mitzvah ever, passed away at the age of 86.

    1997: Eve Ensler, the daughter of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, who “identifies as a Nichiren Buddhist” established the first V-Day that demands “that violence against women and girls must end.”

    1999: Bruce Fleisher won the American Express Invitational with a three round score of 203.

    1999: The New York Timesbook section featured a review Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidencyby Al Franken.

    2001(21st of Shevat, 5761): Eighty-four year old Maurice Levitas (Moishe ben Hillel) the Dublin born academic and activist who served with the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War passed away today. His daughter Ruth Levitas is the author of The Concept of Utopia and his brother Max was took part in the “Battle of Cable Street.”

    2003: University of California outfielder Brian Horowitz was responsible for a record-breaking RBI’s in today’s game. (Editor’s note – Brian Horowitz, the Golden Bear’s outfielder is not to be confused with Professor Brian Horowitz, the distinguished author and member of the Tulane University faculty)

    2005:Effi Eitam was suspended from the party chairmanship by the National Religious Party's internal court, after he left the government against the center decision. The suspension caused Eitiam and Yitzhak Levi to leave the party.

    2005(5th of Adar I, 5765): Seventy nine year old Henry Wolf passed away. (As reported by Steven Heller – note that the Times originally and incorrectly reported that he was 80)

    2005: The Taipei Times features an article in which Taiwan’s only rabbi, Ephraim Einhorn, recounts the history of Taiwan’s small Jewish community that has existed since the 1950’s and its links to the Holocaust.

    2006: Indian Jewish cricketer Bensiyon Sonavkar played for Saurashtra in the match again Maharashtra .

    2006(16th of Shevat, 5766): Eighty three year old Shoshana Damari, whose unique throaty voice and larger-than-life performances embodied the Hebrew revival myth, passed away today after a short bout with pneumonia. (As reported by Steven Erlanger)

    2007: Haaretz featured an article on the state of the Jewish community entitled “Las Vegas: Lots of Jews, not much Judaism.”  According to a comprehensive study released recently by Dr. Ira Sheskin, of the University of Miami, Las Vegas is now home to the country's 23rd-largest Jewish community. His research found that the Jews of Las Vegas are less observant and less connected to Judaism than the vast majority of U.S. Jews. Only 50 percent report attending a Passover Seder, only 14 percent report belonging to a synagogue and only a minority light Shabbat or Hanukkah candles or keep kosher.The one category where the Jews of Las Vegas do excel is intermarriage, with 48 percent of all currently married Jewish respondent/spouse couples being mixed.  On the positive side, La Vegas does not lack for wealthy Jews willing to support Jewish causes.  After all, Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas, one of the richest men in the country, underwrote Sheskin's study and is a major philanthropist in the Jewish arena.

    2007:Gabi Ashkenazi received the rank of Lieutenant General and was appointed Chief of the General Staff.

    2008: The 12th New York Sephardic Jewish Festival comes to an end with a showing of “Nuba of Gold and Light.”

    2008: In The Financial Express, an article entitled “Guitar in Tow, Rabbi Set to Spread Jewish Traditions in Poland,” describes the work of Rabbi Tanya Segal..

    2009: Ninety year old publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Jr. the only child of Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Wolf passed away today. (As reported by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt)

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a one-of-a-kind, award-winning exhibit of hundreds of pieces of World War II era mail and documents related to the Nazi’s attempted extermination of Jews and others will be publicly displayed at Coe College in the Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library.  The collection is owned by the Deerfield, Illinois-based Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, which acquired the extraordinary items to preserve and offer them for public use at Holocaust and genocide educational venues around the world.  According to a press release, “The insured value of the collection is $1 million, but the educational value to future generations is incalculable,” said Daniel Spungen, a member of the board of the Spungen Family Foundation. “One of the most heartbreaking artifacts and historical evidence of Nazi desecration is a torn fragment of a hand-written Hebrew parchment from a Bible scroll (Tanakh).  A German soldier used the holy scripture to wrap a parcel he mailed from Russia to Austria in 1942,” explained Spungen.  “The sacred parchment was pillaged from a Russian synagogue.  Ironically, the portion that was used as wrapping paper has passages from the first book of Samuel about the story of David and Goliath.” George J. Kramer, chairman of the New York-based Philatelic Foundation, described the scroll fragment as “one of the most important items of Judaic postal history.” This is only the third public exhibition since the acquisition of the historic items from a private collector was formally announced by the Spungen charitable foundation last September.  Steve Feller, past President of Temple Judah, a Coe professor of physics and co-author of the book, “Silent Witness: Civilian Camp Money of World War II,” will present an educational program about Holocaust-related money in conjunction with the exhibit of the collection. The postal artifacts in the collection are evidence of the torments, ravages and terror of war and genocide in Europe from 1933 to 1945.  They also show that many prisoners never lost hope, and the human spirit survived.  “We will be giving educational institutions and museums around the world the opportunity to use the exhibit materials for displays, lectures and research,” said Florence Spungen, Founder of the Foundation.  “This is a permanent educational tool for all generations to document this important period of time that cannot be forgotten.” The Holocaust exhibit was acquired intact from noted researcher, writer and collector, Ken Lawrence, of Bellefonte, Pa., a former vice president of the American Philatelic Society, who began assembling the material in 1978. Including items contributed by Spungen, the foundation now will be the guardian of the more than 250 envelopes, post cards, letters, and specially-designated postage stamps used exclusively by concentration camp inmates, Jewish ghetto residents and prisoners of war.  In addition, the collection includes counterfeit Bank of England paper money created by slave laborers during “Operation Bernhard,” the Nazis’ failed plot to undermine England’s economy and the subject of the recent motion picture, "The Counterfeiters."Frequently exhibited by Lawrence, the display won awards and medals at stamp shows including an international exhibition in Washington, D.C. in 2006. “The scroll page that was used for mailing a parcel is the most viscerally disturbing item.  Some scholars have told me it is among the most important surviving evidence of Nazi desecration,” said Lawrence.  “Chronic, flagrant desecration exemplified by violating that sacred scripture imbued the cultured German nation and historically honor-bound German army with an inhuman attitude toward Jews that made the Holocaust both possible, and given the opportunity, inevitable.” Some of the ghetto and concentration camp letters have coded or hidden messages about the plight of the senders.  Research about the postal materials has led to discovery of a previously unreported undercover address in Lisbon, Portugal, used by Jewish resistance fighters, and the location of two camps in Romania for slave laborers and political detainees. In addition to the Bible scroll fragment used to wrapping a package, the collection includes:

    ·         Rare examples of mail sent to prisoners and mail sent between inmates at different camps;

    ·         A card sent by an inmate at Dachau soon after it opened in 1933 is the earliest known prisoner mail from any Nazi concentration camp;

    ·         An October 3, 1943 letter to his parents in Rzeszów, Poland from Eduard Pys, a 21-year-old who arrived on the first transport at the Auschwitz concentration camp in May 1940;

    ·         The only known surviving piece of mail sent by Rabbi Leo Baeck, the leader of German Jewry (Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden), while he was confined to the Theresienstadt ghetto;

    ·         A postal checking account receipt imprinted with a crude anti-Semitic caricature denoting payment for a subscription to a Nazi propaganda newspaper, Der Stűrmer;

    ·         Mail secretly carried by children through the sewers of Warsaw during the 1944 uprising;

    ·         Mail clandestinely carried from Nazi-occupied Poland to the exhibit Polish Navy headquarters in London and to a Jewish resistance leader in Switzerland; and,

    ·         A December 1945 postal card addressed to Dr. Eugen von Haagen, a Nazi war criminal on trial after the war at Nuremberg, that is the only recorded example of the censor mark of the International Military Tribunal.

    Arrangements are being worked out for the entire collection to be housed at the new facilities of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center that will open in April in Skokie, Ill. “We are genuinely excited about the prospect of being the central repository for this remarkable collection,” said Richard Hirschhaut, Executive Director of the museum.  The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation was established in 2006 to support charitable and educational causes.  Many of the historic artifacts now can be viewed online at the foundation’s Web site,

    2009: In Baltimore, Theatre Hopkins’ production of Lisa Kron’s innovative comedy “Well”,appears at JHU’s Swirnow Theatre on the Homewood campus.

    2010(30 Shevat, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Capitalism and the Jews byJerry Z. Muller and the recently released paperback edition of We Can Have Peace In the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work by Jimmy Carter.

    2010: Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said todat that the Chabad house in Pune had been under surveillance by David Headley, an American of Pakistani descent in prison in Chicago for allegedly scouting out targets for the Mumbai attack. Pune was the sight of a bombing on Saturday night..

    2010: A third of the children in Israel live below the poverty line, according to data published by the National Insurance Institute today.

    2010: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Military, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, is scheduled to arrive in Israel today as part of a tour of the region. Admiral Mullen will be hosted by IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who will hold a festive dinner in his honor later tonight.

    2010: The Counter-Terrorism Bureau of the National Security Council published a travel warning advising Israeli citizens against visiting Sinai during Pessah.

    2011: “Hidden Children,” a movie “based on true events” that tells “the gripping story of two young Jewish brothers sheltered by a devout Catholic woman in Nazi occupied France, setting the stage for a political and legal battle that made headlines across the country” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: A documentary entitled “Over 90 and Loving It” is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: The official transition ceremony between 19th General Gabi Ashkenazi the Israel Defense Forces' 19th chief of staffand Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz, the Israel Defense Forces' 20th chief of staff is scheduled to be held this morning at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem. The farewell ceremony for Ashkenazi is scheduled to be held at Tel Aviv University.

    2011: A former Hungarian military officer has been charged with war crimes in the 1942 slaughter of 1,200 civilians in Serbia, prosecutors said today. The charges against Sandor Kepiro, 96, stem from his alleged participation in a raid by Hungarian forces on the northern Serbian town of Novi Sad in January 1942 that left more than 1,200 civilians dead, the Budapest Investigating Prosecutor's Office said.

    2012: “Mahler on the Couch” is scheduled to be shown at the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival in Palm Beach, FL.

    2012: Shachiv Shnaan, an Israeli-Druze political leader “returned to the Knesset today as a replacement for Matan Vilani.

    2012: “Restoration” is scheduled to be shown at The Yeshiva University Ring Family Israel Film Festival in NYC.

    2012: Likud Party officials said today that it expects to hold its first party convention in over a decade on March 22nd.

    2012: Congress is set to significantly increase funding for Israeli missile defense to more than make up for White House cuts to the program, Capitol Hill sources told The Jerusalem Post today. 

    2013: In London, The Wiener Library is scheduled to host a presentation entitled “A Personal Story of the Holocaust” by Agnes Grunwald Spier who “was a baby when she and her mother were saved from deportation to Auschwitz by an unknown official.”  She is the author of The Other Schindlers’

    2013: In honor of Valentine’s Day, UK Jewish Film is scheduled to sponsor a screening of “Paris Manhattan.”

    2013: “It was announced that Martin Mann had been developing an untitled thriller film with another screenwriter for over a year, for Legendary Pictures.”

    2013(4th of Adar, 5773): Eighty-one year old legal scholar Ronald Dworkin passed away today (As reported by Adam Liptak)

    2013: Eighty-nine year old Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey announced today that he will not seek a sixth term.

    2014: “Focus on the Family Weekend” sponsored by Frum Divorce is scheduled to open at White Plains, NY.

    2014: “Commie Camp” is scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Film Festival in San Diego, CA.

    2014: The Jewish Museum is scheduled to offer guided tours of “Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective” which celebrates the career of one of the most influential living comic artists, best known for Maus, his Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about his parents' survival of the Holocaust

    2014: Friends and family prepare to celebrate the 80th birthday of Harriet Gasway, wife of Bill Gasway, and a pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish community.

    2014: In today’s edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, Cameron Kerry, Secretary of State John Kerry’s Jewish brother recalled relatives who died in the Holocaust and labeled “vile” recent personal attacks on the US secretary of state.

    2014: Alexei Bychenko made took part in the final round of competition in the men’s figure skating at Sochi. (As reported by Yoel Goldman)

    2014: After an Israeli passenger found a grenade safety catch aboard his plane at Ben Gurion Airport, all of the passengers aboard a Ukrainian International Airlines plane were evacuated along with their own baggage.  (As reported by Tova Dvorin)

    2014: Residents of southern Israel were subject to two separate rocket attacks this evening.

    2014: As the world prepares to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, consider the following for the Jewish twist on a holiday connected with the three “c’s” – Cupid, Chocolate and Carats (as in diamonds)

    2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host a piano recital by Ran Zemach.




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    February 15

    399 BCE: The philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death. No, Socrates was not Jewish and he did not know about what were the “Israelites” of his day.  However, Socrates would be one of those Greek philosophers whose teachings would challenge and influence Jewish thinkers and philosophers.  For example, Aristobulus, a second century Jewish teacher asserted that the Greek philosophers, including Socrates were influenced by the teachings of Moses.  In 1045, Ibn-Gebriol wrote a work on moral philosophy that included sayings from traditional sources such as the TaNaCh and the Talmud, but also contained his quotations from what he described as “the divine Socrates” and Socrates most famous disciple, Plato.

    1113: Pope Paschal II recognizes the Knights of Hospitaller as a separate and independent monastic order to provide safety to the Crusaders and pilgrims. After the Moslems drove the Crusaders out of the Holy Land, the knights relocated to Rhodes and finally to Malta where they carried on their battle with the forces of Islam. During the 16th century, under the guise of fighting for Christ, the Knights of Malta turned to what many called piracy, capturing vessels in the Mediterranean Sea and then holding the captives for ransom.  This trafficking in humans took an inordinate toll on Jews who were extremely vulnerable as they sailed for commercial reasons or to flee the effects of the Inquisition. The Jews that were not sold were kept as slaves and provided the nucleus of the Jewish population of Malta.

    1493: While still at sea on the voyage returning to Spain, Columbus wrote a letter describing the accomplishment of his first trip to what he thought were islands at the edge of Asia but which were really Hispaniola and Cuba.  The letter was addressed to Luis de Santángel a convserso (a Jew who had been baptized) who was the finance minister to the Spanish monarch.  He was one of those who championed Columbus’ voyage and actually contributed his funds to help pay for the voyage. 

    1559: Paul IV issued “Cum ex apostolatus officio” a Papal Bull that confirmed that only Catholics can be elected to the position of Pope. According to some, the Bull was aimed at keeping Cardinal Morone who was rumored to be a secret Protestant from being named Pope. But it may also have been aimed at preventing Marranos from serving as Pope.  Pope Alexander VI, (the first Borgia Pope) was reputed to be the descendant of Marranos.

    1611: A hostile army that had entered Prague was defeated; a fact celebrated by three liturgical poems authored by Ephraim Solomon ben Aaron of Lencziza.

    1641(5th of Adar, 5401): Sara Copia Sullam, the daughter of a prominent Venetian family passed away. She was a truly unique figure for her time since she was not only a prolific poetess but a religious philosopher who wrote ”The Manifesto of Sara Copia Sulam” in which she refuted accusations that she had denied the immortality of the soul

    1655: The twenty-three Sephardic Jews who arrived in the fall seeking sanctuary from the Inquisition are officially admitted into New Amsterdam over Governor Peter Stuyvesant's objections.

    1694: Today, in Lubeck, Nathan Goldschmidt was accused of having received stolen goods. The trial dragged on for at least five years, and its result is not known. Goldschmidt was the son-in-law of a "Schutzjude” named Nathan Siemssens.  The charges against Goldschmidt may have stemmed from gentiles who were opposes to him being granted the same protected status enjoyed by his father-in-law.

    1748: Birthdate of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. According to Bhikhu C. Parekh, “what is surprisingly modern in the…philosopher’s toward the Jewsis that he did not consider them only as the mythical people of the Bible, as most thinkers of his age did, but dealt with this problem as the problem of a religious minority; as such, the Jews had to be tolerated in their religious practices…”  (For more see Jeremy Bentham: Critical Assessments by Parekh starting on page 323)

    1758: Mustard makes its first appearance in what is now the United States, when German immigrants manufacture it in Philadelphia, PA.  [This was critical to Jews coming to America.  Can you imagine living in a country where you had to a corned beef on rye without mustard?]

    1764:  Founding of the city of St. Louis in what would later be the state of Missouri.  The first Jews settled in St. Louis until 1807. Jews worshipped together as a community for Rosh Hashanah, 1836.

    1765(24th of Shevat): Rabbi Mordecai Brisk, author of Mayim Ammukim passed away.

    1775: Pius VI was elected Pope. He was the author of “Editto sopra gli ebrei,” or "Edict over the Hebrew”

    1781(20th of Shevat, 5541): Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German author and philosopher, passed away. Lessing was a friend of Moses Mendelssohn.  According to these two friends, the test of religion is its effect on conduct. This is the moral of Lessing's Nathan the Wise (''Nathan der Weise''), the hero of which is undoubtedly Mendelssohn. One direct result of this pragmatism was unexpected. Having been taught that there is no absolutely true religion, Mendelssohn's own descendants, along with a large number of other German Jews, had a philosophically acceptable rational for converting to Christianity.

    1798: After the occupation of Rome by General Berthier the local republicans dethroned the Pope. The Jews removed their yellow badges. Two days later a tree of freedom was planted in front of the synagogue.

    1815: Birthdate of Moses Löb Bloch, native of Bohemia who became a rabbi in Hungary serving as the Rabbinical Seminary of in Budapest.  He passed away in 1909.

    1827: Birthdate of Bavarian native Emanuel Lehman, who came to the United States with his brothers Henry and Mayer.  The three of them settled in Montgomery, Alabama where they prospered as cotton brokers and general commission merchants.  Mr. Lehman moved to New York in 1856 where he established a branch of Lehman Brothers which became one of the leading financial firms in the United States.  In 1859, he married Pauline Sondheim with whom he had four children before she passed away in 1871.

    1839: Birthdate of Catholic theologian August Rohling whose Der Talmudjude “became a standard work for anti-Semitic authors and journalists” which really became a political force in 1883 with The Tiszaeszlár Affair, a blood libel centered in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    1847:  Birthdate of Austrian composer, Robert Fuchs.  Fuchs was not Jewish.  But one of his most famous pupils was. From 1892 until 1900, Fuchs was a mentor and teacher for Franz Schreker one of the leading opera composers of his generation with works such as Der Ferne Klang, Die Gezeichneten, Der Schatzgräber, and Irrelohe. Schreker was born 1874 and died in 1934. His life and works were part of an exhibition mounted at the Jewish Museum in Vienna in 2005.

    1853: Birthdate of Abraham Marcus Pjurko, the native of Lomaza “who devoted himself to modern Hebrew Literature” and with his Chaim, published eleven stories just for children in 1893.

    1857: In New York a Jewish jewelry store owner named Ronsenbaum made bail today after being charged in a plot to defraud Samuel Goldbery.  He had previously been arrested on charges of "shyterism" for his part in defrauding an an unnamed woman out of an uspecified amont of money.

    1870: Founding of Mikveh Yisrael home of the first Jewish agricultural school in Palestine.  The Hebrew name Mikveh Yisrael means Hope of Israel. It was one of the earliest attempts to connect a return to Promised Land with the literal re-building of the land through the agrarian life.  As we will see, this became a dominant theme personified by the Kibbutz Movement.  Mikveh Yisrael was established by a French educator named Charles Netter.  The settlement was inland near the Mediterranean town of Jaffa.  It would provide employment for many settlers in the days of the First Alyiah, which started during the 1880's.  The famous meeting between Theodore Herzl and Kaiser William II took place at the gates of Mikveh Yisrael in 1898.  In 1939, some of the graduates of Mikveh Yisrael founded a Moshav form of collective farming community) north of Tel Aviv, which they called Kfar Netter in honor Charles Netter.

    1874: It was reported today that Prime Minister William Gladstone claimed that the Jews of London had met a couple of days ago and had decided to support his government in the upcoming election.  This stands in sharp contrast to claims by others that the Jews have not done this because they have a tendency to avoid participation in party politics.

    1872: “Rabbi Aarons, from Jerusalem, an octogenarian” who is “said to be the oldest Rabbi in the United States met with Assistant District Sullivan for a second time to discuss his “request to carry his case before the Grand Jury for their investigation” that might lead to silencing or punishing those who have libeled him – a request which Mr. Sullivan finally granted.

    1875(10th of Adar I, 5635): Eliakim Carmoly passed away at Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany. Born in 1802, at Soultz-Haut-Rhin, France, Carmoly’s “real name was Goschel David Behr (or Baer); the name Carmoly, borne by his family in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was adopted by him when quite young. He studied Hebrew and Talmud at Colmar; and, because both French and German were spoken in his native town, he became proficient in those languages. Carmoly went to Paris, and there assiduously studied the old Hebrew manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale, where he was employed. Several articles published by him on various subjects in scientific papers made him known; and on the establishment of a Jewish consistory in Belgium, he was appointed rabbi at Brussels in 1832. In this position Carmoly rendered many services to the newly founded congregation, chiefly in providing schools for the poor. Seven years later, having provoked great opposition by his new scheme of reforms, Carmoly resigned the rabbinate and retired to Frankfort, where he devoted himself wholly to Jewish literature and to the collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts, in which he was passionately interested.”

    1875: It was reported today that there are 250 Jews on the Managing Committee responsible for the upcoming Purim Association ball.

    1877: In New York, the Ladies’ Bikur Cholim Society is scheduled to host a fundraiser today at Ferrero’s Assembly Rooms to provide support for the School of Industry

    1878: In Americus, GA, Henriette Cohen and Meyer Benjamin Foster gave birth to Solomon Foster the graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College who became the Associate Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Newark, NJ.

    1879: It was reported today that the Young Men’s Hebrew Union has recently acquired a gymnasium and bowling alley.  The organization is in its 3rd year and now has 300 members.

    1879(22nd of Shevat, 5639): Joseph A. Engelhart, passed away today in Raleigh, NC. A native of Mississippi, he was elected to serve as North Carolina’s Secretary of State in 1876 when he ran on the ticket with Governor Zebulon Baird Vance. Engelhart actually ran ahead of the ticket. He leaves behind a large family that will benefit from $50,000 in life insurance.

    1881: In an attempt to provide information about Jewish practices regarding sacramental wine P.J. Joachimsen wrote from his home on East 69thStreet that “the great majority of conforming Jews in this city use wine made from raisins at the Passover Feast.  Of course the raisins are fresh. Such raisin-wine is used in all conforming synagogues for the sanctification of Shabbat and holy days; i.e. for Kiddush and also for services at circumcisions and weddings.  Some, but not many, people use imported wine --- Italian, Hungarian or German --- which is certified as ‘Perach’ or ‘Kosher Wine.’”

    1882: In Philadelphia, Mayor Samuel George King presided over a public meeting in his office this afternoon that was attended by Christians and Jews who were making plans on how to provide for the impending influx of Jews from Russia. According to Moses Dropsie, at least 100,000 Russian Jews have lost all of their possessions and were candidates for immigration to the United States.  So far, 2000 have arrived in New York and a total of 10,000 are expected.  Philadelphia has agreed to provide support for 10% of the group.  Those attending the meeting plan on petitioning the federal government to exert pressure on the Russians to put an end to the persecution of its Jewish citizens.

    1882: While defending his government’s foreign policy in the House of Commons this afternoon Sir Charles Dilke, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs said that Great Britain would not be intervening with the Russian government on behalf of its Jewish subjects.  “All the precedents showed that English interference in the internal affairs of a foreign country would meet with a rebuff and do more harm than good.”

    1885(30thof Shevat, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1885(30thof Shevat, 5645): German born, American violinist and conductor Leopold Damrosch whose father was Jewish and mother was Lutheran passed away today.

    1887: Annie Nathan became Annie Nathan Meyer when she married her second cousin Dr. Alfred Meyer.

    1891: The New York Times reported on a gift worth $3,400,000 given by Baron Maurice de Hirsch “to ameliorate” the conditions of recent immigrants from Russia and Romania.

    1891: Representatives of Jewish organizations from throughout the United States met in Philadelphia, PA today where they formed the Jewish Alliance of America.  The goal of the Alliance is to alleviate the suffering among Russian Jews by helping them to establish and maintain “farm colonies” in the American West.

    1891: Rabbis Gottheil, Silverman and Kohut officiated at the service held this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El in memory of the late Lazarus Rosenfeld.

    1892: Nine new cases of typhus were found by New York City Health department doctors today all which involved recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Russia.  Among the victims was 12 year old Abraham Mermer who was sent from his home on Essex Street to North Brother Island where joined his parents and other family members who were already under quarantine.

    1893: It was reported today the Mrs. Falk is the Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements for the upcoming concert that will raise funds for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian and Orphan Asylum.

    1896: Police had to be called to 112 Clinton to restore order after fight broke among members of a Jewish society that used the building “as a synagogue on Saturday nights.”

    1897: It was reported today that Mayor William Lafayette Strong, the last Mayor of New York elected prior to its consolidation told a meeting of the Free Sons of Israel that “During my term of office I had had many applications for aid, but I don’t think one single application came from a Hebrew.  The Jews take care of their own.  They are taught to be self-supporting.  Speaking as a gentile, I will say that you manage your charities better than we do.”

    1897: It was reported today that an unnamed teacher on New York’s Lower East Side told her students that “If you grow up to be good Jews you will be good American citizens.  If you are not good American citizens you will not be good Jews.”  (This is an example of the binding of the Jews with the American Dream that has helped to differentiate the Jewish experience in the United States from other Diaspora Communities)

    1897:  The new officers of District Grand Lodge No. 1, Independent Order Free Sons of Israel are:

    Grand Master – Ralph Rosenberg; First Deputry – M. Samuel Stern; Second Deputy – Julius Hass; Grand Secretary – J. H. Goldman.  Two of the committee chairmen were appointed – Isaac Engel and Isaac Niner.

    1897: Birthdate of Gerrit Kleerekoper, the coach of the Dutch Ladies’ Gymnastics Team who would be killed by the Nazis at Sobibor.

    1897: Emanuel Lehman, one of the original Lehman brothers, celebrated his 70thbirthday today. During his birthday celebration this evening, he was presented with loving cup honoring him for all of his support of the Hebrew and Benevolent and Orphan Asylum.

    1897: “Every charitable association” in New York City “in which Emanuel Lehman is interested received a handsome check from him” today “with an explanatory note that it was a …present” marking his birthday.

    1898: Baron Ludwig Von Erlanger, head of the Frankfurt branch of the banking house of Erlanger and Sons passed away.  Erlanger's father, Raphael Erlanger was Jewish but he converted to Christianity at his wife's behest prior to the birth of his sons Ludwig and Baron Emil B. Von Erlanger. The surviving son will now head the banking house which also has major offices in London and Paris. While neither of the Erlanger sons were raised as Jews, critics would describe them as such when it fit their needs.  1898(23rd of Shevat, 5658: The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing more than 260 including 15 Jewish serving on board the battleship. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.

    1898: In Albany, New York state senator Cantor introduced a bill that would exempt “the real estate of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association from taxation, assessment and water rates.”

    1898: The Purim Ball will be held tonight at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  This year’s tickets cost more than in the past because a banquet has been added to the event.  M.H. Moses, Simon Schafer, Henry Rick, Sol B. Solomon, Jules S. Bache, J.S. Isaacs and Narry are the members of the Purim Association responsible for the event. (Purim actually will not be celebrated until March 8)

    1898: The New York state senate is expected to pass a bill introduced by Senator Cantor allowing for the incorporation of “The Hebrew Charities Building” in New York City.

    1899: In New York City “Samuel Sachar, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, and Sarah Abramowitz, a native of Jerusalem” gave birth historian Abram Leon Sachar, the founding President of Brandeis University. He was a descendant of Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph, the 16th century Italian Talmudist.

    1900: Herzl is received by Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. Herzl writes a memorandum about the Jewish Colonial Bank. The subscriptions to the Bank are prohibited in Austria and Herzl wants to prevent that little people will lose their money.

    1903: Herzl sends a new proposal to the Sultan: Colonization in the Sanjak of Acre in return for a guaranteed annual payment of 100.000 Turkish pounds. In a move that would place him at odds with the “Territorialists” Herzl is already thinking about Jewish colonization in Africa but is willing to make this one last attempt to deal with the rulers of the Ottoman Empire.

    1904: Elizabeth Bonnell, a prominent South Carolina society matron who generously helped a poor Jewish family during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1858 passed away

    1905: René Worms was “created a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.”

    1905:  Birthdate of composer Harold Arlen.  Born Hyman Arluck in Buffalo, NY, Arlen won an Oscar in 1940 for writing the score for “The Wizard of Oz.”

    1906(20th of Shevat): Rabbi David Solomon Slouschz passed away

    1906:  The British Labour Party organized.  The Labour Party’s membership was an eclectic amalgam.  As one would expect, it included a large bloc of trade unionists.  But it is also attacted a cross section of intellectuals and professionals who saw the party as a vehicle that would help reform English society and its political system.  Jewish involvement reflected this membership spectrum.  For example, one of its early leaders was Manny Shinwell, a member of the trade union councils in Glasgow.  On the other hand, Leslie Haden Haden-Guest, 1st Baron Haden-Guest, veteran of the Boer War, author and solicitor was the first Jew to stand for Commons as a Labour Party Candidate.

    1913: In Prague, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Bergman gave birth to “psychoanalyst, author and educator” Martin Shlomo Bergman (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1915: “Germans My Sell Jewish Institute” published today described the negativereaction of Jewish leaders in the United States to reports that “the German Hilfsverein of Berlin (a Jewish aide society)intends to force the sale of the property of the Jewish Institute of Technology at Haifa and to exclude from the division of the receipts contributors and creditors of the institute” such as those in the Russia, Great Britain and France “who are prevented by the war from being represented in the liquidation.”

    1917: Birthdate of George Forman, “a longtime comptroller of the American Civil Liberties Union who brought fiscal discipline to a ramshackle organization near bankruptcy in the late 1970's and later helped it develop into a powerful civil liberties conglomerate.” (As reported by Lily Koppel)

    1918: In New York City, Rose (née Goldberg) and stockbroker Harry Arbus gave birth to Allan Franklin Arbus, the photographer turned actor best known for his role as the psychiatrist on M*A*S*H.

    1919: Two months after it first appeared in New York, as of today the rest of the country could see “The Heart of Humanity” a silent war propaganda film produced by Carl Laemmle, co-starring Eric Von Stroheim

    1919: Joseph Josephson, a Lithuanian born Jew who served with the Anzacs on the Western Front was discharged today.

    1921: Elka Lerner, a cousin of Joseph Barondess, gave birth to a baby aboard the SS Chicago two days before it arrived in New York Harbor.

    1922: As sign of erosion for support of the Balfour Declaration, “Sir William Joynson-Hicks, a
    Conservative Member of Parliament, asked the Prime Minister David Lloyd George, to explain the reason why the Government has promised the Jewish people a national home ‘in a country which is already the national home of the Arabs.’”

    1922: Birthdate of Herman Kahn “one of the preeminent futurists” who “predicted the rise of Japan as a major world power.”

    1922: In Merv, Turkmenistan, Gevork Alikhanov who was an Armenian and Ruth Bonner who was Jewish gave birth to Elena Georgievna Bonner, the Soviet dissident and human-rights campaigner who endured banishment and exile along with her husband, the dissident nuclear physicist Andrei D. Sakharov. ( As reported by Alessandra Stanley and Michael Schwiritz)

    1923: In Manhattan, Helen Sachs Straus and Nathan Straus Jr. who became director of the United States Housing Authority under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a New York State senator, gave birth to Ronald Peter Straus “who took over WMCA in New York in the late 1950s and turned it into one of the nation’s most innovative radio stations, broadcasting what are regarded as the first radio editorials and political endorsements and helping to popularize rock ’n’ roll.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1924: “Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber Hails Hitler as Intelligent and Sympathetic Leader”

    1926: Birthdate of Richard Adolf Bloch who started “the H&R Block tax preparation and personal finance company with his older brother Henry in 1955.”.

    1927: Birthdate of comic actor Harvey Korman who was second banana on “The Carol Burnett Show.”

    1928: Birthdate of Harold Arnold Ackerman, the New Jersey native who served as a federal judge for three decades.

    1929: In New York City, Jewish immigrants Julius and Rhea Schlesinger gave birth to James Schlesinger “who became a Lutheran as an adult” according to some to advance his academic career at a time when being Jewish was a limiting factor and served as Secretary of Defense and the first Secretary of Energy. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1931: Birthdate of Maxine Frank Singer, a leading biochemistry researcher and advocate of science education.

    1931: “Two orthodox synagogues, The Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association and The Young Men’s Hebrew Association, merged to become Congregation Beth Jacob. Under the leadership of Rabbi Louis Feigonz'l, the members raised funds to build a new synagogue on the site of the old Hebrew Orthodox Benevolent Association. In the 1970s the congregation joined the Conservative Movement in an attempt to attract more members. Today the congregation is small, but still active in the Galveston Community.”

    1932: Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, was nominated by President Hoover today to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

    1932: George Burns & Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on "Guy Lombardo Show”, a hit radio shoe. He was Jewish. She was not.

    1935: In Brooklyn Mae and Samuel Warhaftig gave birth to Susan Warhaftig who gained fame as journalist and author Susan Brownmiller.

    1935: “A committee created by the U.S. Congress to investigate the distribution of Nazi propaganda in America finds that Nazis are targeting millions of Americans of German heritage with pro-Nazi teachings.”

    1938: The Austrian government declared a general amnesty for Nazis.

    1939: Lillian Hellman's "Little Foxes" premiered in New York City.

    1940(6th of Adar I, 5700): Fifty eight year old German mathematician Otto Toeplitz who was dismissed from the faculty of Bonn University in 1935 and who emigrated to Palestine in 1939 where he worked at Hebrew University succumbed to tuberculosis today.

    1941: In France, the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children’s Aid Society) installed a medical post and obtained permission to take numerous children away from Gurs concentration camp, who would be housed in private homes throughout France.

    1943(10th of Adar I, 5703): Four hundred fifty of the Jews remaining in the ghetto at Drohobych were taken out of the ghetto to Bronica Forest where they were murdered.

    1943: Rutka Laskier, a fourteen year old living in Bedzin, Poland writes in her diary: “Monday
    I haven’t written in while and there was nothing to write about. Maybe just the fact that the Germans have retreated from the Eastern front, which may signal the nearing of the end of the war… I'm only afraid that we, the Jews, will be finished before ...But how shrewd am I, I have written already so much about the war and nothing about myself. Janek hasn't been seen since Wednesday. I must admit that I miss him, I mean, not him but his forehead. He has a wonderful white forehead ... I'm curious if Jumek is still in love with Tusia. Actually, he's a good guy. I like him, but not in the same way I like Mietek. With Mulek you can talk and forget about the sex difference, and I like that very much. When you talk to Janek, he is always very polite, reserved, just waiting for the moment he can help me with something and in that way, show me his superiority. Oh, him and his superiority! I can't stand it, that's why I liked Lolek. Actually, I still like him, but I haven't seen him in a while. I plan to go to Lolek in order to get the book "P.P." I heard it's great. It would be a great opportunity also to talk with Tuska about Rozka. I hate those two; I hate Rozka even more than Tuska. I had an argument with Tuska but it was for her own good. I saw how jealous she was (though at that time I didn't understand that). She was afraid to leave me alone in the room with Janek. I made a scene and we fell out. She was basically very pleased with it. And one more thing: I have decided to let Janek kiss me. Eventually, someone will kiss me for the first time, so let it be Janek. I do like him.” In August, the Laskiers were sent to Auschwitz, where Rutka and her mother, grandmother and brother were all killed.

    1943: Today Time magazine reported that “The late, great prestidigitator Harry Houdini, famed foe of phony mediums, and his wife Beatrice agreed before his death to try to get in touch with each other afterwards. Gravely ill last week in Hollywood, his widow announced that she had not only given up trying but had her doubts about the existence of a hereafter. She had held séances every year for ten years, unsuccessfully. "Ten years," observed patient Mrs. Houdini last week, "is long enough to wait for any man."

    1944: Churchill invites Chaim Weismann to dine with him.  After the dinner Weizmann reassured his Zionist colleagues that the Prime Minister still had a positive view of the formation of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine after the war ended.

    1946: Birthdate of American actress Marisa Berenson.

    1947:Dr. Alfred Meyer and his wife, Annie Nathan Meyer, will celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary this afternoon at a reception in the Women's Faculty Club of Columbia University.

    1948: Birthdate of Art Spiegelman.  The Swedish born cartoonist is best known for Maus: A Survivor's Taleand Maus: from Mauschwitz to the Catskills.  He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

    1950: Prime Minister Tawfiq told Ezekiel Shemtob that he would allow the Jews to leave Iraq.  He agreed to issue them "laissez-passers" and "full Iraqi passports."

    1951: The government led by Prime Minister Ben Gurion resigned “after the Knesset had rejected David Remez’s proposals on the registration of school children” triggering elections that would be held in July.

    1951: Birthdate of actress Jane Seymour.  Born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg in England, her father was “a doctor of Jewish origins” while her mother was a Dutch nurse.

    1960: David Susskind produced Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell” as the Play of the Week.

    1960: In “Top Hand With A Rhyme,” published today Joe Hyams describes the talents of Sylvia Fine, the wife of Danny Kaye.

    1966: Gertrude Luckner a Christian social worker who ended up in Rabensbruck for aiding Jewish families “was recognised as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem.”

    1968: A group of 26 Jewish lawyers, doctors and scientists in Vilnius (Vilna) addressed a letter to the Central Committee of Lithuania’s Communist Party describing the widespread discrimination against the Jewish people and demanding the right to immigrate to Israel.

     1971:  Birthdate of comic Alex Borstein.  Born Alexandra Borstein, this descendant of Sephardic Jews is best known for her work on “MADtv.”

    1972(30thof Shevat, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1975(3rdof Adar I, 5735): Salvator Cicurel an Egyptian Olympic fencer who competed in the individual and team épée and team foil events at the 1928 Summer Olympics passed away. Born in 1893, he was part of a prominent Egyptian Jewish family that owned The Cicurel stores which were Egypt's largest and most fashionable department store chain

    1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): American journalist and writer Isaac Don Levine passed away. Born in Mozyr, Russia, in 1892, “Levine came to the United States in 1911. He finished high school in Missouri, and found work with The Kansas City Starand later The New York Herald Tribune, for which he covered the Revolution of 1917. He would return to Russia to cover the Civil War for The Chicago Daily News in the early 1920s.” Levine was a columnist for the Hearst papers during the late 1920s and 1930s. “He edited the anti-communist magazine Plain Talk from 1946 till 1950, but did not join The Freeman, opting for a stint with Radio Free Europe in West Germany instead. In the spring of 1939, Levine collaborated with the Soviet intelligence agency defector, Walter Krivitsky, for a series of articles in the Saturday Evening Post, exposing the horrors of Joseph Stalin's "workers' paradise." In November of that same year, the series was collected into a book entitled In Stalin's Secret Service. Levine's role in the writing was not revealed at the time. In the meantime, Levine arranged a meeting in September 1939 between American Communist Party defector Whittaker Chambers and President Franklin Roosevelt's security chief, Adolf Berle, at which Chambers revealed, with Levine present, a massive spying operation reaching even into the White House that involved, among others, Alger Hiss in the State Department and, according to Levine, Harry Dexter White in the Treasury Department. Levine also provided testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the case against Hiss. Levine wrote the screenplay for the biographical movie “Jack London” (1943) and also appeared as himself as one of the witnesses to the John Reed era in ‘Reds’ (1981). He makes a brief appearance in Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007) as a friend of Einstein, but they fell out over their political differences

    1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): Mike Bloomfield, guitarist with Paul Butterfield Blues Band passed away at the age of 37.

    1981(11th of Adar I, 5741): Eighty-two year old Dezső Ernster the son of a cantor and a leading Hungarian opera singer who survived Bergen Belsen to continue a career that took him to the leading opera houses of Europe and the United States including the Met where he “sang leading bass roles from 1946 to 1963” passed aay today.

    1983 (2nd of Adar, 5743): Dr. Eugene Hevesi, who had served as foreign affairs secretary for the American Jewish Committee, died of lung cancer to at Long Island Jewish Hospital at the age of 87.  He was born in Budapest, the son of Simon Hevesi, Chief Rabbi of Budapest, and came to the United States in 1937 as an economic attaché in the Hungarian Embassy. He resigned in protest over the passage of an anti-Semitic law in Hungary and served with the American Jewish Committee for 23 years. For 20 years, Dr. Hevesi was also the United Nations representative for six Jewish nongovernmental organizations, including the Joint Distribution Committee and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. He received a Doctor of Laws degree in Hungary and an advanced degree in economics from the Consular Academy of Vienna. In the 1960's, he served as a liaison official between several American Jewish organizations and the Vatican. He is the father of Assemblyman Alan G. Hevesi.

    1985: U.S. premiere of “Beyond the Walls,” a 1948 Israeli film that “was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

    1987: In “Israel’s Pioneers Return On Film,” published todayThomas Friedman describes the filming of “Dreamers,” a film about the Dreamers Commune set in the 1920’s that captures “the moment when the idealism of the first Jewish settlers who came to this land from Eastern Europe to build a utopian society met the realities of the harsh Palestinian landscape and the Arab people who were already inhabiting it.”

    1988(27th of Shevat, 5748): Richard Feynman, Nobel-Prize winning nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan project passed away at the age of 69.  Being Jewish presented a problem for Feynman when he was pursuing his academic career.  He was probably rejected by Columbia because of the New York’s school’s Jewish quota. He was admitted to MIT where he had a stellar undergraduate career. After graduating from MIT, Feynman applied to the doctorate program at Princeton. Harry Smythe, who oversaw the program at Princeton, was concerned about Feynman’s religious background. “Is Feynman Jewish? We have no definite rule against Jews but have to keep their proportion in our department reasonably small because of the difficulty of placing them.”  Despite the prejudice, Feynman was admitted and performed brilliantly.

    1989:  The Soviet Union announced that its last troops had left Afghanistan, ending the ten year Soviet military operations in that mountainous Moslem nation.  From the Jewish perspective, the Soviet invasion and subsequent defeat influenced Jewish history in terms of the law of unexpected consequences.  The Soviet debacle in Afghanistan hastened the downfall of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.  This opened the door to a massive movement of Jews from the Soviet republics to Israel.  It also provided an opportunity for the rebirth of Jewish culture and the observance of the Jewish religion in the Soviet republics.  The foreign fighters who came to the aid of the Moslems in Afghanistan would become a cadre for groups of anti-Western and anti-Semitic terrorist groups that would ultimately pose an even graver, at one level, threat to the West, to the Jewish People and to Israel, than had been seen even in the darkest days of the Cold War.

    1990: In Germany, premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale” with a screenplay by Harold Pinter and featuring Blanche Baker as “Ofglen/”

    1992(11th of Adar I, 5752): William Schuman, a composer whose distinctly American style won two Pulitzer Prizes and guided him as the founding president of Lincoln Center and the president of the Juilliard School, passed away today in Manhattan at the age of 81. (As reported by Bruce Lambert)

    1995(15th of Adar I, 5755): Ninety year old Baron Jules de Koenigwarter, the former husband Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild, who served as a Colonel with the Free French and held several diplomatic posts after the war, passed away today.

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Founding Myth of Israel:Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish Stateby Zeev Sternhell and Stalking Elijah: Adventures With Today's Jewish Mystical Masters by Rodger Kamenetz

    2004: Various editions of the secular pressfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including, An Almost Perfect Moment by Binnie Kirshenbaum, Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel, My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughterby Sid Caesar with Eddy Friedfeld, The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War By Howard Blum, War Paint: Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden, Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry by Lindy Woodhead and Language Visible: Unraveling the AlphabetFrom A to Z by David Sacks, a history of the alphabet from ancient times.  Writing as we know it dates from approximately 2000 BCE, the same time when the Jews first appear on the world scene.  Is it a coincidence that the "People of the Book" appear at the same time as the alphabet does?  As we have said, studying Jewish History means studying the history of the world.

    2001: “Ambassador Leaves Israel for Homeland Posting” published today provides a background on the life an care of Emanuel Zisman

    2005: Last time that Stan Lee’s Sunday Comics, that included “Stan’s Soapbox” was updated.

    2007: In an article entitled “Anne Frank’s doomed American dream” The Times of Londonreported on newly discovered letters that reveal the increasingly desperate efforts by Anne Frank’s father to get his family out of Nazi-occupied Amsterdam before they were forced into hiding in the attic where the teenage girl wrote her famous diary.

    2007(27th of Shevat, 5767):Robert Adler, 93, who helped invent the device that created a nation of sedentary television viewers forever flummoxed by the question, "Where's the remote?" died, of heart failure in Boise, Idaho, according to Zenith, his longtime employer. Dr. Adler, a Viennese-born physicist with more than 180 U.S. patents in his name, the most famous of which was for the wireless remote control for televisions.

    2007: In Mannheim, Germany,Ernst Zündel was convicted of “incitement for Holocaust Denial” and “sentenced to the maximum term of five years in prison.

    2008: Eli Alexander Sherman the newborn son of Rabbis Aaron Sherman and Stephanie Alexander attends his first Shabbat service at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 and one half inches in length he is the smallest as well as the newest member of the Jewish community.  Calendars are circled for the Bar Mitzvah in 2021.

    2008: The Jerusalem Post on linereported that more than 50 Hezbollah terror cells believed to be spread across the globe could be activated and used to strike at Israeli or Jewish targets in retaliation for the assassination of Hezbollah arch-terrorist and operations officer Imad Mughniyeh in Syria, a senior defense official said; this despite disclaimers from the Israelis that did not commit the act

    2008: “The Other Boleyn Girl” starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn is screened for the first time at the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)

    2009:Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) Manchester meets at the Manchester Jewish Museum

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britainby Michael Korda, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land:A Plan That Will Workby Jimmy Carter and recently released paperback editions of The Spare Wifeby Alex Witchel and The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peaceby Aaron David Miller.

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Levittownby David Kushner and How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

    2009:A one-of-a-kind, award-winning exhibit of hundreds of pieces of World War II era mail and documents related to the Nazis' attempted extermination of Jews and others will be publicly displayed at Temple Judah. The collection is owned by the Deerfield, Illinois-based Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, which acquired the extraordinary items to preserve and offer them for public use at Holocaust and genocide educational venues around the world. It includes counterfeit Bank of England paper money created by slave laborers during "Operation Bernhard," the Nazis' failed plot to undermine England's economy and the subject of the recent motion picture, "The Counterfeiters." Steve Feller, who with his daughter Rachel co-authored the book Silent Witness: Civilian Camp Money of World War II, will present an educational program about Holocaust-related money in conjunction with the exhibit. Steve will be speaking at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation was established in 2006 to support charitable and educational causes. Many of the historic artifacts now can be viewed online at the foundation's Web site,

    2009: Opening day of “The Expanse of Russia in Israel,” an international conference sponsored by Tulane University’s Jewish Studies Program under the Chairmanship of Dr. Brian Horowitz, “The conference is devoted to a long-awaited investigation of Zionism and the influence of secular Russian culture on Israeli life.” Given the rise of Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, the topic of this conference becomes all the more urgent and timely.

    2010 (1 Adar, 5770): Rosh Chodesh Adar.

    2010: In Israel, observance of Family Day.

    2010: Israeli archaeologists said today that they've discovered an unusually shaped 1,400-year-old wine press that was exceptionally large and advanced for its time. The octagonal press measures 21 feet by 54 feet (6.5 by 16.5 meters) and was discovered in southern Israel, about 40 kilometers south of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

    2010: The bomb attack on a restaurant in Pune, India, not far from a Chabad Jewish center, was not directed at the Chabad house, an Israeli security official said today. Nitzan Nuriel, head of counterterrorism at Israel's National Security Agency, said that the "attack in India was not directed at Chabad house, even though Chabad houses appear on the potential lists of targets maintained by some of the groups that operate in the area." Indian intelligence services had said that it was highly likely the bomb that tore through a cafe was meant for the local Chabad House, located several dozen meters from the site of the blast.

    2010: The first issue of The Jewish Review of Books is scheduled to begin arriving in mailboxes across the United States marking the launch of “a quarterly magazine devoted Jewish literary and political affairs.

    2010: The Josephine F. and H. Max Ammerman Study Retreat at the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center in Reisterstown, Maryland featuring a program entitled “The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: From the Exodus through the Babylonian Exile in Light of New Archaeological Discoveries” is scheduled to come to an end.

    2010: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich and the Jupiter musicians are scheduled to perform Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio and a Haydn Piano Trio in New York City.

    2010: According to reports published today, “a painting by Adolf Hitler, which may have hung in Sigmund Freud's office, will be put up for auction in Britain next month. The starting price is 10,000 pounds. The watercolor depicts a church and mountains, and is signed, "A. Hitler, 1910.""Sigmund Freud, Vienna," is written on the back of the painting, which led its owners to conclude that it may have hung on the wall of Freud's Vienna office, where he lived and worked until he fled to London after Germany took over Austria in 1938. After World War Two, the painting was brought to Italy, where it was taken by an American soldier who later claimed that he was told the painting was hanging in Freud's clinic. If the painting is indeed the work of Hitler and was on the wall of the famous psychiatrist, then the two may have known each other. Both lived in Vienna at the same time (around 1910), when Hitler was trying to make a living as a painter. Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock's Specialist Auctioneers told the Telegraph yesterday, "The possibility that this watercolor once hung on the walls of Freud's consulting rooms in Vienna may seem on the face of it completely bizarre. But both men were in Vienna at the same time and we know Hitler was selling his paintings, so it is quite possible that Freud had one on the wall. "We will never know for certain whether this was Freud's, but it raises the tantalizing prospect that the two men might have met," he said.

    2011(11thof Adar I, 5771): Dr. Charles Epstein, a UC San Francisco medical geneticist who studied Down syndrome and pioneered genetic counseling for families with affected children, but whose career was temporarily interrupted by a vicious 1993 attack by the notorious Unabomber, passed away today at his home in Tiburon, CA at the age of 77. (As reported by Thomas H. Maugh II, in the LA Times)

    2011: The 92ndStreet Y is scheduled to offer a program entitled “Purim Class” that is a “journey behind the mask of joyous fun and games of Purim” that explores “the complex story and meaning behind this perplexing Jewish holiday.”

    2011: An American Synagogue, a documentary  that tells “the remarkable story of the building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Temple Beth Sholom in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and “100 Voices: A Journey Home” a documentary that “chronicles a musical voyage to the birthplace of songful prayer known as chazzanut” are scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Israeli embassies throughout the world have received several suspected terror threats, the Israel Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. The threats against the embassies are allegedly from Hezbollah to avenge the murder of Imad Mughniyah on the third anniversary of his death

    2011: Gerda Weissmann Klein was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States

    2012(22ndof Shevat, 5772): Ninety five year old Zelda Kaplan passed away (As reported by Ruth La Ferla)

    2012: “Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women” is scheduled to be shown at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton MA.

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Anshei Emuna Congregation in Delray Beach, FL.

    2012: “For My Father” is scheduled to be shown at The Yeshiva University Ring Family Israel Film Festival 

    2012: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to celebrate “President’s Day with a noontime program about Isachar Zacharie, a chiropodist whom President Abraham Lincoln trusted not only with his feet but with a peace mission to the Confederacy.

    2012: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that Iran is destabilizing the world and urged the international community to condemn its terror acts against Israeli targets. The prime minister's comments come a day after a botched terror attack in Thailand, which Israeli officials believe was meant to target Israel's ambassador in Bangkok. The bombing followed an attack on Israel's embassy in New Delhi and an attempted attack on Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi. "(As reported by Barak Ravid)

    2012: Southern farming regions bordering Gaza were targeted by Palestinian rocket fire tonight. Two rockets exploded in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, two more fell in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, and a fifth fell in the Eshkol Regional Council.

    2013: Shaare Tefila in Olney, MD is scheduled to host Shabbat Alive!, an “instrumental Friday night service.”

    2013: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to be the site for a special concert “The Big Members of the Violin Family” featuring Inbal Megiddo on cello and Paul Altromari on double bass.

    2013: At the Weiner Library in London, Dr. Susan Cohen of the University of Southampton is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Rescue the Perishing: Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees” which traces the British MP’s effort to rescues Jews from Eastern Europe.

    2013: Clarinet and tenor saxophonist Anat Cohen, along with her brothers - trumpeter Avishai and soprano saxophonist Yuval are scheduled to perform tonight at Carnegie Hall.

    2013: A synagogue in Siberia was among the buildings damaged when “a meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia” today. (As reported by Anne Cohen)

    2013: Jonathan David Leibowitz resigned as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission effective as of today.

    2013: A highly unusual maiden Knesset speech delivered by Yesh Atid legislator Dr. Ruth Calderon has become something of a YouTube sensation, garnering over 80,000 views as of this afternoon — compared, for instance, to fewer than 4,000 views for the maiden speech delivered by her party leader, political sensation Yair Lapid, the day before.

    2013: Bulgarian security forces today raided the temporary residences of a visiting Hamas delegation in Sofia, and then expelled the officials from the country, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

    2014: “Closing Night” and “Bethlehem,” winner of Israel’s best-picture award are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish Film Festival in San Diego, CA

    2014: Today “The World Jewish Congress accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government of trying to “falsify” history, adding its voice to concerns about Holocaust commemorations this year.”

    2014: In Tel Aviv, three Israelis were arrested in connection with the stabbing of asylum seekers this evening.

    2015: The New York Times features reviews by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song by Ben Yagoda and Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod.

    2015: Deb Mrowka is scheduled to address those attending the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

    2015: In Olney, MD, the Shaare Telia Men’s Club and Sisterhood are scheduled to square off in the “It’s Academic” Trivia Game Competitio.

    2015: Final performance of “Life Sucks” written and directed Aaron Posner is scheduled to take place at Theatre J in Washington, DC

    2015: The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism is scheduled to host a screening of “Shoah” followed by a panel discussion.

    2015: The first annual Times of Israel Gala is scheduled to take place at the Waldorf Astoria.

    2015: “Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz – the man the prime minister didn’t want at the army’s helm – is scheduled to complete a four-year term of service as the IDF’s top commander today, having shepherded the army through the Arab uprisings, the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the cyclonic civil war in Syria, and the ever deteriorating security situation along Israel’s border lands.” (As reported by Mitch Ginsburg)

    2015: “German Jews at the Eastern Front in WW I: Modernism Meets Tradition” a “must see” exhibition at the Center for Jewish History is scheduled to come to a close today

    2015:Danish police confirmed early this morning that one man was killed after a gunman shot him in the head outside a Copenhagen synagogue and that the shooter also injured two policemen in the arm and leg.



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    February 16

    600: Pope Gregory the Great decrees that the phrase "God bless You" is an appropriate response to a sneeze. Gregory's policy in regard to the Jews is expressed in the following sentence, which was adopted by later popes as a fixed introductory formula to bulls in favor of the Jews: "Just as no freedom may be granted to the Jews in their communities to exceed the limits legally set for them, so they should in no way suffer through a violation of their rights" (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)

    1086: In response to a solar eclipse, citizens of Sicily burn torches and lamps during normal daylight hours. Jews would have been among those burning these lights. They had been living in Sicily since the end of the Great Revolt in 70 when they came to the island as slaves.  Jews lived at Palermo, Syracuse and Catania.  The community would survive until they were expelled as part of the Spanish Inquisition.

    1249: Louis IX of France, also known as St. Louis, dispatched Andrew of Longjumeau as his ambassador to meet with Mongol Khagan of the Mongol Empire. Louis was in Egypt engaged in the first of his two Crusades aimed at regaining the Holy Land from the “Islamic infidels.”  Andrew’s mission was part of an attempt to forge an alliance with the Mongols against the Moslems.  Louis had financed his first crusade (known to history as The Seventh Crusade) in part by expelling all of the Jews engaged in usury and confiscating their property. Further acts of his pre-Crusade piety included the burning of some 12,000 manuscript copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books and an expansion of the Inquisition.  The alliance with the Mongols failed to materialize and the crusade was a total failure.

    1349: The Jews were expelled from Burgsdorf Switzerland

    1525: During the Great Peasants Revolt which will test the skills “Shtadlan: Josel (Yosel) of Rosheim, “25 villagers belonging to the city of Memingen rebelled” demanding an improvement in their economic conditions and change in the political environment that controlled their lives.

    1565(15th of Adar): In Mantua, Italy first printing of Menorat ha-Ma’or by Rabbi Isaac Aboab

    1570: The Jews miraculously escaped the impact a violent earthquake in Italy.

    1594: Astronomer Tycho Brahe arranged for The Maharal (Judah Lowe, the Chief Rabbi of Prague) to meet with Emperor Rudolph II.

    1616: Elias Felice Montalto passed away.  Montalto had converted to Christianity but later returned to Judaism.  A physician and author who had lived in Venice, Montalto was living in Paris and serving as the private physician to Queen Maria de Medici at the time of his death.  The queen had him embalmed and sent to the Jewish cemetery at Ouderkerk near Amsterdam.

    1799: French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Egyptian town of El Arresh after an eight day siege. The French Army then began a march towards Khan Younis and Gaza.

    1829: Henrietta Samuel and Solomon Benedict de Worms who “owned large plantations in Ceylon and was made a hereditary baron of the Austrian Empire by Franz Joseph I gave birth to George de Worms, 2nd Baron de Worms the English official and banker whose sibling included Anthony Mayer de Worms, Ellen Henreitta de Worms and Henry de Worms.

    1837: Birthdate of Asher Asher the native of Glasgow who was the first Jew in Scotland to become a doctor of medicine and the author of The Jewish Rite of Circumcision.

    1845: Birthdate of explorer George Kennan who spent two years working in Russia which gave credibility to his comments in 1893 that the Russians were indeed issuing edits aimed to punish the Jews which were forcing them to leave and come to the United States.

    1854: L'étoile du nord (The North Star) an opéra comique in three acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed at the Salle Favart by the company of the Opéra-Comique, Paris, for the first time today. Meyerbeer whose birth named Jacbo Liebmann Beer, was the son of the German-Jewish financier Jacob Judah Herz Beer and Amalia Liebmann Meyer Wulff

    1855(28th of Shevat): Jacob Raphael Furstenthal passed away in Breslau.  Born at Glogau in 1781, he is known for his German translations of and Hebrew commentaries to the Moreh Nebukim of Moses Maimonides and the Ḥobot ha-Lebabot of Baḥya ibn Paḳuda,

    1857: "Strange Piece of Rascality and Shysterism" published today reported on an apparent attempt to defraud Samuel Goldberry who had been arrested on a charge of petty larceny last March and who was still waiting to stand trial.  According to the article "Heitman, a Jew," a police officer named Frank White, a man named Piser, a Jew named Rosenbaum and a Jew named Rosenberg, conspired to con Goldberry out of $165.00.  [Interestingly, the author only the Jews were identified by religion.]

    1857: The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, DC, becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf. In the course of fulfilling its educational mission Gallaudet has created a selected bibliography styled, “Deaf Persons in the Holocaust.”

    1869: Birthdate of Julius Tandler native of Moravia who became a physician and political leader in Vienna.

    1870: The Jews of Sweden were emancipated.

    1871: The Executive Committee of the Hebrew Charity Fair presented Emanual B. Hart with an engraved silver dinner service tonight in recognition of the services he has rendered in making the latest fund raiser a successful event.  Mr. S.L. Cohen made the presentation speech and Mr. Hart responded with the appropriate words and toasts.

    1872: It was reported today that of the 73 private charitable institutions in New York City controlled by religious denominations that received state aide in 1870, two of them were controlled by Jewish organizations.  They received $11, 453.72 out of a total allocation of $688,048.86. No final figures were available for 1871.

    1872: “An Oriental Seeks Justice” published today described the legal difficulties of Rabbi Aarons, an octogenarian from Jerusalem who while preaching in a small uptown New York City synagogue “denounced certain wind-dealers who” he claims “pretended to sell wine especially prepared for Jewish religious observances” when it was in fact prepared by non-Jews which meant that it was ritually unfit.

    1872: It was reported today that Mr. Rosenfeldt had committed suicide in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Rosenfeldt had converted to Christianity from Judaism.  Many of the Jews in Kingston thought that Rosenfeldt had changed his mind.  But in a suicide note written to the Bishop the deceased said he had killed himself because “others were conspiring against” and he wanted to leave part of his estate to those working to convert Jews. [Editor’s note – I can find no further reference to Mr. Rosenfeldt or his family who was living in Germany at the time of his death.]

    1879: It was reported today that out of the 40,000 people living in Krakow, 12,000 of them are Jews most of whom are “Orthodox or Rabbincial.

    1880: David Harfeld, the brother of Rabbi Eugene Harfeld failed to return the furnished room he was renting with his wife, the former Julia Harlan.  This desertion would lead to charges of bigamy in case that would be heard nine years later.

    1880: Telegrams were received in Cleveland, Ohio from Evansville, Indiana, inquiring about the whereabouts of Bethold Landua, the Secretary of Kescher Sher Bassel. Landau, who has not been heard from in two weeks, has possession of nearly $40,000 of the society’s money.  The society is holding its annual national convention in Evansville.

    1881: Birthdate of Hans Meiser, the pro-Nazi Nuremberg native who served as Bishop of the Bavarian Evangelical-Lutheran Church.  In 1938 he imposed the following loyalty oath: I swear to God the Almighty and Alknowing: I will be loyal and obedient to the Führer of the Reich and Volk, Adolf Hitler, I will obey the laws, and I will conscientiously fulfill all my official duties, so help me God."

    1882: According to the Times of London, the British Foreign Office is about to issue a report based on information provided by its consular officials describing attacks on the Jews living in Russia.  While there are no proven “cases of the violation of women” there is clear evidence of “other serious outrages.” If the authorities had used the proper amount of force, “the outrages” might have been confined to a more limited area.  For obvious reason, the Jews still living in Russia have been reluctant to provide information to the British officials. [Editor’s Note – Use the term “outrages” to describe a Pogrom must be a classic example of the English penchant for understatement.]

    1885(1stof Adar, 5645): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1890: The 23 piece Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band played at this evening’s concert sponsored by the Seligman Solomon Society.

    1890(26thof Shevat, 5650): Isaac Jacob, a Jewish peddler, ambushed Herman Rogozinski, a Washington Market poultry carrier and shot him with a 38 caliber “Blue Jacket” pistol fatally wounding him when the bullet struck Herman in the breast. He then committed suicide after a failed attempt to kill Mrs. Rogozinksi.

    1890: “The Jew Question in France” published today described the attempts of the Boulangists to revive interest in the movement by exploiting “discontent in financial and social circles with” successful Jewish banks in general and the Rothschilds in particular. (The Boulangists were a right-wing militarist movement named for General Boulanger and was an example of the social unrest in the Third Republic that produced, among other things, the Dreyfus Affair)

    1891: It was reported today that Lewis May and Jesse Seligman spoke at the memorial service held to honor the memory of Lazarus Rosenfeld.  They recounted “his efforts in the founding of Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Home for the Aged, the Montefiore Home and Temple Emanu-El.”

    1891: It was reported today that the newly elected officers of the Jewish Alliance of America are: President – Simon Wolf of Philadelphia; Vice Presidents – Dr. H.W. Schneeberg of Baltimore, Dr. Charles D. Spivak of Philadelphia and Ferdinand Levy of New York; Secretary – Barnard Harris of Philadelphia; Treasurer – Simon Wolf of Washington, D.C. The goal of the alliance is to help teach the newly arriving immigrants from Russia “habits of self-support” with an emphasis on farming.

    1892: As the outbreak of typhus fever continues to spread, The Health Department is scheduled to accept the offer of the Immigration Commissioners to use Ward’s Island as a quarantine site for those found to be suffering from typhus. The fever seems to be most prevalent among recently arriving immigrants including a large number of Jews from Russia.

    1892: The Second Conference of the Russian American Hebrew Agricultural Fund Association will meet this evening at the Hebrew Institute on East Broadway.

    1892: It was reported today that all of the 84 people quarantined on North Brother Island because of typhus fever are Jewish immigrants from Russia who arrived aboard the SS Massilia.

    1893(OS): “Glouskine a clever young Jew who served in the Russian army with distinction, rising to be an under officer” and who “then became the manager of important iron works in the village of Kamieny” was ordered today “ to get out within eight days together with his family” as part of the forced Russian expulsion of Jews in Poland.

    1896: “Synagogue Members In A Fight” published today described fight that broke between supporters of Solomon Bentowski and Heyman Solomon during the business meeting of synagogue that met at 112 Clinton Street in New York. The police were called but no arrests were made.

    1897: The third monthly conference of representatives of New York City charities including N.S. Rosenau of the United Hebrew Charities is scheduled to take place today.

    1898: It was reported that Judge Meyer S. Isaacs will speak at the next meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1899: French President Félix Faure dies in office.  Faure was the “addressee” of one of the most famous letters in Jewish History. On January 13, 1898 The French newspaper L’Aurore published a letter written by Emile Zola entitled J’accuse addressed to Faure.  The letter exposed the conspiracy known as the Dreyfus Affair.

    1902: In a letter to the Sultan, Herzl summarizes his negotiations. The Sultan's decision is unfavorable.

    1910: Colonel Claude Reignier Conder passed away. During his service with the Corps of Engineers, Concor took part in a survey of Western Palestine from 1872 to 1874 along with Lieutenant Horatio Kitchener, the future British military leader known as Lord Kitchener.  He also served two tours with the Palestine Exploration Fund Among his literary accounts of his work were  Tent Work in Palestine, Memories” The Survey of Western and Eastern Palestine, and The City of Jerusalem.

    1912: A Turkish Jew, G. Valensin Bey, who was a member of the municipal council of Alexandria, was appointed Commander of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus by the King of Italy

    1912(28thof Shevat, 5672): Eighty-five year old theatrical manager and  writer Albert L Parkes passed away in New York City.

    1913: “After an interregnum of eighteen months and a spirited contest between candidates, Dr. Joseph H. Hertz of New York was to-day elected Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire at a meeting of the Electoral College, presided over by Lord Rothschild, President of the United Synagogue.”

    1915(2nd of Adar, 5675): French composer Emil Waldteufel passed away.

    1915: The American Jewish Relief Committee issued a plea to every Jew in New York asking that they send at least one dollar to the office of Treasurer Felix Warburg so that the committee could take advantage of the offer of U.S Navy to ship 900 tons of food supplies “for the suffering and starving population of Palestine.”

    1915: Birthdate of Leah Ray Hubbard, the Norfolk, VA born singer who became Leah Ray Hubbard Werblin when she met MCA executive and future owner of the New York Jets “Sonny” Werblin.


    1915: “Order Jews to Rear” published today described the forced deportation of Jews from a large part of Poland by the Russian government.

    1915: Jacob N. Chester took issue with claims by Russia that Jews were being forcibly being deported from Zyrardow because “of the discovery of a concrete base for heavy guns” at M. M. Dietrich’s factory where only Jews were employed before the war because “as a matter of fact not a single Jew was ever employed in this factory” which employed 20,000 Polish and German workers.

    1916: Thanks to the efforts of Albert Lucas, representing the Central Relief Committee of New York the U.S. Collier Sterling is scheduled to leave today carrying “a cargo of medicine and matzos” to Palestine.

     1917: After 425 years, dedication of the first synagogue to open in Madrid. We all know about 1492 when the Jews were expelled.  Now we know a little about their official readmission.

    1918: Lithuania proclaimed its independence from Germany.  Lithuania would have to fight both the Germans and the Soviets for its right to be independent.  According to one source, at least 3,000 Jews fought in the armies defending Lithuanian independence.  This active role brought Jews and their institution a certain amount of early recognition in the early days of Lithuanian independence.  This acceptance would recede during the thirties.  Following the outbreak of World War II, over 90 per cent of the Jewish community would perish at the hands of the Soviets and the Nazis.

    1926: In London, “Winifred Henrietta (née Regensburg) and Bernard Edward Schlesinger, a physician” gave birth to director John Schlesinger who won the Oscar for Best Director for his work on “Midnight Cowboy” which won the 1969 Oscar for Best Picture.

    1926: In Frankfurt, Edith and Otto Frank gave birth to their first daughter Margot, the older sister of diarist Anne Fran.

    1927: Birthdate of British actress June Muriel Brown.

    1930: On New York’s Lower East Side, Rabbi Yitzchak Mattisyahu Weinberg and his wife Hinda gave birth to Yisrael Noah Weinberg the Rosh Yeshiva at Aish HaTorah.

    1932(8th of Adar I, 5692): Sir Edgar Speyer, 1st Baronet passed away. He was an American-born financier and philanthropist who became a British subject in 1892 and was chairman of Speyer Brothers, the British branch of his family's international finance house, and a partner in the German and American branches. He was stripped of his honors as a British citizen following a smear campaign that accused him of being pro-German during World War I.

    1932: Birthdate of Romanian born and Holocaust survivor Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld.

    1932: Birthday of Harry Goz who played Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway in 1966 and 1967.

    1932: The New York Times said of Cardozo's appointment that "seldom, if ever, in the history of the Court has an appointment been so universally commended"

    1934: The Austrian Civil War, also known as the February Uprising which had begun on February 12 came to an end today. When the dust settled, the Socialists were in disarray and/or in exile while the right combined to form what their enemies called Austrofascism which did not share the anti-Semitism of German fascism.

    1935: Birthdate of Barbara Myerhoff, acclaimed anthropologist and documentary filmmaker.

    1935: Birthdate of Gilbert de Botton, the financier who invented the open architecture model of asset management. A native of Alexandria Egypt, he was a descendant of a distinguished Sephardic family whose ancestors included Abraham de Boton.  His mother was Yolande Harmer, a Zionist who was imprisoned by the Egyptians on charges of spying for Israel. (As reported by The Telegraph)

    1936: In honor of her 75th birthday, Henrietta Szold, American Zionist leader will be honored today by the Jews of Palestine with the title of “freewoman” which makes her an honorary citizen of Tel Aviv The title is the feminine form of “freeman” that has been confirmed on such leaders as the Earl of Balfour and former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.  The Jewish community is also collecting funds for a social welfare project to be named for Miss Szold.

    1936: Birthdate of Jerusalem native Eliahu Inbal the Israeli conductor.

    1938: “Benito Mussolini issues an official declaration that there is no ‘Jewish Problem’ in Italy and the Fascist government isn't considering any special anti-Semitic measures. This will change in July, 1938, when Jews are stripped of their Italian citizenship and banned from many professions.”

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that two Jews were wounded when Arabs fired at a Jewish bus which was on its way to the Kastel quarries. Over a dozen of shooting incidents and attempts to sever communications were reported from all over the country.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the total number of Jewish immigrants in 1937 was 12,475, compared to 31,671 a year earlier. Of these, 3,648 immigrants came from Poland, 3,601 from Germany and the rest from other countries. This painful and unjustified reduction was directly attributed to the new British and Palestine governments' immigration policy.

    1938: Abraham Pais was awarded two Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics, with minors in chemistry and astronomy. [Pais was the Dutch born Physicist who survived the Holocaust and came to America to pursue his career. The Abraham Pais Prize for the History of Physics attests to the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues.]

    1943: The White Rose, an anti-Nazi group posted a sign in Munich, Germany, reading “Out with Hitler!  Long live freedom!”  The members of White Rose were not Jewish, but they were a courageous group that did what it could to oppose Hitler.  Many of its members were caught and beheaded, a favorite form of death among the Nazis.

    1944(22nd of Shevat, 5704): Rabbi Gabriel Shusterman, author of Ben Moshe Yedaber passed away

    1944(22nd of Shevat, 5704): Danish writer and director Henri Nathansen passed away. Born in 1868, he gave up his legal career to become an author and theatrical director. His Jewish background provided a major theme for some of his efforts.  “His best known work, ‘Inside the Walls,’ premiered in 1912 and centers around a wealthy, loving, but conservative Jewish family whose only daughter breaks away from tradition by attending lectures at the university and secretly becoming engaged to her teacher, a gentile.”  His 1932 novel Mendel Philipsen and Son, features “a Jewish woman who falls in love with a gentile painter but instead enters into a loveless marriage with her Jewish cousin…” In 1929, he wrote a biography of fellow Danish Jew, Georg Brandes. In October 1943, when the Nazis attempted to round up the Danish Jews, Nathansen fled to Sweden just four months before his death.

    1947: Famed violinist Isaac Stern joins Jack Benny in a laughed filled appearance on the Jack Benny Program.

    1947: Morton Gould's 3rd Symphony premiered.  In 1995 Gould won the Pulitzer Prize for “Stringfellow.”

    1948: The Arabs began their first organized attack, on Tirat Tzvi.  Tirat Tzvi (Zevi's Castle) was a Kibbutz founded in 1937 near the Jordanian border. It was named in memory of Rabbi Zevi Hirsh Klaischer who urged his fellow Jews to form a national movement following the failed revolutions of 1848 in Europe.  In 1862, he published a book combining the themes of agriculture and spiritual re-awakening in what was then called Palestine.  He had hoped to move to Mikveh Israel but at the age of eighty felt himself too old and he died in Germany, one of the first religious champions of what was to become the Zionist dream.  The attack in 1948 took place between the vote to partition Palestine and the actual British departure from the Mandate Territory.  In other words, Arab military forces were on the attack determined to wipe out as many of the Jewish kibbutzim as possible thus destroying the Jewish state before it was even born.  The attack on Tirat Tzvi failed thanks to the bravery of the outnumbered defenders.

    1949: In Manhattan, Seymour and Anne Kornblum gave birth to Allan Mark Kornblum “whose love for poetry and printing led him to start Coffee House Press, an independent publisher widely respected for finding and nurturing new authors.” (As reported by William Yardley)

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that from the establishment of the state in May 1948 to the end of 1952, 707,576 immigrants arrived, including 124,225 from Iraq, 121,536 from Romania, 106,727 from Poland, 62,565 from North Africa and 48,447 from Yemen and Aden. The immigrants hailed from 69 countries.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had sent anti-typhoid vaccine to flood victims in Holland.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that forty prominent American senators prepared a program of action to stop the excesses of the anti-Semitic propagandists in the Soviet Union and its satellite nations.

    1963:The first of the articles that, in expanded form, would become Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt's most controversial work, was published in The New Yorker

    1967: The original West End production of “Fiddler on the Roof” opened on at Her Majesty's Theatre and played for 2,030 performances. It starred Chaim Topol, as Tevye and Miriam Karlin as Golde.

    1972(1stof Adar, 5732): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1974(24th of Shevat, 5734): German born, Harvard educated philosopher Horace Kallen passed away.

    1977: “The Princess Who Is Everywhere” published today provides a sketch of Diane von Furstenberg who has expanded from fashion guru to author.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that two persons were killed and 46 injured when an Arab threw a bomb at a bus passing through Rehov Tzefania in Jerusalem.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that in Washington the US Administration threatened to withdraw its request for the sale of advanced F-15 and F-16 fighter planes to Israel if Congress blocked the sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia and F-5Es to Egypt.

    1985: The founding of Hezbollah, another Arab/Moslem terror group dedicated, in part, to the destruction of the state of Israel. 

    1986(7thof Adar I. 5746): Actor Howard Da Silva passed away at the age of 76.  Da Silva had a long career as a character actor.  His work in Hollywood was temporarily interrupted because he was named to the Hollywood Blacklist.

    1987: The Demjanjuk trial opened in Jerusalem. Ivan Demjanjuk, a former Ukrainian SS volunteer, was accused of overseeing the gas chambers in Treblinka. His cruelty had earned him the name "Ivan the Terrible." Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel in 1986, was found guilty and condemned to death. The verdict was appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. After 3 years of deliberation they ruled that there wasn't enough sufficient proof that Demjanjuk and Ivan the Terrible were one and the same person. This was mainly due to the lack of first person witnesses and the length of time that had elapsed made definite identification impossible. In September 1993 he was released and returned to the United States.  He was later stripped of his citizenship for falsifying his documents when he entered the United States.

    1989: Larry Bloch opened “Eco-Saloon,” in a former Chinese-food warehouse just south of the Holland Tunnel some of the profits which were used to fund a not-for-profit Center for Social and Environmental Justice.

    1990: Elyakim Rubenstein, the Cabinet secretary, called Ariel Sharon here at his ranch today, just to be sure he was serious about his intention to resign.

    1991: At Shabbat synagogue services, congregants were mindful of the deaths of Iraqi civilians, but they were also reminded that Israel had been subjected to indiscriminate Iraqi missile attacks for more than a month and that fighting was the price of peace. Worshippers at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan expressed regret over the killing of Iraqi civilians and said they were disturbed by the television images of broken bodies. But most said their support for the war was undimmed. "War is a terrible thing," said Billy Sussis. But he added that the deaths of the civilians had not shaken his support for the allied effort. "If you're going to fight a war, terrible things like this are going to happen." Rabbi Helene Ferris, however, expressed hope that the incident would "wake up the world's conscience" and disrupt wide impressions of a bloodless conflict. "War is about killing," she declared. "It's about mothers bleeding, fathers bleeding. If we lose sight of that, we may stop trying to find a better way." At the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, just back from a visit to Israel, gave his congregation graphic impressions of life in a war zone: an old woman standing beside the ruins of her home in Tel Aviv, an infant in a gas-mask crib, wailing sirens in the night, the sight of his own parents donning gas masks and the vibration of windows as the missiles exploded nearby. "It's not just that the air raids are terrifying, though certainly they are," Rabbi Skolnik said. "It's more that the entire rhythm of the country has been thrown out of kilter."

    1992: An Israeli helicopter strike killed the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Abbas al-Musawi.  According to western officials, al-Musawi was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks including the 1983 terror attack in Beirut that killed 300 U.S. and French soldiers.  Musawi may be dead, but Hezbollah and its murderous ways live on.

    1996: Youssef Majed al-Molqi who had been sentenced to 30 years for murdering 69 year old wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer “left the Rebibbia prison in Rome today, on a 12-day furlough and fled to Spain.

    1997: The first Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy opens in New York City leadingto the founding of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

    1997: The New York Timesincludes a review of The Boy Who Went Away, “Eli Gottlieb’s touching coming-of-age novel…”

    1998: The funeral of Abraham Bloch, a graduate of Yeshiva Yitzchak Elchanan who served as the Rabbi of Congregation Petach Tikvah, is scheduled to take place in Brooklyn, NY today.

    1998(20th of Shevat, 5758):  Martha Gellhorn, whose father was Jewish, passed away at the age of 89.  Gellhorn gained fame for her reporting during the Spanish Civil War and as one of the many wives of Ernest Hemingway.

    1999: The United States Third Court of Appeals ruled on the constitutionality of holiday displays in ACLU versus Schundler.

    2000: In an address before the Knesset, German President Johannes Rau asked forgiveness for Germany’s murderous treatment of Europe’s Jews during World War II.

    2000: U.S. premiere of “Hanging Up” written by Delia Ephron and Nora Ephron, who also co-produced the comedy which co-starred Lisa Kudrow and Walter Matthau “in his final film appearance.)

    2002(4thof Adar, 5762): Three teenagers from Ginot Shomron – Rachel Thaler, Keren Shatsky and Nehemia Amar – were murdered by terrorist from the PFLP in front of a pizza parlor at the Karnei Shomron Mall on a Saturday night.

    2003: “The Unsettlers” published today provides one version of life for Jews living near Nablus.

    2005: By a vote of 59 to 40 with 5 abstentions, the Knesset “finalized and approved” Sharon’s plan for withdrawal from Gaza after having rejected “a proposed amendment to submit the plan to a referendum.”

    2006: Britain's most senior Jewish leader has condemned the Church of England for voting this month to review its investments in companies whose products are used by Israel in the occupied territories. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said the Anglican vote on whether to pull money from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation" was ill-judged and would inflame relations between the two religions. At a meeting of the Anglican Church’s  governing body, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's 77 million Anglicans, sparked anger by supporting the vote. The vote angered many within the Anglican Church and drew criticism from Jewish groups around the world. Williams' predecessor as Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, said the vote made him "ashamed to be an Anglican." In a letter to the Times newspaper, Carey said it was a "one-eyed strategy to rebuke one side and forget the traumas of ordinary Israelis who live in fear of suicide bombers and those whose policy it is to destroy all Jews.”

    2006: A revival of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” opened at the Cort Theatre

    2007: Sheik Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch gave a sermon in Jersualem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood in which he “urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to save Al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the end occupation.”  Salah, who denies any Jewish historical claim to Jerusalem or the existence of a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount included these words, “We are not those who ate bread dipped in children’s blood.”  (The Blood Libel is alive and well.)

    2007: The Sabbath Queen gets a royal welcome at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as Rick Recht returns with “Shabbat Alive” Part II. 2007(28th of Shevat, 5767): Mordkhe Schaechter, a leading Yiddish linguist who spent a lifetime studying, standardizing and teaching the language passed away at the age of 79. As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)

    2008: The Jerusalem Cinematheque features a showing of the internationally acclaimed “The Band’s Visit” ביקור התזמורת).  ]

    2009: In New Orleans, “The Expanse of Russia in Israel,” an international conference sponsored by Tulane University’s Jewish Studies Program under the Chairmanship of Dr. Brian Horowitz, enters its second day.  “The conference is devoted to a long-awaited investigation of Zionism and the influence of secular Russian culture on Israeli life.”

    2009:France's top judicial body formally recognized the nation's role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust - but effectively ruled out any more reparations for the deportees or their families..

    2009: Wilm Hosenfeld, the German officer made famous in Roman Polanski's 2002 film The Pianist for sheltering two Jews who escaped from the Nazis during the Holocaust has been posthumously recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial.

     2010: Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History, University of Pennsylvania in cooperation with Centro Primo Levi are scheduled to present “Between Sacred and Profane: Jews and the Modern City: Three Snapshots” part of “a series of talks by fellows at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (U of Penn) who are engaged in a critical analysis of the notions of the "secular" and "religious" as they affect all aspects of Jewish life over the past three centuries.

    2010: Israel will erect a memorial commemorating the Red Army’s crucial role in the victory over the Nazis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a photo opportunity before their meeting today.

    2010: Four hundred cadets graduated from the IDF Infantry Officers Training Course today and will be awarded the rank of second lieutenant. 7% of them are young women, 25% are religious, 5% are from kibbutzim, 61% are from cities. For the first time, three of the infantry officer graduates are women who completed the grueling combat course. The highest number of awards for excellence went to the Golani Brigade.

    2011: “Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln’s City,” a lecture by Laura Cohen Apelbaum the Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington,  is scheduled to take place at Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.

    2011: “Precious Life,” an “acclaimed documentary that explores the paradoxes of a Palestinian infant being treated for a rare immune disorder at an Israeli hospital” during a period when the IDF was fighting to halt rocket attacks from Gaza, is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: The Jewish community of Tunisia filed an official complaint with Tunisian Interior Minister Fahrat Rajhi after several of its members were harassed by protesters outside a synagogue in the capital, Tunis.

    2011: Human rights lawyers are attempting to challenge a government decision designating the planned city of Harish as a haredi-only town.

    2011: The Iron Dome missile intercept system will be declared operational within a number of weeks, after the Israel Air Force – who will be responsible for operating the system – conducted successful test-runs for the first time yesterday and today.

    2011(11th of Adar I, 5771): Len Lesser, a veteran character actor best known for his recurring role in the 1990s as Uncle Leo on the hit NBC-TV comedy "Seinfeld," passed away today at the age of 88 8n Burbank, CA ( As reported by Bruce Weber)

    2011: Today in celebration of Black History month Knicks legend and Assistant General Manager Allan Houston received the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Award in front of players and fans at Madison Square Garden. Mr. Houston received the award from Ido Aharoni, Acting Consul General of Israel in New York, in honor of his efforts in spreading compassion and uniting communities of all backgrounds. The Martin Luther King Jr. Award has been presented by the Consulate General of Israel in New York for the past 20 years to individuals and organizations promoting ethnic and cultural understanding. This annual tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. honors the dream of peaceful coexistence between people of diverse religions, cultures, and ethnicities. To commemorate this great visionary, each year the State of Israel, together with the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, honor those whose work keeps alive Dr. King’s legacy of hope and peace.

    2012: “Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber” is scheduled to be shown at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale in New York.

    2012: Yasmin Levy is scheduled to weave her Ladino musical magic at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts

    2012: Mossad chief Tamir Pardo visited New Delhi just days before an attack on Israeli officials in the Indian capital this week, Indian media reported today, highlighting the extent to which Israeli intelligence was in the dark regarding possibility of a terror attack taking place in the country.

    2012: Today, the Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Israelis in Thailand. The warning said that in the wake of the attacks on Israelis in India and Georgia earlier this week, Israelis should “act with caution” when traveling in Thailand. Similar warnings were released Thursday for travelers to Italy, Norway, and Taiwan. 

    2012(23rdof Shevat, 5772): At the age of 101, Ethel Stark who in 1940 established the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, the first all-female Canadian symphony orchestra which first performed “on the top of Mont Royal” and was “the first Canadian orchestra to play at Carnegie Hall” passed away today.

    2012: Yair Lapid warned today that Israel might "bring on its own demise" and demanded a change in the system of government.

    2013: Cirque du Purim, the YLD”s annual Purim Party is scheduled to take place in Irvine, CA this evening.

    2013: “Off White Lies” is scheduled to be shown at the Denver Jewish Film Festival

    2013: The IDF evacuated seven Syrian nationals injured in Syria's civil war to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed today. An army spokeswoman said the men had arrived with injuries at the Syrian - Israeli border fence, and received first aid from IDF soldiers on the scene. They were then rushed to hospital for medical care. One of the Syrians suffered serious injuries, four were moderately injured and two suffered light injuries.

    2013: The incarceration of “Prisoner X”, the high-security prisoner who committed suicide in Ayalon Prison in 2010, was made necessary by Israel’s “unique” security situation, Vice Premier and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said today

    2013: The Justice Ministry is mulling the release of the file concerning the death of Ben Zygier, who committed suicide in prison two years ago, Israeli media reported tonight.

    2014: B’nai B’rith Unit # 182 is scheduled to continue a 35-year-long tradition this morning, bringing music and Mardi Gras throws to patients at Touro Infirmary and the residents of Malta Park assisted living facility.

    2014: Merna Lyn, author of The Ten Second Diet is scheduled to speak at Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie. LA (As reported by Alan Samson in the Crescent City Jewish News)

    2014: In White Plains, NY, “Focus on the Family” sponsored by Frum Divorce is scheduled to come to an end.

    2014: The 24th annual Jewish Film Festival in San Diego is scheduled to come to a close.

    2014: “Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist,” an exhibition that “celebrates the remarkable life of this photojournalist” is scheduled to open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

    2014: “Israeli rights groups asked the High Court of Justice today to overturn a law that bans Israelis from calling for a boycott of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.”

    2014: A memorial service is scheduled to held today for “Mary Gordon, devoted wife of author Max Shulman for 24 years who passed away at the age of 95 on January, 22, 2014.

    2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Mad As Hell: The Making of “Network” and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies by Dave Itzkoff, Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon by David Landau, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence by Shai Held and Our Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark, the son of Professor Harold S. Shapiro.

    2014: “After blast ripped through tourist bus – killing four – Israeli rescue forces lined up along border crossing in bid to aid rescue operations, transfer wounded to Israeli hospitals – but Egypt refused.” (As reported by Roi Kais)

    2015: Ukrainian born Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman is scheduled to perform with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players.

    2015: At the Jewish Museum Of London is scheduled to host a talk by curator Elizabeth Selby on the exhibition “For Richer For Poorer: Weddings Unveiled.”

    2015: Bar-Illan Professor Tova Cohen is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “How Has the Changing Role of Women In Israel Affected Jewish Orthodox Society?” was FIU.




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    February 17

    1411: Musa Celebi became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. During his reign the small Jewish community of Manisa grew in size and wealth after it had been conquered by the Ottomans.

    1525(24th of Adar): Rabbi Isaac Eizik Margoliot author of Seder Gitten ve-Halizahpassed away.

    1537: “Pope Paul III” issued “a call for a general council to deal with the Reformation.” This is the same pontiff who issued “Licet Judaei” a bull that spoke against the blood libel.

    1732: Birthdate of English dramatist Richard Cumberland who “The Jew” a comedy about a Jewish moneylender that was first produced at London’s Drury Lane Theatre in May of 1794.  Unlike earlier English portrayals of Jewish moneylenders, in this case, Sheva the moneylender is the benevolent hero.

    1772:  First partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria.  The multi-parted partition of Poland would mean the demise of the Polish nation until after World War I.  Much to the disappointment of the Russians, they acquired a large Jewish population as a result of the partition; a Jewish population that the Russians did not want.

    1776: Publication of the first volume of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

    From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives, and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind.

     - Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776)

     1785: Birthdate of Nachman Kohen Krochmal, the native of Brody who interrupted his studies to become a business man who wrote Moreh Nebuke ha-Zeman

    1801: An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson was the first President to appoint a Jew to a Federal post. In 1801 he named Reuben Etting of Baltimore as U.S. Marshall for Maryland.  More importantly from a Jewish perspective was the fact that Jefferson was a strong defender of the concept of separation of church and state.

    1809: Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio. According to recent figures a thousand of the school’s 15,000 undergrads are Jewish and 100 of its 1,000 grad students are Jewish.  The school offers approximately 20 Jewish Studies courses and a Major in Jewish Studies. The school hosts a robust Hillel Chapter offering a wide variety of programs including a weekly Friday night Shabbat services and dinner.

    1819: Birthdate of historian Philip Jaffe who overcame German anti-Semitism to “one of the most important medievalists of the 19th century.”

    1852(27th of Shevat, 5612): Five days before his 40thbirthday, Hebrew Poet Micha Joseph Levenson passed away.

    1853: A Hungarian tailor makes an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Emperor Franz Josef.  Jews are erroneously thought to have colluded with Italian dissidents in the attempt.

    1856: Heinrich Heine passed away. The famed poet was born to a Jewish family but converted to Christianity in 1825 seeing it as the only way to fully enter German and European society. Reportedly Heine saw his conversion as matter of practical convenience saying that “As Henry IV said, 'Paris is worth a mass'; I say, 'Berlin is worth the sermon.'"  Heine remained ambivalent about his decision for the rest of his life.  When the Nazis decided to burn books by Jewish authors, they included the works of Heine. Heine has prophetically written, “Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people."

    1863: Birthdate of British political leader David Lloyd George. Lloyd George was the Prime Minster of Great Britain during the last half of World War I.  His resolve helped to bring victory to the Allies. For Jews, Lloyd George will be remembered as the Prime Minister whose government issued the famous Balfour Declaration.  Unlike some of his wartime contemporaries, Lloyd George remained a loyal supporter to both the letter and the spirit of the Balfour Declaration after the Great War when it was no longer fashionable to keep the promises made to the Jewish people.

    1866: A correspondent for the New York Times arrived in Kai-fun-fee, the capital of Honan where he has gone in search of the remnants of an ancient community of Chinese Jews.

    1870: In Milwaukee, WI, Temple Emanu-E which had been formed in 1869 was formally incorporated, making I the city’s second oldest congregation.  E.M.V. Brown was the first Rabbi to serve the congregation.

    1871: The victorious Prussian Army parades though Paris after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Jews fought in the armies of the victorious Prussians and the vanquished French.  More importantly, the humiliating defeat in 1871 led to World War I which in turn led to World War II and the Shoah. 

    1872: It was reported today that of the $528,742.47 that New York City gave to sectarian charitable institutions in 1869 and 1870, Hebrew institutions received $14,404.49 as compared to the $412,082.56 that went to Roman Catholic Institions.

    1874(30th of Shevat, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1874:  Benjamin Disraeli finished serving as leader of the Loyal Opposition as he prepared to assume the role of Prime Minister.

    1875: Twenty-one year old Sophie Seligman became Sophie Walter when she married Moritz Walter today.

    1875: The Israelite General Benevolent Society gave its 9th annual ball at the Turn Hall tonight.  The affair was a fundraiser to raise money for destitute and poor Jewish families.

    1877(4thof Adar, 5637): Fifty-six year old German-born Austrian writer Salomon Hermann Mosenthal known for his “opera libretti” passed away today.

    1878: “Daniel – The Third Ruler in the Kingdom” published today discusses why Daniel who interpreted the inscription for the Babylonian king was referred to as the “third ruler” when Joseph who interpreted the dream for the Pharaoh was referred to as the “second ruler.”

    1878: It was reported today that after four years, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of New York City has 900 members.

    1878: It was reported today that the Gemeindebund ("Union of Judæo-German Congregations") has been reorganized to better protect the Jewish communities in Germany

    1878: It was reported today that more than one third of the Jews living in Amsterdam are paupers.  These 13,000 individuals are supported by the Jewish community and the government.  The Congregational Council spent 130,214 florins in 1877 to support a variety of community officials and institutions including a Chief Rabbi, Chief Cantor, free religious schools for 1,800 boys and 600 girls, a rabbinical college, an orphan asylum and a hospital and lunatic asylum “considered the best in the country.”

    1879:  In the United States Circuit Court, Judge Wallace and the jury began hearing the case brought by M.L. Hiller, who identified himself as “a Prussian and a Jew” who had become a Universalist had brought against the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company of Nebraska for breach of contract.

    1880: “Historic Balds,” a comic look at the lack of hair among men through the ages printed today, not that based on the story of Elisha “baldness seems to have been considered a disgrace in remote ages…”  On the other hand, the stories of Samson and Absalom would indicate that flowing locks are not a guarantee of good fortune or divine approval.

    1880: After having been charged with arson, Jacob Naftal, a Jewish clothing merchant, went on trial today for his role in starting a fire at Red Bank, NY which destroyed 9 buildings.  The 9 buildings, which included a store owned by the defendant, were in the town’s business district. The trial is expected to last for several days.

    1881:  Rabbi E.M. Meyer Rafael of Brooklyn provided his version of the conflict between Raphael Joseffy and Matthew Arbuckle who were supposed to be participating in an upcoming concert to provide funds for his Brooklyn synagogue. According to Meyer, Arbuckle, one of the leading coronet players had agreed to charge a reduced price for his performance and the Joseffy, one of the leading pianists, had agreed to play for free.  However, when Joseffy’s secretary found out the Arbuckle was performing, the secretary said Joseffy would not perform if a coronet was being played.  Joseffy expressed no opinion about Arbuckle.  The objection would have been the same if it had been another coronet player. The dispute could derail this benefit event.

    1881: Seventy-four year old German historian Theodor Hirsch who converted to Christianity was the cousin of historian Siegfried Hirsh, passed away today.

    1882:  The description of the conditions of the Jews in Kiev and its surrounding area provided by Russian speaking Protestant Englishman who had visited the area were published today. According to him the homes of the Jews had been “completely wrecked…with the…doors and windows…torn from their hinges.  At least 2,000 Jews – men, women and children – were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. During one 48 hour period of carnage, “numerous defenseless young women were completely at the mercy of the mob…” The authorities did nothing to prevent the violence and expressed sympathy for the attackers. When some of the attackers were put on trial, “the government prosecutor expressed sympathy with the motives” of the attackers. The light sentences showed that the populace supported the attacks and the violence. In some of the small towns outside of Kiev, the soldiers who were ordered to protect the Jews actually joined the rioters.

    1882: Hamilton Disston wrote a letter from Jacksonville, FL to Mayor King of Philadelphia offering a free 40 acre tract of land owned by Okeechobee Land and Improvement Company of Florida to each of the 50 Jewish families fleeing Russian persecution that are on a boat bound for the City of Brotherly Love.

    1882: It was reported today that at Kiev, Odessa, Elizabethgrad and other Russian cities “more than 250 women were outraged by Jewbaiters during the disturbances [“Outraged” is a euphemism for rape and “disturbances is a euphemism for Pogrom.]

    1882: It was reported today that petroleum was poured on a Jew’s head in Odessa and that he was then set on fire.

    1882: It was reported that at Kiev, General Dreutlen refused to protect the Jews because it was not worth risking the lives of his soldiers to do so.

    1882: It was reported today that F.D. Moccatta has contributed £ 1,000 to the relief fund for the Jews of Russia.  He has also to contribute 1 per cent of any sum collected within the next two years in an amount not to exceed £ 1,000,000. [F.D. Moccatta is Frederick David Mocatta]

    1888:  Birthdate of Otto Stern, 1943 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

    1890: It was reported that the funds raised by the concert and reception hosted by the Seligman Solomon Society would go to the Seligman Solomon Prize Fund for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  The society which is was founded three years ago is made up of those who had lived at the asylum and the late Seligman Solomon was one of its leading patrons. 

    1890: United States Commissioner John A. Shields continued to hear testimony regarding the Sixth National Bank case, which if true, would mean that Siegmund T. Meyer and his sons Philip and Arthur, “raided” the financial institution.

    1890(27thof Shevat, 5650): Herman Frohman a wealthy New York butcher, the husband of Mary Frohman and the father of Henrietta Frohman, Lena Frohman Vollman, Fannie Frohman Adler, Bertha Frohman and Rebecca Frohman passed away today.

    1891: Birthdate of Abraham Fraenkel, the Munich native and “fervent Zionist” who became the first Dean of Mathematics at Hebrew University.

    1891(9th of Adar I, 5651): In Leadville, CO, Abe Oliner passed away just two months short of his sixth birthday.  Abe came to Leadville in 1885 with his father Isaac, age 30, mother Gilla, age 25, brother Jacob, age 4 and sister Fannie, age 2.

    1891: Birthdate of German born Israeli mathematician Abraham Halevi Fraenkel.

    1894(18th of Adar I, 5654): Sixty-three year old Albert S. Rosenbaum, a retired tobacco merchant and hotel proprietor passed away today in New York.  A native of Cassel, Germany he came to the United States when he was 18 and settled in California where he made his fortune investing in San Francisco real estate.  He moved to New York to better manage his tobacco interest.

    1895: “Heine’s Pension” published today described Heinrich Heine’s life in France beginning with “his exile in Paris in 1831.” (Heine was the German literary figure who converted, a decision that he later came to regret but never rectified.)

    1895: In St. Louis, Russian, Austrian, Polish, Hungarian and Scandinavian Jews who had become naturalized citizens of the United States form the Progressive Order of the West, a fraternal and benevolent organization. The Progressive Order's objectives were to familiarize members with the laws, customs, and institutions of this country; to create a fund to be used for charitable purposes, and to provide for the payment of death benefits to the families of members. In 1898, 7 lodges were in existence in St. Louis and steps were being taken to extend the order to other cities.

    1895: It is reported today that the Government in Germany has taken the side of the striking tailors and seamstresses. (Considering the reactionary nature of the German ruling class this would seem rather strange except that the owners are described as being “mostly Jews.”)

    1895: “Are Sisters of Mercy” published today described the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood as one of “the pioneer of all Jewish sisterhoods: and “one of the most excellent institutions among…Hebrew charities.”

    1896: It was reported today that Baron von Leonrod, the Bavarian Minister of Justice has said that it would be impossible to refund the 80,000 marks that Louis Stern of New York had left as bail even though he had received a pardon from the Prince Regent.

    1897: It was reported today that Professor Felix Adler is one of the speakers scheduled to address the upcoming conference on improving housing conditions in New York City.

    1897: “Large Gift to Orphans” published today described the offer of Emanuel Lehman to provide “$100,00 for the endowment of an industrial and provident fund for the benefit of graduates” who have been under the care of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society.

    1897: As Emanuel Lehman celebrated his 70th birthday it was reported today that “every charitable association” in New York City “in which Lehman is interested received a handsome check from him…with an explanatory note that it was a birthday present.

    1897: “Work of the United Hebrew Charities” published today showed that during January 114 people had received money to be used for transportation to other parts of the United States or Europe. During January, the UHC provided 53 free burials and provided medical assistance to 394 people including medicine and visits to the doctor.  Finally the UHC provided clothing, shoes, furniture, lodgings, meals and cash to 5,422 applicants.

    1898: Judge Meyer S. Isaacs will deliver a lecture entitled “The Old Guard” tonight at Temple Israel sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

    1903: Herzl meets Dr. Abdullah Djevdet Bey whose poetry he reviewed in the Neue Freie Presse. Djevdet offers his help in gaining support for the Zionists in Turkey. Leopold Greenberg reports from Egypt that it will be impossible to obtain a Charter that will support Jewish colonization.

    1904:  Birthdate of political scientist and historian Hans J. Morgenthau.  Born and educated in Germany, Morgenthau came to the United States in the 1930’s.  He gained fame as director of the Center for the Study of American Foreign and Military Policy while teaching at the University of Chicago.  Morgenthau was a realist and opposed the Vietnam War “because the risks of military participation outweighed any benefits.”  He was a leader in the fight to improve the conditions of Soviet Jewry and he spoke out against the PLO as a terrorist organization.  He passed away in 1980.

    1910:  Birthdate of American cinema actor Marc Lawrence.  Born Max Goldsmith, Lawrence gained fame as a character actor.  He was a friend and acting contemporary of John Garfield.  Like Garfield, Lawrence ran into trouble during the McCarthy Period.  Unlike Garfield, Lawrence survived professionally and personally.  He passed away in 2005.

    1911: Birthdate of Oskar Koplowitz, a native of Silesia, who as Oskar Seidlin became a noted American “literary scholar, poet and” an author of detective novels and books for children.

    1913: The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century. William Zorach, Max Weber, Elie Nadelman, Maurice Becket and Abraham Walkowitz were among the Jewish artists invited to display their work.

    1913: U.S. premiere of “The Miracle,” a British silent, color film based on the play by Max Reinhardt.

    1915: “Plea to New York Jews” published today described willingness of the U.S. Navy to ship “flour, sugar, rice and matzoth for Passover” aboard one of its vessels provided the Jewish community can raise the funds for the supplies which will unloaded at Jaffa.

    1915: In Chicago, Pia “Fannie” Brin and Solomon Brin gave birth to “Herb Brin, pugnacious journalist, editor, poet and dogged campaigner for liberal and Jewish causes.”

    1915: Reverend Thomas Kelly Cheyne, the former Oriel Professor of Interpretation of the Scriptures at Oxford and who was one of the first “English scholars” to apply “the methods of Higher Criticism” to the study of the Old Testament – a methodology that had already become popular among some German-Jewish scholars – passed away today. Cheyne was the author of Job and Solomon: The Wisdom of the Old Testament,   The Prophecies of Isaiah in two volumes and work on the prophet of Jeremiah.

    1916: “Robinson Crusoe, Jr” a musical co-authored by Sigmund Romberg, co-starring Al Jolson and produced by Lee and Jacob Schubert opened at the Winter Garden Theatre

    1917: General James Rowan O’Beirne,  the Civil War and Medal of Honor winner who served as Superintended of Immigration in the 1890’s who opposed Jess Seilgman’s efforts to gain admittance to the United States for the 86 Jewish passengers aboard the SS Marsala passed away.

    1918: Jacob H. Schiff, head of the special committee of the American Jewish Relief Committee that arranged the plan whereby the workers of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union will forego the holiday on Washington's Birthday and give their day's earnings to the Jewish war sufferers announced that almost no factory organized by the ILGU would be open and that many owners would be paying time and half or double time.

    1918: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise announced that the Palestine Restoration Fund now totals more than $800,000 of which $250,000 was collected in New York.

    1918:  Saul J. Cohen, editor The Maccabean, the official Zionist journal received a cable from Israel Zangwill, founder of the Jewish Territorial Organization, saying that he has altered his position following the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and “now looks toward Palestine as the land of the Jews.”

    1918: Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Zionist Committee of New York presided over a meeting of Zionists at the Casino Theatre who had gathered to honor the memory of Dr. Jechiel Tchlenow who died last month in London. 

    1920: Birthdate of Bella Levy

    1921: Herah Lerner, his wife Elka and their daughter who had been born two days ago while aboard a ship bringing these Jews to the United States arrived in New York.

    1921: After having been informed by the New York World that “the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which he has been reprinting with anti-Semitic commentary in his own newspaper the Dearborn Independent, are a forgery”  Ford said he did not care replying "The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on. They are sixteen years old, and they have fitted the world situation up to this time. Indeed they do."

    1922: Birthdate of Dr. Irving Schulman

    1925: In York, PA, Dorothy and Joseph Rosenmiller gave birth to Joseph Lewis Rosenmiller, Jr. “who earned a fortune building a chain of radio stations and then donated tens of millions to promote causes that he felt traditional philanthropies largely ignored, like voting rights and the empowerment of domestic workers…” (As reported by Leslie Kaufman)

    1925, Florence Prag Kahn won a special election, becoming the fifth woman and first Jewish woman to serve in the United States Congress.

    1925: Harold Ross and Jane Grant found The New Yorker magazine. Numerous Jewish writers and artists have contributed to the sophisticated journal.  These include two cartoonists – Jules Feifer and Roz Chast as well as such authors as Dorothy Park and S.J. Pearlman.

    1927: David T. WIlentz, the Attorney General of New Jersey who prosecuted Bruno Hauptmann and his wife gave birth to Robert Wilentz, the longest serving Chief Just of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

    1929:  Birthdate of the author Chaim Potok.  A graduate of Yeshiva University, Potok was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi after studying at The Jewish Theological Society.  He earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He decided to become a writer after reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited in 1945. He was fourteen years old, and all he had read were magazines and pulp fiction. He wanted to read a serious adult book, and he chose Brideshead Revisited at random from the public library. He later said about reading it, "I found myself inside a world the merest existence of which I had known nothing about. I lived more deeply inside the world in that book than I lived inside my own world."   Potok’s work draws on his own life’s experiences – Judaism (The Chosen, The Promise,) and a stint as an Army Chaplain serving in the Far East (The Book of Lights) – as well as the conflicts he faced including becoming an artist despite family and cultural opposition (My Name Is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev).  His success stems from many factors.  One is that he opened doors to worlds that people did not know existed i.e. Chasidic Judaism and the Orient.  The second is that he dealt with larger issues such as how a minority culture copes with a majority culture, how to temper brilliance with humanity,  and the challenge of effective parenting in changing world, to name but a few. 

    1930: Release date for The Vagabond King, a musical operetta, produced by Adolph Zukor, written by Herman J. Mankiewicz and co-starring Lillian Roth

    1930: “Sol M Strock, the newly elected chairman of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Board of Director told the annual meeting of the Seminary’s Philadelphia branch” about a soon to be launch $5,000,000 endowment fund campaign. (As reported by JTA)

    1932: Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s musical "Face the Music" premiered in New York.

    1933: The first edition of Newsweek makes its appearance. In 1961, America’s “perennially #2 newsweekly” will be purchased by Katherine Graham’s Washington Post Co.

    1935(14th of Adar I, 5695): Purim Katan

    1936: S. N. (Samuel] Nathaniel) Behrman's "End of Summer" premiered in New York.

    1937: Bronislaw Huberman, the violinist and founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, received a rousing tribute at a concert here tonight with the Concertgebouw, under the auspices of the Society for Art for All.

    1938: In New York, Evelyn D. and Jacob Levi gave birth to artist Josef Lev 

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Austria had capitulated to the German ultimatum and appointed pro-Nazis to the cabinet, marking the effective end of the country's independence.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that there was a major, festive ceremony when the District Commissioner, Mr. Keith Roach, opened Kalia, the first hotel and health resort on the Dead Sea, with the keys handed to him by Major T.C. Tuloch, Chairman of the Kalia Health Resort Company.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Mohammed el-Rab, a Palestinian Arab, was executed at the Acre prison, one week after his arrest and an immediate Military Court trial, for possession of a loaded automatic gun and ammunition.

    1939: U.S. premiere of “The Three Musketeers,” a musical comedy co-starring the Ritz Brothers as “the Three Lackeys,” Joseph Schildkraut as “King Louis XIII” and Binnie Barnes (whose father was JewishP as “Milady De Winter.”

    1939: U.S. premiere of “Gunga Din,” a film set in the days of the Raj starring Sam Jaffe as “Gunga Din” with a score by Alfred Newman.

    1940: Birthdate of Dennis Gamsy a South African cricketer who played in two Tests in 1970.

    1943(10th of Adar II, 5703): Fifty-three year old Victor Atler, the Jewish socialist who was a leader of the Bund was executed today on charges of spying for Hitler.  The execution was carried out with Stalin’s approval.

    1943: Dutch churches protested against Seyss-Inquart’s persecution of Jews. The Austrian born Seyss-Inquartbecame Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands in May, 1940.The Dutch churches were protesting against "the forced sterilization of Jewish partners in mixed-marriages.  For once, the Germans relented and ended this one form of inhumanity. At the end of the war Seyss-Inquart was arrested and charged with war crimes in Nuremberg. At his trial it was pointed out that of the 140,000 Dutch Jews, only 8,000 survived in hiding and only 5,450 came home from camps in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Seyss-Inquart was found guilty and hanged on 16th October, 1946.

    1944: Fifty-eight year old Franz Kaufman the German jurist who was baptized as a child but treated as Jew under Nazi racial laws and who worked with an underground group that aided Jews during the Holocaust was murdered at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

    1944: U.S. premiere of “Phantom Lady” a film noir directed by Robert Siodmak.

    1945: U.S. premiere of “Objective Burma” a war movie set in the jungles of southeast Asia produced by Jerry Wald, with music by Franz Waxman, featuring George Tobias as “Cpl. Gabby Gordon)

    1945: Nicholas George Winton, the Englishman who organized “the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport” “was promoted to war substantive flying officer” in the RAF.  Winton, who was later knighted, was not Jewish.  He was a decent human being who, unlike so many others, did the right thing during “the long, dark European Night.”

    1946: Birthdate of Steve Grossman the Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts and   the former President of Grossman Marketing Group, a family-owned marketing company based in Somerville, Massachusetts. From 1992 to 1997, he was the chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and from 1997 to 1999 he was the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Grossman received his Bachelor's from Princeton University, and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is married to Barbara Wallace Grossman, a Professor of Theater at Tufts University, and they have three children.

    1948: In the aftermath of today's coup in which the ruler of Yemen was assassinated, "the Jews were accused of murdering two young Muslim girls and throwing their bodies down a well."  This Arab-world version of the blood libel led to the leaders of Yemen's Jewish community being beaten and imprisoned while a mob looted and robbed those living in the Jewish Quarter.

    1949: Chaim Weizmann was sworn in as the first president of Israel. The election took place in Jerusalem, a city that had been under siege by the Arabs and almost lost to the invading enemy.  The election of a President of the state of Israel was one of the first items of business for the Knesset which was holding its first meeting in Jerusalem.  Weizmann was elected by a vote of 83 to 15.  In Israel, the President is a figurehead.  The Prime Minister holds the political power.  The election of Weizmann was recognition for his long, untiring decades of service to the Zionist cause. One of his proudest accomplishments was getting the British Government of adopt the Balfour Declaration which gave international recognition and approval to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  The President of Israel is called "Nasi" a term which means ruler or prince.  In the early centuries of the Diaspora it had been a honorific title applied to the heads of various Talmudic academies and Jewish communities. To give you some idea of the esteem in which Weitzman was held, he was the first person to be called a Nasi in almost 1500 years.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in a statement read to the Knesset, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stressed that the recent bombing of the Soviet Legation in Tel Aviv was no justification for a rupture of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The Soviet action was the culmination of "a campaign of defamatory propaganda against the State of Israel, the Zionist Movement and World Jewry which had been proceeding for a long time." Holland agreed to represent Israeli interests in Moscow.

    1957: The Suez Canal re-opens marking the end of the Suez Crisis that had started in October of 1956.

    1958: Time published “Historical Notes: Diary of Anne Frank – The End”

    The diary of 15-year-old Anne Frank ended abruptly when the Nazis broke into her family's hiding place in Amsterdam. What happened next? Of the last days of one of the world's best-known modern heroines, little was known except that she had died, like millions of other Jews, in a German concentration camp. To fill out the chronicle of her short life, West German Publisher S. Fischer last year assigned Author Ernst Schnabel to search the German and Dutch archives and interview survivors of the camps who might have known her. In Paris Le Figaro Littéraire printed excerpts from Schnabel's findings, to be published as a book in the U.S. this fall. Anne, her sister Margot, and her father and mother were first taken to Westerbork prison in The Netherlands, then shipped by cattle car to Auschwitz. Recalls a woman fellow prisoner: "The doors of the cars were opened violently, and the first thing we saw at Auschwitz was the garish light of the searchlights trained on the cars . . . The voice of a loudspeaker dominated all others; it bellowed: 'Women to the left, men to the right!' I saw them go away: Mr. Van Daan, Mr. Dussel, Peter, Mr. Frank." The men never saw the women again. The women were told that trucks were ready to take the small children and the sick to the prison. But those who fought their way into the trucks never reached the camp; they vanished from-the face of the earth. At Auschwitz, Anne's long hair was clipped and her eyes seemed to grow larger and larger as she grew thinner. Her gaiety disappeared but not her indomitable spirit. The women were divided into groups of five and, though the youngest of her group, Anne became its leader, partly because she was efficient at scrounging necessities. When during cold weather she and the others were reduced to sackcloth smocks, Anne found somewhere a supply of men's long underwear. She even magically produced a cup of coffee for an exhausted prisoner. Most of the adults tried to armor themselves against reality: "Who bothered to look at the flames billowing up from the crematory? When, suddenly, an order came to barricade the neighboring block, who was disturbed? We well knew that they were being readied for the gas chamber, but we were too well-trained to worry about it. We no longer heard anything, saw anything." But Anne Frank did, right up to the end. Said a survivor: "I can still see her standing by the door, watching a group of naked young gypsy girls being shoved along to the crematory. Anne watched them, weeping. And she also wept when we filed past Hungarian children waiting, twelve hours naked under the rain, for their turn to enter the gas chamber. Anne cried: 'Look at their eyes!' She wept when most of us had no tears left." On Oct. 30, 1944, there was a selection of the youngest and strongest to be sent to the concentration camp at Belsen. Single file, the undressed women were ordered into a hall where, seated behind the glare of a searchlight, a doctor chose this one for Belsen, that one for the gas chamber. "Anne's face remained unchanged, even in the cruel light of the projector. She took Margot's arm and they came forward. I can see them now, stripped naked. Anne turned her serene face toward us; then they were led away. It was impossible to see what happened behind the light, and Mrs. Frank cried: 'The children! My God! My God!'" In the hell of Belsen, Anne and Margot Frank lasted scarcely five months. They both became ill. Margot was in a coma for several days and was found, fallen from her bunk, dead. Anne was so sick that no one told her of Margot's fate. Says a fellow prisoner who watched: "Several days later she died peacefully, in the certitude that death was not a calamity.

    1959: Birthdate of Arhey Deir, the Moroccan born Israeli political leader of Shas.1961: Premier in Italy of “Esther and the King” a Biblical epic film based on the Book of Esther, starring Joan Collins whose father was Jewish in the title role.

    1962(13th of Adar I, 5722):  Conductor Bruno Walter passed away.

    1963: The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan which is credited with sparking the modern feminist movement is published.

    1969(29th of Shevat, 5729): Levi Eshkol, third Prime Minister of Israel, died suddenly.  In one of the great ironies of history, it was the mild-mannered Eshkol and not any of his more flamboyant contemporaries who led the Israeli government during the June, 1967 War that resulted in the re-unification of Jerusalem.

    1969: Golda Meir sworn in as Israel's 1st female prime minister. Goldie Mabovitch (who later Hebraized her name to Golda Meir) was a Russian immigrant living in Milwaukee.  In 1918 she wanted to join the Jewish Legion, a British unit organized to fight the Turks in World War I.  Mrs. Meir made Aliyah and eventually became a major political figure in the Zionist Community and later in the state of Israel.  Her description of being in Moscow for Simchat Torah after the creation of the state of Israel is a moving story.  She served as Foreign Minister and following the death of Levi Eshkol became Prime Minister.  She lead the country through the trying days of the Yom Kippur War and its aftermath.  By the time Anwar Sadat made his memorable trip to Israel, Mrs. Meir was no longer in the government.  When the two adversaries met she is reported to have said, "Long after we have forgiven you for killing our sons, we will be working to forgive you for turning our sons into killers."  This modern Devorah took no pleasure in being involved in so many military adventures.

    1970(11th of Adar I, 5730): Shmuel Yosef or S.Y. Agnon (Hebrew: שמואל יוסף עגנון; born Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes) passed away.  Agnon was the first Hebrew author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  He won the prize in 1966. Since this is beyond my area of expertise, included find this canned summary. “Shmuel Yosef Agnon was born in Galicia in 1888. He immigrated to Jaffa in 1908, but spent 1913 through 1924 in Germany. In 1924 he returned to Jerusalem, where he lived until his death in 1970. A prolific novelist and short-story writer from an early age, Agnon received numerous literary awards, including the Israel Prize on two occasions. Called "a man of unquestionable genius" and "one of the great storytellers of our time," S.Y. Agnon is among the most effusively praised and widely translated Hebrew authors. His unique style and language have influenced the writing of subsequent generations of Hebrew authors. Much of his writing attempts to recapture the lives and traditions of a former time, but his stories are never a simple act of preservation. Agnon's tales deal with the most important psychological and philosophical problems of his generation. "Via realistic and surrealistic modes," writes the New York Times, "Agnon has transmuted in his many words the tensions inherent in modern man's loss of innocence, and his spiritual turmoil when removed from home, homeland and faith." An observant Jew throughout most of his life, he was able to capture "the hopelessness and spiritual desolation" of a world standing on the threshold of a new age. Extolled for his "peculiar tenderness and beauty," for his "comic mastery" and for the "richness and depth" of his writing, it is S.Y. Agnon's contribution to the renewal of the language that has been seminal for all subsequent Hebrew writing.” Some of his works that have been translated into English includeA Book That Was Los : And Other Stories.; A dwelling place of my people : sixteen stories of the Chassidim; A Guest for the Night; Gollancz, A Simple Story; Agnon's Aleph Bet Poems; The Bridal Canopy;Days of Awe : A Treasury of Jewish Wisdom for Reflection, Repentance, and Renewal on the High Holy Days;In the Heart of the Seas : A Story of a Journey to the Land of Israel.; Present at Sinai : The Giving of the Law : Commentaries Selected by S.Y. Agnon; Shira; Twenty-one stories.

    1970: One Jordanian and two Iraqis were arrested today when they tried to hijack an El Al plane at the Munich Airport.

    1972: President Richard Nixon begins his historic trip to China.  This major diplomatic breakthrough was orchestrated by White House advisor Henry Kissinger who would become the first Jewish Secretary of State.

    1977: In “Imperial Germany’s Jewish Banker” published today A.J.P.Taylor reviewed Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire by Fritz Stern

    1977: In New York City, the first Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy comes to a close. The two day meeting led to the founding of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

    1981: In “Yiddish Book Collection Grows in New England,” Michael Knight described the work of the Yiddish Book Exchange.

    1981: Birthdate of Joseph Gordon-Levittan American actor best known for his role as Tommy Solomon on “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

    1982(24th of Shevat, 5742): Lee [Israel] Strasberg, father of method acting passed away at the age of 80.  Strasberg also enjoyed a career as an actor with one of his most roles coming at the end of his life when he played the “Meyer Lansky” figure in The Godfather Part II

    1985: Martin Eli Segal “served as the General Chairman of the “Night of 100 Stars II, the first AIDS benefit held by the Actors’ Fund of American.

    1985: David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” was performed for the final time during its initial Broadway run.

    1987: Aulcie Perry Jr., a former basketball player who had become an Israeli citizen and was hailed as a sports champion in Israel, went on trial today on charges of conspiracy to import heroin, importation of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. The 6-foot-10-inch Perry, who holds a dual citizenship, joined the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team in Israel in 1977 and helped bring it a European Cup championship that year and in 1979. He remained on the team until 1984. Perry's cousin, Kenneth Johnson, 29, who was charged with Perry, pleaded guilty earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing.

    1988: The United States announced that it is planning to change ambassadors to Israel next summer. According to State Department officials, William A. Brown, currently ambassador to Thailand, will replace Thomas R. Pickering, who has served in Tel Aviv since 1985. Mr. Pickering is scheduled to return to Washington to become Under Secretary of State for management. The State Department also plans to replace Morris Draper, the Consul General in Jerusalem, with Philip C. Wilcox Jr., a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who deals with Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. The Consul General in Jerusalem has something approaching ambassadorial status. He reports directly to the State Department, not to the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, a situation that reflects Washington's refusal to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

    1988: A dozen Israeli playwrights, poets and other intellectuals made an urgent appeal to the Government tonight to ''talk peace with the Palestinians.'' Amos Oz, the Israeli novelist, started and ended his address to the group with the words, ''What was, will not be again.'' Seventy New York writers, artists and performers sent a telegram expressing their support to the Israeli Playwrights' Association, a gesture welcomed by Israelis here who feel support from abroad can put effective pressure on the Government. Among the signers were Erica Jong, Allen Ginsburg, Grace Paley, Gloria Steinem, E. L. Doctorow, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer and Susan Sontag.

    1988: The violence in the occupied territories continued today, as Israeli soldiers shot and killed one Palestinian and wounded at least three others while dispersing riots in the West Bank village of Shuyukh, near Hebron, an army spokesman said. ''The army was trying to clear a roadblock, when they were attacked with rocks, stones and bottles,'' the spokesman said. ''They were in a life-threatening situation, so the commander and one officer shot at the legs of the protesters.''

    ''Sometimes you don't get exactly where you aim,'' he said. ''They were aiming at the legs.''

    1994 (6th of Adar, 5754): Yuval Golan who was stabbed on December 29, 1993 by a terrorist near Adarim in the Hebron area he died of his wounds.

    1996: In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match. Kasparov’s mother is Armenian and his father is Jewish.

    2001: At the Library of Congress of an exhibition entitled “Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium” which presents works by cartoonist Herb Block, who chronicled the nation’s political history and caricatured twelve American presidents from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton comes to an end.

    2003(15th of Adar I, 5763): Seventy-eight year old art dealer Felix Landau passed away today (As reported by Eric Pace)

    2005: Today, in the wake of the bankruptcy of Sunbeam Products, Ron Perelman filed a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley, claiming that Morgan had defrauded him by knowingly misleading him about the financial condition of Sunbeam Products.  The Sunbeam acquisition was only one in a long series of such deals in which this Jewish philanthropist and businessman had engaged in over the past four decades starting with the purchase of Esslinger Brewery in 1961. He and his father bought the company for “$800,000, then sold it three years later for a $1 million profit.” 

    2006: Thousands of mourners gathered at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv this morning to pay their final respects to ShoshannaDamari, who lay in state on the stage until the memorial service began shortly before noon.  During the memorial service President Moshe Katsav said "One can say of her that she was the voice of Israel," he said. "We have lost her, but not her songs

    2006: Israel's hopes for an Olympic medal took a blow when ice dancer Galit Chait fell during the compulsory program of the Pairs Ice Dancing competition

    2007: Shabbat Shekalim – The Sabbath of the Shekel.

    2007: Celebration of Fred Rodgers birthday: a brand plucked from the flames of the Holocaust and pillar of the Jewish community.

    2008: Final performance of “Fabrik: The Legend of M. Rabinowitz” at the Urban Stages Theatre in Manhattan.  This adult puppet show traces the life of Moritz Rabinowitz, a Polish Jew sent to Norway by his family to escape pre-World War II pogroms, who became a successful businessman before ending up at Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.

    2008: The Sunday Los Angeles Times book section featured reviews of The Bad Wife Handbook by Jewish poet Rachel Zucker and The Life of the Skies by Jonathan Rosen

    2008: An exhibition entitled “Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic” opens at The Museum of Jewish Heritage.

    2008: An exhibition entitled “To return to the land…” Paul Goldman’s Photographs of the Birth of Israel opens at The Museum of Jewish Heritage.Hungarian-born photojournalist Paul Goldman fled to the British Mandate of  Palestine in 1940, where he chronicled the events leading up to the foundation of the State of Israel.

    2009: In Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth and final part of a four part series The Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson

    2009: At New York University, Professor Yoram Peri, head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University delivers a public lecture entitled "New Leadership in Israel and the Peace Process"

    2010: The CJH is scheduled to co-sponsor “Music in the Age of the Wittgensteins,” featuring a performance by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble.

    2010: In Arkansas, Bella Levy, wife of Manford Levy, celebrates her 90th birthday.  Bella is an Ashes Chayel in the truest sense of the word.  All who know are blessed by the experience.

    2010:The heads of various medical associations held an emergency meeting today, and the president of the Israel Medical Association(  IMA) Dr. Leonid Eidelman, said the organization would not hesitate to carry out its threat to strike if necessary, in its escalating battle with Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman should its Scientific Council be transferred to the ministry.

    . 2010:According to JTA, “lawyers for the estate Adrian Jacobs added J.K. Rowling's name to a lawsuit it filed in the High Court of England last June -- some 12 years after Jacobs died penniless in Nightingale House, a home for elderly Jews in south London. Adrian Jacobs, an art collector, lawyer and accountant who made millions on the stock market before going bust, wrote a children’s book in 1987 titled The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No. 1 Livid Land.” The suit claims that Rowling plagiarized ideas for her fourth book, the best-selling “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2000), from "Willy the Wizard No. 1."

    2011: A job fair, held in conjunction with the Orthodox Union Job Board, is scheduled to take place at Sasson v’ Simcha Hall located in Brooklyn.

    2011:Gainsbourg, “the boldly imaginative and wildly entertaining biopic of Jewish French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, one of the most iconic and diversely talented music artists of the 20th Century” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attempted to dispel rumors that relations between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had soured, saying on today that "our relations are intact.""I spoke to the prime minister," after vetoing Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's choice for ambassador to London, Lieberman said. "We'll keep working together."

    2011: A Lebanese military court convicted a man of spying for Israel and sentenced him to death late today. Amin al-Baba was found guilty of giving Israeli intelligence agents information in return for money. He was also found guilty of entering an enemy state.  Al-Baba, who was sentenced late today, had been spying for Israel from 1997 until his 2009 arrest. The new sentence brings the number of people sentenced to death for spying for Israel to nine.

    2011: A Night of Outrageous Comedy with Julie Goldman is scheduled for tonight at the Washington DCJCC.

    2011: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attempted to dispel rumors that relations between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had soured, saying on Thursday that "our relations are intact.""I spoke to the prime minister," after vetoing Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's choice for ambassador to London, Lieberman said. "We'll keep working together."

    2011: Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians near the Gaza Strip border zone today, said Palestinian medics who recovered the bodies. An IDF spokesperson confirmed that the troops had opened fire after observeing the Palestinians approaching the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip attempting to plant explosives. A spokesman for the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - a small group that only rarely carries out attacks - sent a text message to reporters identifying one of the men as a member of the group “killed during a mission carried out by our military wing."

    2011: The Washington Post featured a review of Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York by Ariel Sabar, the son Yona Sabar, a Kurdish Jewish scholar, linguist and researcher.

    2011: Last Damage, the fifth crime novel by Sophie Hannah, the daughter of Norman and Adele Geras was published today.

    2012(24thof Shevat, 5772): Seventy-seven year old “Peter Novick, a history professor at the University of Chicago who stirred controversy in 1999 with a book contending that the legacy of the Holocaust had come to unduly dominate American Jewish identity” passed away today (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    2012: Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein is scheduled to deliver a Friday night talk entitled “True Love..How to Find It and Keep It” at the Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, MD.

    2012: Following Carlebach Services and dinner, Dr. Jerry Muller, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History,Catholic University of America, Washington DC is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Capitalism and the Jews” as part of the Scholar-In-Residence Weekend at Tifereth Israel in Washington, DC.

    2012: Opening session of LimmudLA

    2012: Tali Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry's representative to India who was moderately injured in the attack on Israel’s embassy in New Delhi gave a testimony to police, which may change previously held assumptions about the attack and its perpetrator, the Times of India reported today. Yehoshua-Koren gave the testimony in hospital before returning to Israel in an air ambulance. She told police that the bomb exploded a full 30 to 40 seconds after it was attached to her car, and that the perpetrator was dressed in black, and riding a black motorcycle.

    2012: Palestinian terrorists fired an RPG at IDF forces stationed near the Gaza border fence today, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office.

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Four New Messages by Joshua Cohen and the recently released paperback editions of In Our Prime: The Fascinating History and Promising Future of Middle Age by Patricia Cohen

    2013: Professor Brian Horowitz is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks of two day conference at Tulane University – “Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe”2013: The Toronto Jewish Film Society is scheduled to present “The Barber of Stamford Hill” and “The 10th Man” at the Miles Nadel JCC.

    2013: “Six Million and One” is among the movies scheduled to be shown at the final night of the 17th Denver Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: In “Online Battle Over Sacred Scrolls, Real-World Consequences” published in print today, John Leland describes the efforts of Raphael Haim Gold”s less than honorable attempts “to advance his father’s views about the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    2013(7thof Adar, 5773): Seventy seven year old Israeli entertainer Shmuel "Shmulik" Kraus passed away.

    2013: A Knesset panel will launch an independent investigation into the jailing and suicide of Mossad agent Ben Zygier, following growing calls for an official accounting of the case, the committee said tonight.

    2013: A delegation of Israeli security officials visited Cairo to discuss the security situation in the region with their Egyptian counterparts today, the second such trip in less than a week.

    2014: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia Cultural Arts Department in Fairfax is scheduled to hold auditions for the one-act family theatre production of “Cinder-Rachella,” an original play with music that celebrates Israeli culture through the eyes of the iconic fairytale Princess

    2014: “Broken Lines,” a film about “Jake, a working class Jewish boy…and his fiancée Zoe” is scheduled to be shown for the first time at as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: Naftali Bennett reportedly told American Jewish leaders today that Israel wants more control over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy site that has long been a contentious point with the Muslim world.

    2014: “The Knesset Law Committee voted to advance a bill today that would allow a much wider circle of state rabbis to conduct conversions.” (As reported by Haviv Rettig Gur)

    2014: “A lawyer for the elderly art collector whose $1.4 billion-worth of works were seized by German police two years ago said he is in negotiations with six claimants who are seeking items stolen from them or their families by the Nazis.” (As reported by Amanda Borshel-Dan)

    2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to sponsor a lecture by Dr. Rakhmiel Peltz on “Planning for the Jewish Future: Standards for Yiddish in the 20thand 21st century.”

    2015: Stuart Cohen of Bar-Ilan University is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Generals Wearing Yarmulkes. Does the Israel Defense Force Face a Threat of Dual Authority?” at FIU.


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    February 18

    1229: During The Sixth Crusade, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy. Prior to the Sixth Crusade, Pope Gregory III had used the Crusading Spirit to impose anti-Semitic legislation.  Frederick II was involved in a power struggle with the Papacy.  As part of that he struggle, he defied Rome and granted a charter of privileges to the Jews of Vienna in 1238.

    1239: The ten year truce between Emperor Frederick II and the Sultan of Egypt came to an end.  During this period, 1236, the Emperor issued a decree refuting the accusations of ritual murder and providing for the protection of his Jewish subjects.

    1488: The first printed eviction of tractate Gittin of the Babylonian Talmud was published in Soncino, Italy

    1546: Martin Luther passed away.  Luther was a significant figure in the movement to reform Christianity.  He extended the hand of friendship to the Jews, thinking that he could win them over to his side with kindness.  When the Jews rejected his goal - conversion - Luther turned on them.  By 1544, he was publishing a pamphlet entitled "Concerning the Jews and Their Lies." Jews were characterized as “venomous, virulent, thieves, brigands and disgusting vermin."  According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "'...Luther's ferocious castigation of the Jews provided fuel for anti-Semites and vicious force of that legacy was still evident in Nazi propaganda.'"

    1564:Michelangelo passed away. Among his works were a statue of Moses that had horns and a statue of an uncircumcised David.

    1574: An auto-de-fe took place in Mexico City; nearly 100 people were sentenced that day, including New Christians.

    1577: The Jews of Safed requested assistance from the Sultan for persecution by local officials. In a letter to the local Ottoman officials, the Sultan told his people that the Jews, "have complained of wrong done to them." The Jews were forced to pay high taxes, transport dung on Saturdays, were levies tolls on the road to Damascus, and were beaten with a strip of metal. The Sultan ordered his people not to molest the Jews, to investigate and give back what the Jews are owed.

    1723: In Prussia a revised form of the "Aeltesten-reglement" (Constitution of the Jewish Community) was issued.  The original document which was supposed to be read every in the synagogue was issued in March of 1722.

    1743: Premiere performance of Handel’s “Samson” at Covent Garden, an oratorio based on the life of the Biblical figure described in the Book of Judges.

    1757: In Avignon, France, a local townsman walking through the ghetto on a dark night, stumbled and fell into a well near the synagogue. Fortunately he was not hurt. The day was declared a local holiday for generations. The rationale was that had the townsman drowned so near the synagogue, the Jewish community would have been accused of complicity in his death. 

    1794(18th of Adar): Rabbi Alexander Suskind of Horodno author of Yesod ve-Shoresh ha-Avodah passed away

    1804:  Ohio University founded in Athens, Ohio. Today approximately 10% of its 17,000 students are Jewish.  There is an on-campus Hillel Chapter at Ohio University.

    1813: Emancipation of the Jews of Mecklenberg, Germany

    1816: Birthdate of Maurice Block the Berlin born statistician and economist who moved to Paris in the 1840’s to work for the French ministry of agriculture.

    1839: Birthdate of Zadoc Kahn, the Alsatian native who became Chief Rabbi of France.

    1839: Birthdate of Charles S. Baker who while serving as Congressman from New York in 1890 submitted a resolution “protesting…the enforcement by Russia of the edicts of 1882 against the Jews” and requesting the President to submit a protest to the Czar’s government.

    1840: Sultan Abdul Mejid I issued a royal decree absolving the Jewish community on the island of Rhodes of charges “of having killed a gentile child” so that his blood could be used in baking matzoth. The day was celebrated as The Purim of Rhodes.  The Sultan was a reformer who was trying to make the Ottoman Empire a modern nation as can be seen by his attempts to replace the turban with the fez, introduce the use of banknotes and the issuing of a patent so that a telegraph system could be built in Turkey.

    1846: Beginning of the Galician peasant revolt.  At this time Galicia was a province of the Austrian Empire.  The revolt was one of many that would sweep Europe during the late 1840’s. By 1851, once the revolts in Galicia had been suppressed, the Reform Constitution would be  revoked and, among other things, Jews would lose their newly won right to purchase  land in Galicia,

    1848(14th of Adar I, 5608): Purim Katan

    1850: In Budapest, Karl Ullmann and his wife gave birth to Alexander de Erény Ullmann the political economist who served in the Hungarian Parliament from 1884 to 1892.  His father who was born in 1809 and passed away in 1880 founded the first Hungarian Insurance Company.  Alexander passed away in 1897.

    1850 In New York Abigail Kursheedt (nee Judah) and Asher Kursheedt gave birth to Serena Kursheedt

    1851(16th of Adar I, 5611): Forty-six year old Car Gustav Jacob Jacobi, “the first Jewish mathematician to be appointed professor at a German university” passed away today in Berlin

    1852: According to reports published today, a juror named Shubal Hubbard claimed that Alexander Christallar, a witness for the defendant, had tried to engage him in inappropriate social contact during a break in the trial.  In his deposition, Hubbard claimed that Christallar was a Jew and that he was President of a Williamsburg Synagogue.  He also claimed that Christallar had invited him to a celebration at which Oysters would be served.

    1853: August Belmont, the Jewish banker and Democratic political leader, and Caroline Slidell gave birth to August Belmont, Jr. who was raised as a Christian.

    1856: Full civil rights are granted to Turkish Jews

    1859: Birthdate of Solomon Rabinowitz who became famous under the penname of Sholem Aleichem.  Born in Russia, Sholem Aleichem first wrote in Hebrew and only later turned to writing in Yiddish.  He moved from Russia to Denmark, to Switzerland and ultimately moved to the United States at the outbreak of World War I.  Unfortunately, he only lived in America for two years and he passed away in 1916.  Known as the Yiddish Mark Twain, Sholem Aleichem is most famous for creating Tevya and all of the wonderful characters who lived with him in the shtetels of the Pale.  He used humor to portray both the joy and the suffering of his co-religionists.  He became famous among generations of Jews who had thought they had escaped from all of that "Yiddish stuff" and gentiles as well with the production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Some of his famous lines include: "In the mud, but not of the mud."  "When a Jew eats a chicken one of them was sick.""A bachelor is a man who comes to work each morning from a different direction.""Gossip is nature's telephone.""Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.""No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you.""The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger." Some of his works that have been translated into English include Tevye's Daughters, The Adventures of Menahem-Mendel, The Best of Sholom Aleichem and The Great Fair which is his autobiography.

     1861: With the Italian unification almost complete, King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.  Jews were active participants in the fight to unify Italy and the newly unified Italian nation was certainly hospitable to its Jewish citizens.  Historian Elliot Rosenberg cites a quote from his fellow historian Howard Morely Sacher to capture what the new Italian nation meant to the Jewish people.  “In 1848, there had been no European country save Spain where the restrictions placed upon Jews were more galling and more humiliating than in Italy.  After 1860, there was no country on the continent of Europe where conditions were better for Jews.”

    1866: Birthdate of Samuel Krauss, a professor at the Jewish Teachers' Seminary in Budapest and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna who was a contributor to the Jewish Encyclopedia.

     1870: State Supreme Court Justice Cardozo denied a motion for an injunction in an action styled the Mayor of New York City vs. the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company.

    1871: Rabbi Wise delivered the first in a series of lectures on the “Origin of Christianity” at Steinway Hall in New York City.  Reverend O.B. Frothingham introduced the Rabbi.

    1874(1st of Adar, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1874: Ida Morgenthau, the daughter of Lazarus Morgenthau married William J. Erich.

    1874: Lazarus Morgenthau founded a society that would provide dowries for orphan Jewish girls.

    1876: In Slovakia, 37 year old Herman Ehrenthal and Veron Ehrenthal gave birth do Roazlia Ehrenthal who became Rozalia Fleischmann.

    1876: In Maryland, Circuit Court Judge Pinkney, ruled that the City of Baltimore did not have the right give public funds to a variety of charitable organizations including the Hebrew Hospital.

    1880: Mr. Moses Levinson of New Rochelle sued the New Haven Railroad today in United States Circuit Court for “exemplary damages.”  Levinson contended that he had been wrongfully put off one of the New Haven’s trains when the conductor claimed he had not paid for his ticket.  Levinson sought $5,000 in damages.  The jury awarded him $750.

    1882: “The Russian War on the Jews” published today described the renewed attacks to which the Jews of Kiev have been subjected and Count Totleben’s refusal to intervene without special instructions from the government at St. Petersburg.

    1882: In Philadelphia, PA, the old passenger station belong to the Pennsylvania Railroad, has been configured to provide temporary accommodations for the Jewish refugees who will arrive in the city after having escaped from the recent round of pogroms in Russia.  A supply of food has been gathered for the refugees and Dr. Thomas G. Morton is the head of a group of doctors who will be available to take care of their medical needs.  In the meantime, an Employment Committee will make every effort to find jobs for the new arrivals.

    1888: Birthdate of John U. “Jack” Zuta the Chicago gangster who had the unique distinction of working for both Al Capone and Bugs Moran and whose death unearthed records that helped put away several crooked politicians.

    1887: In New York, the Hebrew Technical Institute moved from its location on Crosby Street to its new school building at 34 and 36 Stuyvesant Street. Founded in 1884, the school provides vocational training to young Jews most of whom are the children of recent immigrants.

    1890: Ida Cohen (nee Kuhn) and Eduard Cohen gave birth to Albert Cohen.

    1890:  In Moscow, according to the Gregorian calendar, Leonid Pasternak, a professor at the Moscow School of Paint, Sculpture and Architecture and concert pianist Rosa Kaufman gave birth to Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago

    1893: “Regulators in Louisiana” published today described “the existence of an oath-bound organization having for its object the banishment of Jewish merchants…and Negroes from Tangipahoa Parish.”  Among those threatened was David Stern, a leading merchant in Amity, LA.

    1893: Seventy-year old Gerson von Bleichröder the second generation German-Jewish banker who provided his services to Bismarck and Prussia passed away today.

    1894: It was reported today that George Eliot had told American author Charles Godfrey Leland “that in order to write Daniel Deronda she had read through 200 books.” Leland wrote that he “longed to tell her that she had better have learned Yiddish and talked with 200 Jews and been taught, as Iwas by my friend Solomon the Sadducee, the art of distinguishing Fraulein Lowenthal of the Ashkenazim from Senorita Aguado of the Sephardim by the corners of their eyes.” (Daniel Deronda is the philo-Semitic novel written by Mary Anne Evans who used the penname George Eliot.  At the time of this entry, Leland was doing research on gypsies.)

    1894: “All Fools’ Day” published claimed that 17thcentury antiquarian John Brand attributed the origin of April Fool’s Day to the Jews.  According to Brand, Noah sent the dove out of the ark before the waters had abated on a day which corresponds to April 1.  The celebration of fools on this date reminds of the original “fool’s errand” on which Noah sent the Dove.

    1894: It was reported today that the late Albert S. Rosenbaum passed away as a result of heart disease which probably does not offer any comfort to the widow and five children who survived him.

    1897: In Paris, French author Emil Zola was attacked by a mob on his way home from the court where his case was being heard.  The police were forced to intervene to prevent a lynching.  The frustrated mob then “made a rush for the Jews threatening to throw them into the Seine.”

    1901: Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons. At the time, Churchill was member of the Conservative Party serving as an MP for Oldham.  In 1904, the Conservatives at Oldham would tell Churchill that they could no longer support him.  This would force Churchill to seek a new constituency which would be Manchester North-West where a third of the voters were Jewish.  This change in political fortune would force Churchill to deal with Jewish political issues for the first, but not the last time, in his career.  For more on this topic you should Sir Martin Gilbert’s highly readable Churchill and the Jews.

    1903(21st of Shevat, 5663): Seventy-four year old Moses Mielziner, the Prussian born American rabbi who had been President of the Hebrew Union College since 1900 passed away today and was succeeded by Gotthard Deutsch who filled the position of “acting President.”

    1904: In Florence, Italy, Gilda Borghi and Mario Mordechai Pacifici who descended “from an ancient Sephardic and religious Jewish family of Spanish origin and of rabbinical tradition settled in Tuscany (first in Leghorn, then in Florence) in the 16th century gave birth to Riccardo Pacifici, an Italian rabbi who would be murdered at Auschwitz.

    1910: In Lithuania, Rabbi Moshe Yom Tov Wachtfogel gave birth to Nosson Meir Wachtfogel who became known as the Lakewood Mashgiach.

    1913: During the Third Republic, when real power was held by the Prime Ministers, Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France. Along with General Pershing (commander of the AEF), Poincare opposed the Armistice contending that Allied armies needed to penetrate deeper into Germany lest the German people not realize that their army had been beaten.  Their view did not prevail.  The German Army marched back into Germany giving rise to the “stabbed in the back” myth that helped Hitler come to power.  During the 1920’s, Poincare intervened on behalf of the Jews of Poland when he convinced the Polish government to refrain from adopting legislation that would have discriminated against her Jewish citizens.

    1914:Charles Edward Sebag-Montefiore and Muriel Alice Ruth de Pass gave birth to Denzil Charles Sebag-Montefiore

    1915: As of today, the fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee for Sufferers from the War has collected $482, 952.13.

    1915: The American cruiser Tennessee arrived in Alexandria carrying refugees “from the coast of Syria” and Palestine who were escaping from the Ottomans.

    1915:  The Red Cross Fund which Jacob H. Schiff serves as treasurer increased its total by $1,112.80 bring the total collected to $460, 060.47.

    1915: “The development of the educational and social life of Jewish young people and the improvement of the economic conditions through the operation of 200 schools under the auspices of the Alliance Israelite Universelle of Paris were partly described at a memorial meeting” tonight “ the founder of the organization, Narcesse Leven.

    1916: Birthdate of Maria Victoria Bloch-Bauer, who as Maria Altmann gained fame for her “successful, five decades long fight to regain five Gustav Klimt paintings owned by her family that had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

    1918: Morris Rothenberg, Chairman of the Zionist Committee of New York, presided over the memorial service held in honor of the late Jechiel Tchlenow, the Russian born doctor who passed away in London only months after having participated in the negotiations that produced the Balfour Declaration.

    1920: The Jewish Court of Arbitration held its first session

    1924: Birthdate of Canadian born actress Bessie Hope Wolfe Garber who “hosted the Canadian television show, At Home with Hope Garber.

    1927: Birthdate of Michael “Mike” Harari, the sabra who became an officer in Mossad.

     1927: The London Gazette reported from Whitehall that “Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, granting the Dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom to the undermentioned gentlemen and the heirs male of their respective lawfully begotten:

    Sir Joseph Duveen, of Millbank in the City of Westminster”

    1929: First Academy Awards are announced. “Broadway Melody” produced by Irving Thalberg was named Best Picture for 1928 – 1929. “All Quiet on the Western Front” directed by Lewis Milestone was named Best Picture of 1929-1930.

    1930: Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart's "Simple Simon" premieres in New York

    1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1931(1st of Adar, 5691): Fifty year old Russian born American actor Louis Wolheim who gave a memorable performance in “All Quiet on the Western Front” passed away today.

    1931: King Levinsky fought a four round exhibition with former Heavy Weight Champion Jack Dempsey. Levinsky the scion of a Jewish family from Chicago that had a fish business on Maxwell Street

    1932:  Birthdate of Czech born film director Milos Forman.  Forman’s father was Jewish but his mother was not.  They died in the camps.

    1933: Marinus van der Lubbe, the man who will be accused of setting the Reichstag Fire, arrived in Berlin. There are those who contend the fire was really set by the Nazis.  Regardless, they used it as tool to consolidate their power weeks after Hitler became Chancellor.

    1934(3rd of Adar, 5694): “Dr. Heinrich York Steiner, Hungarian Jewish writer, friend of Dr. Theodore Herzl” and one of the founders of the Zionist movement passed away today at the age of 75.  Dr. York-Steiner, who was born in Hungary, spent most of his life in Vienna.  Known as a novelist, critic and dramatist, he became friendly with Dr. Herzl as a young man and worked closely with him to form Zionist groups. He played an important part in the creation of the World Zionist Organization.”

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that owing to German influence there had been in recent months a concentrated Italian drive against the appointment of Jews to leading positions in the economic and political life of the state.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that there were three successive Arab attacks on the Rana police post, near Acre. Some 150 Arab villagers in the Tulkarm area were arrested in connection with a number of recent railway sabotages.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Maestro Toscanini had withdrawn from participating in the Nazi-dominated Salzburg Festival and announced his intention to come and conduct the Orchestra in Palestine.

    1940: In Warsaw, two Jewish girls were raped by two German sergeants.

    1943: A group of 1,220 Jewish refugees from Poland arrived in Israel from Tehran where they had found refuge in 1942

    1943: Joseph Goebbels gave his Total War speech which should have put an end to any later claims that the Allies were wrong in pursuing a policy of Unconditional Surrender when fighting the Axis.

    1943(13th of Adar I, 5703): Seventy-four year old Dutch trade unionist Henri Polak who was Presidnet of the General Diamond Workers’ Union of the Netherlands died of pneumonia in Laren following which his wife Milly was shipped to Westerbrork where she died.

    1943: The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.  The White Rose movement was an anti-Nazi movement inspired by German students.  It is important to remember that there were those in Germany who opposed Hitler and were willing to risk their lives to express that opposition. 

    1945: The last of six convoys of deportees arrived at The Langenstein-Zwieberge, an under-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. 

    1946: A clandestine radio transmitter known as the “Voice of Free Israel” that is reportedly operated by the Stern Gang was seized in Tel Aviv after “a house to house search by British Soldiers and police officers.”

    1946: Clemens August Galen was named as a Cardinal.  During World War II, while serving as the Bishop of Munster (Germany), he opposed the Nazis.

    1947: Birthdate of Eliot Engel, Congressman representing New York’s 17th District.

    1949: Eamon de Valera resigns as Taoiseach (head of government) of Ireland. The controversial Irish leader was rumored to have been the illegitimate son of a Portuguese Jew, a rumor he vehemently denied. However de Valera was not an anti-Semite as can be seen by his support in 1937 for a provision in the Irish Constitution that explicitly recognized the existence and rights of the Jewish community in Ireland.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Knesset approved, by 79 votes to 16, the government's statement on the ruptured relations with the Soviet Union. The resolution upheld the role the Soviet Union played in the establishment of Israel in 1948, but found no justification for the Soviet role in breaking off the diplomatic relations between the two countries now. Mass meetings in New York asked the Soviet Union to "Let My People Go!"

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that in London the House of Commons backed the British government's decision to continue selling jet fighters to Arab nations to the exclusion of Israel.

    1955: Pinchas Lavon’s resignation as Defense Minister is accepted.

    1955: David Ben Gurion agrees to come out of retirement and serve as Defense Minister.  Four months later he will also agree to serve as Prime Minister.

    1957(17th of Adar I, 5717): “Two civilians were killed by landmines, next to Nir Yitzhak, on the southern border of the Gaza Strip.”

    1963(24th of Shevat, 5723):Shlomo-Yisrael Ben-Meir began serving as serving as a Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

    1965(15th of Adar I, 5725): Eight-six year old Paul Sachs, the Assistant Director of the Fogg Art Museum and founding member of The Museum of Modern Art who played a key role in making plans for protecting American art during WWII and retrieving art from war torn Europe as described in The Monument Men passed away today.

    1966(28th of Shevat, 5726): Fifty-seven year old Robert Rossen, the director of the Oscar winning picture “All the King’s Men” passed away today.

    1967(8th of Adar I, 5727): Robert Oppenheimer passed away.  The famed physicist was director of the Manhattan Project and is one of those referred to as the father of the Atomic Bomb.

    1969: The PLO attacked El-Al plane in Zurich Switzerland.  Long before 9/11, the Israelis were forced to deal with a level of vicious terrorism aimed at strangling their avenues of commerce and tourist industry.  As a result of the PLO attacks, the Israelis were the first to put sky marshals on their flights and to do in depth pre-screening of all passengers.  And yes, the head of the PLO was Yassar Arafat, the "partner for peace." 

    1970:  The Chicago Eight, including Abbe Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, were found not guilty of charges relating to the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago.

    1973: A headline in the New York Times read "Half Baghdad's Jews Said to Apply to Leave; Property Seized."  "Half the members of the tiny Jewish community in Baghdad have applied for passports to leave Iraq in recent weeks in the face of a crackdown by Iraqi authorities, according to a first day account.

    1973: In Montreal's Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Naim Kattan, an Iraqi-born Jew spoke at a memorial and protest rally for nine more Jews who had been murdered in Baghdad.  (page 300 for the dead)

    1981:Israel's 60,000 teachers, who earn an average of $110 a week, staged a one-day strike today to press for a wage increase promised by the Government. The Government's decision in principle last month to grant the raise brought the resignation of Finance Minister Yigal Hurvitz, which resulted in the Government coalition losing its majority in Parliament. Negotiations, however, have continued.

    1982(25th of Shevat, 5742): Ninety-two year old multi-talented musician Nathaniel Shilkret passed away today.

    1983(5th of Adar, 5743): Eighty-two year old Leopold Godowsky, Jr. the American violinist who held to create Kodachrome passed away.

    1983: U.S. premiere of “The King of Comedy” co-starring Jerry Lewis, Tony Randall and Sandra Berhnhard.

    1983: For the final time Stage 23 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles for the taping of an episode of “Taxi.”

    1988(30th of Shevat, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1990: Dozens of supporters are planning to lie down across the road here in front of Ariel Sharon's northern Negev ranch this morning to stop him from driving to Jerusalem for the Cabinet meeting where he plans to resign. But as the former general sees it, by resigning as Industry and Trade Minister he is not leaving; he is simply opening a new front. And the goal of this new campaign, he said in an interview, is to be Israel's next prime minister replacing Yitzhak Shamir.

    1992(14th of Adar I, 5752): Purim Katan

    1997: Janet Yellen began serving as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton.

    1999(2nd of Adar, 5759): Comedic actor and director Noam Pitlik passed away.

    2001: The New York Times published an op-ed essay explaining the pardon of Marc Rich which did not mention the donations of almost two million dollars that Denise Rich had made to the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton’s senatorial campaign or the Clinton Library.

    2002(6th of Adar I, 5762):Ahuva Amergi (30), Maj. Mor Elraz (25), St.-Sgt. Amir Mansouri and unidentified woman were murdered today by members of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigade who opened fire on the car driven by the woman and then hit the two soldiers who came to her aid.

    2003: (16th of Adar I, 5763) Isser Harel, head of Mossad from 1952 until 1963, passed away.  He was in charge of the operation that brought Eichmann to Israel to stand trial.

    2005(9th of Adar I, 5765): Lee Kahn passed away at the age of 101. She was one of the siblings of Helen Reichert, all of whom were centenarians.

    2006: Shabbat Shekalim, the Sabbath of the Shekel.

    2007: The 23rd International Book Fair opens in Jerusalem

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of French Seduction:

    An American’s Encounter With France, Her Father, and the Holocaust by Eunice Lipton.

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section “Poet’s Choice” by Robert Pinksy features a commentary on "The Amen Stone" and The Jewish Time Bomb" that appeared in Yehuda Amichai's last collection of poems, Open Closed Open.

    2007: The Sunday Chicago Tribune book section included a review of Amanda Vaill's Somewhere, a biography of Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz who came to be known as Jerome Robbins the man who “conquered--and in many ways defined--both the musical and modern American ballet, a genius by nature…” 

    2008: In New York, Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Dror will perform his graduation Recital at Mannes Concert Hall.The program includes the favorites of all times- Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata and Chopin's 'Funeral March' Sonata.Drior Baitel performs his graduation recital at Mannes Concert Hall. 

    2008: In the United States, FBI  domestic terror squads remain on the alert for any threats against synagogues and other potential Jewish targets in the United States after the assassination of the top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah and the movement's leader threatened to attack Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world.

    2009:In, Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth and final part of a four part seriesThe Comedy and Kabbalah of Relationships featuring Rabbi YY Jacobson

    2009: At New York University, Professor Yoram Peri, head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University delivers a public lecture entitled "New Leadership in Israel and the Peace Process"

    2009: Today, the IDF announced that apples grown by Israeli farmers in the Golan Heights will be exported to Syria.

    2009: The New York Times reported that the American Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer

    2009: Holocaust survivors voiced criticism of Yad Vashem's announcement that it will bestow its highest honor on Wilm Hosenfeld, a Nazi officer who helped save a Polish Jew, whose story became the basis for the film The Pianist.

    2010: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to present another in the series Spiritual Journeys: Feminine Reflections on the Rhythms of Our Lives entitled “Adar: Increasing Joy” with   Rabbi Joyce Reinitz.

    2010:Today, while the media is filled with stories about supposed Israeli responsibility for the death of Hamas leader in Dubai, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer advanced to the semifinals of the Dubai Championship, after beating 10th seed Na Li in the quarterfinal match

    2010:An IDF soldier was lightly wounded today by a bomb which exploded near a patrol unit on the security fence near the central Gaza Strip.

    2010: Terrorists hurled a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli bus in Gush Etzion yesterday evening. There were no casualties, but the bus was damaged.

    2010: The Washington Post features a review of Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Timeby Kristin Swenson in which the reviewer recommends “Robert Alter’s books…as well as the exhilarating Richard Elliot Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible?

    2011: Einsatzgruppen The Death Brigades, the “harrowing two-part documentary meticulously details the Nazi killing squads charged with destroying entire Jewish populations in occupied Eastern Europe during WWII” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: A Small Act is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:The Portland Jazz Festival is scheduled to start today. “This year's theme is 'Bridges and Boundaries', which refers to bridging the two minority communities of Jewish Americans and African Americans.”

    2011: A German prosecutor said today that he has opened a murder investigation against a key witness in the trial of alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk. The probe is based on evidence Alex Nagorny may have been involved in mass killings at the Nazis'

    2011: Friends and family celebrate the birthday of Joel Barnum, an unpressuposing pillar of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2011:The United States used its veto this afternoon to block a Security Council resolution declaring Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank illegal. (As reported by Neil MacFarquhar)

    2011: In “Auschwitz Shifts From Memorializing to Teaching,” Michael Kimmelman described the changing role of the site of the worst of the Death Camps.

    2012: Shabbat Shekalim, 5772

    2012: “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldbeerg is scheduled to be shown at Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA

    2012: “Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray” is scheduled to be shown at Congregation Beth-El Jewish Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX!

    2012: In Iowa City, Hillel is schedyked to present a concert by University of Iowa School of Music faculty members, Uriel Tsachor and Rachel Joselson.

    2012: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza took advantage of stormy weather conditions to fire rockets towards large southern cities in Israel. A Grad-type rocket was launched in the direction of the Negev's largest city, Beersheba, today triggering air raid sirens.

    2012: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Iran is clearly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and if it succeeds it will set off a dangerous round of nuclear proliferation across the Middle East while the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey said that an Israeli strike on Iran "wouldn’t achieve its long-term objectives" and would be "destabilizing."

    2013: In London, Professor Neil Gregor is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Mockery as Politics: The Degenerate Art Exhibition, 1937” in which he examines how the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937 was used to prepare people intellectually for the Holocaust

    2013: Hadassah’s National Center for Attorneys’ Councils and the Greater Washington Area Chapter Attorneys’ Council are scheduled to host a dinner honor those who are to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court

    2013: At Tulane University, the second and final day of “Jewish Secular Utopias and Distopias in Central and Eastern Europe” co-sponsored by Dr. Brian Horowitz and Dr. Andrew Solin

    2013: At Brandeis University, a two-day conference “Zionism in the Twenty-First Century” is scheduled to come to an end.

    2013: “Religious Studies and Rabbinics” a conference designed to promote dialogue between the fields of religious studies and rabbinics is scheduled to open at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

    2013: President Shimon Peres today announced that he will present his American counterpart with the Presidential Medal of Distinction during his March stay in Israel.

    2013: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today sent Pope Benedict XVI a letter of appreciation on behalf of the State of Israel, a week after the pontiff announced his imminent resignation from office. Benedict said he would step down as head of the Catholic Church at the end of February.

    2013(8thof Adar, 5773): Eighty-three year old legal scholar Alan F. Westin passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2014: The Skirball Center is scheduled to present another in the series of lectures by Dr. Daniel Rynhold entitled “Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy.”

    2014: “The Zigzag Kid” is scheduled to be shown at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.”

    2014: Friends and family celebrate the natal day of Joel Barnum, one of those quite “pillars” of the Cedar Rapids Jewish Community.

    2014: “Hungarian rabbi said today he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community.”

    2014: “Two rockets fired from war-torn Syria struck the Golan Heights in northern Israel today, shortly after a secret visit to the area by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the army said.”   

    2014: A three-day long on-line marathon brainstorming session sponsored by the Israeli government to Plan the Future of the Jewish People is scheduled to come to an end.

    2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a performance of “"Don't Cry, We'll All Meet on the Other Side," explores the story of Jewish Life in Communist Romania in the aftermath of the Holocaust

    2015: Cellist Elad Kabilio is scheduled to “a musical journey through Modeling the Synagogue – from Dura to Touro.”

    2015: “Above and Beyond” is scheduled to be shown at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.




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    February 19

    197: Emperor Septimius Severus defeated the usurper Clodius Albinus in the Battle of Lugdunum, Severus was trying to use syncretism to maintain imperial unity and authority.  Since Jews, as well as Christian, resisted this concept, the Emperor outlawed conversion to either of these religions. 

    356: Following in the footsteps of his father Constantine the Great Constantius II closed all pagan temples. During his reign, he would also issue a series of edicts designed to limit the economic and social activities of Jews. All of this was part of the drive to make Christianity the state religion which would then serve as a unifying force for the empire that was past its zenith.

    607: Boniface III is named Pope.  His papacy only lasted for nine months but during that time he “ensured that the title of ‘Universal Bishop’ belonged exclusively to the Bishop of Rome” thus ensuring the primacy of the Pope as head of the Catholic Church. The impact of this decision would indirectly affect the Jews for centuries to come as they were forced to deal with Church sponsored persecution and/or to seek Papal protection from a variety of murderous enemies.

    842: The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended, when a Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of images (icons) in the churches. This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. This split continues to this day between the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox.  As those studying in Cedar Rapids now know, many of the things done to the Jews by Christians were by-products of these various squabbles between various Christian sects.

    1090: In Speyer, Germany, Emperor Henry IV renewed to Rabbi Judah ben Kalonymus, the poet David ben Meshullam, and Rabbi Moses ben Yekuthiel the pledges granted six years earlier by Bishop Ruediger. In addition the emperor guaranteed the Jews freedom of trade in his empire as well as his protection. Within six years Speyer became one of the first communities on the Rhine to be attacked. After the attacks Rabbi Moses took it upon himself to care for and protect the orphans created by this violence.

    1229: During the Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed “a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the Pope Gregory IX.” The Sixth Crusade is remembered as one that did not result in the massive slaughter of Jews in Europe or Palestine. Gregory is remember as the Pope who created the dreaded institution known as the Inquisition. During his reign, Frederick “decided to combine the manufacturing of silk and the dying trades and to give them over to a number of Jewish families. For many years both of these industries were “almost the exclusive activities of Jews in Sicily, Naples, and other parts of Italy” which were part of the Holy Roman Empire.

    1461: Birthdate of Cardinal Domenico Grimani who was a close enough friend of Rabbi Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno that he recommended him to those who were looking for a Hebrew teacher.

    1539: The Jews of Tyrnau Hungary (then Trnava Czechoslovakia) were expelled.  In case you had not noticed, there seems to be an expulsion somewhere on almost every day of the year. 

    1543: The Vatican established the House of Catechumens (Casa dei Catecumeni). The purpose of the house, supported by Jewish taxation was solely to convert Jews. Those sent there were subjected to 40 days of intense “instruction”. If after that time he still refused baptism he was allowed to return to his home – few did. Until it was abolished in 1810 around 2440 Jews were converted in Rome alone. Other houses were set up in various Italian cities. On this same day three Portuguese Marranos from Ferrara were burned in Rome's Campo dei Fiori.

    1560: The third volume of the Zohar was printed for the first time in Mantua, Italy

    1583(27thof Shevat): In Italy, Joseph Saralbo was burned at the stake at the command of Pope Gregory XIII. Saralbo was accused of returning to Judaism and of trying to convince other Marranos in Ferrara to join him. According to reports he proudly proclaimed that he had helped 800 Marranos return to Judaism.  He asked the Jews of Rome not to mourn for him stating “I am on my way to meet immortality.”

     1594: King Sigismund III ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is crowned King of Sweden. Under King Sigismund’s rule, conditions for Polish and Lithuanian Jews continued to deteriorate.  Such could not be said of his Swedish realm since there was no Jewish community in Sweden at this time.

    1674:  England and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, which renamed it New York.  If the war had turned out otherwise, comedians would have been talking about New Amsterdam Jews instead of New York Jews. Think of Seinfeld in Dutch.

    1707(17thof Adar l, 5467): Jonah Abravanel, “a learned and highly respected” member of the Amsterdam Jewish community passed away. [Jonah Abravanel was a fairly a common name and this individual should not be confused with  the16th century poet who was the son of the physician Joseph Abravanel, and a nephew of Manasseh ben Israel]

    1732: In Cambridge, UK, Johanna Bentley and Dr. Denison Cumberland gave birth to dramatist Richard Cumberland, author of “The Jew of Magadore” and “The Jew,” “the first playing the English theatre to portray a Jewish moneylender as the hero of a stage production.” In 2012, the play was published as “Sheva, the Benevolent.”

    1740(22nd of Shevat): Rabbi Jacob ben Benjamin Papiers of Frankfort author of Shev Ya’akov passed away.

    1758: Birthdate of Austrian educator Peter Beer.

    1810(15thof Adar I, 5570): David Friedrichsfeld, the native of Berlin who went to Amsterdam in 1781 to fight for the emancipation of the Jews and whose written works included a biography of fellow Hebraist Naphtali Hirz Wessely, passed away today.

    1815: Yitzchak Alter and Feigele Lipschitz gave birth to Abraham Mordka Alter.

    1819: Under the influence of Rabbi Moses Münz, Rabbi Aron Chorin “recalled” Ḳin'at ha-Emet (Zeal for Truth), a paper written on April 7, 1818, and published in the collection Nogah ha-Ẓedeḳ (Light of Righteousness),” in which “he declared himself in favor of reforms, such as German prayers, the use of the organ, and other liturgical modifications. The principal prayers, the Shema', and the eighteen benedictions, however, should be said in Hebrew, he declared, as this language keeps alive the belief in the restoration of Israel. He also pleaded for opening the temple for daily service.” A year later he would publish Dabar be-'Itto (A Word in Its Time), in which he reaffirmed the views expressed in Ḳin'at ha-Emet, and pleaded strongly for the right of Reform.

    1825: Birthdate of Abraham Pereira Mendes, the native of Kingston, Jamaica who was trained in London by Rabbi David Meldola and Rabbi D.A. de Sola and who led several Sephardic congregations in the United Kingdom and the United States.

    1835: Birthdate of Austrian Rabbi Moritz Güdemann who passed away in 1918.  

    1843: A committee of representatives, including eight from the Great Synagogue, met under the chairmanship of Isaac Cohen in the Vestry room in Duke's Place

    1843: In Madrid, Salvatore Patti and Salvatore Patti gave birth to Adelina Patti, the 19th century opera start who was discovered by Jewish impresario Max Maretzek.

    1848: Thirty-year old Emanuel Nunes Carvalho and Caroline A. Carvalho gave birth to Isaac Woolf Nunes Carvalho

    1850: In Hamburg, Emma Simon and Louis Bernheim gave birth to German historian Ernst Bernheim who would lose his position when he fell afoul of the Nazi racial laws.

    1856: During the current session of the New York Legislature,today Mr. Brooks gave notice that he planned to introduce a bill "to increase the number of trustees of the Jews Hospital" in New York City.

    1857: Moses Polydore Millaud, the French banker who owned La Presse“hosted a banquet for the Goncourt brothers, but later that year he was faced with financial difficulties and sold the newspaper to Felix Solar.”

    1861: As part of his reforms, Czar Alexander II abolished serfdom. Although the Jews were not directly affected by the emancipation of the serfs, they benefited from other reforms initiated by Alexander II including putting an end to the drafting of Jews into the Russian Army and the opening of some educational institutions and occupations to the Jews of Russia.  This gave rise to the masklim movement in Russia.  Unfortunately, all of this came to an end when the Czar was assassinated in 1881 which led to Pogroms and reactionary regimes.

    1863: An article published today entitled “The Doom of Memphis” described the desperate economic conditions in Memphis including the fact that many of the city’s prominent businessman have joined the retreating Rebel Army and their homes have been occupied by “military Generals or Hebrews, who have turned them into Sutlers' establishments.

    1867: Birthdate of Annie Nathan Meyer, “an American author and promoter of the higher education of women.”

    1870: In Brooklyn, Congregation Beth Elohim which had been conducted services in “the traditional manner” adopted a moderate reform ritual in its worship.

    1871: “Abraham’s Sacrifice” which was published today included a description of Rembrandt’s relationship with the local Jewish population including the fact that after the death of his wife, the Dutch painter “retired to an old house on the Rue des Juifs in Amsterdam.”

    1875(14thof Adar I, 5635): Purim Katan

    1881: Seventeen year old Marion Calisch, the Hebrew teacher at Professor Felix Adler’s Kindergarten at 45th and Broadway disappeared today.

    1882: President Isaac Marx addressed the opening session of annual convention of the Grand Lodge of the order Kesher Shel Barzel, District Number 1. During his speech, Marx expressed remorse at the recent death of President Garfield and concern for the plight of the Jews of Russia.  Marks praised the work of the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society in aiding the Russian Jews. He suggested that the Order should emulate the action of the Free Sons of Israel and make a generous contribution to HIAS.

    1882: It was reported today that in the upcoming session of Parliament, the Opposition plans to pepper Prime Minister Gladstone with “taunts and jibes” over his denunciation of the Bulgarian atrocities while remaining silent about the Russian persecution of the Jews.  The difference they claim has nothing to do with the Jews and everything to do with the fact the Turks are weak and the Russians are strong.

    1882: In London, the Lord Mayor’s relief fund to aid the Jews of Russia has reached £50,000.

    1882: Reverend Jacob Freshman addressed a large gathering this afternoon at Cooper Union on the subject of “Hebrew and Christian Unity.”  Freshman, the son of a rabbi, had converted to Christianity.  The meeting was part of a movement “looking toward the converting and Christianizing of the Jews.”

    1882: In St. Petersburg, Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev, the Russian Minster of the Interior told a Rabbi that the government would neither encourage nor oppose the emigration of the Jews.[This statement does not conform with reality.  The Russian government was committed to the one-third, one-third, one-third policy: One third of the Jews would convert; one-third would emigrate; one-third would die.]

    1887: Rabbi Alexander Kohut of Ahawath Chesed is scheduled to host a reception for members of his congregation at his home in Beekman Place

    1892: Birthdate of Elinor Fatman Morgenthau, the wife of Secretary Treasury Henry Morgenthau and a friend and Hyde Park neighbor of Eleanor Roosevelt.

    1894: “Huxley on the Bible” published today provides a detailed review of Science and Hebrew Traditions, a collection by Thomas H. Huxley. (Huxley was a 19thcentury scientist who was an enthusiastic advocate of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution)

    1894: The United Hebrew Charities was one of the recipients of money given to New York charities by the Distribution Committee of the Citizens’ Relief Committee when it met today in the office of J. Pierpont Morgan.

    1897: Birthdate of silent screen star Alma Rubens. The San Francisco native’s mother was Irish Catholic and her father was Jewish.

    1897(17thof Adar I, 5657): In New York, Simon Goldenberg, the husband of Mary Goldenberg and member of Temple Beth El who left an estate of $200,000 in real property and $100,000 in personal property passed away today.

    1898: “It is said that the taking of testimony” in the trial of Emile Zola “will be concluded tonight.”  There are only five or six more witnesses to be heard.

    1898(27thof Shevat, 5658): Five year old Tina Fein passed away at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1898: “Grant Allen’s Book on God” published today provides a review of The Evolution of the Idea of God: An Inquiry Into the Origins of Religion by Grant Allen in which the author say, “The only people who ever invented or evolved a pure monotheism at first hand were the Jews.  It is the peculiar glory of Israel to have evolved God.  The mistake Jews make, is to believe that Abraham…was always a monotheist…and that monotheism was smitten out at a single blow by the genius of…Moses at the moment of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.”

    1899: It was reported today that in the past year the Gemilath Chasodim Committee lent $68,110 to 3,917 needy families comprised 19,000 individuals.  The American Hebrew described the committees practicing of providing small loans as “The Help that Helps.”

    1899: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil delivered a sermon entitled “Was Christ a Christian?” today at Temple Emanu-El.

    1903: Birthdate of Louis Slobodkin, the sculptor and award winning illustrator of children’s books who was the father of “pioneering ecologist” Lawrence Slobodkin.

    1909: Auguste Leon Luzatto Pasha, the director-general of the Banque d’Egypte, passed away.  Following his death, his heirs sold his home to the Curciel family – the Jewish family that owned Egypt’s largest department store chain.

    1912(1stof Adar I, 5672): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1912(1stof Adar I, 5672): In Joplin, MO, 69 year old Albert Cahn who earned the rank of Captain while serving the Civil War passed away today.

    1912: Birthdate of Saul Chaplin. Born Saul Kaplan in Brooklyn, Chaplin won four Oscars his work on the scores and orchestrations for An American in Paris(1951, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story(1961).

    1915: During World War I, The Battle of Gallipoli began as Allied forces attack the Turks. The Battle of Gallipoli took place on the Turkish Peninsula at the Dardanelles.  The idea was to break the stalemate on the Western Front and at the same time open the Dardanelles to Allied ships carrying supplies to the Russians.  If the attacks had been executed as planned, World War I might have ended in 1915 or 1916 which would have meant a lot less bloodshed, no Russian Revolution and no Versailles Treaty.  The Battle of Gallipoli saw the appearance of the Zion Mule Corps – the first all Jewish fighting unit to operate in World War I.  The Zion Mule Corps paved the way for the Jewish Legion in the British Army. The Zion Mule Corps was one of the progenitors of the modern I.D.F.

    1915: It was reported today that there were more than 60, 000 pupils attending the schools operated by the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Palestine, Turkey, Algeria, Egypt and other parts of Asia Minor at an annual cost of $400,000.

    1915: Among those listed today as contributors to the American Jewish Relief Committee for Sufferers from the War are the Jewish Federation of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of Harrisonburg, VA, Beth Israel Congregation of Clarksdale, MS and Temple Emanuel of San Francisco, CA.

    1915: It was reported today that “Talaat Bey, Minister of Marine, Finance and Interior in the Turkish Cabinet and the leader of the Young Turks Party was a graduate of a school operated by the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

    1916: William Phillips, the Third Assistant (US) Secretary of State wrote to Simon Wolf that in compliance with the wishes of President Wilson, the American government had requested permission from the British to ship Passover flour to those in territory occupied by the Germans and the Austrians, but the British had rejected the request saying that the Austrians and Germans had adequate supplies to meet the need.  (This was not anti-Semitism.  One of the few things the Allies had going for them at this point in WW I was the blockade of the Central Powers and they resisted any attempt to ship any kind of goods to the enemy.)

    1918: Birthdate of Benjamin Miedzyrzecki, the Warsaw native who would survive the Warsaw Ghetto and after coming to the United States would change his name to Benjamin Meed. Meed would parlay eight dollars into a successful import-export business and become a leading advocate for Jewish Holocaust survivors before passing away at the age of 88 in 2006

    1920(30th of Shevat, 5680): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1922:  Ed Wynn became the first talent to sign as a radio entertainer.  Born in 1886, Wynn started out as a haberdasher.  He starred in the Ziegfield Follies in 1915 and 1916.  He translated his success in vaudeville to radio and later to both movies and television.  In this way, he was part of a long line of Jewish comedians who made the same trek including George Burns, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor.  Wynn was the father of character actor Kennan Wynn.  He passed away in 1966.

    1924: Birthdate of David Bronstein, Ukrainian born chess player

    1925: In Germany, premiere of “Peter the Pirate,” a silent movie filmed by cinematographer Rudolph Mate and produced by Erich Pommer who although not Jewish fled Germany rather than live under the Nazis.

     1927(17th of Adar I, 5687): Georg (Morris Cohen) Brandes passed away at the age of 85.  Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1842, Brandes gained fame as a critic and literary historian.  Among those whose careers he affected were Henrik Ibsen and Friedrich Nietzsche.  Brandes was an outspoken critic of Herzl, but he switched to a pro-Zionist position with the issuing of the Balfour Declaration

    1930: Birthdate of movie director John Frankenheimer.

    1931: Birthdate of Dr Meir Rosenne, one of Israel’s most distinguished jurists and scholars of international law. Born in Jasy, Romania, he immigrated to Israel in 1944.

    1935: Publication of “Brown Shirts in Zion” by Robert Gessner in The New Masses

    .1935:Clifford Odets'"Awake and Sing," premieres in New York City at the Belasco Theatre. The play explores the experiences of one Jewish family during the Great Depression. The original production starred Luther and Stella Adler. The play tells the story of the impoverished Berger family and their conflicts as the parents scheme to manipulate their children's relationships to their own ends, while their children strive for their own dreams 

    1937: During the Arab Uprising, violence comes to Tiberias a city known, until now, for peaceful relations between Arabs and Jews. After a week of an Arab boycott in Tiberias, Erev Shabbat, the Jews retaliated by boycotting Arab fish mongers.  Arab youths began pelting Jews walking in the town with oranges and then escalated to throwing stones.  As the Jews retreated to the town’s Jewish quarter, the clashes became more intense as Revisionists who were passing through town in two buses stopped to come to the aid of their co-religionists.  Arabs in the hills above Tiberias began firing shots into the town and at least one Jew was stabbed in the back while another had his head split open with a stone.  By the time the British intervened, thirty Jews and thirty Arabs were “slightly injured and two Jews were seriously hurt.”

    1938(18th of Adar I, 5698): Sixty-one year old Edmund Georg Hermann Landau a German Jewish mathematician who worked in the fields of number theory and complex analysis passed away.  Born in 1877, he married Marianne Ehrlich, the daughter of Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich.

    1941: The Nazis raided Koco Amsterdam and seized 425 young Jews who were sent to Beuchenwald.  Koco was described as an isolated Jewish section in Amsterdam.  This roundup was part of a week of violence aimed against the 70,000 Jews of this Dutch city.  On February 9, Dutch Nazis sparked the first anti-Jewish riots in Amsterdam.  Although there was considerable damage and destruction, the Jews along with many of the Dutch countrymen fought back.  After the arrests on the 20th, tens of thousands of Dutch men and women went on strike in protest.  The stunned Nazi occupiers struck back brutally and crushed the strike.  However, this would not be the last time that the embattled people of Holland worked to protect their Jewish fellow countrymen.

    1942(1st of Adar, 5702): In the Dvinsk Ghetto (Latvia), Chaya Mayerova was murdered for trading a bit of cloth with a non- Jew for a two-kilogram bag of flour. The entire Jewish population was gathered to witness the execution. There were over 11,000 Jews living in Divinsk when the war broke out.  By 1970 there were fewer than 2,000.  Divinsk should be remembered for more than this tragic entry.  It was the home to one of the sages of the 19thand early 20th century Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen.  Reb Meir was not just a Talmudist whose learning was so great that Chaim Nachmann Bialik called him “a walking encyclopedia.”  He was also a man of courage.  During World War I, Reb Meir refused to leave Divinsk even though it was in a combat zone.  If there were only nine Jews left in the town, he said he must remain so there would be a minyan.  Reb Meir supported Zionism but in 1906 he turned down an offer to be the Rabbi in Jerusalem.  The people of Divinsk convinced them that Divinsk needed him more than Jerusalem so he stayed with his kinsman.  It is important to remember the texture of the civilization that the Holocaust sought to destroy.  What was lost was so much more than a cold listing of numbers will ever convey.

     1943: Birthdate of "Mama" Cass Elliot.

    1943: As Major General Henning von Tresckow contemplated when and where to assassinate Hitler, the German dictator “flew to his ‘field headquarters’ near Vinnitsa today.

    1943: German tanks under Brigadier General Buelowius attacked the U.S. Army at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.  This little known battle was the first contest between the German Army and the U.S. Army.  The Americans took a real beating and it took them months to recover.  There are those who think that World War II was a string of victories for the Americans.  Such was not the case.  The precarious nature of the war as well a streak of anti-Semitism helps to explain why Roosevelt did not “do more to help the Jews.”  This is not a defense of FDR; merely an attempt to provide historic context for his behavior.

    1945: Edward "Eddie Jacobson" opened a menswear store in Kansas City, MO.

    1945: Battle of Iwo Jima begins. There were approximately 1,500 Jewish Leathernecks among the 70,000 Marines who fought in this climactic battle of the war in the Pacific. On the 60thanniversary of the start of the battle Sam Bernstein, a 20-year-old (Jewish) Marine corporal at the time of the battle reminisced about the fight. “I thought it appropriate to spotlight some news and information about the Jews who fought and died in the five-week battle between 70,000 American Marines (1,500 of which were Jewish) and an unknown number of deeply entrenched Japanese defenders. “Bernstein chuckles when he remembers the Tootsie Rolls he put in his cartridge belt. I chose Tootsie Rolls because they wouldn't melt and they were just the size of a bullet. At the same time, I strapped on three or four bandoliers full of ammunition. Still, if the officers had known what I was doing, they probably would have shot me instead of the Japanese! He does not chuckle when he remembers the two men who were killed in his foxhole. Or the day he helped the Jewish chaplain bury some Marines.” The Jewish Chaplain was Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, assigned to the Fifth Marine Division who was the first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn was in the thick of the fray, ministering to Marines of all faiths in the combat zone.  His tireless efforts to comfort the wounded and encourage the fearful won him three service ribbons.  When the fighting was over, Rabbi Gittelsohn was asked to deliver the memorial sermon at a combined religious service dedicating the Marine Cemetery. Unfortunately, racial and religious prejudice led to problems with the ceremony. What happened next immortalized Rabbi Gittelsohn and his sermon forever. It was Division Chaplain Warren Cuthriell, a Protestant minister, who originally asked Rabbi Gittelsohn to deliver the memorial sermon.  Cuthriel wanted all the fallen Marines (black and white, Protestant, Catholic and Jewish) honored in a single, nondenominational ceremony.  However, according to Rabbi Gittelsohn's autobiography, the majority of Christian chaplains objected to having a rabbi preach over predominantly Christian graves The Catholic chaplains, in keeping with church doctrine opposed any form of joint religious service. To his credit, Cuthriell refused to alter his plans. Gittelsohn, on the other hand, wanted to save his friend Cuthriell further embarrassment and so decided it was best not to deliver his sermon.  Instead, three separate religious services were held.  At the Jewish service, to a congregation of 70 or so who attended, Rabbi Gittelsohn delivered the powerful eulogy he originally wrote for the combined service:

    "Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors’ generations ago helped in her founding.  And other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores.  Here lie officers and men, Negroes and Whites, rich men and poor, together.  Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together.  Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color.  Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed.

    "Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred.  Theirs is the highest and purest democracy!  Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery.  To this then, as our solemn sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves:  To the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of White men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
    "We here solemnly swear this shall not be in vain.  Out of this and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere."

    Among Gittelsohn's listeners were three Protestant chaplains so incensed by the prejudice voiced by their colleagues that they boycotted their own service to attend Gittelsohn's.  One of them borrowed the manuscript and, unknown to Gittelsohn, circulated several thousand copies to his regiment.  Some Marines enclosed the copies in letters to their families.  An avalanche of coverage resulted.  Time magazine published excerpts, which wire services spread even further.  The entire sermon was inserted into the Congressional Record, the Army released the eulogy for short-wave broadcast to American troops throughout the world and radio commentator Robert St. John read it on his program and on many succeeding Memorial Days. In 1995, in his last major public appearance before his death, Gittelsohn reread a portion of the eulogy at the 50th commemoration ceremony at the Iwo Jima statue in Washington, D.C.  In his autobiography, Gittelsohn reflected, I have often wondered whether anyone would ever have heard of my Iwo Jima sermon had it not been for the bigoted attempt to ban it.

    1949: U.S. premiere “The Clay Pigeon,” a film noir “directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Carl Foreman.”

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles invited Israel to join his new Middle Eastern Defense Organization. (Note: If this is the organization that would be known as CENTO, neither the United States nor Israel would ultimately join the organization.)

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Pravda, the official Communist party newspaper, charged that Israel was joining NATO and allowing the US to build military bases on its territory. (This was pure propaganda designed that was part of the shift in Stalin’s foreign policy.)

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that The State Comptroller's Report for 1951-1952, prepared under the supervision of the Comptroller, Dr. Siegfried Moses, marked a definite improvement of the Israeli Civil Service.

    1956: The Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America dedicated a community center in New York, with impressive ceremonies. Speakers included Judge Jonah J. Goldstein and the late Judge Edgar J. Nathan, Jr. The Brotherhood Memorial Post presented the colors (flags).

    1959: The United Kingdom grants Cyprus its independence. Jewish settlement in Cyprus dates back to Biblical times.  In the first century, the Jews of Cyprus rebelled against the Romans.  In modern times, Cyprus was the site for the camps housing Jews who tried to run the British blockade and enter Eretz Israel before 1948.  For more about the Jews of Cyprus, you might want to read Place of Refuge: A  History of the Jews in Cyprusby Stavros Panteli.

    1963: Following his conviction for the 1962 murders of two New York City police detectives, Jerry “the Jew” Rosenberg began serving his sentence today. By the time he died in 2009, he would have set a record for length of incarceration in the state of New York.

    1964: In Brooklyn, Richard Brown Lethem and Jewish political activist Judith Frank Lethem gave birth to

    best-selling author and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Jonathan Lethem.

     1964: Paul Simon wrote "The Sounds of Silence," the song which, in a year and a half, will catapult him and Art Garfunkel to stardom as Simon & Garfunkel.

    1965: Seventy-four year old Captain Koreshige Inuzuka who was the head of the Japanese Imperial Navy's Advisory Bureau on Jewish Affairs from March 1939 until April 1942 and who established the Japan-Israel Association of which he was the President, in 1952, passed away today. (He was rather complex when it came to the Jews.  But in one of those great ironies of history, he was given a silver cigarette case by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in the United States for his help in rescuing Jewish refugees from the Hitler’s Europe)

    1967: An article published in the American Journal of Cardiology described an electronic device capable of recording arterial pulsations and the mechanical events of the heart without actually making contact with the chest wall.  This device was the product of combined efforts led by Dr. Aaron Valero who brought together the clinical medical staff at Rambam Hospital and the engineers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.  Dr. Valero organized and put together teams from the two institutions, which he headed up. This unique cooperation led to the first product of the soon to be established Biomedical Engineering Department of The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. It was an electronic device capable of recording arterial pulsations and the mechanical events of the heart without actually making contact with the chest wall.

    1970(13thof Adar I, 5730): Seventy-three year old Otto Heller, the Prague born British cinematographer passed away today.

    1971: In Urbana, Illinois, astrophysicist Jacob Shaham and cytogeneticist Meira Diskin gave birth to violinist Gil Shaham who was the sister of pianist Orli Shaham.

    1973(17th of Adar I, 5733): Hungarian born violin virtuoso Joseph Szigeti passed away at his home in Switzerland.

    1973: “S'13, Unit 707, and Sayeret Tzanhanim commandos jointly raided guerrilla bases in Nahr al-Bared and Beddawi today in Operation Bardas 54–55 during which about 40 guerillas were killed and 60 wounded, and a Turkish military trainer was taken prisoner

    1976(18thof Adar I, 5736): Seventy-four year old seamstress Ruth Rosenfeld Taffel, the widow of Frank Taffel passed away today.

    1977(14th of Adar I, 5559): Purim Katan

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that, two Arab terrorists assassinated Youseff el-Sibaei, the editor of the semi-official Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper at the Larnaca Hilton hotel, in Cyprus and took 11 Egyptian hostages to the local airport in an apparent reaction to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative.

    1978: One Arab died and another was injured by a terrorist bombing at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US President Jimmy Carter defended his offer of jet fighters to "staunch, friendly Arab allies." In his comment, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman said that the worst effect of the aircraft sale proposed by the Carter administration was the fact that it put Israel together with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a "package deal."

    1980(2ndof Adar, 5740): Nathan Yellin-Mor the Lehi leader who became a pacifist passed away.

    1985: The first episode of EastEnders, a British soap opera featuring “Clare Moody” was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One

    1986:Robert Badinter completed his service as French Minister of Justice began serving as President of the Constitutional Council of France.

    1988(1st of Adar, 5748): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    1988: A memorial service is scheduled to be held tonight at 8 P.M. at Beth Am, The People's Temple in Manhattan to honor Rabbi Israel Raphael Margolies, of blessed memory who passed away earlier this week at the age of 72.  Rabbi Margolies had served at Temple Emanu-el in Engelwood, N.J. at Beth Am, The People's Temple in Manhattan. He “frequently called for equality for minority group members and for women. He was a supporter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and once marched alongside him in a civil rights parade in Englewood.”

    1989: After 99 performances the curtain came down on the off-Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” at Playwrights Horizons.

    1990: The Soviet Union, under heavy pressure from Arab countries, has rejected an appeal from the Bush Administration to allow direct flights for Soviet Jews from Moscow to Israel, Administration officials said today. American and Israeli officials said that in the absence of such flights, thousands of Soviet Jews were in effect trapped in the Soviet Union at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

    1994 (8th of Adar, 5754): Zipora Sasson, five months pregnant, was killed on the trans-Samaria highway in an ambush by shots fired at her car. The terrorists were members of HAMAS.

    1994(8th of Adar, 5754: Fifty-seven educator and MK Yitzhak Yitzhaky passed away today.

    1995(19th of Adar I, 5755): Israeli Rabbi Shlomo Averbachpassed away at the age of 84.

    1995: Poet Kenneth Koch wins Bollingen Prize.

    1997(12th of Adar I, 5757): Leo Rosten passed away at the age of 88.  Born in 1908, Rosten was an amazingly prolific writer on a variety of topics.  While best known for his writings on Jewish topics - The Joys of Yiddish, Treasury of Jewish Quotations and Hooray Yiddish - he also wrote such works as Religions In America and Captain Newman, M.D.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    1999: Actor Dennis Franz receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    1999: In New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage features an exhibit entitled “A Living Memorial to the Holocaust” featuring artifacts, documents, photographs, videos and film clips are included in exhibitions on the Holocaust and on Jewish life before and after World War II.

    2001(26th of Shevat, 5761): Eighty-seven year old director and producer Stanley Kramer passed away.(As reported by Rick Lyman)

    2003: Iranian officials announced that they had released the five last remaining Jews imprisoned in the city of Shiraz. The men: Dani (Hamid) Tefillen; Asher Zadmehr; Naser Levy Hayim; Farhad Saleh and Ramin Farzam, where the last 5 out of 13 Jews on trial for spying for the "Zionist regime" and "world arrogance." Ten of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison. Since their sentencing in July 2001, five had already been quietly released.

    2004: Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a "lifetime of service to humanity."

    2005:  Fred Rodgers, who just celebrated his birthday on February 17, joined his sister Hilda for her 85th birthday.  Fred is a pillar of the Jewish community in Cedar Rapids.   He and his sister were two of those who were not lost in the European Holocaust, Baruch Ha'shem.

    2006: The New York Times Book Section features a review of Barney Ross by Douglas Century. “

    2007(1stof Adar, 5767): Rosh Chodesh Adar

    2008: Veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr discusses his new book, Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium, at a luncheon event at the Woman's National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C.

    2009: It was reported today that all ten members of Yisrael Chala's family had been flown from Yemen to Israel.  Two months earlier, two firebombs had been thrown into the courtyard of the family's home. 

    2009:In New York City, the American Friends of Tel Aviv University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center co-host a lecture by Professor Dina Porat, head of the Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University entitled "Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Which is the chicken and which is the egg?"

    2009:Israeli Andy Ram will be allowed to compete in a Dubai tennis tournament next week after the Arab country said today that it would permit the seventh-ranked doubles player to enter the country.

    2009: In Manhattan, the exhibition of the Valmadonna Trust Library at Sotheby’s comes to an end.  “A Lifetime’s Collection of Texts in Hebrew, at Sotheby’s”  explains the significance of this collection and provides a useful description of the importance that the printed word plays for Jews and Judaism.

    2010: In Jerusalem, Beit Avi Chai presents "Kalabbat Shabbat" featuring Kobi Arieli.

    2010:The opening of the opera "La Juive" (The Jewish Woman) at St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theater was postponed from last night to tonight by a bomb threat that proved to be false, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.

    2010:Omri Caspi, the first Israeli to play in North America's National Basketball Association, will participate in a special Friday-evening service and Shabbat meal this evening with hundreds of members of the Los Angeles Jewish community, ahead of the Sacramento Kings' game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

    2010: The Washington Post features a review of Making Toast: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt.

    2011: The Matchmaker a coming-of-age drama directed by Avi Nesher that “tells the story of a relationship between an Israeli teen and a Holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages” is scheduled to be shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

    2011: A documentary entitled Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray is scheduled to be shown at the 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

    2011:President Shimon Peres called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today to discuss the failed United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement building.

    2011:The family of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit marked the 1,700th day of his captivity today along with hundreds of supporters in front of the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.

    2011: Canadian born professional tennis player Sharon Fichman was the runner-up in the Copa Colsanitas Tournament in Bogotá, Columbia.2011(15th of Adar I, 5771):Sanford C. Sigoloff, a Los Angeles-based turnaround expert nicknamed “Mr. Chapter 11,” who also did what he could for employees when they were fired, passed away today at the age of 80. (As reported by Mary Williams Walsh)

    2012(26th of Shevat, 5772): Ninety-year old “Ruth Barcan Marcus, a philosopher esteemed for her advances in logic, a traditionally male-dominated subset of a traditionally male-dominated field” passed away today.  (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2012: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander and ‘Liebestod: Opera Buffa With Leib Goldkorn’ by Leslie Epstein.

    2012: LimmudLA is scheduled to come to an end at Costa Mesa.

    2012:The IDF is planning to deploy an Iron Dome battery in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area for the first time as part of a drill simulating a missile attack, Ynet learned today. 

    2012:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 38th Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem today.

    2012: Funeral services are scheduled to be held this morning for Dr. Ethel Stark, “the conductor of the first women's symphony orchestra of Montreal and the first woman to conduct at Carnegie Hall in New York” followed by burial at the Spanish & Portuguese Congregation Cemetery.

    2013: Kobi Kablek is scheduled to present “Failure and Memory: How the Rescue of Jews During the Holocaust is Depicted in Post-War German Film” at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC

    2013: YIVO is scheduled to present “It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” featuring author David Satter.

    2013: In Iowa City, Iowa, the Bijou Theatre is scheduled to present “The Rabbi’s Cat,” a film that tells the tale of a talking cat owned by a rabbi.

    2013: “Uproar Over Netanyahu’s Ice Cream Is Welcome in One Parlor” described how Prime Minister spent $2,700 on ice cream including his favorite, pistachio. (As reported by Isabel Kershner)

    2014: “Putzel” is scheduled to be shown at the DPJCC's 14th Annual Jewish Film Festival