305: Due to age and ill health and a desire to provide stability for the Roman Empire Diocletian resigned as Emperor of Rome.Relatively speaking, Diocletian’s reign was a positive period for the Jews.Diocletian was not overly concerned with his Jewish subjects since he was much concerned about controlling the Christians whom he regarded as a source of major instability in the Empire. From his point of view their contempt for Roman state religion and zealous proselytizing made them enemies of the empire. The Jews posed no such threat.Therefore, he exempted them from the requirement to include national sacrifices in their services. The decrees of Diocletian are actually recorded in the Talmud.According to some Diocletian lived in Palestine as a youth and was a swineherd.As Emperor he visited Palestine at which time enemies of the Jews told him that he was mocked by the Jews for working with pigs.When confronted with this, the Jewish leaders allegedly told him that while they may have made jokes about swineherds (something they regretted) they never made jokes about an Emperor.This must have assuaged Diocletian’s anger because no reprisals were taken against the Jews.It should be noted that Palestine suffered economically during this time, but that was as a result of the general impoverishment of the region and not as a result of anti-Jewish policies.Diocletian looks especially good when you remember that the reign of Constantine is just over the horizon.
408: Theodosius II or Theodosius the Younger under whom Jews were from barred the civil service, the military and the holding of public office, began his reign as Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1160: Bishop William of Beziers, France, who was appalled by the custom of beating of Jews during Palm Sunday, issued an order excommunicating Priests who did so. Beziers was the home to many Albigensians and was one of the more liberal, open cities in France. The Albigensians would be labeled heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. Some times during the Middle Ages, areas that were hospitable to those quarreling with Rome provided some sort of comfort for Jews who might have otherwise been subject to persecution.
1218: Birthdate of King Rudolf I whose subjects included Meir of Rothenburg who was born three years before the monarch and who bring additional persecution to the Jews of his realm.
1338: Louis the Bavarian “informed the council of Worms that the Jews of that city were bound by agreement to pay the sum of 2,000 gulden toward the king's contemplated expedition against France, and that, if necessary, force might be employed in collecting this sum.”
1339: A party that included John of Marignola, who would report on his conversations with Jews in China, stopped in Constantinople before going on to The Middle Kingdom.”
1572: Pius V, the Pope who expelled Talmudist Gedaliah ibn Yahya ben Joseph and the rest of the Jews from Imola, Italy passed away.The expulsion cost him 10,000 gold pieces but he overcame the hardship to write the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah before dying in Alexandria in 1587.
1707: The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. While Jews had been expelled from England in 1290 and readmitted under Cromwell in the middle of the 17th century, Jews had been living in Scotland without interruption, possibly since Roman Times, but certainly since the 12th century. According Jewish-Scottish scholar David Daiches ,“there are grounds for saying that Scotland is the only European country which has no history of state persecution of Jews.”By the time that the Act of Union became law, Jews were attending and teaching at Edinburg University.Within a decade and a half after the Act of Union, there were 20,000 Jews living in Glasgow.
1769: Birthdate of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.Wellington’s claim to fame is his victory over the French. It was in this role that he found the Jews most helpful since Nathan Rothschild had provided the financial backing for the Iron Duke’s campaign against the French in Spain at a time when nobody else would risk the funds. Few people remember that the Duke, like other war heroes entered politics, serving as Prime Minister in the 1820’s and 1830’s.It was here that betrayed those Jews who had supported him by defeating the attempts at Jewish emancipation first when he served in the House of Commons and then, even more viciously when he served in the House of Lords. The Duke had been able to support a bill emancipating seven million English Roman Catholics but he could not bring himself to do the same for thirty thousand English Jews.
1732:George Frideric Handel’s “Esther” which was based on the Biblical heroine and was the first English oratorio premiered at King’s Theatre in London.Handel drew on Biblical tales for many of his oratorios.
1799: In Prussia, Alexander Wolff and his wife gave birth to their second son, Michael, who would become Michael Solomon Alexander, the convert who became the first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.
1805: Königsberg merchant, Gerson Jacoby, and his wife, Lea Jonas gave birth to Prussian socialist leader Johann Jacoby.
1808: Birthdate of Sir Henry Francis Goldsmid, who "after receiving careful instruction, was called to the Bar in Hilary term, 1833 making him the first Jew who ever obtained that distinction in Great Britain.”
1817: Birthdate of Karl Isidor Beck the native of Baja, Hungary who became a noted Austrian poet.
1812: Birthdate of Ignaz Kuranda, the native of Prague who ended his career in journalism to concentrate on a political career that included serving in the Reichsrate for 20 years.
1835: In Bavaria, Kela Bamberger and Seligman Baer (Dov) Bamberger gave birth to Salomon Shlomo Zalman Bamberger
1849(9th of Iyar, 5609): Isaac Bernays, Chief Rabbi in Hambrug, passed away.Born in 1792 at Mayence he completed his studies at the University of Würzburg, where he had been also a disciple of the well-known Talmudist R. Abraham Bing. Then he went to Munich as private tutor in the house of Herr von Hirsch, and afterward lived at Mayence as a private scholar. In 1821 he was elected chief rabbi of the German-Jewish community in Hamburg, to fill a position where a man of strictly Orthodox views but of modern education was wanted as head of the congregation. After personal negotiations with Lazarus Riesser (father of Gabriel Riesser), who went to see him in Mayence, Bernays accepted the office on characteristic terms; namely, that all the religious and educational institutions of the community were to be placed under his personal direction; he wanted to be responsible to the government only. Besides this he required a fixed salary, independent of incidental revenues, and wished to be called "clerical functionary" or "ḥakam," as the usual titles, "moreh ẓedeḳ" or "rabbi" did not seem to him highly esteemed at that time. (Based on an article in the Jewish Encyclopedia)
1852: In Great Britain, the Court Exchequer fined Mr. Salomons, the elected Member of Parliament from Greenwich, was fined for voting against the law that excluded the Jews from sitting in the House of Commons.Apparently he was found guilty of three separate violations since the court imposed three separate fines, of 500 pounds each.
1853: Birthdate of Jacob Michailovitch Gordin “a Russian-born American playwright active in the early years of Yiddish theater” who was “known for introducing realism and naturalism into Yiddish theater.”
1855: The New York Times reported that the American Hebrew Christian Assoication had issued a public invitation to all converted Jews to attend a meeting at the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan on the evening of May 10th.
1855: Students at the Union Theological Seminary began taking their final exams today.One of the subjects in which they will be tested during the next week is the Hebrew Language.
1858: According to reports published today the Jews of Philadelphia have established a Permanent Hebrew Relief Association.
1860: Today’s “City Intelligence” column reported that Giacomo Meyerbeer is a favorite of New York opera goers. His principal works have been received with enthusiasm, and although inordinately expensive to produce -- when compared with others of the Italian repertoire equally celebrated -- have never failed to pay a handsome dividend to the enterprising manager who produced them.” Meyerbeer was German-Jewish opera composer.
1860: Today’s “City Intelligence” column described the performance of Fromental Halévy’s “La Juive” (The Jewess) at the Winter Garden Theatre. After providing a detailed description of each act the reviewer concluded “It is seldom that a work of such pretension receives fair treatment on a first night, and we do not assert unqualifiedly that even in this instance it did so, but there cannot be a doubt that in all the essentials of good management and liberal desire to praise, there was successful effort, and a most cordial response. If incessant applause means anything, it surely guarantees a long run for the "Jewess." A triumph more complete, in all that makes a triumph pleasing, has never been put on record.”
1863:In common with the rest of their fellow-citizens, the Israelites assembled in their respective places of worship and carried out the precepts of the President's Proclamation. Most of the Synagogues were opened and he Psalms appointed to be read on penitential days, read on the occasion.
A very eloquent address was delivered by Rabbi Morris J. Raphal, at the Greene-street Synagogue. He remarked that it was a curious coincidence that on this, a fast day appointed by their own religious observances, they met in compliance with the Proclamation of the President of the United States, to fast and pray. He had been in this country fourteen years. During the first ten years no public proclamation had ever directed their thoughts and feelings to humiliation and fasting. Once in every year the highest functionary in every State proclaimed a day of general thanksgiving, and with that the debt of national gratitude was supposed to be paid. But now the rulers of the nation come year after year and call upon the people to weary Heaven with fruitless professions of a penitence they did not feel, and of a humility they did not practice. These proclamations fast days, on which no one fasts, are but the repetition of those so strongly reproved by the prophet Isaiah; and, though the people dare not put his questions, "Wherefore do we fast and Thou seest it not? Afflict our souls and Thou will not notice it!" -- since in reality the people do neither -- still the answer would stand good. "Because while you profess humiliation, you persist in your arrogance and your extortions do not cease." If ever a people needed to humble itself before God -- if ever fasting and prayer, sack cloth and ashes were to be worn -- it was by the people of these United States. Like our fathers, the Israelites of old, for whom pious Nekeiniah made such fervent supplication, the people of this country are justly amenable to his confession made for Israel: "In their dominions, in all the great prosperity Thou didst bestow upon them, and throughout the large and rich land which Thou gavest unto them, they did not serve Thee, neither turned they from their evil deeds." The preacher then drew a parallel between the sins of the Israelites, which called forth the reproof of the preacher, and the past conduct of this nation, which was equally amenable to the words of the inspired prophet.
What were they to say for the citizens of the United States who already and so long possess the two greatest earthly blessings, Education and Freedom, and yet make so bad a use of both. Education should be the guardian of freedom and of virtue, it was the birthright of every American, bestowed on all and withheld from none. But what principles did it actually inculcate -what virtues did it really teach? Did it inculcate respect for free institutions? Answer, ye place-hunters, ye ballot-box stuffers, ye shoulder-hitters, who reduce self-government to a disgusting farce. Did it teach patriotism? Answer, ye spoils-men, ye office-teekers and holders, who cement party lines with the cohesive force of public plunder. Did it teach common honesty? Answer, ye peculators and speculators, who fatten on the blood of the hard-worked masses, and who dignify roguery by the name of smartness. His heart ached as he spoke to them of the effects of perverted education; it would ache still more were he to direct attention to the bitter fruits of abused freedom. He need not remind them that while the best men North and South had long been driven aloof from the affairs of the country, demagogues, fanatics and a party Press had so managed matters that they found themselves in the third year of a destructive but needless sectional war, which has armed brother against brother, consigned hundreds of thousands to an untimely grave, and to ruin and devastation tens of thousands of square miles of flourishing and happy land; and what was worse than all this, while humanity weeps we must suppress our sympathy. However, our hearts may yearn for peace and brotherly love, our reason convinces us that the present is not the time to expect, or even to hope for the cessation of blood. On the contrary, though we may detest the cause and course of events, it is our duty loyally to stand by our section of the country, to maintain her quarrel and defend her rights, while we have the consolation to know that our side did not begin the fray, and that the cause of Union was the worthiest in the field.
"The preacher concluded his address with a fervent prayer.
1864: Joseph Seligman and his brothers founded J & W Seligman & Co.
1864: In an article entitled, “The City Cars and General Goods Delivery,” the author’s complaints about the about the crowded, smelly conditions on the city’s public include the statement that “immediate contact with a huge pile of superannuated Hebrew clothing stock is not desirable at any time: it is most undesirable in overheated and overcrowded cars.”The author then goes on to compare the aroma with that found in packages of partially dried codfish and, strangely enough, joints of half cured pork.
1869: In a classic American success story, J & W Seligman & Co was admitted to the New York Stock Exchange. Joseph Seligman, the founder of the firm had arrived from Bavaria in 1837 “with $100 dollars in the lining of his trousers. By 1860, he and his brothers, who started as itinerant peddlers” had entered the investment banking business.During the Civil War, they played a leading role in selling United States Government securities to Europeans which helped to finance the Union victory.By the end of the decade, the Seligman’s had branches in London, Paris, Frankfort, New Orleans and San Francisco.The brothers would take a leading role in financing the boom in railroads and in supporting Jewish charitable endeavors.
1870: It was reported today that the late Dr. George Frick, a resident of Baltimore, bequeathed $1,000.00 to the Hebrew Society of Baltimore.
1870: According to a report published today, Michael Isaacs and Isaac Goldstein, two Jewish packpeddlers who had been indicted on charges of rape were found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison by the Suffolk County court in New York.
1873: In Vienna, opening of the World’s Fair where the Illés Relief is a 1:500 scale model of Jerusalem by Stephen Illés “two wooden models of the Temple Mount” built by Conrad Schick were displayed.
1874: Ludwig Chronegk began his 26 year career as stage-manager with the Meininger troupe “when they first appeared at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Theatre in Berlin.
1876: Establishment of Children of Israel Synagogue in the eastern part of Des Moines, Iowa.
1876: During the fiscal year that ended today the United Hebrew Charities “gave away 754 tons of coal, 716 pairs of shoes and 1,625 women’s and children’s garments”
1879: Birthdate of David M. Bressler, the son of Julius and Sarah Rothenberg Bressler, who attended City College, JTS and the New York Law School. He was widely known for his activities in Jewish, State and municipal relief and in charity organizations.His work with the Removal Office was aimed at diverting the flow of Jewish immigrants from eastern cities to areas in the South and the Mid-West and providing them funds and training to acclimate them to their new homes.
1869: Today’s issue of the French Jewish review “Archives Israélites,” published by Isidore Cahen, announced the marriage of Alphonse Hirsch, the painter of chief rabbiLazar Isidor, to Henriette Perugia. The notice adds that Perugia’s sister was married to Arthur Sassoon of the wealthy Sassoon family. (Based on reports from the Forward)
1880(20thof Iyar, 5640): Sixty-three year old French composer Samuel Naumbourg who was the chazzan and reader at Besançon and directed the choir at the synagogue Strasburg before moving to Paris in 1845 where he officiated atthe synagogue of the Rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth at Paris and became professor of liturgical music at the Séminaire Israélite passed away today.
1880: During the fiscal year ending today, the United Hebrew Charities had raised over $58, 00 of which almost $47,000 was spent in meeting the needs of 27,915 applicants for service.
1880: While visiting Freiburg, Germany, Texas banker Morris Lasker and Nettie Davis Lasker gave birth to Albert Davis Lasker who would leave his mark on the world of advertising as a partner of Lord & Thomas.
1880: According to a report from a Berlin correspondent, “all the Jews of foreign birth” have been given six hours to leave St. Petersburg, the Russian capital.
1881: It was reported today that the “Alliance Israelite Universelle” is extending its work among the Jews of the Orient.In the past six months, Alliance has opened 9 schools in the Ottoman Empire.All told the Alliance is supporting 33 schools serving a total of 6,300 pupils.Sixty-eight thousand francs have been raised towards the establishment of primary and professional schools in Palestine.
1881: The funeral of Isaac Hendricks, a member of the prominent Hendricks family, is scheduled to take place today at the New York home of his brother-in-law, H.S. Henry.
1882: “Beaconsfield’s Birthday” published today described British reaction to the anniversary of the birth of Lord Beaconsfield who passed away last year.Admirers wore the primrose, the favorite flower of the late Benjamin Disraeli.
1882: It was reported today that General Nicholai Ignatief has issued a denial of claims that the anti-Jewish violence is the result of a lack of action by the government.Furthermore, the violence has been limited to Balta and was started by the Jews who were seeking “revenge for an insult to a Jew by a Christian child.”
1882: Amid reports that Jews are living Vilna en mass, two hundred families are to leave for America today.
1882(12thof Iyar, 5642): Anglo-Jewish architect David Mocatta passed away.Born in 1806, he designed the Montefiore Synagogue, the Brighton Regency Synagogue and the stations for the London and Brighton Railway.
1883: Israel Lewy who had succeeded David Joël as "Seminarrabbiner" began serving as chair of Talmudic Literature at Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau
1884: The Hebrew Technical Institute moved from 206 East Broadway to 129 Crosby Street.The Institute had occupied the Broadway facility since January of 1884 when it opened with 24 pupils.
1885: It was reported today that the late Isaac Vogel had made bequests of $1,000 each to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, the United Hebrew Charities, the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the Hebrew Free School Association.
1886:The Moses Montefiore Congregation bought property at 160 East One Hundred and Sixteenth Street which was the site of a Baptist Church.Plans to use the structure for a synagogue came to naught when it was determined that the building was unsuitable for that purpose and that it would be too small for the number of congregants who would be using the synagogue.
1886: The American Federation of Labor, led by it’s newly elected President, Samuel Gompers, strikes on a nationwide basis in an attempt to secure an eight hour day.
1887: Birthdate of Felix Rosenblüth, who as Pinchas Rosen was Israel’s first Minister of Justice.
1889(30th of Nisan, 5649): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1890: The United Hebrew Trades Union is one of several organizations taking part in today’s march sponsored by the American Federation of Labor in support of an 8 hour work day.
1890: Following a fortnight of attacks on Jewish shops in outlying provinces, Austrian authorities fear that there will be a May Day attacks on Jews throughout the empire including Vienna.
1890: An unnamed anarchist has called for May Day attacks in Paris including the assassination of the Rothschilds.
1890: The old Hebrew Orphan Asylum building on 77th street is going to converted into a public school that should accommodate 1,200 children.
1890: Members of the American Federation of Labor, the union organization headed by Samuel Gompers will be taking part in a large demonstration this evening in support of the eight work day.
1891: As of today, 142 people were residing at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews.
1891: The International Cloak Makers Union of America was founded today.Among the delegates attending the meeting was Benjamin Schlesinger, a delegate from Chicago who would become the business manager of Local 5 in Chicago.
1891: Oscar Hammerstein held a reception for newspaper men in which he discussed his plans to build a new opera house in New York.
1891: Approximately 4,000 Jewish who work in the clothing trades held a pro-union parade on the east side of New York.
1891: Alexander Becce, a Russian Jew “a native of the town of Byzlikreceived a notice from the government that he must either leave the country within thirty days or be exiled together with his family to Siberia for life on his account of his religion.”
1892(4thof Iyar, 5652): Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveichik passed away
1892(4thof Iyar, 5652): Abraham L. Grabfelder who was born in Bavaria 53 years ago and was the General Southern Agent of the Manhattan Life Insurance Company for twenty wand who was a Director of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children passed away today.
1892: “Young Hebrew Gymnasts” published today described a demonstration of physical skills by members of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Young Woman’s Hebrew Association, the latter of whom showed their skills with dumbbells.The youngsters were coached by Professor Herman Weber.
1892 When the fiscal year of the Home for Aged and Infirm Homes ended today the charity had receipts of $66,113.01 while having made expenditures of $37, 783.80 leaving a balance of $28,329.21.
1892: “Art and Literature Abroad” published today included the note that “the result of Mr. Joseph Pennell’s visit to Russia will be published under the title The Jew At Home: Impression of a Summer and Winter Spent With Him.
1892: “For A New Clubhouse” published today described the plans of the Columbia Club, the lead Jewish social organization in Harlem to build a new facility on 127thStreet and 5th Avenue. The club paid $50,000 for this new location.
1893: “As A German Knows Bismarck” published today verified “Prince Bismarck’s statement that he was never a friend of the Jews” and that as Junker, he was “an enemy of everything that was liberal” which meant that he “disliked Catholics and workmen.”
1893: Among the books that will be published Putnam and Sons is The Jews of Angevin England by Joseph Jacobs
1893: According to “Literary Notes” published today A Study of the Jews in Medieval England compiles by Joseph Jacobs is “among the book on the announcement list of the Putnams.
1893: “A New Rabbi for Baith Israel” published today described the changes at the synagogue at Street and Boerum Place where Rabbi Marcus Friedlander who moved to Oakland to take the pulpit at Temple Sinai has been replaced by Rabbi Joseph Taubenhaus who is the brother of chess champion of Jacob Taubenhaus and the brother of the rabbi at Congregation Beth Elhoim
1894: Council No. 3 of the Council of Jewish Women was formed in Baltimore, MD with a membership of 115 led by Mrs. Bertha Rayner Frank as President and Miss Rose Summerfield as Secretary.
1894: The funeral of Jesse Seligman who passed away in San Diego, CA, on April 23 is scheduled to take place at Temple Emanu-El starting at 10 o’clock.
1894: At today’s May Day Parade the contingent of United Hebrew Trades that included “400 young women” led by Dora Levine” were greeted by cheers
1895:A lease was signed for a building at Mott Avenue and 149th Street which was to the home for the Hebrew Infant Asylum.
1895: A letter was dropped in the mailbox of Samuel Zuckerman today in which their son twenty year old Bernard Zuckerman acknowledged “that he had robbed their flat” and in which he enclosed a pawn ticket representing the candlesticks which he had pledged with a pawnbroker for $15
1895: The contingent from the United Hebrew Trades marching in today’s Labor Day Parade were life “by fifty members of the Mineral and Soda Water Makers’ Union on horseback wearing white jackets and red sashes.”(For “2 cents-plain made by Jewish union workers?)
1895: This evening Isidor Bader of 208 Madison Street in New York City received “a letter written Hebrew” saying that the mother of the little mute boy whom an unknown couple had left with Bader earlier in the day, was dead and that his father was unable to provide for him.
1895: “Nathaniel S. Rosnau, Superintendent of the United Hebrew Charities gave a talk on practical philanthropy to the Council of Jewish Women at Temple Emanu-El.”
1896: Sixty four year old Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar during whose reign Dr. Jacob Eduard Polak was brought to Persia to teach medicine and surgery to a whole generation of Persian physicians as part of an attempt to modernize the kingdom, was assassinated today.
1897: “Turks Still Advancing” published today described the Ottoman capture of Larissa from the Greeks.The Jews had remained at Larissa since they expected to be protected by the Turks.
1897: “Home For Working Girls” published today described the establishment of the Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls.The home is the first manifestation of aid for Russian Jews in America by possible by the $2,000,000 bequest from the Hirsch family.
1898: “Rabbi Grossman Approves the War” published described the views on the Spanish-American War of the leader of Temple Rudolph Sholom who “said that if a war was waged for a holy cause it was this one.”
1898: Joseph Baroness, the socialist leader and the Grand Marshall of last night’s proposed parade surprised authorities by agreeing to call of the parade to avoid the threat of violence.He also said that he never intended to criticize the United States for the war with Spain.He said that it was “a just war and if there is anyone who sympathizes with Spain we don’t want him in our parade.
1898: “Russian Jews Will Enlist” published today described the Jewish response to the Spanish-American War including seventy Jewish Russian from the east side of New York who have signed enlistment, the papers, the carpentry class from the Jewish trade school that has volunteered and the Jewish farmers from the Hirsch Colony of Woodbine, NJ, many of whom served in the Russian Army, who have enlisted.
1898: The first battle of the Spanish American War took placed at Manila Bay whereCommodore George Dewey, commanding the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron aboard USS Olympia, in a matter of hours defeated a Spanish squadron under Admiral Patricio Montoj.
1899: Myer S. Isaacs, President of the Hirsch Fund has read about the bequest of the late Baroness Hirsch in the newspapers but has received no official communication on this matter.
1899: Dr. Lee K. Frankel of Philadelphia, PA, is scheduled to officially assume his duties as the manager of the United Hebrew Charities in New York. A native of Philadelphia who holds both a B.S. and a Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Frankel is secretary of Rodef Shalom, Vice President of the Baron de Hirsch Committee and Director of the Jewish Chautauqua Society.
1899: After twenty-three years of service, Dr. Herman Baar will be stepping down as superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum effective June, 1.
1899: “Hirsch Memorial Services” published today described plans the several New York Jewish charitable institutions are making to honor the memory of the late Baroness Hirsch.
1899(21stof Iyar, 5659): Joel Deutsch who had been principal of school for deaf-mutes established in Nikolsburg and moved to Vienna in 1852 passed away today.
1900: In Konitz, a county in the province of Prussia, Germany, a blood accusation occurred after the death of a local student. Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two others, Adolf Levy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal was acquitted and Lewy sentenced on a perjury charge to four years.
1900: Dutch Zionist leader Jacobus Kann resigns as director of the Bank designed to finance the purchase of land in Eretz Israel and help settlers make Aliyah.
1901: Birthdate of Endre Bohem, the native of Arad who became a successful American screenwriter and producer.
1903: In his poem "Tale of the Slaughter," the famous Jewish poet Chiam Nachman Bialik chastised the Jews for not defending themselves in the Pogrom at Kishinev that had taken place in April, 1903. Herzl was also affected by the massacre and he decided to visit Russia and give consideration to the Uganda Plan. The Ugandaplan would be rejected but it would cause a painful split in the infant Zionist movement. The massacre also provided the impetus in America to lay the groundwork for the American Jewish Committee, casting American Jewry into international prominence. There would be another pogrom in Kishinev in 1905 with more loss of life.
1905: Bernard “Zuckerman was elected a delegate to the founding convention of Poale Zionof America that took place” today.
1905:Birthdate of movie director Henry Koster. A refugee from Nazi Germany, Koster directed numerous famous films.But he is best remembered as the man who discovered Abbott & Costello.He saw their comedy act and convinced Universal Studios to sign them to a contract.He directed their first film in which all of Americaheard the “Who’s On First” routine for the first time.
1908: In Warsaw Poland, Count Jerzy Skarbek, a Catholic, and Stefania née Goldfeder, the daughter of a wealthy assimilated Jewish family gave birth to their second child and first daughter Krystna who served with bravery and distinction as an agent who operated in occupied Europe for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE)
1908: Heinrich Conried “retired from the Metropolitan Opera House due to his poor health.”
1909: “During a worker’s demonstration in Buenos Aires, a Jewish anarchist murdered a local police chief.Rioters responded by attacking and sacking the city’s predominately Jewish small retail business quarter.”
1909: The Jewish anarchist, Simon Radowitzki, attempted to assassinate Ramon Falcon, the Argentinean chief of police.
1910: Birthdate of Henryk Ross “who was employed as a photographer by the Department of Statistics for the Jewish Council within the Łódź Ghetto,” survived the Holocaust and testified at the Eichmann trial before passing away 1991.
1910: The Sunday New York Times published “‘Icy Italy As Seen: by Israel Zangwill’ the fourth in a series of ‘Italian Fantasies’ written by this well-known author.”
1913: Birthdate of comic Louis Nye.Born Louis Neistat to Yiddish speaking immigrant parents, Nye was one of a stable of comedians who first gained national notice on the “Steve Allen Show.”
1913: Birthdate of Czech born British conductor Jay Walter Susskind.
1913: As the investigation into the death of Mary Phagan continues, E.F. Holloway, the pencil factory’s day watchman saw Jim Conley, the pencil factory’s janitor washing a dirty shirt which led to Conley’s arrest that day.
1914: Nissim Mazliach is appointed to the Turkish Chamber for Smyrna.
1914: In Cincinnati, Ohio, founding of the Mizrachi Organization of America
1915: Four days after the Zion Mule Corps had landed at Helelles the 29thIndian Infantry landed at Sari Bair securing the area beyond the landing beaches.
1915: SchiffHas Fears For British Jews” published today contains the expression of the concerns by Jacob H. Schiff“that England has become ‘contaminated’ by her alliance with Russia in so far as the Jewish question is concerned and that conditions will be harder for Jews in England after the war, while they will be better in Germany.”’
1915: Abraham Shiplikeff of the United Hebrew Trades is scheduled to preside over an assemblage those delivering speeches demanding equal rights for Jews the world over…in a dozen different languages.”
1915: “A May Day demonstration in favor of peace in Europe, equal rights for Jews after the war, socialism and women suffragists brought 25,000 labor unionists and Socialist to Union Square” in New York today.
1915: Abraham Cahan, editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, was the speaker at a meeting a Carnegie Hall” tonight “given in his honor by the United Hebrew Trades and the East Side branches of the Socialist party in order to get the story of his investigation in the war zone from which he had returned last week.”
1915: In the U.K. poet Jon Rodker and dancer Sonia Cohen gave birth to “political activist and television producer” Joan Rodker.
1916: Labor activist Bessie Abramowitz and Amalgamated president Sidney Hillman announced their engagement while marching at the head of the clothing workers' contingent of the Chicago May Day Parade.
1919: The rabbis of Palestine hold a first conference. Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook is asked to serve as chief rabbi.
1920: Young anarchist Mollie Steimer began a 15-year prison term for distributing leaflets opposing American intervention in the Russian Revolution. She was later deported.
1921: Not for the first or last time, Arabs resort to violence to try and stop the growth of the Jewish community. In this case riots began in Jaffe resulting in the death of forty Jews and the wounding two hundred others. The riots soon spread to Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Kfar Saba, Hadera and Rehovot. Though casualties were relatively light, the British decided to appease the Arabs and "redefined" the borders of the Balfour Declaration. This was neither the first time nor the last time that the British would violation the terms of the Mandate. It was also one of the many examples in which the British sought to curry favor with the Arabs, even if it meant betraying the Jews.
1923: Birthdate of author Joseph Heller who created Catch-22, the literary masterpiece that gained additional fame as a film.
1923: “British Chief Rabbi Defends Schechita In The Times” published today by the Jewish Correspondence Bureau described the strongly expressed opposition of Joseph Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom proposed legislation that would end “the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for food” which he says “according to the testimony of competent experts including Lord Lister, Sir Michael Foster, Dr. Leonard Hill and Dr. T.H. Openshaw” is “the most human method” for doing this.
1925: In the UK, Marie Bader and Louis Balmuth gave birth to Helen Balmuth who gained fame as Helen Rae Bamber who among other things “worked with Holocaust survivors after the liberation of the concentration camps
1928: A large number of workers in Palestine heeded the call of the Worker’s Councils for a general strike.In other May Day activities, Arab and Jewish workers held mass meetings in several towns including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where police dispersed the gatherings after arresting several demonstrators some of whom would later be labeled as “communists.”
1928(11thof Iyar, 5688): Fifty-eight year old Joseph Solomon Wallenstein, the son of Solomon and Esther Wallenstein, passed away today.
1930: In Siófok, Hungary, József and Ilona Hirsch, both of whom perished in The Holocaust, gave birth to theatre director John Hirsch was brought to Canada “in 1947 through the War Orphans Project of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
1932: According to reports by John Martin published today, famed ballerina Belle Didjah has set sail from New York to begin her European Tour which will include performances in Tel Aviv and other communities in Palestine.The performances are being sponsored by the Cultural Committee of Histadruth
1934: Julius Streicher's Nazi periodical, Der Stürmer--one of Germany's most popular periodicals and a favorite of Hitler--reminded its readers that during the Middle Ages, the Jews were accused of committing ritual murder of Christian children and of using their blood for religious ritual purposes
1934: The Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP(Racial Policy Office of the National Socialist German Workers Party) was established by Hitler's friend and secretary, Rudolph Hess
1938: Following the Anschluss, Austrians forced Jewish men and women to scrub the streets with small brushes and with the women's fur coats.
1939: In Hungary, discriminatory laws were passed against Jews engaged in law and medicine. Jewish participation in the economy was restricted to six percent.
1940: In France, premiere of “Sarajevo,” directed by Max Ophüls and filmed by cinematographer Otto Heller.
1940: Birthdate of Colette Avital, the Bucharest native who made Aliyah in 1950 and developed a career as a diplomat and political leader.
1940: Polish and Baltic-area Jews began to escape across the Soviet Union to Japan, the Dutch East Indies, Australia, Canada, the United States and, in a few instances to Eretz Israel. In all, only a few thousand Jews from the region manage to escape.
1940: The Lodz Ghetto is closed. At the outbreak of the war, Lodz was the second largest Jewish community in Europe, Warsaw being the largest. When the Ghetto was sealed, it imprisoned over 230,000. Those who did not die of starvation, pestilence, etc. ended up being transported to the Chelmno death camp. There were less than 900 Jews left alive when the Soviets liberated the ghetto in January, 1945.
1940(23rd of Nisan, 5700): One hundred forty Palestinian Jews died as German planes bombed their ship
1940: Rudolf Höss, adjutant at the Sachsenhausen, Germany, concentration camp, was ordered to turn the former Polish army barracks at Auschwitz, Poland, into an extermination camp.
1940: From today through December 1940 thousands of Polish Jews are sent eastward as forced laborers to construct fortifications along the new Soviet frontier.
1941: New York City premiere of “Citizen Kane” with a screenplay co-authored by Herman J. Mankiewicz and a score by Bernard Hermann.
1941: Thousands of Jews who had fought in the French Foreign Legion against Germany in 1940 are deported to slave-labor camps in the Sahara to build railroads.
1941(4th of Iyar, 5701): In Bucharest, Romania 120 Jews are slain in the streets during anti-Semitic violence
1941: Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and businesses in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, are destroyed
1941: A concentration camp is established at Natzweiler, Alsace, Germany.
1941: Gross-Rosen, formerly a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen, Germany, becomes an independent camp.
1942: From today through the 31st of the month, more than 3600 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto die of starvation. Nazis force their way into Jewish apartments in Warsaw, shoot and club the residents, and throw the bodies from windows.
1942: During May a slave-labor camp opens near Minsk, Belorussia.
1942: During May small groups of Jewish youths manage to escape into the woods outside Lida and Stolpce, towns in Belorussia.
1942: During May, in the Eastern Galicia region of Poland, Jews aged 14 to 60 are driven to isolated spots and killed by hand grenades and machine guns after being forced to dig their own graves. Other victims of this Aktion include orphans, residents of old-age homes, and women in the streets.
1942: During May inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau are put to work as slave laborers at the camp itself and at a synthetic-oil and rubber plant at nearby Monowitz.
1942: During May, Jewish women at Auschwitz-Birkenau are selected for medical experiments. A Jewish inmate at a labor camp at Schwenningen, Germany, is buried in earth up to his shoulders as punishment for having an attack of diarrhea outside a barracks; after more than ten hours in the ground, the man dies.
1942: During May, a slave-labor camp opens at Maly Trostinets, Byelorussia
1942: During May in Holland, a collaborationist auxiliary police unit, Vrijwillige Hulp-Politie (Volunteer Auxiliary Police), is established. It is charged with the roundup of Dutch Jews for deportation to the East.
1942: During May, Communist Jews in Paris initiate organized armed resistance to the Nazi occupiers.
1942: During May, The Bund (Jewish Labor Organization of Poland) appeals to the Polish government-in-exile in Londonto persuade the Allied governments to warn the German government about the consequences of the murder of the Polish Jews. The Bund's appeal contains detailed information concerning the systematic mass murder of Jews. It reports that 700,000 Polish Jews have already been executed.
1942: In early May, 260 Luxembourg Jews, some of whom who had converted to Christianity, are sent to Chelmno.
1942: In early May, Jewish Council members at Bilgoraj, Poland, are executed after refusing to compile a list of candidates for deportation.
1942: More than 1750 Jews are deported from Tripoli, Libya, to forced-labor sites at the Libyan cities of Benghazi, Homs, and Derna. Hundreds perish from heat and hunger, and others die during Allied bombings after being forbidden to use air-raid shelters
1942: In that part of North Africa occupied by the Axis Powers (Germany and Italy), 2600 Libyan Jews are deported to a forced-labor camp at Giado, Libya, to build roads for the military.
1942(14th of Iyyar, 5702): Approximately 1000 Jews are murdered at Dvinsk, Latvia. Only about 450 Jews are left in Dvinsk, down from 16,000 from the previous year.
1942: In its daily broadcast, Radio Orange issued a call to defy the order to wear the "Jewish star." During World War II, Radio Orange was the name given to the broadcasts by the Dutch government-in- exile which were carried by the B.B.C.
1942: Trucks began transporting the Jews out of the Dvinsk ghetto. Dvinsk was a town in the Baltic state of Latvia. Before the war, there were 16,000 Jews living in Dvinks. At the end of the war, only 500 had survived.
1943: SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop completes his official written chronicle of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto which is entitled “The Stroop Report.”
1943: The first of four trains carrying nearly 11,000 Jews arrive at Auschwitz from Salonika, Greece. This would mark the next step in the end of this ancient Jewish community that lives on in their unique music including that which is used in chanting Psalm 118.
1943: The Axis send the first of what would total 5000 Sephardic Jews from Occupied Tunisia to labor camps near North African battle zones.
1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising had lasted eleven days. By now, the Jews knew that the Polish Underground would not come to their aid. The Jews fought on even as they awaited the inevitable. Among the those who died at this time were Abrasha Blum, an organizer of armed resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto and a member of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations> He wasshot by Germans after enduring confinement and torture
1943: German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, reacting to the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto revolt, notes in his diary: "Heavy engagements are being fought there which led even to the Jewish Supreme Command's issuing daily communiqués. Of course, this fun won't last very long. But it shows what is to be expected of the Jews when they are in possession of arms."
1943: Jewish writers and artists, inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, gather in the Vilna (Lithuania) Ghetto for an evening of poetry, with the hopeful theme "Spring in Yiddish Literature."
1943(26th of Nisan, 5703): Many members of the Jewish community in Brody, Ukraine, are killed at the Majdanek death camp.
1944: An internal memo from the United States Government War Refugee Board states that as of late March: "All registered Jews in Athens are said to have been placed in a concentration camp; registered Jews from the provinces were subsequently added."
1944: An internal memo of this week from the United States Government War Refugee Board states that a small group of Jews in Greece claimed to be Portuguese nationals.
1944: Christian Wirth, SS-Sturmbannführer and commandant of the Belzec, Poland, death camp, is assassinated by partisans in Fiume, Yugoslavia.
1944: Starting today the Nazis begin the liquidation of the Lodz (Poland) Ghetto.
1944(8thof Iyar, 5704): Itzhak Katzenelson and his son Zvi were murdered at Auschwitz. Born in 1886, he was a teacher, poet and dramatist.His wife and two of his other sons had already been murdered at Treblinka.Katznelson participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and was one of the few survivors.While being held at a detention in Vittel, France, he wrote the Yiddish epic poem “Song of the Murdered Jewish People” which he buried in bottles before being shipped to the death camp.The Ghetto Fighters' House Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel, is named in his memory. For more about his epic work see http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=ivKVLcMVIsG&b=476157
1944(8th of Iyar, 5704): As mass deportations of Jews from Hungary to death camps begin, hundreds of Hungarian Jews at Sátoraljaújhely and Miskolc are shot after refusing to board trains destined for Auschwitz.
1944: Between today and the 31st of May, 33,000 Jews from Munkács, Hungary, are killed at Auschwitz.
1945: After 68 months of war, just one of every ten of Poland's prewar Jewish population of 3.3 million is alive
1945(18th of Iyar, 5705): Lag B’Omer
1945(18th of Iyar, 5705): A Jew in a group of laborers from the camp at Sonneberg, Germany, chants and dances with joy upon word of Hitler's death. A German guard calmly shoots the man dead.
1945: The concentration camp at Stutthof, Poland, is liberated by the Red Army. Just 120 inmates remain alive.
1945: Henry Krasucki, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald “celebrates” his May Day in Paris.
1945: The Death Marches to Mauthausen continued even as the U.S. Army approached, and even though Hitler committed suicide the prior day. The Jews were being marched to Mauthasan in Austriafrom the various death camps and concentration camps that had fallen in the wake of Allied and Soviet advances. Hundred more Jews would die during the marches from exhaustion. Approximately 200,000 people were imprisoned at Mauthausen. Not until May 3, would the Nazi guards give up and slip away trying to hide among the general mass of refugees.
1946(30th of Nisan, 5706: Rosh Chodesh Iyyar
1946(30th of Nisan, 5706): Former Jewish partisan leader and Red Army officer Eliyahu Lipszowicz is murdered by an anti-Semitic Pole at Legnica, Poland.
1946: In a draft of a letter to British Prime Minster Clement Atlee, Winston Churchill reiterated his belief in Partition as the only realistic was for settling the conflict in Palestine.
1946: The English-American Commission on the Jewish Refugee Problem in Europe recommended the immediate entry of 100,000 Jews into Eretz Israel. The British continued to maintain the blockade keeping the Jews out of Palestine. It was at this time that Golda "proposed a hunger strike by fifteen Zionist leaders" as means of forcing the British to change their policy. When the Mrs. Meir asked the head of the British government in Palestine if the hunger strike would make a difference he ask asked her,"...do you think for a moment that His Majesty's government will change its policy because you are not going to. She replied, "No, I have no such illusions. If the death of six million didn't change government policy, I don't expect that my not eating will do so. But it at least it will be a mark of solidarity" with those Jews being turned away by the British military.
1947: Leonard Bernstein introduces his "Jeremiah" symphony in the Edison Cinema in Jerusalem.
1948: “The Arabs opened a large scale attack on Ramot Naphtali in the northern hills near Lebanon.”The settlement was the key to a Jewish victory in the Galilee.If the Arabs could take the settlement, they would be able to keep the Palmach from sending reinforcements Safed.In the end, the settlers held and Jewish forces were able to take control of Safed after an extremely difficult battle later in the month.
1948: Abba Eban makes his maiden speech in the U.N. General Assembly.
1948 (22 Nissan 5708): Israeli forces liberate the Qatamon neighborhood of Jerusalem.
1949:An article published in“Harefuah”, a medical journal published by the Israel Medical Association, described how Aaron Valero first observed the outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Palestine.
1950: In Tel Aviv, Israel Eldad and his wife gave birth to Professor Aryeh Eldadwho combined medicine with a career in politics.
1950: Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s attempts to form a new government suffered a setback tonight when the executive committee of the General Zionist Party decided not to join the coalition.The party, which is more conservative than those represented by the labor movement, had been offered the Commerce and Industry ministries as an enticement to join the new government but the leadership felt that Ben Gurion had not made a strong enough commitment to adopt some of their economic and educational reform policies.
1950: “South Pacific,” the famous musical by Rogers and Hammerstein wins the Pulitzer Prize as the best original American Play.
1954: U.S. premiere of “Flame and Flesh” directed by Richard Brooks, produced by Jose Pasternak with a screenplay by Helen Deutsch.
1954: J & W Seligman & Company celebrated two anniversaries today – the 90thanniversary of its founding and the 85th anniversary of its being listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1955: Birthdate of Julien Mark Wiener “a former Australian cricketer who played in six Tests and seven one-day internationals from 1979 to 1980. A right-handed opening batsman and a very occasional off spin bowler, he is the only known Jewish Australian to represent his country at cricket…Wiener's mother and father, Vella and Sasha, were Polish and Austrian Jews respectively, and both escaped the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The surname Wiener came from Vienna, the home of Sasha. His parents married in 1947 in Paris, before coming to Australia as refugees on the famous Dunera ship in 1947. Wiener's father ran a successful textile business, which allowed him to send Wiener to the private Brighton Grammar School. Wiener's father had early sporting success in table tennis, which Wiener applied to his cricket, playing for Prahran in Melbourne grade cricket. He subsequently completed his university education at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in business management, before moving to England to pursue his cricket career.”
1956: The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.For all those who like to talk about greedy Jews, considering the following.Salk refused to take out a patent on his vaccine.Some things, he said, were more important than making money.
1956: Moshe Dayan, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, made a speech at the funeral of a young settler, Ro'i Roitberg, killed in a clash with Palestinian infiltrators from the Gaza Strip
1957: U.S. premiere of “Desk Set” a comedic look at the installation of a computer in a major corporation produced by Henry Ephron who co-authored the script with Phoebe Ephron.
1959: Birthdate of Lawrence Seeff the Johannesburg native who was a South African First-class cricketer. “He played with Western Province and Transvaal and was one of the South African Cricket Annual's Cricketers of the Year in 1981. He opened the batting for Western Province with his brother Jonathan Seeff.”
1960(4thof Iyar, 5720): Yom HaZikaron
1961: In the U.K., premiere of “The Curse of the Werewolf” with music by Benjamin Frankel
1962:Birthdate of actress Maia Morgenstern. A native of Bucharest, Morgenstern played the Virgin Mary in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ.
1964: The Center for Jewish History marked today as the beginning of the public movement for freeing Soviet Jewry.
1967: Birthdate of Yael Arad Israel, an Israeli judoka who won a silver medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
1967: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Bernard Malamud for his novel, The Fixer. Born in 1914, Malamud wanted to be thought of as great writer, not just a great Jewish writer. In other words, even though he often used Jewish themes and motifs, he was writing about the human condition. The success of The Natural, a book about a baseball player was an example of that desire. "Malamud explicated the tragic role of the Jew in many of his stories, including The Fixer (1966), which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and later was adapted into a motion picture. That novel was based on the true story of Mendel Beilis, victim of the Kiev Blood Libel of 1913." He passed away in 1986.
1968(3rd of Iyar, 5728): Yom HaZikaron
1969: Nasser repudiated the cease fire agreement with Israel
1973(29thof Nisan, 5733): Ninety-four year old Goodman Lipkind, the London rabbi who served several American congregations in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Schenectady, NY passed away today at Long Beach, NY.
1979(4thof Iyar, 5739): Yom HaZikaron
1979: Elton John became the first pop star to perform in Israel.
1981(27th of Nisan, 5741): Yom HaShoah
1981: President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation today declaring the week starting on May 3, 1981 as Jewish Heritage Week.
1983: “Past That Stay Present” includes a review of Points of Departure by Israeli Poet and Holocaust Survivor Dan Pagis.
1983: George and Ira Gershwin’s “My One and Only” opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre” today.
1985: Today, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) was established in Boston when Larry Phillips and Larry Simon, together with a group of rabbis, Jewish communal leaders, activists, businesspeople, scholars and others came together to create the first American Jewish organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among people across the globe.
1985: Showtune which was originally titled Tune the Grand Up, and premiered today as a cabaret production at The 1177 Club in the Gramercy Towers on Nob Hill in San Francisco. “Showtune is an internationally popular Off Broadway musical revue celebrating the words and music of Broadway composer Jerry Herman. Its title was inspired by Herman's autobiography of the same name.”
1987: Birthdate of Shahar Pe'er, Israeli female professional tennis player.
1987: Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Born Edith Stein, she became a Carmelite nun. She was arrested by the Nazis in Holland when the Germans were rounding up Jews who converted to Catholicism. She was gassed at Auschwitz. For those who question the role of the Pope during the Holocaust, the fate of Edith Stein, and others who had converted to Catholicism before World War II, raises an interesting dilemma. There are those who can understand why the Pope did not move to save the Jews, but wonder why he did not move to save Jews who had become Catholics. In the end, did he not consider them real Catholics? This is something for use to ponder at this season of the year which often coincides with Yom Hashoah.
1987: It was reported today that Israel’s governing coalition “was under strain” as deal with proposals for an international peace conference and “the Israeli investigation in the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy case.”
1988: Final broadcast of season six Family Ties the sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg.
1990: At an Arab summit meeting held in Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq threatens to use "weapons of total destruction" in response to an Israeli attack against Arabs. The main item on the summit agenda is immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel, which is denounced as a grave threat to Arab security. Syria and four other Arab states do not attend the meeting.
1990: Greece establishes full diplomatic relations with Israel.
1990: Opening night of the Israel Film Festival attended by two of the most famous mayors in Jewish history - Teddy Kollek and Ed Koch
1994: Israeli and PLO delegates opened a final round of talks in Cairo leading to an agreement on PLO self-rule.The resulting entity, the Palestine Authority would sink under the weight of Arafat’s corruption and unwillingness to do the things necessary to create a viable, responsible government.
1996(12th of Iyar, 5756): Asher Wallfish journalist for the Jerusalem Post passed away at the age of 67
1996: In an article entitled “Moises Ville Journal: Sun Has Set on Jewish Gauchos, but Legacy Lives,” Calvin Sims describes the fate of Argentina’s rural Jews.
1996: During today’s playoff game, The New York Knicks “observed a moment of silence” in memory ofDora Sudarsky, broadcaster Bill Mazer’swife of 50 years who had passed away on April 28.
1997:The Jerusalem Post reported that the sentenced American spy, Jonathan Pollard, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice to order the Prime Minister to declare that he had been an agent of Israel. Pollard also requested a temporary injunction ordering the Government of Israel to reveal who had been in charge of his case and what steps had been taken to secure his release from the American prison. The petition queried the official Israeli position, according to which Pollard had been part of a rogue operation. It called for a temporary injunction outlining what he was paid for his services. The High Court issued a temporary injunction, apparently at the request of the security services, forbidding the publication of Pollard's petition. This ban was lifted following an appeal by the "Yediot Aharonot" newspaper.
1997:The Jerusalem Post reported that Mr. Norman Spector assumed the post of the President and Publisher of The Jerusalem Post.
1997:The transfer of the ownership of The Chattanooga Times from the four grandchildren of Adolph S. Ochs, who bought the paper in 1878 and remained its publisher until 1935, to his 13 great-grandchildren is scheduled to be completed today.
1997: “The Return of Tobias” oil on canvas by Benjamin Ulmann was sold today. A French Alsatian Jew born in 1829 he was a pupil of Michel Martin Drolling and of François-Édouard Picot.He passed away in 1884.
1998: In the U.K., premiere of “Sliding Doors” produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
1999: Three Ring, filly owned by Barry K. Schwartz, finished ran out of the money in today’s Kentucky Derby.
2000: Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails begin a hunger strike to draw attention to their poor conditions.
2000:After almost seventeen months in prison, the trial of the 13 Jews opened in the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz. Hearings were held every Monday and Wednesday until May 29. The thirteen defendants were brought to the courtroom in shifts over the five-week trial.
2001: Former government intern Chandra Levy disappears.
2002: Yasser Arafat's five-month imprisonment in his Ramallah headquarters draws to an end as the Palestinians hand over six high-profile prisoners to Anglo-American custody.
2004:Noa (Achinoam Nini) and Gil Dor, together with the noted Israeli rhythm and dance troupe Mayumana, gave a joint performance between the two final games of the Euroleague basketball championship, broadcast to thousands of television viewers around the world.
2004: Maccabi Tel Aviv crushes Italy's Skipper Bologna 118-74 to become European champions for the fourth time in the club’s history.
2004: Rabbi Sir Jonathan Henry Sacks begins serving as Rabbi and Spiritual Leader, Western Marble Arch Synagogue London.
200522nd of Nisan, 5765): 8thday of Pesach
2005: Stanley Fisher began serving as Governor of the Bank of Israel.
2005: A Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Glengarry Glen Ross” opened today at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre with Liev Schreiber in the role of “Roma.”
200522nd of Nisan, 5765):Rene Rivkin an Australian entrepreneur, investor, investment adviser, and stockbroker passed away. He was a well-known stockbroker in Australia for many years until his conviction for insider trading.
2005: The New York Observer features a review of “The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom From My Father on How to Live, Love, and See” by Naomi Wolfe
2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or special interest to Jewish readers including Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble by Roger Cohen, Given Up For Dead: American GI's in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga by Flint Whitlock and the recently released paperback editions of Conspiratorby Michael Andre Bernstein and Madame Secretary by Madeline Albright with Bill Woodward, an “insightful memoir that focuses as much on Albright’s voyage of personal discovery (she belatedly learned of her Jewish heritage) as on her years as President Clinton's secretary of state.”
2006: First episode of “The Perfect Home” a television series based on The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, the scion of a prominent Egyptian Jewish family that was forced to flee to Switzerland.
2007: Hilary Koprowski was awarded the Albert Sabin Gold Medal by the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Baltimore.Koprowski was one of three Jews (the others being Salk and Sabin) who played a key role in developing a vaccine against polio.)
2007: “Secretary-General of Labor Party, Minister Eitan Cabel announced today that he was resigning from the government, following the conclusions of the Winograd Commissions.”
2007:May is celebrated as Jewish Heritage Month by proclamation of the President of the United States.
2008: “Brothers: Rahm Emanuel and His Family” published today looks at the lives and accomplishments of Rahm, Zeke and Ari.
2008: In New York City, PEN World Voices, a festival of international literature presents“Conversations Between A. B. Yehoshua and Leon Wieseltier”an event during which “Yehoshua discusses a lifetime in literature, fact in fiction, writing politics and atonement with Leon Wieseltier, Literary Editor of The New Republic and author of Kaddish.”
2008:Local elections are held in Great Britain. Community organizations have come together to encourage the British Jewish community to vote in these local elections being held across the country because of a fear of gains that could be made by for the ultra-nationalist British National Party (BNP). The Board of Deputies of British Jews - working with the London Jewish Forum and Community Security Trust - had launched a new campaign, with the slogan, "Your Voice or Theirs," to raise awareness of the importance of first registering to vote and then voting in the May 1 local elections. The BNP has enjoyed some electoral success which alarms the Jewish community as well as ant-fascists organizations and other minority groups.BNP literature is described as anti-Semitic and the party is viewed by some as latter day Nazis.
2008 (26thof Nisan): Yom Hashoah – Eastern Iowa observes Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Cedar Rapids The Holocaust Memorial Fund (created and endowed by Dr. David and Joan Thaler) and the Jewish-Christian Dialogue are sponsoring Yom Hashoah Service at Westminster Presbyterian Church at .Rabbi Stephanie Alexander will be the speaker. In Iowa City, in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, theTimofeyev Ensemblewill be celebrating the achievements of Eastern European Jewry by putting on a free Klezmer concert at the Art Building West. Nearly lost, the music was rediscovered in the seventies and is now thriving in Europe and America. The UI student band,Kosher Tom, will also be performing.
2009: In Alexandria, Va., Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrator Jules Feiffer reads and discusses “Which Puppy” a children’s picture book he recently co-authored with his daughter Kate.
2009:The American Society for Jewish Music and the American Jewish Historical Society present a lecture by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit of Tufts University entitled “The Participating Observer: Fieldwork in Jewish Settings.”
2009: In an article entitled “Roosevelt and the Jews: A Debate Rekindled,” Patricia Cohen reviews Refugees and Rescue: The Diaries’ and papers of James G. McDonald, 1935-1945.
2009(12thof Iyar, 5769):Sam Cohn, whose nearly endless client roster of top actors, writers and directors and imaginative engineering of deals for them made him the most powerful talent broker in theater and film during the 1970s and 1980s and a progenitor of the Hollywood superagent passed away today at the age of 79. (As reported by Bruce Weber) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/arts/07cohn.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print
2010: Jewish American Heritage began today as proclaimed by President Barak Obama. The proclamation read as follows:
In 1883, the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus composed a sonnet, entitled “The New Colossus,” to help raise funds for erecting the Statue of Liberty.Twenty years later, a plaque was affixed to the completed statue, inscribed with her words:“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”These poignant words still speak to us today, reminding us of our Nation’s promise as a beacon to all who are denied freedom and opportunity in their native lands. Our Nation has always been both a haven and a home for Jewish Americans.Countless Jewish immigrants have come to our shores seeking better lives and opportunities, from those who arrived in New Amsterdam long before America’s birth, to those of the past century who sought refuge from the horrors of pogroms and the Holocaust.As they have immeasurably enriched our national culture, Jewish Americans have also maintained their own unique identity.During Jewish American Heritage Month we celebrate this proud history and honor the invaluable contributions Jewish Americans have made to our Nation. The Jewish American story is an essential chapter of the American narrative.It is one of refuge from persecution; of commitment to service, faith, democracy, and peace; and of tireless work to achieve success.As leaders in every facet of American life—from athletics, entertainment, and the arts to academia, business, government, and our Armed Forces—Jewish Americans have shaped our Nation and helped steer the course of our history.We are a stronger and more hopeful country because so many Jews from around the world have made America their home. Today, Jewish Americans carry on their culture’s tradition of “tikkun olam”—or “to repair the world”—through good deeds and service.As they honor and maintain their ancient heritage, they set a positive example for all Americans and continue to strengthen our Nation. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2010 as Jewish American Heritage Month.I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies to celebrate the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
[Editor’s Note: … President Obama has made a subtle, symbolic gesture that some would say demonstrates uncommon sensitivity to the Jewish community. Thanks to the New Jersey Jewish News for this story, which reports that President Obama removed the standard phrase “in the year of our Lord” from a proclamation welcoming May as Jewish Heritage Month. As the newspaper reports, previous similar proclamations — by Obama, George Bush, and Bill Clinton — all included the standard line affixed at the end, pegging the missive’s date to the birth of Jesus Christ … Obama, in praising Jews for their unique contributions to American culture, took the extra step of taking it out this time. This may not sit well with “the our-country-is-a-Christian-nation crowd” and it may seem like a small thing, but it shows a certain level of sensitivity if not outright political courage. There are those who think that Jewish community should be more outspoken in acknowledging this, and in voicing appreciation.”]
2010: At The Library of Congress an exhibition entitled “Herblock!" highlighting the life and works of the great political cartoonist is scheduled to come to a close.
2010A Secret, a film adapted from the award-winning autobiographical novel by Philippe Grimbert, is scheduled to be shown tonight at the Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival.
2010:Achinoam Nini, the world famous Israeli performer known as Noa, is scheduled to appear in concert tonight at East Brunswick (NJ) Performing Arts Center.
2011:The Cedar Rapids community is scheduled to mark Yom Hashoah with “”Lest We Forget,” A Service in Memory of the Victims of the Shoah sponsored byThe Jewish Christian Dialogue Group and The Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.(See The Story of Historywhich provides background information on the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund which was co-founded by David and Joan Tahler)
2011: Yeshiva University Museum is scheduled to present “Growing Up Jewish in Montreal” a panel discussion during which “four distinguished scholars reflect on their formative years in one of North America's most vibrant Jewish communities.”
2011: “Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival” by June Feiss Hersh is scheduled to go on sale today at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
2011: A memorial service for Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate, who trained members of the Haganah, is scheduled to take place today at the Arlington National Cemetery.The ceremony is being held under the auspices of the Jewish War Veterans Association of the United States of America.
2011:Reform Judaism’s flagship social justice conference, the Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience is scheduled to open in Washington, DC.
2011: Start of Jewish American Heritage Month
2011: The New York Times featured reviews of book by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World”by William D. Cohan, “Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial” by Janet Malcolm that is set against a backdrop of the “Bukharin Jewish immigrant community in Queens” andthe recently released paperback edition of“Crossing Mandelbaum Gate Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978” by Kai Bird
2011:The March of the Living participants are scheduled to visit Auschwitz on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on May 1, to commemorate the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews and to pledge to fight intolerance and prejudice in the future.
2011(27thof Nisan): Yom Hashoah – observance of the holiday will take place in many places tomorrow “to avoid adjacency with Shabbat).
2011(27thof Nisan, 5771):Moshe Landau, the fifth president of the Supreme Court and an Israel Prize laureate, died on today, only two days after his 99th birthday, and 50 years after presiding at the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
2011:The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust will be honored at ceremonies held across Israel this evening, the start of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and other dignitaries will attend the official state ceremony at Yad Vashem. This year, the central theme of the ceremony will be Fragments of Memory: The Faces Behind the Documents, Artifacts and Photographs, a campaign launched by the Holocaust museum aimed at collecting and preserving documents so that future generations may learn about the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis from first-hand sources. During the ceremony, six Holocaust survivors will light torches in memory of those who suffered under Nazi persecution before and during World War II. Yona Fuchs, whose nickname is Janek, will be among the honorees at the event. In 1942 he escaped from a concentration camp and found work as a translator for a German company in Kiev. In that capacity he managed to save over a dozen Jews by recruiting them as workers for his employers. Later, he evaded arrest by posing as a German soldier. He arrived in British-controlled Palestine in 1944, fought in the War of Independence and settled in Haifa. He has 14 grandchildren.
2011: After 443 performances a revival of Jerry Herman’s “La Cage aux Folles” came to a close.
2011:Israel's new Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino was sworn in today, replacing David Cohen, who served in the post for four years. Danino was formerly the head of the Israel Police investigations and intelligence branch, and comes to the commissioner's chair from his last posting as the commander of the Southern District Police.
2011: Distinguished composer Gilbert Levine, whose grandparents emigrated from Poland and whose mother-in-law was a survivor of Auschwitz, will be among the hundreds of thousands of people converging on the Vatican for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. (As reported by Ruth Ellen Gerber)
2011: Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
2011: As part of its Yom HaShoah observance,in Hollywood, Temple Israel’s newly established arts council invited community members to join the jury at a mock trial of Rudolph Kastner (As reported by Johan Lowenfeld.
2012: Israeli photographer Gil Cohen-Magen is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Hassidic Courtyards: A Photographic Study of the Ultra-Orthodox Community in Israel” at the JCC of Northern Virginia.
2012: “Kafka’s Last Story” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.
2012:Rabbi Ed Cohn and Canto Joel Colman officiated at the graveside services for Inge Elsas, holocaust survivor, Temple Sinai Sunday School teacher and pillar of the New Orleans Jewish community.
2012: Start of Jewish American Heritage Month
2012: Thirty-one year old Daniel Timerman, the son of Jacobo Timerman “was sentenced today to 35 days in jail for refusing to serve with the Israeli Army in Lebanon.”
2013: The 36th International Convention of the World Union for Progressive Judaism is scheduled to open in Jerusalem.
2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to presents “The Quest for Justice in the Postwar Jewish Community - Function and Role of Honor Courts in the Displaced Persons Camps.”
2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to co-host “Guernica – Bravery and Gender in Confessional Writing.
2013: In a case of “the East” meets the Jews, Iron Man 3, based on a creation of Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow opened in China today.
2013: Gravestones and bones from an ancient Turkish Jewish cemetery were unearthed during construction work.The remains in the Turkish city of Izmir were found more than 20 feet below the ground, during construction work on an underground tunnel, the Hurriyet Daily News reported today.
2013: Israel needs to reach peace with the Palestinians to prevent becoming a bi-national state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said today, stressing – however – that the core of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is not territory, but a Palestinian unwillingness to recognize Israel's legitimacy within any boundaries.
2014: “The White Rose Exhibit” which commemorates the work of one of the few genuine resistance movements in Nazi Germany is scheduled to open at the College of Public of Health of the University of Iowa.
2014: Washington Hebrew Congregation is scheduled to host Adam Mendelsohn of the College of Charleston, whose book Jews and the Civil War: A Reader (co-edited with Jonathan D. Sarna) was published in 2010 speaking on “Beyond the Battlefield: The Legacy of the Civil War for America’s Jews.”
2014: “The Prime Minister: The Pioneers” is scheduled to be shown at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
2014: American Jewish Heritage Month opens with a special tribute to the American Joint Distribution Committee that is celebrating its centennial anniversary.
2014:“According to figures released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics”the population of Israel now “stands at 8.18 million people.”
2014: “The news website actualitte.com reported today a 15th century printed book of the Torah fetched a record 3.87 million dollars at an auction in Paris.”
373: “Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria…aggressive opponent of Arianism and polemicist against Judaism died today.”
693: The Sixteenth Council of Toledo, which had opened on April 25, met for the last time. Among its other accomplishments, the council took further steps in the on-going, ever more vicious, suppression of the Jews by the Christian Visigoth. The law code, which granted “tax freedom to Jewish conversos” now transferred the tax obligation to Jews who had not converted. Also, the council ruled that “converts were allowed to trade with Christians, but not until” they had proven themselves “by recitation of creeds and eating of non-kosher food. The council also enacted penalties against Christians who entered into business transactions “with unconverted or unproven Jews.”
907: King Boris I of Bulgaria died. At the time of his death, Boris was actually a monk having abdicated his throne in 889.During his reign, Bulgaria continued to provide a refuge for Jews fleeing from Byzantine persecution.According to some reports, there was an attempt to convert the pagan Bulgars to Judaism. True or not, Christianity would become the state religion.
1108 (20thof Iyar, 4868): Solomon Ibn-Farussal was murdered shortly before the forces of Islam defeated the Christians at the battle of Ucles.Yehuda Halevi composed an elegy upon hearing of Ibn-Farrusal’s murder. Ibn-Farussal reportedly was “in the service of a Christian prince” who had sent him as an emissary to the Spanish city of Murcia. The “Christian prince” may well have been Alfonso VII, the monarch who led the Spaniards to defeat at Ucles.
1160: In the Montpellier region of southern France, an agreement was concluded according to which every priest who stirred up the people against the Jews should be excommunicated. The Jews in return pledged to pay four pounds of silver every year on Palm Sunday
1194: In one his first acts after returning from his imprisonment in Austria, King Richard I of England gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.The Jews had paid a disproportionate share of that ransom. The 5,000 marks the Jews were compelled to pay was triple that paid by the citizens of London. There is no record of any Jews having lived in Portsmouth during the Middle Ages, though there were a scattered few in nearby Bosham, Chichester and Southampton, and an important community in Winchester. The first Portsmouth Jews, attracted by the opportunity of trading with the fast-growing Royal Navy in its home port and possibly by a sense of kinship with the new German-speaking monarchs of these isles, settled in Oyster Street in the 1730s - Jacob Thulman signed in Hebrew in the Borough Sessions in 1736 - but soon moved out of Old Portsmouth to Portsea, in the heart of the city’s commercial district. The first recorded mention of a Jewish community in Portsmouth is the purchase of the thousand-year lease of a plot of land by Lazy Lane (now Fawcett Road) for use as a Jews’ burial ground in December 1749. The lessees were Benjamin Levi (engraver), Mordechai Samuel (jeweler), Lazarus Moses (chapman) and Mordechai Moses (chapman). Fawcett Road cemetery was still in use until it became full in the early 1990s. [Editor’s Note-The word “chapman” probably meant that these men were merchants or peddlers.]
1293(17th of Iyar, 5053):Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg passed away. The last of the Tosophists, he was the leading Rabbi in Germany. Convinced that there was no future in Germany, he agreed to lead a large contingent of families to Eretz-Israel. While waiting for the other families, he was seized by the Bishop of Basel. The Emperor ordered him held in prison as a lesson to any of "his Jews" who would try to leave Germany and thus cause him a financial loss. He refused to be ransomed, saying that it would serve as an impetus for further extortion's. He died in a prison near Colmar, and his body was held there until it was ransomed some years later.
1352: In Nuremburg, “Vischlein the son of Masten, Semelin the son of Nathan of Grefenberg, and Jacob the son-in-law of Liebetraut appeared before the council requesting to be received again as citizens, declaring that, in return, they would remit all debts the citizens owed them and would sell all houses held in pawn; they agreed to settle only where the citizens permitted, and asked merely to be protected against the nobility.
1481: The Pope called upon all Christian princes to send back to Spain the Jews who had fled from the Inquisition.
1605: Massacre of the Jewish community of Bisenz, Austria.
1611:King James Bible is published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.For many Jews (as well as non-Jews) the language of the King James Bible is the only version of the TaNaCh they know.
1634(Iyar 4): Jacob Bassevi of Treuenberg, the “court Jew” who provided financial assistance to Rudolph II, Matthias and Ferdinand II who used his influence to protect the Jews of the Holy Roman Empire and Italy passed away
1670: King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson's Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America. “The first known Jew to settle in what is now Canada was Ferdinande Jacobs, a fur trader with Hudson's Bay Company who came to Manitoba in 1732.” (Jewish Virtual Library)
1713(6 of Iyar, 5473): Josep Josel Wertheimer, father of Rabbi Samson Wertheimer, passed away today at the age of 87.
1718(1stof Iyar, 5478): Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi, known as the Chacham Tzvi, passed away in Lviv.
1729: Birthdate of Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, Czarina of Russia. Regardless of how history views this German princess who replaced her husband on the throne of Russia, she was responsible for Russia acquiring most of its Jewish population. Under her reign, Russia acquired much of Poland and its large Jewish population. Her record of treatment of the Jews, is mixed to negative. As a follower of Voltaire, she could not help but be swayed by his low opinions of the Jews. Her policies led to the creation of what would be called the Pale of Settlement.
1776: In Nederland, Jacob Hirsch Pinto and Levia Leonora Liebe Pinto gave birth to Branca Brendel Bernisse Hartog Kann (Pinto)
1784: Birthdate of Alexander Haindorf “a physician, a Jewish reformer, psychologist, university lecturer, journalist, art collector and co-founder of the Westphalian Kunstverein.”
1791: In Prussia “Daniel Itzig and his family received the first Naturalisationspatent, which granted them full citizenship. A year later the solidarische Haftung (collective responsibility and liability of the Jewish community for non-payment of taxes and crimes of theft) was abolished.”
1810: In London, American born physician, Dr. Joel Hart married Louisa Levien.The Philadelphia native and only son of Ephraim had gone to England to study at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
1813: While fighting with forces opposing Napoleon, “German historian and poet Daniel Lessman was wounded at the Battle of Lutzen.
1825(14thof Iyar, 5585): Pesach Sheni
1833: Birthdate of Abraham (Adolf) Berliner German Jewish theologian and historian who re-established The Mekitze Nirdamim literally "awakening the slumbering", a society for the publication of old Hebrew books and manuscripts that were either never published or long out of print in 1885.
1836(15thof Iyar, 5596): Eighty one year old Aaron Worms the son of Abraham Aberle, the chief rabbi of Metz and author of "Meore Or" (Flashes of Light) passed away today.
1837: Birthdate of Selah Merrill, the first United States Consul in Jerusalem.He served three terms over the years 1882 through 1907. Merrill opposed Jewish settlement in Palestine, writing, "Palestine is not ready for the Jews. The Jews are not ready for Palestine."
1844: Birthdate of Aaron Wise, the Hungarian born American rabbi was the son of Rabbi Joseph Hirsch Weiss, and father of Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise.
1844: Birthdate of Emil Schürer,“the German Protestant theologian who, for his time had the unusual distinction of studying the history of the Jews at the time of Jesus which led him to write A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ
1853: The Argentine Constitution promised freedom of religion and immigration. Argentina had already shown itself to be a hospitable place for Jewish settlement when it abolished the Inquisition in 1813 which contributed to an influx of Jewish immigrants from Western Europe and North Africa.The country’s first “Jewish wedding” would take place in 1860 and the Jewish community of Buenos Aires dates its start from 1862.
1856:The New York Times reported that Lord Derby’s government could not long survive because it was led by “a dilettante Jew whose only stary is self, and who has no care either for the national honor or glory…”The “dilettante Jew” had to be a reference to Disraeli, who not for the first time would be wrongly identified as a Jew.And the references were invariably used as a slur.
1860: Birthdate of Theodor Herzl. Born in Hungary, Herzl's family moved to Vienna. He was raised in an "enlightened Jewish home" and trained as a lawyer. Herzl pursued a career as a journalist and writer. Although he had encountered anti-Semitism, his views on the role of the Jews changed radically when he covered the Dreyfus Trial in 1894. If anti-Semitism could thrive in enlightened France, then the Jews were not safe any place except in a nation of their own. He electrified many with his book the Jewish State and he organized the World Zionist Organization. The six congresses that he chaired set much of the tone and program for the modern Zionist movement. Herzl died in 1904 at the age of 44. In 1949, his body was taken to Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem for its final resting place. Herzl is the embodiment of Hillel's most famous wisdom statements and proof that one person can make a difference. “Herzl coined the phrase ‘If you will, it is no fairytale,’ which became the motto of the Zionist movement.Although at the time no one could have imagined it, Zionism led, only fifty years later, to the establishment of the independent State of Israel.”
1861: Lieutenant Horace Porter returned to the arsenal at Watervliet, NY, with a letter from Colonel James Ripley rejecting Major Alfred Mordecai’s request for transfer and ordering him to prepare and ship much needed “artillery equipment” to Washington.” This brought to an end Mordecai’s attempt to stay in the U.S. Army without having to fight against family and friends living in the South.
1862: Joseph Wolff passed away today at Isle Brewers. Born at Weilersbach, Germany in 1795, to David Wolff, the town’s Rabbi, he “was baptized in 1812 by the Benedictine abbot of Emaus, near Prague.” Wolff trained as an Orientalist, traveled throughout the Middle East where he sought to convert Jewish populations and later searched for the Ten Lost Tribes in an areas stretching from modern day Turkey to Afghanistan.
1863: During the Battle of Chancellorsville, Sergeant Henry Heller was one of four soldiers who risked their lives to bring a wounded Confederate officer into the lines of the Union Army. The officer then “provided valuable information concerning the position of the enemy."
1863: During the American Civil War, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Among the units fighting at Chancellorsvillethat tried to stop the advance of Jackson’s troops was a regiment from Illinois under the command of Frederick Hecker that included a company made up of (supplied by) Jews from Chicago.
1864(26th of Nisan, 5624): Giacomo Meyerbeer passed away.
1867: The Weekly Clarion of Jackson reported today: “We are gratified that measures are in progress for the erection of a place of worship in this city by our fellow citizens of the Hebrew descent.” The newspaper item referred to the purchase of property at the corner of South State and South streets on which the Beth Israel Congregation would soon erect a small, wood-frame building which they would use as a school and a house of worship. This was the first building erected in Jackson designed to serve as a house of worship for the Jews living in around the city that was the capital of the state of Mississippi.
1870: Antoine Maurer, who was charged with killing a Jew named Joachim Feurter, went on trial again in Rockland County, NY.Maurer had been found guilty and sentenced to death but the conviction was overturned because the accused had not been present when the Judge responded to a request from the jury for clarity on a point of law.
1870:Lothair, the first novel written by Benjamin Disraeli after his first term as Prime Minister was first published today by Longmans, Green and Company in 3 volumes
1871:The second trial of, Antoine Maurer indicted for the murder of Joachim Feurter, “a German of the Hebrew faith” commenced here today, before the Court of Oyer and Terminer for Rockland County. Maurer had been found guilty in the first trial, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality.
1872: In Minks, Yehuda Leib Walt and Relie Hamburg gave birth to Abraham Walt who wrote under the nom de plume “A. Liesin” afer he came to the United States.
1873: The Jewish Messenger issued an appeal for financial support to send poor Jewish children on summer excursions.Among those who would benefit from some sea-side recreation are youngsters under the care of the Hebrew Benevolent Society and Free School Association.If these two groups cannot raise sufficient funds, then the paper will organize a Messenger Excursion Fund.
1877: A delegation of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites, led by Benjamin F. Peixotto met with President Rutherford B. Hayes to discuss the persecution of the Jews of Romania.The delegation presented a written account of “the recent barbarities” inflicted on the Jews of Glurgevo, Romania.The President expressed his sympathy and concern over the treatment of the Jews.He referred the group to Secretary of State William Evarts whom he requested to take such as this dire situation may require.
1877: On the advice of President Hayes, a delegation of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites, led by Benjamin F. Peixotto met with U.S. Secretary of State William Evarts to discuss steps that could be taken to relieve the suffering of the Jews of Romania. The delegation “urged the Secretary of State to cable” the U.S. ministers “at Vienna, Constantinople and St. Petersburg asking them to act in conjunction with the representatives of those powers in endeavoring to repress further atrocities.Mr. Evarts took the subject under consideration” [This was part of an on-going series of attempts to relieve the suffering of the Jews of Romania. The Great Powers thought they had resolved the matter at the Congress of Berlin, but Romanian anti-Semitism would trump their efforts.The best hope for Romanian Jews would be found in leaving for the United States where they became part of the mass of immigrants who flooded this country in the years leading up to World War I.This would not be the first or last time that a U.S. President’s sympathy for the plight of the Jews would not be translated into a policy bring about their salvation. Most of us do not recognize the name of Benjamin Peixotto.In his day, he was one of the most influential Jews in the United States.He was a successful lawyer and journalist who was active in the affairs of the Republican Party and the Jewish community. Sic Transit Gloria.]
1878(29th of Nisan, 5638): Anglo-Jewish barrister and politician Sir Henry Francis Goldsmid passed away. Born in 1808, the eldest son of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, was educated privately, and was called to the bar in 1833, becoming Queen’s Counsel in 1858. In 1859 he succeeded to his father's honors, which included a barony of Portugal. He entered Parliament in 1860 as member for Reading, through a by-election, and represented that constituency in the Liberal interest until his death. While still a young man he actively cooperated with his father to secure to the Jews full emancipation from civil and political disabilities. In 1839 he wrote "Remarks on the Civil Disabilities of the Jews," and in 1848 "A Reply to the Arguments Against the Removal of the Remaining Disabilities of the Jews." He was one of the chief supporters of University College, and gave material aid to University College Hospital. He was associated with various Jewish religious and charitable organizations. He was connected with the Reform movement from its commencement, and was elected president of the Council of Founders of the West London Synagogue. He was vice-president of the Anglo-Jewish Association from its establishment in 1871, and was president of the Rumanian Committee which originated in the association. His greatest services to his race were, however, in the direction of improving the social condition of the Jews in those countries in which they were oppressed. The condition of the Poles in 1863 moved him to organize meetings for the purpose of securing some alleviation of their sufferings, and he also forcibly protested on several occasions in Parliament against the oppression of the Jews, notably that in Servia and Rumania.
Goldsmid was deputy lieutenant for Berks and a justice of the peace for Berks and Gloucester. Having no children, the baronetcy devolved upon his nephew, Julian Goldsmid. His writings include, besides those already mentioned: "Two Letters in Answer to the Objections Urged Against Mr. Grant's Bill for the Relief of the Jews" (1830); "A Few Words Respecting the Enfranchisement of British Jews Addressed to the New Parliament" (1833); "A Scheme of Peerage Reform, with Reasons for the Scheme" (1835).
(As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)
1884: Today’s issued of Hamelitz, a Russian newspaper printed in Hebrew, recorded the events that led to members of the two existing synagogues in Quebec to leave and established what would become Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation.
1889(1st of Iyar, 5649): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1890: Mr. Cantor’s bill exempting the New York Sanitarium from local taxation was passed by the New York State Assembly today.
1891: It was reported today that there has been a serious outbreak of anti-Semitic violence at Corfu growing out of reports that the Jews “had murdered a Christian girl for the feast of Passover.”
1891: In Boston, Inspector Cogan arrested Samuel Steinhardt, a Polish Jewish immigrant who is wanted by the authorities in Newark, NJ.
1891: “The Union Square Mass Meeting” published today described Jewish participating in the mass meeting held at Union Square calling for an 8 hour day.The marchers wore red and blue caps that had been made by striking capmakers. The Jewish protestors were demonstrating for a more just society as could be seen by one of their banners emblazoned with “We Want the Children in Schools and Not In Shops.”(The Union Movement opposed child labor and supported universal public school eduation)
1891: “To Build A New Opera House” published today described the plans of Oscar Hammerstein, the owner of the Harlem Opera House and Columbia Theatre to build a new venue on 34th Street, just west of Broadway.Hammerstein plans to use the new building which is estimated to cost $250,000 will for German grand operas for four months of the year and then use it as a venue for grand theatrical performances during the balance of the year.This would keep the building in use for all 12 months which is a departure of normal business model.
1891: Religious Riot in Zante” published today described a religious riot in the capital city of this Greek Island of the same name.During a procession on Good Friday (according to the Greek Orthodox Calendar) the Christians attacked the Jewish quarter of the town.Soldiers fired on the mob which refused to disperse and threatened to burn down all of the homes and businesses of the Jews. (This stands in stark contrast to what happened during WW II. Mayor Loukas Career and Bishop Chrysostomos refused to give the Nazis the names of the Jews living there and instead hid them. All of the Jews survived the Holocaust.
1892: Today’s “New Publications” column contained a review of The Early Religion of Israel, as set forth by Biblical Writers and Modern Critical Historiansby James Robertson which is based on the Baird Lectures for 1889.
1893(16th of Iyar, 5653):Johann Schnitzler a Hungarian-Austrian Jewish laryngologist who was a native of Nagy Kanizsa (today part of Hungary) passed away. He was the father of famed playwright Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) and Julius Schnitzler. In 1860 he earned his medical doctorate at the University of Vienna, where from 1863 to 1867 he worked as an assistant to Johann von Oppolzer (1808-1871). In 1880 he was appointed associate professor of laryngology at the University of Vienna, and later became director of its policlinic. Schnitzler was a pioneer of modern laryngology, and author of numerous works on diseases of the throat and larynx. His best known written work was Klinischer Atlas der Laryngologie (Clinical Atlas of Laryngology), which was published posthumously in 1895. In 1860 with Philipp Markbreiter (1810-1882), he founded the Wiener Medizinische Presse, a publication of which he remained as editor until 1886Schnitzler is credited with coining the term "spastic dysphonia" for a vocal disorder known today as spasmodic dysphonia
1893: “Jews Attacked by Anti-Semites” published today described an outbreak of violence at Trappau, the capital of Austrian Silesia.Forty anti-Semites attacked five Jewish officers who fired their revolvers in self-defense, wounding 12 of their attackers.
1894(26thof Nisan, 5654): Seventy-eight year old Rudolph Carl Hertzog, who founded his nationally known department store at 1839 in Berlin, passed away today.
1894: The funeral of Jesse Seligman, who passed away on April 23 in California, took place today at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.
1895: Birthdate of Lorenz Hart. Born of Jewish-German immigrants, Hart was a highly productive lyricist for Broadway musicals and films. He is the Hart in the team of Rogers and Hart. Some of the tunes you might recognize are “Blue Moon,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the world.” He passed away in 1943.
1895: In New York, Isidor Bader took a seven year old “deaf and dumb boy” who had been abandoned by an un-known man and woman to the police station of on Madison Street.
1895: Female members of Temple Emanu-El will meet at four o’clock this afternoon to discuss plans for the fair to be held in December at Madison Square Garden for the benefit of the Hebrew Technical Institute and Education Alliance.
1895: Dr. Henry M. Sanders and Professor Albert S. Bickmore delivered an illustrated lecture describing Jaffa, Hebron and Bethlehem in which they described Jaffa as “a place of 8,000 inhabitants composed mostly of fugitive from all parts of the world;” Hebron as now being “believed to be almost as ancient as Damascus;’ and “Bethlehem as being “noted for its fertility and the beauty of its women.”
1896: Henry Rice, Isaiah Joseph, J.H. Schiff, Simon Borge, Isidor Straus, Louis Stern and Louis Stern are among those bought boxes for tonight’s concert at the Metropolitan Opera House the proceeds of which will go to the United Hebrew Charities.
1896: Harold Frederic reports from London on the financial consequences of the recent demise of Baron Hirsch. Members of the British government are expecting a windfall to the Exchequer from the death duties that will have to be paid.They are projected to exceed the amount collected from the estate of another prominent Jew, Sir Julian Goldsmid.On the other hand, the Prince of Wales is quite concerned over how he shall back the considerable sums that he had borrowed from the Baron.Rumor has it that the future King need not worry since there is a clause in the Baron’s will that absolves the Prince of Wales of his debts.
1897: Birthdate of Dr. Moses Paulson, the Baltimore born WW I Army veteran who specialized in research of concerning “digestive diseases.”
1898: Harry Bernstein said today “that he had no doubt that $10,000 could be raised by the Jewish residents of the Fifth Ward” in Cleveland, Ohio to purchase a warship for the fight against Spain.
1898: “A mass meeting” is scheduled to “be held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance at 8 o’clock under the auspices of the Hebrew Volunteer Bureau for the purpose of encouraging” Jewish citizens to volunteer for service in the fight against Spain.
1898: “To Encourage Hebrew Volunteering” published today described the intention of “a committee of thirty prominent citizens” to “muster and equip at least two regiments of “ Jewish “volunteers from the down-town section” of New York where several hundred Jews “have already signed the enrollment roster.
1898: “Predictions About The War” published today described the ease with which most American leaders thought the war with Spain would be won including “‘It will be a war of one encounter,’ cried Mr. Pulitzer of the New York World, that most patriotic of Polish Jews.”
1899: Martin Sigismund Eduard von Simson whose family converted to Protestantism in 1823 who served as the first President of the Reichstag passed away today.
1906: In Riga, Morduch (Mark) Halsman, a dentist, and Ita Grintuch, a grammar school principal gave birth to “American portrait photographer” Philippe Halsoman.
1907: Birthdate of Pinky Lee host of the 1950’s children’s television program, Pinky Lee Show
1908: “Take Me out to the Ballgame”, one of the most popular song’s connected with baseball was copyrighted today.The music for this American classic were written by a Jew named Albert Von Tilzer.
1911:Dr. Solomon Schechter, the President of the Jewish Theological Institute arrived on the Berlin tonight marking his return from an 11 month long vacations.
1912: Birthdate of Axel Springer German newspaper magnate. Springer was honored by numerous organizations included the Weizmann Institute, Hebrew University, and The New York Leo Baeck Institute for his work to preserve German Jewish Culture and History and his support of Israel. It was not just a personal commitment. His editorial policies stated that the organization was to promote "the reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support for the vital rights of the State of Israel."
1914: The trial of those accused of murdering Herman Rosnethal resumed in New York City.
1915: At Columbia University, Louis D. Brandeis delivered “an appeal to the Jews living in America to support all of the small nations of the world” which he said was “the best means of obtaining fair treatment for the Jews.”
1915: In New York, songwriter Fred Fisher and his wife gave birth to singer/songwriter Doris Fisher who performed with Eddie Duchin.
1916: In Chicago, dedication of Kehillath Jacob Synagogue.
1917(10thof Iyar, 5677): During WW I, 28 year old Captain Maixme Berr was killed today.
1918(20th of Iyar): Joshua Barzilia Eisenstadt passed away today1919(2nd of Iyar, 5679):Gustav Landauer, German anarchist and pacifist, passed away. He was the grandfather of Mike Nichols the famous American writer, director and producer.
1919: Birthdate of “Jacob Bigeleisen, a chemist who worked on the development of the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project and helped discover new ways of analyzing chemical reactions…”
1921: Riots in Jaffa, Palestine causes the deaths of 40 Jews and 200 wounded. Martial law was put in effect after Jewish stores were looted.
1922: David Lindo Alexander, the barrister and leader of the Anglo-Jewish community who opposed Zionism was buried today next to his wife at Wilesden Jewish Cemetery.
1922: In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Harry Shipiatsky, who changed his name to Rosenthal after emigrating to Canada in the 1890’s and Sarah Dickstein gave birth to their youngest child , Abraham Rosenthal who as A.M. Rosenthal, rose to become the executive editor of the New York Times. He later became a columnist for the New York Daily News
1922: In New York City, Samuel Untermyer made a vigorous attack on critics of the Zionist cause at a meeting tonight sponsored by the Washington Heights Congregation. Other speakers were Nahum Sokolow, Colonel J.H. Patterson and Vladimir Jabotinsky, who appealed for contributions to the Palestine Foundation Fund that needs three million dollars to meet its budgetary goals.Untermyer said the funds were going to aid those seeking to “escape from the hate, persecutions, pogroms and massacres of the crazed, bigoted and Jew-baiting peoples of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.”Furthermore, the funds would only be used to develop the land including programs to buy land, build houses and finance public works projects.
1924: Miriam (née Riegler) and Josef Bikel from Bukovina gave birth to multi-talented performer, Theodore Bikel. (who is one of my all-time favorites) Born in born in Vienna, Bikel's family took him to Palestine during the 1930's. Bikel supported himself as a musician and appeared in several stage productions of Habimah, the Israeli theatre. He honed his stage acting skills in London. Ironically, one of his first American film roles was as a German naval officer in The African Queen. It was one of many times he would play German and Russian characters. In a linguistic tour de force, he played a southern sheriff in the Defiant Ones, a part for which he received an Oscar nomination. Bikel's most famous role on the American stage was the male lead in the Sounds of Music, playing opposite Mary Martin. Bikel is multi-lingual and a skilled guitarist. This has made a favorite among folk music followers. Bikel has been outspoken labor activist in the film and theatre industries. And, he is an ardent Zionist.
1927: Louis Zabar, who created Zabar’s the icon of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, married Lillian Teitlebaum.The future Mrs. Zabar had been living in Philadelphia before she moved to New York where she met Zabar whom she had originally known from the Ukrainian village in which they had both lived. They had three children – Saul, Stanley and Eli.She passed away in 1995.
1927: In Birthdate of Amos Levine, the Tel Aviv native who as Amos Kenan became an Israeli columnist, painter, sculptor, playwright and novelist. He was known as a critic of Israeli policy.
1928: In San Francisco, Sydney Myer, the creation of the Australian department store that bears his name and Merlyn Myer gave birth to their youngest child Marigold Merlyn Baillieu Myer.
1929: Tel Aviv celebrated its 20th anniversary today at an afternoon tea party.One of the highlights of the event was the congratulatory speech by Major J.F. Campbell, District Commissioner of Southern Palestine which was delivered entirely in Hebrew.“This was the first time in the history of the country since the British occupation that a high British official has delivered a public address entirely in Hebrew.”The first child born in Tel Aviv, who is now twenty years old, “welcomed the guests in the name of the city’s young people.”
1930: In Tel Aviv, Moshe and Sarah Kaniuk gave birth to Israeli author and journalist and Yoram Kaniuk.
1930: In Tel Aviv, Moshe Kaniuk, the first curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and his wife gave birth to Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk
1932:Jack Benny's first radio show premiered on the NBC Blue Network, The color coding was to differentiate the two NBC networks from one another, not a reference to off-color material. This was one of the milestones in Benny's career which included vaudeville, films and television
1933: The United Committee for the Settlement of German Jews is organized to aid immigrants.
1933: The polarization between the labor Movement (Histadrut and Mapai) and the Revisionists intensify and reach their peak after the assassination of Chaim Arlozoroff.
1934: Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivers an anti-Semitic speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.
1934:The defense in the trial of three revisionist Zionists for the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff obtained admissions today from men employed by the police to make plaster casts of the footprints of the accused that some of the casts did not fit.While cross-examining Inspector Riggs of the Palestine Police, defense counsel Horace Samuel attempted to establish the fact that the police had “hushed up the confession of Abdul Megid and his accomplice, Isa that they had murdered” the Zionist leader.
1935: Joseph Budko becomes director of the new Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem. Born in1888, he left Germany in 1933 and settled in Palestine.He passed away in 1940.
1935: As Palestine endures a heat wave, temperatures reach 104 degrees “in the shade.” The average temperature for May is 65 degrees.
1935:With Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor, Jack Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program on the NBC Blue Network
1936: Sixty-second running of the Kentucky Derby. “The Kentucky Derby was, in effect, a Jewish "sweep." Bold Venture was the winner, owned by Morton Schwartz, trained by Max Hirsch and ridden by Ira Hanford. All the human beings involved in this horse racing victory were Jews. Sometimes we suspect that Bold Venture was Jewish that day, too”
1936: Birthdate of violinist Michael Rabin. Rabin is part of long list of distinguished Jewish violinists that runs from A to Z; from Joseph Achron and to Paul Zukofsky. He passed away in 1972.
1938: “The British partition commission began its tour of inquiry this morning, driving from Jerusalem to Jaffa and Tel Aviv.” Tel Aviv Mayor Israel Rokach took the commissioners on a tour of Tel Aviv harbor.The commissioners expressed a great deal of interest in the harbor facilties in Tel Aviv and nearby Jaffa.They were surprised to learn that the Jews of Tel Aviv supplied most of that city’s funding for the harbor and that Jewish taxpayers of Tel Aviv paid to support the educational and health services in Jaffa.Residents of Jaffa made no such contribution to Tel Aviv.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that six Arab constables were killed when a gang of Arab terrorists attacked a police post near Kalkilya. Several casualties were suffered by the attackers who retreated with horses and rifles of their victims. Arab terrorists fired at the Jewish quarter of Safad and at Rosh Pina. They tampered with railway tracks, cut telephone wires and carried other acts of sabotage.
1941: Release date for “My Favorite Wife,” a comedy directed by Garson Kanin.
1941: In Nazi occupied Netherlands Jewish journalists are laid off.
1943(27th of Nisan, 5703): Four thousand Jews from Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland are murdered at the Treblinka death camp.
1943(27th of Nisan, 5703): At Luków, Poland, 4000 Jews are killed
1943: Memorial rallies were held today as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of European Jewry and gain support for providing aid. “The memorial rallies …were in many instances jointly led by Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis--an uncommon display of unity. Equally significant, the Federal Council of Churches (whose Foreign Secretary had addressed the students' inter-seminary conference earlier that year) agreed to organize memorial assemblies at churches in numerous cities on the same day. Many of the assemblies featured speeches by rabbis and Christian clergymen, as well as prominent political figures. The gatherings received significant coverage in the newspapers and on radio. This important Jewish-Christian alliance helped raise American public consciousness about the Nazi slaughter of European Jewry.” (As reported by the David S. Wyman Institute)
1944: Robert Abshagen, was sentenced to death for his work in the anti-Hitler resistance.
1945: In Germany, the SS guards at the Neustadt-Glowen, labor camp near Lübeck fail to report for morning roll call, giving freedom to Jewish women who have been brought from Ravensbrück and Breslau, Germany, to dig defensive trenches and anti-tank ditches.
1945: Members of the U.S. Army’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion “a Nisei unit” “discovered the survivors of a death march headed southwards from the Dachau main camp towards the Austrian border nearest the town of Waakirchen” today.
1945: Berlin surrendered to the Soviet Army. Out of a pre-war Jewish population of 33,000, only 162 survived
1945: “James Venture, one of those aboard the infamous Train de Loos, which carried French resistance fighters, Communists and Jews from a prison in the northern French village of Loos to concentration camps in Germany in September 1944” was liberated from the camp at Wöbbelin today.
1945: The Central Board of the Charity Institution for Aged Needy People (at Athens) attempted to make the elderly Jews comfortable in their last years. In a letter to the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece, they wrote: "Honorable Sirs, The Central Board of the Charity Institution for Aged Needy People deeply sympathize with the martyrdom of the so terribly persecuted Jewish race by the wild and barbaric conqueror."
1945: “Raising a flag over the Reichstag,” a historic World War II photograph taken during the Battle of Berlin which depicts several Soviet troops raising the flag of the Soviet Union atop the German Reichstag building was taken today by Yevgeny Khaldei in another example of Jewish photographer taking an iconic WW II photograph such as the Iwo Jima Flag Raising
1946: A funeral service is held in Kraków, Poland, for seven Jews who were murdered on April 30 by anti-Semitic thugs at Nowy Targ, Poland.
1947(12th of Iyar, 5707): Henry Monsky, international president of B'nai B'rith and chairman of the interim committee of the American Jewish Congress passed away today in the Hotel Biltmore at the age of 57, while attending a meeting of the future organization committee of the conference.
1947: U.S. premiere of the Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street” produced by William Perlberg.
1948: Rusztem Vambery, the son of orientalist Armin Vambery, completed his service as Hungary’s ambassador to the United States.
1948: In response to the illegal attacks by Arab forces that had begun the day after the Partition vote, the Palmach 3rd Battalion, commanded by Moshe Kelman, attacked Ein al-Zeitun with a Davidka, two 3-inch mortars and eight 2-inch mortars
1949: Arthur Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for "Death of a Salesman." “Death of a Salesman” went on to be a successful film as well. Born in 1915, Miller's long career has included plays on a variety of topics including “The Crucible,” which used the Salem Witch Trials to challenge the Right Wing reactionaries including the followers of Senator Joe McCarthy during the 1950's.
1950: “A United Nations plane flying southward over Israeli territory was forced down at Lydda Airport today after Israeli Army fighters had fired across its nose. The plane was permitted to continue on to an Arab field at Kallandia, in Jordan after an official check.”
1951: Prime Minister David Ben Gurion left Israel for a private visit in the United States, accompanied by Chaim Herzog. During the trip he will meet with President Truman, as well as with young leaders from both political parties. One of them is Congressman John F. Kennedy. Ben Gurion will also vit Israeli air force students in California and a company manufacturing aircraft parts. The plant belongs to Al Schwimmer, a former American volunteer in the War of Independence.
1951: Syrian forces took positions in Tel Mutilla, in the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria, and Meir Amit was ordered to dislodge them. Leading his Golani infantry brigade - he had become its commander in 1950 - Amit pressed the attack for four consecutive days, compelling the Syrians to withdraw. But with 40 of his soldiers killed in action and many others wounded, he faced serious criticism from senior officers and was called to defend his actions. The Battle of Tel Motila took place near Almagor, a Moshav north of the Sea of Galilee founded in 1961.
1951: For the only time in major league history, a Jewish batter faced a Jewish pitcher whose battery mate was also Jewish.Detroit Tiger Pitcher Saul Rogovin was on the mound. Catcher Joe Ginsberg was behind the plate.Lou Limmer, the Philadelphia Athletics’ first baseman was at bat.Limmer hit the first pitch into the stands.
1952: Release date for “Belles on Their Toes” the Henry and Phoebe Ephron sequel to “Cheaper by the Dozen.”
1960(5thof Iyar, 5720): Israel marks its 12th year of independence on Yom HaAtzma’ut.
1963: In London, Lucian Freud and Bernadine Coverley gave birth to British novel Esther Freud who is the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud and a niece of Clement Freud.
1968(4th of Iyar, 5728): Yom HaAtzma'ut
1968: Israeli television began broadcasting.
1968: Birthdate of Edward Frenkel, the Russian-born, Harvard educated mathematician and filmmaker who won the Hermann Weyl Prize in 2002.
1968: Release date of the cinematic version of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple co-starring Walter Matthau and directed by Gene Saks.
1975: Larry Blyden (born Ivan Lawrence Blieden) “reprised his role as “Ensign Pulver” in a tribute for director Joshua Logan at the Imperial Theatre.
1975: The American Jewish Committee announced publication of a guidebook by Gladys Rosen suggesting ways to recognize Jewish contributions to the United States during the Bicentennial celebrations.
1976:Agudath Achim, the Orthodox congregation in Little Rock, AR, dedicates its newest building.This is the third home for the congregation; the first one that is not in the downtown section of the city.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, told the visiting Premier, Menachem Begin, that the U.S. will "never waiver" in its "absolute commitment to the Israeli security," even though "we may, from time to time, have a transient difference with the people of Israel". Some 150 American rabbis participating in the White House reception given to honor the Prime Minister Menachem Begin, presented the U.S. National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, with a petition protesting the proposed Middle Eastern arms embargo, which would directly affect Israel.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that despite the U.S. State Department's official objections, the Palestine Liberation Organization opened an information office in Washington, under the management of Hatem Husseini, a Palestinian citizen of Jordan.
1979(5thof Iyar, 5739): Yom HaAtzma’ut
1980(16th of Iyyar, 5740): Arab terrorists kill 6 Jews and injure 17 at Hebron. Israeli military authorities order the deportation of the mayors of Hebron and the nearby village of Halhoul for incitement to violence. The mayors appeal to Israeli courts, which affirm the order. In December, they will be deported to southern Lebanon.
1981:Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg officiated at the wedding of Harolyn Sue Landow and Michael H. Cardozo at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Mr. Cardozo is a cousin the late Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo.
1981(28thof Nisan, 5741): Eighty-five year old Dr. David Wechsler, a psychologist who was the author of widely used intelligence tests, passed away today in New York City. (As reported by Wolfgang Saxon)
1981(28thof Nisan, 5741): Eighty-one year old Rabbi Joseph Hager, founder and senior rabbi of the Wall Street Synagogue, passed away today. A native of Rumania, Rabbi Hager founded two schools, the Hebrew Institute of Long Island, in Far Rockaway, and the Yeshiva of Spring Valley, in Rockland County. He was the founding editor and publisher of Synagogue Light, a monthly publication. The Wall Street Synagogue was first situated at Broadway and Duane Street and later move to 47 Beekman Street.
1981: A police sapper was moderately injured by an explosive charge that had been placed in a trash can near Cafe Alno in Jerusalem.
1982: “Talk With George Steiner” published today provides a look at the views of this Jewish philosopher, author and academic.
1982: Mayor Ed Koch is expected to be among the 450 guests attending the dinner tonight celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights which has been led by Rabbi Robert L. Lehman for the past twenty-five years.
1982: “Alive And 90 In The Jungles of Brazil” published today provides a detailed review of The Portage To San Cristobal of A.H., George Steiner’s novel about Adolph Hitler.
1997: In the U.K. Peter Benjamin Mandelson, began serving as Minister without Portfolio.
1997: Malcolm Rifkind completed his service as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including“Israel and Europe:An Appraisal in History” by Howard M. Sachar and “The Majors: In Pursuit of Golf's Holy Grail” by John Feinstein.
2000: Israeli jet fighters turn back an Egyptian civilian aircraft from the Gaza airport
.2001: “Israel Arrests an ex-general as a spy for spilling old secrets” published today described action taken against seventy-five year old Itzhak Yaakov, a retired IDF general.
2001: A meeting between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to discuss the Egyptian-Jordanian peace initiative ends with little advancement.
2004: On the PGA tour, Bruce Fleisher won Bruno’s Memorial Classic.
2004: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning study that maintains that the Soviet concentration-camp system was equal to the Nazi killing machine, and supports Solzhenitsyn's assertion that the gulag was not a Stalinist aberration but an integral part of Lenin's Socialist dream.
2004(11th of Iyar, 5764) A pregnant mother and her four daughters are shot dead by terrorists as they drive on the Kissufim road in the Gaza Strip.
2004: Vowing to fight for coexistence and mutual respect among mankind around the world, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lays the cornerstone of Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance and pays tribute to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The Governor concludes his speech with the Hebrew saying, "Am Yisrael hai"– (the nation of Israel lives) – gives the crowd a thumbs-up sign, and adds his signature movie line, "I'll be back."
2004: Sixty-five per cent of those participating in an internal Likud referendum voted against Ariel Sharon’s plan to disengage from Gaza.
2004: Natan Sharansky, the Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, and the World Zionist Organization, launch the new "Combating Anti-Semitism" Kit.
2006(4th of Iyar, 5766):Yom Hazikaron – Israel Remembrance Day. On the day before celebrating its independence, Israel remembers the human cost.In the past year, 138 members of the security forces have been killed in the line of duty, bringing the total of men and women killed defending the state since 1860 to 22,123.This does not count the thousands of innocent bystanders who died in everything from terrorist attacks on Jerusalem pizza parlors to the sinking of ships filled with immigrants bound for Palestine in defiance of the infamous British White Paper.
2007: The Jewish Center for History and the Leo Baeck Institute in New York present “Hannah Arendt Rediscovered” a program “featuring the distinguished philosopher Richard Bernstein and author Jerome Kohn.”
2007:( 14th of Iyar) Pesach Sheini
2008: As part of the PEN World Voices, Israeli author Yael Hedaya participates in a panel discussion entitled Writing Sex and Sexuality. Yael Hedaya was born in Jerusalem in 1964. She has worked as a screenwriter for the acclaimed Israeli TV drama series Betipul (In Treatment), which was adapted for the United States and currently airs on HBO. She is the author of Dramatis Persona, Housebroken, and Accidents, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2006. Her latest novel, Eden, will be published in 2008. Yael Hedaya teaches creative writing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
2008: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa Friday evening services Temple Judah are dedicated to bidding Muriel and Fred Rogers a fond farewell.Fred and Muriel have been mainstays of the Jewish community and while we are all glad that they are enjoying a long, healthy life, we will miss them as they return to their Chicago roots.
2008: “One of a Kind,” a play that Yossi Vassa co-wrote with Shai Ben Attar about his family’s flight from Ethiopia in the mid-1980s opens at The New Victory Theater in New York City
2008(27thof Nisan, 5768): Seventy-two year old Uzbekistani musician and poet Ilyas Malayev who fell victim to anti-Semitism in his homeland lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away today in Queens, NY.
2008: “Imaginary Coordinates” featuring the Spertus Institute’s collection of Holy Land maps, which date back to the 16th century as well as contemporary Israeli and Palestinian women artists’ works that take up the question of regional borders opens at the Spertus in Chicago, Il.
2009: The Lincoln Center presents Orient- Occident: A Dialogue of Cultures as part of the Jordi Savall Jerusalem Series.
2009(8thof Iyar, 5769): Alfred Appel Jr., a scholarly expert on Vladimir Nabokov, whose lecture course he attended at Cornell, and the author of wide-ranging interpretive books on modern art and jazz, died today in Wilmette, Illinois at the age of 75. (As reported by William Grimes)
2009:Wayne L. Horvitz, a longtime labor relations mediator and the son of David Lyon Hurwitz, discusses and signs What's the Beef?: Sixty Years of Hard-won Lessons for Today's Leaders in Labor, Management, and Governmentat Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.
2010(18th of Iyar, 5770): Lag B'Omer
2010(18th of Iyar, 5770): Inna Hecker Grade, the widow and a translator of the great Yiddish novelist and poet Chaim Grade, who earned her own literary niche for her zealous guardianship of her husband’s legacy, died today at the age of 85 in the Bronx, New York City. (As reported by Joseph Berger)
2010: Silvia Planas and Manuel Forcano are scheduled to discuss A History of Jewish Catalonia their book that traces the rich and fertile history of the Jews in Catalonia from the earliest references, that is, from the time of the late Roman Empire and the Early Middle Ages, until the drastic decree of expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs in a program sponsored by The American Sephardi Federation
2010: As part of the third annual program in memory of Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, Prof. Eugene Orenstein of McGill University is scheduled to speak on the topic, "Ber Borokhov: A Revolutionary of Yiddish Philology" followed by Prof. Joshua (Shikl) Fishman who is scheduled to speak about Dr. Schaechter.
2010(18thIyar, 5770): Eighty-six year old Rabbi Moshe Hirsch, a leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that opposes the existence of the Israeli state and a longtime adviser to the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, died today at his home in Jerusalem. (As reported by Dennis Hevesi)
2011: As reported by Tom Tugend in “Auschwitz bar mitzvah for 78-year-old Oscar-winner Branko Lustig”: Branko Lustig, 78, two-time Oscar winner for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” is scheduled to celebrate his bar mitzvah today at Auschwitz, in front of barrack No. 24.
2011: The Consultation on Conscience, Reform Judaism's flagship social justice conference is scheduled to continue with a reception featuring guest host Richard Dreyfus at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
2011: The 17th Annual Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society Heritage Award Dinner is scheduled to take place in Denver. The 2011 Heritage Award Dinner will salute early Colorado Jews in the Arts and will feature the premiere of a film called "Civilizing the West: Early Colorado Jews in the Arts."
2011: This morning at 10 a.m., sirens will wail throughout the country as people observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Nazi persecution. The closing ceremony of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day will take place at Yad Mordechai, the kibbutz adjacent to Gaza named after Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising who was killed in the fighting.
2011: In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Chicago police are taking additional measures to guard against possible retaliatory terrorist attacks.Police were paying closer attention to many buildings including synagogues, particularly in the Rogers Park and West Rogers Park neighborhoods, areas that have large Jewish communities. Some Chicago synagogues said they're not enhancing security because they're always on high alert. "The reality is that because of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists . . . we have been instituting additional security for a very long time," said Rabbi Leonard Matanky, of Congregation KINS in West Rogers Park. In the wake of 9/11, many synagogues installed cameras and began locking their doors, among other security measures that officials declined to specify.
2011: The Supreme Court delayed the start of former President Moshe Katsav's jail sentence until a ruling is reached on an appeal filed by his lawyers. Katsav, who was convicted on two counts of rape for indecent assault and sexual harassment of female employees, appealed the ruling against him this week.
2011(28thof Nisan, 5771): Yom HaShoah
2011: Today, “More than a year after his death, Michael T. Kaufman was included in the byline for the New York Times obituary of Osama bin Laden
2011: The trustees of the City University of New York voted to shelve plans to award an honorary degree to Tony Kushner because he “had disparaged the State of Israel in past comments.
2011: The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas condemned the killing by U.S. forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an "Arab holy warrior." (As reported by Jack Khoury)
2012: A limited run of 'Welcome to America' by H. Leivick (the penname of Leivick Haplern) is scheduled to begin in New York.
2012: Dr. Jonathan Sarna is scheduled to discuss his marvelous new book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.
2012: Dr. Edna Nahshon, Professor of Hebrew and Theater at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and editor of Jews and Theater in an Intercultural Context, is scheduled to discuss this new book of essays, including her own research on passion plays in America at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
2012: The Westchester Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2012: The International Workshop on Holocaust Testimonies: Truth and Witness being held at the Wiener Library in the UK is scheduled to come to an end.
2012: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to present “Jews in Early Modern Europe: A Day-to-Day Perspective.”
2012(10thof Iyar, 5773): Ninety year old violinist Zvi Zeitlin passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2013: In Chicago, the Spertus Institute is scheduled to present “Ballot, Babies and Banners of Peace,:” a lecture in which Dr. MelissaR. Klpaaher“will discuss how the activism of American Jewish women was grounded in their gender, religious, cultural, and ethnic identities…”
2013: “The key witness in the breach of trust trial against former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, his former deputy Danny Ayalon took the stand today and gave incriminating testimony, confirming that while serving in the Foreign Ministry, Liberman had acted to promote a man who had done him a favor.” (As reported by Stuart Winer)
2013: The Maccabeats and Sarah Aroeste and Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird are scheduled to perform at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.
2013: A terrorist opened fire at two people this evening in Wadi Kelt, near Mitzpeh Yericho. The two were attacked as they sat in a car
2013: Terrorists in Gaza fired two rockets at southern Israel tonight. The rockets hit the Eshkol region.
2014: Coralville, Iowa, The House of David Softball Team, sponsored by Agudas Achim is scheduled to take the field.
2014(2ndof Iyar, 5774): Eighty-two year old director and playwright Charles Marowitz passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2014: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is scheduled to host its final Musical Shabbat of the season.
2014: Annalisa Capristo the librarian at the Centro Studi Americani, Rome, Italy whose work focuses on anti-Jewish persecution in Italy under Fascist rule, particularly against Jewish scholars is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “An Overview of the Italian Jewish Immigration in South America” at the Third Regional New Conference sponsored by the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA)
2014: “Palestinian gunmen fired at an IDF force on the Gaza border tonight, near the Kissufim border crossing in the central Gaza Strip.”
2014: “The patriarch of the Maronite church will travel to Jerusalem next month to greet Pope Francis, the first head of his Lebanon-based denomination to visit since Israel’s creation in 1948, he said today.”
2015: “Firing Line,” the three year old colt owned by Arnold Zechter, the former CEO of Talbots, is scheduled to run in today’s Kentucky Derby.
2015: Fred Spiegel, the Shoah Survivor who wroteOnce the Acacias Bloomed: Memories of a Childhood Lostis scheduled to speak at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
2015: The Eden-Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host “Folk Songs in Artistic Arrangement”
2015: The Samaritan community is scheduled to hold its annual sacrifice of the lamb marking the Exodus from Egypt on Mount Gerizim today. (As reported by Amanda Borschel-Dan)
2015: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mother’s Day Shabbat – “All Women Are Mothers In the House of Israel” -- includes flowers for everybody and a Kiddush prepared by the male members of the minyan.
1282 BCE: (28 Nissan 2488): Traditional date marking the fall of the walls of Jericho.443 BCE (7th of Iyar, 3317): Nehemiah dedicated the newly built walls that had been built around Jerusalem996: Papacy of Gregory V began today making him a contemporary of Hananel Ben Hushiel, Samuel Ibn Nagrela and Jacob ben Yakar each of whom was born in 990.1096 (8th Iyar): On his way to join the Crusade led by Peter the Hermit, Emico, the Count of Leiningen, attacked the synagogue at Speyers. The Jews defended themselves but were systematically slain. Until this time atrocities in Europe were sporadic. From this point on, they became organized and frequent. Jewish martyrdom began in earnest. It should be remembered that the atrocities committed by the rampaging crusaders were not always supported by the local burghers and bishops. Furthermore, in many countries, especially the Slavic states, the local Christian community suffered from pillages as well. John Bishop of Spires even called out his army after 11 Jews were killed in a riot, but he was an exception rather than the rule. Approximately 5,000 Jews were murdered in Germany in 1096.[Editor’s Note: Maggie Anton, the author of the acclaimed series about Rashsi’s Daughters, offers the following view of events. “Actually, the Crusader attacks on Speyer in 1096 left only 11 Jews dead - those who were still on the streets. Warned of the danger, the Jews prayed early and left the synagogue before the marauders arrived, barricading themselves at home. Bishop John's army routed the mob and cut off the hands of the worst instigators. It was later in the month that the worst massacres occurred in Worms, Mainz & Cologne.”]
1235: Pope Gregory issued a Bull that repeated and confirmed the constitution of Pope Innocent III. The Bull was issued in response to pleas from German Jews that the Church act to stop the marauding mobs that were attacking them.
1270: King Béla IV of Hungary passed away.Bela had welcomed Jewish immigrants to his kingdom and in 1251 gave them “legal rights.”
1407: Emperor Rupert issued a decree appointing Israel of Krems “chief rabbi of all the German communities ("Hochmeister über alle Rabbinen"), giving him a certificate declaring him to be a great Talmudic scholar and a good man.”
1455: As Christian forces advance, groups of Jews fled Spain, some of whom ended up in Kosovo others of whom settled in West African Jewish communities known as Bilad al-Sudan.
1481:Mehmed II, Ottoman Sultan passed away. Known as “The Conqueror” (Faith), he reigned from 1444 to 1446 until his father took over on account of war. He came again to throne in 1451. He conquered Constantinople in 1453. The oppressed Jews were relieved to see him occupy the city. He allowed Jews from today's Greek Islands and Crete to settle in Istanbul. Fatih's declaration is as follows: "Listen sons of the Hebrew who live in my country...May all of you who desire come to Constantinople and may the rest of your people find here a shelter". The Bavarian King Ludwig the III, under the influence of the Italian Monk Jean de Capistrano expelled the Jews out and forced them to settle on the banks of the Danube River, Capistrano helped John Hunyadi in 1456 when the Ottomans besieged Belgrade. In 1410 Jean Huss was excommunicated and burned on order of the pope Alexander the V. The pope Nicholas the V, summoned Jean de Capistrano to go to Slovakia and fight the followers of Jean Huss. Of course Capistrano did not forget the Jews and as a result, by order of the Sultan, a regiment called "The sons of Moses" was formed. Since Capistrano also prepared a crusade against the Ottomans, the same regiment participated in the war which ensued. The doctors Isak Pasa Galeon and Ribbi Sonsino were also appointed to that regiment. Before being killed, Ribbi Sonsino chopped away the head of Jean de Capistrano and the church declared the latter a saint. After the war Mehmed II invited the Ashkenazi Jews of Transylvania and Slovakia to the Ottoman Empire. The synagogues Ahrida, Karaferya, Yanbol and Cuhadji which were damaged due to a fire have been repaired on the Sultan’s order. According to a votive foundation document dated 1451-1481, the doctors Moses Hamon, Isak Pas a Galeon, Hekim Yakup, Ephraim Sandji and Hekim Abraham were appointed as palace doctors.
1488: In Naples, Joseph Günzenhäuser published the first printed edition of the Pentateuch with a commentary by Abraham ibn Ezra.
1579: An auto-de-fe at Seville sentenced 38 people, some accused of Judaizing. In all, only one person was burned.
1583(11thof Iyar): Rabbi Isaac Mehling passed away in Prague.
1588: Council of Hanover in Germany ordered the severance of all business connections between Jews and Christians.
1616(16th of Iyar, 5376): Meir Lublin, the son of Gedaliah, the son-in-law of Isaac ha-Kohen Shapiro andthe author of the Talmudic commentary Meir Einai Chachamim passed away today in Lublin.
1655(26th of Nisan, 5415): Abraham Nunez Bernal was burned at the stake by the Inquisition of Cordova making him yet another Sephardic martyr.
1655:Jacob Abendana delivered a famous memorial sermon on the Cordovan martyrs Marranos Nunez and Almeyda Bernal who had been burned at the stake. Abendana was the older of Isaac Abendana who taught at Magdalen College and served as hakam of the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue in London..
1667(9th of Iyar, 5427): Many Jews were killed in anti-Jewish riots in Lemberg. Lemberg is in the Ukraine. These killings took place during the wars between the Poles and the Cossacks. The fate of the Jews of Lemberg would grow even worse in 1668 when most of them would perish in a massacre.
1703(17th of Iyar, 5463): Seventy two year old Samuel Oppenheimer the Jewish banker who bankrolled Emperor Leopold I during the Great Turkish War, passed away today.
1733(22nd of Iyar,):Rabbi Zevi of Vilna, author of “Bet Lehem Yehudah” passed away
1764: The Maryland Gazettereported "certain" Jews were willing to settle in the American colonies to conduct agriculture and commerce. This was nothing new, as for almost 30 years prior the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London had wanted to form a large settlement for Jews in Carolina.
1775: David Salisbury Franks, who would become an officer in the American Revolutionary Army, was arrested for speaking in a disrespectful manner about King George III.
1778(6th of Iyar, 5538): Eighty-eight year old Hirsch Auberach who had been serving as rabbi at Worms in 1763, the husband Dobresch Auberach and the father of Rabbi Abiezri Selig Auerbach, passed away today.
1791: Poland’s Jews are granted full emancipation under the new Polish Constitution proclaimed by the Sejm
1802: Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city. Isaac Polock was reported to be D.C.’s first Jewish resident having moved to the area in 1795.Major Alfred Mordecai came to Washington in 1828 to serve as superintendent of the District of Columbia Arsenal. He is the second known Jewish resident of the nation’s capital.For more about the history of Jewry in the Washington metropolitan area see the website of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington http://www.jhsgw.org/
1840: In Polska, R' Israel Baruch Moses and Eve Moses (Graditz) gave birth to Rabbi Adolph Eliezer Moses who became an M.D. after graduating from medical school in his 50’s.
1843: Birthdate of Edward Dowden, the Irish author who claimed that “in the original Persian” version of the Shylock story, “the Jew is not impelled to cruelty because the money is not returned to him but for the reason that he in love with his debtor’s wife” and whose daughter Hester “claimed to communicate via various spirit guides including ‘Johannes,’ an ancient Jewish Neo-Platonist who lived 200 years before Jesus
1844: Birthdate of Édouard Adolphe Drumont “a French journalist and writer” who “founded the Anti-Semitic League of France in 1889, and was the founder and editor of the newspaper La Libre Parole.”
“He was at first in government service, but later became a contributor to the press and was the author of a number of miscellaneous works, of which Mon vieux Paris (1879) was crowned by the Academy.
Drumont's 1886 book ‘La France Juive’ (Jewish France) attacked the role of Jews in France and argued for their exclusion from society. In 1892 Drumont founded the newspaper the La Libre Parole which became a platform for virulent anti-Semitism…He was sued for accusing a parliamentary deputy of having taken a bribe from the prominent Jewish banker Édouard Alphonse de Rothschild to pass a piece of legislation the banker wanted. Drumont attracted many supporters and was one of the primary sources of anti-Semitic ideas that would later be embraced by Nazism. He exploited the Panama Company Scandal and reached the peak of his notoriety during the Dreyfus Affair, in which he was the most strident of Alfred Dreyfus' accusers.” He died in 1917.
1847:Premiere of “Don John of Austria,” the first Australian opera at the Royal Victoria Theatre in Sydney.Isaac Nathan wrote the opera to a libretto by Jacob Levi Montefiore.
1849: The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848. These revolutions, in which many Jews played an active role, failed.This resulted in a major migration of liberal Germans, including a large number of German Jews, to the United States.This migration would have a major impact on the United States and the American Jewish community.
1849: At the tenth meeting of the Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, a petition “asking for a charter for a second lodge of the order to be named Abraham Lodge No. 2” was granted.
1853: The New York Times reported that an un-named Jew had been arrested on a charge of receiving stolen goods.The goods were reportedly $25 dollars’ worth of women’s shoes that had been stolen by German lad named Herman who was working as an apprentice in a boot & shoe store.
1857: Birthdate of August Lederer the Austrian industrialist, art collector and patron of Gustav Klimt.
1859:Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky the Lithuanian Jew who went through a series of conversions in various Christian churches starting as a Baptist in 1855 was appointed to serve as a missionary to China by the Episcopal Church.
1860: In Ancona, Abramo Volterra, a cloth merchant, and Angelica Almagià gave birth to Samuel Giuseppe Vito Volterra
1864(27th of Nisan, 5624):J. J. Benjamin passed away.Born in 1818 at Fălticeni, Romania he “was a Romanian-Jewish historian and traveler. His pen name was "Benjamin II", in allusion to Benjamin of Tudela. Married young, he engaged in the lumber business, but losing his modest fortune, he gave up commerce. Being of an adventurous disposition, he adopted the name of Benjamin of Tudela, the famous Jewish traveler of the twelfth century, and toward the end of 1844 set out to search for the Lost Ten Tribes. Using the name of Benjamin of Tudela, the famous twelfth century Jewish traveler, he set out in 1844 on a search for the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. This search took him from Vienna to Constantinople in 1845, with stops at several cities on the Mediterranean. He arrived in Alexandria in June, 1847, and proceeded via Cairo to the Levant. He then traveled through Syria, Babylonia, Kurdistan, Persia, the Indies, Kabul, and Afghanistan, returning June, 1851, to Constantinople, and then back to Vienna where he stayed briefly before heading to Italy. There he embarked for Algeria and Morocco. He made copious notes of his observations of the societies he visited. On arriving in France, after having traveled for eight years, he prepared in Hebrew his impressions of travel, and had the book translated into French. After suffering many tribulations in obtaining subscriptions for his book, he issued it in 1856, under the title ‘Cinq Années en Orient (1846-51).’ The same work, revised and enlarged, was subsequently published in German under the title ‘Acht Jahre in Asien und Afrika’ (Hanover, 1858), with a preface by Meyer Kayserling. An English version has also been published. As the veracity of his accounts and the genuineness of his travels were attacked by some critics, he amply defended himself by producing letters and other tokens proving his journey to the various Oriental countries named. Benjamin relates only what he has seen; and, although some of his remarks show insufficient scholarship and lack of scientific method, his truthful and simple narrative gained the approval of eminent scholars like Humboldt, Petermann, and Richter. In 1859 Benjamin undertook another journey, this time to America, where he stayed three years. The result of his observations there he published on his return, under the title Drei Jahre in Amerika (Hanover, 1863). The kings of Sweden and of Hanover now conferred distinctions upon him. Encouraged by the sympathy of several scientists, who drew up a plan and a series of suggestions for his guidance, he determined to go again to Asia and Africa, and went to London in order to raise funds for this journey — a journey which was not to be undertaken. Worn out by fatigues and privations, which had caused him to grow old before his time and gave him the appearance of age, he died poor in London; and his friends and admirers had to arrange a public subscription in order to save his wife and daughter from misery. In addition to the works mentioned above, Benjamin published Jawan Mezula, Schilderung des Polnisch-Kosakischen Krieges und der Leiden der Juden in Poland Während der Jahre 1648-53, Bericht eines Zeitgenossen nach einer von. L. Lelewel Durchgesehenen Französischen Uebersetzung, Herausgegeben von J. J. Benjamin II., Hanover, 1863, a German edition of Rabbi Nathan Nata Hanover's work on the insurrection of the Cossacks in the seventeenth century, with a preface by Kayserling. Upon his return to London in 1862, he drew another plan to return to Asia and Africa but fell ill and died early in 1863 before being able to undertake his next journey.
During his travels in Persia J. J. Benjamin wrote down some observations on the life of the Jews in Persia:
1. Throughout Persia the Jews are obliged to live in a part of the town separated from the other inhabitants; for they are considered as unclean creatures, who bring contamination with their intercourse and presence.
2. They have no right to carry on trade in stuff goods.
3. Even in the streets of their own quarter of the town they are not allowed to keep any open shop. They may only sell there spices and drugs, or carry on the trade of a jeweller, in which they have attained great perfection.
4. Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity, and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt.
5. For the same reason they are forbidden to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans.
6. If a Jew is recognised as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him so unmercifully, that he falls to the ground, and is obliged to be carried home.
7. If a Persian kills a Jew, and the family of the deceased can bring forward two Mussulmans as witnesses to the fact, the murderer is punished by a fine of 12 tumauns (600 piastres); but if two such witnesses cannot be produced, the crime remains unpunished, even though it has been publicly committed, and is well known.
8. The flesh of the animals slaughtered according to Hebrew custom, but declared as Trefe, must not be sold to any Mussulmans. The slaughterers are compelled to bury the meat, for even the Christians do not venture to buy it, fearing the mockery and insult of the Persians.
9. If a Jew enters a shop to buy anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods, but must stand at a respectful distance and ask the price. Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them.
10. Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever pleases them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defence of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life.
11. Upon the least dispute between a Jew and a Persian, the former is immediately dragged before the Achund [religious authority], and, if the complainant can bring forward two witnesses, the Jew is condemned to pay a heavy fine. If he is too poor to pay this penalty in money, he must pay it in his person. He is stripped to the waist, bound to a stake, and receives forty blows with a stick. Should the sufferer utter the least cry of pain during this proceeding, the blows already given are not counted, and the punishment is begun afresh.
12. In the same manner the Jewish children, when they get into a quarrel with those of the Mussulmans, are immediately led before the Achund, and punished with blows. (13. A Jew who travels in Persia is taxed in every inn and every caravanserai he enters. If he hesitates to satisfy any demands that may happen to be made on him, they fall upon him, and maltreat him until he yields to their terms.
14.If, as already mentioned, a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (feast of mourning for the death of the Persian founder of the religion of Ali) he is sure to be murdered.
15. Daily and hourly new suspicions are raised against the Jews, in order to obtain excuses for fresh extortions; the desire of gain is always the chief incitement to fanaticism.
From “The Jews of Islam” by Bernard Lewis)
1864: Jacob and Amalia Freud gave birth to Pauline “Pauli” Regine, the sister of Sigmund Freud.
1868: The New York Times reports that “many English papers have taken pleasure in describing Mr. Disraeli as an apostate Jew.In simple truth he is neither one nor the other, in a religious point of view.His father (Isaac Disraeli) and his mother were Hebrews both of Portuguese parentage.Benhamin was never instructed in Judaism, because of some quarrel his father had with his synagogue.When he was about six years old, Rogers, the banker and poset, came to visit Disraeli, the author and finding a bright boy, without religious instruction, too him by permission of his father to own church.He was therefore brought up in the English Church, and has a least as good a right to the name ‘Christian’ as most of his fellow M.P’s.”
1871: “Murder Will Out” published today described the events surrounding the retrial of Antoine Maurer who is accused of killing a German Jew named Joachim Feurter.Maurer’s first conviction had been over-turned on appeal.The motive for the murder may have been tied to money that the killer owed the deceased.
1871(12th of Iyar, 5631): Sixty-eight year old philologist Eduard Munk, the cousin of Salomon Munk, who was a disciple of August Böckh passed away today Gross Glogau.
1872: “”A War of Sects” an article published today described a riot that had taken place in Smyrna between Greeks and Jews.The fighting began after it had been reported that the Jews “had sacrificed an infant” as part of “their religious ceremonies.”According to these reports several people had been killed and wounded.While the riot had stopped for the time being, troops had been ordered to the city to prevent a renewal of the violence.
1873:Theodor Herzl’s Bar Mitzvah (No, I do not know who catered the Kiddush)
1873: An Appeal for Hebrew Children” published today sought contributions from New Yorkers to provide Jewish orphans and students at the Hebrew free schools with an opportunity “to have a few holidays and enjoy recreation by the sea-side” during the upcoming summer months.
1874: Isaac S. Isaacs, Adolph L. Singer and Oscar S. Straus were among those elected to the Board of Directors of the newly formed Young Men’s Hebrew Association.Lewis May was chosen as the first president.
1874: YMHA constitution was approved today.
1877: In Bremen, Germany, Ida and Nathan Abraham gave birth to Karl Abraham, the German psychoanalyst who worked with Sigmund Freud.
1877: The Hebrews in Roumania” published today described attempts by the Board of Delegates of American Israelites to have the President intercede on behalf of Jews of Bucharest and parts of the realm of Prince Charles who have been subjected to a series of unthinkable “barbarities.”
1878(30th of Nisan, 5638) Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1882: The Czar gave his approval to series of anti-Semitic regulations proposed by Count Ignatiev known collectively as the “May Laws.
1885: Forty-five year Sally Sanford Mordecai passed away.Sally was the daughter of Brigadier General William Murray and Sally "Eveleth" Maynadier. She married General Alfred Mordecai, II. They were the parents of five children. Her father-in-law was a ranking solider in the U.S. Army prior to the Civil War who resigned rather than take up arms against his Southern family members or the country that he had sworn to protect.Her husband had no such qualms and served with distinction during the Civil War.
1886: The National Rabbinical Convention, an organization of Reform clergyman, is scheduled to meet today in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1891: “Russian Jews” published today opens with the statement that “Every American will be glad to see the announcement of a scheme to colonize the Jews who are expelled from the Czar’s dominions on an immense tract” of land in Argentina.The project is being underwritten by Baron Hirsch.According to the article, the United States already has too many Jewish immigrants from Russia.The Russian Jews are described as impoverished, ignorant, a burden on society and a mass who will never assimilate into American life. The article ends by stating that “it is noteworthy that all other civilized countries share our dislike to entertaining the victims of the Czar’s cruelty…”
1891: It was reported today that Russian Jewish immigrants are arriving in the United Kingdom at the rate of nearly 18.000 per year.
1892: The cornerstone for a new facility to house the youngsters in the care of Hebrew Brooklyn Orphan asylum was laid today
1894: Council No.5 of the National Council Jewish Women was formed in Newark, NJ, with a membership of 91 led by President Gratta and Secretary Maybaum.
1894: “Mourners’ Prayers will be delivered” tonight at the home of the family of Jesse Seligman, the banker, philanthropist and lead of the Jewish community who died unexpectedly and whose funeral was which was attended by over 2,000 people was held yesterday at Temple Emanuel whereCantor Sparger and Rabbis Silberman and Gottheil officiatedat the service.
1895: In New York, Governor Morton gave executive approval to a proposal by Assembly Steinberg “authorizing the sale of certain lands to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York City which the city of New York has heretofore conditionally transferred to that institution.”
1895: In Vienna, Lili Mueller and Dr. Herman Carl Mark who converted to Lutheranism when he got married gave birth to Herman Francis Mark “the American chemist known for his contributions to the development of polymer science.
1898(11th of Iyar, 5658): Birthdate of Golda Meir. Her life reads like one of those grand literary sagas of which television mini-series are made. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she experienced Pogroms before coming to America with her family. As an act of teenage rebellion she fled from her home in Milwaukee to join her sister in Denver. She moved back to Milwaukee to become a school teacher. After hearing the recruiting pitch for the Jewish Legion, Ms. Meirson (she Hebraized her name to Meir after the creation of the state of Israel in response to pressure from David Ben Gurion) decided to join the settlers in Palestine. She was an ardent Zionist as well as socialist which, from an ideological point of view, made her an ideal candidate for life on a kibbutz. Mrs. Meir, whose name was Meyerson at the time, became increasingly active in the leadership of the Yishuv. She had a leading role in raising funds from American Jews to buy arms for the underground Jewish military units before 1948. Disguised as Bedouin, she met with the King of Jordan in an attempt to avert hostilities in 1948. Her story of Simchat Torah in Moscow after the creation of the state of Israel is an inspirational classic. She was Foreign Minister and finally became the “fourth Prime Minister of Israel. She served from 1969 through 1974, a period that included the Yom Kippur War. She passed away in 1978, having lived to see Sadat's historic trip to Jerusalem. They met, not as former adversaries, but as grandparents. Golda, as she was known to all, had a gift for Sadat's grandchild.
1898: Following the start of the Spanish-American War, The Cleveland (Ohio) Leader reported that “the Jews of the United States through the active efforts of those in Ohio may contribute a sum sufficient to purchase a warship for the United States Government.
1898: “Russian Jews to the Front” published today described efforts to have at least 5,000 mostly recent immigrants enlist in the U.S. Army led by Nathan Straus who “said that heroism and devotion to duty marked the course of Jewish history.”
1899: Governor Theodore Roosevelt signed into law a bill “providing for the consolidation of the Educational Alliance and the Hebrew Free School Association of New York City.
1900: Herzl has a meeting with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber. At the request of the Prime Minister, Herzl drafts Koerber's "Language Bill" speech. Herzl agreed to draft the speech as part of his campaign to get the Austrian Prime Minister to help arrange an audience with the Sultan of Turkey.
1900: The week-long convention of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith which had been meeting at the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago came to a close tonight.The convention voted to create a new position of Chancellor which “will have supervision of lodges” in Europe and Asia.The President and the Board of Directors will continue to control the lodges in Canada and the United States.Leon Levy of New York was elected President and Julius Bien of New York was elected Chancellor. The next convention will take place in New Orleans in 1905.
1902: Herzl writes to the Sultan of Turkey appealing for the establishment of a Jewish university in Palestine.“The idea of a Jewish university, and all that such a university implied, quickly became an integral part of Zionist thinking.
1903: Birthdate of “French philosopher and Marxist theoretician” Georges Politzer.
1909: Fire destroys part of the Haskoy, the Constantinople Jewish quarter. Five hundred Jews are left homeless.
1909: David Woolf Marks, the first Rabbi of London’s Reform Synagogue passed away.
1910: In Boston, MA, Sam Corwin and his wife gave birth to Norman Lewis Corwin
1911:Dr. Solomon Schechter, the President of the Jewish Theological Institute, who has just returned from an eleven months' vacation, said tonight that he had been spending most of the time resting. His mind has been active, however, if his pen has not, and he has already thought of a subject for another book which is to deal with the Jew in Northern Africa.
1912: Vittoli Effendi Fradji of Constantinople, Ezekiel Effendi Sassoon of Baghdad, Nissim Effendi Mazliach of Smyrna and Emanuel Effendi Karasa of Salonica are all re-elected to the Turkish parliament.
1913: In Vienna, Felix and Else Kohut gave birth to Heinz Kohut an Austrian-born American psychoanalyst best known for his development of Self psychology, an influential school of thought within psychodynamic/psychoanalytic theory which helped transform the modern practice of analytic and dynamic treatment approaches. (For more see, Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst by Charles Strozier)
1913: In what might be viewed as an early celebration of his 70thbirthday, Dr. Kaufmann Kohler who served as Rabbi of Temple Beth-El for 24 years and is now Rabbi Emeritus was honored by more than 500 friends and congregants at this morning’s Shabbat services.
1915: It was reported today that Louis D. Brandeis has publicly declared that “Disabilities are imposed upon the Jews in Russia where they are denied the freedom to move about, the right to own land the rights fundamental to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness” and that “to win these rights is the only solution for the Jewish problem for any other solution involves suicide and death to Jewish aspirations.”
1915: It was reported today that under the auspices of Baron de Hirsch Fund, “Jews have been sent to 1,700 different communities in the United States and Canada where working conditions were more suited to them than was the case in the congregated districts like New York City” and that “in 15 years 70,000 Jews have been sent West.”
1915:Solomon Rabinowitz, who writes under the name of Sholom Aleichem, was the guest of honor at tonight’s annual meeting of the Educational Alliance where the keynote addressed was given by Jacob H. Schiff.
1915: In Chicago, following the formation of a Leo M. Frank Committee it was announced that a mass meeting will be held at the Powers Theatre to protest against the execution of Leo M. Frank.
1915: Acting on behalf of the state of Georgia, “Solicitor General Dorsey applied today to Judge Hill for a writ of habeas corpus directing the immediate presence of Leo M. Frank in court for resentence to death as the slayer of Mary Phagan” and Judge Hill announced, in response, “that he would take no action on the petition before the mandate of the United States Supreme Court is handed down.”
1916: In Hot Springs, AR, dedication of the Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital
1916: In a marriage of two labor activists in the garment industry, Bessie Abramowitz married Sidney Hillman. She became Bessie Abramowitz Hillman.
1918: In Camden, NJ, the ten teams working to add additional members to the Young Women’s Hebrew Association and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association showed renewed vigor tonight when they found out that work will soon be starting on the construction of a new home for the two organizations.
1918: In Greece, a newly enacted law which had a negative impact on the owners of property that had been destroyed led to many Jews leaving for the United States, France, Italy and Egypt.Many of these Jews had lost their property in the great fire of August 17, 1917
1919: As the German government sought to bring down the Bavarian Soviet Republic, the army “assisted by the Freikorps” retook Munich where they killed and arrested many of the revolutionaries including Eugen Leviné
1919: Birthdate of Irish gynecologist and family planning pioneer Dr. Michael Solomons.
1923: In Palestine, filming of “Palestine Awakening” written by American Zionist William Topkis (As reported by David Geffen)
1924: Aleph Zadik Aleph, popularly known as AZA is formed in Omaha, Nebraska by Sam Beber
1925: President Calvin Coolidge helped dedicate the cornerstone of the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community center.
1926:Birthdate of dramatist Herbert Blau
1926(13thof Iyar, 5686): Seventy five year old Oscar Solomon Straus who became the first Jewish Cabinet Secretary when he served as Secretary of Commerce and Labor under Teddy Roosevelt, passed away today.
1928: “Show Boat,” the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II musical based on the novel by Edna Ferber premiered for the first time in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
1928: According to reports published today, the employment picture is improving after an 18 month slowdown.Among the causes for the improvement are the growth of the orange industry, improving conditions in businesses located in Tel Aviv including textiles, chocolate and box making and the construction work on the Rutenberg hydroelectric concession on the Jordan River near the Sea of Galilee.
1928(13thof Iyar, 5688): Isabel Caroline Steinfeld, the daughter of Martha Levy and Maurice Steinfeld passed away today in Madison, Wisconsin.
1929:Jews praying at the Western Wall are attacked by Arabs.
1933:Birthdate of Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, supporter of Israel who expressed his views in “an essay title ‘Zionism and Cultural Adversaries’” and husband of U.T. law professor Louise Weinberg.
1934: In Alexandria, Egypt Sarah and Nessim Mustacchi gave birth to singer/songwriter Georges Moustaki
1934:“A three-day celebration of the 25thanniversary of the founding of Tel-Aviv…culminated today with a tribute to the veteran 72 year old founder and present Mayor, Meyer Dizengoff.More than 10,000 school children marched through the streets to the municipal building carrying baskets of flowers, where were presented to the Mayor.Two new streets were named for him and his late wife, despite his protests that he was unworthy of such an honor.”
1934:The trial of Abba Ahimeir, Abraham Stavsky and Ze'evi Rosenblatt the three men accused of murdering Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, Jewish Labor party leader, at Tel-Aviv last June, reopened today with the court ruling against the request of Horace Samuel, counsel for the defense, to strike out evidence resulting from police line-ups in which the three accused were identified. Samuel contended that the police had “guided Mrs. Arlosoroff” in identifying the accused.
1935: Birthdate of businessman Ron Popeil who gained fame and fortune with Ginsu knives and “Mr. Microphone.”
1935: For the second day in a row, temperatures in Palestine reach 104 degrees “in the shade.”The coastal settlements and cities, including Tel Aviv were most affected by the unusual heat wave.Temperatures in Palestine average 65 in May and 74 during July and August.In modern times, the temperature record belongs to a day in August 1881 when the thermometer reached 112.
1936: The New York Times described the work that has gone into building the soon-to-be opened modern water system that will finally give Jerusalem a reliable supply of water.This is the culmination of a ten year effort, the last two of which have resulted in the construction of four pumping stations at Ra-el Ain, Latrun, Bab El Wad and Romna.Each of the pumping stations is at a successively higher elevation.The work was made all the more difficult by the topography of the Judean Hills and the layers of hard work through which the workers had to dig.
1938: The Flossenburg Concentration Camp became operational. The camp was located in Germany and would be liberated by the Americans in April, 1945. Several of the conspirators who sought to kill Hitler in June, 1944, were executed at Flossenburg. These included the famous Admiral Canaris whose diary has provided a treasure trove about German activities during this period.
1939: Hoping to establish rapprochement with Nazi Germany, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin replaces his Jewish commissar for foreign affairs, Maksim Litvinov, with the less British-oriented Viacheslav Molotov.The result of all this would be a non-aggression pact between the two dictators in August of 1939 that would shock the world.At the same time it would give Hitler the green light to invade Poland from the east.The Soviets later invaded from the west and the two totalitarian butchers shared in the spoils of Poland.
1939: Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women, was established.
1939: The Budapest "Jewish Law" prohibits any Hungarian Jew from becoming a judge, a lawyer a schoolteacher or a member of the Hungarian parliament.
1941: Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring came to the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris1941: Time magazine published an article titled “Germany: Problem in Subtraction” reported that The arithmetic that Hitler has taught to Jews in the Third Reich has been the misery of subtraction. From all of them he has taken something: privileges, property, homes, life. Simplest subtraction has been the decrease of the Reich's Jewish population by emigration, deportation and death.
In Germany—500,000 Jews minus 310,000 equals 190,000.
In Austria—180,000 Jews minus 135,000 equals 45,000.
In Czecho-Slovakia—185,000 Jews minus 25,000 equals 160,000.
Within the last fortnight two sardine-packed trains left Vienna, as the Nazis applied themselves again to this problem. Aboard each were more than 1,000 Jews bound for limbo—the new barbed-wire ghetto near Lublin in Poland. Elsewhere sealed trains crossed the border with more Jews (mostly very old and very young) for the starved concentration camps of unoccupied France. From Vienna alone the Nazis promised to dump five to twelve more trainloads a month. Hitler's final solution to his problem in subtraction is zero—to be reached, according to the most sanguine reports from Germany, in just six more weeks.
1942: Nazis required Dutch Jews to wear a Jewish star
1943(28th of Nisan, 5703): German troops in the "Aryan" section of Warsaw arrest and kill 21 women who are Jewish or suspected of being Jewish.
1943(28th of Nisan, 5703): A Jewish man named Rakowski, an underground leader at the Treblinka death camp, is shot when currency intended to bribe Ukrainians to help him and a few others escape is discovered in his barrack.
1944: The first of a number of new factories at Auschwitz opened up in preparation to receive laborers from the deportation of Hungarian Jews. New labor camps opened in Myslowice, Bobrek, and Sosnoweic in preparation for the same action.
1944: At Gleiwitz, Poland, near Auschwitz, Germans open a slave-labor plant for production of "black smoke" for use in smoke screens.
1944(10th of Iyar): Poet Isaac Katzenelson murdered at Auschwitz
1945: Fifty-eight year old Herbert Farjeon, a major figure in the world of British theatre who was the son of Benjamin Leopold Farjeon passed away today.
1945: In the U.S. premiere of “The Valley of Decision” based on a novel by Marcia Davenport who co-authored the script with Sonya Levien and filmed by cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.
1945: At Mauthausan Concentration Camp, the task of guarding the camp was handed to a police unit from Vienna.
1945(20th of Iyar, 5705): Approximately 9400 Jewish prisoners who had been evacuated from Neuengamme and marched to Lübeck, Germany, are loaded by their overseers onto two ships, the Thielbeck and the Cap Arcona, apparently for no other purpose but a Nazi hope that the Jews would die while on board. British planes, unaware that the ships are not hostile, attack. Both ships sink in the Lübeck harbor within 15 minutes. Survivors who attempt to swim to shore are fired upon by waiting members of the Hitler Youth, Volkstrum, and the SS. Of the 9400 prisoners, only about 2400 survive
1945(20th of Iyar, 5705): In the worst friendly-fire incident in history - Britain's Royal Air Force killed more than 7,000 survivors of Nazi concentration camps who were crowded onto ships in Lubeck harbor, Germany. The ragged masses that had survived the Holocaust stood no chance against the guns of their liberators. This tragic mistake occurred one day before the British accepted the surrender of all German forces in the region. Reports of the incident were quickly hushed up - as a jubilant world prepared to celebrate the Allied victory in Europe. Despite the bitter irony of dying in hellish fires on sinking ships just hours before liberation, the tragedy was quickly forgotten or resolutely ignored. The anniversary of this dark day will soon pass by again - largely unnoticed or unmentioned. By early May 1945, the rumors of Hitler's suicide had rekindled hope for beleaguered prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The Red Army had just conquered Berlin; the British held Hamburg and Americans were in Munich and Vienna. After surviving unspeakable horrors and deprivations for years, the battered prisoners could finally dare to hope that their day of deliverance was at hand. In the closing weeks of World War II, thousands of prisoners from the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, the Mittelbau-Dora camp at Nordhausen and the Stutthof camp near Danzig were marched to the German Baltic coast. Most of the inmates were Jews and Russian POWs, but they also included communist sympathizers, pacifists, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, prostitutes, Gypsies and other perceived enemies of the Third Reich. At the port of L beck almost 10,000 camp survivors were crowded onto three ships: Cap Arcona, Thielbeckand Athen. No one knew what the Nazis were planning to do, or what plans the Allies had already set into motion. Although the final surrender was imminent, British Operational Order No. 73 for May 3 was to "destroy the concentration of enemy shipping in L beck Bay." While thousands of camp prisoners were being ferried out to the once-elegant Hamburg-Sud Amerika liner Cap Arcona, the RAF's 263rd, 197th, 198th and 184th squadrons were arming their Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers with ammunition, bombs and rockets. At 2:30 p.m. on May 3, at least 4,500 prisoners were aboard the Cap Arcona as the first attack began. Sixty-four rockets and 15 bombs hit the liner in two separate attacks. As the British strafed the stricken ship from the air, Nazi guards on shore fired on those who made it into the water. Only 350 prisoners survived. The Thielbeck - which had been flying a white flag - and the poorly marked hospital ship Deutschland were attacked next. Although Thielbeck was just a freighter in need of repairs, it was packed with 2,800 prisoners. The overcrowded freighter sank in just 20 minutes, killing all but 50 of the prisoners. In less than two hours, more than 7,000 concentration camp refugees were dead from the friendly fire. Two thousand more would have died if the captain of the Athen had not refused to take on additional prisoners in the morning before the attack. Most who were familiar with the Cap Arcona disaster believed that the Nazis intended to sink the ships at sea to kill everyone on board. Hundreds of prisoners had already been killed on the forced marches from the camps. In this case, however, RAF Fighter Command did their killing for them. In the Cap Arcona/Thielbeck/Athendisaster, the tragic deaths of so many who had suffered so much for so long were quickly forgotten. After years of unprecedented bloodletting and destruction, the nations involved were in shambles, their populations numbed by suffering and death. The unfortunate victims who perished at the close of history's worst conflagration were quickly lost in the fleeting euphoria of peace. In 1945, at the close of the war in Europe, the victorious British and their American allies did not want a media disaster overshadowing their V-E Day celebrations. When the extent of the friendly-fire incident became known at Westminster, the British government and Allied Command effectively prevented most news of the disaster from spreading from Germany. Beyond war-weariness and postwar jubilation, other factors conspired to ensure that the valiant prisoners who died at the threshold of freedom would not be given much attention in the world press. In a war in which the British had paid so high a price to defeat the Nazis, to even criticize their forces was tantamount to siding with the devil. Then postwar Germany quickly became one of the "good guys" as an important frontline ally in the Cold War against communism. As such, most Germans preferred not to draw attention to their own war atrocities. Millions of Jews, Russians, Serbs, Poles and others had already been killed by the Nazis. Tens of millions more were homeless refugees, with many near starvation. The memory of 7,000 or 8,000 concentration camp survivors killed by mistake would soon wash away in the tide of history in a violent age. Britain has never officially apologized for its tragic mistake at L beck Bay, nor has it honored the innocent victims with a proper memorial. The RAF records of the disaster are sealed until 2045, one century after the attack. No British government document has referred to the estimated 7,500 victims of its mistake. In May 1990, Germany opened a two-room museum dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Cap Arcona tragedy in the small port city of Neustadt-in-Holstein. A memorial monument was erected on the beach nearby at Pelzerhaken, where many of the bodies washed ashore and were buried. Other monuments were erected along L beck Bay and at the Neuengamme Camp Memorial southeast of Hamburg. Much has been written in German about the tragedy, but surprisingly little about the Cap Arcona has made it to the English press. On a recent visit to the memorial, a helpful resident of Neustadt said to me: "So your family is German?" I said, "No.""Oh, then you are Jewish?" Again I said, "No." My new acquaintance looked puzzled. Eventually he asked: "Well how could you possibly know about this?" I asked myself: "Why did it take me a half century to find out?" A Jewish dental student, Benjamin Jacobs, gives a firsthand account of the friendly fire attack in The Dentist of Auschwitz (University of Kentucky Press, 1995). Along with Eugene Pool, the Boston dentist also wrote The 100 Year Secret: Britain's Hidden World War II Massacre (Lyons Press, 2004). Documentaries on the subject, such as Lawrence Bond's Typhoons' Last Storm, have had only limited publicity. According to legend, Pheidippides was an Athenian herald who ran from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens 2,500 years ago. After announcing the Greek victory over the Persians, he allegedly died on the spot. The tale has been widely propagated by organizers of modern athletic events. Surviving the horrors of concentration camps - one day at a time - is in many respects like a marathon run. Mere survival under such brutal conditions surely tested the endurance of both body and spirit. And like the mythical runner, thousands of inmates made it all the way to the end of their agonizing journeys only to perish at the finish line. A half-century after the ill-fated air raid, we still know very little about the Jews, the Russians and other prisoners who survived so much before dying on the finish line in May 1945. By the time British records are unsealed in 2045, all children and most grandchildren of the victims will be gone. Historians will pore over the tragic details of the Cap Arcona disaster with the same level of detachment that we now feel for events such as the Franco-Prussian War or the siege of Sevastopol. There is no question that the friendly-fire fiasco was a tragic error made during a routine military operation. Despite the terrible consequences, few reasonable people would condemn the British for their ill-fated raid. Some Hitler apologists have even attempted to use such mistakes to blame the Allies for monstrous crimes committed by the Nazis. Yet the continued avoidance of criticizing friends does not justify shunning all mention of the innocent victims of the attack. Whether embarrassing or not, the 7,500 Cap Arconavictims deserve to be remembered.
1945: The Inspector General began an investigation in charges of “alleged mistreatment” of German Guards at Dachau by U.S. soldiers.
1948: The U.S. Supreme Court decides that deed covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate based on race or religion are legally unenforceable. This opened the doorway for Jews to move into many of what
had been “restricted” neighborhoods.In some places, effectively whole towns had been off-limits to Jews.Realtors and bigots would not go gently into the night and they found other creative ways to try and excluded Jews.One of the most elegant areas in Washington, D.C. was called Spring Valley, a restricted subdivision that was home to Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
1948: The Supreme Court issued a decision in United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
1949: In New York, film executive David Raphel, the grandson of Baron David de Gunzburg and his wife gave birth to American author Monique Raphel High.
1950: The Indian League organized a meeting in memory of the late Harold Laski during which Indian Prime Minister Nehru said: “It is difficult to realize that Professor Harold Laski is no more. Lovers of freedom all over the world pay tribute to the magnificent work that he did. We in India are particularly grateful for his staunch advocacy of India's freedom, and the great part he played in bringing it about. At no time did he falter or compromise on the principles he held dear, and a large number of persons drew splendid inspiration from him. Those who knew him personally counted that association as a rare privilege, and his passing away has come as a great sorrow and a shock.”
1951: Birthdate of Pierre Lellouche, the Tunisian born Jew who has been active in French and European politics including serving as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
1953(18th of Iyar, 5713): Lag B’Omer
1957: Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California. Because of Brooklyn’s large Jewish population, the team had “tons” of Jewish fans. O’Malley was vilified for moving the team.Decades later, we found out that the O’Malley wanted to keep the team in Brooklyn.He was thwarted by Robert Moses who had his priorities for New York that included a baseball park outside of Brooklyn that would become known as Shea Stadium.
1958: Release date for “Stakeout on Dope Street’ which marked the directorial debut of Irvin Kershner.
1958: Sofia Cosma, the Jewish pianist who ended being imprisoned in Siberia when she was trying to escape the Nazis at the start of WW II, performed for the first time in Lasi.
1958: In Copenhagen, Claus Toksvig and his wife gave birth to Sandi Toksvig author of Hitler’s Canary, a novel set in Denmark during the German occupation which tells the story of a family involved in the resistance movement that helped to save the Danish Jews during WW II.
1959: Birthdate of Ben Elton, a London born comedian, author, playwright and television director whose father was “of German-Jewish descent” and whose mother was not.
1960: The Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, opened in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
1960(6th of Iyar, 5720): Seventy-nine year old Alfred Whital Stern retired clothing executive and avid collector of Lincoln memorabilia passed away in Chicago.
1969(15th of Iyar. 5729): Seventy-nine year old cinematographer Karl W. Freund whose work included the 1927 classic Metropolis to the I Love Lucy television series.
1976: Thirty-three passers-by were injured when a booby-trapped motor scooter exploded at the corner of Ben Yehuda and Ben Hillel Streets. Among those injured were the Greek consul in Jerusalem and his wife. The following day, on the eve of Independence Day, the municipality organized an event at the site of the attack, under the slogan: "Nevertheless."
1976: Pulitzer Prize awarded to Saul Bellow for Humboldt's Gift. Born in Canada in 1915, Bellow moved to Chicago as a child in the 1920's. A graduate of Northwestern University, where he was told to forget about writing since no Jew could appreciate the English language. Before becoming a successful writer, Bellow taught college, worked for the board of the Encyclopedia Britannica and served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II. His first novel was the Dangling Man. Humboldt's Gift, which appeared in 1975, "was narrated in the first person. The protagonist, Charlie Citrine, is a writer, rich and successful. But in his heart he knows that he is a failure - he is under the thumb of a small-time Chicago gangster, ruined by a divorce and finally abandoned by his mistress. He admires his dead friend, Von Humboldt Fleischer, modeled on the poet Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966). Humboldt, a talent wasted, represents for him all that is important in culture. Citrine continues the series of Bellow's losers, from Herzog to Sammler, but like his other novels, it is not gloomy, and finds a comic side even in its protagonist's tragedy."
1978(26th of Nisan, 5738): Ninety-one year old Pinchas Rosen, Israel’s first Minister of Justice passed away today.
1979: Premiere of “Bent” a play by Martin Sherman that “revolves around the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany.”
1981: The New York Timesreported that The Israel Festival has been canceled for this summer. The decision was made in order ''to spread festival events out over a greater period of time, rather than concentrating them within a span of six weeks,'' according to a government spokesman. Instead there will be two smaller festivals, the Spring in Jerusalem Festival and the Proms '81, both of which will take place in Jerusalem.
1981: In New York, light from hundreds of candles flickered on polished mosaic tile as the sounds of the ghetto songs of decades ago echoed in Temple Emanu-El. As they have for 10 years, thousands of Jews and non-Jews gathered to recall the spirit of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943
1981: Beginning of Jewish Heritage Week in the United States as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.
1987: Saul P. Steinberg and Barbara Steinberg, both of New York, have announced the engagement of their daughter, Laura S. Steinberg, to Jonathan M. Tisch, president of Loews Hotels who is a son of Postmaster General Preston Robert Tisch and Mrs. Tisch of Washington and New York.
1987: Cardinal John O’Conner, Archbishop of New York “watched thousands march down Fifth Avenue protesting the oppression of Soviet Jews” later joining the protesters at a rally near the United Nations where told them, “As I stood on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral this morning and watched you stream by, I could only be proud of those who streamed out of Egypt several thousand years ago, winning freedom for themselves and for all of us. They are your ancestors, and they are mine… I am proud to be this day, with you, a Jew.” (What nobody knew that day, including O’Connor was that his mother Dorothy Gumple O’Connor, was born Jewish” and converted to Catholicism before she met and married his father.)
1987: Her Majesty Queen Beatrix officiated at the opening ceremony of the restored synagogues which house the Jewish Historical Museum
1990: NBC broadcast the final episode of season six of “The Cosby Show,” co-created by Ed Weinberger.
1991(19th of Iyar, 5751): Jerzy Kosinksi author of Being There passed away at the age of 50.
1992: In The Los Angeles Times, Charles Solomon reviewed Blood and Banquets: A Berlin Diary 1930-1938 by Bella Fromm, the”daughter of a prominent Jewish family, who was forced to begin working when her fortune disappeared in the runaway inflation that wracked Germany after World War I. As ‘Frau Bella,’ the society columnist for the highbrow Berlin newspaper Vossische Zeitung, she frequented the most exclusive circles” and it was this work that provided the information for her book which has appeared in a paperback edition.
1995(3rd of Iyar, 5755): Yom HaZikaron
1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Gertrude Stein: Writings 1903-1932 and Gertrude Stein: Writings 1932-1946.
1998: In “Garment District: Sheets, Towels and Prayers In One Stop”, Edward Levine describes life in and around the Millinery Center Synagogue
2000: When Lillie Steinhorn retired from the Social Security Administration today she was the longest-serving federal employee on record.
2001:President Bush meets with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in the Oval Office.
2001: In address to the American Jewish Committee, President Bush said “We will speak up for our principles and we will stand up for our friends in the world. And one of our most important friends is the State of Israel… [Israel] is a small country that has lived under threat throughout its existence. At the first meeting of my National Security Council, I told them a top foreign policy priority is the safety and security of Israel. My Administration will be steadfast in supporting Israel against terrorism and violence, and in seeking the peace for which all Israelis pray.”
2003: Jewish Jazz flautist Herbie Mann performed for the last the time at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
2003: “Letters from the Dead” premiered at the Brooklyn International Film Festival where the movie’s creator, Jewish-American filmmaker Ari Taub, was named Best New Director.
2004: Twenty year old Marine Corporal Dustin Schrage disappeared today with his team May 3 while swimming across the Euphrates River in the Al Anbar province with his team in Iraq.
2006(5th of Iyar, 5766):Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Israel Independence Day.In Israel, the celebration of the 58th birthday began in the evening of May 2 with a state torch-lighting ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl The ceremony also marked the end of Memorial Day.
2006: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Independence Day has become a worldwide celebration. “From Los Angeles to Budapest, Jews all over the world will be celebrating Israel's 58th anniversary.” 2006: Final episode of “The Perfect Home” starring Alain de Botton, a descendant of Abraham de Boton, was shown today
2007:The Center for Jewish History presents “TheMystery of the Kaddish” in which Presidential advisor and television personality Leon Charney discusses how the Kaddish became the most famous and familiar prayer in Jewish liturgy. He discusses his new book which charts the origins and development of the Mourner's Prayer against the full backdrop of Jewish history.
2007: The Central Committee of the National Religious Party votes on a proposal to open up the modern Orthodox party to Israeli’s who do not necessarily adhere to religious strictures. This represents an attempt to increase the party’s political power by tapping “into the large traditional, but not religious sector, which is described as primarily Sephardim…”
2008: A screening of “Sonderkommando” takes place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
2008: London's new mayor, Boris Johnson, a pro-Israel Conservative lawmaker, was sworn in after ousting the left-wing incumbent in a vote that capped the worst local election results for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's party in four decades.
2009: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts presents “Jerusalem City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace” as part of the Jordi Savill Jerusalem series.
2009: Annual AIPAC Policy Conference opens in Washington, D.C.
2009: The Washington Post featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression” by Richard A. Posner.
2009: The New York Times featured books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editor of The German Bride by Joanna Hershon’s novel which “is set among the German-born Jewish merchants and traders who settled in the American West in the 19th century” featuring as the protagonist, the daughter of a Berlin banker who travels to Santa Fe to marry a man who owns a dry goods business.
2009:Daniel Mark Epstein discusses and signs Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, in Baltimore, Maryland
2010: Gloria Mound, Director of the Casa Shalom-Institute for Anusim Studies in Israel is scheduled to present a lecture entitled “A Certain Identity: Crypto-Jews around the World” sponsored by the American Sephardi Federation.
2010:In Washington, D.C Liaison Specialist Jason Steinhauer of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project is scheduled to present a lecture and discussion on the contributions, impact and legacy of the more than 550, 000 American Jewish military personnel who served during World War II during which they received 52,000 decorations for gallantry
2010: President Obama renewed the Syrian sanctions.
2011: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to present “Search for Survivors” during which Scott Miller, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will describe “how two researchers meticulously traced what happened to the passengers of the St. Louis, a refugee-filled ship denied entry to the United States on the eve of the Holocaust.”
2011: Douglas Feith is scheduled to a lecture entitled “Jabotinsky: Enduring Insights at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville, MD.
2011: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present “In Her Hands: The Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia.”
2011:Second and final episode of “Case Sensitive” based on Sophie Hannah’s novel The Point of Rescue was broadcast on ITV.
2011:The Consultation on Conscience, Reform Judaism's flagship social justice conference is scheduled to hold its closing session today.
2011:In Philadelphia, The Young Friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History is scheduled to present “U.S.-Israel Relations: Truman to Obama,” a program in recognition of Israel's Independence Day and Jewish American Heritage Month.
2012: In “Violin legend Zvi Zeitlin has died” published today Norman Lebrecht described him as “the great violinist and teacher.
2012: In London, the Wiener Library is scheduled to host “Death in Prague: Philip on Prague Fatale” part of a series of events tied to the 70thanniversary of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.
2012: Dr. Jonathan Sarna is scheduled to discuss his marvelous new book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews, at the William G. McGowan Theater in Washington, DC
2012: Miriam Ungar organized a protest on behalf of her husband Jacob Ostreicher opposite Bolivia’s United Nations mission. (As reported by Ben Sales)
2013: “No Place on Earth” is scheduled to open in several cities including Austin, Texas, Columbus, Ohio and Seattle, Washington.
2013:Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer on guitar, noted Kabbalist Jay McCrensky on accordion, and Karen Cole on bass are scheduled to lead a “gemach Carlebach” service at Bethesda Jewish Congregationas part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival.
2013: “In an interview with Entertainment Tonight ‘Judge Judy’ Sheindlin stated, "I have my walls full of Daytime Emmy Award nominations."
2013: Noam Schey, Sam Stalkfleet, Elise Goodvin, Molly Lipman and Cameron Braverman are scheduled to lead Confirmation Services which will be held for the first time in the new sanctuary of Agudas Achim located in Coralville, Iowa
2013(23rdof Iyar, 5773): Eighty-seven year old Herbert Blau the engineer turned dramatist passed away today on his birthday. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2013:IDF Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Micky Edelstein said today that there was "some degree of dialogue" between Israel and parties in Gaza to prevent rocket fire from the coastal territory into southern Israel.
2013: The Chinese government says it is willing to set up a meeting between the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president when the two leaders visit Beijing next week, if the sides expressed interest in doing so.
2014: “Cupcakes” is scheduled to be shown at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” is scheduled to be shown at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival.
2014(3rdof Iyar, 5774): Ninety-one year old radio executive Ben Hoberman passed away today.
2014: Phoebe Chapnick-Sorkin is scheduled to Bat Mitzvahed at Agudas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.
2014: “Sturgeon Queens” is scheduled to be shown at the National Center for Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “The IDF deployed a Patriot missile battery in Eilat today and stationed it alongside the Iron Dome anti-missile battery in the southern city, ahead of the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays.
2014: “Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit criticized the Israeli government’s handling of “price tag” attacks by Jewish extremists on Saturday, saying “Israel is a lawful country that does not enforce its laws.”
2015: YIVO Institute for Jewish History Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to celebrate its 90th anniversary with a daylong celebration.
2015: Final performance of “Do This One Thing For Me” is scheduled to take place today in NYC.
2015: Dr. Neil Gillman, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at JTS is scheduled to talk based on his most book Believe and Its Tensions: A Personal Conversation about God, Torah, Suffering and Death in Jewish Thought.
2015: The New York Times reviews books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 by Zachary Leader andEinstein’s Dice and Schrodinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics by Paul Halpern
1008: Birthdate of King Henry I of France who reigned from 1031 until his death in 1060. This means that he was on the throne when a future wine maker, Shlomo Yitzhaki, was born at Troyes in 1040.[But today, who remembers the French monarch and who remembers Rashi?]
1287: Jews were arrested and accused of "clipping" the coinage in England. Although there was no evidence, the community as a whole was convicted and ordered to be expelled. A ransom of 4,000 (some say 12,000) pounds of silver were paid in ransom. This was the penultimate act in the story of the medieval English Community. For a century or more they had been drained of their wealth by Richard the Lionhearted, his brother King John and his son Henry III. In 1290, having reduced the Jews to a state of semi-poverty, and replaced them with Italian Bankers, King Edward I expelled the Jews from England. Part of his rational was that if some Jews were guilty of counterfeiting, then the whole community must be guilty.
1415: Jan Hus, who saw himself as a religious reformer was declared a heretic by the Roman Catholics at the Council of Constance.The followers of Hus were called Hussites. The fight between the Hussites and the Catholic Church turned violent and the Jews of Central Europe would get caught in the crossfire.After all, if you were busy killing Hussites, why not kill another group of “non-believers” living in your midst?
1493: Pope Alexander VI divided the New World including parts of east Asia between Portugal and Spain along the so-called Demarcation Line.In other words the Western Hemisphere was divided between two Catholic Kingdoms both of which had or would soon expel their Jewish subjects. Alexander VI was one of the so-called Renaissance Popes, a group of papal leaders who left much to be desired in matters related to religion.Alexander VI was the Borgia pope. And he was the father of the notorious Cesare and Lucretzia Borgia.Alexander VI presented a mix bag when it came to his dealings with the Jews.Alexander allowed so many Marranos fleeing Spain’s Inquisition in to Romethat the city’s refugee population doubled his ten year reign.While he decreased the size of the badge worn by professing Jews, he added an additional five per cent tax to their already heavy tax burden.In an act of additional depravity, Alexander “extended the distance of the annual race in which humiliated Jews ran naked through the city so that he could view it from his Castel Sant’Angelo residence”
1515: An edict was issued ordering the expulsion of the Jews from Ragussa.The expulsion was another instance of economics hiding behind religious doctrine.There were exceptions to the order including physicians and merchants operating in the country on a temporary basis.
1680: Birthdate of Johann Gerhard Meuschen, the anti- Jesuit Lutheran theologian. In 1736 he “Novum Testamentum ex Talmude et antiquitatibus Hebraeorum illustratum,” which was a collection of studies that examined the relationship between the New Testament and the Talmud and other Jewish writings.
1689: Christian Knorr von Rosenroth passed away.Born in Silesia in 1636, this Christian scholar became an accomplished Hebraist who became an avid student of the Kabbalah and the Zohar who authored several books on the topic.
1758: Solomon Lipschitz who was born at Furth in 1675 and served as a cantor in Prague and
Frankfurt passed away today leaving behind Te'udat Shelomo as a guide for future generations of Jewish musicians.
1789: Birthdate of author Angelo Paggi, the native of Sienna who served as the principal of the Jewish school at Florence from 1836 to 1846 before being forced to retire due to poor health.
1789: As France hurtles towards Revolution, Come de Mirabeau whose advocacy for the rights of the Jews included the call to “”confer upon them the enjoyment of civil rights and they will enter the ranks of useful citizens’ began serving as a deputy for the National Constituent Assembly
1810: Birthdate of Alexandre Colonna-WalewskiAlexandre Colonna-Walewski the European noble and diplomat who was reported to be the illegitimate son of Napoleon and who was the paramour of the French-Jewish actress Rachel Felix with whom he had a son - Alexandre-Antoine Colonna-Walewski – whom he adopted in 1860.
1814: Ferdinand VII of Spain ordered all previous proceedings of the Cortes of Cadiz null and void. This voided the 1813 statement saying the Inquisition was not in line with Spain's new liberal views. Only 2 months later Ferdinand announced Inquisitional tribunals were to once again resume, and they did.
1816: Birthdate of violinist Joseph Franco
1818: In Charleston, SC, Rebecca Lopez and Mordecai Hendricks De Leon, a doctor from Philadelphia and mayor of the southern city gave birth to Edwin de Leon, the brother of Thomas Cooper, David Camden, Agnes, Maria Louisa and Adeline Mary de Leon.
1843: Louis Loewe delivered “a discourse” today on the day of the funeral of H.R.H. Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.
1851: A major fire broke out in San Francisco, destroying among other things, the “canvassed roof store” that had been opened up by newly arrived Pomeranian immigrant Abraham Abrahamsohn.The loss of his “store” after only a month of being in the United States, forced him to head for the gold fields and try his luck as a miner.Unfortunately, this effort did not pan out. (Sorry for the horrible pun.)
1852(16thof Iyar 5612): Seventy-three year old “Austrian printer, publisher, and lexicographer” Moses Landau who created “a new edition of the "'Aruk" of R. Nathan of Rome, to which he added Benjamin Mussafia's "Mussaf he-'Aruk" passed away today.
1853: In England, Nathaniel Montefiore and his wife gave birth to British author and philanthropist Leonard Montefiore, the brother of Claude Montefiore, the grand-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore, and the nephew of Sir Anthony Rothschild.
1854: Fromental Halevy’s five-act grand opera “Charles VI” was performed in Buenos Aires for the first time.
1862: The New York Times reviewed books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Spirit of the Hebrew Poetry by Isaac Taylor in which the author described the “historic personality of God, the reality of Revelation and the…certainty of Man’s Salvation as deduced from the the Hebrew Psalmists and Prophets…”
1862: Birthdate of Schepsel Schaffer, the native of Courland who became rabbi of Shearith Israel in Baltimore Maryland , where he also served as president the city’s Zionist association starting in 1895.
1872: A Times correspondent writing from Smyrna today described a blood libel that had taken place in that Greek city.Despite the efforts of local medical authorities and clergy to convince the populace that a Christian child had died in accidental drowning and not as part ofJewish plot tied to the Passover ritual, mobs attacked the Jewish quarter converting into a place of “pandemonium, pillage, rape and murder.”
1875: Publisher Michael Levi passed away in Paris.
1875: Seventy-one year old Heinrich Ewald the author The Poetical Books of the Old Testament, History of the People of Israel, Antiquities of the People of Israel and Complete Course on the Hebrew Language– the book which led him to be described as “the second founder of the science of the Hebrew Language – passed away today
1876: Emile Berliner starts work that leads to the invention of the gramophone.
1878: According to today's Literary Notes column, "Prof. Goldwin Smith who is said to be a cordial Jew-hater is preparing a reply to an article in the April Nineteenth Century in which it is maintained that Jews are good patriots."
1878: “Philip Leon, a well-dressed Hebrew was arraigned in the Court of Special Session on a charge of having stolen a pawn ticket and a dollar from Julia McCloughlin.”Although he denied the larceny, which was took the form of a swindle, he was found guilty and sentenced to a month in New York’s city jail and ordered to pay a fine of $50.
1878: “Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society”, a column published today provides information about the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society based on its recently released 55th annual report. Currently the asylum provides service to 301 boys and girls.The children attend local primary and grammar schools where, according to letters from school officials, they are doing quite well.The asylum teaches Hebrew and other Jewish studies. The asylum houses an industrial school where boys “are taught to be printers and shoemakers.”
1879: The New York Times featured a review of "Moses the Lawgiver" by Rev. William M. Taylor in which the author writes favorably about the Jewish leader and the customs and ceremonies of his time.This is the first in a series of that is to include "Daniel, the Beloved", "David, King of Israel" and “Elijah the Prophet.”
1879: “Matacong” an article published today reported on the activities of Nathaniel Isaac, a Jew, who was the only English resident of this island off the coast of Sierra Leone. In 1856, Isaac accompanieda French merchant named Milon on a visit to the King of Forécariah where he served as an intermediary to assure that the Frenchman could contact his commercial operations on the island.
1879: Dr. Szold, the Rabbi of the Hanover Street Synagogue in Baltimore delivered a lecture on Abraham Lincoln. The talk was sponsored by the Hebrew Young Men’s Association and included “a number of short anecdotes concerning the great man.Dr. Szold said that Mr. Lincoln had the most remarkable faculty for solving difficult problems by tell little stories or parables.”Alexander the Great used a sword to cut the Gordian knot.Lincoln used his “sharp, keen incisive wit “to unravel the most” difficult and intricate questions.
1882: During the blood libel known as the Tiszaeszlár Affair, the mother of 14 year old Eszter Solymosi appeared before a judge where she accused the Jews of having murdered her daughter.
1884(9th of Iyar, 5644): Baer Ben Alexander Goldberg passed away in Paris. Born at Soludna near Warsaw in 1799 he eventually moved to Berlin where he began a career as an author and translator; a career he continued after moving to London in 1847 and Paris in 1852. One of his first works was "Ḳonṭres mi-Sod Ḥakamim," a commentary on the Jewish calendar, with chronological tables published 1845 was one the first works by this prolific author."Ma'aseh Nissim," a translation from the Arabic into Hebrew of Daniel the Babylonian's critical work on Maimonides is an example of the many translations he produced while living in Paris.
1885: Birthdate of Russian born pianist Leo Sirota who taught in Japan for 15 years where his daughter Beate Sirota Gordon was born before settling in the United States.
1887: The funeral of Isaac Henricks, the prominent businessman and member of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Society, is scheduled to take place at his brother-in-law’s home this morning.
1890(14thof Iyar, 5650): Pesach Sheini
1890: Four new trustees are scheduled to be appointed a meeting of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum.
1890: It was reported today that Russia is preparing to adopt more stringent passport regulations, requiring that the documents of all those entering the country must show their religion.Anyone who does not show a religion will be registered as a Jew and will only be able to visit “localities where Jews are permitted to reside.”
1892: The funeral of Abraham L. Grabfeelder, the General Southern Agent of Manhattan Life Insurance Company a director of the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will be held this morning at 9:30
1892: Six Jews and Jewesses were convicted at Vilna of murdering babies that had been left in their care.
1892: It was reported today that David Boody, the Mayor of Brooklyn, Joseph C. Hendrix, President of the Board of Education and Oscar S. Straus, the former minister to Turkey, addressed those attending the cornerstone laying ceremonies of the new building belong to the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum.
1893: Simon Goodheart, one of the leaders of the aggressive movement to convert Jews living on the lower east side denied accusations contained in affidavits signed by those whom his group had converted and who have now renounced their conversion that financial inducements are used to gain converts and that most of those who are supposed to be converts have taken the step for financial gain.
1894: Birthdate of Archibald Maul Ramsay, a British army officer, out spoken anti-Semite and the only MP to ever be interred on suspicions that he was a spy for the Axis
1895: A nameless seven year old deaf mute Jewish boy whose mother had passed away and whose father “was unable to provide for him” has been taken to Randall’s
1895: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Zuckerman of 71 East 109th Street appeared before the justice at the Harlem Police Court and charged their 20 year old son of burglary – specifically of stealing tree silver candlesticks worth $100 and a gold watch worth $75.
1896: The New York Times published an article entitled “Peculiarities of Baron Hirsch” that had first appeared in the London Chronicle. It described a man of great personal wealth who was, at heart, a populist who sided with the working classes in their conflicts with “cosmopolitan financiers” and other power brokers including those inhabiting the British House of Lords.
1900: “B’nai B’rith Convention” an article published today reported on the recently adjourned convention of the Jewish fraternal organization which has been held in Chicago, Illinois.
1901: The Books and Authors column included Israel Zangwill’s comments about “Robert Annys, Poor Priest” by Annie Nathan Myer. “Zangwill writes, ‘You are to be heartily congratulated. The book is full of color, spirituality and drama. There is a fine sense of the early commerce of early English history…You score in so many ways. Your pure use of words shows you have the true artist’s joy in them for their own sake.”
1902: Herzl began a three day trip in Berlin. Herzl talked to the director of the Deutsche Bank through which the Zionist movement would like to buy the Deutsche Palästinabank. For the first time Herzl met Franz Oppenheimer.
1902(27thof Nisan, 5662): Fifty-six year old French physician Theodore Klein who served for 18 years as president of the Société de l'Etude Talmudique passed away today.
1903: Birthdate of actor Luther Adler. Born in New York, Adler was the brother of two other famous thespians, Jay and Stella Adler. Adler began his career at the age of 13 appearing in his father's Yiddish theater. Luther Adlerwas born in 1903. His theatre debut began as a 13-year in his father's Yiddish Theatre. In the 1930's he was part of the Group Theatre where he worked with such well-known names as John Garfield, Elia Kazan, Less Strasberg and Howard Da Saliva. He appeared in over thirty movies and as many television programs. Some of his film credits include The Last Angry Man; Cast a Giant Shadow and Voyage of the Damned. He passed away in 1984
1904:The United States began the construction of the Panama Canal.The first Panamanian Jewish community, Kol Shearith Israel, was founded in 1876 when Panamawas still part of Columbia.By 1911, when the Canal was all but completed the Jewish community numbered approximately 500.
1907: Birthdate of Lincoln Edward Kirstein American writer, impresario, art connoisseur, and cultural figure in New York City who was better known for his social influence than for his own artistic achievement. Among other accomplishments he co-founded the New York City Ballet.
1909: Birthdate of Howard Da Silva. A large man, with a distinctive baritone voice, Da Saliva's birth name was Silverblatt. He worked in the steel mills to pay his way through Carnegie Institute. His early stage work includes stints with Orson Wells as well as playing the original Judd in Oklahoma. In the late 1930's and 1940's he had a successful career in movies playing in such varied films as Sergeant York and The Lost Weekend. Da Salvia's left wing politics got him in trouble with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Da Silva was blacklisted for many years. His fortunes began to rise in the late 1960's and 1970's when he played Ben Franklin 1776 as well as a film about (of all people), J. Edgar Hoover. He passed away in 1986.
1910: According to some sources this was the date on which Tel Aviv was founded. The confusion stems from the fact that the land company to purchase the acreage for Tel Aviv was formed in 1909.In 1909 a number of Jewish residents decided to move to a healthier environment, outside the crowded and noisy city of Jaffa. They established a company called Ahuzat-Bayit and with the financial assistance of the Jewish National Fund purchased some twelve acres of sand dunes, north of Jaffa. In 1910, the suburb was named Tel Aviv after Nahum Sokolow's translation of Altneuland, Herzl's fictional depiction of the Jewish State.
1913: In Sacramento, CA, rededication of B’Nai Israel Synagogue.
1915: “Chicago Plea for Frank” published today included the announcement of the those who were willing to speak out on behalf of Leo Frank who has been wrongly convicted of married Mary Phagan included the famous defense attorney Clarence Darrow, Bishop Samuel Fallows and Frank and Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout, President of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Society.
1915: “The Illinois Legislature was asked today to pass resolutions asking for the suspension of the death sentence on Leo M. Frank” who has been “sentenced to death at Atlanta for the murder of Mary Phagan.”1915: It was reported today that “the resentencing of Leo Frank at this time would mean the hastening of the hearing before the Prison Commission of his petition for a commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment” which “would mean that the case would reach Governor Slaton before the expiration of his term in the latter part of June.”
1915: As of today Judge Samuel Greenbaum is the President of the Educational Alliance which as of June 30, 1914 had 2,692 members.
1916: Birthdate of sociologist Rose Laub Coser who “made contributions to medical sociology, refined major concepts of role theory, and analyzed contemporary gender issues in the family and in the occupational world.”
1916: As Jewish leaders becoming increasingly concerned about the fate of Jews in Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing wrote to Simon Wolf that the State “Department has cabled the Embassy in Petrograd making inquiry” “as to the authenticity of a report that there is to be an outbreak against the Jews of Russia at the coming Russian Easter.”
1917: At the request of the government of Salonika, the rabbis approve burial of bodies in shrouds made of paper, because linen was scarce and expensive.1917: Tel Aviv was sacked by Arabs. Djemal Pasha announced that it was the intention of the Turkish government to purge Eretz Yisrael of its Jewish population. Tel Aviv was sacked by the Arabs on the anniversary of the official adoption of the name "Tel Aviv". That same year the British attacked the Turks in Palestine and the Jews reclaimed Tel Aviv which is often called the "New York of Israel."
1917: Djemal Pasha of the Ottoman Army declared that the intention of authorities was to "wipe out Jewish population of Palestine."
1918: “Plan New Hebrew Club” published in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer described plans to build a $20,000 facility that will included an 500 seat auditorium which will a home for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Young Women’s Hebrew Association in Camden, NJ.
1921(26th of Nisan, 5681): Jonas Kuppenheimer, president of the clothing manufacturing company that bears his family name passed away today in Lake Forest, Illinois.Born at Terre Haute, Indiana in 1854, Kuppenheimer came to Chicago fifty years ago with his father Bernard, and his brothers Louis and Albert where they opened a clothing store that grew into a major producer of menswear.
1925: Birthdate of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former CEO of AIG, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial services companies.
1925: In Johannesburg, South Africa Julius First and Matilda Levetan gave birth to anti-Apartheid activist Ruth First.
1925: U.S. premiere of “Any Woman,” a silent film produced by Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor.
1926: In Palestine, “all work in Jewish office, factories and institutions…stopped at 1:30 today as thousands of mourners paid tribute to the late Dr. Max Nordau…whose body was brought to Palestine from France.As the body was being carried to Tel Aviv’s town hall, the procession stopped at the Great Synagogue where special religious services were held.
1930: Birthdate of Roberta Peters, who achieved the longest tenure of any soprano in the history of the Metropolitan Opera.
1937: It was announced today that Arturo Toscanini will again conduct the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in a series of concerts that will include a November 10 in Tel Aviv as well as performances in Jerusalem and Haifa.
1938:In an address to 500 newly married couples at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Pius XI criticizes Adolf Hitler, currently visiting Mussolini in Rome, and the Nazi Party. Pope Pius XI says that these couples deserve a papal benediction because "such sad things are happening, sad things, very sad, both near to us and far away. Certainly among these sad things is that on the feast day of the Holy Cross of Christ, the banners of another cross which certainly is not that of Christ should have been hoisted in Rome. This was out of place and time. We tell you this so that you may understand how necessary it is to pray, pray, and pray for the mercy of the Almighty in all its largeness." (Editor’s Note – this was not the only time that Pius XI would publicly criticize Hitler or speak up in defense of the Jews.Any discussion of the role of the Catholic Church in events leading up to the Shoah must include an examination of this brave cleric)
1938: In Los Angeles, Oscar winning screen writer Phillip G. Epsteinand his wife gave birth to American author Leslie Donald Epstein whose novels includes King of the Jews.Epstein was the nephew of screenwriter Julius Epstein and the father of baseball mogul Theo Epstein.
1938: Carl von Ossietzky, an anti-Nazi German journalist and winner of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize, dies at age 50 after five years' captivity in concentration camps.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that Arab gangs murdered Hassan Darfil, a prominent Arab notable representing the Wadi Salib quarter of Haifa. Arab gangs continued to abduct and rob villagers and spread terror across the country.
1939: According to the diary of Jay Pierrepont Moffat, a State Department official, President Roosevelt met at the White House with Jewish leaders where the President seemed to be convinced that the warnings given by the U.S. Embassy in Berlin “were sound and not exaggerated.”
1939: Birthdate of Israeli author Amos Oz. To understand the works of Oz, you must realize that he is Jewish, but a sabra, a person who never has known the Diaspora. Born in Jerusalem, Oz was a city boy until he went to live on a kibbutz at the age of 15. "He studied philosophy and literature at the HebrewUniversity in Jerusalem, and was visiting fellow at OxfordUniversity, author-in- residence at the HebrewUniversity and writer-in-residence at ColoradoCollege. He has been named Officer of Arts and Letters of France. An author of prose for children and adults, as well as an essayist, he has been widely translated and is internationally acclaimed. He has been honored with the French Prix Femina and the 1992 Frankfurt Peace Prize. He lives in the southern town Arad and teaches literature at BenGurionUniversity of the Negev." In describing his literary efforts, a reviewer in Newsweek wrote, “Eloquent, humane, even religious in the deepest sense, [Oz] emerges as a kind of Zionist Orwell: a complex man obsessed with simple decency and determined above all to tell the truth, regardless of whom it offends.” Oz is extremely prolific and only some of his works have been translated into English. These include such recent efforts as My Michael, A Perfect Peace and Don't Call It Night.
1939: In Hungary, Miklos Horthy signs “The Second Jewish Bill” which had been introduced into the Hungarian Parliament in December of 1938 and was laughingly called “the Christmas present for the Jews.”The bill was the Hungarian version of Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws and proved to almost immediately ruinous for much of Hungary’s Jewish population.
1942: Birthdate of Michael Dray. His family had moved from Casablanca to Paris. He was the youngest of the Moroccan-born Jews who would be deported from Paris to Auschwitz - an event that took place when he was twenty months old.
1942: The first day of an eleven day deportation of 10,000 Jews from Lodz ghetto to the Chelmno Death Camp. They were part of 145,000 people who were gassed between December, 1941 and September 1942.
1942: Starting on this date and lasting until May 8, six Jews in Lódz, Poland, fearing deportation, commit suicide.
1942: Starting on this date and lasting until May 15, more than 10,000 Jews are deported from the Lódz (Poland) Ghetto to Chelmno.
1943: Against all odds, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which began on April 19 continues.
1943: An advertisement condemning the recently completed Bermuda Conference appeared on page 17 of the New York Times under the headline of To 5,000,000 Jews in the Nazi Death-Trap Bermuda was a Cruel Mockery,”
1943: The Committee for an Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews published an advertisement today in the New York Times which included the “unauthorized use of the names of several members of Congress – including Harry S. Truman, Robert A. Taft and Edwin C. Johnson.”
1943: U.S. premiere of “Five Graves to Cairo” a war movie set in North Africa directed by Billy Wilder who co-authored the script
1944(11th of Iyar): Author Yehoshua Hana Rawnitzki passed away today.
1945: Red Army troops liberate the camp at Oranienburg, Germany, where 5000 inmates remain alive.
1945: The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division liberates the concentration camp at Wöbbelin,Germany.
1945: At Mauthausan the prisoners were not taken out to work and SS men were observed leaving the camp.
1945: The International Red Cross took over the administration of the camp/ghetto at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. The last of the camp's SS men flee.
1947:Today marked the start of the fifth annual nation-wide observance of Religious Book Week, sponsored by The National Conference of Christians and Jews and designed to stimulate the reading of books of spiritual value, is being held this week. The Conference was established in 1928 "to demonstrate that those who differ deeply in religious beliefs may work together in the American way toward mutual goals."
1947: The Irgun Zeva'l Le'umi, known in Hebrew by the abbreviation as Etzel or the Irgun, staged the famous prison break at Acre Prison. In April, 1947, the British had hung members of the Irgun so Menachem Begin felt it was imperative to try and rescue at least some of those held in the aging fortress. In a act of daring-do worthy of any adventure novel, the Irgun entered the prison and freed 41 Etzel and Lehi (Stern Gang) prisoners. They could not free more because of the lack of hiding places. These escape is one of the climactic scenes in Leon Uris's novel (and movie by the same name) Exodus.
1947: More than 2,000 people filled Temple Emanu-El this afternoon at a special memorial service for Henry Monsky, international president of B'nai B'rith and chairman of the interim committee of the American Jewish Congress. Mr. Monsky died on Friday in the Hotel Biltmore at the age of 57, while attending a meeting of the future organization committee of the conference.
1948: In direct violation of international law the Arab Legion which was the Jordanian army that included a compliment of British officers attacked Kfar Etzion and was driven back the poorly armed Jewish fighters.
1948: With only five days left until the end of the British Mandate, the Jewish forces were working feverishly to develop a military posture that would enable them to avoid annihilation by Arab military forces operating illegally in Palestine.At the same time they were trying to prepare a defensive posture that would enable them to face the invading armies they would face within the next week.To that end, the Palmach launched Operation Broom.Operation Broom was intended to “sweep away” Arab bases so that Jewish settlements in the lower and upper Galilee could be joined together with a wide, safe strip of Jewish territory. Large numbers of Arabs departed the Galileefor safe haven across the Jordan River.Their departure was a result of rumors of that a large Jewish force was on its way and the belief that once the Arab armies had had their way with the Jews, they could return and reap the spoils of victory.
1948: Norman Mailer's first novel, The Naked and the Dead, was published.
1949:U.S. premiere of “The Barkley’s of Broadway” produced by Arthur Freed, written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Sidney Sheldon with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin and featuring Oscar Levant as “Ezra Miller” and Hans Conried as “Ladislaus Ladi”
1952: In an interview given on the eve of his departure for the United States, Abba Khoushy, Mayor of Haifa declared “that this is going to be THE city of the country.”In outlining the many virtues of this major seaport, the mayor noted that the population has grown from 63,000 in 1949 to 200,000 in 1952.He has four major projects on the drawing board, which, if funded, will “bring greatness to Haifa.”
1952: Birthdate of Harry Ehrenberg, Jr., a pillar of the Little Rock, Arkansas Jewish Community and a mensch in the truest sense of that term.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the Treasury doubled the exchange rate for leather and textiles to IL2 per dollar. The Histadrut banned all overtime and double jobs in order to ease the current heavy unemployment.
1956:Birthdate of author David Guterson, the author of the novel Snow Falling on Cedars which won many awards, including the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award.The son of Jewish parents, Guterson is a self-described agnostic.
1957: The Anne Frank Foundation was formed in Amsterdam. This is one of the organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of this tragic Jewish figure whose diary has captured and continues to capture the hearts and imagination of millions around the world.
1965: Israel Bar-Yehuda completes his term as Minister of Transport and Road Safety
1970: In deciding the legal case "Walz v. Tax Commission of New York," the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a New York statute exempting church-owned property from taxation. This decision included all religious buildings i.e.Synagogues and Temples 1970(28th of Nisan, 5730): Allison Krause, a student at Kent State University, was one of four students killed by the Ohio National Guard. The Guard fired on a nonviolent demonstration against the Vietnam War. Krause was a committed Jew, the daughter of a Reform Jewish family, who opposed the US war against Vietnam out of a sense of the meaning of Judaism
1972(20th of Iyar, 5732): Ninety year old Hetty Goldman, “one of the first female archaeologists who was a member of the Goldman-Sachs banking family” passed away today.
1973: Initial release of Steambath, the film treatment of the play by Bruce Jay Friedman who wrote the script featuring Herb Edelman.
1975(23rd of Iyar, 5735): Comedian Moe Howard passed away. Born Moses Horowitz in 1897, Howard was "Moe" of the famous comedy group called the Three Stooges. All of the Stooges were Jewish. Another example of how Jews were successful in the entertainment field by being "All American" as opposed to ethnic.
1975: Terrorists set off a bomb in a Jerusalem apartment building.
1975: The New York Times featured a review of "Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang" by Mordecai Richler.
1976(4thof Iyar, 5736): Yom HaZikaron
1976: The musical “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” with lyrics and book by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Leonard Bernstein opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.
1977: The first of David Frost’s interviews with Richard Nixon which were produced by Marvin Mintoff, the husband of Bonnie Franklin, was broadcast today.
1978: The Jerusalem Postreported from Lebanon that Arab terrorists murdered four French UNIFIL paratroopers, wounded seven and abducted five. France avoided condemning the P.L.O. responsible for this attack and claimed that the troops were attacked by "irresponsible elements." The Security Council deplored the incident, boosted UNIFIL to the strength of 6,000 men and called on Israel"to complete the withdrawal."
1978(27th of Nisan, 5738): Yom HaShoah
1979: Nigel Lawson, the scion of prominent Anglo-Jewish financial family began serving as Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
1979: Robert Strauss began serving as the first “Special Envoy for the Middle East” a newly created position created during the administration of Jimmy Carter.
1981(30th of Nisan, 5741): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1982(11th of Iyar, 5742): Just 6 weeks before his 90thbirthday, Barnett Janner, who had been made a life peer which meant he was recognized as Baron Janner, passed away today.
1983: Phillip Dougherty reported that “Geers, Gross Advertising has been named agency for Hebrew National Kosher Foods, which has also named Levy, Flaxman & Associates to handle its recently acquired fresh chicken and turkey operation. The main account should be billing $3 million, and fresh fowl, $1 million. The former agency is Scali, McCabe, Sloves, whose account list includes Frank Perdue and all his little chicks. Since Perdue is already in fresh fowl and is eyeing franks made with chicken, it is easy to see why S.M.S. is no longer the Hebrew National agency.”
1984: U.S. premiere of “The Bounty” featuring Daniel Day Lewis as “Sailing Master John Freyer.”
1985: Michael A. Ledeen, an informal envoy of Robert C. McFarlane, the U.S. national security adviser, met with Shimon Peres in Jerusalem and inquired whether Israel had ideas about how to open contacts with Teheran. This is meeting that the Israelis have always cited as the American request for help that brought Israel into what became known as the Iran-Contra affair.
1991(20th of Iyar, 5751): Eighty-seven year old master wood sculptor Chaim Gross passed away today. (As reported by John T. McQuiston)
1994: In a letter published today entitled Jews Have Reason to Fear Italian Fascism, Susan Zucotti traces the history of Mussolini et al to explain “why Jews and other Italians are wary of Gianfranco Fini’s resurgent neo-Fascist party.
1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an according that granted the Palestinians the right of self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
1995(4thof Iyar, 5755): Yom HaAtzma’ut
1997(27th of Nisan, 5757): Yom Hashoah; Rabbi Erwin Herman told the story of the "Yanov Torah" to 500 people at San Diego's community Yom HaShoah services today causing many of them to cry.
1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Gospel According to the Son by Norman Mailer.
1997: Barb Feller, executive director of the Granger House in Marion, Iowa, traveled to England to interview John Granger, last surviving grandson of the home’s original owner.Mrs. Feller is an active member of the Temple Judah community serving as a Hebrew teacher and co-President of the congregation.
2001: The Mitchell Report (named for Maine Senator George Mitchell) “that examined the cause of violence that began in 2000 and gave rise to the so-called Al-Aqsa Intifada was submitted today.
2003: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback edition of Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro.
2004: Publication of Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions by Ben Mezrich
2005: Natan Sharansky completed his term as Minister Without Portfolio.
2005: The premiere of the ballet “An American in Paris” using the “eponymous music by George Gershwin from 1928.”
2006: The American Jewish Committee's centennial events culminates with a gala event attended by US President George W. Bush, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
2006(6th of Iyar, 5766):Luba Kadison, the last surviving member of the Vilna Troupe, an influential Yiddish theater company founded in Europe during World War I, passed away at the age of 99. Caraid O'Brien, a scholar of Yiddish theater and a friend of Kadison announced that she had died at her home in Manhattan. Kadison, whose married name was Luba Kaison Buloff, toured extensively in Europe before becoming a leading actress in Yiddish theater during its heyday on New York's Lower East Side. She was part of a golden age of Yiddish theater that saw serious and satirical plays challenge the dominance of popular musicals. "They did experimental things. They were doing stuff in the style of German expressionists before most English-speaking theaters," said O'Brien, who called Kadison an "incredible inspirational artistic figure." Born in Lithuania in 1906, Kadison began performing in Europe as a child. Her father, Leib Kadison, was a founder of the Vilna Troupe, which performed modernist works by Yiddish writers S. Ansky and Sholom Aleichem, and translations of plays by others, including Maxim Gorky and Henrik Ibsen. In 1923 she married another member of the troupe, Joseph Buloff. The couple came to Americain the late 1920s and performed in Lower East Sidetheaters packed with Jewish immigrants. Kadison had roles in Sholem Asch's "God of Vengeance," I.J. Singer's "Brothers Ashkenazi" and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." The Holocaust devastated Yiddish culture, and declining use of the language worldwide was eventually mirrored in New York's theater scene. Kadison performed around the globe, and later in life became an interpreter, a teacher and a painter. She wrote a memoir with her husband, "On Stage, Off Stage: Memories of a Lifetime in the Yiddish Theater," which was published in 1992.Buloff, who moved on to a successful career on Broadway, died in 1985.
2006: Ehud Olmert went from Interim Prime Minister to Prime Minister after he established his own government in the wake of Ariel Sharon’s second stroke.
2006: Avraham Hirschson began serving Minister of Finance today “as part of the Kadima –led 31st governemtn.”
2006: Yael "Yuli" Tamir began serving as Minister of Education.
2006:Yaakov Edri began serving as Jerusalem Affairs Minister of Israel.
2006: Meir Sheetrit replaced Ze’ev Boim as Minister of Housing and Construction
2006: Binyamin Ben-Eliezer replaced Roni Bar-On as the Energy and Water Resources Minister of Israel.
2006: Shaul Mofaz was named Minister of Transport
2006: Ariel Atias replaced Avraham Hirschson as Minister of Communications.
2006: Amir Peretz replaced Shaul Mofaz as Minister of Defense.
2006: Avi Dichter replaced Gideon Ezra as Minister of Public Security.
2006: Ruhama Avraham Balila completed her term as Deputy Internal Affairs Minister.
2007: This year's Jacob's Ladder Festival opened for the first of two days at Nof Ginasar along the Kinneret. A Cajun dance workshop, fiddle classes and bluegrass gospel music from the Abrams Brothers, a teenage duo from Canada were just a few of the 35 acts featured at this year’s event.
2008: In Chicago, The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies presented a Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Program entitled “Poetry of the Holocaust: New Texts and Enduring Debates.”In this special Yom HaShoah conversation, poet Joy Ladin and DePaul University professor Eric Selinger explored Holocaust poetry, including Ladin’s own remarkable work, The Book of Anna, a collection of narrative poems and diary entries written in the voice of a fictional Czech-German Jewish concentration camp survivor.
2008: Secret government documents from post-World War II stored in Britain’s National Archives opened today “show that British diplomatic and military officials were concerned that sending Jews to German military camps so soon after the Holocaust would spark anger and protests around the world.”
2008: A 2008 U.S. touring production of Marvin Hamlisch’s “A Chorus Line” opened at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
2008 The Sunday New York Times book section featured reviews of A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horowitz, The Mayor’s Tongue by Nathaniel Rich son of Frank Rich and 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris.
2009: As part of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature the 92nd Street Y presented the second Critics Voice program, “David Grossman on Bruno Schulz” during which Israeli novelist David Grossman, who wrote See Under: Love which stands as a lasting tribute to Schulz discusses the work of this Ukrainian born author who perished in the Holocaust.“Born in Drohobycz, Galicia (now Ukraine) in 1892, Bruno Schulz, a drawing teacher by trade, wrote two story collections—Cinnamon Shops(1934) and Sanatorium Under the Sign of Hourglass (1937)—before he was killed by the Gestapo in 1942. His novel-in-progress, The Messiah, has never been found.”
2009:“Spots of Light: To Be a Woman in the Holocaust,”, an exhibition recently opened by Yad Vashem had its last showing at the Royal Palace in Dresden, Germany.
2010: In New York, Manuel Forcano, Professor of Semitic Studies and Vice President of the Catalan Council for the Arts is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Traces of Esther: The Jewish Presence in Contemporary Catalan Literature.”
2010: A screening of “I had a Dream- The Story of Yona Bogale, Leader of Ethiopian Jewry” is scheduled for the opening of the Sheba Film Festival at the JCC in Manhattan. The Sheba Film festival highlights the legacy of Ethiopian Jewry.
2010:Jewish community leaders, Democratic Party officials and others gathered at a dinner in honor of DNC Chairman Governor Tim Kaine, hosted by Ambassador Michael Oren at his Washington home.
2010:The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies dedicated the first building of its new campus next to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Schechter Institute is a non-profit organization of the Conservative Movement dedicated to the advancement of pluralistic Jewish education in Israel.
2011: Alexandria, VA is scheduled to host its 24thannual Holocaust Yom Ha’Shoah observance which will be attended by the Polish ambassador to the United States and Holocaust Survivor Charlene Schiff who will read an excerpt from her biography, “Don’t Ask For Soap.”
2011: The Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, is scheduled to present “Fiddlers on MY Roof” featuring Stanley Walden.
2011:The American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present the 2011 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner honoring Machal and Aliyah Bet, all North American women and men who volunteered in Israel's War of Independence between 1947 and 1949, and Ralph Lowenstein, Ph.D., founder of the Machal/Aliyah Bet Archives; Machalnik; Dean Emeritus, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida.
2011: The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is scheduled to present “Flight to Freedom – A Tribute Jewish Artists” during which “Joan Chesterton, Art historian and Professor Emerita at Purdue University, offers a fascinating illustrated presentation that pays tribute to the incredible contributions of four European artists who fled the Holocaust and immensely enriched American art—architect Mies van der Rohe, painter Hans Hoffmann, composer Kurt Weill and filmmaker, Billy Wilder.”
2011: Jewish song leader Mark Levy is schooled to lead a workshop on “Jews 'n' Jazz!” at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living.“The workshop will trace the development of America's notable Jewish jazz artists and composers beginning with their immigration to the U.S.”
2011: The Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center is scheduled to present “Jewish Identity in Pioneer Arizona: Anna and Lillian Solomon and Suitable Love” As part of the Arizona Jewish Centennial Series, Emily Jacobson, M.A., will speak about the Solomon family of Solomonville in Graham County. Anna Solomon, the family matriarch was a remarkable woman who raised all six of her children to marry Jews in a region where there were barely enough to form a minyan.
2011(30th of Iyar, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
2011:UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks slammed the notion of making peace with Hamas in a speech he gave to the House of Lords today. The chief rabbi said that unless Hamas changes its ways, "there may be a process but there will not be peace."
2012: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to participate in the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, Illinois.
2012: As Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, kicks-off a week-end of events marking its 90th anniversary, David Neuman, the son of former Rabbi Isaac Neuman is scheduled to address the congregation during Shabbat Eve Services.
2012: For the first time a production Marvin Hamlisch’s “A Chorus Line” opened at the Marina Bay Sands in Sinagor.
2013: Friends and family of Harry L. Ehrenberg, Jr. gather to celebrate the natal day of this mensch who is a pillar of the Arkansas Jewish community
2013: A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff by Alicia Jo Rabins is scheduled to be performed at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.
2013: The winner of the 2nd Annual Jewish Playwriting Contest is scheduled to be chosen today at New Haven, CT.
2013: The Courier-Journal published “A Memorable Derby.”
2013: “Three to Max” a creation of Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company is scheduled to be performed at The Joyce Theatre.
2013: The 15th annual Felicja Blumental Chamber Music Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2013: Israeli tightens defenses long her northern border as the situation in Syria deteriorates.
2013:The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out in Syria overnight was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, American officials said today
2014: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewsh readers including Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman and John Qunicy Adams: American Visionary by Fred Kaplan
2014: The Jewish Historical Sociey of Greater Washington is scheduled to conduct a tour of “Jewish Sites in Arlington National Cemetery including the Confederate Memorial by Sir Moses Ezekiel and the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Memorials.
2014: Jewish education is scheduled to come to an end in the corriodor for the year as Agudas Achim and Temple Judah close their religious schools until the fall.
2014: “The Seder: Meanings, Rituals & Sprituality” is scheduled to close at the Oregon Jewish Museum.
2014: In the Netherlands, Nationale Herdenkingsdag (National Memorial Day
2014: The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington and the JCC of Greater Washington are scheduled to host author, David Laskin, who will talk about the research that went into the writing of his book, "The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century."
2014: As part of Jewish American Heritage Month, Dr. Ted Merwin is scheduled to lecutre on “The Delectable History of the Jewish Deli at the Jewish Museum in Miami Beach.
2014: Authorities opened an investiagtion today in “anti-Arab graffiti…found spray painted…at a construction site in Kiryant Ye’arim also known as Telz Sonte” which was “another incident in a spate of race-hate ‘price-tag’ attacks by suspected Jewish extremists.” (As reported by Times of Israel Staff)
2014: In Washington, DC, final performance of “Camp David” a play based on the 1978 peace negotations at Camp David.
2014(4th of Iyar, 5774): Seventy-one year old Alan J. Friedman passed away today. (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2014: “Right wing actvists…threw rocks at ploice and damaged a Border Police vehicle” when they “came to Yitzhar to search the home of a copule that had been arrested on suspicion of participating in a ‘price tag’ attack” in the norther norhtern city of Umm al-Fahm.
2014: “A group of 19 Ukranian Jews were immigrating to Israel today ami an escalating crisis that has seen a rising tide of anti-Semitic attacks.”
2015: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is scheduled to host Dana Kalshov’s presentation “The Israel Defense Forces: A Window on Modern Israeli Society.”
2015: “In the Community: Raise the Roof” is scheduled to be shown at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival.
2015: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich is one of three “young accomplished pianists” chosen by Sir Andras Schiff to perform with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players.
1109: The Moors recaptured Valencia from the Christians. “During the period of Muslim rule… the Jewish quarter was situated on the eastern side of the Rahbat el-qadi and in its vicinity, on the site where the Santa Catalina church stands at present” (Jewish Virtual Library)
1028:King Alfonso V of Castile passed away. In 1020, Alfonso had presided over the Council of Leon which adopted laws that created a certain amount of equality between Christians and Jews. The legislation was in response to the threat of Moslem forces that were in control of much of the Iberian Peninsula. Alfonso was the King of Castile when Solomon ibn Gabriol was born in 1021.
1210: Birthdate of King Alfonso III of Portugal whose reign was a period of comparative benevolence for his Jewish subjects. Jews were “exempt from the canonical decrees which compelled the wearing of a distinctive sign and the payment of tithes to the Church.”Also, Jews were appointed to positions of governmental responsibility.These policies were continued by his successor, King Diniz who appointed Judah, the Chief Rabbi of Portugal to serve as finance minister.
1260: Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire. “Arab and European travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, spoke of meeting Jews or hearing about them during their travels in China (then called the Middle Kingdom). Polo recorded that Kublai Khan himself celebrated the festivals of the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, indicating a large enough number of Jews in the country to warrant attention by its rulers. Historical sources also describe Jewish communities at various trade ports, including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Yangzhou. Only the community in Kaifeng survived.”
1400: The privilege of the city of Worms to extend protection to the Jews in return for the payment of 20,000 gulden was renewed today by King Wenceslaus
1435: Jewish residents of Speyer, Germany, were expelled.
1588: The Council of Hanover ordered the severance of all business connections between Jews and Christians.
1624(16thof Iyar): Elias Lipiner was sentenced to death at an auto-de-fe by the Portuguese Inquisition. He was accused of committing the crime of using Jewish names and writing in Hebrew. On this same day Dr. Antonio Honem was sentenced to death for observing Jewish ceremonies.
1646:King Charles I surrendered to the Presbyterian forces paving the way for the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell.Cromwell would play a critical role in the return of the Jewish community to the British Isles.
1664(10th of Iyar): Rabbi Zebi Hirsch ben Abraham Katz murdered in Lemberg
1731(29thof Nisan, 5491): The grandmother of Moses Sofer, Reizchen, a daughter of the Gaon of Frankfurt Rabbi Shmuel Schotten, known as the Marsheishoch passed away.
1735: Birthdate of Jonas Mischel Jeittles, the native of Prague who studied medicine in Leipzig and Halle, became the public health officer of the Jewish community, was nominated chief supervisor of the guild of Jewish healers in Prague and in 1784 obtained from the emperor Joseph in Vienna permission that not only he himself but also other Jewish doctors could pursue unrestricted medical practice.(U.S. National Library of Medicine)
1764: The "Jews' decree" issued today permitted any Jew to live in Vienna “who could prove that he possessed a certain sum of ready money and "acceptable" papers, or that he had established a factory. According to this decree no Jew could buy a house; a married Jew had to let his beard grow, that he might be readily distinguished; and no synagogue or other place for common worship was permitted.
1767(Iyar 6): Rabbi Isaac Ha-Levi Horowitz of Brody passed away
1777(28thof Nisan, 5537): Forty-three year old Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carregal passed away today at Barbados. Born in Hebron and ordained at 17, Carregal travels eventually took him to the American Colonies just before the start of the American Revolution.He struck up a friendship with Edgar Stiles, the future President of Yale University.Stiles benefited from this chance to improve his Hebrew and study scripture with a Rabbi.
1789:In France, the Estates General convenes for the first time in 150 years.This is the first act in what would become the French Revolution; a revolution that would result in Jews being granted full citizenship in any European continental political entity.
1809: Right of citizenship was denied to Jews of the canton of Aargau, Switzerland. Emancipation was delayed until 1879.
1809(19thof Iyar, 5669): “Berek Yoselovich, founder and commander of a Jewish light cavalry regiment, was killed in action in the war between the Duchy of Warsaw and Austria
1818: Birthdate of Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Only the ignorant and the anti-Semitic insist that Marx was a Jew.
1821: Napoleon Bonaparte passed away.There is not enough space in this brief guide to discuss the impact of Napoleon, both pro and con, on the Jewish people.
1837: A dedication of new synagogue in Surinam took place.
1839: Forty-two year old jurist Eduard Ganz who like so many of his contemporaries found his way to the Baptismal font as he climbed the ladder of German society passed away today.
1839: In the small town of Unsleben, Bavaria, “a group of 19 emigrants led by Moses Alsbacher departed for America, seeking escape from political unrest and economic and personal discrimination. They chose Cleveland as their final destination because a fellow townsman, Simson Thorman, had two years earlier made this thriving village on Lake Erie the base for his fur trading business. Arriving in late 1839, they found their first homes in the Terminal Tower-Central Market area. A Torah scroll was among the belongings of this group of settlers, and soon after they arrived, they formed the Israelitic Society for worship.”
1843:Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III (the one who lost the 13 colonies) who “became a Patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known as Norwood” and who supported legislation to remove “the civil liabilities of Jews” was buried today at Kensal Green Cemetery without the pomp of state funeral per his request.
1848: In Vienna, Moritz Moses Jacob von Goldschmidt and Nanette von Goldschmidt gave birth to Jacob Adalbert von Goldschmidt.
1859: Birthdate of lyric poet Mordecai Zebi Mane who was part of the Haskalah movement in Russia.
1859: An article published today entitled “Another Mrtara Case with a More Honorable Termination” tells the story of Alice Levy, a Jewish orphan living in New Orleans.Before her death, the mother had left instructions that Alice should be “educated in the Jewish faith.” Somehow the child ended up in the custody “of a charitable lady in New Orleans” who was going to raise her as a Catholic.Alice’s grandmother appealed to the French Consul in New Orleans for help.After determining that attempts to have the child returned had been thwarted, he interceded on her behalf and the child was tunred over to a Jewish orphanage.
1860: In his lecture on the "Lost Arts," Wendell Phillips states that the earliest mention of precious stones is in the Bible, and that "the Hebrews borrowed the names of their gems from the Egyptians."
1861: In Washington, DC, Colonel Ripley, the Chief of Ordinance received Major Alfred Mordecai’s letter of resignation and a personal letter from Mordecai in which he thanked Colonel Ripley and assured him that he had no need to doubt the Major’s continued loyalty to the nation.
1861:Hermann Mayer Salomon Goldschmidt discovered his fortieth and final Asteroid, 70 Panopaea.
1862: Mexican forces loyal to Juarez defeat the French Army loyal to the Emperor Maximilian. Because of the heavy hand of the Catholic Church only a handful of Jews were living in Mexico at the start of the 19th century.The Jewish population actually grew during the rule by the Austrian usurper as he “imported many Jews from Belgium, France, Austria and Alsatia.”In one of those quirks of history the Jewish population actually benefited when Benito Juarez overthrew Maximilian in 1867. Under Juarez, the Church lost much of its authority and Jews found a secularized Mexico a hospitable place to settle.
1864: During the U.S. Civil War, start of the Battle of the Wilderness during Sergeant Leopold Karpleles and Private Abraham Cohen served with such distinction that they each earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1864: During the Battle of the Wilderness, Private Louis Leon (CSA) was taken prisoner and shipped to Point Lookout.
1864: Baroness Fannie de Worms and Baron Henry de Worms were married in Vienna. The marriage would end in 1886 in notorious divorce case with the Baron proving she had committed adultery with Moritz von Leon.
1865: Major Raphael Moses, “the chief supply officer for General James Longstreet, attended the last meeting of the Confederate government, at the Bank of the State of Georgia (later the Heard House), in Washington in Wilkes County where he was ordered by Confederate president Jefferson Davis to take possession of $40,000 in gold and silver bullion from the Confederate treasury and deliver it to help feed and supply the defeated soldiers straggling home after the war—weary, hungry, often sick, shoeless, and in tattered uniforms. With a small group of determined armed guards, Moses successfully carried out his duty, despite repeated attempts by mobs to take the bullion forcibly.”
1865(9th of Iyar, 5625): French Rabbi Salomon Ulmann passed away. Born at Saverne, Bas-Rhin in 1806 he began his rabbinical studies at Strasburg under Moïse Bloch (better known as Rabbi Mosche Utenheim), and was the first pupil enrolled at the initial competitive examination of candidates for the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique, inaugurated in July, 1830. He was also the first in his class at this institution to receive the diploma of chief rabbi. In 1834 he was appointed rabbi of Lauterbourg, Alsace; in 1844 he became chief rabbi of Nancy, in Lorraine; and in 1853 he succeeded Marchand Ennery as chief rabbi of the Central Consistory of the Israelites of France. Ulmann published a limited number of sermons and pastoral letters, and was the author also of "Catéchisme, ou Eléments d'Instruction Religieuse et Morale à l'Usage des Jeunes Israélites" which is considered a classic.” The most important act in Ulmann's rabbinical career was the organization of the Central Conference of the Chief Rabbis of France, over whose deliberations he presided at Paris in May, 1856. In that year Ulmann addressed a "Pastoral Letter to the Faithful of the Jewish Religion," in which he set forth the result of the deliberations of the conference, which were as follows: (1) revision and abbreviation of the piyyutim; (2) the introduction of a regular system of preaching; (3) the introduction of the organ into synagogues; (4) the organization of religious instruction; (5) the institution of the rite of confirmation for the Jewish youth of both sexes; (6) a resolution for the transfer of the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique from Metz to Paris.
1869(24th of Iyar): Joseph Jonas, who arrived in Cincinnati in 1817 possibly making him the first Jew to settle in that part of Ohio passed away today
1878: “Murder of an American Lady” published today described how the sister of the American Vice Consul in Bucharest, Dr. Stern, was stabbed by a suitor her family had rejected three years earlier. The young woman was 20 years old and had only been married for four months.
1878: “A Mean Thief Punished” published today described how “Philip Leon, a well-dressed Hebrew” was tried and found guilty of having stolen a pawn ticket and a dollar from Julia McLoughlin.Leon was sentenced to pay a fine of $50 and to serve a sentence of one month in the New York’s city jail.
1879: According to the Rochester Express, J.B. Hoyt and J.B. Trevor are donating the funds to endow Chair of Hebrew Language and Literature at the Rochester Theological Seminary.
1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Kiev, Russia. The Russian pogroms of 1881 led to the spread of Zionist ideas in Eastern Europe and the formation, in 1882, of Hovevei Zion, the first organized modern Zionist movement in the world.
1881: Following the assassination a month earlier of Tzar Alexander II of Russia, and the subsequent rumors that the Jews were behind the assassination, anti-Jewish riots broke out today. The riots and pogroms lasted for four years, during which time thousands of Jewish homes and synagogues were destroyed, and countless Jews were injured and impoverished. The unrest started out in Southern Russia, and quickly spread throughout the entire country. Tzar Alexander III actually blamed the riots on the Jews(!) and punished them by enacting new laws which further restricted their freedoms. Among these devastating laws were legislation which restricted Jews from residing in towns with fewer than 10,000 citizens, and limiting their professional employment and education opportunities. These oppressive laws, known as the "May Laws," compelled many Jews to emigrate. They are said to have caused more than two million Jews to leave Russia, many of them opting
1883: In Colchester, Essex, General Archibald Graham Wavell and Lillie(nee Percival) Wavell gave birth to Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell, who “in August, 1937, was transferred to Palestine, during the Arab Revolt to be General Officer Commanding (GOC) British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan”1887: In the United Kingdom, several Brethren who were also Secret Monitors met at the home of Dr. Issachar Zacaharie where it was resolved to from the Alfred Meadows Conclave with Dr. Zacharie as its first Supreme Ruler. Secret Monitors refers to The Order of the Secret Monitor and Brethren refers to Freemasons. Zacharie was born in Kent (England) in 1827.As a small boy he moved to the United States where he became a foot doctor describes variously as an orthopedist or a chiropodist. During the Civil War he became President Lincoln’s foot doctor.Their relationship transcended that which normally existed between doctor and patient.Lincoln used him as an unofficial advisor and source of information. At one point he went to New Orleans to assess the situation there for the President .‘Due in part to Zacharie's influence, Lincoln became an early proponent of establishing a Jewish state in the Holy Land. ‘I myself have regard for the Jews,’ the president is reported to have once said. ‘My chiropodist is a Jew, and he has so many times 'put me on my feet' that I would have no objection to giving his countrymen 'a leg up.'"Zacharie returned to England “from America in 1875 and built up a thriving orthopedic practice in Brook Street, London. He became a member of a Bon Accord Mark Lodge in 1882 where he met other Brethren who were also Secret Monitors, having received their degree in various places. These Brethren were also members of Alfred Meadows Lodge named after a distinguished surgeon.”
1891: “Jewish Prisoners” published today described the work of Rabbi Adolph M. Radin with Jewish prisoners in New York jails and prisons.New York City’s association of rabbis had designated him as “the visiting Chaplain” to fill this need.
1892: William Ambrose Shedd, a Persian received the George S. Green Fellowship in Hebrew at Princeton University. The theology student’s efforts gained him $600. Ivy League schools had an interest in the language of the Jews but no desire to have them on their campuses.
1892: Emanuel Lehman, the Treasurer of Transportation Fund for the Relief of Russian (Jewish) Refugees acknowledged the following contributions: Sigmund Robertson - $2,000; Lazarus Levy - $100; Seligman Solomon Society - $25; Mrs. G.M. Raphael - $10. This brings the total contributions to $97, 545.49.
1892: In Oxford, UK, Sir Archibald Garrod and Laura Elizabeth Smith gave birth to British archaeologist Dorothy Garrod who in 1929 led an all-female team to a dig in Israeli’s Carmel mountain range where they discovered the skeleton of a Neanderthal woman – “the first-ever to be discovered outside of Europe.”
1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band will supply the music this afternoon at the Actors’ Fund Fair in Madison Square Garden.
1893: “More Affidavits By Jews” published today described the aggressive attempts by some Christian denominations to convert Jews.
1895: Police will begin an investigation into a tale told by Bernard Zuckerman, a self-confessed thief, that he had been led into his life of crime by an unnamed Polish Jewish woman.She came to the United States about four years ago, and behaving like a female Fagan, teaches young Jewish Polish boys how to steal and then disposes of their goods.
1895: “Art Notes” published today described the paintings with a Jewish Biblical theme that John S. Sargent has done to decorate the New Public Library in Boston. The wall space over the door depicts the delivery of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Below this “are a series of panels” that depict the “growth of the Hebrew religion”“In the center, immediately over the door, is a colored bas-relief of Moses.”
1895: Robert College in Constantinople which was created with an endowment by Christopher R. Robert of New York currently provides a western style education to a multi-ethnic student body of 200, five of whom are Jews.
1896: In New York, Matilda (Metzger) and Dr. Herman J. Schiff gave birth to Esther Schiff who gained fame as anthropologist Esther Schiff Goldfrank the wife ofWalter S. Goldfrank and the author the 1927 tome The Social and Ceremonial Organization of Cochiti
1896: Dreyfus wrote in his diary, "I have no longer anything to say; everything is alike in its horrible cruelty."
1898: “A Jewish Warship” published today described plans by Jews in Ohio to raise the money to pay for a warship to be used in the war against giving as their reasons “The Jews all over the world have a grudge against Spain” (remember the expulsion of 1492) and the fact that Jews “have had trials and tribulations in every country in the world except in America.”
1889: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to deliver an address to the adult members of B’nai Jeshurun on the significant role of George Washington as part of the events celebrating the centennial of his first inauguration which took place in New York City on April 30, 1789.
1899:Birthdate of Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, a partner of Louis “Lepke” Buchalter who helped establish Murder Incorporated.
1899: “Some interesting facts concerning the lot of the average physician working on the east side,” a predominately “Hebrew District” “were brought out at a meeting of the New York County Medico-Pharmaceutical League” tonight as part of an attempt to improve “the condition of the physicians and druggists.”
1899: Today, Rabbi De Sola Mendes said, “The condition of the Jewish populations west of Eighth Avenue and east of the Bowery in this city is not understood even by old New Yorker” and the Union of Jewish Congregations was formed to improve the welfare of the Jews living in this area.
1900: David Wolffsohn offers to resign his position with the Colonial Bank, also known as the Jewish Colonial Trust.The Bank was established to buy land for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel.
1900: Birthdate of Nacha Rivkin, the founder of Shulamith School for Girls, the first girl's yeshiva in the U.S.
1901: President Percival S. Menken presided over the annual meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.Attendees listened to the group’s 27th annual report, elected a board of directors and listened to a brief speech by the organization’s major benefactor, Jacob Schiff.1901: President Simon Borg presided over the annual meeting of the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews.Based on the report of the Finance Committee, the Home’s financial condition was quite solid.Jacob Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home for Chronicle Invalids addressed the group, congratulating the group for the quality of management at the Home.
1905:Maurice Arnold de Forest, who had been adopted by the millionaire Baroness Clara de Hirsch, née Bischoffsheim, wife of Jewish banker and philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth, and given the surname de Forest-Bischoffsheim,resigned this commission on 5 May 1906, by which time he was also an Honorary Second Lieutenant in the Army
1906:Count Sergei Yulyevich Witte, whose career had suffered because his second wife, Matilda Ivanovna (Isaakovna) Lisanevich, was a converted Jew, completed his service as 1st Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire
1909: Birthdate of Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti, whose life was shaped by the fact that his mother and his twin brother died during his birth
1910: Birthdate of Josef Karlenboim who made Aliyah in 1930 and gained fame as Yosef Almogi, Israeli military, labor and political leaders.
1910: Birthdate of Leo Lionni who along with David Wiesner was one of the two most “influential children’s book illustrators of the twentieth century.” The Amsterdam native’s father was a Sephardic Jewish who worked in the diamond business.His mother was a Christian.
1911: Birthdate of “Andor Lilienthal, the last of the original 27 chess grandmasters, who played 10 world champions and beat 6 of them…”
1914: “There were strong indications today that Detective Will J. Burns will be detained under heavy bond as a material witness before the Grand Jury in its investigation of bribery charged made by the prosecution in the Leo Frank case against the defense whose method of obtaining affidavits to exonerate Frank of the murder of Mary Phagan and to convict Jim Conley of the crime have been called into question.”
1915: Birthdate of Emanuel Litvinoff, an English-born Jewish poet known for his scathing verse indictment of T. S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism — and for reading it before an audience that happened to include Eliot. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1915: H.A. Alexander, Leo Frank’s local attorney said Louis Marshall’s decision to ask “the United States Supreme court to hand down without further delay the mandate in the Leo M. Frank case” was “a surprise” to him.
1915: It was reported today from Constantinople, that “the most curious feature is the attitude of the Jews” in Turkey “who are in many ways the intellectuals.Jewish influence has been enormous in Turkey and it has been said their Zionist aims had seriously undermined the loyalty of the Arabs.Apparently however, Enver Pasha has decided Arab support is worth a great deal more than that of the Jews and various steps have been taken to force the Jews into a Turkish mold.Jewish disaffection is no slight matter and it is more significant as Jewish influence had hitherto worked powerfully for Germany.”
1919: Birthdate of Samuel Abraham Goldblith , “an American food scientist”who studied malnutrition during World War II “and later was involved in food research important for space exploration.”He died in 2001.
1920: Birthdate of Charles Hirsch Schneer, a native of Norfolk, Virginia who gained fame as a film producer most widely known for working with special effects pioneer, Ray Harryhausen. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1921: Birthdate of Poet and liturgist Ruth Brin
1921:Birthdate of Arthur Leonard Schawlow winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics.
1921 (27th of Nisan, 5681):Alfred Hermann Fried passed away.Born in Austria in 1864, Fried was leading pacifist, author and co-founder of the German peace movement.In 1911, he was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
1921: Demobilized Jewish soldiers under the command of a Jewish officer were assigned to patrol duty in Tel Aviv as part of today’s efforts by General Deeds and Judge Norman Bentwich to restore order in Palestine.Arabs, including Arab policemen, began rioting on May 1.So far 27 Jews have been killed during the violence and another 150 have been wounded.
1926: Funeral rites are held at Temple Beth-El for businessman, philanthropist and diplomat Oscar Straus.
1927: In Manhattan, Anita Gerber and Irwin Rosen gave birth to Charles Welles Rosen “the pianist, polymath and author whose National Book Award-winning volume “The Classical Style” illuminated the enduring language of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven” (As reported by Margalit Fox)
1930: In St. Paul, MN, Belle and Albert Shaw gave birth to Stanford J. Shaw whose works include The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republicand Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey's role in rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi persecution, 1933-1945
1933: In Budapest, Donald and Ilona Sass gave birth to Evelyn Erika Sass who as Evelyn Handler gained gamed as a cell biologist and the first women to serve as President of Brandeis University. (As reported by Paul Vitello)
1933: Ludwig Kaas, who was in Rome at the behest of Cardinal Pacelli to negotiate a Concordat between Hitler and the Vatican, resigned his post as Chairman of the Centre Party one of the last political institution standing in the way of the Nazi’s complete control of Germany.
1938: The Palestine Postreported that a Jewish farmer, Haim Sober, 40, was attacked by Arabs while on his way home to Karkur and beaten with sticks to death.
1938: The Palestine Postreported that an Arab watchmen employed by the Iraqi Petroleum Company was shot and killed in a Tiberias cafe, apparently because he was to serve as a witness in the court case against the Izza ed Din el Kassam Arab terrorist gang which murdered a Jew at Nahalal.
1939: U.S. premiere of “Lucky Night” a comedy directed by Norman Taurog.
1939: Birthdate of photographer Ryszard Horowitz, the native of Krakow who was shipped to a Nazi concentration at the age of four months, and at the age of five was one of the survivors of Auschwitz liberated by the Soviets.
1939: U.S. premier of “Rose of Washington” a musical “inspired by” the lives and marriage of Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein” directed by Gregory Ratoff featuring Al Jolson.
1939: Sara Kucikowicz, the author of “The Cruel Winter” gave her tutor Shlomo Achituv “a photograph of herself, and on the back inscribed the following: “Shlomka, so you’ll remember me. Sara.” The portrait was made at the M. Glouberman photo studio at 12 Pilsudskiego St.” (As reported by JTA)
1939: The Nuremberg anti-Jewish laws went into effect in Hungary
1939: Under newly enacted legislation first presented by ex-Prime Minister Bella Imredy two thirds of Hungary's Jews were denaturalized because they became citizens after 1914. Jews had to leave all government-related positions before the end of the year.
1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia after a five year exile brought about the Italian conquest of his kingdom.This marked one of the early victories of the Allies over the fascists and thus was a turning point in World War II. The Emperor had spent part of his exile in Palestine where he was greeted warmly by the Jewish population
1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Lag B’Omer
1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Jewish teachers and educators in the Warsaw Ghetto created a special day for children, during which they were treated to games, plays, and special rations of sweets.
1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Prof. Jakob Edmund Speyer, a Jew from Frankfurt, Germany, who invented an important painkiller called Eukodal, died of exhaustion in the ghetto at Lodz, Poland
1943: The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto continued to hold out against the Nazis.
1943: Himmler visited the Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Soon thereafter 1,400 Jews were deported
1944: Birthdate of journalist and author Richard Bernstein
1944: Bruce Sundlun whose B-17 had been shot down on its 13th mission entered Switzerland after having made his way across France where he worked with the Maquis and where he would be recruited by spymaster Allen Dulles to work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the forerunner of the CIA.
1944: Jacob Shapiro was sentenced to serve a sentence of 15 years to life after having been convicted of conspiracy and extortion.He only served three years of the sentence since he died of a heart attack while in prison in 1947.
1944: The Jewish Exponent “was purchased by the Allied Jewish Appeal, a precursor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
1945: The presiding bishop of the German-Catholic bishops' conference instructs his priests to say a mass in Hitler's memory
1945: After the commander of the bunker at Ebensee (prison) murdered all prisoners who had worked at the crematorium and the bunker, prisoners transported from Mauthausen, Austria, and Warsaw revolted at the labor camp at Ebensee, Austria. When they were ordered into a tunnel packed with explosives, they refused to budge, confusing the SS and Volksdeutscheguards, all of whom were mindful of the advancing Allies and the likelihood of war-crimes trials. The prisoners' defiance was successful and they were left unharmed. In the face of this defiance and out of fear for what might happen when the Allies arrive the Germans fled. As U.S. troops entered the camp, a brutal German Kapo (foreman) pleaded with inmates not to turn him over to the Americans as a war criminal. He was attacked by three Jewish boys and killed. Other Germans at Ebensee met similar fates.
1945: At 11:30 a.m. two American armored vehicles approached the camp gate Mauthansan and were admitted by the prisoners. The troops were from the U.S. 11th Armored Division the force that had liberated the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria. 110,000 survivors were found, including 28,000 Jews. Bodies of 10,000 inmates were discovered in a mass grave. In the days following liberation, more than 3000 inmates will die. The Americans did not have enough supplies to offer a fraction of these numbers. Foods such as candy, chocolate, milk and jams were too rich for the starving who still died as a result of malnutrition. One survivor, Sidney Fahn, weighed 80 pounds.
1945: Hollywood producer George Stevens who was working for the United States Army, filmed the first Jewish service at Dachau which was conducted Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, who was a chaplain with the United States Army.
1945: Louise Lawrence-Israëls was three years old when “Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam” today.
1945: The camp at Gusen, Austria, near Mauthausen, is liberated by the U.S. Army; 2000 inmates remain alive.
1945: The U.S. 71st Infantry Division liberates the camp at Gunskirchen, Austria, where 18,000 inmates remain alive. Hungarian author and journalist Geza Havas, force-marched to the camp from Mauthausen, died a few hours before the Americans arrive.
1945: “After a total of 12 months of imprisonment, including two months in the Melk an der Donau camp, Miklós Nyiszli and his fellow prisoners were liberated” today
1946: Birthdate of Chicago radio personality Eddie Schwartz.
1947: Members of Kibbutz Yakum (He Shall Rise) met to consider a name change.They decided to keep the name
1948: A group of Jewish immigrant from Egypt founded Bror Hayil (selection of soldiers) a kibbuz in southern Israel near Sderot.
1952: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Herman Wouk for the Caine Mutiny. Herman Wouk was born in New York City in 1915 into a Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia, and received an A.B. from Columbia University. During World War II, then joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater.This experience would provide the background material for The Caine Mutiny.If you ever see the film version of the book, there is a scene at the end where the officers of the U.S.S. Caine are celebrating during which one of the characters gives a speech that show real villain of the piece was an author who spent his time on the ship writing the great American War novel while it is a Jewish lawyer who champions the cause of the unsuspecting dupe who is being court-martialedFrom a Jewish perspective, two of his most important works were This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life published in 1959 and The Will to Live on: The Resurgence of Jewish Heritage published in 2000.According to at least one source Wouk decided that he would be an Observant Jew when he joined the Navy.Reportedly, while he was in the service, Wouk donned tefillin daily before he davened on a daily basis.The crew members thought that Mr. Wouk’s little black boxes gave them the edge during enemy attacks.After the war, Wouk was something of an anomaly among Jewish intellectuals – a successful Jewish author who did not turn his back on being Jewish.
1952: Aba Houshy, Mayor of Haifa, leaves Israel to fly to New York City to makes speeches as part of the annual Israel Bond Drive.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the Treasury expressed satisfaction at the public response to the compulsory property loan which could be converted into a tax. Out of 10,500 property owners, 7,700 choose to pay the tax.
1954: Birthdate of David Azulai, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1963 and developed a career in Israeli politics that climax with service as an MK. Azulai is an “alumnus” Zion Blumenthal Orphanage which founded near the Bukharim Quarter in 1900 by Rabbi Yochanan Blumenthal
1954: Birthdate of Dave Spector.The Chicago native is one of the more visible foreign personalities (gaijin tarento) in Japan.
1955: U.S. premiere of “Daddy Long-Legs” with a script by Henry and Phoebe Ephron.
1956(24th of Iyar, 5716): Fifty-four year old Miklós Nyiszli, the Jewish physician forced to work at Auschwitz passed away today in Romania.
1957: “He’s the Dean of Southern Rabbi’s “ by William Hammack published in today’s Atlanta Constitution recounts the life of Rabbi Tobia Geffen, “the Coca Cola Rabbi.” "He's the Dean of Southern Rabbis
1958: Birthdate of “Lieutenant Colonel Ron Arad…an IAF fighter pilot and an Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer (WSO) who is officially classified as missing in action since October 1986, but widely presumed dead. Hezbollah claimed that Arad died during an escape attempt in May 1988. An Israeli secret military commission report claimed that Arad died of illness in 1995, and was buried in the Beqaa Valley.”
1959(27th of Nisan, 5719): Yom HaShoah
1964: In Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine Professor Roland Copé, a surgeon of Romanian Jewish origin, and Monique Ghanassia, of Algerian Jewish origin gave birth to French political leader Jean-François Copé
1967: In Sweden, Karin Tegmark and mathematician Harold Shaprio gave birth to cosmologist Max Erk Tegmark.
1969: Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for Armies of the Night, a recollection of his own experiences at the Washington peace rallies of 1968, during which he was jailed.
1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan said that Israeli Defense Forces must remain permanently in Judea and Samaria; Israelis should reserve the right to buy land and to settle in these territories, and should reserve the right of an unrestricted movement in the whole area.
1983: Chaim Herzog began serving as President of Israel, a position he would hold until the election of Ezer Weizman in 1993.
1985: Following a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Belsen, President Ronald Regan visits the Bitburg cemetery which contains the graves of 49 SS soldiers.The visit had touch off a storm of controversy and protest.
1985: An additional 2,000-foot section of the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem gained modern lighting. The segment may now be walked at night, in a leisurely half-hour, starting at the Zion Gate and ending at the Citadel of David. There, a small amphitheater has been constructed for a sound-and-light display.
1987: Henry Heinz Schwarz, the longtime opponent of apartheid and member of the opposition completed his service Shadow Minister of Finance.
1990: Eighty-nine year old screenwriter and producer Endre Bohem passed away today.
1998: This 1960 production of Peter Pan, a musical created by Mark "Moose" Charlap, Jule Styne, Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green was released on VHS home video
1999: The National Science Board (NSB) has named Maxine Frank Singer, Ph.D., president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. to receive the 1999 Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime contributions to science and engineering. Singer will receive the Bush Award on May 5 in Washington, D.C. at a National Science Board awards ceremony.
2000: The Times of London features a review of Righteous Victims: A history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881-1999by Benny Morris and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab world since 1948by Avi Shlaim.
2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth: Funerals for the Old World and the recently released paperback edition of Paradise Park by Allegra Goodman.
2002: Jack Lang completed his service as Education Minister of France.
2004: In “That Old Feeling: Hail, Harvey!” Richard Corliss remembers Harvey Kurtzman of Mad magazine fame who died in 1993.
2005: British Laborite Barbara Maureen Roche lost her seat as a Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green
2005: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, is named Minister of State for Communities and Local Government by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
2006: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, named Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
2006:The New-York Historical Society named Doris Kearns Goodwin its American history laureate andpresented her with its inaugural $50,000 Book Prize for American history for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln a biography of the 16th president and his cabinet.
2006:In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah celebrates the Confirmation of Vanessa Levi, daughter of Elizabeth and Shlomo Levi and Daniel DeClue, son of Carolyn and Rick DeClue.These two bright, intelligent youngsters are living proof of the resiliency of the Jewish spirit in communities both large and small.But more important than their intellectual accomplishments is the fact that these two are decent, caring human beings. It is fitting that their ceremony falls on the Shabbat when the Torah portion is Kedoshim since it reminds us that in the world of Jewish values “nice guys finish first.”
2007: “The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend” opened at the Jewish Museum in New York City.
2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, The National Archives in Washington, D.C. presented a screening of An American Tail. The film is the story of the Mousekewitz family’s journey to America and of their young son, Fievel, who gets lost along the way. Landing in a bottle, Fievel washes ashore in New York Harbor where, determined to find his family, he comes face to face with the perils and opportunities of the New World. The film features the voices of Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer, and Madeline Kahn and is directed by Don Bluth.
2007: Running of the Kentucky Derby.While it's not a well-known part of our Western mythology, the Jewish Hart brothers of Kentucky formed the Transylvania Company, bartering ten thousand pounds of merchandise with the Cherokee nation, in exchange for 20 million acres of land in Kentucky, according to Howard M. Sachar's "A History of the Jews in America." Yes, the Jews did give America most of Kentucky, with the help of their hired explorers Daniel Boone and his adopted Jewish son, Samuel Sanders. Another oddity is that in 1936 the Kentucky Derby was, in effect, a Jewish "sweep." Bold Venture was the winner, owned by Morton Schwartz, trained by Max Hirsch and ridden by Ira Hanford. All the human beings involved in this horse racing victory were Jews. Sometimes we suspect that Bold Venture was Jewish that day, too
2007(17thof Iyar, 5767): Seventy-nine year old Theodore Maimen, who demonstrated the first laser in 1960, passed away today. (As reported by Douglas Martin)
2008: “At approximately 2 a.m. Arizona time, the Hersh family’s original documents” which included documentation of the role that Hungarian immigrant and grocery store owner Joseph Abraham Hersh had in the creation of the Kosher Wine Industry, were destroyed and lost forever
2008(30th of Nisan, 5768): Irv Robbins, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, passed away. Robbins reportedly cashed in a $6,000 insurance policy given him for his bar Mitzvah in 1945 to start his first ice cream store.
2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Growing Up Jewish in Baghdad” in which acclaimed novelist, essayist and critic Naim Kattan shares his personal history of growing up Jewish in Baghdad in the 1940s. Kattan draws a portrait of a cosmopolitan place where the Jewish community had flourished for more than 2,500 years, alongside Christians and Muslims—a sharp contrast to the present-day city whose uncertain future is now intricately tied to our own.
2008: Time magazinepublished excerpts from the diary of Rutka Laskier in article entitled “Poland’s Anne Frank.” Rutka Laskier lived in Bedzin, Poland, with her parents, grandmother and brother. Her journal, covering four months in 1943, provides a rare glimpse of the daily life of Jews under Nazi rule. The diary was found after World War II by a friend--who kept it to herself for 60 years before allowing it to be published, initially in Polish, in 2006.The English language version of the diary is being published under the title Rutka’s Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust.
2008: Israel's Reform Jews dedicated the first non-Orthodox synagogue to receive state funding on Monday, after a long court battle that accented the rift among streams of Judaism in Israel. The Reform Yozma congregation fought for the better part of a decade for state funding equivalent to what Orthodox congregations receive. After arguing their case twice before the Supreme Court, they got what they wanted: a prefabricated, two-room building on a plot of land in the center of Modiin, a new town between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. "This is a substantial step in recognizing different streams of Judaism in the state of Israel," said Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, who leads the 240-family congregation.
2008: The Jerusalem Center for Ethics hosts a conference on The Limits of the Autonomy of a Patient at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem.
2009: Leora Tanenbaum, author of “Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality,” takes part in an interfaith dialogue at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.
2009: As part of his first U.S. tour in 15 years, famed Canadian Jewish singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs in Chicago.
2009: Just in time for today’s Cinco de Mayo celebrationsMartin Silver, a New York businessman, is launching Agave 99 the new kosher tequila. Silver, president of Long Island-based Star Industries, says he wants to satisfy the craze for high-end tequila with one that observant Jews can drink. Silver says a half million cases of the 99-proof kosher tequila are being produced at a Mexican plant using methods certified by a rabbi. It will retail for $41.95 a bottle. Although the official product launch - with Mexican songs sung in both Yiddish and Spanish - is set for May 5, it was already on sale at Passover time.
2009: The Annual AIPAC Policy Conference comes to an end in Washington, D.C.
2009: Today, the Transportation Ministry sent a letter to British airline BMI’s chief executive officer in Britain demanding an explanation as to why the only reference to Israel on the map is the Arabic word for Haifa.
2009: During his visit to the United States, President Peres is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House.
2010: Nathan J. Brown, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled The Impact of the Breakup of the Ottoman Empire and Future Middle East Politics at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of the Capitol Area and Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Center.
2010: A documentary entitled “9 Years Later” is scheduled to be shown at the Sheba Festival at the JCC in Manhattan.
2010: The Limmud FSU Nobel 2010 festival this week honored 26 Jewish scientists and political leaders who originated in Israel, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union and who were awarded the Nobel Prize.
2010: The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies dedicated its Legacy Heritage Building in south Tel Aviv’s picturesque Neveh Zedek neighborhood. The Schechter Institute is a non-profit organization of the Conservative Movement dedicated to the advancement of pluralistic Jewish education in Israel.
2011: The Leo Baeck Institute and the recently founded Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College are scheduled to present a panel on German-Jewish immigration to New York City
2011: “Barbara Dobkin, Jewish feminist philanthropist and the Founding Chair of the Jewish Women’s Archive, received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Graduation at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York”.
2011: American actor Liev Schreiber will be honored with the Achievement in Film Award, at the 25th Israel Film Festival (IFF) which begins tonight in New York City
2011: B’nai B’rith will award its first accolade honoring Jews who risked their lives to save their brethren during World War II today. Alan Schneider, director of B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, said the newly created Citation of Jewish Rescue was aimed at recognizing the heroism of Jews, often unappreciated in historical research .“It’s an award that is going to Jews who went beyond the call of duty to rescue other Jews during the Holocaust,” he said. “It’s part of an activity we’ve been doing for 10 years to study the phenomenon of Jews saving Jews, an issue not researched enough or at all, especially in relation to the research done on the murder of Jews and, of course, righteous gentiles which have been recognized in the tens of thousands. But often they could not have saved Jews without the help of other Jews.” In its inaugural year, the Citation of Jewish Rescue will be awarded to the descendants of the late Yehoshua and Henny Birenbaum, a Jewish couple who took care of dozens of orphans during and after the war. The Birenbaums survived being interned at Bergen-Belsen, where the father of the family was put in charge of looking after 50 young children. After the war the couple made aliya together with their children and orphans they had adopted. The citation will be given to the deceased couple’s family at a joint ceremony with the Jewish National Fund held at Martyrs Forest outside Jerusalem.
2011: Today is the deadline for the world’s first green-certified synagogue, Congregation Beth David in San Luis Obispo, Calif., to raise $1.3 million if it is to avoid foreclosure by the bank to which it owes the money.
2011: Seth Front is scheduled to present “A Culinary History of the Jews in America” a “45-minute interactive presentation that tells the history of the Jewish deli in America, from its origins on the Lower East Side to the turn of the 20th century, its adaptation to American tastes, its assimilation into mainstream American culture and finally to the challenges facing delis for survival in the 21st century’” at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati, Ohio.
2011; Editor and author Benjamin Taylor is scheduled to offer a first-hand perspective on "Saul Bellows: Letters" (Viking, 2010), a never-before published collection of letters by the Nobel Prize in Literature winner, that spans eight decades and has been called "magnificent" by the New York Times at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA.2011: As part of the Jewish Perspectives on Social Justice Seminar Dr. Claire Katz is scheduled to facilitate a program entitled "...for they know precisely what they do...": Memory, Forgiveness and the Stranger” at the University of Denver in Denver, CO.
2011(1st of Iyar, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
2011: The Nazi war crimes trial of a 97-year-old man began in Hungary today. Sandor Kepiro, listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as the world's most wanted Nazi, was charged with taking part in raids on the Serbian town of Novi Sad in 1942, in which 1,200 Jews, Serbs and Roma were killed. Kepiro is also suspected of involvement in the deaths of 36 others who were rounded up and shot on the Danube River's banks. Kepiro said he is "completely innocent" and called the trial a "circus" as her arrived at court, BBC reported. The Simon Wiesenthal Center tracked Kepiro down in Budapest in 2006. He had been convicted of Nazi war crimes in Hungary in 1944, but fled to Argentina. The Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, attended the trial.
2011:All flights leaving Ben Gurion Airport were stopped today, due to a problem with the airport's gas supply. The gas was found to be contaminated. The airports authority said: "We have instructed the manager of Ben Gurion airport to stop filling gas in the airport's planes." Some incoming flights from foreign airlines stopped in airports in Cyrus and Greece.
2012: Israeli author Etgar Keret is scheduled to appear at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature
2012: Temple Judah continues a weekend long celebration of its 90th Anniversary with a congregation-wide gala dinner-dance.
2013:YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Leo Baeck Institute is scheduled to present the Sidney Krum Young Artists Concert Series: Spring Concert 2013
2013: Hadassah sponsors “Walks To Defeat Neuromuscular Diseases” in Wheaton, Maryland.
2013: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to host a Walking Tour of Arlington National Cemetery that will include a visit to the new Jewish Chaplains Memorial.
2013: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Vera Gran: The Accused by Agata Tusznska and Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle Eastby David Rohde.
2013: Israel decided this afternoon to close its airspace in the North to civilian air traffic following alleged Israeli air strikes on Syria in the past 48 hours.
2013: Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon's Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying today
2013: Israel is working on joining an anti-Iran defense alliance with a number of moderate Arab states that would involve sharing Jerusalem’s newly developed anti-missile technologies, a British newspaper reported today.
2014(5th of Iyar) Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day)
2014 “The Ceremony” and “No Place on Earth” are scheduled to be shown at the 16th annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival
2014: “The Garden of Eden / Gan Eden” is scheduled to be shown at the 22nd Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
2014: The Jewish Woman’s Archives is scheduled to celebrate its 18th anniversary by honoring Gail Twersky Reimer and other Jewish Troublemakers.
2014: In Rotterdam, “an exhibit called ‘The Second World War in 100 Objects’ which marbles that Anne Frank had given to her friend Toosje Kupers in 1942, is scheduled to come to a close at the Kunsthal Art Gallery.
2014: “Millions of Israelis stood still in solemn silence this morning as sirens wailed throughout the country for two full minutes to mark Memorial Day and to commemorate the 23,169 fallen soldiers and 2,495 terror victims who have fallen throughout the history of the State of Israel and the Zionist movement. (As reported by Adiv Sterman2014; “Hadas Ragolsky, an executive producer at Channel 2 news, spends Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) where many of her fellow Israelis do: at the cemetery. 2014: A U.S. Congressional delegation that includes US Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Sam Farr and Barbara Lee of California and Gregory Meeks of New York met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez after having met with Alan Gross a Jewish- American government subcontractor who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba.
2014: “Israel crossed over from mourning to celebration tonight, as Memorial Day came to a close at sundown and Israel’s 66th Independence Day began.
2015: Dr. Lee R. Mandel is scheduled to present “The Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Wrath of God Campaign” at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virigina.
2015: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel of historians including the daughter of James G. McDonald are scheduled to discuss the materials found in To the Gates of Jerusalem: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, “a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, charged with finding solutions to both the problems of Jewish refugees at the end of World War II and to the resolution of British Mandate Palestine.”
2015: The exhibition “Three Years, Eight Months, and Twenty Days: The Cambodian Atrocities and the Search for Justice” co-sponsored by The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is scheduled to open today.
2015: The Jewish Children’s Regional Service is scheduled to take part in today’s Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 2015 GiveNOLA Day
2015: Professor Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon is scheduled to present “It’s a Family Affari – Yours, Mine, Ours!” at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
2015: “Baghdad Twist,” a documentary about the disappearance of the Iraq Jewish Community, is scheduled to be shown at the Library of Congress as part of Jewish American Heritage Month.
1313 BCE (1 Iyar 2448): According to tradition, this was the date of the first population survey of the Israelite people taken by Moses.
124 CE: A Roman centurion named Valens stationed in the military camp which bordered the date palm groves in En Gedi by the Dead Sea made an emergency short-term loan to a Jew named Judah at an interest rate of twelve per cent per annum.
1255: The Vatican orders all copies of the Talmud to be destroyed by fire. Despite this edict, King Jaime (King James of Aragon) ordered that the Spanish Jews should remain unmolested. Unfortunately, the political pressure over successive years would prove to be too great, and on August 29, 1263 he announced Jews had three weeks to remove all blasphemy from their books.
1501: Birthdate of Pope Marcellus II who expelled the Jews from Rome.
1527: The Spanish-German army of Charles IV entered Rome marking the start of a three week long period of pillage and butchery.Among the victims was the library of Elijah ben Asher Levita the volumes of which were used as fuels by the invaders.
1574: Birthdate Pope Innocent X, whom Graetz described as the first of the reactionary popes.Among other things he opposed the Peace of Westphalia which recognized the independence of the Netherlands, the nation which provided a haven for Jews fleeing the Inquisition.
1649:The Massachusetts General Court ruled today that Solomon Franco was to be expelled from the colony, and granted him "six shillings per week out of the Treasury for ten weeks, for sustenance, till he can get his passage to Holland.Franco, a Sephard, is “the second Jew known to have lived in North America. He settle in Boston where he was an “agent for Immanuel Perada, a Dutch merchant.” After Franco had delivered supplies from Perada “to Edward Gibbons, a major general in the Massachusetts militia” a dispute arose over who should pay the Jew for the merchandize – Gibbons or Parada. The solution of the court was to expel Franco.
1691: In Palma, Majorca, after one hundred and fifty years of freedom from the Inquisition, an investigation led to the conviction of two hundred and nineteen people. All agreed to be reconciled with the church. Thirty-seven were burned to death when they tried to flee the island since it was considered a relapse to heresy.
1747(5507): Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (RAMCHA"L), Kabbalist, poet, and author of Mesilat Yesharim passed away. Born in Padua, Italy, in 1707, R. Moshe Chaim had a thorough education in both religious and secular studies. His interest in the Kabbalah and his influence on the youth of the community led to accusations that he was a Sabbatean. In its day, this was as harsh an accusation as you could make against a person. Luzzato left Italy and settled in Amsterdam. At the age of 33 he published Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Upright), a book about ethics that describes how Jews can climb the ladder of purification to reach a level of holiness. In 1743, he moved to Eretz Israel where he died during a plague in 1746. He is buried at Tiberias. Throughout his life, Luzzato struggled between his desire to study the Talmud and his need to the Kabbalah. He is considered one of the fathers of Modern Hebrew literature, with his greatest impact being in Hebrew poetry. His teachings earned the admiration leaders from a variety of Jewish groups ranging the Vilna Gaon of Vilna to the Maggid of Mezeritch.
1758:Birthdate of future French Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre.During the Reign of Terror in 1793 and 1794, Robespierre did close synagogues and allow Jewish religious property to be vandalized.However, this was not because he was an anti-Semite.Robespierre sought to stamp out all religions and the churches were subjected to the same treatment as the shuls.In the early days of the revolution Robespierre spoke eloquently on behalf of equal rights for the Jews.If Jews behaved “badly” it was the fault of Christianity and the Christians who had treated them in a based manner for centuries.The salvation of the Jews (as opposed to Judaism) lay in granting them the full rights of citizenship.
1786: At Frankfurt am Main, Jakob Baruch and his wife gave birth to German author and “rebel” Karl Ludwig Börne who would be immortalized by a group of German revolutionaries who named their new home in the Texas Hill Country “Borne” in his honor
1787: At Prostějov, Moravia, Rabbi Moses Sofer married Sarah,] the daughter of the deceased rabbi of Prostějov, Rabbi Moses Jerwitz who had passed away in 1785. Sofer joined the Chevra Kadisha and served as head of the town’s yeshiva.
1789: Levi Sheftall, leader of the Hebrew Congregation of Savannah, Georgia wrote to the newly elected President of the United States, George Washington expressing the fact that the members of the congregation were grateful for his “unexampled liberality and extensive philanthropy which have expelled that cloud of bigotry and superstition what has long, as a veil shaded religion.”Furthermore the nation’s new constitution “enfranchised American Jewry with all the privileges and immunities of free citizens and initiated us into the grand mass of legislative mechanism.”While many know of the famous letter to the Jews of Newport, the Savannahcongregation was actually the first to write to Washington following his election to the Presidency.
1804: In The Hague, Branca Brendel Bernisse married Hirschel Kann.
1818: In Posen, Talmudic scholar Aaron Jacob Kaempf and his was wife gave birth to Saul Isaac Kaempf the philologist who served as the rabbi at the Temple Congregation in Prague from 1846 to 1890.
1830: Birthdate of Abraham Jacobi “a pioneer of pediatrics” who opened “the first children's clinic in the United States and was the first foreign born president of the American Medical Association.
1831: Birthdate of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky the Lithuanian born Jew who would eventually become the Anglican Bishop of Shanghai.
1835: James Gordon Bennett, Sr. published the first edition of the New York Herald which became the New York Herald Tribune in 1924. Ruth Gruber who dedicated herself to saving Jews from the Holocaust began her journalism career as a reporter with the Herald-Tribune in 1932. Two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Herald Tribune warned of the dangers of the Nazis, stating “the Jews are merely the first to suffer under Hitlerism.”
1841: Birthdate of Enoch Heinrich Kisch, the native of Prague who became and M.D. in 1862 and an assistant professor at the Prague University in 1884.
1842(26thof Iyar, 5602): Isaac Spitz who was the son-in-law of Eleazar Fleckeles and grandfather of the poet Moritz Hartmann and had been the rabbi at Jung-Bunzlau since 1824 passed away today.
1848: Birthdate of German Protestant theologian Herman L. Strackwho “was the foremost Christian authority in Germany on Talmudic and rabbinic literature who was a leading champion of the Jews when the modern anti-Semitism began in Germany during the second half of the 19th century.
1852:After a personal plea from Pope Pius IX, Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II abolishes his own statute of 1848 eliminating all discrimination against the Jews. At the beginning of his papacy, Pius had shown a positive disposition towards the Jews.He abolished laws that forbade Jews to practice certain professions and that required Jews to listen to sermons of conversion four times a year. All of that changed following the Revolutions of 1848 when he became frightened by the rising tide of democracy, nationalism and secularism.
1853: In an article published today, The New York Times correspondent in London, wonders if the members of the House of Lords will be affected by the recent passage of the bill removing Jewish disabilities that was passed by the House of Commons. The correspondent thinks that when the bill comes before the Lords for “the dozenth time,” they will not be “converted” to “popular view as to the propriety of admitting Jews to the Legislature.”
1856: Birthdate of Dr. Sigmund Freud, father of psycho-analysis. Born Sigismund Schlomo Freud in Freiberg, in what is now part of the Czech Republic. He abbreviated his name from Sigismund Schlomo Freud to Sigmund Freud in1877. Little is known about Freud's early life since he reportedly twice destroyed his personal papers. This brief summary is no place to discuss his treatment of the mentally or the development of psychoanalysis. In 1938 following the Anschluss of Austria, Freud escaped with his family to England where he died a year later. Freud was a smoker of Churchill-style cigars for most of his life; even after having his cancerous jaw removed, he continued to smoke until his death. It is said that he would smoke an entire box of cigars daily.
1858:According to published reports, the property of the late Rachel Felix, the Jewish actress and mistress of Alexandre Joseph Count Colonna-Walewski, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been put up for public sale.The Count and Mademoiselle had a son whom the count publicly legitimatized which means that there is “Jewish blood” in the House of Bonaparte.
1860:Society for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Jews, an organization dedicated to converting Jews held its annual meeting at a Dutch Reform Church in New York City during which the group reported that it had visited 1,382 (presumably Jewish) families.
1860: It was reported today that “a brisk argument has sprung up over the questions of whether Pious IX is or is not the descendant of a Jew.” The pope is a member of the Mastia family which got its title of nobility from a lady of “high rank” named Ferretti who had married a “baptized Jew named Mastai.Supposedly “the Marquis Consolina published a genealogical pamphlet proving this” twenty four years ago.The pamphlet was burned but the claims have never been refuted.
1861: Colonel Ripley, the U.S. Army Chief of Ordinance, forwarded Major Mordecai's letter of resignation to Adjutant General.
1861:Dr.David Camden De Leon known as the "Fighting Doctor," was appointed as first surgeon general of the Confederate Army. Born in South Carolina in 1822, De Leon received his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, he joined the United States Army where he served with distinction during the Mexican War. In 1861, he resigned his commission and joined the Confederates. After the war, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexicowhere he practiced medicine until his death in 1872. His Union counterpart was Dr. Jonathan Horowitz.
1863: The Battle of Chancellorsville comes to an end. During the battle, Lt. Col. Edward Solomon led the forces of the 82nd Illinois which contained an all Jewish company from Chicago. Solomon would become one of the highest ranking Jewish officers to serve with Union Army, ultimately rising to the rank of General. Sergeant Henry Hiller fought with such distinction during the battle that earned the Congressional Medal of Honr.Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman and Captain Joseph B. Greenhut, who almost lost his arm as a result of wounds sustained at Fort Donelson, were among the Jewish soldiers who fought with distinction on that Virginia battlefield where the bravery of the Union troops was not matched by the brains of the Union generals.
1863: At the Battle of Chancellorsville, the 59thNew York Volunteer Regiment which had recruited by Philip J. Joachimsen who served as a Lt. Colonel, supported General Sedgwick’s line at Mayre’s Hieghts.
1863: Bernhard Henry Gotthelf, the rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation of Louisville, received his appointment as a chaplain.
1864: During the Battle of the Wilderness, Sergeant-Major Abraham Cohn rallied and formed, under heavy fire, disorganized and fleeing troops of different regiments” thus enabling the Union Army to continue its advance.This was one of the two heroic deeds which would win him the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1864:Leopold Karpeles Karpeles, a flag-bearer serving in the U.S. Army rallied retreating Union troops, inducing them to check the enemy's advance while under heavy during the Battle of the Wilderness. Born in Prague in 1838, Karpeles moved to Texas. When war broke out and Texas seceded, the young Jewish immigrant did not identify with the slave-holding Southerners and he joined the Union Army.He received a Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of the Wilderness, which was the first battle in an eleven month campaign which would result in the demise of the Confederacy.
1870: It was reported today that the rumors about the possibility of Pope Pius IX being of Jewish descent have resurfaced. According to the report “many early Christians were themselves Jews and we should hardly supposed that His Holiness would be particularly annoyed if it were proved that he was of the same race as the Founder of Christianity.” A pamphlet published 24 years ago by the Marquis Consolini claims that Matasi family of which the Pope is a member gained its rank through marriage to a baptized Jew of that name.The pamphlet was burned but it was never refuted.
1871: German born conductor Leopold Damrosch began his career in the United States with an appearance at Steinway Hall where he was both a featured violinist and orchestra conductor.
1874: Birthdate of Chaim Fishel Epstein, the native of Lithuania who served as Chief Rabbi, St. Louis, Missouri for the Vaad Hoeir of the United Orthodox Community for 12 years, from 1930 to 1942.
1875: In a ceremony that some would say was as much a merger as it was a marriage, Jacob Schiff married There Loeb, daughter of Solomon Loeb.Ten years later, in 1885, Schiff became head of Kuhn, Loeb & Company.
1878: In Hohokus Township, NJ. Anglo-Jewish author Benjamin Farejon and his wife Margaret gave birth to British composer Harry Farjeon
1878: Birthdate of Henry G. Schackno, the native of the Bronx who became a successful lawyer and served as a New York state senator and judge.
1878: An article published today entitled “The Jews of Roumania” describes the plight of the Jews of that country based on information provided by the correspondent for the Pall Mall Gazette. Juries in Roumania “have acquitted the rioters who wrecked Jewish houses, who beats Jews and insulted their wives and daughters.They have found a Rabbi and other innocent men guilty of stealing a pyx.” (Note – A pyx is a vessel that contains the Eucharist.In other words, this has to do with charges related to Host Desecration.)‘“The pyx was really stolen by” a man named “Silver, a converted Jew” who was a deserter from the Russian Army.Silber provided three different versions of the theft.First he claimed the Jewish tailor he worked for was his accomplice.Then he claimed the “President of the Jewish Congregation” was his accomplice.Finally, he exonerated the Jews and claimed that he had done it on his own.The acquittal of the rioters is sure to provide encouragement to those who would repeat this behavior at the upcoming Passover and Easter seasons, which “have always been dangerous for the Jews in the uncivilized parts of Christendom.”
1884(11thof Iyar, 5644): Seventy-two year old Judah P. Benjamin passed away today.
1888: In Brooklyn, Josephine (née Müller) and Henry H. Celler gave birth to Representative Emmanuel "Manny" Celler. In an era when Jews are elected to both houses of Congress from both parties from all over the country, it is hard to remember that there was a time when Jewish Congressmen were a rare breed and a U.S. Senator could refer to one as "a Kike" on the floor of the Senate. Born in Brooklyn, Celler was an orphan by the time he finished high school and began attending Columbia. He worked his way through school and graduated from Columbia Law with honors in 1912. A large part of his early legal career was spent dealing with immigration issues, a topic which would become a life-long passion. He was elected to the House of Representatives where he served for 49 years and ten months, the second longest record of service in history. Cellar became Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee where he championed equitable immigration laws and the cause of Civil Rights. He passed away in 1981.
1889(5thof Iyar, 5649): Seventy-four yearChaim Zebi Lerner, the native of Dubno whose “reputation among Hebrew grammarians was founded on his More ha-Lashon” first published in 1859 passed away today.
1890: It was reported today that the Marquis de Mores, the rabid anti-Semite who blamed his business failures on a Jewish Plot, was one of the few colorful figures to surface in the current round of French elections.
1890(16th of Iyar, 5650): Sixty-nine year old Isidor Binswanger passed away.A native of Bavaria, he moved to the United States where he enjoyed commercial success in the dry goods business.He lived in several towns and cities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, including Richmond.But he is most frequently identified with Philadelphia, where he played a leading role in developing Jewish educational, charitable and cultural institutions.
1894: For the fiscal year ending today, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews had “a clear balance on hand of $22, 675.79 which it is using to care for 163 residents who have an average age of 72.
1894: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will hold its annual election between 2 and 4 pm at 721 Lexington Avenue.
1894: “Jews and Christians” published today provides a review of A Fair Jewess by B. L. Farjeon
1894: “The Obituary Record” published today described the life of the late Leopold Sacher-Masoch who, among other things was the author of several works including Jews and Russians. “He faithfully described the manners of the Polish Jews, but he feared that his affection for them might the impression that he was an Israelite…”
1895: It was reported today that “Russia’s tender regard for those principles on which rests the concert of civilized nations and her agonized fear lest Japan by violating them should imperil the progress of civilization in the East, almost make one forget …her more recent treatment of the Jews.”
1898(14thof Iyar, 5658): Pesach Sheni
1898(14thof Iyar, 5658): Eighty-year old Swedish businessman and patron of the arts August Abrahamson passed away today.
1898: In Kiev Marie Ettinger and Abraham Horenstein gave birth to conductor Jascha Horenstein who conducted symphony orchestras in Vienna and Berlin before being forced to flee to the United States where he was able to continue his career.
1899: A children’s service is scheduled to be held this afternoon at the Hebrew Institute in memory of the late Baroness Hirsch.
1899: “Oliver Cromwell” is “the subject of” this morning’s sermon by Dr. M.H. Harris this morning at Temple Israel in Harlem.
1899: It was reported today that Dr. Felix Adler will be delivering a talk entitled “More Light” at the Music Hall tomorrow.
1899: It was reported that Rabbi Samuel Schulman will be delivering a sermon on “Youth” at the next and final Sunday morning service be held at Temple Beth-El.
1899: “Notes and News” published today described plans by F. Tennyson Neely to publish Justice to the Jews: The Story of What He Has Done for the Worldby Reverend Madison C. Peters which “is said to be the first instance in modern times that a Christian author has treated the subject in such an elaborate and comprehensive way.”
1899: “Church Notes” published today described plans for the Bloomingdale Church on Broadway to host a series of “three lectures on ‘What Christendom Owes to the Jew.’”
1899: “Plans to Better Jewish Conditions in Tenement Districts” published today described the work of the New York Jewish Union which was formed a year ago by “some influential Jewish people…for the permanent improvement of the Jewish population west of Eighth Avenue and between Thirtieth and Fiftieth Stress, and east of the Bower, below Ninth Street.
1902: Lionel Walter Rothschild, Member of Parliament, and eldest son of Lord Rothschild is reported to suffering from a serious bout of pneumonia.
1902: Birthdate of journalist and humor writer Harry Golden. In his day, Golden was that anomaly, a southern Jew. Golden was the editor of the “Carolina Israelite,” author of two best sellers, 2¢ Plain and Only in America.1902: Birthdate of writer and director Max Ophüls.Born Max Oppenheimer, he changed his last name when he went from being a journalist to a life as an actor and director.He did not want to embarrass his father with his choice of professions.“Letters From an Unknown Woman”is one of his better known efforts.
1904: In Boston, MA,Sarah (née Klayman), who was born in Russia, and Charles Einstein, a pawnbroker from Austria gave birth to comedian Harry Einstein who was the father to two other comedians – Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein.
1904: Birthdate of the multi-talented Moshe Feldenkrais, founder of the Feldenkrais method.He was an Israeli physicist and judo practitioner of Eastern European descent. Among his many published books was “Awareness Through Movement” where he presented a view that good health is a matter of positive functioning. Although many don't consider this a radical idea, it is in opposition to the standard medical definition of health that states good health is an absence of illness. Feldenkrais asserted his method of bodywork exploration resulted in better functioning bodies and minds and created healthier people. He was more interested in the goal of holistic functioning rather than merely physical treatment“The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system intended to give individuals a greater functional awareness of the self. The method uses body movement as the primary vehicle for learning in the human organism. It is perhaps due to this focus on body movements that the Feldenkrais Method is often classified as a complementary and alternative medicine. People interested in the Feldenkrais Method are predominantly individuals who either want to improve their movement repertoire (as dancers, musicians, artists), individuals who want to reduce their pain or limitations in movement, or individuals who want to use the method as a way to improve their well-being and personal development. Advocates claim the Feldenkrais Method is a very successful approach in cases of movement related pain (e.g. pain in backs, knees, hips, shoulders), and learning better functioning in cases of stroke or cerebral palsy. A central tenet of the method is that improving ability to move can improve one's overall well-being; and practitioners of the Method generally refrain from referring to conceptions of illness, diagnosis or therapy.”
1904: Herzl writes to David Wolffsohn. His letter ends with the words: "Don't do anything foolish while I am dead" - "Machet keine Dummheiten, während ich tot bin.""Die Welt" informs the public that Herzl has to take a longer holiday for health reasons.
1905: Birthdate of New York restaurateur and saloon-keeper to the stars, Bernard “Toots” Shor.
1905: Birthdate of French auto racer Rene Dreyfus.
1907: In Pisa, Italy, Umberto and Linda Cassuto Abenaim gave birth to Wanda Abenaim, the wife of Rabbi Riccardo Reuven Pacifici who would be murdered at Auschwitz in December of 1943.
1910: Birthdate of Jeremy Noah Morris “a British epidemiologist whose comparison of heart-attack rates among double-decker bus drivers and conductors in London in the late 1940s and early ’50s laid the scientific groundwork for the modern aerobics movement.” He was born in Liverpool into a family of Jewish immigrants who had fled pogroms in eastern Poland. His father, Nathan, was a Hebrew scholar. After arriving in England, the family took the last name of the captain of the ship that had brought them to Liverpool. Jeremy was born within weeks of the arrival. The family then moved to Glasgow.Jeremy began to exercise early in childhood. His father would take him on four-mile walks, then reward him with ice cream.”
1910: George V becomes King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII. English Jews were probably very sad to hear of the death of Edward since he had made numerous Jewish friends when he was Prince of Wales, including Nathaniel Rothschild.He maintained these friendships once he came to the throne. King George was the reigning monarch when Lord Balfour sent his famous letter known as the Balfour Declaration. King George Street רחוב המלך ג'ורג) is a street in central Jerusalem, Israel was named for King George V.The naming was done to mark the anniversary of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.
1913: Abram Elkus was appointed to serve as a delegate to the convention of the International Association of Factory Inspectors to be held in Chicago, Illinois.
1914: Birthdate of Irving J. Shulman, the Russian Jewish immigrant “who founded the Daffy’s clothing store chain and brought discount fashion to Fifth Avenue through quirky marketing and a promise of “clothing bargains for millionaires..” (As reported by Christine Hauser)
1915: Birthdate of Theodore H. White. White attended Harvard where he discovered the language and culture of China. This led to an exciting stint as the Time-Life correspondent in China during World War II. White lost his job because Henry Luce, the publisher supported the Nationalist forces and White insisted on reporting the facts i.e. the strength of the Communists and the corruption of the Nationalists. He also risked his life to photograph the famine that racked China – a horror that nobody wanted to come to grips with. White became a best-selling author with the publication of the Pulitzer Prize winning political science tome, Making of the President. The book provided a unique, behind the scenes look at the Presidential campaign of 1960. It was the first in a series of these books that White wrote every four years. It also established a whole new genre of political writing. "Teddy" White, as he was known, passed away in May, 1986
1915: At a dinner honoring Robert F. Wagner, the New York state senate minority leader, Abraham Elkus said “that it was a high compliment that such a demonstration should be made so long after Wagner had begun his services in the Senate’ since “usually dinners had to be given soon after the honored one’s election/
1915: H.A. Alexander, Leo Frank’s attorney came to the courthouse in Atlanta today to “obtain the record of the extraordinary motion for a new trial for Frank” indicating “that some of the evidence introduced at the hearing might be used before the prison commission.”
1915: During the Gallipoli Campaign, French, British, Australian and New Zealander troops began their assault at Helles where the Zion Mule Corps had landed the week before.
1917: Pope Benedict XV met with Nahum Soklov “who had come to Rome to gain support for the plan of a Jewish state in Palestine” for 45 minutes which was an unusually lengthy Papal audience.
1918:It was announced today that Felix Warburg had resigned as a member of the Advisory Board of the United States Junior Naval Reserve, an organization which advertises itself as an organization dedicated to the training of American boys for sea service.
1921: In Palestine, riots that began on May 1 come to an end according to official reports.Outbreaks of Arab riots had taken place in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and various Jewish settlements. Writer Yosef Chaim Brenner was among the victims in Jaffa. A total of 47 Jews (45 alone in a hostel for new immigrants in Jaffa) and 48 Arabs were killed in the disturbances. The wounded numbered 146 Jews and 73 Arabs. The government appointed a commission of inquiry, headed by Chief Justice of Palestine Sir W. Haycraft to investigate the causes of the riots.
1923: In New Canaan, CT, clothing store owner Morris Yudain and the former Berta Jaffa gave birth to Sidney Lawrence Yudain, “who created what he called a community newspaper — Roll Call— for what he called “the most important community in the world, probably” — Congress.” (As reported Bruce Weber)
1926: Birthdate of Heinrich Theodor Hirsch, the native of Berlin who escaped to England in 1938 with the Kindertansport where he developed the talent that made him the actor David Hurst.
1926: Birthdate of Martin Terry Fuss, the native of Cleveland, Ohio, who gained fame as “matinee idol” and movie producer Ross Hunter whose film credits included “Pillow Talk,” “Magnificent Obsession” and “Back Street.”
1927: In Los Angeles, first screening of “7th Heaven” a silent film with a screenplay by Irish born Jew Benjamin Glazer.
1928: The 92nd Street Y.M.H.A. soccer team defeated the Hebrew Americans 4 to 1 in the final game of the third division of the Empire State League at Starlight Park.
1930: Birthdate of Mordechai "Motta" Gur the Jerusalem native who rose to the rank of Lt. General in the IDF and became the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF
1935: Twelve year old Yehudit Ya’avetz, who had left Germany for Palestine 18 months ago wrote a letter to the British Monarch, King George V.
1936: In France, the second of two rounds of elections produced a solid triumph for the Populist Front which meant that Leon Blum would become France’s first “authentically Socialist prime minister” and the first Jewish Prime Minister as well.This would lead to the fusing of “anti-Semitism with paramilitary fascism” which would see its final fruits in the quick fall of Franceto the Germans and the rise of Vichy.
1936: Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the High Commissioner, left for a three day visit to the Sinai which he cut short so that he could return to Jerusalem to deal with the on-going Arab rebellion.
1937(25th of Iyyar, 5697): Mrs. Effie Wise Ochs, widow of Adolph S. Ochs, late publisher of The New York Times, died shortly after this morning at her home, "Hillandale," on
North Street, White Plains
. Her death followed a heart attack.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that the British Army started a widespread search for Arab terrorists, their arms and ammunition in the so-called "Triangle of the Arab Terror," including Kalkilya, Taibe, Tulkarm, Azzun, Umm el Fahm and Jenin.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that in Jerusalem a bomb was thrown at a Jewish bus near Lifta and there was an exchange of fire at Beit Hakerem.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that A wide prominence was given to the proposed alterations in the original Palestine Partition plan, as suggested and accompanied by extensive explanations by James A. Macdonald, British member of the Parliament.
1938: The Palestine Post reported that Charles Weiss, an anti-Nazi journalist, was badly beaten and injured by Nazis in his New York office.
1940: Birthdate of Murray Sidlin, the Baltimore, Maryland native who was the conductor the National Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 1977.
1940: Birthdate of Harvey Jerome Goldschmid, the Bronx native and Columbia Law School Graduate who was named to the Security and Exchange Commission by George Bush.
1941: "Armed Iraqi rioters attacked one of the main Jewish hospitals in Baghdad, the Meir Elias Hospital.The building was looted; the pharmacist shot dead, the hospital accountant gravely wounded and the doctors and administrative staff taken to prison.After the President of the Jewish community, Chief Rabbi Sasson Khedouri, intervened, the Inspector-General of Police ordered the Jews released and the rioters arrested." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1942: Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered forces under his command at Corregidor in the Philippines. Among those who surrendered was Second Lieutenant Samuel Abraham Goldblith, the MIT graduate who survived the cruelty of Japanese imprisonment and went on to became a famous food scientist.
1942: Six hundred delegates from 18 countries met today at the New York Biltmore Hotel for the opening session of he Biltmore Conference, one of the pivotal meetings in the history Zionism which would produce the Biltmore Program.
1943:Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead was published.
1943: Hajj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, suggested to the Bulgarian foreign minister that Bulgarian-Jewish children should be sent to Poland rather than to Palestine. The Grand Mufti spent much of World War II in Berlin as a guest of the Nazis.
1945: A death march from Schwarzheide, Germany, to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, that began on April 18 halts at Leitmeritz, Czechoslovakia.
1945: Nazi leader and Hitler's second-in-command, Hermann Göring, surrendered to Carl Andrew Spaatz who was the commander of the operational United States Air Forces in Europe, along with his wife and daughter at the Germany-Austria border
1945: General Hermann Niehoff, the commandant of Breslau, a 'fortress' city surrounded and besieged for months, surrendered to the Soviets
1945: At the newly liberated Dachau Concentration Camp “several hundred Greek, Serbian and Russian prisoners” celebrated Pascha, Orthodox Easter, as free people.
1947: David Ben-Gurion completes a five week round of meeting with dozens of Jewish military commanders which will later be described as a “systematic investigation” of the Yishuv’s ability to withstand the military onslaught it could expect from the surrounding Arab nations if the British decided to leave.
1947: David Ben Gurion meets with Professor Yochana Ratner of the Technion in an attempt to further evaluate the readiness of the Haganah and the Palmach to fight a conventional war against invading Arab armies.
1947: In New York City Betty Warren and George Craven gave birth to philosopher Martha Nussbaum. Martha Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics. She received her B.A. (1969) from NYU and her M.A. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities.
1947:Sixteen year old Alexander Rubowitz, a member of Lehi was arrested by members of the British counter-terrorism unit while he was in the process of distributing Lehi flyers in Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood. Roy Farran, a member of the British unit, reportedly beat the Jewish youth to death with a rock as he was being driven towards Jericho. Farran was court-martialed but acquitted and always denied killing the boy.
1948: An emergency meeting was convened to deal with reports of a typhoid epidemic in Acre
1948: The 12th Battalion of the Golani Brigade captured the village of Shajara.
1948: Modi Alon left Sde Dov, the airport that was home to the fledgling IAF, for Czechoslovakia where he learned to fly the Avia, a Czech version of the ME-109, the pride of the Luftwaffe.
1948: The main Palmach assault to secure the town of Safed began. The Arab Liberation Army responded by bringing up artillery pieces (the Jews had none) with which they shelled the ancient Jewish quarter of the town.The British offered to negotiate a truce that would have allowed the Jewish women and children to leave and effectively paved the way for Arab victory.The Jews rejected the offer and the fighting would begin again in four days.
1952: Abba Khoushy, Mayor of Haifa was greeted at New York’s Idlewild Airport by New York City official Grover Whalen.Khoushy is beginning a five-week long speaking tour designed to raise $500,000,000 in Bonds for Israel.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the Treasury introduced a new system of granting eighty per cent export premiums for some industries.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the U.S. President Eisenhower's Administration announced that while $194m. were earmarked for the economic help to the Middle East, the aid depended on the peace in the area. Israel was promised "off the record" to receive a fair share of this allocation.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that the North African Immigrants' Association accused the Jewish Agency of preventing over one million and a half of North African Jews from reaching Israel.
1953: The Jerusalem Postreported that Israel and Argentina had raised their missions to the rank of Embassies and exchanged Ambassadors.
1953: At today’s meeting HUAC, Lionel Stander "pretended that he was going to cooperate, but mocked the witch hunters instead."
1954: Birthdate of Russian volleyball player and Olympic medalist Natalia Kushnir
1955: President Eisenhower attends the dedication of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.(Ike was late for the ceremony.)
1962(2nd of Iyar, 5722): Twenty-three year old Lieutenant Yakir Naveh went missing when the plane he was flying “broke up over the sea of Galilee.”Although progress has been made, his body has never been recovered. (As reported by Tova Dvorin)
1962(2nd of Iyar, 5722): Two days before Yom HaZikaron IAF cadet Oded Koton died when the plane in which he was flying “broke up over the Sea of Galilee.”
1962(2nd of Iyar, 5722): Margalit Sharon, the wife of Ariel Sharon is killed in a highway accident when driving from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
1963: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Barbara Tuchman for The Guns of August, a history of the event surrounding the summer of 1914 and the start of World War I. Briskly written and well-researched, Ms. Tuchman provided an insight into how Europe stumbled into catastrophe. At the height of the Cold War, President Kennedy insisted that his advisors read this volume. He saw it as a cautionary tale whose lessons could help Americafrom stumbling into World War III. Tuchman was born in New Yorkin 1912. She was the granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau, Sr., Woodrow Wilson's Ambassador to Turkey. Educated at RadcliffeCollege, Tuchman began writing as a magazine correspondent for the Nation, a publication owned by her father. Tuchman's skills as a historian led her to a second Pulitzer Prize when she wrote about General Stillwell and the American Experience in China.
1965: The Homestead Independent reported that Jewish “financier Arthur Courshon had joined hands with Juanita Castro, Fidel Castro's sister, in the formation of the Marta Abreu Foundation, designed to aid Cuban refugees and particularly Cuban refugee children. Courshon, chairman of the Board of the Washington Federal Savings and Loan Association, will be a director of the Foundation.” Courson is better known as the Jewish developer who conceived the concept of condominium apartments in Florida.
1968: In Paris, the march of the national student union marked the start of a series of protests during which Bernard Kouchner “ran the medical faculty strike committee at the Sorbonne.”
1980(20thof Iyar, 5740: Seventy nine year old Arthur Levitt, passed away. He was the New York State comptroller from 1955 to 1978, whose nonpartisan dedication, thrift with public funds and relentless criticism of fiscal chicanery endeared him to voters, who returned him to office five times with huge majorities; in New York City. A Brooklyn lawyer and nominal Democrat, Levitt served under four Governors, tightening the state's auditing procedures, including "performance audits" of state agencies, and eventually giving his office prestige and power virtually beyond politics. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924120,00.html#ixzz2SNp5SgKm
1981(2ndof Iyar, 5741): Yom HaZikaron
1983: Pitcher Bob Tufts, who had originally been drafted by the San Francisco Giants, played his last major league baseball game as a member of the Kansas Royals. He converted to Judaism while playing baseball.
1983: The Hitler diaries are revealed as a hoax after examination by experts.
1983: “The Sandglass,” based on the story ''The Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass,'' opened at the Thalia in New York City.
1984: In describing Chablis, France, “the land beyond the label,” Frank Lewis and Paul Prial remind us the Jewish connection with this part of France and the making of fine wines. “The well-preserved medieval wine merchants' houses on the Rue des Juifs, just before the towers of the Porte No"el, show how widely spread the Jewish community was in those days. And the 11th-century Talmudic scholar Rashi lived only 20 miles away at Troyes.”
1986(27th of Nisan, 5746): Yom HaShoah
1987: In “Jerusalem Journal: A Reverent Monument or a Monumental Error,” Thomas Friedman described the controversy surrounding a Holocaust memorial that has been built on top of a yeshiva next to the Wailing Wall under the direction of former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren.
1994(25th of Iyar, 5754): Rabbi Moshe David Rosen Romania's chief rabbi passed away. Born in 1912, Rosen became a rabbi in 1939 and was named Chief Rabbi in 1948. He served in the Romanian Parliament and was the undisputed leader of the Jewish community. He worked diligently to enable the Jews of Romania to immigrate to Israelwhile also making considerable effort to improve their lot under the Communist government. It should be remember, that Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country that did not break relations with Israel after the Six Day War. Rabbi Rosen was 81 when he passed away.
1999: NBC broadcast the final episode for season two of “Veronica’s Closes” a sitcom created by Marta Kauffman, featuring Ron Silver “as Alec Bilson, Veronica’s business partner and rival.”
2001: Bruce Fleisher won the Home Depot Invitational for the second time in two years.
2001: The Santorini set sail from northern Beirut carrying weapons for terrorists in Gaza.
2001: Dr. Robert Levy calls D.C. police from his home in Modesto, California, to report that his daughter Chandra has not been heard from in five days.
2001: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism by Daniel Schorr and Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust by Joseph Berger
2003:US soldiers from the Army’s Mobile Exploration Team Alpha, along with members of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), descended into the flooded basement of the bombed-out Department of General Intelligence in Baghdad. Although the team’s job was to search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, that day the soldiers were acting on a tip provided to the INC by a former Iraqi intelligence official that an old Jewish Talmud lay deep within the building. The Americans decided that finding such a valuable cultural artifact merited diverting the army team from its normal task. Although they did not find the Talmud, they did discover something else: a Torah scroll along with thousands of manuscripts, documents and books dealing with Iraq’s Jewish community. What they had found were the archives of two offices within the General Intelligence Department: the Israel-Palestine and Jewish Sections. The waterlogged documents consisted largely of items that were confiscated from synagogues and libraries after the mass exodus of the Iraqi Jewish community in the 1950s.
2004: The body of twenty-year old Marine Corporal Dustin Schrage was found todayafter the soldier disappeared with his team May 3 while swimming across the Euphrates River in the Al Anbar province. (As reported by Jane Eisner)
2004(15th of Iyar, 5764): Barney Kessel, be-bop guitarist passed away at the age of 60.
2004: Lea Fastow a former Enron assistant treasurer and the wife of Andy Fastow, “pled guilty to a misdemeanor tax charge and was sentenced to one year in a federal prison in Houston, and an additional year of supervised release.”
2004: In the following article entitled “Meanwhile: The Jewish Ghosts of Salonika” Ari L. Goldman examines modern Greek attitudes towards Jews and Israel against a backdrop of this once thriving Jewish community that disappeared in the Holocaust.
A century ago this beautiful port city on the Aegean Sea was bristling with Jewish life. There were synagogues, Jewish social clubs, a vibrant Hebrew language press and institutions of Jewish learning. The city was a world center of Sephardic Jewry. Half the city was Jewish and for many years the port was even closed to commerce on Saturdays in observance of the Jewish Sabbath. But that rich Jewish life came to an abrupt end when Nazi Germany rolled into Salonika in 1943 and carried 50,000 Jews away to death camps. Ninety-seven percent were killed. Barely a word of protest was heard from fellow Greek citizens.I thought of the ghosts of that decimated community while visiting Greece on a lecture tour. I came to talk about the subjects I know best — religion and journalism — but the subject of Jews kept coming up. As an American Jewish academic traveling in Europe, I expected that I would get angry questions about U.S. foreign policy, especially the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush's support for the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon. But I didn't expect the anger would be directed toward Jews. "Don't you think that American Jews have too much power?" one well-dressed man challenged me at a university-sponsored dinner in Athens. "They control everything. They control Bush. They control America. It's got to be stopped." The next night I spoke at the University of Athens. One professor grilled me on what he called the "strange" alliance between Jews and Evangelical Christians in support of Israel. The following day here in Salonika, another professor called the Christian Zionists hypocrites for their support of Israeli policies. "How can they profess a religion of love and at the same time support 'targeted killings' of Palestinians?" he asked. "There is also Jewish love," I told the professor. "But this isn't about love or hate, it's about survival." The Jewish Museum of Salonika tells the story of a community that did not survive. It is a small but impressive place. On the first floor there are the remnants of the Jewish cemetery, complete with headstones with Hebrew writing and photographs of Jewish women visiting the graves. On the second level a timeline shows that the community's roots goes back to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Jews found refuge in this city by the sea. Over the next 400 years they thrived here. Most of the museum is dedicated to the glory that was Jewish Salonika. There are photographs and religious artifacts. The humiliation and destruction of the Jews is limited to one room, which includes documents of expulsion, the uniform of the death camp inmates and objects of everyday life taken from the dead: shoes, combs and glasses. At the museum entrance there is an armed guard, a steel gate and a buzzer system. The museum director said the museum gets few visitors these days, especially after the bomb attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul in 2003 in which 20 people were killed. "People are afraid," she said.What a pity. After all the hatred I've heard from European academics, I would love to bring a few here to Salonika to show them what Jews without political power look like.
2005(27th of Nisan, 5765): Yom Hashoah
2005: Malcolm Rifkind began serving as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensins.
2006:The body of 20 year old Cpl. Dustin H. Schrage’s was found today.He had disappeared three days earlier while swimming across the Euphrates River in Iraq’s Al Anbar Provine. “Dustin Schrage was so funny, he could have been a standup comic, his mother told The Associated Press. Schrage, a native of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., loved to play video games and listen to punk rock music, and was always making everyone laugh. “He was the comedian of the family. He was a ham. He was very well respected and well liked,” Nina Schrage said, describing her son. “Dustin always seems to be able to squeeze laugh out of his teachers and his parents,” Rabbi Zvi Konikov told AP reporters. “His laughter and confidence made him a leader.” Schrage joined the Marines after graduating from Satellite High School, a step toward his ultimate career goal of becoming a police SWAT member. (As reported in Forward)
2006: Israeli pilots and planes participate in The Volcanex 2006 exercise which is held in cooperation with the European Air Group as part of the Italian Air Force exercise Spring Flag begins in Decimomannu, Italy. The EAGwas established to further develop the collaboration between British and French air forces in the first Gulf War. It now has seven member nations.Sweden had withdrawn from the event to protest the participation of the Israelis.
2007 (18th of Iyar, 5767): Lag B’Omer
2007: At the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland an exhibition styled The Mikvah Project opens. The Mikvah Projectdocuments the resurgence and expanded practice of the ancient and private Jewish ritual bath. This haunting exhibition creates a multi-faceted picture of contemporary mikvah practice as told by the women themselves. The Mikvah Project is a traveling exhibition created by photographer Janice Rubin and writer Leah Lax. According to the Houston Chronicle,” The clarity of the water, the delicate toning of the photographs, and the crisp (but unrevealing) definition of the feminine bodies conspire to soothe the eye. This show is not to be missed."
2007: “Howard Katz” Patrick Marber’s “tense new drama” about a failed secular Jewish showbiz agent closes its run at the Laura Pels Theatre in New York.
2007: The Sunday Washington Post book section featured a review of The Americanist, a memoir by Harvard professor Daniel Aaron.
2007: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry From Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 translated, edited and introduced by Peter Cole and the recently released paperback edition of Everyman by Philip Roth.
2007:Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sponsors the annual Big Dinner, a major fund raising and gastronomic event for the entire community.
2007 (18th of Iyar, 5767): Theodore Maiman, the physicist who built the first working laser in the United States passed away at the age of 79.
2008(1st of Iyar, 5768: Rosh Chodesh Iyar
2008: In Washington, D.C., Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Horwitz discusses and signs his new book, A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World.
2008: The Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya hosts a special roundtable entitled "The Energy Challenges of the 21st Century."
2008: Prior to Israel's 60th Independence Day, the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, in cooperation with the Remembering Organization, will conduct a symposium on the subject of "Bereavement, Terrorism and Decision Making in Israel."
2008:The Saul Steinberg: Illuminations travelling exhibition, which displays original Steinberg works at various museum and galleries around the world opens today at the Foundation Cartier-Bresson in Paris. Steinberg was a Romanian born cartoonists best known for his work in the New Yorker magazine.
2009:Heshey Friedman, the president of Montreal-based Polystar Plastics, Daniel Hirsch and Mitch Kirschner incorporated SHF, apparently for the sole purpose of buying Agrprocessors.
2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Hadassah Book Club meets to discuss “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks.
2009:The second annual Richard and Elizabeth Dubin Lecture, presented by the Joseph B. and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies features David Ignatius, journalist and Washington Post columnist in a discussion with Philip Merrill of the University of Maryland’s School Of Journalism entitled "The Middle East: Is Peace Imaginable?"
2009:Ayalet Waldman, author of the novel Daughter's Keeper as well as the “Mommy-Track mystery series,” discusses and signs her new memoir, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.
2009:Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said today thatThe Tourism Ministry will begin marketing the grave site of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai as a tourist attraction to the haredi community.
2009(12 of Iyar, 5769): Seventy-nine year old talent broker Sam Cohn passed away today (As reported by Bruce Weber)
2010: Rabbi Ben Mintz is scheduled to teach a course entitled “Women in the Apocrypha” featuring an Esther much different than the Esther we know from the Book of Esther; Hannah, mother of the seven martyred sons; Judith, seducer and slayer of Holofernes, enemy of the Jewish people; and Susanna, object of the gaze of the Elders at the Historic 6th& I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.
2010:Israeli singers, Pini Hadad & Nati Levi, are scheduled to perform at Club Passion in Brooklyn.
2010:Israel Police Inspector-General David Cohen and FBI Director Robert Mueller met today in Jerusalem. The two discussed joint efforts on fighting terrorism and organized crime. Head of Investigations and Intelligence Yoav Segalovitch and Intelligence Department head Ronni Ritman attended the meeting as well.
2011:Hazon's 2nd Annual California Bike Ride which raises money for cutting-edge Jewish environmental projects in the U.S. and Israel is scheduled to begin at 2 pm today at Westminster Woods in California.
2011: The Jewish Historical Society is schedule to present “Historic Eastern Market of Detroit with a Jewish Twist” where attendees will learn about the Market’s Jewish past, listen to stories about the Purple Gang and sample some of the foods unique to this Detroit institution.
2011: It was announced today that Filmmaker Ethan Coen, who with his brother Joel is responsible for the films "No Country for Old Men,""Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski," among others, will publish a book of poetry next year with Crown. The poetry collection, according to Publishers Weekly, will be called "The Day the World Ends." It is scheduled for publication in spring 2012. This is Coen's second collection of poetry, after 2009's"The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way." He is also the author of "Gates of Eden," a short story collection, and co-author of two Oscar-winning screenplays.
2011: In keeping with Broadway tradition, the lights of the theatres on Broadway were dimmed for one minute tonight in memory of Arthur Laurents who passed away yesterday. The Tony Award winner’s body of work includes “West Side Story,”“Gypsy,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Hallelujah, Baby!”
2011: It was not clear when a fuel crisis that has disrupted flights at Ben-Gurion International Airport would end, the airport's chief official said today, adding, however, that takeoffs and landings are resuming thanks to an emergency supply of fuel.
2012: The Omri Mor Trio featuring Jerusalem-based jazz pianist Omri Mor is scheduled to perform at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
2012: Guitarist, singer and songwriter Bob Rank is scheduled to perform a solo concert exploringcontributions of Jewish performers and songwriters who have influenced the great American musical traditions of blues, folk and rock at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio.
2012: Tulane Graduate and Brandies University Professor, Dr. Stephen Whitfield is scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled “Coming to America: The Jewish Impact & Te Jewish Response” at the Jewish Museum of Florida.
2012: In Olney, Maryland, Shaare Tefilla Congregation is scheduled to sponsor “Plant the Seeds of Song: A Community-Wide Erev Shira in Celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmout.”
2012: The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is scheduled to sponsor a Walking Tour of the Jewish Sites in Arlington National Cemetery that will include visits to memorial by or for Jews and headstones on prominent Jewish leaders buried at the oldest cemetery of its kind in the United States.
2012; Ron Arons is scheduled to address The Genealogy of Society of Greater Washington at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, MD
2012: The New York Timesfeatured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnsonby Robert Caro and Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancerby Susan Gubar who is part of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University.
2013: The American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University Museum are scheduled to present “Jewish Women and the Civil War”
2013: “Defiant Requiem” is scheduled to be shown at the Washington DCJCC.
2013: The Canadian Friends of Hebrew University are scheduled to present the Key of Knowledge to actor Morgan Freemen “for his dedication to combating racism and ‘promoting knowledge and education worldwide.’”
2013: The Israel Defense Forces scaled back a drill in the north and the Northern Command head calmed fears today that the weekend airstrikes against Syria have brought the country to the brink of war.
2013: “Jew Bashing: The New Anti-Semitism,” a new, investigative documentary premieres tonight on Canadian television.
2013:Two rockets fired from Syrian territory exploded on the Golan Heights today, without causing casualties or damage, an IDF spokesperson said
2014: (6th of Iyar) Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israeli Independence Day)
2014: “Next Year in Jerusalem” is scheduled to be shown at the 16thannual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival
2014: Publication of All the Light We Cannot See the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “set in occupied France during WW II that centers on a blind French girl and a German boy.”
2014: “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” is scheduled to premiere at the 22nd Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “The Wonders” is scheduled to be shown at The National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th annual film festival
2014: “The Life of the Jews in Palestine: 1913/Operation Sunflower” is scheduled to be shown at The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival
2014: “Cupcakes” directed by Israeli Eytan Fox is scheduled to be shown at the UK Jewish Film Festival.
2014: “Chasing Death Camp Guards With New Tools,” published today described renewed efforts by German prosecutors to bring Nazi concentration camp workers to justice.
2014: “Millions of Israelis crowded parks, nature sites, museums and army bases to celebrate the country’s 66th Independence Day today, forcing authorities to turn visitors away as some sites exceeded capacity.
2014: “Israel’s political and military leaders gathered in Jerusalem today morning to toast outstanding soldiers for Israel’s 66th Independence Day, with President Shimon Peres telling troops they will face challenges further afield than generations before them.
2014: Cornelius Gurlitt, “the German recluse who captured the art world’s attention last fall after it was revealed that he had kept hidden for decades a collection of 19th- and 20th-century European masterworks amassed by his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, under the Nazis in his Munich apartment, died today.
2014: “Etian Amos, a Jewish teenager from Canada was this year’s winner of the International Bible Quiz which was held today as in every year at the Jerusalem Theatre on Israel’s Independence Day.
2015: Joshua Muravchik is scheduled to discuss his most recent book Making David Into Goliath at the Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center.
2015: “Forbidden Films” is scheduled to be shown at the 18th annual film festival sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Films.
2015: Rabbi Lance J. Sussman is scheduled to present “Second Thoughts: American Jews and the Separation of Church and State Since 1976” at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
2015: In Washington, DC Theatre J is scheduled to host the opening night production of “The Call.”
2015: Funeral services for Susan “Suki” Cell, the widow of Dr. Donald Cell of Cornell College, are scheduled to be held this morning at Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
833 BCE (2 Iyar 2928): Traditional date on which King Solomon began building the Temple in Jerusalem.
351: Gallus, who had been appointed “Caesar” of the East by his cousin, the Emperor Constantius II arrived in Antioch. Antioch was the capital of his domain which included Palestine. At the time of his arrival a revolt broke out among the Jews of Sepphoris, a town in Palestine and spread to the Galilee and Lydda.According to different sources, the revolt was led by Isaac who came from Sepphoris and a little known figure named Patricus.The revolt was not anti-Christian even though Constantius II had given the Church free reign in a campaign of persecution aimed at the Jews and other non-Christians. The revolt may have been aimed at the corrupt rule by Gallus.Or it may have been a last gasp effort by the Jews in Palestine to gain freedom from Rome.This was a period of great instability in the Empire and the Jewish leaders may have been encouraged by reports of Imperial defeats in the western part of the Empire.They also may have thought that the Persians, who were enemies of the Roman Empire, would come to their aid.The revolt lasted only a year and was put down by Uriscinnus, one of Gallus’ more seasoned commanders who probably defeated the Jewish forces at a battle near Acco.The Romans moved south laying waste to Tiberia, Sepphoris and Lydda, each of which was rebuilt after the fighting stopped.[Editor’s Note: Considering the fact that this revolt took place 280 years after the Great Revolt and 215 years after the Bar Kochba Revolt, it would seem to indicate that there was a sizeable Jewish population still living in Palestine, that the population was made up of a handful of scholars, that the Nasi did not control all aspects of Jewish life, that Jews make lousy subjects and that Jews do not seem to learn from their “mistakes.”]
962: Pope John XII crowns Otto I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Among his subjects is Gershom ben Judah, who will gain fame as Rabbeinu Gershom Me'Or Hagolah ("Our teacher Gershom the light of the exile") had been born two years earlier in Metz. Mainz, the city he would move to as an adult, was already the center of Talmudic learning in this part of the Holy Roman Empire with Yehuda ben Meir serving as its leading scholar at this time.
973: Emperor Otto I passed away. Under Otto Jews “were regarded as possessions of the Emperor.”In 965, Otto “gave the Bishop of Magdeburg jurisdiction over all merchants and Jews for taxation purposes. In general, the Jews were not expelled or forcibly converted and were considered the personal property of the King. In the individual towns the Jews were offered privileges, usually through a contract whereby they would be protected by the crown in return for financial fealty.” (As reported by The History of the Jewish People)
1205: Coronation of King Andrew II of Hungary. At first during his reign of King Andrew II appointed Jews to serve as Chamberlains and mint-, salt-, and tax-officials. The nobles of the country, however, induced the king, in his Golden Bull (1222), to deprive the Jews of these high offices. When Andrew needed money in 1226, he farmed the royal revenues to Jews. This led to an outcry from his Christian subjects.Pope Honorius III excommunicated him in 1233, he took an oath promising the papal ambassadors that he would enforce the decrees of the Golden Bull directed against the Jews and the Saracens. In addition to which he would enforce the new pope’s decrees that forced Jews to wear badges of identification and forbid them from buying or keeping Christian slaves.
1342: Clement VI, who is reign took place during the Black Death began his papacy today. When pogroms erupted in Europe in response to the belief that the Jews were responsible for the plague, Clement issued two bulls condemning the belief and the violence and urged the Catholic clergy to take steps to protect the Jews.(Editor’s note – I can find no reason for this unusual Papal behavior but it does stand out against the anti-Semitism that was so dominant in much of the Continent.)
1348: Charles University in Prague (Universitas Carolina/Univerzita Karlova) is established as the first university in Central Europe. Starting sometime during the last two decades of the 18th century Jews, as well as Protestants, were allowed to attend the University.In 1911, Einstein was appointed to a full professorship at the school; a position he held until 1914.Today the CIEE Center at Charles University offers courses in Jewish Though and Jewish History including one styled “The History of the Jews in Bohemia and Central Europe” and another styled “Torah, Modern Jewish Religious Thought, and Czech Literature.”
1355: Twelve hundred Jews of Toledo Spain were killed by Count Henry of Trastamara. The Jews were caught between the opposing forces in a fight between King Peter and Count Henry, his half-brother who sought the throne for himself. The events surrounding this dynastic quarrel marked the beginning of the decline of the Jewish community in Spain.
1634: William Prynne, an opponent Jews settling in England was pilloried for the first time as part of his punishment for opposing the production of plays.
1680: An attempt to keep the Jews of Corfu from practicing law made in 1679 ended today when the Jews were granted that right today.
1718: The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. In 1724, the French adopted The Code Noir which dealt primarily with the issue of slaves but also mandate the expulsion of the Jews from the city. The arrival of Isaac Rodrigues Monsanto in 1757 provides the first recorded evidence of Jewish settlement in the Crescent City.The real birth of the Jewish community dates from the time of the Louisiana Purchase when the Americans took over and did away with the Black Code.
1727: Two years after the death of Peter Great, Jews were expelled from Ukraine by his widow, Empress Catherine I of Russia. Catherine was merely following the wishes of her late husband who had stated that he did not want any Jews living in Russia. Daniil Pavlovich Apostol, the Hetman of the Cossacks, “was the first one to apply to the senate to modify the harsh law.” Eighty years ago, the Cossacks had driven the Jews from their lands.Since then, they had found out “that they could not get along very well without Jewish merchants” because they were indispensable when it came to facilitating commerce between the Ukraine and the Polish and Lithuanian provinces..
1769(30thof Nisan, 5529): Nathaniel Weil passed away at Rastatt. Born in 1687, this son of Naphtali Zvi Hirsch Weil was a noted Talmudist who served as a rabbi in Karlsruhe and was the author Korban Netan’el
1786: “The Russian Senate published a decree defining the economic and civil rights of the Jews of White Russia.” For much of its history, Russia had been almost free of Jews due to the exclusionary and anti-Semitic policies of a succession of Czars. As an example of the law of unintended consequences, Russia acquired a large Jewish population following the partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century.This move by the senate was the first in a series of official attempts to deal with this “Jewish problem.”Throughout the 19thcentury, Russian policy would vacillate regarding its Jews; but in the end anti-Semitism and bigotry would win the day. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)
1789: The Judenordnung provided for the abolition of discriminatory laws enacted against the Jews of Galicia
1807: Lieutenant-General George FitzRoy, 2nd Baron Southampton and Frances Isabella gave birth to Henry Fitzroy the British politician.In 1839, he married Hannah, the daughter of Nathan Mayer Rothschild by whom he had two children Arthur Frederic FitzRoy and Blanche FitzRoy.
1811: Seventy-nine year old Richard Cumberland, the British dramatist who wrote “The Jew” passed away today.“The Jew” which was premiered in May of 1794 is the first play written for the English theatre that portrayed a Jewish moneylender as a heroic figure.
1812: In London, Sarah Anna (née Wiedemann) and Robert Browning gave birth to Robert Browning the author of “Rabbi ben Ezra” that begins with the immortal lines, “Grow old along with me!The best is yet to be…” He was a friend of Emma Lazarus and “both his verse and private correspondence show that he kept an interest in the” persecution of the Russian Jews. There are those who contend that Browning was of Jewish descent. His father was a clerk in the employ of the Rothschilds at a time when their bank “employed scarcely any but Jews.”The name “Bruning” (a Germanic form of Browning) was very common among Jewish families in North Germany.”
1815: Birthdate of Marco Mortara, the Italian rabbi from Viadana who was a “disciple” of Samuel David Luzzatto.
1842(27thof Iyar, 5602): Today’s earthquake in Haiti “killed the only daughter of French diplomat Frédéric Cerfberr who would die from injuries sustained today as he sailed back to France.
1844: Today, in Presburg, Archduchess Maria Dorothea attended the inaugural ceremonies for a primary school for which Austrian financier and philanthropist Herman Todesco had paid 25,000 gulden
1847: Birthdate of Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian who in 1878 married Hannah, the only child of Baron Mayer de Rothschild.She was one of the wealthiest women of her time since she was the primary heir of her father who had passed away in 1874.
1849(15thof Iyar, 5609): Eighty-nine year old banker Olry-Hayem Worms, one of those who attended the Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon in 1807 passed away today in Paris.
1865: The Vicar-General of Velletri issued an order permitting Jews to remain in the town for ten days if they are conducting “lawful and honest business.” While in town they must return to their lodgings by one o’clock in the morning.They are forbidden to approach all monasteries, academies and other “pious places under Episcopal jurisdiction. When having any contact or conversation with Christians, the Jews “are to refrain from familiarity. The violation of any of these regulations will be punished by imprisonment and a fine of five crowns.
1870: Birthdate of theatre owner and film company executive, Marcus Loew. Born on the Lower East Side of immigrant parents, Loew became involved with films at the turn of the century when he opened his first "penny arcades." Later he converted a penny arcade in Cincinnati into a movie theatre that drew an unheard of 5,000 customers on its first day. Loew began converting other penny arcades into movie theaters which became a national chain bearing the owner's name. In the 1920's, he and Louis B. Mayer joined forces to create the MGM Movie Studio. Loew needed the studio to fill the public's demand for movies at his theatres. Loew died of a hear attack at the age of 57, one of the many Jews who revolutionized the American (and the world's) entertainment industry.
1874: Rabbi Sounescheim was one of the speakers at tonight's session of the Unitarian Conference which is being held in St. Louis, MO.
1876: Frank Keenan, the future father-in-law of Ed Wynn “made his debut” today “as a spear carrier at the Tremont Street Opera House.
1876: The French government has ordered part of its Navy to sail to Salonica, a Mediterranean seaport which is part of the Ottoman Empire and which has been the site of recent outbreaks of violence between Christians and Moslems.This is in keeping with the French government’s view of itself as the protector of Christians throughout the Middle East i.e. those living under Ottoman rule. Salonica is home to 20,000 Jews and their wellbeing is threatened any time there is an outbreak of violence among different groups of non-Jews.In this case, the Christians are primarily Greeks and the Greeks have attacked the Jewish community in Salonica in the past.The presence of the French will serve to pacify the situation, thus helping to protect the Jewish population.
1881: The Symphony Society which had been co-founded by Leopold Damrosch in 1877 “reached its climax” today “in the great musical festival held in the armory of the 7th regiment in New York City
1882(18th of Iyar, 5642): Lag B'Omer
1884(12th of Iyar, 5644): Judah P Benjamin passed away. "Born in the West Indies in 1811 to observant Jewish parents, Benjamin was raised in Charleston, South Carolina. A brilliant child, at age 14 he attended Yale Law School and, on graduation, practiced law in New Orleans. A founder of the Illinois Central Railroad, a state legislator, a planter, Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana during the 1850's. When the South seceded, Benjamin joined the Confederate government serving as Attorney-General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State. He was called "old brains" by his admirers and an "Israelite in Egyptian clothing" by his detractors. After the war, Benjamin sought refuge in England where he began life again as a barrister and writer. His only offspring was a daughter who had him buried in a Parisian cemetery.
1884(12thof Iyar, 5642):Dov Ber Goldberg, the native of Poland who gained fame as the French scholar who “devoted himself to the publication of editions of Jewish manuscripts in European libraries´passed away today in Paris.
1887: Birthdate of Benjamin Glazer the Belfast born American lawyer turned screenwriter who counded the Academy of Motional Picture Arts and Sciences.
1888: Sixty-six year old Leone Levi passed away.Born in Italy, as soon as he arrived in Liverpool, he applied for British citizenship and gave up Judaism for membership in the Presbyterian Church.He may have seen this as the only path to a successful legal career.
1889: In Charleston, SC, William Cecil Cohen married Agnes McKee.
1891: “Jewish Persecution Suspended” published today described the sudden decision of the Russian government to suspend the expulsion of the Jews from Moscow.
1893: “Tales The Rabbis Told” published today provides detailed review of Stories From The Rabbis by Abram S. Isaacs, the Professor of Hebrew at the University of the City of New York
1893: Based on cablegram from Harold Frederic, its London correspondent, the New York Times reported that in February the Russian government had issued an edict of expulsion that will affect each of the 1,500,000 Jews living in Poland.For two months, the Russians kept the edict of expulsion a secret.Word only leaked out as the Jews began to approach the borders of various European countries.Today’s story in The Times was the first report of the expulsion to be published in an American newspaper.The report has fallen like a “thunderclap among the Jews of New York.”
1893: “Polish Jews Thrust Out” published today verified that that “a wholesale expulsion of Jews has begun in the Kingdom of Poland.” There are approximately a million and half Jews in Poland, “about four times the number affected by the Passover edicts of 1891 in Russia.”
1894(1stof Iyar, 5654): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1894(1stof Iyar, 5654): “A Jew-baiting” mob attacked the Jewish section of Grajewo, Poland “looting the shops and houses, beating the men and insulting the women” before setting fire to several stores.
1895: Seth Low and Isidor Straus opened the East Side Free Art Exhibition at the Hebrew Institute on East Broadway and Jefferson.
1895: William Jack of Scotland received $600 as part of the Hebrew Fellowship awarded during the Commencement exercises of the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ
1896: Dr. Walter T. Scheele “who is a fierce and aggressive Jew hater” attacked the Jews at Kruger’s Saloon” and was then “forced to leave the place” and “run for his life.”
1897: Eighty year old Ion Ghica “who was Prime Minister of Romania five times” and who “was a valuable ally for Yiddish theatre in Bucharest” having obtained, in 1881, for the National Theater the costumes that had been used for a Yiddish pageant on the coronation of King Solomon, which had been timed in tribute to the actual coronation of Carol I of Romania” passed away today.
1898: As the opening lecture in his series on “What Christendom Owes to the Jew” Dr. Madison C. Peters has chosen talk on “The Jew as a Patriot.”
1899: Punch and Judy visited the Hebrew Infant Asylum this afternoon and “entertained the youngsters with their antics.”
1899: Dr. Felix Adler is scheduled to “deliver an address on ‘More Light’” this morning in the Music Hall.
1899: “The last Sunday service for this season” is scheduled to be held this morning at Temple Beth-El “when Rabbi Samuel Schulman will preach on the subject of ‘Youth.’”
1899: “The East Side Physician” published today described the desperate conditions of druggists and physicians (some of whom get paid only five cents for patient visit)who are working on the lower East Side where the population is predominately Jewish.
1899: According to a summary of their April report published today, the United Hebrew Charities received 2,510 applications for aid that impacted 8,637 individuals.
1899: Tonight, the Rev. Dr. Madison C. Peters of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church began a series of Sunday evening lectures on "What Christendom Owes to the Jew." Dr. Peters took for his subject "The Jew as a Patriot." He said: "One of the gravest charges ever brought against the Jew is that he is not and cannot be a patriot.
1901(18thof Iyar, 5661): Lag B’Omer
1901:Herzl finally receives an audience with the Sultan.
1905: Anti-Jewish violence broke out today in Zhitomir, the capital of Volhynia, Russia.
1906(12thof Iyar, 5666): Fifty four year old Max Judd passed away.Born in Galicia, he came to the United States in 1862 where he became a successful cloak manufacturer who found the St. Louis Chess Club.President Cleveland refused to bow to Austrian anti-Semitism and insisted on appointing Judd as U.S. Counsel to that kingdom.
1908: French author and playwright Ludovic Halévy passed away.His pedigree is not that unusual a tale for European Jewry in the period between Waterloo and Sarajevo.His father was Jewish.He converted so that he could marry a Christian woman.
1909: Birthdate of Leo Henryk Sternbach, the Polish chemist who escaped Hitler’s Europe in 1941 and continued his career in the United States where he discovered benzodiazepines.
1909: Birthdate of Edwin H Land. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., this Harvard dropout contributed to scientific advances in the fields of photography and human optics. His most famous invention was in the field of instant photography. In 1947, he unveiled an instant imaging camera. Within two years, the Polaroid was producing the camera and it became a commercial success. Land passed away in March of 1991.
1912: Columbia University approved plans for awarding the Pulitzer Prize in several categories. The award was established by Joseph Pulitzer. When he died in 1911, Pulitzer left $2 million for the establishment of a school of journalism at Columbia University and a fund that established annual prizes for literature, drama, music and journalism. Since 1922 Pulitzer Prizes have also been awarded to cartoonists. Yes, the highest award in "American Letters" was started by a German-Jewish immigrant.
1914: Today, at the resumption of the hearing into charges that bribery was used to obtain affidavits exonerating Leo Franks of the murder of Mary Phagan the defense “will introduce some new evidence bearing on the Epps, Isom and Allen affidavits” before closing its case.
1915: It was reported today that Jewish Publication Society has announced “the forthcoming publication of a new English translation of the Bible, the annual American Jewish Year Book and Max Radin history of the Jews among the Greeks and Romans.”
1915: It was reported today that “among the many petitions” “received daily” by the Governor of Georgia asking “for a commutation Leo Frank’s sentence” was one “signed by the members of the Cornell Alumni Association of Western Pennsylvania attesting to the character of Frank who was an alum of the university.
1915: In Chicago, “plans for a ‘Leo M. Frank Day’ on which hundreds of women of all nationalities equipped with petitions will ask citizens to sign protests against Leo Frank’s execution are being completed by the Leo M. Frank Committee.”
1917: “Rabbi Stephen S. Wise came to Simsbury and delivered an address on “The World War for the Liberation of Humanity” to a standing room only crowd. So many people turned out to hear him that his lecture was delayed as chairs were sent for to accommodate the standing crowd at the rear of the hall. ‘It was the most successful mass meeting held in Simsbury’, wrote Julia E. Pattison, League Secretary. There is a story attributed to Rabbi Wise that upon meeting a rather aloof New England gentleman with ancestors that he wore on his sleeve the man announced that his antecedent had signed the Declaration of Independence. Rabbi Wise paused and replied that his ancestors had signed the Ten Commandments.
1917: In London, the Jewish Chronicle provides further details based on eyewitness accounts of the plight of Jews living in Palestine, which is under the control of the Ottoman Empire.According to these accounts, the evacuation of the civil population of Jaffa that had been ordered by the Turks as a military measure was aimed against the Jews since all Jews including those of Turkey’s allies – Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire – were forced to leave while Mohammedans and Christians, regardless of nationality, were allowed to stay.In all, 8,000 Jews were forced from their homes in Jaffa. The homes of the Jews of Jaffa and neighboring Tel Aviv were looted by mobs as the authorities looked on without taking any action.Two Jews were hanged at the entrance to Tel Aviv as a warning to those who might resist and an ad hoc unit of Jewish guards was arrested and imprisoned. The deportations stretched to the ancient Jewish community in Jerusalem where three hundred Jews were deported “amid circumstances of the utmost cruelty.”
1917: It was reported today that “preparations for the election of delegates of the American Jewish Congress are no proceeding and al through this week meetings will held here to stimulate enthusiasm and interest in this week.
1917: “The Annual meeting of the local section of the Council of Jewish Women took place today at Temple Emanu-El.
1918: During their convention in Philadelphia, The Mizrachi Zionist Organization adopted the single tax plan of land control “as the best system under which the Jews can return to take possession of Palestine under the protection of the Allies.”The plan is based on the concept that “the land be assessed and valued at the figures at which it stood before the war in 1914, making allowances for improvements.”
1919: Birthdate of Boris Slutsky, a Russian poet, whose work incorporated Jewish themes, including Jewish tradition, anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic phenomena in the Soviet society and the Holocaust. He translated the works of Kvitko, Verghelis, Galkin, Shvartzman, Y.Sternberg and others from Yiddish into Russian.
1919: During the peace negotiations at Versailles, “when faced with conditions dictated by the victors, including the “War Guilt Clause” Foreign Minister Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau the head of the German delegationtold the Allied Leaders – Clemenceau, Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson- "We know the full brunt of hate that confronts us here. You demand from us to confess we were the only guilty party of war; such a confession in my mouth would be a lie.”This treatment of the Germans at Versailles, contributed to the lack of support for the treaty and would serve to strengthen the hand of the Hitlerites in their quest to destroy the Weimar Republic
1923: Just days before her death, Mrs. Gussis Goldberg was taken to the Rockaway Beach Hospital with an injured hip.The 106 year old widow and mother of Joseph Goldberg, was “believed to the oldest resident of Far Rockaway.” (As reported by JTA)
1924: In Upper Sielsia, David Lustiger and his wife gave birth to Arno Lustiger Holocaust survivor, businessman and amateur historian who document “the history of Jewish resistance under Nazi rule.”
1926: Birthdate of Joseph Ehrenkranz, the native of Newark, NJ. who served as rabbi of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT and “who played a leading role in Jewish Catholic dialogue.”
1927: In Cologne, Germany Marcus and Eleanora gave birth to Ruth Prawer who gained fame as Ruth Prawer Jhabvala award winning novelist and Academy Award winning screenwriter.She won Oscars for “Room with a View” and “Howards End.”
1930: Birthdate of Totie Fields.Born Sophie Feldman, in Hartford Connecticut, Ms. Fields switched from mildly unsuccessful singer to highly successful comedienne.Her pudgy physique was her comedic “shtick” as made fun of her weight, appearance and the diet industry.She died from health problems.“I went on a diet for two weeks and all I lost was fourteen days.”
1933: In Savannah, GA, a large crowd of Jews and Christians attend a ceremony at Congregation Mickve Israel to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Jews in what was then the colony of Georgia.
1934: The district of Birobidzhan in Russia was established as a Jewish Autonomous Region which was to cover an area of 36,000 sq. km. Its official language would be Yiddish. Within two years Stalin had a change of heart and its Jewish socialist leaders were liquidated. Although a library and theater were established, it never reached a population of more than 18,000, less than one-fourth of the total population of the region, partly due to its primitiveness and remoteness.
1936: Despite the High Commissioner's warning Arab leaders at a general conference held in Jerusalem representing all Arab towns unanimously called for a campaign of civil disobedience by all Arabs in Palestine including the refusal to pay taxes and “a boycott of everything Jewish.” Jerusalem Mayor Khalidi has become so active in the Arab cause that he did not attend the meeting of the Jerusalem City Council; an absence which was condemned by the six Jewish councilors.
1936: After 169 performances the curtain came down on “Jubilee” a musical comedy with a book by Moss Hart at the Imperial Theatre.
1937: During the Spanish Civil War, The German Condor Legion, arrived in Spain to provide air cover for the fascist forces of Francisco Franco.The Germans used the Spanish Civil War as a training ground for its forces which accounted for some of their early successes starting in 1939. The failure of the western liberal regimes to counter the German efforts was one more step on the road to the war that would lead to the Holocaust.Hitler thought that the Spanish should have become active members of the Axis alliance as payment for his help.
1938(6th of Iyar, 5698): “Moses Phillip Ginzburg, founder and publisher of the Daily Jewish Courier and a leader of Chicago’s Jewish community for more than half a century passed away today at the age of 75.”Born in Poland, Ginzburg came to Chicago in 1883.Five years later he founded the Jewish daily which would play a major role in his and his wife, Feige Rachel Levin’s, lives.A month before his death, the couple was honored at a dinner attended by 1,500 guests who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.
1939:Birthdate of Sidney Altman. The Canadian born Altman is the Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Chemistry at Yale University.Altman shared in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1989.
1941: As Arab continued their violent attacks on the Jews of Iraq, "a number of Arabs youths burst into a circumcision ceremony, knives in hand, murdering a young boy and wounding his brother." (In Ishmael's House by Martin Gilbert)
1942: Nazi decree orders all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed
1943: During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Pawel Burskin led a group of Jewish fighters through the sewers to the "Aryan ‘sector. They were ambushed by German troops, captured and shot.
1943: Sephardic-Jewish homes in Tunisia are ransacked and looted by departing German troops.
1945: Hitler makes the cover of Time Magazine again but this time with a giant X across the cover.
1945: Under the headline “Foreign News: Dachau” published today, Time magazine gave its readers the following description of the German concentration camp.
When all other German prison camps are forgotten the name of Dachau will still be infamous. It was the first concentration camp set up for Hitler, and its mere name was a whispered word of terror through all Germany from the earliest days of Nazi control. It was one of the largest of the camps to which opponents of Naziism were sent. And here, too, was concentrated the flower of Nazi sadists whose business was torture and death. Last week the U.S. Seventh Army entered Dachau and liberated 32,000 of its still living inmates. With them went TIME Correspondent Sidney Olson. His report: Beside the highway into Dachau there runs a spur line off the Munich railroad. Here a soldier stopped us and said: "I think you better take a look at these box-cars." The cars were filled with dead men. Most of them were naked. On their bony, emaciated backs and rumps were whip marks. Most of the cars were open-top cars like American coal cars. I walked along these cars and counted 39 of them which were filled with these dead. The smell was very heavy. I cannot estimate with any reasonable accuracy the number of dead we saw here, but I counted bodies in two cars and there were 53 in one and 64 in another. The main entry road runs past several largish buildings. These had been cleared; and now we began to meet the liberated. Several hundred Russians, French, Yugoslavs, Italians and Poles were here, frantically, hysterically happy. They began to kiss us, and there is nothing you can do when a lot of hysterical, unshaven, lice-bitten, half-drunk, typhus-infected men want to kiss you. Nothing at all. You cannot hit them, and besides, they all kiss you at the same time. It is no good trying to explain that you are only a correspondent. A half-dozen of them were especially happy and it turned out they were very proud: they had killed two German soldiers themselves. Skeleton Stacks. We went on, and the great size of the establishment of Dachau began to open before us. Buildings and barracks spread on and on. Outside one building, half covered by a brown tarpaulin, was a stack about five feet high and about 20 feet wide of naked dead bodies, all of them emaciated. We went on around this building and came to the central crematory. The rooms here, in order, were: 1) the office where the living and the dead were passed through and where all their clothing was stripped from them; 2) the Brausebad (shower) room, where the victims were gassed; and 3) the crematory. In the crematory were two large furnaces. Before the two furnaces were hooks and pulleys on rafters above them. Here, according to a number of Frenchmen, the SS men often hanged prisoners by the necks or by the thumbs or whatever their fancy dictated. From here the victims could watch while being whipped and tortured as their comrades were slid into the furnace. Each of these pitiful, happy, starved, hysterical men wanted to tell us his home country, his home city, and ask us news and beg for cigarets. The eyes of these men defy my powers of description. They are the eyes of men who have lived in a super-hell of horrors for many years, and are now driven half-crazy by the liberation they have prayed so hopelessly for. Again & again, in all languages, they called on God to witness their joy. Heart of Darkness. But though we were tired from the long journey, we were lured on and on and on, from building to building. What lured us was a sound which at first we had thought was the wind in the pines of Dachau. Then after a while we knew it was cheering — the sound of thousands of men cheering and cheering again. At last we came to a high wooden wall and went through the gates'. Before us stretched the great prison compound of Dachau. This must be at least one square mile in extent. In & out of this vast stretch of open compound studded with low barracks were swarming the liberated men of Dachau. I cannot pre tend to estimate the number with any exactness. But there were many thousand. These men, cheering as hard as their feeble strength would permit, tore them selves getting through the barbed wire to touch us, to talk to us. Some of them were nearly mad with joy. Here were the men of all nations whom Hitler's agents had picked out as prime opponents of Naziism; here were the very earliest Hitler haters. Here were German social democrats, Spanish survivors of the Spanish Civil War, a correspondent for the Paris Soir, who cried so hard I could not get his name. Joy in the Inferno. We went into one barracks after another. So many men were sick and possibly dying of starvation and beatings that they merely lay or leaned or sat shoulder to shoulder, too weak to do more than grin glassily. It was here that we even found some Hindus. All this time the cheering went on, and we were being forcibly mobbed by hundreds of men strong as only the half-insane can be, kissed and kissed again by men who stank like the inferno, obviously sick toward death of all kinds of illnesses. One giant Russian held me for at least 30 seconds while he kissed all over the U.S. insignia on my coat. They shouted in all languages but sometimes in American phrases; one little Pole ran beside us until he dropped flat, shouting desperately: "Hello, boys!"
1945: At 02:41 in the morning at SHAEF headquarters in Reims, France, the Chief-of-Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, General Alfred Jodl, signed the unconditional surrender documents for all German forces to the Allies. The surrender would go into effect on the following day, May 8, 1945 which would mean the end of the Holocaust.
1945(24th of Iyar, 5705): Hungarian novelist Andor Endre Gelleri, age 38, dies at the Mauthausen, Austria, slave-labor camp two days after liberation.
1946: Birthdate of English author Michael Rosen.
1950: This week the Israeli government will be sending its formal reply to the United Nations concerning “the Palestine Conciliations Commission’s proposal for peace negotiations.”Israel is willing to send delegates to a meeting that is held without pre-conditions while the Arab states have announced that they will only come if the “return of Palestine refugees is the first item on the agenda.”
1952: A cheering crowd of 5,000 greeted Haifa’s Mayor Abba Khoushy and New York’s Mayor Impellitteri at official ceremonies at City Hall. Speakers at City Hall and a luncheon that followed at the Waldorf-Astoria “emphasized Israel’s devotion to democratic concepts and the need to consolidate the nation’s economic position as a bulwark of democracy in the Middle East.”
1954: Birthdate of movie director Amy Heckerling, the Bronx native whose first commercial success was “Fast Times at Ridgemont Hight.”
1956: In the suburbs of South Manchester, UK, “barrister Benet Hytner and his wife Joyce gave birth to director Sir Nicholas Robert Hytner.
1958: TodayIsraeli Prime Minister DavidBenGurionrejected a request by B’nai Brith that Ze’ev Jabotinsky be reinterred in Israel explainingin a letter written B’nai Brith Vice President, Joseph Lamm, that"Israel does not need dead Jews, but living Jews, and I see no blessing in multiplying graves in Israel." Could Ben Gurion’s refusal to grant what was a wish contained in Jabotinsky’s last will and testament been nothing more than a measure of revenge exacted against the Revisionist leader whose followers would become the Irgun.With the approval of Levi Eshkol, Jabotinsky and his wife were finally laid to rest in Jerusalem at Herzl Cemetery in 1964.
1958: U.S. premiere of “The Left Handed Gun” starring Paul Newman as “Billy the Kid.”
1959: Paul Newman and Joan Woodward gave birth to Eilinor Teresa Newman who “runs Newman’s Own Organics.”
1960: Los Angeles Dodger Catcher Norm Sherry hits an 11th inning homerun to give his brother, Pitcher Larry Sherry, a 3 to 2 victory over the Phillies. At the time, the Sherry brothers were the first and only Jewish battery (pitcher and catcher) in major league baseball. From 1959 to 1962 the Dodgers had three Jewish players on their roster (the other was Sandy Koufax) which some felt made them the "Jewish" baseball team.
1960(10th of Iyar, 5720): Seventy-six year old Charles Edward Sebag-Montefiore passed away.
1963(13th of Iyar, 5723): Theodore von Kármán, a Hungarian-American engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics passed away.
1964: Birthdate of Elliot Perlmanan Australian author and barrister.
1968: Sixty-seven year old English actress Olga Lindo, the daughter of Jewish actor Frank Lindo and his non-Jewish wife passed away today.
1968: Premiere of “Where It’s At,” a comedy directed by Garson Kanin co-starring Don Rickles.
1973(5thof Iyar, 5733): Yom HaAtzma’ut
1973(5thof Iyar, 5733): Sixty-four year old Egon Hostovský a Czech author and distant relative of Stefan Zweig who was memorialized by the creation of the Egon Hostovsky (Literary) Prize passed away today.
1973: Liora Reich became the first woman to win the International Bible Quiz
1973:Carl Bernstein shares in the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Watergate Scandal.
1973: Maxine Kumin won the Pulitzer Prize for her volume of poetry entitledUp Country: Poems of New England.
1978(30th of Nisan, 5738): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1978(30th of Nisan, 5738): Sixty-three year old Mortimer “Mort” Weisinger ” an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s” passed away today.
1978: “Stamps” by Samuel Tower published today described Israel’s philatelic offers in honor of her 30thanniversary including the issuance of five stamps honoring “five heroes of the Israeli Underground Movement including Abraham Stern, Yitzhak Sadeh, David Raziel, Dr. Moshe Sneh and Eliyahu Golomb
1985:”Memory of the Camps,” a documentary dealing with “Dachau and other Nazi concentration camps” was broadcast during season three of “Frontline.”
1986: John Corry reviewed “The Precious Legacy of Czech Jews” a film directed by Dan Wiessman and co-produced by Weissman and Nelson E. Breen.
1986: Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s “La Cage aux Folles” had its West End premiere at the London Palladium today with the same creative team as the Broadway production.
1987: NBC broadcast the final episode of Season 3 of “The Cosby Show” co-created by Ed Weinberger.
1992: The Chicago Sun Times reports that Eddie Schwartz is leaving WGN for WLUP.
1994(27th of Iyar, 5754): Seventy-three year old Aharon "Aharale" Rabinovich Yariv passed away. The Moscow native made Aliyah at the age of 15 and then pursued a career in the military and politics that included service in the Knesset.
1994(27th of Iyar, 5754): Clement Greenberg, the most famous American art critic since Bernard Berenson who was born in 1909 to a Yiddish-speaking socialist family and was brought up in Brooklyn and the Bronx passed away today. (As reported by Raymond Hernandez)
1994(27th of Iyar, 5754): Haim Bar Lev, the IDF's Chief of General Staff from 1968 to 1971, passed away. Bar Lev played a key role in the Yom Kippur., He came out of retirement and served as the Chief of the Southern Command at the request of Prime Minister Meir.He provided the steadying influence and keen perception that was necessary to halt the Egyptian advance and snatch victory from the apparent jaws of defeat. (As reported by Joseph Finkleston)
1999: “Rabbi Jacob Lustig and five others from his Kneseth Israel Congregation stood side by side as they entered the pleas in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court” in what prosecutors describe as a “massive fraud” involving instant bingo games throughout Greater Cincinnati. (As reported by Dan Horn)
2000: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including“The Human Stain” by Philip Roth and the recently published paperback edition of “A Journey to the End of the Millennium: A Novel of the Middle Ages” A. B. Yehoshua’s novel about a North African Jewish merchant “who travels to Europe with his two wives and his Muslim partner in the year 999 explores the gaps between Jews and Christians, Jews and Muslims and men and women.”
2000: The curtain came down on a revival of Arthur Laurents “The Time of the Cuickoo” at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre.
2000: Bruce Fleisher won The Home Depot Invitational.
2001: Dalia Rabin-Pelossof joined “One Israel” which later became Labor Meimad.”
2001: IDF naval commandos captured the Santorini, a fishing boat used for smuggling weapons into Gaza that included Katyusha rocket launchers, surface-to-air (SAM-7) anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
2002: Israeli Prime Minister met with President George Bush at the White House.
2002: Psychologist Carol Gilligan published "The Birth of Pleasure"
2002(25thof Iyar, 5762): Hamas claimed responsibility for today’s bombing at Rishon LeZion where 15 people were killed and another 55 were wounded. The dead included Pnina Hikri (60), Sharuk Rassan (42), Shoshana Magmari (51), Anat Temporush (36), Haim Rafael (64), Daliah Massah (64), Nir Lobatin (31), Avi Biaz (26), Rahamim Kimche (58), Edna Cohen (61), Yisrael Shikar (45), Yitzhak Bablar (58), Esther Bablar (54), Regina Malka Boslan (62), Nawa Hinawi (51)
2003(5thof Iyar, 5763): Yom HaAtzma’ut
2003: In Tel Aviv, Mike’s Place re-opened after suffering a suicide bombing attack on April 30.
2004(16thof Iyar, 5764): Twenty-six year old Nicholas Evan “Nick” Berg was decapitated by Islamist terrorists in Iraq today.
2006: Jacobo Kaufman delivered a major address at the "Colloquium in Memory of Antonio José da Silva (the Jew)", on the occasion of this great Portuguese playwright´s 300th anniversary celebration at Bar Ilan University.
2006:Israel disappeared…from the news and opinion sections of the New York Times.In one of those rare Sundays, the Jewish state was not a subject of any news stories in the Times.
2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Everyman” by Phillip Roth and “The Accidental Empire:Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977” byGershom Gorenberg.
2006: The World Zionist Organization announce the 2006 winners of the third annual Herzl Award, initiated by the Department for Zionist Activities to commemorate the Centenary of Herzl's passing.The winners are Owen Kevin Futeran, South Africa, Andrea Uzan, Denmark, Ted Ekeroth, Sweden, Adrian Gluck, Argentina, Moises Mitrani, Mexico, Stanislav Skibinski, Germany, Nathan Feldman, Mexico, Phil Koningham, New Zealand and Stephen Rosenthal, United Kingdom
2006: In Los Angeles, a community-wide celebration of Israel’s 58th Independence ‘dayis kicked off by the LA County Sheriff Department Golden Stars Skydiving team floating into Woodley Park while the Tampa Jewish Community Center brings Israel to downtown Tampa for the first time withindependence day activities featuring Israeli vendors, an Israeli rock band and Israeli cuisine.
2007: Time Magazine featured an article entitled “The End of a Zionist Idyll.” The article reported on the Israeli reaction Degania’s announcement that it was giving up its socialist ideals and going private.In the future, members could own homes and earn salaries based on how hard they worked. Degania was the first Kibbutz to be founded during the Second Aliyah.It was the paradigm for the new Jew and the new Jewish way of life.This announcement represents the closing of a chapter in Jewish and Israeli history.
2007: Newsweek Magazine featured a review of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.
2007(19th of Iyar, 5767): Donald Ginsberg a physicist who became a leading expert on the production and functioning of superconductors passed away at the age of 73 in Urbana, Illinois.
2008(2nd of Iyar, 5768): Yom Hazikaron – Israel Remembrance Day. A two-minute memorial siren sounds at 11 a.m. Wednesday, followed by official ceremonies at 43 military cemeteries. The Defense Ministry said that since 1860, when the first Jewish settlers began establishing Jewish neighborhoods outside the Jerusalem city walls, 22,437 men and women have been killed in defense of the Land of Israel. Sixteen Israeli civilians were killed in terrorist attacks in the first four months of the year, bringing the total of civilian terror-related deaths to 1,634 since the creation of the state 60 years ago. Remembrance Day draws to a close Wednesday night at 8 p.m. with the traditional torch-lighting ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl marking the sudden transition from sadness to joy with the start of Israel's 60th Independence Day.
2008: As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary, the population nears 7.3 million with 76% of the population being Jewish On the eve of its independence day, Israel's population numbers 7,282,000, 75.5 percent of which is Jewish, and 20.1 percent Arab, Central Bureau of Statistics show. The remaining 4.4 percent is made up largely of immigrants and their children who are not registered as Jews in the Interior Ministry's population rolls. By 2030, the projected population will be some 10,000,000.Over the past year, 156,400 babies were born in Israel. At present, some 69 percent of the Jewish population is made up of native-born Israelis, as opposed to only 35 percent in 1948. About 18,000 people immigrated to Israel over the past year. The figure for total population does not include foreign nationals in Israel, whose number, in 1996, was found to be 186,000.
2008: Elie Wiesel is the guest speaker at a fund raising dinner designed to benefit the new Padres Katz Special Education campus of Aleh, an organization dedicated to helping disabled children in Israel.
2008: Release date for “Waves of Freedom,” a film that “is a reminder of the American Jewish sailors who braved British soldiers and the high seas to transport Holocaust survivors and refugees from Europe to the shores of pre-state Palestine.”
2009: Ruth Reichl, a former restaurant critic and now the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, discusses and signs “Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way” at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.
2009: After Etan: The Missing Child Case that Held America Captive by Lisa Cohen was published by Grand Central Publishing.A native of Manitoba, Cohen is a graduate of the University Pennsylvania who has made a career in electronic journalism with stints at ABC and CBS news.
2009, Madoff Bankruptcy Trustee, Irving Picard filed a lawsuit against J. Ezra Merkin seeking to recover almost $500 million withdrawn from Madoff accounts in the last six years
2010: In Tel Aviv, the three-day Good Life Festival is scheduled to come to an end.
2010(23rdof Iyar, 5770): Bernard Schoenbaum, who in hundreds of cartoons in The New Yorker needled the relatively affluent, the media-conscious, the irony-besotted and the socially competitive — in other words, the readers of The New Yorker -- passed away today at the age of 89.(As reported by Bruce Weber)
2010: In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah is schedule to host a Potluck Dinner before Friday Night Services where Samuel Horowitz of the Jewish Federation is scheduled to be the guest speaker.
2011: In Potomac, MD, Congregation B’Nai Tzedek is scheduled to hosts its Spring Gala which will feature The “Second City” from Chicago.
2011: Bruce Raynor is scheduled to resign as president of Workers United and as executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union.
2011: “The Matchmaker” is scheduled to be shown at the Israel Film Festival.
2011: The Traditional Minyan at Temple Judah is scheduled to host its annual “Mother’s Day Shabbat.”
2012: Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich, Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman and the Jupiter musicians will perform are scheduled to perform at the Good Shepherd Church in New York City.
2012: James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews is scheduled to deliver an address entitled “The Church and the Jews: A Personal Journey and Assessment” as part of the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Spring Speaker Series.
2012: Jews and the Left, a two day conference sponsored by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research with
American Jewish Historical Society, is scheduled to come to an end.
2012: ClevelandMayor Frank Jackson is scheduled to be among the community leaders attending this evening’s Jewish American Heritage Month Celebration at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
2013: Pamela Weisberger (President and Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia) is scheduled to speak on “Unique & Unusual Resources in Galician Genealogy” at the Weiner Library in London.
2013: “Street Labs” an outdoor exhibition featuring Israel’s top Sci-Tech students presenting their award winning inventions is scheduled to play at Union Square Park.
2013: San Jose City Hall is scheduled to celebrate the history of Jewish contributions to American culture and the Jewish American heritage that has helped shape the San Jose community with the raising of the Israeli flag at City Hall followed by a kosher lunch.
2013: According to Image Books, On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century, will be available today in the United States and Canada. “The book is the transcript of wide-ranging conversations between then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, the rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary. Topics include God, atheism, abortion, the Holocaust, same-sex marriage, fundamentalism and globalization. Francis previously has published 11 books, all in Spanish. Francis, who was elected pope last week, has referred to Skorka as his “brother and friend.” As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he attended services at Skorka’s synagogue and also arranged for Skorka to receive an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Argentina. The two also shared billing on an Argentinian TV talk show on religious issues.” (As reported by JTA)
2013: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered a freeze in tenders for West Bank settlement construction amid a US push to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Army Radio reported today.
2013: Seventy years ago the Jewish people could not protect itself and had to plead for others to “save them.” Today that is no longer the case, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said today, just days after allegations that Israeli war planes attacked weapons depots near Damascus.
2013: Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky presented his proposal on the Women of the Wall to the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women today
2014: The Center for Jewish History and American Jewish Historical Society is scheduled to present “Native Genius,” “a night of entertainment celebrating the history of the Jewish contributions to American Theatre from 1800-1860.
2014: President Obama “will be honored by Stephen Spielberg as Ambassador for Humanity at the USC Shoah Foundation’s 20th anniversary gala event” which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles today.
2014: “Over the Ocean,” a film about a Canadian family contemplating Aliyah is scheduled to shown at the Israel Film Festival sponsored by Agudas Achim in Coralville, Iowa.
2014: In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month “A Call to Serve: Florida Jews and the U.S. Military is scheduled to be shown in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
2014: “Rock the Casbah” is scheduled to be shown at The National Center for Jewish Film’s 17th Annual Film Festival.
2014: The 16th annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival is scheduled to come to an end in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
2014: “Amid a spate of violent altercations between IDF soldiers and settlers from Yitzhar in the northern West Bank, an Israeli report said today that residents of the radical settlement were mulling the legality — according to Jewish law — of attacking, and even killing, IDF soldiers “under certain circumstances.” (As reported by Yifa Yaakov)
2014: Mark Lewis is scheduled to discuss his prizewinning book, The Birth of the New Justice, a history of international criminal courts and new international criminal laws from the end of World War I to the beginning of the Cold War at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London.
2015: As voters in the U.K. are scheduled to go to the polls today, Laborite Ed Miliband seeks to become the nation’s first Jewish Prime Minister.
2015: Joan Adler, Executive Director of the Straus Historical Society is scheduled to discuss her latest work For the Sake of the Children, The Letters Between Otto Frank and Nathan Straus Jr., at The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
2015: In Atlanta, GA, Israeli-Ethiopian singer Ester Rada is scheduled to present “The Birth of Ethio-Soul.”
2015: Dr. Jonathan Sarna is scheduled to lead a discussion about his newest book Lincoln and the Jews: A History at the National Archives.
2015: “À la Vie (To Life)” is scheduled to be shown at 18th Annual Film Festival of the National Center for Jewish Film’s
2015: The Washington Jewish Music Festival kicks is scheduled to start its 16th year to with Neshama Carlebach the Glory to God Baptist Choir
2015: As part of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Spertus Institute in Chicago is scheduled to host cartoonist Liana Fink who will talk about the creative process behind "A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York,"
2015: At the National Museum of American Jewish History Simon Malkes, author of The Righteous of the Wehrmacht is scheduled to tell the amazing true story of how a Nazi officer helped save the lives of a hundred Jews, including Simon and his family during the Holocaust
2015: In keeping with a tradition that began with his arrival in Little Rock more than two decades ago, Chabad, under the leadership of Rabbi Pinchas Ciment is scheduled to host its “BBQ Festival” complete “with all of the trimmings/”
336: Emperor Constantine prohibits Jews from negatively interacting with their co-religionists who have converted to Christianity. "Jews are not allowed to disturb any man one has converted from Judaism
to Christianity, nor may they assail him with any outrage. Such behaviour will be punished according to the nature of the act [CT 16.8.5]"
336: In a further move to secure the primacy of Christianity over Judaism Constantine decreed "If a Jew should purchase and circumcise a Christian slave or a slave of any other sect, he shall not keep that circumcised person in slavery. The slave who endured such treatment will receive the privilege of freedom." [CT 16.9.1]
589: Reccared summoned the Third Council of Toledo. Reccared or Recared I was Visigoth King of Hispania (think modern day Spain). His reign marked a climactic shift in history, with the king's renunciation of traditional Aryanismin favor of Catholic Christianity in 587. He was a favorite of Pope Gregory for submitting to the papal see and for promulgating an edict of intolerance that included limiting the freedom and daily activities of the Jewish community.He zealously followed the promulgations of the Council of Toledo which included“restrictions on Jews, and the conversion of the country to orthodox Christianity led to repeated persecutions of Jews.” Of the 23 cannons adopted by the Council of Toledo, the fourteenth canon “forbade Jews to have Christian wives, concubines, or slaves, ordered the children of such unions to be baptized, and disqualified Jews from any office in which they might have to punish Christians. Christian slaves whom they had circumcised, or made to share in their rites, were ipso facto freed.”
1147: Encouraged by Peter the Hermit, a mob attacked the Jews on the second day of Shavuot in Ramerupt, France. Rabbenu Tam was one of its victims. After being stabbed five times (to match the five wounds of Jesus) he was saved by a passing knight. His house was ransacked, and a Torah scroll was destroyed.
1435: The Jews were expelled “forever” from Speyer by decree that said, “The council is compelled to banish the Jews; but it has no designs upon their lives or their property: it only revokes their rights of citizenship and of settlement. Until November 11 they are at liberty to go whither they please with all their property, and in the meantime they may make final disposition of their business affairs.
1492: The first printed edition of Mishnayotwith commentary by Maimonides was published in Naples. The term Mishnayot is plural form of the word Mishna, which part of the Oral Law. By appearing in printed form, the commentaries of one of Judaism greatest teachers on one of its core text was available to what today we would be called, "the mass market." This is an event worth nothing since it goes to prove that even in the worst of years, something good can happen.
1612 “Dr. Eliua da Luna Montalto, a Marrano who had” returned “to Judaism wrote…to his wife’s sister, Isabella de Fonseca, and her husband, Dr. Pedro Rodrigues, imploring them to return to” the faith of their fathers. He wrote, in part, “There are so many arguments which prove the truth of biblical prophecy…nobody has an excuse for not understanding it…I protest against your following a road which leads to the brink and the undoing of your soul.” Montalto was a distinguished physician whose patients included Queen Marie de Medicis of France.(As reported by Abraham Bloch)
1705: Birthdate of António José da Silva, a Portuguese-Brazilian dramatist, known as "the Jew" (O Judeu). His parents were descended from Portuguese Jews and they became targets of the Inquisition when it turned its attention to Marranos living in Brazil. Eventually he would be found guilty of “judaizing” and would be strangled deather following which his body was burnt as part of “auto de fe.”
1737: Birthdate of English historian, Edward Gibbon, author of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.Gibbon wrote authoritatively about the Jewish origins of Christianity. “The history of the church of Jerusalem affords a lively proof …of the deep impression which the Jewish religion had made on the minds of its sectaries. The first fifteen bishops of Jerusalemwere all circumcised Jews; and the congregation over which they presided united the Law of Moses with the doctrine of Christ.”
1794: English playwright Richard Cumberland's The Jew; or the Benevolent Hebrew, the first English language play to feature a Jewish moneylender as the benevolent hero of a stage comedy premiered today at the Drury Lane Theatre in London.
1794: “Sheva, the Benevolent” an adaptation of English playwright Richard Cumberland's “The Jew; or the Benevolent Hebrew,” the first English language play to feature a Jewish moneylender as the benevolent hero of a stage comedy premiered at the Drury Lane Theatre in London.
1800(Iyar 13)): Rabbi Joseph of Piltz, author of “Maaseh Choshev” passed away today.
1800: In Hamburg, banker Salomon Heine and his wife gave birth to their third daughter Amalie Friedlander, who was the cousin of poet Heinrich Heine.
1808: Financier Carl Friedrich Buderus, a friend of Wilhelm and Rothschild, was arrested as French officials attempted to establish a connection between plots against French rule and the exiled Landgrave and his Jewish financier.1829: Birthdate of Louis Moreau Gottschalk an American composer and pianist whose father was Jewish and whose mother was Creole from New Orleans.
1837: Having been prevented from moving to Prague by immigration authorities, historian Heinrich Graetz arrived at Oldenburg where he spent three years with his patron Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, “as a pupil, companion, and amanuensis.”
1841: In New York Rabbi and Mrs. Myer Samuel Isaacs gave birth to Judge Myer S. Isaacs who co-founded the Jewish Messengerand who served as President of the Baron de Hirsch Fund.
1843: In Grätz, Grand Duchy of Posen, Dr. Markus Moses, a noted physician and his wife gave birth to “German publisher and philanthropist” Rudolf Mosse
1847: Birthdate of Oscar Hammerstein, businessman, theater impresario, composer in New York City and the grandfather of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.
1852: The New York Times reported that following the fining of MP David Salomons for his attempt to take his seat in the House of Commons all the work of “emancipation” that has been done on behalf of the Jews will have to be done over again because given the hereditary nature of the House of Lords and the life expectancy of the members nothing will change for at least 20 years.
1864: Major Adolph Proskauer of the 12th Alabama was wounded so severely at Spotsylvania Courthouse that he could no longer serve. A native of Germany, Proskauer "was among the few Jewish immigrants who became a high-ranking Confederate Officer. ("Jews of the Civil War")
1870:The Hebrew Leader, a weekly newspaper; published in New York city by Jonas Bondy, cautioned its readers about the possible success to be enjoyed as a result of the upcoming meeting of the Conference of Evangelical Alliance.
1870: According to today's Religious Items column " The Hebrew Leader referring to the coming Conference of the Evangelical Alliance says: 'No fear; what these gentlemen achieved in London, Paris, Berlin, Geneva and Amsterdam they will achieve in New York: Nihil.'"
1871: The Omaha Beewas a pioneer newspaper in Omaha, Nebraska founded today, by Edward Rosewater, a Bohemian Jewish immigrant who supported abolition and fought in the Union Army.
1873: British philosopher John Stuart Mill whose views on the Jewish people were explored by Professor Edward Alexander in an article entitled “John Stuart Mill and the Jews” passed away.
1874: Special letter of administration were granted with the consent of the Earl of Beaconsfield who is the executor of the of the estate of Mary Anne Disraeli, Viscountess of Beaconsfield, that would allow stocks belonging her to be passed on to the Reverend William Lewis Price when she passed away.
1876: Birthdate of Reinhold Quaatz, the German political leader who espoused anti-Semitic positions despite having a Jewish mother but avoided being shipped to a concentration camp.
1876: It was reported today that a part of the French Mediterranean fleet has received orders to set sail for Salonica, formerly known as Thessalonica.The fleet is being sent to in response to fighting in the city between Christians and Moslems.The city’s population includes approximately 20,000 Jews who have lived there for centuries.Unfortunately, attacks based on the religious differences between Moslems and Christians have a way of spilling over to harm the Jewish population. (The ancient Jewish community of Salonica would be a casualty of the Shoah).
1877 “The Jews in Roumania” published today reported that the Turkish Legation in Washington, DC has been told by its government that there are no Turkish troops or inhabitants on the west bank of the Danube River, where the Jews living in Giurgevo (have been attacked. According to the Turks, this area is controlled by the government at Bucharest. Furthermore, “Israelites” have “equal rights in Turkey with all other Ottoman subjects of whatever religion” and the government is determined to protect them.As “new proof of the …impartiality of his Majesty the Sultan” and Israelite named “David-chon Effendi” has been nominated as a Senator of the Empire.[Today all of this sounds like meaningless gibberish. The treatment of the Jews of Romania was a grave matter in the second half of the 19th century.Sometimes it got caught up in the on-going Balkan crises and the slow demise of the Ottoman Empire.On top of that newspaper reports of the time were not always accurate when it came to names leaving us to guess.Giurgevo probably refers to Giurgiu which was an ancient fortress town on the Danube.Effendi may refer to a prominent Turkish Jew of the time who was an admiral in the Sultan’s navy.]
1878(Iyar 5):Rabbi Meir ben Isaac Auerbach, author of Imre Binah, passed away.
1879: An article published today entitled “Revolutionary Papers In Russia” describes discoveries made by government officials regarding “an anonymous revolutionary organ called “Semla i Schwaboda” (Land and Liberty.”Three days after the police successfully found the printing presses that produced the paper, a Polish Jews was found murdered in a Moscow tavern “with a paper on his breast containing the words ‘Death to Traitors.’” The Polish Jew was reported to be the informer who guided the authorities to the presses. [Once again Jews are bad guys on both sides of the street.They were portrayed as anti-Czarist revolutionaries and as betrayers of the revolutionaries.Ah, anti-Semitism!]
1882: Edward J. King’s will which was dated today includes bequests to Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, Congregation B’Nai Jeshrun, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews of New York and the United Hebrew Charities.
1884: Birthdate of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. If David Ben-Gurion is the "father of the state of Israel" then Truman might be considered the godfather-the one who held the baby at the moment of birth. Standing up against pressure from the British and his own top advisors, Truman helped garner the votes that led to the U.N. resolution that created Israelin 1947. Standing up to even stronger pressure, Truman gave the new state the aura of legitimacy by being the first to recognize. At , WashingtonD.C. time, the state of Israel came into existence. At , the United Statesrecognized the existence of the state of Israel. Recognition might have come a few minutes sooner, but the representatives of the newly created government had not been sure of the name to use for their new country. Jewish voters heavily supported Truman for this bold act as well as his progressive social views and his strong stance against the emerging Stalinist menace.
1885: In Chicago, the Dearborn Station designed by Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz opened today.
1886:Dr. John S. Pemberton sells the first Coca-Cola at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.Jacob’s Pharmacy was owned by Joseph Jacobs, the son of Gabriel and Ernestine Hyman Jacobs.The Georgianative opened the Athens Pharmaceutical Company in Athens.He later bought out his competition in the Five Points section of Atlanta.The first Coke was servedat the Five Points location.
1888(27th of Iyar, 5648): Professor Leone Levi, “an economic writer” passed away today.
1890(18th of Iyar, 5650): Lag B’Omer
1891: “The Karlsbrucke” published today described the history of Prague’s historic bridge including the fact that the oldest of the figures on its buttresses was “a large stone crucifix..which was built with money wrung from the Jews.”
1891: Rabbi Levy officiated at the wedding of Selig Behrman and Sarah Saundinsky at the Hasell Street Synagogue.
1892: Dr. G. Stockston Burroughs, the Samuel Green Professor of Biblical History and Interpretation will conduct classes in the Semitic and Hebrew languages at Amherst College.
1892: “Johns Hopkins University” published today described activities at the Baltimore school including the decisions of Dr. Cyrus Adler to lead a group that “are organizing an America-Jewish historical association to collect and preserve records and memorials of the Jews of America.”
1892: Most of the 3,000 people attending tonight’s lecture at Cooper Union which had been called by various Socialist groups were young Jews from Russian and Poland.
1893: “Jews Might Be Kept Afloat: Expelled by Russian and Excluded by this Country” published today describes the plight of the millions of Russian and Polish Jews who are being expelled by the Czar’s government.The new situation is even more catastrophic than the Passover Edicts of 1891 that resulted in the expulsion of 400,000 Jews.The changes in American immigration laws and the attitude of various European governments limit the options of where these Jews might settle.The article goes to describe the efforts – financial, political, and communal – to provide havens for their coreligionists.
1893: The five-story double tenement house at 33 and 35 Suffolk Street which “is inhabited by more than twenty families” most of whom are Jews from Poland was the scene of fire that started in the apartment of Abraham Barnett.
1893: The Hartford (CT) Courant provided an account of “documentary evidence that the Russian government has begun a wholesale expulsion of the Jews from Poland” where 1,500,000 of them live.
1894:”Anti-Jew Riot In Poland” published today described how troops fired on a mob that was attacking Jews in Grajewo
1895: The third East Side Free Art Exhibition sponsored by the University Settlement Society and the Hebrew Educational Alliance will open today at the Hebrew Institute at East Broadway and Jefferson Street.
1898(16th of Iyar, 5658): Zvi Hermann Schapira, the mathematician born in Lithuania in 1840who attended the First Zionist Congress and was the first to suggest the creation of what became the Jewish National Fund passed away today in Cologne.
1898: “The Triumph of Titus” published today provides a summary of information that first appeared in Open Court, a magazine specializing in philosophy, science and religion describing the celebration at Rome of the victory over Judea that included a display of “the sacred vessels of the temple,” the scourging and throttling “of Simon, the real leader” of the revolt and imprisonment for life of John.”
1899: “Jews True Patriots” published today described a speech given by Dr. Madison C. Peters which says that “history does not tell of braver men. After describing the leading role of European Jews in the military including Napoleon’s Marshal Massena and Albert Goldsmid, Sir Jacob Adolphus and Sir David Ximines of the British Army, he described the leading role of the Jews in the American military including Isaac Franks and Benjamin Moses in the Revolutionary War, Moses Albert Levy, Leon Dyer and Henry Seligson in the Mexican War, and a long list in the Civil War including Edward S. Soloon, Leopold Blumberg and Simon Levy and his three sons to name but a few. According to Dr. Peters, four thousand Jews served in the military during the just completed war with Spain including Sergeant Maurice Justh of the First California Jews, a regiment that included 100 Jews and seven Jewish Rough Riders whom Theodore Roosevelt praised for their “most astonishing courage.”
1899: According to a list published today the leadership of the Hebrew Infant Asylum includes President Ester Wallenstein, Solomon Japha, Maurice Untermyer, S.F. Bleyer, Robert J. Gerstler and A.N. Steinhart.
1901: The Order of Ancient Maccabeans (also Maccabaeans), an Anglo-Jewish charity which was established in 1894 was registered today under the ‘Friendly Societies’ Act.”
1902: In Ainay-le-Château, Allier Marie (Siminovitch), an artist, and Solomon Lwoff, a psychiatrist gave birth to Andre Michael Lwoff, French microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.He passed away in 1994.
1905(3rd of Iyar, 5665): After two days of rioting in Zhitomir (Russia) twenty Jews have been killed by the mob and an untold number have been injured while an additional ten Jews were killed in the village of Troyanov as they tried to come to the aid of their co-religionists.
1905: In a move that presaged the Righteous Gentiles of the Shoah, Nicholas Blinov, a Christian student, was killed when he came to the aid of the Jews of Zhitomir.
1912: Founding of The Paramount Company. This giant of the motion picture industry began as a merger of 11 film rental bureaus. Among those involved were Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor. Zukor would go on to become a dominant figure in the direction and production of movies. He would eventually become the top executive of Paramount, another of the Jews "present at the birth" of the American film industry.
1913:Dr. Moses Hyamson, Senior Dayan, or Chief Judge, of the Ecclesiastical Court of the United Synagogue of London, has been elected rabbi of the Congregation Orach Chaim, at Lexington Avenue and Ninety-Fifth Street. The new rabbi will receive a salary of $5,000. Hyamson succeeds Dr. Joseph Hertz who was chosen over Dr. Hyamson as the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain.
1914:Eleanor, the daughter of Woodrow Wilson – the President who appointed the first Jew to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and was a supporter of Zionism- was married today in the White House
1915: At their convention in Memphis, Tennessee, the National Conference on Jewish Charities adopted a resolution creating a committee to conduct a survey of Oriental Jews in the United States.
1915: “The Exchange Telegraph Company” today “received the following telegram from Copenhagen: ‘Berlin newspapers print the news of the sinking of the Lusitania in colossal type and hail the successful torpedoing of the ship as a new triumph for Germany’s naval policy.”
1918:Vilmos Vázsonyi, who championed the recognition of the Jewish religion by the state completed his second and final term in office as Minister of Justice for Hungary.
1919: Birthdate of Aharon Remez, the Tel Aviv native who flew combat missions with the RAF in World War II before becomingthe second commander of Israel’s fledgling Air Force serving from 1948 through 1950.He went on to a successful career as a “civil servant, politician and diplomat.
1921(30th of Nisan, 5681): Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1921: High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel agrees to the appointment of Haj Amin al Husseini, a leading Arab nationalist, as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Supreme Muslim Council. Samuel rejects protests by the Jewish leadership.
1922: Louis Stern, President of Stern Brothers, which became the largest retail store in the United States in 1910, underwent a major operation at Mt. Sinai Hospital just prior to leaving for Paris.
1922: In Blackpool, England, Cyril and Ann Constant Levy gave birth to Reginald Levy, the Sabena pilot who would play a key role in thwarting an Arab attempt to hijack his aircraft.
1924: In Beilsko, Poland, business executive Julius Weissmann and his wife Helene(nee Mueckenbrunn) Weissmann gave birth to Gerda Weissmann who gained fame as Gerda Weissmann Klein, author of the autobiographical account ofthe Holocaust All but My Life which “was adapted for the 1995 short film, One Survivor Remembers, which received an Academy Award and an Emmy Award, and was selected for the National Film Registry http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/klein-gerda-weissmann
1926: Birthdate of Don Rickles. Rickles was born in New York City. His father was sold clothes and insurance and his mother was a housewife. After graduating from high school, Rickles served in the United States Navy. After World War II he began working as a comic in a variety of venues. Eventually, he turned to the "insult comedic" mode which has become his stock and trade. His big break came in 1957 when Frank Sinatra caught his act and loved it. Rickles also has numerous film and television appearances to his credit. According to his semi-official biography, one of his proudest accomplishments was the construction of a gym named in his honor (he raised the money) at TempleSinaiin Los Angeles.
1928: Birthdate of Theodore “Ted” Sorensen, speech writer for John F. Kennedy who “helped” to write Profiles In Courage.Sorensen’s mother was a Russian Jew.His was father was Christian.
1933: Lucienne Bolch took the pictures which “are the sole visual record of the great Diego Rivera's ill-fated Rockefeller Center fresco with its doomed depiction of Lenin” known as “Man at the Crossroads.”
(As reported by Robert McG. Thomas, Jr.)
1933: Birthdate of Alfred “Al” Lerner the New York born son of Russian-Jewish immigrants who became Chairman of the Board of MBNA and the owner of the Cleveland (football) Browns.
1934: Eleanor Neyens was born in Dubuque County, Iowa.As Eleanor Schueller she became the mother of Deb Schueller who as Deb Levin is responsible for the technology and patience that makes these daily offerings possible.
1934: Birthdate of Leonard Hubert “Lennie” Hoffman, the South African born British barrister who became a leading Jurist.
1935: “The plight of thousands of young women refugees arriving in Palestine from Germany and other countries was outlined today at luncheon of the Women’s League for Palestine” held at the Hotel Astor.The speakers appealed for additional funds to provide homes for these refugees.Mrs. Albert Einstein and Mrs. Elisheeva Kaplan, Chairman of the Working Women’s Council of Palestine were guests of honor.
1936: Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia, who has been forced to flee his native land because Italy has conquered it, arrived in Haifa aboard the British cruiser Enterprise. The Emperor whose official title includes the appellation“Lion of Judah” and his royal household then took the train to Jerusalem where they were greeted by a cheering crowd. When he heard the crowds chanting “Long Live Ethiopia” and “Long Live Haile Selassie” the exiled monarch broke into tears.[Editor’s Note:Ethiopia