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

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    April 11

    145: Birthdate of Septimius Severus, the “Roman emperor, who according to the Virtual Jewish Library Lucious Septimus Severus treatd “Jews relatively well, allowing them to participate in public offices and be exempt from formalities contrary to Judaism. However, he did not allow the Jews to convert anyone.”  [According to one source, this had to do with the fact that Severus was not really a Roman, but of Syrian-Phoenician stock, but I could find no further corroboration of this.]

    399:  In the Roman Empire, a law is promulgated prohibiting sending emissaries to collect donations on behalf of the nasi.  "That the Jews should know that we have delivered them from this iniquitous tribute."

    491: Anastasius I begins his reign as the Byzantine Emperor. The reign of Anastasius marked the renewal of warfare with the Sassanid Empire.  The Sassanid Empire was the name given to the Persian Empire of the day.  This renewal of warfare would have a negative impact on the Jews who ruled the island of Yotabe also known as Tiran, which is in the straits of Tiran.  The Jews of Yotabe played an instrumental role in the trade along the Red Sea and when the Byzantines sought to move East to take control of this trade and defeat the Sassanids, they would replace the Jewish leaders with their own people.

    1241: The Mongol army under the command Batu Khan defeated King Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi.  The defeat was a disaster for Christian forces in general and the Hungarians in particular.  Bela looked favorably on his Jewish subjects, seeing them as a force that could raise his kingdom from the impoverishment resulting from the defeat. Bela adopted measures that protected his Jewish subjects from mob violence and church control and allowed them to use their own legal system for settling communal disputes. In exchange for this protection, the Jews were to pay their taxes directly to the royal treasury.  Needless to say, Bela’s behavior did not meet with the approval of the clergy and they would move to overturn his rulings under his successor.  

    1302: A decree was issued ordering the Jews of Barcelona to kneel when meeting a priest with the sacraments.

    1649: The largest Auto De Fe in the New World was held with 109 victims in Mexico. All but one of them was accused of Judaizing. Thirteen were burned alive and 57 in effigy. This for the most part ended the prominence of crypto-Jews in Mexico.

    1657: “The Council of New Amsterdam denied a petition by Jacob Cohen (Henriques) for a license to bake and sell bread.” (As reported by Abraham P. Bloch).

    1713:Following today’s signing of the Peace Utrecth which marked the end of Spanish domination over Belgium Jews began to reappear in Brussels after an absence that dated back to 1370.

    1715: Birthdate of Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, the Portuguese native, who gained fame as Jacob Rodrigue Péreire, who devoted his life to teaching and working with “deaf-mutes.”  Péreire who came from a family crypto-Jews, officially rejoined the faith of his fathers and was a leader in the French Jewish Community. His grandsons were two famous 19thcentury French financiers -, Emile and Isaac Péreire.

    1717(30thof Nisan, 5477): Talmudist Abraham ben Saul Broda, the son of Saul Broda and a student of Rabbi Isaac ben Ze’eb Harif, passed away today in Frankfort on Main.

    1755(30th of Nisan, 5515): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1765: Founding of the Patriotic Society in Hamburg which would appoint Salomon Heine as an honorary member in 1843

    1795: Birthdate of Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Umbreit, the German Protestant minister who authored works on the books of the Hebrew Bible while serving as a Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Heidelberg.

    1789(15thof Nisan, 5549): Pesach is observed as the letter from Congress telling George Washington that he has been elected President of the United States makes its way to his home at Mt. Vernon, VA.

    1807: “Ezekiel Hart was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada over three other candidates, obtaining 59 out of the 116 votes cast.”  Since the election took place on Shabbat, Hart refused to take the office on that date.  He would cause a further uproar when he did take the oath because he insisted on using a Hebrew Bible instead of the Christian Bible normally used for such events.

    1825: Birthdate of Ferdinand Lassalle, the native of Breslau who became a prominent German jurist and political leader.

    1831: In Brno, Löbl Strakosch and Julia Schwarz gave birth to their 8thchild Sophia.

    1831: “The Society for the Education of Poor Children and Relief of Indigent of the Jewish Persuasion in the City of New York was incorporated today.

    1846(15thof Nisan, 5606): The Jews of Texas observe their first Pesach as citizens of the United States.

    1850: Birthdate of Isidor Rayner, the native of Baltimore who represented the Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives and represented Maryland in the United States Senate.

    1860: The State Assembly passed a bill to amend the charter of the Hebrew Benevolent Society of New York;

    1860: The State Assembly passed a bill to amend the charter of the Hebrew Cemetery Association of New York.

    1861(1st of Iyar, 5621): Rosh Chodesh Iyar – Confederate General Beauregard sends two officers to Fort Sumter with an ultimatum for Major Anderson, the commander of the U.S. forces.  Either he can evacuate or face bombardment and attack from the surrounding Rebel forces.  Today is the last day of peace for four years in the United States.

    1862: Corporal Henry Wertheim, a native of Germany who was living in Mecklenburg County (NC) enlisted in the Confederate Army.

    1864(5th of Nisan, 5624): Merchant and Hebrew scholar, Elijah Bardach, who was born at Lemberg in 1794 and whose works included Akedat Yizhak written in 1833, passed away today in Vienna.

    1870: In an article entitled “Aid for the Hebrews of West Russia” published today, the Executive Committee of the Hebrew Board of Delegates reported receipt of the following donations:

    Simeon Lodge of Titusville, PA, $13.50; Israelites of Leavenworth, Kansas, $127.10; Purim Association of Leavenworth Kansa, $202.10; Maimonides Lodge of Nashville, TN, $10.00; Congregation B’nai Brith, Wilkes-Barre, PA, $30.00.  [For those who think of American Jewish History only in terms of a few major metropolitan areas, this list might give you pause to consider another view of Jewish settlement of the United States.]

    1873(14thof Nissan): This afternoon, Congregation Shaare Rachmim, officially began using the Norfolk Street Synagogue with services led by the rabbi of Ahamath Chesed, the congregation that formerly used the Norfolk Street Synagogue.  Ahamath Chesed has moved to a new location on Lexington Avenue. 

    1876(16thof Nisan, 5636): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1876(16thof Nisan, 5636): Fifty-eight year old “German physician and co-founder of experimental pathology in Germany” Ludwig Traube passed away today in Berlin.

    1880(30th of Nisan, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1880(30thof Nisan, 5640): Twenty-year old Fanny Adler, the wife of Moses Adler and the sister of Selig Selbiger, a Jewish peddler from Prussia, passed away today.

    1880: “York Minister,” an article published today recounting the history of this English city includes an account of the attacks made on the Jews during the reign of Richard the Lionhearted. The recounting includes a graphic description of the suffering and death of 500 Jewish citizens at the hands of mob more concerned with not paying their debts and stealing from the Children of Israel than anything else

    1881: Isabella Benjamin and David Moses Dyte gave birth to Henry Charles Dyte.

    1881: It was reported today that in Paris, the old customs for observing Shrove Tuesday are dying out.  For example, “the traditional promenade of the Boeuf Gras” did not stop in front of the hotel of Baron de Rothschild so that the revelers might “drink to the health of the great banker” as they used to.”

    1884(16th of Nisan, 5644) Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1889(10th of Nisan, 5649): A young Jewish boy, Tobias Hipper, died today in New York, the apparent victim of an assault by to other boys living in his neighborhood. The police have launched an investigation into the matter.

    1890:  Ellis Island was designated as an immigration station.  Ellis Island would be the first stop for millions of European Jews coming to America.

    1890:  In Trenton, NJ, Herman Gross, an unemployed German Jewish grocery clerk tried to kill himself for a second time while in jail where he had been taken after his failed attempt to drown himself in the creek near the Pennsylvania Train Station.

    1891: An eight year old Jewish tailor's daughter disappeared on the island of Corfu, Greece.   Rumor spread that she was a Christian girl ritually killed and these charges resulted in a pogrom.   Unfortunately, at this time of the year, no Jewish community would be exempt from the possibility of charges like this and the subsequent public uprising.

    1893: The New York Times reported that “The stock market was not active today, a large speculative element being absent, owing to the Passover holiday.” [Editor’s Note: The italics are mine.  The description of the Jews is pure New York Times.]

    1893(25thof Nisan, 5653): Eighty-one year old Adolphe Franck who “became a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1844”and who was an “active defender of Judaism” who continued to the "Archives Israêlites" for fifty years passed away today.

    1895: The will of the late Michael Stachelberg, the well-known New York cigar manufacturer was filed for probate today.

    1895: The Board of Estimate and Appropriation met today in New York and disturbed the proceeds from the theatrical and concert fund to several charitable organizations including the United Hebrew Charities ($750), the Montefiore Home ($500) and Beth Israel Hospital ($100)

    1896: “The Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum gave its first entertainment at the Lexington Avenue Opera House” tonight.

    1896: Birthdate of Rose Luria Halprin one of the foremost American Zionist leaders of the twentieth century who served twice as the national president of Hadassah and held key posts within the Jewish Agency at critical periods in the history of the Yishuv and the subsequent State of Israel. She passed away in 1978.

    1896: It was reported today that David Finkelstein of Bridgeport, CT, has not lived with his Ida since they were married in March when his wife discovered that he had an artificial nose, a fact that he had not shared with her before their wedding.

    1896: Convicted jewel thief Ben Ouni who had been as a Turk but claimed he really was a Jew named Benjamin Dreyer is on his way to serving a four year and six month term in the New York state penitentiary.

    1897: “Jews, Anthropologically Considered” published today takes issue with the contention that the “Israelitish race” …is “the most homogenous races” describing the differences between the Sephardim, Ashkenazim as well as the “nomadic Jews” of North Africa, the Falashas, the Jews of Cochin and Bombay as well as the Jews of China.

    1899: The First Jewish congregation was formed in Caracas, Venezuela.

    1900: “Le Juif Polonais” (The Polish Jew), “an opera in three acts by Camille Erlanger composed to a libretto by Henri Cain” was first performed today in Paris at the Opéra Comique.  The opera was adapted from a play by Erckmann-Chatrian of the same name.  In 1871, Leopold Lewis had translated the play into English under the title of “The Bells” which provide Henry Irving with one of his most successful acting vehicles.

    1901(21st of Nisan, 5661): The Ohavei Zion (Friends of Zion) plan to hold a Passover celebration and concert this evening to raise money for the “suffering Jewish farm laborers of Palestine.”  The event is being held at Cooper Union and there is a ten cents admission charge. 

    1902: Birthdate of Michael Rothstein who gained fame as media magnate Michael Redstone.

    1903: German-Jewish poetess Else Lasker-Schuler and Berthold Lasker were divorced today.

    1904: Conference of the Greater Actions Committee meets in Vienna. In the spirit of the Sixth Congress it is decided to send an expedition to East Africa. The reconciliation conference was Herzl's last great achievement.

    1905:Einstein reveals his Theory of Relativity

    1905: Colonel Nicolas Pike, author, naturalist and a relative of the famous explorer Zebulon Pike, passed away.  Among his possession was camp chest presented to the explorer Dr. David Livingston by Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore. 

    1906: Congressman Allen L. McDermott delivered a speech in the House of Representatives in which he defended the Jewish people.  McDermott, “who represents a district in New Jersey, a state in which is published the only avowed anti-Semitic publication” produced in the United States, spoke out “against the ‘Christ Killing’ charge and the ritual murder charge.”

    1907: A newspaper story entitled “More Rumors of Pogroms” describes the revival in Russia of “the old stories about the disappearance of Christian children for use in sacrifices at the time of the Jewish Passover.”  There are rumors that outbreaks of violence will take place during Russian Easter on April 2.

    1908: On Saturday night, after Shabbat Ha Gadol, the East Side Business Men’s Protective Association gave away matzoth, flour, potatoes tea and eggs to over 2,000 poor Jews living on the Lower East Side.

    1908: Birthdate of Leo Rosten.  Educated at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics, Leo Rosten spent sixty years acquainting his readers with different aspects of Jewish culture and the Yiddish language.  Some of his better known works included Captain Newman, M.D., The Joys of Yiddish and Hooray For Yiddish.  He passed away in 1997.

    1909(20th of Nisan, 5669): Sixth Day of Pesach

    1909(20th of Nisan, 5669): In one of the great moments of modern Jewish History, Tel Aviv (Hill of Spring), the first modern Jewish city, was founded on the sand dunes north of Jaffa with the building of 60 houses. The actual name Tel Aviv was given only the next year (Hill of Spring) and was taken from a Babylonian city (Ezekiel 3:15) and used by Nahum Sokolow as the title for his translation of Herzl's book Altneuland.  Today Tel Aviv is a thriving modern metropolis popular and favorite Mediterranean vacation spot for Europeans seeking warmth in the winter time.

    1910:Members of the Hebrew Retail Kosher Butchers' Protective Association are scheduled to meet this morning, at which time they will decide whether or not to make the boycott of the slaughter houses permanent until prices are reduced at least to nine cents, as it was four months ago.

    1911: Today marked the third and final day for distribution of free Matzoth by the United Hebrew Community.

    1912: Birthdate of Elinor Sophia Coleman who became famous as Elinor Guggenheimer who gained famed as an advocate for children, women and the elderly. Mrs. Guggenheimer became the first woman to serve on the New York City Planning Commission and she was the city’s commissioner of consumer affairs in the 1970, where in one of her more lighthearted moments she went after a store in Queens for selling fake lox.  She passed away in 2008. Regardless of how she may have felt about Kashrut she left us with this little rhyme, “Oysters that could once delight us, now just give us hepatitis.”

    1912: A campaign began today to raise $200,000 for a new facility to be used by the Young Women’s Hebrew Association in New York City.

    1912: The Technikum, later to be known as the Techinion (Israel's M.I.T.) was founded in Haifa, Israel. Later that year the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden, which established the Haifa Technion, faced a strike by both teachers and students when they tried to institute German as the school's language instead of Hebrew. The American co-trustees agreed with the strikers and the Society left Eretz-Israel after the First World War.  There was a lively debate as to whether Yiddish, Hebrew or German would be the language of the embryonic Jewish state.  There was a strong sentiment for Hebrew since the other two were languages of the Diaspora and Hebrew was "the language of the land." 

    1914(15thof Nisan, 5674): Last Pesach before the start of World War I which began a long series of cataclysms for the Jews of Europe.

    1914(15th of Nisan, 5674): A special Passover luncheon is scheduled to be served to military personnel at Tuxedo Hall in New York City.

    1914(15th of Nisan, 5674): On the second night of Pesach, The Jewish Sailors and Soldiers’ Passover Committee hosted a seder for U.S. soldiers, sailors and marines at Tuxedo Hall.

    1914(15th of Nisan, 5674): Tonight, Rabbi Maurice H. Harris is scheduled to lead a Seder at Temple Israel of Harlem.

    1914: Two days before Harry Horowitz was scheduled to be executed for his role in the shooting of gambler Herman Rosenthal, New York State Justice Goff said the new witnesses that came forward claiming that he was innocent were not credible and that he would not grant the motion for a new trial.

    1915: Charlie Chaplin releases The Tramp.

    1921: The British created The Emirate of Transjordan.  The British partitioned the land of the Palestine Mandate to create this Arab kingdom.  There are those who claim that Palestine has already been partitioned.  Since the Arabs got the land east of the Jordan, the Jews should get the remaining sliver west of the Jordan River. During the 1930’s Winston Churchill opposed the partition of the land west of the Jordan River for this very reason.  Churchill knew whereof he spoke since he was the one who really created the Emirate in the first place.

    1931: While speaking at a dinner given in his honor at London’s Savoy Hotel, David Lloyd George “assured the leaders of world Zionism that his faith in the Jewish national home was stronger than it was eleven years ago when his Government took over the British mandate in Palestine….The Mandate must not be administered nervously and apologetically, but firmly and fearlessly’ since Christians and Arabs under the mandate can only benefit from the success of the Zionist experiment.

    1932: Time magazine published the following description of the Macabbiah.

     Three thousand Jewish athletes from 27 countries last week paraded through Tel Aviv (''Hill of Spring") in Palestine, for the opening of the first Maccabiad. Wrongly described as the "Jewish Olympics," the Maccabean Games were organized by the World Maccabee Union, named for the Israelite hero, Judas Maccabaeus. The games began when 120 pigeons in flocks of ten—messengers to the Twelve Tribes of Israel—were allowed to fly to their homes in various parts of Palestine. Led by Tel Aviv's Mayor Dizengoff riding on a white horse, the 3,000 athletes, aged 5 to 60, marched to a huge new stadium that was crowded beyond capacity (25.000). The Maccabiad lasted four days. No supremely able Jewish athletes were entered; no world's records were broken. No official team score was compiled.

    1932: Birthdate of actor Joel Grey.  Born Joel Katz, he is best known as one of the stars in “Cabaret.”

    1933: Mickey Cohen lost a fight with Chalky Wright in Los Angeles.

    1933: The German government began employment and economic sanctions against Jews that are widely perceived as being racially based. The Lutheran Church opposed the sanctions

    1936: Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "On Your Toes", premiered in New York City.

    1936: Birthdate of Carla Furstenberg, who as Carla Cohen, became co-owner of a unique Washington, DC institution, Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore that proved to successful in spite of chain bookstores and internet shopping.

    1937: “Six American museums” were reported today to “have acquired works by Elias Newman a Palestinian artist of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.  Mr. Newman has been in the United States collecting works of modern American artists for Tel Aviv’s new Museum of Art. Newman was a Polish born artist best known for his water colors. 

    1938: Forty-six days after The  British High Commissioner had declared Tel Aviv Harbor open Eliezer Steinlauf, a resident of Tel Aviv who had been born in Austria, disembarked from his ship at Tel Aviv making him the first passenger to disembark at the world’s first “Jewish port.” 

     1938: The Palestine Post reported that since the advent of the Nazi regime in Austria, the British Consulate in Vienna had handed out more than 12,000 applications for immigration to Australia. Immigration to New Zealand had been stopped "temporarily." South Africa demanded £250 for every immigrant.

    1938: The Palestine Post published a special, copyrighted story, written by Ernest Hemingway, on the activities of the American and British volunteer battalions, fighting General Franco's insurgents in Catalonia.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Aryans said "Ja" or "Nein" (Yes or No) in Austrian Anschluss (incorporation into Germany) plebiscite. Special trains brought more than 12,000 Nazi volunteers from Czechoslovakia for this purpose.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that the new "Eden" hotel opened in Jerusalem - a valuable addition to Jerusalem's hotel amenities.

    1939(22nd of Nisan, 5699): 8th day of Pesach; unbeknownst to them, for millions of European Jews this would be their last celebration of the liberation from Egypt.

    1939: Birthdate of Louise Lasser, the actress who gained fame on “Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!”

    1940:  Soviet forces complete the slaughter of 26,000 Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest.  When the slaughter is discovered, the Soviets will try and blame it on the Nazis.

    1940: The Nazi occupiers of Lodz,renamed the city Litzmannstadt (after the German general Karl Litzmann, who had conquered it in World War I); most of the German documents concerning the Lodz Ghetto refer to it as the "Litzmannstadt Ghetto."

    1941(14th of Nisan, 5701): In Washington, D.C, Deb and Joe Levin celebrate their first Seder – a tradition begins!

    1941: Erev Pesach the ghetto at Kielce, Poland “was sealed off from the outside world” following “a  Judenrat was appointed, chaired by Moshe Pelc, who was eventually arrested and deported to Auschwitz for resisting German orders.”

    1941: Nazi occupiers in Netherlands confiscated Jewish assets.1941: On Good Friday, Reverend Conrad Gröber “gave a sermon whose vocabulary came very close to the anti-Semitic vocabulary of the Nazi rulers: "As a driving force behind the Jewish legal power stood the aggressive toadyism and malevolent perfidy of the Pharisees. They unmasked themselves more than ever as Christ's arch-enemies, deadly enemies.... Their eyes were blindfolded by their prejudice and blinded by their Jewish lust for worldly dominion." As for the "people" or, in his words, the "wavering crowd of Jews", the archbishop said, "The Pharisees' secret service had awakened the animal in it through lies and slander, and it was eager for grisly excitement and blood."

    1941:Jewish Weekly newspaper taken control by Nazi's

    1941: Birthdate of Ellen Goodman.  This popular syndicated columnist writes for the Boston Globe.  She is yet another in a long line of Jewish journalists who have won the Pulitzer Prize.  In her case it was for Commentary.  In addition to her journalism, she is a popular author and speaker.

    1942: Three thousand Jews from Zamosc, Poland, were deported to the Belzec death camp

    1942: A German proclamation issued in Lvov, Ukraine, excoriated Polish civilians who assisted Jews.

    1944; Anne Frank diary insert - ‘Who has made us Jews different to all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again.

    1944: Shlomo Venezia saw his mother and his two little sisters – Marcia and Marta – for the last time today as he climbed out of a freight car at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    1945: American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany. Thousands of Jewish prisoners had been marched from other camps to Buchenwald in early 1945.  As the Americans approached, the Nazis tried to another Death March costing the lives of 25,000 mostly Jewish prisoners.  However, 21,000 prisoners were liberated including 4,000 Jews, 1000 of whom were teenagers and children.  Thirty-one members of the camp staff were later found guilty with two of them condemned to death and four getting life sentences James Hoyt, of Oxford, Iowa, was the radio operator and driver for a four-man reconnaissance team when two Buchenwald escapees flagged them down. The team went to the camp, which was hidden in a forested area. According to his eyewitness account,  “When the people saw our vehicle with the American markings on it, they really went wild. They tore a part of the fence down. They threw us up in the air,” Hoyt told The Gazette 10 years ago.  “It was a very sorry sight all the way. They were skin and bones, the living ones. Of course, there were all kinds of dead ones there.” In all, about 238,500 prisoners were held at the camp.

    1945:Meir Binem (Beniek) Wrzonski the son of Noah Wrzonski and was Rajzel Maroko was among those who were found alive when Buchenwald was liberated today.

    1945: The Palestine Post reported medical relief units were going to be heading to Greece. Almost one-third of the team which was first heading to Cairo and then would be off to Greece was made up of Palestinians (Jews). The team was made up of doctors, nurses, sanitary officers, laboratory technicians and drivers. Some of the Palestinians were fluent in Judeo-Spanish and Greek. 

    1945: Based on accounts from members of the 102nd Division, United States Army, members of the SS burned to death over one thousand prisoners at Gardelgen.  The prisoners were slave laborers from several concentration camps that were being moved east to keep them away from advancing Allied soldiers.  When the SS could no longer move them by train, they herded them into a barn, soaked them with gasoline and burned them to death.  The SS soldiers killed in this manner to conserve ammunition.  Most of the dead were Jews, a large number of whom appeared to be between the ages of fourteen and sixteen

    1947: Birthdate of Israeli political leader Charlie-Shalom Biton.  A native of Morocco, he made Aliyah in 1949.  Among other things he was one of the founders of the Israeli Black Panthers movement

    1952(16th of Nisan, 5712): 2nd day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1952: After having been released in New York in March, “Singing in the Rain,” directed by Stanley Donen, produced by Arthur Freed, with a script by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was released to theatres across the United States today.

    1955: Release date for “Marty”, the Oscar winning film with a script by Paddy Chayefsky.

    1955(19th of Nisan): Rabbi Jekuthiel Judah Greenwald, author of “Ach laZarah” passed away

    1956(30thof Nisan, 5716): Gunmen opened fire on a synagogue full of children and teenagers, in the farming community of Shafir killing three children and a youth worker were killed on the spot, while wounding five more, three seriously.

    1960(14th of Nisan): Rabbi Chaim Heller, author LeHikre ha-Halakhot passed away

    1961:Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, makes his singing début in New York City.

    1961: The trial of Adolph Eichman on charges of genocide opened in Jerusalem.  The capture of Eichman in Argentina is the stuff of James Bond.  His trial marked a turning point as Jews and non-Jews alike began to talk openly about what happened in Europe.  Eichman would be the only person ever executed by the state of Israel. “Justice Moshe Landau read the 15-count indictment aloud in Hebrew, pausing as each charge was translated into German. The charges included “causing the killing of millions of Jews,” “torture” and placing “many millions of Jews in living conditions that were calculated to bring about their physical destruction.”

    1963: Pitcher Conrad Cardinal appeared in his first major league game, taking the mound for the Houston Colt 45’s, now known as the Houston Astros.

    1968:  Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.  It took the political skill and acumen of LBJ to insure that being Jewish was no longer a disability when it came to renting or buying a home. (This is not to be confused with more famous Civil Rights of 1964, the first piece of ground breaking legislations signed into law by President Johnson who proved to be as strong voice for the underdog and disposed including the Jewish people and the state of Israel.)

    1972(27thof Nisan, 5732): Yom HaShoah

    1972(27thof Nisan, 5732): Eleven days before his 54th birthday, Solomon Aaron Berson the physician who was the research partner of Rosalyn Yalow passed away.

    1973: In the wake of the Munich Olympic Massacre, Zaiad Muchasi, the replacement for Hussein Al Bashir in Cyprus, was killed by a bomb in his Athens hotel room today.

    1973: New York premiere of “Scarecrow” directed by Jerry Schatzberg.

    1974(19thof Nisan, 5734): Fifth day of Pesach

    1974(19thof Nisan, 5734): Fifty-five year old German born, American mathematician Abraham Robinson passed away today in New Haven, CT.

    1974: Golda Meir resigned as Prime Minister “after the Agranat Commission had published its interim reported on the Yom Kippur War.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had started to dismantle its outposts in South Lebanon in preparation for the expected pullback. But Lebanese Christian leaders and many Israelis expressed concern that the pullback was premature. The world's greatest battleship, the US atom-powered "Nimitz," completed its Israeli visit and sailed away from Haifa.

    1983(28th of Nisan, 5743): General Avraham Yoffe passed away.  A sabra born at Yavne;el in 1913 Yoffe served with Orde Wingate, fought with British Army during World War II before beginning a distinguished career with the IDF that included command of the 9thBrigade during the Suez Campaign and the capture of several significant positions in the Sinai during the Six Day War.

    1983: Twenty-second and final episode of the first season of “Family Ties”  sit-com created by Gary David Goldberg was broadcast today.

    1983:Poland's Roman Catholic Primate, Jozef Cardinal Glemp, officiated today at a mass honoring the Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The mass was one of a series of events over the next week and a half commemorating the 40th anniversary of the resistance to the Nazis.

    1987(12th of Nisan, 5747):An Israeli woman was killed by a firebomb thrown into her car in the occupied West Bank today, and in response hundreds of Jewish settlers rampaged in the West Bank town of Kalkilya overnight, breaking windows and setting cars ablaze.The Israeli woman was killed near Alfe Menashe, a Jewish settlement on the West Bank about 25 miles north of here. Her husband and two of her children, who were also in the car, were reported in serious condition. Her third child and a young family friend were treated for light burns.The army imposed a curfew on Kalkilya, located 17 miles from Tel Aviv, but security sources said they were unable to stop an estimated 600 angry Jewish settlers from entering the town.

    1987: Following secret talks held in London, Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan reached an agreement outlining the method whereby a peace treaty could be negotiated between Israel and Jordan.  In a tragic turn events, Yitzchak Shamir, the Prime Minister of Israel, scuttled the talks and for once it was the Israelis who may have “never missed a chance to miss a chance.”

    1987(12th of Nisan, 5747): Primo Levi passed away. Primo Levi survived the Holocaust and bore witness to it through an amazing collection of literature.  Born in Turin, Italy in 1919, Levi was trained as a chemist.  He was deported to Auschwitz as a Jew and a member of the anti-Fascist Resistance.  His experiences in the camps and his grueling efforts to return to Italy after the war are the subject of two of his books, Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening.  He is also the author of Moments of Reprove, The Periodic Table and If Not Now When?  Levi did not make a career of being a Holocaust Survivor.  He worked as a chemist after the war and did not retire to devote full time to his writing until 1977.  He died under tragic circumstances at the age of 67.

    1988(24thof Nisan, 5748): Seventy-year old screenwriter and author Jesse Lasky, Jr who wrote the scripts for two Biblical “pot-boilers” – “Ten Commandments” and “Samson and Delilah” – passed away today.

    1995(10thof Nisan, 5755): Jacob Weingreen the professor of Hebrew in Trinity College, Dublin who excavated Samaria and who is the namesake for The Weingreen Museum of Biblical Antiquities passed away today.

    19974thof Nisan, 5757): Terrorist killed a member of the IDF after having kidnaped him near Moshav Zanoah.

    1998(15th of Nisan, 5758): First Day of Pesach

    1998: In the evening, Mitchell Levin and Harvey Luber, of blessed memory, celebrate their last Seder together.

    1999:Matt Bloom debuted on the WWF episode of Sunday Night Heat.

    1999: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including “Reading the Holocaust” by Inga Clendinnen and recently published paperback editions of “The Unexpected Salami” by Laurie Gwen Shapiro and “The Children” by David Halberstam

    2000: A British court resolved David Irving's libel case against Deborah Lipstadt by affirming Lipstadt's portrayal of Irving as an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier.

    2001: “Plotting a Pardon; Rich Cashed In a World of Chits to Win Pardon” published today described how Avner Azulay and Rich’s former wife worked with the Clintons to obtain a midnight pardon for the billionaire fugitive from justice.

     2002: Palestinian terrorists begin to surrender at Jenin.

    2002(29th of Nisan, 5762): In Tunisia, the El Ghriba synagogue was bombed by Al Qaeda killing 21. El Ghriba is an ancient synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. It is located close to Hara Seghira, several kilometers southwest of Houmt Souk, the capital of Djerba.The history of the synagogue is reported to go back about 2000 years, making it the oldest synagogue in Africa and one of the oldest ones in the world. According to an oral tradition, it was built by Jews who had immigrated after the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem. The synagogue is the destination of an annual pilgrimage of many Tunisian Jews after the celebration of Passover.

    2002:Manhattan Ensemble Theater presented the world premiere of a new English version of the Yiddish classic, The Golem. “Drenched in magic and mystery, the play reworks an ancient Talmudic legend about a 17th century Rabbi in Prague who molds and animates a huge clay figure to fight for the Jewish community, which has been threatened by accusations of spilling the blood of Christian children.”

    2004: “Focus on the Soul: The Photographs of Lotte Jacobi” came to a close.

    2004: An exhibition entitled “Elijah Chair: Art, Ritual, and Social Action” comes to a close at the Jewish Museum in New York.  Elijah Chair,” a video sculpture was created for the Times Square Seder, a public art and social action project which took place in New York in 2002.

    2005: The New York Times publishes an article entitled “Acts of Quiet Courage” by Bob Herbert. It describes the role that Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas, the wartime Brazilian ambassador to Franceplayed in providing the visas that saved young Felix Rohatyn and his relatives during World War II.

    2007(23rd of Nisan, 5767): Sixty-three year old Tina Susan Rieger, the wife of United Jewish Communities’ president and CEO Howard Rieger, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away today.

    2007: As part of the L.A. Theatre Works program, The Skirball Cultural Center features a performance of Jewish playwright Arthur Miller’s, “The Man Who Had All The Luck.”

    2007: In an article entitled “A Youthful Chronicle of Wartime in Prague,” the New York Timesreviewed The Diary of Petr Ginz:1941-1942.

    2008: Jason Hutt’s documentary film “Orthodox Stance” about the pugilistic career of Dmitriy Salita which combines boxing with Orthodox Judaism opens in Los Angeles.

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Temple Judah hosts the Dan Nichols Musical Shabbat Service!

    2009(17th of Nisan, 5769): Shabbat Chol Hamoed

    2010: “Sin,” a play by Mark Altman based on “The Unseen” by Isaac Beshevis Singer is scheduled to have its final performance at the Baruch Performing Arts Center.

    2010: Aaron Posner’s “My Name is Asher Lev” a dramatic adaption from the Chaim Potok novel is scheduled to completed its premiere run at the Round House Theatre in Bethsda, MD.  

    2010:Laura Cohen Applebaum The executive director of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to discuss the new book "Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln's City at Barnes & Noble in Rockville MD.

    2010: Public Broadcasting System is scheduled began a four day series of new programs about the Holocaust. In its first effort, PBS and Masterpiece Classic premiered a new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.

    2010: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems by Charles Bernstein and A Ticket to the Circus: A Memoir by Norris Church Mailer who was the wife of Norman Mailer.

    2010(27th of Nisan, 5770): Yom HaShoah

    2011: Yeshiva University Museum and Stern College are scheduled to present a performance by The Momenta String Quartet

    2011:Rabbi Jill Jacobs is scheduled to begin serving, as the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America on this date.

    2011: Dr. Brian Horowitz of Tulane University, author of “Empire Jews,” is scheduled to speak at a conference on Jewish Emigration to be held at Temple University.

    2011(7thof Nisan, 5771): Eighty-seven year old  poet Stanley Siegleman passed away.

    2011:Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra are scheduled to perform at Lincoln Center in NYC.

    2011: The New York Times included a review of The Free World,  “David Bezmozgis’s intimate portrait of the Krasnanskys, a Jewish family from Latvia immigrating to the West in 1978.

    2011:A 42-year-old man who participated in Friday's Tel Aviv marathon died today after being hospitalized for severe dehydration. The man collapsed of dehydration during the marathon on Friday and was brought to the emergency room in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. His condition continued to deteriorate and this morning he died due to liver damage as a result of dehydration.

    2011: Center for Jewish History presents “The Library that Never Was: The Attempt to Build a Center for Jewish Books and Learning in Post-Holocaust Europe.”

    2011:Assembled in Haifa and Nazareth for the third event held in Israel under the EUREKA Chairmanship year, EUREKA's national delegates today approved a series of promising cooperative R&D projects in a variety of areas, including renewable energy, agrofood technology, biotechnology, physical and exact sciences, IT and electronics, industrial manufacturing, and more.

    2011:A joint Chinese-Israeli conference opens today at Tel Aviv University, entitled "Replanning Tilanqiao, Formerly the Jewish Ghetto in Shanghai." The three-day event, organized by the Azrieli School of Architecture, will focus on the history and preservation of the ghetto. Participating in the conference are six senior officials from the Shanghai municipal planning department and three professors from the Architecture and Urban Planning School of Tongji University. The Jewish ghetto in Shanghai was created in the 1930s, in the city's Hongkou district. Thanks to international agreements, it was possible to immigrate to the city then without a passport or visa, which allowed some 20,000 European Jews to escape there during World War II. The area is now threatened by real estate development. Last year, TAU's Prof. Moshe Margalit traveled to Shanghai and made contact with local urban planning officials and academics.

    2012: As part of the East Village Klezmer Series, Michael Winograd is scheduled to Klezmer Music with Strings in NYC.

    2012(19thof Nisan): Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Menachem Zemba who was shot dead by the Nazis during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943

    2013: The Alexandria Kleztet is scheduled to perform at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD

    2013: As part of Holocaust memorial program, the University of Utah is scheduled to host a Candlelight Vigil followed by Peter Black’s speech entitled “70thAnniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.”

    2013: “The Law In These Parts” which was selected as Best Documentary at the Jerusalem Film Festival is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: “Hitler’s Children” is scheduled to be shown at the Hartford Jewish Film Fest.

    2013: Dr. Astrith Baltsan is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Hatikvah: Hope Reborn”

    2013: Gilles Uriel Bernheim resigned as chief rabbi of France.

    2013:“The flag representing the 30th Infantry Division assumed a place of honor during the National Days of Remembrance ceremony, an annual event commemorating the Holocaust at the U.S. Capitol’s Rotunda. It was added to the 35 others after the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the U.S. Army Center for Military History determined in late 2012 that members of the division had liberated Holocaust survivors.” (As reported by Hillel Kuttler)

    2013: Two days after rejecting calls to do so, French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim announced that he was stepping down from his post amid two scandals, a French newspaper reported today.

    2013: Police arrested five women this morning for wearing tallitot (prayer shawls) traditionally worn by men, while participating in a Rosh Hodesh prayer service at the Western Wall attended by some 200 women.

    2014: “Under the Skin” is scheduled to be shown at the Jacob Burns Film Festival.

    2014: “General Jack Weinstein was responsible for the firing of nine Air Force commanders in Malmstrom AFB, Montana.”

    2014: Israeli artist Tirtzah Bassel’s solo exhibition is scheduled to open at the Slag Gallery.

    2014: In “Laemmle’s List: A Mogul’s Heroism” published today Neal Gabler described the life and times of “Carl Laemmle, a founder of Universal Pictures” who “unlike his peers…saved Jews from the Nazis.”

    2014: Education and Sharing Day as established by the United States Congress in honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

    2014: Cesare Frustaci, a 77 year old Holocaust survivor who has been speaking in Cedar Rapids this week under the sponsorship of the Thaler Holocaust Committee is scheduled to speak during Shabbat Evening Services at Temple Judah.

    2014(11thof Nisan, 5774): Centenarian Myer S. Kripke, the Omaha rabbi who was both a scholar and a philanthropist who relied on investment advice from his friend Warren Buffett passed away today.

    2015: “David Orlowski, the son of Miriam Winter” is scheduled to be signing copies of his mother memoir Trains at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    2015: “The Farewell Party,” “Rue Madar,” “Victor ‘Young’ Perez” and “Belle and Sebastian” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Fesitval.

    2015: In New York City Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center is scheduled to host a Havdalah ceremony marking the end of Shabbat and Pesach featuring Idan Raichel.

    2015: The family of Bernice Tannenbaum, of blessed memory, the former President of Hadassah will sit shiva this evening at her apartment.

    2015(22ndof Nisan, 5775): Eight Day of Pesach, a holiday made great again in Cedar Rapids, Iowa thanks to the all of the work of Deb Levin whose skills include everything from making a great Seder to provide all of the tech help to make it possible to publish two blogs.



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    April 12

    70(15thof Nissan, 3830): According to some, the date on the civil calendar when Pesach is observed for the last time before the destruction of the Second Temple.

    1204: During the Fourth Crusade, Venetian and French crusaders seize Constantinople. The Crusades were a disaster for much of the Jewish population of Europe. But the Jewish suffering was really an offshoot of Christian enmity towards Muslims or, in the case, hostility between two wings of Christianity and good old fashion commercial greed.

    1451: A Flemish scholar recorded his observation of the Jews of Fez (Morocco): "Fez is divided in two parts. The Old City quite populous with about 50,000 families…The Jewish quarter is surrounded by its own walls. Approximately 4,000 Jews dwell there...The more the sultan needs money, the more they have to pay."

    1454: In the on-going struggle between Islam and Christianity John of Capistrano called for a crusade against the Turks. Such a crusade was started in Cracow, but never left the city. Over thirty Jews were killed and their homes plundered. The crusade later expanded to include Posen and the surrounding area.

    1464(4th of Iyar, 5224): Thirty Jews were killed in Cracow

    1577: Birthdate of King Christian IV of Denmark. Christian reversed a prohibition against Jews living in Denmark that dated back to 1536.  He gave permission to a Jewish merchant named Albert Dionis to settle in the newly founded city of Glückstadt. More Jews followed and in 1628 their rights were formally recognized.  By the time Christian passed away in 1648, Jews could have their own cemeteries, hold religious services and enjoyed the protection of the civil law.

    1660(1stof Iyar, 5420): Shabtai Horowitz, the son of Isaiah Horowitz and the cousin of Shabtai Sheftel Horowitz whose works included Emek Berakah passed away today at Vienna.

    1740(15th of Nisan): Rabbi Simhon ben Joshua Moses Morforso author of Shemesh Zedakah passed away

    1755:1st of Iyar, 5515): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1769: “The Public Advertiser” attributed the origin of April Fool’s Day to the Jews based on the story of Noah sending out the dove looking for dry land after the flood.

    1777: Birthdate of Henry Clay who as a United States Senator,  would lead the fight against ratifying a treaty with the Swiss Confederation that discriminated against Jewish Americans.

    1792: Birthdate of Heimann (Chaim) Michael, the Hamburg native who gained fame as “a Hebrew bibliographer.”

    1804: Birthdate of Abbe Lieberman

    1808(15thof Nisan, 5568): Pesach

    1819: Birthdate of Daniel Sanders, the German lexicographer who served as a principal for ten years of a private school in his home town of Altstrelitz.

    1833, In Copenhagen, a new synagogue built under the leadership of Rabbi Abraham Alexander Wolff was dedicated today.

    1838: In Wiesenbronn, Bavaria, Kela andSeligmann Baer (Dov) Bambergergave birth to Rabbi Moses Löb Bamberger

    1838: Today, in Georgia, "Benjamin Davis advertised in the Columbus Enquirer that he had for sale 'Sixty Likely Virginia Negroes- House Servants, Field Hands, Blow boys, Cooks, Washers, Ironers, and three first-rate Seamstresses." The Davis family, who lived at Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, owned "the largest Jewish slave-trading firm in the South." [This ad ran six days after the end of Pesach.]

    1853: During the Small Swords Society’s Uprising, formation of The Shanghai Volunteer Corps, a part time military unit that would survive until 1942 and whose Jewish members included  Noel S. Jacobs and Mendel Brown.  During the 1930’s Captain Brown commanded an all Jewish Company in the Corps and Rabbi Brown, who has head of the Sephardic community in Shanghai served as Chaplain.

    1859: Sir Moses Montefiore was informed today that the Pope has refused to enter into any discussion concerning Edgar Mortara and he considered what has become known as the Mortara Affair to be “a closed question.”

    1861: Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter marking the start of the Civil War. Confederate forces would include the five Moses brothers from South Carolina, the six Cohen brothers from North Carolina, the three Levy brothers from Virginia and the three Levy brothers from Louisiana as well as a Mississippian named Max Ullman who later became a rabbi in Birmingham, Alabama, David Camden de Leon who was the C.S.A.’s surgeon-general and Levi Meyers Harby the naval officer who commanded the defenses of Galveston Harbor and served as skipper of the CSS Neptune.

    1861: As Confederate batteries open fire on Fort Sumter, Major Alfred Mordecai, "a senior officer in the Ordnance Department of the United States was testing artillery carriages at Fort Monroe, Virginia."  Mordecai was the most prominent Jew serving in the United States Army.  He was well-regarded for his professional skill and integrity.  But Mordecai was a native Southerner and the Confederates would attempt to get him to join their cause.  After much soul searching, Mordecai would resign from the U.S. Army but would refuse to join the Confederates.  His son had no such qualms and served gallantly with the Union Army.

    1861: Future Medal of Honor winner Private Benjamin B. Levy enlisted in the 1stNew York Infantry at New York City.

    1862(12th of Nisan, 5622): Shabbat HaGadol

    1862: In a published speech delivered in Berlin Ferdinand “Lassalle assigned primacy in society to the press over the state itself in the aftermath of the 1848 revolution – an assertion regarded as dangerous by the Prussian censorship. The entire print run of 3000 copies of the pamphlet of Lassalle's speech was seized by the authorities, who issued a legal charge against Lassalle for allegedly endangering the public peace.”

    1863(23rdof Nisan): Hebrew poet Suskind Raschkow passed away today.

    1863(23rdof Nisan): Dr. Julius Barrasch who in 1840 collaborated on a translation and comment on the “Eumunot” passed away in Bucharest

    1864: “Max Glass, an Austrian immigrant and volunteer in the Union Army appealed to Major General Benjamin Butler to clear him of charges of desertion.”  Glass had been the victim of anti-Semitic abuse and had only left his unit so that he go to the army’s headquarters to get redress for his grievances.  There must have been some merit to his claim since Butler, who was no friend of the Jews, cleared him of the charges that could have meant his death but ordered him back to the regiment. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

    1865: Private Louis Leon, who was a Rebel soldier being held at Elmira, NY following his capture 11 months ago “heard that Lee had surrendered.”  He joined 400 of his fellow prisoners in taking the oath of allegiance thus gaining his release today, which included transportation back to North Carolina.

    1867: “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein” a Jacques Offenbach operetta with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halévywas performed for the first time at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris

    1872: It was reported today that Rowland Davies, the only surviving founder of the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum Society, attended last night’s 50thanniversary celebration held at the Academy of Music.

    1873(15thof Nisan, 5633): Pesach

    1879: The St. Louis Republican described the case brought by Edward Burgess again “Joseph Seligman & Co., eminent bankers of New York City.”

    1880: Birthdate of Isaac Siegel a Republican political leader who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from March, 1915 until March, 1923.

    1880: Acting on behalf of the “Union of American Hebrew Congregations,” A.C Solomon and Simon Wolf requested the Secretary of State investigate the reports of the suffering that Russian Jews are enduring and to intervene on their behalf with the Czar’s government.

    1880(1stof Iyar, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1881: It was reported today that the ball sponsored by the Purim Association raised $18,817.24 which is earmarked for the building fund of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

    1882: Several Jews were “severely wounded” and one was killed during a riot in Dubosarif, Russia.

    1884: Birthdate of Otto Meyerhof the German born psychologist and biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1922.

    1890(22nd of Nisan, 5650): 8th day of Pesach

    1890: It was reported today that during the month of March, the United Hebrew Charities had provided aid in the amount of $3,677.50 835 families with a total population of 3,589 people. This was in addition to the items such as shoes, coal, clothing, medicine and food that it had given to its existing case load which had grown by another 1,306 people during the last month.

    1890: It was reported today of the most recent 2,186 Jewish immigrants to register at Castle Garden, 1,507 had stayed in New York.

    1891: “The World’s Approaching End” published provides the calculations ‘of Lt. Charles A. L. Totten the military instructor at Yale who already discovered  “the exact day of the long day” described in the book of Joshua proving “that the end of the world will come in March, 1899.”

    1892(15thNisan, 5652): Jews observe the last Pesach before what will become the Great Depression of the 1890’s

    1892: The New York Court of Appeals that the North American Relief Society is not entitled to $50,000 under the terms of the will of the late Sampson Simpson.

    1894: Among the 5,000 children attending today’s performance of Barnum and Bailey’s Great Show at Madison Square Garden were those in the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society and the Hebrew Instituted

    1894: Birthdate of Max Neuman one of the Jewish soldiers from Kleinsteinach who was killed in WW I while fighting for the Kaiser.

    1895: The celebration of 50th anniversary of Temple Emanu-El began this evening at 5 pm with the regular Friday Night Services featuring a special sermon Rabbi Gustav Gottheil entitled “Stretching Out of his Wings Through the Breadth of the Land.”

    1895:  Tragedy struck the family of Mrs. Eva Abrahams today during Chol HaMoed Pesach.  While preparing breakfast this morning, she accidently poured oil on her dress which then caught fire.  As the flames filled the tenement, Mrs. Abrahams picked up her sleeping two week old baby and rushed out into the hall where she gave the baby to a neighbor.  Then she went back into the burning room and carried out her sleeping two year old son.  Mrs. Abrahams was badly burned.  She is now lying in a bed at Gouverneur Hospital “at the point of death.”

    1895: It was reported today that the residue of a trust fund the late Michael Stachelberg created for his sister Felicia Davidson will, after she dies, be equally divided among the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews, the Mount Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

    1896: The Hebrew Charity Hospital was among those organizations that will benefit from tonight’s competition between various musical and athletic clubs being held at the Grand Central Palace on Lexington Avenue.

    1896: The Hebrew Infant Asylum received over one thousand dollars from that the Young Folks’ League had raised at its first benefit performance in New York.

    1899: Dr. Lee Frankel of Philadelphia has accepted the position of manager of the United Hebrew Charities.  The position has been vacant since February when N.S. Rosenau was forced to resign because of his health.

    1899(2nd of Iyar): Hebrew poet Abraham Baer Gottlober passed away

    1903(15thof Nisan, 5663): Pesach

    1903: Birthdateofdistinguished Family Court judge and children's advocate Justine Wise Polier.

    1903 (15th of Nisan, 5663): The New York Times reported that “at sundown last evening in the homes of all orthodox Jews the beginning of the Passover was celebrated.  In the southern section of the city, east of the Bowery, all signs of commercial activit ceased and the Jewish families gather in their homes to eat the paschal lamb and hear the elders read the story of the deliverance from bondage.”

    1903: Birthdate of Horace R. Clayton, Jr the American sociologist whom Lore Segal based her character “Carter Bayoux” in the award winning novel Her First American.

    1904: This evening Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the wedding Philadelphian Albert Luria Moise and South Carolinian Eva May Nathans.

    1908: Fifty-seven year old Charles Adelle Lewis Totten passed away.  A West Point graduate and Professor at Yale, among other things, he supported Jewish settlement in Palestine in the 1890’s before Herzl and Zionism.

    1908: Friends and members of the Free Synagogue celebrated the first anniversary of its founding at its place of worship on 81st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

    1909: Formation of Ha Shomer

    1909: Theodore de Lemos the architect who designed the Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Bank Building at 27 Pine Street and Macy’s Herald Square department store passed away today.

    1909: “The young Jewish composers of St.Petersburg heard for the first time Joel Engels's artistic arrangements of Jewish folksongs [...] and were greatly surprised that such cultural and national value could result from such an enterprise. This concert stimulated the young Petersburg composers in the following period to the creation and performance of a whole series of Jewish song settings

    1911(14th of Nisan, 5671): This evening, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association will host a public seder in New York and “special services” will be held for the Jewish immigrants currently detained at Ellis Island.

    1912: Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Straus arrived in London after visiting Palestine.  However, they arrived too late to join his brother and sister-in-law – Isidor and Ida Straus – for the return voyage to the United States.  The ship carrying Isidor and his wife had sailed from Southampton on April 10.  Their ship was the SS Titanic. Nathan had been delayed because he had spent extra time helping to provide for the Jewish community in Eretz Israel.

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

    1914: “Art Notes,” published today describes an illustrated article by Ella Mielziner in the American Hebrew that describes the treatment of Passover by a variety of artists ranging from the Renaissance masters of the Florentine and Venetian schools to modern painters including Alma Tadema and Sir Frederick Leighton

    1912: Birthdate of Elinor Sophia Coleman, who as Elinor Guggenheimer, the wife of Ralph Guggenheimer became an advocate for women, children and the elderly. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

    1915: President Woodrow Wilson wrote to Simon Wolf reassuring him that when the United States “negotiated a new treaty with Russia we shall not be forgetful of the very important matter” (securing full rights for the Jews of Russia) “to which you call my attention.

    1917(20thof Nisan, 5677): Sixth day of Pesach

    1917(20thof Nisan, 5677): Second Lieutenant Gerard von Brock was killed during in WW I.

    1921: Birthdate of Hans Steinbrück one of the Ehrenfeld anti-Nazi resistance Group who was hanged in November of 1944.

    1922: In Camden, NJ, the first issue of the “Beth-Elite,” the newsletter of Congregation Beth El appeared just before Pesach.

    1922(14thof Nisan, 5682): Passover services begin at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth-El in Camden, New Jersey.

    1925: U.S. premiere of “Dangerous Innocence,” a silent film produced by Carl Laemmle, with a script co-authored by Lewis Milestone and filmed by cinematographer Richard Fryer.

    1929:Yehudi Menuhinwas soloist with Bruno Walter and the Berlin Philharmonic in a daunting program of concertos by Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.’

    1932: Release date for “Grand Hotel” based on a play by Vicki Baum and produced by Irving Thalberg.

    1935: Germany prohibited publishing "not-Arian" writers.

    1935: The office of the High Commissioner of Palestine announced “a new law empowering the municipalities to fix a weekly day of rest.  The law as fixed by each municipality will govern all the inhabitants of that town. The basis of the new ordinance is a by-law drafted by the municipality of Tel Aviv which defines Saturday as the city’s day of rest.”

    1938: The Polish steamer Polonia lands 250 passengers at Tel Aviv, making it the second ship to use the world’s first “Jewish port.”

    1939: Birthdate of Ilan Chet, the native of Haifa who became a noted microbiologist and professor at Hebrew University.

    1941(15th of Nisan, 5701): First Day of the last Pesach before the United States enters World War II.

    1941(15th of Nisan, 5701): On Shabbat the first Bar Mitzvah took place in Iceland.

    1941(15th of Nisan, 5701):  As German troops entered Belgrade, Yugoslavia, a Jewish tailor who spit on the arriving troops was shot dead. Jewish shops and homes in Belgrade were ransacked by both German soldiers and resident Germans

    1941: The Germans announced publicly that anyone caught leaving the Lodz Ghetto would be shot.

    1941: “Hungarian forces entered Novi-Sad and immediately began terrorizing the Jewish and Serbian residents. Men between the ages of 16-65 were enlisted in labor battalions, some of which were sent to the front, primarily in the Ukraine, where they were forced to clear land mines, most of them dying in the process.” (As reported by Yad VaShem

    1942: To maintain the deception that all was well and to better control the population, 115,000 of the Jews remaining in Lodz ghetto were told that the 100,000 Jews already deported (and in actuality gassed in Chelmno), were safe and staying in a camp near Warthburcken. Kolo was actually the town near Chelmno.

    1942(25thof Nisan, 5702): Ninety year old Austrian author and jurist Marco Brociner, the brother of Joseph, Maurice and Adnrei Brociner died today while being held in a ghetto at Vienna by the Nazis

    1943: In New York real estate investor Seymour Durst and his wife Bernice Herstein gave birth to Robert Durst, the brother of Douglas, Thomas and Wendy Durst, who gained notoriety for his alleged involvement in the death of his wife and a close friend.

    1943: An Anglo-American Conference opens in Bermuda.  The conference was supposed to come up with ways of saving European refugees (in reality the Jews of Europe).  During the 12 days of meetings it became obvious that the Foreign Office and the State Department would do nothing including relaxing immigration quotas or opening Palestine to Jewish immigrants. 

    1944: ‘Who has made us Jews different to all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. . ." From the daily entry of the Diary of Anne Frank

    1944:  Lillian Hellman's "Searching Wind", premiered in New York City.

    1944: Arnold Newman photographed award winning author William Steig.

    1944: Jacob Bronowski and Rita Coblentz gave birth to Lisa Anne Bronowski who gained fame as  British historian Lisa Anne Jardin

    1945:General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to visit Ohrdruf Concentration camp with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. After his visit, Eisenhower cabled General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, describing his trip to Ohrdruf:

    . . .the most interesting--although horrible--sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda.'

    Ohrdruf made a powerful impression on General George S. Patton as well. He described it as "one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen." He recounted in his diary that

    In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench. When the shed was full--I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January. When we began to approach with our troops, the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crime. Therefore, they had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under them. They were not very successful in their operations because there was a pile of human bones, skulls, charred torsos on or under the griddle which must have accounted for many hundreds

    1945:Birthdate of Irving D. Rubin who served as chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) from 1985 to 2002.

    1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt had been quite popular with Jewish voters and Jews certainly benefited from his Presidency.  Many years after the war, historians began to raise issues of the American role concerning the plight of European Jewry and the lack of active intervention to save at least some of the Six Million.

    1945: Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in as President of the United following the death of Franklin Roosevelt. No matter what, Truman will always be a hero among Jews for supporting the U.N. resolution that in effect created the state of Israel and for recognizing the state of Israel at the moment of its birth.  He did this in spite of strong opposition from advisors in the Defense and State departments.

    1945: Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Westerbork, Netherlands

    1945: Two American divisions reach the Elbe and Mulde Rivers and wait for the arrival of British and Russian troops to link up with them.

    1946(11th of Nisan, 5706): Henry Benisch, the American representative of Meyer and Studlei, the Swiss-based watchmaker, and brother of Dr. Max Benisch of Tel Aviv passed away at the age of 60.

    1948: The Haganah attacked the Arab Liberation Army commanded by Fawzi al-Kaukji at Mishmar Ha-Emek.  Kaukji had captured the Jewish settlement by using heavy artillery given him by the Syrian Army.  Unfortunately for Kaukji, Mishmar Ha-Emek had been used as a secret training base by the Haganah.  The smaller, poorly armed Jewish force took advantage of their unique knowledge to defeat the superior Arab force.

    1948: As the Jewish settlers in Palestine continued plans to form a government that would be place when the British leave in May, the 37 member Moetzet HaAm which was the forerunner of the Provisional State Council was formed today.

    1949: Birthdate of American attorney turned author, Scott Turow.

    1950: Tonight, Yehudi Menuhin began a concert tour of Israel with a performance in the Tel Aviv auditorium.

    1951: The Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed a resolution setting 27 Nissan as Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yom is the Hebrew word for 'day' and Shoah is the Hebrew word for 'whirlwind.'  Shoah is the Hebrew term for the War Against the Jews that claimed over six million lives between 1938 and 1945. In Israel, a morning siren sounds, stopping all activity; people stand in honor of those who died. Jews around the world hold memorials and vigils, often lighting six candles in honor of the six million Holocaust victims. Many hold name-reading ceremonies to memorialize those who perished. There are many websites to consult for this observance including those supported by Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Here is another that you might want to look at as 

    1953(27th of Nisan, 5713): Yom HaShoah

    1954: A board of inquiry led by Gordon Gay, known as the Gray Board, began hearings as part of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s appeal of the suspension of his security clearance.  By a vote of 4 to 1, the board would oppose the appeal thus ending Oppenheimer’s chance to regain his security clearance.  This was the ignominious way in which the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” was treated by his government.

    1955: After almost two years of testing and opposition Jonas Salk in the presence of 700 scientists was recognized for discovering a vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis. His work together with Albert Sabin, who later developed an oral vaccine, drove this paralyzing disease from much of the world. In recognition he received Presidential Citation and the Congressional Medal for Distinguished Achievement.

    1955(12th of Nisan 5755): Public announcement was made that Dr Jonas Salk had successfully tested his Polio vaccine.  For the first time, there was a way for people to avoid this scourge which attacked tens of thousands each year, leaving thousands of its victims paralyzed for life. Salk was actually one of three Jewish doctors who played a prominent part in the race to find a polio vaccine. His success was preceded by the work of a Polish born American Jew named Hilary Koprowski. Albert Sabin, a Russian born American Jew, developed an oral vaccine that supplanted Salk’s early product. 

    1956: In Portugal, premiere of “The Rose Tattoo” Hal Kanter’s cinematic adaption of the Broadway play.

    1958(22nd of Nisan, 5718): 8th day of Pesach


    1959: Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Norm Sherry plays in his first major league baseball game.  Norm joined his brother Larry as the only Jewish battery in baseball.  Together, they led the 1959 Dodgers to a World Series Championship.

    1959: Youth Aliyah celebrated Child’s Day at a ceremony in the Israeli Consulate in New York City.  Alan Parter, the 14 year old president of student council at Larchmont Temple Religious School presented Simcah Pratt, the Counsel General, with a sack containing 600 silver dollars which had been collected by Alan and his fellow students. 

    1960(15thof Nisan, 5720): As a crowd of Democratic candidates including JFK, LBJ, Adlai and HHH are fighting for their party’s Presidential nomination, Jews observe Pesach

    1962: In the UK, premiere of “A King of Loving” directed by John Schlesinger and produced by Joseph Janni.

    1968(14th of Nisan, 5728): In the evening, Pesach begins with the first Seder held in a re-united Jerusalem.

    1969: Simon & Garfunkel released "The Boxer"

    1971: Birthdate of Eyal Golan, (אייל גולן;) “a popular Israeli singer who sings in the Mizrahi style. Golan is one of the most successful singers of the Mizrahi genre in Israel. Except for his debut album, all of his studio albums became platinum albums, and most were sold in hundreds of thousands of copies, Eyal Golan's channel on Youtube has garnered over 17 million views as of July 2010 with five of his videos having garnered over a million views, and two have garnered over 2 million views making him one of Israel's most clicked artists.”

    1972:  “The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine” starring Marty Feldman with scripts co-authored by Feldman, Barry Levinson and Larry Gilbert was broadcast in the United States for the first time on ABC.

    1973(10thof Nisan, 5733): Seventy-eight year old South Carolina born song-plugger turned movie producer passed away today.

    1975: John Gunther Dean who came to the United States as a refugee from Hitler’s Germany experienced “one of the most tragic days of his life” when as U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia he saw his country depart from Phnom Penh leaving the citizens to the butcher of the Khmer Rouge.

    1979(15thof Nisan, 5739): Pesach

    1981:Israel today conditionally approved the reported French initiative to deploy a new United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon. At the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Government ministers welcomed the proposal but said that the envisaged force should replace the Syrian troops in Lebanon rather than serve as a buffer between the Syrians and the Christian Phalangists.

    1981:Deborah Benjamin, professionally known as Deborah Hart, and Gerald Strober were married this afternoon at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun, by Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the Jewish National Fund, and spiritual leader of the congregation. The bride is a music columnist and feature writer for The Jewish Week, a weekly newspaper, Mr. Strober, who is national director of The American Friends of Tel Aviv University in New York, is author of five books, including ''American Jews: Community in Crisis,'' and ''Aflame for God: The Jerry Falwell Story.''

    1983:Gregory Allen winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and a member of the piano faculty of the University of Texas in Austin gave a recital tonight at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

    1984: “Four armed Arab guerillas from the Gaza Strip reached Ashdod where they boarded, as paying passengers, an Egged Bus No. 300 en route from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 41 passengers.” Shortly after the bus left the station at 7:30 pm, the terrorists hijacked the bus.

    1987:Israeli military helicopters rocketed roads near Shiite Moslem villages in southern Lebanon today, killing two people and wounding four others, according to the state-controlled radio. The reported action came after a group calling itself the ''Islamic Resistance Movement'' said Moslem guerrillas had killed nine Israeli soldiers in an overnight rocket and machine-gun attack inside the belt of Lebanese territory just north of the Israeli border that the Israelis call their security zone. The radio said a number of helicopters from the Israeli Air Force strafed and fired rockets at roads in the district of Merj 'Uyun close to the zone. The radio added that the Israelis had moved reinforcements into the six-mile-deep enclave they control.

    1987:Randi Joy Rosenberg and Matthew David Steele were married today at Temple Beth-El in Great Neck, L.I. Mrs. Steele is a petroleum engineer who until recently was a consultant to the East Mediterranean Oil and Gas Company in Tel Aviv.

    1987: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century by Sidney Hook.

    1989(7th of Nisan, 5749):  Abbie Hoffmann, American radical, passed away.

    1989: Paul Goldberger delivered a lecture “Teaching About Architecture” at the National Art Education Association in Washington, D.C

    1990: At the first meeting of the German Democratic Republic’s first democratically elected Parliament, the East German legislators acknowledged responsibility for the Nazi holocaust and asked for forgiveness. The German Democratic Republic, known in the West as East Germany had been a Communist dictatorship.  The de-Nazification process in Germany had really taken place in West Germany.  In the Communist Zone, the contention was that by adopting Communism, atonement had been made.  Or so their Soviet masters told the tale.

    1991: U.S. Premiere of “Out for Justice” featuring Gina Gershon and Juliana Margulies.

    1996: Israel launched the INS Dolphin, the first of its Dolphin class submarines.

    1997(5th of Nisan, 5757): Latvian born Israeli bible scholar Nechama Leibowitz passed away. Her accomplishments are amazing in their own right.  They are even more so when you consider the male-dominated world in which worked, study and taught. For a collection of her commentaries on each of the weekly portions which are called “Gilyonot” see

    1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Tough Jewsby Rich Cohen.

    1999:As part of the Millennium Lecture Series hosted by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the East Room of the White House, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel delivered a very moving speech. His topic for the lecture was "The Perils of Indifference." He framed the following question: "We are on the threshold of a new century, a new millennium. What will the legacy of this vanishing century be? How will it be remembered in the new millennium? Surely it will be judged, and judged severely, in both moral and metaphysical terms." Wiesel went on to enumerate the great tragedies of the last century, and then concluded this litany with "So much violence, so much indifference." Wiesel then spent the rest of his speech on the significance of indifference. To him, indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred. "Anger," he stated, "at times can be creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. But indifference is not a response. It is not a beginning, it is an end and it is always a friend of the enemy. It is not only a sin, it is a punishment and this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiment in good and evil."

    1999: In “Paying for Auschwitz” published today. Roger Rosenblatt draws on the experiences of his great uncle who survived the Nazi death camp, as he questions the attempts to put a dollar sign on the Holocaust.

    2001: Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, a project dedicated to shattering the glass ceiling, was launched today.

    2002(30thof Nisan, 5762): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    2002: As Operation Defensive Shield came to an end “Ha'aretz reported that, "The IDF intends to bury today Palestinians killed in the West Bank camp ... The sources said two infantry companies, along with members of the military rabbinate, will enter the camp today to collect bodies. Those who can be identified as civilians will be moved to a hospital in Jenin, and then on to burial, while those identified as terrorists will be buried at a special cemetery in the Jordan Valley."

    2002(30thof Nisan, 5762): Six people were murdered when a 17 year old female terrorist detonated a bomb at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.  The victims were Nissan Cohen, 57, of Ramot,

    Yelena Konrav, 43, from Pisgat Ze'ev, Rivka Fink, 75, of Jerusalem, Zuhila Hushi, 47, Chinese citizen, of Gilo, Lin Chin Mai, 34, Chinese citizen and Chai Zin Chang, 32, Chinese citizen

     2002(30th of Nisan, 5762): “Lt. Dotan Nahtomi, 22, of Kibbutz Tzuba, died of wounds sustained earlier in the week during IDF operations in Dura (Operation Defensive Shield).”

    2002(30thof Nisan, 5762): “Border policeman St.-Sgt. David Smirnoff, 22, of Ashdod was killed when a Palestinian gunman opened fire near the Erez crossing, in the Gaza Strip, killing one and injuring another four Israelis. The terrorist killed one and injured three Palestinian workers in the same shooting spree. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.”

    2005: “What Sort of Jew Was Jesus?” published today described the views of “Orthodox Rabbi Harvey Falk of Brooklyn who believes that much interreligious tension need never have existed at all.”

    2005(3rd of Nisan, 5765):Ehud Manor (אהוד מנור) passed away. Born in 1941, he “was an Israeli songwriter, translator, and radio and TV personality. He composed many well-known songs, including "Ein Li Eretz Acheret" (I Have No Other Country), "Brit Olam" (World Covenant), "BaShanah HaBa'ah" (In The Next Year), "Zo Yalduti HaShniya" (This Is My Second Childhood), and "Achi HaTza'ir Yehuda" (My Younger Brother Yehuda). He wrote over 1,250 Hebrew compositions, and translated more than 600 works into Hebrew, including such Broadway hits as Cabaret and Les Misérables. He wrote the lyrics to many Israeli Eurovision entries, including the 1978 winner "Abanibi", the 1983 entry "Khay" (Alive), the 1992 song "Ze Rak Sport" (It's Just Sports), the 2004 entry, "Leha'amin" ("To Believe"; which he co-wrote with David D'Or)), and the 2005 entry, "Zman". In addition, he translated Barney songs into Hebrew for the Israeli coproduction "HaChaverim Shel Barney".

    2007: An exhibit styled “The Art of Aging” that explores “faith, culture and the search for meaning in the universal aspects of life’s journey”opens at the Jewish Museum of Florida.

    2007: Formal ceremony was held marking the creation of AZIS, an organization of olim from Azerbaijan.  “AZIS is short for Azerbaijan-Israel but is also an Azeri word meaning ‘dear’ or ‘precious.’

    2007:Holocaust survivor Manya Friedman speaks about her World War II era experiences at Coe College in Kessler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall.  Friedman is a volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and is an active member of the speaker’s bureau for the organization. Friedman was born in 1925 in a small Polish town that included a Jewish community dating back to the 16th century.  In the mid-1930s, the Friedman family experienced anti-Semitism as it became increasingly apparent in Poland.  In September 1939, Friedman's father was selected for forced labor following the German invasion of Poland.  A month later, her mother was arrested for violating the curfew.  In 1941, Friedman was forced to work for a German company that produced military uniforms.  In March 1943, she was separated from her family and never saw them again, as they were deported to Auschwitz. Friedman was forced to work in labor camps, and, in January 1945, she and other prisoners were transported for 10 days in open freight cars in the bitter cold to the Ravensbruck concentration camp.  Later, Friedman was taken to the Rechlin concentration camp, where she was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross in April 1945, following the liberation of Europe.  In 1950, Friedman emigrated from Sweden to the United Sates, where she continues to speak about her experiences during the Holocaust. This event is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

    2008(7 Nisan, 5768):Nearly 90 minutes after a fire had started,the bodies of the Rabbi Jacob S. Rubenstein, and his wife, Deborah, were found in the burning house.  Rabbi Rubenstein led Young Israel of Scarsdale, an Orthodox synagogue.

    2008: In Iowa City, Defunct Books presented a grand night of poetry featuring famous Yiddish poet and playwright Murray Wolfe and Dan Troxell.

    2008: In the following article entitled “Holocaust Speaker Urges Audiences to Action” The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported on upcoming Holocaust remembrance activities.

    As those who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust continue to age, the importance of getting their stories out becomes increasingly more significant, said Hedy Epstein of St. Louis, Mo., whose parents were taken from one concentration camp to another before being sent to Auschwitz when she was 14."It is perhaps even more important now because there aren't that many of us who are still alive, and in a few years there won't be any of us left," Epstein, 83, said by phone from her St. Louis home.Epstein will speak to six audiences in Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon this week, making stops at four area colleges and two high schools. Her visit is funded through the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund.Epstein was 8 years old and living with her parents in Kippenheim, Germany, when Adolf Hitler took power in 1933. She watched as the dry-goods business her father and uncle owned was boycotted because it was a Jewish business, and as her father was taken to a concentration camp in November 1938, to be returned a changed man just a few weeks later. A short time later, her parents were both taken to camps and young Hedy Wachenheimer was sent to England on a children's transport. She received a few letters from her parents in the beginning but never heard from them again once they were sent to Auschwitz.When the war was over, Epstein returned to Germany to work for the American government, then came to the United States in 1948."It is important for me that whoever is in the audience hear about the Holocaust," Epstein said. "It is one of so many tragedies that have happened then, before then and today. I want to wake them up to this horrendous event but also to things that are still happening. I want to urge them to take some responsibility to right a wrong, become personally involved in whatever they choose and do something to right a wrong somewhere."Epstein started speaking publicly about her experiences in 1970, when her son was in junior high. A teacher approached her about speaking to the class when her son explained that his grandparents were sent to the concentration camps. The teacher asked her again the following year, and word of her speeches began to spread.Sharing her experiences is one way Epstein can honor her parents, she said."Before she was deported to Auschwitz (my mother) asked me that I never forget my parents," she said. "Of course I never forget, but it's like a mandate to me. By speaking about it, my mother's wish will not be forgotten but carried through."

    2009: In Northbrook, Illinois, the Bernard Weinger JCC hosts the opening of Start Smart Baseball with programs for children ages 3 – 5 and adult participants.

    2009: Final performance of Arthur Miller’s “Incident At Vichy” at The Beckett Theatre in New York City.

    2009: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of “The End of the Jews” by Adam Mansbach and Joanna Smith Rakoff’s new novel “A Fortunate Age” which traces the post-collegiate struggle of seven Jews from prosperous enclaves “slumming” in a variety of non-affluent parts of New York.

    2009: The Washington Post featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside” by Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland

    2009:Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this morning and wished him a happy Passover.

    2009: In “Research uncovers Israelites''foothold' in Jordan Valley” published today the Jerusalem Post reports that “The discovery of gigantic foot-shaped enclosures in the Jordan Valley may shed light on ancient Jewish holiday practices, according to University of Haifa researchers. The sites, identified with what the Torah terms "gilgal" (a camp or stone structure), were used for assemblies, preparation for battle, and rituals, according to a press release the university put out last week.

    2010(28 Nisan, 5770): Yom Hashoah

    2010:The International March of the Living honors six Holocaust survivors during its annual gathering at Auschwitz. The theme of the organization's annual gathering on Holocaust Remembrance Day is "Lamrot Hakol (Despite it all): Tribute to the Survivor."

    2010:MacNeil/Lehrer Productions is scheduled to introduce “Among the Righteous,” the story of Arabs who protected Jews during the Holocaust on PBS tonight. The special is based on the book of the same name by Robert Satloff and is one of four newly created programs appearing this week on PBS as part its Memorial to the Holocaust.

    2010: Due to the dissolution of Parliament today, John Simon Bercow, who was elected to office in June, 2009, will have to stand for re-election. Eventually he will be the first Jew to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons.

    2011: The Hunter College Hillel is scheduled to present “Daring to Hope” “the North American debut exhibition of Israeli artist and photojournalist, Ilan Mizrahi.”

    2011:YIVO and The Jewish Daily Forward are scheduled to present:  “A Celebration of Yiddish Literature in Honor of Boris Sandler,” featuring Evgeny Kissin 

    2011: On the 150thanniversary of the start of the Civil War, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to present a screening of “Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington”documentary reveals the little-known struggles and sacrifices some 10,000 American Jewish soldiers who fought on both sides of the war

    2011: Professor Faye Mosokowitz is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “What's Portnoy Complaining About Lately?” at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

    2011: Tulane University is scheduled to present “If you Didn't Hate Me, Would I Still be Jewish? - Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Jewish Identity in Post-War America” featuring Douglas Greenberg, Executive Dean, School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University.

    2011: Followers of the Bahai faith unveiled their newly renovated holy site on the coast of Israel today drawing attention to one of the Holy Land's lesser-known religions.

    2011(8 Nisan, 5711):Ninety-two year oldSidney Harman, an audio pioneer who built the first high-fidelity stereo receiver, dabbled in education and government, and made a late-in-life splash by acquiring an antiquated Newsweek magazine and wedding it with a sassy young Web site, The Daily Beast, died tonight in Washington. reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    2012:Daniel Altman, chief economist of Big Think and best-selling author is scheduled to speak at the Global Emerging Leadership Forum hosted by the 92ndStreet Y.

    2012: Remembrance, a film thatdepicts “a love story between a German Jew and a Polish Catholic that blossomed amid the terror of Auschwitz in 1944” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Dr. Martin Dean of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies is scheduled to “discuss the new findings of the USHMM's Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos Project, including the impact of the International Tracing Service--a copy of which is now housed at The Wiener Library--and other digital archives” in London, UK.

    2013: “Yossi” and “All In” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: “No Place on Earth” is scheduled to open in San Francisco, Berkley and San Jose.

    2013: PBS is scheduled to show "Among the Righteous," which “documents the dogged search by historian and writer Robert Satloff to track down and verify any instances in which Arabs aided their Jewish neighbors while Hitler's Afrika Corps swept across North Africa.”

    2013: As he begins the weekend of his Bar Mitzvah, the friends and family of Jacob Daniel Levin join him in a Shabbat Dinner in Columbus, Ohio.

    2013: Police barred a group of mourners from entering Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl military cemetery today in order to pay respect to lone soldiers killed in action whose families do not reside in Israel

    2013: After 66 years of marriage, 86 year old Antoine Veil the husband of Simon Veil passed away today.

    2013(25th of Nisan, 5773): Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the eldest son of the spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, died this afternoon after suffering multisystem failure at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem

    2013: The IDF unearthed and defused an unexploded bomb, believed to date to World War II, near northern Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport

    2013:The Defense Ministry released its annual figures of fallen soldiers this morning ahead of Remembrance Day, stating that 92 soldiers had fallen this year and a total of 23,085 have fallen in Israel's wars since 1860.

    2014: In Portland, Oregon, “A Pigeon and a Boy” by Meir Shalev is scheduled to be performed for the last time.

    2014(12thof Nisan, 5774): Shabbat HaGadol

    2014: SculptureCenter is scheduled to present the New York City book launch of Neomaterialism by Joshua Simon who is the director and chief curator of the Museums of Bat Yam.

    2015: “Echoes of the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld” is scheduled to close at the Yeshiva University Museum.

    2015: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy by Masha Gessen, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin and Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm

    2015: Due “an unseasonal recurrence of wintry weather” in Israel, “events planned for” today marking the celebration of Moroccan Miouna “have been canceled.

    2015: “Watcher of the Sky” and “Secrets of War” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at Providence, Rhodes Island.

    2015: “Lest We Forget,” a service of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust featuring Holocaust survivor Renata Laxova organized by the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County and the Thaler Holocuast Memorial Fund chaired by Dr. Robert Silber is scheduled to take place this evening at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA.



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    April 13

    1111: Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Henry gained power by revolting against his father Henry IV.  This was unfortunate for the Jews of Germany since Henry IV had been protective of his Jewish subjects as can be seen by his enforcement of laws forbidding the forcible baptism of Jews and allowing Jews who had been forcibly baptized to return to the faith of their fathers even if this ruling was contrary to Church doctrine. While no record exists that shows Henry V repealed the rulings his father’s loss of power was still a blow to the Jews because it was rare to find a monarch who was protective of his Jewish subjects.

    1204: During the Fourth Crusade the sack of Constantinople continues. The Fourth Crusade was initially called for by Innocent III, one of the more anti-Semitic Popes. European Jews did not suffer in the way they had during the first 3 crusades, in part because of the devastation they had already experienced.  The Fourth Crusade degenerated into a fight among Christians as the Latin Crusaders made war against eastern Orthodox Christians.

    1250: The Seventh Crusade, led by King Louis IX of France is defeated in Egypt. This marked the last of the Crusades.  Considering the impact they had on the Jews, the end of the Crusades was a positive thing.  This did not mark the end of the Crusading Spirit which would continue to rear its ugly head in events such as the expulsion from Spain two and half centuries later.  Louis IX’s four decade long reign was a time of misery for the Jews. It was marked by the famous burning of twenty four carloads of Talmudic writings in Paris in 1242 and a similar such conflagration two years later. 

    1519: Birthdate of Catherine de' Medici who would become the wife of Henry II of France. When it came to choosing a doctor, Catherine opted to go for quality and used Jews even though Childen of Israel had been banned from living in France. Catherine first employed a Marrano named Luis Nunez.  Later she began using Philotheus Montalto, a Portuguese doctor who had cured of her some un-named malady when he was passing through Paris.

    1556(23rdof Nisan, 5316): Portuguese Marranos who had returned to Judaism were burned to death in Acona, Italy. A Jewish-led boycott of the port of Acona marked the first community-wide effort by "free" Jews, since the beginning of the Diaspora, to hit back at their enemies.

    1587(5thof Nisan, 5347): Jacob Luzatto passed away in Venice, Italy at the age of 60.  It is not known if this is the same Jacob Luzzato who lived and preached at Safed and was a prolific author of tomes ranging from Talmudic commentaries to Haggadot.

    1598: Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots in Catholic France.  The edict did not cover Moslems or Jews living in France, including “New Christians” who had fled to France because of the Inquisition.

    1636(7th of Nisan): Rabbi Elijah Kalmankes of Lemberg author of Eliyahu Rabbah passed away.

    1660: Antonio Enrequez Basurto, a Marano poet and comedic playwright was burned in effigy after seeking refuge in Amsterdam.

    1712:Shabbethai ben Joseph Bass was suddenly arrested today “on the charge of having spread abroad incendiary speeches against all divine and civic government.”

    1727(22ndof Nisan, 5487): Judah ben Samuel Rosanes passed away Born in 1657, this student of Samuel ha-Levi and Joseph di Trani was appointed by the Sultan to serve as “hakam bashi” (Chief Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire because of his scholarship and linguistic skills. He was the son-in-law of Abraham Rosanes.

    1743: Birthdate of Thomas Jefferson.  “Thomas Jefferson is deservedly a hero to American Jewry. His was one of the few voices in the early republic fervently championing equal political rights for Jews. Jefferson’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia is a classic American statement of religious toleration. Significantly, while Jefferson championed the rights of Jews and other religious minorities, he did not do so out of respect for Judaism but because he respected the right of every individual to hold whichever faith they wished….Despite his reservations about the perceived “defects” in Judaism, Jefferson never wavered in his commitment to civil and religious freedom for Jews. Jefferson’s most notable achievement in establishing religious and civic toleration for American Jewry was his 1779 Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia. Adopted in 1785, the Bill proclaimed: “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess. . . their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise . . . affect their civil capacities.”  Two years later, in 1787, the U. S. Constitution was adopted. Article VI contains the following, Jefferson-inspired phrase: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Despite his attitude toward Judaism as a religion, Jefferson’s advocacy of the rights of Jews –and those of other religious minorities – has become the law and custom of the land. Toleration of all religions, the absence of an official government religion, and the right to practice and express religious thought freely are the hallmarks of Jefferson’s legacy. Despite his private views of Judaism, he was indeed a most ‘righteous Gentile.’” 

    1763: At Providence, Jacob Rivera, Aaron Lopez, Naftali Hart and Moses Lopez were among the ten signatories of the Spermaceti Candle Agreement.  The agreement was an effective tool for controlling the candle making trade in area including Pennsylvania, New York and New England.

    1764: Final effective date for the Spermaceti Candle Agreement which had been supported by Jacob River, Aaron Lopez, Naftali Hart and Moses Lopez, four of the leading merchants in an industry based on whale oil.

    1772: In New York, Uriah and Eva Esther Hendricks gave birth to Aaron Hendricks.

    1793: Birthdate of Louis Jacques Begin, a Belgium born French surgeon and author.

    1822(22nd of Nisan, 5582): 8th day of Pesach

    1823: In the northern Italian city of Leghorn, Samuel and Bonina Morais gave birth to Sabato Morais, a leading 19th century American Orthodox Rabbi.

    1829: In Great Britain, Parliament passes the Catholic Relief Act which removes most of the remaining legal obstacles to full participation of Roman Catholics in the political life of the country.  The Jews living in this British Isles saw this as a sign of hope that they would soon attain full religious freedom.  They and their non-Jewish supporters began a campaign to gain equal rights for the Jews.  Unfortunately, success was not just around the corner and the fight would take fifteen years to win.  One Catholic politician was reported to have said that he would support the Jews in their fight since he could not deny to others what had been won for him and his Catholic brethren.

    1840: Birthdate of Ludwig Mauthner, the native of Prague who became a noted “Austrian neuroanatomist and ophthalmologist.”

    1849: During the Hungarian Revolution which was a revolt against being ruled by the Habsburgs of Austria, Hungary becomes a republic. Thousands of Jews fought on the side of the revolutionaries and thousands more contributed financially to the short-lived success of the cause. The new Hungarian Republic voted to give the Jews full rights of citizenship.  Unfortunately, the Jews would enjoy their new status for only two weeks.  Austrian forces conquered the Hungarians and put an end to this short lived new republic.

    1850:  Birthdate of Hungarian-Jewish author and professor Bernhard Alexander who passed away in Budapest in 1927.

    1851: At “Weimar Jewish pianist Salomon Jadassohn was the soloist at the first performance, under Liszt's baton, of Liszt's arrangement for piano and orchestra of Carl Maria von Weber's Polonaise (Polacca) brillante "L'hilarité" in E major, Op. 72.

    1851: Sabato Morais was elected Hazan of Mikveh Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation in Philadelphia, PA.

    1852: Birthdate of Rabbi Haim (Henry) Pereira Méndez. Mendez was part of a family famous for its rabbis.  Mendez began his career in England before moving to the United States where he served as rabbi for Shearith Israel (The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) in New York.  He was also one of the founders of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

    1854(15thof Nisan, 5614): Pesach

    1860: “Savoy in the British Parliament” published today described Switzerland as a place “which worship William Tell; persecute the Jews; and find the Bourbons in body-guards, English clergymen in scenery, and all the world in watches” [Apparently Swiss antipathy towards Jews was a well-established fact as could be seen by a treaty that the Switzerland tried negotiated with the U.S. in the 1850’s that permitted them to discriminate against American Jews.]

    1861: On his way back to his post at Watervilet, NY, Major Alfred Mordecai stopped in Richmond where his brother George urged him to resign from the U.S. Army and join the Confederates.

    1864: In Vienna, “Galician Jewish liberal newspaper publisher Mortiz Szeps” and his wife gave birth to Bertha Szeps who gained fame as writer, journalist and critic Bertha Zuckerkandl-Szeps.

    1865: In Russia Seelig Seligsohn and his wife gave birth to Max Seligsohn the American and French trained linguist whose aborted effort to study the conditions of the Falashas led to him becoming an editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia in New York in 1902.

    1866(28thof Nisan, 5626): Fifty-six year old Naphtali Frankfurter, the brother of Berhnhard Frankfurter, the reform Rabbi who led the Hamburg Temple and  who was elected to serve in the Hamburg Parliament passed away today.

    1870(22nd of Nisan, 5631): 8th day of Pesach

    1870: The New York State Legislature granted the Metropolitan Museum of Art an Act of Incorporation marking today as the founding date of this great institution.  The Robert Lehman Collection, which was donated in 1969, following Lehman’s death is one of the largest and most unique collections on display at the museum.

    1871:La belle Hélène(The Beautiful Helen), an operetta by Jacques Offenbach with a libretto co-authored by Ludovic Halévy opened in New York City at the Grand Opera House

    1880: It was reported today the a Selig Selbiger, a Jewish peddler from western Prussia, has testified before the coroner that his 22 year old sister Fanny has been killed by her husband Moses Adler, a Lithuanian born matzo maker.

    1881: Birthdate of Ernst Heilmann, the German jurist and political leader who was murdered at Buchenwald in 1940.

    1881: An “anti-Jewish” petition was sent to Otto von Bismarck today.  The petition, which has been circulating throughout the German Empire for the last six months calls for restrictions to be placed on the number of Jews immigrating to Germany and for repealing the legislation which has given the rights of citizens to the Jews of Germany.

    1882: Seventy two year old Bruno Bauer whose early works on Christianity and Judaism gave way to a series of anti-Semitic writings passed a way today.

    1882:  An Anti-Semitic League was formed in Prussia.  Prussia was the dominant state in the newly united Germany.  [Obviously Hitler did not start anti-Semitism in Germany.]

    1885: In Budapest, József Löwinger and his wife Adele Wertheimer gave birth to Hungarian philosopher and literary critic Georg Lukács,

    1890: “New Publications” published today provides a detailed review of The Temple of Solomon: History of Art in Sardinia Judea, Syria and Asia Minor by Georges Perrot and Charles Chipiez.

    1892: “Sampson Simpson’s Bequest” published today described the decision of the Court of Appels that the North American Relief Society did not qualify as an organization established “for the purpose of ameliorating the condition of Jews in Jerusalem” and therefore the residue of the estate of Sampson Simpson should go to the descendants of his nephew Moses Isaacks.”

    1893: Theodore Seligman, the son of Jesse Seligman was blackballed at the Union Club this evening when his application for membership came before that body.  The members who voted to blackball young Mr. Seligman publicly and proudly admitted that “it was a simply a matter of race prejudice.”  In response to this action, the senior Mr. Seligman who had been a member of the club for a quarter of a century and a vice president for 14 years immediately resigned.

    1894: Congregation Shaaray Tefila (Gates of Prayer) dedicated their new sanctuary on west 82nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues this evening

    1895: The celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Temple Emanu-El entered its second day. Rabbi Joseph Silverman and Cantor William Sparger conducted the morning services. Approximately 2,500 people attended the evening events.

    1895: The Chicago Evening Journal“welcomed the premier of the ‘American Jewess and praised its editor Rosa Sonneschein.” (As reported by the Jewish Women’s Archive)

    1895: Alfred Dreyfus is placed in solitary confinement on Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana.

    1897: During the meeting of the New York City Board of Health where contagious diseases were discussed it was noted that “the most troublesome contagion is trachoma or granulated eyelid;” a condition to which Jewish children from Russia are highly susceptible to given their constant exposure to this condition.

    1900(14th of Nisan, 5660):  In one of those quirks of the calendar Christians observe Good Friday on the same day when Jews sit down to their first Seder. 

    1900(14th of Nisan, 5660):  Poor Jews living on the Lower East Side were relieved to find that free matzoth were being distributed at Charles “Silver Dollar” Smith’s “old place on Essex Street.”  There was concern that the distribution would end since Smith had passed away last year.  Before he had changed his name, Smith was known as variously as Charles Goldschmidt or Charles Solomon.  A New York alderman who was part of the Tammany Hall machine, he was called “Silver Dollar” because of the “2,400 silver dollars used as a studded inlay in his saloon…”

    1900: Herzl met with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. 

    1902: In Paris, Baron Henri de Rothschild and Mathilde Sophie Henriette von Weissweiller gave birth to Baron Philippe de Rothschild who developed a passion for grand prix race driving and growing fine wines.

    1902: Today, Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, founder of the National Farm School said, “Not yet have we grasped the scientific truth that society is an organic whole in which the welfare of all is dependent upon the well-being of each…"

    1903(16thof Nisan, 5663): Second Day of Pesach

    1903(16thof Nisan, 5663): Seventy-eight year old German philosopher and Jewish communal leader and author Mortiz Lazarus passed away today.

    1909: The Jews took an active part in uprising of the Young Turk movement including Nissim Effendi Mazliah and Emmanuel Effendi Carusso, members of the Parliament. Many Jews from Adrianople, Constantinople, Monastir and Salonika volunteered for service in the Army of the Young Turks. The Young Turks was the name given to those who sought to modernize the Ottoman Empire.

    1911(15thof Nisan, 5671): Pesach

    1913: The United Hebrew Community sent several hundred pounds of Matzoth to the Otisville Sanitarium in Otisville, NY.  The organization also sent new dishes to the sanitarium which will be used on Passover which begins next week.

    1913: Founding of “Ezras Israel Synagogue” in Chicago, Illinois.

    1913: Founding of Keneseth Israel in Scranton, PA.

    1914(17th of Nisan, 5674): Harry Horowitz a gangster also known as Gyp the Blood and a leader of the Lenox Avenue Gang in New York City was executed at Sing Sing Prison

    1915: U.S. Attorney General Gregory announced that the Department of Justice had retained Louis D. Brandeis of Boston to serve as special counsel for the Interstate Commerce Commission in the five percent rate case to defend Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo and Comptroller of the Currency Williams in the injunction proceedings being brought by Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C.

    1920: In Patterson, NJ, Gussie and David Lefkowitz gave birth to Joseph Lefkowitz a graduate of Rutgers University who worked for the Social Security Administration until he retired in 1985 and moved to Crossville, TN where he was living at the time of his death.

    1922(15thof Nisan, 5682): Pesach

    1922: In Camden New Jersey, Congregation Beth El holds Passover service at 9 in the morning and seven in the evening.

    1922: “Make It Snappy” starring Eddie Cantor opened at the Winter Garden Theatre.

    1923: Birthdate of comedian Don Adams best known for his portrayal of Maxwell Smart in the television hit Get Smart.  Smart’s father was a Hungarian Jew, but his mother was an Irish Catholic.

    1924: Birthdate of Moshe Tehilimzeigger, the native of Równe, Poland who moved to Palestine in 1938 where he was first known as Moshe Shimony and then as Dahn Ben-Amotz who served in the Palmach before gaining fame as a broadcaster, journalist and author.

    1924: In Columbia, South Carolina, Helen Cohen, the daughter of a jewelry salesman and Mordecai Moses Donen, a dress-shop manager gave birth to director and choreographer Stanley Donen who most famous works are “On the Town” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”

    1930: American composer and music administrator William Howard Schuman went to a Carnegie Hall concert of the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Arturo Toscanini with his older sister, Audrey. According to the Philharmonic's archives, the program included works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Smetana. Of this experience, Schuman later said, "I was astounded at seeing the sea of stringed instruments, and everybody bowing together. The visual thing alone was astonishing. But the sound! I was overwhelmed. I had never heard anything like it. The very next day, I decided to become a composer."

    1930(15thof Nisan, 5690): First Pesach of the Great Depression

    1930(15th of Nisan, 5690): On the first day of Pesach, rabbis combined the message of the holiday with the fact that this date marked the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson “who wrote the statue providing religious freedom in the Constitution of the State of Virginia.”  On the Upper East Side at   Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Nathan Krass declared that Moses, a figure even mightier than Thomas Jefferson, had first promulgated the doctrine of religious freedom when he had told Pharaoh that he wished to liberate everybody.  Krass also combined the message of religious freedom with the current economic crisis.  In the Bronx at the Montefiore Congregation, Rabbi Jacob Katz compared the prophetic message with sage of Monticello who championed American independence and religious liberty.  In this time of worsening financial crisis, Katz said that today we must “remove oppression, and create economic equality” just as our forefathers created political equality.  [Ed. Note: Neither of these Rabbis saw the irony of invoking the name of Jefferson the slaveholder on a holiday that celebrated the end of slavery.]

    1932: In Berlin, Peter and Irma Unger gave birth to Eva Unger who gained fame as Eva Figes, the “acclaimed novelist, memoirist, critic and author of “Patriarchal Attitudes.” (As reported by Leslie Kaufman):

    1932: Birthdate of Yosef “Yossi” Banai, the native of Jerusalem who gained fame an entertainer ahd who was “one of the first members of the IDF’s famous troupe of performers – the Nahal troupe.

    1933: During a debate in the House of Commons, Churchill warned that “there is a danger of the odious conditions now ruling in Germany being extended by conquest to Poland, and another persecution of pogrom of Jews begun in this new area.”

    1933:  Central Committee of German Jews for Relief and Reconstruction was founded.

    1937: Mishmar HaShlosha, a moshav in the lower Galilee was established today on land purchased by the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association.

    1938: At 8:30 this evening, Arturo Toscanini appeared before an audience of 1,700 adoring fans and began conducting a concert by the Palestine Orchestra.  The evening included a performance of Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony which is a double statement against fascism since Mendelssohn has been banned by the Nazis and Toscanini said he was dedicating the performance to the Italy he still loves.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, Conservative MP from Birmingham, had introduced in the House of Commons a bill proposing to extend Palestinian nationality to all persecuted Jews. The vote was 144 "Ayes" and 144 "Nays," and the bill was passed after the Speaker voted in the affirmative. There was little doubt that the bill would never reach the Statute Book and become law.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that a mounting toll of Jewish suicides continued to be reported from Vienna, including a number of prominent Jewish residents.

    1939: In Wilmington, Delaware, George Katz and the former Beatrice Goldstein gave birth to Michael Barry Katz the author of The Underserving Poor who was “an influential historian and social theorist who challenged the prevailing view in the 1980s and ’90s that poverty stemmed from the bad habits of the poor, marshaling the case that its deeper roots lay in the actions of the powerful.” (As reported by Paul Vitello)

    1941:  German troops enter Belgrade Yugoslavia. Another 75,000 more Jews would now fall under the German yoke. Jewish shops that day were ransacked by German troops and German citizens living in the Yugoslav capital city.

    1941:  German troops and German citizens living in Belgrade finished the second day of a two-daylong orgy of violence aimed at the Jewish citizens of the Yugoslav capital city.

    1941:  The Soviet Union and Japan sign a five year non-aggression pact. The Japanese had fought a brief undeclared war with the Russians in the late 1930’s in which they did poorly.  This helped cause Japan to turn its attention to south Asia which ultimately led to Pearl Harbor. This agreement meant that the Soviets did not have to worry about war with Japan so it could focus all of its attention on defeating the Nazis.  At the same time, the treaty made it possible for Japan to attack the United States which brought the might of America to bear against the Nazis.  

    1942: Birthdate of Samuel Morgan “Sam” Slom who has represented the 9th District in the Hawaii Senate since 1996.

    1943:  In the Katyn Forest in the Soviet Union, the Germans discovered more than 4000 corpses of Polish officers, some of them Jews. The officers were killed by the Soviets.

    1944:  Birthdate of Representative Susan Davis, member of Congress from California’s 53rd Congressional District.

    1944: In Hungary, Jews of the annexed territories were being rounded up and concentrated in urban ghettos.

    1945(30th of Nisan, 5705): On Rosh Chodesh Iyar, five thousand Jews being taken from Auschwitz and marched to Belsen were herded into a barn. The Germans set the barn on fire. While some escaped, many thousands more were burned to death. The Germans shot those who tried to escape during the fire.

    1945: Frank Towers was among the members of the U.S. Army’s 30 Infantry Division “who freed prisoners from  Bergen-Belsen” today “who had been packed into a train 40 to 50 cars long bound for Theresienstadt. (As reported by Hillel Kuttler)

    1945:Hans Günther Adler gained his freedom from Buchenwald where he had been imprisoned since October of 1944.

    1946: During an interview today, Ben Hecht, “author and co-chairman of the American League for a Free Palestine” pleaded with Americans to provide financial support that would “enlarge the trickle of Jews from Europe to Palestine to a mass exodus despite” despite British military efforts to keep the Jews out of Eretz Israel.

    1948: At Kibbutz Yagur, Tirza and Yosef Gadish gave birth to Moshe Gadish one of the sailors lost when the Submarine Dakar sank in January, 1968.

    1948: In San Antonio, TX, Gloria and S.S. “Sy” Kalter gave birth to Suzy Gershman, “author of ‘Born to Shop’ Guides.” (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)

    1948: As the Arab Legion trained its guns on the besieged Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, a kindergarten was hit injuring 20 children.

    1948: As night gave way to morning, units of the Palmach took the villages of Al-Mansi and Naghnaghiya

    1948(4th of Nisan, 5708):  Seventy-seven people, mostly doctors and nurses on their way Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, were murdered by Arabs.  This took place after the Partition Vote, but before the British had left.  It was part of an Arab terror campaign to drive the Jews out Israel even before the state had been declared.  British troops stationed close by refuse to "interfere".  During this period of time, the British Army did little to acquit itself admirably from the Jewish point of view.  At the same time, their behavior of antagonism and outright hostility towards the Jews was representative of the policies and practices of the British Government.

    1948 a large group of doctors, nurses, patients, professors and students joined a supply convoy which was travelling to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. The convoy was ambushed and its vehicles blown up as it made its way through the affluent Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah — only a few hundred meters from a British military outpost. With the British looking on, Arab attackers mercilessly slaughtered any personnel attempting to escape the inferno. Incredibly, having resisted Haganah attempts to rescue Jews caught in this death trap, it still took the British over six hours to intervene. Seventyeight people were murdered in the attack, or burned to death after their ambulances and buses were set on fire. Among the victims was the director of the Hadassah organization in Palestine, Dr. Chaim Yassky. (As reported by Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am)

    1948: Operation Har'el launched by Haganah at conclusion of Operation Nachshon, does not succeed in opening the road to Jerusalem. 

    1948: As the Haganah fought to defend Mishmar HaEmek from being conquered by the Arab Liberation Army,Palmach units took the villages of Al-Mansi and Naghnaghiya.

    1949(14th of Nisan, 5709): Fast of the First Born.

    1949(14th of Nisan, 5709): In the evening, first Seder celebrated in the independent state of Israel.

    1950: In Washington Heights, NY, Dorothy and Bert Perlman gave birth to actor Perlman

     1950: Israel informed the United Nations that it would not participate in talks with the Arabs that included return to the partition boundaries of 1947 as a pre-condition to opening negotiations.  The Israelis reminded the UN that the Arabs have consistently rejected all offers to negotiate a peace settlement and that the Jewish state has “authentic information at is to disposal to the effect that a war of revenge against Israel is a plan which exercises certain minds at the very sumit of political power in the Arab world.

    1950: At a luncheon meeting of the Overseas Automotive Club, “Isaac Arditi of Arditi, Ltd., a Tel Aviv importer and exporter, declared that Israel is now the biggest export market for small automotive replacement parts, tools and tires in the Near East.” The number of civilian owned automobiles has more than doubled since the days of the British mandate and in the past year Israel has imported three quarters of million dollars of various automobile supplies from the United States. 

    1951: In Newark, NJ, “Bertram Weinberg, an attorney, and Ruth Weinberg, a high school physical education teacher” gave birth to Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that Jordan had instructed the Barclays and Ottoman banks, as well as individual Arab refugees, to stop their participation in the Israeli scheme for the release of Arab bank accounts frozen in 1948 in Israel.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cabinet had established committees for Internal Affairs and Services, for Legislative Drafting, for a Foreign Affairs and Security and a special Experts Committee to study the question of foreign currency control.

    1953:Chaim Leavanon is elected mayor of Tel Aviv.

    1953:Israel Rokach completes his service as mayor of Tel Aviv.

    1954: Birthdate of Barbara Maureen Roche (née Margolis, “a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament” and served as a cabinet minister in the government of PM Tony Blair.

    1955: In France, release of “Rififi” a French crime film directed by Jules Dassin.

    1956: U.S. release of “Tribute To A Bad Man” produced by Sam Zimbalist, with a script co-authored by Michael Blankfort, featuring Vic Marrow as “Lars Peterson.”

    1957: Sidney Lumet’s “12 Angry Men” which was filmed by cinematographer Boris Kaufman and co-starring Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam and Jack Klugman was released for distribution.

    1957: “Shinbone Alley” a musical orchestrated by Irwin Kostal with a book by Mel Brooks opened on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre.

    1957: In Washington, D.C. George Goodman, an ophthalmologist and Dorothy (née Bock), a social worker gave birth to journalist Amy Goodman.

    1962: Birthdate of Hillel Slovak, guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who passed away in 1988.

    1968(15th of Nisan, 5728): First Day of Pesach celebrated in a united Jerusalem.  The Jewish people are able to observe the holiday of liberation at the Kotel for the first time since 1948.

    1970: Intense Israeli air attacks on targets far west of the Canal Zone come to an end.

    1971: Aline Milton Bernstein Saarinen was named chief of the Paris bureau of the National Broadcasting Company making her the first woman to head an overseas bureau in television.

    1974: Yonatan Netanyahu wrote to his parents:

    "I have no real girl friend at the moment. My last romance is over, and as I don't have time to run around anyway, it looks as if I'll remain on my own for the time being. . . On the whole, I've nothing to complain of. I'm up to my neck in my army work, and during leaves I move about a lot in our lovely land. The whole world marvels at the Inca and Aztec civilizations and such—and they do indeed deserve admiration. Nevertheless almost all of these came into being after the start of the Christian Era (not that this detracts from their value), whereas here it seems that the cradle of world civilization is all around us, everything dating back thousands and thousands of years. A few Saturdays ago I visited the Biblical Gibeon, and saw the remarkable ancient pool there (I'll take you to see it when you come). It's this pool that's mentioned in II Samuel in connection with Abner ben Ner and Joab ben Zeruiah, who 'met together by the pool of Gibeon' and let 'the young men arise and play before them.' And the country is all like that!"

    1975(2nd of Iyar, 5735): American movie actor Larry Parks died of a heart attack at the age of 60.  Parks gained his first taste of fame at the age of 31 when he played the title role in “The Jolson Story” followed by another portrayal of the Jewish entertainer in “Jolson Sings Again.” His career was a casualty of the Red Hunt.  Despite efforts to avoid testifying, he ended appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee where he implicated others.  His testimony did not save his career.  He was Blacklisted which meant the studios would not hire him and pictures he had already made were shelved. 

    1975:  Christian Falange killed 27 Palestinians, beginning the Lebanese civil war.  Stability in Lebanon was based on a fragile power-sharing agreement between Christians and two groups of Moslems.  At one point in the 1950's President Eisenhower had sent Marines to Lebanon to help restore order.  Contrary to popular misconception, Israel was not the cause of the disintegration of Lebanon or the civil war that raged in that country.  Today, part of Lebanon is occupied by Syrian troops and is essentially a province of the Damascus government.  Control of Lebanon was part of the late President Assad's dream of a Greater Syria.  Control of Israel and part of what is now Jordan was also part of that dream.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that radios had again reverberated and TV screens had glittered as the Israel Broadcasting Authority signed an agreement with the Journalists Association, ending an 11-day radio and TV journalists' strike.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that President Carter, while playing host to the Romanian president Nicolae Ceasescu, described Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, giving the town the status which the US Government had refused to acknowledge.

    1980: “One Day at a Time,” starring Bonnie Franklin closes its 5th  season on CBS.

    1983(30th of Nisan, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1983: In a battle of “firsts” Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American mayor defeated Bernard Epton.  If he had been elected, Epton would have been the Windy City’s first Jewish mayor.

    1984: President Ronald Reagan read the report describing the events of the Beirut Bombing attack that killed and wounded over 300 Marines in its entirety as his keynote address to the Rev. Jerry Falwell's "Baptist Fundamentalism '84" convention, in Washington, DC.  The report had been prepared by Rabbi Arnold Resincoff who was in Beirut at the time.

    1984(11th of Nisan, 5744): On the second day of the Egged Bus Hostage Crisis, at around seven in the morning, following lengthy negotiations “a special force of Sayeret Matkal under the command of brigadier-general Yitzhak Mordechai stormed the bus while shooting at the hijackers through the vehicle's windows. During this takeover operation the soldiers were able to eliminate two of the hijackers, capture the two additional hijackers, and release all hostages except for one passenger – a 19-year-old female soldier named Irit Portuguese who was killed during the takeover operation. Seven passengers were wounded during the course of the operation

    1985(22nd of Nisan, 5745) Oscar Nemon the Croatian born English sculptor whose work includes statutes depicting Dwight D. Eisenhower, Earl Alexander of Tunis, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Lord Freyberg, Harold Macmillan, Harry S. Truman and Margaret Thatcher passed away.

    1986: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including a review “Heroes and Hustlers, Hard Hats and Holy Men: Inside the New Israel by Ze'ev Chafets

    1986: Pope John Paul II, “became the first pope known to have made an official papal visit to a synagogue when he visited the Great Synagogue of Rome” today where he was greeted by Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome.

    1987: Ofra Moses was buried today in Petah Tikvah. Mrs. Moses, aged 35, was riding in a car yesterday with her husband and four children when an unidentified assailant threw the firebomb, a bottle filled with gasoline and a burning rag, through the open window of the car. They were driving to the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikvah to buy food for the Passover holiday. None of the family could attend the funeral since her husband was in the hospital being treated for extensive burns, her five year old was hospitalized in critical condition and the remaining three children had not been released due to the extent of their injuries.

    1988: The New York Times reported thatthe Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Yitzhak Navon, and Justice Minister Avraham Sharir are expected to arrive in Poland today for a one-week visit to take part in ceremonies to mark the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

    1993: A revival of George Abbott’s “Three Man On A Horse” featuring Tony Randall, Jack Klugman and Jerry Stiller opened at the Lyceum Theatre.

    1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754): Hamas conducts a suicide bombing claiming that it is in response to Baruch Goldstein’s attack on mosque in Hebron in February during which he killed 29 Muslims who praying there.

    1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754):  In the second such attack in a week, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up today in an assault on an Israeli commuter bus, killing five Israelis and wounding 30 others at the main bus station in Hadera, a working-class town in the country's heartland. Most of the survivors had minor wounds, but they told of a scene of blood and terror, of bodies ripped apart and of people too stunned in the first moments even to scream. Those killed today included Bilha Butin, 49,Rahamim Mazgauker, 34, David Moyal, 26, Daga Perda, 44 and Sgt. Ari Perlmutter, 19

    1994(2nd of Iyar, 5754):  At annual Memorial Day ceremonies in Jerusalem Prime Minister Rabin took note of last week’s bombing in Afula and today’s bombing in Hadera, both the work of Hamas when he said,  "Even today, Israelis have paid with their lives, taken by despicable murderers, enemies of peace. They are trying to torpedo the peace. Beyond the bloodshed, the booby-trapped cars and the bombs, we continue to hold out our hands for peace in order to put an end to the suffering. In spite of the difficulties, we will continue on our way to peace." The somberness of the day gave way to ceremonies tonight marking the 46th anniversary of the country's founding. But the celebrations were muted for many, not only because of the latest attack but also because of warnings from the Hamas group of Islamic militants that more horror was on the way in one of the worst terrorist waves inside Israel in years.

    1997: The New York Times includes a review of “In The Memory of the Forest”, a novel by Charles T. Powers based on the fate of the Jews of Jadowia and ensuing events that take place in Polish village under the Communist regime.

    1997: “An American Daughter,” a play written by Wendy Wasserstein “premiered in a Lincoln Center Theatre Production at the Cort Theatre.

    2001: According to reports published to “an American Jewish Congress delegation” has been “invited to attend this month's inauguration of President Mathieu Kerekou of the West African West Africa.”

    2001:  The Los Angeles Times contained an article entitled "Doubting the Story of the Exodus", by Teresa Watanabe which summarized the current scholarly consensus about whether or not the Exodus happened:

    2002: As Operation Defensive Shield, the Israeli response to terrorists attacks that culminated with a murderous bombing at hotel Seder, was coming to an end, the IDF was reported to have determined the location of 23 bodies in Jenin.

    2003: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including ''The Rebbe's Army'' by Sue Fishkoff

    2005: Following opening day, today, the Boston Red Sox shipped Kevin Youkilis to Pawtucket today.

    2006(15th of Nisan, 5766): Pesach

    2006(15th of Nisan, 5766): Eighty-eight year old Dame Muriel Spark whom “The Times named in is list of ‘the 50 greatest British writers since 1945’” passed away today.

    2007: Those following the Perek Yomi program posted on the Torah Page of the Temple Judah (Cedar Rapids) website www.templejudah.orgor Psalm 150 which means they have completed the entire Book of Psalms.

    2008: The two week long Bat Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism opens in this Israeli metropolis near Tel Aviv.

    2008: In Denver, at The Mizel Center for the Arts, the final production of “In the Belly of the Whale.” In the Belly of the Whale takes the audience on a journey to a rather unusual place, which one might call

    2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History presentsacolloquium entitled “Objects of Affection: The Wedding in Jewish Culture” during which scholars, artists, curators and others  gather to discuss the most elaborately celebrated of Jewish life cycle events. Weddings provide rich opportunities to consider the intersection of media and Jewish religious life.

    2008:The headstone unveiling for Don Novick at Eben Israel Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Jewish author Cynthia Osick’s latest work, A Quartet.

    2008:  The Sunday New York Times featured a review of “The Genius” by Jesse Kellerman, the Orthodox Jewish mystery writer who is the son of two other Orthodox Jewish mystery writers, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman and “Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America”by Steven Waldman.

    2009: At Yale University, Miriam Benson, former counsel to the International Committee of Women of the Wall delivers a talk on the Struggle of Women of the Wall for Freedom of Worship in Israel entitled "Praying in Her Own Voice."

    2009:The American POWs in Germany traveling exhibit "Behind Barbed Wire" comes to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This educational exhibit features the experiences of Midwest prisoners of war (POWs) who were imprisoned in Hitler's Third Reich. Actually within a traveling museum called a "Buseum," this exhibit is housed in a converted school bus. The non-profit educational organization TRACES created this exhibit, which will reach nearly 120 schools, libraries and historical societies during the current tour. A reception in Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library follows this exhibition.

    2009: Newsweek publishes its third annual list of the Fifty Most Influential Rabbis compiled by compiled by Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman & CEO Michael Lynton, News Corporation Executive Vice President Gary Ginsberg and JTN Productions CEO Jay Sanderson and its first annual list of America’s 25 Most Vibrant Congregations compiled by the same businessman. [Editor’s Note: If you are upset that your rabbi did not make the list, relax.  The sages of Pirke Avot and Rashi couldn’t have either when you consider that David Saperstein got “the top spot because of his role as Washington insider and political powerbroker and Friend of Obama.” And Marvin Hier ranked #2 because he “is a major player in national and world politics…”

    2010: Tali Ploskov was elected head of Arad’s municipality today.

    2010: Ghaleb Majadele an Arab Israeli who became “country’s first Muslim cabinet minister” in 2007 “re-entered the Knesset today as a replacement for Yuli Tamir who had resigned her seat.”

    2010: PBS is scheduled to broadcast Independent Lens: “Blessed Is the Match” the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper and resistance fighter and was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis narrated by Joan Allen. Senesh is famous for her such works as “Blessed is the Match” and “Eli, Eli”  (My God, My God).

    2011: The Center for Jewish History and Center for Traditional Music and Dance are scheduled to present a multi-media lecture entitled “Sounds of Immigrant New York: Bukharian Jewish Music in New York City”

    2011: “Max Blumb” portrayed by Adam Pally made his appearance on the television series “Happy Endings.”

    2011:Today Israel reopened a commercial crossing with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that was shut for seven days, as a lull in cross-border fighting continued, an Israeli spokesman said. Israel had closed the Kerem Shalom crossing during a violent flare-up in which Hamas militants fired rocket and mortars at south Israel, shooting an anti-tank rocket at a school bus.

    2011:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research presents: “Ethnography of a Vanishing Courtyard: Moyshe Kulbak's Zelmenyaner”

    2011:Israel’s attorney general announced today his intention to indict the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on corruption charges, but said he would allow Mr. Lieberman a hearing to contest an indictment before issuing a formal charge sheet.

    2011(9thof Nisan, 5771): Evelyn Einstein, the 70 year old granddaughter of Albert Einstein, passed away.

    2011:Bar Ilan University unveils four rare Haggadot”

    2012(21stof Nisan, 5772): Seventh Day of Pesach; final day of observance in Israel and for Reform Jews.

    2012(21stof Nisan, 5772): Thirty-five year old Jeremiah Luber the grandson of Elaine and Harvey Luber, of blessed memory, passed away today.

    2012: “Once More, With Feelings” published today provides a detailed review of Schmidt Steps Back by Louis Begley.

    2013: Congregation Ada Reyim and The Northern Jewish Film Festival are scheduled to present “Kaddish for a Friend.”

    2013: PBS is scheduled to show “Blessed is the Match” which present the brave tale of Hannah Senesch, the Jewish poet who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe where she was murdered by her captors.

    2013: “Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: “All In” and “Koch” are scheduled to be shown at the Hartford Jewish Film Fest.

    2013: This evening The 3rd Annual National Collegiate Jewish A Cappella Championship Competition sponsored by Adas Israel is scheduled to take place at the UDC Theatre of the Arts in Washington, DC

    2013: In Columbus, Ohio, Jacob Daniel Levin is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Tifereth Israel. L’dor V’dor

    2013(3rdof Iyar, 5773): Eighty-two year old Carmen Weinstein, the President of the Jewish Community of Cairo passed away  at her home in Zamalek

    2014: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including You Should Have Known, a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

    2014: “Hellman v McCarthy,” Brian Mori’s dramatic portrayal of clash involving Jewish born playwright Lillian Hellman, the skilled playwright who was an apologist for Communism’s worst abuses is scheduled to close at the June Havoc Theatre.

    2014:Filmmaker Aviva Kempner is scheduled to discuss her most recent work: a documentary on Julius Rosenwald, the Chicago Jewish businessman and philanthropist who joined with African American communities in the South to build schools during the Jim Crow era at the Washington DCJCC.

    2014: WQXR is scheduled to present “A Musical Feast for Passover with Itzhak Perlman.

    2014: In Tel Aviv, the European Weightlifting Championships are scheduled to come to an end.

    2015: Herb Keinon, the diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem, is scheduled to lecture on the meaning of Israel’s elections at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

    2015:  AJHS, Remember the Women Institute is scheduled to host “Women, Theatre and Holcaust.”

    2015: The B’nai B’rith Music Society and the Jewish Historical Society of England are scheduled to host Dr. Malcolm Miller who will speak on “Modern Jewish Composers.

    2015: The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center is scheduled to host a reading of “Our Class” an award winning play that “unveils the truth behind a massacre of Jews in Jedwabne, Poland.”


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    April 14
    69: Vitellius defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum and seized the throne and becomes the third Emperor in what is known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius’ rise to power made the Roman populace very uneasy because it seemed as if the Empire was tottering on the brink of a destructive Civil War.  Following the death of Nero in 68, four men served as Emperor during 69 including. First came Galba, who was followed by Galba who was followed by Vitellius who was followed by Vespasian, the general who had been sent to Judea to put an end to the Jewish Revolt. Vespasian was the first of the Flavian Emperors.  When Vespasian replaced Vitellius it was with the understanding that he and his son Titus would bring stability to the Empire.  Jerusalem was destroyed as a demonstration of the Flavian’s ability to end civil strife in the Empire and bring a return to the Pax Rommana.  [Editor’s Note: According to this, the leaders who had seized control in Jerusalem completely failed to understand the new reality of Roman power, even as they had confused their victory of Roman Cohorts as being the same as victory over a Roman Legion. If they had spent more time considering the realities of the situation and less time killing their Jewish “enemies” they might have been able to negotiate some kind of settlement that would have avoided the destruction of the Temple and the massive deportation of the Jewish population that marked the beginning of the Diaspora.]
    70: The Siege of Jerusalem begins in earnest as Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, surrounds the Jewish capital, with four Roman legions.
    73(3833):  According to the Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots committed mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls were breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women and five children survived by hiding in a cistern, and were later released unharmed by the Romans.  Technically it was not a mass suicide.  According to the story a group of the leaders killed most the population who had agreed to die this way rather than become prisoners of the Romans.  The leaders committed suicide.  This way of dealing with the Romans contrast with Yochanan Ben Zakai who negotiated with the Romans.  He ended up saving many scholars and establishing the Academy at Yavneh.  While the Legend of Masada has taken on a life of its own, the cold reality is that if the rest of the Jewish population had followed their example, the Jews of Israel would have disappeared. 
    193:Septimius Severus began his reign as Roman Emperor. In 194, Severus defeated Pescennnius Niger at the Battle of Issus.  Niger had competed with Severus for throne and made his headquarters in Antioch where “he displayed especial harshness to the Jews.”  When the Jews came to complain about their heavy tax burned Niger replied “You asked me to relieve your lands of their taxes; would that I were able to tax the very air that you breathe!” Severus spent a short period in Palestine (200) following his semi-successful war with the Parthia. He promulgated laws forbidding conversion to either Christianity or Judaism. He allowed Jews to serve in public positions, but they were not to receive any pay for their work.  The people continued to suffer from attacks at the hands of marauding bands that had been active since the war with Niger. Eleazar, the son of Simon ben Jochai and Ishmael, the son of Jose the Prudent were the leading sages of this time.
    1118: As the Crusaders continue their hold over the “Holy Land” Baldwin II is crowned King of Jerusalem, a title that should not be confused with that held by those who ruled from the days of Saul until 586 BCE.
    1205:Bulgarians under Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria, soundly defeated the Crusaders under Baldwin I at the Battle of Adrianople.  The victory cemented the rule of Kaloyan and his family.  This would prove to be beneficial for Jews since Kaloyan’s nephew opened the kingdom to Jewish traders from Italy.  This also would have proved beneficial to Jewish community already living in Bulgaria which probably dated back to the second century of the Common Era
    1341: In the Piedmont Region, Italian-Angevine troops sack the city of Saluzzo.  Although Jews have been living in the Piedmont since the middle ages, the first synagogue was not built until the 16th century.  A synagogue was built in Saluzzo in the early 18th century.  For more see

    1484: The Cortes at Tarazona approved the formation of Inquisitional Tribunals at Valencia and Saragossa. The Inquisitors wasted no time in beginning their investigations for signs of Jewishness in the communities of the New Christians.

    1660: Seven Jews were burned at the stake in Seville.

    1712(7th of Nisan): Rabbi Elijah Shapira of Prague, author of Eilyahu Rabba, passed away

    1759: Composer George Frederic Handel passed away. Among Handel’s Oratorios that used Jewish characters and/or themes were “Esther,” Saul,” “Joseph and His Brethren,” “Athalia,” “Israel In Egypt,” “Samson,” “Joshua,” “Judas Maccabaeus,” “Jephtha” and “Deborah.” For more about Handel and the Jewish people see George Frederic Handel and the Jews: Fact, Fiction and Tolerances of Scholarshipby David Hunter.

    1775: Massachusetts Governor Gage is secretly ordered by the British to enforce the Coercive Acts and suppress "open rebellion" among colonists by using all necessary force. From this simple statement flowed all of the events that would lead to the battles of Lexington & Concord and the American Revolution. During the American Revolution the Jewish population was so small that it could only support five synagogues which were located in, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Savannah. All five followed the Sephardic Minchag. Most of the Jews supported the Revolutionaries. 

    1783: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise” which the church refused to be allowed to be produced during the author’s life time was performed for the first time today in Berlin.

    1799:  Napoleon called for establishing Jerusalem for the Jews.

    1802: Birthdate of Jacob Liebermann, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Saverne who converted to Catholicism and gained fame as Francis Mary Paul Libermann “The Second Founder of the Holy Ghost Fathers.”

    1805(15thof Nisan, 5565): Pesach

    1809:  Three Royal Dukes visit the Great Synagogue.

    1815: Birthdate of Chaim Zebi Lerner, the native of Dubno whose “reputation among Hebrew grammarians was founded on his More ha-Lashon” first published in 1859, thirty years before he passed away in 1889.

    1824: In Bavaria, Fanny and David Isaac Seilgman gave birth to James (Jacob) Seligman

    1837: Birthdate of Jacob Herzl, the native of Zemun who was the father of Theodor Herzl.

    1837(9th of Nisan, 5597): Benjamin Zeeb Wolf ben Isaac ha-Kohen Rapoport passed away today at Papa, Hungary. Born at Nikolsburg, Morvia in 1754, his views set him at odds with Mordecai Benet, the chief rabbi of Moravia and Moses Schreiber, rabbi of Presburg.  Their enmity was such that they denounced him to the civil authorities.  He published several works including Simlat Binyamin u-Bigde Kehunnah a “novellæ on that part of the Shulḥan 'Aruk (Yoreh De'ah) which deals with vows and oaths.”

    1849: Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Louis Kossuth as its leader. Kossuth was sympathetic to Jewish hopes for emancipation and the right to become full-fledged citizens of the newly independent Hungry.  Based on Kossuth’s commitment to these values Jews contributed 80,000 florins to the cause.  Thirty thousand Jews enlisted in Kossuth’s army, making them 11% of the force.  Unfortunately, the Magyar leadership and the rural peasants did not share Kossuth’s values. Anti-Semitic outbreaks in the countryside combined with the efforts of these political leaders blocked attempts to grant the Jews full rights of citizenship.  All this would become a mute point, since Kossuth and the independent Hungarian movement would be defeated by the imperial forces and Kossuth would be forced to flee for his life.  Ironically, the returning Imperial government saved their harshest punishment for the Jews.

    1859:  In Galatz, Rumania, Jews were accused of taking blood from a Christian child (for the baking of matzos) though not of killing him. Fifteen "culprits" were arrested. The next day a mob broke into the synagogue, killing some of the worshippers, destroying some fifty scrolls and demolishing the synagogue. The fifteen were soon released with no convictions, yet the government refused to allow the synagogue to be rebuilt for nearly twenty years.

    1862(14th of Nisan, 5622): Fast of the First Born.

    1862: With over 1500 cows having been sold today the Jewish cattle dealers were active in the market at New York today since they would be absent tomorrow due to the fact tomorrow is “their Passover.”

    1862: Private Louis Leon enlisted in Company B of the 53rd North Carolina (CSA). He was one of five Jews to serve in this infantry company that had been mustered at Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, in the western part of the state of North Carolina.

    1862(14th of Nisan, 5622): In the evening, during the Civil War, Pesach begins with 21 Union soldiers of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Regiment celebrating with a Seder in Fayette, West Virginia.

    1864: Fifty-seven year old Ridley Haim Herschell, the “Anglo-Polish minister who converted from Judaism to evangelical Christianity and was a founder of the British Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Jews and of the Evangelical Alliance.

    1865: Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending at play at Ford Theatre.  In the late1850’s, Lincoln expressed his disgust with the “Known Nothing Party” and its platform of bigotry and ant-Semitism.  Lincoln enjoyed electoral support among Jews.  In 1860, Louis Dembitz of Kentucky was a staunch supporter of Lincoln at the Republican Convention in 1860.  (Dembitz was an ancestor of Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis.) Sigmund Kaufman a German-Jewish newspaper publisher in New York worked furiously and successfully to deliver the German immigrant vote to Lincoln.  The philanthropist Moses Dropsie, founder of Dropsie College was another of Lincoln’s famous Jewish supporters.  Lincoln appointed a Jew to serve as U.S. Counsel in Zurich, the first time a Jew had been appointed to such a high diplomatic post.  But Lincoln’s most famous moment in dealing with the Jews came when he countermanded Grant’s infamous Order #11.  Lincoln was the first president to approve of the appointment of Jewish Chaplains in the U.S. Army. April the 14thwas the fourth day of Pesach.  But Lincoln was killed on Friday night, so a case can be made that he was actually killed on the fifth day of the Jewish holiday of freedom that provided so much of the liberation motif for the work of the Great Emancipator.

    1867: Dr. Simon Abrahams, a well-known New York physician passed away today at the age 57.

    1870:  In London, Nathan Adler and Lionel Cahn established the United Synagogue. It united the Ashkenazi synagogues of London for charities and civic affairs.

    1870: In New York Banker Isaias Wolf Hellman, one of the founders of the University of Southern California married Esther Newgass whose sister, Babette, was married to Mayer Lehman, one of the founders of Lehman Brothers and with whom he had three children - Isaias William Hellman, Jr., Clara, and Florence

    1873: “The Wandering Jew” by Leopold Davis Lewis, who was the author of “The Bells”, opened at the Adelphi Theatre.

    1879: “A Railroad Test Case” published today described litigation filed against Joseph Seligman & Co in which if he plaintiffs are successful could ruin the “eminent bankers from New York City.”

    1880: The New York Times featured a review of a book about Palestine entitled “The Land and the Book: Or Biblical Illustrations drawn from manners and customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land” by William M. Thompson.

    1881(15thof Nisan, 5641): American Jews observe the first and only Pesach of newly inaugurated President James Garfield who would be die from an assassin’s bullet in September of 1881.

    1886: A major story, possibly the first of its kind, was published in today’s Atlanta Constituion, Georgia’s leading daily newspaper.  “The main headline read: ‘Passover Preparations for Celebrating the Festival.’ The writer stated, “The Jewish citizens of Atlanta are getting ready for the Feast of Passover. Unleavened bread will be eaten.The interesting facts about observance will be given plus an explanation of the plagues of Egypt.”

    1880: “Became A Hebrew For Love” published today described the path that led to the marriage of Baltimore merchant Emanuel Strauss and Lillie Williams.  Miss Williams met and fell in love with Mr. Straus while working at Strauss Brothers, a large wholesale dry goods store in Baltimore.  Since young Mr. Strauss came from a prominent Orthodox family she studied for six months and then went through a conversion ceremony that included immersion in the mikvah at which time she changed her name from Lillie to Rachel.  The couple wed secretly and took a trip to Chicago from which they hope to return with the blessings of his family.

    1882(25thof Nisan, 5642): Dr. Ludwig Waldenburg passed away in Berlin.

    1885: In Minsk, Vladimir and Sophie Bernstein gave birth to Rachel Bernstein, who, as Rachel Wishnitzer gained fame as “a pioneer in the fields of Jewish art history and synagogue architecture.” (As reported by Shulamith Z. Berger)

    1891: In delivering his response to the claims of Reverend Howard MacQueary “the alleged heretic who has been expelled from the Protestant Episcopal Church” Rabbi Gustav Gottheil denied claims made about the crucifixion of Jesus by the Jews” stating that “Jesus of Nazareth was never persecuted by the Jews.”

    1892: “Russia’s Warlike Measures” published today described the major moves by Czar to strengthen his military position on the western frontier including  a demand by General Iosif Gurko that he be given permission to expel the Jewish people from the frontier and move them sixty verts (approx. 40 miles) inland. (Having forced the Jews to live in the Pale, now the Russians want to dispose them for military reasons – think of the scene at the end of Fiddler on the Roof for context)

    1892: It was reported today that the Jewish Emigration Committee has decided to only send Russian Jews to the United States and Argentina who are “suitable for colonization” and to limit the immigrants to batches of a hundred.  At this rate, it will take twenty years to settle all of the land bought under Baron Hirsch’s auspices for agricultural settlements.

    1893: As the Reichstag opened today in Berlin, members waited for Hermann Ahlwardt , “the Jew baiter” to produce documents proving German officials of corrupt conduct.

    1893: “A Frenzied Mob In Bohemia” described an outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in Kolin, a town 35 miles from Prague which was nothing more than another blood libel.  The body of a servant girl name Marie Panlik was found floating in the Elbe and the citizenry decided that she had been killed by the Jews as part of their religious customs.  Before the military could quell the riot the homes of the Jews had been sacked, the population “assaulted” and the synagogue had been wrecked.

    1894: “Shaaray Tefila’s New Home” published today described the consecration of the new home for Gates of Prayer located on West 82nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

    1895: Lt. Colonel Jean Sandherr who was head of the Statistical Section, the French army’s counter-espionage unit who “gathered a secret commission of inquiry that hastily decided on Captain Alfred Dreyfus as being the author of handwritten notes found in the wastepaper basked of the German ambassador in Paris, was promoted to Colonel today.

    1895: In Russia, Hannah and Max Jaffe gave birth to Adeline Jaffe who gained fame as Adeline Schulberg the talent and literary agent who married B.P. Schulberg.

    1895: It was reported today that “last winter, Lord Rothschild had assured his co-religionist…that he and his associates would have not have touched the new Russian loan” without a promise from St. Petersburg that “the persecution of their people would be stopped.”  Not only have the Russians not kept their promises, in the last fortnight, they have revived all the edicts against the Jews that had been cancelled meaning that “this is to be year of peculiarly evil memory to Israel in Holy Russia,”

    1895: The highlight of the third and final day marking the celebration of Temple Emanu-El’s fiftieth anniversary was “the festival arranged by the children of the religious school”

    1897: It was reported today that Jewish children from Russia have a disproportionately high rate of Trachoma or “granulated eyelid.”

    1897(12thof Nisan): Seventy-eight year old French rabbi and author Lazar Wogue “best known for his translation of the Pentateuch…and for his history of Bible exegesis”  passed away today in Paris.

    1899: Among the bills passed today by the New York State Assembly was one providing “for the consolidation of the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Free School Association of New York…”

    1900(15thof Nisan, 5660): First Pesach of the 20th century

    1911(16thof Nisan, 5671): Second Day of Pesach

    1911(16thof Nisan, 5671): Sixty-one year old August Iganaz Einstein, the brother of Hermann Einstein and an uncle of Albert Einstein passed away today.

    1912: The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg just at approximately 11:45 pm. Among those who were not aboard was Nathan Strauss, the brother of Isador Strauss, and his wife “In 1912, the brothers and their wives were touring Europe, when Nathan, the more ardent Zionist of the two, impulsively said one day:- “Hey, why don’t we hop over to Palestine?”

    Israel wasn’t the tourist hotspot then that it is today. Its population was ravaged by disease, famine, and poverty; but the two had a strong sense of solidarity with their less fortunate brethren, and they also wanted to see the health and welfare centers they had endowed with their millions.

    However, after a week spent touring, Isidor Straus had enough.- “How many camels, hovels, and yeshivas can you see?  It’s time to go,” Isidor decreed with edgy impatience in his voice.  But Nathan refused to heed his brother’s imperious command.  It wasn’t that he was oblivious to the hardships around him; it was precisely because of them that he wanted to stay. As he absorbed firsthand the vastness of the challenges his fellow Jews were coping with, he felt the burden of responsibility.- “We can’t leave now,” he protested.  “Look how much work has to be done here. We have to help. We have the means to help. We can’t turn our backs on our people.”- “So we’ll send more money,” his brother snapped back. “I just want to get out of here.”

    But Nathan felt that money simply wasn’t enough.  He felt that the Jews who lived under such dire circumstances in Palestine needed the brothers’ very presence among them: their initiative, their leadership, and their ideas. Isidor disagreed. The two argued back and forth, and finally Isidor said,- “If you insist, stay here. Ida and I are going back to America where we belong.” The two separated. Isidor and his wife returned to Europe, while Nathan and his spouse stayed in Palestine, traveling the country and contributing huge sums of money to the establishment of education, health, and social welfare programs to benefit the needy. Nathan also financed the creation of a brand-new city on the shores of the Mediterranean.  And since his name in Hebrew was Natan, and he was the city’s chief donor, the founders named it after him and called it…Natanya. Meanwhile, back in Europe, Isidor Straus was preparing to sail home to America aboard an ocean liner for which he had also made reservations for his brother, Nathan, and his wife. - “You must leave Palestine NOW!”  he cabled his brother in an urgent telegram.   “I have made reservations for you and if you don’t get here soon, you’ll miss the boat.”

    But Nathan delayed. There was so much work to be done that he waited until the last possible moment to make the connection. By the time he reached London, it was April 12 and the liner had already left port in Southampton with Isidor and Ida Straus aboard. Nathan felt disconsolate that he had, as his brother had warned, “missed the boat.” For this was no ordinary expedition, no common, everyday cruise that he had forfeited, but the much ballyhooed maiden voyage of the most famous ship of the century. This was the Titanic. Nathan Straus, grief-stricken and deeply mourning his brother and sister-in-law could not shake off his sense that he had had a rendezvous with history The knowledge that he had avoided death permeated his consciousness for the rest of his life, and until his death in l931, he pursued his philanthropic activities with an intensity that was unrivaled in his time. Today, Natanya is a scenic resort city of 200,000 and headquarters to Israel’s thriving diamond trade – one of the most important industries in the country. And in almost every part of the city, there is some small reminder of Nathan Straus’s largesse, his humanity, and love for his people.”

    1912: Just before midnight, Archibald Gracie IV, who had spent much of the voyage talking about the Civil War with his friend Isdiore Straus was jolted awake as the Titanic struck an iceberg.  Gracie is the source for the story of the last moments of the Mr. and Mrs. Straus who died together on the ship.

    1912: Mary Antin's The Promised Land, an autobiography recounting her life in the Russian Pale of Settlement and as an immigrant in Boston, was reviewed in the New York Times.

    1916: Birthdate of Suleiman (Solomon) Alexandrovich Yudakov , the native of Kokand who became a leading Bukharian composer whose work included “Surudi Milli,” the modern-day national anthem of Tajikistan. After surviving a lifetime under Soviet rule, he passed away in 1990. 

    1917(22ndof Nisan, 5677): Fifty-seven year old L.L. (Leyzer Leyvi) Zamenhoff, the Jewish doctor and linguist who created Esperanto passed away in Warsaw.  His youngest daughter Lidia was murdered by the Nazis at Treblinka in 1942.

    1917: Birthdate of Marvin Miller. According to The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum “Marvin Miller never played the game, but he may have had more influence on baseball than anyone else in this half of the century. Hired by the players in 1966, he brought a wealth of experience garnered in the tough steelworkers' union to bear on baseball labor relations, and his knowledge, organizational ability, and resolve completely overmatched the owners and their representatives, particularly Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Spike Eckert. In a time of baseball prosperity which saw manifold increase in the value of franchises, his tough tactics finally got the players not only a "bigger piece of the pie" but also greater, if grudging, respect for their wishes in regard to trades and other matters. Executive director of Players' Assn. from 1966-82; increased average salary from $19,000 to over $240,000; led 13-day strike in 1972 and 50-day walkout in '81.”

    1919(14th of Nisan, 5679): Fast of the First Born

    1919(14th of Nisan, 5679): Jewish Soldiers serving with His Majesty’s forces hold a Seder in Jerusalem

    1920: Birthdate of Sheldon Douglas Moldoff who “drew covers for the first appearances of the characters Flash and Green Lantern in 1940”, created “some of the earliest renderings of Hawkman: and who “contributed to the first issue of Action Comics, in which Superman was introduced (though he did not draw the Man of Steel).”

    1920(26th of Nisan, 5680): Eighty-five year old Hungarian-Austrian neurologist Mortiz Benedikt passed away today.

    1921: Joseph Barondess went to Ellis Island today where he was united with the infant child of Elka Lerner, a refugee from pogroms in Ukraine who had died last night and who was a cousin of Barondess.

    1921: Pinchus Ruttenberg “announced today that within a few days his plan for electrification of Jaffa, Tel-Aviv and Petach-Tikvah will be completed.”

    1921: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that “Tel-Aviv has been officially recognized as an independent township.”

    1921: The adoption of Hebrew names by Jewish immigrants has resulted in the adoption of government policy “permitting any change of name provided the change is duly advertised in the Official Gazette.

    1924: In The Bronx, Maurice Schulweis and his wife gave birth Harold Maurice Schulweis “an influential rabbi and theologian who focused his sermons, books and social activism on connecting the Jewish community with the wider world — and vice versa —.” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

    1925: In Manhattan Sam and Bea Traub gave birth to Marvin Stuart Traub, “the retailing impresario who transformed Bloomingdale’s from a stodgy Upper East Side family department store into a trendsetting international showcase of style and showmanship in the 1970s and ’80s.” (As reported by Robert D. McFadden)

    1926: “Lady, Be Good” a George and Ira Gershwin “opened in the West End at the Empire Theatre’ today.

    1932: U.S. premiere of “Symphony of Six Million,” “based on the story “Night Bell” by Fannie Hurst, the movie concerns the rise of a Jewish physician from humble roots to the top of his profession and the social costs of losing his connection with his community, his family and with the craft of healing” produced by Pandro S. Berman and David O. Selznick, co-starring Gregory Ratoff and with music by Max Steiner.

    1933:  The Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten (National Political Educational Institutes) were established as training schools for Nazi Party cadets.

    1934: An anti-Semitic organization in Poland, Ob<ó>z Narodowo-Radykalny (National Radical Camp), was established.  Anti-Semitism was part of the Polish social fabric before and after World War II.

    1934: In the second of such outbreaks in Tangier, "Arabs responded to a march by Jewish boy scouts by mounting public demonstrations against Jews."  As Martin Gilbert points out, April the 14th was Shabbat and the demonstrations took place when most Jews were in their homes.

    1936(22nd of Nisan, 5696): 8th day of Pesach

    1938: The Palestine Post reported from London that the Palestine Police Force had been supplemented and would continue to be increased - new men were being trained and sent to Palestine.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that 35 families from Rexigen in south Germany were settled, together with a number of other families in a new village, south of Nahariya. Work went on erecting buildings, the defense stockade and a search-light tower.

    1939(25th of Nisan, 5699): In Tel Aviv, Samuel Solow past away at the age of 90.  Born in Russia, he moved to the United States in 1893 where he became a successful shirt manufacturer.  He retired in 1927 and moved to Palestine.  In 1935 he gave $15,000 for the construction of a students’ club at Hebrew University.

    1940: Birthdate of Yossef Romano ( יוסף רומנו) “a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists during that Olympics. He was the Israeli weight-lifting champion in the light and middle-weight divisions for nine years.”

    1941: Adolf Hitler appeared on the cover of Time magazine

    1941: Time magazine published its cover story – “World War, Strategy: A Dictator’s Hour”

    1941: Time magazine featured a review of “Blood, Sweat and Tears,” a collection of Churchill’s public pronouncements from May 1938 to February 1941.

    1941:The Ustashe, a Croatian far-right organization that pursued Nazi and fascist policies, is put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Powers.  The Ustashe would be responsible for the murder of at least 30,000 Croatian Jews.

    1941:  Hungarian troops occupied portions of northern Yugoslavia. About 500 Jews and Serbs were shot.

    1941: Two hundred Flemish supporters of the Nazis burned two synagogues in the Oosten straat as part of what is called the “Antwerp Pogrom.”  By the end of WW II, the Jewish population had been decreased from a pre-war total of 35,000 to 15,000.  The Jewish community traced its origins back to the 13th century although its modern configuration did not begin until the end of the 18th century with reforms forced by the French Revolution.

    1943:  The slave-labor camp at Siedlce, Poland, was dissolved.

    1943:  A paper, Program for the Rescue of Jews from Nazi Occupied Europe, was submitted to the Bermuda Conference by the Joint Emergency Committee for European Jewish Affairs.

    1943: Gerhart Riegner, World Jewish Congress representative in Geneva, suggested that money be deposited in a Swiss account to be paid after the war to enable the 70,000 Romanian Jews previously offered to the Allies to immigrate to Palestine. This comes to be known as the Riegner Plan.

    1944: Henk Drogt, a 24 year old Dutch policeman who had refused orders to round up the remaining local Jews in Grootegast, Holland and deserted the police force and joined one of the Dutch resistance groups, where he took part in the smuggling of downed Allied pilots to the Belgian border as well as helping to keep Jews out of the hands of the Nazis was executed after having been caputed and sentenced to death by the Germans.

    1944: Henk Drogt, a 24 year old Dutch military policeman, was executed by the Nazis eight months after having been arrested by the Nazis for his refusal to arrest Jews and then joining the Resistance. After the war, Drogt was posthumously decorated by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Dutch Government for his actions in the resistance movement. He has also been honored as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem

    1944: “While an agreement was arrived at between Wesenmayer, German Minister and a representative of Sauckel on the other hand, and Prime Minister Sztojay, on the other, that Hungary would place 300,000 Jewish workers at the disposal of the Reich (who were to be selected by a mixed Hungarian-German committee), total deportation was decided by Endre, Baky, and Eichmann at a meeting in the Ministry of the Interior” today.

    1944:  The first transport of Athenian Jews left Greece for Auschwitz.

    1944(21st of Nisan): Rabbi Benjamin Menasseh Levin, author of “Ozar ha-Geonim” passed away today

    1945: U.S. Soldiers of the 84th Division of the Ninth Army liberated Salzwedel Labor Camp.  Frank J. Cmelik of Iowa was on the liberators.  Lea Fuchs Chayen was one of those who were liberated. 

    1945:  Soldiers of the United States Army reached Gardelegen Camp. They found smoldering logs strewn with the bodies of the recently cremated victims.

    1945: Ellen Geller was among the 60,000 people who were liberated by British troops at Bergen-Belsen.Geller and her family were taken captive by the Nazis in Poland when she was only 4 years old and she spent time in concentration camps until the age of 8. Most of her time was spent in Bergen-Belsen.”

    1945: British units reach the Elbe, joining American forces who had reached the river two days earlier where they would not wait to be joined by Soviet Forces thus making the encirclement and defeat of the remaining German forces a realitiy.

    1946: The New York Times reported that Bronislaw Huberman the Polish born violinist who is President and founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra has begun a tenth month concert tour that will take him to Europe and Egypt before he returns to Palestine in December.

    1947: Two thousand five hundred fifty-two illegal immigrants reached Haifa on board the Guardian.  Three of them had been killed while unsuccessfully resisting a Royal Navy boarding party which was in the process of transporting them to Cyprus.

    1948: The British withdrew from Safed.  Before leaving, they gave the Arabs the city's police station, the fortress like police station on Mount Canaan and the ancient citadel in the heart of the town.

    1948: Surrounded by armed Arabs, the Jews of Safed awaited the final onslaught and their death when a Palmach platoon that was the spearhead of Operation Yiftach entered the city after marching through the mountains.  They brought food, weapons and hope.

    1949(15th of Nisan, 5709): First Day of Pesach in the newly created state of Israel.

    1949(15th of Nisan, 5709): In one of the great ironies of history the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg's last judgment takes place on the first day of Pesach.  The Nuremberg Tribunal was an attempt to punish those responsible for Crimes Against Humanity (among other charges) in a judicial setting.  The alternatives were to just line people up against the wall and shoot them or let them go.  For all of its imperfections, the Tribunal was an expression of faith in the rule of law and it did punish some of the leading survivors of the Third Reich. For a full account of the work of the Tribunal on line, try this website

    1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the tenants of the houses administered by the Custodian for Abandoned Property had from then on been allowed to sell, or transfer their flats or rooms for an agreed sum. However one-third of the price would have to be paid to the custodian.

    1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission met for the first time in two years.

    1953: Israelis intercepted a boatload of terrorists who were trying, for the first time, to infiltrate the state from the sea.

    1953:  The Jerusalem Post reported that in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, hundreds of singing and dancing men celebrated the conclusion of the fourth complete reading of Gemara.

    1954: Birthdate of Shari Ellin Redstone who would serve as president of National Amusements, vice-chairman of CBS Corporation and Viacom, and chairman of Midway Games. It probably did not hurt her career that she is the daughter of Sumner Redstone and the granddaughter of Michael Redston.

    1960: Birthdate of actor Brad Garrett, Robert on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

    1961: Birthdate of cartoonist David Clowes creator of Eightball and Ghost World.

    1962: On Shabbat Hagadol Rabbi Maurice J. Bloom delivered a sermon at Termont Temple in the Bronx condemning the “Soviet Union’s restrictions on Matzah baking.”

    1962: In a sermon delivered at Congregation and Talmud Torah Tifereth Israel, Rabbi Kurt Klappholz decried the hypocrisy being shown during the current teachers strike while ‘we stoutly maintain that the teaching profession must be on of dignity we do not provide for a decent livelihood for those who are entrusted with the molding of the characters of our children.”

    1962: Rabbi Julius Mark of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Joseph Zeitlin of Whitestone Hebrew Center devoted their sermons to condemnations of the U.N.’s recent resolution that censured Israel for its attacks on its neighbors with censuring the Syrians for the provocations and for the world organizations failure to deal with the root cause of the problems in the Middle East.

    1963: Tito, the leader Yugoslavia, rebuffed Ben Gurion’s request for help in improving relations with Egypt.  The Yugoslav leader appeared to be pandering to leaders of the so-called “Third World” by saying that he would concentrate his efforts at the United Nations instead of on bi-lateral talks. 

    1964:  Sandy Koufax threw his 9th complete game without allowing a walk.

    1969: Barbra Streisand shared the Best Actress Oscar with Katherine Hepburn

    1969: In New Haven, CT Linda Susan (née Dronsick) who is Jewish and Professor Harry Jack Ausumus gave birth to Bradley David "Brad" Ausmus who followed his career as a major league baseball player by becoming a manager with the Detroit Tigers.

    1973: Birthdate of actor Adrien Brody star of the film, “The Pianist.”

    1974: U.S. premiere of “Thursday’s Game,” written by James L. Brooks, with Gene Wilder, Valier Harper, Rob Reiner and Norman Fell.

    1977: The President Jimmy Carter nominated Manuel D. Plotkin, of Chicago, Ill., to be Director of the Census. Plotkin is associate director of corporate planning and research for Sears, Roebuck and Co., in Chicago. (Plotkin was Jewish; Jimmy was not)

    1977: NBC broadcasts “Say It Ain’t So, Chief,” the third episode in the crime drama series “Lanigan’s Rabbi” co-starring Bruce Solomon as David Small, the crime-busting rabbi,

    1978:  The Jerusalem Post reported that the prime minister, Menachem Begin, and his foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, had softened their policy regarding the applicability of the UN Security Council's Resolution 242 on the West Bank - hitherto the most serious area of disagreement with the US. This move was expected to bring about a renewal of the American mediation efforts in the stalled Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations.

    1979: CBS broadcast the final episode of the 4th season of “One Day At A Time” the sitcom developed by Norman Lear starring Bonnie Franklin.

    1980:  Dustin Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in 'Kramer vs. Kramer.”

    1980(28thof Nisan, 5740): Jewish comedian Shimon Dzigan who along with Israel Shumacher formed “the most famous Yiddish comic duo of ‘Dzigan and Schumacher’” passed away today.

    1980:  The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Norman Mailer for The Executioner's Song.

    1983(1st of Iyar, 5743): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1984: The IDF began blowing up the houses of the terrorists who had seized Bus 300

    1988:  The New York Times reported that “Plans to organize independent events to mark the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising have provoked bitter Government charges that the political opposition is exploiting the ghetto memory for ''petty, shallow and ad hoc political games.''

    1990: Emma Freud appeared on the game show “Just A Minute” “playing against her father Sir Clement Freud who was a regular on the show.

    1990: Detroit Tigers pitcher Steve Wapnick appeared in his first major league baseball game.

    1992: A revival of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls” opened at the Martin Beck Theatre.
    1994: Avi Perlmuter, a nineteen year old soldier killed in the latest round of terror attacks, who lived in the Negev town of Ir Ovot was buried today.

    1994: Prime Minister Rabin accused Jordan today of helping the Islamic militant group whose suicide bombers have killed 12 Israelis in two weeks.

    2000: U.S. release of “Keeping the Faith” with a script by Stuart Blumberg, with Rena Sofer as Rachel Rose, Lisa Edelstein as Ali Decker, Bodhi Elfman as Howard the Casanova, Susie Essman as Ellen Friedman,Ben Stiller as Rabbi Jacob "Jake" Schram,Miloš Forman as Father Havel and Eli Wallach as Rabbi Ben Lewis and with music by Elmer Bernstein.

    2000: Today, The Times of London wrote about Deborah Lipstadt’s victory over David Irving saying “History has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory.”

    2000: The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California reports on the reissuance of a “D.P. camp Haggadah.” "A Survivors' Haggadah" which was written by a Holocaust survivor in Germany in 1945 and 1946 was published again this year..

    2000(9th of Nisan, 5760):  Phil Katz passed away. He was the creator of "PKZIP" and the ZIP archive format, which replaced ARC as the standard mechanism for distributing files on IBM PC compatible systems.

    2002(2ndof Iyar, 5762): Eighty-one year old British jurist and author Sir Michael Robert Emanuel Kerr passed away today.

    2002: In Skokie, Illinois, Gary Elkins collected $50,000 for the IDF today at a rally for Russian Jews.

    2002: In the aftermath of Operation Defensive Shield, IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz told the media that “the army intended to bury the bodies” of the terrorists killed during the Battle of Jenin “in a special cemetery.”

    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 “Collected Poems In English” by Joseph Brodsky; edited by Ann Kjellberg, a large volume containing all the verse that appeared in English during Brodsky's lifetime.

    2003: U.S. troops captured Abul Abbas in Baghdad.  Abbas was the leader of the Palestinian terrorists who high jacked the Achille Laura in 1985.  They threw Leon Klinghoffera wheel-chair bound Jewish passenger overboard.  According to some accounts, Abbas was "allowed to escape" by Italian authorities. 

    2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formally announced his plan for withdrawing from Gaza today in a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, stating that "there exists no Palestinian partner with whom to advance peacefully toward a settlement"

    2006: Following Ariel Sharon’s second stroke, Ehud Olmert officially became acting Prime Minister.

    2007:Calling the decision by the Vatican ambassador to Israel to boycott the Holocaust memorial services at Yad Vashem "inappropriate and insulting," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today repeated its longstanding call for the Vatican to open its wartime archives so that the facts concerning the wartime actions of Pope Pius XII may finally be brought to light. Archbishop Antonio Franco, the Vatican's ambassador to Israel, has made the unprecedented announcement that he will boycott the April 16 memorial events at Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the Holocaust, in protest of a photo caption in an exhibit that seemingly charges Pope Pius XII with failing to save Jews during the Holocaust.

    2008: In Seattle, Washington,Naveed Haq is scheduled to go on trial for a shooting rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Haq, 32, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder for storming into the Jewish charity in July 2006, killing one woman and injuring five others. He railed against the Iraq war and Israel during the rampage.

    2008: State Department veteran Aaron David Miller, discusses his new book, The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace, at the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.

    2008: Timemagazine features a profile of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell “Hillary’s Point Man” during the state Democratic Primary.  The article mentions Rendell’s New York origins but says nothing about his Jewish heritage.

    2009: Publication date for Rhyming Life and Death a new book written by Amos Oz and translated by Nicholas de Lange.
    2010: PBS is scheduled to show “Worse Than War” which is based on Daniel Goldhagen’s book of the same title. The program offers an exploration of the nature of genocide, ethnic cleansing and large-scale mass murder in our time during which Goldhagen speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, religious leaders, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers and journalists. 

    2010: The new on-line Chabad Talmud Course for Beginners is scheduled to begin today.

    2011: The Center for Jewish History, The Jewish Week and Nextbook are scheduled to present “Revisiting Eichmann: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Trial That Shook the World.”
    2011: Elie Wiesel is scheduled to give a lecture entitled “The Rebbe of Ger: A Tragedy in Hasidism” which will include information of “Rabbi Yitzhak Meir, founder of the rebbes who lead the movement and the profound effects of his life and work.”  
    2011: Teenage heartthrob Justin Beiber has invited children from Sderot to attend his concert that is scheduled to take place today in Tel Aviv.
    2011: The second annual Festigalgal happening, a colorful joyous occasion which offers funky entertainment, informative workshops, outdoor education and an opportunity to boost Jerusalemites’ awareness of the existence of, and need for, cycling in the capital is scheduled to take place today. This afternoon, from 4 p.m., part of the Jerusalem city center is scheduled to “be temporally taken over by a different, even more environmentally friendly and far more colorful, mode of transport when around 150 cyclists take off from Safra Square and peddle their way through town, via the shuk, to the Nature Museum in the German Colony.”
    2011:IDF pensioners demonstrated outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv today, complaining that their pensions were being eaten up by inflation.
    2011: Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of the Reform Movement in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post today that the nighttime attack on The Kehilat Ra’anan synagogue in Ra’anana by vandals was the third such attack of its kind. Unknown persons shattered six windows – covering two sides of the synagogue – with stones, and spray-painted a black Star of David below the words “It has begun” on one of the exterior walls.
    2011:President Shimon Peres paid a surprise visit to Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where he met with children who were on school bus before it was hit by an anti-tank missile last week
    2012(22ndof Nisan, 5772): 8th day of Pesach with services to include Hallel, Yizkor and Shir HaShrim
    2012: “Free Men,” a film based on actual events that took place during the Nazi occupation of Paris, is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: “Iron Man 3” based on a character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau was shown publicly for the first time in Paris at the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival

    2013: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich and Mary Coin by Marisa Silver.

    2013: Historian Daniel Goldhagen is scheduled premieres his book and documentary feature "Worse Than War" on PBS.

    2013: The week-long “National Days of Remembrance” sponsored by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to end today.

    2013: The Maccabeats are scheduled to perform at the Jewish Community Center of Paramus (NJ) this afternoon.

    2013: The State of Israel Memorial Day Service marking Yom Hazikaron, sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel in New York is scheduled to take place at the 92nd Street Y.

    2013: PBS is scheduled to broadcast “Orchestra of Exiles” that describes the creation of whatis now the Israel Philharmonic in the darks days just before WW II.

    2013: In the evening, Israel is scheduled to begin the observance of Memorial Day for servicemen and women and terror victims.

    2013: Israel’s population at its 65th Independence Day stands at 8,018,000 people, three-fourths of whom are Jewish, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics today.

    2014(14 of Nisan): Fast of the first born- Erev Pesach

    2014: “Nearly 100 members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, attended a first-of-its-kind traditional Passover Seder” tonight.

    2014: The International Jewish Vegetarian Society is scheduled to host a Vegan and Kosher Seder at 8 Balfour Street in Jerusalem

    2014: The Tel Aviv Municipality is scheduled to host a Seder in the community center in Beit Dani, in Hatikva Quarter

    2014: White City Shabbat in partnership with Hineni is scheduled to host “a massive international community Seder in Tel Aviv.”

    2015: Zohar Weiman-Kelman is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Libe and Linguistics: Towards an Archive of Yiddish Sexuality” at the Center for Jewish History.

    2015: Maggie Anton is scheduled to discuss her latest work Enchantress at the Skirball Center

    2015: “Zero Motivation” and “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: The Jewish Historical Society of England is scheduled to sponsor Paul Anticoni’s lecture “My Jewish Humanitarian Journey around the World.”





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    April 15

    1191: Coronation of Henry VI as Holy Roman Emperor during whose reign anti-Semitic riots took place stretching from the districts along the Rhine all the way to Vienna.  Ephraim Ben Jacob of Bonn was one of the leading Talmudist during this period.

    1250:  Pope Innocent III refused the Jews of Cordova permission to build a synagogue.

    1402:  Pope Boniface IX granted "liberal privileges" to the Jews of Rome.

    1452:  Birthdate of Leonardo Di Vinci.  Di Vinci painted what, according to some, was the most famous Seder ever held - The Last Supper.

    1642: Birthdate Suleiman II, Ottoman Sultan.  His short reign would prove to be uneventful for his Jewish subjects, which included two doctors, one named Levi and the other named Hayati Zade, who served as court physicians.

    1677: Today The City Council of Lubeck decreed that no Jew should be permitted to stay in the city overnight without the express permission of the senate, which was rarely given.

    1698(4thof Iyar, 5458): Jacob ben Aaron Sasportas, the native Oran, who was the father of Isaac ben Jacob Sasportas and who was rabbi of the Portuguese community until his death at Amsterdam today.

    1714: Esther Liebmann (née Schulhoff)a German Jewish financier who served as Court Jew to King Friedrich I of Prussia, inheriting the title and also the Münzregal from her second husband, Jost Liebmann.”

    1715: The Yamasee War, a two year conflict in which Native Americans tried to drive the colonial settlers out of South Carolina, began today. At the outbreak of the war Jews had already begun settling in the colony. The original constitution of South Carolina which had been written by John Locke in 1669 granted liberty to “Jews, Heathens and Dissenters.”  Simon Valentine is the first Jewish settler whose presence can be officially confirmed.  A resident of Charleston, he served as an interpreter for Governor Archdale.  There must have been more Jews living there since “as early as 1703 protest was raised against "Jew strangers" voting in the election of members to the Common House of Assembly.”

    1788(8th of Nisan, 5548): Joseph Levy, the first Jew to be buried in Australia, passed away. Apparently his burial was not marked by any special Jewish ceremony. 

    1802: William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. According to N.I. Matar, “Wordsworth” described the Wandering Jew without considering  that Jews had been established in England for decades, and that Jews were ‘eagerly’ trying to change their ‘homeless’ image.”

    1802: In New York, Solomon Levy and Rebecca Eve (Hendricks) Levy gave birth to Juliet Levy who became Juliet Moss when she married Joseph Lyons Moss.

    1806(27th of Nisan): Rabbi Isaac Ashkenazi of Lemberg, author of “Taharot ha-Kodesh” passed away.

    1808(18thof Nisan 5568):  Benjamin Goldsmid, a leading English financer, passed away.  Born in Holland in 1755, he was the eldest son of Aaron Goldsmid and the brother of Abraham Goldsmid who was also his business partner.  Goldsmid married Jessie Salmons making him the son-in-law of Israel Levin Salomons which benefited him financially and socially.  He was a friend of Pitt the Younger and the founder of the Naval Asylum.

    1813(15thof Nisan, 5573): As the second year of the War of 1812 grinds on, Jews in the United States and the United Kingdom are united in their observance of Pesach.

    1815: Birthdate of Lazar Zweifel the native of Moghilef who defended the Chasidim saying that “persecutions which they were forced to endure at the hands of their opponents were as unjust as the oppression of Jews by Christians.”

    1819(20thof Nisan, 5579): Sixth day of Pesach

    1819(20thof Nisan, 5579): David Maurtiz, the nephew of Rabbi Samuel Marx whose other more famous nephew was Karl Marx, passed away today.

    1819: Birthdate of Ludwig Lewysohn, the native of Posen who served as a rabbi in Frankfort-on-Order, Worms and Stockholm.

    1832(15thof Nisan, 5592): As Andrew Jackson seeks a second term as President, Jews observe Pesach.

    1833: Birthdate of Viennese born French astronomer Maurice Loewy.

    1834: Birthdate of Joseph Kohen Moline, the Brussels born poet.

    1837: Birthdate of Horace Porter, the American Civil War hero who served as U.S. Ambassador to France during the Dreyfus Affair, which Poerwe was falsely accused of attributing to an English plot to weaken the French.

    1840:  In London, a split took place between the liberal Reform Jews and the Orthodox

    1840: The West London Synagogue of British Jews, a Reform Jewish congregation of London was established today

    1841: Karl Marx received his Doctorate from the University of Jena

    1843: Birthdate of American author Henry James. For an interesting insight into this great American authors view of the Jewish people see The Jewish East Side by Milton Hindus, specifically the entry entitled “Henry James – The American Scene” pages 65-78

    1847: In Warsaw, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter and his wife gave birth to Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, the author of Sfas Emes and the Rebbe of the Gerrer Hasidim.

    1848(12thof Nisan, 5608): Shabbat HaGadol

    1848:  Now that the church on Chrysitie Street between Walker and Hester streets has been successfully re-modeled to meet the needs of its new Jewish owner the building of what would become Congregation Temple Emanu-El was dedicated today.

    1849: In Trieste, Elisa Morpurgo and Giuseppe/Joseph Baron von Morpurgo gave birth to Irène Renée Cahen d'Anvers (de Morpurgo)

    1853: In New York, Henry and Sophie Waldstein gave birth to Louis Waldstein the New York trained physician who moved to London in 1898 to continue his practice and who wrote “The Sub-Conscious Self in its Relation to Education and Health.

    1858: Birthdate of Emile Durkheim French the sociologist who is regarded as one of the most important founders of the modern field of sociology. One of his most significant contributions is his development of the term and concept of "social facts," what Durkheim believed should be the primary focus of the scientific study of society. Durkheim grew up in a Jewish family and it was assumed by his relatives that he would eventually become a rabbi. However, he displayed impressive intellectual capabilities and earned a position at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the most prestigious teachers' college in France. Around this time he also generally lost his religious faith, although he retained a strong desire for moral reform and moral studies. Instead of religion, he hoped that science - and in particular the scientific study of society - would help bring about moral reformation. As a Jew, even if he wasn't very religious, he experienced the bitter anti-Semitism of France of that era. The end of the century saw the advent of the Dreyfuss Affair, when a Jewish army officer was falsely accused and convicted of espionage. This led to an increase in anti-Semitism, especially towards those like Durkheim who worked to have Dreyfuss exonerated. For example, Durkheim's record indicates that he almost certainly should have been elected to the Institut de France, but he was passed over entirely. During World War I he was also accused of disloyalty and preference for the German enemies, something perhaps motivated not only by his Jewish heritage but also his German name and his origins in the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region. Durkheim died in 1917 a year after his son died during World War I, fighting for the French.

    1858: In New York City, Moses Richman and Rosa Mellis gave birth to Isabel R. Wallach, the wife of Joseph G. Wallach who was vice president for the New York State Council of Jewish Women and President of the Shaaray Tefila Sisterhood.

    1861 “From the West Indies” published today provides a potpourri of information about Santa Domingo and Cuba including the fact that there is one Jew among the 15 or 20 slave-traders working the markets in Havana.

    1861: Following the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln issues a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months.  This would turn out to a mere down payment in terms of the number of soldiers it would take to save the Union.  Among them would be thousands of Jews including Frederick Knefler, an immigrant from Hungary who would rise to the rank of Major General under William Tecumseh Sherman, Brigadier General Blumenberg who had previously escaped the wrath of Secessionist mob in Baltimore, and General Max Einstein whose troops covered the retreat of the Union Army following the First Battle of Bull Run.

    1861: As President Lincoln issues a call for volunteers to fight the Confederates, Major Alfred Mordecai makes a last ditch effort to stay in the U.S. Army without having to fight against his southern kinsman. He sends a letter to his superiors asking that he be relieved of duty at the Watervliet Arsenal so he would not be making munitions to fire against family and friends from North Carolina and Virginal.  He requested that he be transferred to California or some other such distant posting where he felt he could stay in the Army, serve his country and still avoid fighting his fellow Southerners.

    1862(15th of Nisan, 5622): First Day of Pesach

    1862(15th of Nisan, 5622): The first Jewish services were held in Dubuque, Iowa during Pesach

    1862: Business was off today at the New York Cattle Market because “the Jewish dealers” were absent today “being their Passover.”

    1865(19th of Nisan, 5625): Fifth Day of Pesach

    1865: President Abraham Lincoln dies after having been shot the night before at Ford’s Theatre. For more see Lincoln and the Jews by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell  OR

    1867: “New York Jewish merchants met at Congregation Shearith Israel to consider action against insurance companies which refused to insure Jewish business establishments.” (As reported by Abraham P. Bloch).

    1870(14th of Nisan, 5630): Erev of Pesach

    1871: An article published today provided “further details of religious disturbances at Odessa” (Russia) during which “the Hebrews’ gave been the victims “religious intolerance.”  According to the article, The Standard, a paper published in London “has a dispatch from Vienna stating that a religious riot has occurred at Odessa.  The Jews were despoiled” and have suffered “great devastation.”  According to the dispatch, the “authorities were powerless” to quell the riot.

    1872: On the eve of Greek Easter Sunday, Greeks attacked Jews in a bloody riot. "The Christians were set loose, and beat, massacred, and demolished the houses of Jews…" It was reported one Jews was stabbed to death, and others were injured. It was only after Turkish soldiers guarded the Jews that the violence ended.

    1874: Birthdate of Johannes Stark.  A Nobel Prize winning physicist, he is known for the Stark Effect. Stark attacked Einstein and other Jewish scientists because they were Jewish.  He also disparaged their scientific accomplishments.  He joined the Nazi party.  After the war, he was sentenced to four years in prison by a De-Nazifcation Court.  He died in 1957.  Just because you win the Nobel Prize does not mean you are "smart."

    1875: The "Jewish Exponent" was first issued for the first time. R. Charles Hoffman, Ephraim Lederer, and Felix Gerson served as the editors.
    1878: Birthdate of Dr. Felix Kornfeld, the native of Bohemia who was the husband of Paul Mandl

    1880:  In New York, the District Attorney delivered a lecture entitled “Some Phases of Crime” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Associations.

    1880: In Heldesheim, Rabbi Jakob Guttmann and his wife gave birth to Rabbi Julius Guttman who became Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University in 1934.

    1881: During the four day observance of Russian Orthodox Easter, a Pogrom begins in Elizavetgrad, Russia.

    1883: Pauline Moses and David Holtz were married today in New York City.

    1886: A group of Sephardic Jews formed a corporation for a congregation named in honor of Moses Montefiore.

    1886(10th of Nisan, 5646): Eighty-five year old German jurist Moritz Warburg the native of Altona who was elected to the Schleswig -Holstein constituent assembly in 1848 passed away today.

    1887:Herzl is installed as an editor of the "Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung" but holds the post only a short time.

    1887: The Jewish Exponent, a weekly publication servicing the Philadelphia Jewish community was published for the first time today.

    1889(14th of Nisan, 5649): Ta'anit Bechorot

    1890: Representatives of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association and the Emma Lazarus Club were among those attending the opening session of the convention of the Association of Working Girls’ Societies being held at the Metropolitan Opera House.

    1892: Birthdate of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch devotional author whose family was arrested by the Gestapo during WWII for hiding Jewish refugees in their home. Corrie's experience with the Nazis was depicted in the 1971 film, "The Hiding Place."1892 Birth of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch devotional author whose family was arrested by the Gestapo during WWII for hiding Jewish refugees in their home (Corrie's experience with the Nazis was depicted in the 1971 film, "The Hiding Place").

    1892(18thof Nisan, 5652): Fourth day of Pesach

    1892(18thof Nisan, 5652): Sixty-six year old New York City builder Marc Eidlitz, the brother of architect Leopold Eidlitz and the father of Cyrus. L.W Eidlitz whose construction projects included the Temple Emanu-El sanctuary located at 5thAvenue and 43rd Street, passed away today.

    1893: “Ahlwardt’s Promise Not Kept” published today described the rejection by the President of the Reichstag of Hermann Ahlwardt’s written statement that purported to prove that high government officials were guilty of “corrupt conduct.” Ahlwardt is a notorious anti-Semite who contends that the Jews are behind plots to bribe German leaders.

    1894: Jacob Green, the four year old son of a Jewish peddler, accidently fell from the fifth floor fire escape at a 19 Allen Street on the lower east side.

    1895: “The certificate of incorporation of the Hebrew Infant Asylum of the City of New York was filed” today in the office of the country clerk.

    1896: Birthdate of Pesach Burstein, the Polish born American entertainer who among other things was a director in the Yiddish theatre.  (At least two sites attribute his first name to the fact that he was born on Pesach but he the 15th of April corresponds to the 2nd of Iyar 5656.  To have been born on Pesach, 1896, his birthdate would have been March 29)

    1897:  The date on which Oscar Altman and Rosie Wachtel were to be married in New York City.

    1898(23rdof Nisan, 5658): Fifty-five year old Italian lawyer and Senator Cesare Parenzo passed away today.

    1899: Birthdate of Karl Bernhardt, the native of Worms who gained fame as director Kurt Bernhardt who fled Germany in 1933 and pursued his career in France and Great Britain before settling the United States where his last picture was “Kisses for My President” – a film that Hilary Clinton should appreciate since it is comedic look at the first female President.

    1900: The head of nineteen year old Ernst winter was recovered from a pool in Konitz, West Prussia. Other parts of his dismembered body had been recovered at various times since his disappearance in early March. Local anti-Semites began to accuse the Jews in what would become a 20th century blood libel.

    1902: In New York City, at a meeting of the Board of Alderman, Alderman Devlin introduced a resolution asking the Mayor to instruct Commissioner Partridge not to interfere with Jewish peddlers selling their wares on the east side next Sunday because that day was the day before Passover.  The resolution was denounced by Aldermen Walkley and Oatman because it was asking the mayor to sanction a violation of the city’s “blue laws. The Council adopted the resolution.

    1903(18th of Nisan, 5663):Gustav Gottheil, one of the leading Reform Rabbis of his time passed away. Born in Prussia, in 1827, he was trained in Berlin before holding pulpits in Great Britain and the United States where he was the Senior Rabbi at New York’s Temple Emanu-El.  While this brief entry cannot do justice to his many accomplishments it must be noted that he was unique among Reform rabbis for his early support of the Zionist movement.  In fact, he was a delegate to the First Zionist Congress.

    1903: Herzl arrives in Paris and confers with Lord Rothschild, Zadoc Kahn and other members of the ICA on ways to further the project of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine with the British government.

    1905:Thousands of dollars in money and great quantities of matzoth were distributed tonight among the poor Jews of the lower east side, as is the custom every year before the feast of the Passover, which opens on Wednesday and will be observed by all Jews throughout the world for the next eight days.

    1905: Birthdate of Herman Steiner the native of Slovakia who became “a United States chess player, organizer, and columnist.

    1907:  Birthdate of chess master Gerald Abrahams. Born in Liverpool, Abrahams wrote “Teach Yourself Chess.”

    1907:Dr. Stephen Samuel Wise “so inspired those who heard his message that today more than a hundred of his followers met at the Hotel Savoy to establish a free synagogue. Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who would become the congregation’s first president, declared that day, "The Free Synagogue is to be free and democratic in its organization; it is to be pewless and dueless." A religious school opened that October, and six months later had an enrollment of 150 students. Dr. Wise’s Sunday morning services, held at the Universalist Church of Eternal Hope on West 81st Street, drew more than 1,000 people.

    1907: Birthdate of Esther Gottlieb the wife of abstract expressionist painter Adolph Gottlieb and the founder and president of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

    1908: In Bavaria, Max Neuberger and his wife Bertha Hiller gave birth to Albert Neuberger, the British Professor of Chemical Pathology the University of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.

    1908 (14th of Nisan, 5668): A Seder is scheduled to be held this evening on Ellis Island for Jews who have not been able to enter the United States.  The Acting Commissioner of Immigration has given permission for the service to be held in the dining room of the facility’s main building. 

    1912: H.M.S. Titanic sank.  According to some, there were enough Jews on board that kosher meals were served.  The Jewish passengers represented a cross section of Jewish society.  Two unusual women on board were Edith Louise Rosenbaum and Mrs. Henry B. Harris.  Mrs. Rosenbaum was a writer for Women’s Wear Daily. During World War I, she would become the first female war correspondent.  Mrs. Harris went on to become a famous New York theatrical producer.  Three of the most famous passengers were Benjamin Guggenheim and Isidor and Ida Straus.  Guggenheim was a ne’er do-well from a famous New York family.  His most famous accomplishment was to give the world his daughter Peggy Guggenheim the famous patron of the arts.  Isidor Straus was part of a fabled New York family that had ownership interests in Macy’s and Abraham & Straus.  He was mourned as one of New York’s greatest philanthropists.

    1912(28thof Nisan, 5672): Forty-six year old Benjamin Guggenheim died aboard the Titanic today.

    1912: Albert Einstein refers to time as “the fourth dimension.”

    1916: Birthdate of Helene Hanff, the Philadelphia born screenwriter and author who most famous work was 84, Charing Cross Road.

    1916: In New York City Hiram Bloomingdale and Rosalind Schiffer gave birth to Alfred S. Bloomingdale, the grandson of Lyman Bloomingdale, who along with his brother Joseph founded Bloomingdale’s Department Store

    1919(15thof Nisan, 5679): First observance of Pesach following WW I

    1919: At Le Mans, France, Rabbi Lee J. Levinger held a Seder on the second night of Passover for members of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) who had been issued furloughs so they could observe the holiday

    1920: Birthdate of Hank Kaplan, noted boxing historian and writer.

    1920: In Stuttgart, Marianne (von Graevenitz) von Weizsäcker and Ernst von Weizsäcker gave birth to Richard von Weizsäcker the President of West Germany.

    1920: In what would become the “first act” of the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, two security guards are murdered during a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Among those who would rally to Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti would be convicted of and executed for the crime, amid much controversy. Among their defenders were several prominent Jews including Professor (and later Supreme Court Justice) Felix Frankfurter, Judge Julian Mack and Harold Laski.

    1922: Birthdate of Michael Ansara who played “Haman” in the television miniseries entitled “The Greatest Heroes of the Bible.”

    1922(17thof Nisan, 5682): Third day of Pesach

    1922(17thof Nisan, 5682): Fifty-five year old Isaac David Broydé who served as librarian to the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1895 to 1900 and then “joined the editorial staff of the Jewish Encyclopedia” passed away today.

    1923:Insulin first became generally available for use by diabetics. Sir Frederick Banting, one of the two men who won a Nobel Prize for their work with Insulin based his work on the 1889 discoveries of the Jewish Polish-German physician Oscar Minkowski.

    1923: Dr. Spiegel, the representative of the German Red Cross who was working on the transmigration of 300 Jewish refugees who had been expelled from Poland arrived in Warsaw.  The refuges must leave Poland by September 1 and they are seeking to stay in German until they have obtained visas to enter the United States. (As reported by JTA)

    1923: Preparations have been made along the White Russian border to provide food and shelter for Jewish refugees from Poland who are being forced to return to their former homes in the Soviet Union. (As reported by JTA)

    1923: Hugo Riesenfeld “co-presented a show at the Rivoli Theater in New York City of 18 short films made in the Phonofilm sound-on-film process.”

    1923: BirthdateofNaomi Bronheim Levine, the first woman to become executive director of the American Jewish Congress.

    1923: “A Few Minutes With Eddie Cantor” opened “at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.

    1931: Brooklyn Outfielder Alta Cohen played in his first major league game.

    1931: Birthdate of Yitzhak Zamir,  the native of Warsaw who made Aliyah at the age of 3 and enjoyed a successful career in the law including serving as Attorney General of Israel and as a member of the Supreme Court.

    1936(23rd of Nisan, 5696): On the day after Pesach, Arabs in Palestine renewed their riots which quickly grew into a full-scale uprising.The uprising began with an attack today on a convoy of trucks on the Nablus to Tulkarm road during which the assailants shot and murdered two Jewish drivers, Israel Khazan, who was killed instantly, and Zvi Dannenberg, who died five days later

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab terrorist gangs, searching for money and valuables, killed four Arabs in the vicinity of Nazareth.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that for the first time in many years, the annual Nebi Musa procession failed to take place in Jerusalem.

    1938: The Palestine Post reported that new regulations warned that wearing any uniforms of His Majesty Forces, or attire resembling such uniforms, was punishable by life imprisonment.

    1938: The Palestine Post commented on the tragedy of a new immigrant, imprisoned for carrying an allegedly false passport, who committed suicide. The message from his relatives, promising assistance and legal defense, failed to reach him in time due to the lack of an interpreter.

    1938(14th of Nisan, 5698): Jews are killed and injured during an anti-Semitic pogrom at Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland.

    1940: Birthdate of Yossef Romano a Libyan-born, Jewish Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany where he was murdered by Black September terrorists.

    1941: Birthdate of Howard Berman, Congressman from California’s 28thDistrict.

    1941:  In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attack Belfast, Northern Ireland killing one thousand people.During World War II, a number of Jewish children escaping from the Nazis, via the Kindertransport, reached and were housed in Millisle. The Millisle Refugee Farm (Magill’s farm, on the Woburn Road) and was founded by teenage pioneers from the Bachad movement. It took refugees from May 1938 until its closure in 1948.

    1943: In Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver delivered the eulogy at the memorial service for Zvi Hirsch Masliansky which “was held …in the Straus Auditorium of The Educational Alliance at 197 East Broadway. This was the place to honor his memory, for it was the hall where he had spoken so often to a generation of Jewish immigrants.

    1944: Prime Minister Churchill “pondered the question of who should succeed Sir Harold MacMichael, whose term as British High Commissioner was coming to an end.”  Churchill put forth two possibilities, Lord Melchett, a British Jew and the son of the distinguished industrialist Sir Alfred Mond and Chaim Weizmann.  Of course, Weizmann did not get the post and within a year’s time Churchill would betray his Jewish friend and ally by holding firm against Jewish immigration to Palestine and postponing the creation of a Jewish state.

    1944:  Seventy Jews and ten Russians attempted to escape from the forests surrounding the two of Ponary. Lithuania. From July 1941 until July 1944, approximately 100,000 people (mainly Jews) were murdered in the forests surrounding Ponary a resort town in Lithuania. As the Red Army approached a group of 70 Jews and 10 Russians were given the task of burning all the bodies to cover up the mass murder. Realizing that at the end of their work they too would be killed they (over a period of three months) dug a tunnel 30 meters long with spoons. On the night of April 15 they escaped. Only 13 reached safety alive.

    1945:  British forces liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp. The British soldiers were horror-stricken at the spectacle that greeted them. They found some 60,000 human beings alive under appalling conditions. Most of them were seriously ill. Alongside them were thousands of unburied corpses, strewn in every direction, and vast numbers of emaciated bodies in mass graves and piles. Because the British Army was not geared to treat everyone who needed assistance, 14,000 additional prisoners died in the first few days and a similar number perished in the following weeks. The British forces began to treat and rehabilitate the rest of the survivors.

    1945: Esti Reichman and some of her fellow prisoners including a woman named Dora encountered one “disappointment” following the liberation of Bergen-Belsen when they discover that they have missed celebrating Passover.  The women had thought it was a leap year and had been hoarding their meager rations to make a Seder.  At the time of their liberation they discovered that this was not a leap year.  There was no Adar and Pesach had begun on March 29.  [Hopefully somebody told them about Pesach Sheini.]

    1945: Leonard Mlodinow’s father was liberated by forces under the command of General Patton. At the time, he weighed 80 pounds.

    1945(2ndof Iyar, 5705): The mother of Holocaust survivor Zoltan Zinn-Collis died in Belsen on the same day the Red Cross had come to rescue her. He brother Aladar died earlier in the year in the same camp and his father Adolf is believed to have died in Ravensbruck in 1944.  Zoltan and his Edit were brought to Ireland after the war where he was able to rebuild his life.

    1945: Special services were held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem honoring the later President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    1946(14th of Nisan, 5706):Ta'anit Bechorot/Erev Pesach

    1946: First Seders were held in Germany following WW II.

    1946: Golda Meir is joined by her children for a Seder.

    1946: As the hunger strike in Palestine designed to show support for the Jews from Spezia who being detained in Italy entered the third day, “thousands of people carrying flowers came to Jerusalem to show their support.  The chief rabbis, who” had join the “fast preside over an unusual Seder.”  Everyone “would eat a single piece of matzah, no bigger than an olive.”  As they went through the Haggadah, those fasting consumed cups of teas instead of cups of wine. 

    1946: In Germany, a group of children was photographed at the Foehrenwald D.P. Camp

    1947: Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, breaking that sport's color line. Hank Greenberg reportedly gave moral support and guidance to Robinson based on his experiences.  Brooklyn was a heavily Jewish borough where winning the pennant and beating the hated Yankees was more important than issues of pigmentation.

    1948: Birthdate of American composer Michael Kamen whose work included “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

    1948:  Arabs attacked a convoy of armored buses on their way to the Hadassah hospital enclave on Mt. Scopus.  Seventy-seven Jewish doctors, nurses and patients were killed in the ambush.

    1948:  The National Opera (Israel) held its first performance in Tel Aviv.  The opera was the creation of Edis de Philippe from Brooklyn and Mordechai Galinkin from Leningrad.  The debut was an act of supreme optimism since the Arabs were busy trying to destroy the state before it had even been created.  As one observer wrote at the time, "Noisy accompaniment was supplied by the gunfire from nearby skirmishes between Tel Aviv and Jaffa."

    1948: Jewish forces seized Meggido, the sight of the Biblical Battle of Armageddon and one of Lord Allenby’s great victories during World War I.

    1948: Jewish forces defeated Arab fighters at Tel Litvinsky, six miles from Tel Aviv.  The camp had served as a base for the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II.

    1948: The Harel Brigade captured the village of Saris the “strategic hilltop position” “overlooking the highway to Jerusalem” which the Arabs had used to fire on Jewish vehicles thus helping to blockade the city.

    1948: The Haganah won a costly victory at Mishmar Ha-Emek fighting against overwhelming odds.  This was part of the famous "battle for the Jerusalem Road."

    1948: Soldiers from Iraq and Jews fought for control of the Wadi Sara camp fifteen miles south of Tel Aviv.  Iraqi forces were reported have reached the camp first but after encountering attacking Jewish forces fled because they feared encirclement and capture.

    1952(20thof Nisan, 5712): Sixth day of Pesach

    1952(20thof Nisan, 5712): Seventy-one year old Issac Lowi passed away today following which he was buried in the Beth Israel Cemetery in Gadsden, Alabama.

    1953(30th of Nisan, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported on the strange ruling of the chairman of the UN Israeli-Jordanian Mixed Armistice Commission who claimed that civilians were allowed to shoot at each other across the border. The Israeli delegation took exception to this "astonishing stand."

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that an Israeli patrol captured a boat and a terrorist who tried to infiltrate by sea from Lebanon. The second boat escaped.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that "Yemin Orde," a Youth Aliya village at Nir Etzion on the Carmel Hills was opened by Lorna Wingate in memory of her husband, Capt. Charles Orde Wingate, who formed the Jewish "night squads" and helped settlers to defend themselves.

    1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that The Jerusalem YMCA was crowded with well-wishers who came to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the building, a landmark and a significant cultural center in the Capital.

    1955: Birthdate of Anthony Horowitz, an English novelist and screenwriter

    1958: Birthdate of Canadian poet and novelist Anne Michaels the author of Fugitive Pieces and Winter Vault.

    1959: US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned.  Dulles was viewed as the architect of the Eisenhower Administration’s foreign policy.   He was Cold Warrior in the truest sense of that term seeing everything in terms of Communists versus Anti-Communists.  The one time he broke with this view was during the Suez Crisis of 1956.  There he sided with the Soviets against the Israelis, the British and the French.  Eisenhower and Dulles saved the Egyptian dictator Nasser by allowing the Soviets to threaten the British with atomic weapons and threatening Israel with economic destruction if she did not withdraw from the Sinai.  Israel did withdraw and the disastrous policy of Dulles led to war in 1967 and the volatile situation that exists on the West Bank to this day.

    1960: In Copenhagen, Hennie Jonas and Rudolf Salomon Bier gave birth to Susanne Bier who won “the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film for ‘In a Better World.’”

    1962: Catcher Joe Ginsberg plays in his last major league baseball game as a member of the expansion New York Mets.

    1965(13th of Nisan, 5725): Syd Chaplin, actor and half-brother of Charlie Chaplin passed away at the age of 80.

    1965: Paddy Chayefsky’s “The Americanization of Emily” directed by Arthur Hiller with music by Johnny Mandel premiered in the United Kingdom today.

    1968: Future Anglo-Jewish author Anthony Horowitz received a human skill from his mother on his 13th birthday.

    1972: Barbra Streisand joined other recording industry stars performing at a benefit for George McGovern for President. 

    1975(4th of Iyar, 5735): Yom HaZikaron

    1975: “A Chorus Line” with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban “opened Off Broadway at the Public Theatre.

    1976(15thof Nisan, 5736): Pesach is observed for the last time under President Ford.

    1980: The Nobel Prize winning existentialist author and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre passed away at the age of 74.  Sartre was not Jewish.  But he did write about the Jewish people.

    In 1946, immediately after World War II, Sartre published his brilliant dissection of anti-Semitism and the Jewish condition, “Reflections sur la Question Juive.”  “The little booklet has gone through a number of editions, has been widely reviewed, and is still undoubtedly among Sartre's most famous works. As one would expect in the case of a controversial writer, a number of reviewers had important criticisms. If Sartre's analysis had striking insights, some of his assertions were remarkably naive. He thought that "socialism" would do away with anti-Semitism. He was preoccupied-occupied with rabid anti-Semitism but gave little thought to the perhaps more prevalent genteel hatred of Jews. Many Jewish reviewers felt that he short-changed "Jewish self-consciousness" by asserting that anti-Semitism is the only basis for it. We now know, from Sartre's own words a few weeks before his death that at the time of writing his book he had been incredibly ignorant, and willfully so, of all things Jewish. Nevertheless, Sartre was a man much listened to, as he is still today after his death, and his writings were given close attention.”  Frenchmen would do well to heed the words of one of their most famous citizens, “The cause of the Jews would already be half won if only their friends found in their defense a little of the passion and the perseverance that their enemies devote to their destruction. To awaken this passion, it is useless to appeal to the generosity of the Aryans because even among the best of these this virtue is disappearing. But it may well be pointed out to each of them that the fate of the Jew is his own fate. No Frenchman will be secure as long as a Jew, in France or elsewhere in the world, has reason to fear for his life.”

    1981: In Hamilton, Ontario, Dr. Mark Levy and his wife Lisa gave birth actress and singer Caissie Shira Levy, the younger sister of Robi and Josh Levy.

    1982: Five Muslim extremists who murdered Egyptian President Sadat were executed.

    1983: During a burglary at the L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art “200 items, including paintings and dozens of rare clocks and watches, were stolen.”

    1986: Edwin R. Theile, who is “best known for his chronological studies of the pre-exilic Jewish kingdoms and the author The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings passed away today.

    1988: Anglo-Jewish author Anthony Horowitz married Jill Green in Hong Kong.

    1989: “Brenda Starr,” a film based on the comic strip character of the same name with script co-authored by Delia Ephron and with music by Johnny Mandel premiered in the United States today.

    1992: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were inducted into National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Yes the number one and number two leaders crossing space, the last frontier, were Members of the Tribe.  For those of you wondering who is Jewish, when Shatner's wife passed away her "mourned her in the Jewish fashion" and was reported to be working on a script called "Shiva" based on his mourning experiences.

    1992: Billionaire Leona Helmsley was sent to jail for tax evasion.

    1993:In a last-minute letter apparently intended to defuse the controversy on the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Pope John Paul II told Roman Catholic nuns today to move from their convent at the Auschwitz death camp. The Pope's letter, made public by the Polish news agency said the 14 Carmelite nuns must move to another convent within the diocese in the Auschwitz area or return to where they came from nine years ago. Kalman Sultanik, the vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said he had been informed by Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy of the diocese of Bielsko-Biala, where the convent is situated, that the sisters had agreed to move.The presence of the nuns, who live in a convent converted from a two-story building used by the Nazis as a storehouse for the deadly Zyklon B gas, has been an impediment to improved relations between Roman Catholics and Jews in Poland and elsewhere. Many Jews view the red brick convent just outside the barbed wire perimeter at Auschwitz, where some 1.5 million Jews perished, as an affront to Jewish sensibilities. The World Jewish Congress threatened earlier this year to boycott the ceremonies planned for Monday to mark the ghetto uprising unless the issue of the Carmelite nuns was resolved. Vice President Al Gore, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and President Lech Walesa of Poland will speak at a ceremony on Monday night. Some survivors of the ghetto uprising, which was crushed by the Germans within a month after the fighting started on April 19, 1943, are expected to be present, organizers said. "By the will of the church you are to move now to a different site in Oswiecim," the Polish news agency quoted the Pope's letter as saying, referring to Auschwitz. The letter also said the nuns, who come from the city of Poznan in Western Poland, could choose to return there. The Pope's letter was welcomed by Jews involved in the anniversary commemoration. "It is perhaps a pity that it required the highest authority to make things move, but it shows the church can handle the matter after all," said Stanislaw Krajewski, a chairman of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. Mr. Sultanik said, "This is the first time that the Carmelites have accepted that they must move." He said he believed the nuns would be out of the convent within "a few weeks." Now that the Pope had ordered the move and the nuns had accepted, Mr. Sultanik said, the Congress was not demanding that the nuns leave before Monday. The convent at Auschwitz has been a thorn in Jewish-Catholic relations since 1987, when Catholic cardinals and leaders of Jewish organizations met in Geneva and agreed that the nuns should move to a new Jewish-Christian center and convent to be built some distance from the camp.  In 1989, a New York City rabbi, Avraham Weiss, contending the Catholic Church had not abided by the agreement, organized a protest against the nuns. He broke into their convent and scuffled with workmen the nuns had hired for renovations. After the episode, Jozef Cardinal Glemp, the Roman Catholic primate of Poland, denounced the "anti-Polishness" of Jews and their "power over the mass media."

    The new center and convent have been completed for some months, but the nuns had refused to move. This prompted Rabbi Weiss to threaten another demonstration and made the World Jewish Congress contemplate a boycott of the anniversary. A prominent Polish Jewish writer, Konstanty Gebert, said today that the Vatican appeared to have acted on the Carmelites after realizing the consequences of demonstrations at the convent this weekend. Mr. Gebert said that if Rabbi Weiss staged another demonstration at the convent, local anti-Semitic supporters of the nuns, known as the Committee for the Protection of the Carmelite Nuns, would come out and counterattack. "Jewish demonstrators being attacked at Auschwitz!" Mr. Gebert said. "Can you imagine the headlines? I really think that got the Vatican moving." But at the same time, Mr. Gebert pointed out that important elements in the Catholic Church in Poland were still resistant to the nuns' moving. The acting Secretary of the Warsaw episcopate, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, said in an interview published in a Polish newspaper today before the release of the Pope's letter that the church was not "in unison" on the nuns' moving. "You cannot liquidate a convent with a bulldozer," the bishop said in the interview.

    1994:In an article entitled “No New Arab Attack, but Israelis Celebrate Independence Tensely,” Clyde Haberman described how the Jewish state celebrated its independence day despite threats by Arab terrorists to turn it into a day from hell.

    1995(15thof Nisan, 5755): First Day of Pesach coincides with Shabbat

    1997(8th of Nisan, 5757): Sam Moskowitz, author, critic and the teacher of the first college level course on Science Fiction passed away at the age of 76.

    1999: A symposium entitled The History of American Jewish Political Conservatism opens at American University in Washington, D.C.

    2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Paintings of Our Lives” by Grace Schulman and “Maurve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World”by Simon Garfield.

    2002: Following the Battle of Jenin, Palestinian Red Crescent Society and International Committee of the Red Cross staff entered the camp, accompanied by the IDF.

    2002:A pro-Israel rally in Washington, organized in less than a week, attracted a crowd estimated at 100,000 people from across the spectrum of American Jewry.

    2005: “Or” the Israeli film starring Dana Ivgy in the title role premiered in Sweden today.

    2005: An exhibition entitled “Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak” opens at the Jewish Museum in New York.

    2005:David Baddiel discusses “The Secret Purposes” at The Sunday TimesOxford Literary Festival

    2006: The inauguration of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ein Kerem is postponed. Construction of the church began in the first decade of the 20thcentury but was never completed because of the Russian Revolution. The dedication of the recently completed church was postponed at the request of Russian President Putin. Putin wanted the inauguration delayed until Prime Minister Sharon had sufficiently recovered from his stroke to attend the ceremonies.

    2007:At the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an exhibition styled “From Shtetl to the Sooner StateCelebrating Oklahoma's Jewish History In conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of Oklahoma Statehood” comes to a close.

    2007: Major League Baseball and the Israel Baseball League (IBL) hold a tryout in California for players who did not make major or minor league rosters.

    2007: “The Last Jew In Europe” is performed at the Triad Theatre.

    2007: As Jews all over the world begin the observance of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day,Haaretz reported that the first comprehensive study of the incidence of cancer among Holocaust survivors has shown that Holocaust survivors were found to be 2.4 times more likely to have cancer than their peers who had not been through the Holocaust.

    2007: As reported in Haaretz Israel fell silent as a two-minute siren wailed across the country this morning in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. The siren followed memorials at the Knesset and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. Holocaust victims' names were read aloud at ceremonies held at both locations. At the Knesset, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert read the names of the members of the Richter family, relatives of his wife Aliza, who were killed in the Holocaust and opposition chair Benjamin Netanyahu read the names of his wife Sara's relatives. Vice Premier Shimon Peres told of parting from his grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Melzer, at the railway station. Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog told of his father's cousin who was caught trying to cross the French border and was sent to her death in Auschwitz. The ceremonies began after Israelis stood silently for two minutes to remember the victims of the Holocaust on yesterday morning. Pedestrians froze in their tracks, buses stopped on busy streets, and cars on highways pulled over as the country paused to pay respect to the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis.

    2007: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of All Whom I Have Loved by Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld. In his new novel set on the eve of the Holocaust, the Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld tells the story of Paul Rosenfeld, a 9-year-old Jewish boy in Czernowitz, Romania (now Chernovtsy, Ukraine).

    2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured reviews of Jurgen Neffe's Einstein: A Biography, Walter Isaacson”sEinstein: His Life and Universe and Once Upon a Country by Sari Nusseibeh, who joined Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, in unveiling a “courageous peace plan”in 2002.

    2008(10th of Nisan, 5768):Hendrik Samuel "Hank" Houthakker a Dutch Jewish American economist passed away. Houthakker was born in Amsterdam. In 1924. His father was a prominent art dealer. As a teenager he lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and, according to an interview he gave to the Valley News, was once arrested by the Gestapo but escaped and was sheltered for some months by a Roman Catholic family. He completed his graduate work at the University of Amsterdam in 1949. He taught at Stanford University from 1954 to 1960 and then completed the rest of his career at Harvard University. Houthakker served on President Nixon's Council of Economic Advisers from 1969 to 1971. Houthakker's contributions to economic theory have been summarized by Pollak (1990). He is particularly well known for the Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference, to which his name is often attached (see Houthakker 1950). This paper reconciles Paul Samuelson's revealed preference approach to demand theory with the earlier ordinal utility approach of Eugene Slutsky and Sir John Hicks, by showing that demand functions satisfy his Strong Axiom if and only if they can be generated by maximising a set of preferences that are "well-behaved" in the sense that they satisfy the axioms of choice theory, that is, they are reflexive, transitive, complete, montononic, convex and continuous—essentially the conditions required for a Hicksian approach to demand theory.”

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Kirkwood Community College and at Xavier High School.

    2008: The Washington Post reviews The Much Too Promised LandAmerica's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace by Aaron David Miller

    2008:Todaythe Jewish prayer for the dead echoed across what was once the heart of the Warsaw ghetto as Israeli and Polish leaders marked the 65th anniversary of the doomed battle by young Jews against Nazi troops. President Shimon Peres and his Polish counterpart, Lech Kaczynski, led a crowd of 1,000 gathered beneath the stark granite Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto in ceremonies honoring the Jews who rose up on April 19, 1943. Israeli and Polish flags fluttered in the afternoon breeze as Poland's chief orthodox rabbi, Michael Schudrich, read out the Kaddish, or Jewish prayer for the dead. Then, to the beat of a military drum, Peres, Kaczynski and survivors of the ghetto uprising placed wreaths at the foot of the monument, which was flanked by two large iron menorahs. Peres praised the young fighters, who he said displayed "a heroism that our children will proudly carry with them in their hearts.""The majority of the uprising fighters died, murdered in cold blood. They lost the fight, but from the point of view of history, there has never been such a victory," Peres said. "A victory of men over human bestiality, of pure souls over fallen ones.""Yes, the Germans won, thanks to thousands of soldiers shooting without thought and gassing bunkers," Peres said. "What did those terrible Nazis leave to the generations that followed?""Only shame, a curse and damnation." Later in the day, the presidents met with former ghetto fighters and Holocaust survivors, and attend a concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta at Warsaw's national opera house. The anniversary of the uprising's start falls on Saturday, but commemorations were moved forward to Tuesday to avoid coinciding with the Jewish sabbath. On Saturday, the last surviving leader of the ghetto's struggle, 89-year-old Marek Edelman, will lay flowers at the ghetto monument, and the Jewish community is planning a seder meal in memory of the ghetto victims. The uprising was the first act of large-scale armed civilian resistance against the Germans in occupied Poland during World War II. The Nazis walled off the ghetto in November 1940, cramming 400,000 Jews from across Poland into a swath of the capital in inhuman conditions. On April 19, 1943, German troops started to liquidate the ghetto by sending tens of thousands of its residents to death camps. In the face of imminent death, several hundred young Jews took to arms in defense of the civilians. Outnumbered and outgunned, they held off German troops for three weeks with homemade explosives and a cache of smuggled weapons. The Nazis killed most of fighters, and then burned down the ghetto street by street.

    2008:Poking into crevices between the ancient stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, today a senior rabbi and his helpers removed thousands of handwritten notes placed there by visitors who believe their requests will find a shortcut to God by being deposited at Judaism's holiest site. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival which begins this weekend and at the Jewish New Year in the fall. "Millions of people place notes here at the Western Wall with their requests, we take them out in order that more people can place these notes," said the site's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz. "So that these notes are not defiled and don't fall out, we collect then in a seemly and respectful way and bury them on the Mount of Olives," just across a valley from the Old City. Rabinowitz and a squad of helpers coaxed the pieces of paper from the crevices with sticks. The notes fell to the ground and were scooped in handfuls into plastic-lined garbage bins for later transfer to the ancient Jewish cemetery. As Jewish religious practice forbids the destruction of any written material that includes one of the names of God, worn or damaged Torah scrolls, prayer books and other religious articles are buried. "We treat these notes as holy, as something that people wrote to the creator," Rabinowitz said. "We treat them according to Jewish law and inter them along with all holy writings." He said neither he nor his staff read the notes. "It's like a prayer, it's an expression of a person's request from the heart to the Creator," he added. For those unable to reach the wall in person, religious and postal authorities deliver notes that arrive by mail, e-mail or SMS. Postal authorities say letters, some addressed simply to God, come from all corners of the globe, including a few from predominantly Muslim nations like Indonesia. Rabinowitz said the ancient temple, built by King Solomon, was intended as a house of prayer for all nations. "God promised that every prayer uttered here would be heard in heaven, from Jews and gentiles alike," he said.

    2008: “History Awaits the Pope and the Rabbi” published today described Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s preparations for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

    2009(21st of Nisan, 5769): Seventh Day of Pesach; Reform recite Yizkor

    2009: Roseanne Barr made an appearance on Bravo's 2nd Annual A-List Awards in the opening scenes.

    2010: A showing of “War Against The Weak” is scheduled at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2010: Prof. Jerome Copulsky, Director of Jewish Studies at Goucher College, is scheduled to present a talk entitled “Zionism: Past, Present & Future” at George Mason University sponsored by the GMU Religion Department and GMU Hillel.

    2010: The Sarah Silverman Program had its final showing on Comedy Central.


    2010: Israeli customs officials said today that they have already confiscated at least 10 iPads in response to Israel’s ban on the importation of Apple’s newest product. 

    2011: After having pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, former New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was sentenced to a term of 1 to 4 years in the state penitentiary.

    2011:The Jerusalem Fair, the Annual Fundraising Bazaar for the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center is scheduled to take place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque

    2011: Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation in Ashburn, VA is scheduled to host a Chocolate Passover Seder where attendees can “learn about and taste the symbols of Passover” by sampling a “variety of chocolate items including chocolate covered matzah, chocolate eggs, bitter chocolate, chocolate for dipping” and an Elijah's cup filled with chocolate milk.

    2011: The works of Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin are scheduled to be featured at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

    2011:Following nearly a week of quiet for the residents of the South, warning sirens were heard in the Ashdod area this afternoon after two Grad rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip

    2011:U.S. President Barack Obama extended a warm greeting today to all those celebrating Passover and likened the holiday's story to the revolutions sweeping the Middle East.

    2011:Defense Minister Ehud Barak welcomed today a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to approve a budget which includes $205 million intended for continuing development of the Iron Dome anti-missile system

    2012: Filmmaker Judy Lieff and poets Aneta Brodski and Tahani Salah are scheduled to appear at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: In Fairfax, VA, Congregation Olam Tikvah is scheduled to sponsor a silent auction combined with a post Passover Pizza Party.

    2012: Mitzvah Day, sponsored by Agudas Achim, is scheduled to take place in Iowa City, Iowa

    2012: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Crisis of Zionism” by Peter Beinart and ‘Schmidt Steps Back’ by Louis Begley. 

    2012:Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old Chasidic Jew from New York who is in a jail in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, launched a hunger strike following 10 months of appeals to the U.S. State Department.

    2013: The Hartford Jewish Film Fest is scheduled to close with a screening of “Hava Nagila – The Movie.”

    2013: “A Work-In-Progress Screening: On Becoming A Soldier” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Dr. David Kraemer is scheduled to deliver the first in a series of lectures – All of Rabbinic Literature in Seven Sessions – at the Skirball Center.

    2013(5th of Iyar, 5773: Yom Hazikaron – All places of entertainment are closed. Twice during the day, at the sound of a siren throughout the country, everything—and everyone— stops completely for two minutes.

    2013:The head of the security network for US Jewish organizations said the community is "standing vigilant" following bombings at the Boston Marathon.

    2013: The annual torch-lighting ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl marked the end of Remembrance Day this evening and touched off Israel's 65th Independence Day celebrations.

    2013: Bret Stephens, a former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for The Wall Street Journal, the prize committee announced today.

    2013: Ceremonies, festivities and general revelry around the country marked Israel’s 65th Independence Day anniversary today.

    2013:Israel must prepare for the possibility of striking Iran’s nuclear program on its own, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned today, during an Independence Day speech he delivered in Herzliya

    2014(15thof Nisan, 5774): Pesach

    2014:Yuli Kosharovsky best known for his work as an active leader of the Jewish refusenik movement passed away today. (As reported by Laura Bialis)




    2014: In the evening Chuck Friedman is scheduled to lead the Agudas Achim Community Seder catered by the Motley Cow Café.

    2014; In “Golda Meir, late Israeli prime minister, vitally revealed in ‘Golda’s Balcony’” published today Peter Marks reviews the performance of Tova Feldshuh.

    2015: The Oregon Board of Rabbis is scheduled to present Yom HaShoah: The Holocaust, Memory and the Future Congregation Beth Israel in Portland.

    2015: Peter Appelbaum is scheduled to discuss “Loyal Sons: Jewish Soldiers in the German Army in the Great War” at the Center for Jewish History.

    2015: Professor of History and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies from Wesleyan University are scheduled to present “Connected Histories: Sephardic and Ashkenazi Responses to Blood Libels in Pre-modern Europe” at the University of Connecticut.

    2015: “Jews, Judaism and American Law” with Rabbi Lance J. Sussman is scheduled to open at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

    2015: Just in time for the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Marshal Weiss provides us with “Kosher deli in England a Titanic survivor’s legacy.”




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    April 16

    1457 BCE: Egyptian forces under Thutmose III defeated a group of rebellious Canaanite Vassal States at the Battle of Megiddo. This would have taken place while the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. The strategic position of Megiddo would make it the site of many battles including one between Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah in 609 BCE and the British and the Turks in 1918. This is the same Megiddo where Solomon kept horses and chariots and which is thought to be the site of the mythic Battle of Armageddon.

    537 BCE (1st of Iyar, 3223): According to the Book of Ezra, the foundation of the Second Temple was laid on this date

    69:  Otho, Roman Emperor, commits suicide ending his short-lived reign.  Otho was the second of the four men to hold the position of Emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors.  According to some, it was the instability that Otho and his compatriots brought to the Empire that led to Titus destroying the Temple instead of merely settling for the defeat and humiliation of the Jews of Judea.

    73: According to some calculations this is the day that Masada fell to the Romans after several months of siege, ending this Jewish Revolt against Rome.  Of course, this was not the final revolt.

    778: Birthdate of King Louis I or Louis the Pious France. Louis continued the favorable policies towards the Jews adopted by his father, Charlemagne. Although considered to be a weak ruler (who wouldn’t have been if had to follow Charlemagne) and quite pious, he protected his Jewish subjects from the clergy and the nobles.  He continued to allow them settle in any part of his dominion and out of sympathy for his Jewish subjects, changed the Market Day from Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) to Sunday.

    1158: In Genoa, the name of a Jewish trader, Jusuphus Judeos, appeared for the first time on an official deed drawn up “from the public notary Giovanni Scriba.

    1203(26thof Nisan, 4963): “German synagogal poet” Menahem Ben Jacob Ben Solomon whose great-grandfather Simson, was living in Worms at the time of the First Crusade and was surnamed "Ha-Darshan," passed away at Worms today.

    1319: Birthdate of King John II of France.  During the Hundred Years War, John was captured by the English and held for ransom.  Desperate for funds, John’s son who was serving as Regent during his father’s imprisonment negotiated a deal with Manessier de Vesoul that would allow Jews to return to France in return for their financial support of the impoverished kingdom.  Once John was ransomed, he gave into pressure and reneged on some of his son’s promises.  

    1641: “Don Lope de Vara y Alarcon, alias Judah the Believer, appeared before the Inquisition to repudiate a previous spurious defense which he had offered to the tribunal against its charge of heresy.”  Don Lope was a Christian (not a Convserso) who converted to Judaism.  Eventually he would be burned at the stake because he referred to recant and return to Christianity. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

    1669(15th of Nisan): Rabbi Jonah Teomim of Metz, France, author of Kikayon de-Yonah passed away

    1681: A rescript issued today “repeated that Jews were not to come into Denmark without a special Geleitsbrief.”

    1729(17thof Nisan, 5489): Seventeenth and 18th century “German rabbi and Talmudic author” Jacob Eliezer Braunschweig passed away today.

    1741(30thof Nisan, 5501): Abraham Spitz, “who purchased the freedom of Imprisoned Jews from Buda” passed away today.

    1746: An army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government defeated Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden. George Frideric composed “Judas Maccabaeus” a three act oratorio “as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.”  The oratorio was based on the characters known to all who have celebrated the holiday of Chanukah.

    1799: Napoleon defeated the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Mount Tabor and drove them across the Jordan River.This the same Mount Tabor that was the staging area for the armies of Deborah and Barak, as they faced the assembly of Canaanites and their chariots arrayed below them on the plain to the west.  It is also the same Mount Tabor where the Midianite kings killed the brothers of the Judge named Gideon.  Both episodes are described in the Book of Judges.

    1804:  Establishment of the London Board for Shechita.

    181730th of Nisan, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1826: In The Hague, Leonardus Levy Abraham Verveer and Caroline Elkan gave birth to Dutch painter and engraver Elchanan Verveer

    1844: Birthdate of Nobel Prize winning author Anatole France.  The non-Jewish France joined his friend Émile Zola in the Dreyfus case and was the first to sign Zola's famous article J'Accuse, condemning the false treason indictment of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer. At a 1904 International Congress of Freethinkers at Paris, France said, "The gods advance, but they always lag behind the thoughts of men.... The Christian God was once a Jew. Now he is an anti-Semite."

    1849:Le prophète” (The Prophet), an opera in five acts by Jewish composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was first performed today  by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier

    1850: In Shutesbury, MA, Nathaniel and Harriet Adams gave birth to Herbert Baxter Adams, the Johns Hopkins University who has contributed “valuable papers on the services of” Haim Solomon, “the patriotic Jew.”

    1852: In New York, Johan Levy, a merchant and sea captain and Francis Phillips gave birth to Jonas Levy the New York Congressman who was the nephew of Uriah Phillips Levy.

    1855: In St. Louis, over 400 hundred people attended that cornerstone laying ceremony for the first synagogue constructed in St. Louis and the first synagogue built west of the Mississippi.

    1858(2ndof Iyar, 5618): Sixty-three year old Alois Isidor Jeitteles the Austrian physician who co-founded the Jewish weekly Siona with his cousin Ignaz Jeitteles passed away today.

    1862(16th of Nisan, 5622): Second Day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1862: Sixty-five year old Max Samuel Mayer, the son of the rabbi in his native Fruendal who became a Lutheran in 1834 five years after he earned a law degree and eventually became a Professor at the University of Tubingen (a position that was open to him because he was no longer a Jew) passed away today.

    1862: It was reported the Jewish dealers had been present when the cattle market opened on Monday but were absent the following day because it was Passover; a fact that caused a drop off in market activity.

    1864: Copies of “A History of the World” by Philip Smith are now available. The second part of this volume presents the history of Egypt including the “history of the Hebrew Theocracy and Monarchy from the exodus to the destruction of the kingdoms or Israel and Judah, and the Babylonian Captivity of the Jewish nation.”  The work includes information based on newly revealed discoveries about the area.

    1864: Today’s “Literary Gossip” column reported that a new edition of Reverend Henry Hart Milman’s “History of Christianity from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire by Constantine” by Henry Hart Milman, the noted English clergyman has been published.  This work is part of trilogy, the other two works of which are “History of Latin Christianity” and “History of the Jews.” Milman published “History of the Jews in 1829 was unique for its time since it tried to portray the Jews as a historical people and “minimized the miraculous.”  This approach, which he used in his later works, made him the target of attacks from Biblical literalists among others.  This portrayal of the Jews actually impeded the career of this Christian minister.

    1867: Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild married Emma Louise von Rothschild, a cousin from the Rothschild banking family of Germany in Frankfurt with whom he had three children Lionel Walter, Evelina Rothschild-Behrens and Nathaniel Charles.

    1870(15th of Nisan, 5630): First Day of Pesach

    1871:  All civic limitations imposed on Jews of the German Empire were lifted. It was thought that this would bring medieval anti-Semitism to a conclusion.

    1871: In “Hebrew Charity” published provided a most positive report on the various benevolent activities engaged in by the Jewish community to alleviate the suffering of their less fortunate co-religionists.  Last fall’s Hebrew Charity Fair raised enough funds to provide over $100,000 for Mount Sinai Hospital and over $33,000 for the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum.  The Hebrew Benevolent Fuel Association, the B’nai Brit, the Society of B’nai Abraham and the Society of Kesha Shel Barsel (Order of the Golden Crown) are among other community-wide organizations aiding the needy.  This does not include Mt. Sinai Hospital (formerly the Jews Hospital) which now serves Jews as well as the general population or the various aid societies sponsored by the 30 synagogues and temples located in the city.

    1872(8thof Nisan, 5632): Moritz Reichenheim, founder of the Orphan’s Home passed away today in Berlin

    1876(22nd of Nisan, 5636): 8th day of Pesach

    1879(23rd of Nisan, 5639): Leyser Lazarus who had been elected President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau in 1875 following the death of Zecharais Frankel passed away today.

    1880: David Smith, a Jewish speculator and cigar dealer who has been a long-time resident of Chicago has disappeared, reportedly leaving behind “fraudulent debts in the amount of nearly $5,000.” It is thought that he may have gone to be with his daughter who lives in Australia.

    1880: It was reported that The Young Men’s Hebrew Association held its 6thannual reception last night at the Chickering Hall in New York City.

    1880: It was reported today David Smith, a Jewish speculator and cigar dealer, has disappeared in Chicago leaving behind him debts totaling $5, 000. Smith has a daughter living in Australia and it is thought he may have to seek refuge with her.

    1881: According to “The Jews In Germany” published today Prime Minister Bismarck and the Crown Prince Frederick William are not sympathetic to the movement sweeping parts of Germany aimed at limiting the number of and opportunities for Jews in Germany.

    1881: Pogroms spread to villages surrounding Elizavetgrad (Russia) where anti-Semitic violence had broken out during Easter observances.

    1881: In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle. This happened at the same time that Beersheba, the first of seven agricultural colonies established in Kansas was being started by 60 Jewish families from Russia.  Wyatt Earp, one of Masterson’s best friends married a Jewish woman named Josie.  Gene Barry, a Brooklyn born Jew, played the title role in a television series about the western lawman called “Bat Masterson.”

    1881: In New York, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment made the annual distribution of financial aid to a variety of charitable institutions including a payment of $1,440 to the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews and $240 for the Zion Aged Relief Association.

    1881: A review of “Buried Alive: Or Ten Years of Penal Servitude in Siberia” reports that the cast of characters includes a hypocritical “Jew who acts a pawnbroker and money-lender to the other convicts” while observing his religious with a great display of public piety. [The stereotype of the Jewish money lender survived in Russian literature about Siberia only to be joined by another stereotype – the Jewish revolutionary, be he communist, socialist or anarchist.

    1882: Jakob and Barbara/Babette Bondy gave birth to Antonie Wagner who died at Riga in 1942 during the Holocaust.

    1883: On the day after his marriage to Pauline Moses, David Holtz endures a “violent lunatic” from his wife

    1887(22nd of Nisan, 5647): 8th day of Pesach

    1889(15th of Nisan, 5649): First day of Pesach

    1889: Birthdate of Silent Screen Star Charlie Chaplin.  Many will consider the Little Tramp as his greatest comedic triumph. Others will remember him for The Great Dictator, "a talkie" that poked fun at Hitler and Mussolini when the world was still having trouble standing up to the Nazis and the Fascists.  Born in England of Jewish parents, he was forced to retreat to his native soil during the McCarthy Period.  He passed away on December 25, 1977.  Interestingly, the lengthy obituary in the New York Times makes no mention of Chaplin's ethnic origins.

    1890: It was reported today that Jesse Seligman was one of those be considered as the Republican nominee in the upcoming mayoral race. It is felt that in addition to drawing the “full Republican vote” he would also be able to attract a large percentage of the Jewish vote.

    1891(8thof Nisan, 5651): Fifty-six year old Joseph H. Hepner, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who came to the United States 8 years ago, took his own life at the grocery store he has owned for the last three years on East Broadway.

    1893(30th of Nisan, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1893: At Temple Emanu-El, during his sermon which was a response to aggressive attempts by Protestants to convert Jews, Rabbi Joseph Silverman “charged corruption in the methods by which the Protestants are seeking to proselyte the Jews” saying that “the Christian missionaries and the so-called ‘converted’ Jews are paid commissions for making converts and in order to make their business brisk and produce a good showing they divide their commissions with their ‘converts’.”

    1893: The Reverend Merle St. Croix Wright, pastor of the Lenox Avenue Unitarian Church delivered a sermon condemning the Union League Club’s rejection of Theodor Seligman because of his “race.”

    1894: The doctors reported today that four year old Jacob Green, the son of a Jewish peddler had only suffered a broken collarbone when he fell from the fifth floor of his tenement.  Before he hit the ground, the boy landed on Morris Eisenberg who was standing in front of the building.  Despite great pain from what turned out to be a broken shoulder, Eisenberg got the boy to the hospital where he received prompt medical attention.

    1895: The newly incorporated Hebrew Infant Asylum of New York City is publicly committed to provided care for Jewish orphans under the age of five.  Among the trustees are Jacob Fleishhauer, Minnie Frank, Jacob B. Seligman and Esther Wallenstein.

    1896: Birthdate of Samuel Rosenstock, who gained fame as Tristan Tzara, poet, playwright and founder of the Dada Movement.  He passed away in 1963.

    1897)14th of Nisan, 5657): Ta’anit Bechorot

    1897: The will of Francis Danzig, the widow of Louis Danzig was filed for probate today.

    1897: Fifty-nine year old August Seligman passed away today at his home in New York City.  A native of Oppenheim, Germany, he came to the United States 45 years ago where he began in the importing business before turning to the manufacture of corsets He was a member of Temple Beth El and  was active in Jewish fraternal organizations.

    1897: Birthdate of John B Glubb the British officer who was the commander of Jordan's Arab Legion.  It was Glubb and those like him who trained the Jordanian Army and made it in effective fighting force against the Israelis.  The Arab Legion was the only force to score a meaningful victory over the Jewish fighters which left the Jordanians in control of the eastern section of Jerusalem and what is now the West Bank.  Nobody wanted to set up a Palestinian State in the West Bank in those days.

    1897(14th of Nisan, 5657): The New York Times reported that “At sundown this evening the Feast of Passover will begin, and will continue for seven days, ending at sundown on April 22. The feast is celebrated generally by the Jews, with services in the synagogues on the first and last days, and the evenings preceding those days. The "matzoth," or unleavened bread, is used in place of the usual bread during the week…Each family, however poor, manages to live well by some means or other during the Passover week, the poorer ones being assisted by others who are more fortunate.”

    1900: Birthdate of Polly Adler Russia, author of A House is not a Home. Long before “Sex and the City” was a television show, this famous Madame was providing the real thing.

    1903: During the so-called Melvin Bellis Case, as rumors of pogroms began to circulate, the Russian Minister of Justice telegraphed the Kiev District Prosecutor ordering him to personally investigate the cause of Andrei Yustschinkski’s death.


    1905: Peddlers on the east side planned to be out selling their wares today even though it was Sunday.  Sigmund Schwartz, President of the East Side Peddlers Assoication had told them that Police Commissioner McAdoo had given them permission to ignore the laws because of the approaching celebration of Passover.


    1905: In “How Passover Will Be Observed on the East Side; The Beautiful Sentiment of Opening the Door to the Poor with Which This Time-Honored Jewish Festival Is Initiated at the Seder Table," published today it was reported that ‘Next Wednesday evening, the first night of Passover, thousands of the Children of Israel on the great east side will sit by their firesides in faith, hope, and contentment. From the dim haze of antiquity hunted from shore to shore, they have at last found peace -- in this country of glorious freedom, where they can at least worship their God in peace, and where their Passover comes without menace of riot and bloodshed”

    1906: Twenty Jewish butchers working in Harlem were found guilty of selling meat after midnight on Saturday.  The magistrate hearing the case said that he was fining them reluctantly and wished that “the legislature would repeal this absurd law.”

    1911: During what would become known as “The Case of Mendel Bellis,” the Russian Minister of Justice ordered the Kiev District Prosecutor to personally investigate the death of Andrei Yustschinski; an investigation that would include a second autopsy conducted by two professors from the Kiev Medical School.

    1914: In Lithuania, Rabbi Nathan Milikowsky and Sara Milikowsky gave birth to Matthew Milikowsky

    1914: According to Dr. Ben Wildauer, a friend of Leo M. Frank, Dan S. Lehon of the Burns Detective Agency hired C.C. Tedder today “paying him $500 cash, $250 as an advance on his salary and $250 for expenses” as part of plan to have the detective agency look at the possibility that perjured evidence had been used to convict Frank, the Jewish factory who was convicted of killing a Mary Phagan in one of the worst orgies of anti-Semitism in the history of United States.

    1915: Birthdate of Coleman Jacoby, the native of Pittsburg, PA  a comedy writer who created the laughter for many famous names including Fred Allen, Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.  He passed away at the age of 95 in 2010.

    1916: Birthdate of “Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the leader of one the world’s largest Hasidic sects, the Viznitz Hasidim.” (As reported by Joseph Berger)

    1916: France and Britain divided up the Middle East in the Sykes-Picot Agreement. France wasassured of Syria and the Mosul, with English gaining control of Northern Arabia and Central Mesopotamia. Pre-state Israel was divided with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area and the rest of the region to be under some sort of undefined international control.

    1917: In Berlin, Dr. Albert Salomon, a prominent surgeon and his wife gave birth to Charlotte, the artist who was gassed at Auschwitz in 1943.

    1918(4thof Iyar, 5678): 2nd Lt. Cecil Shekury, a native of Singapore and was attending school in England in 1914 when the war broke out and he enlisted in the Army was killed today.

    1919(16thof Nisan, 5679): Second Day of Pesach

    1919: Furloughs granted to members of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) so they could observe Passover came to an end at midnight.

    1920: A union was founded to strengthen and develop friendly relations between Moroccan Jewry and Spain.

    1920: Birthdate of Richard Nathaniel Goldman, a native of San Francisco who founded Goldman Insurance Services for co-founded “the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is given to six grass-roots environmental activists every year.”  He pass away in 2010 at the age of 90.

    1922:  Po'al ha-Mizrachi, the religious Zionist labor movement, founded.  Unlike many other Orthodox, the followers of Mizrachi were ardent Zionist from the earliest days.  They played a vital role in the creation of Jewish Palestine under the mandate and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

    1922: Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Treaty of Rapallo which was effectively a peace treaty between these two parties from WW I.  The Russian and German empires that had been warring parties had been replaced by these two national entities.  The treaty drew the two “pariah states” of Europe into an embrace that included training of the German Army in the Soviet Union.  Yes, in one of those great ironies of history, Stalin would provide the training for the Wermacht that would invade his country; an invasion that resulted in the death of millions of Jews.

    1923(30th of Nisan, 5683): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1926: “Judge Mack and Rabbi Landman Debate Zionism” published today described the presentation of the different opinions about Palestine held by Judge Julian W. Mark and Rabbi Isaac Landman.

    1927: Seventy-six year old Florence Earle Coates who “was among "artists and intellectuals" who spoke out against the wrongful imprisonment, and would pen four poems relating to the affair: "Dreyfus" (1898), "Dreyfus" (1899), "Picquart" (1902) and "Le Grand Salut" (1906)” passed away today. (As reported by Sonja N. Bohm)

    1927:Nathan Straus, New York philanthropist, arrived on the White Star liner Adriatic after a visit to Palestine. He said that he found steady progress there, in spite of the crisis in Tel Aviv, which he said was temporary. Straus praised Lord Plumer, the High Commissioner and reported that “friction between Arabs and Jews was on the decline.

    1930: Birthdate of Herbert Jay Solomon who gained fame as Herbie Mann, a leading American jazz flutist.

    1931(29th of Nisan, 5691): Rachel Bluwstein Sela passed away at the age of 40. She “was a Hebrew poet who immigrated to Palestine in 1909 who was known by her first name, Rachel, (רחל) or as Rachel the poetess (רחל המשוררת). Born in Saratov[  in Russia in 1890, she was “the eleventh daughter of Isser-Leib and Sophia Bluwstein, and granddaughter of the rabbi of the Jewish community in Kiev. During her childhood, her family moved to Poltava, Ukraine, where she attended a Russian-speaking Jewish school and, later, a secular high school. She began writing poetry at the age of 15. When she was 17, she moved to Kiev and began studying painting. At the age of 19, Rachel visited Eretz Israel with her sister en route to Italy, where they were planning to study art and philosophy. They decided to stay on as Zionist pioneers. They settled in Rehovot and worked in the orchards. Later, Rachel moved to Kvutzat Kinneret on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where she studied and worked in a women's agricultural school. At Kinneret, she met Zionist leader A. D. Gordon who was to be a great influence on her life, and to whom she dedicated her first Hebrew poem. During this time, she also met and had a romantic relationship with Zalman Rubshov - object of many of her love poems who later became known as Zalman Shazar and was the third president of Israel. In 1913, on the advice of A. D. Gordon, she journeyed to Toulouse, France to study agronomy and drawing. When World War I broke out, unable to return to Palestine, she returned instead to Russia where she taught Jewish refugee children. It may have been at this point in her life that she contracted tuberculosis.

    After the end of the war in 1919 she returned to Palestine on board the ship Ruslan and for a while joined the small agricultural kibbutz Degania, a settlement neighboring her previous home at Kinneret. However, shortly after her arrival she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, then an incurable disease. Now unable to work with children for fear of contagion, she was expelled from Degania and left to fend for herself. In 1925 she lived briefly in a small white house in the courtyard of No. 64 Street of the Prophets in Jerusalem (courtyard of the William Holman Hunt House). She spent the rest of her life traveling and living in Tel Aviv, and finally settled in a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Gedera…. She is buried in the Kinneret cemetery in a grave overlooking the Sea of Galilee, following her wishes as expressed in her poem ‘If Fate Decrees.’ Alongside her are buried many of the socialist ideologues and pioneers of the second and third waves of immigration. In recent years, Naomi Shemer was buried near Rachel, according to Shemer's wish. Rachel began writing in Russian as a youth, but the majority of her work was written in Hebrew. Most of her poems were published on a weekly basis in the Hebrew newspaper Davar, and quickly became popular with the Jewish community in the Palestine and later, in the State of Israel. The majority of her poetry is set in the pastoral countryside of Eretz Israel. Many of her poems echo her feelings of longing and loss, a result of her inability to realize her aspirations in life. In several poems she mourns the fact that she will never have a child of her own. Lyrical, exceedingly musical and characterized by its simple language and deep feeling, her poetry deals with fate, her own difficult life, and death. Her love poems emphasize the feelings of loneliness, distance, and longing for the beloved; her lighter poetry is ironic, often comic. Her writing was influenced by French imagism, Biblical stories, and the literature of the Second Aliyah pioneers. In one poem she identifies with Michal, wife of David. Rachel also wrote a one-act comic play ‘Mental Satisfaction,’ which was performed but not published in her lifetime. This ironic vignette of pioneer life was recently rediscovered and published in a literary journal.  Anthologies of Rachel's poetry remain bestsellers to this day. Many of her poems were set to music, both during her lifetime and afterwards, and are widely sung by Israeli singers. Her poems are included in the mandatory curriculum in Israeli schools. A selection of her poetry was translated to English and published under the title ‘Flowers of Perhaps: Selected Poems of Rachel,’ by the London publisher Menard. In his foreword to the 1994 edition of ‘Flowers of Perhaps,’ the acclaimed Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai stated: ‘What may be most remarkable about the poetry of Ra'hel, a superb lyric poet, is that it has remained fresh in its simplicity and inspiration for more than seventy years.’ In 2011, Rachel was chosen as one of four great Israeli poets whose portraits would be on Israeli currency (the other three being Leah Goldberg, Shaul Tchernichovsky, and Nathan Alterman).”

    1932: In Karlovac, which at the time was part of Yugoslavia, Iva (Ischak) Goldstein and his wife gave birth to Danko Goldstein who changed his name to Daniel Ivin when he moved to Israel but later returned to his native Croatia where he pursued a career as a writer and human rights activist.

    1935: Birthdate of Steffi Sidney-Splaver, the daughter of famed Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky, who as a young actress appeared in and then gave up acting to become a Hollywood writer, publicist and producer.  She passed away in 2010 at the age of 74.

    1936: U.S. premier of “Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington” the comedy for which Robert Riskin wrote the Oscar winning script.

    1936: Dr. Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Rabbi Lazar Schonfeld soliciting his support for Yeshiva College.

    1938(15th of Nisan, 5698): First Day of Pesach

    1938: On the first day of Pesach, Rabbi David de Sola Pool at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue said " The Passover message of freedom is a ringing call to- man to struggle to preserve his civic liberty and his freedom of thought, speech and conscience." Speaking to a crowd o 2,500 at Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Samuel Goldenson stressed the necessity for Jews “to reaffirm the importance of liberty and freedom.”  He also drew a comparison between the plight of the Jews of Egypt and plight of Jews living in totalitarian states in Europe. 

    1938: Arturo Toscanini conducted the Palestine Orchestra in Tel Aviv. “The program was a repetition of that given in Haifa earlier this week, but tonight’s performance was even more brilliant because the better acoustics at the Tel Aviv Hall.”

    1939:  Stalin requested the creation of a British, French & Russian anti-Nazi pact.  Stalin was not blind to Hitler's ambition.  He sought an alliance with the West. However, London and Paris dithered because they were concerned about joining forces with the Communist dictator.  Fearing isolation and having to fight the Germans alone, Stalin negotiated a non-aggression pact with Hitler which freed the Nazis to attack Poland and then turn against the West.  By the time the Germans attacked the Russians, a new government was in power in London.  When Churchill was asked if he would aid Stalin, Churchill said that he would help the Devil if he were fighting the Nazis.

    1939: Sensing opportunities with the Soviet Union, Mussolini welcomes the notion of a pact of solidarity with that country

    1940: On opening day at Griffith Stadium, the home of the Washington Senators, President Roosevelt accidently smashed the camera of a Jewish photographer.Irving Schlossenberg was a photographer with the Washington Post.  After FDR had thrown the ceremonial “first pitch,” Schlossenberg convinced him to do it a second time so that he could get a better picture.  Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s second pitch went wild and smashed Schlossenberg’s camera.  Schlossenberg went on to serve as a combat photographer with the United States Marine Corps hitting the beach in the first wave at four different landings – a fete that help to earn him four bronze stars.

    1941: Germans invade Sarajevo, and with the help of Muslims (of whom they had incited) looted and destroyed the main Sephardic synagogue.  All Jews were ordered to surrender their radios.

    1941: German troops and local Muslims looted and destroyed the main synagogue in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

    1941(19th of Nisan, 5701): Aron Beckermann became the first Jew to be shot by the Germans for resistance in France.

    1942: SS officials in the Ukraine informed authorities in Berlin that the Crimea is judenrein (purged of Jews).

    1944: After forcing the Jews to register, the Hungarian government confiscated the property of the Jewish population.

    1944: The Parczew partisans, fighters in irregular military groups participating in the Jewish resistance movement against Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II “participated in the take over the city of Parczew today.

    1944:In impressive services held this afternoon at the Central Synagogue, Lexington Avenue at Fifty-Fifth Street, three American Jewish leaders including S.W. Baron, J.N. Rosenberg and W. Rosenwald received the honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College

    1946(15th of Nisan, 5706): On the first day of Pesach, American journalist Mrs. Margaret Ashton Stimson Lindsley entered Acre Prison so that she could interview imprisoned members of the Irgun.  The British had turned down her requests to review the prisoners, so Mrs. Lindsley took advantage of the British practice of allowing family members to visit prisoners on Pesach.  Mrs. Lindsley pretended to be a member of the first family of Revisionist Zionism, the Jabotinskys, so she could join them on a visit to jail.  There she interviewed Eri Jabotinsky, son of the Revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky. a leader of the Irgun's "aliya bet" underground railroad, which smuggled tens of thousands of Jews from Europe to Palestine in defiance of British immigration restrictions and his 17-year-old cousin Peleg Tamir, who was also an Irgun activist

    1946: Birthdate of Little Rock, AR native Margot Adler, the granddaughter of Alfred Adler, the author whose writing on Neopaganism showed how far she had moved from her from the faith of her grandfather.

    1947:  Bernard Baruch the famed Jewish financier and unofficial advisor to several Presidents reportedly coined the term “cold war” to describe the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviets.

    1947(26th of Nisan, 5707): The British executedfour members of the Irgun – Dov Gruner, Mordechai Alkahi, Hehiel Dresner and Eliezer Kashani – in Acre Prison.

    1948:  During the Israeli War for Independence a platoon of Palmach soldiers made its way into the city of Safed where the Jewish quarter was under siege from a large Arab force.  The appearance of this small but tough group of Israeli fighters stiffened the spirit of the besieged population.  With the sanction of the local rabbis, the largely Orthodox population worked to improve the defenses of the Jewish quarter even though the work would interfere with preparations for Pesach.  The Palmach arrived just in the nick of time, since the departing British forces turned over the keys to their police fortress and other fortified positions to the Arab military forces. Ultimately, the Jews of Safed would prevail and the Arab military units would be driven out.  

    1950(29th of Nisan, 5710): A four story building in Jaffa collapsed killing twelve and injuring thirty.  Most of the dead were newly arrived immigrants.  The cause of the collapse is still under investigation but it is thought to have been the result of the removal of one of the building’s pillars to make room for carpentry equipment being installed in a shop on the ground floor.

    1953(1st of Iyar, 5713): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1953: U.S. premiere of “Titanic” a cinematic treatment of the ocean disaster with music by Sol Kaplan.

    1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that army engineers had completed a new road, bringing Wadi Ramon within 212 km. of Tel Aviv. The last stage comprised a steep descent of 250 meters along 4.5 km. of the literally vertical wall of the Makhtesh - a great engineering achievement. The road was now planned to reach Eilat. Syria reportedly prepared a list of all Jewish property to be placed in the hands of a custodian, should Israel carry out its decision to sell the property of Arab refugees.

    1953: Birthdate of J. Neil Schulman author, screenwriter, journalist, radio personality, and filmmaker who is the son of famed violinist Julius Schulman.

    1953:It was reported today that “Jack Benny plans to increase his television appearances next fall to once every three weeks, and will film six of the half-hour programs this summer. The six or seven remaining shows for the 1953-54 season will be done "live."

    1954:In the Bronx, Evelyn (née Rozin) Barkin and Sol Barkin gave birth to actress Emmy and Tony award winning actress Ellen Rona Barkin, the sister of George Barkin who has been the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon and High Times. The Bronx born actress appeared in such films as the big Easy and the Sea of Love and gained additional fame as the fourth wife of “Cosmetic’s King” Ron Perlemen.

    1957: Terrorists infiltrated from Jordan, and killed two guards at Kibbutz Mesilot.

    1959: Vic Morrow appeared in the premiere of NBC's 1920s crime drama “The Lawless Years” in the episode "The Nick Joseph Story".

    1965(14th of Nisan, 5725): Ta'anit Bechorot

    1965(14th of Nisan, 5725): Seventy-eight year old Mendel Osherowitch, a former editor “The Jewish Daily Forward” and a leading Yiddish author passed away today in Manhattan

    1968(18th of Nisan, 5728): Fourth day of Pesach

    1968(18th of Nisan, 5728): Eighty-two year old author Edna Ferber passed away  Born in Michigan in 1885, Ferber's parents were Jewish immigrants from Hungary.  Ferber was proud of her Jewish heritage.  In her autobiography she described anti-Semitic episodes of her youth.  She also recounted the story of a meeting with three of her friends and a New York society matron.  When the society lady, boasted about having thrown away a book because it was written by a Jew, Ferber and her friends (all Jewish as well) walked out on her.  Ferber won a Pulitzer for So Big.  She is also known for other epics including Showboat and Giant, both of which became successful movies.

    1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US president Carter's Administration, which had just sold 50 F-5E jet fighters to Egypt, was prepared to approve the sale of 3,000 US-made armored carriers to Egypt. In Washington, Alfred Atherton, the US Middle Eastern envoy, said that it was up to Israel to make the stalled peace negotiations with Egypt possible

    1978: The Jerusalem Postreported that the number of those making Aliya in March, 1978, increased by 35 percent in comparison with that of March, 1977. The majority of the 1,988 new immigrants who arrived in March came from the Soviet Union.

    1979:  Zaventem Airport in Belgium was the scene of a failed attack by Palestinian terrorists.

    1980: Phyllis Trible whom Athalya Brenner called one of the "prominent matriarchs of contemporary feminist bible criticism" became a full Professor at Union Theological Seminary.

    1986:Yitzhak Moda'I switched from serving as Minister of Finance to Minister of Justice.

    1989: “In recognition of Rabbi Schneerson’s” works “Congress, by House Joint Resolution 173 designated” today as “Education Day, U.S.A.”

    1993: Hamas stages what is believed to be its first suicide car bombing at Mehola Junction.

    1995: “The Sarajevo Haggadah,” one of the world's most beautiful illustrated Jewish manuscripts, emerged today from the chaos of the Bosnian war at a Passover ceremony that offered a moment of reconciliation in a shattered city. The fate of the richly illustrated 14th-century Haggadah, or Passover ceremonial book, had been unknown since the war began in 1992. Rumors circulated that the medieval book, perhaps the best known Hebrew illustrated manuscript in existence, had been destroyed, lost or sold. But the Bosnian Government, acting at the request of Sarajevo's vestigial Jewish community, laid the rumors to rest today by bringing the Haggadah from the vaults of the national bank to an unusual Passover ceremony. In a city encircled and bereft of freedom, about 70 people gathered for a feast celebrating the freedom of the Jews through deliverance from Egypt. Addressing himself to Sarajevo's Jews, of whom 525 remain from a prewar total of 1,300, President Alija Izetbegovic said: "I ask you not to leave Bosnia, I ask you to stay here. This is also your country. "Our wish is that this country should be a tolerant community of religions and nations, as it has been for centuries," he added. President Izetbegovic, the leader of Bosnia's governing Muslim nationalist Party of Democratic Action, did not remain in the synagogue for the Seder itself. But his presence at the start of a ceremony also attended by religious leaders of the city's Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim sects was clearly intended to buttress emotional support for a multi-ethnic Bosnia at a time when three years of war appeared to have done irreparable damage to that ideal. "Spend your holiday in peace, and enjoy," President Izetbegovic said, "as much as is possible in these circumstances." In the synagogue, where Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats mingled amid quiet conversation and mutual respect, peace appeared possible for a moment. It was as if the frail Haggadah, with its painstakingly beautiful and vivid illustrations of subjects including the creation of the world and Moses blessing the Israelites, had imparted a lesson of patience and tolerance. But outside, the city lived another day of ordinary violence. A French soldier in the United Nations peacekeeping force was killed while trying to set up an anti-sniper barrier outside the Holiday Inn, where many journalists and diplomats stay. He was the second French soldier killed in two days. NATO jets swooped overhead, to no visible effect, and there were regular bursts of machine-gun fire. It had been thought that the Haggadah, created in northern Spain between 1350 and 1400, might have been another victim of this violence. Kept but very rarely shown at the Sarajevo National Museum before the war broke out, the book had disappeared from view completely. Before today, the book was last seen in 1989, on a single afternoon as part of an exhibition called "The Jews of Yugoslavia." Before that, it had only been seen once since World War II, when it was displayed for a few hours in 1966, on the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Sarajevo of the Spanish Jews. The Haggadah (meaning "the telling" in Hebrew) is an account of the Egyptian bondage of the Jews, a thanksgiving to God for deliverance and a prayer for ultimate redemption. The Sarajevo manuscript, consisting of 142 pages of vellum, some illustrated, some blank, belonged to a Jewish family that was probably expelled from Spain in 1492. From there, the exact steps are unknown, but in 1609 it was sold in Italy. After that, it did not resurface until 1894, when a Sarajevo family of Sephardic Jews named Kohen sold the book to the National Museum, then under the administration of Austro-Hungarian officials. The book was then taken to Vienna. Later it was returned to the Sarajevo Museum, where a German officer tried to take it in 1941. But the museum's director contrived to hide it from the Nazis, and the book was returned to the museum at the end of the war. Marked with wine stains and children's scrawls, the book bears the evidence of its peregrinations. It is at once a religious manuscript of unusual beauty and a well-used family prayer book. The Haggadah's value was appraised at $700 million in 1991, when Spain asked for it to be sent there for an 1992 exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of its expulsions of Jews. The book was not lent. Today, Ivan Ceresnjes, the head of the Jewish community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that President Izetbegovic had mentioned the possibility of sending the Haggadah somewhere for restoration, perhaps the United States. "It's 700 years old, but who will take care of it for the next 700 years?" he asked. But President Izetbegovic made no reference in his remarks, and it appeared unlikely that a book so identified with this city could be sent elsewhere at this time. Mr. Ceresnjes said he believed that Bosnia's mixed society was not yet totally destroyed, but that "the longer the war goes on, the more difficult it is because people are losing confidence in each other." He added that the Government was being pushed toward a more radical identification with Islam. At the start of the war, the Jewish community, helped by Muslim, Croatian and Serbian volunteers, established an aid organization called Benevolencia -- named after a society set up by Sarajevo Jews in 1892 to help the poor. The organization has provided medicine, a first-aid clinic, food and postal services. "Our work, it shows us our standpoint," said Mr. Ceresnjes. "We are a small community, but we have set out to show that it is still possible to live like before."

    1997: In “Retracing Jewish Steps, Through Haroseth” Joan Nathan traces the origins of this staple of the Seder plate.

    1999: A symposium entitled The History of American Jewish Political Conservatism held at American University in Washington, D.C. comes to a close.

    2000: Fifty year old Raik Haj Yahia, an Israeli Arab who had served in the Knesset as a member of the Labor Party passed away today.

    2000: The New York Times included reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Lingua Ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky With the Human Brain” by William H. Calvin and Derek Bickerton,The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning” by Stanley Aronowitz and the recently released paperback edition of “The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America” by Ira Berlin in which “the historian examines the many forms and meanings of slavery between the arrival of the first blacks in Virginia in 1619 and the rise of King Cotton.”

    2000(11th of Nisan, 5760): Seventy-seven year old international law scholar Abram Chayes passed away today.

    2002(4th of Iyar, 5762):  Yom Hazikaron.

    2002:The Sherman Brothers' classic motion picture, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was adapted into a London West End Musical in 2002 and premiered at the London Palladium today featuring many new songs and a reworked score by both Sherman Brothers

    2003: U.S premiere of “A Mighty Wind” a comedy based on “the 2003 tribute concert to folk music producer Harold Leventhal” featuring Harry Shearer and Eugene Levy who also co-authored the script.

    2003: In “Once Sweet and Heavy, Now Dry and Desirable,” published today Amanda Hesser describes the change in the nature of Kosher for Passover wine and the growth of it is a commercial operation. “It was not so long ago that kosher wines ranked right up there with Jägermeister and Coors Light on the quality scale. They were as sweet as Cherry Coke and about as complex. And those kosher wines that did try to break the mold were rough around the edges at best. For makers of kosher wine, this has been a difficult reputation to shake, partly because some people are so accustomed to the sweet-style Passover wines that they become oddly sentimental when faced with new choices, and partly because consumers maintain a misperception that all kosher wine has been boiled and therefore must be bad. But over the last decade, the kosher wine industry has worked to change people's minds. The efforts were conservative at first, with winemakers rolling out a handful of new labels advertised as dry rather than sweet. Now, however, they are attracting consumers with kosher wines -- good kosher wines, as it happens -- made all over the world, from the Barossa Valley in Australia to Bordeaux, sherries to Champagnes, and with prices up to $250. In some instances, it is working. Sales at the Web site have grown more than 300 percent this year, and the company now offers more than 400 kosher wines and spirits. Astor Wines & Liquors in Manhattan, which carried about 40 kosher labels five years ago, now has more than 100.”

    2006: The New York Times featured a review of Sweet and Low: A Family Story, by Rich Cohen. Yes, it is a Jewish family that is responsible for bring Sweet N Low, that staple of the diet world, to the American dieting consumer.  Eat, eat my child gives way to diet, diet my child. The Times also reviewed the recently released paperback edition of “The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life” by Tom Reiss.  Part cultural biography, part literary mystery, Reiss's book chronicles the life of Lev Nussimbaum (1905-42), a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a bestselling author in Nazi Germany. Under the pen name Kurban Said, Nussimbaum wrote "Ali and Nino," a romance novel set in Azerbaijan at the time of the Russian Revolution. His enormously popular books and articles as "Essad Bey" opened a window on the Islamic world. Disentangling fact from fiction in Nussimbaum's life, Reiss also unlocks fascinating details on everything from the rise of fascism to the origins of the Shiite-Sunni split.”

    2007: An exhibition entitled “Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust” opens at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.”

    2007: Time Magazine featured an article by Walter Isaacson entitled “Einstein & Faith.”  The article was based on Walter Isaacson”s latest literary effort, Einstein: His Life and Universe.

    2007(28th of Nisan, 5767): In one of history’s many ironies, a Holocaust Survivor was murdered on the day after Yom HaShoah. Liviu Librescu aged 76; a Romanian born Israeli teaching at Virginia Tech was killed in a massacre, in which a gunman killed 33 people at the university before committing suicide. This was the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. Students of the Israeli lecturer who said he saved the lives of several students by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot. "He himself was killed but thanks to him his students stayed alive," an Israeli student who survived the massacre told Army Radio. Librescu, had known tragedy since childhood. When Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany in World War II, the young Librescu was interned in a labor camp, and then sent along with his family and thousands of other Jews to a central ghetto in the city of Focsani, his son said. Hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews were killed by the collaborationist regime during the war.

    2007: Israeli photographer Oded Balilty working for the Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography.This is the award-winning picture of the Amona outpost evacuation

    2008(11th of Nisan, 5768): Three IDF soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Wednesday after coming under heavy fire from Palestinian gunmen while patrolling the border with the Gaza Strip.The soldiers who were killed were identified as Sgt. Matan Ovdati, 19, from Patish, Sgt. Menhash Albaniat, 20, a tracker from Kuseife in the Negev and Sgt. David Papian, 21, from Tel Aviv.

    2008: In Florida, Rabbi Andrew Baker presents a program entitled “Confronting the Resurgence of Anti-Semitism in Europe.”

    2008: As part of the Israel at 60 Celebration, the 92nd Street Y presents Professor Uri Cohen’s review of the development of Israeli culture from1948 to the Present through an examination of Israeli Film, Music and Literature.

    2008: Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    2008: In New York, The Center for Jewish History presents “The History of Jewish Involvement
    in Building New York” with the following breakout sessions:

    • New York 1908: The Apartment House Comes to Gotham...
      and Look Who Moves In presented by Barry Lewis, Architectural Historian

    • Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Jewish Migration and Ethnicity in New York City presented by Joseph Salvo, Demographer

    • The Banker, the Realtor, and the Delicatessen Owner: The Jewish Businessmen of the Lower East Side presented by Annie Polland, Lower East Side Historian

    • The Evolution of the Jewish Real Estate Family moderated by Judith H. Dobrzynski, former New York Times Editor and Reporter and Simon Ziff, Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group
    2008: The New York Times reviewed The Much Too Promised Land by Aaron David Miller a Jewish native of Cleveland, Ohio who spent most of two decades as diplomat involved in America’s attempts to bring peace to the Middle East.

    2009(22nd of Nisan, 5769):Eight Day of Pesach. 

    2009:Jan Karski was honored by the Polish Government and New York City today. In recognition of Karski’s wartime courage and lifelong commitment to the memory and history of Polish Jews, Poland memorialized Karski with the unveiling of a new street sign in front of the De Lamar Mansion, the Consulate’s residence at 233 Madison Avenue at East 37th Street, which was officially designated Jan Karski Corner during the ceremony. As a courier for the Polish Underground during World War II, Karski was the first person to bring news of the Holocaust directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    2010: A memorial service is scheduled to be held today honoring Steffi Sidney-Splaver.

    2010: Altered States of Reality: an Exhibition of Analog and Digital Photography an exhibition featuring six Israeli artists, Offer Goldfarb, Goodash, Gabriel Leitner, Uri Mahlev, Eli Matityahu and Shifra, is scheduled to open at Agora Gallery in New York City.

    2011(12 Nisan, 5771): Shabbat Ha-Gadol.

    2011(12 Nisan, 5771): Television and film script writer Sol Saks passed away at the age of 100.  Among other accomplishments was his role in the creation of the hit television sit-com, “Bewitched” for which he wrote the first script. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

    2011(12 Nisan, 5771):Milton D. Glick, 73, the 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno and nationally respected figure in higher education, whose academic career spanned more than 50 years, passed away today in Reno.

    2011: Yahrzeit for the Jews of York, England: On Shabbat Ha-Gadol (Nisan, 4950) in 1190 the Jews of York were attacked by a mob including crusaders heading for the Holy Land.  They gave the Jews the choice of converting or death.  Most of the Jews chose death, which meant murder-suicide pacts.  A few Jews did surrender to the mob, but they were murdered any way. 

    2011: “A Late Marriage,” an Israeli film set in the Georgian community of Tel Aviv, is scheduled to be shown at Columbia Jewish Congregation’s (CJC) 2011 - Nineteenth Season of Movies in Columbia, MD.

    2011: Gil and Orli Shaham are scheduled to give a recital at the 92nd St Y that will include Achron’s Hebrew Dance, Op. 35, No. 1 and Hebrew Melody, Op. 33  as well as Bloch’s Ba’al Shem for Violin and Piano.

    2011:Air Force fighter jets struck two targets in Gaza early today in response to a double-Grad rocket attack on Ashdod that shattered a six-day cease-fire.

    2012: Holocaust survivors John and Michael Schwabacher are among those who are planning on attending the memorial program scheduled to begin today in Wurzburg, Germany – the city from which they fled after having survived the Holocaust.

    2012: “Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2012: Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski is scheduled to begin teaching “The Maimonides Letters: Leadership at a Time of Crisis” at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

    2013(6thof Iyar, 5773): Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day)

    2013: “Koch” and “Yossi” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled to host a genealogy workshop, at no charge, that “is designed for descendant of refuges and Holocaust survivors, especially members of the second generation.”

    2013: The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical are scheduled to present an evening with Ann Kirschner author Lady at the O.K. Corral, a biography of Josephine Sara Marcus Earp, the wife of the famous western lawman who had him buried in a Jewish cemetery.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History and Israel Film Center are scheduled to present “Through His Eyes,” a ” documentary history of Israeli cinema through the eyes of a still photographer, Yoni Hamenahem, who for the past 40 years has photographed the sets of many of Israel's classic films.”

    2013: Mathew Nash’s film – “16 Photographs at Ohrdruf” –which tells of the first concentration liberated by the U.S. Army in 1945 is scheduled to be shown at the Boston International Film Festival

    2013: Eighty-nine year old Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community college this morning and at Mount Mercy University this evening.  Her appearance is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

    2013(6th of Iyar, 5773): Ninety-eight year old Jake Alhadeff, the native of Atlanta, GA who moved to Maitland, FL in 2003 passed away today.

    2013: Eighty-nine year old Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is scheduled to speak at Kirkwood Community college this morning and at Mount Mercy University this evening.  Her appearance is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

    2014(16th of Nisan, 5774): Second Day of Pesach – First day of the Omer

    2014: Macon Openshaw, 21, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to firing three rounds from a handgun at the Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in Salt Lake City (As reported by JTA)

    2014: The Magical Festival is scheduled to open this morning in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.

    2015(27th of Nisan, 5775): Yom HaShoah

    2015: As part of the Skirball Center’s Yom HaShoan observance Menachem Z. Rosensaft the editor of God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes, New York Times reporter Joseph Berger, senior editor of Tablet Magazine Stephanie Butnick, Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling, David Miliband, former Foreign Secretary of the UK, and senior fellow at New York University, Thane Rosenbaum, are scheduled to discuss how memories of the past affect their lives.

    2015: Holocaust survivor Bob Behr is scheduled to speak at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of the First Person program.

    2015: “Bialik” King of the Jews” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: “Saviors on the Screen,”  “a special Films Series dedicated to the rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust presented by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and the JCC Manhattan is scheduled to take place today.

    2015: On Yom HaShoah, Nancy Baron-Baer, the Regional Director of the ADL is scheduled to “conduct a discussion about Anti-Semitism in today's world and how to combat it” at the National Museum of American Jewish History.



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    April 17

    69: After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor. The year 69 was called “The Year of the Four Emperors” because four different claimants held the position in this brief period of time.  According to Rome and Jerusalem, the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple were byproducts of this violent year and grew out of a need by Vitellius’ successor, Vespasian, to prove his power and legitimacy.

    392: The Roman Emperors issued a new law “stating that Jewish leaders who have been expelled by their community cannot be forced back on the” Jewish community by Roman judges.  While this may seem like a gain for the Jews, the decree refers to them as “belonging to the Jewish superstition” – language that does not bode well for the long-term well-being of the Jews in the Roman Empire.

    1222:  Deacon Robert of Reading (England) was burned for converting to Judaism, setting the precedent for the burning of heretics.

    1397: Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as when the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury starts. There should be no connection between the Jewish people and Chaucer since the Jews had been expelled from England a century before he told his “tales.”  But Chaucer is proof that you do not need Jews to have anti-Semitism.  The “Prioress’s Tale,” one of the the twenty-three stories contains the following plot line,  “While wandering through the Jewish section of town singing hymns of his faith an eight-year old Christian child is murdered…The frantic mother uncovers the crime when she hears her newly buried son singing Alma Redemptoris.  Justice is sternly served when the Jewish community is wiped out in retaliation.” 

    1506(Nisan, 5266): In Lisbon, several Conversos were discovered who had in their possession "some lambs and poultry prepared according to Jewish custom.”  They also had “unleavened bread and bitter herbs” needed “according to the regulations for the Passover, which festival they celebrated far into the night." Several of them were seized, but were released after a few days. Angered by the release, mobs would riot and attack conversos living in the Portuguese capital.

    1525(Nisan, 5285): Isaac ben Jacob Margolioth, the son of Nuremberg Rabbi Jacob Margolioth, who served as a rabbi at Prague and wrote a preface to one of his father’s works passed away today.

    1528: First Jews settle legally in Fuerth, Bavaria

    1559:  At Cremona, Italy, Sixtus Senesis, an apostate Jew, who had become a Dominican, tried to convince the local Spanish governor to burn the Talmud. The governor demanded witnesses before he would give the order. Vitttorio Eliano the converted grandson of Elias Levita and one Joshua dei Cantori bore witness that the Talmud was full of lies about Christianity. A few days later approximately 10,000 books were burned. The Zohar was not touched since the Pope and the Catholic Church was interested in its publication believing that it would supplant the Talmud and make it easier to convert the Jews. Ironically it was Eliano himself who wrote the preface to the Cremora Zohar.

    1579: The seaside town of Youghal in County Cork, Ireland was damaged during the which was badly damaged today during the Second Desmond Rebellion had had the unique distinction in 1555 of being the first Irish town to have a Jewish mayor – William Moses Annyas Eanes, the grandson of Gil Eanes of Belmonte, Portugal.  Francis Eanes served as the town’s mayor on three different occasions coinciding with the rebellion but the relation between the two men has yet to be determined.

    1581: King Phillip, who commanded the governor of Milan to expel the Jews from Alessandra, began his reign as King of Portugal and Algarves.

    1671: In Amsterdam, construction began on a synagogue under the direction of the architect, Elias Bouman. The Sephardic community had bought the land in December of 1670.

    1731: Yeshivah Minhat Arab became the first Jewish day school in North American when it was founded today in the colony of New York. “The hazzan who taught the classes was instructed to teach the students ‘the Hebrew Spanish and English writing and arithmetick.’Eventually its name was changed to the Polonies Talmud Torah.”

    1748(19thof Nisan, 5508): Raphael Meldola passed away at Leghorn. Born at Leghorn in 1685, he was the son of Eleazar Meldola and Reina Senior.  He served as rabbi in Pisa, Bayonne and St. Esprit.

    1750:  Frederick II issued a general patent to the Jews limiting their role in the Prussian economy to activities involving commerce and industry. Jews were no longer viewed as dependents of the monarch but as citizens of the state even though they were not first class citizens. On the one hand, Jews were encouraged to be part of the state and its economy. On the other hand they were still second class citizens and divided into two classes - privileged and protected. Considered by some to be an "enlightened monarch," King Frederick wrote his “Political Testament” that was published in 1752 in which he described Jews as dangerous, superstitious and backward.

    1765: Jews of Arnhem were given permission to build a synagogue.

    1770: Charleston (SC) merchant, Moses Lindo responded to an appeal from Hezekiah Smith and contributed five pounds to Rhode Island College which is now known as Brown University. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)  “Moses Lindo was the inspector-general and surveyor of indigo, drugs, and dyes for South Carolina.”

    1775: As “Paul Revere clattered through ‘every Middlesex village and farm’ there were approximately 3,000 Jews living in the thirteen colonies to respond to his call to arms. 

    1782(3rd of Iyar, 5542): Chaim Samuel Jacob Falk, known as the “Baal Shem of London” passed away. Reportedly born in 1708, possibly in Furth, Germany, Falk escaped to England in 1742 after authorities in Westphalia had sentenced the Kabbalist and Mystic to death on charges of sorcery.    “Falk left a diary, now in the library of the bet ha-midrash of the United Synagogue, which is a quaint medley of dreams, records of charitable gifts, booklists, cabalistic names of angels, lists of pledges, and cooking-recipes.”

    1790: American Patriot, Scientist, Printer and liver of the good life Benjamin Franklin passed away at the age of 84.  As with so many of those of his time, Franklin espoused moral values but mistrusted organize religion.  He used the Exodus from Egypt as a metaphor for the colonists clash with King George, a modern day Pharaoh.  He wanted to have a depiction of the Israelites crossing the Sea of Reeds as part of the Great Seal of the United States.  At a more practical level, his name was at the top of the list of prominent Philadelphians who contributed funds to Congregation Mikveh Israel at the time of its financial need.

    1790(3rd of Iyar, 5550):  A major pogrom took place in the Jewish community of Tetouan, Morocco. On this day the Muslim ruler Mawlay Yazid entered the city, rounded up all of the Jews, men women and children, and violently stripped them of their clothing. They were left with no dignity, naked for three days in prison. Some of the Jews fearing for their lives escaped to the graves Moorish saints where they would pray for their lives. The Muslim leader had some Jews beheaded to make a statement.

    1797: “The status of the Jews of Posen was now determined by the "General-Juden-Reglement" of this date which aimed to make them, as mechanics and trades-men, useful members of the state.

    1797:  In Eastern Poland, after falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1793, the government enacted "The Regulation" which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including that of not being able to marry under the age of 25 and then only upon proof of a fixed income.

    1798: Jews were given permission to “settle within the old city walls of Cologne.”

    1801(4thof Iyar, 5561): Fifty-one year old Ruben Moses Rubino the husband of Minkel Rubino passed away today.

    1802:  Birthdate of Joseph Salomons, the third son of Levi Salomons. In 1824, he married a daughter of Joseph Montefiore. He had three daughters, one of whom became the wife of Aaron Goldsmid of London; another the wife, of Lionel Benjamin Cohen; and the third became the wife of Prof. Jacob Waley. Salomons passed away in January, 1829. (As reported by Sir David Salomons)

    1801(4thof Iyar, 5561): Fifty-one year old Robert Moses Rubino passed away in Fritzlar, Germany

    1817(1st of Iyar, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1818: In Mainz, Germany, Michael Creizenach and his wife gave birth to poet and historian Theodor Creizenach.

    1833: Thomas Babington Macaulay delivered his speech “on the disabilities of the Jews” in the House of Commons.

    1837: Albert Moses Levy's ship, the Independence, was captured by two Mexican brigs-of-war. After three months he escaped and walked back to Texas, where he set up medical practice in Matagorda. The next year he received an appointment to a medical board established by both houses of the Congress of the republic.

    1840: In Frankfurt, Clementine Oppenheim and her husband Adolphe de Reinach the  Belgian consul in Frankfurt gave birth to French banker Baron Jacob Adolphe Reinach

    1840: Birthdate of Hippolyte Bernheim the French born physician whose work with hypnotherapy attracted the attention of Sigmund Freud.

    1848: The gates of the Rome Ghetto were pulled down during the Revolutions of 1848 that swept much of Europe in general and Italy in particular. Ciceruacchio, a popular Italian Catholic leader, led a group who tore down the gates Passover eve. The Jews in the ghetto at first thought they were being attacked and hid in their houses.

    1851(15thof Nisan, 5611): Pesach

    1853: Birthdate of German mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies, the great-uncle of Walter Benjamin.

    1854: A French-language version of “Margherita d'Anjou an operatic melodramma semiseria in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer was performed in New Orleans today.

     1856(12th of Nisan, 5616): Fast of the First Born.

    1866: Bryants Minstrels acting as Ethiopian Fun Makers will perform “The Challenge Dance of Shylock” or “The Jew of Chatham Street” tonight in New York City.  [Most Jews are aware of Shylock as a figure of anti-Semitism.  In 19thcentury American references to Chatham Street were equally anti-Semitic.  Chatham Street was the local of the 2nd hand clothing business in New York.  Supposedly the trade was dominated by Jews were who always exploiting the Christians who frequented their shops]

    1869: The Mercantile Club, a Jewish social club established in Philadelphia in 1853, was incorporated today. Louis Bomeisler and Clarence Wolf have served as Presidents of the club. Other Jewish clubs included The Garrick, the Progress, and the Franklin.

    1870(16th of Nisan, 5630): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1875: “Die Maccabäer” (The Maccabees) an opera in three acts by Anton Rubinstein and Salomon Hermann Mosenthal which is itself based on the biblical story of the Maccabees was first performed today at the Hofoper, Berlin.

    1878(14th of Nisan, 5638): An article entitled “The Deliverance of Israel” notes that some Jews are no longer substituting bread for Matzoth during Passover especially that who are members of the congregations led by Rabbi David Einhorn and Rabbi Gustave Gottheil. Einhorn and Gotheil were both Reform rabbis.  Eihnorn led Congregation Adath Israel and Gottheil led Temple Emanu-el.

    1881: Nathan Blesenthal, a prominent Buffalo, NY, Jew became a Presbyterian today. His conversion was a condition set by Gertrude Deming if the couple was going to be wed.  Blesenthal’s mother had opposed the conversion and young Nathan only left the “faith of his fathers” after his mother passed away.

    1881: The property occupied by the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum was purchased today for $12,500.

    1881: It was reported today that the Jews are talking about erecting a national synagogue in Washington, DC.”

    1882: Birthdate of Polish pianist and classical composer Artur Schnabel. Like so many others, he left Europe to escape Nazi persecution. The pianist was famous for his performances of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. He passed away in 1951.

    1882(28thof Nisan, 5642): Joel Samuel Polack passed away.  Born in 1807, he was the first Jewish settler in New Zealand, arriving there in 1831.

    1884(22nd of Nisan, 5644): 8th day of Pesach

    1884: In Cuero, Texas, Rudolph Frank and Rachel Rae Jacobs gave birth to Leo Frank who moved to New York when he was three months which would lead some to characterize him as “a New York Jew” when he was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan – a crime of which he was innocent but thanks to a wave of anti-Semitism led to his lynching one hundred years ago in 1915.


    1884: Theodore Hoffman who will be hanged tomorrow after having been found guilty of murdering a Jewish peddler named Zife Marks, ate a breakfast of fried oysters this morning in his cell at White Plains, NY

    1887: President Levy presided over tonight’s meeting of the Jewish Immigrants’ Protective Society which was held at the synagogue on Rivington Street in New York.  In its first year of operation the society has given $1,600 to “newly arrived immigrants.

    1888(6thof Iyar, 5648): Businessman and philanthropist Abraham Warshawski passed away in St. Petersburgn.

    1889(16th of Nisan, 5649): Second day of Pesach; 1st day of the Omer

    1891: Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a Union veteran of the Civil War resigned as 1stLieutenant Veteran Corps of the First Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard

    1892: “Jews Who Speak Spanish” published today provided a review of Biblioteca Espanola-Portugueza Judaica: Jewish Authors-Titles of their Works in Spanish and Portuguese with a notice on Spanish Jews and a Collection of Spanish Proverbs by Meir Kayserling.

    1892: In Brooklyn, NY, Temple Israel dedicated its new building a the corner of Bedford and Lafayette Avenues.

    1892: Based on reports published today the personal efforts of Emperor William bring peace between the Government and the Conservatives have been hampered by Pastor Stoecker and his anti-Jewish policies which are growing ever more popular.

    1892: “Clerical Control of Education Their Ultimatum” published today included a description of a libel trial in Berlin during which the President of the Berlin Municipal School Bard testified “that out of the twenty-four members composing the board thirteen, or a majority, were Jews and the rest agnostics and that all of them cooperated against religious teaching in the schools.”

    1892: An article entitled “Given A Breathing Spell” attributes the sluggishness in the New York real estate market to the celebration of Easter and Passover.  As the author says, “It is a good thing for the real estate market that such holidays as the Passover and Easter do not come too often.”

    1893(1st of Iyar, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1893: The will of Mrs. Abraham Karl, the widow of Abraham Karl was executed today and Benjamin Blumenthal, Simon Goldsmith and Theodore Hirsch were named as executors.

    1893: It was reported today that the leading Jews of Bulgaria have ordered from Budapest “an album inlaid with diamonds, rubies and emeralds to be given to Prince Ferdinand and his bridge on their wedding day.”

    1893: As the New York Jewish community responded to aggressive attempts by Protestants to convert Jews, Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu-El embellished on his sermon give yesterday by saying “I am not ready to be drawn into a public discussion on this subject but the charges which I make against the Christians I can prove, and if the Protestant organizations which are devoting themselves to this work of so-called convention will come forward and deny my general charges I will produce the facts on which my allegations rest specifically and in detail.”

    1894(11thof Nisan, 5654): Seventy-five year old Fanny Neuda passed away.

    1895: As beef prices continue to rise, Jewish butchers on the lower East Side express their gloom about any chance of improvement.

    1895(23rdof Nisan, 5655): Fifty-two year old Moritz Dessauer, the son of Gabriel L. Dessauer, who was the district rabbi at Meiningen and author of several works including one on Spinoza and Hobbes passed away today.

    1895(23rdof Nisan, 5655): Seventy-seven year old Hermann “Hirschel” Bodenheimer, the son of Emanuel and Johanna Bodenheimer passed away today after which he was buried in the Durbach Jewish Cemetery.

    1895: Thanks to the efforts of New York state senator Joseph C. Wolff, the Hebrew Infant Asylum received its charter today.

    1895: In South Carolina, Mary Beatrice Levy married Miguel Bofill

    1896: The will of the late Leonard Friedman will filed for probate today in the Surrogate’s office.

    1897(15thof Nisan, 5657): Pesach

    1897: A list of the bequest’s made by the late Frances Danzig, the widow of Frances Danzig, whose estate was valued at $40,000 included “$500 to each of the following instiutions: The Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, the Mounts Sinai Hospital and the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews” as well as “the income of the sum of $1,000 to be applied by Temple Emanu-El to the care of the Danzig family plot in the Salem Fields Cemetery.”

    1897: Art and Artists published today described recently published books including A Handful of Exotics: Scenes and Incidents Chiefly of Russo-Jewish Life by Samuel Gordon

    1898: “Comic Opera for Charity” published today described the performance given by the Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum of “The Little Tycoon” in which Silas Musliner directed the members including Henry D. Kleinman Emanuel Cohen, Celia Baumann, Clara Weinstein and J.S. Kornicker, in an event designed to raise fund for the orphans.

    1900: Herzl began a two week journey that would take him from Karlsruhe, to Paris and finally to London. Like so many of his trips, Herzl was again seeking support from the rich and famous for the creation of a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel.

    1902: The Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, who was a member of Lord Milner's High or Advisory Committee in South Africa, and Chaplain of the Rand Rifles, was among the passengers who arrived on the White Star liner Teutonic today.  Yes, the Rabbi Hertz who gave us the “Hertz Chumash” and the “Hertz Siddur” served as the chaplain for a military unit that helped protect Johannesburg during the Boer War

    1903: Birthdate of Russian born, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.  This musical prodigy escaped Lenin’s Russia, made his way to the United States where he made a name for himself as a performer and academic.  He passed away in 1976

    1905: The First American Rumanian Congregation was scheduled to continue distributing matzoth to poor Jews living on the Lower East Side today.

    1910: In Warsaw, Zelig and Henia (nee Lieberman) Vilenski gave birth to Israeli composer Moshe Vilenski who “was voted the 187th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.” He collaborated with lyricist Nathan Alterman and singer Shoshana Damari to create the Israeli classic “Kalaniyot.”

    1910: By four o’clock this afternoon, at least 3,000 persons had been given supplies for Passover by the United Hebrew Community at their offices on East Broadway. Distribution of the supplies is schedule to continue throughout the week or until they run out, whichever comes first.

    1910: Louis Diamond, Secretary of the United Hebrew Community called for additional contributions to help defray the costs of the increased demand for Passover supplies to help out the city’s needy Jews.

    1911: According to statements made tonight, a Kheillah is meeting to consider what steps to take in the case of Esther Yachnin, the sixteen year old girl who converted to Christianity last year at the age of 15.  Esther had come to United States at the age of 13 and had enrolled in an English language class offered by the Young Women’s Christian Association which eventually led to her conversion.  The parents had no prior knowledge of the plans for the conversion.  Given the Esther’s youth and the estrangement from her family and community, Jews living on the Lower East Side question the validity of the conversion.  They may also be concerned that their unsuspecting children will become candidates for similar such conversions. The Kheillah is considering legal action if such recourse to law can be effective.

    1911: Birthdate of George Stenius who grew up to be director George Seaton. According to Hello, I Must Be Going: Groucho and His Friends by Charlotte Chandler, Seaton “grew upon in a Jewish neighborhood in Detroit where he was the “Shabbas goy for his friends” learned enough Hebrew to be “bar mitzvahed” receiving the fabled fountain pen as a gift.

    1912: Birthdate of British lawyer and patron of the arts Isador Caplan.

    1912: “Mountain Ridge Country Club, located in West Caldwell, New Jersey, was officially formed today, when 25 charter members filed a Document of Incorporation with the State of New Jersey. Among its founders were Louis Bamberger, whose Newark department store, Bamberger’s, was among the largest in the Unites States, and Felix Fuld, Bamberger’s brother-in-law who was the first Parks Commissioner of New Jersey. The prominent membership has also included Joseph Weintraub, former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, and A.J. Dimond.

    1913: Seventy-eight year old German-born British shipbuilder and politician Gustav Wilhelm Wolff passed away. He was raised as a Lutheran because his father had converted before his birth.  This was one of many examples of Jews who were “lost” in the wake of those who thought a trip to the baptismal font was the price of economic success and/or social acceptance.  The racial policies of the Nazis would prove them wrong.

    1915: The Zion Mule Corps left for Gallipoli. Commanded by Colonel Henry Patterson and organized by Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky, they were a Jewish auxiliary unit of the British Army. The British were not interested in giving them the ability to fight, so they were assigned to provide provisions to the front lines.  Gallipoli was part of the Ottoman Empire.  With the stalemate on the Western Front, Churchill convinced other Allied leaders to attack at Gallipoli in an attempt to outflank the Central Powers. Churchill thought the Allies would easily defeat the Turks, open up the water route to Russia and end the war.  Unfortunately, the plan and the Allied Forces, including the Zion Mule Corps were forced to withdraw.  The Jewish troops performed with distinction and later became the nucleus for the Jewish Legion that was formed in 1917.  This was part of the on-going process of the creation of creating what would eventually become the IDF.  While the original Zionist dream had been a peaceful, almost pacifist comments, the realities of the neighborhood forced the Jews to become adept warriors.

    1916: Rabbi Stephen Wise officiated at the marriage of Elinor Fatman and Henry Morgenthau, Jr; a marriage that was unusual for its time because the bridge had proposed to the groom.

    1917(25thof Nisan, 5677): During WW I, Lieutenant-colonel Rene Cahen was killed toda.

    1917: French President Raymond Poincare bemoaned the fact that “in London our agreements are now considered null and void.”  He was upset by the fact that the British were now calling for a larger role in the post-World War Middle East including acknowledgement of Zionist plans for Palestine.

    1917: During World War I, the British army employs tanks for one of the first times in the Middle East in an attempt to defeat the Turks at Gaza.  The so-called Second Battle of Gaza will prove to be a costly defeat for His Majesty’s Forces who will suffer over six thousand casualties.

    1919: As part of an episode that would have far-reaching implications for the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, the French prepared a declaration today that was presented to Prince Feisal.  Feisal expected the document to be a written affirmation of Clemenceau’s promise of total Arab independence for Syria – a Syria to be ruled by Feisal.  But according to the French document, the French army would occupy Damascus, and the new Arab nation would actually exist as a mere federation of local autonomous states in which all the government advisers, including the governors and heads of major government bureaus, as well as the judiciary, would be French, under Paris's control as they were in Lebanon. What's more, Faisal himself would be compelled to publicly declare the importance of France's historic relationship with the Maronite Christians. Other than that, said the French, Syria would be completely "independent."  Faisal quickly refused, encouraged by Lawrence of Arabia, who advised him to demand total independence "without conditions or reservations." Clemenceau, however, would not tolerate what he considered Arab impudence. Faisal summarily left Paris for Syria to claim his nation. Faisal, who had signed a letter welcoming the Zionists to Palestine, would fail.  The perfidy of the French would lead to an unstable Syria that would become an implacable enemy of Israel. Faisal would settle for throne of another British creation, Iraq. 

    1923(1st of Iyar, 5683): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1924: In Brooklyn, Joseph Geller, an artist who earned a living painting signs, and his wife, Olga gave birth to ” Andrew Geller, an architect who embodied postwar ingenuity and optimism in a series of inexpensive beach houses in whimsical shapes, many of them in the Hamptons, and who helped bring modernism to the masses with prefabricated cottages sold at Macy’s.” (As reported by Fred A. Bernstein)

    1924: Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures & Louis B Mayer Company merged to form MGM.

    Many of the early motion picture studios were dominated, if not owned outright, by Jews.  Many of them were immigrants who made movies idealizing America since that was what sold at the box office.  The film industry may have been run by Jews, but you sure would not have known from the content.

    1926: Birthdate of Aharon Yadlin, the sabra from Ben Shemen who served with Palmach and as an MK and Education Minster from 1974 through 1977.

    1927(15thof Nisan, 5687): Pesach

    1928: According to an interview sent out by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, Emil Vandervelde, a member the Belgian Cabinet, is “greatly impressed” with the work being done by the Jewish settlers in Palestine. He said that it was only through personal observation that he “had he been able to understand the difficulties and appreciate their achievements in transforming deserts and swamps into flourishing” settlements.  He “cited the municipality of Tel Aviv as a marvelous expression” of the Jewish ability to build and improve the land.  Furthermore, in a speech at Hebrew University, the Belgian leader cited Zionism’s “fraternal tendencies toward the Arabs which was an important factor toward international peace.

    1928: A conference of Communist youth being held in Tel Aviv was broken up by police.  Fourteen boys, including one Arab, and six girls were detained by the authorities.

    1928: Birthdate of Cynthia Ozick, author of the “Puttermesser Papers”. Born in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Russia, who both worked as pharmacists, Ozick grew up in the care of her grandmother, who was always telling her stories. She grew up to write several more novels full of Jewish mysticism and history, including “The Messiah of Stockholm”and “The Puttermesser Papers”but she's perhaps best known for her essays, collected in  Art and Ardor,Metaphor and Memory and Quarrel and Quandary (2000).  Ozick said, "I believe a writer can weave in and out of genres—do it all. It is a gluttonous point of view, to be sure. Then again, when it comes to writing, that is what I truly am and nothing less: a glutton."

    1931(30th of Nisan, 5691): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

    1934(2ndof Iyar, 5694): Fifty-three year old Harry Krensky, a merchant in Waterloo, Iowa, passed away today.

    1934(2ndof Iyar, 5694): Maria Isaak the wife of Abraham Isaak with whom she “founded the anarchist-inspired Aurora Colony near Lincoln, California” in 1909 passed away today.

    1934: Birthdate of Don Kirshner who was “known as The Man With the Golden Ear.” He was an American song publisher and rock producer who is best known for managing songwriting talent as well as successful pop groups such as The Monkees and The Archies. He passed away in 2011.

    1935: Ben Heiineman married Natalie Goldstein who as Natalie Goldstein Heineman became a pioneering national champion for children’s welfare and respected community and national leader, who changed the lives of thousands of children through her innovative and thoughtful leadership.” (As reported by Pastora San Juan Cafferty)

    1936: Eighty-one year old German orientalist Fritz Hommel author of Ancient Hebrew Tradition passed away today.

    1936: At a funeral held this morning in Tel Aviv for a Jewish victim of Arab violence, a clash broke out between Jewish protesters and police.

    1938: Arturo Toscanini conducts the Palestine Orchestra in a second performance in Tel Aviv.  Unlike last night’s performance which was given to a packed house filled with officials and those who could afford high priced tickets, tonight’s performance was for workers who paid greatly reduced prices for their tickets.

    1941(20thof Nisan, 5701): Sixth day of Pesach

    1941: Yugoslavia surrenders to the Nazis. Nearly 60,000 Jews were murdered by the German army.   Gold teeth from the murdered victims were later found in the palace of the Catholic Bishop of Zagreb (Croatia).

    1941(20th of Nisan, 5701):  In Warsaw, a Jewish policeman named Ginsberg was bayoneted and shot by German soldiers after asking a soldier to return a sack of potatoes taken from a Jewish woman.

    1941: Photojournalist David E. Scherman was among the 201 passengers aboard the Egyptian liner Zamzam when it was sunk by the German “surface raider” Atlantis which the British would find and sink thanks to the photographs he took from a lifeboat.

    1942: French General Henri Giraud escapes from his castle prison in Festung Königstein where he was a German POW.  Giraud joined the Free French in North Africa. In 1943, while serving as High Commissioner he said that Vichy's anti-Jewish laws "no longer exist," promised to hold municipal elections in North Africa. He also revoked the Cremieux Decree of 1870, which granted French citizenship en bloc to Jews in Algeria, but excluded the Arabs. Henceforth, Moslems and Jews must complement each other economically, "the latter working in his shop, the former in the desert, without either having advantage over the other, France assuring both security and tranquility." This even-handed sounding speech is a bit disingenuous.  Many of the Vichy restrictions against Jews continued during this period in an attempt by the Allies to placate the Arabs.

    1942(30th of Nisan, 5702):  The Gestapo entered the Warsaw ghetto and shot 52 people on Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

    1943: Birthdate of journalist, writer and member of the Brandeis faculty, Robert Kuttner.

    1943: In a meeting at Klessheim Castle near Salzburg, Hitler met with the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy, to urge the Hungarians to deport their Jewish population. Hitler explained, ". . . they are just pure parasites . . . they had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli which in a healthy body may become infected." Horthy and Hungary continued to hold out against Hitler's demands.  Things would change in 1944 and most of Hungary's Jews became victims of the Final Solution.

    [Editor’s Note:Holocaust Deniers might want to consider the findings of British author Gerald Reitlinger.  He claimed to have found conclusive proof of a Hitlerian liquidation policy in the protocol of a conversation between Hitler and Hungarian Regent Horthy on April 17, 1943. Hitler complained about the black market and subversive activities of Hungarian Jews and then made the following comment: "They have thoroughly put an end to these conditions in Poland. If the Jews don't wish to work there, they will be shot. If they cannot work, at least they won't thrive"]

    1944: Mordechai (Motke) Eldar was among the Jews from Transylvanian taken to the Sltina Ghetto where he would be held until May when he was shipped to Auschwitz.

    1945: Surviving inmates of Sachsenhausen and Ravenbruck were forced to march deeper into Germany. With the war coming to an end, the Germans continued to force evacuees including 17,000 women and 46,000 men to move away from the Allied armies.  Those who once boasted of their effort to make Europe "Jew Free" now worked feverishly to cover up what would come to be called "Crimes Against Humanity."

    1945: Lieutenant Al Ungerleider approached Nordhausen with orders to take and hold part of an industrial complex there. “His detachment had to fight its way through the gates and the barbed wire, dodging machine-gun fire from enemy soldiers hiding in towers near the entrance. After his men took out the enemy, the camp inmates began to appear. They were so emaciated that only a few could stand upright. Some fell over, he recalled. Still others were lying in bed, covered in lice and sores. Lt. Ungerleider sent his men to check the grounds for remaining Nazi soldiers. They captured 44 SS troopers, all of whom surrendered. Billy Millhander, one of” his “soldiers, Ungerlider entered a large building at the center of the camp and discovered 10 huge ovens — crematoriums.” At the time, he did not know what they were. According to Ungerleider, “The ovens were cold, and the doors were closed.” he said. He began opening the doors of the oven expecting to find German troops in hiding. “The first four contained ashes. But when the lieutenant opened the fifth, Millhander immediately fired several rounds, killing an armed German guard.” They returned to the main yard, and Lt. Ungerleider spoke a mixture of Yiddish, English and German to the camp inmates. He asked how many were still alive. The reply came: maybe 250 out of thousands. He asked what they were making at the plant. Someone said V-2 rockets, missiles that were launched against England. “And that’s when the enormity of the evil that the Germans were doing to these people hit me,” Ungerleider said later. “And this was a slave labor camp, not a death camp. They were making a product for the war effort. The first thought that came into my mind is how the Germans could take [thousands of people] and put them to work. How could they not feed them, take care of their medical needs, not clothe them?” He led the survivors in the mourner’s kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. Al Ungerleider enjoyed a successful career in the U.S. Army rising to the rank of General.  At the same time, he remained an active member of the Jewish community wherever he was stationed.

    1945: Robert Limpert, the head of a genuine anti-Nazi underground group, sought to get the leaders of the Bavarian city of Ansbach to defy Wermacht fanatics and to surrender to the approaching American Army.

    1945: William Scott of the 183rd Combat Engineers, an all-African-American unit took pictures of Leon Bass and other members of the unit at Buchenwald six days after its liberation by the U.S. Army.

    1948(8th of Nisan, 5708): On Shabbat Hagadol news came that a convoy bringing in needed supplies to Jerusalem had broken through by night. Crowds came down to the Romema road block to greet the convoy. Over 250 lorries bringing a thousand tons of food and arms and ammunition came streaming into the entrance to the city. Written on the first lorry were the words: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning".

    1948: As Jewish soldiers fight to open the road to Jerusalem and break the blockade that was strangling the city reports circulate through the City of David that five Arab villages had been taken and as many as 350 Arab fighters had been killed.

    1948: In his report on the massacre of the staff going to the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, Robert Watson, the American Consul in Jerusalem wrote " . . . queried as to whether convoy included armoured cars, Haganah guards, arms and ammunition in addition to doctors, nurses and patients, Kohn [of the Jewish Agency] replied in affirmative saying it was necessary to protect convoy."

    1949(18th of Nisan, 5709): Meir Bar-llan, an Orthodox Rabbi from Lithuania who was a leader of the Mizrachi movement passed away today in Jerusalem. Bar-Illan University was named in his memory.

    1950: The New York Times reported that the obsolete conditions at the port of Tel Aviv pose a threat to the continued economic growth of the infant Jewish state.  According to Jose Ensuade, President of Flomarcy Company, “Israel’s maritime position and the continued growth of her foreign comer, which has had an almost phenomenal growth may be impaired unless harbor facilities are improved.”  He marveled at the fact that the port which is the nation’s entry point for 25,000 immigrants arriving each month and which has seen a remarkable growth in trade “is virtually without modern docking facilities.”

    1952(22nd of Nisan, 5712): 8th day of Pesach

    1954(14th of Nisan, 5714): Shabbat Ha-Gadol; Erev Pesach

    1954: Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger who was born as into an Ashkenazi Jewish family was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest today.

    1954: In Tel Aviv, the family of Emanuel Shoam celebrates the first Seder with three friends of his brother Joe, who had been held as a prisoner of war by the Jordanians during the War of Independence.  The three were a young Canadian Jew named Martin and two gentile deserters from the British army named Paddy and Harry who had stolen tanks from the British in 1948 and brought them to the Haganah.

    1955: Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Hy Cohen played in his first major league baseball game.

    1957: George Pirkis Kidd, Canada’s first Ambassador to Israel, completed his term of service.

    1957: Margaret Blanche Meagher began serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel.

    1958(27thof Nisan, 5718): Yom HaShoah

    1958: Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Larry Sherry appears in his first major league baseball game.  Sherry would lead the Dodgers to a World Series Championship in 1959.

    1959: U.S. premiere of “Imitation of Life” the cinematic treatment of Fannie Hurt’s novel produced by Ross Hunter with a musical score co-authored by Sammy Fain.

    1964: Birthdate of Ofer Hugi, the Shas MK who ended up going to prison for two years after being convicted of numerous illegal acts.

    1965(15th of Nisan, 5725): 1st day of Pesach

    1965: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Art Shamsky appears in his first major league baseball game.

    1967:  Egypt, Syria and Iraq signed a treaty of alliance that placed their military forces under a unified command with the stated purpose of “liberating Palestine” i.e. destroying the state of Israel.

    1969: Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating Senator Robert F Kennedy.  At one point, the young Arab claimed he killed Kennedy because he supported Israel.

    1970: The Auditorium Building in Chicago “one of the best known designs of Dankmar Adler” and his partner “was added to the National Register of Historic Places” today.,_2012-92.jpg

    1971: Susan Brownmiller organized today’s New York Radical Feminist Conference on Rape

    1973(15thof Nisan, 5733): Pesach

    1973(15thof Nisan, 5733): Ninety-one year old Clara Ferrin-Bloom the native of Tucson, AZ who was a school teacher when she married merchant David Bloom with whom she had three children, one of whom David A. “established the Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives at the University of Arizona passed away today.

    1983(4th of Iyar, 5743): Yom HaZikaron

    1984(15thof Nisan, 5744): Pesach

    1986: Authorities foiled an attempted bombing at Heathrow Airport. Israeli airline security guards at Heathrow Airport in London took a hard look at Anne-Marie Murphy and her luggage as she was about to board an El Al flight for Tel Aviv. Beneath a false bottom in her bag they found 10 pounds of plastic explosive rolled paper-thin -enough, the police said, to destroy the El Al Boeing 747 and its 340 passengers. The police said Miss Murphy told them that the bag, which had passed unnoticed through Heathrow security checks, had been handed to her by Nazar Hindawi, a Jordanian who had several passports. The woman's father said Mr. Hindawi had given Miss Murphy, who is pregnant, $300 to buy a wedding dress and promised that they would be married yesterday in Israel. At the airport, according to the police, Mr. Hindawi told his fiancee he had second thoughts about flying on an Israeli plane and would take a different airline. He hurried off but was arrested later at a London hotel. A sophisticated microchip timer was set to ignite the bomb after a stopover in Munich, the police said. It was possible that Miss Murphy, who had been working as a hotel maid in the London Hilton, intended to disembark at Munich, the police said, but more likely she was an innocent victim of the plot.

    1986(8thof Nisan, 5746): Ninety-four year old French aircraft builder Marcel Dassault who as Marcel Bloch was imprisoned in Buchenwald for his refusal to collaborate with the Nazis passed and who became a Catholic after the war passed away today.

    1987(18th of Nisan, 5747): Comedian Dick Shawn, born Richard Schulefand, died on stage from a heart attack at age 63.

    1987: In the UK, premiere of “Prick Up Your Ears” directed by Stephen Frears based on the by John Lahr.

    1988(30thof Nisan, 5748): Eighty-eight year old Russian born American sculptor Louis Nevelson passed away today.

    1997: The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut under the direction of Jewish conductor Yakov Kreizberg

    1997: Joyce Shepard of the Citizens Action Committee for Change met with Alan G. Hevesi and Mayor Giuliani at City Hall where they promised her that more facilities would be provided for the victims of domestic abuse.

    1997(10th of Nisan, 5757): Chaim Herzog passed away.  Born in Ireland in 1918, Herzog was the son of the distinguished Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. Herzog moved to Palestine in 1935 and served in the Haganah during the Arab Uprising that started in 1936.  During World War II, Herzog served in the British Army where he worked with intelligence units liberating concentration camps.  During the War for Independence, Herzog was a leader in the fighting at Latrun, part of the heroic campaign to keep the road to Jerusalem open thus ensuring that the ancient city would be part of modern Israel.  Herzog had a distinguished career in the IDF and retired in 1962 with the rank of Major General.  In civilian life he pursued a career in business and the law while also serving as a media commentator on military matters.  In the middle seventies, he returned to public service as Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. and then as a Member of the Knesset for the Labor Party.  He served two terms as Israel's President (1983-1993). His historical writings include The Arab-Israeli Wars, War of Atonement: The Inside Story of the Yom Kippur War, Who Stands Accused? and Israel's Finest Hour.

    1998(17thof Nisan, 5758): Third day of Pesach

    1998(7thof Nisan, 5758): Fifty-six year old Linda McCartney the wife of Beatle Paul McCartney, the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Russia passed away today.

    1998:  Marek Edelman one of the last surviving leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was awarded with Poland's highest decoration, the Order of the White Eagle.

    1998: U.S. premiere of “The Object Of My Affection” directed by Nicholas Hytner, with a script by Wendy Wasserstein and co-starring Paul Rudd.

    2002(5th of Iyar, 5762):  Yom Ha’atzmaut.

    2003(15thof Nisan, 5763): Pesach

    2004: For the fifth time terrorists, in this case Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Bridge, stage an attack at the Erez Crossing.

    2004:  An Israeli missile strike killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.  In the words of the Associated Press, "Rantisi was Hamas' top leader in Gaza and one of the most hard-line members of the militant movement who rejects all compromise with Israel and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state."

    2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “The Outlaw Bible of American Literature” Edited by Alan Kaufman, Neil Ortenberg and Barney Rosset and the recently released paperback edition of “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow.

    2005:  A Jewish Museum of Belmonte (Museu Judaico de Belmonte) opened today. Marranos living in Belmonte are sometimes referred to as the "Belmonte Jews." They are a community that has survived in secrecy for hundreds of years by maintaining a tradition of endogamy and by hiding all the external signs of their faith. The community in the municipality of Belmonte, Cova da Beira subregion, Portugal, goes back to the 12th century and they were only discovered in 1917 by a Polish Jewish mining engineer named Samuel Schwarz. Some of them returned to Judaism in the 1970s, and opened a synagogue in 1996. In 2003, the Belmonte Project was founded under the auspices of the American Sephardi Federation, in order to raise funds to acquire Judaic educational material and services for the community which now numbers 300. William Annyas (or Anes) - a descendant of a Marrano family from Belmonte who immigrated to Ireland - became the Mayor of Youghal in County Cork in 1555, the first person of the Jewish religion to hold such an elected position in Ireland or Britain. William Annyas was the grandson of Gil Anes. Many of the first Jewish people to come to Ireland were Marrano merchants from the Iberian Peninsula. His daughter married Yacov Kassin (Shamus Ciosain) daughter of Yehuda Kassin (Juan Cassin) a Marrano merchant who had moved to Galway in Ireland.

    2006: At precisely 4:00 P.M., President Moshe Katsav calls the 17th Knesset to order in its maiden session with three blows of the gavel.   MK Shimon Peres (Kadima) is invited to conduct the session. As the most senior MK, Peres will be acting speaker of the Knesset until a permanent speaker is selected.

    2006(19thof Nisan, 5766): Nine people were killed and at least 40 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. The blast ripped through Falafel Rosh Ha'ir, the same restaurant that was hit by an attack on January 19. The Islamic Jihad and Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades both claimed responsibility for the attack. The Hamas led PA government defended the suicide bombing, calling it an act of "self-defense." Hamas official spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the attack "a natural result of the continued Israeli crimes against our people".

    2006(19th of Nisan, 5766):Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a leading Jewish scholar and civil rights advocate known for his provocative, often contrarian views, has passed away at the age of 84.  The cause of death was heart complications. Hertzberg was president of the American Jewish Congress from 1972 to 1978, and vice president of the World Jewish Congress from 1975 to 1991. He also wrote a dozen of books on Jewish thought and history. Dedicated to the creation of Israel, he angered many Jews by also calling for a Palestinian state. An early advocate of civil rights for blacks, Hertzberg was among the prominent participants in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington. Nine years later, he headed the first Jewish delegation to meet formally with the Vatican about the Roman Catholic Church's silence during the Holocaust. Born in southeastern Poland, Hertzberg's family emigrated to the U.S. when he was five. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and met his wife while serving as an air force chaplain in Britain. After returning to the U.S., he became a congregational rabbi at the conservative Temple Emanu-el in New Jersey, where he served until 1985.

    2006: Today “to mark the centennial of the birth of the playwright Clifford Odets, Lincoln Center Theatre will open a new production of “Awake and Sing!,” Odets’s first full-length play and the one that made him a literary superstar in 1935, at the age of twenty-eight.”

    2006: In today’s issue of The New Yorker Seymour “Seymour Hersh reported on the Bush administration's purported plans for an air strike on Iran” that would include “the possible use of B61-11 bunker-buster nuclear weapon to eliminate underground Iranian uranium enrichment facilities.”

    2007: The Israel Project and The Hebrew University's Truman Institute sponsors a one day conference entitled “IRAN, HIZBALLAH and HAMAS: Money, Martyrdom and the Mahdi.” The Israel Project describes itself as “an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. It provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.”

    2007: The New York Times reviewed Shimon Peres: The Biography by Michael Bar-Zohar.

    2008: Famed author Cynthia Ozick celebrates her 80th birthday. "Ozick is the most high-browed of all the Jewish-American writers, completely lacking well-read Saul Bellow's interest in the demimonde and the low-life. And yet her prose is always alive and crackling, flashy and sensuous, and as distinctive as the markings on a hoopoe." - Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement (3/11/2006)

    2008: In Cedar Rapids, Hedy Epstein, whose parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust speaks at Coe College and at Kennedy High School.

    2008: In Iowa City, Iowa. Agudas Achim and Hillel hold a siyyum for the Fast of the Firstborn. For the siyyum, Professor Steven Green leads a presentation on the Talmudic section called “Yadyim,” which discusses the laws of Levitical cleanliness or un-cleanliness of the hands.

    2008:  UNITE HERE, a union of textile workers and hospitality workers, organized a rally outside the offices of Goldman Sachs in downtown Manhattan to advocate higher wages for the company’s cafeteria workers. Though few of the cafeteria workers are Jewish, the rally will feature a mock Seder along with Passover songs.

    2009: A.B. Yehoshua, the award-winning Israeli writer, presents a lecture, "From Mythology to History," as well as discusses his latest novel, “Friendly Fire.” This event is part of the University of Maryland’s (College Park),"George Wasserman Family Israeli Cultural Event" series.

    2009: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah hosts the final Musical Shabbat in this the second season of this popular celebration of the start of the “Day of Rest.”

    2010: The Westchester Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to show “Rafting to Bombay,” a documentary about three generations of a family who recollect their history among the European Jews who found safe haven in Bombay after fleeing the Nazis and “Forgotten Transports: To Estonia,” the third in Lukas Pribyl’s seminal series of documentaries on Czech Jews in WWII which in this case, chronicles girls who were transported together through the Nazi archipelago of camps in Estonia.

    2010: Jonathan Biss, American-Jewish pianist is schedule to perform at the Kaufman Concert Hall in New York City.

    2010: As part of its pre-festival screening The Northern Virginia 10thInternational Jewish Film Festival showed of "No. 4 Street of Our Lady" a film tells the story of a Polish-Catholic woman who rescues 16 of her Jewish neighbors during the war.

    2011: The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a workshop entitled Womens World War II Resistance at Beth El Hebrew Congregation is Alexandria, VA.

    2011: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag” by Sigrid Nunez.

     2011: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World” by James Carroll.

    2011(13thof Nisan. 5771): “The teenager who was critically wounded after Gaza militants launched an anti-aircraft missile at a school bus in southern Israel earlier this month succumbed to his wounds today. 16-year-old Daniel Viflic died in the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva after his condition seriously deteriorated last week. The missile hit the bus traveling near Kibbutz Sa'ad just moments after it had dropped off the rest of the school children, wounding Viflic and the bus driver, who was moderately wounded by shrapnel wounds in his leg. "Sadly, Daniel passed away this afternoon," said Professor Shaul Sofer, the director of the intensive care unit at the Soroka Medical Center. "It wasn't a surprise for us. He arrived in critical condition and shortly afterward his brain stopped functioning. Due to the sensitive nature of the event, we continued treatments despite knowing that he had no chance of recovery." Yitzhak Viflic, Daniel's father, thanked the doctors and the supporters of his family. "Daniel fought but passed away calmly. I am positive he is in a good place now." Viflic was a resident of Beit Shemesh and studied in a yeshiva there. When he was wounded, he was on his way to the western Negev to visit his grandmother. Following the bus attack, cross-border fire between Gaza and Israel seriously escalated. Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel and IDF forces launched numerous attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip.”

    2011 Israeli security forces have arrested two teenage residents of the West Bank Arab village of Awarta for allegedly carrying out last month's murder of five family members in the settlement of Itamar, the lifting of a gag order revealed today.

    2011(13thof Nisan. 5771): Ninety-four year old Dr. Alfred M. Freedman, a psychiatrist and social reformer who led the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 when, overturning a century-old policy, it declared that homosexuality was not a mental illness” passed away today.

    2012: Dr. Neil Gillman is scheduled to begin teaching “The Prophets: An Anthology” at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

    2012: “On the run from the Nazis. A Boynton man remembers” published today.

    2012: “Paul Goodman Changed My Life is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Jonathan Lee.

    2013: Dr. Diane M. Sharon is scheduled to begin teaching “Reading the Hebrew Bible in One Year’ at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.

    2013: The Center for Jewish History, Leo Baeck Institute and Taschen Books are scheduled to present “The Hanover Esther Scroll, 1746 – a Masterpiece of Jewish Scribal Art Rediscovered.

    2013: “Let My People Go and “Simon and the Oaks” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2013: Renee Firestone, the native of Hungary who survived Auschwitz is scheduled to address students at Washington High School, Xavier High School and Coe College.  Mrs. Firestone’s “is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Dr. David Thaler was a native of Lvov who graduated from the Medical School at the University of Paris and came to the United States before WW II. He served in the United States Army where, ironically, he treated German POWs.  He settled in Cedar Rapids in 1946 where he practiced until he passed away. Dr. Thaler’s father and sister perished in the Lvov Ghetto. Dr. Thaler established the foundation as an educational tool that brings Holocaust survivors and their children to Cedar Rapids each year to provide a human face to what for some is an imaginable event.  Joan Thaler has graciously carried on the work started by her late husband to ensure that this vital effort continues.

    2013: The Helly Nahmad Gallery remained closed today following the arrest of Hillel Nahmad for his alleged role in an international money laundering and gambling conspiracy. Nahmad is the scion of a prominent family that traces its roots to the famous Jewish community of Aleppo where it was led by the patriarch who was also named Hillel Nahmad

    2013: Two Grad rockets were fired on the southern city of Eilat this morning. One landed in a residential neighborhood and the other in an open area in the outskirts of the city

    2014: Alexander Fiterstein, Ian David Rosenbaum and Arnaud Sussman are scheduled to perform at the Kaplan Penthouse.

    2014: “The Jewish Cardinal” is scheduled to be shown at the JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival.

    2014: "Zero Motivation” a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young female Israeli soldiers is scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    2015: “Woman in Gold” is scheduled to open in Israeli theatres today.

    2015: “Rue Mandar” and “The Art Dealer” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: “Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam” which has been on display at the Goethe Institute in San Francisco is scheduled to come to an end today.





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    April 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1772(15thof Nisan, 5532): Pesach

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

    1773: In Tunis, Shalom Belais and his wife gave birth to Rabbi Abraham Belais.

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

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

    1818: Birthdate of Salvatore de Benedetti, the native of Piedmont whose works included Vita e Morte di Mose,published in 1879 in which “he gathered and translated the legends concerning the great Jewish leader.

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

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

    1833: In Vienna, Moritz Moses Jacob von Goldschmidt and Nanette von Goldschmidt gave birth to Julius von Goldschmidt

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

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

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

    1860: Louisa de Samuel married Baron George de worms, the son of Baron Solomon Benedict de Worms and Henritta Samuel after which she was known as Louisa de Worms

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

    1861: This evening the 26th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers whose members included Dr. Jacob Da Silva Solis Cohen “started from Philadelphia under orders requiring it to be taken through Baltimore ‘at or before daylight.’”

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

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

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

    1875: In Syracuse, Solomon Silverstein and Esther Shevelson gave birth to Dr. Albert Silverstein who graduated from Yale and Gross Medical College of Denver where practice medicine and taught with the exception of a one year stint with Medical Department of the United States Army which he served in the Philippines during the Spanish American War and the insurrection that followed.

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

    1878(15thof Nisan, 5638): Pesach

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

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

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

    1881(19th of Nisan, 5641): Fifth day of Pesach

    1881(19th of Nisan, 5641): Sixty-one year old Hungarian born American physician and chemist Joseph Jacob Goldmark who was “credited with the discovery of red phosphorous” passed away today in Brooklyn.

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

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

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

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

    1887: In New York City, Joseph and Babette Seligman gave birth to Joseph Lionel Seligman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1916(15thof Nisan, 5676): Pesach

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1935(15thof Nisan, 5695): Pesach

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

    1936: After 233 performance, the curtain came down on “Jumbo,” a musical produced by Billy Rose with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz with a book co-authored by Ben Hecht at the Hippodrome Theatre.

    1936: “Bury The Dead” an anti-war play written by Irwin Shaw opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City.

    1937: Birthdate of Ed Parish (E.P.) Sanders the New Testament Scholar whose works include Paul and Palestinian Judaism in which he “argued that the traditional Christian interpretation that Paul was condemning Rabbinic legalism was a misunderstanding of both Judaism and Paul's thought,” Jesus and Judaism in which “he argued that Jesus began as a follower of John the Baptist and was a prophet of the restoration of Israel” and Judaism” Practice and Belief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1945: Birthdate of Joseph Bernstein, the native of Moscow who became a leading Israeli mathematician.

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

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

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

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

    “Yes, the death cell soared that night.

     At its sight

     The heads of a conquering nation

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

    Like a thief caught in the act.”

    1947: Birthdate of Karen Lehmann, who as Kathy Acker gained fame as author of “Blood and Guts In High School before she passed away in 1997

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1955: Birthdate of banker Amschel Rothschild.

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

    1961: Birthdate of columnist John Podhoretz

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

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

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

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

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

    1966(28thof Nisan, 5726): Yom HaShoah

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

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

    1972: Birthdate of film director Eli Roth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1988:  Barbra Streisand recorded "Warm All Over”

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

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

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

    1992(15thof Nisan, 5752): Pesach is observed for the last time during the Presidency of George Bush.

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

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

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

    1996: Ninety-two year old Boleslavs Maikovskis, who took part in the mass execution of 200 Latvian villagers during WW II died today

    1998: U.S. premiere of “Since You’ve Been Gone,” a made-for-TV movie directed by David Schwimmer and co-starring Schwimmer, Jon Stewart and Joey Slotnick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2007: Haaretz reported today that Members of the Reform movement accused the former Sephardic chief rabbi of slander for allegedly stating that the Holocaust happened because of the activity of Reform Jews in Germany. Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu is said to have made the statement in an interview with a pirate radio station, and the six Reform movement members have filed a slander complaint to the police. "Rabbi Eliyahu's statements are no less serious than Holocaust denial, and the Israeli public must respond accordingly ... The public in Israel has had enough of rabbis cursing and wants a spiritual leadership whose 'ways are ways of pleasantness,'" they said. Most of the complainants are survivors or descendants of survivors. The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) said there were numerous requests for immediate public and legal action after the broadcast. Eliyahu, who is considered the spiritual leader of the National Religious Party, was asked by the radio interviewer, "What was the sin of the six million?" In response, he quoted from Exodus 22:5: "If fire gets out of control and spreads through weeds, and [then] consumes bound or standing grain or a field, the one who started the fire must make restitution." He then said, "Those people [Jews in general] are not to blame, but Reform started in Germany, those who changed the religion began in Germany. And because it is written that God was angered, even He did not differentiate among the righteous, it was done." The chief rabbi of Safed, Eliyahu's son Shmuel Eliyahu, said his father's words do not justify the Nazi crimes but "are based on historic facts," and that anti-Semitism rose where there was assimilation. He called the complaint against his father "a joke." Among the complainants are IMPJ Chairman Abraham Melamed, who is also the chairman of the Department of Jewish History and Thought at the University of Haifa and a Yad Vashem board member. Michael Sheizaf, a Bergen-Belsen survivor and a member of the Darchei Noam Reform congregation in Ramat Hasharon, is also among the complainants. Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski protest Eliyahu's statements in a letter to the rabbi today.

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

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

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

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

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

    2009: A revival production of “Ragtime,” a musical based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow “opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2013: Rabbi Hayyim Kassorla is scheduled to officiate at the funeral of Jake Alhadeff at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta, GA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2015: Parashat Shemini and Chapter I of Pirke Avot

    2015: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Peace Center Concert Hall in Greenville, SC.

    2015: Poet and activist Elly Gross is scheduled to share her experiences during the Shoan at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

    2015: Lou Reed is scheduled to be inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today.

    2015: “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “While We’re Young” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.




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    April 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1541: Ignatius of Loyola took office as the first Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

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

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

    1670(29thof Nisan, 5430): Moses Samson Bacharach, the son of Samuel and Eva Bacharach who married “Fiege, the widow of Moses Ha-Kohen Nerol” after the death of his first wife” Dobrusch, a daughter of Isaac ben Phœbus, of Ungarisch-Brod, Moravia” and who was the chief rabbi at Worms passed away.

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

    1689: Sixty-two year old Augusta Christian, the Queen of Sweden who studied Hebrew literature and was philo-Semitic as could be seen by her friendship with Menassaeh ben Israel and “other Hebrew Scholars” but who was unable “to  prevent the banishment of the Jews of Vienna, decreed by Emperor Leopold in 1670 “ passed away today.

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

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

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

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

    1810(15thof Nisan, 5570): Pesach

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

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

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

    1826: According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, today, in The Hague, Leonardus Levy Abraham Verveer and Caroline Elkan gave birth to Dutch painter and engraver Elchanan Verveer  whose paintings included "The First Pipe" and "Winter," both in the museum at Rotterdam, and "The Widow" and "Sufferers from Sea-Sickness," which belong to the Stadtmuseum in The Hague.”

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

    1848(16thof Nisan, 5608): Second day of Pesach

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

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

    1856(14th of Nisan, 5616): In the evening, first Seder.

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

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

    1861: The 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment whose members included Dr. Jacob da Silva Solis Cohen was attacked by a group of Rebel sympathizer as it went through Baltimore, MD on its way to Washington, DC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1868:At the suggestion of Chief Rabbi N. M. Adler, the three city synagogues—the Great, the Hambro', and the New—with their western branches at Portland street and Bayswater agreed to a scheme today which was submitted to the Charity Commissioners of England and embodied by them in an Act of Parliament in 1870.

    1868(27thof Nisan, 5628): Seventy-two year old Judith Russell Nathans, the native of Baltimore who was the second wife of Isaiah Nathans with whom she had seven children passed away today in Philadelphia, PA.

    1869: Theodore Minis Etting who had volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War was promoted from the rank of Midshipman to Ensign today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1877: In Jacksonville, Florida, David Levy officiated at the wedding of Martha Ritzwoller of Berlin and Mr. Furchgott of Charleston, S.C.

    1878: In Bellaire, Ohio, Alexander Schoenfeld and Rose Hartman gave birth to Julia Schoefeld, a graduate of Allegheny (PA) College who worked as a probation officer and school teacher while also serving as a “a member of the State Committee of Federated Women’s Clubs of Pennsylvania” which worked “to effect improvement in child labor legislation and in conditions of working women.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1893: “Converting The Jews” published today provided editorial comment on “the procedure adopted by certain crude and violent evangelists to ‘convert the Jews’” saying that to convert “an educated Chinaman or an educated Hebrew to ‘convert’ him must strike him in the first place as a piece of appalling impudence.”

    1895: According to remarks published today made by Rabbi Maurice H. Harris of Temple Israel in Harlem Shakespeare did not want Shylock to be seen as “a selfish monster who lived for gain” but as the victim of persecution who “if he had been treated justly and not gibed and sneered at…would not have wanted his pound of flesh.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1908: Organization of the Sons of Zion fraternal order

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

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

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

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

    1917(27thof Nisan, 5677): Lt. Joshua Levy, who had been a “clothier” before enlisting in the British Army in 1914 died today while serving with the Norfolk Regiment.

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

    1918(7thof Iyar, 5678): Lt. Lawrence Braham Rosenbaum one of the sons of Solomon Rosenbaum, a Russian-born pawnbroker, died today while serving with the Monmouthshire Regiment.

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

    1919: The Hebrew Scouts Movement is founded.

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

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

    1920: Associated Justice Louis Brandeis voted with the majority today in deciding State of Missouri v. Holland, United States Game Warden a case in which Louis Marshall, Esq. submitted an amicus curae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Missouri v. Holland on behalf of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks was decided today.

    1922: Birthdate of New York born American actress Marian Winters

    1924(15thof Nisan, 5684): Pesach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1939: The Women’s League of Palestine raised $30,000 at a luncheon at the Hotel Astor.

    1940: In Sofia, Bulgaria, the governments of Bulgaria and Romania signed an agreement creating an airline which will operate between Sofia and Bucharest with connecting flights to Tel Aviv.1941: Robert F. Wagner, Sr. introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate stating that U.S. policy should favor the "restoration of the Jews in Palestine." The resolution was supported by 68 Senators.

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

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

    1943: Chaike Belchatowska who had joined he ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization) in January, 1943, and her future husband Boruch Spiegel, a commander of a ZOB fighting unit were among those who took part in the uprising that began today and we among the handful of fighters who survived.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1947:  This evening, The Shanghai Jewish Youth Community Center opened its Warsaw Ghetto Commemoration week with a Yizkor service. 

    1948: Twenty-four armored trucks filled with Jewish veterans who had served with the British Army during WW II, drove to a hilltop “situated less than a mile from the Arab village of Bureir” where the Jews disembarked and established a new settlement called Brur Hayal.

    1948: Haganah captured Tiberias

    1948: A Palmach unit used Al-Kafrayn for a training base before blowing it up

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

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

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

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

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

    1953:Hermann Merkin and Ursula Merkin (née Ursula Sara Breuer) gave birth Jacob Ezra Merkin the financier who was a friend and business associate of Bernard Madoff with whom he colluded in the one of the worst Ponzi Schemes of the 21stcentury.

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

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

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

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

    1962(15thof Nisan, 5722): Pesach

    1962: U.S. premiere of “Five Finger Exercise” based on the play by Peter Shaffer, directed by Daniel Mann with music by Jerome Moross.

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

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

    1967:The head of the Zionist Organization of America declared today that Israel's hope for increased Western immigration, particularly a large influx of technically skilled young American Jews, could be realized only if Israel "creates the social and economic conditions" to attract it.1967: Konrad Adenauer former Chancellor of West Germany passed away.  Born in 1876, Adenauer remained in Germany during the war.  He was imprisoned by the government for his anti-Nazi sentiments.  In 1949, he was named Chancellor of the democratically elected West German Government.  Adenauer worked to reshape the role of Germany which included accepting responsibility for de-Nazfication and the role that Germany had played during the war.  He agreed to a program of reparations for the Jewish people and worked to establish harmonious relations with the state of Israel.  He did this in the face of pressure from Arab governments that had a lot more to offer the struggling German economy.
    1972: The late Diane Arbus's photographs were chosen to appear in the Venice Biennale, marking the first time an American photographer was honored at the event.
    1973:  Barbra Streisand recorded "Between Yesterday & Tomorrow"
    1974(27th of Nisan, 5734): Yom HaShoah
    1974(27th of Nisan, 5734): Yigal Stavi was killed today when his F-4E Phantom II was shot down today by the Syrians.

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

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

    1976: Professor of Meterology Tzvi Gal-Chen and his wife gave birth to Rivka Galchen “a Canadian-American writer and physician whose first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, was published in 2008.” She has served as an adjunct professor in the writing division of Columbia University's School of Art

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

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

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

    1978: In Palo Alto, CA, Betsy Lou (née Verne), a writer and occasional actress, and Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco a Silicon Valley businessman who met while they were students at Stanford gave birth to James Franco “an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author and poet.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2009:The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center opened today under rainy skies, with several thousand people seated beneath large tents, their enthusiasm shown in a standing ovation for survivors. 2010: As part of its Graduate Seminar Program, The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present a program entitled “‘Gentleman's Agreement’ and ‘Crossfire’:  Anti-Semitism at the Movies”

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

    2010(5thof Iyar, 5770): Yom Hazikaron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2014:The main synagogue in Nikolayev, located in the southeast of Ukraine, was firebombed today when two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the synagogue’s door and window. (As reported by JTA)

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

    2015: “The Art Dealer” is scheduled to be shown as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

    2015: “G-D’s Honest Truth” is scheduled to be performed for the last time at Theatre J in Washington, D.C.

    2015: In Washington, D.C. Dr. Samuel Gruber is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “ Before Modernism: American Synagogue Architecture Before WW II.”

    2015: The New York Times features books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East by Eugene Rogan and the recently released paperback edition of Mad As Hell:The Making of “Network” and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies by Dave Itzkoff

    2015: In commemoration of Yom HaShoah the Guy Mendilow Ensemble and the Philadelphia Girls’ Choir are scheduled to a perform a concert that includes compositions in English and Ladino that takes us "musical trek from bustling Mediterranean ports and resplendent Balkan capitals to communities shattered in the Second World War and all but forgotten" at the National Museum of Jewish History in Philadelphia.

    2015: Today’s Yom Hashoah observance at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, GA is scheduled to include a speech by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat and the Atlanta Boy Choir performing “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”




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    April 20

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

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

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

    1176: Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed “Strongbow” whose attempt to establish an independent kingdom in Ireland was bankrolled by a Jewish financier, “Josce Jew of Gloucester” passed away today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1506: Violence continued for a second day in Lisbon after Christians attack the Jews when a recently converted Jew “raised doubts” about the appearance of a miraculous vision at St. Dominic’s Church. (History of the Jewish People)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1790: Birthdate of Ludwig Hermann Friedlander, the native of Konigsberg who served as physician with the Prussian Army, the first step on a career that led to him being appointed as a Professor of Theoretical Medicine at Halle, as position he held until his death in 1851.

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

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

    Letter to the Jewish Nation from the French Commander-in-Chief Bonaparte issued at General Headquarters, Jerusalem 1st Floreal, April 20th, 1799, in the year of 7 of the French Republic by BUONAPARTE, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMIES OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC IN AFRICA AND ASIA, TO THE RIGHTFUL HEIRS OF PALESTINE.
    Israelites, unique nation, whom, in thousands of years, lust of conquest and tyranny have been able to be deprived of their ancestral lands, but not of name and national existence!
    Attentive and impartial observers of the destinies of nations, even though not endowed with the gifts of seers like Isaiah and Joel, have long since also felt what these, with beautiful and uplifting faith, have foretold when they saw the approaching destruction of their kingdom and fatherland: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35,10) Arise then, with glad